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" CHRONICLE AND
COMMENT BARTLETT MAURICE A FEW weeks ago Mr. G. B. Burgin's "Memoirs of a Clubman" was dis cussed and freely quoted in these columns. Now Mr. Burgin has followed that volume with "More Memoirs (and Some Travels)," which is also published in this country by the E. P. Dutton Company. Like its predecessor, the later book is rich in lit erary anecdote. It* tells, for example, of the coming of Kipling; how, one day, without any preliminary, warning, there burst upon the universe, in the eulogistic pages of the London World a young man who had just come from India with a Bheaf of articles and stories. The pecul iarity of Kipling's Christian name helped to focps people's attention on him. "What." asked one old lady in the train of another old lady In the train, "is this stuff called Rudyard Kipling that I see placarded about so much?" "I don't know, my dear," placidly returned the other old lady, "but I rather think it's a kindred preparation to Hunyadi Janos ?a sort of mineral water, don't you know." MR. BURGIN considers Kipling's "Without Benefit of Clergy" to be the best story in the world, and thinks that "My Lord the Elephant" is nearly as good. He Imparts the information that "My Sunday at Home" was in the original draft called "The Child of Calam ity." He tells the following story which probably is entirely new to most readers: The Simla which figured so prominently in the early Kipling tales is in the hills and people go there In the warm season to escape the heat One morning there Kipling was presented to a "grass widow" as they call those women whose husbands are detained by work in the hot cities of the plains. She was very pretty and charming, and as they talked together in the pleasant coolness Kipling said: "I suppose you can't help thinking of your poor husband grilling down there?" The lady gave him a strange look, and it was not until afterward he learned she was really a widow. MR. BURGIN gives a vivid picture of the personal Kipling, the man with the straight nose, heavy mustache and square chin cleft apart by a kind of ver tical alley. "His eyes, generally hidden behind spectacles, are deep set, penetrat ing, with a humorous twinkle. His clothes? Whatever happens to come to hand. His manner? Full of nervous energy and force. A kind of wireless telegraphy appears to concentrate itself upon him from the air. He is full of ideas, seldom for a moment in one place. You talk to him?his chair is empty; you look for him in another chair?he is perched restlessly on the end of the sofa or pacing up and down the room, flinging out suggestions, humorous fancies, anec dotes, Jokes, cryptic utterances. Then comes the brooding melancholy of thought He is thousands of miles away until something lifts the veil and brings him back with equal speed." AS a matter of fact, says Mr. Burgin, there are fifteen or twenty men in Rudyard Kipling. "Ask the men In the street: 'How do you like Kipling?' 'Hate him!* growls the man In the street. 'Bumptious brute wouldn't speak to me last time I saw him.' You meet other men and repeat the question. 'Like!' they echo. 'We don't like?we love him.' Kipling's individuality is so strong that it cannot adopt half measures. Either a man interests him or he doesn't. If the latter, so far as Kipling is concerned, that man ceases to exist. Why, when the world Is so full of interesting people, should he waste the few moments of life on its bores? Let them bore one another. Genius such as Kipling's has its Fate appointed tasks to perform, and cannot lavish on commonplace people time which should be spent in writing." VARIOUS anecdotes. One day W. S. Gilbert of Gilbert and Sullivan fame was talking to some friends at the Gar rick Club, and the eternal discussion came up as to who wrote Shakespeare. "I'll tell you how to prove the authorship of the plays," said Gilbert. "If Tree re cited 'Hamlet' at the graves of Bacon ai d Shakespeare, the one who tur in h. grave would be the author of the plays." Many years ago Coventry Patmore wrote "The Angel in the House," in which was related an incident where the young bridegroom sees his wife's shoestring unfastened and is too shy to tie it for her. No less a personage than Swinburne wrote a parody of "The Angel in the House," in which the husband is pre sented with a son and, on being informed of it by .the nurse, hesitates on the thresh old of his wife's room. Then the young mother's voice is heard happily exclaim ing: "Confound your modesty! Come in." ONE chapter in Mr. Burgin's book is entitled "How Well Knows Authors Began to Write," which is made up of contributions from various scribes. Mr. Leonard Merrick tells that the first money that he earned with his pen came from Tit-Bits?16 shillings and 4 pence for a paragraph called "What Do Women Eat?" He estimated that Tit-Bits would be worth about ?40 a year to him after that. He began to feel himself really and truly a literary man when he con tributed a 3,000 word story to another I paper for 7 shillings and 6 pence. It was a proud day when the editor sponta neously raised him to 10 shillings for other stories. Conan Doyle began to write at school, editing a magazine of a Bolshevist tendency. Then he wrote the prize poem. His first money earned was ?1 for translating an article about gas meters for some Scotch technical paper. Then he received three guineas from Chambers's Journal for the story called "The Sassassa Valley." THAT was in 1879, and Conan Doyle continues: "There was a hiatus then but I wrote a lot which, happily, nevei appeared. Then I had four or five shori stories, also very crude, In London So ciety, which was edited by a Mr. Hogg He claimed the whole copyright, anc brought out a book of these later, mucl to my horror, but it has, I hope, diec from its own internal defects. I also gol into Temple Bar, All the Year Round anc finally Cornhill, but during eight or nine years of work I never, at my best, made ?50 in any year. Then I wrote my 'pren |>ice novel, 'The Firm of Girdlestone,' verj melodramatic, but no one would touch it Then 'Micah Clarke.' accepted by Andrew Lang after ihuch turning down. Ther two short books on Sherlock Holmes | which made no mark at all at the time Finally 'The White Company,' whicl really cleared the road for me. I was 3( when 1 wrote it. After that came the Sherlock Holmes stories." JEFFREY FARNOL believes that his ambition to write began when as a very small boy he used to listen for I hours while his father read aloud, and in that way absorbed Cooper, Thackeray, Dickens. Scott, Dumas and Stevenson. At the age of 17 he was apprenticed to a firm of engineers in Birmingham and by th'em returned to his parents with the comment: "No good for work?always writing." Then* he went to New York, and in"intervals of scene painting man aged to eke out an existence by writing stories for the magazines. Large por tions of "The Broad Highway'* were j written in the great studio, grimy and rat haunted, at Thirty-eighth street and Tenth avenue. It was returned by two publishers, then by a third, as being "too long and too English." "I sent the manu script to my mother, who was, and still Is, my severest critic, and she gave it to her old friend Shirley B. Jevons, the editor of the Sportsman, who found a publisher. It is now in its twenty-first edition." ? ? ? \ AVERY famous book of twenty-five j years ago was Beatrice Harraden's "Ships That Pass in the Night," which Hhs been translated into French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Polish, Rus sian, Hungarian, Japanese, Dutch and has also been put into Braille for the blind. Miss Harraden wrote that novel as a result of a trip to Switzerland in search of health. Of it she says: "It was written, like all my books, without any fixed idea of a plot. Mr. Blackwood refused to pub lish it because he did not believe that it would sell. Then it was accepted. Many | people wrote to me about the book. 'You have a sympathetic heart, I am sure. Please send my daughter to Italy to train I as a siflger for three years.' 'Please to send me ?300 to finance my new patent, which will benefit yourself and the whole j world!' A great many letters reached me from Germany; one in particular from a Prussian officer, who told^ne his age and his regiment, and when he had fin ished praising me said that his letter was not to be taken as a proposal of marriage." MR. BURGIN thinks that considering | the mental stress and strain to which writers are subjected it is remark- j able that many of them live to advanced age. "Fielding's death is ascribed to his medicines. Sterne's lungs were naturally perpetually dosing himself with quack with drafts of tar water. Goldsmith was financially worried. Smollett had a slug gish liver. Charlotte Bronte's health was seriously impaired by the struggles (not literary) and privations of her young days. Scott killed himself by struggling to pay debts not his own. Dickens broke down through the loss of vitality brought about by his reading tours and love of long walks. Thackeray had terrible family troubles. Crockett read each of his 13,000 books and Scott's novels every year, and rose at 4 o'clock after six hours' sleep. It is a wonder he lived as long as he did. Mrs. Trollope died at 83, her son Anthony at 67. He might have lived as long as his mother but for his insane idea of paying his man to wake him early so that he might write his regulation 250 words each quarter of an hour before beginning his official duties." WHEN Mr. Burgin was on the staff of the Idler Archibald Forbes, the war correspondent, came in one day to talk about an article that he wanted to write. Jerome K. Jerome arranged it, with him and in due course the article appeared. The day after its appearance a letter was received from Cassells saying that the Idler had stolen the article, which had already been published by them in book form. "Take them up the file and show them Forbes's receipt for the money," said Jerome indignantly. At Cassells Burgin showed the receipt to the editor who received him. The latter stared, said nothing, merely handing over for inspection a letter from Archi bald Forbes denouncing the Idler for having stolen his article. "We will con sider Cassells's letter canceled and apol ogize," said the editor. "Forbes must be losing his mind." MR. RUPERT HUGHES is one of the authors whose replies to the letters sent out by The New York Herald book section two months ago asking for in formation about their "unusual" corre spondents have been delayed by circum stances. Since Mr. Hughes has gone into the game of writing for the moving pic tures he has been deluged with letters from all over the world asking for photo graphs and telling all sorts of stories. He says: "I receive an amazing number of requests for photographs, many of them from people who apparently have nothing else to do but write for photographs, since many of them call me their pet actor, and one addressed me as 'Miss Rupert Hughes,' saying, 'I adore you; you are my favorite actress. Please send me your beautiful picture.'" Of course, Mr. Hughes receives j countless requests to collaborate or to j turn into fortune making pictures per sonal life stories; and of course the usual letters arrive telling him that he is the greatest author that ever lived, and the letters telling him that he is the worst. ? ? ? BUT there was one short story that Mr. Hughes wrote several years ago that had an amazing response. It was called "The Old Nest"; it appeared first serially, then in boob form and then on the screen. It was a tale describing the commonplace experience of a mother who raised a large family of children who loved her, but who went their way, and who returned home ;or wrote home infrequently or not at all. She suffered from loneliness, but never i complained or expected her children to abandon their own careers in order to coddle her. She was just the type of the innumerable mothers who have endured and must always endure an inevitable heartache. That story seemed to infuriate a certain type of critic, and one English reviewer said that the mother was a monster of selfishness, and that the story belonged rather in the field of psycho pathic than literary or hramatic criticism. That, however, was very far from being the geheral verdiqt. ? ? ? MR. HUGHES was in Paris when the story appeared serially and the first response was a bundle of letters, the first of which ran as follows; "Dear Sir?I am a woman 80 years old. I had not j heard from my son for two years. To-day ' I received a long love letter from him en j closing your story 'The Old Nest,' and i pinned to it a check for four figures." The j second letter opened read: "You have I made a hard traveling man weep. I have not seen my mother for six months. I have just telegraphed her. I am taking the 5 o'clock train this afternoon." For years Mr. Hughes continued to receive similar letters. One came from a Scotch man in Manila, who said he had just mailed his mother a check for $250 and a promise to spend his next vacation in Scotland with her. Other letters came from all over the world, written by mothers who had received visits or tele grams or gifts from their children; from children who had been moved to go home or write home or send some token home. * ? * rpHE publication of the book brought J- another shower of such curious let ters. With the making of the moving picture the shower became a deluge. In the town of Los Angeles a woman told Mr. Hughes that she had investigated the percentage of telegrams sent home by people who had seen "The Old Nest." Ninety-five per cent, of them were sent by men and 5 per cent, by women. Says Mr. Hughes: "I asked her if many tele grams were sent and she said, 'Thousands from Los Angeles.' In some of the the aters where^the picture was shown the Western Union Company set up telegraph booths. Exhibitors report strange agita tions among their audiences, a sample of which was a description an exhibitor gave of talking to a bank president, who told him that he had not seen his mother for five years and was hurrying home to pack up for the midnight train. Mary Alden, who played the part of the mother in 'The Old Nest,' told nje she received four thou sand letters from England alone thanking her for the awakening she had made in the hearts of the writers." ? ? * T AST week there was allusion to the -Li story of a New York beggar, who, living after working hours in luxury, vindicated the extravagant Sherlock Holmes story "The Man with the Twisted Lip. Thus fact is always stepping forward to substantiate fiction. The nov elist may invent the most unusual and apparently impossible situation, but the day is sure to come that brings a news item to match it. Two or three months ago there was mention in the department of suoh vindication of two daring episodes | in books of Marion Crawford; the infecting of table napkins with the g^rms of scar let fever, as related in "Pietro Ghisleri," and the kidnapping of the hero of "Paul Patoff" in Constantinople. Some years after the publication of "Pietro Ghisleri" Continued on Following Page.