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                    <div type="front"><ab> 
SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS A YEAR, IN ADVANCE
BELLES LETTRES CRITICISM
THE DILETTANTE
PRICE
10
CENTS
SPOKANE, WASH.
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THE DILETTANTE

A Monthly Literary Magazine.

VOL. I.	MAY,	1898.	NO.	2

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                    <div type="poetry"><ab>
SESOSTRIS

Lloyd Mifflin in “ The Gates of Song A

Sole Lord of Lords and very King of Kings,

He sits within the desert, carved in stone; Inscrutable, colossal, and alone,

And ancienter than memory of things.

Graved on his front the sacred beetle clings; Disdain sits on his lips; and in a frown Scorn lives upon his forehead for a crown.

The affrighted ostrich dare not dust her wings Anear this Presence. The long caravan’s Dazed camels stop, and mute the Bedouins stare. This symbol of past power more than man’s Presages doom. Kings look, and Kings despair; Their scepters tremble in their jeweled hands, And dark thrones totter in the baleful air.

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                <div type="articles"><ab>
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THE LITERARY WAYSIDE

SHAKESPEREAN PECULIARITIES

By J. M. Comstock

Your request for a brief article upon some Shakespearean topic is at hand, and as nothing affords me greater pleasure than reveling in this to me hallowed ground, I herewith comply. As no special portion of this endless sea of themes was suggested, my thoughts will rove among a few familiar sayings, drawing conclusions in apparent harmony with modern interpretation.

To take in, as it were, the full scope and keenness of this author’s wonderful power of observation and discrimination, one must be a constant and unfettered student of his works. The casual reader fails entirely in his comprehension of the author, and therefore no especial interest is aroused. In speaking of the author’s marvelous power of close observation, I have often thought that had his mind been turned into channels of certain scientific thinking, the evolution in every department of scientific understanding which has revolutionized the nineteenth century might have been evolved in the sixteenth; and thus saved humanity centuries of intolerance, persecution and suffering. As the sky begins to clear after the passage of the thunder storm, it is in a spirit of perfect calm repose that we watch the lightning play around the ever receding, no longer foreboding clouds.

Is it possible that this poet, standing, as it were, at the threshold of the mighty revolution which the incoming years were to inaugurate in the philosophical, metaphysical and biological teachings, grasped in a measure the full significance of the coming changes—and so threw into his plays the many evidences of that wonderful insight which we find scattered all through his works; and then watched
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with keen and critical observation the play of these subtle forces, ere they emerged from the darkness in which they slumbered for ages before obtaining the faintest recognition ?

This author’s work and aim was to observe closely the relations and actions of mankind, and then to delineate accurately in words the result of his careful observations. Had he recorded or idealized only the actions of the noble and true of his age, like Othello his occupation would have been gone; and these plays with all their pathos, rhythm and beauty would have been but a myth:

Who would believe my verse in time to come If it were filled with your most high deserts ?

If I could write the beauty of your eyes,

And in fresh numbers number all your graces, The age to come would say, “This poet lies.”

(Sonnet 17.)

He, as well as others, under the spirit of poetic license, wrote of the beatitudes of men and women, landscapes, space and rivulets, but realized that the reiteration of these themes without the intermingling of human speech and action, as known to human experience in the age in which he was writing, would be to the coming ages insipid and untruthful. Herein lies the eternal perpetuity of his works. Their beauty and their power over humanity increases in proportion as we realize that they represent the almost perfect delineation of every human passion, feeling and emotion conceivable under the conditions of human association in that age.

His writings have, and will ever continue to grow in brilliancy as the ages advance.

Eliminate the Shakespearean dramas from the world’s theatrical stage, and you almost eliminate the stage itself. All the dramatic talent past and present could not fill the void. Eliminate the Shakespearean sayings from the world’s literature, and the loss would be irreparable.

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The estimation, in which this author’s works are held in the popular mind is unfolding and expanding, in proportion as the human intellect, through study, is attracted to its pre-eminent worth.

Comparison with other poets, in different ages, is valueless unless the comparison includes the relative conditions, wants, needs and aspirations of the people in the two ages. Let the student who would compare this author with any modern poet begin by a thorough research into the conditions of society, and the ethical standing of poets and dramatists of the sixteenth century. He should for the opening argument read very carefully, from Taine’s “English Literature,” his article upon the theatre of the sixteenth century. I think, after a careful perusal, he will conclude that a comparison of the literary productions of one age with another, independent of all other conditions, is little short of a farce.

Other poets may surpass Shakespeare in the simple field of fancy’s idle dreams, but in the broad field of life’s real and earnest battles he brings out the scenes and characters with a vivid reality which makes them live forever, as actual persons, in the hearer’s mind. The plays are all great word epics. Each sets forth some high moral principle with a power unequaled by any other author. Follow the delineation of Macbeth's overmastering ambition; the filial ingratitude of King Lear's two elder daughters; the murder of Hamlet's father—and it is enough to strike terror to the heart of any evil doer, and make him cry out for release from the curse of a guilty conscience.

But I am drifting away from the thoughts that I intended to bring out in this brief article.

I quote a line from Hamlet to his mother: “For use almost can change the stamp of nature.” I quote this to show that the author’s mind traveled along lines of thought in harmony with the teachings of Huxley, Spencer and others in this: that he, perhaps

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unknowingly, here refers to the principle of adaptation to environment, which is now an almost universally conceded fact in evolution. I must also quote as hearing somewhat upon the same line of thought, a brief colloquy from the third scene of act four, of “The Winter’s Tale:’’

Polixones: Wherefore, gentle maiden,

Do you neglect them ?

Perdita: For I have heard it said There is an art which, in their piedness, shares With great creating nature.

Pol.: Say there be; yet nature is made better by no mean, but nature makes that mean; so, o’er that art which you say adds to nature, is an art that nature makes. This is an art which does mend nature.

In a somewhat different vein of thought I next quote from “The Tempest,” first scene, second act. Therein some modern political theories are quite truthfully portrayed, showing that principles sometimes considered very recent are of quite ancient origin. Whether the tracing of these ideas to early history makes them of greater value, is of little moment. The scene opens with Gonzalo, the honest old counsellor:

Gonzalo: Had I plantation of this isle, my lord—

Antonio: He’d sow’t with nettle-seed.

Sebastian: Or docks, or mallows.

Gonzalo: And were the king on’t, what would I do?

Sebastian: ’Scape being drunk, for want of wine.

Gon.: I’ the commonwealth I would by contraries Execute all things; for no kind of traffic Would I admit; no name of magistrate; Letters should not be known; riches, poverty, And use of service, none; contract, succession Bourne, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none ; No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil;

No occupation; all men idle, all;

And women too, but innocent and pure.

No sovereignty,—

Seb.: Yet he would be king on’t.

Gon.: All things in common nature should produce Without sweat or endeavor; treason, felony, Sword, pike, knife, gun, or need of any engine
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Would I not have; but nature should bring forth Of its own kind, all foison, all abundance To feed my innocent people.

I would with such perfection govern, sir,

To excel the golden age.

The age in which this author lived was one in which not only the masses, but men and women of every grade or rank, even kings and queens, all were subject to the influence of the most rank superstitions and unreasonable hallucinations. They held full belief in all extraordinary phenomena, as presaging direful calamity of every conceivable character, as warning to them for past or premeditated actions:

Gloster: These late eclipses in the sun and moon Portend no good to us.

The following quotations go very strongly to show that by careful study and critical observation of nature’s methods he had outgrown these superstitions, and had no fear of charms, omens or prognostics which others dared not mention in a spirit of derision. He puts into the mouths of many different characters his own utter contempt of this spirit of cringing superstitious servility. In the second act of “King Lear” Edmund says:

This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune (often the surfeit of our own behavior) we make guilty of our disasters the sun, moon and the stars; as if we were villains by necessity; knaves, thieves and treacherous by spherical predominence; drunkards and liars by an enforced obedience to planetary influence, and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on. An admirable evasion of man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star.

Again, in the first part of ‘‘King Henry IV,” act three, scene one:

Glendover: At my nativity,

The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes. Of burning cressets; and at my birth

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The frame and huge foundation of the earth Shak’d like a coward.

Hotspur: Why, so it would have done at the same ‘ season, if your mother’s cat had but kittened, though yourself had never been born.

Glendover: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.

Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;

But will they come when you do call for them?

We may laugh or sneer at such thoughts in the light and tolerance of this nineteenth century, but men in that age. knowing that the axe was ever ready upon the frailest evidence of offence, spoke guardedly unless under the cover or license of the poetic or dramatic art. It is said that one of the leading counts in the trial against Lord Essex was the charge of political intrigue against Queen Elizabeth, as set forth in the play of “King Richard II,” which he was instrumental in having placed upon the stage.

‘‘HUGH WYNNE.”

It has long been a matter of wonder to me that novelists have paid so little attention to the Revolutionary period of American history. It is a field especially inviting to the romancer and affords unsurpassed material for fashioning a spectacular, subliminated dime novel of the semi-historical variety. But few have ventured into this field. The elder Hawthorne achieved marked success in his short sketches, ‘‘Legends of the Province House,” but I do not now recall any noteworthy fictions of any considerable length dealing with this period. Dr. Weir Mitchell has seized upon this opportunity and written a book of much merit, with Philadelphia as the scene and the officers of the patriot army and the British invaders as the leading characters. Some one has shrewdly defined the ideal novel as ‘‘a human document.” “Hugh Wynne” is near to this ideal, the human interest being singularly poignant and continuously sustained. The hero’s
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mother, with her French phrases and winning foreign mannerisms; the vigorous and sensible spinster, Miss Wynne, who admired Major Andre and commanded her nephew to “catch him for me in the war;” that stout old Quaker, the hero’s father, who made such a pathetic ruin in his decline and was attedend by visitants from the phantom-peopled past; all these folk and many more seize upon us and impress us with a sense of their reality; in truth they live as truly as do George Washington, Mr. Hamilton and other illustrious personages who figure in the stirring action of the book. It is a noteworthy fiction judged from any point of view; and its popularity is not surprising.

The Century Company, New York, publishers; two volumes.

MRS. ATHERTON’S LATEST BOOK.

The motif of Gertrude Atherton’s luminous novel, “Patience Sparhawk and Her Times,” cannot he better interpreted than in the author’s own words. She dedicates the book, in a terse and forceful preface, to M. Paul Bourget—

Who alone, of all foreigners, has detected, in its full significance, that the motive power, the cohering force, the ultimate religion of that strange composite known as “The American/* is Individual Will. Leaving the ultra-religious element out of the question, the high, the low, the rich, the poor, the man. the woman of this section of the Western world, each, consciously or unconsciously, believes in, relies on himself primarily. In the higher civilization this amounts to intellectual anarchy, and its tendency is to make Americans, or, more exactly, United State-sians, a New Race in a sense far more portentious than in any which has yet been recognized. As M. Bourget prophesies, destruction, chaos may eventuate. On the other hand, the final result may be a race of harder fibre and larger faculties than any in the history of civilization. That this extraordinary self-dependence and independence of certain traditions that govern older nations make the quintessential part of the women as of the men of this race I have endeavored to illustrate in the following pages.

This is an undertaking which would only be essayed by one worthy to belong to this New Race of “intellectual anarchists.” “Patience” is one of the most remarkable books published in recent years.

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In reading it one is stimulated by frequent surprises —for its incidents are not of the regulation style; and the story is told with an originality which awakens even in the blase man and woman of the world a thrill of sapid interest almost like that which simpler tales brought to their fresh minds in youth.

In England, we are told, this book has made Mrs Atherton’s fame secure. But in her own land it has been received somewhat adversely by the general reader—who prefers to feed his imagination upon the chaotic tales of Hall Caine and Marie Corelli. Possibly the English receive Patience as a sample American woman, while she is not so accepted in this country. It may be that English observers are more competent than we to judge as to the aptness of the portrait.

Whether Mrs. Atherton has truly portrayed New York manners and types is not for a Western barbarian to say; but the Californian atmosphere of the first part of the book is distinct and clear. Mrs. Atherton is a daughter of California, and writes more faithfully of her native state than does Bret Harte. There may be something autobiographical in the descriptions of Patience's girlish wanderings by moonlight or early dawn in the fragrant Monterey woods. Patience is a great character—honest, enthusiastic, going to the depths or heights of all emotions. We know her from her tumultuous and unhappy childhood, when books and nature are her only solace—when she loses herself in Byron’s poems or in the “storm and blare” of Carlyle’s “French Revolution.” She is but twenty five or thereabouts when the book ends with her rescue b}^ her lover from the electric chair, where she was about to die for a crime which she had not committed. The account of her trial is a bit of strongly dramatic writing. And persons who rave over Kipling’s description of Millionaire Cheyne’s dash across our continent, by special train, to find his son, should
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read of how Patience's lover just saved her life by his wild ride on a Hying engine in pursuit of the governor’s train. The whole story is written with refreshing grasp and vigor. The style is as virile as George Eliot’s, and is full of the modern spirit. “Patience Sparhawk” will undoubtedly become popular among discerning readers, and is already in its third edition. The book is bound in blue-green cloth with white lines and lettering, in the very best of good taste; and both inside and out is a credit to anybody’s library.

Published by John Lane, 140 Fifth Ave., New York. Crown 8vo. Price $1.50.

“A LADY OF QUALITY.’’

It seems almost incredible that any adult human being with ordinary common sense should find pleasure in reading Mrs. Burnett’s novel, “A Lady of Quality.” Mrs. Burnett, we are told, sold the first story she ever wrote to the very first editor who read it. She was only a school girl then, but she has written ever since without any attempt to improve her style—probably believing that it is unnecessary to improve what is already perfect. In fact, however, it would take a perspicacity - more than human to find any literary merit in “A Lady of Quality” or “His Grace of Osmonde.” One would not expect such tales to appeal to any but servant-girl minds. Yet this history of the abnormal and astounding Clorinda has been dramatized and has made a great success. The crude and absurdly pompous style of the narrative may be softened by the dramatist, but even then the play can hardly be of a profitable nature. Mrs. Burnett is apparently fond of hearing people swear, and drags oaths into her novels on the slightest pretext. There is nothing in “A Lady of Quality” to especially commend. It is hardly probable that any person with a fair de-

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gree of literary taste would voluntarily read the book through; although the stubborn fact remains that it sells well. It is published by the Scribners in an attractive binding. Price $1.50.

“THE FAIREST OF THE FAIR.”

I chanced the other day upon a handsome little volume with the name of Hildegarde Hawthorne on the title page. The book was called “The Fairest of the Fair”—a title which seemed to indicate a work of fiction; but it is simply a record of Miss Hawthorne’s visit to the World’s Fair. The “fairest” of the things she saw there are described in a charming and thoughtful manner. One expects some touch of genius in the granddaughter of Nathaniel Hawthorne, and this volume contains some happily expressed fancies which do indeed faintly recall the graceful, imaginative style of the great New England romancer. The book is full of interest for all who attended the fair, and is a very pleasing souvenir for any American who wishes to keep some reminder of his country’s great exploit in 1898. In reading it one realizes afresh what a stupendous undertaking that was which American energy and talent carried out so triumphantly. Miss Hawthorne has the portraying hand, and brings before the mind’s eye of her reader many of the most beautiful scenes in the wonderful panorama of the fair. No more entertaining book on the subject has been written; and the illustrations are very fine.

Henry Altemus, Pub., Philadelphia. Price, $1.25.

“A QUEEN OF HEARTS.”

Elizabeth Phipps Train’s novels are in great demand at circulating libraries. She is not a finished writer, but her stories have originality and plot. Her latest work, “A Queen of Hearts,” is hardly equal to “A Social Highwayman,” which, in its

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dramatized form, is still such a popular stage attraction. But “A Queen of Hearts” -is also an entertaining story. It is the history of the life of an actress, as told by herself in her private journal; and Miss Train seems to have caught well the attitude of mind natural to one in that profession. There are some melancholy truths concerning the estimation in which actresses are held by outsiders, no matter how good and pure lives these members of the mimic world may lead. This actress, this ‘‘queen of hearts” who tells her own life story, says toward the end of the book: ‘‘They are gone forever, [these pretty conceits of mine, that I, the favorite of the public, was their honored lady as well; that the actress, whatever her rank in her profession, who kept her life pure and unsullied, was capable of holding her reputation above reproach in the eyes of men. I have acquired the knowledge that, however discreet and circumspect she is, the actress is the lawful property of Scandal. Calumny possesses over her fame the right of eminent domain, and the custom of centuries is not to be reversed by individuals.” This actress has many triumphs and earns great wealth; but the perusal of the book will never awaken in its girl reader the desire to become just that kind of a ‘‘Queen of Hearts.”

J. B. Lippincott Co., publishers, Philadelphia. Price, $1.25.

LITERARY NOTES.

A new novel by Mrs. Humphrey Ward will be published this spring by the Macmillan company.

“Lost Man’s Lane” is the title of Anna Katharine Green’s new story, which the Putnams are about to publish.

The Macmillan company will soon bring out a book of poems by Washington’s foremost "writer—Ella Higginson.

John Lane issues this spring a new book by Richard Le Gal-lienne. It is called “The Romance of Zion Chapel."

Henry James has purchased a house in Rye, England, and intends to spend the rest of his life in that beautiful town.

Appleton’s Cyclopedia of American Biography, in six large

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volumes, has recently been received at Spokane’s city library.

Henry M. Stanley’s new book, “Through South Africa,” is. to be published immediately by Charles Scribner's Sons.

Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson and her son, Lloyd Osborne, have returned to the United States from the Samoan Islands.

Helen Waterson Moody’s book of essays with the interesting title, “The Unquiet Sex,” will soon be issued by the Scribners.

Way &amp; Williams of Chicago have printed a book of twelve short tales by Charles F. Lummis, under the title, “The Enchanted Burro.”

Anthony Hope's new romance of the time of Charles II, entitled “Simon Dale," is brought out in book form by Frederick A. Stokes &amp; Co.

J. M. Barrie is writing a sequel to “Sentimental Tommy." It is to be published next year in Scribner’s Magazine, beginning probably in January.

Estes &amp; Lauriat of Boston announce the publication of a new book of poems by Lloyd Mifflin. This volume bears the title, “The Slopes of Helicon.”

Mrs. Julia C. R. Dorr has written a new novel, “In Kings1 Houses,’- a romance of the time of Queen Anne. It will be published by L. C. Page &amp; Co.

“Pearce Anderson's Will" is the title of Richard Malcolm Johnston's new novel which Way &amp; Williams are to issue presently. It is illustrated by Orson Lowell.

A volume of essays by that excellent writer. Charlotte Perkins Stetson, will be published at once by Small, Maynard &amp; Co. The book is entitled, “Women and Economics."

“The War of the Worlds," the strangely interesting tale that appeared serially in the Cosmopolitan, has been issued in book form by the Harpers. H. G. Wells is the author.

Clinton Scollard has turned to fiction. Lamson, Wolffe &amp; Co. have in press his historical romance of Italy in the fourteenth century. The title of this novel is “A Man-at-Arms.-1

Lorimer Stoddard, who dramatized “Tess of the d'Urbervilles," is now engaged on a stage version of “Vanity Fair." It will be produced next season with Minnie Maddern Fiske as Becky Sharp.

The readers of Miss Elliott's strong novel, “Jerry," which appeared anonymously some years ago in the Century, will be glad to hear that she has just finished a new tale—“The Durket Sper-rett." It is a romance of the Cumberland mountains. Henry Holt &amp; Co. are the publishers.

Mark Twain records having seen in an American newspaper statistics proving that there has been an increase in crime in Connecticut during the past seven years. He adds sorrowfully that “this is just the length of time that I have been away from the state." .

Readers of “Quo Vadis" will remember that allusion is therein made to a novel written by Petronius—that admirable character who is the true hero of “Quo Vadis" and is also a real historical personage. This novel has been found, translated and is soon to be published by Dodd, Mead &amp; Co.

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MAGAZINES AND PERIODICALS.

A new serial by Richard Harding Davis began in the April Scribner’s.

“Gloria Mundi,“ the serial story by Harold Frederic now running in The Cosmopolitan, is alone worth the subscription price. It is illustrated by West Clinediust.

The Black Cat is one of the most attractive of the cheaper monthly publications. It contains in each number five or six short stories of exceptional originality.

Another Boston monthly which also charges a modest subscription price, is the Nickell Magazine. It contains many excellent illustrations, and its subject matter is full of interest to the general reader.

The Alkahest, a monthly published at Atlanta, Georgia, is the only characteristic Southern magazine. It thus has a large field which it fills in a very complete and interesting manner.

Every recent number of Collier's Weekly has been full of fine engravings of battle-ships and their commanders, and other warlike subjects. In the issue of April 16 are portraits of Capt. Evans—“Fighting Bob“—of the battleship Iowa, Capt. Harrington of the great monitor Puritan, Capt. Ludlow of the Terror, a group of all the officers of the Iowa, and a picture of Capt Sigsbee.

              

                   

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                    </ab></div>
                        <div type="fiction"><ab>
                            
AT THE SIGN OF THE FRYING PAN

You will look in vain on any map of Idaho for the bygone camp of Frying Pan. Like Babylon and Palmyra in the desert, it is only a memory. In truth, even in its palmy days it made little stir in the world, and now Oblivion, hopeless and perpetual, has fallen upon it. Oblivion and snow, equally deep and fatal, have hidden effectually from the sight of man the erstwhile “coming” metropolis of Idaho, the mining camp of Frying Pan.

It was on a bright July day (of the summer preceding the winter of the “great snow,”) that we five tenderfeet, the Utilitarian, the Obese One, the Speculator, the Bard and the Scribbler, halted our little pack-train at the sign of the Frying Pan, camp of Frying Pan, Idaho. We had traversed many weary leagues of black forest, threaded our way by scarcely practicable trails through vast, silent landscapes; borne the distresses of a most arduous journey with supreme patience and content; for were we not en route to the famous camp of Frying Pan, where dollars were alleged to grow on the bushes ?

It was with lively satisfaction that we reached our journey’s end and alighted before the only caravansary the camp afforded. A huge frying pan stuck upon a post furnished an original and expressive emblem of good cheer—as interpreted by the honest miner. The landlord, a greasy-looking old miscreant, came to the door to welcome us.

“A singular name you have for your town,” remarked the Utilitarian. “I congratulate you upon choosing one so practical and fitting. How much more suitable than to have called the place Cleveland, or Garfield, or Washington, or some other incongruous presidential name.”

“Yes, sir, it’s a suitable name. What’s more, it’s a name as is bound to draw. A hungry man ’ll come along way to visit Frying Pan.” And our host

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laughed boisterously at his own wit.

Then came our initiation at the bar. A crowd of miners were carousing at the rude slab of lumber which did duty in lieu of more elegant furniture. We joined the group, and, after the custom of the country, cheerfully drank whisky out of tin cups. All but the Bard. He, having never sipped harsher fluids than the dews of Helicon and the milk of human kindness, could not tolerate the potent and un-poetic liquor. One of the men noticed the delinquency on the part of our companion. “Hi ! Sonny, take a snort,’’ he shouted in a voice of thunder.

The youth declined the potation. Fatal error ! The company was thrown into violent agitation by this unparalleled occurrence. The culprit was again importuned to take a sociable snort of whisky out of a tin cup, with the same result as before. The miners gathered around the phenomenon and looked at him as though he were a wild man from Borneo, or the man in the moon descended to earth.

Then the man with the voice of thunder pulled his gun and calmly took a shot at the curiosity. Of course the pistol was loaded with blank cartridges, but the Bard was not aware of this comforting fact at first, and he blanched with terror as imaginary bullets ploughed their way through his anatomy. But the Utilitarian was not fashioned from such soft material as his companions and now his ire began to rise. “Let the boy alone, will you,’’ he said to the man with the big voice and the gun.

Whereupon the big man turned his fusilade upon his new antagonist. Then there was war in the camp of Frying Pan. The Utilitarian was an adept in the manly art of self-defense. He sent his astonished assailant sprawling into a corner and quickly scattered the ring of doughty warriors surrounding the Bard. He seemed to have harder fists and more of them than are commonly supplied to mankind.

Throughout the combat the Obese One dashed

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about the room and waved his arms innocuously in the air; and in after years told of the carnage wrought by his prowess on that occasion. Nobody paid any attention to him and he escaped unharmed.

But the battle quickly came to an end. The men soon began to realize the humorous aspect of the encounter and could not fight for laughter. Then we shook hands all around in high good humor and had whisky again in tin cups. During our subsequent career in the camp these rough men did us many a kindness and showed themselves manly and valiant in every sense.

We found that a score or so of log cabins comprised the town. We were near the summit of the Bitter Root range and some fifteen miles from the point where the LoLo trail crosses the summit.

In one of the cabins was the office of the Flap-jack. A miner who had once been a printer was editor and proprietor. An army press and a hatful of battered and miscellaneous type was his sole outfit, and the paper was published more as a “josh” than anything else. Its circulation was very limited and it was kept going merely to publish the legal notices, which a great mining camp is presumed to supply. But Frying Pan never “panned out.” The great snow of 1886-7 smothered it.

Placer mining was carried on in a small way and a number of fairly good quartz lodes had been located in the vicinity. We explored the adjacent hills and located claims here and there in anticipation of the time when Frying Pan should become a second Leadville.

A solitary peak arose to the south of the camp to a great height, and, strange to say, it was nameless. We found mineral indications on its wind-swept summit, and decided to locate a claim upon it. We built a' rude cabin of logs and did the necessary improvement work to hold the ground.

The Bard suggested that we name the peak Par-

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[pgbrk] THE DILETTANTE.

nassus, and happily the name clung. He had unconsciously done the world an eminent benefaction. His casual reference to the classic hilltop gave to a nameless Idaho mountain a name other than the multitudinous one of Washington. It also escaped the common fate of being called “Bald” mountain. Mount Parnassus, though perhaps somewhat incongruous, was at least unique in that section. Few, indeed, of those who visited Frying Pan had the least idea as to the meaning of the word. It was generally supposed that Parnassus was some foreign adventurer who had perhaps found a ledge in that region, or perished of starvation, or gained a transient notoriety in some forgotten Indian skirmish.

Meanwhile the swift northern summer at that altitude had ended. With a surprising suddenness the nights lengthened and the frosts increased in severity. One night, early in September, snow fell mysteriously among the heights, out of an apparently cloudless sky. Then came a few days of exceptional beauty. The air was still and pure and strangely clear. When the sun set this purity and rarity of the air imparted a singularly pearly appearance to the waning light. It was of a quality that the poets tell us once shone in Eden, and still occasionally brightens with unspeakable beauty a sinless dream. I have often fancied such an atmosphere brooding over desert solitudes, where no decaying vegetation can taint the air, 'or over those delectable retreats in the subtle orient—the limitless oasis where dwell the souls of the faithful—the Paradise of the Koran.

A few' days later snow began to fall. All through October it steadily deepened. The sky was continually overcast and the snow came down with a silent persistence that was appalling. As we worked in the snowy forest preparing wood for fuel, the taciturn gloom of the wilds began for the first time to weigh heavily upon our spirits. The forest appeared

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unfriendly to mortals. The trees were tal and sombre in their changeless uniform of dingy green. They moaned dismally in every breeze. We cut a number of them down and took a grim pleasure in reducing them to firewood with spiteful blows of the axe.

We prolonged our stay on the summit of Parnassus until the season became so severe that we found it necessary to repair to the camp for the winter. It was late in the afternoon when we set forth on our long Norwegian snowshoes, and it had grown dark before we were half way down the mountain. A great vague wind blew by starts. It whistled plaintively in the branches of the trees. Somehow it seemed a wind of immemorial antiquity (such as DeQuincey remarked blowing at a time of poignant crisis in his affairs) which had sported in those changeless solitudes for untold centuries, “where no man comes or hath come since the making of the world.” Squadrons of dingy clouds shuffled across the sky. The stars glimmered wistfully and the pallid snowshine favored us, and presently the moon came climbing skyward among the swaying pines. It was light enough for the rest of our journey, although the clouds thickened and swept over with increasing momentum. There was a portent in the air; a menace in the vague, inconstant breeze.

Next morning the fury of the storm was upon us. Long, powerful blasts like billows swept over, and the snow, the plentiful, the pitiless snow, came down in a ceaseless fusilade upon the roofs of Frying Pan. They were insignificant, those tiny missiles, yet they possessed a potency to bury that lone mountain land fathoms deep in snow. One by one our cabin roofs collapsed under the crushing weight. We all gathered at the restaurant, that building being the largest in camp, and with numerous props and stays we succeeded in making the roof secure. All the first day we could hear the storm sweeping

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[pgbrk] THE DILETTANTE.

without, beating as with palpable, assailing hands upon our defenses. But when we awoke next morning the room was strangely dark and silent. We were buried alive; and when we laboriously tunneled a way to the outside world we found the storm still raging unabated.

The days that followed it is useless to dwell upon. We hovered over the fire for the most part in silence. We felt that we were entrapped. What a satire was our situation upon the traditional liberty of the West. A like experience is within the reach of the poorest dweller in New York or Boston. Our dark and narrow jail has a counterpart in every city; any person by committing a mild misdemeanor can gain access thereto, and thus avoid the long pilgrimage to the Bitter Root mountains in far Idaho.

But while we sat silently thinking in our dungeon events were shaping themselves to turn our winter’s imprisonment into the most gorgeous epoch of our experience. Unaided by us the fates were silently changing to cloth of gold the sombre fabric of our lives.

Huddled in the narrow quarters of the restaurant we soon learned each other’s characteristics. And it must be placed to the credit of the rude gold miners of the wilderness that they showed a hardihood and courage throughout our trying ordeal which we found it hard to imitate. They were all of a pattern—those wild miners—all but one. He was plainly a man of more varied and subtle experience than had fallen to the lot of his companions. This was the Captain, so-called from his having been at one time in the regular army. Captain was a cheerful man, but with odd, uneasy eyes and furtive actions. We decided that he had something on his mind, but we shunned to learn his secret, for it might but deepen the gloom that rested upon our imprisoned company.

Time dragged on and provisions ran low, especi-

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[pgbrk] THE DILETTANTE.

ally flour. Then we were reduced to bacon and frozen potatoes. All stood the ordeal fairly well, but our great depression of spirits augured ill for the first one who should be attacked by disease. The Captain alone maintained his spirits, and one night he mysteriously declared that he could tell us something that would make us all merry as crickets and that he had made up his mind to do so. We paid little attention to this declaration, but suddenly our usually glum company became animated. The Captain was giving away the secret of the location of a gold quartz lode of fabulous richness. In a moment we were listening with all our ears.

“You have, of course, all heard the legend of the ‘Lost Lead,’ ” said the Captain. “I have always believed it was not wholly a wild fable, and in that belief I have ransacked these mountains every summer for twenty years. I have held to the belief that all the gold taken out at Pierce City in the early days did not fall from the clouds, but by the natural action of flowing water had been washed down in the course of ages from the mother ledge. If the washings were so rich what must the mother ledge be ? A veritable isle of Monte Cristo, Aladdin’s cave and United States treasury all in one.

“Gentlemen, I have always believed that golden legend, and have been morally certain that the find made by Robinson and lost again was a real occurrence. So I searched and prospected through the inhospitable mountains, but it was not until about a month ago that I made the strike—just before the big snow.”

Here the captain became doubly animated and spoke in a stage whisper:

“Gentlemen, that ledge lies within three miles of this camp.”

There was silence in our dungeon, but we could hear in anticipation, so acutely strung were our minds by hope and avarice, the musical clink of gold

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[pgbrk] THE DILETTANTE.

coin and the infinitely various harmonies of a life of independence and luxury.

“There’s a big ledge, and wagon-loads of gold to be had for the taking. We’re all practically millionaires at the present moment. Here’s some of the rock.”

We were gathered around the Captain in one instantaneous rush, already half crazed with the knowledge of our exceeding good fortune. A handful of unmistakably rich gold quartz was shown us, and we were all quite willing, old-timers and ten-derfeet alike, to take the Captain’s word for it that there were wagon-loads of the stuff. We had no desire to l’aise doubts as to the title of our prospective millions, so we abandoned ourselves to a carnival of rose-tinted anticipations.

I should here remark as an aside that there are those who frown upon the investment of small means in mining ventures which are necessarily dubious. Moralists have denounced it as a species of gambling. But I should say that the practice is defensible upon humane grounds, if on no other. What if the Will o’ the Wisp mine never pays a dollar, and the Gold Brick company eventually goes to the wall. Perhaps it will be years before the truth is known, and in the meantime the stockholders in those enterprises are splendidly attended by the goddess Hope and her train; they dream they dwell in marble halls; they bask in the light that never was on sea or land; they rise superior to the petty difficulties and the sordid earthiness of human existence. Ah, who is so narrow, so purblind, as to begrudge a handful of gold for a year or two of such felicity ?

“Now, cheer up, fellows,” said the Captain. “We’re rich, and let’s put in a merry winter in anticipation of three squares a day in the future.”

 The effect was magical. Being millionaires, we scorned to think upon our desperate situation. So

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[pgbrk] THE DILETTANTE.

hopeful did we become that we could have lived upon old shoes if necessary. When at length the great snow ceased—one day in March—we sent forth two of our most valiant men on snowshoes to make arrangements to bring in supplies at all hazards, pending the melting of snow and the locating of our bonanza claims. The men set out upon a shining ocean of snow. The forest was buried out of sight, root and branch. Only on the ridges a few tree tops were visible where the furious winds had swept the snow away.

In due time our men returned, dragging a hand-sled laden with such delectable edibles as flour, beef and coffee. Thereafter our enforced residence at the camp of Frying Pan became actually pleasurable —tinted as it was with the roseate hues of certain wealth and greatness.

Spring came at last, and the snow sullenly settled and fled away in brawling torrents. We held animated discussions upon the ever new topic of our future status in the world. It was astonishing how communicative the most taciturn became under the influence of buoyant hope and joyful anticipation.

When bare ground appeared—late in May—we clamored for the Captain to lead us to the ledge. He seemed in no especial hurry, but when traveling became quite practicable he proposed that we prepare to return to civilization.

“As soon as we secure our claims on that ledge of course we will return to civilization,’’ said one.

The Captain coughed and cleared his throat and appeared very uncomfortable. Then he said:

“Gentlemen, I have a confession to make. That yarn I told you about the lost lead was all a fake. Told it to keep you fellows from dying of despair last winter. I thought it was for the best or I would not have fooled you as I did. There isn’t a mine in this country worth stopping for, so let’s light out for home.”

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“Do you mean to say that you have been lying to us ?” demanded the Utilitarian.

“I have a mind to break you in two,” said the innocuous Obese One, fiercely.

“It was cruel to so deceive us,” said the Bard mildly.

“Never mind, fellows,” said the Speculator, “the Captain’s actions were for the best. He has saved our lives. The course he has taken was positively heroic.”

The Scribbler, who through long experience in running a country newspaper had become schooled to disappointment, heard the Captain’s declaration with comparative indifference.

The old-timers expressed the belief that the Captain had decided to keep the knowledge of the ledge to himself for mercenary motives, and proposed administering bodily chastisement upon him, but the proposition was voted down.

Then came the retreat. We trudged in silence for many days through the weary miles and miles of homeless wilderness, and dumbly swore at fate and the wily Captain. But after thinking the matter over calmly there was not a man among us who did not acknowledge that the Captain was a hero. I, at least, look upon him as a hero and a philanthropist of the highest order.

Finally we reached the settlements on the stage road running from Lewiston to Pierce City, and our hardships were ended.

Years have elapsed since then. No human being to our knowledge has visited the camp of Frying Pan since our departure. The young pines and firs have grown up in the clearing about our cabins to a height sufficient to hide the mythical passenger from view. The gaunt, gray timber wolf crosses without fear the silent thoroughfare; and perhaps in the forsaken caravansary of the Frying Pan the humorous bear has taken lodgings.

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[pgbrk] THE DILETTANTE.

But in the truest sense I do not deem that expedition a fiasco. It gave us a momentary glimpse of new and diverse provinces of fantasy, as by a lifted horizon. It drove dull care away for a little space; and it is thus, rather than by heaping up a superfluity of gold, that we are truly enriched.

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                    <div type="poetry"><ab>                  

IN ALGIERS

Arthur Blakie in “ Love's Victory."

Dreams may be sweet, more sweet awakenings be; But yesternight, what time the moon lay low Far down the Atlas, and her yellow glow Made spectral fair the City of the Sea,

Palm-girdled, proud, and throned imperiously,

Upon me came the faint and fluctuant flow Of far mysterious music, soft and slow,

Breathing from off the mountains soothingly.

Above, a myriad stars, a shimmering dome,

Hung o’er the windless night, and all unstirred Lay the dark floor of ocean without foam;

When, gathering southward, fast and still more fast, The swirling sand-clouds saw I, and I heard The palm-trees clash before the desert blast.

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                    <div type="fiction"><ab>

SAGE-BRUSH SKETCHES

BY NANCY McLEAN

II

All over this and neighboring counties the fame of the Bloomfield family has gone abroad; a fame owing partly to court proceedings and their printed reports, which all are welcome to hear or to read, and which obtain in the minds of many so great a relish. Especially if some shady transactions are exposed to the search-light of a lawyer's cross-questioning, or if some hideous “skeleton in the closet” be disclosed in all its grinning monstrosity.

A traveler, after passing through this region, once tried in vain to fix the location of our little community in the minds of persons living at a considerable distance on his way. He said, “It is at the mouth of the Okoloma River;” “it is in the fruit belt;” “it is near the bluffs of the Broad Mountains;” “it is so many miles from Spokane.” All of these descriptions were unavailing, when a sudden inspiration caused him to add triumphantly, “It is where Mrs. Bloomfield lives,” and all was as clear as day. She is known where the Okoloma River and the Broad Mountains are mere words, empty names.

Old Tom Bloomfield has had a checkered career —the simile of the checker-board holding good also in the “moves” he has made, as well as in the black and white squares which express the days and years of his eventful existence For it is said of him that in all his dealings with his fellow-men, unless he can get the best of the transaction he simply will not deal—unless he can “jump” he will not move—and thus the game is ended without being completed.

There is scarcely any phase of frontier life that he has not tested. He has made his “pile” more than once, and it has melted like wax in the flame; being accumulated in ways that are dubious, it has

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dissipated in a manner not to be too closely investigated. He has had near acquaintance with sheriffs and other officers of the law, and it is even said that he knows the inside of the “Fen” more intimately and accurately than is expected of the casual visitor.

I first saw him at the house of a friend who was just freshly transplanted from “’way down east,” and eager for new impressions and types of the genus homo in our midst. Mrs. Bloomfield was there also—and we all went out to look at the chrysanthemums sunning on the back porch, where old Tommy sat smoking his short-stemmed black pipe. My friend had just heard the story, which has become ancient history in these parts, of the man who once spurred his horse forward and crossed the railroad bridge which spans the river, arriving in safety on the opposite side. The bridge is a mile in length, and at the time of this exploit, many years ago, there was a single plank serving as a narrow walk for pedestrians. My friend told the tale with the skill of a story-teller and the enthusiasm of the tenderfoot, exclaiming in conclusion, “Was not that a daring deed ?”

The old man puffed away in silence, while his wife cast down her eyes and murmured:

“I guess the sheriff was after him.”

Judge our consternation when we afterward learned that it was old Tommy himself who rode the bridge, in hot pursuit of one of Mrs. Bloomfield’s numerous lovers, who had, however, escaped his wrath (and his horse pistol) by gaining the train which moved out just as Tommy dashed wildly up the street of the village.

Old Tom never forgave his wife, and it is an open secret that the domestic difficulties which at times disturb the peace of the Bloomfield family, as well as that of the neighbors within hearing, date their origin from the episode described. These dif-

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[pgbrk] THE DILETTANTE.

Acuities sometimes assume the form of a small civil war, in which the children are mustered into service under one or other of the contesting generals. And it is another of the unaccountable things of life that these children are almost invariably upon the side of the mother, though the father is infinitely kinder and more just to his family in every way.

Mrs. Bloomfield prides herself upon her ability to do anything a man may do. She does not talk of equality of the sexes—she considers it unnecessary and superfluous. She merely acts her belief in a manner peculiar to her special lights. For instance, if old Tom and the hired man are away on the range, and she desires fresh beef, she and the children drive up a fat steer and butcher it in the most approved style. If a load of hay is needed from the ricks in the meadow a few miles down the river, behold Mrs. Bloomfield and her big girls upon the great hay rack, four horses at a gallop, and a conversation going forward which, when the wind is right, may be intelligently followed at a great distance. She once had occasion to visit a point on the opposite side of the river, before bridge or ferry made the crossing a simple matter. She took five horses, placed the saddles in the canoe, with her five children, making the horses swim behind, and rowed and towed this strangely laden craft in safety across a rapid and dangerous stream. Upon reaching the other side the saddles were soon tightly “cinched,” each child but the youngest mounted, and carrying the baby in her arms she led the procession joyously on its way.

She has a natural gift of healing, and, under this strange exterior, a kind and sympathetic heart. In the rude life of the frontier she has been an angel of mercy of a type scarcely to be even imagined in a more highly civilized land. She officiates free of charge at many a sick bed, in the absence of a regular physician. It is true that in the case of a patient

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[pgbrk] THE DILETTANTE.

with “nerves” it might be a question whether the hubbub which always inseparably attends her might not undo her cures as fast as accomplished. But in this land of wild freedom, pure water and fresh air we do not possess nerves—they are a luxury for rich folk; we have dispensed with them forever.

Just now I was startled by a sound which I took to be the trampling of a company of cavalry, but upon rushing to the door I found that it was merely Mrs. Bloomfield driving home her cows at milking time. She was mounted on her favorite blue roan, raw-boned like herself—Bobby, the eldest boy, on his piebald cayuse, all on a mad gallop through the sage brush. Now they have swept behind the swell of a hill, leaving in their wake a long train of white dust, and “a silence that can be felt.”

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                    <div type="articles"><ab>

THE POINT OF VIEW

The welcome accorded the initial number of The Dilettante was more cordial and spontaneous than we anticipated, even in our most sanguine hours. In the East it has not been unwelcome, perhaps being regarded as an interesting product for a land popularly supposed to be productive only of catamounts and Indians. We are so much encouraged that this month we enlarge the magazine slightly, and intend to still further improve it as time passes. However, it will never rank with the “yellow” magazines as regards size, nor will it ever compete with Munsey's in the publication of portraits of actresses and fourth-rate statesmen. The Dilettante aims at quality rather than quantity. It seems to us that in these days of the fast printing press, the mammoth dailies and the multitudinous subjects that appeal to every “well-read” person, there must come a demand for the small, concise journal; and one element of its success will be its mere diminutiveness. The busy man is harrassed by the sheer vol-

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ume of the printed matter he is expected to peruse. Criticism, and the faculty of wise selection, must inevitably grow more and more welcome, since it will tend to consign to oblivion nine-tenths of the printed babble of the day.

The Dilettante, then, will never be a very large journal, though its circulation will undoubtedly extend to the ends of the earth. We shall endeavor to publish sincere criticisms; tales with some momentum or vital human interest; and verse that has somewhat of the breath of life. The enterprise has behind it sufficient capital to insure its continuance even if no income whatever should be derived from the successive issues of the magazine. Hence, gentle reader, you need not hesitate to send in your little subscription fee, for the publishers stand ready to guarantee that you will receive your money’s worth.

The war situation is somewhat disquieting for the dilettanti. We bookish folk are essentially non-combatants. War’s loud alarums are unwelcome, and to many a metaphysical shock. War draws away public attention more completely from letters and the arts, for now the general public is wedded to the flamboyant daily press. Not that the student of literature is indifferent to the stirring news of the day. He only regrets that the rulers of the earth are so headstrong and wasteful as to rush into war; that the multitude yields so readily to the primeval instinct to fight; and that the growth of ethical ideas is to receive another check. For war is essentially brutal, lamentable; a wasteful and terrible enterprise for civilized nations to countenance.

Nathaniel Hawthorne, who all his life had nourished high and humane ideas of human existence, was so horrified by the outbreak of the Civil War, that he died prematurely of mental shock and distress.

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Hawthorne, by the way, wrote a curious romance, “Septimus Felton,” the hero being an imaginative, bookish recluse, who was drawn into the hurly-burly of war in 1776. The tale is illustrative of the mental stress that war brings to gentle folk who like not strife.

It must be said, however, that in this quarrel all classes and conditions of men recognize the righteousness of our cause. The cruel Spaniard like the unspeakable Turk, stands in urgent need of vigorous chastisement. We rejoice that our warriors have the spirit and strength to administer it.

Note. The publishers of The Dilettante will present a handsome cloth-bound copy of “Quo Va-dis”—Dr. Binion’s translation—to any person who sends us four new subscribers at seventy-five cents each; the money, of course, to be sent us with the names of the subscribers.

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                    <div type="drama"><ab>

IN JOCUND MOOD

THE DOGS OF WAR

A Shakespearian Comedy of the Reign of McKinleyico, King of the Americanos. (Heretofore unpublished.)

DRAMATIS PERSONS.

BRUMMICO—A Law-Giver and Magnifico of Pennsylvaniaco.

BARTLETTICUS—A Georgian Magnifico.

HENDERSONICUS—A Magnifico.

Great concourse of Citizens, Slaves, Candidates, Gravediggers, Spectators, Tax-Payers, Chumps, Chair-Polishers, Pie-Biters, Etc.

SCENE—The Forum, City of Washingtonicus, the capital of the war-like Americanos.

(Note—The law-givers had assembled to decide whether or no the nation should declare war against the Hidalgos, a race of fierce and proud warriors who had destroyed a large war canoe belonging to the Americanos. After many wasted words, the statesmen fell out in determining a minor question of procedure, namely: should warriors going upon the war-path paint the whole body a bright red, or confine the decorations to the countenance merely. It was decided that the whole village should be ornamented with Vermillion.)

Hendersonicus—Verily, I am for action, not for talk. The time has come for action, mine compeers.

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This question has been discussed by the pulpit, the press, beside every fireside in the tribe, and there is not a wigwam in which the fire of patriotism doth not fiercely flame. We must fight these insolent Hidalgos, sirrah---

A copy of the Congressional Record ( an instrument of torture much used by the Americanos ) flashed through the air and terminated the speech of Hendersonicus.

Brummico—Wow ! Whoopla ! Get off the earth Know ye not your face is on upside down ? You got just what you did not want.

Bartlettico—You are a liar, sirrah. Go to.

(hurls ink-stand at Brummico.)

War is instantly declared, but not with the Hidalgos. Members hurl missiles, charge to and fro across the Forum, and shout like demented Apaches on a spree. Thunder and lightning without; same thing within. The riot is finally suppressed by the fortunate appearance of a detachment of the Salvation Army on the scene, who arrest the ringleaders and sing hymns to the survivors.

(Red Music while the’Curtain Descends.)

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                    <div type="miscellaneous"><ab>

THE DILETTANTE

TERMS.

Published monthly by The Dilettante Publishing Company, Spokane. Wash., P. O. Box 705.

Subscription price, $1.00 per year; if paid in advance, only 75 cents. Single copies 10 cents.

Address all business communications to The Dilettante Publishing Co., P. O. Box 705, Spokane, Wash. Remittances should be made by P. O. Money Order, or registered letter, if checks on out-of-town banks are sent, add ten cents for cost of collection. Stamps taken for sums less than $1.00

Your bookseller will receive your subscription if desired.

TO CONTRIBUTORS—Short sketches, tales and essays will be welcome, though no contributions will be paid for.

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                    <div type="advertisements"><ab>

Send us FOUR new Subscribers, at 75 Cents Each, Cash to Accompany Order, and Receive a Copy of	

“QUO VADIS,”

Dr, A.S. Binion's Translation, A Handsome, Cloth-Bound Volume, Illustrated.

You will have no difficulty in securing the four subscribers, and you get this remarkable book free.

Dilettante Pub. Co.

P. O. Box 705.

Spokane, ------- Washington.
                
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