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that arrest the attention. But he stands by virtue of his fine work in the short story. Added value is given by the fact that he has strongly influenced a marked movement in recent American literature the development of the “local” short story; which finds its inspiration in the unusual environment of some little-known part of the country, and its expression very frequently in dialect. The more important writers in this kind are: JOEL CHANDLER Harris, whose Uncle Remus amusingly incorporates some of the negro folk lore; THOMAS Nelson PAGE, author of Red Rock and In Ole Virginia, who depicts the traits of the“ Old South "society; GEORGE WASHINGTON CABLE, a careful and deliberate worker. His Old Creole Days centres its interest about the picturesque Southern "creole” population-its French and Spanish descent and traditions and its American allegiance. Mention should be made of JAMES LANE ALLEN, who has given voice to the rich and teeming life of Kentucky. His principal novels are A Summer in Arcady and The Choir Invisible. He possesses a singularly good style.

There are two writers who ought to come in here because they are such typical humorists. Humorists and nothing else; it must not be forgotten that the works of such men as Lowell and Holmes are steeped in humor. But they have other claims to notice. ARTEMUS WARD and MARK TWAIN are famed for their fun alone. Artemus Ward was the elder and had the shorter life. His real name was Charles Farrer Browne and he was born in 1834. All his early years were spent in newspaper work, and he gradually gained a wide celebrity as a humorist. By and by the idea of lecturing came to his mind. And in thinking over the subjects he decided finally upon a perfectly original scheme, “a string of jests combined with a stream of satire,” the whole being unconnected-a burlesque upon a lecture. And for a title he hesitated between My Seven Grandmothers and The Babes in the Wood, eventually choosing the latter. The lecture which was constructed thereupon had nothing to do with its title, beyond a passing reference, and combined a maximum of fun with a minimum of sense. His manner was inimitable; the fun of his lectures depending so largely upon this that his witticisms are not nearly so amusing in cold type as they were in the actual delivery. His first lecture was given in 1861. From that time he had crowded houses wherever he appeared. His unique material, and the quaint, half-melancholy mode of his delivery, created unbounded enthusiasm. His roving disposition led him to travel widely. In 1863 he first spoke in San Francisco. Returning overland he passed through Salt Lake District, and evolved his famous lecture, Among the Mormons. In 1867 he went to England and began a very successful season in London, but a sadly short one. He was paid the most kindly homage. Among others, Charles Reade, the novelist, became his warm friend and admirer. His letters in Punch drew wide atten

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tion. But at the very flood of prosperity he died of consumption, before he had been in England a year.

It is very difficult to give a true notion of the wit of Artemus Ward. In his short sketches he resorts to the device of bad spelling, which—as in the case of Thackeray's Yellow-Plush Papers—is amusing when behind there is the support of real humor. He had only three lectures. They were exceedingly popular and probably will remain quite unique. Of the fun that lends itself to quotation perhaps the following, from Among the Mormons, is typical. “Brigham,” of course, is Brigham Young, the head of the Mormon Church :

“ Brigham is an indulgent father and a numerous husband; he has married two hundred wives; he loves not wisely but two hundred well. He is dreadfully married—he is the most married man I ever saw. When I was up at Salt Lake City I was introduced to his mother-in-law. I can't exactly tell you how many there is of her, but it's a good deal."

The secret of Artemus Ward's success was simply the secret of a magnetic control. He played on his audience. And much of his humor could live only in the subtle atmosphere of his own creation.

Mark Twain's personal statement that he was born in Aberdeen, County of Cork, England, may be regarded as metaphorical. More exact is the report that names as his birthplace the village of Florida, Missouri (1835). His true name is Samuel Langhorne Clemens. His nom de guerre was derived

from the call used by Mississippi River leadsmen when sounding two fathoms. After a smattering of education, he went to New Orleans and in course of time became a full-fledged river pilot. This part of his life is portrayed in Old Times on the Mississippi (1883). In 1861 he went out to the new West and spent several years of varied excitement. Drifting into journalism he visited Hawaii (1866) as a newspaper correspondent. These years he chronicled in Roughing It (1873). Like Artemus Ward, Mark Twain essayed the lecture and found it good. This was in 1866. In the spring of the following year he went on a remarkable pleasure trip to the Mediterranean and the Holy Land. The incidents of this famous excursion Mark embodied in The Innocents Abroad and The New Pilgrim's Progress (1869). The treatment is strikingly and delightfully original and the book established his reputation. Lecturing and writing have largely engaged his latter years. Recently the unfortunate failure of a publishing firm has forced him again into the sphere of hard work. A lecturing tour around the world happily relieved him of his difficul. ties. Mark Twain has written serious work-as distinguished from his humorous books. But the latter are the best; the former do not show their author in a particularly interesting light. As a humorous writer, however, it is doubtful if any one has ever been more popular. And the popularity is deserved, for there is very little in his pages that is objectionable. His works vary in merit; some are injured by mannerisms. The books that stand head and shoulders above their fellows are: The Innocents Abroad, Roughing It, Life on the Mississippi and Huckleberry Finn. The last is the autobi- . ography of a river boy, and contains some of the most amusing situations that Mark Twain ever conceived—especially the episode of the “King” and the “Duke." Twain owes much to his travels, and he has made use of them to the utmost. His attractiveness was due in the first place to the freshness of his wit, for he was not an imitator. He delights in surprises and laughable exaggerations. Here is his editorial reply to “ an inquiry from the coming man":

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“ Young Author-Yes, Agassiz does recommend authors to eat fish, because the phosphorus in it makes brains. So far, you are correct. But I cannot help you to a decision about the amount you need to eat—at least, not with certainty. If the specimen composition you send is about your usual average, I should judge that a couple of whales would be all you would want for the present. Not the largest kind; but simply good-sized, middling whales."


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In another place he offers some suggestions for the reform of the German language :

“In the first place, I would leave out the dative case. It confuses the plurals; and, besides, nobody ever knows when he is in the dative case. In the next place, I would move the verb further up to the

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