Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Unbroken: Unraveling a Mystery

Zamperini the Bombardier

Unbroken is the story of the remarkable life of Louis Zamperini.  It’s an exciting view of one man’s life in World War II.
For me, it brought up a mystery about the Japanese people.

Louie’s Story:  He started out as a tough, undisciplined, unmanageable boy in a loving Italian American family.  The family lived in Torrance, California, near Los Angeles, and Louie could easily have gone on to be another hard luck story of a kid always in scrapes, stealing and cheating, on the wrong side of the rest of society. 
            Perhaps the speed young Louie needed to escape the cops was the element that began his salvation, because he found he could run, fast and hard.  He ran, and he ran, becoming an Olympic athlete who went to the 1936 Berlin Olympics. 
            Louie was dreaming of winning a gold medal in the 1940 Olympics, but World War II began, and there were no 1940 Games.  Louie joined the U.S. Army Air Corps and became a young officer, a bombardier on a B-24.

            Flying in the early part of America’s war against Japan in the Pacific, Louie saw a lot of action, both in the air, bombing Japanese targets and being shot at by Japanese Zeroes, and on the ground, being bombed by the Japanese.  Then on one mission to search for another missing bomber crew, his bomber crashed.  He, his pilot, and a crewman were the sole survivors.
            The story of their ordeal in a life raft would be more than most people ever experience in a lifetime, with no water, no food, sharks following and rubbing up beneath their raft, blazing sun, cold, and waves, waves and more waves. And finally an aircraft appears, and there’s hope.  But no, it’s a Japanese plane which shoots at the sunbaked airmen.  Bullets punch through their raft, but don’t hit the men. 
            The ordeal goes on.  You know that Zamperini survives this so you want this raft ordeal to be over with, because you are starting to feel like you are in that raft with the three men.
            Finally, after the raft has drifted over 1000 miles to the west, and just after the crewman, a sergeant, has died, they find themselves in an atoll, and soon, captives of the Japanese. 

“The Bird” Watanabe

            Louie and Phil, his pilot, go from one prison camp to another, with brutal, fiendish treatment by their Japanese captors.  All too soon, Matsuhiro Watanabe, nicknamed “The Bird” appears.  Although an enlisted man, he is the master of torture at the prison camp, and seems to single out Louie the Olympian as his prime target. 
            Laura Hillenbrand, whose book,  Seabiscuit, won her great acclaim, and became a very popular film, has done her research in Unbroken.  The brutal treatment that the Japanese inflicted upon thousands of prisoners of war is a well-documented fact, and her research digs up a tremendous story about this mere Japanese Army corporal who seems to be the Devil incarnate.
            The ordeal of Louie and his fellow prisoners, of torture, starvation, beatings, clubbings, miserable sanitation, slave labor and incredible humiliation until many are literally worked to death, goes on and on.  It finally ends, several days after Japan has surrendered. 
            Watanabe is the personification of evil, and Hillenbrand tells the story of his escape, his sentencing to be hanged along with Tojo and the other national leaders, and his life on the run. 
            Louie finds his way back to Torrance, to a family that was told long before by the War Department that he was dead. there is euphoria, and Louie is a hero. He marries a wonderful girl.
But-- there is what we today call post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Louie’s life is a nightmare.  Watanabe and his beatings and humiliation inhabit his mind day and night. There is drinking, and more drinking. 
Louie is the boy saved from a life of crime by running, who becomes an Air Corps bombardier, then a survivor of an ordeal on a raft, then survivor of Japanese prison camps, but can he survive now, as he slides into alcohol?
Yes!  His wife Cynthia drags him to hear an inspiring young evangelist named Billy Graham, and gradually Louie remembers the pledge he made to God on that raft, and pulls his life out of the abyss, and becomes an inspiration for all who get to know him.
Zamperini goes on to live an exemplary life, helping others, starting a camp for disadvantaged and at-risk youth.  In fact, on January 26, 2012 Louie will celebrate his 95th birthday.

How to reconcile all this?  

I spent three years living in Japan, working daily with Japanese people, interacting with officers of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, as commander of an American base that was formerly one of the primary bases of the Imperial Japanese Navy.
I regularly visited with the Mayor of the city of Sasebo, with a population of 250,000 people. I accompanied American Admirals and senior civilian officials on calls on local Japanese military and civil leaders. 
We attended social events with Japanese people.  We realize it would take a lifetime to truly understand the Japanese people, because their culture is so different from ours.   
We worked hard to maintain excellent relations between our countries, and we were tremendously supported by the American Ambassador, former Senator Mike Mansfield. His oft-repeated statement was "The U.S.- Japanese relationship is America’s most important bi-lateral relationship, 'Bar none!'"
When I read in Unbroken about the widespread horrors inflicted upon American and Allied prisoners by the Japanese it was a shock, even after all these years, since 1945, and then since I was there in 1983-86.  It was hard to take. 

Of course, I had heard about all this before, but Hillenbrand’s description of the horrors was so detailed, so graphic, that it was hard for me to reconcile. 

The Japanese Army installed a hateful culture that we saw played out in their invasion of China, and the Sino-Japanese war that began in 1937.  It was this culture, a mixture of the virtues of the Samurai warrior with absolute cruelty, and an attitude toward any prisoner of war that completely violated international codes of conduct.    This hateful culture thrived on men like “The Bird”, and he and others like him flourished as they made life miserable for their captives. 

While this brutality was widespread, there were Japanese people who did not get caught up with it, and some actually helped the prisoners.
In the end, I believe, the answer we see in Unbroken comes from Zamperini’s encounter with Billy Graham in 1949, and the very voice of Jesus Christ.  It comes from the absolute forgiveness that Louie showed his Japanese captors, even Watanabe.
It comes from American forgiveness of the Japanese, as led by General Douglas MacArthur and President Truman as we buried our hatchets after World War II.
There will always be evil people, and Louie saw more than his share of them in Japan.  Certainly we saw the same evil carried out in the Holocaust by Nazis in Auschwitz and other death camps.
And we can point to evil in every country, in every time, and including America.
However, we can always hope that we are a part of the good that comes with living honest lives, and forgiving. 
The message of Unbroken, I think, is this forgiveness, and the redemption it brought to Louie, and to all who truly believe.

Unbroken: a World War II story of survival, resilience, and redemption
By Laura Hillenbrand - Random House (2010) - Hardback - 473 pages - ISBN 1400064163

The Personal Navigator offers these books and papers:

Frontispiece and Title Page: Moubray on Breeding, Rearing and Fattening

Moubray: Practical Treatise on Breeding, Rearing, and Fattening all kinds of Domestic Poultry, Pheasants, Pigeons, and Rabbits and Instructions for the Private Brewery. Sixth Edition        . 1830   London, England: Sherwood, Gilbert and Piper, Paternoster-Row. John Lawrence, using the pseudonym Bonington Moubray, Esq. Devotes nearly 80 pages of this book on livestock to making beverages like mead, beer, porter, perry, stout and cider. Frontispiece features fine colored engravings of Spanish cock and hen, Suffolk Milch Cow and Oxford Dairy Pig. This edition adds more wood cuts and articles on cheese and cider. In discussion on gamecocks, Moubray tells about Ardesoif of Tottenham whose famous cock refused to fight, so he roasted the bird alive. His friends objected, which made Ardesoif so agitated that he died on the spot. Note Moubray's advice on the dairy: "The dairy must be the seat of the most exquisite and punctilious cleanliness, in every part of its management. Hence all sluts, snuff-takers, and daudles -- away to the dust-hole and cinder heap!"   368 pp. 11.5 x 19.7 cm. Cloth on board, title label pasted on spine, back cover sunfaded, some pages unopened, very good. (2528)  $160.00 . Farming/Brewing/Veterinary                                                                                                     

Advice to a Young Christian on the Importance of Aiming at an Elevated Standard of Piety, w/ intro by Rev. Dr. Alexander; third edition, revised and corrected 1830 New York, NY: G.&C.&H. Carvill, 108 Broadway "The age in which we live (1830) demands a high standard of Christian character," writes author in preface. Consists of series of letters to young people. 196 pp. 9 x 14 cm. Paper on board, with leather spine. Bumped and rubbed. Owner inscr. on ffep, dated 1830. Very good. (1329) $39.00. Religious.

American Baptist Magazine and Missionary Intelligencer, May 1820, Vol. 2 No. 9 Boston, MA: Baptist Missionary Society of Massachusetts. Memoir of Rev. Henry Jessey. Review of sermon delivered at the ordination of Rev. Stephen Chapin by Jeremiah Chaplin, Professor of Divinity in the Maine Literary and Theological Institution, at North Yarmouth. Extract of letter from Missionary College, Serampore by W. Ward. [Note: Ward was among founders of this College in India in 1818. It still exists in 2011.] College is open to all denominations of Christians, and to as many heathen scholars as choose to avail themselves of its exercises and lectures. Letter from Pomare, King of Otaheite, Society Islands. Report on efforts to Christianize American Indians of the Oneida and Stockbridge; letter signed with marks by Oneida Indians asking to embrace Christianity. 34 pp. 15 x 24 cm. Paper periodical, edges frayed, page corners curled, poor. (6399) $34.00. Religious/Missionary

American Baptist Magazine and Missionary Intelligencer, September 1820, Vol. 2 No. 11 Boston, MA: Baptist Missionary Society of Massachusetts. Frontispiece engraving of Rev'd James Manning Winchell, A.M. late pastor of the First Baptist Church in Boston. Memoir of the death of Mrs. Tamma Winchell, Rev. Winchell's widow. Tribute on death of Rev. Edward W. Wheelock, who, dying of consumption, left Rangoon for Calcutta, and died at sea. Letter from Mrs. Colman on the Burman Mission, mournfully relates last days of Rev. Wheelock. In letter to her sister she chides her for not answering for "nine long months" and goes on to tell her about revival of Buddhism in Burma, and building of pagodas.  32 pp. 15 x 24 cm. Paper periodical, edges frayed, page corners curled, poor. (6400) $34.00. Religious/Missionary

American Baptist Magazine and Missionary Intelligencer, January 1821, Vol. 3 No. 1 Boston, MA: Baptist Missionary Society of Massachusetts. Reflections on the New Year, 1821. Memoir of Rev. Andrew Fuller, Late Pastor of the Baptist Church and Society in Warren, Maine. Extracts from Mr. Judson's Journal--Burman Mission. Judson writes of traveling in Burmese rowing boat with ten rowmen to visit monarch in New Ava, or Ahmarapoor, 350 miles from Rangoon. Visit to Pagan. Disappointing audience with the emperor. They presented him an elaborately decorated Bible, which he flung to the ground. Necessity of Christianity to India; about the Hindoos; ritual of dying and the Ganges. Mr. Ward and the Mission at Serampoor. Missionary college at Serampoor will accept a Krishnu, a Sebuk-Ram, or a Ram-Mohun for 45 dollars a year. 40 pp. 15 x 24 cm. Paper periodical, edges frayed, page corners curled, fair. (6401) $34.00. Religious/Missionary

American Messenger, August 1856; "Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." Luke 2:10. Vol. 14. No. 8 New York, NY: The American Tract Society. Americans eagerly awaited this monthly religious paper. National news, religious commentary. Missionary news. Letter from a Slave--Thanks for  the American Messenger! Report of Mexicans in Metamoras (sic) who are willing to read. Progress in the North-west, among Romanists who have renounced Popery and then united with Protestant churches. 4 pp. 38 x 56 cm. Newspaper,  very good. (5363) $20.00. Religious/History

American Messenger, September, 1856; "Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." Luke 2:10. Vol. 14. No. 9 New York, NY: The American Tract Society. Americans eagerly awaited this monthly religious paper. National news, religious commentary. Missionary news. Story about lumbermen on the head waters of the Kennebec River in Maine, one who swore that God Almighty is not quick enough to kill me with a tree. The next day, while felling their first tree, a small branch was thrown with fatal  aim, as by the hand of the Almighty, and killed him. Story of brutal Indian swinging festivals honoring Shiva near Calcutta. 4 pp. 38 x 56 cm. Newspaper,  top edge ragged. very good. (5364) $20.00. Religious/History

Andrew P. Peabody: Three Sermons preached at the South Church, Portsmouth, NH December 25, 1859 and January 15, 1860 by Peabody, Andrew P., D.D. 1860 Portsmouth, NH: James F. Shores, Jun. & Joseph H. Foster. Andrew P. Peabody became famous at the South Church when he stormed against the American victory in the Mexican-American war in 1847. A lifelong pacifist Unitarian preacher, Peabody was a champion of abolition. These three sermons, preached just before the start of the War Between the States, display his eloquence, religious fervor and absolute dedication to the Gospel of Christ. His last sermon is a Vindication of Unitarianism. 32 pp. 14 x 22 cm. (6441) $31.00. Religious/Unitarian

Annual Election Sermon, Preached before His Honor Samuel T. Armstrong, Lieutenant Governor, at the Annual Election, Wednesday, January 6, 1836 by Rev. Andrew Bigelow,  1836 Boston, MA: Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Stirring, nearly two-hour-long sermon begins with Moses parting the Red Sea to escape from Egypt; makes pitch for increased emphasis on Christian education of all in the Commonwealth. Note that this annual sermon before the Legislature has been conducted since 1631. Table in back of booklet lists preachers who performed this act since John Cotton in 1634, including Increase and Cotton Mather and many other respected men of the cloth. Footnote observes that presiding officer is acting governor AND newly elected mayor of Boston, at the same time.  Gov. Everett will be sworn in one week later. 78 pp. 14.3 x 23.6 cm. Paper booklet, ex-library, marked "dup." 4 and 7 cm tears in front cover at spine, dampstain, good. (6193) $24.00. Religious/History

Ballou's Sermons: Select Sermons Delivered on Various Occasions from Important Passages of Scripture by Hosea Ballou, Pastor of the Second Universalist Society in Boston 1844 Boston, MA: A. Tompkins. Twenty-five sermons delivered between 1818 and 1829.  Christ our Example. Rich Man and Lazarus. False Teachers Compared to Foxes. Sinner meets with deserved punishment. The New Birth. The End of the World. Divine Truth, as represented by Tithes.  The Golden Calf. Evil of Striving Against God. Book belonged to Library of Rev. Eli Ballou, a prominent Vermont Clergyman. 350 pp. 12 x 19 cm. Cloth on board, blindstamped design, Small bookplate shows "Rev. Eli Ballou's Library". Endpapers torn out, leaving only edges. Except for that, appearance and condition very good.    (1757) $40.00. Religious

Beecher, Henry Ward: Life Thoughts, Gathered from the Extemporaneous Discourses of Henry Ward Beecher by one of his congregation; fifteenth thousand. 1858 Boston, MA Phillips, Sampson & Co. 299 pp. 12 x 20 cm. Edna Dean Procter collected these notes from two seasons of sermons by Beecher. Wonderful thoughts, just as valuable today."Mr. Beecher's best thoughts are not usually those which are beforehand committed coolly to paper; they are those which spring from the inspiration of the moment, and have no record save in the memory of his hearers."  "There is an anger that is damnable; it is the anger of selfishness.  There is an anger that is majestic as the frown of Jehovah's brow; it is the anger of truth and love." p. 156 f. "It takes a man to make a devil; and the fittest man for such a purpose is a snarling, waspish, red-hot creditor." p. 206. f. "The pulpit should be like the key-board of an organ, and the church like the pipes. It is my business to press down on the keys here, and it is yours to respond out there." Cloth on board, faded and stained on cover. Text block foxed and dampstained. Good. (2425) $22.00. Religious/Philosophy.

Bible: Polyglott Bible, English Version, containing the Old and New Testaments with the marginal readings 1834 Brattleboro', VT: Fessenden & Co. and Peck & Wood. Bible has illustrations of scripture, critical introduction to scripture, many other study aids. Contains family record of Raymond family, married 1834. 9 cm. thick, 17 x 27 cm. Calf on board with gold lettering and design, scuffed and worn. Marbled endpapers. Pages foxed. Bible is 4 inches thick. Good. (2575) $45.00. Religious.

Boston Investigator, The; Devoted to the development and promotion of universal mental liberty. Boston, Massachusetts, June 2, 1869 Seaver, Horace, Editor 1869 Boston, MA: Josiah P. Mendum. Unique newspaper, now in its 39th year, dedicated to Rationalism, fighting bigotry and superstition. Originally founded by the noted atheist Abner Kneeland, J.P. Mendum carried on the cause of fighting religion and religiosity. Editorial on benefits and advantages of Atheism. "Why should we not applaud the heroism of Atheistical martyrs... who were burnt by their Christian enemies?"  Paganism: "It would be difficult to prove that Paganism contained a greater mass of absurdities, follies, immoralities, madness, and fanaticism than modern Christianity." Report of circulation of the Gospel and the Holy Bible in Spain. Upwards of 5,000,000 tracts have been given away, and on Good Friday the Puerta del Sol resembled a vast reading room. Report of Indian fight. Seven companies of the Fifth Cavalry, led by General Carr, while moving from Kansas toward Fort McPherson, struck a camp of about 500 Cheyennes, and a big fight ensued, in which the Indians were badly defeated. The YMCA of Milwaukee has decided to leave its reading rooms open on Sunday, and Lake Michigan has not risen its banks and inundated the town. 8 pp. 36 x 42 cm. Newspaper, tiny holes in intersection of folds; letter "c" pencil on about five articles. Good. (7402) $49.00.  Religious/Atheism

Calendar Change Threatens Religion by Haynes, Carlyle B. ca. 1944 Washington, DC: Religious Liberty Association. Describes a "highly financed scheme which would abolish religious days, directly affecting Catholics, Protestants, and Jews." New World Calendar will abolish Sunday and Sunday observance. The last day of 1944 would be lopped off, and called no day.  But it IS a day. Cover shows bombers, one marked "Blank Day" dropping bombs on a town filled with churches.  24 pp. 12 x 19 cm. Paper booklet. Very good. (5533) $20.00. Religious.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Day They Shot Out the Lights at the A.S.S. Dry Cleaners

Niavaran Palace, north Tehran

            When we lived in Tehran, Iran back in the days of the Shah, we lived in a fairly westernized neighborhood.  People there knew more about the West, and America, than most in the huge city of Tehran.
            Right up the road, about half a mile, was Niavaran Palace, where the Shah lived most of the time.  He had many palaces from which to choose.
            We lived on a wide avenue, and all the houses on the avenue were enclosed by walled compounds.
Son Mark in our yard with German Shepherd Schatzi

            Next door to us, right behind our house as shown above, was the A.S.S. Dry Cleaners.  Next to that was the Barf Laundry.  “Barf” is Persian for “snow”.  I don’t know what the A.S.S. stood for, but the neon lights on both buildings were in western characters and Farsi, or Persian, script.
            At Christmastime, these buildings were all dressed with colored lights.   I noted above that our neighborhood was “westernized”, but most of our neighbors spoke only Farsi, and didn’t know much about “The West” except that it was the land of their dreams. 
            Since the Shah was overthrown and the Islamic Republic of Iran formed in 1979, the picture Americans usually get of Iranians is that they hate America and Americans.  But in 1970-72, when we lived there, all the Iranians I talked with admired the U.S. and couldn’t wait to visit.  In the meantime, they played American music, and bought American clothes.
            My father sent our oldest son, John (age 12) a BB-gun for Christmas, and he and his little brother, Mark (age 10) couldn’t wait to try it out. 
            One day, around Christmas, Marty and I went to a social event, and left the children with our Badji, (Maid), Parvin. 
            The boys went up on the roof of our house and commenced to test out the new BB gun by shooting out the Christmas lights on the A.S.S. Dry Cleaners building. 
            Soon the proprietor saw that these small Americans were shooting out his lights and he stormed over to tell Parvin, and she called the boys down, and of course reported their transgression to us when we returned.
            Today, if a kid shoots anything with a BB gun in the United States, it’s a whole lot more serious than in 1970. 
            But if an American kid got caught shooting out lights in Tehran today, I expect our whole family would wind up spending a few years in dreaded Evin Prison. 
            We apologized to the Proprietor of the Dry Cleaners and gave him money to replace the broken lights and a small gift which seemed to please him. 
            What a difference a few years makes!

The Personal Navigator offers these books and papers:

Kipling: Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack Room Ballads by Kipling, Rudyard 1924 Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Page & Co. The Ballad of East and West; marvelous collection of ballads that capture the flavor of life with the British Army in the far reaches of Victoria's Empire. Ballad of Boh Da Thone. The Sacrifice of Er-heb.Tomlinson. Danny Deever.
West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgement seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, tho' they come from the ends of the earth!
217 pp. 13 x 20 cm. Decorated dark green cloth on board, edges rubbed, very good. (5100) $20.00 Poetry/Literature

Floral Gift, The, From Nature and the Heart Chauncey, Mary, Editor 1846 Worcester, MA: Jonathan Grout, Jr. This is a delightful little book, probably first edition but since several differing editions appeared in 1846, it is unclear.  This book tells the language of flowers, which "betray, like the divining rods of magi old, where priceless wealth lies buried, not of gold, But love, strong love, that never can decay!" Poems about many flowers and the words they convey, including Acacia (Chaste Love), Aloe (Sorrow, Dejection), Amoranth (Immortality), American Linden (Matrimony), Aspen (Lamentation), Buttercup (Childishness), Bachelor's Button (Hope and Love), Damask Rose (Bashful Love), over 110 more. 128 pp. 7.4 x 11.4 cm. Brown cloth with gilt title and floral decoration. Color frontispiece illustration of red flower with tissue guard. Gilt-edged pages. Very neat, clean, very good copy. (8015) $75.00. Poetry

Golden Treasury of Irish Verse, A, edited by Lennox Robinson 1925 New York, NY: The MacMillan Company. Poems by W.B. Yeats, Patrick Kelly, Lionel Johnson, Fanny Parnell, Sir Samuel Ferguson, Hon. Emily Lawless, Padraic Colum, Austin Clarke, Thomas Parnell, and more. 346 pp. 11 x 17 cm. Dark blue cloth on board with gilt design and printing. Corners bumped, edges lightly frayed. Gift inscription On front free endpaper. Very good. (3321) $20.00. Poetry/Irish

Gray, Thomas: Poetical Works of Thomas Gray, English and Latin; Edited with an introduction by John Bradshaw, M.A., LL.D. Gray, Thomas 1894 London, England George Bell & Sons, York St., Covent Garden. Ode on the Spring, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard; Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College; Agrippina; Sonnet on the Death of Richard West 319 pp. 11 x 17 cm. Quarter leather, marbled paper on board, edges worn. Marbled endpapers and marbled page ends. Very good. (3509) $35.00. Poetry/Biography

Harmonies Poétiques et Riligieuses par A. de Lamartine, Membre de la Académie Française [Poetry, in French] de Lamartine, Alphonse 1837 Bruxelles: J.P. Meline, Libraire-Éditeur. Première Harmonie: Invocation. L'hymne de la Nuit. Hymne du Matin. La Lame du Temple. Bénédiction de Dieu dans la Solitude.  Aux Chrétiens dans les temps d'épreuves. Hymne de l'Enfant a son Réveil. Hymne du soir dans les Temples. Etc. 267 pp. 10 x 15 cm. Marbled boards with leather spine, back cover detached, front cover nearly so. Leather of spine missing.  Prize inscription dated Mai 1850 on half title page, and note inserted in book: "This is not a Christmas present but is interesting…Published in Brussells 99 years ago.[in 1837] Given to your grandmother as a prize when she was 10 years old." Poor. (6927) $31.00. Poetry

John Keats, Complete Poetical Works and Letters, Cambridge Edition by John Keats ©1899 Boston, MA Houghton, Mifflin and Company Excellent biographical sketch, followed by Keats' short poetic output, and his large collection of letters which are very autobiographical in nature. 473 pp. 14 x 21 cm. Brown cloth on board with gold printing. Minor scuffing at top and bottom of spine and edges of cover. Small ( 1 cm.) white paint spot on cover. Owner name sticker on ffep. Very good. (1426) $32.00. Poetry/Literature.


Kasîdah, The; of Hâji Abdû El-Yezdî, Or The Lay of the Higher Law by Abdû the Traveller; Translated and Annotated by His Friend and Pupil, F.B. Sir Richard F. Burton, K.C.B. [250 copies of this edition were published.] 1915 Portland, ME: Thomas Bird Mosher. Thomas Mosher issued this 1915 reprint of Burton's 1880 Kasîdah, dedicating it to Charles Freeman Libby. This edition has paper-covered boards with gilt inscription in Farsi: "Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî"  Frontispiece portrait of Burton from etching by Léopold Flameng, with tissue guard.  Kasîdah, acc. To Oxford English Dictionary, is a classical Arabic or Persian poem, which begins with a reference to a forsaken campground, followed by a lament, and a prayer to one's comrades to halt while the memory of the departed dwellers is invoked. Introduction by William Marion Reedy declares that "The Kasîdah will never be as popular as the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (to which it is often compared), but it will endure...."  Burton (1821-1890) claims to have been the translator of these verses, and in Notes provided describes the author,  Hâjî Abdû, as a native of Yezd Province (central Iran), "who has travelled far and wide with his eyes open", and has added to his native Persian, and classical Arabic, some Latin, Greek, scraps of Chinese, Hebrew, Syriac, Sanskrit, Prakrit, Slav, Berber and more;   but it is well-established that Burton, the Victorian scholar, soldier, linguist and adventurer, was the author. This edition contains numerous tributes to Burton,  by Theodore Watts-Dunton and Algernon Charles Swinburne. It also reproduces a facsimile of the 1880 first edition.  At end of text is notation that 250 copies of this book were printed on Van Gelder hand-made paper and the type distributed in the month of  "October MDCCCCXV" 100 pp. including notes and bibliography.  23.5 x 31.7 cm. Paper-covered boards with gilt inscription in Farsi: "Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî";  cream trim, lightly soiled, with one-cm tear to top of spine. Frontispiece tissue guard loose. Text block excellent.  Deckle-edged pages. Very good.  (7314)  $75.00. Poetry.

Lady's Cabinet of Polite Literature, The; containing a Selection of Chaste and Elegant Poems 1813. Boston, MA: Thomas Wells, No. 3, Hanover Street. Collection includes The Traveller by Goldsmith; The Hermit by Parnell; Armine and Elvira by Cartwright; An Elegy, Written in a Country Churchyard, by Gray; Goody Blake and Harry Gill, by Wordsworth. 206 pp. 8 x 13 cm. Calf on board, cover worn and scuffed, 1 cm. Hole in spine. Owner name on front pastedown, pages foxed. Good. (2715) $45.00. Poetry.

Lalla Rookh: An Oriental Romance, A new Edition, revised by the Author, with a new preface and notes by Moore, Sir Thomas. 1854. New York, NY: D. Appleton & Co.   Dedicated to Samuel Rogers, Esq. by Thomas Moore, 1817.  In Preface, Moore notes that this is 20th edition, and quotes poem from friend: "I'm told, dear Moore, your lays are sung, (Can it be true, you lucky man?) By moonlight, in the Persian tongue, Along the streets of Ispahan."  Poetic tale of Lalla Rookh. "The Veiled Prophet of Khorassan." "Paradise and the Peri" "The Fire-Worshippers"....  232 pp. 7 x 10.8 cm. Cloth on board, blindstamped design front and back.  Gilt-edged pages. Endpages slightly soiled, moderate wear, good. (7196) $15.00. Poetry/Persia

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas in old Russia


Red Square at Christmastime

            We were spending our first Christmas in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, a country that didn’t seem to pay much attention to such things as “Christmas”.  It was 1981, and Leonid Brezhnev was General Secretary of the Communist Party.
            Lenin, and Stalin and all the Communists never were able to wipe out Christianity in the USSRI always had the feeling that many of the most dedicated communists still had buried deep in their psyche a rich religious tradition. 
            At Christmastime we attended Russian Orthodox religious services, which were beautiful, with priests wearing splendid robes, incense, and chanting parishioners. 
Karl Marx wrote dismissively about religion*, but deep into the Communist era, we observed devout Communists using words that showed that it was still a part of them.

*“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness”  Karl Marx, Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right

Many Russians never dismissed religion, and so when the USSR disappeared, and new Russia emerged, back came all the priests and churches, and the faithful, as if they had never left.
            Our maid, whom we figured was a Major in the KGB, and was assigned to report on all of our doings, had her husband, the plumber at the East German embassy, find us a Christmas tree.  It was a rather pitiful tree, but we appreciated their thoughtfulness.  Ludmila may have been a KGB agent, but she was a wonderful woman, and we learned a lot about life in Russia from her.
            Our middle son, Mark, had spent the last several months living with us in Moscow, and our daughter had been attending high school at an American school in High Wycombe, England She arrived by air from London.
Son Mark at the Train for Helsinki

Leningradsky Vokzal (Station). Our oldest son John and his friend Ned Walsh, both seniors at University of Rochester, had been conducting a low-cost, backpacking trip across Europe for several months, and the plan was for them to arrive by rail in Moscow three days before Christmas.  However, we had not heard from them for several weeks.   
 This was before cell phones and email. However, surrounded as we were in the USSR with much uncertainty, we didn’t think there was much of a chance that the two college boys would actually make it across the Soviet frontier by the overnight train from Helsinki, Finland, on time. 
            It was snowing lightly as we walked through Leningradsky Station. Moscow has 14 train stations, most of them large termini for trains going to destinations all across the country. This station was for trains between Helsinki, Leningrad and Murmansk and other points in the far north.  Across the street was another rail station, for the Trans-Siberian Railway.  Other stations around the city served Kiev, Odessa, Poland and the rest of Europe, and so on. 

Scene from Doctor Zhivago: Julie Christy and Omar Shariff

            Russian train stations were pretty much like a scene from “Doctor Zhivago”.  Grim-faced travelers with huge, heavy bags.  The women often wearing babushkas and the men wearing wool hats, or fur shapkas, but you’d also see a few Turkomans or Khirgiz or Uzbeks or Tadzhiks in their native dress.  Then there were the drunks. Large stations had a room where they would put the very drunk men seen staggering around the station, and you could look in where they were jammed in so tight they could hardly fall over.
            We reached the track for the train from Helsinki and shortly the train chugged in, and the people poured off.  They were mostly Soviet citizens, but there were a few international travelers, including young people with back packs. There were also Soviet soldiers and sailors.
            But no John or Ned!  We began to wonder how in the world we would catch up with them.  With everyone off, the train began to back out, to go over to another location to get cleaned up for the return trip.

Soviet Train Women Meant Business.

            Then, just as the train started to move faster, our son and his friend jumped off, with all their backpacks and jackets flying after them.  One of the sturdy, officious Soviet women who ruled the trains with an iron hand had found these two laggards still asleep in their compartment!  The boys had thought they had another 12 hours to travel. She booted them off unceremoniously.  Welcome to Moscow!
            We gathered the boys and their belongings and rushed them back to the Embassy, and Christmas.
            Chinese General Decorates our Tree.  We had a Christmas party, and one of our guests was the Chinese Defense Attaché, a large, burly man who resembled Mao Ze Dong.  Chinese military did not wear insignia of rank, but we figured this guy was about a Major General. 
            He brought for a gift a very beautiful set of Christmas tree ornaments made with bright colored feathers, and he insisted upon putting them on our tree himself.  He was as excited as a little boy doing that!  We still cherish those ornaments today, 30 years later.
            At that Christmas party we also had the Swedish, British, West German, Japanese, Italian, French, Turkish, Norwegian, Canadian attachés and wives, officials from South Korea, Chile, India, Egypt, our Ambassador, and other Americans.  But no Russians, as our government was showing the USSR our displeasure at their invasion of Afghanistan.
             It was a good Christmas.


[The foregoing Blog was originally published June 20, 2011.  It has been modified for re-posting for Christmas, 2011.]

Here are a few books and papers from The Personal Navigator:

Ginx's Baby: His Birth and Other Misfortunes. A Satire. By anonymous (Edward Jenkins?) 1871 Boston, MA: James R. Osgood & Co. Poor Ginx and Mrs. Ginx keep having babies and the Queen sends £3 when they have triplets, and £4 when they have quadruplets.  Thirteen is too much, and so Ginx offers to drown the little boy. We meet Sister Suspiciosa, and the suggestion that Mrs. Ginx should consecrecate her breast milk.  She's  a protestant, though. There's Adolphus Stigma and Dignam Bailey, Q.C. and the conflict of Popery and Protestantism on the Queen's Bench. This is a nice piece of satirical humor, showing the ridiculous extremes to which well-meaning (perhaps) people may go. [Note: Author anonymous, but generally considered to be Edward Jenkins.] 125 pp.+ adv. 11 x 16.6 cm. Brown cloth on board with gilt decorated title.  Spine torn in two places, over 3 cm. Text block clean and tight. Good. (2735)  $21.50. Humor/Educational

Humourist's Own Book, The; A cabinet of original and selected anecdotes, bons mots, sports of fancy, etc. 1835 Philadelphia, PA Desilver, Thomas & Co. Small book loaded with humorous stories: Whitfield, Union of Literary Compositions; Pun by the Ettrick Shepherd; Daft Willie Law; Scarcity of Asses; Timber to Timber; Peter Pindar, many more. 284 pp. 8 x 13 cm.  (6434) $40.00. Humor 

My Wife's Fool of A Husband, illustrations by True Williams by Berkeley, August 1890 Hartford, CT: American Publishing Company Author has a marvelous wit-- his story of his life is funny a century later. 471 pp. 15 x 23 cm. Cloth on board, cover soiled, lightly frayed, inside front hinge partly torn. Fair condition. (1819) $30.00. Humor/Biography.

One of drawings from Hull's set shows melee against the "Chinee", above

Plain Language from Truthful James (The Heathen Chinee) by Francis Bret Harte (1839-1902); Table Mountain, 1870
Collection of nine drawings by Joseph Hull, published by the Western News Company, Chicago, 1870.  This collection dramatizes the racial prejudice against Chinese brought to America to work on the railroad in the 19th century.  Note the eighth drawing in the series, showing an all-out melee against the “Chinee”. Nine prints, matted. 20 x 25 cm. Set of nine prints, matted in blue cardboard matting. Title card is not present. Lightly soiled. Print No. 6 has 1 x 1 cm tear in lower left hand corner. Good.(7093) $85.00. Humor/Poetry..

Ponkapog Papers, First Edition by Aldrich, Thomas Bailey 1903 Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co. Former editor of Atlantic Monthly published this delightful, if scattered, collection of thoughts, comments and witticisms, written on former Indian reservation near Boston. 195 pp. 11 x 19 cm. Cloth on board, excellent. Ex-lib: Oak Grove School Library. (1242) $28.00. Humor/Literature.

Rejected Addresses: or the New Theatrum Poetarum,  Tenth Edition 1813 London, England: John Miller, 25, Bow-Street.  Collection of bizarre "addresses" on the occasion of the reopening of Drury Lane Theatre, completely rebuilt after a fire. Funny, disrespectful, shameless humor.  It is interesting to see how much of this is still funny, nearly two centuries later!  In "'Hampshire Farmer's Address"  there's reference to cheap soup: "soup for the poor at a penny a quart, ...mixture of horse's legs, brick dust and old shoes." 'England is a large earthen-ware pipkin.  John Bull is the beef thrown into it. Taxes are the hot water he boils in. Rotten boroughs are the fuel that blazes under this same pipkin..." 127 + 5 pp. adv. 10 x 16.2 cm. Quarter leather, marbled boards, worn. On front pastedown is bookplate (oriental motif)  of Russell Gray pasted over fine signature of Henry Wilkinson, and on front free endpaper is name, "Russell Gray 1883--" [Russell Gray was Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, noted for his ruling granting citizenship to the children born in the U.S. to Chinese immigrants working on the railroads.]  Good. (5246) $30.00. Humor

American Mercury, The,  A Monthly Review Edited by H.L. Mencken & George Jean Nathan, January 1924; Vol. I No. 1, First Issue Mencken, H.L., Editor 1924 New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf. With Mencken as editor one might expect brilliance, and this inaugural  issue has it. The Editorial announces the intent of the new magazine to devote itself pleasantly to exposing the nonsensicality of hallucinations of utopianism and the lot.  The lead article "The Lincoln Legend" by Isaac R. Pennypacker, gives a new and more robust look at the life of President Abraham Lincoln.  His forefathers were iron-masters, capable leaders in their communities, giving a lie to the myth of the simple railsplitter.  As a war leader, Pennypacker compares him with Jefferson Davis, and Lincoln comes up far superior. "The Drool Method in History" by Harry E. Barnes is a humorous attack on purveyors of "pure history" --- the superiority of the Aryans, the discovery of America was by well-meaning religious people; the sole cause of our ancestors' embarking upon wintry seas to come to the New World was religious freedom; Loyalists in the Revolution were a gang of degenerate drunkards and perverts, etc.  "The Tragic Hiram" by John W. Owens is contemporary political commentary, about Borah, La Follette, Hoover and Harding-- but skewering Johnson.  144 pp. 17 x 25 cm. Magazine, writing on advertisement, first page of magazine: "Ruth Schliveh's shower Jan. 19, 1924"… and "Bill Paxton Brown U. 1924."  Very good. (7663) $76.00. Literature/History

Biographical and Critical Miscellanies, New Edition by Prescott, William H. 1859 Boston, MA Phillips, Sampson & Co., No. 12 Winter Street Collection of literary essays, the last, about Spanish Literature, is new to this edition. Also: Charles Brockden Brown, Bancroft, Sir Walter Scott, Irving's Conquest of Granada, Moliere, Italian Poetry, Da Ponte. 729 pp. 15 x 24 cm. Quarter calf with marbled boards, Very good, bright, clean copy. Minor wear to leather spine, corners. mep. Contains portrait of author with tissue guard. (1871) $50.00. Literature/Educational/Criticism.

English Traits, by Emerson, Ralph Waldo 1876 Boston, MA: James R. Osgood & Co., Late Ticknor & Fields  and Fields. Osgood & Co. This is Emerson's frank and tart assessment of the Englishman.  He calls on Coleridge and gets a blast against Unitarianism. He visits Wordsworth and gets an assessment of America:  No class of gentlemen (a class of men of leisure),"too much given to the making of money."  Emerson discusses "Race" vis-à-vis the British, and also Arabs, negroes, French and others. Then he discusses "Ability", and "Solidarity". "Character"-"-the British are reputed morose......they are sad by comparison with the signing and dancing nations." He also discusses Aristocracy, Literature, Universities and makes a special trip to Stonehenge, and discusses that. His overall assessment of the British is quite positive. . 312 pp. 12 x 18 cm. Beige cloth on board, blindstamped design with gilt title, slight wear to heel and toe of spine; small nameplate "Clara Hersey, 315 Walnut Ave." on front pastedown.  Very good. (1789) $22.00. Literature/Travel

Golden Thoughts on Mother, Home and Heaven 1878 New-York, NY: E.B. Treat, 805 Broadway.  Introduction by Rev. Theodore L. Cuyler calls this  a collection of "golden gleanings". Excellent example of widely sold sentimental volume, collection of many well-known authors in poetry on prose in three sections: Mother, Home and Heaven. After title page is page "Presented to:” in elaborate illumination, for some lucky mother. (Not filled in). Includes the maudlin poems of death of small children that was so much a part of this era.   Writings by Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, Joanna Baillie, Saxe Holm, E.L. Cassanovia, Fanny Crosby, Mrs. L.H. Sigourney, Phillips Brooks, Daniel Webster, Noah Porter, D.D., Joseph Addison, many more. 414 pp. 16 x 23 cm. Decorated brick red cloth on board with elaborate gilt and black design, very slight signs of wear on cover; frontispiece engraving and title page foxed. No dj. Book is clean and tight, very good. (5379) $29.00. Literature/Poetry/Religious

Little Men: Life at Plumfield with Jo's Boys, First Edition. by Alcott, Louisa M. 1871 Boston, MA: Roberts Brothers Louisa May Alcott's classic about playful, mischievous, energetic boys. With 4 pp. of publisher's advertisements inserted between the front end papers. 376 pp. 11 x 17 cm. Cloth on board with gilt lettering on spine and cover; cover faded and water stained, Heel and toe of spine frayed, bottom of front cover frayed, corner bumped. Binding tight. Text block very good. Overall good. (1363) $60.00. Literature/Fiction.

Frontispiece and Title Page, Scelta di Favole

Scelta Di Favole; Raccolte da' più celebri Autori Francesi, e Rese in Italiano Da Maria Raffaela Caracciolo de' Duchi di Rodi Per uso de' suoi Fratelli, coll' Aggiunta 1816 Napoli, Italia: A. Garruccio Stampatore. 110 pp. 14 x 21.5cm. Collection of Stories chosen from the work of the most celebrated Author, Signor de la Motte Fenelon (1671-1715). François de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon was a French Roman Catholic Archbishop, theologian, poet and writer.  Booklet by Raffaele Caracciolo de Duchi di Rodi is dedicated to his parents, and is for the edification of his younger brothers.  Stories are: La Prefazione; La Vigna ed il Vignjuolo; Il Cane colpevole; Il Zoppo, il Gobbo,il Cieco; Il Pazzo, Socrate, ed un suo Scolare; La Pecora, ed il Cane; I Pastori; La Pernice ed i suoi Figli; La Morte; Giove e Minosse; Il Cardellino; L'Orso giovine ed il di lui padre; I topi giovini, ed il lor padre; and One-hundred six  Massime scelte (Selected Maxims), rendered in both French and Italian. Includes frontispiece engraving, "La Tranquillità" showing young woman seated beneath a tree with three lambs nearby. Truly a delightful little booklet.  Fair condition, paper bound, very rough cut. Engraved illustration as frontispiece. At top left of frontispiece page is small pasted stamp with library information. (0184)  $185.00. Literature/Morality


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmases Past to Remember

Enchanted Village at Jordan Marsh Department store in
Boston was a Christmas highlight for children for many years

            It’s fun to think back about Christmases past, and at my age, I’ve got a bunch from which to select.

            Christmas 1960.  We had son John, nearly 3 years old, and now Mark, barely a month old, and we lived in Ledyard, Conn.  I was stationed aboard USS Sablefish, a diesel submarine out of New London.  We drove to Medford, Mass. to spend Christmas with Marty’s mother.   The whole Boston area was in an especially joyous mood, because a young Boston senator had just been elected President.  The snow came down, and down, and down. There was the trip downtown to take the kids to Enchanted Village at Jordan Marsh Co….. and putting up the tree.  It was a warm, simple Christmas with two small boys. And a very White Christmas.
            Christmas 1970, Tehran, Iran, surrounded by wonderful Iranian people who knew nothing about Christmas.  Among the westerners there we gathered together to celebrate the season. We went down to the heart of old Tehran to the British Embassy, where an enterprising Persian had assembled fresh-cut Christmas trees to sell. We had a great Christmas!
            Christmas 1973, our destroyer had just arrived on the Gunline.  This was a station in the Gulf of Tonkin, off Viet Nam, where U.S. Navy destroyers provided naval gunfire attacks on North Vietnamese targets.  We also helped to provide escort for carriers operating in Yankee Station.
            On Christmas eve a helicopter from one of the carriers brought over a huge collection of mail, our first since we had arrived on station.  It was wonderful!  There were letters and cards from home, and packages of goodies, and even some pictures and videos of the family. 
            Shortly after this delivery we looked up when we heard the rumble of B52 bombers flying north toward Hanoi.  This was part of President Nixon’s “Christmas Bombing”, an 11-day bombing campaign against Hanoi and Haiphong to get the South and North Vietnamese to return to negotiations for peace. 
            We had a makeshift Christmas eve mass in the Crew’s Messhall, watching a film of a priest saying the mass.  We had no gunfire missions that night. 

Helicopters aboard an ammunition ship are a Godsend, in many ways.

            Christmas 1974, I was at sea again, but this was in the aftermath of the Arab-Israeli Yom Kippur War.  I had taken command of a bright, shiny new ammunition ship, and on her maiden deployment to the Mediterranean we had been ordered to bring many tons of extra ammunition because of the war.
            The Egyptians and the Syrians had attacked Israel on the holiest day of the Jewish year—Yom Kippur—and for a while it looked like they would succeed in recapturing all the land the Arabs had lost in the Six-Day War of 1967. 
            In those days the U.S. supplied the Israelis with tons of munitions and other kinds of assistance, and the USSR did the same with the Arabs.  The Mediterranean was a very hot place to be, with many, many Soviet and American warships.  Our ammunition ship, USS Mount Baker, had the task of supplying our aircraft carriers and their escorts. 
            The Israelis managed to surround one Egyptian Army, and with victories there and with the Syrians, both sides agreed to a ceasefire.  But the tension between Russians and Americans continued. 
            Under that tension, we anchored in the western Mediterranean, in Palma, Majorca, to celebrate Christmas.  It was quiet, with good food, but no family.
            As soon as we anchored in Palma the sailors flooded ashore.  Then, for three days, they were stranded, and left to enjoy all that time in various bars and hotels, until their money ran out. 
            Since it looked like the weather would be too rough for boating for several more days, I had our helicopters start ferrying the sailors back aboard.  It took a long time.
            The sailors came aboard, got cleaned up, picked up their pay or borrowed money, and since the very next day was calm enough for boats to run, off they went ashore again.
            Then the weather got rough again, and they were stranded, to their delight.
            However, it was about time for us to lift anchor and continue on our business, so I had the helicopters haul them all back again. 

            We had three wonderful Italian Christmases in Naples, in 1975, 1976 and 1977.   Neapolitans really know how to celebrate Christmas, and it is so low-key, so down-to-earth that it seems more like the way Americans say they’d like to celebrate it.  Christmas in Naples is short on the marketing and shopping, long on the celebration of the birth of Jesus, and really long on good food. 

Spaccanapoli, the old heart of the city: Via San Gregorio-Armeno

            In the “Gut” of Naples, Spaccanapoli, you can wander for blocks amidst real Neapolitans, pickpockets and other thieves, tourists, and plain Italians.  Naples always has more color and flavor than the rest of Italy, because there’s definitely an Arab, African and Middle-Eastern influence here. 
            Here there are many blocks of markets that sell the finest presepes, or Manger scenes, that start with Baby Jesus, Joseph, Mary, and the three wise men, but then go on and on with  beautifully detailed little bread-sellers, wine merchants, beggars, and today, even President Obama!  This is a many-centuries old Naples tradition, and the museum at Capodimonte, at the top of the city, is filled with rare, exquisite little people from these scenes.

Some of the detailed objects for sale with Presepes in Spaccanapoli.
(Picture courtesy of

Aerial view of Naples, with Capodimonte Museum in foreground.

The Personal Navigator has these books and papers to offer you:

Boston Courier, Semi-Weekly, Monday, October 1, 1829 Buckingham, J.T., Editor. 1829 Boston, MA: Adams & Holden, Printers. Excellent two-column dissertation by J.R. Poinsett of South Carolina, who has been the United States' Envoy to Mexico, but accused by the Mexicans of meddling in their internal affairs and fomenting revolution.  This discussion of accusations and Poinsett's explanations is tremendously valuable to anyone interested in the history of Mexican-American relations preceding the annexation of Texas, and the war that ended with the accession of much of the southwestern United States.  Erasmus Doolittle writes a lively, humorous column about his travel to ChinaIt is interesting to see how much Boston readers were exposed to in 1829!  Report from England of events in Turkey, where the Russians are at the gates of Constantinople.  The Sultan has removed to Broussa (Bursa), about 100 miles from Constantinople, across the Propontis (Hellespont). Report from the Allgemeine Zeitung states that Russian troops have landed at Sizeoboli, and the whole army of the Seraskier has been dispersed.  The Armenians, whom the Sultan has by his very ill-judged policy alienated, every where united with the Russians as they advance.          4 pp.    39 x 50 cm. Newspaper, small holes in folds,  good. Inscription on top of page one "G. Wilkinson". (8138) $40.00. Newspapers/Mexico/China/Armenians

Boston Courier, Semi-Weekly, Monday, October 15, 1829 Buckingham, J.T., Editor. 1829. Boston, MA: Adams & Holden, Printers. This issue is full of news from Europe as the story of long battle for Serbian and Greek independence plays to a climax.  The news comes by the latest ship, which brings news from London, Brussels, Vienna and elsewhere, that the Russian Fleet has been bombarding Constantinople (now Istanbul) with great damage, and also landed troops, but local opposition forced them back aboard their ships.  On one side of this struggle, which has been going on since 1804, are the British, French and Germans, in support of Greek independence from Turkey, and Russia on the other side, but also supporting the Greeks, but helping themselves to territory near Constantinople. More than one column dedicated to discussion of new school books that are coming out, the best and most prominent being "The Improved Guide to English Spelling" by William B. Fowle.  There is a long, humorous column about "Recollections of China" that discusses Chinese desire to be buried in a good coffin.  A son will sell himself into slavery to pay for a good coffin for his father.  If you cannot pay for a good funeral to go with the fine coffin, you seal and glaze the coffin until better times arrive, even 20 years.  The first part of a funeral is like an Irish burial, with a great deal of howling.  4 pp. 39 x 50 cm.          Newspaper, small holes in folds,  good. Inscription on top of page one "G. Wilkinson". (8140) $39.00. Newspapers/Greece/Turkey/China

Boston Courier, Semi-Weekly, Monday, October 22, 1829 Buckingham, J.T., Editor 1829            Boston, MA: Adams & Holden, Printers. Report of Merchants' Dinner at Tremont House, with report of toasts.  Lead story is long report of a trial of five men in Boston circuit Court for conspiracy, revolt and mutiny aboard the brig Apthorp.  News from the War around Constantinople: The Russian army entered Adrianople (old Ottoman capital, now Edime) on the 20th of August. the Turkish fleet is shut up in the port of BujukdereEnglish ambassador at St. Petersburg has visited with Emperor Nicholas, who says that negotiations to avert the fate of Constantinople are useless. The Sultan is doing everything to excite the population against Russia, and the British Cabinet has determined to declare war upon Russia.  There is a long, humorous column about "Recollections of China" that discusses city of Canton, harbor swarming with boats, streets are as busy as an ant hill. Chinese gentlemen must have their head shaven smoothly-- their heads look like a large collection of turnips.  4 pp.       39 x 50 cm. Newspaper, small holes in folds,  good. Inscription on top of page one "G. Wilkinson". (8141) $39.00. Newspapers/Greece/Turkey/China

Boston Courier, Semi-Weekly, Monday, December 3, 1829 Buckingham, J.T., Editor. Boston, MA: Adams & Holden, Printers. 4 pp. 39 x 50 cm. An Account of the Trade and Commerce of the Black Sea: Lengthy description of goods being shipped to and from Odessa. Includes Port and Dry Madeira from Spain and Portugal; Claret in oxhofs of 240 bottles, wines from Lunel, Frontignan, also fine oil, vinegar, pickles, porcelaine and snuff from France; Sicilian wines for the poor class of people, fine wines such as Lachryma Christi, Lucca oil, Parmesan, maccaroni; Alonski and Radosto wine from the Sea of Marmora; Bekmis sweet raisin wine, raisins, figs, dates, oranges, spun Smyrna cotton, mocha coffee from the Levant; exports include iron, tallow and butter from Siberia; Caviar from Astrakhan; and much more. In nearly three columns, discussion of trade includes roubles and other currency exchanged, ships, shipments, weights and measures traded, and more. Humorous Hint to Walkers, including carrying your umbrella low, aimed at the eyes of passengers.  Adv. Fifty bales of Buffalo robes have just arrived by the Sloop Comet and are available for sale at Livermore & Kendall, 27 Kilby St. Newspaper, small holes in folds,  good.  (8162) $36.00. Newspapers/Black Sea

Boston Courier, Semi-Weekly, Monday, December 21, 1829 Buckingham, J.T., Editor 1829        Boston, MA: Adams & Holden, Printers Editor's Correspondence from Washington in the first year of the administration of President Andrew Jackson, discusses in dreadfully lengthy detail the minor actions relating to whether or not to build naval ships, repair the ones in existence, or neither.  Harvard College has been asked to render its scholarly advice as to whether or not Free Masonry existed before the last (18th) century.  Much interest in anti-Masonry.  Snide report of the appointment to chaplaincy in the United States Navy of Rev. John N. Maffitt by President-elect Andrew Jackson.  Rev. Maffitt, an Irishman, and partizan of Gen. Jackson, gave a toast to Jackson at a banquet in Boston in January, 1828.  Recollections of Turkey, No. III: The Sultan lives in his palace of the Seraglio, as insecure "as a drunken sailor on a mast."  The Seraglio is a palace, a prison and a shambles. Recollections continue in scathing commentary about the Sultan and Turkey for over a column. List of all members of Congress included. 4 pp. 39 x 50 cm.  Newspaper, small holes in folds,  good. Inscription on top of page one "G. Wilkinson".          (8142) $36.00. Newspapers/Turkey

Shocks from the Battery; or Sermons and Sayings by Rev. Benjamin Pomeroy of Troy (Methodist) Conference with an introduction by Rev. Jesse T. Peck, D.D.. Sixth edition. 1874. Albany, NY: S.R. Gray , State Street. Sermons and sayings of a remarkable man, eccentric, bright, powerful. At Camp Meetings he has shown a wholly unusual power of thought and expression. Frontispiece engraved picture of Rev. Pomeroy.
To the backslider:  "Yes, you are there in murderous blood -- the mark is on you--it's on your feet.  How hard you trod Him down when you treated with contempt His salvation! Oh! How drabbled in atonement blood you are! As these blood-spotted multitudes are made to face retribution, I seem to see restrained lightning grow restless and fiery. O,  how its forkedness shoots out like adder's tongues -- lurid and red, all tremulous with charged damnation, as if to be avenged on that spotted throng! How atonement blood on feet stirs the vials of wrath!"
300 pp. 14 x 21 cm. Quarter black leather with cloth on board, edges scuffed, very good. (5391) $44.00. Religious

Skinner: "The Christian Lawyer" -- A Sermon Delivered in The Fifth Universalist Church in Boston, February 18, 1855 at the funeral of John C. Danforth, by Rev. Otis A. Skinner by Skinner, Otis A., Rev. 1855 Boston, MA: Crosby, Nichols & Co. A noted Boston minister delivers this funeral sermon for a young "Christian Lawyer" who died at the age of (about) 27.  Rev. Skinner thought that his remarks might be inspiring to other young men, and so offered to publish this.  Booklet contains tributes to Danforth from Boston newspapers. 32 pp. 15 x 23.8 cm. Paper booklet, very good. (7915) $23.00. Religious

Socialism: The Nation of Fatherless Children; Second Edition by Goldstein, David and Avery, Martha Moore 1911 Boston, MA: Thomas J. Flynn & Co. 365 pp. + adv. 13 x 20 cm. This early attack on Socialism first appeared in 1903. This edition is sponsored by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.  In preface to second edition in carries numerous scathing comments about the book from the Socialist press. This book shows how Socialists attack society to advance their cause. Materialistic doctrine of Socialism.  Origin and Ethics of Socialism Opposed to Christianity. Socialist Tactics.  International Socialism. Political Atheism.  Free Love. Homeless Children.  Abolition of the State. Red cloth on board with white lettering; lettering on spine faded; very good. (2811) $15.00. Religion/Socialism

Front cover of Rev. Thompson's Sermon of Nov. 29, 1821

Thompson, Rev. Otis: Sermon, A, Preached November 29, 1821; The Day Which Completed One Hundred Years Since the Organization of the Congregational Church in Rehoboth, Mass. By Otis Thompson, A.M., Pastor of Said Church 1821 Taunton, MA: A. Danforth, Printer. 23 pp. 14 x 23.7 cm.    Reverend Thompson (b. 9-14-1776) served as pastor of the Rehoboth Congregational Church for over 25 years. In this sermon he takes for his text Acts IX, 31, and describes how Saul of Tarsus was "exceedingly mad against the saints of Christ Jesus: and acting under the highest authority in the Jewish church, shut them up in prison, punished them oft.... when they were put to death, gave his voice against them," Then, on the road to Damascus, he was "arrested by a light and voice from heaven... was changed from a blasphemer to a preacher of the faith which before he destroyed. Rev. Thompson ends his sermon with words from Christ: "He who is not with me, is against me, and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad." Paper booklet, bound with thread, moderate wear, good. (7704) $36.00. Religious   

Treatise on Self-Knowledge by Mason, John, A.M. ca. 1830 New York, NY: American Tract Society.  Mason's book of philosophy first appeared in England in 1745, and thereafter was very widely published.  Nature of self-knowledge; Benefits; How Attained. "The more we know of ourselves, the more useful we shall probably be in those stations of life in which Providence has placed us." This book came from a collection in the Old Pearson Tavern (b. 1694), Byfield, MA. 191 p. 9.7 x 15.3 cm. Calf on board with black enamel title block on spine. Cover lightly scuffed and worn. Small hole near heel of spine. Owner name inscribed on ffep: "AM Robinson Book". Very good. (3955) $31.00. Religious.

Trumpet and Universalist Magazine, Boston, Saturday, August 29, 1840 Whittemore, Thomas, Editor 1840 Boston, MA: Trumpet & Universalist Magazine. Lead article: "Renunciation of Universalism" a Sermon by Rev. Wm. Whitaker, of New-York, from the N.Y. Universalist Union.  Whitaker rejects doctrine that supposes that Jesus Christ is nothing but a mere man. Also, that it undervalues the use of the means of grace. Thomas J. Sawyer offers his "Statement of Facts" regarding Rev. Whitaker's Renunciation. At Brighton Market, price for beef cattle, cows and calves, sheep and swine. Editor comments on bitter, vituperative letter from Rev. E.N. Harris to Rev. Amos Hitchings, refusing to publish it. 4 pp. 40 x 56 cm. Newspaper, only minor wear, very good. (7283) $21.00. Religious

Unitarians: Fourteenth Report of the American Unitarian Association with the Proceedings of the Annual Meeting, May 29, 1839; 1st Series No. 143 Nichols, Rev. Dr Boston, MA: American Unitarian Association. Anniversary meeting held on Tuesday evening, May 29th, 1839, in the Berry Street Vestry, the Rev. Dr. Nichols, president, in the chair. Annual report. Tract distribution.  Destitute Societies.  Missionary Operations. Ministry to the Poor. British and Foreign Unitarian Association.  Constitution. List of Members for Life, Clergy and other. Includes Title page for Tracts First Series 132 to 143, but they are not included.  69 pp. 13 x 20 cm. Paper booklet, fastened with stitching. Pages uneven, many unopened. Good.            (7675) $29.00. Religious

Universalist, The; and Ladies' Repository; Boston, Saturday, February 8, 1834 Smith, Daniel D., Editor 1834 Boston, MA Daniel D. Smith. Address delivered at the funeral of Matthew Jasper Smith, only child of Rev. M.H. Smith of Hartford, CT.  An Address delivered before the First Society of Universalists in Danvers, MA at the Dedication of their church, June 28th, 1833, by Rev. L. Willis. Excuse for Neglecting Public Worship-- the fourth excuse is the expense of public worship; fifth excuse is that many can not keep awake in church. Extract from a New-Year's Sermon by Rev. T.B. Thayer. The Trial of Abner Kneeland for blasphemy ended yesterday with a verdict of guilty. Caution to Mothers, No. 1: "Do not talk about children in their presence."  "..if mothers exercise care, and proceed cautiously, they will save their children from years of woe, and adorn their handsome children with that greatest of all ornaments-- 'a meek and quiet' which in the sight of God is of great price." Hints to Young Females. "The sentiment for woman has undergone a change.  The romantic passion, which once almost deified her, is on the decline; and it is by intrinsic qualities that she must now inspire respect.  There is less enthusiasm entertained for her, but the regard is more rational, and perhaps equally sincere." 16 pp. 18 x 27 cm. Paper periodical, edges cut unevenly, good. (7382) $16.00. Religious

 Universalist, The; and Ladies' Repository; Boston, Saturday, January 10, 1835 Smith, Daniel D., Editor 1835 Boston, MA: Daniel D. Smith.   Sermon by B.B. Whittemore from 2 Cor. iv. 3, 4. "What is truth?" Pilate asked our blessed Savior. The gospel is good news, it publishes salvation. "Female Independence" "When the female of our species shall always follow the admirers of whatever is fashionable, and sacrifice her sense of right to the deity of popularity, she is pursuing a course which directly tends, not only to her own, but also to the disrespect of her sex." Poem, "Moments of Melancholy”, Medford, Dec. 1834. "The False Friend"… “is the bitterest curse ever entailed upon him, yea, is worthy of the spurning fool, far more than any of the serpent tribe who make the earth their bed."  On final two pages is Hymn by Rev. Thomas Whittemore. "Sophronia. P.M." 8 pp. 26 x 32 cm. Paper periodical, pages unevenly opened by hand, poor. (7385) $16.00. Religious

Vermont Journal, Brattleboro, Saturday, April 9, 1881 Brattleboro, VT:  The Journal Company. The sacredness of the Sabbath is not always observed by politicians.  Last Saturday Senators Conkling and Platt, Governor Cornell, Vice President Arthur and Postmaster-General James  did not get through comparing notes until Sunday. Four years ago Conkling engaged in a power struggle with President Hayes.  "The Hero of Gettysburg" was not General Hancock, recently defeated in the national election by Garfield, but General Meade.  There are at least a dozen Senators who may be called millionaires, led by Sen. Fair of Nevada, probably worth as much as all the others put together.  Next is Davis of Illinois who has gathered millions, as well as 375 pounds avoirdupois. Sawyer of Wisconsin, who was a poor Vermont boy, is next.   The Story Teller:  "Poor Miss Brackenthorpe" --what was revealed after she died. Illustrated ads for Perry Davis' Pain Killer, The "Only" Lung Pad, Madame Griswold's Skirt-supporting Corsets. 8 pp. 40 x 58 cm.   Newspapers, numerous tiny tears in creases, paper unopened, fair. (8198) $24.00. Newspapers/History

Warwick's Spare Minutes; or Resolved Meditations and Premeditated Resolutions by Warwick, Arthur ca. 1850 Philadelphia, PA: Henry F. Anners. First published about 1637, Warwick's book is dedicated to Sir William Dodington, Knt. Warwick filled this tiny book with thoughtful words to encourage, inspire and refresh the spirit.  119 pp. 7 x 11 cm. Green cloth blindstamped boards, engraved frontispiece illustration of meditating 17th century man with dog at his feet.  Very good. (6835) $33.00. Religious          

Watchman and Reflector, December 29, 1870 Boston, MA: Watchman and Reflector. Lively, intelligent religious paper set the tone for a straitlaced, sober Boston readership. Long tribute to Bartholomew T. Welch, D.D. (b. 1794 d.1870) His grandfather was a lieutenant on United States Frigate Alliance, and his father a midshipman on that same ship.  His mother was daughter of Capt. Barthol Trow, one of the tea party. Report of celebration Dec. 21, 1870, of 250th anniversary of landing of Pilgrims at Plymouth. Instead of a bleak, hostile shore, behold the beautiful town of Plymouth, and long trains of Old Colony railroad cars bringing hundreds to this jubilee. Editorial decries quarrel going on now in Washington between two of "our" political faith, President Grant and Senator Sumner, both Republicans. 8 pp. 41 x 58 cm. Newspaper, uncut, some tiny holes in folds, good. (8176) $27.00. Religious/History      

What is Religion? And Other New Articles and Letters by Lyof N. Tolstoï, Translated by V. Tchertkoff and A.C. Fifield 1902 New York, NY: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co. Tolstoy (or Tolstoï) conducts a very learned and thought-provoking conversation in this book.  He begins by stating that religion is no longer necessary, but goes on to develop a much more comprehensive philosophy than just as an agnostic.  Having been excommunicated from the Holy Synod in Russia in 1901, he includes in this book his Reply to the Synod's edict. Also included in "Private Letters" is a letter to a Persian in which he writes that wars can be abolished only by the individuals who suffer by them.  177 pp. 13 x 19.5 cm. Dark blue cloth on board with gilt lettering and gilt Double-Eagle Russian seal. Ex-library (contains bookplate from Haverhill [MA] Public Library). Some pencil marks by key items in text. Good. (3314) $21.00. Religious/Philosophy

Withington:"The Soul of Man"  A Sermon Preached at the Tabernacle Church, Salem, Mass. April 22, 1832 by Leonard Withington, Pastor of the First Church in Newbury  Withington, Leonard, Rev. 1832 Newburyport, MA: by Charles Whipple. Reverend Withington (1789-1885)  preached this sermon on the Soul of Man from the text of Genesis II, 7. Withington, who graduated from Yale College in 1814, was a notable personality all during his long preaching career.  He continued his preaching and ministry, becoming the oldest Congregational Minister in America, until he died in 1885 at the age of 96.  22 pp.     15 x 24.7 cm. Paper booklet, cover lightly soiled with edge wear, fair. (7917) $26.00.  Religious

Zion's Advocate, Vol. IX No. 376, Wednesday, January 20, 1836 Portland, ME: Adam Wilson, Editor and Proprietor. Missionary report from Armenia; The Dying Mother; Anecdote about Chief Justice Marshall; in U.S. Congress, appeals for abolition of slavery; Dr. Channing on Slavery. 4 pp. 39 x 54 cm. Newspaper, edges creased, small tears where folds intersect, address "Cap M. Woodman, N. Gloucester" on top edge. Good. History (4380) $26.00.

Zion's Advocate, Vol. IX No. 405, Wednesday, August 10, 1836 Portland, ME: Adam Wilson, Editor and Proprietor. Death of Capt. Buck at Bucksport; Battle in Georgia between Creeks and Georgia troops--5 whites, maybe 30 Indians, killed. Missionary report from Below Gawakati (India). 4 pp. 39 x 54 cm. Newspaper, edges creased, small tears where folds intersect, address "Cap M. Woodman, N. Gloucester" on top edge. Good. History (4385) $26.00.