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"Medicine troupes bring comedians, acrobats, and sure cures "

dren, the All-Father's masterpiece is Iowa."

While there are Easterners who find a certain "smugness" in this rapturous laudation of la petite patrie, I notice that

those same Easterners will sentimentalize over Mistral's affection for his native Provence. Whereas, Mistral was a fairly late comer in Provence. He had not made it. He had not seen it made. In the

Middle West pioneers and sons of pioneers still glory in the fruit of their labors. They made the Middle West. They have not ceased making it, nor has the third generation. What passes for smugness is an incitement to further exertion. For "Halleluiah!" read "Giddap!" In MiddleWestern parlance it is the outward sign of an inward grace. The grace they call "boost"; its opposite, "knocking." Says a Middle-Western editor, "Any man who knocks the town he feels at home in would find fault with his own mother's cherrypie."

In Cincinnati note the daily column, “Cincinnati's Industries Grow." In Springfield hear the phrases, "Onward sweep" and "Forging ahead." In Wichita observe how the disinterested realestate barons have set out to "make Wichita known as the Hub of"-I forget just what. From the window, as your train pulls up at some severely monohippic "tank town," read the notice, "This piece of land free to any concern that will build a factory here."

Taught by his chamber of commerce, the citizen volunteers information wondrous, joyous, and effulgent. Welcome to our city! She boasts the biggest this in the world, the largest that in the world, the grandest the other in the world, and three times her own population. Thinking in italics, talking in capitals, he knows only cosmic superlatives. One such town boasts "the shortest mile-track in the world." Chicago, when termed the wickedest of cities, replied, "We 're bound to lead." Chicago even brags of her suburbs - "with one exception." That is St. Louis! In the usual prairie town the newspapers never allow people to die. Instead, they "pass." Anything as depressing as a death would be a form of applied "knocking."

Throughout the Middle West the citizen memorizes interminable statistics proving the "onward sweep" of his community during the last three years, the last five, the last ten. At this rate a mere dullard can calculate how suddenly it will overhaul New York City and joggle the universe. In six dezen particulars

he names them offhand-it has already joggled Christendom and dismayed the marts of Ormus and of Ind.

At first glance "boost" appears to exhibit imagination, but it is in reality prosaic. It takes facts, then proceeds as in multiplication. Nevertheless, it exhibits sentiment, and America has as yet produced no more charmingly sentimental creature than the plainsman. His surroundings, his education, his religion, his secretiveness, and his jocosity unite to kill sentiment. Nothing can. Horrible droughts may burn sentiment to a cinder; plagues of locusts may devour it; floods may drown it; tornadoes, misnamed "cyclones," may blow it flat. Invariably it comes up smiling.

To be candid, these pranks of water, wind, sun, and the "insect youth" amount to relatively little. Locusts nibbled Kansas bare once; they are gone; and while an occasional hot wind scorches that eventful region till farmers perceive clearly that Congress is to blame, consider the Kansas crops, how they grow, and the Kansans, how they prosper. Dayton has its flood, to be sure, and here and there a village that was on one bank of the Mississippi yesterday is on the other bank to-day; yet the average Middle-Westerner never sees the "Big Muddy" or, for that matter, the Ohio. Cyclones, when by some rare chance they collide with a city, wreak havoc incalculable; as a rule, they waste their vivacity in the rural glades. All his life a distinguished Middle-Western meteorologist has been ambitious to get in with a cyclone. All his life he has failed. There is a wistful melancholy about the man as he shows you other people's snap-shots of cyclones or relates his observations along a cyclone's trail. Alas! the play of "Cæsar" with Casar left out-chickens defeathered on one side only, straws stuck into oaken posts, mud from Jones's swamp nicely plastered over the First Baptist Church, a locomotive standing on end in a rose garden and a single rose left petal-perfect, but the cyclone itself gone kiting. By dint of much patience I have found cyclone sur

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brarian (curator of Christys) allotting me a private study, with private key, and the services of a most capable young woman, who ransacked literature in quest of everything even distantly related to the matter I happened to be investigating. As for the arch-pedagogue, his scholarly defense. of classical learning would have satisfied. Mahaffy, Jowett, or the elder Arnold. himself.

Naturally, I was in no mere apologetic mood regarding the Middle West when I dictated that letter to Granville; I was excited. I had found villagers reading "The Atlantic," Cleveland planning a Place de la Concorde, Chicago acquiring old masters. Music throve. Collegians Collegians scorned to "pony" their Greek. Although Mr. Howells had fled his native Ohio, two Middle-Westerners, Mrs. Peattie and Mr. Henry B. Fuller, rivaled his finished grace. James Whitcomb Riley was at the very height of his inspiration. In Alpena, Michigan, the cub reporter, who served also as newsboy, memorized Omar while trudging the sawdust streets.

Oh, well, prepossessions die hard, and perhaps Granville remembered those dowdy Middle-Westerners at the World's Fair who gasped at nudes, and worshiped that sentimental picture, "Breaking the Home Ties"; or possibly he recalled Mrs. Lease's declaration that Kansas ought to raise "less corn and more hell"-not a pretty remark, I confess. There is also a chance-vague, at least-that he harked back unconsciously to poor Washington Irving's prediction that the Middle West would "form a lawless interval between the abodes of civilized man, like the wastes of the ocean or the deserts of Arabia." In any event, he had lately seen all that I had seen-and "Heaven help the civilization of it!"

What is he saying to-day? Detroit has Whistler's "Peacock Room," Pittsburgh the loveliest of Mr. Cram's Gothic churches, Buffalo an art-palace that would make a worthy abode for an Olympian god if you could find an Olympian god worthy to live in it. The Omaha Exposition, the Louisiana Purchase Exposition,

and the Pan-American were festivals of beauty. The Corn Belt attracts Calvé and Caruso. Mr. Crothers, "raised" in Illinois, ranks with our most accomplished essayists. Not long ago a poet lay in state at the capitol in Indianapolis. Eastern universities complain that the Middle West is enticing their ablest professors. Every summer vacationists come east. Does Granville find them less cultivated -the majority-than Bostonians and New-Yorkers?

Still, the East retains a somewhat condescending attitude, and in its friendliest moments speaks of the plainsmen as "first-rate raw material," as if the Middle West existed and had somehow a local habitation and a name. The Middle West itself is by no means so sure about that. Although the prairies begin at Batavia, New York, Buffalonians resent being termed Middle-Westerners. Omaha, I should describe as unquestionably Middle-Western, yet there are Middle-Westerners who repudiate Nebraska, and only tepidly accept Kansas, while St. Louis and Kansas City belong to the Middle West according to some authorities, to the South according to others as vociferous. By general consent Minnesota belongs to the Northwest. However, if you go halfway from Portland, Maine, to Portland, Oregon, all of Minnesota lies behind you. In Chicago they say, "Why, man alive, there's nothing Western about us! This is the interior." A dear soul in Montana remarked to me: "How jolly to hear that you came from the East! I'm an Easterner, myself. I lived in Ioway."

Where, then, is the Middle West? In the words of the immortal Artemus, I answer, "Nowheres-nor anywheres else." So I can speak freely; with a kind of blanket alibi conclusively established, no Middle-Westerner will be hit. Meanwhile Easterners cannot hide, though their nutshell epitomization of the Middle West not only challenges criticism, but teases for it. Think of epitomizing those vast spaces, those millions of Middle-Westerners, heirs of so varied a past!

Their lands once belonged partly to the

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"The cub reporter, who served also as newsboy, memorized Omar " old Northwest Territory, partly to New France. Migration tramped in mixed columns; also in parallel columns, each from a different region. Take Ohio. She is an ethnological layer-cake: New-Englanders for frosting, then a Pennsylvania Dutch stratum, then Virginians, West Virginians, and Kentuckians, who greet "you-all" with a hearty "Good evening" at two in the afternoon.

Moreover, the frontier summoned

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every conceivable stamp of character. Cracked saints went along with cutthroats, demireps, horse-thieves, and the salt of the earth. The first explorers burned to "explain hell to the savages." Later arrivals were more directly attentive to one another. In Illinois they enjoyed a Mormon-hunt, killing the Prophet Joseph and expelling his disciples. In Michigan they engaged in a boundary dispute with the Ohioans, and sprang to

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