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THE TRAVEL CLUB.
Map Review of Somerset.
associated with Somerset. Book Review: Lorna Doone with reading of selections. Oral Reports: On article in New England_Magazine for July,
1904, entitled “In the Country of Lorna Doone,” W. H. Rideing; The Battle of Sedgemoor (see Lorna Doone, also Micah
Clarke by Conan Doyle). Readings: Selections from "An Arthurian Journey," Atlantic
Monthly, June, 1890, referring to Glastonbury, also from Ten
nyson's Passing of Arthur. Discussion: Wells Cathedral—its history and architectural peculi
arities (see The Century Magazine, 18:724, article by Mrs. Schuyler Van Rennselaer).
TWENTY-EIGHTH PROGRAM. Map Review of Devonshire and Cornwall. Roll Call: Quotations from Charles Kingsley's Westward Ho de
scriptive of the men of Devon. Book Review: _Children of the Mist. Eden Phillpotts (Dartmoor). Discussion: Exeter Cathedral (see Baedeker, Bell's Cathedral
Series and Exeter by E. A. Freeman, also THE CHAUTAU
QUAN, 28:115, Nov., 1898). Paper: Wesley and the Cornish Miners (see lives of Wesley and
numerous magazine articles). Oral Reports: On article entitled “Deep Mines of Cornwall,"
McClure's Magazine, 13:184 (June, 1899); “An Arthurian
Journey” (see above), selections relating to Tintagel. Book Review : Armorel of Lyonesse. Walter Besant (see Library
The Library Shelf and The Cosmopolitan for July, 1895), also
ANSWERS TO SEARCH QUESTIONS ON MAY READINGS.
An English Clergyman at the time of the Civil War, later became Chaplain to Charles II. He wrote a history of the University of Cambridge and also one entitled “Worthies of England.” 2. His most famous book was "Holy Living and Holy Dying.” 3. Age of Pope-early 18th century. 4. A noted English non-conformist, Chaplain in Cromwell's Army, and later Chaplain to Charles IK but withdrew from the Church of England on the passage of the Act of Uniformity. He was fined for non-payment and was imprisoned for libelling the established church. Wrote “The Saint's Everlasting Rest.” 5. Digest of a census of England in Norman French made by William the Congueror in 1086. There were also local Domesday Books. 6. A British King whose capital was Camrulodunum (Colchester). Resisted the Romans for about nine years, and was sent captive to Rome. Claudius granted life to him and his family. 7. Tennyson and Cowper have both made her the sub. ject of poems, and a tragedy, “Bonduca," was written on her by Fletcher. 8. One of the Knights who figure in the Faery Queen.
NEWS FROM READERS AND CIRCLES.
“You are all aware,” said Pendragon, as he referred to a file of correspondence on the table, "that letters have been sent out to the circles which you represent, and to others also whose delegates are not here today in order to get the benefit of their experience with the course of reading, and their suggestions for future plans. You've no idea what an interesting collection of opinions your responses make! Every mail brings a few and it often happens that at least two of the letters in a given mail present exactly opposite points of view. Our Circles show distinct individualities and this budget of opinions revealing in most cases intelligent thought as well as frank expression is most welcome.”
“Our difficulty in answering the questions,” remarked the delegate from Freeport, New York, "was really to unite on a series of opinions. I suspect it is because our circle is made up of such positive characters. They give great zest to our meetings. We have for instance, one persistent and undismayed advocate of a Baconian Shakespeare; then there is our practical minded member who is always reminded of what he saw in today's Sun and so gives a delightfully modern twist to our discussions. Professor Sherman's views on Shakespeare have been submitted to searching criticism by at least one of the feminine portion of our Circle and you would certainly have enjoyed the intensity of our discussion of Darwin‘monkeys, bah,' etc. We enjoy ourselves hugely and shall carry out your suggestion concerning our guide through Oxford. We want to express here our appreciation and enjoyment of the excellent course.”
"It's hard to tell,” said the next speaker, who represented the circle at Fostoria, Ohio, "whether we most enjoy the historical or the literary side of the course. One of our most amusing meetings was held in November when we impersonated the British Cabinet. We got a copy of the Review of Reviews for January, 1906, as suggested in THE CHAUTAUQUAN programs. The astute gentlemen there portrayed may have suffered a slight loss of their manly attributes in our presentation, for we are all of the feminine persuasion, but they made an impression I assure you and we find ourselves following their fortunes now with quite a different feeling toward them. Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman stood staunchly for his views on the French Alliance; Sir Edward Grey revealed in the midst of a grave discussion his latent British love of sport; Mr. Richard B. Haldane set forth his war policy in no uncertain terms; Mr. James Bryce very happily blended a sort of native Scotch Aavor with his official Irish interests and Mr. David-Lloyd George quite
brought down the house with his ideas on how the Board of Trade should be conducted. I mustn't take too much time but just mention that we had a memorable evening on Browning with readings of Abt Bogler, Andrea del Sarto, and Saul. We worked enthusiastically over Wordsworth, reading many of his poems and finding especial pleasure in the trip to the Lake District.”
“Without giving an extended report,” said the delegate from Upper Sandusky, Ohio, “I should like to say that we have kept up our readings promptly and greatly appreciated the poet's calendars in the Round Table. We have read all the poems of Wordsworth, Tennyson and Browning which were suggested, so you see we have tested the writings of these poets for ourselves and though we necessarily forget much, each one of us I think has felt richer for new points of view gained in this way.”
“What you say of the great poets reminds me," said Pendragon, "of a new book of essays which has fallen in my way and which I find very ensnaring. The author, Mr. Arthur C. Benson, is Fellow of Magdalene College at Cambridge and a son of the late Archbishop of Canterbury. The book is called 'From a College Window' and it is one of those delightfully suggestive volumes that one never picks up without finding in it some bit of philosophy which it is good to reflect upon. Let me quote a few sentences from his chapter on 'Books:'
" As I make my slow pilgrimage through the world, a certain sense of beautiful mystery seems to gather and grow.
In this mood reading becomes less and less a searching for instructive and impressive facts, and more and more a quest after wisdom and truth and emotion. More and more I feel the impenetrability of the mystery that surrounds us; the phenomena of nature, the discoveries of science, instead of raising the veil, seem only to make the problem more complex. . but there still remains, inside, so to speak of these astonishing facts, a whole range of intimate per sonal phenomena of emotion, of relationship of mental or spiritual conceptions.
One desires to know what pure and wise and high hearted natures have made of the problem.
Those who read in such a spirit will tend to resort more and more to large and wise and beautiful books, to press the sweetness out of the old familiar thoughts, to look more for warmth and loftiness of feeling than for elaborate and artful expression.
They realize that it is through wisdom and force and nobility that books retain their hold upon the hearts of men, and not by briskness and color and epigram.'
"I fancy,” Pendragon continued, “that this mellow point of view will be especially appreciated by the next Circle which we are to hear from—the 'Columbia' of Santa Clara, California.” “I rather like your characterization of ‘mellow,'” laughed the delegate from
California. “I am reminded of the story some one tells of an ancient Dean of one of the English colleges who said that 'one of the reasons for studying Greek was that it gave you a proper contempt for those who are ignorant of it!' I think that you will agree that we are mellow enough to have passed that stage, if indeed we ever went through it, when I say that our Circle dates from 1888, and one member of the first class is still with us. Our graduates have stayed by so enthusiastically that we keep our ranks very full, forty-two members at present. We add new members all the time and will have eight to graduate this year. We are already laying plans for that occasion. We meet once a week on Monday in the afternoon and have our program prepared a month in advance. We have a critic who is appointed each week and on the last Thursday of every month we have a review day with a special program of music and papers related to the month's work and a social time afterward. Perhaps in this sympathetic assemblage I may venture to give you our 'yell' which we are in the habit of using when there are no philistines within hearing:
Cal-i-for-ni-a !" "It's quite worth noting,” said Pendragon as he glanced over a letter, "to find amid all this enthusiasm for the English year, a letter from a Circle at Almira, Washington, which looks back upon the Classical year as upon the whole the best. That mysterious force of personality which chooses for itself quite independently of others is one of the things we have to be grateful for. These Almira Chautauquans belong to the Class of 1909 but they are hoping for additions to their number though their town is a small one.” “Our Circle of three," commented the member from Barker, Texas, “is not even in a town but out in the country with perhaps a hundred people all told in our neighborhood. It has been a great boon to us. 'The Stage for which Shakespeare Wrote' we all enjoyed as a side-light on our reading and we hope to have a larger class next year.” “The Circle of Carlisle, Kentucky," said Pendragon, taking up another report, "seem to take kindly to responsibility as you will notice from this communication: 'Since finishing Shakespeare we have been reading Midsummer Night's Dream in the Circle after the other work is finished. We follow the suggestive programs as far as possible, finding them helpful and interesting. Our Circle is delighted with the year's work. Each member is ready to do her share, but always glad when her turn
comes to lead. We've enjoyed all the studies so far. "Rational Living is a little hard, but interesting."
"I think we also have rather a liking for subjects that are not too easy," said the delegate from North Dixon, Illinois. “Our meetings are most informal but we try to go into things quite exhaustively. There are twelve of us—all good friends and we discuss the various subjects that come up with considerable ardor. Two of our members having taken a tour through England, have given us many vivid impressions of the country from their own experiences."
Very brief reports were then made by a dozen or more Circles. The Woman's Study Club at Davenport, Washington, having tested the C. L. S. C. for the first time seem ready to commit themselves for another year. At Alliance, Ohio, a Circle of thirteen, six of whom belong to the Tennyson Class of 1908, meet twice a month under the direction of a program committee of two who serve for two months. This year's work will be especially timely for the 1908's as it will emphasize the work of their class poet. The Lineville, Iowa, Circle has been reinforced by a member who has read alone for five years in the country. She found a cordial welcome from these Chautauquans, all of whom attend the summer Assembly at Allerton, Iowa, and so help to bring Chautauqua to the attention of a wide territory. At Ridgewood, New Jersey, the Circle which is made up largely of young people, has found great enjoyment in the historical side of the course but had to "wrestle" with Browning while Tennyson's “Morte D'Arthur” brought them under the spell of that dominating personality of the Round Table. At Salina, Kansas, the Chautauquans are very wisely enlisting the coöperation of the librarian to secure them reference books. They have a practical plan of work and hew closely to it. At Troy, New York, the circle has profited by the friendly coöperation of the clergymen of the town. One of them, an Englishman, gave them a talk on the English Government from the standpoint of a native of that country and another is to preview for them President King's "Rational Living."
"For eight years the Brockville, Ontario, Chautauquans have been working together," said Pendragon, as he glanced over a letter, "and they report that many of the first members still answer to the roll call. These Canadian Chautauquans naturally take a lively interest in present day problems in England and have recently. been determining the fate of the House of Lords, in a debate which will be memorable in their history. An epic poem commemorates