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CUCKOO!

Did you guess that I watch'd as again you Sumer is icumen in,

passed Lhude sing Cuccu.

With the cross that our heroes wear?

Old English Song. Did you know I could almust have touched There's a dreamy voice in the summer air, Its mellow music is ever rare —

As you carelessly left me there? Cuckoo ! Leading our thoughts like gentle seer Oh! they tell me that foes need be foes no Over meadow and moor and mere,

more Like a saddening love, the spell is dear :

When their battles are lost and won,
Sweetly sings cuckoo.

So, perchance, we may learn to be friends

again

When the battle of life is done.
It breathes a tale of the powers of May,
Of violet bank and primrose brae,

Will you know in that future, oh love, my love,
Cuckoo !

That I was not so much to blame? Woods with the hyacinth misty blue,

Will you know that I too have my cross to

bear, Fields with the daisy white, and the dew Bright as the day the world was new :

Tho'it brings me no breath of fame?

'Tis the unseen cross that we women wear, Blithely calls cuckoo.

When our steps to the grave must go

Over ways to whose danger the world is blind : Snow-white showers of anemones

Tho' I think that the angels know. Have blown beneath the budding trees

Golden Hours.

NELLA PARKER. Cuckoo ! The sonbre pines to life have sprung, And all with tender tassels hung, Have sunlight o'er their shadows fung: Summer sings cuckoo

TO MARY - AGED SEVEN DAYS. Far hath fled the winter's ruth;

Bright as the morn that heralded thy birth, Winds breathe softly from the south :

So bright may all thy life be, little fairy ! Cuckoo !

And thou shalt bear the prettiest name on Woodlands gladden every scene,

earth, With their shades of tender green,

All hail ! sweet, infant Mary!
Of gold and bronze, in holt and dean :
Mellow calls cuckoo.

Come, tell me, is there truth in Wordsworth's

story O'er the still and distant down,

(Of faith in poets I am somewhat chary),

That babies trail behind them “clouds of Where the heath is black and brownCuckoo !

glory”? Where the birch with drooping head,

Dost thou, oh, tiny Mary? And the stunted oaks are spread

Clouds I have sometimes seen on baby faces, Thinly 'twixt the moor and mead, Gladsome calls cuckoo.

Mostly when teething makes them feel con

trary,

But of the glory I could find no traces,Floating o’er the brairding corn,

Don't be offended, Mary!
In the peaceful eve and morn,

Cuckoo !
As from sprite that flitteth by,

Sage Darwin more than hints the race of men

Descends from ancestors all tailed and Singing sweetly in a sigh, Weird and strange the melody:

hairy, Quaintly calls cuckoo !

A lowly origin, 'tis true ; but then,

J. H. P.
Chambers' Journal.

Our star is rising, Mary!
Is it not nobler to be bravely striving
Onward and upward, with slow steps and

wary,

Than, from the gods our origin deriving,
A VICTORIA CROSS.

Be slowly sinking, Mary?
Did you see me to-day, oh! my long-lost love,

As you passed through the cheering crowd, | A glorious womanhood, true, strong, and tenWith your soldier step and your head upraised,

der; And your white face calm and proud ? A sparkling wit, with fancy bright and airy; Did you guess that the color flushed my cheeks | A grace to which all hearts will homage ren. As I heard them speak your name,

der, As I heard them say that your deeds stood high May these be thine, sweet Mary! In our English tales of fame?

Spectator.

FANNY PEIRSON.

AMERICAN SOCIETY

IN AMERICAN

From The Edinburgh Review. stances grow rapidly into great cities; nor

is there any surer road from competence FICTION.*

to wealth than judicious investments in VERY naturally our American friends eligible building lots. While to more imare in the habit of boasting of the colos. petuous spirits who would hasten to be sal scale of everything in their magnifi- rich, or who care little for mere money. cent continent. Their lakes are seas, getting without excitement, the universal and their rivers are navigable for many epidemic of speculation offers endless and thousand miles above the mighty estua. inviting opportunities. The leading stock ries. The very "parks” which are locked markets in the east and west, with their away within the recesses of their grand rings and corners, syndicates and finan. mountain ranges might pass for provinces cial combinations, are so many centres of or principalities in the cramped countries calculating gambling, where luck is largeof the Old World. Yet engineering sci-| ly tempered by skill. The leviathans of ence, backed by unlimited capital, bas the exchanges play very much on velvet, overcome those formidable obstacles and and if they lose heavily one day, they barriers, flinging bridges everywhere can afford, with their enormous resources, across the broad rivers and carrying rail to wait patiently for their turn of revenge. ways by easy gradients through the passes In the States we see the remarkable phein the mountain chains. Everywhere nomenon of groops of busy citizens and they may point with legitimate pride to capitalists, enriched already beyond all the triumphs of mind and energy over the dreams of avarice, beyond the possimatter. Agriculture has kept pace with bilities and even the power of enjoyment, manufacturing industry, while it has far who seldom spare the time to spend a outstripped commerce. The boundless dollar on themselves, but give their prairies are being reclaimed by indefati. families unlimited credit with their bankgable labor, and the buffalo and the roving ers. In short, while the bulk of the savage have given place herds of sleek population in other countries is cont cattle with their stockmen. Mining has to exist, the Americans are essentially a made greater millionaires than manufac- money-accumulating nation, and every tures; discoveries of minerals and of min man from a Vanderbilt to the rough eral oils have directed the rush of immi- Western pioneer is more or less eager to gration to the most savage districts of the better himself. The maxim of " Nothing continent, till from the Golden Gate of venture, nothing have” is very generally San Francisco to the quays of New in favor, and should a pushing individual York, and from the shores of Lake Su- “come to grief” while “making his pile," perior to the mouths of the Mississippi, to do his countrymen bare justice, they the States are being " settled up” by a are very ready to help him and by no community that is being steadily consoli. means disposed to be hard on his indisdated by the spread of a vast network of cretions. And the result is that their. railway lines. Clusters of wooden shan- life is real and earnest in another sepse ties shoot up into towns; while towns from that intended by the poet they lost that are favored by situation or circum- the other day.

Such a society may assure for its 1. Dennocracy: an American Novel. New York members in general more than a suffi2. The Europeans. By H. James, jun. London: ciency of material comforts, but it can

hardly be favorable to the ideal forms of 3. Daisy Millar. By H. James, jun. London: refinement, or even encourage what are

called the learned professions. The fever 4. Confidence. By H. James, jun. London: 1880.

5. A Chance Acquaintance. Ly W. D. Howells. of work possesses a community which Boston, U S.: 1880.

can barely spare time for sleep and meals. 6. A Gentleman of Leisure. By Edgar Fawcett. Intellect is necessarily at a discount, save 7. The Confessions of a frivolous Girl. Edited by in so far as it can be turned to practical

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London : 188r.

ROBERT GRANT.

London: 1931.

handmaid of the stock markets and pat-fied by the laws of demand and supply. ents lucrative inventions. Eminent firms | The tastes may take vulgar or very comof lawyers inay enjoy incomes unknown monplace forms, but all the same books in England, because their services are in of a kind are multiplied. request to negotiate business matters In America the conditions we have sug. with the utmost economy of invaluable gested can scarcely be said to exist. It time; and fashionable physicians earn is a young and a rapidly rising country: fancy fees by ministering to overwrought society is continually in uneasy movebrains and soothing agitated nerves. ment, and has been shifting steadily westHere and there an eloquent and popular ward towards barbarous regions. It is divine, who has the art of addressing true that sundry centuries have elapsed himself with irresistible force to the emo. since the Pilgrim Fathers landed in New tions, draws immense congregations; and England; and, as matter of fact, we find it is alleged that in New York, in the that the higher American culture has gayest circles, a conspicuous pew in a been mainly confined to the State of fashionable place of worship is as indis- Massachusetts. But even in New Enpensable as an opera-box on the grand gland, what with the prolonged struggles tier. But literature, especially in its of the colonists, and the severe, Puritani. lighter and more graceful form, inevitably cal spirit that cramped their intellectual goes to the wall. In the absence of an growth, culture had a slow and an unfaappreciative body of readers, there is vorable start. While elsewhere, all less no incitement to the nobler ambitions; pressing considerations have been sacri. and looking at literature from the lower ficed to the unresting struggle to move, pecuniary standpoint, its returns are poor on and grow richer. Poor men, with their and more than problematic. Indeed, there way to make, are heavily handicapped, is perhaps nothing more extraordinary in and must strain every nerve to hold their the history of human culture, than the own. Even wealthy men think the time fact that a nation exercising vast political is wasted which holds back their sons power and priding itself on the boundless from entering on the battle of life, after resources of its civilization, should have they have been taught to read, to write, so little to boast of in the shape of books. and to calculate. The lucky oligarchy No doubt there are special reasons, in the that is born to riches labors either to incase of the United States, which go some crease or to squander them. The minds way to explain the phenomenon. A body of all are absorbed in the interests which of national literature is the growth of set their springs in motion, and lie near. time, of leisure, of venerable learned est to their hearts; and the only literature foundations, and, we may add, of a multi. that really excites them must be either plicity of easy fortunes transmitted by in- political, industrial, financial, sporting, or heritance, or independent of trade. Then ephemerally frivolous. So while indu. you have trained writers and readers. merable journals command a great circuThe successful author may aspire to a lation, there is no duller market than the position of his own, in great measure in market for books; even ladies, who in dependent of his income. Men of let. England would be inveterate novel-read. tered tastes in comfortable circumstances ers, seem in America to have no time for are tempted to indulge in a fascinating reading of any kind. pursuit which gives congenial occupation But besides all that, there are other with the chance of celebrity. Poor men causes which conspire to discourage may reasonably betake themselves to a American authorship. Publishers need profession, which has occasionally valu- never pay for native talent, so long as able prizes and offers a fair hope of a the whole range of English literature is competency. While many must fail or within their reach, and while they can fall far beneath mediocrity, many succeed, acquire a copy of any new and popular to the encouragement of others; and thus work for the mere cost of the carriage or the tastes are formed which must be gratis postage. We find, in fact, that the most

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distinguished American authors have tive by an artist like Mr. James, who is been almost invariably men of fortune more than a scene-painter; or by one of and leisure, who chose to indulge the Mr. James's more capable disciples. As bent of their genius. Moreover, and so a rule, the cultured Bostonian is intro. far as our immediate subject is concerned, duced charily, and with an invariable we suspect that American novelists would propriety of mind and demeanor; and still be at a grave disadvantage, even were while he serves as a foil to the members Englishmen effectually protected by an of the giddy throng about him, he is international copywright. We find, as made to figure in a ludicrous light. Bos. we should expect, in the books which ton has its recognized place in the coshave come under our notice, that the au- mogony of the Union as the show capital thors who lay their scenes at home are of culture. As it is literally shadowed sadly at a loss for novelty in their sub- out in American fiction, it represents all jects and are fettered by the monotony of that is "high-toned,” respectable, and their types. Society is cast in certain dull

. The men have been educated at stereotyped moulds, and the springs which Harvard, though they may sometimes set its machinery in motion are patent to have neglected their advantages. But if the most superficial observer. Cooper's they subsequently sow their wild oats, lodian is extinct, or has been relegated they sow them in secret or abroad, and to the “reserves; or he is a drunken have the grace to be ashamed of them. vagabond loafing about the railway de- selves. If they mean to settle down pôts and ready to carry a valise for a few among their own people, they are bound cents. The sensationalisin of the wild to reform early; and if wise, they will West, with its roughs, revolvers, shooting atone for their indiscretions by a double sheriffs, and Lynch law, is soon exhaust- assumption of propriety. The ed. It is not every day that a political sphere of society is scientific and æsand philanthropical reaction against a thetic, and its leaders, although bound to lucrative national “institution

gives an be moderately well off, have, for the most opportunity to the author of an Uncle part, made their mark by their brains. Tom's Cabin.” The stories of quiet Hitherto at least, there has been always a rural life among the snug homesteads certain number of celebrities of Euroand picturesque woodlands of the East. pean reputation, who have attracted the ern States are studies of scenery and visits of admiring foreign travellers, and manners rather than of characters and l of whom their fellow-citizens are at least motives; and in short, the novelist must as proud, as of the patriotic memories of fall back upon the worlds of fashion or of Bunker's Hill. The ladies espouse talent business. There is small scope for the when they can; and there is a consider. play of the imagination in ringing the able residuum of strong-minded maiden changes on firtations, where nothing is blue-stockings and spinster advocates of changed but the costumes, whether they woman's rights. While those who have are carried on at New York, Newport, or been linked by their fate to mere mon. Saratoga : there is no place for subtle eyed respectability are content to lead mental analysis in the scramble and glare humdrum existences, enlivened by mildly of the showy entertainments, where the intellectual festivities, and become irresensations are some grand coup in the proachable as wives, mothers, and house. matrimonial market by a penniless for. keepers. Such are the impressions of tune-hunter or a beauty on her promotion; Boston as we have gathered them from a or the collapse of the sham capitalist who perusal of American fiction passim; and figured yesterday as a Cresus.

it must be owned that any work of fiction The novelist in search of a subject founded on them must be wanting as seems to have an alternative to be sure, much in relief as in the excitement that is and that is the delineation of life in derived from the analysis of our vices and Boston or its environs. But life in Bos foibles. ton can only be made reasonably attrac. The best recent novel upon Boston

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society with which we are acquainted is | liberties. “I simply meant,” said Felix, Mr. Henry James's “ Europeans,” which explaining away a misconception, “ I simhe modestly terms a “sketch.” Not that ply meant that you all don't amuse yourits being a sketch tells against the work. selves.” The very notion of amusing manship, for in our opinion Mr. James is oneself strikes the elderly gentleman, who never so effective as when he dashes in has a youthful son and a pair of charming his figures in spirited outline. And the daughters, as at once novel and fantastic. acuteness of Mr. James's observation is · Amuse ourselves ?” is the suggestive unimpeachable, while he is no mean stu- answer; "we are not children." And dent of the eccentricities of human nature, these are Mr. James's comments on the and can shrewdly contrast the complexi- creditable efforts of the sparkling Euroties of character. Few novelists are more pean young lady to make herself pleasant successful in the art of indicating an idio- and to find life in America agreeable. syncrasy with one or two pregnantly epi. grammatic touches, or of making an indi- way; she had mingled in its plain provincial

She had joined that simple circle over the vidual bare the mind for inspection by talk ; she had shared its meagre and savorless some slighit but suggestive self-revelation. pleasures. She had set herself task and she We are far from saying or believing that had rigidly performed it. She had conformed he takes no pride in the material triumphs to the angular conditions of New England life, that have made America a marvel of pros- and she had had the tact and pluck to carry it perity among the nations. That he can off as if she liked them. Acton felt a more appreciate the seemingly hard and suc- downright need than he had ever felt before to cesstul man of the world, when he feels tell her that he admired her, and that she indefinite yearnings after higher things; along, hitherto, he had been on his guard with

struck him as a very superior woman. All is shown in the delineation of his typical ber; he had been cautious, observant, suspi. “ American.” But his sympathies are all cious. But now a certain light tumult in his on the side of the refinement which has a blood seemed to intimate that a finer degree struggle to hold its own in the States, of confidence in this charming woman would and breathes more freely in the air of the be its own reward. “We don't detesi you,” older continents. He ought at all times he went on.

“I don't know what you mean. to be a dispassionate judge of the attrac. At any rate, I speak for myself ; I don't know tions which Boston has to offer. But anything about the others. Very likely you even the patriotism of Mr. James shrinks datest them for the dull life they make you from attempting to make a readable novel

lead. Really it would give me a sort of pleas

ure to hear you say so.' simply of the home-bred elements of society in Massachusetts. So he imports a Of course Mr. James, when he makes couple of vivacious Europeans, who give the baroness express herself so strongly, his book the needful animation. The is looking at the “dull” life through the strangers, who are themselves American lady's eyes; but Acton, who rebels equally by extraction, take kindly to their Ameri- against it, and who resents its restraints, can kinsfolk; but they very speedily get is a fellow.citizen of the Wentworths, and bored. Indeed, they liave been conscious was to their manners born. He is the from the day of their arrival in Boston of reverse of dissipated; he is scarcely gay; an overpowering sense of depression. his home is brightened by an exceptionBeing Bohemians in their habits, they ally sprightly sister; but his ideas have may have been demoralized by unwhole. been expanded by travelling in Europe, some exciteinent; but then their unhealthy so that he has been altogether spoiled for cravings are counterbalanced in the States residence at home, and finds everything by freedom from pecuniary anxieties, and in Massachusetts flat and unprofitable. by the unfamiliar comforts with which But with such an author as Mr. James, they are surrounded. It would be natural the first sentences of the story are sure to enough, nevertheless, that they should give the keynote to its general tone, and murmur in the moments when the un. the opening scene is sufficiently sombre. eventful days will hang heavy on their Whether or no the visitor to the States hands; but Mr. James justifies their com- find his warmest welcome in their hotels, plaints, either when speaking in his own he has seldom to complain of lack of liveperson, or by the frank adinissions of the liness in those showy and bustling caraBoston folks themselves. Felix Yuyung vanserais. But it would seem that even is addressing his rich uncle, Mr. Went the hotels of Boston have a distinctive worth, whio, half from old-fashioned cour. and subdued character of their own. tesy and half from his liking for the youth, A narrow graveyard in the heart of a bustling, lets his scapegrace nephew take unusual i indifferent city, seen from the windows of a

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