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In these days when the well-known U. S. A. is "dry" (or supposed to be) it is a bit aggravating to have a fascinating French comtesse describe in minute detail her sensations when for the first time her lips approached that world-famous American drink--the cocktail. This tantalising incident occurs in "A Frenchwoman's Impressions of America" by Comtesse Madeleine de Bryas and her sister Mlle. Jacqueline de Bryas, published by The Century Co. In order that a rising generation of young Americans may not grow up in darkest ignorance (and for that reason only), we reprint the Comtesse's stimulating account of her debacle:
"As soon as the last guest arrived, the butler came in with glasses on a tray, which he presented to each one of us.
"'What is this, Monsieur Tardieu?"
"'Why, Madame, don't you know this American custom which assures the success of any dinner-party?'
"I tasted it and understood that I had just made the acquaintance of the cocktail.
"'Do you mean to say that this is considered a good drink? Frankly, I cannot understand its world-wide reputation.' Then looking at my sister, I saw that her face betrayed no enthusiasm, either.
"'Wait, Madame, and you will tell me later what you really think about it,' said Monsieur Tardieu, with a knowing look.
"We then passed to the dining-room, and an intense feeling of happiness, mingled with indifference to what I said or did, gradually grew upon me, and all the other guests were evidently equally well-disposed toward the world. The conversation was animated, in fact, very brilliant, and when Monsieur Tardieu, next to whom I was seated, asked: 'Now what do you think about the cocktail?' I felt more inclined to get up and dance than to give him a serious answer.
""The taste is certainly not nice, although I shall soon become accustomed to it, I am sure, but the effect is unmistakable! Life has never seemed to me more engaging and enjoyable'."
It has been said of Lord Grey that he has many sides: the Liberal side, the Foreign Office side, and the side that delights in fly-fishing, country walks, and friendship. Viscount Grey himself says that this last is his only true side--and from it has sprung the inspiration for his latest book, "Recreation." In this essay, which he delivered as his speech at the Union last December, the former Secretary of Foreign Affairs for Great Britain, discusses with color, clearness, and charm the place of recreation in a well ordered life, dealing most fully with the pastimes, which have given him most pleasure, fly-fishing, love of birds, and reading of books.
Harcourt, Brace and Howe are publishing a school edition of "Typee." In fostering interest in the sale of this masterpiece, an inspired press agent has this to say: "Young Tom and Long John Silver are masters of so many hearts that they need fear no rival. Yet Treasure Island with all its largess of romance falls short of exhausting the store. Some of the things Stevenson missed, Herman Melville found in the South Seas--and wrote "Typee." Days of the fear of sudden death; days of drowsy, warm forgetfulness; dark seas curling over glistening sands; amber sun-light through the palm-fronds, caressing the face of tough old chief, or wrinkled medicine-man, or startling the shadows from the soft eyes of Fayaway--."
"Young Tom" doesn't recall anything in "Treasure Island."--perhaps it was young Jim Hawkins that the enthusiastic press agent meant; but we are in favor of anything that will introduce "Moby Dick" and "Typee" to the schoolboy of the future generation.
Miss Elsie Ferguson is exciting a great deal of discussion with her performance at the Morosco Theatre of Arnold Bennett's "Sacred and Profane Love." When the play was first put on the boards in London, the London "Pan" spilled a little ink as follows:
"When Arnold Bennett first began
To smite his blooming lyre,
He told how Mrs. Jobson's cat
Would sometimes sit upon the mat
Beside the kitchen fire.
It was such realistic stuff,
That we could never have enough
Of smoky Staffordshire.
"But since he went to gay Paree,
His tales are different quite.
Somehow, he never can forget
The wicked women he has met--
He must have kissed a midinette
I hope the baggage didn't let
The rascal stop all night!
At any rate, his latest play
Of wayward woman's wanton way,
Is drawing all the town, they say!
"Sacred and Profane Love" has recently been published in this country by George H. Doran Company.
A poster portrait of Lincoln, which Mr. Charles Falls designed to Advertise Drinkwater's "Abraham Lincoln," now playing to tense audiences at the Cort Theatre, New York City, has come to an extraordinary end for a poster; it has been secured by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The drawing is singularly well adapted in style, we are told, not merely to Lincoln's rugged personality, but to Drinkwater's spare, and yet significant, outline of Lincoln, in his strangely effective drama. The picture is flatly done in black and white against a dull orange background.
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