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does not make Mr. Howells's story of general appli- authors if she did not in her later works exaggerate cation; for, though one grant that ninety-nine women the mannerisms of her earlier ones. Turns of exout of a hundred are unfit for physicians as was pression that in her first books were really felicities, Grace Breen, it is only the hundredth or the thou • accented barely beyond what is allowable for a pure sandth woman who has any idea of becoming a and unaffected style, have now become painfully prephysician.
dominant. It was in “The Story of Avis” that this Miss Phelps wisely enough assumes the problem unreal, sentimental manner of writng first became conof intrinsic capacity for the profession as settled, as spicuous; and it robbed that book, as it will the far as regards the exceptional woman. Not only are
present one, of half its weight. It is what the there actual facts for this, but Miss Phelps so con: unlearned and inaccurate would term a “transstructs her woman as to premise that, whether there cendental” style; it is a style that makes disever were such a woman or not, if there were, she creet and sober readers distrust the whole thing; would be a successful doctor; and thus to have the and it may be added that the incessant attitudinizing, ground clear for the profounder and more practical the “intense" conversations, the over-vivid rhetoric, problem of the place for love and marriage in such a are painful to the reader of quiet taste, and give a dewoman's life. “Doctor Zay” may therefore be con- spairing sense of genius misused. In all this, Miss sidered a general study. Not but what Atalanta Phelps does not stand alone: this is the fatal weak, Lloyd is vastly more exceptional a woman than ness of almost all that school of American women Grace Breen; nevertheless, all that Mr. Howells's writers with which Miss Phelps is strictly contempostory treats is the special question whether Grace rary, and at the head of which she probably stands. Breen and her class can practice medicine; while It is a literary fate that hangs threatening over the Miss Phelps's story treats the general question heads of the newer writers; yet, on the whole, the whether any woman whatsoever can reconcile that world moves in this respect. profession and marriage. She does not pretend to answer the question.
The Poems of Thomas Bailey Aldrich.1 She merely expounds some of the conditions of it. The partial collections of Mr. Aldrich's poems hithThe whole story is really a curious experiment at in- erto from time to time published, as well as the occaverting the relation of man and woman to each sional appearance of his poems in the magazines, have other. It would all apply just as well to the woman abundantly established his position as the best writer with a vocation of any sort as to the woman doctor. of graceful light verse in America, past or present. It is an inquiry whether it is essentially in man's and Both Holmes and Lowell, it is unnecessary to say, woman's nature that the man should have outside surpass him, out of all comparison, not merely in wit, occupation and interest that, in many cases, stand but also in humor; and Mr. Holmes, in verse first in his heart, while he himself and the minister. that, while not distinctly humorous, is still bright, ing to his interests stand first in his wife's; whether, facile and far from serious. Surpasses, we say, in the society of the future, this predominance may but the word is inaccurate; for we do not find a not fall to either husband or wife indifferently, single poem in which Mr. Aldrich has so much as according to individual character. As before said, tried to do what Mr. Holmes does; nor one in which she does not pretend to answer this question; but Mr. Holmes tries to do what Mr. Aldrich does. she makes at least this evident: that, under present Mr. Aldrich is, in fact, the first American writer of social conditions, the relation could only be made successful society verses. Our other poets, even possible by the most peculiar circumstances of depend- in their lightest moods, are Anglo-Saxon of the ence on the part of the man and protection on the Anglo-Saxons, muscular and of appreciable weight. part of the woman, and by certain womanly traits in Mr. Aldrich has the French accent. Yet to de the character of the man--not womanly weaknesses, scribe his poems merely as society verses would be but rather the womanly virtues of generosity in love, unjust and inadequate; they range out on either side and willingness to take the second place, and become of society verse into pure description, and deepen supplementary to the vocation of the loved one. down below it to fine pathos and feeling. Yet the “The Story of Avis” was a study of this same subject verse, at its deepest, is always light of touch, neat, -the woman with a vocation and marriage; but epigrammatic if possible, and picturesque; the this time marriage with a man incompetent to his keenest pathos touched is in the embodiment of the share of the difficult task. But a far more difficult little stray moods and minor incidents that hover question than that of reconciling a vocation with wife and flutter around every profound feeling. Thus: hood lies beyond anything that Miss Phelps has “The One White Rose”; “Nameless Pain”; touched: that of reconciling a vocation with mother- “Palabras Carinosas”; “Nocturne”; “Rencontre”; hood.
"Palinode.” There is much luxurious description, As a social study, “Doctor Zay” will probably be written for description's own sake, not as back. underrated by the critics. As a piece of literary 1 Illustrated by the Paint and Clay Club. Boston: work, it will probably receive more than its due. Houghton, Mifflin & Co.
For sale by Billings, Miss Phelps would be well nigh an exception among Harbourne & Co.
ground; several very gracesul long poems, of which At the time of the issue of “Native Races,” the “Judith” is chies; some merely society verse, and general plan of the Bancroft histories was mapped a good deal of this that we have spoken of, that out to some extent; and the present beginning of deepens down from society verse into profounder what is to be finally the complete edition is a suitafeeling--and in this last Mr. Aldrich is at his best. ble occasion for a resume, both of what was at that time French, we have called his accent; yet, there is shaped of the plan, and what has taken shape since. much in which he suggests the later Eliza. The ground covered by the term “Pacific States” is bethan verse: the lighter touch, the prevalence extremely liberal, for it includes the whole of Cen. of the “conceit,” the great value placed tral America and Mexico, almost all of the United form, the decline of intensity-all this coming, States and British America west of the central line, as before, at the close of a great poetic era, strongly and the whole of Alaska. There is enough in comsuggests that it is the poetry of a decadence. But mon ethnologically and historically between these this is no reproach to it: let us be thankful for the geographically widely separate States-most of all, poetry of a decadence, as for one more late-blooming their common difference from the Atlantic half of flower on the well-nigh exhausted plant. It is North America--to justify this extension of the exquisite verse: none the less so if, like the red designation, “Pacific States.” The separate divileaves of October, it be in itself an indication that sions will be Central America in two volumes; the summer is ended.
Mexico in two volumes; the North Mexican States, No poet could be more suitably put into a luxuri. California, the North-west Coast and Oregon, New ous dress of type and paper then Mr. Aldrich. Mexico and Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Washington, Indeed he is one of those whose poems seem Idaho and Montana, British Columbia and Alaska, actually enhanced in excellence by it. Other poets each will be in several volumes. Instead of folafford an excuse for pictorial and typographical art: lowing the history of each district through before Aldrich, like Herrick, demands it. The present beginning the next, the publishers announce edition, therefore, is more welcome than an equally that, in order to keep the volumes nearer togethhandsome one of many a greater poet would be. er chronologically, the first volume of “Central With flexible covers, heavy pages, persect typogra- America" will be followed by the first volume of phy, and abundant and beautiful illustration, it “Mexico,” and this probably by the successive first makes one of the most satisfactory gift- books of the volumes of the other branches of the work. In the year. The illustrations are by the Paint and Clay complete series, however, the first six volumes of Club. A dozen different names appear as members which are now under review, the volumes will be of this club, appended to the twenty-nine illustra- arranged in their natural order, Central America tions: W. L. Metcalf, W. L. Taylor, Marcus Water- being completed, then Mexico, etc. man, W. B. Closson, H. Sandham, W. F. Halsall, This cursory glance over the ground covered and E. H. Garrett, F. W. Rogers, T. H. Bartlett, S. to be covered will give the reader an idea of the E. Carlsen, and F. D. Millet, are the artists; point to which Mr. Bancroft's historical scheme has George F. Andrew, W. B. Closson, W. J. Dana, progressed. In our next issue we shall review at J. P. Davis, Frank French, Arthur Hayman, and length the new volume of the series, Volume I. of S. L. Putman, the engravers, besides the steel the “History of Central America." engraver of the portrait frontispiece, J. A. J. Wilcox.
J. A. Lowell's Engraved Cards.
We receive from A. L. Bancroft & Co., agents The series of histories now beginning to be pub- for the Lowell engraved cards, this year's holiday lished under the above title consists, so far as the issue of these, the most artistic of all the Christinas six volumes already issued go, of the five volumes of cards. The Lowell cards are not, on the whole, as the “Native Races,” widely noticed some years ago, good in design this year as last: a more trivial style and the first volume of the “ History of the Pacific is apparent, as though the designer had tried to make States” proper, to which the “History of the Native them approximate more nearly to popular taste. Races” is regarded as merely preliminary. This first is a mistake, if he has; for in the nature of the thing volume of the “History of the Pacific States” is, the class that care for this exquisite engraving, and again, the first of several volumes of the “History of not for colors, are the very ones that demand a high Central America.”
artistic rank in the designs. Last year there was It will be seen, therefore, that the series of “ Ban- nothing among the holiday cards that could compare croft's Works" is simply a uniform (and ultimately with Lowell's, not only for beautiful workmanship a complete) edition of the histories from time to
and graceful designs, but also for high quality of time published as separate volumes.
sentiment--a thing, as every fastidious person knows, 1 The Works Hubert Howe Bancroft, Vols. I., hard to preserve in gift-cards. This year, while II., III., IV., V., VI. San Francisco: A. L. Bancroft & they have nothing very good in the way of ChristCo.
mas sentiment, they have several designs that are
better than anything we have seen in the way of offered for prizes this year was divided equally bequaintness; and the workmanship is, of course, as tween two series of prizes, each series consisting of four perfect as ever.
prizes of $1,000, $500, $300, and $200, respectively.
One series of prizes was awarded by a jury composed Prang's Holiday Cards.
of all the well-known artists of New York, Boston, We receive, too late for extended notice, Prang's and Philadelphia; and the other by the votes of the prose and other cards. The Prang cards are and general public visiting the exhibition. The first will continue to be the most popular of all; and it is artists' prize and the first popular prize fell to the pleasant to notice the steady increase from year to same design, that of Miss Dora Wheeler, of New year in richness and beauty of coloring, and aban- York, who had gained the second prize in the donment of hard or gaudy tints. The total amount previous exhibition, and thus wins $2,000.
EAST AND WEST.
Daily the nerves of civilization, the post and tele- Aakes of the first snow, against which the graceful graph, convey the thoughts and interests of one-half tracery of bare elms and the cordage of wild clematis the globe to the other half. The speech in the and grape vine are relieved like drawings on porceFrench Chambers, the English Parliament, or the lain. Later in December come exquisite days, when western legislature, the new dancer or singer at St. the New England meadows or the Hudson lawns are Petersburg, the fossils upturned in the Nevada at their deepest green, woodlands are clouds of prison-yard, the operations of some village benevo- gray branches in the distance, and skies rifts of lent society in western Massachusetts, have each and clearest blue, glimpses of unstained heaven; while all a vital interest for denizens of the rest of the the air, soft and brooding, breathes an odor of ripe world. No part of a continent is allowed to insulate leaves, ferns, and aromatic bark-a subtle, penetratitself from this community of interest. The momenting incense from the last sacrament of the year. In a town or region sets limits to its sympathies, it puts sheltered hollows the late violet smiles undaunted, an end to its own growth and influence, and begins or the gentian surprises one on moist, open hill10 harden and decay. There may be significance in sides, which would be called moorlands in Great the fact that the poles so long elude discovery. Cer- Britain. The grass-plots about city churches are beds tain cities and countries which fondly imagined of green ecclesiastical velvet-certainly no grass ever themselves occupying the exact center of the globe seems so fresh, so deep, even, and well kept. The have in time found this a delusion--or others have moresque tracings of ivy and ampelopsis, bare of found it out for them. It is the privilege of fresh leaves, come out against granite city walls like deliundertakings to begin with one less error than their cate oil-painting on the gray stone. Views seaward immediate predecessors. Perhaps the mistake that and inland are full of tender, clear tints, in the the affairs and opinions of our own immediate quar- dryer air: Nature is everywhere found in serene, ter are the only ones of consequence to ourselves, thoughtful, elevated, mood. Perhaps on some gravely or that we can afford to neglect any advance in so- clouded day the snow falls, the hard frost sets cial, artistic, or moral ideas, come whence it may, is its seal on the white outlines, and next morning the one which needs no illustration in these pages. landscape is transfigured. The cold, electric air
stimulates frame and brain as the keen breath does Pacific Holidays.
of upper mountain levels. To the well clad and The visitors who have flown hither to spare their well housed the crisp winter-day cold is a stimulating seeble bronchials and rasped nerves the rigors of an draught, which tones them for the year to come. Atlantic winter find a difficulty in recognizing the The trance of out-door life wakens the zest of social special feasts and seasons of the New-Year. Thanks
When “knee-deep lies the winter snow," giving goes by without a frost to tone digestion or loads of laurel and creeping pine are most prized appetite for the mince pies which have barely gained to deck the rooms, glad with leaping fires. A due seasoning; it is not cold enough to evoke in- cornice of thick-twisted cedar crowns the sittingstinctive gratitude for bright fires or snug rooms; no rooms and hall; pictures look out of ambush of sharp November twilights, with lingering jonquil red-berried boughs; inkberry, woodbine, bitter-sweet, tints in the breezy west, send one homeward with clematis, and holly, lend their winter decoration; pulses throbbing with dear sense of the comfort and Christmas
own by car-loa from delights of home. By good rights, Thanksgiving the Androscoggin, the Catskills, and Adirondacks; Day ought to dawn clear, and cloud in the afternoon houses are warm from street door to attic, fragrant with a gray, soft film over the sky, sifting a few and gay with holiday tokens and cheer. Luxurious
Russian sleighs, with swan-crests and high-swung lasting spring abides, and never withering flowers." bells over the horses' necks, dash by with trailing For holidays are not merely pleasure days, but times furs, and visions of rich complexions and warm-hued set apart for special deeds and remembrances of winter velvets. There is much imported comfort of friendship to our own families and our wider kin of French foot-warmers, fur mats, and sofa blankets in humanity. We cannot make one day much more doors and in carriage sleighs. The very luxury of a feast than another in this land of flowers and lav life is upon one, with all this well-managed, flawless ishness, save by the exercise of this gracious and comfort about him, when beautiful, cold death lies generous spirit which imparts new flavor to the most outside his crystal pane.
fortunate year. In the absence of positive contrasts of sensation which make life so vivid on the Atlantic side of
New Words Wanted. the country, what have we in Pacific holidays? Holidays of old were times for good resolutions, Possibly, after a night of showers, the sun looks out for mending one's ways, and marking bad habits for from a heaven of April blue and mildness; the hills cutting down. Illuminated cards have in some sort are green, the standard roses in blossom, the mag. done away with the resolutions, and sending pretty nolias tardily perfect their huge buds, and you may sentiments and choosing bric-a-brac leave small time add some casual orange buds and blossoms to your for pious resolutions. But seated by a low fire in the New-Year bouquet from the open garden. The twilight which falls too early, between the call of time of the singing of birds is here; and linnet, the last visitor and the time for lighting lamps, some thrush, starling, and finch go wild in the boughs of vagaries settle into shape in one's mind in this wise: live-oaks. You don't care to sit out of doors be. You wonder if there is no word to be found which yond mid-afternoon, but your strawberries, tended will express the nice sense between friend and acfor holidays, ripen perfectly in their sheltered, quaintance which one can apply to the amiable sunny bed. By the ocean edge a southern spring people of one's circle, without giving away the prebalm seems wasted over the blue, caressing waves ciousness of the first, or consigning them to the mere from palm and spice islands; this is the Ægean: indifference of the other. The word “friend” in its the Farallones, dim on the horizon, are the haunts of old meaning is too full of comfort, too sacred, to bedemi-gods, naiads, and tritons. Tamalpais is so evi- come a convenience of speech. Those whose symdently an Athenian height, that fancy sees the white pathies run with yours, whose insight and agreement porticoes of its renowned temples through its glowing never read false, who have learned to give you a violet shadows. In the Coast Range, the flanks of personal value which can brave a criticism or suffer earth are red or yellow, for fruit or gold as you may a loss for your sake, are too rare, too priceless, to be find it; the sunny fresh forests disclose ideal blue numbered under the same name as those whose gos. distances; the manzanita stands detected, an In- sip is pleasant, and who had as lief pass an hour with dian dryad, with the warm flesh tints not yet ab- you as with almost any one else--as you would with sorbed by the bark. Where could Santa Claus find them. We want some neat little word which signistabling for his reindeer, or keep his furs com- fies the right shade of pleasant feeling and social fortably in such a joyous, summery region. The old kindness without the non-committal sense of mere continental and New England associations of the acquaintance, and which will not touch on the priviholiday season drop away; mince pies, turkey and leges of that most dear and true word “friend.” One gifts are sole remains of Yankee theology or might resolve, as the warm darkness allows the deSaxon legend. An editor of the old OVERLAND sires of his mind to slip forth in their proper shapes, Monthly, the lamented Avery, wrote in a holiday to be more loyal to the old meaning, to make more comment of the unceasing gayety of the Occidental of the two or three friends he is rich enough to own, year,” a turn of his felicity of phrase which fixes and not make mockery of the looks and tones which itself in the mind of the reader, whose spirits some- belong by right to them alone, by using them to gain times sink with the changeless round of charm. What the name of popularity. is a holiday more or less, in a year crowned with There might be a better word found for social flowers? We cease to return thanks for favors which duties, which would express more truly the place become matter of course. The saint may stay up in such things hold in our lives. The phrase has come the Sierras forever, if he sends his pack of toys on into use within twenty years--it was one of several by train. The sentiment of the Parisian New-Year in our popular philosophy for which the late Dr. is more congenial here, with its gay scattering of Holland stood sponsor, and which show the force compliments, social gayeties, and fashionable gifts. carried in a word to affect people's imagination. Yet it was in such a country and climate the Christ. When the young married folks of New England got mas song was first chanted by angels floating over it impressed on their minds that going to tea-parties the fresh Judean sierras, to the herders lying out and church sociables in their silk dresses and best over night in the mild, spring-like darkness with coats was set up in the light of a duty as well as their flocks. And here one might link the plans an amusement, a great bar was taken away from selfand issues of this life with that year “where ever- indulgence, which has its place in American as well
as other species of human nature. The new gospel With his new English villa, furnished in æsthetic fell on willing soil, and, being acceptable, found designs, with his handsome society-leading wife and many preachers. The duty of having beautifully dashing daughters, the well-to-do man does not want furnished houses, of leading easier lives, of being the faces of low-spirited kindred to mar the pleasant well dressed, of making frequent visits, and "seeing effects; questionable friends must be kept out of company" often, has been thoroughly expatiated sight and mind. Along with the doctrine of social upon during the last score of years; and in good duty, its correlative, of insisting that every creature truth, never before in the history of man has “duty” must be enough for itself, has been loudly enforced. been so eagerly accepted or so earnestly followed. The antique virtues of hospitality have not entered the We hear of “more self-devotion, more martyrdom, newly fitted House Beautiful, where it is a social masked in lace and velvet, sweeping through balls duty to call in one's neighbors and make a feast five and receptions, exerting itself to be brilliant, times a season, or invite the mission school once a than kneels in sackcloth and ashes, or bows over the year for a holiday; but not to make the poor
relation bier of all it loves best." We are called to admire welcome on his journey, or to give the homeless the heroic efforts of lovely women who nerve them- invalid aunt a shelter for her few remaining days, or selves to dazzle and emit repartee in the conscious- to take the orphans of near kin and give them ness of faultless looks and charming costumes; we home and care for the pittance left them till it grows follow the career of these devout souls through their into a decent inheritance. Why, to do this would be dreary lives of perfumed drawing-rooms, brilliant to love one's own flesh and blood as well as himself, receptions, the cream of good company, and the and be quite contrary to the law of survival, which is barrenness of all hearts' desire; and are exhorted by the recognized creed of society to-day. I have heard direct advice and implication to go and do likewise a woman, who had just been telling with pride that
Such a career of duty is the her husband spent thirteen thousand dollars a year vista of every serial, every library novel, every on the housekeeping, find fault with him for paying "Home Column" of the weekly papers, and shines nine hundred dollars a year to help his brother's remarkably in the light literature of the religious orphans to their education, which would be their sole press, the children's books, and Sunday-school stories. portion. “Whenever she thought how much that The old saying, “make the songs of a people and I money would bring her own children, it seemed as care not who makes its laws," must be changed in if she could not bear the robbery!" Yet she was a these times, for this is not a singing age, nor are we strong believer in social duties, like going to dinner a singing people. Write that one may make the parties and inviting nice people to make the house stories of a country, and care not who sets its princi- lively. ples, and you have the truth; for boy, man, school- Social duties-what are they when a whole town girl, woman, father, mother, all shape their lives as looks on, and sees a respectable man absorb the far as possible after the seductive ideal furnished in property of a widowed connection against all right their common reading. There never were so many and justice, and not a soul dares rebuke the wrong novels written, nor so much read by all classes; and or lift a finger in defense of the helpless. When no idea so rules in these stories as the duty of getting women are allowed to sink under intolerable burdens, on in social life. With the prominence of this idea, as they are sinking daily under the stress of our some others of ancient esteem have fallen into dis- merciless civilization; teachers, seamstresses, singers, repute.
as near as we can.
writers, gifted or ungifted alike; and every fortunate For instance, one old-fashioned virtue was care of woman resents the suggestion that she might do any. kindred, and it was held a discredit to any family if thing to really help another, beyond the pauper those of their own blood were left unaided in the tribute of lip-service. When a man may writhe all struggle of life. It is a highly honorable feeling his lise under the disgrace of a suspicion which the which holds that one's own porridge is better than stern brow and courageous word of any honorable any other man's broth. Families which stand by citizen might force to proof and extinction. When each other in poverty or reproach are sure to have a the proverbs of our refinement are that language is good name in the community, and those whose rela- meant to conceal ideas; that we must treat every tives are small credit to them generally have them- acquaintance as a possible enemy; and that society is selves to thank. If they think a little way, they can an ambush where every one must walk on his guard. remember when a helping hand to the unlucky For heaven's sake let us stop prattling about partybrother or sister with a young family would have giving, repartee, and good dressing as social duties, helped them to a respectable position, instead of leav- and find some other word for these things. Call ing them to sink in shiftlessness and discouragement; them social indulgences, as they are, and let the oblior when, if they had stood by the nephew through gations of hospitality, neighborliness, kindness, and his youthful error instead of holding aloof, his fault help in its widest sense come home to our consciences, might have long ago been wiped out by a successful as the high, imperative duties that they are, and set record, like that of many another young scapegrace. our score of individual duty right, when we will But this is not the spirit of most modern kinsmen. find that society has taken excellent care of itself.