Harper's Weekly 07/07/1883


PERSONAL.

Is genius inherited through fathers or through mothers? Some
thinkers, like Mr. Francis Galton, affirm that it can be transmit-
ted only by the father; others, like M. De Lescure, in his treatise
entitled Illustrious Mothers, maintain that the descent is exclu-
sively through the feminine branch of the house. Mr. Henry
Ward Beecher
seems to side with the latter class of disputants,
for in his recent septuagenarian address he said, “From my father
I received a sound stomach, from my mother a serene spirit.”


—The family physician in the suburbs of New York city earns
more money than he collects. A case has come to our knowledge
in which after practicing faithfully and acceptably for thirty or
forty years he is about to retire into bankruptcy, with thirty or
forty thousand dollars of unpaid entries in his account-book. The
amount of gratuitous medical service now received by the poor is
proportionately much larger than ever before, and it is obtained
not only in the hospital and the dispensary, but in the doctor's pri-
vate office and the patient's own home. Nor do experienced phy-
sicians expect much gratitude from their pauper patients.


—At the annual Commencement of a Catholic seminary in New
York city a principal attraction of the programme was the singing
of an Angels' Serenade by an invisible chorus of young ladies.


—A New-Yorker who visited some of the finest residences in
Boston, especially those in the Back Bay region, was struck by the
greater size of the rooms and the increased sense of airiness, as
compared with New York houses of the same grade. “In the
Boston halls and drawing-rooms,” he said, “you can take a long
breath without feeling that you have interfered with anybody's
rights.”


—Dr. Krishaber, who died recently in Paris, was the man who
demonstrated that tuberculosis, or consumption, could be trans-
mitted by inoculation. He inoculated fourteen monkeys, and
twelve of them died in from 34 to 218 days. He proved also
that consumption is contagious, or rather infectious. A small
healthy monkey was put into a cage with several monkeys who
had been inoculated. One of the latter became much attached to
him, and almost constantly held him in his arms. Nine days after
his death the small monkey died too, and an autopsy showed that
his disease was consumption. The cage was then emptied and
disinfected, and twenty-seven fresh monkeys put into it. None of
them took the disease.


—A French scientist has submitted to a learned society the re-
sults of his study of the effect of tobacco on boys. Out of thirty-
seven boys, between the ages of nine and fifteen, who used the
weed, twenty-two showed symptoms of a distinct disturbance of
the circulation, impaired digestion, palpitation of the heart, bruit
at the carotids, sluggishness of intellect, and a craving for alco-
holic drink. Eleven of the lads had smoked for six months, eight
for one year, and sixteen for more than two years.


—Mr. Joaquin Miller, the California poet (says the Pall Mall
Gazette
), has just made known to the world the tragedy of his
home. In the New World, as in the Old, the poet must needs take
all mankind into his confidence, and Joaquin Miller follows the
example of Lord Byron in letting the whole world know the mis-
eries of his love. “I suppose the world needs a few geniuses born
into it now and then,” once said the unhappy wife of one of the
best known of English novelists, “but I am very sorry for those
who have to live with them.”


—Lord Rosebery thinks that “the most precious reward a man
can hope for in public life is the friendly recognition of his fel-
low-countrymen.”


—Mr. Algernon Charles Swinburne writes: “To the England
of our own time (it has often enough been remarked) the novel is
what the drama was to the England of Shakspeare's. In the mod-
ern world of English letters the novel is everywhere and the
drama is nowhere. But we may remark one point of radical dif-
ference between the taste of play-goers in the age of Shakspeare,
and the taste of novel-readers in our own. Tragedy was then at
least as popular as either romance or realistic comedy; whereas
nothing would seem to be more unpopular with the run of modern
readers than the threatening shadow of tragedy projected across
the whole length of a story.”


—The influence of the late Cincinnati Dramatic Festival is yet
potent in the Queen City of the West. Our esteemed contempo-
rary the Commercial Gazette continues its criticism of Shakspeare's
plays, the latest of its essays being concerned with “The Charac-
ter of Hamlet's Father's Ghost.” The ghost, observes that jour-
nal, “is an unwholesome disturbance, and his coming back is
wholly indefensible. It is a lesson that the departed spirits should
stay, and not return to meddle with things here. By doing this
the ghost made a dreadful mess, and got probably a thousand years
or so added to his fiery purgation.”


—Among the most pleasing duties of the newspaper editor in
some parts of our beloved land is the preparation of the local
item announcing the latest marriage. We cull a model paragraph
from a Western exchange: “The marriage of Mr. Charles Cham-
bers
to Miss Blanche Fisher, which was consummated at Fair-
mount on the 13th instant, was an event that will ever recall plea-
sant memories to the fortunate few whose lot it was to attend.
The bride is well known in East End circles, and by her sweetness
of disposition and hospitable nature has won for herself lasting
friends, all of whom wish for her an abundance of good luck in
her new departure. The groom, an exceedingly popular young
man, is a rising railroader, and that he has secured a prize in the
matrimonial lottery all admit, and heartily trust that the success
which his energy, qualifications, and genial and pleasant bearing
merit will accompany him on his voyage through life.”


—In an essay on cruelty to children, Mr. Elbridge T. Gerry, the
president of that admirable and successful charity, the Society for
the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, declares that the humane of
both sexes and of all classes are not lax in their efforts to reform
and rescue the unhappy children of the outcast and the criminal.
“The very women of society, who are often reproached with being
alike heartless and frivolous, respond in the most liberal manner,
and devote more of their time than is dreamed of in aid of the
wretched children of the poor. No appeal to a woman's heart
for aid to rescue a child who is cruelly treated has yet met with
a repulse.”


—Honesty, remarks President Seeley, of Amherst College, is
doubtless the best policy, but no policy ever yet made an honest
man.


—“Vandyke-Brown” Poems is the quaint title of a volume recent-
ly published by Lee & Shepard, of Boston. The author of these
poems, Marc Cook, died last autumn, in his twenty-ninth year.
Many of our readers will remember his article entitled “Camp
Lou,” in Harper's Magazine for May, 1881. His poems, which
have been collected in the volume referred to, are interesting and
much above the average. Mr. Harold Frederic in his prefatory
remarks does not exaggerate when he says, “Whether we study
his dainty vers de société, his quaintly whimsical burlesques, his
closely knit, thoughtful poems on serious subjects, or his last un-
speakably mournful salutations of approaching death, we find re-
vealed a soul as true and gentle, an eye as shrewd and searching,
and a hand as deft and sure of touch, as any to which American
readers do honor.”


—The taste for dancing, writes a correspondent, is extinct in
Paris. “When a fashionable lady gives a soirée dansante, her great
trouble is to find partners for her girl guests. Young married la-
dies more enjoy quiet flirtation than gyrating round a ball-room.
Young dandies dislike the physical consequences of the gyration—
the flushed face, the too moist forehead, the disordered hair.” We
expect soon to hear a similar complaint about the American dudes.


Bonnat's Salon portrait of Mr. Levi P. Morton, American Min-
ister to France, is said by Mr. Frederick Wedmore to be “probably
the finest male portrait of the year in France.”


Coleridge's body lies in the crypt of Highgate Church, in
London, and the crypt is used as a place for tools. But Coleridge
himself, could he have foreseen this fate, would have been the last
man to object to it.


—Mr. Whistler took his medal at the Salon ostensibly by reason
of the merits of his very artistxsic portrait of his mother, recently
exhibited publicly in this city; but there were half a dozen other
pictures of his at another exhibition in Paris at the same time.
He is well known to French artists, and is a master of their lan-
guage. That he deserves this late official recognition of his un-
doubted genius no artist in any country would be likely to deny.


—We take pleasure in copying this announcement from the
Chicago Tribune: “The Germantown (Pa.) Telegraph, one of the
oldest and most profitable weeklies in the country, published at
Germantown, Pennsylvania, has been purchased from its present
owner and founder, Major Philip R. Freas, by Henry W. Ray-
mond
, son of the late Henry J. Raymond, who has been for nearly
four years the literary editor of the Tribune, and for nearly two
years its musical critic. The purchase is made through the disin-
terested kindness and generosity of George W. Childs, who, out of
pure friendship, has assumed all the risks and guaranteed the sale,
thus enabling Mr. Raymond to own a prosperous paper of his own,
and to pay for it out of its profits. The Telegraph was established
in 1829, has a wide circulation and a large advertising patronage.
The transfer does not take place until August 1, and Mr. Raymond
does not assume the entire management until October 1.” Mr.
Raymond is a graduate of Yale. He possesses fine culture, high
literary ability, and a large measure of inherited newspaper talent.
We wish him all success in his new enterprise.



THE SEVENTH IN CAMP.—Drawn by T. de Thulstrup.—[See Page 422.]







She put her hands on his shoulders and bent down over him, examining the cards which he had thrown upon the table.”



Website design © 2000-2004 HarpWeek, LLC
All Content © 1998-2004 HarpWeek, LLC
Please submit questions to webmaster@harpweek.com