Imágenes de páginas

with Lord Wolseley he warns Europeans of "yellow peril which may confront

[ocr errors]

the them when the masses of China have realized the mighty forces of modern invention.

His remarks on the Philippines are well worth reading, and make one thoughtful as to the mighty responsibility which our neighbors to the South have so lightly and so thoughtlessly assumed. From this responsibility there is no escape, and we can only hope that their statesmen may prove equal to it, though as yet they have given small ground for such a hope. Of Japan he says what interested him most was "the picture of an ancient people, nobody knows quite how old or, with certainty, whence derived, awakening at last out of the slumber of its antiquated puerilities and superstitions, rousing itself from the paralysis of its ignorance and insularity, reaching forth to our western life, its art, its letters, its science, its mechanical ingenuities, seizing their significance in its relations to the upbuilding of our western civilizations with a marvellous rapidity, and then transferring them, with a rapidity scarcely less marvellous, to its own soil and its own life."

In speaking of India he refers in glowing terms to the sense of justice which marks English administration there, and says that he knows no finer specimen of public servant than the British official. Three points seem to have appealed to him as characteristic of this class, their sense of responsibility, of sympathy and their capability.

Enough has been said to indicate the scope of the book. It is well worth reading, is well gotten up, and leaves one with the feeling that they wish it were longer.

"Famous Artists," by Sarah K. Bolton. (Holiday Edition.) With 40 illustrations. 8vo, 460 pages, cloth, gilt top, $2.50. Thos. Y. Crowell & Co.

Reference for what is great is a universal feeling, says Hermann Grimm. When we look at great men, it is as if we saw a victorious army, the flower of a people, marching along. They all speak one common language, know nothing of castes, of noble or pariah; and he who now or in times to come thinks or acts like them, rises up to them and is admitted into their circle.

The careers of the world's great artists, considered together, form one of the noblest examples of endeavor ever given to the world. Their art is something of man and yet beyond him. By reason of its dual significance it becomes the source of our highest inspirations, for it shows what man has done and, therefore, can do.

The volume is prepared in handsome style and enriched by tone reproductions of masterpieces of art and portraits, to the number of forty. The appreciation of Michael Angelo, Raphael, Titian, Rubens, Reynolds, or other of the ten artists considered, is heightened by these accompanying art plates.

"Famous Composers," by Nathan Haskell Dole. Holiday edition. With 40 illustrations. In two volumes, 12mo, 560 pages, gilt top, per set $3.00. Thos. Y. Crowell & Co.

One cannot easily imagine a better gift than the two beautiful volumes of "Famous Composers," dealing with the lives of twenty world-musicians. Not alone to musicians would they be acceptable, but to general

readers who can find interest in the lifestories of men who really have lived and conquered. The fact that the narratives are true need not militate against this interest; and many of the stories are stranger than romance. Their telling, also, does not partake of the dust of a biographical dictionary, but rather the clear air which the artists themselves once breathed.

The list of composers considered begins with Palestrina and ends with Wagner. Great care was exercised in verifying facts and dates, and the sketches may be relied upon to be accurate as well as enjoyable.

The two volumes contain forty full-page portraits and illustrations. The set is printed and bound in a manner highly appreciated by music-lovers and book-lovers alike.


Napoleon Jackson: The Gentleman of the Plush Rocker," by Ruth McEnery Stuart. 132 pagee, illustrated by Edward Potthast, price $1.00. New York: The Century Co.


This new book by the popular Southern writer, Ruth McEnery Stuart, author of Sonny," "A Golden Wedding and Other Tales," "Carlotta's Intended," "Holly and Pizen," etc., is a study of negro life in an exceedingly humorous vein. The hero, "Mr. Napoleon Jackson, Esquire," is unable to work because he has been "marked for rest," so his good-natured wife assumes the role of provider. The descriptions are clever, the idioms of speech accurate, the situations ludicrous, and the humor subtle. It is simple in plot, but its development shows a deep understanding of life, and it is evident that the story was not written merely to amuse.

"The Blazed Trail," by Stewart Edward White. Toronto: George N. Morang Company.

Mr. White has already won his spurs in "The Westerners." "The Blazed Trail" indicates that he is moving on to higher, stronger feats of literary emprise. His example is to be commended. Instead of ransacking history for a romantic period. that has not been touched by the novelist; instead of producing a story that depends for interest on the fancy dress costumes of an obsolete age; instead of projecting a distorted reflection of our own times and manners on a past epoch, with which we are not intimately concerned, and couldn't know accurately even if we were; instead of doing any of these foolish things Mr. White seizes what is current and vital about him, glorifies it, and weaves it into a shimmering fabric. He does a public service when he fixes on his glowing page the life of the lumber camps, that picturesque, epic, Homeric sort of existence which is bound to disappear as soon as the last of the standing timber on this continent is felled. That day is not far distant. Mr. White's story, indeed, is occupied with the northern peninsula of Michigan, now a stark, scarred, desolate region, known as the pine barrens, a rugged problem for legislators and political economists, who don't know what to do with rock and muskeg. The brule is churlish soil; the stunted poplar and the jack pine are jealous of wheat fields, and will rush in and smother them if they venture timidly into these arid, blistering domains; the maxim is that the land which will nurture soft wood only is not cultivable. Stripped

of its forest garment, the country lies bleak and hopeless to the eye of heaven, and man's best expectation is that the cruel body of it may have iron or some other mineral at its heart. The cities that are supposed to follow in the wake of the woodman's axe have not arizen in northern Michigan. Instead of the wild beauty of the woods and the solemn cathedral arches of the pines, we have a shaggy bareness, a dreary ugliness, and a group of millionaires. Something like this is going on in Canada. A few enterprising men, the lumber kings, are altering the face of nature, flaying it, and turning God's grace into hard cash. That is exactly what it means when a timber limit is sold, for in many places God had nothing to give away but trees, and the delight of the eye that goes with them. These beautiful trees are blighted by the touch of Midas; they shrink until they become mere double eagles; their leaves wither and become bank-notes. Even the little trees are not safe, for logs are being cut now that twenty years ago would have been sniffed


Meanwhile the tragic fate of the forests walks hand-in-hand with poetry. The shantyman is the lineal descendant of the coureur du bois. He inherits his wood lore, his chansons, his charming superstitions, and his elemental passions. When the last pine falls he falls too, but so long as he has his work to do there will be inspiration for the story-writer. Go three hundred miles north from Toronto even to-day and you are in the virgin forest, in the heart of the pine woods, in the midst of a society as simple and impulses as direct as the Red Indian's. In the lumber camps psychologists may study human nature in the raw against a background of untutored grandeur. In "The Blazed Trail" Mr. White has done this more than adequately. He has the technic of lumbering at his fingers' ends, the argot of the camps and boardinghouses, the enthusiasm of the hunter, the knowledge of wild animals and their ways —just that intimate concern for his subject which makes a compelling narrative. And his wise asides are by no means the least interesting parts of his work. Listen to this analysis of the lumber-jack:

"In him we perceive dimly his environment. He has something about him which other men do not possess-a frank clearness of the eye, a swing of the shoulder, a carriage of the hips, a tilt of the hat, an air of muscular well-being-which marks him as belonging to the advance guard whether he wears buckskins, mackinaw, sombrero, or broadcloth. The woods are there, the plains, the rivers. Snow is there, and the lines of the prairie. Mountain peaks and still pine forests have impressed themselves subtly; so that when we turn to admire his unconsciously graceful swing, we seem to hear the axe biting the pine or the prospector's pick tapping the rock. And in his eye is the capability of quiet humor, which is just the quality that the surmounting of many difficulties will give a man."

"The Rommany Stone," by J. H. Yoxall, M.P. Toronto: The Copp, Clark Company.

There is one British M.P. who makes books which have a vogue among people who mistake red paint and gilding for substance. Mr Yoxall, on the other hand, produces literature. Let us be thankful for

[blocks in formation]

out of touch with learning and refinement. Mr. Yoxall has written "The Rommany Stone" because he couldn't help it. The scene is laid in Derbyshire, and the warp and woof of it is the redemption of a maid who has married a gipsy, although she has an honest yeoman for cousin who would wed her. The time is the early part of the nineteenth century, and Mr. Yoxall seizes the chance to draw a few strong pictures of the England of that epoch. These pictures are all in the manner of etchings, a line here, another there, a bold stroke and a vivid impression. Though Mr. Yoxall is a

connoisseur in words he doesn't allow his descriptive talent to cumber the story. The sunsets are never more than a minute long. The digressions measure a paragraph at a time. The psychology is all the more potent for being condensed. Atop of all this, the author handles dialect, the gipsy argot, and the Derbyshire patois, as adroitly as Thomas Hardy. He knows his peasant down to the last burr on the tongue. "The Rommany Stone" is a paragon of a book. It avoids the faults of the novelist who writes to make copy, and displays the excellencies of the author who writes for the love of it. The characters march forward briskly, shoulder to shoulder, never allowing the story to flag. Under the sentiment is a rich vein of humor. Naboth Quince, the pedantic schoolmaster, the two Bow street runners, Jeruel C. Chilcutt, a Yankee in search of his ancestral halls, all stand out like Hogarth pictures, and the scenes in which these personages are jumbled up are conceived in the uproarious spirit of Dickens



"Fool's Gold," by Annie Raymond StillCloth, 324 pp., $1.25. Fleming H. Revell Company, Toronto. A novel; a romance of exceptional power in which plot and action yield a large tribute to the strong purpose of the book. This is a story of conflict between duty and supposed self-interest and constantly the values of selfishness and selfness are opposed. The situations are intense, but never unreal or strained. The title is most apt, being drawn from an early incident in the book, where a mining interest occupies the center of interest, but throughout the entire story the value of Gold, whether applied to character or to the precious metal, is contrasted with "Fool's Gold," the clever counterfeit of the King of Minerals, or in the realm of morals, the hypocrite.

[ocr errors]

"The Lost Wedding Ring," by Cortland Myers, D.D. Cloth, 181 pp., price 75 cents net. Funk & Wagnalls Company, New York and London. Dr. Myers, who is minister at the Baptist Temple, Brooklyn, has in The Lost Wedding Ring" produced a book befitting in contents the " City of Homes and Churches" wherein he is a very popular preacher. As he says in the preface, "The Home is at the foundation of human society, and the Marriage Altar is at the center of the home." And so in nine helpful talks he discusses the institution of marriage from a religious standpoint.

Dr. Myers approaches his subject from the negative side. He tells what marriage is not, before he discusses it in its positive aspects. The evils that beset the institution command his first attention. "The lost wedding ring" is to him "lost sanctity,

security, and salvation." In the latter half of the book, however, the lost is found, and the chapters "The Kingly Husband," "Queen of the Home," and "Strong as Death," present with glowing fervor the Christian ideal of the life-union of man and



[ocr errors]

Miss Laut in "The Story of the Trapper continues her studies of the fur-trade. With "Lords of the North" and "Heralds of Empire," it completes a trio of books covering the whole period and field of the trade from its earliest beginnings. She follows the trappers who operate in various parts of the continent, and presents to the reader a graphic picture of their adventurous life. Miss Laut is not one of the sort who confine their studies to the pages of books. She has ventured herself far from the beaten paths of commerce and civilization and made her studies at first hand. She, therefore, finds no difficulty in making the story realistic. The romantic side of the life of the forest and plain, too, has evidently taken full possession of the writer, with results of the happiest so far as the reader is concerned. "The Story of the Trapper" should be one of the favorite gift books for the holiday trade.

A rather pretty conceit is suggested in the title of Miss Ethelwyn Wetherald's new book of poems,


Tangled in Stars." The true lover of poetry who dips into the contents of the book will feel that he indeed is carried up among the stars. One of Miss Wetherald's fellow-poets refers to it as "dainty in conception and workmanship; artistic, musical; a small and beautifully cut goblet of poetic wine well refined and very refreshing to the appreciative palate."

Miss Martha Craig has placed with William Briggs for publication a collection of poems entitled "Legends of the North Land." These will be issued in an attractive booklet with ten full-p -page, half-tone engravings. These Legends are unique and very interesting. Miss Craig has made a close study of the Indian traditions. She possesses the full confidence of the people themselves, and has been adopted as a princess by three tribes.

"Little Mother Meg" is the title of Ethel Turner's latest contribution to

[ocr errors][merged small]


Since the publication of "Motley," Mr. Bengough has written a great deal of verse, published from time to time in the newspapers and magazines. This he has gathered into a volume which he has entitled "In Many Keys." The book will be ready in good time for the Christmas tra.le. "Motley," it is illustrated by the author himself, and Mr. Bengough's drawings have a continental reputation. His versatility is given full play in the new volume where the contents are classsified as: Victorian, Canadian, International, Miscellaneous, Personal, and Memorial. Of "Motley," the Chicago "Ram's Horn " remarked: "There is not a

dufl line in the book. Poems of sparkling wit and humor alternate with those of deep pathos and noble thought."

Miss Alma Frances McCollum, whose newly published volume of verse, "Flower Legends and Other poems," is eliciting favorable cominent, is spending the fall and winter in Boston. Her book is one of the

prettiest specimens of book-making yet produced in Canada, and the quality of verse is of a decidedly superior sort.

Professor Farmer, of McMaster University, has placed with William Briggs for publication a memorial volume of the late Rev. Dr. Dodson, a distinguished preacher and educationist of the Canadian Baptist Church. The volume is entitled "E. W. Dodson, D.D., the Man, the Writer, the Preacher." As the title suggests, the book is in three parts, the first consisting of a biographical sketch, the second giving extracts from Dr. Dodson's writings, and the


Author of "Stillman Gott'

third made up of selections from his sermons. The book will be ready early in December, and will sell at $1.25 net.

The press comments on Hon. Jas. Young's "Public Men and Public Life in Canada" have been uniformly favorable, not to say eulogistic. The author is complimented particularly on the fairness and impartiality he has shown in his treatment of the political issues of the time covered by the book. This is one of the most interesting and valu. able contributions yet made to the literature of Canadian history. It should have a wide sale. The wide-awake bookseller can easily place a number of copies of it among his customers if he will draw their attention to it. It is not of the dry-as-dust variety of histories, but is a very racy, readable book, that will be found as interesting as a novel.


The ranks of literary men in Canada have sustained a severe loss by the death of Sir John Bourinot, one of their most eminent and best known members. Sir John, who was of Huguenot descent, was born in Nova Scotia in 1837. Entering Trinity College, Toronto, in 1854, he early manifested those literary qualities which won him such a distinguished place in the world of letters. During his stay at Trinity he took no small part in contributing to "Episcopon," a college journal which is unique in college circles in Canada. In 1858 he entered the office of the "Toronto Leader," afterwards removing to Halifax, where he founded and edited the Halifax "Reporter." For some time he was official stenographer to the Nova Scotia Legislature, and had under him as chief clerk Sir John Thompson, afterwards so well known as Premier of Canada. In 1868 Mr. Bourinot, who had been a vigor

ous advocate of Confederation, moved from Halifax to Ottawa, where he became a shorthand writer to the Senate. In 1873 he was appointed second clerk assistant to the House of Commons, and in 1880 was made chief clerk to the House, a position he occupied till his death. A deep and earnest student of Parliamentary history and methods, he was eminently fitted for the position, and his work on "Parliamentary Procedure and Practice" has become not only the standard authority on the subject in the Canadian House, but also in the British House of Commons. But it is not only in the field of constitutional history that Mr. Bourinot made his mark, but also in general literature, especially in historical researches he has taken rank among the foremost writers. Some of his best known works



"Canada," in the history of the Nations series; the "Intellectual Development of Canada," and "From the Great Lakes to the Sea."

When the Marquis of Lorne, in 1882, founded the Royal Society of Canada, Sir John threw himself heartily into the movement, and served the society in various positions, holding at different times the offices of president and hon. secretary.

With his great learning and knowJedge of constitutional history he was able to render in his place as chief clerk to the Commons, services to his country which probably no other man in Canada could render, and it will indeed be a difficult task to fill the place which he has vacated.


Messrs. Harper & Brothers have received an order for books to be sent to a bookseller in Dawson, Yukon Territory, which presents some features of general interest. Dawson has not been regarded as a reading centre, but this particular order seems to indicate the needs of a studious community. The list is long, and ranges from such works as Gibbon's "Rome," Macaulay's "England," Flammarion's "The Unknown," and Mill's System of Logic," to the newest novels. Of the thirty or forty authors on the list the books of Richard Harding Davis and John Kendrick Bangs constitute the largest indi


[blocks in formation]

book. Those who like a whirlwind of passion and a swiftly moving plot will be well pleased. The magnificent success it has had, and is having, must be ascribed to much more than the beautiful binding and illustrations Paper 75c, cloth $1.25.

"Rockhaven," by Charles Clark Munn, author of "Uncle Terry." The book is dedicated to "all who despise hypocrisy and deception, who admire manly courage and womanly devotion, whose hearts yet vibrate to the cords of romance and who respect simple faith in and gratitude to God." A book most suitable for Christmas gifts. Beautifully bound and illustrated. Cloth $1.50.

"Story of Mary MacLane," written by herself. Some claim she is mad, and others that she is a genius, but it must be admitted that the book is a remarkable production and the literary style strong. Cloth only, $1.25.

"Wages of Sin," by Lucas Malet, author of "Sir Richard Calmady." A new edition grom new plates, with ten handsome illustra

tions. Bound in cloth, gold and ink stamping, gilt top. Cloth $1.25.

"Miss Petticoats," by Dwight Tilton. Readers who like to be kept sitting up will appreciate "Miss Petticoats." It is a marvel of power, beauty, wisdom, wit and brilliancy. Thirty thousand copies sold to date in the States. Handsomely bound, and contains seven exquisite illustrations in color. Cloth only, $1.25. Handsome holiday binding.



Long Straight Road," by George Horton, author of "Like Another Helen." story of city life. The story of the married life of the Roths and Crisseys is ideal, and every reader, old and young, will enjoy this, while their sympathy will go out to goodnatured, not over brilliant Harry Chapin. Paper 75c, cloth $1.25.

"Loom of Life," by Frederick Goss, author of "Redemption of David Corson." In his new book the author has followed up the work he began in the former one, and gives a striking lesson in forgiveness Paper 75c, cloth $1.25.

"Franceska," by Molly Elliot Seawell. A story of youth, splendor and tragedy, with an art which links it with summer

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

dreams, which drowns the sombre in the Ainslee's Magazine Co.

picturesque, which makes pain and vice a stage wonder. Delightfully illustrated by Harrison Fisher. Paper 75c, cloth $1.25. "Master of Appleby," by Frances Lynde. A love story. Illustrated.


Literary Motes.

They come with the fall of the leafthree new Henty books each year-and the soul of the boy is rejoiced thereby, for while Henty's stories have for the most part an English background, they are universal in their appeal to the love of adventure implanted in the boyish heart. And how perfectly the author fills his role! Nowhere is there a writer of books who seems to have a clearer comprehension of the sort of story that appeals to the boy. Also, he has a vivid apprehension of his duty as an author, with the result that any one responsible for the sort of literature that gets into the hands of young readers can purchase "Henty books" blindfolded, in the calm assurance that not only will the youngster be entirely satisfied, but there will be nothing in the books that can injuriously affect either his mental or his moral nature. Nor is the circle of readers confined to the lads. There are older boys, some of them with more than a suspicion of gray about the temples, who delight in a new Henty book. Perhaps they will say that it is for the sake of "auld lang syne" that they still love to peruse the stout volumes with their wealth of incident and stirring narrative. Really, it is the same reason which prompts the elders to take the children to the circus - because they love the circus.

The three volumes that come from Mr.

Henty's pen this autumn are "The Treasure

of the Incas," "With Kitchener in the Soudan," and "With the British Legion." It will be noted that only in the second book named has Mr. Henty dealt with recent history. The work illustrates in excellent fashion his ability for weaving a romance about a historical event, and for presenting therewith a good and sufficiently accurate account of the real facts which furnish the backbone of the story. In "The Treasure


[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

of the Incas" our author is dealing with purely imaginative conditions. Peru and the supposedly hidden treasures of her ancient kings afford a most attractive field for adventure. There is a fairly well authenticated legend to the effect that the Spaniards succeeded in gaining possession of only a small part of the golden hoard that had been piled up by the Peruvians, and where the great bulk of the treasure was hidden has always been a mystery. Certainly the conditions are admirably adapted for a romance of adventure, and Mr. Henty has made excellent use of the material. In the effort to win the girl he loves the hero penetrates into the wilds of Peru and experiences the adventures set forth in the story. It is a stirring book.

The third volume, "With the British Legion," goes back to Carlist days in Spain, about 1836, for the scenes and events of its tale. There was a real British Legion, which was enlisted in the Carlist cause, and which was commanded by Sir de Lacy Evans. It was a very considerable command, and the story of its deeds has never been adequately told. It is upon the history of the legion as recounted in a pamphlet by one Alexander Somerville that Mr. Henty has based his story, together with some other material. The hero, Arthur Hallett, enlists in the legion and has a stirring time of it, winning fame and promotion in genuine adventurous style.

Through all these volumes there runs a healthy tone The qualities which win success are those that make for manhood everywhere. The volumes are well illustrated and published in a style corresponding with the author's other books issued in recent years. Mr. Henty now has between thirty-five and forty books to his credit.

Mr. Swinburne grows eloquent, if somewhat incoherent, in admiration of Dickens in one of the English reviews. "We think of all this," he writes of "Martin Chuzzlewit," "and of more than all this, and acknowledge with infinite thanksgiving of inexhaustible laughter and of rapturous admiration the very greatest comic poet or writer that ever lived to make the life of other men more bright and more glad and more perfect than ever, without his beneficent influence, it possibly or imaginably could have been."

If Dickens could have read this, and had his leisure been ample, he might have read it again and chuckled; but if pressed for time he would not have read it again, though he might have chuckled in the belief that Swinburne meant well, even if he expressed himself cloudily.

While Swinburne bursts into efflorescence, he is not willing that others should dilate upon Dickens and his works. He is swift to rail against the invasion of the Scot, and swoops upon Andrew Lang with awful denunciation for his introdution to the Gadshill edition. This he describes as "The prefatory importunities of a writer disentitled to express and disqualified to form an opinion on the works of an English humorist." It may be, as Mr. Swinburne would have us think, that the selection of Mr. Lang for such a task was not a wise one. Dickens' sense of humor is not only essentially English; it is essentially Cockney also. Still, it is appreciated in America, and, it might be said, all over the world; so why not in Scotland? Besides, there is nothing of the provincial about Mr. Lang, and his English style is certainly smoother and safer than that of Mr. Swinburne. He is, moreover, a critic par excellence, and, as such, does not encroach upon Mr. Swinburne's field.

Dickens, however, needs neither a critic nor a fugleman. His work speaks for itself, and to those who love him it must seem that both criticism and appreciation -fulsome word, as it is understood in modern literary life -are as the wind among the tree tops, of no value to those upon the ground.

Without any detraction from the undoubted merit of Owen Wister's novel, it

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

How many have heard of a fantastic masterpiece named "Gosh! Who's Been Giving My Donkey Beans?" It is published in London, and, so far as the public is concerned, has not seen the light in America. The author is James Barr, who writes under the name of " Angus." He uses a pseudonym because his brother, Robert Barr, is well known in the literary world.

There is as much difference in the quality of the literary work of the brothers as there is between an ordinary bit of chalk and a particularly fine bit of cheese. Robert Barr's work is readable always; it is popular, also, and a book from his pen is sure of a fair sale. The critics never say severe things of the man or his work. James Barr, on the other hand, writes for his own satisfaction. It would seem as if he searched the list of publishers and chose one who would take as much precaution in hiding his book from the light of day as the author took in killing its chance of sale with a grotesque title. "Gosh! Who's Been Giving My Donkey Beans? might have a glimmer of meaning to an American; it must be as Sanskrit to the majority of Englishmen.

The book is, in a way, a sequel to "The Gods Give My Donkey Wings." The latter has had as many readers as could lay hands upon it, and a majority of these must have had a desire to lay hands upon the author, for, curious as it may seem, it is impossible, after one has read the book, to think of a title that would fit it more worthily than "The Gods Give My Donkey Wings." It is undoubtedly a work of genius, although a failure so far as sale is concerned. One may read it in a night, but to pick it up is to read it, even if the process brings night into day.

Emulous of the glory acquired a year or two ago by the Boston Public Library through its list of forbidden books, the sister institution in Denver has been doing a little restricting. Its tender care has been directed towards children, and the demoralizing tale with which it begins its holy crusade is "Huckleberry Finn."

Huckleberry is not entirely banished. He is merely put upon the shelves whence special requests, countersigned orders, and certificates of good character and scholarly purpose are necessary to dislodge him. He shares this distinction with Burton's translation of the "Arabian Nights," the unexpurgated edition of "Leaves of Grass," the Decameron," and similar productions.

The sapient librarian, in an interview, absolves Mark Twain from viciousness. But he, the Denver critic-thinks that "the runaway feature and the idea con

veyed by the book that a lie is not a bad thing make the work one which it is best to keep for the minds which have passed the callow age."

Acting upon this enlightened principle of selection, the Denver Public Library must, in logic and impartiality, hasten to remove from its open shelves the following works "Robinson Crusoe," the story of a runaway; "Tom Brown at Rugby," a pernicious history in which schoolboys drink beer; "Oliver Twist," the adventures of a boy who was disobedient to the kind parish authorities; the Jungle Book," whose abandoned young hero, Mowgli, ran about the jungle naked with a knife in his hand; "Stalky & Co." the chronicle of lost wretches who were the terror of their tutors; and so on down a long and hitherto respectable list.


The Denver youth will still have the "Elsie" books and the moral reflections of little Robert Reed to inform their minds and to excite their fancies.

Kate Douglas Wiggin, author of "The Birds' Christmas Carol," the " Penelope books and of many other delightful stories, has recently established a prize at Bowdoin College, to be known as the Hawthorne Prize, for creative work in English, that will be awarded each year at Commencement to the member of the Junior or Senior class presenting the best poem or short story.

Mrs. Wiggin's home, Quillcote-on-Saco, at Saco, Me., is not far from Brunswick, where Bowdoin is situated. She has been engaged this summer, as for the past two years, on an anthology of verse for children, entitled "Golden Numbers," which will be published by McClure, Phillips & Co. the 25th of this month.

The issue of new editions of Dickens's works goes steadily on. We are told that "Pickwick" is the most popular of them all, and that "David Copperfield" runs it very close. Dickens has now been dead for more years than I care to reckon, but the sale of his books shows no signs of diminishing. George Eliot's books have greatly fallen off in popularity, and Thackeray's works do not begin to sell as well as Dickens's. As for Bulwer there does not appear to be any general demand for his novels, though they still continue to have a small but steady sale. Dickens, who, we were told soon after his death, could not live because he was a mere caricaturist, is evidently destined to retain his hold on the public much longer than any of his great contemporaries. Of course this does not necessarily mean that he was greater than any of them. There have been few greater novelists than Charles Reade, and yet his books are not at all in demand. Where one person knows "The Cloister and the Hearth," a dozen know "Romola," although if the two are dispassionately compared the enormous superiority of Reade's book cannot be denied.

Mr. Hall Caine is to engage upon a novel dealing with nonconformity. He has written one novel in which his hero was a Church of England clergyman, and another in which he celebrated the virtues of the Pope. After he has written his nonconformist novel, what new worlds will there be for him to conquer? He might try to write a political

« AnteriorContinuar »