to the keen wind, or with no better
protection than a red cotton shirt, run
up and down the gangway bearing
huge bales and packages with inde-
scribable verve and earnestness. No
resting, no shirking in this brute toil.
Ah! country of the seared face and
virgin heart; what centuries of penury
and slave-service have taught this
utter devotion to the meanest task!
What tragedies, harder than Job's,
pass daily within these millions of
wooden cabins or under this coldly
smiling sky! What unutterable pathos
sobs itself out in the low chant of the
Volga gangsmen.
It is the vesper
hymn of the temple of eternal labor,
and not less acceptable, one would
think, to the good God who knows
best, because it goes up to heaven
without the mediation of gilded saints
and priests to whom gold and saintli-
ness are almost equally foreign. We
English know it more familiarly in the
pages of Tolstoi, the marvellous artist

men get work in the nearest factory town. Another note of social change! Below, the broad stream takes its way, smooth and strong, dotted here and there with strings of wooden bargesreal floating villages some of themrafts of uncut logs, and now and then a village ferry boat. For miles on one bank extend dark forests of fir, pine, and birch. On the other, the ridge is capped by a succession of hamlets, a dozen wooden huts to each, with a windmill or a church set on every higher point. Behind us lies the town, wooden from end to end with the poor exception of the tower of the firewatchmen-a sort of stone sermon on the plague which they call here the red rooster. The colorist will remark how wonderfully the white walls, green or blue roofs, and blue or gilded cupolas of the churches befit this pure and tranquil scene. A score of little droshkies lie in wait for the invisible wayfarer, the big bundle of dry goods which answers to the cry of "istvos--this gospel of salvation by handchik" slumbering serenely at the tail of his gallant little pony-pride of poverty-stricken Slavia. An unkempt mujik in inverted sheepskin crosses the dusty cobbled expanse which is the town's main street; and a group of what may or may not be women, on some pilgrimage of labor or perhaps of piety, passes down to the steamboat pier. Down there the human ant-colony is busy loading and unloading for the new factory hard by. A score of laborers, meagre, ragged, bare-chested

work. But Tolstoi had it from a village mason, who again had it with his blood straight from the heart of the Russian earth and Russian history. For this is the great unknown quantity men call Russia-an immeasurable patience, an immeasurable industry, an immeasurable devotion. Some day a prophet will come along and touch it into intelligent self-consciousness; what will happen then who can tell? But it will be good to live in that day of resurrection.

Extraction of gold by the Cyanide Proc- Agitation with a small quantity of meress. According to a report of the South curic oxide removed the sulphur and reThe Australian School of Mines, that ready stored the cyanide to activity. solubility of gold in a weak solution of publication of this report will probably cyanide of potassium upon which depends go far to prevent some unaccountable. the extraction of so much of the metal failures in working the cyanide process. from poor quartz rocks, is very adversely In the same report it is stated that if affected by the presence of traces of iron is in contact with the zinc used to sulphides. Fifty cubic centimetres of precipitate the gold from the cyanide soa 0.2 per cent. solution of cyanide of lution, a local action sets in, and the potaspotassium mixed with a cubic centime sium cyanide (which ordinarily is used tre of an aqueous solution of sulphur- over again) is wasted by the formation etted hydrogen, failed to dissolve a gold, of a deposit of zinc cyanide; the precipitaleaf which would have been dissolved by tion of the gold being also incomplete. the cyanide alone in about three minutes.

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DECEMBER 12, 1896.


From Harper's Magazine. "THE CELLAR AND THE WELL."

I had three memorable meetings with Dr. Holmes not very long before he died: one a year before, and the other two within a few months of the end. The first of these was at luncheon in the summer-house of a friend whose hospitality made it summer the year round, and we all went out to meet him, when he drove up in his open carriage, with the little sunshade in his hand, which he took with him for protection against the heat, and also, a little, I think, for the whim of it. He sat a moment after he arrived, as if to orient himself in respect to each of us. Beside the gifted hostess, there was the most charming of all the American essayists, and the Autocrat seemed at once to find himself


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Its chimney-loving poplar, oftenest seen
Next an old roof, or where a roof has been;
Its knot-grass, plantain,-all the social

Man's mute companions following where

he leads;

Its dwarfed pale flowers, that show their

straggling heads,

singularly at home with the people who greeted him. There was no interval needed for fanning away the ashes; he tinkled up before he entered the house, and at the table he was as vivid and scintillant as I ever saw him, if indeed Its woodbine creeping where it used to

I ever saw him as much so. The talk
began at once, and we left it mostly to
him, after we had made him believe
inat there was nothing egotistic in his
taking the word, or turning it in illus-
tration from himself upon universal
matters. I spoke among other things of
some humble ruins on the road to
Gloucester, which gave the way-side a
very aged look; the tumbled foundation-
stones of poor bits of houses, and "Ah,"
he said, "the cellar and the well?" He
added, to the company generally, "Do
you know what I think are the two lines
of mine that go as deep as any others,
in a certain direction?" and he began to
repeat stragglingly certain verses from
one of his earlier poems, until he came


Sown by the wind from grass-choked garden beds;

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he repeated the last couplet again at our entreaty, glad to be entreated for it. I do not know whether all will agree with him concerning the relative importance of the lines, but I think all must feel the exquisite beauty of the picture to which they give the final touch.

written so intimately with so much dignity, and perhaps none has so endeared himself by saying just the thing for his reader that his reader could not say for himself. He sought the universal through himself in others, and he found to his delight and theirs that the most universal thing was often, if not always, the most personal thing. In my later meetings with him I was struck more and more by his gentleness. I believe that men are apt to grow gentler as they grow older, unless they are of the curmudgeon type, which rusts and crusts with age, but with Dr. Holmes the gentleness was peculiarly marked. He seemed to shrink from all things that could provoke controversy, or even difference; he waived what might be a matter of dispute, and rather sought the things that he could agree with you upon. In the last talk I had with him he appeared to have no grudge left, except for the puritanic orthodoxy in which he had been bred as a child. This he was not able to forgive, though its tradition was interwoven with what was tenderest and dearest in his recollections of childhood. We spoke of puritanism, and I said I sometimes wondered what could be the mind of a man toward life who had not been reared in its awful shadow, say an English Churchman, or a Continental Catholic; and he said he could not imagine, and that he did not believe such a man could at all enter into our feelings; puritanism, he seemed to think, made an essential and ineradicable difference. I do not believe he had any of that false sentiment which To bait his homilies with his brother attributes virtue of character to sever

He said a thousand witty and brilliant things that day, but his pleasure in this gave me the most pleasure, and I recall the passage distinctly out of the dimness that covers the rest. He chose to figure us younger men, in touching upon the literary circumstance of the past and present, as representative of modern feeling and thinking, and himself as no longer contemporary. We knew he did this to be contradicted, and we protested, affectionately, fervently, with all our hearts and minds; and indeed there were none of his generation who had lived more widely into ours. he was not a prophet like Emerson, nor ever a voice crying in the wilderness like Whittier or Lowell. His note was heard rather amid the sweet security of streets, but it was always for a finer and gentler civility. He imagined no new rule of life, and no philosophy or theory of life will be known by his name. He was not constructive; he was essentially observant, and in this he showed the scientific nature. He made his reader known to himself, first in the little, and then in the larger things. From first to last he was a censor, but a most winning and delightful censor, who could make us feel that our faults were other people's and who was not wont



At one period he sat in the seat of the scorner, as far as Reform was concerned, or perhaps reformers, who are so often tedious and ridiculous; but he seemed to get a new heart with the new mind which came to him when he began to write the Autocrat papers, and the light mocker of former days became the serious and compassionate thinker, to whom most truly nothing that was human was alien. His readers trusted and loved him; few men have even

ity of creed, while it owns the creed to
be wrong.

From "Oliver Wendell Holmes." By William
Dean Howells.

From The Atlantic Monthly.

A middle-aged woman, fair-haired and stout, sat peeling potatoes in the top story of a tall tenement house. Between her and the sunset several

jagged lines of vari-colored clothes, tion, the peaceful old town, the smilcomprising a neighbor's wash, fluttered slightly in the faint-stirring air. The sound of children's voices, raised at intervals to a shrill pandemonium at some crisis in their game, mounted from the yard and entered at the open window. It was summer, and the woman awaited the return of her husband and son from their work.

Her husband, she knew, would come, slowly, painfully climbing the steep stairway, after a day's perspiring toil in the oven-like basement where he worked. He was ten years older than she was, and he suffered from rheumatism. The boy would come in advance of his father. He was a lad of fifteen, mature for his years, serious, almost stolid, in disposition. He attended the public school during the winter, and worked in the summer vacation to add to the family income.

The family income! It had dwindled of late, despite the additional pair of hands at work to secure it. An illness of nearly three months had dissipated the man's savings, and hopes for the future had had to be renounced. The boy would not return to school in the autumn; his parents did not face it yet; they would not recognize the necessity for his labor, although both knew in their hearts that the man was no longer to be depended upon. Their son's education had been a superstition to these good people; it would be the last of their aspirations to be relinquished. The woman who sat peeling potatoes laid down the knife, and reflected sadly on what was already included in these renunciations. She was a sentimental German woman, and the tears came easily to her mild blue eyes.

Once in their early married life, when fortune smiled upon them-they had planned to visit the Fatherland together; he to show her the little farm in Holstein, where his aged parents were then living with the family of an elder brother; she to show him her home in the Pfalz, in the old city of Speyer, on the dear Rhine. It came back now to the eye of her imagina

ing country round intersected by pleasant roads with their borders of fruittrees, the broad acres of garden and pasture, and the simple, friendly people jogging slowly in their vehicles, or strolling by whole families in the Sunday sunshine. . . Ah, she would have seen it all again so gern! But it was not to be. The advance in wages came too slowly; she had been ailing in those years; and then there was the boy's future to be looked to.

Again, they had looked forward to a country retreat in which to end their days. There were pleasant places on the outskirts of Brooklyn or in East New York; space enough for an arbor in which a man might light his pipe in the sultry summer evenings, with ground beside for a few beds of geranium and a rose-bush or two. So they had fondly imagined, and had pictured' the peace of existence, and the passing away from existence, in so sure a haven of tranquillity. But they never spoke of it now. Silently they abandoned the hope of ever quitting the stuffy little apartment in the top of the tall tenement. And the future of their boy was left them to meditate upon.

They plotted and schemed for his welfare, and watched him grow big and healthy and strong. They kept in a drawer of the kitchen table all his old copy-books and school exercises, and marvelled at the knowledge he was absorbing. Already he did all their writing for them; for the mother wrote only in the crabbed German Schrift, and the father unwillingly took a pen into his great rough hand. Sleeping and waking, their thoughts centred about the boy, and the goal of their lives became his education. This was not, in their sight, merely a tool to his advancement in life; it was desirable in and for itself, an unseen but ever present blessing, which bestowed upon its possessor an inestimable superiority.

Now this last and greatest of their ambitions was about to be abandoned Slowly they would accustom them


selves to the idea of its relinquishment. They would toil on for the rest of their days; the woman at her domestic work, together with what washing she could obtain to do; the man at his employment, so long as his failing health might permit him to retain his position; and the boy would be a toiler like themselves. Her soft mother's heart could not render this credible all at once to the woman's intelligence, but the shadow of it lay, darkening across her soul. She thought of her other renunciations, and none seemed so great as the one likely to be demanded of her. What she forgot was the calm their acceptance had brought her, and it would do the same again.

The boy and his father came home to their supper; the children ceased screaming in the yard; there was a lull in the activity of the whole vast human beehive. The woman placed two bowls of steaming soup on the white-laid kitchen table, and poured some tea into a saucer for herself. Her eyes dwelt alternately on her tired husband and the hungry lad, resting longest on her son. The man's brow relaxed under the influence of the cheering fare, and in his glance was legible the satisfaction of a day's work done. After supper, while she washed the dishes, he read aloud from the evening newspaper.

When the woman came back to the window, the last sunset colors languished in the western sky. The man had fallen asleep, extended at length on the horse-hair sofa; the boy's fair head was bent over a book, his expressionless profile softened by the shadow of the lamp. The woman turned from them to the gathering night. On her face was written contentment and the repose of a nature at peace with itself.

From "Landscapes with Figures." By J. K. Paulding.

From The Cosmopolitan. THE FORGETFULNESS OF AUTHORS. The best abused book of the year now ending (for "Jude the Obscure" belongs

chronologically to 1895) has been Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett's "Lady of Quality." The critics have pretty well dismembered and dissected it, from its moral theory down to its not always accurate archaisms. They have, in fact, done their work so thoroughly that it is surprising to find one amusing blunder still apparently unnoticed. This has to do with the lock of hair which Sir John Oxon surreptitiously cut from Clorinda's head and whose appearance at a critical moment in her life brought on the tragedy that forms the central motive of the novel. This remarkable raven tress at the time when it was cut off is described (page 106) as being five feet long, but when it afterward appears (page 225) it has lengthened out in some mysterious way to six feet! The inconsistencies of authors might be made the text of a long and curious discourse, for they are innumerable and seem to escape the attention of publishers, proofreaders, and critics alike; so that even in books that go through several editions they often remain unaltered for many years. Usually they are due to forgetfulness and sometimes to absent-mindedness. Thackeray's "Vanity Fair" is perhaps the most flagrant example of the former quality, for in the earlier editions the characters change their Christian names continually. Old Sedley is sometimes Joseph and sometimes John; Bute Crawley's wife is sometimes Martha and sometimes Jane; and so on. This is perhaps to be explained by the fact that Thackeray's health broke down when

he had finished the first part of the novel, so that he came to the composition of the second half after an interval that dulled his recollection of its details. Dickens does not blunder in names, but shows instances of forgetfulness as to some of the circumstances narrated in different parts of the same story. Most exasperating is it to a reader to find an author apparently forgetting in one part of a story the attributes ascribed in another part to particular characters. Thus, Charles Reade's "Hard Cash" introduces the American, Joshua Fullalove, as an educated gentleman; but

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