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Western Kansas world. [volume] (WaKeeney, Kan.) 1885-current, November 26, 1887, Image 8

Image and text provided by Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, KS

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82015485/1887-11-26/ed-1/seq-8/

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THE MILZER.
BY KCHBY BICH.
A grist on the hopper, the sun on tho efll.
An' a hcigho I
TJncky tho lano that comes ont at a mill,
An a hoigho !
Oxer his profit thtf honey-bee hums, .
Oat of hia blanket the butterfly comes,
An a hcigho I An' a heigh !
ThoJDoctor cornea up on his mite of a mare,
An' a hcigho !
We agree this old world is all ont of repair.
An a heigho !
But -we leave it alone, in our neighborly chats
And 1 -uixos a mess for my beggarly rats,
An a heigho! An'ahoighl
The Squire o lato he rides double 'with care,
An' a heigho !
Two months at a manger have left hie mow
baro
An' a heigho I
He never calls for the foot of my score,
'Till it runs from the rafter clean down to the
floor.
An a heigho! An' a heigh!
Tho Pardon's the boat 'o thj b:ack-coated clan
An' a heigho!
There is wheat, ho makes out, in the branniest
bran,
An' a heigho !
He nover grndgeB a grain of my toil,
Ho has an eye for a shoal or a foal,
An' a heigho ! An' a heigh !
The sun's at the gable, come hurry, old wheel,
An' a heigho J
What say, my good widow, a coin in yourmeal?
An' a heigho !
'Twas in your corn maybe, tho Lord knows,
He tempers the lamb, I forget how it goes.
An' a heigho ! An' a hoigh !
The greater the worry the lighter the gain.
An' a heigho !
Tho deeper the furrow tho better the grain,
An' a heigho !
The thicker the stubble tho fuller the bin,
The darker without the lighter within,
And a heigho ! An' a heigh t
There are haps in the air that a minute may
bring,
An' a hoigho !
For a cock iB more sure of his hoad than a
king,
An' a hoigho !
Bo I sing out tho days in my lnerry old mill,
A grist in the hopper, the suu at tho sill,
An' a hoigho! An' n heigh!
Milling Wot hi.
A NARROW ESCAPE.
BY DOT DUNKYNNE.
Did you ever feel like a fool? I'm
talking to men now, not women ; for,
of course, a womanly woman never
thinks of such things, and a foolish
woman never thinks at alL "Well, I've
had that foolish feeling coming on at
intervals for the last six months, until
it's becoming chronic. At times I have
an insane sort of a desire to hire some
one to kick me, and I'm sure, if I saw
an advertisement of "brains to let," I'd
rent a job lot and have mine renovated.
I'm an upright sort of a man, as men
go, but I believe "men's men," and
they're much of a muchness" after all.
I attend church regularly enough, but
I'm a bank cashier, and most of my
Sundays are occupied in studying the
geography of Canada and the revised
extradition treaty; and I've come to
believe that early piety and all the
churches in Christendom don't go as
far towards keeping a man straight as a
good wife does.
First, let me swear, I'll never again
look into a pair of dark eyes when my
wife is out of town. It all happened
because Frances went to her
mother's for a month. 'Twas
Sara's second summer, and when
measles and scarlet fever broke out this
side of the river my wife packed up
her clothes and was off to her mother's
before I could say Jack Bobinson.
I slept at home for a night or two,
but the house was so lonesome I got
tired. It was like a funeral, and I had
to go around in my stocking feet for
fear of awakening the gosts, so I shut
up the house and went down to the ho
tel. Lots of people I knew boarded there,
and wo had a jolly good time. One
day the head waiter, with his usual pom
posity and more than usual flourish,
seated two ladies at my table. I re
member I was waiting for dessert and
mentally composing a letter to my wife,
but, looking up, I forgot all about
both.
The younger lady was a handsome
brunette with the blackest eyes I ever
saw. Eyes that sparkled, danced, and
fairly talked as she looked around.
1 scarcely glanced at her companion
and so was greatly surprised to hear
her say "Mr. Egbert Johnstone, I be
lieve." I started, offered my hand and
said, ""Why, Miss Dissane, how do you
do ? I'm so glad to see you. Been long
in tiiecity?"
"Just camo; we are on a shopping
expedition or we wouldn't be here this
time of year. What have you done
to yourself, Egbert; you don't look
quite so well as you did when
I saw you last?"
"Fve had time to grow old. Remem
ber that was six years ago."
"Six years ago! It doesn't seem
possible !' But what am I thinking of,
Marjorie, my dear; let me introduce to
you my very dear friend, Mr. Johnstone ;
Egbert, my niece, Miss Dissane."
We bowed, and Miss Marjorie1 gave
me a fascinating smile and a very
flattering glance from her beautiful
eyes. Miss Dissane continued :
"Six years! I cannot get over it.
Don't you remember Annette? "Why
don't you ask about her?"
"Most certainly- I do. Is there any
knews?"
"Oh, yes, indeed! She's married.
very well, too, though I always
jrred you, iifcbert You see I stall
ton -Egbert n
inks. Fm charmed that you do,"
?ere a sad flirt in those days, I
jhl always bolieva it was
r ult."
"Hush, auntie, you are talking too
loud. Fm delighted to hear Mr. John
stone's past history, but I doupt if he
caves to have all these people become
acquainted with it"
I gave Miss Marjorie a grateful
glance, for the old lady was a good deal
like a runaway steam engine when she
got started.
"Fshaw! Marjorie, thafs just the
wav you always stop me. I never get
to finish anythin
Are you going
o
this to me.
"I must, I fear, much as I would like
to remain. Business von't wait. I on
see, we busy bees must make the honey
that you butterflies and humming
birds may have naught to do but
gather it and be happy."
"Do you often quote such delightful
things?" saidMiss Marjorie, cooly.
"Don't mind her, Egbert; she's
mightly pleased to' be called a butter
fly; why didn't you say a wasp. But
you cannot get away from us this way.
Do come and see us. We go driving
every evening right after supper. I'll
save a place for you if you'll go."
"Certainly. I'm delighted . to" have
that honor,"
"There, there; go along now. JSo
more compliments. I know you of old.
Ten to one you are laughing in your
sleeve at me now. But I always did
like you, in spite of your naughtiness."
"How, auntie, that's too bad. If
she's too sarcastic I'll have too help
you out, Mr. Johnstone." This with.
Miss Marjorie's most fascinating glance.
"If you only would," I said, beseech
ingly, "How delightful it would be to sit
by and have one's battles fought by such
a fair soldier; if you wore only in earn
est, now."
"Egbert, do go away before I laugh
in your face," said the old lady.
"Marjorie in earnest ? Why, of course
she is in earnest; women always are.
'Tis you men who are scarce oft with
the old love before you are on with the
new. "
I bowed. "If that's your verdict that
settles it;" and off I went to the bank,
wondering not a little what the old
lady was up to. She never mentioned
my wife. Thought I, I do wonder if
she doesn't know Fm married. She's
a deep old schemer and 111 have too
look out for her ; but there's
in going driving that I see."
no harm
4
And when the time came I
went. If Marjorie was pretty
at noon, she was- handsome
at night, and the most . fascinating
talker. Odd, sarcastic speeches, 'tis
true, but in such a charming way, and
accompanied by such bewitching looks
from her lovely eyes that a man must
be almost an angel to keep away from
her. Aunt Dissane always had some
thing planned ahead and I well, I
went around half the time in a dream,
and the other half too stupified to
think. I sent Marjorie flowers, loaned
her books, and took her driving be
hind my handsome bays, that no wo
man but my wife had ever driven, and
I hung over her chair every night in
the parlor. There was always a crowd
around her, but whenever I came near
she made room for me with such a
pretty eagerness in her manner that I
could not help hanging around her and
whispering all those.soft, silly speeches
that men find so easy to make and bo
hard to account for afterwards.
The days passed swiftly. Frances'
letters camo daily, and I answered
them regularly, yet, in spite of all I
hung around Majorie Dissane, as a
silly moth does a candle. Four weeks
were almost gone. One evening I
never shall forget Marjorie and I
were alone in the parlor just after sup
per. I was leaning over her chair, as
usual, toying with her hand, and, re
lating a past experience which existed
only in my imagination said: "Of
course all this happened years aco,
Miss Marjorie. Had I but seen you
then! With such a charming woman
as you any man would be honest. "
She laughed in my face.
"How will you say that, Mr. John
stone? One CDuld almost beh'eve you
meant it. You remember my Cousin
Annette? You said the same tilings to
her years ago."
Had she struck me in the face I
couldn't have been more surprised.
My silly fit of madness was cured in
stantly; in a second I saw through the
whole scheme. Marjorie was trying to
flirt with me because she fancied I
had jilted Annette. By a great effort
I recovered my self-possession as she
arose and Btood before me, saying:
"I am very glad to have you say
these things io me. Fve been expect
ing this all the time, and looking for
ward to it You said the same words
to Annette, and she, poor, foolish girl,
believed that men were honest, and you
better than most men. I vowed ven
geance upon you, for her sake, and for
tune has played well into my hands.
An honest man indeed! 'Twould take
a world of charming women to make
an honest man of such as you."
She said this tragically and scorn
fully, and the words, though -they may
have been deserved, stung, me.
"I may have flirted with Annette;
but what is that to you?"
"She is my cousin, and I wanted to
revenge her."
"Indeed! And so you went out ol
your way, made a flirt out of yourseli
to satisfy your own ideas of the -eternal
fitness of things ? Miss Dissane,
how many men you bave flirted
with I know not, but for
once you hare overreached yourself.
You played with edged tools 'this
time. I may have acted like a fool
around you, but what then? A man
may flirt and 'tis but- an episode, soon
forgiven and-almost as sdon forgotten,
but a woman's reputation hangs by the
merest thread. You may speak of
charming womehf, Marjorie Dissane. A
charming,-" good, true woman i3 the
nicest, best, and purest thing on the
face of this earth, but a flirt is none of
these"
I heard familiar voices -in the hall,
and as I turned around, Sara came run
ning into the parlor. There's my papa
now. "Takee, dear papa! Takee
Sara," cried the baby voice.
Frances followed' her in more leis-
urely, deposited her bundles on the
table, looked curiously around, and
said: "What detained you, Egbert,
why did you not meet us?"
I embraced her in the good, old
fashioned way. "Your telegram said
to-morrow, my dear, but I'm heartily
glad you came to-night." Then, with
my arm around her, turned to Marjorie
Dissane, who stood looking on perfectly
dumbfounded. "We were just speak
ing of charming women. Miss Dissane,
allow me to introduce you to my wife,
the most charming woman I have ever
known." Majorie Dissane bowed
haughtily and swept out of the room.
Frances looked curiously around, but,
bless her dear heart, said never a word
to this day. Some women would never
have done talking. Gad ! But 'twas a
narrow escape. I feel foolish yet when
I think of it What if Frances had
come in ten minutes sooner ! I solemly
swear I'll never look into another pair
of black eyes when my wife is out of
town. Chicago Ledger.
Singular Incidents Relating' to Discovered
Articles.
Going through the Green Fark, Lon
don, one morning as soon as it was
opened I found a good brown silk um
brella with ivory handle lying on the
grass under a tree. I made it known
at the keeper s lodge and gave my ad
dress, but no one claimed it A few
days after, coming out of churclrin a
snow storm, I stumbled over some
thing soft. Looking down I saw a
dark mass on the path, which proved
to be a warm woolen wrap of a rich
dark crimson, beautifully knitted and
finished. This was my constant com
panion for years, and when worn out I
stuffed a cushion with it.
Two or three Shetland veils that are
worn by infants came into my hands,
and a parcel of school-books was found
in Birdcage Walk. Two of these hac
an address written in, and were duly
returned.
In the spring I was visiting near
Beading and one 'fine Sunday after
noon I talked with Miss E to the
lovely little church at Mapledurham,
going through the fieldpaths and along
short shady lanes in their first spring
beauty. About half way up one of
these lanes I picked up sixpence. Miss
E laughed, and said it would do
for the bag at church, when suddenly
she cried, "O Janet!" and showed me
half a crown she had found in a deep
rut. We looked about, and between
us found sixteen shillmgs and four
pence halfpenny in various coins ; and
a little further on, a knife with four
blades and buckhorn handle. It
was nearly a mile from any house, and,
though we made inquiry, no one
claimed either money or knife. Two
days after, on returning to London and
crossing one of the flights of steps over
the rails at Faddington, I found a
handkerchief with deep black border
marked "Alicia Early." In connection
with this I must mention that four or
five years later, while waiting for a
friend in Manchester station, the Liver
pool train came in, and I noticed half
a dozen large traveling trunks turned
out of the van on which "Early" was
marked in large letters," and a small
parcel had "Alicia Early" written on it,
with "Fassenger from Bio Janeiro."
While staying at Oxford in com
memoration week a party of us had
been to see the boat races, and were
resting under the trees in the Broad
Walk when four or five young men
passed with a huge mastiff at their
heels. Nearly opposite to us the
animal rolled down on the grass,
scrambling and scratching in usual dog
fashion. As I was admiring the dog I
caught theglitter of something bright
turned over by one of its massive paws,
and on going to the spot found an old
fashioned double gold locket, the ring
of which was broken. On opening the
locket a small photograph of a young,
grave-faced soldier was on one side;
on the other a lock of soft baby hair
and the words: . "My only son Sebas
topol." I have the locket in my peep
ing still, and often wonder who was the
tender,heartbroken woman who lost that
precious memento of affection. Who
knows the tears that have been shed
over that little photograph, probably
the only one the poor mother ever
possessed? Chambers' Journal.
Begging and all the forms incident
to it is a perfect pest in Lisbon. The
nasals of the Portuguese are well
adaoted to the woful lamentations
whined forth in tones to melt a heart 1
of stone. Mendicancy is a profession
over which these beggars are masters,
and no tragedian has studied closer his
part than have these wretches
the misery they depict Little
children, and some of them beau
tiful, are placed about the dif
ferent places of amusement by some
old crone who has hired them, and for
a mere pittance the little actress wails
forth her cry for a penny. The day
over, the child carries her mite to the
brute who is her master. After night
fall, women with their features covered
will quietly approach you from the
shadow of some tree or doorway and
solicit alms. They claim to be of re
spectable birth and station, driven by
straitened circumstances to ask assist
ance of a stranger, yet too modest or
proud to expose their features.- New
York Telegram.
COOP STORIES OF STUDENTS.
A. Stern Examiner Who Carried Ont His
Threat Adveatares'of the Crib.
Among stories of examinations those
that are' most popular with the students
are told at the expense of the examin
ers, says the St. James Gazette. We
have two capital ones at Edinburgh.
According to the first an examiner had.
made himself obnoxious by warning the
students against putting their hats on
his desk. The university in the Scot
tish capital is remarkable for a scarcity
of cloak-rooms, and in the excitement
of examination hats are, or used to be,
flung down anywhere. This examiner
announced one day that if he found an
other hat on his desk he would rip it
up. Next day no hats were laidhere
when the students assembled. 'Fres-
entlyi however, tne examiner was
cauea vuz or tne room, xnen some
naughty undergraduate slipped from
ihis seat, got the examiner's hat. and
placed it on the desk. When the ex
aminer re-entered the hall every eye
was fixed on him. He observed the hat
and a gleam of triumph shot across his
face. "Gentlemen," he said, "I told
you what would happen if this occurred
again." Then h9 took his pen-knife
from his pocket, opened it, and. blandly
cut the hat in pieces, amid loud and
prolonged applause. They do say that
there were other examiners in the room
at the time who could have warned him
had they chosen.
Another story illustrates the fact that
the student may sometimes be too
much for his examiner. Soon after the
examination opened he was observed
looking around him stealthily, as if
meditating guile. From the other end
of the hall the examiners watched him
narrowly ; so did a number of students.
He took a handkerchief from his pocket
and spread it over his knee. Every
few minutes he lifted up the handker
chief and looked beneath it, and then
wrote with renewed vigor. It seemed
a clear case of copying, so an active ex
aminer pounced upon him. The stu
dent whisked the handkerchief into his
pocket. "Come, Mr. ," said the
examiner, "I must see your hanker
chief." "Certainly, sir," said the stu
dent, blandly, showing it to him. Then
the pocket was searched, with no re
result. The student began to grin and
then the other competitors, and then
the other examiners followed suit
Obviously it was a practical joke,
though at the time no one understood
how practical. The crestfallen exam
iner returned to his desk and soon af-
l terward the studant took a small book
from his pocket, spread it upon his
knee and seemed to resume his old
tactics. ' The fear of being "sold again"
kept the examiner from interfering this
time ; but when they looked at his pa
per subsequently it was seen that his
answes had come from a "crib."
Whether his ingenuity availed him in
the end I cannotf say. A better story,
in the opinion of the examiners, is one
of a student who made a miniature crib
for himself, meaning to smuggle it up
his sleeve into the examination-room.
He forgot it, however, and his mother,
finding it in- his room, hurried to the
university with it and sent it by a mes
senger to the examiner, asking him to
give it at once to her son, as she knew
it was something very important
Talking to One's Self.
If any person will carefully note the
manner of speech used by those given
to the habit of "talking to themselves,"
he will come to the conclusion that the
phrase is misleading. For proof of
this assertion let it be remembered that
the "talking" always takes some form
like the following : "Now, let me show
you" "H I ever find you " "Noth
ing of the sort ; he is" "I just (.ell
you " "Why! do you know ?" and
so on.
Thus it will be seen that the language
of the solitary talker takes the form of
address to another person. In the
greatest number of cases, the solitary
talker speaks only when mentally ex
cited, and then his language is a mix
ture of assertion, contradiction, and
vituperation. Now and -again he is
merely exclamatory, but whatever the
words he uses may be, it is plain that
he is always addressing himself to an
imaginary person.
Some rather amusing incidents are
told of persons given to this habit
Two. such approached each other one
day, and each was conversing in loud
tones with an imaginary individual.
"Sir?" queried one speaker, as' he
paused for a reply from the person of
his brain. "I beg your pardon," said
the other at the same moment to the
imaginary individual with whom he was
arguing.
"The exclamations brought both men
out of their visionary disputes, and
with a blush and mutual apologies they
continued their separate ways.
Some solitary talkers are known to
be given to self-condemnation, and this
seems to contradict the assertion that
there is no such thing a3 "talking, to
one's self." The question was put to a
man who is given to condemning his
own past conduct in emphatic speech
when he gets alone.
"Don. you speak to yourself?"
"Not exactly," he replied, slowly. "I
am at these times Dr. Jekyll denounc
ing Mr. Hyde, whom I consider the evil
person dominating me."
Surely, upon investigation, there
seems to be no such thing as "talking
to one's sell" The Epoch,
Ko Juliets for Bashful Rotncos.
Timid coyness is not only the right
but one of the sweetest charms of
maidens, and it is thus that they invite
approaches to their respect and confi
dence. But a bashful man they cannot
respect Modesty, courtesy, consider
ation, pointedjwith manly self-assertive-ness,
are qualities they respect, and if
our young friend . will study to gam
these attributes we venture to say he
will not be long in finding asweef. girl
who will gently encourage his advances
to friendship and affection. Let him
be bold but 'gentle, respectful but ar-
kdent, and show by his manner that he
regards himself worthy a girl's love
and strong enough to protect her with
it, and lie will have no more trouble,
we assure him. New York Sun.
Tk SUry flrea listen.
Some there are, born to poverty yet
endowed with the instinct of insatiable
craving for knowledge and truth and
light; and these are urged irresistibly
through privations dire and over ol
stacles impassible to common folk, on
to the goal of gratification. Such a one
was that poor Finnish girl, the first wo-
man .of her race to obtain the degree of
Fh. D., the story of whose trials and
triumphs is told in a recent book by
Fraulein Sohr.
Irene Alstom, as she, fended her
father's cattle in the "land of a thou
sand lakes," dreamed and. pondered
over all the marvels of science and
learning which seemed forever a sealed
book to her poverty and ignorance.
Yearning to be wise, yet'seeing no hope
in a gray life of toil and struggle, at
lasi she prayed to die, that she might
reach a sphere where her cravings
would be satisfied. A humane pastor,
divining her longing, sent her to a good
school, where she passed as fourth
among forty-six young girls' at the age
of 18, though only prepared by her own
self-help. She took work in earnest
here, often sitting up all nighfthinking
over the day's tasks while her com
panions slept all round her, and after
ward when as a day pupil she had to
provide her own meals, she sometimes
went to the classes fasting save for the
fresh snow she picked up and ate on
the way. For her father was totally
ruined, and she must soon leave school
and begin earning. For awhile she
bravely suppressed her longings, and
submitted to the drudgery of teaching,
yet never losing sight of the goal she
had long had at heart her matricula
tion. At last, having saving 4, with
the scantiest of luggage she journeyed
to Helsingfors, and in defiance of op
position, chiefly feminine, such as a
more advanced society can form no cou
ception of, Irene prepared for her or
deal. She paid her lodging in advance
for the whole winter (3) rind invested
in four loaves of the hard round rye
biscuit of Scandinavia and Finland,
which keeps many months, dividing
them methodically so that she had a
piece for each day till Christmas. In
the depth of winter she worked with
out a fire, at a temperature of 30 de
grees. Celsius, a kind professor,
taught her Latin, moved by her assur
ance that unless she learned it she could
neither live content nor die happy.
Her progress was most rapid; she ma
triculated, taught awhile again for the
sake of her family, renewed her own
studies, took a brilliant degree, and, at
last, recognized by her nation for what
she is, the dauntless pioneer of wo
man's progress, she now lives honored
and appreciated, still educating her
brothers, still thirsting insatiably after
truth.
SOUND TRAVELS 2,000 MILES.
Many readers will call to mind the
red sunsets of two or three years ago,
and that these were accounted for by
many persons upon the supposition that
the" upper air was filled with fine dust
from the eruption of Krakatau, in Java.
This eruption occurred in the month ol
'August, 1883. Whether it were tho
cause of the red glow in our sky or noti
we may never be able to show posi
tively. But the distance to which the
sound of that explosion has been heard
was found to have been remarkable.
The same year the English yach
Marchesa was cruising in the Malay
archipelago as far east as New Guinea.
Mr. Guillemard, who wrote the journal
of that cruise, relates an interview with
a Dutch missionary in this latter island,
from which it appears that the sound
was heard at that great distance.
"Mr. Van Hasselt was eager to learn
what news we could give of the civil
ized world. We had little to tell, with
the exception of the eruption- at
Krakatau. Of the appalling amount
of destruction it had caused we were
unaware, but we gave him the few par
ticulars which had reached Gorontalo.
"He at once told us, greatly to our
astonishment, that the noise of the explosions-had
been audible at Dorei,
and, going into the next room, brought
his diary, in which, under the date of
August 27, an entry had been made to
the effect that sounds as of distant
cannonading, which they had imagined
to proceed from a volcanic eruption
had been heard that day.
The natives, we were told, had also
noticed it on the previous day when,
in fact, the outburst was at its height.
By the missionaries the volcano at
Ternate or in, some other part of the
Moluccas was supposed to be in action.
It Enables one partially to realize the
terrific nature of the eruption when the
map shows Dorei to be distant 1,710
mil us from the Krakatau. Youth s
Companion'.
THE JPLAXTE..' .X,TF PSZOF1TS.
Flanters, whether of tea, coffee, or
sugar, are much more dependent on
banks than are farmers. The expense
of keeping up one of these plantations
is enormous, owing to the large amount
of fertilizers required. Then the labor
item in comparison with that required
on a farm is very considerable, and
though the gross returns from a plan
tation of either tea, coffee, or sugar,
greatly exceed those from the other
tillage of the soil, the gilt is consider
ably taken off the gingerbread when
you have to pay twelve per cent on all
advances to the bank, in addition to
two and a half per cent, on "disburse
ments" to the local firm at the seaport
who ships your product. The fact is
that'since the general introduction of
beet-root sugar, there is as little profit
in sugar planting as there is in tea
planting to the planter himself, the
only man who makes the money being
the middleman who handles the stuff.
The Independent Grocer.
A couhlet of verse, period of prose,
may cling to the rock of age as a shell
that survives a deluge. .Buftcer Lyt
ion,
. V ." v.i .- v
gkeit mtfxns PAST in mi-
"EKT. - ?
BY 8. W I-OSS.
Mr. Howells in the last nuiber of '
the uEditor,ff Study" in Harperst with
more than his usual literary boldness
makes the following statement:
. "At least three-fiiths of the literature j
called classic, in all languages, no more
lives than the poems and stories that
perish monthly in our magazines. Fj;
is all printed and reprinted generation ,
after generation, century after century;
but it is not alive; it is dead as the
people who wrote it and read it, and to
whom it meant something, perhaps
with whom it was a fashion, a caprice,
a passing taste. A superstitious piety
preserves it, and pretends that it has
esthetic qualities which can delight or
edify; but nobody really enjoys it, ex
cept as a reflection of the past moods
and humors of the race, or a revelation
of the author's character; otherwise it
is trash, and often very filthy trash,
which the present trash at least is not."
There is an honest boldness about
these words, and a writer with less lit
erary hardihood than Mr. Howells
would hesitate to utter them. Literary
cant and humbug is so universal that a
few words of manly truth from such an
accepted authority as Mr. Howells are
especially gratifying. The unreasoning
and superstitious reverence which we
accord to the great writers of antiquity
blinds us to the fact that they are great
only in parts, and that every author's
genius, however great it may have
been, was. only intermittent. Even
Shakspeare, the greatest genius of all
time, suffered many lapses of inspira
tion; and even his incomparable pro
ductions are disfigured with long dead
levels of commonplace, forced wit and
unworthy trivialities. Shakspeare, like
all great writers, has-been fulsomely
eulogized by millions who never read
him and by thousands who do not
know the names of his plays. Though
he is the greatest writer who ever lived
he has left behind him muoh that is
poor and a little that is worthless.
If this can be said of Shakspeare
and what sincere admirer of this su
preme son of genius in his own honest
inner consciousness will not say it?
if this can be said , of Shakspeare, how
much more can it be said of other
great authors whose works have taken
their places among the classics of the
world. Milton's "Faradise Lost" is a
great poem; but there are many long
passages in it, particularly in the clos
ing books, that give but little evidence
of genius, and bear unmistakable indi
cations of the pumping process. Few
dispute the genius of Wordsworth, and
yet few can read his long poems with
out yawning. The great Goethe is
sometimes dull by the hour, and long
ago it was said that Homer sometimes
nods. Dante is heavy and prosy in
many of his long didactic passages, and
even Virgil, who, perhaps, wrote with
as- much care (though far from being
the greatest geniusj of any of the
classic authors of the world, is yet a
little tedious in places.
But there is always a tendency to
overestimate the old and the classic.
The temptation to hypocrisy in" literary
matters is always strong, ana men are
sometimes literary as they are some
times religious, in order to be in tne
fashion. It is easier to seem than to
be, and oftentimes less difficult to praise
an author than to read him.
The real truth probably is that the r
literature of to-day is being as consci- '
entiously and carefully written as ever
before. There are giants in the earth
in the literary, world, even in these
degenerate days. Mr. Howells re
gards Tolstoi, a living Bussian au
thor, as incomparably the greatest
novelist who ever lived; and there has
probably never been so true a painter
of actual life men and women as they
really exist as Mr. Howells himselt
And leaving out Shakspeare and Mil
ton, where can we find in the whole
range of English literature a more
genuine poet than Tennyson; and in
the whole range of the history of let
ters where can be discovered a more r
striking and original figure than Walt
Whitman. We are living in . an age
that has been made epochal by the
transcendent genius of its philosophi
cal and scientific writers. Even Francis
Bacon and Isaac Newton and Coper
nicus surely do not outrank. Herbert
Snencer and Charles Darwin in the
far-reaching and revolutionary charac
ter of their researches.
Great men and great writers did not
belong exclusively to the past, and
there are doubtless as many living to
day as at any other previous epoch of
the world's history. Yankee Blade.
Thackeray and the American Girls.
There's something simple in the way
these kind folks regard a man ; they
read our books as if we were Fielding,
and so forth. The' other night some
men were talking of Dickens and Bul
wer as if they were equal to Shake
speare.and I was pleased to find myself
pleased at hearing them praised. The
prettiest girl in Fliiladelphia, poor'
soul, has read "Vanity Fair" twelve
times. I paid her a great big compli
ment yesterday, about her good looks,
of course, and she turned round de
lighted to her friend and said, "Ai
most tallut," that is something like the
pronunciation. Beatrix has an adorable
pronunciation, ana uses muo woras,
which are much better than wit And
what do you think? One of the
prettiest girls in Boston is to be put
under my charge to go to a marriage
at Washington next week. We are to
travel together all the way alone
only, only, I'm not going. Young
people when they are engaged here
make' tours alone; fancy what the
British Mrs. Grundy would say at such
on idea !
There was a young Quakeress at the
lecture last night, listening about
Fielding. Lord! Lord, how pretty
she was! There are. hundreds of such,
everywhere, airy-loaking 'little beings,
with magnolia no, not magnolia, what
is that white flower you make bouquet '
of, .Camilla or camelia? complexions,
and 'lasting not much longer.,
Thackeray Utters in Scribner Maga
zine. TTwvrrir 1Wltitv- mA -- --v wr'
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