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violets, I should lose my trademark, giving and receiving pleasure. When my prestige, my clientèle. My pension- all is going well, catering has its innopaires expect violets !”
cent delights and its honest satisfactions. I saw the trap he had laid for himself. To invent a new dish, or to serve an And, oddly enough, my thoughts wan old one with recognized skill, is to share dered to the veteran editor of a famous at once the artist's joy and the bourmagazine, who was once discussing two geois's complacency. Yet having once sonnets by the same poet. He had ac beheld the confidential shirt-sleeves, one cepted one and rejected the other; and is thenceforward subtly aware of them, now he was praising the one he had re hidden though they be for another hunturned.
dred nights by the dress coat. They are “ But it was the other which you there, those shirt-sleeves of the Caterer, printed !"exclaimed his puzzled auditor. and his workaday responsibilities are
"Oh, that was my choice for the maga- inescapable. In vain does Sir Leslie zine, certainly; but personally” And Stephen, in one of those papers which he waved his cigar stub in a parabola have lately charmed the Atlantic's readthat opened up infinite distances of per ers, blithely assert that an editor “only spective into the editorial consciousness. vouches for the readability of the article, Was it possible that he, too, loathed his not for the correctness of the opinions violets?
expressed.” It is a millennial dream. And yet, why not? Not to speak it It asks too much of human nature. profanely, does anybody suppose that Shall the Toastmaster, except in a New Mr. Munsey's favorite reading is the Year’s confidence, dare to say, “My dear Mansey Storiettes ? Does “the sound guests, I am no mycologist. This dish of the swashbuckler swashing on his may be toadstool or mushroom for all I buckler" seem less humorous to the edi know, but I assure you that the odor is tors who encourage it than it does to appetizing”? Mr. Howells, who has laid aside his edi Alas, it is true that he is no mycologist; torial armor and can smile at the weak he prints every month a dozen articles Desses of his former fellow warriors ? on topics concerning which he knows Do the peaceful editors of The Outlook nothing, as well as a half dozen more really thrill with those stern praises of whose views of politics and society and fighting men and fighting machines which criticism are the very opposite of his adorn its secularized pages? Or does He vouches for their readability, the talented conductor of The Ladies' that is all ; and sometimes this is quite Home Journal really ... No, he can enough to take upon his conscience. But not. As the Toastmaster makes these the public is shrewdly suspicious of this too daring interrogations, it seems to him happy impartiality of ignorance. It keeps that he perceives a faint odor of violets, reminding the Toastmaster that he is Ca- not the shy flower of the woodside, terer too; that he has the responsibility but the brazen-faced, tightly laced bou- of buying the provisions in the open martonnière of the pavement,
in a word, ket as well as merely arranging them the violet of commerce. + t
upon the table and announcing the bill
of fare. That single glimpse of M. Doucette In one sense, the public is quite right. in his shirt-sleeves and in his despon Some one must take the responsibility of dency ought not to obliterate the memory decision. But the public sometimes forof a hundred nights when, clothed in gets how the Caterer must make in proper evening attire, he reigned glori- faith what he lacks in special knowledge. ously over his long table-full of guests, He depends upon the honesty of the mar
ketmen, the producers. This confidence infallibility? “I am fain to think it is rarely betrayed. M. Doucette would vivacious," wrote Lowell of a certain have died of shame, no doubt, if he had Contributor's Club which he was submitreally served toadstools to his trusting ting to the editor in 1890, nearly thirty company. Yet it never happened. His
His years after his own editorship closed, mushrooms were always mushrooms. It “ but if your judgment verify my fears, is the contributors to a magazine like the don't scruple to return it. I can easily Atlantic who maintain, after all, the fine make other disposition of it, or at worst traditions of the institution. For pur there is always the waste-basket.” His poses of convenience, it is assumed that Club was accepted, in spite of Lowell's the editor knows what he is purchasing. fears, — and, as it happened, it was his In reality, he is only exercising faith in last contribution to the magazine. But writers who know what they are writing whenever an author's manuscript carries and whose views — strange as it may the bunker of the editor's judgment, there
may be worth consideration remains a far more formidable hazard even if they do not harmonize with his still, namely, the unknown taste of the
The monthly table of contents is public. neither more nor less than such a con Who really understands it? Did not fession of faith. It cannot be made with- Emerson, that most unmercenary of ediout a certain hardihood. In camp, when tors, accept for The Dial, pro honoris it is your week to cook, you can always causa and with a sinking heart, that arenjoy the luxury of finding fault with the Jticle of Theodore Parker's on the Reverman who laid in the supplies : he should end John Pierpont, which nevertheless, have bought more bacon or a different to Emerson's astonishment, sold out the brand of coffee, and why did he forget entire edition ? Did not Coleridge, an the onions ? Even the suave conductor equally unworldly member of the guild, of the dining-car, who presents you with lose five hundred subscribers to the illa menu which requests explicit criticism starred Watchman on the publication of of meals and service, can shrug his shoul- the very second number, by“ a censurable ders and explain that he did not buy that application of a text from Isaiah as its steak himself. But here in the magazine motto” ? world there is no shuffling. Month by Of one thing only may the editor be month what is in the larder comes on to
No matter what dish be served, the table, and if it is mouldy or tough or some one at the table will be positive raw the Toastmaster cannot blame the that it either ought not to have been Caterer, for he is both in one : Dr. Jekyll brought on at all, or that it should have and Mr. Hyde, the red slayer and the been cooked differently. If the Atlantic slain.
has dispatched a representative to BorWho is there that can tell, after all, rioboola Gha to report upon the condition precisely how to please even the most in of blankets-and-top-boots in that unhapdulgent of publics? The editors of the py country, some correspondent will turn Atlantic have always been drafted from up, as soon as the article is printed, to the ranks of its contributors; mere con prove that he himself was the sole origitributors, who once inclosed stamps for nator of the blankets-and-top-boots idea, the return of manuscript and waited and and that the Atlantic has misrepresentwondered if it would prove “magazin- ed the blessed work now going forward able.” How can such a one, drawn in there. May he pot have ample space in a moment, like Browning's conscript, the next number to reply? Well, very “From the safe glad rear to the dreadful van likely he ought to have it. But the unpretend that he has been invested with lucky editor, puzzling at that moment
over the problem of finding space in the you take up the Atlantic to forget, turn issue three months hence, thinks with a back to the sixteenth century, and follow sigh of M. Doucette's pension. For at Mr. Andrew D. White's account of the those long table-d’hôte dinners no one singular career of Father Paul. If you was expected to care for every course ; love that cheerful sound of the swashif you allowed a dish to pass or left it buckler in fiction, you must wait a little barely tasted, you must for that very rea- longer, for Mr. Herrick's The Common son talk the more agreeably with your Lot is only about Chicago, and concerns neighbor; and if individual clamor over itself with men and women who are unsome unfortunate concoction reached the commonly like ourselves. There will be quick ear of M. Doucette, with what some contributions from writers who infinite ease and wit did he offer the long since laid down their pens: from critic the honor of planning and pre- Emerson, whose Journals begin in a few paring the next meal in person, months; from Timrod, and the elder invitation which was somehow never ac- Henry James; and from Walt Whitman, cepted. Besides, as M. Doucette used who appeared in these pages twice or sometimes to hint, when flushed with his thrice in his early manhood, and now success, if one did not like the pension comes back as a lusty ghost. But many des violettes, there were plenty of other of the contributors are young ; provokpensions across the way, eager for patron- ingly young, indeed, to know so much age.
and to write so well. There will be va
riety enough, at least, with some dishes Is all this too intimate a survey of the of the fine old substantial sort, and wine editorial pantry and kitchen? Pray con that needs no praise, and coffee and sider it nothing more than the shirt- cigars for those who like them, or gossip sleeved conversation of that garrulous about men and women and books, if that M. Doucette, provoked into real confi- be more to your after-dinner fancy. And dence by an unusual hour. The New perhaps there will be a few violets, purYear's greetings come but once a twelve- chased with secret anxiety of heart, but month, after all. And the Caterer's sor laid by each plate with such grace as rows are very few in comparison with Park Street may afford. the pleasure of spreading the Atlantic's At any rate, here is a clean cloth for table and seeing the still increasing guests 1904 and an unfeigned welcome. Forappear. May every one find in the get, if you will, the unskilled service, and courses now presented something to his remember that market-place and kitchen taste! Not to like Colonel Higginson's are as yet imperfect places in an impernew essays will indeed be to betray a fect, although improvable and improvfantastic appetite. If articles upon Ad- ing world.
And here is a boy's appevertising and the Ethics of Business tite to every guest, and a Happy New savor too much of the very shop which Year!
PART OF A MAN'S LIFE.
“The uttered part of a man's life, let us always repeat, bears to the unuttered, unconscious part a small unknown proportion. He himself never knows it, much less do others.” — Carlyle's Essay on Scott.
THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE TRANSCENDENTAL PERIOD.
It happened to me once to be sum celebration of Emerson's hundredth moned on short notice to the house of a birthday must have felt very keenly its most agreeable neighbor, then Dean of unlikeness to the ever renewing tumult of the Episcopal Theological School at Cam- discussion around the grave of Carlyle. bridge, to assist in entertaining two Eng. The difference was in great measure the lish guests unexpectedly arrived. These penalty of temperament, or in Emerson's guests were a husband and wife, both case, its reward. No one recognized authors, and visiting this country for the this more fully than Carlyle himself first time. They proved to belong to that when he said sadly to me, “ Ah! the class of British travelers who, as the gen
dear Emerson ! He thinks that everyial Longfellow used to say, come hither, body in the world is as good as himself ;” not so much to obtain information about just as he had said to Longfellow, years America, as to communicate it. We before, that Emerson's first visit to him were scarcely seated at table when the “like the visit of an angel.” It is little lady for they were both very clear that the whole atmosphere of Emersmall in
person looked up at me con son's memory is that of sunshine, but it fidingly and said, “Don't you think it gradually appears, in tracing it farther, rather a pity that all the really interesting that much of this traditional atmosphere Americans seem to be dead?” It was extends at least for those who lived difficult for a living man to maintain any through it and perhaps for their children resistance against a conclusion so deci- also over the whole intellectual period sive, and all I remember is that our talk of which Emerson was the best reprebecame a series of obituaries. To those sentative. This period is now usually might now be added, were it needful, and doubtless vaguely known in America similar memorials of my fair questioner, as the period of Transcendentalism. Unof her husband, and of our gracious host satisfying as the word, when thus aphimself, since these also have passed plied, must be, it may yet be employed away. And why should such remem for want of a better, without entering too brances be sad, one may well ask, if they profoundly into its source or its services. are brought together in a sunny spirit, Originally a philosophic term, it can be and have for their motto, not the mourn used for the present to indicate a period. fulness of old-time epitaphs, but rather The word “ Transcendentalism the fine outburst of Whitman's brief song apparently first employed by the leader of parting, “ Joy, Shipmate, Joy.” Even among modern German philosophers, the gloomy Carlyle had to admit that Immanuel Kant, to designate the in“there is no life of a man faithfully re
tuitive method of reaching truth, as apart corded, but is a heroic poem of its sort from the experimental or sensational rhymed or unrhymed.”
method of Locke, which had held its
own so stoutly. Kant died in 1804, but Those who followed the chorus of af. the word was handed on, so modified fectionate praise which surrounded the and, we might perhaps say, battered by
later German thinkers, that it would In going still farther back for the hisnow be useless to attempt to employ it toric origins of American transcendentalfurther than as a landmark or guidepost, ism, we must recognize the earlier influas it will be used here. If we wish to ence of Burns, Coleridge, and Wordsix the birth-time of the American pe- worth, as laying the foundations for all riod bearing that name, we may place it this new atmosphere of thought and livsomewhere near the publication of Emer. ing. This is a fact of much interest as son's Nature (1836), or the appearance compared with the first reception of all of the first number of The Dial (July, these poets in their own country. The 1840), or the formation of the “ Brook London Monthly Review – the leadFarm Institute” or “Community" as it ing critical magazine in England before was oftenest called, near Boston (1841). the Edinburgh Review appeared proThe special interest of this household for nounced Burns's first volume to be “disthe world was not so much because it gusting,” and “ written in an unknown gave a new roof-tree for a little domestic tongue,” the editor adding his own partial experiment, the Moravians and Shak- version of The Cotter's Saturday Night ers had long before done that, but translated into the English language ! rather because it offered also an atmos The same editor pronounced Coleridge's phere of freedom.
Ancient Mariner “ the strangest story of It visibly relaxed restraint, suggested a cock and bull that we ever saw on paper a substitute for the strict Puritan tradi .. a rhapsody of unintelligible wildness tion, brought together the most open and and incoherence, of which we do not perhopeful minds of the community, some ceive the drift," while Christabel was times uniting with them the fanatics, described by him as rude, unfeatured still oftener the do-nothings ; giving con stuff.” Even of Wordsworth's Tintern bervatives and radicals alike something Abbey the same critic complains that it is to talk about. Those whose names are “ tinctured with gloomy, narrow, and unnow oftenest associated with the Brook sociable ideas of seclusion from the comFarm enterprise, as Emerson, Alcott, merce of the world ;” and yet on turning Margaret Fuller Ossoli, and William the pages of Dennie's Portfolio published Henry Channing, never actually be in Philadelphia simultaneously with the longed to it; while its most noted mem English periodical just quoted (1786), we bers, as Hawthorne and George William find these very poets and, indeed, these Curtis, were there only during the first identical poems hailed as the opening of year. The only narrator who has writ a new intellectual era. Such, indeed, it ten his personal remembrances of it was was, but an era heralded in America with but a second-year member; and its more an eagerness, cordiality, and, above all, a systematic historian, Mr. Lindsay Swift, cheerfulness such as might well belong to says justly of it, “ There was a distinct a fresher and more youthful life. beginning, a fairly coherent progress, Then followed Carlyle's great influbut a vague termination.” He also ence through his Sartor Resartus, whose touches the keynote of the whole history American editor, Charles Stearns Wheelwhen he says in his preface, “ It is more er, I can well remember to have watched than fifty years since the last dweller in with timid reverence at the Boston Athethat pleasant domain turned his reluctant næum Library as he transcribed that exsteps away from its noble illusions, and citing work from the pages of Fraser's toward the stress of realities ; but from Magazine, for its first reprinting in book no one of this gracious company has ever form. Still more must be recalled the income the admission that Brook Farm was fluence of Kant and Fichte, Hegel and a failure.” Surely this is much to say. Schleiermacher, with the more transient