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homeward. Gordon, as usual, was the life of our story of the south of France in the Napoparty.
leonic era, and the interest is concentrated Mr. Morton enclosed the following let- on a single character, who is one of Conter from McCabe, written in April, 1865: rad's greatest creations. The idea of MY DEAR NASH:
sacrifice, which is fundamental in ConAlthough I do not know when there will be an rad's novels—one has only to recall “The opportunity of sending this, still I can't refrain Rescue” and “Under Western Eyes”– any longer from inflicting a letter upon you, albeit is here again dominant; nothing could be you have done nothing worthy of such harsh
more splendidly serene than the way in treatment from me. Well
, old boy, I miss you a great deal, and I'd which the old sea-dog steers toward death. love to have some our chats and rides and we had learned to love him before this walks over again. I'm not given to saying com- final incident; but nothing in his life beplimentary things or I sh'd put down something came him like the leaving of it. The digvisit to “Gravel Hill” but that sort of thing nity of style which marks every book by sounds insincere on paper, and besides "you Conrad is here also nötable; it furnishes a ought to know," as the dear young ladies are wont reason for his superiority to most of his to say. Well, I've been paroled but I have, at present,
contemporaries. no idea that I could stand up and swallow the
Like Browning, Ibsen, and Wagner, Jo“Oath.” I feel more like spitting out one-a seph Conrad finally won his public withreal, round old cavalier oath-such as Rupert or out making any compromises; for the
su"wild George Goring” swore at the “Puritan perior clarity of the sentences in “The nor do I think a man ought to refuse when he is Rover” has no similarity to any sort of going to remain in the country. After all it is a "writing down.' The old jokes about question for every man to settle for himself. Conrad are heard no more. Who was it
My intention of going abroad remains un- who used to call his admirers the Conradichanged, and I trust by the blessing of God to be able to sail by October. I propose going first to cals, and insist that the novelist was unEngland, and if I cannot find employment there, readable? Was it the same man who put thence to Australia. How much I would love to
one of his novels against the wall, shot it head and a brave heart are good to have by one's had failed to get through the first chaphave you as my compagnon de voyage! A cool with a revolver, and found that the bullet self-pshaw! how awkward! I mean, are good in a companion! In short, old fellow, when I ter ? wrote that balderdash I meant to express my de- There is only one of Conrad's novels liberate conviction that your head piece is level, and that you aren't the greatest coward in unworthy of him, though he would never the world, and that I wish you'd go with me.
admit it. This is “Victory,” which won Now write me about that famous school, and him a new public. I cannot swallow Mr. tell me what you propose doing. You haven't Jones, who seems to me just the languid, proposed to the fair maid of Roxabel, have you? bored villain whom I have encountered as Alas! poor Yorick! these one-legged men are terrible fellows. Now give my warm regards to frequently in melodrama as infrequently Judge Marshall's family, and remember in count- in life. ing up your friends that you have none who love you more sincerely and heartily than
In a previous issue I said that I had GORDON MCCABE.
never heard of Sarah Smith, or of her In one respect, at least, Joseph Conrad novel, “The Doctor's Dilemma.” Well, is unlike Henry James. The latter be- just as I expected, I have since heard sevcame more and more difficult as he ad- eral times of both. I am informed that vanced in years, so that some of his latest the famous Hesba Stretton (of whom I writings, "The Outcry,” for example, are had heard) was none other than Sarah for the average reader an impenetrable Smith; that there is sufficiently complete thicket. Conrad, on the other hand, information about her in the Second Supseems to increase in amenity. Surely his plement of the Dictionary of National latest novel, “The Rover," is, with the Biography; that her novel, “The Doctor's possible exception of "Victory,” the Dilemma," was published at London in "easiest” of all his books. Although three volumes, 1872. Could any two auwritten by a seafaring man about a sea- thors possibly be more unlike than Hesba faring man, the wayfaring man, though Stretton and Bernard Shaw? Yet he did a fool, need not err therein. This is a not disdain to borrow from her. He must have borrowed his title, for to suppose the Sarah Smith was on easy street for the rest of her contrary would be to imagine that there life. was one thing in the world of which he had Professor Charles A. Beard, who, just not heard. Of all the letters I have re- before the catastrophe, returned from a ceived about Sarah Smith, the following, year's stay in Japan, and upon arrival in from Justice John S. Dawson, Topeka, his Connecticut home was immediately Kan., is the most interesting:
summoned back to assist in the proper
restoration of the city of Tokio, which inDEAR SIR:
vitation was a high and well-merited comProbably some of your readers will volunteer pliment, writes me that he is now “amid give, but I'll tell you what I learned about her the greatest scene of desolation in the hisfrom her brother, a fine old English gentleman tory of human calamities. But the huwho emigrated to western Kansas and became my man spirit rises indomitable. More than neighbor and revered friend until his death some 60,000 houses and shacks have been lifted ten years ago.
Sarah Smith, born “somewhere” in England, from the ashes in one month and the was one of five children,--Harriet, Eleanor, Sarah whole city is a hive of industry." I think Benjamin and Alice. She early showed some the name should be changed from Tokio literary aptitude and was encouraged thereto by to Phoenix. Charles Dickens. Owing to the plainness of her name, she adopted a nom de plume, Hesba Stretton, the word "Hesba" being made from the first Last year I wrote elsewhere the careless letters of the Christian names of her sisters, her remark that after the fall of manna brother, and herself,-H, E, S, B, A, I never ceased in Old Testament times, it had heard of “The Doctor's Dilemma," but years ago I read some of her books, “Paul's
Court" never been heard of since. Which shows ,” Cobwebs and Cables,” and I think some how little I know about it; for Robert T. others which my memory now confuses with the Pound, of Labina, Mont., writes me that writings of E. P. Roe. Their style and trend were the Scientific American for July, 1922, much alike, as I recall.
But the most interesting incident concerning says: "Washington has received from Sarah Smith, or rather Hesba Stretton, for I was Bagdad samples of Turkish manna. This not aware that she had published any books un- manna falls like dew during the autumn der her own name, hangs around her little story, months, hardening into the form of grain. half an hour, just such a story as used to ap- It is supposedly the same substance used pear in Sunday-school leaflets a generation ago, by the children of Israel. . . . It is a and neither better nor worse than most of its good substitute for sugar and honey, and kind. It chanced, however, about the time of its pub
sells for 45 cents a pound.” Thus it is litlication, that Sarah Smith was prominently active erally the bread of heaven, and the old in relief work for famine sufferers in Russia. As Jewish historian knew almost as much as an appreciation of her work, the Czar ordered some of his critics. "Jessica's First Prayer" translated into the Russian language, and a copy of it placed in every public library in the empire. The notoriety
Those who are still worried about the thereby occasioned caused a great demand for the younger generation should attend to the little story, with the result that Sarah Smith following story, which I assure them is made quite a bit of money by it. But that is only literally true. Not long ago an underpart of my tale. Some years later, Sarah Smith wrote an article for a London paper, containing a graduate told me that he personally did scathing denunciation of the Siberian exile sys- not like to drink, and did not drink except tem. This so greatly enraged the Czar that he when home on vacations. “Even there,” ordered the little book to be taken from the li- he said, “I do not really want to drink. man! This caused another world-wide demand But what shall I do? I can't bear to hurt for “Jessica's First Prayer," and ere it subsided, father's feelings.”
HERE was a young artist in New emy itself lapsed into a kind of hiberna
York who wanted to place his work tion. It lay dormant for nearly fifteen
before the public. Forthwith he years, but in 1816 it was revived and called on a dealer with one of his pictures Governor De Witt Clinton, though reto ask if he might have an exhibition. signing as president, marked the occasion Quoth the dealer: "I don't see how that by an interminable and gorgeous address. can be managed just yet. You are not Cummings thought well of it, saying: known.” The applicant naturally wanted “This was probably the first address deto know how he was to become known. livered before any Academy of Arts in “Through an exhibition," the dealer the United States. It was delivered gravely replied. In my mind's eye I have before the citizens of the first city in ever since seen that young artist travel- the first State of the Union, and it will ling around in a circle, waiting to gain by not be objected to that it should be said some miracle the reputation that will that it was by the first man in the enable him to gain a reputation! Inci- State.” dentally the picture has set me to think- With all due respect to Mr. Cummings, ing about the whole matter of exhibitions. I fear that some of the governor's hearers In them, quite as much as in the studios, must have gasped over his eloquence. the history of art is written. The author Here is a specimen, too sublime to be is unknown until he is published, the com- overlooked: poser is unknown until he is played. The artist is in the same box.
There are certain mighty pillars which support There is some curious light thrown distinguished ornaments which beautify and
the complicated fabric of society, and there are upon this subject by Thomas Cummings embellish it. Upon agriculture, manufactures, in his “Historic Annals of the National and commerce; upon science, literature, morality, Academy of Design," printed in Phila- and religion, all associations of the human race delphia back in the sixties. Americans Fine Arts superadd the graces of a Chesterfield
must rely for subsistence or support-but the were interested in art a long time ago, and to the gigantic mind of a Locke. They are the as early as 1802 there was talk in New acanthi which adorn the Corinthian columnYork of founding an institution which by the halos which surround the Sun of Knowledge: 1808 succeeded in obtaining a charter as sphere of innocent amusements, increase the
they excite labor, produce riches, enlarge the an Academy of Arts. What appears to stock of harmless pleasure, expand our intelhave been its first exploit as an exhibiting lectual powers, improve our moral faculties, body was academic enough to have con- stimulate to illustrious deeds, enhance the gealed the blood of even the most æsthetic charms of virtue, diffuse the glories of heroism, citizen. Robert Livingston, our ambas- augment the public wealth, and extend the nasador to France, sent over a number of casts from the antique. These were set If the folks in 1816 believed all that, up in a building on the east side of old they could have believed anything. They Greenwich Street, which had been erected must have been a little sceptical, because for a circus or riding-school, and the New the permanent collection that the AcadYorker was told that on the purchase of emy got together proved but a dubious an annual admission ticket for $5 he magnet. Cummings mourned over the might come and gaze his fill. Probably failure of the institution. But he was a there was a smaller fee for a single admis- shrewd old boy and put his finger on the sion, but it did not matter. The casts cause of the Academy's ill fortune: “It presently went into storage and the Acad- was to be found in the unchangeableness
in its exhibitions, which was not suited Nor was it the public alone that was to a novelty-seeking public. Its perma- responsible for the ultimate fall of this nency of material was its death. A daily "mighty pillar." There was some preattendance of often not more than two or tense of permitting students to draw from three persons, art vigilists, mourned over the casts I have mentioned, but even when its expiring moments. The yearly re- the young artist sought the privilege at ceipts were insufficient to meet the door- the canonical hour he was uncertain of keeper's salary-a very moderate item." admission. He was frequently insulted,
Photo by De Witt Ward.
Academy of Design.
and he was absolutely certain of this if he on turning away from their rejection, had the presumption to knock at the they encountered John Trumbull, then door! Dunlap has told what happened president, and complained. He backed once to Cummings and F. S. Agate when, up the curator in his assertion that he