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In the thirties: Shakespeare, "Hamlet" (36); Flaubert, "Madame Bovary" (36); Whitman, "Leaves of Grass" (36); Boccaccio, "Decameron" (36); Sue, "The Mysteries of Paris" (39); Stevenson, "Dr. Jekyll" (36); Wilkie Collins, "The Woman in White" (36); Gogol, "Dead Souls" (33); Frank Norris, "The Pit" (32); Kipling, "Kim" (35); Page, "Marse Chan" (34); Oscar Wilde, "Dorian Gray" (35); Eggleston, "The Hoosier Schoolmaster" (34); Garland, "Rose of Dutcher's Coolly" (35); Cable, "Dr. Sevier" (39); Fuller, "The Cliff Dwellers" (36); D'Annunzio, "Francesca da Rimini" (39); Wycherley, "The Plain Dealer" (33); Crawford "Saracinesca" (33); Cabell, "Jurgen" (39); Poole, "The Harbor" (35); Mérimée, "Colomba" (37); Henry Sydnor Harrison, "Queed" (31); Hergesheimer, "Java Head" (38).
In the forties: Chaucer, "Canterbury Tales" (46); Barrie, "Peter Pan" (43); Balzac, "La Cousine Bette" (46); Tolstoy, "Anna Karenina" (42); Molière, "Le Misanthrope" (44); Scott, "St. Ronan's Well" (43); Dickens, "Great Expectations" (49); Thackeray, "The Newcomes" (43); Jane Austen, "Emma" (40); Dostoyevsky, "Crime and Punishment" (44); Mark Twain, "Huckleberry Finn" (48); Shaw, "Man and Superman" (47); George Eliot, "Adam Bede" (40); Howells, "Silas Lapham" (47); Anatole France, "Thais" (45); Rabelais, "Pantagruel" (42); Blackmore, "Lorna Doone" (44); Dante, "The Divine Comedy" (41); Sudermann, "Es War" (47); Le Sage, "Gil Blas" (47 to 67); Dumas, "Monte Cristo" (42); Daudet, "Sapho" (44); Fielding, "Tom Jones" (41); George Moore, "Esther Waters" (41); Trollope, "Barchester Towers" (42); George Sand, "La Mare au Diable" (42); Zola, "La
Terre" (48); Hewlett, "The Queen's Quair" (42); Smollett, "Humphrey Clinker" (49); Stowe, "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (41); Conrad, "Lord Jim" (43); Deland, "The Awakening of Helena Ritchie" (48); Melville, "Moby Dick" (42); Burnett, "A Lady of Quality" (46); Dreiser, "The Genius" (43); Wilson, "Bunker Bean" (45); Tarkington, "Seventeen" (46); Galsworthy, "Fraternity" (42); Hale, "The Man Without a Country" (41); Willa Cather, "My Antonia" (41); Edith Wharton, "The House of Mirth" (42); James Lane Allen, "The Choir Invisible" (46); Sherwood Anderson, "Poor White" (43).
In the fifties: Sterne, "A Sentimental Journey" (55); Goethe, "Faust" (59); Meredith, "The Egoist" (58); Hardy, "Tess" (50); Ibsen, "A Doll's House" (50); Wells, "Mr. Britling" (50); Turgenev, "Virgin Soil" (59); Racine, "Athalie" (51); Milton, "Paradise Lost" (55); Hawthorne, "The Marble Faun" (55); Cervantes, "Don Quixote" (57); Bunyan, "Pilgrim's Progress" (50); Gautier, "Le Capitaine Fracasse" (52); Swift, "Gulliver's Travels" (58); Stockton, "Mrs. Lecks and Mrs. Aleshine" (52); Wallace, "Ben Hur" (53); Richardson, "Clarissa Harlowe" (58); Rousseau, "La Nouvelle Héloïse" (50); Johnson," Rasselas" (50); Reade, "Griffith Gaunt" (52).
In the sixties: Hugo, "Les Misérables" (60); Butler, "The Way of All Flesh" (66); Voltaire, "Candide" (65); De Morgan, "It Never Can Happen Again" (69); Defoe, "Robinson Crusoe" (60); de Goncourt, "La Faustin" (60); James, "The Golden Bowl" (60).
It will be plain that in many instances earlier work by a given artist might be indicated as of equal fame or equal importance, but the debate here would be no better than that over the superior
exhibited in works of imagination has no favorite age, that the brain has no child bearing period whose range it is possible to fix.
The one admonitory conclusion which I venture to derive from this glance at the figures is that youth need not be in a hurry. A joyous impatience, yes, but not a crippling anxiety to demonstrate. No time concessions to all that is outside. The true artist will not be a clock watcher. He may sometimes beat the game, as Dr. Johnson did with "Rasselas" because he needed the money (it is always a shocking discovery that few impulsions have been so provocative to genius as being hard up), but this will not be like feverishly fussing over proof that genius is on the job early or that earliness is genius.
By Maxwell Bodenheim
HE youth and girl within this grudging park
And feel the strained abasement of a king
Their longings do not dare to rise and sing,
The parsimonious brutality
Of certain men and women always hates
FROM AN AUTHOR'S MAIL BAG
"A strange volume of real life in the daily packet
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following extracts are gathered from a collection of informal reminiscences of Kate Douglas Wiggin, presently to be edited and published in book form by her sister, Nora Archibald Smith.
N eminent British author, when
asked to set down his likes and dislikes in one of those biographical booklets too often presented to literary lights by their admirers, alleged his favorite occupation to be "Serendipity". The novel and tantalizing term immediately caught the attention of those curious in words, and was found to have been coined by Horace Walpole, who used it concerning the adventures of a certain Prince of Serendib.
This oriental potentate, so it is related, conducted a worldwide search for a lost treasure, and although he never found the particular object he desired, he yet came upon so many other valuable things in his travels that he considered his life well spent.
Haec fabula docet: This fable teaches that even a successful author's morning mail, bulky as it may be with bills, advertisements, begging letters, letters seeking the origin of quotations and the verification of statements, queries as to the disposition of manuscripts, pleas for opinions on verse - that this high heaped material may yet contain some rare gem that sparkles among the rubbish, "like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear".
In the pursuit of Serendipity, then, the following gems were discovered by my sister and laid away in a special case for the delight of other connoisseurs. - N. A. S.
September 26th, 1889.
MRS. KATE DOUGLAS WIGGIN,
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA. Much Esteemed Madam:
Will you be kind enough to give us your opinion regarding the following.
The Browns, Smiths and Jones are three foreign families living here in Mexico. The Browns' child was to be baptized, and they had thought of inviting a number of friends, but owing to unfriendly feeling among the different families, could not well arrange the company.
Brown explains the matter to them all, then he asks Mrs. Smith if she, as an intimate friend, would do him the favor to ask and arrange with a certain Chinaman Hotel Keeper, to bake a few fine cakes. She most cheerfully complied, and also informed Brown that she wanted to make a
cake herself for the Baby, and if Brown would send her 2 lbs raisins, and one pound of butter, she would bake a nice fruit cake.
Brown sent the butter and raisins.
Mrs. Jones, a friend also of Browns, and a next door neighbor to Mrs. Smith said she wanted to furnish a cake, all said in the most friendly terms.
On the afternoon of the 19th inst, Brown sent a servant for the cakes. They all came together, those of Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Jones, and those the Chinaman furnished, along with numerous boquets of flowers.
The baptism took place that evening, present, only God Father and God Mother. The following morning (the 20th inst) the Browns, so happy knowing their son was a Christian, concluded as there was a great abundance of cake they would send it around among their friends, to enjoy, also the baptismal cake.
Among others to the Smiths and Joneses.
Gathering together the dishes of Smith and Jones and writing a polite note stating the cakes were all very fine and much enjoyed, they sent them, enclosing also to each, Mrs. Smith, and Jones, the usual baptismal cards, custom of the country.
Mrs. Smith and Jones sent the cake all back without one word of explanation. In sending the cake Mrs. Brown sent two pieces of each cake furnished by Smiths, Jones and Chinaman.
Now someone has been guilty of commiting a breach of Etiquette; who was it?
The Browns are very much hurt as they meant no harm.
The Smiths and Jones Family are hurt that they should have their own baking returned for them to eat.
Please excuse all of us for our molest
ing you, but your answer and decision we greatly wish; it will settle all difficulties for us in our colony.
Trusting you will not feel annoyed by our intrusion, we are all truly your friends, the Browns, Smiths and Jones's and all the rest.
Very truly and respectfully yours, (Signed) EULOGIO N. CAMPBELL M. D. San Ysidro
Estado de Sinaloa,
6 Chestnut Street,
Dear Mrs. Wiggin:
Seeing a short sketch of you in "The House-Wife", I am encouraged to write you, on an important subject. My daughter, off at College, will graduate from the College Classical Course, in May, the subject of her oration is Sources of Power in the World. Will you please be kind to send me some thoughts on said subject? I will pay you whatever you charge.
Anxiously awaiting your reply, I remain,
JULIET E. MOSES.
4208 Woodland Ave.,
My dear Mrs. Wiggin:
The day that you visited us I happened to be punished for a small offence. The biggest disgrace of our school is to be put under the clock in the Normal School's main corridor. My teacher put me under the clock for the whole day.
By the way the students were rushing around, I knew something unusual was to happen. Afterwards I heard the elevator lady tell the janitor that Mrs. Wiggin was reading to the girls. I nearly fell off my chair, I was so surprised. Really, Mrs. Wiggin, I don't believe I have ever been so disappointed in my life before, when I heard that you were there and that I was not to hear you.
Of course the reading must have been splendid but there was another reason that I wished to hear an author read. My greatest ambition is to be an author myself. I love to tell and write stories and I always get "Excellent" in in compositions in school. Poetry to me is beautiful and I write some; of course no one ever sees it but I love to write poems.
I dearly love Rebecca and many times have I transformed her into a real little girl and have played and talked to her for hours. I read the book and then Rebecca steps out and we have a lovely time together. "Patsy", another one of your books, is splendid. It is so sad, though, that I always cry when I read it.
I saw "Mother Carey's Chickens" Saturday and it was lovely. I can imagine just how proud you must feel to see your book being played. I was telling the friend that was with me that if I do become an author and write lovely things, that if it is ever dramatized I shall buy a seat in the top gallery and more or less disguise myself. Then I shall study the people's
I am a pupil of the School of Prac- faces, they are so interesting up there