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are limited, her own disabilities serious. She been a variable factor of American life. cannot prevent the cold winds coming in The type was hardly fixed on one frontier from the boundless ocean upon her long, before it was gone by; the character must exposed sea-board. She cannot have her be located and painted anew. Now, at magnificent Sierras and her varied Coast length, a resting place is found, and the Range without hot valleys between. The typical westerner is perforce a Californian. dry air of her summers must sometimes be We furnish rude heroines as well as heroes : laden with dust; the needful rains of winter Mrs. Burnett's “Fair Barbarian,” who shockmust make dampness and discomfort. She ed so much the proprieties of an English town, feeds her friends with her grapes and oranges was a belle from the Pacific. Henry James's and olives; but here, as elsewhere, the earth latest story has these sentences: “She was responds only to careful cultivation. Hun- a genuine product of the Far West—a flower dreds of eastern guests have gladly accepted of the Pacific slope ; ignorant, audacious, her generous hospitality; a few have scoffed crude, but full of pluck and spirit, of naturand scorned because every breeze was not a al intelligence, and of a certain intermittent, zephyr, every acre a Gan-Eden. She has hap-hazard good taste.” “ When he first not one climate, but many; and while all are met her in California, she called herself endurable to the pliant human constitution, Mrs. Grenville.” “At San Diego she was some are of attested sanitary value. But no staying with her sister, whose actual spouse old Californian claims that the State is one (she, too, had been divorced), the principal great paradise. Few came hither for the man of the place, kept a bank (with the aid climate. They did not think it the great of a six-shooter).” “She used to say that end of life to find the balmiest spot on the she only wanted a chance—apparently she great round globe. They came for serious had found one now.” “Some of those westand active business: if the sky were propi- ern women are wonderful, Littlemore said : tious, so much the better; but sky and air like her, they only want a chance.” Henry and temperature need not be the very choic- James is more than half English; and the est in all the world. Strangers must suit full English novelist often throws in a dash themselves. Those who are too tender for of Californian life to make American experithe common winds that blow the world over, ence piquant. See, for example, the trim litfor the alternations of heat and cold, and tle Marquis of Millefleurs, in one of the late the belts of sterility that are found in every charming stories in Blackwood. temperate region, may pass on, if they will, our“ Maga” happens to be published in San to the lazy and listless lagoons of the tropic Francisco, instead of Edinburgh or Boston, isles. They are too exacting for the sympa- we need not resent this trick of the novelthies of our work-a-day people.
ists. They must have their effects of light 3. The sharpest criticism, as is natural, and shade. The typical westerner—that is falls on our people. Sometimes it is indirect, to say, the typical Californian—is just to their sometimes direct. That which is indirect hand. His imputed coarseness is the needfinds on this coast the best type of the ful spice. The loud, dashing young woman rough, saucy, lawless American. It is not from the Pacific coast is presumed to be enalways a note of disparagement. Story-tel- tertaining to the average reader. We would
. lers have needed a foil to their more staid not spoil the story-teller's best preserve ; let and conventional characters. Satirists must him keep his rough heroes and audacious have a raw frontiersman on whom to show heroines here, to draw upon at need. They their wit. There used to be a type of west- are as conventional and harmless, perhaps erner peculiar to Ohio and Kentucky; later as necessary, as the other James's solitary came the trappers and hunters of the plains, horseman. Sooth to say, our “Maga” has with a dash of fun from Pike County and done a little herself, under the brilliant touch
a Ar-kan-saw. Western peculiarities have thus of her first editor, to establish a new type of
westerner-racy, lawless, interesting and im- thousands.” “I was sent out here to eat possible.
grapes, but I have not yet eaten any: they When we turn to direct criticism of our are sour and watery, and do not tempt me.” people, we can afford to be still imperturb- “We wandered up and down, tasting very able. Of its general quality and reasonable sour grapes !" “ Do all these things taste ness we have a sample in a bright, sketchy good ? Not a bit of it. They bewilder the book, published in 1881, and written by a eye with their lovely colors; but one northlady of ability. She is lavish in her praise ern peach is worth them all.” “The fruit of the friends she met, and speaks hand- which goes to market seems made for the somely of certain beautiful views. But few eye only." There is a wealth of flowers, things please her in the natural scenery, in but flowers “would never reconcile me to the climate, in the products of the soil, in the absence of grass.” In one place there the people. In entering the State, “Cape was “a quarter of an acre of lawn as green Horn” is “not very impressive.” No one as possible”; 'but, alas, the lawn was wet ! who has never seen San Francisco “can im- “Why have green grass, at the cost of a foragine its bleak aspect.” Anything drear- tune, if you cannot walk on it or sit on it?” ier” than the ride to the Cliff House “it The eschscholtzia “stares boldly at the dry would be impossible to conceive.” There sky.” are beautiful suburbs of San Francisco, but Somehow, all this disappointment in the all “too far away." Up among the Sierras products of the soil is connected with the “the forest seemed tame.” The Pacific it- shortcomings of the people. At a single self is not spared: “I do not like this clum- dinner at the Big Trees there were “four sy ocean. It has no salt air, no fine fish, different roasts, and three sorts of vegetables, no lively motion.” Worse still, it never al- no one well cooked !" That is a fair comlows its shells and pebbles to be accessible; plaint, if one's needed pabulum is spoiled “a low tide I have never yet found in in the preparation. But what shall we say California.” The climate, like the Turk, of the claim that one's hidden desires be is simply unspeakable. “Travelers should gratified? “I have missed ice greatly in
“ know, in advance, that what is called the San Francisco. It has only been offered to uniform climate of California is simply a me once; and the wealthiest persons seem uniformity of change; that each day gives to prefer to do without it.” At a small parvariations greater than any Atlantic town ty in her honor, there was, she laments, an can show, and that this is true all along the "entire absence of fruit from our entertaincoast.” The fog closed over San Francisco ment of ices and cake. There were a few for two months. “In a clear day”: “it is grapes, but they served for decoration only." what they all say in California, and never “My physician ordered me here that I yet has there been a clear day!” “I do not might eat fruit freely, especially grapes.” think there is a place on this coast fit for The author was asked to lunch, with still people who are sensitive to changes of tem- worse success; for there came to light the inperature.” Fruits are a failure. Melons ferior caliber of the Californian mind, the are “cool, but neither sweet nor rich.” lower refinement of Californian manners. Wagon-loads of watermelons are fed to “At these lunches, of course, I have seen Santa Barbara cattle, but “if not sweeter only ladies, and they have talked in a way than those 'fed out' to us, the milk would which can be found in all cities, but which be none the better.” Fresh figs “have no in Boston or Washington would not be used decided flavor.” “I have seen no straw- by ladies with whom I should be thrown." berries from market that I considered eat- "A New England woman said to me, the able.” “They are sweet and they are sour, day after I arrived, that she had never lived but they are not fragrant.” “I did not see, anywhere where it seemed to her the women nor have I yet tasted, one ripe tomato among were so intelligent, and took such pains to
cultivate themselves, as in California. She manners, into morals; and in this dangerous lived in San José; and as I thought it hardly region the author leads where we do not likely that this town would be very superior, care to follow, and prints assertions that deI took occasion later to inquire where she cent Californians know to be as wide of the she had lived previous to her marriage. I mark as the statements about so many things found it was one of the small interior towns of less importance. We cover all with the in Maine. When an opinion is very posi- mantle of a good-natured charity. In citing
. tively pronounced, it is well to find out how these hasty impeachments, we have, to use wide an experience goes to its make-up." one of our author's expressions, “dall-ied No New England country standard of intel- longer than we had any excuse." But it is ligence and refinement for us ! Let us get well to know the worst that is said of
and the best Washington tea-pot and “live up to this book, which should be entitled, A Travit.” At present, “in California, civilization eler's Travails, is one of the sharpest, has little to say about anything.” “Better groutiest, most dyspeptic, most amusingly fifty years of Europe” is quoted on us with- egotistic and egregious arraignments of this out qualification. At a learned professor's land of the West. For all who live here, or house, “there was no general conversation have become really acquainted with us, comof interest.” We are consoled by the admis- ment on its statements is needless, and argusion that “Cambridge parties used to pre- ment against them would be absurd. sent the same extraordinary spectacle ; ... If there are any good people elsewhere, but we considered it a trace of provincial who are in danger of taking for truth the barbarism, and set ourselves to correct it.” fictions of the novelist, or the crude impresIn California, “I seem to have lived forsions of an every way uncomfortable travmonths without any proper social opportuni- eler, we suggest to them a few points of ties.” Something might be hoped from the inquiry, to be wrought out at their leisure : Academy of Sciences; but at its public First. Who settled this Pacific coast ? meeting, in a building "dirty, dreary, and Were they not chiefly from the civilized and forlorn," " every member apparently spoke refined Eastern States—from Maine down with the greatest reluctance, and without the to the Carolinas? If some came from the slightest interest in what he was saying.” Interior, was not the Interior settled chiefly This side of the Rocky Mountains “there from the aforesaid East ? was an entire absence of those thoughtful Second. Is it likely that a community courtesies [in traveling] which make a woman under such leadership would so soon fall far comfortable at the East.” “One thing I am below its first standard ? Especially when sure of, and must say, and that is, that I we remember the constant and large reinnever was in a country where the law makes forcements from “the sisters and the cousins such victims of women as in California." and the aunts”—nay, even the daughtersThe whole region from Santa Barbara is con- of the critics themselves. demned, as the boys say, "unsight, unseen"; Third. Have we, or have we not, the for if the author had made the journey by usual appliances of a civilized, cultivated, stage, “it is not probable” she would “have well-ordered community-such as schools seen a woman on the whole road !” “Cer- and colleges, churches, books, magazine tainly the 'Father of Lies' must have settled and newspaper reading? Do we get any California, for no one can speak the truth reading from the East? And how much? here, even by accident." In San Francisco Fourth. Would it not be well to take the “it is clear that drunkenness is considered word of those who live here, and know no disgrace." But this is getting beyond whereof they affirm ?
KING COPHETUA'S WIFE.
There stood the boy, calm and indifferent,
all his anger expended in the one emphatic “Here is no cruel lord with murderous blade,
declaration I had heard; but the little girl No woven web of bloody heraldries, But mossy dells for roving comrades made,
was fairly trembling with rage, and between Warm valleys where the tired student lies
her sobs stamped the tiny foot with spasWith half-shut book, and many a winding walk, modic uncertainty upon the ground. Where rustic lovers stray at eve in happy, simple “Well, well, little ones; but you might talk.”
be doing a great deal better than to quarrel It was one of God's best days.
such a beautiful day as this is; come here I had thrown myself down behind a tum- and have a roll in the hay, and you will feel ble of hay, the yellow luxuriance of which altogether different, I am sure.” And in a fitted the tired back more comfortably than few minutes I had first one and then the the softest and cosiest of lounging chairs; other half buried in the fragrant mass. and fragrant, withal, as nothing but fresh, Then they covered me with the sweet dry clean hay ever is. At the right of the field wisps, and we were well tired out and much was a clump of trees forming a miniature better acquainted when we sat down for a grove. Below me stretched the short and chat. seared grass; beyond, a winding road white “And now, what are your names, little with dust, then the river, and after that, in ones?” the distance, scattered houses; and farther “Mine's Neil Barras, and hers is Maystill, and above, pine forest and purple, hazy she's my sister. Her whole name's Mabel, hills; while over all glowed the October sun- but we call her May, for short,” was the anlight, warm and glorious, stealing into one's swer from the mimic man. being, and through every nerve and fiber, as “Neil Barras !" I exclaimed—“Neil Barthough it was the spirit of that rare old ras? but your father's name is not Neil, too?” Tuscany wine so aptly termed "bottled sun- “No: papa'th name ith Maurith, but Unshine."
cle Neil'th name ith Neil," said the lisping I had forgotten to think, I believe; per- little maiden. haps my eyes had closed: at least, I was “Yes, and I was named for him”; and unconscious of all sound, except, it may be, the boy straightened himself up with an air the chirping of crickets and the occasional of pride that showed decidedly his affection twitter of some solitary bird—sounds too for Uncle Neil. much a part of the day to be particularly “Where is Uncle Neil now?" I asked. noticeable; until close beside me I heard the “O, he and papa have gone gunning, but shrillness of a child's petulant exclamation : auntie's home, so he'll come back to-night, “You're a fool!”
sure," was the young Neil's reply. Silence for a moment, and then, mingled In the mean while I had taken a card with sobbing, came the weaker sound of a from my pocket, and scribbled a few words younger child's words.
below the name upon it. "I with it thaid-boo-hoo, boo-hoo-in “Will you give this to Uncle Neil for me, the Bible-boo-hoo-he who callth hith please, when he and papa come back, and thithter a fool!” And smothering, as best I be sure of not losing it?” Of course each could, my amusement at this indignant out- had an especial desire to be the favored burst of oppressed femininity, I peered out messenger, so I was forced to give a duplifrom my ambush at the youngsters.
cate copy to the one who was "called May, for short," and saw them trudge off amica- present whereabouts go uninquired for. But bly, hand in hand, while I smiled with a what is it? With whom did he marry, and confident feeling that only one of the cards how and when?” would reach its destination.
“Here, try one of my cigars (prime MaThen I went back to my nestling place in nila, if you enjoy that flavor), and I'll tell you the hay, and thought. Six years had passed all the little I know about the affair. A since Neil Barras and I had started on our light? Ah! you have one. separate life-walks. We had gone through “Well, it seems that Neil came across college and graduated together-good, true some poor girl in London —you know he friends always. But Neil went to Europe, went there to settle for a time after 'doing' trouble in various ways came to me, sickness Germany and France—she was rather pretty, and death into my family. I neglected an- I have been told, and the dear old boy pitied swering my friend's letters, and we drifted her, helped her and her mother—he being apart after that pitiful fashion men com- one of those fortunate few with money enough monly have, even when loving each other and to spare to satisfy any whim, however exwarmly.
travagant-buried the elder lady when she A year earlier than my chance meeting died, for she was but a wearying invalid at with these two children I had run across her best; and then, as the finishing touch to an old college acquaintance, who, in the a small story, married the young woman. I midst of reminiscent gossip, suddenly asked, know little enough about him, but it is hard "Have you heard from King Cophetua for me to understand how Neil Barras, with lately?"
fine tastes and habits, born of constant asso“King Cophetua! How in the world ciation with all that cultured society brings should I hear from King Cophetua? His before one, formed in and fitted to its highest beggar-maid was no kith nor kin of mine, ranks, could just fancy an uneducated woand besides, I have a vague sort of an idea man of the lower order, however beautiful that the good monarch departed this life she might be. Yet the fact is there-he marsome time before I entered upon my share ried her, and the boys unanimously speak of in it, if he ever had a more than simple him now as 'King Cophetua.' But he is poetical existence, which fact I am not at all still abroad, and we must wait to see what certain about."
charm hangs about the maid he lifted to his The fellow looked at me through clouds level.” of smoke for a while, and then
This incident came up freshly to my rec“But you and Neil used to be great ollection again, and I felt a strong curiosity friends. I supposed of course that the inti- about seeing Neil's wife. Not alone his wife macy had been kept up."
either, for the old love I bore Neil, that had "Neil—Neil Barras, do you mean? What lain quiescent so long, began to flow up in the name of all that's good—or bad—sug- stronger than ever from my heart, and made gested the title of King Cophetua for him?” me yearn to greet him, to feel the hearty And I tried vainly to remember a college warmth of his hand-clasp, and to look into scrape that might have thrown the nick- the clear, honest eyes. It is a truth that men name to Neil's share.
are better friends than women. No matter “Why, haven't you heard of his marriage?” how great a period of time may elapse, how
“No; I was too much occupied with care vast a space of distance and silence lies beand anxiety to write him at one time, and tween their meetings, one is sure of finding later did not have his address. I have lived the same firm strength and trust, knows that very quietly, very much out of the world of at the call of need the other will hasten to society for some years, and hear little of what him and take up the thread of companiongoes on in it—nothing, in fact, that is not ship again just where it was dropped. It is brought to me, so I have carelessly let Neil's not often so between women.