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and we fear that Mr. Howe's unexpected from time to time, after successive voyages, success with his first novel

a success due is the event of the story. It is a gentle, wellpartly to its curious and unusual tone, partly bred, old-fashioned book, in which friendship to a certain unconscious pathos, and partly and homely duty play quite as much part as to one of the bursts of enthusiasm in which love; and if it contains nothing for which a Mr. Howells, the critic, allows the literary lik- critical person need desire to read it, neither ings of Mr. Howells, the individual, so free does it con:ain anything to make him warn expression — will bring him disappointment anyone else against doing so. A Princess of in the end. He does not fail, however, to Javax is likewise a story of no importance, achieve from time to time a telling bit of but takes a certain interest and air of origidescription, as when the hero" always thought nality from its novel subject. The “local of Barton's home as a disagreeable boarding- color” of Java seems to be put in by one house, which he could not get rid of, and who knows her subject ; but the Javanese where he was compelled to pay not only his girls themselves talk and think remarkably own board, but the board of all the other like American ones. The story is the oldguests, although they were not congenial.” fashioned one of love versus parental auMoreover, Mr. Howe shows good taste and thority, set in surroundings of Mohammejudgment in quitting the subject of ugly dan harem and Javanese forest, and is very crimes and desperate melancholy, and in innocent and simple in its spirit. There is modifying very considerably his imitation of enough of Javanese geography, customs, Dickens. Miss Ludington's Sister,1 Mr. Bel- products, and so on, worked in to give it a lamy's charming and very original story, re. certain value as a lightly instructive treatise. viewed a few years since in the OVERLAND, The World's Verdict,5 also, may be passed is still another republication in this series; over without extended notice. It is a suffibut Damen's Ghost we take to be a new story. ciently readable, intelligently written story of It is by the author of "Agnes Surriage," but dilettant Americans living abroad and enjoythe writer, not having an excellent historic plot ing themselves in the society — apparently ready to his hand this time, has made one not too rigid in its standards - of similar unfor himself out of the legal complications occupied people. The author records a mild attending the ownership of a piece of real protest against this method of life by havproperty in New York city. It is worked ing his hero and heroine fall in love with earout in a careful manner and without any seri- nest people outside their social lines, and ous fault of taste or style; but it is rather throw the conventionalities over to wed and dull, and it does not give one much feeling of go to work; but it is all rather ineffective, reality in its characters; nor can one's sense and has a youthful sound youthful not as of justice altogether go with the apparent“Aunt Serena” is youthful, by a surplus of

a sympathies of the writer in the matter of the young ardor and faith, but rather by that law-suit, wherein there seems to have been thinness of thought and feeling that seem some equity on both sides.

rather oftener than the other mood to indiFlag on the Mill® is another new novel that cate youth's emotional power. needs no extended notice. The title refers In Button's Inn we think Judge Tourgee to the signaling of a ship in the bay by a has made some decided improvements of flag on the wind-mill, for the hero is a seacaptain, and the re-appearance of his ship

4 A Princess of Java. By Mrs. S. J. Higginson. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, & Co. 1887. For sale in San

Francisco by The Bancroft Co. 1 Miss Ludington's Sister. By Edward Bellamy. Bos- 6 The World's Verdict. By Mark Hopkins, Jr. Boston: Ticknor & Co. 1887.

For sale in San Francisco 2 Damen's Ghost. By Edwin Lasseter Bynner. Bos- by John W. Roberts & Co. ton : Ticknor & Co. 1887.

6 Button's Inn. By Albion W. Tourgee. Boston: 3 Flag on the Mill. By Mary B. Sleight. New York: Roberts Brothers. 1887. For sale in San Francisco by Funk & Wagnalls. 1887.

Samuel Carson & Co.

6

ton : Ticknor & Co. 1888.

3

method upon his earlier novels. These and death and the mystery beyond death always showed a degree of conscientious that so fascinate her pen. It is impossible effort to reproduce life, instead of merely to not to be moved by these; it is probable construct a story ; and the author evidently, that there are few books over which more tried hard to be fair to political opponents. contained and experienced people shed tears. But a partisan himself, and dealing with sub- It is surprising to find the same fervor and jects upon which partisan feeling was intense, freshness of one emotion, one longing, so and upon which he himself had ground for retained year after year in a human mind, personal bitterness, he could not bring his and constantly expressed afresh, undiminstories into the region of faithful and artistic ished. It is years since “ The Gates Ajar" studies from nature. Moreover, he was inex- appeared ; but ever since Miss Phelps has perienced and crude as regards matters of been the prophetess of love when it reaches construction and expression. In this last out arms into the darkness where the berespect he has decidedly improved ; and as loved disappeared, straining eyes to pierce it, Button's Inn is written with a purely artistic until it makes out of its own yearning a picmotive, he is not hampered by political bias. ture of the other side. With a singular union Unfortunately for good ideals of the novel- of daring speculation and religious faith, she ist's art, a book that can catch attention by constructs visions of a hereafter such as false means, by what is roughly called "sen- human hearts ache for, and with passionate sational” quality, is safe to bring in more conviction places these before readers as at money and praise than much sounder merit least probable suggestions of what is to come. that still falls short of really high excellence. As in other kinds of writing, her fervor someThe lasting place in men's praise, and usu- times overbears her sense of proportion and ally the best revenues, too, are won by the of humor, and she draws situations at which virtues of books; but if a writer is not able the inexperienced in sorrow sometimes smile; to produce more than fairly good ones, he is but these slips never prevent her books unfortunately apt to find that they are better being profoundly touching to the experirecommended by their faults The campaign enced. Moreover, her intelligence, her edudocument quality — which was a real fault cation, and her own firm conviction, enable - in Judge Tourgee's earlier novels made her to avoid sharp clashes with what we him a success; the really better literary know to be impossible, and make one quality of this latest book, not being after all asharned to question how the spiritual hand enough to demand admiration, will probably that cannot make itself felt on a human win him scant attention. It is a somewhat shoulder can take hold upon newspapers, or conscientious study of the lives of some leave its mark upon a blotter; or a hundred plain people in western New York at the other more uncomfortable questions that her period – the author explains in a preface — ardently idealized materialism raises. It is when the epoch of religious speculation in impossible to tell, however, where she intends rural neighborhoods was giving place to the symbolism to end and realism to begin. The epoch of material interests. How far the Gates Between is in a sterner mood than author is right in his theory of these two former books, and holds out, to some extent, epochs we do not know; the study is at all the threats of the law against those who do events careful and interesting. It includes not cultivate faith in God, humility, and dissome psychology of early Mormonism. interestedness on this earth. It threatens

Miss Phelps's The Gates Betweent adds them with a very hard and lonely time in one more to the strange, imaginative studies learning to be happy, or respected, or of any at once spiritual and passionate of love use, in heaven ; and it certainly shows with

remarkable force the situation of the worldly1 The Gates Between. By Elizabeth Stuart Phelps. minded man of success there as miserable Boston : Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 1887. For sale in San Francisco, by Strickland & Pierson.

enough to make a very sufficien: purgatory.

In Knight Errant 1 the art of Edna Lyall costly pursuit which he purchases with himseems to drop a little below her former work. self seems mere knight-errantry ; to him it is Through all the smooth and fervid charm of what he cannot and would not avoid. Over the flowing story there are intrusions of and over again he is compelled to make the rough and even awkward passages. The cir- one preference. Each good thing in his life cumstances do not cohere, or the ingenuity comes by itself to be retained or renounced, of the reader is called upon to supply what and is renounced in its turn. Succeeding the author has not written. Occasionally the years bring up successive crucial temptations, stage machinery of the plot is obvious, and but his purpose remains steadfast. Each sometimes creaking is heard. But if, as temptation as it appears and disappears is a some hold, art is to be measured solely by turn of beautiful kaleidoscopic life. The its effect, and the noticeability of its methods idea of self-abnegation, which we have is to be disregarded, or rather lost in the thought to be so trite, comes out in fresh, effect, Knight Errant may be fairly placed durable color. And it is always worth while beside her “We Two ” and “Donovan.” to be reminded, whether by thinking or by Like them it traces up to the ideal, which is reading, that this the only life that has any so rarely seen in life that when seen it contents. becomes historical. Like them it is steeped Seth's Brother's Wife is hardly a pleasant in such noble enthusiasm that the hours of book, but it is one of considerable strength its reading are dream moments, from which and skill. Except in the disagreeable — and one awakes at the close with a half sigh in we must think exaggerated dialect of the returning to common life. The story is of a central New York rustics, it has no ch of young man who attempts to lead in all things crudity, though we believe it is a first book. the life of the Crucified. The difficulty of Its situation is daring, and the temptations such a story is heightened by mobilizing the of a young man and an indiscreet woman are hero in an Italian of twenty years ago and more frankly treated than we are accustomed an opera singer. It opens by depicting him, to in English; yet there is nothing indelicate at the moment of assuming his family pro- about it, and the whole motive and lesson fession, as a handsome young Neapolitan, of the book is toward uprightness and viran idol of society, the heir-apparent to great tue. Its incidental political situations are far wealth, a worthy possessor of friendship, and better managed than in any one of the sevthe accepted lover of one whom every reader eral novels that have heretofore tried to deal will love. But his sister had eloped years with the present situation. In many details ago to marry a theatrical director, and at this of construction- the introduction of minor moment re-appears, as about to betray her characters, the keeping of due proportion behusband for the baritone of his troupe. tween important and unimportant incidents, Carlo Donati perceives that he can save her and so on a steady and competent hand is only by offering himself as the baritone in apparent. We shall find an interest in noting place of her lover, and traveling with her in whether farther work over the same signature the troupe until the safe time comes for her, comes up to the expectation justified by this if indeed it can ever come.

To do this, he book. loses his profession, his fortune, and his The book just noticed was first introduced love. He can retain only one friend, and to the public as a magazine serial. So also must be parted indefinitely from him. Worst was Paul Patoffs This is generally a pretof all, the sister, who is made of nothing bet- ty safe recommendation for a book : the few ter than poor moral jelly, does not really

2 Seth's Brother's Wife. By Harold Frederic. New care to be saved, and treats him as

York : Charles Scribner's Sons, 1887. For sale in San intruder upon her life. To all others this Francisco by Samuel Carson & Co.

3 Paul Patoff; By F. Marion Crawford. Boston: Hough1 Knight Errant. By Edna Lyall. New York: D. ton, Mifflin, & Co. 1887. For sale in San Francisco by Appleton & Co. 1887.

Chilion Beach.

an

leading magazines are several shades more man or woman in a hundred thousand is perfastidious in their acceptance of novels than sonally acquainted with the sufferings of trueeven the most fastidio s publishing house- love fever, that the other ninety-nine thousand as they can afford to be, since out of all that nine hundred and ninety-nine take delight in are offered only three or four annually can observing the contortions and convulsions of be accepted. Paul Patoff, like two or three the patient. It is a great satisfaction to other stories published serially by Mr. Craw- them to compare the slight touch of ague ford, is decidedly better than those we have they once had when they were young, with seen first in book form. It ought to be ac- the raging sickness of a breaking heart ; to cepted as settled by this time that Mr. Craw- see a resemblance between the tiny scratch ford is very uneven, and occasionally writes upon themselves which they delight in irritat. an admirable thing, and occasionally an in- ing, and the ghastly wound by which the torcredibly weak one; that he is not to be tured soul has sped from its prison. To tell looked to for any of the wonderful achieve the truth, they are not so very much to blaine. ments in letters that were prophesied by the Even the momentary reflection of love is a ardent critics who are so ready to cry, “ Lo, good thing ; at least it is better than to know here," and "Lo, there,” as they watch for nothing of it. One can fancy that a violin the coming novelist ; but that any new vol. upon which no one had ever played would ume from his pen may be taken up with a de- yet be glad to vibrate faintly in unison with cided preponderance of hope over fear. Paul the music of a more favored neighbor." Patoff is by no means the best thing Mr. Paul Patoff is, as thus foreshadowed, a tale Crawford has done ; but it is a well written avoiding both the tragic sadness and the dullromance, interesting as a narrative, and pleas- ness of realisin by the easy expedient of ant reading as a piece of good English. For strange adventures. It is all told, however, its being a romance rather than a novel he in a simple, quiet, veracious manner, and puts the often put argument gracefully and there is an assumed thread of psychological not without force and originality: "My study of insanity running through it — the true stories are all sad, but the ones I ima- scientific value of which, remembering Mr. gine are often merry. Could I not think of Crawford's historic erudition in “Zoroaster,” one true and gay as well? There was once and political in “An American Politician," a bad old man, who said that when the truth we take the liberty of doubting. Most of ceased to be solemn it became dull. Be- the action takes place in Stamboul, which tween solemnity and dullness you would not gives room for some effective orientalism. find what you want, which, I take it, is a lit- The Second Son' is really the best novel in tle laughter, a little sadness, and when it substance, and the most workmanlike in is done the comfortable assurance of your manner, of any before us this month. The

senses that you have been amused dual authorship raises an interesting question and not bored. The bad old gentleman was as to how much is Mrs. Oliphant's work and right. Whenever our lives are not filled how much Mr. Aldrich's ; but well known as with great emotions, they are crammed with both hands were before in separate work, it is insignificant details, and one may tell them impossible to distinguish them here. It can ever so well, they will be insignificant to the only be said that the joint result is stronger end. But the fancy is a great store-house than Mr. Aldrich's wont, and more graceful filled with all the beautiful things that we do than Mrs. Oliphant's. The story has much innot find in our lives. My dear friend, if terest, and the characters are drawn with clear true love were an every day phenomenon, and firm lines, and each successive scene is experienced by everybody, it would cease to admirably managed ; but the quality that to be in any way interesting ; people would be so

1 The Second Son. By M. O. W. Oliphant and T. B. familiar with it that it would bore them to

Al drich. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, & Co. extinction,

It is because only one For sale in San Francisco by The Bancroft Co.

0.vn

1888.

us seems the most valuable in the book is a perception, also, of these as fractions in the sort of permeating accent of high intelligence, infinite and incomprehensible whole of hua thoughtful, wise, and fair attitude toward man life, we are disposed to grant his work life, a perception of its intricacy, its mystery, some touch, however faint and partial, of its possibilities of misery and of happiness, that quality that we call greatness. and its vastness. Whenever a novelist seems Several important translations remain to to bring to his readers, with their sight of be noticed ; but these we must postpone his group of characters and their fates, some until next month.

ETC.

а

The long and strenuous struggle that the Copy- business and professional life? Or is it only that it right League has for years been making in behalf of raises their standards of marriage, making them more an honest system of international copyright, has been exacting judges of men, and unwilling to marry mereallowed to pass with very little attention on this ly for home and support and escape from spinstercoast, because there is really no book-making inter- hood; while at the same time their increased abil. est here. An occasional book is published, but for ity to achieve for themselves independence and a the most part the abundant literary impulse of Cali- position of honor releases them from the need of such fornia has gone into periodical writing, or has been half-hearted marriage? Is the reduction in their martributary io Eastern publishers. The bearing of copy. riage rate, in short, more than would be produced right laws upon this coast is a matter of the future. by the elimination of unhappy and mercenary marBut the future ought to be considered and provided riages from the average rate? And if this is so, is it for. Nor can it be a matter of indifference to any good a bad thing? Is the increased life and health rate in citizen that our country should remain in a discredit. the children of college women [about two per cent, able position. Senator Chace's bill, now before we believe) and the increased proportion of wise and Congress, is accepted by the League, and, so far as happy marriages a sufficient compensation for the loss we have seen, by all competent to judge in the mat- in total number? Or was the late Reverend William ter, as entirely satisfactory; and for the sake of our M. Baker right in teaching that “any husband was own future, of present justice to writers in England better than no husband ?” Or, on the other hand, and in other sections of our own country, and of thc is it all a matter of no option with ihe girls, and due national good name, the writers ar.d journals of this to a dislike of learned women on the part of men ? coast should use such effort as they can to aid the and if so, is this because the higher education really passage of the bill.

makes them worse wives and mothers, or because

men are vain and still largely imbued with the OrienThe discovery has lately been made that but a small tal idea of women, desiring to companion with infeper cent of the women who have graduated from col. rior minds, that they may be looked up to and deleges in this country are married, and the question of ferred to? And is this a permanent or a transition the effect of college learning upon domestic life seems state? Have the early college women, who were about to be as gravely discussed as was the now dead compelled to struggle against exasperating opposition one of its effect upon feminine health. The Vassar and misrepresentation to get their intellectual rights, catalogue is the text ostenest quoted, but Vassar is developed defiant traits that will pear before only one college, and it is better to take the register generous recognition ? Or will men learn to desire of the Association of Collegiate Alumnæ, which con- a more equal partnership as the happier in the long tains the names of 659 women, graduates of the four- run ? " teen leading women's colleges and co-educational colleges in this country. Of these women, 177 are Such questions as these we have, in our turn, conmarried, less than 27 per cent of the whole. “If sidered. We were able to make at least some tenonly 27 per cent of the girls who go through college tative answers to them. This much we could pretty are to marry,” people ask, “is not domestic life being positively say : Any extended personal acquaintance sacrificed to higher education ? Is the gain equal to with educated women, as with educated men, shows the loss? And why is it? Does intellectual training that the emotional nature tends to grow with the culreduce the emotional powers, leaving women indiffer. tivation of the intellectual, but at the same time to beent to love and maternity? Does it rouse ambition, come less hasty and uncontrolled. Feelings are deepmaking them eager to take part in the struggle of er, but based more upon sound judgnient. Partly

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