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asked. “Did he put it aside and return to it from time to time ?”
“Of course all long poems, like all other works, require time. Some of them very much time. As I dare say you know, 'In Memoriam' took a long time about seventeen years.
But I take it that you mean shorter works that may have been accomplished without serious delays." “ That is so.”
With those, when once my father had conceived the idea, the subject possessed him. It was always with him while waking and, I dare say, while sleeping, too — for I believe, as he did, in unconscious cerebration."
Used he to work after lunch ?” I asked. " After dinner he would have a pipe by himself. Sometimes he would read a novel in the evening, or read aloud to my mother, thus tranquilizing himself for his work later. When he smoked at night I think he would let his thoughts run ; he would do the thinking-over part of his work."
Ward. - In the explanatory introductions which Mrs. Humphry Ward is writing for the complete edition of her works, she does not hesitate to admit that certain of her characters are drawn from real life, but she insists upon a proper understanding of the exact sense in which this is true. Because the “Miss Bretherton" of her first novel was suggested by the career of Mary Anderson, it does not follow that all that is said of the former is true of the latter. Mrs. Ward's novels contain no portraits and no history, but they abound in characters suggested by people whom she has known, in incidents and reminiscences of real life. The scenery of “Robert Elsmere," for instance, combines Westmoreland, which Mrs. Ward knew in her childhood, with the Oxford of her girlhood and early married life, and the Surrey, where many summers were spent.
in wan iv these pop-lar magazines along. with all th' good advertisin'? I suppose it. comes high. Th' fellows that runs thim magazines must be growin' rich out iv th” potes an' novelists. But I think they're goin' too far in their greed f'r goold. There must be a limit to their avarice. I don't object, mind ye, to their makin' a fair profit out iv their business iv ‘idjacatin'' people where to get th' best breakfast food or th' most sparklin' hair dye, or what kind iy revolver to shoot thimselves with. That's all right. But what I object to is whin I pay ten or fifteen cents f'r a magazine expectin' to spind me avenin' improvin' me mind with th' latest thoughts in advertisin', to find more thin a quarther iv th' whole book devoted to lithrachoor.
“ It ain't fair. It's a kind iv a confidence game they play on their readers. I don't want them to be philanthropists, mind ye. They've got to make a livin'. But there ought to be some place iv stoppin' half way. Th’ first thing ye know there won't be as many pages in advertisin' as there are iv lithrachoor. Then people will stop readin' magazines. A man don't want to dodge around through almost impenethrable pomes an' reform articles to find a pair ivsuspinders or a shavin' soap. Another thing, th' magazines ought to be compelled to mark all lithrachoor plainly so that the reader can't be deceived. They ought to put two stars on th' end iv it, or mark it Reading Matther,' or print a line at th' bottom : 'Persons answerin' this pome are requested to mention Nobody.' As it is now, many iv these articles will fool nine men out iv ten. Ye pick up a magazine an' ye see something that looks like an advertisement. It is almost as well printed an' illusthrated. On'y an expert cud tell th' diff'rence at th' first glance. But whin ye get to th' end ye find to ye’er disgust that ye've been wasting ye'er time reading' a wurruk iv fiction. It's very annoyin'.
“ Still there are some magazines that respect th' best thraditions iv th' profession. They keep lithrachoor in its proper bounds. It is not allowed to encroach on th' advertisin' space. Both are in their proper pro
CURRENT LITERARY TOPICS.
“Me. Dooley" on the Magazines. “Well, sir,” said Mr. Dooley, "I wonder how much it costs to have a pome or a story printed
portion - eight pages iv advertisin' to wan iv lithrachoor. This isn't bad, but I hope th' time will come whin there will be some publisher bold enough to publish a magazine entirely devoted to advertisin’. Still I don't know that I ought to complain. Whin ye come to think iv th' magazines iv thirty or forty years ago, which on’y printed a few advertisements, an' thim iv a low ordher, an' look at th’sparklin' back pages iv th' present day, hundherds iv thim brimmin' full an' overflowin' with th' finest produck iv this goolden age iv advertisin', I suppose there is much to be thankful f'r.
“I've been looking' over these here ready-made clothin' anthologies. Hogan left a bunch iv thim on th' table. Hardly wan iv thim but has something that insinuates its hand into ye’er pocket. Gloomy people, pessimists they're called, talk about th' vanished glories iv American advertisin'. Ye'd think th' art died with Barnum an' Frank Siddall. But that's all They're thousands now where there was wan a few years ago.
Th' wurruk iv th' older school was sincere, but it was crude an' heavy. What cud be happier, f'r instance, thin th’little essay in Somebody's this month on th' removal iv frickles be Swanson's hanımerless revolver ? It is charmingly told. Th' author is a masther iv English. His wan line, ‘Pot th’ spots,' will not die. Bunchey's f'r September has charmin' cover devoted to Soakem's portable footbath. A very beautiful young lady is discovered timidly standin' on th' brink iv wan iv these conveniences, trembling in maidenly simplicity. Th' artist has depicted doubt, hope, an' even a thrace iv terror in th' model's features. He has chosen as a title f'r his delightful pitcher a line fr'm an old pome : 'Standin' with reluctant feet.'
“In th' same magazine there's a very readable an' convincin' article on Schoenstein's an' Kippleheim's durable pants. It is called : ‘We fit fr'm the photygraft.' In spite iv siv'ral pomes an' thrivyal articles on th' cure iv mumps an th’ great movement f'r repairin' th' sthreets iv West Centherville with planks, th’ Monthly Karssene Conthrovarsy has many enjoyable back
pages. Th' seeries iv autymobill articles keeps up its inthrest, an' there is an excellent bit iv writin' f'r those that care f'r light humor in th' article on th' use iv varnish on th' hair.
But I won't go on, Hinnissy. It wud take me all day to tell ye iv th' atthractive features in these here pages. There ain't any doubt iv it, whin it comes to advertisin', that city iv New York is th' modhren Athens.” – F. P. Dunne, in the American Magazine.
Financial Rewards of English Writers. — The case of Stephen Phillips, the poet and playwright, who is in very straitened circumstances, has opened the question as to whether English writers can on the whole be called successful financially. Mr. Phillips has had many plays produced in England and America, yet he is now in actual poverty, which he attributes to the failure of his last two plays, The Lost Heir" and ' Faust,” both of which were presented in London.
The very recent death of John Davidson because he was tired of struggling to make a living from his poetry ; the death of Francis Thompson, also without means ; the case of Matthew Arnold, who after all his years of successful work left but $5,000, and that of Charles Godfrey Leland, author of “ Hans Breitmann's Ballads,” whose estate was valued at about $2,000, are instances cited, which are balanced by the case of Lord Tennyson, who left nearly $300,000 ; of Swinburne, who left more than $100,000, and of Robert Browning, who left $60,000.
As to authors of successful books, many have amassed considerable fortunes. Henry Seton Merriman, Edna Lyall, John Oliver Hobbes, Mrs. Isabella Lucy Bishop, and George Meredith all left estates of value ; but Florence Marryat, Mary Kingsley, and even Lewis Carroll left such small sums as $7.395, $17,055, and $19,000.
Publishers in many cases left very large fortunes, the chief among them being G. Smith, of Smith, Elder & Co., $3,809,800 ; Thomas Nelson, of T. Nelson & Sons, $3,154,335 ; George William Petter, of Cassell, Petter & Galpin, $2,602,805 ; Alexander
Mamillan, of Mamillan & Co., $895,055 ; Adam Black, of A. & C. Black, $736,305 ; George Lock, of Ward, Lock & Co., $595,050. — London Letter in the New York Sun.
Joseph Pulitzer's Editorials. Afloat ashore, Mr. Pulitzer is surrounded by a troop of readers and secretaries, and when the impulse to do a thing comes upon him, his power of endurance breaks the youngest and the strongest of them. Take him at sea, where most of his time has been spent of late. It is an ordinary occurrence for him to rout out his personal staff at two or three o'clock in the morning to aid him in the preparation of an article. To think with him is to act. Let it be some political fight or principle to which he has dedicated the World, and though he may be on the other side of the earth, he is able to visualize it and live with the paper and those in charge of it through every step of success or defeat.
He does not compose with facility ; some of those whole-page editorials in the World, bearing the signature “ Joseph Pulitzer," which became so familiar during the Roosevelt administration and in the forming of the last Bryan campaign, represented weeks and weeks of unrelenting labor. They meant the driving to near distraction of those upon whom he is compelled to depend to put his thoughts on paper ; they meant a crying for “facts, facts,” and “more facts” which it was believed would never cease ; they meant the working-over of draft after draft of the editorial in preparation ; they meant countless finished articles thrown away and a beginning all over again until the ear of the blind man was satisfied. — W. B. Meloney, in the American Magazine.
Conquering John Wesley's Cipher. – The new complete edition of John Wesley's journals is making progress, the first volume being nearly ready for publication. There is an interesting story concerning the deciphering by the editor, Rev. Nehemiah Curnock, formerly editor of the Methodist Recorder, of the early diaries kept by Wesley when a young student at Oxford. They were not only unpublished, they had never been read, the entries having been made in
a queer inixture of abbreviated longhand, a primitive shorthand, and a very puzzling cipher. The owner of the manuscript volumes, Russel Colman, permitted Mr. Curnock to photograph the pages, and with some thousands of fac-similes before him, he began the task of reading the diaries. He has spent four years on the task.
Mr. Curnock says that when he first looked at Wesley's notes he had not the faintest idea what they could mean. “ Part was in shorthand, and I knew no shorthand. Part was in longhand, but abbreviated to one or two letters for a whole word. Part was in a cipher, to which I had no clue.
“I had to find out what system of shorthand Wesley used, and learn it. That was comparatively easy, but I had also to read it as written by him.
“ To make out his longhand abbreviations was difficult, and I found that words, when made out, did not always bear their usual meanings. For instance, he wrote 'st,' and I soon determined that it meant 'sat.' But by 'st' Wesley really meant 'a serious conversation, as distinguished from a casual talk, which he represented by 't.'
“When nearly every word is similarly abbreviated, it is not easy to read another man's notes.
“As for the cipher, · Edgar Allan Poe's cipher in “The Gold Bug' is simplicity itself compared with it, and I had no clue to it. I studied most of the recorded ciphers since the sixteenth century, at the British Museum and elsewhere, and I have made vari. ous inquiries, but I found nothing to correspond with Wesley's.
“The ordinary method of finding the most frequently-recurring signs, in Poe's manner, was not enough, for Wesley's cipher was partly numerical and partly indescribable in type. It was inconceivably difficult to work it out, for the same sign does not always mean the same thing.
" It was only by going over the notes time after time and making repeated comparisons that I was able, after months of work, to puzzle out the meaning of the various signs.”
Mr. Curnock will give some account of
this work in the introduction to the first volume, which will be published next month. In one instance an explanation of one of the signs came into his mind when he was either dreaming or only half awake. He sprang up, went to his notebooks, and found that he had discovered the meaning of one of the most puzzling signs in the cipher.
Editorial Liberties with Cogy. – We constantly being told by public speakers and the press that we are not a military people, but the longer we live the more people we meet whose knowledge of military matters is sufficient to set at naught that of the professionals. When doctors of divinity, law, or medicine write for publication, it is a rare thing for editor, compositor, or proofreader to set up his views in place of those of the author, especially over or under that author's name. Architects, electricians, and engineers
also writers seldom find their pages altered by the publisher.
But not so the soldier. Such has been the spread of information in the military art, such is the superiority of the editorial or compositorial mind that editors and typesetters do not scruple to alter the words of the military author, really believing him wrong.
Without so much as a “by your leave" I have been made responsible for singular statements which prove, on comparison with the carbon copy it has long years been my rule to retain, to be not of my making, but the result of this growth of military lore among the laity.
For instance : The proof sheets of magazine article came to me with the bald statement that Sheridan had said thus and
a certain occasion when Sheridan could not possibly have been there. The carbon revealed a totally different name. The editor explained that it was so characteristic of Sheridan that he wrote Sheridan in place of the name in the copy. Speaking of Sheridan, one of the best-edited journals in America made me tell of this general doing a certain thing at Cedar Creek, when I had written Five Forks, and the carbon proved it. Explanation : The editor was so
sure I meant Cedar Creek that he never thought it necessary to ask.
Still another : An old and famous publishing house sent me proof sheets of a description of a certain cavalry affair in which the general was met by a mounted escort and saluted with “port arms." What in the name of all creation could I have been thinking of when I made a troop of horse execute port arms in saddle ? The carbon was dragged to light
the original rough draft, and there in both it read “carbines advanced," but some compositor knew better than the old regular, and with serene confidence changed things accordingly. Such was their confidence in their fellowworker's knowledge of military affairs that editor and proof-reader both let it go.
A prominent Eastern journal, reviewing a Civil War story of mine, declared the description of the cavalry fight on the right fank at Gettysburg — the brilliant affair between Gregg's division, plus Custer's brigade, and Stuart's division — to be a picture of a “purely mythical combat.” It took the united and written .testimony of Merritt, Chester, Pennington, and half a score of surviving participants — officers of rank and distinction - to wrest knowledgment of error from the editor, who, after the fashion of the journalist, got even with the author by dismissing him as unworthy of consideration because “he was only a cadet at West Point at the time, and therefore could know nothing about it." The author retaliated with the story of Mrs. Kelly's apology.
Then, one of the foremost editors in America, who, better than the author, knew what to name an article on a day in camp at West Point, scratched the title given it by the graduate and substituted what I was about to call his own, whereas it was n't his own at all. It was the title given a quarter of a century earlier by General George C. Strong to a most entertaining story of cadet life in the fifties. Of course, it was not long before the lamented general's son and heir wrote a letter of remonstrance, and, of course, he blamed the author, who was both aggrieved and innocent, and not the editor,
who alone was at fault. Nor was he quite satisfied with the explanation, for long afterward he again wrote to the victimized author, claiming that something in the way of reparation was due, and was again referred to the man behind the blunder - the editor. — General Charles King, in Uncle Sam's Magazine.
LITERARY ARTICLES IN PERIODICALS.
[ 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. )
John CHURTON COLLINS – A Review. Allen R. Benham. Modern Language Notes ( 28 c.) for No. vember.
THE POEMS OF LOUISE CHANDLER MOULTON. B. 0. Flower. Twentieth Century Magazine ( 28 c. ) for November.
GEORGE MEREDITH. With frontispiece portrait. Archibald Henderson, Ph.D. Twentieth Century Magazine ( 28 c. ) for November.
New York JOURNALISM : A SNAPSHOT. Frank Fox. National Review ( 78 c.) for October.
CLYDE FITCH AS HE WAS. Archie Bell. Theatre For November.
Robert BURNS, POET OF HUMANITY. Illustrated. Henry Mann. Columbian Magazine ( 18 c. ) for November.
THE AUTHOR OF “ ANNE OF AVONLEA" (L. M. Montgomery ). With portrait. Zion's Herald (8 c. ) for October 6.
GEORGE BANCROFT GRIFFITH. With portrait. Zion's Herald (8 c.) for October 20.
LITERARY PORTRAITS MEMORIES (William Winter's “ Old Friends"). Outlook (8 c.) for Oc. tober 2.
MRS. HUMPHRY WARD'S REAL PEOPLE. Illustrated. Charles S. Olcott. Outlook ( 18 c. ) for October 23.
Two Famous BALLADS. Barbara Allen's Cruelty, Robin Hood and Allen-a-Dale. Introduction by Hamilton Wright Mabie. Outlook ( 18 c.) for Octo
A HITHERTO UNKNOWN STATUETTE OF CHARLES LAMB. Illustrated. E. V. Lucas. Outlook (8 c.) for October 30.
“ THE HUMAN WAY” AND ITS AUTHOR (Louise Collier Wilcox ). With portrait. Harper's Weekly ( 13 c. ) for October 30.
NEWS AND NOTES.
THEATRE. Brander Matthews. Century ( 38 c. ) for November.
HARPER'S MAGAZINE, 1850-1909. Editor's Study, Harper's Magazine ( 38 c. ) for November.
ENGLISH AND AMERICAN FICTion. Atlantic ( 35 c. ) for November.
Emerson. w. c. Brownell. Scribner's ( 28 c.) for November.
SensatiONAL JOURNALISM AND THE Remedy. S. W. Pennypacker. North American Review ( 38 c. ) lor November.
GATEWAYS LITERATURE. Brander Matthews. North American Review ( 38 c. ) for November.
San Francisco's Poet-MAYOR ( Edward Robeson Taylor ). With portrait. Mabel Craft Deering. Putmam's Magazine ( 28 c. ) for November.
Great PUBLISHING Houses. The Great Publishing Houses of France. Alvan F. Sanborn. Bookman ( 28 c. ) for November.
IMITATION AND SUGGESTION IN THE DRAMA. Clay. ton Hamilton. Forum for November.
THE POPULAR ELEMENT IN LITERATURE. Brian Hooker. Forum for November.
MY REMINISCENCES. Edward Everett Hale. Woman's Home Companion ( 18 c. ) for November.
Joseph PULITZER. William B. Meloney. American Magazine for November.
STYLE IN AMERICAN Соміс ART. Illustrated. Strand ( 18 c.) for November.
THE ART OF ILLUSTRATING. - II.-III. Illustrated. William Brett Plummer. Author ( London ) ( 18 c. ) for November.
DIALECT IN FICTION. W. Harold Thomson. Author ( London ) ( 18 c.) for November.
ECHOES OF THE CLASSICS IN KIPLING. Thomas K. Sidey. Modern Language Notes ( 28 c.) for Novem. ber.
William Dean Howells has returned with his daughter from a two-months' trip in Europe.
Miss Mary Johnston brought back from her half-year in Europe and Egypt some chapters of her Civil War novel, to be published next year, and is now working on it in her Richmond home.
Edward Everett Hale's estate is inventoried at $40,932. Books and maps are valued at $6,000 ; copyrights, $1,500; autograph letters, $2,000.
Oliver Herford is recovering from an attack of typhoid fever.
J. M. Barrie has secured a divorce.
"Maria Edgeworth and Her Circle," by Constance Hill, is published by John Lane.