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A MONTHLY LITERARY MAGAZINE AND REVIEW OF NEW BOOKS
ENTERED AT THE POST-OFFICE, NEW YORK, N. Y., AS SECOND CLASS MATTER
NEW SERIES. VOL. I
NEW YORK. JUNE, 1898
MATTHEW WHITE, JR.
As a frontispiece of this number we present the portrait of Matthew White, Jr., a promising young author, whose literary achievements bear strong testimony of his sterling worth as a writer.
Mr. White was born in New York City. His father was engaged in a manufacturing business, for which the son was intended. With this end in view he spent two years abroad, studying French and German, instead of going to college, but love of literature was not to be denied, and the first fruit of his European experiences was a small book for boys, entitled " Harry Ascott Abroad." Then he began writing short stories for Harper's Young People, as it was called then, and other juvenile periodicals. He joined the Munsey staff in 1887, and has been dramatic editor of Munsey's Magazine since the department was inaugurated, April, 1892.
(1) One of the Profession. Cloth. Price 75 cents. By mail 83 cents. Paper covers 33 cents. By mail 40 cents.
(2) A Born Aristocrat. Cloth. Price 20 cents. By mail 23 cents.
(3) The Affair at Islington. Cloth. Price 20 cents. By mail 23 cents.
Mr. White ceased writing for boys some time ago, and has made a specialty of novels, in which the stage figures more or less prominently. The first of the series was "One of the Profession," (1) published in 1893, and the second, "The Affair at Islington," (*) issued last year. Both of these originally appeared in Munsey's. "A Born Ariste rat," (3) just ready, concerns itself almost entirely with stage affairs, and contains many episodes suggested by actual happenings which came under the knowledge of the author in his capacity as chronicler of dramatic doings. The story was written with the woman reader especially in mind, and The Bookman, in its review, finds in it memories of Louisa M. Alcott's "Little Women," notably in "the close bond between the sisters, the atmosphere of fine domesticity, the kindness and delicacy pervading the whole story."
Mr. White is a realist and his faithfulness to life in his descriptions has caused him to be likened to George Gissing, the English novelist by a well-known critic, who in speaking of novels of the stage, has
to say the following with special reference to Mr. White's excellent story "A Born Aristocrat."
"The stage is a pitfall for the unwary writer. If, like Dean Swift, he possesses the faculty of writing divinely about a broomstick, let him do so.
Around the stage is a halo of romance. It lives in spite of police report, the divorce court—and George Moore, who wrote 'A Mariner's Wife,' an ugly tale, but true. This halo subsists on persecution and grows fat on revilings. Tell the truth about it and it lives, but it is not on speaking terms with the halo of literature, and, like certain people, objects to being put in a book.
"Mr. Matthew White, Jr., in 'A Born Aristocrat,' achieves success by more merciful means than did George Moore. He belongs to the George Gissing school of fiction. They are both chroniclers of the commonplace. Taking plain, everyday people for their models, they put them in books and our friends are recognizable, ever after the metamorphosis which is apt to turn an ordinary 'good fellow' into a hero and the objectionable acquaintance into a villian who wrecks the happiness of the fireside. Accuracy is the guiding star of this school and gently but firmly do its followers uplift the
veil that obscures the contemplation of things as they are. While they do not stir the emotions to any great degree, because it takes the sublime in art to arouse the frenzy of appreciation, yet we are constrained to admire the cleverness with which they handle the commonplace.
“Luckily for the profession there are not many stage managers like Deering, but such type have been known. The way in which he 'queers' Barbara's scenes by an instant's delay here, a second's anticipation there,' will queer in the mind of the old stager memories of many a point lost by an ill timed gesture or a change of tone on the part of the other person. Society is held up to ridicule in the persons of Mr. and Mrs. Stanton when they come to visit the celebrated actress whom they had refused to succour in times of misfortune. In fact, Mr. White only needs a little disappointment to make him quite a presentable satirist.
"The need of inspiration in a girl who relys more on temperament and personality than on technique is also delineated with some skill. 'A Born Aristocrat' will appeal to a large public because a story of the stage by a capable writer is always entertaining.”
paper, hair pins and the like, but he will consider certain characteristics which will make them worthy of preservation.
Book-marks have been in use as long as books have existed. oldest specimens of them are probably the strips of parchment, leather or cord used by the choristers of the middle ages to mark and find readily such psalms as were most frequently sung. Such single strips were often combined and fastened together at the top by a knot or with a button, and are still occasionally to be found in old psalm books and bibles. Many of these old book-marks are of rich material silk cords artistically woven, and with gold and silver beads. As far back as in the sixteenth century bookmakers began to fasten ribbons on top of the back of the books, in the same way as is done to this day in many modern books. Book-marks of parchment and leather were often beautifully decorated in colors and gold by the old miniature painters. Frequently scripture texts are written on them, or dedications from one friend to another, as a little souvenir. Especially priests and teachers used to give their favorite pupils little cardboards with autographs, sometimes with pictures on one side, like the Sunday-school pictures of to-day, or the little colored saints' pictures which Catholic pilgrims bring back from places of pilgrimage and worship. The famous Swiss minister, physiognomist and author, C. Lavater, of Zurich, for example, had made this quite a practice with his young friends, particularly on the day of confirmation.
Imagine the joy of the happy collector who in rummaging through old tomes will see his zeal rewarded by finding book-marks with the autograph of some noted person!
Strips of scrim, silk or perforated cardboard, more or less artistically embroidered are often used as bookmarks. In short there is hardly a material which has not been utilized for the making of this useful little article, and book-marks made of gold, silver, ivory, mother of pearl, aluminum, etc., often very costly, are manufactured and sold as pretty little gifts to this day.
Printed book marks, containing advertisements of new books, are often placed by publishers in their books, thus serving a double purpose, and these have of late become quite elaborate specimens of modern illustration and printing. We reproduce a German one and one of the book-marks made by R. H. Russell, the New York publisher, who has become well known for his really artistic publications. Similar new bookmarks with original designs of modern style have been issued by that well known German fin de siecle weekly, "Die Jugend", by Schuster & Loeffler, publishers of Berlin, E. Pierson, Dresden, and many others, and are becoming favorite objects for collecting. And it is, doubtless, due to the revival of the Ex-Libris Art that book collectors and bibliophiles are beginning to have original bookmarks printed for their own use, bearing their names and coat of arms or other more or less appropriate designs, to keep in their books and mark places of special interest for ready reference. ED. ACKERMANN.
BY PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR.*
No one could ever have accused Mandy Mason of being thrifty. For the first twenty years of her life conditions had not taught her the necessity for thrift. But that was before she had come North with Jim. Down there at home one either rented or owned a plot of ground with a shanty set in the middle of it, and lived off the products of one's own garden and coop. But here it was all very different; one room in a crowded tenement house, and the necessity of grinding day after day to keep the wolf-a very terrible and ravenous wolf-from the door. No wonder that Mandy was discouraged and finally gave up to more than her old shiftless ways.
Jim was no less disheartened. He had been so hopeful when he first came, and had really worked hard. But he could not go higher than his one stuffy room, and the food was not so good as it had been at home. In this state of mind Mandy's shiftlessness irritated him. He grew to look on her as a source of all his disappointments. Then, as he walked Sixth or Seventh avenue he saw other colored women who dressed gayer than Mandy, looked smarter, and did not wear such great shoes. These he contrasted with his wife, to her great disadvantage.
From Folks from Dixie, by special permission of the publishers, Messrs. Dodd, Mead & Co., New York. See also Paul Laurence Dunbar article and "Folks From Dixie" in Book Reviews.
"Ef you had any git up erbout you, you'd git somep'n fu' yo'se'f, an' not wait on me to do evahting."
"Well, ef I waits on you, you keeps me waitin', fu' I ain' had nothin' fit to eat ner waih since I been up hyeah."
"Nev' min'. You's mighty free wid yo'talk now, but some of dese days you won't be so free. You's gwine to wake up some mo'nin' an' fin' dat I's lit out; dat's what you will."
'Well, I 'low nobody ain't got no string to you."
Mandy took Jim's threat as an idle one, so she could afford to be independent. But the next day had found him gone. The deserted wife wept for a time, for she had been fond of Jim, and then she set to work to struggle on by herself. It was a dismal effort, and the people about her were not kind to her. She was hardly of their class. She was only a simple, honest countrywoman, who did not go out with them to walk the avenue.
When a month or two afterward the sheepish Jim returned, ragged and dirty, she had forgiven him and