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[373] life. The heroine may be introduced in this unromantic fashion: ‘Mrs. Griswold was paring apples and Lizzie straining squash.’ Here for the first time we may find dialect that rings true, and, moreover, here for the first time are sprightliness and rollicking humour, varied at times with tragedy and true pathos. As one traces her work from Atlantic to Atlantic, a gradual increase in power impresses one until after her declaration of independence at the opening of Miss Lucinda (August, 1861)—‘I offer you no tragedy in high life, no sentimental history of fashion and wealth, but only a little story about a woman who could not be a heroine’—it is felt that she has found herself and that with her later work like Odd Miss Todd, Freedom Wheeler's controversy with Providence, The Deacon's Week, and last of all and in many ways her best, The town and country mouse, the final story in her collection Huckleberries, she has passed into the new period and taken a secure place with the small group of masters of the short story. Unlike Harriet Prescott Spofford, whose gorgeous In a cellar and The amber gods fluttered for a time the readers of the early sixties, she was able to heed the voice of the new period and to grow and outgrow, and it was this power that made her the pioneer and the leader not only of the group of depicters of New England life, but of the whole later school of makers of localized short fiction realistically rendered.

Rose Terry came gradually, an evolution, without noise or sensation; not so Fitz-James O'Brien (1828-62), who, after his The Diamond Lens (January, 1858), was hailed loudly as a new Poe. O'Brien's career in America was meteoric. He appeared unheralded, in 1852, an adventurer who had been educated in Dublin University, and who had squandered a rich patrimony in London. For ten years he lived in the Bohemian circles of New York, writing impetuously, when the mood was upon him, temperamental, Celtic-souled material which he published here and there in the magazines—Harper's, Putnam's, the Atlantic, until, enlisting in one of the first regiments of volunteers, he fell in one of the earliest skirmishes of the Civil War. His short stories What was it? and The Wondersmith have undoubted power, but they are not to be compared with the best work of Hawthorne and Poe. What O'Brien might have done had he lived into the next period of the short story it is

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