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LAURENS ALMA-TADEMA. Century (38 c.) for February. CRITICISM AND CULTURE. James Russell Lowell. Century (38 c.) for February.
LINCOLN'S GETTYSBURG ADDRESS. With fac-simile of the original manuscript. John G. Nicolay. Century (38 c.) for February.
THE RIGHTS OF UNKNOWN AUTHORS. Century (38 c.) for February.
REV. EMORY J. HAYNES, D. D. With portrait. Journalist 13 c.) for February 17.
FREDERICK M. SOMERS. Alfred Balch. Journalist ( 13 c.) for February 17.
CONSTANCE FENIMORE WOOLSON. With portrait. Henry Mills Alden. Harper's Weekly (13 c.) for February 3.
THE ORIGINAL OF SHERLOCK HOLMES. Harper's Weekly ( 13 C) for February 3.
GEORGE WILLIAM CHILDS. With portrait. Talcott Williams. Harper's Weekly (13 c.) for February 10.
DAVID DUDLEY FIELD. With portrait. Harper's Weekly (13 c.) for February 17.
JULIAN RALPH. With portrait. Harper's Weekly ( 13 c. ) for February 24.
CONSTANCE FENIMORE WOOLSON. With portrait. Margaret E. Sangster. Harper's Bazar 13 c.) for February 3. REMINISCENCES OF GEORGE WILLIAM CHILDS AND HIS
HOME AT WOOTTON. Mary Wager Fisher. Harper's Bazar (13 c.) for February 17.
CONSTANCE FENIMORE WOOLSON. With portrait. Chicago Graphic (13 c.) for February 10.
GEORGE MACDONALD. With portrait. Chicago Graphic (13 c.) for February 24.
LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN. John Habberton. New York Ledger (8 c) for February 17.
PROFESSOR TYNDALL. Professor Huxley. Reprinted from Nineteenth Century in Littell's Living Age (21 c.) for Febru
CHINESE POETRY IN ENGLISH VERSE. Herbert A. Giles. Reprinted from Nineteenth Century in Littell's Living Age (21 c.) for February 10.
THE EARLY LIFE OF PEPYS. C. H. Firth. Reprinted from Macmillan's Magazine in Littell's Living Age (21 c.) for February 17.
BEGINNINGS OF AMERICAN DRAMATIC LITERATURE. Paul Leicester Ford. New England Magazine (28 c.) for February.
An interesting public document is a pamphlet on "The Spelling Reform," by Professor Francis A. March, president of the Spelling Reform Association, which has just been issued by the National Bureau of Education. It is a revision and enlargement of the author's pamphlet published by the Bureau of Education in 1881. An appendix gives a long list of amended spellings recommended by the Philological Society of London and the American Philological Association.
"Droch," the name signed to many of the book reviews in Life, is the pseudonym of Robert Bridges, assistant editor of Scribner's Magazine. The series of clever literary studies in dialogue form which he has recently contributed to Life will be published soon in book form by Charles Scribner's Sons.
Toilettes (New York) for April is already out, most attractively illustrated with spring novelties in fashions, embracing designs by Worth, Felix, and other famous fashion artists.
In the April number of St. Nicholas will begin a new serial, entitled "Jack Ballister's Fortunes," by Howard Pyle, which will run for more than a year.
The Evangelist relates that, when somebody once asked Dr. Philip Schaff how he was able to accomplish so much literary work, he replied, laughingly: "Oh, that's easy. You must get up early, and sit up late, and keep awake all day."
Alphonse Daudet says: "It often happens that letters from foreign countries are addressed to me at the French Academy, in the supposition that I am one of its members. These letters are almost always returned to the post-office, with the remark, Unknown to the French Academy,' written on the envelope. There is no harm in this, since the post-office knows where to send my corre. spondence. But the formula is droll. I have often given evidence of its authenticity."
Mrs. Humphry Ward has returned to London to superintend the publication of her new book, which is to appear early in March.
The death of R. M. Ballantyne will come as a shock to all boys, young and old, for whom he has been writing stories since 1848, when he was but twenty-three years of age, though he had already been residing for six years in the Hudson Bay country.
Mrs. Isabella Bird Bishop, the traveller, has just started upon another journey, although she is now sixty years old. She is at present crossing the United States on her way to Vancouver, whence she is to sail for Japan. Whether she goes farther will depend upon her health. She owns a pretty cottage in Scotland, and there she spent last summer and autumn in thoroughly mastering the technique of photography in preparation for her journey. She will now be able to illustrate her own books.
The Godey Publishing Co., of New York, made an assignment February 8 for the benefit of its creditors. The assignee, Benjamin S. Harmon, announces that a syndicate is being formed for the purpose of purchasing the plant and good will of Godey's Magazine, and the publication of it with new capital and improved facilities. In the mean time the March number is being printed.
In an interesting article on "Photography and Law" in the February number of the American Amateur Photographer (New York) it is stated that Judge Wheeler, of New York, decided in January of this year that a newspaper which publishes an infringing copy of a picture of which a photographer holds the legal copyright cannot justify such publication on the ground that it was made for the benefit and by direction of the subject of the picture, who has an equitable ownership in the copyright, unless such direction is first procured in writing, attested by two witnesses. The law stands that if any person after a photograph is copyrighted and without first obtaining the consent of the proprietor in writing, signed before two witnesses, shall publish the picture, he shall forfeit one dollar for every copy of the publication found in his possession.
"Poets in Exile," the leading article in the Critic for February 24, is an account of the delightful home-life in Ireland of Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Piatt, who have lived for years at Queenstown, as the official representatives of America. Their historian is Miss Katherine Tynan, the novelist.
A biography of J. G. Holland, by Mrs. Thomas F. Plunkett, a life-long friend, is announced by the Scribners.
The publishers of Demorest's Family Magazine (New York) offer a prize of $100 for the finest collection of photographic views illustrating a subject of popular interest and suitable for a magazine article. The subjects may be foreign or domestic (preference will be given to the latter), the only stipulation being that the photographs have never been used for publication. The competition will be open until August 1, 1894. Contributions which do not win the prize, but are available for publication, will be accepted and paid for at regular rates.
G. Hedeler, of Leipzig, Germany, is compiling a list of private libraries in America. He already has 500 libraries entered, and asks possessors of private libraries with whom he has not been able to communicate to send him information about the size of their collections, and the specialties to which they devote themselves.
Mrs. Lydia Hoyt Farmer, editor of "What America Owes to Women," who recently sent a white-and-gold copy of the book to Queen Victoria, has received a reply dated "22 February, 1894, Privy Purse office, Buckingham Palace, S. W.," which reads as follows: "Sir Henry Ponsonby is commanded by the Queen to thank Mrs. Lydia Farmer for her letter, and for the volume which she has sent for Her Majesty's acceptance."
It may not be generally known that Oliver Wendell Holmes was the inventor of the "American Stereoscope." Wilson's Photographic Magazine (New York) for March prints an interesting letter from him telling how the first stereoscope came to be manufactured, and illustrates the article with an admirable portrait of Dr. Holmes. Particular attention is given in the March number of the magazine to the making of stereoscopic pictures.
A MONTHLY MAGAZINE TO INTEREST AND HELP ALL LITERARY WORKERS.
A recent clever travesty in THE WRITER on the prevailing craze for dialect suggests the thought-probably a most obvious one - that the evil of dialect is not in its use, but in its abuse. The accepted standards of good English are the same all over this country, and American people are too critical, as a rule, not to laugh down and out any lingering remains of country gaucherie of this kind among those who would aspire to be considered well-bred. It may be a toothsome morsel for the dialect writer to picture the New Englander as saying "beyant" for "beyond," or the Southerner as using that vilest of Cracker provincialisms, “we uns," for "we"; but it is a ridiculous slander upon the ordinarily well-educated classes of either sec
tion to put such speech into their mouths just as ridiculous as it would be to put the stilted language of Sir Walter Scott's heroes or heroines into the mouths of the tense, curt, monosyllabic business men of our great cities to-day.
The roll of the "r" in the central North and West, and its inevitable ellipsis in the South, are more orthodox subjects for employment in dialect. But even here the rapid multiplication of the means of communication between the two sections, the instinctive prejudice of the average American against provincialisms or singularities of speech, more frequent intermarriage and association, these, and many other causes, are helping to form for us all a purer and more universal accent and pronunciation.
The use of dialect where it is not essential to the subject is a great mistake and a confession of weakness; but if it is necessary, it should be treated so as to show that the leading object is not to mirror dialect itself, but that it comes in as an accidental, or, at best, an incidental, consideration. And the writer who employs dialect should impose upon himself very severe limits, refraining from swamping the real interest of his subject matter by a persistent caricature. The delicate and evasive peculiarities of speech in this and that section of our common country are worth noting and preserving, but only as subordinate to the plot and general treatment of the subject matter. In picturing old negro life in the South the use of dialect in a guarded way is necessary. But even then care should be taken to pronounce and spell in the ordinary way many words which the average negro always pronounces and spells correctly,
Copyright, 1894, by WILLIAM H. HILLS. All rights reserved.
and did so pronounce even before he had the present advantages of schools and a general newspaper education. It is impossible to treat the dialect of any people properly, unless you have mingled with them freely and for some duration of time. The speech of the average New Englander is concise, clear-cut, and not especially characteristic; but the writers who have attempted to make dialect out of it have succeeded in many instances in turning it into a hideous jargon. Of course it is a strong temptation to a writer to force dialect into his story if he thinks that it will enable the story to sell; but after a while even the worm turns, and the long-suffering public will not always be outraged by this avalanche of words without fit
ness-a mangling and debasing of the noblest language on earth, and a determined craze for putting its vilest distortions into the mouths even of its educated and refined people. No polished or cultivated New Englander ever said "beyant" for "beyond"; and if there are people in the South who ever give utterance to that monstrosity, we uns" or "you uns," they must live away up in the hills or else down in the very tangles of the rice jungles or the pine forests.
Dialect should not be rashly tabooed, but it should be held severely in leash, so to say. It is a good servant, but an odious master.
ELMIRA, N. Y.
William B. Chisholm.
THREE LITERARY PARABLES.
"Now, Barabbas was a — publisher."
A butcher calls at the door and offers a fine
sweet ham, neatly cased. The mistress agrees to buy it, saying, however, that it is against her rules to pay for any article until the whole of it is eaten. The butcher, knowing that there are many carts on the road laden with hams just as finely cured as his, ruefully accepts the terms, and, when a price is settled, departs.
After keeping the ham for two years in a dusty, musty cellar, the housekeeper returns it to the butcher, soiled and stale, saying that, after all, her family prefers fresh meat, and she has decided not to cook the ham.
One spring morning a farmer knocks at the kitchen door of a city house, with a basket of fresh-laid eggs for sale. The mistress expresses delight at obtaining them, declaring, however, that it is her invariable custom to pay for articles after they have appeared on her table, and then only such a price as she thinks fit. Expecting an early settlement under those conditions, and being in need of cash for the
interest on the mortgage on his farm, the man accepts the lady's terms and departs. Week after week and month after month go by, but no payment is made for the eggs. When he calls at the house to inquire, the maid informs him that her mistress bids her say that the great variety of seasonable articles of food has prevented the use of the eggs, but that she hopes very soon to find a place for them on her menu. In the autumn the farmer is surprised to have the maid hand him the basket, saying that, as the eggs have lost their freshness and are uneatable, her mistress returns them, with thanks for the opportunity for purchasing, and hopes that the farmer will call whenever he is in town and allow an examination of his stock.
The third of these true parables relates to a greengrocer and some crisp blanched lettuce which he is requested to leave for the housekeeper's examination at her leisure. After a time a messenger leaves a package at the greengrocer's shop. On opening it he finds his lettuce, wilted and bruised, and these consolatory
words: "Owing to no lack of merit, but because lettuce is not exactly available for my table, I return these heads, with thanks for the opportunity for examining them."
And here endeth the parables, and the turning of the worm.
SUMMIT, N. J.
Harriet Cushman Wilkie.
THE EARLY DRAMA.
It is probable that few of the many thousands who each year attend the modern theatres think of the time when priests and monks acted parts upon the stage, and many scenes of the plays were founded upon scripture history. Yet, were we to trace the history of our modern drama back to its origin, we should find that the priests were the first actors, and the first plays were representations of scripture scenes.
It was in the middle ages, in the beginning of the thirteenth century, when these plays were first introduced. Pilgrims, coming from the Holy Land, related, on the street corners of the large towns, their experiences, and also recited legends in which Christ and the apostles were the chief actors. These recitals greatly interested the simple people of those times; so much so, in fact, that the priests, who were laboring in the cause of the church, devised from them a means of strengthening their own power and inculcating into the popular mind the true principles of the Christian religion. They took the legends which the pilgrims were reciting, arranged them to suit their purposes, and acted them upon the stage. Such was the origin of the Mystery Plays, - the precursors of the modern drama.
For a few years after the first play was presented the results were all that could have been hoped for by the most sanguine of the priests. Their primitive theatres were filled to overflowing; the plays were received with enthusiasm and delight; and the truths presented seemed to be grasped and appreciated by the audiences. But, as time went on, the priests sought to improve the plays by introducing more unique and popular characters. The
people were delighted with the change, and the priests, unable to distinguish between cause and effect, continued to add droll characters, until the audience completely lost sight of the moral part, and occupied themselves only with the dramatic features.
Thus the Mystery Plays degenerated into ludicrous absurdities, in which animals were worshipped, and in which sentiment was expressed which would not tend to elevate the moral tone of any people of any age. The farcical element became paramount; and, in the north of France, that most docile of creatures, the ass, was elevated to a high rank upon the stage. The bishops at last came to see the absurdity of the plays, and banished them from the precincts of the church. This was the first separation of the altar and the stage. The priests withdrew, but their work did not end. People from other ranks assumed the characters of Christ and the apostles, and continued to write and act plays which were founded upon Biblical history. The interest of the people continued to grow. If one play occupied a day, with only short intermissions for meals, it suited them so much the better; and if the ass, now and then, made the air vibrate with a sonorous "hee-haw," so much the more were they pleased.
In France scenes and decorations were first introduced. The stage was divided into three portions, with heaven above, the earth below, and hell beneath the earth. Heaven was decorated with bright flowers and showy carpets, while hell was made to look dark and gloomy and to savor strongly of brimstone. The whole company, including the ass, assembled on the