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still, in a deeper sense, so much the in very truth, she is right as regards this same ! He has traveled in a circle, as all hateful token. I must bear its torture yet things heavenly and earthly do, and now a little longer, — only a few days longer, comes back to his original self, with an - until we shall have left this region, inestimable treasure of improvement won and look back hither as to a land which from an experience of pain. How won- we have dreamed of. The forest cannot derful is this ! I tremble at my own hide it! The mid-ocean shall take it thoughts, yet must needs probe them to from my hand, and swallow it up fortheir depths. Was the crime – in which ever !” he and I were wedded was it a bless
With these words, she advanced to the ing, in that strange disguise ? Was it a margin of the brook, took up the scarlet means of education, bringing a simple letter, and fastened it again into her and imperfect nature to a point of feel- bosom. Hopefully, but a moment ago, ing and intelligence which it could have as Hester had spoken of drowning it in reached under no other discipline ? "
the deep sea, there was a sense of in"You stir up deep and perilous matter, evitable doom upon her, as she thus reMiriam," replied Kenyon. “I dare not ceived back this deadly symbol from the follow you into the unfathomable abysses hand of fate. She had flung it into inwhither you are tending."
finite space ! · she had drawn an hour's “Yet there is a pleasure in them! I de- free breath ! and here again was the light to brood on the verge of this great scarlet misery, glittering on the old spot ! mystery," returned she. "The story of So it ever is, whether thus typified or no, the fall of man ! Is it not repeated in that an evil deed invests itself with the our romance of Monte Beni ? And may character of doom. Hester next gathered we follow the analogy yet farther ? Was up the heavy tresses of her hair, and that very sin — into which Adam precip- confined them beneath her cap. As if itated himself and all his race
there were a withering spell in the sad the destined means by which, over a long letter, her beauty, the warmth and richpathway of toil and sorrow, we are to ness of her womanhood, departed, like attain a higher, brighter, and profounder fading sunshine ; and a gray shadow happiness than our last birthright gave ? seemed to fall across her.” Will not this idea account for the per
The Novels of Hardy. This same sense mitted existence of sin, as no other theory can ?”
of the inevitableness of things, of human de" It is too dangerous, Miriam ! I can- sires dominated by a Superior Will, characnot follow you !” repeated the sculptor.
terizes the realistic novels of Thomas “Mortal man has no right to tread on the
Hardy ; and whatever may be said in disground where you now set your feet.”
“Ask Hilda what she thinks of it," said paragement of Hardy's philosophy, there can Miriam, with a thoughtful smile. “ At be no question but that his principal characleast, she might conclude that sin
ters are exemplars of spiritual growth. Of which man chose instead of good has been so beneficently handled by om
Tess in “Tess of the D'Urbervilles " the niscience and omnipotence, that, whereas
Folletts have said : She is an inspiring picour dark enemy sought to destroy us by ture of the fortitude of the human soul exit, it has really become an instrument pressing itself in the virtues of steadfastness, most effective in the education of intel
obstinate devotion, and iect and soul."
And again : “She is a pure woman faithfully “The Scarlet Letter.” – The working of presented in her struggle against all the that unseen Power that moulds our destinies is
impurities in the world." nowhere more beautifully and naturally ex
“The Octopus." Some of our more repressed than in the forest scene, where Hes
cent writers have practically personified the ter Prynne, alone with Arthur Dimmesdale,
evolutionary principle, making it the vital and has thrown aside the scarlet letter, and Pearl
all-embracing power within the novel. “the living hieroglyphic, in which was re
Howells has said of “The Octopus ” : “The vealed the secret they so darkly sought to
play of an imagination fed by a rich conhide" has commanded her mother to re
sciousness of the mystical relations of nature store it to her bosom.
and human nature, the body and the soul of “Was ever such a child ! " observed
earthly life, steeps the whole theme in an Hester, aside to the minister. “O, I
odor of common growth. It is as if the have much to tell thee about her ! But,
Wheat sprang out of the hearts of men, in the conception of the young poet who writes its Iliad, and who shows how it overwhelms
their lives, and germinates anew from their deaths."
This is literally true. Just as Walt Whitman reads a divine lesson in the grass, "perennially sprouting, universal, formless, common, the always spread feast of the herds," so does Norris catch the hint of God's eternal purpose in the wheat, “that mighty worldforce, that nourisher of nations.” Annixter, cherishing the “little seed” of love in the dark recesses of his nature ; Hilma, blossoming into rarest beauty under the spell of dawning motherhood ; Presley, striving to
express the mighty truths which so long lay dormant in his mind ; Vanamee, sending his psychic summons out into the vast unknown
all are but different manifestations of the same deific power which swings “the pendulum of the seasons," and causes the grain of wheat, long buried in the deep, dark furrows of the earth, to answer “to the call of the sun." Destiny is relentless, and the wheat growers are crushed at last in the tentacles of that "iron-hearted Power" against which they have presumed to lift their puny strength. Nemesis appears in the guise of the wheat, however, and the death of S. Behrman adds the final touch of irony. Thomas L. Marble. GORHAM, N. H.
( To be continued.)
ERRORS IN WRITING CORRECTED.-LI.
President Wilson is authority for the dictum that the nations with which we have been associated in the war not “our Allies,” but “only the nations with which the United States is associated.”
The British Court is not “ The Court of St. James," but The Court of St. James's." St. James's palace, London, built by Henry VIII, has been the official town residence of the English Court since the fire at Whitehall in 1698. Ward, Lock, & Co.'s London guide (Who now would refer to Baedeker !) says : “St. James's Palace, 'Our Court of St. James's', to which foreign ambassadors and ministers are still accredited, though it has long since ceased to be the sovereign's residence," etc. The Official U. S. Bulletin, however, records the “selection of John William Davis, solicitor-general, as Ambassador to Great Britain."
Speaking of The Star-Spangled Banner," the title should be written thus. It is not correct to write : “The words of the StarSpangled Banner,'"
' of the Star Spangled Banner.'”
It is not good form in this country to address a man, for instance, as “ John Jones,
Esq." The proper address is “Mr. John Jones.” In addressing a man without a title in England, it is not good form not to use " Esquire,” if he is a gentleman, or a professional man, as distinguished from a trades
In England “Mr.” in an address before the name is used only in addressing tradesmen.
According to a military man, Major S. J. M. Auld, in fact, the plural of
shell is “shell," and to say, for instance, “a rain of shells” is “
very civilian.” In this country “My dear Mr. Brown" at the beginning of a letter is regarded as more formal than “Dear Mr. Brown." In England, it is the other way. The English fashion seems to be more reasonable, but a national custom or prejudice is not easily upset.
There is no logical reason for the use of the phrase, "only too ” for “very” in such sentences as, “I shall be only too glad to come,” so that the Northwestern Christian Advocate was rhetorically wrong when it said : “We shall be only too willing to note the death of any Methodist boy in the Northwestern territory." Edward B. Hughes. CAMBRIDGE, Mass.
writing necessary. A reader of THE WRITER who had this experience with a manuscript submitted to the Fourth Estate ( New York ) wrote a letter of protest to the editor, and received the following very satisfactory reply :
You say you think it is not fair for us to stamp a lot of figures and letters on the first page of a manuscript.
You are absolutely right in what you say. All there is left for me to do is to offer you our best apologies.
Our mail is all opened at one point and everything stamped as you saw it on your manuscript, but the instructions are that anything which may be returned for any reason whatsoever is not to be stamped, but instead a slip of paper is to be stamped and clipped to it.
Again I say am sorry, but I feel confident it will not occur again, either to you or any one else. Your note regarding it has served a useful purpose.
THE WRITER is published the first of every month. It will be sent, postpaid, for $1.50 a year. The price of Canadian and foreign subscriptions is $1.62, including postage.
All drafts and money orders should be made payable to the Writer Publishing Co. If local checks are sent, ten cents should be added for col. lection charges.
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** Contributions not used will be returned, if a stamped and addressed envelope is enclosed. THE WRITER PUBLISHING CO.,
P. O. Box 1905, Boston, Mass.
Vol. XXXI. JANUARY, 1919.
A businesslike California poet is trying a
scheme to shorten the time required to offer Short practical articles on topics connected
a manuscript to editors successively. Using with literary work are always wanted for
a printed letter to send a poem to a Boston The Writer. Readers of the magazine are
newspaper, he says : invited to join in making it a medium of m:
December 14, 1918. tual help, and to contribute to it any ideas
Managing Editor : that may occur to them. The pages of The The enclosed poem
is offered for publica
tion on or after December 25, 1918, in but one WRITER are always open for anyone who
journal in each commercial centre in your State. has anything helpful and practical to say.
If you accept it, kindly send me by mail your Articles should be closely condensed ; the
check, or a postal order, or currency, for Two ideal length is about 1,000 words.
If unavailable for your use please place the
“poem in enclosed envelope and mail in your Some editors still deface manuscripts by
city. making notes on them so that they have to
Yours truly, be rewritten before they can be offered to other editors. In some publication offices Enclosed was an envelope addressed to the also, where it is the custom to stamp letters editor of another Boston newspaper.
Obvireceived in the mail with the date of receipt, ously such procedure obviates the delay of a or other information, manuscripts are some- journey for a manuscript from Boston to San times similarly stamped, again making re- Francisco and return important in the case
matter rate of one cent for two ounces. It is hard to see what difference it makes in the cost to the government in handling whether the periodicals are complete or not.
of a “timely" manuscript. It may indicate to the second editor that the poem, which he receives in an envelope with a local postmark, has been rejected by another editor in his city. The scheme, of course, might be extended by enclosing a dozen envelopes of graduated sizes, placed one inside the other, and changing the form of the letter so that each editor rejecting the manuscript would send it to the next editor addressed, but perhaps that system would be too complex for practical use. Receiving a manuscript with such a printed letter, each editor, of course, knows that the poem is offered for syndicate publication, and has only to decide whether two dollars for the use of a syndicated poem in his territory is too much, and just what the phrase, “ each commercial centre in your State," may mean.
Again, if a publisher sends a package of numbers of his publication to be delivered by carrier within the limits of his postal district, if each number of the periodical weighs no more than two ounces he must pay one cent postage on each copy ; or, if each number weighs more than two ounces two cents postage on each copy. When complete periodicals are sent by others than the publisher, however, the postage rate is one cent for each four ounces or fraction. For mailing a package of twelve Writers, weighing eighteen ounces, for local delivery by carrier, therefore, the publisher must pay twelve cents postage. Anybody else can mail the same package to be delivered in the same way for five cents. If each number of a periodical weighs two ounces, the publisher must pay two cents postage on each copy for local delivery by carrier, while anybody else can mail a copy to be delivered in the same way for one cent. What sense is there in that ?
Here is another example of the absurdities of the postal laws. The postage rate on printed matter is one cent for each two ounces or fraction. “Miscellaneous printed matter” in a package weighing more than four pounds goes at the parcel-post rate in the first two zones, five cents for the first pound and one cent for each additional pound. Under these rules the postage on a package of printed matter weighing three pounds, fifteen ounces, sent one hundred and fifty miles is thirty-four cents. If two ounces of printed matter are added, the package can be sent at the parcel-post rate, and the postage is reduced to ten cents. Only a very unthrifty person would hesitate to add two ounces of printed matter to such a package, in order !!) save twenty-four cents postage.
Verse-makers – including poets should avoid near-rhymes, even though Dr. Robert Bridges, English poet laureate, forces “inherit” and “spirit" to rhyme in his verses to the Americans on their Thanksgiving Day, celebrated in England November 28, 1918.
W. H. H.
Reeling beneath the horror of one of the most brutal wholesale murders of history, right-thinking America stood keen and tense and rigid. Porter Emerson Browne, in September McClure's.
Still in his early forties, handsome in an extinct sort of a way, the curious palior of his gaunt gray face always made her think, somehow, of a dead Pope. . Hearst's Magazine for June.
If periodicals are included in the parcelpost package, however, they must not be complete, for there is a special postage rate on complete periodicals of one cent for four
- sixteen cents for four pounds. To get the advantage of the parcel-post rate on a package of “miscellaneous printed matter" weighing more than four pounds, something must be cut from each periodical included. To get the advantage of the one-cent-forfour-ounces rate on periodicals sent in small packages, each periodical must be complete. Otherwise, the matter goes at the printed
K. D. S.
“I can't speak too positively," rallied the girl. “ Hint?" snapped her father.
' Truly ? quizzed her father. “ Truly !" twinkled Daphne. “ Yes I – know," quivered the girl.
“ You you mean there was trouble ? " flushed the girl.
“ That pretty little Bretton girl," regretted gentler tone.
“ Apple Blossoms? mumbled poor Burnarde. “ The word is unfortunate," frowned Burnarde. "Most mothers have," snapped John Burnarde.
“ Which, being interpreted,” puzzled Daphne. “ oid Dad," in October Woman's Home Companion.
“ Who was there to look after her but he ?" Mrs. Humphry Ward, in Harper's Bazar.
In McClure's Magazine Bliss Carmen makes the name of General Foch rhyme with spoke ” and “smoke" and not with “ squash."
For making carbon copies of articles to keep, such paper is as good as any.
In announcing the awards of Poetry's prizes for 1918, the editor of Poetry says :
“When the magazine began, prizes in the art of poetry were practically unheard-of in America, although annual prizes and scholarships in painting, sculpture, architecture, and music have been common. The editors believed, and still believe, in these awards, both as a stimulus to the artists, and a kind of advertisement of the art before the public.. We believe that they are as well deserved and as effective for these purposes in poetry as in the other arts, and we rejoice that the example of the magazine is being followed by the Poetry Society of America, through Columbia University, and that other institu-tions and individuals are at least considering the bestowal of such awards.
“Compared with other artists, the poet, as. every one knows, is absurdly ill-paid. Poetry is, we believe, almost the only one of the special magazines which has been able to pay anything to its contributors, yet we should hate to expose the ridiculous smallness of our checks for far-famed poems ridiculous compared with the five, eight, even ten thousand dollars paid to our contemporary painters and sculptors for a single work of no greater beauty and inherent value. Nor will the few prizes offered in this art bear comparison with the numerous and extremely large awards to painters and sculptors in our various large cities for example, thirtyfour hundred dollars in five prizes, accompanied by gold, silver, and bronze medals, at a single annual exhibition of the Chicago Art Institute !
“ Poetry would like to change all this it would like to be rich enough to pay for poems at least a living wage, so that poets would not have to face the grim alternative of starving, or getting an engrossing and art-destroying job. At this point, to enforce my argument, the postman hands me a letter from Sara Teasdale, who recently received the Poetry Society's five-hundred-dollar prize. She tells of the soul-destroying struggles of one or two young poet friends, and adds :
“I wish that you would write an editorial about Crowder's dictum that poets are essential to the
LITERARY SHOP TALK.
[ This department is open to readers of The WRITER for the relation of interesting experiences in writing or in dealing with editors, and for the free discussion of any topic connected with literary work. Contributors are requested to be brief.]
" When Annette said anything in which there was
a special motive," relates Basil King in the Saturday Evening Post, "a series of concentric shadows fled over her face like ripples from the spot where a stone is thrown into a pool" - which leads Bert Leston Taylor to remark : "If a lady did that to us we should reach for our hat."
The editorial note in The WRITER urging economy of paper leads me to say that for two years I have been using the clean blank side of circulars received for "scratch paper," and also for articles for periodicals for which I am accustomed to write, so that the elegance of the manuscript is not important. A great deal of advertising matter comes to the waste basket that is good for such use, and the quality of the paper is often excellent.