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sist. And if one were to follow their example and fix attention exclusively on the rout of the Social Democrats, one would be obliged to admit the validity of their reasoning. The loss
of at least twenty seats, or of rather more than a fourth of their Parliamentary strength, has surprised no one more than the Social Democrats themselves. Except for the check in 1887 they have never until now failed to gather fresh power from each successive election. Even as it is they have increased their votes beyond even the high-water mark of 1903, and can still claim to represent all but a third of the German electorate. Their defeat is due not to abstentions among themselves, but to the overwhelming rallying of their opponents at the Kaiser's call. If the electoral areas, which remain to-day as they were fixed at the time of the foundation of the Empire, were to be re-distributed, the Social Democrats would be the most powerful party in the House. But no statistics or consolations of this kind will avail to minimize the gravity of their setback. It is of a nature to influence profoundly not alone their policy, but the whole trend of their evolution. are too apt to think of the Social Democrats as bound to an immutable creed and outside the scope of the laws of political change. Yet an observer
cannot but note that in the last fiveand-thirty years their programme and beliefs have been, and are being, steadily modified. The Social Democrats were once the party of an aggressive atheism; they are so no longer. They used to preach a bloody uprising of the masses as the only possible prelude to the dawn of the new era; they now confine themselves to the more peaceable method of Parliamentary and Constitutional agitation. A generation ago they held uncompromisingly aloof from all parties; to-day they co-operate with any body, even with the Govern
ment, that is willing to advance a yard in their direction. They have abandoned their advocacy of the collective ownership of land and with it many of the old Marxian doctrines. At every point they have found it to their advantage to make terms with things as they are. Recruits from other parties, a realization that Marx and Engels were wrong on some points and only half right on others, and the mellowing influence of the great mass of social legislation which has been passed by the Government, have forced them, consciously or not, to throw overboard their old policy of a sanguinary Klassenkampf. From revolutionists they have become radicals; from Vandals and rigid theorists they have developed into practical and constructive workers in the cause of advanced social reform.
In the long run we believe this process will be hastened by their recent reverse at the polls. The natural inclination of a defeated party is to restate its faith in its most extreme form and with all the emphasis it can command. The Social Democrats, no doubt, will indulge this inclination. The mere fact that those among them who have survived belong for the most part to the ancient and orthodox school, while the moderates and opportunists in their ranks have been smitten hip and thigh, will make any other course for awhile impossible. But be fore long it will be realized with growing clearness that their power to influence legislation in the new Reichstag will depend more than ever on the extent to which they are willing to cooperate with other parties, and that the possibility of such co-operation will depend in its turn upon their readiness to shelve the revolutionary and antimonarchical portions of their programme. It may therefore easily happen that the elections, by diminishing the power of the Social Democrats,
will make them more reasonable, and by making them more reasonable will also make them more formidable. Nor is this the only deduction that has to be made from the Kaiser's triumph. Though the Conservatives will come back slightly stronger than they were, it is the various parties of Liberalism and Radicalism that have profited most by the rout of the Social Democrats, and if this phenomenon portends the revival throughout the Empire of a spirit of sane progress, it may yet give the Emperor some disquieting moments. But it was not against the Social Democrats alone that he sounded the charge. To release the Government from the control of the Catholic Centre was avowedly one of the motives of the dissolution, and here the Kaiser's strategy has broken down. The Centre returns, if anything, stronger than ever and in no friendly mood; and this we imagine will prove a fact of far more real influence on the course of events than The Outlook.
the defeat of the Social Democrats. The Chancellor to all appearances has secured his chief objective. He has guarded himself against another alliance of the Blacks and the Reds. On national and Imperial issues he may be able to rely upon the support of Conservatives, National Liberals and Radicals. On domestic questions the Conservatives, Clericals and National Liberals will suffice to give him a majority. Such is the calculation, but until the temper of the Centre can be ascertained we question the possibility of its being realized for more than a short while, and nothing has happened to alter our conviction that this delicate playing off of one party against another is a political condition as unstable as it is unhealthy. A net result of the elections is to give the Kaiser an opportunity of rising above legerdemain into statesmanship and of harmonizing the spirit of the German Government with that of the German people.
LIFE'S LITTLE DISCUSSIONS.
Scene-Breakfast at the Fordyces.
Mr. FORDYCE, Mrs. FORDYCE, Miss FORLYCE, Miss MABEL FORDYCE and Mr. JOHN FORDYCE.
Mrs. Fordyce. Don't you think, dear, we ought to give a dinner-party soon? Mr. Fordyce. No. Why?
Mrs. Fordyce. Well, we've dined out a good deal lately, and we must do something in return.
Mr. Fordyce. Can't you ask the wives to lunch when I'm not here?
Mrs. Fordyce. But they want to see you. It's just you they want to see. Mr. Fordyce. Which of them? Mrs. Fordyce. Well, Mrs. Culverwell. Mr. Fordyce. Oh, does she? Well, I don't want to see her.
Mrs. Fordyce. I'm sure you were most agreeable to her at the Billbys' last week. You were laughing all the time. I watched you.
Miss Fordyce. Well, one must be polite.
Mr. John Fordyce (dubiously). Yes. Mr. Fordyce. Look here, Jack, you mind your own business. You'll miss your train if you're not quick.
Mrs. Fordyce. Would the 14th suit you?
Mr. Fordyce. What for?
Mrs. Fordyce. The dinner-party, dear.
Mr. Fordyce. Oh, this wretched dinher-party! I thought it was dismissed. No, I'm sure the 14th won't suit me. Mrs. Fordyce. Have you got an engagement for that day?
Mr. Fordyce. I think so. I'll look. Why shouldn't we go to the theatre that night?
Miss Mabel Fordyce. Oh, yes, do let's. Miss Fordyce. Surely we have been to enough plays lately. Mother is quite right. It is more than time we gave another dinner-party. We haven't had any one here since November. Besides, the Binsteads will be in town then. I heard from Nelly yesterday.
Mr. Fordyce. The Binsteads! MyMiss Fordyce. Father, hush. Mabel, how silly you are, laughing like that. Miss Mabel Fordyce. Well, father's quite right, they are the most awful stodgers. You know they are.
Miss Fordyce. They've always been very nice to us.
Mrs. Fordyce. There aren't kinder people in the world than the Binsteads. Mr. Fordyce. All bores are kind. Mr. John Fordyce. Well, I'm off. Goodbye all. Give me fair notice, won't you, mother, of the day the Binsteads are coming.
Mrs. Fordyce. Yes, dear, of course I will, and then you are sure to be free.
Mr. John Fordyce. Yes, mother, I'll make a point of being free.
Mrs. Fordyce. That's a good boy. My dear Mabel, what are you laughing at? You're always laughing.
Miss Mabel Fordyce. At any rate, mother, if you must have the Binsteads, do, please, invite Mr. Dettmar too, to make up for them a little.
Mrs. Fordyce. But he's so very noisy. Miss Mabel Fordyce. Well, he is amusing, anyhow, and he makes things go.
Mr. Fordyce (from his paper). By Jove, here's a rum thing. They've just performed an operation on a house
agent at Felixstowe, and what do you think they found inside him?
Mrs. Fordyce. George, dear, don't . . . Miss Fordyce. Oh, father, please spare us these morbid details.
Mr. Fordyce. All right, all right.
Mrs. Fordyce. Gwendolen, dear, just make a list of some people to ask. There's the three Binsteads and Mr. Dettmar. I suppose we must have Mr. Dettmar, if Mabel is so set on him. Then there is Aunt Flora.
Mr. Fordyce. If your Aunt Flora comes, nothing will get me home till midnight.
Mrs. Fordyce. But, my dear...
Mr. Fordyce. No, I say it positively. We've done enough for your Aunt Flora for at least a year. Didn't she have Christmas presents from all of you?
Mrs. Fordyce. But she's so lonely, poor thing!
Mr. Fordyce. Well, so am I.
Mr. Fordyce. Yes, I am; I'm very lonely, and I hate being asked out to dinner. You don't know your Aunt Flora. She feels just as I do. If you want to ask any one, ask Mrs. Adam. She's a clever woman.
Miss Fordyce. I'm afraid that father's idea of a clever woman is a coarse woman.
Mr. Fordyce. I've never noticed her coarseness. She's a sensible, amusing person, and that's more than you can say of half the women who come here.
Mrs. Fordyce. But we must ask some of the people we have dined with-the Billbys, the Carterets, the Piggs. We haven't room for Mrs. Adam if they are to come, and if they are not to come we may as well have only the Binsteads and Mr. Dettmar.
Mr. Fordyce. Well, I give it as my last word that unless Mrs. Adam comes I don't.
Miss Fordyce. But she will put out the party. There is no man for her. Mr. Fordyce. I'll take her in.
Miss Fordyce. You can't. You must take in Mrs. Billby.
Mr. Fordyce. Well, I can have her on the other side. I don't often interfere, but in this case I am adamant.
Miss Mabel Fordyce. Oh, father, how clever!
Mrs. Fordyce. What's clever?
Miss Mabel Fordyce. To say adamant -about Mrs. Adam.
Mr. Fordyce. I wondered if any of you would see it. If you want a partner for Mrs. Adam get Joe Surtees.
Miss Fordyce. Father! How can you? After that dreadful story!
Mr. Fordyce. Well, it was probably not true. He's a very unhappy, lonely man, and you would be doing a kind thing to ask him. Very good company, too, when he likes. It's a pleasure to have some one to go down to the cellar for. There's no fun in teetotallers and Haigites like your Billbys and Carterets. You may sneer at Joe as much as you like, but I've said my last word. [Erit to City.
BOOKS AND AUTHORS.
"The Spirit of the Orient" by Professor George William Knox (T. Y. Crowell & Co.) is an attempt to make more clear to Western readers the essential differences between Eastern and Western character and civilization, the Orient in this case including India, China and Japan. It is not a book of mere description, still less is it composed of the superficial and haphazard impressions of a traveller. It is the work of one who has spent years in the Far East and is capable of studying sympathetically the customs, religions and institutions of the people. The book is of modest size, written in a direct and simple style without any suggestion of philosophical profundity or rhetorical embellishment. The attractive typography and abundant illustration tempt the reader through chapters which would be easy reading, even in a less attractive dress.
It was not to be expected that Mrs. Henry de la Pasture should often repeat the success of "Peter's Mother," but she might fall several grades below that and still write novels well
above the average. Such is her latest, "The Lonely Lady of Grosvenor Square"-a charming story of a simplehearted young girl, summoned from the farm in Wales where relatives of her mother have cared for her, by the caprice of a rich old aunt of her father's, and left by the aunt's death the custodienne of the London property till the return of her twin-brother from his campaign in Somaliland. The situation gives opportunity for many quaint departures from convention on Jeanne's part, and some pleasant satire on Mrs. de la Pasture's; there is a pretty love story running through the narrative, and a quite unexpected episode introduces a delightful bit of characterdrawing at the end. E. P. Dutton & Co.
It was a fortunate catholicity which led to the inclusion of American writers in Macmillans' series of English Men of Letters and a fortunate decision which prompted the selection of Professor George Edward Woodberry as the biographer of Ralph Waldo Emerson in that series. Professor Woodberry possesses the sympathy and po
etic insight which enables him to understand and to interpret a shy, solitary nature like Emerson's, and he follows his career from his narrow boyhood in Boston and Concord and his disappointing experiences at Harvard through the religious questionings, the ethical and philosophic studies and the literary achievements of his later career, with rare skill and sense of proportion, recognizing in him from the beginning "a strangely isolated, strangely exalted soul." No book in the whole valuable series is better poised or more profoundly interesting. The Macmillan Co.
With two pretty sisters from the colonies, thrown on their own resources in an English cathedral city, a budding barrister who has met the girls in Australia during their father's lifetime, and a philanthropic young nobleman and his beautiful sister for leading actors in the play, it is obvious to the experienced reader that not even the presence in the background of a genial Admiral, uncle to the barrister, a bluff Colonial, guardian to the girls, and a kindly old maid, beaming on all, can prevent at least one blighted affection. Gambling and defalcation on the part of a trusted solicitor, with blackmail from his confidential clerk, a disgraceful dismissal from the army and a mysterious disappearance cleared up, are other properties in "The Sweetest Solace," a novel by John Randal, which, in spite of some readable chapters, does not reach the high degree of excellence that usually characterizes the fiction of E. P. Dutton & Co.
The twenty-second, twenty-third and twenty-fourth volumes of the Arthur H. Clark Company's reprints of Early Western Travels were devoted, it may be remembered, to the reproduction of
Prince Maximilian's "Travels in the Interior of North America." These travels were made in the years 1832-4, and the Prince's narrative of them was published in London, in a translation from the German, in 1843. Scientific explorers and travellers of those days did not enjoy the latter-day advantages of the camera, but Prince Maximilian was more fortunate than most in being able to persuade a Swiss artist, Charles Bodmer, to accompany him and to paint landscapes, portraits of the aborigines and other interesting objects which a modern traveller would reproduce in "snapshots." Bodmer was
an artist of more than ordinary ability and his paintings attracted wide attention at the time. The Arthur H. Clark Company now reproduces them in a volume which is numbered No. 25 in the series and No. 4 in the Maximilian narrative. But the publishers depart from the form of the previous volumes, and present this as an atlas of illustrations, engraved from Bodmer's paintings and printed upon heavy plate paper, fifteen by twenty inches in size. There are 81 plates, and with them is included a large and finely-engraved map of Maximilian's route of travel. Among these extremely interesting pictures are views on the Lehigh, the Ohio, the Mississippi, the Missouri and Lake Erie; pictures of Indian chiefs and warriors of different tribes, and of Indian villages, bear hunts, religious ceremonies, dances, games and horse races; and glimpses of Niagara, the Rocky mountains, New York harbor and Boston lighthouse as Bodmer saw them, which it is interesting to compare with the scenes of to-day. The style in which this vol ume is presented attests the purpose of the publishers to spare no pain< give their very valuable ser worthy dress.