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Title: A Dutch Boy Fifty Years After
Author: Bok, Edward William, 1863-1930
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Dutch Boy Fifty Years After" ***




Adapted from _The Americanization of Edward Bok_

Edited with an Introduction by John Louis Haney, Ph.D.
President, Central High School, Philadelphia

Charles Scribner's Sons
New York       Chicago       Boston
Atlanta        San Francisco


[Frontispiece: Photograph of Edward Bok.]










  "Give to the world the best you have
  And the best will come back to you."


In recent years American literature has been enriched by certain
autobiographies of men and women who had been born abroad, but who had
been brought to this country, where they grew up as loyal citizens of
our great nation.  Such assimilated Americans had to face not only the
usual conditions confronting a stranger in a strange land, but had to
develop within themselves the noble conception of Americanism that was
later to become for them a flaming gospel.  Andrew Carnegie, the canny
Scotch lad who began as a cotton weaver's assistant, became a steel
magnate and an eminent constructive philanthropist.  Jacob Riis, the
ambitious Dane, told in _The Making of an American_ the story of his
rise to prominence as a social and civic worker in New York.  Mary
Antin, who was brought from a Russian ghetto at the age of thirteen,
gave us in _The Promised Land_ a most impressive interpretation of
America's significance to the foreign-born.  The very title of her book
was a flash of inspiration.

To this group of notable autobiographies belongs _The Americanization
of Edward Bok_, which received, from Columbia University, the Joseph
Pulitzer Prize of one thousand dollars as "the best American biography
teaching patriotic and unselfish service to the Nation and at the same
time illustrating an eminent example."  The judges who framed that
decision could not have stated more aptly the scope and value of the
book.  It is the story of an unusual education, a conspicuous
achievement, and an ideal now in course of realization.

At the age of six Edward Bok was brought to America by his parents, who
had met with financial reverses in their native country of the
Netherlands.  He spent six years in the public schools of Brooklyn, but
even while getting the rudiments of a formal education he had to work
during his spare hours to bring home a few more dollars to aid his
needy family.  His first job was cleaning the show-window of a small
bakery for fifty cents a week.  At twelve he became an office boy in
the Western Union Telegraph Company; at nineteen he was a stenographer;
at twenty-six he became editor of _The Ladies' Home Journal_, which
during the thirty years of his supervision achieved the remarkable
circulation of two million copies and reached every month an audience
of perhaps ten million persons.  Such is the bare outline of a career
that has the essential characteristics of struggle and achievement, of
intimate contact with eminent men and women, and, most interesting of
all, is not a fulfilled career, but a life still in the making.

The significance of _The Americanization of Edward Bok_ is threefold
and is clearly indicated by the author's own conception of the three
periods that should constitute a well-rounded life..  These he
characterizes as education, achievement, and service for others.
Conceived in this ideal spirit, the autobiography has a message for
every American schoolboy or schoolgirl who is looking forward to the
years of achievement and who should be made to understand that there is
a finer duty beyond.  It has an equally important message for those of
us who in the turmoil of a busy world are struggling to achieve, in
many instances with no vision beyond the desire to provide as best we
can for the welfare of ourselves and our families.  Lastly, it has an
inspiring, constructive message for those who are now in a position to
render altruistic service and thus contribute their share toward making
the world in general and America in particular a better place in which
to live.

Because of the recognized value of Edward Bok's life-story, the present
abridged edition, which is re-named _A Dutch Boy Fifty Years After_,
has been undertaken.  The chapters here brought together, with the
approval of Mr. Bok, tell the story of the Dutch boy in the American
school, his earnest efforts to help his parents, his journalistic and
literary experiences, his wide-spread influence as editor, and a vision
of what he still hopes to accomplish for the land of his adoption.

Our boys and girls who become familiar with the story of this
resourceful Dutch lad should note that he is not ashamed to tell us he
helped his mother by building the fire, preparing the breakfast, and
washing the dishes before he went to school, and when he returned from
school he did not play but swept, scrubbed, and washed more dishes
after the evening meal.  He did not whine and mope because his parents
could no longer keep the retinue of servants to which they had been
accustomed in the Netherlands.  He simply pitched in and helped.  The
same spirit impelled him to clean the baker's windows for fifty cents a
week, to deliver a newspaper over a regular route, to sell ice water on
the Coney Island horse-cars--in short, to do any honorable work to
overcome the burden of poverty.  Meanwhile he strove to acquire what
little education he could, but he probably learned more from his
association with the prominent persons whom he met as a result of his
early passion for autograph collecting.  Such a boyhood brings home the
important truth that necessity is the mother of self-reliance.

Mr. Bok's story indicates the road to success and gives encouragement
to those who would tread that pleasant way, but it also sounds a frank
warning against the pitfalls that beset ambitious youth.  When he was
sent by the city editor of the _Brooklyn Eagle_ to review a theatrical
performance and decided to write his review without going to the
theatre, he had, of course, no warning that the performance would not
take place.  He took what many a more experienced reporter would
consider a reasonable chance and he suffered keen humiliation when the
lesson was forced home that it does not pay to attempt deception.  He
tells us that the incident left a lasting impression and he felt
grateful because it happened so early in life that he could take the
experience to heart and profit by it.  With equal candor he tells of
the stock-market "tips" that resulted from his intimacy with Jay Gould.
Wisely he records that he resolved to keep out of Wall Street
thereafter, in spite of his initial success in speculation.  When he
gave up an association that probably would have led to his becoming a
stock-broker, and somewhat later, when he declined an offer to be the
business manager for a popular American actress, Edward Bok was called
upon to make fateful decisions.  In this story he lays ample stress
upon the need for careful and deliberate consideration at such crucial

The account of his long and successful editorship of _The Ladies' Home
Journal_ reveals the extent of his influence on American social and
domestic conditions.  He broadened the scope of _The Journal_ until it
touched the life of the nation at many points.  The earlier women's
magazines had devoted most attention to fashions, needle-work, and
cookery, printing a few sentimental stories and poems to give the
necessary literary atmosphere.  _The Ladies' Home Journal_ took up a
great variety of problems concerning the American home and those who
dwelled therein.  A corps of editors was assembled to conduct
departments and to answer questions either by mail or in the pages of
_The Journal_.  Free scholarships in colleges and in musical
conservatories were given in place of the usual magazine premiums.
Series of articles were published to foster our national appreciation
for better architecture, better furniture, better pictures--in brief,
for better homes in every respect.

Mr. Bok discouraged the taking of patent medicines, the wearing of
aigrettes, the use of the public drinking-cup, the disfiguring of
American scenery with glaring signs and bill-posting, the use of
fireworks on the Fourth of July, and many similar matters that were not
to our credit or advantage.  He printed convincing photographs taken in
various "dirty cities" that tolerated refuse and other evidences of
untidiness on their streets and literally shamed those communities into
cleaning up the plague-spots.  Had he been a commonplace editor with
his main thought on the subscription list he would have avoided
controversy by confining his leading articles to subjects unlikely to
offend any one, but he would not pursue any policy that meant a
surrender of his ideals.  When occasion demanded he did not hesitate to
hit squarely from the shoulder.  Whether the public agreed with him or
not, it knew that _The Journal_ was very much in earnest whenever it
espoused any cause.

Mr. Bok's last important service as editor of _The Journal_ was a
direct outcome of our participation in the Great War.  The problems
raised by that world cataclysm called for a restatement of American
ideals and aspirations.  He therefore arranged for a number of articles
adapted to the needs of every community, whether large or small, and
these were soon acclaimed as the most comprehensive exposition of
practical Americanization that had yet been published.  As a
far-sighted editor with a long experience behind him he knew that many
of the immigrants coming to this country were ready to enjoy our
privileges without undertaking to share our responsibilities.  The
newcomer could realize a freedom unknown in Europe, he had a chance to
achieve higher standards of living and to establish a better home for
himself and his family; what were we asking in return?  We did not
subject him to a political confession of faith and we did not fix his
social caste; were we justified in asking him to accept our language
and to uphold our institutions?  The intelligent immigrant knows that
the culture of America is a transplanted European culture, but he
quickly realizes that it has become something distinctive because it
developed under conditions where social barriers or racial jealousies
are of slight importance.  The person who grasps this truth, as did
Edward Bok, knows well that America stands ready to accept any man,
whether native-born or alien, at his true worth and will give him
unequalled opportunity to make the most of his abilities.

In accomplishing his Americanization, Mr. Bok learned much from us and
he has given his fellow-Americans a chance to learn something from him.
He is aware of our pride in what we have achieved, but he points the
way to still greater triumphs in the years to come.  He urges us to
give more regard to thrift, to be more painstaking and thorough in what
we do, and finally, to overcome our prevalent lack of respect for
authority.  Such advice is especially appropriate at this time.  During
the present critical period in the wake of the greatest and most
destructive of all wars, a prudent nation will follow the fundamental
political and economic virtues.  It is no time for extravagance, for
slipshod service, or for defiance of established law.  Our young people
need every incentive to make the most of their talents and of their
opportunities.  If they observe closely the successive steps of Mr.
Bok's career they will understand why he did not continue to wash
shop-windows all his life or why the Western Union's office-boy did not
grow up to be a mere clerk or local manager.  In the important chapters
entitled "The Chances for Success" and "What I Owe to America" they
will learn that ambition and industry must be supplemented by other
admirable qualities in the loyal American who is eager to serve his
country to the utmost.

The concluding chapters of the autobiography have a most valuable
lesson for every American, young or old.  In them Mr. Bok calls upon us
to give a helping hand to the other fellow and to accept in more
genuine spirit the gospel of the brotherhood of man.  The civic pride
that urged him to join in the movement to beautify his home community
of Merion and that caused his activity in the raising of an endowment
fund of almost two million dollars for the Philadelphia Orchestra is
what we would expect of the idealist who sets out to observe the wise
precept of his Dutch grandparents: "Make you the world a bit more
beautiful and better because you have been in it."

Throughout the book the observant reader will note the author's pride
in his Dutch ancestry and his consciousness of the fact that he owes so
much to the splendid qualities of his forbears.  Such pride may be
shared by every other progressive American of foreign birth or
parentage who feels that he is bringing into our social and industrial
life certain commendable traits that characterize the best sons and
daughters of his fatherland, whatever that fatherland may be.

The admirable dedication that Mr. Bok has prepared for this little
volume is addressed to American schoolboys and schoolgirls, but its
message is just as vital for the older reader.  In the prime of life
and on the threshold of his Third Period, Mr. Bok has begun to give
practical demonstration of the kind of service that is possible for
those who are sincerely ready to serve.  He is alive to the fact that
as a nation we are still young and eager to learn.  We have made
serious mistakes in the past and our institutions are as yet far from
perfect, but with more of our intellectual leaders accepting the
watchword of altruistic service in the spirit of Mr. Bok's conception,
there can be virtually no limitations to the part that America seems
destined to play in the future.

































Edward W. Bok . . . Frontispiece

Edward Bok at the age of six

Edward Bok's birthplace at Helder, Netherlands

The grandmother

The Dutch grandfather [Transcriber's note: missing from book]

Where Edward Bok is happiest: in his garden



Along an island in the North Sea, five miles from the Dutch coast,
stretches a dangerous ledge of rocks that has proved the graveyard of
many a vessel sailing that turbulent sea.  On this island once lived a
group of men who, as each vessel was wrecked, looted the vessel and
murdered those of the crew who reached shore.  The government of the
Netherlands decided to exterminate the island pirates, and for the job
King William selected a young lawyer at The Hague.

"I want you to clean up that island," was the royal order.  It was a
formidable job for a young man of twenty-odd years.  By royal
proclamation he was made mayor of the island, and within a year, a
court of law being established, the young attorney was appointed judge;
and in that dual capacity he "cleaned up" the island.

The young man now decided to settle on the island, and began to look
around for a home.  It was a grim place, barren of tree or living green
of any kind; it was as if a man had been exiled to Siberia.  Still,
argued the young mayor, an ugly place is ugly only because it is not
beautiful.  And beautiful he determined this island should be.

One day the young mayor-judge called together his council.  "We must
have trees," he said; "we can make this island a spot of beauty if we
will!"  But the practical seafaring men demurred; the little money they
had was needed for matters far more urgent than trees.

"Very well," was the mayor's decision--and little they guessed what the
words were destined to mean--"I will do it myself."  And that year he
planted one hundred trees, the first the island had ever seen.

"Too cold," said the islanders; "the severe north winds and storms will
kill them all."

"Then I will plant more," said the unperturbed mayor.  And for the
fifty years that he lived on the island he did so.  He planted trees
each year; and, moreover, he had deeded to the island government land
which he turned into public squares and parks, and where each spring he
set out shrubs and plants.

Moistened by the salt mist the trees did not wither, but grew
prodigiously.  In all that expanse of turbulent sea--and only those who
have seen the North Sea in a storm know how turbulent it can be--there
had not been a foot of ground on which the birds, storm-driven across
the water-waste, could rest in their flight.  Hundreds of dead birds
often covered the surface of the sea.  Then one day the trees had grown
tall enough to look over the sea, and, spent and driven, the first
birds came and rested in their leafy shelter.  And others came and
found protection, and gave their gratitude vent in song.  Within a few
years so many birds had discovered the trees in this new island home
that they attracted the attention not only of the native islanders but
also of the people on the shore five miles distant, and the island
became famous as the home of the rarest and most beautiful birds.  So
grateful were the birds for their resting-place that they chose one end
of the island as a special spot for the laying of their eggs and the
raising of their young, and they fairly peopled it.  It was not long
before ornithologists from various parts of the world came to
"Egg-land," as the farthermost point of the island came to be known, to
see the marvellous sight, not of thousands but of hundreds of thousands
of bird-eggs.

A pair of storm-driven nightingales had now found the island and mated
there; their wonderful notes thrilled even the souls of the natives;
and as dusk fell upon the seabound strip of land the women and children
would come to "the square" and listen to the evening notes of the birds
of golden song.  The two nightingales soon grew into a colony, and
within a few years so rich was the island in its nightingales that over
to the Dutch coast and throughout the land and into other countries
spread the fame of "The Island of Nightingales."

Meantime, the young mayor-judge, grown to manhood, had kept on planting
trees each year, setting out his shrubbery and plants, until their
verdure now beautifully shaded the quaint, narrow lanes, and
transformed into wooded roads what once had been only barren wastes.
Artists began to hear of the place and brought their canvases, and on
the walls of hundreds of homes throughout the world hang to-day bits of
the beautiful lanes and wooded spots of "The Island of Nightingales."
The American artist, William M. Chase, took his pupils there almost
annually.  "In all the world to-day," he declared to his students, as
they exclaimed at the natural cool restfulness of the island, "there is
no more beautiful place."

The trees are now majestic in their height of forty or more feet, for
it is nearly a hundred years since the young attorney went to the
island and planted the first tree; to-day the churchyard where he lies
is a bower of cool green, with the trees that he planted dropping their
moisture on the lichen-covered stone on his grave.

This much did one man do.  But he did more.

After he had been on the barren island two years he went to the
mainland one day, and brought back with him a bride.  It was a bleak
place for a bridal home, but the young wife had the qualities of the
husband.  "While you raise your trees," she said, "I will raise our
children."  And within a score of years the young bride sent thirteen
happy-faced, well-brought-up children over that island, and there was
reared a home such as is given to few.  Said a man who subsequently
married a daughter of that home: "It was such a home that once you had
been in it you felt you must be of it, and that if you couldn't marry
one of the daughters you would have been glad to have married the cook."

One day when the children had grown to man's and woman's estate the
mother called them all together and said to them, "I want to tell you
the story of your father and of this island," and she told them the
simple story that is written here.

"And now," she said, "as you go out into the world I want each of you
to take with you the spirit of your father's work, and each, in your
own way and place, to do as he has done: make you the world a bit more
beautiful and better because you have been in it.  That is your
mother's message to you."

The first son to leave the island home went with a band of hardy men to
South Africa, where they settled and became known as "the Boers."
Tirelessly they worked at the colony until towns and cities sprang up
and a new nation came into being: The Transvaal Republic.  The son
became secretary of state of the new country, and to-day the United
States of South Africa bears tribute, in part, to the mother's message
to "make the world a bit more beautiful and better."

The second son left home for the Dutch mainland, where he took charge
of a small parish; and when he had finished his work he was mourned by
king and peasant as one of the leading clergymen of his time and people.

A third son, scorning his own safety, plunged into the boiling surf on
one of those nights of terror so common to that coast, rescued a
half-dead sailor, carried him to his father's house, and brought him
back to a life of usefulness that gave the world a record of
imperishable value.  For the half-drowned sailor was Heinrich
Schliemann, the famous explorer of the dead cities of Troy.

The first daughter now left the island nest; to her inspiration her
husband owed, at his life's close, a shelf of works in philosophy which
to-day are among the standard books of their class.

The second daughter worked beside her husband until she brought him to
be regarded as one of the ablest preachers of his land, speaking for
more than forty years the message of man's betterment.

To another son it was given to sit wisely in the councils of his land;
another followed the footsteps of his father.  Another daughter,
refusing marriage for duty, ministered unto and made a home for one
whose eyes could see not.

So they went out into the world, the girls and boys of that island
home, each carrying the story of their father's simple but beautiful
work and the remembrance of their mother's message.  Not one from that
home but did well his or her work in the world; some greater, some
smaller, but each left behind the traces of a life well spent.

And, as all good work is immortal, so to-day all over the world goes on
the influence of this one man and one woman, whose life on that little
Dutch island changed its barren rocks to a bower of verdure, a home for
the birds and the song of the nightingale.  The grandchildren have gone
to the four corners of the globe, and are now the generation of
workers--some in the far East Indies; others in Africa; still others in
our own land of America.  But each has tried, according to the talents
given, to carry out the message of that day, to tell the story of the
grandfather's work; just as it is told here by the author of this book,
who, in the efforts of his later years, has tried to carry out, so far
as opportunity has come to him, the message of his grandmother:

"Make you the world a bit more beautiful and better because you have
been in it."







The leviathan of the Atlantic Ocean, in 1870, was _The Queen_, and when
she was warped into her dock on September 20 of that year, she
discharged, among her passengers, a family of four from the Netherlands
who were to make an experiment of Americanization.

The father, a man bearing one of the most respected names in the
Netherlands, had acquired wealth and position for himself; unwise
investments, however, had swept away his fortune, and in preference to
a new start in his own land, he had decided to make the new beginning
in the United States, where a favorite brother-in-law had gone several
years before.  But that, never a simple matter for a man who has
reached forty-two, is particularly difficult for a foreigner in a
strange land.  This fact he and his wife were to find out.  The wife,
also carefully reared, had been accustomed to a scale of living which
she had now to abandon.  Her Americanization experiment was to compel
her, for the first time in her life, to become a housekeeper without
domestic help.  There were two boys: the elder, William, was eight and
a half years of age; the younger, in nineteen days from his
landing-date, was to celebrate his seventh birthday.

This younger boy was Edward William Bok.  He had, according to the
Dutch custom, two other names, but he had decided to leave those in the
Netherlands.  And the American public was, in later years, to omit for
him the "William."

Edward's first six days in the United States were spent in New York,
and then he was taken to Brooklyn, where he was destined to live for
nearly twenty years.

Thanks to the linguistic sense inherent in the Dutch, and to an
educational system that compels the study of languages, English was
already familiar to the father and mother.  But to the two sons, who
had barely learned the beginnings of their native tongue, the English
language was as a closed book.  It seemed a cruel decision of the
father to put his two boys into a public-school in Brooklyn, but he
argued that if they were to become Americans, the sooner they became
part of the life of the country and learned its language for
themselves, the better.  And so, without the ability to make known the
slightest want or to understand a single word, the morning after their
removal to Brooklyn, the two boys were taken by their father to a

The American public-school teacher was less well equipped in those days
than she is to-day to meet the needs of two Dutch boys who could not
understand a word she said, and who could only wonder what it was all
about.  The brothers did not even have the comfort of each other's
company, for, graded by age, they were placed in separate classes.

Nor was the American boy of 1870 a whit less cruel than is the American
boy of 1920; and he was none the less loath to show that cruelty.  This
trait was evident at the first recess of the first day at school.  At
the dismissal, the brothers naturally sought each other, only to find
themselves surrounded by a group of tormentors who were delighted to
have such promising objects for their fun.  And of this opportunity
they made the most.  There was no form of petty cruelty boys' minds
could devise that was not inflicted upon the two helpless strangers.
Edward seemed to look particularly inviting, and nicknaming him
"Dutchy" they devoted themselves at each noon recess and after school
to inflicting their cruelties upon him.

Louis XIV may have been right when he said that "every new language
requires a new soul," but Edward Bok knew that while spoken languages
might differ, there is one language understood by boys the world over.
And with this language Edward decided to do some experimenting.  After
a few days at school, he cast his eyes over the group of his
tormentors, picked out one who seemed to him the ringleader, and before
the boy was aware of what had happened, Edward Bok was in the full
swing of his first real experiment with Americanization.  Of course the
American boy retaliated.  But the boy from the Netherlands had not been
born and brought up in the muscle-building air of the Dutch dikes for
nothing, and after a few moments he found himself looking down on his
tormentor and into the eyes of a crowd of very respectful boys and
giggling girls, who readily made a passageway for his brother and
himself when they indicated a desire to leave the schoolyard and go

Edward now felt that his Americanization had begun; but, always
believing that a thing begun must be carried to a finish, he took, or
gave--it depends upon the point of view--two or three more lessons in
this particular phase of Americanization before he convinced these
American schoolboys that it might be best for them to call a halt upon
further excursions in torment.

At the best, they were difficult days at school for a boy of seven who
could not speak English.  Although the other children stopped teasing
Edward, they did not try to make the way easier for him.  America is
essentially a land of fair play, but it is not fair play for American
boys and girls to take advantage of a foreign child's unfamiliarity
with the language or our customs to annoy that child or to place
difficulties in his way.  When a foreign pupil with little knowledge of
the English language enters an American school the native-born boys and
girls in that school can accomplish a useful service in Americanization
by helping the newcomer, thus giving him a true idea of American
fairness at the start.  No doubt many American boys and girls gladly do
this little kindness for the young foreigner, but Edward Bok and his
brother suffered tortures at the hands of those who should have helped

Fortunately the linguistic gift inherent in the Dutch race came to
Edward's rescue in his attempt to master the English language.  He soon
noted many points of similarity between English and his native tongue;
by changing a vowel here and there he could make a familiar Dutch word
into a correct English word.  As both languages had developed from the
old Frisian tongue, the conquest of English did not prove as difficult
as he had expected.  At all events, he set out to master it.

[Illustration:  Edward Bok at the age of six, upon his arrival in the
United States.]

Edward was now confronted by a three-cornered problem.  Like all
healthy boys of his age he was fond of play and eager to join the boys
of his neighborhood in their pastimes after school hours.  He also
wanted to help his mother, which meant the washing of dishes, cleaning
the rooms in which the family then lived, and running various errands
for the needed household supplies.  Then, too, he was not progressing
as rapidly as he wished with his school studies, and he felt that he
ought to do everything in his power to take advantage of his
opportunity to get an education.

Methodically he worked out a plan which made it possible to accomplish
all three objects.  He planned that on one afternoon he should go
directly home from school to help his mother, and as soon as he had
finished the necessary chores that would make her life easier he would
be free to go out and play for the rest of that afternoon.  On the
following day he would remain in school for an extra hour after the
class had been dismissed and would get the teacher's help on any
lessons that were not clear to him.  When that task had been
accomplished he would still have part of that afternoon left for play.
He broached his plan for work at home and study at school on alternate
afternoons to his mother and his teacher.  Both approved of the idea
and agreed that it had been well thought out.

Thus Edward Bok learned early in life the valuable lesson of a wise
management of time.  Instead of attempting to accomplish various
results in some haphazard fashion, he planned to do only one thing at a
time, yet his plan was so comprehensive that it provided for the
necessary housework, study, and play--the three things that he wanted
to do and felt he should do.

As his evenings were also devoted to various tasks and duties, this
young American-to-be, by using each bit of spare time for some useful
purpose, became early in life the busy person that he has remained to
the present day.  Of Edward Bok it may truly be said that he began to
work, and to work hard, almost from the day he set foot on American
soil.  He has since realized that this is not the best thing for a
young boy, who should have liberal time for play in his life.  Of
course, Edward made the most of the short period that remained each
afternoon after his household duties or his extra studies at school,
and when he played it was with the same vim and energy with which he
worked.  He had little choice in the matter, but he often regrets
to-day that he did not have more time in his boyhood for play.

Like most boys, Edward wanted a little money now and then for spending,
but his mother was not always able to spare the pennies that he
desired.  So he had to fall back on his own resources to earn small
sums by running errands for neighbors and in other ways familiar to
boys of his age.  One day he came across an Italian who was earning
money in a rather unusual way.  This Italian would collect the
bright-colored pictures that adorned the labels of fruit and vegetable
cans.  He would paste these pictures into a scrap-book and sell it to a
mother as a picture-book for her children.  Edward saw that the
Italian's idea smacked of originality and he asked the man where he got
his pictures.

"From the cans I find on lots and in ash-barrels," was the reply.

"If you had more pictures, you could make more books and so earn more
money, couldn't you?" asked Edward, as an idea struck him.

"Yes," answered the Italian.

"How much will you give me if I bring you a hundred pictures?" asked

"A cent apiece," said the Italian.

"All right," agreed Edward.

The boy went to work at once, and in three days he had collected the
first hundred pictures, gave them to the Italian, and received his
first dollar.

"Now," said Edward, as he had visions of larger returns from his
efforts, "your books have pictures of only four or five kinds, like
apples, pears, tomatoes, and green peas.  How much will you give me for
pictures of special fruit which you haven't got, like apricots,
green-gages, and pineapples?"

"Two cents each," replied the Italian.

"No," bargained Edward.  "They're much harder to find than the others.
I'll get you some for three cents each."

"All right," said the vender, realizing that the boy was stating the
case correctly.

Edward had calculated that if he would search the vacant lots in back
of the homes of the well-to-do, where the servants followed the tidy
habit of throwing cans and refuse over the back fences, he would find
an assortment of canned-fruit labels different from those used by
persons of moderate means.  He made a visit to those places and found
the less familiar pictures just as he thought he would.  Thus he was
not only able to sell his labels to the Italian for three cents instead
of a cent apiece, but to give greater variety to the vender's

In this manner Edward Bok learned to make the most of his opportunities
even during his earliest years in America.



The elder Bok did not find his "lines cast in pleasant places" in the
United States.  He found himself, professionally, unable to adjust the
methods of his own land and of a lifetime to those of a new country.
As a result the fortunes of the transplanted family did not flourish,
and Edward soon saw his mother physically failing under burdens to
which her nature was not accustomed nor her hands trained.  Then he and
his brother decided to relieve their mother in the housework by rising
early in the morning, building the fire, preparing breakfast, and
washing the dishes before they went to school.  After school they gave
up their play hours, and swept and scrubbed, and helped their mother to
prepare the evening meal and wash the dishes afterward.  It was a
curious coincidence that it should fall upon Edward thus to get a
first-hand knowledge of woman's housework which was to stand him in
such practical stead in later years.

It was not easy for the parents to see their boys thus forced to do
work which only a short while before had been done by a retinue of
servants.  And the capstone of humiliation seemed to be when Edward and
his brother, after having for several mornings found no kindling wood
or coal to build the fire, decided to go out of evenings with a basket
and pick up what wood they could find in neighboring lots, and the bits
of coal spilled from the coal-bin of the grocery-store, or left on the
curbs before houses where coal had been delivered.  The mother
remonstrated with the boys, although in her heart she knew that the
necessity was upon them.  But Edward had been started upon his
Americanization career, and answered; "This is America, where one can
do anything if it is honest.  So long as we don't steal the wood or
coal, why shouldn't we get it?"  And, turning away, the saddened mother
said nothing.

But while the doing of these homely chores was very effective in
relieving the untrained and tired mother, it added little to the family
income.  Edward looked about and decided that the time had come for
him, young as he was, to begin some sort of wage-earning.  But how and
where?  The answer he found one afternoon when standing before the
shop-window of a baker in the neighborhood.  The owner of the bakery,
who had just placed in the window a series of trays filled with buns,
tarts, and pies, came outside to look at the display.  He found the
hungry boy wistfully regarding the tempting-looking wares.

"Look pretty good, don't they?" asked the baker.

"They would," answered the Dutch boy with his national passion for
cleanliness, "if your window were clean."

"That's so, too," mused the baker.  "Perhaps you'll clean it."

"I will," was the laconic reply.  And Edward Bok, there and then, got
his first job.  He went in, found a step-ladder, and put so much Dutch
energy into the cleaning of the large show-window that the baker
immediately arranged with him to clean it every Tuesday and Friday
afternoon after school.  The salary was to be fifty cents per week!

But one day, after he had finished cleaning the window, and the baker
was busy in the rear of the store, a customer came in, and Edward
ventured to wait on her.  Dexterously he wrapped up for another the
fragrant currant-buns for which his young soul--and stomach--so
hungered!  The baker watched him, saw how quickly and smilingly he
served the customer, and offered Edward an extra dollar per week if he
would come in afternoons and sell behind the counter.  He immediately
entered into the bargain with the understanding that, in addition to
his salary of a dollar and a half per week, he should each afternoon
carry home from the good things unsold a moderate something as a
present to his mother.  The baker agreed, and Edward promised to come
each afternoon except Saturday.

"Want to play ball, hey?" said the baker.

"Yes, I want to play ball," replied the boy, but he was not reserving
his Saturday afternoons for games, although, boy-like, that might be
his preference.

Edward now took on for each Saturday morning--when, of course, there
was no school--the delivery route of a weekly paper called the _South
Brooklyn Advocate_.  He had offered to deliver the entire neighborhood
edition of the paper for one dollar, thus increasing his earning
capacity to two dollars and a half per week.

Transportation, in those days in Brooklyn, was by horse-cars, and the
car-line on Smith Street nearest Edward's home ran to Coney Island.
Just around the corner where Edward lived the cars stopped to water the
horses on their long haul.  The boy noticed that the men jumped from
the open cars in summer, ran into the cigar-store before which the
watering-trough was placed, and got a drink of water from the
ice-cooler placed near the door.  But that was not so easily possible
for the women and the children, who were forced to take the long ride
without a drink.  It was this that he had in mind when he reserved his
Saturday afternoon to "play ball."

Here was an opening, and Edward decided to fill it.  He bought a
shining new pail, screwed three hooks on the edge from which he hung
three clean shimmering glasses, and one Saturday afternoon when a car
stopped the boy leaped on, tactfully asked the conductor if he did not
want a drink, and then proceeded to sell his water, cooled with ice, at
a cent a glass to the passengers.  A little experience showed that he
exhausted a pail with every two cars, and each pail netted him thirty
cents.  Of course Sunday was a most profitable day; and after going to
Sunday-school in the morning, he did a further Sabbath service for the
rest of the day by refreshing tired mothers and thirsty children on the
Coney Island cars--at a penny a glass!

But the profit of six dollars which Edward was now reaping in his newly
found "bonanza" on Saturday and Sunday afternoons became apparent to
other boys, and one Saturday the young ice-water boy found that he had
a competitor; then two and soon three.  Edward immediately met the
challenge; he squeezed half a dozen lemons into each pail of water,
added some sugar, tripled his charge, and continued his monopoly by
selling "Lemonade, three cents a glass."  Soon more passengers were
asking for lemonade than for plain drinking-water!

One evening Edward went to a party of young people, and his latent
journalistic sense whispered to him that his young hostess might like
to see her social affair in print.  He went home, wrote up the party,
being careful to include the name of every boy and girl present, and
next morning took the account to the city editor of the _Brooklyn
Eagle_, with the sage observation that every name mentioned in that
paragraph represented a buyer of the paper, who would like to see his
or her name in print, and that if the editor had enough of these
reports he might very advantageously strengthen the circulation of _The
Eagle_.  The editor was not slow to see the point, and offered Edward
three dollars a column for such reports.  On his way home, Edward
calculated how many parties he would have to attend a week to furnish a
column, and decided that he would organize a corps of private reporters
himself.  Forthwith, he saw every girl and boy he knew, got each to
promise to write for him an account of each party he or she attended or
gave, and laid great stress on a full recital of names.  Within a few
weeks, Edward was turning in to _The Eagle_ from two to three columns a
week; his pay was raised to four dollars a column; the editor was
pleased in having started a department that no other paper carried, and
the "among those present" at the parties all bought the paper and were
immensely gratified to see their names.

So everybody was happy, and Edward Bok, as a full-fledged reporter, had
begun his journalistic career.

It is curious how deeply embedded in his nature, even in his earliest
years, was the inclination toward the publishing business.  The word
"curious" is used here because Edward is the first journalist in the
Bok family in all the centuries through which it extends in Dutch
history.  On his father's side, there was a succession of jurists.  On
the mother's side, not a journalist is visible.

Edward attended the Sunday-school of the Carroll Park Methodist
Episcopal Church, in Brooklyn, of which a Mr. Elkins was
superintendent.  One day he learned that Mr. Elkins was associated with
the publishing house of Harper and Brothers.  Edward had heard his
father speak of _Harper's Weekly_ and of the great part it had played
in the Civil War; his father also brought home an occasional copy of
_Harper's Weekly_ and of _Harper's Magazine_.  He had seen _Harper's
Young People_; the name of Harper and Brothers was on some of his
school-books; and he pictured in his mind how wonderful it must be for
a man to be associated with publishers of periodicals that other people
read, and books that other folks studied.  The Sunday-school
superintendent henceforth became a figure of importance in Edward's
eyes; many a morning the boy hastened from home long before the hour
for school, and seated himself on the steps of the Elkins house under
the pretext of waiting for Mr. Elkins's son to go to school, but really
for the secret purpose of seeing Mr. Elkins set forth to engage in the
momentous business of making books and periodicals.  Edward would look
after the superintendent's form until it was lost to view; then, with a
sigh, he would go to school, forgetting all about the Elkins boy whom
he had told the father he had come to call for!

But what with helping his mother, tending the baker's shop in
after-school hours, serving his paper route, plying his street-car
trade, and acting as social reporter, it soon became evident to Edward
that he had not much time to prepare his school lessons.  By a supreme
effort, he managed to hold his own in his class, but no more.
Instinctively, he felt that he was not getting all that he might from
his educational opportunities, yet the need for him to add to the
family income was, if anything, becoming greater.  The idea of leaving
school was broached to his mother, but she rebelled.  She told the boy
that he was earning something now and helping much.  Perhaps the tide
with the father would turn and he would find the place to which his
unquestioned talents entitled him.  Finally the father did.  He
associated himself with the Western Union Telegraph Company as
translator, a position for which his easy command of languages
admirably fitted him.  Thus, for a time, the strain upon the family
exchequer was lessened.

But the American spirit of initiative had entered deep into the soul of
Edward Bok.  The brother had left school a year before, and found a
place as messenger in a lawyer's office; and when one evening Edward
heard his father say that the office boy in his department had left, he
asked that he be allowed to leave school, apply for the open position,
and get the rest of his education in the great world itself.  It was
not easy for the parents to see the younger son leave school at so
early an age, but the earnestness of the boy prevailed.

And so, at the age of twelve, Edward Bok left school, and on Monday,
August 7, 1876, he became office boy in the electricians' department of
the Western Union Telegraph Company at six dollars and twenty-five
cents per week.

And, as such things will fall out in this curiously strange world, it
happened that as Edward drew up his chair for the first time to his
desk to begin his work on that Monday morning, there had been born in
Boston, exactly twelve hours before, a girl-baby who was destined to
become his wife.  Thus at the earliest possible moment after her birth,
Edward Bok started to work for her!



With school-days ended, the question of self-education became an
absorbing thought with Edward Bok.  He had mastered a schoolboy's
English, but six years of public-school education was hardly a basis on
which to build the work of a lifetime.  He saw each day in his duties
as office boy some of the foremost men of the time.  It was the period
of William H. Vanderbilt's ascendancy in Western Union control; and the
railroad millionnaire and his companions were objects of great interest
to the young office boy.  Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas A. Edison
were also constant visitors to the department.  He knew that some of
these men, too, had been deprived of the advantage of collegiate
training, and yet they had risen to the top.  But how?  The boy decided
to read about these men and others, and find out.  He could not,
however, afford the separate biographies, so he went to the libraries
to find a compendium that would authoritatively tell him of all
successful men.  He found it in Appleton's _Encyclopaedia_, and,
determining to have only the best, he saved his luncheon money, walked
instead of riding the five miles to his Brooklyn home, and, after a
period of saving, had his reward in the first purchase from his own
earnings: a set of the _Encyclopaedia_.  He now read about all the
successful men, and was encouraged to find that in many cases their
beginnings had been as modest as his own, and their opportunities of
education as limited.

One day it occurred to him to test the accuracy of the biographies he
was reading.  James A. Garfield was then spoken of for the presidency;
Edward wondered whether it was true that the man who was likely to be
President of the United States had once been a boy on the tow-path, and
with a simple directness characteristic of his Dutch training, wrote to
General Garfield, asking whether the boyhood episode was true, and
explaining why he asked.  Of course any public man, no matter how large
his correspondence, is pleased to receive an earnest letter from an
information-seeking boy.  General Garfield answered warmly and fully.
Edward showed the letter to his father, who told the boy that it was
valuable and he should keep it.  This was a new idea.  He followed it
further; if one such letter was valuable, how much more valuable would
be a hundred!  If General Garfield answered him, would not other famous
men?  Why not begin a collection of autograph letters?  Everybody
collected something.

Edward had collected postage-stamps, and the hobby had, incidentally,
helped him wonderfully in his study of geography.  Why should not
autograph letters from famous persons be of equal service in his
struggle for self-education?  Not simple autographs--they were
meaningless; but actual letters which might tell him something useful.
It never occurred to the boy that these men might not answer him.

So he took his _Encyclopaedia_--its trustworthiness now established in
his mind by General Garfield's letter---and began to study the lives of
successful men and women.  Then, with boyish frankness, he wrote on
some mooted question in one famous person's life; he asked about the
date of some important event in another's, not given in the
_Encyclopaedia_; or he asked one man why he did this or why some other
man did that.

Most interesting were, of course, the replies.  Thus General Grant
sketched on an improvised map the exact spot where General Lee
surrendered to him; Longfellow told him how he came to write
"Excelsior"; Whittier told the story of "The Barefoot Boy"; Tennyson
wrote out a stanza or two of "The Brook," upon condition that Edward
would not again use the word "awful," which the poet said "is slang for
'very,'" and "I hate slang."

One day the boy received a letter from the Confederate general, Jubal
A. Early, giving the real reason why he burned Chambersburg.  A friend
visiting Edward's father, happening to see the letter, recognized in it
a hitherto-missing bit of history, and suggested that it be published
in the _New York Tribune_.  The letter attracted wide attention and
provoked national discussion.

This suggested to the editor of _The Tribune_ that Edward might have
other equally interesting letters; so he despatched a reporter to the
boy's home.  This reporter was Ripley Hitchcock, who afterward became
literary adviser for the Appletons and Harpers.  Of course Hitchcock at
once saw a "story" in the boy's letters, and within a few days _The
Tribune_ appeared with a long article on its principal news page giving
an account of the Brooklyn boy's remarkable letters and how he had
secured them.  The _Brooklyn Eagle_ quickly followed with a request for
an interview; the _Boston Globe_ followed suit; the _Philadelphia
Public Ledger_ sent its New York correspondent; and before Edward was
aware of it, newspapers in different parts of the country were writing
about "the well-known Brooklyn autograph collector."

Edward Bok was quick to see the value of the publicity which had so
suddenly come to him.  He received letters from other autograph
collectors all over the country who sought to "exchange" with him.
References began to creep into letters from famous persons to whom he
had written, saying they had read about his wonderful collection and
were proud to be included in it.  George W. Childs, of Philadelphia,
himself the possessor of probably one of the finest collections of
autograph letters in the country, asked Edward to come to Philadelphia
and bring his collection with him--which he did, on the following
Sunday, and brought it back greatly enriched.

Several of the writers felt an interest in a boy who frankly told them
that he wanted to educate himself, and asked Edward to come and see
them.  Accordingly, when they lived in New York or Brooklyn, or came to
these cities on a visit, he was quick to avail himself of their
invitations.  He began to note each day in the newspapers the
"distinguished arrivals" at the New York hotels; and when any one with
whom he had corresponded arrived, Edward would, after business hours,
go up-town, pay his respects, and thank him in person for his letters.
No person was too high for Edward's boyish approach; President
Garfield, General Grant, General Sherman, President Hayes--all were
called upon, and all received the boy graciously and were interested in
the problem of his self-education.  It was a veritable case of making
friends on every hand; friends who were to be of the greatest help and
value to the boy in his after-years, although he had no conception of
it at the time.

The Fifth Avenue Hotel, in those days the stopping-place of the
majority of the famous men and women visiting New York, represented to
the young boy who came to see these celebrities the very pinnacle of
opulence.  Often while waiting to be received by some dignitary, he
wondered how one could acquire enough means to live at a place of such
luxury.  The main dining-room, to the boy's mind, was an object of
special interest.  He would purposely sneak up-stairs and sit on one of
the soft sofas in the foyer simply to see the well-dressed diners go in
and come out.  Edward would speculate on whether the time would ever
come when he could dine in that wonderful room just once!

One evening he called, after the close of business, upon General and
Mrs. Grant, whom he had met before, and who had expressed a desire to
see his collection.  It can readily be imagined what a red-letter day
it made in the boy's life to have General Grant say: "It might be
better for us all to go down to dinner first and see the collection
afterward."  Edward had purposely killed time between five and seven
o'clock, thinking that the general's dinner-hour, like his own, was at
six.  He had allowed an hour for the general to eat his dinner, only to
find that he was still to begin it.  The boy could hardly believe his
ears, and unable to find his voice, he failed to apologize for his
modest suit or his general after-business appearance.

As in a dream he went down in the elevator with his host and hostess,
and when the party of three faced toward the dining-room entrance, so
familiar to the boy, he felt as if his legs must give way under him.
There have since been other red-letter days in Edward Bok's life, but
the moment that still stands out pre-eminent is that when two colored
head waiters at the dining-room entrance, whom he had so often watched,
bowed low and escorted the party to their table.  At last he was in
that sumptuous dining-hall.  The entire room took on the picture of one
great eye, and that eye centred on the party of three--as, in fact, it
naturally would.  But Edward felt that the eye was on him, wondering
why he should be there.

What he ate and what he said he does not recall.  General Grant, not a
voluble talker himself, gently drew the boy out, and Mrs. Grant
seconded him, until toward the close of the dinner he heard himself
talking.  He remembers that he heard his voice, but what that voice
said is all dim to him.  One act stamped itself on his mind.  The
dinner ended with a wonderful dish of nuts and raisins, and just before
the party rose from the table Mrs. Grant asked the waiter to bring her
a paper bag.  Into this she emptied the entire dish, and at the close
of the evening she gave it to Edward "to eat on the way home."  It was
a wonderful evening, afterward up-stairs, General Grant smoking the
inevitable cigar, and telling stories as he read the letters of
different celebrities.  Over those of Confederate generals he grew
reminiscent; and when he came to a letter from General Sherman, Edward
remembers that he chuckled audibly, reread it, and then turning to Mrs.
Grant, said:

"Julia, listen to this from Sherman.  Not bad."  The letter he read was


I prefer not to make scraps of sentimental writing.  When I write
anything I want it to be real and connected in form, as, for instance,
in your quotation from Lord Lytton's play of "Richelieu," "The pen is
mightier than the sword."  Lord Lytton would never have put his
signature to so naked a sentiment.  Surely I will not.

In the text there was a prefix or qualification:

  Beneath the rule of men entirely great
  The pen is mightier than the sword.

Now, this world does not often present the condition of facts herein
described.  Men entirely great are very rare indeed, and even
Washington, who approached greatness as near as any mortal, found good
use for the sword and the pen, each in its proper sphere.

You and I have seen the day when a great and good man ruled this
country (Lincoln) who wielded a powerful and prolific pen, and yet had
to call to his assistance a million of flaming swords.

No, I cannot subscribe to your sentiment, "The pen is mightier than the
sword," which you ask me to write, because it is not true.

Rather, in the providence of God, there is a time for all things; a
time when the sword may cut the Gordian knot, and set free the
principles of right and justice, bound up in the meshes of hatred,
revenge, and tyranny, that the pens of mighty men like Clay, Webster,
Crittenden, and Lincoln were unable to disentangle.  Wishing you all
success, I am, with respect, your friend,         W. T. SHERMAN.

Mrs. Grant had asked Edward to send her a photograph of himself, and
after one had been taken, the boy took it to the Fifth Avenue Hotel,
intending to ask the clerk to send it to her room.  Instead, he met
General and Mrs. Grant just coming from the elevator, going out to
dinner.  The boy told them his errand, and said he would have the
photograph sent up-stairs.

"I am so sorry we are just going out to dinner," said Mrs. Grant, "for
the general had some excellent photographs just taken of himself, and
he signed one for you, and put it aside, intending to send it to you
when yours came."  Then, turning to the general, she said: "Ulysses,
send up for it.  We have a few moments."

"I'll go and get it.  I know just where it is," returned the general.
"Let me have yours," he said, turning to Edward.  "I am glad to
exchange photographs with you, boy."

To Edward's surprise, when the general returned he brought with him,
not a duplicate of the small _carte-de-visite_ size which he had given
the general--all that he could afford--but a large, full cabinet size.

"They make 'em too big," said the general, as he handed it to Edward.

But the boy didn't think so!

That evening was one that the boy was long to remember.  It suddenly
came to him that he had read a few days before of Mrs. Abraham
Lincoln's arrival in New York at Doctor Holbrook's sanitarium.  Thither
Edward went; and within half an hour from the time he had been talking
with General Grant he was sitting at the bedside of Mrs. Lincoln,
showing her the wonderful photograph just presented to him.  Edward saw
that the widow of the great Lincoln did not mentally respond to his
pleasure in his possession.  It was apparent even to the boy that
mental and physical illness had done their work with the frail frame.
But he had the memory, at least, of having got that close to the great

The eventful evening, however, was not yet over.  Edward had boarded a
Broadway stage to take him to his Brooklyn home when, glancing at the
newspaper of a man sitting next to him, he saw the headline: "Jefferson
Davis arrives in New York."  He read enough to see that the Confederate
President was stopping at the Metropolitan Hotel, in lower Broadway,
and as he looked out of the stage-window the sign "Metropolitan Hotel"
stared him in the face.  In a moment he was out of the stage; he wrote
a little note, asked the clerk to send it to Mr. Davis, and within five
minutes was talking to the Confederate President and telling of his
remarkable evening.

Mr. Davis was keenly interested in the coincidence and in the boy
before him.  He asked about the famous collection, and promised to
secure for Edward a letter written by each member of the Confederate
Cabinet.  This he subsequently did.  Edward remained with Mr. Davis
until ten o'clock, and that evening brought about an interchange of
letters between the Brooklyn boy and Mr. Davis at Beauvoir,
Mississippi, that lasted until the latter passed away.

Edward was fast absorbing a tremendous quantity of biographical
information about the most famous men and women of his time, and he was
compiling a collection of autograph letters that the newspapers had
made famous throughout the country.  He was ruminating over his
possessions one day, and wondering to what practical use he could put
his collection; for while it was proving educative to a wonderful
degree, it was, after all, a hobby, and a hobby means expense.  His
autograph quest cost him stationery, postage, car-fare--all outgo.  But
it had brought him no income, save a rich mental revenue.  And the boy
and his family needed money.  He did not know, then, the value of a

He was thinking along this line in a restaurant when a man sitting next
to him opened a box of cigarettes, and taking a picture out of it threw
it on the floor.  Edward picked it up, thinking it might be a
"prospect" for his collection of autograph letters.  It was the picture
of a well-known actress.  He then recalled an advertisement announcing
that this particular brand of cigarettes contained, in each package, a
lithographed portrait of some famous actor or actress, and that if the
purchaser would collect these he would, in the end, have a valuable
album of the greatest actors and actresses of the day.  Edward turned
the picture over, only to find a blank reverse side.  "All very well,"
he thought, "but what does a purchaser have, after all, in the end, but
a lot of pictures?  Why don't they use the back of each picture, and
tell what each did: a little biography?  Then it would be worth
keeping."  With his passion for self-education, the idea appealed very
strongly to him; and believing firmly that there were others possessed
of the same thirst, he set out the next day, in his luncheon hour, to
find out who made the picture.

At the office of the cigarette company he learned that the making of
the pictures was in the hands of the Knapp Lithographic Company.  The
following luncheon hour, Edward sought the offices of the company, and
explained his idea to Mr. Joseph P. Knapp, now the president of the
American Lithograph Company.

"I'll give you ten dollars apiece if you will write me a
one-hundred-word biography of one hundred famous Americans," was Mr.
Knapp's instant reply.  "Send me a list, and group them, as, for
instance: presidents and vice-presidents, famous soldiers, actors,
authors, etc."

"And thus," says Mr. Knapp, as he tells the tale today, "I gave Edward
Bok his first literary commission, and started him off on his literary

And it is true.

But Edward soon found the Lithograph Company calling for "copy," and,
write as he might, he could not supply the biographies fast enough.
He, at last, completed the first hundred, and so instantaneous was
their success that Mr. Knapp called for a second hundred, and then for
a third.  Finding that one hand was not equal to the task, Edward
offered his brother five dollars for each biography; he made the same
offer to one or two journalists whom he knew and whose accuracy he
could trust; and he was speedily convinced that merely to edit
biographies written by others, at one-half the price paid to him, was
more profitable than to write himself.

So with five journalists working at top speed to supply the hungry
lithograph presses, Mr. Knapp was likewise responsible for Edward Bok's
first adventure as an editor.  It was commercial, if you will, but it
was a commercial editing that had a distinct educational value to a
large public.

The important point is that Edward Bok was being led more and more to
writing and to editorship.



Edward Bok had not been office boy long before he realized that if he
learned shorthand he would stand a better chance for advancement.  So
he joined the Young Men's Christian Association in Brooklyn, and
entered the class in stenography.  But as this class met only twice a
week, Edward, impatient to learn the art of "pothooks" as quickly as
possible, supplemented this instruction by a course given on two other
evenings at moderate cost by a Brooklyn business college.  As the
system taught in both classes was the same, more rapid progress was
possible, and the two teachers were constantly surprised that he
acquired the art so much more quickly than the other students.

Before many weeks Edward could "stenograph" fairly well, and as the
typewriter had not then come into its own, he was ready to put his
knowledge to practical use.

An opportunity offered itself when the city editor of the _Brooklyn
Eagle_ asked him to report two speeches at a New England Society
dinner.  The speakers were to be President Hayes, General Grant,
General Sherman, Mr. Evarts, and General Sheridan.  Edward was to
report what General Grant and the President said, and was instructed to
give the President's speech verbatim.

At the close of the dinner, the reporters came in and Edward was seated
directly in front of the President.  In those days when a public dinner
included several kinds of wine, it was the custom to serve the
reporters with wine, and as the glasses were placed before Edward's
plate he realized that he had to make a decision then and there.  He
had, of course, constantly seen wine on his father's table, as is the
European custom, but the boy had never tasted it.  He decided he would
not begin then, when he needed a clear head.  So, in order to get more
room for his notebook, he asked the waiter to remove the glasses.

It was the first time he bad ever attempted to report a public address.
General Grant's remarks were few, as usual, and as he spoke slowly, he
gave the young reporter no trouble.  But alas for his stenographic
knowledge, when President Hayes began to speak!  Edward worked hard,
but the President was too rapid for him; he did not get the speech, and
he noticed that the reporters for the other papers fared no better.
Nothing daunted, however, after the speechmaking, Edward resolutely
sought the President, and as the latter turned to him, he told him his
plight, explained it was his first important "assignment," and asked if
he could possibly be given a copy of the speech so that he could "beat"
the other papers.

The President looked at him curiously for a moment, and then said: "Can
you wait a few minutes?"

Edward assured him that he could.

After fifteen minutes or so the President came up to where the boy was
waiting, and said abruptly:

"Tell me, my boy, why did you have the wine-glasses removed from your

Edward was completely taken aback at the question, but he explained his
resolution as well as he could.

"Did you make that decision this evening?" the President asked.

He had.

"What is your name?" the President next inquired.

He was told.

"And you live, where?"

Edward told him.

"Suppose you write your name and address on this card for me," said the
President, reaching for one of the placecards on the table.

The boy did so.

"Now, I am stopping with Mr. A. A. Low, on Columbia Heights.  Is that
in the direction of your home?"

It was.

"Suppose you go with me, then, in my carriage," said the President,
"and I will give you my speech."

Edward was not quite sure now whether he was on his head or his feet.

As he drove along with the President and his host, the President asked
the boy about himself, what he was doing, etc.  On arriving at Mr.
Low's house, the President went up-stairs, and in a few moments came
down with his speech in full, written in his own hand.  Edward assured
him he would copy it, and return the manuscript in the morning.

The President took out his watch.  It was then after midnight.  Musing
a moment, he said: "You say you are an office boy; what time must you
be at your office?"

"Half past eight, sir."

"Well, good night," he said, and then, as if it were a second thought:
"By the way, I can get another copy of the speech.  Just turn that in
as it is, if they can read it."

Afterward, Edward found out that, as a matter of fact, it was the
President's only copy.  Though the boy did not then appreciate this act
of consideration, his instinct fortunately led him to copy the speech
and leave the original at the President's stopping-place in the morning.

And for all his trouble, the young reporter was amply repaid by seeing
that _The Eagle_ was the only paper which had a verbatim report of the
President's speech.

But the day was not yet done!

That evening, upon reaching home, what was the boy's astonishment to
find the following note:


I have been telling Mrs. Hayes this morning of what you told me at the
dinner last evening, and she was very much interested.  She would like
to see you, and joins me in asking if you will call upon us this
evening at eight-thirty.

Very faithfully yours,


Edward had not risen to the possession of a suit of evening clothes,
and distinctly felt its lack for this occasion.  But, dressed in the
best he had, he set out, at eight o'clock, to call on the President of
the United States and his wife!

He had no sooner handed his card to the butler than that dignitary,
looking at it, announced: "The President and Mrs. Hayes are waiting for
you!"  The ring of those magic words still sounds in Edward's ears:
"The President and Mrs. Hayes are waiting for you!"--and he a boy of

Edward had not been in the room ten minutes before he was made to feel
as thoroughly at ease as if he were sitting in his own home before an
open fire with his father and mother.  Skilfully the President drew
from him the story of his youthful hopes and ambitions, and before the
boy knew it he was telling the President and his wife all about his
precious _Encyclopaedia_, his evening with General Grant, and his
efforts to become something more than an office boy.  No boy had ever
so gracious a listener before; no mother could have been more tenderly
motherly than the woman who sat opposite him and seemed so honestly
interested in all that he told.  Not for a moment during all those two
hours was he allowed to remember that his host and hostess were the
President of the United States and the first lady of the land!

That evening was the first of many thus spent as the years rolled by;
unexpected little courtesies came from the White House, and later from
"Spiegel Grove"; a constant and unflagging interest followed each
undertaking on which the boy embarked.  Opportunities were opened to
him; acquaintances were made possible; a letter came almost every month
until that last little note, late in 1892:


I would write you more fully if I could.  You are always thoughtful and

Thankfully your friend,


Thanks--thanks for your steady friendship.

The simple act of turning down his wine-glasses had won for Edward Bok
two gracious friends.

The passion for autograph collecting was now leading Edward to read the
authors whom he read about.  He had become attached to the works of the
New England group: Longfellow, Holmes, and, particularly, of Emerson.
The philosophy of the Concord sage made a peculiarly strong appeal to
the young mind, and a small copy of Emerson's essays was always in
Edward's pocket on his long stage or horse-car rides to his office and

He noticed that these New England authors rarely visited New York, or,
if they did, their presence was not heralded by the newspapers among
the "distinguished arrivals."  He had a great desire personally to meet
these writers; and, having saved a little money, he decided to take his
week's summer vacation in the winter, when he knew he should be more
likely to find the people of his quest at home, and to spend his
savings on a trip to Boston.  He had never been so far away from home,
so this trip was a momentous affair.

He arrived in Boston on Sunday evening; and the first thing he did was
to despatch a note, by messenger, to Doctor Oliver Wendell Holmes,
announcing the important fact that he was there, and what his errand
was, and asking whether he might come up and see Doctor Holmes any time
the next day.  Edward naïvely told him that he could come as early as
Doctor Holmes liked--by breakfast-time, he was assured, as Edward was
all alone!  Doctor Holmes's amusement at this ingenuous note may be

Within the hour the messenger brought back this answer:


I shall certainly look for you to-morrow morning at eight o'clock to
have a piece of pie with me.  That is real New England, you know.

Very cordially yours,


Edward was there at eight o'clock.  Strictly speaking, he was there at
seven-thirty, and found the author already at his desk in that room
overlooking the Charles River.

"Well," was the cheery greeting, "you couldn't wait until eight for
your breakfast, could you?  Neither could I when I was a boy.  I used
to have my breakfast at seven," and then telling the boy all about his
boyhood, the cheery poet led him to the dining-room, and for the first
time he breakfasted away from home and ate pie--and that with "The
Autocrat" at his own breakfast-table!

A cosier time no boy could have had.  Just the two were there, and the
smiling face that looked out over the plates and cups gave the boy
courage to tell all that this trip was going to mean to him.

"And you have come on just to see us, have you?" chuckled the poet.
"Now, tell me, what good do you think you will get out of it?"

He was told what the idea was: that every successful man had something
to tell a boy, that would be likely to help him, and that Edward wanted
to see the men who had written the books that people enjoyed.  Doctor
Holmes could not conceal his amusement at all this.

When breakfast was finished, Doctor Holmes said: "Do you know that I am
a full-fledged carpenter?  No?  Well, I am.  Come into my

And he led the way into a front-basement room where was a complete
carpenter's outfit.

"You know I am a doctor," he explained, "and this shop is my medicine.
I believe that every man must have a hobby that is as different from
his regular work as it is possible to be.  It is not good for a man to
work all the time at one thing.  So this is my hobby.  This is my
change.  I like to putter away at these things.  Every day I try to
come down here for an hour or so.  It rests me because it gives my mind
a complete change.  For, whether you believe it or not," he added with
his inimitable chuckle, "to make a poem and to make a chair are two
very different things.

"Now," he continued, "if you think you can learn something from me,
learn that and remember it when you are a man.  Don't keep always at
your business, whatever it may be.  It makes no difference how much you
like it.  The more you like it, the more dangerous it is.  When you
grow up you will understand what I mean by an 'outlet'--a hobby, that
is--in your life, and it must be so different from your regular work
that it will take your thoughts into an entirely different direction.
We doctors call it a safety-valve, and it is.  I would much rather,"
concluded the poet, "you would forget all that I have ever written than
that you should forget what I tell you about having a safety-valve."

"And now do you know," smilingly said the poet, "about the Charles
River here?" as they returned to his study and stood before the large
bay window.  "I love this river," he said.  "Yes, I love it," he
repeated; "love it in summer or in winter."  And then he was quiet for
a minute or so.

Edward asked him which of his poems were his favorites.

"Well," he said musingly, "I think 'The Chambered Nautilus' is my most
finished piece of work, and I suppose it is my favorite.  But there are
also 'The Voiceless,' 'My Aviary,' written at this window, 'The Battle
of Bunker Hill,' and 'Dorothy Q,' written to the portrait of my
great-grandmother which you see on the wall there.  All these I have a
liking for, and when I speak of the poems I like best there are two
others that ought to be included--'The Silent Melody' and 'The Last
Leaf.'  I think these are among my best."'

"What is the history of 'The Chambered Nautilus'?" Edward asked.

"It has none," came the reply, "it wrote itself.  So, too, did 'The
One-Hoss Shay.'  That was one of those random conceptions that gallop
through the brain, and that you catch by the bridle.  I caught it and
reined it.  That is all."

Just then a maid brought in a parcel, and as Doctor Holmes opened it on
his desk he smiled over at the boy and said:

"Well, I declare, if you haven't come just at the right time.  See
those little books?  Aren't they wee?" and he handed the boy a set of
three little books, six inches by four in size, beautifully bound in
half levant.  They were his "Autocrat" in one volume, and his
better-known poems in two volumes.

"This is a little fancy of mine," he said.  "My publishers, to please
me, have gotten out this tiny wee set.  And here," as he counted the
little sets, "they have sent me six sets.  Are they not exquisite
little things?" and he fondled them with loving glee.  "Lucky, too, for
me that they should happen to come now, for I have been wondering what
I could give you as a souvenir of your visit to me, and here it is,
sure enough!  My publishers must have guessed you were here and my mind
at the same time.  Now, if you would like it, you shall carry home one
of these little sets, and I'll just write a piece from one of my poems
and your name on the fly-leaf of each volume.  You say you like that
little verse:

  "'A few can touch the magic string.'

"Then I'll write those four lines in this volume."  And he did.

  "A few can touch the magic string,
    And noisy Fame is proud to win them,--
  Alas for those who never sing,
    But die with all their music in them!"

As each little volume went under the poet's pen Edward said, as his
heart swelled in gratitude:

"Doctor Holmes, you are a man of the rarest sort to be so good to a

The pen stopped, the poet looked out on the Charles a moment, and then,
turning to the boy with a little moisture in his eye, he said:

"No, my boy, I am not; but it does an old man's heart good to hear you
say it.  It means much to those on the down-hill side to be well
thought of by the young who are coming up."

As he wiped his gold pen, with its swan-quill holder, and laid it down,
he said:

"That's the pen with which I wrote 'Elsie Venner' and the 'Autocrat'
papers.  I try to take care of it."

"You say you are going from me over to see Longfellow?" he continued,
as he reached out once more for the pen.  "Well, then, would you mind
if I gave you a letter for him?  I have something to send him."

Sly but kindly old gentleman!  The "something" he had to send
Longfellow was Edward himself, although the boy did not see through the
subterfuge at that time.

"And now, if you are going, I'll walk along with you if you don't mind,
for I'm going down to Park Street to thank my publishers for these
little books, and that lies along your way to the Cambridge car."

As the two walked along Beacon Street, Doctor Holmes pointed out the
residences where lived people of interest, and when they reached the
Public Garden he said:

"You must come over in the spring some time, and see the tulips and
croci and hyacinths here.  They are so beautiful.

"Now, here is your car," he said as he hailed a coming horse-car.
"Before you go back you must come and see me and tell me all the people
you have seen, will you?  I should like to hear about them.  I may not
have more books coming in, but I might have a very good-looking
photograph of a very old-looking little man," he said as his eyes
twinkled.  "Give my love to Longfellow when you see him, and don't
forget to give him my letter, you know.  It is about a very important

And when the boy had ridden a mile or so with his fare in his hand he
held it out to the conductor, who grinned and said:

"That's all right.  Doctor Holmes paid me your fare, and I'm going to
keep that nickel if I lose my job for it."



When Edward Bok stood before the home of Longfellow, he realized that
he was to see the man around whose head the boy's youthful reading had
cast a sort of halo.  And when he saw the head itself he had a feeling
that he could see the halo.  No kindlier pair of eyes ever looked at a
boy, as, with a smile, "the white Mr. Longfellow," as Mr. Howells had
called him, held out his hand.

"I am very glad to see you, my boy," were his first words, and with
them he won the boy.  Edward smiled back at the poet, and immediately
the two were friends.

"I have been taking a walk this beautiful morning," he said next, "and
am a little late getting at my mail.  Suppose you come in and sit at my
desk with me, and we will see what the postman has brought.  He brings
me so many good things, you know."

"Now, here is a little girl," he said, as he sat down at the desk with
the boy beside him, "who wants my autograph and a 'sentiment.'  What
sentiment, I wonder, shall I send her?"

"Why not send her 'Let us, then, be up and doing'?" suggested the boy.
"That's what I should like if I were she."

"Should you, indeed?" said Longfellow.  "That is a good suggestion.
Now, suppose you recite it off to me, so that I shall not have to look
it up in my books, and I will write as you recite.  But slowly; you,
know I am an old man, and write slowly."

Edward thought it strange that Longfellow himself should not know his
own great words without looking them up.  But he recited the four
lines, so familiar to every schoolboy, and when the poet had finished
writing them, he said:

"Good!  I see you have a memory.  Now, suppose I copy these lines once
more for the little girl, and give you this copy?  Then you can say,
you know, that you dictated my own poetry to me."

Of course Edward was delighted, and Longfellow gave him the sheet on
which he had written:

  Let us, then, be up and doing,
    With a heart, for any fate;
  Still achieving, still pursuing,
    Learn to labor and to wait.
                          HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.

Then, as the fine head bent down to copy the lines once more, Edward
ventured to say to him;

"I should think it would keep you busy if you did this for every one
who asked you."

"Well," said the poet, "you see, I am not so busy a man as I was some
years ago, and I shouldn't like to disappoint a little girl, should

As he took up his letters again, he discovered five more requests for
his autograph.  At each one he reached into a drawer in his desk, took
a card, and wrote his name on it.

"There are a good many of these every day," said Longfellow, "but I
always like to do this little favor.  It is so little to do, to write
your name on a card; and if I didn't do it some boy or girl might be
looking, day by day, for the postman and be disappointed.  I only wish
I could write my name better for them.  You see how I break my letters?
That's because I never took pains with my writing when I was a boy.  I
don't think I should get a high mark for penmanship if I were at
school, do you?"

"I see you get letters from Europe," said the boy, as Longfellow opened
an envelope with a foreign stamp on it.

"Yes, from all over the world," said the poet.  Then, looking at the
boy quickly, he said: "Do you collect postage-stamps?"

Edward said he did.

"Well, I have some right here, then;" and going to a drawer in a desk
he took out a bundle of letters, and cut out the postage-stamps and
gave them to the boy.

"There's one from the Netherlands.  There's where I was born," Edward
ventured to say.

"In the Netherlands?  Then you are a real Dutchman.  Well!  Well!" he
said, laying down his pen.  "Can you read Dutch?"

The boy said he could.

"Then," said the poet, "you are just the boy I am looking for."  And
going to a bookcase behind him he brought out a book, and handing it to
the boy, he said, his eyes laughing: "Can you read that?"

"Yes, indeed," said Edward.  "These are your poems in Dutch."

"That's right," he said.  "Now, this is delightful.  I am so glad you
came.  I received this book last week, and although I have been in the
Netherlands, I cannot speak or read Dutch.  I wonder whether you would
read a poem to me and let me hear how it sounds."

So Edward took "The Old Clock on the Stairs," and read it to him.

The poet's face beamed with delight.  "That's beautiful," he said, and
then quickly added: "I mean the language, not the poem."

"Now," he went on, "I'll tell you what we'll do: we'll strike a
bargain.  We Yankees are great for bargains, you know.  If you will
read me 'The Village Blacksmith' you can sit in that chair there made
out of the wood of the old spreading chestnut-tree, and I'll take you
out and show you where the old shop stood.  Is that a bargain?"

Edward assured him it was.  He sat in the chair of wood and leather,
and read to the poet several of his own poems in a language in which,
when he wrote them, he never dreamed they would ever be printed.  He
was very quiet.  Finally he said: "It seems so odd, so very odd, to
hear something you know so well sound so strange."

"It's a great compliment, though, isn't it, sir?" asked the boy.

"Ye-es," said the poet slowly.  "Yes, yes," he added quickly.  "It is,
my boy, a very great compliment."

"Ah," he said, rousing himself, as a maid appeared, "that means
luncheon, or rather, it means dinner, for we have dinner in the old New
England fashion, in the middle of the day.  I am all alone to-day, and
you must keep me company, will you?  Then afterward we'll go and take a
walk, and I'll show you Cambridge.  It is such a beautiful old town,
even more beautiful, I sometimes think, when the leaves are off the

[Illustration: Edward Bok's birthplace at Helder, Netherlands.  In the
foreground is one of the typical Dutch canals; at the end of the garden
in the rear is one of the famous Dutch dykes and just beyond is the
North Sea.  The house now belongs to the Dutch Government.]

"Come," he said, "I'll take you up-stairs, and you can wash your hands
in the room where George Washington slept.  And comb your hair, too, if
you want to," he added; "only it isn't the same comb that he used."

To the boyish mind it was an historic breaking of bread, that midday
meal with Longfellow.

"Can you say grace in Dutch?" he asked, as they sat down; and the boy

"Well," the poet declared, "I never expected to hear that at my table.
I like the sound of it."

Then while the boy told all that he knew about the Netherlands, the
poet told the boy all about his poems.  Edward said he liked "Hiawatha."

"So do I," he said.  "But I think I like 'Evangeline' better.  Still,
neither one is as good as it should be.  But those are the things you
see afterward so much better than you do at the time."

It was a great event for Edward when, with the poet nodding and smiling
to every boy and man he met, and lifting his hat to every woman and
little girl, he walked through the fine old streets of Cambridge with
Longfellow.  At one point of the walk they came to a theatrical
billboard announcing an attraction that evening at the Boston Theatre.
Skilfully the old poet drew out from Edward that sometimes he went to
the theatre with his parents.  As they returned to the gate of "Craigie
House" Edward said he thought he would go back to Boston.

"And what have you on hand for this evening?" asked Longfellow.

Edward told him he was going to his hotel to think over the day's

The poet laughed and said:

"Now, listen to my plan.  Boston is strange to you.  Now we're going to
the theatre this evening, and my plan is that you come in now, have a
little supper with us, and then go with us to see the play.  It is a
funny play, and a good laugh will do you more good than to sit in a
hotel all by yourself.  Now, what do you think?"

Of course the boy thought as Longfellow did, and it was a very happy
boy that evening who, in full view of the large audience in the immense
theatre, sat in that box.  It was, as Longfellow had said, a play of
laughter, and just who laughed louder, the poet or the boy, neither
ever knew.

Between the acts there came into the box a man of courtly presence,
dignified and yet gently courteous.

"Ah!  Phillips," said the poet, "how are you?  You must know my young
friend here.  This is Wendell Phillips, my boy.  Here is a young man
who told me to-day that he was going to call on you and on Phillips
Brooks to-morrow.  Now you know him before he comes to you."

"I shall be glad to see you, my boy," said Mr. Phillips.  "And so you
are going to see Phillips Brooks?  Let me tell you something about
Brooks.  He has a great many books in his library which are full of his
marks and comments.  Now, when you go to see him you ask him to let you
see some of those books, and then, when he isn't looking, you put a
couple of them in your pocket.  They would make splendid souvenirs, and
he has so many he would never miss them.  You do it, and then when you
come to see me tell me all about it."

And he and Longfellow smiled broadly.

An hour later, when Longfellow dropped Edward at his hotel, he had not
only a wonderful day to think over but another wonderful day to look
forward to as well!

He had breakfasted with Oliver Wendell Holmes; dined, supped, and been
to the theatre with Longfellow; and tomorrow he was to spend with
Phillips Brooks.

Boston was a great place, Edward Bok thought, as he fell asleep.



No one who called at Phillips Brooks's house was ever told that the
master of the house was out when he was in.  That was a rule laid down
by Doctor Brooks: a maid was not to perjure herself for her master's
comfort or convenience.  Therefore, when Edward was told that Doctor
Brooks was out, he knew he was out.  The boy waited, and as he waited
he had a chance to look around the library and into the books.  The
rector's faithful housekeeper said he might when he repeated what
Wendell Phillips had told him of the interest that was to be found in
her master's books.  Edward did not tell her of Mr. Phillips's advice,
to "borrow" a couple of books.  He reserved that bit of information for
the rector of Trinity when he came in, an hour later.

"Oh! did he?" laughingly said Doctor Brooks.  "That is nice advice for
a man to give a boy.  I am surprised at Wendell Phillips.  He needs a
little talk: a ministerial visit.  And have you followed his shameless
advice?" smilingly asked the huge man as he towered above the boy.
"No?  And to think of the opportunity you had, too.  Well, I am glad
you had such respect for my dumb friends.  For they are my friends,
each one of them," he continued, as he looked fondly at the filled
shelves.  "Yes, I know them all, and love each for its own sake.  Take
this little volume," and he picked up a little volume of Shakespeare.
"Why, we are the best of friends: we have travelled miles together--all
over the world, as a matter of fact.  It knows me in all my moods, and
responds to each, no matter how irritable I am.  Yes, it is pretty
badly marked up now, for a fact, isn't it?  Black; I never thought of
that before that it doesn't make a book look any better to the eye.
But it means more to me because of all that pencilling.

"Now, some folks dislike my use of my books in this way.  They love
their books so much that they think it nothing short of sacrilege to
mark up a book.  But to me, that's like having a child so prettily
dressed that you can't romp and play with it.  What is the good of a
book, I say, if it is too pretty for use?  I like to have my books
speak to me, and then I like to talk back to them.

"Take my Bible, here," he continued, as he took up an old and much-worn
copy of the book.  "I have a number of copies of the Great Book: one
copy I preach from; another I minister from; but this is my own
personal copy, and into it I talk and talk.  See how I talk," and he
opened the Book and showed interleaved pages full of comments in his
handwriting.  "There's where St. Paul and I had an argument one day.
Yes, it was a long argument, and I don't know now who won," he added
smilingly.  "But then, no one ever wins in an argument, anyway, do you
think so?

"You see," went on the preacher, "I put into these books what other men
put into articles and essays for magazines and papers.  I never write
for publications.  I always think of my church when something comes to
me to say.  There is always danger of a man spreading himself out thin
if he attempts too much, you know."

Doctor Brooks, must have caught the boy's eye, which, as he said this,
naturally surveyed his great frame, for he regarded him in an amused
way, and putting his hands on his girth, he said laughingly; "You are
thinking I would have to do a great deal to spread myself out thin,
aren't you?"

The boy confessed he was, and the preacher laughed one of those deep
laughs of his that were so infectious.

"But here I am talking about myself.  Tell me something about

And when the boy told his object in coming to Boston, the rector of
Trinity Church was immensely amused.

"Just to see us fellows!  Well, and how do you like us so far?"

And in the most comfortable way this true gentleman went on until the
boy mentioned that he must be keeping him from his work.

"Not at all; not at all," was the quick and hearty response.  "Not a
thing to do.  I cleaned up all my mail before I had my breakfast this

"These letters, you mean?" he said, as the boy pointed to some letters
on his desk unopened.  "Oh, yes!  They must have come in a later mail.
Well, if it will make you feel any better I'll go through them, and you
can go through my books if you like.  I'll trust you," he added
laughingly, as Wendell Phillips's advice occurred to him.

"You like books, you say?" he went on, as he opened his letters.
"Well, then, you must come into my library here at any time you are in
Boston, and spend a morning reading anything I have that you like.
Young men do that, you know, and I like to have them.  What's the use
of good friends if you don't share them?  There's where the pleasure
comes in."

He asked the boy then about his newspaper work, how much it paid him,
and whether he felt it helped him in an educational way.  The boy told
him he thought it did; that it furnished good lessons in the study of
human nature.  "Yes," he said, "I, can believe that, so long as it is
good journalism."

As he let the boy out of his house, at the end of that first, meeting,
he said to him:

"And you're going from me now to see Emerson?  I don't know," he added
reflectively, "whether you will see him at his best.  Still, you may.
And even if you do not, to have seen him, even as you may see him, is
better, in a way, than not to have seen him at all."

Edward did not know what Phillips Brooks meant.  But he was, sadly, to
find out the next day.

A boy was pretty sure of a welcome from Louisa Alcott, and his greeting
from her was spontaneous and sincere.

"Why, you good boy," she said, "to come all the way to Concord to see
us," quite for all the world as if she were the one favored.  "Now take
your coat off, and come right in by the fire.  Do tell me all about
your visit."

Before that cozy fire they chatted.  It was pleasant to the boy to sit
there with that sweet-faced woman with those kindly eyes!  After a
while she said: "Now I shall put on my coat and hat, and we shall walk
over to Emerson's house.  I am almost afraid to promise that you will
see him.  He sees scarcely any one now.  He is feeble, and--"  She did
not finish the sentence.  "But we'll walk over there, at any rate."

She spoke mostly of her father as the two walked along, and it was easy
to see that his condition was now the one thought of her life.
Presently they reached Emerson's house, and Miss Emerson welcomed them
at the door.  After a brief chat Miss Alcott told of the boy's hope.
Miss Emerson shook her head.

"Father sees no one now," she said, "and I fear it might not be a
pleasure if you did see him."

Then Edward told her what Phillips Brooks had said.

"Well," she said, "I'll see."

She had scarcely left the room when Miss Alcott rose and followed her,
saying to the boy: "You shall see Mr. Emerson if it is at all possible."

In a few minutes Miss Alcott returned, her eyes moistened, and simply
said: "Come."

The boy followed her through two rooms, and at the threshold of the
third, Miss Emerson stood, also with moistened eyes.

"Father," she said simply, and there, at his desk, sat Emerson--the man
whose words had already won Edward Bok's boyish interest, and who was
destined to impress himself upon his life more deeply than any other

Slowly, at the daughter's spoken word, Emerson rose with a wonderful
quiet dignity, extended his hand, and as the boy's hand rested in his,
looked him full in the eyes.

No light of welcome came from those sad yet tender eyes.  The boy
closed upon the hand in his with a loving pressure, and for a single
moment the eyelids rose, a different look came into those eyes, and
Edward felt a slight, perceptible response of the hand.  But that was

Quietly he motioned the boy to a chair beside the desk.  Edward sat
down and was about to say something, when, instead of seating himself,
Emerson walked away to the window and stood there softly whistling and
looking out as if there were no one in the room.  Edward's eyes had
followed Emerson's every footstep, when the boy was aroused by hearing
a suppressed sob, and as he looked around he saw that it came from Miss
Emerson.  Slowly she walked out of the room.  The boy looked at Miss
Alcott, and she put her finger to her mouth, indicating silence.  He
was nonplussed.

Edward looked toward Emerson standing in that window, and wondered what
it all meant.  Presently Emerson left the window and, crossing the
room, came to his desk, bowing to the boy as he passed, and seated
himself, not speaking a word and ignoring the presence of the two
persons in the room.

Suddenly the boy heard Miss Alcott say: "Have you read this new book by
Ruskin yet?"

Slowly the great master of thought lifted his eyes from his desk,
turned toward the speaker, rose with stately courtesy from his chair,
and, bowing to Miss Alcott, said with great deliberation: "Did you
speak to me, madam?"

The boy was dumfounded!  Louisa Alcott, his Louisa!  And he did not
know her!  Suddenly the whole sad truth flashed upon the boy.  Tears
sprang into Miss Alcott's eyes, and she walked to the other side of the
room.  The boy did not know what to say or do, so he sat silent.  With
a deliberate movement Emerson resumed his seat, and slowly his eyes
roamed over the boy sitting at the side of the desk.  He felt he should
say something.

"I thought, perhaps, Mr. Emerson," he said, "that you might be able to
favor me with a letter from Carlyle."

At the mention of the name Carlyle his eyes lifted, and he asked:
"Carlyle, did you say, sir, Carlyle?"

"Yes," said the boy, "Thomas Carlyle."

"Ye-es," Emerson answered slowly.  "To be sure, Carlyle.  Yes, he was
here this morning.  He will be here again to-morrow morning," he added
gleefully, almost like a child.

Then suddenly: "You were saying----"

Edward repeated his request.

"Oh, I think so, I think so," said Emerson, to the boy's astonishment.
"Let me see.  Yes, here in this drawer I have many letters from

At these words Miss Alcott came from the other part of the room, her
wet eyes dancing with pleasure and her face wreathed in smiles.

"I think we can help this young man; do you not think so, Louisa?" said
Emerson, smiling toward Miss Alcott.  The whole atmosphere of the room
had changed.  How different the expression of his eyes as now Emerson
looked at the boy!  "And you have come all the way from New York to ask
me that!" he said smilingly as the boy told him of his trip.  "Now, let
us see," he said, as he delved in a drawer full of letters.

For a moment he groped among letters and papers, and then, softly
closing the drawer, he began that ominous low whistle once more, looked
inquiringly at each, and dropped his eyes straightway to the papers
before him on his desk.  It was to be only for a few moments, then!
Miss Alcott turned away.

The boy felt the interview could not last much longer.  So, anxious to
have some personal souvenir of the meeting, he said: "Mr. Emerson, will
you be so good as to write your name in this book for me?" and he
brought out an album he had in his pocket.

"Name?" he asked vaguely.

"Yes, please," said the boy, "your name: Ralph Waldo Emerson."

But the sound of the name brought no response from the eyes.

"Please write out the name you want," he said finally, "and I will copy
it for you if I can."

It was hard for the boy to believe his own senses.  But picking up a
pen he wrote: "Ralph Waldo Emerson, Concord; November 22, 1881."

Emerson looked at it, and said mournfully: "Thank you."  Then he picked
up the pen, and writing the single letter "R" stopped, followed his
finger until it reached the "W" of Waldo, and studiously copied letter
by letter!  At the word "Concord" he seemed to hesitate, as if the task
were too great, but finally copied again, letter by letter, until the
second "c" was reached.  "Another 'o,'" he said, and interpolated an
extra letter in the name of the town which he had done so much to make
famous the world over.  When he had finished he handed back the book,
in which there was written:

[Illustration: Ralph Waldo Emerson's signature.]

The boy put the book into his pocket; and as he did so Emerson's eye
caught the slip on his desk, in the boy's handwriting, and, with a
smile of absolute enlightenment, he turned and said;

"You wish me to write my name?  With pleasure.  Have you a book with

Overcome with astonishment, Edward mechanically handed him the album
once more from his pocket.  Quickly turning over the leaves, Emerson
picked up the pen, and pushing aside the slip, wrote without a moment's

[Illustration: Ralph Waldo Emerson's second signature.]

The boy was almost dazed at the instantaneous transformation in the man!

Miss Alcott now grasped this moment to say: "Well, we must be going!"

"So soon?" said Emerson, rising and smiling.  Then turning to Miss
Alcott he said: "It was very kind of you, Louisa, to run over this
morning and bring your young friend."

Then turning to the boy he said: "Thank you so much for coming to see
me.  You must come over again while you are with the Alcotts.  Good
morning!  Isn't it a beautiful day out?" he said, and as he shook the
boy's hand there was a warm grasp in it, the fingers closed around
those of the boy, and as Edward looked into those deep eyes they
twinkled and smiled back.

The going was all so different from the coming.  The boy was grateful
that his last impression was of a moment when the eye kindled and the
hand pulsated.

The two walked back to the Alcott home in an almost unbroken silence.
Once Edward ventured to remark:

"You can have no idea, Miss Alcott, how grateful I am to you."

"Well, my boy," she answered, "Phillips Brooks may be right: that it is
something to have seen him even so, than not to have seen him at all.
But to us it is so sad, so very sad.  The twilight is gently closing

And so it proved--just five months afterward.

Eventful day after eventful day followed in Edward's Boston visit.  The
following morning he spent with Wendell Phillips, who presented him
with letters from William Lloyd Garrison, Lucretia Mott, and other
famous persons; and then, writing a letter of introduction to Charles
Francis Adams, whom he enjoined to give the boy autograph letters from
his two presidential forbears, John Adams and John Quincy Adams, sent
Edward on his way rejoicing.  Mr. Adams received the boy with equal
graciousness and liberality.  Wonderful letters from the two Adamses
were his when he left.

And then, taking the train for New York, Edward Bok went home, sitting
up all night in a day-coach for the double purpose of saving the cost
of a sleeping-berth and of having a chance to classify and clarify the
events of the most wonderful week in his life!



The father of Edward Bok passed away when Edward was eighteen years of
age, and it was found that the amount of the small insurance left
behind would barely cover the funeral expenses.  Hence the two boys
faced the problem of supporting the mother on their meagre income.
They determined to have but one goal: to put their mother back to that
life of comfort to which she had been brought up and was formerly
accustomed.  But that was not possible on their income.  It was evident
that other employment must be taken on during the evenings.

The city editor of the _Brooklyn Eagle_ had given Edward the assignment
of covering the news of the theatres; he was to ascertain "coming
attractions" and any other dramatic items of news interest.  One Monday
evening, when a multiplicity of events crowded the reportorial corps,
Edward was delegated to "cover" the Grand Opera House, where Rose
Coghlan was to appear in a play that had already been seen in Brooklyn,
and called, therefore, for no special dramatic criticism.  Yet _The
Eagle_ wanted to cover it.  It so happened that Edward had made another
appointment for that evening which he considered more important, and
yet not wishing to disappoint his editor he accepted the assignment.
He had seen Miss Coghlan in the play; so he kept his other engagement,
and without approaching the theatre he wrote a notice to the effect
that Miss Coghlan acted her part, if anything, with greater power than
on her previous Brooklyn visit, and so forth, and handed it in to his
city editor the next morning on his way to business.

Unfortunately, however, Miss Coghlan had been taken ill just before the
raising of the curtain, and, there being no understudy, no performance
had been given and the audience dismissed.  All this was duly commented
upon by the New York morning newspapers.  Edward read this bit of news
on the ferry-boat, but his notice was in the hands of the city editor.

On reaching home that evening he found a summons from _The Eagle_, and
the next morning he received a rebuke, and was informed that his
chances with the paper were over.  The ready acknowledgment and evident
regret of the crestfallen boy, however, appealed to the editor, and
before the end of the week he called the boy to him and promised him
another chance, provided the lesson had sunk in.  It had, and it left a
lasting impression.  It was always a cause of profound gratitude with
Edward Bok that his first attempt at "faking" occurred so early in his
journalistic career that he could take the experience to heart and
profit by it.

One evening when Edward was attending a theatrical performance, he
noticed the restlessness of the women in the audience between the acts.
In those days it was, even more than at present, the custom for the men
to go out between the acts, leaving the women alone.  Edward looked at
the programme in his hands.  It was a large eleven-by-nine sheet, four
pages, badly printed, with nothing in it save the cast, a few
advertisements, and an announcement of some coming attraction.  The boy
mechanically folded the programme, turned it long side up and wondered
whether a programme of this smaller size, easier to handle, with an
attractive cover and some reading-matter, would not be profitable.

When he reached home he made up an eight-page "dummy," pasted an
attractive picture on the cover, indicated the material to go inside,
and the next morning showed it to the manager of the theatre.  The
programme as issued was an item of considerable expense to the
management; Edward offered to supply his new programme without cost,
provided he was given the exclusive right, and the manager at once
accepted the offer.  Edward then sought a friend, Frederic L. Colver,
who had a larger experience in publishing and advertising, with whom he
formed a partnership.  Deciding that immediately upon the issuance of
their first programme the idea was likely to be taken up by the other
theatres, Edward proceeded to secure the exclusive rights to them all.
The two young publishers solicited their advertisements on the way to
and from business mornings and evenings, and shortly the first
smaller-sized theatre programme, now in use in all theatres, appeared.
The venture was successful from the start, returning a comfortable
profit each week.  Such advertisements as they could not secure for
cash they accepted in trade; and this latter arrangement assisted
materially in maintaining the households of the two publishers.

Edward's partner now introduced him into a debating society called The
Philomathean Society, made up of young men connected with Plymouth
Church, of which Henry Ward Beecher was pastor.  The debates took the
form of a miniature congress, each member representing a State, and it
is a curious coincidence that Edward drew, by lot, the representation
of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  The members took these debates
very seriously; no subject was too large for them to discuss.  Edward
became intensely interested in the society's doings, and it was not
long before he was elected president.

The society derived its revenue from the dues of its members and from
an annual concert given under its auspices in Plymouth Church.  When
the time for the concert under Edward's presidency came around, he
decided that the occasion should be unique so as to insure a crowded
house.  He induced Mr. Beecher to preside; he got General Grant's
promise to come and speak; he secured the gratuitous services of Emma
C. Thursby, Annie Louise Cary, Clara Louise Kellogg, and Evelyn Lyon
Hegeman, all of the first rank of concert-singers of that day, with the
result that the church could not accommodate the crowd which naturally
was attracted by such a programme.

It now entered into the minds of the two young theatre-programme
publishers to extend their publishing interests by issuing an "organ"
for their society, and the first issue of _The Philomathean Review_
duly appeared with Mr. Colver as its publisher and Edward Bok as
editor.  Edward had now an opportunity to try his wings in an editorial
capacity.  The periodical was, of course, essentially an organ of the
society; but gradually it took on a more general character, so that its
circulation might extend over a larger portion of Brooklyn.  With this
extension came a further broadening of its contents, which now began to
take on a literary character, and it was not long before its two
projectors realized that the periodical had outgrown its name.  It was
decided--late in 1884--to change the name to _The Brooklyn Magazine_.

There was a periodical called _The Plymouth Pulpit_, which presented
verbatim reports of the sermons of Mr. Beecher, and Edward got the idea
of absorbing the _Pulpit_ in the _Magazine_.  But that required more
capital than he and his partner could command.  They consulted Mr.
Beecher, who, attracted by the enterprise of the two boys, sent them
with letters of introduction to a few of his most influential
parishioners, with the result that the pair soon had a sufficient
financial backing by some of the leading men of Brooklyn, like H. B.
Claflin, Seth Low, Rossiter W. Raymond, Horatio C. King, and others.

The young publishers could now go on.  Understanding that Mr. Beecher's
sermons might give a partial and denominational tone to the magazine,
Edward arranged to publish also in its pages verbatim reports of the
sermons of the Reverend T. De Witt Talmage, whose reputation was then
at its zenith.  The young editor now realized that he had a rather
heavy cargo of sermons to carry each month; accordingly, in order that
his magazine might not appear to be exclusively religious, he
determined that its literary contents should be of a high order and
equal in interest to the sermons.  But this called for additional
capital, and the capital furnished was not for that purpose.

It is here that Edward's autographic acquaintances stood him in good
stead.  He went in turn to each noted person he had met, explained his
plight and stated his ambitions, with the result that very soon the
magazine and the public were surprised at the distinction of the
contributors to _The Brooklyn Magazine_.  Each number contained a
noteworthy list of them, and when an article by the President of the
United States, then Rutherford B. Hayes, opened one of the numbers, the
public was astonished, since up to that time the unwritten rule that a
President's writings were confined to official pronouncements had
scarcely been broken.  William Dean Howells, General Grant, General
Sherman, Phillips Brooks, General Sheridan, Canon Farrar, Cardinal
Gibbons, Marion Harland, Margaret Sangster--the most prominent men and
women of the day, some of whom had never written for magazines--began
to appear in the young editor's contents.  Editors wondered how the
publishers could afford it, whereas, in fact, not a single name
represented an honorarium.  Each contributor had come gratuitously to
the aid of the editor.

At first, the circulation of the magazine permitted the boys to wrap
the copies themselves; and then they, with two other boys, would carry
as huge bundles as they could lift, put them late at night on the front
platform of the streetcars, and take them to the post-office.  Thus the
boys absolutely knew the growth of their circulation by the weight of
their bundles and the number of their front-platform trips each month.
Soon a baker's hand-cart was leased for an evening, and that was added
to the capacity of the front platforms.  Then one eventful month it was
seen that a horse-truck would have to be employed.  Within three weeks,
a double horse-truck was necessary, and three trips had to be made.

By this time Edward Bok had become so intensely interested in the
editorial problem, and his partner in the periodical publishing part,
that they decided to sell out their theatre-programme interests and
devote themselves to the magazine and its rapidly increasing
circulation.  All of Edward's editorial work had naturally to be done
outside of his business hours, in other words, in the evenings and on
Sundays; and the young editor found himself fully occupied.  He now
revived the old idea of selecting a subject and having ten or twenty
writers express their views on it.  It was the old symposium idea, but
it had not been presented in American journalism for a number of years.
He conceived the topic "Should America Have a Westminster Abbey?" and
induced some twenty of the foremost men and women of the day to discuss
it.  When the discussion was presented in the magazine, the form being
new and the theme novel, Edward was careful to send advance sheets to
the newspapers, which treated it at length in reviews and editorials,
with marked effect upon the circulation of the magazine.

All this time, while Edward Bok was an editor in his evenings he was,
during the day, a stenographer and clerk of the Western Union Telegraph
Company.  The two occupations were hardly compatible, but each meant a
source of revenue to the boy, and he felt he must hold on to both.

After his father passed away, the position of the boy's desk--next to
the empty desk of his father--was a cause of constant depression to
him.  This was understood by the attorney for the company, Mr. Clarence
Cary, who sought the head of Edward's department, with the result that
Edward was transferred to Mr. Cary's department as the attorney's
private stenographer.

Edward had been much attracted to Mr. Cary, and the attorney believed
in the boy, and decided to show his interest by pushing him along.  He
had heard of the dual role which Edward was playing; he bought a copy
of the magazine, and was interested.  Edward now worked with new zest
for his employer and friend; while in every free moment he read law,
feeling that, as almost all his forbears had been lawyers, he might
perhaps be destined for the bar.  This acquaintance with the
fundamental basis of law, cursory as it was, became like a gospel to
Edward Bok.  In later years, he was taught its value by repeated
experience in his contact with corporate laws, contracts, property
leases, and other matters; and he determined that, whatever the
direction of activity taken by his sons, each should spend at least a
year in the study of law.

The control of the Western Union Telegraph Company had now passed into
the hands of Jay Gould and his companions, and in the many legal
matters arising therefrom, Edward saw much, in his office, of "the
little wizard of Wall Street."  One day, the financier had to dictate a
contract, and, coming into Mr. Cary's office, decided to dictate it
then and there.  An hour afterward Edward delivered the copy of the
contract to Mr. Gould, and the financier was so struck by its accuracy
and by the legibility of the handwriting that afterward he almost daily
"happened in" to dictate to Mr. Cary's stenographer.  Mr. Gould's
private stenographer was in his own office in lower Broadway; but on
his way down-town in the morning Mr. Gould invariably stopped at the
Western Union Building, at 195 Broadway; and the habit resulted in the
installation of a private office there.  He borrowed Edward to do his
stenography.  The boy found himself taking not only letters from Mr.
Gould's dictation, but, what interested him particularly, the
financier's orders to buy and sell stock.

Edward watched the effects on the stock-market of these little notes
which he wrote out and then shot through a pneumatic tube to Mr.
Gould's brokers.  Naturally, the results enthralled the boy, and he
told Mr. Cary about his discoveries.  This, in turn, interested Mr.
Cary; Mr. Gould's dictations were frequently given in Mr. Cary's own
office, where, as his desk was not ten feet from that of his
stenographer, the attorney heard them, and began to buy and sell
according to the magnate's decisions.

Edward had now become tremendously interested in the stock game which
he saw constantly played by the great financier; and having a little
money saved up, he concluded that he would follow in the wake of Mr.
Gould's orders.  One day, he naïvely mentioned his desire to Mr. Gould,
when the financier seemed in a particularly favorable frame of mind;
but Edward did not succeed in drawing out the advice he hoped for.  "At
least," reasoned Edward, "he knew of my intention; and if he considered
it a violation of confidence he would have said as much."

Construing the financier's silence to mean at least not a prohibition,
Edward went to his Sunday-school teacher, who was a member of a Wall
Street brokerage firm, laid the facts before him, and asked him if he
would buy for him some Western Union stock.  Edward explained, however,
that somehow he did not like the gambling idea of buying "on margin,"
and preferred to purchase the stock outright.  He was shown that this
would mean smaller profits; but the boy had in mind the loss of his
father's fortune, brought about largely by "stock margins," and he did
not intend to follow that example.  So, prudently, under the brokerage
of his Sunday-school teacher, and guided by the tips of no less a man
than the controlling factor of stock-market finance, Edward Bok took
his first plunge in Wall Street!

Of course the boy's buying and selling tallied precisely with the rise
and fall of Western Union stock.  It could scarcely have been
otherwise.  Jay Gould had the cards all in his hands; and as he bought
and sold, so Edward bought and sold.  The trouble was, the combination
did not end there, as Edward might have foreseen had he been older and
thus wiser.  For as Edward bought and sold, so did his Sunday-school
teacher, and all his customers who had seen the wonderful acumen of
their broker in choosing exactly the right time to buy and sell Western
Union.  But Edward did not know this.

One day a rumor became current on the Street that an agreement had been
reached by the Western Union Company and its bitter rival, the American
Union Telegraph Company, whereby the former was to absorb the latter.
Naturally; the report affected Western Union stock.  But Mr. Gould
denied it in toto; said the report was not true, no such consolidation
was in view or had even been considered.  Down tumbled the stock, of

But it so happened that Edward knew the rumor was true, because Mr.
Gould, some time before, had personally given him the contract of
consolidation to copy.  The next day a rumor to the effect that the
American Union was to absorb the Western Union appeared on the first
page of every New York newspaper.  Edward knew exactly whence this
rumor emanated.  He had heard it talked over.  Again, Western Union
stock dropped several points.  Then he noticed that Mr. Gould became a
heavy buyer.  So became Edward--as heavy as he could.  Jay Gould
pooh-poohed the latest rumor.  The boy awaited developments.

On Sunday afternoon, Edward's Sunday-school teacher asked the boy to
walk home with him, and on reaching the house took him into the study
and asked him whether he felt justified in putting all his savings in
Western Union just at that time when the price was tumbling so fast and
the market was so unsteady.  Edward assured his teacher that he was
right, although he explained that he could not disclose the basis of
his assurance.

Edward thought his teacher looked worried, and after a little there
came the revelation that he, seeing that Edward was buying to his
limit, had likewise done so.  But the broker had bought on margin, and
had his margin wiped out by the decline in the stock caused by the
rumors.  He explained to Edward that he could recoup his losses, heavy
though they were--in fact, he explained that nearly everything he
possessed was involved--if Edward's basis was sure and the stock would

Edward keenly felt the responsibility placed upon him.  He could never
clearly diagnose his feelings when he saw his teacher in this new
light.  The broker's "customers" had been hinted at, and the boy of
eighteen wondered how far his responsibility went, and how many persons
were involved.  But the deal came out all right, for when, three days
afterward, the contract was made public, Western Union, of course,
skyrocketed, Jay Gould sold out, Edward sold out, the teacher-broker
sold out, and all the customers sold out!

How long a string it was Edward never discovered, but he determined
there and then to end his Wall Street experience; his original amount
had multiplied; he was content to let well enough alone, and from that
day to this Edward Bok has kept out of Wall Street.  He had seen enough
of its manipulations; and, although on "the inside," he decided that
the combination of his teacher and his customers was a responsibility
too great for him to carry.

Furthermore, Edward decided to leave the Western Union.  The longer he
remained, the less he liked its atmosphere.  And the closer his contact
with Jay Gould the more doubtful he became of the wisdom of such an
association and perhaps its unconscious influence upon his own life in
its formative period.

In fact, it was an experience with Mr. Gould that definitely fixed
Edward's determination.  The financier decided one Saturday to leave on
a railroad inspection tour on the following Monday.  It was necessary
that a special meeting of one of his railroad interests should be held
before his departure, and he fixed the meeting for Sunday at
eleven-thirty at his residence on Fifth Avenue.  He asked Edward to be
there to take the notes of the meeting.

The meeting was protracted, and at one o'clock Mr. Gould suggested an
adjournment for luncheon, the meeting to reconvene at two.  Turning to
Edward, the financier said: "You may go out to luncheon and return in
an hour."  So, on Sunday afternoon, with the Windsor Hotel on the
opposite corner as the only visible place to get something to eat, but
where he could not afford to go, Edward, with just fifteen cents in his
pocket, was turned out to find a luncheon place.

He bought three apples for five cents--all that he could afford to
spend, and even this meant that he must walk home from the ferry to his
house in Brooklyn--and these he ate as he walked up and down Fifth
Avenue until his hour was over.  When the meeting ended at three
o'clock, Mr. Gould said that, as he was leaving for the West early next
morning, he would like Edward to write out his notes, and have them at
his house by eight o'clock.  There were over forty note-book pages of
minutes.  The remainder of Edward's Sunday afternoon and evening was
spent in transcribing the notes.  By rising at half past five the next
morning he reached Mr. Gould's house at a quarter to eight, handed him
the minutes, and was dismissed without so much as a word of thanks or a
nod of approval from the financier.

Edward felt that this exceeded the limit of fair treatment by employer
of employee.  He spoke of it to Mr. Cary, and asked whether he would
object if he tried to get away from such influence and secure another
position.  His employer asked the boy in which direction he would like
to go, and Edward unhesitatingly suggested the publishing business.  He
talked it over from every angle with his employer, and Mr. Cary not
only agreed with him that his decision was wise, but promised to find
him a position such as he had in mind.

It was not long before Mr. Cary made good his word, and told Edward
that his friend Henry Holt, the publisher, would like to give him a

The day before he was to leave the Western Union Telegraph Company the
fact of his resignation became known to Mr. Gould.  The financier told
the boy there was no reason for his leaving, and that he would
personally see to it that a substantial increase was made in his
salary.  Edward explained that the salary, while of importance to him,
did not influence him so much as securing a position in a business in
which he felt he would be happier.

"And what business is that?" asked the financier.

"The publishing of books," replied the boy.

"You are making a great mistake," answered the little man, fixing his
keen gray eyes on the boy.  "Books are a luxury.  The public spends its
largest money on necessities: on what it can't do without.  It must
telegraph; it need not read.  It can read in libraries.  A promising
boy such as you are, with his life before him, should choose the right
sort of business, not the wrong one."

But, as facts proved, the "little wizard of Wall Street" was wrong in
his prediction; Edward Bok was not choosing the wrong business.

Years afterward when Edward was cruising up the Hudson with a yachting
party one Saturday afternoon, the sight of Jay Gould's mansion, upon
approaching Irvington, awakened the desire of the women on board to see
his wonderful orchid collection.  Edward explained his previous
association with the financier and offered to recall himself to him, if
the party wished to take the chance of recognition.  A note was written
to Mr. Gould, and sent ashore, and the answer came back that they were
welcome to visit the orchid houses.  Jay Gould, in person, received the
party, and, placing it under the personal conduct of his gardener,
turned to Edward and, indicating a bench, said:

"Come and sit down here with me."

"Well," said the financier, who was in his domestic mood, quite
different from his Wall Street aspect, "I see in the papers that you
seem to be making your way in the publishing business."

Edward expressed surprise that the Wall Street magnate had followed his

"I have because I always felt you had it in you to make a successful
man.  But not in that business," he added quickly.  "You were born for
the Street.  You would have made a great success there, and that is
what I had in mind for you.  In the publishing business you will go
just so far; in the Street you could have gone as far as you liked.
There is room there; there is none in the publishing business.  It's
not too late now, for that matter," continued the "little wizard,"
fastening his steel eyes on the young man beside him!

And Edward Bok has often speculated whither Jay Gould might have led
him.  To many a young man, a suggestion from such a source would have
seemed the one to heed and follow.  But Edward Bok's instinct never
failed him.  He felt that his path lay far apart from that of Jay
Gould--and the farther the better!

In 1882 Edward, with a feeling of distinct relief, left the employ of
the Western Union Telegraph Company and associated himself with the
publishing business in which he had correctly divined that his future

His chief regret on leaving his position was in severing the close
relations, almost as of father and son, between Mr. Cary and himself.
When Edward was left alone, with the passing away of his father,
Clarence Cary had put his sheltering arm around the lonely boy, and
with the tremendous encouragement of the phrase that the boy never
forgot, "I think you have it in you, Edward, to make a successful man,"
he took him under his wing.  It was a turning-point in Edward Bok's
life, as he felt at the time and as he saw more clearly afterward.

He remained in touch with his friend, however, keeping him advised of
his progress in everything he did, not only at that time, but all
through his later years.  And it was given to Edward to feel the deep
satisfaction of having Mr. Cary say, before he passed away, that the
boy had more than justified the confidence reposed in him.  Mr. Cary
lived to see him well on his way, until, indeed, Edward had had the
proud happiness of introducing to his benefactor the son who bore his
name, Cary William Bok.



Edward felt that his daytime hours, spent in a publishing atmosphere as
stenographer with Henry Holt and Company, were more in line with his
editorial duties during the evenings.  _The Brooklyn Magazine_ was soon
earning a comfortable income for its two young proprietors, and their
backers were entirely satisfied with the way it was being conducted.
In fact, one of these backers, Mr. Rufus T. Bush, associated with the
Standard Oil Company, who became especially interested, thought he saw
in the success of the magazine a possible opening for one of his sons,
who was shortly to be graduated from college.  He talked to the
publisher and editor about the idea, but the boys showed by their books
that while there was a reasonable income for them, not wholly dependent
on the magazine, there was no room for a third.

Mr. Bush now suggested that he buy the magazine for his son, alter its
name, enlarge its scope, and make of it a national periodical.
Arrangements were concluded, those who had financially backed the
venture were fully paid, and the two boys received a satisfactory
amount for their work in building up the magazine.  Mr. Bush asked
Edward to suggest a name for the new periodical, and in the following
month of May, 1887, _The Brooklyn Magazine_ became _The American
Magazine_, with its publication office in New York.  But, though a
great deal of money was spent on the new magazine, it did not succeed.
Mr. Bush sold his interest in the periodical, which, once more changing
its name, became _The Cosmopolitan Magazine_.  Since then it has passed
through the hands of several owners, but the name has remained the
same.  Before Mr. Bush sold _The American Magazine_ he had urged Edward
to come back to it as its editor, with promise of financial support;
but the young man felt instinctively that his return would not be wise.
The magazine had been _The Cosmopolitan_ only a short time when the new
owners, Mr. Paul J. Slicht and Mr. E. D. Walker, also solicited the
previous editor to accept reappointment.  But Edward, feeling that his
baby had been rechristened too often for him to father it again,
declined the proposition.  He had not heard the last of it, however,
for, by a curious coincidence, its subsequent owner, entirely ignorant
of Edward's previous association with the magazine, invited him to
connect himself with it.  Thus three times could Edward Bok have
returned to the magazine for whose creation he was responsible.

Edward was now without editorial cares; but he had already, even before
disposing of the magazine, embarked on another line of endeavor.  In
sending to a number of newspapers the advance sheets of a particularly
striking "feature" in one of his numbers of _The Brooklyn Magazine_, it
occurred to him that he was furnishing a good deal of valuable material
to these papers without cost.  It is true his magazine was receiving
the advertising value of editorial comment; but he wondered whether the
newspapers would not be willing to pay for the privilege of
simultaneous publication.  An inquiry or two proved that they would.
Thus Edward stumbled upon the "syndicate" plan of furnishing the same
article to a group of newspapers, one in each city, for simultaneous
publication.  He looked over the ground, and found that while his idea
was not a new one, since two "syndicate" agencies already existed, the
field was by no means fully covered, and that the success of a third
agency would depend entirely upon its ability to furnish the newspapers
with material equally good or better than they received from the
others.  After following the material furnished by these agencies for
two or three weeks, Edward decided that there was plenty of room for
his new ideas.

He discussed the matter with his former magazine partner, Colver, and
suggested that if they could induce Mr. Beecher to write a weekly
comment on current events for the newspapers it would make an
auspicious beginning.  They decided to talk it over with the famous
preacher.  For to be a "Plymouth boy"--that is, to go to the Plymouth
Church Sunday-school and to attend church there--was to know personally
and become devoted to Henry Ward Beecher.  And the two were synonymous.
There was no distance between Mr. Beecher and his "Plymouth boys."
Each understood the other.  The tie was that of absolute comradeship.

"I don't believe in it, boys," said Mr. Beecher when Edward and his
friend broached the syndicate letter to him.  "No one yet ever made a
cent out of my supposed literary work."

All the more reason, was the argument, why some one should.

Mr. Beecher smiled!  How well he knew the youthful enthusiasm that
rushes in, etc.

"Well, all right!  I like your pluck," he finally said.  "I'll help you
if I can."

The young editors agreed to pay Mr. Beecher a weekly sum of two hundred
and fifty dollars--which he knew was considerable for them.

When the first article had been written they took him their first
check.  He looked at it quizzically, and then at the boys.  Then he
said simply: "Thank you."  He took a pin and pinned the check to his
desk.  There it remained, much to their curiosity.

The following week he had written the second article and the boys gave
him another check.  He pinned that up over the other.  "I like to look
at them," was his only explanation, as he saw Edward's inquiring glance
one morning.

The third check was treated the same way.  When they handed him the
fourth, one morning, as he was pinning it up over the others, he asked:
"When do you get your money from the newspapers?"

He was told that the bills were going out that morning for the four
letters constituting a month's service.

"I see," he remarked.

A fortnight passed, then one day Mr. Beecher asked: "Well, how are the
checks coming in?"

"Very well," he was assured.

"Suppose you let me see how much you've got in," he suggested, and the
boys brought the accounts to him.

After looking at them he said: "That's very interesting.  How much have
you in the bank?"

He was told the balance, less the checks given to him.  "But I haven't
turned them in yet," he explained.  "Anyhow, you have enough in bank to
meet the checks you have given me, and a profit besides, haven't you?"

He was assured they had.

Then, taking his bank-book from a drawer; he unpinned the six checks on
his desk, indorsed each, wrote a deposit slip, and, handing the book to
Edward, said:

"Just hand that in at the bank as you go by, will you?"

Edward was very young then, and Mr. Beecher's methods of financiering
seemed to him quite in line with current notions of the Plymouth
pastor's lack of business knowledge.  But as the years rolled on the
incident appeared in a new light--a striking example of the great
preacher's wonderful considerateness.

Edward had offered to help Mr. Beecher with his correspondence; at the
close of one afternoon, while he was with the Plymouth pastor at work,
an organ-grinder and a little girl came under the study window.  A
cold, driving rain was pelting down.  In a moment Mr. Beecher noticed
the girl's bare toes sticking out of her worn shoes.

He got up, went into the hall, and called for one of his granddaughters.

"Got any good, strong rain boots?" he asked when she appeared.

"Why, yes, grandfather.  Why?" was the answer.

"More than one pair?" Mr. Beecher asked.

"Yes, two or three, I think."

"Bring me your strongest pair, will you, dear?" he asked.  And as the
girl looked at him with surprise he said: "Just one of my notions."

"Now, just bring that child into the house and put them on her feet for
me, will you?" he said when the shoes came.  "I'll be able to work so
much better."

One rainy day, as Edward was coming up from Fulton Ferry with Mr.
Beecher, they met an old woman soaked with the rain.  "Here, you take
this, my good woman," said the clergyman, putting his umbrella over her
head and thrusting the handle into the astonished woman's hand.  "Let's
get into this," he said to Edward simply, as he hailed a passing car.

"There is a good deal of fraud about beggars," he remarked as he waved
a sot away from him one day; "but that doesn't apply to women and
children," he added; and he never passed such mendicants without
stopping.  All the stories about their being tools in the hands of
accomplices failed to convince him.  "They're women and children," he
would say, and that settled it for him.

"What's the matter, son?  Stuck?" he said once to a newsboy who was
crying with a heavy bundle of papers under his arm.

"Come along with me, then," said Mr. Beecher, taking the boy's hand and
leading him into the newspaper office a few doors up the street.

"This boy is stuck," he simply said to the man behind the counter.
"Guess _The Eagle_ can stand it better than this boy; don't you think

To the grown man Mr. Beecher rarely gave charity.

He believed in a return for his alms.

"Why don't you go to work?" he asked of a man who approached him one
day in the street.

"Can't find any," said the man.

"Looked hard for it?" was the next question.

"I have," and the man looked Mr. Beecher in the eye.

"Want some?" asked Mr. Beecher.

"I do," said the man.

"Come with me," said the preacher.  And then to Edward, as they walked
along with the man following behind, he added: "That man is honest."

"Let this man sweep out the church," he said to the sexton when they
had reached Plymouth Church.

"But, Mr. Beecher," replied the sexton with wounded pride, "it doesn't
need it."

"Don't tell him so, though," said Mr. Beecher with a merry twinkle of
the eye; and the sexton understood.

Mr. Beecher was constantly thoughtful of a struggling young man's
welfare, even at the expense of his own material comfort.  Anxious to
save him from the labor of writing out the newspaper articles, Edward,
himself employed during the daylight hours which Mr. Beecher preferred
for his original work, suggested a stenographer.  The idea appealed to
Mr. Beecher, for he was very busy just then.  He hesitated, but as
Edward persisted, he said: "All right; let him come to-morrow."

The next day he said: "I asked that stenographer friend of yours not to
come again.  No use of my trying to dictate.  I am too old to learn new
tricks.  Much easier for me to write myself."

Shortly after that, however, Mr. Beecher dictated to Edward some
material for a book he was writing.  Edward naturally wondered at this,
and asked the stenographer what had happened.

"Nothing," he said.  "Only Mr. Beecher asked me how much it would cost
you to have me come to him each week.  I told him, and then he sent me

That was Henry Ward Beecher!

Edward Bok was in the formative period between boyhood and young
manhood when impressions meant lessons, and associations meant ideals.
Mr. Beecher never disappointed.  The closer one got to him, the greater
he became--in striking contrast to most public men, as Edward had
already learned.

Then, his interests and sympathies were enormously wide.  He took in so
much!  One day Edward was walking past Fulton Market, in New York City,
with Mr. Beecher.

"Never skirt a market," the latter said; "always go through it.  It's
the next best thing, in the winter, to going South."

Of course all the marketmen knew him, and they knew, too, his love for
green things.

"What do you think of these apples, Mr. Beecher?" one marketman would
stop to ask.

Mr. Beecher would answer heartily: "Fine!  Don't see how you grow them.
All that my trees bear is a crop of scale.  Still, the blossoms are
beautiful in the spring, and I like an apple-leaf.  Ever examine one?"
The marketman never had.  "Well, now, do, the next time you come across
an apple-tree in the spring."

And thus he would spread abroad an interest in the beauties of nature
which were commonly passed over.

"Wonderful man, Beecher is," said a market dealer in green goods once.
"I had handled thousands of bunches of celery in my life and never
noticed how beautiful its top leaves were until he picked up a bunch
once and told me all about it.  Now I haven't the heart to cut the
leaves off when a customer asks me."

His idea of his own vegetable-gardening at Boscobel, his Peekskill
home, was very amusing.  One day Edward was having a hurried dinner,
preparatory to catching the New York train.  Mr. Beecher sat beside the
boy, telling him of some things he wished done in Brooklyn.

"No, I thank you," said Edward, as the maid offered him some potatoes.

"Look here, young man," said Mr. Beecher, "don't pass those potatoes so
lightly.  They're of my own raising--and I reckon they cost me about a
dollar a piece," he added with a twinkle in his eye.

He was an education in so many ways!  One instance taught Edward the
great danger of passionate speech that might unconsciously wound; and
the manliness of instant recognition of the error.  Swayed by an
occasion, or by the responsiveness of an audience, Mr. Beecher would
sometimes say something which was not meant as it sounded.  One
evening, at a great political meeting at Cooper Union, Mr. Beecher was
at his brightest and wittiest.  In the course of his remarks he had
occasion to refer to ex-President Hayes; some one in the audience
called out: "He was a softy!"

"No," was Mr. Beecher's quick response.  "The country needed a poultice
at that time, and got it."

"He's dead now, anyhow," responded the voice.

"Not dead, my friend; he only sleepeth."

It convulsed the audience, of course, and the reporters took it down in
their books.

After the meeting Edward drove home with Mr. Beecher.

After a while he asked: "Well, how do you think it went?"

Edward replied he thought it went very well, except that he did not
like the reference to ex-President Hayes.

"What reference?  What did I say?"

Edward repeated it.

"Did I say that?" he asked.  Edward looked at him.  Mr. Beecher's face
was tense.  After a few moments he said: "That's generally the way with
extemporaneous remarks: they are always dangerous.  The best impromptu
speeches and remarks are the carefully prepared kind," he added.

Edward told him he regretted the reference because he knew that General
Hayes would read it in the New York papers, and he would be nonplussed
to understand it, considering the cordial relations which existed
between the two men.  Mr. Beecher knew of Edward's relations with the
ex-President, and they had often talked of him together.

Nothing more was said of the incident.  When the Beecher home was
reached Mr. Beecher said: "Just come in a minute."  He went straight to
his desk, and wrote and wrote.  It seemed as if he would never stop.
At last he handed Edward an eight-page letter, closely written,
addressed to General Hayes.

"Read that, and mail it, please, on your way home.  Then it'll get
there just as quickly as the New York papers will."

It was a superbly fine letter,--one of those letters which only Henry
Ward Beecher could write in his tenderest moods.  And the reply which
came from Fremont, Ohio, was no less fine!



Edward had been in the employ of Henry Holt and Company as clerk and
stenographer for two years when Mr. Cary sent for him and told him that
there was an opening in the publishing house of Charles Scribner's
Sons, if he wanted to make a change.  Edward saw at once the larger
opportunities possible in a house of the importance of the Scribners,
and he immediately placed himself in communication with Mr. Charles
Scribner, with the result that in January, 1884, he entered the employ
of these publishers as stenographer to the two members of the firm and
to Mr. Edward L. Burlingame, literary adviser to the house.  He was to
receive a salary of eighteen dollars and thirty-three cents per week,
which was then considered a fair wage for stenographic work.  The
typewriter had at that time not come into use, and all letters were
written in long-hand.  Once more his legible handwriting had secured
for him a position.

Edward Bok was now twenty-one years of age.  He had already done a
prodigious amount of work for his years.  He was always busy.  Every
spare moment of his evenings was devoted either to writing his literary
letter, to the steady acquirement of autograph letters in which he
still persisted, or to helping Mr. Beecher in his literary work.  The
Plymouth pastor was particularly pleased with Edward's successful
exploitation of his pen work; and he afterward wrote: "Bok is the only
man who ever seemed to make my literary work go and get money out of

Enterprise and energy the boy unquestionably possessed, but one need
only think back even thus far in his life to see the continuous good
fortune which had followed him in the friendships he had made, and in
the men with whom his life, at its most formative period, had come into
close contact.  If we are inclined to credit young Bok with an
ever-willingness to work and a certain quality of initiative, the
influences which played upon him must also be taken into account.

Take, for example, the peculiarly fortuitous circumstances under which
he entered the Scribner publishing house.  As stenographer to the two
members of the firm, Bok was immediately brought into touch with the
leading authors of the day, their works as they were discussed in the
correspondence dictated to him, and the authors' terms upon which books
were published.  In fact, he was given as close an insight as it was
possible for a young man to get into the inner workings of one of the
large publishing houses in the United States, with a list peculiarly
noted for the distinction of its authors and the broad scope of its

The Scribners had the foremost theological list of all the publishing
houses; its educational list was exceptionally strong; its musical list
excelled; its fiction represented the leading writers of the day; its
general list was particularly noteworthy; and its foreign department,
importing the leading books brought out in Great Britain and Europe,
was an outstanding feature of the business.  The correspondence
dictated to Bok covered, naturally, all these fields, and a more
remarkable opportunity for self-education was never offered a

Mr. Burlingame was known in the publishing world for his singularly
keen literary appreciation, and was accepted as one of the best judges
of good fiction.  Bok entered the Scribner employ as Mr. Burlingame was
selecting the best short stories published within a decade for a set of
books to be called "Short Stories by American Authors."  The
correspondence for this series was dictated to Bok, and he decided to
read after Mr. Burlingame and thus get an idea of the best fiction of
the day.  So whenever his chief wrote to an author asking for
permission to include his story in the proposed series, Bok immediately
hunted up the story and read it.

Later, when the house decided to start _Scribner's Magazine_, and Mr.
Burlingame was selected to be its editor, all the preliminary
correspondence was dictated to Bok through his employers, and he
received a first-hand education in the setting up of the machinery
necessary for the publication of a magazine.  All this he eagerly

He was again fortunate in that his desk was placed in the advertising
department of the house; and here he found, as manager, an old-time
Brooklyn boy friend with whom he had gone to school, Frank N.
Doubleday, to-day the senior partner of Doubleday, Page and Company.
Bok had been attracted to advertising through his theatre programme and
_Brooklyn Magazine_ experience, and here was presented a chance to
learn the art at first hand and according to the best traditions.  So,
whenever his stenographic work permitted, he assisted Mr. Doubleday in
preparing and placing the advertisements of the books of the house.

Mr. Doubleday was just reviving the publication of a house-organ called
_The Book Buyer_, and, given a chance to help in this, Bok felt he was
getting back into the periodical field, especially since, under Mr.
Doubleday's guidance, the little monthly soon developed into a literary
magazine of very respectable size and generally bookish contents.

The house also issued another periodical, _The Presbyterian Review_, a
quarterly under the editorship of a board of professors connected with
the Princeton and Union Theological Seminaries.  This ponderous-looking
magazine was not composed of what one might, call "light reading," and
as the price of a single copy was eighty cents, and the advertisements
it could reasonably expect were necessarily limited in number, the
periodical was rather difficult to move.  Thus the whole situation at
the Scribners' was adapted to give Edward an all-round training in the
publishing business.  It was an exceptional opportunity.

He worked early and late.  An increase in his salary soon told him that
he was satisfying his employers, and then, when the new _Scribner's
Magazine_ appeared, and a little later Mr. Doubleday was delegated to
take charge of the business end of it, Bok himself was placed in charge
of the advertising department, with the publishing details of the two
periodicals on his hands.

He suddenly found himself directing a stenographer instead of being a
stenographer himself.  Evidently his apprentice days were over.  He
had, in addition, the charge of sending all the editorial copies of the
new books to the press for review, and of keeping a record of those
reviews.  This naturally brought to his desk the authors of the house
who wished to see how the press received their works.

The study of the writers who were interested in following the press
notices of their books, and those who were indifferent to them became a
fascinating game to young Bok.  He soon discovered that the greater the
author the less he seemed to care about his books once they a were
published.  Bok noticed this, particularly, in the case of Robert Louis
Stevenson, whose work had attracted him, but, although he used the most
subtle means to inveigle the author into the office to read the press
notices, he never succeeded.  Stevenson never seemed to have the
slightest interest in what the press said of his books.

One day Mr. Burlingame asked Bok to take some proofs to Stevenson at
his home; thinking it might be a propitious moment to interest the
author in the popular acclaim that followed the publication of _Doctor
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde_, Bok put a bunch of press notices in his pocket.
He found the author in bed, smoking his inevitable cigarette.

As the proofs were to be brought back, Bok waited, and thus had an
opportunity for nearly two hours to see the author at work.  No man
ever went over his proofs more carefully than did Stevenson; his
corrections were numerous; and sometimes for ten minutes at a time he
would sit smoking and thinking over a single sentence, which, when he
had satisfactorily shaped it in his mind, he would recast on the proof.

Stevenson was not a prepossessing figure at these times.  With his
sallow skin and his black dishevelled hair, with finger-nails which had
been allowed to grow very long, with fingers discolored by tobacco--in
short, with a general untidiness that was all his own, Stevenson, so
Bok felt, was an author whom it was better to read than to see.  And
yet his kindliness and gentleness more than offset the unattractiveness
of his physical appearance.

After one or two visits from Bok, having grown accustomed to him,
Stevenson would discuss some sentence in an article, or read some
amended paragraph out loud and ask whether Bok though it sounded
better.  To pass upon Stevenson as a stylist was, of course, hardly
within Bok's mental reach, so he kept discreetly silent when Stevenson
asked his opinion.

In fact, Bok reasoned it out that the novelist did not really expect an
answer or an opinion, but was at such times thinking aloud.  The mental
process, however, was immensely interesting, particularly when
Stevenson would ask Bok to hand him a book on words lying on an
adjacent table.  "So hard to find just the right word," Stevenson would
say, and Bok got his first realization of the truth of the maxim: "Easy
writing, hard reading; hard writing, easy reading."

On this particular occasion when Stevenson finished, Bok pulled out his
clippings, told the author how his book was being received, and was
selling, what the house was doing to advertise it, explained the
forthcoming play by Richard Mansfield, and then offered the press

Stevenson took the bundle and held it in his hand.

"That's very nice to tell me all you have," he said, "and I have been
greatly interested.  But you have really told me all about it, haven't
you, so why should I read these notices?  Hadn't I better get busy on
another paper for Mr. Burlingame for the next magazine, else he'll be
after me?  You know how impatient these editors are."  And he handed
back the notices.

Bok saw it was of no use: Stevenson was interested in his work, but,
beyond a certain point, not in the world's reception of it.  Bok's
estimate of the author rose immeasurably.  His attitude was in such
sharp contrast to that of others who came almost daily into the office
to see what the papers said, often causing discomfiture to the young
advertising director by insisting upon taking the notices with them.
But Bok always countered this desire by reminding the author that, of
course, in that case he could not quote from these desirable notices in
his advertisements of the book.  And, invariably, the notices were left

It now fell to the lot of the young advertiser to arouse the interest
of the public in what were to be some of the most widely read and
best-known books of the day: Robert Louis Stevenson's _Dr. Jekyll and
Mr. Hyde_; Frances Hodgson Burnett's _Little Lord Fauntleroy_; Andrew
Carnegie's _Triumphant Democracy_; Frank R. Stockton's _The Lady, or
the Tiger?_ and his _Rudder Grange_, and a succession of other books.

The advertising of these books keenly sharpened the publicity sense of
the developing advertising director.  One book could best be advertised
by the conventional means of the display advertisement; another, like
_Triumphant Democracy_, was best served by sending out to the
newspapers a "broadside" of pungent extracts; public curiosity in a
story like _The Lady, or the Tiger?_ was, of course, whetted by the
publication of literary notes as to the real dénouement the author had
in mind in writing the story.  Whenever Mr. Stockton came into the
office Bok pumped him dry as to his experiences with the story, such as
when, at a dinner party, his hostess served an ice-cream lady and a
tiger to the author, and the whole company watched which he chose.

"And which did you choose?" asked the advertising director.

"_Et tu, Brute?_" Stockton smilingly replied.  "Well, I'll tell you.  I
asked the butler to bring me another spoon, and then, with a spoon in
each hand, I attacked both the lady and the tiger at the same time."

Once, when Stockton was going to Boston by the night boat, every room
was taken.  The ticket agent recognized the author, and promised to get
him a desirable room if the author would tell which he had had in mind,
the lady or the tiger.

"Produce the room," answered Stockton.

The man did.  Stockton paid for it, and then said:

"To tell you the truth, my friend, I don't know."

And that was the truth, as Mr. Stockton confessed to his friends.  The
idea of the story had fascinated him; when he began it he purposed to
give it a definite ending.  But when he reached the end he didn't know
himself which to produce out of the open door, the lady or the tiger,
"and so," he used to explain, "I made up my mind to leave it hanging in
the air."

When the stories of _Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde_ and _Little Lord
Fauntleroy_ were made into plays, Bok was given an opportunity for an
entirely different kind of publicity.  Both plays were highly
successful; they ran for weeks in succession, and each evening Bok had
circulars of the books in every seat of the theatre; he had a table
filled with the books in the foyer of each theatre; and he bombarded
the newspapers with stories of Mr. Mansfield's method of making the
quick change from one character to the other in the dual role of the
Stevenson play, and with anecdotes about the boy Tommy Russell in Mrs.
Burnett's play.  The sale of the books went merrily on, and kept pace
with the success of the plays.  And it all sharpened the initiative of
the young advertiser and developed his sense for publicity.

One day while waiting in the anteroom of a publishing house to see a
member of the firm, he picked up a book and began to read it.  Since he
had to wait for nearly an hour, he had read a large part of the volume
when he was at last admitted to the private office.  When his business
was finished, Bok asked the publisher why this book was not selling.

"I don't know," replied the publisher.  "We had great hopes for it, but
somehow or other the public has not responded to it."

"Are you sure you are telling the public about it in the right way?"
ventured Bok.

The Scribner advertising had by this time attracted the attention of
the publishing world, and this publisher was entirely ready to listen
to a suggestion from his youthful caller.

"I wish we published it," said Bok.  "I think I could make it a go.
It's all in the book."

"How would you advertise it?" asked the publisher.

Bok promised the publisher he would let him know.  He carried with him
a copy of the book, wrote some advertisements for it, prepared an
attractive "broadside" of extracts, to which the book easily lent
itself, wrote some literary notes about it, and sent the whole
collection to the publisher.  Every particle of "copy" which Bok had
prepared was used, the book began to sell, and within three months it
was the most discussed book of the day.

The book was Edward Bellamy's _Looking Backward_.

Meanwhile, Mr. Beecher's weekly newspaper "syndicate" letter was not
only successful in itself, it made liberal money for the writer and for
its two young publishers, but it served to introduce Edward Bok's
proposed agency to the newspapers under the most favorable conditions.
With one stroke, the attention of newspaper editors had been attracted,
and Edward concluded to take quick advantage of it.  He organized the
Bok Syndicate Press, with offices in New York, and his brother, William
J. Bok, as partner and active manager.

Edward's attention was now turned, for the first time, to women and
their reading habits.  He became interested in the fact that the
American woman was not a newspaper reader.  He tried to find out the
psychology of this, and finally reached the conclusion, on looking over
the newspapers, that the absence of any distinctive material for women
was a factor.  He talked the matter over with several prominent New
York editors, who frankly acknowledged that they would like nothing
better than to interest women, and make them readers of their papers.
But they were equally frank in confessing that they were ignorant both
of what women wanted, and, even if they knew, of where such material
was to be had.  Edward at once saw that here was an open field.  It was
a productive field, since, as woman was the purchasing power, it would
benefit the newspaper enormously in its advertising if it could offer a
feminine clientele.

There was a bright letter of New York gossip published in the _New York
Star_, called "Bab's Babble."  Edward had read it, and saw the
possibility of syndicating this item as a woman's letter from New York.
He instinctively realized that women all over the country would read
it.  He sought out the author, made arrangements with her and with
former Governor Dorscheimer, owner of the paper, and the letter was
sent out to a group of papers.  It was an instantaneous success, and a
syndicate of ninety newspapers was quickly organized.

Edward followed this up by engaging Ella Wheeler Wilcox, then at the
height of her career, to write a weekly letter on women's topics.  This
he syndicated in conjunction with the other letter, and the editors
invariably grouped the two letters.  This, in turn, naturally led to
the idea of supplying an entire page of matter of interest to women.
The plan was proposed to a number of editors, who at once saw the
possibilities in it and promised support.  The young syndicator now
laid under contribution all the famous women writers of the day; he
chose the best of the men writers to write on women's topics; and it
was not long before the syndicate was supplying a page of women's
material.  The newspapers played up the innovation, and thus was
introduced into the newspaper press of the United States the "Woman's

The material supplied by the Bok Syndicate Press was of the best; the
standard was kept high; the writers were selected from among the most
popular authors of the day; and readability was the cardinal note.  The
women bought the newspapers containing the new page, the advertiser
began to feel the presence of the new reader, and every newspaper that
could not get the rights for the "Bok Page," as it came to be known,
started a "Woman's Page" of its own.  Naturally, the material so
obtained was of an inferior character.  No single newspaper could
afford what the syndicate, with the expense divided among a hundred
newspapers, could pay.  Nor had the editors of these woman's pages
either a standard or a policy.  In desperation they engaged any person
they could to "get a lot of woman's stuff."  It was stuff, and of the
trashiest kind.  So that almost coincident with the birth of the idea
began its abuse and disintegration; the result we see in the
meaningless presentations which pass for "woman's pages" in the
newspaper of to-day.

This is true even of the woman's material in the leading newspapers,
and the reason is not difficult to find.  The average editor has, as a
rule, no time to study the changing conditions of women's interests;
his time is and must be engrossed by the news and editorial pages.  He
usually delegates the Sunday "specials" to some editor who, again, has
little time to study the everchanging women's problems, particularly in
these days, and he relies upon unintelligent advice, or he places his
"woman's page" in the hands of some woman with the comfortable
assurance that, being a woman, she ought to know what interests her sex.

But having given the subject little thought, he attaches minor
importance to the woman's "stuff," regarding it rather in the light of
something that he "must carry to catch the women"; and forthwith he
either forgets it or refuses to give the editor of his woman's page
even a reasonable allowance to spend on her material.  The result is,
of course, inevitable: pages of worthless material.  There is, in fact,
no part of the Sunday newspaper of to-day upon which so much good and
now expensive white paper is wasted as upon the pages marked for the
home, for women, and for children.

Edward Bok now became convinced, from his book-publishing association,
that if the American women were not reading the newspapers, the
American public, as a whole, was not reading the number of books that
it should, considering the intelligence and wealth of the people, and
the cheap prices at which books were sold.  He concluded to see whether
he could not induce the newspapers to give larger and more prominent
space to the news of the book world.

Owing to his constant contact with authors, he was in a peculiarly
fortunate position to know their plans in advance of execution, and he
was beginning to learn the ins and outs of the book-publishing world.
He canvassed the newspapers subscribing to his syndicate features, but
found a disinclination to give space to literary news.  To the average
editor, purely literary features held less of an appeal than did the
features for women.  Fewer persons were interested in books, they
declared; besides, the publishing houses were not so liberal
advertisers as the department stores.  The whole question rested on a
commercial basis.

Edward believed he could convince editors of the public interest in a
newsy, readable New York literary letter, and he prevailed upon the
editor of the _New York Star_ to allow him to supplement the book
reviews of George Parsons Lathrop in that paper by a column of literary
chat called "Literary Leaves."  For a number of weeks he continued to
write this department, and confine it to the New York paper, feeling
that he needed the experience for the acquirement of a readable style,
and he wanted to be sure that he had opened a sufficient number of
productive news channels to ensure a continuous flow of readable
literary information.

Occasionally he sent to an editor here and there what he thought was a
particularly newsy letter just "for his information, not for sale."
The editor of the _Philadelphia Times_ was the first to discover that
his paper wanted the letter, and the _Boston Journal_ followed suit.
Then the editor of the _Cincinnati Times-Star_ discovered the letter in
the _New York Star_, and asked that it be supplied weekly with the
letter.  These newspapers renamed the letter "Bok's Literary Leaves,"
and the feature started on its successful career.



Edward Bok does not now remember whether the mental picture had been
given him, or whether he had conjured it up for himself; but he
certainly was possessed of the idea, as are so many young men entering
business, that the path which led to success was very difficult: that
it was overfilled with a jostling, bustling, panting crowd, each eager
to reach the goal; and all ready to dispute every step that a young man
should take; and that favoritism only could bring one to the top.

After Bok had been in the world of affairs, he wondered where were
these choked avenues, these struggling masses, these competitors for
every inch of vantage.  Then he gradually discovered that they did not

In the first place, he found every avenue leading to success wide open
and certainly not overpeopled.  He was surprised how few there were who
really stood in a young man's way.  He found that favoritism was not
the factor that he had been led to suppose.  He realized it existed in
a few isolated cases, but to these every one had pointed and about
these every one had talked until, in the public mind, they had
multiplied in number and assumed a proportion that the facts did not
bear out.

Here and there a relative "played a favorite," but even with the push
and influence behind him "the lucky one," as he was termed, did not
seem to make progress, unless he had merit.  It was not long before Bok
discovered that the possession of sheer merit was the only real factor
that actually counted in any of the places where he had been employed
or in others which he had watched; that business was so constructed and
conducted that nothing else, in the face of competition, could act as
current coin.  And the amazing part of it all to Bok was how little
merit there was.  Nothing astonished him more than the low average
ability of those with whom he worked or came into contact.

He looked at the top, and instead of finding it over-crowded, he was
surprised at the few who had reached there; the top fairly begged for
more to climb its heights.

For every young man, earnest, eager to serve, willing to do more than
he was paid for, he found ten trying to solve the problem of how little
they could actually do for the pay received.

It interested Bok to listen to the talk of his fellow-workers during
luncheon hours and at all other times outside of office hours.  When
the talk did turn on the business with which they were concerned, it
consisted almost entirely of wages, and he soon found that, with
scarcely an exception, every young man was terribly underpaid, and that
his employer absolutely failed to appreciate his work.  It was
interesting, later, when Bok happened to get the angle of the employer,
to discover that, invariably, these same lamenting young men were those
who, from the employer's point of view, were either greatly overpaid or
so entirely worthless as to be marked for early decapitation.

Bok felt that this constant thought of the wages earned or deserved was
putting the cart before the horse; he had schooled himself into the
belief that if he did his work well, and accomplished more than was
expected of him, the question of wages would take care of itself.  But,
according to the talk on every side, it was he who had the cart before
the horse.  Bok had not only tried always to fill the particular job
set for him, but had made it a rule at the same time to study the
position just ahead, to see what it was like, what it demanded, and
then, as the opportunity presented itself, do a part of that job in
addition to his own.  As a stenographer, he tried always to clear off
the day's work before he closed his desk.  This was not always
possible, but he kept it before him as a rule to be followed rather
than violated.

One morning Bok's employer happened to come to the office earlier than
usual, to find the letters he had dictated late in the afternoon before
lying on his desk ready to be signed.

"These are the letters I gave you late yesterday afternoon, are they
not?" asked the employer.

"Yes, sir."

"Must have started early this morning, didn't you?^

"No, sir," answered Bok.  "I wrote them out last evening before I left."

"Like to get your notes written out before they get stale?"

"Yes, sir."

"Good idea," said the employer.

"Yes, sir," answered Bok, "and I think it is even a better idea to get
a day's work off before I take my apron off."

"Well said," answered the employer, and the following payday Bok found
an increase in his weekly envelope.

It is only fair, however, to add here, parenthetically, that it is
neither just nor considerate to a conscientious stenographer for an
employer to delay his dictation until the end of the day's work, when,
merely by judicious management of his affairs and time, he can give his
dictation directly after opening his morning mail.  There are two sides
to every question; but sometimes the side of the stenographer is not
kept in mind by the employer.

Bok found it a uniform rule among his fellow-workers to do exactly the
opposite to his own idea; there was an astonishing unanimity in working
by the clock; where the hour of closing was five o'clock the
preparations began five minutes before, with the hat and overcoat over
the back of the chair ready for the stroke of the hour.  This concert
of action was curiously universal, no "overtime" was ever to be thought
of, and, as occasionally happened when the work did go over the hour,
it was not, to use the mildest term, done with care, neatness, or
accuracy; it was, to use a current phrase, "slammed off."  Every moment
beyond five o'clock in which the worker was asked to do anything was by
just so much an imposition on the part of the employer, and so far as
it could be safely shown, this impression was gotten over to him.

There was an entire unwillingness to let business interfere with any
anticipated pleasure or personal engagement.  The office was all right
between nine and five; one had to be there to earn a living; but after
five, it was not to be thought of for one moment.  The elevators which
ran on the stroke of five were never large enough to hold the throng
which besieged them.

The talk during lunch hour rarely, if ever, turned toward business,
except as said before, when it dealt with underpaid services.  In the
spring and summer it was invariably of baseball, and scores of young
men knew the batting averages of the different players and the standing
of the clubs with far greater accuracy than they knew the standing or
the discounts of the customers of their employers.  In the winter the
talk was all of dancing, boxing, or plays.

It soon became evident to Bok why scarcely five out of every hundred of
the young men whom he knew made any business progress.  They were not
interested; it was a case of a day's work and a day's pay; it was not a
question of how much one could do but how little one could get away
with.  The thought of how well one might do a given thing never seemed
to occur to the average mind.

"Oh, what do you care?" was the favorite expression.  "The boss won't
notice it if you break your back over his work; you won't get any more

And there the subject was dismissed, and thoroughly dismissed, too.

Eventually, then, Bok learned that the path that led to success was
wide open: the competition was negligible.  There was no jostling.  In
fact, travel on it was just a trifle lonely.  One's fellow-travellers
were excellent company, but they were few!  It was one of Edward Bok's
greatest surprises, but it was also one of his greatest stimulants.  To
go where others could not go, or were loath to go, where at least they
were not, had a tang that savored of the freshest kind of adventure.
And the way was so simple, so much simpler, in fact, than its
avoidance, which called for so much argument, explanation, and
discussion.  One had merely to do all that one could do, a little more
than one was asked or expected to do, and immediately one's head rose
above the crowd and one was in an employer's eye--where it is always so
satisfying for an employee to be!  And as so few heads lifted
themselves above the many, there was never any danger that they would
not be seen.

Of course, Edward Bok had to prove to himself that his conception of
conditions was right.  He felt instinctively that it was, however, and
with this stimulus he bucked the line hard.  When others played, he
worked, fully convinced that his play-time would come later.  Where
others shirked, he assumed.  Where others lagged, he accelerated his
pace.  Where others were indifferent to things around them, he observed
and put away the results for possible use later.  He did not make of
himself a pack-horse; what he undertook he did from interest in it, and
that made it a pleasure to him when to others it was a burden.  He
instinctively reasoned it out that an unpleasant task is never
accomplished by stepping aside from it, but that, unerringly, it will
return later to be met and done.

Obstacles, to Edward Bok, soon became merely difficulties to be
overcome, and he trusted to his instinct to show him the best way to
overcome them.  He soon learned that the hardest kind of work was back
of every success; that nothing in the world of business just happened,
but that everything was brought about, and only in one way--by a
willingness of spirit and a determination to carry through.  He soon
exploded for himself the misleading and comfortable theory of luck; the
only lucky people, he found, were those who worked hard.  To them, luck
came in the shape of what they had earned.  There were exceptions here
and there, as there are to every rule; but the majority of these, he
soon found, were more in the seeming than in the reality.  Generally
speaking--and of course to this rule there are likewise exceptions, or
as the Frenchman said, "All generalizations are false, including this
one"--a man got in this world about what he worked for.

And that became, for himself, the rule of Edward Bok's life.



From his boyhood days (up to the present writing) Bok was a pronounced
baseball "fan," and there was, too, a baseball team among the Scribner
young men of which he was a part.  This team played, each Saturday
afternoon, a team from another publishing house, and for two seasons it
was unbeatable.  Not only was this baseball aggregation close to the
hearts of the Scribner employees, but, in an important game, the junior
member of the firm played on it and the senior member was a spectator.
Frank N. Doubleday played on first base; William D. Moffat, later of
Moffat, Yard & Company, and now editor of _The Mentor_, was behind the
bat; Bok pitched; Ernest Dressel North, the present authority on rare
editions of books, was in the field, as were also Ray Safford, now a
director in the Scribner corporation, and Owen W. Brewer, at present a
prominent figure in Chicago's book world.  It was a happy group, all
closely banded together in their business interests and in their human
relations as well.

With Scribner's Magazine now in the periodical field, Bok would be
asked on his trips to the publishing houses to have an eye open for
advertisements for that periodical as well.  Hence his education in the
solicitation of advertisements became general, and gave him a
sympathetic understanding of the problems of the advertising solicitor
which was to stand him in good stead when, in his later experience, he
was called upon to view the business problems of a magazine from the
editor's position.  His knowledge of the manufacture of the two
magazines in his charge was likewise educative, as was the fascinating
study of typography which always had, and has today, a wonderful
attraction for him.

It was, however, in connection with the advertising of the general
books of the house, and in his relations with their authors, that Bok
found his greatest interest.  It was for him to find the best manner in
which to introduce to the public the books issued by the house, and the
general study of the psychology of publicity which this called for
attracted Bok greatly.

Although the Scribners did not publish Mark Twain's books, the humorist
was a frequent visitor to the retail store, and occasionally he would
wander back to the publishing department located at the rear of the
store, which was then at 743 Broadway.

Smoking was not permitted in the Scribner offices, and, of course, Mark
Twain was always smoking.  He generally smoked a granulated tobacco
which he kept in a long check bag made of silk and rubber.  When he
sauntered to the back of the Scribner store, he would generally knock
the residue from the bowl of the pipe, take out the stem, place it in
his vest pocket, like a pencil, and drop the bowl into the bag
containing the granulated tobacco.  When he wanted to smoke again
(which was usually five minutes later) he would fish out the bowl, now
automatically filled with tobacco, insert the stem, and strike a light.
One afternoon as he wandered into Bok's office, he was just putting his
pipe away.  The pipe, of the corncob variety, was very aged and black.
Bok asked him whether it was the only pipe he had.

"Oh, no," Mark answered, "I have several.  But they're all like this.
I never smoke a new corncob pipe.  A new pipe irritates the throat.  No
corncob pipe is fit for anything until it has been used at least a

"How do you break in a pipe, then?" asked Bok.

"That's the trick," answered Mark Twain.  "I get a cheap man--a man who
doesn't amount to much, anyhow: who would be as well, or better,
dead--and pay him a dollar to break in the pipe for me.  I get him to
smoke the pipe for a couple of weeks, then put in a new stem, and
continue operations as long as the pipe holds together."

Bok's newspaper syndicate work had brought him into contact with Fanny
Davenport, then at the zenith of her career as an actress.  Miss
Davenport, or Mrs. Melbourne McDowell as she was in private life, had
never written for print; but Bok, seeing that she had something to say
about her art and the ability to say it, induced her to write for the
newspapers through his syndicate.  The actress was overjoyed to have
revealed to her a hitherto unsuspected gift; Bok published her articles
successfully, and gave her a publicity that her press agent had never
dreamed of.  Miss Davenport became interested in the young publisher,
and after watching the methods which he employed in successfully
publishing her writings, decided to try to obtain his services as her
assistant manager.  She broached the subject, offered him a five years'
contract for forty weeks' service, with a minimum of fifteen weeks each
year to spend in or near New York, at a salary, for the first year, of
three thousand dollars, increasing annually until the fifth year, when
he was to receive sixty-four hundred dollars.

Bok was attracted to the work: he had never seen the United States, was
anxious to do so, and looked upon the chance as a good opportunity.
Miss Davenport had the contract made out, executed it, and then, in
high glee, Bok took it home to show it to his mother.  He had reckoned
without question upon her approval, only to meet with an immediate and
decided negative to the proposition as a whole, general and specific.
She argued that the theatrical business was not for him; and she saw
ahead and pointed out so strongly the mistake he was making that he
sought Miss Davenport the next day and told her of his mother's stand.
The actress suggested that she see the mother; she did, that day, and
she came away from the interview a wiser if a sadder woman.  Miss
Davenport frankly told Bok that with such an instinctive objection as
his mother seemed to have, he was right to follow her advice and the
contract was not to be thought of.

It is difficult to say whether this was or was not for Bok the
turning-point which comes in the life of every young man.  Where the
venture into theatrical life would have led him no one can, of course,
say.  One thing is certain: Bok's instinct and reason both failed him
in this instance.  He believes now that had his venture into the
theatrical field been temporary or permanent, the experiment, either
way, would have been disastrous.

Looking back and viewing the theatrical profession even as it was in
that day (of a much higher order than now), he is convinced he would
never have been happy in it.  He might have found this out in a year or
more, after the novelty of travelling had worn off, and asked release
from his contract; in that case he would have broken his line of
progress in the publishing business.  From whatever viewpoint he has
looked back upon this, which he now believes to have been the crisis in
his life, he is convinced that his mother's instinct saved him from a
grievous mistake.

The Scribner house, in its foreign-book department, had imported some
copies of Bourrienne's _Life of Napoleon_, and a set had found its way
to Bok's desk for advertising purposes.  He took the books home to
glance them ever, found himself interested, and sat up half the night
to read them.  Then he took the set to the editor of the New York Star,
and suggested that such a book warranted a special review, and offered
to leave the work for the literary editor.

"You have read the books?" asked the editor.

"Every word," returned Bok.

"Then, why don't you write the review?" suggested the editor.

This was a new thought to Bok.  "Never wrote a review," he said.

"Try it," answered the editor.  "Write a column."

"A column wouldn't scratch the surface of this book," suggested the
embryo reviewer.

"Well, give it what it is worth," returned the editor.

Bok did.  He wrote a page of the paper.

"Too much, too much," said the editor.  "Heavens, man, we've got to get
some news into this paper."

"Very well," returned the reviewer.  "Read it, and cut it where you
like.  That's the way I see the book."

And next Sunday the review appeared, word for word, as Bok had written
it.  His first review had successfully passed!

But Bok was really happiest in that part of his work which concerned
itself with the writing of advertisements.  The science of
advertisement writing, which meant to him the capacity to say much in
little space, appealed strongly.  He found himself more honestly
attracted to this than to the writing of his literary letter, his
editorials, or his book reviewing, of which he was now doing a good
deal.  He determined to follow where his bent led; he studied the
mechanics of unusual advertisements wherever he saw them; he eagerly
sought a knowledge of typography and its best handling in an
advertisement, and of the value and relation of illustrations to text.
He perceived that his work along these lines seemed to give
satisfaction to his employers, since they placed more of it in his
hands to do; and he sought in every way to become proficient in the art.

To publishers whose advertisements he secured for the periodicals in
his charge, he made suggestions for the improvement of their
announcements, and found his suggestions accepted.  He early saw the
value of white space as one of the most effective factors in
advertising; but this was a difficult argument, he soon found, to
convey successfully to others.  A white space in an advertisement was
to the average publisher something to fill up; Bok saw in it something
to cherish for its effectiveness.  But he never got very far with his
idea: he could not convince (perhaps because he failed to express his
ideas convincingly) his advertisers of what he felt and believed so

An occasion came in which he was permitted to prove his contention.
The Scribners had published Andrew Carnegie's volume, _Triumphant
Democracy_, and the author desired that some special advertising should
be done in addition to that allowed by the appropriation made by the
house.  To Bok's grateful ears came the injunction from the steel
magnate: "Use plenty of white space."  In conjunction with Mr.
Doubleday, Bok prepared and issued this extra advertising, and for
once, at least, the wisdom of using white space was demonstrated.  But
it was only a flash in the pan.  Publishers were unwilling to pay for
"unused space," as they termed it.  Each book was a separate unit,
others argued: it was not like advertising one article continuously in
which money could be invested; and only a limited amount could be spent
on a book which ran its course, even at its best, in a very short time.

And, rightly or wrongly, book advertising has continued much along the
same lines until the present day.  In fact, in no department of
manufacturing or selling activity has there been so little progress
during the past fifty years as in bringing books to the notice of the
public.  In all other lines, the producer has brought his wares to the
public, making it easier and still easier for it to obtain his goods,
while the public, if it wants a book, must still seek the book instead
of being sought by it.

That there is a tremendous unsupplied book demand in this country there
is no doubt: the wider distribution and easier access given to
periodicals prove this point.  Now and then there has been tried an
unsupported or not well-thought-out plan for bringing books to a public
not now reading them, but there seems little or no understanding of the
fact that there lies an uncultivated field of tremendous promise to the
publisher who will strike out on a new line and market his books, so
that the public will not have to ferret out a book-store or wind
through the maze of a department store.  The American reading public is
not the book-reading public that it should be or could be made to be;
but the habit must be made easy for it to acquire.  Books must be
placed where the public can readily get at them.  It will not, of its
own volition, seek them.  It did not do so with magazines; it will not
do so with books.

In the meanwhile, Bok's literary letter had prospered until it was now
published in some forty-five newspapers, One of these was the
_Philadelphia Times_.  In that paper, each week, the letter had been
read by Mr. Cyrus H. K. Curtis, the owner and publisher of _The Ladies'
Home Journal_.  Mr. Curtis had decided that he needed an editor for his
magazine, in order to relieve his wife, who was then editing it, and he
fixed upon the writer of _Literary Leaves_ as his man.  He came to New
York, consulted Will Carleton, the poet, and found that while the
letter was signed by William J. Bok, it was actually written by his
brother who was with the Scribners.  So he sought Bok out there.

The publishing house had been advertising in the Philadelphia magazine,
so that the visit of Mr. Curtis was not an occasion for surprise.  Mr.
Curtis told Bok he had read his literary letter in the _Philadelphia
Times_, and suggested that perhaps he might write a similar department
for _The Ladies' Home Journal_.  Bok saw no reason why he should not,
and told Mr. Curtis so, and promised to send over a trial instalment.
The Philadelphia publisher then deftly went on, explained editorial
conditions in his magazine, and, recognizing the ethics of the occasion
by not offering Bok another position while he was already occupying
one, asked him if he knew the man for the place.

"Are you talking at me or through me?" asked Bok.

"Both," replied Mr. Curtis.

This was in April of 1889.

Bok promised Mr. Curtis he would look over the field, and meanwhile he
sent over to Philadelphia the promised trial "literary gossip"
instalment.  It pleased Mr. Curtis, who suggested a monthly department,
to which Bok consented.  He also turned over in his mind the wisdom of
interrupting his line of progress with the Scribners, and in New York,
and began to contemplate the possibilities in Philadelphia and the work

He gathered a collection of domestic magazines then published, and
looked them over to see what was already in the field.  Then he began
to study himself, his capacity for the work, and the possibility of
finding it congenial.  He realized that it was absolutely foreign to
his Scribner work; that it meant a radical departure.  But his work
with his newspaper syndicate naturally occurred to him, and he studied
it with a view of its adaptation to the field of the Philadelphia

His next step was to take into his confidence two or three friends
whose judgment he trusted and discuss the possible change.  Without an
exception, they advised against it.  The periodical had no standing,
they argued; Bok would be out of sympathy with its general atmosphere
after his Scribner environment; he was now in the direct line of
progress in New York publishing houses; and, to cap the climax, they
each argued in turn, he would be buried in Philadelphia: New York was
the centre, etc., etc.

More than any other single argument, this last point destroyed Bok's
faith in the judgment of his friends.  He had had experience enough to
realize that a man could not be buried in any city, provided he had the
ability to stand out from his fellow-men.  He knew from his
biographical reading that cream will rise to the surface anywhere, in
Philadelphia as well as in New York: it all depended on whether the
cream was there: it was up to the man.  Had he within him that
peculiar, subtle something that, for the want of a better phrase, we
call the editorial instinct?  That was all there was to it, and that
decision had to be his and his alone!

A business trip for the Scribners now calling him West, Bok decided to
stop at Philadelphia, have a talk with Mr. Curtis, and look over his
business plant.  He did this, and found Mr. Curtis even more desirous
than before to have him consider the position.  Bok's instinct was
strongly in favor of an acceptance.  A natural impulse moved him,
without reasoning, to action.  Reasoning led only to a cautious mental
state, and caution is a strong factor in the Dutch character.  The
longer he pursued a conscious process of reasoning, the farther he got
from the position.  But the instinct remained strong.

On his way back from the West, he stopped in Philadelphia again to
consult his friend, George W. Childs; and here he found the only person
who was ready to encourage him to make the change.

Bok now laid the matter before his mother, in whose feminine instinct
he had supreme confidence.  With her, he met with instant
discouragement.  But in subsequent talks he found that her opposition
was based not upon the possibilities inherent in the position, but on a
mother's natural disinclination to be separated from one of her sons.
In the case of Fanny Davenport's offer the mother's instinct was strong
against the proposition itself.  But in the present instance it was the
mother's love that was speaking; not her instinct or judgment.

Bok now consulted his business associates, and, to a man, they
discouraged the step, but almost invariably upon the argument that it
was suicidal to leave New York.  He had now a glimpse of the truth that
there is no man so provincially narrow as the untravelled New Yorker
who believes in his heart that the sun rises in the East River and sets
in the North River.

He realized more keenly than ever before that the decision rested with
him alone.  On September 1, 1889, Bok wrote to Mr. Curtis, accepting
the position in Philadelphia; and on October 13 following he left the
Scribners, where he had been so fortunate and so happy, and, after a
week's vacation, followed where his instinct so strongly led, but where
his reason wavered.

On October 20, 1889, Edward Bok became the editor of _The Ladies' Home



There is a popular notion that the editor of a woman's magazine should
be a woman.  At first thought, perhaps, this sounds logical.  But it is
a curious fact that by far the larger number of periodicals for women,
the world over, are edited by men; and where, as in some cases, a woman
is the proclaimed editor, the direction of the editorial policy is
generally in the hands of a man, or group of men, in the background.
Why this is so has never been explained, any more than why the majority
of women's dressmakers are men; why music, with its larger appeal to
women, has been and is still being composed, largely, by men, and why
its greatest instrumental performers are likewise men; and why the
church, with its larger membership of women, still has, as it always
has had, men for its greatest preachers.

In fact, we may well ponder whether the full editorial authority and
direction of a modern magazine, either essentially feminine in its
appeal or not, can safely be entrusted to a woman when one considers
how largely executive is the nature of such a position, and how
thoroughly sensitive the modern editor must be to the hundred and one
practical business matters which to-day enter into and form so large a
part of the editorial duties.  We may question whether women have as
yet had sufficient experience in the world of business to cope
successfully with the material questions of a pivotal editorial
position.  Then, again, it is absolutely essential in the conduct of a
magazine with a feminine or home appeal to have on the editorial staff
women who are experts in their line; and the truth is that women will
work infinitely better under the direction of a man than of a woman.

It would seem from the present outlook that, for some time, at least,
the so-called woman's magazine of large purpose and wide vision is very
likely to be edited by a man.  It is a question, however, whether the
day of the woman's magazine, as we have known it, is not passing.
Already the day has gone for the woman's magazine built on the old
lines which now seem so grotesque and feeble in the light of modern
growth.  The interests of women and of men are being brought closer
with the years, and it will not be long before they will entirely
merge.  This means a constantly diminishing necessity for the
distinctly feminine magazine.

Naturally, there will always be a field in the essentially feminine
pursuits which have no place in the life of a man, but these are
rapidly being cared for by books, gratuitously distributed, issued by
the manufacturers of distinctly feminine and domestic wares; for such
publications the best talent is being employed, and the results are
placed within easy access of women, by means of newspaper
advertisement, the store-counter, or the mails.  These will sooner or
later--and much sooner than later--supplant the practical portions of
the woman's magazine, leaving only the general contents, which are
equally interesting to men and to women.  Hence the field for the
magazine with the essentially feminine appeal is contracting rather
than broadening, and it is likely to contract much more rapidly in the

The field was altogether different when Edward Bok entered it in 1889.
It was not only wide open, but fairly crying out to be filled.  The day
of _Godey's Lady's Book_ had passed; _Peterson's Magazine_ was
breathing its last; and the home or women's magazines that had
attempted to take their place were sorry affairs.  It was this
consciousness of a void ready to be filled that made the Philadelphia
experiment so attractive to the embryo editor.  He looked over the
field and reasoned that if such magazines as did exist could be fairly
successful, if women were ready to buy such, how much greater response
would there be to a magazine of higher standards, of larger
initiative--a magazine that would be an authoritative clearing-house
for all the problems confronting women in the home, that brought itself
closely into contact with those problems and tried to solve them in an
entertaining and efficient way; and yet a magazine of uplift and
inspiration: a magazine, in other words, that would give light and
leading in the woman's world.

The method of editorial expression in the magazines of 1889 was also
distinctly vague and prohibitively impersonal.  The public knew the
name of scarcely a single editor of a magazine; there was no
personality that stood out in the mind: the accepted editorial
expression was the indefinite "we"; no one ventured to use the first
person singular and talk intimately to the reader.  Edward Bok's
biographical reading had taught him that the American public loved a
personality; that it was always ready to recognize and follow a leader,
provided, of course, that the qualities of leadership were
demonstrated.  He felt the time had come--the reference here and
elsewhere is always to the realm of popular magazine literature
appealing to a very wide audience--for the editor of some magazine to
project his personality through the printed page and to convince the
public that he was not an oracle removed from the people, but a real
human being who could talk and not merely write on paper.

He saw, too, that the average popular magazine of 1889 failed of large
success because it wrote down to the public--a grievous mistake that so
many editors have made and still make.  No one wants to be told, either
directly or indirectly, that he knows less than he does, or even that
he knows as little as he does; every one is benefited by the opposite
implication, and the public will always follow the leader who
comprehends this bit of psychology.  There is always a happy medium
between shooting over the public's head and shooting too far under it.
And it is because of the latter aim that we find the modern popular
magazine the worthless thing that, in so many instances, it is to-day.

It is the rare editor who rightly gauges his public psychology.
Perhaps that is why, in the enormous growth of the modern magazine,
there have been produced so few successful editors.  The average editor
is obsessed with the idea of "giving the public what it wants,"
whereas, in fact, the public, while it knows what it wants when it sees
it, cannot clearly express its wants, and never wants the thing that it
does ask for, although it thinks it does at the time.  But woe to the
editor and his periodical if he heeds that siren voice!

The editor has, therefore, no means of finding it out aforehand by
putting his ear to the ground.  Only by the simplest rules of
psychology can he edit rightly so that he may lead, and to the average
editor of to-day, it is to be feared, psychology is a closed book.  His
mind is all too often focussed on the circulation and advertising, and
all too little on the intangibles that will bring to his periodical the
results essential in these respects.

The editor is the pivot of a magazine.  On him everything turns.  If
his gauge of the public is correct, readers will come: they cannot help
coming to the man who has something to say himself, or who presents
writers who have.  And if the reader comes, the advertiser must come.
He must go where his largest market is: where the buyers are.  The
advertiser, instead of being the most difficult factor in a magazine
proposition, as is so often mistakenly thought, is, in reality, the
simplest.  He has no choice but to advertise in the successful
periodical.  He must come along.  The editor need never worry about
him.  If the advertiser shuns the periodical's pages, the fault is
rarely that of the advertiser: the editor can generally look for the
reason nearer home.

One of Edward Bok's first acts as editor was to offer a series of
prizes for the best answers to three questions he put to his readers:
what in the magazine did they like least and why; what did they like
best and why; and what omitted feature or department would they like to
see installed?  Thousands of answers came, and these the editor
personally read carefully and classified.  Then he gave his readers'
suggestions back to them in articles and departments, but never on the
level suggested by them.  He gave them the subjects they asked for, but
invariably on a slightly higher plane; and each year he raised the
standard a notch.  He always kept "a huckleberry or two" ahead of his
readers.  His psychology was simple: come down to the level which the
public sets and it will leave you at the moment you do it.  It always
expects of its leaders that they shall keep a notch above or a step
ahead.  The American public always wants something a little better than
it asks for, and the successful man, in catering to it, is he who
follows this golden rule.



Edward Bok has often been referred to as the one "who made _The Ladies'
Home Journal_ out of nothing," who "built it from the ground up," or,
in similar terms, implying that when he became its editor in 1889 the
magazine was practically non-existent.  This is far from the fact.  The
magazine was begun in 1883, and had been edited by Mrs. Cyrus H. K.
Curtis, for six years, under her maiden name of Louisa Knapp, before
Bok undertook its editorship.  Mrs. Curtis had laid a solid foundation
of principle and policy for the magazine: it had achieved a circulation
of 440,000 copies a month when she transferred the editorship, and it
had already acquired such a standing in the periodical world as to
attract the advertisements of Charles Scribner's Sons, which Mr.
Doubleday, and later Bok himself, gave to the Philadelphia
magazine--advertising which was never given lightly, or without the
most careful investigation of the worth of the circulation of a

What every magazine publisher knows as the most troublous years in the
establishment of a periodical, the first half-dozen years of its
existence, had already been weathered by the editor and publisher.  The
wife as editor and the husband as publisher had combined to lay a solid
basis upon which Bok had only to build: his task was simply to rear a
structure upon the foundation already laid.  It is to the vision and to
the genius of the first editor of _The Ladies' Home Journal_ that the
unprecedented success of the magazine is primarily due.  It was the
purpose and the policy of making a magazine of authoritative service
for the womanhood of America, a service which would visualize for
womanhood its highest domestic estate, that had won success for the
periodical from its inception.  It is difficult to believe, in the
multiplicity of similar magazines today, that such a purpose was new;
that _The Ladies' Home Journal_ was a path-finder; but the convincing
proof is found in the fact that all the later magazines of this class
have followed in the wake of the periodical conceived by Mrs. Curtis,
and have ever since been its imitators.

When Edward Bok succeeded Mrs. Curtis, he immediately encountered
another popular misconception of a woman's magazine--the conviction
that if a man is the editor of a periodical with a distinctly feminine
appeal, he must, as the term goes, "understand women."  If Bok had
believed this to be true, he would never have assumed the position.
How deeply rooted is this belief was brought home to him on every hand
when his decision to accept the Philadelphia position was announced.
His mother, knowing her son better than did any one else, looked at him
with amazement.  She could not believe that he was serious in his
decision to cater to women's needs when he knew so little about them.
His friends, too, were intensely amused, and took no pains to hide
their amusement from him.  They knew him to be the very opposite of "a
lady's man," and when they were not convulsed with hilarity they were
incredulous and marvelled.

No man, perhaps, could have been chosen for the position who had a less
intimate knowledge of women.  Bok had no sister, no women confidantes:
he had lived with and for his mother.  She was the only woman he really
knew or who really knew him.  His boyhood days had been too full of
poverty and struggle to permit him to mingle with the opposite sex.
And it is a curious fact that Edward Bok's instinctive attitude toward
women was that of avoidance.  He did not dislike women, but it could
not be said that he liked them.  They had never interested him.  Of
women, therefore, he knew little; of their needs less.  Nor had he the
slightest desire, even as an editor, to know them better or to seek to
understand them.  Even at that age, he knew that, as a man, he could
not, no matter what effort he might make, and he let it go at that.

What he saw in the position was not the need to know women; he could
employ women for that purpose.  He perceived clearly that the editor of
a magazine was largely an executive: his was principally the work of
direction; of studying currents and movements, watching their
formation, their tendency, their efficacy if advocated or translated
into actuality, and then selecting from the horizon those that were for
the best interests of the home.  For a home was something which Edward
Bok did understand.  He had always lived in one; had struggled to keep
it together, and he knew every inch of the hard road that makes for
domestic permanence amid adverse financial conditions.  And at the home
he aimed rather than at the woman in it.

And with his own limited knowledge of the sex, he needed, and none knew
it better than did he, the ablest women he could obtain to help him
realize his ideals.  Their personal opinions of him did not matter so
long as he could command their best work.  Sooner or later, when his
purposes were better understood, they might alter those opinions.  For
that he could afford to wait.  But he could not wait to get their work.

By this time the editor had come to see that the power of a magazine
might lie more securely behind the printed page than in it.  He had
begun to accustom his readers to writing to his editors upon all
conceivable problems.

This he decided to encourage.  He employed an expert in each line of
feminine endeavor, upon the distinct understanding that the most
scrupulous attention should be given to her correspondence: that every
letter, no matter how inconsequential, should be answered quickly,
fully, and courteously, with the questioner always encouraged to come
again if any problem of whatever nature came to her.  He told his
editors that ignorance on any question was a misfortune, not a crime;
and he wished their correspondence treated in the most courteous and
helpful spirit.

Step by step, the editor built up this service behind the magazine
until he had a staff of thirty-five editors on the monthly pay-roll; in
each issue, he proclaimed the willingness of these editors to answer
immediately any questions by mail, he encouraged and cajoled his
readers to form the habit of looking upon his magazine as a great
clearing-house of information.  Before long, the letters streamed in by
the tens of thousands during a year.  The editor still encouraged, and
the total ran into the hundreds of thousands, until during the last
year, before the service was finally stopped by the Great War in 1917,
the yearly correspondence totalled nearly a million letters.

[Illustration: The Grandmother, who counselled each of her children to
make the world a better and more beautiful place to live in--a counsel
which is now being carried on by her grandchildren, one of whom is
Edward Bok.]

The lack of opportunity for an education in Bok's own life led him to
cast about for some plan whereby an education might be obtained without
expense by any one who desired.  He finally hit upon the simple plan of
substituting free scholarships for the premiums then so frequently
offered by periodicals for subscriptions secured.  Free musical
education at the leading conservatories was first offered to any girl
who would secure a certain number of subscriptions to _The Ladies' Home
Journal_, the complete offer being a year's free tuition, with free
room, free board, free piano in her own room, and all travelling
expenses paid.  The plan was an immediate success: the solicitation of
a subscription by a girl desirous of educating herself made an
irresistible appeal.

This plan was soon extended, so as to include all the girls' colleges,
and finally all the men's colleges, so that a free education might be
possible at any educational institution.  So comprehensive it became
that to the close of 1919, one thousand four hundred and fifty-five
free scholarships had been awarded.  The plan has now been in operation
long enough to have produced some of the leading singers and
instrumental artists of the day, whose names are familiar to all, as
well as instructors in colleges and scores of teachers; and to have
sent several score of men into conspicuous positions in the business
and professional world.

Edward Bok has always felt that but for his own inability to secure an
education, and his consequent desire for self-improvement, the
realization of the need in others might not have been so strongly felt
by him, and that his plan whereby thousands of others were benefited
might never have been realized.

It was this comprehensive personal service, built up back of the
magazine from the start, that gave the periodical so firm and unique a
hold on its clientele.  It was not the printed word that was its chief
power: scores of editors who have tried to study and diagnose the
appeal of the magazine from the printed page, have remained baffled at
the remarkable confidence elicited from its readers.  They never looked
back of the magazine, and therefore failed to discover its secret.  Bok
went through three financial panics with the magazine, and while other
periodicals severely suffered from diminished circulation at such
times, _The Ladies' Home Journal_ always held its own.  Thousands of
women had been directly helped by the magazine; it had not remained an
inanimate printed thing, but had become a vital need in the personal
lives of its readers.

So intimate had become this relation, so efficient was the service
rendered, that its readers could not be pried loose from it; where
women were willing and ready, when the domestic pinch came, to let go
of other reading matter, they explained to their husbands or fathers
that _The Ladies' Home Journal_ was a necessity--they did not feel that
they could do without it.  The very quality for which the magazine had
been held up to ridicule by the unknowing and unthinking had become,
with hundreds of thousands of women, its source of power and the
bulwark of its success.

Bok was beginning to realize the vision which had lured him from New
York: that of putting into the field of American magazines a periodical
that should become such a clearing-house as virtually to make it an

He felt that, for the present at least, he had sufficiently established
the personal contact with his readers through the more intimate
departments, and decided to devote his efforts to the literary features
of the magazine.

The newspaper paragraphers were now having a delightful time with
Edward Bok and his woman's magazine, and he was having a delightful
time with them.  The editor's publicity sense made him realize how
valuable for his purposes was all this free advertising.  The
paragraphers believed, in their hearts, that they were annoying the
young editor; they tried to draw his fire through their articles.  But
he kept quiet, put his tongue in his cheek, and determined to give them
some choice morsels for their wit.

He conceived the idea of making familiar to the public the women who
were back of the successful men of the day.  He felt sure that his
readers wanted to know about these women.  But to attract his newspaper
friends he labelled the series, "Unknown Wives of Well-Known Men" and
"Clever Daughters of Clever Men."

The alliterative titles at once attracted the paragraphers; they fell
upon them like hungry trout, and a perfect fusillade of paragraphs
began.  This is exactly what the editor wanted; and he followed these
two series immediately by inducing the daughter of Charles Dickens to
write of "My Father as I Knew Him," and Mrs. Henry Ward Beecher, of
"Mr. Beecher as I Knew Him."  Bok now felt that he had given the
newspapers enough ammunition to last for some time; and he turned his
attention to building up a more permanent basis for his magazine.

The two authors of that day who commanded more attention than any
others were William Dean Howells and Rudyard Kipling.  Bok knew that
these two would give to his magazine the literary quality that it
needed, and so he laid them both under contribution.  He bought Mr.
Howells's new novel, "The Coast of Bohemia," and arranged that
Kipling's new novelette upon which he was working should come to the
magazine.  Neither the public nor the magazine editors had expected Bok
to break out along these more permanent lines, and magazine publishers
began to realize that a new competitor had sprung up in Philadelphia.
Bok knew they would feel this; so before he announced Mr. Howells's new
novel, he contracted with the novelist to follow this with his
autobiography.  This surprised the editors of the older magazines, for
they realized that the Philadelphia editor had completely tied up the
leading novelist of the day for his next two years' output.

Meanwhile, in order that the newspapers might be well supplied with
barbs for their shafts, he published an entire number of his magazine
written by the daughters of famous men.  This unique issue presented
contributions by the daughters of Charles Dickens, Nathaniel Hawthorne,
President Harrison, Horace Greeley, William M. Thackeray, William Dean
Howells, General Sherman, Jefferson Davis, Mr. Gladstone, and a score
of others.  This issue simply filled the paragraphers with glee.  Then
once more Bok turned to articles calculated to cement the foundation
for a more permanent structure.

The material that the editor was publishing and the authors that he was
laying under contribution began to have marked effect upon the
circulation of the magazine, and it was not long before the original
figures were doubled, an edition--enormous for that day--of seven
hundred and fifty thousand copies was printed and sold each month, the
magical figure of a million was in sight, and the periodical was
rapidly taking its place as one of the largest successes of the day.

Mr. Curtis's single proprietorship of the magazine had been changed
into a corporation called The Curtis Publishing Company, with a capital
of five hundred thousand dollars, with Mr. Curtis as president, and Bok
as vice-president.

The magazine had by no means an easy road to travel financially.  The
doubling of the subscription price to one dollar per year had
materially checked the income for the time being; the huge advertising
bills, sometimes exceeding three hundred thousand dollars a year, were
difficult to pay; large credit had to be obtained, and the banks were
carrying a considerable quantity of Mr. Curtis's notes.  But Mr. Curtis
never wavered in his faith in his proposition and his editor.  In the
first he invested all he had and could borrow, and to the latter he
gave his undivided support.  The two men worked together rather as
father and son--as, curiously enough, they were to be later--than as
employer and employee.  To Bok, the daily experience of seeing Mr.
Curtis finance his proposition in sums that made the publishing world
of that day gasp with sceptical astonishment was a wonderful
opportunity, of which the editor took full advantage so as to learn the
intricacies of a world which up to that time he had known only in a
limited way.

What attracted Bok immensely to Mr. Curtis's methods was their perfect
simplicity and directness.  He believed absolutely in the final outcome
of his proposition: where others saw mist and failure ahead, he saw
clear weather and the port of success.  Never did he waver: never did
he deflect from his course.  He knew no path save the direct one that
led straight to success, and, through his eyes, he made Bok see it with
equal clarity until Bok wondered why others could not see it.  But they
could not.  Cyrus Curtis would never be able, they said, to come out
from under the load he had piled up.  Where they differed from Mr.
Curtis was in their lack of vision: they could not see what he saw!

It has been said that Mr. Curtis banished patent-medicine
advertisements from his magazine only when he could afford to do so.
That is not true, as a simple incident will show.  In the early days,
he and Bok were opening the mail one Friday full of anxiety because the
pay-roll was due that evening, and there was not enough money in the
bank to meet it.  From one of the letters dropped a certified check for
five figures for a contract equal to five pages in the magazine.  It
was a welcome sight, for it meant an easy meeting of the pay-roll for
that week and two succeeding weeks.  But the check was from a
manufacturing patent-medicine company.  Without a moment's hesitation,
Mr. Curtis slipped it back into the envelope, saying: "Of course,
_that_ we can't take."  He returned the check, never gave the matter a
second thought, and went out and borrowed more money to meet his

With all respect to American publishers, there are very few who could
have done this--or indeed, would do it today, under similar
conditions--particularly in that day when it was the custom for all
magazines to accept patent-medicine advertising; _The Ladies' Home
Journal_ was practically the only publication of standing in the United
States refusing that class of business!

Bok now saw advertising done on a large scale by a man who believed in
plenty of white space surrounding the announcement in the
advertisement.  He paid Mr. Howells $10,000 for his autobiography, and
Mr. Curtis spent $50,000 in advertising it.  "It is not expense," he
would explain to Bok, "it is investment.  We are investing in a
trademark.  It will all come back in time."  And when the first
$100,000 did not come back as Mr. Curtis figured, he would send another
$100,000 after it, and then both came back.

Bok's experience in advertisement writing was now to stand him in
excellent stead.  He wrote all the advertisements, and from that day to
the day of his retirement, practically every advertisement of the
magazine was written by him.

Mr. Curtis believed that the editor should write the advertisements of
a magazine's articles.  "You are the one who knows them, what is in
them and your purpose," he said to Bok, who keenly enjoyed this
advertisement writing.  He put less and less in his advertisements.
Mr. Curtis made them larger and larger in the space which they occupied
in the media used.  In this way _The Ladies' Home Journal_
advertisements became distinctive for their use of white space, and as
the advertising world began to say: "You can't miss them."  Only one
feature was advertised at one time, but the "feature" was always
carefully selected for its wide popular appeal, and then Mr. Curtis
spared no expense to advertise it abundantly.  As much as $400,000 was
spent in one year in advertising only a few features--a gigantic sum in
those days, approached by no other periodical.  But Mr. Curtis believed
in showing the advertising world that he was willing to take his own

Naturally, such a campaign of publicity announcing the most popular
attractions offered by any magazine of the day had but one effect: the
circulation leaped forward by bounds, and the advertising columns of
the magazine rapidly filled up.

The success of _The Ladies' Home Journal_ began to look like an assured
fact, even to the most sceptical.

As a matter of fact, it was only at its beginning, as both publisher
and editor knew.  But they desired to fill the particular field of the
magazine so quickly and fully that there would be small room for
competition.  The woman's magazine field was to belong to them!



With the hitherto unreached magazine circulation of a million copies a
month in sight, Edward Bok decided to give a broader scope to the
periodical.  He was determined to lay under contribution not only the
most famous writers of the day, but also to seek out those well-known
persons who usually did not contribute to the magazines; always keeping
in mind the popular appeal of his material, but likewise aiming
constantly to widen its scope and gradually to lift its standard.

The editor was very desirous of securing something for his magazine
that would delight children, and he hit upon the idea of trying to
induce Lewis Carroll to write another _Alice in Wonderland_ series.  He
was told by English friends that this would be difficult, since the
author led a secluded life at Oxford and hardly ever admitted any one
into his confidence.  But Bok wanted to beard the lion in his den, and
an Oxford graduate volunteered to introduce him to an Oxford don
through whom, if it were at all possible, he could reach the author.
The journey to Oxford was made, and Bok was introduced to the don, who
turned out to be no less a person than the original possessor of the
highly colored vocabulary of the "White Rabbit" of the Alice stories.

"Impossible," immediately declared the don.  "You couldn't persuade
Dodgson to consider it."  Bok, however, persisted, and it so happened
that the don liked what he called "American perseverance."

"Well, come along," he said.  "We'll beard the lion in his den, as you
say, and see what happens.  You know, of course, that it is the
Reverend Charles L. Dodgson that we are going to see, and I must
introduce you to that person, not to Lewis Carroll.  He is a tutor in
mathematics here, as you doubtless know; lives a rigidly secluded life;
dislikes strangers; makes no friends; and yet withal is one of the most
delightful men in the world if he wants to be."

But as it happened upon this special occasion when Bok was introduced
to him in his chambers in Tom Quad, Mr. Dodgson did not "want to be"
delightful.  There was no doubt that back of the studied reserve was a
kindly, charming, gracious gentleman, but Bok's profession had been
mentioned and the author was on rigid guard.

When Bok explained that one of the special reasons for his journey from
America was to see him, the Oxford mathematician sufficiently softened
to ask the editor to sit down.  Bok then broached his mission.

"You are quite in error, Mr. Bok," was the Dodgson comment.  "You are
not speaking to the person you think you are addressing."

For a moment Bok was taken aback.  Then he decided to go right to the

"Do I understand, Mr. Dodgson, that you are not 'Lewis Carroll'; that
you did not write _Alice in Wonderland_?"

For an answer the tutor rose, went into another room, and returned with
a book which he handed to Bok.  "This is my book," he said simply.  It
was entitled _An Elementary Treatise on Determinants_, by C. L.
Dodgson.  When he looked up, Bok found the author's eyes riveted on him.

"Yes," said Bok.  "I know, Mr. Dodgson.  If I remember correctly, this
is the same book of which you sent a copy to Her Majesty, Queen
Victoria, when she wrote to you for a personal copy of your _Alice_."

Dodgson made no comment.  The face was absolutely without expression
save a kindly compassion intended to convey to the editor that he was
making a terrible mistake.

"As I said to you in the beginning, Mr. Bok, you are in error.  You are
not speaking to 'Lewis Carroll.'"  And then: "Is this the first time
you have visited Oxford?"

Bok said it was; and there followed the most delightful two hours with
the Oxford mathematician and the Oxford don, walking about and into the
wonderful college buildings, and afterward the three had a bite of
lunch together.  But all efforts to return to "Lewis Carroll" were
futile.  While saying good-by to his host, Bok remarked:

"I can't help expressing my disappointment, Mr. Dodgson, in my quest in
behalf of the thousands of American children who love you and who would
so gladly welcome 'Lewis Carroll' back."

The mention of children and their love for him momentarily had its
effect.  For an instant a different light came into the eyes, and Bok
instinctively realized Dodgson was about to say something.  But he
checked himself.  Bok had almost caught him off his guard.

"I am sorry," he finally said at the parting at the door, "that you
should be disappointed, for the sake of the children as well as for
your own sake.  I only regret that I cannot remove the disappointment."

As they later walked to the station, the don said: "That is his
attitude toward all, even toward me.  He is not 'Lewis Carroll' to any
one; is extremely sensitive on the point, and will not acknowledge his
identity.  That is why he lives so much to himself.  He is in daily
dread that some one will mention _Alice_ in his presence.  Curious, but
there it is."

Edward Bok's next quest was to be even more disappointing; he was never
even to reach the presence of the person he sought.  This was Florence
Nightingale, the Crimean nurse.  Bok was desirous of securing her own
story of her experiences, but on every hand he found an unwillingness
even to take him to her house.  "No use," said everybody.  "She won't
see any one.  Hates publicity and all that sort of thing, and shuns the
public."  Nevertheless, the editor journeyed to the famous nurse's home
on South Street, in the West End of London, only to be told that "Miss
Nightingale never receives strangers."

"But I am not a stranger," insisted the editor.  "I am one of her
friends from America.  Please take my card to her."

This mollified the faithful secretary, but the word instantly came back
that Miss Nightingale was not receiving any one that day.  Bok wrote
her a letter asking for an appointment, which was never answered.  Then
he wrote another, took it personally to the house, and awaited an
answer, only to receive the message that "Miss Nightingale says there
is no answer to the letter."

Bok had with such remarkable uniformity secured whatever he sought,
that these experiences were new to him.  Frankly, they puzzled him.  He
was not easily baffled, but baffled he now was, and that twice in
succession.  Turn as he might, he could find no way in which to reopen
an approach to either the Oxford tutor or the Crimean nurse.  They were
plainly too much for him, and he had to acknowledge his defeat.  The
experience was good for him; he did not realize this at the time, nor
did he enjoy the sensation of not getting what he wanted.
Nevertheless, a reverse or two was due.  Not that his success was
having any undesirable effect upon him; his Dutch common sense saved
him from any such calamity.  But at thirty years of age it is not good
for any one, no matter how well balanced, to have things come his way
too fast and too consistently.  And here were breaks.  He could not
have everything he wanted, and it was just as well that he should find
that out.

In his next quest he found himself again opposed by his London friends.
Unable to secure a new _Alice in Wonderland_ for his child readers, he
determined to give them Kate Greenaway.  But here he had selected
another recluse.  Everybody discouraged him.  The artist never saw
visitors, he was told, and she particularly shunned editors and
publishers.  Her own publishers confessed that Miss Greenaway was
inaccessible to them.  "We conduct all our business with her by
correspondence.  I have never seen her personally myself," said a
member of the firm.

Bok inwardly decided that two failures in two days were sufficient, and
he made up his mind that there should not be a third.  He took a bus
for the long ride to Hampstead Heath, where the illustrator lived, and
finally stood before a picturesque Queen Anne house that one would have
recognized at once, with its lower story of red brick, its upper part
covered with red tiles, its windows of every size and shape, as the
inspiration of Kate Greenaway's pictures.  As it turned out later, Miss
Greenaway's sister opened the door and told the visitor that Miss
Greenaway was not at home.

"But, pardon me, has not Miss Greenaway returned?  Is not that she?"
asked Bok, as he indicated a figure just coming down the stairs.  And
as the sister turned to see, Bok stepped into the hall.  At least he
was inside!  Bok had never seen a photograph of Miss Greenaway, he did
not know that the figure coming down-stairs was the artist; but his
instinct had led him right, and good fortune was with him.

He now introduced himself to Kate Greenaway, and explained that one of
his objects in coming to London was to see her on behalf of thousands
of American children.  Naturally there was nothing for the illustrator
to do but to welcome her visitor.  She took him into the garden, where
he saw at once that he was seated under the apple-tree of Miss
Greenaway's pictures.  It was in full bloom, a veritable picture of
spring loveliness.  Bok's love for nature pleased the artist and when
he recognized the cat that sauntered up, he could see that he was
making head-way.  But when he explained his profession and stated his
errand, the atmosphere instantly changed.  Miss Greenaway conveyed the
unmistakable impression that she had been trapped, and Bok realized at
once that he had a long and difficult road ahead.

Still, negotiate it he must and he did!  And after luncheon in the
garden, with the cat in his lap, Miss Greenaway perceptibly thawed out,
and when the editor left late that afternoon he had the promise of the
artist that she would do her first magazine work for him.  That promise
was kept monthly, and for nearly two years her articles appeared, with
satisfaction to Miss Greenaway and with great success to the magazine.

Bok now devoted his attention to strengthening the fiction in his
magazine.  He sought Mark Twain, and bought his two new stories; he
secured from Bret Harte a tale which he had just finished, and then ran
the gamut of the best fiction writers of the day, and secured their
best output.  Marion Crawford, Conan Doyle, Sarah Orne Jewett, John
Kendrick Bangs, Kate Douglas Wiggin, Hamlin Garland, Mrs. Burton
Harrison, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Mary E. Wilkins, Jerome K. Jerome,
Anthony Hope, Joel Chandler Harris, and others followed in rapid

He next turned for a moment to his religious department, decided that
it needed a freshening of interest, and secured Dwight L. Moody, whose
evangelical work was then so prominently in the public eye, to conduct
"Mr. Moody's Bible Class" in the magazine--practically a study of the
stated Bible lesson of the month with explanation in Moody's simple and
effective style.

The authors for whom the _Journal_ was now publishing attracted the
attention of all the writers of the day, and the supply of good
material became too great for its capacity.  Bok studied the mechanical
make-up, and felt that by some method he must find more room in the
front portion.  He had allotted the first third of the magazine to the
general literary contents and the latter two-thirds to departmental
features.  Toward the close of the number, the departments narrowed
down from full pages to single columns with advertisements on each side.

One day Bok was handling a story by Rudyard Kipling which had overrun
the space allowed for it in the front.  The story had come late, and
the rest of the front portion of the magazine had gone to press.  The
editor was in a quandary what to do with the two remaining columns of
the Kipling tale.  There were only two pages open, and these were at
the back.  He remade those pages, and continued the story from pages 6
and 7 to pages 38 and 39.

At once Bok saw that this was an instance where "necessity was the
mother of invention."  He realized that if he could run some of his
front material over to the back he would relieve the pressure at the
front, present a more varied contents there, and make his
advertisements more valuable by putting them next to the most expensive
material in the magazine.

In the next issue he combined some of his smaller departments in the
back; and thus, in 1896, he inaugurated the method of "running over
into the back" which has now become a recognized principle in the
make-up of magazines of larger size.  At first, Bok's readers objected,
but he explained why he did it; that they were the benefiters by the
plan; and, so far as readers can be satisfied with what is, at best, an
awkward method of presentation, they were content.  To-day the practice
is undoubtedly followed to excess, some magazines carrying as much as
eighty and ninety columns over from the front to the back; from such
abuse it will, of course, free itself either by a return to the
original method of make-up or by the adoption of some other less
irritating plan.

In his reading about the America of the past, Bok had been impressed by
the unusual amount of interesting personal material that constituted
what is termed unwritten history--original events of tremendous
personal appeal in which great personalities figured but which had not
sufficient historical importance to have been included in American
history.  Bok determined to please his older readers by harking back to
the past and at the same time acquainting the younger generation with
the picturesque events which had preceded their time.

He also believed that if he could "dress up" the past, he could arrest
the attention of a generation which was too likely to boast of its
interest only in the present and the future.  He took a course of
reading and consulted with Mr. Charles A. Dana, editor of the _New York
Sun_, who had become interested in his work and had written him several
voluntary letters of commendation.  Mr. Dana gave material help in the
selection of subjects and writers; and was intensely amused and
interested by the manner in which his youthful confrère "dressed up"
the titles of what might otherwise have looked like commonplace

"I know," said Bok to the elder editor, "it smacks a little of the
sensational, Mr. Dana, but the purpose I have in mind of showing the
young people of to-day that some great things happened before they came
on the stage seems to me to make it worth while."

Mr. Dana agreed with this view, supplemented every effort of the
Philadelphia editor in several subsequent talks, and in 1897 _The
Ladies' Home Journal_ began one of the most popular series it ever
published.  It was called "Great Personal Events," and the picturesque
titles explained them.  He first pictured the enthusiastic evening
"When Jenny Lind Sang in Castle Garden," and, as Bok added to pique
curiosity, "when people paid $20 to sit in rowboats to hear the Swedish

This was followed by an account of the astonishing episode "When Henry
Ward Beecher Sold Slaves in Plymouth Pulpit"; the picturesque journey
"When Louis Kossuth Rode Up Broadway"; the triumphant tour "When
General Grant Went Round the World"; the forgotten story of "When an
Actress Was the Lady of the White House"; the sensational striking of
the rich silver vein "When Mackay Struck the Great Bonanza"; the
hitherto little-known instance "When Louis Philippe Taught School in
Philadelphia"; and even the lesser-known fact of the residence of the
brother of Napoleon Bonaparte in America, "When the King of Spain Lived
on the Banks of the Schuylkill"; while the story of "When John Wesley
Preached in Georgia" surprised nearly every Methodist, as so few had
known that the founder of their church had ever visited America.  Each
month picturesque event followed graphic happening, and never was
unwritten history more readily read by the young, or the memories of
the older folk more catered to than in this series which won new
friends for the magazine on every hand.



The influence of his grandfather and the injunction of his grandmother
to her sons that each "should make the world a better or a more
beautiful place to live in" now began to be manifest in the grandson.
Edward Bok was unconscious that it was this influence.  What directly
led him to the signal piece of construction in which he engaged was the
wretched architecture of small houses.  As he travelled through the
United States he was appalled by it.  Where the houses were not
positively ugly, they were, to him, repellently ornate.  Money was
wasted on useless turrets, filigree work, or machine-made
ornamentation.  Bok found out that these small householders never
employed an architect, but that the houses were put up by builders from
their own plans.

Bok turned to _The Ladies' Home Journal_ as his medium for making the
small-house architecture of America better.  He realized the limitation
of space, but decided to do the best he could under the circumstances.
He believed he might serve thousands of his readers if he could make it
possible for them to secure, at moderate cost, plans for well-designed
houses by the leading domestic architects in the country.  He consulted
a number of architects, only to find them unalterably opposed to the
idea.  They disliked the publicity of magazine presentation; prices
differed too much in various parts of the country; and they did not
care to risk the criticism of their contemporaries.  It was
"cheapening" their profession!

Bok saw that he should have to blaze the way and demonstrate the
futility of these arguments.  At last he persuaded one architect to
co-operate with him, and in 1895 began the publication of a series of
houses which could be built, approximately, for from one thousand five
hundred dollars to five thousand dollars.  The idea attracted attention
at once, and the architect-author was swamped with letters and
inquiries regarding his plans.

This proved Bok's instinct to be correct as to the public willingness
to accept such designs; upon this proof he succeeded in winning over
two additional architects to make plans.  He offered his readers full
building specifications and plans to scale of the houses with estimates
from four builders in different parts of the United States for five
dollars a set.  The plans and specifications were so complete in every
detail that any builder could build the house from them.

A storm of criticism now arose from architects and builders all over
the country, the architects claiming that Bok was taking "the bread out
of their mouths" by the sale of plans, and local builders vigorously
questioned the accuracy of the estimates.  But Bok knew he was right
and persevered.

Slowly but surely he won the approval of the leading architects, who
saw that he was appealing to a class of house-builders who could not
afford to pay an architect's fee, and that, with his wide circulation,
he might become an influence for better architecture through these
small houses.  The sets of plans and specifications sold by the
thousands.  It was not long before the magazine was able to present
small-house plans by the foremost architects of the country, whose
services the average householder could otherwise never have dreamed of

Bok not only saw an opportunity to better the exterior of the small
houses, but he determined that each plan published should provide for
two essentials; every servant's room should have two windows to insure
cross-ventilation, and contain twice the number of cubic feet usually
given to such rooms; and in place of the American parlor, which he
considered a useless room, should be substituted either a living-room
or a library.  He did not point to these improvements, every plan
simply presented the larger servant's room and did not present a
parlor.  It is a singular fact that of the tens of thousands of plans
sold, not a purchaser ever noticed the absence of a parlor except one
woman in Brookline, Mass., who, in erecting a group of twenty-five
"_Journal_ houses," discovered after she had built ten that not one
contained a parlor!

For nearly twenty-five years Bok continued to publish pictures of
houses and plans.  Entire colonies of "_Ladies' Home Journal_ houses"
have sprung up, and building promoters have built complete suburban
developments with them.  How many of these homes have been erected it
is, of course, impossible to say; the number certainly runs into the

It was one of the most constructive and far-reaching pieces of work
that Bok did during his editorial career--a fact now recognized by all
architects.  Shortly before Stanford White passed away, he wrote: "I
firmly believe that Edward Bok has more completely influenced American
domestic architecture for the better than any man in this generation.
When he began, I was short-sighted enough to discourage him, and
refused to co-operate with him.  If Bok came to me now, I would not
only make plans for him, but I would waive any fee for them in
retribution for my early mistake."

Bok then turned to the subject of the garden for the small house, and
the development of the grounds around the homes which he had been
instrumental in putting on the earth.  He encountered no opposition
here.  The publication of small gardens for small houses finally ran
into hundreds of pages, the magazine supplying planting plans and full
directions as to when and how to plant--this time without cost.

Next the editor decided to see what he could do for the better and
simpler furnishing of the small American home.  Here was a field almost
limitless in possible improvement, but he wanted to approach it in a
new way.  The best method baffled him until one day he met a woman
friend who told him that she was on her way to a funeral at a friend's

"I didn't know you were so well acquainted with Mrs. S----," said Bok.

"I wasn't, as a matter of fact," replied the woman.

"I'll be perfectly frank; I am going to the funeral just to see how
Mrs. S----'s house is furnished.  She was always thought to have great
taste, you know, and, whether you know it or not, a woman is always
keen to look into another woman's home."

Bok realized that he had found the method of presentation for his
interior-furnishing plan if he could secure photographs of the most
carefully furnished homes in America.  He immediately employed the best
available expert, and within six months there came to him an assorted
collection of over a thousand photographs of well-furnished rooms.  The
best were selected, and a series of photographic pages called "Inside
of 100 Homes" was begun.  The editor's woman friend had correctly
pointed the way to him, for this series won for his magazine the
enviable distinction of being the first magazine of standing to reach
the then marvellous record of a circulation of one million copies a
month.  The editions containing the series were sold out as fast as
they could be printed.

The editor followed this up with another successful series, again
pictorial.  He realized that to explain good taste in furnishing by
text was almost impossible.  So he started a series of all-picture
pages called "Good Taste and Bad Taste."  He presented a chair that was
bad in lines and either useless or uncomfortable to sit in, and
explained where and why it was bad; and then put a good chair next to
it, and explained where and why it was good.

The lesson to the eye was simply and directly effective; the pictures
told their story as no printed word could have done, and furniture
manufacturers and dealers all over the country, feeling the pressure
from their customers, began to put on the market the tables, chairs,
divans, bedsteads, and dressing-tables which the magazine was
portraying as examples of good taste.  It was amazing that, within five
years, the physical appearance of domestic furniture in the stores
completely changed.

The next undertaking was a systematic plan for improving the pictures
on the walls of the American home.  Bok was employing the best artists
of the day: Edwin A. Abbey, Howard Pyle, Charles Dana Gibson, W. L.
Taylor, Albert Lynch, Will H. Low, W. T. Smedley, Irving R. Wiles, and
others.  As his magazine was rolled to go through the mails, the
pictures naturally suffered; Bok therefore decided to print a special
edition of each important picture that he published, an edition on
plate-paper, without text, and offered to his readers at ten cents a
copy.  Within a year he had sold nearly one hundred thousand copies,
such pictures as W. L. Taylor's "The Hanging of the Crane" and
"Home-Keeping Hearts" being particularly popular.

But all this was simply to lead up to the realization of Bok's
cherished dream; the reproduction, in enormous numbers, of the greatest
pictures in the world in their original colors.  The plan, however, was
not for the moment feasible; the cost of the four-color process was at
that time prohibitive, and Bok had to abandon it.  But he never lost
sight of it.  He knew the hour would come when he could carry it out,
and he bided his time.

It was not until years later that his opportunity came, when he
immediately made up his mind to seize it.  The magazine had installed a
battery of four-color presses; the color-work in the periodical was
attracting universal attention, and after all stages of experimentation
had been passed, Bok decided to make his dream a reality.  He sought
the co-operation of the owners of the greatest private art galleries in
the country: J. Pierpont Morgan, Henry C. Frick, Joseph E. Widener,
George W. Elkins, John G. Johnson, Charles P. Taft, Mrs. John L.
Gardner, Charles L. Freer, Mrs. Havemeyer, and the owners of the
Benjamin Altman Collection, and sought permission to reproduce their
greatest paintings.

Although each felt doubtful of the ability of any process adequately to
reproduce their masterpieces, the owners heartily co-operated with Bok.
But Bok's co-editors discouraged his plan, since it would involve
endless labor, the exclusive services of a corps of photographers and
engravers, and the employment of the most careful pressmen available in
the United States.  The editor realized that the obstacles were
numerous and that the expense would be enormous; but he felt sure that
the American public was ready for his idea.  And early in 1912 he
announced his series and began its publication.

The most wonderful Rembrandt, Velasquez, Turner, Hobbema, Van Dyck,
Raphael, Frans Hals, Romney, Gainsborough, Whistler, Corot, Mauve,
Vermeer, Fragonard, Botticelli, and Titian reproductions followed in
such rapid succession as fairly to daze the magazine readers.  Four
pictures were given in each number, and the faithfulness of the
reproductions astonished even their owners.  The success of the series
was beyond Bok's own best hopes.  He was printing and selling one and
three-quarter million copies of each issue of his magazine; and before
he was through he had presented to American homes throughout the
breadth of the country over seventy million reproductions of forty
separate masterpieces of art.

The dream of years had come true.

Bok had begun with the exterior of the small American house and made an
impression upon it; he had brought the love of flowers into the hearts
of thousands of small householders who had never thought they could
have an artistic garden within a small area; he had changed the lines
of furniture, and he had put better art on the walls of these homes.
He had conceived a full-rounded scheme, and he had carried it out.

It was a peculiar satisfaction to Bok that Theodore Roosevelt once
summed up this piece of work in these words: "Bok is the only man I
ever heard of who changed, for the better, the architecture of an
entire nation, and he did it so quickly and yet so effectively that we
didn't know it was begun before it was finished.  That is a mighty big
job for one man to have done."

In 1905 and in previous years the casualties resulting from fireworks
on the Fourth of July averaged from five to six thousand each year.
The humorous weekly _Life_ and the _Chicago Tribune_ had been for some
time agitating a restricted use of fireworks on the national fête day,
but nevertheless the list of casualties kept creeping to higher
figures.  Bok decided to help by arousing the parents of America, in
whose hands, after all, lay the remedy.  He began a series of articles
in the magazine, showing what had happened over a period of years, the
criminality of allowing so many young lives to be snuffed out, and
suggested how parents could help by prohibiting the deadly firecrackers
and cannon, and how organizations could assist by influencing the
passing of city ordinances.  Each recurring January, _The Journal_
returned to the subject, looking forward to the coming Fourth.  It was
a deep-rooted custom to eradicate, and powerful influences, in the form
of thousands of small storekeepers, were at work upon local officials
to pay no heed to the agitation.  Gradually public opinion changed.
The newspapers joined in the cry; women's organizations insisted upon
action from local municipal bodies.

Finally, the civic spirit in Cleveland, Ohio, forced the passage of a
city ordinance prohibiting the sale or use of fireworks on the Fourth.
The following year when Cleveland reported no casualties as compared to
an ugly list for the previous Fourth, a distinct impression was made
upon other cities.  Gradually, other municipalities took action, and
year by year the list of Fourth of July casualties grew perceptibly
shorter.  New York City was now induced to join the list of prohibitive
cities, by a personal appeal made to its mayor by Bok, and on the
succeeding Fourth of July the city authorities, on behalf of the people
of New York City, conferred a gold medal upon Edward Bok for his
services in connection with the birth of the new Fourth in that city.

There still remains much to be done in cities as yet unawakened; but a
comparison of the list of casualties of 1920 with that of 1905 proves
the growth in enlightened public sentiment in fifteen years to have
been steadily increasing.  It is an instance not of Bok taking the
initiative--that had already been taken--but of throwing the whole
force of the magazine with those working in the field to help.  It is
the American woman who is primarily responsible for the safe and sane
Fourth, so far as it already exists in this country to-day, and it is
the American woman who can make it universal.

Bok's interest and knowledge in civic matters had now peculiarly
prepared him for a personal adventure into community work.  Merion,
where he lived, was one of the most beautiful of the many suburbs that
surround the Quaker City; but, like hundreds of similar communities,
there had been developed in it no civic interest.  Some of the most
successful business men of Philadelphia lived in Merion; they had
beautiful estates, which they maintained without regard to expense, but
also without regard to the community as a whole.  They were busy men;
they came home tired after a day in the city; they considered
themselves good citizens if they kept their own places sightly, but the
idea of devoting their evenings to the problems of their community had
never occurred to them before the evening when two of Bok's neighbors
called to ask his help in forming a civic association.

A canvass of the sentiment of the neighborhood revealed the unanimous
opinion that the experiment, if attempted, would be a failure,--an
attitude not by any means confined to the residents of Merion!  Bok
decided to test it out; he called together twenty of his neighbors, put
the suggestion before them and asked for two thousand dollars as a
start, so that a paid secretary might be engaged, since the men
themselves were too busy to attend to the details of the work.  The
amount was immediately subscribed, and in 1913 The Merion Civic
Association applied for a charter and began its existence.

The leading men in the community were elected as a Board of Directors,
and a salaried secretary was engaged to carry out the directions of the
Board.  The association adopted the motto: "To be nation right, and
state right, we must first be community right."  Three objectives were
selected "with which to attract community interest and membership;
safety to life, in the form of proper police protection; safety to
property, in the form of adequate hydrant and fire-engine service; and
safety to health, in careful supervision of the water and milk used in
the community.

"The three S's," as they were called, brought an immediate response.
They were practical in their appeal, and members began to come in.  The
police force was increased from one officer at night and none in the
day, to three at night and two during the day, and to this the
Association added two special night officers of its own.  Private
detectives were intermittently brought in to "check up" and see that
the service was vigilant.  A fire hydrant was placed within seven
hundred feet of every house, with the insurance rates reduced from
twelve and one-half to thirty per cent; the services of three
fire-engine companies was arranged for.  Fire-gongs were introduced
into the community to guard against danger from interruption of
telephone service.  The water supply was chemically analyzed each month
and the milk supply carefully scrutinized.  One hundred and fifty new
electric-light posts specially designed, and pronounced by experts as
the most beautiful and practical road lamps ever introduced into any
community, were erected, making Merion the best-lighted community in
its vicinity.

At every corner was erected an artistically designed cast-iron road
sign; instead of the unsightly wooden ones, cast-iron automobile
warnings were placed at every dangerous spot; community
bulletin-boards, to supplant the display of notices on trees and poles,
were placed at the railroad station; litter-cans were distributed over
the entire community; a new railroad station and post-office were
secured; the station grounds were laid out as a garden by a landscape
architect; new roads of permanent construction, from curb to curb, were
laid down; uniform tree-planting along the roads was introduced;
bird-houses were made and sold, so as to attract bird-life to the
community; toll-gates were abolished along the two main arteries of
travel; the removal of all telegraph and telephone poles was begun; an
efficient Boy Scout troop was organized, and an American Legion post;
the automobile speed limit was reduced from twenty-four to fifteen
miles as a protection to children; roads were regularly swept, cleaned,
and oiled, and uniform sidewalks advocated and secured.

Within seven years so efficiently had the Association functioned that
its work attracted attention far beyond the immediate neighborhood of
Philadelphia, and caused Theodore Roosevelt voluntarily to select it as
a subject for a special magazine article in which he declared it to
"stand as a model in civic matters."  To-day it may be conservatively
said of The Merion Civic Association that it is pointed out as one of
the most successful suburban civic efforts in the country; as Doctor
Lyman Abbott said in _The Outlook_, it has made "Merion a model suburb,
which may standardize ideal suburban life, certainly for Philadelphia,
possibly for the United States."

When the armistice was signed in November, 1918, the Association
immediately canvassed the neighborhood to erect a suitable Tribute
House, as a memorial to the eighty-three Merion boys who had gone into
the Great War: a public building which would comprise a community
centre, with an American Legion Post room, a Boy Scout house, an
auditorium, and a meeting-place for the civic activities of Merion.  A
subscription was raised, and plans were already drawn for the Tribute
House, when Mr. Eldridge R. Johnson, president of the Victor Talking
Machine Company, one of the strong supporters of The Merion Civic
Association, presented his entire estate of twelve acres, the finest in
Merion, to the community, and agreed to build a Tribute House at his
own expense.  The grounds represented a gift of two hundred thousand
dollars, and the building a gift of two hundred and fifty thousand
dollars.  This building, now about to be erected, will be one of the
most beautiful and complete community centres in the United States.

Perhaps no other suburban civic effort proves the efficiency of
community co-operation so well as does the seven years' work of The
Merion Civic Association.  It is a practical demonstration of what a
community can do for itself by concerted action.  It preached, from the
very start, the gospel of united service; it translated into actual
practice the doctrine of being one's brother's keeper, and it taught
the invaluable habit of collective action.  The Association has no
legal powers; it rules solely by persuasion; it accomplishes by the
power of combination; by a spirit of the community for the community.

When The Merion Civic Association was conceived, the spirit of local
pride was seemingly not present in the community.  As a matter of fact,
it was there as it is in practically every neighborhood; it was simply
dormant; it had to be awakened, and its value brought vividly to the
community consciousness.



When the virile figure of Theodore Roosevelt swung down the national
highway, Bok was one of thousands of young men who felt strongly the
attraction of his personality.  Colonel Roosevelt was only five years
the senior of the editor; he spoke, therefore, as one of his own years.
The energy with which he said and did things appealed to Bok.  He made
Americanism something more real, more stirring than Bok had ever felt
it; he explained national questions in a way that caught Bok's fancy
and came within his comprehension.  Bok's lines had been cast with many
of the great men of the day, but he felt that there was something
distinctive about the personality of this man: his method of doing
things and his way of saying things.  Bok observed everything Colonel
Roosevelt did and read everything he wrote.

The editor now sought an opportunity to know personally the man whom he
admired.  It came at a dinner at the University Club, and Colonel
Roosevelt suggested that they meet there the following day for a
"talk-fest."  For three hours the two talked together.  The fact that
Colonel Roosevelt was of Dutch ancestry interested Bok; that Bok was
actually of Dutch birth made a strong appeal to the Colonel.  With his
tremendous breadth of interests, Roosevelt, Bok found, had followed him
quite closely in his work, and was familiar with "its high points," as
he called them.  "We must work for the same ends," said the Colonel,
"you in your way, I in mine.  But our lines are bound to cross.  You
and I can each become good Americans by giving our best to make America
better.  With the Dutch stock there is in both of us, there's no limit
to what we can do.  Let's go to it."  Naturally that talk left the two
firm friends.

Bok felt somehow that he had been given a new draft of Americanism; the
word took on a new meaning for him; it stood for something different,
something deeper and finer than before.  And every subsequent talk with
Roosevelt deepened the feeling and stirred Bok's deepest ambitions.
"Go to it, you Dutchman," Roosevelt would say, and Bok would go to it.
A talk with Roosevelt always left him feeling as if mountains were the
easiest things in the world to move.

One of Theodore Roosevelt's arguments which made a deep impression upon
Bok was that no man had a right to devote his entire life to the making
of money.  "You are in a peculiar position," said the man of Oyster Bay
one day to Bok; "you are in that happy position where you can make
money and do good at the same time.  A man wields a tremendous power
for good or for evil who is welcomed into a million homes and read with
confidence.  That's fine, and is all right so far as it goes, and in
your case it goes very far.  Still, there remains more for you to do.
The public has built up for you a personality: now give that
personality to whatever interests you in contact with your immediate
fellow-men: something in your neighborhood, your city, or your State.
With one hand work and write to your national audience: let no fads
sway you.  Hew close to the line.  But, with the other hand, swing into
the life immediately around you.  Think it over."

Bok did think it over.  He was now realizing the dream of his life for
which he had worked: his means were sufficient to give his mother every
comfort; to install her in the most comfortable surroundings wherever
she chose to live; to make it possible for her to spend the winters in
the United States and the summers in the Netherlands, and thus to keep
in touch with her family and friends in both countries.  He had for
years toiled unceasingly to reach this point: he felt he had now
achieved at least one goal.

He had now turned instinctively to the making of a home for himself.
After an engagement of four years he had been married, on October 22,
1896, to Mary Louise Curtis, the only child of Mr. and Mrs. Cyrus H. K.
Curtis; two sons had been born to them; he had built and was occupying
a house at Merion, Pennsylvania, a suburb six miles from the
Philadelphia City Hall.  When she was in this country his mother lived
with him, and also his brother, and, with a strong belief in life
insurance, he had seen to it that his family was provided for in case
of personal incapacity or of his demise.  In other words, he felt that
he had put his own house in order; he had carried out what he felt is
every man's duty: to be, first of all, a careful and adequate provider
for his family.  He was now at the point where he could begin to work
for another goal, the goal that he felt so few American men saw: the
point in his life where he could retire from the call of duty and
follow the call of inclination.

At the age of forty he tried to look ahead and plan out his life as far
as he could.  Barring unforeseen obstacles, he determined to retire
from active business when he reached his fiftieth year, and give the
remainder of his life over to those interests and influences which he
assumed now as part of his life, and which, at fifty, should seem to
him best worth while.  He realized that in order to do this he must do
two things: he must husband his financial resources and he must begin
to accumulate a mental reserve.

The wide public acceptance of the periodical which he edited naturally
brought a share of financial success to him.  He had experienced
poverty, and as he subsequently wrote, in an article called "Why I
Believe in Poverty," he was deeply grateful for his experience.  He had
known what it was to be poor; he had seen others dear to him suffer for
the bare necessities; there was, in fact, not a single step on that
hard road that he had not travelled.  He could, therefore, sympathize
with the fullest understanding with those similarly situated, could
help as one who knew from practice and not from theory.  He realized
what a marvellous blessing poverty can be; but as a condition to
experience, to derive from it poignant lessons, and then to get out of;
not as a condition to stay in.

Of course many said to Bok when he wrote the article in which he
expressed these beliefs: "That's all very well; easy enough to say, but
how can you get out of it?"  Bok realized that he could not definitely
show any one the way.  No one had shown him.  No two persons can find
the same way out.  Bok determined to lift himself out of poverty
because his mother was not born in it, did not belong in it, and could
not stand it.  That gave him the first essential: a purpose.  Then he
backed up the purpose with effort and an ever-ready willingness to
work, and to work at anything that came his way, no matter what it was,
so long as it meant "the way out."  He did not pick and choose; he took
what came, and did it in the best way he knew how; and when he did not
like what he was doing he still did it as well as he could while he was
doing it, but always with an eye single to the purpose not to do it any
longer than was strictly necessary.  He used every rung in the ladder
as a rung to the one above.  He always gave more than his particular
position or salary asked for.  He never worked by the clock; always by
the job; and saw that it was well done regardless of the time it took
to do it.  This meant effort, of course, untiring, ceaseless,
unsparing; and it meant work, hard as nails.

He was particularly careful never to live up to his income; and as his
income increased he increased not the percentage of expenditure but the
percentage of saving.  Thrift was, of course, inborn with him as a
Dutchman, but the necessity for it as a prime factor in life was burned
into him by his experience with poverty.  But he interpreted thrift not
as a trait of niggardliness, but as Theodore Roosevelt interpreted it:
common sense applied to spending.

At forty, therefore, he felt he had learned the first essential to
carrying out his idea of retirement at fifty.

The second essential--varied interests outside of his business upon
which he could rely on relinquishing his duties--he had not cultivated.
He had quite naturally, in line with his belief that concentration
means success, immersed himself in his business to the exclusion of
almost everything else.  He felt that he could now spare a certain
percentage of his time to follow Theodore Roosevelt's ideas and let the
breezes of other worlds blow over him.  In that way he could do as
Roosevelt suggested and as Bok now firmly believed was right: he could
develop himself along broader lines, albeit the lines of his daily work
were broadening in and of themselves, and he could so develop a new set
of inner resources upon which he could draw when the time came to
relinquish his editorial position.

He saw, on every side, the pathetic figures of men who could not let go
after their greatest usefulness was past; of other men who dropped
before they realized their arrival at the end of the road; and, most
pathetic of all, of men who having retired, but because of lack of
inner resources did not know what to do with themselves, had become a
trial to themselves, their families, and their communities.

Bok decided that, given health and mental freshness, he would say
good-by to his public before his public might decide to say good-by to
him.  So, at forty, he candidly faced the facts of life and began to
prepare himself for his retirement at fifty under circumstances that
would be of his own making and not those of others.

And thereby Edward Bok proved that he was still, by instinct, a
Dutchman, and had not in his thirty-four years of residence in the
United States become so thoroughly Americanized as he believed.

However, it was an American, albeit of Dutch extraction, one whom he
believed to be the greatest American in his own day, who had set him
thinking and shown him the way.



One of the incidents connected with Edward Bok that Theodore Roosevelt
never forgot was when Bok's eldest boy chose the Colonel as a Christmas
present.  And no incident better portrays the wonderful character of
the Colonel than did his remarkable response to the compliment.

A vicious attack of double pneumonia had left the heart of the boy very
weak--and Christmas was close by!  So the father said:

"It's a quiet Christmas for you this year, boy.  Suppose you do this:
think of the one thing in the world that you would rather have than
anything else and I'll give you that, and that will have to be your

"I know now," came the instant reply.

"But the world is a big place, and there are lots of things in it, you

"I know that," said the boy, "but this is something I have wanted for a
long time, and would rather have than anything else in the world."  And
he looked as if he meant it.

"Well, out with it, then, if you're so sure."

And to the father's astonished ears came this request:

"Take me to Washington as soon as my heart is all right, introduce me
to President Roosevelt, and let me shake hands with him."

"All right," said the father, after recovering from his surprise.
"I'll see whether I can fix it."  And that morning a letter went to the
President saying that he had been chosen as a Christmas present.
Naturally, any man would have felt pleased, no matter how high his
station, and for Theodore Roosevelt, father of boys, the message had a
special appeal.

The letter had no sooner reached Washington than back came an answer,
addressed not to the father but to the boy!  It read:

The White House, Washington.

November 13th, 1907.


Your father has just written me, and I want him to bring you on and
shake hands with me as soon as you are well enough to travel.  Then I
am going to give you, myself, a copy of the book containing my hunting
trips since I have been President; unless you will wait until the new
edition, which contains two more chapters, is out.  If so, I will send
it to you, as this new edition probably won't be ready when you come on

Give my warm regards to your father and mother.

Sincerely yours,


Here was joy serene!  But the boy's heart had acted queerly for a few
days, and so the father wrote, thanked the President, and said that as
soon as the heart moderated a bit the letter would be given the boy.
It was a rare bit of consideration that now followed.  No sooner had
the father's letter reached the White House than an answer came back by
first post--this time with a special-delivery stamp on it.  It was
Theodore Roosevelt, the father, who wrote this time; his mind and time
filled with affairs of state, and yet full of tender thoughtfulness for
a little boy:


I have your letter of the 16th instant.  I hope the little fellow will
soon be all right.  Instead of giving him my letter, give him a message
from me based on the letter, if that will be better for him.  Tell Mrs.
Bok how deeply Mrs. Roosevelt and I sympathize with her.  We know just
how she feels.

Sincerely yours,


"That's pretty fine consideration," said the father.  He got the letter
during a business conference and he read it aloud to the group of
business men.  Some there were in that group who keenly differed with
the President on national issues, but they were all fathers, and two of
the sturdiest turned and walked to the window as they said:

"Yes, that is fine!"

Then came the boy's pleasure when he was handed the letter; the next
few days were spent inditing an answer to "my friend, the President."
At last the momentous epistle seemed satisfactory, and off to the busy
presidential desk went the boyish note, full of thanks and assurances
that he would come just as soon as he could, and that Mr. Roosevelt
must not get impatient!

The "soon as he could" time, however, did not come as quickly as all
had hoped!--a little heart pumped for days full of oxygen and
accelerated by hypodermic injections is slow to mend.  But the
President's framed letter, hanging on the spot on the wall first seen
in the morning, was a daily consolation.

Then, in March, although four months after the promise--and it would
not have been strange, in his busy life, for the President to have
forgotten or at least overlooked it--on the very day that the book was
published came a special "large-paper" copy of _The Outdoor Pastimes of
an American Hunter_, and on the fly-leaf there greeted the boy, in the
President's own hand:


With the best wishes of his friend,


March 11, 1908.

The boy's cup was now full, and so said his letter to the President.
And the President wrote back to the father: "I am really immensely
amused and interested, and shall be mighty glad to see the little

In the spring, on a beautiful May day, came the great moment.  The
mother had to go along, the boy insisted, to see the great event, and
so the trio found themselves shaking the hand of the President's
secretary at the White House.

"Oh, the President is looking for you, all right," he said to the boy,
and then the next moment the three were in a large room.  Mr.
Roosevelt, with beaming face, was already striding across the room, and
with a "Well, well, and so this is my friend Curtis!" the two stood
looking into each other's faces, each fairly wreathed in smiles, and
each industriously shaking the hand of the other.

"Yes, Mr. President, I'm mighty glad to see you!" said the boy.

"I am glad to see you, Curtis," returned Mr. Roosevelt.

Then there came a white rose from the presidential desk for the mother,
but after that father and mother might as well have faded away.  Nobody
existed save the President and the boy.  The anteroom was full; in the
Cabinet-room a delegation waited to be addressed.  But affairs of state
were at a complete standstill as, with boyish zeal, the President
became oblivious to all but the boy before him.

"Now, Curtis, I've got some pictures here of bears that a friend of
mine has just shot.  Look at that whopper, fifteen hundred
pounds--that's as much as a horse weighs, you know.  Now, my friend
shot him"--and it was a toss-up who was the more keenly interested, the
real boy or the man-boy, as picture after picture came out and bear
adventure crowded upon the heels of bear adventure.

"Gee, he's a corker, all right!" came from the boy at one point, and
then, from the President: "That's right, he is a corker.  Now you see
his head here"--and then both were off again.

The private secretary came in at this point and whispered in the
President's ear.

"I know, I know.  I'll see him later.  Say that I am very busy now."
And the face beamed with smiles.

"Now, Mr. President--" began the father.

"No, sir; no, sir; not at all.  Affairs can wait.  This is a
long-standing engagement between Curtis and me, and that must come
first.  Isn't that so, Curtis?"

Of course the boy agreed.

Suddenly the boy looked around the room and said:

"Where's your gun, Mr. President?  Got it here?"

"No," laughingly came from the President, "but I'll tell you"--and then
the two heads were together again.

A moment for breath-taking came, and the boy said:

"Aren't you ever afraid of being shot?"

"You mean while I am hunting?"

"Oh, no.  I mean as President."

"No," replied the smiling President.  "I'll tell you, Curtis; I'm too
busy to think about that.  I have too many things to do to bother about
anything of that sort.  When I was in battle I was always too anxious
to get to the front to think about the shots.  And here--well, here I'm
too busy too.  Never think about it.  But I'll tell you, Curtis, there
are some men down there," pointing out of the window in the direction
of the capitol, "called the Congress, and if they would only give me
the four battleships I want, I'd be perfectly willing to have any one
take a crack at me."  Then, for the first time recognizing the
existence of the parents, the President said: "And I don't know but if
they did pick me off I'd be pretty well ahead of the game."

Just in that moment only did the boy-knowing President get a single
inch above the boy-interest.  It was astonishing to see the natural
accuracy with which the man gauged the boy-level.

"Now, how would you like to see a bear, Curtis?" came next, "I know
where there's a beauty, twelve hundred pounds."

"Must be some bear!" interjected the boy.

"That's what it is," put in the President.  "Regular cinnamon-brown
type"--and then off went the talk to the big bear at the Washington
"Zoo" where the President was to send the boy.

Then, after a little; "Now, Curtis, see those men over there in that
room.  They've travelled from all parts of the country to come here at
my invitation, and I've got to make a little speech to them, and I'll
do that while you go off to see the bear."

And then the hand came forth to say good-by.  The boy put his in it,
each looked into the other's face, and on neither was there a place big
enough to put a ten-cent piece that was not wreathed in smiles.  "He
certainly is all right," said the boy to the father, looking wistfully
after the President.

Almost to the other room had the President gone when he, too,
instinctively looked back to find the boy following him with his eyes.
He stopped, wheeled around, and then the two instinctively sought each
other again.   The President came back, the boy went forward.  This
time each held out both hands, and as each looked once more into the
other's eyes a world of complete understanding was in both faces, and
every looker-on smiled with them.

"Good-by, Curtis," came at last from the President.

"Good-by, Mr. President," came from the boy.  Then, with another
pump-handly shake and with a "Gee, but he's great, all right!" the boy
went out to see the cinnamon-bear at the "Zoo," and to live it all over
in the days to come.

Two boy-hearts had met, although one of them belonged to the President
of the United States.



One of the misfortunes of Edward Bok's training, which he realized more
clearly as time went on, was that music had little or no place in his
life.  His mother did not play; and aside from the fact that his father
and mother were patrons of the opera during their residence in The
Netherlands, the musical atmosphere was lacking in his home.  He
realized how welcome an outlet music might be in his now busy life.  So
what he lacked himself and realized as a distinct omission in his own
life he decided to make possible for others.

_The Ladies' Home Journal_ began to strike a definite musical note.  It
first caught the eye and ear of its public by presenting the popular
new marches by John Philip Sousa; and when the comic opera of "Robin
Hood" became the favorite of the day, it secured all the new
compositions by Reginald de Koven.  Following these, it introduced its
readers to new compositions by Sir Arthur Sullivan, Tosti, Moszkowski,
Richard Strauss, Paderewski, Josef Hofmann, Edouard Strauss, and
Mascagni.  Bok induced Josef Hofmann to give a series of piano lessons
in his magazine, and Madame Marchesi a series of vocal lessons.  _The
Journal_ introduced its readers to all the great instrumental and vocal
artists of the day through articles; it offered prizes for the best
piano and vocal compositions; it had the leading critics of New York,
Boston, and Chicago write articles explanatory of orchestral music and
how to listen to music.

Bok was early attracted by the abilities of Josef Hofmann.  In 1898, he
met the pianist, who was then twenty-two years old.  Of his musical
ability Bok could not judge, but he was much impressed by his unusual
mentality, and soon both learned and felt that Hofmann's art was deeply
and firmly rooted.  Hofmann had a wider knowledge of affairs than other
musicians whom Bok had met; he had not narrowed his interests to his
own art.  He was striving to achieve a position in his art, and,
finding that he had literary ability, Bok asked him to write a
reminiscent article on his famous master, Rubinstein.

This was followed by other articles; the publication of his new
mazurka; still further articles; and then, in 1907, Bok offered him a
regular department in the magazine and a salaried editorship on his

Bok's musical friends and the music critics tried to convince the
editor that Hofmann's art lay not so deep as Bok imagined; that he had
been a child prodigy, and would end where all child prodigies
invariably end--opinions which make curious reading now in view of
Hofmann's commanding position in the world of music.  But while Bok
lacked musical knowledge, his instinct led him to adhere to his belief
in Hofmann; and for twelve years, until Bok's retirement as editor, the
pianist was a regular contributor to the magazine.  His success was, of
course, unquestioned.  He answered hundreds of questions sent him by
his readers, and these answers furnished such valuable advice for piano
students that two volumes were made in book form and are to-day used by
piano teachers and students as authoritative guides.

Meanwhile, Bok's marriage had brought music directly into his domestic
circle.  Mrs. Bok loved music, was a pianist herself, and sought to
acquaint her husband with what his former training had omitted.
Hofmann and Bok had become strong friends outside of the editorial
relation, and the pianist frequently visited the Bok home.  But it was
some time, even with these influences surrounding him, before music
began to play any real part in Bok's own life.

He attended the opera occasionally; more or less under protest, because
of its length, and because his mind was too practical for the indirect
operatic form.  He could not remain patient at a recital; the effort to
listen to one performer for an hour and a half was too severe a tax
upon his restless nature.  The Philadelphia Orchestra gave a symphony
concert each Saturday evening, and Bok dreaded the coming of that
evening in each week for fear of being taken to hear music which he was
convinced was "over his head."

Like many men of his practical nature, he had made up his mind on this
point without ever having heard such a concert.  The word "symphony"
was enough; it conveyed to him a form of the highest music quite beyond
his comprehension.  Then, too, in the back of his mind there was the
feeling that, while he was perfectly willing to offer the best that the
musical world afforded in his magazine, his readers were primarily
women, and the appeal of music, after all, he felt was largely, if not
wholly, to the feminine nature.  It was very satisfying to him to hear
his wife play in the evening; but when it came to public concerts, they
were not for his masculine nature.  In other words, Bok shared the all
too common masculine notion that music is for women and has little
place in the lives of men.

One day Josef Hofmann gave Bok an entirely new point of view.  The
artist was rehearsing in Philadelphia for an appearance with the
orchestra, and the pianist was telling Bok and his wife of the desire
of Leopold Stokowski, who had recently become conductor of the
Philadelphia Orchestra, to eliminate encores from his symphonic
programmes; he wanted to begin the experiment with Hofmann's appearance
that week.  This was a novel thought to Bok: why eliminate encores from
any concert?  If he liked the way any performer played, he had always
done his share to secure an encore.  Why should not the public have an
encore if it desired it, and why should a conductor or a performer
object?  Hofmann explained to him the entity of a symphonic programme;
that it was made up with one composition in relation to the others as a
sympathetic unit, and that an encore was an intrusion, disturbing the
harmony of the whole.

"I wish you would let Stokowski come out and explain to you what he is
trying to do," said Hofmann.  "He knows what he wants, and he is right
in his efforts; but he doesn't know how to educate the public.  There
is where you could help him."

But Bok had no desire to meet Stokowski.  He mentally pictured the
conductor: long hair; feet never touching the earth; temperament
galore; he knew them!  And he had no wish to introduce the type into
his home life.

Mrs. Bok, however, ably seconded Josef Hofmann, and endeavored to
dissipate Bok's preconceived notion, with the result that Stokowski
came to the Bok home.

Bok was not slow to see Stokowski was quite the reverse of his mental
picture, and became intensely interested in the youthful conductor's
practical way of looking at things.  It was agreed that the encore
"bull" was to be taken by the horns that week; that no matter what the
ovation to Hofmann might be, however the public might clamor, no encore
was to be forthcoming; and Bok was to give the public an explanation
during the following week.  The next concert was to present Mischa
Elman, and his co-operation was assured so that continuity of effort
might be counted upon.

In order to have first-hand information, Bok attended the concert that
Saturday evening.  The symphony, Dvorak's "New World Symphony," amazed
Bok by its beauty; he was more astonished that he could so easily grasp
any music in symphonic form.  He was equally surprised at the simple
beauty of the other numbers on the programme, and wondered not a little
at his own perfectly absorbed attention during Hofmann's playing of a
rather long concerto.

The pianist's performance was so beautiful that the audience was
uproarious in its approval; it had calculated, of course, upon an
encore, and recalled the pianist again and again until he had appeared
and bowed his thanks several times.  But there was no encore; the stage
hands appeared and moved the piano to one side, and the audience
relapsed into unsatisfied and rather bewildered silence.

Then followed Bok's publicity work in the newspapers, beginning the
next day, exonerating Hofmann and explaining the situation.  The
following week, with Mischa Elman as soloist, the audience once more
tried to have its way and its cherished encore, but again none was
forthcoming.  Once more the newspapers explained; the battle was won,
and the no-encore rule has prevailed at the Philadelphia Orchestra
concerts from that day to this, with the public entirely resigned to
the idea and satisfied with the reason therefor.

But the bewildered Bok could not make out exactly what had happened to
his preconceived notion about symphonic music.  He attended the
following Saturday evening concert; listened to a Brahms symphony that
pleased him even more than had "The New World," and when, two weeks
later, he heard the Tschaikowski "Pathetique" and later the
"Unfinished" symphony, by Schubert, and a Beethoven symphony, attracted
by each in turn, he realized that his prejudice against the whole
question of symphonic music had been both wrongly conceived and

He now began to see the possibility of a whole world of beauty which up
to that time had been closed to him, and he made up his mind that he
would enter it.  Somehow or other, he found the appeal of music did not
confine itself to women; it seemed to have a message for men.  Then,
too, instead of dreading the approach of Saturday evenings, he was
looking forward to them, and invariably so arranged his engagements
that they might not interfere with his attendance at the orchestra

After a busy week, he discovered that nothing he had ever experienced
served to quiet him so much as these end-of-the-week concerts.  They
were not too long, an hour and a half at the utmost; and, above all,
except now and then, when the conductor would take a flight into the
world of Bach, he found he followed him with at least a moderate degree
of intelligence; certainly with personal pleasure and inner

Bok concluded he would not read the articles he had published on the
meaning of the different "sections" of a symphony orchestra, or the
books issued on that subject.  He would try to solve the mechanism of
an orchestra for himself, and ascertain as he went along the relation
that each portion bore to the other.  When, therefore, in 1913, the
president of the Philadelphia Orchestra Association asked him to become
a member of its Board of Directors, his acceptance was a natural step
in the gradual development of his interest in orchestral music.

The public support given to orchestras now greatly interested Bok.  He
was surprised to find that every symphony orchestra had a yearly
deficit.  This he immediately attributed to faulty management; but on
investigating the whole question he learned that a symphony orchestra
could not possibly operate, at a profit or even on a self-sustaining
basis, because of its weekly change of programme, the incessant
rehearsals required, and the limited number of times it could actually
play within a contracted season.  An annual deficit was inevitable.

He found that the Philadelphia Orchestra had a small but faithful group
of guarantors who each year made good the deficit in addition to paying
for its concert seats.  This did not seem to Bok a sound business plan;
it made of the orchestra a necessarily exclusive organization,
maintained by a few; and it gave out this impression to the general
public, which felt that it did not "belong," whereas the true relation
of public and orchestra was that of mutual dependence.  Other
orchestras, he found, as, for example, the Boston Symphony and the New
York Philharmonic had their deficits met by one individual patron in
each case.  This, to Bok's mind, was an even worse system, since it
entirely excluded the public, making the orchestra dependent on the
continued interest and life of a single man.

In 1916 Bok sought Mr. Alexander Van Rensselaer, the president of the
Philadelphia Orchestra Association, and proposed that he, himself,
should guarantee the deficit of the orchestra for five years, provided
that during that period an endowment fund should be raised, contributed
by a large number of subscribers, and sufficient in amount to meet,
from its interest, the annual deficit.  It was agreed that the donor
should remain in strict anonymity, an understanding which has been
adhered to until the present writing.

The offer from the "anonymous donor," presented by the president, was
accepted by the Orchestra Association.  A subscription to an endowment
fund was shortly afterward begun; and the amount had been brought to
eight hundred thousand dollars when the Great War interrupted any
further additions.  In the autumn of 1919, however, a city-wide
campaign for an addition of one million dollars to the endowment fund
was launched.  The amount was not only secured, but oversubscribed.
Thus, instead of a guarantee fund, contributed by thirteen hundred
subscribers, with the necessity for annual collection, an endowment
fund of one million eight hundred thousand dollars, contributed by
fourteen thousand subscribers, has been secured; and the Philadelphia
Orchestra has been promoted from a privately maintained organization to
a public institution in which fourteen thousand residents of
Philadelphia feel a proprietary interest.  It has become in fact, as
well as in name, "our orchestra."



The success of _The Ladies' Home Journal_ went steadily forward.  The
circulation had passed the previously unheard-of figure for a monthly
magazine of a million and a half copies per month; it had now touched a
million and three-quarters.

And not only was the figure so high, but the circulation itself was
absolutely free from "water."  The public could not obtain the magazine
through what are known as clubbing-rates, since no subscriber was
permitted to include any other magazine with it; years ago it had
abandoned the practice of offering premiums or consideration of any
kind to induce subscriptions; and the newsdealers were not allowed to
return unsold copies of the periodical.  Hence every copy was either
purchased by the public at the full price at a news stand, or
subscribed for at its stated subscription price.  It was, in short, an
authoritative circulation.  And on every hand the question was being
asked: "How is it done?  How is such a high circulation obtained?"

Bok's invariable answer was that he gave his readers the very best of
the class of reading that he believed would interest them, and that he
spared neither effort nor expense to obtain it for them.  When Mr.
Howells once asked him how he classified his audience, Bok replied: "We
appeal to the intelligent American woman rather than to the
intellectual type."  And he gave her the best he could obtain.  As he
knew her to be fond of the personal type of literature, he gave her in
succession Jane Addams's story of "My Fifteen Years at Hull House," and
the remarkable narration of Helen Keller's "Story of My Life"; he
invited Henry Van Dyke, who had never been in the Holy Land, to go
there, camp out in a tent, and then write a series of sketches, "Out of
Doors in the Holy Land"; he induced Lyman Abbott to tell the story of
"My Fifty Years as a Minister."  He asked Gene Stratton Porter to tell
of her bird-experiences in the series: "What I Have Done with Birds";
he persuaded Dean Hodges to turn from his work of training young
clergymen at the Episcopal Seminary, at Cambridge, and write one of the
most successful series of Bible stories for children ever printed; and
then he supplemented this feature for children by publishing Rudyard
Kipling's "Just So" stories and his "Puck of Pook's Hill."  He induced
F. Hopkinson Smith to tell the best stories he had ever heard in his
wide travels in "The Man in the Arm Chair"; he got Kate Douglas Wiggin
to tell a country church experience of hers in "The Old Peabody Pew";
and Jean Webster her knowledge of almshouse life in "Daddy Long Legs."

The readers of _The Ladies' Home Journal_ realized that it searched the
whole field of endeavor in literature and art to secure what would
interest them, and they responded with their support.

Another of Bok's methods in editing was to do the common thing in an
uncommon way.  He had the faculty of putting old wine in new bottles
and the public liked it.  His ideas were not new; he knew there were no
new ideas, but he presented his ideas in such a way that they seemed
new.  It is a significant fact, too, that a large public will respond
more quickly to an idea than it will to a name.

When, early in 1917, events began so to shape themselves as directly to
point to the entrance of the United States into the Great War, Edward
Bok set himself to formulate a policy for _The Ladies' Home Journal_.
He knew that he was in an almost insurmountably difficult position.
The huge edition necessitated going to press fully six weeks in advance
of publication, and the preparation of material fully four weeks
previous to that.  He could not, therefore, get much closer than ten
weeks to the date when his readers received the magazine.  And he knew
that events, in war time, had a way of moving rapidly.

Late in January he went to Washington, consulted those authorities who
could indicate possibilities to him better than any one else, and
found, as he had suspected, that the entry of the United States into
the war was a practical certainty; it was only a question of time.

Bok went South for a month's holiday to get ready for the fray, and in
the saddle and on the golf links he formulated a policy.  The
newspapers and weeklies would send innumerable correspondents to the
front, and obviously, with the necessity for going to press so far in
advance, _The Journal_ could not compete with them.  They would depict
every activity in the field.  There was but one logical thing for him
to do: ignore the "front" entirely, refuse all the offers of
correspondents, men and women, who wanted to go with the armies for his
magazine, and cover fully and practically the results of the war as
they would affect the women left behind.  He went carefully over the
ground to see what these would be, along what particular lines women's
activities would be most likely to go, and then went back to Washington.

It was now March.  He conferred with the President, had his fears
confirmed, and offered all the resources of his magazine to the
government.  His diagnosis of the situation was verified in every
detail by the authorities whom he consulted.  _The Ladies' Home
Journal_ could best serve by keeping up the morale at home and by
helping to meet the problems that would confront the women; as the
President said: "Give help in the second line of defense."

A year before, Bok had opened a separate editorial office in Washington
and had secured Dudley Hannon, the Washington correspondent for the
_New York Sun_, as his editor-in-charge.  The purpose was to bring the
women of the country into a clearer understanding of their government
and a closer relation with it.  This work had been so successful as to
necessitate a force of four offices and twenty stenographers.  Bok now
placed this Washington office on a war-basis, bringing it into close
relation with every department of the government that would be
connected with the war activities.  By this means, he had an editor and
an organized force on the spot, devoting full time to the preparation
of war material, with Mr. Hannon in daily conference with the
department chiefs to secure the newest developments.

Bok learned that the country's first act would be to recruit for the
navy, so as to get this branch of the service into a state of
preparedness.  He therefore secured Franklin D. Roosevelt, assistant
secretary of the navy, to write an article explaining to mothers why
they should let their boys volunteer for the Navy and what it would
mean to them.

He made arrangements at the American Red Cross Headquarters for an
official department to begin at once in the magazine, telling women the
first steps that would be taken by the Red Cross and how they could
help.  He secured former President William Howard Taft, as chairman of
the Central Committee of the Red Cross, for the editor of this

He cabled to Viscount Northcliffe and Ian Hay for articles showing what
the English women had done at the outbreak of the war, the mistakes
they had made, what errors the American women should avoid, the right
lines along which English women had worked and how their American
sisters could adapt these methods to trans-atlantic conditions.

And so it happened that when the first war issue of _The Journal_
appeared on April 20th, only three weeks after the President's
declaration, it was the only monthly that recognized the existence of
war, and its pages had already begun to indicate practical lines along
which women could help.

The editor had been told that the question of food would come to be of
paramount importance; he knew that Herbert Hoover had been asked to
return to America as soon as he could close his work abroad, and he
cabled over to his English representative to arrange that the proposed
Food Administrator should know, at first hand, of the magazine and its
possibilities for the furtherance of the proposed Food Administration

The Food Administration was no sooner organized than Bok made
arrangements for an authoritative department to be conducted in his
magazine, reflecting the plans and desires of the Food Administration,
and Herbert Hoover's first public declaration to the women of America
as food administrator was published in _The Ladies' Home Journal_.  Bok
now placed all the resources of his four-color press-work at Mr.
Hoover's disposal; and the Food Administration's domestic experts, in
conjunction with the full culinary staff of the magazine, prepared the
new war dishes and presented them appetizingly in full colors under the
personal endorsement of Mr. Hoover and the Food Administration.  From
six to sixteen articles per month were now coming from Mr. Hoover's
department alone.

Secretary of the Treasury McAdoo interpreted the first Liberty Loan
"drive" to the women; the President of the United States, in a special
message to women, wrote in behalf of the subsequent Loan; Bernard
Baruch, as chairman of the War Industries Board, made clear the need
for war-time thrift; the recalled ambassador to Germany, James W.
Gerard, told of the ingenious plans resorted to by German women which
American women could profitably copy; and Elizabeth, Queen of the
Belgians, explained the plight of the babies and children of Belgium,
and made a plea to the women of the magazine to help.  So straight to
the point did the Queen write, and so well did she present her case
that within six months there had been sent to her, through _The Ladies'
Home Journal_, two hundred and forty-eight thousand cans of condensed
milk, seventy-two thousand cans of pork and beans, five thousand cans
of infants' prepared food, eighty thousand cans of beef soup, and
nearly four thousand bushels of wheat, purchased with the money donated
by the magazine readers.

Considering the difficulties to be surmounted, due to the advance
preparation of material, and considering that, at the best, most of its
advance information, even by the highest authorities, could only be in
the nature of surmise, the comprehensive manner in which _The Ladies'
Home Journal_ covered every activity of women during the Great War,
will always remain one of the magazine's most note-worthy achievements.
This can be said without reserve here, since the credit is due to no
single person; it was the combined, careful work of its entire staff,
weighing every step before it was taken, looking as clearly into the
future as circumstances made possible, and always seeking the most
authoritative sources of information.

It was in the summer of 1918 that Edward Bok received from the British
Government, through its department of public information, of which Lord
Beaverbrook was the minister, an invitation to join a party of thirteen
American editors to visit Great Britain and France.  The British
Government, not versed in publicity methods, was anxious that selected
parties of American publicists should see, personally, what Great
Britain had done, and was doing in the war; and it had decided to ask a
few individuals to pay personal visits to its munition factories, its
great aerodromes, its Great Fleet, which then lay in the Firth of
Forth, and to the battle-fields.  It was understood that no specific
obligation rested upon any member of the party to write of what he saw:
he was asked simply to observe and then, with discretion, use his
observations for his own guidance and information in future writing.
In fact, each member was explicitly told that much of what he would see
could not be revealed either personally or in print.

The party embarked in August amid all the attendant secrecy of war
conditions.  The steamer was known only by a number, although later it
turned out to be the White Star liner, _Adriatic_.  Preceded by a
powerful United States cruiser, flanked by destroyers, guided overhead
by observation balloons, the _Adriatic_ was found to be the first ship
in a convoy of sixteen other ships with thirty thousand United States
troops on board.

It was a veritable Armada that steamed out of lower New York harbor on
that early August morning, headed straight into the rising sun.  But it
was a voyage of unpleasant war reminders, with life-savers carried
every moment of the day, with every light out at night, with every
window and door as if hermetically sealed so that the stuffy cabins
deprived of sleep those accustomed to fresh air, with over sixty army
men and civilians on watch at night, with life-drills each day, with
lessons as to behavior in life-boats; and with a fleet of eighteen
British destroyers meeting the convoy upon its approach to the Irish
Coast after a thirteen days' voyage of constant anxiety.  No one could
say he travelled across the Atlantic Ocean in war days for pleasure,
and no one did.

Once ashore, the party began a series of inspections of munition
plants, ship-yards, aeroplane factories and of meetings with the
different members of the English War Cabinet.  Luncheons and dinners
were the order of each day until broken by a journey to Edinburgh to
see the amazing Great Fleet, with the addition of six of the foremost
fighting machines of the United States Navy, all straining like dogs at
leash, awaiting an expected dash from the bottled-up German fleet.  It
was a formidable sight, perhaps never equalled: those lines of huge,
menacing, and yet protecting fighting machines stretching down the
river for miles, all conveying the single thought of the power and
extent of the British Navy and its formidable character as a fighting

[Illustration: Where Edward Bok is happiest: in his garden.]

It was upon his return to London that Bok learned, through the
confidence of a member of the British "inner circle," the amazing news
that the war was practically over: that Bulgaria had capitulated and
was suing for peace; that two of the Central Power provinces had
indicated their strong desire that the war should end; and that the
first peace intimations had gone to the President of the United States.
All diplomatic eyes were turned toward Washington.  Yet not a hint of
the impending events had reached the public.  The Germans were being
beaten back, that was known; it was evident that the morale of the
German army was broken; that Foch had turned the tide toward victory;
but even the best-informed military authorities outside of the inner
diplomatic circles, predicted that the war would last until the spring
of 1919, when a final "drive" would end it.  Yet, at that very moment,
the end of the war was in sight!

Next Bok went to France to visit the battle-fields.  It was arranged
that the party should first, under guidance of British officers, visit
back of the British lines; and then, successively, be turned over to
the American and French Governments, and visit the operations back of
their armies.

It is an amusing fact that although each detail of officers delegated
to escort the party "to the front" received the most explicit
instructions from their superior officers to take the party only to the
quiet sectors where there was no fighting going on, each detail from
the three governments successively brought the party directly under
shell-fire, and each on the first day of the "inspection."  It was
unconsciously done: the officers were as much amazed to find themselves
under fire as were the members of the party, except that the latter did
not feel the responsibility to an equal degree.  The officers, in each
case, were plainly worried: the editors were intensely interested.

They were depressing trips through miles and miles of devastated
villages and small cities.  From two to three days each were spent in
front-line posts on the Amiens-Bethune, Albert-Peronne,
Bapaume-Soissons, St. Mihiel, and back of the Argonne sectors.  Often,
the party was the first civilian group to enter a town evacuated only a
week before, and all the horrible evidence of bloody warfare was fresh
and plain.  Bodies of German soldiers lay in the trenches where they
had fallen; wired bombs were on every hand, so that no object could be
touched that lay on the battle-fields; the streets of some of the towns
were still mined, so that no automobiles could enter; the towns were
deserted, the streets desolate.  It was an appalling panorama of the
most frightful results of war.

The picturesqueness and romance of the war of picture books were
missing.  To stand beside an English battery of thirty guns laying a
barrage as they fired their shells to a point ten miles distant, made
one feel as if one were an actual part of real warfare, and yet far
removed from it, until the battery was located from the enemy's
"sausage observation"; then the shells from the enemy fired a return
salvo, and the better part of valor was discretion a few miles farther

Bok was standing talking to the commandant of one of the great French
army supply depots one morning.  He was a man of forty; a colonel in
the regular French army.  An erect, sturdy-looking man with white hair
and mustache, and who wore the single star of a subaltern on his
sleeve, came up, saluted, delivered a message, and then asked:

"Are there any more orders, sir?"

"No," was the reply.

He brought his heels together with a click, saluted again, and went

The commandant turned to Bok with a peculiar smile on his face and

"Do you know who that man is?"

"No," was the reply.

"That is my father," was the answer.

The father was then exactly seventy-two years old.  He was a retired
business man when the war broke out.  After two years of the heroic
struggle he decided that he couldn't keep out of it.  He was too old to
fight, but after long insistence he secured a commission.  By one of
the many curious coincidences of the war he was assigned to serve under
his own son.

When under the most trying conditions, the Americans never lost their
sense of fun.  On the staff of a prison hospital in Germany, where a
number of captured American soldiers were being treated, a German
sergeant became quite friendly with the prisoners under his care.  One
day he told them that he had been ordered to active service on the
front.  He felt convinced that he would be captured by the English, and
asked the Americans if they would not, give him some sort of
testimonial which he could show if he were taken prisoner, so that he
would not be ill-treated.

The Americans were much amused at this idea, and concocted a note of
introduction, written in English.  The German sergeant knew no English
and could not understand his testimonial, but he tucked it in his
pocket, well satisfied.

In due time, he was sent to the front and was captured by "the ladies
from hell," as the Germans called the Scotch kilties.  He at once
presented his introduction, and his captors laughed heartily when they

"This is L----.  He is not a bad sort of chap.  Don't shoot him;
torture him slowly to death."

The amazing part of the "show," however, was the American doughboy.
Never was there a more cheerful, laughing, good-natured set of boys in
the world; never a more homesick, lonely, and complaining set.  But
good nature predominated, and the smile was always upper-most, even
when the moment looked the blackest, the privations were worst, and the
longing for home the deepest.

Bok had been talking to a boy who lived near his own home, who was on
his way to the front and "over the top" in the Argonne mess.  Three
days afterward, at a hospital base where a hospital train was just
discharging its load of wounded, Bok walked among the boys as they lay
on their stretchers on the railroad platform waiting for bearers to
carry them into the huts.  As he approached one stretcher, a cheery
voice called, "Hello, Mr. Bok.  Here I am again."

It was the boy he had left just seventy-two hours before hearty and

"Well, my boy, you weren't in it long, were you?"

"No, sir," answered the boy; "Fritzie sure got me first thing.  Hadn't
gone a hundred yards over the top.  Got a cigarette?" (the invariable

Bok handed a cigarette to the boy, who then said: "Mind sticking it in
my mouth?"  Bok did so and then offered him a light; the boy continued,
all with his wonderful smile: "If you don't mind, would you just light
it?  You see, Fritzie kept both of my hooks as souvenirs."

With both arms amputated, the boy could still jest and smile!

It was the same boy who on his hospital cot the next day said: "Don't
you think you could do something for the chap next to me, there on my
left?  He's really suffering: cried like hell all last night.  It would
be a God-send if you could get Doc to do something."

A promise was given that the surgeon should be seen at once, but the
boy was asked: "How about you?"

"Oh," came the cheerful answer, "I'm all right.  I haven't anything to
hurt.  My wounded members are gone--just plain gone.  But that chap has
got something--he got the real thing!"

What was the real thing according to such a boy's idea?

Bok had had enough of war in all its aspects; he felt a sigh of relief
when, a few days thereafter, he boarded _The Empress of Asia_ for home,
after a ten-weeks' absence.  He hoped never again to see, at first
hand, what war meant!



On the voyage home, Edward Bok decided that, now the war was over, he
would ask his company to release him from the editorship of _The
Ladies' Home Journal_.  His original plan had been to retire at the end
of a quarter of a century of editorship, when in his fiftieth year.  He
was, therefore, six years behind his schedule.  In October, 1919, he
would reach his thirtieth anniversary as editor, and he fixed upon this
as an appropriate time for the relinquishment of his duties.

He felt he had carried out the conditions under which the editorship of
the magazine had been transferred to him by Mrs. Curtis, that he had
brought them to fruition, and that any further carrying on of the
periodical by him would be of a supplementary character.  He had, too,
realized his hope of helping to create a national institution of
service to the American woman, and he felt that his part in the work
was done.

He considered carefully where he would leave an institution which the
public had so thoroughly associated with his personality, and he felt
that at no point in its history could he so safely transfer it to other
hands.  The position of the magazine in the public estimation was
unquestioned; it had never been so strong.  Its circulation not only
had outstripped that of any other monthly periodical, but it was still
growing so rapidly that it was only a question of a few months when it
would reach the almost incredible mark of two million copies per month.
With its advertising patronage exceeding that of any other monthly, the
periodical had become, probably, the most valuable and profitable piece
of magazine property in the world.

The time might never come again when all conditions would be equally
favorable to a change of editorship.  The position of the magazine was
so thoroughly assured that its progress could hardly be affected by the
retirement of one editor, and the accession of another.  There was a
competent editorial staff, the members of which had been with the
periodical from ten to thirty years each.  This staff had been a very
large factor in the success of the magazine.  While Bok had furnished
the initiative and supplied the directing power, a large part of the
editorial success of the magazine was due to the staff.  It could carry
on the magazine without his guidance.

Moreover, Bok wished to say good-by to his public before it decided,
for some reason or other, to say good-by to him.  He had no desire to
outstay his welcome.  That public had been wonderfully indulgent toward
his shortcomings, lenient with his errors, and tremendously inspiring
to his best endeavor.  He would not ask too much of it.  Thirty years
was a long tenure of office, one of the longest, in point of
consecutively active editorship, in the history of American magazines.

He had helped to create and to put into the life of the American home a
magazine of peculiar distinction.  From its beginning it had been
unlike any other periodical; it had always retained its individuality
as a magazine apart from the others.  It had sought to be something
more than a mere assemblage of stories and articles.  It had
consistently stood for ideals; and, save in one or two instances, it
had carried through what it undertook to achieve.  It had a record of
worthy accomplishment; a more fruitful record than many imagined.  It
had become a national institution such as no other magazine had ever
been.  It was indisputably accepted by the public and by business
interests alike as the recognized avenue of approach to the intelligent
homes of America.

Edward Bok was content to leave it at this point.

He explained all this in December, 1918, to the Board of Directors, and
asked that his resignation be considered.  It was understood that he
was to serve out his thirty years, thus remaining with the magazine for
the best part of another year.

In the material which _The Journal_ now included in its contents, it
began to point the way to the problems which would face women during
the reconstruction period.  Bok scanned the rather crowded field of
thought very carefully, and selected for discussion in the magazine
such questions as seemed to him most important for the public to
understand in order to face and solve its impending problems.  The
outstanding question he saw which would immediately face men and women
of the country was the problem of Americanization.  The war and its
after-effects had clearly demonstrated this to be the most vital need
in the life of the nation, not only for the foreign-born but for the
American as well.

The more one studied the problem the clearer it became that the vast
majority of American-born needed a refreshing, and, in many cases, a
new conception of American ideals as much as did the foreign-born, and
that the latter could never be taught what America and its institutions
stood for until they were more clearly defined in the mind of the men
and women of American birth.

Bok went to Washington, consulted with Franklin K. Lane, secretary of
the interior, of whose department the Government Bureau of
Americanization was a part.  A comprehensive series of articles was
outlined; the most expert writer, Esther Everett Lape, who had several
years of actual experience in Americanization work, was selected;
Secretary Lane agreed personally to read and pass upon the material,
and to assume the responsibility for its publication.

With the full and direct co-operation of the Federal Bureau of
Americanization, the material was assembled and worked up with the
result that, in the opinion of the director of the Federal Bureau, the
series proved to be the most comprehensive exposition of practical
Americanization adapted to city, town, and village, thus far published.

The work on this series was one of the last acts of Edward Bok's
editorship; and it was peculiarly gratifying to him that his editorial
work should end with the exposition of that Americanization of which he
himself was a product.  It seemed a fitting close to the career of a
foreign-born Americanized editor.

The scope of the reconstruction articles now published, and the clarity
of vision shown in the selection of the subjects, gave a fresh impetus
to the circulation of the magazine; and now that the government's
embargo on the use of paper had been removed, the full editions of the
periodical could again be printed.  The public responded instantly.

The result reached phenomenal figures.  The last number under Bok's
full editorial control was the issue of October, 1919.  This number was
oversold with a printed edition of two million copies--a record never
before achieved by any magazine.  This same issue presented another
record unattained in any single number of any periodical in the world.
It carried between its covers the amazing total of over one million
dollars in advertisements.

This was the psychological point at which to stop.  And Edward Bok did.
Although his official relation as editor did not terminate until
January, 1920, when the number which contained his valedictory
editorial was issued, his actual editorship ceased on September 22,
1919.  On that day he handed over the reins to his successor.

The announcement of Edward Bok's retirement came as a great surprise to
his friends.  Save for one here and there, who had a clearer vision,
the feeling was general that he had made a mistake.  He was fifty-six,
in the prime of life, never in better health, with "success lying
easily upon him"--said one; "at the very summit of his career," said
another--and all agreed it was "queer," "strange,"--unless, they
argued, he was really ill.  Even the most acute students of human
affairs among his friends wondered.  It seemed incomprehensible that
any man should want to give up before he was, for some reason,
compelled to do so.  A man should go on until he "dropped in the
harness," they argued.

Bok agreed that any man had a perfect right to work until he _did_
"drop in the harness."  But, he argued, if he conceded this right to
others, why should they not concede to him the privilege of dropping
with the blinders off?

"But," continued the argument, "a man degenerates when he retires from
active affairs."  And then, instances were pointed out as notable
examples.  "A year of retirement and he was through," was the picture
given of one retired man.  "In two years, he was glad to come back,"
and so the examples ran on.  "No big man ever retired from active
business and did great work afterwards," Bok was told.

"No?" he answered.  "Not even Cyrus W. Field or Herbert Hoover?"

And all this time Edward Bok's failure to be entirely Americanized was
brought home to his consciousness.  After fifty years, he was still not
an American!  He had deliberately planned, and then had carried out his
plan, to retire while he still had the mental and physical capacity to
enjoy the fruits of his years of labor!  For foreign to the American
way of thinking it certainly was: the protestations and arguments of
his friends proved that to him.  After all, he was still Dutch; he had
held on to the lesson which his people had learned years ago; that the
people of other European countries had learned; that the English had
discovered: that the Great Adventure of Life was something more than
material work, and that the time to go is while the going is good!

For it cannot be denied that the pathetic picture we so often see is
found in American business life more frequently than in that of any
other land: men unable to let go--not only for their own good, but to
give the younger men behind them an opportunity.  Not that a man should
stop work, for man was born to work, and in work he should find his
greatest refreshment.  But so often it does not occur to the man in a
pivotal position to question the possibility that at sixty or seventy
he can keep steadily in touch with a generation whose ideas are
controlled by men twenty years younger.  Unconsciously he hangs on
beyond his greatest usefulness and efficiency: he convinces himself
that he is indispensable to his business, while, in scores of cases,
the business would be distinctly benefited by his retirement and the
consequent coming to the front of the younger blood.

Such a man in a position of importance seems often not to see that he
has it within his power to advance the fortunes of younger men by
stepping out when he has served his time, while by refusing to let go
he often works dire injustice and even disaster to his younger

The sad fact is that in all too many instances the average American
business man is actually afraid to let go because he realizes that out
of business he should not know what to do.  For years he has so
excluded all other interests that at fifty or sixty or seventy he finds
himself a slave to his business, with positively no inner resources.
Retirement from the one thing he does know would naturally leave such a
man useless to himself and his family, and his community: worse than
useless, as a matter of fact, for he would become a burden to himself,
a nuisance to his family, and, when he would begin to write "letters"
to the newspapers, a bore to the community.

It is significant that a European or English business man rarely
reaches middle age devoid of acquaintance with other matters; he always
lets the breezes from other worlds of thought blow through his ideas,
with the result that when he is ready to retire from business he has
other interests to fall back upon.  Fortunately it is becoming less
uncommon for American men to retire from business and devote themselves
to other pursuits; and their number will undoubtedly increase as time
goes on, and we learn the lessons of life with a richer background.
But one cannot help feeling regretful that the custom is not growing
more rapidly.

A man must unquestionably prepare years ahead for his retirement, not
alone financially, but mentally as well.  Bok noticed as a curious fact
that nearly every business man who told him he had made a mistake in
his retirement, and that the proper life for a man is to stick to the
game and see it through--"hold her nozzle agin the bank" as Jim Bludso
would say--was a man with no resources outside his business.
Naturally, a retirement is a mistake in the eyes of such a man; but oh,
the pathos of such a position: that in a world of so much interest, in
an age so fascinatingly full of things worth doing, a man should have
allowed himself to become a slave to his business, and should imagine
no other man happy without the same claims!

It is this lesson that the American business man has still to learn;
that no man can be wholly efficient in his life, that he is not living
a four-squared existence, if he concentrates every waking thought on
his material affairs.  He has still to learn that man cannot live by
bread alone.  The making of money, the accumulation of material power,
is not all there is to living.  Life is something more than these, and
the man who misses this truth misses the greatest joy and satisfaction
that can come into his life--service for others.

Some men argue that they can give this service and be in business, too.
But service with such men generally means drawing a check for some
worthy cause, and nothing more.  Edward Bok never belittled the giving
of contributions--he solicited too much money himself for the causes in
which he was interested--but it is a poor nature that can satisfy
itself that it is serving humanity by merely signing checks.  There is
no form of service more comfortable or so cheap.  Real service,
however, demands that a man give himself with his check.  And that the
average man cannot do if he remains in affairs.

Particularly true is this to-day, when every problem of business is so
engrossing, demanding a man's full time and thought.  It is the rare
man who can devote himself to business and be fresh for the service of
others afterward.  No man can, with efficiency, serve two masters so
exacting as are these.  Besides, if his business has seemed important
enough to demand his entire attention, are not the great uplift
questions equally worth his exclusive thought?  Are they easier of
solution than the material problems?

A man can live a life full-square only when he divides it into three

First: that of education, acquiring the fullest and best within his
reach and power;

Second: that of achievement: achieving for himself and his family, and
discharging the first duty of any man, that in case of his incapacity
those who are closest to him are provided for.  But such provision does
not mean an accumulation that becomes to those he leaves behind him an
embarrassment rather than a protection.  To prevent this, the next
period confronts him:

Third: Service for others.  That is the acid test where many a man
falls short: to know when he has enough, and to be willing not only to
let well enough alone, but to give a helping hand to the other fellow;
to recognize, in a practical way, that we are our brother's keeper;
that a brotherhood of man does exist outside after-dinner speeches.
Too many men make the mistake, when they reach the point of enough, of
going on pursuing the same old game: accumulating more money, grasping
for more power until either a nervous breakdown overtakes them and a
sad incapacity results, or they drop "in the harness," which is, of
course; only calling an early grave by another name.  They cannot seem
to get the truth into their heads that as they have been helped by
others so should they now help others: as their means have come from
the public, so now they owe something in turn to that public.

No man has a right to leave the world no better than he found it.  He
must add something to it: either he must make its people better and
happier, or he must make the face of the world fairer to look at.  And
the one really means the other.

"Idealism," immediately say some.  Of course, it is.  But what is the
matter with idealism?  What really is idealism?  Do one-tenth of those
who use the phrase so glibly know its true meaning, the part it has
played in the world?  The worthy interpretation of an ideal is that it
embodies an idea--a conception of the imagination.  All ideas are at
first ideals.  They must be.  The producer brings forth an idea, but
some dreamer has dreamed it before him either in whole or in part.

Where would the human race be were it not for the ideals of men?  It is
idealists, in a large sense, that this old world needs to-day.  Its
soil is sadly in need of new seed.  Washington, in his day, was decried
as an idealist.  So was Jefferson.  It was commonly remarked of Lincoln
that he was a "rank idealist."  Morse, Watt, Marconi, Edison--all were,
at first, adjudged idealists.  We say of the League of Nations that it
is ideal, and we use the term in a derogatory sense.  But that was
exactly what was said of the Constitution of the United States.
"Insanely ideal" was the term used of it.

The idealist, particularly to-day when there is so great need of him,
is not to be scoffed at.  It is through him and only through him that
the world will see a new and clear vision of what is right.  It is he
who has the power of going out of himself--that self in which too many
are nowadays so deeply imbedded; it is he who, in seeking the ideal,
will, through his own clearer perception or that of others, transform
the ideal into the real.  "Where there is no vision, the people perish."

It was his remark that he retired because he wanted "to play" that
Edward Bok's friends most completely misunderstood.  "Play" in their
minds meant tennis, golf, horseback, polo, travel, etc.--(curious that
scarcely one mentioned reading!).  It so happens that no one enjoys
some of these play-forms more than Bok; but "God forbid," he said,
"that I should spend the rest of my days in a bunker or in the saddle.
In moderation," he added, "yes; most decidedly."  But the phrase of
"play" meant more to him than all this.  Play is diversion: exertion of
the mind as well as of the body.  There is such a thing as mental play
as well as physical play.  We ask of play that it shall rest, refresh,
exhilarate.  Is there any form of mental activity that secures all
these ends so thoroughly and so directly as doing something that a man
really likes to do, doing it with all his heart, all the time conscious
that he is helping to make the world better for some one else?

A man's "play" can take many forms.  If his life has been barren of
books or travel, let him read or see the world.  But he reaches his
high estate by either of these roads only when he reads or travels to
enrich himself in order to give out what he gets to enrich the lives of
others.  He owes it to himself to get his own refreshment, his own
pleasure, but he need not make that pure self-indulgence.

Other men, more active in body and mind, feel drawn to the modern arena
of the great questions that puzzle.  It matters not in which direction
a man goes in these matters any more than the length of a step matters
so much as does the direction in which the step is taken.  He should
seek those questions which engross his deepest interest, whether
literary, musical, artistic, civic, economic, or what not.

Our cities, towns, communities of all sizes and kinds, urban and rural,
cry out for men to solve their problems.  There is room and to spare
for the man of any bent.  The old Romans looked forward, on coming to
the age of retirement, which was definitely fixed by rule, to a rural
life, when they hied themselves to a little home in the country, had
open house for their friends, and "kept bees."  While bee-keeping is
unquestionably interesting, there are today other and more vital
occupations awaiting the retired American.

The main thing is to secure that freedom of movement that lets a man go
where he will and do what he thinks he can do best, and prove to
himself and to others that the acquirement of the dollar is not all
there is to life.  No man can realize, until on awakening some morning
he feels the exhilaration, the sense of freedom that comes from knowing
he can choose his own doings and control his own goings.  Time is of
more value than money, and it is that which the man who retires feels
that he possesses.  Hamilton Mabie once said, after his retirement from
an active editorial position: "I am so happy that the time has come
when I elect what I shall do," which is true; but then he added: "I
have rubbed out the word 'must' from my vocabulary," which was not
true.  No man ever reaches that point.  Duty of some sort confronts a
man in business or out of business, and duty spells "must."  But there
is less "must" in the vocabulary of the retired man; and it is this
lessened quantity that gives the tang of joy to the new day.

It is a wonderful inner personal satisfaction to reach the point when a
man can say: "I have enough."  His soul and character are refreshed by
it: he is made over by it.  He begins a new life! he gets a sense of a
new joy; he feels, for the first time, what a priceless possession is
that thing that he never knew before, freedom.  And if he seeks that
freedom at the right time, when he is at the summit of his years and
powers and at the most opportune moment in his affairs, he has that
supreme satisfaction denied to so many men, the opposite of which comes
home with such cruel force to them; that they have overstayed their
time: they have worn out their welcome.

There is no satisfaction that so thoroughly satisfies as that of going
while the going is good.


The friends of Edward Bok may be right when they said he made a mistake
in his retirement.


As Mr. Dooley says: "It's a good thing, sometimes, to have people size
ye up wrong, Hinnessey: it's whin they've got ye'er measure ye're in

Edward Bok's friends have failed to get his measure,--yet!

They still have to learn what he has learned and is learning every day:
"the joy," as Charles Lamb so aptly put it upon his retirement, "of
walking about and around instead of to and fro."

     *     *     *     *     *

The question now naturally arises, having read this record thus far: To
what extent, with his unusual opportunities of fifty years, has the
Americanization of Edward Bok gone?  How far is he, to-day, an
American?  These questions, so direct and personal in their nature, are
perhaps best answered in a way more direct and personal than the method
thus far adopted in this chronicle.  We will, therefore, let Edward Bok
answer these questions for himself, in closing this record of his



When I came to the United States as a lad of six, the most needful
lesson for me, as a boy, was the necessity for thrift.  I had been
taught in my home across the sea that thrift was one of the
fundamentals in a successful life.  My family had come from a land (the
Netherlands) noted for its thrift; but we had been in the United States
only a few days before the realization came home strongly to my father
and mother that they had brought their children to a land of waste.

Where the Dutchman saved, the American wasted.  There was waste, and
the most prodigal waste, on every hand.  In every street-car and on
every ferry-boat the floors and seats were littered with newspapers
that had been read and thrown away or left behind.  If I went to a
grocery store to buy a peck of potatoes, and a potato rolled off the
heaping measure, the groceryman, instead of picking it up, kicked it
into the gutter for the wheels of his wagon to run over.  The butcher's
waste filled my mother's soul with dismay.  If I bought a scuttle of
coal at the corner grocery, the coal that missed the scuttle, instead
of being shovelled up and put back into the bin, was swept into the
street.  My young eyes quickly saw this; in the evening I gathered up
the coal thus swept away, and during the course of a week I collected a
scuttleful.  The first time my mother saw the garbage pail of a family
almost as poor as our own, with the wife and husband constantly
complaining that they could not get along, she could scarcely believe
her eyes.  A half pan of hominy of the preceding day's breakfast lay in
the pail next to a third of a loaf of bread.  In later years, when I
saw, daily, a scow loaded with the garbage of Brooklyn householders
being towed through New York harbor out to sea, it was an easy
calculation that what was thrown away in a week's time from Brooklyn
homes would feed the poor of the Netherlands.

At school, I quickly learned that to "save money" was to be "stingy";
as a young man, I soon found that the American disliked the word
"economy," and on every hand as plenty grew spending grew.  There was
literally nothing in American life to teach me thrift or economy;
everything to teach me to spend and to waste.

I saw men who had earned good salaries in their prime, reach the years
of incapacity as dependents.  I saw families on every hand either
living quite up to their means or beyond them; rarely within them.  The
more a man earned, the more he--or his wife--spent.  I saw fathers and
mothers and their children dressed beyond their incomes.  The
proportion of families who ran into debt was far greater than those who
saved.  When a panic came, the families "pulled in"; when the panic was
over, they "let out."  But the end of one year found them precisely
where they were at the close of the previous year, unless they were
deeper in debt.

It was in this atmosphere of prodigal expenditure and culpable waste
that I was to practise thrift: a fundamental in life!  And it is into
this atmosphere that the foreign-born comes now, with every inducement
to spend and no encouragement to save.  For as it was in the days of my
boyhood, so it is to-day--only worse.  One need only go over the
experiences of the past two years, to compare the receipts of merchants
who cater to the working-classes and the statements of savings-banks
throughout the country, to read the story of how the foreign-born are
learning the habit of criminal wastefulness as taught them by the

Is it any wonder, then, that in this, one of the essentials in life and
in all success, America fell short with me, as it is continuing to fall
short with every foreign-born who comes to its shores?

As a Dutch boy, one of the cardinal truths taught me was that whatever
was worth doing was worth doing well: that next to honesty come
thoroughness as a factor in success.  It was not enough that anything
should be done: it was not done at all if it was not done well.  I came
to America to be taught exactly the opposite.  The two infernal
Americanisms "That's good enough" and "That will do" were early taught
me, together with the maxim of quantity rather than quality.

It was not the boy at school who could write the words in his copy-book
best who received the praise of the teacher; it was the boy who could
write the largest number of words in a given time.  The acid test in
arithmetic was not the mastery of the method, but the number of minutes
required to work out an example.  If a boy abbreviated the month
January to "Jan." and the word Company to "Co." he received a hundred
per cent mark, as did the boy who spelled out the words and who could
not make the teacher see that "Co." did not spell "Company."

As I grew into young manhood, and went into business, I found on every
hand that quantity counted for more than quality.  The emphasis was
almost always placed on how much work one could do in a day, rather
than upon how well the work was done.  Thoroughness was at a discount
on every hand; production at a premium.  It made no difference in what
direction I went, the result was the same: the cry was always for
quantity, quantity!  And into this atmosphere of almost utter disregard
for quality I brought my ideas of Dutch thoroughness and my conviction
that doing well whatever I did was to count as a cardinal principle in

During my years of editorship, save in one or two conspicuous
instances, I was never able to assign to an American writer, work which
called for painstaking research.  In every instance, the work came back
to me either incorrect in statement, or otherwise obviously lacking in
careful preparation.

One of the most successful departments I ever conducted in _The Ladies'
Home Journal_ called for infinite reading and patient digging, with the
actual results sometimes almost negligible.  I made a study of my
associates by turning the department over to one after another, and
always with the same result: absolute lack of a capacity for patient
research.  As one of my editors, typically American, said to me: "It
isn't worth all the trouble that you put into it."  Yet no single
department ever repaid the searcher more for his pains.  Save for
assistance derived from a single person, I had to do the work myself
for all the years that the department continued.  It was apparently
impossible for the American to work with sufficient patience and care
to achieve a result.

We all have our pet notions as to the particular evil which is "the
curse of America," but I always think that Theodore Roosevelt came
closest to the real curse when he classed it as a lack of thoroughness.

Here again, in one of the most important matters in life, did America
fall short with me; and, what is more important, she is falling short
with every foreigner that comes to her shores.

In the matter of education, America fell far short in what should be
the strongest of all her institutions: the public school.  A more
inadequate, incompetent method of teaching, as I look back over my
seven years of attendance at three different public schools, it is
difficult to conceive.  If there is one thing that I, as a foreign-born
child, should have been carefully taught, it is the English language.
The individual effort to teach this, if effort there was, and I
remember none, was negligible.  It was left for my father to teach me,
or for me to dig it out for myself.  There was absolutely no indication
on the part of teacher or principal of responsibility for seeing that a
foreign-born boy should acquire the English language correctly.  I was
taught as if I were American-born, and, of course, I was left dangling
in the air, with no conception of what I was trying to do.

My father worked with me evening after evening; I plunged my young mind
deep into the bewildering confusions of the language--and no one
realizes the confusions of the English language as does the
foreign-born--and got what I could through these joint efforts.  But I
gained nothing from the much-vaunted public-school system which the
United States had borrowed from my own country, and then had rendered
incompetent--either by a sheer disregard for the thoroughness that
makes the Dutch public schools the admiration of the world, or by too
close a regard for politics.

Thus, in her most important institution to the foreign-born, America
fell short.  And while I am ready to believe that the public school may
have increased in efficiency since that day, it is, indeed, a question
for the American to ponder, just how far the system is efficient for
the education of the child who comes to its school without a knowledge
of the first word in the English language.  Without a detailed
knowledge of the subject, I know enough of conditions in the average
public school to-day to warrant at least the suspicion that Americans
would not be particularly proud of the system, and of what it gives for
which annually they pay millions of dollars in taxes.

I am aware in making this statement that I shall be met with convincing
instances of intelligent effort being made with the foreign-born
children in special classes.  No one has a higher respect for those
efforts than I have--few, other than educators, know of them better
than I do, since I did not make my five-year study of the American
public school system for naught.  But I am not referring to the
exceptional instance here and there.  I merely ask of the American,
interested as he is or should be in the Americanization of the
strangers within his gates, how far the public school system, as a
whole, urban and rural, adapts itself, with any true efficiency, to the
foreign-born child.  I venture to color his opinion in no wise; I
simply ask that he will inquire and ascertain for himself, as he should
do if he is interested in the future welfare of his country and his
institutions; for what happens in America in the years to come depends,
in large measure, on what is happening to-day in the public schools of
this country.

As a Dutch boy I was taught a wholesome respect for law and for
authority.  The fact was impressed upon me that laws of themselves were
futile unless the people for whom they were made respected them, and
obeyed them in spirit more even than in the letter.  I came to America
to feel, on every hand, that exactly the opposite was true.  Laws were
passed, but were not enforced; the spirit to enforce them was lacking
in the people.  There was little respect for the law; there was
scarcely any for those appointed to enforce it.

The nearest that a boy gets to the law is through the policeman.  In
the Netherlands a boy is taught that a policeman is for the protection
of life and property; that he is the natural friend of every boy and
man who behaves himself.  The Dutch boy and the policeman are,
naturally, friendly in their relations.  I came to America to be told
that a policeman is a boy's natural enemy; that he is eager to arrest
him if he can find the slightest reason for doing so.  A policeman, I
was informed, was a being to hold in fear, not in respect.  He was to
be avoided, not to be made friends with.  The result was that, as did
all boys, I came to regard the policeman on our beat as a distinct
enemy.  His presence meant that we should "stiffen up"; his
disappearance was the signal for us to "let loose."

So long as one was not caught, it did not matter.  I heard mothers tell
their little children that if they did not behave themselves, the
policeman would put them into a bag and carry them off, or cut their
ears off.  Of course, the policeman became to them an object of terror;
the law he represented, a cruel thing that stood for punishment.  Not a
note of respect did I ever hear for the law in my boyhood days.  A law
was something to be broken, to be evaded, to call down upon others as a
source of punishment, but never to be regarded in the light of a

And as I grew into manhood, the newspapers rang on every side with
disrespect for those in authority.  Under the special dispensation of
the liberty of the press, which was construed into the license of the
press, no man was too high to escape editorial vituperation if his
politics did not happen to suit the management, or if his action ran
counter to what the proprietors believed it should be.  It was not
criticism of his acts, it was personal attack upon the official;
whether supervisor, mayor, governor, or president, it mattered not.

It is a very unfortunate impression that this American lack of respect
for those in authority makes upon the foreign-born mind.  It is
difficult for the foreigner to square up the arrest and deportation of
a man who, through an incendiary address, seeks to overthrow
governmental authority, with the ignoring of an expression of exactly
the same sentiments by the editor of his next morning's newspaper.  In
other words, the man who writes is immune, but the man who reads,
imbibes, and translates the editor's words into action is immediately
marked as a culprit, and America will not harbor him.  But why harbor
the original cause?  Is the man who speaks with type less dangerous
than he who speaks with his mouth or with a bomb?

At the most vital part of my life, when I was to become an American
citizen and exercise the right of suffrage, America fell entirely
short.  It reached out not even the suggestion of a hand.

When the Presidential Conventions had been held in the year I reached
my legal majority, and I knew I could vote, I endeavored to find out
whether, being foreign-born, I was entitled to the suffrage.  No one
could tell me; and not until I had visited six different municipal
departments, being referred from one to another, was it explained that,
through my father's naturalization, I became, automatically, as his
son, an American citizen.  I decided to read up on the platforms of the
Republican and Democratic parties, but I could not secure copies
anywhere, although a week had passed since they had been adopted in

I was told the newspapers had printed them.  It occurred to me there
must be many others besides myself who were anxious to secure the
platforms of the two parties in some more convenient form.  With the
eye of necessity ever upon a chance to earn an honest penny, I went to
a newspaper office, cut out from its files the two platforms, had them
printed in a small pocket edition, sold one edition to the American
News Company and another to the News Company controlling the Elevated
Railroad bookstands in New York City, where they sold at ten cents
each.  So great was the demand which I had only partially guessed, that
within three weeks I had sold such huge editions of the little books
that I had cleared over a thousand dollars.

But it seemed to me strange that it should depend on a foreign-born
American to supply an eager public with what should have been supplied
through the agency of the political parties or through some educational

I now tried to find out what a vote actually meant.  It must be
recalled that I was only twenty-one years old, with scant education,
and with no civic agency offering me the information I was seeking.  I
went to the headquarters of each of the political parties and put my
query.  I was regarded with puzzled looks.

"What does it mean to vote?" asked one chairman.  "Why, on Election Day
you go up to the ballot-box and put your ballot in, and that's all
there is to it."

But I knew very well that that was not all there was to it, and was
determined to find out the significance of the franchise.  I met with
dense ignorance on every hand.  I went to the Brooklyn Library, and was
frankly told by the librarian that he did not know of a book that would
tell me what I wanted to know.  This was in 1884.

As the campaign increased in intensity, I found myself a desired person
in the eyes of the local campaign managers, but not one of them could
tell me the significance and meaning of the privilege I was for the
first time to exercise.

Finally, I spent an evening with Seth Low, and, of course, got the
desired information.

But fancy the quest I had been compelled to make to acquire the simple
information that should have been placed in my hands or made readily
accessible to me.  And how many foreign-born would take equal pains to
ascertain what I was determined to find out?

Surely America fell short here at the moment most sacred to me: that of
my first vote!

Is it any easier to-day for the foreign citizen to acquire this
information when he approaches his first vote?  I wonder!  Not that I
do not believe there are agencies for this purpose.  You know there
are, and so do I.  But how about the foreign-born?  Does he know it?
Is it not perhaps like the owner of the bulldog who assured the friend
calling on him that it never attacked friends of the family?  "Yes,"
said the friend, "that's all right.  You know and I know that I am a
friend of the family; but does the dog know?"

Is it to-day made known to the foreign-born, about to exercise his
privilege of suffrage for the first time, where he can be told what
that privilege means: is the means to know made readily accessible to
him: is it, in fact, as it should be, brought to him?

It was not to me; is it to him?

One fundamental trouble with the present desire for Americanization is
that the American is anxious to Americanize two classes--if he is a
reformer, the foreign-born; if he is an employer, his employees.  It
never occurs to him that he himself may be in need of Americanization.
He seems to take it for granted that because he is American-born, he is
an American in spirit and has a right understanding of American ideals.
But that, by no means, always follows.  There are thousands of the
American-born who need Americanization just as much as do the
foreign-born.  There are hundreds of American employers who know far
less of American ideals than do some of their employees.  In fact,
there are those actually engaged today in the work of Americanization,
men at the top of the movement, who sadly need a better conception of
true Americanism.

An excellent illustration of this came to my knowledge when I attended
a large Americanization Conference in Washington.  One of the principal
speakers was an educator of high standing and considerable influence in
one of the most important sections of the United States.  In a speech
setting forth his ideas of Americanization, he dwelt with much emphasis
and at considerable length upon instilling into the mind of the
foreign-born the highest respect for American institutions.

After the Conference he asked me whether he could see me that afternoon
at my hotel; he wanted to talk about contributing to the magazine.
When he came, before approaching the object of his talk, he launched
out on a tirade against the President of the United States; the
weakness of the Cabinet, the inefficiency of the Congress, and the
stupidity of the Senate.  If words could have killed, there would have
not remained a single living member of the Administration at Washington.

After fifteen minutes of this, I reminded him of his speech and the
emphasis which he had placed upon the necessity of inculcating in the
foreign-born respect for American institutions.

Yet this man was a power in his community, a strong influence upon
others; he believed he could Americanize others, when he himself,
according to his own statements, lacked the fundamental principle of
Americanization.  What is true of this man is, in lesser or greater
degree, true of hundreds of others.  Their Americanization consists of
lip-service; the real spirit, the only factor which counts in the
successful teaching of any doctrine, is absolutely missing.  We
certainly cannot teach anything approaching a true Americanism until we
ourselves feel and believe and practise in our own lives what we are
teaching to others.  No law, no lip-service, no effort, however
well-intentioned, will amount to anything worth while in inculcating
the true American spirit in our foreign-born citizens until we are sure
that the American spirit is understood by ourselves and is warp and
woof of our own being.

To the American, part and parcel of his country, these particulars in
which his country falls short with the foreign-born are, perhaps, not
so evident; they may even seem not so very important.  But to the
foreign-born they seem distinct lacks; they loom large; they form
serious handicaps which, in many cases, are never surmounted; they are
a menace to that Americanization which is, to-day, more than ever our
fondest dream, and which we now realize more keenly than before is our
most vital need.

It is for this reason that I have put them down here as a concrete
instance of where and how America fell short in my own Americanization,
and, what is far more serious to me, where she is falling short in her
Americanization of thousands of other foreign-born.

"Yet you succeeded," it will be argued.

That may be; but you, on the other hand, must admit that I did not
succeed by reason of these shortcomings: it was in spite of them, by
overcoming them--a result that all might not achieve.



Whatever shortcomings I may have found during my fifty-year period of
Americanization; however America may have failed to help my transition
from a foreigner into an American, I owe to her the most priceless gift
that any nation can offer, and that is opportunity.

As the world stands to-day, no nation offers opportunity in the degree
that America does to the foreign-born.  Russia may, in the future, as I
like to believe she will, prove a second United States of America in
this respect.  She has the same limitless area; her people the same
potentialities.  But, as things are to-day, the United States offers,
as does no other nation, a limitless opportunity: here a man can go as
far as his abilities will carry him.  It may be that the foreign-born,
as in my own case, must hold on to some of the ideals and ideas of the
land of his birth; it may be that he must develop and mould his
character by overcoming the habits resulting from national
shortcomings.  But into the best that the foreign-born can retain,
America can graft such a wealth of inspiration, so high a national
idealism, so great an opportunity for the highest endeavor, as to make
him the fortunate man of the earth to-day.

He can go where he will; no traditions hamper him; no limitations are
set except those within himself.  The larger the area he chooses in
which to work, the larger the vision he demonstrates, the more eager
the people are to give support to his undertakings if they are
convinced that he has their best welfare as his goal.  There is no
public confidence equal to that of the American public, once it is
obtained.  It is fickle, of course, as are all publics, but fickle only
toward the man who cannot maintain an achieved success.

A man in America cannot complacently lean back upon victories won, as
he can in the older European countries, and depend upon the glamour of
the past to sustain him or the momentum of success to carry him.
Probably the most alert public in the world, it requires of its leaders
that they be alert.  Its appetite for variety is insatiable, but its
appreciation, when given, is full-handed and whole-hearted.  The
American public never holds back from the man to whom it gives; it
never bestows in a niggardly way; it gives all or nothing.

What is not generally understood of the American people is their
wonderful idealism.  Nothing so completely surprises the foreign-born
as the discovery of this trait in the American character.  The
impression is current in European countries--perhaps less generally
since the war--that America is given over solely to a worship of the
American dollar.  While between nations as between individuals,
comparisons are valueless, it may not be amiss to say, from personal
knowledge, that the Dutch worship the gulden infinitely more than do
the Americans the dollar.

I do not claim that the American is always conscious of this idealism;
often he is not.  But let a great convulsion touching moral questions
occur, and the result always shows how close to the surface is his
idealism.  And the fact that so frequently he puts over it a thick
veneer of materialism does not affect its quality.  The truest
approach, the only approach in fact, to the American character is, as
Viscount Bryce has so well said, through its idealism.

It is this quality which gives the truest inspiration to the
foreign-born in his endeavor to serve the people of his adopted
country.  He is mentally sluggish, indeed, who does not discover that
America will make good with him if he makes good with her.

But he must play fair.  It is essentially the straight game that the
true American plays, and he insists that you shall play it too.
Evidence there is, of course, to the contrary in American life,
experiences that seem to give ground for the belief that the man
succeeds who is not scrupulous in playing his cards.  But never is this
true in the long run.  Sooner or later--sometimes, unfortunately, later
than sooner--the public discovers the trickery.  In no other country in
the world is the moral conception so clear and true as in America, and
no people will give a larger and more permanent reward to the man whose
effort for that public has its roots in honor and truth.

"The sky is the limit" to the foreign-born who comes to America endowed
with honest endeavor, ceaseless industry, and the ability to carry
through.  In any honest endeavor, the way is wide open to the will to
succeed.  Every path beckons, every vista invites, every talent is
called forth, and every efficient effort finds its due reward.  In no
land is the way so clear and so free.

How good an American has the process of Americanization made me?  That
I cannot say.  Who can say that of himself?  But when I look around me
at the American-born I have come to know as my close friends, I wonder
whether, after all, the foreign-born does not make in some sense a
better American--whether he is not able to get a truer perspective;
whether his is not the deeper desire to see America greater; whether he
is not less content to let its faulty institutions be as they are;
whether in seeing faults more clearly he does not make a more decided
effort to have America reach those ideals or those fundamentals of his
own land which he feels are in his nature, and the best of which he is
anxious to graft into the character of his adopted land?

It is naturally with a feeling of deep satisfaction that I remember two
Presidents of the United States considered me a sufficiently typical
American to wish to send me to my native land as the accredited
minister of my adopted country.  And yet when I analyze the reasons for
my choice in both these instances, I derive a deeper satisfaction from
the fact that my strong desire to work in America for America led me to
ask to be permitted to remain here.

It is this strong impulse that my Americanization has made the driving
power of my life.  And I ask no greater privilege than to be allowed to
live to see my potential America become actual: the America that I like
to think of as the America of Abraham Lincoln and of Theodore
Roosevelt--not faultless, but less faulty.  It is a part in trying to
shape that America, and an opportunity to work in that America when it
comes, that I ask in return for what I owe to her.  A greater privilege
no man could have.



  1863: October 9: Born at Helder, Netherlands.

  1870; September 20: Arrived in the United States.

  1870: Entered public schools of Brooklyn, New York.

  1873: Obtained first position in Frost's Bakery, Smith Street,
        Brooklyn, at 50 cents per week.

  1876: August 7: Entered employ of the Western Union Telegraph
        Company as office-boy.

  1882: Entered employ of Henry Holt & Company as stenographer.

  1884: Entered employ of Charles Scribner's Sons as stenographer.

  1884: Became editor of _The Brooklyn Magazine_.

  1886: Founded the Bok Syndicate Press.

  1887: Published Henry Ward Beecher Memorial (privately printed).

  1889: October 20: Became editor of _The Ladies' Home Journal_.

  1890: Published _Successward_: Doubleday, McClure & Company.

  1894: Published _Before He Is Twenty_: Fleming H. Revell Company.

  1896: October 22: Married Mary Louise Curtis.

  1897: September 7: Son born; William Curtis Bok.

  1900: Published _The Young Man in Business_: L. G. Page & Company.

  1905: January 25: Son born: Cary William Bok.

  1906: Published _Her Brother's Letters_ (Anonymous): Moffat,
        Yard & Company.

  1907: Degree of LL.D.  of Order of Augustinian Fathers conferred
        by order of Pope Pius X., by the Most Reverend Diomede
        Falconio, D.D., Apostolic Delegate to the United States,
        at Villanova College.

  1910: Degree of LL.D. conferred, in absentia, by Hope College,
        Holland, Michigan (the only Dutch college in the United

  1911: Founded, with others.  The Child Federation of

  1912: Published _The Edward Bok Books of Self-Knowledge_;
        five volumes: Fleming H. Revell Company.

  1913: Founded, with others, The Merion Civic Association, at
        Merion, Pennsylvania.

  1915: Published _Why I Believe in Poverty_: Houghton, Mifflin

  1916: Published poem, _God's Hand_, set to music by Josef
        Hofmann: Schirmer & Company.

  1917: Vice-president Philadelphia Belgian Relief Commission.

  1917: Member of National Y. M. C. A. War Work Council.

  1917: State chairman for Pennsylvania of Y. M. C. A. War Work

  1918: Member of Executive Committee and chairman of Publicity
        Committee, Philadelphia War Chest.

  1918: Chairman of Philadelphia Y. M. C. A. Recruiting Committee.

  1918: State chairman for Pennsylvania of United War Work

  1918: August-November: visited the battle-fronts in France as
        guest of the British Government.

  1918: September 22: Relinquished editorship of _The Ladies'
        Home Journal_, completing thirty years of service.

  1920: September 20: Upon the 50th anniversary of arrival in
        the United States, published _The Americanization of
        Edward Bok_.

  1921: May 30: Awarded the one thousand dollar Joseph Pulitzer
        Prize for _The Americanization of Edward Bok_.


I cannot close this record of a boy's development without an attempt to
suggest the sense of deep personal pleasure which I feel that the
imprint on the title-page of this book should be that of the publishing
house which, thirty-six years ago, I entered as stenographer.  It was
there I received my start; it was there I laid the foundation of that
future career then so hidden from me.  The happiest days of my young
manhood were spent in the employ of this house; I there began
friendships which have grown closer with each passing year.  And one of
my deepest sources of satisfaction is, that during all the thirty-one
years which have followed my resignation from the Scribner house, it
has been my good fortune to hold the friendship, and, as I have been
led to believe, the respect of my former employers.  That they should
now be my publishers demonstrates, in a striking manner, the curious
turning of the wheel of time, and gives me a sense of gratification
difficult of expression.

Edward W. Bok


  Abbey, Edwin A., 138
  Abbott, Lyman, 144, 169
  Adams, Charles F., 52
  Adams, John, 52
  Adams, John Quincy, 52
  Addams, Jane, 168
  _Adriatic_, 174
  Alcott, Louisa, 46-51
  Altman Collection, 139
  American Lithographic Co., 24
  _American Magazine_, 68
  Antin, Mary, v
  Appleton's _Encyclopaedia_, 15, 16, 29

  Bakery shop, 9
  Bangs, John Kendrick, 130
  Baruch, Bernard, 173
  Beaverbrook, Lord, 174
  Beecher, Henry Ward, 55, 70-77
  Bell, Alexander Graham, 15
  Bellamy, Edward, 86
  Bok, Cary William (son), 67
  Bok, Edward William, arrival, 1;
    schooldays, 2-7;
    house-work, 8-9;
    first money earned, 9;
    first newspaper work, 11;
    self-education, 15-25;
    autograph collecting, 16-29;
    study of shorthand, 26;
    as a reporter, 26-29;
    a visit to Boston, 31-46;
    a visit to Concord, 46-52;
    adventures in the stock-market, 59-67;
    in the publishing business, 68-77;
    employment with Scribner's, 78-86;
    the Bok Syndicate Press, 86-90;
    last years in New York, 97-107;
    editorship of _The Ladies' Home Journal_, 103-107;
    building up a magazine, 113-123;
    visit to Oxford, 124-127;
    adventures in art and civics, 134-146;
    adventures in music, 160-167;
    war time experiences, 168-180;
    retirement as editor, 181-185
  Bok, Mrs. Edward William, _see_ Curtis, Mary Louise
  Bok, Sieke Gertrude (mother), 1, 99, 100, 106
  Bok Syndicate Press, 87, 88
  Bok, William (brother), 1, 87
  Bok, William Curtis (son), 153-159
  Bok, William J.  H.  (father), 1, 6, 8, 53, 59, 66
  _Book Buyer_, 80
  Boston, 31-46
  _Boston Globe_, 17
  _Boston Journal_, 90
  Bourrienne, 100
  Boy Scouts, 144, 145
  Brewer, Owen W., 97
  _Brooklyn Magazine_, 56-59, 68-71
  _Brooklyn Eagle_, viii, 11, 17, 26, 53
  Brooks, Phillips, 42-46, 57
  Burlingame, Edward L., 78, 80
  Burnett, Frances H., 84
  Bush, Rufus T., 68

  Carlyle, Thomas, 48
  Carnegie, Andrew, v, 84, 102
  Carroll, Lewis, 124-127
  Cary, Anna Louise, 56
  Cary, Clarence, 59-67, 78.
  Chase, William M., xix
  _Chicago Tribune_, 141
  Childs, George W., 18, 106
  _Cincinnati Times-Star_, 90
  Claflin, H. B., 57
  Coghlan, Rose, 53, 54
  Colver, Frederic L., 55, 56, 70
  Concord, 46-52
  Coney Island, 10
  _Cosmopolitan Magazine_, 69
  Crawford, Marion, 130
  Curtis, Cyrus H. K., 103-107, 120-123, 149
  Curtis, Mrs. Cyrus H. K., 113, 149, 181
  Curtis, Mary Louise, 14, 149, 161, 163
  Curtis Publishing Company, 120

  Dana, Charles A., 130
  Davenport, Fanny, 99, 100
  Davis, Jefferson, 22
  De Koven, Reginald, 160
  Dodgson, Charles L., _see_ Carroll, Lewis
  Doubleday, Frank M., 80, 81, 97
  Doyle, Conan, 130

  Early, General Jubal, 17
  Edison, Thomas A., 15
  Elizabeth, Queen of the Belgians, 173
  Elkius, George W., 139
  Elman, Mischa, 164
  Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 30, 46-51
  _Empress of Asia_, 180
  Evarts, William M., 26

  Farrar, Canon, 57
  Field, Cyrus W., 186
  Fifth Avenue Hotel, 18
  Fourth of July, 140-142
  Freer, Charles L., 139
  Frick, Henry C., 139
  Fulton Market, 74

  Gardner, Mrs. John L., 139
  Garfield, James A., 16, 18
  Garland, Hamlin, 130
  Garrison, William Lloyd, 52
  Gerard, James W., 173
  Gibbons, Cardinal, 57
  Gibson, Charles Dana, 138
  _Godey's Lady's Book_, 110
  Gould, Jay, 59-67
  Grant, Ulysses S., 17-22, 26, 57
  Great War, 169-180
  Greenaway, Kate, 128-129

  Harland, Marion, 57
  Harmon, Dudley, 171
  Harper and Bros., 12
  _Harper's Magazine_, 12
  _Harper's Weekly_, 12
  _Harper's Young People_, 12
  Harris, Joel Chandler, 130
  Harrison, Mrs. Burton, 130
  Harte, Bret, 129
  Hay, Ian, 172
  Hayes, Rutherford B., 18, 26-30, 76
  Hegeman, Evelyn Lyon, 56
  Hitchcock, Ripley, 17
  Hodges, Dean, 169
  Hofman, Josef, 160-164
  Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 30-36
  Holt, Henry, and Company, 68, 78
  Hoover, Herbert, 172, 186
  Hope, Anthony, 130
  Howells, William Dean, 57, 119, 122, 168

  Jerome, Jerome K., 130
  Jewett, Sarah Orne, 130
  Johnson, Eldridge R., 146
  Johnson, John G., 139

  Keller, Helen, 169
  Kellogg, Clara Louise, 56
  King, Horatio, 67
  Kipling, Rudyard, 119, 130, 169
  Knapp, Joseph P., 24

  _Ladies' Home Journal_, 103-107, 113-123, 134, 160, 168-173,
  Lane, Franklin K., 184
  Lape, Esther Everett, 184
  Lathrop, George P., 90
  Lee, Robert E., 17
  _Life_, 141
  Lincoln, Mrs. Abraham, 22
  _Literary Leaves_, 90, 104
  Longfellow, Henry W., 17, 30, 37-42
  Low, A. A., 28
  Low, Seth, 57
  Low, Will H., 138
  Lynch, Albert, 138

  McAdoo, William, 173
  Mansfield, Richard, 85
  Marchesi, Madame, 160
  Mascagni, 160
  Merion, 142-146, 149
  Merion Civic Association, 143-146
  Moffat, William D., 97
  Moffat, Yard & Co., 97
  Moody, Dwight L., 130
  Morgan, J. Pierpont, 139
  Moszkowski, 160
  Mott, Lucretia, 52

  Netherlands, 1, 3, 39, 194
  _New York Star_, 90, 101
  _New York Sun_, 171
  _New York Tribune_, 17
  Nightingale, Florence, 127
  North, Ernest Dressel, 97
  Northcliffe, Viscount, 172

  _Outlook, The_, 144

  Paderewski, 160
  _Peterson's Magazine_, 110
  Phelps, Elizabeth Stuart, 130
  Philadelphia Orchestra, 162-167
  _Philadelphia Public Ledger_, 17
  _Philadelphia Times_, 90, 103
  Phillips, Wendell, 42, 43
  _Philomathean Review_, 56
  Philomathean Society, 55
  Plymouth Church, 55, 70
  _Plymouth Pulpit_, 56
  Porter, Gene Stratton, 169
  _Presbyterian Review_, 81
  Pulitzer Prize, v
  Pyle, Howard, 138

  _Queen, The_, 1

  Raymond, Rossiter W., 57
  Riis, Jacob, v
  Roosevelt, Franklin D., 171
  Roosevelt, Theodore, 147-159

  Safford, Ray, 97
  Sangster, Margaret, 57
  Schlicht, Paul J., 69
  Scribner, Charles, 78
  Scribner's Sons, Charles, 78-86, 106, 213
  _Scribner's Magazine_, 80, 81, 97
  Sheridan, Philip H., 26, 57
  Sherman, William T., 18, 20, 21, 30, 57
  Smedley, W. T., 138
  Smith, F. Hopkinson, 169
  Sousa, John Philip, 160
  _South Brooklyn Advocate_, 10
  Stevenson, Robert Louis, 82, 83
  Stockton, Frank R., 84, 85
  Stokowski, Leopold, 163
  Strauss, Edouard, 160
  Strauss, Richard, 160
  Sullivan, Sir Arthur, 160

  Taft, Charles P., 139
  Taft, William H., 171
  Talmage, T. DeWitt, 57
  Taylor, W. L., 138
  Tennyson, Alfred, Lord, 17
  Thursby, Emma C., 56
  Tosti, 160
  Twain, Mark, 98, 99, 129

  Vanderbilt, William H.,15
  Van Dyke, Henry, 169
  Van Rensselaer, Alexander, 166
  Victor Talking Machine Co., 145

  Walker, E.  D., 69
  Washington, George, 40
  Webster, Jean, 169
  Western Union Telegraph Co., 13, 14, 59-67
  Whittier, John Greenleaf, 17
  Widener, Joseph E., 139
  Wiggin, Kate Douglas, 130, 169
  Wilcox, Ella Wheeler, 87, 88
  Wiles, Irving R., 138
  Wilkins, Mary E., 130
  Wilson, Woodrow, 170

  Young Men's Christian Association, 26

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Dutch Boy Fifty Years After" ***

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