What About Nietzsche?

H.L. Mencken

The Smart Set/November, 1909

WHAT about old Friedrich Nietzsche? Who was he, anyhow, and what did he teach? Was he a Socialist or an Anarchist, a Low German or a Bavarian, a man or a devil? Is it true that he died of the jim-jams, chained to the floor and calling on the gods he had reviled to save him from Hell? Is it true that he and Richard Wagner were at first close friends, then morganatic brothers-in-law, and after that murderous foes? When did he live, and where? What did he write? When and why did they hang him?

All of these questions demand answers, for Nietzsche has been breaking into print of late with conspicuous assiduity. The theological reviews denounce him in every issue as a natural son of Judas Iscariot and Lucretia Borgia. The yellow journals connect him with “waves of crime” and “the decay of the churches”—spelling his name Nietsche, Neitzche, Nitshe, Neatzsche, Nitysche, Nittsche, Neitzshy, Nitschie, Nietzschy and Niscksy, according to their degrees of ignorance. In the uplift magazines he is becoming as prominent as Dr. Woods Hutchinson and Judge Ben B. Lindsay. In the New York Nation—last stronghold of the Harvardocentric theory of the universe—his name is mentioned in the same paragraph with those of immortal Rollos and Waldos. Only the Ladies’ Home Journal and the War Cry have yet to find him out.

Of books about him there threatens to be no end. The German bookstores range them on long shelves—fat, squat tomes by professor-doctors of Leipzig, Berlin and Bonn; three volume commentaries; racy books of unauthentic reminiscence and biography; innumerable pamphlets by disciples sane, semi-sane, quasi-sane and insane. In France they put his philosophy into novels and plays; in Russia they translate it into terms of nitroglycerin; in Italy the wilder youngsters write Nietzschean poetry, denounce Dante as an ass and call themselves “futurists.” Mexico, Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Greece, Servia, Scotland and Turkey have Nietzschean propagandists, book writers, bellwethers and spellbinders. Even the United States has produced two books on Nietzsche—one a syllabus for college students who can’t read German, and the other a more elaborate interpretation for those who can’t understand it when they read it.

The Nietzschean headquarters for Great Britain seem to be in Edinburgh, where a publisher named T. N. Foulis keeps his presses roaring with Nietzsche translations and commentaries. He has just begun the publication of a complete English version of all the great immoralist’s writings, in eighteen volumes octavo. Four of these are now on my desk. One contains Nietzsche’s early critical essay, “The Birth of Tragedy” (25. 6d.), translated by Wm. A. Haussmann, Ph.D., and with an introduction by Frau Elisabeth Forster-Nietzsche, the philosopher’s devoted sister and biographer. Two others are made up of the papers which Nietzsche called “ Unzeitgemasse Betrachtungen,” or “Thoughts Out of Season” (25. 6d. each); and the fourth is a revised translation of “Beyond Good and Evil,” by Helen Zimmern, with an introduction by that feverish Nietzschean, Thomas Common (35. 6d.). Translations of “Thus Spake Zarathustra,” “Human, All Too Human,” “The Joyful Science,” “The Genealogy of Morals,” and “The Antichrist” will follow, with the lesser books scattered between; and at the end there will be an English version of Nietzsche’s astonishing autobiography, “Ecce Homo,” which was recently given to the world in German, in a single volume, at $6.70. It wrenched my soul to pay the money, but half an hour’s reading proved that the book was worth it.

Books about Nietzsche are as plentiful as books by Nietzsche. One of the latest is “Who is to be Master of the World?” a somewhat labored interpretation by Anthony M. Ludovici (Foulis, 25. 6d.). Another is “The Revival of Aristocracy,” by Dr. Oscar Levy (Foulis, 35. 6d.). Yet another is “Nietzsche: His Life and Work,” by M. A. Miigge (Brentano, $3.00), an admirable summary of the philosopher’s writings, with a detailed and honest account of his life. Besides, there are Thomas Common’s book of “Selections” (Dutton, $2.00) and two excellent little books by A. R. Orage—“Nietzsche in Outline and Aphorism” (25. 6d.) and “Nietzsche, the Dionysian Spirit of the Age” (Foulis, is.), not to speak of half a dozen lesser books.

Well, then, what has Nietzsche to say for himself? Why all this writing of books about him? What does he teach? And who was he? When was he born, and where? When did he die? When did he print his books? Let the sordid details of biography come first.

Nietzsche was born on October 15, 1844, in Prussian Saxony, and was the son of a preacher. His father died when he was five years old, and he was brought up in a house of women—of pious widows and chaste old maids. This made an insufferable prig of him, and when, at last, he was sent to school, the other boys had a lot of fun with him. But he was a brilliant pupil, and before he was fifteen he had already written very creditable poetry, essays and music. At that time he was an earnest Christian and dreamed of becoming a doctor of divinity, but when he went up to the University of Bonn his faith began to grow shaky. Soon, indeed, he threw it overboard, and his priggishness with it, and became the German equivalent of a rah-rah boy—gulping daily oceans of pale beer, campaigning against the college town waitresses and singing Rabelaisian songs in bad Latin. But that was not for long, for beer made him ill, and when he followed a favorite professor from Bonn to Leipzig, he journeyed on the water wagon. All the rest of his life he maintained that beer drinking made the Germans a race of thick-witted hogs.

At Leipzig he was ripe for new gods, and they soon appeared to claim him. One was Arthur Schopenhauer, the pessimist, and the other was Richard Wagner, the musician. Nietzsche hailed them both with joy, but it was not long before he began to criticize them rather than worship them. The doctrine of Schopenhauer, that life was an intolerable burden, to be set down as soon as possible, aroused his healthy antagonism; and Wagner’s constant flirting with Christian mysticism gave him just doubts of that vociferous prophet’s sincerity as a philosopher. In 1869 Nietzsche was offered the chair of classical philology in Basel and went there to live. Soon afterwards he began to write books, and each succeeding book diverged more and more from the teachings of Schopenhauer and the maunderings of Wagner.

Ten years of college professing gave Nietzsche enough, and he was permitted to retire on a pension of six hundred dollars a year. He had a private income of as much more—and that was ample to keep an abstemious bachelor. Thereafter he wandered about Europe, spending his summers in the Alps and his winters in Italy or on the Riviera. His only surviving relative, a sister, had married and gone to South America. He was lonely, moody and sick. In the Franco-Prussian war, in which he had served as a hospital steward—he couldn’t go as a German soldier, because he had become a naturalized Swiss at Basel—his health had gone to pieces, and all the rest of his life he suffered from recondite and horrible maladies. To relieve his constant aches he tried chloral, with the inevitable result. Toward the end of the eighties he became a mental and physical wreck and had to be confined in an asylum. In 1890 his devoted sister, returning from South America, took him to her home, and there he lingered until August 25, 1900. His last words were of Richard Wagner, once his friend and later his bitter foe: “Den habe ich sehr geliebt!”

So much for Nietzsche’s life. The best way to get a grasp upon his doctrines is to remember that they completely reverse Christianity. Christianity says that self-sacrifice is the greatest of all the virtues. Nietzsche calls it the worst of crimes against the race. Christianity says that the Ten Commandments were handed down to men by the Deity. Nietzsche says that they were invented by men and fathered upon the Deity to give them authority. Christianity says that the poor in spirit are blessed, “for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” Nietzsche says that the kingdom of Heaven has no existence, and that the poor in spirit are slaves, and deserve to be. Christianity says that man was made in God’s image. Nietzsche says that man is merely “something to be surpassed”—a sort of provisional, half-baked being standing midway between the primordial protoplasm and the superman that is to come ages hence. Christianity says that man has a soul and a large outfit of very complex yearnings, moral impulses and aspirations. Nietzsche maintains that the only genuine natural impulse in man, as in other animals, is the will to remain alive.

Nietzsche’s whole philosophy grew out of his early inquiries, as a student of Greek, into the spirit of Hellenism. It needed no long investigation to show that this spirit of Hellenism was almost diametrically opposed to the spirit of Christianity. The Greeks, indeed, esteemed as virtues nearly all of the things banned by Christianity as vices and sins. Their notion of an admirable man was one who exhibited strength, ingenuity and what might be called assertive autonomy. A man who, on being smitten by a foe, turned the other cheek, would have excited their contempt. A man who, in the face of danger, threw down his arms and began to pray to the gods, would have made them laugh. They believed that life was a pleasant thing, and that it was worthwhile to fight for it. They believed in efficiency and egotism; they liked to do things—to rear great temples, to dance, to give gigantic shows, to make war, to amass wealth, to conquer.

Nietzsche soon came to the conclusion that the moral code of the Greeks in their great days was nothing more than a series of deductions from their race experience. They had found that the warlike qualities best safeguarded the state, and therefore they turned these qualities into virtues. In their dealings with the less advanced but more numerous peoples surrounding them, they had to be resolute, firm and unsentimental. The barbarian hordes of Asia Minor and the Balkan heights were not open to negotiation, conciliation or propitiation. It was useless to appeal to their sense of justice, for they had none, and dangerous to seek their good will, for every overture of that sort made them suspect weakness, and inflamed anew their yearning for rich pillage. They had to be met, in a word, with blood and iron, and meeting them thus, constantly and as a commonplace of self-protection, made the Greeks a domineering and ruthless race. So their word for “good—honorable—noble” was the same word that served them to represent “strong—ruling—warlike.”

But among the Jews, not a thousand miles away, “good” meant something very different. Here, indeed, it stood for all the qualities the Greeks despised—humility, patience, obedience, self-sacrifice, resignation. And why? Because, says Nietzsche, the Jews had to face the problem of surviving in an environment entirely different from that of the Greeks. Where the Greeks had hordes of barbarians to intimidate and enslave, the Jews had invulnerable masters to placate. The Jews, in their earlier and mightier days, had been as ruthless and assertive as the Greeks were now, but of late fate had been against them, and it was no longer possible for them to conquer. So they invented a morality to fit their condition. That morality had humility for its central idea. The most noble man was the man who bore most patiently the insults and privations of slavery— the meek, the poor in spirit, the pure in heart, the peacemaker.

Thus we arrive at definitions of two of Nietzsche’s oft-quoted terms—Herrenmoral, or master morality, and Sklavmoral, or slave morality. The slave morality of the ancient Jews, he admitted freely, served an admirable purpose in its time, for it enabled the Jews, by self-effacement, to survive in the face of powerful foes. It was thus entirely sound and true—in ancient Palestine. But when, as an appendage of Christianity, it was taken over by the nations of Western Europe, it ceased to be true, for the conditions of life in Western Europe differed vastly from the conditions of life in ancient Palestine. The early German Christians, for example, were not weak slaves, and dependent upon some master race’s good will for their right to live, but powerful, fighting men, almost Greek in their courage, and with a wilderness to subdue. The modern Germans are in like case, and so are we latter-day Americans. We have no need to ask by your leave of anyone. It is inconceivable that any nation of today should ever conquer us. In the most sanguinary of all imaginable world wars we might be sorely wounded, but our foes, it is plain, would be wounded just as sorely. And yet, because we still cling to the slave morality that we inherited from the ancient Jews, our “good” remains “humble—patient—obedient—long suffering—resigned,” instead of “strong—ruling—independent.”

Herein the reasons underlying Nietzsche’s bitter opposition to Christianity, and to all other supernatural cults, begin to be apparent. A nation with a god, he says, always ascribes its code of morality to that god, in order to give it the highest possible authority. Its god, indeed, is nothing more or less than a personification of its racial virtues, with a sort of cosmic police power superimposed. Thus the god of the early fighting Jews and the chief god of the Greeks were powerful and ruthless generals, but the god of the post-exodus Jews was a mild and merciful judge, with more of the indulgent father than of the military commander in him. This habit of ascribing racial moral codes to gods, said Nietzsche, would be harmless enough if men invented a new god every time their mode of life was changed. But, instead of that, they usually cling sentimentally to the old one, and continue to subscribe to his moral code, even after it becomes utterly impossible to practice it. Thus we modern Americans and Europeans still make oath, when we worship the god of the post-exodus Jews, that “the meek shall inherit the earth,” though we know very well, by abundant experience, that the meek inherit nothing at all. “In all Christendom,” said Nietzsche, quoting some wise Frenchman, “there is not a single real Christian.” That is to say, no man of today could follow the Beatitudes literally and survive. He must make constant compromises between his religion and his environment.

Nietzsche believed that if the dominant races of the present day could be rid of the outworn and unworkable moral code of the Jews, they would make far more rapid progress than the world has ever seen. Out of this idea grew his celebrated conceptions—the higher man and the superman. The higher man is merely an efficient and ruthless man who has rid himself of all pious cant and hypocrisy. He is not a predatory bully, as many critics of Nietzsche seem to think, but an intelligent progressivist, with an eye, not so much to his own immediate advantage, as to the ultimate profit of the race. He wars upon the unfit chiefly because he doesn’t want them to contaminate the racial strain. He sees nothing honorable nor noble in poverty and humility, but only a confession of unfitness to survive. Let the weak die, he says, that the strong may not have them to drag along. Let the highest honors of the world go to those men who make the most successful war upon the forces and conditions which work against the race—disease, climate, distance, time, terrestrial catastrophes, religions, superstitions, handicapping customs and laws. Not only to the warrior the honor, nor only to the emperor and millionaire, but also to the explorer, the pathologist, the revolutionary, the iconoclast, the immoralist.

The result, says Nietzsche, will be the evolution of the superman—a being exactly adapted, in mind and body, to the conditions of organic existence on the earth. He will be the absolute master of himself, defying all gods and devils, and acknowledging allegiance to his fellows only for the good of himself and the race, and as an act of free will. He will be superior to all compulsion, attack, anathema and disease. He will live on until life wearies him, and then he will seek death gladly, “as a little child seeks sleep.”

Such, in crude outline, are the principal ideas in Nietzsche’s philosophy. Is it insane, as his foes would have us believe? I am constrained to think not. In places it may tax the imagination, but in other places it makes an irresistible appeal to every reflective man. Twenty years ago Nietzsche was merely an interesting freak, but today you will find his notions elaborated in the writings of men whose sanity and title to leadership are unquestioned. Mr. Roosevelt borrowed copiously from Nietzsche for his essay on “The Strenuous Life”—the most astonishing and most sincere of all his compositions. From Nietzsche Dr. Metchnikoff got his idea of a welcome death, and from Nietzsche Dr. Eliot got two thirds of the propositions in his New Religion. Take away his Nietzschean flavor, and Shaw would be a mere harlequin. Rid the world of Nietzsche, and the year of grace 1909 could show no living philosophy.

Read what he has to say for himself in the excellent Foulis translations. Wait until all the eighteen volumes are out, and then start with “The Dawn of Day.” Proceed from that to “Beyond Good and Evil” and “The Genealogy of Morals. “ And then tackle “The Antichrist.”


“The Poe Cult,” by Eugene L. Didier (Broadway Pub. Co., $1.50), is a sort of one-volume encyclopedia of Poeana. Mr. Didier has given thirty years to the study of the subject, and in so far as the accumulation of facts is concerned, he has thoroughly mastered it. There is no documentary relic or record of Poe, anywhere in the habitable universe, that he has not examined with microscopic care, at least by proxy; and there is no doddering, garrulous old member of the Poe-I-Knew-Him-When Club, above or below the Mason and Dixon line, whose evidence he has not heard and set down. But when it comes to drawing conclusions from his facts, Mr. Didier shines less gloriously. His indignation often gets the better of his judgment; and ceasing altogether to be a critic, he becomes an evangelist walloping a bass drum.

Incidentally, Mr. Didier’s English is full of delightful vagaries. On page 92, for example, he says that “Poe’s love for his child wife, and his devotion to her in sickness, was one of the,” etc. On page 88, again, we are told that “No stone marked the resting place of the poet whose genius has conferred more glory upon American literature than any other American writer.” Are we to understand by this that Poe’s “genius” was an “American writer”? Yet again, on page 130, appears this truly remarkable statement: “From that time he was a changed man: he, who never laughed and rarely ever smiled, scarcely ever smiled again.” Here, indeed, was a change of extreme subtlety, for it converted a man who “rarely ever smiled” into a man who “scarcely ever smiled.” Once again, on page 28, we are told that Poe’s early stories in the Southern Literary Messenger fascinated and astonished the reader “with (by?) the verisimilitude of their improbability.” According to the Standard Dictionary, the word “verisimilitude” means “probability.” It is no wonder, then, that stories which were marked by probable improbability fascinated and astonished the reader.

But it would be unfair to be severe with Mr. Didier. No man who has de voted his days and nights to the study of Poe can be expected to write good English.


“If men did not drink, there would be less need of chaperons.” This acute remark is one of the many that make a fascinating volume of “Etiquette for Americans,” by an anonymous “Woman of Fashion” (Duffield). The book is bound in limp leather, with a gilt top, and looks and smells like an Oxford Bible. It is not an elementary treatise for the climber just emerging from medicated flannels and barbarism; on the contrary, it assumes, as a matter of course, that the reader has already reached a high stage of civilization. In a word, it offers a sort of finishing course. Once you have mastered it, you need not fear a duchess, a head waiter or even John Drew.

Here and there in the book are indications that American society, at the top as well as further down, is still terrorized by occasional raids of the Goths and the Huns. “Eating with a noise,” says the author, “is something that society men have been introducing of late.” It is to be regretted that the reactionaries are not denounced by name, so that their accursed vulgarity might get its due punishment in execration and excommunication. The custom that they seek to revive was once universal in America. Only by the most laborious endeavors and in the face of the most savage opposition did certain ardent and self-sacrificing pioneers succeed in organizing a reform movement. The plain people hooted and derided them; they were held up to scorn in the public prints; it was even hinted that they were secret advocates of monarchy and tyranny. But they kept up their thankless propaganda resolutely, and in the end they saw their theory of eating the accepted doctrine, at least among the more advanced cognoscenti. Is their life work to go for naught? Is laziness to conquer virtuosity? I, for one, venture to hope not.

Eating noisily, like sleeping audibly, is a disgusting habit, not because it violates any of the laws of nature—it is obvious, indeed, that it does nothing of the sort—but because it makes life unbearable to all other persons within earshot. A civilized man may accustom himself to the bray of a jackass, the wolf tones of a tenor, the explosive violence of George M. Cohan’s orchestration or the piteous shrieks of the damned, but, no matter how great his force of character, he can never hear without a shiver the uncanny gurgle that soup makes when it is removed from a spoon by suction. If this gurgle be complicated by the interference of whiskers or loose false teeth the effect is staggering. And that effect is not only psychic, but also physical. At its least it manifests itself in a feeling of acute discomfort, much resembling seasickness; at its worst it may lead to syncope and collapse, or even to convulsions. Hell yawns for the loud eater.


The publishers of “The Calling of Dan Matthews,” by Harold Bell Wright (Book Supply Co., $1.50) send out with it a sixteen-page biography of the author, copiously illustrated. On page five there is an artistic photograph showing “the author starting to the express office, miles away over the desert, to forward his manuscript by express to the publishers.” As a work of art, the picture has merits, but as a likeness it is a failure, for the camera was set up astern of the author, and so we see only the back of his neck and the hindquarters of his mustang. Below this photograph is another showing “the combined study and studio built, by the author’s own hands,” and a footnote on the opposite page gives information that “the exposure was taken from the southeast.” A careful study of the shadows on the building reveals the fact that the exposure was also “taken” in the morning —probably at some time between ten and eleven o’clock. We know, too, that the author was not laboring inside at the time, for we are told on another page that “at such times a small flag floats over the study.” “When at work he will not permit interruption, but when the flag is lowered you will be greeted, if you call, with a smile and a hearty welcome.” It is not likely, however, that many visitors call, for the Tecolote Rancho —that is the name of the author’s principality—is in southern California, “a few miles north of the Mexican border,” and “just beyond Death Valley.”

Many interesting, and even astonishing facts regarding the author are set forth in this little book. He is the father, it appears, of three novels, and all of them are extraordinary successes. “That Printer of Udell’s” is one of them. He spent three years writing it and put a lot of happy thoughts into it, but several publishers, with characteristic stupidity, declined it. Then, fortunately enough, it fell into the hands of the Book Supply Company, which accepted it with alacrity. “By the time the first copy was offered for sale, nearly ten thousand dollars had been expended in plates, advertising, etc.” But the money was well invested, for since then “this splendid story has reached a sale of over one hundred thousand copies.” Mr. Wright’s next story, “The Shepherd of the Hills,” took even longer to produce—four years, to be exact. He was “tendered a fabulous sum by the Book Supply Company for its sole ownership, but he wisely preferred its publication on a royalty basis.” No doubt he has a fat bank account by now. Let us hope so.

Several pages of quips and epigrams from “The Calling of Dan Matthews” enable the lazy critic to absorb the proteids of the book without running the risk of getting its bones into his dental crevices. Say what you will about the literary style of these wheezes, you cannot deny their abounding truth. An example: “Whatever or whoever is responsible for the existence of such people and such conditions is a problem for the age to solve. The fact is, they are here.” Marcus Aurelius himself could not have put it better. It has the universal applicability of a strophe from the Book of Proverbs. You can substitute any names you want for “such people” and anything you want for “such conditions,” and the truth of the saying will still be overpowering. Try it with Hall Caine and cholera morbus. Try it again with James J. Jeffries and the music of the future. Try it yet again with Mrs. Leslie Carter and cruelty to animals. A man capable of thinking such magnificent thoughts is wasting his time on best sellers; he should devote himself to writing Bibles.

But I am forgetting “The Calling of Dan Matthews.” It starts off gaily with the following muddling of tenses: “This story began in the Ozark Mountains. It follows the trail that is nobody knows how old. But mostly this story happened in Corinth.” Soon we are in the midst of Dan Matthews’s woes. He is an ecclesiastic, it appears, with a bothersome congregation on his hands. Dan, in his simple-minded way, looks upon his church as a refuge for the weak and persecuted, and Christianity as a scheme for making men better. His congregation, on the contrary, regards the church as a social club, and Christianity as a scheme for separating “nice” folk from those not so “nice.” What is Dan to do—compromise—give in? Most young preachers, their enthusiasm oozing out of them, try the one thing and eventually come to the other. But not so Dan. He is a man as well as a preacher, and when he finds, at last, that it is impossible to be both and make a living, he ceases to be a preacher.

The author’s style wanders far from the canons of good English, but his story shows no little earnestness and plausibility. It is, in brief, not half so bad as the publisher’s encomiums lead you to expect. If that fatal biography were not sent out with it, it would probably seem pretty good.


“Jason,” by Justus Miles Forman (Harpers, $1.50), is a tale of kidnapping according to a new method. The victim this time is not a dear little Fauntleroy with silky curls, but a husky youngster approaching twenty-one. His father, who is dying, has a hoard of gold, and this hoard is coveted by an immoral uncle. Now, if the youngster can be induced to neglect his dying parent in some callous and aggravated manner, the chances are that the latter will leave the specie to the uncle. What could be easier? Bait is provided in the shape of a lovely young girl, and the son goes galloping after her, leaving his father to die alone. But this fair beginning comes to an un expected ending, and at the close we see virtue triumphant and the dissolute uncle foiled. A brisk and well-told story, with no great pretensions, but plenty of action and interest.


The problem which Arthur Hornblow seeks to solve in “By Right of Conquest” (Dillingham, $1.50) is this: Suppose a girl of the very highest caste and a man of the very lowest find themselves together on a deserted island—“will he exercise his rights as the stronger and drag her down to his own animal level, or will she, by sheer force of character, fine mentality and spiritual force, tame the beast and lift him up to her level?” A problem, indeed! But Mr. Hornblow discreetly modifies it a bit before setting out to find its answer. That is to say, he turns his theoretical girl, with her “fine mentality and spiritual force,” into a rather silly real girl, with a large bump of vulgar vanity and scarcely any intelligence at all; and his “animal “ hero, by the same stroke, becomes an educated English gentleman, and the last of a long line of baronets. As a matter of fact, the problem, in its final state, is actually reversed, for it is the girl who stands forth as the emotional plebeian, and the man who shows “force of character, fine mentality and spiritual force.” But, whatever its metamorphosis, it still remains an interesting problem, and Mr. Hornblow’s final solution of it is the logical and inevitable one. Civilization triumphs over barbarism, as it ever must when the two collide. The baronet shows his pretentious lady love that there are greater things in heaven and earth than dollars and dinner parties, and good old Nature does the rest. She embarks upon her great adventure an irritating snob; she emerges from it a woman of poise and sure vision, not a little worldly wise, but not a little lovable.


David —

by Cale Young Rice.

(Doubleday-Page, $1.25)

A play in blank verse, marked by safe and sane mediocrity. It has life and color, and it is actable, but a diligent search fails to find any poetry in it.


Wendell Phillips—

by Lorenzo Sears.

(Doubleday-Page, $1.50)

The first adequate biography of the great anti-slavery spellbinder. A serious and careful study, by a thoroughly competent, if overfriendly historian.


Miss Selina Lue—

by Maria Thompson Daviess.

(Bobbs-Merrill, $1.25)

Another book of b’gosh pathos and humor —this time with half a dozen remarkably good drawings by Paul J. Meylan.


Anne of Avonlea—

by L. M. Montgomery.

(Page, $1.50)

A sort of sequel to “ Anne of Green Gables,” and showing much the same genial quality.


Dorothy of Angelwood—

by M. Y. T. H. Myth.

(Broadway Pub. Co., 75 cents)


(Source: Hathitrust.org, https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=njp.32101076426178;view=1up;seq=524)

The works of H.L. Mencken and other American journalists are now freely available at The Archive of American Journalism. Visit our bookstore for single-volume collections–-ideal for research, reference use or casual reading.