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The American public is in nothing more alike in all its acts than in the fashion in which it requires each new plea for favor to rest on its merits. In England, an author who has once

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sold, sells again; not here. Castle Craneycrow does not gain because its author, Mr. G. B. McCutcheon, wrote "Graustark." Mr. Will N. Harben in Abner Daniel" has improved on "Westerfelt," but it is doubtful if this close study of Georgia life wins a like attention, with its evident realism. This local chronicle is still at the point where it is more anxious to spread local color over the picture than to make the picture. Miss Nancy Huston Banks has taken Kentucky for Oldfield." "The Desert and the Sown" adds the skill of the story-teller to the vision of the Western mountain, but lacks the substance of Mrs. Mary Hallock Foote's past work.

Two novels, Hearts Courageous," by Miss Hallie Erminie Rives, and "The Mississippi Bubble," by Mr. Emerson Hough, are fitted to large sales and lavish advertising as a coat is fitted to a man. They are chosen for their purpose with unerring judgment. The Revolution. in Miss Rives' book, an earlier period in Mr. Hough's, a clear style, much movement, action, familiar figures given life, a fresh hand,-out of these a year's success comes. Of a very different sort is Mrs. Gertrude F. Atherton's

64 The Con


queror." Here there is the direct attempt to reconstruct an historic character, Alexander HamilIt is not Hamilton, but a figure full of Greek fire, a sort of woman's statesman. True or not, it has made its mark on its readers. This was scarcely true of two historical novels by practiced hands, one suddenly stilled by death, "Kate Bonnet" (piracy story), by Frank R. Stockton, and "Dorothy South" (Virginia before the war), by George Cary Eggleston. Neither has here the characteristic quality of its author. Nearly three score of these historical novels have this year appeared, and their number has been swollen by the notable increase of publication at the author's expense.

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In the recognized group of novelists who yearly make their appearances, Mr. Howells and Mr. James lead. To one equally interested in the vote of the many and the verdict of the few, there is something pathetic in the middle-aged novel like The Kentons," with the atmosphere of the seventies on every page and a Dutch capacity for painting in the round the arid annals of this Ohio family, whose daughter falls in love in the right way with the wrong man and in the wrong way with the right one. "The Wings of the Dove" returns to Mr. James' earlier subjects and retains his newer method. How amazing and how exasperating that a man can write like this, produce this unique effect of woven words, and yet leave you, so far as reality is concerned, in this picture of the contact between the American and English, with the shimmering sense of the cinematograph, which always seems to be and never is the real thing.

InCaptain Macklin," Mr. Richard Harding Davis has the precise fighting hero who stirs and wins. This man has blood in his veins, not ink. With him, "Ranson's Folly," and "In the Fog," Mr. Davis has suddenly emerged again, and readers swarm once more. Sir A. Conan Doyle has recurred to an earlier popularity in the "Hound of the Baskervilles," in which the method of an episode is applied to a longer span. Mr. Fergus W. Hume has repeated his past, "The Pagan's Cup" brimming with artificial mystery.


No one new author has made a sudden sweep this year to the first rank. Several suggest a future by a present. Miss Anne Douglas Sedg wick bloomed unseen until the Century published "The Rescue" and the Century Co. brought out the " Confounding of Camelia" and the "Dull Miss Archinard." These three novels have had no run, but they have added Miss Sedgwick to

those who so write that their work is literature. The canary-bird loves of "Hezekiah's Wives,' by Miss L. H. French, go in this short list. Yet the atmosphere is of the English novel list, not the American. Not so the Story of Mary MacLane." It would have been published nowhere else. Many think it should not have been possible anywhere. But if you are catholic you can admire both, for this, too, is a document which lays bare the dumb misery of platoons of American girls, none the less real because imaginary, grotesque. This and the "Confessions of a Wife" are really the only books of sex this year. Women detest this feminine revelation. They feel it a betrayal. It began well. It broke down after marriage, it being easier for most people to articulate affection before than after wedlock. Our plain-spoken English speech does not express what is easier in Latin tongues and Eastern languages. For myself, I would rather be one of the "Misdemeanors of Nancy," by Miss Eleanor Hoyt, than the object of these letters. Nancy" is nearly perfect,-too finely framed for a big sale. Of first books, turned out by three and twenty, is "The Late Returning," by Miss Margery Williams, a vivid tropical story, short, hot, and penetrating, which prefigures surprising work in the future. The Decoy" is another first book, by a man, Mr. Francis Dana, which wrestles awkwardly, but with



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effect, with New England spiritualism. It has a definite purpose. This appears in the "Things that Are Cæsar's," of Mr. Reginald Kauffmann, whose Jarvis of Harvard" gave no hint of the very serious treatment of the difficulties which environ the convict seeking work and finding none.

These two belong to a growing group of American novels, -for the most part, however, without definite aim,-which seek to give the moving show. Journalism has a large share of this attention, because journalists are men trying to write, some of whom write. "Many Waters," by Mr. R. Shackleton, photographs a paper like the Journal just as Mr. John Graham, in the "Great God Success," took his man into the New York Sun office. Neither get anywhere. This is the difficulty with the mining family which have struck it rich in "The Spenders" (Mr. H. L. Wilson), the Russells in Chicago "-Boston in the West- The Minority" (Frederick Trevor Hill), a novel of trusts, the Thirteenth District" (Brand Whitlock), an Illinois political fight and failure, these all describe. They do nothing more. Reportage does not make a novel. When Josiah Flynt"-Mr. Josiah Flynt Willard-gives the tramp as he has never been given before and probably never will be again, it is of small moment that "The Little Brother" has a rudimentary plot. Mr. F. Hopkinson Smith has the same advantage added to long training in



the conduct and contents of a story when he

in his note. « Jezebel" has about it no shred of brings · Oliver Horn," a Southern boy, to New the original, except the proper names ; but Mr. York forty years ago and sets him at work study. Lafayette McLaws keeps his story moving, and ing art.

Exaggerated as his method is, Mr. Ful. that is more than to have your gods and weapons ler gives the distinctly local habitation and name of the right date. There is nothing after all of i art” in Chicago - Under the Skylights." quite so unreal as an historical novel like “ The Clara Morris' (Mrs. Harriott) “A Pasteboard Assassins,"-Mr. Nevill Myers Meakin,—which Crown” compensates for crude story by accurate is worked by machinery instead of imagination. knowledge, and, as is the habit of the feminine

THE ENGLISH STORY WRITER'S STYLE IS BEST. author, says boldly what men hesitate to express. - Sir Richard Calmady" had this characteristic, The advantage which the English novel has in but it has also that power of continuous consecu. the same task is that it almost always is better tive characterization which lifts a story out of the written. The journalist, Mr. Hugh S. Scott, ordinary. It may almost be said to share alone who issues a novel or two a year as " Henry with “The Valley of Decision" the elevation of Seton Merriman," has no special power in the manner which belongs to the higher walk of the Polish story, " The Vultures," or in its Spanish novel.“ Scarlet and Hyssop,” for all its moral. companion, The Velvet Glove." These are izing, lacks this altogether, and Mr. E. F. Ben- both carefully studied ; though no more than a son is still left with “ Dodo" as the only work round dozen of American stories ; but they are for which he will be remembered.

well written. They read well. They have not Two paths of past success each year sees trod. the slips which even men of note have with us. den anew-sacred and historical. Few see that So with the very commonplace stories of a princely the technical difficulties of the storyteller increase Italian family, "A Roman Mystery, " and of as his framework is fixed. Mr. Aaron Dwight English society, “ The Just and Unjust," which Baldwin turns into dullness itself the 16 Gospel Mr. Richard Bagot has added to his list—they of Judas Iscariot," and Mrs. Rosamond D. Rhone enjoy a certain level of expression unknown in has retold, with patient minute care, “ The Days the average American novel. of the Son of Man." Dr. Paul Carus touches with Throughout the American fiction of the year sentiment the « Crown of Thorns."

this lack is apparent.

Whether it be the news• Belshazzar” has been done with archæo

paper or the absence of a certain selection in logical accuracy by Mr. William Stearns Davis, speech bred by a highly organized society, but while it is well to be accurate, it is indispen- through all the round of prose expression the sable to be interesting. This lacks. « Hohenzol. American lacks style, something which the Eng. lern" has this, though Mr. Cyrus Townsend Brady lishman,-more stupid, less facile,-manages to lacks knowledge, and is now and then bumptious acquire. .




HEN the Authors' Club gave a reception to

Edward Eggleston, on the occasion of the publication of the first volume of his most important work, “ The Beginners of a Nation," one of the speakers said Dr. Eggleston had discovered the perfect way to write history. This was, to write first all the fiction that he possibly could, and after that, by logical necessity, whatever he wrote would be truth. The jest was in reality more than a jest ; for, in fact, Dr. Eg. gleston, after writing a great deal of fictionof which has a world-wide reputation, and had been translated into several foreign languages, set himself at work upon those early periods of

American history about which the least is known, and was so skillful and conscientious in his research that he has come closer to the truth, and revealed more of it that was before unknown to the general reader, than any of his predecessors.

He was born in Vevay, Indiana, in 1837. His father was a lawyer from Virginia, who died when Edward was very young.

Delicate health prevented the boy from going to college, but did not prevent him from acquiring a fine and thor. ough education. At the age of twenty he became a Methodist preacher in Indiana, riding circuit, after the fashion of those days. A little later he was the general agent of the Bible Society in


Minnesota. The nature of his work there, or at least some of its incidents, is indicated by a story that he once told me of being overtaken in his travels on foot by a snowstorm, and wandering about the prairie until he was lost and sat down in despair, but, rousing himself to one more effort, succeeded in reaching a house, and found that he had traveled in a circle. These vocations were not very remunerative, and he was obliged to do something in addition to support his family, the additional pursuits being, as he expressed it, "always honest, but sometimes indignified.' From this work he advanced naturally to the profession of an editor, and was so successful from the first that when he edited the Sunday School Teacher, in Chicago, its circulation rose quickly from 5,000 to 35,000. A little later he had some connection with the New York Independent, but passed from that to the editorship of the newly established Ilearth and Home. Here, when a serial story was wanted, he recalled his boyhood days in Indiana, and partly from memory, partly from imagination, produced • The Hoosier Schoolmaster," which was published, with realistic illustrations, and made an immediate success. 6- The End of the World," 6. The Circuit Rider," and other stories followed rapidly. It was not alone the Western picture that made the strength of his first novel, but the peculiar shrewdness of old Mrs. Means, and the striking originality of the boy who wished to - belong to the church of the best licks," that gave it a Dickens-like distinctness that fixed it in the memory of every reader. He told me, when I asked him, that his account of the device by

DR. EDWARD EGGLESTON. which the schoolmaster drove out the boys who

(Who died at Lake George on September 2.) had barred the door against him was imaginary. But it is a curious fact that Horace Greeley, in

the best educated of us, and a command of lanhis " Recollections," tells exactly the same thing

guage that gave a rhythmic flow to his words. as actually happening in his boyhood. I believe

While the object of his search was solid and Dr. Eggleston had not read the “ Recollections."

significant fact, he had a keen sense of humor It has been laid down as almost an axiom that

and an eye for the picturesque which caused him only a rich man can write history effectively, be.

to pick up all the incidental plums by the way. cause of the costly research and the slow returns. Of that which he considered his crowning But Dr. Eggleston, in that work to which he was

work, two volumes have appeared : " The Bemost devoted, showed once more that some things ginners of a Nation” and “ The Transit of Civcan be done as well as others. He did not hesi.

ilization.” Something had been done on a third, tate to expend freely whatever he had for the

but how much I do not know. I fear we shall necessary research, and when funds were giving

look in vain for the man to take up the work out, he laid the history aside and wrote some

and continue it in the spirit and manner with thing that would bring immediate returns. This

which he had so far carried it on. was his reason, for instance, for writing - The Faith Doctor.'

• In seclusion and remote from men

The wizard hand lies cold, The doctor had all the qualifications for an

Which at its topnost speed let fall the pen, admirable talker ; a genial personality, a pleas

And left the tale half told. ant voice, a picturesque head and mobile face, a

Ah! who shall lift that wand of magic power,

And the lost clew regain ? vast abundance of interesting facts at command,

The unfinished window in Aladdin's tower including a great many that were new even to

Unfinished must remain !"

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[The Massachusetts Democratic platform, as adopted last month, was written by Hon. Josiah Quincy, and is a document of exceptional merit and value from the party standpoint. We therefore reprint it herewith. The Connecticut Republican platform, as supplemented by the speech of Senator 0. H. Platt before the Connecticut convention, in exposition of current Republican doctrines and claims, may well be reprinted also, to give the other side its turn.- THE EDITOR. )


at the

HE Democrats of Massachusetts in convenTHE

least limit the exactions of monopoly ; it can be tion assembled, reaffirming their allegiance applied while further legislation is being formuto the fundamental principles of Democracy, in. lated and discussed. The Federal Government vite the support of all opponents of modern Re. can at least allow the people to purchase their publican policies, and make the following declara. coal and their meat, which have been rising totions upon questions which now demand public ward prohibitive prices, without paying tribute attention and require speedy legislative action. to the coal trusts and the meat trusts.

In the place of the Republican policy of foster- A decent regard for the interests of the peo. ing and protecting great monopolies by legislation, ple requires that both sides to a great industrial

expense of the people, we demand protec- controversy should accept the principle of arbi. tion for the people against the abuses and exac- tration. We condemn the arrogant refusal of tions of monopoly. We make no warfare upon the representatives of the anthracite coal comany legitimate corporate business which is willing bination to submit to arbitration their differences to sustain itself without governmental favors, and with their employees as the cause of vast loss and to submit to reasonable governmental supervision injury to the general public. and regulation, but the supremacy of the State As we declared a year ago, ". The people of over its corporate creatures must be asserted and Cuba, for whose welfare we have made ourselves maintained, and they must conduct their busi. trustees, are plainly entitled to the most favored ness with due regard to the vast public interests commercial relations with this country.” The in their charge.

refusal of the present Republican Congress, unExorbitant tariff duties are producing a sur- der the dictation of selfish special interests, to plus which is to-day locking up in the Treasury give Cuba, through proper tariff concessions, a money which our business needs urgently re- liviny chance of establishing a stable and efficient quire ; these should be reduced to a reasonable government, under her own flag, was a shameful revenue basis.

betrayal of our national honor. While she is Free raw material is the only sound founda- entitled, whenever it is her own desire, to enjoy tion for the manufacturing supremacy which this the advantages of a full political union with this country is seeking; we again demand that the country, and consequently freedom of trade with duties upon such material, so injurious and un- us, such a union should never be forced upon her fair to the industrial development of this com- by bankruptcy deliberately created by our actions. monwealth, shall be wholly removed. We de. 'We denounce the small measure of relief which mand particularly free coal, free iron ore, free some Republicans were willing to grant as utterly wool, and free hides, and we condemn the Re. inadequate to meet the situation in which their publican policy of sacrificing great New England representatives left Cuba. interests to its political exigencies. We favor any We are opposed to all forms of governmental honest policy of reciprocity with other nations, subsidies to favored interests or classes, whether and we particularly demand the passage of a on land or on the sea. liberal measure of reciprocity with Canada.

We reaflirm our opposition to colonial impeThe present tariff is protecting great trusts and rialism in every form, and again demand that making exorbitant profits upon the necessities of our government shall declare its purpose to give our people, while selling their products to foreign to the people of the Philippine Islands, at the markets at much lower prices than the prices earliest possible date, their independence under exacted here. We demand the repeal of all the protection of this country. tariff duties upon articles whose production is The action of the Federal Government has controlled by trusts. This is the one simple, proved inadequate to adapt Boston Harbor to the practical, and immediate remedy which will at rapidly growing requirements of commerce, and

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