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most stolid and immovable, they appear to notice nothing and admire nothing; but it is said that nothing escapes their notice, and like the Red Indians of North Amer ica, to whom they are probably a sort of cousins, they can track game by marks in the forest which are totally invisible to the white man's eye. This they do without an effort, just as we without an effort gather sense from a page of print meaningless to the uneducated.
As soon as these good people had gone away-and they left very soon without a word of thanks, and apparently not very well pleased at not having been offered a schnapp some of Macgregor's neigh bors arrived, and we adjourned to the garden for a game at lawn tennis. I preferred looking on, and soon we had to say good-bye, and drive away to catch the train to Georgetown. S. BELLAIRS.
From The Contemporary Review. REALISM AND ROMANCE.
THE question attributed to St. Bernard,
of which is probably much stronger than another, and to work which requires many more laborers than necessary, and over which proper supervision is most difficult. As soon as I had seen all that I could, we returned to the house, and I asked Macgregor to play something, as he had spoken so much of his love for music. He at once sat down to the piano, and began a dreamy waltz of Chopin's. While he was playing, a squat, long-haired, coppercolored man glided in, dressed in a pink cotton shirt, and ornamented (?) with blue tattoo marks. He sat down on an unoccupied chair, touched one of the keys, and when he heard it sound said, 66 Good, massa." The manager looked up and said, "How dye." He told me that this man was a "buck," or aboriginal Indian, and that there were probably several at the back door with hammocks, parrots, crab-oil, and cassarup to sell. We went to the back galley, and found about six. Our friend was the only one who had conceded so far to civilization as to wear a shirt. The rest were tattooed, and had birds in wickerwork baskets, honey and cassarup, bows and arrows, and blow-pipes; but their costume was a morsel of blue cloth, fas-"Whither hast thou come?" is agitating tened to a piece of string round the waist. The women wore strings of beads and strings of the teeth of wild hogs, and one had a small quantity of "tigers'" teeth and claws. Their clothing consisted of a small bead apron about the size of a sheet of letter-paper. One indeed wore a petticoat tied round her neck instead of round her waist. We admired the birds, etc., and asked what they wanted. The gentleman in the shirt, who appeared to be the only one who spoke any English, said, "Want sugar, want rum; good-bye." He never smiled when making remarks. Mr. Macgregor called them all in, and told the butler to give them something to eat, and they began to eat bread and salt beef. The spokesman sat at table, the men stood round, behind stood the women, to whom the men handed food over their shoulders. I was astonished at their cool manner, but Mr. Macgregor said that when white people went into the bush they walked into the Indians' houses, and expected to be fed, and that the Indians expected to be treated just the same when they came down to the coast.
These people do no continuous work, and are of no use as laborers on a sugar estate. They very rarely appear on the east coast, as they only care to travel by water, but they are very commonly seen near the creeks and rivers. They are
critical and literary minds. There has seldom been so much writing about the value and condition of contemporary literature that is, of contemporary fiction. In English and American journals and magazines a new battle of the books is being fought, and the books are the books of the circulating library. Literary persons have always revelled in a brawl, and now they are in the thick of the fray. Across the Atlantic the question of novel or romance of romance or realism. appears to be taking the place of the old dispute about State rights, and is argued by some with polished sarcasm, by others with libelous vigor. One critic and novelist makes charges, as desperate as that of Harry Blount at Flodden, into the serried ranks of the amateurs of adventurous legend. Another novelist and critic compares his comrade to Mrs. Partington with her broom sweeping back the tide of romance; the comparison is of the mus. tiest. Surely-a superior person may be excused for hinting. contemporary lit erature is rather overvalued, when all this pother is made about a few novels. There have been considerable writers before Mr. Marion Crawford, and, if we are to love books, the masterpieces of the past might seem to have most claim on our attention. But the world will not take Mr. Matthew Arnold's advice about neglecting the
works of our fleeting age. I would make | with two sides, the silver and the golden: a faint and hypocritical protest against the study of manners and of character, on regarding the novels of the moment as the one hand; on the other, the description of whole of literature, before I plunge into adventure, the delight of romantic narrathe eddying fray. "Children of an hour," tive. Now, these two aspects blend with I would say to my brethren, "it is not of each other so subtly and so constantly, literature ye are writing so busily, but of that it really seems the extreme of per the bookish diversions of the moment." versity to shout for nothing but romance Literature is what endures, and what will on one side, or for nothing but analysis of endure; of all the novels we fight over in character and motive on the other. Yet reviews and at dinner-tables, will even the for such abstractions and divisions people impulses and methods and sentiments en- are clamoring and quarrelling. On one dure? In changed and modified forms side, we are told that accurate minute dedoubtless they will go on living (like the scriptions of life as it is lived, with all its rest of us), but a little toss of the dust that most sordid forms carefully elaborated, is settles on neglected shelves will silence the essence of literature; on the other, we all our hubbub. Therefore do not let us find people maintaining that analysis is exaggerate the merit of our modern works; ausgespielt (as Mr. Bret Harte's critical only three or four of them will be raised shoeblack says), and that the great heart into that changeless world where "Tom of the people demands tales of swashing Jones "is and "The Bride of Lammer- blows, of distressed maidens rescued, of moor," where "Esmond" is and "Pick- "murders grim and great," of magicians wick." This warning is merely a matter and princesses, and wanderings in fairy of conscience and caution, lest one should lands forlorn. Why should we not have be confused with the person of wide read-all sorts, and why should the friends of ing-whose reading is confined to the one kind of diversion quarrel with the monthly magazines. All of us, in fact, lovers of another kind? A day or two are like the men of Homer's age -the ago, at a cricket match, I was discussing latest songs, the last romances are dearest literary matters with an amateur of fourto us, as to the Ithacan wooers of old teen, the inheritor of a very noble name time. in English literature. We were speaking of Mr. Stevenson's "Kidnapped.' " I For novel lays attract the ravished ears, But old the mind with inattention hears, don't care for anything in it but the battle in the Round House," said this critic. I as the ingenious Mr. Pope translates it. ventured to remark that I thought the wanHowever much we may intellectually pre-dering on the hills with Alan Breck was fer the old books, the good books, the very good. "Then it is good for you,' classics, we find ourselves reading the answered the other, and that is the conbooks of the railway stall. Here have we clusion of the whole matter. That is good for travelling companions "The History which is good for each of us, and why and Adventures of Joseph Andrews and should I quarrel with another gentleman his Friend, Mr. Abraham Adams " (1743) bech the pale cast of Dostoieffsky, or to because he likes to sadden himself o'er on one side, and "Lady Branksmere (1887), by the author of "Phyllis," on the linger long hours with M. Tolstoi in the other. The diverting author of " Phyllis shade, while I prefer to be merry with will pardon me for thinking Henry Field- Miss Margaret Daryl, or to cleave heads ing a greater author than she, but it is with Umslopogaas or Sir Lancelot in the about the charming Margaret Daryl, in sunshine? What can be more ludicrous her novel, that I am reading just now, and than to excommunicate Thackeray, benot about the brother of Pamela. We are cause we rejoice in Dickens; to boycott all like that, we all praise the old and Daisy Miller because we admire Ayesha? peruse the new; he who turns over this Upon my word, I hardly know which of magazine is in no better case. these maidens I would liefer meet in the paradise of fiction, where all good novelreaders hope to go; whether the little pathetic butterfly who died in Rome or she who shrivelled away in the flame of Kôr. Let us be thankful for good things and plenty of them; thankful for this vast and goodly assembly of people who never were ; daughters of dreams and of stories," among whom we may all make
Hypocrite lecteur, mon semblable, mon frère
After this confession and apology, one may enter the lists where critical fances are broken and knights unsaddled; where authors and reviewers, like Malory's men, "lash at each other marvellously." The dispute is the old dispute about the two sides of the shield. Fiction is a shield
friends that will never be estranged. Dear | ously on the dead body of our youth, on Dugald Dalgetty, and dear Sylvestre Bon- our festivity, on our enjoyment of existnard, and thou, younger daughter of Silas ence. The worst, not the best of it, is that Lapham, and Leatherstocking, and Emma Bovary, and Alan Breck, and Emmy Sedley, and Umslopogaas, and Sophia Western may we meet you all! In the paradise of fiction there shall be "neither bond nor free," neither talk of analysis nor of romance, but all the characters of story that live shall dwell together deathless.
these legends are all "ower-true tales," and are often written with admirable care and attention. Again, there are stories in which the less desirable and delightful traits of human character are dwelt on, as it were by preference, till a man feels almost as merry as if he had been reading Swift's account of the Yahoos. For exOur heroes may sleep not, nor slumber, ample, there is Mr. Howells's "Modern And Porthos may welcome us there. Instance." Here is a masterly novel, and a true picture of life, but of what a life! What is good, what is permanent, may All the time one is reading it, one is in be found in fiction of every genre, and the company of a gentleman of the press, shall we "crab" and underrate any genre who is not, and is not meant to be, a genbecause it chances not to be that which tleman in any other sense of the word. we are best fitted to admire? I, for one, He is mean, and impudent, and genial, and admire M. Dostoieffsky so much, and so unabashed; he has not the rudiments of sincerely, that I pay him the supreme taste or of breeding; he distresses and tribute of never reading him at all. Of diverts one beyond endurance. But even "Le Crime et le Châtiment," some one he is an angel of good company compared has said that "it is good-but powerful." with his passionate, jealous, and thirdThat is exactly the truth; it is too pow-rate wife, who may match, as a picture of erful for me. I read in that book till I the wrong sort of woman, with Thackwas crushed and miserable; so bitterly eray's Mrs. Mackenzie. The whole book true it is, so dreadfully exact, such a is a page torn out of life, as people say, quintessence of all the imaginable misery and it has wit as well as veracity and of man. Then, after reaching the lowest observation. Yet it makes one miserdeep of sympathetic abandonment (which able, as Thackeray does not make one I plumbed in about four chapters), I miserable, because the book contains no emerged, feeling that I had enough of M. Clive, no Fred Bayham, no Colonel NewDostoieffsky for one lifetime. The novel, come, no J. J., and no portly father of J. J. to my thinking, is simply perfect in its No admiration, however enthusiastic or kind; only the kind happens to be too personal, of modern stories of adventure powerful for my constitution. I prefer a can blind one to the merits of works of cigarette to that massive weed, with a realism like "A Modern Instance," or Spanish name, on the enjoyment of which" Le Crime et le Châtiment," or "The BosMr. Verdant Green, greatly daring, ven- tonians." These are real, they are exceltured at a freshman's wine. To what pur-lent; and if one's own taste is better pose, then, should I run down Russian pleased by another kind of writing, none novels as tedious and lugubrious? As far the less they are good for the people whom as I have wandered across the steppes they suit; nay, they should be recognized and tundras of Russian fiction, it is vast, as good by any one with an eye in his litwind-swept, chilly, with dark forests and erary head. One only begins to object if frozen expanses, and, here and there, a it is asserted that this genre of fiction is set of human beings at unequal war with the only permissible genre, that nothing destiny, with the czar, with the laws of the else is of the nature of art. For it is universe, and the nature of things. Noth- evident that this kind of realism has a ing can be more true, more masterly, more tendency to blink many things in life natural. But it is not exhilarating, and is which are as real as jealous third-rate not salutary for a nature prone to gloom, shrews and boozy pressmen. Of course and capable of manufacturing its own the distinguished chiefs of modern realpessimism on the premises without extra ism do not always blink what is pleasant, charge. The same remarks (purely per- gay, sunny, and kindly in human nature. sonal) apply to certain English and Ameri- The Misses Lapham, or the Miss Lapcan novels. There is a little tale, "A hams (grammarians may choose) seem to Village Tragedy," by Mrs. Woods, which me delightful girls, despite their educaI view with dread. I know I shall drift tion. The lady of the Aroostook was (as into reading it, and adding another stone the young critic might say) a brick. So to the cairn which we all pile so assidu- was Verena, the fair lecturer in “The
So much one who is not of their school may say for the realists of our time. Of their style one would rather say little, because naturally each has his own style. The common merits, on the whole, are carefulness, determined originality, labored workmanship in language, and energetic nicety of speech. The natural defects that attend these merits are inverted adjectives, "preciousness," affectation, "a nice derangement of epitaphs." For one, I do not much object to these errors, or I might be obliged to dislike Charles Lamb and Sir Thomas Browne. But I do object to the occasional apparition, among all the chiselled niceties, of a burly piece of newspaper slang, of a gross, palpable provincial idiom, or a cliché of the American reporter. Style, by all means, let us have; but don't let it be so mixed. The realistic style is now and then thus mixed-that is the pity of it.
Bostonians." But (to my mind) the ten- | One would as lief explore a girl's room, dency of realism in fiction is often to find and tumble about her little household the unpleasant real in character much treasures, as examine so curiously the more abundant than the pleasant real. I poor secrets of her heart and tremors of am a pessimist myself, as the other Scot her frame. Mr. Christie Murray, an adwas a leear," but I have found little but mirable novelist, has said this, and said good in man and woman. Politics apart, it well. Such analysis makes one feel men and women seem almost always to uncomfortable in the reading, makes one be kind, patient, courteous, good-humored, feel intrusive and unmanly. It is like and well-bred in all ranks of society. overhearing a confession by accident. A when once you know them well. I think well-known book of M. E. de Goncourt's that the realists, while they certainly show is full of the kind of prying that I have in us the truth, are fondest of showing that my mind. It is, perhaps, science it may aspect of it which is really the less com- be art; and to say that it is extremely mon as well as the less desirable. Per- disagreeable may be to exhibit old-fashhaps mean people are more easily drawn ioned prejudice. Good it may be, clever than generous people; at all events from it is; but it is not good for me. the school of realists we get too many mean people even from a realist who is as little a realist as the king was a royalist - from M. Zola. These writers appear not to offer up Henry Fielding's prayer to the muse, "Fill my pages with humor, till mankind learn the good nature to laugh only at the follies of others, and the humility to grieve at their own.' There is not much humor in their works, and little good humor is bred of them. That is the difference between work like Thackeray's, where there are abundant studies of the infinitely little in human nature, and work like that of many modern amateurs of realism. "It takes all sorts to make a world," and all sorts, by virtue of his humor, Thackeray gives us. He gives us Captain Costigan and Harry Foker, as well as the crawling things in "Lovel the Widower." He gives us gentlemen and ladies, as well as tuft-hunters and the George Brandons of this world. Fielding and Scott have this humor, this breadth, this greatness. Were I in a mood to disparage the modern realists (whereas I have tried to show that their books are, in substance, about as good as possible, granting the genre), I might say that they not only use the microscope, and ply experiments, but ply them, too often, in corpore vili. One does not dream of denying that they do exhibit noble and sympathetic characters. -now and then. But happy, and jolly, and humorous people they hardly ever show us; yet these have their place among realities. And, on the whole, they do prefer to be busy with the rarer sort of realities, with the Cousine Bettes, and the like. And they show a sort of cruelty and coldness in their dealings with their own creations. If I were to draw up an indictment, I might add that some of them have an almost unholy knowledge of the nature of women.
In trying to estimate modern, especially English and American, realistic fiction as a whole, one has first to admit that it is never fair to do anything of the sort. It is a rough, clumsy way of dealing, to give a name or a nickname to a crowd of writers, and then to decide offhand upon their common qualities. Many of them may object to the name of realists altogether. They all vary as much as other people in their natural talent, education, and character. But, as far as any modern English and American novels have been written with an avowed aesthetic purpose, and that purpose the unrelentingly minute portraiture of modern life and analysis of modern character, the unrelenting exclusion of exciting events and engaging narrative, we may say that these novels, though often full of talent, are limited in scope, and are frequently cramped in style. The pretension that all modern novels should be composed in this genre, and that all
or of some gipsy, was equally pleased with a true Zulu love story, sketched in two pages, a story so terrible, so moving, in the long, gallant fight against odds, and the awful unheard-of death-agony of two Zulu lovers, that I presume no civilized fancy could have invented the incidents that actually occurred. If one were wholly civilized, and "cultured" to the backbone (if one may mention that feature), the savage tale would have failed to excite. If one were all savage, all Zulu, "Through one Administration" would leave one a little uninterested. The savage within us calls out for more news about the fight with the Apache, or Piute, who killed the soldier-man.
others are of the nature of original sin, | the tale. But the natural man within me, seems to be an impossible pretension. the survival of some blue-painted Briton At this moment the strife is between the partisans of realism thus understood and the partisans of stories told for the story's sake. Now, there is no reason at all why stories told for the story's sake should not be rich in studies of character - peopled by men and women as real as Mr. and Mrs. Bartley Hubbard, both of whom you may (if you are unlucky) meet any day. The Odyssey is the typical example of a romance as probable as the "Arabian Nights," yet unblemished in the conduct of the plot, and peopled by men and women of flesh and blood. Are we to be told that we love the Odyssey because the barbaric element has not died out of our blood, and because we have a childish love of marvels, miracles, maneating giants, women who never die, "murders grim and great," and Homer's other materials? Very well. "Public opinion," in Boston, may condemn us, but we will get all the fun we can out of the ancestral barbarism of our natures. I only wish we had more of it. The coming man may be bald, toothless, highly "cultured," and addicted to tales of introspective analysis. I don't envy him when he has got rid of that relic of the ape, his hair; those relics of the age of combat, his teeth and nails; that survival of barbarism, his delight in the last battles of Odysseus, Laertes's son. I don't envy him the novels he will admire, nor the pap on which he will feed bearsomely, as Mr. John Payne says of the vampire. Not for nothing did nature leave us all savages under our white skins; she has wrought thus that we might have many delights, among others "the joy of adventurous living," and of reading about adventurous living. There is a novel of Mrs. Burnett's, "Through one Administration," which the civilized person within me, the man of the future within me, heartily delights to peruse. It is all about a pretty, analytic, self-conscious American married lady, and the problem is to discover whom she is in love with, and why. Is it her husband, or the soldier, or the government clerk? Does she know which it is herself? As they are all "moral men like Werther, and "would do nothing for to hurt her," the excitement, to a civilized mind, is extremely keen. They all talk about their emotions forever, and the pleasure which this affords to the man of the future in each of us is almost too poignant. I nearly cried when a prop. erty Red Indian (not coram populo, of course) scalped the true lover, and ended
The advantage of our mixed condition, civilized at top with the old barbarian under our clothes, is just this, that we can enjoy all sorts of things. We can enjoy "John Inglesant" (some of us), and others can revel in Buffalo Bill's exhibition. Do not let us cry that, because we are "cultured," there shall be no Buffalo Bill. Do not let us exclaim that, because we can read Paulus Silentiarius and admire Rufinus, there shall be no broadside ballads nor magazine poetry. If we will only be tolerant, we shall permit the great public also to delight in our few modern romances of adventure. They may be "savage survivals," but so is the whole of the poetic way of regarding nature. The flutter in the dovecots of culture caused by three or four boys' books is amazing. Culture is saddened at discovering that not only boys and illiterate people, but even critics not wholly illiterate, can be moved by a tale of adventure. "Treasure Island "and" Kidnapped "are boys' books written by an author of whose genius, for narrative, for delineation of character, for style, I hardly care to speak, lest enthusiasm should seem to border on fanaticism. But, with all his gifts, Mr. Stevenson intended only a boys' book when he wrote "Treasure Island" and restored romance. He had shown his hand, as a novelist of character and analysis, in "Prince Otto." But he did not then use just the old immortal materials of adventure. As soon as he touched those, he made a boys' book which became a classic, and deserved to be a classic. "Kidnapped" is still better, to my taste, and indeed Scott himself might have been the narrator of Alan Breck's battle, of his wanderings, of his quarrel with the other piper. But these things are a little over the heads of boys