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Perhaps one of the firm is a gentleman, while the other is a cad. The gentleman in the firm might thus describe his partner in strict confidence, and it would make no difference which of the partners you were talking with ; but what is the matter with “Dear Sirs” ? Richard Grant White made some excellent remarks on this subject.

And why should any one writing to a stranger subscribe himself “ Yours sincerely”? The subscription is often ironically at variance with the contents of the letter. In old times a letter of vituperation was often signed “I have the honor to be your obedient servant," and the irony was not deliberate. “ Yours truly ” covers the

in business letters. Yours very truly” is thought by some to be more courteous. “Yours, etc.," is favored by concise, non-committal persons.

Yours to command” goes with “I take my pen in hand.” “ Yours" may be a supreme expression of amorous devotion, or it may be a rank impertinence. The receiver of the letter, male or female, may not want Smith or Jones, nor care to number him in the list of personal property. There are genials of both sexes who sign themselves, writing anybody, Yours cordially.” Why not Yours hepatically,” for the liver is thought by some to be the seat of the affections ? No one to-day would think of writing “Your humble servant," yet the phrase was once common, when the letter was anything but humble. It would be a relief on occasions to begin a letter “Unspeakable

Prig !and end “ Yours contemptuously,” but this is a cautious age in epistolary matters, and the phrases, typewritten, might seem libellous. - Boston Herald.

Macaulay a Great Artist. - The laboriousness of Macaulay as an author demands our gratitude ; all the more because his natural speech was in sentences of set and ordered structure well nigh ready for the press. It is delightful to find that the most successful prose writer of the day was also the most painstaking. Here is indeed a literary conscience. . . . Mediocrity is now, as formerly, dangerous, commonly fatal to the poet ; but among even the successful writers of prose

those who rise sensibly above it are the very rarest exceptions. The tests of prose excellence in prose are as much less palpable as the public appetite is less fastidious. The proportion of middling to good writing constantly and rapidly increases. With the average of performance the standard of judgment progressively declines. The inexorable conscientiousness of Macaulay, his determination to put out nothing from his hand which his hand was still capable of improving, was a perfect godsend to the best hopes of our slipshod generation.

It was naturally consequent upon this habit of treating composition in the spirit of art that he should extend to the body of his books much of the regard and care which he so profusely bestowed upon their soul. We have accordingly had in him, at a time when the need was greatest, a most vigilant guardian of the language. . . . In general society carelessness of usage is almost universal, and it is exceeding difficult for an individual, however vigilant, to avoid catching some of the trashy or faulty usages which are continually in his ear. But in Macaulay's published works his grammar, his orthography, nay, his punctuation, are faultless. On these questions and on the lawfulness or unlawfulness of a word he may even be called an authority without appeal.

As fifty years ago the word Bath used to be carried on our letter paper, so the word English is, as it were, in the watermark of every leaf of Macaulay's writing.

In Macaulay all history is scenic ; and philosophy he seems scarcely to touch, except on the outer side, where it opens into action. Not only does he habitually present facts in forms of beauty, but the fashioning of the form predominates over and is injurious to the absolute and balanced presentation of the subject. Macaulay was a master in execution rather than in what painting or music terms expression. He did not fetch from the depths nor soar to the heights ; but his power upon the surface was rare and marvelous, and it is upon the surface that an ordinary life is passed and its imagery found. He mingled then, like Homer, the functions of the poet and the

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chronicler. . . . The History of Macaulay, whatever else it may be, is the work of a great artist, and a great artist who lavishly bestowed upon it all his powers. It has the character of a true and very high work of art.

Whatever and whenever read, he will be read with fascination, with delight, with wonder. For his works are in many respects among the prodigies of literature ; in some they have never been surpassed. ... But the tree is greater than its fruit, and greater and better yet than the works themselves are the lofty aims and conceptions, the large heart, the independent, manful mind, the pure and noble career of the man who wrote them. - William E. Gladstone.

LITERARY ARTICLES IN PERIODICALS.

Doctor HALE AS I KNEW Him. William H. McElroy. Woman's Home Companion (13 c.) for Sep. tember. A MOTOR TRIP TO

BOYHOOD HAUNTS OF TENNYSON. Thomas W. Wilby. Travel for September.

THE CANNED DRAMA. Walter P. Eaton. American Magazine for September.

KICKING OUT THE GREAT AMERICAN DRAMA. By a Professional Play-reader. Munsey's for September.

THE VICE OF Play WRITING. Jesse Lynch Wil. liams. Metropolitan for September. RECOLLECTIONS OF

“ IAN MACLAREN.” With por. trait. Rev. Hugh Black, D. D. Youth's Companion (8 c. ) for August 5.

THE EARLY HOME AND HAUNTS OF TENNYSON. Illustrated. Rev. W. Bainbridge. Christian Endeavor World (8 c. ) for August 5.

ALFRED, LORD Tennyson. With portrait. Rev. R. P. Anderson. Christian Endeavor World (8 c.) for August 5.

THE TENNYSON FAMILY. Jane A. Stewart. Chris. tian Register ( 9 c. ) for August 5.

TENNyson's CenteNARY. Eugene Parsons. Chris. tian Register ( 9 c. ) for August 5.

TENNYSON. Christian Register ( 9 c.) for August 5.

A SCIENTIST's Sunset YEARS ( Professor Ernst Haeckel ). Illustrated. Joseph McCabe. Harper's Weekly ( 13 c.) for August 7.

IN PRAISE OF Novel-READING. Florida Pier. Harper's Weekly ( 13 c. ) for August 7.

Romance. Harper's Weekly ( 13 c.) for August 7. The Poet Of Vision. Outlook ( 8 c.) for August 7.

FORCES Which SHAPED THE AUTOCRAT (Oliver Wendell Holmes ). Jesse Bowman Young, D. D., Litt.D. Zion's Herald (8 c.) for August 18.

Oliver WendELL Holmes. With portrait. Zion's Herald (8 c.) for August 18.

EXPERIENCES OF A WOMAN REPORTER. Anne Eliot. Collier's ( 13 c. ) for August 21.

OLIVER WENDELL Holmes. Samuel A. Eliot. Christian Register ( 9 c.) for August 26.

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES. Rev. George F. Piper. Christian Register (9 c. ) for August 26.

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES. Ellen Burns Sherman. Christian Register ( 9 c. ) for August 26.

MRS. HUMPHRY WARD AND HER WORK. Illustrated. Charles S. Olcott. Outlook (18 c.) for August 28.

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES. With portrait. Outlook ( 18 c. ) for August 28.

[ For the convenience of readers The WRITER will send a copy of any magazine mentioned in the fol. lowing reference list on receipt of the amount given in parenthesis following the name - the amount being in each case the price of the periodical with three cents postage added. Unless a price is given, the periodical must be ordered from the publication office. Readers who send to the publishers of the periodicals indexed for copies containing the articles mentioned in the list will confer a favor if they will mention The WRITER when they write. )

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The SIMPLICITY ENGLISH. James Champlin Fernald. Harper's Magazine ( 38 c. ) for September.

“ ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.” Illustrated. James Douglas. Harper's Magazine ( 38 c. ) for September.

The Choice Of READING FOR Children. Editor's Study, Harper's Magazine ( 38 c. ) for September.

Is MARK TWAIN Dead ? (A satire Mark Twain's “Is Shakespeare Dead ?") Eugene H. Angert. North American Review ( 38 c.) for September.

TENNYSON AND THE SCIENCE OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. Popular Science Monthly for September.

HENRI POINCARÉ AND THE FRENCH ACADEMY. M. Frederic Masson. Popular Science Monthly for September.

The “ AUTOCRAT'S” Theology. Unpublished let. ters of Oliver Wendell Holmes. With portrait. Ex: planatory notes by Emory S. Turner. Putnam's Magazine ( 28 c. ) for September.

MACAULAY : THEN AND Now. Edward Fuller. Bookman ( 28 c. ) for September.

CONCERNING MR. JOSEPH R. KIPLING. Harry * Thurston Peck. Bookman ( 28 c. ) for September.

COURSES OF Novel·READING. Hamilton W. Mabie. Ladies' Home Journal for September.

NEWS AND NOTES.

William Dean Howells, who sailed for Europe early in August, will remain in Carlsbad for the major part of his sojourn abroad. Mr.

Howells usually goes to Europe at about this time of year.

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Bliss Perry, editor of the Atlantic Monthly, has gone abroad to American lecturer for 1909-10 at the Sorbonne and the provincial universities of France. He will return in August, 1910.

William Winter, for forty-four years dramatic editor and dramatic critic on the New York Tribune, has resigned from its staff. In a letter published in the Evening Post of August 20 Mr. Winter explains that his resignation is due to a recent change in the policy of the Tribune, which, he says, will no longer print articles condemnatory of bad and vulgar plays on Sundays, when its advertising support is specially strong.

Word comes from London that William Watson, the poet, was married at Bath August II to a beautiful Irish girl, Miss Pring, of Hill-of-Howth. Mr. Watson has just passed his fifty-first birthday.

Miss Lillian Whiting has finished the biography which she has entitled “ Louise Chandler Moulton, Poet and Friend,” and which is her nineteenth book.

A collection of George Meredith's letters is to be published under the direct supervision of Lord Morley.

Mrs. Lecky has written a life of her husband, W. E. H. Lecky, which will be published by Longmans, Green & Co.

Walter Sichel's life of Sheridan, which Archibald Constable & Co. are to publish in two illustrated volumes, is based on and original material from many sources.

The Life of Edward Bulwer, First Baron Lytton of Knebworth,” which is to be published this fall, is the work of T. H. S. Es

“The American Newspaper," a study by James E. Rogers, is published by the University of Chicago Press.

W. M. Clayton, 452 Fifth avenue, New York, announces that, beginning October 1, he will publish the Monthly Book Review, a thirty-two-page magazine, to be devoted to reviews and criticisms of new books and to literary news and notes in general.

It will be under the editorial charge of Temple Scott, while the new books will be reviewed by Charles Hanson Towne.

A new agricultural paper, called the Associated Farmer, is published at Peoria, Ill., by Charles H. May, proprietor of the Peoria Herald-Transcript and the Springfield News, from the office of the former.

William S. Crandall has bought a trolling interest in Spare Moments, Rochester. William Darbyshire will continue as editor, and is president of the new company.

The plant and other property of the Outing Publishing Company at Deposit, N. Y., has been sold at auction for more than $52,000. The best offer at private sale was $25,000.

Charles E. Page, formerly with L. C. Page & Co., and Philip Lamson Brown, formerly with Little, Brown & Co., have formed a partnership under the firm name of Brown & Page to do a general publishing business in Boston.

The first of a series of short stories by Rudyard Kipling is published in the September Delineator, and the first installment of a two-part story by Kipling is published in the September Harper's.

Dr. George D. Dowkontt died in New York July 31, aged sixty-seven.

Sir Theodore Martin died in London August 18, aged ninety-three. Maria Parloa died

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Bethel, Conn., August 21, aged sixty-six.

George Cabot Lodge died at Tuckernuck Island, Mass., August 22, aged thirty-five.

George Manville Fenn died in London August 27, aged seventy-eight.

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A MONTHLY MAGAZINE TO INTEREST AND HELP ALL LITERARY WORKERS.

Vol. XXI.

BOSTON, OCTOBER, 1909.

No. 10.

ENTERED AT THE BOSTON POST-OFFICE AS SECOND-CLASS MAIL MATTER.

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A glimpse at a few of the first chapters of

the best-known novels will perhaps convey CONTENTS :

some idea of the difficulties of beginning, How Novels Begin. F. A. Myers .

and show how the author, with the initiatory COMMON ERRORS IN WRITING CORRECTED. VI.

movement as a basis, built the story upon it. Walton Burgess

149 EDITORIAL

The first chapter will not, in many cases,

150 A Disgruntled Author, Dialogue in prefigure the character or progress of the Fiction, 150 – Simplified Spelling

story. In the development of a plot at first NEWSPAPER English" EDITED

there is no clearly-defined point for starting WRITERS OF THE DAY Larry Evans, 151 – Vanderheyden Fyles,

for the story writer, such as history or Hobart,

Constance science affords for the historian and scienD'Arcy Mackay, 152 — Edward Marshall, 152

tist, and the puzzle is what to originate, or Elizabeth Reid,

Eleanore

what to take, as a basis from which to proTowndrow, 153 – Harvey Wickham

153 PERSONAL Gossip ABOUT AUTHORS .

ceed. Clyde Fitch, 153 — Maurice Hewlett, 154 —

Le Sage's Gil Blas is related as Sir Alfred Tennyson, 155 – John Strange

autobiography, and the first chapter is an acWinter

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count of the young life of the hero. After CURRENT LITERARY Topics .

156 Meredith as Judge of Manuscripts, 156

this he sallies forth" to see the world," and, Practical Pointers for Dramatists, 157 The as in some of our latest novels Untried Playwrights

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market, “ things begin doing then at once." LITERARY ARTICLES IN PERIODICALS

158

The greatest satirist in the Spanish lanNews AND Notes.

guage, or perhaps in any language, for that

matter, begins the “offspring of his brain” HOW NOVELS BEGIN.

Don Quixote" — by giving some

count of the “quality and manner of life of Most writers of stories find great difficulty our renowned hero," speaking of his food, in determining upon some incident that shall his clothes, his family, his age and name, his constitute the initial chapter to be written. strange bias for "books of chivalry,” his peAfter that the plot may easily evolve itself. culiar fancies, his refurbished old rusty It is the beginning that will not readily take armor, his blemished steed that after much form out of the void. When one has organ- deliberation he called Rozinante, and his abized himself, so to speak, so that he can normal imagination. Subsequent chapters write the first chapter, he has measurably recite his notorious windmill vagaries and cleared up the problem of the whole story. speak of his sound, practical Squire Panza. Hardy, in the opening of his “A Pair of Lamartine's “Fior D’Aliza,”

very Blue Eyes," touches upon this point, and so touching little story, told in the first person does Barrie in the start of “ The Little Min- singular, begins with a statement of how the ister.” Scott's introduction to “Waverley author found his “poem in nature or human gives some of his reasons for the selec

action, and the very beautiful Fior d'Aliza tion of this title over others he names, and is described in dreamy-like terms of pathos thus indirectly shows the great study, and love. Then the story-teller meets the he gave to this one element of the story members of the family in the cottage they before he could “ christen" it.

own, and sees the old chestnut tree and vine,

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Elbe," where Dantes touched in his voyage home to Marseilles.

Zola's The Downfall or a better rendering of “ La Débâcle” is “ The Smash-up” - is one of the most real and brutal pictures of war ever written. It opens with a camp

scene.

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the history of which is the foundation for the story.

The very pathetic story of “ Paul and Virginia,” by Bernardin de St. Pierre, is not divided into chapters or parts, but is one unbroken story from first to last. It opens by a description of a splendid landscape and the two cottages of the families concerned.

That beautiful story, “ Picciola,” by Boniface-Saintine, begins with some account * of a learned man, but not of a philosopher," and one at first is reminded of the squire in“ Robert Elsmere." The learned, brilliant, wealthy Count de Charney was seized in a conspiracy against Napoleon and detained in prison.

“ Picciola" is a flower, "a pale and sickly scatterling of vegetation,” that the Count watched in hys prison life with tender solicitude as it grew solitary from between the flags of the court, only to see it ruthlessly destroyed in the end.

Balzac begins the Chouans” with a description of a motley squad of peasants and townsmen, in garments that tell something of their unequal conditions. This group of men was pressed into military service, “specially employed in fighting the Chouans," or "Owls." The landscape is made a grateful part of the scene of the march. Then follow some revelations and motives that lead up to the story.

After the Dedication and the Prologue, the first chapter of Sue's “Wandering Jew” opens with a date, followed by a description of an uncanny loft reached by a ladder and occupied by the “brute-tamer” and “convert,” Morok, who previous to his conversion to the Roman Catholic faith fled in terror before wild beasts. An emissary brings him news of some travelers, two lovely young ladies and their guardian with gray mustache, whom Morok is spying upon for mean purposes.

Dumas sets out in “ The Count of Monte Christo” with an account of the arrival of a ship at Marseilles, February 24, 1815, and the further account of the death of the ship's captain on the voyage and the devolution of the command upon Edmond Dantes. There is some significant talk between the ship owner and Dantes about the "Emperor at

The first chapter of Les Miserables" relates something of the life of Bishop Myriel, in pure narrative form. The hero, Jean Valjean, does not appear till the fifteenth chapter.

Du Maurier opens “ Trilby” by a minute description of the studio occupied by Taffy, Sandy, and Little Billee, and then proceeds to depict these occupants in measured and accurate, but charitable, terms.

Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship," Goethe's best prose work, begins with the impatience of the old female servant waiting for her gay young mistress to return from the play, where she had played the part of a boy. While waiting the old servant has opened a package containing some presents from a

gallant” for herself and mistress ; and on the return of the mistress she cannot be made interested in the gifts, even repulses her old servant, and says she is expecting a visit at that very time from her young lover, Wilhelm Meister. The chapter closes with his entrance and the vivid embrace of the two lovers.

Tolstoy's novel, “Resurrection," tells first of the glad springtime, and notes the indifference of men in official pursuits to the new grace and joy of the year. It tells of a hearty, full-vigored female prisoner, and of her journey from the prison to the place of her trial, where she has to defend herself against a charge of robbery.

Smollett's ** Expedition of Humphrey Clinker" is cast in the form of letters, and the first one is a petulant, nervous, growling letter from VI. Bramble to Dr. Lewis, that ends : “Forgive all this trouble from, dear Lewis, your affectionate 11. Bramble.” In general, the letters are not very long.

That much-vaunted story, “Vathek, an Arabian Tale," by William Beckford, begins with an

account of “Vathek, the ninth Caliph,” describing his person, his love of

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