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                <title>Dilettante 1.7 (1898-10)</title> <!-- enter vol./issue number and date, like this: Dilettante 1.5 (1898-08) -->
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                SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS A YEAR.





A Monthly Literary Magazine.

VOL,. I. OCTOBER, 1898.	NO.	7
                <div type="articles"><ab> 

Joaquin Miller’s explanation of the name of our neighboring state, Idaho, is one that appeals to the spirit of poetry and romanticism, even though it may not be strictly authentic. In “Memorie and Rime” the poet of the Sierras says:—

The literal meaning is “sunrise mountains.” Indian children among all tribes west of the Rocky Mountains, so far as I can learn, use the word to signify the place where the sun comes from. Where these tawny people live out of doors, go to bed at dusk and rise with the first break of day, sunrise is much to them. The place where the sun comes from is a place of marvel to the children; and indeed, it is a sort of dial-plate to every village or ranchera, and of consequence to all. The Shoshone Indians, the true Bedouins of the American desert, hold the mountain where the first burst of dawn is discovered in peculiar reverence.

Miller says further that the name was originally spelled E-dah-hoe, with the accent thrown heavily on the second syllable.

This romantic explanation has not been accepted by authorities on Indian customs and traditions, Idaho being held to signify “Gem of the Mountains;” but so far as our acquaintance with the various In-

dian tribes of the West goes, we emphatically side with Joaquin Miller.

Among the Otoe and Pawnee Indians of Nebraska traditions similar to this beautiful custom or belief of the Nez Perces and Shoshones exist. Years ago the writer resided near the borders of the Otoe reservation in Gage county, Nebraska, and while there we gathered from the Indian chiefs and old-timers conversant with the tribal history, legends which point to a day when nearly all the tribes of the Mississippi basin worshipped the sun, and the sunrise hour was the time of their most important ceremonies.

The musical Indian names of that region are of great antiquity—Nemaha, Niobrara, Pawnee, Oketa, Artaketa—all names of illustrious aborigines, in the Golden Age of Indian history.

Table Rock, Nebr., is so named from a peculiar table-like rock that formerly stood in the valley of the Nemaha. There is a tragic legend connected with this natural monument dating back almost as far as mythology, which strongly appealed to my youthful appreciation of the marvelous. It also indicates that the worship of the sun and reverence of the sun-rise hour is not confined to far western tribes.

A great many years ago, perhaps hundreds of years before white men landed on our continent, there dwelt in the fertile valley of the Nemaha an intelligent and prosperous race of aborigines. They wei-e a branch of the Sun Worshippers. No wars devastated their territory for a long period, for all the adjoining tribes reverenced the head chief of the Sun Worshippers as a being of celestial origin and stipernatural power. In the center of the capital city, which was built and walled with stone, rose the Temple of the Sun. The valiant and humane chief -tan, Oketa, was the autocrat of the state. His voice was law; his judgment the court; and never a sub-



ject murmured at his authority.

However, these simple and intelligent people be* trayed their barbaric nature at least once every year in a most shocking manner. Annually, at the great autumnal feast, the entire population repaired to a natural table rock some miles outside the city walls, and there offered up, at the sunrise hour, the come-best maiden of the tribe as an offering to the sun. This was thought to insure another bountiful year, and exemption from war and pestilence. The medicine men related a tradition that on one occasion the rite had been neglected, and very soon after the sun disappeared in the clear sky and a ghastly and horrible twilight fell over the land. The sacrifice was then hastily performed and the natural daylight re turned.

At the time our story opens the Sun Worshippers were very punctilous in regard to the observance of the bloody ceremony. Most frequently the daughter of some poor farmer was adjudged thecomeliest maiden of the tribe, but the child of the head chief was not necessarily exempt. Oh, fatal gift of beauty! Then, as now, death loved a shining mark.

This ghastly rite—or some other agency—secured great prosperity for the dwellers in the valley. Their capital was the Babylon, the London, the Chicago of the empire.

It came to pass that an influential warrior of the tribe fell in love with Artaketa, the head chief’s only daughter. Unlike cases of true love of a later date, no difficulties were encountered in the form of stern parent, walls of adamant, etc., but Chief Oketa readily granted the warrior permission to pay his re spects to the dusky beauty. Everything ran smoothly. The young brave sent into Artaketa’s wigwam pieces of venison, deerskins, and so on, which were graciously accepted as the correct thing. If we may believe an ancient chronicle (written on a rabbit


skin in choice Otoe—a precious relic in the possession of my friend, the Antediluvian) the lovers were passionately enamoured; the coming-annual festival was to be their wedding day.

A week before the event our young warrior, Niobrara, joined a hunting party bound for a valley some two days’ travel distant. After a successful hunt the party retired to rest on the evening of the fifth day, intending to start home on the following morning, arriving at the capital on the eve of the festival. But during the night their animals stampeded, and before they could do aught to prevent it the last mustang disappeared in the darkness. This mishap delayed the party one day, and they did not arrive at the capital until after the annual sacrifice.

Oh, most fatal of misadventures ! A brave rode out to meet the party and informed them that the chief’s only daughter had been chosen and for her exceeding beauty had been burnt upon the sacrificial rock. Niobrara waited to hear no more, but made his way into the chief’s presence and furiously denounced the deed. The old chieftain, upon whom the ordeal of the morning had apparently produced no effect, answered never a word, but called to his guards to seize the warrior and put him to death; but Niobrara broke from their grasp, leaped on the back of a horse, and disappeared over the plain in a cloud of dust and the early twilight.

A few weeks later rumors came to Chief Oketa o>f an uprising in the West. Niobrara, goaded by wrath and grief, had joined himself to certain ancient enemies of the Sun Worshippers, and proposed to wage war against his tribe. Secret agents were sent to neighboring tribes, and soon a terrible array of renegades were gathered under Niobrara’s banner. The prospect of pillaging so rich a nation as the Sun Worshippers attracted the disaffected as



sugar draws flies. Niobrara trained his forces in the tactics of savage warfare, putting them under some degree of discipline and control. Then by forced marches he suddenly appeared before the enemy’s capital and demanded its immediate surrender. Oketa then sallied out of his fortress with the flower of his army and attacked the" insurgents in the forest about a mile from the capital. For three hours the battle raged, the air being darkened by showers of poisoned arrows. (I have myself picked up arrow heads on this ancient battle-field.) Finally Oketa, overwhelmed by numbers, retired within the walls. As evening was at hand the assailants withdrew to their camp in the valley of the Nemaha, intending to finish the victory on the morrow. It was a night of great rejoicing in the rebel camp; bonfires blazed and a war-dance on a gigantic scale continued until midnight.

But in the capital of the Sun Worshippers how different was the public temper. A powerful and victorious enemy was at their gates. The finest of their warriors were slain; defeat had dispirited the survivors. Lamentations filled the air.

It chanced there was a mighty medicine man in the village who had a great and merited renown among the people of his nation. To this dignitary Oketa applied for supernatural aid and deliverance from his enemies. The august person retired into the Temple of the Sun, and to his incantations the Sun Worshippers ascribed the fearful events of the night.

It was a sultry, thundrous evening in June, and as darkness came on strangely sinister gleams of lightning flared up from below the Northwestern horizon. The air was of a singular muggy warmth and stillness. Muttering, far-away peals of thunder were heard, and a faint murmur appeared to rise out of the ground. At midnight the watchers



on the walls of the beleagured capital saw the woods on the Nemaha aflame with torches, and heard the wild clamor of the war dance—five thousand war-wiors chanting a ferocious ditty and leaping about in the swift gyrations of the dance. And just at that moment, too, there lifted above the line of the Northwestern horizon the solid, terrible battle-front of the tempest—a massive wall of dense volcanic cloud. (To this day the tornado of the Nebraska plains causes the white man’s soul to quake within him ). It rolled swiftly upward; a darkness fell that could be felt. There came a deafening crash of elemental artillery. Then the storm broke loose with a scream and a roar as of all the fiends of the pit. Rain fell in sheets. Hail, wind, lightning 1 Forests were leveled, wigwams swept out of existence—there was a constant bellowing of thunder. “The heavens were opened.’’ The rain gave place to an avalanche of water. The Nemaha became a raging sea, miles wide and choked with debris. Then the uproar gradually lessened; the rain fell steadily and softly all night long, and when day broke the Sun Worshippers found that they were delivered 'Of their enemies.

It was many weeks before the flood subsided, and it was found that the valley had become permanently choked by landslides and debris. The fertile valley became a stagnant marsh, foul and pestilential, and the Sun Worshippers attributed its great impurity to the fact of its being the burial ground of their enemies. But thereafter the Sun Worshippers ceased to prosper. Their capital, lately so salubrious, became unhealthful; malaria worked havoc among them, and thus Niobrara was avenged. When white men penetrated the great American Desert only a ruined heap of stone marked the site of the proud capital of the Sun Worshippers, and when the first railway train swept down the valley of the Nem-



aha, many years ago, the Table Rock jarred from its pedestal and fell with a thundering crash to the ground.


* *

The average Westerner is notoriously unromantic and unbelieving respecting the poetic and heroic attributes of the Indian. It is indisputable that the Indian of Cooper’s novels does not now exist, if, indeed, he was ever more than a myth. Those who have seen the degenerate, unclean, unromantic si-wash of the present day will unanimously condemn Joaquin Miller’s beautiful explanation as a bit of poetic fiction. Yet it is an idea of surpassing beauty, and'Should be incorporated in some enduring literary fabric—some magic melody or poem—into which Genius shall have infused the breath of life.
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Chief Joseph, Leader of Non-Treaty Nez Perces


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To-day, on a tramp for specimens for my herbarium, and incidentally, for arrow points along the river bank, I passed near a deserted home, which revived old memories to such an extent that, sitting to rest upon a huge boulder, I just simply gave myself up to re very.

I had climbed up from the river, w7here in low water is formed a gently sloping beach so tempting for a foot-path; and sat upon a rise of ground, commanding an excellent view of the orchard and garden, barns and out-houses, and the little house, once so familiar to me in every detail, now falling to decay. The trees still bear a few apples, I am told, and the tall poplars are green as ever, but little else is left as a monument of the care and thought once bestowed upon the development of this home.

Twelve years ago, Uncle John and Aunt Libbie—-“Uncle” and “Aunt” to the whole country round— might have been seen pursuing their daily tasks; Uncle John among his vines and trees and garden truck, Aunt Libbie trotting back and forth from the kitchen door, with her flock of chickens surrounding her—for she was a famous hand at poultryraising.

As I look at the piteous empty door-way, and observe the.indescribable air of loneliness that always invests a house which was once a home, my thoughts went back over the circumstances of the breaking up of this home—when, after Uncle John’s death, Aunt Libbie, her life desolated, accompanied a younger brother to his home in a far-off state, to enter into a new family life and be freed from responsibility, which suddenly and for the first time in all her life appeared to her a deadly weight.



Uncle John was one of those true gentlemen who are born, not made—a gentle man. Now and then Nature accomplishes this feat, alone and unaided. To be sure, if the environments are such that culture and scholarship are added to the fact already achieved, well and good. But at any rate, without these adjuncts, he is still the gentleman. It depends upon nothing but what is within, and that is unchangeable.

His was a humble, uneventful life. In itself there would be little to chronicle, there being thousands such lived out in the sight of us all. We scarcely give them a thought, and indeed they are often unworthy a serious thought. But now and then a life is lived, similar in detail to these commonplace careers, but dignified and ennobled by one distinguishing fact—that he who lives it lives higher than the plane of his surroundings. I do not mean that he calls himself superior—this, I think, would but prove his inferiority.

It never so much as occurred to Uncle John that he deserved anything better than he received. His estimate of his own ability and worth was so modest that he scarcely even considered that he possessed such a thing as worth or ability—though he invariably l-ecognized it in others, and admired it in his friends.

Uncle John and Aunt Libbie were pioneers in the Northwest. They began the rough frontier life young and strong and full of hope—and for them it was always frontier from that time forward ! They were ever found on the rough and ragged edge of civilization, their associates the rude miner, trapper or cow-boy, and, later, the home-seeking element who are wont to discover these out-of-the-way corners to establish themselves; and who are scarcely to be considered of a much higher type. Through all the changes Uncle John and Aunt Libbie re-



mained unspoiled, unchanged except in their increasing weight of years, and when I first found them —when as district school-ma’am I was sheltered for a time in the now deserted home before me—they were a dear, gentle old pair such as one might expect to find in an old, long-established farming community, but scarcely looked to discover in all this roughness and “newness.”

Whatever cares besetfmy mind, when after a hard and trying day I drew near.this haven of peace, a new influence came to meet me. I can feel it now in memory—even as a child may recall a lullaby, which had a like soothing effect upon the mind.

I left my stone upon which I had been sitting and followed the foot-path to the old broken stile. It was here that I used to stop of an evening for a bit of a chat with Uncle John, as he pruned his trees or weeded his onion patch. He was always ready, dear, kind old man, for a little laugh or a joke. Then perhaps, as I neared the open door, AuntLib-bie would peer blinkingly out with her dim, nearsighted eyes, to see if the^'teacher were in sight, that she might know whether to put the biscuits in the oven for supper.

I recall once when she met me in this way and offered me the first 1’ose of the season—a large single white one which grew upon a bush under my bedroom window. She just simply stood before me and held it out writh a pleased and childlike smile, as if no words were necessary—it spoke for itself; which indeed was true. How these simple little memories bring the quick tears to the eyes; one of my old friends is in another world, the other so widely removed that it is hardly in the range of possibilities that I should ever meet her or even know certainly of her welfare. Nor can I accept the thought of her in her new surroundings—it is in the home before me that I shall always remember this


quaint old pair.

Uncle John always referred to his wife as “my girl.” Theirs was a childless home, though at one time they undertook the care of two orphan children, only to be met with base ingratitude—all their kindly sympathies wasted, turned aside as something useless.

I have sometimes thought that Uncle John had the insight of the true student of human nature—a gift thoroughly “in the rough,” uncultivated and unsuspected by himself, of course.

In his little anecdotes, which he used to tell me as we sat around the kitchen stove in the lamp light, just we three quiet people, he had the faculty of sifting what was dross, and giving only that which had some human interest. I have often compared his conversaton with that of the many who have sat at my fireside, in a ten-years’ sojourn in the wilder-riess of the frontier, and find that “there are none like him, none.”

A writer of culture and training would scarcely have separated the great mass of “material” with truer discernment as to what was waste, and what worthy to be passed on.

Two characters, in particular, became to me as familiar acquaintances through these fireside stories and reminiscences. One was a little German woman, for some months, or years for aught I know, a near neighbor, and the comedy of Uncle John’s life. “How funny of Mr. Reed,” she "would exclaim, “His wife’s name is Elizabet. and he calls her Lip!" I had a queer feeling of gratitude toward this unknown and doubtless obscure person, because she had furnished that element his life seemed to need— and that merely by her broken'English, her mispronunciations !

The other character I remember simply 1 as “Mr. Golder.” He knew my friends in a little Idaho


mininsr town, which he appears to have visited periodically, He was, I believe, a man of truly cultured tastes, and resources within his own mind, not dependent upon outside influences wholly And is not this a quality as rare as it is admirable ? With this historic person I came to have the liveliest feeling of sympathy and comradeship—not unmingled with that of gratitude, with which I also regarded the little German neighbor; because, like her, he had satisfied a void in these two lives, and had truly appreciated the charm of their natures, which 1 wish to depict but cannot.

I think of him alighting from the stage at the rude inn, after a sixty-mile mountain ride, his soul surfeited with the conversation affected by the stage-driver and hotel-keeper, and joyfully and eagerly seeking out the home of Uncle John and Aunt Lib-bie. 1 can imagine, too—no, I do not need the aid of my imagination here—the welcome accorded him —the gentle dignity of the one, the bustling hospitality of the other. How much these visits would mean to them—occasional side currents from the stream which had always passed them by, representing to them almost all they had ever known of the finer uses of life. . . . When I come to think it over, I never even knew the occupation of this vague individual. It seems a matter of small import. Perhaps, who knows ? he may chance to read these lines, and spend a pensive half-hour out of a busy life in memory of these old friends.

I saw them last during Uncle John’s last illness. A twenty-mile horseback trip brought me to his bedside. He turned to me a face gray with pain and suffering, hut brightened with a look of recognition. Aunt Libbie, looking so old and bent, was bearing her grief like some patient, dumb animal. She felt the inevitable end to be near, and silently awaited it. From pure force of habit, for hers was ever a



life of service, she began to busy herself for my comfort—when I would have comforted her, but felt how futile all such effort. At his death I was unable to come to her; and so quickly did one event follow another, that when next I saw the old house it was tilled with a troop of tow-headed children, rousing the quiet echoes with shouts and laughter. Uncle John lay in the church-yard, and Aunt Libbie was far away.

As I turned homeward I fell into a train of musing, abstract thought suggested by these life vicissitudes. Why these changes and separations—these abortive beginnings of what promises to be a beautiful relationship, but the development arrested when barely begun ? It would at first thought appear a sort of waste, effort brought to naught; and yet the physical axiom that nothing is ever lost or wasted in the natural world, is doubtless true also in these matters of the affections and sympathies. All is woven into the strange and varied tissue of experience, of character. Whatever we may feel or undergo makes of us something more, something greater. All this subtle “material” is used, and we will see the result only “when the weaving of a lifetime is unrolled.”
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A long gray coast, where the green waves Roll ever with the self-same boom Of sorrow weary with its doom.

The storm-reared sea-birds from the caves Flit like lost souls, with wailing cries,

Beneath the desolate gray skies.

At times the wild wind blows, and rain Swirls down; then all is gray again.

William Sharp.

                <div type="articles"><ab> 


rambles in England

Written for The Dilettante.



It is not so many months ago that I stood amid the quiet of a quaint old English village. Let me recall the seen©:

A calm, dreamy autumn afternoon'. Soft blue haze among the distant trees just lightly touched with gold and brown. Songs of thrush and blackbird sounding faintly. The long level road which leads from Southampton to Netley, bordered on one side by hedgerows gay with scarlet poppies, great star daisies, ferns and other wild flowers; on the other by a slope of down, purple with heather, golden with gorse, and ending in the sea. As I footed it—a la Anglaise !—the dim smoky sunshine sparkled on the waves, those historic waters up which swept long, long ago, first the Franks, and then the Germans, followed later on by Julius Caesar, by Vespasian, by the Saxons and the Normans, until England had herself become a country and sailed down the river in search of conquest. It was down this arm of the sea that the Black Prince sailed with all his chivalry, when he went to the battles of Agin-court and Porchers. It was up this self-same water that the proud Philip of Spain in the days of its glory, sailed to wed our English Mary; while later a little ship called the Mayflower, quietly and unnoticed sped down the river upon an errand that has changed the history of the world.

Near the quaint little village of Netley the road leaves the sea and winds among glorious woods, which make a solemn background for the ruins of the Abbey. No written words can give more than a faint idea of its beauty. Cleverer pens than mine have tried and failed. Horace Walpole, the Eng-


lish dilettante, did well:—

“The ruins are vast and retain fragments of beautiful fretted roofs pendent in the air, with all variety of Gothic patterns of windows, topped round with ivy. A hill rises above the Abbey, enriched with wood. On each side breaks in the view of Southampton Water, deep blue, glistening with silver and vessels. In short, they are not the ruins of Netley, but of Paradise. Oh the purpled Abbots ! What a spot they had chosen to slumber in ! ’’

Bowles and Keats have celebrated the ruins in poetry, and even Miss Mitford was beguiled into rhyme by their beauty. Indeed 1 know of nothing fairer, seen on an autumn day, with autumn tints upon the foliage and reddening the ivy that clings caressingly to the ruined aisles. I stood in what remains of the old refectory of the monks, saw the cell where it is fabled some poor penitent, for his soul’s sake, wore a haircloth shirt unwashed for many years—purity of soul and lilthiness of body seeming to have some mystical affinity in the eyes of monks, not understood in modern days; then I went out into the Abbey church. I was alone, the silence was perfect. The roofless walls with their delicate Gothic tracery, like white stone lace-work, stood out against the green of the surrounding woods. Shrubs grew around the shattered bases of the pillars, and the grass and daisies waved in the wind, within the sacred precincts of the chancel.

Great have been the vicissitudes of the ancient pile. Built by the Cistercians in the thirteenth century, it echoed with the solemn chants of the Catholic church. Given by Henry VIII to a court favorite, the wretched vandal stabled his horses in the aisle, and afterwards in Elizabeth’s day the Earl of Huntingdon made his kitchen in the nave. Finally it was sold to a builder for the sake of the materials and he, though warned to desist in a dream, persisting in his work of demolition, was killed by the fall-.


ing of a stone. The great wave of antiquarian zeal which swept over England some years back eventually saved the lovely ruins, and to the lover of beauty, the student of architecture, or the dilettante rambler alike, there are few fairer places for an afternoon’s retreat than the Ruins of Netley Abbey.


Another genius has come out of California. His name is Yone Noguchi, and he is a young Japanese who was sent to America five years ago by his family, because “wandering in a foreign country teaches many wisdoms.” He came to San Francisco, and has been engaged in several journalistic adventures there, besides contributing poems to various well-known magazines. He has been a protege of Joaquin Miller, with whom he lived for a time shortly after his arrival in America. Yone Noguchi is but twenty-two years old, a gentle and patrician young Japanese whose picturesque use of English is most diverting. He has not caught the cynical attitude of mind noticeable in so many modern writers, but his expression is as purely unaffected and artless as nature itself. He has lately founded a new magazine, Twilight, in San Francisco.

This young poet’s family is of soldier ancestry, but now lives, as he expresses it, “a sweet, easy life, with no stain in any matter. My father,” he naively adds, “has never heard any voice of gun. His daily pleasures are to read an old writing and to be proud of his beautiful daughter, and also to seek further materials of the family history. When I returned to my home, just before I sailed for this continent, he dug for me some potatoes from his garden and said: ‘These potatoes are from my own hands. You shall see how delicious they are,’ and he smiled a sweet smile, expressing his warmheartedness. He


has almost every day some vi-itors asking him to settle troubles, he is such a good advisor.”

Yone Noguchi loves California, America, and the English language, and no longer contemplates a return to his his own land. He prefers to write in English, and his adroit use of words is illustrated in the following ingenuous statement which he wrote out in answer to the question, ‘‘Why do you prefer to express yourself in English, rather than in your own language ?” His reply was published in an eastern journal, from which The Dilettante borrows it:

‘‘I feel to write English. Whenever I should ask myself why I do like the English, 'there might be some reasons .like these:	English	is the language

grasping both sides of expression. That is to say, there is a small vocabulary, >uitableto express some things of loveliness and inner sense of melancholy, and also there is a big word preaching great beauty and sublimity—the big-sealed vocabulary for the expression of Heaven and Hell. Our Japanese language being so small, full of small prettiness, as almost everything is not big, cannot command a success for big thoughts and fancies. There's none in the Japanese literature like Dante or Milton, but we have some like the modern French poets. The Japanese poems—rather Japanese poetical inspirations —are inspired from sadness or tears. I, too, being one of those orients, love to be sad, loving to be one of sweet imperfection, but not to be a perfect beauty. The English is that language I love from many points, although I have not exact opinions upon it. When I wish to express my little love, there lies a word fitting to the purpose. Whenever I wish to speak of Paradise, or Hell, there lies a word suitable for me. I cannot find those I must have in Japanese vocabularies; maybe because I have an imperfect knowledge of Japanese. This is the fact, there is in Japan no poet who was or is successful with strong expressions. Fortunately I happened myself writing English. That is my treasure for my whole life.”

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She was a dream—a witch ing fantasy,—

I had not seen an Honri so fair Since Goddesses, obese, of Liberty.

Rode in the bright street pageants, high in air Upon a gorgeous chariot, gilt and gay,

On an old-time country circus day.

What matter though she knows not who Holmes is,

And thought the “Autocrat” a cookery book;

And Poe’s “Gold Bug” Wall Street biographies;

Ruskin’s ecclesiastical “Sheep-Folds” a rancher's book. “Waverly, by Shakespeare,” she declared she’d read,

And then she asked was Mr. Shakespeare dead.

What matter though she thought “Whose Wife Was She !’ Superior to “Esmond.” “Copperfleld.” Dumas;

Read “Her Bright Future,” Ouida, Haggard’s “She,”

And shady tales “Thoa Shalt Not” name—tra la !

This maid a Spokane millionaire did wed,

Yet knew not Shakespeare were alive or dead !”
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A story is circulated about an inquest held in the Cceur d’Alene mining region, in Idaho. A pistol and a $20 gold piece were found on the dead man, and the acting coronor, who was also a justice of the peace, immediately, before proceeding with the inquest, fined the unfortunate man $20 for carrying concealed weapons.
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Why doth the noble stranger pause Beside the farmer’s humble door !

Is he book-agent, wind-mill man,

Or a plain lightning-rod guy, and bore !

Nay, he’s a candidate and, I wis,

Doth pause the farmer’s babes to kiss.
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Ambiguous language often makes trouble for the public speaker. This fact was illustrated in one of the local churches not long ago. The preacher was discussing foreign missionay work, and telling of the difficulties which confront the missionary in the



Dark Continent. He took occasion to inveigh loudly against the rum traffic among the natives, asserting that it did more harm than the missionaries could do good. “Why,” he exclaimed, “forty barrels of rum are sent to Africa to every missionary.” Of course, the real meaning of the good man was obvious, but never theless a smile went around the church.



With a brave blare of brass and a general scintil lant array of banners and much gay apparel, the Fifth Annual Fruit Fair will be inaugurated on October the 4th. A little less ornate than an old Roman triumph, it promises to stir the populace as prodigiously. The street pageantry is to be something unprecedented. Some dense persons have endeavored to make it appear that the typical American citizen is essentially democratic and indifferent to the exhibition of human magnificence. But this is a grotesque error. We all dearly love the sight of uniformed troops pouring - through the populous streets of cities; the sound of the strenuous outcry of trumpets; the varied phantasmagoria of a great street spectacle. All this and more is promised for the Harvest Festival parade inaugurating the Fifth Annual Fruit Fair, on October 4th. Mr. Herbert Bolster, a man of extraordinary energy and a real genius in the organization of public enterprises, is at the helm again this year, and the marked successes of previous years will be surpassed.



I spoke recently of the Don Quixotic aspects of the recent Spanish-American war. The subject is a


fertile one and a diverting. The unparalleled phase of the conflict which especially impressed me was the returning of the vanquished countrymen of Don Quixote to their homes, at the expense of the victors. There are many minor episodes of the war which writers of comic operas will do well to utilize. The mistake of the Spanish governor of the Ladrones, who thought the bombardment by the American war vessel was intended as a salute; the act of the young American ensign in telephoning to the governor of the Porto Rican city, demanding surrender; these grotesque occurrences will live longer in popular remembrance than even the tragic movements around Santiago. The war god hos been pleased to assume a jesfer’s mask.




Mr. Edmund Gosse, in a thoughtful essay, dis^ cusses “The Decay of Literary Taste.” According to Mr. Gosse, the prevailing bad taste in matters literary is attributable to the demoralizing influence of the “vast, coarse, insatiable public.” This is a fine resonant phrase which every follower of the art of words must admire whether he endorses the sentiment or not. The decline of literary taste among the multitude may well be expected to continue with accelerating speed as the world’s population becomes more dense and the difficulty of winning a livelihood becomes more strenuous. Readers of books of one kind and another, being but human, are quite likely to be coarse in many instances, and persons of unlieroic ideas. It would be surprising if the vast public we're otherwise than coarse and insatiable. Coarse and insatiate persons are the inevitable result of our modern civilization. And The Dilettante would lean to the belief that Mr. Gosse’s pessimistic view of the future is quite likely to be realized. If the literary taste of the public is not already hopelessly vitiated, it is likely to become so within a few generations.

The basis of correct literary taste, as of correct taste in any of the arts, is leisure, serenity of mind, and freedom from material cares. But the strain of modern civilization grows daily more appalling. The lower classes struggle more desperately to win bread, the wealthy live on a more opulent scale which taxes even their resources, and the Illuminati—the aristocracy of Intellect—are so engrossed with the grave sociological problems of the day that they have little opportunity to cultivate the artistic faculty and the mere technical appreciation of “form.” Unless some means is devised to restore


serenity and a degree of leisure, literary taste must deteriorate steadily in the future. In Greece, in the days of Pericles, that happy attitude of serenity prevailed throughout the nation, and all the graceful refinements of life flourished.

Lafcadio Hearn, in his sociological study of Japan, “Out of The East,” points out the fatal defects of our own civilization—its half insane vehemence, its colossal enterprises of ruthless aggression—a system of “civilization” which must inevitably produce a “vast, coarse, insatiable public” such as has aroused the antagonism of Mr. Gosse. Mr. Hearn observes:—

A wondrous creation, indeed, this civilization of ours—ever growing higher out of an abyss of ever-deepening pain; but it seems also to many not less monstrous than wonderful. That it may crumble suddenly in a social earthquake has long been the evil dream of those who dwell in its summits. That as a social structure it cannot endure, because of its moral foundation, is the teaching of Oriental wisdom. . . . More and more each year it exemplifies the law that the greater the complexity of an organism, the greater also is its susceptibility to fatal

hurt.......Certainly our civilization is developing

the individual more and more. But is it not now developing him as artificial heat and colored light and chemical nutrition might develop a plant under glass ? Is it not evolving millions into purely special fitness for conditions impossible to maintain—of luxury without limit for the few, of merciless servitude to steel and steam for the many ? . . . To the query, “Are we not the Superior Race?” —— we may emphatically answer “Yes;” but this affirmative will not satisfactori ly answer a still more important question,—“Are we the fittest to survive ?”

Wherein consists the fitness for survival ? .... Surely not in the mere capacity to adapt ourselves to factitious environments of our own invention, or to abnormal influences of our own manufacture— but only in the simple power to live. Now in this simple power of living our so-called higher races are immensely inferior to the races of the Far East. . . In our very superiority lies the secret of our fatal



weakness. Our physical machinery requires a fuel too costly to pay for the running of it in a perfectly conceivable future period of race-competition and pressure of population. . . . Just as we have exterminated feebler races by merely overliving them— by monopolizing and absorbing, almost without conscious effort, everything necessary for their happiness—so may we ourselves be exterminated at last by races capable of underliving us, of monopolizing all our necessities; races more patient, more self -denying, more fertile, and much less expensive for Nature to support.

This picture of the future, which is entirely within the bounds of probability, would indicate that the Golden Age of mankind’s history upon this planet is gone forever. It is a simple problem in arithmetic. The wealth of a community divided among one hundred, means prosperity, if not profusion, and leisure for the cultivation of the arts and all that is august in human nature; divided among one thousand, all are reduced to penury, and the joy and romantic glamour of human experience vanishes utterly away. The surplus population of “civilized” lands already is a menace to every government; and it is an evil which steadily increases. Mr. Gosse laments the decline of literary taste. If he could return to earth in the year 2000 he would probably find everybody so deeply engrossed in the miserable enterprise of merely making a living that few would have energy or spirit left to spend upon books of any kind; for it is generally agreed that within the next century “the vast, coarse, insatiable public” will prevail, and no luxurious moneyed aristocracies will be maintained at the public expense, as at present.


* *


A surprising quantity of verse by local writers comes to The Dilettante’s editorial desk, and its volume is so greatly in excess of any other variety



of literary wares offered that I am impelled to believe that the propensity to versify is the commonest of literary gifts. The Dilettante does not propose to encourage the manufacture of mediocre verse. It (the propaganda and extension of solace and encouragement on the part of the conscienceless publisher) is an offense worse than arson or highway robbery, and only a little less atrocious than murder or cannibalism. The supply of really excellent poetry on the shelves of every standard library is ample for the uses of human society; and for second rate verse there is little need. But I append some of the more meritorious of the verse which has come to hand during the past month, and our readers may judge if it is worth while:
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From mountain gorges far away.

With many a turn and winding play.

Thy crystal Hoods chi flow.

Through yellow valley level, wide,

Thy rushing waters ceaseless glide.

From purple dawn to evening’s glow.

Westward flows the singing river,

Along whose margin pine shades quiver;

Gleaming, glancing in the sun.

Onward, obedient to the call.

Where the misty shadows fall,

Thy triumphant race is run.

Oh, glorious is thy silvery course,

In music weird, or roarings hoarse;

As rugged, crisped banks thou’it lave,

An angry giant, swift and strong,

Through all the mystic years so long;

Columbia is thy sullen grave.

J. M. Baltimore.


A rift in a dark, dark cloud,

’G inst, heaven’s blue reclining, Burst open on my sight To show its silver lining.

A bright, bright day came to me In the midst of a dreary year,

To show that God still was love,

And to make my way more clear.

Frank West.

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This is a beatific love story which is something more than pleasant reading. Only a genius—with experience—could write the book; readers who have been in love will acknowledge this. “The Fire of Life” revives one’s faith in the talent of modern writers, as well as in humanity; for while the actions of some of his characters are somewhat abnormal, yet the author evidently does not believe in the decadence of man, but interprets hopefully even the faultiest brother. The story is gratefully fresh and charmful. Its hero is a young London society man who goes to the country, strays into a village church, and falls in love with a girl in the organ loft—a girl in a red cap and with freckles on her nose. She is, however, fascinating despite the freckles, and cultivated, although a country girl. She chooses the young London man, Waring, from among her oth er lovers, but the course of their love runs far from smooth. There is plenty of incident in the book, and not hackneyed incident either.

Most of the scenes in this story take place in the country, and Mr. Burrow shows us some tantalizing pictures of the beautiful farms and lanes of Western England; but the tale ends in the great metropolis where Waring returns and “wonders how he has managed without London for so long:”—

It took hold of him again in that subtle, persuasive way which makes it the most intimate city in the world; even a line of decrepit sandwichmen gave him a quite keen pleasure. He slipped into its great life again as easily as a diver into the waves, but there was no oblivon in the plunge; his remembrance and affection were not weakened, they rather gained by contrast—and yet he felt saner as one of millions, than as one of a tiny circle far from the noise of the world.

The situation at the close of this narrativetis too ecstatic to be permanent; but nevertheless, for a love


story it avoids silliness in a marvelous way.

Published by Henry Holt &amp; Co., New York. Price $1.25.


* *


When reading this splendid new sea tale by Mr. Janvier one marvels that authors have not sooner recognized the value of the Sargasso Sea as a playground for romantic fancy. That mysterious body of floating seaweed and wreckage is an ideal scene for ghostly and tragic adventures such as are set forth in this story.

The hero is a young New Yorker ivho has just finished his education as a mechanical engineer. He starts for Africa on the brig Oolden Hind, discovers on the way that it is a slaver, and upon his refusing to join the captain in that nefarious trade he is thrown overboard near the edge of the Sargasso Sea. He is rescued by a passing steamer, but in a storm which immediately arises the steamer is wrecked and the crew leave in boats, abandoning young Stetson to his fate. The steamer, however, does not sink, but drifts into the thick weed of the Sargasso Sea—and thereby hangs the tale. A great concourse of wrecked ships is gathered there, some of them centuries old, others freshly settled in this haunted grave-yard of the sea, from which escape is hopeless. The young engineer explores the melancholy community of wrecks, and has some weird experiences. He finds a treasure of jewels on board an ancient Spanish galleon which has apparently been imbedded in the clinging sea-weed for centuries. He finally makes his headquarters in a modern French steamer, where there is a plentiful stock of food, wine and cigars— and where he finds a fellow-prisoner in the shape of a black cat. This cat, indeed, is a particularly satisfactory character. The two castaways eventually effect an escape, accompanied by the bag of jewels


—and that ends one of the best sea yarns I have read since “Treasure Island.” It is the kind of a story that keeps one out of bed till an unseemly hour, in order to finish it at one sitting.

Published by Harper &amp; Bros., New York. Price, 81.50. ’


* *


It is not often that we come across a book so scholarly in tone, so calmly discriminating, as this collection of essays on French literature, “A Group of French Critics.” Its catholic freedom from that preposterous prejudice that obtains among us against the morality of the French, especially commends it to discerning minds. The author alludes to this insane attitude toward a nation and literature which compare favorably with our own for sobriety and good morals:—

The French are grown used to having the best in them ignored; they are accustomed to hearing themselves called wholly frivolous and pleasure-loving, and their literature characterized as a literature of the sewers and gutters. In the consciousness that these are not correct statements of the facts, they can quietly ignore them; but we need to know better.

Five men-of-letters are discussed in this volume— Edmund Scherer, Ernest Bersot, Saint-Marc Girar-din, Ximenes Doudan, Gustave Planche—all men of sterling worth, and whose very names are practically unknown to the average American reader. These men were critics of courage and sagacity; austere as Puritans; totally unlike the volatile not to say frivolous type which so many of our unenlightened countrymen believe to be 'characteristically Parisian. The book has the calm scholastic tone, and its dictums seem far removed from the “uncertain twilight of opinion.” I earnestly commend it to all students of literature, as well as to those un-



lettered fellow-countrymen of mine who hold to the obsolete belief that no good thing can come out of France.

Published by A. C. McClurg&amp; Co., Chicago; price, $1.25.

* * *


A goodly number of us share the alleged weak, ness of the servant girl caste for fiction dealing with lords and ladies, princes of noble minds, and castles rich and wide. The servant girl eagerly peruses a paper bound volume by “The Duchess” or “Charlotte M. Braeme;” while the cultivated reader procures an “historical novel” written by one of the many excellent authors who have devoted themselves to this class of fiction. “When Knighthood Was in Flower” takes us among kings and queens. The heroine is a princess of matchless beauty—Mary Tudor, (sister of King Henry VIII,) who loves an obscure but heroic captain of the guards, Charles Brandon. The story is told by Sir Edwin Caskoden, Master of the Dance at King Henry’s court, and a life-long friend of the Princess Mary. He has a shrewd wit, and he pauses in his tale occasionally to favor the reader with brief philosophic maxims which he has compiled from his own observation or experience. One likes him better than his hero Brandon, who is too much of a paragon. Here are a few of his wise parenthetic observations:—

A woman, if she really loves a man, has no thought of any other; one at a time is all-sufficient; hut a man may love one woman with the warmth of a simoon, and at the same time feel like a good healthy south wind toward a dozen others.

If God in his infinite wisdom had seen fit to save just one treasure from the wreck of Eden, what a race of thankful hearts this earth would bear—had he saved us youth alone to compensate for every other ill.	•	f


The greatest fool in the world is he who does not early in life learn how and when to run.

The story is brightened by Sir Edwdn’s buoyant sense of humor, and is decidedly worth reading. Published by the Bowen-Merrill Co., Indianapolis and Kansas City.


* *


“To see the Ideal and to realize the impossibility of attaining it, and then deliberately to set about the task of contenting one’s self with the Real, is the chief result of Mr. Hamerton’s daring ‘quest,’ ” says M. R. F. Gilman in his introduction to Philip Gilbert Hamerton’s “The Quest of Happiness.” This book is the last work of a truly admirable and noble author, and is full of new ideas expressed with that happy clearness which is familiar to all readers of his “Intellectual Life.” It is a helpful, courageous book, neither pessimistic nor imbued with undue optimism, but looking at life through the sane light of reason; and showing us how to make the most of whatever potentiality of happiness we may each possess. “Each of us enjoys exactly that degree and kind of felicity which is in accordance with his natural disposition, and can never, with all his efforts, attain to anything superior.” Conditions which would bring happiness to one person might be intolerable to another.

Mr. Hamerton points out that a broad life, with many interests, is naturally exposed to a variety of troubles which a mere secluded existence escapes entirely. Happiness is more likely to be attained, therefore, by persons who lead simple lives, provided they are not tormented by unsatisfied longings for a more varied existence:

I fully believe, however, that if a very narrow life begins well and goes on afterwards in a groove which answers to the restricted tastes of the person


who has to live it, snch a life, however poor it may leem to outsiders, may have better chances of approaching completeness in its felicity than a more extended one.

This volume is one which should be read by every thoughtful young person, and by older ones who have still some time to give to the consideration of the higher side of life. Published by Roberts Bros., (now succeeded by Little, Brown &amp; Co.,) Boston. Price $2.00.

-x-* *


The literary sybarite may revel in an unusually bountiful harvest of new books this autumn; most of the popular authors of the day have brought fresh offerings, and of course there are myriads of war stories. Books of travel in the Philippines, Cuba, and Porto Rico are being written and published—although Americans have rather lost interest in those islands after securing possession of them. “Yesterdays in the Philippines,” by Joseph Earl Stevens, is a spirited and well-written narrative of real experience. “The Cuba of To-Day” is a still newer book; Lieut. Rowan is the author. Several histories of the war with Spain are in process of construction.

Donald G. Mitchell will this autumn publish a book on “American Lands and Letters”—interesting reminiscences concerning literary and other celebrities of a generation ago. Another delightful volume to be issued by the Harpers is a collection of the early letters of George William Curtis to John Dwight. These letters were mostly written during Curtis’ life at Brook Farm and Concord, and give us a good understanding of his views at that time.

Lafcadio Hearn’s new book is called “Exotics and Retrospectives.” He has lived in Japan for so long that he has imbibed the gentle atmosphere of that quaint land, and puts a breath of it into his books.


John Luther Long is another author who writes fascinating storied full of the spirit of the Orient. Five of these tales make up a volume published by the Century Co. “Madame Butterfly.” a very striking story which appeared in the Century Magazine recently, gives the book its name. Dr. Weir Mitchell’s new novel, “The Adventures of Francois,” will be issued in book form by the Centux-y Co. in October. It is an engrossing story of the French Revolution; but “Hugh Wynne” is a better novel, in my opinion. Little, Brown &amp; Co., who publish all of the authorized translations of Sienkiewicz’s works, have a new book by the Polish genius—“Sielanka, a Forest Picture, and Other Stories.” The Crowell Co. advertises a most attractive volixme: a new translation of Dumas’ Vingt Ans Apres, splendidly illustrated by Frank T. Merrill. “Regina, or The Sins of the Fathers,” by Herman Sudermann, has been translated into English. It is a tragic, dramatic tale, glowing with a vivid genius which shows the author to be one of the greatest of modern German writers. His style resembles that of Sienkie-wicz in its daring grasp at the heart of things; there is nothing superficial or prudishdn his books. Be-ati'ice Marshall translated “Regina,” and John Lane publishes it.

Ian Maclaren has another offering of short stories this fall. They are all English in scene and characters, making no use of the Scotch dialect. By the way, a Swedish edition of “The Bonnie Brier Bush” has just been published in Stockholm.

Henry James’ new novel has already appeai-ed in London, but will not be brought out in this country until November. It is a story of the life of a telegraph operator (a girl), and is said to be “a de-lightiul, whimsical little romance.” Robert Barr has a novel in press—“Tekia.” George Gissing also has one entitled “The Town Traveler,” and


Thomas Nelson Page’s “Red Rock,” the Southern story which has been running in jScribner’s Magazine, may be purchased this autumn in book form. Houghton, Mifflin &amp; Co. publish a volume of short stories by the late Edward Bellamy.


Fully a hundred delightful stories are to be published in the Youth’s Companion during the remaining weeks of 1898. Rud-yard Kipling, Mary E Wilkins, W. 11. Howells and Octave Thauet are among the story writers who will contribute to the coming issues. Those who subscribe now will receive these numbers, and may still have the gift of the Companion Calendar for 1898. A handsome illustrated announcement of the Companion’s contents for 1898 will be sent free to anyone addressing: The Youth’s Companion, Boston, Mass.

The October Ladies’ Home Journal is an unusuallyattractive issue. The opening article is by Gen. Greely—“When I Stood Face to Face with Death. ” There is an illustrated article on “The Anecdotal Side of Mark Twain,” others about Wagner and Joseph Hoffman. The first page is filled with portraits of Miss Wilkins, her home and friends.

The October issue of the Cosmopolitan opens with an illustrated article by Octave Thanet on “The Trans-Mississippi Exposition.” An interesting paper is “New York’s W’elcome to the l'leet.” Frank Stockton contributes “The Governor-General,” and there is an especially good installment of Harold Frederic’s serial, “Gloria Mundi.”
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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 105, 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.


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Helena Business College



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Principal	German,	Literature,
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