12 BRET HARTE.
In a few words prefixed to one of his later books,
Bret Harte says that the old life he described in
his Californian stories is dead. The country is
now much better known, and more accessible.
The completion of the Pacific Railway, and the
increased facilities for speedy transit have placed
that hitherto isolated community within easy reach
of the ordinary tourist. Already clean shaven
faces, ominous of certain civilizations, coats fash¬
ioned by Poole are in San Francisco, tweed suits
contaminate the cars, and the print of an obvious
English walking shoe may be seen on the red soil
of the mountains, overlooking the Golden Gate.
What Harte's repute and standing are in his
own land need not now be told. Few writers of
modern limes have been more discussed; it were
better if his critics had always been generous as
well as just. But it would not be fair to close this
little sketch without noting the fact that most of
his works have found eager readers in other lands.
English editions of his stories are popular and
widely circulated. In Germany, the genial old
poet, Ferdinand Freiligrath, has translated a volume
of Harte's prose tales, to which is prefixed a charm¬
ing preface by the translator. We cannot forbear
making this extract, so full of the simple-hearted
Freiligrath's goodness :—
"Nevertheless, he remains what he is—the Cali-