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                    <div type="front"><ab> 
                THE DILETTANTE

A Monthly Literary Magazine.

VOL. I.	JUNE,	1898.	NO.	3
                        <div type="fiction"><ab>   




Those who passed through the civil tumult in the Coeur d’Alenes in that memorable July of the year 1892, had impressed upon their minds the insecurity of life and property when once the law is trampled under foot. For three days the excited miners ranged up and down the valley of the Coeur d’Alene river, and it must be placed to their credit that, when they had complete control of the district, they used their power so leniently, refraining from all unnecessary violence and bloodshed. Had they been indeed the bloodthirsty desperadoes they are sometimes pictured, those three days consumed by Uncle Sam in getting his troops in motion toward the disturbed districts, might have been a reign of terror in very truth.

The military occupation of the camp, though inconsiderable forces were employed, was nevertheless a forcible demonstration of the majesty and power of the Federal government. To meet troops of regulars marching with trained quickness and precision along the lonely mountain roads—their

equipment for battle complete and formidable—and with the huge covered army wagons trailing after them, was a sight that curiously stirred the blood of the patriot. It was a faint reminiscence of the early “sixties,” when national riot, prodigious in extent and sinister of purpose, shook our governmental fabric to its nethermost foundation.

As the special military trains drew near the scenes of the riots, the regulars crowded the platforms and looked from the windows with the utmost nonchalance. No fear, or even concern, was noticeable in their demeanor’, although they knew’ not how soon their train might be sent skywrard with dynamite or be fired upon by a powerful band of strikers. The air was full of ominous rumors, grossly exaggerated of course, but at that time none could be sure they were not true. It is little wonder that some of the members of the Idaho National Guard, (mostly callow youths) turned pale and wished they hadn’t come.

Captain C. C. Stevenson of Boise City went into camp at Osburn with Company A. The captain was an ideal military officer, and said to be courageous as a lion. Some of the boys of his command, however, w'ere not quite so bold as the captain. They betrayed considerable nervousness, and fully 'expected to see the Battle of the Wilderness repeated among the lonely hills and melancholy pines that environ the little mountain town where they pitched their tents.

Military law was proclaimed; the warlike bugle pealed merrily; the noble standard of the Republic w7as unfurled; break of day was announced by the thrilling reveille; the sentries paced haughtily to and fro, and the corporal’s guard marched hither and thither with machine-like precision and gathered the rioters in. The solitary hills thereabouts were ransacked by military posses, and despite the blue midsummer haze, closely watched through tel-


escopes. Once a troop of armed rioters was seen defiling across an open glade miles away on the mountain. Special trains fled madly up and down the valley, carrying high officials of the United States army or discharging here and there squads of soldiers to scour the wild hills and hunt the outlaws down. It was an exciting time, and the militia boys slept with one eye open and a cartridge in each and every “needle” gun.

At length, just at dusk, a great outcry was raised in the town. A hand of the dreaded rioters was descending on the place. They were seen to defile across the dump of the St. Elmo mine on the mountain south of town, and eye witnesses declared they were a formidable force. The mine was beyond doubt a rendezvous for the- desperadoes. Captain Stevenson caused the bugle to be furiously sounded; the troop was gathered together and hurried into the hills in less time than it takes to tell it.

The climb to the mine is a laborious one. In the faint light the captain could see indistinct forms moving about the tunnel mouth. He could see the bushes stir and hear the brush creak beneath the tread of the enemy. He made a skilful flank movement and surrounded his prey. From all sides the militia boys drew in upon the enemy, whom they could plainly hear moving about.

“Surrender and lay down your arms !” shouted the captain in stentorian tones.;

No response. The militia, with cocked rifles, rushed down upon the tunnel through the dense growth of mountain bushes. Behold ! the enemy was still there, huddled together as though taken by surprise. There were less than a dozen of them, yet, strange as it may seem, the captain and his men marched back to town without making a single arrest.

The enemy consisted of ten amiable and law-abiding cows !





A young man whose reputation for veracity is not above par, related to me the other day this curious tale of the riots. Twice, remembering the youth’s doubtful reputation, I strove desperately to break away, but he held me with his glittering eye, and I could not choose but hear. However, the tale is not without an air of the plausible, and may be true—in part.

“I was traveling through the state of Washington en route to Tacoma, when the news of the dynamiting campaign in the Coeur d’Alenes came over the wires. I represented a Chicago newspaper, and at Pasco a telegram reached me ordering me to visit the scene of the riots and report fully by wire.

“I arrived at Wardner one day ahead of the troops, and I tell you things looked pretty squally to a tenderfoot. I soon ascertained, however, that I was in no danger, as the representatives of the ; press were regarded, even by the strikers, as a necessary evil.

“Rustling around for news, I had occasion to walk along the railroad track to a point some miles from Wardner. In the course of my walk I passed a post-office where the mail was thrown off, and the waiting sack caught by the patent appliance on the mail car without slackening the speed of the train.

“Well, I was jogging along, when I met four rough-looking fellows carrying Winchester rifles. They looked at me closely, then uttered loud exclamations of joy and astonishment.

“‘Darned if it isn’t Barbarian Brown,’ said the spokesman. ‘Glad to see you, Mr. Brown,’ he continued, addressing me. ‘But you must have your nerve with you to come up here these times.’ And he looked at me with a degree of respect if not admiration.


“ ‘My name is not Brown, thank you,’ said I in my iciest tones. ‘My name is George Washington Quilldriver, and I represent the Chicago Brass Horn. I do not know you, sir, from Adam’s off ox. Good morning,’ and I attempted to proceed on my way. The ruffians seized me.

“ ‘Hold on, young fellei’, we’re on to you. You’re our meat. You can’t bluff us off as easy as you think. We know you like a book. You’re Brown, editor of the Barbarian, the most barbarous 'sheet published in the United States. We’re going to play the barbarian act on you. Prepare to die, young man.’

‘Then it dawned upon me that I was mistaken for -Barbarian’ Brown, the notorious editor of the mine-owners’ organ, the Barbarian, a sheet which had boldly accused the rioters of treason, murder, arson, and other trifling misdemeanors. And I learned later that I closely resembled the obnoxious ’editor in personal appearance. I earnestly explained their mistake. It was no go; they were satisfied that I was Brown and not Quilldriver.

“They consulted together awhile, then led me up the track to the gibbet-like contrivance where the mail sack is hung for the ‘catcher’ on the fast mail train. The train was nearly due and the sack hung in position.

“The villains then deliberately gagged me, bound me hand and foot, passed straps under my arms and suspended me in place of the mail sack. Their idea was that when the train came up at the rate of forty miles an hour the patent ‘catcher’ would hit me, killing me instantly.

“There I hung, inert as a sack of bran, about to be crucified for the alleged misdeeds of a man unknown to me. It was a pretty situation for a tenderfoot to be in.

“The rascally quartet disappeared in the brush -as the great roaring caravan came up the valley, the


locomotive seeming to shake the very hills with its-snort like thunder and the colossal tramp of its wheels. How can I describe the sensations that overwhelmed me ? I came near fainting from horror.

“Well, the train rushed past and came to a halt within a quarter of a mile, and I was surprised to find myself unhurt. The trainmen came and liberated me and took me aboard. The engineer had espied me as he dashed past, and had taken me for a gibbeted victim of the rioters.

“How did I escape death ? By a mere chance, you may be sure. A new mail clerk was on the route that day, and he did not very well understand the manipulation of the patent ‘catcher.’ He ran the bar out a second too late to catch the sack—a lucky mistake for G. Washington Quilldriver ! That’s what I call a narrow escape; and to this day the sound of an approaching train tills me with a vague sense of terror ’’
                <div type="fiction"><ab>  



The practical jokers in the Coeur d’Alene country are no respecters of persons. Even that fraternal feeling that exists among newspaper scribblers will not shield one in that jocose and somewhat irreverent community. A correspondent for the Anaconda (Montana) Standard learned this fact when he visited the camp shortly after the riots of 1892; and the information thus obtained he has engraved upon the tablets of his memory. In other words, his Coeur d’Alene experiences were such as would naturally inspire a man to wish he hadn’t come—or that he had never embraced the noble profession of journalism—or that he had never been born.

The midsummer riots were still fresh in the public memory. The warlike reveille still thrilled through the chill autumnal dawn; the august ensign


-of the Republic still floated over populous military camps, and daily upon the streets were seen the officers of the United States army—imperial in demeanor as so many Caesars. The air was still full of the sanguinary rumors of renewed revolt, and the Anaconda youth fully expected to see blood flow and hear the bullets whistle. In fact he was so bent upon sending home some blood-curdling specials that a coterie of wags of the town of Wallace laid their heads together to devise a scheme to gratify the Verdant One’s desires.

Wag No. 1 agreed to represent the Associated Press; No. 2 the Seattle Post-Intelligencer; and No. 3 the San Francisco Examiner. Wag No. 4 then went down the road and began firing in fake telephone messages to his pals at Wallace. It was near midnight, and according to the dispatches the sheriff of Shoshone county had encountered a gang of outlaws on Big Creek, and had a tremendous battle. The names of the participants were given in full— the ring-leaders being respected and law-abiding citizens of the camp who would not harm a kitten. The three eminent journalists were very exclusive and would not give the Anaconda youth the full de-tails, even when he offered them fifteen dollars for the information.

At length the imports were written and the part}’’ sallied out to find a telegraph office. All were closed and the important dispatches could not be forwarded that night. Returning to the hotel the Associated Press man accidentally (?) dropped his MS. The Verdant One seized it and eagerly devoured the contents, storing up the desired data in his capacious brain. All the next day he had to verify the report, but, strange as it may seem, he did not discover that the whole story was a canard, and sent the ridicu-lous yarn in by wire the next evening. It appeared on the front page of .the Standard under the “scare” head, “A FIGHT WITH OUTLAWS.” A promi-

neat civil engineer (a pacific and quite innocuous-gentleman) figured in the story as “The Kentucky Outlaw,” and another estimable citizen was declared to be “The Terror of the South Fork.” Many people were killed, more wounded, and the whole country was in a ferment of excitement, according -to the Standard, and that journal was the only newspaper in the United States that secured this tremendous “scoop.” No doubt the Verdant One’s “nose for news” was appreciated in the Standard office that night.

The Anaconda youth has been a pessimist and a disbeliever in journalistic courtesy from that day to this.
                <div type="poetry"><ab>  


Margaret J. Preston in The Critic.

He stood apart—but as a mountain stands In isolate repose above the plain;

Robed in no pride of aspect, no disdain,

Though clothed with power to steep the sunniest lands

In mystic shadow. At the mood’s demands, Himself he clouded, till no eye could gain The vanished peak—no more, with sense astrain Than trace a footprint on the surf-washed sands. Yet hidden within that rare, sequestered height, Imperially lonely, what a world Of splendor lay ! What pathless realms untrod 1 What rush and wreck of passion ! What delight Of woodland sweets ! What weird wind, phantom-whirled !

And over all, the immaculate sky of God !
                <div type="articles"><ab> 



Melba in Spokane ! To some eastern minds the idea is incongruous, as though the cantatrice had given a concert in Timbuctoo. But in fact, Spokane gave rather a cordial reception to Melba and her company, despite the innovation of $5 and $7 seats. Our palatial little theatre was well filled with, for the most part, an intelligent and debonair society.

Personally, I do not approve of Melba. Yet, no doubt, she will continue to sing in defiance of this ukase, and perhaps with undiminished financial success.

I do not doubt that technically she is above criticism. The testimony of certain of my fellow-citizens, talented musicians, is to that effect. But when we admit this, we have said all that can be conjured up in praise of her. In all her singing how little was there of the exquisite mystic appeal of Music; no rumor from the uplands of dreams; no suggestion, ever so faint, of the music of the spheres. A rather prosaic and earthy creature is Melba; someway suggestive of commercialism and a sordid love of gain. Her voice, while manifestly powerful and cultivated to the highest point of perfection, is lacking in that subtle essential quality that I cannot better define than call it the breath of life. We get the same tones from a finely made cornet when skilfully manipulated.

The house was topheavy. All the $2 seats near the roof were occupied—by some of the “best people” too—while the $7 orchestra chairs were thinly sown with spectators. Rather a dubious commentary upon the wealth and art spirit of our citizens.

The programme sheet for the Melba evening contained an amusing juxtaposition of the sublime and the ridiculous. The grand opera, “La Traviata,” was exploited on the first pages, and on the last


page, almost as prominently displayed, was an announcement for the succeeding night, in the same Temple of Music: a Vaudeville Star Specialty Co.„ including an exhibition of trained cats and dogs. Possibly that is the kind of art most appreciated in Spokane.



* *


The great public dearly loves brass buttons, brass bands, and all the glittering pageantry of war. It is this element that reconciles tax-payers to the enormous expenses of the display. And I must confess that I, too, share in this primeval instinct. What a noble and soul-stirring sight it is to see the uniformed troops of the Republic, jvith drums beating, trumpets blaring, the Flag proudly carried in the van, pouring through the populous streets of cities. The philosopher can not justify the citizens of one section of the globe flying at the throats of the residents of another section, merely because.an imaginary boundary line divides them. Nor can he justify a war prompted wholly by a spirit of revenge for injuries inflicted. But the fact remains that we all endorse the present war, and like true barbarians, we promulgate everywhere the shibboleth, ‘ ‘Remember the Maine.”


* *



The fundamental principle of Christianity, as taught by the head of the Church, Christ himself, was meekness and non-resistance. This is indisputable. It does not admit of any attempt at refutation. Yet two Christian nations (so-called) are now engaged in a desperate conflict, and every one, including many clergymen, cheer on the combatants. The attitude is incongruous, quite natural and proper, from my view-point, but most illogical from the Christian’s. It would seem that the Christian idea


Is fundamentally faulty and ill-adapted to human nature, since to tight seems to be essential and usually an attribute of the best civilization the world has yet known.


* *


The Dilettante hopes that it looks upon the Flag of our great Republic with a due amount of reverence. It is an emblem of hope to myriads of the human race. It stands for much that is excellent and admirable in human government. Under no other banner does Opportunity so lavishly abound. I love to see the Flag floating high on towers and the proudest eminences. It seems especially beautiful and appropriate on the towers of public buildings and school-houses. Several Spokane mercantile houses and a business college have notably augmented their prestige by keeping the proud banner of the Republic floating perpetually above them. Raise the Flag, my brethren, on every tower and pinnacle; and may the hand wither that would attempt to lower or dishonor it.

Having thus indicated that my patriotism is not to be impeached, I propose a slight alteration in that revered banner. According to the laws of aesthetics red and blue in juxtaposition are inadmissible. Such combinations always jar upon the aesthetic apprehension. It is not a good color scheme.

No such objections can be raised to red, white and green. The red and white stripes are excellent as they are and should not be altered. But the blue field I should change to green—white stars on a green ground. The aesthetic improvement would be marked; and I suggest that Congress take immediate steps to bring about the change.

There is still another argument in favor of the change. I submit that the Irish race deserves some special consideration from the Republic. Wherever


you find an Irishman you find an uncompromising defender of the Republic; every Irishman reveres the Flag of the United States; he deems his life as nothing when the Republic needs him for defense; and a traitor with Irish blood in his veins is something inconceivable. What a beautiful and touching tribute to these loyal citizens it would be if Congress should take the steps I have above indicated ! All hail ! the red, white and green banner !


                <div type="fiction"><ab>




This little vale seems to be an especial strong-hold of the Camerons. Whether it reminds them of their native crags and moors and fens and scaurs, whether it was the spirit of clan, or even so prosaic a cause as Scottish thrift which suggested money-making as well as home-making possibilities in the expanses of sage-brush land—at all events the Cam eron is here, and apparently as a permanent institution.

There is old “Billy,” the patriarch, left alone with his “auld wife.” On the small farm adjoining lives a married son with a numerous family. Across the “big ditch” is Jimmie, a nephew, almost as patriarchal in appearance as his uncle; and he is surrounded by a grown-up family of girls and boys, whose love of fun sometimes makes times pretty lively for the old man. Then up near the head-gate live Thomas and Henry, the one with his young wife and baby, the other with a spinster sister for housekeeper. On Thanksgiving and Christmas days, behold the clan Cameron in full force—“Uncle Billy’s” the headquarters. The women are famous cooks, and the old family reunion spirit is the remnant of the sterner spirit of clan which belonged to their ancestry. So these gatherings are the occasions of the year, planned for weeks ahead and not to be set aside for any ordinary cause.

At the Christmas reunion a few months past, old Jimmie was in his element. Eor several years the Camerons had been separated, and -the ceremony omitted which is now inaugurated anew. So the ancient anecdotes which are Jimmie’s especial forte had had no opportunity to become aired—at least not so glorious an opportunity. His stock of stories is unchangeable; he would tell the same ones every


evening with infinite relish if he were allowed entire latitude, and if he possesses an inner consciousness that he is becoming very much of a bore, or that his stories are old as well as improbable, he keeps that knowledge carefully concealed. Standing before the open fire of driftwood, the material for which was thriftily provided during the June freshet. Jimmy turned a beaming face upon his long-suffering relatives and related No. 1 of his category. “That was when old Martin Van Buren was president. I was over in Illinois that summer. You remember that, don’t you, Uncle Billy ?”

“Oh, no, Jimmie,” said the old man with grim humor, “that was long before my recollection.” Uncle Billy is ten years his senior; but the story-teller was not to be so easily daunted, and plunged heroically into No. 2 as soon as the laugh at his expense had subsided.

On ordinary occasions he does not get so lenient an audience. Uncle Billy has even been known to undress and seek his couch in the midst of a yarn— though it must be offered in explanation that it was after Jimmie had told all his stories in a single sitting, and was beginning over again; this being too great a strain even for Scotch hospitality. Uncle Billy arose, yawned, looked at the clock, sat upon the edge of the bed, and began to take off his shoes. Observing which, Jimmie fumbled for his hat, remarking that he “guessed he would go,” and had accomplished half the distance to the door, when he remembered something which he imagined he had omitted—and fell back in his chair again, proceeding with his tale. Two or three more false starts, during which time Uncle Billy had gotten himself into bed and was apparently in a sweet sleep—and finally the good-night was actually said, and good Aunt Polly listened with a sigh of relief as the sound of his retreating footsteps died away.

Jimmie has a life-long friend named Simon Kel-


ly, wlio accompanied him years ago from the old home in the Mississippi valley, and who has been near him throughout all the changes and vicissitudes of a life in the Northwest. Together they were the pioneers of the little Scotch colony already described —and for a number of years, before the irrigating canal was completed, they lived side by side in the great wheat-growing region back from the river, where Kelly is still a wheat-raiser.

This Simon Kelly is a character in his way, being possessed of a shrewd native wit and a power and scope in argument which is little short of marvelous. It seems a source of wonder and regret that so great a gift should be hidden “under a bushel,” or smothered in a car-load of wheat.

The two friends have periodical arguments upon politics; arguments in which Jimmy is, of course, always worsted. But true to his nature, a rebuff means little or nothing to this doughty old Democrat. When compelled by the keen force of logic to abandon one of his strong-holds, he never dreams of surrender, but takes a new stand, leaving the foi*-mer question in a state of chaos. In every case, he has one course which he follows with inevitable certainty. Turning with lire in his eye and fixing his gaze upon his adversary, he exclaims, “Yes, and just look at old Abe Lincoln !” That is all; he never designates what dire and awful thing it is which may be seen. Doubtless he knows himself, but he has never proceeded with his parable beyond this stage.

Until recently, the smaller wheat-growers used the old-fashioned thresher, now replaced by newer steam patents. The machine was going the rounds of the neighborhood and it chanced that Jimmie Cameron and Simon Kelly were both tending the straw, keeping it out of the way with their pitch-forks and arranging it neatly in the stack. As usual a political argument came up. A passer-by rid-


ing in a leisurely gait along the quiet country road, was attracted by loud voices which rose above the clatter and whir of the old machinery, and was filled with consternation upon beholding two men apparently about to run each other through with three-tined pitch-forks ! The rest of the crew were laughing, and the stranger was about to interfere for peace, when shrill and high rose the voice of Jimmy Cameron in the grand climax of his argument, “Yes, and just look at old Abe Lincoln !”

This being the culminating point, beyond which the two friends have never been known to carry their controversy, the pitch-forks were lowered, the crew good-naturedlv chaffing, while the stranger rode thoughtfully on, a look of pleased interest gradually spreading over his countenance.

Jimmie decided recently, after mature deliberation and many confidential interviews -with his wife, to pay a visit to the dentist who makes an annual tour through the country, stopping a few days or weeks, according to the amount of business he finds to do. There were several molars .which had been causing Jimmie some discomfort, and he resolved mightily to have them removed. Accordingly he started out one bright morning, attired in his best, but had barely reached the gate when he was observed to turn about and retrace his steps to the door. His wife met him with a look of inquiry, but no words, as was her stolid Scotch fashion.

Jimmie stood and looked fixedly at his wife, with wfiat she recognized to be an expression of great portent, though she could not fathom its meaning; but he was evidently trying to recall some date in the shadowy past. Finally words came.

“I wonder, Agnes, if it wouldn’t be a good plan for me to wash my teeth before I go to that doctor’s office ? It has been—let me see—hasn’t it been fifteen years since I brushed my teeth ? or has it been eighteen ? Do you remember, Agnes ? It was that


summer, you know, when—

But he was stopped by a shout of laughter from his appreciative family, and implored not to begin at this short notice either to brush his teeth or to tell that story, but go right along just as he was. So he turned obediently, with never a smile, but if anything a look of deeper seriousness than usual, as he struggled with his dates.

I have never heard the doctor’s story of this visit, but doubtless at his next stopping-place it would be one of his anecdotes, of which a traveling dentist has as great a fund as the Methodist preacher or the commercial drummer.

                <div type="articles"><ab>



I object to Rudyard Kipling. I protest against the idolatry that he has inspired among certain of my countrymen who have eyes and see not, ears and hear not. Kipling is a literary charlatan of the first magnitude. I submit that the future will so estimate him.

His “Captains Courageous, ” I am told, is in its thirtieth edition. The book is obviously the work of a prig. Its sentiment is insufferable. It does not ring true. It has been laboriously manufactured to order. The book properly belongs to the class of subterranean fiction represented by the works of Albert Ross and Bertha M. Clay, whom, of course, the Illuminati have not read. I protest against Kipling being elevated above his class, and recognized by the best publishers. It is an infamous injustice to the public.

Technically, Kipling has but one merit—his knowledge of words is wide and curiously accurate. But he is wholly at sea regarding sentence construction. The art of words is as little known to Kipling as is the Black Art, or the transmutation of silver


into gold. His tragedy is often melodramatic, his comedy becomes buffoonery, his characterization caricature; in these respects he resembles Dickens. His style is bad. He strives to say smart and oracular things, and sometimes succeeds; but often he is merely ludicrous or pitifully cheap.

A professor of literature in one of our eastern colleges has also been criticising Kipling for his delight in drunkenness. We laugh at drunkenness nowadays, as the people in Elizabeth’s day laughed at insanity, and Kipling uses it as a trump card. We may some time advance beyond the point where we can find drunkenness amusing, but we have not yet reached that stage of civilization. An extraordinary fondness for profanity is also noticeable in his work. Profanity rightly used is sometimes effective, especially when it comes from the mouth of an otherwise silent and non-talkative man. But as Kipling uses it, smearing it all over his pages, it becomes intolerable. Beastly and unpleasant details never escape him. His treatment of women is horrible, pagan, uncivilized; and his occasional cynicism is very bad. A woman reading some of Kipling’s stories seems as much out of place as she would in the office of a cheap hotel, with the stale tobacco, oaths and bad air.


* *


I have been much edified by the dictum of Mr. Edgar Saltus, which he promulgates in one of his recent essays in Collier's Weekly. Mr. Saltus thus defines “style:”

Style may be defined as the harmony of syllables, the fall of sentences, the infrequence of adjective, the absence of metaphor, the pursuit of a repetition even unto the thirtieth and fortieth line, the use of the exact term no matter what that term may be. These imagination and the art of transition aid but do not enhance. Grammar is an adjunct. It is not an obligation. No grammarian ever wrote a thing


that was fit to read.

I wish to dispute this theory, much as its valid ity is attested by the brilliance of Mr. Saltus’ own work. As has been remarked of old, much depends upon how a thing’s said. The adjective is often clumsily manipulated; but what shall we say of Hugo and the exhilerating explosive effect of his adjectives ? I should say that a happier definition of “style” would be, “the elimination of the long sentence;” in other words, the adoption of the French manner. Mr. Saltus is master of this secret of charm, and his work in Collier's Weekly is a perennial delight. I submit, however, that he might without risk venture the use of an adjective occasionally. His brisk, sharp sentences loaded with curious facts and enthralling imagery constitute the vital substance of his work. In this abides his essential charm, rather than in his rigid banishment of the adjective.


* *


We who live out of sight and sound of the ocean, who do “not know a marlin spike from a monkey wrench” or a sloop from a yacht, might take up with some misgivings Mr. Hopkinson Smith's latest book, “Caleb West, Master Diver.” But the story is not loaded with nautical terms, and even the most confirmed landsman will read it with understanding and delight. It carries a sea breeze along with it. It gives us a glimpse at the every-day life of a diver, with the strangeness and peril of his work.

The story is an account of the building of a lighthouse on Shark Ledge, where the huge stones forming the foundation had to be carried some miles on a sloop through a dangerous sea, and lowered, by a derrick, to the diver waiting to place them thirty feet under water. The bravery of these obscure sailors and divers is no less than that of the ap-


plauded heroes of a battle-field; and their work is quite as important. There is a deep human interest in the narrative. The feminine element is not left out—indeed, Mr. Smith is one of the few authors who can create real women, and he does it in this novel. Caleb is the most prominent figure in the book, which appropriately bears his name. But Henry Sanford, the young contractor, is vigorously drawn; and the scene is shifted with his movements from the rough companionship of his men ‘on the ledge, to the “swell set” in New York where he is equally at home. The villain of this story is the government superintendent, who has a comprehen-i sive ignorance of the work he is supposed to superintend, but places all sorts of obstacles in the path of the contractor. His final downfall is a source of satisfaction to the reader. Mr. Smith’s own experiences as an engineer no doubt included the acquaintance of a superintendent like Carleton, and he takes this opportunity to “get even.”

“Caleb West” may not be a great novel, but it is a well-written, entertaining story about a class of people little known to the general public. The illustrations are very good.

Houghton, Mifflin &amp; Co., publishers; 12mo, $1.50.


* *


Any city dwellers who read one of Dr. Conrad Abbott’s bird books are sure to feel at least a momentary regret that their lot has not been cast in the wide green country; so that they could observe the habits of these airy wildlings he so charmfully describes. In “The Birds About Us,” Dr. Abbott tells of all the familiar bird friends that everybody knows, as well as many that are strangers even though often “about us.” He loves birds, and makes his readers love them or at least regard them with a new respect. He gives them credit for many qualities generally


regarded as the prerogatives of the human race. As-Sir Walter Scott said of his cats,” ‘‘There is more passing in their minds than we are aware of.”

‘Much has been -written upon the instincts of birds,” observes Dr Abbott in his preface, “and a great deal of this would have been better had the authors treated of intelligence instead. Birds, of course, have instincts; so have men; but the former are not guided by them blindly, as so commonly was taught in the not very distant past. Instead, they depend upon the exercise of a faculty which in ourselves we call common-sense.”

He notices with regret that birds are becoming less plentiful in this country, some of the species common a generation ago being now extinct. To quote again from the preface:

‘‘Birds should be the wards of the general government, and not the property of the individual upon whose land they happen to tarry. This doubtless, will never be brought about, and the great bulk of bird life will soon be a thing of the past; and when too late the agricultural interests will awake to the fact that the birds were better friends than they supposed.”

This is true, and the truth cannot be said too often. Such protests have no apparent effect, but as constant dropping wears away a stone, so persistent objections to the cruelty and folly of bird extermination may some time bear fruit—when birds go out of fashion as millinery adjuncts. However, this is only an aside; in the book proper the author makes-no allusion to bird wrongs, but gives a complete and interesting account of all our American birds, with their quaint or almost human ‘‘tricks and manners.,r Every bird described is illustrated, and so it is easy to identify any unknown feathered visitor by consulting this volume. Dr. Abbott makes birds seem as interesting as people—and so they are, if rightly studied. The book is large and daintily bound in pale green cloth, with purple lettering and birds on the cover.



Published by J. B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia. Price $2.00.

* *

SCOLLARD AS A NOVELIST As a poet, Clinton Scollard has earned considerable fame in this country. He now desires fresh laurels, and has therefore invaded the field of romantic fiction. His friends cannot regret that he has done so. “A Man-at-Arms” is the alluring title of his new book; it is somewhat similar to the tales of Weyman or Hope, but has a style of its own, and a very good style. It is an Italian romance of the fourteenth century. The hero is a man-at-arms in the service of Galeazzo Visconti, the “great viper,” who is lord of Padua and afterwards captures Milan also. There is of course a love-story woven in to lighten the gloom of political plots and treachery. Mr. Scollard’s knowledge of Italian history and geography is apparently wide. He indicates effectively the quaint mediaeval air of the times—an atmosphere which seems to us modern utilitarians so full of charm. Adventures were easily come by in those days, when each small state was governed by an independent autocrat jealous of the power of his brother rulers. There is surely no pleasanter way to imbibe a general idea of ancient conditions than by the reading of well-written romances like “A Man-at-Arms.” The book is printed, bound and illustrated in an especially pleasing style.

Published by Lamson, Wolffe&amp; Co., Boston; $1.50.


* *


It is pleasant for the harrassed business man to lose sight of his sordid cares sometimes; and many such men have discovered that there is no better recreation for a tired mind than a plunge into the lively action of a mediaeval romance such as Anthony Hope knows how to write. We all like to


read about the brave deeds of people in olden times, when our ancestors were the loyal subjects of all-powerful kings. Anthony Hope can give to his romantic tales of olden European kings and courtiers the breath of life, and the characters are real while idealized. In “Simon Dale” his fancy is particularly happy, and the court of the somewhat maligned Charles II is painted in interesting style. There are intrigues and plots innumerable; the gentlemen who figure in the story have wits as keen as their swords; and their skill at repartee, while passing human possibility, is nonetheless pleasant reading.

Simon Dale, the hero, is the son of a country gentleman. At his birth it had been prophesied that he should “love where the King loved, know what the King hid, and drink of the King’s cup.” All these improbable things happen, and thereby hangs the tale. Nell Gwynne is a prominent character in the story, and so is King Louis of France. Simon, like Rudolf Rassendyll, is imperturbable in danger, never at a loss for a retort, and as a rule triumphant in all his undertakings. Mr. Hope has done no better work than this story. The illustrations by St. John Harper add to the book’s attractiveness.

Published by Fred. A. Stokes Co,, New York. 12mo, $L50.


George W. Cable has gone to England on a visit.

Count Tolstoy is about to bring out a new book.

Roberts Brothers have just brought out “The Cruel Side of War,” by Katharine Prescott Wormely.

Morgan Robertson is soon to come out with a new novel, “Futility.” Mr. M. F. Mansfield is the publisher.

A posthumous book of Robert Louis Stevenson’s verse just brought out is entitled, “A Lowden Sabbath Morn.”

“Glimpses of England,” by Prof. Moses Coit Tylor, is one of the new summer books. The Putnams will publish it.

Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson will visit England and Scotland this summer, but expects to return to Samoa eventually.

It is reported that Mr. H. G. Wells, author of “The War of the Worlds,” is seriously ill of consumption. He is in Rome.


Mrs. Ryley has made a novel out of her play, “An American Citizen.”" It will be published by the G. >W. Dillingham company.

It is said that the publishers of Miss Alcott’s books paid last year to the Alcott heirs royalties amounting to twelve thousand dollars.

Harold Frederic, the popular novelist whose story. “Gloria Mundi,” is now appearing serially in The Cosmopolitan, is an American who makes his home in London.

Mr. Bellamy, the author of “Looking Backward,” died last month of consumption at his home in Massachusetts. He had spent the winter in Colorado, hoping the climate might work a cure.

A book of timely interest is “The Spaniard in History,” soon to be published by Funk &amp; Wagnalls Co. Rev. Jas. C. Fernald is the author. The volume will contain large colorad maps of Cuba and Spain.

Mr. Richard Harding Davis is to report the war for the London 'Times and Scribner’s Magazine. He had his picture taken several times before his departure—once in a marvelous costume especially designed to wear in the tropical regions of Cuba.

A San Francisco publishing house has just issued a most excellent little volume by Herbert Bashford, the well known Washington poet. The book is intended for a supplementary school reader, and it ought to be introduced into every public school in the Pacific Northwest. It contains thirty charmingly written and instructive stories or essays about the animals, flowers and birds which are indigenous to our far western country. The frontispiece is a colored plate of the rhododendron—Washington’s state flower. Each subject is treated in a chapter by itself, and is also illustrated. ’ Some real poems are scattered through the book; and altogether it may be unreservedly recommended to teachers and parents—and will be appreciated by themselves as well as by their young charges, for it has an excellent literary tone. Published by Whitaker &amp; Ray Co., San Francisco; 50 cents.


“Current Literature” is a boon to the busy man or woman. It contains each month selections from the best of the current periodicals, so that by reading this journal one is kept informed concerning the latest notable contributions to the literature of the day. There is no other journal like it in the country.

Collier’s Weekly is coming to the front as a “war journal.” Its engravings of military and naval scenes are super-excellent, and even the fiction in the last number (May 21) is a war story. The editorial matter is on subjects suggested by the conflict, while Edgar Saltus discusses Manila—its position, climate, history, citizens.

The Eclectic Magazine for April had a timely and well-selected list of papers. Among them we notice “The Spanish Crisis;” “Captain Mahan’s Counsels to the United States.” byG. S. Clark; “Chats with Walt Whitman,” by Grace Gilchrist; “The Quaint Side of Parliament.” by Michael McDonough; “A Hampshire Common,” by G B. Dewar; “The Manchester School and Today,” by Andrew Carnagie; “The Italian Novels of Marion Crawford,” by Ouida; “The Suns of Space,” by J. Ellard Gore:


“The Short Story,by Frederick Wedmore; “The Secret of Baldness,” by G. Clark Nuttall; “The Dragon and Chrysanthemum,” by N. G. Mitchell-Inness;” “The Sorrows of Scribblers:” “Daring Deeds;” “The Great Industrial Danger;” “The English at Home.” A few short poems complete the contents of the number.

Beginning with January of the present year The State has appeared on the news-stands monthly, its handsome cream-colored cover with crimson lettering presenting a handsome appearance. Its head offices are at Tacoma, though branches are maintained in Seattle, Portland and Spokane. Its field is a broad one. The editor, Mr. Leonard Fowler, has the right idea for the achievement of an important success; for a journal to win any considerable clientage must appeal to the great public, and especially must interest the men of affairs—the Upper Fringe, as it were, of the commercial world. The State has a financial department to which men versed in practical finance contribute; its vigorous editorials on politics and statecraft are already beginning to be quoted liberally; musical and dramatic notes, book reviews, travels and bits of verse add diversity and interest to its pages. Its editorial staff is made up of the best talent of Tacoma. The DiLETTANTE bespeaks for the new magazine long life and eventually a notable success.


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T. B. Aldrich in Harper's Magazine

The spare professor, grave and bald, Began his paper. It was called I think, “A Brief Historic G-lance At Russia, Germany and France.”

A glance, but to my best belief,

’Twas almost anything but brief—

A wide survey, in which the earth Was seen before mankind had birth ! Strange monsters basked them in the sun, Behemoth, armored glyptodon.

And in the dawn’s unpracticed ray The transient dodo winged its way;

Then by degrees, through silt and slough, We reached Berlin, I don’t know how.

The good professor’s monotone Had turned me into senseless stone Instanter, but that near me sat Hypatia in her new spring hat.

Blue-eyed, intent, with lips whose bloom Lighted the heavy curtained room.

Hypatia—ah, what lovely things Are fashioned out of eighteen springs—

At first, in sums of this amount The eighteen winters do not count.

Just as my eyes were growing dim With heaviness, I saw that slim,

Erect, elastic figure there Like a pond lily taking air.

She looked so fresh, so wise, so neat,

So altogether crisp and sweet,

I quite forgot what Bismarck said,

And why the emperor shook his head,

And how it was Von Moltke’s frown Cost France another frontier town.

The only facts I took away From the professor’s theme that day Were these: a forehead broad and low, Such as the antique sculptures show;

A chin to Greek perfection true;

Eyes of Astarte’s tender blue;

A high complexion without fleck Or flaw; and curls about her neck.


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A recent number of th‘e Chap-Book contains an entertaining article by Vance Thompson on “The dilettante in music.” “I have never met a professional musician,” he says, “who had not a sneer for the layman’s knowledge of music. ” It must be allowed by those who have come into much contact with musicians that the statement is just, and it is interesting to see the defense which Mr. Thompson makes of the amateur. By amateur, in this sense, is not meant one who plays or sings in an unprofessional manner. Amateur players are often delightful artists, though it seldom happens that they are able or willing to devote the countless hours to study which are necessary for professional work in these days of supreme virtuosity. But the sneer of the musician is not for dilettante playing alone; it is hard to make him admit that the amateur has a right to an opinion, and this is a very different matter.

For, as Mr. Thompson goes on to show, it may easily happen that the leisurely student of the fine arts, who can cull here and there, bound by no technical tasks, but simply inhaling the subtle aroma of art works, may be a better judge of this essential thing than the professional artist. But this does not mean that the untaught, ungifted, or inexperienced should take such judicial claims upon them. There are many people who without having devoted the least attention to music, beyond attendance at an occasional concert, pronounce their verdict in the most peremptory manner, and regard it as a piece of arrogance if a musician who has given up his life to the subject expresses some contempt for what they admire—“Rosy O,Grady,” perhaps, or “A Hot Time in the Old Town.” “It may not be classical,” is their final word, with a fine sarcastic emphasis on the “classical,” “but I know what I

'	—27—

like.” Surely, surely, sir or madam, but have you devoted any consideration to what you would like if you knew more of the art ? This is not dilettantism, but mere ignorance. It does not follow that those who have never had the opportunity or desire to investigate the resources of the art should from artistic scruples deny themselves the primitive pleasure of a comic song or a popular two-step, but they should at least understand that it is not the culmination of musical art.

But, on the other hand, it is not necessary that one should be an expei’t pianist to judge of the merits of a pianist, or an expert singer to judge of the merits of a song, or a composer to judge of the merits of a musical work, observes the Springfield Republican. As Mr. Thompson recalls, ‘‘Dr. Johnson pointed out in his common-sense way” that one *‘need not be a joiner in order to select a comfortable chair.” Doubtless the expert in every line of work sees things that the general student misses. A pianist can best appreciate the technical skill shown in a glittering passage in thirds by Joseffy, and a composer who has struggled with the intricacies of fugue writing and the subtleties of orchestration feels more strongly than any layman the superlative mastery of a bit of cunning counterpoint in Bach, or a consummate touch of the wind instruments in Wagner or Saint-Saens. So a painter is the best judge of the refinements of brush work, because he has measured the difficulties of refractory mediums with his own hand. The novelist is apt to feel more keenly the consummate pen-craft of Henry James or Stevenson or Maupassant. So, too, when it comes to a real critical consideration of a chair as a piece of woodwork,.-a trained woodworker, who has dealt with oak and ash and mahogany, and worked with chisel and varnish, is the sharpest critic.

And yet, after all, while he may not grasp these


technical details so firmly or feel*them so strongly, when it comes to the essential things the dilettante is quite as apt to be right as the professional, and this is the point of Mr. Thompson’s article. This is the indictment which he brings against the musician:

Sound enough reasons may be found for the professional musician’s proneness to false judgment. The chief ret son, perhaps, is the lack of broad, general culture. As a usual thing the musician is narrow and shallow. He is not only ignorant of all arts save his own, he is commonly ignorant of his own. Thedevelopmentinhimoftheestheticsen.se has been stunted by an undue preponderance of purely technical studies. His musical education has been gained at the expense of his musical taste.

This is sense, and in support of his view the writer shows how frequently musicians have proved themselves wrong in their estimate of new works, while the dilettanti have judged wisely and impartially, and as a rule, as history has shown, correctly. The dilettante, in his definition, is “one whose esthetic sense is finely cultivated and who has tolerably adequate knowledge of the craftsmanship of the arts. Above all, he hasfihe sense of beauty. It has been bred in him by that general culture from which the specialist is excluded.”

The specialist in music is unquestionably more prone to this narrowness than the practitioners of most other arts. In painting'some of our best critics have been professional workers of eminence—it is only necessary to cite Fromentin, and in this country La Farge. Many'Others, like Ruskin, and in this country Hamerton, have at least served their apprenticeship in creative;work. And it is often noted that painters as au class write and talk with singular directness and perspicucity, while no such phenomenon, so far as we know, has been observed in the case of professional musicians. One reason doubtless is the tremendous technic grind. A pianist must spend the greater part of his day in the mastery of muscular gymnastics which will presently astound the public. There is no such culture


in the process of his work as comes to a landscape painter, wandering the country with easel and paint-box, or struggling to catch a bit of nature, and there is far less time left for outside interests. The technical pressure is immensely high, and a virtuoso may practice anywhere from seven hours to twice as many. Moritz Rosenthal, we believe, has managed to combine business with pleasure by putting a book or newspaper on his rack while he mechanically runs over scales and exercises, but in most cases we fear that either the book or the scales would suffer.

But still another reason for the narrowness of musicians lies in the alienation of music from the great family of arts. It appeals to a different sense and it has little in common with them. There is much to lead the painter into the study of nature, of sculpture, of architecture, of the literature of esthetics. The musician is apt to stick to his own art, and to miss the fertilizing influence of ideas from outside. And this is just the thing which the dilettante possesses, and he is not as likely to be swayed by purely technical considerations, as Mr. Vance well puts the case:—

No sincere and modest technician would undertake to tell why a masterpiece is a masterpiece, why a work of beauty is a work of beauty. Often, I admit, he may point out certain qualities in a work—in a musical phrase—and thus call to the attention of the inattentive amateur beauties that have passed unnoticed, but always there remains that synthetic beauty, which cannot be analyzed or explained or translated into other terms. Of the quality of this beauty the dilettante--he of the cultivated senses and trained perceptions—is the only judge. He is the final appraiser of the artistic value of the wares constructed by these artisans of art--the painters, poets, musicians. His right to pronounce judgment rests upon a sound basis. His personal taste has reached'a high degree of evolution. He has no disturbing passion for novetly. He has passed through all phases of musical opinion and has freed himself from the prejudices of the schools and systems. Above all he has got clear away from the pernicious influence of the lust for technical analysis. He has no roguish desire to 1-see the wheels go round.” He recognizes that the secret of all good art is to have something to say, and to say it with a frugal adjustment of means to the end. It is only the esthetic significance of a work of art that is of any lasting importance, and of this significance only the broadly cultured man—the dilettante—is qualified to judge.


In a new country like ours there is naturally a lack of persons of just this class, persons of full education and ripe and varied culture, who can devote enough time to music to master its secrets. Hitherto most of the men of this character that we have produced—and no country has finer examples—have neglected music, giving their attention to the graphic arts, like Prof. Charles Eliot Norton, to ballads, like Prof. Child, to literature at large, like Prof. Lowell and Prof. Longfellow—to go no further than the faculty of a single college. Such an occasional exception as J. S. Dwight—a fine example of the dilettante in music—only serves to show how few there are, of those at least who have given the public the benefit of their fine taste. But with the slow broadening of musical opportunities we may expect a corresponding growth in the ranks of cultivated amateurs, and therewith a sounder and wiser public opinion.




A Golden Opportunity for the “ Yellow” Journalists.

The war news being promulgated by the daily press may aptly be termed a study in “yellow.” Trance-mediums have apparently obtained control of all the big daily newspapers in the laud. Time was when the shibboleth of the newspaperman was “Facts, and nothing but facts;” but facts relating to the movements of the hostile fleets being for the moment wholly unobtainable, the reporterial soothsayers, trance-mediums and star-gazers have been prersed into service. The manafactured war news as concocted by these gentlemen is delightful; it is conducive to almost intemperate merriment; it promotes digestion and love of life.

It would seem that in an inland city like Spokane,


400 miles from salt water and consequently wholly out of ear-shot of heavy cannonading at sea, the newspaper romancers would devote less space to such topics. They would better discuss crops, the obsolete silver question, or even smelters; produce spring editorials or Klondike Back-Door Route babble; or even relate again the story of Whitman’s ride.

But the local “yellow ” journal, the Chronicle, is determined to have war news. If war news is not to be had, it manufactures the commodity in lots to suit. A prodigious battle was fought the other day, the Iowa and Texas were sunk, 800 American sailors drowned and the Spanish fleet annihilated. The Chronicle said so, and if you see it in the Chronicle it’s (not) so.

I am disposed to speak of this particular instance with some asperity because, forsooth, I was beguiled by a vociferous newsboy into purchasing a copy of the flamboyant “ First Edition.’’


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By John Kendrick Bangs

I gave myself away last Tuesday night,

Yet feel no jot nor tittle of.chagrin,

Because 1 gave myself to that sweet wight,

The heiress—and the heiress took me in.

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Published monthly by The Dilettante Publishing Company. Postoffice address, Box 705.

Subscription price, 75 cents per year. Single copies 10 cents.

Entered at the Spokane post-office as Second-Class matter.

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

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