The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903, August 31, 1901, Page 2, Image 2

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effect of tbe morning, of exquisite
strains, the unspeakable, ineffable
fKietry of life ie incommunicable.
So true is this that if an unborn, in
telligent soul were given bis choice to
be or not to be, and if he bad to form
his opinion of the worth of life from
treading the modern novels'-which
31 r. Bowells reveres so because be says
they paint life as it is, 1 doubt if an
intelligent spirit would- coaseat to
Alve, even though he read also the
nost triumphant songs of life-intoxi--cated
poets. But few who have lived
say that it has not been worth while,
so much more is loving and being
loved and the beauty and mystery of
life than tbe most inspired descrip
tion of it.
Tolstoy is like a diver with a high
dive to make who, instead of jumping
arrow-shaped into tbe water and
thus cleaving it, throws his body,
-stomach first, onto the air, and gets a
heavy blow on a most sensitive part
of his body from an element which
be might have cleaved, but which in
stead he has clumsily and obstinately
made into a solid resistant.
Jokal's story is of a family cursed
by the suicidal Impulse and the strug
gle of the last male representatives to
avoid their fate. In the last chapter
all but two of tbe principal characters
die. The heroine is stabbed by her
own father, the villain hangs himself,
the hero's leading man is killed by a
bee-sting. Hot sealing wax dropped
on the 'philosopher's hand, bis arm
swelled, blackeaed, and in an hour he
was dead. Another villain falls into
a pit of boiling quick-lime and
crawled out a ghastly white, with his
flesh dropping, from his bones. 'You
see how cheerfully the book ends, and
,'how pleasant the dreams of him who
. sits up at night to finish Mr. Jokal's
tale, are likely to be. BIoodpolsoning,
banging, stabbing and quick-lime are
crowded in at the end of the book evi
dently to demonstrate the author's
yersatility, and those who are allowed
to live beyond tbe pages and the
reader's cognizance are sorry for it
and deprecate tbe habit of living
which is too strong for them to break
themselves of.
This would all be worth while if it
were true, because truth is worth
-while being uncomfortable and un
happy for. However, tbe story, as a
whole, is false. Mr. Jokii does not
preserve his values and It is a lack
rather than a proof of versatility to
dispose of one's characters by death,
even if each one is killed in an orig
inal and totally unexpected manner.
Stories to be true in effect should be
brighter than life, because the painter
uses only pigments for sunshine aad
for lustrous objects, the word music
for music and only words for all tbe
visions and perfumes of life. Sbak
spere got the morning in with apple
cheeked wenches and earth-flavored
rustics, but it is not safe for any nov
elist, however gifted, to have faith in
his own Sbaksperean powers. It is
much safer to tone up the heavy
opaque shadows and make the high
lights very bright indeed, brighter
than they are, if he be such a master
-of technique.
A By-Product.
In consequence of tbe competition
between two electric companies at
Evanston, Illinois, it has been demon
strated that electric light as a by
product of a heating or of any large
manufacturing or energy-producing
business can be manufactured with
greater economy of fuel and labor
than hen the plant is built entirely
for that purpose.
The Yar-Yan company of Evanston
supplies beat to the citizens by means
of hot water piped to its customers.
After tbe piping was laid the com
pany made a proposition to furnish
light to the municipality, and to pri
vate citizens,at areatly reduced
co9t.Then the electric lighting com
pany metfthe Yar-Yan company's
prices with a still lower reduction
and' tbe competition has become so
spirited that 'stores in Evanston are
being lighted, for almost nothing.
However large the capital of each
company may be, neither one can
long continue to sell light for a price
less than tbe cost of its production.
But the competition for business has
disclosed a fact of great importance
to all cities. Without regard to tbe
final success of the heating and light
ing company, future investors who
put in public utility plants will util
ize in producing light the surplus
energy left over from pumping water
into standpipes or forcing steam into
conduits. The pumping and the man
ufacturing energy is required in the
day time, while the energy which
produces the electricity Is, of course,
required, for tbe most part, after the
sun has set.
The transference of' electric light
from a main product to a by-product
can not be made without tbe usual
bitterness and strife between tbe
long-established electric light com
panies and the companies which will
sell electricity by tbe way and as an
afterthought, as a dry-goods store
sells deal boxes, or as a gas company
sells- coke. But when the change has
been effected cities and homes will
probably be better lighted and much
more cheaply.
Comparative Manners.
Last spring Professor Charles Eliot
Norton of Harvard university, in tbe
familiar worried Boston manner, told
the girls of Badcllffe college, as they
were about to say farewell to a some
what ungenerous and grudging Alma
Mater, that he hoped they would pay
special attention to their own man
ners in their future intercourse with
America. He urged them to do all
they could to ameliorate tbe defects
of "vulgar, semi-civilized America,"
where most of them would have to
President Eliot and Professor
Charles Eliot Norton occasionally dep
recate America and Americans, most
of whom receive such criticism as un
graciously and to as little profit as in
the early days when an English king's
disapproval of our savage ways was
one cause for the establishment of the
American republic.
A month ago Mr. Thomas Nelson
Page returned from Europe, where he
spent eight months. He says hat he
"could not help noticing while away
what good manners Americans have
as a rule. He saw none of the gauch
erie, loud talking and conspicuous
ignorance that President Eliot com
plains of in Americans. To be sure
only the well-to-do or the poor but
culture-hungry American goes abroad,
and therefore America is represented
in Europe by those to whom wealth
has opened the doors of culture, or by
those brilliant men and women whose
cravings for knowledge have enabled
them to overcome the obstacles in the
way of obtaining it. When these few
are compared with the hoi-polloi of
America, to whom, perhaps, Professor
Norton referred, it is easier to under
stand the difference between his opin
ion and Mr. Page's view of American
It has been said by more than one
student of human beings that the
polite world has the same boundaries,
the same internal characteristics, and,
with few exceptions, the same cus
toms, whether located in Hungary,
Russia, France or America. If Pro
fessor Norton has formed bin opinion
of Americans from observing tbe
manners of tbe uneducated in Cam
bridge, and Mr. Page's gratifying ob
servations refer only to tbe Americans
rich and aspiring enough to go abroad,
there isflo conflict between them.
There is abundant testimony from
travelers returned from Europe that
the manners of tbe peasants of France
and of Germany are much better than
the manners of tbe lqwcllss Ameri
can. It must not be forgotten, how
ever, that feudalism and the still re
maining result of sharp class distinc
tions may have produced io the Euro
pean peasant a consideration for and
deference toward those abore him
that is accepted by a member of the
greatest democracy as spontaneous
In America, members of one class
rapidly graduate or degenerate into
Luxury applied to tbe same race or
family for a certain number of gen
erations invariably enfeebles it, and
the last scion of an old fortune meets
on his way down to poverty the
ascending sons of hod carriers, diggers
and ditchers on their way upward to
commercial and consequently to social
A sense of a lack of permanency and
fixity of poeition pervades and ani
mates all America. Thus the tempo
rarily elevated do not expect and tbe
temporarily obscure do not render tbe
deference paid to tbe upper classes
abroad. T
A genuine American or democrat'
rejoices in tbe phenomena of demo
cracy and believes that self-assertion
will eventually become dignified self
respect so well founded that its possess
or need not fear to be courteous.
The HoMcwivcs' Union.
The Chicago branch of the House
maids' Union held a meeting last
week in the Auditorium, at which
Mrs. Henrotin was one of tbe speak
ers. She advised the housekeepers
to form a "Housewives' Union," whose
officers and delegates might confer
with delegates from tbe "Housemaids'
Union" and aid in the adjustment of
Just what such a combination of
housekeepers could accomplish in the
case of a general strike, is only vague
ly stated. If the cooks, second girls
and nurses of Chicago laid down their
skillets, sifters and spoons, their
brooms, dusters, trays and white
aprons and their infant charges and
walked out of the houses with the dec
laration that they would not return
until certain grievances were righted
and certain demands complied witu,
what would happen?
Two meals a day would still be
served in most households, although
the hotels and restaurants would be
patronized by a larger number of
hungry people. The children would
still be washed, dressed, fed and put
to bed. Booms would not be so fre
quently swept and dusted, but there
would be no closing of houses as there
is of mills when the employes walk
out. Then it would be the duty of
the president ot the Chicago union of
housekeepers and housewives to call
a meeting for tbe discussion and ame
lioration of tbe situation.
Unaccustomed to organization as
tbe housemaids aie and without the
always acquired ability to comprehend
a complicated case involving all sorts
of mistresses and all varieties of
maids, in the large, conferences with
the housemaids would, at first, pro
duce nothing but confusion. Later
conferences would inevitably develop
the capacity for affairs and execution
possessed by one woman in a hundred,
and the two organizations might con
fer profitably on a situation an . on
relations which have been unscUed
and unsatisfactory to both since the
first servant agreed or was coinnt .ed
to serve the first master.
A New Washington.
- -TheFillpine commission, in der.d
ing to give the city of Manila a mu
nicipal government closely resembhin:
in its fundamental features the ad
ministration of tbe District of Co
lumbia, could not have arrived ai a
better solution of the problem whu-li
confronts it in the largest and nut
important community of these far
away American possessions. Wa?ii
ington is the model city not only f
the United States, but or the world.
In nearly every respect the manage
ment of affairs may be truthfully said
to be ideal. Its magnificent avenue
and streets are almost as pure as are
the hallways of tbe residences that
frame them in such stately array. The
parks are gems of shade and flower-:
and verdure and fountains which
cannot be paralleled anywhere on
earth. Nowhere is there a more eftic
ient police department. A better tire
department cannot be found. The
public school regime excellent.
The James Method.
There is, it seems, no brain so great
that it can defy the ravages of a
When an artist or a critic'or a
scholar invents a method and pro
ceeds to coddle and develop .it, then
you need look no more for the good
things you once expected of bim.
Henry James-has shown symptom
of an incipient case of method for a
long time,- but tbe ravages that Jt has
wrought in his dignified andfgenlle
manly manner of novel-writingjwere
only recently exposed in "The Sacred
Fount." Mr. James has long held
that the most trivial incidentlcan be
exhaustively and interestinglyjtreated
through the various personalities con
cerned in it, and that every afternoon
tea presents material for a novel.
He has dangerously expanded! this
theory before and on more than one oc
casion has come near being tedious:
but he has reached the apotheosis of
his method in "The SacredjFount."
The first thirty pages containj.abso
lutely all the material of tbe novel;
after that it advances not all. Such
petty and melodramatic devices as
action and movement and climaxes
are entirely dispensed with.
Tbe characters are denied any tang
ible physical characteristics and are
defined only by the vaguest generali
ties or ambiguous psychological attri
butes. They are not in the least
people, but the disembodied minds
and opinions of people. When&tbe
first situation is at last outlined, noth
more is accomplished except conver
sation. Among the guests at a house party,
the author, or at least the ego of the
book, discovers a former guest who
has grown much younger than she
appeared when he last saw her, five
years before. Upon investigation lie
discovers that she has married a man
much younger than herself, who, since
their union, has aged in ratio as she
has grown younger. From this cir
cumstance he draws that in all un
equal unions one of tbe twain battec
on the other, so to speak. At the
same house-party he finds a young,
formerly a stupid fellow, who has sud
denly become clever, and he finds the
woman by whose reflected light the
fellow shines. But the woman, he
votes, has lost none of her old brill
iancy; so he infers that she must be
borrowing from another source in
order to replenish her own store, ana
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