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England, whether it comes into the story or when he comes to Bret Harte and Julian not. The New England that appears in it Hawthorne; but the novels of both these is evidently drawn from boyhood memories ; gentlemen now before us are far from leaving but the mere fact that the village remem a sense of satisfaction. Both begin with the bered is a Baptist and Methodist village, skillful handling that in the first dozen words shows that it is not to be considered in the reveals the touch of a man who knows hok least a typical one, for these denominations to write; and both leave us possessed of little -except, indeed, in Rhode Island-formed besides good writing, when all is done. Mr. an inconsiderable part of New England's Harte's Marujashows more than any pre. population at the time of the story, and did vious book a falling-off in the vividness of not give the characteristic color to its society. his memory of California, and the plot is A great deal of stress is laid upon the decay rather whimsical than dramatic. Yet, there of the New England village, which is credited is an endless picturesqueness in everything he largely to bigotry; but, in view of the way does, an effectiveness in grouping of people, in which many towns in the middle West and incidents, and scenery, an intelligence thrive upon this same bigotry, it is not worth and keen perception in the touches of satire while to join issue upon the point. The (for satire it always is, rather than pure bupreface is well worth reading, for the sake of mor- Mr. Harte takes the attitude of cov. the author's ingenuous exposition of the ertly ridiculing the world even when he sentrouble he had with his plot.
timentalizes), which makes one like to read We judge A Social Experimenti to be a the book, and even to read it again, in spite first book. We do not think it a very pleas- of his recognition that it is essentially worth ant one, but as we have already said, the little. Mr. Hawthorne has not nearly so high novels of the season do not run to pleasant. a degree of literary power, and, accordingly, ness and peace. It deals with a young fac- the graces of his story do not so nearly extory girl, who was “taken up" by a capricious cuse its vices. He almost invariably begins lady of fashion for her innocent beauty and a book in a peculiarly graceful and engaging delicate nature, made a social success, and tone, an echo of his own father and still more then dropped, to the shattering of all her of Thackeray, an air of one bred in the schemes of life. The moral is intended to very best traditions of the novelist's art; be the cruelty of the patroness, and the care- sketches in his characters in outline with a less selfishness of the girl in trying to separate firm and pleasant touch, and foreshadows an herself from her duties in that walk of lite excellent plot; and then “flats out" (to use whereto it had pleased the Lord to call her; an expressive old phrase), weakens and debut, in fact, the thing that spoiled her life was stroys his characters in the development, the selfish urgency of a rustic lover, who en substitutes bizarre fancy for sustained inventrapped her into a secret marriage before she tion in plot, and ends with some weak and had entered the great world. The author's sensational catastrophe. Lorie, or a Names sympathies are—we think erroneously--giv- has these virtues in a lower degree than usual, en to the lover. The story contains impos- and these vices in a higher degree. It has sibilities—first, in the rapidity and complete- some uncommonly disagreeable incidents, ness with which the factory girl could be and leaves an unpleasant impression. The transformed into a refined and intelligent theme is a gigantic political plot, by which a lady; and second, in such a lady's recovering gentleman of unbounded wealth and ability, -even at the point of death-the capacity who represents the best school of American of contentment in her other life. Yet it is statesmanship, proposes to secretly and fraudwell and prettily written. One ought to find something much better Houghton, Miffin & Co. 1885. For sale in San Fran
2 Maruja. By Bret Harte. Boston and New York: 1 A Social Experiment. By A. E. P. Searing. New cisco by Chilion Beach.
3 Love, or a Name. By Julian Hawthorne. Boston : sale in San Francisco by Chilion Beach,
York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons.
Ticknor & Co.
ulently capture the government, and convert but for the most part not unpleasant. The it from a democracy to a dictatorship, in the stories of the other collection are of Texas interest of virtue and purity, which are lost ranch-life. The imitation of the Harte school under the present system; and this scheme, is obvious, but not altogether successful. on the eve of success, is thwarted by the se- Harte's finer qualities of manner are not duction of his high-bred and accomplished caught, while a certain burlesque tone, which daughter, out of revenge, by a coarse, unat- he himself imitated from Dickens, is exagtractive subordinate, whom he had offended. gerated. Thus: “I may remark parenthetThe story comes down about the reader's ically at this point that the gentlemanly proears in a crash of suicide, despair, and de- prietor of the Eden Saloon, as aggregating struction, from which the couple whose love in his collective individuality the functions affairs have been wound up in the course of of hotel-proprietor, bar-keeper, and gambler, events emerge free and happy. There is typified in the mind of Penelope the serneither serious politics nor serious art about pent of Biblical story, with the general outit all.
lines of whose disreputable advice to conFrom Mr. Hawthorne's prententious un- fiding womanhood and subsequent depressdertakings and weak completions, we turning influence upon mankind in general, she with real relief to Nora Perry's modest and was mistily familiar.” Now, this sort of charming little story, For a Woman. It is thing is false style, whether Dickens, or among novels what her verses are among Harte, or a young disciple writes it. It is poetry. It is fresh, healthy, and refined; has bad because it is cumbrous and hard to read, plenty of feeling, yet nothing dramatic; and and worse because it is artificial; and that it is, we think, correct and wise in its reading is more or less clever does not altogether of life and love. Its very completeness within excuse it — the author should manage to its own degree excludes much comment. It keep the cleverness and avoid the cumis not one of the books that "every one brousness and artificiality. Like the sample, should read”; but it is one that a great the stories are clever and somewhat artificial ; many people should, and we refer our readers they are vigorous and picturesque, jocose in to the story itself for farther knowledge of it. their prevailing tone, and pressed down and
Two collections of short stories, Color overrunning with local color, much of which Studies, and A Lone Star Bopeeps contain seems excellently caught. They do not almuch that is good. Color Studies consists ways keep on the safe side of the line in of the four stories which the author contrib- their jocose treatment of the rowdy element. uted to the “Century." Their trick con- "A Wandering Melibæus” is beyond comsists in the use of names of colors for the parison the best of them as a study, and characters, as“ Rose Madder,” “Vandyke the most sincere. Brown”; which, as they are all about artists Of all the uncomfortable stories of the and are located in studios, and full of their season, the palm lies with As it was Writshop talk, is a neat one, and proved taking. ten. It is a very well-written thing, but ghastOf the four, "Jaune d'Antimoine" is the ly and repulsive in plot. Any one who does only one that has, apart from these ingenui- not mind this, will find it quite worth his ties, much merit, but it is good enough to while to read it. It is said to resemble carry the rest. They are all written with a “Called Back," and perhaps it does in manplayful manner that is occasionally overdone, ner, but the melodrama of “Called Back is
1 For a Woman. By Nora Perry. Boston: Ticknor child's play to the gloomy effort of As it was & Co, 1885.
Written after the utmost tragedy conceivable. 2 Color Studies. By Thomas A. Janvier. New York: Not that the story is of a noisy sort; it is Charles Scribner's Sons. 1885. For sale in Sar Fran. cisco by A. L. Bancroft & Co.
very quiet. It claims to be a story of the 8A Lone Star Bopeep, and Other Tales of Texas 4 As it Was Written. A Jewish Musician's Story. By Ranch Life. By Howard Seely. New York: W. L. Sidney Luska. New York: Cassell & Co. For sale in Mershon & Co. 1885.
San Francisco by A. L. Bancroft & Co.
Jewish quarter of New York, and interesting Andromeda? and Criss-Cross. They are as a study of Jewish life; but there is no not nearly so bad as the two just noticed, study of manners or life about it. The mo- however, involving no madness nor despair, tive is supernatural, and the Jewish element but only heart-breaks. In Andromeda, the merely incidental. Scarcely less unpleasant Italian hero, who is the most noble of men, than As it was Written, and even better told, and has all his life had his own happiness is A Wheel of Fire." This is by an author postponed to that of others, and bestowed already more or less known. Its subject is much affection and received little, finds perhereditary insanity, and the worrying into sonal happiness at last come to him in the madness of a lovely girl by the very fear of form of an English sweetheart, whom he it, intensified by the question whether she soon has to renounce, finding that her heart might or might not marry, her lover and her has strayed to his nearest friend. love and her scruples and the conflicting ad- is well told, but not so well as to make the vice of doctors tearing her to and fro in an heart-break very painful to the reader. Crissagony of doubt which it is harrowing to read Cross, though less mature, is more effective. of. The gradual steps by which the beauti. It is instructive to note that this is Miss ful young creature was fairly forced into the Litchfield's third book only, since she made doom which she might have escaped are a hit, in a small way, with a first one, some only too well told; and so real is Damaris two years since; while in a considerably made, and so lovely, that the reader perforce less time since her hit with “The House follows her story with painful interest, and on the Marsh,” Florence Warden has run cannot reconcile himself to the final catas- her books up to five. Miss Litchfield's writtrophe. The surroundings — an ancestral ing, we think, improves; and the genuine home of the bluest blood in New England, study which she puts into it is evident. with all its picturesque accompaniments, Criss-Cross is a study of a flirt—a subject to are well drawn, and the sombreness is a little which the author has before given attention, relieved by a subordinate pair of lovers who and with very fair success; but this time come out all right. There are some unusu- she has done it with more than fair success. ally well-said things in it. For instance: We doubt if there is anywhere as delicate, “This power of human nature to suffer has penetrating, and complete a study of the so stamped itself upon the consciousness genus flirt. Miss Litchfield has caught adof mankind, it has so deeply penetrated the mirably the lovableness which makes this very inmost soul of the race, that there is class of women so dangerous; the baffling scarcely a mythology which does not insist union of sweetness with the coolest selfishupon the incarnation of deity in the flesh, as ness; the temporary reality in them of the the only means by which even omniscience feelings which a shallower observer would could obtain a just appreciation of the intol- say they pretend; the puzzling genuineness erable anguish of human existence.” Good, of their falsehoods. Mr. Black made a very too, is the mention of “a Wainwright of the good study of the type in “Shandon Bells," last century, who had broken his neck while and it is testimony to the accuracy of both fox-hunting on the estates of an English studies that they coincide in so many traits, cousin, a method of leaving this world which too subtle for imitation to be possible. But had commended itself to his contemporaries "Freddie” is a more typical specimen than as so eminently respectable, that his memory“Kitty.” It is the more to Miss Litchfield's still preserved in the family the aroma of credit that she should draw her so justly clever achievement.”
By George Fleming. Boston: RobStill other two uncomfortable stories are erts Brothers. 1885. For sale in San Francisco by
Samuel Carson & Co. 1 A Wheel of Fire. By Arlo Bates. New York: 3 Criss-Cross. By Grace Denio Litchfield. Ver Charles Scribner's Sons. 1885. For sale in San Fran York & London: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1885. For sale cisco by Samuel Carson & Co.
in San Francisco by Chilion Beach.
and appreciatively, because she does not at luxuriant, full of sentiment and lavish dicall approve of her.
Her sympathies are en- tion, and of sympathy with her own charactirely with the good, earnest girl who loves ters; and the Northerner's, the very perfecone only, but whom she makes rather more tion of the observant school. We are dissentimental than is attractive. The moral posed to believe the critics who say Miss of the book is the cruelty and wickedness of Murfree's dialect is not absolutely correct ; flirting, and it is well emphasized; but preach. we are disposed to go farther, and question ing the cruelty and wickedness of her sport whether the high souls she places among will never reform a flirt; to make her see its her stolid mountaineers do really exist there, vulgarity is the only way to reach a vulner- or whether the commonplace types with able point in the vain little soul. We do whom she always surrounds them are not in not think that "Freddie” would, in fact, fact all there are. At all events, whether have refused Davenant; still less that Lucy from life or her own imagination, she has would have finally discarded him—though made a beautiful story, highly poetic in its she would probably have done so very posi- character, and entirely unique. Except for tively for a while, to yield at last to the some superficial resemblances, “Charles Egpressure that he, if he knew anything of wo- bert Craddock” is not of the Harte school. men's hearts, would have brought to bear. She enters into her story seriously and symWhen women really and irretrievably love pathetically; they construct theirs from the men, they do not renounce them for a no- outside. Whether any suggestion came to tion. But it would have blunted the point her from Harte or not, she is no one's imitaof Miss Litchfield's moral if Lucy had been tor. Her vein is narrow, and we do not thus human.
know how much longer she can work it; but Of a decidedly lower literary quality is for the present it is even increasingin promise. The Bar Sinister, 1 It is a novel with a It is very gratifying, too, to be able to say, purpose, intended to be the Uncle Tom's after all the wonderful work Mr. Howells Cabin of Mormonism. It has not, however, has done, that perhaps his last book is the sufficient merit to accomplish very much in best of all. It is always possible to criticise the way of rousing people. It is fairly well Howells: to say that he sometimes overtold ; but a story must be more than fairly steps the line of good taste ; that he is at well told to be much of a reforming power. bottom cynical and never heartily sympaIt is not so violent in setting down all Mor- thizes with his characters, and so fails to catch mons as depraved brutes as previous books in his stories the final glow of secret fire that have been, but it adds really nothing new to would make them great and very great. But any one's comprehension of the question, and it is much better to appreciate what Mr. does not even touch upon its most difficult Howells is, than to seek out the few things elements.
that he is not. He is the most significant The two most important novels of the year figure in American literature today, and still are yet to be mentioned— The Prophet of on the up-grade ; he is the man who has the Great Smoky Mountains and The Rise given American nove writing its standing ; of Silas Lapham. Both are books of real who has achieved some virtues of insight significance in literary history. They make and of expression that are new to literature. a curious contrast: the Southern woman's, It is impossible to do justice to the precis1 The Bar Sinister. A Social Study. New York:
ion and perfection with which he "takes off” Cassell & Co. 1885. For sale in San Francisco by A. every-day life and speech; and more than that, L. Bancroft & Co.
he has only to turn his scrutiny upon the 2 The Prophet of the Great Smoky Mountains. Charles Egbert Craddock. Boston & New York:
most bare and unromantic phase of life, Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 1885. For sale in San Fran- and the reader sees it in its true light, as it cisco by Chilion Beach.
appears to the one that is living it. When 3 The Rise of Silas Lapham. By William D, HowBoston: Ticknor & Co. 1885. For sale in San
was the romance of business-the anxiety Francisco by Strickland & Pierson.
and pain and desire that do, in fact, make
business life almost as full of human emotion and The Scarlet Lettera - editions neat in as love affairs—so brought out, as in The appearance and clear in typography, though Rise of Silas Lapham? Moreover, there is a their object is cheapness of price. The one warmer quality in this than in any previous is preceded by an “account of the work, by book--a movement toward the higher plane the author," and the other has an introducyet, that his admirers have always longed to tion by G. P. Lathrop. We have, besides, a see him rise to. It must be granted that translation of Balzac's Père Goriot, the first The Rise of Silas Lapham ends unsatisfac- volume, we take it, of a beautiful edition of torily--the general criticism to that effect his complete works. We postpone any reseems to us just. The enthusiasm and in view of the translation till it is farther adterest with which the reader follows it along, vanced. receive an impalpable chill in the last chap-. There remains to be noticed a collection ter. It is hard to say why, for the conclusion of the Saxe Holm Stories, the popular interis well judged; but there seems to be a relax- est in which has been renewed by Mrs. Jackation of the author's own interest--the writ- son's death. No authoritative statement of ing sounds if he had grown tired of his char- her authorship of them has been made, but acters, and meant to hustle them out of the little doubt seems to be felt that she had at way as soon as he could, and had done it a least a share in them. To us, it seems that, little too hastily for dignified exit from the however unlike her later fiction they undoub:stage. Nor can we acquiesce in his hand- edly are, it cannot be questioned that the ling of one minor point--the giving the sym- same hand was in them and in the "No pathy of third parties to the sister who open- Name" novels now acknowledged as Mrs. ly took a man's suit for granted without war. Jackson's. Mercy Philbrick and Draxy Milrant, instead of to the one who had kept ler are sisters. The insistence upon love of silence, and allowed her sister to arrogate to beauty, and upon extreme sensitiveness to imherself the lover whom both desired. Mr. pressions, are identical in the acknowledged Howells's own sympathies are apparently with and unacknowledged writings. The very dePenelope, and we think he would have been tails of people's behavior, their ways of adornmore true to nature if he had turned those ing their rooms, coincide. The stories are not of all except the parents the same way. It
up to the reputation of “H. H.” “Joe Hale's is hard, too, to believe that proud New Eng. Red Stockings,” for a simple trifle, and “How land rural people, like the Laphams, would One Woman kept her Husband," for a wise ever have let a suspicion of Irene's discomfi- and powerful bit of fact or fiction, are simture reach the Coreys. But waiving criti- ply and strongly told. But the rest, though cisms, it remains that both the love-romance they always possess some good qualities, have and the business romance are carried through more or less crudity and a sort of unreal atwith an almost unparalleled comprehension titude. There are dreadful bits of bad taste of character and feeling, and perfection in in dress and furnishing, as in the dress emexpressing them. Lapham himself is, of broidered with a lapful of pond lilies; but course, the central figure, and nothing could these are not without parallel in “Mercy be more perfect than the rough man of suc- Philbrick's Choice." “ H. H.” must have cess, all whose gentlemanly virtues at bottom been too good a critic not to know that cannot make him agreeable. No social study these stories did not represent her real has ever made so clear the inevitable differ- powers, or her deliberate taste. entiations that create themselves in even a
By Nathaniel Hawthorne, democratic society.
Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 1885. For sale in The new editions of old novels that we
San Francisco by Chilion Beach.
8 Père Goriot. By Honoré de Balzac. Boston: Robmentioned above are of Uncle Tom's Cabin?
erts Brothers. 1885. For sale in San Francisco by Sam1 Uncle Tom's Cabin. By Harriet Beecher Stowe. uel Carson & Co. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co, 1885, For sale in
New York: Charles Scribner's San Francisco by Cbilion Beach.
2 The Scarlet Letter.
4 Saxe Holm Stories.