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Title: When Winter Comes to Main Street
Author: Overton, Grant Martin, 1887-1930
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "When Winter Comes to Main Street" ***

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WHEN WINTER COMES TO MAIN STREET

by

GRANT OVERTON

Author of "The Women Who Make Our Novels"



New  York
George H. Doran Company

Printed in the United States of America

Copyright, 1922,
by George H. Doran Company

WHEN WINTER COMES TO MAIN STREET.

Press of
J. J. Little & Ives Company
New York, U. S. A.



FOR
GEORGE H. DORAN
WHO HAD THE IDEA



PREFACE

I have borrowed my title from two remarkable novels.

_If Winter Comes_, by A. S. M. Hutchinson, was published in the autumn of
1921 by Messrs. Little, Brown & Company of Boston.

_Main Street_, by Sinclair Lewis, was published in the autumn of 1920 by
Messrs. Harcourt, Brace & Company of New York.

I have not before me the precise figures of the amazing sales of these two
books--each passed 350,000--but I make my bow to their authors and to
their publishers and to the American public. I bow to the authors for the
quality of their work and to the publishers and the public for their
recognition of that quality.

These two substantial successes confirm my belief that the American public
in hundreds of thousands relishes good reading. Without that belief, this
book would not have been prepared; but I have prepared it with some
confidence that those who relish good reading will be interested in the
chapters that follow.

As a former book reviewer and literary editor, as an author and, now, as
one vitally concerned in book publishing, my interest in books has been
fundamentally unchanging--a wish to see more books read and better books
to read.

From one standpoint, _When Winter Comes to Main Street_ is frankly an
advertisement; it deals with Doran books and authors. This is a fact of
some relevance, however, if, as I believe, the reader shall find
well-spent the time given to these pages.

                                                         Grant Overton.

19 July 1922.



CONTENTS

CHAPTER

      I  THE COURAGE OF HUGH WALPOLE                        15

     II  HALF-SMILES AND GESTURES                           33

    III  STEWART EDWARD WHITE AND ADVENTURE                 55

     IV  WHERE THE PLOT THICKENS                            68

      V  REBECCA WEST: AN ARTIST                            78

     VI  SHAMELESS FUN                                      88

    VII  THE VITALITY OF MARY ROBERTS RINEHART             102

   VIII  THEY HAVE ONLY THEMSELVES TO BLAME                118

     IX  AUDACIOUS MR. BENNETT                             133

      X  A CHAPTER FOR CHILDREN                            152

     XI  COBB'S FOURTH DIMENSION                           166

    XII  PLACES TO GO                                      187

   XIII  ALIAS RICHARD DEHAN                               196

    XIV  WITH FULL DIRECTIONS                              212

     XV  FRANK SWINNERTON: ANALYST OF LOVERS               225

    XVI  AN ARMFUL OF NOVELS, WITH NOTES ON THE NOVELISTS  244

   XVII  THE HETEROGENEOUS MAGIC OF MAUGHAM                270

  XVIII  BOOKS WE LIVE BY                                  293

    XIX  ROBERT W. CHAMBERS AND THE WHOLE TRUTH            308

     XX  UNIQUITIES                                        321

    XXI  THE CONFESSIONS OF A WELL-MEANING YOUNG MAN,
         STEPHEN MCKENNA                                   334

   XXII  POETS AND PLAYWRIGHTS                             347

  XXIII  THE BOOKMAN FOUNDATION AND THE BOOKMAN            366

         EPILOGUE                                          372

         INDEX                                             373



PORTRAITS

                       PAGE
HUGH WALPOLE             17
STEWART EDWARD WHITE     57
REBECCA WEST             79
MARY ROBERTS RINEHART   103
ARNOLD BENNETT          135
IRVIN S. COBB           167
FRANK SWINNERTON        227
W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM     271
STEPHEN McKENNA         335



WHEN WINTER COMES TO MAIN STREET



CHAPTER I

THE COURAGE OF HUGH WALPOLE


=i=

Says his American contemporary, Joseph Hergesheimer, in an appreciation of
Hugh Walpole: "Mr. Walpole's courage in the face of the widest scepticism
is nowhere more daring than in _The Golden Scarecrow_." Mr. Walpole's
courage, I shall always hold, is nowhere more apparent than in the choice
of his birthplace. He was born in the Antipodes. Yes! In that magical,
unpronounceable realm one reads about and intends to look up in the
dictionary.... The precise Antipodean spot was Auckland, New Zealand, and
the year was 1884.

The Right Reverend George Henry Somerset Walpole, D.D., Bishop of
Edinburgh since 1910, had been sent in 1882 to Auckland as Incumbent of
St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral, and the same ecclesiastical fates which took
charge of Hugh Seymour Walpole's birthplace provided that, at the age of
five, the immature novelist should be transferred to New York. Dr. Walpole
spent the next seven years in imparting to students of the General
Theological Seminary, New York, their knowledge of Dogmatic Theology. Hugh
Seymour Walpole spent the seven years in attaining the age of twelve.

Then, in 1896, the family returned to England. Perhaps a tendency to
travel had by this time become implanted in Hugh, for now, in his late
thirties, he is one of the most peripatetic of writers. He is here, he is
there. You write to him in London and receive a reply from Cornwall or the
Continent. And, regularly, he comes over to America. Of all the English
novelists who have visited this country he is easily the most popular
personally on this side. His visit this autumn (1922) will undoubtedly
multiply earlier welcomes.

Interest in Walpole the man and Walpole the novelist shows an increasing
tendency to become identical. It is all very well to say that the man is
one thing, his books are quite another; but suppose the man cannot be
separated from his books? The Walpole that loved Cornwall as a lad can't
be dissevered from the "Hugh Seymour" of _The Golden Scarecrow_; without
his Red Cross service in Russia during the Great War, Walpole could not
have written _The Dark Forest_; and I think the new novel he offers us
this autumn must owe a good deal to direct reminiscence of such a
cathedral town as Durham, to which the family returned when Hugh was
twelve.

[Illustration: HUGH WALPOLE]

_The Cathedral_, as the new book is called, rests the whole of its effect
upon just such an edifice as young Hugh was familiar with. The Cathedral
of the story stands in Polchester, in the west of England, in the county
of Glebeshire--that mythical yet actual county of Walpole's other novels.
Like such tales as _The Green Mirror_ and _The Duchess of Wrexe_, the aim
is threefold--to give a history of a certain group of people and, at the
same time, (2) to be a comment on English life, and, beyond that, (3) to
offer a philosophy of life itself.

The innermost of the three circles of interest created in this powerful
novel--like concentric rings formed by dropping stones in water--concerns
the life of Archdeacon Brandon. When the story opens he is ruling
Polchester, all its life, religious and civic and social, with an iron
rod. A good man, kindly and virtuous and simple, power has been too much
for him. In the first chapter a parallel is made between Brandon and a
great mediæval ecclesiastic of the Cathedral, the Black Bishop, who came
to think of himself as God and who was killed by his enemies. All through
the book this parallel is followed.

A certain Canon Ronder arrives to take up a post in the Cathedral. The
main thread of the novel now emerges as the history of the rivalry of
these two men, one simple and elemental, the other calculating, selfish
and sure. Ronder sees at once that Brandon is in his way and at once
begins his work to overthrow the Archdeacon, not because he dislikes him
at all (he _likes_ him), but because he wants his place; too, because
Brandon represents the Victorian church, while Ronder is on the side of
the modernists.

Brandon is threatened through his son Stephen and through his wife. His
source of strength,--a source of which he is unaware--lies in his
daughter, Joan, a charming girl just growing up. The first part of the
novel ends with everything that is to follow implicit in what has been
told; the story centres in Brandon but more sharply in the Cathedral,
which is depicted as a living organism with all its great history behind
it working quickly, ceaselessly, for its own purposes. Every part of the
Cathedral life is brought in to effect this, the Bishop, the Dean, the
Canons--down to the Verger's smallest child. All the town life also is
brought in, from the Cathedral on the hill to the mysterious little
riverside inn. Behind the town is seen the Glebeshire country, behind
that, England; behind England, the world, all moving toward set purposes.

The four parts of the novel markedly resemble, in structure, acts of a
play; in particular, the striking third part, entirely concerned with the
events of a week and full of flashing pictures, such as the scene of the
Town Ball. But the culmination of this part, indeed, the climax of the
whole book, comes in the scene of the Fair, with its atmosphere of
carnival, its delirium of outdoor mood, and its tremendous encounter
between Brandon and his wife. The novel closes upon a moment both fugitive
and eternal--Brandon watching across the fields the Cathedral, lovely and
powerful, in the evening distance. The Cathedral, lovely and powerful,
forever victorious, served by the generations of men....

=ii=

Courage, for Hugh, must have made its demand to be exercised early. We
have the "Hugh Seymour" of _The Golden Scarecrow_ who "was sent from
Ceylon, where his parents lived, to be educated in England. His relations
having for the most part settled in foreign countries, he spent his
holidays as a minute and pale-faced 'paying guest' in various houses where
other children were of more importance than he, or where children as a
race were of no importance at all." It would be a mistake to confer on
such a fictional passage a strict autobiographical importance; but I think
it significant that the novel with which Walpole first won an American
following, _Fortitude_, should derive from a theme as simple and as strong
as that of a classic symphony--from those words with which it opens: "'T
isn't life that matters! 'T is the courage you bring to it." From that
moment on, the novel follows the struggle of Peter Westcott, in boyhood
and young manhood, with antagonists, inner and outer. At the end we have
him partly defeated, wholly triumphant, still fighting, still pledged to
fight.

Not to confuse fiction with fact: Hugh Walpole was educated at Kings
School, Canterbury, and at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. When he left the
university he drifted into newspaper work in London. He also had a brief
experience as master in a boys' school (the experiential-imaginative
source of _The Gods and Mr. Perrin_, that superb novel of underpaid
teachers in a second-rate boarding school). The war brought Red Cross work
in Russia and also a mission to Petrograd to promote pro-Ally sentiment.
For these services Walpole was decorated with the Georgian Medal.

What is Hugh Walpole like personally? Arnold Bennett, in an article which
appeared in the Book News Monthly and which was reprinted in a booklet,
says: "About the time of the publication of _The Gods and Mr. Perrin_, I
made the acquaintance of Mr. Walpole and found a man of youthful
appearance, rather dark, with a spacious forehead, a very highly
sensitised nervous organisation, and that reassuring matter-of-factness of
demeanour which one usually does find in an expert. He was then busy at
his task of seeing life in London. He seems to give about one-third of the
year to the tasting of all the heterogeneous sensations which London can
provide for the connoisseur and two-thirds to the exercise of his vocation
in some withdrawn spot in Cornwall that nobody save a postman or so, and
Mr. Walpole, has ever beheld. During one month it is impossible to 'go
out' in London without meeting Mr. Walpole--and then for a long period he
is a mere legend of dinner tables. He returns to the dinner tables with a
novel complete."

In the same magazine, in an article reprinted in the same booklet, Mrs.
Belloc Lowndes, that excellent weaver of mystery stories and sister of
Hilaire Belloc, said: "Before all things Hugh Walpole is an optimist, with
a great love for and a great belief in human nature. His outlook is
essentially sane, essentially normal. He has had his reverses and
difficulties, living in lodgings in remote Chelsea, depending entirely
upon his own efforts. Tall and strongly built, clean-shaven, with a wide,
high forehead and kindly sympathetic expression, the author of _Fortitude_
has a refreshing boyishness and zest for enjoyment which are pleasant to
his close friends. London, the home of his adoption, Cornwall, the home of
his youth, have each an equal spell for him and he divides his year
roughly into two parts: the tiny fishing town of Polperro, Cornwall, and
the pleasure of friendships in London. 'What a wonderful day!' he was
heard to say, his voice sounding muffled through the thickest variety of a
pea-soup fog. 'It wouldn't really be London without an occasional day like
this! I'm off to tramp the city.' It is one of Hugh Walpole's
superstitions that he should always begin his novels on Christmas Eve. He
has always done so, and he believes it brings him luck. Often it means the
exercise of no small measure of self-control, for the story has matured in
his mind and he is aching to commence it. But he vigorously adheres to his
custom, and by the time he begins to write his book lies before him like a
map. 'I could tell it you now, practically in the very words in which I
shall write it,' he has said. Nevertheless, he takes infinite trouble with
the work as it progresses. A great reader, Hugh Walpole reads with method.
Tracts of history, periods of fiction and poetry, are studied seriously;
and he has a really exhaustive heritage of modern poetry and fiction."

Perhaps since Mrs. Lowndes wrote those words, Mr. Walpole has departed
from his Christmas Eve custom. At any rate, I notice on the last page in
his very long novel _The Captives_ (the work by which, I think, he sets
most store of all his books so far published) the dates:

                         POLPERRO, JAN. 1916,
                         POLPERRO, MAY 1920.

=iii=

The demand for the exercise of that courage of which we have spoken can be
seen from these further details, supplied by Arnold Bennett:

"At the age of twenty, as an undergraduate of Cambridge, Walpole wrote
two novels. One of these, a very long book, the author had the
imprudence to destroy. The other was _The Wooden Horse_, his first
printed novel. It is not to be presumed that _The Wooden Horse_ was
published at once. For years it waited in manuscript until Walpole had
become a master in a certain provincial school in England. There he
showed the novel to a fellow-master, who, having kept the novel for a
period, spoke thus: 'I have tried to read your novel, Walpole, but I
can't. Whatever else you may be fitted for, you aren't fitted to be a
novelist.' Mr. Walpole was grieved. Perhaps he was unaware, then, that a
similar experience had happened to Joseph Conrad. I am unable to judge
the schoolmaster's fitness to be a critic, because I have not read _The
Wooden Horse_. Walpole once promised to send me a copy so that I might
come to some conclusion as to the schoolmaster, but he did not send it.
Soon after this deplorable incident, Walpole met Charles Marriott, a
novelist of a remarkable distinction. Mr. Marriott did not agree with the
schoolmaster as to _The Wooden Horse_. The result of the conflict of
opinion between Mr. Marriott and the schoolmaster was that Mr. Walpole
left the school abruptly--perhaps without the approval of his family,
but certainly with a sum of £30 which he had saved. His destination was
London.

"In Chelsea he took a room at four shillings a week. He was twenty-three
and (in theory) a professional author at last. Through the favouring
influence of Mr. Marriott he obtained a temporary job on the London
Standard as a critic of fiction. It lasted three weeks. Then he got a
regular situation on the same paper, a situation which I think he kept for
several years. _The Wooden Horse_ was published by a historic firm.
Statistics are interesting and valuable--_The Wooden Horse_ sold seven
hundred copies. The author's profits therefrom were less than the cost of
typewriting the novel. History is constantly repeating itself.

"Mr. Walpole was quite incurable, and he kept on writing novels. _Maradick
at Forty_ was the next one. It sold eleven hundred copies, but with no
greater net monetary profit to the author than the first one. He made,
however, a more shining profit of glory. _Maradick at Forty_--as the
phrase runs--'attracted attention.' I myself, though in a foreign country,
heard of it, and registered the name of Hugh Walpole as one whose progress
must be watched."

=iv=

Not so long ago there was published in England, in a series of
pocket-sized books called the _Kings Treasuries of Literature_ (under the
general editorship of Sir A. T. Quiller-Couch), a small volume called _A
Hugh Walpole Anthology_. This consisted of selections from Mr. Walpole's
novels up to and including _The Captives_. The selection was made by Mr.
Walpole himself.

I think that the six divisions into which the selections fell are
interesting as giving, in a few words, a prospectus of Walpole's work. The
titles of the sections were "Some Children," "Men and Women," "Some
Incidents," "London," "Country Places," and "Russia." The excerpts under
the heading "Some Children" are all from _Jeremy_ and _The Golden
Scarecrow_. The "Men and Women" are Mr. Perrin and Mrs. Comber, from _The
Gods and Mr. Perrin_; Mr. Trenchard and Aunt Aggie, from _The Green
Mirror_; and Mr. Crashaw, from _The Captives_. The "Incidents" are chosen
with an equal felicity--we have the theft of an umbrella from _The Gods
and Mr. Perrin_ and, out of the same book, the whole passage in which Mr.
Perrin sees double. There is also a scene from _Fortitude_, "After Defeat."
After two episodes from _The Green Mirror_, this portion of the anthology
is closed with the tragic passage from _The Captives_ in which Maggie
finds her uncle.

Among the London places pictured by Mr. Walpole in his novels and in this
pleasant anthology are Fleet Street, Chelsea, Portland Place, The Strand,
and Marble Arch. The selections under the heading "Country Places" are
bits about a cove, the sea, dusk, a fire and homecoming. The passages that
relate to Russia are taken, of course, from _The Dark Forest_ and _The
Secret City_.

Not the least interesting thing in this small volume is a short
introductory note by Joseph Conrad, who speaks of the anthology as
"intelligently compiled," and as offering, within its limits, a sample of
literary shade for every reader's sympathy. "Sophistication," adds Mr.
Conrad, "is the only shade that does not exist in Mr. Walpole's prose." He
goes on:

"Of the general soundness of Mr. Walpole's work I am perfectly convinced.
Let no modern and malicious mind take this declaration for a left-handed
compliment. Mr. Walpole's soundness is not of conventions but of
convictions; and even as to these, let no one suppose that Mr. Walpole's
convictions are old-fashioned. He is distinctly a man of his time; and it
is just because of that modernity, informed by a sane judgment of urgent
problems and wide and deep sympathy with all mankind, that we look forward
hopefully to the growth and increased importance of his work. In his
style, so level, so consistent, Mr. Hugh Walpole does not seek so much for
novel as for individual expression; and this search, this ambition so
natural to an artist, is often rewarded by success. Old and young interest
him alike and he treats both with a sure touch and in the kindest manner.
In each of these passages we see Mr. Walpole grappling with the truth of
things spiritual and material with his characteristic earnestness, and in
the whole we can discern the characteristics of this acute and sympathetic
explorer of human nature: His love of adventure and the serious audacity
he brings to the task of recording the changes of human fate and the
moments of human emotion, in the quiet backwaters or in the tumultuous
open streams of existence."

=v=

There is not space here to reprint all of Joseph Hergesheimer's
Appreciation of Hugh Walpole, published in a booklet in 1919--a booklet
still obtainable--but I would like to quote a few sentences from the close
of Mr. Hergesheimer's essay, where he says:

"As a whole, Hugh Walpole's novels maintain an impressive unity of
expression; they are the distinguished presentation of a distinguished
mind. Singly and in a group, they hold possibilities of infinite
development. This, it seems to me, is most clearly marked in their
superiority to the cheap materialism that has been the insistent note of
the prevailing optimistic fiction. There is a great deal of happiness in
Mr. Walpole's pages, but it is not founded on surface vulgarity of
appetite. The drama of his books is not sapped by the automatic security
of invulnerable heroics. Accidents happen, tragic and humorous; the life
of his novels is checked in black and white, often shrouded in grey; the
sun moves and stars come out; youth grows old; charm fades; girls may or
may not be pretty; his old women----

"But there he is inimitable. The old gentlewomen, or caretakers, dry and
twisted, brittle and sharp, repositories of emotion--vanities and malice
and self-seeking--like echoes of the past, or fat and loquacious, with
alcoholic sentimentality, are wonderfully ingratiating. They gather like
shadows, ghosts, about the feet of the young, and provide Mr. Walpole with
one of his main resources--the restless turning away of the young from the
conventions, prejudices and inhibitions of yesterday. He is singularly
intent upon the injustice of locking age about the wrists of youth; and,
with him, youth is very apt to escape, to defy authority set in years ...
only to become, in time, age itself."

Perhaps this is an anti-climax: The University of Edinburgh has twice
awarded the Tait Black Prize for the best novel of the year to Mr.
Walpole--first for _The Secret City_ in 1919 and then for _The Captives_
in 1920.

BOOKS BY HUGH WALPOLE

Novels:
  THE WOODEN HORSE
  THE GODS AND MR. PERRIN
  (In England, MR. PERRIN AND MR. TRAILL)
  THE GREEN MIRROR
  THE DARK FOREST
  THE SECRET CITY
  THE CAPTIVES
  THE CATHEDRAL

Romances:
  MARADICK AT FORTY
  THE PRELUDE TO ADVENTURE
  FORTITUDE
  THE DUCHESS OF WREXE
  THE YOUNG ENCHANTED

Short Stories:
  THE GOLDEN SCARECROW
  JEREMY
  THE THIRTEEN TRAVELLERS

Belles-Lettres:
  JOSEPH CONRAD--A Critical Study.

SOURCES ON HUGH WALPOLE

Hugh Walpole: An Appreciation, by Joseph Hergesheimer, GEORGE H. DORAN
COMPANY.


English Literature During the Last Half Century, by J. W. Cunliffe, THE
MACMILLAN COMPANY.

A Hugh Walpole Anthology, selected by the author. LONDON: J. M.
DENT & SONS. NEW YORK: E. P. DUTTON & COMPANY.

Hugh Walpole, Master Novelist. Pamphlet published by GEORGE H. DORAN
COMPANY. (Out of print.)

Who's Who [In England].



CHAPTER II

HALF-SMILES AND GESTURES


=i=

Half-smiles and gestures! There is always a younger generation but it is
not always articulate. The war may not have changed the face of the world,
but it changed the faces of very many young men. Faces of naïve enthusiasm
and an innocent expectancy were not particularly noticeable in the years
1918 to 1922. The sombreness, the abruptness, the savage mood evident in
the writings of such men as Barbusse and Siegfried Sassoon were abandoned.
Confronted with the riddle of life, spared the enigma of death, the young
men have felt nothing more befitting their age and generation than the
personal "gesture."

If you ask me what is a gesture, I can't say that I know. It is something
felt in the attitude of a person to whom one is talking or whose book one
is reading. And the gesture is accompanied, in some of our younger
writers, with an expression that is both serious and smiling. These
half-smiles are, I take it, youth's comment on the riddle of a continued
existence, on the loss of well-lost illusions, on the uncertainty of all
future values. What is there worth trying for? It is not too clear, hence
the gesture. What is there worth the expenditure of emotion? It is
doubtful; and a half-smile is the best.

Such a writer, busily experimenting in several directions, is Aldous
Huxley. This child of 1894, the son of Leonard Huxley (eldest son and
biographer of Prof. T. H. Huxley) and Julia Arnold (niece of Martha Arnold
and sister of Mrs. Humphry Ward), has with three books of prose built up a
considerable and devoted following of American readers. First there was
_Limbo_. Then came _Crome Yellow_, and on the heels of that we had the
five stories--if you like to call them so--composing _Mortal Coils_. I
have seen no comment more penetrating than that of Michael Sadleir,
himself the author of a novel of distinction. Sadleir says:

"Already Huxley is the most readable of his generation. He has the
allurement of his own inconsistency, and the inconsistency of youth is its
questing spirit, and, consequently, its chief claim to respect.

"At present there are several Huxleys--the artificer in words, the amateur
of garbage, pierrot lunaire, the cynic in rag-time, the fastidious
sensualist. For my part, I believe only in the last, taking that to be the
real Huxley and the rest prank, virtuosity, and, most of all,
self-consciousness. As the foal will shy at his own shadow, so Aldous
Huxley, nervous by fits at the poise of his own reality, sidesteps with
graceful violence into the opposite of himself. There is a beautiful
example of this in _Mortal Coils_. Among the stage-directions to his play,
'Permutations Among the Nightingales,' occur the following sentences:
'Sydney Dolphin has a romantic appearance. His two volumes of verse have
been recognised by intelligent critics as remarkable. How far they are
poetry nobody, least of all Dolphin himself, is certain. They may be
merely the ingenious products of a very cultured and elaborate brain.'

"The point is not that these words might be applied to the author himself,
but rather that he knows they might, even hopes they will, and has sought
to lull his too-ready self-criticism by, so to speak, getting there first
and putting down on paper what he imagines others may think or write of
him.

"Huxley is a poet and writer of prose. His varied personalities show
themselves in both. The artificer in words is almost omnipresent, and God
forbid that he ever vanish utterly. The disciple of Laforgue has produced
lovely and skilful things, and one is grateful for the study of the French
symbolists that instigated the translation of 'L'Apres-midi d'un Faune.'
In 'The Walk' the recapture of Laforgue's blend of the exotic and the
everyday is astonishingly complete.

"The cynic is as accomplished as the Pierrot and 'Social Amenities,' parts
of 'Soles Occidere et Redire Possunt,' and, in _Limbo_, 'Richard Greenow'
(first 100 pages) and 'Happy Families' are syncopated actuality, and the
mind jigs an appreciative shoulder, as the body jerks irresistibly to
'Indianola.'

"There remains Huxley the sensualist, a very ardent lover of beauty, but
one that shrinks from the sordid preamble of modern gallantry, one that is
apprehensive of the inevitable disillusionment. As others have done, as
others will do, he finds in imagination the adventure that progress has
decreed unseemly.

"The reader who is shocked by 'slabby-bellies,' 'mucus,' 'Priapulids'; the
reader who is awed by the paraded learning of 'Splendour by Numbers,' by
the deliberate intricacy of 'Beauty,' or the delicate fatigue of 'The
Death of Lully' in _Limbo_--these are no audience for an artist. It
tickles the author's fancy, stretches his wits, flatters his deviltry to
provoke and witness such consternation and such respect. But the process
is waste of time, and a writer of Huxley's quality, whatever his youth,
has never time to waste."

=ii=

Readers who have chuckled over _Guinea Girl_ or have read with the
peculiar delight of discovery _The Pilgrim of a Smile_ are astonished to
learn that its author is, properly speaking, an engineer. Norman Davey,
born in 1888 (Cambridge 1908-10) is the son of Henry Davey, an engineer of
eminence. After taking honours in chemistry and physics, Norman Davey
travelled in America (1911), particularly in Virginia and Carolina. Then
he went to serve as an apprentice in engineering work in the North of
England and to study in the University of Montpellier in France.

His first book was _The Gas Turbine_, published in London and now a
classic on its subject. In the four years preceding the war he contributed
articles on thermodynamics to scientific papers. It is only honest to add
that at the same time he contributed to Punch and Life--chiefly verse.

After the war he had a book of verse published in England and followed it
with _The Pilgrim of a Smile_. He has travelled a good deal in Spain,
Italy, Sweden, and his hobby is book collecting. This is all very well;
and it explains how he could provide the necessary atmosphere for that
laughable story of Monte Carlo, _Guinea Girl_; but one is scarcely
prepared for _The Pilgrim of a Smile_ by those preliminaries in
thermodynamics--or in Punch. The story of the man who did not ask the
Sphinx for love or fame or money but for the reason of her smile is one of
the most intelligible of the gestures characteristic of literature since
the war.

=iii=

The gesture as such is perhaps most definitely recognised in the charming
book by John Dos Passos, _Rosinante to the Road Again_. This, indeed, is
the story of a gesture and a quest for it. The gesture is that of Castile,
defined in the opening chapter in some memorable words exchanged by
Telemachus and his friend Lyæus:

"'It's the gesture that's so overpowering; don't you feel it in your arms?
Something sudden and tremendously muscular.'

"'When Belmonte turned his back suddenly on the bull and walked away
dragging the red cloak on the ground behind him I felt it,' said Lyæus.

"'That gesture, a yellow flame against maroon and purple cadences ... an
instant swagger of defiance in the midst of a litany to death the
all-powerful. That is Spain ... Castile at any rate.'

"'Is "swagger" the right word?'

"'Find a better!'

"'For the gesture a mediæval knight made when he threw his mailed glove at
his enemy's feet or a rose in his lady's window, that a mule-driver makes
when he tosses off a glass of aguardiente, that Pastora Imperio makes
dancing....'"

I do not know whether one should classify _Rosinante_ as a book of travel,
a book of essays, a book of criticisms. It is all three--an integrated
gesture. Certain interspersed chapters purport to relate the wayside
conversations of Telemachus and Lyæus--dual phases of the author's
personality shall we say?--and the people they meet. The other chapters
are acute studies of modern Spain, with rather special attention to modern
Spanish writers. One varies in his admiration between such an essay as
that on Miguel de Unamuno and such an unforgettable picture as the vision
of Jorge Manrique composing his splendid ode to Death:

"It had been raining. Lights rippled red and orange and yellow and green
on the clean paving-stones. A cold wind off the Sierra shrilled through
clattering streets. As they walked the other man was telling how this
Castilian nobleman, courtier, man-at-arms, had shut himself up when his
father, the Master of Santiago, died, and had written this poem, created
this tremendous rhythm of death sweeping like a wind over the world. He
had never written anything else. They thought of him in the court of his
great dust-coloured mansion at Ocaña, where the broad eaves were full of a
cooing of pigeons and the wide halls had dark rafters painted with
arabesques in vermilion, in a suit of black velvet, writing at a table
under a lemon tree. Down the sun-scarred street, in the cathedral that was
building in those days, full of a smell of scaffolding and stone dust,
there must have stood a tremendous catafalque where lay with his arms
around him the Master of Santiago; in the carved seats of the choirs the
stout canons intoned an endless growling litany; at the sacristy door, the
flare of the candles flashing occasionally on the jewels of his mitre, the
bishop fingered his crosier restlessly, asking his favourite choir-boy
from time to time why Don Jorge had not arrived. And messengers must have
come running to Don Jorge, telling him the service was at the point of
beginning, and he must have waved them away with a grave gesture of a long
white hand, while in his mind the distant sound of chanting, the jingle of
the silver bit of his roan horse stamping nervously where he was tied to a
twined Moorish column, memories of cavalcades filing with braying of
trumpets and flutter of crimson damask into conquered towns, of court
ladies dancing and the noise of pigeons in the eaves drew together like
strings plucked in succession on a guitar into a great wave of rhythm in
which his life was sucked away into this one poem in praise of death."

=iv=

The Column is an American institution. What is meant, of course, is that
daily vertical discussion of Things That Have Interested Me by different
individuals attached to different papers and having in common only the
great gift of being interested in what interests everybody else. Perhaps
that is not right, either. Maybe the gift is that of being able to
interest everybody else in the things you are interested in. Of all those
who write a Column, Heywood Broun is possibly the one whose interests are
the most varied. It is precisely this variety which makes his book _Pieces
of Hate: and Other Enthusiasms_ unique as a collection of essays. He will
write on one page about the boxing ring, on the next about the theatre, a
little farther along about books, farther on yet about politics. He makes
excursions into college sports, horse racing and questions of fair play;
and the problems of child-rearing are his constant preoccupation.

Consider some of his topics. We have an opening study of the literary
masterpiece of E. M. Hull, the novel celebrating the adventures of Miss
Diana Mayo and the Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan. The next chapter deals with
Hans Christian Andersen and literary and dramatic critics. Pretty soon we
are discussing after-dinner speeches, Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey. If this
is a gesture, all I can say is, it is a pinwheel; and yet Broun writes
only about things he knows about. Lest you think from my description that
_Pieces of Hate_ is a book in a wholly unserious vein, I invite you to
read the little story, "Frankincense and Myrrh."

"Once there were three kings in the East and they were wise men. They read
the heavens and they saw a certain strange star by which they knew that in
a distant land the King of the World was to be born. The star beckoned to
them and they made preparations for a long journey.

"From their palaces they gathered rich gifts, gold and frankincense and
myrrh. Great sacks of precious stuffs were loaded upon the backs of the
camels which were to bear them on their journey. Everything was in
readiness, but one of the wise men seemed perplexed and would not come at
once to join his two companions who were eager and impatient to be on
their way in the direction indicated by the star.

"They were old, these two kings, and the other wise man was young. When
they asked him he could not tell why he waited. He knew that his
treasuries had been ransacked for rich gifts for the King of Kings. It
seemed that there was nothing more which he could give, and yet he was not
content.

"He made no answer to the old men who shouted to him that the time had
come. The camels were impatient and swayed and snarled. The shadows across
the desert grew longer. And still the young king sat and thought deeply.

"At length he smiled, and he ordered his servants to open the great
treasure sack upon the back of the first of his camels. Then he went into
a high chamber to which he had not been since he was a child. He rummaged
about and presently came out and approached the caravan. In his hand he
carried something which glinted in the sun.

"The kings thought that he bore some new gift more rare and precious than
any which they had been able to find in all their treasure rooms. They
bent down to see, and even the camel drivers peered from the backs of the
great beasts to find out what it was which gleamed in the sun. They were
curious about this last gift for which all the caravan had waited.

"And the young king took a toy from his hand and placed it upon the sand.
It was a dog of tin, painted white and speckled with black spots. Great
patches of paint had worn away and left the metal clear, and that was why
the toy shone in the sun as if it had been silver.

"The youngest of the wise men turned a key in the side of the little black
and white dog and then he stepped aside so that the kings and the camel
drivers could see. The dog leaped high in the air and turned a somersault.
He turned another and another and then fell over upon his side and lay
there with a set and painted grin upon his face.

"A child, the son of a camel driver, laughed and clapped his hands, but
the kings were stern. They rebuked the youngest of the wise men and he
paid no attention but called to his chief servant to make the first of all
the camels kneel. Then he picked up the toy of tin and, opening the
treasure sack, placed his last gift with his own hands in the mouth of the
sack so that it rested safely upon the soft bags of incense.

"'What folly has seized you?' cried the eldest of the wise men. 'Is this a
gift to bear to the King of Kings in the far country?'

"And the young man answered and said: 'For the King of Kings there are
gifts of great richness, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

"'But this,' he said, 'is for the child in Bethlehem!'"

=v=

Editor of the London Mercury, J. C. Squire has the light touch of the
columnist but limits himself somewhat more closely to books and the
subjects suggested by them. Very few men living can write about books with
more actual and less apparent erudition than Mr. Squire. Born in 1884,
educated at Cambridge, an editor of the New Statesman, a poet unsurpassed
in the field of parody but a poet who sets more store by his serious
verse, Mr. Squire can best be appreciated by those who have just that
desultory interest in literature which he himself possesses. I have been
looking through his _Books in General_, _Third Series_, for something
quotable, and I declare I cannot lift anything from its setting. It is all
of a piece, from the essay on "If One Were Descended from Shakespeare" to
the remarks about Ben Jonson, Maeterlinck, Ruskin, Cecil Chesterton and
Mr. Kipling's later verse (which I have nowhere seen more sensibly
discussed).

Well, perhaps these observations from the chapter "A Terrifying
Collection" will give the taste! It appears that an anonymous donor had
offered money to the Birmingham Reference Library to pay for the gathering
of a complete collection of the war poetry issued in the British Empire.
After some preliminary comment, Mr. Squire concludes:

"If that donor really means business I shall be prepared to supply him
with one or two rare and special examples myself. I possess tributes to
the English effort written by Portuguese, Japanese and Belgians; and pæans
by Englishmen which excel, as regards both simplicity of sentiment and
illiteracy of construction, any foreign composition. Birmingham is not
noted for very many things. It is, we know, the only large city in the
country which remains solidly Tory in election after election. It
produced, we know, Mr. Joseph and Mr. Austen Chamberlain. It has, we know,
something like a monopoly in the manufacture of the gods in wood and brass
to which (in his blindness) the heathen bows down; and there are all sorts
of cheap lines in which it can give the whole world points and a beating.
But it has not yet got the conspicuous position of Manchester or
Liverpool; and one feels that the enterprise of this anonymous donor may
help to put it on a level with those towns. For, granted that its
librarians take their commission seriously, and its friends give them the
utmost assistance in their power, there seems every reason to suppose that
within the next year the City of Birmingham will be the proud possessor of
the largest mound of villainously bad literature in the English-speaking
world. Pilgrims will go to see it who on no other account would have gone
to Birmingham; historians will refer to it when endeavouring to prove that
their own ages are superior to ours in intelligence; authors will inspect
it when seeking the consoling assurance that far, far worse things than
they have ever done have got into public libraries and been seriously
catalogued. The enterprise, in fact, is likely to be of service to several
classes of our fellow-citizens; and it cannot, as far as I am able to see,
do harm to any. It should therefore be encouraged, and I recommend anyone
who has volumes of war-verse which he wishes to get rid of to send them
off at once to the Chief Librarian of Birmingham."

Oh, yes! _Books in General_, _Third Series_, is by Solomon Eagle. Mr.
Squire explains that the pen name Solomon Eagle has no excuse. The
original bearer of the name was a poor maniac who, during the Great Plague
of London, used to run naked through the streets with a pan of coals of
fire on his head crying, "Repent, repent."

Too late I realise my wrongdoing, for what, after all, is _Books in
General_ as compared to Mr. Squire's _Life and Letters_? As a
divertissement, compared to a tone poem; as a curtain-raiser to a
three-act play. _Life and Letters_, though not lacking in the lighter
touches of Mr. Squire's fancy, contains chapters on Keats, Jane Austen,
Anatole France, Walt Whitman, Pope and Rabelais of that more considered
character one expects from the editor of the London Mercury. This is not
to say that these studies are devoid of humour; and those chapters in the
volume which are in the nature of interludes are among the best Mr. Squire
has written. Unfortunately I have left myself no room to quote the
incomparable panegyric (in the chapter on "Initials") to the name of John.
Read it, if your name is John; you will thank me for bringing it to your
attention.

=vi=

One expects personality in the daughter of Margot Asquith, and the readers
of the first book by Princess Antoine Bibesco (Elizabeth Asquith) were not
disappointed. The same distinction and the same unusual personality will
be found in her new book, _Balloons_. Princess Bibesco's _I Have Only
Myself to Blame_ consisted of sixteen short stories the most nervously
alive and most clearly individualised of feminine gestures. The quality of
Princess Bibesco's work, in so far as purely descriptive passages can
convey it, may be realised from these portraits of a father and mother
which open the story called "Pilgrimage" in _I Have Only Myself to
Blame_:

"My father was one of the most brilliant men I have ever known but as he
refused to choose any of the ordinary paths of mental activity his name
has remained a family name when it should have become more exclusively his
own. If anything, my mother's famous beauty cast far more lustre on it
than his genius--which preferred to bask in the sunshine of intimacy or
recline indolently in the shady backwaters of privacy and leisure. And yet
in a way he was an adventurer--or rather an adventurous scientist. He was
often called cynical but that was not true--he was far too dispassionate,
too little of a sentimentalist to be tempted by inverted sentimentalism.
Above all things he was a collector--a collector of impressions. His
psychological bibelots were not for everyone. Some, indeed, lay open in
the vitime of his everyday conversation but many more lay hidden in
drawers opened only for the elect.

"Undoubtedly, in a way, my mother was one of his masterpieces. Her beauty
seemed to be enhanced by every hour and every season. At forty suddenly
her hair had gone snow white. The primrose, the daffodil, the flame, the
gold, the black, the emerald, the ruby of her youth gave way to grey and
silver, pale jade and faint turquoise, shell pink and dim lavender. Her
loveliness had shifted. The hours of the day conspired to set her. The
hard coat and skirt, the high collar, the small hat, the neat veil of
morning, the caressing charmeuse that followed, the trailing chiffon
mysteries of her tea-gown, the white velvet or the cloth of silver that
launched her triumphantly at night, who was to choose between them? Summer
and winter followed suit. Whether you saw her emerging from crisp organdy
or clinging crepe de chine, stiff grey astrakan or melting chinchilla
always it was the same. This moment you said to yourself, 'She has reached
the climax of her loveliness.'

"My father delighted in perfection. He had discovered it in her and
promptly made it his own. I don't know if he ever regretted the unfillable
quality of her emptiness. Rather I think it amused him to see the violent
passions she inspired, to hear her low thrilling voice weigh down her
meaningless murmurs with significance. To many of her victims the very
incompleteness of her sentences was a form of divine loyalty. One young
poet had described her soul as a fluttering, desperate bird beating its
wings on the bars of her marvellous loveliness. At this her lazy smile
looked very wise. She thought my father an ideal husband. He was always
right about her clothes and after all he was the greatest living expert on
her beauty. Obviously he loved her but--well, he didn't love her
inconveniently."

=vii=

There will be some who remember reading a first novel, published several
years ago, called _Responsibility_. This was a study from a Samuel
Butleresque standpoint of the attitude of a father toward an illegitimate
son. At least, that is what it came to in the end; but there were
leisurely earlier pages dealing with such subjects as the tiresomeness of
Honest Work and the dishonesty of righteous people. Very good they were,
too. James E. Agate was the author of this decidedly interesting piece of
fiction. He was not a particularly young man, being in his early forties;
but he was a youngish man. He was youngish in the sense that Mr. Wells and
Mr. Bennett are youngish, and not in the sense of Sir James Peter Pan
Barrie--incapable of growing up. As dramatic critic for the Saturday
Review, London, Agate has been much happier than in a former experience on
the Cotton Exchange of Manchester, his native city. "Each week," said The
Londoner in The Bookman, recently, "he watches over the theatre with an
enthusiasm for the drama which must constantly be receiving disagreeable
shocks. He is a man full of schemes, so that the title of his new book is
distinctly appropriate." That new book is called _Alarums and
Excursions_.

"Agate is not peaceable," continues our informant. "He carries his full
energy, which is astounding, into each topic that arises. He seizes it.
Woe betide the man who dismisses an idol of his. It is not to be done. He
will submit to no man, however great that man's prestige may be. He is the
bulldog."

Agate is a critic "still vigorous enough and fresh enough to attack and to
destroy shams of every kind. This is what Agate does in _Alarums and
Excursions_."

Bright news is it that Agate is writing a new novel "on the Balzacian
scale of _Responsibility_."

=viii=

It was in 1918, when I was exploring new books for a New York book
section, that there came to hand a volume called _Walking-Stick Papers_.
Therein I found such stuff as this:

"And so the fish reporter enters upon the last lap of his rounds. Through,
perhaps, the narrow, crooked lane of Pine Street he passes, to come out at
length upon a scene set for a sea tale. Here would a lad, heir to vast
estates in Virginia, be kidnapped and smuggled aboard to be sold a slave
in Africa. This is Front Street. A white ship lies at the foot of it.
Cranes rise at her side. Tugs, belching smoke, bob beyond. All about are
ancient warehouses, redolent of the Thames, with steep roofs and sometimes
stairs outside, and with tall shutters, a crescent-shaped hole in each.
There is a dealer in weather-vanes. Other things dealt in hereabout are
these: Chronometers, 'nautical instruments,' wax guns, cordage and twine,
marine paints, cotton wool and waste, turpentine, oils, greases, and
rosin. Queer old taverns, public houses, are here, too. Why do not their
windows rattle with a 'Yo, ho, ho'?

"There is an old, old house whose business has been fish oil within the
memory of men. And here is another. Next, through Water Street, one comes
in search of the last word on salt fish. Now the air is filled with
gorgeous smell of roasting coffee. Tea, coffee, sugar, rice, spices, bags
and bagging here have their home. And there are haughty bonded warehouses
filled with fine liquors. From his white cabin at the top of a venerable
structure comes the dean of the salt-fish business. 'Export trade fair,'
he says; 'good demand from South America.'"

The whole book was like that. I remember saying and printing:

"If this isn't individualised writing, extremely skilful writing and
highly entertaining writing, we would like to know what is."

But what was that in the general chorus of delighted praise that went up
all over the country?--and there were persons of discrimination among the
laudators of Robert Cortes Holliday. People like James Huneker and Simeon
Strunsky, who praised not lightly, were quick to express their admiration
of this new essayist.

Four years have gone adding to Holliday's first book volumes in the same
class and singularly unmistakeable in their authorship. They are the sort
of essays that could not be anonymous once the authorship of one of them
was known. We have, now, _Broome Street Straws_ and the pocket mirror,
_Peeps at People_. We have _Men and Books and Cities_ and we have a score
of pleasant _Turns About Town_.

Holliday shows no sign of failing us. I think the truth is that he is one
of those persons described somewhere by Wilson Follett; I think Follett
was trying to convey the quality of De Morgan. Follett said that with
Dickens and De Morgan it was not a question of separate books, singly
achieved, but a mere matter of cutting off another liberal length of the
rich personality which was Dickens or De Morgan. So, exactly, it seems to
me in the case of Holliday. A new book of Holliday's essays is simply
another few yards of a personality not precisely matched among
contemporary American essayists. Holliday's interests are somewhat
broader, more human and perhaps more humane, more varied and closer to the
normal human spirit and taste and fancy than are the interests of
essayists like Samuel Crothers and Agnes Repplier.

The measure of Holliday as an author is not, of course, bounded by these
collections of essays. There is his penetrating study of Booth Tarkington
and the fine collected edition of Joyce Kilmer, _Joyce Kilmer; Poems,
Essays and Letters With a Memoir by Robert Cortes Holliday_.

=ix=

A gesture can be very graceful, sometimes. A half-smile can be wistful and
worth remembering. That was a pleasant story, almost too slender
structurally to be called a novel, by Gilbert W. Gabriel, published in the
spring of 1922. _Jiminy_ is a tale of the quest of the perfect love story
by Benjamin Benvenuto and Jiminy, maker of small rhymes. The author, music
critic of The Sun, New York, had long been known as a newspaper writer and
a pinch hitter for Don Marquis, conductor of The Sun's famous column, The
Sun Dial, when Don was A. W. O. L.



CHAPTER III

STEWART EDWARD WHITE AND ADVENTURE


=i=

"Stewart Edward White," says George Gordon in his book _The Men Who Make
Our Novels_, "writes out of a vast self-made experience, draws his
characters from a wide acquaintance with men, recalls situations and
incidents through years of forest tramping, hunting, exploring in Africa
and the less visited places of our continent, for the differing occasions
of his books. In his boyhood he spent a great part of each year in lumber
camps and on the river. He first found print with a series of articles on
birds, 'The Birds of Mackinac Island' (he was born in Grand Rapids, March
12, 1873), brought out in pamphlet form by the Ornithologists' Union and
since (perforce) referred to as his 'first book.' In the height of the
gold rush he set out for the Black Hills, to return East broke and to
write _The Claim Jumpers_ and _The Westerners_. He followed Roosevelt into
Africa, _The Land of Footprints_ and of _Simba_. He has, more recently,
seen service in France as a Major in the U. S. Field Artillery. Though
(certainly) no Ishmael, he has for years been a wanderer upon the face of
the earth, observant and curious of the arresting and strange--and his
novels and short stories mark a journey such as but few have gone upon, a
trailing of rainbows, a search for gold beyond the further hills and a
finding of those campfires (left behind when Mr. Kipling's _Explorer_
crossed the ranges beyond the edge of cultivation) round which the
resolute sit to swap lies while the tenderfoot makes a fair--and
forced--pretence at belief."

=ii=

Spring, 1922, having advanced to that stage where one could feel
confidence that summer would follow--a confidence one cannot always feel
in March--a short letter came from Mr. White. He enclosed two photographs.
One of them showed a trim-looking man with eyeglasses and moustache,
sitting shirt-sleeved in a frail-looking craft. The letter explained that
this was a collapsible canvas boat. My deduction was that the picture had
been taken before the boat collapsed.

There was also a picture of another and much sturdier boat. I think the
name Seattle was painted on her stern. She lay on a calm surface that
stretched off to a background of towering mountains--Lake Louise Inlet.
The much sturdier boat, I understood, was also the property of S. E.
White.

[Illustration: STEWART EDWARD WHITE]

The letter made all these things very clear. It said: "Fifteen tons, fifty
feet, sleeps five, thirty-seven horsepower, heavy duty engine, built
sea-going, speed nine knots. No phonograph! No wine cellar.

"We are going north, that is all the plans we have. We two are all there
are on board, though we are thinking of getting a cat. On second thought,
here is the crew in the canvas boat we carry to the inland lakes to fish
from. Her name is the _Wreckless_; be careful how you spell it."

As stated, the crew in the about-to-collapse boat was Stewart Edward
White. On his way north it was his intention to revise what will be, in
his judgment, the most important novel he has written. But I must not say
anything about that yet. Let me say something, rather, about his new book
which you who read this have a more immediate prospect of enjoying. _On
Tiptoe: A Romance of the Redwoods_ is Stewart Edward White in a somewhat
unusual but entirely taking rôle. Here we have Mr. White writing what is
essentially a comedy; and yet there is an element of fantasy in the story
which, in the light of a few opening and closing paragraphs, can be taken
seriously, too.

The story sounds, in an outline, almost baldly implausible. Here are
certain people, including a young woman, the daughter of a captain of
industry, stranded in the redwoods. Here is a young man out of nowhere,
who foretells the weather in a way that is uncannily verified soon
afterward. Here also is the astonishing engine which the young man has
brought with him out of nowhere,--an engine likely to revolutionise the
affairs of the world....

I suppose that the secret of such a story as _On Tiptoe_ lies entirely in
the telling. I know that when I heard it outlined, the thing seemed to me
to be preposterous. But then, while still under the conviction of this
preposterousness, the story itself came to my hand and I began to read.
Its preposterousness did not worry me any longer. It had, besides a
plausibility more than sufficient, a narrative charm and a whimsical
humour that would have justified any tale. The thing that links _On
Tiptoe_ with Stewart Edward White is the perfect picture of the
redwoods--the feeling of all outdoors you get while under the spell of the
story. I do not think there is any doubt that all lovers of White will
enjoy this venture into the field of light romance.

=iii=

Stewart Edward White was the son of T. Stewart White and Mary E. (Daniell)
White. He received the degree of bachelor of philosophy from the
University of Michigan in 1895 and the degree of master of arts from the
same institution in 1903 (_Who's Who in America: Volume 12_). He attended
Columbia Law School in 1896-97. He married on April 28, 1904, Elizabeth
Grant of Newport, Rhode Island. He was a major with the 144th Field
Artillery in 1917-18. He lives in California. But these skeletal details,
all right for _Who's Who in America_, serve our purpose poorly. I am going
to try to picture the man from two accounts of him written by friends. One
appeared as an appendix to White's novel _Gold_, published in 1913, and
was written by Eugene F. Saxton. The other is a short newspaper article by
John Palmer Gavit (long with the New York Evening Post) printed in the
Philadelphia Ledger for May 20, 1922.

Mr. Saxton had a talk with White a few days before White sailed from New
York for his second African exploring expedition. Saxton had asked the
novelist if he did not think it possible to lay hold of the hearts and
imaginations of a great public through a novel which had no love interest
in it; if "man pitted against nature was not, after all, the eternal
drama."

White thought for a moment and then said:

"In the main, that is correct. Only I should say that the one great drama
is that of the individual man's struggles toward perfect adjustment with
his environment. According as he comes into correspondence and harmony
with his environment, by that much does he succeed. That is what an
environment is for. It may be financial, natural, sexual, political, and
so on. The sex element is important, of course,--very important. But it is
not the only element by any means; nor is it necessarily an element that
exercises an instant influence on the great drama. Any one who so depicts
it is violating the truth. Other elements of the great drama are as
important--self-preservation, for example, is a very simple and even more
important instinct than that of the propagation of the race. Properly
presented, these other elements, being essentially vital, are of as much
interest to the great public as the relation of the sexes."

The first eight or nine years of Mr. White's life were spent in a small
mill town. Michigan was at that time the greatest of lumber states. White
was still a boy when the family moved to Grand Rapids, then a city of
about 30,000. Stewart Edward White did not go to school until he was
sixteen, but then he entered the third year high with boys of his own age
and was graduated at eighteen, president of his class. He won and, I
believe, still holds the five-mile running record of the school.

The explanation is that the eight or ten years which most boys spend in
grammar school were spent by Stewart Edward continually in the woods and
among the rivermen, in his own town and in the lumber camps to which his
father took him. Then there was a stretch of four years, from about the
age of twelve on, when he was in California, as he says "a very new sort
of a place." These days were spent largely in the saddle and he saw a good
deal of the old California ranch life.

"The Birds of Mackinac Island," already referred to, was only one of
thirty or forty papers on birds which White wrote in his youth for
scientific publications. Six or seven hundred skins that he acquired are
now preserved in the Kent Scientific Museum of Grand Rapids.

His summer vacations while he was in college were spent cruising the Great
Lakes in a 28-foot cutter sloop. After graduating he spent six months in a
packing-house at $6 a week. His adventure in the Black Hills gold rush
followed.

It was during his studies at Columbia that White wrote, as part of his
class work, a story called "A Man and His Dog" which Brander Matthews
urged him to try to sell. Short Stories brought it for $15 and subsequent
stories sold also. One brought as much as $35!

He tried working in MCClurg's bookstore in Chicago at $9 a week. Then he
set out for Hudson Bay. _The Claim Jumpers_, finished about this time, was
brought out as a book and was well received. The turn of the tide did not
come until Munsey paid $500 for the serial right in _The Westerners_.
White was paid in five dollar bills and he says that when he stuffed the
money in his pockets he left at once for fear someone would change his
mind and want all that money back.

_The Blazed Trail_ was written in a lumber camp in the depth of a northern
winter. The only hours White could spare for writing were in the early
morning, so he would begin at 4 A. M., and write until 8 A. M., then put
on his snowshoes and go out for a day's lumbering. The story finished, he
gave it to Jack Boyd, the foreman, to read. Boyd began it after supper one
evening and when White awoke the next morning at four o'clock he found the
foreman still at it. As Boyd never even read a newspaper, White regarded
this as a triumph. This is the book that an Englishwoman, entering a book
shop where White happened to be, asked for in these words: "Have you a
copy of _Blasé Tales_?"

White went out hastily in order not to overhear her cries of
disappointment.

=iv=

Mr. Saxton asked White why he went to Africa and White said:

"My answer to that is pretty general. I went because I wanted to. About
once in so often the wheels get rusty and I have to get up and do
something real or else blow up. Africa seemed to me a pretty real thing.
Before I went I read at least twenty books about it and yet I got no
mental image of what I was going to see. That fact accounts for these
books of mine. I have tried to tell in plain words what an ordinary person
would see there.

"Let me add," he went on, "that I did not go for material. I never go
anywhere for material; if I did I should not get it. That attitude of mind
would give me merely externals, which are not worth writing about. I go
places merely because, for one reason or another, they attract me. Then,
if it happens that I get close enough to the life, I may later find that I
have something to write about. A man rarely writes anything convincing
unless he has lived the life; not with his critical faculty alert; but
whole-heartedly and because, for the time being, it is his life."

=v=

John Palmer Gavit tells how once, when hunting, White broke his leg and
had to drag himself back long miles to camp alone:

"Adventure enough, you'd say. But along the way a partridge drummed and
nothing would do but he must digress a hundred yards from the shorter and
sufficiently painful way, brace himself for the shot and recoil, kill the
bird and have his dog retrieve it, and bring his game along with him. Just
to show himself that this impossible thing could be done.

"I am not imagining when I say that in this same spirit Stewart Edward
White faces the deeper problems and speculations of life. He wants to know
about things here and hereafter. With the same zest and simplicity of
motive he faces the secret doors of existence; not to prove or disprove,
but to see and find out. And when he comes to the Last Door he will go
through without fear, with eyes open to see in the next undiscovered
country what there is to be seen and to show that the heart of a brave and
unshrinking man, truthful and open-handed and friendly, is at home there,
as he may be anywhere under God's jurisdiction."

BOOKS BY STEWART EDWARD WHITE

THE WESTERNERS
THE CLAIM JUMPERS
THE BLAZED TRAIL
CONJUROR'S HOUSE
THE FOREST
THE MAGIC FOREST
THE SILENT PLACES
THE MOUNTAIN
BLAZED TRAIL STORIES
THE PASS
THE MYSTERY
ARIZONA NIGHTS
CAMP AND TRAIL
THE RIVERMAN
THE RULES OF THE GAME
THE CABIN
THE ADVENTURES OF BOBBY ORDE
THE LAND OF FOOTPRINTS
AFRICAN CAMP FIRES
GOLD
THE REDISCOVERED COUNTRY
THE GREY DAWN
THE LEOPARD WOMAN
SIMBA
THE FORTY-NINERS
THE ROSE DAWN
THE KILLER, AND OTHER STORIES
ON TIPTOE: A ROMANCE OF THE REDWOODS

SOURCES ON STEWART EDWARD WHITE

The Men Who Make our Novels, by George Gordon. MOFFAT, YARD & COMPANY.

Who's Who in America.

Stewart Edward White: Appendix to GOLD (published in 1913) by Eugene F.
Saxton. DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY.

Stewart Edward White, by John Palmer Gavit. PHILADELPHIA PUBLIC LEDGER,
May 20, 1922.



CHAPTER IV

WHERE THE PLOT THICKENS


=i=

Scarcely anyone is there, now writing mystery stories, who,
with the combination of ingenuity--or perhaps I should say
originality--dependableness, and a sufficient atmosphere comes up to
the high and steady level of Frank L. Packard. Born in Montreal in 1877
of American parents, a graduate of McGill University and a student of
Liége, Belgium, Mr. Packard was engaged in engineering work for some
years and began writing for a number of magazines in 1906. He now
lives at Lachine, Province of Quebec, Canada, and the roll of his books
is a considerable one. In that roll, there are titles known and
enthusiastically remembered by nearly every reader of the mystery tale.
Is there anyone who has not heard of _The Miracle Man_ or _The Wire
Devils_ or Jimmie Dale in _The Adventures of Jimmie Dale_ and _The Further
Adventures of Jimmie Dale_? _The Night Operator,_ _From Now On_,
_Pawned_, and, most recently, _Doors of the Night_ have had their public
ready and waiting. That same public will denude the book counters of
_Jimmie Dale and The Phantom Clue_ this autumn.

Packard differs from his fellow-writers of mystery stories in his flair
for the unusual idea. In _Pawned_ each character finds himself in pawn to
another, and must act as someone else dictates. _Doors of the Night_ is
the account of a man who was both a notorious leader and hunted prey of
New York's underworld. _From Now On_ is the unexpected story of a man
after he comes out of prison; and Jimmie Dale, Fifth Avenue clubman, was,
to Clancy, Smarlinghue the dope fiend; to the gang, Larry the Bat, stool
pigeon; but to Headquarters--the Grey Seal!

Stories of the underworld are among the most difficult to write. The thing
had, it seemed, been done to death and underdone and overdone when Packard
came along. In all seriousness, it may be said that Packard has restored
the underworld to respectability--as a domain for fictional purposes at
least! It is not that his crooks are real crooks--though they are--but
that he is able to put life into them, to make them seem human. No man is
a hero to his valet and no crook can be merely a crook in a story of the
underworld that is intended to convey any sense of actuality. Beside the
distortions and conventionalisations of most underworld stories, Packard's
novels stand out with distinctiveness and a persistent vitality.

=ii=

When a book called _Bulldog Drummond_ was published there was no one
prescient of the great success of the play which would be made from the
story. But those who read mystery stories habitually knew well that a
mystery-builder of exceptional adroitness had arrived. Of course, Cyril
McNeile, under the pen name "Sapper," was already somewhat known in
America by several war books; but _Bulldog Drummond_ was a novelty.
Apparently it was possible to write a first rate detective-mystery story
with touches of crisp humour as good as Pelham Grenville Wodehouse's
stuff! There is something convincing about the hero of _Bulldog Drummond_,
the brisk and cheerful young man whom demobilisation has left unemployed
and whose perfectly natural susceptibility to the attractiveness of a
young woman leads him into adventures as desperate as any in No Man's
Land.

For Cyril McNeile's new story _The Black Gang_, after the experience of
_Bulldog Drummond_ as a book and play, Americans will be better prepared.
An intermediate book, _The Man in Ratcatcher_, consists of shorter stories
which exhibit very perfectly McNeile's gift for the dramatic situation. He
gives us the man who returned from the dead to save his sweetheart from
destruction; the man who staked his happiness on a half forgotten waltz;
the man who played at cards for his wife; the man who assisted at suicide,
either ordinary short stories nor ordinary motifs! I should hesitate to
predict how far McNeile will go along this special line of his; but I see
no reason why he should not give us the successor of Sherlock Holmes.

=iii=

_Black Cæsar's Clan_ is the good title of Albert Payson Terhune's new
story in succession to his _Black Gold_, a mystery story that was
distinguished by the possession of a Foreword so unusual as to be worth
reprinting--one of the best arguments for this type of book ever penned:

"If you are questing for character-study or for realism or for true
literature in any of its forms,--then walk around this book of mine (and,
indeed, any book of mine); for it was not written for you and it will have
no appeal for you.

"But if you care for a yarn with lots of action,--some of it pretty
exciting,--you may like _Black Gold_. I think you will.

"It has all the grand old tricks: from the Weirdly Vanishing Footprints,
to the venerable Ride for Life. Yes, and it embalms even the
half-forgotten and long-disused Struggle on the Cliff. Its Hero is a hero.
Its Villain is a villain. Nobody could possibly mistake either of them for
the Friend of the Family. The Heroine is just a heroine; not a human.
There is not a subtle phrase or a disturbingly new thought, from start to
finish.

"There is a good mystery, too; along lines which have not been worked
over-often. And there is a glimpse of Untold Treasure. What better can you
ask; in a story that is frank melodrama?

"The scene, by the way, is laid in Northern California; a beautiful and
strikingly individualistic region which, for the most part, is ignored by
tourists for the man-made scenic effects and playgrounds of the southern
counties of the State.

"If, now and again, my puppets or my plot-wires creak a bit noisily,--what
then? Creaking, at worst, is a sure indication of movement,--of
action,--of incessant progress of sorts. A thing that creaks is not
standing still and gathering mildew. It moves. Otherwise it could not
creak.

"Yes, there are worse faults to a plot than an occasional tendency to
creakiness. It means, for one thing, that numberless skippable pages are
not consumed in photographic description of the ill-assorted furnishings
of the heroine's room or cosmos; nor in setting forth the myriad phases of
thought undergone by the hero in seeking to check the sway of his pet
complexes. (This drearily flippant slur on realism springs from pure envy.
I should rejoice to write such a book. But I can't. And, if I could, I
know I should never be able to stay awake long enough to correct its
proofs.)

"Yet, there is something to be said in behalf of the man or woman who
finds guilty joy in reading a story whose action gallops; a story whose
runaway pace breaks its stride only to leap a chasm or for a
breathcatching stumble on a precipice-edge. The office boy prefers Captain
Kidd to Strindberg; not because he is a boy, but because he is human and
has not yet learned the trick of disingenuousness. He is still normal. So
is the average grown-up.

"These normal and excitement-loving readers are overwhelmingly in the
majority. Witness the fact that _The Bat_ had a longer run in New York
than have all of Dunsany's and Yeats's rare dramas, put together. If we
insist that our country be guided by majority-rule, then why sneer at a
majority-report in literary tastes?

"_Ben Hur_ was branded as a 'religious dime novel.' Yet it has had fifty
times the general vogue of Anatole France's pseudo-blasphemy which deals
with the same period. Public taste is not always, necessarily, bad taste.
'The common people heard Him, gladly.' (The Scribes did not.)

"After all, there is nothing especially debasing in a taste for yarns
which drip with mystery and suspense and ceaseless action; even if the
style and concept of these yarns be grossly lacking in certain approved
elements. So the tale be written with strong evidence of sincerity and
with a dash of enthusiasm, why grudge it a small place of its own in
readers' hours of mental laziness?

"With this shambling apology,--which, really, is no apology at all,--I lay
my book on your knees. You may like it or you may not. You will find it
alive with flaws. But, it is alive.

"I don't think it will bore you. Perhaps there are worse
recommendations."

=iv=

Hulbert Footner does not look like a writer of mystery stories. A tall,
handsome, well-dressed, extremely courteous gentleman who, had he the
requisite accent, might just have arrived from Bond Street. He has a trim
moustache. Awfully attractive blue eyes! He lives on a farm at Sollers,
Maryland. No one else, it seems, is so familiar with the unusual corners
of New York City, the sort of places that get themselves called "quaint."
No one else manages the affairs of young lovers (on paper) with quite so
much of the airy spirit of young love. I can think of no one else who
could write such a scene as that in _The Owl Taxi_, where the dead-wagon,
on its way in the night to the vast cemetery in a New York suburb, is held
up for the removal of a much-needed corpse. Such material is bizarre. The
handling of it must be very deft or the result will be revolting; and yet
the thing can be done. In the latter part of that excellent play, _Seven
Keys to Baldpate_, George M. Cohan and his company bandied a corpse from
attic to cellar of a country house. This preposterous scene as presented
on the stage was helplessly laughable. Mr. Footner's scene in _The Owl
Taxi_ is like that.

The man has a special gift for the picturesque person. I do not know
whether he uses originals; if I suspect an original for old Simon Deaves
in _The Deaves Affair_, I get no farther than a faint suspicion that ...
No, I cannot identify his character. (Not that I want to; I am not a
victim of that fatal obsession which fastens itself upon so many readers
of fiction--the desire to identify the characters in a story with someone
in real life. The idea is ridiculous.) Mr. Footner knows Greenwich
Village. He knows outlying stretches in the greater city of New York; he
knows excursion boats such as the Ernestina, whose cruises play so curious
a part in _The Deaves Affair_. I have a whetted appetite for what Footner
will give us next; I feel sure it will be like no other story of the
season. A great deal to be sure of!

=v=

The peculiarity about _Gold-Killer_ is the mystery behind the excellent
mystery of the book. I mean, of course, the mystery of its authorship. I
do not any longer believe that the book is the work of Siamese twins--in a
physiological sense of the word "twins." I know that there is no John
Prosper--or, rather, that if there is a John Prosper, he is not the author
of _Gold-Killer_. Yet the book was the work of more than one man. Were two
intellects siamesed to write the story? Those who, in my opinion, know the
facts point to the name on the title page and say that John is John and
Prosper is Prosper and never the twain shall meet, unless for the purpose
of evolving a super-_Gold-Killer_. Whether they will be able to surpass
this book, which opens with a murder at the opera and finishes
(practically) with a nose dive in an airplane, is beyond my surmise.

If they will try, I give them my word I will read the new yarn.

Mrs. Baillie Reynolds's latest novel is called _The Judgment of Charis_.
It is not a story to tell too much about in advance. I will say that
Charis had run away from an all-too-persistent lover and an
all-too-gorgeous family, and had been taken under the wing of a kindly,
middle-aged millionaire and invited to become his secretary. She expected
some complications and in her expectations she was not disappointed; and
the readers' expectations will not be disappointed either, though they may
find the ending unexpected. _The Vanishing of Betty Varian_ restored to
readers of Carolyn Wells a detective whose appearance in _The Room with
the Tassels_ made that story more than ordinarily worth while. I do not
know, though, whether Penny Wise would be interesting or even notable if
it were not for his curious assistant, Zizi. The merit of detective
stories is necessarily variable; _The Vanishing of Betty Varian_ is one of
the author's best; but Miss Wells (really Mrs. Hadwin Houghton) is, to me,
as extraordinary as her stories. All those books! She herself says that
"having mastered the psychology of detachment" she can write with more
concentration and less revision than any other professional writer of her
acquaintance. Yes, but how---- No doubt it is too much to expect her to
explain _how_ she is ingenious.

Mrs. Belloc Lowndes, sister of Hilaire Belloc, is ingenious in a different
direction. Her story of _What Timmy Did_ was one that attracted
especial attention from those periodicals and persons interested in
psychic matters. Here was a woman whose husband had died from
poison--self-administered, the coroner decided--and here was little
Timmy, who knew that something was wrong. Animals also knew it; and then
one day Timmy saw at her heels a shadow man, stiff and military, and
behind him a phantom dog. Mrs. Lowndes's gifts, different from her
distinguished brother's, are none the less gifts.



CHAPTER V

REBECCA WEST: AN ARTIST


=i=

Whether Rebecca West is writing reviews of books or dramatic criticism or
novels she is an artist, above everything. I have been reading delightedly
the pages of her new novel, _The Judge_. It is Miss West's second novel.
One is somewhat prepared for it by the excellence of her first, _The
Return of the Soldier_, published in 1918. Somewhat, but not adequately.

Perhaps I am prejudiced. You see, I have been in Edinburgh, and though it
was the worst season of the year--the period when, as Robert Louis
Stevenson says, that Northern city has "the vilest climate under
Heaven"--nevertheless, the charm and dignity of that old town captured me
at the very moment when a penetrating Scotch winter rain was coming in
direct contact with my bones. I was, I might as well confess, soaked and
chilled as no New York winter snowstorm ever wetted and chilled me. It did
not matter; here was the long sweep of Princes Street with its gay shops
on one side and its deep valley on the other; across the valley the
tenements of the Royal Mile lifted themselves up--the Royal Mile, which
runs always uphill from the Palace that is Holyrood to the height that is
the Castle. Talk about gestures! The whole city of Edinburgh is a
matchless gesture.

[Illustration: REBECCA WEST]

And so, when I began the first page of _The Judge_, it was a grand delight
to find myself back in the city of the East Wind:

"It was not because life was not good enough that Ellen Melville was
crying as she sat by the window. The world, indeed, even so much of it as
could be seen from her window, was extravagantly beautiful. The office of
Mr. Mactavish James, Writer to the Signet, was in one of those decent grey
streets that lie high on the Northward slope of Edinburgh New Town, and
Ellen was looking up the sidestreet that opened just opposite and
revealed, menacing as the rattle of spears, the black rock and bastions of
the Castle against the white beamless glare of the southern sky. And it
was the hour of the clear Edinburgh twilight, that strange time when the
world seems to have forgotten the sun though it keeps its colour; it could
still be seen that the moss between the cobblestones was a wet bright
green, and that a red autumn had been busy with the wind-nipped trees, yet
these things were not gay, but cold and remote as brightness might be on
the bed of a deep stream, fathoms beneath the visitation of the sun. At
this time all the town was ghostly, and she loved it so. She took her mind
by the arm and marched it up and down among the sights of Edinburgh,
telling it that to be weeping with discontent in such a place was a
scandalous turning up of the nose at good mercies. Now the Castle
Esplanade, that all day had proudly supported the harsh virile sounds and
colours of the drilling regiments, would show to the slums its blank
surface, bleached bonewhite by the winds that raced above the city smoke.
Now the Cowgate and the Canongate would be given over to the drama of the
disorderly night, the slumdwellers would foregather about the rotting
doors of dead men's mansions and brawl among the not less brawling ghosts
of a past that here never speaks of peace, but only of blood and argument.
And Holyrood, under a black bank surmounted by a low bitten cliff, would
lie like the camp of an invading and terrified army...."

=ii=

_The Judge_ is certainly autobiographical in some of the material
employed. For instance, it is a fact that Miss West went to school in
Edinburgh, attending an institution not unlike John Thompson's Ladies
College referred to in _The Judge_ (but only referred to). It is a fact,
as everyone who knows anything about Miss West knows, that Miss West was
an ardent suffragette in that time before suffragettes had ceased from
troubling and Prime Ministers were at rest. An amazing legend got about
some time ago that Rebecca West's real name was Regina Miriam Bloch. Then
on the strength of the erring "Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature"
did Miss Amy Wellington write a sprightly article for the Literary Review
of the New York Evening Post. Miss Wellington referred to this mysterious
Regina Miriam Bloch who had stunned everybody by her early articles
written under the name of one of Ibsen's most formidable heroines; but
unfortunately Miss West wrote a letter in disclaimer. She cannot help Mr.
Ibsen. It may be a collision in names, but it is not a collusion. The
truth about Rebecca West, who has written _The Judge_, seems to be
dependably derivable from the English _Who's Who_, a standard work always
worth consulting. This estimable authority says that Rebecca West was born
on Christmas in 1892, and is the youngest daughter of the late Charles
Fairfield of County Kerry. It further says that she was educated at George
Watson's Ladies' College, Edinburgh. It states that she joined the staff
of The Freewoman as a reviewer in 1911. Her club is the International
Women's Franchise. Her residence is 36 Queen's Gate Terrace, London S. W.
7. Her telephone is Kensington 7285.

Now is there anything mythical left? What excuse, O everybody, is there
any longer for the legend of Regina Miriam Bloch?

But I do not believe Miss West objects to legends. I imagine she loves
them. The legend of a name is perhaps unimportant; the legend of a
personality is of the highest importance. That Miss West has a personality
is evident to anyone familiar with her work. A personality, however, is
not three-dimensionally revealed except in that form of work which comes
closest to the heart and life of the worker. To write pungent and
terrifyingly sane criticisms is a notable thing; but to write novels of
tender insight and intimate revelation is a far more convincing thing.
_The Judge_ is such a novel.

=iii=

There is a prefatory sentence, as follows:

"Every mother is a Judge who sentences the children for the sins of the
father."

There is a dedication. It is:

TO THE MEMORY OF MY MOTHER

_The Judge_ is a study of the claim of a mother upon her son. The
circumstances of Mrs. Yaverland's life were such as peculiarly to
strengthen the tie between her and Richard. On the other hand, she had
always disliked and even hated her son Roger.

The first part of the book, however, does not bring in Richard Yaverland's
mother. It is a picture of Ellen Melville, the girl in Edinburgh, the girl
whose craving for the colour of existence has gone unsatisfied until
Richard Yaverland enters her life. Yaverland, with his stories of Spain,
and his imaginative appeal for that young girl, is the fulcrum of Ellen
Melville's destiny.

That destiny, carried by the forces of human character to its strange
termination, is handled by Miss West in a long novel the chapters of which
are a series of delineative emotions. I do not mean that Miss West shrinks
from externalised action, as did Henry James whom she has admired and
studied. She perceives the immense value of introspection, but is not lost
in its quicksands. She can devote a whole chapter to a train of thought in
the mind of Ellen Melville, sitting inattentively at a public meeting; and
she can follow it with another long chapter giving the sequence of
thoughts in the mind of Richard Yaverland; and she can bring each chapter
to a period with the words: "She (he) glanced across the hall. Their eyes
met." It might be thought that this constitutes a waste of narrative
space; not so. As a matter of fact, without the insight accorded by these
disclosures of things thought and felt, we should be unable to understand
the behaviour of these two young people.

All the first half of the book is a truly marvelous story of young lovers;
all the latter end of the book is a relation scarcely paralleled in
fiction of the conflict between the mother's claim and the claim of the
younger woman.

Of subsidiary portraits there are plenty. Ellen's mother and Mr. Mactavish
James and Mr. Philip James are like full-lengths by Velasquez. In the
closing chapters of the book we have the extraordinary figure of the
brother and son, Roger, accompanied by the depressing girl whom he has
picked up the Lord knows where.

And, after all, this is not a first novel--that promise, which so often
fails of fulfilment--but a second novel; and I have in many a day not read
anything that seemed to me to get deeper into the secrets of life than
this study of a man who, at the last, spoke triumphantly, "as if he had
found a hidden staircase out of destiny," and a woman who, at the last,
"knew that though life at its beginning was lovely as a corn of wheat it
was ground down to flour that must make bitter bread between two human
tendencies, the insane sexual caprice of men, the not less mad excessive
steadfastness of women."

BOOKS BY REBECCA WEST

THE RETURN OF THE SOLDIER
THE JUDGE

SOURCES ON REBECCA WEST

Who's Who. [In England].

Rebecca West: Article by Amy Wellington in the LITERARY REVIEW OF THE NEW
YORK EVENING POST, 1921.

Articles by Rebecca West in various English publications, frequently
reprinted by THE LIVING AGE. See the READERS' GUIDE TO PERIODICAL
LITERATURE.



CHAPTER VI

SHAMELESS FUN


=i=

One way to write about Nina Wilcox Putnam would be in the way she writes
about everything. It's not so hard. As thus:

Some dull day in the office. We look up and whom should we see standing
right there before us but Nina Wilcox Putnam! Falling over backwards, that
being what our swivel chair is made for, we say: "Well, well, well! So
today is May 3, 1922! Where from? West Broadway?"

"I should not say so! South Broadway, I guess. I've just motored up from
Florida. But your speaking of West Broadway reminds me: I've written a
piece for George Lorimer of Saturday Evening Post. You see my book, _West
Broadway_, brought me so many letters my arm ached from answering them.
What car did you drive? Where d'y' get gas in the desert? What's the best
route? And thus et cetera. So now I have wrote me a slender essay
answering everything that anybody can ask on this or other
transcontinental subjects. Mr. Lorimer will publish, and who knows--as
they say in fiction--it might make a book afterward."

"How's Florida?"

"I left it fine, if it doesn't get in trouble while I'm away. I've bought
a ranch, for fruit only, on the East Coast, between Palm Beach and Miami,
but not paying these expensive prices, no, not never. And I shall live
there for better but not for worse, for richer, but most positively not
for poorer. I pick my own alligator pears off my own tree unless I want to
sell them for fifteen cents on the tree. Bathing, one-half mile east by
motor."

"Been reading your piece, 'How I Have Got So Far So Good,' in John
Siddall's American Magazine."

"Yes, I thought I would join the autobiographists--Benvenuto Cellini,
Margot Asquith, Benjamin Franklin, et Al, as Ring Lardner would insist. Do
you know Ring? He and I are going to have one of these amicable literary
duels soon, like the famous _Isn't That Just Like a Man? Oh, Well, You
Know How Women Are!_ which Mrs. Rinehart and Irvin Cobb fought to a
finish. But speaking of sport, I have discovered my grandest favourite
sport, in spite of motoring, which is deep sea fishing, nothing less. Let
me inform you that I landed a 9-pound dolphin which he is like fire-opals
all over and will grace the wall of my dining-room no matter if all my
friends suffer with him the rest of their lives. He was a male dolphin;
get that! It makes a difference from the deep sea fishing sportsman's
standpoint. And this place of mine at the end of South Broadway where I
can roll cocoanuts the rest of my life if I want to is at, in or about
Delray, Florida. D-e-l-r-a-y; you've spelled it."

"We're publishing your new book on how to get thin, _Tomorrow We Diet_."

"Oh, yes. Well, I am several laps ahead of that. Now, I am going up to my
home in Madison, Connecticut, to work. Later, I'll maybe drive out to
Yellowstone Park or some place. Well, I might stay here at the Brevoort
for a month; run down to Philadelphia, maybe. Did you know I once wrote a
book for children that has sold 500,000 copies? And, besides a young son
whom I am capable of entertaining if you'll let him tell you, I have a few
ideas...."

Hold on! This isn't so easy as it looked.

Probably Nina Wilcox Putnam is inimitable. This one and that may steal
Ring W. Lardner's stuff, but there is a sort of Yale lock effect about the
slang (American slanguage) in such books as _West Broadway_ which is not
picked so easily. As for the new Nina Wilcox Putnam novel, _Laughter
Limited_--if you don't believe what we say about N.W.P. inimitableness
just open that book and see for yourself. The story of a movie actress?
Yes, and considerable more. Just as _West Broadway_ was a great deal more
than an amusing story, being actually the best hunch extant on
transcontinental motoring, outside of the automobile blue books, which are
not nearly such good reading.

And then there's _Tomorrow We Diet_, in which Nina Wilcox Putnam tells how
she reduced fifty pounds in seven months without exercising anything but
her intelligence. But if you want to know about Nina Wilcox Putnam, read
her story in her own words that appeared in the American Magazine for May,
1922. Here is a bit of it:

"Believe you me, considering the fact that they are mostly men, which it
would hardly be right to hold that up against them, Editors in my
experience has been an unusually fine race, and it is my contracts with
them has made me what I am today, I'm sure I'm satisfied. And when a
fellow or sister writer commences hollering about how Editors in America
don't know anything about what is style or English, well anyways not
enough to publish it when they see it, why all I can say is that I could
show them living proof to the contrary, only modesty and good manners
forbids me pointing, even at myself. I am also sure that the checks these
hollerers have received from said Editors is more apt to read the Editor
regrets than pay to the order of, if you get what I mean.

"Well, I have had it pretty soft, I will admit, because all the work I
done to get where I am, is never over eight hours a day penal servitude,
locked up in my study and fighting against only such minor odds and
intrusions as please may I have a dollar and a quarter for the laundry, or
now dear you have been writing long enough, I have brought you a nice cup
of tea, just when I am going strong on a important third chapter. But my
work is of course not really work since it is done in the home, as my
relations often remind me. At least they did until I got George, that's my
pres. husband, and he never lets me be interrupted unless he wants to
interrupt me himself for a clean collar or something.

"Also besides working these short hours, four of which is generally what
us authors calls straight creative work, I have it soft in another way. I
got a pretty good market for my stuff and always had, and this of course
has got me so's I can draw checks as neat and quick as anybody in the
family and they love to see me do it.

"All kidding to one side it is the straight dope when I say that from
being merely the daughter of honest and only moderately poor parents I
have now a house of my own, the very one in our town which I most admired
as a child; and the quit-claim deed come out of my own easy money. I also
got a car or two--and a few pieces of the sort of second-hand stuff which
successful people generally commence cluttering up their house with as a
sign of outward and visible success. I mean the junk one moves in when one
moves the golden oak out....

"I never commenced going over really big until it was up to me to make
good every time I delivered, and this was not until my husband died and
left me with a small son, which I may say in passing, that I consider he
is the best thing I have ever published. Well, there I was, a widow with a
child, and no visible means of support except when I looked into the
mirror. Of course, before then I had been earning good money, but only
when I wanted something, or felt like it. Now I had to want to feel like
it three hundred and sixty-five days a year.

"I'll tell the world it was some jolt."

=ii=

_Perfect Behaviour_ is the calmly confident title of the new book by
Donald Ogden Stewart--a work which will rejoice the readers of _A Parody
Outline of History_. Behaviour is the great obstacle to happiness. One may
overcome all the ordinary complexes. One may kill his cousins and get his
nephews and nieces deported, and refuse to perform Honest Work--yet remain
a hopeless slave to the _Book of Etiquette_. In a Pullman car, with a
ticket for the lower berth, he will take the seat facing backward, only to
tremble and blush with shame on learning his social error. Who has not
suffered the mortification of picking up the fork that was on the floor
and then finding out afterward that it was the function of the waiter to
pick up the fork? What is a girl to do if, escorted home at night from the
dance, she finds the hour is rather late and yet her folks are still up?
Whether she should invite the young man in or ask him to call again, she
is sure to do the wrong thing. Then there are those wedding days, the
proudest and happiest of a girl's life, when she slips her hand into the
arm of the wrong man or otherwise gives herself away before she is given
away. Tragedy lurks in such trifles. Don Stewart, who has suffered
countless mortifications and heartbreaks from just such little things as
these, determined that something shall be done to spare others his own
unfortunate experiences.

_Perfect Behaviour_ is the result of his brave determination. It is a book
that will be constantly in demand until society is abolished. Then, too,
there is that new behaviouristic psychology. You have not heard of that? I
can only assure you that Mr. Stewart's great work is founded upon all the
most recent principles of behaviouristic psychology. Noted scientists will
undoubtedly endorse it. You will endorse it yourself, and you will be able
to cash in on it.

Stewart wrote _A Parody Outline of History_ for The Bookman. When the idea
was broached, John Farrar, editor of The Bookman, was about the only
person who saw the possibilities. Response to the _Parody Outline of
History_ was immediate, spontaneous and unanimous. When the chapters
appeared as a book, this magnificent take-off of contemporary American
writers as well as of H. G. Wells leaped at once into the place of a best
seller. It remains one. The thing that it accomplished is not likely to be
well done again for years.

=iii=

_Neither Here Nor There_ is the title of a new book by Oliver Herford,
author of _This Giddy Globe_.

I do not know which is funnier, Herford or his books. Among the
unforgotten occasions was one when he was in the Doran office talking
about a forthcoming book and nibbling on animal crackers. Suddenly he
stopped nibbling and exclaimed with a gasp of dismay:

"Good heavens! I've been eating the illustrations for my book."

=iv=

_Timothy Tubby's Journal_ is, of course, the diary of the famous British
novelist with notes by Theresa Tubby, his wife. Tubby, on his visit to
this side, was remarkably observant. He says:

"How weary we were after a few hours of being interviewed and
photographed! This deep appreciation on the part of the American people
was touching, but exhausting. Yet my publishers telephoned me every two or
three hours, to say that editions of my latest novel were flying through
multitudinous presses; that I must bear up under the strain and give the
public what it demands; namely, the glimpse of me and of my aristocratic
wife. This, it seems, is what sells a book in America. The public must see
an author in order to believe that he can write.

"When my distinguished forebear Charles Dickens[1] arrived in the town of
Boston, he found his room flooded with offers of a pew at Sunday morning
church. This fashion in America has apparently passed, though I was taken
on sightseeing expeditions to various cathedrals whose architecture seemed
to me to be execrable (largely European copies--nothing natively
American). It was never suggested that I attend divine service. On the
contrary, I had countless invitations to be present at what is known as a
'cocktail chase.' My New York literary admirers seemed tumbling over one
another to offer me keys to their cellars and to invite me to take part in
one of those strange functions. It is their love of danger, rather than
any particular passion for liquor, that has, I believe, given birth to
these elaborate fêtes.

"A cocktail chase takes place shortly before dinner. It may lead you into
any one of a number of places, even as far as the outlying districts of
the Bronx. If you own a motor, you may use that; if not, a taxi will do.
Usually a large number of motors are employed. Add to this pursuing
motorcycle policemen, and the sight is most impressive. The police are for
protection against crime waves, not for the arrest of the cocktail
chasers. A revenue agent performs this function, when it becomes
necessary.

"The number of our invitations was so large that it was hard to pick and
choose. Naturally, we did not care to risk attendance at any function
which might injure our reputation. Usually my wife has an almost psychic
sense of such matters; but the Social Register was of no assistance in
this case.[2] Before several hours had passed, however, we decided to hire
a social secretary. I phoned my publisher for a recommendation. 'Dear
Tubby,' he said, 'what you need is a publicity agent, not a social
secretary. I'll send you the best New York can offer immediately. It was
careless of me not to think of it before. You seemed to have a genius for
that sort of thing yourself.'

"The publicity agent is difficult to explain. He is somehow connected with
an American game which originated in the great northwest, and which is
called log-rolling. He stands between you and the public which is
clamouring for a glimpse of you. The difference between a social secretary
and a publicity agent seems to be that the former merely answers
invitations, while the latter makes sure that you are invited. He writes
your speeches for you, sometimes even goes so far as to write your novels,
and, in a strange place, will impersonate you at all public functions
unless your wife objects.[3]

"Mr. Vernay arrived, fortunately, in time to sort our invitations.
'First,' he said, 'just you and Terry' (he was one of those brusque new
world types and Theresa rather enjoyed his familiarity--'so refreshing,' I
remember she said) 'sit right down and I'll tell you all about literature
in this here New York.'"

... I have always been meaning to read Tubby's novels--so like those of
Archibald Marshall and Anthony Trollope, I understand--but have never got
around to it. Now I feel I simply must.

-----

  [1] The relationship was on my husband's father's side. The
      Turbots
      were never so closely connected with the bourgeoisie.

  [2] We, of course, had entrée to all the best Fifth Avenue
      homes, but
      since we have now become literary folk, we
      hose to remain so. We therefore avoided the better
      classes.

  [3] Indeed Mr. Vernay was a most accomplished gentleman, and
      I never
      objected to him. I only remarked once that I was glad
      Timothy was
      not so attractive to the ladies as Mr. Vernay. This, I
      did
      not consider an objection.
=v=

Such an expert judge as Franklin P. Adams has considered that the ablest
living parodist in verse is J. C. Squire. Certainly his _Collected
Parodies_ is a masterly performance quite fit to go on the shelf with Max
Beerbohm's _A Christmas Garland_. In _Collected Parodies_ will be found
all those verses which, published earlier in magazines and in one or two
books, have delighted the readers of Punch and other magazines--"Imaginary
Speeches," "Steps to Parnassus," "Tricks of the Trade," "Repertory Drama,
How They Do It and How They Would Have Done It," "Imaginary Reviews and
Speeches" and "The Aspirant's Manual."

The great source book of fun in rhyme, however, is and will for a long
time remain Carolyn Wells's _The Book of Humorous Verse_. This has not an
equal in existence, so far as I know, except _The Home Book of Verse_.
Here in nearly 900 pages are specimens of light verse from Chaucer to
Chesterton. Modern writers, such as Bert Leston Taylor and Don Marquis,
share the pages with Robert Herrick and William Cowper, Charles Lamb and
Oliver Wendell Holmes. Verses whimsical, satiric, narrative,
punning--there is no conceivable variety overlooked by Miss Wells in what
was so evidently a labour of love as well as of the most careful industry,
an industry directed by an exceptional taste.

P. G. Wodehouse used to write lyrics for musical plays in England,
interpolating one or two in existing successes. Then he came to America
and began writing lyrics, interpolating them in musical comedies over
here. Then he began interpolating extremely funny short stories in the
American magazines and he has now succeeded in interpolating into modern
fiction some of the funniest novels of the last few years. This bit from
his latest, _Three Men and a Maid_, is typical:

"Mrs. Hignett was never a very patient woman. "'Let us take all your
negative qualities for granted,' she said curtly. 'I have no doubt that
there are many things which you do not do. Let us confine ourselves to
issues of definite importance. What is it, if you have no objection to
concentrating your attention on that for a moment, that you wish to see me
about?'

"This marriage.'

"'What marriage?'

"'Your son's marriage.'

"'My son is not married.'

"'No, but he's going to be. At eleven o'clock this morning at the Little
Church Around the Corner!'

"Mrs. Hignett stared.

"'Are you mad?'

"'Well, I'm not any too well pleased, I'm bound to say,' admitted Mr.
Mortimer. 'You see, darn it all, I'm in love with the girl myself!'

"'Who is this girl?'

"'Have been for years. I'm one of those silent, patient fellows who hang
around and look a lot, but never tell their love....'

"'Who is this girl who has entrapped my son?'

"'I've always been one of those men who....'

"'Mr. Mortimer! With your permission we will take your positive qualities
for granted. In fact, we will not discuss you at all.... What is her
name?'

"'Bennett.'

"'Bennett? Wilhelmina Bennett? The daughter of Mr. Rufus Bennett? The
red-haired girl I met at lunch one day at your father's house?'

"'That's it. You're a great guesser. I think you ought to stop the
thing.'

"'I intend to.'

"'Fine!'

"'The marriage would be unsuitable in every way. Miss Bennett and my son
do not vibrate on the same plane.'

"That's right. I've noticed it myself.'

"'Their auras are not the same colour.'

"'If I thought that once,' said Bream Mortimer, ''I've thought it a
hundred times. I wish I had a dollar for every time I thought it. Not the
same colour! That's the whole thing in a nutshell.'"

Mr. Wodehouse is described by a friend as "now a somewhat fluid inhabitant
of England, running over here spasmodically. Last summer he bought a
race-horse. It is the beginning of the end!"



CHAPTER VII

THE VITALITY OF MARY ROBERTS RINEHART


=i=

"The total result ... after twelve years is that I have learned to sit
down at my desk and begin work simultaneously," wrote Mrs. Rinehart in
1917. "One thing died, however, in those years of readjustment and
struggle. That was my belief in what is called 'inspiration.' I think I
had it now and then in those days, moments when I felt things I had hardly
words for, a breath of something much bigger than I was, a little lift in
the veil.

"It does not come any more.

"Other things bothered me in those first early days. I seemed to have so
many things to write about and writing was so difficult. Ideas came, but
no words to clothe them. Now, when writing is easy, when the technique of
my work bothers me no more than the pen I write with, I have less to say.

[Illustration: MARY ROBERTS RINEHART]

"I have words, but fewer ideas to clothe in them. And, coming more and
more often is the feeling that, before I have commenced to do my real
work, I am written out; that I have for years wasted my substance in
riotous writing and that now, when my chance is here, when I have lived
and adventured, when, if ever, I am to record honestly my little page of
these great times in which I live, now I shall fail."

These surprising words appeared in an article in the American Magazine for
1917. Not many months later _The Amazing Interlude_ was published and,
quoting Mrs. Rinehart soon afterward, I said: "If her readers shared this
feeling they must have murmured to themselves as they turned the absorbing
pages of _The Amazing Interlude_: 'How absurd!' It is doubtful if they
recalled the spoken misgiving at all."

Few novels of recent years have had so captivating a quality as had this
war story. But I wish to emphasise again what I felt and tried to express
at that time--the sense of Mrs. Rinehart's vitality as a writer of
fiction. In what seem to me to be her best books there is a freshness of
feeling I find astonishing. I felt it in _K_; I found it in _The Amazing
Interlude_; and I find it in her new novel just published, _The Breaking
Point_.

_The Breaking Point_ is the story of a man's past and his inability to
escape from it. If that were all, it might be a very commonplace subject
indeed. It is not all, nor half.

Dr. Richard Livingstone, just past thirty, is supposedly the nephew of Dr.
David Livingstone, with whom he lives and whose practice he shares in the
town of Haverly; but at the very outset of the novel, we have the fact
that--according to a casual visitor in Haverly--Dr. Livingstone's dead
brother had no son; was unmarried, anyway. And then it transpires that,
whatever may have been the past, Dr. Livingstone has walled it off from
the younger man's consciousness. The elder man has built up a powerful
secondary personality--secondary in the point of time only, for Richard
Livingstone is no longer aware of any other personality, nor scarcely of
any former existence. He does, indeed, have fugitive moments in which he
recalls with a painful and unsatisfactory vagueness some manner of life
that he once had a part in. But in his young manhood, in the pleasant
village where there is none who isn't his friend, deeply centred in his
work, stayed by the affection of Dr. Livingstone, these whispers of the
past are infrequent and untroubling.

The casual visitor's surprise and the undercurrent of talk which she
starts is the beginning of a rapid series of incidents which force the
problem of the past up to the threshold of Richard Livingstone's
consciousness. There would then be two ways of facing his difficulties,
and he takes the braver. Confronted with an increasingly difficult
situation, a situation sharpened by his love for Elizabeth Wheeler, and
her love for him, young Dr. Dick plays the man. The title of Mrs.
Rinehart's story comes from the psychological (and physical) fact that
there is in every man and woman a point at which Nature steps in and
says:

"See here, you can't stand this! You've got to forget it."

This is the breaking point, the moment when amnesia intervenes. But later
there may come a time when the erected wall safeguarding the secondary
personality gives way. The first, submerged or walled-off personality may
step across the levelled barrier. That extraordinarily dramatic moment
does come in the new novel and is handled by Mrs. Rinehart with triumphant
skill.

It will be seen that this new novel bears some resemblances to _K_, by
many of her readers considered Mrs. Rinehart's most satisfactory story. If
I may venture a personal opinion, _The Breaking Point_ is a much stronger
novel than _K_. To me it seems to combine the excellence of character
delineation noticeable in _K_ with the dramatic thrill and plot
effectiveness which made _The Amazing Interlude_ so irresistible as you
read it.

=ii=

To say so much is to bear the strongest testimony to that superb vitality,
which, characteristic of Mrs. Rinehart as a person, is yet more
characteristic of her fiction. There is, I suppose, this additional
interest in regard to _The Breaking Point_, that Mrs. Rinehart is the wife
of a physician and was herself, before her marriage, a trained nurse. The
facts of her life are interesting, though not nearly so interesting as the
way in which she tells them.

She was the daughter of Thomas Beveridge Roberts and Cornelia (Gilleland)
Roberts of Pittsburgh. From the city's public and high schools she went
into a training school for nurses, acquiring that familiarity with
hospital scenes which served her so well when she came to write _The
Amazing Adventures of Letitia Carberry_, the stories collected under the
title of _Tish_ and the novel _K_. She became, at nineteen, the wife of
Stanley Marshall Rinehart, a Pittsburgh physician.

"Life was very good to me at the beginning," said Mrs. Rinehart in the
_American Magazine_ article I have referred to. "It gave me a strong body
and it gave me my sons before it gave me my work. I do not know what would
have happened had the work come first, but I should have had the children.
I know that. I had always wanted them. Even my hospital experience, which
rent the veil of life for me, and showed it often terrible, could not
change that fundamental thing we call the maternal instinct.... I would
forfeit every part of success that has come to me rather than lose any
part, even the smallest, of my family life. It is on the foundation of my
home that I have builded.

"Yet, for a time, it seemed that my sons were to be all I was to have out
of life. From twenty to thirty I was an invalid.... This last summer
(1917), after forty days in the saddle through unknown mountains in
Montana and Washington, I was as unwearied as they were. But I paid ten
years for them."

Mrs. Rinehart had always wanted to write. She began in 1905--she was
twenty-nine that year--and worked at a tiny mahogany desk or upon a card
table "so low and so movable. It can sit by the fire or in a sunny
window." She "learned to use a typewriter with my two forefingers with a
baby on my knee!" She wrote when the children were out for a walk, asleep,
playing. "It was frightfully hard.... I found that when I wanted to write
I could not and then, when leisure came and I went to my desk, I had
nothing to say."

I quote from a chapter on Mrs. Rinehart in my book _The Women Who Make Our
Novels_:

"Her first work was mainly short stories and poems. Her very first work
was verse for children. Her first check was for $25, the reward of a short
article telling how she had systematised the work of a household with two
maids and a negro 'buttons.' She sold one or two of the poems for children
and with a sense of guilt at the desertion of her family made a trip to
New York. She made the weary rounds in one day, 'a heartbreaking day,
going from publisher to publisher.' In two places she saw responsible
persons and everywhere her verses were turned down. 'But one man was very
kind to me, and to that publishing house I later sent _The Circular
Staircase_, my first novel. They published it and some eight other books
of mine.'

"In her first year of sustained effort at writing, Mrs. Rinehart made
about $l,200. She was surrounded by 'sane people who cried me down,' but
who were merry without being contemptuous. Her husband has been her
everlasting help. He 'has stood squarely behind me, always. His belief in
me, his steadiness and his sanity and his humour have kept me going, when,
as has happened now and then, my little world of letters has shaken under
my feet.' To the three boys their mother's work has been a matter of
course ever since they can remember. 'I did not burst on them gloriously.
I am glad to say that they think I am a much better mother than I am a
writer, and that the family attitude in general has been attentive but not
supine. They regard it exactly as a banker's family regards his bank.'"

Most of the work of the twelve years from 1905 to 1917 was done in Mrs.
Rinehart's home. But when she had a long piece of work to do she often
felt "the necessity of getting away from everything for a little while."
So, beginning about 1915, she rented a room in an office building in
Pittsburgh once each year while she was writing a novel. It was sparsely
furnished and, significantly, it contained no telephone. In 1917 she
became a commuter from her home in Sewickley, a Pittsburgh suburb. Her
earnings had risen to $50,000 a year and more.

"My business with its various ramifications had been growing; an enormous
correspondence, involving business details, foreign rights, copyrights,
moving picture rights, translation rights, second serial rights, and
dramatisations, had made from the small beginning of that book of poems a
large and complicated business.

"I had added political and editorial writing to my other work, and also
records of travel. I was quite likely to begin the day with an article
opposing capital punishment, spend the noon hours in the Rocky Mountains,
and finish off with a love story!

"I developed the mental agility of a mountain goat! Filing cases entered
into my life, card index systems. To glance into my study after working
hours was dismaying."

More recently, Mrs. Rinehart has become a resident of Washington, D. C.
Her husband is engaged in the Government health service and the family
lives in the Wardman Park Hotel, having taken the apartment of the late
Senator Boies Penrose of Pennsylvania.

=iii=

"Yet, if I were to begin again, I would go through it all, the rejections
at the beginning, the hard work, the envious and malicious hands reached
up to pull down anyone who has risen ever so little above his fellows. Not
for the money reward, although that has been large, not for the publicity,
although I am frank enough to say I would probably miss being pointed out
in a crowd! But because of two things: the friends I have made all over
the world, and the increased outlook and a certain breadth of perception
and knowledge that must come as the result of years of such labour. I am
not so intolerant as in those early days. I love my kind better. I find
the world good, to work and to play in.

"I sometimes think, if I were advising a young woman as to a career, that
I should say: 'First, pick your husband.'

"It is impossible to try to tell how I have attempted to reconcile my
private life with my public work without mentioning my husband. Because,
after all, it requires two people, a man and a woman, to organise a home,
and those two people must be in accord. It has been a sort of family creed
of ours that we do things together. We have tried, because of the varied
outside interests that pull hard, to keep the family life even more intact
than the average. Differing widely as they do, my husband's profession and
my career, we have been compelled to work apart. But we have relaxed,
rested and played, together.

"And this rule holds good for the family. Generally speaking, we have been
a sort of closed corporation, a board of five, with each one given a vote
and the right to cast it. Holidays and home matters, and picnics and dogs,
and everything that is of common interest all come up for a discussion in
which the best opinion wins. The small boy had a voice as well as the
biggest boy. And it worked well.

"It is not because we happened to like the same things. People do not
happen to like the same things. It is because we tried to, and it is
because we have really all grown up together.

"Thus in the summer we would spend weeks in the saddle in the mountains of
the Far West, or fishing in Canada. But let me be entirely frank here.
These outdoor summers were planned at first because there were four men
and one woman in our party. Now, however, I love the open as the men do."

=iv=

"Writing is a clean profession. The writer gets out of it exactly what he
puts in, no more and no less. It is one-man work. No one can help. The
writer works alone, solitary and unaided. And, contrary to the general
opinion, what the writer has done in the past does not help him in the
future. He must continue to make good, day after day.

"More than that he must manufacture a new article every day, and every
working hour of his day. He cannot repeat himself. Can you imagine a
manufacturer turning out something different all the time? And his income
stopping if he has a sick headache, or goes to a funeral?"

=v=

Next to the vitality, the variety of Mrs. Rinehart's work is most
noticeable. Her first novel, _The Circular Staircase_, was a mystery tale,
and so was her second, _The Man in Lower Ten_. She has, from time to time,
continued to write excellent mystery stories. _The Breaking Point_ is,
from one standpoint, a first class mystery story; and then there is that
enormously successful mystery play, written by Mrs. Rinehart in
conjunction with Avery Hopwood, _The Bat_. Nor was this her first success
as a playwright for she collaborated with Mr. Hopwood in writing the farce
_Seven Days_. Shall I add that Mrs. Rinehart has lived part of her life in
haunted houses? I am under the impression that more than one of her
residences has been found to be suitably or unsuitably haunted. There was
that house at Bellport on Long Island--but I really don't know the story.
I do know that the family's experience has been such as to provide
material for one or more very good mystery novels. My own theory is that
Mrs. Rinehart's indubitable gift for the creation of mystery yarns has
been responsible for the facts. I imagine that the haunting of the houses
has been a projection into some physical plane of her busy
sub-consciousness. I mean, simply, that instead of materialising as a
story, her preoccupation induced a set of actual and surprising
circumstances. Why couldn't it? Let Sir Oliver Lodge or Sir Arthur Conan
Doyle, the Society for Psychical Research, anybody who knows about that
sort of thing, explain!

Consider the stories about Letitia Carberry. Tish is without a literary
parallel. Well-to-do, excitement loving, with a passion for guiding the
lives of two other elderly maidens like herself; with a nephew who throws
up hopeless hands before her unpredictable performances, Tish is funny
beyond all description.

Just as diverting, in a quite different way, is Bab, the sub-deb and
forerunner of the present-day flapper.

Something like a historical romance is _Long Live the King!_--a story of a
small boy, Crown Prince of a Graustark kingdom, whose scrapes and
friendships and admiration of Abraham Lincoln are strikingly contrasted
with court intrigues and uncovered treason.

_The Amazing Interlude_ is the story of Sara Lee Kennedy, who went from a
Pennsylvania city to the Belgian front to make soup for the soldiers and
to fall in love with Henri.... But one could go on with other samples of
Mrs. Rinehart's abundant variety. I think, however, that the vitality of
her work, and not the variety nor the success in variety, is our point.
That vitality has its roots in a sympathetic feeling and a sanative humour
not exceeded in the equipment of any popular novelist writing in America
today.

BOOKS BY MARY ROBERTS RINEHART

THE CIRCULAR STAIRCASE
THE MAN IN LOWER TEN
WHEN A MAN MARRIES
THE WINDOW AT THE WHITE CAT
THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF LETITIA CARBERRY
WHERE THERE'S A WILL
THE CASE OF JENNY BRICE
THE AFTER HOUSE
THE STREET OF SEVEN STARS
K
THROUGH GLACIER PARK
TISH
THE ALTAR OF FREEDOM
LONG LIVE THE KING
TENTING TO-NIGHT
BAB, A SUB-DEB
KINGS, QUEENS AND PAWNS
THE AMAZING INTERLUDE
TWENTY-THREE AND A HALF HOURS' LEAVE
DANGEROUS DAYS
MORE TISH
LOVE STORIES
AFFINITIES AND OTHER STORIES
"ISN'T THAT JUST LIKE A MAN?"
THE TRUCE OF GOD
A POOR WISE MAN
SIGHT UNSEEN AND THE CONFESSION
THE BREAKING POINT

SOURCES ON MARY ROBERTS RINEHART

``My Creed: The Way to Happiness--As I Found It,'' by Mary Roberts
Rinehart. AMERICAN MAGAZINE, October, 1917.

``Mary Roberts Rinehart as She Appears'' by Robert H. Davis, AMERICAN
MAGAZINE, October, 1917.

``My Public'' by Mary Roberts Rinehart, THE BOOKMAN, December, 1920.

The Women Who Make Our Novels, by Grant Overton, MOFFAT, YARD & COMPANY.

Who's Who in America.



CHAPTER VIII

THEY HAVE ONLY THEMSELVES TO BLAME


=i=

If people will write memoirs, they must expect to suffer. They have only
themselves to blame if life becomes almost intolerable from the waves of
praise and censure. I am going to speak of some books of memoirs and
biography--highly personal and decidedly unusual books, in the main by
persons who are personages.

_The Life of Sir William Vernon Harcourt_ concerns Sir William George
Granville Venables Vernon Harcourt, who was born in 1827 and died in 1904.
He was an English statesman, grandson of Edward Vernon Harcourt,
Archbishop of York. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and was
called to the bar in 1854. He entered Parliament (for Oxford) in 1868, sat
for Derby 1880-95, and for West Monmouthshire, 1895-1904. He was
Solicitor-general 1873-74, Home Secretary 1880-85 and Chancellor of the
Exchequer in 1886, 1892-94 and 1894-95. From March, 1894, to December,
1898, he was leader of the Liberal Party in the House of Commons. He wrote
in the London Times under the signature of "Historicus" a series of
letters on International Law, which were republished in 1863. His
biography, which begins before Victoria ascended the throne and closes
after her death, is the work of A. G. Gardiner.

_Memoirs of the Memorable_ is by Sir James Denham, the poet-author of
"Wake Up, England!" and deals with most of the prominent social names of
the end of the last and commencement of this century, including Mr.
Gladstone, Lord Beaconsfield, Lord Byron, Robert Browning, the Bishop of
London, Cardinal Howard, Lord Dunedin, Lewis Carroll, Lord Marcus
Beresford and the late Bishop of Manchester. The book also deals with club
life and the leading sportsmen.

_The Pomp of Power_ is by an author who very wisely remains anonymous,
like the author of _The Mirrors of Downing Street_. I shall not run the
risks of perjury by asserting or denying that the author of _The Mirrors
of Downing Street_ has written _The Pomp of Power_. As to the probability
perhaps readers of _The Pomp of Power_ had better judge. It is an
extremely frank book and its subjects include the leading personalities of
Great Britain today and, indeed, all the world. Lloyd George,
Field-Marshal Sir Henry Wilson, Lord Haig, Marshal Joffre, Lord
Beaverbrook, Millerand, Loucheur, Painleve, Cambon, Lord Northcliffe,
Colonel Repington and Krassin of Soviet Russia are the persons principally
portrayed. The book throws a searchlight upon the military and diplomatic
relations of Britain and France before and during the war, and also deals
with the present international situation. It may fairly be called
sensational.

Especially interesting is the anonymous author's revelation of the rôle
played in the war by Field-Marshal Sir Henry Wilson, so lately
assassinated in London. The author was evidently an intimate of Sir Henry
and, just as evidently, he is intimately acquainted with Lloyd George,
apparently having worked with or under the Prime Minister. He is neither
Lloyd George's friend nor enemy and his portrait of the Prime Minister is
the most competent I can recall. Can he be Philip Kerr, Lloyd George's
adviser?

I praise, in this slightly superlative fashion, the picture of the British
Prime Minister by the author of _The Pomp of Power_ ... and I pick up
another book and discover it to be E. T. Raymond's _Mr. Lloyd George: A
Biographical and Critical Sketch_. The author of _Uncensored Celebrities_
is far too modest when he calls his new work a "sketch." It is a genuine
biography with that special accent due to the biographer's personality and
his power of what I may call penetrative synthesis. By that I mean the
insight into character which coördinates and builds--the sort of biography
that makes a legend about a man.

Mr. Raymond does not begin with the "little Welshman" but with a Roman
Emperor, Diocletian, our first well-studied exemplar of the "coalition
mind." These are the words with which, after a brilliant survey of the
Prime Minister's career, the author closes:

"If, however, we withhold judgment on every point where a difference of
opinion is possible, if we abandon to destructive criticism every act of
administrative vigour which is claimed by his admirers as a triumph, if we
accept the least charitable view of his faults and failures, there still
remains more than enough with which to defy what Lord Rosebery once called
'the body-snatchers of history, who dig up dead reputations for malignant
dissection.' If only that he imparted, in a black time, when it appeared
but too likely that the Alliance might falter and succumb from mere
sick-headache, his own defying, ardent, and invincible spirit to a tired,
puzzled, distracted and distrustful nation; if only that he dispelled the
vapours, inspired a new hope and resolution, brought the British people to
that temper which makes small men great, assured our Allies that their
cause was in the fullest sense our own, and finally achieved the great
moral victory implied in 'unity of command'--if these things be alone
considered, he will be judged to have earned for his portrait the right to
a dignified place in the gallery of history; and some future generation
will probably recall with astonishment that it was considered unfit to
adorn the dining-room of a London club."

And here are two new books by Margot Asquith! One is _My Impressions of
America_, the other continues _The Autobiography of Margot Asquith_. Of
the first of these books there is to say that it represents Mrs. Asquith's
matured impressions and will have a value that could not possibly attach
to interviews or statements she gave on this side. It also gives, for the
first time, her frank and direct analyses of the personalities of the
distinguished people whom she met in America. The continuation of her
_Autobiography_ is a different matter. Those who have read _The
Autobiography of Margot Asquith_ will be prepared for the new book. At
least, I hope they will be prepared and yet I question whether they will.
There is, after all, only one person for Mrs. Asquith to surpass, and that
is herself; and I think she has done it. This new book will add Volumes
III. and IV. to _The Autobiography of Margot Asquith_.

In _The Memoirs of Djemal Pasha: Turkey 1913-21_ will be found the
recollections of a man who was successively Military Governor of
Constantinople, Minister of Public Works and Naval Minister and who, with
Enver Bey and Talaat Bey, formed the triumvirate which dictated Turkish
policy and guided Turkey's fate after the coup d'état of 1913. I believe
these memoirs are of extraordinary interest and the greatest importance.
They give the first and only account from the Turkish side of events in
Turkey since 1913. The development of relations with Germany, France and
England immediately before the war is clearly traced, and a graphic
account is given of the first two months of the war, the escape of the
Goeben and the attempts made to keep Turkey neutral. When these failed,
Djemal Pasha was sent to govern Syria and to command the Fourth Army,
which was to conquer Egypt. The attack on the Suez Canal is described, and
then the series of operations which culminated in the British reverses in
the two battles of Gaza. Further important sections are devoted to the
revolt of the Arabs and the question of responsibility for the Armenian
massacres.

The value of _Miscellanies--Literary and Historical_, by Lord Rosebery,
consists not so much in his recollections of people as in the delight of
reading good prose. Lord Rosebery has a natural dignity and a charm of
lucid phrasing that adapts itself admirably to the essay form he has
chosen. The subjects he takes up are beloved figures of the past. Robert
Burns, as Lord Rosebery talks of him, walks about in Dumfries and holds
spellbound by sheer personal charm the guests of the tavern. There are
papers on Burke, on Dr. Johnson, on Robert Louis Stevenson, and others as
great. One group deals with Scottish History and one with the service of
the state. The last is a study of the _genius loci_ of such places of
mellow associations as Eton and the Turf. The sort of book one returns
to!

=ii=

I was going to say something about Andrew C. P. Haggard's book, _Madame de
Staël: Her Trials and Triumphs_. But so profoundly convinced am I of the
book's fascination that I shall reprint the first chapter. If this is not
worthy of Lytton Strachey, I am no judge:

"In the year 1751 a young fellow, only fourteen years of age, went to
Magdalen College at Oxford, and in the same year displayed his budding
talent by writing _The Age of Sesostris, Conqueror of Asia_, which work he
burnt in later years.

"The boy was Edward Gibbon, who, after becoming a Roman Catholic at the
age of sixteen, was sent by his father to Switzerland, to continue his
education in the house of a Calvinist minister named M. Pavilliard, under
the influence of which gentleman he became a Protestant again at Lausanne
eighteen months later.

"The young fellow, while leading the life of gaiety natural to his age in
company with a friend named Deyverdun, became an apt student of the
classics and was soon a proficient in French, in which tongue he wrote
before long as fluently as in English. With young Deyverdun he worked, and
in his company Edward Gibbon also played. After visiting frequently at the
house of the celebrated Voltaire at Monrepos, and after being present when
the distinguished French philosopher played in his own comedies and
sentimental pieces, the young fellow's thoughts soon turned to the theme
which was the continual subject of conversation of the ladies and
gentlemen who were Voltaire's guests and formed the company of amateurs
with whom the great dramatic writer was in the habit of rehearsing his
plays. This was, as might have been suspected in such a society, the theme
of love.

"As it happened, there was in the habit of visiting Lausanne a young lady
who was a perfect paragon. Her name was Suzanne Curchod, and she was half
Swiss and half French, her father being a Swiss pastor and her mother a
Frenchwoman.

"Very handsome and sprightly in appearance, the fair Suzanne was well
instructed in sciences and languages. Her wit, beauty and erudition made
her a prodigy and an object of universal admiration upon the occasion of
her visits to her relations in Lausanne. Soon an intimate connection
existed between Edward Gibbon and herself; he frequently accompanied her
to stay at her mountain home at Grassy, while at Lausanne also they
indulged in their dream of felicity. Edward loved the brilliant Suzanne
with a union of desire, friendship, and tenderness, and was in later years
proud of the fact that he was once capable of feeling such an exalted
sentiment. There is no doubt that, had he been able to consult his own
inclinations alone, Gibbon would have married Mademoiselle Curchod, but,
the time coming when he was forced to return to his home in England his
father declared that he would not hear of 'such a strange alliance.'

"'Thereupon,' says Gibbon in his autobiography, 'I yielded to my
fate--sighed as a lover, obeyed as a son, and my wound was insensibly
healed by time, absence and new habits of life.'

"These habits of life included four or five years' service in the
Hampshire Militia, in which corps Suzanne's lover became a captain, the
regiment being embodied during the period of the Seven Years' War.

"Upon returning to Lausanne, at the age of twenty-six, in 1763, Edward
Gibbon was warmly received by his old love, but he heard that she had been
flirting with others, and notably with his friend M. Deyverdun. He
himself, while now mixing with an agreeable society of twenty unmarried
young ladies who, without any chaperons, mingled with a crowd of young men
of all nations, also 'lost many hours in dissipation.'

"He was not long in showing Suzanne that he no longer found her
indispensable to his happiness, with the result that she assailed him,
although in vain, with angry reproaches. Notwithstanding that she begged
Gibbon to be her friend if no longer her lover, while vowing herself to be
confiding and tender, he acted hard-heartedly and declined to return to
his old allegiance, coldly replying: 'I feel the dangers that continued
correspondence may have for both of us.'

"It is impossible to feel otherwise than sorry for the brilliant Suzanne
at this period, as although from her subsequent manoeuvres it became
evident that her principal object in life was to obtain a rich husband,
from the manner in which she humiliated herself to him it is evident that
she was passionately in love with the author of _The Decline and Fall of
the Roman Empire_.

"Eventually the neglected damsel gave up the siege of an unwilling lover,
while assuring her formerly devoted Edward that the day would come 'when
he would regret the irreparable loss of the too frank and tender heart of
Suzanne Curchod.'

"Had the pair been united, one wonders what would have been the
characteristics of the offspring of an English literary man like Gibbon,
who became perhaps the world's greatest historian, and a beautiful woman
of mixed nationality, whose subsequent career, although gilded with riches
and adorned with a position of power, displays nothing above the mediocre
and commonplace.

"Edward Gibbon's fame, which was not long in coming, was his own, and will
remain for so long as a love of history and literature exists in the
world, whereas that of Suzanne Curchod rests upon two circumstances--the
first that she was once the sweetheart of Gibbon, the second that she was
the mother of a Madame de Staël.

"When finally cast off by the Englishman, the Swiss Pastor's daughter
remembered that, if pretty, she was poor, and had her way to make in the
world. She commenced to play fast and loose with a M. Correvon, a rich
lawyer, whom she said she would marry 'if she had only to live with him
for four months in each year.'

"The next lover was a pastor, who was as mercenary as herself, for he
threw her over for a lady with a large fortune. After this failure to
establish herself, Suzanne became tired of seeking a husband in
Switzerland and went to Paris as the companion of the rich and handsome
Madame Vermoneux, the supposed mistress of Jacques Necker, the rich Swiss
banker, who was established in the French capital. Once in Paris, it was
not long before by her seductions Suzanne succeeded in supplanting Madame
Vermoneux in the still young banker's affections, with the result that she
married him in 1764.

"Gibbon, whom she had last seen in 1763, returned to the side of his
former love when she was at length safely married to another man. We find
him writing in 1765, to his friend Lord Sheffield, formerly Mr. Holroyd,
that he had spent ten delicious days in Paris about the end of June. 'She
was very fond of me, and the husband was particularly civil.' He continues
confidentially: 'Could they insult me more cruelly? Ask me every evening
to supper, go to bed and leave me alone with his wife--what an impertinent
security!'

"It was in the month of April in the following year, 1766, that was born
Madame Necker's only child, Anne Louise Germaine, who was destined to
become one of the most remarkable women of modern times. From the great
literary talent displayed by this wonderfully precocious child from
girlhood, it is difficult not to imagine but that in some, if merely
spiritual, way the genius of her mother's old lover had descended through
that mother's brain as a mantle upon herself. That she learnt to look upon
Gibbon with admiration at an early age is sure. Michelet informs us that
owing to the praises showered upon the historian by M. Necker, Germaine
was anxious, as her mother had been before her, to become Gibbon's wife.
She was, however, destined to have another husband--or rather we should
say two other husbands."

=iii=

_Recollections and Reflections_ by a Woman of No Importance has added
greatly to the number of this author's readers, gained in the first
instance by her _Memories Discreet and Indiscreet_, which was followed by
_More Indiscretions_.

_Recollections and Reflections_ consists of random memories of lords and
ladies, sportsmen, Kings, Queens, cooks, chauffeurs and Empresses, related
with a great deal of philosophy and insight and no little wit.

There are stories of Gladstone's lovemaking, of Empress Eugenie and the
diamond the soldier swallowed, of Balfour's hats, Henry Irving's swelled
head and the cosmetics of Disraeli. There are stories of etiquette at a
hair-dressers' ball side by side with comments on Kitchener's waltzing.

Lady Angela Forbes was the daughter of the fourth Earl of Rosslyn and the
youngest child of one of the largest and most prominent families in
England. Kitchener, Lord Roberts, Disraeli, the Kaiser, Prince Edward--she
has dined or sailed or hunted with them all on the most informal terms.
She tells, with engaging frankness, in _Memories and Base Details_, of the
gaieties, the mistakes and tragedies of herself and her friends.

It was Baron von Margutti who informed the Emperor Francis Joseph in 1914
that Serbia had rejected his ultimatum. The character of the Emperor is a
moot question. _The Emperor Francis Joseph and His Times_, reminiscences
by Baron von Margutti, is by a man who knew the Emperor intimately and who
knew the men and women who surrounded him daily. Baron von Margutti met
all the distinguished European figures, such as Edward VII, Emperor
Wilhelm, Czar Nicholas and the Empress Eugenie who came to Austria to
visit. He watched from a particularly favourable vantage point the deft
moves of secret diplomacy which interlaced the various governments.

Lord Frederic Hamilton, born in 1856, the fourth son of the first Duke of
Abercorn, was educated at Harrow, was formerly in the British Diplomatic
Service and served successively as Secretary of the British Embassies in
Berlin and Petrograd and the Legations at Lisbon and Buenos Aires. He has
travelled much and, besides being in Parliament, was editor of the Pall
Mall Magazine till 1900. The popularity of his books of reminiscences is
explained by the fascinating way in which he tells a story or illuminates
a character. Other books of memoirs have been more widely celebrated but I
know of none which has made friends who were more enthusiastic. _The
Vanished Pomps of Yesterday_, _Days Before Yesterday_ and _Here, There and
Everywhere_ are constantly in demand.

But, all along, a surprise has been in store and the time is now here to
disclose it! The talent for this delightful species of memoirising runs
through the family; and Sir Frederic Hamilton's brother, Lord Ernest
Hamilton, proves it. Lord Ernest is the author of _Forty Years On_, a new
book quite as engaging as _Here, There and Everywhere_, and the rest of
Sir Frederic's. Word from London is that Sir Frederic will have no new
book this year; he steps aside with a gallant bow for Lord Ernest. I have
been turning pages in _Forty Years On_ and reading about such matters as
the Copley curse, school life at Harrow where Shifner and others bowed the
knee to Baal, bull fights in Peru and adventures in the Klondike.
Personally the most amusing moments of the book I find to be those in
which Lord Ernest describes his experiments in speaking ancient Greek in
modern Greece. But this is perhaps because I, too, have tried to speak
syllables of Xenophon while being rapidly driven (in a barouche) about
Patras--with the same lamentable results. It is enough to unhinge the
reason, the pronunciation of modern Greek, I mean. But maybe your hobby is
bathing? Lord Ernest has a word in praise of Port Antonio, Jamaica, as a
bathing ground.

What he says about hummingbirds--but I mustn't! _Forty Years On_ is a mine
of interest and each reader ought to be pretty well left to work it for
himself.



CHAPTER IX

AUDACIOUS MR. BENNETT


=i=

Mr. Bennett's audacity has always been evident. One might say that he
began by daring to tell the truth about an author, continued by daring to
tell the truth about the Five Towns, and has now reached the incredible
stage where he dares to tell the truth about marriage. This is affronting
Fate indeed. It was all very well for Arnold Bennett to write a play
called _Cupid and Commonsense_. Perhaps, in view of the fact that it is
one of the great novels of the twentieth century, it was all right for him
to create _The Old Wives' Tale_; but it cannot be all right for him to
compose such novels as _Mr. Prohack_ and his still newer story, _Lilian_.

Think of the writers who have stumbled and fallen over the theme of
marriage. There is W. L. George ... but I cannot bring myself to name
other names and discuss their tragic fates. There are those who have
sought to make the picture of marriage a picture of horror; but that was
because they did not dare to tell the truth. That marriage is all, no one
but Mr. Bennett seems to realise. No one but Mr. Bennett seems to realise
that, as between husband and wife, there are no such things as moral
standards, there can be no such thing as an ethical code, there can be no
interposition of lofty abstractions which Men call principles and appeal
to as they would appeal to a just God, Himself. No one but Mr. Bennett
seems to realise that the relation between a man and his wife necessarily
transcends every abstraction, brushes aside every ideal of "right" and
"wrong." Mr. Bennett, in the course of the amazing discoveries of an
amazing lifetime, has made the greatest discovery possible to mortals of
this planet. He has discovered that marriage occurs when a man and a woman
take the law into their own hands, and not only the human law, but the
divine.

It would be impossible for the hero of a Bennett novel of recent years to
be a character like Mark Sabre in _If Winter Comes_. Arnold Bennett's
married hero would realise that the health, comfort, wishes, doubts,
dissimulations; the jealousies, the happiness or the fancied happiness,
and the exterior appearances of the woman who was his wife abolish, for
practical purposes, everything else. It is due to Mr. Bennett more than to
anyone else that we now understand that while "husband" may be a correct
legal designation, "lover" is the only possible æsthetic appellation of
the man who is married. If he is not a lover he is not a husband except
for statutory purposes--that is all.

[Illustration: ARNOLD BENNETT]

=ii=

It is hard to describe _Lilian_. I will let you taste it:

"Lilian, in dark blue office frock with an embroidered red line round the
neck and detachable black wristlets that preserved the ends of the sleeves
from dust and friction, sat idle at her flat desk in what was called 'the
small room' at Felix Grig's establishment in Clifford Street, off Bond
Street. There were three desks, three typewriting machines and three
green-shaded lamps. Only Lilian's lamp was lighted, and she sat alone,
with darkness above her chestnut hair and about her, and a circle of
radiance below. She was twenty-three. Through the drawn blind of the
window could just be discerned the backs of the letters of words painted
on the glass: 'Felix Grig. Typewriting Office. Open day and night.' Seen
from the street the legend stood out black and clear against the faintly
glowing blind. It was eleven p.m.

"That a beautiful girl, created for pleasure and affection and expensive
flattery, should be sitting by herself at eleven p.m., in a gloomy office
in Clifford Street, in the centre of the luxurious, pleasure-mad, love-mad
West End of London seemed shocking and contrary to nature, and Lilian
certainly so regarded it. She pictured the shut shops, and shops and yet
again shops, filled with elegance and costliness--robes, hats, stockings,
shoes, gloves, incredibly fine lingerie, furs, jewels, perfumes--designed
and confected for the setting-off of just such young attractiveness as
hers. She pictured herself rifling those deserted and silent shops by some
magic means and emerging safe, undetected, in batiste so rare that her
skin blushed through it, in a frock that was priceless and yet nothing at
all, and in warm marvellous sables that no blast of wind or misfortune
could ever penetrate--and diamonds in her hair. She pictured thousands of
smart women, with imperious command over rich, attendant males, who at
that very moment were moving quickly in automobiles from theatres towards
the dancing-clubs that clustered round Felix Grig's typewriting office. At
that very moment she herself ought to have been dancing. Not in a smart
club; no! Only in the basement of a house where an acquaintance of hers
lodged; and only with clerks and things like that; and only a gramophone.
But still a dance, a respite from the immense ennui and solitude called
existence!"

After Lilian's mother died she had been "Papa's cherished darling. Then
Mr. Share caught pneumonia, through devotion to duty and died in a few
days; and at last Lilian felt on her lovely cheek the winds of the world;
at last she was free. Of high paternal finance she had never in her life
heard one word. In the week following the funeral she learnt that she
would be mistress of the furniture and a little over one hundred pounds
net. Mr. Share had illustrated the ancient maxim that it is easier to make
money than to keep it. He had held shipping shares too long and had sold a
fully-paid endowment insurance policy in the vain endeavour to replace by
adventurous investment that which the sea had swallowed up. And Lilian was
helpless. She could do absolutely nothing that was worth money. She could
not begin to earn a livelihood. As for relatives, there was only her
father's brother, a Board School teacher with a large vulgar family and an
income far too small to permit of generosities. Lilian was first
incredulous, then horror-struck.

"Leaving the youth of the world to pick up art as best it could without
him, and fleeing to join his wife in paradise, the loving, adoring father
had in effect abandoned a beautiful idolised daughter to the alternatives
of starvation or prostitution. He had shackled her wrists behind her back
and hobbled her feet and bequeathed her to wolves. That was what he had
done, and what many and many such fathers had done, and still do, to their
idolised daughters.

"Herein was the root of Lilian's awful burning resentment against the
whole world, and of a fierce and terrible determination by fair means or
foul to make the world pay. Her soul was a horrid furnace, and if by
chance Lionel Share leaned out from the gold bar of heaven and noticed it,
the sight must have turned his thoughts towards hell for a pleasant
change. She was saved from disaster, from martyrdom, from ignominy, from
the unnameable, by the merest fluke. The nurse who tended Lionel Share's
last hours was named Grig. This nurse had cousins in the typewriting
business. She had also a kind heart a practical mind, and a persuasive
manner with cousins."

Lilian in the office late at night has been engaged in conversation by her
employer, Mr. Grig, and Mr. Grig has finally come to the point.

"'You know you've no business in a place like this, a girl like you.
You're much too highly strung for one thing. You aren't like Miss Jackson,
for instance. You're simply wasting yourself here. Of course you're
terribly independent, but you do try to please. I don't mean try to please
merely in your work. You try to please. It's an instinct with you. Now in
typing you'd never beat Miss Jackson. Miss Jackson's only alive, really,
when she's typing. She types with her whole soul. You type well--I
hear--but that's only because you're clever all round. You'd do anything
well. You'd milk cows just as well as you'd type. But your business is
marriage, and a good marriage! You're beautiful, and, as I say, you have
an instinct to please. That's the important thing. You'd make a success of
marriage because of that and because you're adaptable and quick at picking
up. Most women when they're married forget that their job is to adapt
themselves and to please. That's their job. They expect to be kowtowed to
and spoilt and humoured and to be free to spend money without having to
earn it, and to do nothing in return except just exist--and perhaps manage
a household, pretty badly. They seem to forget that there are two sides to
a bargain. It's dashed hard work, pleasing is, sometimes. I know that. But
it isn't so hard as earning money, believe me! Now you wouldn't be like
the majority of women. You'd keep your share of the bargain, and
handsomely. If you don't marry, and marry fifty miles above you, you'll be
very silly. For you to stop here is an outrage against commonsense. It's
merely monstrous. If I wasn't an old man I wouldn't tell you this,
naturally. Now you needn't blush. I expect I'm not far off thirty years
older than you--and you're young enough to be wise in time.'"

=iii=

It will be seen that _Lilian_ has all the philosophy and humour which make
_Mr. Prohack_ a joy forever, and in addition the new novel has the strong
interest we feel in a young, beautiful, attractive, helpless girl, who has
her way to make in the world. And yet, I love _Mr. Prohack_. I think I
have by heart some of the wisdom he utters; for instance--

On women: "Even the finest and most agreeable women, such as those with
whom I have been careful to surround myself in my domestic existence, are
monsters of cruelty."

On women's clubs: "You scarcely ever speak to a soul in your club. The
food's bad in your club. They drink liqueurs before dinner at your club.
I've seen 'em. Your club's full every night of the most formidable
spinsters each eating at a table alone. Give up your club by all means.
Set fire to it and burn it down. But don't count the act as a
renunciation. You hate your club."

On his wife: "You may annoy me. You may exasperate me. You are frequently
unspeakable. But you have never made me unhappy. And why? Because I am one
of the few exponents of romantic passion left in this city. My passion for
you transcends my reason. I am a fool, but I am a magnificent fool. And
the greatest miracle of modern times is that after twenty-four years of
marriage you should be able to give me pleasure by perching your stout
body on the arm of my chair as you are doing."

On his daughter: "In 1917 I saw that girl in dirty overalls driving a
thundering great van down Whitehall. Yesterday I met her in her foolish
high heels and her shocking openwork stockings and her negligible dress
and her exposed throat and her fur stole, and she was so delicious and so
absurd and so futile and so sure of her power that--that--well ... that
chit has the right to ruin me--not because of anything she's done, but
because she is."

On kissing: "That fellow has kissed my daughter and he has kissed her for
the first time. It is monstrous that any girl, and especially my daughter,
should be kissed for the first time.... It amounts to an outrage."

On parenthood: "To become a parent is to accept terrible risks. I'm
Charlie's father. What then?... He owes nothing whatever to me or to you.
If we were starving and he had plenty, he would probably consider it his
duty to look after us; but that's the limit of what he owes us. Whereas
nothing can put an end to our responsibility towards him.... We thought it
would be nice to have children and so Charlie arrived. He didn't choose
his time and he didn't choose his character, nor his education, nor his
chance. If he had his choice you may depend he'd have chosen differently.
Do you want me, on the top of all that, to tell him that he must
obediently accept something else from us--our code of conduct? It would be
mere cheek, and with all my shortcomings I'm incapable of impudence,
especially to the young."

On ownership: "Have you ever stood outside a money-changer's and looked at
the fine collection of genuine banknotes in the window? Supposing I told
you that you could look at them, and enjoy the sight of them, and nobody
could do more? No, my boy, to enjoy a thing properly you've got to own it.
And anybody who says the contrary is probably a member of the League of
all the Arts."

On economics: "That's where the honest poor have the advantage of us....
We're the dishonest poor.... We're one vast pretence.... A pretence
resembles a bladder. It may burst. We probably shall burst. Still, we have
one great advantage over the honest poor, who sometimes have no income at
all; and also over the rich, who never can tell how big their incomes are
going to be. We know exactly where we are. We know to the nearest
sixpence."

On history: "Never yet when empire, any empire, has been weighed in the
balance against a young and attractive woman has the young woman failed to
win! This is a dreadful fact, but men are thus constituted."

On bolshevism: "Abandon the word 'bolshevik.' It's a very overworked word
and wants a long repose."

=iv=

The best brief sketch of Arnold Bennett's life that I know of is given in
the chapter on Arnold Bennett in John W. Cunliffe's _English Literature
During the Last Half Century_. Professor Cunliffe, with the aid, of
course, of Bennett's own story, _The Truth About an Author_, writes as
follows:

"He was born near Hanley, the 'Hanbridge' of the Five Towns which his
novels were to launch into literary fame, and received a somewhat limited
education at the neighbouring 'Middle School' of Newcastle, his highest
scholastic achievement being the passing of the London University
Matriculation Examination. Some youthful adventures in journalism were
perhaps significant of latent power and literary inclination, but a small
provincial newspaper offers no great encouragement to youthful ambition,
and Enoch Arnold Bennett (as he was then called) made his way at 21 as a
solicitor's clerk to London, where he was soon earning a modest livelihood
by 'a natural gift for the preparation of bills for taxation.' He had
never 'wanted to write' (except for money) and had read almost nothing of
Scott, Jane Austen, Dickens, Thackeray, the Brontës, and George Eliot,
though he had devoured Ouida, boys' books and serials. His first real
interest in a book was 'not as an instrument for obtaining information or
emotion, but as a book, printed at such a place in such a year by
so-and-so, bound by so-and-so, and carrying colophons, registers,
water-marks, and _fautes d'impression_.' It was when he showed a rare copy
of _Manon Lescaut_ to an artist and the latter remarked that it was one of
the ugliest books he had ever seen, that Bennett, now in his early
twenties, first became aware of the appreciation of beauty. He won twenty
guineas in a competition, conducted by a popular weekly, for a humorous
condensation of a sensational serial, being assured that this was 'art,'
and the same paper paid him a few shillings for a short article on 'How a
bill of costs is drawn up.' Meanwhile he was 'gorging' on English and
French literature, his chief idols being the brothers de Goncourt, de
Maupassant, and Turgenev, and he got a story into the Yellow Book. He saw
that he could write, and he determined to adopt the vocation of letters.
After a humiliating period of free lancing in Fleet Street, he became
assistant editor and later editor of Woman. When he was 31, his first
novel, _A Man From the North_, was published, both in England and America,
and with the excess of the profits over the cost of typewriting he bought
a new hat. At the end of the following year he wrote in his diary:

"'This year I have written 335,340 words, grand total: 224 articles and
stories, and four instalments of a serial called _The Gates of Wrath_ have
actually been published, and also my book of plays, _Polite Farces_. My
work included six or eight short stories not yet published, also the
greater part of a 55,000 word serial _Love and Life_ for Tillotsons, and
the whole draft, 80,000 words of my Staffordshire novel _Anna
Tellwright_.'

"This last was not published in book form till 1902 under the title of
_Anna of the Five Towns_; but in the ten years that had elapsed since he
came to London, Bennett had risen from a clerk at six dollars a week to be
a successful 'editor, novelist, dramatist, critic, connoisseur of all
arts' with a comfortable suburban residence. Still he was not satisfied;
he was weary of journalism and the tyranny of his Board of Directors. He
threw up his editorial post, with its certain income, and retired first to
the country and then to a cottage at Fontainebleau to devote himself to
literature.

"In the autumn of 1903, when Bennett used to dine frequently in a Paris
restaurant, it happened that a fat old woman came in who aroused almost
universal merriment by her eccentric behaviour. The novelist reflected:
'This woman was once young, slim, perhaps beautiful; certainly free from
these ridiculous mannerisms. Very probably she is unconscious of her
singularities. Her case is a tragedy. One ought to be able to make a
heart-rending novel out of a woman such as she.' The idea then occurred to
him of writing the book which afterwards became _The Old Wives' Tale_, and
in order to go one better than Guy de Maupassant's 'Une Vie' he determined
to make it the life-history of two women instead of one. Constance, the
more ordinary sister, was the original heroine; Sophia, the more
independent and attractive one, was created 'out of bravado.' The project
occupied Bennett's mind for some years, during which he produced five or
six novels of smaller scope, but in the autumn of 1907 he began to write
_The Old Wives' Tale_ and finished it in July, 1908. It was published the
same autumn and though its immediate reception was not encouraging, before
the winter was over it was recognised both in England and America as a
work of genius. The novelist's reputation was upheld, if not increased, by
the publication of Clayhanger in 1910, and in June, 1911, the most
conservative of American critical authorities, the New York Evening Post,
could pronounce judgment in these terms:

"'Mr. Bennett's Bursley is not merely one single stupid English provincial
town. His Baineses and Clayhangers are not simply average middle class
provincials foredoomed to humdrum and the drab shadows of experience. His
Bursley is every provincial town, his Baineses are all townspeople
whatsoever under the sun. He professes nothing of the kind; but with quiet
smiling patience, with a multitude of impalpable touches, clothes his
scene and its humble figures in an atmosphere of pity and understanding.
These little people, he seems to say, are as important to themselves as
you are to yourself, or as I am to myself. Their strength and weakness are
ours; their lives, like ours, are rounded with a sleep. And because they
stand in their fashion for all human character and experience, there is
even a sort of beauty in them if you will but look for it.'"

BOOKS BY ARNOLD BENNETT

Novels:
  A MAN FROM THE NORTH
  THE GRAND BABYLON HOTEL
  THE GATES OF WRATH
  ANNA OF THE FIVE TOWNS
  LEONORA
  HUGO
  A GREAT MAN
  THE BOOK OF CARLOTTA
  WHOM GOD HATH JOINED
  THE OLD ADAM
  BURIED ALIVE
  THE OLD WIVES' TALE
  CLAYHANGER
  DENRY THE AUDACIOUS [In England, THE CARD]
  HILDA LESSWAYS
  THE MATADOR OF THE FIVE TOWNS
  HELEN WITH THE HIGH HAND
  THE GLIMPSE
  THE CITY OF PLEASURE
  THESE TWAIN
  THE LION'S SHARE
  THE PRETTY LADY
  THE ROLL CALL
  MR. PROHACK
  LILIAN

Plays:
  CUPID AND COMMONSENSE
  WHAT THE PUBLIC WANTS
  THE HONEYMOON
  MILESTONES [With Edward Knoblauch]
  THE GREAT ADVENTURE
  THE TITLE
  JUDITH
  SACRED AND PROFANE LOVE
  THE LOVE MATCH

SOURCES ON ARNOLD BENNETT

Who's Who [In England].

English Literature During the Last Half Century, by John W. Cunliffe.
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

Arnold Bennett. A booklet published by GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY, 1911.
(Out of print.)

The Truth About an Author, by Arnold Bennett. GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY.

The Author's Craft, by Arnold Bennett. GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY.

Some Modern Novelists, by Helen Thomas Follett and Wilson Follett.
HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY.

Arnold Bennett, by J. F. Harvey Darton, in the WRITERS OF THE DAY series.

The critical articles on Mr. Bennett and his individual books are too
numerous to mention. The reader is referred to the New York Public
Library or the Library of Congress, Washington, D. C., and to the Annual
Index of Periodical Publications for the last twenty years.



CHAPTER X

A CHAPTER FOR CHILDREN


=i=

I know of only one book which really aids parents and others who have to
oversee children's reading. That is Annie Carroll Moore's invaluable
_Roads to Childhood_. The author, as supervisor of work with children in
the New York Public Library, has had possibly a completer opportunity to
understand what children like to read and why they like it than any other
woman. What is more, she has the gift of writing readably about both
children and books, and an unusual faculty for reconciling those somewhat
opposite poles--things children like to read and the things it is well for
them to read.

Miss Moore says that the important thing is a discovery of personality in
children and a respect for their natural inclinations in reading--an early
and live appreciation of literature and good drawings is best imparted by
exposure rather than by insistence upon a too rigid selection. "What I
like about these papers," said one young mother, "is that they are good
talk. You can pick the book up and open it anywhere without following a
course of reading or instruction to understand it. There is full
recognition of the fact that children are different and react differently
to the same books at different periods of their development."

Maude Radford Warren's _Tales Told by the Gander_ is one of those books
for children that adults find interesting, too; and there is a new series
of children's books by May Byron, concerning which I must say a few words.
The series is called "Old Friends in New Frocks" and here are a few of the
titles:

_Billy Butt's Adventure: The Tale of the Wolf and the Goat._

_Little Jumping Joan: The Tale of the Ants and the Grasshopper._

_Jack-a-Dandy: The Tale of the Vain Jackdaw._

These books are noteworthy for their beautiful illustrations. Each volume
has an inspired and fanciful frontispiece in colours by E. J. Detmold and
line illustrations by Day Hodgetts. Moreover, there are end papers and the
binding has a picture in colour that begins on the back and extends all
the way around in front. Naturally they are for very young children--shall
we say up to seven years old?

=ii=

On April 29, 1922, the Philadelphia Public Ledger printed a letter from
twelve-year-old Marion Kummer, as follows:

"Dear Mr. Editor: My father asked me to write you a story about him and
they say at school that I am good at stories, so I thought I would. I
think he thinks I can write and become a great writer like him some day,
but I would rather be a great actress like Leonora Ulrick. I saw her in a
play where she went to sleep and they stuck pins in her but could not wake
her up, which part I should not like. But at that I would rather be an
actress because acting is pleasanter and more exciting and you do not have
to write on the typewriter all day and get a pain in your back. Daddy says
he would rather shovel coal but he does not, but snow sometimes, which has
been very plentiful about here this winter, also sledding.

"When he is not working, he goes for a walk with the dogs, or tells us
most any question we should ask almost like an encikelopedia. He is very
good-natured and I love the things he writes, especially plays. Daddy has
just finished a children's book called _The Earth's Story_ about how it
began millions of years ago when there was a great many fossils, so nice
for children. Also about stone axes. My brother Fred made one but when he
was showing us how it worked the head came off and hit me on the foot and
I kicked him. So stone axes were one of the man's first weapons. Daddy
read us each chapter when it was done and we helped him except baby
brother who wrote with red crayon all over one chapter when no one was
there, and he should not have been in Daddy's office anyway. Daddy has to
draw horses and engines for him all the time. He gets tired of it but what
can he do?"

Now this is very pleasant, for here on the table is the first volume of
_The Earth's Story--The First Days of Man_ by Frederic Arnold Kummer; and
this book for children has a preface for parents in it. In that preface
Mr. Kummer says:

"In this process of storing away in his brain the accumulated knowledge of
the ages the child's mind passes, with inconceivable rapidity, along the
same route that the composite minds of his ancestors travelled, during
their centuries of development. The impulse that causes him to want to
hunt, to fish, to build brush huts, to camp out in the woods, to use his
hands as well as his brain, is an inheritance from the past, when his
primitive ancestors did these things. He should be helped to trace the
route they followed with intelligence and understanding, he should be
encouraged to know the woods, and all the great world of out-of-doors, to
make and use the primitive weapons, utensils, toys, his ancestors made and
used, to come into closer contact with the fundamental laws of nature, and
thus to lay a groundwork for wholesome and practical thinking which cannot
be gained in the classroom or the city streets.

"As has been said, the writer has tested the methods outlined above. The
chapters in _The First Days of Man_ are merely the things he has told his
own children. It is of interest to note that one of these, a boy of seven,
on first going to school, easily outstripped in a single month a dozen or
more children who had been at school almost a year, and was able to enter
a grade a full year ahead of them. The child in question is not in the
least precocious, but having understood the knowledge he has gained, he is
able to make use of it, he has a definite mental perspective, a sure grasp
on things, which makes study of any kind easy for him, and progression
correspondingly rapid."

To say that _Jungle Tales, Adventures in India_, by Howard Anderson Musser
is a series of missionary tales of adventure in India, is to give no idea
of the thrills within its covers. There are fights with tigers, bears and
bandits, and there is one long fight against ignorance and disease,
superstition and merciless greed. And the fighter? He was an American
athlete, who had won honour on the track and football field. Great for
boys!

=iii=

The English _Who's Who_ says: "Colonel Stevenson Lyle Cummins"--then
follows a string of degrees--"David Davies Professor of Tuberculosis,
University College, South Wales, Monmouthshire, and Principal Medical
Officer to the King Edward VII. Welsh National Memorial Association
since 1921.... Entered Army 1897; Captain, 1900; Major, 1909;
Lieutenant-Colonel, 1915; Colonel, 1918; served Nile Expedition, 1898
(medal with clasp, despatches); Sudan 1900, 1902; Sudan, 1904 (Clasp);
Osmanieh 4th class, 1907; European War, 1914-18 (C.B., C.M.G.,
despatches six times, Brevetted Colonel); Legion of Honour (Officer),
Couronne de Belgique (Officer); Col. 1918; Croix de Guerre (Belgian),
1918, retired from Army, 1921."

But I don't suppose that it was as a consequence of anything in that
honourable record that Colonel Cummins wrote _Plays for Children_, in
three volumes. I suppose it was in consequence of another fact which the
English_ Who's Who_ mentions (very briefly and abbreviatedly) as "four
_c._"

The possession of four children is a natural explanation of three volumes
of juvenile plays.

But wait a moment! Did Colonel Cummins write them wholly for his
youngsters? As I read these little plays, it seems to me that there is
frequently an undercurrent of philosophy, truth, satire--what you
will--which, unappreciated by the youngsters themselves, will make these
household dramas ingratiating to their parents. At any rate, this is
exceptional work; you may be sure it is, for publishers are not in the
habit of bringing out an author's three volumes of children's plays all at
one stroke, and that is what is happening with Colonel Cummins's little
dramas.

What is there to say in advance about _The Fairy Flute_, by Rose Fyleman?
No one of the increasing number who have read her utterly charming book of
poems for children, _Fairies and Chimneys_, will need more than the breath
that this book is coming. I shall give myself (and I think everyone who
reads this) the pleasure of quoting a poem from _Fairies and Chimneys_.
This will show those who do not know the work of Rose Fyleman what to
expect:

                               PEACOCKS
                Peacocks sweep the fairies' rooms;
                They use their folded tails for brooms;
                But fairy dust is brighter far
                Than any mortal colours are;
                And all about their tails it clings
                In strange designs of rounds and rings;
                And that is why they strut about
                And proudly spread their feathers out.

=iv=

Francis Rolt-Wheeler has spent years at sea, travelled a great deal in the
West Indies, and South America, trapped at Hudson Bay, punched cattle in
the far West, lived in mining camps, traversed the greater part of the
American continent on horseback, lived with the Indians of the plains and
lived with the Indians of the Pueblos, was a journalist for several years,
has been in nearly every country of the world, and when last heard from
(May, 1922) was meandering through Spain on his way to Morocco intending
to take journeys on mule-back among the wild tribes of the Riff. He is
studying Arabic and Mohammedan customs to prepare himself for this latest
adventure. He writes boys' books.

Can he write boys' books? If a man of his experience cannot write boys'
books, then boys' books are hopeless.

_Plotting in Pirate Seas_, besides the thrill of the story relating Stuart
Garfield's adventures in Haiti, contains glimpses of the whole pageant we
call "the history of the Spanish Main." There is a chapter which gives an
account of Teach and Blackbeard, the buccaneers. Other chapters offer
natural history in connection with Stuart Garfield's hunt for his father.
The boy gets an inside view of newspaper work and a clear idea of native
life in Haiti and of conditions which brought about American intervention
on the island.

_Hunting Hidden Treasure in the Andes_ is, explicitly, the story of Julio
and his guidance of two North American boys to the buried treasure of the
Incas; but the book is much more than that. It gives, with accuracy and
exceptional interest, a panorama of South American civilisation.

These are the first two volumes of the "Boy Journalist Series." Two other
books, the first two volumes in the series called "Romance-History of
America," are:

_In the Days Before Columbus_, which deals with the North America that
every youngster wants to know about--a continent flung up from the ocean's
bed and sculptured by ice; a continent that was kept hidden for centuries
from European knowledge by the silent sweep of ocean currents; a continent
that developed civilisations comparable with the Phoenician and Egyptian;
the continent of the Red Man. The book places what we customarily call
"American History" in its proper perspective by hanging behind it the
stupendous backdrop of creation and the prehistoric time.

_The Quest of the Western World_ is not the usual story of Columbus,
preceded by a few allusions to the adventurings of earlier navigators. Dr.
Rolt-Wheeler has written a book which goes back to the days of Tyre and
Sidon, which includes the core of the old Norse and Irish sagas, and which
comes down to Columbus with all the rich tapestry of a daring past
unrolled before the youthful reader. Nor does the author stand on the
letter of his title; he tells the story of the Quest both backward and
forward, tying up the past with the present and avoiding, with singular
success, the fatal effect which makes a child feel: "All this was a long
time ago; it hasn't anything to do with me or today."

And now two new Rolt-Wheeler books are ready! _Heroes of the Ruins_, the
third volume of the "Boy Journalist Series," tells of a fourteen-year-old
who lived for four years of war in trenches and dugouts. Andre, the Mole,
went from one company to another, dodged the authorities and successfully
ran the risks of death, emerging at the end to take up the search for his
scattered family, from whom he had been separated in the early days of the
fighting.

The third volume in the "Romance-History of America" books is _The Coming
of the Peoples_, which tells how the French, Spanish, English and Dutch
settled early America.

=v=

Olive Roberts Barton is a sister of Mary Roberts Rinehart. When she taught
school in Pittsburgh for several years before her marriage, she worked
with children of all sizes and ages during part of that time and found
small children were her specialty. She says:

"Working with them, and giving out constantly as one must with small
children, was like casting bread upon waters. It came back to me, what I
was giving them, not after many days but at once; their appreciation,
their spontaneous sympathy, their love gave to me something I could get
nowhere else, and it was enriching. I felt then, as I still feel, that
children give us the best things the world has to offer, and my effort has
been to make some return. Twice during the crises in my married life I
went back to the schoolroom for comfort. Once after the death of one of my
own children, when I had no others left, and again when my husband went to
the battle-fields of France.

"I have written with the same experience as I taught. My first successes
were with adult fiction. I have had something like six hundred short
stories published by syndicates, and magazine articles have appeared from
time to time, but gradually I realised that I wanted children for my
audience. Several years ago I published _Cloud Boat Stories_. Later _The
Wonderful Land of Up_. A syndicate editor saw these books and asked me to
start a children's department for the five hundred papers he served. That
was the beginning of the 'Twins.' Nancy and Nick were born two years ago.
They still visit their little friends every day in the columns of many
newspapers. What a vast audience I have! A million children! No wonder one
wishes to do his best.

"I have two children of my own. They are my critics. What they do not
like, I do not write. We all love the out-of-doors and to us a bird or a
little wild animal is a fairy."

But when I try to say something about the _Nancy and Nick_ series I find
it has all been said for me (and said so much better!) by that
accomplished bookseller, Candace T. Stevenson:

"I have just finished all of the books by Olive Roberts Barton. They are
truly spontaneous and delightful. In fact, they have carried my small
group of children listeners and myself along as breathlessly as if they
were Alice in Wonderland or Davy and the Goblin. They are delightful
nonsense with exactly the right degree of an undercurrent of ideas which
they can make use of in their business of everyday living. Children love
morals which are done as skilfully as the chapter on Examinations in
Helter Skelter Land, and Sammy Jones, the Topsy Turvy Boy in Topsy Turvy
Land, and I found my group not only seriously discussing them but putting
them into practice. Speaking of putting things into practice, there is
only one spot in all of the books which seemed to me as if it might get
some children into trouble. The description of Waspy Weasel's trick on the
schoolmaster in Helter Skelter Land where he squeezes bittersweet juice
into the schoolmaster's milk and puts him to sleep, I think would lead any
inquiring mind to try it.

"The whale who loved peppermints, Torty Turtle with his seagull's wings
on, the adventures of the children when they help Mr. Tingaling collect
the rents--this isn't the same old stuff of the endless 'bedtime' stories
which are dealt out to us by the yard. These animals are real people with
the tinge which takes real imagination to paint.

"At first I was disappointed in the pictures, but as I read on I came
to like those also, and I found that they were wholly satisfactory to the
children. The picture of the thousand legger with all his shoes on is
entrancing, and poor Mrs. Frog cutting out clothes because the
dressmaker had made them for the children when they were still
tadpoles. These books ought to come like an oasis in the desert to the
poor-jaded-reading-aloud-parent."

=vi=

At Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania, in a small house built from her own plans
and standing 2,000 feet above sea level, in a growing shade of trees,
lives Marion Ames Taggart, author of the Jack-in-the-Box series--four
children's books that renew their popularity every year. They are:

                         AT GREENACRES
                         THE QUEER LITTLE MAN
                         THE BOTTLE IMP
                         POPPY'S PLUCK

_At Greenacres_ and _The Queer Little Man_ are particularly good to read
aloud to a group of children; they really are the mystery and detective
story diluted for children.

Miss Taggart, an only child and extremely frail in childhood, had the good
fortune as a consequence of ill-health to be educated entirely at home. As
a result she had free access to really good books--for the home was in
Haverhill, Mass. She began to carry out a cherished wish to write for
young girls in 1901, when her first book (for girls of about sixteen) was
published in St. Nicholas. She has a habit of transplanting four-footed
friends in her stories under their own names--as where, in the
Jack-in-the-Box series, one finds Pincushion, Miss Taggart's own plump
grey kitten.

What will the children say to _A Wonder Book_, by Nathaniel Hawthorne,
with pictures in color by Arthur Rackham? I do not know why I ask this
rhetorical question, which, like most questions of the sort, should be
followed by exclamation points! There will be exclamations, at any rate,
over this book, surely the most beautiful of the year, perhaps of several
years. The quality of Arthur Rackham's work is well known, its artistic
value is undisputedly of the very highest. And Hawthorne's text--the story
of the Gorgon's head, the tale of Midas, Tanglewood, and the rest--is of
the finest literary, poetic and imaginative worth.



CHAPTER XI

COBB'S FOURTH DIMENSION


=i=

As a three-dimensional writer, Irvin S. Cobb has long been among the
American literary heavy-weights. Now that he has acquired a fourth
dimension, the time has come for a new measurement of his excellences as
an author.

Among those excellences I know a man (responsible for the manufacture of
Doran books) who holds that Cobb is the greatest living American author.
The reason for this is severely logical, to wit: Irvin Cobb always sends
in his copy in a perfect condition. His copy goes to the manufacturer of
books with a correctly written title page, a correctly written copyright
page, the exact wording of the dedication, an accurate table of contents,
and so on, all the way through the manuscript. Moreover, when proofs are
sent to Mr. Cobb, he makes very few changes. He reduces to a minimum the
difficulties of a printer and his changes are always perceptibly changes
for the better.

But I don't suppose that any of this would redound to Cobb's credit in the
eyes of a literary critic.

[Illustration: IRVIN S. COBB]

And to return to the subject of the fourth dimension: My difficulty is to
know in just what direction that fourth dimension lies. Is the fourth
dimension of Cobb as a novelist or as an autobiographer? It puzzles me to
tell inasmuch as I have before me the manuscripts of Mr. Cobb's first
novel, _J. Poindexter, Colored_, and his very first autobiography, a
volume called _Stickfuls_.

The title of _Stickfuls_ will probably not be charged with meaning to
people unfamiliar with newspaper work. Perhaps it is worth while to
explain that in the old days, when type was set by hand, the printer had a
little metal holder called a "stick." When he had set a dozen lines--more
or less--he had a "stickful." Although very little type is now set by
hand, the stick as a measure of space is still in good standing. The
reporter presents himself at the city desk, tells what he has got, and is
told by the city editor, "Write a stickful." Or, "Write two sticks." And
so on.

_Stickfuls_ is not so much the story of Cobb's life as the story of people
he has met and places he has been, told in a series of extremely
interesting chapters--told in a leisurely and delightful fashion of
reminiscence by a natural association of one incident with another and one
person with someone else. For example, Cobb as a newspaper man, covered a
great many trials in court; and one of the chapters of _Stickfuls_ tells
of famous trials he has attended.

=ii=

Now about this novel of Cobb's: Jeff Poindexter will be remembered by all
the readers of Mr. Cobb's short stories as the negro body servant of old
Judge Priest. In _J. Poindexter, Colored_, we have Jeff coming to New
York. Of course, New York seen through the eyes of a genuine Southern
darkey is a New York most of us have never seen. There's nothing like
sampling, so I will let you begin the book:

"My name is J. Poindexter. But the full name is Jefferson Exodus
Poindexter, Colored. But most always in general I has been known as Jeff
for short. The Jefferson part is for a white family which my folks worked
for them one time before I was born, and the Exodus is because my mammy
craved I should be named after somebody out of the Bible. How I comes to
write this is this way:

"It seems like my experiences here in New York is liable to be such that
one of my white gentleman friends he says to me I should take pen in hand
and write them out just the way they happen and at the time they is
happening, or right soon afterwards, whilst the memory of them is clear in
my brain; and then he's see if he can't get them printed somewheres, which
on the top of the other things which I now is, will make me an author with
money coming in steady. He says to me he will fix up the spelling wherever
needed and attend to the punctuating; but all the rest of it will be my
own just like I puts it down. I reads and writes very well but someway I
never learned to puncture. So the places where it is necessary to be
punctual in order to make good sense and keep everything regulation and
make the talk sound natural is his doings and also some of the spelling.
But everything else is mine and I asks credit.

"My coming to New York, in the first place, is sort of a sudden thing
which starts here about a month before the present time. I has been
working for Judge Priest for going on sixteen years and is expecting to go
on working for him as long as we can get along together all right, which
it seems like from appearances that ought to be always. But after he gives
up being circuit judge on account of him getting along so in age he gets
sort of fretful by reasons of him not having much to do any more and most
of his own friends having died off on him. When the State begins going
Republican about once in so often, he says to me, kind of half joking,
he's a great mind to pull up stakes and move off and go live somewheres
else. But pretty soon after that the whole country goes dry and then he
says to me there just naturally ain't no fitten place left for him to go
without he leaves the United States."

It seems that Judge Priest finally succumbed to an invitation to visit
Bermuda, a place where a gentleman can still raise a thirst and satisfy
it. Jeff could not stand the house without the Judge in it; and when an
opportunity came to go to New York, Jeff went.

=iii=

The biographer of Cobb is Robert H. Davis, editor of Munsey's Magazine,
whose authoritative account I take pleasure in reprinting here--the more
so because it appeared some time ago in a booklet which is now out of
print. Mr. Davis's article was first printed in The Sun, New York:

"Let me deal with this individual in a categorical way. Most biographers
prefer to mutilate their canvas with a small daub which purports to be a
sketch of the most significant event in the life of the accused. Around
this it is their custom to paint smaller and less impressive scenes,
blending the whole by placing it in a large gilded frame, which, for
obvious reasons, costs more than the picture--and it is worth more. Pardon
me, therefore, if I creep upon Mr. Cobb from the lower left-hand corner of
the canvas and chase him across the open space as rapidly as possible. It
is not for me to indicate when the big events in his life will occur or to
lay the milestones of the route along which he will travel. I know only
that they are in the future, and that, regardless of any of his
achievements in the past, Irvin Cobb has not yet come into his own.

"The first glimpse I had of him was in a half-tone portrait in the New
York Evening World five years ago. This picture hung pendant-like from a
title which read 'Through Funny Glasses, by Irvin S. Cobb.' It was the
face of a man scarred with uncertainty; an even money proposition that he
had either just emerged from the Commune or was about to enter it. Grief
was written on the brow; more than written, it was emblazoned. The eyes
were heavy with inexpressible sadness. The corners of the mouth were
drooped, heightening the whole effect of incomprehensible depression.
Quickly I turned to the next page among the stock quotations, where I got
my depression in a blanket form. The concentrated Cobb kind was too much
for me.

"A few days later I came suddenly upon the face again. The very
incongruity of its alliance with laughter overwhelmed me, and wonderingly
I read what he had written, not once, but every day, always with the
handicap of that half-tone. If Cobb were an older man, I would go on the
witness stand and swear that the photograph was made when he was
witnessing the Custer Massacre or the passing of Geronimo through the
winter quarters of his enemies. Notwithstanding, he supplied my week's
laughter.

"Digression this:

"After Bret Harte died, many stories were written by San Franciscans who
knew him when he first put in an appearance on the Pacific Coast. One
contemporary described minutely how Bret would come silently up the stairs
of the old Alta office, glide down the dingy hallway through the exchange
room, and seat himself at the now historic desk. It took Bret fifteen
minutes to sharpen a lead pencil, one hour for sober reflection, and three
hours to write a one-stick paragraph, after which he would carefully tear
it up, gaze out of the window down the Golden Gate, and go home.

"He repeated this formula the following day, and at the end of the week
succeeded in turning out three or four sticks which he considered fit to
print. In later years, after fame had sought him out and presented him
with a fur-lined overcoat, which I am bound to say Bret knew how to wear,
the files of the Alta were ransacked for the pearls he had dropped in his
youth. A few gems were identified, a very few. Beside this entire printed
collection the New England Primer would have looked like a set of
encyclopedias. Bret worked slowly, methodically, brilliantly, and is an
imperishable figure in American letters.

"Returning to Cobb: He has already written twenty times more than Bret
Harte turned out during his entire career. He has made more people laugh
and written better short stories. He has all of Harte's subtle and
delicate feeling, and will, if he is spared, write better novels about the
people of today than Bret Harte, with all his genius and imagination,
wrote around the Pioneers. I know of no single instance where one man has
shown such fecundity and quality as Irvin Cobb has so far evinced, and it
is my opinion that his complete works at fifty will contain more good
humour, more good short stories, and at least one bigger novel than the
works of any other single contemporaneous figure.

"He was born in Paducah, Kentucky, in June, '76. I have taken occasion to
look into the matter and find that his existence was peculiarly varied. He
belonged to one of those old Southern families-there being no new Southern
families--and passed through the public schools sans incident. At the age
of sixteen he went into the office of The Paducah Daily News as a
reportorial cub.

"He was first drawn to daily journalism because he yearned to be an
illustrator. Indeed, he went so far as to write local humorous stories,
illustrating them himself. The pictures must have been pretty bad,
although they served to keep people from saying that his literature was
the worst thing in the paper.

"Resisting all efforts of the editor, the stockholders and the subscribers
of The Paducah Daily News, he remained barricaded behind his desk until
his nineteenth year, when he was crowned with a two-dollar raise and a
secondary caption under his picture which read 'The Youngest Managing
Editor of a Daily Paper in the United States.'

"If Cobb was consulted in the matter of this review, he would like to have
these preliminaries expunged from his biography. But the public is
entitled to the details.

"It is also true that he stacked up more libel suits than a newspaper of
limited capital with a staff of local attorneys could handle before he
moved to Louisville, where, for three years, he was staff correspondent of
The Evening Post. It was here that Cobb discovered how far a humorist
could go without being invited to step out at 6 a.m. and rehearse 'The
Rivals' with real horse-pistols.

"The first sobering episode in his life occurred when the Goebel murder
echoed out of Louisville. He reported this historic assassination and
covered the subsequent trials in the Georgetown court house. Doubtless the
seeds of tragedy, which mark some of his present work, were sown here.
Those who are familiar with his writings know that occasionally he sets
his cap and bells aside and dips his pen into the very darkness of life.
We find it particularly in three of his short stories entitled 'An
Occurrence Up a Side Street,' 'The Belled Buzzard,' and 'Fishhead.'
Nothing better can be found in Edgar Allan Poe's collected works. One is
impressed not only with the beauty and simplicity of his prose, but with
the tremendous power of his tragic conceptions and his art in dealing with
terror. There appears to be no phase of human emotion beyond his pen.
Without an effort he rises from the level of actualities to the high plane
of boundless imagination, invoking laughter or tears at will.

"After his Louisville experience Cobb married and returned to Paducah to
be managing editor of The Democrat. Either Paducah or The Democrat got on
his nerves and, after a comparison of the Paducah school of journalism
with the metropolitan brand, he turned his face (see Evening World
half-tone) in the direction of New York, buoyed up by the illusion that he
was needed there along with other reforms.

"He arrived at the gates of Manhattan full of hope, and visited every
newspaper office in New York without receiving encouragement to call
again. Being resourceful he retired to his suite of hall bedrooms on 57th
Street West and wrote a personal note to every city editor in New York,
setting forth in each instance the magnificent intellectual proportions of
the epistolographer. The next morning, by mail, Cobb had offers for a job
from five of them. He selected The Evening Sun.

"At about that time the Portsmouth Peace Conference convened, and The Sun
sent the Paducah party to help cover the proceedings. Upon arriving at
Portsmouth, Cobb cast his experienced eye over the situation, discovered
that the story was already well covered by a large coterie of competent,
serious-minded young men, and went into action to write a few columns
daily on subjects having no bearing whatsoever on the conference. These
stories were written in the ebullition of youth, inspired by the ecstasy
which rises from the possession of a steady job; a perfect deluge from the
well springs of spontaneity. There wasn't a single fact in the entire
series, and yet The Sun syndicated these stories throughout the United
States. All they possessed was I-N-D-I-V-I-D-U-A-L-I-T-Y.

"At the end of three weeks, Cobb returned to New York, to find that he
could have a job on any newspaper in it. This brings him to The Evening
World, the half-tone engraving, which was the first glimpse I had of him,
and the dawn of his subsequent triumphs. For four years he supplied the
evening edition and The Sunday World with a comic feature, to say nothing
of a comic opera, written to order in five days. The absence of a
guillotine in New York State accounts for his escape for this latter
offence. Nevertheless, in all else his standard of excellence ascended. He
reported the Thaw trial in long-hand, writing nearly 600,000 words of
testimony and observation, establishing a new style for reporting trials,
and gave further evidence of his power. That performance will stand out in
the annals of American journalism as one of the really big reportorial
achievements.

"At about this juncture in his career Cobb opened a door to the past,
reached in and took out some of the recollections of his youth. These he
converted into 'The Escape of Mr. Trimm,' his first short fiction story.
It appeared in The Saturday Evening Post. The court scene was so
absolutely true to life, so minutely perfect in its atmosphere, that a
Supreme Court judge signed an unsolicited and voluntary note for
publication, in which he said that Mr. Cobb had reported with marvelous
accuracy and fulness a murder trial at which His Honour had presided.

"Gelett Burgess, in a lecture at Columbia College, said that Cobb was one
of the ten great American humourists. Cobb ought to demand a recount.
There are not ten humourists in the world, although Cobb is one of them.
The extraordinary thing about Cobb is that he can turn a burst of laughter
into a funeral oration, a snicker into a shudder and a smile into a crime.
He writes in octaves, striking instinctively all the chords of humour,
tragedy, pathos and romance with either hand. Observe this man in his
thirty-ninth year, possessing gifts the limitations of which even he
himself has not yet recognised.

"In appraising a genius, we must consider the man's highest achievement,
and in comparing him with others the verdict must be reached only upon
consideration of his best work. For scintillant wit and unflagging good
humour, read his essays on the Teeth, the Hair and the Stomach. If you
desire a perfect blending of all that is essential to a short story, read
'The Escape of Mr. Trimm' or 'Words and Music.' If you are in search of
pure, unadulterated, boundless terror, the gruesome quality, the blackness
of despair and the fear of death in the human conscience, 'Fishhead,' 'The
Belled Buzzard' or 'An Occurrence Up a Side Street' will enthrall you.

"Thus in Irvin Cobb we find Mark Twain, Bret Harte and Edgar Allan Poe at
their best. Reckon with these potentialities in the future. Speculate, if
you will, upon the sort of a novel that is bound, some day, to come from
his pen. There seem to be no pinnacles along the horizon of the literary
future that are beyond him. If he uses his pen for an Alpine stock, the
Matterhorn is his.

"There are critics and reviewers who do not entirely agree with me
concerning Cobb. But they will.

"As I write these lines I recall a conversation I had with Irvin Cobb on
the hurricane deck of a Fifth Avenue 'bus one bleak November afternoon,
1911. We had met at the funeral of Joseph Pulitzer, in whose employ we had
served in the past.

"Cobb was in a reflective mood, chilled to the marrow, and not
particularly communicative.

"At the junction of Fifth Avenue and Forty-second Street we were held up
by congested traffic. After a little manoeuvring on the part of a mounted
policeman, the Fifth Avenue tide flowed through and onward again.

"'It reminds me of a river,' said Cobb, 'into which all humanity is drawn.
Some of these people think because they are walking up-stream they are
getting out of it. But they never escape. The current is at work on them.
Some day they will get tired and go down again, and finally pass out to
sea. It is the same with real rivers. They do not flow uphill.'

"He lapsed into silence.

"'What's on your mind?' I inquired.

"'Nothing in particular,' he said, scanning the banks of the great
municipal stream, 'except that I intend to write a novel some day about a
boy born at the headwaters. Gradually he floats down through the
tributaries, across the valleys, swings into the main stream, and docks
finally at one of the cities on its banks. This particular youth was a
great success--in the beginning. Every door was open to him. He had
position, brains, and popularity to boot. He married brilliantly. And then
The Past, a trivial, unimportant Detail, lifted its head and barked at
him. He was too sensitive to bark back. Thereupon it bit him and he
collapsed.'

"Again Cobb ceased talking. For some reason--indefinable--I respected his
silence. Two blocks further down he took up the thread of his story
again:

"'--and one evening, just about sundown, a river hand, sitting on a
stringpiece of a dock, saw a derby hat bobbing in the muddy Mississippi,
floating unsteadily but surely into the Gulf of Mexico.'

"As is his habit, Cobb tugged at his lower lip.

"'What are you going to call this novel?'

"'I don't know. What do you think?'

"'Why not "The River"?'

"'Very well, I'll call it "The River."'

"He scrambled from his seat. 'I'm docking at Twenty-seventh Street.
Good-bye. Keep your hat out of the water.'

"Laboriously he made his way down the winding staircase from the upper
deck, dropped flat-footed on the asphalt pavement, turned his collar up,
leaned into the gust of wind from the South, and swung into the
cross-current of another stream.

"I doubt if he has any intention of calling his story 'The River.' But I
am sure the last chapter will contain something about an unhappy wretch
who wore a derby hat at the moment he walked hand in hand with his
miserable Past into the Father of Waters.

"For those who wish to know something of his personal side, I can do no
better than to record his remarks to a stranger, who, in my presence,
asked Irvin Cobb, without knowing to whom he was speaking, what kind of a
person Cobb was.

"'Well, to be perfectly frank with you,' replied the Paducah prodigy,
'Cobb is related to my wife by marriage, and if you don't object to a
brief sketch, with all the technicalities eliminated, I should say in
appearance he is rather bulky, standing six feet high, not especially
beautiful, a light roan in colour, with a black mane. His figure is
undecided, but might be called bunchy in places. He belongs to several
clubs, including The Yonkers Pressing Club and The Park Hill Democratic
Marching Club, and has always, like his father, who was a Confederate
soldier, voted the Democratic ticket. He has had one wife and one child
and still has them. In religion he is an Innocent Bystander.'

"Could anything be fuller than this?"

=iv=

It was Mr. Davis, also, who in the New York Herald of April 23, 1922, made
public the evidence for the following box score:

                              1st         2nd

Best Writer of Humour         Cobb        ----
Best All-Round Reporter       Cobb        ----
Best Local Colourist          Cobb        ----
Best in Tales of Horror       Cobb        ----
Best Writer of Negro Stories  ----        Cobb
Best Writer of Light          Tarkington  Cobb and
  Humorous Fiction                        Harry Leon Wilson
Best Teller of Anecdotes      Cobb        Cobb

"Not long ago a group of ten literary men--editors, critics, readers and
writers--were dining together. Discussion arose as to the respective and
comparative merits of contemporaneous popular writers. It was decided that
each man present should set down upon a slip of paper his first, second
and third choices in various specified but widely diversified fields of
literary endeavour, and that then the results should be compared. Admirers
of Cobb's work will derive a peculiar satisfaction from the outcome. It
was found that as a writer of humour he had won first place; that as an
all round reporter he had first place; that as a handler of local colour
in the qualified sense of a power of apt, swiftly-done, journalistic
description, he had first place. He also had first place as a writer of
horror yarns. He won second place as a writer of darkey stories. He tied
with Harry Leon Wilson for second place as a writer of light humorous
fiction, Tarkington being given first place in this category. As a teller
of anecdotes he won by acclamation over all contenders. Altogether his
name appeared on eight of the ten lists."

Cobb lives at Ossining, New York. He describes himself as lazy, but
convinces no one. He likes to go fishing. But he has never written any
fish stories.

BOOKS BY IRVIN S. COBB

BACK HOME
COBB'S ANATOMY
THE ESCAPE OF MR. TRIMM
COBB'S BILL OF FARE
ROUGHING IT DE LUXE
EUROPE REVISED
PATHS OF GLORY
OLD JUDGE PRIEST
FIBBLE, D.D.
SPEAKING OF OPERATIONS
LOCAL COLOR
SPEAKING OF PRUSSIANS
THOSE TIMES AND THESE
THE GLORY OF THE COMING
THE THUNDERS OF SILENCE
THE LIFE OF THE PARTY
FROM PLACE TO PLACE
"OH, WELL, YOU KNOW HOW WOMEN ARE!"
THE ABANDONED FARMERS
SUNDRY ACCOUNTS
A PLEA FOR OLD CAP COLLIER
ONE THIRD OFF
EATING IN TWO OR THREE LANGUAGES
J. POINDEXTER, COLORED
STICKFULS

Plays:
FUNABASHI
BUSYBODY
BACK HOME
SERGEANT BAGBY
GUILTY AS CHARGED
UNDER SENTENCE


SOURCES ON IRVIN S. COBB

Who's Who in America.

Who's Cobb and Why? Booklet published by GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY.
(Out of print).

Article by Robert H. Davis in the book section of THE NEW YORK HERALD
for April 23, 1922.

Robert H. Davis, 280 Broadway, New York.



CHAPTER XII

PLACES TO GO


=i=

The book by Thomas Burke called _More Limehouse Nights_ was published in
England under the title of _Whispering Windows_. At the time of its
publication, Mr. Burke wrote the following:

"The most disconcerting question that an author can be asked, and often is
asked, is: 'Why did you write that book?' The questioners do not want an
answer to that immediate question; but to the implied question: 'Why don't
you write some other kind of book?' To either question there is but one
answer: BECAUSE.

"Every writer is thus challenged. The writer of comic stories is asked why
he doesn't write something really serious. The novelist is asked why he
doesn't write short stories, and the short-story writer is asked why he
doesn't write a novel. To me people say, impatiently: 'Why don't you write
happy stories about ordinary people?' And the only answer I can give them
is: 'Because I can't. I present life as I see it.'

"I am an ordinary man, but I don't understand ordinary men. I am at a loss
with them. But with the people of whom I write I have a fellow-feeling. I
know them and their sorrows and their thwarted strivings and I understand
their aberrations. I cannot see the romance of the merchant or the glamour
of the duke's daughter. They do not permit themselves to be seized and
driven by passion and imagination. Instead they are driven by fear, which
they have misnamed Commonsense. These people thwart themselves, while my
people are thwarted by malign circumstance.

"Often I have taken other men to the dire districts about which I write,
and they have remained unmoved; they have seen, in their phrase, nothing
to get excited about. Well, one cannot help that kind of person. One
cannot give understanding to the man who regards the flogging of children
as a joke, or to whom a broken love-story is, in low life, a theme for
smoking-room anecdotes.

"Wherever there are human creatures there are beauty and courage and
sacrifice. The stories in _Whispering Windows_ deal with human creatures,
thieves, drunkards, prostitutes, each of whom is striving for happiness in
his or her way, and missing it, as most of us do. Each has hidden away
some fine streak of character, some mark below which he will not go.
And--they are alive. They have met life in its ugliest phases, and fought
it.

"My answer, then, to the charge of writing 'loathsome' stories, is that
these things happen. To those who say that cruelty and degradation are not
fit subjects for fiction, I say that all twists and phases of the human
heart are fit subjects for fiction.

"The entertainment of hundreds of thousands with 'healthy' literature is a
great and worthy office; but the author can only give out what is in him.
If I write of wretched and strange things, it is because these move me
most. Happiness needs no understanding; but these darker things--they are
kept too much from sensitive eyes and polite ears; and so are too harshly
judged upon the world's report. I am no reformer; I have never 'studied'
people; and I have no 'purpose,' unless it be illumination.

"What we all need today is illumination; for only through full knowledge
can we come to truth--and understanding."

=ii=

Burke's new book, _The London Spy_, is described by the author as "a book
of town travels." Some of the subjects are London street characters, cab
shelters, coffee stalls and street entertainers. The range is very wide,
for there is a chapter called "In the Streets of Rich Men," which deals
with Pall Mall and Piccadilly, as well as a study of a waterside colony,
including the results of a first pipe of opium ("In the Streets of
Cyprus"). Mr. Burke tells a good deal about the film world of Soho and is
able to give an intimate sketch of Chaplin. Perhaps the most charming of
the titles in the book is the chapter called "In the Street of Beautiful
Children." This is a study of a street in Stepney, with observations on
orphanages and reformatories and "their oppressions of the children of the
poor."

Thomas Burke was born in London and seldom lives away from it. He started
writing when employed in a mercantile office, and sold his first story
when sixteen. He sincerely hopes nobody will ever discover and reprint
that story. His early struggles have been recounted in his _Nights in
London_. He married Winifred Wells, a young London poet, author of _The
Three Crowns_. He lives at Highgate, on the Northern Heights of London. He
hates literary society and social functions generally. His chief
recreation is wandering about London.

=iii=

There is very little use in doing a book about China nowadays unless you
can do an unusual book about China; and that, precisely, is what E. G.
Kemp has done. _Chinese Mettle_ is an unusual book, even to the shape of
it (it is nearly square though not taller than the ordinary book). The
author has written enough books on China to cover all the usual ground
and, as Sao-Ke Alfred Sze of the Chinese Legation at Washington says in
his foreword, Miss Kemp "has wisely neglected the 'show-window' by putting
seaports at the end. By acquainting the public with the wealth and beauty
of the interior, she reveals to readers the vitality and potential energy,
both natural and cultural, of a great nation." Three provinces are
particularly described--Yünnan, Kweichow, Hunan--and there are good
chapters on the new Chinese woman and the youth of China. This book has,
in addition to unusual illustrations, what every good book of its sort
should have, an index.

In view of the title of this chapter I have hesitated over mentioning here
Albert C. White's _The Irish Free State_. Whether Ireland now should be
numbered among the places to go or not is possibly a matter of heredity
and sympathies; but at any rate, Ireland is unquestionably a place to read
about. Shall we agree that the Irish Free State is one of the best places
in the world to go in a book? Then Mr. White's book will furnish
up-to-the-minute transportation thither.

The book is written throughout from the standpoint of a vigorous and
independent mind. It will annoy extreme partisans of all shades of
opinion, and will provoke much discussion. This is especially true of the
concluding chapter, in which the author discusses "Some Factors in the
Future." The value of the book is enhanced by the inclusion of the
essential documents of the Home Rule struggle, including the four Home
Rule Bills of 1886, 1893, 1914 and 1920, and the terms of the Treaty
concluded with Sinn Fein.

Whether Russia is a place to go is another of those debatable questions
and I feel that the same conclusion holds good. A book is the wisest
passport to Russia at present. _Marooned in Moscow_, by Marguerite E.
Harrison, is not a new book--in the sense of having been published last
week. It remains about the best single book published on Russia under the
Soviet government; and I say this with the full recollection that H. G.
Wells also wrote a book about Soviet Russia after a visit of fifteen days.
Mrs. Harrison spent eighteen months and was part of the time in prison.
She is an exceptionally good reporter without prejudices for or against
any theory of government--with an eye only for the facts and a word only
for an observed fact.

It is good news that _The Secret of the Sahara: Kufara_, by Rosita Forbes,
is to be published in a new edition. This Englishwoman, with no assistance
but that of native guides, penetrated to Kufara, which lies hidden in the
heart of the Libyan desert, a section of the Sahara. This is the region of
a fanatical sect of Mohammedans known as the Senussi. No other white woman
has ever been known to enter the sacred city of Paj, a gloomy citadel hewn
out of rock on the edge of a beautiful valley. _The Secret of the_
_Sahara_ is illustrated with pictures taken by the author, many times
under pain of death if she were detected using a camera.

=iv=

C. E. Andrews is a college professor who saw war service in France and
relief administration work in the Balkans. His gifts as a delightful
writer will be apparent now that his book of travels, _Old Morocco and the
Forbidden Atlas_, is out. This book, unlike the conventional travel book,
has the qualities of a good story. There is colour and adventure. There
are humorous episodes and there are pictures that seem to be mirrored in
the clear lake of a lovely prose. The journey described is through a
region of Morocco little traversed by white men and over paths of the
Atlas Mountains frequented chiefly by wild tribes and banditti.

Of all places to go, old New York remains, for many, the most appealing.
Does it sound queer to recommend for those readers _A Century of Banking
in New York: 1822-1922_, by Henry Wysham Lanier? Mr. Lanier is a son of
Sidney Lanier, the poet, and those who believe that a chronicle of banking
must necessarily be full of dry statistics are invited to read the opening
chapter of this book; for Mr. Lanier begins his tale with the yellow fever
epidemic of 1822, when all the banks of New York, to say nothing of the
thousands of people, fled "from the city to the country"--that is, from
lowermost Broadway to the healthful village of Greenwich. This quality of
human rather than statistical interest is paramount throughout the book.

I go back almost four years to call attention again to Frederic A.
Fenger's _Alone in the Caribbean_, a book with maps and illustrations from
unusual photographs, the narrative of a cruise in a sailing canoe among
the Caribbean Islands.... It is just a good book.

=v=

_Robin Hood's Barn_, by Margaret Emerson Bailey, should be classified, I
suppose, as a volume of essays. It seems to me admirably suited for this
chapter, since it is all about a pleasant house inhabited by pleasant
people--and surely that is a place where everyone wants to go. Margaret
Emerson Bailey is describing, I think, an actual house and actual people;
not so much their lives as what they make out of life in the collectivism
that family life enforces. At least, I seem to get from her book a unity
of meaning, the lack of which in our lives, as we live them daily, makes
for helplessness and sometimes for despair.

With even more doubt as to the exact "classification," I proceed to speak
here and now of L. P. Jacks's book, _The Legends of Smokeover_. Mr. Jacks
is well known as the editor of the Hibbert Journal and a writer of
distinction upon philosophical subjects. I should say his specialty is an
ability to relate philosophical abstractions to practical, everyday
existence. Those familiar with his essays in the Atlantic Monthly will
know what I mean. And is the Smokeover of his new book, then, a place to
go? It is, if you wish to see our modern age and industrial civilisation
expressed in such terms--almost in the terms of fiction--as make its
appraisal relatively easy.

I suppose this book might make Mr. Jacks memorable as a satirist. It
brings philosophy down from the air, like a peaceful thunderbolt, to
shatter the vain illusions we entertain of our material success and our
civilised strides forward. The fact that when you have begun to read the
book you may experience some difficulty in knowing how to take it is in
the book's favour. And why should you complain so long as from the outset
you are continuously entertained and amused? You can scarcely complain ...
even though at the end, you find you have been instructed. In a world
thickly spotted with Smokeovers, Mr. Jacks's book is a book worth having,
worth reading, worth reading again.



CHAPTER XIII

ALIAS RICHARD DEHAN


=i=

At that, I think I am wrong. I think the title of this chapter ought to be
"Alias Clotilde Graves."

The problems of literary personality are strange. Some time after the Boer
War a woman who had been in newspaper work in London and who had even, at
one time, been on the stage under the necessity of earning her living,
wrote a novel. The novel happened to be an intensive study of the Boer
War, made possible by the fact that the writer was the daughter of a
soldier and had spent her early years in barracks. England at that time
was interested by the subject of this novel. It sold largely and its
author was established by the book.

She was forty-six years old in the year when the book was published. But
this was not the striking thing. William De Morgan produced the first of
his impressive novels at a much more advanced age. The significant thing
was that in publishing her novel, _The Dop Doctor_ (American title: _One_
_Braver Thing_), Clotilde Graves chose the pen name of Richard Dehan,
although she was already known as a writer (chiefly for the theatre) under
her own name.

I do not know that Miss Graves has ever said anything publicly about her
motive in electing the name of Richard Dehan. But I feel that whatever the
cause the result was the distinct emergence of a totally different
personality. There is no final disassociation between Clotilde Graves and
Richard Dehan. Richard Dehan, novelist, steadily employs the material
furnished in valuable abundance by Clotilde Graves's life. At the same
time the personality of Richard Dehan is so unusual, so gifted, so lavish
in its invention and so much at home in surprising backgrounds, that
something approaching a psychic explanation of authorship seems called
for.

=ii=

Clotilde Inez Mary Graves was born at Barracks, Buttevant, County Cork,
Ireland, on June 3, 1864, third daughter of the late Major W. H. Graves of
the Eighteenth Royal Irish Regiment and Antoinette, daughter of Captain
George Anthony Deane of Harwich. Thus, the English _Who's Who_.

"She numbers among her ancestors admirals and deans," said The Bookman in
1912.

As the same magazine at about the same time spoke of her as descended from
Charles II.'s naval architect, Admiral Sir Anthony Deane, one wonders if
Sir Anthony were not the sum of the admirals and the total of the deans.
But no; at any rate in so far as the admirals are concerned, for Miss
Graves is also said to be distantly related to Admiral Nelson.

I will give you what The Bookman said in the "Chronicle and Comment"
columns of its number for February, 1913:

"Richard Dehan was nine years old when her family emigrated to England
from their Irish home. She had seen a good deal of barrack life, and at
Southsea, where they went to live, she acquired a large knowledge of both
services in the circle of naval and military friends they made there, and
this knowledge years afterward she turned to account in _Between Two
Thieves_. In 1884, Miss Graves became an art student and worked at the
British Museum galleries and the Royal Female School of Art, helping to
support herself by journalism of a lesser kind, among other things drawing
little pen-and-ink grotesques for the comic papers. By and by she resolved
to take to dramatic writing and being too poor, she says, to manage in any
other way, she abandoned art and took an engagement in a travelling
theatrical company. In 1888 her first chance as a dramatist came. She was
again in London, working vigorously at journalism, when some one was
needed to write extra lyrics for a pantomime then in preparation. A letter
of recommendation from an editor to the manager ended in Miss Clo Graves
writing the pantomime of _Puss in Boots_. Later a tragedy by her,
_Nitocris_, was produced for an afternoon at Drury Lane, and another of
her plays, _The Mother of Three_, proved not only a literary, but also a
material, success."

Her first novel to be signed Richard Dehan being so successful, an English
publisher planned to bring out an earlier, minor work, already published
as by Clotilde Graves, with "Richard Dehan" on the title-page. The author
was stirred to a vigorous and public protest. In the ensuing controversy
someone made the point that the proposed reissue would not be more
indefensible than the act of a publishing house in bringing out posthumous
"books" by O. Henry and dragging from its deserved oblivion Rudyard
Kipling's _Abaft the Funnel_.

I do not know whether the publishing of books is a business or a
profession. I should say that it has, at one time or another and by one or
another individual or concern, been pursued as either or both.

There have certainly been, and probably are, book publishers who not only
conduct their business as a business but as a business of a low order.
There have been and are book publishers who, though quite necessarily
business men, observe an ethical code as nice as that of any of the
recognised professions. Perhaps publishing books should qualify as an art,
since it has the characteristics of bringing out what is best or worst in
a publisher; and, indeed, if we are to hold that any successful means of
self-expression is art, then publishing books has been an art more than
once; for unquestionably there are publishers who find self-expression in
their work.

This is an interesting subject, but I must not pursue it in this place.
Certainly Miss Graves was justified in objecting to the use of her new pen
name on work already published under her own name. In her case, as I
think, the objection was peculiarly well-founded, because it seems to me
that Richard Dehan was a new person. Since Richard Dehan appeared on the
title-page of _The Dop Doctor_, there has never been a Clotilde Graves in
books. You have only to study the books. The _Dop Doctor_ was followed,
two years later, by _Between Two Thieves_. This novel has as a leading
character Florence Nightingale under the name of Ada Merling. The story
was at first to have been called "The Lady With The Lamp"; but the author
delayed it for a year and subjected it to a complete rewriting, the result
of a new and enlarged conception of the story.

Then came a steady succession of novels by Richard Dehan. I remember with
what surprise I read, in 1918, _That Which Hath Wings_, a war story of
large dimensions and an incredible amount of exact and easy detail. I
remember, too, noting that there was embedded in it a marvellous story for
children--an airplane flight in which a youngster figured--if the
publisher chose, with the author's consent, to lift this out of its
larger, adult setting. I remember very vividly reading in 1920 a
collection of short stories by Richard Dehan, published under the title
_The Eve of Pascua_. Pascua is the Spanish word for Easter. I wondered
where on earth, unless in Spain itself, the author got the bright
colouring for his story.

What I did not realise at the time was that Richard Dehan is like that.
Now, smitten to earth by the 500-page novel which he has just completed, I
think I understand better. _The Just Steward_, from one standpoint, makes
the labours of Gustave Flaubert in _Salaambo_ seem trivial. It is known
with what passionate tenacity and surprising ardour the French master
studied the subject of ancient Carthage, grubbing like the lowliest
archseologist to get at his fingertips all those recondite allusions so
necessary if he were to move with lightness, assurance and consummate art
through the scenes of his novel. But, frankly, one does not expect this of
the third daughter of an Irish soldier, an ex-journalist and the author of
a Drury Lane pantomime. Nevertheless the erudition is all here. From this
standpoint, _The Just Steward_ is truly monumental. I will show you a
sample or two:

"Beautiful, even with the trench and wall of Diocletian's comparatively
recent siege scarring the orchards and vineyards of Lake Mareotis,
splendid even though her broken canals and aqueducts had never been
repaired, and part of her western quarter still displayed heaps of
calcined ruins where had been temples, palaces and academies, Alexandria
lay shimmering under the African sun....

"The vintage of Egypt was in full swing, the figs and dates were being
harvested. Swarms of wasps and hornets, armed with formidable stings,
yellow-striped like the dreaded nomads of the south and eastern frontiers,
greedily sucked the sugary juices of the ripe fruit. Flocks of fig-birds
twittered amongst the branches, being like the date-pigeons, almost too
gorged to fly. Half naked, dark or tawny skinned, tattooed native
labourers, hybrids of mingled races, with heads close-shaven save for a
topknot, dwellers in mud-hovels, drudges of the water-wheel, cut down the
heavy grape-clusters with sickle-shaped cooper knives.

"Ebony, woolly-haired negroes in clean white breech-cloths, piled up the
gathered fruit in tall baskets woven of reeds and lined with leaves. Copts
with the rich reddish skins, the long eyes and boldly curving profiles of
Egyptian warriors and monarchs as presented on the walls of ancient
temples of Libya and the Thebaïd, moved about in leather-girdled blue
linen tunics and hide sandals, keeping account of the laden panniers,
roped upon the backs of diminutive asses and carried to the winepresses as
fast as they were filled.

"The negroes sang as they set snares for fig-birds, and stuffed themselves
to the throat with grapes and custard-apples. The fat beccaficoes beloved
of the epicurean fell by hundreds into the limed horsehair traps. Greek,
Egyptian and negro girls, laughing under garlands of hibiscus, periwinkle
and tuberoses, coaxed the fat morsels out of the black men to carry home
for a supper treat, while acrobats, comic singers, sellers of cakes,
drinks and sweetmeats, with strolling jugglers and jesters and Jewish
fortune-tellers of both sexes, assailed the workers and the merrymakers
with importunities and made harvest in their own way."

The story is extraordinary. Opening in the Alexandria of the fourth
century, it pictures two men, a Roman official and a Jewish steward, who
are friends unto death. The second of the four parts or books into which
the novel is divided opens in England in 1914. We have to do with John
Hazel, the descendant of Hazaël Aben Hazaël, and with the lovely Katharine
Forbis, whose ancestor was a Roman, Hazaël Aben Hazaël's sworn friend.

A story of exciting action certainly; it has elements that would
ordinarily be called melodramatic--events which are focussed down into
realities against the tremendous background of an incredible war. The
exotic settings are Egypt and Palestine. It must not be thought that the
story is bizarre; the scenes in England, the English slang of John Hazel,
as well as the typical figure of Trixie, Lady Wastwood, are utterly
modern. I do not find anything to explain how Miss Graves could write such
a book; the answer is that Richard Dehan wrote it.

=iii=

Miss Graves, of whose antecedents and education we already know something,
is a Roman Catholic in faith and a Liberal Unionist in politics. She lives
at The Towers, Beeding, near Bramber, Sussex. Her recreations are
gardening and driving.

But Richard Dehan knows the early history of the Christian Church; he
knows military life, strategy, tactics, types; he knows in a most
extraordinary way the details of Jewish history and religious observances;
he knows perfectly and as a matter of course all about English middle
class life; he knows all sorts of things about the East--Turkey and Arabia
and those countries.

This is a discrepancy which will bear a good deal of accounting for.

Before I try to account for it I will give you a long passage from _The
Just Steward_, describing the visit of Katharine Forbis and her friend to
the house of John Hazel, lately of London and now of Alexandria:

"The negro porter who had opened the door, a huge Ethiopian of ebony
blackness, dressed and turbaned in snow-white linen, salaamed deeply to
the ladies, displaying as he did so a mouthful of teeth as dazzling in
whiteness and sharply-pointed as those of the mosaic dog.

"Then the negro shut the heavy door and locked and bolted it. They heard
the car snort and move away as the heavy bolts scrooped in their ancient
grooves of stone. But, as they glanced back, towards the entrance, the
imperturbable attendant in the black kaftan waved them forward to where
another man, exactly like himself in feature, colouring and costume,
waited as imperturbably on the threshold of a larger hall beyond. On its
right-hand doorpost was affixed a cylinder of metal _repoussée_ with an
oval piece of glass on that something like a human eye. And the big
invisible bees went on humming as industriously and as sleepily as ever:

"'Bz'zz'z!... Bzz'z!... Bzz m'm'm!...'

"Perhaps it was the bees' thick, sleepy droning that made Miss Forbis feel
as though she had previously visited this house in a dream, in which,
though the mosaic dog had certainly figured, together with a negro who had
opened doors, the rows of shoes along the wall, the little creature
tripping at her side, the two dark, ultra-respectable men in black
tarbushes and kaftans had had no place or part. Only John Hazel had bulked
big. He was there, beyond the grave Semitic face of the second Jewish
secretary, on the farther side of the torrent of boiling amber sunshine
pouring through a central opening in the roof of the inner hall that
succeeded the vestibule of the mosaic Cerberus. An atrium some forty feet
in length, paved with squares of black and yellow marble with an oblong
pool in the midst of it, upon whose still crystal surface pink and crimson
petals of roses had been strewn in patterns, and in the centre of which a
triple-jetted fountain played.

"The humming of the unseen bees came louder than ever, from a doorway in
the wall upon Katharine's right hand, a wall of black polished marble,
decorated with an inlaid ornament in porphyry of yellow and red and pale
green. The curtain of dyed and threaded reeds did not hide what lay beyond
the doorway. You saw a long, high-pitched whitewashed room, cooled by big
wooden electric fans working under the ceiling, and traversed by avenues
of creamy-white Chinese matting, running between rows of low native desks,
before each of which squatted, on naked or cotton-sock-covered heels, or
sat cross-legged upon a square native chintz cushion, a coffee-coloured,
almond-eyed young Copt, in a black or blue cotton nightgown, topped with
the tarbush of black felt or a dingy-white or olive-brown muslin turban,
murmuring softly to himself as he made entries, from right to left, in a
huge limp-covered ledger, or deftly fingered the balls of coloured clay
strung on the wires of the abacus at his side.

"Oh! ... Wonderful! I'm so Glad you Brought me!'

"Lady Wastwood's emphatic exclamation of pleasure in her surroundings
brought cessation in the humming--caused a swivelling of capped or
turbanned heads all down the length of three avenues--evoked a
simultaneous flash of black Oriental eyes, and white teeth in dusky faces
lifted or turned. Then at the upper end of the long counting-house, where
three wide glassless windows looked on a sanded palm-garden, and the
leather-topped knee-hole tables, roll-top desks, copying ink presses,
mahogany revolving-chairs, telephone installations, willow-paper baskets,
pewter inkstands and Post Office Directories suggested Cornhill and
Cheapside rather than the Orient--one of the olive-faced Jewish
head-clerks in kaftans and side-curls coughed--and as though he had pulled
a string controlling all the observant faces, every tooth was hidden and
every eye discreetly bent on the big limp ledgers again.

"All the Coptic bees were humming sonorously in unison as Katharine went
forward to a lofty doorway, framing brightness, where waited to receive
her the master of the hive....

"The light beings behind him may have exaggerated his proportions, but he
seemed to Trixie the biggest man she had ever seen, and nearly the
ugliest. Close-curling coarse black hair capped his high-domed skull, and
his stern, powerful, swarthy face, big-nosed and long-chinned, with a
humorous quirk at the corners of the heavy-lipped mouth, that redeemed its
sensuousness, was lighted by eyes of the intensest black, burning under
heavy beetle-brows. His khaki uniform, though of fine material and
admirable cut, was that of a common ranker, and a narrow strip of colours
over the heart, and the fact of his left arm being bandaged and slung,
intimated to Lady Wastwood that Katharine's Jewish friend had already
served with some degree of distinction, and had been wounded in the War.
And drawing back with her characteristic inconquerable shyness, as he
advanced to Miss Forbis, plainly unconscious of any presence save hers,
Trixie's observant green eyes saw him bend his towering head, and sweep
his right arm out and down with slow Oriental stateliness, bringing back
the supple hand to touch breast, lips and brow. Whether or not he had
raised the hem of Katharine's skirt to his lips and kissed it, Lady
Wastwood could not definitely determine. She was left with the impression
that he had done this thing."

=iv=

I should have liked to have given, rather than purely descriptive
passages, a slice of the complicated and tense action with which the story
brims over, but there is the difficulty that such a scene might not be
intelligible to one not having read the story from the beginning. I must
resist the tendency to quote any more, having indulged it already to
excess, and I am ready to propound my theory of the existence of Richard
Dehan.

If you receive a letter from The Towers, Beeding, it will bear a double
signature, like this:

                            RICHARD DEHAN
                            CLOTILDE GRAVES

Clotilde Graves has become a secondary personality.

There was once a time when there was no Richard Dehan. There now are times
when there is no Clotilde Graves.

To a woman in middle age an opportunity presented itself. It was the
chance to write a novel around the subject which, as a girl, she had come
to know a great deal about--the subject of war. To write about it and gain
attention, the novel required a man's signature.

Then there was born in the mind of the woman who purposed to write the
novel the idea of a man--of _the_ man--who should be the novelist she
wanted to be. He should use as by right and from instinct the material
which lay inutile at her woman's disposal.

She created Richard Dehan. Perhaps, in so doing, she created another
monster like Frankenstein's. I do not know.

Born of necessity and opportunity and a woman's inventiveness, Richard
Dehan took over whatever of Clotilde Graves's he could use. He is now the
master. It is, intellectually and spiritually, as if he were the
full-grown son of Clotilde Graves. It is a partnership not less intimate
than that.

Clotilde Graves--but she does not matter. I think she existed to bring
Richard Dehan into the world.

BOOKS BY RICHARD DEHAN

Novels:
  THE LOVER'S BATTLE
  THE DOP DOCTOR
  BETWEEN TWO THIEVES
  THE HEADQUARTER RECRUIT
  THE COST OF WINGS
  THE MAN OF IRON
  OFF SANDY HOOK
  EARTH TO EARTH
  UNDER THE HERMES
  THAT WHICH HATH WINGS
  A SAILOR'S HOME
  THE EVE OF PASCUA
  THE VILLA OF THE PEACOCK
  THE JUST STEWARD

Plays
  NITOCRIS
  DRURY LANE PANTOMIME, PUSS IN BOOTS
  DR. AND MRS. NEILL
  A MOTHER OF THREE
  A MATCHMAKER
  THE BISHOP'S EYE
  THE FOREST LOVERS
  A MAKER OF COMEDIES
  THE BOND OF NIKON
  A TENEMENT TRAGEDY


SOURCES ON RICHARD DEHAN

Who's Who [in England].

THE BOOKMAN for February, 1913 (Volume XXXVI, pp. 595-6), also brief
mention in THE BOOKMAN for September and October, 1912.

Private Information.



CHAPTER XIV

WITH FULL DIRECTIONS


=i=

I have read the book called _Civilization in the United States_, a
collection of essays by various Americans, and count the time well spent
chiefly because, at the end of the chapter on "Sport," I came upon these
words by Ring W. Lardner:

"The best sporting fiction we know of, practically the only sporting
fiction an adult may read without fear of stomach trouble, is contained in
the collected works of the late Charles E. Van Loan."

This is expert testimony, if there is such a thing. The books Mr. Lardner
referred to are published in a five-volume memorial edition consisting
of:

           FORE! GOLF STORIES
           SCORE BY INNINGS: BASEBALL STORIES
           OLD MAN CURRY: RACETRACK STORIES
           TAKING THE COUNT: PRIZE RING STORIES
           BUCK PARVIN: STORIES OF THE MOTION PICTURE GAME.

This collected edition was published by George H. Doran Company with the
arrangement that every cent above actual cost should go to Mrs. Van Loan
and her children.

William T. Tilden, 2nd, was winner of the world's tennis championship in
1920 and 1921. With W. M. Johnston he was winner of the Davis cup in the
same years. He also won the United States championship in those years. His
book, _The Art of Lawn Tennis_, published in 1921, was republished in
1922. The revised edition included chapters on the winning of the Davis
cup and on the world's and the United States championships, on Mrs.
Mallory's play in the women's world championship games in France and
England, and on Mlle. Lenglen's play in America. Mr. Tilden also added an
estimate of the promising youngsters playing tennis and indulged in one or
two surprising and radical prophecies.

_Twenty Years of Lawn Tennis_, by A. Wallis Myers, an English player of
distinction, has interesting chapters on play in other countries than
America, England and France. An anecdotal volume this, with moments on the
Riviera and matches played in South Africa.

After unpreventable delays we have, at last, _The Gist of Golf_ by Harry
Vardon. Using remarkable photographs, Vardon devotes a chapter to each
club and chapters to stance, grip, and swing. Although the chief value of
the book is to the player who wants to improve his game, there is text
interesting to everyone familiar with golf; for Vardon gives personal
reminiscences covering years of play and illustrative of his
instructions.

=ii=

I suppose the fifty-three photographs, mostly full page ones, are the
outstanding feature of _Wild Life in the Tree Tops_, by Captain C. W. R.
Knight. This English book, large and flat, shows with the aid of the
camera, the merlin pursuing her quarry, young tawny owls in a disused
magpie's nest, female noctules and their young, the male kestrel brooding,
and a male buzzard that has just brought a rabbit to the younglings in the
nest. Plenty of other pictures like these! The chapters deal with the
buzzards of the Doone country, the lady's hawk, woodpeckers, brown owls,
sparrow-hawks, herons and various other feathered people.

Did you ever read _Lad: A Dog_? Well, anyway, there is a man named Albert
Payson Terhune and he and his wife live at a place called "Sunny-bank," at
Pompton Lakes, New Jersey, where they raise prize winning collie dogs.
Photographs come from New Jersey showing Mr. and Mrs. Terhune taking
afternoon tea, entirely surrounded by magnificently coated collies. You
will also find, if you stray into a bookstore this autumn, a book with a
jacket drawn by Charles Livingston Bull--a jacket from which looms a
colossal collie. He carries in a firmly knotted shawl or blanket or sheet
or something (the knot clenched between his teeth) a new-born babe.
New-born or approximately so. The title of this book is _Further
Adventures of Lad_.

Mr. Terhune writes the best dog stories. Read a little bit from the first
chapter of _Further Adventures of Lad_:

"Even the crate which brought the new dog to the Place failed somehow to
destroy the illusion of size and fierceness. But the moment the crate door
was opened the delusion was wrecked by Lad himself.

"Out on to the porch he walked. The ramshackle crate behind him had a
ridiculous air of chrysalis from which some bright thing had departed. For
a shaft of sunlight was shimmering athwart the veranda floor. And into the
middle of the warm bar of radiance Laddie stepped--and stood.

"His fluffy puppy-coat of wavy mahogany-and-white caught a million
sunbeams, reflecting them back in tawny-orange glints and in a dazzle as
of snow. His forepaws were absurdly small even for a puppy's. Above them
the ridging of the stocky leg bones gave as clear promise of mighty size
and strength as did the amazingly deep little chest and square shoulders.

"Here one day would stand a giant among dogs, powerful as a timber-wolf,
lithe as a cat, as dangerous to foes as an angry tiger; a dog without fear
or treachery; a dog of uncanny brain and great lovingly loyal heart and,
withal, a dancing sense of fun. A dog with a soul.

"All this, any canine physiologist might have read from the compact frame,
the proud head carriage, the smoulder in the deep-set sorrowful dark eyes.
To the casual observer, he was but a beautiful and appealing and
wonderfully cuddleable bunch of puppyhood.

"Lad's dark eyes swept the porch, the soft swelling green of the lawn. The
flash of fire-blue lake among the trees below. Then he deigned to look at
the group of humans at one side of him. Gravely, impersonally, he surveyed
them; not at all cowed or strange in his new surroundings; courteously
inquisitive as to the twist of luck that had set him down here and as to
the people who, presumably, were to be his future companions.

"Perhaps the stout little heart quivered just a bit, if memory went back
to his home kennel and to the rowdy throng of brothers and sisters and,
most of all, to the soft furry mother against whose side he had nestled
every night since he was born. But if so, Lad was too valiant to show
homesickness by so much as a whimper. And, assuredly, this House of Peace
was infinitely better than the miserable crate wherein he had spent twenty
horrible and jouncing and smelly and noisy hours.

"From one to another of the group strayed the level sorrowful gaze. After
the swift inspection Laddie's eyes rest again on the Mistress. For an
instant, he stood, looking at her, in that mildly polite curiosity which
held no hint of personal interest.

"Then, all at once, his plumy tail began to wave. Into his sad eyes sprang
a flicker of warm friendliness. Unbidden--oblivious of everyone else--he
trotted across to where the Mistress sat. He put one tiny white paw in her
lap and stood thus, looking up lovingly into her face, tail awave, eyes
shining.

"'There's no question whose dog he's going to be,' laughed the Master.
'He's elected you--by acclamation.'"

=iii=

Not content with being the husband of Margaret Sangster, C. M. Sheridan
has written _The Stag Cook Book_. I would have it understood that this is
an honest-to-goodness cook-book, although I readily confess that there is
plenty of humour throughout its pages. Mr. Sheridan has acquired various
unusual and unreplaceable recipes--I believe he secured from Wladislaw
Benda, the illustrator, a rare and secret formula for the preparation of a
species of Hungarian or Polish pastry. Now, as every housewife knows, and
as no man except a Frenchman or somebody like that knows, the preparation
of pastry is an intricate art. Simply to make ordinary French pastry
requires innumerable rollings to incredible thinnesses; besides which the
pastry has to be chilled; but there is more than that to this recondite
substance which Mr. Benda, probably under the terms of the Treaty of
Brest-Litovsk, surrendered to Mr. Sheridan. The pastry in question has to
be executed with the aid of geometrical designs. Mr. Sheridan has supplied
the necessary front elevation and working plans. He shows you where you
fold along the line from A to B--in other words, along the dotted line.
Thus no man using this unique cook-book can go wrong any more than his
wife can go wrong when making a new dress according to Pictorial Review or
McCall's or Delineator patterns.

On the other hand, women remain still chiefly responsible for the food we
eat. Elizabeth A. Monaghan's _What to Eat and How to Prepare It_ is an
orthodox cook-book in contrast with Mr. Sheridan's daring adventure.

=iv=

Large numbers of people still play games. I do not mean cards or tennis or
golf or any of the famous outdoor and indoor sports, but just games, the
sort of things that are sometimes called stunts and that make the life of
the party--or, by their absence or failure, rob the evening gathering of
all its vitality. For the people who play games, Edna Geister is the one
best bet. Edna Geister knows all about stunts and games and parties and
she brims over with clever ideas for the hostess or recreation leader. You
will find them in her book _Ice-breakers and the Ice-breaker Herself_. The
second section of this book, _The Ice-breaker Herself_, has been bound
separately for the convenience of those already owning _Ice Breakers_.
Miss Geister's latest book, _It Is to Laugh_, was written primarily for
adults because there is so much material already available for the
recreation of children. Nevertheless almost every one of the games and
stunts described in _It Is to Laugh_ can be used for children. There are
games for large groups and small groups, games for the family, for dinner
parties, for community affairs and for almost any kind of social
gathering, with one chapter devoted to out-of-door and picnic programmes.

Playing the piano is not a game, at least not as Mark Hambourg, the
pianist and composer, plays it. Hambourg, though born in South Russia in
1879, the eldest son of the late Professor Michel Hambourg, has for years
been a naturalised Englishman. In fact, he married in 1907 the Honourable
Dorothea Mackenzie, daughter of Lord Muir Mackenzie. And the pair have
four daughters. Mark Hambourg was a pupil of Leschetitzky in Vienna, where
he obtained the Liszt scholarship in 1894. He has made concert appearances
all over the world, his third American tour falling in 1907, and his first
Canadian tour in 1910.

Mark Hambourg's book is called _How to Play the Piano_ and the text is
helped with practical illustrations and diagrams and a complete compendium
of five-finger exercises, scales, arpeggi, thirds and octaves as practised
by Hambourg.

=v=

Those who read The Bookman will not need to be told that the articles by
Robert Cortes Holliday on _Writing as a Business: A Practical Guide for
Authors_, will constitute an exceptional book. The great point about Mr.
Holliday's chapters, which have been written in collaboration with
Alexander Van Rensselaer, is that they are disinterested. There has been
an immense amount of printed matter, some of it in book form, telling of
the problems that confront the writer, especially the young beginner. As a
rule, the underlying motive was to induce people to write so that someone
else might make money out of their efforts, whether the writers did or
not. So-called correspondence schools in the art of writing, so-called
literary bureaus, interested individuals anxious to earn "commissions,"
and sometimes individuals who purported to be publishers have for many
years carried on a continuous campaign at the expense of persons who did
not know how to write but who fancied they could write and who, above
everything, craved to write--craved seeing themselves in print and hearing
themselves referred to as "authors" or "writers." It would take a
statistician versed in all manner of mysteries and calculations to tell
how many people have been deluded by this stuff, and how much money has
been nuzzled out of them. The time was certainly here for someone in a
position to tell the truth to speak up.

And of Mr. Holliday's qualifications there is no question. He has had to
do with books and authors and book publishing for years. He was, as his
readers know, for a number of years in the Scribner bookstore. He was with
Doubleday, Page & Company at Garden City; he was with George H. Doran
Company, serving not only as editor of The Bookman but acting in other
editorial capacities. He is now connected with Henry Holt & Company. As an
author he is amply established. Therefore, when he tells about writing and
book publishing and bookselling, and when he discusses such subjects as
"Publishing Your Own Book," his statements are most thoroughly documented.
The important thing, however, is that Mr. Holliday is disinterested, he
has no axe to grind in the advice he gives; although the impressive thing
about his book is the absence of advice and the continual presentation of
unvarnished facts. After all, confronted with the facts, the literary
aspirant of ordinary intelligence must and should reach his own
conclusions as regards what he wants to do and how best to essay it. This
is a sample of the kind of straightforwardness to which Mr. Holliday
adheres:

"An experienced writer 'on his own' may earn a couple of hundred dollars
or so in one week, and for several weeks afterward average something like
$14.84. The beginner-writer should not consider that he has 'arrived' when
he has sold one story, or even several; it may be a year before he places
another. And the future of a writer who may be having a very fair success
now is not any too secure. Public taste changes. New orders come in. The
kind of thing which took so well yesterday may be quite out of fashion
tomorrow.

"There is among people generally much misconception as to the profits
ordinarily derived by the author from the publication of a book. The price
of a novel today is about two dollars. Usually the author receives a
royalty of about fifteen cents a copy on the first two thousand copies
sold, and about twenty cents on each copy thereafter. A novel which sold
upward of 50,000 copies would bring the author something like $10,000.
Many men make as much as $10,000 by a year's work at some other business
or profession than authorship. But authors who make that amount in a year,
or anything near that amount, are exceedingly rare. A book is regarded by
the publisher as highly successful if it sells from five to ten thousand
copies. Far and away the greater number of books published do not sell as
many as 1,500 copies. Many far less. A recently published book, which
received a very cordial 'press,' has had an uncommon amount of publicity,
and the advertisements of which announce that it is in its 'fourth
printing,' has, after about half a year, earned for its author perhaps
$1,000. Its sale now in active measure is over. An author is fairly
fortunate who receives as much as $500 or $600 from the sale of his book.
I recall an excellent story published something over a year ago which was
much praised by many reviewers. It took the author probably the better
part of a year to write it. He was then six months or more getting it
accepted. He has not been able to place much of anything since. At the
end, then, of two years and a half he has received from his literary
labors about $110."

Mr. Van Rensselaer has greatly enhanced the usefulness of _Writing as a
Business_ by the addition of very complete bibliographies.

_Illumination and Its Development in the Present Day_, by Sidney
Farnsworth, has nothing to do with street or indoor lighting but has a
great deal to do with lettering and illuminating manuscripts. Mr.
Farnsworth traces the growth of illumination from its birth, showing, by
means of numerous diagrams and drawings, its gradual development through
the centuries from mere writing to the elaborate poster work and
commercial lettering of the present day. Although other books have already
been written on this fascinating subject, Mr. Farnsworth breaks new ground
in many directions; he treats the matter from the modern standpoint in a
manner which makes his work invaluable not only to students of the art,
but also to the rapidly-growing public interested in what has hitherto
been a somewhat exclusive craft. The book is well illustrated.



CHAPTER XV

FRANK SWINNERTON: ANALYST OF LOVERS


=i=

It is as an analyst of lovers, I think, that Frank Swinnerton claims and
holds his place among those whom we still sometimes call the younger
novelists of England.

I do not say this because his fame was achieved at a bound with
_Nocturne_, but because all his novels show a natural preoccupation with
the theme of love between the sexes. Usually it is a pair of young lovers
or contrasted pairs; but sometimes this is interestingly varied, as in
September, where we have a study of love that comes to a woman in middle
life.

The unique character of _Nocturne_ makes it very hard to write about
Swinnerton. It is true that Arnold Bennett wrote: "I am prepared to say to
the judicious reader unacquainted with Swinnerton's work, 'Read
_Nocturne_,' and to stand or fall, and to let him stand or fall by the
result." At the same time, though the rule is that we must judge an artist
by his finest work and a genius by his greatest masterpiece, it is not
entirely just to estimate the living writer by a single unique
performance, an extraordinary piece of virtuosity, which _Nocturne_
unquestionably is. For anyone who wishes to understand and appreciate
Swinnerton, I would recommend that he begin with _Coquette_, follow it
with _September_, follow that with _Shops and Houses_ and then read
_Nocturne_. That is, I would have made this recommendation a few months
ago, but so representative of all sides of Swinnerton's talent is his new
novel, _The Three Lovers_, that I should now prefer to say to anyone
unacquainted with Swinnerton: "Begin with _The Three Lovers_." And after
that I would have him read _Coquette_ and the other books in the order I
have named. After he had reached and finished _Nocturne_, I would have him
turn to the several earlier novels--_The Happy Family_, _On the
Staircase_, and _The Chaste Wife_.

=ii=

_The Three Lovers_, a full-length novel which Swinnerton finished in
Devonshire in the spring of 1922, is a story of human beings in conflict,
and it is also a picture of certain phases of modern life. A young and
intelligent girl, alone in the world, is introduced abruptly to a kind of
life with which she is unfamiliar. Thereafter the book shows the
development of her character and her struggle for the love of the men to
whom she is most attracted. The book steadily moves

[Illustration: FRANK SWINNERTON]

through its earlier chapters of introduction and growth to a climax that
is both dramatic and moving. It opens with a characteristic descriptive
passage from which I take a few sentences:

"It was a suddenly cold evening towards the end of September.... The
street lamps were sharp brightnesses in the black night, wickedly
revealing the naked rain-swept paving-stones. It was an evening to make
one think with joy of succulent crumpets and rampant fires and warm
slippers and noggins of whisky; but it was not an evening for cats or
timid people. The cats were racing about the houses, drunken with primeval
savagery; the timid people were shuddering and looking in distress over
feebly hoisted shoulders, dreadfully prepared for disaster of any kind,
afraid of sounds and shadows and their own forgotten sins.... The wind
shook the window-panes; soot fell down all the chimneys; trees
continuously rustled as if they were trying to keep warm by constant
friction and movement."

The imagination which sees in the movement of trees an endeavour to keep
warm is not less sharp in its discernment of human beings. I will give one
other passage, a conversation between Patricia Quin, the heroine, and
another girl:

"'Do you mean he's in love with you?' asked Patricia. 'That seems to be
what's the matter.'

"'Oho, it takes two to be in love,' scornfully cried Amy. 'And I'm not in
love with him.'

"'But he's your friend.'

"'That's just it. He won't recognise that men and women _can_ be friends.
He's a very decent fellow; but he's full of this sulky jealousy, and he
glowers and sulks whenever any other man comes near me. Well, that's not
my idea of friendship.'

"'Nor mine,' echoed Patricia, trying to reconstruct her puzzled estimate
of their relations. 'But couldn't you stop that? Surely, if you put it
clearly to him....'

"Amy interrupted with a laugh that was almost shrill. Her manner was
coldly contemptuous.

"'You _are_ priceless!' she cried. 'You say the most wonderful things.'

"'Well, _I_ should.'

"'I wonder.' Amy moved about, collecting the plates. 'You see ... some day
I shall marry. And in a weak moment I said probably I'd marry him.'

"'Oh, Amy! Of _course_ he's jealous.' Swiftly, Patricia did the young man
justice.

"'I didn't give him any right to be. I told him I'd changed my mind. I've
told him lots of times that probably I sha'n't marry him.'

"'But you keep him. Amy! You do encourage him.' Patricia was stricken
afresh with a generous impulse of emotion on Jack's behalf. 'I mean, by
not telling him straight out. Surely you can't keep a man waiting like
that? I wonder he doesn't _insist_.'

"'Jack insist!' Amy was again scornful. 'Not he!'

"There was a moment s pause. Innocently, Patricia ventured upon a
charitable interpretation.

"'He must love you very much. But, Amy, if you don't love him.'

"'What's love got to do with marriage?' asked Amy, with a sourly cynical
air.

"'Hasn't it--everything?' Patricia was full of sincerity. She was too
absorbed in this story to help Amy to clear the table; but on finding
herself alone in the studio while the crockery was carried away to the
kitchen she mechanically shook the crumbs behind the gas-fire and folded
the napkin. This was the most astonishing moment of her day.

"Presently Amy returned, and sat in the big armchair, while, seated upon
the podger and leaning back against the wall, Patricia smoked a
cigarette.

"'You see, the sort of man one falls in love with doesn't make a good
husband,' announced Amy, as patiently as if Patricia had been in fact a
child. She persisted in her attitude of superior wisdom in the world's
ways. 'It's all very well; but a girl ought to be able to live with any
man she fancies, and then in the end marry the safe man for a ... well,
for life, if she likes.'

"Patricia's eyes were opened wide.

"'I shouldn't like that,' she said. 'I don't think the man would either.'

"'Bless you, the men all _do_ it,' cried Amy, contemptuously. 'Don't make
any mistake about that.'

"'I don't believe it,' said Patricia. 'Do you mean that my father--or
_your_ father...?'

"'Oh, I don't know. I meant, nowadays. Most of the people you saw last
night are living together or living with other people.'

"Patricia was aware of a chill.

"'But _you've_ never,' she urged. 'I've never.'

"'No.' Amy was obviously irritated by the personal application. 'That's
just it. I say we _ought_ to be free to do what we like. Men do what they
like.'

"'D'you think Jack has lived with other girls?'

"'My dear child, how do I know? I should hope he has.'

"'Hope! Amy, you do make me feel a prig.'

"'Perhaps you are one. Oh, I don't know. I'm sick of thinking, thinking,
thinking about it all. I never get any peace.'

"'Is there somebody you _want_ to live with?'

"'No. I wish there was. Then I should _know_'

"'I wonder if you would know,' said Patricia, in a low voice. 'Amy, do you
really know what love is? Because I don't. I've sometimes let men kiss me,
and it doesn't seem to matter in the least. I don't particularly want to
kiss them, or to be kissed. I've never seen anything in all the flirtation
that goes on in dark corners. It's amusing once or twice; but it becomes
an awful bore. The men don't interest you. The thought of living with any
of them just turns me sick.'"

=iii=

The analysis, in _The Three Lovers_, of Patricia Quin is done with that
simplicity, quiet deftness and inoffensive frankness which is the hallmark
of Mr. Swinnerton's fiction. And, coming at last to _Nocturne_, I fall
back cheerfully upon the praise accorded that novel by H. G. Wells in his
preface to it. Said Mr. Wells:

"Such a writer as Mr. Swinnerton sees life and renders it with a
steadiness and detachment and patience quite foreign to my disposition. He
has no underlying motive. He sees and tells. His aim is the attainment of
that beauty which comes with exquisite presentation. Seen through his art,
life is seen as one sees things through a crystal lens, more intensely,
more completed, and with less turbidity. There the business begins and
ends for him. He does not want you or anyone to do anything.

"Mr. Swinnerton is not alone among recent writers in this clear detached
objectivity. But Mr. Swinnerton, like Mr. James Joyce, does not repudiate
the depths for the sake of the surface. His people are not splashes of
appearance, but living minds. Jenny and Emmy in this book are realities
inside and out; they are imaginative creatures so complete that one can
think with ease of Jenny ten years hence or of Emmy as a baby. The fickle
Alf is one of the most perfect Cockneys--a type so easy to caricature and
so hard to get true--in fiction. If there exists a better writing of
vulgar lovemaking, so base, so honest, so touchingly mean and so
touchingly full of the craving for happiness than this, I do not know of
it. Only a novelist who has had his troubles can understand fully what a
dance among china cups, what a skating over thin ice, what a tight-rope
performance is achieved in this astounding chapter. A false note, one
fatal line, would have ruined it all. On the one hand lay brutality; a
hundred imitative louts could have written a similar chapter brutally,
with the soul left out, we have loads of such 'strong stuff' and it is
nothing; on the other side was the still more dreadful fall into
sentimentality, the tear of conscious tenderness, the redeeming glimpse of
'better things' in Alf or Emmy that could at one stroke have converted
their reality into a genteel masquerade. The perfection of Alf and Emmy is
that at no point does a 'nature's gentleman' or a 'nature's lady' show
through and demand our refined sympathy. It is only by comparison with
this supreme conversation that the affair of Keith and Jenny seems to fall
short of perfection. But that also is at last perfected, I think, by
Jenny's final, 'Keith ... Oh, Keith!...'

"Above these four figures again looms the majestic invention of 'Pa.'
Every reader can appreciate the truth and humour of Pa, but I doubt if
anyone without technical experience can realise how the atmosphere is made
and completed, and rounded off by Pa's beer, Pa's meals, and Pa's
accident, how he binds the bundle and makes the whole thing one, and what
an enviable triumph his achievement is.

"But the book is before the reader and I will not enlarge upon its merits
further. Mr. Swinnerton has written four or five other novels before this
one, but none of them compares with it in quality. His earlier books were
strongly influenced by the work of George Gissing; they have something of
the same fatigued greyness of texture and little of the same artistic
completeness and intense vision of _Nocturne_.

"This is a book that will not die. It is perfect, authentic and alive.
Whether a large and immediate popularity will fall to it, I cannot say,
but certainly the discriminating will find it and keep it and keep it
alive. If Mr. Swinnerton were never to write another word I think he might
count on this much of his work living, when many of the more portentous
reputations of today may have served their purpose in the world and become
no more than fading names."

=iv=

Arnold Bennett has described Swinnerton personally in a way no one else is
likely to surpass. I will prefix a few elemental facts which he has
neglected and then will let him have his say.

Frank Arthur Swinnerton was born in Wood Green, England, in 1884, the
youngest son of Charles Swinnerton and Rose Cottam. He married, a few
years ago, Helen Dircks, a poet; her slim little book of verse,
_Passenger_, was published with a preface by Mr. Swinnerton. His first
three novels Swinnerton destroyed. His first novel to be published was
_The Merry Heart_. It is interesting to know that Floyd Dell was the first
American to appreciate Swinnerton. I make way for Mr. Bennett, who says:

"One day perhaps eight or nine years ago I received a novel entitled _The
Casement_. The book was accompanied by a short, rather curt note from the
author, Frank Swinnerton, politely indicating that if I cared to read it
he would be glad, and implying that if I didn't care to read it, he should
endeavour still to survive. I would quote the letter but I cannot find
it--no doubt for the reason that all my correspondence is carefully filed
on the most modern filing system. I did not read _The Casement_ for a long
time. Why should I consecrate three irrecoverable hours or so to the work
of a man as to whom I had no credentials? Why should I thus introduce
foreign matter into the delicate cogwheels of my programme of reading?
However, after a delay of weeks, heaven in its deep wisdom inspired me
with a caprice to pick up the volume.

"I had read, without fatigue but on the other hand without passionate
eagerness, about a hundred pages before the thought occurred suddenly to
me: 'I do not remember having yet come across one single ready-made phrase
in this story.' Such was my first definable thought concerning Frank
Swinnerton. I hate ready-made phrases, which in my view--and in that of
Schopenhauer--are the sure mark of a mediocre writer. I began to be
interested. I soon said to myself: 'This fellow has a distinguished
style.' I then perceived that the character-drawing was both subtle and
original, the atmosphere delicious, and the movement of the tale very
original, too. The novel stirred me--not by its powerfulness, for it did
not set out to be powerful--but by its individuality and distinction. I
thereupon wrote to Frank Swinnerton. I forget entirely what I said. But I
know that I decided that I must meet him.

"When I came to London, considerably later, I took measures to meet him,
at the Authors' Club. He proved to be young; I daresay twenty-four or
twenty-five--medium height, medium looks, medium clothes, somewhat reddish
hair, and lively eyes. If I had seen him in a motorbus I should never have
said, 'A remarkable chap'--no more than if I had seen myself in a
motorbus. My impressions of the interview were rather like my impressions
of the book: at first somewhat negative, and only very slowly becoming
positive. He was reserved, as became a young author; I was reserved, as
became an older author; we were both reserved, as became Englishmen. Our
views on the only important thing in the world--that is to say,
fiction--agreed, not completely, but in the main; it would never have done
for us to agree completely. I was as much pleased by what he didn't say as
by what he said; quite as much by the indications of the stock inside the
shop as by the display in the window. The interview came to a calm close.
My knowledge of him acquired from it amounted to this, that he held
decided and righteous views upon literature, that his heart was not on his
sleeve, and that he worked in a publisher's office during the day and
wrote for himself in the evenings.

"Then I saw no more of Swinnerton for a relatively long period. I read
other books of his. I read _The Young Idea_, and _The Happy Family_, and,
I think, his critical work on George Gissing. _The Happy Family_ marked a
new stage in his development. It has some really piquant scenes, and it
revealed that minute knowledge of middle-class life in the nearer suburbs
of London, and that disturbing insight into the hearts and brains of quite
unfashionable girls, which are two of his principal gifts. I read a sketch
of his of a commonplace crowd walking around a bandstand which brought me
to a real decision as to his qualities. The thing was like life, and it
was bathed in poetry.

"Our acquaintance proceeded slowly, and I must be allowed to assert that
the initiative which pushed it forward was mine. It made a jump when he
spent a week-end in the Thames Estuary on my yacht. If any reader has a
curiosity to know what my yacht is not like, he should read the striking
yacht chapter in _Nocturne_. I am convinced that Swinnerton evolved the
yacht in _Nocturne_ from my yacht; but he ennobled, magnified, decorated,
enriched and bejewelled it till honestly I could not recognise my wretched
vessel. The yacht in _Nocturne_ is the yacht I want, ought to have, and
never shall have. I envy him the yacht in _Nocturne_, and my envy takes a
malicious pleasure in pointing out a mistake in the glowing scene. He
anchors his yacht in the middle of the Thames--as if the tyrannic
authorities of the Port of London would ever allow a yacht, or any other
craft, to anchor in midstream!

"After the brief cruise our friendship grew rapidly. I now know
Swinnerton--probably as well as any man knows him; I have penetrated into
the interior of the shop. He has done several things since I first knew
him--rounded the corner of thirty, grown a beard, under the orders of a
doctor, and physically matured. Indeed, he looks decidedly stronger than
in fact he is--he was never able to pass the medical examination for the
army. He is still in the business of publishing, being one of the
principal personages in the ancient and well-tried firm of Chatto &
Windus, the English publishers of Swinburne and Mark Twain. He reads
manuscripts, including his own--and including mine. He refuses
manuscripts, though he did accept one of mine. He tells authors what they
ought to do and ought not to do. He is marvellously and terribly
particular and fussy about the format of the books issued by his firm.
Questions as to fonts of type, width of margins, disposition of
title-pages, tint and texture of bindings really do interest him. And
misprints--especially when he has read the proofs himself--give him
neuralgia and even worse afflictions. Indeed he is the ideal publisher for
an author.

"Nevertheless, publishing is only a side-line of his. He still writes for
himself in the evenings and at week-ends--the office never sees him on
Saturdays.

"Frank Swinnerton has other gifts. He is a surpassingly good raconteur. By
which I do not signify that the man who meets Swinnerton for the first,
second or third time will infallibly ache with laughter at his remarks.
Swinnerton only blossoms in the right atmosphere; he must know exactly
where he is; he must be perfectly sure of his environment, before the
flower uncloses. And he merely relates what he has seen, what he has taken
part in. The narrations would be naught if he were not the narrator. His
effects are helped by the fact that he is an excellent mimic and by his
utter realistic mercilessness. But like all first-class realists he is
also a romantic, and in his mercilessness there is a mysterious touch of
fundamental benevolence--as befits the attitude of one who does not worry
because human nature is not something different from what it actually is.
Lastly, in this connection, he has superlatively the laugh known as the
'infectious laugh.' When he laughs everybody laughs, everybody has to
laugh. There are men who tell side-splitting tales with the face of an
undertaker--for example, Irvin Cobb. There are men who can tell
side-splitting tales and openly and candidly rollick in them from the
first word; and of these latter is Frank Swinnerton. But Frank Swinnerton
can be more cruel than Irvin Cobb. Indeed, sometimes when he is telling a
story, his face becomes exactly like the face of Mephistopheles in
excellent humour with the world's sinfulness and idiocy.

"Swinnerton's other gift is the critical. It has been said that an author
cannot be at once a first-class critic and a first-class creative artist.
To which absurdity I reply: What about William Dean Howells? And what
about Henry James, to name no other names? Anyhow, if Swinnerton excels in
fiction he also excels in literary criticism. The fact that the literary
editor of the Manchester Guardian wrote and asked him to write literary
criticism for the Manchester Guardian will perhaps convey nothing to the
American citizen. But to the Englishman of literary taste and experience
it has enormous import. The Manchester Guardian publishes the most
fastidious and judicious literary criticism in Britain.

"I recall that once when Swinnerton was in my house I had there also a
young military officer with a mad passion for letters and a terrific
ambition to be an author. The officer gave me a manuscript to read. I
handed it over to Swinnerton to read, and then called upon Swinnerton to
criticise it in the presence of both of us. 'Your friend is very kind,'
said the officer to me afterward, 'but it was a frightful ordeal.'

"The book on George Gissing I have already mentioned. But it was
Swinnerton's work on R. L. Stevenson that made the trouble in London. It
is a destructive work. It is bland and impartial, and not bereft of
laudatory passages, but since its appearance Stevenson's reputation has
never been the same."

BOOKS BY FRANK SWINNERTON

THE MERRY HEART
THE YOUNG IDEA
THE CASEMENT
THE HAPPY FAMILY
GEORGE GISSING: A CRITICAL STUDY
R. L. STEVENSON: A CRITICAL STUDY
ON THE STAIRCASE
THE CHASTE WIFE
NOCTURNE
SHOPS AND HOUSES
SEPTEMBER
COQUETTE
THE THREE LOVERS


SOURCES ON FRANK SWINNERTON

Who's Who [In England].

Frank Swinnerton: Personal Sketches by Arnold Bennett, H. G. Wells,
Grant Overtor, Booklet published by GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY, 1920.

Private Information.



Chapter XVI

AN ARMFUL OF NOVELS, WITH NOTES ON THE NOVELISTS


=i=

"The quiet, the calm, the extreme individualism, and the easy-going
self-content of my birthplace and early habitat--the Eastern Shore of
Maryland, have been, I fear, the dominating influences of my life," writes
Sophie Kerr. "Thank heaven, I had a restless, energetic, and very
bad-tempered father to leaven them, a man with a biting tongue and a kind
heart, a keen sense of the ridiculous and a passion for honesty in speech
and action. I, the younger of his two children, was his constant
companion. I tagged after him, every day and all day. Even when I was very
small he interested me--and very few fathers ever really interest their
children.

"The usual life of a girl in a small semi-Southern town was mine. I
learned to cook, I made most of my own frocks, I embroidered excessively,
I played the violin worse than any other person in the world, I went away
to college and I came back again. I wasn't a popular girl socially for two
reasons. I had inherited my father's gift of sarcasm, and there was the
even greater handicap of a beautiful, popular, socially malleable older
sister. Beside her I was nowhere.

"But I wanted to write, so I didn't care. I got my father to buy me a
second-hand typewriter, and learned to run it with two fingers. And I
wrote. I even sold some of the stuff. The Country Gentleman bought one of
my first stories, and the Ladies' World bought another. This was
glorious.

"Then I got a job on the Pittsburgh Chronicle-Telegraph, an afternoon
newspaper owned by Senator Oliver. Later I went to The Gazette-Times, the
morning paper also owned by the Senator. A few years later I came to New
York and found a place on the staff of the Woman's Home Companion,
eventually becoming Managing Editor. Two years ago I resigned my editorial
job to give all my time to writing. Of course I had been writing pretty
steadily anyway, but holding my job too.

"I had expected, when I gave up office work, to find my leisure time an
embarrassment. I planned so many things to do, how I would see all my
friends often, how I would travel, read, do all sorts of delightful things
that double work had before made impossible. But I've done none of them. I
haven't nearly as much time as I had when I hadn't any time at all, and
that's the honest truth.

"If only I could arrange a multiple existence--one life for work; one for
the machinery of life, housekeeping, getting clothes made, shopping; one
for seeing my friends, travel, visiting; one life for the other diversions
such as music, the theatre, clubs, politics, one life for just plain
loafing. Now that would be wonderful. But to crowd it all into twenty-four
hours a day--no, too much of it gets squeezed out.

"What do I like the most? Comfort, I think. And old painted satinwood, and
cats and prizefights, and dancing, and Spanish shawls, and looking at the
ocean, and having my own way. And I dislike argument, and perfume, and fat
women, and people who tell the sort of lies that simply insult your
intelligence, and men who begin letters 'Dear Lady,' and long earrings,
and intolerance."

All of which is excellent preparation for the reader of Sophie Kerr's new
novel, _One Thing Is Certain_. Those who read her _Painted Meadows_ will
expect and will find in this new novel the same charming background, but
they will find a much more dramatic story. Since the novel is one of
surprise, with an event at its close which throws everything that went
before in a new, a curious, a startling and profoundly significant light,
I cannot indulge in any further description of it in this place. But I do
wish to quote some sentences from a letter Sophie Kerr wrote me:

"I wanted to show that when lives get out of plumb, the way to straighten
them is not with a violent gesture. That when we do seize them, and try to
jerk them straight again, we invariably let ourselves in for long years of
unhappiness and remorse. Witness Louellen. In two desperate attempts ...
she tries to change the whole current and colour of her life."

So much for the essential character of the story, but there is a question
in my mind as to what, in the story, readers will consider the true
essential! I think for very many it will not be the action, unusual and
dramatic as that is, but the picture of a peculiar community, one typical
of Maryland's Eastern Shore, where we have farmer folk in whom there lives
the spirit and tradition of a landed aristocracy. The true essential with
such readers, will be the individuals who are drawn with such humour and
skill, the mellowness of the scene; even such a detail as the culinary
triumph that was Louellen's wedding dinner. A marvellous and incomparable
meal! One reads of it, his mouth watering and his stomach crying out.

=ii=

_The House of Five Swords_, by Tristram Tupper, is a gallant
representative of those novels which we are beginning to get in the
inevitable reaction from such realism as _Main Street_ and _Moon-Calf_, a
romantic story of age and youth, of love and hate, of bitter unyielding
hardness, and of melting pity and tenderness. It begins with the Robin,
age seven, with burnished curls, viewing with awestruck delight five
polished swords against the shining dark wall in Colonial House, where she
had gone to deliver the Colonel's boots! She forgot the boots. She lifted
two of the swords from the wall, crossed them on the floor and danced the
sword dance of Scotland. From the doorway a white-haired old figure
watched with narrowed eyes and tightened mouth. Then the storm broke....

_The House of Five Swords_ is Mr. Tupper's first novel. A native of
Virginia, he has done newspaper work, has tramped a good deal and was
fooling with the study of law when American troops were ordered to the
Mexican border. After that experience he went overseas. On his return from
the war, he tried writing and met with rapid success.

=iii=

Readers of Baroness Orczy's novels will welcome _Nicolette_.

This is essentially a love story, with the scene laid in the mountains of
Provence in the early days of the Restoration of King Louis XVIII to the
throne of France. An ancient half-ruined château perches among dwarf
olives and mimosa, orange and lemon groves. There is a vivid contrast
between the prosperity of Jaume Deydier, a rich peasant-proprietor, and
the grinding poverty of the proud and ancient family of de Ventadour,
whose last scion, Bertrand, goes to seek fortune in Paris and there
becomes affianced to a wealthy and beautiful heiress. Nicolette, the
daughter of Jaume Deydier, whose ancestor had been a lackey in the service
of the Comte de Ventadour, is passionately in love with Bertrand, but a
bitter feud keeps the lovers for long apart.

There will be a new novel this autumn, _Ann and Her Mother_, by O.
Douglas, whose _Penny Plain_ gave great pleasure to its readers. "Penny
plain," if you remember, was the way Jean described the lot of herself and
her brothers whom she mothered in the Scottish cottage; but matters were
somewhat changed when romance crossed the threshold in the person of the
Honourable Pamela and a bitter old millionaire who came to claim the house
as his own.

_Ann and Her Mother_ is the story of a Scotch family as seen through the
eyes of the mother and her daughter. The author of _Penny Plain_ and _Ann
and Her Mother_ is a sister of John Buchan, author of _The Thirty-nine
Steps_, _The Path of the King_, and many other books.

_December Love_, by Robert Hichens, will have a greater popularity than
any of his novels since _The Garden of Allah_. It is a question whether
this uncannily penetrative study of power and the need for love of a woman
of sixty does not surpass _The Garden of Allah_. In Lady Sellingworth, Mr.
Hichens is dealing with a brilliant woman. The theme is daring and calls
for both skill and delicacy. Of the action, one really should not say very
much, lest one spoil the book for the reader. The loss of the Sellingworth
jewels in Paris had caused a sensation in the midst of which Lady
Sellingworth was silent. She declined to discuss the disappearance of the
jewels. There followed the advent at No. 4 Berkeley Square of Alick
Craven, a man of thirty, vigorous, attractive and decidedly a somebody.
But inexplicably--at any rate without explanation--Lady Sellingworth
retired from society when Craven appeared.

_Tell England_ by Ernest Raymond is a novel which has been sensationally
successful in England. It is a war story and I will give you some of the
opening paragraphs of the "Prologue by Padre Monty":

"In the year that the Colonel died he took little Rupert to see the
swallows fly away. I can find no better beginning than that.

"When there devolved upon me as a labour of love the editing of Rupert
Ray's book, _Tell England_, I carried the manuscript to my room one bright
autumn afternoon and read it during the fall of a soft evening, till the
light failed, and my eyes burned with the strain of reading in the dark. I
could hardly leave his ingenuous tale to rise and turn on the gas. Nor,
perhaps, did I want such artificial brightness. There are times when one
prefers the twilight. Doubtless the tale held me fascinated because it
revealed the schooldays of those boys whom I met in their young manhood
and told afresh that wild old Gallipoli adventure which I shared with
them. Though, sadly enough, I take Heaven to witness that I was not the
idealised creature whom Rupert portrays. God bless them, how these boys
will idealise us!

"Then again, as Rupert tells you, it was I who suggested to him the
writing of his story. And well I recall how he demurred, asking:

"'But what am I to write about?' For he was always diffident and
unconscious of his power.

"'Is Gallipoli nothing to write about?' I retorted. 'And you can't have
spent five years at a great public school like Kensington without one or
two sensational things. Pick them out and let us have them. For whatever
the modern theorists say, the main duty of a story-teller is certainly to
tell stories.'"

This prologue is followed by the novel which begins with English public
school life in the fashion of _Sonia_ and other novels American readers
are familiar with. The main theme of the book is Gallipoli.

The new novel by J. E. Buckrose is _A Knight Among Ladies_. Mrs. Buckrose
says that the character of Sid Dummeris in this book is modelled upon an
actual person. "He did actually live in a remote country place where I
used to stay a great deal when I was a child and as he has been gone
twenty years, I thought I might employ my exact memories of him without
hurting anyone." This was in answer to questions asked by The Bookman
(London) of a number of English writers. The London Bookman wanted to find
out if novelists generally drew their characters from actual people. The
replies showed that this proceeding was very rare. Mrs. Buckrose recalled
only one other instance in which she had used an actual person in her
fiction. Mrs. Buckrose is Mrs. Falconer Jameson. She lives at Hornsea,
East Yorkshire, and says:

"My real hobby is my writing--as it was my secret pleasure from the age of
nine until I was over thirty when I first attempted to publish. I look
after my chickens, my house and a rather delicate husband; write my books
and try to do my duty to my neighbour!"

=iv=

Back of the new novel by Margaret Culkin Banning, _Spellbinders_, is the
question: Has the vote and its consequent widening of the mental horizon
introduced a brand new element of discord or a factor for mutual support
into modern marriage? The household of the George Flandons was almost
wrecked by it. That his wife should accept the opportunity to play her
part in State and National affairs seemed to George Flandon a desertion of
her real duty.

Mrs. Banning has written a novel which will surprise those who remember
her only by her first novel, _This Marrying_. The surprise will be less
for those who read her second novel, _Half Loaves_, for they must have
been struck by the real understanding she showed of the married
relationship and the marked increase in her skill as a writer.
_Spellbinders_ is the sort of work one looks for after such a good novel
as _Half Loaves_.

Mrs. Banning, who was married in 1914, lives in Duluth. A graduate of
Vassar, her first novel was written in one of Margaret Mayo's cottages at
Harmon, New York. She is of purely Irish ancestry, related to the Plunkett
family which bred both statesmen and revolutionaries for Ireland. On the
other side there was a Colonel Culkin, who, Mrs. Banning says, "came over
at the time of the Revolution but unfortunately fought on the wrong side,
so we forget him and begin our Culkin lineage in this country with the
Culkin who came over at the famous time of the 'potato-rot.'" That would
be the Irish famine of 1846, no doubt.

_Sunny-San_, Onoto Watanna's first novel in six years, has been the signal
for her re-entrance not only into the world of fiction, but the world of
motion pictures and plays. Even before _Sunny-San_ was ready as a book,
the motion picture producers were on the author's track. A large sum was
paid cash down for the picture rights to the novel and then the prospect
of a picture was laid aside while the possibilities of a play were
estimated. These were seen to be exceptionally good. Here was a story of
young American boys travelling in Japan and coming upon a still younger
Japanese girl, threatened with cruelty and unhappiness. The young men
endowed Sunny-San, so to speak, planking down enough money to secure her
protection and education. Thereupon they continued blithely on their
travels and forgot all about her.

Some years later a well-educated, dainty and exceedingly attractive
Japanese girl presents herself on the doorstep of a house in New York
where one of the young men resides. Situation! What shall the young man do
with his charming and unexpected protégée! In view of the prolonged
success of Fay Bainter in the play, _East Is West_, it was obviously the
thing to make a play out of _Sunny-San_. And this, I believe, is being
done as I write. In the meantime Onoto Watanna, who is really Mrs.
Winnifred Reeve, and who lives on a ranch near Calgary, Canada, is very
busy with her Canadian stories which have excited the enthusiasm of
magazine editors. I am confident that she will do a Canadian novel; the
more so because she tells me that, despite the success of _Sunny-San_ and
the enormous success of her earlier Japanese stories, like _A Japanese
Nightingale_, her interest is really centred at present in Canada, its
people and backgrounds.

=v=

Pending Dorothy Speare's second novel, let me suggest that those who have
not done so read her first, _Dancers in the Dark_. That a young woman just
out of Smith College should write this novel, that the novel should then
begin immediately selling at a great rate, and that David Belasco should
demand a play constructed from the novel is altogether a sequence to cause
surprise. I have had letters from older people who said frankly that they
could not express themselves about _Dancers in the Dark_, because it dealt
with a life with which they were utterly unfamiliar--which, in some cases,
they did not know existed. And yet it does exist! The demand for the book,
the avidity with which it has been read and the intemperance with which it
has been discussed testify that in _Dancers in the Dark_ Miss Speare wrote
a book with truth in it. I suppose it might be said of her first
novel--though I should not agree in saying it--that, like F. Scott
Fitzgerald's _This Side of Paradise_, it had every conceivable fault
except the fatal fault; it did not fail to live. The amount of publicity
that this book received was astonishing. I have handled clippings from
newspapers all over the country--and not mere "items" but "spreads" with
pictures--in which the epigrammatic utterances of the characters in
_Dancers_ were reprinted and their truth or falsity debated hotly. Is the
modern girl an "excitement eater"? Does she "live from man to man and
never kill off a man"? There was altogether too much smoke and heat in the
controversy for one to doubt the existence, underneath the surface of Miss
Speare's fiction, of glowing coals. And Miss Speare? Well, it is a fact
that, like her heroine in _Dancers_, she has an exceptional voice; and I
understand that she intends to cultivate the voice and to continue as a
writer, both. That is a very difficult programme to lay out for one's
self, but I really believe her capable of succeeding in both halves of the
programme.

Another distinctly popular novel, _The Moon Out of Reach_, by Margaret
Pedler, is the fruit of a well-developed career as a novelist. _The Hermit
of Far End_, _The House of Dreams Come True_, _The Lamp of Fate_, and _The
Splendid Folly_ were the forerunners of this immediate and distinct
success. Mrs. Pedler is the wife of a sportsman well known in the West of
England, the nearest living descendant of Sir Francis Drake. They have a
lovely home in the country and Mrs. Pedler, besides the joys of her
writing, is a collector of old furniture and china and a devotee of
driving, tennis and swimming. It is interesting that as a girl she studied
at the Royal Academy of Music with a view to being a professional singer.
Marriage diverted her from that, but she still retains her interest in
music; and it is characteristic of such novels as _The Splendid Folly_ and
_The Moon Out of Reach_ that a lyric appearing in the book embodies the
theme of the story. These lyrics of Mrs. Pedler's have mostly been set to
music.

What shall I say about Corra Harris's _The Eyes of Love_ except that it
offers such a study of marriage as only Mrs. Harris puts on paper? Shrewd
and homely wisdom, sympathetic and ironical humour, the insight and the
fundamental experience,--above all, imagination in experience--which made
their first deep and wide impression with the publication of _A Circuit
Rider's Wife_. I open _The Eyes of Love_ at random and come upon such a
passage as this, and then I don't wonder that men as well as women read
Corra Harris and continue to read her:

"Few women are ever related by marriage to the minds of their husbands.
These minds are foreign countries where they discover themselves to be
aliens, speaking another smaller language and practically incapable of
mastering the manners and customs of that place. This is sometimes the
man's fault, because his mind is not a fit place for a nice person like
his wife to dwell, but more frequently it is the wife's fault, who is not
willing to associate intimately with the hardships that inhabit the mind
of a busy man, who has no time to ornament that area with ideas pertaining
to the finer things. So it happens that both of them prefer this divorce,
the man because the woman gets in the way with her scruples and emotions
when he is about to do business without reference to either; the woman
because it is easier to keep on the domestic periphery of her husband,
where she thinks she knows him and is married to him because she knows
what foods he likes, and the people he prefers to have asked to dine when
she entertains, the chair that fits him, the large pillow or the small one
he wants for his tired old head at night, the place where the light must
be when he reads in the evening rather than talk to her, because there is
nothing to talk about, since she is only the wife of his bosom and not of
his head."

=vi=

Phyllis Bottome is just as interesting as her novels. When scarcely more
than a child with large, delightful eyes, she began to write, and
completed at the age of seventeen a novel which Andrew Lang advised an
English publisher to accept. Thereafter she wrote regularly and with
increasing distinction. Ill-health drove her to Switzerland where, living
for some years, she met all kinds of people from all the countries of
Europe and America as well.

It is interesting that her father was an American, although after his
marriage to an Englishwoman, he settled in England. Later Mr. Bottome came
to America and for six years during Phyllis Bottome's childhood he was
rector of Grace Church at Jamaica, New York. Phyllis Bottome is the wife
of A. E. Forbes Dennis, who, recovering from dangerous wounds in the war,
has been serving as passport officer at Vienna. They were married in 1917.
Those who know Phyllis Bottome personally say that the striking thing
about her is the extent of her acquaintance with people of all sorts and
conditions of life and her ready and unfailing sympathy with all kinds of
people. She herself says that she "has had friends who live humdrum and
simple lives and friends whose stories would bring a rush of doubt to the
most credulous believer in fiction." "My friendships have included
workmen, bargees, actresses, clergymen, thieves, scholars, dancers,
soldiers, sailors and even the manager of a bank. It would be true of me
to say that as a human being I prefer life to art, even if it would at the
same time be damning to admit that I know much more about it. I have no
preferences; men, women, children, animals and nature under every aspect
seem to me a mere choice of miracles. I have not perhaps many illusions,
but I have got hold of one or two certainties. I believe in life and I
know that it is very hard."

The hardness of life, its uproar, its agony, its magnificence and its
duty, is the theme of Phyllis Bottome's latest and finest novel. When it
was published, because it was so different from Phyllis Bottome's earlier
work, I tried to draw attention to it by a letter in which I said:

"I don't know whether you read J. C. Snaith's _The Sailor_. People said
Snaith got his suggestion from the life of John Masefield. _The Sailor_
sold many thousands and people recall the book today, years afterward.
But, as an ex-sailor and a few other things, I never found Snaith's 'Enry
'Arper half so convincing as Jim Barton in Phyllis Bottome's new novel,
_The Kingfisher_.

"Jim, a boy of the slums, reaching toward 'that broken image of the mind
of God--human love,' goes pretty deeply into me. Since reading those last
words of the book--'Beauty touched him. It was as if he saw, with a flash
of jewelled wings, a Kingfisher fly home'--I keep going back and rereading
bits....

"Won't you tackle _The Kingfisher_? If you'll read to the bottom of page
51, I'll take a chance beyond that. Read that far and then, if you stop
there, I've no word to say."

Although this letter called for no special reply, I received dozens of
replies promising to read the book and then enthusiastic comments after
having read the book. I do not consider _The Kingfisher_ the greatest book
Phyllis Bottome will write, but it marks an important advance in her work
and it is a novel whose positive merits will last; it will be as moving
and as significant ten years from now as it is today.

=vii=

I come to a group of novels of which the chief aim of all except two is
entertainment. _The_ _Return of Alfred_, by the anonymous author of
_Patricia Brent, Spinster_, is the diverting narrative of a man who found
himself in another man's shoes. What made it particularly difficult was
that the other man had been a very bad egg, indeed. And there was, as
might have been feared (or anticipated), a girl to complicate matters
tremendously.

E. F. Benson's _Peter_ is the story of a young man who made a point of
being different, of keeping his aloofness and paying just the amount of
charm and gaiety required for the dinners and opera seats which London
hostesses so gladly proffered. Then he married Silvia, not for her money
exactly, but he certainly would not have asked her if she hadn't had
money. No wonder E. F. Benson has a liberal and expectant audience! In
_Peter_ he shows an exquisite understanding of the quality of the love
between Peter and his boyish young wife.

A. A. Milne is another name to conjure with among those who love humour
and charm, gentleness and a quiet shafting of the human depths. There is
his novel, _Mr. Pim_. Old Mr. Pim, in his gentle way, shuffled into the
Mardens' charming household. Mr. Pim said a few words and went
absentmindedly away,--leaving Mr. Marden with the devastating knowledge
that his wife was no wife, that her first husband, instead of lying
quietly in his grave in Australia, had just landed in England. In short,
the Mardens had been living in sin for five years! Then Mr. Pim came back
for his forgotten hat and the Marden household was again revolutionised.

_Beauty for Ashes_, by Joan Sutherland, is a story with a more serious
theme. It really raises the question whether a man who has wrongly been
named as co-respondent is in honour bound to marry the defendant. The
affair of Lady Madge with Lord Desmond was an entirely innocent one,
despite what London said. Lady Madge's husband, wrought upon by shame and
anger, began his action for divorce; and Desmond found himself not merely
face to face with dishonour but bound by conventional honour for life to a
girl with whom he had simply been friendly.

William Rose Benét had been known chiefly as a poet until the publication
of his first novel, _The First Person Singular_. The scene of _The First
Person Singular_ shifts between the kinetic panorama of modern New York
and the somewhat stultifying quietude of a small Pennsylvania town. A
mysterious Mrs. Ventress is the centre of its rapidly unfolding series of
peculiar situations. Mrs. Ventress is a puzzle to the townspeople. They
believe odd things about her. The particular family in Tupton with which
she comes in contact is an eccentric one. The father is a recluse--for
reasons. His adopted daughter, Bessie Gedney, is an odd character among
young girls in fiction. Dr. Gedney's real daughter had disappeared years
before. Why? What has become of her? This complicates the mystery.

_The First Person Singular_ is a light novel, avowedly without the heavy
"significance" and desperately drab realism of many modern novels. And yet
it flashes with tragedy and implicates grim spiritual struggle without
tearing any passion to tatters. The author's touch is light, the variety
of his characters furnish him much diversion. The amusing side of each
situation does not escape him. His style has a certain effervescent
quality, but, for all that, the tragic developments of the story are not
shirked.

Another treatment of a problem of marriage, a treatment sympathetic but
robust, is found in the new novel of F. E. Mills Young, _The Stronger
Influence_. Like Miss Mills Young's earlier novels, _Imprudence_ and _The
Almonds of Life_, the scene of _The Stronger Influence_ is British Africa.
The story is of the choice confronting a girl upon whom two men have a
vital claim.

To be somebody is more ethical than to serve somebody. The individual has
not only a right but an obligation to sacrifice family entanglements in
the cause of a necessary personal independence. This is the attitude
expressed in Richard Blaker's novel, _The Voice in the Wilderness_. The
story centres around the figure of Charles Petrie, popular playwright in
London but known in Pelchester merely as a shabby fellow and to his family
a singularly sarcastic and annoying father. Sarcasm was Petrie's one
defence against the limp weight that was Mrs. Petrie His children would
have been astonished to hear him called a charming man of the world, yet
he was. It is probable that he never would have come out into the open to
combat if he hadn't been moved constantly to interfere and save his
daughter Cynthia from offering herself as a willing sacrifice to her
mother. Richard Blaker is new to America, a novelist of acutely pointed
characterisations and careful atmosphere.

=viii=

_Nêne_, the work of an unknown French school teacher, a novel
distinguished in France by the award of the Goncourt Prize as the most
distinguished French novel of the year 1920, had sold at this writing
400,000 copies in France. Three months after publication, it had sold in
this country less than 3,000 copies.

I am glad to say that it was sufficient to draw to the attention of
Americans this deplorable discrepancy to arouse interest in the novel.
People of so divergent tastes as William Lyon Phelps, Corra Harris, Ralph
Connor, Walter Prichard Eaton, Mary Johnston, Dorothy Speare and Richard
LeGallienne have been at pains to express the feeling to which _Nêne_ has
stirred them. I have not space to quote them all, and so select as typical
the comment of Walter Prichard Eaton:

"I read _Nêne_ with great interest, especially because of its relation to
_Maria Chapdelaine_. It seems to me the two books came out most happily
together. _Maria Chapdelaine_ gives us the French peasant in the new
world, touched with the pioneer spirit, and though close to the soil in
constant battle with nature, somehow always master of his fate. _Nêne_
gives us this same racial stock, again close to the soil, but an old-world
soil its fathers worked, and the peasant here seems ringed around with
those old ghosts, their prejudices and their passions. I have seldom read
any book which seemed to me so unerringly to capture the enveloping
atmosphere of place and tradition, as it conditions the lives of people,
and yet to do it so (apparently) artlessly. This struck me so forcibly
that it was not till later I began to realise with a sigh--if one himself
is a writer, a sigh of envy--that _Nêne_ has a directness, a simplicity, a
principle of internal growth or dramatic life of its own, which, alas!
most of us are incapable of attaining."

The author of _Carnival_, _Sinister Street_, _Plasher's Mead_; of those
highly comedic novels, _Poor Relations_ and _Rich Relatives_; of other and
still more diverse fiction, Compton Mackenzie, has turned to a new task.
His fine novel, _The Altar Steps_, concerns itself with a young priest of
the Church of England. We live in the England of Lytton Strachey's _Queen
Victoria_--the England of 1880 to the close of the Boer War--as we follow
Mark Lidderdale from boyhood to his ordination. _The Altar Steps_, it is
known will be followed by a novel probably to be called _The Parson's
Progress_. Evidently Mr. Mackenzie is bent upon a fictional study of the
whole problem of the Church of England in relation to our times, and
particularly the position of the Catholic party in the Church.

"Simon Pure," who writes the monthly letter from London appearing in The
Bookman (and whose identity is a well-known secret!) thus describes, in
The Bookman for September, 1922, a visit to Mr. Mackenzie:

"I have recently seen the author of _The Altar Steps_ upon his native
heath._ The Altar Steps_ is the latest work of Compton Mackenzie, and it
has done something to rehabilitate him with the critics. The press has
been less fiercely adverse than usual to the author. He is supposed to
have come back to the fold of the 'serious' writers, and so the fatted
calf has been slain for him. We shall see. My own impression is that
Mackenzie is a humorous writer, and that the wiseacres who want the novel
to be 'serious' are barking up the wrong tree. At any rate, there the book
is, and it is admitted to be a good book by all who have been condemning
Mackenzie as a trifler; and Mackenzie is going on with his sequel to it in
the pleasant land of Italy. I did not see him in Italy, but in Herm, one
of the minor Channel Islands. It took me a night to reach the place--a
night of fog and fog-signals--a night of mystery, with the moon full and
the water shrouded--and morning found the fog abruptly lifted, and the
islands before our eyes. They glittered under a brilliant sun. There came
hurried disembarking, a transference (for me, and after breakfast) to a
small boat called, by the owner's pleasantry, 'Watch Me' (Compton
Mackenzie), and then a fine sail (per motor) to Herm. I said to the
skipper that I supposed there must be many dangerous submerged rocks. 'My
dear fellow!' exclaimed the skipper, driven to familiarity by my naïveté.
And with that we reached the island. Upon the end of a pier stood a tall
figure, solitary. 'My host!' thought I. Not so. Merely an advance guard:
his engineer. We greeted--my reception being that of some foreign
potentate--and I was led up a fine winding road that made me think of
Samoa and Vailima and all the beauties of the South Seas. Upon the road
came another figure--this time a young man who made a friend of me at a
glance. He now took me in hand. Together we made the rest of the journey
along this beautiful road, and to the cottage of residence. I entered.
There was a scramble. At last I met my host, who leapt from bed to welcome
me!

"From that moment my holiday was delightful. The island is really
magnificent. Short of a stream, it has everything one could wish for in
such a place. It has cliffs, a wood, a common fields under cultivation,
fields used as pasture, caves, shell beaches, several empty cottages. Its
bird life is wealthy in cuckoos and other magic-bringers; its flowers have
extraordinary interest; dogs and cattle and horses give domestic life, and
a boat or two may be used for excursions to Jethou, a smaller island near
by. And Mackenzie has this ideal place to live in for as much of the year
as he likes. None may gather there without his permission. He is the lord
of the manor, and his boundaries are the sea and the sky. We walked about
the islands, and saw their beauties, accompanied by a big dog--a Great
Dane--which coursed rabbits and lay like a dead fish in the bottom of a
small boat. And as each marvel of the little paradise presented itself, I
became more and more filled with that wicked thing, envy. But I believe
envy does not make much progress when the owner of the desired object so
evidently appreciates it with more gusto even than the envious one. Reason
is against envy in such a case. To have said, 'He doesn't appreciate it'
would have been a lie so manifest that it did not even occur to me. He
does. That is the secret of Mackenzie's personal ability to charm. He is
filled with vitality, but he is also filled with the power to take extreme
delight in the delight of others and to better it. Moreover, he gives one
the impression of understanding islands. Herm has been in his possession
for something more than a year, and he has lived there continuously all
that time (except for two or three visits to London, of short duration).
It has been in all his thoughts. He has seen it as a whole. He knows it
from end to end, its rocks, its birds, its trees and flowers and paths.
What wonder that his health is magnificent, his spirits high! What wonder
the critics have seen fit to praise _The Altar Steps_ as they have not
praised anything of Mackenzie's for years? If they had seen Herm, they
could have done nothing at all but praise without reserve."



CHAPTER XVII

THE HETEROGENEOUS MAGIC OF MAUGHAM


=i=

Now, I don't know where to begin. Probably I shall not know where to leave
off, either. That is my usual misfortune, to write a chapter at both ends.
It is a fatal thing, like the doubly-consuming candle. Perhaps I might
start with the sapience of Hector MacQuarrie, author of _Tahiti Days_. I
am tempted to, because so many people think of W. Somerset Maugham as the
author of _The Moon and Sixpence_. The day will come, however, when people
will think of him as the man who wrote _Of Human Bondage_.

This novel does not need praise. All it needs, like the grand work it is,
is attention; and that it increasingly gets.

[Illustration: W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM]

=ii=

Theodore Dreiser reviewed _Of Human Bondage_ for the New Republic. I
reprint part of what he said:

"Sometimes in retrospect of a great book the mind falters, confused by the
multitude and yet the harmony of the detail, the strangeness of the
frettings, the brooding, musing intelligence that has foreseen, loved,
created, elaborated, perfected, until, in the middle ground which we call
life, somewhere between nothing and nothing, hangs the perfect thing which
we love and cannot understand, but which we are compelled to confess a
work of art. It is at once something and nothing, a dream of happy memory,
a song, a benediction. In viewing it one finds nothing to criticise or to
regret. The thing sings, it has colour. It has rapture. You wonder at the
loving, patient care which has evolved it.

"Here is a novel or biography or autobiography or social transcript of the
utmost importance. To begin with, it is unmoral, as a novel of this kind
must necessarily be. The hero is born with a club foot, and in
consequence, and because of a temperament delicately attuned to the
miseries of life, suffers all the pains, recessions, and involute self
tortures which only those who have striven handicapped by what they have
considered a blighting defect can understand. He is a youth, therefore,
with an intense craving for sympathy and understanding. He must have it.
The thought of his lack, and the part which his disability plays in it
soon becomes an obsession. He is tortured, miserable.

"Curiously the story rises to no spired climax. To some it has apparently
appealed as a drab, unrelieved narrative. To me at least it is a gorgeous
weave, as interesting and valuable at the beginning as at the end. There
is material in its three hundred thousand or more words for many novels
and indeed several philosophies, and even a religion or stoic hope. There
are a series of women, of course--drab, pathetic, enticing as the case may
be,--who lead him through the mazes of sentiment, sex, love, pity,
passion; a wonderful series of portraits and of incidents. There are a
series of men friends of a peculiarly inclusive range of intellectuality
and taste, who lead him, or whom he leads, through all the intricacies of
art, philosophy, criticism, humour. And lastly comes life itself, the
great land and sea of people, England, Germany, France, battering,
corroding, illuminating, a Goyaesque world.

"Naturally I asked myself how such a book would be received in America, in
England. In the latter country I was sure, with its traditions and the
Athenæum and the Saturday Review, it would be adequately appreciated.
Imagine my surprise to find that the English reviews were almost uniformly
contemptuous and critical on moral and social grounds. The hero was a
weakling, not for a moment to be tolerated by sound, right-thinking men.
On the other hand, in America the reviewers for the most part have seen
its true merits and stated them. Need I say, however, that the New York
World finds it 'the sentimental servitude of a poor fool,' or that the
Philadelphia Press sees fit to dub it 'futile Philip,' or that the Outlook
feels that 'the author might have made his book true without making it so
frequently distasteful'; or that the Dial cries 'a most depressing
impression of the futility of life'?

"Despite these dissonant voices it is still a book of the utmost import,
and has so been received. Compact of the experiences, the dreams, the
hopes, the fears, the disillusionments, the ruptures, and the
philosophising of a strangely starved soul, it is a beacon light by which
the wanderer may be guided. Nothing is left out; the author writes as
though it were a labour of love. It bears the imprint of an eager, almost
consuming desire to say truly what is in his heart.

"Personally, I found myself aching with pain when, yearning for sympathy,
Philip begs the wretched Mildred, never his mistress but on his level, to
no more than tolerate him. He finally humiliates himself to the extent of
exclaiming, 'You don't know what it means to be a cripple!' The pathos of
it plumbs the depths. The death of Fannie Price, of the sixteen-year-old
mother in the slum, of Cronshaw, and the rambling agonies of old Ducroz
and of Philip himself, are perfect in their appeal.

"There are many other and all equally brilliant pictures. No one short of
a genius could rout the philosophers from their lairs and label them as
individuals 'tempering life with rules agreeable to themselves' or could
follow Mildred Rogers, waitress of the London A B C restaurant, through
all the shabby windings of her tawdry soul. No other than a genius endowed
with an immense capacity for understanding and pity could have sympathised
with Fannie Price, with her futile and self-destructive art dreams; or old
Cronshaw, the wastrel of poetry and philosophy; or Mons. Ducroz, the
worn-out revolutionary; or Thorne Athelny, the caged grandee of Spain; or
Leonard Upjohn, airy master of the art of self-advancement; or Dr. South,
the vicar of Blackstable, and his wife--these are masterpieces. They are
marvellous portraits; they are as smooth as a Vermeer, as definite as a
Hals; as brooding and moving as a Rembrandt. The study of Carey himself,
while one sees him more as a medium through which the others express
themselves, still registers photographically at times. He is by no means a
brooding voice but a definite, active, vigorous character.

"If the book can be said to have a fault it will lie for some in its
length, 300,000 words, or for others in the peculiar reticence with which
the last love affair in the story is handled. Until the coming of Sallie
Athelny all has been described with the utmost frankness. No situation,
however crude or embarrassing, has been shirked. In the matter of the
process by which he arrived at the intimacy which resulted in her becoming
pregnant not a word is said. All at once, by a slight frown which she
subsequently explains, the truth is forced upon you that there has been a
series of intimacies which have not been accounted for. After Mildred
Rogers and his relationship with Norah Nesbit it strikes one as
strange....

"One feels as though one were sitting before a splendid Shiraz or
Daghestan of priceless texture and intricate weave, admiring, feeling,
responding sensually to its colours and tones. Mr. Maugham ... has
suffered for the joy of the many who are to read after him. By no willing
of his own he has been compelled to take life by the hand and go down
where there has been little save sorrow and degradation. The cup of gall
and wormwood has obviously been lifted to his lips and to the last drop he
has been compelled to drink it. Because of this, we are enabled to see the
rug, woven of the tortures and delights of a life. We may actually walk
and talk with one whose hands and feet have been pierced with nails."

=iii=

I turn, for a different example of the heterogeneous magic of Maugham,
including his ability to create and sustain a mood in his readers, to the
words of Mr. MacQuarrie, who writes:

"It was Tahiti. With a profound trust in my discretion, or perhaps an
utter ignorance of the homely fact that people have their feelings, a
London friend sent us a copy of _The Moon and_ _Sixpence_. This friend,
actually a beautiful, well set up woman of the intelligent class in
England (which is more often than not the upper fringes or spray of the
_bourgeoisie_), wrote: 'You will be interested in this book, since quite
the most charming portion of it deals with your remote island of Tahiti. I
met the author last night at Lady B----'s. I think the landlady at the
end, Mrs. Johnson, is a perfect darling.'

"Knowing Somerset Maugham as a dramatist, the author of that kind of play
which never bored one, but rather sent one home suffused with
pleasantness, I opened the book with happy anticipation. Therefore--and
the title of the book, _The Moon and Sixpence_, gave a jolly calming
reaction--I was surprised and frankly annoyed when I found myself
compelled to follow the fortunes of a large red-headed man with mighty sex
appeal, who barged his way through female tears to a final goal which
seemed to be a spiritual achievement, and a nasty death in a native
_fare_. I was alarmed; here was a man writing something enormously strong,
when I had been accustomed to associate him with charming London
nights--the theatre, perfect acting, no middle class problems, a dropping
of one's women folks at their doors and a return to White's and whiskey
and a soda. And furthermore, in this book of his, he had picked up Lavina,
the famous landlady of the Tiare Hotel, the uncrowned queen of Tahiti, and
with a few strokes of his pen, had dissected her, and exposed her to the
world as she was. Here I must quote:

"'Tall and extremely stout, she would have been an imposing presence if
the great good nature of her face had not made it impossible for her to
express anything but kindliness. Her arms were like legs of mutton, her
breasts like giant cabbages; her face, broad and fleshy, gave you an
impression of almost indecent nakedness and vast chin succeeded vast
chin.'

"This may seem a small matter in a great world. Tahiti is a small world,
and this became a great matter. I read the book twice, decided that
Somerset Maugham could no longer be regarded as a pleasant liqueur, but
rather as the joint of a meal requiring steady digestion, and suppressed
_The Moon and Sixpence_ on Tahiti. The temptation to lend it to a kindred
spirit was almost unbearable, but the thought of Lavina hearing of the
above description of her person frightened me and I resisted. For kindred
souls, on Tahiti as elsewhere, have their own kindred souls, and slowly
but surely the fact that a writer had described her arms as legs of mutton
(perfect!) and her breasts as huge cabbages (even better!) would have
oozed its way to Lavina, sending her to bed for six days, with gloom
spread over Tahiti and no cocktails.

"All of which is a trifle by the way. Yet in writing of Somerset Maugham
one must gaze along all lines of vision. And it seemed to me that Tahiti
in general, and Papeete in particular should supply a clear one; for here,
certainly, in the days when Maugham visited the island a man could be
mentally dead, spiritually naked and physically unashamed. I therefore
sought Lavina one afternoon as she sat clothed as with a garment by the
small side verandah of the Tiare Hotel. (Lavina was huge; the verandah was
a small verandah as verandahs go; there was just room for me and a bottle
of rum.)

"'Lavina,' I remarked; 'many persons who write come to Tahiti.'

"'It is true,' she admitted, 'but not as the heavy rain, rather as the few
drops at the end.'

"'Do you like them?' I enquired.

"One makes that kind of remark on Tahiti. The climate demands such, since
the answer can be almost anything, a meandering spreading-of-weight kind
of answer.

"'These are good men,' said Lavina steadily, wandering off into the old
and possibly untrue story of a lady called Beatrice Grimshaw and her
dilemma on a schooner in mid-Pacific, when the captain, a gentle ancient,
thinking that the dark women were having it all their own way, offered to
embrace Miss Grimshaw, finding in return a gun pointing at his middle,
filling him with quaint surprise that anyone could possibly offer violence
in defence of a soul in so delightful a climate.

"After which and a rum cocktail, I said: 'Lavina, did you see much of
M'sieur Somerset Maugham when he was here?'

"'It is the man who writes?' she inquired lazily.

"'It is,' I returned.

"'It is the _beau garçon-ta-ta, neneenha roa?_' she suggested.

"'Probably not,' I said; 'I suspect you are thinking, as usual, of Rupert
Brooke. M'sieur Maugham may be regarded as _beau_, but he is not an
elderly waiter of forty-seven, therefore we may not call him a _garçon_.'

"'It is,' Lavina admitted; 'that I am thinking of M'sieur Rupert, he is
the _beau garçon_.'

"'But,' I said, 'I want to know what you thought of M'sieur Somerset
Maugham?'

"Once started on Rupert Brooke, and Lavina would go on for the afternoon!

"'I respect M'sieur Morn,' said Lavina.

"'Oh!' thought I; 'if she respects him, then I'm not going to get much.'

"'His French is not mixed,' she continued, referring to Maugham's Parisian
accent; 'I speak much with him, and he listen, with but a small question
here, and one there. It is the pure French from Paris, as M'sieur _le
Governeur_ speak, who is the pig. But when he speak much, then it is like
the coral which breaks.'

"Lavina now wandered off permanently; it was impossible to bring her back.
Her image of the brittle coral branches was a mild personality directed at
Maugham's stutter, which seldom escapes the most sophisticated observer.
For those who interview him always find well cut suitings, clean collars
and the stutter, and very little else that they can lay hold of with any
degree of honesty. Which only goes to prove my own opinion that Maugham,
as an observer, refuses to have his own vision clogged by prying eyes at
himself.

"I expect that if my French had been better, I might have got some
information about Maugham in Tahiti from the bland and badly built French
officials who lurk in the official club near the Pomare Palace. I was
reduced, in my rather casual investigation, to questioning natives and
schooner captains. Once I felt confident of gaining a picture, I asked
Titi of Taunoa. (Titi is the lady who figures a trifle disgracefully in
Gauguin's _Noanoa_, the woman he found boring after a few weeks, her
French blood being insufficiently exotic to his spirit.)

"Said Titi: 'M'sieur Morn? Yes, him I know; he speak good French, and take
the door down from the _fare_ on which is the picture done by Gauguin of
the lady whose legs are like thin pillows and her arms like fat ropes,
very what you call strained, and funny.'

"After which her remarks centred around a lover of her sister, who had
just died at the age of seventy, and Titi considered that the denouement
made by Manu, the sister, was uncalled for at the death bed, since the
true and faithful wife stood there surrounded by nine children, all safely
born the right side of the sheet. She did mention that the removal of the
door from the _fare_ caused the wind to enter. And although I often made
inquiries, I never gained much information. Tahiti, as a whole, seemed
unaware of Maugham's visit.

"They may have adored him; but I suspect he was a quiet joy, the kind
native Tahiti soon forgets, certainly not the kind of joy she embodies in
her national songs and _himines_. Such are the merry drunkards,
inefficient though earnest white hulahula dancers and the plain (more than
everyday) sinners who cut up rough with wild jagged edges and cruel
tearings.

"His occasional appearance at the French club would raise his status,
removing any light touches with his junketings, perhaps turning them into
dignified ceremonies. Which, for the Tahitian, approaches the end. The
Tahitian never quite understands the white man who consorts with the
French officials, although many do. 'For are not these men of Farane,'
says the native, 'like the hen that talks without feathers?'--whatever
that may mean, but it suggests at once the talkative Frenchman denuding
himself on hot evenings, and wearing but the native _pareu_ to hide
portions of his bad figure.

"But although, in some ways, Maugham hid himself from the natives and
pleasant half-castes, he saw them all right, and clearly, since the
closing pages of the _The Moon and Sixpence_ display a magical picture of
that portion of Tahiti he found time to explore."

=iv=

Mr. Maugham now offers us _On a Chinese Screen_, sketches of Chinese life,
and _East of Suez_, his new play.

There are fifty-eight sketches in _On a Chinese Screen_, portraits
including European residents in China as well as native types. Here is a
sample of the book, the little descriptive study with which it closes,
entitled "A Libation to the Gods":

"She was an old woman, and her face was wizened and deeply lined. In her
grey hair three long silver knives formed a fantastic headgear. Her dress
of faded blue consisted of a long jacket, worn and patched, and a pair of
trousers that reached a little below her calves. Her feet were bare, but
on one ankle she wore a silver bangle. It was plain that she was very
poor. She was not stout but squarely built and in her prime she must have
done without effort the heavy work in which her life had been spent. She
walked leisurely, with the sedate tread of an elderly woman, and she
carried on her arm a basket. She came down to the harbour; it was crowded
with painted junks; her eyes rested for a moment curiously on a man who
stood on a narrow bamboo raft, fishing with cormorants; and then she set
about her business. She put down her basket on the stones of the quay, at
the water's edge, and took from it a red candle. This she lit and fixed in
a chink of the stones. Then she took several joss-sticks, held each of
them for a moment in the flame of the candle and set them up around it.
She took three tiny bowls and filled them with a liquid that she had
brought with her in a bottle and placed them neatly in a row. Then from
her basket she took rolls of paper cash and paper 'shoes' and unravelled
them, so that they should burn easily. She made a little bonfire, and when
it was well alight she took the three bowls and poured out some of their
contents before the smouldering joss-sticks. She bowed herself three times
and muttered certain words. She stirred the burning paper so that the
flames burned brightly. Then she emptied the bowls on the stones and again
bowed three times. No one took the smallest notice of her. She took a few
more paper cash from her basket and flung them in the fire. Then, without
further ado, she took up her basket, and with the same leisurely, rather
heavy tread, walked away. The gods were duly propitiated, and like an old
peasant woman in France, who has satisfactorily done her day's
housekeeping, she went about her business."

=v=

W. Somerset Maugham was born in 1874, the son of Robert Ormond Maugham. He
married Syrie, daughter of the late Dr. Barnardo. Mr. Maugham has a
daughter. His education was got at King's School, Canterbury, at
Heidelberg University and at St. Thomas's Hospital, London.

Mr. Maugham's father was a comparatively prominent solicitor, responsible
for the foundation of the Incorporated Society of Solicitors in England.
Somerset Maugham, after studying medicine at Heidelberg, went to St.
Thomas's, in the section of London known as Lambeth. He obtained his
medical degree there. St. Thomas's just across the river from Westminster
proved his medical ruin, and his literary birth. The hospital is situated
on the border of the slum areas of South London where much that is
hopeless, terrible, and wildly cheerful can be found. Persons are not
wanting who hold that the slums of Battersea and Lambeth contain more
misery and poverty than Limehouse, Whitechapel and the dark forest
surrounding the Commercial Road combined. To St. Thomas's daily comes a
procession of battered derelicts, seeking attention from the young men in
white tunics who hope to be doctors on their own account some day. To St.
Thomas's came Eliza of Lambeth, came Liza's mother, came Jim and Tom. Here
is the genesis of Maugham's first serious work, _Liza of Lambeth_.

It will be simpler and less confusing to deal with Somerset Maugham in the
first instance as a maker of books rather than as a playwright. One cannot
help believing that, while not one of his plays can be regarded as a pot
boiler, they yet but seldom display that fervent purpose found in his
books. Yet in his plays, one finds a greater attention to conventional
technique and "form" than one finds in books like _Of Human Bondage_ and
_The Moon and Sixpence_.

The first book launched by Somerset Maugham, _Liza of Lambeth_, could
hardly have been, considering its slight dimensions, a clearer indication
of the line he was to follow. It came out at a time when Gissing was still
in favour, and the odour of mean streets was accepted as synonymous with
literary honesty and courage. There is certainly no lack of either about
this idyll of Elizabeth Kemp of the lissome limbs and auburn hair. The
story pursues its way, and one sees the soul of a woman shining clearly
through the racy dialect and frolics of the Chingford beano, the rueful
futility of faithful Thomas and the engaging callousness of Liza's
mother.

Somerset Maugham's next study in female portraiture showed how far he
could travel towards perfection. _Mrs. Craddock_, which is often called
his best book, is a sex satire punctuated by four curtains, two of comedy
and two of tragedy. This mixture of opposites should have been enough to
damn it in the eyes of a public intent upon classifying everything by
means of labels and of making everything so classified stick to its label
like grim death. Yet the unclassified may flourish, and does, when its
merit is beyond dispute. _Mrs. Craddock_ appeared fully a decade before
its time, when Victorian influences were still alive, and the modern idea
for well to do women to have something to justify their existence was
still in the nature of a novelty. Even in the fuller light of experience,
Maugham could hardly have bettered his study of an impulsive and exigent
woman, rising at the outset to the height of a bold and womanly choice in
defiance of social prejudice and family tradition, and then relapsing
under the disillusions of marriage into the weakest failings of her class,
rising again, from a self-torturing neurotic into a kind of Niobe at the
death of her baby.

The ironic key of the book is at its best, in the passage half way
through--

"Mr. Craddock's principles, of course, were quite right; he had given her
plenty of run and ignored her cackle, and now she had come home to roost.
There is nothing like a knowledge of farming, and an acquaintance with the
habits of domestic animals, to teach a man how to manage his wife."

=vi=

As a playwright Mr. Maugham is quite as well known as he is for his
novels. The author of _Lady Frederick_, _Mrs. Dot_, and _Caroline_--the
creator of Lord Porteous and Lady Kitty in _The Circle_--writes his plays
because it amuses him to do so and because they supply him with an
excellent income. Here is a good story:

It seems that Maugham had peddled his first play, _Lady Frederick_, to the
offices of seventeen well-known London managers, until it came to rest in
the Archives of the Court Theatre. The Court Theatre, standing in Sloane
Square near the Tube station, is definitely outside the London theatre
area, but as the scene of productions by the Stage Society, it is kept in
the running. However, it might conceivably be the last port of call for a
worn manuscript.

It so happened that Athole Stewart, the manager of the Court Theatre,
found himself needing a play very badly during one season. The theatre had
to be kept open and there was nothing to keep it open with. From a dingy
pile of play manuscripts he chose _Lady Frederick_. He had no hopes of its
success--or so it is said--but the success materialised. At the
anniversary of _Lady Frederick_ in London, Maugham thought of asking to
dinner the seventeen managers who rejected the play, but realising that no
man enjoyed being reminded of a lost opportunity he decided to forgo the
pleasure.

The circumstances in which _Caroline_ was written give an interesting
reflex on Maugham as an artist. This delicious comedy was put on paper
while Maugham was acting as British agent in Switzerland during the war.
Some of its more amusing lines were written in some haste while a spy (of
uncertain intentions toward Maugham) stood outside in the snow.

=vii=

Someone, probably the gifted Hector MacQuarrie, whom I fear I have
guiltily been quoting in almost every sentence of this chapter, has said
that Maugham writes "transcripts, not of life as a tolerable whole, but of
phases which suit his arbitrary treatment." It is an enlightening
comment.

But Maugham himself is the keenest appraiser of his own intentions in his
work, as when he spoke of the stories in his book, _The Trembling of a
Leaf_, as not short stories, but "a study of the effect of the Islands of
the Pacific on the white man."

The man never stays still. When you think the time is ripe for him
triumphally to tour America--when _The Moon and Sixpence_ has attracted
the widest attention--he insists on going immediately to China. This may
be because, though well set up, black-eyed, broad-framed and excessively
handsome in evening clothes, he is rather diffident.

BOOKS BY W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM

NOVELS:
  LIZA OF LAMBETH
  THE MAKING OF A SAINT
  ORIENTATIONS
  THE HERO
  MRS. CRADDOCK
  THE MERRY-GO-ROUND
  THE LAND OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN
  THE BISHOP'S APRON
  THE EXPLORER
  THE MAGICIAN
  OF HUMAN BONDAGE
  THE MOON AND SIXPENCE
  THE TREMBLING OF A LEAF
  ON A CHINESE SCREEN

PLAYS:
  SCHIFFBRÜCHIG
  A MAN OF HONOUR
  LADY FREDERICK
  JACK STRAW
  MRS. DOT
  THE EXPLORER
  PENELOPE
  SMITH
  THE TENTH MAN
  GRACE
  LOAVES AND FISHES
  THE LAND OF PROMISE
  CAROLINE
  LOVE IN A COTTAGE
  CAESAR'S WIFE
  HOME AND BEAUTY
  THE UNKNOWN
  THE CIRCLE
  EAST OF SUEZ

SOURCES ON W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM

Who's Who [In England].

Somerset Maugham in Tahiti: Hitherto unpublished article by Hector
MacQuarrie.

THE BOOKMAN (London).

Private information.



CHAPTER XVIII

BOOKS WE LIVE BY


=i=

_The Parallel New Testament_ is by Dr. James Moffatt, whose _New
Translation of the New Testament_ has excited such wide admiration and
praise. _The Parallel New Testament_ presents the Authorised Version and
Professor Moffatt's translation in parallel columns, together with a brief
introduction to the New Testament.

I suppose there is no sense in my expending adjectives in praise of Dr.
Moffatt's translation of the New Testament. I could do so very easily. But
what I think would be more effective would be to ask you to take a copy of
the Authorised Version and read in it some such passage as Luke, 24th
chapter, 13th verse, to the close of the chapter and then--and not
before!--read the same account from Dr. Moffatt's _New Translation_, as
follows:

"That very day two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus
about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were conversing about all these
events, and during their conversation and discussion Jesus himself
approached and walked beside them, though they were prevented from
recognising him. He said to them, 'What is all this you are debating on
your walk?' They stopped, looking downcast, and one of them, called
Cleopas, answered him, 'Are you a lone stranger in Jerusalem, not to know
what has been happening there?' 'What is that?' he said to them. They
replied, 'All about Jesus of Nazaret! To God and all the people he was a
prophet strong in action and utterance, but the high priests and our
rulers delivered him up to be sentenced to death and crucified him. Our
own hope was that he would be the redeemer of Israel; but he is dead and
that is three days ago! Though some women of our number gave us a
surprise; they were at the tomb early in the morning and could not find
his body, but they came to tell us they had actually seen a vision of
angels who declared he was alive. Some of our company did go to the tomb
and found things exactly as the women had said, but they did not see him.'
He said to them, 'Oh, foolish men, with hearts so slow to believe, after
all the prophets have declared! Had not the Christ to suffer thus and so
enter his glory?' Then he began with Moses and all the prophets and
interpreted to them the passages referring to himself throughout the
scriptures. Now they approached the village to which they were going. He
pretended to be going further on, but they pressed him, saying 'Stay with
us, for it is getting towards evening and the day has now declined.' So he
went in to stay with them. And as he lay at the table with them he took
the loaf, blessed it, broke it and handed it to them. Then their eyes were
opened and they recognised him, but he vanished from their sight. And they
said to one another, 'Did not our hearts glow within us when he was
talking to us on the road, opening up the scriptures for us?' So they got
up and returned that very hour to Jerusalem, where they found the eleven
and their friends all gathered, who told them that the Lord had really
risen and that he had appeared to Simon. Then they related their own
experience on the road and how they had recognised him when he broke the
loaf. Just as they were speaking He stood among them [and said to them,
'Peace to you!']. They were scared and terrified, imagining it was a ghost
they saw; but he said to them, 'Why are you upset? Why do doubts invade
your mind? Look at my hands and feet. It is I! Feel me and see; a ghost
has not flesh and bones as you see I have.' [With these words he showed
them his hands and feet.] Even yet they could not believe it for sheer
joy; they were lost in wonder. So he said to them, 'Have you any food
here?' And when they handed him a piece of broiled fish, he took and ate
it in their presence. Then he said to them, 'When I was still with you,
this is what I told you, that whatever is written about me in the law of
Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.' Then he opened
their minds to understand the scriptures. 'Thus,' he said, 'it is written
that the Christ has to suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and
that repentance and the remission of sins must be preached in his name to
all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. To this you must bear testimony.
And I will send down on you what my Father has promised; wait in the city
till you are endued with power from on high.' He led them out as far as
Bethany; then, lifting his hands, he blessed them. And as he blessed them,
he parted from them [and was carried up to heaven]. They [worshipped him
and] returned with great joy to Jerusalem, where they spent all their time
within the temple, blessing God."

I am particularly glad to say that Dr. Moffatt is at work now on a _New
Translation of the Old Testament_. No man living is fitter for this
tremendously important and tremendously difficult task than James Moffatt.
Born in Glasgow in 1870, Dr. Moffatt has been Professor of Church History
there since 1915. Of his many published studies in Bible literature, I now
speak only of _The Approach to the New Testament_, which he modestly
describes as "a brief statement of the general situation created by
historical criticism," aiming to "bring out the positive value of the New
Testament literature for the world of today as a source of guidance in
social reconstruction, so that readers might be enabled to recover or
retain a sense of its lasting significance for personal faith and social
ideals."

=ii=

With Alfred Dwight Sheffield's _Joining in Public Discussion_ was begun
publication of a unique collection of books suitable alike for general
reading and for use in trade union colleges. This is the Workers'
Bookshelf Series. These books, in many instances, are being written by the
chief authorities on their subjects--men who have dealt exhaustively with
their specialties in two and three-volume treatises, and who now bring
their great knowledge to a sharp focus and a simple, condensed statement
in small but wholly authoritative new books.

The work of preparing these little masterpieces has been undertaken by an
editorial board chosen with the aid of the Workers' Education Bureau of
America. The board consists of Charles A. Beard, Miss Fannia Cohn, H. W.
L. Dana, John P. Frey, Arthur Gleason, Everitt Dean Martin, Spencer
Miller, Jr., George W. Perkins and Robert Wolf.

Trade union colleges now exist all over the United States, training armies
of workers. The lack of suitable texts for use in these colleges has been
a serious obstacle to the training they desire to give.

This obstacle the Workers' Bookshelf overcomes. The books that compose it
will each be distinguished for (a) scholarship, (b) a scientific attitude
toward facts, and (c) simplicity of style.

Each volume is beginning as a class outline and will receive the benefit
of every suggestion, and criticism through its gradual growth into the
written book.

Each book will be brief. Its references will help the reader to more
detailed sources of information.

By binding the books in paper as well as in cloth, the volumes will be
brought within the reach of all.

The Workers' Bookshelf will contain no volumes on vocational guidance, nor
any books which give "short cuts" to moneymaking success.

The series will not be limited to any set number of volumes nor to any
programme of subjects. Art, literature and the natural sciences, as well
as the social sciences, will be dealt with. New titles will be added as
the demand for treatment of a topic becomes apparent.

The first use of these books will be as texts to educate workers; the
intermediate use of the books will be as the nucleus of workingmen's
libraries, collective and personal, and the last use of the Workers'
Bookshelf will be to instruct and delight all readers of serious books
everywhere.

In our modern industrial society, knowledge--things to know--increases
much more rapidly than our understanding. The worker finds it increasingly
difficult to comprehend the world he has done most to create. The
education of the worker consists in showing him in a simple fashion the
interrelations of that world and all its aspects as they are turned toward
him. On the education of the worker depends the future of industrialism,
and, indeed, of all human society.

The author of _Joining in Public Discussion_ is professor of rhetoric in
Wellesley College and instructor in the Boston Trade Union College. His
book "is a study of effective speechmaking, for members of labour unions,
conferences, forums and other discussion groups." The first section is
upon "Qualifying Oneself to Contribute" to any discussion and the second
section is upon "Making the Discussion Group Co-operate." A brief
introduction explains "What Discussion Aims to Do."

The following titles of the Workers' Bookshelf are in preparation:

_Trade Union Policy_, by Dr. Leo Wolman, lecturer at the New School for
Social Research and instructor in the Workers' University of the
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.

_Women and the Labor Movement_, by Alice Henry, editor of Life and Labour,
director of the Training School for Women Workers in Industry.

_Labor and Health_, by Dr. Emery Hayhurst of Ohio State University, author
of "Industrial Health Hazards and Occupational Diseases."

_Social Forces in Literature_, by Dr. H. W. L. Dana, formerly teacher of
comparative literature at Columbia, now instructor at Boston Trade Union
College.

_The Creative Spirit in Industry_, by Robert B. Wolf, vice-president of
the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, member of the Federated
American Engineering Society.

_Cooperative Movement_, by Dr. James B. Warbasse, president of the
Cooperative League of America and instructor at the Workers' University.

=iii=

Side by side in Esme Wingfield-Stratford's _Facing Reality_ are chapters
with these titles: "Thinking in a Passion" and "Mental Inertia." Those
chapter titles seem to me to signify the chief dangers confronting the
world today--perhaps confronting the world in any day--and the main
reasons why we do not face reality as we should. I regard _Facing Reality_
as an important book and I am not alone in so regarding it. What do we
mean by reality? The answer is explicit in a sentence in Mr.
Wingfield-Stratford's introduction, where he says:

"But if we are to get right with reality or, in the time-honoured
evangelical phrase, with God, it must be by a ruthless determination to
get the truth in religion, even if we have to break down Church walls to
attain it."

Then the author proceeds to assess the social and ethical conditions which
threaten the world with spiritual bankruptcy. As he says:

"Whether Germany can be fleeced of a yearly contribution, of doubtful
advantage to the receiver, for forty years or sixty, what particular
economic laws decree that Poles should be governed by Germans or
vice-versa, whose honour or profit demands the possession of the town of
Fiume or the district of Tetschen or the Island of Yap, why all the horses
and men of the Entente are necessary to compel the Port of Dantzig to
become a free city, what particular delicacy of national honour requires
that the impartial distribution of colonies should be interpreted as
meaning the appropriation of the whole of them by the victors--all these
things are held by universal consent to be more urgent and interesting
than the desperate necessity that confronts us all."

And yet, for some, reality is not immanent in the affairs of this world
but only in those of the next. Among the men who, with Sir Oliver Lodge,
have gone most deeply and earnestly into the whole subject we call
"spiritualism," Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is now the most widely known as he
has always been the most persuasive. The overflowing crowds which came out
to hear him lecture on psychic evidences during his recent tour of America
testify to the unquenchable hope of mankind in a life beyond ours. Sir
Arthur has written three books on this subject closest to his heart. _The
New Revelation_ and _The Vital Message_ are both short books presenting
the general case for spiritualists; _The Wanderings of a Spiritualist_,
the result of a lecture tour in India and Australia, commingles incidents
of travel with discussions of psychic phenomena. I believe Sir Arthur has
in preparation a more extensive work, probably to be published under the
title _Spiritualism and Rationalism_.

In recent years there has been something like a consensus honouring
Havelock Ellis as the ablest living authority on the subject of sex; or
perhaps I should say that Mr. Ellis and his wife are the most competent
writers on this difficult and delicate subject, so beset by fraudulent
theories and so much written upon by charlatans. Let me recommend to you
Havelock Ellis's slender book, _Little Essays of Love and Virtue_, for a
sane, attractive and, at the same time, authoritative handling of sex
problems.

=iv=

_Little Essays of Love and Virtue_, however, is, after all, only upon a
special subject, even though of extreme importance. There are others among
the books we live by which I must speak of here. It is tiresome to point
out that we are all self-made men or women, consciously or unconsciously,
in the sense that if we gain control of our habits, to a very large extent
we acquire control of our lives. If, in _Some Things That Matter_ Lord
Riddell did no more than point out this old truth, his book would not be
worth mentioning. What makes it so well worth mentioning, so much more
deserving of discussion than any I can enter upon here, is the fact that
Lord Riddell tells how to observe, how to read, and how to think--or
perhaps I should say how to develop the habit of thought. I think, so able
are his instructions, so pointed and so susceptible of carrying out by any
reader, that his book would carry due weight even if it were anonymous.
But for those who want assurance that the author of _Some Things That
Matter_ is himself somebody who matters, let me point out that he is one
of the largest newspaper proprietors in the world, a man whose grasp on
affairs has twice placed him at the head of news service for two
continents--once at the Peace Conference in Paris and afterward at the
Disarmament Conference in Washington.

_Some Things That Matter_ is the best book of its kind since Arnold
Bennett's _How to Live on Twenty-four Hours a Day_, a little book of
trenchant advice to which it is a pleasure again to call attention. Of all
Mr. Bennett's pocket philosophies--_Self and Self-Management_, _Friendship
and Happiness_, _The Human Machine_, _Mental Efficiency_ and _Married
Life_--_How to Live on_ _Twenty-four Hours a Day_ is easily of the
greatest service to the greatest number of people.

=v=

I read Dr. George L. Perin's _Self-Healing Simplified_ in manuscript and
enthusiastically recommended its acceptance for publication. Dr. Perin was
the founder of the Franklin Square House for Girls in Boston, a home-hotel
from which 70,000 girls, most of whom Dr. Perin knew personally, have gone
forth all over these United States. His death at the end of 1921 was felt
by thousands of people as a personal loss. He left, in the manuscript of
this book, the best and simplest volume I know of on what is generally
called autosuggestion. And I have examined a great many books of the
sort.

Discarding all extreme claims, Dr. Perin says in the first place that the
mind can heal; that it may not be able to heal alone; that obviously no
form of healing can be successful without a favourable mental state; that
the favourable mental state can usually be acquired by the sincere and
conscious effort of the sufferer. This effort should take the form of
certain affirmations.

It is at this point that the ordinary book on autosuggestion breaks
down--so far as any practical usefulness is concerned. Either it
degenerates into a purely technical treatise or it becomes lost in a
mysticism which is to the average reader incomprehensible. What has long
been needed has been a book like _Self-Healing Simplified_, readable by
the ordinary person who has his own troubles to contend with and who knows
not how to contend with them; who is willing to believe that he can do his
part by cheerful resolutions and faith toward getting well, but who has no
idea what to do.

Dr. Perin tells him _what_ to do, _what_ to say, _what_ to think and how
to order his daily life. Actually Dr. Perin does much more than this; his
own confidence and personal success inspire confidence and give the
impulsion toward one's own personal success. However, excellent as the
book might be, it would be worthless if it were not clearly and simply
expressed. It is. I remember no book of the kind so direct and so lucid.

=vi=

It is a pleasure to feel that his new book, _Poets and Puritans_,
introduces T. R. Glover to a wider audience. The author of _The Pilgrim_,
_Essays on Religion_, _The Nature and Purpose of a Christian Society_,
_Jesus in the Experience of Man_ and _The Jesus of History_ is a scholar
and somewhat of a recluse whom one finds after much groping about dim
halls at Cambridge. A highly individual personality! It is this
personality, though, that makes the fascination of _Poets and Pilgrims_--a
volume of studies in which the subjects are Spenser, Milton, Evelyn,
Bunyan, Boswell, Crabbe, Wordsworth and Carlyle. Mr. Glover notes at the
foot of the table of contents: "An acute young critic, who saw some of the
proofs, has asked me, with a hint of irony, whether Evelyn and Boswell
were Puritans or Poets. Any reader who has a conscience about the matter
must omit these essays." There you have the flavour of the man! It is
expressed further in the short preface of _Poets and Puritans_:--

"Wandering among books and enjoying them, I find in a certain sense that,
the more I enjoy them, the harder becomes the task of criticism, the less
sure one's faith in critical canons, and the fewer the canons themselves.
Of one thing, though, I grow more and more sure--that the real business of
the critic is to find out what is right with a great work of art--book,
song, statue, or picture--not what is wrong. Plenty of things may be
wrong, but it is what is right that really counts. If the critic's work is
to be worth while, it is the great element in the thing that he has to
seek and to find--to learn what it is that makes it live and gives it its
appeal, so that, as Montaigne said about Plutarch, men 'cannot do without'
it; why it is that in a world, where everything that can be 'scrapped' is
'scrapped,' is thrown aside and forgotten, this thing, this book or
picture, refuses to be ignored, but captures and charms men generations
after its maker has passed away.

"With such a quest a man must not be in a hurry, and he does best to
linger in company with the great men whose work he wishes to understand,
and to postpone criticism to intimacy. This book comes in the end to be a
record of personal acquaintances and of enjoyment. But one is never done
with knowing the greatest men or the greatest works of art--they carry you
on and on, and at the last you feel you are only beginning. That is my
experience. I would not say that I know these men, of whom I have written,
thoroughly--a man of sense would hardly say that, but I can say that I
have enjoyed my work, and that, whatever other people may find it, to me
it has been a delight and an illumination."

Another welcome book is E. V. Lucas's _Giving and Receiving_, a new volume
of essays. Since the appearance of _Roving East and Roving West_, Mr.
Lucas has been looking back at America from London with its fogs and
(yes!) its sunshine. The audience for his new book will include not only
those readers he has had for such volumes in the past but all those
personal friends that he made in a visit that took him from California to
the Battery.



CHAPTER XIX

ROBERT W. CHAMBERS AND THE WHOLE TRUTH


=i=

Once a man came to Robert W. Chambers and said words to this effect:

"You had a great gift as a literary artist and you spoiled it. For some
reason or other, I don't know what, but I suppose there was more money in
the other thing, you wrote down to a big audience. Don't you think,
yourself, that your earlier work--those stories of Paris and those novels
of the American revolution--had something that you have sacrificed in your
novels of our modern day?"

Mr. Chambers listened politely and attentively. When the man had finished,
Chambers said to him words to this effect:

"You are mistaken. I have heard such talk. I am not to blame if some
people entertain a false impression. I have sacrificed nothing, neither
for money nor popularity nor anything else.

"Sir, I am a story-teller. I have no other gift. Those who imagine that
they have seen in my earlier work some quality of literary distinction or
some unrealised possibility as an artist missing from my later work, are
wrong.

"They have read into those stories their own satisfaction in them and
their first delight. I was new, then. In their pleasure, such as it was,
they imagined the arrival of someone whom they styled a great literary
artist. They imagined it all; it was not I.

"A story-teller I began, and a story-teller I remain. I do pride myself on
being a good story-teller; if the verdict were overwhelmingly against me
as a good story-teller that would cast me down. I have no reason to
believe that the verdict is against me.

"And that is the ground I myself have stood upon. I am not responsible for
the delusion of those who put me on some other, unearthly pinnacle, only
to realise, as the years went by, that I was not there at all. But they
can find me now where they first found me--where I rather suspect they
found me first with unalloyed delight."

This does not pretend to be an actual transcription of the conversation
between Mr. Chambers and his visitor. I asked Mr. Chambers recently if he
recalled this interview. He said at this date he did not distinctly
recollect it and he added:

"Probably I said what is true, that I write the sort of stories which at
the moment it amuses me to write; I trust to luck that it may also amuse
the public.

"If a writer makes a hit with a story the public wants him to continue
that sort of story. It does not like to follow the moods of a writer from
gay to frivolous, from serious to grave, but I have always liked to
change, to experiment--just as I used to like to change my medium in
painting, aquarelle, oil, charcoal, wash, etc.

"Unless I had a good time writing I'd do something else. I suit myself
first of all in choice of subject and treatment, and leave the rest to the
gods."

As a human creature Chambers is strikingly versatile. It must always be
remembered that he started life as a painter. There is a story that
Charles Dana Gibson and Robert W. Chambers sent their first offerings to
Life at the same time. Mr. Chambers sent a picture and Mr. Gibson sent a
bit of writing. Mr. Gibson's offering was accepted and Robert W. Chambers
received a rejection slip.

Not only was he a painter but Chambers has preserved his interest in art,
and is a welcome visitor in the offices of curators and directors of
museums because he is one of the few who can talk intelligently about
paintings.

He knows enough about Chinese and Japanese antiques to enable him to
detect forgeries. He knows more about armour than anyone, perhaps, except
the man who made the marvellous collection of mediæval armour for the
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

One of his varieties of knowledge, observable by any reader of his novels,
is lepidoptery--the science of butterflies. He collects butterflies with
exceeding ardour. But then, he is a good deal of an outdoor man. He knows
horses and books; he has been known to hunt; he has been seen with a
fishing rod in his hand.

His knowledge of out-of-the-way places in different parts of the
world--Paris, Petrograd--is not usual.

Will you believe me if I add that he is something of an expert on rare
rugs?

Of course, I am, to some extent, taking Rupert Hughes's word for these
accomplishments; and yet they are visible in the written work of Robert W.
Chambers where, as a rule, they appear without extrusion.

=ii=

And here is the newest Robert W. Chambers novel, _Eris_. Mr. Chambers's
_The Flaming Jewel_, a melodrama of the maddest character, was published
last spring. _Eris_ is really a story of the movie world, and reaches its
most definite conclusion, possibly, in a passage where the hero says to
Eris Odell:

"Whether they are financing a picture, directing it, releasing it,
exhibiting it, or acting in it, these vermin are likely to do it to death.
Your profession is crawling with them. It needs delousing."

But I am not really anxious, in this chapter, to discuss the justice or
injustice of the view of motion pictures thus forcibly presented. I have
read _Eris_ with an interest sharpened by the fact that its hero is a
writer. I seem to see in what is said about and by Barry Annan expressions
of Mr. Chambers's own attitude of more than casual importance.

Barry Annan is obsessed with the stupidity of the American mass and more
particularly with the grossness (as he sees it) of New York City.

"Annan went on with his breakfast leisurely. As he ate he read over his
pencilled manuscript and corrected it between bites of muffin and bacon.

"It was laid out on the lines of those modern short stories which had
proven so popular and which had lifted Barry Annan out of the uniform
ranks of the unidentified and given him an individual and approving
audience for whatever he chose to offer them.

"Already there had been lively competition among periodical publishers for
the work of this newcomer.

"His first volume of short stories was now in preparation. Repetition had
stencilled his name and his photograph upon the public cerebrum. Success
had not yet enraged the less successful in the literary puddle. The frogs
chanted politely in praise of their own comrade.

"The maiden, too, who sips the literary soup that seeps through the pages
of periodical publications, was already requesting his autograph. Clipping
agencies began to pursue him; film companies wasted his time with
glittering offers that never materialised. Annan was on the way to
premature fame and fortune. And to the aftermath that follows for all who
win too easily and too soon.

"There is a King Stork for all puddles. His law is the law of
compensations. Dame Nature executes it--alike on species that swarm and on
individuals that ripen too quickly.

"Annan wrote very fast. There was about thirty-five hundred words in the
story of Eris. He finished it by half past ten.

"Re-reading it, he realised it had all the concentrated brilliancy of an
epigram. Whether or not it would hold water did not bother him. The story
of Eris was Barry Annan at his easiest and most persuasive. There was the
characteristic and ungodly skill in it, the subtle partnership with a
mindless public that seduces to mental speculation; the reassuring caress
as reward for intellectual penetration; that inborn cleverness that makes
the reader see, applaud, or pity him or herself in the sympathetic rôle of
a plaything of Chance and Fate.

"And always Barry Annan left the victim of his tact and technique
agreeably trapped, suffering gratefully, excited by self-approval to the
verge of sentimental tears.

"'That'll make 'em ruffle their plumage and gulp down a sob or two,' he
reflected, his tongue in his cheek, a little intoxicated, as usual, by his
own infernal facility.

"He lit a cigarette, shuffled his manuscript, numbered the pages, and
stuffed them into his pocket. The damned thing was done."

And again:--

"Considering her, now, a half-smile touching his lips, it occurred to him
that here, in her, he saw his audience in the flesh. This was what his
written words did to his readers. His skill held their attention; his
persuasive technique, unsuspected, led them where he guided. His
cleverness meddled with their intellectual emotions. The more primitive
felt it physically, too.

"When he dismissed them at the bottom of the last page they went away
about their myriad vocations. But his brand was on their hearts. They were
his, these countless listeners whom he had never seen--never would see.

"He checked his agreeable revery. This wouldn't do. He was becoming smug.
Reaction brought the inevitable note of alarm. Suppose his audience tired
of him. Suppose he lost them. Chastened, he realised what his audience
meant to him--these thousands of unknown people whose minds he titivated,
whose reason he juggled with and whose heart-strings he yanked, his tongue
in his cheek."

And this further on:--

"He went into his room but did not light the lamp. For a long while he sat
by the open window looking out into the darkness of Governor's Place.

"It probably was nothing he saw out there that brought to his lips a
slight recurrent smile.

"The bad habit of working late at night was growing on this young man. It
is a picturesque habit, and one of the most imbecile, because sound work
is done only with a normal mind.

"He made himself some coffee. A rush of genius to the head followed
stimulation. He had a grand time, revelling with pen and pad and littering
the floor with inked sheets unnumbered and still wet. His was a messy
genius. His plot-logic held by the grace of God and a hair-line. Even the
Leaning Tower of Pisa can be plumbed; and the lead dangled inside
Achilles's tendon when one held the string to the medulla of Annan's
stories."

Our young man is undergoing a variety of interesting changes:

"Partly experimental, partly sympathetically responsive, always tenderly
curious, this young man drifted gratefully through the inevitable episodes
to which all young men are heir.

"And something in him always transmuted into ultimate friendship the
sentimental chaos, where comedy and tragedy clashed at the crisis.

"The result was professional knowledge. Which, however, he had employed
rather ruthlessly in his work. For he resolutely cut out all that had been
agreeable to the generations which had thriven on the various phases of
virtue and its rewards. Beauty he replaced with ugliness; dreary squalor
was the setting for crippled body and deformed mind. The heavy twilight of
Scandinavian insanity touched his pages where sombre shapes born out of
Jewish Russia moved like anachronisms through the unpolluted sunshine of
the New World.

"His were essays on the enormous meanness of mankind--meaner conditions,
mean minds, mean aspirations, and a little mean horizon to encompass all.

"Out of his theme, patiently, deftly, ingeniously he extracted every atom
of that beauty, sanity, inspired imagination which _makes_ the imperfect
more perfect, creates _better_ than the materials permit, _forces_ real
life actually to assume and _be_ what the passionate desire for sanity and
beauty demands."

There comes a time when Eris Odell says to Barry Annan:--

"'I could neither understand nor play such a character as the woman in
your last book.... Nor could I ever believe in her.... Nor in the ugliness
of her world--the world you write about, nor in the dreary, hopeless,
malformed, starving minds you analyse.... My God, Mr. Annan--are there no
wholesome brains in the world you write about?'"

I think these citations interesting. I do not feel especially competent to
produce from them inferences regarding Mr. Chambers's own attitude toward
his work.

_Eris_ will be published early in 1923, following Mr. Chambers's _The
Talkers_.

=iii=

Mr. Chambers was born in Brooklyn, May 26, 1865, the son of William
Chambers and Carolyn (Boughton) Chambers. Walter Boughton Chambers, the
architect, is his brother. Robert William Chambers was a student in the
Julien Academy in Paris from 1886 to 1893. He married, on July 12, 1898,
Elsa Vaughn Moler. He first exhibited in the Paris Salon in 1889; he was
an illustrator for Life, Truth, Vogue and other magazines. His first book,
_In the Quarter_, was published in 1893; and when, in the same year, a
collection of stories of Paris called _The King in Yellow_ made its
appearance, Robert W. Chambers became a name of literary importance.

Curiously enough, among the things persistently remembered about Mr.
Chambers to this day is a particular poem in a book of rollicking verse
called _With the Band_, which he published in 1895. This cherished--by
very many people scattered here and there--poem had to do with Irishmen
parading. One stanza will identify it.

             "Ses Corporal Madden to Private McFadden:
                       'Bedad yer a bad 'un!
                       Now turn out yer toes!
                       Yer belt is unhookit,
                       Yer cap is on crookit,
                       Yer may not be drunk,
                       But, be jabers, ye look it!
                           Wan-two!
                           Wan-two!
             Ye monkey-faced divil, I'll jolly ye through!
                           Wan-two!
                           Time! Mark!
             Ye march like the aigle in Cintheral Park!'"

In the course of writing many books, Chambers has been responsible for one
or two shows. He wrote for Ada Rehan, _The Witch of Ellangowan_, a drama
produced at Daly's Theatre. His _Iole_ was the basis of a delightful
musical comedy produced in New York in 1913. He is a member of the
National Institute of Arts and Letters.

BOOKS BY ROBERT W. CHAMBERS

IN THE QUARTER
THE KING IN YELLOW
THE RED REPUBLIC
THE KING AND A FEW DUKES
THE MAKER OF MOONS
WITH THE BAND
THE MYSTERY OF CHOICE
LORRAINE
ASHES OF EMPIRE
THE HAUNTS OF MEN
THE CAMBRIC MASK
OUTSIDERS
THE CONSPIRATORS
CARDIGAN
THE MAID-AT-ARMS
OUTDOOR-LAND
THE MAIDS OF PARADISE
ORCHARD-LAND
FOREST LAND
IOLE
THE FIGHTING CHANCE
MOUNTAIN LAND
THE TRACER OF LOST PERSONS
THE TREE OF HEAVEN
THE FIRING LINE
SOME LADIES IN HASTE
THE DANGER MARK
THE SPECIAL MESSENGER
HIDE AND SEEK IN FORESTLAND
THE GREEN MOUSE
AILSA PAIGE
BLUE-BIRD WEATHER
JAPONETTE
THE STREETS OF ASCALON
ADVENTURES OF A MODEST MAN
THE BUSINESS OF LIFE
THE COMMON LAW
THE GAY REBELLION
WHO GOES THERE?
THE HIDDEN CHILDREN
ATHALIE
POLICE!!!
THE GIRL PHILIPPA
THE BARBARIANS
THE RESTLESS SEX
THE MOONLIT WAY
IN SECRET
THE CRIMSON TIDE
THE SLAYER OF SOULS
THE LITTLE RED FOOT
THE FLAMING JEWEL
THE TALKERS
ERIS

SOURCES ON ROBERT W. CHAMBERS

Hugh Walpole: An Appreciation, by Joseph Hergesheimer, GEORGE H. DORAN
COMPANY.

English Literature During the Last Half Century, by J. W. Cunliffe, THE
MACMILLAN COMPANY.

A Hugh Walpole Anthology, selected by the author. LONDON: J. M. DENT
& SONS. NEW YORK: E. P. DUTTON & COMPANY.

Hugh Walpole, Master Novelist. Pamphlet published by GEORGE H. DORAN
COMPANY. (Out of print.)

Who's Who [In England].



CHAPTER XX

UNIQUITIES


=i=

Each of these five is a book which, either from its subject, its
authorship, or its handling, is _sui generis_. I call such books
"uniquities"; it sounds a little less trite than saying they are unique. I
think I will let someone else speak of these books. I will look to see,
and will let you see, what others have said about my uniquities.

=ii=

First we have _Our Navy at War_ by Josephus Daniels. W. B. M'Cormick,
formerly of the editorial staff of the Army and Navy Journal, reviewing
this book for the New York Herald (28 May 1922) said:

"Josephus Daniels always was an optimist about navy affairs while he was
Secretary of the Navy from 1913 to 1921, and now that he has told what the
navy did during the world war he demonstrates in his narrative that he is
a good sport. For in spite of the many and bitter attacks that were made
on him in that troubled time he does not make a single reference to any of
them, nor does he wreak any such revenge as he might have done through
this medium. In this respect it may be said that truly does he live up to
the description of his character set down in the pages of Rear Admiral
Bradley A. Fiske's autobiography, namely, that 'Secretary Daniels
impressed me as being a Christian gentleman.'

"In its general outlines and in many of its details there is little in Mr.
Daniels's story that has not been told before in volumes devoted to single
phases of the United States Navy's war operations. For example, his
chapter on the extraordinary task of laying the great mine fields, known
as the North Sea barrage, from Norway to the Orkneys, is much more fully
described in the account written by Captain Reginald R. Belknap; the story
of 'Sending Sims to Europe' is also more extensively presented in that
officer's book, _The Victory at Sea_, and the same qualification can be
applied to the chapter on the fighting of the marines in Belleau Wood and
elsewhere, and the work of our destroyers and submarines in European
waters.

"But Mr. Daniels's history has one great merit that these other books
lack. This is that it tells in its 374 pages the complete story of the
work of the navy in the world war, giving so many details and so much
precise information about officers and their commands, ships of all
classes and just what they did, the valuable contributions made to the
winning of the war by civilians, that it makes a special place for itself,
a very special place, in any library or shelf devoted to war books."

=iii=

Leslie Haden Guest, a surgeon of wide experience and secretary of the
British Labour Delegation to Soviet Russia, is the author of _The Struggle
for Power in Europe (1917-21)_, "an outline economic and political survey
of the Central States and Russia," of which E. J. C. said in the Boston
Evening Transcript (4 March 1922):

"The author writes from personal observation in Russia and discloses much
of the life of the day in that country which heretofore has remained
undisclosed to the world. He has met and interviewed Lenine and Trotsky
themselves, shows us the individuality of these great Bolshevist leaders
and tells us much of the life of the people and of the social conditions
and tendencies in that distressful country.

"Next he crosses to Poland, another undiscovered country, and shows us the
new Poland, its aims and its struggles to emerge from a state almost of
anarchy into one of a rational democracy. Very little do we of this
country know of the new nation of Tcheko-Slovakia, but Dr. Guest has
travelled through it also and shows us the two sections, one cultured, the
other more backward, but both working together to form a modern democratic
nation.

"The distressful condition of Austria and the Austrians now suffering for
the sins of the Hapsburgs, is next shown forth. Vienna, once the capital
of a vast empire and the seat of a great imperial court, was suddenly
reduced to the level of the capital of a small agricultural, inland state,
a condition productive of great suffering. The conditions here are shown
to differ much from those in other countries, for the dismemberment of
Austria was not brought about by the act of the Allies, but of their own
people. The causes of the suffering are fully explained, as are also the
causes of similar conditions in Hungary, in Roumania, in Bulgaria and in
other countries affected by the economic and political upheavals following
the war. That democracy in Europe will finally triumph Dr. Guest feels
certain and he gives lucid reasons for the faith that is in him. He gives
a broadly intelligent analysis of the entire situation and finds that the
essential conditions of success of a democracy are peace, education and
adequate nutrition. But he shows that a great problem exists which must be
worked out; and he shows how it must be worked out. Dr. Guest is not alone
a thinker, but an observer; not a theorist, but a man of practical
understanding, who has studied a problem at first hand and shows it forth
simply but comprehensively and with an eye single to the needs of
humanity."

=iv=

Of _Herman Melville: Mariner and Mystic_, by Raymond M. Weaver, Carl Van
Vechten, writing in the Literary Review of the New York Evening Post (31
December 1921), said:

"No biography of Melville, no important personal memorandum of the man,
was published during his lifetime. It is only now, thirty years after his
death and one hundred and two years after his birth, that Raymond M.
Weaver's _Herman Melville: Mariner and Mystic_ has appeared.

"Under the circumstances, Mr. Weaver may be said to have done his work
well. The weakness of the book is due to the conditions controlling its
creation. Personal records in any great number do not exist. There are, to
be sure, Melville's letters to Hawthorne, published by Julian Hawthorne,
in his _Nathaniel Hawthorne and His Wife_. There are a few references to
Melville in the diary of Mrs. Hawthorne and in her letters to her mother.
There remain the short account given by J. E. A. Smith, a man with no kind
of mental approach to his hero, a few casual memories of Richard Henry
Stoddard, whose further testimony would have been invaluable had he been
inclined to be more loquacious, and a few more by Dr. Titus Munson Coan
and Arthur Stedman; but both these men, perhaps the nearest to Melville in
his later years, were agreed that he ceased to be an artist when he
deserted the prescribed field of _Typee_ and _Omoo_, and they harassed his
last days in their efforts to make him perceive this, much as if an
admirer of Verdi's early manner had attempted to persuade the composer
that work on 'Aida' and 'Otello' was a waste of time that might much
better be occupied in creating another 'Trovatore.' In desperation,
Melville refused to be lured into conversation about the South Seas, and
whenever the subject was broached he took refuge in quoting Plato. No very
competent witnesses, therefore, these. Aside from these sources, long open
to an investigator, Mr. Weaver has had the assistance of Mr. Melville's
granddaughter, who was not quite ten years old when Melville died, but who
has in her possession Mrs. Melville's commonplace book, Melville's diary
of two European excursions, and a few letters.

"Generally, however, especially for the most important periods and the
most thrilling events in Melville's life, Mr. Weaver has been compelled to
depend upon the books the man wrote.

"The book, on the whole, is worthy of its subject. It is written with
warmth, subtlety, and considerable humour. Smiles and thoughts lie hidden
within many of its pregnant lines. One of the biographer's very strangest
suggestions is never made concrete at all, so far as I can discern. The
figure of the literary discoverer of the South Seas emerges perhaps a bit
vaguely, his head in the clouds, but there is no reason to believe that
Melville's head was anywhere else when he was alive. Hawthorne is at last
described pretty accurately and not too flatteringly. _The Scarlet Letter_
was published in 1850; _Moby Dick_ in 1851. It is one of the eternal
ironies that the one should be world-famous while the other is still
struggling for even national recognition. There are long passages,
well-studied and well-written, dealing with the whaling industry and the
early missionaries, which will be extremely helpful to any one who wants a
bibliographical background for the ocean and South Sea books. Melville's
London notebook is published for the first time and there is a nearly
complete reprint of his first known published paper 'Fragments From a
Writing Desk,' which appeared in two numbers of The Democratic Press and
Lansingburgh Advertiser in 1839 (not 1849, as the bibliography erroneously
gives it). Mr. Weaver is probably right in ascribing Melville's retirement
from literature to poverty (it was a fortunate year that brought him as
much as $100 in royalties and his account at Harper's was usually
overdrawn), to complete disillusionment, which made it impossible for him
to say more than he had already said, even on the subject of
disillusionment, and to ill-health.

"It is a pleasure, moreover, to find that Mr. Weaver has a warm
appreciation of _Mardi_ and _Pierre_, books which have either been
neglected or fiercely condemned since they first appeared, books which are
no longer available save in early editions. They are not equal to _Moby
Dick_, but they are infinitely more important and more interesting than
_Typee_ and _Omoo_, on which the chief fame of the man rests. It is to his
credit that Mr. Weaver has perceived this, but a great deal more remains
to be said on the subject. _Mardi_, _Moby Dick_, and _Pierre_, as a matter
of fact, form a kind of tragic trinity: _Mardi_ is a tragedy of the
intellect; _Moby Dick_ a tragedy of the spirit, and _Pierre_ a tragedy of
the flesh. _Mardi_ is a tragedy of heaven, _Moby Dick_ a tragedy of hell,
and _Pierre_ a tragedy of the world we live in.

"Considering the difficulties in his path, it may be said that Mr. Weaver
has solved his problem successfully. The faults of the book, to a large
extent, as I have already pointed out, are not the faults of the author,
but the faults of conditions circumscribing his work. At any rate, it can
no longer be said that no biography exists of the most brilliant figure in
the history of our letters, the author of a book which far surpasses every
other work created by an American from _The Scarlet Letter_ to _The Golden
Bowl_. For _Moby Dick_ stands with the great classics of all times, with
the tragedies of the Greeks, with _Don Quixote_, with _Dante's Inferno_
and with Shakespeare's _Hamlet_."

=v=

A man who is certainly an authority on naval subjects tells me that _The
Grand Fleet_ by Viscount Jellicoe of Scapa is the masterpiece of the great
war. He does not mean, of course, in a literary sense; but he does most
emphatically mean in every other sense. I quote from the review by P. L.
J., of Admiral Jellicoe's second book, _The Crisis of the Naval War_. The
review appeared in that valuable Annapolis publication, the Proceedings of
the United States Naval Institute for April, 1921:

"This interesting book is the complement of his first volume, _The Grand
Fleet,1914-16_. Admiral Jellicoe, the one man who was best situated to
know, now draws aside the curtains and reveals to us the efforts made by
the Admiralty to overcome the threat made by the German submarine
campaign. The account not only deals with the origin ashore of the defence
and offence against submarines, but follows to sea the measures adopted
where their application and results are shown.

"The first chapter deals at length with the changes made in the admiralty
that the organisation might be logical and smooth working to avoid
conflict of authority, to have no necessary service neglected, to provide
the necessary corps of investigators of new devices, and above all to free
the first Sea Lord and his assistants of a mass of detail that their
efforts might be concentrated on the larger questions.

"The appendices are of value and interesting because they show the
organisation at different periods and emphasise the fact that the Naval
Staff at the end of the war was the result of trial and error, natural
growth, and at least one radical change adopted during the war.

"Chapters II and III deal with the Submarine Campaign in 1917 and the
measures adopted to win success. The gradual naval control of all merchant
shipping with its attendant difficulties is clearly shown. The tremendous
labour involved in putting into operation new measures; the unremitting
search for and development of new antisubmarine devices is revealed, and
above all the length of time necessary to put into operation any new
device, and this when time is the most precious element, is pointed out.

"That a campaign against the enemy must be waged with every means at hand;
that new weapons must be continually sought; that no 'cure-all' by which
the enemy may be defeated without fighting can be expected; that during
war is the poorest time to provide the material which should be provided
during peace, the Admiral shows in a manner not to be gainsaid.

"Chapters IV and V deal with the testing, introduction, and gradual growth
of the convoy system. It is shown how the introduction of this system was
delayed by lack of vessels to perform escort duty and why when finally
adopted it was so successful because it was not only defensive but
offensive in that it meant a fight for a submarine to attack a vessel
under convoy.

"Chapter VI is devoted to the entry of the United States. The accurate
estimate of our naval strength by both the enemy and the allies, and our
inability upon the declaration of war to lend any great assistance are
shown--and this at the most critical period for the Allies--a period when
the German submarine campaign was at its height, when the tonnage lost
monthly by the Allies was far in excess of what can be replaced--when the
destruction of merchant shipping if continued at the then present rate
would in a few months mean the defeat of the Allies."

=vi=

I will give you what Admiral Caspar F. Goodrich said in the Weekly Review
(30 April 1921; The Weekly Review has since been combined with The
Independent) regarding _A History of Sea Power_, by William O. Stevens and
Allan Westcott:

"Two professors at the Naval Academy, the one a historian, the other a
close student of Mahan, have written a noteworthy volume in their _History
of Sea Power_, published in excellent form, generously supplied with maps,
illustrations, and index. The title suggests Mahan's classic which is
largely followed in plan and treatment. It will be remembered that his
writings covered in detail only the years from 1660 to 1815. While not
neglecting this period, this book is particularly valuable for events not
within its self-assigned limits. Practically it is a history of naval
warfare from ancient times to the present day. Each chapter deals briefly,
but ably, with one epoch and closes with an appropriate bibliography for
those who care to go more fully into the question; a commendable feature.
The last chapter, 'Conclusions,' deserves especial attention. Naturally,
considerable space is devoted to the story and analysis of Jellicoe's
fight. Few will disagree with the verdict of the authors:

"'It is no reflection on the personal courage of the Commander-in-Chief
that he should be moved by the consideration of saving his ships. The
existence of the Grand Fleet was, of course, essential to the Allied
cause, and there was a heavy weight of responsibility hanging on its use.
But again it is a matter of naval doctrine. Did the British fleet exist
merely to maintain a numerical preponderance over its enemy or to crush
that enemy--whatever the cost? If the Battle of Jutland receives the stamp
of approval as the best that could have been done, then the British or the
American officer of the future will know that he is expected primarily to
"play safe." But he will never tread the path of Blake, Hawke, or Nelson,
the men who made the traditions of the Service and forged the anchors of
the British Empire.'

"One factor in the success of the antisubmarine campaign is not mentioned,
important as it proved to be. This was the policy adopted by the Allies of
not giving out the news that any U-boat was captured or otherwise
accounted for. Confronted with this appalling veil of mystery the morale
of the German submarine crews became seriously affected; volunteering for
this service gradually ceased; arbitrary detail grew necessary; greatly
lessened efficiency resulted.

"The authors are to be congratulated on producing a volume which should be
in the hands of all naval officers of the coming generation; on the
shelves of all who take interest in the development of history; and of
statesmen upon whom may eventually rest the responsibility of heeding or
not heeding the teachings of Mahan as here sympathetically and cleverly
brought up to date."



CHAPTER XXI

THE CONFESSIONS OF A WELL-MEANING YOUNG MAN, STEPHEN MCKENNA


=i=

In a sense, all of Stephen McKenna's writing has been a confession. More
than any other novelist now actively at work, this young man bases fiction
on biographical and autobiographical material; and when he sits down
deliberately to write reminiscences, such as _While I Remember_, the
result is merely that, in addition to confessing himself, he confesses
others.

He has probably had more opportunity of knowing the social and political
life of London from the inside than most novelists of his time. In _While
I Remember_ he gives his recollections, while his memory is still fresh
enough to be vivid, of a generation that closed, for literary if not for
political purposes, with the Peace Conference. There is a power of wit and
mordant humour and a sufficiency of descriptive power and insight into
human character in all his work.

[Illustration: STEPHEN McKENNA]

_While I Remember_ is actually a gallery of pictures taken from the life
and executed with the technique of youth by a man still young--pictures of
public school and university life, of social London from the death of King
Edward to the Armistice, of domestic and foreign politics of the period,
of the public services of Great Britain at home and abroad. Though all
these are within the circle of Mr. McKenna's narrative, literary
London--the London that is more talked about than seen--is the core of his
story.

=ii=

Mr. McKenna's latest novel, _The Confessions of a Well-Meaning Woman_, is
a series of monologues addressed by one Lady Ann Spenworth to "a friend of
proved discretion." I quote from the London Times of April 6, 1922: "In
the course of them Lady Ann Spenworth reveals to us the difficulties
besetting a lady of rank. She is compelled to live in a house in Mount
street--for how could she ask 'The Princess' to visit her in
Bayswater?--and her income of a few thousands, hardly supplemented by her
husband's directorships, is depleted by the disbursements needed to keep
the name of her only son out of the newspapers while she is obtaining for
him the wife and the salary suited to his requirements and capacities. Mr.
Stephen McKenna provides us with the same kind of exasperating
entertainment that we get at games from watching a skilful and
unscrupulous veteran. Her deftness in taking a step or two forward in the
centre and so putting the fast wing off side; her air of sporting
acquiescence touched with astonishment when a penalty is given against her
for obstruction; her resolution in jumping in to hit a young bowler off
his length; the trouble she has with her shoe-lace when her opponent is
nervous; the suddenness with which every now and again her usually
deliberate second service will follow her first; the slight pucker in her
eyebrows when she picks up a hand full of spades; the pluck with which she
throws herself on the ball when there is nothing else for it; her
dignified bonhomie in the dressing room! We all know Lady Ann and her
tricks, but nothing can be proved against her and she continues to play
for the best clubs.

"In this story Lady Ann is playing the social game, and it is a tribute to
the skill of Mr. McKenna that at the end we hope that the Princess will be
sufficiently curious about her new 'frame and setting' to continue her
visits.... We have used the word 'story' because Lady Ann reports her
machinations while they are in progress and we are a little nervous about
the issue. Her main service, however, lies in the pictures she draws of
her own highly placed relatives and of a number of people who at house
parties and elsewhere may help ladies of title to make both ends meet.
Chief among them is her son Will, who even as seen through her partial
eyes, appears a very dishonest, paltry boy. Her blind devotion to him
humanises both her shrewdness and her selfishness. It is for his sake that
she separates her niece from the fine young soldier she is in love with
and that she almost succeeds in providing the King's Proctor with the
materials for an intervention that would secure to him the estates and
title of his fox-hunting uncle. There is always a plain tale to put her
down and always the friend of proved discretion is left with the
impression that the tale is the invention of malice; at least we suppose
she must be, for Lady Ann is allowed by people to whom she has done one
injury to remain in a position to do them another. The difficult medium
employed by Mr. McKenna entitles him, however, to count on the
co-operation of the reader; and it is to be accorded the more readily that
to it we owe the felicity of having her own account of the steps she took
to prevent an attractive but expensive widow from running away with her
husband, and of the party which she gave, according to plan, to the
Princess and, not according to plan, to other guests let loose on her by
her scapegrace brother-in-law."

=iii=

Stephen McKenna, the author of _Sonia_, not to be confused with Stephen
McKenna, the translator of Poltinus, belongs to the Protestant branch of
that royal Catholic sept which has had its home in the County Monagham
since the dawn of Irish history. Some members, even, of this branch have
reverted to the old faith since the date of Stephen McKenna's birth in the
year 1888 in London.

He was a scholar of Westminster and an exhibitioner of Christ Church,
Oxford. After he had taken his degree, his father, Leopold McKenna, an
elder brother of the Right Honourable Reginald McKenna, K. C., the last
Liberal Chancellor of the British Exchequer, made it possible for him to
travel desultorily and to try his luck in the great literary adventure.

On the outbreak of the war, as his health, which is delicate to the point
of frailness, debarred him from entering the army, Stephen McKenna first
volunteered for service at his old school, and, after a year, joined the
staff of the War Trade Intelligence Department, where he did valuable war
work for three and a half years. He represented his department on the
Right Honourable A. J. Balfour's mission in 1917, to the United States,
where he enjoyed himself thoroughly and made himself very popular; and he
did not sever his connection with the government service until February,
1919, four months after the conclusion of the armistice.

Stephen McKenna's first three novels--_The Reluctant Lover_, _Sheila
Intervenes_ and _The Sixth Sense_--were written and published before their
author was 27 years of age! But _Sonia_, the story that made him widely
known, was written entirely during the period of his activities on the
staff of Westminster School and at the War Trade Intelligence Department.
The book won the public favour more quickly than perhaps any other novel
that has appeared in our time.

The success of _Sonia_ was largely due to its description in a facile,
popular and yet eminently chaste and polished style, of the social and
political situation in England for a half generation before and during the
early stages of the war. This description Stephen McKenna was peculiarly
well-equipped to produce, not only as the near relative of a prominent
cabinet minister, but also as an assiduous frequenter of the leading
Liberal centre, the Reform Club, on the committee of which he had sat,
despite his youthful years, since 1915. The political interest, indeed, is
revealed in the subtitle, _Between Two Worlds_, which was originally
intended for the actual title.

McKenna's next book, _Ninety-Six Hours' Leave_, appealed to the reader's
gayer moods and _Midas and Son_, with its tragic history of an
Anglo-American multimillionaire, to the reader in serious temper.

In spite of certain blemishes due to Mr. McKenna's unfamiliarity with
American life, I should say that _Midas and Son_ is probably his ablest
work so far. I think it surpasses even _Sonia_. Mr. McKenna returned to
Sonia in his novel, _Sonia Married_. His work after that was a trilogy
called _The Sensationalists_, three brilliant studies of modern London in
the form of successive novels called _Lady Lilith_, _The Education of Eric
Lane_ and _The Secret Victory_.

=iv=

Writing from 11, Stone Buildings, Lincoln's Inn, London, in 1920, Mr.
McKenna had this to say about his trilogy:

"_Lady Lilith_ is the first volume of a trilogy called _The
Sensationalists_, three books giving the history for a few years before
the war, during and immediately after the war, of a group of
sensation-mongers, emotion-hunters or whatever you like to call them,
whose principle and practice it was to startle the world by the
extravagance of their behaviour, speech, dress and thought and, in the
other sense of the word, sensationalism, to live on the excitement of new
experiences. Such people have always existed and always will exist,
receiving perhaps undue attention from the world that they set out to
astonish. You, I am sure, have them in America, as we have them here, and
in the luxurious and idle years before the war they had incomparable scope
for their search for novelty and their quest for emotion. Some of the
characters in _Lady Lilith_ have already been seen hovering in the
background of _Sonia_, _Midas and Son_ and _Sonia Married_, though the
principal characters in _Lady Lilith_ have not before been painted at full
length or in great detail; and these principal characters will be found in
all three books of the trilogy.

"_Lady Lilith_, of course, takes its title from the Talmud, according to
which Lilith was Adam's first wife; and as mankind did not taste of the
Tree of Knowledge or of death until Eve came to trouble the Garden of
Eden, Lilith belongs to a time in which there was neither death nor
knowledge of good or evil in the world. She is immortal, unaging and
non-moral; her name is given by Valentine Arden, the young novelist who
appears in _Sonia_ and elsewhere, to Lady Barbara Neave, the principal
character in _Lady Lilith_ and one of the principal characters in the two
succeeding books."

=v=

In person, Stephen McKenna is tall, with a slender figure, Irish blue
eyes, fair hair, regular features and a Dante profile. He has an engaging
and very courteous address, a sympathetic manner, a ready but always
urbane wit and great conversational charm. He possesses the rare
accomplishment of "talking like a book." His intimates are legion; and,
apart from these, he knows everyone who "counts" in London society. He is
known never to lose his temper; and it is doubtful whether he has ever had
cause to lose it.

His one recreation is the Opera; and during the London season his
delightful chambers in Lincoln's Inn are the almost nightly scene of
parties collected then and there from the opera house.

=vi=

A sample of _The Confessions of a Well-Meaning Woman_:

"Lady Ann (_to a friend of proved discretion_): You have toiled all the
way here again? Do you know, I feel I am only beginning to find out who my
true friends are? I am much, much better.... On Friday I am to be allowed
on to the sofa and by the end of next week Dr. Richardson promises to let
me go back to Mount Street. Of course I should have liked the operation to
take place there--it is one's frame and setting, but, truly honestly,
Arthur and I have not been in a position to have any painting or papering
done for so long.... The surgeon insisted on a nursing home. Apparatus and
so on and so forth.... Quite between ourselves I fancy that they make a
very good thing out of these homes; but I am so thankful to be well again
that I would put up with almost any imposition....

"Everything went off too wonderfully. Perhaps you have seen my brother
Brackenbury? Or Ruth? Ah, I am sorry; I should have been vastly
entertained to hear what they were saying, what they dared say. Ruth did
indeed offer to pay the expenses of the operation--the belated prick of
conscience!--and it was on the tip of my tongue to say we are not yet
dependent on her spasmodic charity. Also, that I can keep my lips closed
about Brackenbury without expecting a--tip? But they know I can't afford
to refuse £500.... If they, if everybody would only leave one alone! Spied
on, whispered about....

"The papers made such an absurd stir! If you are known by name as
occupying any little niche, the world waits gaping below. I suppose I
ought to be flattered, but for days there were callers, letters,
telephone-messages. Like Royalty _in extremis_.... And I never pretended
that the operation was in any sense critical....

"Do you know, beyond saying that, I would much rather not talk about it?
This very modern frankness.... Not you, of course! But when a man like my
brother-in-law Spenworth strides in here a few hours before the anæsthetic
is administered and says 'What is the matter with you? Much ado about
nothing, I call it.' ... That from Arthur's brother to Arthur's wife,
when, for all he knew, he might never see her alive again.... I prefer
just to say that everything went off most satisfactorily and that I hope
now to be better than I have been for years...."

BOOKS BY STEPHEN MCKENNA

THE RELUCTANT LOVER
SHEILA INTERVENES
THE SIXTH SENSE
SONIA: BETWEEN TWO WORLDS
NINETY-SIX HOURS' LEAVE
MIDAS AND SON
SONIA MARRIED
LADY LILITH
THE EDUCATION OF ERIC LANE
THE SECRET VICTORY
WHILE I REMEMBER
THE CONFESSIONS OF A WELL-MEANING WOMAN

SOURCES ON STEPHEN MCKENNA

_Who's Who_ [In England].

Private Information.



CHAPTER XXII

POETS AND PLAYWRIGHTS


=i=

I have to tell about a number of poets and, regarding poets, I agree with
a very clever woman I know who declares that poetry is the most personal
of the arts and who further says that it is manifestly inadequate to talk
about a poet's work without giving a sample of his poetry. So, generally,
I shall quote one of the shorter poems or a passage from a longer poem.

John Dos Passos, known for _Three Soldiers_ and for _Rosinante to the Road
Again_, will be still more variously known to those who read his book of
verse, _A Pushcart at the Curb_. This book bears a relation to
_Rosinante_, the contents grouping themselves under these general
headings:

  Winter in Castile
  Nights by Bassano
  Translations from the Spanish of Antonio Machado
  Vagones de Tercera
  Quai de la Tournelle
  Of Foreign Travel
  Phases of the Moon

I will select for quotation the sixth or final poem dedicated to A. K.
McC. from the section entitled "Quai de la Tournelle,"

  This is a garden
  where through the russet mist of clustered trees
  and strewn November leaves,
  they crunch with vainglorious heels
  of ancient vermilion
  the dry dead of spent summer's greens,
  and stalk with mincing sceptic steps,
  and sound of snuffboxes snapping
  to the capping of an epigram,
  in fluffy attar-scented wigs ...
  the exquisite Augustans.

Christopher Morley is too well-known as a poet to require any explicit
account in this place. I shall remind you of the pleasure of reading him
by quoting the "Song For a Little House" from his book, _The Rocking
Horse_, and also a short verse from his _Translations from the Chinese_.

  I'm glad our house is a little house,
    Not too tall nor too wide:
  I'm glad the hovering butterflies
    Feel free to come inside.

  Our little house is a friendly house,
    It is not shy or vain;
  It gossips with the talking trees,
    And makes friends with the rain.

  And quick leaves cast a shimmer of green,
    Against our whited walls,
  And in the phlox, the courteous bees,
    Are paying duty calls.

But there is a different temper--or, if you like, tempering--to the verse
in _Translations from the Chinese_. I quote "A National Frailty":

  The American people
  Were put into the world
  To assist foreign lecturers.
  When I visited them
  They filled crowded halls
  To hear me tell them Great Truths
  Which they might as well have read
  In their own prophet Thoreau.
  They paid me, for this,
  Three hundred dollars a night,
  And ten of their mandarins
  Invited me to visit at Newport.
  My agent told me
  If I would wear Chinese costume on the platform
  It would be five hundred.

In speaking of the late Joyce Kilmer, the temptation is inescapable to
quote his "Trees"; after all, it is his best known and best loved poem--in
certain moments it is his best poem! But instead, I will desert his
volume, _Trees and Other Poems_, and from his other book, _Main Street and
Other Poems_, I will quote the first two stanzas of Kilmer's "Houses"--a
poem written for his wife:

  When you shall die and to the sky
    Serenely, delicately go,
  Saint Peter, when he sees you there,
    Will clash his keys and say:
  "Now talk to her, Sir Christopher!
    And hurry, Michelangelo!
  She wants to play at building,
    And you've got to help her play!"

  Every architect will help erect
    A palace on a lawn of cloud,
  With rainbow beams and a sunset roof,
    And a level star-tiled floor;
  And at your will you may use the skill
    Of this gay angelic crowd,
  When a house is made you will throw it down,
    And they'll build you twenty more.

Mrs. Kilmer is the author of two volumes of verse which have sold rather
more than John Masefield usually sells--at least, until the publication of
_Reynard the Fox. Candles That Burn_ created her audience and _Vigils_ has
been that audience's renewed delight. From _Vigils_ I take the poem "The
Touch of Tears." In it "Michael" is, of course, her own son:

  Michael walks in autumn leaves,
    Rustling leaves and fading grasses,
  And his little music-box
    Tinkles faintly as he passes.
  It's a gay and jaunty tune
    If the hands that play were clever:
  Michael plays it like a dirge,
    Moaning on and on forever.

  While his happy eyes grow big,
    Big and innocent and soulful,
  Wistful, halting little notes
    Rise, unutterably doleful,
  Telling of all childish griefs--
    Baffled babies sob forsaken,
  Birds fly off and bubbles burst,
    Kittens sleep and will not waken.

  Michael, it's the touch of tears.
    Though you sing for very gladness,
  Others will not see your mirth;
    They will mourn your fancied sadness.
  Though you laugh at them in scorn,
    Show your happy heart for token,
  Michael, you'll protest in vain--
    They will swear your heart is broken!

I think I have said elsewhere that J. C. Squire prefers his serious poems
to those parodies of which he is such an admitted master. It seems only
decent to defer, in this place, to the author's own feeling in the matter.
Mr. Squire is the author of _The Birds and Other Poems_ and _Poems: Second
Series_. My present choice is the beginning and the close of the poem,
"Harlequin"--which is in both books:

  Moonlit woodland, veils of green,
  Caves of empty dark between;
  Veils of green from rounded arms
  Drooping, that the moonlight charms:
  Tranced the trees, grass beneath
  Silent ...
    Like a stealthy breath,
  Mask and wand and silver skin
  Sudden enters Harlequin.

  Hist! Hist! Watch him go,
  Leaping limb and pointing toe,
  Slender arms that float and flow,
  Curving wand above, below;
  Flying, gliding, changing feet;
  Onset merging in retreat.

  Not a shadow of sound there is
  But his motion's gentle hiss,
  Till one fluent arm and hand
  Suddenly circles, and the wand
  Taps a bough far overhead,
  "Crack," and then all noise is dead.
  For he halts, and for a space
  Stands erect with upward face,
  Taut and tense to the white
  Message of the Moon's light.

  He was listening; he was there;
  Flash! he went. To the air
  He a waiting ear had bent,
  Silent; but before he went
  Something somewhere else to seek,
  He moved his lips as though to speak.

  And we wait, and in vain,
  For he will not come again.
  Earth, grass, wood, and air,
  As we stare, and we stare,
  Which that fierce life did hold,
  Tired, dim, void, cold.

Milton Raison is a young writer, known especially to readers of The
Bookman, whose verse has appeared in various magazines. A Russian, Milton
Raison went to sea as a boy--he is scarcely more than a boy now. His first
book of verse, _Spindrift_, carries a preface by William McFee. I quote:

"There is a Latin sharpness of mentality manifested in these clearly,
sardonically etched portraits of a ship's crew. The whimsical humour
revealed in final lines is a portent, in the present writer's opinion, of
a talent which will probably come to maturity in a very different field.
Indeed it may be, though it is too early to dogmatise, that these poems
are but the early efflorescence of a gift for vigorous prose narrative.

"Mr. Milton Raison has settled for himself, with engaging promptitude,
that a seafaring career provides the inspiration he craves. The influence
of Masefield is strong upon him, and some of his verses are plainly
derivative. As already hinted, it is too early to say definitely how this
plan will succeed. In his diary, kept while on a voyage to South America,
a document remarkable for its descriptive power and a certain crude and
virginal candour, one may discover an embryo novelist struggling with the
inevitable limitations of youth. But in his simple and naïve poems,
whether they give us some bizarre and catastrophic picture of seamen, or
depict the charming emotions of a sensitive adolescence, there is a
passion for experiment and humility of intellect which promises well
enough for a young man in his teens."

I find it particularly difficult to choose a poem for citation from this
book. Perhaps I shall do as well as I can, with only space to quote one
poem, if I give you "Vision":

  Have I forgotten beauty, and the pang
  Of sheer delight in perfect visioning?
  Have I forgotten how the spirit sang
  When shattered breakers sprayed their ocean-tang
  To ease the blows with which the great cliffs rang?
  Have I forgotten how the fond stars fling
  Their naked children to the faery ring
  Of some dark pool, and watch them play and sing
  In silent silver chords I too could hear?
  Or smile to see a starlet shake with fear
  Whenever winds disturbed the lake's repose,
  Or when in mocking mood they form in rows,
  And stare up at their parents--so sedate--
  Then break up laughing 'neath a ripple's weight?

It seems as if, _The First Person Singular_ having been published, more
people now know William Rose Benét as a novelist than as a poet. I cannot
help feeling that to be something of a pity. I am not going to quote one
of Mr. Benét's poems--indeed all his best work is in quite long and
semi-narrative verse--but I will give you what Don Marquis was inspired to
write after reading Benét's _Moons of Grandeur_. On looking at it again, I
see that Mr. Marquis has quoted eight lines, so you shall have your taste
of William Rose Benét, the poet, after all!

"Some day, just to please ourself, we intend to make a compilation of
poems that we love best; the ones that we turn to again and again. There
will be in the volume the six odes of Keats, Shelley's 'Adonais';
Wordsworth's 'Intimations of Immortality'; Milton's 'L'Allegro' and 'Il
Penseroso'; William Rose Benét's 'Man Possessed' and very little else.

"We don't 'defend' these poems ... no doubt they are all of them quite
indefensible, in the light of certain special poetic revelations of the
last few years ... and we have no particular theories about them; we
merely yield ourself to them, and they transport us; we are careless of
reason in the matter, for they cast a spell upon us. We do not mean to say
that we are in the category with the person who says: 'I don't know
anything about art, but I know what I like'--On the contrary, we know
exactly why we like these things, although we don't intend to take the
trouble to tell you now.

"William Rose Benét has published another book of poems, _Moons of
Grandeur_. Here is a stanza picked up at random--it happens to be the
opening stanza of 'Gaspara Stampa'--which shows the lyric quality of the
verse:

  "Like flame, like wine, across the still lagoon,
    The colours of the sunset stream.
  Spectral in heaven as climbs the frail veiled moon
    So climbs my dream.
  Out of the heart's eternal torture fire
    No eastern phoenix risen--
  Only the naked soul, spent with desire,
    Bursts its prison.

"Was Benét ever in Italy? No matter ... he has Italy in him, in his heart
and brain. Italy and Egypt and every other country that was ever warmed by
the sun of beauty and shone on by the stars of romance. For the poems in
this book are woven of the stuff of sheer romance. There is nothing else
in the world as depressing as a romantic poem that doesn't 'get there.'
And to us, at least, there is nothing as thrilling as the authentic voice
of romance, the genuine utterance of the soul that walks in communion with
beauty. _Moons of Grandeur_ is a ringing bell and a glimmering tapestry
and a draught of sparkling wine.

"A certain rich intricacy of pattern distinguishes the physical body of
Benét's art; when he chooses he can use words as if they were the jewelled
particles of a mosaic; familiar words, with his handling, become
'something rich and strange.' Of the spiritual content of his poems, we
can say nothing adequate, because there is not much that can be said of
spirit; either it is there and you feel it, and it works upon you, or it
is not there. There are very few people writing verse today who have the
power to charm us and enchant us and carry us away with them as Benét can.
He has found the horse with wings."

_The Bookman Anthology of Verse_ (1922), edited by John Farrar, editor of
The Bookman, is an altogether extraordinary anthology to be made up from
the poets contributing to a single magazine in eighteen consecutive
months. Among those who are represented are: Franklin P. Adams, Karle
Wilson Baker, Maxwell Bodenheim, Hilda Conkling, John Dos Passos, Zona
Gale, D. H. Lawrence, Amy Lowell, David Morton, Edwin Arlington Robinson,
Carl Sandburg, Siegfried Sassoon, Sara Teasdale, Louis and Jean Starr
Untermeyer, and Elinor Wylie.

Mr. Farrar has written short introductions to the example (or examples) of
the work of each poet. In his general preface he says:

"Where most anthologies of poetry are collected for the purpose of giving
pleasure by means of the verses themselves, I have tried here to give you
something of the joy to be found in securing manuscripts, in attempting to
understand current poetry by a broadening of taste to match broadening
literary tendencies; and, perhaps most important of all, to present you to
the poets themselves as I know them by actual meeting or correspondence."

I will choose what Mr. Farrar says about Hilda Conkling, prefacing her
poem "Lonely Song"; and then I will quote the poem:

"A shy, but normal little girl, twelve years old now, nine when her first
volume of verses appeared, Hilda Conkling is not so much the infant
prodigy as a clear proof that the child mind, before the precious spark is
destroyed, possesses both vision and the ability to express it in natural
and beautiful rhythm. Grace Hazard Conkling, herself a poet, is Hilda's
mother. They live at Northampton, Massachusetts, in the academic
atmosphere of Smith College where those who know the little girl say that
she enjoys sliding down a cellar stairway quite as much as she does
talking of elves and gnomes. She was born in New York State, so that she
is distinctly of the East. The rhythms which she uses to express her ideas
are the result both of her own moods, which are often crystal-clear in
their delicate imagery, and of the fact that from time to time, when she
was first able to listen, her mother read aloud to her. In fact, her first
poems were made before she, herself, could write them down. The
speculation as to what she will do when she grows to womanhood is a common
one. Is it important? A childhood filled with beauty is something to have
achieved."

  Bend low, blue sky,
  Touch my forehead;
  You look cool ... bend down ...

  Flow about me in your blueness and coolness,
  Be thistledown, be flowers,
  Be all the songs I have not yet sung.

  Laugh at me, sky!
  Put a cap of cloud on my head ...
  Blow it off with your blue winds;
  Give me a feeling of your laughter
  Beyond cloud and wind!
  I need to have you laugh at me
  As though you liked me a little.

This has been, as I meant it to be, a wholly serious chapter; but at the
end I find I cannot stop without speaking of Keith Preston. No one who
reads the Chicago Daily News fails to know Keith Preston's delightful
humour and "needle-tipped satire." And his book, _Splinters_, contains all
sorts of good things of which I can give you, alas, only some inadequate
(because solitary) sample. Yet, anyway, here is his "Ode to Common
Sense":

  Spirit or demon, Common Sense!
  Seen seldom by us mortals dense,
  Come, sprite, inform, inhabit me
  And teach me art and poetry.

  Teach me to chuckle, sly as you,
  At gods that now I truckle to,
  To doubt the New Republic's bent,
  And jeer each bookish Supplement.

  Now, like a thief, you come and flit,
  You call so seldom, Mother Wit!
  Remember? Once when you stood by
  I found a Dreiser novel dry.

  One day when I was reading hard--
  What? Amy Lowell, godlike bard!
  You peeped and then at what you saw
  Gave one Gargantuan guffaw.

  Spirit or demon, coarse or rude,
  (Sometimes I think you must be stewed)
  Brute that you are, I love your powers,
  But,--drop in after office hours!

  Yes, Common Sense, be mine, I ask,
  But still respect my critic's task;
  Molest me not when I'm employed
  With psychics, sex, vers libre, or Freud.

=ii=

The matter of playwrights is much more difficult than that of poets! A
play cannot, as a rule, be satisfactorily quoted from. In the case of a
play which is to be staged there are terrible objections (on the part of
the producer) to any excerpts at all appearing in advance. The publication
of the text of a play is hedged about by all manner of difficulties,
copyrights, warnings and solemn notifications. As I write, it is expected
that A. H. Woods, the producer of plays, will stage at the Times Square
Theatre, New York, probably in September, 1922, the new play by W.
Somerset Maugham, _East of Suez_. Pauline Frederick is expected to assume
the principal rôle. Mr. Maugham's play will be published when it has been
produced, or, if the theatre plans suffer one of those changes to which
all theatres are subject, will be published anyhow! Shall we say that the
setting is Chinese, and that the characters are Europeans, and that Mr.
Maugham has again shown his peculiar skill in the delineation of the white
man in contact with an alien civilisation? We shall say so. And--never
mind! A sure production of the play for the Fireside Theatre is hereby
guaranteed. The Fireside Theatre, blessed institution, has certain merits.
The actors are always ideal and the performance always begins on time, as
a letter to the New York Times has pointed out.

Arnold Bennett has written a lot of plays; _The Love Match_ is merely the
latest of them. If I cannot very well quote a scene from _The Love
Match_,--on the grounds of length and possible unintelligibility apart
from the rest of the drama--I can give you, I think, an idea of the wit of
the dialogue:

RUSS (_with calm and disdainful resentment_). You're angry with me now.

NINA (_hurt_). Indeed I'm not. Why should I be angry? Do you suppose I
mind who sends you flowers?

RUSS. No, I don't. That's not the reason. You're angry with me because you
came in here tonight, after saying positively you wouldn't come, and I
didn't happen to be waiting for you.

NINA. Hugh, you're ridiculous.

RUSS. Of course I am. That's not the reason. You took me against my will
to that footling hospital ball last night, and I only got three hours'
sleep instead of six, and you're angry with me because I yawned after you
kissed me.

NINA. You're too utterly absurd!

RUSS. Of course I am. That's not the reason, either. The real reason is
(_firmly_) you're angry with me because you clean forgot it was my
birthday today. That's why you're angry with me.

NINA. Well, I think you might have reminded me....

NINA. I like sitting on the carpet.

(_She reclines at his feet._) I wonder why women nowadays are so fond of
the floor.

RUSS. Because they're oriental, of course.

NINA. But I'm not oriental, Hughie! (_Looking at him with loving
passion._) Am I?

RUSS. That's the Eastern question.

NINA. But you like it, don't you?

RUSS. Every man has a private longing to live in the East.

NINA. But not harems and things?

RUSS. Well--within reason....

NINA. What do you think of me? I'm always dying to know, and I'm never
sure.

RUSS. What do you think of _me_?

NINA. I think you're magnificent and terrible and ruthless.

RUSS (_with amicable sincerity_). Oh, no, I'm not. But you are.

NINA. How? When? When was I ruthless last?

RUSS. You're always ruthless in your appetite for life. You want to taste
everything, enjoy all the sensations there are. This evening you like
intensely to sit very quiet on the floor; but last night you were mad
about dancing and eating and drinking. You couldn't be still. Tomorrow
night it'll be something else. There's no end to what you want, and what
you want tremendously, and what you've jolly well got to have. You aren't
a woman. You're a hundred women.

NINA. Oh! Hughie. How well you understand!

RUSS. Yes, don't I?

NINA (_tenderly_). Do I make you very unhappy? Hughie, you mustn't tell me
I make you unhappy. I couldn't bear it.

RUSS. Then I won't.

NINA. But do I?

RUSS. Let's say you cause a certain amount of disturbance sometimes.

NINA. But you like me to be as I am, don't you?

RUSS. Yes.

NINA. You wouldn't have me altered?

RUSS. Can't alter a climate.

NINA. You don't know how much I want to be perfect for you.

RUSS. You know my ruthless rule, "The best is good enough; chuck
everything else into the street." Have I ever, on any single occasion,
chucked you into the street?

NINA. But I want to be more perfect.

RUSS. Why do women always hanker after the impossible?

J. Hartley Manners is the husband of Laurette Taylor and the author of
plays in some of which she appears. His drama _The Harp of Life_ has as
its theme the love of two women, his mother and a courtesan, for a
nineteen-year-old boy, and their willing self-sacrifice that he may go
forward unbroken and unsmirched. The interesting thing, aside from the
strength of the play and its vivid study of adolescence, is the portrait
of the mother. And now his play, _The National Anthem_, which caused so
much discussion, is procurable in book form.

Here I have been talking about _East of Suez_ and _The Love Match_ and
have said nothing about _The Circle_ or _Milestones_! But I suppose
everyone knows that _The Circle_ is by Maugham and was markedly successful
when it was produced in New York; and surely everyone must know that
_Milestones_ is by Arnold Bennett and Edward Knoblauch--one of the great
plays of the last quarter century. I must take a moment to speak of Sidney
Howard's four act play, _Swords_. I think the best thing to do is to give
what Kenneth Macgowan, an exceptionally able critic of the drama, said
about the play:

"_Swords_ is as remarkable a play as America has ever produced. It is a
drama of action on a par with _The Jest_, fused with the ecstasy of
inspiration and the mysticism of the spirit and the body of woman. It sets
Ghibelline and Guelph, Pope and Emperor, two nobles and a dog of the
gutters fighting for a lady of strange and extraordinary beauty who is the
bride of one noble and the hostage of the other. With the passions, the
cruelties, and spiritual vision of the middle ages to build upon _Swords_
sweeps upward to a scene of sudden, flashing conflict shot with the mystic
and triumphant ecstasy which emanates from this glorious woman."

American lovers of the drama have a special interest in the two volumes of
_The Plays of Hubert Henry Davies._ At the time of his first success Mr.
Davies was working in San Francisco, whither he had come from England. It
was Frohman who made him an offer that brought him to New York and began
the series of productions which ended only with his death in 1917 in
Paris. These two volumes, very beautiful examples of fine bookmaking,
contain the successes: _Cousin Kate_, _Captain Drew on Leave_, and _The
Mollusc_. Among the other plays included are: _A Single Man_, _Doormats_,
_Outcasts_, _Mrs. Gorringe's Necklace_, and _Lady Epping's Lawsuit_. Hugh
Walpole has contributed a very touching introduction.



CHAPTER XXIII

THE BOOKMAN FOUNDATION AND THE BOOKMAN


"Thank you very much for the May Bookman," writes Hugh Walpole (June,
1922). "I have been reading The Bookman during the last year and I
congratulate Mr. Farrar most strongly upon it. The paper has now a
personality unlike any other that I know and it is the least dull of all
literary papers! I like especially the more serious articles, the series
of sketches of literary personalities seeming especially excellent to me."
Mr. Walpole evidently had in mind the feature of The Bookman called "The
Literary Spotlight."

"The Bookman is alive. If there is a better quality in the long run for a
general literary magazine to try for, I do not know what it is," writes
Carl Van Doren, literary editor of The Nation.

"Mr. Farrar has turned The Bookman into a monthly brimming with his own
creative enthusiasm," says Louis Untermeyer. "It has technically as well
as figuratively no rival."

And Irvin S. Cobb declares: "By my way of thinking, it is the most
informative, the most entertaining, and incidentally the brightest and
most amusing publication devoted to literature and its products that I
have ever seen."

=ii=

The idea of The Bookman Foundation first occurred in a discussion of the
future of the magazine and the ampler purposes it was desired to have The
Bookman serve. The idea had been advanced that more than the future of the
magazine should be considered; those to whom the welfare of the magazine
was a most important consideration distinctly felt that welfare to depend
upon a healthy and thriving condition of American literature and of
American interest in American literature. The broadest possible view, as
is so often the case, seemed the only ultimately profitable view. In what
way could The Bookman serve the interests of American literature in which
it was not already serving them? How could public interest in American
literature best be stimulated?

The idea gradually took shape as a form of foundation, naturally to be
called The Bookman Foundation, with a double purpose. Fundamentally The
Bookman Foundation is being established to stimulate the study of American
literature and its development; more immediately, and as the direct means
to that end, the purpose of the Foundation will be to afford a vehicle for
the best constructive criticism, spoken and written, on the beginnings and
development of our literature. In association with the faculty of English
at one of the larger and older American universities, Yale, the Foundation
will establish a lectureship; and annually there will be given at Yale a
lecture or a course of lectures on American literature by some
distinguished writer or critic. It is hoped that, as the Foundation grows,
other universities will be brought into co-operation with Yale so that the
lectureship may move from centre to centre, stimulating to intelligent
self-expression the varied elements that are contributing to our national
growth.

The lectures given on The Bookman Foundation will be published in book
form by The Bookman in a handsome and uniform edition. Membership in The
Bookman Foundation will be by invitation. All members of the Foundation
will be entitled to receive the published lectures without charge and they
will also have the privilege of subscribing for certain first and limited
editions of notable American books. At the present writing, even so much
as I have suggested is largely tentative, and I offer it for its essential
idea; an executive committee of The Bookman Foundation, in co-operation
with an advisory committee, the members of which committees have
yet to be finally determined, will settle all details. By the time of this
book's publication or even sooner, I expect a full announcement will have
been made; and for the correction of what I have stated I would refer the
reader to The Bookman itself.

=iii=

I am not going to give a historical account of The Bookman here. The
magazine is no newcomer among American periodicals. It has a reasonably
old and highly honourable history. For long published by the house of
Dodd, Mead & Company, it was acquired by George H. Doran Company and
placed under the editorial direction of Robert Cortes Holliday. That was
the beginning of a new vitality in its pages. Mr. Holliday was succeeded
by Mr. Farrar, and now, in its fifty-sixth volume, The Bookman seems to
the thousands who read it more interesting than ever before in its
history.

The roll call of its past and present contributors includes many of the
representative names in contemporary American and English literature. I
will give a few:

  JOSEPH HERGESHEIMER
  AMY LOWELL
  SIEGFRIED SASSOON
  JAMES BRANCH CABELL
  MARY ROBERTS RINEHART
  ZONA GALE
  FANNIE HURST
  WILLIAM MCFEE
  SHERWOOD ANDERSON
  HUGH WALPOLE
  FRANK SWINNERTON
  ROBERT FROST
  SARA TEASDALE
  IRVIN S. COBB
  RICHARD LE GALLIENNE
  DONN BYRNE
  CHRISTOPHER MORLEY
  ROBERT CORTES HOLLIDAY
  JOHAN BOJER
  WILLIAM ROSE BENÉT
  EDGAR LEE MASTERS
  KATHLEEN NORRIS
  FREDERICK O'BRIEN
  D. H. LAWRENCE
  JOHN DRINKWATER
  JOSEPH C. LINCOLN
  GEORGE JEAN NATHAN
  WILLIAM ALLEN WHITE
  CARL SANDBURG
  SINCLAIR LEWIS
  F. SCOTT FITZGERALD
  EUGENE O'NEILL
  H. L. MENCKEN
  JOHN DOS PASSOS
  ELINOR WYLIE
  GERTRUDE ATHERTON
  FLOYD DELL

=iv=

Among the American essayists whose work has appeared in The Bookman before
its publication in book form is Robert Cortes Holliday; among strikingly
successful books that appeared serially in The Bookman was Donald Ogden
Stewart's _A Parody Outline of History_. Among The Bookman's regular
reviewers are Louis Untermeyer, Wilson Follett, Paul Elmer More, H. L.
Mencken, Henry Seidel Canby and Maurice Francis Egan. Among writers of
distinction whose short stories have first appeared in The Bookman are
William McFee, Sherwood Anderson, Mary Austin, and Johan Bojer; while the
intimate personal portraits published under the general title "The
Literary Spotlight" have Lytton Stracheyized contemporary American
literature. Possibly it is in the department of poetry that The Bookman
now shines the brightest (see the account of The Bookman Anthology in the
previous chapter); if so, that may be because the editor, John Farrar, is
himself a poet.

Probably no other literary magazine in the world exhibits such a degree of
personal contact between the editor, his readers, his contributors and the
magazine's friends. This note of personal contact is constantly reflected
in the magazine's pages; but anyone who has called upon the editor of The
Bookman once or twice will know explicitly just what I mean.



EPILOGUE


I have been surprised, on looking back over these chapters, by the variety
of the books I have talked about. That so diverse a list should be under a
single imprint and should represent, with few exceptions, the publications
of a single twelvemonth, seems to me very remarkable. I believe a majority
of the books are the production of a single publishing season, the autumn
of 1922, and the Doran imprint is but thirteen years old.

"Of the making of books, there is no end"; but of the making of any single
book, there must come an end. Yet what is the end of a book but the
beginning of new friendships?

THE END



INDEX


Agate, James E., 49;
  _Alarums and Excursions_,  49;
  dramatic critic, 50;
  _Responsibility_, 50;
  review by The Londoner, in The Bookman, 50

_Alarums and Excursions_ by James E. Agate, 49

_Alone in the Caribbean_, by Frederic A. Fenger, 194

_Altar Steps, The_, by Compton Mackenzie, 265, 266

_Amazing Adventures of Letitia Carberry, The_,
  by Mary Roberts Rinehart, 108, 115, 116

_Amazing Interlude, The_, by Mary Roberts Rinehart, 105, 115, 116

Andrews, C. E., _Old Morocco and the Forbidden Atlas_, 193

_Ann and Her Mother_, by O. Douglas, 249

_Anna of the Five Towns_, by Arnold Bennett, 146, 149

_Art of Lawn Tennis_, The, by William T. Tilden, 213

Asquith, Elizabeth (Princess Antoine Bibesco),
  daughter of Margot Asquith, 47

Asquith, Margot, 89;
  mother of Elizabeth, 47;
  _My Impressions of America_, 122;
  _The Autobiography of Margot Asquith_, 122

_Autobiography of Margot Asquith_, The, by Margot Asquith, 122

Bailey, Margaret Emerson, _Robin Hood's Barn_, 194

_Balloons_, by Princess Antoine Bibesco, 47

Banning, Margaret Culkin, _Half Loaves_, 253;
  _Spellbinders_, 252;
  _This Marrying_, 253

Barton, Olive Roberts, _Cloud Boat Stories,_ 162;
  Column, 162;
  review by Candace T. Stevenson, 162-164;
  sister of Mary Roberts Rinehart, 161;
  _Wonderful Land of Up_, 162;
  work with children, 161

_Beauty for Ashes_, by Jean Sutherland, 262

Belloc, Hilaire, 23, 77

Benét, William Rose, _Moons of Grandeur_, 354, 355;
  review by Don Marquis, 354, 355;
  Benét, William Rose, _The First Person Singular_, 262, 263, 354

Bennett, Arnold 133, 134, 144, 145, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151;
  A _Man from the North_, 146, 149;
  _Anna of the Five Towns_, 146, 149;
  article on Hugh Walpole, 22, 23;
  booklet by George H. Doran Co., 150;
  books by, list of, 149, 150;
  _Clayhanger_, 148, 149;
  comments of Frank Swinnerton's Books, 225;
  comments on _The Casement_, by Frank Swinnerton, 236-242;
  criticism by New York Evening Post, 148;
  _Cupid and Commonsense_, 133, 150;
  description of Hugh Walpole, 22;
  _Friendship and Happiness_, 303;
  _How to Live on Twenty-four Hours a Day_, 303;
  _Lilian_, 133;
  _Love and Life_, 146;
  _Married Life_, 303;
  _Mental Efficiency_, 303;
  _Milestones_ (with Edward Knoblauch), 364;
  _Mr. Prohack_, 133, 141, 149;
  on Hugh Walpole's courage, 25;
  _Polite Farces_, 146;
  _Self and Self-Management_, 303;
  sketch of life by John W. Cunliffe, 144-148, 150;
  sources on, 150;
  _The Author's Craft_, 150;
  education of, 145;
  _The Gates of Wrath_, 146, 149;
  _The Love Match_, 361, 364;
  _The Old Wives' Tale_, 133, 149;
  _The Truth About an Author_, 144, 150

Benson, E. F., _Peter_, 261

_Between Two Thieves_, by Richard Dehan (Clotilde Graves), 198, 200, 210

Bibesco, Princess Antoine (Elizabeth Asquith), 47;
  _Balloons_, 47;
  _I Have Only Myself to Blame_, 47

_Birds and Other Poems, The_, by J. C. Squire, 351;
 Quotation from, 351

_Black Gang, The_, by Cyril McNeile, 70

_Black Cæsar's Clan_, by Albert Payson Terhune, 71

_Black Gold_, by Albert Payson Terhune, 71;
 Foreword to, by Albert Payson Terhune, 71-74

Blaker, Richard, _The Voice in the Wilderness_, 263

Bookman, The;
  articles by Robert Cortes Holliday, 221;
  Comment on Richard Dehan, 198, 211;
  Comments on by Hugh Walpole, Carl Van Doren, Irvin S. Cobb,
    Louis Untermeyer, 367;
  List of contributors, 370, 371;
  List of Reviewers, 371

_Book of Humorous Verse_, by Carolyn Wells, 99

_Bookman Anthology of Verse_ (1922), 356;
  Contributors, 356, 357

_Bookman Foundation, The_, 367, 368;
  lectures on, 368

_Books in General, Third Series_, by J. C. Squire, 44

Bottome, Phyllis (Mrs. A. E. Forbes Dennis), 258;
  Acquaintances, 259;
  _The Kingfisher_, 260

_Boy Journalist Series_, by Francis Rolt-Wheeler, 159, 161

_Breaking Point, The_, by Mary Roberts Rinehart, 105;
  résumé of, 105-7, 117

_Broome Street Straws_, by Robert Cortes Holliday, 52

Broun, Heywood, 40;
  columnist, _Pieces of Hate_ and _Other Enthusiasms_, 41;
  Subjects touched, 41, 42, 43

Buchan, John, The Path of the King, 249;
  _The Thirty-nine Steps_

Buckrose, J. E. (Mrs. Falconer Jameson), _A Knight Among Ladies_, 251

_Bulldog Drummond_, by Cyril McNeile, 70

Burke, Thomas, 187, 189, 190;
  More Limehouse Nights, 187;
  _Nights in London_, 190;
  Reasons given for his characters, 187, 188, 189;
  _The London Spy_, 189

Byron, May, _Billy Butt's Adventure_, 153;
  _Jack-a-Dandy_, 153;
 _Little Jumping Joan_, 153;
  _Old Friends in New Frocks_, 153

_Candles that Burn_, by Mrs. Kilmer

_Captives, The_, by Hugh Walpole, 24, 27, 30, 31;
  won Tait Black Prize, 1920, 30

_Carnival_, by Compton Mackenzie, 265

_Casement, The_, by Frank Swinnerton, 236, 242

_Cathedral, The_, by Hugh Walpole, 19, 31;
  at Polchester, 19;
  review of, 19

_Century of Banking in New York, 1822-1922, A_, by Henry Wysham
Lanier, 193

Chambers, Robert W., article on, by Rupert Hughes, 320;
  Eris, 311, 317, 320;
  _In the Quarter_, 317, 318; Iole, 318, 319;
  list of books by, 318, 319, 320;
  Sources On, 320; Story-teller, 308;
  _The Flaming Jewel_, 311, 320;
  _The King in Yellow,_ 317, 318;
  _The Talkers_, 317, 320;
  _The Witch of Ellangowan_, 318;
  _With the Band_ (poem), 317

_Chaste Wife, The_, by Frank Swinnerton, 226, 243

Chinese Metal, by E. G. Kemp, 190;
  comment by Sao-Ke Alfred Sze, 191

_Circle, The_, by W. Somerset Maugham, 289, 292, 364

_Circuit Rider's Wife, A_, by Corra Harris, 257

_Circular Staircase, The_, by Mary Roberts Rinehart, 110, 114, 116

_Claim Jumpers, The_, by Stewart Edward White, 55, 63, 66

_Clayhanger_, by Arnold Bennett, 148, 149

_Cloud Boat Stories_, by Olive Roberts Barton, 162

Cobb, Irvin S., 89, 241;
  _An Occurrence up a Side Street_, 176, 180;
  as a humorist, 179;
  at Portsmouth Peace Conference, 177, 178;
  biography by Robert H. Davis, 172-183, 186;
  books by, 184;
  comments on The Bookman, 367;
  description of self, 182, 183;
  dimensions of, 166;
  editorial work, 175, 176;
  Fishhead, 176, 180;
  _J. Poindexter, Colored_, 169, 185;
  lecture by Gelett Burgess, 179;
  Plays by, 185;
  report of Thaw Trial, 178;
  Sources on, 186;
  _Stickfuls_, 169, 185;
  _The Belled Buzzard_, 176, 180;
  _The Escape of Mr. Trimm_, 178, 180, 184

Collected Parodies, by J. C. Squire, 98;
  Selections, 98, 99

Coming of the Peoples, The, by Francis Rolt-Wheeler, 161

_Confessions of a Well-Meaning Woman, The_,
  by Stephen McKenna, 337, 344, 346;

  Quotations from London Times, 337-339;
  Sample of, 344, 345

Conjurors House, by Stewart Edward White, 66

Conkling, Hilda, 356

Connor, Ralph, 264

Conrad, Joseph, A Critical Study of Walpole, 31;
  experiences similar, 25;
  introductory note to _Anthology_, 28

_Cooperative Movement_, by Dr. James B. Warbasse, 300

_Coquette_, by Frank Swinnerton, 226, 243

_Creative Spirit in Industry, The_, by Robert B. Wolf, 300

_Crisis of the Naval War_, by Viscount Jellicoe of Scapa, 329;
  review of, in Proceedings of the United States Naval
    Institute, 329, 330, 331

_Crome Yellow_, by Aldous Huxley, 34

Cummins, Col. Stevenson Lyle, in Who's Who, 156, 157;
  _Plays for Children_, 157

_Cupid and Commonsense_, by Arnold Bennett, 133, 150

Dana, H. W. L., 297; _Social Forces in Literature_, 300

_Dancers in the Dark_, by Dorothy Speare, 255, 256

Daniels, Josephus, _Our Navy at War_, 321, 322

_Dark Forest, The_, by Hugh, Walpole, 16, 28, 31

Davey, Norman, 36, 37;
  Guinea Girl, 36, 37;
  The Gas Turbine, 37;
  _The Pilgrim of a Smile_, 36

Davies, Hubert Henry, Plays of, _A Single Man_, 365;
 _Captain Drew on Leave_, 365;
 _Cousin Kate_, 365;
 _Doormats_, 365;
 _Lady Epping's Law Suit_, 365;
 _Mrs. Gorringe's Necklace_, 365;
 _Outcasts_, 365;
 _The Mollusc_, 365

Davis, Robert H., 186;
  biographer of Irvin S. Cobb, 172, 186;
  Box Score of Writers, 183

_Days Before Yesterday_, by Lord Frederic Hamilton, 131

de Staël, Madame, 128

"Death of Lully," in Limbo, by Aldous Huxley, 36

_Deaves Affair_, The, by Hulbert Footner, 75

_December Love_, by Robert Hichins, 249

Dehan, Richard (Clotilde Graves), 196, 197, 199, 200, 201, 204, 209,
  210, 211;
  _Between Two Thieves_, 198, 200, 210;
  books by, 210;
  Comment by The Bookman, 198;
  sources on, 211;
  _That Which Hath Wings_, 200, 210;
  _The Dop Doctor_, 196, 200, 210;
  _The Eve of Pascua_, 201, 210;
  _The Just Steward_, 201, 202, 203, 205, 206, 207, 208, 210

Denham, Sir James, _Memoirs of the Memorable_, 119

Dennis, Mrs. A. E. Forbes, see Phyllis Bottome, 258

Dircks, Helen, _Passenger_, 236

Djemal Pasha, _Memoirs of_, 122

_Doors of the Night_, by Frank L. Packard, 68, 69

_Dop Doctor, The_, by Richard Dehan (Clotilde Graves), 196, 200, 210

Dos Passes, John, 356;
  _A Pushcart at the Curb_, 347;
  _de Unamuno, Miguel_, 39;
  _Manrique, Jorge, Ode_, 39;
  _Rosinante to The Road Again_, 38, 347;
  _Three Soldiers_, 347

Douglas, O., 249;
  _Ann and Her Mother_, 249;
  _Penny Plain_, 249;
  Sister of John Buchan, 249

Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan, 115;
  _Spiritualism and Rationalism_, 302;
  _The New Revelation_, 302;
  _The Vital Message_, 302;
  _The Wanderings of a Spiritualist_, 302

Dreiser, Theodore, review of Human Bondage, in New Republic, 273-277

_Duchess of Wrexe, The_, by Hugh Walpole, 19, 31

_Earth's Story, The_, by Frederic Arnold Kummer, 155

_East of Suez_, by W. Somerset Maugham, 284, 292, 360

_Education of Eric Law, The_, see _The Sensationalists_,
  by Stephen McKenna, 342, 346

Ellis, Havelock, _Little Essays of Love and Virtue_, 302;
  _Emperor Francis Joseph and His Times, The_, by Baron Margutti, 130

_English Literature During the Last Half Century_,
  by John W. Cunliffe, 144, 150

_Eris_, by Robert W. Chambers, 311, 317, 320;
  from extracts, 311-316, 320

_Escape of Mr. Trimm, The_, by Irvin S. Cobb, 178, 180, 184

_Essays on Religion_, by T. R. Glover, 305

_Eve of Pascua_, The, by Richard Dehan (Clotilde Graves), 201, 210

_Eyes of Love, The_, by Corra Harris, 257;
  extract from, 257-8

_Facing Reality_, by Esme Wingfield-Stratford, 300;
  Chapter titles, 300;
  introduction, extracts from, 300, 301

_Fairies and Chimneys_, by Rose Fyleman, 158;
  Quotation from, 158

_Fairy Flute, The_, by Rose Fyleman, 158

Farnsworth, Sidney, _Illumination and Its Development in the
  Present Day_, 223

Farrar, John, Editor of The Bookman, 94, 357;
  poet, 371;
  Editor, see The Bookman, 371

Fenger, Frederic A., _Alone in the Caribbean_, 194

_First Days of Man, The_, by Frederic Arnold Kummer, 155, 156

_First Person Singular, The_, by William Rose Benét, 262, 263, 354

_Flaming Jewel, The_, by Robert W. Chambers, 311, 320

Follett, Wilson, comparisons, 52;
  Reviewer The Bookman, 371;
  _Some Modern Novelists_, 150

Footner, Hulbert, _The Deaves Affair_, 75;
  _The Owl Taxi_, 74, 75

Forbes, Lady Angela, _Memories and Base Details_, 130;
  _Memories Discreet and Indiscreet_, 130;
  _More Indiscretions_, 129

Forbes, Rosita, _The Secret of the Sahara: Kufara_, 192

_Fortitude_, by Hugh Walpole, 21, 23, 27, 31;
  theme of, 21, 31

_Forty Years On_, by Lord Ernest Hamilton, 132

"Frankincense and Myrrh," from _Pieces of Hate_,
  by Heywood Broun, 41, 42, 43

_From Now On_, by Frank L. Packard, 68, 69

_Further Adventures of Jimmie Dale, The_, by Frank L. Packard, 68, 69

_Further Adventures of Lad_, by Albert Payson Terhune, 215;
  extracts from, 216

Fyleman, Rose, Fairies and Chimneys, 158;
  _The Fairy Flute_, 158

Gabriel, Gilbert W., 53;
  Jiminy, novel by, 53;
  music critic, N. Y. Sun, 53;
  Novelist, 53;
  substitute for Don Marquis, 54

_Gates of Wrath, The_, by Arnold Bennett, 146, 149

Gavit, John Palmer, account of Stewart Edward White, 65, 66, 67

Geister, Edna, _Ice-breakers and the Ice-Breaker Herself_, 219;
  _It Is to Laugh_, 219

_Gist of Golf, The_, by Harry Vardon, 213

_Giving and Receiving_, by E. V. Lucas, 307

Glover, T. R., _Essays on Religion_, 305;
  _Jesus in the Experience of Man_, 305;
  _Poets and Pilgrims_, 305;
  _Poets and Puritans,_ 305;
  _The Jesus of History_, 305;
  _The Nature and Purpose of a Christian Society_, 305;
  _The Pilgrim_, 305

_Gods and Mr. Perrin, The_, by Hugh Walpole, 22, 27, 31

_Gold_, by Stewart Edward White, 61, 67

_Golden Scarecrow, The_, 15, 27, 31

_Gold-Killer_, by John Prosper, 75

_Grand Fleet, The_, by Viscount Jellicoe of Scapa, 329

Graves, Clotilde (Richard Dehan), 196, 197, 198, 199, 200, 204,
  209, 210, 211;
 _A Mother of Three_, 199, 210;
 _Nitocris_, 199, 210;
 _Puss in Boots_, 199

_Green Mirror, The_, by Hugh Walpole, 19, 27, 31

"Greenow, Richard," of _Limbo_, by Aldous Huxley, 36

_Guinea Girl_, by Norman Davey, 36, 37

Guest, Leslie Haden, _The Struggle for Power in Europe_ (1917-21), 323, 324

Haggard, Andrew C. P., _Madame de Staël; Her Trials and Triumphs_, 129

_Half Loaves_, by Margaret Culkin Banning, 253

Hambourg, Mark, _How to Play the Piano_, 219, 220

Hamilton, Lord Ernest, Forty Years On, 131

Hamilton, Lord Frederic, Days Before Yesterday, 131;
  Diplomatic Services, 131;
  Education, 131;
  _Here, There and Everywhere_, 131;
  _The Vanished Pomps of Yesterday_, 131

"Happy Families," in _Limbo_, by Aldous Huxley, 36

_Happy Family, The_, by Frank Swinnerton, 226, 238, 242

Harcourt, Edward Vernon, 118

Harcourt, Sir William, _George Granville Venables Vernon, Life of_, 118

"Harlequin," from _The Birds and Other Poems_, by J. C. Squire, 351, 352

_Harp of Life, The_, by J. Hartley Manners, 363

Harris, Corra, 257, 264;
  _A Circuit Rider's Wife_, 257;
 _The Eyes of Love_, 257

Harrison, Marguerite E., _Marooned in Russia_, 192

Hawthorne, Nathaniel, _A Wonder Book_, 165;
  _The Scarlet Letter_, 327, 328

Hayhurst, Dr. Emery, _Labour and Health_, 209

Henry, Alice, _Women and the Labour Movement_, 299

_Here, There and Everywhere_, by Lord Frederic Hamilton, 131

Herford, Oliver, _Neither Here Nor There_, 95

Hergesheimer, Joseph, Appreciation of Hugh Walpole, 15, 29, 30, 31

Herm, home of Compton Mackenzie, 267

_Herman Melville: Mariner and Mystic_, by Raymond W. Weaver, 325;
  review by Carl Van Vechten, 325-328

_Hermit of Far End, The_, by Margaret Pedler, 256

Heroes of the Ruins, by Francis Rolt-Wheeler, 160

Heterogeneous Magis of Maugham, The, 270

Hichins, Robert, _The Garden of Allah_, 249;
 _December Love_, 249

_History of Sea Power, A_, by William O. Stevens and Allan Westcott, 331;
 Admiral Caspar F. Goodrich, review of, in The Weekly Review, 331-333;
 Extracts from, 332, 333

Holliday, Robert Cortes, 52;
  business connections, 221;
  _Broome Street Straws_, 52;
  editor of The Bookman, 369;
  Memoirs in _Joyce Kilmer, Poems, Essays and Letters_, 53;
  _Men and Books and Cities_, 52;
  _Peeps at People_, 52;
  praise by James Hunecker, 52;
  Study of Booth Tarkington, 53;
  _Turns About Town_, 52;
  _Walking Stick Papers_, 51;
  _Writing as a Business; A Practical Guide for Authors_, 220

Houghton, Mrs. Hadwin, See Wells, Carolyn

_House of Dreams Come True, The_, by Margaret Pedler, 256

House of Five Swords, The, by Tristram Tupper, 247, 248

"Houses" from _Main Street and other Poems_, by Joyce Kilmer, 349, 350

_How to Live on Twenty-four Hours a Day_, by Arnold Bennett, 303

_How to Play the Piano_, by Mark Hambourg, 219, 220

Howard, Sidney, Swords, 364

Hughes, Rupert, article on Robert W. Chambers, 320;
  on Robert W. Chambers, 311

_Hugh Walpole Anthology, A_, by Hugh Walpole, 27, 32;
  divisions of, 27;
  Country Places, 27;
  London, 27;
  Men and Women, 27;
  Russia, 27;
  Some Children, 27;
  Some Incidents, 27

_Hunting Hidden Treasure in the Andes_, by Francis Rolt-Wheeler, 159

Huxley, Aldous, 34, 35, 36;
  Beauty, 36;
  Comment by Michael Sadlier, 34;
  Crome Yellow, 34;
  Disciple of Laforgue, 35;
  L'Apres-Midi-d'un Faune, translation by, 35;
  _Limbo_, 34, 36;
  Mortal Coils, 34, 35;
  "Permutation among the Nightingales," play by, 35;
  poet and writer of prose, 35;
  Quotations from _Mortal Coils,_ 35;
  Splendour, by Numbers, 36;
  the sensualist, 36;
  Translator of Laforgue, 35;
  translation of _The Walk_, 35

_I Have Only Myself to Blame_, by Princess Bibesco, 47;
  extract from, 47, 48, 49

_Ice-breakers and the Ice-Breaker Herself_, by Edna Geister, 219

_Illumination and Its Development in the Present Day_,
  by Sidney Farnsworth, 223

_Imprudence_, by F. E. Mills Young, 263

_In the Days Before Columbus_, by Francis Rolt-Wheeler, 160

_In the Quarter_, by Robert W. Chambers, 317, 318

_Iole_, by Robert W. Chambers, 318, 319

_Irish Free State, The_, by Albert C. White, 191; Book Value, 192

Isn't That Just Like a Man: Oh, Well, You Know How Women Are! 89

_It Is to Laugh_, by Edna Geister, 219

Jacks, L. P., editor of Hibbert Journal, 195;
  _The Legends of Smokeover_, 194

Jameson, Mrs. Falconer, see J. E. Buckrose

Jellicoe, Viscount, of Scapa, _The Crisis of the Naval War_, 329;
  _The Grand Fleet_, 329

_Jimmy Dale and the Phantom Clue_, by Frank L. Packard, 69

_Joining in Public Discussion_, by Alfred Dwight Sheffield, 297;
  sections of, 299

_Judge, The_, by Rebecca West, 78;
  dedication and review, 84, 85, 86;
  extract from, 81, 82;
  material employed, 82, 83

_Judgment of Charis, The_, by Mrs. Baillie Reynolds, 76

_Just Steward, The_, by Richard Dehan (Clotilde Graves), 201;
  samples from, 201-203, 205, 206, 207, 208, 210

_Jungle Tales, Adventures in India_, by Howard Anderson Musser, 156

_K_, by Mary Roberts Rinehart,
107, 108, 116

Kemp, E. G., _Chinese Mettle_, 190

Kerr, Sophie, 244;
  Autobiography, 244-246;
  editor Woman's Home Companion, 245;
  _One Thing is Certain_, 246;
  _Painted Meadows_, 246;
  quotations from letter by, 246, 247

Kilmer, Joyce, Main Street and Other Poems, 349;
  Poems, Essays and Letters, 53;
  Memoirs, by Robert Cortes Holliday, 53;
  Trees and Other Poems, 349

Kilmer, Mrs., _Candles That Burn_, 350; Vigils, 350

_Kingfisher, The_, by Phyllis Bottome, 260

_King in Yellow, The_, by Robert W. Chambers, 317, 318

_Knight Among Ladies_, A, by J. E. Buckrose, 251

Knight, Captain, C. W. R., _Wild Life in the Tree Tops_, 214

Kummer, Frederic Arnold, The Earth's Story, 155;
  _The First Days of Man_, 155, 156

_Labour and Health_, by Dr. Emery Hayhurst, 299

_Lad: A Dog_, by Albert Payson Terhune, 214

_Lady Frederick_, by W. Somerset Maugham, 289, 291

_Lady Lilith_, by Stephen McKenna, 342, 343, 346;
  Comments by author, 342, 343, 346

_Lamp of Fate, The_, by Margaret Pedler, 256

_Land of Footprints, The_, by Stewart Edward White, 55, 67

Lanier, Henry Wysham, _A Century of Banking in New York: 1822-1922_, 193

Lardner, Ring W., appreciation of Charles E. Van Loan, 212;
  Sport, 212

_Laughter, Ltd._, by Nina Wilcox Putnam, 90

_Legends of Smokeover, The_, by L. P. Jacks, 194

_Life and Letters_, by J. C. Squire, 46

_Life of Sir William Vernon Harcourt, The_, 118

Lilian, by Arnold Bennett, 133, 137-141, 149;
  extract from, 137-141, 149

_Limbo_, by Aldous Huxley, 34, 36;
  Death of Lully, 36;
  Happy Families, 36

Literary Spotlight, The; The Bookman, 371

_Little Essays of Love and Virtue_,
by Havelock Ellis, 302

_Little Jumping Joan_, by May Byron, 153

_Liza of Lambeth_, by W. Somerset Maugham, 286, 287, 291

Lloyd George, critical sketch, by E. T. Raymond, 121

Lodge, Sir Oliver, 115, 301

London Mercury, edited by J. C. Squire, 44, 46

_London Spy, The_, by Thomas Burke, 189

_Long Live the King_, by Mary Roberts Rinehart, 115, 116

_Love Match, The_, by Arnold Bennett, 361, 364;
  Extracts from, 361-363

Lowndes, Mrs. Belloc, appreciation of Hugh Walpole, 23, 24;
  _What Timmy Did_, 77

Lucas, E. V., _Giving and Receiving_, 307;
  _Roving East and Roving West_, 307

Mackenzie, Compton, _Carnival_, 265;
  _Plasher's Mead_, 265;
  _Poor Relations_, 265;
  Rich Relatives, 265;
  Sinister Street, 265;
  The Altar Steps, 265, 266, 269;
  The Parson's Progress, 266;
  visit by Simon Pure, 266-269

MacQuarrie, Hector, on W. Somerset Maugham, 277, 284, 290;
  _Tahiti Days_, 270

_Madame de Staël; Her Trials and Triumphs_,
  by Andrew C. P. Haggard, 124-129

_Main Street and Other Poems_, by Joyce Kilmer, 349

_Man from the North, A_, by Arnold Bennett, 146, 149

_Man in Lower Ten, The_, by Mary Roberts Rinehart, 114, 116

_Man in Ratcatcher, The_, by Cyril McNeile, 70

Manners, J. Hartley, _The Harp of Life_, 363

_Maradick at Forty_, by Hugh Walpole, 26, 31

Margutti, Baron von, _The Emperor Francis Joseph and His Times_, 130

_Marooned in Moscow_, by Marguerite E. Harrison, 192

_Married Life_, by Arnold Bennett, 303

Maugham W. Somerset, article by Hector MacQuarrie, 292;
 books by, 291, 292;
 _Caroline_, 289, 292;
 East of Suez, 284, 292, 360;
 education of, 286;
 father of, 286;
 wife of, 286;
 _Lady Frederick_, 289, 291;
 _Liza of Lambeth_, 286, 287, 291;
 _Mrs. Craddock_, 287, 288, 291;
 _Mrs. Dot_, 289, 291;
 _Of Human Bondage_, 270, 273-77, 287, 291;
 _On a Chinese Screen_, 284-285, 291;
 playright, 288;
 sources on, 292;
 _The Circle_, 289, 292;
 The heterogeneous magic of, 270;
 _The Moon and Sixpence_, 270, 277, 278, 279, 284, 287, 291

McCormick, W. B., Army and Navy Journal, Editor of, 321;
  Comment on Josephus Daniels _Our Navy at War_, 321, 322, 323

McFee, William, 371;
  Extracts from preface to _Spindrift_, by Milton Raison, 352, 353

McKenna, Stephen, 334, 337, 338, 339, 340, 341, 342, 343, 345, 346;
  _Between Two Worlds_, 341, 346;
  Books by, 345, 346;
  Comments on _Lady Lilith_, 342, 343;
  education of, 340;
  _Lady Lilith_, 342, 343, 346;
  Leopold McKenna, father of, 340;
  _Midas and Son_, 341, 346;
  _Ninety-Six Hours' Leave_, 341, 346;
  personality, 343;
  _Sheila Intervenes_, 340, 345;
  _Sonia_, 339, 340, 341, 342, 343, 346;
  _Sonia Married_, 341, 342, 346;
  Sources on, 346;
  _The Confessions of a Well-Meaning Woman_, 337, 344, 346;
  _The Education of Eric Lane_, 342, 346;
  _The Reluctant Lover_, 340, 345;
  _The Secret Victory_, 342, 346;
  _The Sensationalists_, 341, 342;
  _The Sixth Sense_, 340, 345;
  _Translator of Poltinus_, 339;
  war service, 340;
  _While I Remember_, 324, 346

McNeile, Cyril, Bulldog Drummond, 70;
  _The Black Gang_, 70;
  _The Man in Ratcatcher_, 70

Melville, Herman, _Mardi_, 327;
  _Moby Dick_, 327, 328;
  _Omoo_, 326;
  _Pierre_, 327;
  _Typee_, 326

_Memoirs of Djemal Pasha, The_, 122

_Memoirs of the Memorable_, by Sir James Denham, 119;
  Beaconsfield, Lord, 119;
  Beresford, Lord Marcus, 119;
  Bishop of London, 119;
  Bishop of Manchester, 119;
  Browning, Robert, 119;
  Byron, Lord, 119;
  Carroll, Lewis, 119;
  Dunedin, Lord, 119;
  Gladstone, 119;
  Howard, Cardinal, 119

_Memories and Base Details_, by Lady Angela Forbes, 130

_Memories Discreet and Indiscreet_, by Lady Angela Forbes, 129

_Men and Books and Cities_, by Robert Cortes Holliday, 52

_Men Who Make Our Novels, The_, by George Gordon, 55, 67, 320

_Merry Heart, The_, by Frank Swinnerton, 236, 242

_Midas and Son_, by Stephen McKenna, 341, 342, 346

_Milestones_, by Arnold Bennett and Edward Knoblauch, 364

Milne, A. A., _Mr. Pim_, 261

_Miracle Man, The_, by Frank L. Packard, 68

_Miscellanies--Literary and Historical_, by Lord Rosebery, 123

Moffatt, Dr. James, _The Approach of the New Testament_, 296;
  _New Translation of the New Testament_, 293;
  _New Translation of the Old Testament_, 296;
  _The Parallel Testament_, 293

_Mollusc, The_, by Hubert Henry Davies, 365

Monaghan, Elizabeth A., _What to Eat and How to Prepare It_, 218

_Moon and Sixpence, The_, by W. Somerset Maugham, 270, 278, 279, 284,
  287, 291

_Moon Out of Reach, The_, by Margaret Pedler, 256

_Moons of Grandeur_, by William Rose Benét, 354, 355;
  Don Marquis, review of, 354;
  Quotation from, 355

Moore, Annie Carroll, _Roads to Childhood_, 152

_More Indiscretions_, by Lady Angela Forbes, 129

_More Limehouse Nights_, by Thomas Burke, 187

Morley, Christopher, _A Rocking Horse_, 348;
  _Translations from the Chinese_, 349

_Mortal Coils_, by Aldous Huxley, 34, 35

_Mr. Lloyd George: A Biographical and Critical Sketch_,
  by E. T. Raymond, 120

_Mr. Pim_, by A. A. Milne, 261

_Mr. Prohock_, by Arnold Bennett, 133, 141, 149;
  extracts from, 141-144, 149

_Mrs. Craddock_, by W. Somerset Maugham, 287, 288, 291;
  extract from, 288, 291

Musser, Howard Anderson, _Jungle Tales, Adventures in India_, 156

_My Creed: The Way to Happiness--As I Found It_, Mary Roberts Rinehart, 117

_My Impressions of America_, by Margot Asquith, 122

Myers, A. Wallis, _Twenty Years of Lawn Tennis_, 213

_Neither Here Nor There_, by Oliver Herford, 95

_Nêne_, 264; Comment by Walter
Prichard Eaton, 265; Goncourt
Prize, won by, 264

_New Revelation, The_, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 302

_New Translation of the New Testament_, by Dr. James Moffatt, 293;
  extracts from, 293-296

_New Translation of the Old Testament_, by Dr. James Moffatt, 296

_Nicolette_, by Baroness Orczy, 248

_Night Operator, The_, by Frank L. Packard, 68

_Nights in London_, by Thomas Burke, 190

Ninety-six Hours' Leave, by Stephen McKenna, 341, 346

_Nocturne_, by Frank Swinnerton, 225, 233, 235, 239, 243;
  Comment by H. G. Wells, 233-235

_Of Human Bondage_, by W. Somerset Maugham, 270;
  review by Theodore Dreiser, 273-277, 287, 291

_Old Morocco and the Forbidden Atlas_, by C. E. Andrews, 193

_Old Wives' Tales, The_, by Arnold Bennett, 133, 149;
  inspiration of, 147, 149

_On a Chinese Screen_, by W. Somerset Maugham, 284, 291;
  extract from, 284-285

_On the Staircase_, by Frank Swinnerton, 226, 243

_On Tiptoe: A Romance of the Redwoods_, by Stewart Edward White, 59, 67

_One Thing is Certain_, by Sophie Kerr, 246

_Our Navy at War_, by Josephus Daniels, 321;
  Comment on, by W. B. McCormick, 321, 322, 323

_Outcasts_, by Hubert Henry Davies, 365

Orczy, Baroness, _Nicolette_, 248

_Owl Taxi, The_, by Hulbert Footner, 74, 75

Packard, Frank L., _Doors of the Night_, 68;
  education of, 68;
  _From Now On_, 68;
  _Pawned_, 68;
  _The Adventures of Jimmy Dale_, 68, 69;
  _The Further Adventures of Jimmie Dale_, 68;
  _The Miracle Man_, 68;
  _The Night Operator_, 68;
  _The Phantom Clue_, 69;
  _The Wire Devils_, 68

_Painted Meadows_, by Sophie Kerr, 246

_Parallel New Testament, The_, by Dr. James Moffatt, 293

_Parody Outline of History, A,_ by Donald Ogden Stewart, 93, 94, 371;
  see The Bookman, 371

_Parson's Progress, The_, by Compton Mackenzie, 266

_Passenger_, by Helen Dircks, 236

_Patricia Brent, Spinster_, anonymous, 261

_Pawned_, by Frank L. Packard, 68

Pedler, Margaret, _The Hermit of Far End_, 256;
  _The House of Dreams Come True_, 256;
  _The Lamp of Fate_, 256;
  _The Moon Out of Reach_, 256;
  _The Splendid Folly_, 256

_Peeps at People_, by Robert Cortes Holliday, 52

_Penny Plain_, by O. Douglas, 249

_Perfect Behaviour_, by Donald Ogden Stewart, 93, 94;
  motive of, 94

Perin, Dr. George L., founder of Franklin Square House for Girls, 304;
  on autosuggestion, 304;
  _Self Healing Simplified_, 304

"Permutations Among the Nightingales," by Aldous Huxley, 35

_Peter_, by E. F. Benson, 261

_Pieces of Hate_, by Heywood Broun, 41

_Pilgrim of a Smile, The_, by Norman Davey, 36

_Plays for Children_, by Col. Stevenson Lyle Cummins, 157

Plays of Hubert Henry Davies, The, 365

_Plotting in Pirate Seas_, by Francis Rolt-Wheeler, 159

_Poems: Second Series_, by J. C. Squire, 351

_Poets and Puritans_, by T. R. Glover, 305;
  preface, 306

_Poindexter, J., Colored_, by Irvin S. Cobb, 169, 185;
  extract from, 170-171, 185

_Pomp of Power, The_, anonymous, 119

Preston, Keith, _Splinters_, 358, 359

Prosper, John, _Gold-Killer_, 75

Publishing as a business, 199

Pure, Simon, visit to Compton Mackenzie, 266-269

_Pushcart at the Curb, A_, by John Dos Passos, 347;
  General Headings of, 347

Putnam, Nina Wilcox, Laughter, Ltd., 90;
  story in American Magazine, 91, 92;
  style of, 90;
  _Tomorrow We Diet_, 90;
  _West Broadway_, 88, 90

"Quai de la Tournelle," from a _Pushcart at the Curb_, by John Dos Passos,
  Quotation from, 348

_Quest of the Western World, The_, by Francis Rolt-Wheeler, 160

Rackham, Arthur, artist, 165

Raison, Milton, _Spindrift_, 352, 353

Raymond, Ernest, _Tell England_, 250

Raymond, E. T., _Mr. Lloyd George: A Biographical and Critical
  Sketch_, 120;
  _Uncensored Celebrities_, 120

_Recollections and Reflections_, by A Woman of No Importance, 129

Reeve, Mrs. Winnifred, see Onoto Watanna, 254

_Responsibility_, by James E. Agate, 49

_Return of Alfred, The_, anonymous, 261

Reynolds, Mrs. Baillie, _The Judgment of Charis_, 76

Riddell, Lord, _Some Things That Matter_, 303

Rinehart, Mrs. Mary R., 89;
  books by, 116;
  K., 107, 108, 116;
  _Long Live the King_, 115, 116;
  methods of work, 111;
  _My Creed: The Way to Happiness_, 117;
  _My Public_, 117;
  parents of, 108;
  quotation from, 102-103;
  Sources on, 117;
  _The Amazing Adventures of Letitia Carberry_, 108, 115, 116;
  _The Amazing Interlude_, 105, 115, 116;
  _The Bat_, a collaboration with Avery Hopwood, 114;
  _The Breaking Point_, 105, 117;
  _The Circular Staircase_, 110, 114, 116;
  _The Man in Lower Ten_, 114, 116;
  _Tish_, 108, 115, 116;
  vitality of, 102

_Roads to Childhood_, by Annie Carroll Moore, 152

_Robin Hood's Barn_, by Margaret Emerson Bailey, 194

_Rocking Horse, The_, by Christopher Morley, 348;
  Quotation from, 348

Rolt-Wheeler, Francis, "Boy Journalist Series," 159, 161;
  _Heroes of the Ruins_, 160;
  _Hunting Hidden Treasures in the Andes_, 159;
  _In the Days Before Columbus_, 160;
  _Plotting in Pirate Seas_, 159;
  _The Coming of the Peoples_, 161;
  _The Quest of the Western World_, 160;
  wanderings of, 158

Rosebery, Lord, _Miscellanies--Literary and Historical_, 123

_Rosinante to the Road Again_, by John Dos Passos, 38, 347

_Roving East and Roving West_, by E. V. Lucas, Sadlier, Michael,
  comment on Huxley, 34

Saxton, Eugene F., 67;
  account of Stewart Edward White, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65

_Secret of the Sahara: Kufara_, by Rosita Forbes, 192, 193

_Secret Victory, The._ See _The Sensationalists_,
  by Stephen McKenna, 342, 346

_Self Healing Simplified_, by Dr. George L. Perin, 304

_Sensationalists, The_, by Stephen McKenna, 341;
  _Lady Lilith_, 342;
  _The Education of Eric Lane_, 342;
  _The Secret Victory_, 342

_September_, by Frank Swinnerton, 225, 226, 243

"Seymour, Hugh," of _The Golden Scarecrow_, 16, 21

Sheffield, Alfred Dwight, _Joining in Public Discussion_, 297

Sheridan, C. M., _The Stag Cook Book_, 217

_Shops and Houses_, by Frank Swinnerton, 226, 243

_Sixth Sense, The_, by Stephen McKenna, 340, 345

"Social Amenities" in "Soles Occidere et Redire Possunt," 36

_Social Forces in Literature_, by Dr. H. W. L. Dana, 300

_Some Things that Matter_, by Lord Riddell, 303

_Somerset Maugham in Tahiti_, article, by Hector MacQuarrie, 292

"Song for a Little House," from _The Rocking Horse_ by Christopher
  Morley, 348

_Sonia_, by Stephen McKenna, 251, 339, 340, 341, 342, 343, 346

_Sonia Married_, by Stephen McKenna, 341, 342, 346

Speare, Dorothy, 264;
 _Dancers in the Dark_, 255, 256

_Spellbinders_, by Margaret Culkin Banning, 252

_Spindrift_, by Milton Raison, 352;
  extracts from preface by William McFee, 353;
  quotation from, 354

_Splendid Folly, The_, by Margaret Pedler, 256

Splendour by Numbers, Aldous Huxley, 36

_Splinters_, by Keith Preston, 358;
  quotation from, 359

Squire, J. C., _Books in General_, Third Series, 44;
  collected parodies, 98;
  editor of the _London Mercury_, 44;
  _Life and Letters_, 46;
  on Anatole France, Jane Austen, Keats, Pope, Rabelais, Walt Whitman, 46;
  pen name (Solomon Eagle), 46;
  _Poems: Second Series_, 351;
  _The Birds and Other Poems_, 351

_Stag Cook Book, The_, by C. M. Sheridan, 217

Stevens, William O., see Allan Westcott, _A History of Sea Power_, 331

Stevenson, Candace T., review of Olive Roberts Barton, 162

Stevenson, Robert Louis, description of Edinburgh, 86;
  in Miscellanies, by Lord Rosebery, 123;
  Swinnerton, on, 242

Stewart, Donald Ogden, _A Parody Outline of History_, 93, 94, 371;
  _Perfect Behaviour_, 93, 94

_Stickfuls_, by Irvin S. Cobb, 169, 185

_Struggle for Power in Europe_ (1917-21), by Leslie Haden Guest, 323

_Sunny-San_, by Onoto Watanna, 253

Sutherland, Jean, _Beauty for Ashes_, 262

Swinnerton, Frank, Analyst of Lovers, 225;
  Arnold Bennett's Comments, 225;
  _Coquette_, 226, 243;
  criticism of R. L. Stevenson, 242;
  list of books, 242, 243;
  literary critic, 241;
  _Nocturne_, 225, 233, 235, 239, 243;
  _On the Staircase_, 226, 243;
  _Personal Sketches_ by Arnold Bennett, Grant Overton, H. G. Wells, 243;
  publisher, 240;
  _September_, 225, 226, 243;
  _Shops and Houses_, 226, 243;
  Sources on, 243;
  _The Casement_, 236, 242;
  _The Chaste Wife_, 226, 243;
  _The Happy Family_, 226, 238, 242;
  _The Merry Heart_, 236, 242;
  _The Three Lovers_, 226, 227, 233, 243;
  _The Young Idea_, 238

_Swords_, by Sidney Howard, 364;
  Kenneth Macgowan's criticism, 364, 365

Taggart, Marion Ames, 164;
  _At Greenacres_, 164;
  _Poppy's Pluck_, 164;
  _The Bottle Imp_, 164;
  _The Queer Little Man_, 164

_Tahiti Days_, by Hector McQuarrie, 270

_Tales Told by the Gander_, by Maude Radford Warren, 153

_Talkers, The_, by Robert W. Chambers, 317, 320

Tarkington, Booth, box score, 183, 184;
  study of, by Robert Cortes Holliday, 53

_Tell England_, by Ernest Raymond, 250;
 Prologue, by Padre Monty, 250, 251

Terhune, Albert Payson, _Black Cæsar's Clan_, 71;
  _Black Gold_, 71;
  _Further Adventures of Lad_, 215;
  home of, 214;
  _Lad: A Dog_, 214

_That Which Hath Wings_, by Richard Dehan (Clotilde Graves), 200, 210

_They Have Only Themselves to Blame_, 118

_Thirty-nine Steps_, The, by John Buchan, 249

_This Marrying_, by Margaret Culkin Banning, 253

_Three Crowns_, The, by Winnifred Wells, 190

_Three Lovers, The_, by Frank Swinnerton, 226, 227, 233, 243;
  Extracts from, 229, 243

_Three Men and a Maid_, by P. G. Wodehouse, 99;
  extract from, 99-101

_Three Soldiers_, by John Dos Passos

Tilden, William T., The Art of Lawn Tennis, 213;
  tennis champion, 213

Timothy Tubby's Journal, extracts from, 95, 96, 97, 98

_Tish_, by Mary Roberts Rinehart, 108, 115, 116

_Tomorrow We Diet_, by Nina Wilcox Putnam, 90

"_Touch of Tears, The_," from Vigils, by Mrs. Kilmer, 350-351

_Trade Union Policy_, by Dr. Leo Wolman, 299

_Translations from the Chinese_, by Christopher Morley, 348;
  Quotation from, 349

_Trees and Other Poems_, by Joyce Kilmer, 349

_Truth About an Author, The_, by Arnold Bennett, 144, 150

_Turns About Town_, by Robert Cortes Holliday, 52

_Twenty Years of Lawn Tennis_, by A. Wallis Myers, 213

_Vanished Pomps of Yesterday, The_, by Lord Frederic Hamilton, 131

_Vanishing of Betty Varian, The_, by Carolyn Wells, 76, 77

Van Loan, Charles E., Buck Parvin:
  _Stories of the Motion Picture Game_, 212;
  _Fore! Golf Stories_, 212;
  _Old Man Curry: Racetrack Stories_, 212;
  _Score by Innings: Baseball Stories_, 212;
  _Taking the Count: Prize Ring Stories_, 212

Van, Rensselaer, Alexander, 220;
  bibliographies by, 223

Van Vechten, Carl, New York Evening Post,
  review of _Herman Melville: Mariner and Mystic_, 325-328

Vardon, Harry, _The Gist of Golf_, 213

_Vigils_, by Mrs. Kilmer, 350;
  Quotations from, 350, 351

"Vision," from _Spindrift_, by Milton Raison, 354

 _Vital Message, The_, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 302

_Voice in the Wilderness, The_, by Richard Blaker, 263

_Walking Stick Papers_, by Robert Cortes Holliday, selection from, 51, 52

Walpole, Hugh, 15 27, 28, 29, 31, 32;
  _A Hugh Walpole Anthology_, 32;
  American following of, 21;
  appearance, 22;
  article on, by Mrs. Belloc Loundes, 23;
  birthplace, 15;
  Books of, 31;
  comments on The Bookman, 366;
  connection with London Standard, 26;
  appreciation by Joseph Hergesheimer, 15, 29, 30, 31;
  courage of, 25;
  description by Arnold Bennett, 22;
  education of, 22;
  educational experiences of, 22;
  _English Literature During the Last Half Century_, 32;
  father of, 15;
  Fortitude, 21;
  goes to England, 16;
  Hugh Walpole, an appreciation, 31;
  Hugh Walpole, Master Novelist, 32;
  life in New York, 16;
  London scenes pictured by, in _Anthology_, 28;
  _Maradick at Forty_, 26;
  Note by Joseph Conrad, 28;
  Novels, list of, 31;
  optimist, 23;
  Romances, list of, 31;
  Service in Great War, 16;
  Selections for Anthology, 27;
  Short Stories, list of, 31;
  Sources on, 31;
  superstitions, 24;
  reader, 24;
  Tait Black Prize for best novel of year, 30;
  won by, 30;
  _The Captives_, 24;
  _The Cathedral_, 19;
  _The Dark Forest_, 16;
  _The Duchess of Wrexe_, 19;
  _The Gods and Mr. Perrin_, 22;
  _The Green Mirror_, 19;
  _The Wooden Horse_, 25;
  _Visits to America_, 16

_Wanderings of a Spiritualist, The_, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 302

Warren, Maude Radford, _Tales Told by the Gander_, 153

Watanna, Onoto (Mrs. Winnifred Reeve), 254;
  _A Japanese Nightingale_, 254;
  _Sunny-San_, 253

Warbasse, Dr. James B., _Cooperative Movement_, 300

Weaver, Raymond M., _Herman Melville: Mariner and Mystic_,
  325, 326, 327, 328

Wells, Carolyn (Mrs. Hadwin Houghton), 77;
 _Book of Humorous Verse_, 99;
 _The Room with the Tassels_, 76;
 _The Vanishing of Betty Varian_, 76, 77

Wells, H. G., 94; Comments on Frank Swinnerton's _Nocturne_, 233, 234, 235;
 _Soviet Russia_, 192

Westcott, Peter, in _Fortitude_, by Hugh Walpole, 22

_West Broadway_, by Nina Wilcox Putnam, 88, 90

_Westerners, The_, by Stewart Edward White, 55, 63, 66

West, Rebecca, books by, 86;
 article by Amy Wellington, 83;
 artist, 78;
 biography of, 83;
 _The Judge_, 78;
 _The Return of the Soldier_, 86

Westcott, Allan, and William O. Stevens, _A History of Sea Power_, 331

_What Timmy Did_, by Mrs. Belloc Lowndes, 77

_What to Eat and How to Prepare It_, by Elizabeth A. Monaghan, 218

_While I Remember_, by Stephen McKenna, 324, 346

_Whispering Windows_, see _More Limehouse Nights_,
  by Thomas Burke, 187, 188

White, Albert C., _The Irish Free State_, 191

White, Stewart Edward, 55, 56, 59, 60, 61, 66;
  account of by Eugene F. Saxton, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65;
  _Appendix, to Gold_, by Eugene F. Saxton, 67;
  _The Birds of Mackinac Island_, 55, 63;
  boat and books, 56, 59;
  books of, 66;
  by John Palmer Gavit, 67;
  education of, 61;
  Gold, 61, 67;
  in France, 56;
  military service, 61;
  _On Tiptoe: A Romance of the Redwoods_, 59, 67;
  parents, 60;
  _Simba_, 55, 67;
  sources on, 67;
  _The Claim Jumpers_, 55, 63, 66;
  _The Land of Footprints_, 55, 67;
  _The Westerners_, 55, 63, 66

_Wild Life in the Tree Tops_, by Captain C. W. R. Knight, 214;
  Photographs, 214

Wingfield-Stratford, Esme, _Facing Reality_, 300

_Wire Devils, The_, by Frank L. Packard, 68

_With the Band_, poem, by Robert W. Chambers, 317

Wodehouse, Pelham Grenville, 70;
  lyrical writer, 99;
  _Three Men and a Maid_, 99

Wolf, Robert, 297;
  _The Creative Spirit in Industry_, 300

Wolman, Dr. Leo, _Trade Union Policy_, 299

Woman of No Importance, A, _Recollections and Reflections_, 129

_Women and the Labour Movement_, by Alice Henry, 299

_Women Who Make Our Novels, The_, by Grant Overton, 117;
  chapter on Mary Roberts Rinehart, 109, 117

_Wonder Book, A_, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, 165

_Wooden Horse, The_, by Hugh Walpole, 25, 26, 31;
  sale of, 25

Workers' Bookshelf Series, 297

Workers' Education Bureau of America, editorial board, 297

  _Writing as a Business: A Practical Guide for Authors_,
  by Robert Cortes Holliday, 220;
  Extracts from, 222, 223

Wylie, Elinor, 357

Young, F. E. Mills, 263;
  _Almonds of Life_, 263;
  _Imprudence_, 263;
  _The Stronger Influence_, 263





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