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Title: Concerning Lafcadio Hearn - With a Bibliography by Laura Stedman
Author: Gould, George M. (George Milbrey), 1848-1922
Language: English
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                [Illustration: LAFCADIO HEARN.
                _From a Photograph by Gutekunst, 1889._]


                    CONCERNING LAFCADIO
                    HEARN. By GEORGE M. GOULD, M.D.

                          WITH A BIBLIOGRAPHY
                            BY LAURA STEDMAN

                       _WITH FIVE ILLUSTRATIONS_

                            T. FISHER UNWIN

                        LONDON: ADELPHI TERRACE
                        LEIPSIC: INSELSTRASSE 20

                        [_All rights reserved_]


    CHAP.                                               PAGE

      I.  HEREDITY AND THE EARLY LIFE                          1

     II.  IN PERSON                                            7

    III.  THE PERIOD OF THE GRUESOME                          13

     IV.  THE NEW ORLEANS TIME                                33

      V.  AT MARTINIQUE                                       57

     VI.  "GETTING A SOUL"                                    65

    VII.  "IN GHOSTLY JAPAN"                                  81

   VIII.  AS A POET                                           93

     IX.  THE POET OF MYOPIA                                 103

      X.  HEARN'S STYLE                                      119

     XI.  SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION                             137

    XII.  APPRECIATIONS AND EPITOMES                         143

          BIBLIOGRAPHY                                       247


                                                 _To face page_

    IN 1889                                       _Frontispiece_


    GIGLAMPZ"                                                 21

    AUGUST 24, 1888                                           61

    HANDWRITING OF HEARN IN 1889                              68


THERE are as many possible biographies of a man as there are possible
biographers--and one more! Of Lafcadio Hearn there has been, and there
will be, no excuse for any biography whatever. A properly edited volume
of his letters, and, perhaps, a critical estimate of the methods and
development of his imaginative power and literary character are, and
still remain, most desirable. That some competent hand may yet be found
to undertake this task is still hoped by those who recognize the value
of a man's best work. To furnish material and help toward this end is my
object in collecting the following pages. The life of a literary man
interests and is of value to the world because of the literature he has
created. Without a bibliography, without even mention of the works he
wrote, his biography would be useless. To correct many untrue and
misleading statements and inferences of a serious nature that have been
published concerning him and his life, should it ever be undertaken,
will prove a labour so difficult and thankless that it will scarcely be
entered upon by one who would do it rightly. That it will not be
hazarded comes, as I have said, from the fact that it is not needed,
because neither Hearn himself, nor his real friends, nor again, a
discriminating literary sense, have been, nor can be, under any illusion
as to his "greatness." He has been spoken of as "a great man," which, of
course, he was not. Two talents he had, but these were far from
constituting personal greatness. Deprived by nature, by the necessities
of his life, or by conscious intention, of religion, morality,
scholarship, magnanimity, loyalty, character, benevolence, and other
constituents of personal greatness, it is more than folly to endeavour
to place him thus wrongly before the world.

The irony of the situation is pathetically heightened by the fact that,
supposing him to be very great, "the weaknesses of very great men,"
which he said should not be spoken of, are amazingly paraded in the
letters. Had he ever dreamed that his letters would be published, he
would not, and could not, have so unblushingly exposed himself and his
faults to the public gaze. The fact has now been writ exceeding large,
or it would not be, and should not be, corrected and contradicted. A
word to the wise suffices.

There remains the question, truly pertinent, concerning the nature and
progress toward perfection of his imagination, and of his literary

We know nothing, and doubtless we may never know anything definite,
accurate and of value about the character either of his father or of his
mother. Any attempt, therefore, to estimate what effect heredity had in
handing down the strange endowment we find in his early manhood is
wholly futile. We may not be too sure concerning either the parentage or
nationality ascribed to him.

Moreover, in the last analysis, Hearn was no "product of his
environment." In a certain sense, he was of the school of Flaubert,
Gautier, Maupassant, Loti, and Zola, but with such differences and
variations that these teachers may not take much credit or flattery to
themselves. The great, the distinctive, the dominating force which
controlled and created Hearn's literary makings, his morbid vision, was
not "environment" as the critics and scientists mean by the term. These
have not yet learned that Art and Life hang upon the perfection and
peculiarities of the senses of the artist and of the one who lives, and
that intellect and especially æsthetics are almost wholly the product of
vision. Conversely, the morbidities and individualisms of Art and Life
often depend pre-eminently upon the morbidities of vision.

Character, lastly, is the action or reaction of personality against
circumstance, not under and dominated by circumstance. To have character
is to control circumstance; Hearn was always its slave. Except in one
particular, the pursuit of literary excellence, Hearn had no character
whatever. His was the most unresisting, most echolike mind I have ever
known. He was a perfect chameleon; he took for the time the colour of
his surroundings. He was always the mirror of the friend of the instant,
or if no friend was there, of the dream of that instant. The next minute
he was another being, acted upon by the new circumstance, reflecting the
new friend, or redreaming the old and new-found dream. They who blame
him too sharply for his disloyalty and ingratitude to old friends do not
understand him psychologically. There was nothing behind the physical
and neurologic machine to be loyal or disloyal. He had no mind, or
character, to be possessed of loyalty or disloyalty. For the most part,
he simply dropped his friends, and rarely spoke ill of them or of his
enemies. There was nothing whatever in him, except perhaps for the short
time when he said his friend had given him a soul, to take the cast and
function of loyalty or disloyalty, gratitude or ingratitude. One does
not ask originality or even great consistency of an echo, and, of all
men that have ever lived, Hearn, mentally and spiritually, was most
perfectly an echo. The sole quality, the only originality, he brought to
the fact, or to the echo, was colour--a peculiar derivation of a maimed
sense. He created or invented nothing; his stories were always told him
by others; at first they were gruesome tales even to horror and disgust.
He learned by practice to choose lovelier stories, ones always distant,
sometimes infinitely distant, and he learned to retell or echo them with
more artistic skill and even a matchless grace. His merit, almost his
sole merit, and his unique skill lay in the strange faculty of colouring
the echo with the hues and tints of heavenly rainbows and unearthly
sunsets, all gleaming with a ghostly light that never was on sea or
shore. So that, fused as he was with his work, he himself became that
impossible thing, a chromatic voice, a multicoloured echo.

We must, therefore, accept the facts as we find them, the young man as
we find him, uneducated, friendless, without formed character, with a
lot of heathenish and unrestrained appetites, crippled as to the most
important of the senses, poverty-stricken, improvident, of peculiar and
unprepossessing appearance and manners, flung into an alien world in
many ways more morbid than himself. That he lived at all is almost
astonishing, and that he writhed out, how he did it, and the means
whereby he finally presented to the best artistic and literary
intellects of the world prized values and enjoyments, is indeed worthy
of some attention and study.

From letters written to me just prior to his death by that veteran and
discriminating critic, Mr. Edmund C. Stedman, I quote a few sentences to
show that the appreciation of Hearn has by no means reached its full

"I passed an evening with your Hearn manuscript and the supplementary
matter by my granddaughter, and found them both well done and of deep
interest. Some of your passages are beautifully written and make me
think that if you will give us more of the style which is so plainly at
your command, you will gain, etc.... The publishers do not understand,
as I do, that Hearn will in time be as much of a romantic personality
and tradition as Poe now is. I strongly urged one publisher to buy those
copyrights owned by three other firms on any terms and in the end bring
out a definitive edition of his complete works."

As to Miss Stedman's workmanlike bibliography, it should be said that
the rule which has been followed in excluding less valuable reviews and
notices, was based upon the effort to include doubtful ones only when of
exceptional value, by a personal friend of Hearn, etc. Files of ordinary
newspapers are not preserved even in local libraries, and, therefore,
references to them have been excluded except under peculiar
circumstances of authorship, opinions stated, etc.

For their kind permission to make extracts from Hearn's published works,
grateful acknowledgments are due to Messrs. Little, Brown and Company,
Houghton, Mifflin and Company, Harper Brothers, and The Macmillan

Should this volume bring in more money than the necessary expenses of
compiling it, the excess will be sent to Mrs. Hearn through the Japanese
Consul, or in some other way.

                                                    GEORGE M. GOULD.


            [Illustration: HEARN AT ABOUT THE AGE OF EIGHT.
                         _From a Photograph._]

_To face page 1._

MANY conflicting accounts have been given concerning Hearn's parents and
childhood. From his own statements made in 1889, the notes of which,
taken down at the moment, are before me, he was born on June 27, 1850,
at Leucadia, in Santa Maura, one of the Ionian Islands. His father, he
said, was an Irishman, Charles Bush Hearn, Surgeon-Major in the 76th
English Infantry Regiment, which had been stationed at Madras, Calcutta.
The regiment was later merged into the 22nd West Riding Battalion. His
mother was a Greek from Cerigo, another of the Ionian Isles; her name he
had forgotten. He spoke of his father and mother as having been married,
and of a subsequent divorce, about 1857 or 1858. Allusion was made to a
younger brother, named Daniel, who was brought up by an artist, a
painter, Richard Hearn, a brother of Charles Bush Hearn, who lived in
Paris.[1] Hearn thought this brother was educated as a civil engineer.
After the divorce his mother remarried, her second husband being a
lawyer, a Greek, name unknown, and living at Smyrna, Asia Minor.
Lafcadio's father also remarried, taking his wife to India. Three
daughters were said to have been born there. Lafcadio was put under the
care of his aunt, Mrs. Sarah Brenane, of Dublin, No. 73 Upper Leeson
Street. She was a widow without children. In a letter to me, written
prior to 1889, Hearn says: "As for me, I have a good deal in me _not_ to
thank my ancestors for; and it is a pleasure that _I cannot_, even if I
would, trace myself two generations back, not even one generation on my
mother's side. Half these Greeks are mixed with Turks and Arabs--don't
know how much of an Oriental mixture I have, or may have." And again, "I
do not know anything about my mother, whether alive or dead. My father
died on his return from India. There was a queer romance in the history
of my mother's marriage." He told me later that this romance was said to
have been that Surgeon-Major Hearn was once set upon by the brothers of
the young Greek woman to whom he was paying attention, and that he was
left supposedly dead, with about a score of dagger-made wounds in his

    [1] In _The Bookbuyer_, May, 1896, Hearn's friend, Mr. J. S.
        Tunison, speaks of the existence of a brother, "a busy
        farmer in Northwestern Ohio."

In the Dayton, Ohio, _Journal_, of December 25, 1906, Mr. Tunison speaks
authoritatively of the discrepant accounts given by many writers, and by
Hearn himself, concerning his parents, birth and early years. "Hearn
himself had misgivings, and sometimes associated his baptismal name with
the not uncommon Spanish name, Leocadie." The boy, of course, could only
repeat what he had been told by his relatives or friends. Physiognomy
can help little perhaps, but here its testimony is assuredly not
confirmatory of the more common story. Any attempt to secure definite
information in Ireland would scarcely be successful. One possibility
remained: There is still living an Irish gentleman to whom Lafcadio was
sent from Ireland, and in whose care, at least to a limited extent, the
boy was placed. I have not the right to mention his name. He was living
in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1870, and through his brother-in-law in Ireland,
Lafcadio was, as it were, consigned to my informant. The subject is an
unpleasant one to him, and he answered my questions with reluctance. He
did not like the boy and did not feel that he had any obligation toward
him; in fact, he did not feel that he was in any way responsible for his
care. Besides, he had heavy duties toward his own children that absorbed
all his energies. "I never had a letter from him. He came to the house
three times. Mrs. Brenane sent me money, which I gave to him to pay his
bills with. When he got work, he never came near me again." He was not
sure that Mrs. Brenane was, in truth, Hearn's aunt, and upon being
pressed, answered repeatedly, "I know nothing, nobody knows anything
true of Hearn's life. He may have been related to my wife's family, but
I never knew." Asked why the lad was "shipped" to him, he replied, "I do
not know." Inquiries concerning the boy's schooling brought no more
than, "I only know that he could never stay long in one school." "His
father was Irish, was he not?" "Yes." "And his mother was Greek?" "O
yes, I suppose so," but with an indefinite inflection.

The mystery, therefore, of Hearn's parentage and boyhood years is
probably not to be cleared up. He was, perhaps, a "bad boy," and
expelled from several schools; his lifelong hatred and fear of Catholics
and Jesuits doubtless dates from these youthful and irrational
experiences; but it is useless to inquire whether or not they were in
any sense justifiable. A little reflected light is thrown upon this
period by an apocryphal anecdote in a letter to me, written while Hearn
was at my house, and which Miss Bisland in her "Life and Letters" kindly
failed to put in its proper place,[2] as well as omitted to say whence
she obtained it:

        [2] Vol. I, pp. 459-460, just prior to the last

    This again reminds me of something. When I was a boy, I had
    to go to confession, and my confessions were honest ones.
    One day I told the ghostly father that I had been guilty of
    desiring that the devil would come to me in the shape of
    the beautiful woman in which he came to the Anchorites in
    the desert, and that I thought that I would yield to such
    temptations. He was a grim man who rarely showed emotion,
    my confessor, but on that occasion he actually rose to his
    feet in anger.

    "Let me warn you!" he cried, "let me warn you! Of all things
    never wish that! You might be more sorry for it than you can
    possibly believe!"

    His earnestness filled me with fearful joy;--for I thought
    the temptation might actually be realized--so serious he
    looked ... but the pretty _succubi_ all continued to remain
    in hell.

The necessary inference, therefore, is that the lad was an unwelcome
charge upon those Irish relations or friends of his father, in whose
care he was placed. It is said that he always spoke with bitterness of
his father, and with love of his mother. Beyond a certain amount of
money allotted (by his father?) for his support, neither parent was
evidently concerned about his upbringing and welfare, and all who should
have been interested in those things made haste to rid themselves of the
obligations. If the stories of his boyish "badness" were true, the lad
could not be blamed for putting into practice his inherited instincts,
so that the pathos of his early misfortunes only increase our sympathy
for the youth and his tragedies. (I reproduce a photograph of Lafcadio
and his aunt, Mrs. Justin, or Sarah, Brenane. The lad must have been at
the time about eight years of age.) The "consignment" of the
nineteen-year old youth to the distant relative of the family, who was
then living in Cincinnati, explains the reason why, landing in New York,
he finally went to Cincinnati. How long he lived in New York City and
any details of his life there before he went West, may be held as beyond
investigation. Mr. Tunison incidentally speaks of him during this time
as "sleeping in dry-goods boxes on the street, etc.," and I have heard
that he acted as a restaurant waiter. There have been published stories
of a period of want and suffering endured in London before the
emigration to New York City. Others concerning great scholarship and the
intimate knowledge of several languages, especially French, are surely
not true. Even in 1889, after the New Orleans and Martinique periods,
Hearn could not speak French with ease or correctness. In Cincinnati he
secured the help of a French scholar in translating Gautier's "Émaux et
Camées." His want of knowledge of the Latin language is deplored in his
letters and, to the last, after a dozen or more years in Japan, his
inability to read a Japanese newspaper or speak the language was a
source of regret to himself, of errors too numerous to mention, and of
grievous limitations in his work as an interpreter. In the one field of
which his taste, aptitude and function dictated a wide and stimulating
acquaintance, folk-lore, he was lamentably wanting. It might seem
unfitting to allude to this were it not well to be discriminating in all
cases, and had not Hearn sought to reach authoritativeness in a
department wherein he had not gathered the fundamental data.


WHEN, in 1889, Hearn appeared in my reception room, although I had not
seen any photograph of him, and had not even known of his coming, I at
once said, "You are Lafcadio?" The poor exotic was so sadly out of
place, so wondering, so suffering and shy, that I am sure he would have
run out of the house if I had not at once shown him an overflowing
kindness, or if a tone of voice had betrayed any curiosity or doubt. It
was at once agreed that he should stay with me for awhile, and there was
no delay in providing him with a seat at my table and a room where he
could be at his work of proof-correcting. His "Two Years in the French
West Indies" was then going through the press, and an incident connected
with the proof-reading illustrates how impossible it was for him, except
when necessity drove, to meet any person not already known. He wished to
give his reader the tune of the songs printed on pages 426-431, but he
knew nothing of music. I arranged with a lady to repeat the airs on her
piano as he should whistle them, and then to write them on the
music-staff. When the fatal evening arrived, Hearn and I went to the
lady's house, but as we proceeded his part in our chatting lapsed into
silence, and he lagged behind. Although he finally dragged himself to
the foot of the doorstep, after I had rung the bell, his courage failed,
and before the door was opened I saw him running as if for life, half a
square away!

Even before this adventure I had learned that it was useless to try to
get him to lunch or dinner if any stranger were present. I think he
always listened to detect the possible presence of a stranger before
entering the dining-room, and he would certainly have starved rather
than submit to such an ordeal. It may be readily imagined that my
attempt to secure his services as a lecturer before a local literary
society was a ludricrous failure. He would have preferred hanging.

I allude to this attitude of his mind from no idle or curious reason,
but because it arose from logical and necessary reasons. When, later, he
was in Japan, I was once importuned, and should not have yielded, to
give a friend, who was about to visit Tôkyô, a note of
introduction. As I warned my friend Hearn refused to see visitors.

That his extreme shyness depended upon his being unknown, and that it
was united to a lack of humour, may be gathered from the fact that, when
he came from Martinique, he wore a clothing which inevitably made the
passers-by turn and look and smile. Long and repeated endeavours were
necessary before I could get his consent to lay aside the outrageous
tropical hat for one that would not attract attention. How little he
recked of this appears from the tale I heard that a lot of street gamins
in Philadelphia formed a _queue_, the leader holding by Hearn's
coat-tails, and, as they marched, all kept step and sang in time,
"Where, where, where did you get that hat?"

At once, upon first meeting Hearn, I instinctively recognized that upon
my part the slightest sign of a desire or attempt to study him, to look
upon him as an object of literary or "natural" history, would
immediately put an end to our relations. Indeed, it never at that time
entered my mind to think thus of him, and only since collections of his
letters and biographies are threatened has it occurred to me to think
over our days and months together, and to help, so far as advisable,
toward a true understanding of the man and his art.

In 1889 Lafcadio was 5 feet 3 inches tall, weighed 137 pounds, and had a
chest girth of 36-3/4 inches.

The summer of 1889 made noteworthy changes in Hearn's character. I
suspect it was his first experience in anything that might be called
home-life. To his beloved _pays des revenants_, Martinique, his mind
constantly reverted, with an _Ahnung_ that he should never see it again.
There are truth and pathos and keen self-knowledge, frankly expressed
in the letters he would write me in the next room, immediately after we
had chatted long together, and when he felt that the pen could better
express what he shyly shrank from speaking:

    Ah! to have a profession is to be rich, to have
    international current-money, a gold that is cosmopolitan,
    passes everywhere. Then I think I would never settle down
    in any place; would visit all, wander about as long as I
    could. There is such a delightful pleasantness about the
    _first_ relations with people in strange places--before you
    have made any rival, excited any ill wills, incurred
    anybody's displeasure. Stay long enough in any one place
    and the illusion is over; you have to sift this society
    through the meshes of your nerves, and find perhaps one
    good friendship too large to pass through.

    It is a very beautiful world; the ugliness of some humanity
    only exists as the shadowing that outlines the view; the
    nobility of man and the goodness of woman can only be felt
    by those who know the possibilities of degradation and
    corruption. Philosophically I am simply a follower of
    Spencer, whose mind gives me the greatest conception of
    Divinity I can yet expand to receive. The faultiness is not
    with the world, but with myself. I inherit certain
    susceptibilities, weaknesses, sensitivenesses, which render
    it impossible to adapt myself to the ordinary _milieu_; I
    have to make one of my own wherever I go, and never mingle
    with that already made. True, I love much knowledge, but I
    escape pains which, in spite of all your own knowledge, you
    could wholly comprehend, for the simple reason that you
    _can_ mingle with men.

    I am really quite lonesome for you, and am reflecting how
    much more lonesome I shall be in some outrageous equatorial
    country where I shall not see you any more;--also it seems
    to me perfectly and inexplainably atrocious to know that
    some day or other there will be no Gooley at ---- St. That I
    should cease to make a shadow some day seems quite natural,
    because Hearney boy is only a bubble anyhow ("The earth hath
    bubbles"),--but you, hating mysteries and seeing and feeling
    and knowing everything,--you have no right ever to die at
    all. And I can't help doubting whether you will. You have
    almost made me believe what you do not believe yourself:
    that there are souls. I haven't any, I know; but I think you
    have,--something electrical and luminous inside you that
    will walk about and see things always. Are you really--what
    I see of you--only an Envelope of something subtler and
    perpetual? Because if you are, I might want you to pass down
    some day southward,--over the blue zone and the volcanic
    peaks like a little wind,--and flutter through the
    palm-plumes under the all-putrefying sun,--and reach down
    through old roots to the bones of me, and try to raise me

The weakness and even exhaustion which the West Indian climate had
wrought in Hearn were painfully apparent. His stay in Philadelphia, warm
as that summer was to us, brought him speedily back to physical health.
The lesson was not unheeded, nor its implications, by his sensitive

I reproduce two photographs of Hearn: the first taken in 1888 (facing
page 61); and the second, by Mr. Gutekunst, at my urgent solicitation,
in 1889, while Hearn was stopping at my house (_Frontispiece_).

The first photograph, taken in Martinique, brings out the habitual
sadness and lack of vivacity in his physiognomy. In my picture of 1889
(the second) I was unable, despite all effort, to get Hearn to present
to the camera his entire face with naturally open eyes, and the
customary expression. He resolutely refused, and consented to the
compromise of a two-thirds view _with closed eyes_. And this to me is
still the most truthful and hence the most expressive of all his
photographs. It is so suggestive because of its negations, so expressive
because non-expressive. But it indicates, silently and by inference, the
most significant fact about the man.

To those who are expert in such things, the stare of the highly myopic
eye is known to be not that of mental action and seeing, but of not
seeing. When we walk, we are forward-looking beings, and what goes on
within the eye or brain and what may be behind us is totally ignored.
But for a highly myopic person there is no outward or forward looking.
Hearn's closed eye gives, therefore, a decidedly more truthful lesson in
physiognomy than does the open and protruding one, which cannot see the
coming or future scene, or which sees it so vaguely that its hint of the
scene is perhaps more useless than the imagined picture of the totally
blind. His inability to see the presenting world had resulted in a
renunciation of outlook and an absolute incuriosity as to the future.
With weaklings this might have brought about introspection, the mental
eye--the product of the physical eye--turned in upon itself. Hearn was
too much of an artist to fall into that Death Valley of all æsthetics,
and there was a quick acceptance of the logical and inevitable, whence
arose the wonder of poetic retrospection.


WHEN Hearn arrived in Cincinnati, in 1871 or 1872, he was twenty-one or
twenty-two years of age. All other methods of making a livelihood except
that by his pen had failed, or were soon to fail, and it is not long
before the literary way is exclusively and permanently adopted. There
was a brief first time of service with Robert Clarke and Company as
proof-reader. The exact uses of punctuation, the clearness which the
proper marks give to writing, soon earned for him the sobriquet "Old
Semicolon" among his fellow reporters. All his life Hearn clung
meticulously to his theories concerning the necessity and precise rules
of punctuation. Some of his later quarrels with periodical editors and
proof-readers arose from differences of opinion in these things. There
was a short engagement of Hearn by the librarian, Mr. Thomas Vickers, as
private secretary or helper. Among his early friends was a printer, Mr.
Henry Watkin, now residing at 1312 McMillan Street, who was kind to him,
and who taught him to set type.

"In 1874," Mr. O. P. Caylor[3] writes, "Col. Cockerill of the _World_
was managing editor of the Cincinnati _Enquirer_. A few weeks previous
to the 'Tan-Yard Murder' Mr. Hearn came to the _Enquirer_ office to sell
a manuscript. Upstairs he ventured, but there his courage failed him. It
was not enough to induce him to brave the awful editorial presence. So
he paced up and down the hall with his velvet restless tread until the
awful door opened and the terrible giant came forth. Hearn would, no
doubt, have run away had he not been at the rear of the hall when Mr.
Cockerill came out into the other end, and the stairway was between.

    [3] A quotation in the _Author_, January 15, 1890, from an
        article by Mr. Caylor in the Philadelphia _North American_.

"Thus it occurred that the author of 'Chita' submitted his first
manuscript. He came with others later, but never could he persuade
himself to knock at that editorial door for admission. Up and down, up
and down the hall he would pace or glide until Colonel Cockerill came
forth, whether the time consumed in waiting was ten minutes or two

In _Current Literature_, June, 1896, Colonel John A. Cockerill, writing
of Hearn, tells the story thus:

"Some twenty years ago I was the editor in charge of a daily newspaper
in a Western city. One day there came to my office a quaint,
dark-skinned little fellow, strangely diffident, wearing glasses of
great magnifying power and bearing with him evidence that Fortune and he
were scarce on nodding terms.

"In a soft, shrinking voice he asked if I ever paid for outside
contributions. I informed him that I was somewhat restricted in the
matter of expenditure, but that I would give consideration to what he
had to offer. He drew from under his coat a manuscript, and tremblingly
laid it upon my table. Then he stole away like a distorted brownie,
leaving behind him an impression that was uncanny and indescribable.

"Later in the day I looked over the contribution which he had left. I
was astonished to find it charmingly written....

"He sat in the corner of my room and wrote special articles for the
Sunday edition as thoroughly excellent as anything that appeared in the
magazines of those days. I have known him to have twelve and fifteen
columns of this matter in a single issue of the paper. He was delighted
to work, and I was pleased to have him work, for his style was beautiful
and the tone he imparted to the newspaper was considerable. Hour after
hour he would sit at his table, his great bulbous eyes resting as close
to the paper as his nose would permit, scratching away with beaver-like
diligence and giving me no more annoyance than a bronze ornament.

"His eyes troubled him greatly in those days. He was as sensitive as a
flower. An unkind word from anybody was as serious to him as a cut from
a whiplash, but I do not believe he was in any sense resentful.... He
was poetic, and his whole nature seemed attuned to the beautiful, and he
wrote beautifully of things which were neither wholesome nor inspiring.
He came to be in time a member of the city staff at a fair compensation,
and it was then that his descriptive powers developed. He loved to write
of things in humble life. He prowled about the dark corners of the city,
and from gruesome places he dug out charming idyllic stories. The negro
stevedores on the steamboat-landings fascinated him. He wrote of their
songs, their imitations, their uncouth ways, and he found
picturesqueness in their rags, poetry in their juba dances."

In January or February, 1874, there was a horrible murder, "the famous
Tan-Yard case," in Cincinnati, and Hearn's account of it in the
_Enquirer_, from the newspaper and reportorial standpoint was so graphic
and so far beyond the power of all rivals that he was henceforth assured
of employment and of a measure and kind of respect. His friend, Mr.
Edward Henderson, formerly city editor of the _Commercial_, now City
Clerk in Cincinnati, says that because of his startling report of this
murder "his city editors kept him at the most arduous work of a daily
morning paper--the night-stations, for in that field mostly developed
the sensational events that were worthy of his pen. In these days his
powers would be held in reserve to write up what others should
discover.... His repertory was strongest in the unusual and the
startling. He was never known to shirk hardship or danger in filling an
assignment or following up his self-obtained pointer."

The beginning of Hearn's literary career was his report of the Tan-Yard
Murder case. It was published in the Cincinnati _Enquirer_, November,
1874. I shall quote some parts of it in a footnote to illustrate his
innate and studied ability to outfit with words and expressions of the
most startling and realistic picturing quality, the most horrible and
loathsome facts. Keeping in mind the comparison with the illustrations
from his later work in which he was equally capable of painting noble
and beautiful things (all except those of a spiritual or religious
nature), one is filled with admiration of a faculty so rare and perfect.
Those who are sensitive should not read the excerpts which I append, and
which are given in obedience to a sense of duty.[4]

    [4] "An _Enquirer_ reporter visited the establishment some
        hours later, accompanied by Dr. Maley, and examined all so
        far discovered of Herman Schilling's charred corpse. The
        hideous mass of reeking cinders, despite all the efforts of
        the brutal murderers to hide their ghastly crime, remain
        sufficiently intact to bear frightful evidence against them.

        "On lifting the coffin-lid, a powerful and penetrating
        odour, strongly resembling the smell of burnt beef, yet
        heavier and fouler, filled the room and almost sickened the
        spectators. But the sight of the black remains was far more
        sickening. Laid upon the clean white lining of the coffin,
        they rather resembled great shapeless lumps of half-burnt
        bituminous coal than aught else at the first hurried glance;
        and only a closer investigation could enable a
        strong-stomached observer to detect their ghastly
        character--masses of crumbling human bones, strung together
        by half-burnt sinews, or glued one upon another by a hideous
        adhesion of half-molten flesh, boiled brains and jellied
        blood, mingled with coal.

        "The skull had burst like a shell in the fierce furnace
        heat, and the whole upper portion seemed as though it had
        been blown out by the steam from the boiling and bubbling
        brains. Only the posterior portion of the occipital and
        parietal bones, and the inferior and superior maxillary, and
        some of the face bones remained,--the upper portion of the
        skull bones being jagged, burnt brown in some spots, and in
        others charred to black ashes. The brain had all boiled
        away, save a small waste lump at the base of the skull about
        the size of a lemon. It was crisped and still warm to the
        touch. On pushing the finger through the crisp, the interior
        felt about the consistency of banana fruit, and the yellow
        fibre seemed to writhe like worms in the Coroner's hands.
        The eyes were cooked to bubbled crisps in the blackened
        sockets, and the bones of the nose were gone, leaving a
        hideous hole.

        "So covered were the jaws and the lower facial bones with
        coal, crusted blood and gummy flesh, that the Coroner at
        first supposed that the lower maxillary had been burned
        away. On tearing away the frightful skull-mask of mingled
        flesh and coal and charred gristle, however, the grinning
        teeth shone ghastly white, and the jaws were found intact.
        They were set together so firmly that it was found
        impossible to separate them, without reducing the whole mass
        to ashes. So great had been the heat that the Coroner was
        able to crumble one of the upper teeth in his fingers.

        "Besides the fragments of the skull, have been found six
        ribs of the right side and four of the left; the middle
        portion of the spinal-column; the liver, spleen, and
        kidneys; the pelvic bones, the right and left humerus, the
        femoral bone and the tibia and fibula of both legs. The body
        had burnt open at the chest, and the heart and lungs had
        been entirely consumed. The liver had been simply roasted
        and the kidneys fairly fried. There is a horrible
        probability that the wretched victim was forced into the
        furnace alive, and suffered all the agonies of the bitterest
        death man can die, while wedged in the flaming flue. The
        teeth were so terribly clinched that more than one spectator
        of the hideous skull declared that only the most frightful
        agony could have set those jaws together. Perhaps, stunned
        and disabled by the murderous blows of his assailants, the
        unconscious body of the poor German was forced into the
        furnace. Perhaps the thrusts of the assassin's pitchfork,
        wedging him still further into the fiery hell, or perhaps
        the first agony of burning when his bloody garments took
        fire, revived him to meet the death of flames. Fancy the
        shrieks for mercy, the mad expostulation, the frightful
        fight for life, the superhuman struggle for existence--a
        century of agony crowded into a moment--the shrieks growing
        feebler--the desperate struggle dying into feeble writhings.
        And through it all, the grim murderers, demoniacally
        pitiless, devilishly desperate, gasping with their exertions
        to destroy a poor human life, looking on in silent triumph,
        peering into the furnace until the skull exploded, and the
        steaming body burst, and the fiery flue hissed like a
        hundred snakes! It may not be true--we hope for humanity's
        sake it cannot be true; but the rightful secrets of that
        fearful night are known only to the criminals and their God.
        They may be brought to acknowledge much; but surely never so
        much as we have dared to hint at."

"When his city editor, in compliance with the urgency of a
steeple-climber, consented to send a reporter to take observations of
the city from the top of the cross surmounting the spire of St. Peter's
Cathedral in Cincinnati, Hearn was the man selected. In mentioning the
assignment to him, the city editor handed him a valuable field-glass,
with the suggestion that he might find it useful. On taking his
departure with the climbers, Hearn quietly handed back the glasses with
the remark in undertone, 'Perhaps I'd better not take these; something
might happen.' He made the trip to the top of the spire, though the men
found it necessary to haul him part of the way in mid-air and to bodily
place and hold him on top of the cross. And he produced an account of
that thrilling experience that went the round of the newspaper

    [5] Our wonder at the performance is heightened by the fact
        that Hearn, of course, saw nothing of what he so vividly described.

It is little wonder that his "Vocabulary of the Gruesome" became famous,
since I have learned from his friend and associate, the artist, Mr.
Farney, and also from others, certain facts which demonstrate that this
vocabulary was gathered not only or chiefly because of the exigencies of
his work as a reporter, or to express the revolting in thrilling words,
but because he had a spontaneous lickerishness for the things
themselves. He positively delighted in the gruesome. With his fingers he
dug into the scorched flesh and the exuding brains of the murdered man's
body when it was taken from the furnace, and in another murder case he
slid on the floor, as if on ice, in the congealed blood of the victim.
"He even drank blood at the abattoirs with the consumptives when that
craze had fallen upon the people of Cincinnati." There is more than an
excuse for mentioning these things; it is necessary to do so in order to
understand the origin and transformation of Hearn's chief endowment as a

Even more convincing, perhaps, than these offensive gloatings as
regards his native love of the gruesome, is the unconscious testimony
given in the history of an illustrated paper established by Mr. Farney
and Mr. Hearn. Mr. Henderson has said of Hearn that "very rarely was he
known to throw a _soupçon_ of humour into his work." The newspaper
venture demonstrates that even when humour was planned Hearn had none to

Number One, Volume One, of _Ye Giglampz_ was issued in Cincinnati, Ohio,
on June 21, 1874, and describes itself on the title-page as, "A Weekly
Illustrated Journal, Devoted to Art, Literature and Satire." The size of
the pages was 14-1/2 × 10-3/4 inches. The subsequent issues were larger,
about 16 × 11-1/4 inches. There were eight pages in each number, the
first, third, fourth and eighth were illustrated by Mr. H. F. Farney;
the others were made up of reading matter. The heading of the editorial
page did not exactly repeat that of the title-page, but read as follows:

                            "The Giglampz."
                   Published Daily, except Week-Days.
                        Terms, $2.50 per annum.
                   Address, "Giglampz Publishing Co."
                           150 West Fourth St.


With the issue of Number Seven (August 2, 1874) appeared a notice that
H. F. Farney and Company had purchased the _Giglampz_ from its former
proprietors, the new office being henceforth at the North-west corner of
Fourth and Race Streets. Number Eight was the last furnished
subscribers. Probably the only existing set of this periodical is that
kindly lent to me by Mr. Farney at the request of Mr. Alexander Hill of
The Robert Clarke Company, Cincinnati. Among the many significant things
suggested in looking over the pages, is the fact that this bound file
was Hearn's personal copy, his name being written on the cover-leaf by
himself--"L. Hearn, 1877"--and just below, this: "Reminiscences of An
Editorship under Difficulties."

It is noteworthy that nowhere is it publicly announced that Hearn was
the editor, although the fact was probably an open secret in Cincinnati
at the time. The truth of the foregoing inscription in his handwriting
is confirmed by the acknowledgment of his authorship of most of the
articles, contributed as well as editorial, conveyed by his customary
signature, penciled at the end or beginning of each paragraph or column
which he had written. The very title of the paper itself was a witness
in the same way, and shows that at that time, although Hearn kept his
name concealed, he was not, as later, sensitive concerning his ocular
defect.[6] It is plain that the word _Giglampz_ refers to the large and
conspicuous spectacles or eye-glasses which at that time (not later)
were worn habitually by Hearn. The proof of this comes out in the
illustration occupying the full first page of the initial number, and

                  "A Prospect of Herr Kladderadatsch,
                      Mr. Giglampz tu ye Publycke."

    [6] In the first number is an editorial paragraph, written by
        Hearn, reading as follows:--"The public has indulged in
        speculation and no little levity, in regard to our name. In
        this as in the future conduct of this extraordinary sheet,
        we seek only to please ourselves. Whether the Publishing
        Company will declare 'Irish Dividends' in six months, or
        not, does not concern us. We (the editorial corps) being on
        a salary, look on public favour with serene indifference.
        The name pleases us. We look upon it in the light of a
        conundrum, calculated to induce reflection in simple minds.
        We hope some one may solve it, as we have incontinently
        given it up."

The scene is that of the stage of a theatre, and Kladderadatsch proudly
presents Mr. Giglampz to the wildly applauding audience. The head of the
obsequious Mr. Giglampz is very large compared with his body, but most
conspicuous is the enormous _pince-nez_ astride a nose of fitting
proportions. Mr. Farney was even permitted to give a mere hint of the
editor's facial expression.

A curious and suggestive, even a pathetic, light is thrown upon Hearn's
character by the fact that this personal file of his journal with his
own inscriptions, signatures, etc., was found in a second-hand
book-store by Mr. Farney after Hearn left Cincinnati.

Although it is as much too long for our quoting as it was for
introducing the journalistic venture, I cannot help reproducing Hearn's
first editorial, the "Salutatory, By a Celebrated French Author, a
Friend of Giglampz":

    It was a dark and fearsome night in the month of June,
    1874; and the pavements of Fourth Street were abandoned to

    The lamps, dripping huge water-drops fire-tinged from their
    lurid glare, seemed monstrous yellow goblin-eyes, weeping
    phosphorescent tears.

    It was raining, and the funereal sky flamed with lightning.
    It was such a rain as in the primeval world created verdant
    seas of slimy mud, subsequently condensed into that
    fossiliferous strata where to-day spectacled geologists find
    imbedded the awful remains of the titanic _iguanodon_, the
    _plesiosaurus_, and the _icthyosaurus_.

    We sat motionlessly meditative in the shadows of a Gothic
    doorway of medieval pattern, and ruefully observed the
    movements of a giant rat, slaking his thirst at a
    water-spout. Suddenly we were aware of a pressure--a gentle
    pressure on our shoulder.

    A hurried glance convinced us that the pressure was
    occasioned by the presence of a hand.

    It was a long, bony, ancient hand, dried and withered to the
    consistency of India-rubber. It might have been compared to
    the hand of a mummy embalmed in the reign of Rameses III,
    but we felt a living warmth in its pressure, penetrating our
    summer linen.

    The Oriental wizards occasionally need the assistance of a
    magic candle, in their groping amid ancient tombs--a candle
    which burns with a fuming stench so foul, that hungry ghouls
    flee dismayedly away. This candle is made of green fat--the
    fat of men long dead. For such a candle it is of course
    necessary to have a candlestick. To procure this candlestick
    it is necessary to cut off the right hand of a murderous
    criminal executed by impalement, and having carefully dried
    it, to insert the candle in its ghastly grasp. Now the hand
    laid on our shoulder strongly resembled such a hand.

    The living warmth of its pressure alone restrained us from
    uttering a shriek of hideous fear. A cold sweat ravaged the
    starched bosom of our under-garment.

    Suddenly a face peered out from the shadow, and the sickly
    glare of the flickering gas-lamp fell full upon it.

    The aspect of that face immediately reassured us.

    It was long to grotesqueness and meagre even to weirdness.
    It would have been strongly Mephistophelic but for an air of
    joviality that was not wholly saturnine. The eyes were deep,
    piercing, but "laughter-stirred," as those of Haroun
    Alraschid. The nose was almost satanically aquiline, but its
    harsh outline was more than relieved by the long smiling
    mouth, and the countless wrinkles of merriment that
    intersected one another in crow's-feet all over the ancient
    face. The stranger's complexion was that of caout-chouc; and
    his long lank locks were blacker than the plumage of those
    yellow-footed birds that prey upon the dead. His whole
    aspect was that of one who, by some eerie, occult art of
    self-preservation, had been enabled to live through the

    "Am I not addressing the celebrated author----?" said the
    voice of the uncouthly-featured.

    It was a half-merry, half-mocking voice--a deep voice that
    sounded as though conveyed from a vast distance through the
    medium of a pneumatic tube.

    It therefore resembled in its tone the dreamily-distant
    voices never-slumbering Fancy hears in the hours devoted to
    darkness and slumber by moral people.

    An enormous drop of soot-tinged water fell upon our nose,
    incontestably proving that we were awake; and we murmured
    monosyllabic assent to the stranger's query.

    "It is well," replied the Unknown, with a latitudinarian
    smile of joy. "I have been seeking you. I need your
    assistance, your talent, your mental vigour so enormously
    manifested in your cyclopean[7] phrenological development."

        [7] The contrast of this allusion to his large
            single eye with his morbid shyness about it of
            late years is noteworthy.

    "_Sapristi_, monsieur!--permit me to inquire the nature

    "Attend a little, friend, and your curiosity shall be sated
    with ample satisfaction. I have existed as you see through
    all ages. I have lived under a thousand alias names, under
    the various régimes of a thousand civilizations, which
    flourished on ancient soil now covered by the mile-deep
    waters of foaming oceans. I have made my dwelling-place in
    the mighty palace-halls of Egyptian kings, in the giant
    cities of dead Assyria, in the residences of Aztec monarchs
    and Peruvian Incas, in the snow-columned temples of the
    Greek, and the lordly homes of the luxurious Roman. In fact,
    I am rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun; and have been
    worshipped as a genius in far-sparkling planets ere this
    mundane sphere was first evolved from that flaming orb. In
    all time when individualized intelligent thought existed, I
    have inculcated in living beings the truth of that sublime
    and eternal maxim--Laugh and grow fat. To-day men must be
    taught this glorious truth by the Bullock Press rather than
    the Tongue. I want your pen, not your tongue. Write me a
    salutatory for my new illustrated weekly--only five cents a

    With these words he pressed a glazed Bristol-board card into
    our trembling hand, and disappeared.

    By the light of the weeping street-lamps we read thereon
    this weird legend:


The title itself, the Introduction by "Kladderadatsch," and the
character of the contributions and cuts make it plain that the third
object of the publication, called "Satire," was designed to be much more
prominent than "Art" or "Literature." Unquestionably an American
_Kladderadatsch_ was planned, and by Hearn and his friends it was
supposed that the editor had a sense of humour sufficient to carry on
the undertaking. I have quoted the Salutatory to show that with the
favouring of youth, ambition, opportunity and the best encouragement,
Hearn's mind from the first line drifted inevitably to the fearsome, the
weird, the unearthly and far-away. By no power or necessity could his
imagination be forced or bound to the task of producing things comic or
even satiric, especially such humour and jokes as the Cincinnati
newspaper reader wanted in 1874. Of the twelve columns of reading in the
first number of _Giglampz_, Hearn contributed about eight, made up of
fifteen or twenty distinct paragraphs. In the second number his
contributions number seven; in the third, six; in the fourth, three; in
the fifth, four; in the sixth, two; in the seventh, one; in the eighth,
one. In about a dozen of the first number, he somewhat unsuccessfully
tried to be humorous or satiric, while six were frankly tragical,
critical, bitter, etc. In the succeeding numbers Hearn made little
effort to be humorous; in the fifth number he describes with startling
power a picture of "a hideous scene in the interior of a seraglio;" in
number six he returns to the Orient and in "The Fantasy of a Fan" mixes
poetry, prose and fancy with a hinting of the subtle soft witchery of
the Hearn of twenty-five years later.[8] In the second number is a
full-page cut, in which Beecher is depicted as standing before a crowd
of jeerers prior to being placed in the stocks, with the scarlet letter
"A" upon his breast. Hearn especially requested Mr. Farney to make him
one of the conspicuous spectators. The bespectacled face is easily
recognizable in the copy given me by the artist. In the seventh number
Hearn describes in two columns the story he supposes behind the pictured
Gabriel Max, called "The Last Farewell" (now in the Metropolitan Museum,
New York). It shows so early suggestions of the manhood strength of the
wordmaster that I copy it:

    [8] Mr. Farney tells me that he had to compel Hearn, even then,
        to moderate the boldness of sentences which would by their
        sensualism and licence shock their Cincinnati readers.

                        THE TALE A PICTURE TELLS

                 "_Butchered to make a Roman Holiday_"

    The remarkably fine engraving from Gabriel Max's picture,
    "The Last Farewell," in a late issue of the Berlin
    _Illustrirte Zeitung_ (and which the New York _Graphic_ a
    few days since stole to spoil in the stealing), is worthy of
    the celebrated original at Munich--a painting which will
    never be forgotten by those who have once beheld it. Among
    modern painters, probably Max has no superior in the art of
    harmoniously blending the horrible with the pathetic; and in
    none of his works is this peculiar power exhibited to better
    advantage than in "The Last Farewell:" a marvel of colour
    and composition, one of those rare pictures which seem to
    reflect the living shadows of a dead age with the weird
    truthfulness of a wizard's mirror.

    A beautiful Roman girl is exposed in the Flavian
    amphitheatre, to be devoured by wild beasts. She can
    scarcely be eighteen years old, judging from the slender
    delicacy of her limbs and the childish sweetness of the
    pretty little brown face which she has vainly been striving
    to screen from the rude gaze of the shameless populace with
    the remnants of a rich black veil--probably torn by the
    rough hands of some brutal lanista. She leans with her back
    to the great wall of stone, calmly awaiting her fate without
    any signs of fear, although the hot, foul breath of a
    panther is already warm upon her naked feet. To her right,
    but a few feet away, a leopard and a huge bear are tearing
    each other to pieces; on her left, another den has just been
    thrown open, and at its entrance appears the hideous head of
    an immense tiger, with eyes that flame like emeralds.

    You can almost feel the warmth of the fierce summer sun
    shining on that scene of blood and crime, falling on the
    yellow sands of the arena, drying the dark pools of human
    blood the wild beasts have left unlapped. You can almost
    hear the deep hum of a hundred thousand voices above, and
    the hideous growlings of the contending brutes below. You
    wonder whether there is one heart in all that vast crowd of
    cruel spectators wherein some faint impulse of humanity
    still lingers, one tongue charitable enough to exclaim:

    "Poor little thing!"

    No: only wicked whispers followed by coarse laughter;
    monstrous indifference in the lower tiers, brutal yells of
    bloodthirsty impatience from the upper seats.

    Two Roman knights relieve the monotony of the scene by
    strange speculation.

    "One hundred sesterces that the tiger gets her first!"

    "Two hundred on the panther!"

    "Done, by the gods! Where are the lions?"

    "Why, that cursed barbarian killed the last three this
    morning, one after another. The finest lions of the lot,

    "Who are you talking about?--that tall, dark Thracian?"

    "No: he was killed the day before by the same gladiator that
    killed the lions. I mean that golden-haired giant--that
    Goth. Says he was chief in his own country, or something.
    He's killed everybody and everything pitted against him so
    far. And this morning they put him naked in the arena, with
    nothing but a mirmillo's shield, and a sword; and let the
    lions loose on him one after another. I bet a thousand
    sesterces on that little Numidian lion; but the rascal
    killed him as he sprang, with one sword-thrust, and I lost
    my thousand sesterces. By Hercules, that Goth is a match for
    a dozen lions!"

    "Brave fellow, by all the gods! Did they give him the wooden

    "Julius Cortonus says they did. I didn't stay to see the
    rest of the games, for I was too angry about my thousand

    "Furies take that tiger!--I believe the brute's afraid of
    the girl!"

                   *       *       *       *       *

    "Why, it is madness to throw such a fine-limbed girl as that
    to the lions!" cries a Greek merchant, lately arrived in
    Rome. "Eyes and hair, by Zeus, like Venus Anadyomene. I
    could sell her for a fortune in a slave-market."

    "Aedepol! not in a Roman slave-market, you fool. Why, I've
    known Lucullus to throw better-looking girls than that into
    his fishpond, to fatten his lampreys with. May Cerberus
    swallow that cursed tiger!"

                   *       *       *       *       *

    The tiger has not yet moved; his vast head and flaming green
    eyes are just visible at the door of the den. The leopard
    and the bear are still tearing one another. The panther is
    gradually, stealthily, noiselessly approaching the poor,
    helpless girl.

    Suddenly a fresh, bright-red rose is thrown from the seats
    above: it is the last earthly greeting, the last farewell
    token of some old friend--perhaps a brother, perhaps (O
    God!) a lover! It falls on the blood-stained sand,
    shattering itself in perfumed ruin at the maiden's feet.

    She starts as the red leaves scatter before her. She
    advances from the wall, and boldly withdrawing the fragments
    of her poor, torn veil, looks up into the mighty sea of
    pitiless visages--looks up with her sweet, childish,
    cherry-lipped face, and those great, dark, softly sad Roman
    eyes--to thank him by a last look of love. "Who can it be?"

    No one the maiden knows. She only sees a seemingly endless
    row of cruel and sensual faces, the faces of the wild beast
    populace of Rome,--the faces which smile at the sight of a
    living human body, torn limb from limb by lions, and
    scattered over the sands in crimson shreds of flesh....

    Suddenly a terrible yet friendly eye meets and rivets the
    gaze of her own--an eye keen and coldly-blue as a blade of
    steel. A sternly handsome Northern face it is, with flowing
    yellow hair. For an instant the iron lips seem to soften in
    a smile of pity, and the keen blue eyes become brighter. So
    do the soft dark ones they meet in that piteous farewell.

    She has found her unknown friend.

    ... A crash--a fierce growl--a faint, helpless cry--a spray
    of warm, bright blood.

                   *       *       *       *       *

    "Ah, Caius! you've lost your hundred sesterces. The Fates
    are against you to-day!"

    "Curse the Fates! Did you see the fool who threw her the

    "That great tall Titan of a fellow, with the yellow hair?"

    "Yes. That's the Goth."

    "What! the gladiator who killed the lions?"

    "The same who won his freedom this morning. See! the fool's
    wiping his eyes now. These Goths can fight like Hercules,
    but they whine like sick women when a girl is hurt. They
    think up in the North that women are to be worshipped like
    the immortal gods. I wish they'd make the great red-headed
    brute go down and kill that cursed tiger!"

Hearn's single contribution to the last number of the fated _Giglampz_
was a four-column retelling of "the weird story of Loki's evil children
from the strange folk-lore of Ancient Scandinavia."

It was thus blood, sensualism and fiendishness that still aroused
Hearn's interest when not only not compelled to the choice, but when
they were contraindicated and wholly illogical. But it was all a little
less revolting, less real, more artistic, than the tan-yard reporting,
and it was drawn from more remote sources. Mr. Henderson suggests the
same when he writes:

"But it was not in this slavery for a living even to crush out of him
the determination to advance and excel. In the small hours of morning,
into broad daylight, after the rough work of the police rounds and the
writing of perhaps columns, in his inimitable style, he could be seen,
under merely a poor jet of gas, with his one useful eye close to book
and manuscript, translating 'One of Cleopatra's Nights.' ...

"An Oriental warmth and glow pervaded him. While his lines were hard
ones in the grime and soot and trying weather of Cincinnati, from which
his frail body shrank continually, his trend of thought was largely
tropical. Perhaps he saw beyond the dusky faces, rolling eyes and broad
noses of the people of the Cincinnati levee, the mixed people of the
West Indies and the beautiful little ones of Japan, with whom he was
destined to live before long. However that may be, his greatest
pleasure, after a translation from Gautier or an original tragedy where
he could in his masterful way use his vocabulary of the gruesome, was to
study and absorb the indolent, sensuous life of the negro race, as he
found it in Cincinnati and New Orleans, and to steep them in a sense of
romance that he alone could extract from the study. Things that were
common to these people in their everyday life, his vivid imagination
transformed into a subtle melody of romance. The distant booming upon
the midnight air of a river steamer's whistle was for him the
roustabout's call to his waiting mistress at the landing, and his
fruitful pen drew the picture of their watching and coming and meeting."

The words _indolent and sensuous life_ are also significant. The
tropics, their fatalism and the kind of life there lived were drawing
him with secret but irresistible force. Now begins to mix with and
mollify the gruesome a softer element, also Oriental, or what is much
the same thing, tropical--sympathy with and study of the simple and
unlettered, those who are the improvident slaves of fate, thoughtless
impulse or heedless desire. To them, as we shall see, Hearn's mind
turned more and more. His was essentially an Oriental mind and heart, an
exotic weed (and weeds may become the loveliest of flowers) dropped by
some migrating bird upon the strange crabbed soil of the crudest of
Occidentalism. Never did Hearn stop yearning for the warmth, the
fatalism and the laziness of tropic semi-barbarism. The gruesome was not
being killed, but was being modified and tamed by civilization.

Hearn had been discharged from the _Commercial_, where his salary was
$25 a week, "on an ethical point of policy which need not be discussed
here. The _Commercial_ took him on at $22." Judge M. F. Wilson, of
Cincinnati, tells me that his discharge was caused by his seeking a
licence for and an open marriage with a coloured woman. The licence was
refused, because illegal at that time. The law was repealed a little
later. The marriage did not take place.[9]

    [9] Mr. George Mortimer Roe, at that time a friend of Hearn, now
        living at Long Beach, California, writes me: "Hearn was
        quite persistent in his efforts to persuade me to assist him
        in getting the licence, but I told him I could not aid him
        in his ambition to be guilty of miscegenation. For many
        years we had been the best of friends, but from that time on
        he always avoided me, scarcely speaking to me if by accident
        we did meet."

Mr. Henderson continues thus:

"As Hearn advanced in his power to write, the sense of the discomforts
of his situation in Cincinnati grew upon him. His body and mind longed
for the congeniality of southern air and scenes. One morning, after the
usual hard work of an unusually nasty winter night in Cincinnati, in a
leisure hour of conversation, he heard an associate on the paper
describe a scene in a Gulf State. It was something about a grand old
mansion of an antebellum cotton prince, with its great white columns,
its beautiful private drive down to the public road, whitewashed
negro-quarters stretching away in the background, in the distance some
cypress and live-oaks and Spanish moss, and close by a grove of
magnolias with their delightful odours and the melody of mocking-birds
in the early sunlight. Hearn took in every word of this, though he had
little to say at the time, with great keenness of interest, as shown by
the dilation of his nostrils. It was as though he could see and hear and
smell the delights of the scene. Not long after this, on leaving
Cincinnati for New Orleans, he remarked: 'I have lost my loyalty to this
paper, and change was inevitable. Perhaps it isn't so much the lack of
opportunity here or a lack of appreciation of associations as this
beastly climate. I seem to shrivel up in this alternation of dampness,
heat and cold. I had to go sooner or later, but it was your description
of the sunlight and melodies and fragrance and all the delights with
which the South appeals to the senses that determined me. I shall feel
better in the South and I believe I shall do better.'"

Some of his Cincinnati acquaintances speak of his obsequious, even
fawning, manner ("timid and feline of approach," says Henderson), of his
"washing his hands with invisible water"--characteristics not dictated
by the parentage ascribed to him, not consonant with his photographs,
and not wholly with his gruesome traits. He wore heavy myopic spectacles
at this time, not to see (because they were wholly discarded later), but
probably in order not to be seen--_i.e._ to hide the double deformity of
his eyes. One must remember that with or without spectacles the world a
foot or two away was much of a mystery to Hearn, and that one fears a
surely existent and near-by mystery. One approaches it or comes within
its power with doubt, dislike and caution. The play of facial expression
was not to be seen by Hearn. All Uriah Heeps may not be myopic, but all
highly myopic persons will have slow, stealthy, careful, even catlike
attitudes and manners; every step they take must be done with
hesitation, bowed head and great care, in order not to fall or stumble
against something. The wholly blind walk with more decision and
quickness. Of course this slow, soft carefulness of manner, "the velvet
feline step," was Hearn's all his life. It followed inexorably that,
though possessed of a healthy and athletic body, there was possible for
him no athletics which required accuracy of sight or sequent precision
and celerity of movement. That with good eyes he would have been an
utterly different man in character and in literature, is as certain as
that he would have had a very different manner, movement and style of
physical existence. With good eyes he would have been strong, athletic,
bold, as is admirably illustrated by the fact that in the single sport
in which little vision was required--swimming--he was most expert, and
that he enjoyed this exercise to the fullest degree.

To scale a steeple in order to describe the city from that unusual point
of view was a task worthy of yellow journalism which cared little for
accuracy but much for "scare" headlines. Hearn saw little or nothing of
the city, of course.

The only letters written during the Cincinnati period, known to exist,
are those of 1876, called, "Letters to a Lady," published in the volume,
_Letters from the Raven_, Milton Bronner, editor.[10] One other work,
the origins of which date from this period, is "One of Cleopatra's
Nights," and with this is demonstrated the beginning of the influence of
the modern French school of story-writers. Hearn was tiring of the worst
brutality and coarseness of Occidentalism, and seeking a way to the true
home of his mind. The ghastly must become the ghostly. The Frenchman's
art was to become his half-way house.

    [10] Brentano's, 1907.


I HAVE somewhere read of a nomad child of the desert, born and rocked
upon a camel, who was ever thereafter incapable of resting more than a
day in one place. Whether or not the wandering father gave the homeless
son his illogical spirit of unrest, matters less than that Hearn had it
to a morbid degree. Any place rather than Cincinnati would have been
better for the happiness and success of the emigrating boy, but his
relatives had ridded themselves of the burden by assenting to his wish.
Excepting that to Japan, the only sensible move he made was from
Cincinnati toward the tropics, to the half-way house thither--New
Orleans. The desire to seek the _au delà_ was present, his friends tell
me, throughout the stay in Cincinnati. Perhaps the single city in the
world which would satisfy his dream more nearly than could any other,
was New Orleans. Being psychologically for the most part of degenerate
Latin stock, and especially of the French variety, with the requisite
admixture of exotic and tropical barbarism; bathed, but not cooked, in
the hot and brilliant sunshine he loved and hated; touched and energized
by too little Teutonic blood and influence, New Orleans offered to the
unhappy man the best possible surroundings for the growth of his
talents. Adding to this fortunate concensus of circumstance and partly a
corollary of it was the most fortunate of all accidents that could have
occurred to him--that is, the existence of a daily newspaper such as the
_Times-Democrat_; of a paying mass of subscribers relishing Hearn's
translations from the most artistic French writers of the short-story;
and, most important of all, the presence on the bridge of the noble
Captain of the Newspaper enterprise, the veteran editor, Mr. Page M.
Baker. One shudders to think what would have been Hearn's later career
had it not been for the guidance and help of this wise, sympathetic and
magnanimous friend. For the one thing needed by Hearn in those who would
be his friends rather than their own was magnanimity. It was his
frequent misfortune in life to come under the influence of those as
incapable of true unselfishness and real kindness as it was natural for
them to be cunning and to use an assumed friendship for hidden
flatteries and purposes of their own. Most of these would not have
dreamed of associating with the man for any reason other than to stand
in the reflected light of his literary fame. Most of them had as little
care for his poetic prose, and as little appreciation or knowledge of
good literature as they had of "the enclitic _de_." They had no
magnanimity, only wile instead of it. As Hearn was also deprived of
large-mindedness in all affairs of the world, he was unhappily prone to
accept the offered bribe. He wanted above all things to be flattered and
to do as his imperious impulses and weak will suggested. Any one who
recognized these things in him and seconded the follies, remained his
permitted "friend," but those who withstood them in the least and ran
counter to his morbid trends and resolves--these were speedily
"dropped," and insulted or grieved to silence. If they had magnanimity,
they bore with the man in pity and answered his insults with kind words
and kinder deeds. They recognized that they were responsible not to the
man but to the carrier of a great talent, and although they might not
forget, they gladly forgave, if possibly they might speed him on his
predestined way.

Of this number was Baker. Directly or indirectly through him, came a
long and happy period of life; came the congenial, educating work,
without slavery, of the translations and other easy reportorial
services. Of equal importance were the financial rewards. Before and
after the New Orleans time not the least of Hearn's misfortunes was his
intolerable and brutalizing improvidence and impecuniousness. Under
Baker's friendship he came to what for such a person was affluence and
independence. He found leisure to read and study and think outside of
the journalistic pale, and better still, perhaps,--better to his
thinking, at least--he secured the means to indulge his life-long desire
for curious and out-of-the-way books. During this time it grew to
consciousness with him that in everything, except as regards his beloved
Art, he had a little learned to recognize the worth of money.

But within him grew ever stronger the plague of the unsatisfied, the
sting of unrest, and he was compelled to obey. In a letter to me from
Martinique, after he had recognized his mistake, he admits and explains
as follows:

    I seldom have a chance now to read or speak English; and
    English phrases that used to seem absolutely natural
    already begin to look somewhat odd to me. Were I to
    continue to live here for some years more, I am almost sure
    that I should find it difficult to write English. The
    resources of the intellectual life are all lacking
    here,--no libraries, no books in any language;--a mind
    accustomed to discipline becomes like a garden long
    uncultivated, in which the rare flowers return to their
    primitive savage forms, or are smothered by rank, tough
    growths which ought to be pulled up and thrown away. Nature
    does not allow you to think here, or to study seriously, or
    to work earnestly: revolt against her, and with one subtle
    touch of fever she leaves you helpless and thoughtless for

    But she is so beautiful, nevertheless, that you love her
    more and more daily,--that you gradually cease to wish to do
    aught contrary to her local laws and customs. Slowly, you
    begin to lose all affection for the great Northern nurse
    that taught you to think, to work, to aspire. Then, after a
    while, this nude, warm, savage, amorous Southern Nature
    succeeds in persuading you that labour and effort and
    purpose are foolish things,--that life is very sweet without
    them;--and you actually find yourself ready to confess that
    the aspirations and inspirations born of the struggle for
    life in the North are all madness,--that they wasted years
    which might have been delightfully dozed away in a land
    where the air is always warm, the sea always the colour of
    sapphire, the woods perpetually green as the plumage of a
    green parrot.

    I must confess I have had some such experiences. It appears
    to me impossible to resign myself to living again in a great
    city and in a cold climate. Of course I shall have to return
    to the States for a while,--a short while, probably;--but I
    do not think I will ever settle there. I am apt to become
    tired of places,--or at least of the disagreeable facts
    attaching more or less to all places and becoming more and
    more marked and unendurable the longer one stays. So that
    ultimately I am sure to wander off somewhere else. You can
    comprehend how one becomes tired of the very stones of a
    place,--the odours, the colours, the shapes of Shadows, and
    the tint of its sky;--and how small irritations become
    colossal and crushing by years of repetition;--yet perhaps
    you will not comprehend that one can become weary of a whole
    system of life, of civilization, even with very limited
    experience. Such is exactly my present feeling,--an
    unutterable weariness of the aggressive characteristics of
    existence in a highly organized society. The higher the
    social development, the sharper the struggle. One feels this
    especially in America,--in the nervous centres of the
    world's activity. One feels it least, I imagine, in the
    tropics, where it is such an effort just to live, that one
    has no force left for the effort to expand one's own
    individuality at the cost of another's. I clearly perceive
    that a man enamoured of the tropics has but two things to
    do:--To abandon intellectual work, or to conquer the
    fascination of Nature. Which I will do will depend upon
    necessity. I would remain in this zone if I could maintain a
    certain position here;--to keep it requires means. I can
    earn only by writing, and yet if I remain a few years more,
    I will have become (perhaps?) unable to write. So if I am to
    live in the tropics, as I would like to do, I must earn the
    means for it in very short order.

    I gave up journalism altogether after leaving N. O. I went
    to Demerara and visited the lesser West Indies in July and
    August of last year,--returned to New York after three
    months with some MS.,--sold it,--felt very unhappy at the
    idea of staying in New York, where I had good
    offers,--suddenly made up my mind to go back to the tropics
    by the same steamer that had brought me. I had no
    commission, resolved to trust to magazine-work. So far I
    have just been able to scrape along;--the climate numbs
    mental life, and the inspirations I hoped for won't come.
    The real--surpassing imagination--whelms the ideal out of
    sight and hearing. The world is young here,--not old and
    wise and grey as in the North; and one must not seek the
    Holy Ghost in it. I suspect that the material furnished by
    the tropics can only be utilized in a Northern atmosphere.
    We will talk about it together.

That he never thought to return to New Orleans is demonstrated by the
fact that when he left, he shipped his books to another good friend and
great editor, Mr. Alden, to keep for him. When he came to the United
States in 1889, he fully intended returning to some tropical land. But
it was otherwise ordered, and most fortunately, for a year or two more
of life under such conditions would have killed both mind and body.

Upon Hearn's arrival in New Orleans, he began sending a series of
charming letters to the Cincinnati _Commercial_, signed "Ozias
Midwinter."[11] They are, indeed, exquisite, and as certainly of a
delicacy and beauty which must have made the reader of that time and
newspaper wonder what strange sort of a correspondent the editor had
secured. The first letter was about Memphis, passed on his way South. I
cite some parts to show how the gruesome was merging into or being
supplanted by something larger and better, and also to illustrate
Hearn's growing interest in colours.

    [11] Kindly secured by Mr. Alexander Hill, of Cincinnati, Ohio,
         from a friend and lent to me.

    The stranger, however, is apt to leave Memphis with one
    charming recollection of the place--the remembrance of the
    sunset scene from the bluffs across the river over
    Arkansas. I do not think that any part of the world can
    offer a more unspeakably beautiful spectacle to the
    traveller than what he may witness any fair evening from
    those rugged old bluffs at Memphis. The first time I saw it
    the day had been perfectly bright and clear,--the blue of
    the sky was unclouded by the least fleecy stain of white
    cloud; and the sun descended in the west,--not in a yellow
    haze, or a crimson fog, but with the splendour of his fiery
    glory almost undimmed. He seemed to leave no trace of his
    bright fires behind him; and the sky-blue began to darken
    into night-purple from the east almost immediately. I
    thought at first it was one of the least romantic sunsets I
    had ever seen. It was not until the stars were out, and the
    night had actually fallen, that I beheld the imperial
    magnificence of that sunset.

                   *       *       *       *       *

    I once thought, when sailing up the Ohio one bright Northern
    summer, that the world held nothing more beautiful than the
    scenery of the Beautiful River--those voluptuous hills with
    their sweet feminine curves, the elfin gold of that summer
    haze, and the pale emerald of the river's verdure-reflecting
    breast. But even the loveliness of the Ohio seemed faded,
    and the Northern sky-blue palely cold, like the tint of
    iceberg pinnacles, when I beheld for the first time the
    splendour of the Mississippi.

    "You must come on deck early to-morrow," said the kind
    Captain of the _Thompson Dean_; "we are entering the Sugar

    So I saw the sun rise over the cane-fields of Louisiana.

    It rose with a splendour that recalled the manner of its
    setting at Memphis, but of another colour;--an auroral flush
    of pale gold and pale green bloomed over the long fringe of
    cottonwood and cypress trees, and broadened and lengthened
    half-way round the brightening world. The glow seemed
    tropical, with the deep green of the trees sharply cutting
    against it; and one naturally looked for the feathery crests
    of cocoanut palms. Then the day broke gently and slowly--a
    day too vast for a rapid dawn--a day that seemed deep as
    Space. I thought our Northern sky narrow and cramped as a
    vaulted church-roof beside that sky--a sky so softly
    beautiful, so purely clear in its immensity, that it made
    one dream of the tenderness of a woman's eyes made infinite.

    And the giant river broadened to a mile--smooth as a mirror,
    still and profound as a mountain lake. Between the vastness
    of the sky and the vastness of the stream, we seemed moving
    suspended in the midst of day, with only a long, narrow
    tongue of land on either side breaking the brightness. Yet
    the horizon never became wholly blue. The green-golden glow
    lived there all through the day; it was brightest in the
    south. It was so tropical, that glow;--it seemed of the
    Pacific, a glow that forms a background to the sight of
    lagoons and coral reefs and "lands where it is always

    Below this glow gleamed another golden green, the glory of
    the waving cane-fields beyond the trees. Huge sugar-mills
    were breathing white and black clouds into the sky, as they
    masticated their mighty meal; and the smell of saccharine
    sweetness floated to us from either shore. Then we glided by
    miles of cotton-fields with their fluttering white bolls;
    and by the mouths of broad bayous;--past swamps dark with
    cypress gloom, where the grey alligator dwells, and the grey
    Spanish moss hangs in elfish festoons from ancient
    trees;--past orange-trees and live-oaks, pecans and
    cottonwoods and broad-leaved bananas; while the green of the
    landscape ever varied, from a green so dark that it seemed
    tinged with blue to an emerald so bright that it seemed shot
    through with gold. The magnificent old mansions of the
    Southern planters, built after a generous fashion unknown in
    the North, with broad verandas and deliciously cool porches,
    and all painted white or perhaps a pale yellow, looked out
    grandly across the water from the hearts of shadowy groves;
    and, like villages of a hundred cottages, the negro quarters
    dotted the verdant face of the plantation with far-gleaming
    points of snowy whiteness.

    And still that wondrous glow brightened in the south, like a
    far-off reflection of sunlight on the Spanish Main.

    "But it does not look now as it used to in the old slave
    days," said the pilot, as he turned the great wheel. "The
    swamps were drained, and the plantations were not overgrown
    with cottonwood; and somehow or other the banks usen't to
    cave in then as they do now."

    I saw indeed signs of sad ruin on the face of the great
    plantations; there were splendid houses crumbling to decay,
    and whole towns of tenantless cabins; estates of immense
    extent were lying almost unfilled, or with only a few acres
    under cultivation; and the vigorous cottonwood trees had
    shot up in whole forests over fields once made fertile by
    the labour of ten thousand slaves. The scene was not without
    its melancholy; it seemed tinged by the reflection of a
    glory passed away--the glory of wealth, and the magnificence
    of wealth; of riches and the luxury of riches.

    O fair paradise of the South, if still so lovely in thy
    ruin, what must thou have been in the great day of thy
    greatest glory!

    White steamboats, heavily panting under their loads of
    cotton, came toiling by, and called out to us wild greeting
    long and shrill, until the pilot opened the lips of our
    giant boat, and her mighty challenge awoke a thousand
    phantom voices along the winding shore. Red sank the sun in
    a sea of fire, and bronze-hued clouds piled up against the
    light, like fairy islands in a sea of glory, such as were
    seen, perhaps, by the Adelantado of the Seven Cities.

    "Those are not real clouds," said the pilot, turning to the
    west, his face aglow with the yellow light. "Those are only
    smoke clouds rising from the sugar mills of Louisiana, and
    drifting with the evening wind."

    The daylight died away and the stars came out, but that warm
    glow in the southern horizon only paled, so that it seemed a
    little further off. The river broadened till it looked with
    the tropical verdure of its banks like the Ganges, until at
    last there loomed up a vast line of shadows, dotted with
    points of light, and through a forest of masts and a host of
    phantom-white river boats and a wilderness of chimneys the
    _Thompson Dean_, singing her cheery challenge, steamed up to
    the mighty levee of New Orleans.

The letters descriptive of New Orleans scenes and life deserve
republishing had I space for them here. In a brief paragraph, a
sentence perhaps, almost in a word, is given the photograph, chromatic
and vitalized in Hearn's unrivalled picturesque style, of the levees,
the shipping, the sugar-landing, the cotton-shipping, the ocean
steamers, the strange mixture of peoples from all countries and climes;
the architecture, streets, markets, etc. The Vendetta of the Sicilian
immigrants is described with a strength and vividness which bear
eloquent witness to Hearn's innate pleasure in such themes. There is
also shown his beginning the study of Creole character, grammar, and
language. A peculiarly striking picture is painted of the new huge
cotton-press, as a monster whose jaws open with a low roar to devour the
immense bale of cotton and to crush it to a few inches of thickness. I
cannot exclude this excerpt:

    Do you remember that charming little story, "Père Antoine's
    Date-Palm," written by Thomas Bailey Aldrich, and published
    in the same volume with "Marjorie Daw" and other tales?

    Père Antoine was a good old French priest, who lived and
    died in New Orleans. As a boy, he conceived a strong
    friendship for a fellow student of about his own age, who,
    in after years, sailed to some tropical island in the
    Southern Seas, and wedded some darkly beautiful woman,
    graceful and shapely and tall as a feathery palm. Père
    Antoine wrote often to his friend, and their friendship
    strengthened with the years, until death dissolved it. The
    young colonist died, and his beautiful wife also passed from
    the world; but they left a little daughter for some one to
    take care of.

    The good priest, of course, took care of her, and brought
    her up at New Orleans. And she grew up graceful and comely
    as her mother, with all the wild beauty of the South. But
    the child could not forget the glory of the tropics, the
    bright lagoon, the white-crested sea roaring over the coral
    reef, the royal green of the waving palms, and the beauty of
    the golden-feathered birds that chattered among them.

    So she pined for the tall palms and the bright sea and the
    wild reef, until there came upon her that strange
    homesickness which is death; and still dreaming of the
    beautiful palms, she gradually passed into that great sleep
    which is dreamless. And she was buried by Père Antoine near
    his own home.

    By and by, above the little mound there suddenly came a
    gleam of green; and mysteriously, slowly, beautifully,
    there grew up towering in tropical grace above the grave, a
    princely palm. And the old priest knew that it had grown
    from the heart of the dead child.

    So the years passed by, and the roaring city grew up about
    the priest's home and the palm-tree, trying to push Père
    Antoine off his land. But he would not be moved. They piled
    up gold upon his doorsteps and he laughed at them; they went
    to law with him and he beat them all; and, at last, dying,
    he passed away true to his trust; for the man who cuts down
    that palm-tree loses the land that it grows upon.

    "And there it stands," says the Poet, "in the narrow, dingy
    street, a beautiful dreamy stranger, an exquisite foreign
    lady, whose grace is a joy to the eye, the incense of whose
    breath makes the air enamoured. May the hand wither that
    touches her ungently!"

    Now I was desirous above all things to visit the palm made
    famous by this charming legend, and I spent several days in
    seeking it. I visited the neighbourhood of the old Place
    d'Armes--now Jackson Square--and could find no trace of it;
    then I visited the southern quarter of the city, with its
    numberless gardens, and I sought for the palm among groves
    of orange-trees overloaded with their golden fruit, amid
    broad-leaved bananas, and dark cypresses, and fragrant
    magnolias and tropical trees of which I did not know the
    names. Then I found many date-palms. Some were quite young,
    with their splendid crest of leafy plumes scarcely two feet
    above the ground; others stood up to a height of thirty or
    forty feet. Whenever I saw a tall palm, I rang the doorbell
    and asked if that were Père Antoine's date-palm. Alas!
    nobody had ever heard of the Père Antoine.

    Then I visited the ancient cathedral, founded by the pious
    Don Andre Almonaster, Regidor of New Orleans, one hundred
    and fifty years ago; and I asked the old French priest
    whether they had ever heard of the Père Antoine. And they
    answered me that they knew him not, after having searched
    the ancient archives of the ancient Spanish Cathedral.

    Once I found a magnificent palm, loaded with dates, in a
    garden on St. Charles Street, so graceful that I felt the
    full beauty of Solomon's simile as I had never felt it
    before: "Thy stature is like to a palm-tree." I rang the
    bell and made inquiry concerning the age of the tree. It was
    but twenty years old; and I went forth discouraged.

    At last, to my exceeding joy, I found an informant in the
    person of a good-natured old gentleman, who keeps a quaint
    bookstore in Commercial Place. The tree was indeed growing,
    he said, in New Orleans Street, near the French Cathedral,
    and not far from Congo Square; but there were many legends
    concerning it. Some said it had been planted over the grave
    of some Turk or Moor--perhaps a fierce corsair from Algiers
    or Tunis--who died while sailing up the Mississippi, and was
    buried on its moist shores. But it was not at all like the
    other palm-trees in the city, nor did it seem to him to be a
    date-palm. It was a real Oriental palm; yea, in sooth, such
    a palm as Solomon spake of in his Love-song of Love-songs.

    "I said, I will go up to the palm-tree; I will take hold of
    the boughs thereof." ...

    I found it standing in beautiful loneliness in the centre of
    a dingy woodshed on the north side of New Orleans Street,
    towering about forty feet above the rickety plank fence of
    the yard. The gateway was open, and a sign swung above it
    bearing the name, "M. Michel." I walked in and went up to
    the palm-tree. A labourer was sawing wood in the back-shed,
    and I saw through the windows of the little cottage by the
    gate a family at dinner. I knocked at the cottage-door, and
    a beautiful Creole woman opened it.

    "May I ask, Madame, whether this palm-tree was truly planted
    by the Père Antoine?"

    "Ah, Monsieur, there are many droll stories which they
    relate of that tree. There are folks who say that a young
    girl was interred there, and it is also said that a Sultan
    was buried under that tree--or the son of a Sultan. And
    there are also some who say that a priest planted it."

    "Was it the Père Antoine, Madame?"

    "I do not know, Monsieur. There are people also who say that
    it was planted here by Indians from Florida. But I do not
    know whether such trees grow in Florida. I have never seen
    any other palm-tree like it. It is not a date-palm. It
    flowers every year, with a beautiful yellow blossom the
    colour of straw, and the blossoms hang down in pretty
    curves. Oh, it is very graceful! Sometimes it bears fruit, a
    kind of oily fruit, but not dates. I am told that they make
    oil from the fruit of such palms."

    I thought it looked so sad, that beautiful tree in the dusty
    woodyard, with no living green thing near it. As its bright
    verdant leaves waved against the blue above, one could not
    but pity it as one would pity some being, fair and feminine
    and friendless in a strange land. "_Oh, c'est bien
    gracieux_," murmured the handsome Creole lady.

    "Is it true, Madame, that the owner of the land loses it if
    he cuts down the tree?"

    "_Mais oui!_ But the proprietors of the ground have always
    respected the tree, because it is so old, so very old!"

    Then I found the proprietor of the land, and he told me that
    when the French troops first arrived in this part of the
    country they noticed that tree. "Why," I exclaimed, "that
    must have been in the reign of Louis XIV!" "It was in 1679,
    I believe," he answered. As for the Père Antoine, he had
    never heard of him. Neither had he heard of Thomas Bailey
    Aldrich. So that I departed, mourning for my dead faith in a
    romance which was beautiful.

Next to his best Japanese studies, I suspect it will finally come to
recognition that Hearn's greatest service to literature is his
magnificent series of translations during the New Orleans years. As a
translator there were given him his data by creative minds. His own
mental equipment prevented creation, and his clearly set limits as a
translator added power to his ability and function as a colourist and
word-artist. His was almost a unique expertness of entering into the
spirit of his models, refeeling their emotions, reimagining their
thought and art, and reclothing it with the often somewhat hard and
stiff material of English weaving. All of their spirit philologically
possible to be conveyed to us, we may be sure he re-presents. For his
was the rare power of the instant, the iridescent, the wingèd word. I
think it was innate and spontaneous with him, a gift of the inscrutable,
illogic, and fantastically generous-niggard Fates. All his studies and
conscious efforts were almost unavailing either to hinder or to further
its perfection. If to Fate we may not be grateful, we can at least thank
the weird lesser gods of life for the mysterious wonder of the gift. The
wealth of loving labour silently offered in the 187 or more translations
published in the _Times-Democrat_ is marvellous. Hearn brought to my
house the loose cuttings from the files, and we got them into some order
in "scrapbooks." But the dates of publication and other details are
often characteristically wanting. Elsewhere in the present volume the
titles, etc., of the stories are listed. Preceded by those of "One of
Cleopatra's Nights," they form a body of literary values which should be
rescued from the newspaper files and permanently issued in book-form for
the pleasure and instruction of English readers. To do this I have most
generously been given permission by Hearn's ever helpful and
discriminating friend, Mr. Page M. Baker, editor of the

Hearn knew well the difficulties of the translator's art. "One who
translates for the love of the original will probably have no reward
save the satisfaction of creating something beautiful and perhaps of
saving a masterpiece from less reverent hands." So anxious was he to do
such work that he was willing to pay the publication expenses. As
pertinent, I copy an editorial of his on the subject, which was
published in the _Times-Democrat_, during the period in which he was so
busy as a translator:

    The New York _Nation_ has been publishing in its columns a
    number of interesting and severe criticisms upon
    translations from foreign authors. These translations are
    generally condemned, and with good specifications of
    reasons,--notwithstanding the fact that some of them have
    been executed by persons who have obtained quite a popular
    reputation as translators. One critic dwells very strongly
    upon the most remarkable weakness of all the renderings in
    question;--they invariably fail to convey the colour and
    grace of the original, even when the meaning is otherwise
    preserved. Speaking of the translators themselves, the
    reviewer observes: "There is not one _artist_ among them."

    All this is very true; but the writer does not explain the
    causes of this state of affairs. They are many, no
    doubt;--the principal fact for consideration being that
    there is no demand for artistic work in translation. And
    there is no demand for it, not so much because it is rare
    and unlikely to be appreciated as because it is dear.
    Artistic translators cannot afford to work for a
    song,--neither would they attempt to translate a
    five-hundred-page novel in three weeks or a month as others
    do. Again, artistic translators would not care to attach
    their names to the published translation of a fourth-or
    fifth-class popular novel. Finally, artistic translations do
    not obtain a ready market with first-class American
    publishers, who, indeed, seldom touch domestic translations
    of foreign fiction, and depend for their translations of
    European literature upon transatlantic enterprise. Thus the
    artistic translator may be said to have no field. He may
    sell his work to some petty publisher, perhaps, but only at
    a price that were almost absurd to mention;--and the
    first-class publishers do not care to speculate in American
    translations at all. We might also add that the
    translator's task is always a thankless one,--that however
    superb and laborious his execution, it can never obtain much
    public notice, nor even so much as public comprehension. The
    original author will be admired,--the translator unnoticed,
    except by a few critics.

    Moreover, the men capable of making the most artistic
    translations are usually better employed. The translator of
    a great French, German, or Italian masterpiece of style,
    ought, in the eternal fitness of things, to be a man able to
    write something very artistic in his own tongue. No one
    seems to doubt that Longfellow was the man to translate
    Dante,--that Tennyson could parallel Homer (as he has shown
    by a wonderful effort) in the nineteenth-century
    English,--that Carlyle re-created Goethe's "Wilhelm Meister"
    by his rendering of it,--that Austin Dobson was the first to
    teach English readers some of the beauties of Gautier's
    poetry,--that Swinburne alone could have made François
    Villon adopt an English garb which exactly fitted him. But
    the same readers perhaps never gave a thought to the fact
    that the works of Flaubert, of Daudet, of Droz, of Hugo, of
    at least a score of other European writers, call for work of
    an almost equally high class on the part of the translator,
    and never receive it! What a translation of Daudet could not
    Henry James give us!--how admirably John Addington Symonds
    could reproduce for us the Venetian richness of Paul de
    Saint Victor's style! But such men are not likely to be
    invited, on either side of the Atlantic, to do such
    work;--neither are they likely to do it as a labour of love!
    A splended translation of Flaubert might be expected from
    several members of what is called "The New England School;"
    but what Boston publisher would engage his favourite
    literary man in such pursuits? It is really doubtful whether
    the men most capable of making artistic translations could
    afford, under any ordinary circumstances, to undertake much
    work of the kind, except as a literary recreation. At all
    events, the English-reading world cannot hereafter expect to
    obtain its translations from other European languages
    through the labour of the best writers in its own. The only
    hope is, that the recklessness shown by publishers in their
    choice of translators will provoke a reaction, and that such
    work will be more generously remunerated and entrusted to
    real experts hereafter.

    It is unfortunately true that the translators who work for
    English publishers are far more competent than those who do
    similar work in the United States; forasmuch as
    transatlantic firms are glad to print cheap popular
    translations, while only inferior American firms care to
    undertake them. Another obstacle to good translations in the
    United States is that none of the great literary periodicals
    will devote space to them. The English and the French
    magazines and reviews are less conservative, and some very
    wonderful translations have been published by them. Artistic
    translation might be admirably developed in this country by
    the establishment of a new magazine-policy.

The wise reader, if he is also a sincere friend of Hearn, must wish that
the correspondence published had been limited to the first volume. Room
aplenty in this could have been made for the dozen valuable paragraphs
contained in the second. It is not strange that the letters of Hearn
worth saving were written before his departure for Japan. He repeatedly
had urged that letter-writing both financially and mentally was
expensive to the writer. In Japan he was so incessantly busy, much with
his teaching and more with his real literary work, that time and will
were wanting for that sort of letters which are of interest to the
general reader. The interest of the person addressed is another affair.
The dreary half-thousand pages of the correspondence of the Japanese
time are most disappointing to one who has been thrilled by almost every
page of the incomparable letters to Krehbiel and to a few others.
Besides the two reasons for this which I have suggested, there are
others which may perhaps be evident to some judicious readers, but which
at this time may scarcely be plainly stated. At present the trees are so
thick that the forest cannot be seen, but some day an amused and an
amusing smile of recognition and disgust will curl the lips of the
literary critic. There are two other considerations which should be held
in mind: One of them was brought to me by a correspondent of Hearn who
had frequently noted it; sometimes (has it happened before?) Hearn used
his "friend" to whom he was writing, as a sort of method of exercising
his own fancy, as a gymnastics in putting his imagination through its
paces, or for a preliminary sketching in of notes and reminders to be of
possible use in later serious work. Moreover, the plan was of service in
rewarding his correspondents for their praise and appreciation. Of a
far more substantial character were the letters sometimes written in
gratitude for money received. Hearn flattered himself, as we know, that
he was without "cunning," but there is at least one exquisitely
ludicrous letter in existence which shows an inverted proof of it, in
the execution of an Indian war-dance, because of "the ways and means"

As published, Hearn's letters may be classified as follows: To

    Krehbiel                1887 (3); 1878 (5);  1879 (2);
                            1880 (3); 1881 (4);  1882 (4);
                            1883 (4); 1884 (13); 1885 (8);
                            1886 (6); 1887 (4)                    56
    Hart                    1882 (3); 1883 (1)                     4
    Ball                    1882 (2); 1883 (4);  1885 (3)          9
    O'Connor                1883 (4); 1884 (2);  1885 (2);
                            1886 (2); 1887 (2)                    12
    Albee                   1883 (1); 1898 (2)                     3
    Gould                   1887 (5); 1888 (4);  1889 (8)         17
    Bisland                 1887 (8); 1889 (11); 1890 (3);
                            1900 (1); 1902 (3);  1903 (9);
                            1904 (1)                              36
    Tunison                 1889 (1)                               1
    Chamberlain             1890 (7); 1891 (13);
                            1895 (22)                             42
    Nishida                 1890 (2); 1891 (2); 1892 (2);
                            1893 (9); 1894 (2); 1895 (3);
                            1896 (3); 1897 (2)                    25
    Hirn                    1890 (1); 1902 (5); 1903 (1)           7
    Baker                   1891 (1); 1892 (1); 1894 (1);
                            1895 (3); 1896 (2)                     8
    Hendrick                1891 (2); 1892 (4); 1893 (10);
                            1894 (6); 1895 (6); 1896 (9);
                            1897 (7); 1898 (2); 1902 (2)          48
    Otani                   1891 (1); 1892 (1); 1894 (1);
                            1897 (1); 1898 (2); 1900 (1)           7
    Ochiai                  1893 (2); 1894 (2); 1896 (2)           6
    McDonald                1897 (10); 1898 (25); 1899 (19)       54
    Fenollosa               1898 (3); 1899 (2)                     5
    Blank                   1898                                   1
    Foxwell                 1899                                   2
    Yasuchochi              1901                                   1
    Tanabe                  1904                                   1
    Crosby                  1904                                   1
    Fujisaki                1904                                   1

Besides these, the valuable series of "Letters from a Raven," and the
sixteen in the same volume "To a Lady" are noteworthy. The latter are of
little value either for biography or literature. But the letters to
Watkin are so sincere, often childlike, indeed, that they will be prized
by the discriminating. Another admirable series, copies of which I have,
is made up of letters to Professor R. Matas, of New Orleans. To these it
is hoped will sometime be added those which must exist, to Mr. Alden,
who was an early and sincere friend. There are a number of unpublished
letters to Gould, and the published ones have been so mutilated that
they should be correctly republished. Almost anything written by Hearn
before he went to Japan, or in some instances reflecting friendships and
feelings existing before he sailed, may prove of as inestimable value as
most letters written thereafter will probably be found valueless.

It is noteworthy that the first series, edited by Miss Bisland, was
commenced in 1877, when Hearn was twenty-seven years of age, and that
for many years Mr. Krehbiel was almost his sole correspondent. But the
inimitable perfection and preciousness of these fifty-six letters! They
are well worth all his other set productions, published or burned, of
the same years. Many are singly worth all the rest of our letters. Here
the dreamer--and a dreamer he always was until he got out of his
cocoon--was sincere, hopeful, planful, as playful as his sombre mind
would permit, but always magnificently, even startlingly, unreserved.
Remembering that Hearn's mind was essentially an echoing and a
colouring mechanism, it is at once a glorious tribute to, and a
superlative merit of Mr. Krehbiel to have given the primary and
stimulating voice to the always listening dreamer. To have swerved him
out of his predestined rôle so much as to make these pages so
astonishingly full of _musical_ reverberations, is a tribute to his own
musical enthusiasm and power as it is also a demonstration of the
echo-like, but fundamentally unmusical, nature of his friend's mind. If
only in the final edition of Hearn's works, these letters with
selections of some pages from a few others, could be made into a handy,
small, and cheap volume for the delighting of the appreciators of
literature and of literary character! Comparison of the spiritual and
almost _spirituelle_ flashings of these, with the ponderous and banal
sogginess of hundreds upon hundreds of other pages of his letters,
arouses the profound regret that Hearn to the world was "impossible,"
that, as he says, he "could not mingle with men," that no other voices
ever so intimately reached the heart of him, or of his dreaming. Even
here the amazing coloration furnished by "The Dreamer," as he calls
himself, makes us at times feel that the magic of the word-artist and
colour-mixer was almost superior to the enduring and awakening reality
of Mr. Krehbiel. To this friend, as he writes, he spoke of his thoughts
and fancies, wishes and disappointments, frailties, follies, and
failures, and successes--even as to a brother. And that was not all he
saw and heard in "his enchanted City of Dreams."

The slavery to ignoble journalism, what he calls a "really nefarious
profession," was to be resolutely renounced from the day of his arrival
in New Orleans. It is "a horrid life," he "could not stand the
gaslight;" he "damned reportorial work and correspondence, and the
American disposition to work people to death, and the American delight
in getting worked to death;" he rebelled against becoming a part of the
revolving machinery of a newspaper, because "journalism dwarfs,
stifles, emasculates thought and style," and he was bound to "produce
something better in point of literary execution."

There was also a not frankly confessed resolve to become respectable in
other ways, and to be done with a kind of entanglement of which he was
painfully conscious in the Cincinnati life. "I think I can redeem myself
socially here! I have got into good society;" "it is better to live here
in sackcloth and ashes, than to own the whole State of Ohio," he writes,
and he is proud of living in a Latin city. He recognizes what Mr.
Krehbiel calls his "peculiar and unfortunate disposition," and which he
later sets forth as "a very small, erratic, eccentric, irregular,
impulsive, variable, nervous disposition." Hearn visits a few friends
awhile and then disappears for six months, so that he wishes to be
hidden in New York except to Krehbiel and Tunison; he will pay a visit
to the others he must see just before leaving town--for he is a
"demophobe." He tried a secret partnership in keeping a restaurant, and
thought to carry on a little French bookstore. He resolved at different
times to go to Europe, to Cuba, to Texas, to Cincinnati, and planned all
sorts of occupations.

The indications soon multiply that in more ways than in worldly matters
he is at variance with his world. He "regards thought as a mechanical
process;" he has "no faith in any faith;" "individual life is a particle
of that eternal force of which we know so little;" "Soul = Cerebral
Activity = Soul;" Jesus is a legend and myth; he is "not a believer in
free will, nor in the individual soul," etc. Think of a man writing to a
Christian minister, think of a Christian minister receiving without
protest a personal letter with this in it: "Nor can I feel more
reverence for the crucified deity than for that image of the Hindoo god
of light holding in one of his many hands Phallus, and yet wearing a
necklace of skulls, etc."

And Hearn, as to ethics, has the courage to write his friend of his
convictions: "Passion was the inspiring breath of Greek art and the
mother of language; its gratification the act of a creator, and the
divinest rite of Nature's temple." In other letters, unpublished, that
exist, Hearn is morbidly frank as to sexual licence and practices. In
tropical cities there is "no time for friendship--only passion for
women, and brief acquaintance for men." Without the influence of
sexualism there can be no real greatness; "the mind remains arid and
desolate," and he quotes approvingly:--"Virginity, Mysticism,
Melancholy--three unknown words, three new maladies brought among us by
the Christ," etc. "I do not find it possible to persuade myself that the
'mad excess of love' should not be indulged in by mankind," introduces a
brilliant page upon the theme, ending with, "after all what else do we
live for--ephemeræ that we are?" To my protest he wrote, "'Moral'
feelings are those into which the sexual instinct does not visibly
enter;" and again, "The sexual sense never tells a _physical_ lie. It
only tells an ethical one." There is, to be sure, no answer to a man who
says such things.

It is astonishing, how conscious and at the same time how careless Hearn
was of his characteristics and trends. In 1878 he could coldly prepare
to attempt a get-rich-quick scheme, "a fraud, which will pay like hell,
an advertising fraud," etc., because "there is no money in honest work."
At this time also he knew that his own wandering passion was "the
strongest of all," and that his deepest desire was "to wander forever
here and there until he should get old and apish and grey and die." His
misfortunes he confessed were of his own making because it was
absolutely out of the question for him to "keep any single situation for
any great length of time," hating the mere idea of it, "impossible to
stay anywhere without getting into trouble." "No one ever lived who
seemed more a creature of circumstance than I," he correctly avows. He
recognizes that "the unexpected obstacle to success was usually erected
by himself."

He acknowledges his ignorance and escapes from it and from the labour,
expense, and duty of scholarship by flying, as many others have done, to
the world of Imagination, which alone is left to him. "It allows of a
vagueness of expression which hides the absence of real knowledge, and
dispenses with the necessity of technical precision and detail." He
"never reads a book which does not powerfully impress the imagination."
Knowing that he has not true and real genius, he "pledges himself to the
worship of the Odd, the Queer, the Strange, the Exotic, the Monstrous.
It quite suits my temperament," and he "hopes to succeed in attracting
some little attention." The monstrous, the enormous, and the lurid, is
sought in the letters. The sentence at the bottom of page 226, Volume
One of the "Life and Letters," and the ghastly story, pages 322-323,
show the gruesome still much alive, and page 306 that blood, fury, and
frenzy haunt his nightmare dreams. "In history one should only seek the
extraordinary, the monstrous, the terrible; in mythology the most
fantastic and sensuous, just as in romance," And yet he defends himself
as a lover of Greek art, detests "the fantastic beauty that is Gothic,"
yet prides himself on being Arabesque. Even the love of Beaudelaire
creeps in, and the brutal, horrible photograph of Gautier is "grander
than he imagined." Of course to such a mind Matthew Arnold is a
"colossal humbug"--and worse.

With increasing frequency are repeated the complaints of
disillusionment; he is frightened at the loss even of the love of the
beautiful, and his friend tries in vain to rouse him from his ghost-life
and dreaming. There are absurd excuses why he cannot work; when among
beautiful things he cannot write of them, when he is away he is longing
for them; there are months when he cannot do anything, and a little
thing is produced with great pain and labour. "The old enthusiasm has
completely died out of me." The people and the city are adequately
cursed, and upon the debilitating climate is laid a proper and
ever-repeated anathema. He loathes the North, especially New York City,
"shudders at the bare idea of cold;" he yearns and pines for a still
more tropical country which he knows may kill him, and which came near
doing so. The _Wanderlust_ is upon him as passages on pages 183, 193,
196, 197, 207, 215, 223, 224, 398 of Volume One of the "Life and
Letters" illustrate. At last he is off for Martinique, where work and
even thought are still more impossible because of the benumbing heat.

Here follows a list of the unsigned editorials contributed by Hearn to
his paper. It is made up from two of the scrap-books left me, and is


    1. The "Peronospora Ferrani" and Cholera Vaccination.
    2. Literary Pessimism.
    3. "The Song Celestial."
    4. The Canonization of the Mahdi.
    5. "Successor of Tamerlane."
    6. The World's Journalism.
    7. A Scientific Novelty.
    8. The Jewish Question in Europe (Suppressed by the management).
    9. Russian Literature Abroad.
    10. The European Trouble.
    11. Missionaries as Linguists.
    12. Courbet.
    13. Poetry and Pay.
    14. The Present and Future of India.
    15. An Archaeological Novel.
    16. An Evolutional History.
    17. A New Pompeii.
    18. Archæology in Cambodia.
    19. The Great "I-Am."
    20. A Terrible Novel.
    21. The Latin Church in the East and Bismarck.
    22. English Policy in China.
    23. The Fear of Death.
    24. A Danger to Egypt--The Senousiya.
    25. Archaeological News from China.
    26. Icelandic Prospects.
    27. A Great English Physician.
    28. Academical Triumphs.
    29. The Magician of Paris.
    30. Tolstoi's Vanity of Wisdom.
    31. "Minos."
    32. Newspapers and Religion.
    33. Minos.
    34. A Concord Compromise.
    35. De Mercier on Dante.
    36. The Origin of Christmas.
    37. "Immortality" according to Dr. Holland.
    38. The Future of Idealism.
    39. "Solitude."
    40. Dr. Holland's Defenders.
    41. The Religion of Suffering.
    42. The Ruins of Carthage.
    43. A Defence of Pessimism.
    44. Over-Education in Germany.
    45. Decadence as a Fine Art.
    46. Use of the Eye or the Ear in Learning Languages.
    47. The Shadow of the "Light of Asia."
    48. The Jew upon the Stage.
    49. Some Theosophical Iconoclasm.
    50. "Hamlet's Note-Book."
    51. The Invasion of the Desert.
    52. Resurrected Æstheticism.
    53. Translations.
    54. Nihilistic Literature in the United States.
    55. Some Human Frailty.
    56. An Art-Reformer.
    57. Some Notes on Creole Literature.
    58. The Scientific Value of Creole.
    59. "l'OEuvre."
    60. A Havanese Romance.
    61. Some Supposed Sanscrit Translations.
    62. The Omnivorous Newspaper.
    63. A Religious Nightmare.
    64. Joaquin Miller.
    65. Pictures vs. Text.
    66. "Follow the Donkey Path."
    67. A Sketch of the Creole Patois.
    68. In Spain.
    69. Chinese Belief in God.
    70. "Towards the Gulf."
    71. Tennyson's Locksley Hall.
    72. "Doesn't Want Any Progress."
    73. The Howard Memorial Library--A Letter from Charles Dudley Warner.
    74. A Definitive Rossetti.
    75. The Chinese Future.
    76. Artistic Value of Myopia.
    77. Colours and Emotions.


THE lure of the Sea and of the Unknown was upon Hearn during the entire
stay at New Orleans. How deeply it entered his heart is shown in a
fragment rescued by his friend, Dr. Matas, which has been kindly sent
me. The copy is in print, but when and where it was published we have
been unable to learn. It was probably written in 1885 or 1886. As it
gives glimpses at once into Hearn's mind, of his fateful desire to roam,
of his Nature-love, and, better, of his growing mastery of technic and
imagery, I reproduce herewith the fragment, which he entitled:

                               GULF WINDS

    Golden oranges piled up in bins,--apples of the Southern
    Hesperides;--a medley of meridional tongues,--silky Latin
    tongues and their silkier patois; Chinese buyers yellow as
    bananas, quadroons with skin like dead gold; swarthy sailors
    from the Antilles; sharp odours of fruit freshly
    disembarked;--all the semi-tropical sights and sounds of the
    French market. I stood beside an orange-bin; and priced the
    fruit. Fifty cents a hundred! While wondering how much the
    fruit-vender's profit could possibly be, I was insensibly
    attracted by something unusual in his face--a shadow of the
    beauty of the antique world seemed to rest upon it. "Are you
    not a Greek?" I asked, for there was no mistaking the
    metoposcopy of that head. Yes; he was from Zante--first a
    sailor, now a fruit-vender; some day, perhaps, he would be a

    It is among those who sell, not among those who buy, that
    the most curious studies of human nature and of the human
    face are to be made in the French market. These dealers are
    by no means usually French, but they are mostly from the
    Mediterranean coasts and the Levant--from Sicily and Cyprus,
    Corsica and Malta, the Ionian Archipelago, and a hundred
    cities fringing the coasts of Southern Europe. They are
    wanderers, who have wandered all over the face of the earth
    to find rest at last in this city of the South; they are
    sailors who have sailed all seas, and sunned themselves at a
    hundred tropical ports, and finally anchored their lives by
    the levee of New Orleans. The Neapolitan Italian, the
    Spaniard, the Corsican, the Levantine Greek, seek rest from
    storm here, in a clime akin to their own and under a sky as
    divinely blue, and at a port not far distant from their
    beloved sea. For these Levantine sailors hate dusty inland
    cities and the dry air of the Great West.

    If you, O reader, chance to be a child of the sea;--if, in
    early childhood, you listened each morning and evening to
    that most ancient and mystic hymn-chant of the waves, which
    none can hear without awe, and which no musician can
    learn;--if you have ever watched wonderingly the far sails
    of the fishing-vessels turn rosy in the blush of sunset, or
    silver under the moon, or golden in the glow of sunrise;--if
    you once breathed as your native air the divine breath of
    the ocean, and learned the swimmer's art from the hoary
    breakers, and received the Ocean-god's christening, the
    glorious baptism of salt,--then, perhaps, you know only too
    well why these sailors of the Levant cannot seek homes
    within the heart of the land. Twenty years may have passed
    since your ears last caught the thunder of that mighty ode
    of hexameters which the sea has always sung and will sing
    forever, since your eyes sought the far line where the
    vaulted blue of heaven touches the level immensity of
    rolling water,--since you breathed the breath of the ocean,
    and felt its clear ozone living in your veins like an
    elixir. Have you forgotten the mighty measure of that mighty
    song? have you forgotten the divine saltiness of that
    unfettered wind? Is not the spell of the sea strong upon you

    So that when the long, burning summer comes, and the city
    roars dustily around you, and your ears are filled with the
    droning hum of machinery, and your heart full of the
    bitterness of the struggle for life, there comes to you at
    long intervals in the dingy office or the crowded street
    some memory of white breakers and vast stretches of wrinkled
    sand and far-fluttering breezes that seem to whisper,

    So that when the silent night comes,--you find yourself
    revisiting in dreams those ocean-shores thousands of miles
    away. The wrinkled sand, ever shifting yet ever the same,
    has the same old familiar patches of vari-coloured weeds and
    shining rocks along its level expanse: and the thunder-chant
    of the sea which echoes round the world, eternal yet ever
    new, is rolling up to heaven. The glad waves leap up to
    embrace you; the free winds shout welcome in your ears;
    white sails are shining in the west; white sea-birds are
    flying over the gleaming swells. And from the infinite
    expanse of eternal sky and everlasting sea, there comes to
    you, with the heavenly ocean-breeze, a thrilling sense of
    unbounded freedom, a delicious feeling as of life renewed,
    an ecstasy as of life restored. And so you start into
    wakefulness with the thunder of that sea-dream in your ears
    and tears of regret in your eyes to find about you only heat
    and dust and toil; the awakening rumble of traffic, and "the
    city sickening on its own thick breath."

    And I think that the Levantine sailors dare not dwell in the
    midst of the land, for fear lest dreams of a shadowy sea
    might come upon them in the night, and phantom winds call
    wildly to them in their sleep, and they might wake to find
    themselves a thousand miles beyond the voice of the

    Sometimes, I doubt not, these swarthy sellers of fruit,
    whose black eyes sparkle with the sparkle of the sea, and
    whose voices own the tones of ocean-winds, sicken when a
    glorious breeze from the Gulf enters the city, shaking the
    blossoms from the magnolia-trees and the orange-groves.
    Sometimes, I doubt not, they forsake their Southern home
    when the dream comes upon them, and take ship for the
    Spanish Main. Yet I think most men may wake here from the
    dreams of the sea, and rest again. It is true that you
    cannot hear the voice of the hoary breakers in the
    moonlight,--only the long panting of the cotton-presses, the
    shouting of the boats calling upon each other through the
    tropical night, and the ceaseless song of night-birds and
    crickets. But the sea-ships, with their white wings folded,
    are slumbering at the wharves; the sea-winds are blowing
    through the moon-lit streets, and from the South arises a
    wondrous pale glow, like the far reflection of the emerald
    green of the ocean. So that the Greek sailor, awaking from
    the vision of winds and waves, may join three fingers of his
    right hand, after the manner of the Eastern Church, and
    cross himself, and sleep again in peace.

Hearn left New Orleans in July, 1887, and was soon settled at St.
Pierre, Martinique. His letters to Dr. Matas form the principal sources
of information concerning himself and his work during his stay there.
From them I choose a few selections which bear upon his literary
labours. At first, of course, all is perfection:

    I am absolutely bewitched, and resolved to settle down
    somewhere in the West Indies. Martinique is simply heaven
    on earth. You must imagine a community whose only vices are
    erotic. There are no thieves, no roughs, no snobs.
    Everything is primitive and morally pure--except in the
    only particular where purity would be out of harmony with
    natural conditions. As for the climate, it is
    divine--though this is the worst season.

    And I have begun to hate all that is energetic, swift, rapid
    in thought or action, all rivalry, all competition, all
    striving in the race of success. It is just enough to live
    here: no, it is too much!--it is more than any ordinary
    human being deserves to enjoy. It makes one feel like crying
    for joy just to look about one.

    Couldn't I induce you to abandon the beastly civilization of
    the U. S., and live somewhere down here forever
    more,--where everybody is honest and good-natured and
    courteous, and where everything is divine? Man was not
    intended to work in this part of the world: while you are
    here, you cannot quite persuade yourself you are awake,--it
    is a dream of eternal beauty,--all the musky winds, all the
    flower-months of Paradise! New Orleans is the most infernal
    hole in the entire Cosmos. Don't live in it! Confound fame
    and wealth and reputation and splendour. You don't need any
    of these things here; they are superfluous; they are
    obsolete; they are nuisances; they are living curses. Settle
    here. Humming-birds will fly into your chamber to wake you
    up. What on earth you can find to live for in the U.S. I am
    now at a loss to see. You'll get old there;--here you will
    remain eternally young: the palms distil Elixir Vitæ.

    But it is simply foolishness to write to you--because I
    can't write about this place. All ambition to write has been
    paralyzed--let Nature do the writing--in green, azure and

[Illustration: LAFCADIO HEARN. _From a Photograph taken at Martinique,
August 24th, 1888._]

                (Letter from St. Pierre, July 30, 1887.)

    I am not at all sure of my literary future,--I do not mean
    pecuniarily, for I never allow that question to seriously
    bother me: to write simply to make money is to be a d----d
    fraud, so long as one can aim at higher things. But I do
    not feel the same impulses and inspirations and power to
    create;--I have been passing through a sort of crisis,--out
    of enthusiasm into reality and I do not feel so mentally
    strong as I ought. The climate had much to do with it in
    the beginning, causing a serious weakness of memory;--that
    is now passed; but I feel as if _mon âme avait perdu ses
    ailes_. Perhaps something healthier and stronger may come
    of it; but in the meanwhile I suffer from great
    disquietude, and occasional very black ideas; and praise
    sounds to me like a malicious joke, because I feel that my
    work has been damnably bad. The fact that I _know_ it has
    been bad, encourages me to believe I may do better, and
    find confidence in myself.

    I have enough MS. for a volume of French colonial sketches,
    and do not think I will be able to do much more with
    Martinique for the present; but I also have accumulated
    material out of which something will probably grow. I would
    now like to attempt some Spanish studies.

    Northern air will do me good, though I do not like the idea
    of living in it. But when, after all this stupid, brutal,
    never-varying heat, you steam North, and the constellations
    change, and the moon stands up on her feet instead of lying
    on her back lasciviously,--and the first grand whiff of cold
    air comes like the advent of a Ghost,--Lord! how one's
    brain suddenly clears and thrills into working order. It is
    like a new soul breathed into your being through the
    nostrils--after the Creator's fashion of animating his Adam
    of clay.

    Perhaps you think I have been a poor correspondent. You can
    scarcely imagine the difficulties of maintaining a friendly
    chat by letter while trying to do literary work here. Most
    people who attempt literature here either give it up after a
    short time, or go to the graveyard: there are a few
    giants,--like Dr. Rufz de Lavison (who never finished his
    Études nevertheless), Davey the historian; Dessalles who
    suddenly disappeared leaving his history incomplete. But I
    fear I am no giant. At 2 or 2.30 p.m. if you try to write,
    your head feels as if a heated feather pillow had been
    stuffed into your skull. To write at all one must utilize
    the morning;--that is given to make the pot boil: one can
    write letters only at intervals, paragraph by paragraph, or
    between solid chapters of downright wearing-out work.

    Nevertheless, one learns to love this land so much as to be
    quite willing to abandon anything and everything to live in
    it. As in the old Sunday-school hymn, "only man is vile:"
    nature and Woman are unspeakably sweet.

    I suppose I will not be able to meet you in New York this
    fall: you will be too busy. Next summer it will be possible,
    I hope. Perhaps you will have the pleasure of a little book
    or two from me during the cold weather: I will revise things
    in New York. It has been a horrible agony to have my stuff
    printed without being able to see the proofs, and full of
    mistakes. "Chita" has been a great literary
    success--contrary to expectation. I find success is not
    decided by the press, nor by first effect on the public:
    opinions of literary men count much more, and these have
    been better than I imagined they could be. (1887)

    Well, I am caught! The tropics have me, for better or worse,
    so long as I live. Life in a great northern city again would
    be a horror insupportable. Yet I have had great pain here. I
    have been four months without a cent of money where nobody
    would trust me: you know what that means, if you have ever
    had a rough-and-tough year or two: otherwise you could not
    imagine it. I have had disillusions in number. I find worst
    of all, there is no inspiration in the tropics,--no poetry,
    no aspiration, no self-sacrifice, no human effort. Now, that
    I can go where I like, do as I please--for I have won the
    fight after all,--I still prefer one year of Martinique to a
    thousand years of New York. What is it? Am I demoralized; or
    am I simply better informed than before? I don't really
    know. (1887)

                               New York, September 29, 1887.[12]

        [12] Written during a brief stay in New York,
             whither he had gone in the fall of 1887.

    Dear Friend Matas:--I am going back to the
    tropics,--probably for many years. My venture has been more
    successful than I ever hoped; and I find myself able to
    abandon journalism, with all its pettinesses, cowardices,
    and selfishnesses, forever. I am able hereafter to devote
    myself to what you always said was my _forte_: the study of
    tropical Nature--God's Nature,--violent, splendid, nude, and
    pure. I never hoped for such fortune. It has come unasked. I
    am almost afraid to think it is true. I am afraid to be

                          _c/o_ Dr. George M. Gould,
                                  119 South Seventeenth St.,
                                      Philadelphia, June 5, 1889.

    Dear Friend Matas:--Your letter of March 21 only reached me
    to-day, June 5th; but made me very glad to get it. I have
    been back from the West Indies about three weeks--do not
    know how long I shall stay. It seemed like tearing my heart
    out to leave Martinique; and though I am now in one of the
    most beautiful cities in the world, among dear friends, and
    with the splendid spectacle before me of man's grandest
    efforts--not a wild cyclone of electricity and iron like New
    York, but a great quiet peace--the tropical Nature with all
    its memories haunts me perpetually,--draws my thought back
    again over the azure sea and under the turquoise sky to the
    great palms and the volcanic hills and the beautiful brown
    women. I know I shall have to go back to the tropics sooner
    or later.

    The effect of the climate, as you know, is deadly to mental
    work. Physically, however, I felt better in it,--less
    nervous than I ever was before. Only one's will to work is
    broken down; and it is better only to collect material there
    to work up elsewhere. That sort of work I am busy at just
    now. I have a signed contract for publication of "Chita" in
    book-form; and the result of my two years' absence will be
    forthcoming in a volume of larger size.

    You know Philadelphia, I suppose, the beautiful city; and I
    suppose you know that physicians here form the leaders of,
    and give the tone to, social life. It seems to me but just
    that they should,--representing the highest intellectual
    rank of civilization when they are really worthy of the

    ... As for other people wondering what has become of me;
    that is just what I want. I do not care to have any one know
    what I am doing till it is done.... I have happily got over
    a sort of crisis, however, which isolated me more than I
    would have liked to be isolated from the world at large: the
    distrust of myself.

[Illustration: HANDWRITING OF HEARN IN 1889. _face page 63._]

Concerning the value of Hearn's Martinique work, I am permitted to quote
from a letter written to him on May 24, 1890, by the late Edmund C.
Stedman,--and there could be no better judge and critic:

"I will not leave without telling you how much I am your debtor for the
fascinating copious record of your life in the Windward Islands, and for
your 'Youma'--both of which I take with me to 'Kelp Rock'--and which we
shall know by heart ere long. The 'Two Years' came when I was 'moving'
in New York, etc.,--so that books and letters, unacknowledged, perforce
have piled up on my table. I am grateful for your remembrance and your
gifts. _No_ book could please me more than your 'Two Years.' Those
Islands are my Hesperides--I had begun a series of poems and lyrics,
cast in the Caribees, but your prose poems put mine to shame--and I am
glad to listen to your music and leave my own unsung."


SHORT though it was in time, the Philadelphia visit in 1889 has a value
long in significance, that deserves epitomization. To begin with, it was
Hearn's first experience of anything that might be called home-life. Its
result was a softening and normalizing of him both as to character and
as to manner, which was most evident. Secondly, and as he chose to put
it, I "gave him a soul." By this poetic paraphrase he meant that I had
succeeded in bringing to his recognition the existence of Freedom in
what he thought determinism;--that intelligence, purpose, and
beneficence lie behind biology, and that human beings are not always,
and may never be wholly, the slaves of the senses, and the dupes of
desire. Beauty itself, which he so widely sought, I asked him to note,
is a needless, harmful, and even impossible thing in a world of
adamantine logic and necessity. Above all, I demonstrated the existence
of Duty, "Stern Daughter of the Voice of God," not only in the abstract,
but in concrete lives, in social and historic exemplifications, and that
only by means of men and women who obey conscience is social and
historic progress brought about. They who have not seen that can have no
"soul;" they who do see it, have soul, durable or great according to the
clearness of the seeing and the obedience to the implication. Fully and
freely Hearn acknowledged the vision, and never afterward could he be
wholly the same as he had been before. But the Providence of the
Oriental and semi-barbarous is Improvidence, and their God is Fate.
Hearn came to hate, or to pretend to hate, the truth which had now
slipped through his spiritual eyes, but he could not undo or outroot it
entirely; "henceforth by the vision splendid is on his way attended."
Thirdly, this new viewpoint, this new spirit or soul, I got incorporated
in a little art-work, or ethical study--"Karma," published in
_Lippincott's Magazine_, May, 1890, after Hearn had gone to Japan. To
the world and without the knowledge of its making, "Karma" must have
seemed an illogical and even impossible thing for Hearn to have written.
It is apparently the sole work which he ever wrote, created _de novo_
and without the data having been found or brought to him from without.
But it was only a seeming creation. It was only the telling, the
colouring, that was his, as in his other tales before or after. In our
long walks and talks in the Park at night, we wrought out the title, the
datum, and the whole trend of the story. He rebelled, but I held him to
the task, which he finally executed with frank and artistic loyalty. The
pride or indifference, even the dislike, of its readers, the writer, or
inspirer, is as nothing compared with the fact that by it and from it
Hearn learned something of love and duty that had never before been a
living reality to him. What an infinite distance it was removed from
anything dreamed during the Cincinnati period, or to be derived from
Flaubert, Gautier, or Beaudelaire! After that his future work could
never be, and never was, what it was from the writing, "_Everything you
feel you would not like me to know._" I do not think there is
exaggeration of the importance of the story, and what led up to its
writing, in saying that it was the greatest of the turning-points in his
life, and that directly because of it the magnificent works of the
Japanese period were profoundly influenced through the attitude of mind
thereby gained.

Concerning the heroine of the tale Hearn wrote me:

    Your objection to my idea is quite correct. I have already
    abandoned it. It would have to be sexual. Never could find
    in the tropics that magnificent type of womanhood, which in
    the New England girl, makes one afraid even to think about
    sex, while absolutely adoring the personality. Perfect
    natures inspire a love that is a fear. I don't think any
    love is noble without it. The tropical woman inspires a
    love that is half compassion; this is always dangerous,
    untrustworthy, delusive--pregnant with future pains

But, fourthly, that in which I feel as great a pride, is compelling him
to go to Japan. Others could have reported for lurid yellow journalism,
others might possibly have translated as well as he, others could have
told the West Indian stories, but--not even his beloved Lowell--only
Hearn could have written of the Japanese life and soul as Hearn has
done. He had no thought of the journey when I showed him his duty and
his opportunity. By argument, pleading, almost compulsion, I at last
wearied his opposition, and he went, with reluctance, after months of
halting in detested New York City in which he learned by bitter
experience that it was no place for him, and that his beloved tropics
should not be again sought.

How disappointed he was in his New York friends and prospects may be
gathered from the following excerpt taken from one of his letters to me.
I had used all my influence to keep him from a stay in the city. He
wrote as follows:

    Dear Gooley, your advice is good from your way of looking
    at it; but I am much stronger in New York than you imagine,
    and my future in it is plain and perfect sailing if I keep
    good health. I am only embarrassed for the moment. I am
    quite a lion here, and could figure in a way you would
    hardly guess, if I were not such a man of tentacles. I am
    not afraid of the cold--though it disheartens fancy a
    little; but I shall leave fancy alone for a while. No,
    Gooley, dear Gooley, I shall make my way in New York--don't
    be afraid for me.

He soon became convinced that I was right and finally resumed the
journey unwillingly. The end has justified the means and the sacrifices.
It is plain that the Japanese period and work crown his life-labours
splendidly, and that his masterful pictures of Japanese characters,
traditions, and religion now constitute one of our most precious
literary treasures. They have also been of profound service to Japan.

When he left my home, he, of his own accord, asked me to care for his
library, then in the home of Mr. Alden at Metuchen, New Jersey, who two
years previously had consented to take charge of it, and had paid
shipping expenses, insurance, etc. None can imagine anything ungenerous
or unkind in Mr. Alden. An old Cincinnati acquaintance characterizes
Hearn's action in the matter as "a swindle." I have no knowledge or hint
how it was or could be of that nature. Hearn wrote all the letters, and
made all the arrangements to have the books sent to me. Mr. Alden
authorizes me to say:

"I was perfectly convinced at the time of the transfer of the library to
Dr. Gould that he had no desire for its possession, and that the
transfer was made solely in accordance with Mr. Hearn's request. I am
quite sure that Dr. Gould fully explained the matter to me at the time.
I feel sure that Dr. Gould acted precisely as I should have done if I
had retained possession of the library; that is, readily giving it up to
any legitimate claimant." I found the books of no value to me, and they
surely have been an expense. I tried, later, to prevail upon Hearn to
allow me to ship them to him in Japan, but I never received any replies
to my letters. He asked for the catalogue, some of the old books, and
beside these, at his request, a number of expensive new books were at
various times bought and sent to him. I suspect that as there was not a
book on Japan in the collection, and as he had a plethora of data at
hand such as he wanted, the library gathered with so much love and
enthusiasm was no longer of use to him, especially under the conditions
of his life there.

Hearn gained strength and power as regards both truth and art, in so far
as he was true to the better in himself; all his trouble and his
weakness were born out of the lower self he would not, or could not,
sacrifice. His worship of the blood-curdling and revolting gave him some
temporary vogue among the readers of yellow newspaperdom, but not until
that was renounced for the compromise of the "odd and ghostly" did he
begin to show an ability to reach something more worthy in human nature
than the degenerate reporter catered to. The next step in advance was
the cultivation of the artistic pornography of the sensualistic French
story-writer. Not until he renounced this did he once more come to the
something of more use to the reading world which fills the Martinique
epoch. His disinclination to go to Japan, I more than suspect, was owing
to a half consciousness that there was in that nation too much
civilization, too good character, and even too much religion to suit the
tastes which had been uppermost in motiving his past literary labours.
His going into utter, illogical, and absurd captivity to the atheistic
and materialistic philosophy of Herbert Spencer was a sorry sacrifice of
his nobler office and better destiny to the fate that relentlessly
dogged his footsteps. He was forced into all the humanity and
beneficence possible to him by Japanese restraint, art, and truth. His
cries of disillusion over the Japanese were largely the anger of the
semi-barbaric wanderer held by family ties, paternity, etc., when he
found himself prevented from again seeking the faraway tropical
pseudo-paradises of peoples but one remove from savagery.

In the pre-Japanese periods only the lurid, the monstrous, the enormous,
only hot crime, and sexual passion, could excite his liveliest interest,
and all great literature was as much ignored as if it did not exist.
There is not a hint in all he did that he had read a line of the great
creators of literature,--the Greek dramatists, Dante, Goethe,
Shakespere, and a hundred more; he could not give time to read, much
less study them. His pretension of ability to teach English literature
was soon recognized even by the Japanese, and it is well that
over-zealous friends did not secure him a lectureship at Cornell
University. To be sure, he never had time to study even the history of
his own science and art,--but he never would have done so, it is plain,
if leisure and opportunity had been offered him. The ideal and the
rewards of scholarship never entered his mind. Perhaps it was best for
his peculiar office and proficiency that he allowed all erudition to go
unlooked-upon. And yet if he had been possessed of sufficient virility
and objectivity of mind to have learned the Japanese language, what
would the labour not have been worth? That he could not read a Japanese
book or newspaper after fourteen years of life among the people is most
disconcerting. It is a tribute to the amazing delicacy and receptiveness
of his mind that while he could not speak to his wife or children in
their own tongue, he should still have so accurately caught the Japanese
spirit and so admirably conveyed it to us.

The history of Hearn's ghoulish pleasure in the gruesome and
sensualistic, runs from the tan-yard horror and Cincinnati reportorial
days, through the translated stories of the New Orleans epoch, to his
"St. Anthony." In "Stray Leaves" it is but little softened, and yet the
atmosphere is brightening. It glitters and flashes like vengeful
lightning about the clouds of his mind with the Martinique epoch, etc.;
but in the Japanese writing even the "Mountain of Skulls" and other
stories are so far removed from reality that our disgust sinks to a
smile of sighing wonder that the gruesome could still be so loved by
him. It is only a few of the brutal and a small brutalized public that
seeks such _contes drolatiques_ (without Balzac's wit, satire, and
power, of course), and so again perforce, Hearn was weaned from his
morbidities. Dominated by his developing art and also by the need to
sell his writings, he thus rose, partly by the command of his readers,
to the choice of less and less repulsive themes and methods, and, awed
by the Japanese spirit of gentleness and beauty, he finally endowed
their national soul-life with a prismatic glory which they themselves
had hardly suspected.

Hearn deserted the god of religion, and, except in one respect, he was
faithless to the god of ethics. He was, therefore, without any divinity.
For a mind that had no creative ability, that _must_ have its _subjects_
furnished to it, a mind whose sole function was to colour the data
chosen or given from without,--this inner emptiness could only be
deceived by but could not be satisfied with the inner emptiness of
Spencerism. He acknowledged that religion was the mother of all
civilization, arts, and laws, and that all social systems, arts, and
laws, antique or modern, were begotten and nurtured by ethics,--and yet
there was no reality in, no reason for the existence of either religion
or ethics in this world of mechanics and of fatalism, grim and

Hearn speaks somewhere of his aspiration to be considered a "thinker,"
and once he praises "science" as a source of data for working into the
art forms of his beloved poetic prose. But science to him was as
impossible as was he to polite society; Spencer gave him leave, he
thought, to consider his atheism, irreligion, and sensualisticism as
scientifically authorized, and logically justified. He was always
hankering after the old heathen, even savage, gods of his father and
mother; and every time he went Fantee with them, he came back to a saner
world weakened and still more at war with himself. He always sought an
impossible world where Teutonic worth and honour could supply a decadent
Latin, with half-savage languor and never failing delights of the senses
and of art,--art which, in the last analysis, was his only god. But his
tragedy was that he always hastened to turn his god into a fetich, while
even his mind caught disquieting glimpses of the awful truth that all
genuine worship abjures fetichism. As sensualism is the superstition of
love, so fetichistic art is the superstition of true æsthetics.

For the most part, minds are mechanical not chemical compoundings, or if
chemic, they are in very unstable equilibrium. There are strange and
wayward traits, illogic and unfused to unity with the others. There may
be psychopathic and isolation wards in the psyche, "retreats," and all
manner of diseases of individual organs. Most people go Fantee, often or
seldom, and are able to hide their fetichisms from even their best
friends. If we observe ourselves at all, most of us wonder at the
curious mix of self-contradictories in ourselves. The few whose souls
and bodies are fused to clear-cut unity, the component metal melted to
harmony in the foundry of Fate and of Purpose,--these clang loyally in
absolute and precise tone-colour. In commoner folk the failure of the
flux, and the flaws in the casting, have only a social significance, but
with the Hearns, with thinkers and writers, the affair has an infinite

Hearn could never make his writings and his art impulses square with his
beloved materialistic, deterministic philosophy. He did not believe in
soul or in souls, and yet his soul was always treating of souls, and
showing the invisible thread of continuity which links souls to Soul.
Therefore he is always happiest when his _daimon_ breaks from the
restraint of theory and fate and pictures the play of free spirit, of
soul unconquered by fate, of life victorious over death in some sad way
or bright.

Concerning Hearn's treatment of friends, editors, and publishers, as it
bears sharply upon his literary character and productivity, as little as
may or must be said: He was under bonds to Fate to abuse worst the
majority of his friends who were most magnanimous, helpful, and kind to
him personally, or who were most discriminating and encouraging toward
his art and artistic ideals. To his former Cincinnati comrades, except
the old printer-friend, he scarcely ever wrote after he left them, and
the most faithful of these recently writes me: "I never pretended to be
a friend to him; I was merely one to whom he resorted when all the rest
cast him out. He never found me wanting, but he got few letters from me,
and none that were flattering." "I used to love Matas" are Hearn's
pitiful words. It is with sorrow and pain that we note the sudden
cessation in 1887 of the letters to Krehbiel. This noble friend had
drawn from Hearn a beautiful world of play and enduring memories, and
one may be more than sure that it was not Krehbiel who should be blamed.
Baker had been his most helpful and best friend, and yet for a fancied
wrong Hearn wrote him a letter filled with insult and ruffianism which a
gentleman could not answer, hardly forgive, and never forget. Did Hearn
know anybody of character in the West Indies? To the greatest of
American editors, the one who "discovered" him and introduced him to a
national and international audience, who treated him with a sweet and
gracious benignity, even after a shamelessness that is indescribable--to
this good man there is not a published letter, although many, and many
more, must exist. One day while at my house, Hearn rushed to his room,
seized the man's picture on the wall, tore it in a hundred pieces, and
danced and spat upon it in a furious rage. In subsequent letters to me
he explained his hatred--how he broke his engagements, how he borrowed
money from his loathed and insulted friend, how he got credit through
him from his tailor, etc. Gently the abused one bore it all and without
the least remonstrance, writing me, "Hearn has utterly cast me off; I
was loath to part with him." Professor Chamberlain and others kindly
explain the curious morbid psychology which Hearn had exhibited towards
them. To the last, love and trust breathed from Hearn's letters to me,
and yet I learn that to others long afterward he wrote of me with
bitterness and malevolent injustice. And yet he had written me after I
saw him for the last time, in this way: "Please don't write me at all,
or expect me to write, for some months. I do not need any money. I have
a good deal on my mind, and am apt, in consequence, to do very stupid or
very unkind things in an unlucky moment." And then he wrote: "No, dear
Gooley, I will never be indifferent to you! Never think that; I
understand better than you suppose. If I am silent at intervals, never
doubt me, dear teacher and brother; and you will find everything come
right." How often is the pathos of life sadly exaggerated by giving way
to foolish, needless, and degrading inherited instincts at the expense
of the higher life and usefulness! As to some who ludicrously boast of
the long continuance of an intimate friendship, there are many letters
of Hearn extant and unpublished which blow out that vanity with an
amusing smile. The matter, generally, might not have so real an
importance were it not that the publishing of literature has a vast deal
to do with literature, and, closely examined, Hearn's quarrels with
editors, publishers, and the public, is a matter that reaches out
astonishingly both as regards himself, his books, and the interest in
him, as well as beyond the question of Hearn or of any or all of his
friends. Until one silent man consents to speak--which may never be--the
discussion of the essence of the affair cannot be set forth in any
detail. Passages in Hearn's letters relating thereto should never have
been published, or a hundred other things should have been as frankly
published. When such publicity shall exist the reasons will be manifest
why one publisher destroyed an entire fresh edition of one book of
Hearn, why another acted differently, why one is praised or praises
himself, why others are blamed, why some are silent although a word
would end the injustice, etc. One phase may be noted in
passing:--Whatever Hearn's rights or wrongs as to the author's relations
with publishers and editors, it was beyond the ken of his mind that one
who may gloriously sacrifice all his own temporal blessings in striving
after artistic excellence, has no right to ask the same altruism of
those engaged in the publishing business. Hearn blamed the crude world,
and, for him, its representatives in the persons of editors and their
masters, the publishers, for wishing a certain kind of literature. As
well blame the bookseller for not sending the book you had not ordered.
He who deliberately chooses to give the world a literature he knows it
does not want, must accept the rejection and editing of his manuscripts,
and the absence of the world's cheques. He chose poverty and may not
abuse them who allowed his choice to be realized. It is sad enough, but
it is more than childish to grumble, more than ignoble to rail.

The search for "inspiration," as he called it, was with Hearn constant
and lifelong. Thus, early in his career, he wrote to his friend, Dr.

    So I wait for the poet's Pentecost--the inspiration of
    Nature--the descent of the Tongues of Fire. And I think
    they will come when the wild skies brighten, and the sun of
    the Mexican Gulf reappears for his worshippers--with hymns
    of wind and sea, and the prayers of birds. When one becomes
    bathed in this azure and gold air--saturated with the
    perfume of the sea, he can't help writing _something_. And
    he cannot help feeling a new sense of being. The Soul of
    the Sea mingles with his own, is breathed into him: the
    Spirit that moveth over the deep is the Creator
    indeed--vivifying, illuminating, strengthening. I really
    feel his Religion--the sense of awe that comes to one in
    some great silent temple. You would feel it too under this
    eternal vault of blue, when the weird old Sea is touching
    the keys of his mighty organ....

And again he wrote:

    I think I _must_ get inspiration. The real secret of art is
    feeling. The highest form of that feeling is that which the
    splendour of Nature gives--the thrill and awe of terrible
    beauty. This is that inexplicable communication of the
    mind with the Unknowable that has created the religious
    sense. Said a friend to me yesterday, who is not a
    believer:--"I stood in the Alps at sunrise, and I knew what
    religion meant." And I think that passage in Wilson on
    Fetichism superb where he says that the sight of the
    splendid sky first created the religious sense. Terribly
    perverted this sense has been, no doubt; but it belongs, I
    fancy, to those things which are eternal, and will have
    many a glorious avatar before our planet floats off into
    the cemetery of dead worlds. It is, I believe, the most
    powerful possible motive for true modern poetry--in harmony
    with science and scientific faith; and that is what I am
    going to look for.

Such quotations could be multiplied indefinitely, but toward the end
they become begging, and moaning in character. The "inspiration" is
diligently hunted, hungrily waited for; at last the failure in its
coming grows pitiful and tragic. For what is inspiration? If, with the
fatal fashion of our fashionable fatalism, we think "we have outgrown
all that," all that which was real and genuine inspiring, we at least
cannot outgrow that which bred the belief in the inspiring, the trust in
spirit and in spiritual truths and forces. Is it all primitive
childishness, this faith in a real breathing-in of the higher life into
our more carnal hearts and minds? Far from it! It is the veriest of
verities, and the _deniers_ of the conditions of inspiration dry up the
springs of that "inspiration" which they so hungrily seek. The semblance
cannot be without the reality. It will not come, lasting and
inexhaustible, by any trick of literary technic. Out of the light of
common day is not born that which never was on any sea or shore. Place,
time, circumstance, are not, as Hearn thought, the gods of
"Inspiration." "The wind bloweth where it listeth," and even a heathen
god would hardly visit the altar with his sacred fire if the priests
mocked at the power and the very existence of the deity. It is most
plain that Hearn early and zealously studied the Bible--hundreds of
allusions bear witness of the fact--and that he learned from it the
revivification of words, the use of phrase, metaphor, belief, something
of the art of reaching in toward the depths of men's moral and religious
nature and experience: but all, just so evidently, as a literary art, a
_tour de force_, the skill of the expert workman, handling them as
symbols for the sake of the skill, while smiling scornfully at any
belief in their reality. Language is the most spirit-like creation of
man's mind, the thing nearest him, woven out of his own soul-substance,
instinct with his life, haunted with his love, his hate, his suffering.
Playing with words, using them as art-stuff, regardless of the
experience and love and suffering which gave them conceiving and gives
them quickening, is likely to bring upon the artist a sad revenge.
Pleading in vain for "inspiration," Hearn died a score or more of years
before he should have died.

It should be emphasized that Hearn had but one possible way, chosen or
compelled, to make a living. His terrible myopia shut him out from every
calling except that of a writer. Moreover, leaving aside the danger to
his little vision from so much ocular labour, he had other and almost
insurmountable handicaps as a poet or maker of literature: He had no
original thing to say, for he was entirely without creative power, and
had always to borrow theme and plot. Then he had never seen form, knew
almost nothing of it as it exists out there, so that his sole technic
was that of a colourist, and also to endow our dead and dying words with
life--a "ghostly" life it was, and as he chose it to be--but living it
assuredly was. That he over-coloured his pictures, that he
over-sensualized his words, of this there is no question--but monotones
and senescents that we are, let us not smile too superciliously! Let us
learn; and above all let us enjoy!

For, his alone was the palette of the painter of the afterglow of
Earth's last sunset. And his the unique miracle of clothing with the
hues of a hopeless rainbow, the faint reverberations of bells far sunk
in the wreck and wrack of ruined centuries; of reintoning the prayers of
Nirvâna-entering souls; of remoaning dear ancient and expiring griefs;
of seeing with shut eyes the sad smiles of never-answered loves and
never-meeting lovers. With him, hushed, we hearken to Muezzin Bilâl's
call from his tower, to the broken sobs of a dancing-girl's passion, or
to the plaintive beggings of dying babes for the cold breasts of dead


PERHAPS I should not have succeeded in getting Hearn to attempt Japan
had it not been for a little book that fell into his hands during the
stay with me. Beyond question, Mr. Lowell's volume had a profound
influence in turning his attention to Japan and greatly aided me in my
insistent urging him to go there. In sending the book Hearn wrote me
this letter:

    Gooley!--I have found a marvellous book,--a book of
    books!--a colossal, splendid, godlike book. You must read
    every line of it. Tell me how I can send it. For heaven's
    sake don't skip a word of it. The book is called "The Soul
    of the Far East," but its title is smaller than its

    P.S.--Let something else go to H--, and read this book
    instead. May God eternally bless and infinitely personalize
    the man who wrote this book! Please don't skip one solitary
    line of it, and don't delay reading it,--because something,
    much! is going to go out of this book into your heart and
    life and stay there! I have just finished this book and feel
    like John in Patmos,--only a d----d sight better. He who
    shall skip one word of this book let his portion be cut off
    and his name blotted out of the Book of Life.[13]

        [13] Mr. Percival Lowell's book soon reached me
             containing the inscription: "To George M. Gould,
             with best love of his spiritual pupil, L. H." I
             have intentionally retained colloquialisms in
             these excerpts, the indications of our familiarity,
             etc., to give a glimpse into the heart of the
             affectionate and sweet-natured man.

There is not much to say about the Japanese period. The splendid books
speak for themselves. There is little in the almost valueless letters
that interest the literature-lover and give him concern about the
literature-maker. There is one short page[14] which is worth the
remainder of the book. The development of inborn characteristics goes
on, despite the grafted soul, almost as fatalistically as Hearn would
have wished, and in this instance in accordance with his theory of the
unalterability of character. But this period is of surpassing interest
solely because of the beautiful books and articles written. To analyze
them is both impossible and undesirable. They are for our enjoyment, and
after us generations will be delighted by them.

    [14] _Life and Letters_, Vol. II, pp. 337 and 338.

Hearn's views and practices as regards love and the feminine are not of
sympathetic interest to those who think that monogamy is good and
advisable. He hopes his son will not follow in his father's footsteps as
regards every damozel in his path, and in this respect become the
"disgraceful person he [the father] used to be." He "half suspects" the
Oriental husband is right in loving his wife least of all others related
to or dependent upon him, and quotes approvingly unquotable things about
the laws of (sexual) nature, managing, _more suo_, to make beautiful the
pursuit of beauty "in vain." Than the other, the woman-beauty of soul is
the lesser. "It doesn't make a man any happier to have an intellectual
wife. The less intellectual the more lovable,--for intellectual converse
a man _can't_ have with women." When contemplating legal marriage with
"his wife" in 1892, he calculates shrewdly the advantages of the plan.
He arrived in Japan in 1890 and in less than two years "my little wife
and I have saved nearly 2,000 Japanese dollars between us." When he has
made her independent he will quit teaching, and "wander about awhile and
write 'sketches' at $10.00 per page." In 1893 he found difficulties in
registering the birth of his son. Hearn was still a British subject. If
the boy should be a Japanese citizen, the registry must be in the
mother's name; if in the father's name, he would become a foreigner. To
become a Japanese citizen would mean for Hearn a great reduction in his
salary as a teacher under Government pay. "Why was I so foolish as to
have a son?" "Really _I_ don't know." In 1895 he "cuts the puzzle" by
becoming a Japanese citizen, "losing all chance of Government employment
at a living salary." Immediately Hearn "hopes to see a United Orient yet
bound into one strong alliance against our cruel Western Civilization,"
"against what is called Society and what is called Civilization."

For those who boasted of being his friends, it seems an astonishing
thing that they should make Hearn portray his vices, his moral
nakedness, so publicly. Of course he did not dream of the _exposé_. It
is to his merit, however, that he would place the truth boldly and
baldly before his friends. He confesses that the scandalous parts of a
book are what he likes best, that he is "a Fraud," "a vile Latin,"
etc.,--"_Vive le monde antique!_" He is "_not respectable_."
"Carpets--pianos--windows--curtains--brass bands--churches! how I hate
them!! Would I had been born savage; the curse of civilized cities is
upon me." He admits that he "cannot understand the moral side, of
course," and urges that "the most serious necessity of life is not to
take the moral side of it seriously. We must play with it, as with an
_hetaira_." It is needless to add that in this composition and resolve
lay Hearn's weakness, his tragedy, and his missing of "greatness." A man
so willed must finally see that it is the source of pitiful
instabilities and waywardness. "I have been at heart everything by
turns." He learns the old trick of blaming "Fate" and "the other
fellow;" he is hard-pushed, ignored, starved, morally humiliated:--"the
less a man has to do with his fellow-men the better;" "it becomes plain
why men cannot be good to one another;" character may not be bettered or
changed; "no line exists between life and not-life;" "likes and dislikes
never depart;" if Spanish, Italian, or French (instead of English,
German, or American) he "can be at home with a villain," etc. Finally
there comes that burst of frankness:--"I have more smallness in me than
you can suspect. How could it be otherwise! If a man lives like a rat
for twenty or twenty-five years, he must have acquired something of the
disposition peculiar to house-rodents,--mustn't he?" Then increase the
complaints of "treachery," the wish for "justice," the desire to go
away, somewhere, anywhere; and the limit of the amazing is reached in
praising _The Conservator_ and _The Whim_ for bravery and goodness, and
in hating Virchow thoroughly. Was Virchow so loathsome because this
great scientist found an impassable demarcation between life and the
not-life?--"all cells are derived from cells." Is it surprising that his
old imagined enemies, the Jesuits, are believed to be hidden in every
place, lurking to thwart every ambition or success, even to kill

    [15] Those who care may see how this suspicion obfuscates his
         mind in an article against some of Hearn's statements, by
         Henry Thurston, in _The Messenger_, January 1906.

No man is wholly bad who loves children, none wholly good who does not
love them. In a nation of child-lovers, as Hearn's Japanese writings
bear witness, he began to catch glimpses of truth hitherto unrecognized.
Concerning his eldest son (a fourth child was expected in 1903) Hearn
wrote: "No man can possibly know what life means until he has a child
and loves it. And then the whole Universe changes,--and nothing will
ever again seem exactly as it seemed before." Naturally he was drawn to
the rich child-lore and fairy tales of Japan. With great difficulty I
have secured copies of a number of fairy stories edited by him and
published in Japan by T. Hasegawa, Tôkyô, in a style beautiful and
dainty beyond superlatives. As mine are probably the only ones in our
country, I have ventured to copy herewith two of the tales:--


    Long, long ago, there was a funny old woman, who liked to
    laugh and to make dumplings of rice-flour.

    One day, while she was preparing some dumplings for dinner,
    she let one fall; and it rolled into a hole in the earthen
    floor of her little kitchen and disappeared. The old woman
    tried to reach it by putting her hand down the hole, and
    all at once the earth gave way, and the old woman fell in.

    She fell quite a distance, but was not a bit hurt; and when
    she got up on her feet again, she saw that she was standing
    on a road, just like the road before her house. It was quite
    light down there; and she could see plenty of rice-fields,
    but no one in them. How all this happened, I cannot tell
    you. But it seems that the old woman had fallen into another

    The road she had fallen upon sloped very much; so, after
    having looked for her dumpling in vain, she thought it must
    have rolled farther away down the slope. She ran down the
    road to look, crying:

    "My dumpling, my dumpling! Where is that dumpling of mine?"

    After a little while she saw a stone Jizo standing by the
    roadside, and she said:

    "O Lord Jizo, did you see my dumpling?"

    Jizo answered:

    "Yes, I saw your dumpling rolling by me down the road. But
    you had better not go any farther, because there is a wicked
    Oni living down there, who eats people."

    But the old woman only laughed, and ran on farther down the
    road, crying: "My dumpling, my dumpling! Where is that
    dumpling of mine?" And she came to another statue of Jizo,
    and asked it:

    "O kind Lord Jizo, did you see my dumpling?"

    And Jizo said:

    "Yes, I saw your dumpling go by a little while ago. But you
    must not run any farther, because there is a wicked Oni down
    there, who eats people."

    But she only laughed, and ran on, still crying out: "My
    dumpling, my dumpling! Where is that dumpling of mine?" And
    she came to a third Jizo, and asked it:

    "O dear Lord Jizo, did you see my dumpling?"

    But Jizo said:

    "Don't talk about your dumpling now. Here is the Oni coming.
    Squat down here behind my sleeve, and don't make any noise."

    Presently the Oni came very close, and stopped and bowed to
    Jizo, and said:

    "Good-day, Jizo San!"

    Jizo said good-day, too, very politely.

    Then the Oni suddenly snuffed the air two or three times in
    a suspicious way, and cried out: "Jizo San, Jizo San! I
    smell a smell of mankind somewhere--don't you?"

    "Oh!" said Jizo, "perhaps you are mistaken."

    "No, no!" said the Oni, after snuffing the air again, "I
    smell a smell of mankind."

    Then the old woman could not help laughing, "Te-he-he!"--and
    the Oni immediately reached down his big hairy hand behind
    Jizo's sleeve, and pulled her out,--still laughing,

    "Ah! ha!" cried the Oni.

    Then Jizo said:

    "What are you going to do with that good old woman? You must
    not hurt her."

    "I won't," said the Oni. "But I will take her home with me
    to cook for us."

    "Very well," said Jizo; "but you must really be kind to her.
    If you are not I shall be very angry."

    "I won't hurt her at all," promised the Oni; "and she will
    only have to do a little work for us every day. Good-bye,
    Jizo San."

    Then the Oni took the old woman far down the road, till they
    came to a wide deep river, where there was a boat, and took
    her across the river to his house. It was a very large
    house. He led her at once into the kitchen, and told her to
    cook some dinner for himself and the other Oni who lived
    with him. And he gave her a small wooden rice-paddle, and

    "You must always put only one grain of rice into the pot,
    and when you stir that one grain of rice in the water with
    this paddle, the grain will multiply until the pot is full."

    So the old woman put just one rice-grain into the pot, as
    the Oni told her, and began to stir it with the paddle; and,
    as she stirred, the one grain became two,--then four,--then
    eight,--then sixteen,--thirty-two, sixty-four, and so on.
    Every time she moved the paddle the rice increased in
    quantity; and in a few minutes the great pot was full.

    After that, the funny old woman stayed a long time in the
    house of the Oni, and every day cooked food for him and for
    all his friends. The Oni never hurt or frightened her, and
    her work was made quite easy by the magic paddle--although
    she had to cook a very, very great quantity of rice, because
    an Oni eats much more than any human being eats.

    But she felt lonely, and always wished very much to go back
    to her own little house, and make her dumplings. And one
    day, when the Oni were all out somewhere, she thought she
    would try to run away.

    She first took the magic paddle, and slipped it under her
    girdle; and then she went down to the river. No one saw her;
    and the boat was there. She got into it, and pushed off; and
    as she could row very well, she was soon far away from the

    But the river was very wide; and she had not rowed more than
    one-fourth of the way across, when the Oni, all of them,
    came back to the house.

    They found that their cook was gone, and the magic paddle
    too. They ran down to the river at once, and saw the old
    woman rowing away very fast.

    Perhaps they could not swim: at all events they had no boat;
    and they thought the only way they could catch the funny old
    woman would be to drink up all the water of the river before
    she got to the other bank. So they knelt down, and began to
    drink so fast that before the old woman was half way over,
    the water had become quite low.

    But the old woman kept on rowing until the water had got so
    shallow that the Oni stopped drinking, and began to wade
    across. Then she dropped her oar, took the magic paddle from
    her girdle, and shook it at the Oni, and made such funny
    faces that the Oni all burst out laughing.

    But the moment they laughed, they could not help throwing up
    all the water they had drunk, and so the river became full
    again. The Oni could not cross; and the funny old woman got
    safely over to the other side, and ran away up the road as
    fast as she could.

    She never stopped running until she found herself at home
    again. After that she was very happy; for she could make
    dumplings whenever she pleased. Besides, she had the magic
    paddle to make rice for her. She sold her dumplings to her
    neighbours and passengers, and in quite a short time she
    became rich.

                         THE BOY WHO DREW CATS

    A long, long time ago, in a small country-village in Japan,
    there lived a poor farmer and his wife, who were very good
    people. They had a number of children, and found it very
    hard to feed them all. The elder son was strong enough when
    only fourteen years old to help his father; and the little
    girls learned to help their mother almost as soon as they
    could walk.

    But the youngest child, a little boy, did not seem to be fit
    for hard work. He was very clever,--cleverer than all his
    brothers and sisters; but he was quite weak and small, and
    people said he could never grow very big. So his parents
    thought it would be better for him to become a priest than
    to become a farmer. They took him with them to the
    village-temple one day, and asked the good old priest who
    lived there, if he would have their little boy for his
    acolyte, and teach him all that a priest ought to know.

    The old man spoke kindly to the lad, and asked him some hard
    questions. So clever were the answers that the priest agreed
    to take the little fellow into the temple as an acolyte, and
    to educate him for the priesthood.

    The boy learned quickly what the old priest taught him, and
    was very obedient in most things. But he had one fault. He
    liked to draw cats during study-hours, and to draw cats even
    when cats ought not to have been drawn at all.

    Whenever he found himself alone, he drew cats. He drew them
    on the margins of the priest's books, and on all the screens
    of the temple, and on the walls, and on the pillars. Several
    times the priest told him this was not right; but he did not
    stop drawing cats. He drew them because he could not really
    help it. He had what is called "the genius of an artist,"
    and just for that reason he was not quite fit to be an
    acolyte;--a good acolyte should study books.

    One day after he had drawn some very clever pictures of cats
    upon a paper screen, the old priest said to him severely:
    "My boy, you must go away from this temple at once. You will
    never make a good priest, but perhaps you will become a
    great artist. Now let me give you a last piece of advice,
    and be sure you never forget it: 'Avoid large places at
    night;--keep to small.'"

    The boy did not know what the priest meant by saying, "Avoid
    large places,--keep to small." He thought and thought, while
    he was tying up his little bundle of clothes to go away; but
    he could not understand those words, and he was afraid to
    speak to the priest any more, except to say good-bye.

    He left the temple very sorrowfully, and began to wonder
    what he should do. If he went straight home, he felt sure
    his father would punish him for having been disobedient to
    the priest: so he was afraid to go home. All at once he
    remembered that at the next village, twelve miles away,
    there was a very big temple. He had heard there were several
    priests at that temple; and he made up his mind to go to
    them and ask them to take him for their acolyte.

    Now that big temple was closed up, but the boy did not know
    this fact. The reason it had been closed up was that a
    goblin had frightened the priests away, and had taken
    possession of the place. Some brave warriors had afterwards
    gone to the temple at night to kill the goblin; but they had
    never been seen alive again. Nobody had ever told these
    things to the boy; so he walked all the way to the village,
    hoping to be kindly treated by the priests.

    When he got to the village, it was already dark, and all the
    people were in bed; but he saw the big temple on a hill at
    the other end of the principal street, and he saw there was
    a light in the temple. People who tell the story say the
    goblin used to make that light, in order to tempt lonely
    travellers to ask for shelter. The boy went at once to the
    temple, and knocked. There was no sound inside. He knocked
    and knocked again; but still nobody came. At last he pushed
    gently at the door, and was quite glad to find that it had
    not been fastened. So he went in, and saw a lamp
    burning,--but no priest.

    He thought some priest would be sure to come very soon, and
    he sat down and waited. Then he noticed that everything in
    the temple was grey with dust, and thickly spun over with
    cobwebs. So he thought to himself that the priests would
    certainly like to have an acolyte, to keep the place clean.
    He wondered why they had allowed everything to get so dusty.
    What most pleased him, however, were some big white screens,
    good to paint cats upon. Though he was tired, he looked at
    once for a writing-box, and found one, ground some ink, and
    began to paint cats.

    He painted a great many cats upon the screens; and then he
    began to feel very, very sleepy. He was just on the point of
    lying down to sleep beside one of the screens, when he
    suddenly remembered the words: "Avoid large places;--keep to

    The temple was very large; he was all alone; and as he
    thought of these words--though he could not quite understand
    them--he began to feel for the first time a little afraid;
    and he resolved to look for a small place in which to sleep.
    He found a little cabinet, with a sliding door, and went
    into it, and shut himself up. Then he lay down and fell fast

    Very late in the night he was awakened by a most terrible
    noise,--a noise of fighting and screaming. It was so
    dreadful that he was afraid even to look through a chink of
    the little cabinet: he lay very still, holding his breath
    for fright.

    The light that had been in the temple went out; but the
    awful sounds continued, and became more awful, and all the
    temple shook. After a long time silence came; but the boy
    was still afraid to move. He did not move until the light of
    the morning sun shone into the cabinet through the chinks of
    the little door.

    Then he got out of his hiding-place very cautiously, and
    looked about. The first thing he saw, lying dead in the
    middle of it, an enormous monster rat,--a
    goblin-rat,--bigger than a cow!

    But who or what could have killed it? There was no man or
    other creature to be seen. Suddenly the boy observed that
    the mouths of all the cats he had drawn the night before,
    were red and wet with blood. Then he knew that the goblin
    had been killed by the cats which he had drawn. And then,
    also, for the first time, he understood why the wise old
    priest had said to him: "Avoid large places at night;--keep
    to small."

    Afterwards that boy became a very famous artist. Some of the
    cats which he drew are still shown to travellers in Japan.

At once upon reaching Japan (it is plain Hearn never forgave me for
compelling him to go) begin the complaints of the downright hard work of
writing, consequent upon the loss of ideals. He breaks with
publishers--an old-time story; he is losing his inspiration, and his
only hope is that it will return to him again; in any Latin country he
could at once, he thinks, get back the much coveted "thrill," or
_frisson_. He would at last even relish the hated United States. From
the beginning he tires of the Japanese character, and grows more and
more tired the longer he stays; it has no depth, this thin soul-stream;
it is incapable of long-sustained effort, prolonged study; he cannot
much longer endure Japanese officialism; and the official "is something
a good deal lower than a savage and meaner than the straight-out Western
rough." He would wish never to write a line again about any Japanese
subjects. Things finally came to such a pass that the only successful
stimulus to work was that some one should do or say something horribly
mean to him, and the force of the hurt could be measured in the months
or years of resultant labour. As none ever did a mean thing to him, one
may suspect that the psychology of his sudden enmities towards others
was that he must perforce _imagine_ that he had been "horribly" treated.

The old _Wanderlust_, never wholly absent, returns strongly upon him; in
less than a year he dreams of leaving Japan and his wife, and of
"wandering about awhile;" he projects "a syndicate" whereby he may go to
Java (rather than Manila, where the Jesuits were), or, "a French
colony,--Tonkin, Noumea, or Pondicherry." A tropical trip is planned for
six months of every year. But the "butterfly-lives" dependent upon him
prevent, of course. He always spoke of returning often. At the last
there is a savage growl that after thirteen years of work for Japan, in
which he had sacrificed everything for her, he was "driven out of the
service and practically banished from the country."

Hearn's nostalgia for the nowhere or the anywhere was only conquered by
death. In 1898 the logic of his life, of his misfortune, and character,
begins to grow plainer, and he "fears being blinded or maimed so as to
prove of no further use." It seems that if he had been able to do what
he tried so often, and longed so fervently to do, he would have run away
into the known or unknown, leaving children, wife, and all the ties that
bound him to any orderly life. His vision had become almost useless; he
had lost his lectureship; more and more it grew impossible to coax or
force out of his mind such beautiful things as in younger days; the
Furies of his atheism, pessimism, and lovelessness were close on his
track; the hope of lectureships in the United States had
failed,--nothing was left, nothing except one thing, which, chosen or
not, came at the age of fifty-four.

Lessing has said that "Raphael would have been the great painter he was
even if he had been born without arms," and Burke has told of a poet
"blind from birth who nevertheless could describe visible objects with a
spirit and justness excelled by few men blessed with sight." What irony
of Fate it is that one almost blind should teach us non-users of our
eyes the wonder and glory of colour; that the irreligious one should
quicken our faith in the immaterial and unseen; that a sensualist should
strengthen our trust in the supersensual; that one whose body and life
were unbeautiful should sing such exquisite songs of silent beauty that
our straining ears can hardly catch the subtle and unearthly harmonies!
For Hearn is another of many splendid illustrations of the old truth
that a man's spirit may be more philosophic than his philosophy, more
scientific than his science, more religious than his creed, more divine
than his divinity.


THAT Hearn was a true poet none will deny, but it was one of the
frequent seeming illogicalities of his character that he had no love of
metric or rhymed poetry. I doubt if there is a single volume of such
poetry in his library, and I never heard him repeat a line or stanza,
and never knew him to read a page of what is called poetry. I suspect
the simple reason was that his necessities compelled him rigidly to
exclude everything from his world of thought which did not offer
materials for the remunerating public. He had to make a living, and
whence tomorrow's income should come was always a vital concern. Poetry
of the metric and rhymed sort does not make bread and butter; hence
there was no time to consider even the possibility of "cultivating the
muses on a little oatmeal."

Of poetry he once wrote:--"The mere ideas and melody of a poem seem to
me of small moment unless the complex laws of versification be strictly
obeyed." The dictum, considering its source, is exquisitely ludicrous;
for Hearn poetry could not be coined into dollars, even if he had had
the mind and heart to learn anything of "the complex laws of
versification." Elsewhere he excused his manifest utter ignorance of
poetry and want of poetic appreciation by saying that there is so little
really good poetry that it is easy to choose. He confessed his
detestation of Wordsworth, Shelley, and Keats, preferring Dobson,
Watson, and Lang. "Of Wordsworth--well, I should smile!" "Refined
poetry" he held of little or no value, but he found the "vulgar" songs
of coolies, fishermen, etc., very true and beautiful poetry. He vainly
tried to translate some of Gautier's poems. He attempted original
verse-making but a few times, and from my scrap-book I reproduce one of
the results, kindly furnished me by Mr. Alexander Hill, of Cincinnati,
to whom it was given by Mr. Tunison. Perhaps it was printed in _Forest
and Stream_.

                           A CREOLE BOAT SONG

    Hot shines the sun o'er the quivering land,
      No wind comes up from the sea,
    Silent and stark the pine woods stand,
      And the mock-bird sleeps in the Mayhaw tree,
        Where, overhung with brier and vine,
        The placid waters slip and shine
        And dimple to thy lover's view--
        La belle rivière de Calcasieu.

    Under the bending cypress trees,
      Bedecked with pendulous cool grey moss
    That woos in vain the recreant breeze
      And silently mourns its loss.
        With drowsy eye, in my little boat
        I dreamily lie, and lazily float
        Lulled by the thrush's soft Te-rue--
        On La belle rivière de Calcasieu.

    A heron stands, like a ghost in grey,
      Knee-deep 'mongst the bending water lilies,
    And yellow butterflies lightly play
      'Midst the blooms of fragrant amaryllis;
        The swift kingfisher winds his reel,
        Saying his grace for his noonday meal,
        And a hawk soars up to the welkin blue
        O'er La belle rivière de Calcasieu.

    Across the point, where the ferry plies,
      I hear the click of the boatman's oar,
    And his Creole song, with its quavering rise
      Re-echoes soft from shore to shore;
        And this is the rhyme that he idly sings
        As his boat at anchor lazily swings,
        For the day is hot, and passers few
        On La belle rivière de Calcasieu.

    "I ain't got time for make merry, me
      I ain't got time for make merry;
    My lill' gall waitin' at de River of Death
      To meet her ole dad at de ferry.
        She gwine be dere wid de smile on her face,
        Like the night she died, when all de place
        Was lit by the moonbeams shiverin' troo
        La belle rivière de Calcasieu.

    "O sing dat song! O sing dat song!
      I ain't got time for make merry!
    De angel come 'fore berry long,
      And carr' me o'er de ferry!
        He come wid de whirlwind in de night--
        He come wid de streak of de morning light--
        He find me ready--yass, dass true--
        By La belle rivière de Calcasieu.

    "Den who got time for make merry, eh?
      Den who got time for make merry?
    De fire burn up de light 'ood tree,
      De bird eat up de berry.
        Long time ago I make Voudoo,
        An' I dance Calinda strong and true,
        But de Lord he pierce me troo and troo
        On La belle rivière de Calcasieu."

In the Watkin letters, Hearn transcribes a poem of six stanzas written
by himself for the decoration of the soldiers' graves at Chalmette
Cemetery in 1878.

Far more successful, for obvious reasons, was an attempt at echoing a
bit of Eastern fancy. A strange, gruesome, Oriental being had caught his
eye at New Orleans, who translated for him some characteristic Eastern
verses. Hearn thus rendered them in English:[16]

    [16] From Hearn's manuscript copy through the kindness again of
         Mr. Tunison and Mr. Hill.

                                THE RUSE

                         From _Amaron Satacum_

    Late at night the lover returns unlooked-for,
    Full of longing, after that cruel absence;--
    Finds his darling by her women surrounded;
                  Enters among them:--

    Only sees his beautiful one, his idol,
    Speaks no word, but watches her face in silence,
    Looks with eyes of thirst and with lips of fever
                  Burning for kisses.

    Late it is; and, nevertheless, the women,
    Still remaining, weary his ears with laughter,
    Prattling folly, tantalizing his longing--
                  Teasing his patience.

    Love weaves ruse in answer to gaze beseeching;--
    Shrill she screams: "O heaven!--What insect stings so!"
    And with sudden waft of her robe outshaken,
                  Blows the vile light out.

I find the following verses in his scrap-book of the New Orleans

    [17] Dated July 11, 1885.

                               THE MUMMY

                  (After the French of Louis Bouilhet)

    Startled,--as by some far faint din
      Of azure-lighted worlds, from sleep,
    The Mummy, trembling, wakes within
      The hypogeum's blackest deep,--

    And murmurs low, with slow sad voice:
      "Oh! to be dead and still endure!--
    Well may the quivering flesh rejoice
      That feels the vulture's gripe impure!

    "Seeking to enter this night of death,
      Each element knocks at my granite door:--
    'We are Earth and Fire and Air,--the breath
      Of Winds,--the Spirits of sea and shore.

    "'Into the azure, out of the gloom,
      Rise!--let thine atoms in light disperse!--
    Blend with the date-palm's emerald plume!--
      Scatter thyself through the universe!

    "'We shall bear thee far over waste and wold:
      Thou shalt be lulled to joyous sleep
    By leaves that whisper in light of gold,
      By murmur of fountains cool and deep.

    "'Come!--perchance from thy dungeon dark
      Infinite Nature may wish to gain
    For the godlike Sun another spark,
      Another drop for the diamond rain.'

                   *       *       *       *       *

    "Woe! mine is death eternal! ... and
      I feel Them come, as I lie alone,--
    The Centuries, heavy as drifted sand
      Heaping above my bed of stone!

    "O be accursed, ye impious race!--
      Caging the creature that seeks to soar;
    Preserving agony's weird grimace,
      In hideous vanity, evermore!"

                   *       *       *       *       *

    Aux bruits lointains ouvrant l'oreille,
      Jalouse encor du ciel d'azur,
    La momie en tremblant s'éveille
      Au fond de l'hypogée obscur.

    Oh, dit-elle, de sa voix lente,
      Etre mort, et durer toujours.
    Heureuse la chaire pantelante
      Sous l'ongle courbé des vautours.

    Pour plonger dans ma nuit profonde
      Chaque element frappe en ce lieu.
    --Nous sommes L'air! nous sommes l'onde!
      Nous sommes la terre et le feu!

    Viens avec nous, le steppe aride
      Veut son panache d'arbres verts,
    Viens sous l'azur du ciel splendide,
      T'éparpiller dans l'univers.

    Nous t'emporterons par les plaines
      Nous te bercerons à la fois
    Dans le murmure des fontaines
      Et la bruissement des bois.

    Viens. La nature universelle
      Cherche peut-être en ce tombeau
    Pour de soleil une étincelle!
      Pour la mer une goutte d'eau!

                   *       *       *       *       *

    Et dans ma tombe impérissable
      Je sens venir avec affroi
    Les siècles lourds comme du sable
      Qui s'amoncelle autour de moi.

    Ah! sois maudite, race impie,
      Qui le l'être arrêtant l'essor
    Gardes ta laideur assoupie
      Dans la vanité de la mort.

In one of Hearn's letters to the Cincinnati _Commercial_, written soon
after his arrival in New Orleans, he writes:

    Here is a specimen closely akin to the Creole of the
    Antilles. It is said to be an old negro love-song, and I
    think there is a peculiar weird beauty in several of its
    stanzas. I feel much inclined to doubt whether it was
    composed by a negro, but the question of its authorship
    cannot affect its value as a curiosity, and, in any case,
    its spirit is thoroughly African. Unfortunately, without
    accented letters it is impossible to convey any idea of the
    melody, the liquid softness, the languor, of some of the
    couplets. My translation is a little free in parts.


    Dipi me vouer toue, Adèle,
      Ape danse calinda,
    Mo reste pour toue fidèle,
      Liberte a moin caba.
    Mo pas soussi d'autt negresses,
      Mo pas gagnin coeur pour yo;
    Yo gagnin beaucoup finesses;
      Yo semble serpent Congo.


    Mo aime toue trop, ma belle,
      Mo pas capab resiste;
    Coeur a moin tout comme sauterelle,
      Li fait ne qu'appe saute.
    Mo jamin contre gnoun femme
      Qui gagnin belle taille comme toue;
    Jie a ton jete la flamme;
      Corps a toue enchene moue.


    To tant comme serpent sonnette
      Qui connin charme zozo,
    Qui gagnin bouche a li prette
      Pour servi comme gnoun tombo.

    Mo jamin voue gnoun negresse
      Qui connin marche comme toue,
    Qui gagnin gnoun si belle gesse;
      Corps a toue ce gnoun poupe.


    Quand mo pas vouer toue, Adèle,
      Mo sentt m'ane mourri,
    Mo vini com' gnoun chandelle
      Qui ape alle fini:
    Mo pas vouer rien sur la terre
      Qui capab moin fait plaisi;
    Mo capab dans la rivière
      Jete moin pour pas souffri.


    Dis moin si to gagnin n'homme;
      Mo va fals ouanga pour li;
    Mo fais li tourne fantome,
      Si to vle moin pour mari.
    Mo pas le in jour toue boudeuse;
      L'autt femme, pour moin ce fatras;
    Mo va rende toue bien heureuse;
      Mo va baill' toue bell' madras.



    Since first I beheld you, Adèle,
    While dancing the _calinda_,
    I have remained faithful to the thought of you:
    My freedom has departed from me.
    I care no longer for all other negresses;
    I have no heart left for them:
    You have such grace and cunning:
    You are like the Congo serpent.


    I love you too much, my beautiful one:
    I am not able to help it.
    My heart has become just like a grasshopper,
    It does nothing but leap.
    I have never met any woman
    Who has so beautiful a form as yours.
    Your eyes flash flame;
    Your body has enchained me captive.


    Ah, you are so like the serpent-of-the-rattles
    Who knows how to charm the little bird,
    And who has a mouth ever ready for it
    To serve it for a tomb!
    I have never known any negress
    Who could walk with such grace as you can,
    Or who could make such beautiful gestures:
    Your body is a beautiful doll.


    When I cannot see you, Adèle,
    I feel myself ready to die;
    My life becomes like a candle
    Which has almost burned itself out.
    I cannot, then, find anything in the world,
    Which is able to give me pleasure;--
    I could well go down to the river
    And throw myself in it that I might cease to suffer.


    Tell me if you have a man;
    And I will make an _ouanga_ charm for him;
    I will make him turn into a phantom,
    If you will only take me for your husband.
    I will not go to see you when you are cross;
    Other women are mere trash to me;
    I will make you very happy,
    And I will give you a beautiful Madras handkerchief.

I think there is some true poetry in these allusions to the snake. Is
not the serpent a symbol of grace? Is not the so-called "line of beauty"
serpentine? And is there not something of the serpent in the beauty of
all graceful women?--something of undulating shapeliness, something of
silent fascination?--something of Lilith and Lamia? The French have a
beautiful verb expressive of this idea, _serpenter_, "to serpent"--to
curve in changing undulations like a lithe snake. The French artist
speaks of the outlines of a beautiful human body as "serpenting,"
curving and winding like a serpent. Do you not like the word? I think it
is so expressive of flowing lines of elegance--so full of that mystery
of grace which puzzled Solomon; "the way of a serpent upon a rock."

The allusion to Voudooism in the last stanza especially interested me,
and I questioned the gentleman who furnished me with the song as to the
significance of the words: "I will make him turn into a phantom." I had
fancied that the term _fantome_ might be interpreted by "ghost," and
that the whole line simply constituted a threat to make some one "give
up the ghost."

"It is not exactly that," replied my friend; "it is an allusion, I
believe, to the withering and wasting power of Voudoo poisons. There are
such poisons actually in use among the negro obi-men--poisons which defy
analysis, and, mysterious as the poisons of the Borgias, slowly consume
the victims like a taper. He wastes away as though being dried up; he
becomes almost mummified; he wanes like a shadow; he turns into a
phantom in the same sense that a phantom is an unreal mockery of
something real."

Thus I found an intelligent Louisianan zealous to confirm an opinion to
which I was permitted to give expression in the _Commercial_ nearly
three years ago--that a knowledge of secret septic poisons (probably of
an animal character), which leave no trace discoverable by the most
skilful chemists, is actually possessed by certain beings who are
reverenced as sorcerers by the negroes of the West Indies and the
Southern States, but more especially of the West Indies, where much of
African fetichism has been transplanted.

                                                    OZIAS MIDWINTER.


THE dependence not only of the literary character and workmanship of a
writer, but even his innermost psyche, upon vision, normal or abnormal,
is a truth which has been dimly and falteringly felt by several writers.
Concerning "Madame Bovary," and his friend Flaubert, Maxime du Camp
reflects some glintings of the truth. But these and others, lacking the
requisite expert definiteness of knowledge, have failed to catch the
satisfying and clear point of view. To illustrate I may quote the
paragraph of du Camp:

"The literary procedure of Flaubert threw everybody off the track and
even some of the experts. But it was a very simple matter; it was by the
accumulation and the superposition of details that he arrived at power.
It is the physiologic method, the method of the myopes who look at
things one after the other, very exactly, and then describe them
successively. The literature of imagination may be divided into two
distinct schools, that of the myopes and that of the hyperopes. The
myopes see minutely, study every line, finding each detail of importance
because everything appears to them in isolation; about them is a sort of
cloud in which is detached the object in exaggerated proportions. They
have, as it were, a microscope in their eye which enlarges everything.
The description of Venice from the Campanile of St. Mark, that of
Destitution in 'Captain Fracasse,' by Gautier are the capital results of
myopic vision. The hyperopes, on the other hand, look at the _ensemble_,
in which the details are lost, and form a kind of general harmony. The
detail loses all significance, except perhaps they seek to bring it into
relief as a work of art.... Besides, the myopes seek to portray
sensations, while the hyperopes especially aim at analysis of the
sentiments. If a hyperopic writer suddenly becomes myopic, his manner of
thinking, and consequently of writing, at once is modified. What I call
the school of the myopes, Gautier names the school of the rabids. He
said to Mérimée: 'Your characters have no muscles,' and Mérimée
answered, 'Yours have no draperies.'"

But there is one consequence, common both to Flaubert and to Hearn, a
most strange unity of result flowing from a seemingly opposed but really
identical cause in the two men. I have elsewhere set forth the reasons
for my belief that the secret of Flaubert's life, character, and
literary art consisted in an inability to think and write at the same
time. He was one of the most healthy and brilliant of men when he did
not read or write, but his mind refused to act creatively whenever he
wrote or read. From this resulted his epilepsy. Fathered by the fear of
this disease, mothered by opium, and reared by unhygiene and eye-strain,
came the miserable "St. Anthony" of the second remaking. In the failure
of this pitiful work there was naught left except bottomless pessimism,
the "cadenced phrase," and all the rest, called "Madame Bovary" and "art
for art's sake."

There never was a greater sufferer from eye-strain than Flaubert, whose
eyes were strikingly beautiful, and seemingly of extraordinary
perfection as optical instruments. From this fact flowed the entire
tragedy of the man's life and of his life-work. His friend du Camp says
that had it not been for his disease he would have been, not a writer of
great talent, but a man of genius. Hearn had the most defective
eyesight, he was indeed nearly blind; but physically he suffered little
from this cause,--and yet his choice of subjects and methods of literary
workmanship, and every line he wrote, were dictated and ruled by his
defect of vision. Opium, with the impossibility of writing and creating
at the same time, dominated Flaubert's work and working, and the similar
result was begot by Hearn's enormous monocular myopia.

From Martinique, before I had met him, Hearn wrote me:

    I am very near-sighted, have lost one eye, which disfigures
    me considerably; and my near-sightedness always prevented
    the gratification of a natural _penchant_ for physical
    exercise. I am a good swimmer, that is all.

    In reply to nearly all the questions about my
    near-sightedness I might answer, "Yes." I had the best
    advice in London, and observe all the rules you suggest.
    Glasses strain the eye too much--part of retina is gone. The
    other eye was destroyed by a blow at college; or, rather, by
    inflammation consequent upon the blow. I can tell you more
    about myself when I see you, but the result will be more
    curious than pleasing. Myopia is not aggravating.

In "Shadowings," the chapter on "Nightmare-Touch," Hearn describes with
his gift of the living word the dreams and hauntings he endured when as
a boy he was shut in his room in the dark. It is a pitiful history, and
shows how a child may suffer atrociously from the combination of an
abnormally exuberant fancy and eye-strain, probably with added ocular
disease. The subjective sensations and images were alive and Hearn's
innate tendency to the horrible and hideous gave them the most awful of
nightmarish realities.

I have already given (facing page 5) a copy of a little photograph of
Hearn at about the age of eight, standing by Mrs. Brenane. It will be
seen that the right eyeball was at this time about as large and
protruding as in later life. This leaves a doubt whether the destruction
of the left was due to the blow at college at the age of sixteen. In one
of my letters he uses the word "scrofulous" in alluding to himself.

It was not only during the last years of his life, that, as he says, "it
was now largely a question of eyes." It was always the most important of
all questions; first, physically and financially, because all hung upon
his ability to write many hours a day. How his little of visual power
was preserved under the work done is a marvel of physiology. So
unconscious was Hearn of the influence of eye-strain in ruining the
health of others (he himself had no eye-strain in the ordinary meaning
of the term) that he wonders why the hard students about him were
inexplainably dying, going mad, getting sick, and giving up their
studies. This is hardly to be considered a fault of Hearn when educators
and physicians and oculists the world over, never suspect the reason.

Moved by sympathy, and perhaps by the vaguest feeling that to Hearn's
poor vision were due, in part at least, both his personal and literary
characteristics, I early besought him to make use of scientific optical
helps in order to see the world better, and to carry on his writing with
greater ease, and with less danger to the little vision left him. He had
but one eye, which was evidently enormously nearsighted. The other had
been lost in youth. I found that he had about 25 diopters of myopia, to
use the jargon of the oculist, and that consequently he knew little
about the appearance of objects even a few feet away. In writing he was
compelled to place the paper or pen-point about three inches from his
eye. With the proper lens it was possible to give him vision of distant
objects about one-fourth as clear as that of normal eyes. For a minute
my disappointment was equal to my surprise when I found that he did not
wish to see with even this wretched indistinctness, and that he would
not think of using spectacles or eyeglasses. Later I found the reason
for his action. He sometimes carried a little lens or monocle in his
pocket, which somewhat bettered his vision, but in the several months he
spent with me I saw him use it only once or twice, and then merely for
an instant. I am almost sure that the reason for this preference for a
world almost unseen, or seen only in colours, while form and outline
were almost unknown, was never conscious with Hearn, although his mind
was alert in detecting such psychologic solutions in others. In studying
his writings, this reason finally has become clear to me.

When one chooses an artistic calling, Fate usually, and to the artist
unconsciously, dictates the kind of art-work and the method of carrying
it to realization. The blind do not choose to be painters, but
musicians; the deaf do not think of music, though nothing prevents them
from being good painters. The dumb would hardly become orators or
singers, but they might easily be sculptors, or painters, or designers.
It is as evident that the poet is largely a visualizer, if one may so
designate this psychic function, and without sight of the world of
reality and beauty, poetry will inevitably lack the charm of the real
and the lovely. Every great writer, in truth, shows more or less clearly
that the spring and secret of his imagination lie preponderantly in the
exceptional endowment, training, or sensitiveness of one of the
principal senses of sight, hearing, or touch. A thousand quotations
might be made from each of a dozen great writers to prove the thesis.
The man born blind, however, cannot become a poet, because true poetry
must be conditioned upon things seen--"simple, sensuous, and passionate"
demands the great critic; but interwoven and underrunning the
simplicity, the passion, and the sense, is and must be the world as
mirrored by the eye. All thinking, all intellectual activity, is by no
means of the image and the picture; all words are the product of the
imagining, and the very letters of the alphabet are conventionalized

Physiologically, or normally, the perfection of the artist and of his
workmanship thus depends upon the all-round perfection of his senses,
the fulness of the materials and of his experience which these work on
and in, and the logical and æsthetic rightness of systematization.
Conversely, a new pathology of genius is coming into view which shows
the morbidizing of art and literature through disease, chiefly of the
sense-organs of the artist and literary workman, but also by unnatural
living, selfishness, sin, and the rest. As Hearn was probably the most
myopic literary man that has existed, his own thoughts upon _The
Artistic_ _Value of Myopia_ are of peculiar interest. In 1887 one of
his editorials in the _Times-Democrat_ runs as follows:--

    Probably more than one reader, on coming to page 15 of
    Philip Gilbert Hamerton's delightful book, "Landscape," was
    startled by the author's irrefutable statement that "the
    possession of very good eyesight may be a hindrance to
    those feelings of sublimity that exalt the poetic
    imagination." The fact is, that the impressiveness of
    natural scenery depends a great deal upon the apparent
    predominance of _mass_ over _detail_, to borrow Mr.
    Hamerton's own words; the more visible the details of a
    large object,--a mountain, a tower, a forest wall, the less
    grand and impressive that object. The more apparently
    uniform the mass, the larger it seems to loom; the vaguer a
    shadow-space, the deeper it appears. An impression of
    weirdness,--such as that obtainable in a Louisiana or
    Florida swamp-forest, or, much more, in those primeval and
    impenetrable forest-deeps described so powerfully by
    Humbolt,--is stronger in proportion to the spectator's
    indifference to lesser detail. The real effect of the scene
    must be a _general_ one to be understood. In painting, the
    artist does not attempt miscroscopic _minutiæ_ in treating
    forest-forms; he simply attempts to render the effect of
    the masses, with their characteristic generalities of
    shadow and colour. It is for this reason the photograph can
    never supplant the painting--not even when the art of
    photographing natural colours shall have been discovered.
    Mr. Hamerton cites the example of a mountain, which always
    seems more imposing when wreathed in mists or half veiled
    by clouds, than when cutting sharply against the horizon
    with a strong light upon it. Half the secret of Doré's
    power as an illustrator was his exaggerated perception of
    this fact,--his comprehension of the artistic witchcraft of
    _suggestion_. And since the perception of details depends
    vastly upon the quality of eyesight, a landscape
    necessarily suggests less to the keen-sighted man than to
    the myope. The keener the view, the less depth in the
    impression produced. There is no possibility of mysterious
    attraction in wooded deeps or mountain recesses for the eye
    that, like the eye of the hawk, pierces shadow and can note
    the separate quiver of each leaf. Far-seeing persons can,
    to a certain degree, comprehend this by recalling the
    impressions given in twilight by certain unfamiliar, or by
    even familiar objects,--such as furniture and clothing in a
    half-lighted room. The suggestiveness of form vanishes
    immediately upon the making of a strong light. Again,
    attractive objects viewed vaguely through a morning or
    evening haze, or at a great distance, often totally lose
    artistic character when a telescope is directed upon them.

    In the February number of _Harper's Magazine_ we find a very
    clever and amusing poem by the scholarly Andrew Lang upon
    this very theme. The writer, after describing the
    christening-gifts of various kindly fairies, tells us that
    the wicked one--

              --Said: "I shall be avenged on you.
            My child, you shall grow up nearsighted!"
              With magic juices did she lave
            Mine eyes, and wrought her wicked pleasure.
              Well, of all the gifts the Fairies gave,
            _Her's_ is the present that I treasure!

            The bore, whom others fear and flee,
              I do not fear, I do not flee him;
            I pass him calm as calm can be;
              I do not cut--I do not see him!
            And with my feeble eyes and dim,
              Where _you_ see patchy fields and fences,
            For me the mists of Turner swim--
              _My_ "azure distance" soon commences!
            Nay, as I blink about the streets
             Of this befogged and miry city,
            Why, almost every girl one meets
              Seems preternaturally pretty!
            "Try spectacles," one's friends intone;
              "You'll see the world correctly through them."
            But I have visions of my own
              And not for worlds would I undo them!

    This is quite witty and quite consoling to myopes, even as a
    cynical development of Philip Gilbert Hamerton's artistic
    philosophy. Still, it does not follow that the myope
    necessarily possesses the poetic faculty or
    feeling;--neither does it imply that the presbyope
    necessarily lacks it. If among French writers, for example,
    Gautier was notably nearsighted, Victor Hugo had an eye as
    keen as a bird's. It is true that a knowledge of the effect
    of shortsightedness on the imagination may be of benefit to
    a nearsighted man, who, possessing artistic qualities, can
    learn to take all possible advantage of his myopia,--to
    utilize his physical disability to a good purpose; but the
    longsighted artist need not be at a loss to find equally
    powerful sources of inspiration--he can seek them in morning
    mists, evening fogs, or those wonderful hazes of summer
    afternoons, when the land sends up all its vapours to the
    sun, like a smoke of gold. Beaudelaire, in his _Curiosités
    Esthétiques_, made an attempt to prove that the greatest
    schools of painting were evolved among hazy
    surroundings--Dutch fogs, Venetian mists, and the vapours of
    Italian marsh-lands.

    The evolutionary tendency would seem to indicate for future
    man a keener vision than he at present possesses; and a
    finer perception of colour--for while there may be certain
    small emotional advantages connected with myopia, it is a
    serious hindrance in practical life. What effect keener
    sight will have on the artistic powers of the future man,
    can only be imagined--but an increasing tendency to realism
    in art is certainly perceptible; and perhaps an interesting
    chapter could be written upon the possible results to art of
    perfected optical instruments. The subject also suggests
    another idea,--that the total inability of a certain class
    of highly educated persons to feel interest in a certain
    kind of art production may be partly accounted for by the
    possession of such keen visual perception as necessarily
    suppresses the sensation of breadth of effect, either in
    landscape or verbal description.

Thus, according to Flaubert, the myope looks at things one after another
and describes details, while Hearn says the exact opposite. Both are
wrong. The oculist will feel constrained to differ somewhat from Hearn
in the foregoing article.

In May 1887 he reviews editorially an article of my own which I had sent
him during the preceding year. Again, because there has never been a
literary artist with a colour-sense so amazingly developed as that of
Hearn, I venture to copy his commendation of my views:

                          COLOURS AND EMOTIONS

                             (May 8, 1887)

    The evolutionary history of the Colour-Sense, very prettily
    treated of by Grant Allen and others, both in regard to the
    relation between fertilization of flowers by insects, and
    in regard to the æsthetic pleasure of man in contemplating
    certain colours, has also been considered in a very
    thorough way by American thinkers. Perhaps the most
    entertaining and instructive paper yet published on the
    subject was one in the _American Journal of Ophthalmology_
    last September. It has just been reprinted in pamphlet
    form, under the title of "The Human Colour-Sense as the
    Organic Response to Natural Stimuli;" and contains a
    remarkable amplification of these theories, rather
    suggested than laid down by the author of "Physiological
    Æsthetics." Of course, the reader whom the subject can
    interest, comprehends that outside of the mind no such
    thing as colour exists; and that the phenomena of colours,
    like those of sound, are simply the results of exterior
    impressions upon nerve apparatus specially sensitive to
    vibrations--in the one case of ether, in the other of air.
    Everybody, moreover,--even those totally ignorant of the
    physiology of the eye--know that certain colours are called
    primary or elementary. But it has probably occurred to few
    to ask why,--except in regard to mixing of paints in a

    The theories of Gladstone and Magnus that the men of the
    Homeric era were colour-blind, because of the absence from
    the Homeric poems of certain words expressive of certain
    colours, have been disproved by more thorough modern
    research. The primitive man's sense of colour, or the
    sensitiveness of his retina to ether vibrations, may not
    have been as fine as that of the Roman mosaic-worker who
    could select his materials of 30,000 different tints, nor as
    that of Gobelin weavers, who can recognize 28,000 different
    shades of wool. But the evidence goes to show that the sense
    of colour is old as the gnawing of hunger or the pangs of
    fear,--old as the experience that taught living creatures to
    discern food and to flee from danger. There is, however,
    reason to suppose, from certain developmental phenomena
    observed in the eyes of children and newly-born animals,
    that the present condition of the colour-sense has been
    gradually reached--not so much in any particular species, as
    in all species possessing it,--just as vision itself must
    have been gradually acquired. Also showy colours must have
    been perceived before tints could be discerned; and even now
    we know through the spectroscope, that the human eye is not
    yet developed to the fullest possible perceptions of colour.
    Now the first colours recognized by the first eyes must have
    presumably been just those we call primary,--Yellow, Red,
    Green, Blue. Yellow, the colour of gold, is also the colour
    of our sun; the brightest daylight has a more or less faint
    tinge even at noon, according to the state of the
    atmosphere;--and this tinge deepens at sunrise and sunset.
    Red is the colour of blood,--a colour allied necessarily
    from time immemorial with violent mental impressions,
    whether of war, or love, or the chase, or religious
    sacrifice. Green itself is the colour of the world.
    Blue,--the blue of the far away sky,--has necessarily always
    been for man the colour mysterious and holy,--always
    associated with those high phenomena of heaven which first
    inspired wonder and fear of the Unknown. These colours were
    probably first known to intelligent life; and their
    impressions are to-day the strongest. So violent, indeed,
    have they become to our refined civilized sense, that in
    apparel or decoration three of them, at least, are
    condemned when offered pure. Even the armies of the world
    are abandoning red uniforms;--no refined people wear flaming
    crimsons or scarlets or yellows;--nobody would paint a house
    or decorate a wall with a solid sheet of strong primary
    colour. Blue is still the least violent, the most agreeable
    to the artistic sense; and in subdued form it holds a place,
    in costume and in art, refused to less spiritual colours.

    It might consequently be expected there should exist some
    correlation between the primary colours and the stronger
    emotional states of man. And such, indeed, proves to be the
    case. Emotionally the colours come in the order of Red,
    Yellow, Green, Blue. Red still appeals to the idea of
    Passion,--for which very reason its artistic use is being
    more and more restrained. Very curious are the researches
    made by Grant Allen showing the fact of the sensual use of
    the red. In Swinburne's "Poems and Ballads "(the same
    suppressed work republished in this country under its first
    title, "Laus Veneris"), the red epithets appear 159 times,
    while gold, green and blue words occur respectively 143, 86
    and 25 times. In Tennyson's beautiful poem, "The Princess,"
    the red words occur only 20 times, the gold 28, the green 5,
    the blue once. With all his exquisite sense of colour,
    Tennyson is sparing of adjectives;--there is no false skin
    to his work; it is solid muscle and bone.

    Next to Red, the most emotional colour is Yellow--the colour
    of life, and of what men seem to prize next to life,--Gold.
    We fancy we can live without green sometimes; it comes
    third; but it is the hue associated with all the labours of
    man on the earth, since he began to labour. It is the colour
    of Industry. Blue has always been, since man commenced to
    think, and always will be, until he shall have ceased to
    think,--associated with his spiritual sense,--his idea of
    many gods or of One,--his hopes of a second life, his faith,
    his good purposes, his perception of duty. Still, all who
    pray, turn up their faces toward the eternal azure. And with
    the modern expansion of the Idea of God, as with the modern
    expansion of the Idea of the Universe, the violet gulf of
    space ever seems more mystical,--its pure colour more and
    more divine, and appeals to us as the colour of the
    Unknowable,--the colour of the Holy of Holies.

That Hearn wrote not from his own experience, out of his own heart, and
with its blood, was due to the fact that life had denied him the needed
experience; the personal materials, those that would interest the
imaginative or imagining reader, did not exist. He must borrow, at
first literally, which for him meant translation or retelling. The kind
of things chosen was also dictated by the tragedy and pathos of his
entire past life. But as if this pitiful tangling of the strands of
Destiny were not enough, Fate added a knot of still more controlling
misfortune. His adult life was passed without the poet's most necessary
help of good vision. Indeed he had such extremely poor vision that one
might say it was only the merest fraction of the normal. A most hazy
blur of colours was all he perceived of objects beyond a foot or two
away. There was left for him the memory of a world of forms as seen in
his childhood; but that fact throws into relief the fact that it was a
memory. It needs little psychologic acumen to realize how inaccurate
would be our memories of trees, landscapes, mountains, oceans, cities,
and the rest, seen only thirty years ago. How unsatisfying, how
unreliable, especially for artistic purposes, must such memories be! To
be sure, these haunting and dim recollections were, or might have been,
helped out a little by pictures and photographs studied at the distance
of three inches from the eye. The pathos of this, however, is increased
by the fact that Hearn cared nothing for such photographs, etchings,
engravings, etc. I never saw him look at one with attention or interest.
Paintings, water-colours, etc., were as useless to him as the natural
views themselves.

Another way that he might have supplemented his infirmity was by means
of his monocle, but he made little use of this poor device, because he
instinctively recognized that it aided so meagrely. One cannot be sure
how consciously he refused the help, or knew the reasons for his
refusal. At best it could give him only a suggestion of the accurate
knowledge which our eyes give us of distant objects, and not even his
sensitive mind could know that it minimized the objects thus seen, and
almost turned them into a caricaturing microscopic smallness, like that
produced when we look through the large end of an opera-glass. What
would we think of the world if we carried before our eyes an opera-glass
thus inverted? Would not a second's such use be as foolish as continuous
use? There was an optical and sensible reason for his refusal. With the
subtle wisdom of the unconscious he refused to see plainly, because his
successful work, his unique function, lay in the requickening of ancient
sorrows, and of lost, aimless and errant souls. He supplemented the
deficiencies of vision with a vivid imagination, a perfect memory, and a
perfection of touch which gave some sense of solidity and content, and
by hearing, that echo-like emphasized unreality; but his world was
essentially a two-dimensional one. To add the _comble_ to his ocular
misfortunes, he had but one eye, and therefore he had no stereoscopic
vision, and hence almost no perception of solidity, thickness, or
content except such as was gained by the sense of touch, memory,
judgment, etc. The little glimpse of stereoscopic qualities was made
impossible by the fact of his enormous myopia, and further by the
comparative blindness to objects beyond a few inches or a few feet away
from the eye. The small ball becomes flat when brought sufficiently near
the eye. Practically the world beyond a few feet was not a
three-dimensional one; it was coloured it is true, and bewilderingly so,
but it was formless and flat, without much thickness or solidity, and
almost without perspective.[18] Moreover, Hearn's single eye was
divergent, and more of the world to his left side was invisible to him
than to other single-eyed persons. Most noteworthy also is another
fact,--the slowness of vision by a highly myopic eye. It takes it longer
to see what it finally does see than in the case of other eyes. So all
the movements of such a myopic person must be slow and careful, for he
is in doubt about everything under foot, or even within reach of the
hands. Hearn's myopia produced his manners.

    [18] I have gathered, but must omit, a hundred illuminating
         quotations from Hearn's writings, illustrating the truth of
         the formlessness and non-objectivity of his world, and how
         colour dominated his poorly seen universe.

Intellect, one must repeat, is largely, almost entirely, the product of
vision,--especially the æsthetic part of intellect. And intellect, it
should not be forgotten, is "desiccated emotion"; which brings us up
sharply before the question of the effect upon æsthetic and general
feeling, upon the soft swirl and lift and flitting rush of the emotional
nature, in a psyche so sensitive and aerial as that of Hearn. In this
rare ether one loses the significance of words, and the limitations of
logic, but it may not be doubted that in the large, the summarized
effect of thirty years of two-dimensional seeing and living, of a flat,
formless, coloured world, upon the immeasurably quick, sensitive plate
of Hearn's mind, was--well, it was what it was!

And who can describe that mind! Clearly and patently, it was a mind
without creative ability, spring, or the desire for it. It was a mind
improcreant by inheritance and by education, by necessity and by
training, by poverty internal and external. To enable its master to
live, it must write, and, as was pitifully evident, if it could not
write in obedience to a creative instinct, it must do the next best
thing. This residual second was to describe the external world, or at
least so much of the externals of all worlds, physical, biological, or
social, as romance or common-sense demanded to make the writing vivid,
accurate, and bodied. Any good literature, especially the poetic, must
be based on reality, must at least incidentally have its running
obligato of reality. For the poet, again emphasized, vision is the
intermediary, the broad, bright highway to facts. Prosaically, local
colour requires the local seer. Barred from this divine roadway to and
through the actual universe, the foiled mind of Hearn could choose but
one course: to regarment, transform, and colour the world, devised and
transmitted by others, and reversing the old [Greek: o logos sarx
egeneto] rewrite the history of the soul as [Greek: sarx o logos
egeneto], for in Hearn's alembic the solidest of flesh was "melted" and
escaped in clouds of spirit; it was indeed often so disembodied and
freed that one is lost in wonder at the mere vision of the cloudland so
eerie, so silent, so void, so invisibly far, and fading ever still
farther away. But, chained to the _here_ Hearn could not march on the
bright road. He could never even see the road, or its ending. If freed
to go, _there_ became _here_ with the intolerable limitation of his
vision, the peculiarity of his unvision. The world, the world of the
_there_ must be brought to him, and in the bringing it became the
_here_. In the process, distant motion or action became dead, silent,
and immobile being; distance was transformed to presence, and an
intimacy of presence which at one blow destroyed scene, setting, and
illumination. For, except to passionate love, nearness and touch are not
poetical or transfiguring, and to Hearn love never could come; at least
it never did come. Except in boyhood he never, with any accuracy of
expression or life, saw a human face; at the best, he saw faces only in
the frozen photographs, and these interested him little.

With creative instinct or ability denied, with the poet's craving for
open-eyed knowing, and with the poet's necessity of realizing the world
out there, Hearn, baldly stated, was forced to become the poet of
myopia. His groping mind was compelled to rest satisfied with the world
of distance and reality transported by the magic carpet to the door of
his imagination and fancy. There in a flash it was melted to formless
spirit, recombined to soul, and given the semblance of a thin
reincarnation, fashioned, refashioned, coloured, recoloured. There, lo!
that incomparable wonder of art, the haunting, magical essence of
reality, the quivering, elusive protean ghost of the tragedy of dead
pain, the smile of a lost universe murmuring _non dolet_ while it dies
struck by the hand of the beloved murderer.


"THE 'lovers of the antique loveliness,'" wrote Hearn, "are proving to
me the future possibilities of a long-cherished dream--the English
realization of a Latin style, modelled upon foreign masters, and
rendered even more forcible by that element of _strength_ which is the
characteristic of the northern tongues." "I think that Genius must have
greater attributes than mere creative power to be called to the front
rank,--the thing created must be beautiful; it does not satisfy if the
material be rich. I cannot content myself with ores and rough jewels,
etc." "It has long been my aim to create something in English fiction
analogous to that warmth of colour and richness of imagery hitherto
peculiar to Latin literature. Being of a meridional race myself, a
Greek, I _feel_ rather with the Latin race than with the Anglo-Saxon;
and trust that with time and study I may be able to create something
different from the stone-grey and somewhat chilly style of latter-day
English or American romance." "The volume, 'Chinese Ghosts,' is an
attempt in the direction I hope to make triumph some day, _poetical
prose_." "A man's style, when fully developed, is part of his
personality. Mine is being shaped to a particular end."

Hearn advised the use of the etymological dictionary in order to secure
"that subtle sense of words to which much that _startles_ in poetry and
prose is due." But although always remaining an artist in words, he, at
his best, came to know that artistic technique in ideas is a more
certain method of arousing and holding the readers' interest. He also
strongly urges a knowledge of Science as more necessary to the formation
of a strong style. In this, however, he never practised what he
commended, because he had no mind for Science, nor knowledge of
scientific things. He spoke with pride of writing the scientific
editorials for his paper, but they were few and may quickly be ignored.

Flaubert was Hearn's literary deity; the technique of the two men was
identical, and consisted of infinite pains with data, in
phrase-building, sentence-making, and word-choosing. With no writer was
the filing of the line ever carried to higher perfection than with both
master and pupil; fortunately the younger had to make his living by his
pen, and therefore he could not wreck himself upon the impossible task
as did Flaubert. For nothing is more certain to ruin style and content,
form as well as matter, than to make style and form the first
consideration of a writer. Flaubert, the fashion-maker and supreme
example of this school, came at last to recognize this truth, and wished
that he might buy up and destroy all copies of "Madame Bovary;" and he
summed up the unattainableness of the ideal, as well as the resultant
abysmal pessimism, when he said that "form is only an error of sense,
and substance a fancy of your thought." His ever-repeated "Art has no
morality," "The moment a thing is true it is good," "Style is an
absolute method of seeing things," "The idea exists only by virtue of
its form," etc., led Flaubert and his thousand imitators into the
quagmire which Zola, Wilde, Shaw, and decadent journalism generally so
admirably illustrate. That Hearn escaped from the bog is due to several
interesting reasons, the chief being his poverty, which compelled him to
write much, and his audience, which, being Anglo-Saxon (and therefore
properly and thoroughly cursed), would not buy the elegant pornography
of Flaubert and the gentlemen who succeeded, or did not succeed, in the
perfection of the worship and of the works of the master of them all.
And then Hearn was himself at least part Anglo-Saxon, so that he shrank
from perfection in the method.

There is a pathetic proof of the lesson doubly repeated in the lives of
both Flaubert and Hearn. "St. Anthony" was rewritten three times, and
each time the failures might be called, great, greater, greatest. There
lies before me Hearn's manuscript translation of the third revision of
the work, in two large volumes, with a printed pamphlet of directions to
the printer, an Introduction, etc.,--a great labour assuredly on Hearn's
part. No publisher could be found to give it to the world of English
readers![19] Moreover, there was never in his life any personal
happiness, romance, poetry, or satisfaction which could serve as the
material of Hearn's æsthetic faculty. Almost every hour of that life had
been lived in physical or mental anguish, denied desire, crushed
yearnings, and unguided waywardness. Born of a Greek mother, and a
roving English father, his childhood was passed in an absurd French
school where another might have become a dwarfed and potted Chinese
tree. Flung upon the alien world of the United States in youth, without
self-knowledge, experience, or self-guiding power, he drank for years
all the bitter poisons of poverty, banality, and the rest, which may not
shatter the moral and mental health of strong and coarse natures. By
nature and necessity shy beyond belief, none may imagine the poignant
sufferings he endured, and how from it all he writhed at last to manhood
and self-consciousness, preserved a weird yet real beauty of soul, a
morbid yet genuine artist-power, a child-like and childish, yet most
involuted and mysterious heart, a supple and subtle, yet illogical and
contentless intellect.

    [19] Particulars concerning the manuscript translation of "St.
         Anthony" are given in the Bibliography of Miss Stedman,
         Hearn's "Argument" of the book being reprinted in full.

The most striking evidence of the pathetic and unmatched endowment and
experience is that, while circumstance dictated that he should be a
romancer, no facts in his own life could be used as his material. There
had been no romance, no love, no happiness, no interesting personal
data, upon which he could draw to give his imagination play, vividness,
actuality, or even the semblance of reality. So sombre and tragic,
moreover, had been his own living that the choice of his themes could
only be of unhealthy, almost unnatural, import and colouring. He
therefore chose to work over the imaginings of other writers, and
perforce of morbid ones.

A glance at his library confirms the opinion. When Hearn left for Japan,
he turned over to me several hundred volumes which he had collected and
did not wish to take with him. His most-prized books he had had
especially rebound in dainty morocco covers, and these, particularly,
point to the already established taste, the yearning for the strange,
the weird, and the ghost-like, the gathered and pressed exotic flowers
of folklore, the banalities and morbidities of writers with unleashed
imaginations, the love of antique religions and peoples, the mysteries
of mystics, the descriptions of savage life and rites--all mixed with
dictionaries, handbooks, systems of philosophy, etc.

Under the conditioning factor of his taste, it is true that his choice,
or his _flair_, was unique and inerrant. He tracked his game with fatal
accuracy to its lair. His literary sense was perfect, when he set it in
action, and this is his unique merit. There has never been a mind more
infallibly sure to find the best in all literatures, the best of the
kind he sought, and probably his translations of the stories from the
French are as perfect as can be.

His second published volume, the "Stray Leaves from Strange Literature,"
epitomizes and reillumines this first period of his literary
workmanship. The material, the basis, is not his own; it is drawn from
the fatal Orient, and tells of love, jealousy, hate, bitter and burning
vengeance, and death, sudden and awful. Over it is the wondrous mystical
glamour in which he, like his elder brother Coleridge, was so expert in
sunsetting these dead days and deathless themes. His next book, "Some
Chinese Ghosts," was a reillustration of the same searching, finding,
and illuminating.

Flaubert's choice of subjects, as regards his essential character, was
of the most extreme illogicality; his cadenced phrase and meticulous
technique were also not the product of his character or of his freedom.
In the Land of Nowhere, Hearn was likewise compelled to reside, and it
was necessarily a land of colour and echo, not one of form. The
suffering Frenchman emptied of inhabitants or deimpersonalized his alien
country, while the more healthy Anglo-Saxon peopled it with ghosts.
"Have you ever experienced the historic shudder?" asked Flaubert. "I
seek to give your ghost a ghostly shudder," said Hearn. Flaubert

"The artist should be in his work, like God in creation, invisible and
all-powerful; he should be felt everywhere and seen nowhere.

"Art should be raised above personal affections and nervous
susceptibilities. It is time to give it the perfection of the physical
sciences by means of pitiless method."

And Hearn's first and most beloved "Avatar," and his most serious "St.
Anthony"--works dealing with the mysteries and awesomeness of
disembodied souls and ideals--"could not get themselves printed."
Moreover, in all that he afterwards published there are the haunting
far-away, the soft concealing smile, and the unearthly memories of pain,
the detached spirits of muted and transmuted dead emotions, and denied
yearnings, the formless colourings of half-invisible and evanishing

For with Hearn's lack of creative ability, married to his inexperience
of happiness, he could but choose the darksome, the tragical elements of
life, the [Greek: pathos] even of religion, as his themes. His intellect
being a reflecting, or at least a recombining and colouring faculty, his
datum must be sought without, and it must be brought to him; his
joyless and even his tragic experience compelled him to cull from the
mingled sad and bright only the pathetic or pessimistic subjects; his
physical and optical imprisonment forbade that objectivation and
distinctive embodiment which stamp an art work with the seal of reality,
and make it stand there wholly non-excusing, or else offering itself as
its own excuse for being. True art must have the warp of materiality,
interwoven with the woof of life, or else the coloration and designs of
the imagination cannot avail to dower it with immortality.

Working within the sad limits his Fates had set, Hearn performed
wonders. None has made tragedy so soft and gentle, none has rendered
suffering more beautiful, none has dissolved disappointment into such
painless grief, none has blunted the hurt of mortality with such a
delightful anæsthesia, and by none have death and hopelessness been more
deftly figured in the guise of a desirable Nirvâna. The doing of this
was almost a unique doing, the manner of the [Greek: poiêsis] was
assuredly so, and constitutes Hearn's claim to an artist's "For ever."
He would have made no claim, it is true, to this, or to any other
endless existence, but we who read would be too indiscriminating, would
be losers, ingrates, if we did not cherish the lovely gift he brings to
us so shyly. Restricted and confined as was his garden, he grew in it
exotic flowers of unearthly but imperishable beauty. One will not find
elsewhere an equal craftsmanship in bringing into words and vision the
intangible, the far, fine, illusive fancy, the ghosts of vanished hearts
and hopes. Under his magic touch unseen spirit almost reappears with the
veiling of materiality, and behind the grim and grinning death's-head a
supplanting smile of kindness invites pity, if not a friendly whisper.

As to literary aim, Hearn distinctly and repeatedly confessed to me that
his ideal was, in his own words, to give his reader "a ghostly
shudder," a sense of the closeness of the unseen about us, as if eyes we
saw not were watching us, as if long-dead spirits and weird powers were
haunting the very air about our ears, were sitting hid in our heart of
hearts. It was a pleasing task to him to make us hear the moans and
croonings of disincarnate griefs and old pulseless pains, begging
piteously, but always softly, gently, for our love and comforting. But
it should not be unrecognized that no allurement of his art can hide
from view the deeper pathos of a horrid and iron fatalism which to his
mind moved the worlds of nature or of life, throttled freedom, steeled
the heart, iced the emotions, and dictated the essential automatism of
our own being and of these sad dead millions which crowd the dimly seen
dreams of Hearn's mind.

It may be added that, accepting the command of his destiny, Hearn
consciously formed an ideal to which he worked, and even laboured at the
technique of its realization. I have talked with him upon these and
similar subjects for many long hours, or got him to talk to me. The
conversations were usually at night, beneath trees, with the moonlight
shimmering through and giving that dim, mystic light which is not light,
so well suited to such a poet and to his favourite subjects.

As to technique, there was never an artist more patient and persistent
than he to clothe his thought in its perfect garment of words. Sometimes
he would be able to write with comparative ease a large number of sheets
(of _yellow_ paper--he could write on no other) in a day. At other times
the words did not suit or fit, and he would rewrite a few pages scores
of times. Once I knew him to labour over six lines an entire day, and
then stop weary and unsatisfied. I had to supply a large waste-basket
and have often wished I had kept for comparison and a lesson in
practical æsthetics the half-bushel or more of wasted sheets thrown away
nearly every day.

Just as those outfitted with good eyes must find Hearn's world too
formless and too magnificently coloured, so normal civilized persons
will find it altogether too sexually and sensually charged. Whenever
able to do so he turns a description to the ghostly, but even then
_c'est toujours femme!_ A mountain is like a curved hip, a slender tree
takes the form of a young girl budding into womanhood, etc. Colour, too,
is everywhere, even where it is not, seemingly, to our eyes, and even
colour is often made sensual and sexual by some strange suggestion or

Viewing merit as the due of conscious, honourable, unselfish, and
dutiful effort, Hearn's sole merit rises from his heroic pursuit of an
ideal of workmanship. Like glorious bursts of illuminating sunshine
through the fogs and clouds of a murky atmosphere shine such sentences
as these:--

    What you want, and what we all want, who possess devotion
    to any noble idea, who hide any artistic idol in a niche of
    our heart, is that independence which gives us at least the
    time to worship the holiness of beauty,--be it in harmonies
    of sound, of form, or of colour.

    What you say about the disinclination to work for years upon
    a theme for pure love's sake, without hope of reward,
    touches me,--because I have felt that despair so long and so
    often. And yet I believe that all the world's art-work--all
    that which is eternal--was thus wrought. And I also believe
    that no work made perfect for the pure love of art, can
    perish, save by strange and rare accident....

    Yet the hardest of all sacrifices for the artist is this
    sacrifice to art,--this trampling of self under foot! It is
    the supreme test for admittance into the ranks of the
    eternal priests. It is the bitter and fruitless sacrifice
    which the artist's soul is bound to make,--as in certain
    antique cities maidens were compelled to give their
    virginity to a god of stone! But without the sacrifice, can
    we hope for the grace of Heaven?

    What is the reward? The consciousness of inspiration only! I
    think art gives a new faith. I think--all jesting
    aside--that could I create something I felt to be sublime, I
    should feel also that the Unknowable had selected me for a
    mouthpiece, for a medium of utterance, in the holy cycling
    of its eternal purpose; and I should know the pride of the
    prophet that had seen God face to face.

    * * * * Never to abandon the pursuit of an artistic
    vocation for any other occupation, however lucrative,--not
    even when she remained apparently deaf and blind to her
    worshippers. So long as one can live and pursue his natural
    vocation in art, it is a duty with him never to abandon it
    if he believes that he has within him the elements of final
    success. Every time he labours at aught that is not of art,
    he robs the divinity of what belongs to her.

And the greatest of our satisfactions with Hearn's personality is that
these were not mere words, but that he consistently, resolutely, and
persistently practised his preaching. This was the only religion or
ethics he had, and praise God, he had it! That alone binds us to him in
any feeling of brotherhood, that only makes us grateful to him.

Style has been too frequently and too long confounded with content.
There is the matter, the thing to be said, the story to be told; and
quite apart from this there is the method of telling it, which, properly
viewed, is style. So long as the teller of the tale has only borrowed
his message or story from others, there cannot be raised much question
of originality, or discussion of the datum, except in so far as pertains
to the _choice_ of material. And so long as the stylist fingers
etymological dictionaries for "startling words," so long will his style
remain of the lower kind and etymologically unstylish. When the
technique becomes unconscious and perfect, there is style, or the art,
merged into the content, and then, _le style c'est l'homme_, or, as
Hearn translated it, style becomes the artist's personality. In the best
Japanese works Hearn accomplished this, and with his consummate choice
of material there was the consummate art-work. Subject, method, cunning
handiwork, psychologic analysis, generous and loyal sympathy, colour
(not form)--all were fused to a unity almost beyond disassociation, and
challenging admiration. But it is not beyond our perfect enjoying.

It is true that Hearn has ignored, necessarily and wisely ignored, the
objective and material side of Japanese existence. Mechanics,
nationalism, economy, the materialism of his material, had obviously to
be untouched in his interpretation, or in his "Interpretation." It would
have been absurd for him to have attempted any presentation or valuable
phasing of this important aspect. That for him was in a double sense
_ultra vires_. Such work will not want for experts. But what Hearn has
done was almost wholly impossible to any other. His personal heredity,
history, and physiology, highly exceptional, seem to have conspired to
outfit him for this remarkable task.

There is still another reason, at first sight a contradicting one, for
both Hearn's fitness and his success in giving us a literary incarnation
of the spirit or soul of Japan in the subjective sense: To his readers
it must have appeared an insoluble enigma why this superlatively
subjective and psychical "sensitive" should have been such an unrecking,
_outré_, and enthusiastic follower of Herbert Spencer's philosophy, or
that part of it given in the "First Principles." It is told of an
English wit that when asked if he was willing to subscribe to the
Thirty-nine Articles, he promptly replied, "Oh, yes, forty of them if
you wish." Hearn was similarly minded--minus the fun,--and most
unphilosophically he went into utter captivity, seemingly, to the
unphilosophic philosopher. And yet the spirit of Spencer's "First
Principles" was in reality as different from that of Hearn as was the
spirit of St. Francis from that, for instance, of Cecil Rhodes. The
contradiction and ludicrousness of this mismating is so easy of
explanation that the incongruity is missed. The forest is not seen
because of the trees. Hearn did not have true scientific instinct,
animus, or ability. Neither had Herbert Spencer--so far as his "First
Principles" is concerned, and as regards an improved inductive method as
shown in the "Psychology," "Biology," etc., Hearn, according to a
letter, found he could not interest himself enough to read one of these
later works. The clear and well-drilled scientific intellect admits that
if Spencer had not published his "First Principles," but had gathered
the facts of his later works before publishing an epitomizing Last
Principles, the matter would have been as differently phased as night
and day. Spencer cared infinitely more for the systematization than he
did for the facts systematized. Reduced to its last analysis, the "First
Principles" was the reverse of a close induction from the facts of
nature and life. It presented the glitter of generalization without the
logic. The reverberating echoes of its illogic, sweeping sonorously over
the universe with an indiscriminate ignoring of the world-wide
difference between matter and life, caught the fancy of the imprisoned
poet soul; he thoughtlessly yielded a homage which, from his standpoint,
was unjustified, and which objectively was an unscrutinizing
lip-service. Subjectively Spencerism gave Hearn warrant for an inborn
atheism and materialism which had been heightened immoderately by the
bitter teachings of experience into a pessimism so horrid that one
shuddered when looking into the man's soul depths. _Morne_ was a
favourite word with Hearn, and Spencer's was a fateful philosophy for
one whose birth and education were desolation, and whose sight of the
world was more than _morne_, was the abomination of desolation, was in
truth the sheer awfulness of despair. Blindness were vastly preferable
to Hearn's affliction, but if that splendid poet St. Francis had been so
cursed, his face and his soul would have been ecstatic with smiles, with
joy, with faith, with hope, and with love. So strange is the
unaccountable allotment of Fate in her endowments, gifts, and orderings.
There is and there can be no blame--only a pity wholly beyond

The aloofness, far-awayness, the inapproachable distance and detachment
of Hearn's spirit is one of the characteristics felt in reading his
best pages. Everything is infinitely beyond our senses. To him
everything was distant: the near was far, the far was at infinity. He
thus truly became the poet of the _au delà_. His voice, itself an echo,
comes to us as from the hush of an eerie height above the beat and wreck
of the waves of our noisy shore. His personality as revealed in his
writings is an echo, a memory, almost the memory of a memory, the thrill
of the day-dream of a soul retreating from sense.

            Each day the quiet grew more still
            Within his soul, more shrank the will
              Beyond the jar of sense, serene,
            Behind the hurt of world or ill,
              Where sleep hushed silences unseen.

He ever insists on a haunting glimpse of the pain and the renunciation
of others, of wasted and long-dead faces and loves, always shrinking
from our gaze, pallid in the darkling light of the setting moon, of
vanishing loves, grievous story, forgotten myth, and ruined religion.

And yet, and yet, all that works to make Hearn immortal in literature
is, at last, not art _per se_. One might quote freely showing that his
"filing of the line," like that of Flaubert, led to nothing, if the
thought and feeling to be put into the lines were not there. They were
not there with his masters, Flaubert, Gautier, Maupassant, and others,
and so these men will not inherit literary immortality. They had no
soul, and only the soul, the spirit, can be immortalized. Hearn's good
fortune is that unconsciously, even almost against his will, he was more
than they, more than an artist as such. He had something else to do. If
it had not been for his poverty, the necessity to sell what he wrote, he
would surely have gone the same road to Avernus as his masters. Then,
too, he had no original message to write, because he had no real soul,
only a borrowed one. Japan gave him her soul to rematerialize and
recolour with literary life. Without his Japanese work Hearn would have
died as _littérateur_ in the year he died as a physical body. To tell
her "ghostly" stories was his great office and function. When these were
told his work was done. His old gloating over the clotted villainies of
mediæval horror had been much outgrown, and it had no chance to be used
in Japan. The Japanese character would not tolerate such things. The
ghastly was transformed into the ghostly, and his Oriental fancy was
luckily turned to better duties and pleasures. This more than Flaubert
was something not to be got from modern atheistic French "Art for Art's
sake," nor from modern Levantine nonentity of character. How marvellous
is his sympathy with his subject, loyalty to his literary duty, and to
his literary ideal! His despised Irish father perhaps had slipped into
the otherwise invisible and limp threads of his Fates a little mesh of
spiritual reality, which, dormant, unrecognized, and even scorned by
him, came finally to give him all his valour and worth. He could dower
the insubstantial sigh of a long dead soul or people with the wingéd
word. It was a word of colour, only,--and colour has no objective
existence,--the rainbow is not out there. And because it is spiritual,
not objective, the most beautiful, if the most evanescent of all earthly
things, is colour. The hearers of soundless music, and the lovers of
"the light that never was on sea or shore" will understand what is
meant. For them Hearn really wrote: they are few, and scattered far, but
Hearn will magnificently multiply the number. His amazing merit is that
while without the great qualities which make the greatest writers, he
wrought such miracles of winning grace and persuading beauty.

That he wrought against his will, and by the overcoming of a seemingly
cruel Fate, puts him almost outside of our personal gratitude. We take
the gift from a divinity he did not recognize, one that used the
rebellious hand and the almost blind eye as a writing instrument. The
lover of the gruesome, the Spencerian scientist, the man himself, must
have wondered at the message when he came out from under the influence
of the pitiless inspiration.

One of Hearn's dangers was discursiveness, or want of conciseness and
intensity. "Chita" showed it, and the West Indian work lost in value
because of it. It is the danger of all those writers who lack creative
ability, and who depend upon "local colour," and "style" for their
effect. The story's the thing, after all! In Hearn's translations, and
especially in "Stray Leaves," he for the moment caught the view of the
value of the content, saw how the fact, dramatic, intense, and
passionate is the all-desirable; the art of its presentation is the art
of letting it flash forth upon the reader with few, apt, and flamelike
words, which reveal and not conceal the life and soul of the act and of
the actor. He tended to forget this. In "Karma," besides, or rather by
reason of, the moral,--his newly got psyche,--he returned to a reliance
upon essentials, upon the datum of the spirit, and not upon its
reflections, refractions, and chromatics. The beautiful spectrum was
there refocused into white light, and the senses disappeared to reveal
behind them the divinity of soul. That art-lesson was never forgotten by
Hearn, and his Japanese work had a purity and a reality, a white heat,
which make his previous stories and sketches seem pale and weak.

Questions of style and form sometimes run inevitably into those of
content and of logic. Essentially wanting the rigorous training of form,
without the content and method of the scientific intellect, all Hearn's
work shows a lack of system, order, and subordination of parts. In any
single one of the Japanese volumes the absence of logic is lamentably
evident. He constantly repeats himself, and the warp of some of his
themes is worn threadbare. His most ambitious work, "Japan," is, in
truth, a regathering and a restatement in more objective style, of his
previous imaginative studies. Almost the only added thought concerns the
difference between Shintôism and ancestor-worship and the truism that
Japan is to-day ruthlessly sacrificing the life of the individual to
that of the nation. The lack of scholarship and of the scientific animus
(even in a field, folk-lore, more nearly his own than any other) comes
to view in his mistake of supposing Spencer an authority on the subject
of the origin of religion, and in the blunder that assumed
ancestor-worship to be original in Japanese history and religion.
Ancestor-worship, according to Griffis, Knox, and other distinguished
authorities, was unknown to the ancient writers of Nippon and was
imported from China. How threadbare--and yet how deftly, even charmingly
concealed!--was the wearing of his favourite themes, is shown by Hearn's
fateful return to the gruesome, especially in the later books, "Kott"
and "Kwaidan." These stories of the dead and of morbid necrophilism are
witnesses of Hearn's primitive interest in the ghastly, impossible to be
renounced or sloughed, not to be replaced by desire for the
supersensual, or by resolve to transform the loathsome into the ghostly.
Hearn should never have been seduced into the delusion that he could
become the spokesman of any scientific animus, methods or results.
Erudition, logic, systematization, were to him impossible. His function
was another and of a different nature, and his peculiar ability was for
other tasks. If we are adequately to appreciate the exquisiteness of the
earlier Japanese works, we will forget the "Japan, an Interpretation."

If we look upon Hearn as a painter, almost the sole colour of his
palette was mummy brown, the powdered flesh of the ancient dead holding
in solution their griefs, their hopes, their loves, their yearnings,
which he found to sink always to pulselessness, and to end in eternal
defeat! But the pallor and sadness for the brief moment of their
resuscitation was divinely softened and atoningly beautified. Then they
disappeared again in the waste and gloom from which love and poesy had
evoked them.

Felled in the struggle and defeat of the eternal battle with death, the
vegetation of untold ages long ago drifted to an amorphous stratum of
indistinguishable millionfold corpses. Compression, deferred combustion
and over-shrouding transmuted and preserved it for a long-after-coming
time, for our warming, lighting, and delighting. This has a perfect
analogy in the history and use of tradition, myth, folk-lore, custom,
and religion, those symbolic and concrete epitomes of man's long
ancestral growths and strivings, those true black diamonds of humanity's
experiences, its successes and failures, of its ideals and
disappointments. Hearn's artistry consisted in catching up these gems,
these extinguished souls washed from a world of graves to the threshold
of his miracle-working imagination, and in making them flush for an
instant with the semblance of life. With what exquisite skill and grace
he was able to concentrate upon them the soft light-rays of a fancy as
subtle and beautifying as ever has been given to mortal!


CONCERNING Hearn's outfitting of character by his parents little or
nothing is known. It is of comparative unimportance because only a
slight judicial familiarity with his works, especially those of the
pre-Japanese periods, demonstrates that so far as concerns substratum
and substance of character he had neither. There was an interior void,
an absence of psychic reality, which mocked his friends and which
likewise baulked at true creativeness. He never made a plot or blew the
breath of life into a character; his datum was always provided from
without and by another. He was a reflector only,--plus a colourist--but
a colourist of unrivalled excellence and power. Form he knew not, had
never seen, and that is also his second conditioning weakness as an
artist. Even much of his philosophy was to justify the sensualism,
sensualisticism, pessimism, and godlessness which are early manifest.
But it was a product taken over from another, a hastily devoured meal
without mastication, digestion, or assimilation. The interior emptiness
was pathetically emphasized by the fact of a contentless experience
which also worked to deprive his mind of spontaneous originality. He
never loved, except in one sorry way, never suffered much, never lived
much, for he was a hard worker, and he was always seeking the
ever-postponed, ever-unsatisfying Paradise, so vainly hunted for, and
which none ever finds except in himself. _Ihm fehlt die Liebe,_ was said
of Heine,--how much truer is it of Hearn! Conspiring with a native lack
of originality and want of normal experience, his enormous
near-sightedness made his choice of material and method of handling it
what we know. If anything was "inherited," it was a pseudo-Orientalism,
a love of the monstrous and gruesome, an astonishing indifference to
Occidental history and its conclusions as to sexual and social laws, a
spontaneous faith in faithlessness, a belief in irreligion, and an
almost hopeless trend toward fatalism and its inevitable consequent,
pessimism. Improvidence, financial as well as moral, and disloyalty, to
his friends as well as to his higher nature, were his life-long,
crippling, and condemning sins. Two mysteries seem almost inexplainable.
We know why others had to give him his themes, and whence and how he
became a mirror, or an echo; and we understand how the echoing became
also wondrously, even exaggeratedly, but beautifully, coloured. We can
almost see why he was foolishly and absurdly disloyal to personal
friends, often treating worst those who were the most kind to him; best,
those who were sometimes most cunningly selfish. We may explain his
ridiculous _Wanderlust_. But two attributes are beyond all
analysis:--one was a thing illogical with his character, his cleaving to
an ideal of literary workmanship at the cost of selfishness,
friendships, and temporary success; and the other was his marvellous
literary and psychologic sympathy with whatever mind, people,
circumstance, story, or tradition, accident or choice brought before the
echoing or mirroring mind. If it were faint, ghostly, and far away, he
was a true thaumaturgist in loving it into life, and living it into

This beautiful sympathy and literary loyalty made it possible for Hearn
to use the words of faith and of religion, even of morality, as if they
were his own, while with them he had no personal sympathy whatever. For
instance, he could speak, as if from his heart out, of "a million astral
lamps lighted in the vast and violet dome of God's everlasting mosque."
He could praise as a sublime exhortation the command, "O ye that are
about to sleep, commend your souls to Him who never sleeps!" It is, of
course, true that in Hearn's mind, doubtless, the poorest heathen or
savage virtue was sublimely virtuous, and any barbaric vice had more of
virtue in it than of viciousness. Surely the most paltry Oriental
excellence was far lovelier to him than any Occidental heroism or
beauty, however splendid. We are thus helped to understand how his mind
could seem to flush with religious or ethical enthusiasm, while the
mosque of his real heart was only a chasm of gloomy negation or a chaos
of hideous death. This was due to the fact that he had no constructive
mind, and as only one kind of doing, writing, was possible to him,
because of his near-sightedness, he must needs hate Occidentalism, and
exalt with a somewhat ludicrous praise the vapid, and even pitiful
childishness of semi-barbaric Orientalism. The illogicality reaches its
acme when Hearn, atheistic, disloyal, and unethical, was compelled, as
in some of his Japanese pages, to put a morality and a religion behind
the acts and in the hearts of his characters, which with his and with
their atheism, was, dramatically, so out of place that the incongruity
would make us smile if it were not all done with such a sweet and
haunting grace. The culmination of the contradictory trends is in
"Karma." To put it bluntly, Hearn had no spark of practical sexual
virtue, and yet praise one shall, marvel at one must, the literary and
dramatic honour which could, as in "Karma," so sympathetically describe
the almost unscalable summits of virtue,--there where in holy silence,
Passion gazes with awe at her divine Master, Duty.

A negative condition of this sympathy was the interior voidness of his
character, the non-existence of reality within him, which thus allowed
the positive loyalty to his subject free play; yet that which gave it
leave to be, did not explain the genesis or quality of life of the
being. But have a care! Do not ask the interest in any one subject to
last for more than a fleeting moment! Early and always he possessed the
rare, the wonderful gift of the instant, the iridescent, the wingéd
word. At last was presented to him what he called a "soul," and that, in
conjunction with his growth in artistic technique, in his handling of
colours, and in procuring nobler data, helped to give the Japanese work
a content and an enduring substance which distinguishes it from that of
all others. This atones for all the hurt that precedes, and it is a
benefaction and a delight to the entire world. In reward Literature will
place upon his head one of her loveliest crowns.


TAKEN as a whole, the criticisms upon Hearn's work are complimentary. He
has his warm admirers, and some who are not so enthusiastic; but those
who criticize adversely do so with a gentleness,--I may say, almost a
reluctance that is perhaps the reflection of the spirit of his work. And
whatever else these may offer, all agree that his writings have a unique

Following are a few excerpts which should give an average of opinions:--

"One great secret of his success in interpreting the Japanese mind and
temperament lay in his patience in seeking out and studying minutely the
little things of a people said to be great in such. As Amenomori says of
Hearn's mind, it 'called forth life and poetry out of dust.'" (327.)[20]

    [20] The numbers refer to the corresponding items in the

"As an interpreter of the Japanese heart, mind, hand and soul, Mr. Hearn
has no superior. But he will not convert those who in health of body and
mind love the landmarks of the best faith of the race. It is very hard
to make fog and miasmatic exhalations, even when made partly luminous
with rhetoric, attractive to the intellect that loves headlands and
mountain-tops. The product of despair can never compete in robust minds
with the product of faith." (357.)

"Sympathy and exquisiteness of touch are the characteristics of Mr.
Hearn's genius. He is a chameleon, glowing with the hue of outer objects
or of inward moods, or altogether iridescent. He becomes translucent and
veined like a moth on a twig, or mottled as if with the protective
golden browns of fallen leaves. We may not look for architectonic or
even plastic powers. His is not the mind which constructs of inner
necessity, which weaves plots and schemes, or thinks of its frame as it
paints. He attempts no epic of history. The delver for sociologic or
theologic spoil must seek deeper waters....

"In his later books the all-potent influence of Japanese restraint seems
to have refined and subdued his wonderful style to more perfect

"His chapters are long or short as are his moods. There is little
organic unity in them; no scientific aim or philosophic grasp rounds
them into form. Even his paragraphs have little cohesion. Speaking of
the forming of his sentences, he himself has compared it to the
focussing of an image, each added word being like the turn of a delicate
screw." (306.)

"The secret of the charm that we feel to such a marked degree in Mr.
Lafcadio Hearn's volumes is that, in contrast to other writers, he does
take the Japanese very seriously indeed." (316.)

"To the details of life and thought in Japan Mr. Hearn's soul seems
everywhere and at all times responsive. He catches in his eye and on his
pen minute motes scarcely noticeable by the keen natives themselves."

"He has written nothing on Japan equal in length to his tales of West
Indian life. But while we deplore this reserve of a writer who possesses
every quality of style, except humour, we have reason to be grateful for
whatever he gives us." (307.)

"The matchless prose and the sympathy of Mr. Hearn." (324.)

"Mr. Hearn has the sympathetic temperament, the minute mental vision,
the subdued style peculiar to all that is good in Japanese art and
literature, needed for the accomplishment of a labour which to him has
been a labour of love indeed. Here we have no mawkish sentimentality, no
excessive laudation, on the one hand; on the other, no Occidental
harshness, no Occidental ignorance of the sweet mystery of Eastern ways
of life and modes of thought. What this most charming of writers on Far
Eastern subjects has seen all may see, but only those can understand who
are endowed with a like faculty of perception of unobtrusive beauty, and
a like power, it must be added, of patient and prolonged study of common
appearances and everyday events." (295.)

"A man has just died, intelligent and generous, who had succeeded in
reconciling in his heart, the clear, rational ideas of the West together
with the obscure deep sense of Extreme--Asia: Lafcadio Hearn. In the
hospitality of his recipient soul, high European civilization and high
Japanese civilization found a meeting-place; harmonized; completed, one
in the other....

"In English-speaking countries, especially in the United States,
Lafcadio Hearn already enjoys a just reputation. The lovers of the
exotic, esteem him as equal to Kipling or Stevenson. In France, the
_Revue de Paris_ has begun to make him known, by publishing some of his
best articles, elegantly and faithfully translated. His budding fame is
destined to increase, as Europe takes a greater interest in the arts and
the thoughts of the Extreme-Orient. His prose, exact and harmonious,
will be admired as one of the finest since Ruskin wrote: his very
personal style, at the same time subtle and powerful, will be noted: he
will be especially admired for his delicate and profound intelligence of
that Japanese civilization which, to us, remains so mysterious. What
characterizes the talent of Lafcadio Hearn, that which gives it its
precious originality, is the rare mixture of scientific precision and
idealistic enthusiasm: his work might justly be entitled Truth and
Poesy: 'In reading these essays,' says one of our best existing Japanese
scholars, Professor Chamberlain, 'one feels the truth of Richard
Wagner's statement: "_Alles verständniss kommt uns nur durch die
Liebe._" (All understanding comes to us only through Love.) If Lafcadio
Hearn understands Japan best, and makes it better understood than any
other writer, it is because he loves it best.'

"Lafcadio Hearn describes with intelligence, with love all aspects of
Japanese life: Nature and inhabitants; landscapes, animals and flowers;
material life and life moral; classic Art and popular literature;
philosophies, religions and superstitions. He awakens in us an exquisite
feeling of old aristocratic and feudal Japan: he explains to us the
prodigious revolution that modern Japan has created in thirty years....

"Hearn has consecrated to the study of Japanese art some of his most
curious psychological analyses.

"Lafcadio Hearn takes a deep interest in the religious life of the
Japanese. He studies with the minutest exactness the ancient customs of
Shintôism, high moral precepts of Buddhism, and also the popular
superstitions that hold on, for instance, to the worship of foxes, and
to the idea of pre-existence." (393.)

"To a certain large class of his adopted countrymen, his hatred of
Christianity, which was pronounced long before he went to Japan, and his
fondness for Oriental cults of all kinds, was recommendation. But it is
still an open question whether he did harm or good to the Japanese by
his advocacy of their superstitions....

"Hearn's books are little known to the multitude. But they are familiar
to an influential class the world over. In him Japan has lost a powerful
and flattering advocate, and the English world one of its masters in
style." (332.)

"Mr. Hearn was not a philosopher or a judicial student of life. He was a
gifted, born impressionist, with a style resembling that of the French
Pierre Loti. His stories and descriptions are delicate or gorgeous word
pictures of the subtler and more elusive qualities of Oriental life."

"His art is the power of suggestion through perfect restraint.... He
stands and proclaims his mysteries at the meeting of three ways. To the
religious instinct of India,--Buddhism in particular,--which history has
engrafted on the æsthetic sense of Japan, Mr. Hearn brings the
interpreting spirit of Occidental science; and these three traditions
are fused by the peculiar sympathies of his mind into one rich and novel
compound.... In these essays and tales, whose substance is so strangely
mingled together out of the austere dreams of India and the subtle
beauty of Japan and the relentless science of Europe, I read vaguely of
many things which hitherto were quite dark." (308.)

"He brings to the study of all aspects of Japanese life, intelligence,
and love; he also sets sail in his descriptions and analyses towards a
general theory on life; he is a Japanizing psychologist: he is also a

"At all events, Lafcadio Hearn has the merit of recalling powerfully to
the Europeans of Europe the importance, often misunderstood, of Eastern
civilization. No one better than this Japanizing enthusiast to make us
feel what there is of narrowness in our habitual conception of the
world, in our individualistic literature, misunderstanding too much the
influence of the Past in our anthropocentric art, neglecting Nature too
often, penetrated too 'singly' in our classic philosophy with
Greco-Latin and Christian influences. 'Till now,' says Lafcadio Hearn
very forcibly, 'having lived only in one hemisphere, we have thought but
half thoughts.' We should enlarge our hearts and our minds by taking
into our circle of culture, all the art and all the thought of the
extreme East.

"From the philosophical view-point, Lafcadio Hearn has the merit of
calling attention to the high value of Shintôism, and above all of
Buddhism. His work deserves to exercise an influence on the religious
ideas of the West. If religion can no longer occupy any place in the
intellectual life of humanity, more and more invaded by science, she can
subsist a long time yet, perhaps always, in her sentimental life."

"For that rôle [as interpreter of Japan] he was eminently unfitted both
by temperament and training. Indeed he was not slow to recognize his
lack of the judicial faculty, and on one occasion acknowledged that he
is a 'creature of extremes.' ... But Hearn often succeeds in reaching
the heart of things by his faculty of sympathy, in virtue of which alone
his books deserve perusal; when he fails it is because of a lack of the
unimpassioned judicial faculty, a tendency to subordinate reason to
feeling, an inclination to place sympathy in the position of judge
rather than guide." (359.)

"Lafcadio Hearn not only buried himself in the Japanese world, but gave
his ashes to the soil so often devastated by earthquake, typhoon, tidal
wave and famine, but ever fertile in blooms of fancy which lies under
the River of Heaven. The air of Nippon, poor in ozone, is overpopulated
by goblins. No writer has ever excelled this child of Greece and Ireland
in interpreting the weird fancies of peasant and poet in the land of
bamboo and cherry flowers.... Hearn's life seemed crushed under 'the
horror of infinite Possibility.' Hence perhaps the weird fascination of
his work and style." (348.)


AVATAR (281).--It was during the Cincinnati period that Hearn made
this--his first translation from the French. Writing of it in 1886, he

    I have a project on foot--to issue a series of translations of
    archæological and artistic French romance--Flaubert's "Tentation
    de Saint-Antoine"; De Nerval's "Voyage en Orient"; Gautier's
    "Avatar"; Loti's most extraordinary African and Polynesian
    novels; and Beaudelaire's "Petits Poemes en Prose."

But three years later, he writes:--

    The work of Gautier cited by you--"Avatar"--was my first
    translation from the French. I never could find a publisher for
    it, however, and threw the MS. away at last in disgust. It is
    certainly a wonderful story; but the self-styled Anglo-Saxon has
    so much--prudery that even this innocent phantasy seems to shock
    his sense of the "proper."

LA TENTATION DE SAINT-ANTOINE (282) was probably translated at about the
same time. Hearn failed to find a publisher who would take it, but the
manuscript is still in my possession. Hearn's own complete _scenario_,
together with a description of the manuscript, is given on another page.
I quote from Hearn about this work:--

    The original is certainly one of the most exotically strange
    pieces of writing in any language, and weird beyond description.

Of his own translation, he writes:--

    The work is audacious in parts; but I think nothing ought to be
    suppressed. That serpent-scene, the crucified lions, the
    breaking of the chair of gold, the hideous battles about
    Carthage,--these pages contain pictures that ought not to remain
    entombed in a foreign museum.

The winter of 1877, the year Hearn arrived in New Orleans, he
corresponded with the Cincinnati _Commercial_ under the name of "Ozias
Midwinter" (219). Excerpts from this series of letters are given in the
chapter, "The New Orleans Period."

ONE OF CLEOPATRA'S NIGHTS (20) was the first book to be published. The
translations were made during the latter part of the Cincinnati period,
but the volume did not appear until some years later, while Hearn was in
New Orleans. It was prepared at the hour when his craving for the exotic
and weird was at its height. From the opening word to the last the six
stories are one long Dionysian revel of an Arabian Night's Dream, and
within their pages it is not difficult to feel that "one is truly dead
only when one is no longer loved." What an exotic group of names it
is:--Cleopatra, "she that made the whole world's bale and bliss;"

            "Who was famed in her lifetime
            As the fairest of women;"

Arria Marcella; the Princess Hermonthis; Omphale; and the one "fairer
than all daughters of men, lovelier than all fantasies realized in
stone"--Nyssia. It is a tapestry woven of the lights and jewels and
passion of an antique world. "You will find in Gautier," Hearn writes,
"a perfection of melody, a warmth of word colouring, a voluptuous
delicacy;" "Gautier could create mosaics of word jewellery without
equals." Hearn's "pet stories" are "Clarimonde" and "Arria Marcella." Is
it strange that he should delight in these beautiful vampires?

In this work, and in the tales to follow, we already perceive that
colour is to become a sort of a fetich to be worshipped. Here in the
studio of another artist, he serves his first apprenticeship, and from
the highly toned palette of Gautier he learns how to mix and lay on the
colours that he himself is later to use so richly.

In speaking of this book, a critic says:--

"His learning and his inspiration were wholly French in these
productions, as also in what was his first and in some ways his best
book, "One of Cleopatra's Nights," and other tales translated from
Théophile Gautier. While Hearn was faithful to his original, he also
improved upon it, and many a scholar who knows both French and English
has confessed under the rose that Gautier is outdone." (332.)

Of his work, Hearn writes:--

    You asked me about Gautier. I have read and possess nearly
    all his works; and before I was really mature enough for
    such an undertaking I translated his six most remarkable
    short stories. The work contains, I regret to say, several
    shocking errors, and the publishers refused me the right to
    correct the plates. The book remains one of the sins of my
    literary youth, but I am sure my judgment of the value of
    the stories was correct.

While preparing his next book, Hearn published in the _Century_, "The
Scenes of Cable's Romances" (220). In this article he vivifies the
quarters and dwellings that Mr. Cable in his delightful stories had
already made famous.

THE FIRST MUEZZIN, BILÂL (405), was written in the fall of 1883, during
the New Orleans period. It is a beautiful, serious piece of work, and is
written with the fine, sonorous quality that such a theme should
inspire. That it was a labour of love is shown in Hearn's letters
written at its inception to Mr. Krehbiel, who was an invaluable aid to
him in compiling its musical part. "Bilâl" was probably published
finally in the _Times-Democrat_, after being refused by _Harper's_, the
_Century_, and some others.

    The traveller slumbering for the first time within the walls of
    an Oriental city, and in the vicinity of a minaret, can scarcely
    fail to be impressed by the solemn beauty of the Mohammedan Call
    to Prayer. If he have worthily prepared himself, by the study of
    book and of languages, for the experiences of Eastern travel, he
    will probably have learned by heart the words of the sacred
    summons, and will recognize their syllables in the sonorous
    chant of the Muezzin,--while the rose-coloured light of an
    Egyptian or Syrian dawn expands its flush to the stars. Four
    times more will he hear that voice ere morning again illuminates
    the east:--under the white blaze of noon; at the sunset hour,
    when the west is fervid with incandescent gold and vermilion; in
    the long after-glow of orange and emerald fires; and, still
    later, when a million astral lamps have been lighted in the vast
    and violet dome of God's everlasting mosque.

In four parts Hearn tells the history of Bilâl, who

    was an African black, an Abyssinian,--famed for his fortitude as
    a confessor, for his zeal in the faith of the Prophet, and for
    the marvellous melody of his voice, whose echoes have been
    caught up and prolonged and multiplied by all the muezzins of
    Islam, through the passing of more than twelve hundred years....
    And the words chanted by all the muezzins of the Moslem
    world,--whether from the barbaric brick structures which rise
    above "The Tunis of the Desert," or from the fairy minarets of
    the exquisite mosque at Agra,--are the words first sung by the
    mighty voice of Bilâl.

Bilâl was the son of an Abyssinian slave-girl, and himself began life as
a slave. The first preaching of Mahomet had deep effect upon the slaves
of Mecca, and Bilâl was perhaps the earliest of these to become a
convert. Even under the tortures of the persecutors, he could not be
made to apostatize--always he would answer, "_Ahad! Ahad_:" "_One_, one
only God!" Abu Bekr, the bosom friend of the great Prophet, observing
Bilâl, bought him, and set him free. Then Bilâl became the devoted
servant of Mahomet; and, in fulfilment of a dream, he was made the First
Muezzin to sound the _Adzân_, the Call to Prayer.

                            God is Great!
                            God is Great!
        I bear witness there is no other God but God!
        I bear witness that Mahomet is the Prophet of God!
                        Come unto Prayer!
                        Come unto Salvation!
                            God is Great!
                  There is no other God but God!

                   *       *       *       *       *

    After the death of Mahomet, Bilâl ceased to sing the
    _Adzân_:--the voice that had summoned the Prophet of God to
    the house of prayer ought not, he piously fancied, to be
    heard after the departure of his master. Yet, in his Syrian
    home, how often must he have prayed to chant the words as he
    first chanted them from the starlit housetop in the Holy
    City, and how often compelled to deny the petitions of those
    who revered him as a saint and would perhaps have sacrificed
    all their goods to have heard him but once lift up his voice
    in musical prayer!... But when Omar visited Damascus the
    chiefs of the people besought him that, as Commander of the
    Faithful, he should ask Bilâl to sing the Call in honour of
    the event; and the old man consented to do so for the last

    To hear Bilâl must have seemed to many as sacred a privilege
    as to have heard the voice of the Prophet himself,--the
    proudest episode of a lifetime,--the one incident of all
    others to be related in long afteryears to children and to
    grandchildren. Some there may have been whom the occasion
    inspired with feelings no loftier than curiosity; but the
    large majority of those who thronged to listen in silent
    expectancy for the _Allah-hu-akbar!_ must have experienced
    emotions too deep to be ever forgotten. The records of the
    event, at least, fully justify this belief;--for when, after
    moments of tremulous waiting, the grand voice of the aged
    African rolled out amid the hush,--with the old beloved
    words,--the old familiar tones, still deep and clean,--Omar
    and all those about him wept aloud, and tears streamed down
    every warrior-face, and the last long notes of the chant
    were lost in a tempest of sobbing.

STRAY LEAVES FROM STRANGE LITERATURE[21] (I) is the second book. It was
written also during the period in New Orleans, many of the stories first
appearing in the _Times-Democrat_, and the little volume is dedicated to
its editor--Mr. Page M. Baker.

    [21] Copyright, 1884, by James R. Osgood and Company.

These tales, as Hearn tells us in his Preface, are "reconstructions of
what impressed me as most fantastically beautiful in the most exotic
literature which I was able to obtain." In a letter he writes, "The
language of 'Stray Leaves' is all my own, with the exception of the
Italic texts and a few pages translated from the 'Kalewala.'"

The tapestry he is weaving is of the same crimson threads as that of the
earlier tales, but the colours of sunset are softening to the gentler
hues of the after-glow, and interwoven sometimes are strands of pure

We read of the great Book of Thoth which contains a formula whosoever
could recite might never know death, and we learn how the cunning
magician Noferkephtah obtained the book, which caused the wrath of the
gods to fall upon him; later, how Satni, of whom "there was not in all
Egypt so wise a scribe," yearned for the book, and took it from the tomb
of Noferkephtah, and of the magic wrought and the penance done.

There is the exquisite tale of the Fountain Maiden, whom Aki caught in
his own fish-net, and whom he grew to love more than his own life.

The story lingers of the sea-bird which fell into the hunter's hand, and
when he looked more closely he found it had become transformed into a
beautiful girl, "slender ... like a young moon," and pity rose in the
hunter's heart, and then love. One day, when their children had become
strong and swift, and while they were all hunting together, the
Bird-Wife called to the little ones to gather feathers: then she covered
their arms and her own shoulders with the feathers, and far away they

Passing onward, we read of Tilottama, and that by reason of her beauty
"the great gods once became multiple-faced and myriad-eyed"; and that
this beauty brought punishment to the wicked Sounda and Oupasounda.

There is Bakawali, for "whose history of love, human and superhuman, a
parallel may not be found." For her great love of the mortal youth
Taj-ulmuluk each night she sacrificed herself to the fiercest
purification of fire. And then to appease the gods, she suffered herself
to be turned for ten long years into marble from her waist to her feet.
Her lover ministered to her and watched by her side through the terrible
years until she was reincarnated for him.

Then we see the statue of Natalika, who avenged the death of her people.

And who shall answer the riddle of the Corpse Demon? And which one may
not profit by the wisdom of the youth who knew nothing of science?
Perhaps our hearts stir with a soft regret for the atonement of Pundari.
And so we wander through a maze of colour and of magic, tarrying to
listen to the voice of Kalewala, for--

    As he sang the fair Sun paused in her course to hear him; the
    golden Moon stopped in her path to listen; the awful billows of
    the sea stood still; the icy rivers that devour the pines, that
    swallow up the firs, ceased to rage; the mighty cataracts hung
    motionless above their abysses; the waves of Juortana lifted
    high their heads to hear.

"Slender she was as the tulip upon its stalk, and in walking her feet
seemed kisses pressed upon the ground. But hadst thou beheld her face
unveiled, and the whiteness of her teeth between her brown lips when she
smiled!" Alas, she was a good Christian maiden and he a good Mussulman,
and so in this Legend of Love each loyal heart dies pronouncing the
faith of the other, lest they should not meet at the Day of Judgment.

As we draw near the last figures on the tapestry, we find those two
tender pictures of which Hearn himself speaks: "Your preference for
Boutimar pleases me: Boutimar was my pet. There is a little Jewish
legend in the collection--Esther--somewhat resembling it in pathos."
These stories afford a glimpse into that gentle heart, which was later
to respond to the exquisite faiths and loyalties of the Japanese.

Now the Creator sent unto Solomon a cup which contained some of the
waters of youth and of life without end. And Solomon was asked: "Wilt
thou drink hereof and live divinely immortal through ages everlasting,
or wilt thou rather remain within the prison of humanity?" And Solomon
dreamed upon these words; and he assembled in council a representative
of all those over whom he held dominion. Then Solomon asked Boutimar,
the wild dove, most loving of all living creatures, whether he should
drink of the magic waters, and thus learn the bliss of earthly
immortality. When Boutimar, the wild dove, learned that the cup held
only enough water for one person, he made answer in the language of

    "O prophet of God! how couldst thou desire to be living alone,
    when each of thy friends and of thy counsellors and of thy
    children and of thy servants and of all who loved thee were
    counted with the dead? For all of these must surely drink the
    bitter waters of death, though thou shouldst drink the Water of
    Life. Wherefore desire everlasting youth, when the face of the
    world itself shall be wrinkled with age, and the eyes of the
    stars shall be closed by the black fingers of Azrael? When the
    love thou hast sung of shall have passed away like a smoke of
    frankincense, when the dust of the heart that beat against thine
    own shall have long been scattered by the four winds of heaven,
    when the eyes that looked for thy coming shall have become a
    memory, when the voices grateful to thine ear shall have been
    eternally stilled, when thy life shall be one oasis in a
    universal waste of death, and thine eternal existence but a
    recognition of eternal absence,--wilt thou indeed care to live,
    though the wild dove perish when its mate cometh not?"

    And Solomon, without reply, silently put out his arm and gave
    back the cup.... But upon the prophet-king's rich beard,
    besprinkled with powder of gold, there appeared another glitter
    as of clear dew,--the diamond dew of the heart, which is tears.

Esther, whose comeliness surpassed even that of Sarah, and her rich
husband had lived together ten years, but there was no happiness in the
soul of the good man, for "the sound of a child's voice had never made
sunshine within his heart." So Esther and her husband sorrowed bitterly.
And they brought the burden of their grief to Rabbi Simon ben Yochai,
and when they had told him, a silence as of the Shechinah came upon the
three, only the eyes of the Rabbi seemed to smile. And it was agreed
that the twain should part; thus the Israelite could be known as a
father in Israel.

A feast then was laid at the house, and before all the guests her
husband spoke lovingly to Esther, and in token of his affection and his
grief bade her to take from the house "whatever thou desirest, whether
it be gold or jewels beyond price." And the wine was passed, and the
people made merry, and finally a deep sleep fell upon them all. Then
Esther gave command that her husband sleeping should be carried to her
father's house. In the morning her husband awakened, and confused he
cried out, "Woman, what hast thou done?"

    Then, sweeter than the voice of doves among the fig-trees, came
    the voice of Esther: "Didst thou not bid me, husband, that I
    should choose and take away from thy house whatsoever I most
    desired? And I have chosen thee, and have brought thee hither,
    to my father's home ... loving thee more than all else in the
    world. Wilt thou drive me from thee now?" And he could not see
    her face for tears of love; yet he heard her voice speaking
    on,--speaking the golden words of Ruth, which are so old yet so
    young to the hearts of all that love: "Whithersoever thou shalt
    go, I will also go; and whithersoever thou shalt dwell, I also
    will dwell. And the Angel of Death only may part us; for thou
    art all in all to me." ...

    And in the golden sunlight at the doorway suddenly stood, like a
    statue of Babylonian silver, the grand grey figure of Rabbi
    Simon ben Yochai, lifting his hands in benediction.

    "_Schmah Israel!_--the Lord our God, who is One, bless ye with
    everlasting benediction! May your hearts be welded by love, as
    gold with gold by the cunning of goldsmiths! May the Lord, who
    coupleth and setteth thee single in families, watch over ye! The
    Lord make this valiant woman even as Rachel and as Lia, who
    built up the house of Israel! And ye shall behold your children
    and your children's children in the House of the Lord!"

    Even so the Lord blessed them; and Esther became as the fruitful
    vine, and they saw their children's children in Israel.
    Forasmuch as it is written: "He will regard the prayer of the

GOMBO ZHÈBES[22](2) followed in the New Orleans period. It is a
compilation of 352 proverbs selected from six dialects. According to the
indexes, there are 6 in the Creole of French Guyana; 28 in the Creole of
Hayti; 51 in the Creole of New Orleans, Louisiana; 101 in the Creole of
Martinique; 110 in the Creole of Mauritius; 52 in the Creole of
Trinidad. Most of the proverbs are similar to our own, but are
translated into the simple homely language of the Creole, reflecting its
mode of thought. The same proverb often appears in the different
dialects. Although a proverb is of European origin, "the character of
Creole folk-lore is very different from European folk-lore in the matter
of superstition." Many proverbs are direct from the African. Those in
the Creole of Hayti are generally rough and coarse. The most popular
subjects are, pot or kettle, rain, serpent or snake, of which there are
six of each; devil, eggs, belly, horse, mothers, tail, of these there
are seven of each; chicken, children, ox have eight of each; cat has
nine; goat has eleven; talking has sixteen; monkey has seventeen; fine
clothes has only four, idleness has five, and marriage has six.

    [22] Copyright, 1885, by Will H. Coleman.

Hearn speaks of this book as a Dictionary of Proverbs. He made an
extensive study of the subject and in later researches found it most
helpful. "I have," he says, "quite a Creole library embracing the Creole
dialects of both hemispheres."

Following are a selection of the proverbs chosen from the different

    No. 23. _Bel tignon pas fait bel négresse. (Le beau tignon ne
    fait pas la belle négresse.)_ "It isn't the fine head-dress that
    makes the fine negress." (_Louisiana._)

    _Tignon_ or _tiyon_, the true Creole word, "is the famously
    picturesque handkerchief which in old days all slave-women
    twisted about their heads."

    No. 44. _Ça qui boudé manze boudin. (Celui qui boude mange du
    boudin.)_ "He who sulks eats his own belly." That is to say,
    spites himself. The pun is untranslatable. (_Mauritius_.)

    _Boudin_ in French signifies a pudding, in Creole it also
    signifies the belly. Thus there is a double pun in the patois.

    No. 256. _Quand diabe alle lamesse li caciétte so laquée. (Quand
    le diable va à la messe, il cache sa queue.)_ "When the Devil
    goes to mass he hides his tail." (_Mauritius._)

    No. 352. _Zozo paillenqui crié là-haut, coudevent vini. (Le
    paille-en-cul crie la-haut, le coup de vent vient.)_ "When the
    tropic-bird screams overhead, a storm-wind is coming."

    No. 267. _Quand milatt tini yon vié chouvral yo dit nègress pas
    manman yo. (Quand les mulâtres ont un vieux cheval ils disent
    que les négresses ne sont pas leur mères.)_ "As soon as a
    mulatto is able to own an old horse, he will tell you that his
    mother wasn't a nigger." (_Martinique._)

    No. 324. _Toutt milett ni grand zaureilles. (Tout les mulets ont
    des grandes oreilles.)_ "All mules have big ears." Equivalent to
    our proverb: "Birds of a feather flock together."

    No. 291. _Si coulev oûlé viv, li pas pronminée grand-chemin. (Si
    la couleuvre veut vivre, elle ne se promène pas dans le grand
    chemin.)_ "If the snake cares to live, it doesn't journey upon
    the high-road." (_Guyana._)

    No. 292. _Si coulève pas té fonté, femmes sé pouend li fair
    ribans jipes. (Si la couleuvre n'était pas effrontée les femmes
    la prendraient pour en faire des rubans de jupes.)_ "If the
    snake wasn't spunky, women would use it for petticoat strings."

    No. 100. _Complot plis fort passé ouanga.[23] (Le complot est
    plus fort que l'ouanga.)_ "Conspiracy is stronger than
    witchcraft." (_Hayti._)

    [23]    _Di moin si to gagnin homme!
              Mo va fé ouanga pouli;
            Mo fé li tourné fantôme
              Si to vlé mo to mari...._

         "Tell me if thou hast a man (a lover) I will make a
         _ouanga_ for him--I will change him into a ghost if thou
         wilt have me for thy husband."

         This word, of African origin, is applied to all things
         connected with the Voudooism of the negroes.

         In the song, "_Dipi mo voué, toué Adèle_," from which the
         above lines are taken, the wooer threatens to get rid of a
         rival by _ouanga_--to "turn him into a ghost." The victims
         of Voudooism are said to have gradually withered away,
         probably through the influence of secret poison. The word
         _grigri_, also of African origin, simply refers to a
         charm, which may be used for an innocent or innocuous
         purpose. Thus, in a Louisiana Creole song, we find a
         quadroon mother promising her daughter a charm to prevent
         the white lover from forsaking her:

         "_Pou tchombé li na fé grigri._" "We shall make a _grigri_
         to keep him."

Simultaneously with the publication of "Gombo Zhèbes," Hearn contributed
a series of articles[24] to _Harper's Weekly._ (221-227, 230, 232.)
These papers, which are commonplace newspaper work, tell of New Orleans,
its Expositions, its Superstitions, Voudooism, and the Creole Patois. He
feels that the Creole tongue must go, but while there is still time, he
hopes that some one will rescue its dying legends and curious lyrics.

    [24] Copyright, 1884, 1885, 1886, by Harper and Brothers.

    The unedited Creole literature comprises songs, satires in
    rhymes, proverbs, fairy-tales--almost everything commonly
    included under the term folk-lore. The lyrical portion of
    it is opulent in oddities, in melancholy beauties.

There are few of the younger generation of Creoles who do not converse
in the French and English languages. Creole is the speech of motherhood,
and "there is a strange naïve sorrow in their burdens as of children
sobbing for lonesomeness in the night."

There is an interesting account of Jean Montanet, "Voudoo John"--The
Last of the Voudoos. He was said to be a son of a prince of Senegal.
From a ship's cook he rose to own large estates. While he was a
cotton-roller, it was noticed that he seemed to have some peculiar
occult influence over the negroes under him. Voudoo John had the
mysterious _obi_ power. Soon realizing his power, he commenced to tell
fortunes, and thousands and thousands of people, white and black,
flocked to him. Then he bought a house and began as well to practise
Creole medicine. He could give receipts for everything and anything, and
many a veiled lady stopped at his door.

    Once Jean received a fee of $50 for a potion. "It was
    water," he said to a Creole confidant, "with some common
    herbs boiled in it. I hurt nobody, but if folks want to
    give me fifty dollars, I take the fifty dollars every

It is said that Jean became worth at least $50,000. He had his horses
and carriages, his fifteen wives, whom he considered, one and all,
legitimate spouses. He was charitable too. But he did not know what to
do with his money. Gradually, in one way or another, it was stolen from
him, until at the last, with nothing left but his African shells, his
elephant's tusk, and the sewing-machine upon which he used to tell
fortunes even in his days of riches, he had to seek hospitality of his

Hearn devotes several columns to Voudooism, telling of its witchcrafts
and charms and fetiches which work for evil, and also of the
superstitions regarding the common occurrences of daily life.

In a paper on Mexican feather-work at the New Orleans Exposition, there
is this paragraph which presages his later descriptions:--

    As I write, the memory of a Mexican landscape scene in
    feather-work is especially vivid--a vast expanse of opulent
    wheat-fields, whereof the blonde immensity brightens or
    deepens its tint with the tremor of summer winds; distance
    makes violet the hills; a steel-bright river serpentines
    through the plain, reflecting the feminine grace of palms
    tossing their plumes against an azure sky. I remember also
    a vision of marshes--infinite stretches of reed-grown ooze,
    shuddering in gusts of sea-wind, and paling away into
    bluish vagueness as through a miasmatic haze.

In conjunction with these articles, Hearn published in _Harper's Bazaar_
(228-229) two papers on the Curiosities to be found at the New Orleans

SOME CHINESE GHOSTS[25] (3) was the next book of the New Orleans period.
The first publisher to whom it was submitted did not accept it, but
Roberts Brothers finally brought it out. "There are only six little
stories," writes Hearn, "but each of them cost months of hard work and
study, and represents a much higher attempt than anything in the 'Stray
Leaves.'" The book is dedicated to his friend Mr. Krehbiel, and the
Dedication, which is given in the Bibliography, is as unique as the
tales themselves.

    [25] Copyright, 1887, by Roberts Brothers.

In the Preface Hearn says that while preparing these legends he sought
for "weird beauty." The era of fierce passions and horror is waning, and
in these six perfect tales there is a new-found restraint, a firmer
handling of the brush in more normal colours.

One of the earliest reviews of his work remarks:--

"In his treatment of the legend lore of the Celestial Empire, Mr. Hearn
has, if possible, been even more delicate and charming than in the
stories which go to make the previous volume, so much so, indeed, that
one is persuaded to full belief in the beauty and witchery of the
almond-eyed heroines of his pages." (322.)

The opening story is of the beautiful Ko-Ngai, daughter of Kouan-Yu,
whose divine loyalty to her father never faltered even at a hideous
death. He was a great bellmaker, and the Mandarin ordered that he should
make a bell of such size that it would be heard for one hundred _li_,
and further that the bell "should be strengthened with brass, and
deepened with gold, and sweetened with silver." But the metals refused
to mingle. Again the bell was cast, but the result was even worse, and
the Son of Heaven was very angry; and this word was sent to Kouan-Yu:--

    "If thou fail a third time in fulfilling our command, thy head
    shall be severed from thy neck."

When the lovely Ko-Ngai heard this, she sold her jewels, and paid a
great price to an astrologer, and it was told to her:--

    Gold and brass will never meet in wedlock, silver and iron never
    will embrace, until the flesh of a maiden be melted in the
    crucible; until the blood of a virgin be mingled with the metals
    in their fusion.

Ko-Ngai told no one what she had heard. The awful hour for the heroic
effort of the final casting arrived.

    All the workmen wrought their tasks in silence; there was no
    sound heard but the muttering of the fires. And the muttering
    deepened into a roar of typhoons approaching, and the blood-red
    lake of metal slowly brightened like the vermilion of a sunrise,
    and the vermilion was transmuted into a radiant glow of gold,
    and the gold whitened blindingly, like the silver face of a full
    moon. Then the workers ceased to feed the raving flame, and all
    fixed their eyes upon the eyes of Kouan-Yu; and Kouan-Yu
    prepared to give the signal to cast.

But ere ever he lifted his finger, a cry caused him to turn his
    head; and all heard the voice of Ko-Ngai sounding sharply sweet
    as a bird's song above the great thunder of the fires,--"For thy
    sake, O my Father!" And even as she cried, she leaped into the
    white flood of metal; and the lava of the furnace roared to
    receive her, and spattered monstrous flakes of flame to the
    roof, and burst over the verge of the earthen crater, and cast
    up a whirling fountain of many-coloured fires, and subsided
    quakingly, with lightnings and with thunders and with mutterings.

Of the lovely Ko-Ngai no trace remained save a little shoe, which was
left in the hand of the faithful serving-woman who had striven to catch
her as she leaped into the flame.

And ever does the bell, whose tones are deeper and mellower and mightier
than the tones of any other bell, utter the name of Ko-Ngai; and ever
between the mighty strokes there is a low moaning heard, a sobbing of
"_Hiai!_" and that they say is Ko-Ngai crying for her little shoe.

The next tale tells of Ming-Y and how it was that he did not heed the
counsel of the words of Lao-Tseu, and so it befell that he was loved by
the beautiful Sië-Thao, whose tomb had many years ago crumbled to ruins.

The Legend of Tchi-Niu is the queen flower of the nosegay of six. Tong's
father died, and as they were very poor, the only way that Tong could
obtain money to pay for the funeral expenses was to sell himself as a
slave. The years passed, and he worked without rest or pay, but never a
complaint did he utter. At length the fever of the ricefields seized
him, and he was left alone in his sickness, for there was no one to wait
on him. One noon he dreamed that a beautiful woman bent over him and
touched his forehead with her hand. And Tong opened his eyes, and he saw
the lovely person of whom he had dreamed. "I have come to restore thy
strength and to be thy wife. Arise and worship with me." And reading his
thoughts she said, "I will provide."

"And together they worshipped Heaven and Earth. Thus she became his

But all that Tong knew of his wife was that her name was Tchi. And the
fame of the weaving of Tchi spread far, and people came to see her
beautiful work. One morning Tchi gave to her husband a document. It was
his freedom that she had bought.

Later the silk-loom remained untouched, for Tchi gave birth to a son.
And the boy was not less wonderful than his mother.

Now it came to the Period of the Eleventh Moon. Suddenly one night, Tchi
led Tong to the cradle where their son slumbered, and as she did so a
great fear and awe came over Tong, and the sweet tender voice breathed
to him:--

    "Lo! my beloved, the moment has come in which I must forsake
    thee; for I was never of mortal born, and the Invisible may
    incarnate themselves for a time only. Yet I leave with thee the
    pledge of our love,--this fair son, who shall ever be to thee as
    faithful and as fond as thou thyself hast been. Know, my
    beloved, that I was sent to thee even by the Master of Heaven,
    in reward of thy filial piety, and that I must now return to the
    glory of His house: I AM THE GODDESS TCHI-NIU."

Even as she ceased to speak, the great glow faded, and Tong,
    reopening his eyes, knew that she had passed away for
    ever,--mysteriously as pass the winds of heaven, irrevocably as
    the light of a flame blown out. Yet all the doors were barred,
    all the windows unopened. Still the child slept, smiling in his
    sleep. Outside, the darkness was breaking; the sky was
    brightening swiftly; the night was past. With splendid majesty
    the East threw open high gates of gold for the coming of the
    sun; and, illuminated by the glory of his coming, the vapours of
    morning wrought themselves into marvellous shapes of shifting
    colour,--into forms weirdly beautiful as the silken dreams woven
    in the loom of Tchi-Niu.

Another tale is that of Mara, who tempted in vain, for the Indian
pilgrim conquered.

    And still, as a mist of incense, as a smoke of universal
    sacrifice, perpetually ascends to heaven from all the lands of
    earth the pleasant vapour TE, created for the refreshment of
    mankind by the power of a holy vow, the virtue of a pious

Like unto the Tale of the Great Bell, Pu, convinced that a soul cannot
be divided,

    entered the flame, and yielded up his ghost in the embrace of
    the Spirit of the Furnace, giving his life for the life of his
    work,--his soul for the soul of his Vase.

And when the workmen came upon the tenth morning to take forth
    the porcelain marvel, even the bones of Pu had ceased to be; but
    lo! the Vase lived as they looked upon it: seeming to be flesh
    moved by the utterance of a Word, creeping to the titillation of
    a Thought. And whenever tapped by the finger, it uttered a voice
    and a name,--the voice of its maker, the name of its creator: PU.

This same year, Hearn contributed to _Harpers Bazaar_ the valiant legend
of "Rabyah's Last Ride"(234)--Rabyah upon whom no woman had ever called
in vain, and who defended his women even after he was dead. This tale
was copied in the _Times-Democrat_.

CHITA[26] (4), although published after Hearn left New Orleans, properly
belongs to that period. It first appeared in much shorter form in the
_Times-Democrat_ under the title of "Torn Letters." This version met
with many warm friends, and the author was urged to enlarge it. He did
so, and Harpers accepted the story, publishing it first as a serial in
their magazine. With this book came Hearn's first recognition, and
because of its success, he was given a commission by Harpers for further
studies in the tropics, which eventuated in the volume, "Two Years in
the French West Indies."

    [26] Copyright, 1889, by Harper and Brothers.

"Chita" is the first glimpse of what Mr. Hearn could write from out
himself; for whereas, as always, the plot must be given to him, the
thread here is so frail that what we admire and remember is the fabric
itself which only Hearn could have woven. In "Chita" he recreates
elemental nature. In "Karma" he becomes the conscience of a human being.
Then, for the first time he realizes the spiritual forces which are
stronger than life or death, and without which no beauty exists.

A criticism of "Chita" at the time of its publication says:--

"By right of this single but profoundly remarkable book, Mr. Hearn may
lay good claim to the title of the American Victor Hugo ... so living a
book has scarcely been given to our generation." (342.)

Concerning the story, Hearn himself writes as follows:--

    "Chita" was founded on the fact of a child saved from the Lost
    Island disaster by some Louisiana fishing-folk, and brought up
    by them. Years after a Creole hunter recognized her, and
    reported her whereabouts to relatives. These, who were rich,
    determined to bring her up as young ladies are brought up in the
    South, and had her sent to a convent. But she had lived the free
    healthy life of the coast, and could not bear the convent; she
    ran away from it, married a fisherman, and lives somewhere down
    there now,--the mother of multitudinous children.

This slight structure of plot gave Hearn the opportunity to paint a
marvellous picture. Hundreds of quotations could be given. He is
delighted with the rich glory of the tropics, and by his power of word
imagery he so reproduces it that with him we too can see and feel it. In
this glowing Nature the poisoned beauty of the Orient is forgotten. Take
this description:--

    The charm of a single summer day on these island shores is
    something impossible to express, never to be forgotten. Rarely,
    in the paler zones, do earth and heaven take such luminosity:
    those will best understand me who have seen the splendour of a
    West Indian sky. And yet there is a tenderness of tint, a caress
    of colour, in these Gulf-days which is not of the Antilles,--a
    spirituality, as of eternal tropical spring. It must have been
    to even such a sky that Xenophanes lifted up his eyes of old
    when he vowed the Infinite Blue was God;--it was indeed under
    such a sky that De Soto named the vastest and grandest of
    Southern havens Espiritu Santo,--the Bay of the Holy Ghost.
    There is a something unutterable in this bright Gulf-air that
    compels awe,--something vital, something holy, something
    pantheistic and reverentially the mind asks itself if what the
    eye beholds is not the [Greek: pneuma] indeed, the Infinite
    Breath, the Divine Ghost, the Great Blue Soul of the Unknown.
    All, all is blue in the calm,--save the low land under your
    feet, which you almost forget, since it seems only as a tiny
    green flake afloat in the liquid eternity of day. Then slowly,
    caressingly, irresistibly, the witchery of the Infinite grows
    upon you: out of Time and Space you begin to dream with open
    eyes,--to drift into delicious oblivion of facts,--to forget the
    past, the present, the substantial,--to comprehend nothing but
    the existence of that infinite Blue Ghost as something into
    which you would wish to melt utterly away for ever.

So it is told that into this perfect peace one August day in 1856, a
scarlet sun sank in a green sky, and a moonless night came.

    Then the Wind grew weird. It ceased being a breath; it became a
    Voice moaning across the world hooting,--uttering nightmare
    sounds,--_Whoo!_--_whoo!_--_whoo!_--and with each stupendous
    owl-cry the mooing of the waters seemed to deepen, more and more
    abysmally, through all the hours of darkness.

Morning dawned with great rain: the steamer _Star_ was due that day. No
one dared to think of it. "Great God!" some one shrieked,--"She is

    On she came, swaying, rocking, plunging,--with a great whiteness
    wrapping her about like a cloud, and moving with her moving,--a
    tempest-whirl of spray;--ghost-white and like a ghost she came,
    for her smoke-stacks exhaled no visible smoke--the wind devoured

And still the storm grew fiercer. On shore the guests at the hotel
danced with a feverish reckless gaiety.

    Again the _Star_ reeled, and shuddered, and turned, and began to
    drag away from the great building and its lights,--away from the
    voluptuous thunder of the grand piano,--even at that moment
    outpouring the great joy of Weber's melody orchestrated by
    Berlioz: _l'Invitatiòn à la Valse_,--with its marvellous musical

    --"Waltzing!" cried the captain. "God help them!--God help us
    all now!... The Wind waltzes to-night, with the Sea for his
    partner." ...

    O the stupendous Valse-Tourbillon! O the mighty Dancer!
    One-two--three! From north-east to east, from east to
    south-east, from south-east to south: then from the south he
    came, whirling the Sea in his arms....

And so the hurricane passed, and the day reveals utter wreck and
desolation. "There is plunder for all--birds and men."

At a fishing village on the coast on this same night of the storm
Carmen, the good wife of Feliu, dreamed--above the terrors of the
tempest which shattered her sleep--once again the dream that kept
returning of her little Concha, her first-born who slept far away in the
old churchyard at Barcelona. And this night she dreamed that her waxen
Virgin came and placed in her arms the little brown child with the
Indian face, and the face became that of her dead Conchita.

    And Carmen wished to thank the Virgin for that priceless bliss,
    and lifted up her eyes; but the sickness of ghostly fear
    returned upon her when she looked; for now the Mother seemed as
    a woman long dead, and the smile was the smile of fleshlessness,
    and the places of the eyes were voids and darknesses.... And the
    sea sent up so vast a roar that the dwelling rocked.

                   *       *       *       *       *

Feliu and his men find the tide heavy with human dead and the sea filled
with wreckage. Through this floatage Feliu detects a stir of life ... he
swims to rescue a little baby fast in the clutch of her dead mother.

To Carmen it is the meaning of her dream. The child has been sent by the
Virgin. The tale leads on through the growing life of Chita. Finally one
day Dr. La Brierre, whose wife and child had been lost in the famous
storm, is summoned to Viosca's Point to the deathbed of his father's old
friend, who is dying of the fever. It is Feliu who brings him. But
before they can reach the Point the man has already died. The Doctor
remains at Feliu's fishing smack. He feels the sickness of the fever
coming over him. Then he sees Chita.... Hers is the face of his dead
Adèle. Through the fury of the fever, which has now seized him, the past
is mingled with the present. He re-lives the agony of that death-storm,
re-lives all the horror of that scene, when all that he held dear was
swept away--until his own soul passes out into the night.

The description of Dr. La Brierre in the throes of the fever is
terrible. It is so realistic that one shudders.

TWO YEARS IN THE FRENCH WEST INDIES[27] (6) was the _pièce de
résistance_ of the sojourn in the tropics. Some of the papers appeared
first in _Harper's Magazine_. They are marvellous colour-pictures of the
country, its people, its life, its customs, with many of the picturesque
legends and the quaintnesses that creep into the heart.

    [27] Copyright, 1890, by Harper and Brothers.

"There is not a writer who could have so steeped himself in this
languorous Creole life and then tell so well about it. Trollope and
Froude give you the hard, gritty facts, and Lafcadio Hearn the sentiment
and poetry of this beautiful island." (387.)

More and more is Hearn realizing the necessity of finding new colour. "I
hope to be able to take a trip to New Mexico in the summer just to
obtain literary material, sun-paint, tropical colour, etc." It is always
the intense that his fancy craves, and indeed _must_ have in order to
work. "There are tropical lilies which are venomous, but they are more
beautiful than the frail and icy white lilies of the North." "Whenever I
receive a new and strong impression, even in a dream, I write it down,
and afterwards develop it at leisure.... There are impressions of blue
light and gold and green, correlated to old Spanish legend, which can be
found only south of this line." "I will write you a little while I am
gone,--if I can find a little strange bit of tropical colour to spread
on the paper,--like the fine jewel-dust of scintillant moth-wings."
"Next week I go away to hunt up some tropical or semi-tropical

He is bewitched by St. Pierre--"I love this quaint, whimsical,
wonderfully coloured little town." On opening the present volume we at
once feel how thoroughly sympathetic this whole Nature is to him, how
ravished his senses are with all that she portrays.

From Pier 49, East River, New York, we travel with Hearn through days of
colour and beauty to the glorious Caribbean Sea, where we sail on to
Roseau and St. Pierre. Here the colour is becoming so intense that the
eyes are blinded.

    The luminosities of tropic foliage could only be imitated in
    fire. He who desires to paint a West Indian forest,--a West
    Indian landscape,--must take his view from some great height,
    through which the colours come to his eye softened and subdued
    by distance,--toned with blues or purples by the astonishing

... It is sunset as I write these lines, and there are
    witchcrafts of colour. Looking down the narrow, steep street
    opening to the bay, I see the motionless silhouette of the
    steamer on a perfectly green sea,--under a lilac sky,--against a
    prodigious orange light.

Over her memoried paths we wander with Josephine, and then we pause
before the lovely statue which seems a living presence.

    She is standing just in the centre of the Savane, robed in the
    fashion of the First Empire, with gracious arms and shoulders
    bare: one hand leans upon a medallion bearing the eagle profile
    of Napoleon.... Seven tall palms stand in a circle around her,
    lifting their comely heads into the blue glory of the tropic
    day. Within their enchanted circle you feel that you tread holy
    ground,--the sacred soil of artist and poet;--here the
    recollections of memoir-writers vanish away; the gossip of
    history is hushed for you; you no longer care to know how rumour
    has it that she spoke or smiled or wept: only the bewitchment of
    her lives under the thin, soft, swaying shadows of those
    feminine palms.... Over violet space of summer sea, through the
    vast splendour of azure light, she is looking back to the place
    of her birth, back to beautiful drowsy Trois-Islets,--and always
    with the same half-dreaming, half-plaintive smile,--unutterably

"Under a sky always deepening in beauty" we steam on to the level,
burning, coral coast of Barbadoes. Then on past to Demerara.

We pass through all the quaint beautiful old towns and islands. We see
their wonders of sky and sea and flowers. We see their people and all
that great race of the mixed blood.

With dear old Jean-Marie we wait for the return of Les Porteuses, and we
hear his call:--

    "_Coument ou yé, chè? coument ou kallé?_" ... (How art thou,
    dear?--how goes it with thee?)

And they mostly make answer, "_Toutt douce, chè,--et ou?_" (All
    sweetly, dear,--and thou?) But some, over-weary, cry to him,
    "_Ah! déchârgé moin vite, chè! moin lasse, lasse!_" (Unload me
    quickly, dear; for I am very, very weary.) Then he takes off
    their burdens, and fetches bread for them, and says foolish
    little things to make them laugh. And they are pleased and
    laugh, just like children, as they sit right down on the road
    there to munch their dry bread.

Again we follow on: this time to La Grande Anse, where we see the
powerful surf-swimmers. With the population we turn out to witness the
procession of young girls to be confirmed; we see the dances and games;
we hear the chants, and the strange music on strange instruments.

At St. Pierre once more we listen to the history of Père Labat, who in
twelve years made his order the richest and most powerful in the West

    "Eh, Père Labat!--what changes there have been since thy day!...
    And all that ephemeral man has had power to change has been
    changed,--ideas, morals, beliefs, the whole social fabric. But
    the eternal summer remains,--and the Hesperian magnificence of
    azure sky and violet sea,--and the jewel-colours of the
    perpetual hills; the same tepid winds that rippled thy
    cane-fields two hundred years ago still blow over Sainte-Marie;
    the same purple shadows lengthen and dwindle and turn with the
    wheeling of the sun. God's witchery still fills this land; and
    the heart of the stranger is even yet snared by the beauty of
    it; and the dreams of him that forsakes it will surely be
    haunted--even as were thine own, Père Labat--by memories of its
    Eden-summer: the sudden leap of the light over a thousand peaks
    in the glory of a tropic dawn,--the perfumed peace of enormous
    azure noons,--and shapes of palm, wind-rocked in the burning of
    colossal sunsets,--and the silent flickering of the great
    fire-flies, through the lukewarm darkness, when mothers call
    their children home.... '_Mi fanal Pè Labatt!--mi Pè Labatt ka
    vini pouend ou!_'"

Then we see the lights of the shrines that will protect us from the
Zombi and the Moun-Mo, and all the terrible beings who are filled with
witchcraft; and we listen to the tale of that Zombi who likes to take
the shape of a lissome young negress.

By this time it is Carnival Week with its dances and games and maskers.
But a little later we are shuddering at the horrible pestilence Vérette
that has seized the city. A gleam of the old love of horror is caught in
the following quotation:--

    She was the prettiest, assuredly, among the pretty shop-girls of
    the Grande Rue,--a rare type of _sang-mêlée_. So oddly pleasing,
    the young face, that once seen, you could never again dissociate
    the recollection of it from the memory of the street. But one
    who saw it last night before they poured quick-lime upon it
    could discern no features,--only a dark brown mass, like a
    fungus, too frightful to think about.

At the beautiful Savane du Fort our eyes and hearts are gladdened by the
quaint sight of the Blanchisseuses with their snowy linen spread out for
miles along the river's bank. Their laughter echoes in our ears, and we
try to catch the words of their little songs.

One warm and starry, and to us unforgettable, September morning we make
the ascent of Mt. Pelée by the way of Morne St. Martin, and on our way
we come to know the country that lies all around. Let me quote our
sensation as we reach the summit:--

    At the beginning, while gazing south, east, west, to the rim of
    the world, all laughed, shouted, interchanged the quick delight
    of new impressions: every face was radiant.... Now all look
    serious; none speaks.... Dominating all, I think, is the
    consciousness of the awful antiquity of what one is looking
    upon,--such a sensation, perhaps, as of old found utterance in
    that tremendous question of the Book of Job: "_Wast thou brought
    forth before the hills?_"

And the blue multitudes of the peaks, the perpetual congregation
    of the mornes, seem to chorus in the vast resplendence,--telling
    of Nature's eternal youth, and the passionless permanence of
    that about us and beyond us and beneath,--until something like
    the fulness of a grief begins to weigh at the heart.... For all
    this astonishment of beauty, all this majesty of light and form
    and colour, will surely endure,--marvellous as now,--after we
    shall have lain down to sleep where no dreams come, and may
    never arise from the dust of our rest to look upon it.

Another day we are laughing at the little _ti canotié_ who in the
queerest tiny boats surround a steamer as soon as she drops anchor.
These are the boys who dive for coins. A sad tale is told of Maximilien
and Stréphane. Again our hearts are moved by the pathos and the tragedy
of La Fille de Couleur; and in this chapter we find that characteristic

    I refer to the celebrated attire of the pet slaves and _belles
    affranchies_ of the old colonial days. A full
    costume,--including violet or crimson "petticoat" of silk or
    satin; chemise with half-sleeves, and much embroidery and lace;
    "trembling-pins" of gold (_zépingue tremblant_) to attach the
    folds of the brilliant Madras turban; the great necklace of
    three or four strings of gold beads bigger than peas
    (_collier-choux_); the ear-rings, immense but light as
    egg-shells (_zanneaux-à-clous_ or _zanneaux-chenilles_); the
    bracelets (_portes-bonheur_); the studs (_boutons-à-clous_); the
    brooches, not only for the turban, but for the chemise, below
    the folds of the showy silken foulard or shoulder-scarf,--would
    sometimes represent over five thousand francs' expenditure. This
    gorgeous attire is becoming less visible every year: it is now
    rarely worn except on very solemn occasions,--weddings,
    baptisms, first communions, confirmations. The _da_ (nurse) or
    "_porteuse-de-baptême_" who bears the baby to church, holds it
    at the baptismal font, and afterwards carries it from house to
    house in order that all the friends of the family may kiss it,
    is thus attired: but now-a-days, unless she be a professional
    (for there are professional _das_, hired only for such
    occasions), she usually borrows the jewellery. If tall, young,
    graceful, with a rich gold tone of skin, the effect of her
    costume is dazzling as that of a Byzantine Virgin. I saw one
    young _da_ who, thus garbed, scarcely seemed of the earth and
    earthly;--there was an Oriental something in her appearance
    difficult to describe,--something that made you think of the
    Queen at Sheba going to visit Solomon. She had brought a
    merchant's baby, just christened, to receive the caresses of the
    family at whose house I was visiting; and when it came to my
    turn to kiss it, I confess I could not notice the child: I saw
    only the beautiful dark face, coiffed with orange and purple,
    bending over it, in an illumination of antique gold. What a
    _da_!... She represented really the type of that _belle
    affranchie_ of other days, against whose fascination special
    sumptuary laws were made: romantically she imaged for me the
    supernatural godmothers and Cinderellas of the Creole

Still we have much to learn about the little creatures in the shapes of
ants and scorpions and lizards. They form no small part of the
population of Martinique. And still more about the fruits and the
vegetables do we learn from good Cyrillia, Ma Bonne. One longs to have a
housekeeper as loving and child-like and solicitous. We leave her gazing
with love unutterable at the new photograph of her daughter, and
wondering the while why they do not make a portrait talk so that she can
talk to her beautiful daughter.

    And day by day the artlessness of this exotic humanity touches
    you more;--day by day this savage, somnolent, splendid
    Nature--delighting in furious colour--bewitches you more.
    Already the anticipated necessity of having to leave it all some
    day--the far-seen pain of bidding it farewell weighs upon you,
    even in dreams.

But before we go, we must learn how Nature must treat those who are not
born under her suns.

Then at last reluctantly we board the _Guadeloupe_, and with
Mademoiselle Violet-Eyes, who is leaving her country, perhaps for a very
long time, to become a governess in New York, we realize that nowhere on
this earth may there be brighter skies.

    Farewell, fair city,--sun-kissed city,--many-fountained
    city!--dear yellow-glimmering streets,--white pavements learned
    by heart,--and faces ever looked for,--and voices ever loved!
    Farewell, white towers with your golden-throated
    bells!--farewell, green steeps, bathed in the light of summer
    everlasting!--craters with your coronets of forests!--bright
    mountain paths upwinding 'neath pomp of fern and angelin and
    feathery bamboo!--and gracious palms that drowse above the dead!
    Farewell, soft-shadowing majesty of valleys unfolding to the
    sun,--green golden cane-fields ripening to the sea!...

Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Pelée--so they vanish behind us. Shall
not we too become _Les Revenants_?

YOUMA[28] (5) was written in Martinique, and also belongs to the New
Orleans period. "I think you will like it better than 'Chita.' It is
more mature and exotic by far,"--so Hearn wrote of the story in one of
his letters. Later on, when living in Japan, he wrote:--

    [28] Copyright, 1890, by Harper and Brothers.

    It gave me no small pleasure to find that you like "Youma": you
    will not like it less knowing that the story is substantially
    true. You can see the ruins of the old house in the Quartier du
    Fort if you ever visit Saint-Pierre, and perhaps meet my old
    friend Arnoux, a survivor of the time. The girl really died
    under the heroic conditions described--refusing the help of the
    blacks and the ladder. Of course I may have idealized her, but
    not her act. The incident of the serpent occurred also; but the
    heroine was a different person,--a plantation girl, celebrated
    by the historian Rufz de Lavison. I wrote the story under
    wretched circumstances in Martinique, near the scenes described,
    and under the cross with the black Christ.

An English notice says:--

"It is an admirable little tale, full of local characteristics with
curious fragments of Creole French from Martinique, and abundance of
wide human sympathy. It deserves reprinting for English readers more
than three-fourths of the fiction which is wont to cross the Atlantic
under similar circumstances." (294.)

"Youma" is the tale of the exquisite devotion and loyalty of a _da_. (A
_da_ is the foster-mother and nurse of a Creole child.) At the death of
Aimée, Youma's playmate and rich foster-sister, little Mayotte, her
child, becomes Youma's charge. An intimate description is given us of
the Creole life of Mayotte and Youma. The love of this _da_ is very
beautiful. Once with an extraordinary heroism Youma saves Mayotte from a
serpent which has slipped into their room. With a still greater heroism
she refuses to run away with Gabriel, who has opened the world to
her,--Gabriel who has brought her love, and whom she can marry in no
other way. No, above the pleadings of her lover, comes the voice of her
dying mistress, begging, with such trust,--

    "Youma, O Youma! you will love my child?--Youma, you will never
    leave her, whatever happens, while she is little? promise, dear

    And she had--promised....

Then comes the final test of Youma's strength of devotion. There is an
outbreak among the blacks, who have become inflamed by the dreams of
coming freedom. The Desrivières with many other families are forced to
flee for refuge in safer quarters. Under one roof all these people
gather. Youma is urged to leave and save herself. But she will not
forsake Mayotte or her master. The infuriated blacks surround the house,
and horror follows. Presently the house is set on fire. Youma, with
Mayotte in her arms, appears at an upper window. Gabriel, "daring the
hell about him for her sake," puts up a ladder. Youma hands him Mayotte.
"Can you save her?" she asks.

    "Gabriel could only shake his head;--the street sent up so
    frightful a cry....

    "_Non!--non!--non!--pa lè yche-béké--janmain yche-béké!_"

    "Then you cannot save me!" cried Youma, clasping the child to
    her bosom,--"_janmain! janmain, mon ami._"

    "Youma, in the name of God...."

    "In the name of God, you ask me to be a coward!... Are you vile,
    Gabriel?--are you base?... Save myself and leave the child to
    burn?... Go!"

    "Leave the _béké's yche_!--leave it!--leave it, girl!" shouted a
    hundred voices.

    "_Moin!_" cried Youma, retreating beyond the reach of Gabriel's
    hand,--"_moin!_ ... Never shall I leave it, never! I shall go to
    God with it."

    "Burn with it, then!" howled the negroes ... "down with that
    ladder! down with it, down with it!"

The ladder catches fire and burns. The walls quiver, and there are
shrieks from the back of the house. Unmoved, with a perfect calm, Youma
remains at the window. "There is now neither hate nor fear on her fine
face." Softly she whispers to Mayotte, and caresses her with an infinite
tenderness. Never to Gabriel had she seemed so beautiful.

    Another minute--and he saw her no more. The figure and the light
    vanished together, as beams and floor and roof all quaked down
    at once into darkness.... Only the skeleton of stone
    remained,--black-smoking to the stars.

A stillness follows. The murderers are appalled by their crime.

    Then, from below, the flames wrestled out again,--crimsoning the
    smoke whirls, the naked masonry, the wreck of timbers. They
    wriggled upward, lengthening, lapping together,--lifted
    themselves erect,--grew taller, fiercer,--twined into one huge
    fluid spire of tongues that flapped and shivered high into the

The yellowing light swelled,--expanded from promontory to
    promontory,--palpitated over the harbour,--climbed the broken
    slopes of the dead volcano leagues through the gloom. The wooded
    mornes towered about the city in weird illumination,--seeming
    loftier than by day,--blanching and shadowing alternately with
    the soaring and sinking of the fire;--and at each huge pulsing
    of the glow, the white cross of their central summit stood
    revealed, with the strange passion of its black Christ.

... And at the same hour, from the other side of the world,--a
    ship was running before the sun, bearing the Republican gift of
    liberty and promise of universal suffrage to the slaves of

There are two little bits of description which are so characteristic
that I quote them:--

    Then she became aware of a face ... lighted by a light that came
    from nowhere,--that was only a memory of some long-dead morning.
    And through the dimness round about it a soft blue radiance
    grew,--the ghost of a day.

Sunset yellowed the sky,--filled the horizon with flare of
    gold;--the sea changed its blue to lilac;--the mornes brightened
    their vivid green to a tone so luminous that they seemed turning
    phosphorescent. Rapidly the glow crimsoned,--shadows purpled;
    and night spread swiftly from the east,--black-violet and full
    of stars.

KARMA[29] (242) was written during the Philadelphia period, but was not
published in _Lippincott's Magazine_ until after Hearn had sailed for
Japan. The story is concentrated, with its every word a shaft of light,
and it seems a wrong to attempt to epitomize it. Except in its entirety
no adequate conception can be formed of this marvellous revelation of
the anguish that a human soul may suffer; nor of the artistic power with
which Hearn has developed and perfected his study. Many quotations could
be gleaned from his subsequent books which reflect the inspiration of

    [29] Copyright, 1889, by Lafcadio Hearn; and, copyright, 1890
         by J. B. Lippincott Company.

Despite her unusual intellect, the heroine had a childlike simplicity
and frankness which invited her lover's confidence, but he had never
told her his admiration, for a dormant power beneath her girlishness
made a compliment seem a rudeness. He was often alone with her, which is
helpful to lovers, but her charm always confused him, and his
embarrassment only deepened. One day she archly asked him to tell her
about it.

Is there one who does not know that moment when the woman beloved
becomes the ideal, and the lover feels his utter unworthiness? Yet, if
she is one of those rare souls, the illusion, however divine, is less
perfect than is her worth. Do you know what she truly is--how she
signifies "the whole history of love striving against hate, aspiration
against pain, truth against ignorance, sympathy against pitilessness?
She,--the soul of her! is the ripened passion-flower of the triumph. All
the heroisms, the martyrdoms, the immolations of self,--all strong
soarings of will through fire and blood to God since humanity
began,--conspired to kindle the flame of her higher life."

And then you question yourself with a thousand questions, and then there
are as many more of your duty to her, to the future, and to the Supreme

She was not surprised when he told her his wish, but she was not
confident that he really loved her, nor whether she should permit
herself to like him. Finally she bade him go home and "as soon as you
feel able to do it properly,--write out for me a short history of your
life;--just write down everything you feel that you would not like me to
know. Write it,--and send it.... And then I shall tell you whether I
will marry you."

How easy the task seemed, and his whole being was joyous; but the
lightness lasted for only a moment, and gradually all that her command
meant crept over him.... "_Everything you feel you would not like me to
know._" Surely she had no realization of what she had asked. Did she
imagine that men were good like women--how cruel to hurt her.

Then for a period he was uplifted with the desire to meet her
truthfulness, but his courage failed again after he had written down the
record of his childhood and youth. It was no slight task to make this
confession of his sins. And how pale and trivial they had seemed before.
Was it possible that he had never before rightly looked at them? Yet why
should he so falter? Surely she meant to pardon him. He must put
everything down truthfully, and then recolour the whole for her gaze.
But his face grew hot at the thought of certain passages.

Hour after hour he sat at his desk until it was past midnight, but no
skill could soften the stony facts. Finally he lay down to rest: his
fevered brain tried to find excuses for his faults. He could forgive
himself everything ... except--ah, how unutterably wicked he had been
there. No, he could not tell her _that_: instead he must lose her for
ever. And in losing her he would lose all the higher self which she had
awakened. To lose her--when he of all men had found his ideal.

"_Everything you feel you would not like me to know._" Perhaps when she
had put this ban upon him, she suspected that there were incidents in
his life which he dared not tell her. Could he not deceive her? No, he
might write a lie, but he could never meet her fine sweet eyes with a
lie. What was he to do? And why had he always been so humble before that
slight girl? "Assuredly those fine grey eyes were never lowered before
living gaze: she seemed as one who might look God in the face."

Slowly his senses became more confused, and a darkness came, and a light
in the darkness that shone on her; and he saw her bathed in a soft
radiance, that seemed of some substance like ivory. And he knew that she
was robing for her bridal with him.

He was at her side: all around them was a gentle whispering of many
friends, who were dead. Would they smile thus--_if they knew_?

Then there arose something within him, and he knew that he must tell her
all. He commenced to speak, and she became transfigured, and smiled at
him with the tenderness of an angel; and the more he told the greater
was her forgiveness. And he heard the voices of the others lauding him
for his self-sacrifice and his sincerity. Yet as they praised a fear
clutched him for one last avowal that he must make. And with the growing
of this doubt all seemed maliciously to change, and even she no longer
smiled. He then would have told her alone, but even as he tried to hush
his voice, it seemed to pierce the quietude "with frightful audibility,
like the sibilation of a possessing spirit." Then with a reckless
despair he shouted it aloud, and everything vanished, and the darkness
of night was about him.

For many restless days and nights he harried himself with bitter
self-analysis; and day by day he tore up a certain page; yet without
that page his manuscript was worthless. As the days grew into weeks a
new fear seized him that his silence had betrayed him, and that already
she had decided against him. In the face of this danger he became
terrified, and one morning he feverishly copied the memorable page, and,
addressing the whole, dropped it in the first letter-box, before he
might change his mind.

Then an awful revelation of his act overcame him. Should he telegraph
her to return the manuscript unopened. No, it was already too late. What
was done--was done for ever. He now vaguely realized what he feared in
her--"a penetrating dynamic moral power that he felt without
comprehending." He tried to steel himself for the worst, but he knew
with a premonition that behind his imagined worst there were depths
beyond depths of worse.

The single word "Come" which he received two days later confirmed his
fears. When he reached the door of her apartment, she had already risen
to take from a locked drawer an envelope which he knew was his. She
proffered him no greeting, but asked in a cold voice if he wished her to
burn the document. At his whispered _yes_, he met her eyes, and they
seemed to strip him of the last remnant of his pride. "He stood before
her as before God,--morally naked as a soul in painted dreams of the
Judgment Day."

The fire caught the paper, and he stood near, in fear of her next word,
while she watched the flame.

At last she asked if the woman was dead. He well knew to what she
referred, and replied that almost five years had passed since her death.
To the penetrating questions which followed he answered that the
child--a boy--was well, and that his friend was still there--in the same
place. She turned to him abruptly and coldly, angered that he could have
believed that she would pardon such a crime.

He must have had some hope, or he would not have sent the letter. Had he
measured her by his own moral standard? Certainly he had placed her
below the level of honest people. Would he dare to ask their judgment of
his sin?

Speechless, he writhed under the scorn of her words, and a knowledge of
shame to which his former agony was as nothing burned within him. That
in him which her inborn goodness had taught her, was now laid bare to

Again she spoke after a silence--perhaps he would think she was cruel;
but she was not, nor was she unjust, for transcendent sin that denies
"all the social wisdom gained by human experience" cannot be pardoned,
it can only be atoned. And that sin was his; and God would exact his
expiation. And that expiation she now demanded in God's name, and as her
right. He must go to the friend whom he had wronged, and tell him the
whole truth. He must ask for the child, and fulfil his whole duty; also
he must place even his life at the man's will. And she would rather see
him dead than believe that he could be a coward as well as a criminal.
This she requested not as a favour, but as her right.

At her words he grew pale as if to death, and for a moment she feared
that he might refuse, and that she must despise him. No! his colour
rushed back, and her heart leaped, as with a calm resolve he answered,
"I will do it."

"Then go!" she replied, betraying no gladness.

A year went by. She knew that he had kept his promise. He wrote to her
often, and passionately, but the letters were never answered. Did she
doubt him still?--or was she afraid of her own heart? He could not know
the truth, so he waited with hopes and fears, and the seasons passed.
Then one day she was startled to receive a letter which told her that he
was passing through her suburb, and he begged only to be permitted to
see her. To his surprise the answer brought the happy words, "You may."

From the shy, beautiful eyes of the child, whom he brought, there seemed
to plead a woman's sorrow, until her own soul answered in forgiveness.
And the boy and the father marvelled at the tenderness that had come
upon her, and the father sobbed until her voice thrilled: that suffering
was strength and knowledge, that always he must suffer for the evil he
had wrought, but she would help him to bear the pain, and to endure his
atonement. She would shield his frailty--she would love his boy.

THE CRIME OF SYLVESTRE BONNARD (21) was translated in New York, while
Hearn was finishing the proofs of "Two Years in the French West Indies."
Of it he writes:--

    As for the "Sylvestre Bonnard" I believe I told you that that
    was translated in about ten days and published in two weeks from
    the time of beginning it.... But the work suffers in consequence
    of haste.

After his departure for the Orient, two articles on West Indian Society
appeared in the _Cosmopolitan_ (243-244). They give a sympathetic study
of the sad and pathetic tragedy of the race of the mixed blood. These
articles bear a similarity to the chapter upon and the references to
this subject, in "Two Years in the French West Indies."

GLIMPSES OF UNFAMILIAR JAPAN[30] (7) is the first of the series of
Japanese books. It was published after Hearn had been in Japan for four
years; since 1891 six of the articles had appeared in the _Atlantic
Monthly_ (246-251). Also in 1890, an article, "A Winter Journey to
Japan," was published in _Harper's Monthly_ (245). This was his initial
paper on Japan.

    [30] Copyright, 1894, by Lafcadio Hearn; and published by
         Houghton, Mifflin and Company.]

In many ways the present book on Japan is his happiest, for the charm
over everything is fresh and radiant. It is here that we learn the old
graceful customs, the touching child-like ways, and the sacred appealing
rites and beliefs that so endear to us the Japanese. Later we are to
have studies more philosophical, more erudite, but none more penetrating
in virtue of the very simplicity of subject.

It is difficult to believe that the writer, bewitched with the warmth
and colour of the tropics, giving his pen an unlicensed flow of word
colour and enthusiasm, in a few years could have matured into this
quiet, gentle thinker equally absorbed by the East. One finds scarcely a
trace of the Hearn of the tropics: therein lies his unique genius; just
so admirably as he reflected the West Indian life, does he now reflect
that of the Japanese.

It is the old Japan that Hearn loves, and the passing of which he mourns
even at the first. In his Preface, he says, "My own conviction, and that
of many impartial and more experienced observers of Japanese life, is
that Japan has nothing whatever to gain by conversion to Christianity,
either morally or otherwise, but very much to lose." Also in one of his
letters he writes, "I felt, as never before, how utterly dead old Japan
is, and how ugly New Japan is becoming." It is old Japan that we find in
the present volume. It is much as if we looked into a diary of his first
days in the Orient, giving his impressions and conclusions, as well as
portraying the pictures themselves.

One of the reviews of the book contains the following:--

"If Japan is all that he says; if the Japanese are so compounded of all
the virtues, and so innocent of the ugly failings that mar our Western
civilization, then the poet's dream of a Golden Age has actually been
realized in the remote East. Much as we should like to believe that such
a land and such a people actually exist, we cannot altogether conquer
our doubts, or avoid the suspicion that the author's feeling sometimes
gets the better of his judgment." (379.)

And another says:--

"In volume one he is still the outside observer, remote enough to be
amused with the little pretty, bird-like glances of the Orient towards
the Occident, pleased at the happy chance which makes a blind
shampooer's cry musical as she taps her way down the street, instead of
giving her a voice raucous as that which hurts and haunts the unwilling
ears of wayfarers down Newgate Street and on Ludgate-Hill; or
complimentary to the cunning fancy which paints a branch of flowering
cherry in a cleft bamboo on a square of faintly-coloured paper and calls
the cherry blossom 'beauty' and the bamboo 'long life.' He notices the
shapely feet of the people: 'bare brown feet of peasants, or beautiful
feet of children wearing tiny, tiny _geta_, or feet of young girls in
snowy _tabi_. The _tabi_, the white digitated stocking, gives to a small
light foot a mythological aspect--the white cleft grace of the foot of a

"A little further on the leaven of witchcraft is working, and he cannot
write so airily. It is not as a mere spectator that he talks of his
visit to the Buddhist cemetery, where the rotting wooden laths stand
huddled about the graves, and one tomb bears an English name and a cross
chiselled upon it. Here he made acquaintance with the god, who is the
lover of little children, Jizô-Sama, about whose feet are little
piles of stones heaped there by the hands of mothers of dead children.
He is not quite as much in earnest as volume two will find him, or he
could not call the gentle god 'that charming divinity'; but the
sight-seer is dying in him nevertheless. It was with a friend's hand
that he struck the great bell at Enoshima." (286.)

But even here with a new world unfolding to his delighted eyes, it was
colour that Hearn really wanted.

    I am not easy about my book, of which I now await the proofs. It
    lacks colour--it isn't like the West Indian book. But the world
    here is not forceful: it is all washed in faint blues and greys
    and greens. There are really _gamboge_, or saffron-coloured
    valleys,--and lilac fields; but these exist only in the early
    summer and the rape-plant season, and ordinarily Japan is
    chromatically spectral.

The opening chapter is his first day in the Orient, "the first charm of
Japan is intangible and volatile as a perfume." Everything seems to him
elfish and diminutive. "Cha," his Kurumaya, takes him past the shops
where it appears to him "that everything Japanese is delicate,
exquisite, admirable--even a pair of common wooden chop-sticks in a
paper bag with a little drawing upon it." The money itself is a thing of
beauty. But one must not dare to look, for there is enchantment in these
wares, and having looked, one must buy. In truth one wishes to buy
everything, even to the whole land, "with its magical trees and luminous
atmosphere, with all its cities and towns and temples, and forty
millions of the most lovable people."

Before the steps leading to a temple he stops.

    I turn a moment to look back through the glorious light. Sea and
    sky mingle in the same beautiful pale clear blue. Below me the
    billowing of bluish roofs reaches to the verge of the unruffled
    bay on the right, and to the feet of the green wooded hills
    flanking the city on two sides. Beyond that semi-circle of green
    hills rises a lofty range of serrated mountains, indigo
    silhouettes. And enormously high above the line of them towers
    an apparition indescribably lovely,--one solitary snowy cone, so
    filmly exquisite, so spiritually white, that but for its
    immemorially familiar outline, one would surely deem it a shape
    of cloud. Invisible its base remains, being the same delicious
    tint as the sky: only above the eternal snow-line its dreamy
    cone appears, seeming to hang, the ghost of a peak, between the
    luminous land and the luminous heaven,--the sacred and matchless
    mountain, Fujiyama.

Passing to the temple garden he wonders why the trees are so lovely in

    Is it that the trees have been so long domesticated and caressed
    by man in this land of the gods, that they have acquired souls,
    and strive to show their gratitude, like women loved, by making
    themselves more beautiful for man's sake? Assuredly they have
    mastered men's hearts by their loveliness, like beautiful
    slaves. That is to say, Japanese hearts. Apparently there have
    been some foreign tourists of the brutal class in this place,
    since it has been deemed necessary to set up inscriptions in
    English announcing that "it is forbidden to injure the trees."

Of Hearn's first visit to a Buddhist temple, I quote what one of his
critics has to say:--

"The silence of centuries seems to descend upon your soul, you feel the
thrill of something above and beyond the commonplace of this every-day
world, even here, amidst the turmoil, the rush, the struggle of this
monster city of the West, if you take up his 'Glimpses of Unfamiliar
Japan,' and turn to his description of his first visit to a Buddhist
temple. Marvellous is his power of imparting the mystery of that strange
land, of hidden meanings and allegories, of mists and legends. The
bygone spirit of the race, the very essence of the heart of the people,
that has lain sleeping in the temple gloom, in the shadows of the temple
shrines, awakes and whispers in your ears. You feel the soft, cushioned
matting beneath your feet, you smell the faint odour of the incense, you
hear the shuffling of pilgrim feet, the priest sliding back screen after
screen, pouring in light upon the gilded bronzes and inscriptions; and
you look for the image of the Deity, of the presiding Spirit, between
the altar groups of convoluted candelabra. And you see:

    Only a mirror, a round, pale disc of polished metal, and my own
    face therein, and behind this mockery of me a phantom of the far

Only a mirror! Symbolizing what? Illusion? Or that the Universe
    exists for us solely as the reflection of our own souls? Or the
    old Chinese teaching that we must seek the Buddha only in our
    own hearts? Perhaps some day I shall be able to find out. (350.)

Many more temples are visited in the following chapter. What impresses
him the most is the joyousness of the people's faith: everything is
bright and cheerful, and the air is filled with the sound of children's
voices as they play in the courts. He sees the many representations of
Jizô, the loving divinity who cares for the souls of little children,
who comforts them, and saves them from the demons. The face of Jizô
is like that of a beautiful boy, and the countenance is made "heavenly
by such a smile as only Buddhist art could have imagined, the smile of
infinite lovingness and supremest gentleness." There is also Kwannon,
"the goddess of mercy, the gentle divinity who refused the rest of
Nirvâna to save the souls of men." Her face is golden, smiling with
eternal youth and infinite tenderness. And he sees Emma Dai-Ô, the
unpitying, tremendous one. He learns many things of many gods and
goddesses. There is the temple of Kishibojin--the mother of Demons. For
some former sin she was born a demon and devoured her own children. But
through the teaching of Buddha she became a divine being, loving and
protecting the little ones, and Japanese mothers pray to her, and wives
pray for beautiful boys. At her shrine what impresses the visitor are
hundreds of tiny dresses, mostly of poor material, stretched between
tall poles of bamboos. These are the thank-offerings of poor simple
country mothers whose prayers to her have been answered.

In another chapter Hearn writes of the Festival of the Dead, for between
the 13th and the 15th day of July the dead may come back again. Every
small and great shrine is made beautiful with new mats of purest rice
straw, and is decorated with lotus flowers, _shikimi_ (anise) and
_misohagi_ (lespedeza). Food offerings, served on a tiny lacquered
table--a _zen_--are placed before the altars. Every hour, tea daintily
served in little cups is offered to the viewless visitors. At night
beautiful special lanterns are hung at the entrances of homes. Those who
have dead friends visit the cemeteries and make offerings there with
prayers, and the sprinkling of water, and the burning of incense. On the
evening of the 15th the ghosts of those, who in expiation of faults
committed in a previous life are doomed to hunger, are fed. And also are
fed the ghosts of those who have no friends.

For three days everything is done to feast the dead, and on the last
night there comes the touching ceremony of farewell, for the dead must
then return.

    Everything has been prepared for them. In each home small boats
    made of barley straw closely woven have been freighted with
    supplies of choice food, with tiny lanterns, and written
    messages of faith and love. Seldom more than two feet in length
    are these boats; but the dead require little room. And the frail
    craft are launched on canal, lake, sea, or river,--each with a
    miniature lantern glowing at the prow, and incense burning at
    the stern. And if the night be fair, they voyage long. Down all
    the creeks and rivers and canals the phantom fleets go
    glimmering to the sea; and all the sea sparkles to the horizon
    with the lights of the dead, and the sea wind is fragrant with

But alas! it is now forbidden in the great seaports to launch
    the _shôryôbune_, "the boats of the blessed ghosts."

In Kami-Ichi, in the land of Hôki, there is a glimpse into ancient
Japan, for there the Bon-odori, the Dance of the Festival of the Dead,
is still maintained. No longer is it danced in the cities. In the temple
court, in the shadow of the tomb, with the moonlight as a guide, long
processions of young girls dance a slow ghostly dance while the vast
audience of spectators keeps a perfect stillness. A deep male chant is
heard, and the women respond. Many songs follow, until the night is
waning. Then this seeming witchcraft ends, and with merry laughter and
soft chatting all disperse.

Hearn spends a long happy day at Matsue, the chief city of the Province
of the Gods, where he gathers legends and impressions. Of course it has
its temples. The temple is the best place to see the life of the people.
There it is that the children play all day long. In the summer evening,
the young artisans and labourers prove their strength in
wrestling-matches. The sacred dances are held there; and on holidays it
is also the place where toys are sold.

Often at night your attention will be drawn to a large, silent, admiring
group of people standing before some little booth. They will be looking
at a few vases of sprays of flowers--an exhibition of skill in their

Returning homeward, there is seen a poor woman scattering some white
papers into a stream of water, and, as she throws each one in, murmuring
something sweet in a low voice. She is praying for her little dead
child, and these are little prayers that she has written to Jizô.

Kitzuki is the most ancient shrine in Japan, and it is the living centre
of Shintô. There the ancient faith burns as brightly as ever it did
in the unknown past. Buddhism may be doomed to pass away, but Shintô
"unchanging and vitally unchanged remains dominant, and appears but to
gain in power and dignity." Many of the wisest scholars have tried to
define Shintô.

    But the reality of Shintô lives not in books, nor in rites,
    nor in commandments, but in the national heart, of which it is
    the highest emotional religious expression, immortal and ever
    young. Far underlying all the surface crop of quaint
    superstitions and artless myths and fantastic magic, there
    thrills a mighty spiritual force, the whole soul of a race with
    all its impulses and powers and intuitions. He who would know
    what Shintô is must learn to know that mysterious soul in
    which the sense of beauty and the power of art and the fire of
    heroism and magnetism of loyalty and the emotion of faith have
    become inherent, immanent, unconscious, instinctive.

At Kaka is the Cave of the Children's Ghosts. No evil person may enter
the Shin-Kukedo, for if he does, a large stone will detach itself and
fall down upon him. Here in this great vault, lifting forty feet above
the water, and with walls thirty feet apart, is a white rock out of
which drips a water apparently as white as the rock itself. This is the
Fountain of Jizô, which gives milk to the souls of little dead

    And mothers suffering from want of milk come hither to pray that
    milk may be given unto them; and their prayer is heard. And
    mothers having more milk than their infants need come hither
    also, and pray to Jizô that so much as they can give may be
    taken for the dead children; and their prayer is heard and their
    milk diminishes.

    At least thus the peasants of Izumo say.

In another cavern are countless little piles of stones and pebbles,
which must have been made by long and patient labour. It is the work of
the dead children. One must step carefully, for the sake of these little
ones, for if any work is spoiled, they will cry. In the sand are prints
of little naked feet, "_the footprints of the infant ghosts_." Strewn
here and there on the rocks are tiny straw sandals, pilgrims' offerings
to keep the baby feet from being bruised by the stones.

In the temple of Hojinji of the Zen sect at Mionoseki, there is an altar
which bears many images of Kwannon, the Goddess of Mercy. Before the
altar, and hung from the carven ceiling, is a bright coloured mass of
embroidered purses, patterns of silk-weaving and of cotton-weaving, also
balls of threads and worsted and silk. These are the first offerings of
little girls. As soon as a baby girl learns how to sew or knit or
embroider, she brings to the Maid-Mother of all grace and sweetness and
pity, the first piece that she has made successfully.

    Even the infants of the Japanese kindergarten bring their first
    work here,--pretty paper-cuttings, scissored out and plaited
    into divers patterns by their own tiny flower-soft hands.

Among the many Notes on Kitzuki which interest, is the annual festival
of the Divine Scribe, the Tenjin-Matsuri, to which every school-boy
sends a specimen of his best writing. The texts are in Chinese
characters, and are generally drawn from the works of Confucius or
Mencius. And Hearn remarks that the children of other countries can
never excel in the art of Japanese writing. The inner ancestral
tendencies will not let them catch the secret of the stroke with the
brush. It is the fingers of the dead that move the brush of the Japanese

At every temple festival in Japan there is a sale of toys. And every
mother, however poor, buys her child a toy. They are not costly, and are
charming. Many of these toys would seem odd to a little English child.
There is a tiny drum, a model of the drum used in the temples; or a
miniature sambo table, upon which offerings are presented to the gods.
There is a bunch of bells fastened to a wooden handle. It resembles a
rattle, but it is a model of the sacred _suzu_ which the virgin
priestess uses in her dance before the gods. Then there are tiny images
of priests and gods and goddesses. There is little of grimness in the
faiths of the Far East; their gods smile. "Why religion should be
considered too awful a subject for children to amuse themselves decently
with never occurs to the common Japanese mind."

Besides these, there are pretty toys illustrating some fairy-tale or
superstition and many other playthings of clever devices, and the little
doll, O-Hina-San (Honourable Miss Hina), which is a type of Japanese
girl beauty. The doll in Japan is a sacred part of the household. There
is a belief that if it is treasured long enough it becomes alive. Such a
doll is treated like a real child: it is supposed to possess
supernatural powers. One had such rare powers that childless couples
used to borrow it. They would minister to it, and would give it a new
outfit of clothes before returning it to its owners. All who did this
became parents. To the Japanese a new doll is only a doll; but a doll
that has received the love of many generations acquires a soul. A little
Japanese girl was asked, "How can a doll live?" "Why," was the lovely
answer, "_if you love it enough_, it will live!"

Never is the corpse of a doll thrown away. When it has become so worn
out that it must be considered quite dead, it is either burned or cast
in running water, or it is dedicated to the God Kôjin. In almost
every temple ground there is planted a tree called _enoki_, which is
sacred to Kôjin. Before the tree will be a little shrine, and either
there or at the foot of the sacred tree, the sad little remains will be
laid. Seldom during the lifetime of its owner is a doll given to

    When you see one thus exposed, you may be almost certain that it
    was found among the effects of some poor dead woman--the
    innocent memento of her girlhood, perhaps even also of the
    girlhood of her mother and of her mother's mother.

There is a sad and awful tradition in the history of the Kengyôs, the
oldest of the noble families of Izumo. Seven generations ago the
Daimyô of Izumo made his first official visit to the temples of
Hinomisaki, and was entertained royally by the Kengyô. As was the
custom, the young wife served the royal visitor. Her simple beauty
unfortunately enchanted him, and he demanded that she leave her husband
and go with him. Terrified, but like a brave loving wife and mother, she
answered that sooner than desert her husband and child she would kill

The Lord of Izumo went away, but the little household well knew the evil
that now shadowed it. And shortly the Kengyô was suddenly taken from
his family; tried at once for some unknown offence, and banished to the
islands of Oki, where he died. The Daimyô was exultant, for no
obstacle was in the way of his desire. The wife of the dead Kengyô
was the daughter of his own minister, whose name was Kamiya. Kamiya was
summoned before the Daimyô, who told him that there was no longer any
reason why Kamiya's daughter should not enter his household, and bade
Kamiya bring her to him.

The next day Kamiya returned, and with the utmost ceremony announced
that the command had been fulfilled--the victim had arrived.

    Smiling for pleasure, the Matsudaira ordered that she should be
    brought at once into his presence. The Karô prostrated
    himself, retired, and presently returned, placed before his
    master a _kubi-oke_ upon which lay the freshly-severed head of a
    beautiful woman,--the head of the young wife of the dead
    Kengyô,--with the simple utterance:

                         "This is my daughter."
            Dead by her own brave will,--but never dishonoured.

"None love life more than the Japanese; none fear death less." So it is
that when two lovers find that they can never wed, they keep the love
death together, which is _jôshi_ or _shinjû_. By dying they
believe that they will at once be united in another world. They always
pray that they may be buried together. (In other books are written
additional stories illustrating the touching custom.)

At the temple of Yaegaki at Sakusa, are the Deities of Wedlock and of
Love, and thither go all youths and maidens who are in love. Hundreds of
strips of soft white paper are knotted to the gratings of the doors of
the shrine. These are the prayers of love. Also there are tresses of
girls' hair, love-sacrifices, and offerings of sea-water and of
sea-weed. In the soil around the foundation of the shrine are planted
quantities of small paper flags.

All over Japan there are little Shintô shrines before which are
images in stone of foxes.

    The rustic foxes of Izumo have no grace: they are uncouth; but
    they betray in countless queer ways the personal fancies of
    their makers. They are of many moods,--whimsical, apathetic,
    inquisitive, saturnine, jocose, ironical; they watch and snooze
    and squint and wink and sneer; they wait with lurking smiles;
    they listen with cocked ears most stealthily, keeping their
    mouths open or closed. There is an amusing individuality about
    them all, and an air of knowing mockery about most of them, even
    those whose noses have been broken off. Moreover, these ancient
    foxes have certain natural beauties which their modern
    Tôkyô kindred cannot show. Time has bestowed upon them
    divers speckled coats of beautiful colours while they have been
    sitting on their pedestals, listening to the ebbing and flowing
    of the centuries and snickering weirdly at mankind. Their backs
    are clad with finest green velvet of old mosses; their limbs are
    spotted and their tails are tipped with the dead gold or the
    dead silver of delicate fungi. And the places they most haunt
    are the loveliest,--high shadowy groves where the _uguisu_ sings
    in green twilight, above some voiceless shrine with its lamps
    and its lions of stone so mossed as to seem things born of the
    soil--like mushrooms.

It is difficult to define the Fox superstition, chiefly because it has
sprung from so many elements. The origin is Chinese, and in Japan it has
become mixed with the worship of a Shintô deity, and further enlarged
by the Buddhist belief of thaumaturgy and magic. The peasants worship
foxes because they fear them. But there are good foxes and bad ones. The
country holds legend after legend of goblin foxes and ghost foxes, and
foxes that take the form of human beings. Every Japanese child knows
some of them.

Seldom is a Japanese garden a flower-garden: it may not contain a
flower. It is a landscape garden, and its artistic purpose is to give
the impression of a real scene. Besides, it is supposed to express "a
mood in the soul." Such abstract ideas as Chastity, Faith, Connubial
Bliss were expressed by the old Buddhist monks who first brought the art
into Japan. Little hills, and slopes of green, tiny river-banks, and
little islands, together with trees, and stones, and flowering shrubs
are combined by the artist. All these things have their poetry and
legend, and sometimes have a special name signifying their position and
rank in the whole design.

In the ponds little creatures such as the frog and water-beetle live,
and they too have their legends. The children make all of these
creatures and the insects their playmates. Then there are the _semi_,
which are musicians, and lovely dragon-flies which skim over the ponds;
and back on the hill above the garden are many birds. It is not
necessary to have a garden outdoors, for there are indoor gardens too
which can even be put into a _koniwa_, the size of a fruit-dish.

The dead are never dead with the Japanese; they become even more
important members of the family, for the spirits of the dead control the
lives of the living. Each day there is some ceremony in memory of these
blessed dead; and no home is so poor but it has its household shrine.
And Shintô, ancestor-worship,

    signifies character in the higher sense,--courage, courtesy,
    honour, and above all things loyalty. The spirit of Shintô is
    the spirit of filial piety, the zest of duty, the readiness to
    surrender life for a principle without a thought of wherefore.
    It is the docility of the child; it is the sweetness of the
    Japanese woman. It is conservatism likewise; the wholesome check
    upon the national tendency to cast away the worth of the entire
    past in rash eagerness to assimilate too much of the foreign
    present. It is religion,--but religion transformed into
    hereditary moral impulse,--religion transmuted into ethical
    instinct. It is the whole emotional life of the race,--the Soul
    of Japan.

Self-sacrifice, loyalty, the deepest spirit of Shintô, is born with
the child. If you ask any Japanese student what his dearest wish is he
will surely answer,--"To die for His Majesty, our Emperor." It is
impossible in this limited space to give an adequate idea of all that
Shintôism implies.

The dressing of the hair is a very important part of a Japanese woman's
toilet. It is dressed once in every three days, and the task takes
probably two hours. The elaborateness of the coiffure changes with the
growing age of the maiden. But when she is twenty-eight, she is no
longer young, and so thereafter only one style is left, that worn by old
women. Of course, there are many superstitions about women's hair. It is
the Japanese woman's dearest possession, and she will undergo any
suffering not to lose it. At one time it was considered a fitting
vengeance to shear the hair of an erring wife, and then turn her away.

    Only the greatest faith or the deepest love can prompt a woman
    to the voluntary sacrifice of her entire _chevelure_, though
    partial sacrifices, offerings of one or two long thick cuttings,
    may be seen suspended before many an Izumo shrine.

What faith can do in the way of such sacrifice, he best knows
    who has seen the great cables, woven of women's hair, that hang
    in the vast Hongwanji temple at Kyôto. And love is stronger
    than faith, though much less demonstrative. According to an
    ancient custom a wife bereaved sacrifices a portion of her hair
    to be placed in the coffin of her husband, and buried with him.
    The quantity is not fixed: in the majority of cases it is very
    small, so that the appearance of the coiffure is thereby no wise
    affected. But she who resolves to remain for ever faithful to
    the memory of the lost yields up all. With her own hand she cuts
    off her hair, and lays the whole glossy sacrifice--emblem of her
    youth and beauty--upon the knees of the dead.

It is never suffered to grow again.

The "Diary of a Teacher" gives a careful picture of the school-life in
Japan as Hearn finds it. At the Normal School, which is a state
institute, the young man student has no expenses. In return for these
kindnesses, when he graduates he serves as a teacher for five years.
Discipline is severe, and deportment is a demand. "A spirit of manliness
is cultivated, which excludes roughness but develops self-reliance and

The silence of study hours is perfect, and without permission no head is
ever raised from a book.

The female department is in a separate building. Girls are taught the
European sciences, and are trained in all the Japanese arts, such as
embroidery, decoration, painting; and of course that most delicate of
arts--the arranging of flowers. Drawing is taught in all the schools. By
fifty per cent. do Japanese students excel the English students in

There is also a large elementary school for little boys and girls
connected with the Normal School. These are taught by the students in
the graduating classes. Noteworthy is the spirit of peace prevailing at
the recesses that occur for ten minutes between each lesson. The boys
romp and shout and race, but never quarrel. Hearn says that among the
800 scholars whom he has taught, he has never even heard of a fight, nor
of any serious quarrel. The girls sing or play some gentle game, and the
teachers are kind and watchful of the smaller scholars. If a dress is
torn or soiled the child is cared for as carefully as if she were a
younger sister.

No teacher would ever think of striking a scholar. If he did so he would
at once have to give up his position. In fact, punishments are unknown.
"The spirit is rather reversed. In the Occident the master expels the
pupil. In Japan it happens quite as often that the pupil expels the

It takes the Japanese student seven years to acquire the triple system
of ideographs, which is the alphabet of his native literature. He must
also be versed in the written and the spoken literature. He must study
foreign history, geography, arithmetic, astronomy, physics, geometry,
natural history, agriculture, chemistry, drawing.

    Worst of all he must learn English,--a language of which the
    difficulty to the Japanese cannot be even faintly imagined by
    any one unfamiliar with the construction of the native
    tongue,--a language so different from his own that the very
    simplest Japanese phrase cannot be intelligibly rendered into
    English by a literal translation of the words or even the form
    of the thought.

And he studies all this upon the slimmest of diets, clad in thin clothes
in cold rooms. No wonder many fall by the way.

The students have been trained to find a moral in all things. If the
theme given to them for a composition is a native one, they will never
fail to find it. For instance,--a peony is very beautiful, but it has a
disagreeable odour; hence we should remember that "To be attracted by
beauty only may lead us into fearful and fatal misfortune." The sting of
the mosquito is useful, for "then we shall be bringed back to study."

There is nothing distinctive about the Japanese countenance, but there
is an intangible pleasantness that is common to all. Contrasted with
Occidental faces they seem "half-sketched." The outlines are very soft,
there is "neither aggressiveness nor shyness, neither eccentricity nor
sympathy, neither curiosity nor indifference.... But all are equally
characterized by a singular placidity,--expressing neither love nor
hate, nor anything save perfect repose and gentleness,--like the dreamy
placidity of Buddhist images." Later, these faces become individualized.

In another chapter Hearn tells of Two Festivals: one the festival of the
New Year; and the other, the Festival of Setsubun, which is the time for
the casting out of devils. On the eve of this latter festival, the
Yaku-otoshi, who is the caster-out of the demons, goes around, to any
houses that may desire his services, and performs his exorcism, for
which he receives a little fee. The rites consist of the recitation of
certain prayers, and the rattling of a _shakujô_. The _shakujô_ is
an odd-shaped staff. There is a tradition that it was first used by
Buddhist pilgrims to warn little creatures and insects to get out of the

I quote from a French review for the description of one of Hearn's

"But the most beautiful of all, 'A Dancing Girl,' is drawn from the
chronicles of that far-off past, from which, say what one may, he is
certainly wise in drawing his inspirations. It is the story of a
courtesan in love.

"At the height of her celebrity, this idol of a capital disappears from
public life, and nobody knows why. Leaving fortune behind, she flies
with a poor youth who loves her. They build for themselves a little
house in the mountains, and there exist apart from the world, one for
the other. But the lover dies one cold winter, and she remains alone,
with no other consolation than to dance for him every evening in the
deserted house. For he loved to see her dance, and he must still take
pleasure in it. Therefore, daily, she places on the memorial altar the
accustomed offerings, and at night she dances decked out in the same
finery as when she was the delight of a large city. And the day comes,
when old, decrepit, dying, reduced to beggary, she carries her superb
costume faded with time, to a painter who had seen her in the days of
her beauty, that he may accept it in exchange for a portrait made from
memory, which shall be placed before the altar always bearing offerings,
that her beloved may ever see her young, the most beautiful of the
_shirabyashi_, and that he may forgive her for not being able to dance
any more.

"This _shirabyashi_, from the distance of time, appears to us here,
clothed with I know not what of hieratical dignity, such as the modern
_geisha_ could never possess. Lafcadio Hearn in no wise pretends in the
pages he devotes to these latter, to idealize them beyond measure. They
appear under his pen as pretty animals somewhat dangerous; but is it not
their calling to be so? Whatever be the rank of the Japanese woman, he
only speaks of her with an extreme discretion, and with a caution that
one would look for in vain in the portrait of _Mme. Chrysanthème_. The
subtle voluptuousness of his style is never extended to the scenes he
reproduces; it is a style immaterial to a rare degree; he knows how to
make us understand what he means, without one word to infringe those
proprieties that are dear to the Japanese, even more than virtue itself.
And to believe him, the young, well-brought-up girl, the honest wife,
are in Japan the most perfect types of femininity that he has ever met
in any part of the world;--he, who has travelled so much. Opinions
formed superficially by globe-trotters on this subject that he scarcely
glances at because of respect, arouse as much indignation in him as
could they in the Japanese themselves. Evidently he has penetrated into
their inner life, into the mystery of their thoughts, into their hidden
springs of action, to the point of participating in their feelings."

From Hôki to Oki there is much to learn about the landscapes of
Western and Central Japan; and Hearn gives many legends, and many more
impressions and intimate glimpses.

As there are only walls of thin paper separating the lives of these
Japanese people, no privacy can exist. Really everything is done in
public, even your thoughts must be known. And it never occurs to a
Japanese that there should be any reason for living unobserved. This
must show a rare moral condition, and is understood only by those who
appreciate the charm of the Japanese character, its goodness, and its

    No one endeavours to expand his own individuality by belittling
    his fellow; no one tries to make himself appear a superior
    being: any such attempt would be vain in a community where the
    weaknesses of each are known to all, where nothing can be
    concealed or disguised, and where affectation could only be
    regarded as a mild form of insanity.

Hearn speaks of the strange public curiosity which his presence aroused
at Urago. It was not a rude curiosity; in fact, one so gentle that he
could not wish the gazers rebuked. But so insistent did it become that
he had to close his doors and windows to prevent his being watched while
he was asleep.

Kinjurô, the ancient gardener, knows a great many things about souls.
"No one is by the gods permitted to have more souls than nine."
Kinjurô also knows legends about ghosts and goblins.

An essay penetrating the very heart of the Japanese, is the chapter on
the "Japanese Smile." It crowns Hearn's work as a superb interpretation
of Japanese soul-life. This smile is the outward and visible sign of the
inward and spiritual grace of self-sacrifice. It is metaphysically and
psychologically exquisite. It is an etiquette which for generations has
been cultivated. It was a smile, _in origin_, however, demanded by hard
heathen gods of the victims they sacrificed; and, in history, it was
demanded of the subject race by the early conquerors. If refused, then
off came their heads! The smile is born with the Japanese child, and is
nurtured through all the growing years.

    The smile is taught like the bow; like the prostration; like
    that little sibilant sucking-in of the breath which follows, as
    a token of pleasure, the salutation to a superior; like all the
    elaborate and beautiful etiquette of the old courtesy.

The Japanese believe that one should always turn one's happiest face to
people. It is a wrong to cause them to share your sorrow or misfortune,
and so hurt or sadden them. One should never look serious. It is not
only unkind but extremely rude to show one's personal griefs or anger:
these feelings should always be hidden. Even though it is death one must
face, it is a duty to smile bravely.

It was with such a smile that the dying boy Shida wrote and pasted upon
the wall over his bed:--

Thou, my Lord-Soul, dost govern me. Thou knowest that I cannot
    now govern myself. Deign, I pray thee, to let me be cured
    speedily. Do not suffer me to speak much. Make me to obey in all
    things the command of the physician.

This ninth day of the eleventh month of the twenty-fourth year
    of Meiji.

From the sick body of Shida to his Soul.

    The key to the mystery of the most unaccountable smiles is
    Japanese politeness. The servant sentenced to dismissal for a
    fault prostrates himself, and asks for pardon with a smile. That
    smile indicates the very reverse of callousness or insolence:
    "Be assured that I am satisfied with the great justice of your
    honourable sentence, and that I am aware of the gravity of my
    fault. Yet my sorrow and my necessity have caused me to indulge
    the unreasonable hope that I may be forgiven for my great
    rudeness in asking pardon." The youth or girl beyond the age of
    childish tears when punished for some error, receives the
    punishment with a smile which means: "No evil feeling arises in
    my heart; much worse than this my fault has deserved."

This quality, which has become as natural to the Japanese as the very
breath of his body, is the sweet tonic-note of his whole character.

_Sayônara!_ Across the waters echoes the cry, _Manzai, Manzai!_ (Ten
thousand years to you! ten thousand years!). Hearn is leaving. He is
going far away. His pupils write expressing their sorrow and regret. He
sends them a letter thanking them for their gift of a beautiful sword,
and in a loving farewell says:--

    May you always keep fresh within your hearts those impulses of
    generosity and kindliness and loyalty which I have learned to
    know so well, and of which your gift will ever remain for me the
    graceful symbol!

    And a symbol not only of your affection and loyalty as students
    to teachers, but of that other beautiful sense of duty
    expressed, when so many of you wrote down for me, as your
    dearest wish, the desire to die for His Imperial Majesty, your
    Emperor. That wish is holy: it means perhaps more than you know,
    or can know, until you shall have become much older and wiser.
    This is an era of great and rapid change; and it is probable
    that many of you, as you grow up, will not be able to believe
    everything that your fathers believed before you, though I
    sincerely trust you will at least continue always to respect the
    faith, even as you still respect the memory, of your ancestors.
    But however much the life of New Japan may change about you,
    however much your own thoughts may change with the times, never
    suffer that noble wish you expressed to me to pass away from
    your souls. Keep it burning there, clear and pure as the flame
    of the little lamp that glows before your household shrine.

OUT OF THE EAST[31] (8), followed "Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan." The
charm of the first impression is waning.

    [31] Copyright, 1895, by Lafcadio Hearn; and published by
         Houghton, Mifflin and Company.

In a letter Hearn writes:--

    Every day, it strikes me more and more how little I shall ever
    know of the Japanese. I have been working hard at a new book,
    which is now half finished, and consists of philosophical
    sketches chiefly. It will be a very different book from the
    "Glimpses," and will show you how much the Japanese world has
    changed for me. I imagine that sympathy and friendship are
    almost impossible for any foreigner to obtain,--because of the
    amazing difference in the psychology of the two races. We only
    guess at each other without understanding.

In another letter, speaking of the title for this book, he continues:--

    It was suggested only by the motto of the Oriental Society, "_Ex
    Oriente lux._" ... The simpler the title, and the vaguer--in my
    case--the better: the vagueness touches curiosity. Besides, the
    book is a vague thing.

The _Academy_, writing of "Out of the East," says:--

"Each book marks a longer step towards the Buddhist mysticism, wherein
we have lost our poet. 'The Stone Buddha,' in the first mentioned book,
is a dreamy dialogue between the wisdom of the West; Science, with her
theories of evolution, revolution and dissolution; Buddhism, with its
re-birth on re-rebirth; and Nirvâna at the end. This thing also is
vanity. As there can be no end, so there can be no beginning; even Time
is an illusion, and there is nothing new beneath a hundred million
suns." (286.)

The old charm of word colour sparkles in "The Dream of a Summer Day."

    Mile after mile I rolled along that shore, looking into the
    infinite light. All was steeped in blue,--a marvellous blue,
    like that which comes and goes in the heart of a great shell.
    Glowing blue sea met hollow blue sky in a brightness of electric
    fusion; and vast blue apparitions--the mountains of Higo--angled
    up through the blaze, like masses of amethyst. What a blue
    transparency! The universal colour was broken only by the
    dazzling white of a few high summer clouds, motionlessly curled
    above one phantom peak in the offing. They threw down upon the
    water snowy tremulous lights. Midges or ships creeping far away
    seemed to pull long threads after them,--the only sharp lines in
    all that hazy glory. But what divine clouds! White purified
    spirits of clouds, resting on their way to the beatitude of
    Nirvâna? Or perhaps the mists escaped from Urashima's box a
    thousand years ago?

The gnat of the soul of me flitted out into that dream of blue,
    'twixt sea and sun,--hummed back to the shore of Suminoyé
    through the luminous ghosts of fourteen hundred summers.

And Hearn tells with charm why "the mists escaped from Urashima's box a
thousand years ago," and also of the old, old woman who drank too deeply
of the magical waters of youth.

Reviewing the present volume, the _Spectator_ remarks:--

"The main drift of his books, however, is to bring into view not so much
the glories of Japanese sunlight or the charms of animate or inanimate
Nature, on which it falls, as the prevalence, at any rate in extensive
sections of Japanese society, of modes of thought and standards of
conduct which, though often widely apart from our own, demand the
respect of every candid Englishman. And certainly in this endeavour he
meets with a large measure of success. His account of the essays written
and the questions asked by the members of his class in English language
and literature at the Government college, or Higher Middle School, of
Kyûshû, discloses not only what must be regarded as a very good
development of general intelligence among those young men, but a moral
tone which in many respects is quite as high, though with interesting
differences in point of view, as would be expected among English boys or
young men in the upper forms of our great public-schools or at the
Universities. Of course, what boys or young men write for or say to
their masters and tutors cannot by any means always be taken as sure
evidence of their inner feelings or of the character of their daily
life. But, so far as one can judge, Hearn's pupils appear to have given
him their confidence, and what he tells us of them may therefore
reasonably be taken without much discount. It certainly illustrates an
attractive simplicity of character and thought, not untouched by poetic
imagination, together with a high development of family affection and
strong sense of family duty, and also a remarkably high level of
patriotic feeling. This spirit is apparently inherited from the old
military class of the island of Kyûshû, and it is not surprising
to hear that rich men at a distance are keen to give their sons the
opportunity of acquiring the Kyûshû 'tone.' Towards the close of
his book Mr. Hearn gives an extremely interesting account of a farewell
visit paid him in the autumn of 1894 by an old pupil who had entered the
army after leaving college, and had been placed, at his own request, in
one of the divisions ordered for service in Corea:--

    "And now I am so glad," he exclaimed, his face radiant with a
    soldier's joy, "we go to-morrow." Then he blushed again, as if
    ashamed of having uttered his frank delight. I thought of
    Carlyle's deep saying, that never pleasures, but only suffering;
    and death are the lures that draw true hearts. I thought
    also--what I could not say to any Japanese--that the joy in the
    lad's eyes was like nothing I had ever seen before, except the
    caress in the eyes of a lover on the morning of his bridal.

"A beautiful thought, the reader will agree; but why could it not be
uttered to a Japanese? A good deal will be found on this subject in Mr.
Hearn's book, and, as we have indicated, we do not think it all holds
together. His class of students, we learn, professed to think it 'very,
very strange' that there should be so much in English novels about love
and marrying; and then he tells us that--

    Any social system of which filial piety is not the moral cement;
    any social system in which children leave their parents in order
    to establish families of their own; any social system in which
    it is considered not only natural but right to love wife and
    child more than the authors of one's being; any social system in
    which marriage can be decided independently of the will of the
    parents by the mutual inclination of the young people themselves
    ... appears, to the Japanese student of necessity a state of
    life scarcely better than that of the birds of the air and the
    beasts of the field, or at best a sort of moral chaos.

"Now, of course, it is known here that in Japan, as in other Oriental
countries, it is a rule for marriages to be family arrangements, as
regards which it is expected that the young persons will conform to the
wishes of their respective parents.

                   *       *       *       *       *

"But of course some inconsistencies are to be expected from an author
enamoured of the whole country. He is very Buddhist, and is anxious to
show that Buddhists have always held, in matters of faith, something
very like the doctrines of modern science with regard to the perpetual
sequence of evolution and dissolution. On this subject he argues
cleverly and effectively; but when, by implication or expressly, he
compares Buddhism with Christianity, it is evident that the latter faith
has not received any very close study from him. None the less is his
book, though dominated by a somewhat uncritical enthusiasm, full of
interest and instruction as to the difference between the gifts, the
motives, and the mental and moral attitude of the Japanese and the
peoples of the West, ourselves in particular. It is well worth while to
study that remarkable people as they are seen by one who is so much
captivated by them, and believes in them so strongly, as Mr. Lafcadio
Hearn." (380.)

The _Athenæum_ does not speak so cordially, and a review in the
_Atlantic Monthly_ says:--

"Mr. Hearn is not at his best as a metaphysician.... But we can forgive
him in that he stands forth a staunch champion, defying the West from
the heart of the Japanese people. He does this most clearly in his
finest essay, 'Jiujutsu.' Here the very meaning of the martial exercise,
to 'conquer by yielding' is taken as text to explain the phenomena or
national awakening which foreign cities have denounced as a 'reversal.'
Japan has borrowed weapons of force from the West, in order successfully
to resist its insidious influence. True progress is from within. Mr.
Hearn writes:--

    However psychologists may theorize on the absence or the
    limitations of personal individuality among the Japanese, there
    can be no question at all that, as a nation, Japan possesses an
    individuality stronger than our own." (306.)

Hearn further brings out in a conversation with a young Japanese the
fact that Japan, in order to keep pace with the competition of other
nations, must adopt the methods which are in direct variance to her old
morality, and all that which has made the Japanese what he is. Japan's
future depends upon her industrial development, and the fine old
qualities of self-sacrifice, simplicity, filial piety, the contentment
with little, are not the weapons for the modern struggle. In a
postscript to this essay, written two years later, after the war with
China, Hearn adds that "Japan has proved herself able to hold her own
against the world.... _Japan has won in her jiujutsu._"

Japan holds infinite legends of ghostly significance, and it is no
wonder that Hearn found so much that was sympathetic. Every new town or
new temple reveals some aspect of the odd. In this second book the
joyousness is gone; he is now a philosopher, and his philosophy reflects
much of the ghostly. The gruesome has been buried, but it is not dead:
it will return reincarnated, not of the ghastly of real life, but of the
dim, far-away, always more distant ghostly in the lives of the dead.

A revelation of the Nirvâna into which Hearn is being slowly drawn
appears in "At Hakata." He has been telling the story of the sacred
mirror that a mother in dying gave to her daughter, bidding her to look
into it every morning and evening and there see her mother. And the girl
looked and "having the heart of meeting her mother every day," knew not
that the shadow in the mirror was her own face.

    One are we all,--and yet many, because each is a world of
    ghosts. Surely that girl saw and spoke to her mother's very
    soul, while seeing the fair shadow of her own young eyes and
    lips, uttering love!

And with this thought, the strange display in the old temple
    court takes a new meaning,--becomes the symbolism of a sublime
    expectation. Each of us is truly a mirror, imaging something of
    the universe,--reflecting also the reflection of ourselves in
    that universe; and perhaps the destiny of all is to be molten by
    that mighty Image-maker, Death, into some great sweet
    passionless unity. How the vast work shall be wrought, only
    those to come after us may know. We of the present West do not
    know: we merely dream. But the ancient East believes Here is the
    simple imagery of her faith. All forms must vanish at last to
    blend with that Being whose smile is immutable Rest,--whose
    knowledge is Infinite Vision.

"The Red Bridal" is a story of _jôshi_--the joint suicide for love.
These two young people had been playmates since their early school-days,
and were deeply attached to each other. The girl's father, under the
influence of an evil stepmother, agrees to sell his daughter to the
richest and also the most disreputable man in the village. Hearing this
awful command, the maiden only smiles the brave smile--inheritance of
her Samurai blood. She knows what she must do.... Together she and her
lover quietly meet the Tôkyô express. As its low roar draws
nearer, they "wound their arms about each other, and lay down cheek to
cheek, very softly and quietly, straight across the inside rail."

We close the book with the memory of Yuko, heroic little Yuko, who, even
as noble Asakachi, who had his beautiful wish to die for his country
fulfilled, proves that the Japanese spirit of loyalty is far greater
than our word implies. With all her country, Yuko, a humble little
serving-maid, whose name signifies "valiant," is sorrowing because of a
Japanese attack upon the Czarevitch of the Russians. Her soul burns with
the desire to give something that will soften the sorrow of the August
One; for the heart of the girl, being that of a true Japanese, grieves
not alone for what has happened, but with a deeper sense of the grief
caused to the August One. The cry goes from Yuko asking how she, who has
nothing, can give; and from the lips of the dead within her comes the
answer: "Give thyself. To give life for the August One is the highest
duty, the highest joy." "And in what place?" she asks. "Saikyô,"
answer the silent voices; "in the gateway of those who by ancient custom
should have died."

Does she falter? No.

    For her the future holds no blackness. Always she will see the
    rising of the holy Sun above the peaks, the smile of the
    Lady-Moon upon the waters, the eternal magic of the Seasons. She
    will haunt the places of beauty, beyond the folding of the
    mists, in the sleep of the cedar-shadows, through circling of
    innumerable years. She will know a subtler life, in the faint
    winds that stir the snow of the flowers of the cherry, in the
    laughter of playing waters, in every happy whisper of the vast
    green silences. But first she will greet her kindred, somewhere
    in shadowy halls awaiting her coming to say to her:

"Thou hast done well,--like a daughter of Samurai. Enter, child!
    because of thee to-night we sup with the Gods!"

It is daylight when Yuko enters Kyotô. She finds a lodging, and then
goes to a skilful female hairdresser. Her little razor is made very
sharp. Returning to her room, she writes a letter of farewell to her
brother, and an appeal to the officials asking that the Tenshi-Sama may
be begged to cease from suffering "seeing that a young life, even though
unworthy, has been given in voluntary expiation of the wrong."

At the dark hour before dawn she slips to the gate of the Government
edifice. Whispering a prayer, she kneels. Then with her long
under-girdle of silk she binds her robes tightly about her knees, for

    the daughter of a Samurai must always be found in death with
    limbs decently composed. Then, with steady precision, she makes
    in her throat a gash, out of which the blood leaps in a pulsing

    At sunrise the police find her, quite cold, and the two letters,
    and a poor little purse containing five _yen_ and a few _sen_
    (enough, she had hoped, for her burial); and they take her and
    all her small belongings away.

KOKORO[32] (9), the next book, could well be a continuation of "Out of
the East." Hearn speaks of it as "terribly radical," and "rather crazy";
and he fears that his views, which are greatly opposed in the West, may
not be well received.

    [32] Copyright, 1896, by Houghton, Mifflin and Company.

"The fifteen chapters of which the book is composed," says a German
review, "do not contain the results of any research into the domain of
politics, art or religion. They are rather fragments from Japanese life,
and so clear is the language that the pictures given are brought home to
us with wonderful effect. Lafcadio Hearn is a journalist in the best
sense of the word. He is a writer who has something striking and
original to say upon the events of the day, upon the conditions and
institutions of a land, upon the possibilities of development in a
people, upon deep philosophical, social and religious problems, upon the
'Idea of Pre-existence,' upon Buddhism and Shintôism, upon the
difference between Occidental and Oriental culture, and who judges all
things, all conditions that he sees, from lofty heights. He is besides a
character, a man of great ideals; he has a fine artistic feeling and is,
moreover, able to render in wonderfully sympathetic language tender
moods which come to him at the sight of a landscape, a work of art.
Extraordinarily capable of assimilation, he, to whom Japan has become a
second home, has entirely fitted himself into the Japanese life. He is
so delighted with the customs, with the political and social conditions,
with the simple family life, with the religion, the ceremonies, the
ancestor-worship, and with the business intercourse carried on among
themselves--which he assures us is characterized by exceptional
probity--in short, he is so delighted with all the activities of this
people that he thinks them the best possible because they spring from
the inmost life of an ethical and never intellectual temperament.
Therefore he takes sides with them passionately against the modern
tendencies of Europe." (395.)

In the opening story, which I think will be found one of his best, is
portrayed the manner of a Japanese crowd in dealing with a criminal; and
how this criminal was brought to atonement by the gaze of a little
child, the son of the man he murdered, while the little one was yet in
his mother's womb.

The next chapter is a discussion of Japanese Civilization. In 1903 Hearn

    "The Genius of Japanese Civilization" is a failure. I thought
    that it was true when I wrote it; but already Japan has become
    considerably changed, and a later study of ancient social
    conditions has proved to me that I made some very serious
    sociological errors in that paper.

He shows that in the wonderful development of Japanese power, there is
vitally no self-transformation. All that Japan is, she always has been.
Nor is there any outward change. "The strength of Japan, like the
strength of her ancient faith, needs little material display: both exist
where the deepest real power of any great peoples exists,--in the Race
Ghost." He contrasts the noise and confusion and vastness of Western
cities. The construction of the West is endurance; of Japan
impermanency. The very land is a land of impermanence. But in this
impermanency Hearn finds the greatest excellence. He contrasts how
little impedimenta the Japanese have--by that means alone how
independent they are. He shows with what a quiet simplicity Japan has
become a great commercial centre. He fears the new Western spirit which
threatens her:--

    I confess to being one of those who believe that the human
    heart, even in the history of a race, may be worth infinitely
    more than the human intellect, and that it will sooner or later
    prove itself infinitely better able to answer all the cruel
    enigmas of the Sphinx of Life.--I still believe that the old
    Japanese were nearer to the solution of those enigmas than are
    we, just because they recognized moral beauty as greater than
    intellectual beauty.

It is the old spirit which found infinite meaning--

    in the flushed splendour of the blossom-bursts of spring, in the
    coming and the going of the cicadæ, in the dying crimson of
    autumn foliage, in the ghostly beauty of snow, in the delusive
    motion of wave or cloud.

The beautiful voice of a blind peasant woman fills Hearn with gentle
memories and an exquisite delight. He muses upon what the meaning of
this charm can be; and he realizes that it is the old sorrows and loving
impulses of forgotten generations.

    The dead die never utterly. They sleep in the darkest cells of
    tired hearts and busy brains,--to be startled at rarest moments
    only by the echo of some voice that recalls their past.

The lovely spirit of showing only one's happiest face to the world is
charmingly brought out in the little incident that, when in a railway
carriage, a Japanese woman finds herself becoming drowsy, before she
nods she covers her face with her long kimono sleeve.

Sometimes one may recall the dead, and speak with them. So it happened
that O-Tayo heard once again the voice of her little child who begged
her not to weep any more, for when mothers weep, the flood of the River
of Tears rises so high that the soul cannot pass, and must wander and

O-Tayo never wept again, but softly she herself became as a little
child. Her good parents built a tiny temple and fitted it with miniature
ornaments, and here all day long children came to play games with her.
And when at last she died, the children still played there, for as a
little girl of nine said, "We shall still play in the Court of Amida.
She is buried there. She will hear us and be happy."

The pathetic tale of Haru gives an interesting picture of the relation
in Japan between man and wife; of the exquisite submission of the wife
under the saddest conditions, even to the moment when the little grieved
heart, which has never murmured, has the dying strength to utter only
the single word, "_Anata_." (Thou.)

"A Glimpse of Tendencies" analyzes many conditions in Japan, with
various predictions for her future, and speaks of her lack of sympathy
for her foreign teachers.

In "A Conservative" Hearn gives a searching study of how the evils of
our civilization appear to a Japanese youth.

"In the chapter, 'The Idea of Pre-existence,' Hearn makes the
interesting attempt of bringing the teachings of the Buddhistic religion
and the conclusions of modern science into accord. The idea which
differentiates the Oriental mode of thinking from our own, which more
than any other permeates the whole mental being of the Far-East--'it is
universal as the wash of air; it colours every emotion; it influences,
directly or indirectly, almost every act'--which inspires the utterances
of the people, their proverbs, their pious and profane exclamations,
that is the idea of pre-existence. The expression, '_Ingwa_,' which
signifies the Karma as inevitable retribution, serves as explanation for
all suffering, all pain, all evil. The culprit says: 'That which I did I
knew to be wicked when doing; but my _ingwa_ was stronger than my
heart,' _Ingwa_ means predestination, determinism, necessity." (395.)

In his chapter on "Ancestor-Worship" it is further proved how important
a part of the household are the dead.

Another delightful study is "Kimiko,"--the story of one who turns
dancing-girl out of filial piety. In the height of her fame she falls in
love with a rich young man, and he with her. Kimiko is so good a woman
at heart, that the man's friends do not object to his marrying her. She
refuses, however, for her life has made her unworthy to be wife or
mother. The man hopes to change her, but one day she disappears and is
utterly lost to sight. Years pass and he marries. At last Kimiko returns
as a wandering nun, looks at her lover's little son, whispers a message
for the father in his ear, and is gone once more. The grace with which
the story is told is inimitable, and the sickly sentimentality that
revolts us in the _Dame aux Camelias_ is absent. (381.)

GLEANINGS IN BUDDHA-FIELDS[33] (10) is the third book of the Japanese
period, and was written at Kobé. In this volume of essays, intermingled
with sketches in lighter vein, Hearn continues his philosophical
studies. There are the unmistakable signs that even this ardour is
losing zest. The charm of Japan is going fast; and after this volume,
until his final interpretation, which is a summary of all that has gone
before, is reached, we find him seeking material in fairy-tales,
legends, and even returning to old thoughts about the West Indian life.

    [33] Copyright, 1897, by Houghton, Mifflin and Company.

Many of his critics feel that Hearn is becoming too subjective to be
quite trustworthy; others feel that he is still too charmed by Japan to
render a faithful picture. A review in _Public Opinion_ says:--

"But, this feature of almost pardonable exaggeration pointed out, there
is little for the critic to carp at in the majority of the eleven essays
that compose the book. The opening paper, 'A Living God,' is a perfect
specimen of the author's style, and evinces in a marked degree the
influence of Oriental environment on a sensitive mind. It treats of the
temples, shrines, and worship of the people, and tells by legend how
even a living individual may come to be worshipped as a god by his

"The essay, however, that betrays most strongly the bent of the author's
mental metamorphosis, and one, we venture to say, that will be generally
challenged is that on 'Faces in Japanese Art.' The contention it
embodies, which he boldly fathers, is a flat denial of the truth and
worth of our accepted schools of art,--of drawing especially." (376.)

Criticizing the chapters on Buddhism in the present book, the _Athenæum_

"They are finely written, but the Buddhism is the Buddhism of Mr. Hearn,
not of China or Japan, or of anywhere else. Nevertheless, we think them
the most attractive of these gleanings. Laputa is placed not very far
from Japan; to a quasi-Laputa Mr. Hearn has gone, and his Laputian
experiences are more interesting than any ordinary terrestrial
experiences could have been." (298.)

The _Spectator_ says:--

"His chapter on Nirvâna, which he describes as 'a study in synthetic
Buddhism,' will be read with very great interest by all who care for the
problems involved. There have been plenty of studies of the doctrine of
Nirvâna more elaborate and complete, but few more suggestive and more
taking.... Mr. Hearn begins by combating the popular Western notion that
the idea of Nirvâna signifies to Buddhist minds complete annihilation.
The notion is, he declares, erroneous because it contains only half the
truth, and a half of the truth which is of no value or interest or
intelligibility except when joined to the other half. According to Mr.
Hearn, and, indeed, according to 'the better opinion' generally, Nirvâna
means not absolute nothingness or complete annihilation, but only the
annihilation of what constitutes individualism and personality,--'the
annihilation of everything that can be included under the term "I".'"

Hearn makes an elaborate study of the varying stages of births and
heavens that one must generally pass through before one rises into the
"infinite bliss" of Nirvâna. The chapter closes with this significant

    The only reality is One;--all that we have taken for Substance
    is only Shadow;--the physical is the unreal:--_and the outer-man
    is the ghost_.

There are two short chapters devoted to the Japanese Songs. The first
songs, "Out of the Street," are, as Manyemon, who would not have the
Western people deceived, tells us, the vulgar songs, or those sung by
the washermen, carpenters, and bamboo-weavers, etc. The theme always
holds some glint of love. Hearn has arranged certain ones in three
groups forming a little shadow romance.

    To Heaven with all my soul I prayed to prevent your going;
    Already, to keep you with me, answers the blessed rain.

    Things never changed since the Time of the Gods: The flowing of
    water, the Way of Love.

The second chapter is devoted to Folk-Songs with Buddhist allusions.
Nearly all the arts and the greater number of the industries show the
influence of Buddhism. A typical song is:--

        Even the knot of the rope tying our boats together Knotted was
        long ago by some love in a former birth.


    Even while praying together in front of the tablets ancestral,
    Lovers find chance to murmur prayers never meant for the dead.

On the "Trip to Kyôto" there is more to be learned about poor little
Yuko, who gave her life for her nation. To the Japanese all the small
details of her story are of the greatest importance, and are carefully
treasured. Hearn thinks that the Western "refined feeling" might not
care for the poor little blood-stained trifles; if so it is to be

In "Dust," with a dainty touch, he teaches again that we are but
millions upon billions of dead people; that the cells and the souls are
themselves recombinations of old welding of forces--forces of which we
know nothing save that they belong "to the Shadow-Makers of universes."
You are an individual--but also you are a population! This leads on to
the end that

    In whatsoever time all human minds accord in thought and will
    with the mind of the Teacher, there shall not remain even one
    particle of dust that does not enter into Buddhahood.

The last chapter, "Within the Circle," is of a philosophy so impermanent
that it seems but Shadow-play, and one may not behold a visible form,
for--like all that which it symbolizes--it is but an illusion.

EXOTICS AND RETROSPECTIVES[34] (11) faithfully followed the ensuing
year. The effort to write is manifest; even to himself Hearn is
admitting that the _frisson_ which Japan gave him is passing. He is
beginning to make copy; and the subjects are becoming more vague,
vapoury, and ghostly.

    [34] Copyright, 1898, by Little, Brown and Company.

    I must eat some humble pie. My work during the past ten months
    has been rather poor. Why, I cannot quite understand--because it
    costs me more effort. Anyhow, I have had to rewrite ten essays:
    they greatly improved under the process. I am trying now to get
    a Buddhist commentary for them--mostly to be composed of texts
    dealing with pre-existence and memory of former lives. I took
    for subjects the following:--Beauty is Memory--why beautiful
    things bring sadness;--the Riddle of Touch--_i. e._ the thrill
    that a touch gives;--the Perfume of Youth;--the Reason of the
    Pleasure of the Feeling Evoked by Bright Blue;--the Pain Caused
    by Certain Kinds of Red;--Mystery of Certain Musical
    Effects;--Fear of Darkness and the Feeling of Dreams. Queer
    subjects, are they not? I think of calling the collection

The _Athenæum_, that wise critic, feels that in this book Hearn "shows
himself at his best. He is more subdued," it says, "than is his wont,
and indulges less freely in excessive laudation and needless
disparagement. The chapters on 'Insect Musicians,' on the 'Literature of
the Dead,' and--oddly as it may sound to us--on 'Frogs,' are among the
most delightful of all his writings. The keynote of all is struck in the
pretty stanza that heads the first of the three:--

                        _Mushi, yo mushi,
                            Naïté ingwa ga
                        Tsukuru nara?_
                            (Insect, O insect!
                        Singing fulfil you
                    Your fire-life and all life!)

"The translation is ours. The fondness of the Japanese for many kinds of
chirping insects, which they keep in little bamboo-cages, is one of the
prettiest of the surviving echoes of the past. The plaintive little cry
satisfies the curious melancholy that characterizes the reflective moods
of the lieges of Mutsu. In the long series of changes that is to end in
perfect Buddha-forms, there is hope always, but always tinged with the
sadness of vague memories of past pains, and the resigned dread of
sorrows to come, one knows not how oft to be repeated ere in 'Nirvâna'
all earthly moods are lost. There is a regular trade in these tiny
songsters, of the history of which Mr. Hearn tells the pleasant story."

Hearn leads us to a cemetery in a quaint lonesome garden, and teaches us
something about the wonderful texts and inscriptions that are chiselled
into the stone of the tombs, or painted on the wooden _sotoba_, and go
to form the important literature of the dead. A suggestive _sotoba_-text

    The Amida-Kyô says: "All who enter into that country enter
    likewise into that state of virtue from which there can be no
    turning back."

From the Kaimyô which is engraved on the tomb, we may select:--

    (Bright-Sun-on-the-Way-of-the-Wise, in the Mansion of
    Luminous Mind.)

    -of-the-Poor,--dwelling in the Mansion of the Virtue of Pity.)

The frog is another favourite of the Japanese. There is one special
variety called the Kajika, or true singing-frog of Japan, which is kept
as a pet in a little cage. For over a hundred years the frog has been
the subject of numerous poems. Many of these little verses are
love-poems, for the lovers' trysting-hour is also the hour when the
frog-chorus is at its height. Here is a quotation from the Anthology
called "Kokinshû," compiled A.D. 905, by the poet Ki-no-Tsurayuki:--

    The poetry of Japan has its roots in the human heart, and thence
    has grown into a multiform utterance. Man in this world, having
    a thousand million of things to undertake and to complete, has
    been moved to express his thoughts and his feelings concerning
    all that he sees and hears. When we hear the _uguisu_ singing
    among flowers, and the voice of the _kawazu_ which inhabits the
    waters, what mortal (_lit. "who among the living that lives"_)
    does not compose poems?

A charming frog poem is:--

                             _Té wo tsuité
                            Uta moshi-aguru,
                             Kawazu kana!_

(With hand resting on the ground, reverentially you repeat your poem, O

And another:--

                              _Tamagawa no
                           Hito wo mo yogizu
                              Naku kawazu,
                           Kono yû kikéba
                          Oshiku ya wa aranu?_

(Hearing to-night the frogs of the Jewel River--or Tamagawa, that sing
without fear of man, how can I help loving the passing moment?)

A vivid chapter is Hearn's description of his ascent of Fuji-no-Yama.
Here he may once again use his palette of many colours, but certainly
not with the old _abandon_.

    Brighter and brighter glows the gold. Shadows come from the
    west,--shadows flung by cloud-pile over cloud-pile; and these,
    like evening shadows upon snow, are violaceous blue.... Then
    orange-tones appear in the horizon; then smouldering crimson.
    And now the greater part of the Fleece of Gold has changed to
    cotton again,--white cotton mixed with pink.... Stars thrill
    out. The cloud-waste uniformly whitens;--thickening and packing
    to the horizon. The west glooms. Night rises; and all things
    darken except that wondrous unbroken world-round of white,--the
    Sea of Cotton.

A lurking of the gruesome flashes out when the snow-patches against the
miles of black soot and ashes on the mountain make him think "of a gleam
of white teeth I once saw in a skull,--a woman's skull,--otherwise burnt
to a sooty crisp."

"Retrospectives" is a group of gentle reveries, where we may muse with
Hearn on such elusive themes as the "Sadness in Beauty," for beauty has
no real existence, it is the emotion of the dead within us. Or there is
the analysis of that favourite word _frisson_, "the touch that makes a
thrill within you is a touch that you have felt before,--sense-echo of
forgotten intimacies in many unremembered lives." "Azure Psychology" and
"A Red Sunset" recall Hearn's earlier criticisms on colour.

IN GHOSTLY JAPAN[35] (12) followed. The title is revelatory of the Japan
that is to people this book and those which are to come. In the opening
chapter Hearn crystallizes in a powerful sketch the sum of Buddhist
lore. Of this the _Academy_ writes:--

    [35] Copyright, 1899, by Little, Brown and Company.

"Of Nirvâna one carries away this one picture, painted in words
curiously colourless and intangible--the picture of a mountain up whose
steep side toil two creatures--the soul and his guide--toiling,
stumbling upwards over a brittle and friable chaos of skulls. Skulls
crumbled into powder and skulls crumbling mark out the road; 'and every
skull,' says the guide, 'is yours, and has been yours in some past
incarnation; and the dust that rises round your present body is the dust
of your past and deserted bodies that have served you well or ill as may
be in your past lives.' In the fine and bewildering haze of this thought
we lose our poet, and henceforward he is not a face nor a voice, but an
echo of a living man's voice. We hear the echo, but the voice we do not
hear. And we grudge the voice, even to Nirvâna where all silences are
merged in one." (286.)

In a beautiful chapter Hearn outlines all that might be written about
the important subject of incense. He tells a good deal about its
religious, luxurious, and ghostly uses. There is also a charming custom
of giving parties where dainty games are played with it.

Sometimes there can be love between the living and the dead, or so it
appears in the ghostly story of "A Passional Karma," or O-Tsuyu, who
died of love of Shinzaburô and returns to be his bride. Every night,
by the light of their Peony Lanterns, she, accompanied by her maid,
comes to keep the ghostly tryst. Shinzaburô does not know that
O-Tsuyu is dead, but his servant Tomozô, overhearing voices, gazes
through a chink, and sees--

    the face of a woman long dead,--and the fingers caressing were
    fingers of naked bone,--and of the body below the waist there
    was not anything: it melted off into thinnest trailing shadow.
    Where the eyes of the lover deluded saw youth and grace and
    beauty, there appeared to the eyes of the watcher horror only,
    and the emptiness of death.

Now he whose bride is a ghost cannot live. No matter what force flows in
his blood he must certainly perish. Shinzaburô is warned and an
amulet to protect him from the dead is given to him, but treachery is
played, and the amulet is stolen; so one morning Tomozô finds his

    hideously dead;--and the face was the face of a man who had died
    in the uttermost agony of fear;--and lying beside him in the bed
    were the bones of a woman! And the bones of the arms, and the
    bones of the hands, clung fast about his neck.

The gentle heart of the Japanese shines in the chapter on "Bits of
Poetry." You might find yourself, Hearn says, in a community so poor
that you could not even buy a cup of real tea, but no place could you
discover "where there is nobody capable of making a poem." Poems are
written on all occasions and for all occasions.

    Poems can be found upon almost any kind of domestic
    utensil;--for example, upon braziers, iron-kettles, vases,
    wooden-trays, lacquer-ware, porcelains, chopsticks of the finer
    sort,--even toothpicks! Poems are painted upon shop-signs,
    panels, screens, and fans. Poems are printed upon towels,
    draperies, curtains, kerchiefs, silk-linings, and women's
    crêpe-silk underwear. Poems are stamped or worked upon
    letter-paper, envelopes, purses, mirror-cases, travelling-bags.
    Poems are inlaid upon enamelled ware, cut upon bronzes, graven
    upon metal pipes, embroidered upon tobacco-pouches.

A Japanese artist would not think of elaborating a sketch, and a poem to
be perfect must also only stir one's fancy. _Ittakkiri_, meaning
"entirely vanished" in the sense of "all told," is a term applied
contemptuously to him who expresses all his thought.

Japan is rich in proverbs. Hearn has translated one hundred examples of
Buddhist proverbs.

    _Karu-toki no Jizô-gao; nasu-toki no Emma-gao._

(Borrowing-time, the face of Jizô; repaying-time, the face of

_Sodé no furi-awasé mo tashô no en._

(Even the touching of sleeves in passing is caused by some
    relation in a former life.)

A powerful relic of the old clinging love of the gruesome is the story
of _Ingwa-banashi_. The _daimyô's_ wife knew that she was dying; and
she thought of many things, especially of her husband's favourite, the
Lady Yukiko, who was nineteen years old. She begged her husband to send
for the Lady Yukiko, whom, she said, she loved as a sister. After the
dying wife had told Lady Yukiko it was her wish that she should become
the wife of their dear lord, she begged that Yukiko would carry her on
her back to see the cherry-bloom.

    As a nurse turns her back to a child, that the child may cling
    to it, Yukiko offered her shoulders to the wife, and said:--

    "Lady, I am ready: please tell me how I best can help you."

    "Why, this way!" responded the dying woman, lifting herself with
    an almost superhuman effort by clinging to Yukiko's shoulders.
    But as she stood erect, she quickly slipped her thin hands down
    over the shoulders, under the robe, and clutched the breasts of
    the girl, and burst into a wicked laugh.

    "I have my wish!" she cried--"I have my wish for the
    cherry-bloom, but not the cherry-bloom of the garden!... I could
    not die before I got my wish. Now I have it!--oh, what a

    And with these words she fell forward upon the crouching girl,
    and died.

When the attendants tried to lift the body from Yukiko's shoulders, they
found that the hands of the dead had grown into the quick flesh of the
breasts of the girl. And they could not be removed. A skilful physician
was called, and he decided that the hands could be amputated only at the
wrists, and so this was done. But the hands still clung to the breasts;

    and there they soon darkened and dried up like the hands of a
    person long dead.

    Yet this was only the beginning of the horror.

Withered and bloodless though they seemed, those hands were not
    dead. At intervals they would stir--stealthily, like great grey
    spiders. And nightly thereafter,--beginning always at the Hour
    of the Ox,--they would clutch and compress and torture. Only at
    the Hour of the Tiger the pain would cease.

    Yukiko cut off her hair, and became a mendicant-nun.

Every day she prayed to the dead for pardon, and every night the torture
was renewed. This continued for more than seventeen years until Yukiko
was heard of no more.

SHADOWINGS[36] (13) appeared the next year, 1900. Of this volume the
_Bookman_ says:--

    [36] Copyright, 1900, by Little, Brown and Company.

"He gives us several essays upon matters Japanesque, which obviously
involve no small amount of erudition and patient research. Such are his
papers upon the various species of _Sémi_, or Japanese singing-locusts,
and on the complicated etiquette of Japanese female names. But the
distinctive feature of this volume is the first half, which is given up
to a collection of curious tales by native writers, weird, uncanny,
little stories, most of them, of ghouls and wraiths, and vampires, or at
least the nearest Japanese equivalents for such Occidental spectres."

The _Athenæum_ does not find "Shadowings" equal to the volume "Exotics."
It thinks that Hearn is "perilously near exhausting his repertory of
_Kokin_ [one-stringed fiddle] themes."

"The stories with which the present volume opens have no particular
merit: they have lost their chief and real advantage--their local
colour--in Hearnesque translation, and seem to be little more than
suggestions or drafts of 'nouvelles,' out of which skilful hands might
perhaps have made something much better. A good example is the story of
the Screen Maiden, which is a most lame presentment of a charming motif.
The chapters on female names, on _sémi_, couplets and 'Old Japanese
Songs' are more interesting, but only to those who possess a
considerable knowledge of old Japanese life and literature.... Of the
'Old Japanese Songs'--where is the proof of their antiquity?--much the
best is the dance-ballad of the dragon-maid, who bewitched a
_yamabushi_, and chased him over moor and hill and river, until the
temple of Dojo was reached, under the great bell of which the trembling
hill-warrior or outlaw (_yamabushi_ were such originally in all
probability) hid himself, whereupon the dragon-maid wrapped her body
round the bell once and again and the third time the bell melted and
flowed away like boiling water. And with it, according to the legend,
flowed away the ashes of the unwilling object of the dragon-maid's
affections, consumed not through love, but through disdain." (300.)

Strange things happen in the group of tales, and not the least is the
tale of the maiden in the screen whose loveliness so bewitches a youth
that he becomes sick unto death. Then an old scholar tells him that the
person whom the picture represents is dead, but since the painter
painted her mind as well as her form, her spirit lives in the picture
and he may yet win her.

So every day, Tokkei, following out the old scholar's injunctions, sits
before the portrait calling softly the maiden's name. And finally after
many days the maiden answered, "_Hai!_" And stepping down from out the
screen, she kneels to take the cup of wine (which was to be so),
whispering charmingly, "How could you love me so much?"

Also there is the tale of the Corpse Rider, in which the husband had to
ride for one whole night, so far that he could not know the distance,
the dead body of his divorced wife; and this was to save him from her

The gruesome gleams here, and again in the tale of "The Reconciliation,"
when the repentant husband found that the wife he was holding in his
arms is "a corpse so wasted that little remained save the bones, and the
long black tangled hair."

There is no small amount of etiquette in the prefixes and suffixes of
the Japanese female names. The majority of the _Yobina_, or personal
names, are not æsthetic. Some are called after the flowers, and there
are also place names, as for instance _Miné_ (Peak) _Hama_ (Shore); but
the large proportion express moral or mental attributes.

    Tenderness, kindness, deftness, cleverness, are frequently
    represented by _yobina;_ but appellations implying physical
    charm, or suggesting æsthetic ideas only, are comparatively
    uncommon. One reason for the fact may be that very æsthetic
    names are given to _geisha_ and to _jôro_, and consequently
    vulgarized. But the chief reason certainly is that the domestic
    virtues still occupy in the Japanese moral estimate a place not
    less important than that accorded to religious faith in the life
    of our own Middle Ages. Not in theory only, but in every-day
    practice, moral beauty is placed far above physical beauty; and
    girls are usually selected as wives, not for their good looks,
    but for their domestic qualities.

I give a few names gleaned from Hearn's
lists:--_O-Jun_--"Faithful-to-death"; _O-Tamé_--"For-the-sake-of,"--a
name suggesting unselfishness; _O-Chika_--"Closely Dear"; _O-Suki_--"The
Beloved"--_Aimée_; _O-Taë_--"The Exquisite"; _Tokiwa_--"Eternally

From the "Fantasies," we read of the Mystery of Crowds, and the horrors
of Gothic Architecture, the joys of levitation while one is asleep--with
a moral attached; of Noctilucæ. Also, as we gaze with the adolescent
youth into a pair of eyes we come to know that

    The splendour of the eyes that we worship belongs to them only
    as brightness to the morning-star. It is a reflex from beyond
    the shadow of the Now,--a ghost-light of vanished suns.
    Unknowingly within that maiden-gaze we meet the gaze of eyes
    more countless than the hosts of heaven,--eyes otherwhere passed
    into darkness and dust.

    Thus, and only thus, the depth of that gaze is the depth of the
    Sea of Death and Birth, and its mystery is the World-Soul's
    vision, watching us out of the silent vast of the Abyss of

    Thus, and only thus, do truth and illusion mingle in the magic
    of eyes,--the spectral past suffusing with charm ineffable the
    apparition of the present;--and the sudden splendour in the soul
    of the Seer is but a flash, one soundless sheet-lightning of the
    Infinite Memory.

A JAPANESE MISCELLANY[37] (14) was the next book. What does the memory
hold of these stories and sketches? Surely that picture of Old Japan
with its charming sentiment for Dragon-flies, to which such delicate
poems were written.

    [37] Copyright, 1901, by Little, Brown and Company.

                               _Tombô no
                          Ha-ura ni sabishi,--

    (Lonesomely clings the dragon-fly to the under-side of the
    leaf--Ah! the autumn-rains!)

And that verse by the mother poet, who seeing many children playing
their favourite pastime of chasing butterflies, thinks of her little one
who is dead:--

                            Kyô wa doko madé
                              Itta yara!_

    (Catching dragon-flies!... I wonder where _he_ has gone to-day!)

Then there are the children's songs about Nature and her tiny creatures,
and all their little songs for their plays; the songs which tell a
story, and the sweet mother songs that lull the babies to sleep.

How we pity poor misguided O-Dai, who forgot loyalty to her ancestors to
follow the teachings of the Western faith. At its bidding even the
sacred tablets and the scroll were cast away. And when she had forsaken
everything, and had become as an outcast with her own people, the good
missionaries found they needed a more capable assistant. Poor little
weak O-Dai, without the courage to fill her sleeves with stones and then
slip into the river, longing for the sunlight, and so "flung into the
furnace of a city's lust."

We hear the gruesome tinkle of the dead wife's warning bell, and we
certainly shudder before the vision of her robed in her grave-shroud:--

    "Eyeless she came--because she had long been dead;--and her
    loosened hair streamed down about her face;--and she looked
    without eyes through the tangle of it; and spake without a

Then the hideous horror of the evil crime, as this dead wife in her
jealousy tore off the head of the sleeping young wife. The terrified
husband following the trail of blood found

    a nightmare-thing that chippered like a bat: the figure of the
    long-buried woman erect before her tomb,--in one hand clutching
    a bell, in the other the dripping head.... For a minute the
    three stood numbed. Then one of the men-at-arms, uttering a
    Buddhist invocation, drew, and struck at the shape. Instantly it
    crumbled down upon the soil,--an empty scattering of grave-rags,
    bones, and hair;--and the bell rolled clanking out of the ruin.
    But the fleshless right hand, though parted from the wrist,
    still writhed; and its fingers still gripped at the bleeding
    head--and tore, and mangled,--as the claws of the yellow crab
    fast to a fallen fruit.

Who but Hearn would have chosen this ghastly scene, and described it
with such terrible reality?

With the parents we have unravelled the mystery of Kinumé, whose spirit
belonged to one family, and whose body was the child of the other.

Perhaps we still see the famous picture of Kwashin Koji, which had a
soul, for "it is well known that some sparrows, painted upon a sliding
screen (_fusuma_) by Hôgen Yenshin, once flew away, leaving blank the
spaces which they had occupied upon the surface. Also it is well known
that a horse painted upon a certain Kakémono, used to go out at night to
eat grass." So the water in the picture on the screen of Kwashin
overflowed into the room, and the boat thereon glided forth, but not a
ripple from the oar was heard. Then Kwashin Koji climbed into the boat,
and it receded into the picture, and the water dried in the room. Over
the painted water slipped the painted vessel until all disappeared, and
Kwashin was heard of no more.

And we remember too the strange brave way that Umétsu Chûbei won the
gift of great strength for his children, and their children's children.

The _Athenæum_ finds the story of Kwashin the best of this collection.
Speaking of the study, "On a Bridge," it says:--

"The author narrates a personal experience of a _riksha_ man who drew
him across an old bridge near Kumamoto. It was in the time of the
Satsuma _muhon_ (rebellion), some twenty-two years earlier, that the
_Kurumaya_ (_riksha_ man) was stopped on the bridge by three men, who
were dressed as peasants, but had very long swords under their
raincoats. After a time a cavalry officer came along from the city.

    The moment the horse got on the bridge the three men turned and
    leaped:--and one caught the horse's bridle; and another gripped
    the officer's arm; and the third cut off his head--all in a
    moment.... I never saw anything done so quickly.

"The seeming peasants then waited, and presently another cavalry officer
came and was murdered in like manner. Then came a third, who met a
similar fate. Lastly, the peasants went away, having thrown the bodies
into the river, but taking the heads with them. The man had never
mentioned the matter till long after the war--why? 'Because it would
have been ungrateful.'

"No doubt this is a true story." (301.)

It was probably during the ensuing year that Hearn contributed to the
Japanese Fairy Tale Series (15), published in Tôkyô, his
renditions of four of these stories.

KOTTÔ[38] (16) followed. Says the _Athenæum_:--

"The gem of this volume is 'A Woman's Diary,' purporting to be 'the
history of a woman's married life recorded by herself, found in a small
_haribako_ (work-box) which had belonged to her.' It is an ordinary
story, not in the least sensational, yet pitiful and even touching in
its record of poverty and suffering, showing the hardships and small
enjoyment--according to our notions, at least--of the colourless
existence led by the bulk of the Japanese poorer classes upon a total
family wage of twelve pounds a year or less." (302.)

    [38] Copyright, 1902, by the Macmillan Company.

Except for "A Woman's Diary" and "Fireflies" the tales in "Kottô" are
fragmentary. Some are gruesome as the history of the Gaki; or as the
story of O-Katsu-San, who was so bold as to go by night to Yurei-Daki,
and who to win her bet brought back the little money-box of the gods.
But when she came to give her baby his milk,--

    Out of the wrappings unfastened there fell to the floor a
    blood-soaked bundle of baby clothes that left exposed two very
    small brown feet, and two very small brown hands--nothing more.

The child's head had been torn off!

There is also the story of O-Kamé, who returned each night to haunt her
husband; of Chûgorô, who was bewitched by a beautiful woman whom
he married beneath the waters. But he sickened and died, for his blood
had been drained by his Circe, who was "simply a Frog,--a great and ugly

The literature and the significance of the fire-flies holds an important
place with the Japanese, and for more than a thousand years the poets
have been making verses about these little creatures.

A sketch in which Hearn is most fortunate is "Pathological," where Tama,
the mother-cat, dreams of her dead kittens--

    coos to them, and catches for them small shadowy things,--perhaps
    even brings to them, through some dim window ofmemory, a sandal
    of ghostly straw....

Beautiful is the "Revery of Mother-Love":--

    Yet those countless solar fires, with their viewless millions of
    living planets, must somehow reappear: again the wondrous
    Cosmos, self-born as self-consumed, must resume its sidereal
    whirl over the deeps of the eternities. And the love that
    strives for ever with death shall rise again, through fresh
    infinitudes of pain, to renew the everlasting battle.

    The light of the mother's smile will survive our sun;--the
    thrill of her kiss will last beyond the thrilling of stars;--the
    sweetness of her lullaby will endure in the cradle-songs of
    worlds yet unevolved;--the tenderness of her faith will quicken
    the fervour of prayers to be made to the hosts of another
    heaven,--to the gods of a time beyond Time. And the nectar of
    her breasts can never fail: that snowy stream will still flow
    on, to nourish the life of some humanity more perfect than our
    own, when the Milky Way that spans our night shall have vanished
    for ever out of Space.

Like unto the Soul is a Drop of Dew for

    Your personality signifies, in the eternal order, just as much
    as the especial motion of molecules in the shivering of any
    single drop. Perhaps in no other drop will the thrilling and the
    picturing be ever exactly the same; but the dews will continue
    to gather and to fall, and there will always be quivering
    pictures.... The very delusion of delusions is the idea of death
    as loss.

KWAIDAN[39] (17) was the book before "Japan," which was published
after Hearn's death. It is a collection of old stories, many of them
of the gruesome, and of careful studies of ants, mosquitoes, and
butterflies. Striking is the tale of Yuki-Onna, the snow-woman, as is
also the incident of Riki-Baka. One bewitched by the dead is
Mimi-Nashi-Hôïchi, whose ears were torn off because the holy texts which
were written everywhere else upon his body were there forgotten. Sonjô,
the hunter, killed the mate of a female _oshidori_, who after appearing
to him in a dream as a beautiful woman, who rebukes him the following
day as a bird, tears open her body, and dies before his eyes. O-Tei is
reborn in the shape of a woman that she may wed years later her promised
husband--Nagao Chôsei of Echigo. So loyal is the love of O-Sodé, the
milk-nurse, that the cherry-tree which is planted in commemoration of
her, on the anniversary of her death, blossoms in a wonderful way.
Because of his selfish wickedness in thinking only of the gains in his
profession, a priest was made to be reborn into the state of a
_jikininki_, who had to devour the corpses of people who died in his
district. Other devourers of human flesh are the Rokuro-Kubi. The head
of a Rokuro-Kubi separates itself from its body.

    [39] Copyright, 1904, by Houghton, Mifflin and Company.

JAPAN[40] (18): AN ATTEMPT AT INTERPRETATION is the last book that Hearn
published. He was reading its proofs at the time of his death. Although
a posthumous volume appeared, this may rightly be termed his final word.
It is the crystallization and the summary of all that has been said
before. It contains a group of twenty-one lectures, which Hearn had
expected at first to deliver at Cornell University. His own words will
best reveal their import:--

    [40] Copyright, 1904, by the Macmillan Company.

    They will form a book explaining Japan from the standpoint of
    ancestor-worship. They are suited only to a cultivated audience.

    The substantial idea of the lectures is that Japanese society
    represents the condition of ancient Greek society a thousand
    years before Christ. I am treating of religious Japan,--not of
    artistic or economical Japan except by way of illustration.

"The history of Japan is really the history of her religion," is the key
to the book.

The _Academy_ remarks:--

"No one who wishes to understand the possibilities of the future of
Japan can afford to neglect the past, and no one who would grasp the
meaning of the past can afford to neglect Mr. Hearn's fine and
thoughtful work." (288.)

In a review Mr. Griffis says:--

"They felt that he had done his best and was degenerating. Yet here is a
work which is a classic in science, a wonder of interpretation. It is
the product of long years of thought, of keenest perception, or
marvellous comprehension.

"One cannot quote, one must read this work. It shows the Japanese under
his armour, modern science. The Japanese, outwardly, are ruled by
treaties, diplomacy, governments, codes, Imperial Diet, armies and
battleships--all modern and external. Inwardly they--that is, forty-nine
millions of them--are governed by ghosts. The graveyard is the true
dictator. It is ever their 'illustrious ancestors' who achieve
victories. They, as a nation, are superbly organized for war. There is
no originality, no personality, no individuality worth speaking of in
the island empire. It is all done by the government, the community. In
social evolution the Japanese are even yet far behind the Romans, and
much as the pre-Homeric Greeks.

"In a word, Lafcadio Hearn outdoes the missionaries in dogmatism,
exceeds even the hostile propagandist in telling the naked truth.
Devoted friend of Japan, he excels the sworn enemies of her religions in
laying bare, though with admiration, the realities.... Lafcadio Hearn
turns the white and searching beams on the ship and man.... His book is
a re-reading of all Japanese history, a sociological appraisement of the
value of Japanese civilization, and a warning against intolerant
propaganda of any sort whatever. This book is destined to live, and to
cause searchings of heart among those who imagine that the Japanese soul
has been changed in fifty years." (326.)

From the _Spectator_ I quote:--

"Both the prose and poetry of Japanese life are infused into Mr. Hearn's
charming pages. Nobody, so far as we know, has given a better
description of the fascination which Japanese life has at first for such
as enter into its true spirit, and of its gradual disappearance.... Of
course it must be remembered that this charm of Japan was something more
than a beautiful mirage. 'Old Japan,' in the opinion of Mr. Hearn, 'came
nearer to the achievement of the highest moral ideal than our far more
evolved societies can hope to do for many a hundred years. Curiously
enough, it was under the shadow of the sword that the fascinating life
of Japan matured; universal politeness was nurtured by the knowledge
that any act of rudeness might, and probably would, cause a painful and
immediate death. This supremacy of the sword, governed by the noble rule
of _bushi-do_, hardened the Japanese temper into the wonderful spirit of
self-sacrifice and patriotism which is now making itself apparent in the
stress of war. All this is admirably portrayed in Mr. Hearn's
pages,--the swan-song of a very striking writer." (383.)

In _The American Journal of Sociology_ there is a review of this book,
by Edmund Buckley of the University of Chicago, which is so admirable
and inclusive that I have obtained Professor Buckley's kind permission
to quote it in its entirety. This review leaves small margin for further
comment. But it is to be regretted that space will not permit citations
of Hearn's tributes to the Japanese home, woman and character.

"On p. 160 of W. E. Griffis' 'The Mikado's Empire,' is textual evidence
that, so late as 1876, intelligent men, and theologians at that--rather,
in sooth, because they are theologians--could harbour such atrocious
notions about Shintôism, the ethnic faith of the Japanese, as the
following: 'Shintô is in no proper sense of the term a religion....
In its lower forms it is blind obedience to governmental and priestly
dictates.' The present reviewer bears these Christian apologists and
heathen defamers 'witness that they have a zeal for God, but not
according to knowledge.' They wrote in the days when hierology
(comparative religion) was still inchoate, for C. P. Ticle's 'Elements'
did not appear in its English dress until 1877; and when Japan's
abasement before the 'Christian' powers was complete, and therefore
everything Japanese assumed to be worthless. But the reaction came, of
course, and is now pretty well completed. Japan's novel yet glorious art
conquered the world; Japan's new yet ever-victorious army has conquered
Russia's imposing array; and now Mr. Hearn completely routs the
contemners of a people's sincere faith. The consensus of hierologists
that no people was ever found without a religion had already been given;
and the creed, cult, and ethics of Shintôism had been correctly
described; but it remained for Mr. Hearn to give a more complete and
intimate account than had previously been done of the ancestorism in
Shintô and of its profound influence upon politics and morality.

"It will surprise no one to learn that Mr. Hearn overdid his contention,
just because such excess is the well-nigh inevitable reaction from the
underestimate that he found current and sought to correct. As he states
the case on p. 4: 'Hitherto the subject of Japanese religion has been
written of chiefly by the sworn enemies of that religion; by others it
has been almost entirely ignored.' But now that 'see-saw' has followed
'see,' we may hope to win a final equilibrium of correct appreciation.
To this end several corrections are called for; but, before they are
made, clearness will be secured by a concise analysis of the treatise;
for in its course religion, politics, and morality are interwoven on a
historic warp. The entire fabric runs about as follows: (Chap. 3.) The
real religion of the Japanese is ancestorism, which showed in three
cults--the domestic, the communal, and the state. The domestic arose
first, but the primitive family might include hundreds of households.
Ancestorism in Japan confirms Spencer's exposition of religious origins.
The greater gods were all evolved from ghost-cults. Good men made good
gods; bad men, bad ones. (Chap. 4.) The domestic cult began in offerings
of food and drink made at the grave; then, under Chinese influence, was
transferred to the home before tablets; where it was maintained until
this present by Buddhism. Thin tablets of white wood, inscribed with the
names of the dead, are placed in a miniature wooden shrine, which is
kept upon a shelf in some inner chamber. Tiny offerings of food,
accompanied with brief prayer, must be made each day by some member of
the household in behalf of all; for the blessed dead still need
sustenance, and in return can guard the house. The Buddhist rite,
however, made prayer, not _to_, but _for_ these dead. The Japanese
scholar Hirata is correct when he declares the worship of ancestors to
be the mainspring of all virtues. (Chap. 5.) The family was united only
by religion. The father--not the mother--was supposed to be the
life-giver, and was therefore responsible for the cult. Hence the
inferior position of woman. The ancestral ghost of an _uji_, or family
of several households, became later the _ujigami_, or local tutelar god.
Subordination of young to old, of females to males, and of the whole
family to its chief, who was at once ruler and priest, shows that the
family organization was religious and not marital. Both monogamy and the
practice of parents selecting their child's spouse arose because best
accordant with religion. Later custom makes the decision, not of the
father alone, but of the household and kindred, determinative of any
important step.

"(Chap. 6.) The communal cult of the district ruled the family in all
its relations to the outer world. The _ujigami_, or clan-god, was the
spirit rather of a former ruler than of a common ancestor. Hochiman was
a ruler, but Kasuga an ancestor. Beside the _uji_ temple of a district,
there may be a more important one dedicated to some higher deity. Every
_ujiko_ or parishioner is taken to the _ujigami_ when one month old and
dedicated to him. Thereafter he attends the temple festivals, which
combine fun with piety; and he makes the temple groves his playground.
Grown up, he brings his children here; and, if he leaves home, pays his
respects to the god on leaving and returning. Thus the social bond of
each community was identical with the religious bond, and the cult of
the _ujigami_ embodied the moral experience of the community. The
individual of such a community enjoyed only a narrowly restricted
liberty. Shintôism had no moral code, because at this stage of
ancestor-cult religion and ethics coincide.

"(Chap. 7.) The great gods of nature were developed from
ancestor-worship, though their real history has been long forgotten.
(Chap. 8.) Rites of worship and of purification were many. (Chap. 9.)
The rule of the dead extended to moral conduct and even to sumptuary
matters, language, and amusements. (Chap. 10.) Buddhism absorbed the
native ancestor-cult, but prescribed that prayers be said for them, not
to them. In accordance with its principle, 'First observe the person,
then preach the law'--that is, accommodate instruction to the hearer's
capacity--Buddhism taught the masses metempsychosis instead of
palingenesis, and the paradise of Amida instead of the nirvâna of
Buddha. Buddhism rendered its greatest service to Japan by education in
the learning and arts of China. (Chap. 11.) The higher Buddhism is a
kind of monism.

"(Chap. 12.) Japanese society was simply an amplification of the
patriarchal family, and its clan-groups never united into a coherent
body until 1871. At first the bulk of the people were slaves or serfs,
but from the seventh century a large class of freedmen--farmers and
artisans--came into existence. The first period of Japanese social
evolution was based on a national head, the Mikado, and a national cult,
Shintôism; it began in this seventh century, but developed to the
limit of its type only under the Tokugawa shoguns, in the seventeenth

"Next to the priest-emperor at the head came the _kugé_, or ancient
nobility, from whose ranks most of the latter regents and shoguns were
drawn. Next ranked the _buké_ or _samurai_, which was the professional
military class, and was ruled by nearly three hundred _daimyô_, or
feudal lords of varying importance. Next came the commonalty, _heimin_,
with three classes--farmers, artisans, and tradesmen, the last being
despised by the _samurai_, who also could cut down any disrespectful
_heimin_ with impunity. Lowest of all came the _chori_--pariahs, who
were not counted Japanese at all, but _mono_-'things.' But even among
them distinctions arose according to occupation. The close care taken of
the native religion by the government precluded rise of a church. Nor
was Buddhism, divided into hostile sects and opposed by the _samurai_,
ever able to establish a hierarchy independent of the government.
Personal freedom was suppressed, as it would be now under Socialism,
which is simply a reversion to an overcome type.

"(Chap. 13.) The second period of Japanese social evolution lasted from
the eleventh to the nineteenth century, and was marked by dominance over
the mikadoate of successive dynasties of shoguns. The permanence of this
mikadoate amid all perturbations of the shogunate was owing to its
religious nature. (Chap. 14.) Following the lord in death, suicide, and
vendetta were customs based on loyalty, and they involved the noblest
self-sacrifice. (Chap. 15.) Catholic missions were suppressed lest they
should lead to the political conquest of Japan. (Chap. 16.) The Tokugawa
shoguns exercised iron discipline, and now were brought to perfection
those exquisite arts and manners of the Japanese. (Chap. 17.) A revival
of learning, begun in the eighteenth century, slowly led to a new
nationalist support of the Mikado; and when by 1891 the shogun had
resigned and the daimiates been abolished, the third period in Japan's
social evolution began. (Chap. 18.) In spite of outward seeming, the
ancient social conditions and ancestor-cult still control every action.
(Chap. 19.) The individual is still restrained by the conventions of the
masses, by communistic guilds of craftsmen, and by the government's
practice of taking loyal service in all its departments without giving
adequate pecuniary reward. (Chap. 20.) The educational system still
maintains the old communism by training, not for individual ability, but
for co-operative action. This is favoured, too, by the universal
practice of rich men meeting the personal expenses of promising
students. (Chap. 21.) Japanese loyalty and courage will support her army
and navy, but industrial competition with other peoples calls for
individual freedom. (Chap. 22.) The Japanese are not indifferent to
religion, and can be understood only by a study of their religious and
social evolution. Future changes will be social, but ancestor-cult will
persist, and offers an insuperable obstacle to the spread of

"The critical reader will not have failed to meet in this summary many
positions that challenge his previous knowledge, and whether these be
correct or not can be determined only by an examination of the full
text, which it eminently deserves. The reviewer, however, will confine
himself to certain matters that seem to him the dominating errors of the
whole. Probably three greater errors were never compressed into a single
sentence than in this from p. 27: 'The real religion of Japan, the
religion still professed in one form or another by the entire nation, is
that cult which has been the foundation of all civilized religion and of
all civilized society--ancestor-worship.' That ancestor-worship is still
professed by the entire nation is negatived by all we know from other
sources as well as all we should expect. The ancestor-worship native to
Japan had been appropriated by Buddhism; and, since the revolution of
1868 with its disestablishment of that church, the Butsudan, where the
tablets were kept, has been largely sold as an art object or has been
simply disused. The _mitamaya_ mentioned on p. 50, as if in extensive
use for ancestor-worship, is found only in a few purist families, and is
known to the mass of Japanese only as the rear apartment or structure of
a Shintôist shrine.

"That ancestor-worship is 'the real religion of Japan' and 'has been the
foundation of all civilized religion' are errors that Mr. Hearn owes to
Herbert Spencer's influence, which is confessed here, and indeed is
evident throughout the work. Perhaps nothing has brought Spencer into
more discredit than the lengths he went to prove this basic nature of
ancestorism in his 'Principles of Sociology,' and the reader of pp.
121-24 of Mr. Hearn's work will readily see how futile also is the
attempt to show that the nature-deities of Shintôism were only
'transfigured ghosts.' No, indeed, God did not make man and leave ghosts
to make him religious. The heaven and the earth were here before ghosts,
and man could personify them just as soon as he knew himself as a
person, which he must have done long before he analyzed himself into a
ghost-soul and a body. Had Mr. Hearn not ignored Réville, Max Müller,
Pfleiderer, and Saussaye, while steeping himself in Spencer, he might
have observed, what is plainly visible in Shintôism as elsewhere:
that religion has _two_ tap roots, ancestorism indeed, but also

"Again, Mr. Hearn's sentence declares that ancestor-worship is 'the
foundation of all civilized society.' This is the prevailing view
throughout the work; for example, on pp. 23, 57, 86, 99, 175, and 320.
But other passages imply the saner view that religion and morality are
coordinate functions of one man. Thus at p. 511, Mr. Hearn attributes
Japan's power to 'her old religious and social training.' The many and
strong cases of influence of religion upon conduct that can really be
shown in Japan amount only to influence, of course, and not to
'foundation' or 'origination,' A quite transparent case of Mr. Hearn's
error is where (p. 152) he attributes the exceptional cleanliness of the
Japanese to their religion, which here, as usual, he sums up as
ancestor-worship. One wonders, however, why this world-wide phenomenon
of religion should determine a Japanese cleanliness; why
ancestor-worshippers are not always clean; as for example the Chinese,
who bathe most rarely. It seems saner to seek a cause for the unique
daily bath of the Japanese in their also uniquely numerous thermal
springs, which occur in no less than 388 different localities. Symbolism
did indeed in Japan, as elsewhere, lead to religious bathing in rivers;
but bathing in rivers, as in ocean, was never popular in Japan until
recently learned from the foreigner; whereas the thermal springs are
crowded, and the daily baths at home are always taken exceedingly hot
after the thermal pattern, for these have been found not only cleansing,
but curing and warming, the last quality being a great merit where
winters are cold and houses unheated.

"Finally, the reader need not expect to meet here any adequate reference
to those vices that have been fostered by religion in Japan. The
concubinage, confirmed by ancestorism, is once mentioned; and the
harlotry, promoted by phallicism (the phallos was frequently found in a
brothel, though not exclusively there, of course), is relegated to a
simple footnote. But such matters can be learned elsewhere, whereas the
close and frequent points of influence which religion exercised upon
politics and morality in Japan can nowhere else be so well studied as
here." (292.)

THE ROMANCE OF THE MILKY WAY[41] (19) is Hearn's posthumous book. The
last memories are of the "Weaving Lady of the Milky Way"; of "Goblin
Poetry"; of "Ultimate Questions," which are called forth by the essay of
that name written by the author of the "Synthetic Philosophy"; of the
"Mirror Maiden" whom Matsumura, the priest, saved from the well, and who
repaid him by good-fortune. Moreover, of the alluring maiden in the
dream of Itô Norisuké--if one is to choose a ghost for a bride, who
would not seek Himégimi-Sama? As a finale there is the picture of
Admiral Tôgô sending to Tôkyô "for some flowering-trees in
pots--inasmuch as his responsibilities allowed him no chance of seeing
the cherry-flowers and the plum-blossoms in their season."

    [41] Copyright, 1905, by Houghton, Mifflin and Company.



                   AMERICAN AND ENGLISH EDITIONS[42]
                             ORIGINAL WORKS
                              (Nos. 1-19)

    [42] For the English Editions, the English Catalogue of Books
         has been followed.

                                 No. 1.


Stories reconstructed from the Anvari-Soheïli, Baitál, Pachísí,
Mahabharata, Pantchatantra, Gulistan, Talmud, Kalewala, etc. Boston:
James R. Osgood and Company, 1884, 16mo.

New Edition. London: Gay and Bird's, 1902, Cr. 8vo.

New Edition. London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Company, 1903, Cr. 8vo.

                                 No. 2.

1885. GOMBO ZHÈBES. Little Dictionary of Creole Proverbs, selected from
six Creole dialects. Translated into French and into English, with
notes, complete index to subjects and some brief remarks upon the Creole
idioms of Louisiana. New York: Will H. Coleman, 1885, 8vo.

                                 No. 3.

1887. SOME CHINESE GHOSTS. Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1887, 16mo.

New Edition. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1906, 12mo.

                                 No. 4.

1889. CHITA: A Memory of Last Island. New York: Harper and Brothers,
1889, 12mo.

                                 No. 5.

1890. YOUMA, The Story of a West-Indian Slave. New York: Harper and
Brothers, 1890, 12mo.

The Same. London: Sampson, Low and Company, 1890, 8vo.

                                 No. 6.

Brothers, 1890, 8vo.

The Same. London: Harper and Brothers, 1890, 8vo.

New Edition. New York and London: Harper and Brothers, 1900, 8vo.

                                 No. 7.

1894. GLIMPSES OF UNFAMILIAR JAPAN. Boston and New York: Houghton,
Mifflin and Company, 1894, 2 vols., 8vo.

The Same. London: Osgood, McIlvaine and Company, 1894, 2 vols., 8vo.

New Edition. London: Gay and Bird's, 1902, 2 vols., Cr. 8vo.

New Edition. London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Company, 1903, 2 vols., Cr.

                                 No. 8.

1895. "OUT OF THE EAST." Reveries and Studies in New Japan. Boston and
New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1895, 16mo.

The Same. London: Osgood, McIlvaine and Company, 1895, 16mo.

New Edition. London: Gay and Bird's, 1902, Cr. 8vo.

New Edition. London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Company, 1903, Cr. 8vo.

                                 No. 9.

1896. KOKORO: Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner Life. Boston and New
York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1896, 16mo.

The Same. London: Osgood, McIlvaine and Company, 1896, 8vo.

New Edition. London: Gay and Bird's, 1902, 8vo.

New Edition. London: Gay and Bird's, 1903, 8vo.

New Edition. London: Gay and Bird's, 1905, 8vo.

                                No. 10.

1897. GLEANINGS IN BUDDHA-FIELDS, Studies of Hand and Soul in the Far
East. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1897, 12mo.

The Same. London: Constable and Company, 1897, 8vo.

New Edition. London: Gay and Bird's, 1902, 8vo.

New Edition. London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Company, 1903, 8vo.

                                No. 11.

1898. EXOTICS AND RETROSPECTIVES. Boston: Little, Brown and Company,
1898, 16mo.

The Same. London: Sampson, Low and Company, 1898, 16mo.

New Edition. London: Sampson, Low and Company, 1899, 8vo.

New Popular Edition. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1904, 16mo.

New Edition. London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Company, 1905, 8vo.

                                No. 12.

1899. IN GHOSTLY JAPAN. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1899, 16mo.

The Same. London: Sampson, Low and Company, 1899, 8vo.

New Popular Edition. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1904, 16mo.

New Edition. London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Company, 1905, Cr. 8vo.

                                No. 13.

1900. SHADOWINGS. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1900, 12mo.

The Same. London: Sampson, Low and Company, 1900, 8vo.

New Popular Edition. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1904, 16mo.

New Edition. London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Company, 1905, Cr. 8vo.

                                No. 14.

1901. A JAPANESE MISCELLANY. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1901,

The Same. London: Sampson, Low and Company, 1901, 8vo.

New Popular Edition. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1904, 16mo.

New Edition. London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Company, 1905, Cr. 8vo.

                                No. 15.

1902. JAPANESE FAIRY TALES. Tôkyô, Japan: T. Hasegawa (4 vols.),

                                No. 16.

1902. KOTTÔ. Being Japanese Curios, with Sundry Cobwebs. New York:
The Macmillan Company (London: Macmillan and Company, Ltd.), 1902, 8vo.
Reprinted, April, 1903.

                                No. 17.

1904. KWAIDAN: Stories and Studies of Strange Things. Boston and New
York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1904, 12mo.

The Same. London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Company, 1904, 12mo.

                                No. 18.

1904. JAPAN: An Attempt at Interpretation. New York: The Macmillan
Company (London: Macmillan and Company, Ltd.), 1904, 8vo.

                                No. 19.

1905. THE ROMANCE OF THE MILKY WAY, and other Studies and Stories.
Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1905, 12mo.

The Same. London: Constable and Company, 1905, Cr. 8vo.

                              (Nos. 20-21)

                                No. 20.

1882. ONE OF CLEOPATRA'S NIGHTS, and other Fantastic Romances. By
Théophile Gautier. Faithfully translated by Lafcadio Hearn. New York: R.
Worthington, 1882, 8vo.

New Edition. New York: Brentano's, 1899, 12mo.

New Edition. New York: Brentano's, 1906, 12mo.

CLARIMONDE. New York: Brentano's, 1899, 16mo.

                                No. 21.

1890. THE CRIME OF SYLVESTRE BONNARD (Member of the Institute). By
Anatole France. The Translation and Introduction by Lafcadio Hearn. New
York: Harper and Brothers, 1890, 8vo.


                            FOREIGN EDITIONS
                              (Nos. 22-30)


                                No. 22.

1902. FRA SKYGGERNES VERDEN ("From the World of the Shadows"). Complete
and translated by Johanne Münther.

178 pages, one portrait. Gyldendalske book-trade, Copenhagen, 1902, 8vo.


                                No. 23.

1904. LE JAPON INCONNU. (esquisses psychologiques). Par Lafcadio Hearn.
Traduit de l'anglais avec l'autorisation de l'auteur, par Mme. Léon
Raynal. In 18 jésus, 111-354 p. Mayenne, impr. Colin, Paris, lib.
Dujarric, 1904.

(Selections from "Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan.")


                                No. 24.

1905. KOKORO. Von Lafcadio Hearn. Einzig autorisierte Übersetzung aus
dem Englischen von Berta Franzos. Mit vorwort von Hugo von Hofmannsthal.
Buchschmuck von Emil Orlik. Frankfurt a Main: Rütten und Loening, 1905,

                                No. 25.

1906. LOTUS. Blicke in das unbekannte Japan. Einzig autorisierte
Übersetzung aus dem Englischen von Berta Franzos. Mit vorwort von Hugo
von Hofmannsthal. Buchschmuck von Emil Orlik. Frankfurt a Main: Rütten
und Loening, 1905, 8vo.

(Selections from "Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan.")

                                No. 26.

1907. Lafcadio Hearn's Werke über Japan in künstlerischer
Buchausstattung von Emil Orlik. Band I. Kokoro. Band II. Lotus. Band
III. Izumo. Frankfurt a Main: Rütten und Loening, 1907.


                                No. 27.

1903. EXOTICA. Noveller och studier från Japan, af Lafcadio Hearn.
Bemyndigad öfversättning af Karin Hirn; med några notiser om författaren
af Yrjö Hirn. Tredje Upplagen. Stockholm: Wahlström & Widstrand, 1903,
16mo., 2 end pages, pp. 227, decorated paper.

(Selections from "Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan," "Out of the East,"
"Kokoro," "Exotics and Retrospectives," "In Ghostly Japan,"

Reprint 1905.

                                No. 28.

1903. EXOTICA. Noveller och studier från Japan, af Lafcadio Hearn. Ny
samling. Bemyndigad öfversättning af Karin Hirn. Stockholm: Wahlström &
Widstrand, 1903, 16mo., 2 p. l., pp. 248, decorated paper.

(Selections from "Out of the East," "Kokoro," "Gleanings in
Buddha-Fields," "Exotics and Retrospectives," "In Ghostly Japan,"
"Shadowings," "A Japanese Miscellany," "Kottô.")

                                No. 29.

1904. SPÖKEN OCH DRÖMMAR FRÅN JAPAN. (Exotica. Tredje Samlingen) af
Lafcadio Hearn. Bemyndigad öfversättning från Engelskan af Karin Hirn.
Wahlström & Widstrands, Förlag, Stockholm, MCMIV., 16mo., 1 end page,
pp. 218, decorated paper.

(Selections from "Shadowings," "A Japanese Miscellany," "Kottô,"

                                No. 30.

1905. NATALIKA. ("Stray Leaves from Strange Literature") af Lafcadio
Hearn. Bemyndigad öfversättning af Karin Hirn. Stockholm: Wahlström &
Widstrand, 16mo., pp. 189, decorated paper.

("Runes from the Kalewala" omitted.)



                              (Nos. 1-21)

                             ORIGINAL WORKS

                                 No. 1.

1884. STRAY LEAVES FROM STRANGE LITERATURE. Stories reconstructed from
the Anvari-Soheïli, Baitál Pachísí, Mahabharata, Pantchatantra,
Gulistan, Talmud, Kalewala, etc. By Lafcadio Hearn. (Publisher's
Monogram.) Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1884.

16mo., pp. (16) 225, green cloth, black lettering, and decorations.

(5) Dedication:--

                              To my Friend
                             PAGE M. BAKER
                             Editor of the
                       New Orleans Times-Democrat

(7-11) Explanatory (_Extract_).

While engaged upon this little mosaic work of legend and fable, I felt
much like one of those merchants told of in Sindbad's Second Voyage, who
were obliged to content themselves with gathering the small jewels
adhering to certain meat which eagles brought up from the Valley of
Diamonds. I have had to depend altogether upon the labour of translators
for my acquisitions; and these seemed too small to deserve separate
literary setting. By cutting my little gems according to one pattern, I
have doubtless reduced the beauty of some; yet it seemed to me their
colours were so weird, their luminosity so elfish, that their intrinsic
value could not be wholly destroyed even by so clumsy an artificer as I.

In short, these fables, legends, parables, etc., are simply
reconstructions of what impressed me as most fantastically beautiful in
the most exotic literature which I was able to obtain. With few
exceptions, the plans of the original narratives have been preserved....

This little collection has no claim upon the consideration of scholars.
It is simply an attempt to share with the public some of those novel
delights I experienced while trying to familiarize myself with some very
strange and beautiful literatures.

... My gems were few and small: the monstrous and splendid await the
coming of Sindbad, or some mighty lapidary by whom they may be wrought
into jewel bouquets exquisite as those bunches of topaz blossoms and
ruby buds laid upon the tomb of Nourmahal.

New Orleans, 1884.

(13-14) Bibliography.

(15-16) Contents:--

                              Stray Leaves

    The Book of Thoth. _From an Egyptian Papyrus._
    The Fountain Maiden. _A Legend of the South Pacific._
    The Bird Wife. _An Esquimaux Tradition._

            Tales retold from Indian and Buddhist Literature

    The Making of Tilottama
    The Brahman and his Brahmani
    The Corpse-Demon
    The Lion
    The Legend of the Monster Misfortune
    A Parable Buddhistic
    The Lotos of Faith

                        Runes from the Kalewala

    The Magical Words
    The First Musician
    The Healing of Wainamoinen

                        Stories of Moslem Lands

    Boutimar, the Dove
    The Son of a Robber
    A Legend of Love
    The King's Justice

                   Traditions retold from the Talmud

    A Legend of Rabba
    The Mockers
    Esther's Choice
    The Dispute in the Halacha
    Rabbi Yochanan ben Zachai
    A Tradition of Titus

New Edition. London: Gay and Bird's, 1902, Crown 8vo.

New Edition. London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Company, 1903, Cr. 8vo.

Articles and Reviews:--

    Charles W. Coleman, Jr., _Harper's Monthly_, May, 1887, vol. 74,
        p. 855.

                                 No. 2.

1885. GOMBO ZHÈBES. Little Dictionary of Creole Proverbs, selected from
six Creole dialects. Translated into French and into English, with
notes, complete index to subjects and some brief remarks upon the Creole
idioms of Louisiana. By Lafcadio Hearn. New York: Will H. Coleman,
Publisher, No. 70, Business Quarter, Astor House, 1885.

8vo., 6 p. l., pp. 42, brown cloth, design on cover.

(3-4) Introduction (_Extract_).

Any one who has ever paid a flying visit to New Orleans probably knows
something about those various culinary preparations whose generic name
is "Gombo"--compounded of many odds and ends, with the okra-plant, or
true gombo for a basis, but also comprising occasionally "losé,
zepinard, laitie," and the other vegetables sold in bunches in the
French market. At all events, any person who has remained in the city
for a season must have become familiar with the nature of "gombo filé,"
"gombo févi," and "gombo aux herbes," or as our coloured cook calls it
"gombo zhèbes"--for she belongs to the older generation of Creole
_cuisinières_, and speaks the patois in its primitive purity, without
using a single "r." Her daughter, who has been to school, would
pronounce it _gombo zhairbes_:--the modern patois is becoming more and
more Frenchified, and will soon be altogether forgotten, not only
throughout Louisiana, but even in the Antilles. It still, however,
retains originality enough to be understood with difficulty by persons
thoroughly familiar with French; and even those who know nothing of any
language but English, readily recognize it by the peculiar rapid
syllabification and musical intonation. Such English-speaking residents
of New Orleans seldom speak of it as "Creole": they call it _gombo_, for
some mysterious reason which I have never been able to explain
satisfactorily. The coloured Creoles of the city have themselves begun
to use the term to characterize the patois spoken by the survivors of
slavery days. Turiault tells us that in the town of Martinique, where
the Creole is gradually changing into French, the _Bitacos_, or country
negroes who still speak the patois nearly pure, are much ridiculed by
their municipal brethren:--_Ça ou ka palé là, chè, c'est nèg;--Ça pas
Créole!_ ("What you talk is 'nigger,' my dear:--that isn't Creole!") In
like manner a young Creole negro or negress of New Orleans might tell an
aged member of his race: _Ça qui to parlé ça pas Créole; ça c'est
gombo!_ I have sometimes heard the pure and primitive Creole also called
"Congo" by coloured folks of the new generation.

The literature of "gombo" has perhaps even more varieties than there are
preparations of the esculents above referred to;--the patois has
certainly its gombo févi, its gombo filé, its "gombo zhèbes"--both
written and unwritten. A work like Marbot's "Bambous" would deserve to
be classed with the pure "févi";--the treatises of Turiault, Baissac,
St. Quentin, Thomas, rather resemble that fully prepared dish, in which
crabs seem to struggle with fragments of many well-stewed meats, all
strongly seasoned with pepper. The present essay at Creole folklore, can
only be classed as "gombo zhèbes"--(_Zhèbes çé feuil-chou, cresson,
laitie, bettrav, losé, zepinard_); the true okra is not the basis of our
preparation;--it is a Creole dish, if you please, but a salmagundi of
inferior quality.

                   *       *       *       *       *

Needless to say, this collection is far from perfect;--the most I can
hope for is that it may constitute the nucleus of a more exhaustive
publication to appear in course of time. No one person could hope to
make a really complete collection of Creole proverbs--even with all the
advantages of linguistic knowledge, leisure, wealth, and travel. Only a
society of folklorists might bring such an undertaking to a successful
issue;--but as no systematic effort is being made in this direction, I
have had no hesitation in attempting--not indeed to fill a want--but to
set an example. _Gouïe passé, difil sivré_:--let the needle but pass,
the thread will follow.

                                                                   L. H.

(6) Creole Bibliography.

Pages 40-42 Indexes.

Articles and Reviews:--

_Nation, The_, April 23, 1885, vol. 40, p. 349.

                                 No. 3.

1887. SOME CHINESE GHOSTS. By Lafcadio Hearn. (Chinese Characters.)
Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1887. 16mo., p. (8) 185, brown cloth with
Chinese mask on cover, red top.

Facing Title-page:--

_If ye desire to witness prodigies and to behold marvels, be not
concerned as to whether the mountains are distant or the rivers far


(2) Dedication:--

                             To my Friend,
                         HENRY EDWARD KREHBIEL
                             The Musician,
                           who, speaking the
                       speech of melody unto the
                        children of Tien-hia,--
               unto the wandering Tsing-jin, whose skins
                       have the colour of gold,--
               moved them to make strange sounds upon the
                       serpent-bellied San-hien;
                 persuaded them to play for me upon the
                           shrieking Ya-hien;
              prevailed on them to sing me a song of their
                             native land,--
                         the song of Mohlí-hwa,
                    the song of the jasmine-flower.
                                        (Sketch of Chinaman's head.)

(Reverse) Chinese Character.

(3-4) Preface.

I think that my best apology for the insignificant size of this volume
is the very character of the material composing it. In preparing the
legends I sought especially for _weird beauty_; and I could not forget
this striking observation in Sir Walter Scott's "Essay on Imitations of
the Ancient Ballad": "The supernatural, though appealing to certain
powerful emotions very widely and deeply sown amongst the human race,
is, nevertheless, _a spring which is peculiarly apt to lose its
elasticity by being too much pressed upon_." Those desirous to
familiarize themselves with Chinese literature as a whole have had the
way made smooth for them by the labours of linguists like Julien, Pavie,
Rémusat, De Rosny, Schlegel, Legge, Hervey-Saint-Denys, Williams, Biot,
Giles, Wylie, Beal, and many other Sinologists. To such great explorers
indeed, the realm of Cathayan story belongs by right of discovery and
conquest; yet the humbler traveller who follows wonderingly after them
into the vast and mysterious pleasure-grounds of Chinese fancy may
surely be permitted to cull a few of the marvellous flowers there
growing,--a self-luminous _hwa-wang_, a black lily, a phosphoric rose or
two,--as souvenirs of his curious voyage.

L. H. New Orleans, March 15, 1886.

(5) Contents:--

The Soul of the Great Bell
The Story of Ming-Y
The Legend of Tchi-Niu
The Return of Yen Tchin-King
The Tradition of the Tea-Plant
The Tale of the Porcelain God


Notes. Glossary.

New Edition. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1906, 12mo.

Articles and Reviews:--

    Charles W. Coleman, Jr., _Harper's Monthly_, May, 1887, vol. 74,
        p. 855.

    _Nation, The_, May 26, 1887, vol. 44, p. 456.

                                 No. 4.

1889. CHITA: a Memory of Last Island. By Lafcadio Hearn

"_But Nature whistled with all her winds, Did as she pleased, and went
her way._"


New York: Harper & Brothers, Franklin Square, 1889. 12mo., 3 p. l., pp.
204, terra-cotta cloth, decorated.

(Published first in _Harper's Monthly_, April, 1888.)

(1) Dedication:--

                              To my Friend
                           DR. RODOLFO MATAS
                              New Orleans

(2) Contents:--

        Part I
    The Legend of L'île Dernière

        Part II
    Out of the Sea's Strength

        Part III
    The Shadow of the Tide


    _Je suis la vaste mêlée,--
    Reptile, étant l onde; ailée,
        Étant le vent,--
    Force et fuite, haine et vie,
    Houle immense, poursuivie
         Et poursuivant._
                                                     --Victor Hugo.

Articles and Reviews:--

    _Boston Evening Transcript, The_, November 2, 1889.

    Hutson, Charles Woodward, _Poet-Lore_, Spring, 1905, vol. 16,
        p. 53.

                                 No. 5.

1890. YOUMA. The Story of a West-Indian Slave. By Lafcadio Hearn.
(Publisher's Vignette.) New York: Harper & Brothers, Franklin Square,

12mo., 1 p. l., pp. 193, frontispiece illustration, red cloth.

(Published first in _Harper's Monthly_, January-February, 1890.)

(1) Dedication:--

                              To my friend
                           JOSEPH S. TUNISON.
         The Same. London: Sampson, Low and Company, 1890, 8vo.

Articles and Reviews:--

    _Athenæum, The_, August 30, 1890, p. 284.

    _Nation, The_, May 7, 1891, vol. 52, p. 385.

                                 No. 6.

Illustrated. (Publisher's Vignette.) New York: Harper & Brothers,
Franklin Square, 1890. 8vo., pp. (12) 431, 38 full-page illustrations, 6
illustrations in the text, green cloth ornamental.


"_La facon d'être du pays est si agréable, la température si bonne, et
l'on y vit dans une liberté si honnête, que je n'aye pas vu un seul
homme, ny une seule femme, qui en soient revenus, en qui je n'aye
remarqué une grande passion d'y retourner._"--Le Père Dutertre (1667).

(3) Dedication:--

                             À mon cher ami
                             LEOPOLD ARNOUX
                  Notaire à Saint Pierre, Martinique.

_Souvenir de nos promenades,--de nos voyages,--de nos causeries,--des
sympathies échangées,--de tout le charme d'une amitié inaltérable et
inoubliable,--de tout ce qui parle à l'âme au doux Pays des Revenants._

(5-6) Preface (_Extract_).

The introductory paper, entitled "A Midsummer Trip to the Tropics"
consists for the most part of notes taken upon a voyage of nearly three
thousand miles, accomplished in less than two months. During such hasty
journeying it is scarcely possible for a writer to attempt anything more
serious than a mere reflection of the personal experiences undergone;
and, in spite of sundry justifiable departures from simple note-making,
this paper is offered only as an effort to record the visual and
emotional impressions of the moment.

My thanks are due to Mr. William Lawless, British Consul at St. Pierre,
for several beautiful photographs, taken by himself, which have been
used in the preparation of the illustrations.
                                                               L. H.
Philadelphia, 1889.

(7) Contents:--

    A Midsummer Trip to the Tropics (_Harper's Monthly_,
        July-September, 1888)
    Martinique Sketches:--
       I. Les Porteuses (_Harper's Monthly_, July, 1889)
      II. La Grande Anse (_Harper's Monthly_, November, 1889)
     III. Un Revenant
      IV. La Guiablesse
       V. La Vérette (_Harper's Monthly_, October, 1888)
      VI. Les Blanchisseusses
     VII. La Pelée
    VIII. 'Ti Canotié
      IX. La Fille de Couleur
       X. Bête-ni-Pié
      XI. Ma Bonne
     XII. "Pa combiné, chè!"
    XIII. Yé
     XIV. Lys.
      XV. Appendix: Some Creole Melodies

(9-10) Illustrations:--

The Same. London: Harper and Brothers, 1890, 8vo.

Articles and Reviews:--

    _New York Times, The_, September 1, 1890.

                                 No. 7.

1894. GLIMPSES OF UNFAMILIAR JAPAN. By Lafcadio Hearn. In two volumes.
(Vignette.) Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company (The
Riverside Press, Cambridge), 1894.

8vo., 2 vols. pp. (x) 699, dull green cloth, silver lettering and
design, gilt top.

(1) Dedication:--

                             To the Friends
                   whose kindness alone rendered possible
                        my sojourn in the Orient,--
                   PAYMASTER MITCHELL McDONALD, U. S. N.
                      BASIL HALL CHAMBERLAIN, ESQ.
            _Emeritus Professor of Philology and Japanese in the
                       Imperial University of Tôkyô_
                        I dedicate these volumes
                              in token of
                        Affection and Gratitude.

(V-X) Preface (_Extract_).

But the rare charm of Japanese life, so different from that of all other
lands, is not to be found in its Europeanized circles. It is to be found
among the great common people, who represent in Japan, as in all
countries, the national virtues, and who still cling to their delightful
old customs, their picturesque dresses, their Buddhist images, their
household shrines, their beautiful and touching worship of ancestors.
This is the life of which a foreign observer can never weary, if
fortunate and sympathetic enough to enter into it,--the life that forces
him sometimes to doubt whether the course of our boasted Western
progress is really in the direction of moral development. Each day,
while the years pass, there will be revealed to him some strange and
unsuspected beauty in it. Like other life, it has its darker side; yet
even this is brightness compared with the darker side of Western
existence. It has its foibles, its follies, its vices, its cruelties;
yet the more one sees of it, the more one marvels at its extraordinary
goodness, its miraculous patience, its never-failing courtesy, its
simplicity of heart, its intuitive charity. And to our own larger
Occidental comprehension, its commonest superstitions, however contemned
at Tôkyô, have rarest value as fragments of the unwritten
literature of its hopes, its fears, its experience with right and
wrong,--its primitive efforts to find solutions for the riddle of the


Volume I.

       I. My First Day in the Orient
      II. The Writing of Kôbôdaishi
     III. Jizô
      IV. A Pilgrimage to Enoshima
       V. At the Market of the Dead (_Atlantic Monthly_,
            September, 1891)
      VI. Bon-Odori
     VII. The Chief City of the Province of the Gods
            (_Atlantic Monthly_, November, 1891)
    VIII. Kitzuki: The Most Ancient Shrine in Japan
            (_Atlantic Monthly_, December, 1891)
      IX. In the Cave of the Children's Ghosts
       X. At Mionoseki
      XI. Notes on Kitzuki
     XII. At Hinomisaki
    XIII. Shinjû
     XIV. Yaegaki-Jinja
      XV. Kitsune

Volume II.

     XVI. In a Japanese Garden (_Atlantic Monthly_, July, 1892)
    XVII. The Household Shrine
   XVIII. Of Women's Hair
     XIX. From the Diary of an English Teacher
      XX. Two Strange Festivals
     XXI. By the Japanese Sea
    XXII. Of a Dancing Girl (_Atlantic Monthly_, July, 1893)
   XXIII. From Hôki to Oki
    XXIV. Of Souls XXV. Of Ghosts and Goblins
    XXVI. The Japanese Smile (_Atlantic Monthly_, May, 1893)
   XXVII. Sayônara!

Pages 695-99 Index.

The Same. London: Osgood, McIlvaine and Company, 1894, 2 vols., 8vo.

New Edition. London: Gay and Bird's, 1902, 2 vols., Cr. 8vo.

New Edition. London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Company, 1903, 2 vols., Cr.

Articles and Reviews:--

    Bentzon, Th., _Revue des Deux Mondes_, June 1, 1904, vol. 21, p.

    Brandt, M. von, _Deutsche Rundschau_, October, 1900, vol. 27,
        p. 68.

    Challayé, Félicien, _Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale_, 1903,
        vol. 11, p. 338.

    Challayê, Félicien, _Revue de Paris_, December 1, 1904 vol. 6,
        p. 655.

    _Literary World, The_, October 20, 1894, vol. 25, p. 347.

    Scott, Mrs. M. McN., _Atlantic Monthly_, June, 1895, vol. 75,
        p. 830.

    _Spectator, The_, November 17, 1894, vol. 73, p. 698.

                                 No. 8.

1895. "OUT OF THE EAST." Reveries and Studies in New Japan. By Lafcadio

               "_As far as the east is from the west_"--

(Publisher's Vignette.) Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and
Company (The Riverside Press, Cambridge), 1895.

16mo., 2 p. 1., pp. 341, yellow cloth, silver lettering, yellow top.

(1) Dedication:--

                            NISHIDA SENTARÔ
                         in dear remembrance of
                               Izumo days

(2) Contents:--

       I. The Dream of a Summer Day
      II. With Kyûshû Students
     III. At Hakata (_Atlantic Monthly_, October, 1894)
      IV. Of the Eternal Feminine (_Atlantic Monthly_, December,
       V. Bits of Life and Death
      VI. The Stone Buddha
     VII. Jiujutsu
    VIII. The Red Bridal (_Atlantic Monthly_, July, 1894)
      IX. A Wish Fulfilled (_Atlantic Monthly_, January, 1895)
       X. In Yokohama
      XI. Yuko: a Reminiscence

"The Dream of a Summer Day" first appeared in the _Japan Daily Mail_.

The Same. London: Osgood, McIlvaine and Company, 1895, 16mo.

New Edition. London: Gay and Bird's, 1902, Cr. 8vo.

New Edition. London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Company, 1903, Cr. 8vo.

Articles and Reviews:--

    _Athenæum, The_, August 24, 1895, p. 249.

    Brandt, M. von, _Deutsche Rundschau_, October, 1900, vol. 105,
        p. 68.

    Challayé Félicien, _Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale_, 1903,
        vol. 11, p. 338.

    Challayé, Félicien, _Revue de Paris_, December 1, 1904, vol. 6,
        p. 655.

    _Literary World, The_, April 20, 1895, vol. 26, p. 123.

    Scott, Mrs. M. McN., _Atlantic Monthly_, June, 1895, vol. 75,
        p. 830.

    _Spectator, The_, October 12, 1895, vol. 75, p. 459.

                                 No. 9.

1896. KOKORO: Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner Life. By Lafcadio
Hearn. (Top of page "Kokoro" in Japanese.) (Sketch of Japanese Head.)
Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company (The Riverside Press,
Cambridge), 1896.

16 mo., 3 p. l., pp. 388, green cloth, gold lettering, gilt top.

(1) Dedication:--

                              To my Friend
                          AMÉNOMORI NOBUSHIGÉ
                       poet, scholar, and patriot

(2) Note:--

(Japanese character)

The papers composing this volume treat of the inner rather than of the
outer life of Japan,--for which reason they have been grouped under the
title, "Kokoro" (heart). Written with the above character, this word
signifies also mind, in the emotional sense; spirit; courage; resolve;
sentiment; affection; and inner meaning,--just as we say in English,
"the heart of things."

Kobé, September 15, 1895.

(3) Contents:--

       I. At a Railway Station
      II. The Genius of Japanese Civilization (_Atlantic Monthly_,
            October, 1895)
     III. A Street Singer
      IV. From a Travelling Diary (_Atlantic Monthly_, December,
       V. The Nun of the Temple of Amida
      VI. After the War (_Atlantic Monthly_, November, 1895)
     VII. Haru
    VIII. A Glimpse of Tendencies
      IX. By Force of Karma
       X. A Conservative
      XI. In the Twilight of the Gods (_Atlantic Monthly_, June,
     XII. The Idea of Preëxistence
    XIII. In Cholera-Time
     XIV. Some Thoughts about Ancestor-Worship
      XV. Kimiko
          Appendix. Three Popular Ballads

The Same. London: Osgood, McIlvaine and Company, 1896, 8vo.

New Edition. London: Gay and Bird's, 1902, Cr. 8vo.

New Edition. London: Gay and Bird's, 1903, Cr. 8vo.

Popular Edition. London: Gay and Bird's, 1905, Cr. 8vo.

Articles and Reviews:--

    _Athenæum, The_, August 8, 1896, p. 185.

    Bentzon, Th., _Revue de Deux Mondes_, June 1, 1904, vol. 21, p.

    Brandt, M. von, _Deutsche Rundschau_, October, 1900, vol. 105,
    p. 68.

    Challayé Félicien, _Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale_, 1903,
    vol. 11, p. 338.

    Challayé Félicien, _Revue de Paris_, December 1, 1904, vol. 6,
    p. 655.

    Cockerill, Col. John A., _Current Literature_, June, 1896, vol.
    19, p. 476.

    Herzog, Wilhelm, _Die Nation_, January 6, 1906, vol. 23, p. 217.

    _Literary World, The_, April 18, 1896, vol. 27, p. 116.

    _Nation, The_, July 9, 1896, vol. 63, p. 35.

    _Spectator, The_, May 23, 1896, vol. 76, p. 739.

    Takayanagi, Tozo, _The Book Buyer_, May, 1896, vol. 13, p. 229.

                                 No. 10.

1897. GLEANINGS IN BUDDHA-FIELDS, Studies of Hand and Soul in the Far
East. By Lafcadio Hearn. Lecturer on English Literature in the Imperial
University of Japan. (Publisher's Vignette.) Boston and New York:
Houghton, Mifflin and Company. (The Riverside Press, Cambridge.)

12mo., pp. 296, blue cloth, gold lettering, gilt top.


       I. A Living God (_Atlantic Monthly_, December, 1896)
      II. Out of the Street (_Atlantic Monthly_, September, 1896)
     III. Notes of a Trip to Kyôto (_Atlantic Monthly_, May, 1896)
      IV. Dust (_Atlantic Monthly_, November, 1896)
       V. About Faces in Japanese Art (Atlantic Monthly, August, 1896)
      VI. Ningyô-no-Haka
     VII. In Ôsaka
    VIII. Buddhist Allusions in Japanese Folk-Song
      IX. Nirvâna
       X. The Rebirth of Katsugorô
      XI. Within the Circle

The Same. London: Constable and Company, 1897, 8vo.

New Edition. London: Gay and Bird's, 1902, Cr. 8vo.

New Edition. London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Company, 1903, 8vo.

Articles and Reviews:--

    _Academy, The_, November 13, 1897, vol. 52, p. 395.

    _Athenæum, The_, November 13, 1897, p. 664.

    Challayé, Félicien, _Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale_, 1903,
    vol. 11, p. 338

    _Critic, The_, April 9, 1898, vol. 29, p. 248.

    _Independent, The_, November 24, 1898, vol. 50, p. 1508.

    _Literary World, The_, November 13, 1897, vol. 28, p. 389.

    _Nation, The_, February 3, 1898, vol. 66, p. 97.

    _Outlook, The_, October 16, 1897, vol. 57, p. 435.

    _Public Opinion_, November 25, 1897, vol. 23, p. 694.

    _Spectator, The_, November 20, 1897, vol. 79, p. 736.

    Wagner, John Harrison, _The Book Buyer_, June, 1898, vol. 16, p.

                                No. 11.

1898. EXOTICS AND RETROSPECTIVES. By Lafcadio Hearn. Lecturer on English
Literature in the Imperial University, Tôkyô. Boston: Little,
Brown and Company, MDCCCXCIX.

16mo., 4 p. l., pp. 299, 4 full-page illustrations, 13 illustrations in
the text. Green cloth, decorated, gold lettering, gilt top.

(1) Dedication:--

To Dr. C. H. H. Hall, of Yokohama (late U. S. Navy) _In Constant

(2) (Prefatory Note)

All but one of the papers composing this volume appear for the first
time. The little essays, or rather fantasies, forming the second part of
the book, deal with experiences in two hemispheres; but their general
title should explain why they have been arranged independently of that
fact. To any really scientific imagination, the curious analogy existing
between certain teachings of evolutional psychology and certain
teachings of Eastern faith,--particularly the Buddhist doctrine that all
sense-life is Karma, and all substance only the phenomenal result of
acts and thoughts,--might have suggested something much more significant
than my cluster of "Retrospectives." These are offered merely as
intimations of a truth incomparably less difficult to recognize than to

Tôkyô, Japan,                L. H. February 15, 1898.

(3) Contents:--


       I. Fuji-no-Yama
      II. Insect-Musicians
     III. A Question in the Zen Texts
      IV. The Literature of the Dead
       V. Frogs VI. Of Moon-Desire


       I. First Impressions
      II. Beauty is Memory
     III. Sadness in Beauty
      IV. Parfum de Jeunesse
       V. Azure Psychology (_Teikoku Bungaku_, Yokohama)
      VI. A Serenade
     VII. A Red Sunset
    VIII. Frisson
      IX. Vespertina Cognitio
       X. The Eternal Haunter

(4) List of Illustrations.

The Same. London: Sampson, Low and Company, 1898, 16mo.

New Edition. London: Sampson, Low and Company, 1899, 8vo.

New Popular Edition. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1904, 16mo.

New Edition. London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Company, 1905, 8vo.

Articles and Reviews:--

    _Athenæum, The_, January 6, 1900, p. 11.

    Bentzon, Th., _Revue des Deux Mondes_, June 1, 1904, vol. 21,
    p. 556.

    _Dial, The_, July 16, 1899, vol. 27, p. 52.

    _International Studio, The_, 1905, vol. 25, p. XL.

    _Nation, The_, January 26, 1905, vol. 80, p. 68.

                                No. 12.

1899. IN GHOSTLY JAPAN. By Lafcadio Hearn. Lecturer on English
Literature in the Imperial University, Tôkyô. Boston: Little,
Brown and Company, MDCCCXCIX.

16mo., 5 p. l., pp. 241, 4 full-page illustrations, 5 illustrations in
the text. Blue cloth, ornamented with white cherry-blossoms, gold
lettering, gilt top.

(1) Dedication:--

                         Mrs. Alice Von Behrens
                          _For Auld Lang Syne_


                            In Ghostly Japan
                              _Yoru bakari
                           Miru mono nari to
                             Hiru saë yumé
                          no Ukiyo nari-kéri._

    _Think not that dreams appear to the dreamer only at night: the
    dream of this world of pain appears to us even by day_.

                                                      Japanese Poem.

(3) Contents:--

    A Story of Divination
    A Passional Karma
    Footprints of the Buddha
    Bits of Poetry
    Japanese Buddhist Proverbs
    Story of a Tengu
    At Yaidzu

(4) List of Illustrations.

The Same. London: Sampson, Low and Company, 1899, 8vo.

New Popular Edition. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1904, 16mo.

New Edition. London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Company, 1905, Cr. 8vo.

Articles and Reviews:--

    Inouye, Jukichi, _Atlantic Monthly_, September, 1900, vol. 86,
    pp. 399.

    _International Studio, The_, 1905, vol. 25, p. XL.

    _Nation, The_, January 26, 1905, vol. 80, p. 68.

                                No. 13.

1900. SHADOWINGS. By Lafcadio Hearn. Lecturer on English Literature in
the Imperial University, Tôkyô, Japan. Boston: Little, Brown and
Company, 1900.

12mo., pp. (IV) 268, cloth.

(I.) Dedication:--

                     To Paymaster Mitchell McDonald
                               U. S. Navy

    My dear Mitchell,--

    Herein I have made some attempt to satisfy your wish for "a few
    more queer stories from the Japanese." Please accept the book as
    another token of the writer's affection.

                                                  Lafcadio Hearn
                                                (Koizumi Yakumo)
    Tôkyô, Japan,
        January 1, 1900.

(II.) Contents:--

    Stories from Strange Books:--

       I. The Reconciliation
      II. A Legend of Fugen-Bosatsu
     III. The Screen-Maiden
      IV. The Corpse-Rider
       V. The Sympathy of Benten
      VI. The Gratitude of the Samébito

    Japanese Studies:--

       I. Sémi
      II.Japanese Female Names
     III. Old Japanese Songs


       I. Noctilucæ
      II. A Mystery of Crowds
     III. Gothic Horror
      IV. Levitation
       V. Nightmare-Touch
      VI. Readings from a Dream-Book
     VII. In a Pair of Eyes

(III.) Illustrations.

(IV.) Bastard title-page:--

    Il avait vu brûler d'étranges pierres,
    Jadis, dans les brasiers de lapensée.
                                    Émile Verhaeren

The Same. London: Sampson, Low and Company, 1900, 8vo.

New Popular Edition. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1904, 16mo.

New Edition. London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Company, 1905, Cr. 8vo.

Articles and Reviews:--

    _Athenæum, The_, January 5, 1901, p. 15.

    Bentzon, Th., _Revue des Deux Mondes_, June 1, 1904, vol. 21, p. 556.

    F. T. C., _The Bookman_, February, 1901, vol. 12, p. 582.

    _Dial, The_, January 1, 1901, vol. 30, p. 19.

    _International Studio, The_, 1905, vol. 25, p. XL.

    Kinnosuké, Adachi, _The Critic_, January, 1901, vol. 38, p. 29.

    _Nation, The_, November 8, 1900, vol. 71, p. 372.

    _Nation, The_, January 26, 1905, vol. 80, p. 68.

    _Public Opinion_, October 18, 1900, vol. 29, p. 504.

                                No. 14.

1901. A JAPANESE MISCELLANY. By Lafcadio Hearn. Lecturer on English
Literature in the Imperial University of Tôkyô. Boston: Little,
Brown and Company, MDCCCCI.

12mo., 5 p. l., pp. 305, 2 full-page illustrations, 6 plates, 5
illustrations in the text. Green cloth, decorated, gold lettering, gilt

(1) Dedication:--

                     Mrs. Elizabeth Bisland Wetmore

(2) Contents:--

    Strange Stories:
       I. Of a Promise Kept
      II. Of a Promise Broken
     III. Before the Supreme Court
      IV. The Story of Kwashin Koji
       V. The Story of Umétsu Chûbei
      VI. The Story of Kôgi the Priest

Folklore Gleanings:

   I. Dragon-Flies (_illustrated_)
      II. Buddhist Names of Plants and Animals
     III. Songs of Japanese Children (_illustrated_)

Studies Here and There:

   I. On a Bridge
      II. The Case of O-Dai
     III. Beside the Sea (_illustrated_)
      IV. Drifting
       V. Otokichi's Daruma (_illustrated_)
      VI. In a Japanese Hospital

(3) Illustrations.

The Same. London: Sampson, Low and Company, 1901, 8vo.

New Popular Edition. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1904, 16mo.

New Edition. London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Company, 1905, Cr. 8vo.

Articles and Reviews:--

    _Athenæum_, December 21, 1901, p. 833.

    _International Studio, The_, 1905, vol. 25, p. XL.

    _Literary World, The_, December 1, 1901, vol. 32, p. 207.

    _Nation, The_, January 9, 1902, vol. 74, p. 39.

    _Nation, The_, January 26, 1905, vol. 80, p. 68.

                                No. 15.

1902. JAPANESE FAIRY TALES. Rendered into English by Lafcadio Hearn.
Published by T. Hasegawa, Publisher and Art-Printer, Tôkyô, Japan.

Four 16mo. books on Japanese folded crêpe paper, highly illustrated in

    No. 22. The Goblin Spider
    No. 23. The Boy Who Drew Cats
    No. 24. The Old Woman Who Lost Her Dumpling
    No. 25. Chin Chin Kobakama

                                No. 16.

1902. KOTTÔ (Japanese Characters). Being Japanese Curios, with Sundry
Cobwebs. Collected by Lafcadio Hearn, Lecturer on English Literature in
the Imperial University of Tôkyô, Japan. With illustrations by
Genjiro Yeto. New York: The Macmillan Company (London: Macmillan &
Company, Ltd.), 1902.

8vo., 4 p. l., pp. 251, brown cloth, decorated, gold lettering, gilt

(1) Dedication:--

To SIR EDWIN ARNOLD in grateful remembrance of kind words

(2) Contents:--

Old Stories:

       I. The Legend of Yurei-Daki
      II. In a Cup of Tea
     III. Common Sense
      IV. Ikiryô
       V. Shiryô
      VI. The Story of O-Kamé
     VII. Story of a Fly
    VIII. Story of a Pheasant
      IX. The Story of Chûgorô

    A Woman's Diary
    A Drop of Dew
    A Matter of Custom
    In the Dead of the Night
    The Eater of Dreams


                              Old Stories

_The following nine tales have been selected from the
"Shin-Chomon-Shû," "Hyaku Monogatari,"
"Uji-Jûi-Monogatari-Shô," and other old Japanese books, to
illustrate some strange beliefs. They are only Curios._

The Same. Reprinted April, 1903.

Articles and Reviews:--

    _Athenæum, The_, January 17, 1903, p. 77.

    _Book Buyer, The_, December, 1902, vol. 25, p. 416.

    More, Paul Elmer, _Atlantic Monthly_, February, 1903, vol. 91,
    p. 204.

    _Nation, The_, March 26, 1903, vol. 76, p. 254.

                                No. 17.

1904. KWAIDAN: Stories and Studies of Strange Things.--Lafcadio Hearn,
Lecturer on English Literature in the Imperial University of
Tôkyô, Japan (1896-1903). Honorary Member of the Japan Society,
London. (Japanese Characters.) Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin
and Company, MDCCCCIV. (Published April, 1904.)

12mo., 6 p. 1., pp. 240, illustrated, 2 plates, dark green cloth,
decorated, gold lettering, gilt top.

(1) Introduction by Publisher:--

(3) Prefatory Note:--

Most of the following _Kwaidan_, or Weird Tales, have been
taken from old Japanese books,--such as the _Yasô-Kidan_,
_Bukkyô-Hyakkwa-Zenshô_, _Kokon-Chomonshû_, _Tama-Sudaré_ and
_Hyaku-Monogatari_. Some of the stories may have had a Chinese origin:
the very remarkable "Dream of Akinosuké," for example, is certainly from
a Chinese source. But the Japanese story-teller in every case, has so
recoloured and reshaped his borrowing as to naturalize it.... One queer
tale, "Yuki-Onna," was told me by a farmer of Chôfu,
Nishitamagôri, in Musashi province, as a legend of his native
village. Whether it has even been written in Japanese I do not know; but
the extraordinary belief which it records used certainly to exist in
most parts of Japan, and in many curious forms.... The incident of
"Riki-Baka" was a personal experience; and I wrote it down almost
exactly as it happened, changing only a family-name mentioned by the
Japanese narrator.

Tôkyô, Japan, January 20, 1904.                                L. H.

(4) Contents:--


        The Story of Mimi-Nashi-Hôichi (_Atlantic Monthly_,
            August, 1903)
        The Story of O-Tei
        Of a Mirror and a Bell
        A Dead Secret
        The Story of Aoyagi
        The Dream of Akinosuké (_Atlantic Monthly_, March, 1904)



(5) Notes on the Illustrations

The two drawings are by the Japanese artist, Keichû Takénouche. The
frontispiece illustrates the scene in the story "Yuki-Onna" described on
page 113, and the drawing facing page 180 illustrates the Butterfly
Dance, described on page 203.

The Same. London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Company, 1904, 12mo.

Articles and Reviews:--

    _Athenæum, The_, September 17, 1904, p. 373.

    _Atlantic Monthly_, June, 1904, vol. 93, p. 857.

    _Bookman, The_, November, 1904, vol. 20, p. 159.

                                No. 18.

1904. (Japanese Characters.) JAPAN: An Attempt at Interpretation. By
Lafcadio Hearn. Honorary Member of the Japan Society, London; formerly
Lecturer in the Imperial University of Tôkyô (1896-1903), and
Fourteen Years a Resident of Japan.

    "Perhaps all very marked national characters can be traced back
    to a time of rigid and pervading discipline."
                                                   --Walter Bagehot.

New York: The Macmillan Company (London: Macmillan and Company, Ltd.),
1904. (Published, September, 1904.)

8vo., 2 p. l., pp. 541, coloured frontispiece, brown cloth, black and
gold lettering, gilt top.

(1) Contents:--

       I. Difficulties
      II. Strangeness and Charm
     III. The Ancient Cult
      IV. The Religion of the Home
       V. The Japanese Family
      VI. The Communal Cult
     VII. Developments of Shintô
    VIII. Worship and Purification
      IX. The Rule of the Dead
       X. The Introduction of Buddhism
      XI. The Higher Buddhism
     XII.The Social Organization
    XIII. The Rise of the Military Power
     XIV. The Religion of Loyalty
      XV. The Jesuit Peril
     XVI. Feudal Integration
    XVII. The Shintô Revival
   XVIII. Survivals
     XIX. Modern Restraints
      XX. Official Education
     XXI. Industrial Danger
    XXII. Reflections
          Bibliographical Notes

The Same. London: Macmillan and Company, Ltd., 1904, 8vo.

Articles and Reviews:--

    Buckley, Edmund, _The American Journal of Sociology_, January
    1905, vol. 10, p. 545.

    Griffis, William Elliot, _The Critic_, February, 1905, vol. 46,
    p. 185.

    Griffis, William Elliot, _The Dial_, December 1, 1904, vol. 36,
    p. 368.

    _Independent, The_, October 27, 1904, vol. 57, p. 976.

    _Nation, The_, December 8, 1904, vol. 79, p. 465.

    _Public Opinion_, October 27, 1904, vol. 37, p. 537.

    _Review of Reviews_, November, 1904, vol. 30, p. 561.

    Shore, W. Teignmouth, _The Academy_, December 10, 1904, vol. 67,
    p. 584.

    _Spectator, The_, January 14, 1905, vol. 94, p. 54.

    Thurston, S. J., Herbert, _The Messenger_, January, 1906,
    vol. 45, p. 1.

                                No. 19.

1905. THE ROMANCE OF THE MILKY WAY, and other Studies and Stories. By
Lafcadio Hearn. Houghton, Mifflin and Company: Boston and New York,
1905. (Published October, 1905.)

12mo., pp. (XIV) 209, decorated title-page, grey cloth with yellow
trimmings, yellow top.

(V) Contents:--

    The Romance of the Milky Way (_Atlantic Monthly_, August, 1905)
    Goblin Poetry
    "Ultimate Questions" (_Atlantic Monthly_, September, 1905)
    The Mirror Maiden
    The Story of Itô Norisuké (_Atlantic Monthly_, January, 1905)
    Stranger than Fiction (_Atlantic Monthly_, April, 1905)
    A Letter from Japan (_Atlantic Monthly_, November, 1904)

(VII-XIV) Introduction by F. G.

The Same. London: Constable and Company, 1905, Cr. 8vo.

Articles and Reviews:--

    _Academy, The_, December 2, 1905, vol. 69, p. 1257. _Athenæum,
    The_, March 31, 1906, p. 389.

    _Dial, The_, November 1, 1905, vol. 39, p. 276.

    Griffis, W. E., _The Critic_, March, 1906, vol. 48, p. 222.

    _Independent_, The, December 21, 1905, vol. 59, p. 1478.

    _Nation, The_, December 21, 1905, vol. 81, p. 510.

    _Outlook, The_, November 9, 1906, vol. 84, p. 503.


                                No. 20.

1882. ONE OF CLEOPATRA'S NIGHTS, and other Fantastic Romances. By
Théophile Gautier. Faithfully translated by Lafcadio Hearn.


    One of Cleopatra's Nights
    Arria Marcella: A Souvenir of Pompeii
    The Mummy's Foot
    Omphale: A Rococo Story
    King Candaules

New York: R. Worthington, 770 Broadway, 1882.

8vo., pp. (IX) 321, red cloth, gilt top. Head Gautier as Frontispiece.


    _The love that caught strange light from death's own eyes,
    And filled death's lips with fiery words and sighs,
        And half asleep, let feed from veins of his,
    Her close red warm snake's-mouth, Egyptian-wise:
    And that great night of love more strange than this,
    When she that made the whole world's bale and bliss
        Made king of the whole world's desire a slave
    And killed him in mid-kingdom with a kiss._

    "_Memorial verses on the death of Théophile Gautier._"

(V-IX) To the Reader (_Extract_).

It is the artist, therefore, who must judge of Gautier's creations. To
the lovers of the loveliness of the antique world, the lovers of
physical beauty and artistic truth,--of the charm of youthful dreams and
young passion in its blossoming,--of poetic ambitions and the sweet
pantheism that finds all Nature vitalized by the Spirit of the
Beautiful,--to such the first English version of these graceful
fantasies is offered in the hope that it may not be found wholly
unworthy of the original.

New Orleans, 1882.                                                 L. H.

Pages 317-21 Addenda.

New Edition. New York: Brentano's, 1899, 12mo.
New Edition. New York: Brentano's, 1906, 12mo.
CLARIMONDE. New York: Brentano's, 1899, 16mo.

Articles and Reviews:--

Brandt, M. von, _Deutsche Rundschau_, October, 1900, vol. 105, p. 68.

Coleman, Charles W., Jr., _Harper's Monthly_, May, 1887, vol. 74, p.

_Dayton (Ohio) Journal_, September 30, 1904.

_Literary World, The_, February 14, 1891, vol. 22, p. 56.

                                No. 21.

1890. THE CRIME OF SYLVESTRE BONNARD (Member of the Institute). By
Anatole France. The Translation and Introduction by Lafcadio Hearn.
(Publisher's Vignette.) New York: Harper & Brothers, Franklin Square,

8vo., pp. (IX) 281, paper.

(V-IX) Introduction (_Extract_).

But it is not because M. Anatole France has rare power to create
original characters, or to reflect for us something of the more
recondite literary life of Paris, that his charming story will live. It
is because of his far rarer power to deal with what is older than any
art, and withal more young, and incomparably more precious: the beauty
of what is beautiful in human emotion. And that writer who touches the
spring of generous tears by some simple story of gratitude, of natural
kindness, of gentle self-sacrifice, is surely more entitled to our love
than the sculptor who shapes for us a dream of merely animal grace, or
the painter who images for us, however richly, the young bloom of that
form which is only the husk of Being.

L. H.

(1) Contents:--

    Part I.
        The Log.

    Part II.
        The Daughter of Clémentine.
            The Fairy
            The Little Saint-George

Articles and Reviews:--

_Literary World_, The, February 15, 1890, vol. 21, p. 59.



    [43] Hearn failed to give the years in which these translations
         were published, and often also the days and months.

(Nos. 31-218)

No. 31. 1. Crucifying Crocodiles. By Cousot.
                From _Le Figaro_, February 7.

No. 32. 2. The Last of the Great Moguls. By Ali.
                From _Le Nouvelle Revue_, March 1.

No. 33. 3. Killed by Rollin's Ancient History. By Chas. Baissac.

No. 34. 4. Mohammed Fripouille. By Guy de Maupassant.
                From "Yvette."

No. 35. 5. The Eldest Daughter. By Jules Lemaitre.
                From _Le Figaro_.

No. 36. 6. The Burnt Rock. By "Carmen Sylva," Elizabeth, Queen of
                From _Le Figaro_.

No. 37. 7. The Confession. By de Maupassant.
                From _Contes du Jour et de la Nuit_.

No. 38. 8. In the Mountain of Marble. By Pierre Loti.

No. 39. 9. A Story of Quinine. By Chas. Baissac.
                From _Récits Créoles_.

No. 40. 10. How Gerard Resigned His Tutorship. By Chas. Baissac.
                From _Récits Créoles_.

No. 41. 11. A Vendetta. By Guy de Maupassant.
                From _Contes du Jour et de la Nuit_.

No. 42. 12. A Coward. By Guy de Maupassant.
                From _Contes du Jour et de la Nuit_.

No. 43. 13. The Titaness. By Jules Lermina.
                From _Le Figaro_, April 25.

No. 44. 14. Reminiscences of Gustave Doré. By Albert Wolff.
                From _Le Figaro_, March 2.

No. 45. 15. The Return. By Guy de Maupassant.
                From "Yvette."

No. 46. 16. Two Friends. By Guy de Maupassant.

No. 47. 17. Moloch, the Devourer. (The Sacrifice.) By Gustave Flaubert.
                From "Salambo," Ed. 1880.

No. 48. 18. The Ring. By N. de Semenow.
                From _Le Figaro_, August 15.

No. 49. 19. The Phalanx in Battle. By Gustave Flaubert.
                From "Salambo," Ed. 1880.

No. 50. 20. The Little Sister. By Hector Malot.

No. 51. 21. Riri's Rag-Picking. By Jean Rameau.
                From _Le Figaro_, October 31.

No. 52. 22. A Divorced Man's New Year's Day. By Frantz Jourdain.
                From _Le Figaro_, January 2.

No. 53. 23. Especially Interesting Apropos of the Comet with the Sodium
        Tail. By Camille Flammarion.
                From _Le Voltaire_, September 21.

No. 54. 24. Eaten Alive. By Camille Debans.
                From _Le Figaro_, September 13.

No. 55. 25. The Christmas Tree. By Theodore Dostoievsky.
                From _Le Figaro_.

No. 56. 26. "A Madman?" By Guy de Maupassant.

No. 57. 27. Tourgueneff. By Firmin Javel.
                From _L'Evénement_, September 6.

Tourgueneff. By Maurice Guillemot.
                From _Le Figaro_, September 5.

No. 58. 28. A Polish Regiment under Fire. By Hendrik Sienkiewicz.
                From _Nouvelle Revue_.

No. 59. 29. In Oran. By Guy de Maupassant.
                From _Au Soleil_.

No. 60. 30. En Voyage. By Guy de Maupassant.
                From "Miss Harriet."

No. 61. 31. "La Mère Sauvage." By Guy de Maupassant.
                From "Miss Harriet."

No. 62. 32. The Adopted Child. By Guy de Maupassant.
                From "Miss Harriet."

No. 63. 33. The Child. By Guy de Maupassant.
                From "Miss Harriet."

No. 64. 34. The Minuet. By Guy de Maupassant.
                From "Miss Harriet."

No. 65. 35. My Uncle Jules. By Guy de Maupassant.
                From "Miss Harriet."

No. 66. 36. The Love Chamber. By Albert Delpit, 1884.

No. 67. 37. The Chair Mender. By Guy de Maupassant.

No. 68. 38. Coco. By Guy de Maupassant.

No. 69. 39. A Parricide. By Guy de Maupassant.

No. 70. 40. The Red Wolves. By Henry Leturque.
                From _Le Figaro_, April 24.

No. 71. 41. Suicides. By Guy de Maupassant. "Les Soeurs Rondoli."

No. 72. 42. The Cross. By Verax.
                From _Le Figaro_, October 17.

No. 73. 43. The Art of Dancing. By Ignotus.
                From _Le Figaro_, March 19.

No. 74. 44. Haikona's Story. By Quatrelles.
                From _Le Figaro_, January 3.

No. 75. 45. Forgotten on the Battle Field.
                From _Le Figaro_, December 19.

No. 76. 46. The Folly of Armaments. By P.
                From _L'Evénement_, June 13.

No. 77. 47. Japanese Theatricals. By Yedoko.
                From _Le Figaro_, August 7, 1886.

No. 78. 48. On the Planet Mars. By Camille Flammarion.
                From _Le Figaro_.

No. 79. 49. The Colonel's Ideas. By Guy de Maupassant.
                From "Yvette."

No. 80. 50. Waterloo. By Léon Cladel.
                From _L'Evénement_, April 26.

No. 81. 51. Terrifying a King. By XXX. From _Le Figaro_, December 9.

No. 82. 52. The Secret of the Scaffold. By Comte de Villiers de
                From _Le Figaro_, October 23.

No. 83. 53. Littre as a Physician. By Emile Zola.
                From _Le Voltaire_, June 5.

No. 84. 54. Hugo and Littre. By Emile Zola.
                From _Le Figaro_.

No. 85. 55. A Modern Combat of the Thirty. By Vigeant.

No. 86. 56. Algerian Warfare. By Ferdinand Hugonnet.

No. 87. 57. Orden's Redoubt. By Adam Mickiewicz.
                From _Le Figaro_.

No. 88. 58. Lasker's Romance. By Aurelien Scholl.
                From _L'Evénement_, February 26.

No. 89. 59. The Duel. By Aurelien Scholl.
                From _L'Evénement_, March 2.

No. 90. 60. The Wife of Sobieski.
                From _Le Figaro_ Supplement, February 23.

No. 91. 61. Redemption. By Matilde Serao.
                From _Le Figaro_.

No. 92. 62. The Rats of Paris. By Olivier de Rawton.
                From _Le Figaro_ Supplement.

No. 93. 63. The Story of Tse-I-La. By Comte de Villiers de L'Isle-Adam.
                From _Le Figaro_ Sunday Supplement.

No. 94. 64. Cremation in Paris. By Ignotus.
                From _Le Figaro_, March 6.

No. 95. 65. Madame Auguste's Lion. By Horace Bertin.
                From _Croquis de Province_.

No. 96. 66. The Secret History of "Madame Bovary." By Guy de Maupassant.
                From _L'Evénement_, January 23.

No. 97. 67. Nissa. By Albert Delpit.
                From _Revue de Deux Mondes_.

No. 98. 68. The Soudanian Marseillais.

No. 99. 69. Justice in the Soudan. After De Bisson. 1868.

No. 100. 70. Eaten by a Lion. By Louis Rousselet.
                From _La Peau du Tigre_.

No. 101. 71. Chanzy. By Ignotus.
                From _Le Figaro_, January 10.

No. 102. 72. Notes on Von Moltke. By Robert de Bonnieres.
                From _Le Figaro_, August 17.

No. 103. 73. The Hunchback. By Chas. Richard.
                From _Le Figaro_, August 29.

No. 104. 74. The Pacha of Audjelah. By H. Georges.
                From _Le Figaro_, September 5.

No. 105. 75. The Umbrella. By Guy de Maupassant.

No. 106. 76. Gambling for a Wife. By A. de Colonne.
                From _Le Figaro_, January 30.

No. 107. 77. Happiness. By Guy de Maupassant.

No. 108. 78. "Schmah Israel." By Sacher Masoch.
                From _Revue Politique et Litteraire_, November 7.

No. 109. 79. The Alfa-Gatherer. By Lieutenant Palat. ("Marcel
                From _Le Figaro_, April 3.

No. 110. 80. He. By Guy de Maupassant.

No. 111. 81. 'Toine. By Guy de Maupassant.

No. 112. 82. The Dowry. By Guy de Maupassant.

No. 113. 83. The Funeral of an Indian Prince. By Guy de Maupassant.
                From _Le Figaro_, September 7.

No. 114. 84. The Jewelry. By Guy de Maupassant.

No. 115. 85. The Five Senses. By Harry Alis.
                From _Revue Politique et Litteraire_, October 2.

No. 116. 86. A Bombshell. By Leon Tolstoi.

No. 117. 87. A Day at Lahore. By Robert de Bonnieres.
                From _Revue Politique et Litteraire_.

No. 118. 88. Mario, Marquis of Candia. By Mario di Candia.
                From _Le Figaro_, November 24.

No. 119. 89. My Tailor Abrahamek. By Sacher-Masoch.
                From _Revue Politique et Litteraire_, May 22.

No. 120. 90. The Flesh-Eaters. By Olivier de Rawton.
                From _Le Figaro_.

No. 121. 91. Palabra Suelta No Tiene Vuelta. By Ricardo Palma. (Lima,

No. 122. 92. The Diva. By Luigi Gualdo.

No. 123. 93. The Story of the Unfortunate Merchant. By Rene Bassett.

No. 124. 94. Bamba. By Eugene Forgues.
                From _Nouvelle Revue_.

No. 125. 95. "Notre Père Qui Etesaux Cieux." By Chas. Baissac.
                From _Récits Créoles_.

No. 126. 96. "Red Minette." By Chas. Baissac.
                From _Récits Créoles_.

No. 127. 97. Fight at the Mill. By Emile Zola.

No. 128. 98. Leo XIII. By Roman Correspondent.
                From _Le Figaro_, February 27.

No. 129. 99. The Carp Herder. By Charles Richard.
                From _Le Figaro_, December 15, 1883.

No. 130. 100. Fanny Elssler. By Viennese Correspondent.
                From _Le Figaro_.

No. 131. 101. Lola Montes and Ludwig I. of Bavaria. By X.
                From _Le Figaro_.

No. 132. 102. The Art of Being a Bore. By "De Ferney."
                From _Le Voltaire_, January 31.

No. 133. 103. Humanity of the Japanese.
                From _L'Illustration_.

No. 134. 104. By the Balloon Post. By Alexis Bouvier.
                From _Le Figaro_, January 29.

No. 135. 105. An Extraordinary Letter from Von Moltke. By Count Von
                From _Le Voltaire_, February 5.

No. 136. 106. Chinese Women. By Lydie Paschkoff.
                From _Le Figaro_.

No. 137. 107. A Haul at Madagascar in 1717. By Chas. Baissac.
                From _Récits Créoles_.

No. 138. 108. Pierrot. By Guy de Maupassant.

No. 139. 109. My Aunt Minon. By Chas. Baissac.
                From _Récits Créoles_.

No. 140. 110. An Episode of the War in Soudan. By Victor Cherbuliez.
                From an address before the _Cinq Academies_.

No. 141. 111. The Punishment of the Unfaithful Lover. By Sacher-Masoch.
                From "The Mother of God."

No. 142. 112. The Sorceress. The Comte d'Avesnes. By Michelet.
                From "La Sorcière."

No. 143. 113. The Great Fiddler of the Nineteenth Century. By "L'Homme
                From _Le Voltaire_, October 8.

No. 144. 114. The Duello. By Ignotus. From _Le Figaro_, August 31.

No. 145. 115. How Balzac Found Names for his Novels. By Léon Gozlan.
                From _Le Figaro_.

No. 146. 116. Tchernyschevsky and the Women of Nihilism. By Victor
                From "Les Pères du Nihilisme," in _L'Illustration_.

No. 147. 117. Emile Zola on Style. By Emile Zola.
                From _Le Figaro_.

No. 148. 118. The Man of the XVIth Century. By Victorien Sardou.
                From _Le Figaro_, February 4.

No. 149. 119. The Forest Growing in the Heart of Paris. By Camille
                From _Le Voltaire_, June 25.

No. 150. 120. The Tomb of Nichelet. By An Old Parisian.
                From _Le Figaro_, July 10.

No. 151. 121. A Master Wizard. By Un Vieux Parisien.
                From _Le Figaro_, October 6.

No. 152. 122. By Rail Across the Sahara. By Charles de Maurceley.
                From _Le Voltaire_, January 23 and 27.

No. 153. 123. In the House of Mahomet. By Ignotus.
                From _Le Figaro_, October 20.

No. 154. 124. The Chinese in Pnom-Penh, Cambodia. By Albert de
                From _La Revue Liberale_.

No. 155. 125. Algeria. By Ignotus.
                From _Le Figaro_, June 15.

No. 156. 126. The Drum. By Guy de Maupassant.
                From "Contes de la Bécasse."

No. 157. 127. Henry Charles Read. By Maxime du Camp.
                From "Souvenirs Litteraires."

No. 158. 128. Recollections of Baudelaire. By Maxime du Camp.
                From "Souvenirs Litteraires."

No. 159. 129. A Converted Libertine. By Ricardo Palma. (Lima, 1880.)

No. 160. 130. Women of Fashionable Paris Society. By Emile Zola.
                From _Le Figaro_, June 27.

No. 161. 131. La Parisienne. By Adrien Marx.
                From _Le Figaro_, May 13.

No. 162. 132. At Sea. By Guy de Maupassant.
                From "Contes de la Bécasse."

No. 163. 133. "Aunt Ess." By Arnold Mortier.
                From _Le Figaro's_ "Contes d'Été," August 23.

No. 164. 134. Pasteur.
                From _Le Figaro_, November 23.

No. 165. 135. A Ghost. By Parisis.
                From _Le Voltaire_, October 23.

No. 166. 136. Matrimonial Agencies at Paris. By Ignotus.
                From _Le Figaro_, April 20.

No. 167. 137. Liszt. By Ignotus.
                From _Le Figaro_, May 25.

No. 168. 138. The Stranglers of Paris, etc. By George Grison.
                From _Le Figaro_, May 23.

No. 169. 139. The Lights of the Wedding. By R. M.
                From _La Epoca_, January 10.

No. 170. 140. The Foundation of Skadra (Scutari). By W. Stephanowitsch.
                From French translation.

No. 171. 141. The Last Hideous Days of the Flatters Mission.
                From _Le Figaro_, September 23.

No. 172. 142. The Two Neighbours. By Julia de Asensi.
                From _La Epoca_, April 18.

No. 173. 143. Candita. By "Almaviva."
                From _La Epoca_, October 18.

No. 174. 144. A Drunken Lion. By Hector de Callias.
                From _Le Figaro_, June 30.

No. 175. 145. The Song of Love Triumphant. By Ivan Tourgueneff.
                From _Le Figaro._

No. 176. 146. A Rich Man's Death. By Emile Zola.
                From _Le Figaro_, August 1.

No. 177. 147. Germanillo. By "Juan Manuel de Capua."
                From _La Epoca_, December 27.

No. 178. 148. Simon's Papa. By Guy de Maupassant.
                From "La Maison

No. 179. 149. "Las Hechas Y Por Hacer." By Ricardo Palma. (Lima, 1879.)

No. 180. 150. The Bishop's Twenty Thousand Godos. By Ricardo Palma.

No. 181. 151. "Los Postres del Festin." By Ricardo Palma.
                From _La Raza Latina_, February 29.

No. 182. 152. The Blessed Bread. By François Coppée.
                From _Le Figaro_, March 6.

No. 183. 153. The Invitation to Sleep. By François Coppée.
                From _Le Figaro's_ "Contes d'Été."

No. 184. 154. Cousin Rosa. By "Almaviva."
                From _La Epoca_, March 17.

No. 185. 155. The Chemise of Margarita Pareja. By Ricardo Palma.
                From _La Raza Latina_.

No. 186. 156. The Just Man. By F. Luzel.
                From Luzel's Collection.

No. 187. 157. Saint Peter's Betrothed. By De Luzel.

No. 188. 158. Fantic Loho. By Luzel.
                From "Breton Legends."

No. 189. 159. The Adventures of Walter Schnaffs. By Guy de Maupassant.
                From "Contes de la Bécasse."

No. 190. 160. L'Abandounado. By René Maizeroy.
                From "The Love That Bleeds."

No. 191. 161. Flaubert at Sparta. By Maxime du Camp.
                From _Revue des Deux Mondes_.

No. 192. 162. Daddy Goat and Daddy Tiger. By Pa Lindor.
                From _Le Courrier des Opelousas_.

No. 193. 163. The Great Chinese Vase. By Edmond de L.
                From _Le Figaro_, February 17.

No. 194. 164. The Two Porcelain Vases. By Charles Richard.
                From _Le Figaro_.

No. 195. 165. A Bit of Jewish Folk Lore. By Leopold Kompert.
                From "Scenes du Ghetto."

No. 196. 166. A Story of the Ghetto. By Leopold Kompert.
                From "Scenes du Ghetto."

No. 197. 167. A Legend of Rabbi Loeb. By Daniel Stauben.

No. 198. 168. Loulou. By Lucien Griveau.

No. 199. 169. The Cabecilla; the Story of the Carlist War. By Alphonse

No. 200. 170. Tried, Condemned, Executed. By P. Didier.

No. 201. 171. The Man with the Golden Brain. By Alphonse Daudet.
                From "Ballades en Prose."

No. 202. 172. The Death of the Dauphin, etc. By Alphonse Daudet.

No. 203. 173. My First Duel. By Carle de Perrières.
                From "Paris-Joyeux."

No. 204. 174. My Two Cats. By Emile Zola.

No. 205. 175. The Khouans. By N. Ney.
                From _L'Illustration_, July 30.

No. 206. 176. The Dead Wife.
                After S. Juhens' French translation from Chinese.

No. 207. 177. Scenes of Polish Life. By Krazewski.
                From "Jermola," _Le Figaro_.

No. 208. 178. Memory of Algeria. By Alphonse Daudet.
                From "Tartarin de Tarascon," _Nouvelle Revue_.

No. 209. 179. Anecdote of Baudelaire. "Les Fantaisites." By Pierre
                From _Le Figaro_, August 15.

No. 210. 180. Adelaide Neilson. From _L'Illustration_, August 21.

No. 211. 181. A Morning with Baudelaire. By "Theodore de Grave."

No. 212. 182. "L'Enfant de la Balle." By François Coppée.
                From _Le Figaro_.

No. 213. 183. Poetical Illusions. By Maxime du Camp.
                From "Souvenirs Litteraires."

No. 214. 184. The Moon's Blessings. By Charles Baudelaire.

No. 215. 185. Patti and Her New Home. By "Adrien Marx."
                From _Le Figaro_.

No. 216. 186. The Ghostly Mass. By Luzel.
                From "Veillees Bretonnes."

No. 217. 187. Solitude. By Guy de Maupassant.
                From "Monsieur Parent."

No. 218. "Fantastics."

    1. "Aida." 2. Hiouen-Thsang. 3. El Vomito. (?) 4. The Devil's
    Carbuncle. 5. A Hemisphere in a Woman's Hair. 6. The Clock.
    7. The Fool and Venus. 8. The Stranger.

No. 219. The winter of 1877, Mr. Hearn contributed from New Orleans, a
series of letters to the Cincinnati _Commercial_ under the name of
"Ozias Midwinter."



    [44] If published also in book-form, the title of the book is

(Nos. 220-275)

No. 220. The Scenes of Cable's Romances.
    _The Century Magazine_, November, 1883, vol. 27 (N. S. Vol. 5),
        p. 40.

No. 221. Quaint New Orleans and its Habitants.
    _Harper's Weekly_, December 6, 1884, vol. 28, p. 812.

No. 222. New Orleans Exposition.
    _Harper's Weekly_, January 3, 1885, vol. 29, p. 14.

No. 223. The Creole Patois.
    _Harper's Weekly_, January 10, 1885, vol. 29, p. 27.

No. 224. The Creole Patois.
    _Harper's Weekly_, January 17, 1885, vol. 29, p. 43.

No. 225. New Orleans Exposition.
    _Harper's Weekly_, January 31, 1885, vol. 29, p. 71

No. 226. The East at New Orleans.
    _Harper's Weekly_, March 7, 1885, vol. 29, p. 155.

No. 227. Mexico at New Orleans.
    _Harper's Weekly_, March 14, 1885, vol. 29, p. 167.

No. 228. The New Orleans Exposition. Some Oriental Curiosities.
    _Harper's Bazaar_, March 28, 1885, vol. 18, p. 201.

No. 229. The New Orleans Exposition. Notes of a Curiosity Hunter.
    _Harper's Bazaar_, April 4, 1885, vol. 18, p. 218

No. 230. The Government Exhibit at New Orleans.
    _Harper's Weekly_, April 11, 1885, vol. 29, p. 234.

No. 231. The Legend of Tchi-Niu. A Chinese Story of Filial Piety.
    _Harper's Bazaar_, October 31, 1885, vol. 18, p. 703. "Some Chinese
        Ghosts," 1887.

No. 232. The Last of the Voudoos.
    _Harper's Weekly_, November 7, 1885, vol. 29, p. 726.

No. 233. New Orleans Superstitions.
    _Harper's Weekly_, December 25, 1886, vol. 30, p. 843.

No. 234. Rabyah's Last Ride. A tradition of Pre-Islamic Arabia.
    _Harper's Bazaar_, April 2, 1887, vol. 20, p. 239.

No. 235. Chita.
    _Harper's Monthly_, April, 1888, vol. 76, p. 733. "Chita," 1890.

No. 236. A Midsummer Trip to the West Indies.
    _Harper's Monthly_, July-September, 1888, vol. 77, pp. 209, 327,
        614. "Two Years in the French West Indies," 1890.

No. 237. La Vérette and the Carnival in St. Pierre, Martinique.
    _Harper's Monthly_, October, 1888, vol. 77, p. 737. "Two Years in
        the French West Indies," 1890.

No. 238. Les Porteuses.
    _Harper's Monthly_, July, 1889, vol. 79, p. 299. "Two Years in the
        French West Indies," 1890.

No. 239. At Grand Anse.
    _Harper's Monthly_, November, 1889, vol. 79, p. 844. "Two Years in
        the French West Indies," 1890.

No. 240. A Ghost.
    _Harper's Monthly_, December, 1889, vol. 80, p. 116.

No. 241. Youma.
    _Harper's Monthly_, January-February, 1890, vol. 80, pp. 218, 408.
        "Youma," 1890.

No. 242. Karma.
    _Lippincott's Magazine_, May, 1890, vol. 45, p. 667.

No. 243. A Study of Half-Breed Races in the West Indies.
    _The Cosmopolitan_, June, 1890, vol. 9, p. 167.

No. 244. West Indian Society of Many Colourings.
    _The Cosmopolitan_, July, 1890, vol. 9, p. 337.

No. 245. A Winter Journey to Japan.
    _Harper's Monthly_, November, 1890, vol. 81, p. 860.

No. 246. At the Market of the Dead.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, September, 1891, vol. 68, p. 382. "Glimpses of
        Unfamiliar Japan," 1894.

No. 247. The Chief City of the Province of the Gods.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, November, 1891, vol. 68, p. 621. "Glimpses of
        Unfamiliar Japan," 1894.

No. 248. The Most Ancient Shrine in Japan.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, December, 1891, vol. 68, p. 780. "Glimpses of
        Unfamiliar Japan," 1894.

No. 249. In a Japanese Garden.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, July, 1892, vol. 70, p. 14. "Glimpses of
        Unfamiliar Japan," 1894.

No. 250. Of a Dancing Girl.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, March, 1893, vol. 71, p. 332. "Glimpses of
        Unfamiliar Japan," 1894.

No. 251. The Japanese Smile.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, May, 1893, vol. 71, p. 634. "Glimpses of
        Unfamiliar Japan," 1894.

No. 252. Of the Eternal Feminine.
    _Atlantic Monthly,_ December, 1893, vol. 72, p. 761. "Out of the
        East," 1895.

No. 253. The Red Bridal.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, July, 1894, vol. 74, p. 74. "Out of the East,"

No. 254. At Hakata.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, October, 1894, vol. 74, p. 510. "Out of the
        East," 1895.

No. 255. From my Japanese Diary.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, November, 1894, vol. 74, p. 609.

No. 256. A Wish Fulfilled.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, January, 1895, vol. 75, p. 90. "Out of the
        East," 1895.

No. 257. In the Twilight of the Gods.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, June, 1895, vol. 75, p. 791. "Kokoro," 1896.

No. 258. The Genius of Japanese Civilization.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, October, 1895, vol. 76, p. 449. "Kokoro," 1896.

No. 259. After the War.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, November, 1895, vol. 76, p. 599. "Kokoro," 1896.

No. 260. Notes from a Travelling Diary.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, December, 1895, vol. 76, p. 815. "Kokoro," 1896.

No. 261. China and the Western World.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, April, 1896, vol. 77, p. 450.

No. 262. A Trip to Kyôto.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, May, 1896, vol. 77, p. 613. "Gleanings in
        Buddha-Fields," 1897.

No. 263. About Faces in Japanese Art.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, August, 1896, vol. 78, p. 219. "Gleanings in
        Buddha-Fields," 1897.

No. 264. Out of the Street: Japanese Folk-Songs.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, September, 1896, vol. 78, p. 347. "Gleanings in
        Buddha-Fields," 1897.

No. 265. Dust.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, November, 1896, vol. 78, p. 642, "Gleanings in
        Buddha-Fields," 1897.

No. 266. A Living God.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, December, 1896, vol. 78, p. 833. "Gleanings in
        Buddha-Fields," 1897.

No. 267. Notes of a Trip to Izumo.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, May, 1897, vol. 79, p. 678.

No. 268. The Story of Mimi-Nashi Hôïchi.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, August, 1903, vol. 92, p. 237. "Kwaidan," 1904.

No. 269. The Dream of Akinosuké.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, March, 1904, vol. 93, p. 340. "Kwaidan," 1904.

No. 270. A Letter from Japan.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, November, 1904, vol. 94, p. 625. "The Romance of
        the Milky Way," 1905.

No. 271. The Story of Itô Norisuké.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, January, 1905, vol. 95, p. 98. "The Romance of
        the Milky Way," 1905.

No. 272. Stranger than Fiction.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, April, 1905, vol. 95, p. 494. "The Romance of
        the Milky Way," 1905.

No. 273. The Romance of the Milky Way.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, August, 1905, vol. 96, p. 238. "The Romance of
        the Milky Way," 1905.

No. 274. Ultimate Questions.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, September, 1905, vol. 96, p. 391. "The Romance
        of the Milky Way," 1905.

No. 275. Two Memories of a Childhood.
    _Atlantic Monthly_, October, 1906, vol. 98, p. 445.

                   *       *       *       *       *



                             (Nos. 276-280)

No. 276. Le Sourire japonais.
    Traduction de Madame Léon Raynal, _Revue de Paris_, July 15, 1900,
        Year 7, vol. 4, p. 429.

No. 277. Une Danseuse japonais.
    Traduction de Madame Léon Raynal, _Revue de Paris,_ March 15, 1901,
        Year 8, vol. 2, p. 330.

No. 278. Le Nirvâna, étude de Bouddhisme Synthétique.

    Traduite par M. & Mme. Charles-Marie Garnier, _Revue de Métaphysique
        et de Morale_, 1903, Year 11, p. 352.

No. 279. Kitsonné (superstition japonaise).
    Traduction de Madame Léon Raynal, _Revue de Paris_, November 1,
        1903, Year 10, vol. 6, p. 188.

No. 280. Cimètieres et Temples japonais (Jizô).
    Traduction de Madame Léon Raynal, _Revue de Paris,_ April 15, 1904,
        Year 11, vol. 2, p. 829.

                   *       *       *       *       *


                           UNPUBLISHED WORKS

                             (Nos. 281-282)

                                No. 281.

1885. AVATAR. Par Gautier, Translation by Lafcadio Hearn. Unable to find
a publisher, Hearn destroyed the manuscript.

                                No. 282.

THE TEMPTATION OF ST. ANTHONY, by Gustave Flaubert; translated from the
Fifth Paris Edition, Vols. I-II. (Manuscript copy in the possession of
Dr. Gould.) The half-page containing, at one time, probably, the
translator's name, is cut off. The title-page is preceded by a
half-page, printed, of directions to the printer, regarding size of
type, etc.

The volumes are 6 x 9-1/2 inches, opening at the end. The writing is in
pencil, and the letters large, even for an ordinary handwriting, but
remarkably so for that of Hearn, who, when writing with a pen, made his
letters very small. The paper has the yellow tint habitually used by

Volume I contains 364 pages; Volume II, numbered consecutively, the
balance of a total of 679 pages. Five pages of _addenda_ follow,
containing notes upon passages, with original texts, etc., which the
American publisher would hardly dare to put forth.

Hearn's synopsis (printed) of the "St. Anthony" accompanies the text of
the translation, and is reproduced herewith:--



Sunset in the desert. Enfeebled by prolonged fasting, the hermit finds
himself unable to concentrate his mind upon holy things. His thoughts
wander: memories of youth evoke regrets that his relaxed will can no
longer find strength to suppress;--and, remembrance begetting
remembrance, his fancy leads him upon dangerous ground. He dreams of his
flight from home,--of Ammonaria, his sister's playmate,--of his misery
in the waste,--his visit to Alexandria with the blind monk Didymus,--the
unholy sights of the luxurious city.

Involuntarily he yields to the nervous dissatisfaction growing upon him.
He laments his solitude, his joylessness, his poverty, the obscurity of
his life: grace departs from him; hope burns low within his heart.
Suddenly revolting against his weakness, he seeks refuge from
distraction in the study of the Scriptures.

Vain effort! An invisible hand turns the leaves, placing perilous texts
before his eyes. He dreams of the Maccabees slaughtering their enemies,
and desires that he might do likewise with the Arians of Alexandria;--he
becomes inspired with admiration of King Nebuchadnezzar;--he meditates
voluptuously upon the visit of Sheba's queen to Solomon;--discovers a
text in the Acts of the Apostles antagonistic to principles of monkish
asceticism,--indulges in reveries regarding the riches of the Biblical
Kings and holy men. The Tempter comes to tempt him with evil
hallucinations for which the Saint's momentary frailty has paved the
way; and with the Evil One comes also--

                         THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS

Phantom gold is piled up to excite Covetousness; shadowy banquets appear
to evoke Gluttony. The scene shifts to aid the temptations of Anger and
of Pride....

Anthony finds himself in Alexandria, at the head of a wild army of monks
slaughtering the heretics and the pagans, without mercy for age or sex.
In fantastic obedience to the course of his fancy while reading the
Scriptures a while before, and like an invisible echo of his evil
thoughts, the scene changes again. Alexandria is transformed into

Anthony finds himself the honoured of the Emperor. He beholds the vast
circus in all its splendour, the ocean of faces, the tumult of
excitement. Simultaneously he beholds his enemies degraded to the
condition of slaves, toiling in the stables of Constantine. He feels joy
in the degradation of the Fathers of Nicæa. Then all is transformed.

It is no longer the splendour of Constantinople he beholds under the
luminosity of a Greek day; but the prodigious palace of Nebuchadnezzar
by night. He beholds the orgies, the luxuries, the abominations;--and
the spirit of Pride enters triumphantly into him as the spirit of

Awakening as from a dream, he finds himself again before his hermitage.
A vast caravan approaches, halts; and the Queen of Sheba descends to
tempt the Saint with the deadliest of all temptations. Her beauty is
enhanced by Oriental splendour of adornment; her converse is a song of
witchcraft. The Saint remains firm.... The Seven Deadly Sins depart from

                            THE HERESIARCHS

But now the Tempter assumes a subtler form. Under the guise of a former
disciple of Anthony,--Hilarion,--the demon, while pretending to seek
instruction seeks to poison the mind of Anthony with hatred of the
fathers of the church. He repeats all the scandals amassed by
ecclesiastical intriguers, all the calumnies created by malice;--he
cites texts only to foment doubt, and quotes the Evangels only to make
confusion. Under the pretext of obtaining mental enlightenment from the
wisest of men, he induces Anthony to enter with him into a spectral
basilica, wherein are assembled all the Heresiarchs of the third
century. The hermit is confounded by the multitude of tenets,--horrified
by the blasphemies and abominations of Elkes, Corpocrates, Valentinus,
Manes, Cerdo,--disgusted by the perversions of the Paternians,
Marcosians, Serpentians,--bewildered by the apocryphal Gospels of Eve
and of Judas, of the Lord and of Thomas.

And Hilarion grows taller.

                              THE MARTYRS

Anthony finds himself in the dungeons of a vast amphitheatre, among
Christians condemned to the wild beasts. By this hallucination the
tempter would prove to the Saint that martyrdom is not always suffered
for purest motives. Anthony finds the martyrs possessed of bigotry and
insincerity. He sees many compelled to die against their will; many who
would forswear their faith could it avail them aught. He beholds
heretics die for their heterodoxy more nobly than orthodox believers.

He finds himself transported to the tombs of the martyrs. He witnesses
the meeting of Christian women at the sepulchres. He beholds the
touching ceremonies of prayer change into orgie,--lamentations give
place to amorous dalliance.

                             THE MAGICIANS

Then the Tempter seeks to shake Anthony's faith in the excellence and
evidence of miracles. He assumes the form of a Hindoo Brahmin,
terminating a life of wondrous holiness by self-cremation;--he appears
as Simon Magus and Helen of Tyre,--as Apollonius of Tyana, greatest of
all thaumaturgists, who claim superiority to Christ. All the marvels
related by Philostratus are embodied in the converse of Apollonius and

                                THE GODS

Hilarion reappears, taller than ever, growing more gigantic in
proportion to the increasing weakness of the Saint. Standing beside
Anthony he evokes all the deities of the antique world. They defile
before him a marvellous panorama;--Gods of Egypt and India, Chaldæa and
Hellas, Babylon and Ultima Thule,--monstrous and multiform, phallic and
ithyphallic, fantastic and obscene. Some intoxicate by their beauty;
others appal by their foulness. The Buddha recounts the story of his
wondrous life; Venus displays the rounded daintiness of her nudity; Isis
utters awful soliloquy. Lastly the phantom of Jehovah appears, as the
shadow of a god passing away for ever.

Suddenly the stature of Hilarion towers to the stars; he assumes the
likeness and luminosity of Lucifer; he announces himself as--


And Anthony is lifted upon mighty wings and borne away beyond the world,
above the solar system, above the starry arch of the Milky Way. All
future discoveries of Astronomy are revealed to him. He is tempted by
the revelation of innumerable worlds,--by the refutation of all his
previous ideas of the nature of the Universe,--by the enigmas of
infinity,--by all the marvels that conflict with faith. Even in the
night of the Immensity the demon renews the temptation of reason;
Anthony wavers upon the verge of pantheism.

                             LUST AND DEATH

Anthony, abandoned by the Spirit of Science, comes to himself in the
desert. Then the Tempter returns under a two-fold aspect: as the Spirit
of Fornication and the Spirit of Destruction. The latter urges him to
suicide,--the former to indulgence of sense. They inspire him with
strong fancies of palingenesis, of the illusion of death, of the
continuity of life. The pantheistic temptation intensifies.

                              THE MONSTERS

Anthony in reveries meditates upon the monstrous symbols painted upon
the walls of certain ancient temples. Could he know their meaning he
might learn also something of the secret lien between Matter and
Thought. Forthwith a phantasmagoria of monsters commence to pass before
his eyes:--the Sphinx and the Chimera, the Blemmyes and Astomi, the
Cynocephali and all creatures of mythologic creation. He beholds the
fabulous beings of Oriental imagining,--the abnormities described by
Pliny and Herodotus,--the fantasticalities to be adopted later by
heraldry,--the grotesqueries of future mediæval illumination made
animate;--the goblinries and foulnesses of superstitious fancy,--the
Witches' Sabbath of abominations.


The multitude of monsters melts away; the land changes into an Ocean;
the creatures of the briny abysses appear. And the waters in turn also
change; seaweeds are transformed to herbs, forests of coral give place
to forests of trees, polypous life changes to vegetation. Metals
crystallize; frosts effloresce, plants become living things, inanimate
matter takes animate form, monads vibrate, the pantheism of nature makes
itself manifest. Anthony feels a delirious desire to unite himself with
the Spirit of Universal Being....

The vision vanishes. The sun arises. The face of Christ is revealed. The
temptation has passed; Anthony kneels in prayer.

                                                                   L. H.


                           BOOKS ABOUT HEARN

                             (Nos. 283-284)

                                No. 283.

1906. THE LIFE AND LETTERS OF LAFCADIO HEARN. By Elizabeth Bisland. With
Illustrations. In two volumes. (Publisher's Vignette.) Boston and New
York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company (The Riverside Press, Cambridge),

8vo., 2 vols., pp. (VIII), 475, 554, black cloth, Japanese characters on
small red disc, gold lettering, gilt top.

        Volume I.
    (V-VIII) Preface by E. B.


    Introductory Sketch
        I. Boyhood
        II. The Artist's Apprenticeship
        III. The Master Workman
        IV. The Last Stage


    List of Illustrations.

        Volume II.

    List of Illustrations.

    Letters (continued)

    Pages 519-529 Appendix.

    Pages 533-554 Index.

Articles and Reviews:--
    _Academy, The_, January 26, 1907, vol. 72, p. 88.
    _Athenæum, The_, February 2, 1907, p. 126.
    _Current Literature_, January, 1907, vol. 42, p. 49. Dunbar, Olivia
    _North American Review_, February 15, 1907, vol. 184, p. 417.
        Greenslet, Ferris,
    _Atlantic Monthly_, February, 1907, vol. 99, p. 261. Godkin, F. W.,
    _The Dial_, December 16, 1906, vol. 41, p. 447. Huneker, James,
    _New York Times, The_, December 1, 1906, vol. 11, p. 817.
    _Nation, The_, November 29, 1906, vol. 83, p. 464.
    _New York Evening Post, The_, December 1, 1906.
    _New York Tribune, The_, December 5, 1906. Tunison, J. S.,
    _Dayton (Ohio) Journal, The_, December 25, 1906.

                                No. 284.

1907. LETTERS FROM THE RAVEN, being the Correspondence of Lafcadio Hearn
with Henry Watkin, with Introduction and critical comment by the editor,
Milton Bronner. (Vignette drawing of the Raven.) New York: Brentano's,

12mo., pp. 201, half cloth brown. Ornamental black and gold back, gilt


Introduction Letters from the Raven Letters to a Lady Letters of Ozias

                   *       *       *       *       *



                            (Nos. 285-388)


    No. 285. A review of "Gleanings in Buddha-Fields," November 13,
        1897, vol. 52, p. 395.

    No. 286. "Koizumi Yakumo--Lafcadio Hearn," by N. C., April 13, 1901,
        vol. 60, p. 328.

    No. 287. Sketch and list of works, October 8, 1904, vol. 67, p. 305.

    No. 288. A review of "Japan: an Attempt at Interpretation," by W.
        Teignmouth Shore, December 10, 1904, vol. 67, p. 584.

    No. 289. A review of "The Romance of the Milky Way," December 2,
        1905, vol. 69, p. 1257.

    No. 290. A review of "The Life and Letters of Lafcadio Hearn,"
        January 26, 1907, vol. 72, p. 88.


    No. 291. _Atlantic Monthly_, "Lafcadio Hearn, the Man," October,
        1905, vol. 96, p. 510.


    No. 292. A review of "Japan: an Attempt at Interpretation," by
        Edmund Buckley, of the University of Chicago, January, 1905,
        vol. 10, p. 545.


    No. 293. "Lafcadio Hearn, Interpretator of Japan," November, 1904,
        vol. 30, p. 561.


    No. 294. A review of "Youma," August 30, 1890, p. 284.

    No. 295. A review of "Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan," November 10,
        1894, p. 634.

    No. 296. A review of "Out of the East," August 24, 1895, p. 249.

    No. 297. A review of "Kokoro," August 8, 1896, p. 185.

    No. 298. A review of "Gleanings in Buddha-Fields," November 13,
        1897, p. 664.

    No. 299. A review of "Exotics and Retrospectives," January 6, 1900,
        p. 11.

    No. 300. A review of "Shadowings," January 5, 1901, p. 15.

    No. 301. A review of "A Japanese Miscellany," December 21, 1901, p.

    No. 302. A review of "Kottô," January 17, 1903, p. 77.

    No. 303. A review of "Kwaidan," September 17, 1904, p. 373.

    No. 304. A review of "The Romance of the Milky Way," March 31, 1906,
        p. 389.

    No. 305. A review of "The Life and Letters of Lafcadio Hearn,"
        February 2, 1907, p. 126.


    No. 306. A review of "Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan," and "Out of the
        East," by Mrs. M. McN. Scott, June, 1895, vol. 75, p. 830.

    No. 307. A review of "In Ghostly Japan," by Jukichi Inouye,
        September, 1900, vol. 86, p. 399.

    No. 308. "Lafcadio Hearn: The Meeting of Three Ways," by Paul Elmer
        More, February, 1903, vol. 91, p. 204.

    No. 309. A review of "Kwaidan," June, 1904, vol. 93, p. 857.

    No. 291. "Lafcadio Hearn: the Man," by Nobushige Amenomori, October,
        1905, vol. 96, p. 510.

    No. 310. "Lafcadio Hearn," by Ferris Greenslet, February, 1907, vol.
        99, p. 261.


    No. 311. Sketch by O. P. Caylor (Reprinted from an article in the
        _Philadelphia North American_), January 15, 1890, vol. 2, p. 51.


    No. 312. "Lafcadio Hearn," by J. S. Tunison, May, 1896, vol. 13, p.

    No. 313. A review of "Kokoro," by Tozo Takayanagi, May, 1896, vol.
        13, p. 229.

    No. 314. "Through the Medium of a Temperament," by John Harrison
        Wagner, June, 1898, vol. 16, p. 437.

    No. 315. A review of "Kottô," December, 1902, vol. 25, p. 416.


    No. 316. A review of "Shadowings," by F. T. C., February, 1901, vol.
        12, p. 582.

    No. 317. A review of "Kwaidan," November, 1904, vol. 20, p. 159.

    No. 318. "The Late Lafcadio Hearn," November, 1904, vol. 20, p. 190.


    No. 292. _The American Journal of Sociology_, a review of "Japan: an
        Attempt at Interpretation," January, 1905, vol. 10, P. 545.


    No. 311. _The Author_, January 15, 1890, vol. 2, p. 51.


    No. 319. Short Sketch of Hearn, and reprints "Fragment,"
        "Juiroku-zakura," "Riki-Baka," "Yuki-Onna," "The Screen Maiden,"
        September, 1905, vol. 42, p. 245.


    No. 320. "Lafcadio Hearn," by Francis Hackett.


    No. 321. _Current Literature_, "Lafcadio Hearn: the author of
        'Kokoro.'" (Reprinted from the New York _Herald_.) June, 1896,
        vol. 19, p. 476.


    No. 322. _Harper's Monthly_, "The Recent Movement in Southern
    Literature," May, 1887, vol. 74, p. 855.


    No. 323. A review of "Gleanings in Buddha-Fields," April 9, 1898,
        vol. 29, p. 248.

    No. 324. "Mr. Hearn's Japanese Shadowings," by Adachi Kinnosuké,
        January, 1901, vol. 38, p. 29.

    No. 325. "Lafcadio Hearn's Funeral," by Margaret Emerson, January,
        1905, vol. 46, p. 34.

    No. 326. A review of "Japan: an Attempt at Interpretation," by Wm.
        Elliot Griffis, February, 1905, vol. 46, p. 185.

    No. 327. "Hearn's Stories of Old Japan," by W. E. Griffis, March,
        1906, vol. 48, p. 222.

    No. 328. "Letters of a Poet to a Musician," by Henry E. Krehbiel,
        April, 1906, vol. 48, p. 309.


    No. 321. "Lafcadio Hearn: the author of 'Kokoro,'" by Colonel John
        A. Cockerill. (Reprinted from the New York _Herald_.) June,
        1896, vol. 19, p. 476.

    No. 329. "A Glimpse of Lafcadio Hearn," October, 1899, vol. 26, p.

    No. 330. "Lafcadio Hearn: a Dreamer," by Yone Noguchi. (Reprinted
        from the _National Magazine_.) June, 1905, vol. 38, p. 521.

    No. 331. "The Mystic Dream of Lafcadio Hearn," January, 1907, vol.
        42, p. 49.


    No. 332. Editorial on Lafcadio Hearn, September 30, 1904.

    No. 333. "Lafcadio Hearn," by J. S. Tunison, December 25, 1906.


    No. 334. A review of "Exotics and Retrospectives," July 16, 1899,
        vol. 27, p. 52.

    No. 335. A review of "Shadowings," January 1, 1901, vol. 30, p. 19.

    No. 336. A review of "Japan: an Attempt at Interpretation," by Wm.
        Elliot Griffis, December 1, 1904, vol. 36, p. 368.

    No. 337. A review of "The Romance of the Milky Way," November 1,
        1905, vol. 39, p. 276.

    No. 338. "Self-Revelation of Lafcadio Hearn," by F. W. Godkin,
        December 16, 1906, vol. 41, p. 447.


    No. 339. _North American Review_, a review of "The Life and Letters
        of Lafcadio Hearn," February 15, 1907, vol. 184, p. 417.


    No. 325. _The Critic_, "Lafcadio Hearn's Funeral," January, 1905,
        vol. 46, p. 34.


    No. 340. "A Native's Tribute to the Dead American Poet of Japan,"
        November 11, 1904.


    No. 341. A review of "The Life and Letters of Lafcadio Hearn,"
        December 1, 1906.


        No. 342. A review of "Chita," November 2, 1889.

F. T. C.

    No. 316. _The Bookman_, a review of "Shadowings," February, 1901,
        vol. 12, p. 582.


    No. 343. "Lafcadio Hearn: a Study of his Personality and Art," by
        George M. Gould, October-November, 1906, vol. 86, pp. 685, 881.


    No. 338. _The Dial_, "Self-Revelation of Lafcadio Hearn," December
        16, 1906, vol. 41, p. 447.


    No. 343. _Putnam's Monthly_, "Lafcadio Hearn: a Study of his
        Personality and Art," October-November, 1906, vol. 1, pp. 97,
        156. The Same, _Fortnightly Review_, October-November, 1906,
        vol. 86, pp.685, 881.


    No. 310. _Atlantic Monthly_, "Lafcadio Hearn," February, 1907, vol.
        99, p. 261.


    No. 336. _The Dial_, a review of "Japan: an Attempt at
        Interpretation," December 1, 1904, vol. 36, p. 308.

    No. 326. _The Critic_, a review of "Japan: an Attempt at
        Interpretation," February, 1905, vol. 46, p. 185.

    No. 327. _The Critic_, "Hearn's Stories of Old Japan," March, 1906,
        vol. 48, p. 222.


    No. 320. Chicago _Evening Post_, "Lafcadio Hearn."


    No. 322. "The Recent Movement in Southern Literature," by Charles W.
        Coleman, Jr., May, 1887, vol. 74, p. 855.


    No. 344. The New York _Times_, "Exotic Lafcadio Hearn: The Life and
        Letters of a Master of Nuance--Elizabeth Bisland's Sympathetic
        Biography," December 1, 1906, vol. 11, p. 817.


    No. 345. _Poet-Lore_ "The English of Lafcadio Hearn," Spring, 1905,
        vol. 16, p. 53.


    No. 346. A review of "Gleanings in Buddha-Fields," November 24,
        1898, vol. 50, p. 1508.

    No. 347. "An Interpreter of the East" (A review of "Japan: an
        Attempt at Interpretation"), October 27, 1904, vol. 57, p. 976.

    No. 348. A review of "The Romance of the Milky Way," December 21,
        1905, vol. 59, p. 1478.


    No. 307. _Atlantic Monthly_, a review of "In Ghostly Japan,"
        September, 1900, vol. 86, p. 399.


    No. 349. A review of "Stories and Sketches of Japan," 1905, vol. 25,
        p. XL.


    No. 350. _Nineteenth Century and After_, "Lafcadio Hearn," January,
        1906, vol. 59, p. 135.


    No. 324. _The Critic_, "Mr. Hearn's Japanese Shadowings," January,
        1901, vol. 38, p. 29.


    No. 328. _The Critic_, "Letters of a Poet to a Musician," April,
        1906, vol. 48, p. 309.

    No. 351. The New York _Tribune_, "Hearn and Folk-Lore Music."


    No. 352. A review of "The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard," February 15,
        1890, vol. 21, p. 59.

    No. 353. A review of "One of Cleopatra's Nights," February 14, 1891,
        vol. 22, p. 56.

    No. 354. A review of "Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan," October 20,
        1894, vol. 25, p. 347.

    No. 355. A review of "Out of the East," April 20, 1895, vol. 26, p.

    No. 356. A review of "Kokoro," April 18, 1896, vol. 27, p. 116.

    No. 357. A review of "Gleanings in Buddha-Fields," November 13,
        1897, vol. 28, p. 389.

    No. 358. A review of "A Japanese Miscellany," December 1, 1901, vol.
        32, p. 207.


    No. 359. "Lafcadio Hearn," by Robert Young, March 23, 1907, vol.
        252, p. 760. (Reprinted from the _Speaker_.)


    No. 360. _The Nation_, "Lafcadio Hearn on Style" (editorial),
        December 6, 1906, vol. 83, p. 478.


    No. 361. "Mr. Lafcadio Hearn on the Jesuit Missions in Japan," by
        Herbert Thurston, S. J., January, 1906, vol. 45, p. 1.


    No. 308. _Atlantic Monthly_, "Lafcadio Hearn: the Meeting of Three
        Ways," February, 1903, vol. 91, p. 204.


    No. 362. A review of "Gombo Zhèbes," April 23, 1885, vol. 40, p.

    No. 363. A review of "Some Chinese Ghosts," May 26, 1887, vol. 44,
        p. 456.

    No. 364. A review of "Youma," May 7, 1891, vol. 52, p. 385.

    No. 365. A review of "Kokoro," July 9, 1896, vol. 63, p. 35.

    No. 366. A review of "Gleanings in Buddha-Fields," February 3, 1898,
        vol. 66, p. 97.

    No. 367. A review of "Shadowings," November 8, 1900, vol. 71, p.

    No. 368. A review of "A Japanese Miscellany," January 9, 1902, vol.
        74, p. 39.

    No. 369. A review of "Kottô," March 26, 1903, vol. 76, p. 254.

    No. 370. A review of "Japan: an Attempt at Interpretation," December
        8, 1904, vol. 79, p. 465.

    No. 371. A review of "Stories and Sketches of Japan," January 26,
        1905, vol. 80, p. 68.

    No. 372. A review of "The Romance of the Milky Way," December 21,
        1905, vol. 81, p. 510.

    No. 373. A review of "The Life and Letters of Lafcadio Hearn,"
        November 29, 1906, vol. 83, p. 464.

    No. 360. "Lafcadio Hearn on Style" (editorial), by F. J. Mather,
        Jr., December 6, 1906, vol. 83, p. 478.


    No. 350. "Lafcadio Hearn," by Nina H. Kennard, January, 1906, vol.
        59, p. 135.


    No. 330. _Current Literature_, "Lafcadio Hearn: a Dreamer."
        (Reprinted from the _National Magazine_.) June, 1905, vol. 38,
        p. 521.


    No. 339. A review of "The Life and Letters of Lafcadio Hearn," by
        Olivia Howard Dunbar, February 15, 1907, vol. 184, p. 417.


    No. 374. A review of "Gleanings in Buddha-Fields," October 16, 1897,
        vol. 57, p. 435.

    No. 375. A review of "The Romance of the Milky Way," November 9,
        1906, vol. 84, p. 503.


    No. 345. "The English of Lafcadio Hearn," by Charles Woodward
        Hutson, Spring, 1905, vol. 16, p. 53.


    No. 376. A review of "Gleanings in Buddha-Fields," November 25,
        1897, vol. 23, p. 694.

    No. 377. A review of "Shadowings," October 18, 1900, vol. 29, p.

    No. 378. A review of "Japan: an Attempt at Interpretation," October
        27, 1904. vol. 37, p. 537.


    No. 343. "Lafcadio Hearn: A Study of his Personality and Art," by
        George M. Gould, October-November, 1906, vol. I, pp. 97, 156.


    No. 306. _Atlantic Monthly_, a review of "Glimpses of Unfamiliar
        Japan," and "Out of the East," June, 1895, vol. 75, p. 830.


    No. 288. _Academy_, a review of "Japan: an Attempt at
        Interpretation," December 10, 1904, vol. 67, p. 584.


    No. 379. A review of "Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan," November 17,
        1894, vol. 73, p. 698.

    No. 380. A review of "Out of the East," October 12, 1895, vol. 75,

    No. 381. A review of "Kokoro," May 23, 1896, vol. 76, p. 739.

    No. 382. A review of "Gleanings in Buddha-Fields," November 20,
        1897, vol. 79, p. 736.

    No. 383. A review of "Japan: an Attempt at Interpretation," January
        14, 1905, vol. 94, p. 54.


    No. 313. _The Book Buyer_, a review of "Kokoro," May, 1896, vol. 13,
        p. 229.

THURSTON, S. J., Herbert

    No. 361. _The Messenger_, "Mr. Lafcadio Hearn on the Jesuit Missions
        in Japan," January, 1906, vol. 45, p. 1.


    No. 384. "A Strange Career," August 5, 1906.

    No. 385. "Lafcadio Hearn and His Friends," August 20, 1906.

    No. 386. "Silken Fetters," May 26, 1907.

TIMES, The New York

    No. 387. A review of "Two Years in the French West Indies,"
        September 1, 1890.

    No. 344. "Exotic Lafcadio Hearn: The Life and Letters of a Master of
        Nuance--Elizabeth Bisland's Sympathetic Biography," by James
        Huneker, December 1, 1906, vol. 11, p. 817.

TRIBUNE, The New York

    No. 388. A review of "The Life and Letters of Lafcadio Hearn,"
        December 5, 1906.

    No. 351. "Hearn and Folk-Lore Music," by H. E. Krehbiel.


    No. 312. _The Book Buyer_, "Lafcadio Hearn," May, 1896, vol. 13, p.

    No. 333. _The Dayton (Ohio) Journal_, "Lafcadio Hearn," December 25,


    No. 314. _The Book Buyer_, "Through the Medium of a Temperament,"
        June, 1898, vol. 16, p. 437.


    No. 359. _The Living Age_, "Lafcadio Hearn," March 23, 1907, vol.
        252, p. 760.

                   *       *       *       *       *



                             (Nos. 389-398)



    No. 389. "Ur en författares lif," af Konni Zilliacus, February 2,



    No. 390. _Revue des deux Mondes_, "Un Peintre du Japon: Lafcadio
        Hearn,"[45] June 1, 1904, vol. 21, p. 556.


    No. 391. "Impressions sur la vie japonaise," par Félicien Challayé,
        June, 1902, 3rd Series, 17th Cahier.


    No. 391. _Cahiers de la quinzaine_, "Impressions sur la vie
        japonaise," June, 1902, 3rd Series, 17th Cahier.

    No. 392. _Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale_. "Un Philosophe
        japonisant, Lafcadio Hearn,"[45] 1903, vol. 11, p. 338.

    No. 393. _Revue de Paris_, "Lafcadio Hearn et le Japon,"[45]
        December 1, 1904, vol. 6, p. 655.

        [45] Translations by M. B. Easton, unpublished, in MSS.,
             in the possession of Dr. Gould.


    No. 390. "Un Peintre du Japon: 'Lafcadio Hearn,'"[45] par Th.
        Bentzon, June 1, 1904, vol. 21, p. 556.


    No. 392. "Un Philosophe japonisant, Lafcadio Hearn,"[45] par
        Félicien Challayé, 1903, vol. 11, p. 338.


    No. 393. "Lafcadio Hearn et le Japon,"[45] par Félicien Challayé,
        December 1, 1904, vol. 6, p. 655.



    No. 394. _Deutsche Rundschau_ "Lafcadio Hearn: Volksglaube und
        Volkssitte in Japan," October, 1900, vol. 105, p. 68.


    No. 394. "Lafcadio Hearn: Volksglaube und Volkssitte in Japan," von
        M. von Brandt, October, 1900, vol. 105, p. 68.


    No. 395. _Die Nation_, a review of "Kokoro,"[45] January 6, 1906,
        vol. 23, p. 217.


    No. 396. _Neue Freie Presse_, "Lafcadio Hearn," March 26, 1905, vol.
        31, p. 14580.

    NATION, Die

    No. 395. A review of "Kokoro,"[45] von Wilhelm Herzog, January 6,
        1906, vol. 23, p. 217.


    No. 396. "Lafcadio Hearn," von Professor Yrjö Hirn, March 26, 1905,
        vol. 31, p. 14580.

    WAGE, Die

    No. 397. "Ein englischer Japaner," von Th. Bentzon. (Deutsche von
        Leo Fried.) A condensation of Mme. Bentzon's article in _Revue
        des deux Mondes_. October 22-29, 1904, Year 7, Nr. 43, 44, pp.
        987, 1001.



    No. 398. _Ord od Bild_, 1905.


    No. 398. Mrs. Karin Hirn, 1905.

               *       *       *       *       *


                       SUPPLEMENTAL LIST

                         (Nos. 399-424)

    No. 399. The Last of the New Orleans Fencing Masters, _Southern
    Bivouac_, Louisville, Ky., New Series, vol. 2, Nov., 1886.

Speaks of the Story of Jean Louis, from Vigeant's _Un Maître d'armes
    sous la restauration_, and tells the tale of Don José Llulla. Six
    double column, 8vo. pages, size and style of _Atlantic Monthly_.

No. 400. The Legend of Skobeleff. Looks like an editorial in
    T.-D.[46] (No date, etc.)

    [47] The New Orleans _Times-Democrat_.

No. 401. A Voudoo Dance. In style of T.-D. and of Hearn; unsigned,
    undated, was evidently in T.-D.

No. 402. The Future of France in the Orient. Editorial, doubtless in
    T.-D., undated.

No. 403. Pierre Loti. Translation by Hearn. "From the Original
    Manuscript," signed by "Pierre Loti" and "Translated by Lafcadio
    Hearn." Subheading: "Fragments from my Diary." Undated. Probably in

No. 404. Death of the Great Danseuse of the Century. Unsigned and
    undated. Not in type of editorial, but of contributed matter in
    T.-D. Probably by Hearn.

No. 405. The First Muezzin. With Arabic Sub-title, under which is
    "Bilâl," and 15-line poetic excerpt from Edwin Arnold. Contains a
    musical setting of Prayer by Villoteau, Description de l'Egypte:
    Vol. XIV. Probably in T.-D. Without date, etc.

No. 406. Dorodom the Last. Editorial, probably in T.-D. Undated.

No. 407. The Naval Engagements of the Future. Translation from _Le

No. 408. Cable and the Negroes. Editorial, probably in T.-D. and by
    Hearn. No date.

No. 409. The Most Original of Modern Novelists (Loti). Editorial,
    probably in T.-D. Undated.

No. 410. Heroic Deeds at Sea. Editorial in T.-D. Undated.

No. 411. Study and Play. Editorial in T.-D. Undated.

No. 412. Arabian Women. Article contributed probably to T.-D.

No. 413. The Roar of a Great City. Editorial contributed probably to
    T.-D. Undated.

No. 414. Some Fossil Anthropology. Editorial probably by Hearn, and
    probably in T.-D. Undated.

No. 415. A Word for the Tramps. Editorial possibly by Hearn, and
    probably in T.-D.

No. 416. Torn Letters. Signed original story in T.-D. Undated. Later
    enlarged and published as "Chita."

No. 417. Death and Resurrection in the Soudan. Editorial, probably
    in T.-D. Undated.

No. 418. A Memory of Two Fannies (Fanny Elssler, and Fanny Cerrito).
    Editorial, probably in T.-D. Undated.

No. 419. Shapira. Editorial, probably in T.-D. Undated.

No. 420. To the Fountain of Youth. Original, signed contribution:
    T.-D., May 24, 1885.

No. 421. The Creole Doctor. Some Curiosities of Medicine in
    Louisiana. From an Occasional Correspondent of _The Tribune_, New
    Orleans, Dec. 28th. Probably in New York _Tribune_. Undated. Signed

No. 422. A Story of Hands. The Hand and its Gestures. Translation,
    Eugene Mouton, "From advance sheets." Undated.

No. 423. The Legend of the Tea-Plant. Original contribution,
    probably to the T.-D. Undated. Published later in "Some Chinese
    Ghosts," 1887.

No. 424. Academical Triumphs. Editorial, probably by Hearn, T.-D.,
    Dec. 20, 1885.

                     RICHARD CLAY & SONS, LIMITED,
                      BREAD STREET HILL, E.C., AND
                          BUNGAY, SUFFOLK.

Transcriber Notes:

Some of the illustrations have been moved so that they do not break up
paragraphs and so they correspond to the text, thus the page number of
the illustration no longer matches the page number in the List of

Throughout the document, vowels having macrons in Japanese words are
indicated by vowels having circumflexes. For example, English word for
the Japanese capital (currently written in Japanese romanji as toukyou)
used to be written as Tokyo, but with macrons associated with each
letter "o". In this text the Japanese capital would be written as Tôkyô.

On page 8, "ludricrous" was replaced with "ludicrous".

On page 28, "Lokis'" was replaced with "Loki's".

On page 55, "An E volutional History" was replaced with "An Evolutional

On page 56, the [OE] ligature was replaced with "OE".

On page 85, "As, mine are" was replaced with "As mine are".

On page 91, "it it incapable" was replaced with "it is incapable".

On page 97, the single quotation mark after "What insect stings so!" was
changed to a double quotation mark.

On page 129, "gnored" was replaced with "ignored".

On page 133, "refocussed" was replaced with "refocused".

On page 159, "la belle negrésse" was replaced with "la belle négresse".

On page 188 through 190, there is a long quotation that is marked by a
single set of quotation marks, which differs than the quotation scheme
used elsewhere in the book. This inconsistency was not corrected.

On page 236, a quotation mark was removed from before "His book is a

On page 252, "Karin Kirn" was replaced with "Karin Hirn".

On page 259, "n aye" was replaced with "n'aye".

On page 278, the closing single quotation mark after "Madame Bovary" was
replaces with a closing double quotation mark.

On page 286, in the item No. 277, the period after "Raynal" was replaced
with a comma, to be in agreement with the previous item.

On page 293, in the item 307, "p." was added before the page number.

On page 295, in the item 334, a quotation mark was added after "Exotics
and Retrospectives,".

On page 295, in the item 341, a period was added after the date December
1, 1906.

On page 298, in the item 366, a stray comma was deleted after the word

On page 299, in the item 387, a single quotation mark was replaced with
a double quotation mark.

On page 301, in the item 390, the unmatched quotation marks were

Sometimes, a single footnote had multiple links to it.

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