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Writings in the United Amateur, 1915-1922, by Howard Phillips Lovecraft

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Author Topic: Writings in the United Amateur, 1915-1922, by Howard Phillips Lovecraft  (Read 409 times)
Blood on the Mors
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« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2014, 09:34:45 pm »

PEARSON'S PET for April is a bright and attractive little paper throughout. "Burnin' Off" is a delightful specimen of dialect verse which conveys a graphic image. We have never witnessed such an agricultural function as Mr. Pearson describes, but can gain from his clever lines a vivid idea of its weird impressiveness. "How I Met Elbert Hubbard" is narrated in commendably easy prose, which same may be said of the sketch or editorial entitled "Broke Loose Again". Mr. Pearson is assuredly a competent exponent of amateur journalism's lighter and less formal side.

THE PIPER for May is as pleasing and meritorious as the first number, both in its verse and its prose. "The Modern Muse", exhibiting Mr. Kleiner in a somewhat humorous mood, is very forceful in its satire on the altered ideals of the poetical fraternity, but is marred by the noticeably imperfect rhyming of "garret" and "carrot", it is barely possible that according to the prevailing New York pronunciation this rhyme is not so forced as it appears, but we are of New England, and accustomed to hearing the sounds more classically differentiated. The defect is trivial at most, and mentioned here only because Mr. Kleiner professes such a rigid adherence to the law of perfect rhyming. "The Books I Used to Read" is the most delightful appreciation of juvenile literature that has appeared in amateur journalism within our memory. There are few of us in whom this poem will fail to arouse glad reminiscences. "Spring" is a pleasing poem on a subject which though not exactly new, is nevertheless susceptible to an infinite variety of treatment. The four stanzas are highly creditable, both sentimentally and metrically. Apart from the poetry, criticism seems the dominant element in The Piper, and it would be difficult indeed to find a more lucid and discerning series of reviews. Mr. Kleiner's unvarying advocacy of correct metre and perfect rhyming is refreshing to encounter in this age of laxity and license. Perhaps he is a little stern in his condemnation of the "allowable" rhymes of other days, especially in view of his recent "garret-carrot" attempt, yet we admit that there is much to be said in favor of his attitude.

THE PLAINSMAN for February contains a gruesome moral tale by Ricardo Santiago, entitled "The Bell of Huesca". It is proper to remark here, that an important sentence was omitted at the top of page 3. The passage should read "'Sire, thy bell has no clapper!' 'Thy head shall be the clapper'; said the king, and he sent him to the block" etc. Whatever may be said of the aptness of the allegory, it is evident that Mr. Santiago possesses the foundations of a pure and forcible prose style, and a commendable sense of unity in narration and development of climax. This story is undoubtedly worthy of its distinction as winner in The Plainsman's post-card contest.

THE SPECTATOR for June-July, 1914, though somewhat trite in title, is the first number of a magazine notable for its quality. Walter John Held is without doubt one of the most enterprising youths who have ever joined the ranks of the association, though his views on paid subscriptions and advertisements show his still imperfect acquisition of the true amateur spirit. Mr. Held mistakes commercial progress for artistic development, believing that the aim of every amateur in his ascent toward professional authorship is to write remunerative matter. He therefore considers a publisher's advancement to be best shown in ability to extract an odd penny now and then from a few subscribers who really subscribe only out of courtesy. We wish that Mr. Held might come to consider amateur journalism in its higher aspects; as a medium for improvement in literature and taste; an aid to the cultivation of the art for its own sake in the manner of gentlemen, not of cheap tradesmen. The selection of commercial prosperity as a goal will ruin any true literary progress, and dull the artistic aspiration of the student as soon as his mercenary instincts shall have been satisfied. Besides, there is really no sound business principle in the so-called "sale" of little papers. No youth could ever found or sustain a real magazine of substantial price and more than nominal circulation. The various ten-cents-a-year journals which some[19] "amateurs" try to edit are no logical steps toward actually professional publishing. The latter comes only after literary skill has been attained, and literary skill must at first be developed without regard for immediate monetary profit.

But the merit of Mr. Held's work is none the less unusual. "The Frank Friend" gives evidence of considerable critical ability, despite the touch of arrogance, apologized for in a latter issue, shown in imperfect appreciation of Mr. Edward H. Cole's phenomenally pure English. Mr. Held, in his enthusiasm for "local color", forgets that all the English-speaking world is heir to one glorious language which should be the same from Cape Colony to California or New York to New Zealand.

The only poem in this issue is Olive G. Owen's "How Prayest Thou?", a piece of true sentiment and artistic beauty. The only fault is metrical; the use of the word "trial" as a monosyllable. This tendency to slur over words appears to be Miss Owen's one poetical vice, as exemplified in the imperfect rendering of "jewel", "realness", and "cruelness" elsewhere.

THE SPECTATOR for August-September is marred by a resurrection of the ever odious topic of Consolidation, but is otherwise of remarkable merit. Elbert Hubbard, a professional advertiser and writer of considerable popularity in certain circles, relates in an interesting way the history of his most widely known literary effort. Mr. Hubbard's prose style is direct and pointed, though rather abrupt and barren. "The Midnight Extra", by Dora M. Hepner, is a humorous short story of unusual merit, leading from a well created atmosphere of terror to a clever and unexpected anticlimax.

THE SPECTATOR for October-November contains much matter of very substantial worth. "Creation", by Edward R. Taylor, Dean of the University of California, is a beautiful bit of poetical sentiment and harmonious metre, while "Half-past-twelve", by Miss von der Heide, is likewise of great merit, both in thought and in structure. We have lately been told that many apparent metrical defects which we have noted are really no more than typographical errors, wherefore we will here content ourselves by expressing the belief that the third line of the second stanza of "Half-past-twelve" was originally written thus:
"Across the dark their shrilling laughter floats".

This rendering would do away with two seeming errors in the printed copy. Olive G. Owen's "Battle-Prayer" is powerful in its appeal and faultless in its construction. Of marked interest is "Divine Self-Tower", a brief essay by Takeshi Kanno, the Japanese philosopher. These words, in a tongue foreign to the writer, contain material for more than a moment's thought.

"The Frank Friend" is in this number as interesting a critic as before. The passage of four months has tempered his undue severity; indeed, we fear that he has in certain cases veered a little too far toward the other extreme. The most ambitious review is that of "Pig-pen Pete", by Elbert Hubbard, which gives Mr. Held an opportunity to display his powers to great advantage. Of the two editorials, that entitled "Life" is the more notable. Though its philosophy must necessarily be rather artificial, considering Mr. Held's age, it is none the less a very artistic and generally creditable piece of composition. The cover of The Spectator would be less Hearst-like if the fulsome announcements were eliminated.

TOLEDO AMATEUR for April greets us in altered form, as a two-column paper. Having given over the previous issue to the credentials of new members, Mr. Porter very justly claims a goodly space for himself this month, commenting ably on the affairs and activities of the associations.

"Camp Columbia", by James J. Hennessey, gives an interesting outline of the American army routine in Cuba during the years 1907 and 1908. "Observations of an Outsider", by Mrs. Porter, mother of the editor, sheds light on amateur journalism from a hitherto unusual angle. We note with pleasure that Toledo Amateur remains immune from the destructive bacillus of deformed spelling.

THE WOODBEE for April contains "The Cycle Eternal", a lucid philosophical article by Samuel James Schilling, wherein is described the dispersal and new combinations of the organic cells that compose the body of mankind. By the perpetual reincorporation or reincarnation of these cells in all other forms of matter, man is shown to be immortal, and in the closest degree akin to every natural object surrounding him. His outward form is merely one transient phase of a ceaseless rearrangement of atoms; he is simply one aspect of infinite and eternal Nature. Save for a few slight traces of[20] rhetorical awkwardness, Mr. Schilling's expository style is remarkable for its force and clearness; the arrangement of the essay into Prologue, Body, and Epilogue is especially favorable to comprehensiveness.

While Mr. Schilling deals with mankind in the abstract, Miss Mabel McKee, in "A Gift from the City", presents a concrete example of the workings of the human heart. Her subject and treatment are not startlingly original, but such themes lose very little when repeated in pure English and attractive style. The story is distinctly pleasing, and artistically developed throughout.

A notable feature of the April Woodbee is Miss Hepner's fervent and unstudied tribute to Mr. Leo Fritter, candidate for the United's Presidency. Though the editorial is bestrewn with slang and distinctly familiar in construction, it produces upon the reader an impression of absolute sincerity and intensity of feeling which more elaborate rhetoric might fail so forcibly to convey. Great as is the tribute, however, we feel that Mr. Fritter is worthy of it, and must congratulate him on having such support. Our own efforts for his election, appearing in The Conservative, seem slight in comparison. The only verse in this number is "My Shrine", by Harriet E. Daily. Though containing an attempt to rhyme the words "time" and "shrine", this ethereal little poem of spring is of great attractiveness.

ZEPPELIN for March, a publication emanating from the pen of Mr. O. S. Hackett of Canton, Pennsylvania, is scarcely as formidable and menacing as its name, being distinctly friendly and fraternal in its general tone. Mr. Hackett's prose has obviously not received its final polishing, but it is so filled with aspiration, ambition, and enthusiasm for the cause of amateur journalism, that it evidently requires only such development as is obtainable from a closer study of grammar and rhetoric, and a wider perusal of classic English literature. In one matter Mr. Hackett seems to harbor a wrong impression. The name "credential", in the language of the amateurs, is not applied to all literary productions, but only to those which are submitted by the new recruits as evidence of their educational fitness for membership in the association they seek to enter.

Joseph R. Schaffman's poem, "Think of Times Yet Coming", shows the same innate sense of rhyme and metre that has distinguished his earlier work. Only the conclusion lacks perfect ease and naturalness. Mr. Schaffman has so far confined his Muse to optimistic opinions and moral maxims; we hope that in the near future he will vary his efforts and attempt to reflect more of his general reading in his poetry. The field is large for one so happily favored with the gift of song.
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Blood on the Mors
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« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2014, 09:35:40 pm »

Official Organ of the United Amateur Press Association
Volume XV
Number 2

The Alabamian for Spring is a magazine unique amongst the publications of the United. Devoted wholly to poetry, it contains some of the finest short verses to appear this season, whilst even the crudest part of its contents possesses some undoubted merit. The opening poem, a delightful and ornate nature sonnet entitled "The Brook," professes to be a translation from the Spanish, a claim borne out by the use of the word "jasmine" in a place where the metre throws the accent anomalously on the last syllable, as in the corresponding Spanish word "jazmin." The sentiment of the whole is exquisite, and every image exhibits striking beauty. It is to be regretted that both author and translator are suffered to remain unrevealed. "A Poet's Songs," by Miss Owen, is a powerful and well-written tribute to her fellow-bards both ancient and modern. In Coralie Austin's "Tribute to Our President," dedicated to Miss Hepner, we may discern the native talent of the true poet, slightly obscured by the crudities of youth. The opening line appears to lack a syllable, though this may be due only to the printer's omission of the article before the word "laurel." In stanza 1, line 2, the trisyllabic word "violets" appears as a dissyllable. This contraction is a rather natural one, and must not be criticised too sternly. Indeed, there is here a sort of middle zone betwixt error and allowableness, wherein no decisive precepts may be laid down. Words like "radiant," "difference," and so forth, are nearly always slurred into dissyllables, and we were ourselves guilty of an even greater liberalism when we wrote that line in "Quinsnicket Park" which reads:
"The bending boughs a diamond wealth amass."

But in Miss Austin's second stanza occur two errors of graver nature. "For only her alone" is a lamentably tautological line which requires the omission either of "only" or "alone," and the substitution of some word to carry on the flow of metre. The attempted rhyming of "alone" and "home" is obviously incorrect. The dissimilar consonantal sounds render agreement impossible. This "m-n" rhyme, as we may call it, is becoming alarmingly frequent in careless modern verse, and must ever be avoided with utmost diligence. In the third stanza we discover a marked error in maintenance of number. We are told that the "years go" and that at "its end" we will lay trophies, etc. This mistake may be obviated with ease, by changing "years go" to "year goes." Miss Austin's poetic talent is great, but shows the want of precise cultivation. "Mother o' Mine," by Miss von der Heide, is a beautiful piece of anapaestic verse whose metre and sentiment alike attract the reader. "Parsifal," by Miss Owen, shows satisfactory depth of thought, but is rather modern in metre. From the conformation of the last line of the first stanza, we are led to believe that the word "viol" is contracted to a monosyllable, or, to make a rather reprehensible pun, that "vi-ol" has here a "vile" pronunciation. "Frailties of Life," by Editor Baxley, shows a remarkable system of extended rhyming, coupled with a noticeable lack of metrical harmony. Mr. Baxley's technique is such that we believe his improvement would be best effected by a repeated perusal of the older poets, whose classical exactitude of form would teach him rhythm by rote, so to speak. Let him cultivate his ear for metre, even though forced to acquire it through nonsensical jingles. We believe that many a child has obtained from his "Mother Goose" a love of correct rhythm[22] which has later helped him in serious poetical efforts. "Paid Back," a short, powerful poem by Miss von der Heide, concludes an excellent and praiseworthy issue.

Aurora for April is a delightful individual leaflet by Mrs. Ida C. Haughton, exclusively devoted to poetical matters. The first poem, "Aurora," is truly exquisite as a verbal picture of the summer dawn, though rather rough-hewn metrically. Most open to criticism of all the features of this piece, is the dissimilarity of the separate stanzas. In a stanzaic poem the method of rhyming should be identical in every stanza, yet Mrs. Haughton has here wavered between couplets and alternate rhymes. In the opening stanza we behold first a quatrain, then a quadruple rhyme. In the second we find couplets only. In the third a quatrain is followed by an arrangement in which two rhyming lines enclose a couplet, while in the final stanza the couplet again reigns supreme. The metre also lacks uniformity, veering from iambic to anapaestic form. These defects are, of course, merely technical, not affecting the beautiful thought and imagery of the poem; yet the sentiment would seem even more pleasing were it adorned with the garb of metrical regularity. "On the Banks of Old Wegee" is a sentimental poem of considerable merit, which suffers, however, from the same faults that affect "Aurora." Most of these defects might have been obviated when the stanzas were composed, by a careful counting of syllables in each line and a constant consultation of some one, definite plan of rhyming. We must here remark an error made in the typewritten copy of the original manuscript, and reproduced in the finished magazine, for which, of course, neither the poetical art of the author nor the technique of the printer is to blame. In the second stanza, lines 6 and 7 were originally written:
"How oft I've essayed to be A fisherman bold, but my luck never told."

"Anent the Writing of Poetry" is a short prose essay, in which many valuable truths are enunciated. Mrs. Haughton has evidently taken up the poetic art with due seriousness, and considering the marked talent shown in the first issue of her paper, we may justly expect to behold a wonderfully rapid development in the near future.

The Badger for June fulfills the promise of January, and shows us that the present year has given the United a new and serious periodical of satisfying quality. In the "Introductory," Mr. George Schilling discusses in lively fashion the latest topics of the day, thereby atoning for our own tedious "Finale." "Ready Made," by Samuel J. Schilling, is a thoughtful presentation of a lamentable fact. The evil which he portrays is one that has rendered the masses of America almost wholly subservient to the vulgar press; to be led astray into every sort of radicalism through low tricks of sensationalism. Our own poetical attempt, entitled "Quinsnicket Park," contains 112 lines, and spoils three and a half otherwise excellent pages. It is probable that but few have had the fortitude to read it through, or even to begin it, hence we will pass over its defects in merciful silence. "What May I Own?" by A. W. Ashby, is an able sociological essay which displays considerable familiarity with the outward aspects of economic conditions. Mr. Ashby, condemning the present system practiced in the coal and iron industries, declares that on moral grounds he had rather be a brewer or purveyor of liquor than a coal magnate or an ironmaster. In this statement, evidently born of hasty fervour, Mr. Ashby forgets the basic character of the two types of industry which he contrasts. Beneath the liquor traffic lies a foundation accursed by decency and reason. The entire industry is designed to pander to a false craving whose gratification lowers man in the scale of mental and physical evolution. The distiller and vendor of rum is elementally the supreme foe of the human race, and the most powerful, dangerous and treacherous factor in the defiance of progress and the betrayal of mankind. His trade can never be improved or purified, being itself a crime against Nature. On the other hand, the coal and iron industries[23] are, in their fundamental forms, desirable and necessary adjuncts to an expanding civilization. Their present evils are wholly alien to their essential principles, being connected only with the uneasy industrialism of this age. These faults are not confined to coal-mining and iron-working, but are merely those possessed in common with all great industries. Joseph E. Shufelt's article on the European war is an amazing outburst of socialism in its worst form. The idea that this shocking carnage is the result of a deliberate plot of the ruling classes of all the belligerents to destroy their labouring element is wonderfully ludicrous in its extravagance. We are led to infer that those best of friends, der Kaiser and his cousins George and Nicholas, are merely pretending hostility in order to rid themselves of a troublesome peasantry! We do not know what Mr. Shufelt has been reading lately, but we hope that time may modify his ideas to such a degree that he will turn his dignified style and pure English to some object worthy of their employment.

Dowdell's Bearcat for July marks the beginning of an unprecedented era of improvement in the quality of that periodical. Having settled down to the conventional 5×7 size, it has now acquired a cover and an abundance of pages which the editor informs us will never be lessened. The influence of The Olympian is perceptible in the Bearcat, and for his taste in the selection of so worthy a model Mr. Dowdell is to be commended. "When the Tape Broke" is the first article of the editorial column, and well describes an example of collapsed activity which the United should avoid. "A Runaway Horse," by Mrs. Ida C. Haughton, is a brief and vivid sketch of a fatal accident. "Tragedy," an exquisite poem by Emilie C. Holladay, deserves very favourable notice for the delicate pathos of its sentiment, and perfect adaptation of the measure to the subject. We may discern a few traces of immaturity in the handling of the metre and in the presence of "allowable" rhymes. As elsewhere stated, we personally approve and employ the old-fashioned "allowable" rhyming sounds, but the best modern taste, as exemplified in the United by its Laureate, Rheinhart Kleiner, demands absolute perfection in this regard. As to the metre, we respectfully offer the following amended second stanza as an example. It is absolutely uniform with the original first stanza, which, of course, furnishes the model.
The summer rains And autumn winds The snowdrop find yet standing; A petal gone, And all alone, Her tender roots expanding.

The remarkable poetical talent exhibited by Miss Holladay deserves a cultivation that shall invest her productions with a technique of the highest order. "The Dignity of Journalism," by ourselves, may be taken by the reader as a sort of supplement to this Department. We there enumerate in the abstract some of the precepts which we shall here apply to individual writers. There are several misprints, which we hope will not be taken as evidences of our bad spelling, and at the conclusion the word "even" is omitted from the phrase which should read: "the necessity, or even the expediency." "June Journals" is an excellent set of short reviews which display very favourably the critical ability of Mr. Dowdell. The concluding notes on "Amateur Affairs" are brief, but very interesting. The general excellence of Dowdell's Bearcat excuses the instances of imperfect proof-reading, which fault we are sure will soon be eliminated.

The Blarney Stone for March-April contains "Thoughts," a meritorious poem by Chester P. Munroe. The tone of the piece is that of sentimental and almost melancholy reverie, hence the metre is not quite uniform; but a commendable absence of rough breaks lends a delightful flow to the lines. We hope to behold further efforts from Mr. Munroe's pen. "The Amateur's Creed," by Mrs. Renshaw, is written in the style of this author's previous and now well-known poem, "A Symphony," and should do much toward lifting the United upward to the highest literary ideals.[24]

The Blarney Stone for May-June has cast off all undue seriousness, and teems with light and attractive matter concerning the recent Rocky Mount convention. Some of the displays of wit and cleverness are very striking and entertaining indeed, while no page departs so far from merit that it may be justly adjudged as dull.

The Boys' Herald for August is an issue of unusual elaborateness, announcing the engagement of its editor, Mr. Edwin Hadley Smith, and Miss Nita Edna Gerner of New York. Excellent portraits of the happy couple follow the formal announcement, and Miss Gerner, now Associate Editor, describes in an excellent prose style the romance which culminated in the engagement. "Gerneriana," consisting mainly of a reprint from an earlier issue, is an interesting account of the late Richard Gerner, an old-time amateur, and father of the prospective bride. This article is well supplemented by the reproductions of parts of old amateur papers which adorn the back cover of the magazine. The remainder of The Boys' Herald is wholly statistical, dealing with the amateur career of Mr. Smith. Few members of the association could produce superior records of activity.

The Brooklynite for April maintains the high standard set by the previous number. "A Miracle," the opening poem, was composed by Alice L. Carson during the course of a meeting of the Blue Pencil Club, yet exhibits all the grace and harmony expected in a carefully planned and laboriously polished work. "Spring Thoughts," by A. M. Adams, is a humorous prose masterpiece by the National's new Critic. Seldom is the amateur press favoured with such a well-sustained succession of brilliant epigrams. Miss Owen's "Ode to Trempealeau Mountain" is a noble specimen of heroic blank verse, containing some very striking antithetical lines. The title, however, is a misnomer, since a true ode is necessarily of irregular form. "Some Late Amateur Magazines," by W. B. Stoddard, is a series of brief, informal reviews. As a critic, Mr. Stoddard shows considerable discernment, though having a rather unpleasant air of conscious superiority in certain places. A little more stateliness of style would add to the force of his criticisms. "Spring" reveals Rheinhart Kleiner in his favourite domain of amatory verse. Mr. Kleiner's tuneful numbers and pure diction render his poetry ever a delight. "Rebellion," by Miss von der Heide, is a metrically perfect piece of verse whose artistry is marred only by the use of the unpoetical philosophical term "subconscious" instead of "unconscious."

The Brooklynite for July is of especial interest as the first paper to print an account of the Rocky Mount convention. This description, from the facile and versatile pen of Miss von der Heide, is of distinctly informal character, yet is none the less interesting as an animated chronicle of an enjoyable event. Rheinhart Kleiner's account of the National convention is more dignified, and may be considered as a model for this sort of composition. Mr. Kleiner shines as brightly in prose as in verse, and each day surprises us with revelations of excellence in various dissimilar departments of literature.

The Conservative for July is notable for Mr. Ira Cole's delightfully pantheistic poem, "A Dream of the Golden Age." The unusual poetic genius of Mr. Cole has been revealed but recently, yet the imaginative qualities pervading some of his prose long ago gave indications of this gift. The pantheistic, Nature-worshipping mind of our author lends to his productions an unique and elusive atmosphere which contrasts very favourably with the earthy tone of some of our less fanciful bards. Metrically, Mr. Cole adopts instinctively the regular, conservative forms of a saner generation. In this specimen of heroic verse he inclines toward the practice of Keats, and does not always confine single thoughts to single couplets in the manner of the eighteenth-century poets. We believe that Mr. Cole is commencing a successful career as a United poet, and await the day when he shall be accorded the honor of a laureateship.[25]

The Coyote for July reveals a wonderful improvement over the March number, both in the literary quality of its contributions and in general editorial excellence. Never before have we seen the perfect amateur spirit acquired so quickly as in Mr. Harrington's case. "Night Fancies," by Helen H. Salls, is a sonnet of exceptional power and artistry, whose faultless metre is equalled only by its bold and striking images. Amidst this profusion of excellent metaphor, it is difficult to select individual instances for particular praise, but we might commend especially the passage:
"... the stars still keep Afloat like boats that black sky-billows ride."

Miss Salls is clearly an amateur poet of the first rank, and it is to be hoped that she will be a liberal contributor to United magazines. "The Rebirth of the British Empire," by William T. Harrington, is a clear and concise exposition of the virtues whereby Old England maintains her proud position as Mistress of the Seas, and chief colonial empire of the world. The style of the essay is admirable, and well exhibits the progressive qualities of Mr. Harrington. "An Ideal," by Nettie Hartman, is a short poem of pleasing sentiment and harmonious metre. The notes on amateur affairs are interesting and well composed, revealing Mr. Harrington's increasing enthusiasm for the cause.

Dowdell's Bearcat for May is another striking illustration of the improvement which can affect a paper within a very short time. Since last October Mr. Dowdell has been progressing swiftly toward journalistic excellence, and even this cleverly conceived and uniquely shaped issue fails to mark the limit of his ambition. "Knowest Thou?" by Mrs. Renshaw, is an expressive tribute to a nation whose recent infamies can never wholly becloud its rugged virtues. "With Nature I Rejoice" is probably the best poem which Joseph R. Schaffman has yet written. As his remarkable talent matures, the didactic element in his verse is gradually giving way to the more purely poetic, and this latest effort is one of which he may be justly proud. Concerning Mr. Dowdell's own spirited prose, we need only repeat the previous suggestion, that a little less slang would add much to its force and dignity.

Dowdell's Bearcat for May 26 contains another poem by Mrs. Renshaw whose national tone is not likely to be popular just now outside the country to which it refers; in fact, Editor Dowdell has deemed it wise to make an apologetic statement concerning it. However, if we call "Ein Mann" Col. Theodore Roosevelt, and shift the scene to San Juan Hill, we may be able to appreciate the real patriotism delineated.

Dowdell's Bearcat for June is wholly given over to notes of the amateur world. Mr. Dowdell is indeed a pleasing young writer, and leaves none of his topics without a characteristic touch of light adornment.

The Lake Breeze for April is distinguished by James L. Crowley's poem entitled "April," a brief lyric of marked merit, highly expressive of the season. "Writing Poetry," an essay by Dora M. Hepner, is a clear and tasteful analysis of the poet's art and inspiration. "The Norwegian Recruit," a dialect monologue by Maurice W. Moe, is the leading feature of this issue. This exquisite bit of humor, recited by Mr. Moe at the United's 1913 convention, is a sketch of rare quality. "The Amateur Press," now firmly established as a column of contributed reviews, is this month of substantial size and fair quality. It is needless to say that the news pages are interesting, and that the paper as a whole well maintains the high reputation it has ever enjoyed.

The Lake Breeze for June apparently opens an era of unprecedented improvement, being of distinctly literary rather than political nature. The plea for a Department of Instruction is a just one, and ought to meet with response from some of our pedagogical members. "Broken Metre," by Mrs. Renshaw, is an attempt at defending the popular atrocities committed in the name of freedom[26] by the modern poets. While the article is superficially quite plausible, we feel that the settled forms of regular metre have too much natural justification thus to be disturbed. The citation of Milton, intended to strengthen Mrs. Renshaw's argument, really weakens it; for while he undoubtedly condemns rhyme, he laments in the course of this very condemnation the lame metre which is sometimes concealed by apt rhyming. "Some Views on Versification," by Clara I. Stalker, is an essay written from a sounder and more conservative point of view. The middle course in poetical composition, which avoids alike wild eccentricities and mechanical precision, has much to recommend it, and Miss Stalker does well to point out its virtues. However, we do not see why even the few irregularities which are here said to be inevitable, cannot be smoothed out by the bard without destroying the sense of his poetry. "Disappointment," by Mrs. Maude K. Barton, is a clever piece of light verse whose sprightly humour makes up for its slight metrical roughness. The imperfect but allowable rhyming of "bear" and "appear" in the first stanza is entirely correct according to the old-time standards which we ourselves follow, but we fear that the delicate ear of a precise metrical artist like Rheinhart Kleiner would object to its liberalism. "The Amateur Press" is distinguished by an excellent review from the pen of Mrs. Renshaw. The style is satisfactory, and the criticism just, making the whole well worthy of the prize book it has secured for its author. "'Pollyanna,' the Glad Book" is a meritorious and entertaining review by Mrs. Griffith. "Hope," by Marguerite Sisson, is commendable for its use of that noble but neglected measure, the heroic couplet. Mr. Daas' concluding editorial, "Literature and Politics," is admirable for its concise exposition of the United's new ideals, and its masterly refutation of the common fallacy that political quarrels are necessary to stimulate activity in the press associations.

The Looking Glass for May is a journal unique in purpose and quality. Edited by Mrs. Renshaw in behalf of her many gifted recruits, it reveals a condition absolutely unexampled; the acquisition by one member of so many high-grade novices that a special publication is required properly to introduce them to the United. "To a Critic of Shelley," by Helen H. Salls, is a long piece of beautiful blank verse, marred only by one accidental rhyme. Miss Salls is evidently one of those few really powerful poets who come all too seldom into Amateur Journalism, startling the Association with impeccable harmony and exalted images. The present poem grows even more attractive on analysis. The diction is of phenomenal purity and wholly unspoiled by any ultra-modern touch. It might have been a product of Shelley's own age. The metaphor is marvellous, exhibiting a soul overflowing with true spirituality, and a mind trained to express beautiful thought in language of corresponding beauty. Such unforced ornateness is rarely met in the domain of amateur poetry. We feel certain that Miss Salls has already become a fixed star in the empyrean of the United. Exalted poetry of quite another type is furnished by the work of our new Director, Rev. Frederick Chenault, whose two exquisite lyrics, "Birth" and "The Sea of Somewhere," appear in this issue. With little use of formal rhyme and metre, Mr. Chenault abounds in delicate conceptions and artistic renditions. "Retrospection," by Kathleen Baldwin, is likewise a poem of high order, and of fairly regular metre, evidently following comparatively recent models in technique. "The Faithful Man," by I. T. Valentine, shows growing poetical talent, but is cruelly injured by the anticlimactic line. Not that there is any anticlimax of sentiment, but the colloquial mode of expression shocks the reader who has been perusing the more dignified lines which go before. "The Stonework of Life" is an excellent prose sermon by Joseph Ernest Shufelt, which displays great ability in the field of metaphor and allegory. Mr. Shufelt possesses an admirable style, unusually well fitted for didactic matter of this sort; indeed, it is regrettable that he should ever depart from such congenial themes and turn to the wild sensationalism which he shows in The Badger. In demonstrating the[27] beauties of morality and religion, he has few superiors, and a task so appropriate to his genius ought to claim his whole attention. True, his thoughts may follow strange courses in their quest for truth and beauty, but were he always to curb them within the bounds of probability and conservatism, as here, he would never lose the confidence of his public, as he has done with his strange war theories. "The Autocracy of Art," by Anne Vyne Tillery Renshaw, is the leading article of the magazine. Herein the author proclaims the supremacy of spiritual utterances over all restrictions created by the mind, and urges the emancipation of the soaring bard from the earthly chains of rhyme and metre. That the inward promptings of the poetic instinct are of prime value to the poet, few will dispute; but that they may give final form to his soul's creations without some regulation by the natural laws of rhythm, few will agree. The metric sense lies far deeper in the breast of man than Mrs. Renshaw is here disposed to acknowledge. After this article, the perfectly regular stanzas of "Fellow Craftsman," by the same author, are refreshing. The typography and form of The Looking Glass leave something to be desired, but the riches within make ample compensation for outward crudity.

The New Member for May, edited by William Dowdell, contains but one credential, yet doubtless paves the way for a resumption of the enterprise so ably conducted by Miss Hoffman last year. "Melancholy," a poem by I. T. Valentine, shows traces of the beginner's crudeness, yet has about it a quality which promises much for the future of the poet. "Lock-Step Pete," by Miss von der Heide, is an unusual poem with a thoughtful suggestion embodied in its concluding stanza.

The New Member bound with the May Official Quarterly is a model that should henceforth be followed as the nearest approach to perfection yet beheld. Credentials, lists of prospective members, news of recruits, and accounts of local clubs are here given in just and pleasing proportion. "Bluets and Butterflies," by Carolyn L. Amoss, is a poem of great delicacy and ethereal atmosphere. The solitary, tiny flaw is the attempted rhyming of "Miss" and "yes." "War in America," by Annette E. Foth, is a pleasant juvenile story. E. Ralph Cheyney's extract from his essay on "Youth" is in many ways remarkable, and shows us that we have another recruit of choice quality. His rather peculiar ideas are well expressed, though their soundness is quite debatable. A few abnormal characters like Byron and Shelley doubtless experienced all the adolescent phenomena which Mr. Cheyney describes, but we believe that the average youth is a copyist, and for the most part reflects his environment. Radicalism and novel ideas arise just as much from blasé, elderly cynics, who are tired of sane and sober conservatism. We have been reflecting on Life for about twenty years, ever since we were five, and have consistently believed that the wisdom of the ancient sage is the true wisdom; that Life is essentially immutable, and that the glorious dreams of youth are no more than dreams, to be dissipated by the dawn of maturity and the full light of age. "Flowers on the Grave," a poem by J. D. Hill, has a commendable sentiment, and is remarkable for its possession of only one repeated rhyming sound. Whether or not the latter feature be monotonous, all must admit that the versification is attractive. "We Are All Desperate!" is a striking philosophical fragment by Melvin Ryder, which first appeared as an editorial in the Ohio State Lantern. The conjectures are plausible, and the precepts sound. The news items in this paper are all fresh and interesting, concluding an issue uniformly excellent.

The Pippin for May displays very favourably the high-school club whose founding and maintenance are due entirely to the genius of Mr. Maurice W. Moe. "The Coasters," by Esther Ronning, is the only poem in the issue, but its quality atones for the absence of other verse. The pleasures and perils of coasting are here portrayed with wonderfully graphic pen, whilst the metre is, so far as technical correctness is concerned, all that might be desired. However, we wish that Miss Ronning[28] were less fond of unusual rhyming arrangements. The lines here given are of regular ballad length. Were they disposed in couplets, we should have a tuneful lay of the "Chevy Chase" order; but as it is, our ear misses the steady couplet effect to which the standard models have accustomed us. "With the Assistance of Carmen" is a clever short story by Gladys Bagg, derived from the same plot nucleus by Mr. Moe which likewise evoked Miss Moore's story in the March United Amateur. The structure of the narrative is excellent, but we do not like the use of the plebeian expression "onto" on page 3. There is properly no such word as "onto" in the English language, "upon" being the preposition here required. Webster clearly describes "onto" as a low provincialism or colloquialism. "Little Jack in Fairyland," by Ruth Ryan, is a well written account of a dream, with the usual awakening just as events are coming to a climax. The style is very attractive, and the images ingenious. "Getting What You Want," by Mr. Moe, is a brief one-act farce illustrating the subtle devices whereby the sharp housewife bewilders the good-natured landlord into the granting of extraordinary favours. Had the heroine kept on to still greater lengths, she might have secured an entire new house. The present number of The Pippin is, save for the absence of photographs, quite as pleasing as the previous number. We trust that Mr. Moe's editorial prophecy may be fulfilled, and that we may soon behold another issue which shall make us familiar with the new faces brought by revolving time into the congenial Appleton circle.

The Plainsman for July is the best number yet issued, the two eleventh-hour contributions being very cleverly introduced. "Revised Edition," by Mrs. Jeanette Timkin, is a versified piece of keen humour and good metre, well illustrating the opening of the third or aerial element to human travel. "To Bazine, Kansas" is a sprightly prose account by James J. Hennessey of his journey from Boston to Bazine. "An Incident of Early Days," by Mrs. John Cole, is presented in the same attractive reminiscent style which makes her article in The Trail so readable and interesting. We are here told of the times when herds of bison were common sights, and are given a pleasing account of the formation of the Bazine Sunday-School. The articles by Mr. and Mrs. Ira Cole show their appreciation of the amateurs who have visited them, and conclude an issue of thoroughly entertaining quality.
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« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2014, 09:36:06 pm »

The Providence Amateur for June introduces to the United another local press club of great enthusiasm. Owing to some unauthorized omissions made by the printer, this first issue is scarcely representative of the club's entire personnel, but that which still remains affords, after all, a fair index to the character and ideals of the new organization. The editorials by John T. Dunn are both frank and fearless. We detest a shifty club whose allegiance wavers betwixt the United, the Morris Faction and the National, and so are greatly pleased at Mr. Dunn's manly and open stand for the one real United. The editor's opinions on acknowledgment of papers is certainly just from one point of view, though much may be said for the opposite side. When an amateur journal has been prepared with unusual labour, and mailed conscientiously to every member of the Association, the publisher has substantial reason for resenting any marked display of neglect. We do not blame The Blarney Stone for its attitude on this question, and shall probably follow its custom by mailing the next Conservative only to those who have acknowledged one or both of the previous issues.

The Reflector for June is a British amateur magazine, transplanted on American soil by its able editor, Ernest A. Dench. "Crossing the Atlantic in War Time" is a pleasing account of Mr. Dench's voyage from Liverpool to New York. "Chunks of Copy" forms the title of an excellent though informal editorial department, while "A Brain Tank at Your Service" teems with witticisms concerning various members of the Blue Pencil Club. This magazine has no connection with any former journal of like title, but seems[29] likely to prove a worthy successor to all its namesakes.

The Trail for Spring is a new and substantial illustrated magazine of 20 pages and cover, issued by our well-known Private Critic, Mr. Alfred L. Hutchinson. At the head of the contents are the reminiscences of the editor, which prove extremely interesting reading, and which are well supplemented by the lines entitled "The Tramp Printer." Also by Mr. Hutchinson is the well written and animated account of Mr. Nicholas Bruehl, whose artistic photographical work adorns the inside covers of this issue. "Pioneer Life in Kansas," by Mrs. John Cole, is a delightfully graphic picture of the trials and adventures of the early settlers in the West. Being written from actual personal experience, the various incidents leave a lasting impression on the mind of the reader, while a pleasing smoothness of style enhances the vividness of the narrative. "Memory-Building" is the first of a series of psychological articles by our master amateur, Maurice W. Moe. It is here demonstrated quite conclusively, that the faculty of memory is dependent on the fundamental structure and quality of the brain, and may never be acquired or greatly improved through cultivation. "Evening at Magnolia Springs," by Laura E. Moe, exhibits the same type of literary talent that her gifted husband possesses; in fact, this sketch may be compared with Mr. Moe's well-known "Cedar Lake Days." The use of trivial incidents gives an intense naturalness to the description. "Caught," by Ruth M. Lathrop, is a brilliant short story whose development and climax are natural and unforced. Fiction is generally the amateur's weakest spot, but Miss Lathrop is evidently one of the few shining exceptions. So thoroughly excellent is The Trail, that we hope to see not merely a second issue, but its permanent establishment as one of the United's leading magazines.

The Tryout for June belongs to the National, but contains much matter by United members. "Tempora Mutantur," a very meritorious short story by Marguerite Sisson, affords an illuminating contrast between the solid culture of 1834 and the detestable shallowness of the present time. This prevailing frivolity and unscholarliness is something which the United is seeking to remedy, and we are thankful indeed for stories such as this, which expose modern levity in all its nauseousness. It is evident that Miss Sisson is emulating the appreciative Anne Carroll of 1834, rather than her obtuse and indifferent descendant. "The District School," by Edna R. Guilford, describes very vividly the many petty annoyances that beset the average teacher. While the picture is extremely well presented as a whole, certain roughnesses of diction nevertheless arrest the critical eye. "Onto," in the first paragraph, is a provincialism which should be superseded by "to." Further on we hear the teacher admonishing a youth to wash up some ink, and "wash it good"! Would a teacher thus express herself? "Well" is the adverb here needed. "Too tired to hardly stand" is a seriously ungrammatical phrase, which should read: "almost too tired to stand." We note that one of the pupils' names is given as "Robert Elsmere." While it may not be essentially a fault thus to use the name of a famous character of fiction, we feel that the exercise of a little more originality might have avoided this appropriation of Mrs. Humphry Ward's celebrated hero. Miss Guilford's fundamental talent is unmistakable, but needs cultivation and practice before it can shine out in full splendour.

The Tryout for July contains "Cripple George," a beautiful short story by Mrs. Rose L. Elmore, commendable alike in plot and technique. "A Day in the Mountains," by Harry H. Connell, is a very interesting sketch whose style exhibits considerable promise.

The United Amateur for March contains a literary department which will, we hope, remain as a regular feature. "Tobias Smithers, Leading Man" is Miss Ellen Moore's prize-winning attempt at constructing a story from a very brief nucleus given by Mr. Moe. Miss Moore here exhibits a facile pen and a[30] just appreciation of humorous situations. "Ghosts," by Mrs. Renshaw, well illustrates the vague superstitions of the negroes, those strange creatures of darkness who seem never to cross completely the threshold from apedom to humanity. "March," by ourselves, is a gem of exquisite poesy, etc., etc., which we have here praised because no one else could ever conscientiously do so. Line 10 apparently breaks the metre, but this seeming break is due wholly to the printer. The line should read:
"The longer sunshine, and the shorter night."

"The Unknown Equation" is a love story by Mrs. Florence Shepphird. Though the major portion is quite polished and consistent, we cannot but deem the conclusion too abrupt and precipitate. Perhaps, being a frigid old critic without experience in romance, we ought to submit the question to some popular newspaper column of Advice to the Lovelorn, inquiring whether or not it be permissible for a young lady, after only a few hours' acquaintanceship with a young gentleman, to encourage him to "put his arm around her yielding form and kiss her passionately"!!

The United Amateur for May is graced by "Reveille," a powerful and stirring poem written in collaboration by our two gifted bards, Mr. Kleiner, the Laureate, and Miss von der Heide. "Nature and the Countryman," by A. W. Ashby, is an iconoclastic attack on that love of natural beauty which is inherent in every poetical, imaginative and delicately strung brain. In prose of faultless technique and polished style, Mr. Ashby catalogues like a museum curator every species of flaw that he can possibly pick in the scenes and events of rustic life. But while the career of the farmer is assuredly not one of uninterrupted bliss, it were folly to assert that Nature's superlative loveliness is not more than enough to compensate for its various infelicities. No mind of high grade is so impervious to aesthetic emotion that it can behold without admiration the wonders of the rural realm, even though a vein of sordid suffering ran through the beauteous ensemble. Of all our personal friends, the one who most adores and loves to personify Nature is a successful farmer of unceasing diligence. Mr. Ashby errs, we are certain, in taking the point of view of the unimaginative and unappreciative peasant. This sort of animal interprets Nature by physical, not mental associations, and is unfitted by heredity to receive impressions of the beautiful in its less material aspects. Whilst he grumbles at the crimson flames of Aurora, thinking only of the afternoon rain thus predicted, the man of finer mould, though equally cognizant that a downpour may follow, rejoices impulsively at the pure beauty of the scene itself, a scene whose intellectual exaltation will help him the better to bear the dull afternoon. Is not the beauty-lover the happier of the two? Both must endure the trials, but the poet enjoys compensating pleasures which the boor may never know. The personification and deification of Nature is a legacy from primitive ages which will delight us in an atavistical way till our very race shall have perished. And let Mr. Ashby remember that those early tribes who placed a god or goddess in every leafy tree, crystal fount, reedy lake or sparkling brook, were far closer to Nature and the soil than is any modern tenant farmer.

The United Official Quarterly for May has resumed its former attractive appearance, and contains a very creditable assortment of literary matter. "Atmosphere," by Mrs. Shepphird, is a thoughtful and pleasing essay, whose second half well describes the individuality of the various amateur authors and editors. "The Kingly Power of Laughter," by Louena Van Norman, is no less just and graphic, illustrating the supreme force of humour and ridicule. Leo Fritter, in "Concerning Candidates," points out some important details for office-seekers, whilst Ira A. Cole, in "Five Sticks on Finance," gives some interesting suggestions for economy. "Opportunity," an essay by Mildred Blanchard, concludes the issue, and successfully disputes the noxious old platitude, that "Opportunity knocks but once at each man's door." With the Quarterly is bound The New Member, reviewed elsewhere, the two forming a tasteful and meritorious magazine.[31]

The Woodbee for July is an issue of unusual interest, revealing the more serious and substantial activities of the prosperous Columbus Club. The opening feature is a sonnet by Alma Sanger, "To Autumn Violets," which exhibits some poetical talent and a just sense of metrical values. We are sure that the defective second line is the fault of the printer rather than of the author. "The Blind Prince," by Henriette Ziegfeld, is an excellent juvenile tale involving a fairy story. The only serious objection is the undercurrent of adult comment which flows through the narrative. Particularly cynical is the closing sentence: "'And here's Mother,' finished poor Auntie with a sigh of relief." The ordinary fairy stories told to children are bits of actual Teutonic mythology, and should be related with a grave, absolute simplicity and naivete. However, as a psychological study of the typical childish auditor, the sketch as a whole is highly meritorious. We are inclined to wonder at the possible meaning of the strange word "alright," which appears more than once in Miss Ziegfeld's tale. It is certainly no part of our language, and if it be a corruption of "all right," we must say that we fail to perceive why the correct expression could not have been used. "What's in a Name?" by Irene Metzger, is a clever sketch concerning the silly modern practice of giving fancy names to helpless infants. Glancing backward a little through history, Miss Metzger would probably sympathize with the innocent offspring of the old Puritans, who received such names as "Praise-God," and the like. Praise-God Barebones, a leading and fanatical member of Cromwell's rebel parliament, went a step further than his father, naming his own son "If-Jesus-Christ-had-not-died-for-thee-thou-hadst-been-Damned"! All this was actually the first name of young Barebones, but after he grew up and took a Doctor's degree, he was called by his associates, "Damned Dr. Barebones"! "Moonlight on the River," by Ida Cochran Haughton, is an exquisite sentimental poem, each stanza of which ends with the same expression. The atmosphere is well created, and the images dexterously introduced. The whole piece reminds the reader of one of Thomas Moore's beautiful old "Irish Melodies." That Mrs. Haughton's talent has descended to the second generation is well proven by Edna M. Haughton's "Review of the Literary Work of the Quarter." Miss Haughton is a polished and scholarly reviewer, and her criticisms are in every instance just and helpful. The editorial on "Miss United" is very well written, and should be carefully perused by those in danger of succumbing to the autumnal advances of that sour old maid, Miss National.
—Howard P. Lovecraft
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« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2014, 09:36:38 pm »

Little Journeys to the Homes of Prominent Amateurs

Among the many amateurs I have never met in the flesh and realness of Life, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, poet, critic and student, appeals to me as no other recent "find" in the circles of amateuria has ever appealed. And Lovecraft is a distinct "find." Just why he holds a firm grip on my heart-strings is something of a mystery to me. Perhaps it is because of his wholesome ideals; perhaps it is because he is a recluse, content to nose among books of ancient lore; perhaps it's because of his physical afflictions; his love of things beautiful in Life; his ardent advocacy of temperance, cleanliness and purity—I don't know. We disagree on many questions; he criticises my literary activities; he smiles at my suffrage theories, and disapproves of my language in Chain Lightning. But I like him.[32]

Howard Phillips Lovecraft has an interesting history, and this fact was known to Official Editor Daas when he asked me to take a little journey to the study-home of the Vice-President. "Don't stint yourself for space" was noted on the assignment tab, and after glancing over the biographical notes before me—I am sure that Daas has again exemplified his quiet humor during a serious moment.

Lovecraft was born at 454 Angell St., Providence, R. I., on August 20, 1890. His nationality is Anglo-American, and under British law he can claim to be a British subject, since he is a grandson in direct male line of a British subject not naturalized in the United States. His ancestry is purely English. On the paternal side he is a descendant of the Lovecrafts, a Devonshire family which has furnished a great many clergymen to the Church of England, and the Allgoods of Northumberland, a history-honored family of which several members have been knighted. The Allgoods have been a military line, and this may account for Lovecraft's militarism and belief in the justice of war. On the maternal side he is a typical Yankee, coming from East English stock which settled in Rhode Island about 1680. Lovecraft is a student of astronomy—it is a domineering passion with him—and this love was apparently inherited from his maternal grandmother, Rhoby Phillips, who studied it thoroughly in her youth at Lapham Seminary, and whose collection of old astronomical books first interested him. Lovecraft came from pure-blood stock, and he is the last male descendant of that family in the United States. With him the name will die in America. He is unmarried.

As he was about to enter college at the age of eighteen, his feeble health gave way, and since then he has been physically incapacitated and rendered almost an invalid. Being thus deprived of his cherished hope to further his education and prepare himself for a life of letters, he has contented himself with his home, which is just three squares from his birthplace, and where he lives with his mother. And his home life is ideal. His personal library—his haven of contentment—contains more than 1500 volumes, many of them yellowed with age, and crude examples of the printer's art. Among these treasured books may be found volumes which have passed through the various branches of his family, some dating back to 1681 and 1702, and methinks I can see Lovecraft poring over these time-stained bits o' bookish lore as the monks of old followed the printed lines with quivering fingers in the taper's uncertain, flickering light. For Lovecraft appeals to me as a bookworm—one of those lovable mortals whose very existence seems to hang on the numbered pages of a heavy, clumsy book!

His connection with organized amateur journalism is of recent date. On April 6, 1914, his application for membership in the United Amateur Press Association of America was forwarded to the Secretary. Like a great many of the recruits, Lovecraft was completely ignored for several months. In July of last year he became active, and he has proven to be an invaluable asset to the literary life of the Association. He is not a politician. However, his literary activities had been prosecuted many years before he had ever heard of the United. At the age of eight and one-half years he published the Scientific Gazette, a weekly periodical, written in pencil and issued in editions of four carbon copies. This journal was devoted to the science of chemistry, which was one of his earliest hobbies, and ran from March, 1899, to February, 1904. As in most cases, my knowledge of chemistry was acquired after I had spent four years in high-school, and the fact that any boy should be interested in that study at the age of eight and one-half years appeals to me as something out of the ordinary. But Lovecraft was not an ordinary boy. His second and more ambitious venture was the Rhode Island Journal of Astronomy. This was at first published as a weekly, and later changed to a monthly publication. This was carefully printed by hand and then duplicated on the hectograph and issued in lots of twenty-five copies. The Journal was issued from 1903 to 1907, and contained the latest astronomical news, re-written from the original[33] telegraphic reports issued from Harvard University and seen at the Ladd Observatory. It also contained many of his original articles and forecasts of phenomena. He owns a 3-inch telescope of French make, and aside from amateur journalism, his one great hobby is astronomy. At the age of sixteen he commenced writing monthly astronomical articles for the Providence Tribune, and later changed to the Evening News, to which he still contributes. During the present year he has contributed a complete elementary treatise on astronomy in serial form to the Asheville (N. C.) Gazette-News. Besides contributing a great many poems and articles to the amateur press, editing The Conservative and assisting with the editorial work on The Badger, the appearance of Mr. Lovecraft's work in the professional magazines is of common occurrence. During the past year he has had charge of the Bureau of Public Criticism in The United Amateur, where he has proven himself a just, impartial and painstaking critic. That he will achieve a great popularity in the world of amateur letters is a foregone conclusion, and I do not think that I am indulging in extravagant praise in predicting a brilliant future for him in the professional field.

I am acquainted with Howard Phillips Lovecraft only through correspondence; I have never felt the flesh of his palm, and yet, I know he is a man—every inch of him—and that amateur journalism will be enriched and promoted to its highest plane through his kindly influence and literary leadership.
Andrew Francis Lockhart
The Teuton's Battle-Song
"Omnis erat vulnus unda Terra rubefacta calido Frendebat gladius in loricas Gladius findebat clypeos— Non retrocedat vir a viro Hoc fuit viri fortis nobilitas diu— Laetus cerevisiam cum Asis In summa sede bibam Vitae elapsae sunt horae Ridens moriar."
—Regner Lodbrog
The mighty Woden laughs upon his throne, And once more claims his children for his own. The voice of Thor resounds again on high, While arm'd Valkyries ride from out the sky: The Gods of Asgard all their pow'rs release To rouse the dullard from his dream of peace. Awake! ye hypocrites, and deign to scan The actions of your "brotherhood of Man." Could your shrill pipings in the race impair The warlike impulse put by Nature there? Where now the gentle maxims of the school, The cant of preachers, and the Golden Rule? What feeble word or doctrine now can stay The tribe whose fathers own'd Valhalla's sway? Too long restrain'd, the bloody tempest breaks, And Midgard 'neath the tread of warriors shakes. On to thy death, Berserker bold! And try In acts of Godlike bravery to die! Who cares to find the heaven of the priest, When only warriors can with Woden feast? The flesh of Sehrimnir, and the cup of mead, Are but for him who falls in martial deed: Yon luckless boor, that passive meets his end, May never in Valhalla's court contend. Slay, brothers, Slay! And bathe in crimson gore; Let Thor, triumphant, view the sport once more! All other thoughts are fading in the mist, But to attack, or if attack'd, resist. List, great Alfadur, to the clash of steel; How like a man does each brave swordsman feel! The cries of pain, the roars of rampant rage, In one vast symphony our ears engage. Strike! Strike him down! Whoever bars the way; Let each kill many ere he die today! Ride o'er the weak; accomplish what ye can; The Gods are kindest to the strongest man! Why should we fear? What greater joy than this? Asgard alone could give us sweeter bliss! My strength is waning; dimly can I see The helmeted Valkyries close to me. Ten more I slay! How strange the thought of fear, With Woden's mounted messengers so near! The darkness comes; I feel my spirit rise; A kind Valkyrie bears me to the skies. With conscience clear, I quit the earth below, The boundless joys of Woden's halls to know. The grove of Glasir soon shall I behold, And on Valhalla's tablets be enroll'd: There to remain, till Heimdall's horn shall sound, And Ragnarok enclose creation round; And Bifrost break beneath bold Surtur's horde, And Gods and men fall dead beneath the sword; When sun shall die, and sea devour the land, And stars descend, and naught but Chaos stand. Then shall Alfadur make his realm anew, And Gods and men with purer life indue. In that blest country shall Abundance reign, Nor shall one vice or woe of earth remain. Then, not before, shall men their battles cease, And live at last in universal peace. Through cloudless heavens shall the eagle soar, And happiness prevail forevermore.
—H. P. Lovecraft

Author's Note.

The writer here endeavours to trace the ruthless ferocity and incredible bravery of the modern Teutonic soldier to the hereditary influence of the ancient Northern Gods and Heroes. Despite the cant of the peace-advocate, we must realise that our present Christian civilisation, the product of an alien people, rests but lightly upon the Teuton when he is deeply aroused, and that in the heat of combat he is quite prone to revert to the mental type of his own Woden-worshipping progenitors, losing himself in that superb fighting zeal which baffled the conquering cohorts of a Caesar, and humbled the proud aspirations of a Varus. Though appearing most openly in the Prussian, whose recent acts of violence are so generally condemned, this native martial ardour is by no means peculiar to him, but is instead the common heritage of every branch of our indomitable Xanthochroic race, British and Continental alike, whose remote forefathers were for countless generations reared in the stern precepts of the virile religion of the North. Whilst we may with justice deplore the excessive militarism of the Kaiser Wilhelm and his followers, we cannot rightly agree with those effeminate preachers of universal brotherhood who deny the virtue of that manly strength which maintains our great North European family in its position of undisputed superiority over the rest of mankind, and which in its purest form is today the bulwark of Old England. It is needless to say to an educated audience that the term "Teuton" is in no way connected with the modern German Empire, but embraces the whole Northern stock, including English and Belgians.

In the Northern religion, Alfadur, or the All-Father, was a vague though supreme deity. Beneath him were among others Woden, or Odin, practically the supreme deity, and Woden's eldest son Thor, the God of War. Asgard, or heaven, was the dwelling-place of the Gods, whilst Midgard was the earth, or abode of man. The rainbow, or bridge of Bifrost, which connected the two regions, was guarded by the faithful watchman Heimdall. Woden lived in the palace of Valhalla, near the grove of Glasir, and had as messengers to earth the Valkyries, armed, mailed and mounted virgins who conveyed from the earth to Asgard such men as had fallen bravely in battle. Only those who fell thus could taste to the full the joys of paradise. These joys consisted of alternate feasting and fighting. At Woden's feasts in Valhalla was served the flesh of the boar Sehrimnir, which, though cooked and eaten at every meal, would regain its original condition the next day. The wounds of the warriors in each celestial combat were miraculously healed at the end of the fighting.

But this heaven was not to last forever. Some day would come Ragnarok, or the Twilight of the Gods, when all creation would be destroyed, and all the Gods and men save Alfadur perish. Surtur, after killing the last of these Gods, would burn up the world. Afterward the supreme Alfadur would make a new earth or paradise, creating again the Gods and men, and suffering them ever after to dwell in peace and plenty.

Volume XV
Number 9
Department Of Public Criticism

The Brooklynite for January contains one of Rheinhart Kleiner's characteristic poems, entitled "A Mother's Song". Mr. Kleiner's command of good taste, harmony, and correctness requires no further panegyric amongst those who know him; but to the more recent United members who have not yet read extensively in our journals, his work may well be recommended as undoubtedly the safest of all amateur poetical models for emulation. Mr. Kleiner has a sense of musical rhythm which few amateur bards have ever possessed, and his choice of words and phrases is the result of a taste both innate and cultivated, whose quality appears to rare advantage in the present degenerate age. This remarkable young poet has not yet fully displayed in verse the variety of thoughts and images of which his fertile brain and well selected reading have made him master, but has preferred to concentrate most of his powers upon delicate amatory lyrics. While some of his readers may at times regret this limitation of endeavor, and wish he might practice to a greater extent that immense versatility which he permitted the amateur public to glimpse in the September Piper; it is perhaps not amiss that he should cultivate most diligently that type of composition most natural and easy to him, for he is obviously a successor of those polished and elegant poets of gallantry whose splendour adorned the reigns of Queen Elizabeth and King James the First.

The Conservative for January opens with Winifred Virginia Jordan's "Song of the North Wind", one of the most powerful poems lately seen in the amateur press. Mrs. Jordan is the newest addition to the United's constellation of genuine poetical luminaries; shining as an artist of lively imagination, faultless taste, and graphic expression, whose work possesses touches of genius and individualism that have already brought her renown in amateur circles. In the poem under consideration, Mrs. Jordan displays a phenomenal comprehension of the sterner aspects of Nature, producing a thoroughly virile effect. Words are chosen with care and placed with remarkable force, whilst both alliteration and onomatopoeia are employed with striking success. By the same author is the shorter poem entitled "Galileo and Swammerdam", which though vastly different in aspect and rhythm, yet retains that suggestion of mysticism so frequently encountered in Mrs. Jordan's work.

James Tobey Pyke, a lyrical and philosophical poet of high scholastic attainments, contributes two poems; "Maia", and "The Poet". The latter is a stately sonnet, rich in material for reflection. Such is the quality of Mr. Pyke's work, that his occasional contributions are ever to be acclaimed with the keenest interest and appreciation.

Rheinhart Kleiner, our Laureate, is another bard twice represented in the January Conservative. His two poems, "Consolation" and "To Celia", though widely different in structure, are yet not unrelated in sentiment, being both devoted to the changing heart. One amateur critic has seen fit to frown upon so skilled an apotheosis of inconsistency, but it seems almost captious thus to analyse an innocuous bit of art so daintily and tastefully arrayed. "To Celia" is perhaps slightly the better of the two, having a very commendable stateliness of cadence, and a gravity of thought greater than that of "Consolation".

"The Horizon of Dreams", by Mrs. Renshaw, is a graphic and enthralling venture into the realm of nocturnal unreality. The free play of active imagination, the distorted and transitory conceptions and apparitions, and the strangely elusive analogies, all lend charm and color to this happy portrayal of the vague boundaries of Somnus' domain. Mrs. Renshaw's rank as a poet is of very high tone, most of her productions[36] involving a spiritual insight and metaphysical comprehension vastly beyond that of the common mind. But this very nobility of imagination, and superiority to the popular appeal, are only too likely to render her best work continually underestimated and unappreciated by the majority. She is not a "poet of the masses", and her graver efforts must needs reach audiences more notable for cultured than numerical magnitude. Of Mrs. Renshaw's liberal metrical theories, enough is said elsewhere. This Department can neither endorse principles so radical, nor refrain from remarking that want of proper rhyme and metre has relegated to obscurity many a rich and inspired poem.

"Departed", by Maude Kingsbury Barton, is a sentimental poem of undoubted grace and sweetness, happily cast in unbroken metre.

The Coyote for January is adorned by no less than three of Mrs. Winifred V. Jordan's exquisite short poems. "The Night-Wind" is a delicately beautiful fragment of dreamy metaphor. There is probably a slight misprint in the last line, since the construction there becomes somewhat obscure. "My Love's Eyes" has merit, but lacks polish. The word "azure" in the first stanza, need not be in the possessive case; whilst the use of a singular verb with a plural noun in the second stanza (smiles-beguiles) is a little less than grammatical. "Longing" exhibits the author at her best, the images and phraseology alike showing the touch of genius.

Other poetry in this issue is by Adam Dickson, a bard of pleasing manner but doubtful correctness. "Smile" needs rigorous metrical and rhetorical revision to escape puerility. "Silver Bells of Memory" is better, though marred by the ungrammatical passage "thoughts doth linger". In this passage, either the noun must be made singular, or the verb form plural.

"Prohibition in Kansas" is a well written prose article by Editor William T. Harrington, wherein he exhibits a commendably favourable attitude toward the eradication of the menace of strong drink. Mr. Harrington is an able and active amateur, and takes an intelligent interest in many public questions. His style and taste are steadily improving, so that The Coyote has already become a paper of importance among us.

The Dixie Booster for January is Mr. Raymond E. Nixon's Capital City News, transferred to the amateur world, and continued under the new name. With this number the editor's brother, Mr. Roy W. Nixon, assumes the position of Associate Editor. This neat little magazine is home-printed throughout, and may well remind the old-time amateurs of those boyish "palmy days" whose passing they lament so frequently. By means of a cut on the third page, we are properly introduced to Editor Nixon, who at present boasts but thirteen years of existence. The gifted and versatile associate editor, Mr. Roy W. Nixon, shows marked talent in three distinct departments of literature; essay-writing, fiction, and verse. "Writing as a Means of Self-Improvement" is a pure, dignified and graceful bit of prose whose thought is as commendable as its structure. "A Bottle of Carbolic Acid" is a gruesome but clever short story of the Poe type, exhibiting considerable comprehension of abnormal psychology as treated in literature. "My Valentine" is a poem of tuneful metre and well expressed sentiment, though not completely polished throughout. The third stanza, especially, might be made less like prose in its images.

Dowdell's Bearcat for December is quaint and attractive in appearance. The youthful editor has provided himself with a series of cuts of the metaphorical "Bruin" in various attitudes and various employments, these clever little pictures lending a pleasing novelty to the cover and the margins. Judiciously distributed red ink, also, aids in producing a Christmas number of truly festive quality. Mr. Dowdell's "Growls from the Pit" is a series of editorials both timely and interesting, while his "Did You Hear That" is a lively page of fresh news. This issue is notable for Mrs. Winifred V. Jordan's poetical contributions, of which there are three. "Life's Sunshine and Shadows" is a tuneful moral poem whose rhythm and imagery are equally excellent. "Contentment" is brief but delightful. "When the Woods Call" is a virile, graphic piece; vibrant with the thrill of the chase, and crisp with the frosty air of the Northern Woods.

The present reviewer's lines "To Samuel Loveman" contain five misprints, as follows:[37]
Line   3   for   are   read   art
"   5   "   Appollo   "   Apollo
"   6   "   versus   "   verses
"   15   "   eternal   "   ethereal
"   18   "   the   "   thee

"Beads from my Rosary", by Mary M. Sisson, is a collection of well written and sensible paragraphs on amateur journalism, which ought to assist in arousing enthusiasm amongst many members hitherto dormant. Editor Dowdell's pithy little epigrams at the foot of each page form an entertaining feature, many of them being of considerable cleverness. Dowdell's Bearcat will soon revert to its original newspaper form, since Mr. Dowdell intends to make newspaper work his life Profession.

The Inspiration for November is a decidedly informal though exceedingly clever personal paper issued by Miss Edna von der Heide as a reminiscence of the Rocky Mount convention. Prose and verse of whimsically humorous levity are employed with success in recording the social side of the amateur gathering.

The Looking Glass for January is composed wholly of biographical matter, introducing to the association the multitude of accomplished recruits obtained through Mrs. Renshaw and others. In these forty life stories, most of them autobiographical, the student of human nature may find material for profound reflection on the variety of mankind. The more recent members of the United, as here introduced, are in the aggregate a maturer, more serious, and more scholarly element than that which once dominated the amateur world; and if they can be properly welcomed and acclimated to the realm of amateur letters, they will be of great value indeed in building up the ideals and character of the association. For this influx of sedate, cultivated members, the United has Mrs. Renshaw to thank, since the present policy of recruiting was originated and is conducted largely by the Second Vice-President.

Ole Miss' for December is the most important of all recent additions to amateur letters, and it is with regret that we learn of the magazine's prospective discontinuance. The issue under consideration is largely local, most of the contributions being by Mississippi talent, and it must be said that the contributors all reflect credit upon their native or adopted State.

Mr. J. W. Renshaw's page of editorials is distinguished equally by good sense and good English. His attitude of disapproval toward petty political activities and fruitless feuds in the United is one which every loyal member will endorse, for nearly all of the past disasters in amateur history have been caused not by serious literary differences, but by conflicting ambitions among those seeking no more than cheap notoriety.
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« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2014, 09:37:21 pm »

Mrs. Renshaw is well represented both by prose and by verse, the most interesting of her pieces being possibly the essay entitled "Poetic Spontaneity", wherein more arguments are advanced in her effort to prove the inferior importance of form and metre in poesy. According to Mrs. Renshaw, the essence of all genuine poetry is a certain spontaneous and involuntary spiritual or psychological perception and expression; incapable of rendition in any prescribed structure, and utterly destroyed by subsequent correction or alteration of any kind. That is, the bard must respond unconsciously to the noble impulse furnished by a fluttering bird, a dew-crowned flower, or a sun-blest forest glade; recording his thoughts exactly as evolved, and never revising the result, even though it be detestably cacophonous, or absolutely unintelligible to his less inspired circle of readers. To such a theory as this we must needs reply, that while compositions of the sort indicated may indeed represent poesy, they certainly represent art in its proper sense no more than do "futuristic" pictures and other modern monstrosities of a like nature. The only exact means whereby a poet may transmit his ideas to others is language, a thing both definite and intellectual. Granting that vague, chaotic, dissonant lines are the best form in which the tender suitor of the Muses may record his spiritual impressions for his own benefit and comprehension, it by no means follows that such lines are at all fitted to convey those impressions to minds other than his own. When language is used without appropriateness, harmony, or precision, it can mean but little save to the person who writes it. The soul of a poem lies not in words but in meaning; and if the author have any skill at all in recording thought through language, he will be able to refine the uncouth mass of[38] spontaneous verbiage which first comes to him as representing his idea, but which in its original amorphous state may fail entirely to suggest the same idea to another brain. He will be able to preserve and perpetuate his idea in a style of language which the world may understand, and in a rhythm which may not offend the reader's sense of propriety with conspicuous harshness, breaks, or sudden transitions.

"Flames of the Shadow", Mrs. Renshaw's longest poetical contribution to this issue, is a powerful piece which, despite the author's theory, seems in no way injured by its commendably regular structure. "Immortality of Love" is likewise rather regular, though the plan of rhyming breaks down in the last stanza. "For You" and "Sacrament of Spirit" are short pieces, the former containing an "allowable" rhyming of "tongue" and "long", which would not meet with the approval of the Kleiner type of critic, but upon which this department forbears to frown.

James T. Pyke's two poems, "To a Butterfly" and "Life and Time" are gems of incomparable beauty. "Ole Gardens", by Winifred V. Jordan, is a haunting bit of semi-irregular verse which deserves warm applause for the cleverness of its imagery and the aptness of its phraseology. "The Reward of it All", by Emilie C. Holladay, is a potent but pathetic poem of sentiment, whose development is highly commendable, but whose metrical construction might be improved by judicious care. "A Mississippi Autumn" was written as prose by Mrs. Renshaw, and set in heroic verse without change of ideas by the present critic. The metaphor is uniformly lofty and delicate, whilst the development of the sentiment is facile and pleasing. It is to be hoped that the original thoughts of the author are not impaired or obscured by the technical turns of the less inspired versifier. "My Dear, Sweet, Southern Blossom", dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. Renshaw with Compliments of the Author, James Laurence Crowley, is a saccharine and sentimental piece of verse reminiscent of the popular ballads which flourished ten or more years ago. Triteness is the cardinal defect, for each genuine image is what our discerning private critic Mr. Moe would call a "rubber-stamp" phrase. Mr. Crowley requires a rigorous course of reading among the classic poets of our language, and a careful study of their art as a guide to the development of his taste. At present his work has about it a softness bordering on effeminacy, which leads us to believe that his conception of the poet's art is rather imperfect. It is only in caricature that we discover the poet as a sighing, long-haired scribbler of gushing flights of infantile awe or immature adoration. Earnestness, dignity, and at times, sonorous stateliness, become a good poet; and such thoughts as are generally suggested by the confirmed use of "Oh", "Ah", "dear", "little", "pretty", "darling", "sweetest flow'ret of all", "where the morning-glory twineth", and so on, belong less to literary poetry than to the Irving Berlin song-writing industry of "Tin Pan Alley" in the Yiddish wilds of New York City. Mr. Crowley has energy of no mean sort, and if he will apply himself assiduously to the cultivation of masculine taste and technic, he can achieve a place of prominence among United bards.

W. S. Harrison deserves a word of praise for his poem of Nature, entitled "Our Milder Clime", wherein he celebrates the charms of Mississippi, his native state. The lines contain an old-fashioned grace too often wanting in contemporary verse. Other contributions to Ole Miss' are Mrs. Maude K. Barton's "Something of Natchez", a very interesting descriptive sketch in prose, and Dr. Rolfe Hunt's two negro dialect pieces, both of which are of inimitable wit and cleverness.

The Pippin for February is the first number of this important high-school journal to be issued without the supervision of Mr. Moe, and its excellence well attests the substantial independent merit of the Appleton Club. The city of Appleton forms the dominant theme in this number, and with the assistance of seven attractive half-tone illustrations, the publication well displays the beauty and advantages of the pleasant Wisconsin town. Miss Eleanor Halls cleverly weaves into conversational form much information concerning the remote history of Appleton, emphasizing the superior character resulting from the select quality of the settlers, and the early introduction of learning. Mr. Alfred Galpin surprises many readers when he reveals the fact that Appleton possessed the first of all telephone systems, a surprise quickly followed by Mr. Joseph Harriman's illustrated paragraph telling of the first street-car, also an Appleton innovation. Among other[39] articles, that by Miss Torrey on Lawrence College is of unusual interest. "The Immortalization of the Princess", by Miss Fern Sherman, is an excellent Indian tale, whose structure and atmosphere well suggest not only the characteristic tribal legends of the red folk, but other and more classical myths as well. Though Miss Sherman is not yet a member of the United, one of such gifts would be heartily welcomed in the ranks.

The Plainsman for December is the most substantial number of his journal which Mr. Ira Cole has yet issued. First in order of importance among the contents is perhaps the editor's own prose sketch entitled "Monuments", wherein Mr. Cole reveals to particular advantage his exceptional skill in depicting and philosophizing upon the various aspects and phenomena of Nature. Mr. Cole's style is constantly improving, though not now of perfect polish, it is none the less remarkable for its grace and fluency. "To Florence Shepphird", also by Mr. Cole, is a rather long piece of blank verse, containing many beautiful passages. The author's skill in stately and sonorous poetry is far above the common level, and his work has about it an atmosphere of the polished past which that of most amateur bards lacks; yet the present poem is not without errors. The passage (lines 10-11) reading: "calm days that knoweth not dread Boreas' chilling breath" must be changed so that either the noun shall be singular or the verb plural. The double negative in line 23 might well be eliminated. Two lines whose metre could be improved are the 13th and 50th. The final quatrain is pleasing to the average ear, including that of the present critic; though the very exact taste of today, as represented by Mr. Kleiner, frowns upon such deviation from the dominant blank verse arrangement. "On the Cowboys of the West" is a brief bit of verse by this reviewer, accompanied by a note from the pen of Mr. Cole. The note is better than the verse, and exhibits Mr. Cole's vivid and imaginative prose at its best. "The Sunflower", a versified composition by James Laurence Crowley, concludes the issue. There is much attractiveness in the lines; though we may discover particularly in the second stanza, that touch of excessive softness which occasionally mars Mr. Crowley's work. No one can fail to discern the weakness of such a line as "You big giant of all the flowers".

The Providence Amateur for February is worthy of particular attention on account of Mr. Peter J. MacManus' absorbing article on "The Irish and the Fairies". Mr. MacManus firmly believes not only that fairies exist in his native Ireland, but that he has actually beheld a troop of them; facts which impart to this article a psychological as well as a literary interest. The prose style of Mr. MacManus is very good, being notable alike for fluency and freedom from slang, whilst his taste is of the best. His future work will be eagerly awaited by the amateur public. Edmund L. Shehan contributed both verse and prose to this issue. "Death" is a stately poem on a grave subject, whose sentiments are all of suitable humility and dignity. The apparently anomalous pronoun "her", in the tenth line, is a misprint for "he". The piece ends with a rhyming couplet, to which Mr. Kleiner, representing correct modern taste, takes marked exception. The present reviewer, however, finds no reason to object to any part of Mr. Shehan's poem, and attributes this concluding couplet to the influence of similar Shakespearian terminations. The prose piece by Mr. Shehan well describes a visit to a cinematograph studio, and is entitled "The Making of a Motion Picture". In the verses entitled "A Post-Christmas Lament", Mr. John T. Dunn combines much keenness of wit with commendable regularity of metre. Mr. Dunn is among the cleverest of the United's humorous writers. "To Charlie of the Comics" is a harmless parody on our Laureate's excellent poem "To Mary of the Movies", which appeared some time ago in The Piper. In "The Bride of the Sea", Mr. Lewis Theobald, Jr., presents a rather weird piece of romantic sentimentality of the sort afforded by bards of the early nineteenth century. The metre is regular, and no flagrant violations of grammatical or rhetorical precepts are to be discerned, yet the whole effort lacks clearness, dignity, inspiration, and poetic spontaneity. The word printed "enhanc'd" in the sixth stanza is properly "entranc'd".

Tom Fool, Le Roi bears no definite date, but is a sort of pensive autumn reverie following the Rocky Mount convention of last summer. This grave and dignified journal is credited[40] to the House of Tillery, and if typographical evidence may be accepted, it belongs most particularly to that branch now bearing the name of Renshaw and having its domain in Coffeeville, Mississippi. "Mother Gooseries from the Convention", by Emilie C. Holladay, is a long stanzaic and Pindaric ode, whose taste and technic are alike impeccable. The exalted images are sketched with artistic touch, whilst the deep underlying philosophy, skillfully clothed in well balanced lines, arouses a sympathetic reaction from every cultural intellect. "The Carnival", by Mrs. E. L. Whitehead, is an admirable example of stately descriptive prose mixed with aesthetic verse. The long and euphonious periodic sentences suggest the style of Gibbon or of Dr. Johnson, whilst the occasional metrical lines remind the reviewer of Dr. Young's solemn "Night Thoughts". "Dummheit", by Dora M. Hepner, is a grave discourse on Original Sin, describing the planning of Tom Fool, Le Roi. Elizabeth M. Ballou's article entitled "Our Absent Friend" forms a notable contribution to amateur historical annals, and displays Miss Ballou as the possessor of a keen faculty for observation, and a phenomenally analytical intellect. "Banqueters from the Styx", Mrs. Renshaw's masterly description of the convention dinner and its honoured guests from the regions of Elysium and elsewhere, reminds the reviewer of the 11th book of the Odyssey and the 6th book of the Aeneid, wherein the fraternizing of men with the shades of men is classically delineated.

Tom Fool is a memorable publication, suggesting the old "fraternal" papers, whose passing so many amateurs regret.

THE UNITED AMATEUR for November contains besides the official matter a small but select assortment of poems, prominent among which is "The Meadow Cricket", by Jas. T. Pyke. It is impossible to overestimate the beauty of thought and expression which Mr. Pyke shows in all his verses, and the United is fortunate in being able to secure specimens of his work.

"Remorse", by James Laurence Crowley, is one of the best samples of this gentleman's poesy which we have yet seen, though Mr. Crowley insists that one of the punctuation marks has been wrongfully located by the reviser. Since the present critic prepared the manuscript for publication, he is willing to assume full culpability for this crime. There is genuine poetic feeling in this short piece; and it seems an undoubted fact that Mr. Crowley with a little added restraint and dignity of expression, is capable of producing excellent work. "List to the Sea", by Winifred V. Jordan, is a delightfully musical lyric, whose dancing dactyls and facile triple rhymes captivate alike the fancy and the ear. "The Wind and the Beggar", by Maude K. Barton, is sombre and powerful. "Ambition", by William de Ryee, is regular in metre and commendable in sentiment, yet not exactly novel or striking in inspiration. "Choose ye", by Ella C. Eckert, is a moral poem of clever conception and correct construction.

The United Official Quarterly for January opens with "A Prayer for the New Year", by Frederick R. Chenault. Mr. Chenault is a poet of the first order so far as inspiration is concerned, but his work is frequently marred by irregularity of metre, and the use of assonance in place of rhyme. The metre of this poem is correct, but the two attempted rhymes "deeper-meeker" and "supremely-sincerely" are technically no more than assonant sounds. Pres. Fritter writes very powerfully on our publishing situation in this number; and his article should not only be perused with attention, but heeded with sincerity and industriousness.
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« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2014, 09:37:48 pm »

"Behind the Canvas Wall", by William J. Dowdell, is one of the cleverest and most ingenious bits of fiction which the amateur press has contained for some time. That it is of a nature not exactly novel is but a trivial objection. The homely, appealing plot, and the simple, sympathetic treatment, both point to Mr. Dowdell as a possible success in the realm of short story writing, should he ever care to enter it seriously. Another excellent tale is "The Good Will of a Dog", by P. J. Campbell. The plot is of a well defined type which always pleases, whilst the incidents are graphically delineated. "The Bookstall" is a metrical monstrosity by the present reviewer. Mr. Maurice W. Moe, the distinguished Private Critic, lately gave us the following opinion of[41] our verse. "You are," he writes, "steeped in the poetry of a certain age; an age, by the way, which cut and fit its thought with greater attention to one model than any other age before or since; and the result is that when you turn to verse as a medium of expression, it is just as if you were pressing a button liberating a perfect flood of these perfectly good but stereotyped formulae of expression. The result is very ingenious, but just because it is such a skillful mosaic of Georgian 'rubber-stamp' phrases, it must ever fall short of true art." Mr. Moe is correct. We have, in fact, heard this very criticism reiterated by various authorities ever since those prehistoric days when we began to lisp in numbers. Yet somehow we perversely continue to "mosaic" along in the same old way! But then, we have never claimed to possess "true art"; we are merely a metrical mechanic. "A New Point of View In Home Economics", a clever article by Miss Eleanor Barnhart, concludes the Official Quarterly proper.

But the New Member supplement, with its profusion of brilliant credentials, yet remains to be considered. "Dutch Courage", by Louis E. Boutwell, is a liquorish sketch whose scene is laid in a New Jersey temple of Bacchus. Being totally unacquainted with the true saloon atmosphere, we find ourself a little embarrassed as to critical procedure, yet we may justly say that the characters are all well drawn, every man in his humor.

"Ol' Man Murdock" is a quaint, and in two senses an absorbing, figure. The rest of the issue is given over to the Muses of poesy. "The Saturday Fray" is a clever piece by Daisy Vandenbank. The rhyming is a little uneven, and in one case assonance is made to answer for true rhyme. "Cream" and "mean" cannot make an artistic couplet. "The Common Soldiers", by John W. Frazer, is a poem of real merit; whilst "Little Boy Blue", by W. Hume, is likewise effective. Mr. Hume's pathetic touch is fervent and in no manner betrays that weakness bordering on the ridiculous, to which less skillful flights of pathos are prone. "The Two Springs" is a pleasant moral sermon in verse by Margaret Ellen Cooper. Concluding the issue is "The Under Dog in the Fight", a vigorous philosophical poem by Andrew Stevenson.

The Woodbee for January is distinguished by Mrs. Winifred V. Jordan's brilliant short poem entitled "Oh, Where is Springtime?" The sentiment of the piece is an universal one, and the pleasing lines will appeal to all. "Retribution", by Mrs. Ida C. Haughton, is a clever story, but the present critic's extreme fondness for cats makes it difficult to review after reading the first sentence. However, the well-approached conclusion is indeed just. The "moral" is a pathetic example of unregeneracy! Miss Edna M. Haughton's critical article is direct and discerning; the Woodbee Club is fortunate in having among its members so capable a reviewer. Editor Fritter likewise mounts the reviewer's throne in this issue, proceeding first of all to demolish our own fond dream of yesterday; The Conservative. Looking backward down the dim vista of those bygone but memory-haunted days of October, 1915, when we perpetrated the horribly plainspoken and frightfully ungentle number whereof Mr. Fritter treats, we are conscious of our manifold sins, and must beg the pardon of the liquor interests for shouting so rudely in the cause of total abstinence. Pres. Fritter's critical style is a good one, and is developing from month to month. His advocacy of lukewarmness in writing is perhaps not so complete as one might judge from this article; though his use of the cautious phrase "it is rumored" in connection with a well known statement seems hardly necessary. Rigid impartiality, the critic's greatest asset, is manifest throughout the review, and we thoroughly appreciate the favorable mention not infrequently accorded us. In passing upon the merits of Dowdell's Bearcat, Mr. Fritter shows equal penetration and perspicuity, and we are convinced that his rank amongst amateur reviewers is very high.

Volume XV
Number 11
Department Of Public Criticism

The Coyote for July opens with Harry E. Rieseberg's verses entitled "The Sum of Life", whose structure is excellent as a whole, though defective in certain places. The word "mirage" is properly accented on the second syllable, hence is erroneously situated in the first stanza. "A mirage forever seeming" is a possible substitute line. Other defects are the attempted rhymes of "decay" with "constancy", "carried" with "hurried", and "appalled" with "all". The metre is without exception correct, and the thoughts and images in general well presented, wherefore we believe that with a little more care Mr. Rieseberg can become a very pleasing poet indeed. "The Philippine Question", by Earl Samuel Harrington, aged 15, is an excellent juvenile essay, and expresses a very sound opinion concerning our Asiatic colonies. It is difficult to be patient with the political idiots who advocate the relinquishment of the archipelago by the United States, either now or at any future time. The mongrel natives, in whose blood the Malay strain predominates, are not and never will be racially capable of maintaining a civilized condition by themselves. "How Fares the Garden Rose?" is a poem bearing the signature of Winifred Virginia Jordan, which is a sufficient guarantee of its thorough excellence. "To a Breeze", also by Mrs. Jordan, is distinguished by striking imagery, and displays in the epithet "moon-moored", that highly individualistic touch which is characteristic of its author. "Peace", by Andrew Francis Lockhart, is a poem of excellent construction, though marred by two serious misprints which destroy the harmony of the first and third lines.

The Dixie Booster for March-April is an exceedingly neat and clever paper from the House of Nixon. "Spring in the South", a poem by Maude K. Barton, opens the issue in pleasant fashion, the attractive images well atoning for certain slight mechanical deficiencies. "Dick's Success", by Gladys L. Bagg, is a short story whose phraseology exhibits considerable talent and polish. The didactic element is possibly more emphasized than the plot, though not to a tedious extent. Whether or not a rough draft of a novel may be completed in the course of a single afternoon, a feat described in this tale, we leave for the fiction-writing members of the United to decide! Of the question raised regarding the treatment of the Indian by the white man in America it is best to admit in the words of Sir Roger de Coverly, "that much might be said on both sides". Whilst the driving back of the aborigines has indeed been ruthless and high-handed, it seems the destiny of the Anglo-Saxon to sweep inferior races from his path wherever he goes. There are few who love the Indian so deeply that they would wish this continent restored to its original condition, peopled by savage nomads instead of civilized colonists. "The Deuce and Your Add", by Melvin Ryder, is a bit of light philosophy whose allegorical case is well maintained. "To a Warbler", by Roy W. Nixon, is a meritorious piece of verse whose rhythm moves with commendable sprightliness, though the first line of the first stanza might be made to correspond better with the first line of the second stanza. The word "apparent" in the last line, seems a little unsuited to the general style of the poem, being more suggestive of the formal type of composition. "Grandma", also by Mr. Roy Nixon, is a noble sonnet whose quality foreshadows real poetical distinction for its author. "You", by Dora M. Hepner, contains sublime images, but possesses metrical imperfections. The general anapaestic or dactylic rhythm is much disturbed by the iambic fourth line of the first stanza. The editorials, jokes, and jingles in this issue are[43] all clever, and proclaim Mr. Raymond Nixon as a capable and discriminating editor.

Literary Buds for February exhibits the amateurs of Harvey, Illinois, after a long absence from the publishing arena. The present issue, edited by Mr. Caryl Wilson Dempesy, contains matter of merit and interest. "The Dells of the Wisconsin", by A. Myron Lambert, is an interesting account of an outing spent amidst scenes of natural grandeur and beauty. The author's style is fluent and pleasing, though a few slight crudities are to be discerned. On page 1, where the height of a large dam is mentioned, it is stated "that the water must raise that distance before it can fall". Of course, "rise" is the verb which should have been used. Another erroneous phrase is "nature tract". "Nature" is not an adjective, but a noun; "natural" is the correct word. However, this anomalous use of nouns for adjectives has only too much prevalence amongst all grades of writers today, and must not be too harshly censured in this case. On page 4 the word "onto" should be supplanted by "upon", and the awkward phrase: "to be convinced that we had ventured to a place that we did not know any dangers were connected with", should be changed to something like this: "to convince us that we had ventured to a seemingly dangerous place whose apparent dangers we had not then noticed". "A Song of Love", by Editor Dempesy, is cast in uniformly flowing and regular metre, but some of the words require comment. "Lover" is not generally applied by bards to adored members of the gentler sex, "love" being the conventional term. Likewise, the phrase "heart which always softly does its beating" might well be revised with greater attention to poetical precedent. Yet the whole is of really promising quality, and exhibits a metrical correctness much above the average. "The Operation" is a very witty sketch by Miss Clara I. Stalker, with a sudden turn toward the end which arouses the complete surprise and unexpected mirth of the reader. "The High Cost of Flivving", by Albert Thompson, is a bright bit of versified humour involving novel interpretations of certain technical terms of literature. The swinging dactylic rhythm is well managed except where the words "descending" and "ascending" occur, and where, in line 24, the metre becomes momentarily anapaestic.

The Looking Glass for May is the final number of Mrs. Renshaw's journal of introductions, and makes known to the association a group of 27 new members. One of the most interesting autobiographies is that of Mr. J. E. Hoag of Greenwich, New York, whose friendly sentences, written from the cumulative experience of 85 years of life, possess an elusively captivating quality. Of the non-biographical matter in this issue, Mrs. Renshaw's compilation entitled "Writing for Profit" deserves particular perusal. This is well set off by the same author's colloquial lines, "Pride O' The Pen", wherein the lethal taint of trade in literature is effectively deplored. "Something", by David H. Whittier, is a thoughtful analysis of conditions in the United, with suggestions for improvement. "One Bright Star Enough For Me", by Mr. John Hartman Oswald of Texas, is a pious poem reminding one of Mr. Addison's well known effort which begins: "The spacious firmament on high". We doubt, however, if Mr. Addison has been much improved upon, since several instances of imperfect poetical taste are to be found in Mr. Oswald's lines. But there are evidences of a great soul throughout the ten stanzas, and the metre is in the main correct. What Mr. Oswald appears to require is a thorough reading of the English classics, with minute attention to their phraseology and images. With such study we believe him capable of development into a poet of enviable force and sincerity.

Toledo Amateur for April marks the welcome reappearance of Mr. Wesley H. Porter's neat little journal after a year's absence. "A Story", by David H. Whittier, possesses a tragical plot whose interest is slightly marred by triteness and improbable situations. Of the latter we must point out the strained coincidence whereby four distinct things, proceeding from entirely unrelated causes, give rise to the final denouement. The culmination of the aged father's resolve to kill his enemy, the conditions which make possible the return of the son, the presence of the enemy's hat and coat under the wayside tree, and the storm which prompts the son to don these[44] garments, are all independent circumstances, whose simultaneous occurrence, each at exactly the proper time to cause the catastrophe, may justly be deemed a coincidence too great for the purpose of good literature. In an artistically constructed tale, the various situations all develop naturally out of that original cause which in the end brings about the climax; a principle which, if applied to the story in question, would limit the events and their sequences to those arising either directly or indirectly from the wrong committed by the father's enemy. Since there is no causative connection between the immediate decision of the father to kill his foe, and the developments or discoveries which enable the son to return, the simultaneous occurrence of these unusual things is scarcely natural. Superadded to this coincidence are two more extraneous events; the rather strange presence of the hat and coat near the road, and the timely or untimely breaking of the storm, the improbability indeed increasing in geometrical progression with each separate circumstance. It must, however, be admitted that such quadruple coincidences in stories are by no means uncommon among even the most prominent and widely advertised professional fiction-blacksmiths of the day. Mr. Whittier's style is that of a careful and sincere scholar, and we believe that his work will become notable in this and the succeeding amateur journalistic generation. The minuteness of the preceding criticism has been prompted not by a depreciatory estimate of his powers, but rather by an appreciative survey of his possibilities. "Say, Brother", by Mrs. Renshaw, is a poem describing life in the trenches of the Huns. The metre is quite regular, and the plan of rhyming but once broken. Mr. Porter's prose work; editorial, introductory, and narrative, is all pleasing, though, not wholly free from a certain slight looseness of scholarship. We should advise rigorous exercise in parsing and rhetoric. "Respite", by Edgar Ralph Cheyney, shows real poetical genius, and the iambic heptameters are very well handled, save where one redundant syllable breaks the flow of the last line. Even that would be perfect if the tongue could condense the noun and article "the music", into "th' music".

The Tornado for April constitutes the publishing debut of Mrs. Addie L. Porter, mother of Toledo Amateur's gifted young editor. Mrs. Porter's "Recollections From Childhood" are pleasant and well phrased, bringing to mind very vividly the unrivalled joys of Christmas as experienced by the young. Wesley H. Porter, in "My Vacation", tells entertainingly of his visit to the hive of the Woodbees last September. The editorial and news paragraphs are all of attractive aspect, completing a bright paper whose four pages teem with enthusiasm and personality. It is to be hoped that other comparatively new United members may follow Mr. Porter's example in entering the publishing field; for individual journals, though of no greater size than this, are ever welcome, and do more than anything else to maintain interest and promote progress in the association.

The Trail for April must by no means be confused with Alfred L. Hutchinson's professionalized magazine of identical title, for this Trail is an older and emphatically non-professional publication issued co-operatively by Dora M. Hepner and George W. Macauley. Non-professionalism, indeed, seems to dominate the entire issue to a degree unusual in the broadened and developed United. With the exception of one poem and one short story or sketch, the contents are wholly personal and social. "He Reached my Hand", by Dora M. Hepner, is an excellent piece of verse, though perhaps not of that extreme polish which is observed in the productions of very careful bards. Miss Hepner has great refinement of fancy and vigour of expression, but evidently neglects to cultivate that beautiful rhetoric and exquisite rhythmic harmony which impress us so forcibly in the work of scholars and bookmen like Rheinhart Kleiner. "A Girl of the U. S.", by George W. Macauley, is a prose piece whose nature seems to waver between that of a story and a descriptive sketch. Though description apparently preponderates, the narrative turn toward the conclusion may sanction classification as fiction. The faults are all faults of imperfect technique rather than of barren imagination, for Mr. Macauley wields a graphic pen, and adorns every subject he approaches. In considering minor points, we must remark the[45] badly fractured infinitive "to no longer walk", and the unusual word "reliefful". We have never seen the latter expression before, and though it may possibly be a modernism in good usage, it was certainly unknown in the days when we attempted to acquire our education. Mr. Macauley, with his marked descriptive ability, is less at ease in stories of contemporary life than in historical fiction, particularly mediaeval and Oriental tales. His genius is not unlike that of Sir Walter Scott, and shows to especial advantage in annals of knights and chivalry. "Scratchings" are by the pen of Miss Hepner, and display an active wit despite the profusion of slang. It would seem, however, that so brilliant a writer could preserve the desired air of vivacity without quite so many departures from the standard idioms of our language.

Miss Hepner's remarks on the assimilation of new United members are worthy of note. The cruder amateurs should not feel discouraged by the extraordinary average scholarship of the recent element, but should rather use it as a model for improvement. They should establish correspondence with the cultivated recruits, thereby not only benefiting themselves, but helping each gifted newcomer to find a useful and congenial place amongst us. The present situation is pitifully ludicrous, for practically all young aspirants call upon only one or two sadly overburdened older members for literary aid, forgetting that there are scores of brilliant writers, teachers, and professors waiting anxiously but vainly to be of real service to their fellow-amateurs. Several of the scholarly new members have particularly inquired how they can best assist the association; yet the association, as represented by its literary novices, has failed to take advantage of most of these offers of instructions and co-operation. We are impelled here to reiterate the slogan which Mr. Daas has so frequently printed in his various journals: "Welcome the Recruits!". Such a welcome is certain to react with double felicity upon the giver.

"From the Michigan Trail" is Mr. Macauley's personal column, and contains so bitter an attack on some of the United's policies of improvement, that we are tempted to remonstrate quite loudly. The captious criticism of the Second Vice-President's invaluable activities, constructive labours which have practically regenerated the association and raised it to a higher plane in the world of educational endeavour, is positively ungenerous. To speak of the article in Ole Miss' entitled "Manuscripts and Silver" as "mercenary", is the summit of injustice, for it was nothing more or less than the absolutely gratuitous offer to the United of what is now the Symphony Literary Service. We are rather at a loss to divine Mr. Macauley's precise notion of amateur journalism. He speaks of it as a "tarn", but we cannot believe he would have it so stagnant a thing as that name implies. Surely, the United is something greater than a superficial fraternal order composed of mediocre and unambitious dabblers. Progress leads toward the outside world of letters, and to cavil at work such as Mrs. Renshaw's is to set obstacles in the path of progress. Professional literary success on the part of amateur journalists can never react unfavorably on the United, and it seems far from kind and proper to impede the development of members. Why is a professional author necessarily less desirable as an amateur journalist than a professional plumber or boiler-maker? But there is one sound principle at the base of Mr. Macauley's argument, which deserves more emphasis than the points he elaborates. Professionalism must not enter into the workings of the association, nor should the professionalized amateur take advantage of amateur connexions to create a market for writings otherwise unsalable. This applies to the now happily extinct tribe of "ten-cents-a-year" publishers, who coolly expected all amateur journalists to subscribe to their worthless misprints as a matter of fraternal obligation. Mr. Macauley is an extremist on the subject of amateur rating, a fact which explains many otherwise puzzling allusions in his current editorials.
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« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2014, 09:38:08 pm »

THE UNITED AMATEUR for February is the final number of the Daas regime, and constitutes a noble valedictory indeed. We find it impossible to express with sufficient force our regret at the withdrawal of Mr. Daas from the United, and we can but hope that the retirement may prove merely temporary. The February official organ is wholly literary in contents, and in quality sustains the best traditions of amateur journalism. Miss Olive G.[46] Owen's poem, "Give us Peace!", which opens the issue, is tasteful in imagery and phraseology, and correct in rhyme and metre, but contains the customary unrealities and substitutions of emotion for reasoning which are common to all pacific propaganda. "The Little Old Lady's Dream", by M. Almedia Bretholl, is a short story of the almost unpleasantly "realistic" type, whose development and atmosphere exhibit much narrative talent and literary skill. "The Teuton's Battle-Song" is an attempt of the present critic to view the principles of human warfare without the hypocritical spectacles of sentimentality. "Nature in Literature", by Arthur W. Ashby, is an essay of unusual quality, revealing a depth of well assimilated scholarship and a faculty for acute observation and impartial analysis, of which few amateur writers may justly boast. "His All", is an excellent poem by Mrs. Ella Colby Eckert, distinguished equally for its noble thought and facile rhythm. "'Twixt the Red and the White", a short story by Miss Coralie Austin, displays marked skill in construction and phraseology, though its development is not without a few of the typical crudities of youthful work. There is a trifling suspicion of triteness and banality in plot and dialogue; which is, however, compensated for in the artistic passages so frequently encountered. "Romance, Mystery, and Art", an essay by Edgar Ralph Cheyney, reflects the learning and thoughtfulness of its author. The poetical fragments entitled "Songs from Walpi", by Mrs. Winifred V. Jordan, describe the hopeless affection of a Southwestern Indian prince for a maiden of the conquering white race. The atmosphere and images are cleverly wrought, whilst the rhythm is in every detail satisfactory. "Nescio Quo", by Kathleen Baldwin, is a poem of great attractiveness both in structure and sentiment. "A Crisis", by Eleanor J. Barnhart, is a short story of distinctly modern type, whose substance and development compare well with professional work. "My Heart and I", a sonnet by James T. Pyke, exhibits the skill and philosophical profundity characteristic of its author. "My Native Land", a poem by Adam Dickson, describes the Scottish Border with pleasing imagery and bounding anapaestic metre. Mr. Dickson is a poet whose progress should be carefully watched. His improvement is steady, the present piece being easily the best specimen of his work to appear in the amateur press. "Poetry and its Power", by Helen M. Woodruff, is a delightful essay containing liberal quotations from various classic bards. "A Resolution", by Harry Z. Moore, seems to be modelled after Mrs. Renshaw's well known poem, "A Symphony". The various precepts are without exception sound and commendable. Helene E. Hoffman presents a brief but pleasing critique of Sir Thomas Browne's "Hydriotaphia, Urn-Burial; or a Discourse of the Sepulchral Urns lately found in Norfolk". It is refreshing to discover a modern reader who can still appreciate the quaint literature of the seventeenth century, and Miss Hoffman is to be thanked for her sympathetic review of the pompous, Latinised phrases of the old physician. "He and She", by Margaret A. Richard, is a thoroughly meritorious poem whose two "allowable rhymes", "fair-dear", and "head-prayed", would be censured only by a critic of punctilious exactitude. "At Sea", a witty bit of vers de societe by Henry Cleveland Wood, forms an appropriately graceful conclusion to a richly enjoyable issue of the magazine.

THE UNITED AMATEUR for March brings to the fore Mr. George S. Schilling's unusual editorial talent, and makes manifest the bright future of the official organ for the balance of the present administrative year. The chief literary contribution is "Hail, Autumn!", one of Mr. Arthur Ashby's brilliant and scholarly essays on Nature. The quality of Mr. Ashby's work deserves particular attention for its reflective depth of thought, and glowing profusion of imagery. His style is remarkably mature, and escapes completely that subtle suggestion of the schoolboy's composition which seems inseparable from the average amateur's attempts at natural description and philosophizing. Mr. Schilling's editorials are forcible and straightforward, vibrant with enthusiasm for the welfare of the association. "A Representative Official Organ", by Paul J. Campbell, serves to explain the author's highly desirable constitutional amendment proposed for consideration at the coming election, which will open the columns of THE UNITED AMATEUR to the general membership at a very reasonable expense. The News[47] Notes in the present issue are sprightly and interesting.

THE UNITED AMATEUR for April is made brilliant by the presence of Henry Clapham McGavack's terse and lucid exposure of hyphenated hypocrisy, entitled "Dr. Burgess, Propagandist". Mr. McGavack's phenomenally virile and convincing style is supported by a remarkable fund of historical and diplomatic knowledge, and the feeble fallacies of the pro-German embargo advocates collapse in speedy fashion before the polished but vigorous onslaughts of his animated pen. Another essay inspired by no superficial thinking is Edgar Ralph Cheyney's "Nietzschean Philosophy", wherein some of the basic precepts of the celebrated iconoclast are set forth in comprehensive array. "The Master Voice of Ages Calls for Peace", a poem by Mrs. Frona Scott, has fairly regular metre, though its sentiment is one of conventional and purely emotional pacifism. "A Gentle Satire on Friendship", by Freda de Larot, is a very clever piece of light prose; which could, however, be improved by the deletion of much slang, and the rectification of many loose constructions. "A Wonderful Play" is Mrs. Eloise R. Griffith's well worded review of Jerome K. Jerome's "The Passing of the Third Floor Back", as enacted by Forbes-Robertson. Mrs. Griffith has here, as in all her essays, achieved a quietly pleasing effect, and pointed a just moral. "Fire Dreams" is a graphic and commendably regular poem by Mrs. Renshaw. "The Beach", a poem by O. M. Blood, requires grammatical emendation. "How better could the hours been spent" and "When life and love true pleasure brings" cannot be excused even by the exigencies of rhyme and metre. After the second stanza, the couplet form shifts in an unwarranted manner to the quatrain arrangement. The phraseology of the entire piece displays poetical tendencies yet reveals a need for their assiduous cultivation through reading and further practice. "My Shrine", by James Laurence Crowley, exhibits real merit both in wording and metre, yet has a rather weak third stanza. The lines:
"One day I crossed the desert sands; One day I ride my train;"

are obviously anticlimactic. To say that the subject is trite would be a little unjust to Mr. Crowley's Muse, for all amatory themes, having been worked over since the very dawn of poesy, are necessarily barren of possibilities save to the extremely skilled metrist. Contemporary love-lyrics can scarcely hope to shine except through brilliant and unexpected turns of wit, or extraordinarily tuneful numbers. The following lines by Margaret, Duchess of Newcastle, who died in 1673, well express the situation despite their crudeness:
"O Love, how thou art tired out with rhyme! Thou art a tree whereon all poets climb; And from thy branches every one takes some Of the sweet fruit, which Fancy feeds upon. But now thy tree is left so bare and poor, That they can hardly gather one plum more!"

"Indicatory", a brilliant short sketch by Ethel Halsey, well illustrates the vanity of the fair, and completes in pleasing fashion a very creditable number of our official magazine.

THE UNITED AMATEUR for May forms still another monument to the taste and energy of our official editor, Mr. Schilling. Biography is the keynote of the current issue, Mrs. Renshaw, Mr. J. E. Hoag, and Mr. Henry Cleveland Wood each receiving mention. Miss Emilie C. Holladay displays a pleasing prose style in her account of our Second Vice-President, and arouses interest with double force through the introduction of juvenile incidents.

"Happiness Defined" is a delightful little sketch by Ida C. Haughton, whose philosophy will awake an universal response from the breasts of the majority. "The Wind Fairies", by Jean F. Barnum, is a poem in prose which contains more of the genuine poetic essence than does the average contemporary versified effort. The grace and grandeur of the clouds and the atmosphere have in all ages been admired, and it is but natural that they figure to a great extent in the beautiful legends of primitive mythology. "The Ship that Sails Away", by J. E. Hoag, is a delicate and attractive poem whose images and phraseology are equally meritorious. Mr. Hoag's poetical attainments are such that we await with eagerness the appearance of the pieces predicted in his biography. "To Flavia", by Chester Pierce Munroe, is a sweet lyric addressed to a young child and pervaded throughout with a quaintly whimsical, almost Georgian, semblance of stately gallantry. The first word of the seventeenth line should read "small" instead of "swell". As misprinted, this line conveys a rather incongruous impression. "Mountains in[48] Purple Robes of Mist", a vivid and powerful poem of Nature by Rev. Eugene B. Kuntz, is cast in Alexandrine quatrains, a rather uncommon measure. The only possible defect is in line thirteen, where the accent of the word "sublime" seems to impede the flow of the metre. Line nineteen apparently lacks two syllables, but the deficiency is probably secretarial or typographical rather than literary. "Man as Cook", also by Dr. Kuntz, is a clever bit of humorous verse in octosyllabic couplets. "Consolation" well exhibits Andrew Francis Lockhart's remarkable progress as a poet. His verse is increasing every day in polish, and is fast becoming one of the most pleasing and eagerly awaited features of amateur letters. "At the End of the Road", by Mary Faye Durr, is a graphic and touching description of a deserted schoolhouse. The atmosphere of pensive reminiscence is well sustained by the judiciously selected variety of images and allusions. "There's None Like Mine at Home", by James Laurence Crowley, is a characteristic bit of Crowleian sentimentality which requires revision and condensation. There is not enough thought to last out three stanzas of eight lines each. Technically we must needs shudder at the apparent incurable use of "m-n" assonance. "Own" and "known" are brazenly and repeatedly flaunted with "roam" and "home" in attempted rhyme. But the crowning splendour of impossible assonance is attained in the "Worlds-girls" atrocity. Mr. Crowley needs a long session with the late Mr. Walker's well-known Rhyming Dictionary! Metrically, Mr. Crowley is showing a decided improvement of late. The only censurable points in the measure of this piece are the redundant syllables in lines 1 and 3, which might in each case be obviated by the substitution of "I've" for "I have", and the change of form in the first half of the concluding stanza. Of the general phraseology and imagery we may only remark that Mr. Crowley has much to forget, as well as to learn, before he can compete with Mr. Kleiner or other high-grade amatory poets in the United. Such expressions as "my guiding star", "my own dear darling Kate", or "she's the sweetest girl that e'er on earth did roam", tell the whole sad story to the critical eye and ear. If Mr. Crowley would religiously eschew the popular songs and magazine "poetry" of the day, and give over all his time to a perusal of the recognized classics of English verse, the result would immediately be reflected in his own compositions. As yet, he claims to be independent of scholarly tradition, but we must remind him of the Latin epigram of Mr. Owen, which Mr. Cowper thus translated under the title of "Retaliation":
"The works of ancient bards divine, Aulus, thou scorn'st to read; And should posterity read thine, It would be strange indeed!"

So energetic and prolific a writer as Mr. Crowley owes it alike to himself and to his readers to develop as best he can the talent which rests latent within him.

The Woodbee for April opens with a melodious poem by Adam Dickson, entitled "Love". While the metre might well be changed in the interests of uniformity, the general effect is not at all harsh, and the author is entitled to no small credit for his production. The only other poem in the magazine is "Alone With Him", by Mrs. Ida C. Haughton. This piece is remarkable for its rhyming arrangement, each rhyme being carried through four lines instead of the usual couplet. The sentiments are just, the images well drawn, and the technique correct; the whole forming a highly commendable addition to amateur literature. "The Melody and Colour of 'The Lady of Shalott'", by Mary Faye Durr, is a striking Tennysonian critique, whose psychological features, involving a comparison of chromatic and poetic elements, are ingenious and unusual. Miss Durr is obviously no careless student of poesy, for the minute analyses of various passages give evidence of thorough assimilation and intelligent comprehension. "On Being Good", by Newton A. Thatcher, contains sound sense and real humour, whilst its pleasingly familiar style augurs well for Mr. Thatcher's progress in this species of composition. "War Reflections", by Herbert Albing, is an apt and thoughtful epitome of the compensating benefits given to mankind by the present belligerent condition of the world. The cogent and comprehensive series of reviews by Miss Edna M. Haughton, and the crisp and pertinent paragraphs by Editor Fritter, combine with the rest of The Woodbee's contents to produce an issue uniformly meritorious.
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« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2014, 09:38:39 pm »

The Poetry Of The Month
An Epistle to RHEINHART KLEINER, Esq., Poet-Laureate, and Author of "Another Endless Day".
Beatus ille qui procul negotiis, Ut prisca gens mortalium, Paterna rura bobus exercet suis.
KLEINER! in whose quick pulses wildly beat The youth's ambition, and the lyrist's heat, Whose questing spirit scorns our lowly flights, And dares the heavens for sublimer heights: If passion's force will grant an hour's relief, Attend a calmer song, nor nurse thy grief. What is true bliss? Must mortals ever yearn For stars beyond their reach, and vainly burn; Must suff'ring man, impatient, seek to scale Forbidden steeps, where sharper pangs prevail? Alas for him who chafes at soothing ease, And cries for fever'd joys and pains to please: They please a moment, but the pleasure flies, And the rack'd soul, a prey to passion, dies. Away, false lures! and let my spirit roam O'er sweet Arcadia, and the rural home; Let my sad heart with no new sorrow bleed, But rest content in Morven's mossy mead. Wild thoughts and vain ambitions circle near, Whilst I, at peace, the abbey chimings hear. Loud shakes the surge of Life's unquiet sea, Yet smooth the stream that laves the rustic lea. Let others feel the world's destroying thrill, As 'midst the kine I haunt the verdant hill. Rise, radiant sun! to light the grassy glades, Whose charms I view from grateful beechen shades; O'er spire and peak diffuse th' expanding gleam That gilds the grove, and sparkles on the stream. Awake! ye sylphs of Flora's gorgeous train, To scent the fields, and deck the rising main. Soar, feathered flock, and carol o'er the scene, To cheer the lonely watcher on the green. Sweet is the song the morning meadow bears, And with the darkness fade ambitious cares: Above the abbey tow'r the rays ascend, As light and peace in matchless beauty blend. Why should I sigh for realms of toil and stress, When now I bask in Nature's loveliness; What thoughts so great, that they must needs expand Beyond the hills that bound this fragrant land? These friendly hills my infant vision knew, And in the shelt'ring vale from birth I grew. Yon distant spires Ambition's limit show, For who, here born, could farther wish to go? When sky-blest evening soothes the world and me, Are moon and stars more distant from my lea? No urban glare my sight of heav'n obscures, And orbs undimm'd rise o'er the neighb'ring moors. What priceless boon may spreading Fame impart, When village dignity hath cheer'd the heart? The little group that hug the tavern fire To air their wisdom, and salute their squire, Far kinder are, than all the courtly throng That flatter Kings, and shield their faults in song! And in the end; what if no man adore My senseless ashes 'neath Westminster's floor? May not my weary frame, at Life's dim night, Sleep where my childhood first enjoy'd the light? Rest were the sweeter in the sacred shade Of that dear fane where all my fathers pray'd; Ancestral spirits bless the air around, And hallow'd mem'ries fill the gentle ground. So stay, belov'd Content! nor let my soul In fretful passion seek a farther goal. Apollo, chasing Daphne, gain'd his prize, But lo! she turn'd to wood before his eyes! Our earthly prizes, though as holy sought, Prove just as fleeting, and decay to naught. Enduring bliss a man may only find In virtuous living, and contented mind.

Department Of Public Criticism

Following a novel idea originated by the present Columbus administration, the Department of Public Criticism will herewith submit for the first time in its history an annual report, or summary of the preceding year's literary events within the United Amateur Press Association.

The programme of improvement informally decided upon in the official year of 1913-1914 received its definite ratification at the Rocky Mount Convention, when the assembled representatives of the United pledged "Individual collective support" to Mr. Fritter, the new President, in his endeavors to raise the literary standard of our society, and when an absolutely unanimous vote invested Mrs. J. W. Renshaw, the leading spirit of progress, with the important office of Second Vice-President. Pres. Fritter has since discharged his obligations and sustained his responsibilities in a thoroughly satisfactory manner despite many trying difficulties, whilst Mrs. Renshaw, as a recruiter, has succeeded in laying the foundations of a completely broadened, elevated, and rejuvenated association. Yet all that has been accomplished is merely the prologue of that greater period of change which must bring about the final assimilation of Mrs. Renshaw's phenomenally gifted recruits, and the materialization of the still nebulous plans evolved during the past twelvemonth.

The undersigned has on several occasions advocated the formation of a regular "Department of Instruction" in the United, to be conducted by professional teachers and college instructors for the purpose of guiding the more or less inexperienced members. He has communicated his idea to several high-school preceptors of great ability, and has learned that under present conditions such a department is not perfectly feasible. It has been suggested that if each experienced and educated amateur would assume a personal and sympathetic advisory position toward some one of the younger or cruder members, much actual good might result. As our list now stands, the crude and the cultured are perhaps evenly balanced, yet instant success even in this modified course can scarcely be expected. At least another year seems to be required, in which the various members may gain a closer knowledge of each other through the wider diffusion of their printed efforts. However, the need for a more uniformly educated membership is pressing, and the undersigned will welcome aid or advice of any kind from those willing to assist him in establishing some sort of scholastic Department.

Another idea which has received undeserved neglect and discouraging opposition is the Authors' Placing Bureau or "United Literary Service", as outlined by the Second Vice-President. The normal goal of the amateur writer is the outside world of letters, and the United should certainly be able to provide improved facilities for the progress of its members into the professional field. The objections offered to this plan are apparently less vital than those affecting the Department of Instruction, and it is to be hoped that the mistaken zeal of our non-professional sticklers may not serve to prevent a step so sorely needed.

Passing on to the details of Departmental work, the undersigned is pleased to report a remarkable increase in the literary value of the compositions brought forth in the United this year; an increase which may be fairly declared to constitute a true elevation of our intellectual standard, and which undoubtedly compensates for the present regrettable paucity of amateur publishing media. In verse, particularly, is the advance notable. Some of our poets are securing recognition in the outside world of letters, whilst many lesser bards show a steady upward trend in their amateur efforts. Prose continues to suffer because of the seemingly unavoidable brevity of the average amateur journal. It is impossible to crowd any really well developed piece of prose within the limits generally assigned, hence our best authors seem almost to be driven into verse as a medium of expression. Financial prosperity of sufficient extent to ensure the publication of larger papers is obviously the only remedy for this deplorable condition.

Of our poets, the Laureate Rheinhart Kleiner (also Laureate of the National for 1916-1917) continues as the foremost technician and harmonist.[51] His accurate and tasteful lines satisfy the ear and the understanding with equal completeness, and he shows no sign of yielding to the corrupting influences of decadent modern standards. In his own journal, The Piper, he reveals a versatile and phenomenally well stocked mind. The September number, containing imitations of the work of other amateur poets, will long be remembered. Mrs. Renshaw maintains her high place as a philosophical and expressionistic bard, though hampered by unusual theories of spontaneous versification. A greater deference to the human ear and metrical sense would render her already lofty poetry as attractive as it is exalted. Miss Olive G. Owen, former Laureate, has lately returned to activity, and may well be expected to duplicate her former successes in the domain of the Muses. The poetical progress of Andrew Francis Lockhart is a notable feature of amateur letters this year. Mr. Lockhart has always possessed the true genius of the bard, writing ably and voluminously; but his recent technical care is bringing out hitherto undiscovered beauties in his verse, and placing him in the very front rank of United poets. "Benediction" and "Consolation" are vastly above the average.

Of the new poets of prime magnitude who have risen above our horizon during the past year, Mrs. Winifred Virginia Jordan of Newton Centre, Mass., deserves especial mention both for high quality and great volume of work. Mrs. Jordan's poetry is of a tunefully delicate and highly individualistic sort which has placed it in great demand amongst amateur editors, and it is not unlikely that the author may be rewarded with a Laureateship at no distant date. The work is invariably of spontaneously graceful rhythm and universally pleasing in sentiment, having frequently an elusive suggestion of the unreal. A few of Mrs. Jordan's poems are of the grimly weird and powerful variety. "The Song of the North Wind" is a remarkable contribution to amateur letters, and has won the enthusiastic admiration of the United's poetical element. Professional success has recently crowned the efforts of Mrs. Jordan. Weekly Unity for June 17 contains her lines on "The Singing Heart", whilst several other poems from her pen have been accepted by The National Magazine. Rev. James Tobey Pyke is another poet of the first order whose writings have lately enriched the literature of the United. His style is correct, and his thought deep and philosophical. "The Meadow Cricket" is a poem which deserved more than a superficial perusal. John Russell, formerly of Scotland but now of Florida, is a satirist and dialect writer of enviable talent. His favorite measure is the octosyllabic couplet, and in his skilled hands this simple metre assumes a new and sparkling lustre. Rev. Frederick Chenault is a prolific lyrical poet whose sentiments are of uniform loftiness. The substitution of exact rhyme for assonance in his lines would double the already immense merit of his work. Other new bards of established ability are W. S. Harrison, Kathleen Baldwin, Eugene B. Kuntz, Mary Evelyn Brown, Henry Cleveland Wood, John W. Frazier, William Hume, Ella Colby Eckert, J. E. Hoag, Edgar Ralph Cheyney, Margaret A. Richard, William de Ryee, Helen H. Salls, and Jeanette Aylworth.

Of the poets whom we may term "rising", none presents a more striking figure than Ira A. Cole of Bazine, Kansas. Previously well known as a prose writer and publisher, he made his debut as a metrist just a year ago, through a very beautiful piece in the heroic couplet entitled "A Dream of the Golden Age". Mr. Cole is one of the few survivors of the genuine classic school, and constitutes a legitimate successor to the late Georgian poets. His development has been of extraordinary rapidity, and he will shortly surprise the amateur public both by a poetic drama called "The Pauper and the Prince", and by a long mythological poem not unlike Moore's "Lalla Rookh". The natural and pantheistic character of Mr. Cole's philosophy adapts him with phenomenal grace to his position as a mirror of classical antiquity. Another developing poet is Mr. Roy Wesley Nixon of Florida. "Grandma", his latest published composition, is a sonnet of real merit. Adam Dickson, a Scotsman by birth, but now a resident of Los Angeles, writes tunefully and pleasantly. His pieces are not yet of perfect polish, but each exhibits improvement over the preceding. He tends to favor the anapaest and the iambic tetrameter. Mrs. Ida Cochran Haughton of Columbus is scarcely a novice, but her latest pieces are undeniably showing a great increase of technical grace. Chester Pierce Munroe of North Carolina is[52] a delicate amatory lyrist of the Kleiner type. He has the quaint and attractive Georgian touch, particularly evident in "To Flavia" and "To Chloris". Miss M. Estella Shufelt is absolutely new to the kingdom of poesy, yet has already produced work of phenomenal sweetness and piety. Mrs. E. L. Whitehead, though formerly confined wholly to prose, has entered the poetical field with intelligent and discriminating care. Her words are thoughtfully weighed and selected, whilst her technique has rapidly assumed a scholarly exactitude. Two new poets whose work requires much technical improvement are Mrs. Agnes R. Arnold and Mr. George M. Whiteside. Mr. Whiteside has indications of qualities not far remote from genius, and would be well repaid by a rigorous course of study. Messrs. John Hartman Oswald and James Laurence Crowley are both gifted with a fluency and self-sufficiency which might prove valuable assets in a study of poesy. W. F. Booker of North Carolina possesses phenomenal grace, which greater technical care would develop into unusual power. Rev. Robert L. Selle, D. D., of Little Rock, Arkansas, is inspired by sincerest religious fervor, and has produced a voluminous quantity of verse whose orthodoxy is above dispute. Mrs. Maude K. Barton writes frequently and well, though her technical polish has not yet attained its maximum. John Osman Baldwin of Ohio is a natural poet of spontaneous grace, though requiring cultivation in correct style.

From the foregoing estimate it may easily be gathered that imperfect technique is the cardinal sin of the average amateur poet. We have among us scores of writers blest with beautiful thoughts and attractive fluency, yet the number of precise versifiers may be counted on one's fingers. Our association needs increased requirements in classic scholarship and literary exactitude. At present, it is impossible for an impartial critic to give unstinted approval to the technique of any well known United poet save Rheinhart Kleiner.

Turning to the consideration of our prose writers, the undersigned finds it difficult to render a true judgment, owing to the adverse conditions mentioned earlier in this report. Many fluent pens are doubtless cramped into feebleness through want of space.

Fiction is among us the least developed of all the branches of literature. Really good stories are rare phenomena, whilst even mediocrity is none too common. The best short stories of the year are probably those by M. Almedia Bretholl and Eleanor Barnhart; the others are mainly juvenile work. Roy W. Nixon and Miss Coralie Austin represent the extremes of excitement and tameness, with "A Bottle of Carbolic Acid" on the one hand, and with "Jane" and "'Twixt the Red and the White" on the other. Both of these authors possess substantial ability. David H. Whittier is developing along classic lines, and will be a prominent figure in the next generation of amateur journalists. Mr. Moe's pupils are all good story-tellers, the work of Miss Gladys L. Bagg standing forth quite prominently this year. Florence Brugger's "Tale of the Sea" is a graphic narrative from a youthful pen, as is William Dowdell's "Behind the Canvas Wall", in a somewhat different way. Henriette and Florenz Ziegfeld have each contributed excellent work, nor must Mary M. Sisson's "Tempora Mutantur" be forgotten.

The rather loosely defined domain of the "sketch" has thriven this year, since it elicits fluent expression from those less prolific in other branches of literature. Mr. Melvin Ryder has entertained us with an entire magazine of this sort of material, whilst Mrs. Ida C. Haughton, Irene Metzger, Benjamin Repp, Mary Faye Durr, Ethel Halsey, Clara Inglis Stalker, Freda de Larot, Helene E. Hoffman Cole, Helen M. Woodruff, Ira A. Cole, and Eloise N. Griffith prove no less entertaining with shorter sketches.

Criticism is well represented by Leo Fritter, Edna M. Haughton, Mrs. J. W. Renshaw, and Rheinhart Kleiner. The latter is no less gifted a critic than a poet, and gives out very acute judgments in his journal, The Piper.

In viewing the formal essays of the year, one is impressed with the profusion of mere schoolboy compositions. Masters of the Addisonian art are few but those few almost atone for the general lack of polish. Henry Clapham McGavack leads the list with a clarity of style and keenness of reasoning unsurpassed in the association. His "Dr. Burgess, Propagandist" is an amateur classic. Edgar Ralph Cheyney is an extreme radical, but is none the less a masterful essayist. His articles take a very high rank both for thoughtfulness and for diction. A third writer of unusual power and analytical depth is Arthur W. Ashby, whose[53] essays on the varied aspects of Nature command our serious attention. The two Schillings, George and Samuel, deserve more than a passing mention, whilst Pres. Fritter's Laureateship well attests his merit. Rev. E. P. Parham has produced work of attractive quality. Joseph W. Renshaw's essays and editorials command notice whenever beheld; whilst Ira A. Cole, ever versatile, will shortly display his epistolary skill in the now unpublished series of "Churchill-Tutcombie Letters". William T. Harrington has progressed by leaps and bounds to a prominent place amongst our essay-writers, his able encomiums of Old England being a delightful feature of the year. It would be gratifying to speak of Maurice W. Moe's splendid style and terse English at this point, for he is one of our very foremost essayists; but his enforced inactivity in amateur journalism this year has deprived us of any current specimens save the brief editorial in the February Pippin.

The general quality of our prose is by no means satisfactory. Too many of our authors are contaminated with modern theories which cause them to abandon grace, dignity, and precision, and to cultivate the lowest forms of slang.

Papers and magazines have been neither ample nor numerous this year; in fact, the tendency of the times appears to be a centralization of effort in THE UNITED AMATEUR; something which is for many reasons to be applauded, and for a few reasons to be deplored. Those members who feel capable of issuing individual papers should be encouraged to do so; whilst those who are ordinarily silent, should be encouraged to join the contributing staff of THE UNITED AMATEUR as provided by the Campbell amendment.

The best individual journal of the year is Ole Miss'. For frequency and regularity, The Scot, The Woodbee, The Dixie Booster, and The Coyote are to be commended. THE UNITED AMATEUR has prospered as a monthly despite adverse conditions. The elaborate September, October and February numbers put us in deep debt to Mr. Edward F. Daas, while subsequent examples of good editorship must be accredited to Mr. George Schilling. It is gratifying to note the increasing literary character of the Official Organ; purely official numbers are invariably tedious, many of the long, detailed reports being quite superfluous. It is a strong and sincere hope of the undersigned, that Mr. Daas may rejoin us at and after the present convention. The resumption of The Lake Breeze would supply a pressing need. Mr. Moitoret's Cleveland Sun, which promises to be a frequently issued paper, made its first appearance lately, and will, after much of its "loudness" has been removed, be of substantial benefit to new members. The "sporting" features should be eliminated at once, as not only being in bad taste, but exerting a noxious influence over the literary development of the younger members.
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« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2014, 09:39:10 pm »

While upon the subject of papers, the undersigned would like to enter a renewed protest against the persistent use of certain distorted forms of spelling commonly called "simplified". These wretched innovations, popular amongst the less educated element during the past decade, are now becoming offensively prominent in certain periodicals of supposedly better grade, and require concerted opposition on the part of all friends of our language. The advantages claimed for the changes are almost wholly unsubstantial, whilst the inevitable disadvantages are immense. Let us see fewer "thrus" and "thoros" in the amateur press!

What the association needs above all things is a return to earlier forms in prose and verse alike; to poetry that does not pain the ear, and paragraphs that do not affront the aesthetic sense of the reader. If our writers would pay more attention to the tasteful Georgian models, they would produce work of infinitely less cacophonous quality. Almost every one of our authors who is familiar with the literature of the past, is distinguished by exceptional grace and fluency of composition.

As this report draws toward its conclusion, a few minor aims of the Department of Public Criticism are to be noted. It is now the desire of the undersigned to aid authors in rectifying the injustices to which they are subjected by the wretched typography of most amateur journals. Writers are hereby encouraged to transmit to this Department corrected copies of all misprinted work, the corrections to be made public in THE UNITED AMATEUR. By this method it is hoped that no amateur journalist will again be forced to suffer for faults not his own, as so many have suffered in the past. Of course, the critical reports themselves are frequently misprinted, but the vast[54] majority of mistakes may with care be eliminated.

Concerning the name of this association, which a number wish changed in a manner that will eliminate the word "amateur", the undersigned feels that the sentiment of the veteran element is too strongly against such a move to warrant its immediate adoption. The primary object is the training of young writers before they have attained the professional grade, wherefore the present title is by no means such a misnomer as might be inferred from the talents of the more cultivated members. However, the proposed alteration is certainly justified in many ways, hence the idea should be deferred rather than abandoned altogether.

The wane of interest in amateur political affairs is to be commended as a recognition of the superior importance of literary matters. Amateur journalism is rapidly progressing nearer and nearer its ideal: a device for the instruction of the young and crude, and an aid for the obscure author of any sort, rather than a playground for the aimless and the frivolous.

Last of all, the undersigned wishes to thank the membership for its kind reception of the Department's reports. It is ever the Chairman's design to render impartial judgment, and if harshness or captiousness may at any time have been noticed in the reports, it has in each case been unintentional. An ideal of sound conservatism has been followed, but in no instance has the critic sought to enforce upon others that peculiarly archaic style of which he is personally fond, and which he is accustomed to employ in his own compositions. The Department of Public Criticism aspires to be of substantial assistance to the members of the United, and hopes next year to co-operate with Mr. Lockhart in presenting reviews of truly constructive quality.

Solicitous for the approval, and confident of the indulgence of the association, the Department herewith has the honor to conclude its first annual report; in the hope that such a summary of events and estimate of conditions may be of use to the incoming administration.
Department Of Public Criticism

The Amateur Special for July is a voluminous magazine of credentials and other work of new members, edited by Mrs. E. L. Whitehead, retiring Eastern Manuscript Manager, with the assistance of the Recruiting Committee. Of all papers lately issued in the United, this is without doubt among the most valuable and most significant; since it is the pioneer of the new regime, whereby the talent of all our membership is to be brought out by better publishing facilities. Mrs. Whitehead, with notable generosity, has reserved for herself but one page, on which we find a clever and correct bit of verse, and a number of graceful acknowledgments and useful suggestions. The contents in general are well calculated to display the thorough literary excellence and supremacy of the United in its present condition; for in this collection of stories, poems, and articles, taken practically at random from the manuscript bureaus, there is scarce a line unworthy of commendation.

"Tatting", by Julian J. Crump, is a fluent and graceful colloquial sketch. "Mother and Child", by J. E. Hoag, is a sombre and thoughtful poem having a certain atmosphere of mysticism. The metre, which is well handled, consists of regular iambic pentameter quatrains with a couplet at the conclusion. An annoying misprint mars the first stanza, where "sigh" is erroneously rendered as "sight". "Homesick for the Spring", a poem by Bessie Estelle Harvey, displays real merit in thought and construction alike. "Mother Earth", by Rev. E. P. Parham, is a well adorned little essay in justification of the traditional saying that "the earth is mother of us all". George M. Whiteside, a new member of the United, makes his first appearance before us as a poet in "The Little Freckled Face Kid". Mr. Whiteside's general style is not unlike that of the late James Whitcomb Riley, and its prevailing air of homely yet pleasing simplicity is well maintained. "To Chloris", by Chester Pierce Munroe, is a smooth and melodious amatory poem of the Kleiner school. The imagery is refined, and the polish of the whole amply justifies the inevitable triteness of the theme. The word "adorns", in next the last line, should read "adorn". "A Dream", by Helen Harriet Salls, is a hauntingly mystical succession of poetic[55] images cast in appropriate metre. The natural phenomena of the morning are vividly depicted in a fashion possible only to the true poet. The printer has done injustice to this exquisite phantasy in three places. In the first stanza "wonderous" should read "wondrous", while in the seventh stanza "arient" should be "orient". "Thou'st", in the eleventh stanza, should be "Thou'rt". "Prayers", a religious poem by Rev. Robert L. Selle, D. D., displays the classic touch of the eighteenth century in its regular octosyllabic couplets, having some resemblance to the work of the celebrated Dr. Watts. "Snow of the Northland", by M. Estella Shufelt, is a religious poem of different sort, whose tuneful dactylic quatrains contain much noble and appropriate metaphor. In the final line the word "re-cleaned" should read "re-cleansed". "In Passing By", by Sophie Lea Fox, is a meritorious poem of the thoughtful, introspective type, which has been previously honoured with professional publication. "A Time to Sing", by M. B. Andrews, introduces to the United another genuine poet of worth. The lines are happy in inspiration and finished in form, having only one possible defect, the use of "heralding" as a dissyllable. "The Stately Mountains", by Rev. Eugene B. Kuntz, D. D., is a notable contribution to amateur poetic literature. Dr. Kuntz chooses as his favourite metre the stately Alexandrine; and using it in a far more flexible and ingenious manner than that of Drayton, he manages to achieve a dignified and exalted atmosphere virtually impossible in any other measure. The even caesural break so common to Alexandrines, and so often urged by critics as an objection against them, is here avoided with great ingenuity and good taste. Dr. Kuntz's sentiments and phrases are as swelling and sublime as one might expect from his metre. His conception of Nature is a broad and noble one, and his appreciation of her beauties is that of the innate poet. "An April Memory" acquaints us with W. Frank Booker, a gifted lyrist whose lines possess all the warmth, witchery and grace of his native Southland. James J. Hennessey, in his essay on "The Army in Times of Peace", exhibits very forcibly the various indispensable services so quietly and efficiently performed by the United States Army in every-day life. Mr. Hennessey makes plain the great value of having among us a body of keen, versatile, and well-trained men ready for duty of any sort, and ever alert for their country's welfare in peace or in war. The American Soldier well deserves Mr. Hennessey's tribute, and the present essay adds one more to the already incontrovertible array of arguments in favour of an adequate military system. As printed, the article is marred by a superfluous letter "s" on the very last word, which should read "citizen". "Sowing the Good", a brief bit of moralizing by Horace Fowler Goodwin, contains a serious misprint, for the final word of line 1, stanza 2, should be "say". "Bobby's Literary Lesson", by Gladys L. Bagg, is a delightful specimen of domestic satire in prose. The handling of the conversation exhibits Miss Bagg as a writer of considerable skill and promise. "The Leaf", a clever poem of Nature by Emily Barksdale, contains some gruesome atrocities by the printer. In the second stanza "it's" should be "it", and "wonderous" should be "wondrous". In the third stanza the typographical artist has killed a pretty woodland "copse" with the letter "r", so that it reads "corpse"! In the fourth stanza "head" should read "heard". Perhaps the "r" which murdered the "copse" escaped from this sadly mutilated word! In stanza five, "Chaots" should be "chants". But why continue the painful chronicle? Mr. Kleiner said just what we would like to say about misprints over a year ago, when he wrote "The Rhyme of the Hapless Poet"! "Submission", by Eugene B. Kuntz, is a delightful bit of light prose, forming the autobiography of a much-rejected manuscript. This piece well exhibits Dr. Kuntz's remarkable versatility. The humour is keen, and nowhere overstrained. "Number 1287", a short story by Gracia Isola Yarbrough, exhibits many of the flaws of immature work, yet contains graphic touches that promise well for the author. The lack of unity in plot and development detracts somewhat from the general effect, while the unusual lapses of time and artificial working up of the later situations are also antagonistic to technical polish. Triteness is present, but that is to be expected in all amateur fiction. "A Drama of Business", by Edgar Ralph Cheyney, is a terse bit of prose which might well serve as an editorial in a liberal literary[56] magazine. "The Schools of Yesterday and Today", a sketch by Selma Guilford, presents in pleasing fashion an interesting and optimistic contrast. In "Mother", George M. Whiteside treats a noble theme in rather skilful fashion, though the rhyming of "breezes" and "trees is" can hardly be deemed suitable in a serious poem. "When the Sea Calls", a poem by Winifred Virginia Jordan, is possibly the most striking feature of the magazine. Mrs. Jordan's style in dealing with the wilder aspects of Nature has a grim potency all its own, and we can endorse without qualification the judgment of Mr. Moe when he calls this poem "positively magnificent in dynamic effect". To Mrs. Jordan is granted a natural poetic genius which few other amateurs can hope to parallel. Not many of our literary artists can so aptly fit words to weird or unusual passages, or so happily command all the advantages of alliteration and onomatopoeia. We believe that Mrs. Jordan's amateur eminence will eventually ripen into professional recognition. "Preachers in Politics", by Rev. James Thomas Self, is a long, thoughtful, and extremely well phrased essay against the descent of the ministry to the uncertain affairs of practical legislation. Dr. Self has a just idea of the dignity of the cloth; an idea which some clergymen of less conservative habits would do well to acquire. Very painful is the sight of the slang-mouthing "evangelist" who deserts his pulpit for the stump or the circus-tent. "Peace, Germany!", a poem by Maude Kingsbury Barton, constitutes an appeal to the present outlaw among nations. We feel, however, that it is only from London that Germany will eventually be convinced of the futility of her pseudo-Napoleonic enterprise. And when peace does come to Germany, it will be British-made peace! The structure of Mrs. Barton's poem is regular, and many of the images are very well selected. The worst misprints are those in the sixth stanza, where "in" is omitted before the word "pomp", and in the seventh stanza where "come" is printed as "came". In the biographical sketch entitled "Two Lives", Helen Hamilton draws a powerful moral from the contrasting but contemporaneous careers of Florence Nightingale and the ex-Empress Eugenie. "Class-Room Spirits I Have Known", an essay by Bessie Estelle Harvey, displays a sound comprehension of pedagogical principles. Two more poems by Mrs. Jordan conclude the issue. "The Time of Peach Tree Bloom" is the fourth of the "Songs from Walpi", three of which appeared in THE UNITED AMATEUR. "In a Garden" is a gem of delightful delicacy and ethereal elegance. It is indeed not without just cause that the author has, from the very first, held the distinction of being the most frequent poetical contributor in all amateur journalism.

The Cleveland Sun for June is the first number of an amateur newspaper edited by Anthony F. Moitoret, Edwin D. Harkins, and William J. Dowdell; and remarkable for an excellent heading, drawn by a staff artist of the Cleveland Leader. The present issue is printed in close imitation of the modern professional daily, and displays some interesting examples of "newspaper English". Mr. Moitoret is an old-time United man, now reentering the sphere of activity, and he is to be commended warmly both for his generous attitude toward the new members, and for his really magnanimous offer of aid to those desirous of issuing individual papers. His editorial hostility toward the Campbell amendment is, we believe, mistaken; yet is none the less founded on a praiseworthy desire to serve what he deems the best interests of the Association. Were Mr. Moitoret more in touch with the rising ideals of the newer United, he would realize the essential childishness of our "official business" as contrasted with the substantial solidity of our developing literature. Possibly the plan of Mr. Campbell, as experimentally tried during the present year, will alter Mr. Moitoret's present opinion. Taken altogether, we are not sure whether the Sun will prove beneficial or harmful to the United. We most assuredly need some sort of stimulus to activity, yet the comparatively crude atmosphere of newspaperdom is anything but inspiring in a literary society. We cannot descend from the ideals of Homer to those of Hearst without a distinct loss of quality, for which no possible gain in mere enthusiasm can compensate. Headlines such as "Columbus Bunch Boosting Paul" or "Hep Still Shows Pep", are positive affronts to the dignity of amateur journalism. There is room for an alert and informing news sheet in the United, yet we feel certain that the Sun must become a far more sedate and[57] scholarly publication before it can adequately supply the need. At present, its garish rays dazzle and blind more than they illuminate; in a perusal of its pages we experience more of sunstroke than of sunshine. Of "The Best Sport Page In Amateurdom" we find it difficult to speak or write. Not since perusing the delectable lines of "Tom Crib's Memorial to Congress", by jovial old "Anacreon Moore", have we beheld such an invasion of prize-fight philosophy and race-track rhetoric. We learn with interest that a former United member named "Handsome Harry" has now graduated from literature to left field, and has, through sheer genius, risen from the lowly level of the ambitious author, to the exalted eminence of the classy slugger. Too proud to push the pen, he now swats the pill. Of such doth the dizzy quality of sempiternal Fame consist! Speaking without levity, we cannot but censure Mr. Dowdell's introduction of the ringside or ball-field spirit into an Association purporting to promote culture and lettered skill. Our members can scarcely be expected to place the Stygian-hued John Arthur Johnson, Esq., on a pedestal beside his well-known namesake Samuel; or calmly to compare the stinging wit of a Sidney Smith with the stinging fist-cuffs of a "Gunboat" Smith. In a word, what is suited to the street-corner is not always suited to the library, and the taste of the United is as yet but imperfectly attuned to the lyrical liltings of the pool-room Muse. It is both hard and unwise to take the "Best Sport Page" seriously. As a copy of "yellow" models it is a work of artistic verisimilitude; indeed, were Mr. Dowdell a somewhat older man, we might justly suspect a satirical intention on his part.

We trust that The Cleveland Sun may shine on without cloud or setting, though we must needs hope that the United's atmosphere of academic refinement will temper somewhat the scorching glare with which the bright orb has risen.

The Conservative for April opens with Andrew Francis Lockhart's melodious and attractive poem entitled "Benediction". As a whole, this is possibly the best piece of verse which Mr. Lockhart has yet written; the sentiment is apt, if not entirely novel, whilst the technical construction is well-nigh faultless. Such expressions as "pearl-scarr'd" serve to exhibit the active and original quality of Mr. Lockhart's genius. "Another Endless Day", by Rheinhart Kleiner, is a beautiful and harmonious poetical protest against monotony. Much to be regretted is the misprint in line 3 of the third stanza, where the text should read:
"A love to thrill with new delight".
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« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2014, 09:39:40 pm »

"April", by Winifred Virginia Jordan, is a seasonable and extremely tuneful poem whose imagery is of that dainty, sprightly sort which only Mrs. Jordan can create. "In Morven's Mead", also by Mrs. Jordan, contains an elusive and haunting suggestion of the unreal, in the author's characteristic style. "The Night Wind Bared My Heart" completes a highly meritorious trilogy. In justice to the author, it should be stated that the last of these three poems is, as here presented, merely a rough draft. Through our own reprehensible editorial oversight, the printer received this unpolished copy instead of the finished poem. The following emendations should be observed:

Stanza I, line 4, to read: "Awak'd my anguish'd sighs".

Stanza II, line 3, to read: "But Oh, from grief were prest".

"The Best Wine", by William de Ryee, is an earnestly introspective poem, well cast in iambic pentameter quatrains. "Ye Ballade of Patrick von Flynn" is a comic delineation of the cheap pseudo-Irish, England-hating agitators who have been so offensively noisy on this side of the Atlantic ever since the European war began, and particularly since the late riots in Dublin. This class, which so sadly misrepresents the loyal Irish people, deserves but little patience from Americans. Its members stutter childishly about "breaches of neutrality" every time a real American dares speak a word in favour of the Mother Country; yet they constantly violate neutrality themselves in their clumsy attempts to use the United States as a catspaw against England. The actual German propagandists have the excuse of patriotism for their race and Vaterland, but these Hibernian hybrids, neither good Irishmen nor good Americans, have no excuse whatever when they try to subvert the functions of the country which is giving them protection and livelihood.

The Conservative for July pays a deserved tribute to one of the most lucid and acute of[58] our amateur essayists, by devoting the entire issue to his work. Henry Clapham McGavack, in "The American Proletariat versus England", exposes with admirable fearlessness the silly Anglophobic notions which a mistaken conception of the Revolution, and an ignorant Irish population, have diffused among our lower classes. It is seldom that an author ventures to speak so frankly on this subject, for the servile tendency of the times impels most writers and publishers to play the demagogue by essaying to feed the Irish masses with the anti-English swill they desire; but Mr. McGavack wields an independent pen, and records the truth without fear of the mobile vulgus and its shallow views. In power, directness, urbanity, and impartiality, Mr. McGavack cannot be excelled. He marshals his arguments without passion, bias, or circumlocution; piling proof upon proof until none but the most stubborn England-hater can fail to blush at the equal injustice and stupidity of those who malign that mighty empire to whose earth-wide circle of civilisation we all belong.

The Coyote for April is a Special English Number, dedicated to our soldier-member, George William Stokes of Newcastle-on-Tyne. The opening poem "To England", well exhibits the versatility of Mrs. Winifred V. Jordan, who here appears as a national panegyrist of commendable dignity and unexceptionable taste. The word at the beginning of the fourth line should read "Is" instead of "To". The short yet stirring metre is particularly well selected. "Active English Amateurs I Have Met", by Ernest A. Dench, is a rather good prose piece, though not without marks of careless composition. "The Vultur", by Henry J. Winterbone of the B. A. P. A., is a remarkably good story whose development and conclusion would do credit to a professional pen. We hope Mr. Winterbone may join the United, thereby giving American readers a more ample opportunity to enjoy his work. Editor William T. Harrington, whose prose is so rapidly acquiring polish and fluency, contributes two brief but able essays: "History Repeats" and "How Great Britain Keeps Her Empire". In "History Repeats", certain parts of the second sentence might well be amended a trifle in structure, to read thus: "it must be remembered that the first half was a series of victories for the South, and that only after the Battle of Gettysburg did the strength of the North begin to assert itself". This number of The Coyote is an exceedingly timely and tasteful tribute to our Mother Country, appearing at an hour when the air of America reeks with the illiterate anti-British trash of the "Sinn Fein" simpletons and Prussian propagandists.

Invictus for July is the second number of Mr. Paul J. Campbell's personal organ, and represents the strictly individual magazine in its most tasteful and elaborate form. Unimpeachably artistic in appearance, its contents justify the exterior; the whole constituting a publication of the first rank, wherein are joined the virtues both of the old and of the new schools of amateur journalism. Since Mr. Campbell is preeminently an essayist, it is to his dissertations on "The Pursuit of Happiness" and "The Age of Accuracy" which we turn most eagerly; and which in no way disappoint our high expectations. The first of these essays is a dispassionate survey of mankind in its futile but frantic scramble after that elusive but unreal sunbeam called "happiness". The author views the grimly amusing procession of human life with the genuine objective of an impartial spectator, and with commendable freedom from the hypocritical colouring of those who permit commonplace emotions and tenuous idealizings to obscure the less roseate but more substantial vision of their intellects. "The Age of Accuracy" presents an inspiring panorama of the evolution of Intellect, and of its increasing domination over the more elemental faculties of instinct and emotion. At the same time, much material for reflection is furnished, since it is obvious that the advance is necessarily confined to a comparatively small and select part of humanity. Instinct and emotion are still forces of tremendous magnitude, against which Reason wages an upward struggle of incredible bravery. Only the strong can escape the clutch of the primitive, wherefore there can be no successful social order which does not conform in its essentials to the blind impulses of the natural man or man-ape. We are in danger of overestimating the ascendancy and stability of Reason, for it is in reality the most fragile and rudimentary element in our mortal fabric. A heavy blow on certain parts of the skull, or a bullet in certain parts of the brain,[59] can destroy in an instant all the accumulated intellect which aeons of heredity have bestowed, depressing the victim from the zenith of culture and refinement to a condition separated only by colour and contour from that of the negro or the gorilla; yet not all the edicts of the lawgiver, devices of the educator, measures of the reformer, or skill of the surgeon, can extirpate the ingrained instincts and seated superstitions of the average human animal.

The poetry of Mr. Campbell is represented in Invictus by three specimens, whose merit speaks well for the author's progress in the art. "The Sunshine Girl" is an amatory panegyric of no small skill and polish, though not strikingly novel in sentiment or expression. "German Kultur" is a scathing and virile indictment of the present enemies of humanity. The versification is bold, and in places rugged, whilst the imagery is appropriately grim and sardonic. Points which we might criticise are the repeated use of "civilization" as a word of only four syllables, and the archaic pronunciation of "drown-ed" as a dissyllable. This latter usage would be objectionable in verse of stately or conservative cast, but here grates upon the ear as an anachronism. The trenchant wit of the piece is well sustained, and brought out with particular force in the second and fourth stanzas. "The Major Strain" is without doubt the foremost verse of the issue. This is real poetry. The sustained rhyming, whereby each stanza contains only one rhyming sound, is pleasing and unusual. Mr. Campbell's comment on "Amateur Affairs" really deserves to be classed as an essay, for its thoughtful conclusions and intelligent analyses of human nature certainly draw it within the pale of true literature. The broad comprehension and continued love of amateur journalism here exhibited, are potent justifications of the author's practically unanimous election to the Presidency of the United. Invictus is one of the very foremost journals of the amateur world, and the only possible objection which can be raised against it, is its infrequency of appearance. It is the voice of a virile and vibrant personality who unites vigour of thought with urbanity of expression.

The Scot for May marks the advent of this highly entertaining and well conducted magazine to the United, and extends the northern frontier of amateur journalism to Bonnie Dundee, in Auld Scotland, the Land of Mountain and Flood. "Hidden Beauty", a poem in blank verse by R. M. Ingersley, opens the issue with a combination of lofty conceptions, vivid imagery, and regular structure. "England's Glory", by Clyde Dane, is a stirring tale of that fearless and self-sacrificing honour which has given to the Anglo-Saxon the supremacy of the world. It would be in bad taste to cavil at slight technical imperfections or instances of triteness when considering so earnest and glowing a delineation of the British character; the noblest human type ever moulded by the Creator. "Oh Rose, Red Rose!" is a tuneful little lyric by Winifred V. Jordan, whose work is never too brief to be pleasing, or too long to be absorbing. "Clemency versus Frightfulness", by William T. Harrington, is a thoughtful and lucid exposition of the British governmental ideal of lenient justice; an ideal whose practical success has vividly demonstrated its thorough soundness. "At Last", by Muriel Wilson, is a blank verse poem of much merit. "Do You Remember?", by the late Lieut. Roy Arthur Thackara, R. N., is a delicate sketch possessing the additional interest of coming from the pen of one who has now given his life for King and Country; the author having gone down with H. M. S. India. "A Battle with the Sea", a sketch by Midshipman Ernest L. McKeag, exhibits descriptive power of no common order, yet might well have a less abrupt conclusion. "To Some One", by Margaret Trafford, is a poem in dactylic measure, dedicated to the women of Britain. The sentiment is noble, and the encomium well bestowed, though the metre could be improved in polish. "Gum", by Henry J. Winterbone, is a delightfully humorous sketch. It is evident that those who depreciate British humour must have taken pains to avoid its perusal, since it has a quietly pungent quality seldom found save among Anglo-Saxons. Personally, we believe that the summit of clumsy pseudo-jocoseness is attained by the average "comic" supplement of the Hearst Sunday papers. These, and not the British press, present the pathetic spectacle of utter inanity and repulsive grotesqueness without the faintest redeeming touch of genuine comedy, legitimate satire, or refined humour. "Life's Voyage", by Matthew Hilson, is a poem of great attractiveness, though of scarcely impeccable construction.[60] Concerning the expression "tempests wild do roar", we must reiterate the advice of Mr. Pope, who condemned the expletive "do", "doth", or "did" as a "feeble aid". Such usage has, in fact, been in bad taste ever since the reign of Queen Anne; Dryden being the last bard in whom we need not censure the practice. Mr. McColl's editorials are brief but informing. He may well be congratulated on his work as a publisher, and he certainly deserves as hearty a welcome as the United can give.

The Scot for June is a "British Old-Timers' Number", confined wholly to the work of the senior amateur journalists of the Mother Country. Edward F. Herdman, to whom this number is dedicated, opens the issue with a religious poem entitled "Life", which compares well with the bulk of current religious verse. Mr. Herdman also contributes one of several prose essays on amateur journalism, in which the various authors view our field of endeavor from similar angles. "A Song of a Sailor", by R. D. Roosemale-Cocq, exhibits buoyant animation, and considerable ease in the handling of a rollicking measure. The internal rhymes are for the most part well introduced, though greater uniformity might have been used in their distribution. The first two lines have none. In the last stanza there are two lines whose metre seems deficient, but being conscious of the uncertainties of the secretarial and typographical arts, we suspend judgment on the author. "A Song of Cheer", by Alfred H. Pearce, is an optimistic ode of real merit. The last line furnishes a particularly pleasing example of sprightly wit. Mr. Gavin T. McColl is sensible and perspicuous in all his editorial utterances. His work in issuing one of the only two regular monthly magazines in amateurdom has already brought him to prominence, though his connexion with the press associations is still new.

THE UNITED AMATEUR for June is given over largely to critical and official matter, though two pieces of verse serve to vary the monotony. "Content", from our own pen, is an answer to Mr. Rheinhart Kleiner's delightful poem in the April Conservative, entitled "Another Endless Day". The lines are notable chiefly on account of some fearful and wonderful typographical errors. In the fourth line "sublime" should read "sublimer". In the eighth line there should be no apostrophe in the word "stars". In the second column, eleventh line from the end, there should be no apostrophe in the word "fathers", and finally, in the ninth line from the end, "hollow'd" should read "hallow'd". "The Swing in the Great Oak Tree", by Mrs. Agnes Richmond Arnold, is a reminiscent poem whose measure is as swinging as its subject, and whose atmosphere is pleasantly rural. There are flaws in the metre, and irregularities in the rhyming arrangement, but the spirit of the whole rises blithesomely above such slight technical matters. Editor Schilling's column is to be praised for its dignified style, and endorsed for its sound opinions.

The Woodbee for July is an attractive and important contribution to the history of amateur journalism; since it is entirely devoted to the biographies of the gifted Columbus amateurs, and to the annals of their brilliant local organization. The Woodbees undoubtedly form the most active and representative adult club in the United; to which only the Appleton Club, representing the juvenile Muse, may justly be compared. The Woodbees are typical, in a sense, of all that is best in the entire association. They are pursuing courses of serious literary study, producing a regularly issued magazine of unfailing merit and good taste, working enthusiastically for the welfare and expansion of the United, and leading or following every worthy or progressive movement in amateur politics. They reflect credit upon themselves, their society, the Association, and amateur journalism as a whole. The delightful biographical article which occupies the major portion of the current Woodbee is unsigned; but deserves particular praise, whoever the author may be. The various characters are well displayed, and their pleasing qualities and manifold activities well exhibited.

Mr. Fritter's editorials are as usual timely, lucid, and sensible. His advocacy of the Campbell Amendment is to be applauded; and will, we trust, be justified by the year's trial which that measure is now undergoing. The present issue marks the conclusion of Mr. Fritter's term as editor. He has given the amateur public a creditable volume, and is entitled to the gratitude of every member of our Association. A final word of praise is due the excellent group photograph of the Woodbees which forms the frontispiece of the magazine. Added to the biographical matter, it completes a thoroughly commendable introduction to a thoroughly commendable body of literary workers.
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Volume XVI
Number 4
The Alchemist

High up, crowning the grassy summit of a swelling mound whose sides are wooded near the base with the gnarled trees of the primeval forest, stands the old chateau of my ancestors. For centuries its lofty battlements have frowned down upon the wild and rugged countryside about, serving as a home and stronghold for the proud house whose honoured line is older even than the moss-grown castle walls. These ancient turrets, stained by the storms of generations and crumbling under the slow yet mighty pressure of time, formed in the ages of feudalism one of the most dreaded and formidable fortresses in all France. From its machicolated parapets and mounted battlements Barons, Counts, and even Kings had been defied, yet never had its spacious halls resounded to the footstep of the invader.

But since those glorious years all is changed. A poverty but little above the level of dire want, together with a pride of name that forbids its alleviation by the pursuits of commercial life, have prevented the scions of our line from maintaining their estates in pristine splendour; and the falling stones of the walls, the overgrown vegetation in the parks, the dry and dusty moat, the ill-paved courtyards, and toppling towers without, as well as the sagging floors, the worm-eaten wainscots, and the faded tapestries within, all tell a gloomy tale of fallen grandeur. As the ages passed, first one, then another of the four great turrets were left to ruin, until at last but a single tower housed the sadly reduced descendants of the once mighty lords of the estate.

It was in one of the vast and gloomy chambers of this remaining tower that I, Antoine, last of the unhappy and accursed Comtes de C——, first saw the light of day, ninety long years ago. Within these walls, and amongst the dark and shadowy forests, the wild ravines and grottoes of the hillside below, were spent the first years of my troubled life. My parents I never knew. My father had been killed at the age of thirty-two, a month before I was born, by the fall of a stone somehow dislodged from one of the deserted parapets of the castle, and my mother having died at my birth, my care and education devolved solely upon one remaining servitor, an old and trusted man of considerable intelligence, whose name I remember as Pierre. I was an only child, and the lack of companionship which this fact entailed upon me was augmented by the strange care exercised by my aged guardian in excluding me from the society of the peasant children whose abodes were scattered here and there upon the plains that surround the base of the hill. At the time, Pierre said that this restriction was imposed upon me because my noble birth placed me above association with such plebeian company. Now I know that its real object was to keep from my ears the idle tales of the dread curse upon our line, that were nightly told and magnified by the simple tenantry as they conversed in hushed accents in the glow of their cottage hearths.

Thus isolated, and thrown upon my own resources, I spent the hours of my childhood in poring over the ancient tomes that filled the shadow-haunted library of the chateau, and in roaming without aim or purpose through the perpetual dusk of the spectral wood that clothes the sides of the hill near its foot. It was perhaps an effect of such surroundings that my mind early acquired a shade of melancholy. Those studies and pursuits which partake of the dark and occult in nature most strongly claimed my attention.

Of my own race I was permitted to learn singularly little, yet what small knowledge of it I was able to gain, seemed to depress me much. Perhaps it was at first only the manifest reluctance of my old preceptor to discuss[62] with me my paternal ancestry that gave rise to the terror which I ever felt at the mention of my great house, yet as I grew out of childhood, I was able to piece together disconnected fragments of discourse, let slip from the unwilling tongue which had begun to falter in approaching senility, that had a sort of relation to a certain circumstance which I had always deemed strange, but which now became dimly terrible. The circumstance to which I allude is the early age at which all the Comtes of my line had met their end. Whilst I had hitherto considered this but a natural attribute of a family of short-lived men, I afterward pondered long upon these premature deaths, and began to connect them with the wanderings of the old man, who often spoke of a curse which for centuries had prevented the lives of the holders of my title from much exceeding the span of thirty-two years. Upon my twenty-first birthday, the aged Pierre gave to me a family document which he said had for many generations been handed down from father to son, and continued by each possessor. Its contents were of the most startling nature, and its perusal confirmed the gravest of my apprehensions. At this time, my belief in the supernatural was firm and deep-seated, else I should have dismissed with scorn the incredible narrative unfolded before my eyes.

The paper carried me back to the days of the thirteenth century, when the old castle in which I sat had been a feared and impregnable fortress. It told of a certain ancient man who had once dwelt on our estates, a person of no small accomplishments, though little above the rank of peasant; by name, Michel, usually designated by the surname of Mauvais, the Evil, on account of his sinister reputation. He had studied beyond the custom of his kind, seeking such things as the Philosopher's Stone, or the Elixir of Eternal Life, and was reputed wise in the terrible secrets of Black Magic and Alchemy. Michel Mauvais had one son, named Charles, a youth as proficient as himself in the hidden arts, and who had therefore been called Le Sorcier, or the Wizard. This pair, shunned by all honest folk, were suspected of the most hideous practices. Old Michel was said to have burnt his wife alive as a sacrifice to the Devil, and the unaccountable disappearances of many small peasant children were laid at the dreaded door of these two. Yet through the dark natures of the father and the son ran one redeeming ray of humanity; the evil old man loved his offspring with fierce intensity, whilst the youth had for his parent a more than filial affection.

One night the castle on the hill was thrown into the wildest confusion by the vanishment of young Godfrey, son to Henri, the Comte. A searching party, headed by the frantic father, invaded the cottage of the sorcerers and there came upon old Michel Mauvais, busy over a huge and violently boiling cauldron. Without certain cause, in the ungoverned madness of fury and despair, the Comte laid hands on the aged wizard, and ere he released his murderous hold his victim was no more. Meanwhile joyful servants were proclaiming aloud the finding of young Godfrey in a distant and unused chamber of the great edifice, telling too late that poor Michel had been killed in vain. As the Comte and his associates turned away from the lowly abode of the alchemists, the form of Charles Le Sorcier appeared through the trees. The excited chatter of the menials standing about told him what had occurred, yet he seemed at first unmoved at his father's fate. Then, slowly advancing to meet the Comte, he pronounced in dull yet terrible accents the curse that ever afterward haunted the house of C——.
"May ne'er a noble of thy murd'rous line Survive to reach a greater age than thine!"

spake he, when, suddenly leaping backwards into the black wood, he drew from his tunic a phial of colourless liquid which he threw in the face of his father's slayer as he disappeared behind the inky curtain of the night. The Comte died without utterance, and was buried the next day, but little more than two and thirty years from the hour of his birth. No trace of the assassin could be found, though relentless bands of peasants scoured the neighboring woods and the meadow-land around the hill.

Thus time and the want of a reminder dulled the memory of the curse in the minds of the late Comte's family, so that when Godfrey, innocent cause of the whole tragedy and now bearing the title, was killed by an arrow whilst hunting, at the age of thirty-two, there were no thoughts save those of grief at his demise. But when, years afterward, the next young Comte, Robert by name, was found dead in a nearby field from no apparent cause, the peasants told in whispers that their seigneur had[63] but lately passed his thirty-second birthday when surprised by early death. Louis, son to Robert, was found drowned in the moat at the same fateful age, and thus down through the centuries ran the ominous chronicle; Henris, Roberts, Antoines, and Armands snatched from happy and virtuous lives when a little below the age of their unfortunate ancestor at his murder.

That I had left at most but eleven years of further existence was made certain to me by the words which I read. My life, previously held at small value, now became dearer to me each day, as I delved deeper and deeper into the mysteries of the hidden world of black magic. Isolated as I was, modern science had produced no impression upon me, and I laboured as in the Middle Ages, as wrapt as had been old Michel and young Charles themselves in the acquisition of demonological and alchemical learning. Yet read as I might, in no manner could I account for the strange curse upon my line. In unusually rational moments, I would even go so far as to seek a natural explanation, attributing the early deaths of my ancestors to the sinister Charles Le Sorcier and his heirs; yet having found upon careful inquiry that there were no known descendants of the alchemist, I would fall back to my occult studies, and once more endeavour to find a spell that would release my house from its terrible burden. Upon one thing I was absolutely resolved. I should never wed, for since no other branches of my family were in existence, I might thus end the curse with myself.

As I drew near the age of thirty, old Pierre was called to the land beyond. Alone I buried him beneath the stones of the courtyard about which he had loved to wander in life. Thus was I left to ponder on myself as the only human creature within the great fortress, and in my utter solitude my mind began to cease its vain protest against the impending doom, to become almost reconciled to the fate which so many of my ancestors had met. Much of my time was now occupied in the exploration of the ruined and abandoned halls and towers of the old chateau, which in youth fear had caused me to shun, and some of which old Pierre had once told me had not been trodden by human foot for over four centuries. Strange and awsome were many of the objects I encountered. Furniture, covered by the dust of ages and crumbling with the rot of long dampness met my eyes. Cobwebs in a profusion never before seen by me were spun everywhere, and huge bats flapped their bony and uncanny wings on all sides of the otherwise untenanted gloom.

Of my exact age, even down to days and hours, I kept a most careful record, for each movement of the pendulum of the massive clock in the library tolled off so much more of my doomed existence. At length I approached that time which I had so long viewed with apprehension. Since most of my ancestors had been seized some little while before they reached the exact age of the Comte Henri at his end, I was every moment on the watch for the coming of the unknown death. In what strange form the curse should overtake me, I knew not; but I was resolved at least that it should not find me a cowardly or a passive victim. With new vigour I applied myself to my examination of the old chateau and its contents.

It was upon one of the longest of all my excursions of discovery in the deserted portion of the castle, less than a week before that fatal hour which I felt must mark the utmost limit of my stay on earth, beyond which I could have not even the slightest hope of continuing to draw breath, that I came upon the culminating event of my whole life. I had spent the better part of the morning in climbing up and down half ruined staircases in one of the most dilapidated of the ancient turrets. As the afternoon progressed, I sought the lower levels, descending into what appeared to be either a mediaeval place of confinement, or a more recently excavated storehouse for gunpowder. As I slowly traversed the nitre-encrusted passageway at the foot of the last staircase, the paving became very damp, and soon I saw by the light of my flickering torch that a blank, water-stained wall impeded my journey. Turning to retrace my steps, my eye fell upon a small trap-door with a ring, which lay directly beneath my feet. Pausing, I succeeded with difficulty in raising it, whereupon there was revealed a black aperture, exhaling noxious fumes which caused my torch to sputter, and disclosing in the unsteady glare the top of a flight of stone steps. As soon as the torch, which I lowered into the repellent depths, burned freely and steadily, I commenced my descent. The steps were many, and led to a narrow stone-flagged passage which I knew must be far underground. This passage proved of great length, and terminated in a massive oaken[64] door, dripping with the moisture of the place, and stoutly resisting all my attempts to open it. Ceasing after a time my efforts in this direction, I had proceeded back some distance toward the steps, when there suddenly fell to my experience one of the most profound and maddening shocks capable of reception by the human mind. Without warning, I heard the heavy door behind me creak slowly open upon its rusted hinges. My immediate sensations are incapable of analysis. To be confronted in a place as thoroughly deserted as I had deemed the old castle with evidence of the presence of man or spirit, produced in my brain a horror of the most acute description. When at last I turned and faced the seat of the sound, my eyes must have started from their orbits at the sight that they beheld. There in the ancient Gothic doorway stood a human figure. It was that of a man clad in a skull-cap and long mediaeval tunic of dark colour. His long hair and flowing beard were of a terrible and intense black hue, and of incredible profusion. His forehead, high beyond the usual dimensions; his cheeks, deep sunken and heavily lined with wrinkles; and his hands, long, claw-like and gnarled, were of such a deathly, marble-like whiteness as I have never elsewhere seen in man. His figure, lean to the proportions of a skeleton, was strangely bent and almost lost within the voluminous folds of his peculiar garment. But strangest of all were his eyes; twin caves of abysmal blackness; profound in expression of understanding, yet inhuman in degree of wickedness. These were now fixed upon me, piercing my soul with their hatred, and rooting me to the spot whereon I stood. At last the figure spoke in a rumbling voice that chilled me through with its dull hollowness and latent malevolence. The language in which the discourse was clothed was that debased form of Latin in use amongst the more learned men of the Middle Ages, and made familiar to me by my prolonged researches into the works of the old alchemists and demonologists. The apparition spoke of the curse which had hovered over my house, told me of my coming end, dwelt on the wrong perpetrated by my ancestor against old Michel Mauvais, and gloated over the revenge of Charles Le Sorcier. He told me how the young Charles had escaped into the night, returning in after years to kill Godfrey the heir with an arrow just as he approached the age which had been his father's at his assassination; how he had secretly returned to the estate and established himself, unknown, in the even then deserted subterranean chamber whose doorway now framed the hideous narrator; how he had seized Robert, son of Godfrey, in a field, forced poison down his throat and left him to die at the age of thirty-two, thus maintaining the foul provisions of his vengeful curse. At this point I was left to imagine the solution of the greatest mystery of all, how the curse had been fulfilled since that time when Charles Le Sorcier must in the course of nature have died, for the man digressed into an account of the deep alchemical studies of the two wizards, father and son, speaking most particularly of the researches of Charles Le Sorcier concerning the elixir which should grant to him who partook of it eternal life and youth.
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His enthusiasm had seemed for the moment to remove from his terrible eyes the hatred that had at first so haunted them, but suddenly the fiendish glare returned, and with a shocking sound like the hissing of a serpent, the stranger raised a glass phial with the evident intent of ending my life as had Charles Le Sorcier, six hundred years before, ended that of my ancestor. Prompted by some preserving instinct of self-defense, I broke through the spell that had hitherto held me immovable, and flung my now dying torch at the creature who menaced my existence. I heard the phial break harmlessly against the stones of the passage as the tunic of the strange man caught fire and lit the horrid scene with a ghastly radiance. The shriek of fright and impotent malice emitted by the would-be assassin proved too much for my already shaken nerves, and I fell prone upon the slimy floor in a total faint.

When at last my senses returned, all was frightfully dark, and my mind remembering what had occurred, shrank from the idea of beholding more; yet curiosity overmastered all. Who, I asked myself, was this man of evil, and how came he within the castle walls? Why should he seek to avenge the death of poor Michel Mauvais, and how had the curse been carried on through all the long centuries since the time of Charles Le Sorcier? The dread of years was lifted off my shoulders, for I knew that he whom I had felled was the source of all my danger from the curse; and now that I was free, I burned with the desire to learn more of the sinister thing which had haunted my line[65] for centuries, and made of my own youth one long-continued nightmare. Determined upon further exploration, I felt in my pockets for flint and steel, and lit the unused torch which I had with me. First of all, the new light revealed the distorted and blackened form of the mysterious stranger. The hideous eyes were now closed. Disliking the sight, I turned away and entered the chamber beyond the Gothic door. Here I found what seemed much like an alchemist's laboratory. In one corner was an immense pile of a shining yellow metal that sparkled gorgeously in the light of the torch. It may have been gold, but I did not pause to examine it, for I was strangely affected by that which I had undergone. At the farther end of the apartment was an opening leading out into one of the many wild ravines of the dark hillside forest. Filled with wonder, yet now realizing how the man had obtained access to the chateau, I proceeded to return. I had intended to pass by the remains of the stranger with averted face, but as I approached the body, I seemed to hear emanating from it a faint sound, as though life were not yet wholly extinct. Aghast, I turned to examine the charred and shrivelled figure on the floor.

Then all at once the horrible eyes, blacker even than the seared face in which they were set, opened wide with an expression which I was unable to interpret. The cracked lips tried to frame words which I could not well understand. Once I caught the name of Charles Le Sorcier, and again I fancied that the words "years" and "curse" issued from the twisted mouth. Still I was at a loss to gather the purport of his disconnected speech. At my evident ignorance of his meaning, the pitchy eyes once more flashed malevolently at me, until, helpless as I saw my opponent to be, I trembled as I watched him.

Suddenly the wretch, animated with his last burst of strength, raised his hideous head from the damp and sunken pavement. Then, as I remained, paralyzed with fear, he found his voice and in his dying breath screamed forth those words which have ever afterward haunted my days and my nights. "Fool," he shrieked, "can you not guess my secret? Have you no brain whereby you may recognize the will which has through six long centuries fulfilled the dreadful curse upon your house? Have I not told you of the great elixir of eternal life? Know you not how the secret of Alchemy was solved? I tell you, it is I! I! I! that have lived for six hundred years to maintain my revenge, FOR I AM CHARLES LE SORCIER!"
Department Of Public Criticism

The Conservative for October opens with Miss Olive G. Owen's tuneful lines on "The Mocking Bird." Of the quality of Miss Owen's poetry it is scarce necessary to speak; be it sufficient to say that the present piece ranks among her best. In the intense fervour of the sentiment, and the felicitous choice of the imagery, the touch of the born poet is alike shown. Through an almost inexcusable editorial mistake of our own, the first word of this poem is erroneously rendered. Line 1 should read:
"Where Southern moonlight softly falls."

"Old England and the Hyphen" is an attempt of the present critic to demonstrate why relations between the United States and Mother England must necessarily be closer than those between the States and any of the really foreign powers. So patent and so inevitable is the essential unity of the Anglo-Saxon world that such an essay as this ought really to be superfluous; but its practical justification is found in the silly clamour of those Anglophobes who are unfortunately permitted to reside within our borders. "Insomnia," by Winifred Virginia Jordan, is a remarkable piece of verse whose dark turns of fancy are almost worthy of a Poe. The grotesque tropes, the cleverly distorted images, the bizarre atmosphere, and ingeniously sinister repetitions all unite to produce one of the season's most notable poems. Each of the stanzas is vibrant with the hideous, racking turmoil of the insomnious mind. "Prussianism," by William Thomas Harrington, is a concise and lucid essay on a timely subject, reviewing ably the cause and responsibility of the present war. It is especially valuable at this[66] season of incoherent peace discussion, for it explodes very effectively that vague, brainless "neutrality" which prompts certain pro-German pacifists to cry for peace before the normal and final settlement of Europe's troubles shall have been attained by the permanent annihilation of the Prussian military machine. "Twilight," by Chester Pierce Munroe, is a beautiful bit of poetic fancy and stately phraseology. Mr. Munroe, a Rhode Islander transplanted to the mountains of North Carolina, is acquiring all the grace and delicacy of the native Southern bard, while retaining that happy conservatism of expression which distinguishes his work from that of most contemporary poets. Callously modern indeed must be he who would wish Mr. Munroe's quaintly euphonious lines transmuted into the irritatingly abrupt and barren phraseology of the day. "The Bond Invincible," by David H. Whittier, is a short story of great power and skilful construction, suggesting Poe's "Ligeia" in its central theme. The plot is developed with much dexterity, and the climax comes so forcibly and unexpectedly upon the reader, that one cannot but admire Mr. Whittier's mastery of technique. Certain overnice critics may possibly object to the tale, as containing incidents which no one survives to relate; but when we reflect that Poe has similarly written a story without survivors, ("The Masque of the Red Death") we can afford to applaud without reservation. The complete absence of slang and of doubtful grammar recommends this tale as a model to other amateur fiction-writers. "Respite" is a lachrymose lament in five stanzas by the present critic. The metre is regular, which is perhaps some excuse for its creation and publication. "By the Waters of the Brook," by Rev. Eugene B. Kuntz, D. D., is one of the noblest amateur poems of the year. While the casual reader may find in the long heptameter lines a want of sing-song facility; the true lover of the Nine pauses in admiration at the deep flowing nobility of the rhyme. The quick rippling of the brook is duplicated within each line, rather than from line to line. The imagery and phraseology are of the sort which only Dr. Kuntz can fashion, and are rich in that exalted pantheism of fancy which comes to him who knows Nature in her wilder and more rugged moods and aspects. "The Pool," by Winifred Virginia Jordan, contains an elusive hint of the terrible and the supernatural which gives it high rank as poetry. Mrs. Jordan has two distinct, yet related, styles in verse. One of these mirrors all the joy and buoyant happiness of life, whilst the other reflects that undertone of grimness which is sometimes felt through the exterior of things. The kinship betwixt these styles lies in their essentially fanciful character, as distinguished from the tiresomely commonplace realism of the average modern rhymester. Another bit of sinister psychology in verse is "The Unknown," by Elizabeth Berkeley. Mrs. Berkeley's style is less restrained than that of Mrs. Jordan, and presents a picture of stark, meaningless horror, the like of which is not often seen in the amateur press. It is difficult to pass upon the actual merit of so peculiar a production, but we will venture the opinion that the use of italics, or heavy-faced type, is not desirable. The author should be able to bring out all needed emphasis by words, not printer's devices. The issue concludes with "Inspiration," a poem by Lewis Theobald, Jun. The form and rhythm of this piece are quite satisfactory, but the insipidity of the sentiment leaves much to be desired. The whole poem savours too much of the current magazine style.

The Coyote for October is made notable by Editor Harrington's thoughtful and well compiled article on "Worldwide Prohibition," wherein an extremely important step in the world's progress is truthfully chronicled. That legislation against alcohol is spreading rapidly throughout civilization, is something which not even the densest champions of "personal liberty" can deny. The utter emptiness of all arguments in behalf of strong drink is made doubly apparent by the swift prohibitory enactments of the European nations when confronted by the emergencies of war, and by the abolition of liquor in a large number of American states for purely practical reasons. All these things point to a general recognition of liquor as a foe to governmental and industrial welfare. Mr. Harrington's style in this essay is clear and in most respects commendable; though certain passages might gain force and dignity through a less colloquial manner. In particular, we must protest against the repeated use of the vulgarism booze, a word probably brought into public favour by[67] the new school of gutter evangelism, whose chief exponent is the Reverend William Sunday. The verb to booze, boose, or bouse, meaning "to drink immoderately," and the adjective boozy, boosy, or bousy, meaning "drunken," are by no means new to our language, Dryden having written the form bousy in some of his verses; but booze as a noun signifying "liquor" is certainly too vulgar a word for constant employment in any formal literary composition. Another essay of Mr. Harrington's is "The Divine Book," a plea for the restoration of the Bible as a source of popular reading and arbiter of moral conduct. Whatever may be the opinion of the searching critic regarding the place of the Scriptures in the world of fact, it is undeniably true that a closer study of the revered volume, and a stricter adherence to its best precepts, would do much toward mending the faults of a loose age. We have yet to find a more efficacious means of imparting virtue and contentment of heart to the masses of mankind. "Pioneers of New England," an article by Alice M. Hamlet, gives much interesting information concerning the sturdy settlers of New Hampshire and Vermont. In the unyielding struggles of these unsung heroes against the sting of hardship and the asperity of primeval Nature, we may discern more than a trace of that divine fire of conquest which has made the Anglo-Saxon the empire builder of all the ages. In Mr. Harrington's editorial column there is much discussion of a proposed "International Amateur Press Association," but we fail to perceive why such an innovation is needed, now that the United has opened itself unreservedly to residents of all the countries of the globe.

Merry Minutes for November is a clever publication of semi-professional character, edited by Miss Margaret Trafford of London, and containing a pleasant variety of prose, verses, and puzzles. "King of the Nursery Realm," by Margaret Mahon, is a smooth and musical piece of juvenile verse which excels in correctness of form rather than in novelty of thought.

"Bards and Minstrels, and The Augustan Age," by Beryl Mappin, is the second of a series of articles on English literature and its classical foundations. The erudition and enthusiasm displayed in this essay speak well for the future of the authoress, though certain faults of style and construction demand correction. Careful grammatical study would eliminate from Miss Mappin's style such solecisms as the use of like for as, whilst greater attention to the precepts of rhetoric would prevent the construction of such awkward sentences as the following: "The same if one is reading an interesting book, can one not see all that is happening there as clearly with one's inner eyes as if it was all taking place before one, and viewed with one's outer ones?" This passage is not only wanting in coherence and correctness of syntax, but is exceedingly clumsy through redundancy of statement, and repetition of the word one. This word, though essential to colloquial diction, becomes very tiresome when used to excess; and should be avoided in many cases through judicious transpositions of the text. The following is a revised version of the sentence quoted above: "Thus, in reading an interesting book, can one not see with the inner eyes all that is happening there, as clearly as if it were taking place in reality before the outer eyes?" Other parts of the essay require similar revision. Concerning the development of the whole, we must needs question the unity of the topics. Whilst the connecting thread is rather evident after a second or third perusal, the cursory reader is apt to become puzzled over the skips from the Graeco-Roman world to the early Saxon kingdoms, and thence to the dawn of our language amongst the Anglo-Normans. What Miss Mappin evidently wishes to bring out, is that the sources of English literature are twofold; being on the one hand the polished classics of antiquity, inspired by Greece, amplified and diffused by Rome, preserved by France, and brought to England by the Normans; and on the other hand the crude but virile products of our Saxon ancestors, brought from the uncivilized forests of the continent or written after the settlement in Britain. From this union of Graeco-Roman classicism with native Anglo-Saxon vitality springs the unquestioned supremacy of English literature. Assiduous devotion to the mastery of rhetoric, and the habit of constructing logical synopses before writing the text of articles would enable Miss Mappin to utilise her knowledge of literary history in a manner truly worthy of its depth. "Trinidad and its People," by "F. E. M.[68] Hercules," exhibits a somewhat maturer style, and forms a very interesting piece of geographical description. "The Pursuit of the Innocent," is a serial story by Miss Trafford, and though only a small part of it is printed in the current issue, we judge that it derives its general atmosphere from the popular "thrillers" of the day. The dialogue is not wholly awkward, but there is a noticeable want of proportion in the development of the narrative. Miss Trafford would probably profit by a more faithful study of the standard novelists, and a more complete avoidance of the type of fiction found in modern weekly periodicals such as Answers or Tit-Bits. Those who feel impelled to introduce stirring adventure into their tales, can do so without sacrifice of excitement and interest by following really classic writers like Poe and Stevenson; or semi-standard authors like Sir A. Conan Doyle. The puzzles propounded by Miss Hillman are quite interesting, though matter of this sort is scarcely to be included within the domain of pure literature. We guess airship as the answer to the first one, but have not space to record our speculations concerning the second. Merry Minutes closes with the following poem by Master Randolph Trafford, a very young author:
"Once upon a time, there was a little boy, And, if you please, he went to school; That little boy, he always would annoy, And found at school a very nasty rule."

Without undue flattery to Master Trafford, we may conclusively state that we deem his poem a great deal better than most of the vers libre effusions which so many of his elders are perpetrating nowadays!
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The Scot for July is devoted completely to the work of the feminine amateurs of the United States, and is announced by its editor as an "American 'Petticoat' Number"; a title which might possibly bear replacement by something rather less colloquial. "Over the Edge of the World," a poem by Olive G. Owen, is correct in construction and appropriate in sentiment, deriving much force from the continued repetition of the first line. "In Morven's Mead," by Winifred V. Jordan, is one of a series of fanciful poems all bearing the same title. The present verses show all the charm and delicacy which characterise the whole. "Patience—A Woman's Virtue," is one of Mrs. Eloise N. Griffith's thoughtful moral essays, and is as commendable for its precepts as for its pure style. "His Flapper," by Edna von der Heide, is a clever piece of trochaic verse in Cockney dialect, which seems, so far as an American critic can judge, to possess a very vivid touch of local colour. "An Eye for an Eye," by the same authoress, seems vaguely familiar, having possibly been published in the amateur press before. If so, it is well worthy of republication. "Women and Snakes," a sketch by Eleanor J. Barnhart, is not a misogynistical attempt at comparison, but a theory regarding the particular fear with which the former are popularly supposed to regard the latter. Whilst Miss Barnhart writes with the bravery of the true scientist, we are constrained to remark that a certain dislike of snakes, mice, and insects is a very real thing; not only amongst the fair, but equally amongst those sterner masculine souls who would stoutly deny it if questioned. It is an atavistical fear, surviving from primitive ages when the venomous qualities of reptiles, insects, and the like, made their quick avoidance necessary to uninstructed man. "Be Tolerant," by Winifred V. Jordan, is a didactic poem of the sort formerly published in The Symphony. While it does not possess in fullest measure the grace and facility observed in Mrs. Jordan's more characteristic work; it is nevertheless correct and melodious, easily equalling most poetry of its kind. Mr. McColl's editorial column, the only masculine feature of the issue, contains a very noble tribute to the two soldier cousins of Miss von der Heide, who have laid down their lives for the cause of England and the right. From such men springs the glory of Britannia.

The Scot for August opens with Winifred V. Jordan's tuneful lines, "If You but Smile," whose inspiration and construction are alike of no mean order. "Hoary Kent," by Benjamin Winskill, is an exquisite sketch of a region where the past still lives. In an age of turmoil and unrest, it is a comfort to think that in one spot, at least, the destroying claws of Time have left no scars. There lie the scenes dear to every son and grandson of Britain; there are bodied forth the eternal and unchanging traditions that place above the rest of the world[69]
"This precious stone set in the silver sea— This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England."

"Meditation of a Scottish Queen on Imprisonment," a poem by Margaret Trafford, contains noble passages, but is marred by defective technique. Passing over the use of the expletives do and doth as legitimate archaisms in this case, we must call attention to some awkward phraseology, and to the roughness of certain lines, which have either too few or too many syllables. The very first line of the poem requires contraction, which might be accomplished by substituting hapless for unhappy. Line 8 would read better if thus amended:
"I would that death might come and me release."

The final line of the first stanza lacks a syllable, which might be supplied by replacing vile with hateful. The second stanza will pass as it is, but the entire remainder of the poem requires alteration, since but two of the lines are of normal decasyllabic length. The following is rough revision, though we have not attempted to build the poetry anew:
Oh! could I breathe again dear Scotland's air; Behold once more her stately mountains high, Thence view the wide expanse of azure sky, Instead of these perpetual walls so bare!
Could I but see the grouse upon the moor, Or pluck again the beauteous heather bell! Freedom I know not in this dismal cell, As I my anguish from my heart outpour.
My Scotland! know'st thou thy poor Queen's distress, And canst thou hear my wailing and my woe? May the soft wind that o'er thy hills doth blow Waft thee these thoughts, that I cannot suppress!

"Six Cylinder Happiness," a brief essay by William J. Dowdell, presents in ingeniously pleasing style a precept not entirely new amongst philosophers. Mr. Dowdell's skill with the pen is very considerable, particularly when he ventures outside the domain of slang. We should like to suggest a slightly less colloquial title for this piece, such as "Real Happiness." "For Right and Liberty," a poem by Matthew Hilson, is commendable in sentiment and clever in construction, but lacks perfection in several details of phraseology. In the third line of the third stanza the word ruinous must be replaced by a true dissyllable, preferably ruin'd. "For Their Country," a short story by Margaret Trafford, is vivid in plot and truly heroic in moral, but somewhat deficient in technique, particularly at the beginning. Miss Trafford should use care in moulding long sentences, and should avoid the employment of abbreviations like etc. in the midst of narrative text. "That Sunny Smile," by John Russell, is a cleverly optimistic bit of verse whose rhythm is very facile, but which would be improved by the addition of two syllables to the third and sixth lines of each stanza. The rhyme of round you and found true is incorrect, since the second syllables of double rhymes must be identical. "The Evil One," by Narcissus Blanchfield, is announced as "A Prose-poem, after Oscar Wilde—a long way after." As an allegory it is true to the facts of the case; though one cannot but feel that there is room for a freer play of the poetic imagination in so great a subject.

Toledo Amateur for October is a literary publication which reflects much credit upon its young editor, Mr. Wesley Hilon Porter, and upon the several contributors. "Twilight," a correct and graceful poem by Miss von der Heide opens the issue. "A Sabbath," by Mary Margaret Sisson, is a sketch of great merit, though not wholly novel in subject. The hypocrisy of many self-satisfied "pillars of the church" is only too well known both in life and in literature. At the very close of the piece, the word epithet is used in a slightly incorrect sense, meaning "motto." Epithet, as its Greek derivation shows, signifies an adjective or descriptive expression. "The Workers of the World," by Dora M. Hepner, is another sociological sketch of no small merit, pleasantly distinguished by the absence of slang. "Not All," by Olive G. Owen, is a poem of much fervour, albeit having a somewhat too free use of italics. The words and rhythm of a poet should be able to convey his images without the more artificial devices of typographical variation. Another questionable[70] point is the manner of using archaic pronouns and verb forms. Miss Owen seems to use both ancient and modern conjugations of the verb indifferently with such subjects as thou. "A Day at Our Summer Home," by Emma Marie Voigt, is a descriptive sketch of considerable promise, and "My First Amateur Convention," by Mrs. Addie L. Porter, is a well written chronicle of events. "The Wild Rose," by Marguerite Allen, is a poem of no little grace, though beset with many of the usual crudities of youthful work. In the first place, the quatrains should have their rhymes regularly recurring; either in both first and third, and second and fourth lines; or only in second and fourth. A rhyme occurring only in first and third lines gives an unmusical cast, since it causes the stanza to end unrhymed. Secondly, the words fence and scent do not form a legitimate rhyme. The easy correctness of the metre is an encouraging sign, and indicates a poetic talent which Miss Allen would do well to cultivate. Mr. Porter's article on amateur journalism is interesting and quite just, though we hope that the United has not quite so "little to offer" the devotee of "so-called high-class literature" as the author believes. If we are to retain our cultivated members, or our younger members after they acquire cultivation, we must necessarily cater to the better grade of taste; though of course without neglecting the succeeding generation of novices. The editorial column of this issue is bright and fluent, concluding one of the best amateur journals of the season.

THE UNITED AMATEUR for September contains something only too seldom found in the amateur press; a really meritorious short story. "The Shadow on the Trail," by Eleanor J. Barnhart, possesses every element of good fiction; a substantial and really interesting plot, a logical development from beginning to conclusion, an adequate amount of suspense, a climax which does not disappoint, and a praiseworthy degree of local colour. Besides all of which it is fluent in language and correct in syntax. The rest of the literary department in this issue is devoted to verse. "To a Friend," by Alice M. Hamlet, is particularly pleasing through the hint of old-school technique which its well ordered phrases convey. The one weak point is the employment of thy, a singular expression, in connexion with several objects; namely, "paper, pen, and ready hand." Your should have been used. The metre is excellent throughout, and the whole piece displays a gratifying skill on its author's part. "The Path Along the Sea," by Rev. Eugene B. Kuntz, is a flawless and beautiful bit of sentimental poetry, cast in fluent and felicitous heptameter. "Dad," by Horace Fowler Goodwin, is decidedly the best of this writer's pieces yet to appear in the amateur press. The defects are mostly technical, including the bad rhyme of engaged and dismayed, and the overweighted seventh line of the final stanza. The latter might be rectified by substituting blest, or some other monosyllable, for lucky. "Li'l Baby Mine," by W. Frank Booker, is a quaint and captivating darky lullaby, whose accuracy of dialect and atmosphere comes from that first-hand knowledge of the negroes which only a Southern writer can possess. Mr. Booker is one of our most promising bards, and will be doubly notable when his style shall have received its final polish. "When I Gaze on Thee," by Kathleen Foster Smith, is an amatory poem of much grace and fluency.

THE UNITED AMATEUR for October furnishes us with a species of composition not frequently encountered in amateurdom; an official report which is also a literary classic. Pres. Campbell's message is really an essay on contemporary amateur journalism, and contains a multitude of well stated truths which every member of the fraternity would do well to peruse. "The Wanderer's Return," by Andrew Francis Lockhart, is a beautiful piece of anapaestic verse whose flow is as pleasing as its sentiment.

The Woodbee for October is edited by Mrs. Ida C. Haughton, and though not of large size, does credit both to her and to the Columbus Club. "To the Woodbees," a witty parody of Poe's "Annabel Lee," exhibits Miss Irene Metzger as the possessor of no little skill in numbers; and incidentally suggests that other young bards might well improve their styles by judicious exercises of this sort. Much of the spirit of metre may be absorbed through copying the works of the standard poets. "Louise's Letter," a short story by Norma Sanger, contains some of the defects of early composition, notably an undue hastening of the action immediately after the letter[71] quoted in the text. The plot involves a rather unusual coincidence, yet is probably no more overstrained than that of the average piece of light fiction. "The Ruling Passion," by Edna M. Haughton, is a story of phenomenal power and interest, forming a psychological study worthy of more than one perusal. All the requirements of good fiction, both inspirational and technical, are complied with to the satisfaction of even the most exacting critic. Miss Haughton's work is of a very high grade, and would be welcomed in larger quantities by the amateur world. Miss Harwood's interesting News Notes and Mrs. Haughton's thoughtful editorial conclude an issue whose every feature deserves commendation.
Department of Public Criticism

The Conservative for January deserved distinction for its opening poem, "The Vagrant," which proceeds from the thrice-gifted pen of Mrs. W. V. Jordan. The piece is one well worthy of close attention, since it contains to a marked degree those elements of charm which render its author so prominent among amateur bards. Bold and discriminating choice of words and phrases, apt and unique images and personifications, and a carefully sustained atmosphere of delicate unreality, all unite to impart a characteristic beauty to the lines. This beauty, searchingly analysed, reveals itself as something more sylvan and spontaneous than studied and bookish; indeed, all of Mrs. Jordan's verse is born rather than built.

"The Unbreakable Link," a prose sketch by Arthur W. Ashby, is smooth and graphic in its delineation of a dream or vision of the past. The ancient heritage of Old England and its hoary edifices is here vividly set forth. Mr. Ashby's work, always notable for its command and intelligent interpretation of detail, is welcome wherever encountered.

"When New-Year Comes," a poem by Rev. Eugene B. Kuntz, exhibits its brilliant author in a most felicitous though decidedly novel vein. Turning from his usual Alexandrines and heptameters, and laying aside his characteristically stately and sonorous vocabulary, Dr. Kuntz has produced a gem of brevity and simplicity in octosyllabic couplets. The ease and naturalness of the language are so great that the reader feels no other words or constructions could have been used with equal effect. The remainder of The Conservative, being the work of the present critic, deserves no particular mention.

The Coyote for January bears an attractive cover design illustrating the gentle beast after which the publication is named. The opening piece, an alleged poem by the present critic, contains an humiliating error for which none but the author is responsible. The impossible word supremest in line 16, should read sublimest. The author is likewise responsible for the omission of the following couplet after line 26:
"Around his greatness pour disheart'ning woes, But still he tow'rs above his conquering foes."

The rest of the magazine is devoted to prose of practical nature, containing suggestions by Editor Harrington and Rev. Graeme Davis for the resuscitation of one of the dormant press associations.

The Coyote for April, home-printed and reduced to the conventional 5×7 page, opens with Mrs. Jordan's pleasant lines on "The Duty." While the general sentiment of this piece is by no means novel, the powerful and distinctive touch of the authoress is revealed by such highly original passages as the following:
"And black-wing'd, clucking shadows Brought out their broods of fears."

A poet of rather different type is displayed in "The Five-Minute School," by Lovell Leland Massie. Mr. Massie is said to have "an unlimited supply of poems on hand which he desires to publish," but it is evident that some preliminary alterations would not be undesirable. In the first place, the metre requires correction; though it is remarkably good for beginner's work. Particularly weak lines are the second in stanza four, and the second in stanza six. The phraseology is stiff but by no means hopeless, and proclaims nothing more serious than the need of greater poetic familiarity on the author's part. The rhymes are good with two exceptions; past and class, and jewel and school. Mr. Massie, however, is not the first bard to reduce jew-el to "jool!" "The Coyote," by Obert O. Bakken, is a worthy and interesting composition upon a well known animal. "A Soul," by Olive G. Owen, is reprinted from the professional press, and amply merits the honour. The poem is of unexceptionable technique and adequate sentiment. Miss Owen's brilliant, fruitful, and long-continued poetical career has few parallels in the amateur world. "The Amateur Christian," a brief prose essay by Benjamin Winskill, presents more than one valuable truth; though we wish the word "par," near the close, might be expanded to proper fulness. We presume that it is intended to stand for paragraph.

The Crazyquilt for December is a highly entertaining illustrated publication whose exact classification is a matter of some difficulty. We[72] might perhaps best describe it as a bubbling over of youthful spirits, with here and there a touch of unobtrusive seriousness. The editor, Mr. Melvin Ryder, is to be commended upon his enterprise; which consists in approximately equal parts of prose, verse, and whimsical vers libre. It is the last named product which most absorbs our attention, since the given specimens afford a very brilliant satire on the absurd medium in which they are set. The choicest selections are due to the fertile pen of Mr. William S. Wabnitz, assisted by that not unknown classic called "Mother Goose," whose ideas accord well with the thought of the new "poetry." "A Futuresk Romance," by Mr. Wabnitz alone, is of exceeding cleverness. Among the genuine poems, we may give particular commendation to "Bluebirds are Flying Over," by Mrs. Dora Hepner Moitoret; "Longin' and Yearnin'," "Spring," "Verses," and "Dreaming," by J. H. Gavin; and "Stars After Rain," by William S. Wabnitz. Mr. Gavin's "Dreaming" is a hauntingly pretty piece, though marred by an imperfect line (the twelfth) and by an incorrect accentuation of the word romance. This word should be accented on the final syllable.

"Odd Patches and Even" is the title of the editorial column, which contains many words of wisdom (though not too grave) by Mr. Ryder. We hope to behold future issues of The Crazyquilt.

Dowdell's Bearcat for October, partly compiled and financed by the United's official board in lieu of the missing Official Quarterly, comes to us unbound and without a cover; yet contains, aside from the inexcusable editorials, a rich array of meritorious material. Mr. Dowdell's comment on radical eccentrics and malcontents is apt and clever, showing how bright this young writer can be when he avoids bad taste and personalities.

"A Little Lovely Lyric," by Mrs. Dora H. Moitoret, is one of the choicest of this author's poems, having a spirit and cadence of rare quality. In "The Real Amateur Spirit," Pres. Campbell presents in vigorous prose many important truths and principles of amateur journalism. The concluding sentence forms a definition of our animating impulse which deserves repeated publication as a motto and inspiration. "An American To Mother England," by the present critic, is an expression of cultural and ancestral ties which have now, through the fortunes of war, grown doubly strong. The word Saxon, in the last line, should begin with a capital. "Dream Life" is a vivid piece of prose mysticism by our versatile and gifted Vice-President, Mr. Ira A. Cole. Defying precise grouping either as a sketch or a story, this enigmatical bit of fancy deserves highest praise for its fluent diction, rich imagination, potent atmosphere, and graphic colouring. Mr. Cole has a bright future in prose as well as in verse for in both of these media he is a genuine and spontaneous poet. "United Impressions," by Mrs. E. L. Whitehead, is clear, interesting, and well-written, as is also the sketch by Mary M. Sisson entitled "Passion versus Calm." "The Elm Tree," by James Tobey Pyke, is a poem of remarkable sweetness and nobility, through whose lofty sentiment shines the true splendour of the inspired bard. There is a master touch in the passage referring to
"——a sweet heaven Of singing birds and whispering leaves."

Mrs. Winifred Virginia Jordan, without one of whose delightful verses no amateur publication can really compete, contributes a sparkling succession of amatory anapaests entitled "Dear." The middle stanza rises to great lyric heights, and should prove especially captivating to such discriminating critics of lyricism as our colleague Mr. Kleiner.

The Enthusiast for February is a hectographed publication issued by our latest young recruit, Mr. James Mather Mosely of Westfield, Mass. Mr. Mosely is a youth of sterling ability and great promise, whose work is already worthy of notice and encouragement. The editor's leading article, "The Secret Inspiration of a Man Who Made Good," shows unusual fluency and literary assurance, though we might wish for a more dignified title. The expression to make good is pure slang, and should be supplanted by one of the many legitimate English words and phrases which convey the same meaning. Mr. Mosely's editorials are likewise open to criticism on the ground of colloquialism, though the natural exuberance of youth excuses much. "The Birds," by Harold Gordon Hawkins, is a truly excellent specimen of juvenile verse, which contains much promise for the author's efforts. Increased familiarity with standard literary models will remove[73] all evidences of stiffness now perceptible. "How Men Go Wrong," a conventional moral homily by Edgar Holmes Plummer, shows a slight want of original ideas and a tendency to commonplaces; though having much merit in construction. Another subject might display Mr. Plummer's talent to better advantage. The use of the word habitat for inhabitant or denizen is incorrect, for its true meaning is a natural locality or place of habitation. "Blueberry Time," by Ruth Foster, is obviously a schoolgirl composition, albeit a pleasing one.

F. R. Starr's cartoon scarcely comes within the province of a literary critic, but is doubtless an excellent example of elementary art. We question, however, the place of popular cartoons in serious papers; the "funny picture" habit is essentially a plebeian one, and alien to journalism of the highest grade. All things considered, The Enthusiast is a creditable exponent of junior letters, which deserves the encouragement and support of the United.

Excelsior for March is in many respects the most notable of the season's amateur magazines edited by our brilliant Laureate Recorder, Miss Verna McGeoch, it contains a surprisingly ample and impressive collection of prose and verse by our best writers; including the delectable lyricist Perrin Holmes Lowrey, whose work has hitherto been unrepresented in the press of the United. The issue opens with Mr. Jonathan E. Hoag's stately "Ode to Old Ocean," whose appropriate imagery and smooth couplets are exceedingly pleasant to the mind and ear alike. Mr. Hoag's unique charm is no less apparent in the longer reminiscent piece entitled "The Old Farm Home," which describes the author's boyhood scenes at Valley Falls, New York, where he was born more than eighty-six years ago. This piece has attracted much favorable notice in the professional world, having been reprinted in The Troy Times. Perrin Holmes Lowrey contributes a cycle of three poems touching on the beauties of the month of April; one of which, "April in Killarney," will this summer be set to music by Leopold Godowsky. The style of Mr. Lowrey possesses an attractive individuality and delicacy which is already bringing him celebrity in the larger literary sphere. What could be more thoroughly enchanting than such a stanza as the following?
"Oh, it's April in Killarney, Early April in Killarney, Where the Irish lanes are merry And the lyric breezes blow; And the scented snows of cherry Drift across the fields of Kerry— Oh, it's April in Killarney And she loves the April so."

"Treasure Trove," by Henry Cleveland Wood, is a pleasant and urbane bit of light verse; while "Percival Lowell," by Howard Phillips Lovecraft, is an abominably dull elegiac piece of heavy verse. Edwin Gibson's "Sonnet to Acyion" deserves keen attention as the work of a capable and rapidly developing young bard. "Real versus Ideal" is a bright metrical divertissement by John Russell, which suffers through the omission of the opening line by the printer. This line is:
"For sale—a cottage by the sea."
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We recommend the final line to the attention of those careless bards who pronounce real as reel, and ideal as ideel. The correct quantities, as there given, will serve as examples. Verse of deeper quality is furnished by amateurdom's foremost expressionist, Anne Tillery Renshaw, two of whose poems appear. "The Singing Sea" contains an error of technique, hope and note being placed in attempted rhyme; but the structure is in general very regular, considering the author's radical theories. Of the merit of the sentiment it is unnecessary to speak. "A Wish" is cast in less fluent metre, but is so replete with aptness, grandeur and refinement of ideas, that the sternest critic must needs view its form with lenient glance. The prose contents of Excelsior are worthy company for the verse. Paul J. Campbell is represented by a very brief though characteristic essay entitled "The Price of Freedom," wherein appears the sound reasoning and courageous philosophy for which Mr. Campbell has always been distinguished. Another notable essay or review is "English History," by Henry Clapham McGavack. Mr. McGavack here ably employs his keen analysis and lucid style in dissecting Prof. Meyer's absurdly biased but diabolically clever pro-German History of England.

"The Association," by David H. Whittier, teems with good advice concerning the proper management of the United. Mr. Whittier's style is smooth and dignified, exhibiting a[74] sober maturity unusual for a young author. "Tonio's Salvation," a short story by Edna von der Heide, is the only bit of fiction in the magazine. This brief glimpse of the cosmopolitan child life of a modern city is marked equally by naturalness of plot and facility of technic, forming a piece quite professional in quality and atmosphere. Excelsior has done much to sustain the best traditions of the United, and we hope its future appearance will be frequent and regular. The editorial column reveals the genius and exquisite taste of its gifted publisher.

Merry Minutes for December-January is an interesting number of an interesting publication, opening with some extremely clever cartoons by the United's soldier-member, George William Stokes. "Merry Minutes," a poem in trochaic measure by Olive G. Owen, is distinguished by the touch of beauty characteristic of all its author's work; but has a singular sort of rhyming in the first and third lines of the stanzas. The cadence seems to call for double rhymes, yet only the final syllables agree. The last word of the first stanza is unfortunately shorn by the printer of its final s. "The Dancing Tiger" is an excellent short story by Raymond Blathwayt, which might, however, be improved in style by a slightly closer attention to punctuation and structure of sentences. "Home," by Margaret Mahon, is a poem in that rather popular modern measure which seems to waver betwixt the iambus and anapaest. The imagery is pleasing, and the sentiment, though not novel, is acceptable. "The Choice," a serial story by Beryl Mappin, exhibits the same immaturities of style which mark the didactic articles of this author; yet so active is the imagination shown in some of the passages, that we believe Miss Mappin requires only time and harder study in order to become a very meritorious writer. The syntactical structure of this story is, on the average, smoother than that of Miss Mappin's essays; indeed, there is reason to believe that fiction is the better suited to her pen. "Absence," by Winifred Virginia Jordan, is a brief poem of faultless harmony whose quaintly sparkling imagery gives to an old theme a new lustre. "Education in Trinidad" is another of F. E. Hercules' terse and informing descriptive sketches. "Alley," by Mrs. Jordan, is a light pulsing lyric of almost Elizabethan quality, one of whose rhymes is of a type which has caused much discussion in the United's critical circles. The native pronunciation of New England makes of scarf and laugh an absolutely perfect rhyme; this perfection depending upon the curtailed phonetic value of the letter r; which in a place such as this is silent, save as it modifies the quality of the preceding vowel. In the London of Walker's day the same condition existed. But the tongue and ear of the American West have become accustomed to a certain roll which causes scarf to be enunciated as scarrf, thus throwing it out of rhyme with words of similar sound which lack the r. The Westerner would have to write scahf, in order to express to his own mind the New-England sound of scarf. Hitherto, the present critic has called no notice to rhymes of this type; and has, indeed, frequently employed them himself; but recognition of etymological principles involved will hereafter impel him to abandon and discourage the practice, which was not followed by the older classicists. To the New-England author this renunciation means relinquishment of many rhymes which are to his ear perfect, yet in the interests of tradition and universality it seems desirable that the sacrifice be made. "Why Mourn Thy Soldier Dead," is a poem of brave sorrow by Olive G. Owen. The fervour of the lines is deep, and the sentiments are of great nobility. Structurally the piece is flawless. "Chaucer, the Father of English Poetry," is the third of Miss Mappin's series of articles on literary history. An unfortunate misprint relegates to the bottom of the footnote a line which should immediately follow the specimen verse. The style is decidedly clearer and better than that of the preceding instalment of the series. "When You Went," by Mrs. Jordan, is an engagingly pathetic poem; with just that touch of the unseen which lends so particular a charm to Jordanian verse. Miss Trafford's appealing lines on "A Girl to Her Dead Lover" form a vividly pathetic glimpse into low life. The poetic form is quite satisfactory. As a whole, Merry Minutes constitutes a rather remarkable enterprise, sustaining through troubled times the spark of activity which will kindle anew the fires of British amateur journalism after the victorious close of the war. May America, in her new crisis, do as well![75]

Merry Minutes for February opens with Margaret Mahon's poem "God's Solace," a smooth and restful bit of versification. "Spencer and the Beginning of the Elizabethan Era" is the current article of Beryl Mappin's series on English Literature, and contains some very promising passages, especially the almost poetic introduction. Miss Mappin has an unusual fund of knowledge, and a pleasing gift of expression; but these advantages are as yet not fully systematised or marshalled to best effect. Miss Trafford's serial, "The Pursuit of the Innocent," concludes in this number. This story bears many of the signs of juvenile workmanship, the present instalment being so hurried in action that it almost attains the brevity of a synopsis. Careful and analytical perusal of standard fiction would assist greatly in maturing and perfecting the author's style. "Religion and Superstition" is the current article in F. E. M. Hercules' interesting series on Trinidad; and exhibits all the polish, lucidity and conciseness of its predecessors. "His Photo," by Master Randolph Trafford, is a very promising poem by a youthful bard. Every rhyme is correct, which is more than can be claimed for a great deal of the poesy perpetrated by older and more pretentious versifiers on this side of the Atlantic. The present instalment of "The Choice," by Beryl Mappin, is marked by considerable fluency and animation, though possessed of certain limitations previously mentioned.

Merry Minutes for March commences with the present critic's dull lines "On Receiving a Picture of the Marshes at Ipswich." Passing to more meritorious matter, we encounter Miss Mappin's latest literary article, "Shakespeare," which interests even whilst it reveals deficiencies of prose technique. "Jimmy's Little Girl," by Joseph Parks, is a vivid transcript of military life by a military author. While the tale is not one of vast originality, it nevertheless recommends itself through simplicity and verisimilitude. Miss Mappin's serial "The Choice," concludes in this issue. It is very praiseworthy for its many colourful passages, but mildly censurable for its melodramatic atmosphere and rhetorical lapses. The opening sentence of this instalment contains instances of both of these faults: "A terrible foreboding gripped Christabel's heart in bands of steel, as if for a moment to cleave her tongue to the roof of her mouth." This is the last number of the publication to appear under the present name. Beginning with the April issue it will be known as The Little Budget; and will contain, on the average, a rather higher grade of reading matter than heretofore. But in forming a judgment of any kind, it is well to recognize that the magazine's appeal is frankly popular.

Pep for February is the first number of a somewhat extraordinary enterprise conducted by George W. Macauley with the laudable object of waking up a sleeping amateurdom. The editor very justly takes the press associations to task for their manifold sins, particularly the dubious circumstances surrounding a recent convention, in which it is needless to say the United had no part. Mr. Macauley's literary attainments are very considerable, but as yet unperfected. Possessed of rare charm in descriptive prose, he needs to exercise a greater nicety of construction in order to develop fully the riches which are his. Gifted with a large, facile, and ingenious vocabulary, he is not sufficiently precise and discriminating in his employment of words according to their finer shades of meaning. This carelessness makes faults of his very virtues; for his vigour of expression tends to take the form of outre and inadmissible rhetoric, whilst his talent for word-painting tends to degenerate into word-coining. It would be quite possible for an acute critic to compile a dictionary of peculiarly Macaulian words and phrases, to which the current Pep might contribute such terms as probverb (proverb?). Spelling and punctuation also should claim more of Mr. Macauley's time and attention; for he might easily avoid such slips as believeing, it's (for its), thots, and the like. In short, Mr. Macauley is at present a gifted writer and brilliant editor labouring under the disadvantages of haste, carelessness, and perhaps a dash of radicalism.

The Phoenician for Spring is the first number of an enthusiastically conducted semi-professional venture of juvenile nature, whose connexion with the United hinges on the associate editorship of our clever recruit, Mr. James Mather Mosely. Like Merry Minutes, this publication is of the popular rather than conservative sort; being obviously designed primarily to please, secondarily to instruct.[76] We deplore the use of commonplace and sensational topics, colloquial expressions, and malformed spelling; but make due concessions to the youth of the editorial staff and the nascent state of the periodical. So promising are the young publishers that time cannot fail to refine and mature their efforts. "An Hour with a Lunatic," by Harry B. Sadik, is a very short and very thrilling tale of the "dime novel" variety. Mr. Sadik has a commendable sense of the dramatic, which would serve him well should he choose a less sensational field of endeavour. "Our Soldiers," a Canadian mother's war song by Mrs. Minnie E. Taylor, exhibits merit, though having many signs of imperfect technic. In line 2 of the first stanza bid should be replaced by bade. The final rhyme of the poem, that of gain and name, is false and inadmissible. Metrically there is much roughness, which careful study and diligent reading of good verse can in time correct. "Candy and Health," and "If You Were Down and Out," by James Mather Mosely, are two typical newspaper interviews with representative men. Mr. Mosely shows much aptitude as a reporter, having an almost professional ease and fluency. This is not literature, but it is good journalism. "The Dinner Never Paid For," by Viola Jameson, is a piece of characteristic light fiction; commendably innocuous, and not at all overburdened with philosophical complexity. "The Secret of Success," by Edith L. Clark, is a promising bit of didactic prose. "The End of the Road," by Pearl K. Merritt, is a brief essay of substantial worth. "The Toll of the Sea," a poem by Harold Gordon Hawkins, shows considerable merit despite irregularities. "Memories," by Arthur Goodenough, well sustains the high poetical reputation of its author, though it is cruelly marred by the illogical and censurable "simplified" spelling which the young editors see fit to employ. One line affords a silent but striking instance of the utter senselessness and confusion of the new orthographical fad. This line reads:
"Of human thot might well be wrought."

Now in the first place, thot does not express the true pronunciation of thought. The word, thus written, tends to acquire the vocal quality of shot or blot, as distinguished from taught or brought. Secondly, in this place it is out of accord with wrought, which is correctly spelled. If Messrs. Plummer and Mosely would be logical, let them write wrought as wrot—or perhaps plain rot would be still more correct and phonetic, besides furnishing a laconic punning commentary on simple spelling in general. The Phoenician's editorial column is conducted with laudable seriousness, the item of "The Power of Books" being well worthy of perusal. What could best be spared from the magazine are the vague jokes and cartoons, purposeless "fillers" of miscellaneous nature, and columns of idle gossip about things in general. Some of the moving picture items are greatly suggestive of what a newspaper man would dub "press agent stuff." The magazine represents a degree of purpose and energy quite rare amongst the anaemic youth of today, and should receive corresponding encouragement from the members of the United. Those who are inclined to censure its professional aspect would do well to remember the much-vaunted beginnings of amateur journalism, when the most highly respected sheets were of this selfsame variety.

THE UNITED AMATEUR for November is heavily burdened with a sombre and sinister short story from our own pen, entitled "The Alchemist." This is our long unpublished credential to the United, and constitutes the first and only piece of fiction we have ever laid before a critical and discerning public wherefore we must needs beg all the charitable indulgence the Association can extend to an humble though ambitious tyro. A more interesting feature of the magazine is the biography of Mr. Fritter, written by our brilliant Official Editor, Andrew Francis Lockhart. Mr. Lockhart's quaint and friendly prose style is here displayed at its best, giving a vivid and sympathetic portrayal of his prominent subject. "Beyond the Law," by Mary Faye Durr, is a light short story of excellent idea and construction, whose only censurable point is the use of "simplified" spelling. We believe that some procedure of quite drastic nature should be taken against the spread of this empty innovation before our settled orthography shall have become completely disorganized. Even in the United we can "do our bit." Our editors should band together in an effort to exclude the new forms from their publications, and our manuscript managers should see that every piece passing through their hands is duly purged of these radical distortions. At[77] the same time, a series of articles explaining and analysing the spelling problem should be given wide publicity. The poetry in this issue is of encouraging quality. George M. Whiteside, in "Dream of the Ideal," gives indications of real genius; at the same time displaying a little of the technical infelicity which has marked his earlier verse. Mr. Whiteside's greatest weakness is in the domain of rhyme, a noticeable error in the present poem being the attempted rhyming of hours with bars and stars. "I Know a Garden," by Agnes Richmond Arnold, is a tuneful and beautiful lyric of a somewhat Elizabethan type. The metre, as the lines are rendered, appears to be quite unusual; but scansion reveals the fact that it is none other than the octosyllabic couplet, disguised by the printer's art.

THE UNITED AMATEUR for December begins with "A Girl's Ambition," a poem by Margaret Trafford. The general idea of the piece is both ingenious and appropriate, but the language and technical development leave considerable to be desired. In the first place, the rhyming plan is unfortunate; the opening and concluding couplets of each stanza being unrhymed. In the second place, the metre is irregular; departing very widely in places from the iambic heptameter which appears to be the dominant measure. Miss Trafford should cultivate an ear for rhythm, at the same time counting very carefully the syllables in each line she composes. A third point requiring mention is the occasional awkwardness of expression, a juvenile fault which will doubtless amend itself in time. Just now we will call attention to only one defect—the exceedingly forced abbreviation "dresses'd" for dresses would. "To My Physician," by M. Estella Shufelt, is a smooth, graceful, and serious poem whose only possible fault is the infrequency of rhyme. This is not a technical defect, since the plan of construction is well maintained throughout; but we believe a poem of this type requires more than one rhyme to each stanza of eight lines. "The Old Inn," a stirring short story by Gertrude L. Merkle, is a very promising piece of work, albeit somewhat conventional and melodramatic. The alliterative romance of Harry Henders and Hazel Hansen has a genuinely mid-Victorian flavour. "Dead Men Tell No Tales," a short story by Ida Cochran Haughton, is a ghastly and gruesome anecdote of the untenanted clay; related by a village dressmaker. The author reveals much comprehension of rural psychology in her handling of the theme; an incident which might easily shake the reason of a sensitive and imaginative person, merely "unnerves" the two quaint and prim maiden ladies. Poe would have made of this tale a thing to gasp and tremble at; Mrs. Haughton, with the same material, constructs genuine though grim comedy!

THE UNITED AMATEUR for January contains Editor Lockhart's captivatingly graceful retrospect of the older amateur journalism, concluding with a just and eloquent appeal for the revival of our ancient enthusiasm. "Who Pays," by Helene H. Cole, is a brief and tragic story of considerable sociological significance. We deplore the use of the false verbal form alright; for while the expression all right may well occur in conversation of the character uttering it, the two words should be written out in full. "To a Babe," by Olive G. Owen, embodies in impeccable verse a highly clever and pleasing array of poetical conceits; and deserves to be ranked amongst the choicest of recent amateur offerings. "Girls are Like Gold," by Paul J. Campbell, is a striking and witty adaptation of Thomas Hood's celebrated lines on
"Gold! Gold! Gold! Gold! Bright and yellow, hard and cold."

Mr. Campbell exhibits both ingenuity and metrical ability in this facile jeu d'esprit.

THE UNITED AMATEUR for March contains "Love's Scarlet Roses," an exquisite piece of lyric verse by Mary Henrietta Lehr of California. Miss Lehr, a scholar and poetic genius of high order, is a prominent amateur of a few years ago, lately returned to activity after a period of endeavour in other fields. Her verse is uniformly distinguished by depth of inspiration, delicacy of sentiment, and grace of structure; occupying a place amongst the rarest products of amateurdom. Another poem of remarkable merit in this issue is "The Gods' Return," by Olive G. Owen. Inspired by a recent article from the pen of Richard Le Gallienne, these well-wrought lines interpret one of the subtlest yet most potent of the[78] varied moods created in the human breast by the momentous occurrences of the age. Looking over the file of THE UNITED AMATEUR for the present administrative year, one may discover a diverse and meritorious array of poetry and prose, which amply proves the contention of Pres. Campbell that a literary official organ is not only feasible but eminently desirable.
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The Woodbee for January introduces to amateurdom a new bard, Mr. J. Morris Widdows, Hoosier exponent of rural simplicity. Mr. Widdows has enjoyed considerable success in the professional world as a poet, song-writer, and musical composer; hence it is no untried or faltering quill which he brings within our midst. "Stringtown on the Pike," which adorns the first page of the magazine, is a very pleasing bit of dialect verse whose accent and cadences suggest the work of the late James Whitcomb Riley. The metre is gratifyingly correct, and the rusticisms exceedingly colourful; though the average reader might find it somewhat difficult to associate the name Miko with Yankee countryside. Such a praenomen carries with it suggestions of a rich brogue rather than a nasal drawl. "Personal Liberty," a brilliant short essay by Leo Fritter, ably and sensibly explodes one of the characteristically specious arguments of the liquor advocates. Mr. Fritter's legal training aids him in presenting a clear, polished, and logical arraignment of anti-prohibition hypocrisy. "Just a Little Love Tale," by Elizabeth M. Ballou, is a smoothly constructed bit of very light fiction. Mrs. Haughton's editorial, "A Review of Reviews," is concise and sensible; giving a merited rebuke to those who seek to create unrest and dissatisfaction in amateur journalism.

The Woodbee for April is an ample and attractive number, opening with Dora H. Moitoret's excellent poem in the heroic couplet, "The April Maiden." The metre of this piece follows the fashion of the nineteenth rather than of the eighteenth century, having very few "end-stopt" lines or sense-limiting couplets. The final rhyme of caprice and these is somewhat imperfect, the effect being that of an attempted rhyme of s and z. "Her Fateful Day," a short story by Maude Dolby, is pleasing and ingenious despite certain improbabilities. "Ashes of Roses," by Frieda M. Sanger, belongs to that abnormal and lamentable type of pseudo-literature known as vers libre, and is the first serious specimen of its kind ever inflicted upon the United. We are sincerely sorry that one so gifted as Miss Sanger should descend to this hybrid, makeshift medium, when she could so well express her thoughts either in legitimate prose or legitimate verse. "Free Verse" has neither the flow of real verse nor the dignity of real prose. It tends to develop obnoxious eccentricities of expression, and is closely associated with bizarre and radical vagaries of thought. It is in nine cases out of ten a mere refuge of the obtuse, hurried, indolent, ignorant, or negligent bard who cannot or will not take the time and pains to compose genuine poetry or even passable verse. It has absolutely no justification for existence, and should be shunned by every real aspirant to literary excellence, no matter how many glittering inducements it seems to hold out. True, a person of very little knowledge or ability can make himself appear extremely cultured, aesthetic, and aristocratic by juggling a few empty words in the current fashion; scribbling several lines of unequal length, each beginning with a capital letter. It is an admirably easy way to acquire a literary reputation without much effort. As the late W. S. Gilbert once wrote of a kindred fad:
"The meaning doesn't matter If it's only idle chatter Of a transcendental kind."

But we believe that the members of the United are more earnest and solid in their ambition, hence we advise Miss Sanger to turn her undoubted talent into more substantial channels. That she possesses genuine poetic genius is amply evident, even from the specimen of vers libre before us. The labour of real versification will be more arduous, but the fruits will prove richer in proportion. It is better to glean a little gold than much fools' gold. Miss Sanger's nephew, Mr. Norman Sanger, is more conservative in his tastes, and is creditably represented by his lines on "The Ol' Fishin' Hole." This piece contains many of the rhythmical defects common to juvenile composition, but is pervaded by a naturalness and pastoral simplicity which promise well for its young author. Wider reading and closer[79] rhetorical study will supply all that Mr. Sanger now lacks. At present we should advise him to seek metrical regularity by taking some one well defined line as a model, and moulding all the others to it by counting the syllables and intoning the accents in each. In the case of the present poem, the very first line will serve as a perfect guide; its conformity to the iambic heptameter plan being absolute. The alternating stresses of the fourteen syllables should be noted and copied:
"The days are get-tin' balm-y now, and first-est thing you know."

Two defects of rhyme are to be noted. By and lullaby cannot properly be rhymed, since the rhyming syllables are identical, instead of merely similar. "Rapcher" and laughter do not rhyme at all. Miss Haughton's essay "Is a Lie Ever Justifiable?" forms a prominent feature of the magazine, and presents some very ingenious though dogmatic reasoning. Mrs. Haughton's editorial, "United We Stand," is an exceedingly timely appeal for genuine amateur activity, and should be of much value in stimulating a renaissance of the Association. The passage reading "Who has been the latest victim of Cupid? Whom of Hymen?" arouses a query as to the grammatical status of whom. We fear this is what Franklin P. Adams of the New York Tribune playfully calls a "Cyrilization." It is, as all readers of "The Conning Tower" can testify, a remarkably common error; and one into which many of the leading authors of the age frequently fall. The jingle "A Soldier's Delight," by George William Stokes, concludes the current issue in tuneful manner.

Amidst the present dearth of amateur magazines it is ever a delight to behold The Woodbee; meritorious in contents and regular in issuance. The debt of the United to the Columbus Club is indeed a heavy one.

Volume XVI
Number 9
Ode For July Fourth, 1917
As Columbia's brave scions, in anger array'd, Once defy'd a proud monarch and built a new nation; 'Gainst their brothers of Britain unsheath'd the sharp blade That hath ne'er met defeat nor endur'd desecration; So must we in this hour Show our valour and pow'r, And dispel the black perils that over us low'r: Whilst the sons of Britannia, no longer our foes, Will rejoice in our triumphs and strengthen our blows!
See the banners of Liberty float in the breeze That plays light o'er the regions our fathers defended; Hear the voice of the million resound o'er the leas, As the deeds of the past are proclaim'd and commended; And in splendour on high Where our flags proudly fly, See the folds we tore down flung again to the sky: For the Emblem of England, in kinship unfurl'd, Shall divide with Old Glory the praise of the world!
Bury'd now are the hatreds of subject and King, And the strife that once sunder'd an Empire hath vanish'd. With the fame of the Saxon the heavens shall ring As the vultures of darkness are baffled and banish'd: And the broad British sea, Of her enemies free, Shall in tribute bow gladly, Columbia, to thee: For the friends of the Right, in the field side by side, Form a fabric of Freedom no hand can divide!

Department of Public Criticism

The Conservative for July opens with Ira A. Cole's delightful and melodious lines "In Vita Elysium" (Heaven in Life), which present a strong arraignment of those conventional theologians who deem all things beautiful reserved for a vague existence after death. While the orthodox reader may deem the flight of the imagination too free, the rational and appreciative litterateur will delight in the vigour of imagination and delicacy of fancy displayed. The metrical structure is beyond reproach in taste and fluency, the regular and spirited heroic couplets affording a refreshing contrast to the harsh and languid measures of the day. Mr. Cole's poetical future is bright indeed, for he possesses an innate conception of fitness and poetic values which too few of his contemporaries can boast. We wish to emphasize to those readers who are familiar with The Conservative's editorial policy, that the lines appear practically without revision; every bold conception and stroke of genius being Mr. Cole's own. Two couplets in particular delight the ear and the imagination, proving the author's claim to distinction as a poet of the purest classical type:
"Go! Go! vain man, to those unbounded fanes Where God's one proven priest—fair Nature—reigns."
"Uplifted, glad, thy spirit then shall know That life is light, and heaven's here below!"

"The Genesis of the Revolutionary War," by Henry Clapham McGavack, is one of those searchingly keen bits of iconoclastic analysis which have made Mr. McGavack so famous as an essayist since his advent to the United. Our author here explodes conclusively a large body of bombastic legend which false textbooks have inflicted upon successive generations of innocent American youth. We are shown beyond a doubt that the Revolution of 1776 was no such one-sided affair as the petty political "historians" would have us believe, and that our Mother Country indeed had a strong case before the bar of International justice. It is an article which makes us doubly proud of our racial and cultural affiliations.

"Sweet Frailty," a poem by Mary Henrietta Lehr, contains all those elements of charm, delicacy, and ingenuity which mark its author as one of amateurdom's most cultivated and gifted members.

Of the editorial column modesty forbids us to speak, but we hope the amateur public may be duly charitable with our shortcomings as therein displayed.

The Inspiration for April is a "Tribute Number," dedicated to the amateur journalists of Great Britain and Canada who have devoted their lives and fortunes to the cause of civilisation and the Empire. With so wonderfully inspiring a subject, it is small wonder that the magazine lives gloriously up to its name. Miss von der Heide shows extreme skill and sympathy in the editorship of the publication, and in the verses which she contributes; proving herself worthy indeed of the high place she has occupied in amateurdom for so many years.

"The Lion's Brood," by Henry Clapham McGavack, exhibits the versatility of this brilliant writer; for though he is by preference a concise essayist, he here rises to great heights in the domain of rhetorical panegyric. His stirring encomium is ingeniously continued by Mr. William T. Harrington, who adds many merited words of praise for our kindred across the seas. The present critic's lines are as full of heartfelt love of England as they are wanting in merit; while the lines of Olive G. Owen possess both deep fervour and conspicuous merit. Mrs. Griffith's tribute, "He Conquers who Endures," breathes out the true spirit of the American nation today, anticipating the official action of a cautious and slow-moving government. The "Open Letters" of Messrs. Macauley, Stokes and Martin, speak the brave spirit of the age, and make us the more sharply regretful of our own rejection for military service. "Treasure," by Miss von der Heide, is an appealing bit of sentiment, whose interest is timely indeed.

Viewed as a whole, The Inspiration takes first rank amongst the amateur papers published since March.

The Little Budget for May opens with Paul[82] J. Campbell's meritorious poem entitled "Signals." Mr. Campbell, always facile in metre, exhibits increasing power in the realm of poetical imagination, and is entitled to a substantial place on the slopes of Parnassus. A misprint in the present version of "Signals" gives look when looked should appear.

"The Adventures of 'Dido' Plum," by Joseph Parks, is a pleasing story of military life by one who is himself a soldier. Mr. Parks' brief sketches form a pleasing feature of the contemporary amateur press, being distinguished by a naturalness which intensifies their interest as literal transcripts of the army atmosphere. "Road Song," a tuneful lyric by Eleanor J. Barnhart, marks the first appearance of that brilliant author as a poet. Her inexperience in this art, however, is not at all to be suspected from this fervent and finished composition; which might well do credit to some of our veteran bards. "Impulse," by Norah Sloane Stanley, is described as "A Parisian Fragment," and exhibits much ingenuity in spirit and atmosphere. "Keep a Cheerful Countenance," by Eugene B. Kuntz, is a poem of great merit despite the doubtful rhyme of way and quality in the last stanza. Miss Mappin, in her article on Milton, displays her ample knowledge of literary history, and even more than her customary fluency. "The Contented Robin," a poem by Margaret Mahon, is apt, pleasing and harmonious; whilst Miss Trafford's brief jingle is quaint and clever. "Spring," by Randolph Trafford (aetat 10) is full of the exuberant vigour of youth, and speaks well for the future of this bright young bard.

The Little Budget for June gains distinction from Henry Clapham McGavack's brilliant essay on American Anglophobia, entitled "Blood is not Thicker Than Water." This acute analysis of anti-British sentiment among certain classes in the States reveals a lamentable result of bigotry and historical ignorance; which may, we hope, be cured by the new bonds of alliance betwixt the Old and the New Englands. As Mr. McGavack well demonstrates, most of our Anglophobia is manufactured by the alleged "historians" who poison the minds of the young through mendacious textbooks. This species of false teaching, an evil potently fostered by the Fenians and Sinn Feiners who lurk serpent-like in our midst, is one which cannot too soon be eradicated; for the cultural identity and moral unity of the States and the Empire make such sources of unintelligent prejudice increasingly nauseous and detrimental. We may add that the textbook treatment of our War between the States is almost equally unfair, the Northern cause being ridiculously exalted above the brave and incredibly high-minded attitude of the Confederacy.

Another delightful prose contribution is "Back to Blighty," by Joseph Parks, a vivid vignette of one phase of military life. "Trinidad and its Forests," by F. E. M. Hercules, is marked by its author's customary ease of expression and felicity of diction; presenting many facts of general interest. The poetry in this issue includes work from the pens of J. E. Hoag, H. P. Lovecraft, Rev. Eugene B. Kuntz, Beryl Mappin, and the Editor. Dr. Kuntz's lines to the memory of Phillips Gamwell are animated with a nobility which well befits their subject, though the rhyme of day and melody is not strictly correct. Few amateur poets are able to achieve the sonorous dignity which Dr. Kuntz imparts to his flowing Alexandrines, or to select with equal appropriateness the vivid and musical words that so irresistibly delight the ear and impress the imagination. Miss Mappin's metrical effort, entitled "Only a Thought," betrays some of the crudities of youth; including the attempted rhyme of alone and home. The metre, phraseology, and plan of rhyming demand extensive revision, the following being a possible amended version of the piece:
As sad and alone in a distant land I sat by the dismal shore, My chin laid pensively in my hand, And my dreams all of home once more; I watch'd and mus'd o'er the sunless sea, And study'd the cruel foam; For the waves bore an exile's woe to me, From my kindred forc'd to roam.
But lo! floating light upon the wind And murm'ing o'er ocean crest, Come the thoughts of those I left behind, Bringing comfort and love and rest. Only a word—aye, only a thought! Each speeds like a heav'n-sent dart; Who can measure the gladness and aid they've brought— These thoughts—to the breaking heart?

The first line of the original, "Far away in a[83] distant land," is lamentably pleonastic; whilst the identity or intended identity of the second and fourth rhymes is undesirable. In a verse of this type, it is not well to repeat a rhyme immediately. In the second stanza the first and third lines and the fifth and seventh are unrhymed, a variation from the original design which is not sanctioned by custom. Once a poet decides on his metre and plan of rhyme, he should maintain them unchanged throughout the poem. In the foregoing revised version, all these defects have been remedied. Miss Trafford's poem, "After a Dream," shows much promise both technically and in the thought. The final line of the first stanza, "And the joy it contains is much," is very weak; and should be changed to read: "And of joy it contains so much." In writing the definite article, Miss Trafford mistakenly uses the contracted form th' when full syllabic value is to be given. This contraction is employed only when the article is metrically placed as a proclitic before another word, and is thereby shorn of its separate pronunciation as follows:
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