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inward conditions of the life of Christ. He could early read such a book as Morrison's "Jews under Roman Rule " with interest. And the habit of viewing the life of Jesus in its historical connections could easily be formed. By such a view one's sense of the uniqueness of Christ is heightened, and, on the other hand, the distinction between the form and the spirit, between the temporal and the eternal, in the earthly life of Jesus is more readily perceived.

These two things the child should learn-to find Christ in the Gospels, and to find the Eternal in Christ. When he has done this, he has solved in essence the problem of his religious life, and he has solved also in principle the lesser problem of the Bible and its use.

The vision of the person of Christ is the end of all Biblical study, and by its relation to the end all else is to be understood; the vision of Christ within, but behind and above the Gospels: within, so that he may be found by one who reads the Gospels as they are with a childlike heart; but behind, so that if the veil of writing be somewhat pushed apart, his form will be more fully disclosed; and yet again above, so that when we see him and hear him as he was, we still need to translate his words and deeds out of the language of a certain age and race into the universal language of the spirit, that we may hear him speaking not to others but to us.

It is the great service of the historical criticism of the Bible, that of the Old Testament as well as that of the New, that it gives help, which is to the modern mind indispensable, to the more direct vision and deeper apprehension of Christ. One to whom it renders this service will not withhold it from children, and will not do harm by its misuse.

One Word More'

By Hamilton W. Mabie

The contemporary writing which is commonly called "decadent" has one quality which is likely to be fatal to its permanence-it wears out the reader's interest. On the first reading it has a certain newness of manner, a certain unconventionality of form and idea, which catch the attention; but these qualities catch the attention, they do not hold it; with each successive reading the spell weakens until it is entirely spent. We discover that the manner which caught us, so to speak, at the start, is either selfconscious or tricky; and both qualities are fatal to permanence. There is nothing so inimical to the highest success in art as self-consciousness, and nothing is so soon discovered as tricks of style. It is, of course, both unintelligent and idle to characterize a considerable mass of writing in general terms; but, even with such differences of insight and ability as the decadent literature reveals, it has certain characteristics in common, and these characteristics disclose its essential qualities. They are significant enough to furnish a basis for a dispassionate opinion.

With the revolt against the conventional and the commonplace, especially on the part of the youngest men, every lover of sound writing must be heartily in sympathy. In a time when Edwin Arnold, Alfred Austin, and Lewis Morris are gravely brought forward as fit candidates for the laureateship which Wordsworth and Tennyson held in succession, it is not surprising that young men with a real feeling for literature fall to cursing and take refuge in eccentricity of all kinds. It must frankly be confessed that a great deal of current writing, while uncommonly good as regards form and taste, is devoid of anything approaching freshness of feeling or originality of idea. Its prime characteristic is well-bred, well-dressed, and well-mannered mediocrity; of contact with life it gives no faintest evidence; of imagination, passion, and feeling-those prime qualities out of which great literature is compounded-it is as innocent as the average Sunday-school publication. It is not without form, but it is utterly void.

That men who are conscious, even in a blind way, of the tragic elements of life should revolt against this widespread

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dominion of the commonplace is matter neither for astonishment nor regret; if they have blood in their veins and vitality in their brains, they cannot do otherwise. The responsibility for excesses and eccentricities generally rests with the conditions which have set the reaction in motion. When men begin to suffocate, windows are likely to be broken as well as opened; when Philistia waxes prosperous and boastful, Bohemia receives sudden and notable accessions of population.

Among English-speaking people at least, it is chiefly as a reaction that decadent literature is significant. It is an attempt to get away from the mortal dullness of the mass of contemporary writing; an effort to see life anew and feel it afresh. In many cases, it is, however, mistaken not only in morals, but in method: it confuses mannerism with originality, and unconventionality with power. A manner may be novel and at the same time bad; one may be conventional and at the same time essentially weak. In moments of hot and righteous indignation a little cursing of the right sort may be pardonable; but cursing has no lasting quality.

A revolt against too many clothes, or against a deadly uniformity of cut and style, is always justifiable; but nudity is not the only alternative; there is an intermediate position in which one may be both clothed and in his right mind.

Now, there is nothing more certain than that the originality of the greater and more enduring books is free from self-consciousness, mannerisms, and eccentricity in any form. As a rule, the greater the work the greater the difficulty of classifying it, of putting one's hand in the secret of its home, of describing it in a phrase. The contrast between Shakespeare and Maeterlinck is, in this respect, so striking that one wonders how the admirers of the gifted Belgian were led into the blunder of forcing it upon contemporary readers. Maeterlinck has unmistakable power; his skill in introducing atmospheric effects, in assailing the senses of his readers without awakening their consciousness that powerful influences are in the air, his genius in the use of suggestion, are evident almost at a glance. But when one has read "The Intruder" or "The Princess Maleine," one has, in a way, read all these powerful and intensely individual dramas. They are all worked out by a single method, and that method is instantly detected. Maeterlinck's manner is so obvious that no one can overlook or mistake. With Shakespeare, on the other hand, there is the greatest difficulty in discovering any manner at all. At his best Shakespeare is magical; there is no getting at his way of doing things. His method is so free, so natural, so varied, and moves along such simple lines that we take it for granted, as if it were a part of the order of things. There is a kind of elemental unconsciousness in him which gives his artistic processes the apparent ease, the fullness and range, of the processes of nature.

"The great merit, it seems to me," writes Mr. Lowell to Professor Norton, "of the old painters was that they did not try to be original. To say a thing,' says Goethe, 'that everybody else has said before, as quietly as if nobody had ever said it, that is originality.'' In other words, originality consists, not in saying new things, but in saying true things. It is for this reason that the great writers have no surprises for us; they lift into the light of clear expression things that have lain silent at the bottom of our natures things profoundly felt, but never spoken. In like manner, originality in form and style is not a matter of novelty, but of deeper feeling and surer touch. A piece of work which, like a popular song, has a rhythm or manner which catches the senses may have a lusty life, but is certain to have a brief one. There is nothing "catching" or striking, in the superficial sense, in the greater works of Their very simplicity hides their superiority, and the world makes acquaintance with them very slowly.


A genuine reaction, of the kind which predicts a true liberation of the imagination, is only momentarily a revolt against outgrown methods and the feebleness of a purely imitative art; it is essentially a return to the sources of power. It begins in revolt, but it does not long rest in that negative stage; it passes on to reconstruction, to

creative work in a new and independent spirit. Goethe and Schiller went through the Sturm und Drang period; they did not stay in it. "The Sorrows of Werther" and "Goetz" were followed by "Tasso" and "Faust," and "The Robbers" soon gave place to "William Tell." The Romanticists, who made such an uproar when "Hernani was put on the stage, did not wear long red waistcoats and flowing locks; they went to work and brought forth the solid fruits of genius.

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The man on the barricade is a picturesque figure, but he must not stay too long, or he becomes ridiculous; the insurrection, if it means anything, must issue in a permanent social or political order. Even genius will not redeem perpetual revolt from monotony, as the case of Byron clearly shows. Revolt is inspiring if it is the prelude to a new and better order; if it falls short of this, achievement is only a disturbance of the peace. It means, in that case, that there is dissatisfaction, but that the reaction has no more real power than the tyranny or stupidity against which it takes up arms. The new impulse in literature, when it comes, will evidence its presence neither by indecency nor by eccentricity; but by a certain noble simplicity, by the sanity upon which a great authority always ultimately rests, by the clearness of its insight and the depth of its sympathy with that deeper life of humanity in which are the springs of originality and productiveness.

One Morning

By Elizabeth Cumings

I was thoroughly discouraged, so discouraged that, walking among the tombs of the old St. Louis Cemetery, I grew almost envious of the quiet dead lying so snugly housed from the world of worry. The February sun is often hot in New Orleans, and at last, in the shadow of a wall, I sat down in an iron chair opposite a tomb bearing the legend "Famille Alcide Boutte." I soon became aware that the tomb was, if small, of exquisite marble, beautifully wrought, and that but one person as yet lay within it-the respectable Alcide himself, who departed this life at the age of forty. On each side of the gable were iron hooks on which hung natty wreaths in black beads. Above one in pink beads was the motto, "Dieu seul connait mes Regrets." Above the other was the same motto in blue. In little niches low down were flower-pots in which were artificial bushes, very green and white. The lusty pittosporum-tree at one side, and the shell-strewn path, as well as the shining tomb, showed nice care. Somewhere a mocker was sweetly singing to his mate, and off in the region to the west a reedy voice of unmistakable African quality was thrilling and winding from major to minor, in indescribable tones rendering this refrain, "Oh, I've found the fountain that never runs dry."

Suddenly steps sounded on the narrow white path, and a moment later a short, stout woman in a beautiful India shawl and mourning bonnet appeared, followed by a small negro girl bearing a basket, in which were arranged a smart bouquet of artificial flowers, several small paint-pots, brushes, rags, and bottles of turpentine, oil, and water. Madame quickly slipped off her shawl and hung it upon the pittosporum, chattering the while to the small yellow girl. "Marvel! For once you have brought all safely, Daphne. But you must learn not to engage in battle when with me. Yes, I cannot wait and watch again." Then, observing me, her tone became reserved, almost ludicrously lugubrious, as she added, "Remember, you too will die, and must answer to the good God. And if you are good, and live with me always, and I outlive you, you shall be buried here. I will have your name cut upon the tomb, 'Daphne, ma fidèle servante.'"

Daphne's voice rose in chromatic protest. "I ain't noways aimin' tur die fo' nobody. I ain't noways livin' tur die."

"We all die at last, is it not so, madame?" The little woman addressed herself to me in confirmation. I gravely nodded, and she continued, cheerfully, "But life is sweet.

Yes, no matter what our burdens, if we have no bitter load here,” she laid her hand upon her heart, "we enjoy to live. Me, I think often, if heaven is more charming than, say, the Têche country in May, how charming it must be."

Setting her paints and brushes on the top of the low tomb beside which I sat, she proceeded to wash off the tin plants in the flower-pots. "It is, after all, only what one has done one's self that matters after a time," she resumed. "It is wonderful, but what the others do to you—you forget. Ha, ha, ha! Strange, that we forget even to hate!" I remembered my Emerson with a start, and, bethinking myself that I might be intruding, half rose to go.


"Ah, now, s'asseyez-vous, I beg," she protested. companion to me for a little while. You are, I see, from the North, a stranger. One cannot tell how one knows, but one knows. By the dress perhaps such dark, warm stuffs are not sold here. Then, the manner is different. Calm, yet curious, at the newness, I suppose. Then you have fairer skins. Not so much sun and outdoors, and English grandmammas. Ha, ha, ha! N'est-ce-pas vrai ?"



The plants were dry. She began retouching the white artemisias. Then, there is a reserve. Me, what I think is all at my tongue's end. Think you not this will be sú-perb when it is finish?" she held the pot off and eyed it critically at arm's length. I told her, as in duty bound, it was very pretty. "My Alcide would find it per-fec'," she said, satisfied. Ah, how much I miss him! It is now ten years since he is décédé. Years fly so fast! It was the war killed him. You people from the North find we talk always of the war here. But it was such a fact énorme here we cannot help it. My Alcide was of a delicate mind." She spread out her hands expressively. "The troubles of the surrender ef-fec' his heart. It was then begin our troubles of money. Before the war I never think of money. Only of what I want. Ha, ha! I was young then. It is now a long while ago." She held up her work-worn hands. "I have thought a great deal about money since."

For lack of a better topic, I spoke of the artificial plant. "I see many of those plants here," I said, and fortunately made no comment.

"Ah, madam, they have been my fortune," said my new acquaintance, joyously. "They have drive away the wolf this many year. You see, when we lose all, my Alcide lose all courages. We live far up on St. Charles Street, in a big house with many servants. With freedom, all, all, save ole Mom Julée, run away. Just go. My husband, he have no money, and I, I have only pride. He went forth, and visited, and visited. Me, I go without till I mos' starve, and then I begin to sell my jewels. Ole Abram Isaacs he give me very good price. I live on a ring three months. On a brooch five months. Mom Julée make the money go a long way. Then I sell furnitures to Moses Baum. Moses was hard as marble. He never pay much. But one, two, three year go by, and we grow poorer and poorer, and the clothes wear out, and I go to St. Roche and make many novenas, and to the Cathedral and pray to the blessed Mother of God, asking, What can I do? My Alcide he can do nothing. And-well, well, he never ask nobody. He visit his cousins, of whom he had many. But one day, it was when our government was all in the hands of the blacks, and those men they call the carpetbag, well, I think of a sudden, I can make artificial flowers. It was in Paris I learn, and just for fun. It was like now, February, and Easter came in March. I run, I fly to see the Rougon frères. I know M'sieu Jean since we were children down by the Bayou St. John. I say to him, 'Me, I have my India shawl left. My mother give it to me for my nuptial present. It is worth two thousand dollars. Will you take it as securities, and let me have certain muslins? I am going to try somethings. I am going to make artificial flowers. If I not succeed, you have the shawl.' "Stephanie,' said he-my name is Stephanie' Stephanie, I will trust you.' Never will I forget that! keep your shawl. I will let you have all you need, and we shall see. It will be time to think of the shawl later.' "My feet not touch the ground. That very night I sit up till two o'clock, I make a wreath of strawberry blossoms that might draw the bees. Mom Julée say they 'most


smelled. Well, well! My Alcide was gone with his cousin Armand to Chef Menteur shooting and fishing. I have all my time. I make twelve dozen of wreaths for the first communion, all white, and twelve bouquets, just to try, all of lilies-of-the-valley. I sell my last bit of silver, and buy big green boxes. The day all is ready, my Alcide re-turn. He was ready

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He have two fish for me, and ten bécasse. to weep, he was that discourage. But I cry, Have courages, my Alcide!' Then I reveal my work. I say, 'You, dear Alcide, shall share my triumph over the devouring wolf so long just before our doors. You shall go with me, and carry the big boxes.'

"Me!' he cried, 'me, carry boxes! Nevair! I will die first!' Then I reason and persuade him. I tell him how people will say, 'Behold that big Creole who makes his little wife earn his bread! And is not work, and even carrying boxes, better than long, long visits upon cousins who do not want to see you?'


"At last he was persuade, and he say, 'Stephanie, I will go,' and he make a long groan. Men are not so reasonable as women. No. But they must be endured, as they The good God willed it. We set forth, my Alcide with most of the boxes. Me, I carry the small ones holding the bouquets. If any one meet us, my Alcide want to run into stairways and doorways to hide. But I, I hold my head high, and say, 'Bon matin.' I beg my Alcide to visit the brothers Boussout, since he know them well. 'But what shall I say?' he cried. How shall I begin?' "I say, 'Have courages, Alcide! Just say, "Bon matin, M'sieu Cæsar, or M'sieu Alphonse," and then say, "I want to show you what my wife has been doing." Then remove a box cover. Voila! All easy.'

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"He groan and shake his head, and say he rather die, but I tell him to have courages. We must begin. Me, I go to the big Jew place, Rosenbloom and Roth. I have some wreaths and bouquets in my green boxes, and M'sieu Roth coming down the steps meet me and scowl. I go straight up to him, and, my heart throbbing, say, 'I wish to show you something. It will cost you nothing to look, and it may interest you, since Easter is coming.' "Well, well,' said he, and turned back. His eyes shone like black beads when he see what I have, and he rub his long nose. They are fine,' said he. 'I will take ten dozen wreaths and five dozen bouquets, and I would like them as soon as convenient.'

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"I fly up Canal Street to find my Alcide. I see him hiding in a doorway in Exchange Alley. I ask him what he has done. Nossings!' cried he. I have no chance to show the things to the Boussouts. I am ashamed to live.' "When I tell him what I have done, he is surprise. I compel him to go with me to the brothers. I find M'sieu Cæsar, I spread before him my wreaths. I say, 'Just look, my friend; it is without price,' and he, he cry, Très beau!' over and over, and he order-what you think? twelve dozen! Twelve dozen, and eight dozen bouquets! My feet did not feel the banquettes as I sped home-me, who until the war had never walked outside my garden.

"This is all very well before Easter,' said my husband. 'Mais après !'

"If we take care of now, the affairs of next month will take care of themselves,' I cried. But all that night I lay awake thinking of his words, Mais après.' The next morning I go forth, and sell all the furnitures in our house save that in the kitchen, and our bedroom, and Mom Julée's bits of things. There was not much left, but Moses Jacobs give me five hundred dollar. He is fairer to me than Moses Baum. Then I run to pay good Jean Rougon. 'It is not necessary to be in a hurry,' said he.

"It is,' said I. 'I am going to ask you to trust me again.'


"I hire six girls, and turn my parlor into a workroom. instruct, and plan, and finish by day. By night I think, 'Et après.' But one day is the funerals of pretty Josie Cousin, and I take time to go. I say to myself, I am still human. I will pay respect to my friends.' They had grown poor-so poor the coffin had to be of pine covered with white cotton cloth, as is the custom. Around the edge were pinned orange-leaves overlapping. The

grandmother did that. You have seen it, perhaps. As I gaze, reflecting upon life, and now and then saying a prayer for the soul of the departed one, I suddenly saw that coffin surrounded by tiny bouquets, petites cocardes you understand, all white and green, and as possible cheap. I go at once that evening to see M'sieu Thibidoux, what you call the under-taker.

"He scratch his head when I tell him my idea." Madame illustrated in the most amusing manner. """I-wish I could see one.' said he, cautiously. He was quite an old Creole man, and not like new things.

"That is co-rec',' I admit, and I bring him the cocardes the very nex' day. He have taste, did M'sieu Thibidoux, and he ex-claim, 'We shall set a fashion! I foresee it.' "We did. I could not fill my orders. Then I invent these." She touched the artificial plants caressingly. "You prospered straight on from the beginning, I hope?" I ventured.

"Yes. Of course we had our bad times. There was the great taxes which forced me to give up my home on St. Charles Street and to go and live in the old house of my grandmère on Royal Street. And there were other things. I had my shawl in pawn several times, but it always came back to me. It is now my mascot. I am alone, to be sure, now, but there is my work, and the many who suffer. I love to live, and I am not afraid, since I have learned so well the good God always provides for those who have courages."

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She sifted some sort of twinkling powder over the tin artemisia, and it sparkled as if with dew. A slight sound caused us to turn. It was Daphne lying very flat upon a low tomb a few steps away, and snoring.

"She told you all her story? Not a bit of it," said Mrs. "Alcide Sayles, when I returned to my boarding-place. Boutte went off and lived five years with a yellow woman, and when he was sick and helpless, and she had deserted him, his wife went for him and took him home and nursed him till his death. She not only supported him by her flower-making, but his parents. Courage she has had the courage of a thousand. And she is now losing her sight, but no one has ever heard her complain."

Vanishing Illusions'

By John Watson, D.D.

Many ails of this life are so visible and full-bodied that every person acknowledges their existence and offers his sympathy to their victims, but some are so intangible and shadowy that people without imagination doubt their reality and treat any one who has had experience of them as if he had seen a ghost. If our neighbor has lost a relative, or has shares in a bankrupt bank, or is suffering from a painful disease, or even is crossed in love, we at once appreciate the situation, and give him such aid as we can in his straits. He has established a claim on our charity, and no one calls his distress whimsical or affected. Suppose he be cast down within his heart for reasons less easy to put in words. Because he is a true lover of art, and yet must be a clerk. Because he has the gift of song, and has to teach little boys arithmetic. Because he had dreams of friendship, and they have mocked him. Because he had schemes of philanthropy, and has to toil for daily bread. Because he expected rest in religion, and, behold, a sword. This man should be very careful in whom he places his confidence, and should have modest expectations of sympathy. If he be not laughed at as a fantastic person, he will be considered the creator of his own misery, by the run of people, and will be reminded that the world has enough actual trials without adding a crop of afflictions that are quite unreal.

People who have never been conscious of any ideals, and who therefore are safe against all disillusions, can hardly enter into his bitterness who has toiled up a long ascent in hope of the view at the top, and has only faced

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another hill, who has run for a crown and seen it crumble to dust in his hands. How this man imaged the days that were to be, the works he was to do, the pure joy he was to drink! How for the joy set before him he endured many a cross, beat down many a temptation, held the world at arm's length! And his reward? As it seems, nothing. He has been deceived, defrauded, befooled; he is set forth as a warning to all who cherish ideals, as a sermon to hold the imagination well in hand. Better to trudge along one's road, without thinking of the horizon. Wiser to forget that life has any perspective, and to see it as a flat surface of immediate duty. The prosaic people have chosen the better part, if they be as matter-of-fact as they would have us believe, and if they have any portion for the soul; of which one is by no means sure. Better have no ideals

that we may have no rude awakenings, since blighted hopes are worse to bear than lost possessions, and withered hearts than empty homes.

This advice has only one fault; it is a counsel of perfection, since no arguments of prudence or utility can purge human hearts of their secret dreams. As some smokegrimed house in a crowded street may contain half a dozen pictures of the great period, so you cannot be sure that there is one commonplace man or woman without some cherished illusion. This hard-worked general servant, with only her day out and Sunday for bits of blue in her gray sky, she anticipates her own house-three rooms, but her home. More washing of dishes, yes, but her own dishes


Yon mother, weighed down by the care of a young family and harassed by petty cares, sees her boys arising to call her blessed. That keen business man, the very scorn of sentiment, hopes by and by to have his cottage in the country, with old-fashioned roses over the door. 'Tis all very absurd, if you please, but 'tis a fact to be acknowledged and not to be changed. It is one of the whims of human nature, and cannot be eliminated till we be all taken down to the foundation, and rebuilt on a sound, practical plan, without emotion, imagination, vision, without faith, hope, spirituality. Which will take some time in doing, and is not going to be attempted in this life, nor even perhaps in the life to come.


Something, of course, may be done to starve ideals, and to reduce us all to a level of safety and dullness. Books of poetry ought to be placed under lock and key, for no one can estimate the damage done by such writings. Consider what a lift has been given to the soul and on what romantic quests it has been sent by the "Idylls of the King," by " Rabbi Ben Ezra," by Wordsworth's sonnets, by Burns's songs. Nor is history absolutely harmless, because some inflammable youth might be set on fire by Motley's "Dutch Republic" or Carlyle's "French Revolution"! Biography is dull enough, and yet who would guarantee that the life of Gordon might not lead to some foolish scheme of sacrifice! Literature in all her departments, except pure mathematics and science, has been a foolish, doting fostermother of illusions. Given a book, and anything may happen in the way of inspiration; given a personality, and some Peter may leave all to follow him. Nature herself is a conspirator, for only after precaution has been taken to refrigerate the soul should one see a sunset or a sunrise !

What dangerously increases the charm and force of illusions is the evident sympathy of the Bible. It is, from beginning to end, a record of radiant hopes clouded, of great adventures fruitless, of fond imaginations disappointed, as it seems to flesh and blood. Abraham left his own country and his father's house to obtain an unseen land, and died having possessed nothing of Canaan save Sarah's grave. The Hebrews set out from Goshen for a land flowing with milk and honey, and perished in the wilderness. The nation chose a king with vast enthusiasm, and the kingdom ended in disruption and disaster. The prophets depicted the glory of the Messianic age when the nations should go up to Jerusalem, and instead thereof the Holy City was laid in ruins. The Apostles expected to sit on thrones with Jesus in his kingdom, and were put to death by the sword. The early Christians looked unto the clouds of heaven to see Jesus coming in his power, and for twenty

centuries there has been no sign. How the human heart has been excited, gladdened, misled, by the book which is as the shining of God's face!

The story of the Bible has been repeated within the soul, for manifestly this charge of sustained illusion can also be brought against the experiences of religion. God reveals himself to us in some act of providence or grace, and we set out on his pursuit-who seems afterwards ever to elude our soul, ever to be just beyond our grasp. We fling ourselves in penitence upon the divine mercy, and hear an inward voice bidding us go into peace, and we enter that day on the longest, bitterest, hardest conflict of our life with sin and self. Magnificent promises embolden us to ask of God whatsoever we will, and the answers come long afterwards, and as something we never desired. Jesus calls us to the noblest service and speaks of a reward, and all any one ever obtained this side of the grave has been labor, opposition, agony. Our souls picture a heaven of splendid circumstances and unbroken rest, and heaven will most likely be the beginning of a new service. Never was there any faith so beautiful as that of Jesus, never one has been so unsubstantial.

But ordinary life is only another illustration of illusion from our first day of consciousness to our death. The child builds his castles in the air and tells his fairy tales, and we smile at the young dreamer. Why should we, who are all such castle-builders, such prolific makers? The lad bears the discipline and restraint of school, for the hope of freedom and power before him. How dangerous a liberty, how poor an authority, when they come! The young workman in trade or business, in art or letters, tries to perfect himself in detail that he may achieve something by and by, and twenty years later he is not satisfied. The man of middle age bends his neck to the yoke that he may the sooner enter on his well-earned rest, and when it is eventide he lives again in the efforts of his children. Life is ever an ambition; never a possession. The pursuit of the ideal is not really a craze of certain minds, it is the necessity laid on us all; illusion is not one of the disabilities of life, it is a principle of Providence.

This principle explains life, clearing up some very perplexing mysteries and changing a riddle into a design. There is a world of difference between delusion and illusion. If life were so arranged that we should be led on in search of El Dorado, and should perish miserably having received nothing, then had we been cruelly wronged, and the evil-doer had been God. Upon those terms one could not believe in God, one must be a pessimist and an atheist. But if we be skillfully tempted to dig for gold in our neglected vineyard, not that we may find gold, which would be a doubtful blessing, but that we may gather every year rich clusters of the vine, then we have received beyond our expectations, and this good thing has come from God.

Our principle also beautifies life, for it suggests the tenderness and thoughtfulness of our heavenly Father. For there are two methods of government, one by compulsion and one by allurement, and it is a proof of the divine wisdom and goodness that at every step of life we are invited, not threatened. Prizes are continually held before our eyes, and we are strengthened to endure by the joy set before us. For the heritage of manhood a child does not complain of pupilage; for the achievement of success a young man welcomes risk and peril; for the sweetness of rest a man accepts the hardships of labor. So we are helped up the steep way that leadeth to the stars, ever refreshed with a new hope, ever discovering a new horizon.

And this principle assures us of the real gain of life. It may seem as if we were getting nothing; in reality we are heirs of everything. What a boy gains at school is not a medal, but knowledge. What he earns in after years is not wealth, but character. What a Christian receives from faith is not an escape from punishment, but the gift of everlasting life. What Abraham obtained in the end was not the land of Canaan, but God himself, the strength and portion of the human soul. For illusions are like the bright and fragrant spring blossom which is scattered on the ground, but leaves behind it the sure earnest of a golden


Literature in South America

By Rollo Ogden

It is at first sight a little puzzling that a literature of such extent as actually exists in South America to-day should be almost entirely unknown in this country. The reason cannot be that it is embodied in a foreign language. Spanish, it is true, is little read among us, yet the most notable writers of Spain find translators and a market in the United States. More than that, South American books are almost as rare in Spain as here, and when the leading Spanish critic, Juan Valera, set himself a few years ago to making known to his countrymen some of the literary workers in the former Spanish possessions across the Atlantic, he was like one exploring an unknown continent.

The real reason is to be found in the lack of diffused education, and the limited number of the reading classes, in South America as a whole, and in the condition of the book trade in that part of the world. Those who read at all are much fewer, both absolutely and in proportion to the population, than in the United States or in almost any country of Europe. For the few who do read, the abundance and cheapness of foreign literature in pirated editions make an alluring bid, and the native author is in danger of being overlooked. French literature conquered Spain in the beginning of this century more thoroughly than Napoleon ever did, and is only just now suffering some dethronement; from Spain it went out to overrun her ancient colonies, and among them founded a dominion which is scarcely shaken to this day. More than that, indigenous writers have had to contend with the prestige of the more distinguished authors of Spain. The lack of anything like an international copyright makes it easy for the works of men who have a fame as wide as the reach of the Spanish language to be put on sale in South America at prices with which native productions find it impossible to compete. German publishers have sinned grievously in this respectone firm in particular, that of Brockhaus, having most shockingly pirated some of the best-known Spanish writers. Immense numbers of unauthorized reprints of Trueba's works, for example, have been sold in Spanish America, from which he never received a penny. It is pleasant to know, however, that a project of some of his South American admirers to buy him a home for his old age came to cheer his last days.

Such conditions as these really prevent the existence of a regular book trade in South America. On this subject the late Argentine Minister to this country, himself an author of note, says, in the course of a private letter to the writer: "The great difficulty, in my opinion, is to establish the sale and circulation of Spanish-American books as an article of commerce. . . . The greater part of the SpanishThe greater part of the SpanishAmerican editions are very limited, and are sold only within a single country, for there is no book trade; there are no publishers who print books on their own account and as a business." Thus it is, he adds, that many important writings go unpublished, "because not every one has the money to print his own books, or the time to waste in unproductive labor." In keeping with this is the fact that many volumes of South American authorship are printed in Paris or Madrid or Barcelona-or even New York. It is simply a question of getting a job of printing done at the lowest rates, and not at all a question of securing a publisher and access to the channels of the book trade.

In the face of such a state of things, with the certainty that an adequate pecuniary return can be looked for by no writer, even the most successful, with most of the motives of literary fame taken away, the existence in every South American country of a small but enthusiastic and trained band of literary workers-poets, novelists, historians, philosophers, jurists-is a most astonishing thing. It witnesses strikingly to the survival of the old literary tradition of Spain. The decades in which Spanish ideals were most powerfully impressed upon the New World were the age when Spain was at the head of the literature of Europe, as well as in the front rank of power and civilization. From the first there existed among the Spanish emigrants and

colonists a love for scholarship and letters. It lived in the pure air on the heights of the Andes, and it survived the fevers and miasms of Central America. Relations with the literary authorities of the mother country were as speedily established as with the political administration of affairs. Little offshoots of the Spanish Academy began to appear here and there across the Atlantic, and to perpetuate, in their miniature way, the solemn functions of legislating in matters literary. This enthusiasm for literature was inevitably, in those early days, a pure, unselfish flame, the rewards of authorship being to be found only in the consciousness of work well done, and in the approval of a few kindred minds, with perhaps the possibility of that rare distinction, winning the notice of the Royal Academy of Spain; and it is undoubtedly to this early impetus that the existence of a like spirit to-day is due.


At any rate, it does exist. In the most unlikely spots you will find an "Ateneo," holding regular discussions and preserving the literary tradition after the manner of its prototype in Madrid. In the most unpromising surroundings a Society of Writers and Artists" will have its meeting-place, its stated gatherings, its hospitable welcome for any chance traveler who may evince a desire to frequent with those who love the life of the spirit. A sort of literary tournament or jousting is kept up in the Spanish fashion, and laurel wreaths and bay-leaves (the prizes really amount to little more) are given to successful essayists and poets. One might lately read of such a literary contest in Honduras Honduras, which suggests to the average American only swamps and fever and revolutions. Greetings to and from the older sister literary societies in Spain go back and forth in stately phrases, and rare is the great literary event in Spain that is not participated in by some son of greater Spain across the sea. At the coronation of Zorrilla as national poet of Spain, a personal representative of Dom Pedro was present to convey Brazilian congratulations, and a delegate from the leading literary society of Caracas had a place accorded him in the pageant. solidarity of race and language still holds her old colonies to Spain with clasping links that do not break with time or the turns of politics. It is the resolute contention of Valera, in his valuable "Cartas Americanas," that the literature of Spanish America is a part of the literature of Spain; and the facts warrant the assertion. In like manner the most recent historian of Brazilian literature acknowledges that it is but a rivulet going to make up the main stream of the great Portuguese literary movement.


Coming a little closer to the actual productions of Spanish-American writers, it might be fair to say that the total literary result is made up of about seventy-five parts of poetry, fifteen parts of fiction, five parts of history, and the rest of criticism and technical writing. There is no doubt that South American literature drops into poetry with a fatal facility. Valera admits that it may fairly be accused of "exuberance in its lyric poetry," but thinks that symptoms of improvement are already visible, "a part of the sap which is now employed in lyric compositions going to vivify other branches of the tree of knowledge." And he goes on to cite some of the names of Spanish-Americans who are "skillful, industrious, and successful cultivators of criticism, jurisprudence, history, geography, linguistics, philosophy, and other severe studies." Such a change of tendency unquestionably exists, and it must be considered. as a sign of promise for the future.

For anything like a complete outline of the actual literary movement of South America the writer has neither the knowledge nor the space at his disposal. Some parts of the field have already been well worked. A good deal has appeared in English about the literature of Mexico, in the writings of Bishop Janvier, and, notably, Bishop Hurst. One or two Cuban authors have been introduced to the American public-two at least of Heredia's poems having been translated by Bryant. Perhaps a better idea of what is being done in South American literature can be given by a few details about the writers of a single country than by scattering remarks about the whole subject. For this purpose I will choose the Argentine Republic. That country probably surpasses most of the other republics of South

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