July 7, 1907 (Sunday)
CHARLOTTE BRONTE'S BOOKS AND MANUSCRIPTS TO BE SOLD AT AUCTION: In London, Sotheby's is getting ready to sell an unusual batch of relics later this month. The collection includes some schoolbooks belonging to Charlotte Bronte (shown) and her copies of books by Voltaire and La Fontaine. In addition, auctioneers will sell her writing desk and workbox and a LOT OF MANUSCRIPTS. Among them is an "apparently unpublished work in seventeen chapters, entitled 'Caroline Veruva,' written by her under the pen name of Charles Townshend." Also, there a small piece of paper that's the size of a threepenny bit, on which she wrote the Lord's prayer.
The lot also includes Charles Dickens' copy of "A Christmas Carol" -- one he used when reading aloud -- and a first edition of Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress," a copy of which once was sold for 1,500 pounds.
PRIEST TURNS TO A HIGH-TECH SOLUTION TO TAKE THE PLACE OF AN ABSENT ALTAR-BOY: A story with a Toulon dateline indicates that a parish priest in the Department of Var has come up with a clever way to deal with the shortage of altar boys in his area. In order to have a voice ready to give the necessary responses during the celebration of a mass, the priest made a phonograph recording. He spoke the necessary sacramental words, recording them onto the plastic disc. It's all "timed to make responses at the proper moments," according to the article in today's New York Times. He's praying the record doesn't skip.
GERMAN-AMERICANS WHO RETURNED TO THE FATHERLAND ARE QUITE NERVOUS ABOUT CHANGES IN IMMIGRATION RULES: A new law regarding immigration has caused plenty of anxiety among American citizens of German descent who have chosen to live in their homeland during their final years of life. The specific provision that concerns them about the law -- which went into effect on July 1 -- is quoted in today's New York Times:
When any naturalized citizen shall have resided for two years in the foreign State from which he came, it shall be presumed that he has ceased to be an American citizen, and his place of general abode shall be deemed his place of residence during the said years.
They want the State Department to issue some kind of statement allowing them to stay where they are -- enjoying the fruit of their labor -- as full citizens -- in the United States. The paper says, "Hundreds of German-Americans living in the Fatherland fought in the civil war and draw pensions."
U.S. ATTEMPTS TO FIND OUT WHY ITALIANS WANT TO COME HERE: Members of the American Commission for Emigration are in Italy trying to learn more about the impetus behind the massive Italian immigration, which has grown rapidly since about 1870. (This picture shows an Italian family coming to America about 1905.) Members have interviewed many Italians -- both those who have returned from America and those planning to go.
The commission asked one person -- with relatives in Hoboken, N.J. -- why he wants to go to America: "Because I am told that in America there are free lunches, while here we almost pay for the air we breathe."
Another young man said his uncle promised him passage to the U.S. and the man plans to go. He hopes to do well enough in the U.S. so he can save $10 and return to Italy and BUY A COW, "by which he could live comfortably for the rest of his life."
Here's one exchange between a commissioner and a prospective emigrant to the U.S., as presented in today's New York Times:
"Why do you return to the United States?"
"Because the wages are higher and there is more liberty!"
"What do you mean by more liberty?"
"There is NO MILITARY SERVICE."