and of every variety—that of the sea, of California, and of the Bowery; of negroes, "Dutchmen," Yankees, Chinese, and Indians, to say nothing of that of a score of the most irregular and questionable occupations ever followed by men. When the stories even nominally treat of school-life they say nothing of school-life. There is simply a succession of practical jokes, mischief, outrages, heroic but impossible feats, fighting and horrors, but nothing about the business of school, any more than if the house in which the boys live were a summer boarding-house. The sensational incidents in these stories are introduced by forces apparently for the mere purpose of producing a highly spiced mixture.
One type of hero who figures largely in these stories is the vagabond boy in the streets of a great city, in the Rocky Mountains, or at sea. Sometimes he has some cleverness in singing, or dancing, or ventriloquism, or negro acting, and he gains a precarious living while roving about. This vagabond life of adventure is represented as interesting and enticing, and when the hero rises from vagabond life to flash life, that is represented as success. Respectable home life, on the other hand, is not depicted at all and is only referred to as stupid and below the ambition of a clever youth. Industry and economy in some regular pursuit, or in study, are never mentioned at all. Generosity does not consist in even luxurious expenditure, but in wasting money. The type seems to be that of the gambler, one day "flush" and wasteful, another day ruined and in misery.
There is another type of boy who sometimes furnishes the hero of a story, but who also figures more or less in all of them. That is the imp of mischief—the sort of boy who is an intolerable nuisance to the neighborhood. The stories are told from the standpoint of the boy, so