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sadly as concerns historic facts and yet sur- Even the printers refused to get angry vive.” That brings Dr. Mitchell to the over the delay, and forthwith the form was broader question of the purpose of the his- serit up, and changes went on for an hour. torical novel – is the latter to be judged as At last, though publication was delayed fully history or fiction ? “ The purpose of the two hours, the editor, but not Mr. Warner, novel,” he says, “is, after all, to be accept- had the supreme satisfaction of knowing that ably interesting. If it be historical, the his- the work was as nearly perfect as human art toric people should not be the constantly could make it, and the edition was sent out. present heroes of the book. The novelist's

“While we

were walking up the street proper use of them is to influence the fates toward the Youmans country home," writes of lesser people and to give the reader such the editor, “we quietly talked about books sense of their reality as in the delineation of and bookmen. characters is rarely possible for the histo- “'You are most painstaking,' we ventured. rian.” – New York Times Saturday Review. "• Yes,' said Mr. Warner modestly, 'I Warner. The extraordinary pains and

never could dash off anything readily like patience with which the late Charles Dudley

some writers. It has always been real labor

for me.' Warner did his literary work are shown in an account given by a writer in the New

“. Then you revise all your work the same Amstel Magazine of the strenuous way in which Mr. Warner produced an obituary no

“I have always found it necessary to do tice some years ago.

Even in writing for the “Easy Chair' Professor Edward L. Youmans was

I have to be painstaking. Nor have I ever close personal friend of Mr. Warner, and on

been able to use the typewriter with any dethat account, when Mrs. Youmans died, the

gree of satisfaction. The trouble seems to editor of a daily paper asked Mr. Warner to

be that either in dictating or in using the write a sort of personal appreciation of her.

typewriter I at once become self-conscious

and mechanical. For some This he consented to do.

reason my He was left alone from ten A. M. until half

thoughts — what few ideas I may possess past twelve, when he went to lunch. Return

seem to flow more easily from the pen.'” ing at two o'clock, he worked without interruption until four o'clock, when he turned CURRENT LITERARY TOPICS. over to the editor what he had written.

Yet the work was not complete. Mr. How “Ben Bolt” Was Written. Du M Warner read the first proof, and in succes- rier made a fortune out of “ Trilby.” Thomas sion three revised sheets.

Dunn English never received a cent from Each time he made change after change ** Ben Bolt.” in phraseology, seeking out the one right The circumstances in which the lines were word, while even in the nicety of paragraph written, and which were related to me by the ing he seemed to make clearer what he de- author's daughter, Miss Alice English, who sired to express. Nor did the close revision often heard them from her father, seem to end with the marking of the last proof. take us far back in American literature ; for

After the paper had gone to press and the Dr. English personally knew Edgar Allan first sheets had been brought up to the com- Poe and many of the other early American posing room for an O. K., Mr. Warner writers. During the summer of 1843 he was looked wistfully at the editor, and ob- visiting in New York, where he became acserved :

quainted with N. P. Willis, who with George “Would you object to lifting the form? I P. Morris recently had revived the New York

a sentence in the last paragraph that Mirror. Willis asked English to contribute might be somewhat changed. She was too

sea poem, explaining, however, that the good, you know, to have a slovenly tribute

paper was run on very small capital, and that paid to her."

its editors would be greatly obliged to him

see

a

cause no

if he would let them have the poem just for desk, with, on top of it, an extension full of the love of the thing. That was not an un- pigeon-holes, — about forty of them. He usual request to be made by editors of took it into his head one day to do away American periodicals in those days. At all with that desk and install in its place a broad events, English consented, then went home table containing a few drawers. He asked and forgot all about his promise until re- me if I would not like the desk and the set minded of it by a letter from Willis.

of pigeon-holes on top, and I jumped at the He had the manuscript of a sea poem,

chance. The desk had a few more compartwhich, however, he had discarded as not up ments than the one I had been using, and to the mark, but which played its part, never- there were about forty additional pigeontheless, in the composition of Ben Bolt."

holes. I was enraptured, as Mr. Baer knew When he sat down at his desk to write some- I would be. thing new for the Mirror, it seemed as if the

Since that time, I assure you, those pigeonmantle of Dibdin were reluctant to fall upon holes have been full. What has slipped into him, and the poem of the sea was not forth

them no one but an editor can realize, becoming. By one of those curious reflex

one but an editor knows the vast actions of the mind, he drifted into reminis

variety of stuff that an editor has an opporcences of his boyhood, and almost before he

tunity to accumulate — is compelled to acknew it he had written the line :

cumulate, almost. Indeed, an editor's life is Don't you remember sweet Alice, Ben Bolt ?"

a running fight against the on-rushing waves The poem consists of five stanzas of eight of written and printed paper. Letters, manulines each, but not until the last line is there

scripts, papers, clippings, programmes, cards, the slightest hint as to its hero's walk in life, proofs, memoranda, schedules, engravings, when suddenly he is apostrophized as “Ben books the flood is endless and insistent. Bolt of the salt sea gale," a line that gives

And pigeon-holes are so convenient for it! considerable "list" to the whole and adds a

At the end of a long, hard day, with a desk touch of vigor to what was simply a senti- still discouragingly littered with all sorts of mental ballad. It looks as if Dr. English had abominable stuff, and with your stenographer, bethought himself at the finish that Willis

however willing, yet needing to go home, a had asked for a sea poem, and, in order to

happy thought takes possession of you — the comply with the request, had introduced the

pigeon-holes ! You rapidly classify that line at the end of five stanzas in which the

mass. Unanswered letters pop into sea was conspicuous by its absence. The

pigeon-hole, unread manuscripts into curiously interesting fact is, however, that

another, memoranda of articles to write into when he was half way through the last stanza

a third, memoranda of articles to ask for into his inspiration absolutely gave out.

a fourth, and so on. “got stuck," as the more commonplace say- There is so much virtue in classification. ing is, when he chanced to think of the dis

The pigeon-holes absorb it all with so much carded sea poem, and simply copied the last

alacrity. Your desk looks so clean and neat four lines of it on to what he had written,

when you are through. You shut it up with making them the last four lines of “Ben

satisfaction. And you open it the next mornBolt,” which was duly published in the New ing with equal satisfaction. It is bare of all York Mirror of September 2, 1843, with a reproaching litter. No tasks awaiting you few commendatory words (by way of com

stare you in the face. Your mind accommopensation ) from the editors, and signed with

datingly passes by the fact that they are hidthe author's initials, “T. D. E.” -Gustav

den away in the pigeon-holes. You enter Kobbé, in the New York Herald.

lipon the day with a light heart. The Pigeon-hole Snare. -- Years ago some Once this pigeon-hole trick is learned it is one you know - it was John Willis Baer – easily repeated, till it soon grows into the had in his office in our building a roll-top pigeon-hole habit. The pigeon-holes become

one

He

sadly as concerns historic facts and yet survive.” That brings Dr. Mitchell to the broader question of the purpose of the historical novel - is the latter to be judged as history or fiction ? “ The purpose of the novel," he says, “is, after all, to be acceptably interesting. If it be historical, the historic people should not be the constantly present heroes of the book. The novelist's proper use of them is to influence the fates of lesser people and to give the reader such sense of their reality as in the delineation of characters is rarely possible for the historian." – New York Times Saturday Review.

Even the printers refused to get angry over the delay, and forthwith the form was sent up, and changes went on for an hour. At last, though publication was delayed fully two hours, the editor, but not Mr. Warner, had the supreme satisfaction of knowing that the work was as nearly perfect as human art could make it, and the edition was sent out.

“While we were walking up the street toward the Youmans country home," writes the editor, “we quietly talked about books and bookmen.

“You are most painstaking,' we ventured.

Yes,' said Mr. Warner modestly, 'I never could dash off anything readily like some writers. It has always been real labor for me.'

““Then you revise all your work the same

way?'

SO.

was

a

"'I have always found it necessary to do

Even in writing for the “ Easy Chair" I have to be painstaking. Nor have I ever been able to use the typewriter with any degree of satisfaction. The trouble seems to be that either in dictating or in using the typewriter I at once become self-conscious and mechanical. For

my thoughts — what few ideas I may possess seem to flow more easily from the pen.'"

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CURRENT LITERARY TOPICS.

Warner. The extraordinary pains and patience with which the late Charles Dudley Warner did his literary work are shown in an account given by a writer in the New Amstel Magazine of the strenuous way in which Mr. Warner produced an obituary notice some years ago.

Professor Edward L. Youmans close personal friend of Mr. Warner, and on that account, when Mrs. Youmans died, the editor of a daily paper asked Mr. Warner to write a sort of personal appreciation of her. This he consented to do.

He was left alone from ten A. M. until halfpast twelve, when he went to lunch. Returning at two o'clock, he worked without interruption until four o'clock, when he turned over to the editor what he had written.

Yet the work was not complete. Mr. Warner read the first proof, and in succession three revised sheets.

Each time he made change after change in phraseology, seeking out the one right word, while even in the nicety of paragraphing he seemed to make clearer what he desired to express.

Nor did the close revision end with the marking of the last proof.

After the paper had gone to press and the first sheets had been brought up to the composing room for an 0. K., Mr. Warner looked wistfully at the editor, and observed :

Would you object to lifting the form? I

a sentence in the last paragraph that might be somewhat changed. She was too good, you know, to have a slovenly tribute paid to her.”

How “Ben Bolt " Was Written. Du Maurier made a fortune out of “ Trilby." Thomas. Dunn English never received a cent from * Ben Bolt."

The circumstances in which the lines were written, and which were related to me by the author's daughter, Miss Alice English, who often heard them from her father, seem to take us far back in American literature ; for Dr. English personally knew Edgar Allan Poe and many of the other early American writers. During the summer of 1843 he was visiting in New York, where he became acquainted with N. P. Willis, who with George P. Morris recently had revived the New York Mirror. Willis asked English to contribute a sea poem, explaining, however, that the paper was run on very small capital, and that its editors would be greatly obliged to him

see

if he would let them have the poem just for the love of the thing. That was not an unusual request to be made by editors of American periodicals in those days. At all events, English consented, then went home and forgot all about his promise until reminded of it by a letter from Willis.

He had the manuscript of a sea poem, which, however, he had discarded as not up to the mark, but which played its part, nevertheless, in the composition of “Ben Bolt." When he sat down at his desk to write something new for the Mirror, it seemed as if the mantle of Dibdin were reluctant to fall upon him, and the poem of the sea was not forthcoming. By one of those curious reflex actions of the mind, he drifted into reminiscences of his boyhood, and almost liefore he knew it he had written the line : “Don't you remember sweet Alice, Ben Bolt ? "

The poem consists of five stanzas of eight lines each, but not until the last line is there the slightest hint as to its hero's walk in life, when suddenly he is apostrophized as “ Ben Bolt of the salt sea gale," a line that gives considerable "lift” to the whole and adds a touch of vigor to what was simply a sentimental ballad. It looks as if Dr. English had bethought himself at the finish that Willis had asked for a sea poem, and, in order to comply with the request, had introduced the line at the end of five stanzas in which the sea was conspicuous by its absence. The curiously interesting fact is, however, that when he was half way through the last stanza his inspiration absolutely gave out. He "got stuck," as the more commonplace saying is, when he chanced to think of the discarded sea poem, and simply copied the last four lines of it on to what he had written, making them the last four lines of “Ben Bolt,” which was duly published in the New York Mirror of September 2, 1843, with a few commendatory words (by way of compensation ) from the editors, and signed with the author's initials, “T. D. E.”—Gustav Kobbé, in the New York Herald.

The Pigeon-hole Snare. Years ago some one you know - it was John Willis Baer – had in his office in our building a roll-top

desk, with, on top of it, an extension full of pigeon-holes, - about forty of them. He took it into his head one day to do away with that desk and install in its place a broad table containing a few drawers. He asked me if I would not like the desk and the set of pigeon-holes on top, and I jumped at the chance. The desk had a few more compartments than the one I had been using, and there were about forty additional pigeonholes. I was enraptured, as Mr. Baer knew I would be.

Since that time, I assure you, those pigeonholes have been full. What has slipped into them no one but an editor can realize, because no one but an editor knows the vast variety of stuff that an editor has an opportunity to accumulate — is compelled to accumulate, almost. Indeed, an editor's life is a running fight against the on-rushing waves of written and printed paper. Letters, manuscripts, papers, clippings, programmes, cards, proofs, memoranda, schedules, engravings, books -- the flood is endless and insistent.

And pigeon-holes are so convenient for it ! At the end of a long, hard day, with a desk still discouragingly littered with all sorts of abominable stuff, and with your stenographer, however willing, yet needing to go home, a happy thought takes possession of you — the pigeon-holes ! You rapidly classify that

Unanswered letters pop into one pigeon-hole, unread manuscripts

into another, memoranda of articles to write into a third, memoranda of articles to ask for into a fourth, and so on.

There is so much virtue in classification. The pigeon-holes absorb it all with so much alacrity. Your desk looks so clean and neat when you are through. You shut it up with satisfaction. And you open it the next morning with equal satisfaction. It is bare of all reproaching litter. No tasks awaiting you stare you in the face. Your mind accommodatingly passes by the fact that they are hidden away in the pigeon-holes. You enter upon the day with a light heart.

Once this pigeon-hole trick is learned it is easily repeated, till it soon grows into the pigeon-hole habit. The pigeon-holes become

mass.

more.

can

crammed. Before long they will hold no

Then it is the turn of the drawers, and they, also, are crowded. Then some fine day you wake up to the fact that the entire desk is full of postponed duties. In dismay you haul out the contents of a pigeon-hole. With growing dismay you examine it, and discover accusing dates upon the letters, and note the memoranda that should long ago have been attended to. Oh, the day of reckoning comes to every culprit of the pigeonhole ! Well for him if he grits his teeth, sets himself to clearing out those traps for sloth, and, after they are cleared out, resolutely shuts the roll-front down over them and throws the key out of the window !

That is what I intend to do. No more pigeon-holes for me ! No more pigeonholes in my desk - or, if I retain them, they shall be used not for tasks, but for tools. And, more than that, no more pigeon-holes in my mind. For it is as easy to pigeon-hole a duty in the mind as a letter in the desk. Amos R. Wells, in the Christian Endeavor World.

Literary Questions. — Frank A. Munsey and Lord Northcliffe (formerly Alfred Harnsworth ) recently discussed present-day literary questions together, and what they said is reported by the New York Herald. Among other things, Lord Northcliffe said : “ Dictation and the typewriter and the literary agent, with his contracts, are entirely destroying imaginative work. I consider that the literary agents are killing good authorship. Their forcing method causes writers to sell work as fast as they can write it. It ties many of them up with more contracts than they can ever fill. You can raise asparagus under a frame, but it has an insipid taste.

“There are practically no “first-raters' today in either England or America, but there are plenty of what I call “first-class secondraters. They do very useful service, and the average of such work is much higher to-day than it was fifty years ago. But genius is killed.”

Mr. Munsey said : “In classifying the elements of fiction according to commercial

value, I rank pathos first, love second, adventure third, humor fourth. You manufacture love plots and adventure, and, to an extent, humor, but you can't manufacture pathos ; it must come of itself.

As for the book business, the trouble with it lies with the authors and the agents. The book business is all wrong. The normal price of a book ought to be fifty cents, and not $1.50.

"Fifteen or twenty years ago the author put himself in the hands of a good publisher and stayed with him for life. His publishers built up a business round him, and paid him the standard royalty of ten per cent. Both publishers and authors did well.

“Then came the literary agent. Watt, of London, was the first, I think. He made a business of booming authors' prices ; he set the publishers to bidding against another, and ran the royalties up as high as thirty per cent. or more on the gross retail price of a book.

"With such large royalties - amounting on a $1.50 book to forty or forty-five cents a copy — the publisher gets no satisfactory return, for he must sell the $1.50 book to the dealer for about eighty cents. The whole thing is wrong.

“ Men of to-day don't put the thought, the candle-light into their work. They are too eager to live well and buy well. I would n't turn things back. This is all human development. We'll square the new things to us and ourselves to the new things, but at present the authors are too much interested in fine houses and automobiles."

one

a

part of

BOOK REVIEWS.

MANUAL OF LANGUAGE LESSONS. by F. R. Heath. 275 PP.

Cloth. Cincinnati : The Phonographic Institute Company. 1908.

This “ Manual of Language Lessons is a useful book. The first sixty-four pages are devoted to Grammar, a valuable feature being the lists of sentences to be copied correcting errors. Then come twenty-six pages of “Missing Word Exercises " - sentences with blanks for words to be supplied. Next are thirty pages of Synonyms Defined, and then a dozen pages of " Definition and Use

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