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LITERARY COLUMN.

NEW ZEALAND'S NEWEST NOVELIST.

"A THOUSAND PITIES." (From Our Own Correspondent.) LONDON, Bth Juno. Now- Zealand bus added another to the growing list of novelists born in thut colony who havo found publishers in London und circles of admiring readers. Miss Ellen Taylor's Now Zeivlund novel "A Thousand Pities," will bo brought out by Air. Fisher Unwin next week, and already advance copies havo reached tho leading , papers, one of which describes it as "a j stirring novel by a new writer." < I am indebted to the publisher's cour- • tesy for one of thoso early copies, and I ' have reud Miss Taylor's story with much pleasure and admiration. Whilo. there may be passages hero and there that betray tho unpructised hand, there is abundant evidenco that the author possesses that inborn gift which cannot be attained by practice or imparted by tuition. I suppose that the true novelist, like tho poet, is born and not made. It so, Miss Taylor may bo cited as the latest instance. Sho writes because sho has something to say ond must needs say it. Manifestly sho has a keen eye the conditions which mako a powerful plot, a vivid pen-picture, a strong situation. Her perceptive and descriptive faculties are good, and even in this first effort she shows much subtle appreciation of personal characteristics . and skill in their depiction. I Her scene is wholly laid in New Zealand and in tho Wellington Province, alternating between tho city of Wellington and the west Coast country north of tho Ohau river. Her hero— at least tho "jeuue premier"— is a young newly-arrived Knglishman, lan Dungarvon, around wbose experiences tho principal interest of the story clings. But tho more power- ( ful and heroic character of its particular rugged and forceful type is Hector Mac- ' kenzie, tho Scotch settler, whose part in the final tragedy is so sensational and startling. Tho heroine, Esther, is a very vivid and attractive personality, while ' the minor individualities, including the ' bush-poet, his elaborate wife, and the feminine dipsomaniac, aro cleverly drawn. It would not be fair to disclose the plot, which readers will enjoy discovering for themselves. ; Among the most effective touches of "local colour" may be cited the picturesque fording of the swollen Ohau river and tho grim experiences of the hero and i heroine in a bush lire. Tho slight anach- ; ronism of making lan Dungarvon auive . "by tho s.s. Gothic froni Plymouth" twenty years ago might advantageously bo corrected in a futuro edition by substituting some fictitious namo for that of so well Known a vessel as the Shaw-Savill > liner, which is still a long way from being even half the age indicated. This, however, is a. minor mutter, and does not, of course, impair the interest of th« story or the excellence of its treatment. I am not surprised to learn that on the strength of this first work tho same publisher has already accepted Miss Taylor's offer of a second novel from her pen, without even seeing it. That work she has now well in hand, and I understand it will bo finished and delivered bctore sho leaves for New Zealand toward the end of this i month. THE JUNE MAGAZINES. The oponing article in the Nineteenth Century on "British Pessimism" is from ' tho pen of Mr. Andrew Carnegie. The Scottish-Aiuarican millionaire institutes a comparison botween American and British industrial progress. His paper, though couched in friendly terms, is somewhat depreciatory of Great Britain. Ho hus acquired the Transatlantic worship of magnitude, and size seems to be his ultimate standard of worth. Ho argues that it is hopeless for tho United Kingdom with its 127,000 square miles and its 41,000,000 of people to con^are itso]f , with the United States, which includo ] forty-five "countries," covering an area | of 3,500,000 square miles and containing { 77,000.000 inhabitants. Industrial supremacy must pass from Britain, and Mr. Carnegie adducos statistics to prove that it is so passing. Great Britain, he thinks, can hold her own against tho rest of the world, but only if she nurses her credit and avoids the heavy taxation necessitated by an aggressive temper. Ho does not appear to have given duo weight to the reserves of energy in the British peo; pie, to the advantages of their commercial concentration, to tho stimulus they' derive from their dependence on thoir trade, or to the enterprise and potential resources of Greater Britain. Mr. criticism of British industry is followed by an eloquent description of American society, the peculiar foaturos of which, the writer, Mr. Frederic Harrison, has noted with marvellous insight, and expressed with his usual happy mastery of words. A striking contribution which will be read with much interest is a paper on "The Religion of the Boers," by Dr Wirgman, of Grahamstown ' Cathedral. The author shows that tho Boers have developed the most extreme form of Calvinism. He expresses incidentally his belief that the Hollanders who surrounded ex-President Kruger hoped if Germany absorbed Holland to "renew the ancient glories of thoir race" by founding m South Africa "the wharves of a richer Amsterdam and the schools of a more learned Leyden." This idea of a great Dutch Republic, it is suggested, accounts for the intense Dutch sympathy with the Boers. Mr. W. Frew«n Lord recalls tho various' offers mado during tho Eighteenth Century to surrendor Gibraltar for ft con-

sideration. At that time, it is true, no one thought of the Mediterranean us a route to the East, and "The Kock" was regarded as a. solitary outpost of no particular value. It is noteworthy, however, that the- offers wero mado by statesmen, but disliked by tho people, who instiuctively displayed the greater foresight. Between 1718 and 1783 no less than six offers, one by the first William Pitt, woro mado to Spain. Tho Urst five wero rejected, but the last, which proposed Puerto Rico as the consiaoratioa, would havo been accepted and carried into effect but for tho opposition of tho British House of Commons. Earl Cowper contributes to this issue a translation of three scenes of M. Rostand's latest play. "L'Aiglon." The Contemporary is duller than is Us wont. Perhaps the most interesting paper from the general reader's point of viow is that upon "The Missionary -in Chiua," by H. C. Thomson. Tho writer, though friendly to missionary work, dislikes the tondency, especially marked, ho thinks, among the Roman Catholics, to gain secular influence. He believes the recent missionary success in Japan to be duo to the fact that the Japanese have grown strong enough to lose the fear of missionaries being the precursors of foreign attacks. The barbarities perpetrated by the European troops havo, he alleges, increased tho hostility against Christianity, and ho urges the missionary societies not to send in chums f6r compensation. Tho Fortnightly gives first place to an alarmist paper on Great Britain's position in tho Mediterranean. The writer is Lieutenant-Colonel Willoughby Verner, who contends that the Mediterranean is from the naval point of view a place of supreme importance to the British Empiro. France and Russia have, ho argues, by recent movements, placed us at a strategic disadvantage. In case of war our Mediterranean fleet might, he thinks, be overwhelmed by the two Powers. Ho urges— firstly, that "more battleships should bo sent to the Mediteiraiseuii ; secondly, that many more cruisers should be placed on that station ; thirdly, that a large additional flotilla of destroyers should be sent out to thwart the French torpedo-boat scheme ; and fourthly, that a proper complement of auxiliaries, condensing vessels, repairing vessels, ammunition and store ships, coal depots, etc., without which a modern fleet cannot keep the sea, should bo at once assembled there." Though an alarmist, Colonel Verner is not a pessimist. "Even now," he admits, "in a very short space of time wo could, by withdrawing "Vessels from outlying stations, assemble a sufficient force in the Mediterranean to make all nttuck on us so dangerous to the attackers that it would secure us an immunity from all risks. " Residents of Australasia will turn at onco to Professor H. M. Posnott's very able article on tho Federal Constitution of Australia. It is, in effect, an analysis of the the concessions and compromises necessitated in practice by Imperialism. Ho explains how Federalism involves dual citizenship— of the State and of tho Commonwealth— and how this in turn involves a written Constitution which is of necessity alien to British traditions of consitutional flexibility. Professor Posnett emphasises the essential difference betwoen tljo Australian Senate, which is tho guardian of State rights, and the British House of Lords, lie expects from Federation tho establishment of parties founded on broad principles in place of the vulgar opportunism which has been so noticeable in colonial politics. He also notes the strange anomaly thut the British Constitution should be tho centre of two existing Federations, and may become that of a third. "It is not surprising," ho says, "that such an anomaly awakens grave distrust in those who fear the federalising of British institutions. They toll us that Federation is n rigid system, wanting that elasticity which our own Constitution supplies. Wo reply that elasticity may be purchased at too high a price," l'hore ure two papers on tho eternal question ol the relations between Fiance and Jingland. One is by Air. Thomas Barclay, who wants a general treaty of arbitration botween Great Britain and France on the lines of the proposed treaty between Great Britain and tho United States. The other and far more important ono is by Burou Pierre de Coubertin, an eminent French publicist, who is wellinformed, and not unfriendly to Great Britain. The London Spectator has devoted a long article to JM. de Coubertin's paper, and tho following extract gives an excellent summary of his views : — "The extreme Anglophobia of the past year, ho says, is dying uown, but with its departure the permanent possibilities of friction come more clearly into view. With much tact and courtesy he ana]yses what he conceives to bo the situation, and groups tho dangers under two heads. Ono is concerned with French colonial expansion, tho other with the Russian alliance ; and while ho fears that Britain may bo the primary offender under the first class, he suspects that the initiative may como from his own country in the second. The party of enterprise in Britain and her Colonies have no ties of sentiment to France, no appreciation of her merits, her traditions, or her people. They regard her only as a futile colonising Power, who has seen fit to interfere with Britain's heaven-or-dainco mission to possess 'tho earth, and they show, so says M. do Coubertin, an alarming impulse to take her misgoverned possessions out of her hands. This, says the writer, is unfair and unwise. French co'onisation is of a different kind from tho British article, but in its own way it is highly successful and important, and it is very dear to Franco's heart. ' Then, again, tuore is the alliance with Russia, which is one of the few schemes in mod-

em French politics, which appear really to havo chained tho imagination of tho people. To tho ord'mury Briton it may beem that Russia is the partner that gets all tho benefits und few of the responsibilities, but this is not the view of the alliance curront in France. There it is tho publio symbol of Franco's international significance, and her proud defiance to her secular antagonists of Germany and Great Britain. Now, Russia may find horsclf impelled both by her geographical position, and to a certain extent by political causes, towards au Asiatic duel with England, m which case France, who has no quarrel for the moment with her neighbour across tho Channel, may be forced to take sides in v war which she does not want. Such being the case, M. do Coubertin has two remedies, or rather provontives to propose: — Let Great Britain cultivate a meek and quiet spirit, bo content with her own colonial possessions, cease to covet Franco's, and above all cease to sneer at French colonisation ; and let France make it clear to the world that her alliance with Russia is merely aefensive. Under such conditions, friendship may be established and the honor of a European Avar banished into a rembter future." NEW BOOKS AND NEW EDITIONS. "Tales of the Stumps," by Horace Bleackloy. Ward, Lock and Co., London; H. Baillio and Co., Wellington. Although cricket is the national game of England, and held in high honour by' the Anglo-Saxon the world over, comparatively little use has been made of the "Willow King" by the storyteller. In his ten tales Mr. Bleackley has interwoven the game of cricket and the game of lpve so well that he wins tho favour not only of cricketers, but of their "sisters, their cousins, and their aunts." Not only does he give "rattling" descriptions of the game, with some exciting "finishes," and a sweetheart mostly us the slnke, but the fun, too, is fast and furious at times. In "The Gontlo Tapper" (tho nickname given to a colonial who saved a county match by some wonderful leg-play) humour is dealt out liberally. The story of "The All England Eleven' will also be voted "jolly good fun" by batsmen and bowlers, while their sisters will enjoy "The Ladies' Match." "The Longest Hands" is a story of cricket in olden timos. "Out for a Duck," "Caught *t tho Wicket," "An Uncertain Bat," and "Playing a, Substitute" are the titles of other stories, and all of them make diverting reading. "Tales of the Stumps" are illustrated by drawings from the pencils of Lucien Davis and the clever "Rip."

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LITERARY COLUMN. NEW ZEALAND'S NEWEST NOVELIST. Evening Post, Volume LXII, Issue 18, 20 July 1901, Supplement

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