This page of the book is from "The New Student's Reference Work: Volume 3" by Chandler B. Beach, Frank Morton McMurry and others.
NOVEMBER 1364 NUBIA
ished in the United States as nowhere else, partly because of the prevalence of magazines as suitable media for publication and partly because of the unequalled opportunity for studies of sectional and local manners to which the form especially lends itself. In this way it has employed literary material too slight for extended treatment, and has become a pervasive and powerful influence toward a national breadth of knowledge and sympathy.
From this rapid survey it will be seen that the structure of prose fiction ma^ be as varied as its content and that its content is limited only by the author's knowledge and imagination. Plots have often been complete, unified, varied and probable; but some, if not all, of these desirable characteristics have often been lacking. The action must be consistent in itself and with the characters; but it may be simple or complex, logical or surprising, slow or rapid. There usually is some sort of complication and unravelling; but the problem may be internal or external, of religion, patriotism, society, love, grief, ambition, art or what not. The good or the evil triumph or suffer, and the narrative requires or is independent of description, according to the author's view of life and of his art. The movement may be like that of the epic, the lyric or the drama ; or like that of the essay, of travel-literature, of history, biography or autobiography; and it usually combines some characteristics from each of these. The characters may be many or few, independent or related, simple or developed, lively or profound, receptive or influential. They may be based upon the author's observation or evolved from his own nature. They may be reproductions of actual persons, embodiments of types or pure creations. They may represent their author's interests, his sympathies, his solution of life. They may be directly described or analysed, or they may be portrayed indirectly through an account of their appearance, words and deeds or through those of related characters. The setting and the accessories may be historical or contemporary; political, social or personal; intimately or slightly connected with the characters and action; occupying little or much attention. Humor, pathos and satire may be inherent or incidental. Literary structure and style may be used as a transparent vehicle for the story, or they may in themselves be a source of pleasure or discomfort. No novel is great in all of these aspects, and these by no means exhaust the field. But greatness consists in an approach toward the ideal in all; and one could scarcely find a better method of studying any particular piece of fiction than by inquiring how it measures up to such a list of possibilities.
Whether one prefers fiction which provides moral stimulus, intellectual culture, increase of knowledge and sympathy or
merely the pleasure of forgetfulness depends upon each reader's mental habit and moral tone. Some fiction undoubtedly does harm by plausibly presenting unveracious views of life and its laws. But the appreciative reading of any of the notable fiction which has been here mentioned will open such a storehouse of profitable pleasure, that no thoughtful reader can ever again find satisfaction in anything less excellent. For, in the words of the Dean of Westminster Abbey at the funeral of Charles Dickens, when properly used, "the work of the successful novelist, if pure in style, elevating in thought, and true in sentiment, is the best of blessings."
Novem'ber, from the Latin for nine, was the ninth month of the Roman calendar year, when there were 30 days to the month of November and ten months to the year. Then it was given only 29 days, but Cæsar gave it 31, only to have it restored to 30-by Augustus. Its festivals are All Saints (1), St. Hubert (3), St. Martin (11), St. Cather- ' ine (25) and St. Andrew (30).
Nov'gorod ("new town"), a famous Russian city, capital of a government, is situated near Lake Ilmen on the Volkhoff River. In 864 Rurik, a Norseman, was invited here to rule, and with him begins the history of the country. In the 12th century the city, which then had 400,000 inhabitants, was the market of northeastern Europe, and its almost republican government ruled from the White Sea to River Petchora. In 1471 on account of the jealousy of the Moscow princes, Czar Ivan III destroyed Novgorod, deprived it of its liberties, and exiled its best citizens. Afterwards the port of Archangel was opened and the city began to decline. The oldest building is the Church of St. Sophia, founded in the nth century, besides 30 other churches and the wall surrounding the Kremlin. Here is annually held the Nizhnii Novgorod fair, which transacts a large volume of business. Population 26,972.
Nu'bia, the modern name of a large African region, formerly part of Ethiopia, and extending on both sides of the Nile from Egypt to Abyssinia and from the Red Sea on the east to the desert on the west. Of late, Nubia has been called the Egyptian Sudan. It was under the rule of the Pharaohs, but under the 20th dynasty was recovered by native rulers, who adopted Egyptian civilization and later became Christianized. The country is now occupied by mixed races, probably descendants from the pure negro stock mixed with Hamites and with Semitic Arabs who invaded the land in the 7th century, and conquered it in the 14th. Until 1820, it was ruled by native Moslem chiefs, but in that year it was made a part of Egypt by Ismail Pasha, and so remained until 1881. The .greater part of the country is arid desert, with small oases here and there on the route of caravans. The most fertile region is near Dongola. Its population, which con-