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"How well it is written!" I thought it a doubtful compliment. It should have been so well written that the reader would not have been conscious of the writing at all.

If we could only get the writing, the craft, out of our stories and essays and poems, and make the reader feel he was face to face with the real thing! The

HE difference between a
precious stone and a com-
mon stone is not an essential
difference-not a difference
of substance, but of arrange-
ment of the particles-the crystalliza-
tion. In substance, the charcoal and
the diamond are one, but in form
and effect, how widely they differ!
The pearl contains
nothing that is not
found in the coars-
est oyster-shell
Two men have the
same thoughts;
they use about the
same words in ex-
pressing them; yet
with one the pro-
duct is real litera-
ture, with the other
it is platitude.
The difference is
all in presentation;
a finer and more
compendious pro-
cess has gone on in
the one case than
in the other. The
elements are better
fused and knitted
together; they are

O, like a queen's her happy tread,
And like a queen's her golden head!
But O, at last, when all is said,

Her woman's heart for me!

We wandered where the river gleamed
'Neath oaks that mused and pines that

A wild thing of the woods she seemed,
So proud, and pure, and free!

All heaven drew nigh to hear her sing,
When from her lips her soul took wing;
The oaks forgot their pondering,

The pines their reverie.

And O, her happy, queenly tread,
And O, her queenly golden head!
But O, her heart, when all is said,
Her woman's heart for me!
'Song," by William Watson


in some way heightened and intensified.
Is not here a clue to what we mean by

Style transforms common quartz into an
Egyptian pebble. We are apt to think of
style as something external, that can be
put on, something in and of itself.
But it is not; it is in the inmost texture
of the substance itself.

Polish, choice words, faultless rhetoric,
are only the accidents of style.
Indeed, perfect workmanship is one
thing; style, as the great writers have it,
is quite another. It may, and often does,
go with faulty workmanship. It is the
choice of words in a fresh and vital way,
so as to give us a vivid sense of a new
spiritual force and personality. In the
best work the style is found and hidden
in the matter.

I heard a reader observe, after finishing
one of Robert Louis Stevenson's books,

complete identification of the style with the thought; the complete absorption of the man with his matter, so that the reader shall say, "How good, how real, how true!"-that is the great success. Seek ye the kingdom of truth first, and all things shall be added

I think we do feel, with regard to some of Stevenson's books, like An Inland Voyage, Travels With a Donkey, etc., how well they are written Certainly one would not have the literary skill any less, but would have one's attention kept from it by the richness of the matter. Hence I think British critic hits the mark when he says Stevenson lacks homeliness.

Doctor Holmes wrote fine and eloquent poems, yet I think one does not feel that he is essentially a poet. His work has not the inevitableness of Nature; it is a skilful literary feat; we admire it, but seldom return to it. His poetry is a stream in an artificial channel; his natural channel is his prose; here we get his freest and most spontaneous activity.

One fault I find with our younger and more promising school of novelists is that their aim is too literary; we feel they are striving mainly for artistic effects. Do we feel this at all in Scott, Dickens, Hawthorne or Tolstoy? These men are not thinking about art, but about life

how to produce life. In essayists like Pater, Wilde, Lang, the same thing occurs; we are constantly aware of the literary artist; they are not in love with life, reality, so much as they are with words, style, literary effects Their seriousness is mainly an artistic seriousness. It is not so much that they have something to say, as that they are filled with a desire to say something.

Nearly all our magazine poets seem filled with the same desire; what labor, what art and technique; but what a dearth of feeling and spontaneity! I read a few lines or stanzas and then stop. I see it is only deft handicraft, and that the heart and soul are not in it.

One day my boy killed what an old hunter told him was a mock duck. It looked like a duck, it acted like a duck, but when it came upon the table-it mocked us.

These mock poems of the magazines remind me of it.

Is it not unfair to take any book, certainly any great piece of literature, and deliberately sit down to pass judgment upon it? Great books are not addressed to the critical judgment, but to the life, the soul. They need to slide into one's life earnestly, and find him with his guard down, his doors open, his attitude disinterested. The reader is to give himself to them, as they give themselves to him; there must be self-sacrifice.

We find the great books when we are young, eager, receptive. After we grow hard and critical we find few great books. A recent French critic says: "It seems to me, works of art are not made to be judged, but to be loved, to please, to dissipate the cares of real life. It is precisely by wishing to judge them that one loses sight of their true significance." "How can a man learn to know himself?" inquires Goethe. "Never by reflection, only by action." Is not this a half-truth? One can only learn his powers of action by action, and his powers of thought by thinking. He can only learn whether or not he has power to command, to lead, to be an orator or legislator, by actual trial. Has he courage, self-control, self-denial, fortitude, etc.?

In life alone can he find out. Action tests his moral virtues, reflection his intellectual. If he would define himself to himself he must think.

"We are weak in action," says Renan, "by our best qualities; we are strong in action by will and a certain one-sidedness." "The moment Byron reflects," says Goethe, "he is a child." Byron had no self-knowledge. We have all known people who were ready and sure in action, who did not know themselves at all. Your weakness or strength as a person comes out in action; your weakness or strength as an intellectual force comes out in reflection.-John Burroughs.

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HO can describe the pleasure and delight, the peace of mind and soft tranquillity, felt in the balmy air and among the green hills and rich woods of an inland village? Who can tell how scenes of peace and quietude sink into the minds of painworn dwellers in close and noisy places, and carry their own freshness deep into their jaded hearts?

Men who have lived in crowded, pent-up streets, through whole lives of toil, and never wished for change; men to whom custom has indeed been second nature, and who have come almost to love each brick and stone that formed the narrow boundaries of their daily walks-even they, with the hand of death upon them, have been known to yearn at last for one short glimpse of Nature's face, and, carried far from the scenes of their old pains and pleasures, have seemed to pass at once into a new state of being, and crawling forth from day to day to some green, sunny spot, have had such memories wakened up within them by the mere sight of sky, and hill, and plain, and glistening water, that a foretaste of heaven itself has soothed their quick decline, and they have sunk into their tombs as peacefully as the sun, whose setting they watched from their lonely chamber window but a few hours before, faded from their dim and feeble sight!

The memories which peaceful country scenes call up are not of this world or of its thoughts and hopes. Their gentle influence may teach us to weave fresh garlands for the graves of those we loved, may purify our thoughts and bear down before it old enmity and hatred; but beneath all this there lingers in the least reflective mind a vague and half-formed consciousness of having held such feelings long before in some remote and distant time, which calls up solemn thoughts of distant times to come, and bends down pride and worldliness beneath it.-Charles Dickens.


The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions.-Tennyson.

UR friendships hurry to short and

poor conclusions, because we have made them a texture of wine and dreams, instead of the tough fiber of the human heart. The laws of friendship are great, austere, and eternal, of one web with the laws of nature and of morals. But we have aimed at a swift and petty benefit, to such a sudden sweetness. We snatch at the slowest fruit in the whole garden of God, which many summers and many winters must ripen. We seek our friend not sacredly, but with an adulterate passion which would appropriate him to ourselves o

I do not wish to treat friendships daintily, but with roughest courage. When they are real, they are not glass threads or frost-work, but the solidest thing we know

The end of friendship is a commerce the most strict and homely that can be joined; more strict than any of which we have experienced. It is for aid and comfort through all the relations and passages of life and death. It is fit for serene days, and graceful gifts, and country rambles, but also for rough roads and hard fare, shipwreck, poverty and persecution. It keeps company with the sallies of the wit and the trances of religion. We are to dignify to each other the daily needs and offices of man's life, and embellish it by courage, wisdom and unity. It should never fall into something usual and settled, but should be alert and inventive, and add rhyme and reason to what was drudgery.-Emerson.

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greatness. It was native in him to rejoice in the successes of other men at least as much as in his own triumphs. One almost felt that, so long as good books were written, it was no great concern to him whether he or others wrote them. Born with an artist's craving for beauty of expression, he achieved that beauty with infinite pains. Confident in romance and

The royal feast was done; the King
Sought some new sport to banish care,
And to his jester cried: “Sir Fool,
Kneel now, and make for us a prayer."

The jester doffed his cap and bells,

And stood the mocking court before; They could not see the bitter smile

Behind the painted grin he wore.

He bowed his head, and bent his knee
Upon the monarch's silken stool;
His pleading voice arose: “O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

HEN the telegram came, early one Monday morning, what was our first thought, as soon as the immediate numbness of sorrow passed and the selfish instinct began to reassert itself (as it always does) and whisper "What have I lost? What is the difference to me?" Was it not something like this-" Put away books and paper and pen. Stevenson is dead. Stevenson is dead, and now there is nobody left to write for." Our children and grandchildren shall rejoice in his books; but we of this generation possessed in the living man something that they will not know. So long as he lived, though it were far from Britain — though we had never spoken to him and he, perhaps, had barely heard our names— we always wrote our best for Stevenson. To him each writer amongst us -small or more than small-had been proud to have carried his best. That best might be poor enough. So long as it was not slipshod. Stevenson could forgive. While he lived, he moved men to put their utmost even into writings that quite certainly would never meet his eye. Surely another age will wonder over this curiosity of letters-that for five years the needle of literary endeavor in Great Britain has quivered towards a little island in the South Pacific, as to its magnetic pole.

"No pity, Lord, could change the heart From red with wrong to white as wool; The rod must heal the sin: but Lord,

Be merciful to me, a fool!

"'T is not by guilt the onward sweep

Of truth and right, O Lord, we stay; 'Tis by our follies that so long

We hold the earth from heaven away.

"These clumsy feet, still in the mire, Go crushing blossoms without end; (Concluded on next page)

Yet he founded no school, though most of us from time to time have poorly tried to copy him. He remained altogether inimitable, yet never seemed conscious of his

in the beneficence of joy, he cherished the flame of joyous romance with more than Vestal fervor, and kept it ardent in a body which Nature, unkind from the beginning, seemed to delight in visiting with more unkindnessa" soul's dark cottage, battered and decayed" almost from birth. And his books leave the im

pression that he did this chiefly from a sense of duty: that helabored and kept the lamp alight chiefly because, for the time, other and stronger men did not

Had there been another Scott, another Dumasif I may change the image-to take up the torch of romance and run with it, I doubt if Stevenson would have offered himself. I almost think in that case he would have consigned with Nature and sat at ease, content to read of new Ivanhoes and new D'Artagnans: for-let it be said again-no man had less of the ignoble itch for merely personal success. Think, too, of what the struggle meant for him: how it drove him unquiet about the world, if somewhere he might meet with a climate to repair the constant drain upon his feeble vitality; and how at last it flung him, as by a 66 sudden freshet," upon Samoa-to die" far from

Argos, dear land of home." And then consider the brave spirit that carried him-the last of a great race-along this far and difficult path; for it is the man we must consider now, not, for the moment, his writings. Fielding's voyage to Lisbon was long and tedious enough; but almost the whole of Stevenson's life has been a voyage to Lisbon, a voyage in the very penumbra

of death. Yet Stevenson spoke always as gallantly as his great predecessor. Their "cheerful stoicism," which allies hisbooks with the best British breeding, will keep them classical as long as our nation shall value breeding so se

It shines to our dim eyes now, as we turn over the

familiar pages of Virginibus Puerisque, and from page after page-in sentences and fragments of sentences

favorite, Sir Thomas Browne: a passage beginning "He was fruitlessly put in hope of advantage by change of Air, and imbibing the pure Aerial Nitre of those Parts; and therefore, being so far spent, he quickly found Sardinia in Tivoli, and the most healthful air of little effect, where Death had set her Broad Arrow." A statelier sentence of the same author

These hard, well-meaning hands we

Among the heart-strings of a friend.

"The ill-timed truth we might have kept—
Who knows how sharp it pierced and

The word we had not sense to say-
Who knows how grandly it had rung!

"Our faults no tenderness should ask,
The chastening stripes must cleanse
them all;

But for our blunders—oh, in shame
Before the eyes of heaven we fall.

"Earth bears no balsam for mistakes;
Men crown the knave, and scourge the

That did his will; but Thou, O Lord,

Be merciful to me, a fool!"

The room was hushed; in silence rose

The King, and sought his gardens cool,
And walked apart, and murmured low,

"It is not altogether ill with the invalid after all." "Who would find heart enough to begin to live, if he dallied with the consideration of death?"

"Be merciful to me, a fool!"
"The Fool's Prayer," by Edward Rowland Sill

"What sorry and pitiful quibbling all this is!".. "It is better to live and be done with it, than to die daily in the sick-room. By all means begin your folio; even if the doctor does not give you a year, even if he hesitates over a month, make one brave push and see what can be accomplished in a week. . . . For surely, at whatever age it overtake the man, this is to die young."

I remember now (as one remembers little things at such times) that, when first I heard of his going to Samoa, there came into my head (Heaven knows why) a trivial, almost ludicrous passage from his

occurs to me now: "To live indeed, is to be again ourselves, which being not only a hope, but an evidence in noble believers, it is all one to lie in St. Innocent's Churchyard, as in the sands of Egypt. Ready to be anything in the ecstasy of being ever, and as content with six foot as the moles of Adrianus."

This one lies, we are told, on a mountain-top, overlooking the Pacific. At first it seemed SO much easier to distrust a News Agency than to accept Stevenson's loss. “ O captain, my captain!" One needs not be an excellent writer to feel that writing will be thankless work, now that Stevenson is gone. But the papers by this time leave no room for doubt. "A grave was dug on the summit of Mount Vaea, thirteen hundred feet above the sea. The coffin was carried up the hill by Samoans with great difficulty, a track having to be cut through the thick bush which covers the side of the hill, from the base to the peak." For the good of man, his father and grandfather planted the high sealights upon the Inchcape and the Tyree Coast. He, the last of their line, nursed another light and tended it. Their lamps still shine upon the Bell Rock and the

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