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action seems to be so greatly exaggerated, and all the situations are so long drawn out, that one despairs of being able to appreciate the much praised merits of the acting and turns his attention to the stage setting and costuming. Great care is given to detail in both respects and admirable effects are produced.
Three scenes I remember with especial vividness. The first in which an old farmer, having discovered that his son has acted as guide to the enemy's clan, vows to kill him and thus defend his honor. The center of the stage is occupied by just such a house as one might see on a ride into the country. There are the rough screens, the veranda, the thatched roof. At one end there is a cherry-tree in full bloom. Farming implements are scattered about. The old man, overcome by the grief which his son has brought upon him, seizes a hatchet and cuts off a branch of the tree, proclaiming that by such violence he must take the life of his child. The action is accompanied by appropriate music and brings tears to the eyes of many in the audience who have been watching with breathless interest.
The management of perspective in the following scene is certainly unique. Two knights on horseback are to engage in a combat. The great curtain is drawn aside disclosing a scene on the shore of the ocean. A painted curtain at the back represents a bold headland against which the surf is dashing. Low painted screens, placed at intervals corresponding with the openings into the wings, are painted to represent water. A great commotion is beard at the back of the hall, and the knights enter on the hana-michi. The one in black on the left is Danjuro. His opponent on the right is in white. They are dressed in magnificent armor, and mounted on steeds richly caparisoned but somewhat wobbly about the back and very peculiar in respect to the legs. In fact, each horse is made by two coolies who walk one in front of the other, both with bodies bent forward from the hips, the second one forming by his back and shoulders a seat for the rider. The style of ancient Japanese equestrian armor favors the illusion. The knights ride boldly, fearlessly. The horses prance and toss their heads. The audience is tense with excitement. At the shore the horses hesitate, but finally plunge in and struggle through the surf, crossing and recrossing the stage. Smaller horses and riders are substituted in the wings for the originals, and thus the effect of distance is produced.
The curtain is drawn, and when one next sees the stage he finds the two combatants dismounted and about to engage in the final struggle. They have taken off their kabutos, or helmets. The older of the two knights feels compassion for the youth and beauty of his young opponent and would spare his life. But, not being allowed to exercise the quality of mercy," he with one blow strikes off the head of him whom he afterwards discovers to have been his own son. Danjuro plays the part of the elder knight and is truly superb in his interpretation. After the blow has been dealt and the head severed from the body, the great actor takes it between his hands and, gazing at it long and earnestly, laments with great power. The success of such a representation depends upon the promptness of the mutes. These are small men dressed in black with black covering for heads and faces. They supply stage furniture when it is needed, have a care for the scenery and drag off dead bodies-and
other objectionable articles. In brief, they are the clouds which render invisible all things which should not be seen. When the young knight was struck down his body was instantly covered with a black cloth. The head, which apparently fell from his shoulders, was but an image passed through a trap-door in the floor.
The foreigner on his first visit to the Japanese theater sees such machinery very plainly and compares it, most unfavorably, with the management of effects in his own country. But if he goes again and again to see the same play he finds that he gradually forgets such details and that the real power of the acting takes increasing hold on his imagination.
It was interesting to watch the audience as it was moved by the great actors-for Danjuro's company is composed of stars. It wept in sympathy; shuddered in horror; shouted its approval. There was little opportunity for smiles in that very bloody tragedy! The spectators paid visits between the acts, walked on the verandas, and enjoyed the refreshments which were brought in by attendants from the tea-houses. Children ran about on the hana-michi. They even ventured on to the stage and peeped beneath the great curtain to watch the carpenters at their work. While we were at tiffin the horses appeared at the door and were asked to come in. They seemed much interested in our appearance and were delighted to display the glories of their equestrian heads and tails.
The great historic play of the day was ended about five o'clock. Two short comedies followed and the curtain was drawn, for the last time, between eight and nine in the evening.
We decided to leave the auditorium at the end of the first play and complete the experiences of the day by visiting some of the actors in their dressing-rooms. If a comparison in this particular be made with many European theaters it will, I think, be most complimentary to the Japanese, for their dressing-rooms are marvels of cleanliness, order, and refined taste. The floors are covered with matting. The screens are of soft shades of gray. In the tokonoma, or small raised recess, there is always some beautiful object, a picture, perhaps, or a bronze vase holding one flower.
Onoye Yesaburo, the man who played one of the leading woman's parts— for there are no women in Danjuro's company-was very gracious. He showed us how to touch up the lips and eyes, displayed his costumes with a great deal of pride, and wrote his autograph for us. Kickogoro was too busy to talk to us, but kindly gave us permission to sit and watch his disposal of red and white paint as he made ready for his next scene. It was a great surprise to learn that Danjuro put a fixed price upon such a visit, counting the favor worth two dinners at the Imperial Hotel. The great actor received us standing. We also stood and felt very awkward until Mademoiselle Tokiva came to the rescue and translated our compliments. Gradually Danjuro unbent and finally wrote his autograph for each of us. Later, when we returned to the hotel, we found a package of two dozen Japanese towels stamped with Danjuro's crest. These he had sent as souvenirs of the occasion. It was a rare treat to see the costumes, many of which were very valuable historically as well as intrinsically. The brocades, the lacquers, and bronzes were of exquisite workmanship, the despair of collectors.
We would have been glad to spend hours in that quiet room, talking with the man who has done so much for the dramatic art in Japan; but Danjuro's next part was coming on, and the hour was growing late, so we reluctantly said good-by to our first day in a Japanese theater. It was a day long to be remembered, for it brought an introduction to a new phase of Japanese life and art.
GERTRUDE E. SIMONDS '95.
New Zealand has sometimes been called "The Country without Strikes," but the people themselves prefer to call it "The Laboring Man's Paradise." The reason for this is obvious, for it is the land where the laboring man rules supreme.
Some Social Conditions in New Zealand
The chief executive, the Premier, who has himself risen from the ranks, received and continues to hold his office by the vote of the laboring class. Naturally, he uses all of his influence for the passage of laws in their behalf. Their wages, number of hours, rates for over-time, holidays, and all other questions of this kind are governed by law. The average laborer works from eight until five o'clock, and receives about two dollars and forty cents a day. Any work done before or after that time is called over-time, and receives accordingly double pay. Wednesday and Saturday afternoons are observed throughout the year as half holidays. Every person who employs labor must observe one of the two afternoons. Those who do not abide strictly by the law are heavily fined. The outcome of this has been to make New Zealand a country of pleasure-loving people.
Saturday afternoon has become the popular time for every kind of athletics and out-of-door amusements. During the winter months lacrosse, cricket, and foot-ball are played constantly. There is always one large game of football to which admission is charged. At this one the local teams meet others from the different cities of the colony, and much loyal enthusiasm is displayed by the audience. Boating, yachting, golf, tennis, croquet, and horse races absorb the attention of the people during the summer months. Auckland is the yachting center of the colony, but every town and city in New Zealand has its own race-course. This is by far the most popular sport, and is attended by all classes. The women bet upon the horses as eagerly as the This is controlled by the government, and thousands of pounds go through the totalisator, the government betting machine, every year. By means of this the betting is carried on as fairly as possible. Many people consider this the curse of the country. This may or may not be true, but it is a fact that thousands of pounds which should be used for better purposes are lost every year in the government machine. New Zealand may be called "The Laboring Man's Paradise," but a country whose government controls such a questionable business as this can hardly hope to stand for the things which are highest and best.
ALICE EARLE FOWLER 1900.
Boston School of
Previous articles in the Monthly have pointed out wherein a pursuit of the knowledge of housekeeping and home-making is in the direct line of the college graduate. Such hints led me to inquire further into the work along this line for which the Boston School of Housekeeping has been established. A closer acquaintance with this school during this, its third season, has fully proved to my mind the efficiency and need of such an institution.
The aim of the promoters of the school when the idea was first brought to bear upon the minds of progressive housewives, was essentially to solve some of the mysteries of the servant question, with the hope of making house work a respected trade. It was distinctly seen, however, that this problem can only be solved through a proper understanding in the minds of employers of the principles of the home and the proper social relations of the two classes. Together with this is the necessary understanding of the sociological aspects of the home in relation to all living. The aim thus becoming broader and higher, the main effort of the school is now seen to be toward the promotion of this idea. In this pursuit such practical courses are offered as will serve to bring out the essential elements of the home and promote its proper management. Such courses may be enumerated as: home sociology and home economics; house sanitation and public hygiene; the science of bacteriology; cooking and the chemistry of food-stuffs; dietaries; marketing, household buying, and expenditure; together with kindred courses in personal hygiene.
Courses in home sociology and economics aim to place the dominant relation of the home in society in the prominent position it should hold in the minds of citizens. A study of the various branches under house sanitation proves clearly how essential to public hygiene and health is a scientific knowledge of cleanliness and care in the individual householder. Bacteriology in relation to the housewife points out not only the disagreeable elements of dust and dirt, but also how these tiny plant organisms should be treated to produce beneficial results. Practical lessons in cooking have as their basis the study of the chemical combinations of food materials. Mrs. Ellen H. Richards in her practical problems in "Dietaries" brings out the nutritive and economic values of foods. We learn the right proportions of the chemical constituents of food to be combined for healthful results. She asks us to decide what to give little boys who will not take meat or eggs. All these courses are conducted in such a way as to serve as hints and suggestions for further work. Practice in all branches is by no means the least part of the work.
The school now having learned and profited by experience has for the first time this winter divided its work into two terms making an entire course of thirty-two weeks, which is longer than formerly. Correspondingly the school has grown in numbers from two, its first year, through fifty-four, last year, to seventy-one registrations for the present year. By the variety of cities and colleges represented in the registration, the interest appears to be far from local. Besides students from all the women's colleges in the East, there have been representatives from the Baltimore Women's College, the
University of Michigan, and the Ohio Wesleyan. The charming home of the school on St. Botolph Street is an object lesson in itself to those few privileged to reside there during the course. Its competent managers prove the possibilities of a beautiful home conducted upon scientific and hygienic principles.
This School of Housekeeping, which can not fail in its object to produce more efficient home-makers, is in the minds of its directors simply a step along the line. The thought predominant in their minds is the influence of the home in public life. This then is the first step to attach public interest to this phase of study so important in the present conditions of society. A success well nigh assured serves as a hope for later development in the way desired, that of a more professional "School of Home and Social Economics."
The present courses of the School of Housekeeping are of so high a scientific tone as to prove clearly the high rank of domestic science. To the college graduate the field is open for much needed and interesting research along these lines.
M. LOUISE BALLOU '99.
CANDIDATES FOR ALUMNÆ TRUSTEE
The following are the candidates for alumnæ trustee, in the place of Miss Charlotte C. Gulliver, A. B., whose term has expired :
Mrs. Mary Gorham Bush, A. B., '79, Springfield, Mass., Registrar of Smith College, '91-'95; proposed by the Boston Association.
Mrs. Helen Rand Thayer, A.B., '84, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, connected with the work of organizing College Settlements; proposed by the Western Massachusetts Association, the Worcester Club, and the Syracuse Club.
Mrs. Helen Shute Moulton, A. B., '87, New Haven, Connecticut, Instructor in German at Smith College, '88-'93; studied subsequently at Bryn Mawr College and Göttingen University, '94-'98; proposed by the New York Association and the Western Massachusetts Association.
Ballots should be sent before April 15, to Miss Eleanor H. Nichols, Haddon Hall, Berkley Street, Boston.
Miss Grace A. Hubbard '87, gave an informal talk, March 2, on "Some Aspects of Training at Smith College,” New York Alumnæ Association at the house of Mrs. William H. Baldwin Jr. (R. S. Bowles '87). Tea was after
wards served. About sixty persons were present.
Mrs. Waldo Richards of Boston gave her dramatic reading of Monsieur Beaucaire before the Worcester Smith Worcester Smith College Club College Club, January 11, for the benefit of the Students' Aid Society. Considering the heavy expenses and exceedingly bad weather of that evening, the entertainment may be called a financial success, since fifty dollars was cleared.