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WOMEN'S CHAT. """""''-/''-'-'''''''._'-"J'''''-.r----j---

REVIEW OF BOOKS. ,.-,.;.."r.,--,,--.,_.,,-/""\,-''-../',-/-,/'-'/-"-""'J-''-'--'-'-""',,.


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THE PEACE' CRUSADE. PROGRESS OF THE MOVEMENT-. By W. T. STEAD. The Crusade prospers bravely. The Duke of Argyll many years ago spoke of the House of Lords as the house-top of the world." That the same phrase may be applied to London the proclamation of this Crusade is a notable example. 'The echoes of the word which has been uttered in favour of an international movement in favour of Peace have gone round the world. It has produced immediate and exeellen! results in the places where, of all others, it was most needful to make its influence felt, viz., ill the Governments of Russia and of England. The great meeting at St. James's Hall and the strong expressions of sympathy from influential leaders of English opinion have done much to encourage the Emperor of Russia in his resolve to persevere in his philanthropic designs. From the first time the Peace Rescript was issued, opinion in iiussia has been divided, very much as it is here. ,Th<; Emperor's initiative was hailed in some quarters with enthusiasm; in others was regarded as L'topian and impracticable. The Jatter party, consisting largely of the old men, the Czar's uncles, the Grand Dukes, and the cynical pessimists who abound in high places, did their best to minimise its significance and to pour cold water upon the t zar's enthusiasm. They declared that he won]c]. iiale Russia a laughing-stock, inasmuch as no one really cared a fig about arresting the growth of armaments, and that England was certain to meet the proposal with the deadliest animosity. The long delay which took place in the despatch of Lord Salisbury's answer to the Rescript, gave the party of reaction a great chance and the preparations for war carried on in England, in view of the Fashoda difficulty, tended in the same direction. The hopes of the party of progress, with the Czar at its head, sank steadily, until at last they were so discouraged as to contemplate getting out of an impossible position by the expedient of reducing the Conference to a mere confabulation of the Ambassadors at St., Petersburg. ft is not difficult to imagine with what joy, therefore, the proclamation of the Crusade in England has been received in Russia. It has been as a sudden outburst of light in a very dark place, and the Russians, who are keen, y sensitive to the movement of opinion on the Conti- nent, note with surprise and delight. that the action of England has already produced a sensible effect upon the Press of Ei.rope. If the English initia- tive is followed throughout the country, no one can predict how far-reaching may be its beneficent results. A very striking instance of the value of public meetings and of popular expressions of opinion wus afforded by Lord Salisbury's despatch to the Russian Government acknowledging the receipt of the Rescript. In the ordinary course, that, despatch would not have been published until the meeting of Parliament. Its publication is a slight, but significant, sign of the goodwill of the Govern- ment to the Crusade but still stronger evidence is afforded by the passage in the despatch in which Lord Salisbury, writing to the Russian Govern- ment, calls the special attention of the Emperor to the public meetings which had been held and the resolutions which had been passed in England in support of his proposal. After such a friendly lead as this from the Prime Minister, it is felt that no true Briton need hang hack from participat- ing' in' the agitation. There m, muehl. .,io reason ruuunKtbat they will hang back. The Christinas holidays are barely over, but already it is evident, that people will manifest their withes and aspirations in this matter with a iiiitililtl;i.v and an earnestness for which previous agitations afford no precedent. Brighton is not exatih ,,e most enthusiastic place in the world, that in which advanced political movements find their most (•■•>ngenial soil, but the report from that precious city of the southern coast shews what may be expected where interest in public questions is much keener. The local magistrate who took in hand the requisition to the Mayor for a town's meeting on the subject obtained at once the signa- tures of the leac'hig men in both political parties, and when their imiues were seen at the head of the requisition, the ^Mermen, members of the Town Council, and the School Board at once appended p their signatures. In the whole town, of all the leading householders to whom application was made, there was not a single refusal. The Mayor, therefore, will od; a town's meeting at an earlv date. Equally good r.amlis are reported from the great cities whose -identity is merged in the metropolis. London, which really consists of a dozen cities the size of Birmingham or Manchester, can only act through its constituencies, and before the week is out what are practically town's meetings will be arranged in several of the largest and most. influential divisions of the metropolis. Throughout the week the task of sowing the seed and spreading the light, in the shape of the dissemination broad- cast throughout the country of 1.000,000 copies of the Crusade broadsheet containing the Czar's Rescript, the manifesto of the Crusade, and a report of the Conference in St. James's Hall, has been energetically carried on. At the headquarters at first considerable misgivings were entertained as to the possibility of distributing 1,000,000 copies of ■o large a broadsheet in such a short space of time The paper alone weighed twenty-seven tons. The task has been accomplished, however, with such celerity and ease that the committee is already considering yvhether the issue of another million copies may not be necessary. To quote even a tithe of the letters which have been received at the offices of the Crusade would fill many columns. Men and women of all parties and of all creeds have vied with one another in expressing their sympathy, and in urging the neces- sity of a truly International movement. The clergy are throwing themselves into the Crusade with an enthusiasm which promises to be contagious. Sup- port, however, does not come alone from the pulpit, and from those whose names are associated with every philanthropic movement. Men like Colonel Rotton and Mr. Ct R. Sims, whom nobody would dream of accusing of being visionaries or senti- mentalists, have not been behind in their expres- sions of approval, the former remarking that no one realises the horrors of war more keenly than those who have practical experience." The Crusade has this week established its journalistic organ in the shape of a penny weekly paper entitled War Jyainst War, the Chronicle of the Crusade. The first number is a curiosity in journalism, and a phenomenon absolutely without, record in the annals of peace propaganda. The middle pages of the paper coritain, besides an original drawing by Mr. Holiday, alle- gorical of the triumph of Peace over War, a collection of autogmphs of eminent men and women, which, for number, variety and interest, has no parallel in the history of British journalism. The first two signatures among the autograph benedictions with which the new organ appears in the interests of peace are these of Lord Wolseley, Commander-in-Chief, and one of our Admirals, Sir Anthony Hoskins. Altogether there are about fifty autographs reproduced in facsimile, a collec- tion which makes the first number of War Against War unique. Besides the chronicles of the Crusade, the new number contains a very important signed article by Mr. Bryce, concerning the bearing of the Anglo-American Alliance on the future of peace. This is supported by signed letters from many of the most famous American statesmen and senators. There is an illustrated character-sketch of the Czar, which will be followed in other numbers by sketches of leading p:oneers in the cause of Peace. Mr. Kipling's Recessional poem, which he published in the Times in 1897, i* republished by permission as the first contribution to the psalter of the Crusade. One hundred thousand copies of the first number will be ready for issue to the trade on, Friday.

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