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delighted her by their strength, now were repellent in their coarseness. For a long time their touch had disgusted her—this was the image Bertha wished to impress on her mind.
It may be objected that Bertha is not so much a typical modern heroine as a sort of freak—that in every generation women of this kind may be found. But I am sorry to say that Bertha is already a type in fiction. It would be easy to adduce half a dozen authors—popular all of them—whose heroines differ from Bertha in name only. We have not far to look for the reason of this change in heroines—it is the old story of the swing of the pendulum—the rebound which is a law of nature. If Miss Yonge and her generation avoided the realities of life, our authors of to-day emphasise them in a quite unnecessary manner, and the one picture is fully more untrue than the other. It is not possible to take a charitable view of this development in heroines: the masterful hero may be regarded as only another manifestation of the ideal ; but by no stretch of charity can the courtesan-heroine be viewed in this favourable light. The “oldest profession in the world” certainly furnishes the novelist with many an effective subject; but it seems a pity for the idea to get abroad that every woman is at heart a rake or worse. This, without mincing matters, is just what is being taught us on all sides at present. The return to nature, to “reality,” is being overdone: in this attempt to analyse the primitive instincts of women, many of her most inborn characteristics are entirely ignored—for bad as the world is, it would be even worse if faithfulness, purity, and modesty were not unchangeable instincts with the larger proportion of women.
We need then, indeed, a return to nature—to the whole of human nature instead of one side of it—a return, in fact, to some of those simple, undeniable goodnesses which form such a large part of life, and are as truly real as half the primordial instincts we hear so much about just now.
JANE H. FINDLATER.
WASHINGTON, February Io, 1904.
AFFAIRS political are less chaotic than they were even a month ago. President Roosevelt can feel certain of his nomination, and the Republican National Convention to be held at Chicago next June will be largely a formality and more nearly a ratification meeting than a convention in the strict sense of the term as it is understood in American politics. Mr. Roosevelt will be nominated in all probability by acclamation. His opponents are no less bitter in their hostility than they were, but the Republicans are compelled either to accept Mr. Roosevelt as a candidate, and on that candidacy go to the country for an endorsement of their record, or else admit that Mr. Roosevelt has been a failure and that the Republicans are not fit to be further entrusted with the management of affairs. Mr. Roosevelt not only stands for his own policy, but also for the policy of his party, and the Republicans therefore cannot very well separate the party from Mr. Roosevelt. They are committed to him and must stand or fall by him. Any attempt to substitute another candidate for Mr. Roosevelt would be an inevitable invitation to defeat. Had Mr. Hanna some months ago openly avowed himself a presidential candidate, the chances are not at all unlikely that he might have defeated Mr. Roosevelt for the nomination. Now it is too late. Mr. Hanna is stricken with typhoid fever." Every day delegates to the forthcoming convention are being elected and pledged to Mr. Roosevelt's nomination. They cannot break this pledge without being guilty of the most despicable treachery. Mr. Roosevelt's friends are working earnestly to counteract the unfortunate impression which he has made on the country and to try and convince the business world and Conservative men generally that his reputation for rashness and impulsive action has been exaggerated and that he is really less dangerous than he is supposed to be. These efforts have not been entirely fruitless. The masses shout for him as vociferously as ever, but thoughtful men are disturbed at the prospect of a second Roosevelt administration. These men say that Mr. Roosevelt at great exertion has placed himself under some restraint and has curbed his natural tendency to do extraordinary things because he hopes to secure a second term, but if elected he will know that he has nothing more either to hope or to fear, as his political career will be closed, and he will allow his natural impulses full sway, which will have dire consequences. Whatever the consequences, it is now well established that only the most extraordinary combination of circumstances or folly on the part of Mr. Roosevelt or his party can prevent him from receiving the nomination, and unless the Democrats, without loss of time, display more sense than they have manifested up to date, Mr. Roosevelt's election is equally assured. While the Republicans have their candidate already selected, the Democrats are still floundering about in the current of a chartless sea and are no nearer a safe haven than they were several months ago. It is impossible to say with any positiveness who the Democrats will nominate, but at the present time it appears as if the probable nominee will be Chief Justice Alton B. Parker, of the Supreme Court of the State of New York. Judge Parker is a somewhat colourless man in the eye of the country, and is only strong because of certain negative qualities. As a jurist he ranks high, as a man and a citizen he has the respect of every one who knows him, but his weakness is that he is known only to a comparatively limited circle. He has had no experience in active political affairs and he has never been tried in any great emergency. He is regarded as a safe man of good judgment. His friends say that he would acquit himself well in the Presidency, and that with him in the White House the country would have no fear of any rash policy that would cause an injury to business or bring the United States in conflict with a foreign nation. But the weakness of this argument is that so much has to be taken on faith. Judge Parker may be all that his admirers claim for him, but up to the present time he has given no proof of his qualities. Intellectually he may be Mr. Roosevelt's superior, and perhaps in other respects better qualified for the Presidency, but his name does not arouse enthusiasm among the rank and file of his party as does that of Mr. Roosevelt, and in politics as in war the leader who can make his men believe in him and whose mere name stirs their emotions helps his cause immensely. These are some of the disadvantages under which Judge Parker would labour if he were nominated. The WOL. XLIII 7
* Mr. Hanna has since died.
Democratic party is still rent by fierce passion, and either a man must be nominated who will make passion still more passionate or else the Democrats must select a man whose political past has given no cause to arouse passion. Democrats are confronted with the choice of Mr. Cleveland or Mr. Bryan, as representing the men all too well known, or Parker, who is all too little known. I do not mean by this to put Mr. Cleveland or Mr. Bryan in the same category, but I mean that both Cleveland and Bryan have aroused such bitter antagonisms that the nomination of either is impossible because of the hostility it would arouse among the supporters of the other. Mr. Bryan's nomination is entirely out of the question. The Democrats may be foolish enough to do a great many foolish things in the coming political campaign, but they are not so devoid of all sense as to nominate a man who has twice been the means of their undoing. Many experienced politicians still persist in saying that Mr. Cleveland is the strongest of all candidates and the one with whom victory could be more easily accomplished than with any other, but the opposition of the Bryan men is powerful enough to make his nomination by the convention impossible, and therefore he cannot be seriously considered as a candidate. Since his return from Europe Mr. Bryan has been keeping himself prominently before the country, lecturing and eagerly responding to every newspaper request for his views. He has clearly defined his position. Although he has been dethroned, in his own belief he is not dead, and he proposes to use the remnant of power still left to him in controlling democratic policy. The more clearly it becomes evident to Mr. Bryan and his friends that only the shadow of authority is his the more vindictive and reckless he grows in his assaults on his rivals. The latest exhibition of this unfortunate side of his character is his assertion that he was defeated four years ago by President McKinley by the wholesale debauchery of the electorate. In an address on “Moral Issues” delivered in New York a couple of weeks ago, to which Mr. Bryan had especially invited a number of clergymen, he made this astounding statement : I was defeated in the last election by 900,000 votes. So the turning of 450,000 votes would turn the result of the election. I know that $9,000,000 would purchase that many votes, paying for them $20 for every vote. If you
do not know what it means to have the money powers arrayed against you, go out and run for the Presidency, as I did, on a free silver platform.
If this means anything it means, of course, that Mr. Bryan was trying to make his hearers believe, and not only the limited number of persons who sat before him, but the much larger
audience reached by the press, that he was cheated out of the election because $9,000,ooo were used to bribe 450, ooo of his fellow citizens, each of whom received $20 for making of his conscience a marketable commodity, a somewhat serious accusation, and one that no man ought to make without unimpeachable evidence to sustain it. Mr. Bryan adduces no evidence ; merely his ipse dirit. The only facts not open to question are that Mr. Bryan was beaten by 900,ooo votes, and that if 450,000 of those votes had been cast for him and not for Mr. McKinley he would have been elected, and would to-day be occupying the White House instead of Mr. Roosevelt. But after that is said all is said. There is no evidence to show that 450,000 American citizens were bribed, nor is there any testimony to prove that, even if they were bribed, they were paid a beggarly $20 and not $200 apiece. Why Mr. Bryan should have contented himself with the modest sum of $9,000,ooo, when he could have made such a much better showing by asserting that the voters received $200 apiece, and therefore $90,000,ooo were required to debauch the electorate, is a mystery when one remembers that Mr. Bryan has a positive mania for extravagant and inexact statement. Mr. Bryan has also asserted that those Democrats in the campaign of four years ago who were opposed to him received a contribution of $1,000,ooo from the trusts, and that sum was used to his disadvantage. This charge has been promptly met by the chairman of the anti-Bryan campaign committee, a man of the highest character, who positively declares that the Democrats did not have all told $1,000,ooo to spend in campaign expenses, that they did not receive money from the trusts to be used against Mr. Bryan, and that Mr. Bryan's statement is without the least shadow of justification. It is impossible to escape from the belief that Mr. Bryan is determined either to rule the Democratic Party or destroy it. When he returned from his European trip a few weeks ago he announced that he came back with at least one new idea, and Democrats throughout the country cherished the hope that he had at last seen the folly of his ways, and that he would cut loose from dead issues, and take up the fight for live ones. Had he done that no man in the country would to-day occupy a more prominent position. He would be able not only to command the support of his own followers, of the men who stood by him so loyally in 1896 and 1900, but also of those Democrats who are longing for an opportunity to let the dead past bury its dead and to find Mr. Bryan on the side of sanity. Unfortunately Mr. Bryan has learned nothing. He returns the same