Lapas attēli
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

as

warm

as

sun

the air, as it seems to me, give the
Shivering Sands a wide berth.”

Specimens of Character Drawing. The author's methods of character drawing are worthy of the most careful study. By reiteration and emphasis, he not only differentiates the children of his brain, but impresses them deeply upon the mind of the reader. They have significant traits. For instance, Gabriel Betteridge, the faithful old steward, constantly consults the pages of "Robinson Crusoe" in order to solve the problems of life ; Sergeant Cuff is an enthusiast on the growing of roses ; Godfrey Ablewaite is unctuous — he smiles and smiles and is a villain still ; Miss Clack talks constantly of her tracts and her religious work. But here are the quick, effective strokes of the author :Franklin Blake, the Hero of the Story.

“ While he was speaking, I was looking at him and trying to see something of the boy I remembered in the man before me.

The man put me out. Look as I might, I could see no more of the boy's rosy cheeks than his boy's trim little jacket. His complexion had got pale ; his face at the lower part was covered, to my great surprise and disappointment, with a curly brown beard and mustache. He had a lively touchand-go way with him, very pleasant and engaging, I admit, but nothing to compare with his free-and-easy manners of other times. To make matters worse, he had promised to be tall, and had not kept his promise.

He was

neat and slim, and well made ; but he was n't by an inch or two up to the middle height. In short, he baftled me altogether.

“ The years that had passed had left nothing of his old self except the bright, straightforward look in his eyes. There I found our nice boy again, and there I concluded to stop in my investigation." Rosanna Spearman, the Second House Maid.

“There was certainly no beauty about her to make the others envious ; she was the plainest woman in the house, with the additional misfortune of having one shoulder bigger than the other. What the servants resented, I think, was her silent tongue and her solitary ways. She read or worked in leisure hours when the rest gossiped. . . . She never quarreled, and she never gave

offence ; she only kept a certain distance, obstinately and civilly, between the rest of them and herself. Add to this that, plain as she was, there was a dash of something that was n't like a house maid and that was like a lady about her.” Rachel Verinder, the Heroine.

“ If you happen to like dark women ( who, I am informed, have gone out of fashion latterly in the gay world ), and if you have no particular prejudice in favor of size, I answer for Miss Rachel as one of the prettiest girls your eyes ever looked on. She was small and slim, but all in fine proportion from top to toe. To see her sit down, to see her get up, and especially to see her walk, was enough to satisfy any man in his senses that the graces of her figure (if you will pardon me the expression) were in her flesh, and not in her clothes. Her hair was the blackest I ever saw. Her eyes matched her hair. Her nose was not large enough, I admit. Her mouth and chin were (to quote Mr. Franklin ) morsels for the gods, and her complexion ( on the same undeniable authority) was

the itself, with this great advantage over the sun, that it was always in nice order to look at. Add to the foregoing that she carried her head as upright as a dart, in a dashing, spirited, thoroughbred way that she had a clear voice with a ring of the right metal in it, and a smile that began very prettily in her eyes beiore it got to her lips — and there behold the portrait of her, to the best of my painting, as large as life.Godfrey Ablewaite, the Villain.

“ In the first place, Mr. Godfrey was, in point of size, the finest man by far of the two (as compared with Franklin Blake ). He stood over six feet high ; he had a beautiful red and white color ; a smooth, round face, shaved as bare as your hand ; and a head of lovely, long, flaxen hair falling negligently over the poll of his neck. . He was a barrister by prosession, a ladies' man by temperament, and a Good Samaritan by choice. Female benevolence and female destitution could do nothing without him. Maternal societies for confining poor wonien : strong-minded societies for putting door women into poor men's places, and leaving the men to shift for themselves — he

vice-president, manager, referee to them all." And with all this, the sweetest-tempered person (I allude to Mr. Godfrey ) — the

was

simplest, and pleasantest, and easiest to please — you ever met with. He loved everybody. And everybody loved him. What chance had Mr. Franklin — what chance had anybody of average reputation and capacities against such a man as this?" Sergeant Cuff, the Great Detective.

“A grizzled, elderly man, so miserably lean that he looked as if he had not got an ounce of flesh on his bones in any part of him. He was dressed all in decent black, with a white cravat 'round his neck. His face was as sharp as a hatchet, and the skin of it was as yellow, and dry, and withered as an autumn leaf. His eyes, of a steely, light gray, had a very disconcerting trick, when they encountered your eyes, of looking as if they expected something more from you than you were aware of yourself.

His walk was soft ; his voice was melancholy : his long, lanky fingers were hooked like claws. He might have been a parson, or an undertaker, or anything

else you like, except what he really was.

It should be said in conclusion that these characters and the incidents indicated are woven together with an almost matchless skill. The bare bones of this outline give little suggestion of the fascinating mystery story which has been produced by the gifted writer. Some one has said that every great man was once an unpromising boy ; by the same token every great novel was once a puny little germ of thought. The man woman who can cultivate this germ until it develops into a book that is worth reading will experience infinite satisfaction, if not fañe and fortune. And if this imperfect at'tempt at an analysis of one of the classics of fiction should aid in leading to such a result, the literary diagnostician will feel amply repaid for his labor.

George Barton. PHILADELPHIA, Penn.

or

a

COMMON ERRORS IN WRITING CORRECTED. – V.

are

not

66

[ocr errors]

Don't use the word "banquet,” unless you are referring to a feast of much more than ordinary elegance. Even a public dinner is not a banquet, as a rule.

Remember that when you speak of man's vocation” you mean his main life-work his “calling,” in other words. His “avocations are his less important interests. Do not say :

“He is some better," but rather : “He is somewhat better, or a little better, or slightly better." “ Some" is not an adverb.

“ Different to " is very English. The American usage is to say : “Different from." Our usage, that is to say, is different from the English usage.

Remember that in case of a difference of opinion you would say : “I differ with you.” If you are speaking of a difference in appearance or in character, you would say : “ He differs from her.”

The use of the word “penny" to mean an American cent is absolutely wrong.

There

no pennies in American money. A penny is an English coin, worth two cents. “Penny postage” means two-cent postage,

one-cent postage, as many seem to think. In the plural, by the way, “pennies” means distinct coins ; pence," quantity in value.

Don't think that your language is elegant because you say :

Loan me ten dollars.” * Lend” is better than “ loan” in such a case.

Leave “loan" for use as a noun. It is better not to borrow, anyway.

Although the subjunctive in English is going out of fashion, it is still objectionable to say “If I was” for “If I were," when you are speaking of something else than a past fact. “If I be" seems now a little stilted. “If I am" is more commonly used by good writers, although some particular people still use the subjunctive in this case.

Walton Burgess. NEW YORK, N. Y.

THE WRITER.

Published monthly by The Writer Publishing Com

pany, 88 Broad street, Room 414, Boston, Mass.

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

verses

The WRITER is published the first day of every month. It will be sent, postpaid, ONE YEAR for ONE DOLLAR.

All drafts and money orders should be made payable to The Writer Publishing Co. Stamps, or local checks, should not be sent in payment for subscriptions

THE WRITER will be sent only to those who have paid for it in advance. Accounts cannot be opened for subscriptions, and names will not be entered on the list unless the subscription order is accompanied by a remittance.

*** The American News Company, of New York, and the New England News Company, of Boston, and their branches, are wholesale agents for THE WRITER. It may be ordered from any newsdealer, or direct, by mail, from the publishers.

Not one line of paid advertisement will be printed in THE WRITER outside of the advertising pages.

Advertising in THE WRITER costs fifteen cents a line, or $2.10 an inch ; seven dollars a quarter page ; twelve dollars a half page ; or twenty dollars a page, for one insertion, remittance with the order. Discounts are five, ten, and fifteen per cent. 'or three, six, and twelve months. For continued advertising payments must be made quarterly in advance.

Contributions not used will be returned, if a stamped and addressed envelope is enclosed. THE WRITER PUBLISHING CO.,

88 Broad street, Room 414, P. 0. Box 1905.

Boston, Mass.

Magazine editors, by the way, could learn what kind of poetry really appeals to the great mass of the plain people by reading the

and poems printed in the Query” departments of papers like the New York Times Saturday Review and the Boston Transcript. There is every evidence that people read, and remember, and preserve the poetry that is printed there, and that it possesses real human interest. It is very different, it may be said, from most of the poetry that is printed in the magazines.

A queer competition for playwrights has been arranged by the Academy of Positivists, one of the most ancient Florentine literary associations. A big money prize is to be awarded to the dramatist who deals most successfully with Article 157 of the Italian Criminal Code, which prohibits the unauthorized entry, forcibly or by stealth, into another man's house. This is treated

an act of breaking the peace which is visited with sundry fines or terms of imprisonment. Every competing play must bear the title : “Article 157," and the title must not be changed until after the first production of the winning effort. The latter, however, is to retain the said title for

American playwrights will no doubt be permitted to compete.

as

[blocks in formation]

ever.

[blocks in formation]

The August People's Magazine says : “Name and address should be plainly written on every manuscript, as the accompanying note is occasionally lost or mislaid. For this reason a few stories are being held at this office. Compliance with the above request will insure speedy return of manuscripts not accepted.” It is better both to

Campbell's famous poem, “Hohenlinden," was rejected by the Greenock Advertiser, according to J. C. Francis, publisher of the

W. H. H.

his wife.

cars

only

be

ton.

write the name and the address of the the editor. Writers should take a hint from author at the top of the first page of every this. Naturally if an editor gets a good manuscript and also to send with the manu- manuscript that requires but little work on script a brief letter giving the same infor- his part, he will give it preference over mation and the title of the manuscript. other manuscripts of equal value over which Then, if the manuscript is sent to the com- he must labor to make them presentable in posing room, the editor has the letter giv- print. In other words, it pays writers to ing the information which he will need in take pains with their manuscripts, since by corresponding with the author or in sending lessening the amount of labor which editors check.

must do upon them, they will increase the

likelihood of their acceptance. Under the heading, “An Editor's Grind,” the editor of the Christian Index tells of an experience with a carelessly-prepared manu- NEWSPAPER ENGLISH” EDITED. script. “Recently," he says,

there was placed in our hands the manuscript of an

Charles M. Kimball, Charles M. Kimball, article to be put into the paper. It was wealthy Polish manufac- wealthy Polish manufac

turer, seeks divorce from turer, seeks divorce. long, and when we went to read it, we found it very badly constructed — full of abbreviations of the worst kind, and the punctuation The people of Newton The people of Newton

are incensed over the in- are incensed over the inmuch awry.' No printer could have used

sistence of the railway sistence of the railway it. We read it over once carefully. Then, company in running con

company in running only vertible

convertible cars between in order that it might go to the printer in a tween Newton and Bos- Newton and Boston. decipherable condition, we dictated it to our stenographer, who was to write it out fully

Lieutenant Adams said Lieutenant Adams said - for it contained much matter well worth he did not remember of he

remember

making such a statement. making such a statement. printing. This was our second 'going over' it. When the stenographer had finished it we had to go over it a third time, to see that

WRITERS OF THE DAY. she had made no mistakes. When it comes from the printer's hand, it must go to the Richard A. Haste, who wrote the story, general proofreader, who will correct the Flanking the Enemy," published in Pearmost glaring errors, but it will still be ours son's Magazine for August, lives in Chicago. to go over it carefully again, to make sure He was born in Waupaca, Wis., about fifty that all errors are eliminated. All this, in

years ago. He took the law and political order that a good article may be presented science courses at Ann Arbor University, to the readers of the Index without and was graduated from the law course in blemish.” Every editor has similar experi- 1885. He practiced law for twelve years, ences. If readers knew how much editorial and then got into the newspaper business, work is required on manuscripts in general through politics. He bought the Sunday to make them acceptable, they would simply Forum of Superior, Wis., and through it be amazed. Occasionally a manuscript is and the courts conducted the first systematic submitted that is letter-perfect, but that is campaign for honest government in the the rare exception to the rule. The average state. He then became an editorial writer manuscript is insufficiently punctuated, care- for the Duluth Herald, and afterward manlessly typewritten, and often poorly spelled, aging editor of the Minneapolis Star, and while lapses in grammar and rhetoric are then editor of the St. Paul Globe. He left

Before a manuscript can be sent the Globe for special magazine work. As to the printer, whose function it is to "fol- an industrial expert - during which time he low copy,” all such defects must be attended was on the editorial staff of the Northwest to, and that means hours of hard work for Magazine, Opportunity, and the American

did

not

66

numerous.

66

Ritual Newspaper Association – Mr. Haste Sent five years in the employ of the railrads, investigating the resources of the Test from the Peace river to the Rio (ande. Much of the material gained in this experience found a place in the current magazines in this country and in London, ) at the greater part of it was syndicated and used by the daily and weekly newspapers. Mr. Haste is now interested in irrigation, and writes for recreation. He is writing a series of stories for Pearson's Magazine, the first of which appeared last February. He had an article, "Evolution of the Fourth Estute," in the June Arena, and another, Courtesy as a Business Asset," in a recent number of Harper's Weekly.

the poet.

[ocr errors]

Della Campbell MacLeod, whose story, · The Peach and the Colonel,” was printed in the Red Book for August, was born on a Mississippi plantation twenty-six years ago. She was assistant literary editor of the New Orleans Picayune for two years and a half, after which she came to New York, where for two years she has been doing “free lance” work on various newspapers and magazines. Miss MacLeod writes under the pseudonyms of “Rose MacRae" and

Campbell MacLeod,” as well as under her

autobiography, history, and collection of all his poems that he believes are worth perpetuating. To discourage tourists, merely curious, who climb the mountain to inspect the surroundings of the eccentric poet, he has nailed to the gate a board sign that reads :

* The view is a great deal better ten miles further on.”

Proofs of the first volume of the definitive edition of his works have been delivered to

In this first volume he tells for the first time the true story of his writing what is generally considered by Americans his finest poem, The Bravest Battle,” that begins : “ The bravest battle that ever was fought

Shall I tell you where or when ?
On the maps of the world you will find it not ;

It was fought by the mothers of men.” "A few years ago," writes the poet, “when living in my log cabin in Washington, some ladies came to inform me that I had been chosen to write a poem for the unveiling of an equestrian statue of a hero, the hero of the bravest battles that ever were fought.

When they had delivered their message I told them that the beautiful city was being disfigured by these pitiful monuments to strife, and that I hoped and believed the last one of them would be condemned to the scrap heap within the next century. I reminded them that while nearly every city in the union had more or less of these monstrosities, I had seen but one little figure in honor of woman ; that of a crude bit of granite to the memory of a humble baker woman in a back street of New Orleans who gave away bread to the poor. I finally told them that if they would come back next morning I would do my best to have a few lines about 'the bravest battles that ever were fought.'”

Munroe. – In regard to his calling Kirk Munroe says : “I always wanted to write books for boys. I began when on the plains by sending letters to the Boston Advertiser. I served an apprenticeship of thirteen years

a newspaper reporter for the Sun and Times and as editor of Harper's Young

[ocr errors]

Own name.

Ray Wynn, who had a story, “ The Great American Airship,” in the People's Magazine for August, was born in Millville, N. J., in 1873, but has been a resident of Camden, V. J., for nearly thirty years. Mr. Wynn is in the real estate business, and his writing is done in leisure hours. In the last three years he has had stories published in Pearson's Magazine, the Gray Goose, the Blue Book, the People's Magazine, and Gunter's Magazine.

PERSONAL GOSSIP ABOUT AUTHORS.

Miller. — For many years Joaquin Miller has made his headquarters on the big sweeping table-land on the very top of the mountain overlooking San Francisco bay. There he is compiling a six-volume combination

as

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »