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The December Century may be called an Early California number. The opening paper. "Lite in California before the Gold Discovery" by Gen. Bidwell, is a plain, unvarnished tale, its romance being all concentrated in its brilliant illustrations. "Ranch and Mission Days in Alta California," is more picturesque in effect though written with equal simplicity. "Trading with the Indians" and "The Date of the Discovery of the Yosemite" complete the California quartette.
"Some Views of Acting" by Salvini express his views of emotionalism in dramatic are, his divergeuce from Coquelin's "mechanism" and sympathy with living's feeling of his part. "Franklin in Allegory" owes its chief interest to illustrations of old prints, "Laurels of the American Tar in 1812" is also lavishly industrated.
The fiction on the number begins with "The Cynical Miss Catherwaight." Her cynicism is not very prominent save in the title. The story begins well but modulates down into the dead commonplace. "Colonel Carter of Cartersvilie" is "niggery" but agreeable. "The Record of Virtue" is an interesting article of philanthropy working ignorantly. "A Pair of Old boys" by Maurice Thompson is excessively amusing. "Sister Dolorosa" is one of James Lane Allen's imaginings of gaunt Kentucky atmosphered mediaeval and European poetry. Stories by Joel Chandler Harris and Euzabeth Stuart Phelps complete the fiction.
The poetry is contributed by Austin Dobson, Celia Thaxter, Kate Putnam Osgood, W. W. Campbell, Henry Morton and G. P. Lathrop. A "heavy article" is Lyman Aboott's "Can a Nation have a Religion?"
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