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from those who are not like us ; we differ with those who do not agree with us. To say : “I differ from you in opinion” is as wrong as it is to say : “He is different to his father in looks.". W. H. H. )
Is Mrs. Susan Marr Spalding still living ?
W. E. P.
distinctive way. Common sense should go hand in hand with inspiration, as it did not when some sentimental writer on the Independence (Kan.) Reporter was moved by the romance of a moonlight night to this effusion :
“ Last night was a symphony in silver ; a fairy world asleep in the white moonlight. The gentle wind of the south stole through the leafless branches of the shade trees and breathed among the grasses with the voice of springtime. At midnight the city lay steeped in the mystery of illimitable spaces, of the wheeling stars and a dead planet, glowing with light. 'Twas a night of romance and unspoken thoughts. Vague, inarticulate whisperings arose from shadowy porches, and the sound of strolling footsteps echoed dreamily in the slumbering streets. Last night was a poppied vision, a perfume from Arcady."
[ Mrs. Susan Marr Spalding was born in Bath, Me., July 4, 1841, and died in West Medford, Mass., March 12, 1908. — W. H. H. ]
HOW TO WRITE TRIOLETS.
Easy is the triolet
If you really learn to make it !
With another rhyme. Deuce take it !
- W. E. Henley. That prince of triolet-writers, Austin Dobson, points out that a triolet must consist of eight lines with two rhymes, the first pair of lines being repeated as the seventh and eighth, while the first is repeated as the fourth "and this law," he explains, “is inflexible.” How easy it sounds, does it not ? The art of the triolet comes to us, like so many forms of old verse, from France. In fact, one Adenèz-le-Roi, who flourished in the thirteenth century, wrote “a" triolet that ran to 20,000 verses! This is the first known triolet.
Of English writers who have “gone in for” this form of verse-making, Mr. Dobson, Edmund Gosse, and Robert Bridges are the most eminent. The former contributed his “Rose Leaves" series of triolets to the Graphic thirty years ago. Of these, the most charming is :
Rose kissed me to-day,
Will she kiss me to-morrow ?
To a savor of sorrow.
Will she kiss me to-morrow ? Until Mr. Dobson wrote “Rose Leaves," nobody save Mr. Bridges had written triolets since Patrick Carey (A. D. 1651 ). Of the
few written by Mr. Gosse, the following may be selected :
Happy, my life, the love you proffer,
Eternal as the gods above ;
Will prove the Koh-i-noor of love ;
Eternal as the gods above. Other modern writers who have composed pretty and engaging triolets include Justin Huntly McCarthy, Cotsford Dick, Arthur Seymour, A. R. Ropes (“Adrian Ross”), and Norman Gale. Haddon Chambers notes the following as being a very perfect specimen of a triolet. He says that it was written by a young Irishman named Daly, who was one of the gifted band of journalists associated with the early days of the Sydney Bulletin :
Glory calls me, I must go,"
Said the lover to his lady.
Toying with her tresses shady !
Said the lover to his lady. Finally, Edmund Gosse kindly calls attention to a remarkable triolet written by Henri de Croy in the thirteenth century :
Je Bois ;
Aside from his newspaper work, most of his writing has been in the nature of light contributions to Puck, Life, and other humorous publications. He has had numerous contributions in Short Stories, the Associated Sunday Magazines, the People's Magazine, Young's, the National Magazine, the Blue Book, the Scrap Book, the Illustrated Sunday Magazine, the Bohemian, the Gray Goose, and others. The incidents of An Interrupted Journey” really occurred, practically as outlined. Mr. McElravy prefers to base his stories, whenever possible, upon some fragment of real life, believing that by so doing he is more successful in getting a convincing effect, and at the same time has fresher situations to handle. He says he has found “breaking into" the magazines a very difficult task, but one that grows in its attraction every year. If there is a royal road to authorship, he says, he never struck it, but in looking over some of his first efforts he is convinced that this really was n't altogether the fault of the editors.
Florida Pier, the author of the story, “ Your Mother's Moors," in Harper's Magazine for February, is on the staff of the New York Evening Sun, where she conducts “The Woman Who Saw” column, and she also conducts “The Gentler View” column in Harper's Weekly. Apart from these, Miss Pier has written many short stories, some of which have appeared in the Century, Harper's, the Circle, and other magazines.
WRITERS OF THE DAY.
Mary Barrett Howard, whose sketch, “In Search of Quiet,” appeared in the People's Magazine for February, lives in Fredonia, N. Y., and has been writing for about four years, chiefly for church papers and the newspapers, although she has had stories accepted by the Youth's Companion, the Delineator, the Designer, 'and other magazines.
R. C. Pitzer, whose story, “When Spring Comes," was printed in the People's Magazine for February, was born in Denver of pioneer parentage about thirty years ago, and spent much of his boyhood in the hills with his father, who was one of the old and vanished breed of pioneer gold-hunters. He went to New York after the Spanish war, where, he says, he lived on cornmeal for two years in the studios, and then retired in disorder “to the tall timber" to learn the A, B, C of literary art. He studied at home for four years, putting himself through a university course as well as he could, and then began again. He has now been a short
Robert C. McElravy, whose story, “An Interrupted Journey," was printed in Appleton's for February, was born in West Liberty, Ia., in 1879, and for the last seven years has been in newspaper work in Denver.
story and verse writer for four years, selling his contributions to the People's Magazine, the Pacific Monthly, the Delineator, the Bohemian, the Argonaut, Out West, the Gray Goose, and about fifty other magazines, newspapers, and syndicates. Out West will publish Mr. Pitzer's first novel this summer
a serial, and the Pacific Monthly for March will contain one of his more ambitious attempts at story-telling. Mr. Pitzer confines himself for the most part to stories of the hill-folk-prospectors, miners, trappers, summer cottagers, and ranchers, whose lives have been more or less his own. He is spending the winter at Ocean Park, Calif., but he regards Denver as his home, and he hopes to spend next summer with pack burros and a friendly artist (if he can persuade one to accompany him) among the Arizona deserts and New Mexican Pueblos.
since been written, or are still on the forehead of the time to come. But my first fayorite at that moment was Cumberland legend.
* Shall I ever forget the agony of the first efforts ? There was the ground to clear with necessary explanations. This I did in the way of Scott, in a long prefatory chap
Having written the chapter, I read it aloud, and found it unutterably slow and dead. Twenty pages were gone, and the interest was not touched. Throwing the chapter aside, I began with an ale-house scene, intending to work back to the history in a piece of retrospective writing. The ale house was better, but to try its quality I read it aloud, after the rainbow scene in Silas Marner,' and then cast it aside in despair. A third time I began, and when the ale house looked tolerable, the retrospective chapter that followed it seemed flat and poor. How to begin by gripping the interest, how to tell all and yet never stop the action — these were agonizing difficulties.
" It took me nearly a fortnight to start that novel, sweating drops of blood at every fresh attempt. I must have written the first half-volume four times, at the least. After that I saw the way clearer, and got on faster. At the end of three months I had written nearly two volumes, and then, in good spirits, I went up to London.
“My first visit was to the editor of the Academy His rapid mind saw a new opportunity that was just the thing I wanted for my hero, and I was in rapture. But I was also in despair. To work this fresh interest into my theme, half of what I had written would need to be destroyed !
“ It was destroyed, and for two months more I labored over it. Then I took my work down to Liverpool, and showed it to my friend, John Lovell. After he had read it, he said :
“I suppose you want my candid opinion ?'
"Well, ye-s,' I said.
“ 'It's crude,' he said. “But it only wants sub-editing.'
“I took it back to London, began again at the first line, and wrote every page over again. At the end of another month the
F. Roney Weir, author of the complete novel, · The Shingle Weavers," in the People's Magazine for January, is a Seattle writer. Her novel, “A Romance of Rabbit Run," appeared in the July number of the same magazine. A serial by her, The Hired Van," which through Farm, Stock, and Home, has been published in book form. She also has a story in “ Tillicum Tales," a volume of short stories written by members of the Seattle Writers' Club, and has published a book called Britomart, the Socialist.”
PERSONAL GOSSIP ABOUT AUTHORS.
Caine. — Hall Caine tells, in Appleton's Magazine for March, of his early literary struggles, and especially of the composition of his first novel, “ The Shadow of a Crime." He says :
“When I began to think of a theme, I found four or five subjects clamoring for acceptance. There was the story of the prodigal son, which afterward became “The Deemster'; the story of Jacob and Esau, which in the same way turned into 'The Bondman’; the story of Samuel and Eli, which after a fashion moulded itself finally into ‘The Scapegoat,' as well as half a dozen other stories, chiefly Biblical, which have
story had been reconstructed, and tignano, near which lies the poet's villa. shorter by some fifty pages of manuscript. “Cave canem et dominum" was the inscription It had drawn my heart's blood to cut out my he found on the gate ; and hardly had he 'best' passages, but they were gone, and I got in, when some thirty greyhounds surknew the book was better. After that I rounded him, barking and howling ; but he on to the end and finished with a
safely got into the house. The host showed tragedy. Then the story was sent back to him all his rooms, each of them more or less Lovell, and I waited for his verdict.
of a library. Tea was served, with chocolate “He offered one unfavorable criticism. bonbons and cigarettes. “I never touch
"The death of your hero will never do,' anything alcoholic,” said the poet; and he said. “If you kill that man Ralph, you'll when the professor asked if he did not think kill your book. What's the good ? Take that Italy would be ruined if everybody abno more than the public will give you to jured wine, he answered : “Yes — and I do begin with, and by and by they'll take what not wish to convert any one to my practice.” you give them.'
He complained about the many absurd “ It was practical advice, but it went
rumors printed in the newspapers about his sorely against the grain. The death of the sybaritic habits. “I get up at seven, take hero was the natural sequel to the story ; a bath and gymnastics, and a horseback ride. the only end that gave meaning, and inten- From ten till nine in the evening I work ; tion, and logic to its motif. I had a strong my meals I take at my writing table. It is predisposition toward a tragic climax to a owing to this way of living that I feel so serious story. But all arguments went down young." His novel, “Innocente," he wrote beiore my friend's practical assurance, ‘Kill in three months and a half, buried in a dethat man, and you kill your book.'
“ A peasant daily “With much diffidence I altered the catas
brought me bread, eggs, and fruit, and if trophe and made my hero happy. Then,
any one approached I scared him away by thinking my work complete, I asked Watts- firing my rifle.” After finishing a book, he Dunton (the friend to whose wise counsel
mingles for a time with the most frivolous I owed so much in those days ) to read some circles, where the only talk is of sports, thus 'galley' slips of it. He thought the rustic
securing complete brain rest. — New York scenes good, but advised me to moderate the Evening Post. dialect, and he propounded to me his well- Speaking of his new tragedy, “Fedra," known views on the use of patois in fiction. D'Annunzio said recently to a correspondent
" ' It gives a sense of reality,' he said, “and of the New York Times : “It took just also has the effect of wit, but it must not seventeen days from the first word to the stand in the way.'
finish — seventeen days of intense work, in “ The advice was sound. A man may which I could not once leave the house. I know overmuch of his subject to write on it
slept during the day, rising at five P. M., properly. So once again Iran over my dining, exercising, etc., and at nine was at story, taking out some of the 'nobbuts,' and
my desk, where I stayed until nine the next the dustas,' and the 'wiltas.'
morning, with at midnight and at two A. M. “My first novel was now written, but I
a short interruption for a cup of bouillon. I had still to get it published.”
have found this system to work so well that D'Annunzio. – Professor Hans Barth de- I shall pursue it with all other works. scribes in the Berlin Tageblatt a visit he was “ You want to know how I came to think privileged to pay Gabriele d'Annunzio - of 'Fedra.' I had just had a rapid auto“privileged,” because, as he says, it is easier mobile trip through Italy, and had returned to get near the Dalai Lama than near the with my brain full of lyrics, feeling that most famous of Italian authors.
prose could not express my sentiments, and fessor, having been invited to tea, took the 'Fedra' sprang up full born, although I had trolley at Florence, and soon reached Set- thought much about her ten years ago.
“I have promised three works to Treves, my publisher, for this year. One will be a modern drama called 'La Pietà.' It will have four personages only, a mother, her daughter-in-law, and two brothers. It develops rapidly, and is full of violent emotion. I took my inspiration for this from Michelangelo's ‘La Pietà' in St. Peter's. While writing I must have always before me something which personifies my idea and gives me inspiration. I shall work fifteen days without stopping, and hope in that time to finish it. I have also to produce 'Amaranta' and
romance called 'Forse, si; forse, no.' (Perhaps, yes ; perhaps, no.) Besides these three, I have a drama called “San Francesco.
Macquoid. – Mrs. Katharine S. Macquoid, aged eighty-five years, has just finished a novel which is awaiting publication, and is hali-way through another.
She has been writing stories for nearly fiity years — indeed, she will celebrate her jubilee as an author in October — but her later works show no sign of failing power.
“I did not begin to write until I was thirty-five,” she told an Express representative, “and then it was only because my husband urged me to do so. I had no confidence in my ability to write a book, and though I have written more than fifty books, the feeling of doubt and uncertainty was long in leaving me.
“I began by sending contributions — short stories, afterward published in book form under the title “Piccalilli' – to the Welcome Guest and Once a week. Then my husband persuaded me to write a novel. I called it 'A Bad Beginning,' literally because I thought that it began badly."
Mrs. Macquoid has written many books of travel, her husband as a rule supplying the illustrations. She has always been, and still is, much given to continental travel. A year ago she and her husband re-visited Normandy, of which they are very fond. Next year, so this vigorous old lady says, she may re-visit Yorkshire, and travel in the East Riding, which will be almost new ground to her.
“I plan out all my books before setting a word of them down,” she said. “For the
most part I work with a typewriter, except in the more emotional passages. You can't be emotional with a typewriter ; and I confess that I put a good deal of sentiment into my books. For such an old woman I write really very frivolous books, I believe.
“I work quite in a methodical way, and though I cannot always do eight hours a day as I used, I get through a great deal in the course of a day, particularly in the winter, when it is too cold to go out much.
“In the course of my long period of authorship I have noticed the change that has taken place in the popular taste for novels. I think the people of to-day are more superficial than those of the generation for which I first wrote, and their characteristics are reflected in their taste."
Mrs. Macquoid is particularly fond of historical novels - of which she has written not a few — and confesses to a passion for the writings of Dumas.
“ Of my own books, I suppose ‘Patty,' my best known, is my favorite, though she is so old now that I'm afraid she must be quite out of date. I think she first came out in '70 or '71. But I am very fond of 'At the Red Glove,' too. I received more money for that than for any other book that I have written.”
Of the two books still to appear, “Molly" is a romance of the eighteenth century ; and
Suzanne's Marriage" is a story of French life — the history of a mariage de conve
London Express. Stedman. -- Linda Stedman's eight pages of biographical introduction to The Poems of Edmund Clarence Stedman' (Houghton Mifflin Company ) are full of interest. Stedman's mother penned some memoirs, from the unpublished pages of which this passage is given : “He was a remarkably precocious child from birth, and a very strange one.
As soon as he could speak he lisped in rhyme, and as soon as he could write, which was at the age of six years, he gave shape and measure to his dreams. When he was between five and six years old, on being put to bed, he would get on his knees, bury his head in a pillow, and if told to lie down and go to sleep, would answer : ‘Let me alone, please, the poetry is coming.'' Almost to