The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903, January 25, 1902, Page 2, Image 2

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Two Novels
TIIK vogue of tlie historical novel
Is at last waning. Slashed doub
lets, gauntlet gloves, castellated
ipcratle boots and Odds wats are going
out. Everything wears out, but this
fashion has lasted over time. The Meis
terschaft system nourished for a time
as the newly discovered royal path to
the attainment of foreign languages.
The vogue of the historical novel is
partly due to the desire for culture
coupled with an unwillingness to apply
one's mind to knowledge. Fair ladies
and amiable gentlemen with ideals of
polish still unattained. think that in
the Waverly novels they will learn all
about the history of England without
having to suffer the drudgery of com
mitting genealogical tables, and if they
read the novels whose scenes are laid
in the American revolutionary or pre
revolutionary period they fancy it will
have the same effect as a university
course in American history. And for
those who have a gift of concealing
what they do not know and displaying
every shred of what they do know per
haps the diluted and conventionalized
history found in the historical romance
is o,uite strong enough. To have one
target and hit it in the center is better
and much less wearisome to the spec
tator who is watching the marksman
than to fire with a scattering load In
the general direction of several targets
with no perceptible effect on any of
There are novelists who elect to mix
history with a love story who would
make excellent historians, so painstak
ing, patient, fairminded and clear
sighted are they. On the other hand
there are historians like Lord Mac
cauley who would have made in his
day which was a day of fine writing
and of Addisonian periods a distin
guished novelist. Lord Macauley had
the novelist's virtue and the historian's
fault of getting interested in the men
and women whose biographies and
public and private careers he made it
his business to investigate. He made
heroes, heroines and villains of his
kings, queens and commoners. In fact
Lord Macauley is the author of the best
historical novels ever written. But to
the end of time and catalogs they will
continue to occupy the historical alcove
of the library.
The unpretentions but interesting
stories issued by Harper and Brothers,
called the American Novel series, are
in the way of a return to an exclusive
consideration of the unmixed heart-interest.
If the scene be laid In a time
that is gone it is a matter of atmos
phere and not of historical detail. Men
and women long past the age when the
love motif, except retrospectively and
as a matter of keeping vows made in
youth, is of any personal importance
or influence, still like to read love
stories, prefer them indeed to detective
tales and Monte Crlsto dramas of the
Impossible. The most commonplace,
bandy-legged, middle-aged party is to
himself, in the isolated desert where
everyone dwells, forever a hero of ro
mance and the pivotal center of a
thrilling love story. The more insignifi
cant the man actually Is, the more
time he has to work out the important
part he plays in the melodrama that no
one but himself knows anything about.
Hence the popularity of the love story
though all the .possible combinations
have long ago been exhausted.
"When Love is Young" is a story of
a young man who Is convinced that he
was born to achieve great things In
literature. He falls in love as a boy
and falls out and In again with the
types that appeal to the various stages
of a young man's development.. Roy
Rolfe Gllson, the author, appears to be
a very young man. He has the naivete
of youth, the conviction that he is born
to large accomplishment. It appears in
confidential interviews with the sev
eral young ladies who intermittently
please his hero to the point of matri
mony. That biave strut of youth!
Those who have failed and those who
have succeeded observe it w ith amuse
ment. Older candidates for fortune
conceal their hopes and convictions,
but youth forever offers its unripe fu
ture to the maiden.
The most interesting part of the
book is the story of the hero's boy
hood, schooldays and schoolmates. The
chapter on the sentimental stock ex
change, when Bobbie Dale and his
chum have reached stocks and bonds
in the arithmetic shows that they im
mediately applied their knowledge:
"You see," the promoter explained, "it's
this way: you take the name of one
of the girls say Violet. Supposing
Violet comes to school In the morning
and she's nice to you, smiles or says
'Hello or anything like that why sne
goes up. But if she's Hip or thinks
she's smart why she drops. See?"
Without pretending to make a study
of anything in character or economics,
such stories aie the recreation of an
hour. They are in literature what the
light opera is in the drama, and they
perform the notable function of recrea
tion. "The Debatable Land" in the same
series makes a more comprehensive
study of type. There is a description
of a battle which recalls the Bed Badge
of Courage, and you get the sickening
odor of carnage. It is a love story of
modern American life. In the man
called Morgan Map, Arthur Colton, the
author, has portrayed a certain kind of
American of frequent occurrence, but
his portrait has not before been
painted. So masculine that he has no
intuition whatever, blunt, impervious,
masterful, he gets his way by the ener
gy of his own impetus. Not given to
reflection any more than the original
perfectly developed plesiosaurus, he Is
continually stepping on what he con
siders obstructions that are really
higher forms of animal life. Morgan
Map decides to marry a young woman.
Her opposition has no more effect upon
him than to make him more determ
ined. He had one virtue. He is never
ineffectual. He has bulk and a con
sciousness of power. He is no more
introspective than a Corliss engine, but
he occupies the center of the stage and
he has the courage of his size, energy
and simplicity. "That Morgan pro
posed a Napoleonic career for himself,
that he proposed to dominate, to break
through limits and oppositions, to drive
a path through the jam of men wide
enough for his shoulders to work in,
was merely his own candid statement.
A man was an engine for covering
ground and arriving at ends, and mal
ice was burned-out slack, likes and dis
likes mostly whims."
The two books are love stories for a
summer's day, but with a difference.
"When Love Was Young" is subjective,
written by a youngster for the love o'
writing, who has made the hero out of
himself. "The Debatable Land" Is an
objective, scholarly study of types.
A' Ai. At
Books of Knowledge
In the days of old when children were
taught to read without the aid of
charts or elaborate primers it is not re
corded that teaching and learning
were easier and quicker. Mature minds
forget the ductility and mobility of a
child's Imagination. Poised lightly, a
child's imagination is loosed without
effort. The little Indian girl hugs a
rudely-painted bone or stick wrapped
in rags and it is to her a little pa
poose. The imagination of the most civ
ilized grown-up woman requires an art
gallery, a stirring drama or something
equally stimulating to produce the
same amount of illusion that the little
Indian experiences without effort. In
the days of the Franklin primer with
illustrations of heavy outline pictures
made like those with which George Ade
Illustrates his modern fables, whatever
was lacking was supplied by the col
oratura imaginations of our little
great-grandfathers and mothers.
The kindergarten children of today
are taught with colored balls and little
colored Jackstraws, cubes and ones.
And parents are suddenly surprised by
their children's exact knowledge of
colors and shades of colors. So far as
intellectual effort is concerned the chil
dren think they are playing. When
books displace the kindergarten toys
they, too, are brightly colored, and the
youngsters are broken into the drudg
ery of learning before they realize the
experiment that is being tried on them.
"The Holton Primer" is a transition
book from the kindergarten to the first
grade. It has the binding of a story
book. Every half-page is a picture in
black and white or colors of babies,
kittens, dogs, autumn leaves, flowers,
fruit, et cetera. The letter-press is
double-leaded and the type Is great
primer. For the tender, uncalloused
feet of little children perhaps it Is best
that the path of learning should appear
to be lined with flowers and only gently
inclined upwards. They stray into It
at first because it looks more attractive
than any other path. As they travel
further and further from the starting
point the royal road gets steeper and
steeper and to get any view at all re
quires climbing. There are those who
argue that the kindergarten unfits the
children for effort and teaches them
that the teacher will find a way of In
sinuating knowledge. The sturdy stu
dents that kindergarten children be
come and the bravery with which they
attempt problems that old-fashioned
pupils had to be coaxed to undertake
is a sufficient answer to this criticism.
The Holton Primer, compiled by Miss
M. A. Holton, is an attractive book. The
first lessons are made up of gossip
about objects which the child sees con
stantly about him and with whose
names he is perfectly familiar. He has
already gone part of the way and when
he finds he has been hypnotized into
learning something he is surprised that
learning is so easy and so pleasant.
"Child Stories from the Masters," by
Maud Menefee, Is a collection of
stories, adapted to children, taken from
the masterpieces of painters, dramat
ists and poets. Pippa from Browning's
"Pippa Passes," the story of Mignon
from Goethe's Wilhelm Meister, Sieg
fried from Wagner's Niebelungen, the
story of how Margaret led Faust
through the perfect world, the story of
Saul and David and several others are
told with poetic effect. The mysteries,
poetry, aspirations of life haunt Miss
Menefee's narrative style. The curious,
un-named influences that tug at a child
and disappear with the beautiful mists
that hid tilings from our youth, are
strengthened by such stories as Miss
Menefee tells in the way she has told
them. The stories are illustrated by
photographs from pictures by Greuze,
Le Febvre, Rosetti, Watts, Millet, Cor
reggio, and Murillo.
There Is a period in a boy's life and
in a girl's too, when the craving for
tales of adventure is only satiated by
stories of heroes of not too fantastic
and mythical a character to be imi
tated. The average uninspired earthy
gamin likes tales of Indians and Indian
killers better than those of Greek
heroes and gods because he has per
haps a pair of moccasins, an arrow or
two, enough turkey feathers for the
construction of a head-dress and a lit
tle red paint. The Nebraska boys who
follow a trail stealthily bending over
and remaining carefully hidden in the
deepest part of the draws are stepping
in trails which living Indians have trod
in the chase. The nearer savagery at
tracts the boys more than the myths of
Horatio at the bridge because they can
visualize it more clearly. The days of
the mailed warrior, the spear and the
shield are gone. Boys fashion swords
a,d pistols out of wood and fall Into
fie pigeon-toed stride of an Indian
.cout. They jeer at the casque, the
Residence, Sanatorium. Tel. C17.
At offlce,2 to 4, and Sundays, 12 to 1 p. ra.
Residence, 6JI So 11th. Tel 059.
At office, 10 to 12 a. m.; 4 to 6 p. m.
Sundays, 4 to 4:30 p. m.
Office, Zehrung nioclc, 111 So. 12th. Tel 618.
137 South Eleventh street,
Telephone, Office, 530.
Office. 1100 O street Rooms 212. 213. 214,
Richards Block; Telephone 535.
Residence, 1310 G street; Telephone K9S4
M. B. Kktchum, M D., Phar.D.
Practice limited to EYE. EAR, NOSE.
Hours, it to 5; Sunday. 1 to 2:30.
Rooms 313-311 Third Floor Richards
Block, Lincoln, Neb.
Prnf F I Pichecnn Tel. 1127
Academy, Instructor of Dancing
1132 N t . Kcsldence, 904 K St.
Member Normal School Assoc'n of Masters
of Dancing, Supervisor of Nebraska. Orders
taken for Music Beginners' class opens
Wednesday, December 4.
First National Bank
Capital $200,000.00
Surplus mid Profits . 54.235.03
Deposits 2.4S0.252.18
President. Vice-President.
U.S. Freeman", Gishier.
II. B. Evans, Frank Parks.
Ass't Cashier. Ass't Cashier.
United States Depository
rTEjj1 '-wf ri' t s? - l-xlll
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proof of the genuine worth of these
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Their success is due to the fact that
they recommend themselves.
Piano Co.
General Western Agents,
Warerooms U20 O Street, Lincoln