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been unused for a gen-







A pretty good sort of American is one who is willing to let his fellow-
citizens live, even if they do not live on his street. Incidentally, also, it
does no harm to an American who knows how to read if he will now
and then exercise his gift by perusing the Constitution of the United

The most humane Californian cannot help a strange adultera-
tion of feeling in face of the disasters which involved a dozen

States during the latter half of May, and wound up with the

St. Louis horror. Unspeakably dreadful — but — but — what need?

There is a portion of the United States which has never had a great
natural catastrophe — which in human probability never will have.
There is no heaven on this faulty planet ; but there are places where no
one was ever frozen to death, nor sun-roasted to death, nor blown to
death by winds ; where populations are not blotted from the page of
humanity by cold or heat, by flood or famine or cyclone. There is one
such country in the United States. Heaven forbid that all the East
should flock to it ; but there is room for some of the intelligent — and
one would think that sort would migrate before death.

"Earthquakes?" No ten earthquakes in the West ever killed as
many people as were slain by an earthquake in one small city of the
Carolinas in one day. All the earthquakes that ever visited Southern
California have not killed so many persons as die of cold in the East
every winter. One freshet of one Ohio river a dozen years ago took
more lives than all the temblores in California in a century and a half
have taken. These are facts of history. We are always liable to the
disasters which are purely of civilization — the dangers of railroad and
fire and high explosives. But the visible wrath of God is not here. We
never find it fatal to meet our own weather on the streets.

There is one consolation about a fool — you always know where
to find him. Through the middle of every question on earth
runs a line, with a right and a wrong side. Rational people
sometimes forget to think, and you are not always sure of finding them
on the side where they logically belong. But your fool never blunders.
He is always where he was foreordained to be.

No one need consult a prophet to know which side of a question will
^ be taken by the present Overland, which has become as little of a Cal-
ifornian as of a magazine. It is now conducted solely to advertise one
certain gentleman for what he is not ; and is probably sent by God to


tame the natural pride of Californians in their noble State and in the
culture which is populating it. In his June Overland the editor talks
long and loud about the " folly," "infinite and imineasnrable littleness,"
"stupidity," "asininity," and so on, of Senator White and the people
of Southern California in opposing the astounding skulduggery which
a millionaire lobbyist came near railroading through Congress. At first
flush Mr. Wilchnan's judgment in asses might be thought to be expert ;
but every court recognizes the fact that personal bias and close family
ties invalidate evidence.

For years the people of this section have struggled to get a free harbor
at San Pedro. Every board of government engineers has reported that
that is the only feasible harbor in this region. One millionaire has
blocked the repeated efforts of the government to give us the harbor
recommended by its engineers and demanded by the people. Just now
he nearly succeeded in lobbying through Congress a bill giving to San
Pedro a small sum ; and to his own monopoly at Santa Monica three
millions of dollars. That was merely to get the government committed
to Santa Monica. With $3,000,000 sunk there, the next step would have
been to abandon the people's harbor and pour more appropriations into
the millionaire's. No one but a — a Wildman — would dream that the
government is going to give Southern California two harbors within
twenty miles of one another. And because Wildmans are not numerous
down here, the Only Wildman in the World dubs a population asses.
The exposure in Congress of the whole plot was enough to force the
Rivers and Harbors Committee to eat its own words ; and has been a
sensation all over the United States.

And ? This important young man who calls Stephen M. White and
his constituents ' ' fools and asses ' ' — who is he when he is at home ?
Rounsevelle Wildman, by the grace of God. As this is not explanatory
to the average educated person, it is well to define further. Mr. Wild-
man is the only man in the world who ever succeeded in taking an old
and honorable magazine and making it in one short year the laughing^
stock of whatever cultivated people ever see it. He is the only magazine
editor on earth who puts his editorials in the very first pages of his
magazine — and the only one who puts such editorials as his anywhere.
He is the only man alive who reprints in his own magazine the few
stories he gets first published somewhere else, besides many that nothing
else would publish. He is the only person who fills his "magazine"
with second-hand pictures and text, and paid " write-ups," and puffs of
himself from obscure country weeklies. He is the only — Wildman.

This, in brief, is the modest young gentleman who passes upon the
intelligence of a man who reached the United States Senate by brains
and not by money ; and of the educated people who sent him — for not
a man in the Senate owes less to partisanship for his seat than does White.

One more fact adds the climax of humor. The Overland editorial is

not only folly ; it is sheer falsehood. Its text is :

A government proofreader added the name of Santa Monica to the bill, so as to )
give us two harbors instead of one ; and Senator White and the people were such asses
as to protest.


The Overland knows this to be false. It knows, as everyone else
knows, that the proofreader substituted "Santa Monica" for "San
Pedro ; " so as to give us not two harbors but one — and that one the one
which the engineers and the people repudiate. The proofreader may
have been only a fool. The lobby may have had nothing to do with his
" mistake." Just so, also, a sudden full-page advertisement paid for by
Huntington's corporation may have nothing to do with the Overland's
,j Probably the other animals in this harbor matter — the boa constrictor,
the jackals, the lions and the jelly. fish — would not have made a com-
plete circus without the monkey's cage ; so we owe something to Mr. Wild-
man after all. But Californians have tried to like the Overland, and
while no one cares what its present editor easily makes of himself, a
good many will be sorry that he can make a monkey of our oldest
monthly. It is no longer even the Warmed-over land. It has become
the Warmed-over Wildman.


centuries F° r a score of years the Lion has "read the papers," and in

TOO late. that time nothing in them has so much grieved him as the
recent course of the Argonaut. The venalities of the New
York World sort he expects, and the carelessnesses of too many better
papers; but he was not prepared for the tumble of a weekly which
has a unique position, and therefore a unique responsibility. It
seems to be dangerous to be chronically too smart. Every week for
years the Argonaut has brilliantly ridiculed the medieval Catholic belief
in miracles. It is funny ; but the Argonaut has been as funny as it
could for too long, and is poisoned with its own joke. Medieval super-
stition was no worse than medieval bigotry ; and is no more of an
anachronism today. The Argonaut has gravely come to the conclusion
that no man is entitled to American citizenship who was born in Ireland,
or who votes the Democratic ticket or goes to the Catholic church. The
ultimate logic of its position is that the only man really fit to inhabit
" the land of the free and the home of the brave " is one who wears the
shackle of a secret oath and dares not acknowledge it ; that the only
wisdom worthy of the franchise is in the order which, as Life says,
" believes more silly lies than any other order in existence."

The Lion is neither Irish, Democrat nor Catholic. He has a simple
sort of Americanism which does not feel the need of any extra initials.
He is aware that this is the 19th century and not the 16th. He respects
any man who has enough of any religion or of any political creed to be
swayed or guided by it. He has his own notions for himself, but he can
be patient with everything except dishonesty and unbigoted toward
everything but bigotry. And he believes that the poorest " American "
alive is the one who outlaws any other American for honest belief in
anything. We have enough to do in outlawing those who "believe"
for the money there is in it.

ON Senator W. P. Frye of Maine is franking all over the Coast his

harm nnno P lea as attorney in Congress for Huntington vs. The People,
uuu and kindly remembers this magazine. Quite right. His

official words enable him to be catalogued. It is in this speech that the
congressional tool of the millionaire says he ' ' does not care what the
people of Los Angeles think or say" about the location of their own
harbor. Understood. And he seems to care as littie what honorable
people anywhere think or say. They say and think some interesting
things, however, since Senator White with calm and inevitable blade
flayed the gentleman from Maine and tacked his pelt where it is in
universal view.

The editor is in Mexico on a special mission for Harper's Magazine.
Contributors who can contain their contributions till August 1 will
favor the Den by doing so.



Anyone who reads many reviews
and the literary columns of the papers
must be struck by their astounding unan-
imity in the minor book-notices. It is not, however,
another proof that "great minds run" etc.; but rather that reviewers
are lazy. The enterprising publisher knows he can depend upon two-
thirds of the critics to take his word rather than write a dozen lines of
their own opinion ; and he sends out nice little printed slips which are
safe to appear in nine out of every ten "literary columns" in the
United States. The publisher probably knows as much about a book as
the critic who doesn't read it ; and maybe his opinion is as valuable
even if the critic did.

It is an event in Coast literature when Joaquin Miller pub-
lishes a new volume of poems. Harte long ago "forgot the
hole he was dug from"; Mark Twain, though never a ren-
egade, is as irretrievably gone from us ; the Overland (which they made
a magazine) is become a life-preserver for folks who were better drowned.
So Joaquin is all that is left us of the old superb galaxy. Without the
policy, popularity or balance of the other two, he is not the least likely
of the trio to be remembered at last. It pleases a sort of people (whom
God probably made) to measure his verse by his boots and his hair ; as
every man who is remembered a century was judged by those who were
forgotten before they were dead. If this wild-haired, top- booted person's
best work does not last, then no American verse will ; for among all our
cultured singers there is now not one who strikes such wildly sonorous

One turns with interest to this, his latest volume, to know what the
years have been doing for the Sierra poet. I think the verdict will be
that his hand has not forgot its cunning. There is the same momentous
swing of rhythm, the same audacity, the same cunning repetition — a
trick no other poet ever dared quite so far — the same large clarity of
idiom and tallness of thought. There are the same old faults, too ; the
wandering, the blinking a fact, the occasional posing. "High-built
Iyima" is an error; and " coyote 1 " is absurd. But in the chiefest and
least definable quality of a poet — the imagination of the seer, in which
no American poet except Poe has surpassed him — this volume is worthy
of Miller. He is an uncareful smith ; but it is impossible to doubt his
fire. Reading his best beside that of any of his " civilized " contempor-
aries, one thinks of the difference between lightning and the electric light.

It is doubtful if Joaquin's soul is as fresh a topic as his Sierra. Per-
haps he would better have stuck to his frontier knitting. But the book
is thoroughly worth a careful reading. It is attractively printed ; and
in its end is the latest, and much the best picture of the poet yet pub-
lished. The Whitaker & Ray Co., San Francisco, $1.50.





of Belgian The Massacre °f the Innocents is a collection of twelve short

short stories. stor i es by Belgian writers, published in the beautiful "Green

Tree Library." The title story is by Maeterlinck — and a beast
of a tale it is. Rather, it is not a story, but a page of untrue, brutal and
unlightened history ; being what the mudpuddle realists are pleased to
term Realism. It is as " real " as an extinct pig hung by its ulterior leg
in the shambles. Fortunately it is the worst story in the book. There
are tales by Eekhoud, Lemonnier, Jenart, Delattre, Ganir and others ; all
Belgian as garlic, but with a wide range of ability and interest. " Saint
Nicholas Eve " is the best conceived of the dozen stories, and perhaps
the best told ; for Lemonnier's other contribution, though touching,
lacks restraint. " Pierre-de-la-Baraque " is powerful; and "Jacclard"
a brief but rather deep study. The translator, Edith Wingate Rinder, has
done her part sympathetically and well. Stone & Kimball, Chicago ; $1.25.

I aimed to like Alice S. Wolfe's House of Cards ; for it is her
trumps ^ rst nove l> an d she is a San Francisco lady of some success as

a writer of short stories. Probably it is my fault that I can-
not. The House of Cards is a marriage with love to come on the in-
stallment plan. Here is always chance for a stirring novel ; but this
novel does not stir. There is nothing inevitable in it. The dialogue is
like the plot — both are too conscious and too unreal. One does not love
a character, nor believe what is coming. And whatever virtues a novel
need not have, if it have not the secret of cozening our credence it is a
failure. A story or a play must be believed while it lasts ; and nowhere
do I catch myself believing the House of Cards. It does not take hold.
Here is wishing the author " better luck next time," and a tale as fasci-
nating as the present volume is beautiful. The " Peacock " Library,
Stone & Kimball, Chicago ; $1.25.

Walter Blackburn Harte, the essayist of the Meditations in
: Dic Motley, has an unhappy faculty for getting in with less than

his people. He had a sorry experience with the ever-laughable
Arena ; and then he founded a little bibelot in Boston ; and next he
joined forces with the Philistine. Now he has discovered that the latter
publication was not named Philistine for fun ; and openly charges the
unnoted editor, Elbert Hubbard, with thoroughly philistine plagiarism.
Harte has every promise of a competent man ; but he needs the lesson
so hard for the beginner — that it is better to stand or fall by the standard
than to try to wriggle in with the camp-followers.

Those who wish to be harrowed will like The White Virgin ,

by George Manville Fenn. " She " is a silver-mine, which acts

with very virginal unreliability and keeps her human lovers
and their dependents on the jump to escape catastrophe. The plot is
shudderable enough for the most exacting. The " Globe " Library, Rand,
McNally & Co., Chicago ; paper, 25 cents.

Having run its course for a dozen years or so in advertising cigarettes
and patent medicines, Kray's Lorelei has got around to the Overland,
which prints a borrowed electrotype of it for its June frontispiece. In
the same number the Overland reprints a Malayan story by its editor
from an Eastern paper ; and other equally original and Californian
matter. It is the only second-hand magazine published west of the
Rocky Mountains.

F. W. Hodge, of the Bureau of Ethnology, has issued a reprint of his
brief but pertinent paper on Pueblo Snake Ceremonials. He finds in
several other pueblos traces of former serpent "worship" somewhat
similar to the astounding rites still in vogue in Moqui.

Chas. A. Keeler, of Berkeley, has published an allegorical cantata In
Quest of Truth, for private circulation.

Chips has changed from bibelot to folio shape; but remains of the
material usual to chips.






Stephen M. White.

URING a considerable period in the history of

California the legislature saw fit to choose for

senators only men of great wealth. As a result

the State was often represented in the upper chamber

by men of mediocre ability as law-makers, without

force in their respective parties, and with no great

reputation in the country at large. As a consequence

the great and rich empire of California was practically

relegated to a third rate position in national affairs.

In 1893 a break in this policy was effected through the

election * to the Senate of Hon. Stephen M. White of

Los Angeles — a man of limited means but of very great

ability. Mr. White had been for some time eminent in

the councils of the Democratic party, having served as

chairman of the convention at St. Louis that nominated

Mr. Cleveland the second time. He was also known as

one of the greatest lawyers of the Pacific coast, a

speaker and thinker of rare power, and a man of immense popularity

among those who knew him well.


Mausard-Collier Eng. Co.

Photo, by Waite.


Great things were expected of Mr. White when he was elevated to the
Senate — and he has bettered expectation. In the session which re-
cently came to a close, Mr. White showed himself the true and the
powerful friend to this section that every one knew him to be, carrying
on a long conflict against tremendous odds in behalf of the people of
Southern California, and in the end winning all or more than any
reasonable man wovtld have hoped to see attained.

On Mr. White's return to Los Angeles, he was tendered a great ovation
by his fellow citizens, irrespective of party.



Southern California Chautauqua


(EXERAL GARFIELD, the then nominee of one of the great po-
litical parties for the Presidency of the United States, spent
several days on the grounds of the original Chautauqua Assem-
bly, Chautauqua Lake, New York, season of 1880. In a brief address
which he gave on Monday morning, as he was about to leave.the
grounds, he said : " The originators of this movement have solved." the
problem of profitable leisure." This passing remark of the lamented


Garfield puts in a very simple and practical way precisely what a Chau-
tauqua Assembly is and does. The literal truth of this statement has
ample verification in the crowds that attend these great assemblies every
year. Body and mind grow weary of the monotonous round of busi-
ness and cry out for respite from the unending strain. A season of re-
laxation from the continuous toil of the year is a recognized necessity
independent of the question as to whether it is constitutional or the
creation of custom. It is a matter of some importance to know how to
utilize this interruption of the course of one's life, so that he may not
only return to his usual occupation rested, but brighter and stronger
for the tasks of the future. Simple hibernation may answer for a mere
animal, but it cannot meet the needs of a being endowed with the am-
bition and purpose to be something and to do something as he makes
his hurried journey through the years. One of the things that may be
said in favor of Saratoga as a great summer resort, is its provision for
that sort of helpful occupation which avoids objectionable constraint
on the one hand and escapes, on the other, the damaging rust that
gathers from simple indolence. The Chautauqua Assembly admirably
meets this important need in all active men and women. It enables
professional men to traverse the current thought of the time, along all
lines, with the smallest imaginable effort. It offers to the student and


the educator an opportunity to gather pointers and drink in stimulus
without taxing muscle or brain, and at the same time avoids the trend
toward dullness which total inactivity inevitably produces. The Assem-
bly proper covers ten full days. The exercises of each day begin at
eight o'clock with a devotional service or bible-reading. The second
hour, this year, will be devoted to a purely historical study of the great
Prophets, under the direction of a skilled leader. The third hour will
be given up to a review of the civil and literary history of our country
from its foundation down to a recent date. This happens to be the
American year in the Chautauqua course of reading, and this review
will afford all an opportunity of refreshing their minds touching mat-
ters of interest and moment to every American, and with which every-
body should be familiar. This review will be conducted by one who
has had large experience in this line of work and who may be accounted
an expert as an instructor in the wide fields of literature and history.
Concurrent with these exercises, in the great Assembly Hall, there will
be lectures and lessons given in art, elocution, music, physical culture,
Sloyd, entomology, physiology, pedagogy, etc., etc., all of which will
be in the hands of masters, the very best instructors the country affords;
notable among these is that eminent teacher of" sight reading " of music,


Miss Lelia L' Fetra, from the New York Conservatory of Music. Prof.
J. C. Fillmore will give one of his celebrated lectures on music. Among
other attractions of each afternoon, there will be introduced, this year,
a department designated " The Forum," which has become exceedingly
popular in Eastern Assemblies. At this hour the current living topics of
the time will be discussed. Each subject will be presented in a carefully
prepared address or paper, and the remainder of the hour will be devoted
to a general exchange of thought touching the particular topic under



consideration. The evenings, however, are expected, and intended, to
be the great hours of the Assembly. The " star " attractions of the pro-
gram are reserved, as largely as possible, for the evenings. By concert
of action through a list of Pacific Coast Assemblies, including two in
California, the local management is enabled to avail itself of the very
same talent that is employed by the older and wealthier assemblies of
the East. By this arrangement our audiences, this season, will be en-
tertained on five out of the ten evenings of the session, by some of the
most popular speakers on the American platform. The concerts and
vocal contest will be notable events in the coming Assembly.

The management, this year, has given unusual attention to the music
of the Assembly. The high grade talent employed will be available at
any point of the entire program, and the leader of the chorus promises
us two of the best concerts ever given in the tabernacle. The vocal

Herve Friend, Eng. LONG BEACH. Photo, by Wait*.

contest is open to all amateur singers and is awakening much interest.
Two cash prizes, respectively of $30.00 and $20.00, are offered. The
program will cost in the neighborhood of $2000, and the promise now
is that the 3000 people usually drawn to the Beach by the Assembly will
be exceeded this year. This varied and expensive program is afforded
to the holder of a season ticket at the trifling cost of 25 cents per day.
And the living is reasonably cheap at the Beach, so that one maj' enjoy
an exceptionally excellent program at an expense but little in excess of
what it costs to remain at home.

Driving, bathing, boating, fishing, may be indulged in ad libi-
tum. The great wharf, running out a quarter of a mile into the sea,
and blazing with electric lights at night, is a capital outing place for
promenading and inhaling the tonic air of old ocean. Parties may lie
formed for low-tide excursions, or trips to Catalina or Mt. Lowe, at a
nominal cost, and so every desirable feature of a first-class outing


invites the man or woman of weary hand or tired brain to a season of

Online LibraryArchaeological Institute of America. Southwest SocOut west (Volume 5) → online text (page 9 of 34)