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oppression; but time only will tell whether, after all, that the causes which brought about the political the Central Pacific Railroad Company has not been revolution were in the general dissatisfaction with all successful at all the points which it wished to carry. the aspects of the political situation; weariness with A significant indication how little real hold the anti- the men who have since Garfield's death again monopoly cry has upon the body of voters is shown in assumed control, and especially disgust with their the relatively small vote received by Mr. John T. methods, their rapacity, their smallness. Doyle. He undoubtedly has the clearest insight into the rationale of the relations of transportation corpo- From all sections of the country, the indications rations to the public, and painted most vividly and point to the demand for new party issues, and possipersistently the vicious practices of the overland bly new parties. There are two questions that will roads, especially in the development of the special- have to be settled: the one is the reform of the civil contract system: and yet at the outcome he was service, both national, State, and municipal; the credited with only a beggarly array of suffrages. If other the tariff modifications; and incidentally to the opposition to the railroad is in this State the "burn- latter, the whole range of questions touching the ing question” that it was alleged to be by party internal revenue, banking, and transportation. managers, we should have seen evidences of deci. Upon the first-civil service reform-there is so sive opinions among the people, in the sharp ques. general and growing a sentiment that it cannot be said tioning of the antecedents and present relations to to form as yet the subject of an issue. In order to the monopoly of the men who were candidates for become so, the movement may have to advance a Railroad Commissioners and members of the State step farther; that is, after there is reached a conBoard of Equalization. It is true, the latter body sensus that it is a good thing, the real struggle may has been shorn of much of its potency in railroad arise over the methods of accomplishing this good affairs by the decision of the United States Circuit thing; and here the secret enemies of the movement Court in the San Mateo County case. Still, as there may shelter themselves behind opposition to asserted is a possibility of a reversal of the decision in the near impracticable schemes of reform, and in effect wage future by the appellate court, it is manifest that the a bitter warfare against reform itself. railroad has even yet a strong interest in the make- Free trade and protection will be sure to come up. up of the State Board.

Just now and for many years the country has been There is undoubtedly a very decided body of opin- so prosperous that it makes little difference what ion and feeling in the State that the overland roads system we work under. But a general economical unjustly discriminate, and in many instances oppress, crisis would precipitate the discussion and settlement in their freight rates; but more than all, there is the of the question at once. It is very likely to be true, somewhat vague but still ever-present feeling that that, as Mr. Wells predicts, it will not be seriously the great monopoly controls and moves and over- taken in hand until there is a crisis. shadows all our industrial life. It is, perhaps, not so The Democrats, however, must do something bemuch a question of the particular offenses it has fore 1884, in the direction of a reduction in taxation committed, as the uncomfortable conviction that it and a modification of the tariff, otherwise the people has an immense reserve of power which it can at any will turn upon them as they have upon the Republimoment precipitate upon any local community, or They must also present some practical legisany corporate enterprise, or any individual. This lation upon civil service reform, or they will forfeit state of mind, in an American community, fur- the newly inspired confidence. nishes the groundwork for continued conflict. The / The attitude of the public mind is that of watchdespotism of democracy, like that of the monarchy, fulness and expectation. The bulk of the voters do demands that all social and economical forces not care a straw by what name a party suppresses shall be its subjects. Hence, in California as else- "bossism," political assessments, excessive approwhere, the people are groping about to find some priations for internal improvements, trickery and

of controlling the great corporate monopolies. fraud in primaries and conventions, and a badly But of all possible schemes, that of a commission of balanced, oppressive system of internal taxation and three men elected upon a general ticket, who shall tariff laws. It is just now in such a condition that it have plenary powers over railroads, is beyond ques. will insist upon good works rather than professions tion the most idiotic. Already the people of this of faith. State have lost all faith in it. No deep interest can be excited in a political contest which involves the Herbert Spencer has just returned home, after mere question of the personnel of the commission. making a hurried visit, and incidentally, by means of a If you put millions of money and the dearest interests newspaper reporter and an after-dinner speech, dropof a vast number of persons on one side, and three ping a few criticisms upon our facial expression, our such men as are likely to be evolved from a political professional politicians and their following, our easy. convention upon the other, is it rational to expect going readiness in putting up with small trespasses any other outcome than the abortive one already upon our personal rights, and the baleful effects of exhibited by the railroad commission? The truth is, our tendency to overwork. A little before him

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Freeman the historian, was in our midst. He re

said of us.

We are now passing rapidly to the mained longer and looked more widely, and he also other extreme. It may be, that when the English told us what he thinks, especially how nearly we writer-tourist shall have reached absolute impartialare like our British cousins, and how archaic and ity, we will have become utterly indifferent to his not to be despised is much of our speech that our praise or blame. purists have been trying to get rid of. In the last number of the “Century,” Henry James, Jr., has It has been proposed in the board of freeholders commenced to give us his thoughts upon American that the new charter of this city shall not authorsociety. It is true, his contribution, “The Point of ize any of the school fund to be used to make the View," purports to be a series of letters giving the kindergarten a part of the public school system. thoughts of an American girl and her mother, of a The kindergarten picks up out of the street the member of parliament, of a French savant, and of neglected, harshly treated, half-fed, half-clothed, two or three others, male and female; yet they are unwashed, and uncombed prattling child or sturdy unmistakably Mr. James's personal opinions. Mr. youngster, whose greatest knowledge of language is James is a type of a curious body of people—of a of slang and profanity; goes with it to its drunken class that has differentiated itself within the last mother, down in the slums of filth and vice; gets her twenty-five years, the Europeanized Americans; permission to take the little waif up to the garden; men and women of more or less wealth, who either there washes its face, and covers up its rags with a stay permanently abroad, or constantly fit back and clean apron, and teaches it how to play, as children forth; who secretly despise their own country, and ought to play, lovingly and sweetly, with its comyet have found no place in the Old World systems. panions; tells it what truth is, of which it had never Of all our critics, the people of this uncertain genus heard; day after day develops in its pliant mind the are the most unsparing.

germ of good that had never been able to sprout up The latest notable addition to the literature of ob. through the cold and pestilential soil that covered it; servation in the United States is the article on “Some fills its hopeful heart with happy dreams of some Aspects of American Public Life,” by the brilliant day becoming a respectable man, or, if a girl, of author of the “Holy Roman Empire.” in the No. being a soft and gentle woman like the teacher; vember number of the “Fortrigully Review.” Mr. and thus molding and training it until it is six years Bryce has none of that condescension of the foreign- old, then hands it over to the primary department of er which James Russell Lowell has shown up so the public school for text-book tuition. well. He devotes himself more particularly to dis- Six years is the minimum age at which pupils are cussing our party methods, what may be called the admitted into the primary departments of the public machinery of our political parties, and shows that schools. Shut out from opportunity of any moral or he has studied us very carefully upon that side. mental instruction, thousands of those under six are Where he evinces more than common penetration is left to street life, until, when they reach the prein perceiving the true relations of the party manag- scribed age, they have lost the good and developed ers to the mass of the people; how their despotism the bad that were innate. It is a higher duty of society extends, after all, only to the smaller officers, but does to prevent crime than it is to punish it. The former not control in the greater ones or broad state ques. is ennobling and beneficial to the race, the latter tions. He explains very clearly why it is that merely vindicative and deterrent. There are twelve politics are different in England and the United hundred of these little rescued moral starvelings States; how with us “the political life of the now being cared for and made happy and good country is not the main or central current of its life, in fifteen kindergartens in San Francisco. Or but seems a kind of side channel encumbered by these, all excepting two are supported by charity, weeds and bushes.” He further understands, what the exceptions being those on Union and Jackso many of his countrymen do not, that the nor- son Streets, which are attached to the primary mal working of our institutions is to be seen in the schools there. So favorable have been the results villages, counties, and towns of the interior, and of the two mentioned, that it is proposed to add a not in New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. kindergarten to each of the primary schools. The

It is curious to note that, as we are becoming fruits of such a union would be worth far more to indifferent to English opinion, we are being more society than is the advanced instruction of the conscientiously written up by Britons. Twenty highest departments, in the languages and matheyears ago we were over-sensitive as to what they matics.

BOOK REVIEWS.

A Breeze from the Woods.

that is more like entertaining talk frozen into perma

nency, it would be hard to get together a volume as It was the custom of The CalifORNIAN to re

large as that under review by collecting all of even view no books issued by its own company.

While

approximately equal merit that has ever been written these books remained very few in number there were

on this coast by all other writers put together. The reasons that made this the best course; but as they pure essay is always a rare product in a new country; become more numerous it will be impossible to pass for it is a sort of Aower that, like some of our wild them over, and the OVERLAND will in this respect !ilies, seeming to be the effortless and evanescent depart from the custom of its predecessor. The product of a season, blossoms only from deep-planted issue of a second edition of Mr. Bartlett's bulbs that have for many years gathered to them“Breeze from the Woods” makes a peculiarly favor- selves thickening scales, stationary and undisturbed, able starting point for reviews of our own books. sheltered from attack under gravelly strata that The first edition of this collection of essays, pub- defy the small burrowing of jack-knife or trowel, lished three years ago, was only a private edition, in and almost call for pick-ax. So it is generally in which the author, yielding to importunate solici. the undisturbed surroundings of a ripe literary circle, tation, put into permanent form his OverLAND where entertaining talk is the habit, that some one essays for circulation merely among private friends. puts the very best of the talk—or of the habit of Although the book was not before the public-or, thought that makes such talk possible—into essays. perhaps, rather because it was not—it was thought the real difficulty of the essay, the reason why it well to review it in a contributed article to The looks so easy and is so hard, is that it is sursace-writCALIFORNIAN of February, 1880. As the author ing, but a surface that implies an underlying depth of was writing to his readers of a book that the majority much heavy effort. Wherever a good essay is of them could not get possession of, this review con

written that grazes along the crests of thoughts, of sisted largely of long extracts from the essays. Like observations of humanity, of enjoyment of nature, all pure literature, which gives the reviewer nothing there has been somewhere—in the author, in the to say as to the soundness of its facts or opinions, elements that produced him, or in both-much Mr. Bartlett's essays can hardly be described to those profundity of mental and emotional work, much of who have not seen them, except by extracts. Re

that friction between minds that so takes off the views usually fall into two classes by the broad dis

dull surface of provincialism that you will find a man tinction we have just suggested: they are written for who has never stirred from his native village, and those who have not read the book, to give them an

yet has the provincial accent less than another who idea what sort of book it is, and whether they had has been three times around the world: such a fund better read it; or they are written as comment and of familiarity with life must be inherited or acquired criticism on a book that it is assumed the reader, as

before one can ramble over his domain in the indoa matter of course, knows all about. As all the lent, vagrant fashion of a good essay. The light essays contained in the first edition of “A Breeze suggestion of thought, the humorous glance of exfrom the Woods” were published in the OverLAND, pression, is clever by virtue of hinting all the time and the two that have been added in this second edi. of something more that had to be known, or thought, tion, (“The Homestead by the Sea,” and “Suburban

or felt, or appreciated, before that light thing could Etchings”) in The CALIFORNIAN, it is fair to

be said. Further: the capacity to notice and care assume that a goodly proportion of readers—although for little things, in nature and in human relations, the book is barely upon the market-are already and to see the subtly amusing side of them, is one of acquainted with these delightful, wandering solilo- the most characteristic accents of high civilization of quies, and to review accordingly.

genuine education. The low-class mind craves sensa. As essayist, Mr. Bartlett stands almost alone on this tion, and takes no interest in small matters of leaf and coast. There has been much good sketch-writing wind, and little tricks of dog nature or human nature; here—some of it almost unequaled; there is good and for humor, it perceives only the ludicrous. The criticism; and what might be called the critical or

middle-class mind is serious, and dull toward fine philosophical essay is not wanting; essays of infor

shades and distinctions; it sees life in broad divisions, mation, or that sort compounded of description and theological, or social, or literary; its fingers are strong, information, in which Mr. Muir is pre-eminent, have

but too clumsy to get hold of the charm and the already been well done here: but as to that essay significance in complete life of the little things-still

1 A Breeze from the Woods. By W. C. Bartlett. less of those impalpable, far-reaching relations that San Francisco: The California Publishing Co. 1883. constitute the humorous. Ignorant men there have

ceases.

on.

been who loved the woods, and knew all the little college that are quite up to magazine standard. ways of nature; but if we made them write down Almost all great poets wrote some poems worth pretheir thoughts about it all, we should find their ap- serving before they left college; and, on the other preciation lame; for it is only the sophisticated man hand, many a man has, during that blessed time of who can appreciate not merely nature, but nature life, written a few good poems that he could never and all her relations to lise.

equal afterward. It is a very good time for poetry. It is these two closely related traits—the appre- writing. Lacks in the matter of critical taste there ciation of little things, especially in their humorous will be, but the youthsul vigor of emotion is at that bearing, and the love of nature--that make the time combined with intellectual eagerness in due charm of the essays under review. It has been said proportion for poetry, as it rarely is in the later lise that they suggest Thoreau. There is a touch of of any but men of scholarly pursuits. Thoreau, of John Burroughs, of John Muir, in the We speak only of colleges of high literary standard. attitude toward nature: she speaks in the same voice In any others, the lack of critical taste outweighs to this author as to them; but there the resemblance all the advantages of youth. Accordingly, it is only

They are students of nature: he is a looker- three or four of our oldest colleges-notably Har

There is far more suggestion of Charles Dudley vard and Yale—that have had material for creditable Warner, who cares more for humanity and less for collections of poems. It is, therefore, a most remarkinanimate nature, and is much more a humorist, yet, able thing that we should have before us a very credon the whole, occupies the same position of amused itable collection from our own new and struggling on-looker at all the quaint little things that fill up university. One fact of significance as to the causes the chinks of life. For, with all his love of nature, of its excellence is found in the time covered by with all his preaching about shaking off the dust of the poems. There are only a few scattering poems daily life, our author does not care for nature apart written before the entrance of the class of '78; from humanity: it is the human nature in dogs and and, as a matter of fact, it was with the entrance wild-cats that makes them interesting to him; every of this class that the whole English department paragraph about a tree or a breaker twists itself was reorganized on a plane rare among American round like a Boston street to reflections on human life.

colleges. That this should result in an era of poetryThese essays bear all the air of a casual and care. writing is no more wonderful than that Agassiz’s less committing to paper of a busy man's odd-minute sojourn at Harvard produced a crop of naturalists. or vacation chains of mental action--of spontaneous The grade of literary work in the Berkeley college mental action, hardly to be called thought. They papers and at commencements has showed the same are occasionally too rambling, too careless and cas- excellence, altogether disproportionate to the rank ual; but for the most part the reader is well willing of the college in many other respects. It is thereto ramble too.

fore no surprise to its friends on this coast to find College Verses. 1

the students issuing a little volume of some fifty

or sixty poems, none of which are puerile, a few of It is common enough to laugh at undergraduate which are up to the better grade of magazine poetry, literary work as the greenest of unripe fruit, and it is and a number of which are as good as the worst probably true that no one but the professor who has that the leading magazines of the country print. In to inspect the essays ever wades through college fact, more than half a dozen Berkeley undergraduate prose-unless it be a very phenomenal piece of poems have already found harborage in “The work. This is not saying that undergraduate prose- Century,” “Lippincott's,” and The CALIFORNIAN. writing is not occasionally sounder in thought and A glance down the table of contents suggests another method than much popular magazine writing; but cause. Berkeley is what is colloquially termed a “cothe young fellow, among his books and his awaken- education college," and the ten per cent. of young ing sense of the larger regions of thought, is not women in its membership have written fifty per cent. capable of addressing anything of value to a picked of the poetry. As to the quality of the feminine comaudience, and does not know how to adapt himself pared with the masculine poems, the best and the worst to the taste and secure the interest of a mixed one. in the book are masculine. There is a tendency in The pupil air is in all he writes; the essay bears the girls' poems to group themselves along a line of about it a sort of expectancy of the teacher's correct- fair medium excellence. ing pencil. One may find an exception, but as a Several names among the classes now for some rule it would hardly be worth while to offer under- years graduated will be recognized by our readers graduate prose for publication in our leading maga- as among the rising lights of our own contributing zines.

corps. But undergraduate poetry is a different matter. Perhaps the most noticeable poem in the collection There have been a good many poems written in is “Philhellene," by Herman Dwinelle, ’78, a son

1 College Verses. Berkeley, Cal. Compiled by the of the late John W. Dwinelle--a young man whose Berkeleyan Company. San Francisco: The California brilliant promise was closed by early death. We Publishing Co. 1883.

quote the entire sonnet:

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When those hard-handed Argonauts of old,

ful poems—as good as some of Tennyson's or In their well-builded galley-hero-manned- Byron's youthsul poems, for instance: and though

Floated on spring floods from the hill-crowned land comparing this college poetry with the weak poems in To river's mouth and launched into the cold,

“Hours of Idleness,” or in “Published in 1830 and Damp airs of ocean; silent all did hold

omitted from later editions,” is probably comparing Their oars, looking to seaward; and did stand

the very best of one man with the very worst of Lifting their glad brown faces to be fanned By the sea wind. Then their sails fold by fold

another, it still implies that the very lowest point They loosed; and lay and breathed the salty breeze.

touched by the poetry these young fellows are sendSo when down song's tumultuous flood I sped,

ing out is decidedly above much that comes into By fairy realms, and holds of sovereign might, every reviewer's hands from people old enough to And hoisted sail in old King Homer's seas,

know better. We congratulate the college on I felt the foam-chilled breeze about my head: this very creditable book, which contains much I breathed and breathe it still with deep delight. that should certainly not be let die, and nothing that

it need be ashamed of. It is a pretty volume, This has the real Keats spirit, to our mind, with significantly adorned with wild oats

, and brought out being an imitation. “Milton” by Chas. S.

out with evident reference to the gist season. Greene, '80, “George Eliot,” by Edmund C. Sanford, '83, “Through Rose of Dawn,” by Seddie E. Anderson, '78, and “O Patient, Noble Heart,” by

Doctor Zay.1 Alice E. Pratt, '81, are the other most notable the

It is curious to see the characteristic figures of a fourteen sonnets. We notice among the sonnets society filing out of fiction as one epoch passes away, one, “No Mystery,” that comes only under the and the new ones filing in. The new class rarely broader definition of a sonnet, and has not the four- slips in gradually and unperceived, individual by teen lines. In the other poems of a grave cast

individual, but comes in a party, drawing all eyes to the quality does not, except in the best two or

the simultaneous entrance of half a dozen. Thus the three, range as high as in the sonnets. The best

magazines blossomed out a few years ago with a proof these two or three is undoubtedly the open- fusion of "American Girls Abroad"; and now a step ing poem “Hope," again by a member of the class farther into new and unexplored regions of modern of '78, lost by early death, Annie H. Shinn. “The womanhood brings into fiction a group of “woman Master,” by the same author, “The Royal Wine,”

doctors." Charles Reade evolved from his own by Alice E. Pratt, '81, “Mountain Rest,” by Lucy mind what he imagined a woman doctor would be Mooar, '80, “The New and the Old,” by C. H. like-or, at least, what would be a striking and Shinn, '74, “The Real and the Ideal,” by Mary R. Stearns, '76, are the best of the other poems in this turned to account his penetrating acquaintance with

picturesque figure for a woman doctor; Mr. Howells class. The songs, as songs can be, are perhaps the vacillating, unreasoning, earnest type of women, more striking at less expense of ability. The initial in imagining a woman of that sort in the position of one, “At Sunset,” by Jane Barry, '81, we quote:

a doctor; and now, passing over a tendency begin. At sunset, hark, a low deep sound

ning to appear in short stories toward the same Is borne across the placid bay,

situation, we find a more serious attempt than either of And through the hills, and far around these to handle the same problem in fiction--and this In echoes faint, it dies away.

time by a woman. In beginning her story of “DocA boom--the sunset gun

tor Zay,” Miss Phelps published a note from Mr. Is fired; the day is done;

Howells, explaining the purely fortuitous nature of The purple shadows coming on

the coincidence by which their two stories, appearing Are deepening in the west.

so nearly together, treated of the same subject; but And homeward turns each white-spread sail, there is, in reality, no parallelism between “Doctor As flies a wild bird to its nest;

Breen's Practice” and “Doctor Zay.” Mr. Howells The stir of day on hill, in vale,

takes pains to avow-what the discriminating reader In busy city, thronged and pressed, will amply indorse-that his is no study of the genIs dying with the light.

eral problem of sex and doctoring; it is simply a The last rays linger bright

study of human nature. That Grace Breen had not On far-off clouds, and holy night

the making of a doctor in her proves no more, pro Descends, with welcome rest.

or con, than if Mr. Howells had made a study of the Two translations, “The Fatherland,” by Seddie struggles and failure to make a doctor of himself of E. Anderson, and “Wurmlingen Chapel,” by Jane

some youth by nature unfit. That the unwillingness Barry, are about as good as translations can be.

to depend on one's self as a final resort in serious There is not one among the sonnets that might not

emergency is pre-eminently a feminine trait, still appear in any magazine without discredit. Among 1 Doctor Zay. By Elizabeth Stuart Phelps. Bosthe other poems there are a good many that are not ton: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 1882. For sale by Bilreally worth preserving, but still are good for youth- lings, Harbourne & Co.

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