Yes, the Lex Falkenhayn was a great invention, and did what was claimed for it—it got the government out of the frying-pan.
 That is, revolution.
 ’In that gracious bygone time when a mild and good-tempered spirit was the atmosphere of our House, when the manner of our speakers was studiously formal and academic, and the storms and explosions of to-day were wholly unknown,’ etc.—Translation of the opening remark of a leading article in this morning’s ‘Neue Freie Presse,’ December 11.
 It is the 9th.—M.T.
PRIVATE HISTORY OF THE ‘JUMPING FROG’ STORY
Five or six years ago a lady from Finland asked me to tell her a story in our Negro dialect, so that she could get an idea of what that variety of speech was like. I told her one of Hopkinson Smith’s Negro stories, and gave her a copy of ‘Harper’s Monthly’ containing it. She translated it for a Swedish newspaper, but by an oversight named me as the author of it instead of Smith. I was very sorry for that, because I got a good lashing in the Swedish press, which would have fallen to his share but for that mistake; for it was shown that Boccaccio had told that very story, in his curt and meagre fashion, five hundred years before Smith took hold of it and made a good and tellable thing out of it.
I have always been sorry for Smith. But my own turn has come now. A few weeks ago Professor Van Dyke, of Princeton, asked this question:
‘Do you know how old your “Jumping Frog” story is?’
And I answered:
’Yes—forty-five years. The thing happened in Calaveras County, in the spring of 1849.’
’No; it happened earlier—a couple of thousand years earlier; it is a Greek story.’
I was astonished—and hurt. I said:
’I am willing to be a literary thief if it has been so ordained; I am even willing to be caught robbing the ancient dead alongside of Hopkinson Smith, for he is my friend and a good fellow, and I think would be as honest as any one if he could do it without occasioning remark; but I am not willing to antedate his crimes by fifteen hundred years. I must ask you to knock off part of that.’
But the professor was not chaffing: he was in earnest, and could not abate a century. He offered to get the book and send it to me and the Cambridge text-book containing the English translation also. I thought I would like the translation best, because Greek makes me tired. January 30th he sent me the English version, and I will presently insert it in this article. It is my ‘Jumping Frog’ tale in every essential. It is not strung out as I have strung it out, but it is all there.
To me this is very curious and interesting. Curious for several reasons. For instance: