Lapas attēli

his seat in the face of anarchy, followed the fleeing executive to Vera Cruz, and accompanied him as far as Havana on the first stage of his voyage to exile. Being close to the core of action bore fruit in an exclusive interview, secured from the broken master of Mexico on the steamer that carried him abroad, but the price paid by the correspondent was high, for during the days of rioting prior to the abdication of the dictator, Mr. Ritchie was struck on the head by some missile from the hand of a rioter and badly hurt. One of his prizes of these exciting days in Mexico is an autograph letter from ex-President Diaz, thanking him for his sympathetic pen picture of the last days of the Diaz regime which Harper's Magazine published under the title, "The Passing of a Dictator."

Charles Saxby, author of the novelette, "The Idealist," in Ainslee's for August, is also the author of "Empire," announced for Everybody's for September, and of "In the House of the Old Mensah," to be printed in Ainslee's for September. He has had stories in the Smart Set, the Delineator, Success, Short Stories, and other magazines, as well. Mr. Saxby was born in Devonshire, England, but grew up in Trinidad and Barbados, West Indies. At the age of sixteen he went on the stage, but gave it up because of family objections. He spent some time in Italy and Southern Spain studying viticulture and the wine industry. Later he joined a friend in the Island of Teneriffe, expecting to revive the glories of the old "Canary Sack." They did not revive, and hearing of the formation of a company to search for gold and gem deposits in the Hinterlands of the Ivory and Gold Coast, Mr. Saxby went to London to see one of the directors, only to find that he had gone to Egypt for the winter. Mr. Saxby followed him and obtained a position with the company. He "trailed" around West Africa for more than two years, when the company went out of business abruptly. Mr. Saxby came down with the typhoid fever while up in the Bush, cut off by floods from everywhere, where he had nothing to eat but green plantains and

canned salmon. He was carried in a hammock two hundred miles to Axim, where he was put on board a steamer and shipped home. He spent eight months in the hos pital and then was advised to go to California for the "climate." He went, took to the mountains, living in a tent for eighteen months, and got well. Mr. Saxby's literary tendencies evinced themselves at the early age of ten, when he wrote a historical drama on the subject of Queen Elizabeth, which had six or seven acts and was played in about ten minutes, including intervals. He also ran a magazine, the Bagasse (title suggested by older brother; "bagasse" is the refuse from the sugar cane, good only to burn). The price was one cent a copy - the same copy - there was never more than one. Publication was stopped by parental decree, owing to innocently scandalous revealings of the private lives of the coolies. Mr. Saxby never wrote a line with any serious intent until he was twenty-eight years old, but from living so much alone in strange places, beyond the reach of mails and with only blacks about, he formed a habit of telling himself stories for entertainment. He began writing travel articles for the Sunday supplements. Then came a story, mailed to a big monthly in utter hopelessness result, a check for one hundred and twenty-five dollars. Since then Mr. Saxby says there have been more - sometimes.

Anne Ueland Taylor, whose story, "Alma Does for Herself," was printed in Harper's Magazine for August, is the wife of Kenneth Taylor, of St. Paul, Minnesota. She was graduated from Wells College in 1908, was married in 1909, and spent the year 1911 doing newspaper work, both editorial and reporting, for the Minneapolis Tribune. The story in Harper's is the first that she has had accepted by one of the big magazines, although she has had articles that were not fiction in the Atlantic, Collier's, Good Housekeeping, and several newspapers.

Louis Untermeyer, whose "Folk-Song" appeared in Harper's Magazine for August, declares that he owes his success in the

literary field to the jewelry business - at least, the latter makes his performances in the former possible. During the day he designs and directs the making of link-buttons and pendants. At night he writes the lyrics and insurrectionary verse that appear in the Century, the Forum, the Smart Set, the Delineator, Harper's, the Independent, and other publications. His sonnet, "Mockery," was awarded the first prize in the International's poetry contest, some of the judges being Richard Le Gallienne, Edwin Markham, Hudson Maxim, and Edward J. Wheeler of Current Opinion. Mr. Untermeyer's first volume, "First Love - A Lyric Sequence," was published by Sherman, French & Company, in 1911, and his new book, "Summons," is being prepared for publication late this year, and will include the striking series of socialistic poems which have been appearing in the Masses. Mr. Untermeyer also conducts a bi-weekly department in the Chicago Evening Post- half critique and half causerie- under the caption, And Other Poems." Mr. Untermeyer is twenty-seven years old, and has lived in New York all his life. He contributes occasional prose articles to the New York Times and the Independent, and is one of the editors of the Masses.


[ocr errors]


LeRoy Titus Weeks, author of "A Double Star" and "A Triolet," both in the August number of the Century, has had other poems published by the Century Company — “All 'at Out's In Free," "Snowing," The Bobolink," "The Jaybird," "The Chickadee," "The Red-winged Blackbird," "Bob White," and "The Maryland Yellow-Throat." Of "A Double Star" a poet writes: "There are three poets in New York who covet the first line in this sonnet of yours. Any living poet might be proud of having written that line." Rev. Dr. Weeks has also had a story, Bargold," in the Cavalier, and a volume of his poems has been published by T. Y. Crowell & Company. In his Doctor's thesis he worked up "The Order of Rimes in the English Sonnet," a part of which was published in "Modern Language Notes." Dr. Weeks has just about completed a book,

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

Some of Mr. Bridges' works are, by their very nature, shut out from the possibility of popularity. For example, we never expect to find among the best sellers the Latin poem, Carmen Elegiacum de Nosocomio Sti Bartholomaei Londinensis." Then, too, many of his best poems have been printed privately at the press of his friend, Mr. Daniel, of Worcester college, and circulated only among collectors of rare books and personal acquaintances of Mr. Bridges. Recently, however, there has come from the Oxford University press a volume of his lyrics, entitled "Poetical Works of Robert Bridges," and this book has enlarged the circle of his admirers in England and America. In that admirable series called "The Poets and the Poetry of the Ninteenth Century," published by E. P. Dutton & Co., one volume is "Robert Bridges and Contemporary Poets." Here are to be found many of his best poems, lyric and dramatic.

Although he is seldom called "Dr. Bridges," this poet, like Keats, has studied medicine. Unlike Keats, however, and like two American poets, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes and Dr. Weir Mitchell, he persisted in his studies and gained a distinguished place in his profession.

Robert Bridges is sixty-nine years old and comes of a distinguished English family. At


Eton and later at Oxford Mr. Bridges was noted for his scholarship, but he found time to distinguish himself in athletics. He was an enthusiastic cricketer and oarsman. 1867 he was placed in the second class in the fnal school of literae humaniores. After leaving the university he spent a number of years in foreign travel, familiarizing himself with life on the continent and in the far East. On his return to London he became a student of medicine at St. Bartholomew's hospital, receiving in due course the degree of M. B. at Oxford. He then began the practice of his profession, being regularly attached to the staff at St. Bartholomew's hospital and of the Children's hospital in Great Ormonde street. Retiring from practice in 1882 he married and left London for his beautiful rural estate at Yattendon in Berkshire. Since that time he has devoted himseif exclusively to literature, and particularly to poetry. -- Chicago Tribune.

Case. The poem beginning, "There is no unbelief," which has been credited to Kingsley, Mrs. Browning, and other authors, was written by Mrs. Lizzie York Case, who is now living in Baltimore. Mrs. Case is by religious faith a Friend, and has spent a good part of her life in work for the daily press. She was for some time on the staff of the Detroit Free Press, and in that paper twenty-eight years ago printed the poem.

The Free Press printed August 1, 1905, the author's own statement, a part of which follows:

"This poem of mine, which for twentyseven years has been accredited to BulwerLytton, Charles Kingsley, and Mrs. Browning, not to mention a dozen others, was written by me in a moment of emotional turmoil compounded of resentment against dogmatic intolerance and enthusiasm for a larger, nobler belief.

"It happened this way: One morning about twenty-seven years ago I was breakfasting with a very zealous young clergyman whose ironclad orthodoxy permitted of no compromise. He questioned me as to my religious belief. I answered that I had inherited a creed, that I had clung to the faith

of my fathers-I was a Quakeress, a Friend. Then,' answered the pious young shepherd of souls, 'you are an unbeliever and will be damned.'

"I'm not afraid of that,' I answered, 'for there is no unbelief. The thing is unthinkable. I believe in everything that is good and beautiful and true; in God and man and nature, in love and life and joy.'

"That night I slept fretfully. The young zealot's words haunted and worried me. In hot refutation of his arrogant summary of a belief that did not coincide with his, the verses were born. That is the only way I can explain their being.

"I was living in Detroit at the time and contributing a weekly article to the Free Press. But the next morning, instead of preparing my regular stipulation, I dashed off the poem that had been framing in my mind all night. The Free Press published it, and soon after letters came pouring in to me from all over the country thanking me for the verses, and for the consolation that had been induced in many cases by them."

De Morgan. - The New York Times tells again the story of William De Morgan's debut as a novelist at the age of sixty-five. He is an expert in ceramics, having devoted thirty years of his life to the study and practical application of the art. "De Morgan tiles," as they are termed, have a peculiar finish and lustre, and are much sought after for the best English houses. He is also the inventor of a duplex bicycle, and an effective sieve, as well as a smoke-consuming fire grate. At sixty-four years of age Mr. De Morgan wrote the first chapter of "Joseph Vance," and a year later, at the solicitation of his wife, he finished the novel and sent it to a publisher. It was rejected. It was written out in longhand. A manuscript of 280,000 words must have seemed appalling to the publisher's Reader, and it was suggested to De Morgan that the manuscript might have a better chance to be read if it was typewritten. The work was put into the hands of an intelligent woman, and she was soon complaining that the girls employed in her office were reading the manuscript and

crying over it, instead of copying it. She told this unusual experience to a publisher, and Joseph Vance" soon afterward was issued and made a great success. "Alice for Short," written mainly in 1906, was published in 1907, and Somehow Good," written in 1907, was published in 1908. "It Never Can Happen Again" was published in 1909, "An Affair of Dishonor" in 1910, and "A Likely Story" in 1912. Mr. De Morgan spends much of his time in Florence, Italy, and when in England lives in Chelsea. His wife is a distinguished painter.

Jacobs. "I hate work of any description whatever," W. W. Jacobs said. "The 'Night Watchman'" - one of the most humorous characters-"has not raised a laugh from me for ten years, and I'm quite certain he never will again. At the same time, not a single one of the characters in my more serious work has been able to awaken in me the slightest start of horror. All that concerns me is the checks they bring me, and in consequence, the additional number of hours of idleness I can allow myself.

"There is, I am afraid, a lot of nonsense talked about the average literary man and his work. An author must 'live' his charac-. ters, many persons contend. As a matter of fact, to be a good craftsman is all that is required; and the writer's happiness consists of two things; first, sending the finished article and knowing that it is a winner; and, second, making use of the check it brings. It is this love of loafing that has led me to choose Loughton"- Epping Forest"as my home. I can potter about there to my heart's content, troubling little about anything except myself and my family." London Special, in New York Trib


Meredith. Talking with Constantin Photiades in September, 1911, George Meredith said:

The press has often treated me as a clown or a harlequin- yes, really! And with such little respect that my fellow citizens can scarcely put up with me. Do not cry out! Certainly at this late hour they

accord me a little glory; my name is celebrated, but no one reads my books. As for Englishmen, I put them to flight because I bore them. With regard to foreigners I am but an illustrious unknown. Think! All my poems were, until 1896, published at my own expense ! "I continue to write, despite the prevailing indifference to my work, it is because certain magazines, notably Scribner's Magazine of America, pay me liberally for my contributions. My contemporaries here know nothing of it. Lately I gave a poem to the Oxford and Cambridge Review" "The Call," I interrupted-"What! you have read it?" he asked. "You are the first person who has spoken of it to me. I hoped that my poetic warning would be of use to my country. Ah, well! It has passed unnoticed. No, my countrymen do not value. me, believe me! at the most they will appreciate me after my death."

[ocr errors]

Sienkiewicz."All my novels and nearly all my other works have been written from day to day," said Henry Sienkiewicz, "each page going straight to the printer when finished. Writing in that way I have always had to finish what I began. But I do not recommend this method to beginners, for it is inconvenient, requires the closest attention, and would be a dangerous practice for many, if not most, authors.

"Although I never attained the ability of writing with ease, my manuscript does not look very untidy, as I make a point of putting the sentences right in my head before writing them down. I prefer authors who write with difficulty and read easily to those who write with ease but are difficult to read.

"I never lay out a plan for a book, I never divide my story into chapters before setting out to write and never note down what I am to say in any particular chapter. I leave all that to the logic of my tale and the natural development of events. You never know what your characters may want to do. Often I add new characters as the work goes on or develop what had been a minor figure.

"The highest art is to create a living character that shall remain in people's mem

ories as a type. So I always try to make my characters as individual as possible. "I create just as a cook prepares a dinner

and I do not like to have people looking into my pots and pans. I work from ten o'clock in the morning until three o'clock in the afternoon. I try not to spoil a subject with too many words.

"Each idea for a story simmers in my head for a long time. I cannot tell how ideas come into my head. I believe I first thought of Quo Vadis?' on reading the Latin historian Tacitus and, of course, by living for a long time in Rome. Sometimes through reading a book, sometimes through observing some people in real life come the first germs of creative work.


"My favorite authors are Homer, Tacitus, Livy, Horace, Shakspere, Molière, our three best Polish poets, Dickens, Balzac, and the elder Dumas. I am fond, too, of books of travel. Often I read from four o'clock in the afternoon until late into the night. My principal recreation during my months of hardest work is hunting, but I enjoy any kind of outdoor exercise. I sleep about eight hours and I eat what they give me." Warsaw Special, in the New York World. Wilde. Frank Harris's "Oscar Wilde; His Life and Confessions," to be issued this autumn in London, was written five years ago, but for various reasons its publication was postponed. It will contain several of Wilde's letters, reproduced in facsimile, and a frontispiece portrait. In a letter to a friend who praised his life of Shakspere, Mr. Harris said: “Shakspere I never knew in the flesh; I had to read him in his writings, groping after this trait for months, puzzling over that contradiction, now in exultation, oftener in despair, seeing much, divining more, lost again and again in the abysmal depths of personality, not knowing what explanation of twenty to accept, and forced to the end to content myself with guess work on many points which five minutes' talk would have made clear and certain. Oscar Wilde I knew for nearly twenty years, from his college days to his death, intimately saw him first in his strugglings, and then borne on the topmost wave of

popular success, to fall an hour later into the depths of popular hatred and disgust. In prison I visited him, joyed with him in liberty, and loved him from the beginning to the end as we weak mortals love, with interludes of vain temper and momentary selfish estrangement, but on the whole with passionate admiration and constant affection - and this for his virtues, for his fine intelligence and sympathy; and above all, for his exquisite humor, the shaping spirit of his imagination and his divine sweetness of nature. I have set down everything here fearless, knowing that the vices and virtues are of the same piece, so to speak, and well assured that it will all be read one day in the proper spirit, for Oscar Wilde is of that strange race called immortal, destined therefore to be more and more discussed as time goes on. After keeping this book by me for five years I am persuaded that this personal knowledge and personal affection have added something to my work as an artist, and I am proud and glad to think I have helped to give Oscar Wilde to others as he was to me; that is, indeed, the heart of my joy. Of my sorrow at his loss I shall say nothing." Few know how greatly Mr. Harris befriended Oscar Wilde. This was recognized by Wilde in the dedication of his play "An Ideal Husband":"A slight tribute to his power and distinction as an artist, his chivalry and nobility as a friend." - Boston Transcript.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
« iepriekšējāTurpināt »