Newspaper Page Text
THE SUN, SUNDAY, MARCH 31, 1912.
LONDON LITERARY LION ONCE SALOON BOUNCER Famous Poet and Playwright. Served Drinks and Scoured Brass at Old Colonial Hotel in This City Tp hold mortal who In London of fo rt , would disclaim any acquaintance with unvil'inp Mn-otlold ever wrote would incur .i'rivini. nodal and literary. as rigorou. a der.dly ns a Bostonlan would have incurred ton yearn ago had he shown hHtaney in quoting Henry James, The fate of the Texan who queried once. Wh.vt are How ells," would he bliss com pared to w,mt ,np' woulfl to anv ono not conversant with Masefleld's blog- raphv Ten vears ago to-day's lion of letters w,i nnMtis glasses and bouncing over llt'ely toper iu a Sixth avenue saloon. The man whose poems nre regardless rf their length featured bytho stodgiest nfltindon periodicals never went to school. Thi creat psychologist and dissector In hiff f feminine souls sailed heforo the m,it at tl. and favors In his verso the fhort and snappy vocabulary which pjes King James's Bible and sailors' dis rourfes 'heir characteristic flavor. (JaNworthy. the courteous, the refined, the gentlemanly. Roes about proclaiming very frankly that John Masofleld is the man of 'ti" "ollr nnr ,no mim f ,0-'nr-rnw. too' in poetry and In the playwrlting craft lie Rives more for the, "Tragedy of Van." he says, than for e.ny play written within i hen past ten years. So there. Thirty-eight years bro John Maselleld tu born in hrophire of English par ents H" wa, n clever boy whose pet aversion was schools and books. He also had a trick of starting on long and un premeditated tramps without giving mfftclent notice to his family. And his f imlly felt so keenly the responsibility whioli att.ich?d to bringing up u young individualist of that Ilk that the respon fihili'y found iielf very soon shifted onto other shoulders. The captain of a merchant vessel was. in consideration of a shilllnR a month, cr wa, it only sixpence, entitled to the wrvlces of .lolmny boy, who had then iii-t cros-ed the fourteen year mark. The seven seas knew him for several vw Then, sick and tired of the sea. he inok to the land and tramped and t ramped, then sailed some more and then tramped again During that rovinR. lazy, somewhat Whttmancsque youth he now and then ould d.i"h off lines with an almost Whit tnanepnue breath. Witness his ballad of London town. nn. Innon Town s a tine town, nntl Ixn- dnn's dcht nre rare, nd boniloti ale is right ale, and hrisk's the London air. nd hnilv cues ihe world there, but crafty crosK the mind, And liondim Town of all towns I'm clad to leate behind. Then he- for croft and hop yard, and hill. field and pond, Willi llrednu Hill before me and Mnhern Hill lieyond. The hawthorn white 1" the hedgerow, and all the i.prine's attire In the i-mneii land of Teme and Lugg and ( lent and ( Ico and Wyre. Oh liondon girls nre brave clrls. In silk Hnd I'loth o' cold, And Ijondon ho. are rare shops, where gallant thine are sold. And bonnily clinks the cold there, hut drowsily blinks the eye, nd Iondon Town of all towns I'm clad to hurry by. Then hey for covert and woodland and ash and elm and oak, Tkesbury Inns and Malvern roofs, and Wori ester chimney smoke. The apple trees in the orchard, the cuttle In the byre, tnd all the land from Ludlow town to Mredon church's spire. Oh. lindon tunes are new tunes, and I,on- don books are wise, Kr.ii London plays are rare plays and line i ountry ejcM, Ili ir.iltlly fares the knave there, and Biekedly fares the Jew, tnri Iunion Town of all towns I'm s lad to huriy through, ho hv for the road, the west road, by mill and force and fold, snt of the fern and sons of the lark by brook and field and wold. To the cmnely fold at the hearthstone and the mlk beside the fire. In the hearty land, whero ) was bred, my land of heart's desire. One day lie met a man who was to exert uron hi life and destinies a potent influ nre for Rood, Jack H. Yeats. Both spent iMne time together in Devonshire In the pot that may go down to posterity as a historical landmark at the mouth of the data liiver. Ja?k B, Yeats has since pur- hftwd m that historio location h'nail lastle. so railed, ho says, on account of the predilection gasteropoda show for its thatrhwl roof. whole summer Masefleld and Yeats .pent there loafing, talking and indulg ing in a sport which from n grownup's rur of view appears rather "tamo" when indulged in by other grownups. Thev built littlo boats and Hailed them d'iwn the (lam Hiver. The Clara Hiver i at its greatest width about four feet from shorn to shore and Its greatest depth is never over two feet. 'Ihe boats were all the way from ten inch. to one yard in length and the two Win. topped the silliness of this pastime 'V writing quitn scientific) .descriptions of their fleet accompanied by drawings, diagrams and charts and, now and then, a few stanzas dim to the pen of the 'fleet's poet M.isefltdd. We reproduce two pages of that treatise tall'd "A Littlo Fleet." Tho left hand Nd drawing shows the fast vessel of the f et the Monte, which "had a stone under n ,iti h.M' to keeji lier upright and a plooo of i nig tied round her amhfship to keep on i tie sione " ,sho once hit a rock and then I nehl band dr.iwinp renresents the M. 'v luck, constructed as scientifically s '" Mount and fourteen Inches long. -e toy ships caused Masofleld, then -" t. yearn for tho sight of real ships tie.xt voyago took him to America. ""! Ins hand at many things and failed en one of them. Ho finally found II stranded in Now York nt thn II' II I.I I "i g ol a sultry summer. 1 tnends, in tho same desperate ' ' wein nt Unit time sharing a garret '"-"ich Village, where lie Joined l'ir several days they veJ on us and on Die sandwiches of the ' ti counters, while they tramped cny looking for work. Maso- frisj , nt , ' -I l'i call at livery stables, littlo '' t "ises. bucket shops, factories, "' i ami general stores, offering his lates. which none might call etoio, am I'urhuiishosffmedtooboyUh for employment, for ho always looked very young, and perhaps peoplo shunned him for the tincouthness of his appear ance. He was burned to a dull brick color by tho sun. for he had passed two months as a common laborer on a farm. Ho wore tho red shirt and the dungarees of the sailor, and an old slouch hat with "There, where the stone f , gleamin . A pawer-by can hark To the old drowned " Monte seamen . A-.lnfing through the darn. There, where the fnJ- "re eky They sing like anything ; They ng Hke Jean de Restke. Thti is the aong they sing . Down in the pebbled rid , Our old bone alng and shout . We see the dancing raldges. We feel the skipping trout Our bones are green and T'ded Our bones are old and wet . But the noble deeds that we did We never can forget. TWO PAGES from " THE LITTLE FLEET WRITTEN iv JACK B YEAT5 ?rd JOHN MA a broken brim. Those to whom ho applied for work were sometimes kind, sometimes ! rude. But whether they were rude or kind, they refused, one and all, to have I anything to do with him. His friends fared as he fared, so that In ten days time their condition was almost desperate, "no reduced our expenses to tenpenoe a day among the three of us. ho wrote to a friend in 1ondon. "We did our own washing and dried it out of the window. One of us slept each night on the floor upon a pile of nowspapers, with a coat for a pillow Onco or twice a week we went tothe Klghth avenuo pawnshops or to a clothes storo in Hleecker street, where we raised money on our gear, to enable us to buy tobacco or an ohislonal egg. Once we sallied out and song songs In the street, but it came on to rain and wo were all soaked through before the citizens had had time to get out an In junction." They were living in this way when Masefleld's good star sent him to the Colonial Hotel on Sixth avenue, which has since been torn down, Ho was in the habit of going there at lunch time, for those who bought a glass of beer at tho bar were entitled to a free lunch and a sight of the papers, Ho relates his experience there: The proprietor, a small pale man in a , tweed suit, Panama hat and tan boots. came over to mo and began a conversa tion. 'Say,' he said, speaking Blowly, 'do you want a good Job?' I said I did. 'Well,' he said, 'I want you to help liehlnd the bar here. Here's a dollar bill! go over to Lee's thero an' have a hair cut. I'll fix you up with aprons. I'll give you $10 a month and your board and room and you kin start In right away. "When my hair had been clipped I re turned to Luke O'Donnell, the hotel pro prietor. He brought out a white jacket and an npron, bade me put them on and then sent mo liehind tho lar to clean glasses. There were two other bartenders, ono named Johnny, a littlo merry man with a dark.comploxlon; tho other named John, nn elderly stout man with a fat red head and a continual smile. My duties were to clean the glasses which these two artists filled for the thirsty. I. who was not an artist and could not mix tho subtle drinks In vogue, might only serve beer and cigars. If necessary I had to take a tray laden with curious drinks to men living in the hotel or loafing at the bar tables reading the papers. "I had to seo that the piping through which the lieer ran to the taps was kept packed in ico. I had to keep the bar iceloi filled from the cold storage cellar. I had to keep the freo lunch counter supplied with food, such as pretzels, siloed liologna sausage, sardines, silt beef, rye bread and potato salad. Twice a week I had to take down the clectrio light shades, which were of a pinky blue porcelain, to wash them carefully with soap and water. My meals I ato with the proprie tor's family at his flat some half a mile nway. I slept in a garret in tho hotel, , rlsht nt the top in a queer little room with n. I V. n tnr In n nilAAP lift! rrmm urith nn ant's nest in the wainscot. "My day begun at 10 A.M., when John-a, tho Italian lunch man, Iwngcdntmy door, singing a lyrio which ho had composed in my honor. It ran: John-a, get your gon-a, gon-a, son-a; John-a, got your gon-a, 'Kep 'ooray, "I then dressed myself and walked to tho flat for breakfast, returning to tho hotel about 11. I put on an 'apron and a black alpaca coat and set to work to polish the brass work on tho doors and bar. A thick brass footrall ran along the bar, and it was my prido to make this footrall to glow like refined gold. When I had polished this rati and tho various door handles I brightened up the beer taps and the decorative brass bohlnd the bar. I then flllod tha Icebox and packed tho beer pipes witlf broken ico. Then I took somo money from the bartenders and went shopping. I bought strawborrles, oherries, limes, pineapples, lemons, nutmeg, Biftod sugar, and bottles of milk, for the concoction of subtle punches, cocktails, fizzes and slings. Somotlmes 1 imugnt eggs ror nogs and fizzes and beat up tho whites in a saucer ready for use. I then tilled a little silver stand -with coffee, berries, caohoua and chocolate drops for those hypo critical topers who wished to hide the smell of the whiskey thoy had drunk. I took a handful of cedorwood spills and placed them in a silver box beside the little stiver spirit lamp which burned always for smokers desiring a light. "After finishing this routine work I put on a whits coat and cleaned glasses behind the bar, pausing each moment' to dry the bar with a duster, for evory gloss placed upon it left a vwet ring on the polished wood. Evory now and then I had to run upstairs to answer tho elec tric bell, for the men lodging in the house were a sad set of drunkards, and needed pick-me-ups before they could face tho are -OB - jEFIELD day's work. By this time It would be 2 or 3 in the afternoon. I never had time to go out for lunch, so that my mid day meal was taken from the free lunch counter and eaten, as It were, with my loins girded, for I was nearly always interrupted by the ringing of a bell. "In the afternoons I so.uee7.ed lemons with a patent squeezer which was fixed to the end of the bar. The Julco ran into a demijohn,- which we kept on ice. We filled old whiskey bottles from this demljohnriind kept those bottles ready to the bartender's hand in a r.ino rack below the beer taps. Lemon Juice waa largely used In that saloon, for 'whiskey sours' and 'Long John Collinses' were the most popular drinks we made. Some times in the afternoons I had 1o clean the bar windows or the great mirrors at the back of the saloon. At other times, If the customers were many, I spent hour after hour mopping tho bar. clean ing glasses, filling the lieer pipe box with ice. or sweeping the cigar ends from the floor. My supper was a mov able feast, to be eaten at A or 8, at tho proprietors home, according to the stress or laxity of custom. "After supper the saloon waa always full, a curious gang of topers cbming in about 8 P. M. and staying till we closed. drinking, singing and telling' tales of wonder. I was always busy after sim per, for even if 'the bar was quiet the' men upstairs would be requiring drinks. There was no lift to the hotel, and the constant running upstairs was excellent exercise. I never had better health than I had then, Sometimes there would be brawls in the hotel, either In the saloon or in the bedrooms. I had to separate all combatants (that .was one of my duties), yet the separation had to lie done so subtly that no good client should havo cause for withdrawing his custom." At time the gentle and kindly Maso fleld would have his hands full making the intemperate behave. To one of those incidents wo owe this picturesque soene. A young man called Mac, who lived above the saloon, started a fight. "Six of us, using our collective strength, prepared to put him to bed. We could not offer him tho indignity of bonds, so that the result was liko foot ball under Queensberry nils. Sometimes we had him. Sometimes he had us. Sometimes he was llko a sill being furled, or a rope being tautened, or n cart being driven to market. At other times he was a whirlpool, and wo tho shipwrecks; a battery, and we the target; a boa con strictor, and we the timid deer. It was a royal, rapturous and ringing battle, but wo were tho conquerors In tho end. We carried him, In a fashion, from the liar, but as we passed the swing doors he kicked their glass to atoms and brought us all down upon the wreck. "We were a collarlcss, dusty, dirty gong by tho time we brought him to his room; but ho In his splendid strength avelllnnand kickineasfreshlvas when tne ngnt began. Onco In his room he , 1 1 1.1 made a rally which sent us to tho carpet. Ho fought like a young Viking who had learned Jiu-jitsu and the savate. Then, as at last wo flung him on tho bed, he lay still a moment. "'I.et mo up, boys: let me upP ho moaned, 'I've had enough. What's the use of fighting?" "'Will you be good if we let you up'' wo asked, "'I will, boys,' ho said. 'I'm through, So let me up and be friends.' "At 1 o'clook we closed (at any rate to the police), and windows and doors were effectually barred and shuttered. I then scrubbed the bar with a hand scrubbing brush. I cleaned the sino btlow the bar with sapolio. I rolled up tho rubber mats upon the floor, and swept under neath them, often finding coins which the topers had dropped, I cleaned tho tables and cuspidors, and thon ran across the avenuo to buy somo sand wiches for tho bartender's Bupper. At about 2 or 2:30 A, M. I took a tot of whiskey and went to my garret, where I read tho 'Morte ('Arthur,' my only book, until I fell asleep," (lone Is the od Colonial Hotel, liar I keepers and real estate men of the nelch I borhood do not remember it without an (Tort of the memory. And ono of the furnished room houses whero Masefleld spent uncomfortable nights after break fastlcss and dlnnerless days will soon follow the Colonial Hotel into oblivion. The wrecker's pick will soon obliterate one of the last landmarks to which Mase fleld's devotees may some day organize pilgrimages. Tho only shrine of worship left to them will be the benches In Chris topher Street Park, a slip of unbuilt ground, shaded by a couple of trees and especially by the surrounding house. There Masefleld repaired of evenings when the summer heat and the fear of encoun tering an Irate landlady fostered In him a sudden interest in astronomy- THE " MOBY DICK." She tailed down Oara Valley. Ih JSrtled all the cows : The " Moby Dick" was supposed Srd almoat fourteen Inches i long bo a ra "t"; on top of that name painted on wcrn en ,he also had Ian eag v h"S scoco, tlnwlth a, CHRISTOPHER STREET RARK After several months of that life, which from a financial point of viow was not very profitable, but which enlarged ' greatly his store of experience nnd broad ened his views on life and the Human animal, Masefield returned to England. The friend with whom he hsd onco launched the stone keeled 'Monte' and the fierce looking 'Moby Dick' prevailed upon him to pause a little and to describe for the benolit of the public his adventures on land and sea. This led to some more or less regular haok work, which led to marriage, which led to more regular work, and tho tramp settled' down. Thirty-eight years old and tlie father of two children, lie has proha bly recovered from his acute and seemingly chronic attacks of wanderlust. And strangely enough London is lionizing him. I say strangely, not because I disapprove of this sudden Masefleld cra7.e, but because he seems to Iw writing the very stuff which in tho parlanoo'of editorial chambers "tho public does not want." His novels, the liest known of which are "The Street of To-day" and "Multitude and Solitude," are frankly pessimistic and, to summer readers, nt least, depressing. "The Tragedy of Nan" ends with ono ptomaine poisoning, one murder and ono suicide; "Mrs. Harrison," nnother striking play of his, ends with a suicido by poison. "The Everlasting Mercy," a long winded poem of eighty-four pages, records tho grossest dissipations of a saloon habltu, who in the end is converted by a Quaker- C8Finally "The Widow in the IlyeStreet" is the story of a journeyman who kills a shepherd when catching him with a rather dissolute person he was court ing. And tho brutality with which our author expresses himself is simply amazing; I am not sure that our great "St. An thony" will not havo some day tho works of Masefleld debarred from tho mails. Postmaster Toby of Host on had Whit man's "Loaves of Orass tabooed of ficially for lines that wero less daring than certain phrases found in "Tho Widow of Bye Street," Bomohow it is hard not to think of Whitman while reading Masefleld, Maso fleld is generally faithful to tho tradttlona form, but now and thon ho breaks out Into Whitmanesque amorphlsm for tho sake of moro realism. The following is supposed to bo poetry: Mother Yot)'re late, anil this yer Isn't good, What makes you come In late like this? Jimmy I've been to I'lalster's Knd, that's how It is Mother- You've been to Planter's Mud? Jimmy Yes, Mother - I've been staying For money for the shopping ever so Down hero we can't uel victuals without psyliiK, There's no trust down the Dye Htreet, as you know, And now It's dark and It's too late to no You've been to I'lalster's Knd, What tooke you there? Jimmy--The ludy w ho was w Ith us at the fair Mother-The lady, oh? The lady? Jimmy Yes, the lady Mother. You'o been In scp her? Jimmy Yes Mother- What happened? JlnmyI aw her. Mother Yes And what filth dIJ she trade ye? Or d you expoct your locket back again? What did It cost ye? Jlmmy-What did It cost? Mother-It Your devil's penny for the devil's bit Barring his novels, which are not his best work, all his characters are drawn from the laboring classes. From his cniises to many ports und his tramps ' through many villages Masofleld gained a singular mastery of tho popular vocabu lary. His farmers, his sailors, his Jour neymen never lot thn clover Impersonator show through his dlsgulso. There Is no disguise, Jimmy, the hero of "The Widow of Bye 1 wgySSMt; 1 FURNISHED ROOM HOUSE tn OLD GREENWICH VILLAGE. Street." is not an actor dressed up as a journeyman: "He koI a Job at workinR on the line Tipping tho earth down, trolley after truck, From daylight till the evening, wet or fine. With arms all red from wallowing In the muck. And spitting, as the trolley tinned, for link. And sinking 'Dinger' as he swung tho pick Because thn red blood ran In him so "quick," Tnko "Tho Tragody of Nan." The scene is laid In tho house of n small farmer at Broad Oak on Sevorn In the yoar 1R10. In thoso days F.ngllsh law still allowed a death sentence to be inflicted upon tho flimsiest evidence, and for tho most trifling inisdood. Nan Hard wick's fathor had just liecn hanged for sheep stealing. Nan, a beautiful young girl, is living with her uncle. Farmer Pargetter, kind of heart but very weak. His wife, n cruel shrew, and his daughter, Jennie, n shallow, empty headed creature, tako turns In making Nan's life unendurable. Jennie is in love with n village swain called Dick Ourvil. Dick, In tho course of a peasant festivity, proposes to Nan. Sho joy fully accepts him. Dick, however, has some misgivings liecause ho does not know anything aluuit Nun's father. Very cloverly Mrs. Pnrgottor manages to reveal to him what ho didn t know and to fright en him into announcing that very night his engagement to Jennie. This ho does for very practical reasons, liolng led to lielleve that farmor Pargetter will lie rather lllieral toward his son-in-law. In tho third act officers of the Crown come to offer Nan tho realm's apology and jC'-U compensation. Her fathor had gono to his death owing to a miscarriage of justice. And tho ever practical Dick Ourvil would lo perfectly willing to forsake Jennio onco moro in order to win Nan's "troasuro." In a frenzy of Indignation Nan stalls him and then goes to throw herself Into tho soa, Primitive, as.sinn, primitive lovo, prim itive greed and also primitive poetry. In tho last act n poor old llddlor, men tally unb-ilanoed, naffer 1'o.iroe, and bourtbrokou Nan oxclungo mysterious Hailed as a New Walt Whitman With No Literary Axe to Grind and No Radical Opinions to Spread words nbotit the tide which Is rising In the moonlit night. With tho simplest crudest terms at tho' disposal of rudo country folks they draw a wonderful picture. OafTer First thorn come a-wammerln" and a-wammcrln' Miles away that warn merln' be In the ten The shlpmen do JOHN MASEFIELD cross thelrselves, Antl It come up. It come nearer. Wammorin', wammcrln'l Tsh, It says, "t'sh. It says 'Ush, It says. And ther come a girt wash of It over tho rock White White I.Ike a bird. I.Ike a swan a-gettln' up out of a pool. Nan Bright It goes. High High up. Flashing (laffer And It wam,mcrs and It bubbles And then it spreads It goes out like soldiers It go out into a line. It curls, It curls. It go toppling and toppling. And on It come And on It come. Nan Fust Fast A black line And the foam nil creinnln on it. (taffer -lt be a snake A snake A girt water snake with its 'cd up (Swimming. On it come , Nan A bright crown upon It. And hun gry Gaffer With n rush. With n roar And Its claws clutclilii' at you. Out they go at the sides, thn clans do Nan Tho claws of the tide. Gaffer Singing Hinging. And the sea a-roaring after O, it takes them. They stand out in thn river And It goes over therii Over them. Over them One roarln' rush Nan-rOeep Deep Water In their eyes Over their hair And to-night It be the harvest tide, , Gaffer (as though waking from a dreaml The salmon-Ushers 'II lose thlr nets to-night The tide 'II sweep them away Ol I've known it It takes the nets up miles. They And 'em high up. Beyong (Horsier Beyong 'Artpury (llrt golden flag-flowers over 'em, .Apples of red and apples of gold They fall Into the water. The water be still there, whero the apples fall. The nets 'ave apples In them. Nan And fish. Gaffer? Gaffor Strange fish. Strange fish out of the sea Nan Yes Strange (Nh, Indeed, Gaffer. A strange fish In tho nets to-morrow. A dumb thing Knocking agon the bridges. Something white. Something white In the water They'd pull mo out. Men would. They'd touch my body (Shudder ing) 1 couldn't 1 couldn't For honest realism and lyricism ex pressed in tho most commonplace words read the dialogue between Nan and Dick: Nun 11 bo always 'ard for a man to give up. even for a child, they say. But a woman 'as to give up. You don't know, You never think per'aps what a woman gives up. She gives up 'cr beauty and 'or peace. She gives up 'er share ef Joy In the world. All to bear a little one; as per'aps 'II not glvo 'er bread when 'er be wold. Dick I wonder women ever want to ave children. They be so beautiful nvore they 'ave children. They 'ave red cheeks, so soft, And sweet lips so red's red. And their eyes bright, like stars a-shlnlng, And od, such white soft 'ands. Touch one of 'em, and you 'ave like shoots all down. Ileaii-tl-vnl, Love-lee. Nan- It be a proud thing to 'ave beauty to raise love in a man. A year ago "The Everlasting Mercy" gave t rude shock to tnoso wno had weathered tho ptormwind of realism lot loose in tho "Tragedy of Nan." Saul Knno, the leading character of this dramatlo poem, a poacher and villago loafer, introduces himself to the public in tho following fashion: "From '41 to 'St 1 was my folk's contrary son; I bit my father's hand right through And broke my mother's heart In two. 1 sometimes go without my dinner Now that 1 know tho times I've gin her. From '51 to '61 I cut my teeth and took to fun. I learned what not to tie afraid of And what stuff women's lips are made of; I learned with what a rosy feeling , Good ale makes floors seem like the ceiling, And how tho moon gives shiny light To lads as roll home kinging by't, My blootUld leap, my flesh did revel. Haul Kane was tokened to the devil. Saul Kane and Billy Meyers havo an argument ono' night when bo;h wish to loach in tho same patch of woods: "Now when he saw me sot my snare. He tolls 1110 "Get to hell from there. This field Is mine," he says, "by right; t If you poach here, thoro'll be a fight. Out now," ho sas, "and leave your wire; It's mine," "It nln't." "You put." ' "You liar." "You clnhy put." "You bloody liar." "This Is my field " "ThN Is my wire, " "I'm ruler here." "Y011 nln't," "I am." "I'll fight you for It," "Bight, by damD "Notnow though, I've a-spralnen my thumb, e'll tight after ths harvest hum, And Silas Jones, tnut cookie wKe, Will make a purse five pounds a side." And wo nre treated to a description of a prizefight which outJackLondons oven Jack London's own "Piece of Steak " Saul Kane knocks out his opponent und takes nil tho hangers-on of the flghtim; rink to tho Lion for a "nicht of It " And a night of it thoy have. At the end of the orgy: r rom three long hours of artn and smokes. And two girls' breath and fifteen blokes, The heat and smell and drinking deep iiegan to stun tlie gang to s een Some fell downstairs to sleep on the mat, Some snored It sodden where they sst. UIck iwot had lost a tomth and wept. But all the drunken others slept." Masefleld. who can paint filth with a brush as masterly as Zola's, rises imme diately after to wonderful heights of lyri cism without ever using u word which smacks of literature. One night at closing time a pale, little Quakeress enters tho bar and empties Kane's gin on the floor, begging him to remember: "That every drop of drink accursed Makes Christ within you die of thirst, That every dirty word yon say Is one more flint upon Ills way. Another thorn about Ills head, Anotner mocic ny where He tread. Another nail, another cross. All that you are Is that Christ's loss." Tho clock run down and struck a chime And Mrs. 81 said, "Closing time." The wet was pelting on the pane And something broke Insldo my brain, 1 heard the rain drip from the gutters And Silas putting up the shutters. While one by one the drinkers went: 1 got a glimpse of what It meant, How she and I had stood before In some old town by somo old door Waiting Intent while some one knocked Before the door forever locked; Sho was so white that I was scared, A gas Jet, turned the wrong way, flared. And hVlas snapped the bars in place. Miss Bourne stood white and searched my face, When Silas done, with ends of tunes He 'gan a-gathering the spittoons. His wife primmed lips and took the till. Miss Botirno stood still and I Mood still. And "Tick. Slow. Tick. Slow went the clock. Sho said, "He waits until you knock." She turned at that and went out swift. Si grinned and winked, his missus sniffed." The next morning the brutishness of the boxing club, the feast of tilth at the Lion, tho gin of Si's barroom, are all wiped off his soul. Saul Kane hasn't become a saint, but he has now an eye ror tno real worm ana its oeauty. "I heard a partridge covey call, The morning sun was bright on all Down the long slope the plough team drove Tho tossing rooks arose and hove, A stone struck on the share, A wont Came to the team. The red earth stirred, I crossed the hedge by shooter's gap, I hitched my boxer's belt a strop, I Jumped the ditch and crossed the fallow : I took the hales from farmer Callow " The oast of characters in "The Widow in the Bye Street," a sort of popular epio in about two thousand lines, shows onoo moro Masefleld's predilection for rust to heroes. Hero is Jim Ourney, the Journey man, already Introduced to the reader. His mother, with her withered eyes below her lashes, eyelids red and bleared, who makes a living hv sewing for an under taker. Shepherd Ern, "a moody, treach erous man of bawdy mind." Bessie, tho gipsy. Finally Anna, the cause of all tho mischief. Tha poem appeared in the English fierieu! on February 1 and seems to have added the final touch to Masefleld's halo. Radicals and conservatives alike agree on calling him great. One reason may be that in not one of his books did he ever try to solve a problem nor to settlo social questions. His gift of sympathy for the lowly, his perfect understanding of the toiler, makes him persona grata with the friends of labor. Conservatives cannot suspect him as they do Shaw, Wells and Gals worthy of encouraging dark schemes for the reshaping of present society. Masefleld goes along taking snapshots but drawing no conclusions. His workers have their troubles, their tragedios, bit; and little, but they are not "class con scious, " not one of them. Jimmy and his. mother never bothered about political economy. So there was bacon then, at night, fur supper In Byo street there, where he and mother stay; And boots they had, not leaky In thetnpper. And room rent ready on the settling day: And beer for poor old mother, worn and gray. And tiro In frost: and In the widow's eyes It seemed the Lord had made earth para dise. And thero they sat of evenings after dark Singing their song of "ninger,"heand she. Her poor old cackle made the mongrels bark. And "you sing 'Blnger.' mother." carols he; "fly crimes, but that's a good song, that her be;" And then they slept there In the room thoy shared, And all the time fate hail his end prepared Annn, tho village enchantress, soon breaks up this hajnpy heme. When her lover, Shepherd Ern. forsakes her for Bessie, tho gipsy, sho entices Jimmy away from his mother. Jimmy no longer brlngB his pay homo. He buys silver trinUntM for bis fair lady, until one night, watching jealously her house, ho surprises her with Shepherd Em. With u plough bat Jimmy lays his rival low. And then they hang him. And the old widowed mother: She tottered home, back to the littlo room, It was all over for her but for life. She drew the blinds and trembled In the gloom And slowly sorrow obliterates all thought from her grieving mind. And sometimes sho will walk the clndcry mllo Hinging, as she and Jimmy used to do. And In the sunny dawns of hot Julys The laborers going to meadow see her thero. s Dully they watch her, then they turn to go To that high Shropshire upland of late hay. Her singing llBers with them as they mow, And many times they try It, now grave, now gay, Till, with full throat, over the hills aw ay. They lift It clear; oh, very clear It towers, Mixed with the swish of many falling flow- English writers of to-day could Ihj (hus far classified rather simply. On ono side thoso who draw upon their imagina tion and upon tho romance of the past; on the other side the sodal philosophers who photograph modern conditions with more or less dlspasslonuto fidelity. Lndor neither of these heads could we fittingly catalogue Masefleld. Masefleld seems to bo mostly Masofleld. Honeo perhaps his Budden Jump Into fame, tour yea have done it, for his first book did u aee tho light of print until 100S. I