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"Prunes and Prisms, by Percival Prim, the Perfect Speaker" is certainly an unusual volume. Clara Virginia Townsend of Kansas City is the author. By a series of rhymes she attempts, or Percival does, to teach us the rights and wrongs of speech. There is one poem, for example, called colorfully enough "The Antics of the Irregular Verb". Alas, that a part of speech should behave so, forgetting the noble language to which it belongs. Then, there is a masterpiece, "John W. Davis, Grammatically Considered". "Improving Grandmother" has its points. Just a few couplets quoted may aid you, gentle reader, in your grammatical pilgrimage through life:
You must not set, you must not lay. Don't ask the reason why.
To sit is always easy, and 'tis easier far to lie.
You must not say "suspicioned" when you mean to say "suspected",
Unless you say "protectioned" when you aim to say "protected".
You must not say "He done it", nor call the boy "a kid".
But, if they told him not to, you know, of course he did.
Do not say "I feel sadly." "Tis better to feel sad.
Also, do not "feel badly", when you know you should feel bad.
Alfred Dunhill's luxurious "Pipe Book" arrives on our desk at a most inopportune moment, for we have just been ordered to discontinue the delightful and, according to Mr. Dunhill, thoroughly innocuous habit. We have been so much impressed by Mr. Dunhill's suave arguments in favor of this mildest of the minor vices that we have smoked three cigars, and are contemplating a possible fourth, this afternoon. Anyhow, what possible chance would a Gossip have to turn out a Gossip Shop without the aid of the most amiable of companions? Mr. Dun
hill's book is replete with illustrations and useful information concerning the history of smoking and of pipes. Here is a charming suggestion for those who make our divorce laws: "Mr. Roscoe, the anthropologist, relates of the Bonjoro, a people of North-west Uganda, that it is the duty of a wife to take charge of her husband's pipe, and have it ready for him when he comes in. If a man wants to make trouble with his wife, and yet can find no legitimate cause of complaint against her, he puts his pipe where she is likely to break it. However careful she may be, the desired accident happens at last, when the 'aggrieved' husband refuses the food she has prepared, and goes off to sleep in another hut. The wife turns in despair to her mother for advice, and after a few days her parents provide her with some beer, a goat, and a new pipe, which the husband graciously accepts, and so peace is restored."
Herbert F. Jenkins, a director of Little, Brown and Company and the head of the editorial department of that house, recently granted an interview to Edward H. Cotton of "The Christian Register". After years of experience Mr. Jenkins has come to the following conclusions concerning the publishing game:
I believe our writers give us the best they have. Naturally and rightfully the author expects compensation. But he must write what he wants to write and how he wants to write. It is not advisable for the publisher to prescribe his work. In no other way can he succeed. Our intention is to give the public as good books as we can get. We, too, must earn a living. But after all we have our ideals.
As to the outlook for the future, I think small booksellers are going to continue to start up all over the country. Books are being sold in drug-stores and other places where they were not formerly sold. In other words, we are getting a wider distribution of books, but not so wide as we should have in view of the increase in population.
supreme portrayal of modern American
Of all Mrs. Wharton's great characters none will outlive Kate Clephane. In her, Mrs. Wharton has instilled the essence of immortality. Separated from her infant daughter and driven into a not unwelcome exile abroad by an arrogant and displeased motherin-law, Kate passes eighteen years in mediocre European resorts. A drab existence, save for one brief, happy romance. And then, her return to New York as head of the aristocratic Clephane establishment, her joyous reunion with her beautiful daughter, complete happiness, until out of the past comes the man, once loved by the mother, and now the fiancee of the daughter. A situation affording full scope to Mrs. Wharton's art. And beautifully indeed, does she handle it. "The Mother's Recompense" is a supreme achievement of America's foremost woman novelist.
$2.00 at all Booksellers
America's foremost woman novelist has been awarded the Gold Medal for 1924 of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Mrs. Wharton is the first woman to whom the award has been made. It is given in recognition of the most distinguished contributions to fiction."The House of Mirth," "The Age of Innocence, "which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1922, and "Old New York," the outstanding literary event of 1924, are some of Mrs. Wharton's notable efforts. Her new novel has been awaited with wide interest due in some degree to the fact that it is her first story dealing with society in America today.
D. APPLETON & COMPANY, Publishers
35 West 32nd Street
New York City
JOHN FARRAR, Editor
THE POINT OF VIEW
T was a Victorian writer, Charles Kingsley, who wrote contemptuously of those who let "I dare not" wait upon "I would", but we have nowadays a strange extension of the habit. With the common form that of a shivering interest in salacious stories we are already familiar. We find it in timid and suppressed natures, incurably adolescent, full of animosity. The newer variety is something different. It dates from the time when Freud became proper reading for young men and women, and when books of "healthy sexual instruction"
snatched up eagerly as pornography. It resolves itself into an absorbing interest in sex as a subject of conversation. The young of all ages and all sexes (for the older assumption that there were only two sexes has long been destroyed) have discovered sex as a topic; and they never get far away from it. In couples, in parties, at home, at dances, at functions, they find it unfailing and inexhaustible. As Sir Robert Walpole said, "After dinner I
always talk bawdy, so that all can join in!" Only this is a new and solemn form of bawdiness. It is not that the talkers practise what they preach in fact.
One lady, indeed, whose work and conversation are alike full of her obsession, was once asked by a thoughtless girl visitor whether she had ever had an "affair". She replied with a shocked and stony silence. No, the talkers talk. They talk and they think, as if unwinkingly. One may see the habit reflected in many modern novels. In these the characters talk sex heavily for many pages; but their energy, it appears, is all absorbed in their conversation. Such novels, though dull, are true to fact. It would not be just to say that they are true to life. All pseudo-intellectuals at the present time are talking and thinking sex, not in a robust animalish way, but solemnly, pretentiously, foolishly. What is the good of it? By their endless discussion of sexual formulæ they render the real beauty and passion of life dull. To them all is sterile and mechanical. In vain they try to stimulate desire by this form of conversa
tion. It is the worst of excitants, for those who engage in it are indecent without being amusing.
THE LITERATURE OF
T sixty six years of age, hearty, vigorous, humorful, kind, Walter Camp died in his sleep at a New York hotel. This famous football man and coach, chooser of all-American teams, arbiter of Yale athletic destinies, inventor of the daily dozen, was a sturdy and praiseworthy figure in a special but important field of American writing. In these days of impassioned revelation in both fiction and biography, when some health magazines are obviously designed to appeal to desires other than that for muscle building, we must remember that men like Walter
different category from Bernarr Macfadden. Walter Camp worshiped the usefulness, not the beauty, of the body. It was an experience to watch his keen eyes peering over a football field. demanded in a game precision of the mind coupled with functioning of the body. He knew boy nature and man as well; his personality influenced not alone the men of the Yale campus but those interested in clean living all over the world. Nor was there too much of the preacher in him. He was practical, knowing, and forthright. Like the death of Percy Haughton, his going marks a loss not only to American field athletics but also to the literature of clean sport.
WHAT PRICE AUTOBIOGRAPHY?
Camp have blazed the way in America THE precise age at which a man or
for frankness and real helpfulness in discussions of the care of the body. If we are becoming too frank in our regard of the abuses of the body, we surely cannot reveal too much of the way to maintain its maximum usefulness. Though we may laugh at our own American characteristics of organization, both of abstract principles and practicalities, we cannot but praise highly this organization of the health ideal. Dwight L. Moody and others organized religion. The Morgans and the Harrimans created the big business ideal. The advertising pages of the great magazines and their clients have spread the gospel of tooth brush, mouth wash, soap, and luxurious bathing facilities. It was Walter Camp who created a symbol for men and women of a trim, careful age, of days begun neatly and forcefully. At sixty six he looked fifty. His ideal was Spartan rather than Athenian, thus establishing him in a
woman should write his or her autobiography has never been defined, nor is it possible even to approximate such an auspicious moment in an individual's existence. But it should be apparent that the age limit when such a feat of self engrossment seems (as Henry James would put it) so beautifully right, has been considerably lowered during recent years. In the not so distant past an individual considered it necessary to have reached what he regarded as the culminating point of his career before he turned his eyes back to that survey of his days and ways, his achievements and perplexities, his failures and reactions. In other words, he made it a point to reach some sort of perspective before he tacitly judged himself. Several phenomena of recent seasons seem to show that the winds of ego are blowing autobiographical straws in another direction. Nowadays the young au