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                    <div type="front"><ab> 




A Monthly Literary Magazine.

VOL. I.	JULY,	1898.	NO.	4
                <div type="fiction"><ab>


In central Washington there exist vast steppes, scantily clad with grass that grows in tufts or bunches after the manner of steppe vegetation the world over. It is for the most part waterless, though1 in exceptional seasons rain falls in sufficient quantities to stimulate the poor arid fields of the occasional settler and insure a niggard harvest. True, the soil is usually of exceeding fertility, and when water for irrigation can be obtained, the yield of fruit and grain is prodigious. But until quite recently, this vast interior desert region was wholly given up to the coyote, that “Wraith of Hunger,” that Voice of the Desert.

It is a strange, silent, solemn land, fantastic in » conformation in parts, but always the picture of desolation. Queer table-topped ranges of low hills of black volcanic rock as hard as steel confront the traveler like a continuous fortification, and he looke through the embrasures, half expecting to see the throats of cannon. Deep “coulees’” dry and desolate defiles, area| of melancholy “scab lands,” isolated shoulders and pinnacles of basalt rising from the dun-colored sod, the typical desert sage-brush

and grease wood—these features are characteristic of an area in central Washington larger than the state of New York.

The writer, years ago, traversed a goodly portion of this miniature Sahara in the height of summer. Every evening, following the setting of the sun, a great hollow whistling gale blew in from the faraway Pacific. We could see a long way off upon the steppes the billow of dust that presaged its approach. And it swooped down upon our tent with a shrill whistling most grievous to hear, and the tall plumes of the bunch grass would swish and sigh. But the evening wind was of short duration, and when it fell away there came a silence that could be felt.

The writer was one day riding in a quarter of the desert most remote from any human habitation. As I journeyed through a shallow pass among the ashen hills, my Indian pony shied violently, and very nearly unhorsed me, who at best am but an indifferent rider. The cause of the animal’s alarm was such as gave his master also a sudden sense of horror. It was a bleaching skeleton, the last poor remnant of a being who erstwhile, no doubt, had ridden across the steppes with soaring hopes.

There was no relic to identify the remains, which plainly had lain in that waste and solitary place for many years. But at a little distance was a fragment of a letter, evidently blown thither by the winds, and in the interior of the folded missive a few words were still legible. It was a letter full of a grievous lamentation because the recipient did not write. But no name, no place, no date. Perhaps it was the last communication the unknown had received, and here in the solemn desert he had lain silent these many years; and still the writer of that letter wonders “why he doesn’t write.”

There was a pathos in this episode in the trackless desert so poignant and so mournful that it affected the solitary spectator as though the poor me-

mentoes were the bones of a cherished friend, rather than some unknown and perhaps ignoble wanderer.

I had fallen into a melancholy reverie, when be- . hold, the sun had vanished and there was a “sound of a going” in the uttermost desert. It was the evening gale.

It was near midnight when I reached the camp, and with odd sensations I took note of the bizarre, castellated basalt cliffs of that region, vaguely indicated in the light of the desert moon. Oddly like a group of Old World ruins they seemed, and that waste and voiceless place became faintly reminiscent of Cicero and Csesar.

But the dead man in the desert pass haunted my fancy for many a day. The authorities, who were duly notified, could advance no theory leading to the identification of the unfortunate’s remains, and they buried his bones upon the spot.


I had occasion not long ago to visit Seattle—that thriving port and metropolis of the commonwealth of Washington. A visitor approaching that city for the first time by water, if he is anything of an “impressionist,” must be edified by the spectacle; by the proud array of shipping in the harbor; the miles of heights embellished with homes; the richly equipped and populous lairs of business. The spirit of enterprise and true American activity is rife in this mart—this storm-center, as it were, of commerce.

There are sundry street railways scaling the heights, the cars having a way of plunging down the steep declivities with a disquieting suddenness and rapidity. I boarded one of these headlong chariots and was swept skyward as though one of those golden chariots of the African ditty had swung low to carry me home. It was in the edge of evening, and

the glorified light of the sunset imparted an unworldly beauty to mansion, lawn and grove. We swept past a long array of opulent homes, when right amongst them I espied an old cottage, weather-beaten and dismantled, and from the door there peeped a pathetic old countenance—an aged woman, so poor and gray that I cannot even think upon her sad estate without a wounding pity. The contrast was so sharp—the ancient cottage among these smug homes, and the forlorn old woman in a city made up chiefly of the young and, vigorous —that I was impressed, and with a sleuth-like curiosity worthy of Sherlock Holmes I set on foot inquiries as to the old lady’s history. The cottage, I ascertained, was her sole earthly possession, and even that blessing she shared with a mortgage company. She dwelt quite alone, poorly sustaining herself by needlework and other humble labors. Sorrow weighed heavily upon her, for her only son had years ago disappeared from the face of the earth while gone upon a journey across the steppes in the eastern portion of the state. *Hope still flickered faintly in her mind, but it grew daily less and less .as the years filed away into the past.

I recalled my adventure in the desert pass, but deemed it kindness to maintain silence respecting That melancholy episode.

                    <div type="poetry"><ab>


There is a soft green darkness round,

Wherein the noon sleeps hushed and still Only a little hidden rill Moves murmuring through grassy ground; The doves are silent, and the bees Hum here no more; the green-branched trees

Are moveless in the windless air,

And silence broodeth everywhere.

William Sharp.
                    <div type="articles"><ab>



OUR NEW NATIONAL POLICY The spectacle of die armies of the Republic taking the role of armies of Invasion is a new departur-e. Immemorial usage has placed us upon the defensive; content with our already colossal area;" indifferent to any dreams of conquest, and only interested in European statecraft to the end that the western continents should not be made the theatre of campaigns for royal aggrandizement. It has always seemed the happier, the proper attitude for a great Republic; and we have deemed the arts of peace paramount. But behold, with a surprising unanimity of statesmen and people, we are launched upon a war involving both hemispheres, at an expense of nearly two million dollars a day. Precedent is indeed of little worth. It is the unexpected that happens.


* *


Certain college professors, notably Prof. Elliott Norton, of Cambridge, Mass., have been calling down upon their heads the wrath of the ultra-patriotic element by characterizing the present war as uncalled for and “unrighteous.” Prof. Norton declares that it is a “turning back from the path of civilization to that of barbarism.” Even the popular and widely read Youth's Companion expresses similar sentiments. And who can gainsay these self-evident truths ? There is no just cause for the ire of the Patriots in these utterances. The Dilettante deplores the wasteful and destructive work our Republic has undertaken. If we win in every engagement and conquer all the sea possessions of Spain, we shall still be paying an extravagant price for the prize, in lives and treasure. The strongest proof of the true statesmanship of President McKinley lies in the fact that he was extremely reluctant

to enter upon the war; yet now, having been drawn into it, he will conduct the operations with all the vigor the fiercest jingo can desire. But the college professors and the Youth’s Companion are half right in declaring that war, under any circumstances, is a relapse into barbarism. However, we are now launched upon a policy from which there is no retreat. It is vain to bandy rhetoric; the Republic must now speak through the throats of cannon.


* *


The gigantic military operations of a power of the first rank in an active campaign are necessarily spectacular. There is an exhilaration,, a certain majesty, that overawes the imagination, when formidable armies rush together, or when gigantic floating fortresses engage in mortal combat. The thunders of Jove become insignificant when compared with the din that surges around the conning towers of great modern battleships in action. Since the Civil War the land forces have been equipped with vastly more formidable equipment-, so that the campaign of 1898 will be practically a new experience in warfare. If, as some authorities anticipate, the present struggle shall become so complicated as to precipitate the general European war so long im pending, we will be treated to a military spectacle surpassing in splendor and horror anything in human experience or heretofore conceived in the minds of men. It will be the spectacle of spectacles.


* *


Despite The Dilettante’s plea in favor of changing the national colors to red, white and green, there is no immediate prospect of Congress taking action in that direction. At this writing no such bill has even been introduced at Washington.


My suggestion, however, has borne fruit in a considerable number of Utters from persons interested in the plan. Some recognize the soundness of my reasons for advocating the change—particularly the .aesthetic reasons—but the majority of my correspondents vote for the Flag as it is. I append a pleasant epistle received from an Irish-American:—

Editor The Dilettante: Your friendly allusion to the loyalty and honor of the Irish-Americans wins my eternal gratitude, much as I disagree with your plan of changing the national colors to red, white and green. Good sir, the thing is not to be thought of. Think of the splendid history of this Republic, its victories and righteous wars, all won under the red, white and blue standard. It seems almost like sacrilege to suggest such a thing as any modification of that sacred emblem. We Irish-Americans, though we revere the green isle and her green banner, have learned to love the red, white and blue even better, and we would not change it if we could.

Again thanking you for your kindly tribute to the Irish race, I remain	An	Irish-American.

The Dilettante’s suggestion has created considerable stir among newspaper writers from Maine to California. Most of the published opinions are unfavorable to the proposed slight alteration of the national colors. The Des Moines State Register thinks it is desperately wicked for anyone to even suggest such a thing. Other journals, while admitting the aesthetic improvement, do not believe that the plan is at all feasible. I repeat, however, that it would be a desirable change—so small as to be unobjectionable. Yet it would be a graceful tribute to a nation from which the United States has drawn much of its valor and honor—Ireland. If it is objected that the selection of Ireland rather than Germany or Sweden, is unfair, I answer that the latter countries have national flags of their own which are recognized among the powers of the earth; whereas Ireland is an unwilling appanage of its powerful

neighbor: and the incorporation of the green in the Flag of our great Republic would|be indeed a beautiful and touching recognition of the valiant Irish-American.

I submit that the slight alteration of the Flag does not in fact amount to a change at all, but is merely in the nature of an artistic improvement. My idea merely contemplates the introduction of a green field instead of blue, leaving the form and general arrangement wholly intact.

                    <div type="fiction"><ab>




“I offer myself faintly and bluntly to those whose effectually I am, and tender myselfTeast to whom I am most devoted.”

Do you believe in “love at first sight?” That subtle attraction which reveals to strangers the fact^ which has been a fact from the beginning, that they are not indeed strangers, but that the souls within them are akin ? People who hold this theory usually apply it only to lovers, who may or may not become bound by nearer ties, according as the course of true love runs smoothly, or is beset by storms and wrecks and quicksands.

Now do not suppose from this preamble that I am about to recount the vicissitudes in the love affairs of two interesting young things. Should these pages fall into the hands of some romantic girl who has scented a love story, she is certain to be disappointed. Later, perhaps, something of the sort may occur, and as a faithful historian, I shall feel impelled to record it; for the Sage-brush people are not unlike other people in all lands and climes—they marry and are given in marriage.

And yet, my text is “love at first sight,” and this paper is going to be more intimate than any that have preceded it, or that will follow; for the writer herself is the one who fell in love.

I am what is termed a middle-aged woman, with a family, and the person who is the subject of this sketch and the second party to this love affair is— ditto. I never saw her, never even heard of her, except in the vaguest manner, until one evening when she came quietly into the little district school-house for evening prayer-meeting service. There was nothing about her in the least showy—a dark little woman simply and inexpensively dressed in black. I looked at her, and chose her from among


all the rest. For me there was but one—the others, for the time, were simply extinguished. She did not know it, she does not know it yet, although our acquaintance has progressed, and will, I trust, continue to do so.

I am sure that no one would suspect the writer of so romantic an attachment, but the personality of this stranger took fast hold of my mind. I found myself continually thinking about her; she even affected my dreams to a great extent. To quote a favorite author, this “new person” was a “great event” to me, and “hindered me from sleep.” I found myself conjecturing what view she would take of this or that occurrence as it came up—wondering what might be the keynote of her life and thought, what her hopes, what her disappointments. I greatly desired to be permitted to get close to her: to share her deepest and most earnest feeling. I felt by a sort of intuitive knowledge that I could trust her with anything I possessed, and could rely upon her judgment, her sympathy, her womanhood, whether it were in a great joy or a great grief.

To complete the idea of my text, there entered into this the element of jealousy, which, you know, must have its part in every love story. I earnestly wished that she might feel a like attraction, that it might be a case of mutual preference; but with the modesty of the true lover, deemed it unlikely, even impossible. When she praised the character of a woman whom I felt to be superficial, I was grieved, but believed I must be mistaken in my estimate, and determined to cultivate the acquaintance of this person.. Once when for certain reasons unknown to me, she appeared for a time to place her sympathies upon the wrong side of a certain question, (and we all “take sides,” you must understand) I was really distressed, not because of the matter itself, which was unimportant, but because I wished her always to be right in head as well as heart. And


when I found that after all she had taken the part of justice and common sense, I felt a deep and inward joy.

Now I hope you are becoming interested in her too. Her name is Mrs. Clark. Her life is just that which falls to the lot of so many women, when poverty is just around the corner and all hands busy in warding it off. Her hands are toil-hardened; doubtless her back often aches from weariness. She has little time for recreation or “self-improvement,” so-called.

I shall not tell you the outcome of this little romance—in fact I do not know it yet, our friendship being in a progressive stage. I do not suppose when she reads these lines she will “see herself” in them. Perhaps, who knows ? we may become such friends that I may, at some time when she is downcast and disheartened, cheer her with this funny little confession of mine, by placing in her hands this paper, with just three words of explanation. I think I should like to see her when she reads it, if I could do so invisibly and unsuspected. I can imagine the smile which would “tremble in the balance with a tear;” not that she is a hysterical person, but her laughter and tears lie very near together, which to me is charming.

Then, having enacted the part of unseen witness, I would steal away; and when next we met, would we rush impetuously into each other's arms ? Not at all. We would doubtless discuss our prospects for the early “garden sass;” recur to the ever-ready subject of the children, their needs and characteristics; touch perhaps upon Klondike gold mines, and relations of our government to that of Spain— but all from a woman's standpoint; and we would separate without a single intimation [that we consider our friendship out of the ordinary. “We shall meet as though we met not, and part as though we


» parted not.”

“I will receive from my friends not what they have, hut what they are. They shall give me that which properly they cannot give me, but which emanates from them.”

                    <div type="articles"><ab>


The stress and strain of merely “making a living” in the United States impresses every thoughtful person as being unnecessarily strenuous. American “go” has been the subject of much adulation. It has led the great republic to certain vantage points, of national well-being. It has built spacious cities where yesterday lurked the Indian and the coyote. It has built stupendous systems of railways; opened to cultivation unimaginable areas of productive lands. But beyond the avenues of private aggrandizement, even our material development has not been noteworthy. A great nation of almost limitless resources with no roads except of pre-Adamite mud, is a refutation of all the current babble about American enterprise. The stimulus of private gain is_the mainspring of American development.

The scramble for wealth is so vehement as to be undignified. It is destructive of all serenity, and defeats the worthiest aims of life. We need to have missionaries sent to us. The Century Magazine very sanely discusses this phase of American civilization (?) in a recent editorial. I am moved to quote  at length:—

It is worth the cost-of a trip to Europe to learn what a vast storehouse of repose the older countries have to draw upon in the struggle for life. Swarming London never makes upon the visitor the impression of individual intensity which one finds in a New York street. In Paris one perceives on the part of all classes a contented enjoyment of the ends of life rather than a feverish absorption in it’s means. The temperate attitude of the Parisian toward art, music, literature, the theatre, and outdoor recreations has a self-respecting dignity which the vulgar vices of his race cannot obliterate. More charming and devoted family life is nowhere to be found. In Holland a blessed torpor of the blood gives one time to thank Heaven for the breath he draws. -The homes of Germany have become traditional for ease and happiness. .In Italy an atmosphere of noble scenery, beautiful art and romantic history invests existence with a charm which


has been the theme of literature for centuries. In such regions, the overwrought temperament of the American finds so much repose that he falls to wondering why that quality is not to be-found in the life and character of his countrymen.

Returning home, the contrast strikes him more forcibly than during his absence. The fortissimo is incessant. Not a moment of life is unoccupied. Every coign of vantage is taken by the vulgar loud. One seems to be ever running for a street-car, and to be continually admonished to “step lively.” He must shout to make himself heard. Everybody is struggling for the ear of the public, and nobody is listening. The age of reflection seems to have passed, and to have been succeeded by the age of agitation. Except through superior noise, there appears to be little chance for any man or any cause. Even sensation-mongers have little show against one another’s drums and trumpets. But the resultant din raises appreciably the average of discord, and adds a new terror to cities. And not to the large cities only, for the fast train and the cheap price of printing paper are extending city limits far beyond the dreams of legislators.


With a density almost inconceivable, certain of the clergy have recently been airing their ideas in the newspapers of an eastern city as to the reasons-of the slender attendance at church services. All sorts of reasons were advanced, but only one clergyman stumbled upon the real difficulty—the absence of adequate esthetic embellishments. A noted Parisian savant has defined the religious attitude of mind as always co-existent with the sentiment of the sublime. A religious service is a mere burlesque if not dignified. A religious service that shall appeal to the better element of. society must be msthetically excellent. There must be a certain noble pomp and solemnity, and the surroundings must be such as shall lend a proper dignity to the proceedings. The true devotee delights to worship in still sanctuaries where the solemn organ sounds, and where through the painted windows falls the ‘‘dim religious light” of poesy and romantic tradition. The spirit of devotion is dissipated if the temple of worship is a mere barn-like structure of boards, and the clergyman preaches in a dull mechanical way as though he were sawing wood, and the choir grinds out the usual number of hymns with the manner of persons in-



tent merely upon earning their salaries.

Houses of worship can only be maintained properly at large expense. Spokane is attempting too much in endeavoring to maintain a separate establishment for each sect and clique of adherents of some special creed or point of doctrine. Consolidation and not further lamentable schism should be the ecclesiastical ideal. If all the churches of Spokane, (which are now divided upon really immaterial points of doctrine) should unite and build a great central cathedral with a magnificent pipe-organ and all the requisite aesthetic equipment; engage a’pulpit orator of the first rank, and have an organization like the late Mozart Club sing the sextette from “Lucia” or portions of the “Messiah” or Mozart’s masses every Sunday, even I, the otherwise incorrigible Dilettante, would become a regular church-goer. And it would be an easy matter to get an audience of three or four thousand every Sunday, and many of these new converts would be persons who now resolutely remain away from the sanctuary.

There has been a perpetual misunderstanding, from times immemorial, between the parson and the artist. They look at the phantasmagoria of this passing show—the world—through diversely tinted glasses. The literati, in particular, will not go to church, and the reason of this perversity is the mournful lack of esthetic attraction and impressiveness in the average religious service. Nathaniel Hawthorne, Longfellow, Lowell, and a dozen other eminent American literateurs, persistently remained aloof from the sanctuary. When artists do espouse religion, they are pretty certain to choose the Catholic church, because of the splendor and beauty of its service. G. P. Lathrop, the novelist, some years ago embraced the Catholic faith, and in a newspaper letter he explained his reasons for taking the step. It was the noble pomp and solemnity of the Catho-


lie ceremonials that appealed to his artist nature: and among the doubts and perplexities that beset men’s minds to-day, he found peace in the absolute mandates of the Church of Rome.

The clergy, if it would refill its empty pews, must pay more attention to the esthetic requirements of the age, and less to immaterial points of doctrine. I have heard so-called good Christians indulge in long windy arguments about nothing, and almost come to blows over the interpretation of the Scriptures in relation to baptism, one maintaining that immersion was indispensible, the other that sprinkling with water was sufficient. Now this kind of controversy is childish and absurd, for in either case the ceremony is merely a symbol, and the mere method is unimportant. The real spirit of Christianity is nowadays being strangled by ecclesiastical red tape, as it were, and consequently many sincere and thoughtful people do not go to church.

                    <div type="poetry"><ab>



She sat on the steps at evening tide,

Enjoying the balmy air.

He came and asked, ‘‘May I sit by your side ”

And she gave him a vacant stair."


* *

                    <div type="fiction"><ab>


Time was, in the mining regions of the Northwest, that the smallest coin in circulation was the twenty-five cent piece. No smaller charge was ever made for any merchantable commodity, whether a drink of whisky, a lead-pencil, or other equally trifling article of commerce. The old timers would have it so, and they looked with disdain upon the tenderfoot who imported dimes and five-cent pieces vainly believing these paltry coins would singly purchase articles of use or ornament, as in the East.


An old-timer who owned a hotel at Coeur d’Alene City, Idaho, was particularly opposed to the circulation of the measly little coins. So great was his zeal to prevent their introduction in the town that he purchased all the nickels he could find among his fellow-citizens, and one dark night he rowed out into the lake with a fifty-pound sack of the coins and consigned them to the deep.

It is proper to add that of late the old gentleman Spends a great deal of his time fishing at that particular spot.

                    <div type="poetry"><ab>


The Girl.

She was a goddess, fair to see, and very Wistfully the youths gazed at her, one and all; Methought, “she is an artist or a literary fairy,

And on those youths her thoughts dwell not at all.

She readeth Tennyson or Emerson, Jones Very,—

And from her lip's sage sentiments do fall,”

She read on as I sauntered nigh her—still and wary,— In consternation at my own immaculate gall To so approach (as ’twere) Divinity's private secretary— Typewriter girl, so sweet, so beauteous and tall.

The Book.

But she read not “The Idyls of the King,”

Nor of the high exploits of Romance-land;

She sought to learn “How to Allure Young Men,

And Plow O’er All Mankind to Keep the Upper Hand.”





I did not love them overmuch Till I had turned away,

But now they thrill my dreams at night, And haunt the summer day—

The low brown hills, the bare brown hills Of San Francisco Bay.

My heart ached for their barrenness,

Their browns veined through with gray; No tree where some sweet Western bird Might sit and sing his lay—

But low brown hills, and bare brown hills Of San Francisco Bay.

Not one slim blade of living green To make the soft slopes gay;

No dim secluded forest dells Where one might kneel and pray—

But low brown hills, and bare brown hills Of San Francisco Bay.

But ah, their hold upon my heart Now I am far away !

They glimmer through my dreams at night, They haunt the summer day—

The low brown hills, the bare brown hills Of San Francisco Bay.

Ella Higginson.

                    <div type="articles"><ab>



The scope and value of the Birina Commedia is not a subject which interests merely the student of classic poetry, medimval history or the Latin tongue. In the present even more than in the past, the poem holds its place apart from its artistic merit, as a profound and comprehensive treatise on the principles of human conduct, on the end and worth of life. Most diverse, however, are the interpretations it receives. That Dante should have interpreters representing so many phases of opinion, on!}7 proves


him far above the reach of ordinary intelligence. He sits in the serene region of thought and song, whither only a favored few can travel. His Divina Gommedia is a work to be read with awe and wonder and admiration. It represents the most profound study and the most intense concentration of the highest order of human genius. The scientific precision that enters into its wording, the mathematical accuracy with which it is constructed, the marvelous grasp of subject by which the poet in so many lines, calculated beforehand, was enabled to condense thoughts tender and thoughts severe, thoughts abstruse and thoughts of daily life, thoughts historical and thoughts political—all embodied in words having at least two meanings, a literal and a figurative—these are traits that confront us upon a superficial reading of the poem. Is it any wonder that men should find it so difficult to measure the vastness of Dante’s genius ?

Canon Farrar, and all serious students of Dante, are of one opinion as to the Divina Gommedia containing the eternal elements of religion in the life history of a soul. With all due recognition of the claims of the most worthy Dantean commentators on our gratitude, we are happy in the possession of Dr. Hettinger's Study. He takes the poet’s own teachers, the Fathers and schoolmen, as his guides, and shows, from their writings, the source, as it were, of Dante’s song, and therewith its true interpretation. Of the result of his inquiry we will trace a brief outline. The subject, then, of the Gommedia, taken in its literal sense, is the state of souls after death, on which the wfiole work turns. But considered allegorically the subject is man, and the rewards or punishments he meets with from Divine Justice, according as by his own free acts he deserves well or ill. The literal sense, therefore, is merely the form in which he embodies the supreme views of God’s government, the purposes of the


world and of man, and the aims of church and state. Probably all our readers, whether they have studied the Divina Covimedia or not, have a general knowledge of the opening of the poem, which is really the key to the whole. “In the middle way of life” the poet entered a gloomy wood, and arrived at the foot of a mountain whose summit was illumined by the sun. On his beginning the ascent he was driven back by a panther, a lion and a she-wolf. Then a figure met him, who declared himself to be Virgil, and offered himself as guide through Hell and Purgatory, but a spirit worthier than he, Beatrice, would lead the poet into Pai'adise. Thus encouraged, he followed his guide and master along the deep and woody way. The whole action of the poem occupies ten days. On the night of March 24, 1301, he enters the wood; on the morning of the 25th he stands before the sunlit mount, on that same evening he enters Hell with Virgil. At half-past one on Easter Day they stand before the great cavern which leads to the other hemisphere. From Monday to Friday in Easter week he traverses Purgatory, on Friday and Saturday the seven heavens, and on the following Sunday ascends to the empyrean.. The general meaning of the whole is.in a nutshell, and may be given in Hettinger's words:

“Man in the person of Dante is its subject. He is hindered by sin from advancing in the path of virtue, until Divine Wisdom, under the form and name of Beatrice, having taken reason, Virgil, into her service, goes forth to rescue him. Deeply moved by the penalties of Hell, and its lessons of the hideousness of sin, Dante is purified by contrition and penance, and is at length conducted by Beatrice into the joys of Paradise.” We need hardly say that an analysis or even description of the poem is simply impossible in the space at our disposal. In a future number we may say a few words on each of its parts.





Ghost: “I am thy father's spirit.” (Hamlet, 1-5).

Hamlet: “The undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns.” (Hamlet, 3-1.)

The words “discover” and “traveler” had a meaning attached to them peculiar to the age of exploration, discovery and description in which Shakespeare lived. The “traveler” in those days was a man who described his discoveries. John Taylor, a whimsical traveler by sea and land, made in 1623 a water journey which he described in “A New Discovery by Sea with a Wherry from London to Salisbury.” The discovered countries were always described. A country that remained undescribed was for the rest of the world an “undiscovered country” like that of Hamlet. Now those who have journeyed to the land of spirits may indeed revisit the glimpses of the moon; but they are mere incorporeal ghosts, not travelers, since they do not describe their discoveries, and their world remains an “undiscovered country.” Hamlet very naturally recalls the reticence of the ghost, who, although he had just come “piping hot from purgatory,” (as Dr. Goldsmith, reading the ghost’s words, remarked), refuses to discover that prison house to Hamlet:

But that I am forbid To tell the secrets of my prison house,

I could a tale unfold . . . .

But this eternal blazon must not be To ears of flesh and blood.

We might have demonstrated the point we have just stated in a much simpler way by confining our attention to the strict meaning of the word “discovered.” From our modern addition to the study of geography we are most accustomed to apply the word to the finding out, by exploration, of places


not known before. And from this modern eagerness in limiting the word to a unique signification arises the opportunity of the conundrum fiend. He asks, “What was the greatest island before Australia was discovered ?” and no one has wit enough to answer, “Australia.”


* *


It has always been a matter of some wonder to me that Tennyson was exalted by the British government for the sole reason of his status as a poet. It is not customary for such infinitely superior merit as Tennyson’s to secure much notice or consideration from the rulers of the world. Usually some brainless nonentity with a “pull” easily out-generals the finest intellectual genius in the competition for worldly station. True, in Britain artistic merit of a high order is likelier to win recognition than it is in a semi-civilized and unkempt society like ours. Yet the elevation of Alfred Tennyson, Poet, to Baron Tennyson, was an action that (in every scholar’s opinion) exalts the British government more than a score of brilliant 'Victories over nude savages in Africa.

Now The Dilettante does not desire to be placed upon record as criticising Shakespeare unfavorably, yet it is true that Tennyson is superior to him in art, in melody. Shakespeare’s lines are indeed crowded with meaning, yet they have a certain crudeness that is annoying and which makes his reading rather difficult. He is not a dilettante’s poet. Shakespeare disregards melody just as Wagner disregards that same essential element in music; but Tennyson is the Mozart of poesy. Tennyson is at once musical and strenuous. Where is the equal of the mellifluous quality of certain passages in “The Lotus Eaters,” “The Passing of Arthur,” and “Maud.” Here are pictures that speak:—


-----mingled with dim cries

Far in the moonlight haze among the hills,

As in some lonely eity sacked by night.

There is sweet music here that softer falls Than petals of blown roses on the grass.

Or night-dews on still waters between walls Of shadowy granite, in a gleaming pass.

Music that gentler on the spirit lies Than tir’d eyelids upon tir’d eyes;

Music that brings sweet sleep down from the blissful skies.

All night have the roses he> rd The flute, violin, bassoon :

All night have the casement jessamines stirred To the dancers dancing in tune;

Till a silence fell with the waking bird,

And a hush with the setting moon.

There is a certain splendid gravity in Tennyson’s work. He is no facile, familiar household poet. He had a royal scorn for the insipid public, and thus he rebukes it:—

Vex not thou the poet’s mind With thy shallow wit;

Vex not thou the poet’s mind,

For thou can’st not fathom it.

It is true that Tennyson’s work is not uniformly excellent. Of his dramas, “Becket” alone is worthy of a great writer. “In Memoriam” is somewhat monotonous; it is too long and rather too prettily arranged. He was to find his subjects elsewhere. In “Locksley Hall” and the passionate biography “Maud,” he attains a fervor that is startling; but he quickly left the storm clouds and returned to the sun-lit azure. The romantic legends of chivalry ap pealed to him and suited his genius better. H. A. Taine says in his “History of English Literature:”—

To be poetically happy is the object of a dilettante-artist. For this many things are necessary. First of all, that the place, the events and the characters shall not exist. Realities are coarse, and always, in some sense, ugly; at least they are heavy; we do not treat them as we should like, they oppress the fancy; at bottom there is nothing truly sweet and beautiful in our life but our dreams. We are ill at ease while we remain glued to earth, hobbling along on our two feet, which drag us wretchedly here and there in the place which impounds us. We need to live in another world, to hover in the wide-air kingdom,


to build palaces in the clouds, to see them rise and crumble, to follow in a hazy distance the whims of their moving architecture, and the turns of their golden volutes. In this fantastic world, again, all must be pleasant and beautiful, the heart and senses must enjoy it, objects must be smiling or picturesque, sentiments delicate or lofty, no crudity, incongruity, brutality, savageness, must come to sully with its excess the modulated harmony of this ideal perfection. This leads the poet to the legends of chivalry. Here is the fantastic world, splendid to the sight, noble and specially pure, in which love, war, adventures, generosity, courtesy, all spectacles and all virtues which suit the instincts of our European races, are assembled, to furnish them with the epic which they love and the model which suits them.

It was in this ideal world that Tennyson most delighted to dwell. The passionate and dreadful poem, “Maud,” some critics say is his finest achievement, and Tennyson himself inclined to that opinion; there is little satisfaction in making the acquaintance of Maud’s volcanic lover,—the only interest we can have in such a character is to learn how’ to avoid so unhappy a condition. Technically, the poem is truly admirable, and it was probably in this sense that Tennyson regarded it as his most notable achievement.

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“TheKing’s Henchman,” by William Henry Johnson, is a tale of chivalrous adventure in the sixteenth century. It belongs to the class of semi-historical, romantic novels which are so much read in these days, and it has considerable merit. The main objection to the story is its occasional leaning toward vulgarity—and that feature is doubtless necessary in a faithful chronicle of the times. The author justifies it in these words, which we quote from the preface;—

The reader will doubtless be prepared to make much allowance in a narrative coming down from a

— 2.3 —

ruder time, for details which the taste of our day would exclude. He will remember that this story carries him back into the sixteenth century—a period in which human life was held cheap and the Ten Commandments in light esteem; a crude, violent age, in which men of action were men of blood; an age in which the passions of men and women often ran wild riot, unchecked by conventional restraints.

It is a narrative of the campaigns of King Henry of Navarre—that “hero of a hundred fights” and at least as many love affairs. It tells of some thrilling exploits, particularly the dashing rescue of Mile. Robervai from the castle of a hostile ba'ron. That is just the sort of an adventure the immortal Don Quixote dreamed of but never compassed. The book is full of love and war, and ought to catch the favor of the public in these exciting days of battle. “The King’s Henchman” is handsomely gotten out by Little, Brown &amp; Co. of Boston. Price $1.50.


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“IN KINGS’ houses.”

“In Kings’ Houses” may be called a historical novel, for the author, Julia C. Dorr, has used for her characters many people whose names are familiar to even the careless reader of English history. The book recounts the life of a youth whose father had been exiled because he had cast his lot with the ill-famed and ill-fated King James If of England. The boy, however, is brought up in England, and becomes attached to the household of Queen Anne. In following his fortunes the reader is brought into contact with the queen, Lady Marlborough and other natural inmates of kings’ houses. In the first part of the book the little Duke of Glosser and “Little Lady” Anne are charming characterizations. It is not a narrative of swiftly occurring adventures, like Weyman’s romances, although the hero meets some perils with a ready courage. But the story deals chiefly with home and court life as it was two


hundred years ago. It is a pleasing tale of one of the most romantically interesting periods of English history, and is told in Mrs. Dorr’s own excellent style. The illustrations by Frank T. Merrill are finely conceived and executed, and the book is decidedly attractive in appearence.

Published by L. C. Page &amp; Co., Boston. $1.50.

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“I went far away into the land of dreams—when the world had turned sorrowful; and there, in the dim, fantastic place, I met Bobbie McDuff, and he told me an old midsummer day’s tale; and the world turned fair again. .	.	You may not have a weak-

ness for an Arabian Night. If an ancient and mysterious house, like that of Monte Bazzi, may not stir you—why, Bobbie’s story must make its present editor apologetic. But to you who love a villain and like a hero—even be he uncertain about his heart— who may care for Mary, Countess of Berringer, and who may yet feel Marietta’s charm as much as I— to you there need be no apology for a fiction which may be veracious.”

It is thus that Clinton Ross introduces his new story, “Bobbie McDuff.” There is indeed no need of any apology for this charmful little romance. It is a delicious open-air story, with a mecligeval castle thrown in for variety, and gypsies, princes and other people for actors in the plot—for the romance has a sufficiently startling plot. Yet in the manner of its telling lies its chief fascination. Mr. Ross knows how to write, as he has demonstrated before now. It is perhaps fair to interpolate that persons who buy or borrow “Bobbie McDuff” expecting to find a narrative of “the children of the heather,” will be— not disappointed, but disabused of that expectation. There is nothing Scotch about it but the name. Bobbie discovers himself to be a Russian whose name is not McDuff, but Kraeikof; and the scene of the story is laid in Italy. There are some very excellent ill us-

trations in the book. It is a good wholesome tale, and one could even imagine oneself reading it a second time. Published by L. C. Page &amp; Co., Boston. Price $1.00.


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To people who want to comprehend the strange mental makeup of a Spaniard this little volume by Jas. C. Fernald (just published) may be recommended. It is a history of the conquests of Spain from earliest times—beginning, indeed, with an account of the formation of the Spanish empire itself. Mr. Fernald shows that the character of the Spanish people has long been inclined toward ferocity and callous indifference to the sufferings of others. He describes that dreadful institution, the Inquisition, from the establishment of which he dates the beginning of Spain’s degeneration:

“By making terrible suffering an enjoyable spectacle which no one must fail to attend, and at which no one on peril of his life must manifest a thrill of pity, the Inquisition trained a nation to delight in cruelty for its own sake.”

It is hardly fair to blame the Inquisition for the brutalizing of the Spaniard, since that institution could never have been founded in any but a savage nation. It would appear to an untrammeled observer that the Inquisition did not make Spanish character, but that Spanish character made the Inquisition.

Aside from his rather unfair view in this regard, however, Mr. Fernald’s book is a useful, scholarly history of Spain’s martial career, up to the time of the encounter with Dewey at Manila. In a speech to his men last spring Cervera exhorted them to “show the nation, whose eye is upon you, that the Spain of to-day is the Spain of all time.” This little book shows that the Spain of to-day is indeed the Spain of all time in that it has stopped in the Middle Ages while the rest of the world travels forward.

Published by the Funk &amp; Wagnalls Co., New York



There is a strangely lasting enthrallment about the name and personality of Napoleon. His power over the minds of his contemporaries was like that of a god; even his enemies regarded him as a being almost invincible. Novelists have always loved to use him for a character—they could create none more prodigious. In “For Love of a Bedouin Maid,” a romance by Le Voleur lately published, we may follow Napoleon’s luminous passage through the world, from the time of his invasion of Egypt to his final removal to St. Helena, “captive, but emperor still.” The hero of this romance, St. Just, is at first a trusted aide of Napoleon’s; he accompanies his general to Egypt, where he falls in love with the “Bedouin Maid,” Halima. This lady is later wronged by Napoleon and vows to be revenged. She calls upon her lover to aid her in this purpose, and he, who adores and fears Napoleon, is torn between two inclinations. He finally marries Halima, and at her instigation is twice a traitor, but is forgiven by his master. Halima is employed in various plots against the emperor, and after the battle of Waterloo she prevents his escape to the United States and delivers him to the English. Before this, however, St Just has left her and has given himself wholly to the emperor’s service.

That is a faint outline of the tale—which also includes some Haggardesque adventures in the Egyptian desert, where St. Just finds an underground city and a fabulous treasure of gold and jewels. The history is narrated with some skill, though the author pays little heed to the way a thing’s said. His manner of expression is at times rather uncouth; yet the story has real merit. The volume is oddly decorated, and is a worthy addition to one’s collection of new books. Rand, McNally &amp; Co. of Chicago publish it. Price, $1.00.




Miss Mary Wilkins’ tale, “Madelon,” has been dramatized.

Amelie Rives’ new novel, “Meriel,” has just been brought out by a London publisher.

‘St. Ives,” Stevenson’s last and unfinished romance, is to be dramatized for Richard Mansfield.

George W. Cable is in England, the guest of J. M. Barrie. It is his first visit to the British Isle.

Miss Maria Louise Pool, the well-known New England novelist, died May 19 at her home in Massachusetts.

Henry James will shortly bring out anew novel. It bears the somewhat peculiar title, “The Two Magics.”

Poultney Bigelow last month crossed Spain on a bicycle. He will write a series of articles for Harper's Weekly about the Spanish view of the war

It is said that Dr. Nansen has already realized nearly two hundred thousand dollars from the sale of his book, “Furthest North.” It has been translated into many languages.

Our ambassador in London, Col. John Hay, says that he admires Kipling “enormously.” Browning he pronounces to be “ethically the greatest poet of his time; Tennyson is the greatest artist.”

One of the promising new American writers is Mr. Winston Churchill, whose novel, “The Celebrity,” was lately published by the Macmillans. Mr. Churchill is a graduate of the Naval Academy at Annapolis.

Gen. Lew Wallace wants to go to war. He represents that he is only seventy-one years old, never had a sick day, never employed a doctor, and can jump a ten-rail fence. His age bars him out, though; sixty-four years is the military limit.

Even a poet is not always poetical. It is related of Tennyson that a lion-hunting lady once teased him to attend a luncheon at her house, till finally he consented, and she invited a large party to meet him. Tennyson got his revenge, for during the luncheon he spoke but once, and then he said: “I like my mutton cut in chunks.”

Persons who own little girls of literary tastes would do well to invest in a copy of Thomas Nel.-on Page’s new book for young people, “Two Prisoners.” It is a pleasant little story about two small girls, a bird and a fat young dog. The latter character is an important factor in the evolution of the plot. He is a socialistic canine, who recognizes no difference in the station of his friends. He goes “slumming” on his own account, finds the little crippled heroine of the tale, and later introduces her to his rich young mistress. It is just the kind of a story that young girlslike. The plot is ordinary enough, but “so much may depend on the way a thing’s told”—and Thomas Nelson Page tells this. The book is daintily bound in pale green and gold. R. H. Russell of New York is the publisher. 16mo, $1.00.


Collier's Weekly for June 18 has for a frontispiece a portrait of Hobson, the hero of Santiago. There are also portraits of many other men now in the public eye, numerous illustrations of mili-


tary and naval scenes, and letters from its correspondents at the front. The issue of June 25 is “Administration number,” telling how the war is conducted in Washington,

That prince of artistic publishers, R. H. Russell of New York, has issued a spring catalogue which is a delight to the book-lover. It is printed in green and black ink on thick, creamy paper, and is illustrated with pictures from the books therein advertised. Among other new publications is Davis’ “Cuba in War Time.” One finds the description of Hopkinson Smith’s “Venice of To-day,” almost too tempting to resist; and some attractive books of drawings by Remington, Gibson, Wenzel, Kemble, and Phil May are offered! The catalogue throughout is a beauty —and Mr. Russell sends it free on application.

The Ladies' Home Journal for July is especially attractive. The cover has for its design a portrait of President McKinley on horseback, under his new flag, and the leading article is an illustrated anecdotal biography of the President. The original Declaration of Independence is photographically reproduced in this issue. Among other articles of interest are “A Peace-Loving People,”—a pleasant glimpse into the lives of the placid Dunkers; “Where Christmas is Like the Fourth of July,” a description of a New Orleans Christmas; and Mrs. Rorer’s “The Best Foods for Stout and Thin Women.” The continuation of Julia Ma-gruder’s story, “A Heaven Kissing Hill,” and Hamlin Garland’s new western story, are strong fiction features. Lillian Bell’s letter from St. Petersburg tells how she made a snap-shot photograph of the Czar. The regular departments are interesting as usual, and the illustrations first-class.



“Our voice is all for war.” Most of us read nothing but war news or books savoring of combat past, present or to come. Veterans of the Civil War are furbishing up their recollections of experiences in that awful period. People who have been through labor riots tell what it was like. Books about the Greek war and that between China and Japan are read by our people with fresh interest; while the number of volumes concerning Cuba and Spain are as the pebbles of the beach. We are all wearing some sort of patriotic emblem containing the national colors—miniature American flags gleam from many a sombre coat lapel or summery shirt-waist. We are in a sanguinary mood and crave tales of blood. Therefore the sagacious publisher looks with disaffection upon the usual summer novel, and the publications lately offered for our entertainment include few of the idle love tales or travel sketches commonly provided.


One of the best of the Cuban books is Grover Flint's “Marching With Gomez,” a plain narrative of actual experiences with the Cuban army. Its perusal somewhat cools one's sympathy for the insurgents. In downright cruel brutality the Cuban leaders would seem to hold their own bravely alongside of the Spaniards; however, it is hardly fair to criticise the Gomez tactics, since it is not customary for any war to be conducted along humane lines. Lamson, Wolffe &amp; Co. publish Mr. Flint’s book. Another New York publisher issues Richard Harding Davis’ “Cuba in War Time,” and Fred. Warne &amp; Co. publish “The Flags of the World.” Elizabeth Wormely Latimer has written about “Spain in the Nineteenth Century,” and A. C. McClurg &amp; Co. of hCicago have brought out her book. Little, Brown &amp; Co. of Boston announce the publication of “All the World's Fighting Ships,” and have also a new edition of Wilson’s “Ironclads in Action.”

Even the novelists have banished Cupid to a secondary position and have placed Mars on high. Little, Brown &amp; Co. have seized this occasion to bring out a popular edition ot Sienkiewicz’s “With Fire and Sword.” Jas. Barnes’ “Yankee Ships and Yankee Sailors; Tales of 1812,” is one of the late books; while Captain King is on hand with another of his army stories, “Ray’s Recruit.” The Putnams publish a book of tales of the Civil War entitled “In the Midst of Life;” Ambrose Bierce is the author. “The Broom of the War God1’ is the striking title of a story by Henry Noel Brailsford, about the late war between Greece and Turkey. There are tales of Revolutionary times, there are Cuban romances and Southern war stories—among the latter being Geo. Cary Eggleston’s “Southern Soldier Stories.” Mr. Eggleston was himself a Confederate soldier, and writes as one having authority. The Macmillans publish his book, which is written with refreshing manliness and strength.


A few notable books of a peaceful character have appeared during the past month, however. Prominent among these is Lieut. Peary's “Northward Over the Great Ice”—just issued by the Fred. A. Stokes Co. It is a large volume containing a complete history of Peary’s Arctic explorations, and is the most important book of the kind ever published with the exception of Nansen’s “Furthest North.” The literary quality of Lieut. Peary’s narrative is not equal to that of Nansen’s wonderful book, but as he says in the preface, his story contains no “padding.” It is his “first, last and only book, and covers all his Arctic work.” The illustrations are from photographs, and number more than eight hundred.

Stevenson’s poem, “A Lowclen Sabbath Morn,” is issued in most attractive style, profusely illustrated by A. S. Boyd. Several books that may, without satire, be called poetry have just come out—Lloyd Mifflin’s “The Slopes of Helicon” and a book of verse by Robert Underwood Johnson being the most excellent. A witty contribution to the much discussed “woman question” is Helen Waterson Moody’s volume of essays, “The Unquiet Sex.” Thomas Wentworth Higginson's “Cheerful Yesterdays” is a felicitous book of memories—pleasant or stirring pictures of old times and the great ones who lived in them. Houghton Mifflin &amp; Co. publish his book.

A “new” book which many of us are glad to welcome is the biographical edition of “Vanity Fair,” which comes from the Harpers’ publishing house. It is the first volume issued of a new edition of the works of W. M. Thackeray. There will be thirteen volumes, published in the order in which they were written, but at intervals of only a month. Each volume has a biographical introduction by Mrs. Ritchie, Thackeray’s daughter, and the edition will include hitherto unpublished letters, sketches, and drawings


from the author’s original note-hooks. Thackeray is the king of novelists, and I exult to see his books receive the appreciation they deserve. His genuine kindliness, his sane and humorous recognition of the foibles of mankind, make hjs books unique in literature. There is no other like him. Our own Mark Twain perhaps comes nearest him; but we have so long regarded the author of “Tramps Abroad” as a humorist solely, that we will probably not discover until -after his death that he is our most powerful and versatile genius. He is not a mere funny man, he is a great writer; and he takes the same pleasantly cynical view of humanity which is one of Thackeray’s charms. ‘ Be good and you will be lonesome,” is the legend inscribed beneath a picture in Mr. Clemens’ new book, “Following the Equator;”, a picture representing the author sitting all alone on the deck of a steamer, gazing pensively out to sea. That proverb may be true at present, but we may hope that it will not be when Twain and Thackeray, those charmingly benevolent missionaries, are more carefully read; for the perusal of “Henry Esmond” or “Vanity Fair,” “Pud-d’nhead Wilson” or “Huckleberry Finn” ought to make us all so good that Mark Twain will have plenty of company.

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