Probably any one village would afford material for a whole series of Waverley Novels
, could it only be thoroughly explored.
But at the same time the description must not be mere description; it must reach those deep springs of human motive which are the same everywhere.
Aiming at this, and in sympathy with these strong motives, each author will find something of his own. No two Scotch parishes are alike, at least if one is painted by Barrie
and the other by Ian Maclaren
; nor any three New England
hamlets if painted respectively by Sarah Orne Jewett
, Mary Wilkins
, and Alice Brown
will find in hers an element of higher breeding and more refined living.
Her people will be more influenced by sentiment, perhaps sometimes too much so. Miss Wilkins
's people will be wonders of keen delineation, but their life will be grim-sometimes too grim.
Undoubtedly the whole life of New England
seems to all English readers much more stern and sombre than it is, because of her delineations; just as all Americans
form a highly exaggerated impression of the good looks of the English
people because of Du Maurier
's pictures in Punch
. The latest New England
story-teller, Miss Alice Brown
, is in a fair way to rank as the best