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discipline is nearly the same for a large number of individuals. A fellow-feeling binds together not only the various members of each class, but also the different classes, in an appreciation of the advantages of strict and thorough training, and a lifelong love for Alma Mater. The speeches made by graduates at any Alumni meeting or Commencement dinner, ought to fairly convince the most incredulous, that in many a stout heart there exists a strong affection for the friends, a deep regard for the spirit and the customs, which have made four years residence here.the most delightful period of life. To those who know how good it is to live in harmony and peace and fellowship with all their classmates, we would offer our hearty congratulations. To those who choose to iso
. late themselves we give the warning, if you have in you any elements of popularity, cultivate friendships; for unless you form friendships, and contribute your share to the happiness of others, you miss the very cream of college existence.
Blue eyes, from under golden lashes;
Days bright with Love's soft, rising beams,
Short days, when presence makes Love stronger;
J. P. D.
O write a popular book is, at the present day, to
accomplish a task which a flourishing literature and a fastidious public taste have rendered doubly difficult. From time immemorial writers have shifted the kaleidoscope of life, presenting it in every light and phase, till the world, grown weary, awakens no lively enthusiasm save at the touch of genius itself. Men are undismayed by this, however, and the swollen throng of men of letters, still struggles on to achieve the desired success, each one following out his own particular theory and bent; some relying upon complicated plots; some upon richness of thought and coloring ; some upon weirdness of style, throwing an air of mystery about their writings, and leading us aside from the beaten track of life, into a fantastic realm which imagination and fancy conjure up. But others unite all their talents in an effort to make ordinary life interesting, and few and far between are the successful ones among these last. For but a glance will show
a that this demands a genius of the highest order; since, to give interest to that which of itself does not possess it, is far more than to put what is already interesting into readable form. Wit, pungency of style, originality without exceeding naturalness, are but a few of the characteristics indispensable to such a book.
Within the year a little novel has appeared, written by a novice, and published anonymously, which has realized this much wished-for success. “ One Summer" has been the admiration of all social circles, and of the general reading public. But when we come to read and examine critically the mechanism which has excited all this praise and comment, we find it to be very simple. It has none of that feverish excitement deemed so indispensable to the modern novel; no personages figure throughout the book whom it has not been our lot to meet in the life ; there is no complicated plot. Its charm lies in originality, not so much of character, as of combination. For the
persons in whom the interest of the story centers are but three; a plain gentleman-hero and a pretty heroine, between whom love, as a matter of course, is enkindled, but through the agency of a rough, untutored country boy; while the part of “heavy villain” is ably sustained by a small silk umbrella, which, with the perverseness characteristic of the part it plays, succeeds in plunging everyone and everything into embarrassment and confusion, and then meets with inglorious defeat in the end. And there is in this “jolly little ombrell" all the energy and activity of an actual character; eternally turning up at inopportune moments; pushing itself forward amid the thick of every incident, as though guided in reality by a mind and not by chance. There are in fact books and books, where the bad element is not half so well portrayed as in the part played by this inanimate attaché of the heroine. Of the hero himself there can be little said. He is an average man, with fine gentlemanly instincts, and considerable knowledge of human nature. As the authoress herself says somewhere, he is neither “sublime nor pathetic.” But the other two characters represent two distinct types, with both of which we are familiar, but which seldom, if ever, we see so faithfully described. The boy “Gem” is a fine portrait, the product of a careful observation of the traits of the American boy. Though a “rough diamond,” he has all his natural impulses; the shrinking dread of study, for fear he may resemble his schoolmaster when he grows up, and the profound contempt for “them pious fellers what gets hurt, says hymns, and dies happy.” His admiration of a predominance in the biceps-muscle is profound; his confidence in the physique of the hero unbounded; while the earnestness with which he harps upon his favorite to the unwilling heroine, and expresses his belief of the ability of the former to combat with even Tennyson's “ Launcelot,” are true to nature itself. The heroine, on the other hand, represents our country in the other sex. She has the same fond love for the beauties of nature; the same disregard for society's absurdities; the same lively appreciation of the ridiculous and incongruous. In all emergencies she is admirably self-sufficient; a thorough master of the conversational art, she can be open-hearted and winning, or retiring and distant at will. Her changes of manner are so rapid and so perfectly adapted to the situation in which she is placed, that we, like the hero, are at first at a loss to distinguish nature from art. But our doubts soon disappear; for her affection for “ Gem,” and her touching solicitude in his illness, reveal the warm heart which lies hidden beneath all this outward show, and confirm us still more in our conviction that our own country woman is here faithfully portrayed. Of the minor characters, all are equally natural and good. “Tom” and “Bessie” are the wits of the book, and no small share of its enjoyment is due to their lively sallies and brilliant repartee.
Jane Maria" is the author's protest against the light literature of the day, and it is far more forcible in this ludicrous and satirical vein than a more open and direct attack. Mrs. Holbrook is a character we should hate to meet, yet many such there are in life, while Miss Phipps, with her primness, curiosity, and odd manners, is alike original and amusing.
But this little work, aside from its characters, has a charm essentially its own, and entirely of a pictorial nature. We do not, as ordinarily in the case of an entertaining book, plunge headlong into the current of the story, identifying ourselves with the characters, carried away by the impulses which actuate them,-in short, thinking and feeling as they do. On the contrary, we read it calmly, dispassionately, critically, with more of that feeling with which one regards a panorama, letting it reach the mind through the eye rather than the feelings. And this feeling is a most natural one, inseparable from the style and plan of the entire book : for, every scene and incident crystallizes into a little view, which, by the magic pen of the author is presented to the mind as vividly as reality itself. And in this rare collection of word-painting nature forms no inconsiderable part; of a truth, “Sunshine's everywhere, and summer too;" and when we follow the characters in their wanderings about Edgecomb, we seem to hear the bees hum, and the flowers wave, and the brook babble, just as we ourselves have heard them on some lazy summer's day. A surprising originality of talent is shown in all such scenes, by the way in which these inevitable attendants of the season are forced upon the mind and their presence deeply felt. The same talent for word-painting is displayed in-doors also. Who, when he came to the night scene in the sick room of poor little “ Gem," could not see the fire of hem
, lock boughs casting its fitful glow upon the wan face of the invalid, and lighting up the faces of hero and heroine, within whose hearts “the old, old story" is just beginning to awaken; or previous to that, when he sits up in his lonely room, listening to her voice as it comes rippling up from the same sad, sick room, till the gray morning dawns and “all the light and life of day comes on." But these little scenes are not universally of a pathetic nature. Of the events which precede these last, the slight accident on which the story hinges, and the subsequent meetings, when embarrassment and dignity are variously displayed, the ludicrous element forms a large part, and an equal ability to depict the comic as well as the pathetic is developed: there are the two scenes which the heroine's odd fancy saw fit afterwards to caricature; the sharp corner, the pelting rain, the collision of umbrella and eye, with the awkward absurdity which succeeds it, and the weary tramp of the heroine as she guides home the blind-folded hero,--all sketched as graphically as with a pencil. And so one might go on enumerating scene after scene, for they are to be found everywhere throughout the book. Apart from its characters and incidents, there is much genius and literary skill displayed in the general style. The authoress has a fine conception of the grace which an apt quotation imparts, and the appropriate blending of the poetry of the day with the thread of the story peculiarly striking. The comparison of Tennyson's “ Lady of Shalott” to the scenery around Edgecomb is a delicate stroke of literary art, and Allingham's “Fairies” imparts