February Fill-Dykes

We hope that the month will not be very rainy, but we have taken care to fill the dykes of the human heart, which thirsteth after the water brooks, with a full measure of first-class reading matter. The next number of the International is so good that even our office boy admires it. In fact, he devoted an entire day to reading the proofs, and he had been ordered to deliver them forthwith to the printer.

“Gee whiz!” exclaimed that youth, “the stuff in this number is certainly ripping; better than anything of Nick Carter or Buffalo Bill. I never read the International before,” he continued, “but from now on I certainly am going to read every number.”

Curiously enough, our office boy’s opinion of the International coincides exactly with the opinion entertained by a certain professor in Harvard University. This professor said the International was “all things to all men.”

The last of the Simon Iff stories is perhaps the strangest and the most terrible of the series. It goes back a century to the time of the Napoleonic Wars, and describes one of the most thrilling and dramatic episodes in that romantic period. Simon Iff’s share in the story is not so great as in some of the others, but it is perhaps natural that in the last of the series he should seem to fade away. However, the darkest hour is that before the dawn, and we are glad to be able to say that the old man decided to come over to America. A new series of his adventures in this country is now in preparation.

“The Mass of St. Secaire” is not one of those “Masses” which have recently been suppressed by the Government. The most fervent patriot can read it without a blush. It is a story in Mark Wells’ very best style. It deals with one of the most absorbing superstitions of the French peasantry, and is mingled with the weird atmosphere of African adventure. It shows how the shadow of that Dark Continent may fall upon the sunny plains of southern France.

Encouraged by the success of his “Heart of Holy Russia,” Mr. Aleister Crowley has written an essay on the Old Absinthe House of New Orleans. It is a study of Absinthe as wonderful as that which we published in October about Cocaine; and, in addition, possesses the local color of the one great town of the United States which possesses something like a European atmosphere.

We have also an astonishing series of short sketches translated from the German, which does for the armies of Central Europe what “Under Fire” did for the French. The atmosphere is, however, not so morbid. The strong passion of virility and courage shines through the darkness of discomfort and danger.

We must really introduce our readers to Izek Kranil.

She is an Algerian by birth, half French, half Arab, and is one of the best known figures in literary and artistic circles in Europe. Her passionate prose poem, “At the Feet of Our Lady of Darkness,” is one of the most remarkable pieces of literature ever penned, more fantastic and fascinating than any of the visions of De Quincey and Coleridge.

And so on!

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