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White, Andrew D., The Statesmanship of
Beati Mortui, Louise Imogen Guiney 105 Nobler Task, The, Lee Wilson Dodd. • 857
344 Noctes Ambrosianæ, Sarah N. Cleghorn . 799
Earth-Hour, The, Charles L. O'Donnell 568 Songs of the Night, Richard Watson
“Stars in their Courses," Robert Bridges 506
Joy from Little Things, A, Fannie Stearns
TURNING THE NEW LEAVES
WHATEVER may be said in extenua- over now. The old leaves have all been tion of magazine editors, it must be ad- turned, gently, humorously, or with remitted that they confuse the calendar. gret. The Atlantic for 1908 is waiting They keep a private Christmas in mid- to be read, and it will be read because summer, and Easter by the first snow- its subscribers enjoy what it contains fall. If the Atlantic's editor wishes to to-day, and not because Ralph Waldo say Happy New Year to the patrons of Emerson was a contributor to the first the magazine, he is forced to write in number. November the words which he would Men and women who are alive and prefer to speak, two months later, at writing not dead and famous — make some real banquet of the Atlantic's read- the Atlantic what it is. They write as well
A year ago, the Toastmaster re- as their fathers did. Excluding the first members; he was writing his New Year's half-dozen names of the older generation, greeting in a sunny window-seat in Flor- as representing heights of poetry and ence. Two cabmen, lazily exchanging imaginative prose unreached to-day, the Tuscan epithets on the square beneath children write even better than their the window, distracted his attention as fathers, and they have a greater variety he meditated upon the Atlantic's coming of interesting things to say. No one can
. semi-centennial and composed with due have read the four articles in the Novempiety a few paragraphs about Turning ber number, comparing 1857 and 1907 the Old Leaves. And he said to himself, as regards the state of politics, literature, "This is poor writing, but that may be art, and science, without becoming freshthe cabmen's fault. At worst, it gives a ly aware that we are living in a world good title for another January greeting, of new conditions. Some things dear to after the anniversary is over. That shall Atlantic readers of the old sort have disbe called Turning the New Leaves." appeared forever, but the life of America
And so, in fulfillment of this year-old – which it is the object of this magazine editorial engagement, Turning the New to reflect and to interpret Leaves it shall be. After all the kindly so various, vigorous, and right-minded wishes which the Atlantic's semi-centen- as it is this very morning. No one need nial has brought, and with the abundant dwell
the tombs. space which the anniversary number A magazine cannot endeavor to offer devoted to the founders, no one will be the hospitality of its pages to writers likely to think that the magazine is un- representing these new varieties of trainmindful of its past, or ungrateful for the ing, conviction, and experience, without tributes to its ancient achievements. We wounding some sensibilities. The Toasthave been having a sort of family re- master gives the floor to many kinds of union, when the talk has turned natu- speakers. Sometimes, in truth, he gets rally upon old scenes, half-forgotten in- anxious during their remarks and looks cidents, and vanished personages; things at his watch. Occasionally the audience, dear to the family circle, although else- in turn, looks anxious, and possibly some where unintelligible. But the reunion is one gets up and goes out. This has hapVOL. 101 – NO. 1
was never a
pened during 1907, as it will doubtless nevertheless managed to form and to continue to happen, but the fact that maintain a sound artistic taste in a whole there have been two new subscribers for community. every old one lost does not lessen the After all, the plain “$4.00 a year” Toastmaster's regret that tolerance for printed upon the Atlantic's cover is as the other parish is still a plant of imper- good an image and symbol of editorial fect flowering
policy as could be wished. Subscribing For the Atlantic is not a club made up to a magazine, like buying a picture, is a of an esoteric circle of people who use its business transaction.
Sentiment may pages for the exchange of congenial ideas. have a share in it, but at bottom it is a The Toastmaster once tried to picture it question of getting and giving the worth as a pension, where there were violets of the money. Four dollars is a good by each plate, indeed, as if it were a
- if one has to go out and private dinner party, but where both earn it, as most of the Atlantic's subCaterer and boarders were in reality quite scribers do. The notion that they belong aware that there were other pensions to the leisure class is an amusing fiction, near by, clamorous for patronage. In
which dies hard. The great majority of his gloomier moments, the Toastmaster's them - and all of the Cheerful Readers, task appears to him as being not so much apparently — have to work for their four that of the Caterer and Announcer of a dollars, and they expect, month by feast, as that of an Umpire, calling balls month, a fair return upon their investand strikes to the perfect satisfaction of ment. If they do not receive it, they will neither the players, the spectators, nor surely begin to speculate with some of himself. But the real umpire has printed the Atlantic's youthful and comely rivals, rules for his guidance, and police protec- in spite of their respect for Fiftieth Annition after the game.
The editor has versaries and for the reputation of disneither. He is rather, let us say, a Picture tinguished dead contributors. And the Dealer, with certain private standards of Atlantic, preferring these clear-headed taste in the back of his head, perhaps, subscribers to any others, means to give but obliged to buy only such canvases them their money's worth. The Toastas his capital will warrant, and to hang master may be prejudiced, them in such a fashion as may reason- pires and picture dealers have been ably be expected to attract purchasers, known to be, — but he cannot help
all other canvases being "unavail- thinking that the writers engaged for able" for him. Yet one must remember 1908 are good enough company for the that some of these harassed dealers best authors and readers who ever sat the joke of artists, and compelled to buy around the Atlantic's table. Turn the only what they could sell again - have new leaves, and see.
A SECOND MOTOR-FLIGHT THROUGH FRANCE
BY EDITH WHARTON
PARIS TO POITIERS
lurk in one's path, throwing out great loops of persuasion, arresting one's flight, complicating one's impressions, oppress
ing, bewildering one with the renewed, SPRING again, and the long white road half-forgotten sense of the hoarded richunrolling itself southward from Paris. ness of France. How could one resist the call ?
Versailles first, unfolding the pillared We answered it on the blandest of late expanse of its north façade to vast empty March mornings, all April in the air, and perspectives of radiating avenues; then the Seine fringing itself with a mist of Rambouillet, low in a damp little park, yellowish willows as we rose over it, with statues along green canals, and a climbing the hill to Ville d'Avray. Spring look, this moist March weather, of being comes soberly, inaudibly as it were, in somewhat below sea-level; then Maintethese temperate European lands, where non, its rich red-purple walls and delicate the grass holds its green all winter, and stone ornament reflected in the moat the foliage of ivy, laurel, holly, and count- dividing it from the village street. Both less other evergreen shrubs, links the life- Rambouillet and Maintenon are charless to the living months. But the mere acteristically French in their way of keepact of climbing that southern road above ing company with their villages. Ramthe Seine meadows seemed as definite as bouillet, indeed, is slightly screened by the turning of a leaf - the passing from a a tall gate, a wall and trees; but Mainteblack-and-white
page to one illuminated. non's warm red turrets look across the And every day now would turn a brighter moat, straight into the windows of the page for us.
opposite houses, with the simple familGoethe has a charming verse, descrip- iarity of a time when class distinctions tive, it is supposed, of his first meeting were too fixed to need emphasizing. with Christiane Vulpius: “Aimlessly I Our third château, Valençay - which, strayed through the wood, having it in for comparison's sake, one may couple my mind to seek nothing."
with the others, though it lies far south Such, precisely, was our state of mind of Blois - Valençay bears itself with on that first day's run. We were simply greater aloofness, bidding the town “keep pushing south toward the Berry, through its distance" down the hill on which the a more or less familiar country, and the great house lifts its heavy angle-towers real journey was to begin for us on the and flattened domes. A huge cliff-like morrow, with the run from Châteauroux wall, enclosing the whole southern flank to Poitiers. But we reckoned without our of the hill, supports the terraced gardens France! It is easy enough, glancing down before the château, which to the north the long page of the Guide Continental, is divided from the road by a vast cour to slip by such names as Versailles, Ram- d'honneur with a monumental grille and bouillet, Chartres and Valençay, in one's gateway. The impression is grander yet dash for the objective point; but there is
less noble. no slipping by them in the motor, they But France is never long content to
repeat her effects; and between Mainte doorways, street-corners, faces intensely non and Valençay she puts Chartres and remembered, and in the centre a great Blois. Ah, these
old cathedral towns cloudy Gothic splendour. with their narrow clean streets widening At Chartres the cloudy splendour is to a central place — at Chartres a beau- shot through with such effulgence of colour tiful oval, like the market-place in an that its vision, evoked by memory, seems eighteenth-century print — with their to beat with a fiery life of its own, as clipped lime-walks, high garden-walls, though red blood ran in its stone veins. Balzacian gables looking out on sunless It is this suffusion of heat and radiance lanes under the flanks of the granite that chiefly, to the untechnical, distingiant! Save in the church itself, how fru- guishes it from the other great Gothic ingally all the effects are produced with teriors. In all the rest, colour, if it exists how sober a use of greys and blacks, and at all, burns in scattered unquiet patches, pale high lights, as in some Van der Meer between wastes of shadowy grey stone interior; yet how intense a suggestion of and the wan pallor of later painted glass; thrifty compact traditional life one gets but at Chartres those quivering waves of from the low house-fronts, the barred unearthly red and blue flow into and regates, the glimpses of clean bare courts, peat each other in rivers of light, from the calm yet quick faces in the doorways! their source in the great western rose, From these faces again one gets the same down the length of the vast aisles and impression of remarkable effects pro- clerestory, till they are gathered up at duced by the discreetest means. The last into the mystical heart of the apse. French physiognomy if not vividly beau- A short afternoon's run carried us tiful is vividly intelligent; but the long through dullish country from Chartres to practice of manners has so veiled its Blois, which we reached at the fortunate keenness with refinement as to produce hour when sunset burnishes the great a blending of vivacity and good temper curves of the Loire and lays a plumnowhere else to be matched. And in look- coloured bloom on the slate roofs overing at it one feels once more, as one so lapping, scale-like, the slope below the often feels in trying to estimate French castle. There are few finer roof-views architecture or the French landscape, than this from the wall at Blois : the blue how much of her total effect France sweep of gables and ridge-lines billowing achieves by elimination. If marked beauty up here and there into a church tower be absent from the French face, how with its clocheton mailed in slate, or much more is marked dullness, marked breaking to let through the glimpse of a brutality, the lumpishness of the clumsily- carved façade, or the blossoming depths made and the unfinished! As a mere of a hanging garden; but perhaps only piece of workmanship, of finish, the the eye subdued to tin house-tops and French provincial face -- the peasant's iron chimney-pots can feel the full poetry face, even often has the same kind of of old roofs. interest as a work of art.
Coming back to the Berry six weeks One gets, after repeated visits to the earlier than on our last year's visit, we “show” towns of France, to feel these saw how much its wide landscape needs minor characteristics, the incidental gra- the relief and modelling given by the ces of the foreground, almost to the ex- varied foliage of May. Between bare clusion of the great official spectacle in woods and scarcely-budded hedges the the centre of the picture; so that while great meadows looked bleak and monothe first image of Bourges or Chartres is tonous; and only the village gardens hung that of a cathedral surrounded by a out a visible promise of spring. But in blur, later memories of the same places the sheltered enclosure at Nohant, spring present a vividly individual town, with seemed much nearer; at hand already in