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a quick and saucy wit, that it is all over in the crack of a whip. I like the humor of Mr. Irving's Mephistopheles. The conception of the part is open to criticism. That uncertain-stepping, much-illuminated harlequin-devil seldom really scares me; but I often greatly admire his picturesqueness and sometimes his unearthly dignity, as when he warns his creature Faust, "I am a spirit! "— the finest piece of acting in the play; and I am entertained by his impish, satanic waggishness. It is, moreover, the humor of Irving's Louis XI. that adds force and humanity to the part.

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In fact, I would almost wish Mr. Irving to play only a certain sort of comedy, did I not remember with what expressiveness he can interpret, in his own peculiar way, ideas of tragic intensity. Salvini is my ideal of tragedy of perfection in detail and of sublimity in feeling. Two actors more unlike than Salvini and Irving cannot be named. But along with my most ineffaceable tragic impressions are certain memories of Irving-in "The Bells," in Hamlet." But, no; it was not Irving, it was Shylock himself that I saw one night in Venice,― hunted, foiled, perplexed, dismayed; his sinister face and form sublimed for the moment by the shadow of all the woe and wrong wrought upon that race, which, in the language of Emma Lazarus, has "served through history as the type of suffering." I like, it seems, many things about Mr. Irving aside from his managerial rôle; but I like him because he has brought before English and American audiences the world-tragedy of "Faust." He has led, as no one else has led, the English-speaking people," the masses," to the study of Goethe's immortal poem. He has, in

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his own way, put a version of this work effectively upon the stage. It is right that the version and the way should be gravely reviewed, and that exceptions should be taken to them; but the obligation to Mr. Irving for what he has actually accomplished in this play, and in

his whole interesting career as actor and manager in the Old World and the New, must never be lost sight of. It is for the serious, intellectual aims and accomplishments of his career that I like Mr. Irving; and, let me add, I like him too for letting us in America see, and see again, so individual and delightful an actress as Miss Ellen Terry,-one who so gracefully complements the sterner and more graphic qualities of the leading English-speaking actor-manager of our time.

Miss Terry as Gretchen.

FROM Mr. Irving's production of" Faust "I brought away the deepest impression of the art value of Miss Terry's impersonation of the heroine. By her emotional genius she seemed to heighten the spiritual sig

nificance of the play. In the scene where the jewels are found, her simplicity divested the gewgaw motive of worldly taint; and at the crowning point of the action, kneeling before the Mater Dolorosa, she reached a height of human despair and devotional fervor which for its rarity on the stage and its spiritual elevation might well be noted as the greatest achievement of this remarkable actress. Coming after such a supreme revelation of human feeling, the closing scene of madness and death has in some degree the elements of an anticlimax, while the tableau at the end relieves by enforcing the sentiment of forgiveness and rest.



IN an open letter on the above subject published in the November number of this magazine, the writer says:

The number of reported murders in the United States in 1882 was 1266. There were only 93 persons executed and 118 lynched,- in all, 211. Consequently... 1055 criminals escaped.

Judge James A. Creighton of Springfield, Ill., objects to this statement on the ground that all degrees

of homicide are here classed as murders, and that the writer has made no mention of the very large number of the 1055 criminals who have been sentenced to imprisonment for terms ranging from one to ninetynine years, or for life, according to the degree of guilt. He also objects to calling the 118 who were lynched sorted to by men who have lost patience because "escaped criminals," saying that lynching is not recriminals have escaped punishment under the law, but by men excited by aggravated cases of crime not murder, in which the law would in all probability have

taken its course.

Henry A. Davis of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, writes State of the Union is a murderer punishable capitally in relation to the same article as follows: "In no single unless the murder was willful, deliberate, and premeditated,—that is, unless the act was done with the fixed design and premeditated intent to take life, or was done will be seen that Dr. Deems's statistics, showing only in the attempt to commit some atrocious felony. So it the number of homicides, capital and otherwise, on the one hand, and the number of executions on the other hand, can have no value in showing what proportion of murderers were legally punished. A murder to be punishable capitally must not only be a willful, delib. erate, and premeditated killing, but every element of such offense must be shown beyond a reasonable doubt.”


Beneath the Hood.

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I HAVE heard of men who knew more than they could tell, but I never have met one. If a man has a genuine idea, he can make himself understood. LITERATURE is the diet of the common mind, but genius feeds on the unwritten things.

You may travel a good ways on whisky, and travel fast while you are going, but you can't get back when you want to.

WHEN you have learned to listen, you have already acquired the rudiments of a good education.

FAITH won't enable a man to lift a ton all at once, but it will, ten pounds at a time.

GENIUS invents, talent applies.

I NEVER have seen an idea too big for a sentence, but I have read thousands of sentences too big for an idea.

VANITY and jealousy are the two weakest passions in the human heart, and, strange to tell, they are the

most common.

A THOROUGHLY neat woman is a joy unspeakable, but does n't she make it busy for the dust and for the people in her neighborhood!

My young disciple, don't hunt for new things, but study to improve upon the old ones; every flat stone, and most of the bowlders, have been turned over already by the novelty-hunters.

WE find plenty of people who don't average well; they know too much for one man, and not quite enough for two.

Uncle Esek.

Young Lochinvar.


THEY were married and settled, and if they repented By times, that wild ride when the horse carried double,

They never confessed it; Papa had relented,

Being old, and averse to a family trouble. And "the poor craven bridegroom" kept wisely afar From the home of Fair Ellen and Young Lochinvar.

But Fair Ellen was moody: she 'd answer him shortly, In a way which perplexed him, and which, at the least.

He considered uncalled for; and, as he grew portly,
She sneered at his fancy for frolic and feast.
"Ye 're aften forgettin'," she 'd say, "that ye are
No longer a callant, my Lord Lochinvar."

Yet she always went with him to wake or to wedding,
Though he kindly excused her, or tried to, poor man!
For the watch that she kept, as the dance he was

Made him feel that he somehow was under her ban. And the maidens would whisper, "I'd gladly go far To escape from a dance wi' that puir Lochinvar!" He was nearly worn out with her moods and her tenses; So he collared his courage, and told her, one day, He'd enlist, if she did n't soon come to her senses, And endeavor to fall in the front of the fray. "I can stand this no longer; 't were better, by far, You had minded your father," said poor Lochinvar. “If you'd only just tell me what 's fashin' you, Ellen,” Though what I've put up wi' surpasses all tellin', He mournfully added, “and no be so blate, It may be that yet we could set it all straight; And if we cannot, then I'm aff to the war; 'T would be peace, just by contrast," said poor Lochinvar.

"Then tell you I will!" cried Fair Ellen. "I've borne it As lang as I can, and a great deal too lang! As for jealousy, it's a low thing, and I scorn it

But some impudent scribbler's put into a sang That you said there were maidens more lovely by far' Who would gladly have wed you, my Lord Lochinvar!" Margaret Vandegrift.

An Example of the Superlative.

J. R. P. writes from Frankfort of a hand-bill he saw not long ago on the walls of a house in Breathell County in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. He sends it as a good example apropos of Emerson's remarks on the weakness of the superlative.

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MARCH, 1888.

No. 5.





MY home ranch lies or dry creek, whose head branches may be

on both sides of the Little Missouri, the nearest ranchman above me being about twelve, and the nearest below me about ten, miles distant. The general course of the stream here is northerly, but, while flowing through my ranch, it takes a great westerly reach of some three miles, walled in, as always, between chains of steep, high bluffs half a mile or more apart. The stream twists down through the valley in long sweeps, leaving oval wooded bottoms, first on one side and then on the other; and in an open glade among the thick-growing timber stands the long, low house of hewn logs.


Just in front of the ranch veranda is a line of old cottonwoods that shade it during the fierce heats of summer, rendering it always cool and pleasant. But a few feet beyond these trees comes the cut-off bank of the river, through whose broad, sandy bed the shallow stream winds as if lost, except when a freshet fills it from brim to brim with foaming yellow water. The bluffs that wall in the river-valley curve back in semicircles, rising from its alluvial bottom generally as abrupt cliffs, but often as steep, grassy slopes that lead up to great level plateaus; and the line is broken every mile or two by the entrance of a coulée,

twenty miles back. Above us, where the river comes round the bend, the valley is very narrow, and the high buttes bounding it rise, sheer and barren, into scalped hill-peaks and naked knife-blade ridges.

The other buildings stand in the same open glade with the ranch house, the dense growth of cottonwoods and matted, thorny underbrush making a wall all about, through which we have chopped our wagon roads and trodden out our own bridle-paths. The cattle have now trampled down this brush a little, but deer still lie in it, only a couple of hundred yards from the house; and from the door sometimes in the evening one can see them peer out into the open, or make their way down, timidly and cautiously, to drink at the river. The stable, sheds, and other outbuildings, with the hayricks and the pens for such cattle as we bring in during winter, are near the house; the patch of fenced garden land is on the edge of the woods; and near the middle of the glade stands the high, circular horse-corral, with a snubbing-post in the center, and a wing built out from one side of the gate entrance, so that the saddle band can be driven in without trouble. As it is very hard to work cattle where there is much brush, the larger cow-corral is some four miles off on an open bottom.

A ranchman's life is certainly a very pleasant one, albeit generally varied with plenty of hardship and anxiety. Although occasionally he passes days of severe toil,- for example, if he goes on the round-up he works as hard as any of his men,-yet he no longer Copyright, 1888, by THE CENTURY Co. All rights reserved.

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