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like Faust he would wrest from nature her
last secret, and like Faust he too wakes in
old age to the romance and passion of
youth. Here as in all Zola's books the
strongest of human passions plays its part
and is unreservedly portrayed, but with an
emphasis on the finer sentiments that en-
noble and spiritualize it. And that other
passion of the human heart, the mother-
love, is exquisitely expressed. There is no
sweeter or more gracious scene in all litera-
ture than Clotilde with her babe at her
breast, at peace in her maternity.



THE PRINCE OF INDIA.



Like Zola, Lew Wallace makes elaborate
studies for his novels, but the similarity ends
there, and nothing could well be more dif-
ferent than the results they obtain. In the
"Prince of India," l which he has been en-
gaged on some years, the author of "Ben
Hur" has produced an historical novel of
the old school with all the usual character-
istics — romance, adventure, mystery, and
much description. There is perhaps a
modern motive underlying the religious
disquisitions with which the book is plenti-
fully besprinkled, and certainly there is a
modern application in the absurd religious
dissensions depicted. The place and period
chosen, that stormy and pathetic moment
when the empire of the Greeks, reduced to
one city, was tottering to its fall, was the
culmination of the schismatic disputes that
through centuries had rent the Christian
Church, and Constantinople was a hot-bed
of bigotry, prejudice, and violent faction.
Not even Rome has ever offered so tremen-
dous and so appalling a spectacle of the
weakness and imbecility of men as did Con-
stantinople in the middle of the fifteenth
century. Then as now the most cosmo-
politan city in the world, with people of
almost every race making up her hetero-
geneous population, she was, nevertheless,
governed by two narrow religious factions
utterly opposed to and intolerant of each
other. The court sided with one faction,
the people with the other ; and the quarrels
of dogmatic disputants formed the sole
business of life. The young men were all
monks, and the women and old men were
their partisans or opponents. There was
no interest in anything outside the city
walls, and little within them for anything
but the prayers and riots in the churches.
Meantime two peoples, the Jews and the
Turks, believers also in the Christians'
God, looked on in amazement at and prof-
ited by their divisions. The Jews exploited
the trade and commerce of the town, and
the Turks closed in their victorious lines
around the last stronghold of the Caesars.

This picturesque and fateful situation has
been immortalized by Gibbon, and from
Gibbon General Wallace has evidently
drawn his inspiration. That his presentation
of it is to be compared with Gibbon's can
hardly be said, but he gives an adequate idea
of it, and for the sentimental the flavor of
romance he has added will doubtless add to
the attraction . Given that period and those
conditions, it was of course unavoidable that
religion should play the prominent part that
it does in his book, but the discussions are
somewhat long and might well have been
abridged with benefit to the purposes of the
story. In making the Wandering Jew the

1 "The Prince of India," by Lew Wallace. Har-
per & Bros., New York, 1893.



884



BOOKS AND AUTHORS.



central figure of his book the author has
shown a fine confidence in his undoubted
ability to handle an old subject in a new
way. The mysterious Jew with the curse
of Christ upon him is a familiar figure to
readers, having already been incorporated
twice into the literature of this century.
Neither Eugene Sue nor the author of " Sala-
theil, " however, succeeded in making a real-
ity out of ' this strange ghost of tradition,
and it must be confessed that Wallace has
not succeeded much better. The Prince of
India is very much a deus ex machina, and
he is not especially relevant to the story the
author has wreathed about Constantinople's
crumbling walls. There is, moreover, an
almost banal reflection of the wonders of
"Monte Cristo" in the untold wealth he is
able to command and the mysterious sources
whence he draws it. The description of his
visit to the tomb of Hiram, King of Tyre, is
not particularly imposing, and his exit at
the end of the story is ignoble.

In the treatment of his material the au-
thor has shown the same art as in "Ben
Hur." The narrative is generally lively,
the descriptions good, and the grouping pic-
turesque, but the book as a whole is not
equal to its predecessor. Besides length
and discursiveness it has serious defects of
style. Indeed, it must be said that this
author lacks entirely the literary gift called
style, which makes whatever Henry James,
for instance, writes delightful in itself. But



no man, not even a writer, should be criti-
cised for not showing talent that he does
not possess. There are, however, certain
lesser graces and refinements of style that
are within the ability of all, and even these
General Wallace neglects. His diction is
inexcusably careless ; throughout the book
there are errors a schoolboy, as Macaulay
would say, should not commit. The infini-
tive is divided whenever division is possi-
ble, and there are other inaccuracies and
inelegancies too numerous to mention. It
should be added, however, that these faults
are common to most English and American
writers of fiction. The severe literary
standard and requirements that make a
French novel, however poor otherwise, in
this respect a work of art, are not as yet
operative on writers in the English lan-
guage. But the movement must begin with
the writers themselves if ever at all, and
consequently, however unnecessary it may
appear, their attention should be called to
the fact. To appreciate these strictures
the reader has but to compare "The Prince
of India" with "Le Docteur Pascal" in the
original '. Yet Emile Zola is not by any
means what the French call a stylist.

Nevertheless, despite defects and redun-
daney , " The Prince of India" contains much
for almost any reader to enjoy; and that
it has already patted successfully its test
of popularity is proved by the fact that the
first edition is even now exhausted.




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^BBJfJlS A D VE RT I S J N G^H'^ S 17 "] ^



T h f CALIFORNIAN



Since its very first issue the newspapers have passed
favorable comment upon the Californian. The verdict
of them all may be summarized in the exquisite com-
pliment paid to the Editor by M. Octave Thanet:

(< I like the Californian from start to finish."
The New York Observer in a recent number writes:

"The Californian has moved its [publication, not editorial] head-
quarters to New York, but its Californian flavor is pronounced and
attractive. This magazine surprised us when we saw the first
number. As regards literary ability and thoroughness, it has had no
infancy. It was full fledged from the start, and has maintained its
character and worth right along. The illustrations, as well as the
articles, are of a high order." , „ „, — -^

Bancroft Libri*

Better than this the Editors could not say for them-
selves; but better than it ever has been readers may be
assured the magazine always will be.

The Californian Illustrated Magazine

47 Lafayette Place, New York City



THE AUTONOMY OF WOMAN.

IN these later years of the nineteenth century woman begins to emerge
into the new social condition of autonomy ; after many hundreds — who

shall not say " ages?" — of years evoluting from dependence to absolutism.
Had she been originally the equal of man, by nature his compeer, social
organization could never have placed her in the secondary position ; for she
would have contended for the dominance and co-operated in the evolution.
On the contrary, however, in the making of laws and in the controlling of
peoples she has been but an auxiliary factor, not a prime motor.

Isolated instances of exceptions to the generality have been apparent in
history; but these are premature, abnormal offspring of the course of nature:
prophets of future possibilities. Cleopatra, of these, was the signal one: she
who established a nation by the force of her own personality. Semiramis
is another: the martial queen of the Western East. Judith, another: vin-
dictive sponsor of the subordinate. Joan of Arc: priestess of the sanctities:
inviolable. Jenny Lind: vocal dictator of the manly passions, overswayer
of the human emotions. But it is only within the last decade that woman
universal, reaching the age of declaration, has arisen to claim equal share
with man in creation and control.

From the position of physical servitude, bestial capacity (still remnant in
the Eastern Orient), she advanced to that of treasure or value in the Western
East (where her face is still veiled from the public lest she be wantonly
looked upon). Then in Greece — intelligent Greece — her motherhood
capacities were recognized, the children consigned to her nurture, and she,
in grateful offering for the gift, reared them in admiring emulation of the
men. The first real stage in the approach to independence was thereby
accomplished.

The mother of the Alexanders, rudely presuming on the gain already
made, inspired in her children the spirit of passion that, transported over
into Africa, reinflamed and set alive the Cleopatra, the sensuous mistress;



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Oyster Soup — Cran-



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against whose tyranny revolting Rome installed vestal virgins in her tem-
ples, sanctified the purities, and for future moral precept set womanly virtue
fundamental : a new value of woman in the estimate of man. Nomadic
Gaul invaded Rome and to its exaltation of femininity added the romance of
chivalry, the feudalistic adulation of the Middle Ages; which led to the
enthronement of royal female lineage in established England, associate
enthronement (with insidious arrogance of sovereign power) in France.
And now in democratic America the subtle force of the physical capacity, of
which none is lost in history, the indisputable nurtural superiority, the
beauty of the virginal idealization, the charm of the chivalric fiefdom, all
combining wrest from man irrevocably the concession of independence.

Through a long history man himself has struggled for autonomy. He
is only just now acquiring it absolutely. In the security of it he does not
begrudge woman her independence cf him. For, after the desperate and
difficult contention that he has waged, the desire for peace is come upon
him, the horror of arrogance, which is the enemy of peace. In the acquir-
ing of liberty woman has learned her capabilities. Physically she has con-
quered man (in Egypt ) and is satisfied with the consciousness thereof.
Nurturally she is his mother (as she learned in Greece), responsible for him :
therefore he has enshrined her; therefore he loves her. That she can rule
she knows, because she has tried it. One thing more remains, then:
universal suffrage. Shall she have it?

Courting peace and rest, man looks for that which shall minister them
to him. Seeking power and activity, woman yearns for that wherewith she
shall exercise them. The elements of peace are repose, grace, beauty.
The elements of power are strength, courage, endurance. Reciprocally
gaining the two, the natures of man and woman approach nearer the one to
the other. In autonomy, losing submissiveness, woman lives and labors
side by side with man. Forsaking and forgetting arrogance, man, in auton-
omy, becomes gentle and is as one with the woman. And there is an end
to dissension and a beginning of peace. — Anon.




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WONDERLAND.

(From the German of Heine.)

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From olden legends springing,
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ONE COMPENSATION FOR HARD TIMES.

From the Northwest Magazine for September.



It was the theory of Emerson that
for every good there is compensating
hurt, and that for every evil there is
a compensating good. Whether or
not this rule applies to the whole
round of human affairs, it is certain
that for the evil of hard times under
which we all now suffer there are to
be expected — so experience teaches
— some good consequences. We have
only to go back to the results of the
panic of 1873 to be satisfied of this.
That panic and its sequence of re-
duced consumption, curtailed trade
and prostrated industries was followed
by a great movement to the new lands
of the West. Multitudes of indus-
trious, competent men were thrown
out of employment by the closing of
factories and the reduction of force
in stores and offices. A large num-
ber of these men had savings-bank
accounts or small real estate proper-
ties which they could sell. They saw
no prospect for the early recovery of
the depressed business energies of
the country, and they thought it a
wise course to realize on what they
had saved and invested and strike
out for the West in search of new
homes and opportunities. The ten
years following 1873 were years of
enormous progress in the West.
Those years brought to Kansas and
Nebraska their second great wave of
immigration. They filled up western
Iowa and western Missouri. They
converted the prairies of Minnesota
and the eastern part of Dakota into
well-settled and prosperous commu-
nities. They sent a great throng
across the continent to develop agri-
culture and fruit growing in the val-
leys of California.

If the experience of the years fol-
lowing the panic of 1873 is now re-
peated we shall see, probably next
spring, the beginning of a new west-
ward movement of population. There
is plenty of room for more people all
along the western border of the humid
region ; room, too, in the many irrig-



& able valleys in the vast arid region
that lies on both sides of the Rockies,
and room on the rich, open plains
and in the great wooded districts of
Washington and Oregon. In fact
there is not a State west of the Mis-
sissippi that does not invite additional
population. The life of a farmer, in
these days of low prices for farm pro-
ducts, is not as attractive as it might
be, but it at least gives assurance of
food, fuel and shelter, and that is more
than the life of an unemployed factory
operative or mechanic can do. Be-
sides, the world has touched the bed-
rock as to the prices of food. Agri-
cultural machinery lias exerted its
full influence. There will be no
more bonanza farms to add to the
wheat surplus. There are no more
unoccupied plains and foot-hills to
pasture cattle and sheep. The intel-
ligent workman knows these facts
and believes that there are better
times ahead for Western farmers.
Many of the young men thrown out
of employment in factories, mills,
stores, and on railroads came from
the farms and will naturally gravi-
tate back to farming now that their
former occupations no longer yield
them a support.

A tide of new settlement will be a
great blessing to the West. Every
community is stronger for having its
vacant places filled up. A well-
settled dictrict means good roads,
good school facilities, home labor for
gathering the crops instead of tramp
labor, an active social life, more
cheerfulness and less loneliness. The
taxes yield more money for public
purposes, churches and newspapers
are maintained, the little towns be-
come more attractive, railway facili-
ties are improved, and the whole com-
munity moves up a peg or two on the
scale of civilization. If all this comes
about as a result of the present hard
times, then, certainly, compensation
will not be lacking for the troubles
which now oppress us.

24



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BY

Charles Frederick Holder, LL.D.

Editor of the " Californian."

Author of a "Life of Charles Darwin," " Living Lights," "Elements of Zoology,'
" The Ivory King," "A Strange Company," etc., etc.



NOTICES OF THE PRESS



This book is a valuable contribution to our biographical
literature, and the work is most carefully and admirably
done.— American Journal of Education and Natural
Educator, St. Louis.

The book is brilliant and discriminating, and will no
doubt serve as a stepping-stone by which young Ameri-
cans will be led into the pleasant paths of science.— Phila-
delphia Ledger.



Online LibraryCharles Frederick HolderThe Californian (Volume 4) → online text (page 118 of 120)