ePub 版

minister because of its unnecessary social as in olden days, there was but one church limitations,

covering the needs of the average commuSome stores give a special discount of ten nity, the minister was able to conceive of his per cent to clergymen. Most of us take it with position as one of necessity, dignity, and alloyed gratitude. It is explained to us that importance. But the foolish and unchristian the ministry, not being a gainful profession, is growth of sects, with the consequent overworthy of special favors. It is a patronizing lapping of parishes, over-churching of comattitude, however, that tends first to humiliate munities, and uneconomic reduplication of the minister and later to make him soft and endeavor, has tended to bring the ministry cringing, ever looking sharply for special into disfavor both in its own eyes and in favors. The ministry should not be obliged public esteem. The Socialists are continuto look for special favors and donations, but ally upbraiding the Church for its unpracfor justice and fair play.

ticality and the ministry for being paraThe ministry is a lonely occupation. Try sitic. In a sense, their contention is true. to stem it as hard as you will, the “ cloth" No whole-souled man takes any special does demark a man from his kind. Perhaps pleasure in solemnly holding down a job with you have had a delightful chat over the three other men in a village where any one morning paper with a red-blooded business of the four could take care of the situation man in the smoking-car. At last he politely better alone. No self-respecting man but inquires, " What line ?” “ Parson." " Ah, deprecates the economic waste of it and feels yes,” and there is now a kind of soft-pedal his cheeks mantle with shame as four sets of difference which was not present before. Said women valiantly prepare four sets of bean a justice of one of our State Supreme Courts suppers to help eke out four parsimonious to me once: “I have been lonely ever since salaries. It isn't right. He knows it isn't I came to the bench. The lawyers treat me right. The women know it isn't right. The differently now. I miss something I used to community knows it isn't right. And between enjoy." I could understand. Would my boy all this knowledge and yet no action taken find it worth while ?

about it the ministry as a profession is sufferAnd then there is the useless economic ing from the slow attrition of public esteem. waste and futility of so much of church life I know it. You know it. And I want my to-day. No one knows this any better than boy and your boy to know it—and keep out the minister or is readier to acknowledge it if they possibly can—so that by stern necesin moments of candor and honesty. When, sity better days may come.



If you were to drop in at the trial of a

jury case in any court of our larger cities,

the chances are that the subject of the suit would be injuries received in a railway or street car accident.

Perhaps thirty people would be in the court-room occupied in one way or another with the trial. There is the judge in his robe, a dignified but quiescent umpire. The twelve men in varying attitudes of inattention

seated behind the rail are, of course, the jury

taken forcibly from their own affairs to pass upon other people's troubles. A second jury may be required to wait in attendance. In and about the court-room are clerks, attachés, and bailiffs. Mr. Jones, the plaintiff (the stout man with a crutch), has his lawyer seated at a table inside the rail, and with the lawyer is his clerk, taking notes. The wellfed gentleman with the keen eye is the lawyer for the company, and beside him is his admiring junior. At the back of the room on one

sses for the plaintiff —perhaps eight or ten peo

Mr. Ballantine's suggestion is that of a lawyer whose name in Boston, where he practices, carries respect and confidence. Moreover, when he laid his proposal before some of the most distinguished members of the legal profession, it met with commendation from such widely differing men as Dean Ezra R. Thaver, of the Harvard Law School, Mr. Brandeis, now i'nited States Supreme Court Justice, and Senator Sutherland. - THE EDITOR).

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

ple may be waiting about court for four or ing on the virtues of Jones, the need of his five days during the trial, and may have had family, and the wealth of the company. The to be there for a day or more before the trial judge talks to the jury, wholly about the law, began.

for, though he is the only trained and imparWhat is it all about?

tial person that sits through the trial, he is It centers in an incident that took piace generally forbidden to give the jury the beneso quickly and quietly that no one would fit of his seasoned judgment as to what, out naturally observe it carefully at the time—a of the welter of conflicting testimony, may be year or two before the trial. Mr. Jones was taken to be the real facts. The jury then coming home in a street car after his day's goes out and brings in a verdict for Jones or work at the mill, and as he got off he fell. for the company, as it may choose, sometimes The first question now is, “What caused the with some regard for the merits, and in an fall ?” This sounds simple, but it splits up amount reached by some process thoroughly into many issues. Did the fall occur at the mysterious. usual stopping-place of the car ? Had the The verdict by no means ends the matter. car come to a full stop before Jones tried to Either party may take the case to the court get off ? Had Jones been given time to of last resort, and if the amount of the veralight? Did the conductor “ give the two dict is of any size the corporation is likely to bells " to start the car before Mr. Jones got appeal. This means a further delay of six off? Was Mr. Jones getting off facing the months or a year before the court considering front of the car or facing the rear ? Did he the case on a printed record prepared with step off or jump off ? Did the car start up much labor and expense decides whether the before Jones was clear of it? Where was verdict of the jury is to stand. If the higher the conductor when he gave the signal-on court decides that there was material error of .the platform or in the car ? Had Jones paid law in the trial, a new trial may be ordered, his fare? Had he, before taking the car, and the whole process may be repeated. made a stop at the nearest bar ? Every one This procedure is most unsatisfactory to of these points, and others, may have to be Jones. Assume that he is honest in his claim gone into with the greatest detail, and the and that he received an injury which for witnesses, most of whom did not know that some time prevented him from working to there was any trouble until after Jones's fall, support his family; for a year before his case theoretically at least stake their souls upon could be heard he may have had to remain testimony as to details that might have in idleness. Not a dollar could he get from escaped the notice of a Sherlock Holmes, the company in the time of his need. He

What was the effect of the fall on Mr. had to pay his doctor's bills, and, to enforce Jones? This opens up a second set of ques- his claim, he had to employ a lawyer, with tions. Did he suffer? How much did he the certainty that he would have to pay him suffer? Was he rendered unable to work ? a considerable portion of such amount as he Will he be able to work again ? On this might recover. As to what he would ultipoint there will be sharply discordant testi- mately be awarded, if anything, he was left in mony of doctors for the plaintiff and doctors the dark. His lawyer could not tell him. for the defendant. And what was Jones's After all his worry, his waiting, his trouble condition “ prior to " the accident (no attor- and expense, he might recover nothing. If ney or witness ever says “before " the acci- he wanted to settle his case, there was no way dent)? On this point Mr. Jones's wife, his for him to tell what he was entitled to receive. children, his minister (if he has one), his And the company is no better off. friends, and his doctor, tell his life story. It might seem that this system is advan

Each witness is examined, cross-examined, tageous for the company. If it had to deal and perhaps re-examined and recross-exam- only with the case of Mr. Jones, it might get ined—the cross-examination frequently, some off pretty well, but the fact is that it has to one has said, turning an honest man into the deal with a constant series of such claims. appearance of a scared and perjured rabbit. For this purpose it must have men upon its The jury may listen if they choose, but they staff trained and ready to investigate every cannot take notes. Counsel for the company accident as soon as it occurs. It must have then argues, doing his utmost to win some lawyers to prepare most of the cases for trial, consideration for the corporation. Jones's and it must proceed very cautiously in the lawyer then makes a moving appeal, enlarg- settlement even of honest claims, for if it allows the belief to get abroad that the com- the way. Let the company become the inpany is readily inclined to settle, cases will surer of the safety of its passengers up to a steadily multiply. Yet, ready as the company reasonable amount against any injury susmust be to insist upon the establishment of tained in their transportation other than all claims by suit, the result of a trial in any through their own palpably gross neglect. given case is likely to be unfavorable. It is Under such a system the compensation for the injured Jones, and not the corporation, each injury would be according to a prethat makes a human appeal to the jury. established table carefully worked. out by Handle these cases as best they may, the experts, and would be promptly payable corporations are bound to be the victims of through the instrumentality of a commission fraud. In large centers of population certain established for the purpose. lawyers and doctors make a business of in- Accidents, however caused, unless by the stigating and prosecuting these suits. “ Am- gross or willful default of the passenger, bulance chasers ” bring in the claims. The would be dealt with as a risk to which the evidence produced is likely to be precisely carrying on of the business exposes the paswhat the exigencies of the case require. City sengers, and for which the company should companies usually find that their expenses be required to provide reasonable compensafor handling these cases are likely to run up tion as an operating expense. At the same to from four to six per cent or more of their time the idea that the transportation comtotal annual receipts. With a large company pany must pay the full money equivalent of this may mean an annual expenditure of up each injury would be given up. It is imposwards of half a million dollars.

sible to estimate pain and suffering in dollars And what about the public ?

and cents, and it is even exceedingly difficult The State at its own expense maintains a to estimate the precise financial damage costly setting for carrying on these wearisome caused by a particular injury. The table of . accident contests. Court-houses, judges, awards would have to be worked out so as to clerks, juries, stenographers, and attachés afford reasonable compensation to the averare provided. No part of this expense is age person of the class principally using the directly borne by the parties. In no small cars. In return for the right to recover degree the just feeling of deep annoyance at prompt and sure compensation without paythe law's delay is due to the congestion of the ment to intermediaries, the passenger would courts with such causes.

sacrifice the possibility of recovering a great What is the reason for all this?

sum in a particular case. Those who believed The lawyer's explanation is historical and that the statutory table would give them intheoretical. Fault, he would say, has come sufficient protection would reasonably be to be the basis for determining one man's expected to take advantage for additional liability to another for the consequences of protection of accident insurance written by his acts. If the fault of the company causes companies carried on for that purpose. It harm to Jones, the company should be re is now possible to obtain such policies at quired to pay Jones money to make him fairly low cost. wirole, though if both are to blame Jones But this is a " radical proposal”! The should suffer the entire loss, because he ought workmen's compensation acts now so widely to be careful on behalf of both—though his established made a similar departure, yet few babies may be sent to an orphanage. To would to-day suggest going back to the comfind the fault and the damage, go to court mon-law handling of the claims of injured and fight it out.

employees. As the laws stand to-day, a pasWhy should liability in these cases turn senger injured in a railway accident may have upon fault? The real question for the pub- a long and bitter contest to recover any damlic, which pays all the bills and has to get ages, while the employee of the company along under the system, should be, “What is whose negligence is claimed to have caused the best conceivable method of securing a the accident secures prompt compensation fair readjustment in society of the crippled from the company without suit. How long Jones and the little Joneses ?” Whatever should such a discrimination be continued ? the answer, the present system is the poorest. The financial burdens of companies for

The method now followed in dealing injury claims would not be increased under with injured employees under the workmen's such a plan. They would probably be decompensation acts in various States points creased. Something would be payable in

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

every case, but the maximum amount would be limited and a huge percentage of the total present expenditure that goes to various intermediaries would be largely saved. There should be an end of the fraudulent claims.

Of course Constitutional questions are involved, but they can be answered or met. The companies are quasi-public corporations. The United States Supreme Court has al ready held that such companies may be made absolutely liable for injuries to their passengers. It would seem reasonable that the passenger may himself be subjected to the system which applies to the company. If not, his desire to sue the company at law can be removed by the abolition in these cases of the common-law doctrine referred to as the

rule of “ respondeat superior," which enables him to make the company pay for its employee's default. Lest to pursue his legal remedy against the motorman or engineer, the passenger would be likely to elect to come in under the statutory plan.

For injured persons prompt and sure compensation without wait, worry, or waste; for companies relief from the expense of investigators and lawyers and from the burden of fraud; for the public a decrease of the great cost of maintaining the courts and the clearing of the courts for the expeditious handling of other cases—these are results which may reasonably be hoped for from the extension to railway cases of the pregnant insurance idea.



THE special quality of English fiction but could not change; in “ Araminta ” he

in this tremendous crisis, as The gave us a delightful romance with the dew

Outlook has already noted, is its of youth on it; in this latest novel he has freshness. Such a story as “Mr. Britling Sees achieved a triumph of construction and of It Through" bears witness to the awakening for which puts him in the front rank of of a nation and is charged with the spiritual contemporary novelists. Joseph Jefferson energy liberated by a supreme experience; said that Mrs. Siddons's genius was most but Mr. Marriott's “ Davenport” i has until strikingly shown in her ability to make good the close the air of leisure which is friendly women dramatically interesting ; she had no to careful writing. This story, already com- need of the adventitious aid of the strong mented upon, will delight those readers who contrasts of crime, of the highlights os do not run as they read. It is a study in broken laws; Mr. Snaith has created a man psychology in which art obliterates all sug- of vigorous impulses, without a touch of gestion of the laboratory ; there is a marked moral consciousness, whose childhood is subabsence of stock characters, and one has the merged in poverty and cruelty, who goes pleasant sensation of being with people who through six years of brutal sea life, starts his are not only decent but unusually interesting career on land in dense ignorance of the with conversational gifts not often found things which a man must know to live, who even in the “ highest circles" of fiction's is buffeted and beaten almost into insensisociety.

bility by unrelenting hardship, and who is the The transition from drawing-rooms and victim of a merciless woman of the worst studios to the deck of the wind-jammer in type, but who survives and triumphs—a man Mr. Snaith's " The Sailor " ? is so abrupt as with no aid from love or care, or the help of to be startling, but the standards of literary decent conditions, or the sustaining power of skill are not changed; as a piece of writing faith, with a dogged decency of nature that “ The Sailor” would be an unusual story in carries him through vileness and misery with any season. In “ Broke of Covenden ” Mr. a determination to “ keep on keeping on." Snaith drew the portrait of a proud, unbend “The Sailor " is full of incident and advening man whom circumstances could crush, ture by land and sea, told with the frankness Davenport. By. Charles Marriott. The John Lane

of Mr. London but without the strong repulComuany, New York. $1.35.

sion which the brutalities of “ The Sea Wolf” The Sailor. By J. C. Snaith. D. Appleton & Co.,

awakens. It is more than a tale of adven

New York. $1.59.

ture ; it is a tale of the greatest of adventures and Egyptian episode sublimate the reality,

-the adventure of life—told in elemen- so to speak, while the war gives a touch of tary terms, with a kind of “ Robinson Crų seriousness to the ending. Mr. Locke's soe" minuteness of detail, but penetrated novels, however lacking in probability, stabilby a glow from a central integrity of nature. ize happiness by making it the result of kindThe Sailor is as innocent as Parsifal and as ness rather than of conditions, and further unassailable ; no temptation touches him the diffusion of happiness by making the because nothing within him responds to its Pharisee love the publican, to quote the appeal. His struggle with conditions is the happy phrase of a distinguished American elementary fight of a man to free himself from essayist. bondage to the accidents of life, to secure Mr. Powys has read Russian fiction not room and air and light for the free expression wisely but too well, for the pessimism of the of his nature. The moral vigor of such a Russian does not express the depression of career has the tonic of fierce manhood in it, the English nature ; it is the product of a but it is as free from didacticism as “ Robin different soil, history, and temperament. In son Crusoe.”

Gorky's most tragic novels there is a sense of Mr. Locke goes on writing modern fairy fate; in “Rodmoor" 1 the characters could stories as if England were at leisure; and have been decently happy if they had used a this is well both as a sign of vitality and be- little common sense. No romanticist ever cause in such a time men sorely need the selected his materials more arbitrarily than refreshment which the imagination has has the author of this tale, very appropribrought to every generation. “ The Won- ately dedicated to “ the spirit of Emily derful Year "' is a pleasant tale of that pleas- Brontë.” The scene is a little village in the ant country in which good manners and fens on the east coast of England; mists of good inns make travel recreation. The real the kind that suggest melancholy and disease hero of the tale is not the clean-hearted young always rest on the landscape, the sound of Englishman who revolts against the drudgery the sea sets everybody's nerves on edge, the of teaching examination-French in a provin- lover makes everybody unhappy in his brief cial English town and goes to Paris in pursuit vacation from two asylums for the insane, of fortune, but Fortinbras, Marchand de Bon- the two women who love him are driven to heur, one of Mr. Locke's happiest and most the very verge of madness by him, and the original creations; an unconventional magician story ends in a dramatic coup by which the in shabby clothes but of winning manners, woman who is not to marry him gets him of ruined fortunes and tireless kindness. In out of the asylum onto the river, floats him Paris the youth with the dreary background to the sea, and when he dies in the excitemeets a girl who has escaped from a back- ment of the escape binds herself to his body, ground as dreary and is a half-starved art launches him, and floats off to death on the student; and to these two, desperate in for- North Sea; meantime there has been a coldtune and nearly bankrupt in hope, comes the blooded seduction, a suicide, a murderous “ dealer in happiness," and sets them off on assault, and a series of senseless miseries, a bicycle tour to Brantome and the Hôtel des and the end of it all is a bleak and meaningGrottes. The adventure has the slimmest less futility. The novel is a dreary waste of financial foundation, but they are young and a high order of ability. France is fair, and life is still an inviting pos- Miss Lagerlöf's story of Swedish peasant sibility. The innkeeper and the people of life, - The Emperor of Portugalia," ? is also the little town are sketched slightly, but with a tragedy, but is full of tender human feeling. a vitality that makes the France of to-day — Ruffluck Croft comes to life emotionally an organized power of sacrifice-a new nation when his child is laid in his arms; she grows to those who had judged the France of yes- into a sweet girl, and his inarticulate soul goes terday by its temperament rather than by its out to her and is bound up in her. In time character.

the pretty child, grown into charming womanThe actors in this story stand out so clearly hood, goes to the city to earn the money to that one is almost persuaded that “The save the cottage from sale ; the money comes Wonderful Year" is a novel and not a fairy just in time to save the house, but no word le, but the American girl with her millions

" Rodmoor. By J. C. Powys. G. Arnold Shaw, New

York. $1.50). The Wonderful Year. By William J. Locke. The The Emperor of Portugulia. By Selma Lagerlöt. ohn Lane Company, New York. 91.35.

Doubleday, Page & Co., New York $1.50.

« 上一頁繼續 »