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A Polish woman was arrested in a New Extension of free loan associations, Jersey town and fined two dollars and a neighborhood lodging-houses, friendly half for putting ashes in the street. When visiting of newly-arrived foreigners, and she found out what her offense was she other movements that will bring the imwas amazed, because in her country the migrant into relation with persons who law required that she should put the know the standards and opportunities ashes there to make good roads!
and ways of American city life. Schools for teaching English and sim- Establishment of a federal system of ple American civics are needed in the protection of immigrants in transit and smaller towns and factory towns, and until they really reach their destination, better systems of instruction in the cities. and of compulsory railway protection.
The establishment of state departments Enforcement (and adequate machinery or commissions of immigration, which for the purpose) of the few laws which shall primarily protect, educate, and dis- specifically protect immigrants. tribute the immigrants within the state The next decade can be profitably and not merely seek laborers, is worth spent by those interested in the immiconsidering. These should coöperate with grant in working out a system of protecthe federal government and take up the tion to meet the system of exploitation, work where it lays it down when and this will in a measure explain if not the foreigner becomes a resident of the meet many of the "problems of immistate.
BY H. H. D. PIERCE
As I look out of my study window, maids, and supper at eight, when, except this December morning, across the gar- on formal occasions, the guest is free to den and beyond the little gorge which forage around the table for himself. flanks it and through which runs the Host and hostess drink the health of each street below, I see the children in the guest with the word “skaal,” replied to neighboring public school enjoying their by the eyes over the glass after drinking. . brief hourly recess in their playground, Adjourning to the drawing-room, the in the dim light of the dawn. For, al- guests thank both master and mistress of though it is nearly half-past nine, the sun the house and on the next meeting never has not yet risen. Later in the day he fail to say, “Thanks for the last time." will bathe my whole garden and house- One is everywhere struck by the frank front with his welcome rays, for we shall and unaffected simplicity of the life and be free to-day from the black, grimy fog the straightforward kindliness of the which besets Christiania during the last people. two months of the year,-a fog thick and The scope of women's employment is heavy with the suffocating smoke of the much wider in Norway than with us. town. Fortunately a half-hour, by the Even large public banquets are chiefly electric tram-car, takes one out of it to served by maids, and in the shops cusHolmenkollen, on the mountain overlook- tomers are waited upon, generally, by ing the city. But the brightest winter day saleswomen. This is by no means conis short in this latitude, for the sluggard fined to a few classes of shops. In shoesun will set again a very few minutes shops, for both men and women, in after three.
jewelers' and silversmiths', in fact in alIt pleases my fancy that our Legation most every branch of retail trade, while stands perched upon one of the crags of women are not exclusively employed to curiously distorted rocky strata that oc- wait upon customers, they decidedly precur here and there in Christiania, thus dominate. In the banks also, in the post isolated from surrounding buildings; for and telegraph office, and upon the railthis, by the accepted usage of nations, is ways, women are much employed, not American territory, and it seems to me only in clerical capacities, but for work fitting that the soil our flag floats over exclusively performed in America by should be so separated from the bordering city streets and buildings.
In the University of Christiania both Many of the residences of Christiania sexes attend the lectures indiscriminately stand thus villa-like in the midst of pretty and are upon the same footing. In the gardens, which, in summer, are full of practice of medicine, and especially of bloom, and give the streets a peculiar dentistry, there are quite as many female charm and sense of openness. Within, as male practitioners. In a small block the people live simple wholesome lives, of buildings close to the Legation I have kindly and hospitable, with that truest counted the signs of six dentists, three hospitality which invites the guest to of whom are women. Even in the law share in good cheer without ostentation women are admitted to practice. or display. Dinner is at three or four The students of the university form a o'clock, served by trim, fresh-looking conspicuous and interesting element in
the social atmosphere of Christiania. suffix of the definite article. Maalet thereThe university buildings are situated in fore means, “the language.” As I write, & prominent part of the principal thor- a measure has just to-day been introoughfare of the city. The students are duced in the Storthing to regulate by law thus much in evidence, and the senti- the orthography of the language. ment of the community is strongly in The daily life of the students is simple, favor of a university education for both and dissipation rare.
The studies are sexes. A course at the university, with seriously pursued, and good scholarship good standing in scholarship, is a requi- and ability are rewarded by the respectsite part of the curriculum of the Mili- ful appreciation and popular regard of tary Academy of the Kingdom, so that fellow students. Yet there is no lack of among the students are to be seen not a frank and hearty ebullition of spirits. few wearing military uniforms.
Withal there is an unaffected simplicity Education may be said to be universal about these student pleasures which rein Norway. The commonest laborer can minds one of the college days of an earliat least read and write, and many peas- er generation in our own universities. ants attain a considerable degree of cul- The students of the University of ture. Liestöl, for instance, who is an Christiania are provided with an admirexponent of the school which is endeav- able general club-house, in a central part oring to bring the ancient language of of the city, where they have, in a plain the country, called “maalet,” still spoken and simple fashion, such food and reby the peasants in certain districts of the freshments as they may choose to order, west, into general use as the language including beer and wine, if they wish it, of Norway, has educated himself very and where, in short, they enjoy an entire highly. He is a true peasant, laboring in freedom, which is rarely abused. For the fields; still he has not only found these students possess that quality of selftime to do considerable literary work in respect which is preëminently characterconnection with this movement, but has istic of the Norseman. also acquired a very considerable know- In this assembly building, or club, the ledge of English.
students, in winter, not only enjoy their The language of Norway is, or at least recreation and that exchange of ideas so appears to be, in a transitional state. essential to wholesome mental growth, That which is usually spoken is identical but give their balls and other entertainwith Danish, with some differences in ments in a straightforward and unprepronunciation, and some slight modifica- tentious fashion. The Students' Ball I tion of meaning due to sectional condi- attended there was managed with a detions. It is in fact the Danish language corum and efficiency which would have acquired by Norway during its union been highly creditable to more experiwith that country, which lasted some six enced men of the world. There was no
ostentation of elaborate decoration, but Of late there has been a tendency to the bright young faces and the pretty draw away from the Danish tongue and white gowns were the better set off set up, or evolve, a distinct language. against the plain but tastefully colored The movement is led on the one hand by walls. It was chaperoned by two ladies Björnson, who in his writings adopts a of social prominence, but otherwise the spelling quite his own, differing consid- young girls were without other protecerably from that of the ordinary litera- tion than their own good sense, and their ture, and on the other by certain writers, well-founded confidence, and that of their who, like Garborg, write in the old maal- parents, in the entire trustworthiness of et. The word “maal” means language or their student escorts. tongue, and the final "et" is simply the Early in winter the students devote a VOL. 101 - NO. 2
week to a grand carnival, when the entire The intense dramatic feeling and earnestclub building is given over to a sort of ness of the players is perhaps, at times, mock country fair. Here you may wit- insufficiently restrained, but as a rule the ness, in the great hall and exhibition parts are played with taste as well as room, a burlesque circus, with an amus- with vigor and freshness. The sincerity ing band, led by a conductor who gravely with which the minor parts are acted, imitates the affectations of some orches- and the natural manner in which all tral leaders. Through the rooms are the players unite in the support of one other amusing satires upon interests of another, add greatly to the realism of the the day. There you may, for a few öre, production. The by-play of the minor have three shots, with balls, at carica- performers is sustained, without becomtures of the cabinet ministers. Hit one, ing tiresome. If a number of people are and another political character takes his on the stage together they appear to place. At another booth, arranged in imi- engage in conversation in a perfectly tation of a railway book-stall, are clever natural manner, without any appearance parodies on the popular novels of the day. of forced “stage business.” Of course There, in that farther room, called the this drilling of the minor actors and “North-West Passage,” ices are served. supernumeraries is chiefly due to the Across the street, in the university gym- care and taste which Mr. Björnson has nasium, a stage has been erected, and devoted to the stage management of his here is given a very clever burlesque of large company. But it must be said that an Italian opera,
a real old-fashioned he has excellent material to work with. burlesque, - no modern imitation cheap In all that precedes I have been speakshows, no topical songs and no dances. ing of the National Theatre of ChristiJust an old-fashioned burlesque gravely ania which, while it receives a royal subgone through with, the excellent music sidy, is on the other hand burdened with well sung and all the accessories simple a heavy municipal tax. It is to Mr. but sufficient; and short withal, so that Björn Björnson, the son of the great the spectators' risible muscles do not be- Norwegian writer and poet, that Christicome moulded into a stereotyped smile. ania is indebted for this really splendid
Everywhere all is most informal. The temple of the dramatic muse. It was by students are simply in for a good time, his efforts that the needed funds for its not to
pose socially. You may wear your erection were secured, and it has been hat, if you choose, or even smoke, but you under his management that it has promay not take either the entertainment or duced the beautifully staged plays of his yourself too seriously. You come away distinguished father, of Henrik Ibsen, with the sense of having been thoroughly and of other less known national playamused by a hearty bit of talented stu- wrights. dent fun, and without wondering at the The theatre itself is provided with cost, in either time or money.
every most modern convenience and comOwing doubtless in part to its isolation fort for audience, management, and actfrom the rest of Europe, — for Stock- ors. The auditorium is comfortable and holm is distant twelve hours by rail well ventilated; the orchestra, for which from Christiania, and Copenhagen nearly ample room is provided, out of the imtwenty, — the theatre of Norway has de- mediate view of the audience, but not
, veloped upon lines of its own, evolving a concealed from it, is large and of the very very individual school of acting but little best. The stage is of vast proportions, influenced by the stage conventions and adequate for the production of the most traditions of other countries; very faith- elaborate pieces, and provided with every ful and true to nature in its conceptions, modern mechanical appliance as well as and frankly realistic in its treatment. with a corps of unsurpassed scenic artists. Much of the scene-painting reaches for the stage, and it has required some a very high degree of artistic excellence. adaptation to make its performance posNothing of its sort could exceed the sible. Indeed, the dramatic interest of the beauty and truth to nature in the scen- play, though not that of the psychologery of Peer Gynt, depicting Norwegian ical study, ends with the death of old landscapes. The play is given with Aase, beautiful as the stage-setting conGrieg's exquisite music, and it is interest- tinues to be up to the final fall of the ing to see the great composer in the audi- curtain. ence, as one frequently may, listening to For my own part I suspect that Ibsen his own composition and witnessing the had no further purpose in writing Peer play for which he composed the music. Gynt than to set for himself a problem
It is perhaps the ensemble in the pro- in psychology, working out the mental duction of this piece that is most worthy and moral development of the principal of remark. Its perfect evenness of sus- character in the play, given certain traits tained execution entitles it to rank as a and environment, and that he introduced masterpiece of artistic stage manage- the Norwegian folklore, which gives the ment. To single out any special per- local color, merely as an artistic framing, former in this admirable presentation like the scenic accessories, not with any of Ibsen's romantic drama seems hardly intention of stamping Peer Gynt himself fair to the rest of the work. Yet one can as a product peculiar to Norway. Most scarcely refrain from remarking upon of Ibsen's plays have a strong local colMr. Christiansen's impersonation of the oring of his own country and people. title rôle, a really fine piece of dramatic The production of A Doll's House, work.
contrasting so completely as it does with It is said that Ibsen intended; in Peer Peer Gynt, is nevertheless given with the Gynt, to typify the national character. same careful study of detail as the more This is probably hardly a fair statement, spectacular piece. The simple, homely for Peer Gynt certainly does not stand room, which is the background throughfor the type of Norwegian manhood. The out the play, is a most minutely faithful shiftless sensual vagabond, the boastful reproduction of such a parlor, in just purposeless dreamer that Ibsen depicts in such a flat, as you may find by the Peer Gynt, no more typifies the Norweg- hundred in Christiania. ian than he does humanity in general. cal home of the Norwegian bank clerk. The story is told that, to somebody who You are unmistakably in Christiania. asked Ibsen what he had in mind in Through the door which opens at the writing Peer Gynt, he replied that none back of the scene you catch, from time but God and himself ever knew, and for to time, glimpses of the narrow hallway his part he had forgotten.
and the outer door leading to the stairThe scene between Peer Gynt and the
The fire before which Nora and three Saeter girls on top of the mountain Helmar sit is in the tall porcelain stove is given with truly wonderful effect. The of the country. The scene is even set to mad abandon of these weird creatures in show the architectural arrangement of their moonlight dance, luring the inflam- the rooms, making it clear that Helmar's mable sensualist on by their wild laugh- study can only be reached by passing ter and derisive songs, is done with through the parlor; for a jog in the wall, rare intensity. This and the scene with bringing the angle well
bringing the angle well upon the stage, the Troll King's daughter are bits of gives visible evidence of the construction. really fine dramatic work. Much of the The performance itself is admirable, the play, especially in the last act, good as acting restrained, for the most part, and it is as literature, is lacking in dramatic the whole very real and living. incident. It was not originally intended At several of the minor theatres the
It is the typi