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A LINCOLN REMINISCENCE
During the school year 1868–69, while I was in the Washington School, Chicago, an old gentleman visited the school one day who was introduced as Father Brewster. In the little talk which he gave to us he told us that he was born during Washington's second Administration (I do not remember the year), and said, “You will be able to say when you are grown up that you have heard the voice of a man who has lived during the Administration of every President down to the present time.” Father Brewster had been acquainted with a number of the Presidents, intimately so with Mr. Lincoln. He told us that during the Lincoln-Douglas debates he attended one of those occasions, and as he stood in the crowd near the platform Mr. Lincoln beckoned him up to a vacant seat beside himself. Douglas was the first speaker. When Lincoln's turn came, as he arose from his seat he threw off a shawl which he wore and handed it to the old gentleman, saying: “ Here, Father Brewster, hold my cloak while I get up and stone Stephen."
F. J. GURNEY. The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
THE EX-EMPRESS OF RUSSIA
One of the most interesting recent books about Russia is Mrs. Rheta Childe Dorr's “ Inside the Russian Revolution" (Macmillan). And not the least interesting feature of the book is the personal view of the Czarina given to Mrs. Dorr by an intimate personal friend of the Czarina, Anna Virubova, an admirer if not an accomplice of the infamous Rasputin. We select two extracts. The first relates to Rasputin's mysterious influence over the Czarina through the alleged cure of the Czarevitch :
“Did Rasputin really heal the Czarevitch, and restore him to health ?" I asked.
“Judge for yourself," she replied. "Perhaps you know how ardently the birth of a son was desired by both the Emperor and the Empress. They had four girls, but a woman may not inherit the Russian throne. A boy was wanted, and when at last he came, a poor little sickly baby, the Empress was nearly in despair. The child had a rare disease, one which the doctors have never been able to cure. The blood-vessels were affected, so that the patient bled at the slightest touch. Even a small wound would endanger his life. He might bleed to death of a cut finger. In addition to this the boy developed tuberculosis of the hip. It seemed impossible that he could ever live to grow up. The poor Empress was torn this way and that by the grand dukes and all the members of the Court circle. Each one had a remedy or a treatment he wanted applied to the child. There were always new doctors, new treatments, new operations in the air, The Empress was criticised bitterly because she wouldn't try them all.
“Then came Rasputin,” continued Madame Virubova. And he said to the Empress : ‘Don't worry about the child. He is going to live, and he is going to get well. He doesn't need medicine ; he needs as much of a healthy, outdoor life as his condition can stand. He needs to play with a dog and a pony. He needs a sled. Don't let the doctors give him any except the mildest medicines. Don't on any account allow them to operate. The boy will soon show improvement, and then he will get
“Did Rasputin say that he was going to heal him?" I asked.
“Rasputin simply said that the boy was going to get well, and he told us almost the day and the hour when the boy would begin to get well. When the child is twelve years old,' Rasputin told us, 'he will begin to improve. He will improve steadily after that, and by the time he is a man he will be in ordinary health like other men.' And very shortly after he turned twelve years old he did begin to improve. He improved rapidly, just as Rasputin said he would, and within a few months
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“It makes a difference
The er-Empress of Russia ( Continued) he could walk. Before that, when he went out it was in the arms of a soldier, who loved him better than his own life, and would have gladly given his life if that could have brought health to his prince. The man's joy when the child really began to walk, began to play with his dog and his pony, was equaled only by that of the Empress. For the first time in her life in Russia she was happy. Do you blame her, do you blame me, for being grateful to Rasputin? Whether he cured him or God cured him I know no more than you do. But Rasputin told us what was going to happen, and when it was going to happen. Make of it what you will."
Rasputin told the Empress of Russia that her son would begin to improve when he was twelve years old. Almost any doctor might have told her that it was not unlikely that he would begin to improve as soon as adolescence began. Many childish weaknesses, and even some very grave constitutional weaknesses, have been known to disappear gradually from that period. Empresses and ladies-inwaiting are not usually medical experts, but they might have learned that much from ordinary reading, if the doctors failed to enlighten them. But neither Alexandra nor Virubova knew it, and when Rasputin threw that gigantic bluff at them they grabbed it. As a guesser Rasputin was a wonder, for the almost impossible happened and the sick little Czarevitch lived up to his prediction. That's what I make of it.
The second extract throws a curious light on the Czarina's literary taste. Madame Virubova said :
** We (that is, the Czarina and Madame Virubova) read a great deal. It may interest you to know that we read many American books."
“What American books did the Empress read ?" I asked.
“ We read Mrs. Eddy's book, of course, and the complete works of the great American author Miller."
“Miller ?" I interrupted, surprised. Miller ?"
“I don't remember his first name," said Madam. Virubova. But you must know whom I mean. He wrote many religious and philosophical works. The Empress was very fond of them.”
I was obliged to confess that I had never heard of Miller, and Madame Virubova looked her surprise.
We leave it to our readers to decide who among the many American writers named Miller is the author so admired.
Visit the National Parks
Secretary of the Interior Lane has officially announced through the press that the National Parks will be open this year as usual. Travelers will be carried on the regular trains and will be cared for at the hotels as formerly.
Let us send you information about the National Parks. Specity, if possible, which Parks you are planning to visit, the length of time you can give to your trip and the approximate amount you wish to spend for it, and we will be glad to send you itineraries, literature, and information. There is no charge to Outlook readers for this service.
THE CENSUS BUREAU
MACHINES In an account of the punching, sorting, and tabulating machines used by the Census Bureau, The Outlook, last October, said that these machines had been invented and designed by employees of the Census Bureau. A correspondent has written us asserting that the fundamental idea of such machines was contributed by Dr. Herman Hollerith, and our correspondent incloses a pamphlet by H. T. Newcomb, who was formerly Expert Chief of the Division of Agriculture in the office of the Twelfth Census. In that pamphlet reference is made to Dr. Hollerith's originating of this electrical method of tabulation. Dr. Hollerith, it may
be said, had been in the service of the Federal Government, and was a special agent of the Tenth Census. It remains true, however, that the automatic tabulating machine was designed and constructed by the employees of the Census Bureau and made in the Bureau's laboratory, that the punching machine was invented and designed by an employee of the Census Bureau, and that the sorting machines were rebuilt, necessitating redesigning and a general new construction by the employees of the Census Bureau, and this work was done in the Bureau's laboratory. We are very glad to make this reference to Dr. Hoflerith.—THE EDITORS.
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Biography.of a Million Dollars (The). By
George Kibbe Turner. Little, Brown & Co.,
This story, while it has no literary grace, has energy
and movement. Bill Morgan, a machinist, combines with a brilliant but impractical inventor in the manufacture of a new motor cycle. They make an enormous success and Bill becomes a millionaire. Then he enters the slippery field of corporation finance and comes up against what he calls the cold, smiling boys of Wall Street. In the end he gets out intact, for he has intuition and is a hard fighter. As the publishers truly say, “ This is a story of speed, of greed, of love and hate, of ambition and distrust." Gossip Shop (The). By J. E. Buckrose. The
George H. Doran Company, New York. $1.35. This is one of those agreeable and entertaining stories of life in an English country town which in flavor remind one of Mrs. Gaskell's “ Cranford.” Mrs. Buckrose is an adept at this kind of fiction, and her sense of humor plays with effect around the curious little mysteries of the novel The anti-gossip moral is all the stronger because it is never obtruded. Impossible People. By Mary C. E. Wemys.
Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, $1.50.
A quietly pleasing story of an English curate and his wife who are unconventional but kindly and true-hearted.
POETRY From Dream to Dream. Poems. By Edith
Willis Linn. James T. White & Co., New
York. Gardens Overseas, and Other Poems. By
Thomas Walsh. The John Lane Company,
New York, $1.25. Hill-Tracks. By Wilfrid Wilson Gibson. The
Macmillan Company, New York. $1.75. In Praise of War. Military and Sea Verse. By
Don C. Seitz, Harper & Brothers, New York.
$1. Nocturne of Remembered Spring, and
Other Poems. By Conrad Aiken. The Four
mpany, Boston. $1.25. One Who Dreamed. Songs and Lyrics. By
Arthur Crew Inman. The Four Seas Com
pany, Boston. $1.25. Poems. By Carroll Aikins. Sherman, French & Co., Boston. 750.
BIOGRAPHY Latest Light on Abraham Lincoln and
War-Time Memories. By Ervin Chap man, D.D., LL.D. Introduction by Bishop John W. Hamilton. Illustrated. 2 vols. The
Fleming H. Revell Company, New York. $5. The title-page is sufficiently descriptive. The book contains a good deal that is new. We had never seen before the matter here collected showing Lincoln's early de votion to the temperance cause-appropriate just at this juncture. The author makes more of the Jacquess-Gilmore mission to Jefferson Davis than do Nicolay and Hay in their biography, but, if he overestimates
, the biographers have somewhat underestimated its importance. Dr. Chapman's style is somewhat discursive; his volumes would have gained by condensation; but they are not only interesting, they are a valuable addition to our acquaintance with one of the world's greatest and best of men. Mad Monk of Russia, Iliodor (The). Life
, Memoirs, and Confessions of Sergei Michailovich Trufanoff. Illustrated. T'he Century Company, New York. $2. Even the French Revolution furnishes no parallel to the story unfolded in this volume bearing on the Russian Revolution.