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thought we might have had a really think the books must be blamed for personal effort. Mr. Chesterton I their own lack of success. The considhave heard so often in the flesh that it erable sales of such works as “The may be I expected too much of him. Constant Nymph", "A Passage to InMr. Squire I thought might have been dia”, and “Those Barren Leaves" less serious than he was. From these make it appear that a good book can experiences, and from an attempt to still have a public. hear understandingly a selection from “Hamlet” given by Mr. Barrymore and others, I am prepared to say that

I am not saying that all books which Bernard Shaw's threat to theatrical sell well are good, or that all good books managers that unless they looked about sell well. It does happen that some a little more the ordinary playgoer good work does not immediately appeal would prefer to hear his plays over the

to minds of its own age. But I think wireless rather than go to the trouble of

there may be some cant about the visiting the theatre at all, seems to me

whole question of sales. Books are to be nonsensical. Mr. Shaw has evi

like men.

Some of them are more popdently not grasped the fact that people ular than others. Our friends find us go to the theatre not only to see a play likable for different reasons, and we do but to put on their best clothes, to dine not appeal to all men as we appeal to at a restaurant, and to see the world in our friends. Some people, in fact, find the remaining stalls of the theatre. us the reverse of agreeable. I was Moreover, it was quite impossible to talking to a man the other day about a grasp what was happening while"Ham- well known English critic. I objected let" was being performed. The Poet that this critic's manners were distasteLaureate, by the way, said in the pref

I said that he was perace to his latest anthology of poetry Sonally rude, and that I did not enjoy that common humanity would learn the company of rude people, since to me the best manner of English speech by a degree of courtesy is an essential of hearing English spoken in the best any polite intercourse. My friend, manner over the wireless. In this the who condemned the critic as a writer, Poet Laureate was in error. Apart replied to my criticisms of the critic as a from the speakers whom I have men- man by saying that he was a rough tioned, all of whom were men of some diamond". Now this rough diamond reverence for the English language, the does no doubt displease by his demeanor pronunciations. I have heard over the many who would be ready to respect wireless have been exceedingly queer. his integrity if he were not so harsh in They have not been pure at all and in manner. His work, which is more fact such mispronunciations as "per- mannerly than his normal carriage, inotitis", "athaletic," "guvverment", would no doubt attract readers more “reppertwah", and "preppertory” (all than it does if he had the grace of some of which have been heard during the other critics. It is on the whole able last few months, along with others and sincere work, but it is not attrac\which I do not recall) tell against the tive. Accordingly, it is not very popPoet Laureate's theory. Something ular. There is a dryness about it better will have to be done if intelligent which does not please. This dryness, readers of books are to be lured from however, is no more deliberate than is their preference. No; on the whole I the charm of many other writers. Is it not a fact that in all cases we are ularity or the reverse in the men and in attracted or repelled by the personality the work which they produce. Any of the writer rather than by any virtue other explanation will have my respector wisdom in the work itself? I think ful attention, but until a better notion this may account for the relative re- is brought to my notice I shall persist in wards in the sense of popularity) of thinking that unpopularity is caused by writers whose talents are not altogether some unattractiveness in the personalincomparable. As for myself, I find ity of the writer, some lack of charm. Shakespeare an attractive writer, and I It is thus beyond our control, and popshould read his plays if they were much ularity and unpopularity will continue less commendable than they are. I to arise, not from the æsthetic interest find A. A. Milne an attractive writer. of any man's work but from the peculI find terne and Jane Austen and iar radiations of the author's personalRemizov, Mr. Shaw and Mr. Chester- ity. ton, attractive writers. There is something in all these writers which touches a vein in me which is the natural vein. Take, for example, Max Beerbohm. Some other writers I admire more than One has only to glance at any newsone or two of those I have named; but paper at this moment, one has only to if I had my way (that is, if all or a great visit the Leicester Galleries, to be asnumber thought as I think) these sured that Mr. Beerbohm has the symwriters would be the most popular pathetic and charmed attention of a writers in the world. They are not the considerable and representative part most popular writers in the world. of the British public. The new exhiOther people have different tastes. bition of his caricatures is a big sucTherefore, when I write analytically, I cess. The drawings, in the majority of have to say that I think these writers cases, are already sold. Everywhere, are good writers. Good” is a term “Max's" arrival in London in connecwhich means what the reader makes of tion with his show has been greeted it, and I expect that I instinctively take with a kind of writing which could precautions not to suggest that my spring only from affection. The one favorite writers (those with whom I discordant note has been struck by Sir have temperamentally most kinship) Owen Seaman in “Punch". Sir Owen are the best writers in the world. As a objects to Mr. Beerbohm's “malice". rule, they are writers whose particular Aside from the fact that Sir Owen Seakind of humor I most relish. Other man's writing always strikes me as people do not relish them. I know one being full of that very quality, and esteemed critic at the present time who therefore as something less humorous abominates Jane Austen. I have seen than it should be, I must draw attenpeople walk out of the theatre during tion to the fact that nobody else seems the performance of plays by both Mr. to have noticed “Max's" malice. I Shaw and Mr. Milne. I have no doubt have myself seen the exhibition of carthat Mr. Chesterton and Sterne and toons, and most of them are the most Remizov are all disliked by a section of friendly, laughing little exaggerations their readers. Accordingly, I suggest anybody could wish to see. My comthat since it is the personality of each of ment upon them would be that they are these writers which produces its effect, rather too much like small, polite famit is that personality which creates pop- ily jokes (if family jokes can be im

ful to me.

agined ever to be polite) to have any best. And yet it is a delight to look at true importance. I agree that the these drawings. It is delightful to con political cartoons are the worst, but the little jokes, so devoid of sting and so that is because Mr. Beerbohm is evident- goodnaturedly funny. Mr. Beerbohm

not a politician. Indeed, the carica- is having a good "press", and he is hav

'e of Lord Milner, to which Sir Owen ing steady gatherings of the public each Seaman particularly draws attention, is day. The catalogue of the exhibition probably the most meaningless of all is in itself likely to become a treasure, the drawings to be seen at the Leicester so charming is it to recall the delicate Galleries. It has a slight astringency text which appears under each picture (almost, possibly, a bitterness) which I and which is reprinted in the catalogue. did not notice anywhere else. A friend And the reason of it all is that Mr. who went with me to the exhibition Beerbohm has succeeded in getting the said, of the drawing of Sir William whole of the press, and the whole of that Joynson Hicks, “I have sat opposite section of the public which can be that man on a committee for months, reached by such subjects as interest and it is not in the smallest degree like Mr. Beerbohm, to accept his personalhim.” The inference was that Mr. ity. He does not pander to the public. Beerbohm did not know Sir William He does not put this in or that for the Joynson Hicks, and had depended purpose of pleasing any special taste solely upon photographs or descriptions but his own. His cartoons are nearly for his models. The same might be all of men he has already caricatured as said of all his political subjects. They frequently as he has any need to do. are not like the originals, because Mr. And yet we are his servants. For how Beerbohm has never seen the originals. long? I shall not venture to prophesy. Similarly, in many cases, they are not I shall only note that there is a charmappropriate, because Mr. Beerbohm ing (though not especially veracious) has obtained his political knowledge by sketch of Lytton Strachey, that the hearsay. It is impossible for a man to Arnold Bennett and George Moore are live far from England and to keep in as good as ever, and that the Sitwells touch with the feeling of the country or make a notably successful first appeareven with the appearance of its citizens. ance. The drawing of the two Sitwell Take the portraits of Bernard Shaw. brothers, indeed, is held by some to be It is clear that Mr. Beerbohm has not the best thing in the exhibition. I recently seen Mr. Shaw. The drawings shall neither accept nor contradict this, are not in the least like him. One of but at least it shows that Mr. Beerthem shows Mr. Shaw incredibly burly. bohm can really catch a likeness when He remains in fact the same thin wiry he has seen the persons whom he is defigure that he always was, but Mr. picting. The point I want to make is Beerbohm, dreaming in Rapallo, has that whether his caricatures are good or put flesh upon Mr. Shaw's bones, and less good, Mr. Beerbohm is very much he is forgiven. The actual drawing in liked by many people who have never several of the cartoons is terrible. Mr. seen him, who have never seen the origBeerbohm's drawing has always been inals of his caricatures, and who do not his own, and it does not improve. really think his caricatures are as good There are probably not half a dozen (particularly the political caricatures) caricatures in the whole gallery which as those of David Low, the Australian reveal him at his artistic or whimsical cartoonist whose work appears regu

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larly in a London evening paper, the perior members of my audience — a “Star”. “Max's" asset is his person- man who knew, of course, ten times ality. In virtue of this, and in spite of more than the lecturer about the lechis residence abroad, he is today one of turer's own job, which is the way of all the most popular figures in England. undergraduates, temporary and per

manent stumped me by trying to

estimate Rider Haggard's work by the There has just been a great competi- highest standards of art. At first I tion — prizes, eight automobiles — to supposed he was being facetious, but it decide the grave question of the rela- turned out that the effort was being tive popularity of the most popular au- made in good faith. I was forced to thors in England. The prize winners confess that any conjunction between were those entrants who placed the my own theme and the work of Rider authors in the order established by Haggard seemed to me useless; but I their numerical appearance in the lists was at the same time impressed by the of all the competitors. The final order knowledge that the late novelist still of the authors was:

kept the respect of our English underRudyard Kipling

graduates and thus revealed a humanThomas Hardy

ity in them which I was far from expectHall Caine

ing. Observe, in the above list, how Conan Doyle H. G. Wells

relatively lowly is the position of Ethel Rider Haggard

M. Dell.
Arnold Bennett
Ethel M. Dell
Joseph Conrad
W. J. Locke

A real old stager has just celebrated
G. K. Chesterton

his centenary Ian Hay

or rather, since he is no

longer present, it has been celebrated The list is one of the strangest lists I for him - R. M. Ballantyne. Ballanhave ever seen much stranger and tyne was one of the most honest and more unexpected than Mr. Walpole's capable writers for boys who ever lived. recent list of twenty representative I do not think that he was the equal of novels by living authors. That Hardy Manville Fenn for the quickness and should come so high is astonishing. delight of story telling and the naturalThat there should be no place in the ness of his conversations; but he was list for some of our more notorious best very good indeed. I must have read sellers is inexplicable. The fact that all his books in days gone by. I still five of the writers chosen should be real possess rather well worn copies of two old stagers (no offense intended), whose of them, “The Coral Island"and“Marwork was familiar and popular at the tin Rattler". Although I have forturn of the century -- Hardy, Kipling,

Hardy, Kipling, gotten what the latter is about I have Doyle, Caine, and Haggard — shows not forgotten that when I was twelve, how conservative the English public is. being set as a composition at school the It loves its old authors, and will con- task of telling again the story of a favortinue to do so. I was recently speak- ite book, and writing about “Martin ing to a literary society at one of our Rattler”, I was pleased to get top universities, and was referring to art in marks and the master's assurance that the novel, and heaven knows what high- I should make literature my profession brow topics, when one of the most su- in after years. “The Coral Island” I

still recall in some detail, and I have to standards from his. Never mind, the thank that book for giving me as a books were good books of their kind, child some really terrible dreams. and I am glad to have read them, even There is in it a picture of victorious though it was so long ago that I can reSouth Sea Islanders launching their call nothing of them but the names and war canoes over the bodies of living war the satisfaction they gave. prisoners which, when I think of it today, still makes me shudder. The spirits of the three young heroes of My readers should not miss two ex“The Coral Island” were very good, I tremely curious works of great interest, recollect, and one of them, Peterkin, both of which I have recently read. was a wag. Peterkin was my favorite The first of them is D. H. Lawrence's character, though I believe I at all introduction to “Memoirs of the Fortimes identified myself with the person- eign Legion" by M. M., published in ality of the narrator, who was rather England by Secker and in America by less showy than Peterkin and the third Knopf. The second is a pamphlet, member of the trio. But the mere ti- “D. H. Lawrence and Maurice Magtles of Ballantyne's books, for those nus", by Norman Douglas, which can whose youth coincided with mine, are a be obtained at the price of five shillings reminder of hours spent in very sweet from the author, care of Thomas Cook pleasure. Who, of our period, will not and Son, Florence, Italy. Each in its thrill a little at memory of "Fighting way is a masterpiece, and each is exthe Flames”, “The Red Eric”, “The ceedingly characteristic of its author. Battery and the Boiler”, “The Gorilla Lawrence's vitriolic portraits of both Hunters”, The Settler and the Sav- Magnus and Douglas (though, of age”, “Deep Down”, “Ungava”, and course, especially of Magnus) are su“The Young Fur Traders"? I was perb pieces of description. They have never a Henty-ite, because I found that such a vivid truth that you are quite author wooden. It was the sincerity overwhelmed by them. I do not know and the naturalness of both Ballantyne of anything to beat this introduction in and Fenn that made me their slave; its own line, or of anybody except and I am very glad to learn now, for the Dostoyevsky who could beat Lawrence first time, that after making a mistake at this sort of work. That I regard as in one of his books Ballantyne deter- the highest praise which it is possible to mined that he would never again write give. Most other writers would not without first hand knowledge of what only be more urbane and less ruthless he was describing. He thus lived for than Lawrence; they would also be inweeks in a lighthouse, went down into capable of the fierce perception which the tin mines, served as an amateur has enabled him to seize a character fireman, went to sea in a trawler, and with such force, and the magnificent traveled largely, all with this deter- eloquence which has enabled him to mination as the spur. No wonder his produce the portrait for our knowledge. books seemed to the reader of them to I say nothing of the genius which has be authentic! I do not know of any chosen each detail so surely that it writer who has taken Ballantyne's helps to compose Magnus for us in the place, but I imagine that the religious printed word. Douglas's pamphlet, tone of Ballantyne is rather out of date, taken by itself, is a very fine performand that his successors have different ance. It seems to me to be clearly

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