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Nautical Blunders in Writing. In nothing else do writers, artists, and theatrical people make so many mistakes as in writing of, illustrating, and demonstrating nautical matters. Newspaper writers are continually calling a brigantine a barkentine. The custom has gone on until it is almost the universal style. Why call a hermaphrodite brig a barkentine? Such a rig of vessel was never a bark, but is a brig with an extra mast. Even the illustration in the dictionary is at fault in its picture of a brig.

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William D. Howells in his book Silas Lapham" spoils a very fine description of a beautiful Italian-like afternoon on the Charles River by some most ridiculous nautical mistakes. Now to the book and paper story writers. Don't ever call a schooner a ship. Don't call a ship a boat in writing of incidents or disaster to a ship. Call her a ship all the way through. Of a schooner or brig or brigantine, keep to the name all through don't write it ship or boat. There is but one general term for all rigs, that is, vessel. Have a bit of regard for the feelings of the old salt and don't write sou-east and nor-east. Good nautical grammar is souwest, nor-west, south-east, north-east.

A few years ago, at the time the schooner Governor Ames was dismasted, there were a half-hundred givers of advice through the Boston press, all showing how such disasters could be prevented by the proper backstays. Not a writer took into consideration that all backstays were whole and intact and that all the masts fell directly aft on the deck, caused by the breaking of iron work

at the head of the foremast that held some of the headstays.

When I was a boy there were sloops, schooners (two-masters), topsail schooners, hermaphrodite brigs and full-rigged brigs, barks (or barques) and ships. I well remember seeing my first four-masted schooner. Sailors called her a hoodoo. Next came the four-masted ship. The fourth mast was called a McKay mast for Donald McKay, who built the first four-masted ship, in East Boston. Then came the brigantine, a hermaphrodite brig with three masts. This vessel had a brig rig forward, fore-and-aft rig on the mainmast and fore-and-aft rig on the mizzen-mast. A barkentine would be a bark rig, which is square rig on the fore and main masts, and fore-and-aft rig on the mizzen-mast; and then an extra mast. - W. E. Crockett, in Rockland (Me.) CourierGazette.

Inaccuracy in Fiction. One of the instances of how lightly we regard intelligent accuracy in fiction and how carelessly it is ignored is to be found in the case of a story by a very popular novelist now running serially in a leading magazine. Most of the scenes occur aboard a schooner yacht, which is steered by a wheel in the regular position, but which nevertheless boasts a bridge forward, upon which the officer of the deck takes his station. Presumably this schooner was constructed from the impressions gained by a trip to Europe aboard a liner. Hartford Times.

A Writer's Notebooks-Not the least important part of my book life has been the notes I have taken. These notes were not made on slips of paper, alphabetically arranged, so as to be consulted at any moment. My object has not been to use the notes as references, but to fill my mind and memory with the important things I have read. Hence my notes have been made in blank books small enough to be carried in the pocket. These I take with me in my walks, read as I go, learn the quotations, or run over the gist of some important book. Many

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How Walter Scott Wrote. So cordial and outdoorish is our host, so ready to guide in our rambles, “overwalking, overtalking, and overieeding his guests," as his wife used to say, that we may easily forget his business in life, or that he has anything else to do but entertain. But Walter Scott rose, presumably, this day, as all others, at five o'clock, and was writing away rapidly by six, so that he "broke the neck of the day's work before breakfast." This was his regular programme. While he was bathing and dressing, his thoughts were "simmering" in his brain, so that he dashed them off "pretty easily" when, his pen in his hand, with no interruption except for breakfast, he worked steadily till eleven or twelve. By this system, very rarely broken, he could afford a ride after lunch, and, at one o'clock, rain or shine, he could mount his big horse for a gallop over the hills. The pictures he saw on these rides are in his books, and so is the joyous outdoor spirit. One of his first poems, "Marmion," was practically written on horseback, the lines coming into his brain while he trained his regiment, raced over the moors, or plunged through floods.

And just as he would not let his work cheat his outdoor life, he would not let it cheat his children or his friends. When Irving visited him, he had to excuse himself after breakfast to correct proof; but often he wrote in a room filled with people. Perhaps he used manuscript sheets the same size as letter-paper, so that he might write his books and yet seem to be writing a common letter. The shouts of his children playing marbles or ninepins around him, or his dogs sleeping at his feet, or even leaping in and out of the open window, could not interrupt his thought, though occasionally the father stopped to tell a story to the

pleading pets who talked, or give an affectionate pat to those who only looked this love. And then his active hand drove on, laying aside sheet after sheet. - Ariadne Gilbert, in St. Nicholas for November.

A Noted Plagiarism Case.- Samuel Eberly Gross, whose death is reported from Battle Creek, attracted attention in 1902 by entering a suit against Edmond Rostand, the French playwright, charging that the latter's play, "Cyrano de Bergerac," had been plagiarized from Gross' comedy, "The Merchant Prince of Cornville." He won his contention against Rostand, the United States Circuit Court handing down a decision in his tavor in 1902. The success of his first suit led Gross to consider taking a similar action against the French author when "Chantecler" was first brought to Chicago. He said that Rostand's later play also was founded upon "The Merchant Prince of Cornville," but the suit was never filed.

Mr. Gross spent a large part of his fortune, estimated at $1,000,000, in supporting his contentions against Rostand. According to the bill which he filed when Mansfield first appeared in Chicago in "Cyrano de Bergerac." Gross wrote the romantic comedy "The Merchant Prince of Cornville" in 1875. It was submitted to various theatrical producers, but was refused. He took the play to the Porte St. Martin Theatre, Paris, in 1889, and left it there for several weeks. It was published in book form in 1896 and duly coyprighted. "Cyrano de Bergerac" was brought to Chicago in 1902, and Rostand was enjoined from producing it, the United States Circuit Court holding that "the melodrama of Cyrano de Bergerac,' performed by the defendant Mansfield, was a clear and unmistakable piracy of the complainant's play. The Merchant Prince of Cornville.'" --- Chicago Record-Herald.

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ary composition? The Spartans at Thermopylae simply will not stand comparison. We know of men who have written on beds of ease, in garrets, on the plaster of prison walls. I have, in my own time, done my work under disadvantageous conditions. I have written in railway cars with my pad on my knee. I have scratched notes in the palm of my hand. I have made rough memoranda against office doors which have sometimes been hastily opened from within. I have even succeeded in throwing a few ideas together in the reading-room of the New York public library. I have turned out copy in a morris chair. Dear, delightful arm-chair of the furniture catalogues! With your reclining back tipped rearward at 45 degrees, your footrest, your electric readinglamp adjusted over the left shoulder, your dictionary on a swinging arm at your left, your paper and pen on a swinging table at your right history can show no device more destructive to any form of cerebral activity. I do not know which I dread more, your soft embrace, or the hard predestinarian front of the rural bedroom bureau carved out apparently from the same material as the rock-bound coast, whereon and the immediate hinterland such pieces of furniture are indigenous.

The reasons for writing on the bedroom dresser are, of course, obvious. The rural bedroom table is regularly 16 inches long by 12 inches wide, stands on one central foot in front of the window, and oscillates. The only way of anchoring it is to encompass its solitary support firmly between the knees and lean forward upon it, bringing direct pressure to bear from the lower part of the thorax. But in moments of ardent composition, the table may easily succumb to such outward pressure and precipitate the writer through the mosquito netting and on to the porch roof. The bureau is much less approachable, but safer. -New York Evening Post.

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Whitman had been able (he was not able, for he tried it and failed) to put his thoughts into artistic verse, he would have attracted little or no attention, perhaps. Where he is fine he is fine in precisely the way of conventional poets. The greater bulk of his writing is neither prosenor verse, and certainly it is not an improvement on either. . . . Whitman's manner is a hollow affectation, and representsneither the man nor the time. As the voice of the nineteenth century he will have little significance in the twenty-first. That he will outlast the majority of his contemporaries I haven't the faintest doubt, but it will be in a glass case, or a quart of spirits, in an anatomical museum."

New Poetry. Why so much new poetry? Why do writers rhyme and bookmakers publish the rhymes? Is there not enough poetry in the world? No, there is not enough. We need more poetry. Not because Browning and Tennyson, Whittier, and Longfellow have not written poems great enough; not that the great poets of our English tongue have not written already more than we can hope to read; not that. the standard volumes of poetry are not sufficiently modern. But we always need new poets to produce poetry: the production of poetry should never cease.

Unhappy the land in which there is famine and where people hunger for bread. More unhappy the land where there is a dearth of mysticism, a scarcity of poetic expression, a lack of blossoming of the language into new forms of beauty. Unhappy the land in which there is drought, where the springs no longer flow and where the brooksdo not sparkle in the sunlight, where fields are thirsty and men and animals suffer from lack of water. More unhappy the land where idealism is dead and there is a drought of spiritual inspiration.

If the production of poetry ceased in our land, then indeed would we have reason for the gravest alarm for our American life. Indeed, if there be no famine, but always great material prosperity and our life be

came thoroughly materialistic, then indeed would the American spirit have perished.


It used to be commonly believed - it still is by many that poetic genius is very rare, almost superhuman. In reality it is widely distributed, like the capacity to sing. A nation which sings, which keeps its songs and teaches them to its children, which expresses its spirit in new songs, will not see the springs of its idealism go dry. A nation in which poetry is continually produced will not thirst for inspiration.

American life has produced poetry. Not only is it in our own mother tongue, but it could not have been produced in any other English-speaking land in the world. American life sings. No one quite understands the American spirit who does not appreciate its new poetry. Christian Register.


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Concerning Ghost Stories. After all, the most creepy ghost story yet written is Bulwer-Lytton's "Haunted and the Haunters," otherwise known as "The House and the Brain." Thackeray confessed in print that it frightened him. There is a fine touch in E. T. A. Hoffmann's 'Marjorat" the scratching on the wall. There are chapters in Wilkie Collins's Dead Secret" that we should not like to read alone at night by a swaling candle; the dream in "Armadale " is enough to strike terror to the stoutest soul, but "The Haunted Hotel," with its grisly horrors, approaches dangerously near burlesque. There is a good railway ghost story in the "Mugby Junction" collection, and a better one on this subject by Marcel Schwob. We should not forget the dreadful story of the New York boarding house by Fitz James O'Brien, or Marion Crawford's steamship story, or the singularly unpleasant one by Henry James. Sheridan Le Fanu, a novelist not appreciated today, wrote hair-raising chapters, but we doubt if Bulwer's "Haunted and the Haunters" has been equalled. — Phillip Hale, in the Boston Herald.

Relation of the Plot to the Story. Ask the average reader what he means by the plot of a story or play and he will usually say:

"Why, the story is the plot." But the actual spinner of tales that pass in endless review through the pages of magazines and novels finds the plot something as it were quite apart from the story itself. He gets a glimpse of some incident concerning a group of people; he sees there is a story in it; then he must sort out the elements of the story and arrange them so as to make a telling plot. A good story does not always have a well-worked-out plot. The idea with which the writer starts out, the event which may be the climax of the story, and the effect of the climax moment on the experience of all concerned, these things all together may have picturesque value and all the possibilities of a moving or heroic or deeply significant story; yet if the plot element is not there, or if it is loose or chaotic or lacking in artistic effect or vital realism, the story somehow lacks convincing power and if not wholly a failure it falls short of being a great book.

Of course a book may be written without a plot, purposely stringing together occurrences of every day, sketching character, illuminating history or some department of human thought; such a book is really not a story, but a character study, or an essay, or a sketch of contemporary manners, or the like. To be a story there must be plot, a logical relation of events, such a working out of cause and consequent as makes the successive scenes of a play. Moreover, there must be always a central motive or purpose, what really amounts to a lesson which is to be brought home to the reader. This lesson is illustrated with concrete examples. Events in the experience of the characters all go to enlarge upon the theme. They are all shown tending irresistibly to the moment of climax or conclusion, when the reader cannot escape the author's idea, but must take home the lesson in a vital and enduring way. The great books are in the main those where this didactic purpose is hidden, perhaps even not consciously followed by the writer himself; for in the great books the lesson is wholly taught in these images or symbols, not in preachments; by

illustration rather than by precept. Yet it is hard to lose sight of this great moral suasion of any powerful book-suasion that is always convincing. This same power to convince is what marks the actor or singer who has what is popularly termed authority. The story writer who has authority has a clearly conceived theme, which might be illustrated by a thousand concrete examples. Yet he has chosen such a group of characters and chain of events as seem to him best to bring home the verity of his main thesis.

It is extremely useful in judging of the value of any book, then, to sketch first the reason, the abstract idea of the book, the thing which in a sermon is called the text, then to outline the plot, grouping the characters and events to show how they serve to illustrate the main idea. It is safe to say that if the book has no idea and cannot be shown to have a logically related group of characters and train of events, it is not a great work of art, however delightful as mere reading. - Christian Science Monitor.

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The way to submit a short story or any other contribution to a newspaper or a magazine is to send by mail, enclosing return postage, a legible copy of the contribution addressed plainly to the editor of the publication, whatever it may be, enclosing a short note giving the author's name and address and requesting the return of the manuscript if unavailable.

"Our correspondent is apparently beset with the erroneous idea that a personal introduction of his contribution, even from a total stranger like himself, will commend his offerings to the special consideration of the editor. This idea has persisted for so long that it is hard to kill. It has grown into the elaborate superstition that magazines are is

sued under the management of a ring of influential contributors who are able to gobble all the space for themselves and that the editor is deaf and blind to any merit outside that charmed circle. An equally foolish idea seems to persist in regard to newspaper contributions.

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"The simple truth cannot be stated too often that what every editor wants is the best material he can get for his publication. It is equally true that he, and not the contributor, must be the judge of what is best most available for his own use. If the contribution has merit, if it is written in good and simple English and if, also, it commends itself as of interest to the public and thus of benefit to his publication it is sure to get its own share of attention from the editor. This individual-multiple as he is in many instances is a busy man, and no correspondent should expect his piece to receive exceptional attention unless it has exceptional qualities. Even if it has, the best proof of that fact is the publication of the contribution and the consequent bestowal upon the contributor of a large audience which includes many intelligent minds."


MANUAL OF STYLE. A compilation of typographical rules governing the publications of the University of Chicago, with specimens of types used at the University Press. Third edition. 258 pp. Paper, cloth back, 85 cents. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. 1912.


Every printing office has its own "style," with rules regarding typographical matters governing its compositors and proofreaders. Some of the rules are universal, like that, for instance, which requires a period at the end of a sentence. but in many matters capitalization and word-compounding, for example there is a wide variation of taste, and in such matters each printing office is a law unto itself. This 'Manual of Style" fixes the style for the publications of the University of Chicago Press, and it is peculiarly well adapted for use as a general guide because it comes from a printing office of the highest grade, has been worked out little by little in the every-day experience of nearly twenty years, and establishes rules to which well educated persons as a rule would not take exceptions. The Introductory Note says: As it stands, this Manual is believed

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