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Title: The Philistine

a periodical of protest (Vol. I, No. 6, November 1895)

Author: Various

Editor: Harry Persons Taber

Release date: July 29, 2022 [eBook #68638]

Language: English

Original publication: United States: The Society of the Philistines, 1895

Credits: hekula03 and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This book was produced from images made available by the HathiTrust Digital Library.)


The Philistine
A Periodical of Protest.

We make no proud boast that we are the chosen people of God; we are simply plain Philistines.Thackeray.

No. Six.

Printed Every Little While for The Society of The Philistines and Published by Them Monthly. Subscription, One Dollar Yearly

Single Copies, 10 Cents. November, 1895.


The Bibelot for 1895, complete in the original wrappers, uncut, is now supplied on full paid subscriptions only, at 75 cents net.

On completion of Volume I in December the price will be $1.00 net in wrappers, and $1.50 net in covers. Invariably Postpaid.

Covers for Volume I ready in November. These will be in old style boards, in keeping with the artistic make-up of The Bibelot, and are supplied at 30 cents, postpaid. End papers and Title-page are included, whereby the local binder can case up the volume at about the cost of postage were it, as is usual, returned to the publisher for binding.

Back Numbers are 10 cents each, subject to further advance as the edition decreases.

Numbers Issued:

I. Lyrics from William Blake.
II. Ballades from Francois Villon.
III. Mediæval Latin Students’ Songs.
IV. A Discourse of Marcus Aurelius.
V. Fragments from Sappho.
VI. Sonnets on English Dramatic Poets.
VII. The Pathos of the Rose in Poetry.
VIII. Lyrics from James Thomson (B. V.)
IX. Hand and Soul: D. G. Rosetti.
X. A Book of Airs from Campion.
XI. A Lodging for the Night. (November.)

THOMAS B. MOSHER, Publisher,
Portland, Maine.


To the Homes of Good Men and Great.

A series of literary studies published in monthly numbers, tastefully printed on hand-made paper, with attractive title-page.


The publishers announce that Little Journeys will be issued monthly and that each number will treat of recent visits made by Mr. Elbert Hubbard to the homes and haunts of various eminent persons. The subjects for the twelve numbers will be announced later.

The “Journeys” for 1896 will treat of visits to the homes of American authors.

Published Monthly, 50 cents a year. Single copies, 5 cents, postage paid.

“Little Journeys” and “The Philistine” will be sent to any address for one year for one dollar.

Published by G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS,

27 and 29 West 23d Street, New York.
24 Bedford Street, Strand, London.

The Roycroft Printing Shop announces the publication about Christmas time of an exquisite edition of the Song of Songs: which is Solomon’s; being a Reprint of the text together with a Study by Mr. Elbert Hubbard.

In this edition a most peculiar and pleasant effect is wrought by casting the Song into dramatic form. The Study is sincere, but not serious, and has been declared by several Learned Persons, to whom the proofsheets have been submitted, to be a Work of Art. The Volume is thought a seemly and precious gift from any Wife to any Husband, or from one Friend to another.

The book is printed by hand, with rubricated initials and title page, on Dickinson’s handmade paper. The type was cast to the order of the Roycroft Shop, and is cut after one of the earliest Roman faces. It is probable that no more beautiful type for book printing was ever made, and, for reasons known to lovers of books, this publication will mark an era in the art of printing in America.

Only six hundred copies, bound in flexible Japan vellum, have been made and will be offered for sale at two dollars each, net. There are also twelve copies printed on Japan vellum throughout, which will be sold at five dollars each. Every copy is numbered and signed by Mr. Hubbard. The type has been distributed and no further edition will be printed.

East Aurora, New York.


Edited by H. P. TABER.

East Aurora, New York,

The Philistine is published monthly at $1 a year, 10 cents a single copy. Subscriptions may be left with newsdealers or sent direct to the publishers. The trade supplied by the American News Company and its branches. Foreign agencies, Brentano’s, 37 Avenue de l’Opera, Paris; G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 24 Bedford street, Strand, London.

Business communications should be addressed to The Philistine, East Aurora, New York. Matter intended for publication may be sent to the same address or to Box 6, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Subscriptions can begin with the current number only. A very limited quantity of back numbers can be supplied at 25 cents each.

The Philistine and Little Journeys will be sent to any address one year for $1.

Entered at the Postoffice at East Aurora, New York, for transmission as mail matter of the second class.

COPYRIGHT, 1895, by H. P. Taber.

George P. Humphrey, Old Books, Catalogues issued, 25 Exchange street, Rochester, N. Y.



NO. 6. November, 1895. VOL. 1.


My captain calls to me to join the fray,
Fame holds her fillet ready for my brow,
Love stands with aching, open arms, and Thou,
O God, to whom I impotently pray,
Art ever ready to receive me—yea,
Dost yearn for my poor prisoned soul—then how
Becomes it that I linger in this slough
Of idle, unclean days, till I grow gray?
Bound am I to a corpse, face unto face,
Of old iniquities, and dead desire,
Which, fair and young, of old did I embrace.
Now chains of habit, forged in Passion’s fire,
Hold me forever in this durance base:
Struggling to rise, I wallow in the mire.
Claude Fayette Bragdon.


It is all settled. There was no other way. Art was held down by the Jews, who demanded that she come to their terms. So she has given up, not, perhaps, without a bit of a gurgle in her choked throat, but like the new woman she has become, she manfully[170] faced the music with no bit of compromise. She gave all, asking nothing but that she be placed on a basis of “commercial independence.” I quote from the announcement which the factory officials make to her old time friends—those who believed that Art should exist because she was Art, and that she should not be compelled to sell her very soul for the dollars she could earn by working overtime in their sweat shops:

“The Combined Press is a literary syndicate formed for the purpose of obtaining for writers commercial independence and liberal remuneration for high class work.”

This starts out well, and hereafter all writers who belong shall be given a rating in Bradstreet’s.

“All contributors, whether stockholders or otherwise, will be given the privilege of receiving in payment the entire cash returns derived from their published matter, less actual cost of service.”

This is encouraging, for writers may feel secure in getting some return for their labor; but hopes are dashed in the next paragraph:

“Under no circumstances, however, will inferior contributions be accepted from any one, and merit will in every case be given preference regardless either of authorship or membership.”

The superintendent of the factory will, of course[171] be the judge as to merit. Regarding the Plan the Sad Tale continues as follows:

“One thousand shares of stock will be issued to writers of established merit at $15.00 per share, paid up value. A payment of one-third of this amount will secure each share of the stock, but no certificates will be issued until stock becomes fully paid up, either by assessment or by accumulation of undivided profits.”

This is where the trail of the serpent shows. Mark you: it costs sums of money to be an Artist. The days when Genius burned the tallow dip at midnight in the garret are forever gone, for now, when everybody will have a commercial standing, the Artists’ Labor Union will permit of no more than eight hours labor each day. Here follows a choice bit:

“No stock will be issued to other than writers of marked literary ability, and applicants for membership will be required to give as reference the names of one or more high-class publications to which they have contributed. Applications for stock will be referred to a committee on membership, and no stock will be transferable, except to such as are deemed entitled to membership by this committee.”

What is “marked literary ability,” and who does the marking?

The factory, as it is now conducted, will consist of six departments. Following is a list of the Foremen[172] and Forewomen to whom all complaints and applications for positions must be made:

“Fiction, Ruth McEnery Stuart; Humor, R. K. Munkittrick; Washington, A. H. Lewis (Dan Quin); Juvenile, John Kendrick Bangs; Woman, Frances Bacon Paine; Agricultural, James Knapp Reeve.”

The following paragraph did not seem to me to be quite complete, so I have filled out the things which were apparently forgotten in the hurry of getting this remarkable circular before the public:

“Striking articles of adventure (true or false), discovery, achievement and special news are desired; also dramatic short stories, with or without action and not less than five per cent human interest, for young and old, especially the old; anecdotes, quaint, humorous and pathetic; novelettes, poems, jingles, verselets, squibs, squabs, jokes—everything, in fact, that will interest, comfort, amuse, harass or annoy the modern or ancient reader, thoroughly artistic in execution, will be available.

“Too much emphasis cannot be placed on the statement that only high-class matter, especially prepared for the Combined Press, will be used at $150 a column, net. We solicit and will pay the highest cash prices for hides, tallow, horns and pelts. Also for sale, cement, wool (wild from the West), hair (Le Gallienne and Ibsen brands), bricks (with or without straw) and material for building a modern periodical.

“The stock books will be closed on November fifteenth, in order to complete the organization and[173] make contracts for the coming year, stock remaining unsold November fifteenth having been already arranged for by parties in New York City.

“Address all communications to The Combined Press, 1128-1129 American Tract Building, New York.

“Directors—John Kendrick Bangs, President; Ruth McEnery Stuart, Vice President; R. K. Munkittrick, Secretary; Albert B. Paine, Treasurer; A. H. Lewis (Dan Quin), Washington; James Knapp Reeve, Chief Geezer.”

Following is the form for use of those who want positions:

Form 427 300 M



________ 189_

To James Knapp Reeve, Head Geezer,
American Tract Building, New York:

I (Name in full, three names if possible) ________ do hereby apply for a position as ________ and if employed do agree to faithfully observe all rules and regulations of the Combined Press, to maintain strict integrity of character, to abstain from the use of intoxicating liquors and profane swearing, not to assign my wages, and that I will perform my duties to the best of my ability.

I was born the ____ day of ____ year of ____ in County of ____ State of ____ My height is ____ feet ____ inches; weight ____ pounds.


Married or single. (If married, give full name and address of wife or husband, and how you like it.)

Name and address of parents, if living. If dead, state so, and why.

Names of those wholly dependent upon and supported by me. (This must be answered in full.)

Divorced? (If not, why not?)

Full name and address of last employer and occupation.

Names of all editors by whom employed, with bill of particulars giving times and places.

Cause of leaving (in each case).

Names of “high-class publications referred to who will endorse the applicant as a reliable, industrious and competent person of marked literary ability.”

Witnesses: ____X____ Mark here.




James Knapp Reeve has been engaged as night watchman.

Last Tuesday Munkittrick, who has charge of the automatic double-chisel mortising machine, while getting[175] out his second batch of verselets for the day and talking with Frankie Paine at the same time, accidentally lost a thumb. You must be more careful, Munk.

Dan Quin is laid off for a week for sassing the foreman.

Ruth Stuart is pasting labels on boxes on the sixth floor.

Jimmy Reeve is captain of the Combined Press Base Ball Club, which will play against the Mule Spinners from Cohoes on Thursday.

Johnnie Bangs had the misfortune to lose his pay envelope last Saturday night. It contained $4.65. The finder will please send it to him at Yonkers.

The Albert Bigelow Paine Chowder Club will give one of their delightful assemblies at Milligan’s Hall at the Hydraulics next Saturday. Gents, 35c. Ladies, free.

And do my Philistine readers think this is all good fooling? Do they think that no such circular was ever issued? I hope they do. It is pleasant to retain our old fashioned belief that men write because they have something to say: because like Charles Reade they have a purpose to accomplish; because like Thackeray they can dazzle us with the satire of[176] a master, or because like Stevenson they can take us to Treasure Island or on that Inland Voyage where were days of such delight as come rarely to men.

This circular, however, is a stubborn reality printed in muddy black and gory red, and the word Combined is evidently pronounced Combin-ed. It will be sent to poor devils who imagine that by subscribing to a fifteen-dollar share of stock, their wares may be marketed like peaches in September, by men whose names are known because they are signed to “verselets, squibs and jokes” in Harper’s Drawer. Thus may the salaries of the officers be paid. It’s a lovely plan, and could originate in no better place than Franklin, Ohio. Then, too, “American Tract Building” sounds good. Surely nothing else than sincerity could issue from a Tract Building, and a guarantee of “commercial independence” is worth something.

But it’s none the less pathetic, for all that. Many shares of stock will be taken, and many weary days will be spent waiting for the promised halo which, after all, wouldn’t fit if it came. It was the father of Jules St. Ange, if I remember correctly, who made “the so best sugah in New Orleans,” And he died and never sold a barrel of it. He was happy because he knew it was the best, though the commercial men told him it was not. So, too, as all the[177] World’s Louis has said, “He who has meant good work has done good work, though he has not the time to sign his name.”

I knew a man once, though, who worked many weary hours one Christmas time, and made a holiday story for a morning paper. It was a story of such truth as moved men to give to a hospital in a great city such money as supported it for half a year, and sick children were made well because of it. But he was not a man of “marked literary ability” and he never knew what he had done. He was not an Adam Smith, and he knew little and cared less about the wealth of nations. He simply wrote the truth from a heart that knew its own. Such men do not need to be told if their work be good or bad. They give us the best there is in them, and we are comforted because they have told us the things we knew before, only we didn’t know how to put them on paper.

H. P. Taber.


Jocund Herrick tho’ this age
Leaves uncut thy merry page,
Leaves thy song, thy robust jest
For Quixotic modern quest;
Thinks that all poetic bliss
Is summed in soul-analysis;
Swinburne’s strange erratic flight,
Weird desire and wild delight;
Pleasures in the paltry host—
Starveling muse’s meager ghost
Dribbling song in purblind flow—
Poesy has sunk so low.
I would see beside the rill
Decked with Lawn and Daffodil
Sweetly thro’ the morning air—
Corinna going to the fair!
I would hear the birds and bees
Sung of in Hesperides;
Would that I were with you there,
Drunken with the dewy air.
And Julia, paragon of grace,
I would look upon her face;
Then might I inspired be,
Fit to join thy company.
Ah! Herrick, softly on thy mound
I would still bestrew the ground—
Daffodil and rosemary
Tokens for thy memory.
Eugene R. White.


He was a man of humble dress and humble mien, and when he entered the parlor of the rich manufacturer he was obviously dazed by the upholstery and the pictures—especially the upholstery.[179] He had to wait ten minutes before the lord of the mansion appeared—a pompous man with an expanse of shirt, waistcoat and watchchain that were imposing, and a couple of whiskers that bristled in uncompromising pride. He looked at the meek figure seated on the edge of the least expensive chair, with a slight expression of scorn and irritation, and grunted, “Well, sir?”

“You must excuse me for coming,” said the diffident one, “but I wish to speak to you on a matter that is of the most vital importance to yourself.”

“What! Are the hands going to strike again? D—n them!”

“Oh, sir, please do not use such language. I have recently been discouraged from using it myself, and it does hurt my feelings so! I beg that you will not employ those terms, at least, in my presence.”

“What in the devil”——

“There you are again, sir, if you please. Don’t, I beg of you.”

“Well, go on.”

The visitor sank his voice to a thrilling undertone: “I am told that you have wine on your table.”

“Of course I have. What of it?”

“Beware of it, sir. There is death in the glass.”

“Those infernal, beg your pardon, mill hands, I’ll bet.”


“No, sir, not that. It is the wine itself. Keep to water. It isn’t very good just now, but you can filter it, or use it for tea.”


“Oh, do not bah at it, sir. I’m pleading for your good. Again, I am informed that you smoke. Stop it, please, at once.”

“What! Even my cigars poisoned? This is horrible.”

“Tobacco is itself a poison, sir. Again, you were not at church last Sunday. Nor at prayer meeting on Friday night. I am told that you made no contribution last month for foreign missions. I am credibly informed that you have had no Bible readings in your house for years. There is a rumor that you belong to a club, and that you once played poker there.”

The millionaire, who had been growing crimson, now turned purple; his waistcoat inflated, his whiskers were like quills on the porcupine. He glared and sputtered, but could find no words.

“Then, too,” resumed the visitor in a meek tone, “I hear that you patronize theaters, and have even been to the opera; that you permit your family to spend large sums on trivial entertainments and personal adornment; that the amount you wasted on dinners last winter would have repaired the alms-house;[181] that you never visit the hospitals and jails; that if you keep on in this selfish and wasteful course you are likely to become a nuisance to the neighborhood and a burden on the public; that”——

The rich man found his voice in a roar: “You audacious scoundrel! Get out of this, or I’ll kill you. How dare you come here and lecture me in my own house?” And overcome by wrath he fell into an arm chair and hissed.

“It’s strange that it doesn’t work both ways,” continued the meek one, reflectively, “Your wife and daughter called on me yesterday in the interests of the East Side Charitable Interference Society, of which you are president. They made me see the error of my course, and I was actuated only by a hope of accomplishing your moral improvement by coming here. For is not wine worse than beer? Are not perfectos more injurious to the health than pipes? Is not poker more expensive than pinocle? Is not your club more luxurious than the Peter H. Milligan Association, of which I used to be floor manager? Isn’t it as bad for you to go to theaters and stay away from prayers as it is for me? Oh, brother, let me plead with you to have more faith—to exercise more the gifts of the spirit. Let me”——

At this point the millionaire struggled out of an impending fit of apoplexy and threw a chair at the[182] meek man, who escaped. And the East Side Charitable Interference Society never called on him again. It gave him up as a hopeless case.

Charles M. Skinner.



Let me not much complain of life, in age;
Life is not faulty, life is well enough,
For those who love their daily round of doing,
And take things rounded, never in the rough,
Turning from day to day the same old page,
And their old knowledge ever more renewing.
I have known many such; through life they went
With moderate use of moderate heritage,
Giving and spending, saving as they spent,
These are wise men, though never counted sage;
They looked for little, easy men to please;
But I, more deeply drunk of life’s full cup,
Feel, as my lips come nearer to the lees,
I dived for pearls, and brought but pebbles up.
—Thomas William Parsons, in the Century.

By title the above lines commend themselves as “well enough” wisdom, yet will I “much complain” of them.

Here are fourteen lines.

At glance the eye anticipates a sonnet, following one of the fixed orders of sonnet rhymes. The end[183] of the third line yielding no recurrent sound, the ear is disappointed and infers blank verse, while expectation is frustrated by the fourth line rhyming with the second.

Did we read aright? Perhaps the first and third lines do conform to the Shakspearean order now suggested! Go back. “Age,”—“doing,” no! and we reach “page” at the end of line fifth with the suspicion that we have stumbled on a nondescript.

Well, give it another chance, and begin again!

This time we ask: what is it in the third and fourth lines that gives the ear a sensation as if something was struck with a hammer?

Yes, “round” and its iterate “rounded.”

Such sforzando does not occur in a good sonnet unless there is an idea to be emphasized, to which the mind is pointed by the ear.

But we conclude that this is not a sonnet, and apatheticly scan didactic platitudes through eleven lines till sobriety is startled by the all too frank confession of the twelfth.

We read it twice, to see if it is not a lapse of grammar, or a squeeze of “have drank” to meet the exigencies of rhythm, and come up from the dive of the last line thirsty to know just what image Mr. Parsons had in his mind.

Was his conception analogous to that of the reporter’s[184] who described the pretty actress as “standing on the brink of the rushing torrent of Niagara and drinking it all in with shining eyes”?

Was “life’s full cup” so immense that Mr. Parsons dove therein for pearls? A pretty large cup to drink to the lees, that? Is there, as a rule, any reasonable expectation of discovering pearls or pebbles, or, for that matter, lees, in a wine cup? Was the condition so awkwardly characterized in the twelfth line—but no! there is simply an unconsidered mixing of metaphors in this short poem, that starts with the book of life, and in the last three lines introduces the cup of life, and the sea of life. The last line, by the way, is mixed upon itself. Pearls and pebbles are not found mingled, and at the bottom of the sea, notwithstanding Robert Browning’s Divers in Pan and Luna.

Who dive for pearls do not so on pebbly bottoms. No doubt, by unluck, they often bring up valueless shells.

The orders of rhythms and rhymes in a sonnet are supposed to be known to all poetasters—or one can consult the Century Dictionary.

These forms should be kept in sacred reserve. Therein the poet may mold some holy sentiment or feeling—not with wandering thought: rising through the personal to the universal, or perhaps veiling the[185] universal in the personal. If one reproduces such trite didactic thought, why not bestow enough labor to shape a pure form?

By so doing the platitudes even might be polished and made to shine like new, with new metaphor.

I have not been able to resist the temptation of trying a prentice hand on the metaphors in Mr. Parsons’s lines. Perhaps with more spleen against the “well enough,” more enthusiasm for the intoxication not of the wine, and more sympathy for the luckless diver.


Too long I’ve lingered inland fruitlessly,
Strolling with moonlit loves through narrow vales,
Where to rapt hearts rave love-tranced nightingales!
I so said, thrilling to the far off sea,
Whose deep voiced tides and storms were calling me:
Leave dalliance, and breast my wholesome gales,
The world is known not in thy timid dales;
My winds ’twixt nations waft my lovers free.
But when I came unto the thundrous shore,
Long enervating habit balked intent;
My ventured wealth returned less than before,
I dove for pearls, found only empty shells:
Yet learned I then what love and peace have meant,
Though not why famed ambitions strike their knells.
William James Baker.



The happiest thing
The freest thing
That man may hope to see
Is a sun-bonnet-mite
Of a country child
In the top
Of an apple tree.
Mary Dawson.


Is that ancient and honorable institution, the New York Chamber of Commerce, becoming frisky and convivial in its old age? Will it in its ripe judgment recommend that the proper course for one to pursue is to tread the perfumed paths of Bacchus? Does the Chamber, as a body, indorse the able and thoughtful article in the October Forum, by Mr. Louis Windmuller, one of its honored members, in which that gentleman makes a strong plea for inebriety and drunkenness? Mr. Windmuller is certain that the policy of Mr. Roosevelt toward the liquor interests in New York will sap the lifeblood of our institutions, and he sends up a cry of alarm. It may be gathered from Mr. Windmuller’s well considered paper that there can be no true happiness in this life without strong drink, and plenty of it. Contentment[187] and peace of mind will slink under the bed unless there be a flagon on the table. Domestic felicity will be a hollow mockery, a failure and a fraud if there be not a keg in the cellar and a case of Culmbacher on the ice.

Our gifted author does not say it in so many words, but it is clearly his view that man’s faculties are at their best only when the gentle glow of intoxication steals over the brain and articulation thickens and halts by the way. He goes even further. He firmly believes that ours is a land to hastening ills a prey, unless we speedily go to Bavaria for our excise laws and fling Roosevelt over the Battery wall.

Only a lack of space prevented Mr. Windmuller from giving the Sunday schools a side wipe, and he comes very near it as it is. Evidently he looks upon them as a blot or something equally unpleasant. They have no bars, and, moreover, their teaching is all the other way. This makes our author a prey to melancholy and his brow is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought.

But what the Philistines are anxious to know is, does the ancient and honorable New York Chamber of Commerce believe that man reaches his best estate only when he has a jag on?

R. W. Criswell.



I suppose no one was much surprised that John Oliver Hobbes wanted a legal release from the man who called himself her husband, but when the mother of Fauntleroy and the author of the Quick or the Dead followed in the category of misfits I doubt not Mona Caird lifted up her voice in the wilderness and there was joy in the camp of the Claflin-Woodhulls. But the marrying and giving in marriage go right along, for this isn’t heaven; and the multitude that don’t complain put the literary folks who do to a kind of proof not easy to face. Since nature made men and women to marry, the wire-drawn literary folks who can’t stay married have the floor for an explanation. There are bitter critics who cry “I told you so,” and maybe they did—when it is announced that Amelie Rives can no longer endure her Chanler. Perhaps he is only common tallow after all—half a dozen to the pound. The maids and manlings who read According to St. John and believed Miss Rives’s emphasized statement that “Love is the fulfilling of the law”[189] must wonder if she meant the law she has just invoked to give her liberty. It is a choice of the quick or the dead now—the dead love or the quick release—and there is something more than tragic in the appeal through a prosaic court to “deliver me from the body of this death.” No, there is no discredit to any one in the pleadings of the impulsive young Southerner for her liberty. Nobody has broken any law. They can’t live together—that’s all, and all the amatory fury of the novel that gave her fame is a dead waste. It was honest when it was written, no doubt, but the pitch was too high. The happy (more or less) millions who don’t run to the public with a transcript of their strongest emotions or to a court for release from their vows must have learned a secret unknown to the Hobbeses and the Riveses and the Bashkirtseffs. They have found the happy middle line between the neurotic extreme that holds the master emotion to be a matter of physiology or of pathology—the Zolas and the Helgardeners respectively.

I read with unfeigned regret that the repairs which lately have been going forward in the New York postoffice will have to be abandoned until more funds accumulate in the United States Treasury. This is bad. It will leave the new elevator suspended between Heaven and earth in an unfinished[190] condition for the Lord only knows how long. Patrons of the Federal building on Manhattan Island will therefore be obliged to patronize the two antedeluvian other on the Park Row side. And this is always attended with the keenest disappointments. For example: You go to the Broadway “lift” and find it placarded, “Not running; try the other.” You journey around to Park Row, only to be confronted with this, “Out of order; try Broadway.” Then you mount the stairs, which you ought to have done in the first place, for the reason that the man who takes passage in one of the New York postoffice elevators can have no possible idea when he will see his family again. It is said that the regular patrons of these elevators take their luncheons with them; but this imputes to them a sprightliness of motion which they do not possess. The gentleman who made the ascent to the moon by way of the horns of the Darby ram went up in January and didn’t come down till June. Persons have been known to enter these national “lifts” on the up trip in December and not get back till the Fourth of July. The several elevators in the East Aurora postoffice are of the rapid transit variety, and never stop, except when clogged with the Philistine’s mail.


A woman who knows my weakness for potato salad on Sunday evenings asked me to lunch with her a few days ago. She has some boys—I don’t remember how many, and it doesn’t really matter—who make curious and totally irrelevant remarks, one to the other. Then they let drive biscuits through the air and accompany the sailing food with whoops, great and terrible. They are good boys—as children go—but wanting to know more about such matters, I bought Mr. Pater’s Child in the House to present it to my cousin Anthony, who has a very new boy—his first—just to let him see what he has ahead of him. And then it wasn’t about that kind of a boy at all. I wonder why nobody except Mr. Aldrich has written a story of a really truly boy.

It is comforting to know that when a man loses his job being president he can do such things as this for the man who made Philadelphia and the Home Journal and all that in them is:

“In a series of popular articles ex-President Benjamin Harrison will aim to explain clearly just what this Government means and how it is conducted. He will explain the Constitution, its origin and meaning; outline the different legislative bodies; our foreign relations; the power of the President; how the House and Senate legislate, and touch upon and explain the great National questions.”

Mr. Harrison will also devote several numbers to[192] a detailed description of the scrap between Colonel William Patterson and the Unknown, endeavoring to explain that Colonel Patterson inflicted his own wounds in order to gain notoriety—just like Dr. Parkhurst.

From a magazine with four million subscribers I clip this choice bit from The Woman’s Corner. The advice is given by Mrs. Rorer:

“Cleaning a chicken is beautiful work. It is a deal easier than boiling potatoes and not half so messy as painting and modeling.

“For brain-workers the red meats are most sustaining. Bread and potatoes should be avoided as much as possible. Brain-workers should avoid warmed-over meats—the dainty entrees of which people are so fond are simply hash, and no matter how good the food tastes it is not wholesome.”

Ho! ye poets, no wonder your verse is rank; you probably live on “simply hash;” and “warmed-over” meats only give you warmed-over ideas. Long have I told you to eschew sack and low company. Now do as Mrs. Rorer says and avoid bread and potatoes, and get comfort out of the thought that Mrs. Rorer does not forbid you looking upon the meat when it is red!

The price is five cents, but is too much. The only thing about the periodical that is pretty is the picture on the cover, which represents a nice young[193] lady in the act of crowning a black tom-cat with a wreath of burdock. Then why a black cat? Why not a maltese, or a tortoise shell or a plain grey blanket? But Tom is an inky black, and looks as if he could not keep proper hours even if he tried. However, that marvellous cover is a bit of symbolism. I am told that the young lady represents one of the Mewses and the cheeky cat is Max Pemberton, who is perfectly willing to be crowned.

I wish to notify the public that I have known Frank A. Munsey for twenty-nine years, come Michaelmas, and will vouch that any picture he prints is pretty.

Possibly it is as well to confess that the Universalists got listed with the Evangelical denominations in the summary of the last census on a fluke. May they do St. Peter with equal ease! Mr. Wright didn’t know any better, but having put them there and electrotyped the plates, he could not change the record without considerable expense. He therefore turned to and proved that after all Universalists were Evangelistic and had been since the days of Constantine, and now he offers to caper in an argument on the question against all comers for a thousand dollars. Darwin says we feel a thing is true first and prove it afterward; but Mr. Wright prints it first,[194] accidentally discovers it, then knowing he has to prove it, claims it as truth and dares any one to tread on the tail of his coat.

I notice that a famous globe-trotter is scheduled for a series of articles for a “literary” syndicate of some pretensions. Among her announced themes is Etiquette, both general and particular, and lest there be some misapprehensions I hasten to say that this is not Mr. Bok’s social kindergarten and has no connection with the Missus’ Home Journal, A department of this subject is thus set forth in the circular:



It is so nice to be informed what to do when you are divorced and how to treat your friends, if you have any, “in cases of financial failure.” So important, too, seeing that these social emergencies are “the outgrowth of modern life,” and of course it’s legitimate outgrowth—for no illegitimate outgrowth would for a moment engage the virtuous attention[195] of the rival of Nellie Bly. Other chapters tell women how to behave “when dispensing millions,” a valuable thing for every one to know, and also the how and whereas of “the womanly woman” in public life—such occupations being specified as “street cleaning, road making and regulating schools and saloons.” Abundant illustrations are promised, and I have no doubt the newest thing in milk shakes and the jerking of beer will come within their scope. The new woman grows newer every day.

And is Judge Grant right when he says a man cannot be healthy, virtuous or wise unless his income is ten thousand a year?

In Harper’s for October Mr. Brander Matthews explains that story-tellers “are of three kinds.” Startling, thrice startling, is this frightful truth which the Second-Prize-Taker sets forth! Three kinds? Gadzooks, and here the world has staggered along for six thousand years believing there were only two—the good and bad.

And then the breezy Brander says: “Mr. Du Maurier has the gift of story telling. No doubt Mr. Du Maurier has also other qualities, for instance the gift of pleasant humor and broad sympathy.” Will the Philistines please note that Professor Brander Matthews of Columbia College considers that a man[196] may be a successful novelist and still not have “pleasant humor” and “broad sympathy;” or should we be charitable and take it that he is writing in self defense?

But a bright woman at my elbow says she knows what Brander Matthews wrote that article for—he wrote it for Fifty Dollars.

Then what does Brander Matthews mean when he declares that “Miss Austen was the grandmother of Mr. Howells”? Accidentally I once coupled Mr. Howells with Mr. Bok, for which I duly apologized to Mr. Howells, but I never gave him such a dig as Brander Matthews does in the October Harper’s.

The Washington Capital says: That baby Goliath, The Philistine, is trying hard to make something choice in the way of a Bok bier: but what’s the use? The Tin God is immortal.

When in 1892 Mr. Ham Garland prophesied that Chicago would soon be the literary center of America, the Ink-Stained of the East said “Shoo!” But the prophecy is fast coming true. The first edition of Mr. Thomas W. Mudgett’s book was sold in a week; and the good people of the Windy City are taking a justifiable pride in the achievement of their best known citizen. “H. H. Holmes” is Mr. Mudgett’s nom de plume.


Mr. Cudahy recommends Bovox for novel readers.

In that bundle of choice things entitled In This Our World, by Charlotte Perkins Stetson, is a poem called “Mr. Rockefeller’s Prayer.” Preceding the poem is this note of explanation: “The wealthy Mr. Rockefeller is reported to have said that his income is so much in excess of his power to spend it that he has to kneel down every day and ask for Divine guidance in getting rid of it.” It may here be stated for the benefit of the unenlightened that Mr. Rockefeller be not a Philistine, he be a Baptist, a Close Communion Baptist, and therefore a firm believer in the efficacy of prayer. Now while I have no wish to quibble with Mrs. Stetson, I am of the opinion that she has been misled as to the facts. Mr. Rockefeller considers the Lord too much his debtor to get down on his knees to Him, and if he ever did it was to ask Him how to get rid of Professor Bemis and not how to get rid of his wealth.

And after all, has Rockefeller got rid of Bemis?

I am sorry that Anthony Hope has married off the Princess Osra. She was a delightful old maid, and now that she’s the Countess of Mittenheim her story’s done. For Anthony Hope is a romanticist, not a veritist, and therefore tells the truth about the most vital thing in life, which is the soul of romance.[198] That most vital fact is that there is virtue in true lovers and marriage is not a failure with people who are good enough for chivalry. So there will be no more adventures for the charming princess who has so strong a mind and so warm a heart that she might stand as the type of the new woman. She has found the port and happy haven of her life. Thanks to the breezy narrator of her voyages. But how we shall miss the bluff monarch who has that rare accompaniment of power—a sense of humor. Let us petition the court chronicler of Zenda for a partial remission of sentence. Let us have the merry Rudolf and his boys for awhile, though the star of his kingdom has gone out.

Sixty-nine applications for stock have reached the Combined Press from Cluett, Coon & Company’s employees alone.

To gentlemen about to make presents to bookish ladies I commend that most charming thing, The Female Offender, by my esteemed co-worker in the vineyard, C. Lombroso.

I don’t know whether the following headlines, taken from a recent number of Footlights, are ironical or sarcastic, but to a man whose memory extends back to the thirties they seem curious: THE NEW WOMAN—Fay Templeton.


“Every Man His Own Nordau” is the theme of the word-builder in the Scribner’s foreground study this month. “Degeneration While You Wait” is the motto of the retrospectives who read Grant et al in the Buddhist’s Own.

Possibly Mr. Pullman is not a praying man, and perhaps he merely accepted “the Universalist compromise with Infidelity,” as that staunch Calvinist, Russell Sage, who gives $25,000 yearly to Foreign Missions, avers; yet Mr. Pullman has not lost all sense of piety, for he “lifts the collection” religiously in five thousand Palace Cars every morning.

A Richmond, Virginia, publishing house is out with a history of the United States, and from the advance notices it ought to have a good sale in the land of reconstruction. All the notices are from the land of cotton. The Houston Post says it sets forth the heroic struggles “for self government and the sovereignty of the States.” I haven’t seen any reviews from north of Mason and Dixon’s line, but the New York Tribune ought to give the book a handsome send off, and if the Tribune neglects it, why there’s the Cleveland Leader or La Monte G. Raymond’s Allegany Republican.

McClure’s pillory will present Abraham Lincoln next. Mr. Lincoln, being dead, can not say a word.


The Sons of the House of Putnam (vide Chip Munk, May 15), are bringing out a serial, one part every twelve months. Quilp says that if the Sons would make it once in twelve years it would suit him as well.

There is in England a flourishing sect that believes we are now being punished for sins committed in a former life: the chief tenet of the creed being that this earth is Hell. The London Echo seriously explains that the Philistine is the organ of this peculiar religious denomination; but the Echo is mistaken—the Philistine is strictly non-sectarian. It believes there are hells which exist on earth, but fortunately only in isolated places—and further that the head devils in most of them are managing editors of daily alleged newspapers.

Advance announcements of the November Scribner’s emphasize the good news that “The final part of Robert Grant’s Art of Living appears in this number.” The December Scribner’s ought to be pretty good.

Why Bliss Carman and Stephen Crane do not write for Lippincott’s has long been a mystery to me. Some of their verse is bad enough. But the secret is out. They have only two names apiece.

Here endeth the First Volume.


New dames that “in the flying of a wheel cry down the past” take pride or shame in this: If she who raised the tax from Coventry scorched through the town this noon, no Peering Tom would risk his eyes—sated with stranger sights, in these swift days.