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Title: The Little Review, December 1914 (Vol. 1, No. 9)

Author: Various

Editor: Margaret C. Anderson

Release date: July 2, 2021 [eBook #65740]

Language: English

Credits: Jens Sadowski and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at This book was produced from images made available by the Modernist Journal Project, Brown and Tulsa Universities,


The Little Review

Literature Drama Music Art



Poems Richard Aldington
A Great Pilgrim-Pagan George Soule
My Friend, the Incurable: Ibn Gabirol
On Germanophobia; on the perils of Monomania; on Raskolinkov and Alexander Berkman; on surrogates and sundry subtleties.  
On Poetry:  
Aesthetics and Common-Sense Llewellyn Jones
In Defense of Vers Libre Arthur Davison Ficke
The Decorative Straight-Jacket Maxwell Bodenheim
Harriet Monroe’s Poetry Eunice Tietjens
Scharmel Iris Milo Winter
The Poetry of T. Sturge Moore Llewellyn Jones
Amy Lowell’s Contribution M. C. A.
Star Trouble Helen Hoyt
Parasite Conrad Aiken
Personality George Burman Foster
The Prophecy of Gwic’hlan Edward Ramos
Editorials and Announcements  
Winter Rain Eunice Tietjens
Home as an Emotional Adventure The Editor
A Miracle Charles Ashleigh
London Letter E. Buxton Shanks
New York Letter George Soule
The Theatre, Music, Art  
Book Discussion  
Sentence Reviews  

Published Monthly

Entered as second-class matter at Postoffice, Chicago.

The Little Review

Vol. I


No. 9


Richard Aldington

On a Motor-Bus at Night

(Oxford Street)

The hard rain-drops beat like wet pellets

On my nose and right cheek

As we jerk and slither through the traffic.

There is a great beating of wheels

And a rumble of ugly machines.

The west-bound buses are full of men

In grey clothes and hard hats,

Holding up umbrellas

Over their sallow faces

As they return to the suburban rabbit-holes.

The women-clerks

Try to be brightly dressed;

Now the wind makes their five-shilling-hats jump

And the hat-pins pull their hair.

When one is quite free, and curious,

They are fascinating to look at—

Poor devils of a sober hell.

The shop-lamps and the street-lamps

Send steady rayed floods of yellow and red light

So that Oxford street is paved with copper and chalcedony.

Church Walk, Kensington

(Sunday Morning)

The cripples are going to church.

Their crutches beat upon the stones,

And they have clumsy iron boots.

Their clothes are black, their faces peaked and mean;

Their legs are withered

Like dried bean-pods.

Their eyes are as stupid as frogs’.

And the god, September,

Has paused for a moment here

Garlanded with crimson leaves.

He held a branch of fruited oak.

He smiled like Hermes the beautiful

Cut in marble.

A Great Pilgrim-Pagan

George Soule

Shakespeare in red morocco seems always wan and pathetic. I see him looking gloomily out of his unread respectability, bored with his scholarly canonization and his unromantic owners. How he longs for the irresponsible days when he was loved or ignored for his own sake! Now he is forever imprisoned in marble busts and tortured in Histories of English Literature. There is no more tragic fate in the annals of imagination. Terrible is the vengeance taken by institutional culture on those who are great enough to command its admiration.

Therefore, a genius who has not been tagged unduly by the pundits inspires me with a profound delicacy, in a sense akin to the reverence for a beautiful child. Here is a virtue which the world needs. One would like to proclaim it from the housetops. Yet there are the rabble, ready with their election-night enthusiasm, and the scholars, with their pompous niches. If one could only find all those whom the man himself would have selected as friends and whisper the right word in their ears! But, after all, we must speak in public, remembering that even misunderstanding is the birthright of the genius. It is better that power should be expressed in devious and unforeseen channels than not at all.

A flippant friend once told me that he had never had the courage to read William Vaughn Moody because the poet had such a dark brown name. That is important because of its triviality. I have no doubt that if the gospel hymns had never been written, and if we had never on gloomy Sunday evenings seen those pale books with the scroll-work Moody-and-Sankey covers, bringing all their dismal train of musical and religious doggerel, we should have been spared many misgivings about the evangelist’s vicarious name-sake. Let it be firmly understood, therefore, that there is nothing dark brown, or evangelistic, or stupidly sober-serious about the new poet of the Fire-Bringer. May he never go into a household-classics edition!

But there is a tinge of New England about him, just the same. Only one who has in his blood the solemn possibilities of religious emotion can react against orthodox narrowness without becoming trivial. It is the fashion to blame all modern ills on puritan traditions. We should be wise if in order to fight our evils we should invoke a little of the Pilgrim Fathers’ heroism. Too many of us take up the patter of radicalism with as little genuine sincerity as a spearmint ribbon-clerk repeats the latest Sunday-comic slang. If you have ever walked over a New England countryside the endless miles of stone walls may have set you thinking. Every one of those millions of stones has been laboriously picked out of the fields—and there are still many there. Before that the trees had to be cleared away, and the Indians fought, and the ocean crossed without chart or government buoy. For over two centuries our ancestors grimly created our country for us, with an incessant summer- and winter-courage that seems the attribute of giants. What wonder if they were hard and narrow? We scoff at their terminal morraine; but we should be more deserving of their gift if we should emulate their stout hearts in clearing away the remaining debris from the economical and spiritual fields. In spite of injurious puritan traditions there is something inalienably American and truly great about old New England. It is the same unafraid stoutness of heart that is at the bottom of Moody’s personality. It gives him power; it gives him unconscious dignity.

Yet Moody was indeed a rebel against the religious and social muddle in which he found himself. Something red and pagan poured into his veins the instinct of defiance to a jealous god and to pale customs. The best of the Greek was his; instinctively he turned at last to Greek drama for his form and to Greek mythology for his figures. There was in him that σπονδη which Aristotle believed essential for the poet—a quality so rare among us that the literal translation, “high seriousness,” conveys little hint of its warmth, its nobility and splendor. He believed in the body as in the soul; and his conception of the godly was rounded and not inhuman. Dionysus was every bit as real to him as the man of sorrows. Is not this the new spirit of America which we wish to nourish? And is there not a peculiar virtue in the poet who with the strong arm of the pilgrim and the consecration of the puritan fought for the kingdom of joy among us? In The Masque of Judgment he pictures a group of heroic unrepentant rebels against divine grace who have not yet fallen under the sword of the destroying angel. Of them one, a youth, sings:

Better with captives in the slaver’s pen

Hear women sob, and sit with cursing men,

Yea, better here among these writhen lips,

Than pluck out from the blood its old companionships.

If God had set me for one hour alone,

Apart from clash of sword

And trumpet pealéd word,

I think I should have fled unto his throne.

But always ere the dayspring shook the sky,

Somewhere the silver trumpets were acry,—

Sweet, high, oh, high and sweet!

What voice could summon so but the soul’s paraclete?

Whom should such voices call but me, to dare and die?

O ye asleep here in the eyrie town,

Ye mothers, babes, and maids, and aged men,

The plain is full of foemen! Turn again—

Sleep sound, or waken half

Only to hear our happy bugles laugh

Lovely defiance down,

As through the steep

Grey streets we sweep,

Each horse and man a ribbéd fan to scatter all that chaff!

How from the lance-shock and the griding sword

Untwine the still small accents of the Lord?

How hear the Prince of Peace and Lord of Hosts

Speak from the zenith ’mid his marshalled ghosts,

“Vengeance is mine, I will repay;

Cease thou and come away!”

Or having seen and hearkened, how refrain

From crying, heart and brain,

“So, Lord, Thou sayest it, Thine—

But also mine, ah, surely also mine!

Else why and for what good

The strength of arm my father got for me

By perfect chastity,

This glorious anger poured into my blood

Out of my mother’s depths of ardency?”

So the sanctity of the warrior. And the sanctity of other passions is there, too. A woman says:

O sisters, brothers, help me to arise!

Of God’s two-hornéd throne I will lay hold

And let him see my eyes;

That he may understand what love can be,

And raise his curse, and set his children free.

But quotations crowd upon me. Most of Moody’s best work bears witness to his glorification of man’s possible personality in rebellion against man’s restrictive conception of society and god. We have had many such rebels; the peculiar significance of Moody lies in the fact that he lacks utterly the triviality of the little radical, and that his is a power which springs from the most heroic in American quality.

Of course all this would be worth nothing unless Moody had the authentic utterance of the poet. His fulness of inspiration, combined with his sensitive editing, has left us scarcely a line which should have gone to oblivion. As an example of his magic take three lines from I Am the Woman, in which the woman is walking with her lover:

But I was mute with passionate prophecies;

My heart went veiled and faint in the golden weather,

While universe drifted by after still universe.

Or the woman’s response to Pandora’s singing in The Fire-Bringer:

Hark, hark, the pouring music! Never yet

The pools below the waterfalls, thy pools,

Thy dark pools, O my heart—!

Fragmentary, mystic, unrelated with the context; yet who that has heard perfect music can fail to understand that cry? It is indeed this mystic richness, these depths below depths, that make a large part of Moody’s individual fascination. He rarely has the limpid clarity or the soaring simplicity which make the popular lyricist such as Shelley. There is too much grasp of the mind in his work for the large public; only those who have in some degree discovered the beauty of the wide ranges can feel at home in him. One breathes with the strength of great virility,—an able and demanding body, a mind which conquers the heights, and those infinitely subtle and vibrating reaches of spirit which belong especially to the poet.

To me the thought of Moody is satisfying not only because he typifies those qualities which I like to think we ought to find in American literature, but because he exemplifies my ideal of a poet. There have been many insane geniuses; men whose glory has shone sometimes fitfully through bodily or mental infirmity. Some of us are accustomed to the idea that genius is in fact insanity or is akin to it. Certainly the words “wholesome” and “healthy” have been applied so many times to mediocre productions that we are wary of them. But is not the insanity of genius after all merely the abnormal greatness and preponderance of a single quality in a man? If by some miracle his other qualities could have been equally great, would he not have been a still nobler artist? To me the Greek impulse of proportionate development has an irresistible appeal. To be sane, not by the denial of a disproportionate inspiration, but by the lifting of all the faculties to its level: that is a dream worthy of the god in man. To be an artist not by the denial of competing faculties, but by the fullest development of all faculties under an inexorable will which unites them in a common purpose: that is a rich conception of personality. The perfect poet should be the perfect man. He should be not insane, but saner than the rest of us. Moody not only expressed this ideal in his life, but in his work. He was strong and sound, physically, mentally, spiritually. No one who has read his letters can miss the golden roundness of his humor, his humanity, his manliness. Yet never for a moment did he make a comfortable denial of the will to soar. In his poem The Death of Eve he has burningly expressed the development of personality. Eve, an aged woman, has not succumbed to the view that she committed an unforgivable sin in disobeying God to taste the apple. Taking old Cain with her, she fearlessly enters the garden again to show herself to God before she dies. In her mystic song she sings:

Behold, against thy will, against thy word,

Against the wrath and warning of thy sword,

Eve has been Eve, O Lord!

A pitcher filled, she comes back from the brook,

A wain she comes, laden with mellow ears;

She is a roll inscribed, a prophet’s book

Writ strong with characters.

Behold, Eve willed it so; look, if it be so, look!

And after singing of her life and of how she had been sensitive to the love of her husband and children, she goes on:

Still, still with prayer and ecstasy she strove

To be the woman they did well approve,

That, narrowed to their love,

She might have done with bitterness and blame;

But still along the yonder edge of prayer

A spirit in a fiery whirlwind came—

Eve’s spirit, wild and fair—

Crying with Eve’s own voice the number of her name.

Yea, turning in the whirlwind and the fire,

Eve saw her own proud being all entire

Made perfect by desire;

And from the rounded gladness of that sphere

Came bridal songs and harpings and fresh laughter;

“Glory unto the faithful,” sounded clear,

And then, a little after,

“Whoso denyeth aught, let him depart from here!”

And only thus does Eve find god—in her perfect self—

Ready and boon to be fulfilled of Thee,

Thine ample, tameless creature,—

Against thy will and word, behold, Lord, this is She!

Here, indeed, is the religion of our time. A faithfulness that is deeper than the old faithfulness; and that challenge which of all modern inspiration is the most flaming:

Whoso denyeth aught, let him depart from here!

This is not the balance of a personality that denies itself! Like Nietzsche, Moody is shaken with the conviction that the most deadly sin is not disobedience, but smallness.

There is a striking similarity between the religious attitude of Moody and that of Nietzsche. Moody mentions Zarathustra only once in his published letters. Certainly he was not obsessed by the German, or a confessed follower. Nor did Moody elaborate any social philosophy, beyond a general radicalism quite different from Nietzsche’s condemnation of socialism. But, like Nietzsche, Moody was in reaction against a false and narrow culture. And like him, Moody found in Hellenic ideals a blood-stirring inspiration. He found not the external grace of the Greek which Keats celebrated, not the static classical perfection which has furnished an anodyne for scholars. It was the deeper, cloudy spirit of Aeschylus, the heaven-scaling challenge of Euripides, the Dionysiac worship of joy and passion. Take, for instance, the chorus of young men in The Fire-Bringer which Professor Manly has called “insolent”—though it seems to me of a divine insolence:

Eros, how sweet

Is the cup of thy drunkenness!

Dionysus, how our feet

Hasten to the burning cup

Thou liftest up!

But O how sweet and how most burning it is

To drink the wine of thy lightsome chalices,

Apollo! Apollo! To-day

We say we will follow thee and put all others away

For thou alone, O thou alone art he

Who settest the prisoned spirit free,

And sometimes leadest the rapt soul on

Where never mortal thought has gone;

Till by the ultimate stream

Of vision and of dream

She stands

With startled eyes and outstretched hands,

Looking where other suns rise over other lands,

And rends the lonely skies with her prophetic scream.

Moody, too, transvaluates values everywhere. The Death of Eve is an example of it. It is to “The Brute” that he looks for the regeneration of society. Prometheus is a heroic saviour of mankind; rebellion is his virtue, not his sin. Pandora is not a mischievous person who through her curiosity lets out all the troubles on the world, but a divine, wind-like inquirer, the inspiration of Prometheus. The God of judgment-day is himself swept away by the destruction of mankind for the sins of commission. And the insignificance of man compared with what he might be is satirically shown in The Menagerie.

But let me not create the impression that Moody cannot be delicate. From Heart’s Wild Flower:

But where she strays, through blight or blooth, one fadeless flower she wears,

A little gift God gave my youth,—whose petals dim were fears,

Awes, adorations, songs of ruth, hesitancies, and tears.

From the gentle poem of motherhood, The Daguerreotype:

And all is well, for I have seen them plain,

The unforgettable, the unforgotten eyes!

Across the blinding gush of these good tears

They shine as in the sweet and heavy years

When by her bed and chair

We children gathered jealously to share

The sunlit aura breathing myrrh and thyme,

Where the sore-stricken body made a clime

Gentler than May and pleasanter than rhyme,

Holier and more mystical than prayer.

Or from The Moon-Moth:

Mountains and seas, cities and isles and capes,

All frail as in a dream and painted like a dream,

All swimming with the fairy light that drapes

A bubble, when the colors curl and stream

And meet and flee asunder. I could deem

This earth, this air, my dizzy soul, the sky,

Time, knowledge, and the gods

Were lapsing, curling, streaming lazily

Down a great bubble’s rondure, dye on dye,

To swell that perilous clinging drop that nods,

Gathers, and nods, and clings, through all eternity.

Here, surely, is an American poet who speaks in eternal terms of the new inspiration; one who was sane and blazing at the same time; one who in order to be modern did not need to use a poor imitation of Whitman, screech of boiler factories and exalt a somewhat doubtful brand of democracy; one who was uncompromisingly radical without being feverish; above all, one who succeeded in writing the most beautiful verse without going to London to do it. When one is oppressed with the doubt of American possibilities it is a renewal of faith to turn to him. If Whitman is of our soil, Moody is no less so; through these two the best in us has thus far found its individual expression.

The temptation to quote is one that should not be resisted. And I can think of no better way to send readers to Moody in the present world crisis than to quote the song of Pandora:

Of wounds and sore defeat

I made my battle stay;

Wingéd sandals for my feet

I wove of my delay;

Of weariness and fear

I made my shouting spear;

Of loss, and doubt, and dread,

And swift oncoming doom

I made a helmet for my head

And a floating plume.

From the shutting mist of death,

From the failure of the breath,

I made a battle-horn to blow

Across the vales of overthrow.

O hearken, love, the battle-horn!

The triumph clear, the silver scorn!

O hearken where the echoes bring,

Down the grey disastrous morn,

Laughter and rallying!

If they (men) were books, I would not read them.—Goethe.

My Friend, the Incurable

On Germanophobia; on the perils of Monomania; on Raskolnikov and Alexander Berkman; on surrogates and sundry subtleties

υρηκα!—shouted the Incurable, when I came on my monthly call. I have solved the mystery that has baffled your idealists since the outbreak of the War. The puerile effusions of Hardy, Galsworthy, and other Olympians who in the mist of international hostilities confused Nietzsche with Bernhardi, are quite explainable. It is well known that our successful writers have no time or inclination to read other fellows’ books: they leave this task to journalists and book-reviewers. Hence their splendid ignorance of Nietzsche. The advent of great events showered upon the innocent laymen problems, names, and terms that have been a terra incognita to most of them, and justly so: for what has the artist to do with facts and theories,—what is Hecuba to him? But of late it has become “stylish” for men of letters to declare their opinions on all sorts of questions, regardless of the fact that they have as much right to judge those problems as the cobbler has the right to judge pastry. To the aid of the English novelists who wanted to say “something about the war,” but whose information on the subject was zero, came the dear professor Cramb. A quick perusal of his short work[1] supplied the students with an outlook and a view-point, and out came the patriotic cookies to the astonishment of the world. Such, at least, is my interpretation of the mystery.

[1] Germany and England, by J. A. Cramb. [E. P. Dutton and Company, New York.]

Professor Cramb’s lectures are not an answer to Bernhardi, as the publisher wants us to believe, but rather a supplement to the work of the barrack-philosopher whose theory of the biological necessity of war is beautifully corroborated with numerous quotations from the most ancient to the most modern philosophers, historians, statesmen, and poets. The general splendidly demonstrates the efficiency of German mind, the ability to utilize the world culture for the Fatherland, to make all thinkers serve the holy idea of war, from Heraclitus’s πὸλεμος πατήρ πάντων to Schiller’s Bride from Messina. Yet I, in my great love for Germany, should advise the Kaiser’s government to appropriate a generous sum for the purpose of spreading far and wide Cramb’s “Answer,” as the highest glorification of Teutonia. No German has expressed more humble respect and admiration for Treitschke, Bernhardi, and other eulogists of the Prussian mailed fist than this English dreamer of a professor. For what but a fantastic dream is his picture of modern Germany as that of a land permeated with heroic aspirations, a mélange of Napoleonism and Nietzscheanism? Nay! it is the burgher, the “culture-philistine” that dominates the land of Wilhelm and Eucken, the petty Prussian, the parvenu who since 1870 has been cherishing the idea of Weltmacht and of the Germanization of the universe.

Pardon me, friend, I cannot speak sina ira on this question; out of respect for Mr. Wilson’s request, let us “change the subject.” Come out where we can observe in silence the symphony of autumnal sunset. The Slavs call this month “Listopad,” the fall of leaves; do you recall Tschaikovsky’s Farewell Ye Forests? Sing it in silence, in that eloquent silence of which Maeterlinck had so beautifully spoken. I say had, for my heart is full of anxiety for that Belgian with the face of an obstinate coachman. His last works reveal symptoms of Monomania, that sword of Damocles that hangs over many a profound thinker, particularly so if the thinker is inclined towards mysticism. Maeterlinck, as no one else, has felt the mystery of our world; his works echoed his awe before the unknown, the impenetrable, but also his love for the mysterious, his rejoicing at the fact that there are in our life things unexplainable and incomprehensible. His latest essays[2] show signs of dizziness, as of a man who stands on the brink of an abyss. I fear for him; I fear that the artist has lost his equilibrium and is obsessed with phantasms, psychometry, and other nonsense. The veil of mystery irritates him, he craves to rend it asunder, to answer all riddles, to clarify all obscurities, to interpret the unknowable; as a result he falls into the pit of charlatanism and credulity.

[2] The Unknown Guest, by Maurice Maeterlinck. [Dodd, Mead and Company, New York.]

If there were no more insoluble questions nor impenetrable riddles, infinity would not be infinite; and we should have forever to curse the fate that placed us in a universe proportionate to our intelligence. All that exists would be but a gateless prison, an irreparable evil and mistake. The unknown and unknowable are necessary to our happiness. In any case I would not wish my worst enemy, were his understanding a thousand times loftier and a thousandfold mightier than mine, to be condemned eternally to inhabit a world of which he had surprised an essential secret and of which, as a man, he had begun to grasp the least atom.

These words were written by Maeterlinck a few years ago in his essay, Our Eternity. He has surely gone astray since. The last book is written in a dull pale style, in a tone of a professional table-rapper, enumerating legions of “facts” to prove the theory of psychometry or whatever it may be, forgetting his own words of some time ago: “Facts are nothing but the laggards, the spies, and camp followers of the great forces we cannot see.” What a tragedy!

Was Dostoevsky a mystic? Undoubtedly so, but not exclusively so. Far from being a monomaniac, he applied his genius to various aspects of life and wistfully absorbed the realistic manifestations of his fellow-beings as well as the inner struggles of their souls. Dostoevsky is the Cézanne of the novel. With the same eagerness that Cézanne puts into his endeavor to produce the “treeness” of a tree, brushing aside irrelevant details, does Dostoevsky strive to present the “soulness” of a soul, stripping it of its veils and demonstrating its throbbing nudeness before our terrified eyes. We fear him, for he is cruel and takes great pleasure in torturing us, in bringing us to the verge of hysteria; we fear him, for we feel uneasy when we are shown a nude soul. Perhaps he owed his wonderful clairvoyancy to his ill health, a feature that reminds us of his great disciple, Nietzsche. I do not know which is more awesome in Raskolnikov[3]: his physical, realistic tortures, or his mysterious dreams and hallucinations. In all his heroes: the winged murderer who wished to kill a principle; the harlot, Sonya, who sells her body for the sake of her drunkard father and her stepmother; the father, Marmeladov, whose monologues in the tavern present the most heart-gripping rhapsody of sorrow and despair; the perversed nobleman, Svidrigailov, broad-hearted and cynical, who jokingly blows out his brains—in the whole gallery of his morbid types Dostoevsky mingles the real with the fantastic, makes us wander in the labyrinth of illusionary facts and preternatural dreams, brings us in dizzily-close touch with the nuances of palpitating souls, and leaves us mentally maimed and stupefied. I think of Dostoevsky as of a Demon, a Russian Demon, the sorrowful Demon of the poet Lermontov, the graceful humane Mephistopheles of the sculptor Antokolsky.

[3] Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky. [The Macmillan Company, New York.]

The tragedy of Raskolnikov is twofold: he is a Russian and an intellectual. The craving, religious soul of the child of the endless melancholy plains, keened by a profound, analytic intellect seeks in vain an outlet for its strivings and doubtings in the land where interrogation marks are officially forbidden. The young man should have plunged into the Revolution, the broad-breasted river that has welcomed thousands of Russian youth; but Dostoevsky willed not his hero to take the logical road. The epileptic Demon hated the “Possessed” revolutionists; he saw the Russian ideal in Christian suffering. “He is a great poet, but an abominable creature, quite Christian in his emotions and at the same time quite sadique. His whole morality is what you have baptised slave-morality”—this from Dr. Brandes’s letter to Nietzsche,—a specimen of professorial nomenclature.

I am thinking of a threefold—nay, of a manifold—tragedy of a young man, who, besides being a Russian and an intellectual, is a revolutionist and is a son of the eternal Ahasver, the people that have borne for centuries the double cross of being persecuted and of teaching their persecutors. What makes this tragedy still more tragic is the element of grim irony that enters it as in those of Attic Greece: the Russian-Jewish-Anarchist is hurled by Fate into the country of Matter-of-Fact, your United States. The boy is poetic, sentimental, idealistic; imbued with the lofty traditions of the Narodovoltzy, the Russian saints-revolutionists, he craves for a heroic deed, for an act of self-sacrifice for the “people.” “Ah, the People! The grand, mysterious, yet so near and real, People....”[4] He attempts to shoot an oppressor of the people, is delivered to the Justice, and is sentenced to twenty-two years of prison confinement. The curtain falls, but does the tragedy end here? No, it only begins.

[4] Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist, by Alexander Berkman. [Mother Earth Company, New York.]

For he who lives more lives than one

More deaths than one must die.

Raskolnikov wanted to kill a principle; he wanted to rid the world of a useless old pawnbroker, in order to enable himself to live a useful life. He failed; the principle remained deadly alive in the form of a gnawing conscience. “I am an aesthetic louse,” he bitterly denounces himself. Alexander Berkman wanted to die for a principle, to render the people a service through his death. He has failed. At least he has thought so. The Attentat produced neither the material nor the moral effect that the idealist had expected. Society condemned him, of course; the strikers, for whose benefit he eagerly gave his life, looked upon his act as on a grave misfortune that would augment their misery; even his comrades, except a very few, disapproved of his heroic deed. The icy reality sobered the naïve Russian. Was it worth while? For the “people?”

The Memoirs have stirred me more profoundly than Dostoevsky’s Memoirs from a House of the Dead, far more than Wilde’s De Profundis: the tragedy here is so much more complex, more appalling in its utter illogicality. On the other hand the book is written so sincerely, so heartedly, so ingenuously, that you feel the wings of the martyr’s soul flapping upon yours. Berkman becomes so near, so dear, that it pains to think of him. You are with him throughout his vicissitudes; you share his anguish, loneliness, suicidal moods; your spirit and your body undergo the same inhuman tortures, the same unnecessary cruelties, that he describes so simply, so modestly; you rejoice in his pale prison joys, your heart goes out to the gentle boy, Johnny, who whispers through the dungeon wall his love for Sashenka; you weep over the death of Dick, the friendly sparrow whose chirping sounded like heavenly music to the prisoner; you are filled with admiration and love for the Girl who hovers somewhere outside like a goddess, “immutable,” devoted, noble, reserved; you are, lastly, out in the free, and how deeply you sympathize with the sufferer when he flees human beings and solicitous friends.... When I read through the bleeding pages, I felt like falling on my knees and kissing the feet of the unknown, yet so dear, martyr. Surely, thou hast known suffering....

Don’t sneer at my incurable sentimentality, you happy normal. The tragedy of Alexander Berkman is common to all of us, transplanted wild flowers. It is the tragedy of getting the surrogate for the real thing. Berkman and the Girl passionately kissing the allegorical figure of the Social Revolution—isn’t this the symbol of the empty grey life in this normal land? What do you offer the seeking, striving, courageous souls but surrogates, substitutes? Your radicals—they are nauseating! They chatter about Nietzsche and Stirner and Whitman, wave the red flag and scream about individual freedom; but let one of them transgress the seventh commandment or commit any thing that is not comme il faut according to their code, and lo, the radicalism has evaporated, and the atavistic mouldy morality has come to demonstrate its wrinkled face. Has not John Most repudiated the act of his disciple, Berkman, because it was a real act and not a paper allegory? Of course, Most was German....

Hush! Were we not going to observe in silence the purple-crimson crucifixion of autumnal Phoebus? I have been as silent as the Barber of Scheherezade. Woe me, the Incurable!

Ibn Gabirol.


Helen Hoyt

I wish no guardian angel:

I do not seek fairies in the trees:

The trees are enough in themselves.

On Poetry

Aesthetics and Common-Sense

Llewellyn Jones

Poetry, we are often told, cannot be defined but—by way of consolation—can always be recognized. Unfortunately the latter half of that statement seems no longer true, especially of latter-day poetry. Fratricidal strife between makers of vers libre and formalists goes on merrily, while the people whose contribution to poetry is their appreciation of it—and purchase of it—are not unnaturally playing safe and buying Longfellow in padded ooze.

I always thought I could recognize authentic poetry on most themes and even flattered myself that I had some little understanding of the psychology of its production. Latterly two voices have come to me, one affirming that I was right in my prejudice that all durable verse should have content as well as form, should have meaning as well as sound—though in closest union with the sound,—that, in short, the poet should be a thinker as well as a craftsman; an emotional thinker, of course, if that term be permitted, but not a mere clairaudient wielder of words. And then I heard a voice which bid me forget all that and list to

Long breaths, in a green and yellow din.

Hastening to give credit where it is due, let me remind the readers of The Little Review that this is the last line of a poem by Maxwell Bodenheim in the last number of that periodical. I trust that Mr. Bodenheim will forgive me for using him to point a moral and adorn a critical article, especially as I shall have to compare him with Wordsworth before I get through, and shall have to ask him whether he is not carrying the Wordsworthian tradition just a little too far into the region of the individual and subjective, into the unknown territory of the most isolated thing in the world: the human mind in those regions of it which have not been socially disciplined into the categories which make communication possible between mind and mind.

The other voice which I have mentioned is that of Professor S. B. Gass, of the University of Nebraska, who writes on Literature as a Fine Art in The Mid-West Quarterly for July.

Professor Gass takes the very sane position that words are the socially-created tools—arbitrary symbols, he calls them—to give us “not the thing itself, but something about the thing—some relationship, some classification, some generalization, some cause, some effect, some attribute, something that goes on wholly in the mind and is not sensuously present in the thing itself.” And that work, he continues, is thought, and it proceeds by statement. But undoubtedly words have sensuous sounds and sensuous denotations and connotations. Professor Gass admits this, but regards their sensuous properties—and especially, I imagine he would insist, their sensuous sounds based on physiological accident—as secondary. Hence, to him, Imagism would be a use of words for purely secondary results. And that is decadence: “Decadence arises out of the primary pursuit of secondary functions.” Now Wordsworth and the romantic school generally used words in this way, and so, logically enough, Professor Gass classifies Wordsworth as a decadent. In doing so we fear he exhibits an intellect too prone to dichotomize. He cuts human psychology up into too many and too water-tight compartments. When he quotes Wordsworth’s

... I saw a crowd,

A host of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

he seems to forget that there is more in that poem than its imagism—as we would call it now; that it is record of a personal experience, that is not only a trespass on the domain of the painter (to speak as if we agreed with our critic) but that it is a personal reaction to the picture painted in those words, that it tells us something that no mere picture could do. The poem, in fact, is a picture plus a story of the effect of the picture upon a human soul.

But the point in which I agree with Professor Gass is that—whatever the ultimate purpose of literature, including the lyric; whether, as he says, it is “a reflection of human nature, intellectual in its mode, critical in its spirit, and moral in its function”; or whether it is legitimate to regard its rhythms in words and “secondary” connotations and associations of words as materials for an art rather than for a criticism of life—the point beyond all this that I think fundamental is that literature does what it does—inform, enlighten, or transport—by understandable statement.

Certainly all appreciation of literature that dares to voice itself—that is all criticism—must proceed on this supposition, and it is just this supposition that is flouted by some of Mr. Bodenheim’s poems.

Take the following, for instance:

TO ——

You are a broad, growing sieve.

Men and women come to you to loosen your supple frame,

And weave another slim square into you—

Or perhaps a blue oblong, a saffron circle.

People fling their powdered souls at you:

You seem to lose them, but retain

The shifting shadow of a stain on your rigid lines.

Now obviously there is no sense in this in the ordinary intellectualistic meaning of the word sense. Unlike most poetry, it cannot be analyzed into a content which we might say was expressed suitably or unsuitably in a form. If, then, it be a good poem, we must look elsewhere for its excellence. I would hesitate to find that excellence in the mere sound of the words. Is it then in their associations? Arthur Ransome, the English critic, accounts for the peculiar effect of poetry by its use of what he calls potential language—of words which by long association have come to mean more than they say, that have not only a denotation like scientific words, but a sometimes definite, sometimes hazy, connotation, an emotional content over and above what is intellectually given in their purely etymological content. Does this help us here? I am afraid not. Personally I have always associated sieves with ashes and garden-earth (there is also a little triangular sieve that fits into kitchen sinks). Blue oblongs and saffron circles remind me of advertising posters and futurist pictures; while—I admit a certain poetic quality of a sort here—powdered souls remind me of Aubrey Beardsley.

But, perhaps, the ultimate objection to this poem as it stands is the fact that I have an uneasy suspicion that some printer may have transposed some of these expressions. For would it not really have made better sense if the poem had spoken of a saffron oblong and a blue square? Certainly if I choose to think that that is what it must have been originally no other reader, on the face of the matter, could convince me otherwise. While, if another reader told me that Mr. Bodenheim had once studied geometry and therefore could not possibly have written about a “slim square”, I would be quite unable to convince him otherwise.

But—it will be objected—it is quite unfair to any poem to analyze it word by word. It spoils its beauty. I challenge the assertion, and even assert the opposite. As a matter of fact, it is only by analysis that we can tell good poetry from bad poetry. For instance:

Crown him with many crowns

The lamb upon his throne.

Analyze that and it straightway appears the nonsense that it really is. But, on the other hand, take this poem of Francis Thompson’s (I quote only a part):

Does the fish soar to find the ocean,

The eagle plunge to find the air—

That we ask of the stars in motion

If they have rumour of thee there?

Not where the wheeling systems darken,

And our benumbed conceiving soars!—

The drift of pinions, would we hearken,

Beats at our own clay-shuttered doors.

The angels keep their ancient places;—

Turn but a stone, and start a wing!

’Tis ye, ’tis your estrangèd faces,

That miss the many-splendored thing.

Now that poem, it will be observed, is not unrelated in subject to the two lines quoted just above it. And yet, how it defies any effort to analyze it out into anything else than itself. Rhythm, cosmic picturings, the homely metaphors of the dusty road, all combine to place us in an attitude toward, to give us a feeling for, reality, which is different from, and nobler than, those of the man who has either never read this poem, never read the same message in other poetic language, or—what is more to the point—never managed to get for himself the same experience which dictated that poem.

For, after all, if I were to agree with Professor Gass that poetry (as a part of literature) is not a fine art, it would be because I think it more than a fine art. Because I think the function of poetry is not merely to be a verbal picture art or a verbal music art, but to be an organon of reconciliation between art and life. The best poems, I think, will be found to be those which alter our consciousness in such a way that our inward, and even our outward, lives are altered. The poet sees the world as we do not see it. Consequently, he can put a new complexion on it for us. The world is pluralistic, and so are we. Intellectually we may be of the twentieth century, but emotionally we may be born out of our due season. Then let the poet of that due season mediate to us the emotional life that we need. Living in America, we may, through him, reach Greece or India. By his aid we may conquer the real world; by his aid we may flee from it if it threatens to conquer us. By his aid alone we may get outside of our own skins and into the very heart of the world.

What, then, shall we say, when poetry offers to conduct us into a world of growing sieves, slim squares, powdered souls, cool, colorless struggles, the obstetrical adventures of white throats, and green and yellow dins?

I have heard of a book which explains the fourth dimension. If I ever get a chance to read that book, and if I find that I can understand the fourth dimension, I shall have another shot at the appreciation of this poetry. For I have a slumbering shadow of a pale-gray idea (if I, too, may wax poetic) that in the sphere of the fourth dimension a slim square would be a perfectly possible conception.

I shall arise and go home now and read some poems by the late Mr. Meredith who is popularly supposed to be obscure.

In Defense of Vers Libre

Arthur Davison Ficke

(A reply to “Spiritual Dangers of Writing Vers Libre” by Eunice Tietjens in the November issue of The Little Review)

The properly qualified judge of poetry can have no doubts about vers libre; if he doubts it, he is no judge. He belongs to that class of hide-bound conservatives who are unwilling to discard the old merely because it is old. He does not yet understand that the newest is always the best. Worst of all, he does not appreciate the value of Freedom.

Freedom is the greatest of boons to the artist. The soul of the artist must not be hampered by unnecessary constraints. The old fixed verse-forms—such as the sonnet, blank verse, and all the other familiar metres—were exactly as cramping to the free creating spirit of the poet as the peculiar spaces and arches of the Sistine Chapel were to the designing instinct of Michael Angelo. Lamentable misfortune! that his Sibyls had to occupy those awkward corners. How much would they not have gained in grandeur could they have had all outdoors to expand in!

All outdoors is just what vers libre affords the poet of today. He is no longer under the necessity of moulding his thought into an artificial pattern, compressing it to a predetermined form; it can remain fluent, unsubjugated, formless, like a spontaneous emotional cry. No longer need he accept such fatal and stereotyped bondage as that under which Milton labored when the iron mechanics of blank verse forced him to standardize, to conventionalize, his emotion in such lines as—

O dark dark dark amid the blaze of noon,

Irrecoverably dark, total eclipse

Without all hope of day!...

To be honest, we must admit that there was something sickly and soul-destroying about the earlier verse-forms. The too-honeyed sweetness and metrical constraint of Paradise Lost has always secretly repelled the true judge of poetry; and Shakespeare’s Sonnets have never been thoroughly satisfactory just because of the fatal necessity under which the author worked, of rhyming his lines in conformity with a fixed order. How could spiritual originality survive such an ordeal?

It would be unwise, however, to condemn the whole body of past poets; for certain of the earlier practitioners did, in their rudimentary way, see the light. Milton in Sampson Agonistes, in the midst of passages of the old-fashioned regular blank verse, introduced several choruses in vers libre; and these could perhaps hardly be surpassed by any English or American poet now living. As everyone knows, Walt Whitman (see The Poets of Barbarism by George Santayana) used vers libre profusely. In fact, there extends backward from us an unbroken chain of distinguished vers libre tradition, through Whitman, Matthew Arnold, Southey, Shelley, Milton, and many others; the chain ends only with that first “probably arboreal” singer just antedating the first discoverer of regular rhythm. Vers libre is as old as the hills, and we shall always have it with us.

The one defect of the earlier practitioners of vers libre was that they did not have the wit to erect it into a cult. They used the free form only when it seemed to them essentially appropriate to the matter:—that is to say, they used it sporadically, desultorily. Today we know better. Today we know that the free form must be used ever and always. In hoc signo vinces!

As a modern poet admirably says—

Those envious outworn souls

Whose flaccid academic pulses

Beat to no rythms of more Dionysiac scope

Than metronomes,—

Or dollar-twenty-five alarm-clocks,—

They will forever

Cavail at novelty, at beauty, at freshness;

But, hell!—

But, a thousand devils!—

But, Henri Quatre and the Pont Neuf!—

We of the new age, who leap upon the mountains like goats upon the heaps of tin cans in the vacant lots, and butt the stars,—

We know they are liars,

And that we are what we are.

Could that be expressed in a sonnet? I think not. At least, it could not be expressed so vigorously, so wisely, so well.

There is, however, one obvious peril against which the enthusiast must guard himself. Vers libre is not of itself a complete warranty of success; because a poem is in this form, it is not necessarily fine poetry. “Love is enough,” says William Morris; he would not have said the same about vers libre. A certain power of conception, beyond the brilliant and original idea involved in the very employing of the free verse-form, is requisite for real importance in the finished product.

Nor is the statement of the poet’s own unique and terrifying importance a sufficient theme to constitute the burden of all his work. Several of our most immortal living vers librists have fallen into such an error. This “ego über alles” concept, though profound and of a startling originality, lacks variety if it be indefinitely repeated. Should the poet, however, feel deep in his soul that there is nothing else worth saying except this, let him at least take care to beautify his idea by the use of every artifice. After saying “I am I, and great,” let him not forget to add variety and contrast to the picture by means of the complementary idea: “You, O world, are you, and contemptible.” In such minglings of light and shade lies poetry’s special and proper beauty.

Vers libre has one incontestable advantage over all those more artificial vehicles in which the poets of the past have essayed to ride into immortality. This newly popular verse-form can be used perfectly well when the poet is drunk. Let no one of temperate habits underestimate this advantage; let him think of others. Byron was drunk most of the time; had he been able to employ a form like this, how many volumes could he perhaps have added to the mere seventeen that now constitute his work! Shelley,—seldom alcoholicly affected, I believe,—was always intoxicated with ideas; he, equipped solely with the new instrument, could have written many more epics like Queen Mab, and would probably have felt less need of concentrating his work into the narrow limits of such formalistic poems as The West Wind.

Let it be understood that all the principles suggested in this monograph are intended only for the true devotee of vers libre. One can have nothing but contempt for the poet who, using generally the old-fashioned metres, turns sometimes to vers libre as a medium, and carries over into it all those faults of restrained expression and patterned thought which were the curse of the old forms. Such a writer is beyond hope, beyond counsel. We can forgive Matthew Arnold, but not a contemporary.

Certain devoted American friends of poetry have been trying for some time to encourage poetry in this country; and I think they are on the right track when they go about it by way of encouraging vers libre. No other method could so swiftly and surely multiply the number of our verse-writers. For the new medium presents no difficulties to anyone; even the tired business-man will find himself tempted to record his evening woes in singless song. True, not everyone will be able at first trial to produce vers libre of the quality that appears in the choruses of Sampson Agonistes:

This, this is he; softly a while;

Let us not break in upon him.

O change beyond report, thought, or belief!

See how he lies at random, carelessly diffused,

With languished head unpropt,

As one past hope, abandoned,

And by himself given over,

In slavish habit, ill-fitted weeds

O’er-worn and soiled.

Or do my eyes misrepresent? Can this be he,

That heroic, that renowned,

Irresistible Sampson? whom, unarmed,

No strength of man, or fiercest wild beast, could withstand?...

Which first shall I bewail,

Thy bondage or lost sight,

Prison within prison

Inseparably dark?

That is indeed admirable, and not so easy to write as it looks. But some kind of vers libre can be turned out by anyone; and to encourage the use of this medium will be to encourage and vastly increase that multitudinous body of humble and industrious versifyers who are at present the most conspicuous ornament of American literature.

The Decorative Straight-Jacket: Rhymed Verse

Maxwell Bodenheim

The clamping of the inevitable strait-jacket, rhymed verse, upon the shrinking form of poetry has been the pastime of centuries. Those who would free poetry from the outworn metal bands and let her stretch her cramped limbs are labeled decadent, slothful, and futile. How easy it is to paste disagreeable labels upon the things one happens to dislike.

I admit that poetry freed from the bonds she has so long worn may become vulgar and over-demonstrative. A convict who has just been released from a penitentiary is perhaps inclined to caper down the road, and split the air with good red shouts. But after his first excesses he walks slowly, thinking of the way before him. With some poets free verse is still the boisterous convict; with others it is already the sober, determined individual. But I rather like even the laughing convict, looking back and flinging huge shouts at his imposing but petty prison.

Suppose I were a Bluebeard who had enticed a young girl into my dim chamber of poetic-thought. Suppose I took the little knife of rhyme and coolly sliced off one of her ears, two or three of her fingers, and finished by clawing out a generous handful of her shimmering, myriad-tinted hair, with the hands of meter. I might afterwards display her to the world, saying: “Look! Is she not still beautiful, still almost perfect?” But would that excuse my butchery? The lesson is perhaps fairly clear. Rhymed verse mutilates and cramps poetry. It is impossible for even the greatest poet completely to rise above its limitations. He may succeed in a measure, but that is due to his strength and not to the useless fetters he wears. But, say the defenders of the fetters, rhyme and meter are excellent disciplines. Does Poetry or does the Poet need to be disciplined? Are they cringing slaves who cannot be trusted to walk alone and unbound? These are obvious things, but one must sometimes be obvious when speaking to those who still possess a childish belief. Poetry is not determined by the monotonous form in which it is usually clothed, but by the strength or weakness of its voice. Because men have foolishly placed this voice in the mouth of a child, wearing a dress with so many checks on it, and a hat the blackness of which matches the ebony of its ugly shoes, it does not necessarily follow that the voice becomes miraculously changed when placed in some other mouth, whose owner wears a different garb. Then there is the rhythm difficulty. If the little child, Rhyme and Meter, does not swing his foot in time to what he is saying, adding rhythm, his words, according to some, change from poetry to prose. What delightful superstitions!

Poets can undoubtedly rise to great heights, in spite of the fact that they must replace stronger words with weaker ones, because “passion” does not rhyme with “above,” but “love” does. But how much higher could they rise if they were free? I do not say that to eliminate rhyme, meter, and rhythm is to make the way absolutely clear. The Poet must still be a Poet to climb. Nor do I say that if the Poet finds that rhyme, rhythm, and meter happen almost to fit his poetic thoughts, he must not use them. I only say that the poet who finds that the usual forms of poetry confine and mar his poetic thoughts should be able to discard them without receiving the usual chorus of sneers, and that if he does he is not miraculously changed from a poet to a writer of prose.

Harriet Monroe’s Poetry

Eunice Tietjens

You and I, by Harriet Monroe. [The Macmillan Company, New York.]

Right here in Chicago, under our very noses, there is dwelling personified a Real Force. It is done up in a neat and compact little package, as most real forces are that are not of the Krupp variety, and it works with so little fuss and fury that it takes some discernment to recognize it for a force at all. Nevertheless it is a power which is felt throughout the length and breadth of the country, in California, in Florida, in Canada, and in England. And wherever it is felt it is a liberating force, a force that ruthlessly shatters the outworn conventions of the art in which it operates, that tears away the tinsel trappings and bids art and beauty spring forth clean and untrammeled, to forge for themselves new forms that shall be fitting for the urge of today.

The name by which this force is known in every day parlance is Miss Harriet Monroe, and its manifestations are twofold—as poet and as editor. As editor she has created and kept alive the courageous little magazine Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, which might almost, so far as Chicago is concerned, be called the spiritual older sister of The Little Review. It, too, in its own field, stands for the revolt of today against the hide-bound spirit of yesterday, and it, too, is a thorn in the side of the Philistines.

The most recent manifestation of Miss Monroe’s influence is, however, in her character as poet. She has collected together a large number of poems, most of which have already appeared in the leading magazines and have been widely copied, and has brought them out under the title You and I. Seeing them so collected, one is much better able to get a perspective on the poems themselves, and on the very interesting personality behind them. And they bulk large. Unquestionably this is one of the most important of the recent books of poetry.

You and I is essentially modern in spirit and in treatment. Miss Monroe has the power of looking with the eyes of the imagination at many of our modern institutions. The Hotel, The Turbine, The Panama Canal, The Ocean Liner—these are some of the subjects she treats with a real understanding and a sweep of vision that quite transfigures these work-a-day objects. And she is equally at home when writing of the great emotional complexity of State Street at Night or the simpler but more profound poignancy of the Elegy for a Child. Indeed, one of the noticeable things about the book is the unusually large range of themes treated.

There is also in this book the primal, but unfortunately rare, gift of wonder. This is one of the essential qualities of true poetry, and it furnishes Miss Monroe with the key-note of the book, an open-eyed, courageous facing of fate, and an unshakable belief in the redeeming power of beauty.

This little lyric may serve as an introduction to the spirit of the book:


How wild, how witch-like weird that life should be!

That the insensate rock dared dream of me,

And take to bursting out and burgeoning—

Oh, long ago——yo ho!——

And wearing green! How stark and strange a thing

That life should be!

Oh mystic mad, a rigadoon of glee,

That dust should rise, and leap alive, and flee

Afoot, awing, and shake the deep with cries—

Oh, far away—yo hay!

What moony mask, what arrogant disguise

That life should be!

Scharmel Iris: Italian Poet

Milo Winter

Scharmel Iris, the first of the Italians in America to write poetry in English is a Florentine who was brought to Chicago when but an infant. Before his tenth year his poems attracted attention and were warmly praised by such men as Ruskin, Swinburne and Gosse. Later Francis Thompson and Richard Le Gallienne expressed appreciation. These poems which originally appeared in leading publications of England and America are gathered together for the first time and printed by the Ralph Fletcher Seymour Company (Fine Arts Building, Chicago; $1.00 net). The volume, entitled Lyrics of a Lad, contains his most desirable and characteristic lyrics and is a serious contribution to our poetic literature. These poems came to be respected as art through their freshness and originality—there are no trite, worn-out, meaningless phrases, or words of an abstract, generalized significance. Immortal beauty is a vision in his eyes and a passion in his heart, and he has labored to reveal it to the world. Art is a creation of men’s minds, and because Mr. Iris’s creation is direct and spontaneous it becomes greater art. This volume is not post-Miltonic or post-Swinburnian or post-Kiplonian. This young poet has the good sense to speak naturally and to paint things as he sees them. Because this book is Scharmel Iris it is distinctive. It is without sham and without affectation. The announcement of its publication and his poems in The Little Review brought the publisher three-hundred orders. The book, slender and well-printed, has more real poetry than any volume of modern verse it has been our good fortune to read.

It is difficult to do an important book justice in a short article. Perhaps a miscellaneous quotation of lines will help:

The thrush spills golden radiance

From boughs of dusk;

The day was a chameleon;

In sweat and pangs the pregnant, Night

Brings forth the wondrous infant, Light;

Within the sunset-press, incarnadine,

The sun, a peasant, tramples out his wine;

You are the body-house of lust;

Where twilight-peacocks lord the place

Spendthrifts of pride and grace;

And lo, at Heaven’s blue-windowed house

God sets the moon for lamp;

The sunbeams sought her hair,

And rested there;

These mute white Christs—the daily crucified;

Lucretia Borgia fair

The poppy is.

The sunbeams dance in dawn’s ballet;

While sunset-panthers past her run

To caverns of the Sun;

When from the husk of dusk I shake the stars;

O dusk, you brown cocoon,

Release your moth, the moon,

Ah, since that night

When to her window, she came forth as light,

Have I been Beauty’s acolyte;

and there are many other striking lines. In The Visionary a poet steals the pennies on a dead man’s eyes to buy himself bread, and, after his death, the money denied him in life is in turn placed on his sightless eyes. It is irony of the bitterest sort. Late January is an excellent landscape—interpretive rather than descriptive. Scarlet—White is struck at the double standard, and is a strong and powerful utterance. April, Canzonette, Lady of the Titian Hair are exquisite and charming lyrics. Three graceful compositions are The Heart-Cry of the Celtic Maid, Tarantella and Song for a Rose. The Ugly Woman will cause discussion, but it is good art. The trio of Spring Songs and Her Room are well nigh perfect. Mary’s Quest is very tender, as is also the Twilight Lullaby. The Leopard, Fantasy of Dusk and Dawn, The Forest of the Sky are wonderfully imaginative, and were written in Chicago,—in the grime and barrenness of Halsted Street. There is a poignant thing of five lines, a mother who is going blind over the death of a son. Her despair is hopeless and tragic—she makes a true and awful picture of realism in her grief. Heroes treats of the nameless heroes, daily met and overlooked. The love poems are sincere as all love poems must be. In Foreboding the note of sadness is emphatic—almost dominant; but there is more than mere sadness in it; it is not a minor note. It is tragedy, really, that speaks in such poetry:

Her cold and rigid hands

Will be as iron bands

Around her lover’s heart;


O’er thee will winter through the sky’s gray sieve

Sift down his charity of snow.

The Mad Woman (printed in Poetry) is as excellent as it is unusual, and few finer things have been done in any literature.

There is a fine flowing harmony about the poetry of Scharmel Iris that denotes a power far beyond that revealed by many of today’s singers. The poems are colorful and certainly musical and they display an adequate technique. Such a gift as his, revealed in a number of very fine achievements, gives promise of genuine greatness. After many years of discouragement and the hardest work, he has at last found a publisher who bears the cost of the edition, purely on the merit of the work. It contains a preface by Dr. Egan, American minister in Copenhagen, an attractive title-page decoration by Michele Greco, and a photogravure portrait of the author. By advancing the work of living poets like Mr. Iris one can repay the debt he owes to the old poets. This poetry (as The Little Review remarked) is not merely the sort which interests or attracts; it remains in your mind as part of that art treasure-house which is your religion and your life.

The Poetry of T. Sturge Moore

In an early number of The Little Review a correspondent remarked that an article I had the honor of contributing sounded a rather curious note inasmuch as it was a piece of pure criticism in a magazine deliberately given over to exuberance.

Well, it is now my turn to stand up for exuberance as against a contributor, A. M., who gives the poetry of T. Sturge Moore criticism only, and, in my humble opinion, criticism as unfair as would be a description of Notre Dame rendered altogether in terms of gargoyles and their relative positions.

Would it not be more in the spirit of The Little Review to point out in the title poem of Mr. Moore’s book, The Sea is Kind, such passages as the two following:


Thou knowest, Menalcas,

I built my hut not sheltered but exposed,

Round not right-angled.

A separate window like a mouth to breathe,

No matter whence the breeze might blow,—

A separate window like an eye to watch

From off the headland lawn that prompting wink

Of Ocean musing “Why,” wherever he

May glimpse me at some pitiable task.

Long sea arms reach behind me, and small hills

Have waded half across the bay in front,

Dividing my horizon many times

But leaving every wind an open gate.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

There is a sorcery in well loved words:

But unintelligible music still

Probes to the buried Titan in the heart

Whose strength, the vastness of forgotten life,

Suffers but is not dead;

Tune stirs him as no thought of ours nor aught

Mere comprehension grasps, can him disquiet.

And these are parts of a dramatic poem full of fresh figures, colorful glimpses of the romance of ancient life, and what a school-boy would describe as a “perfectly corking” description of a sea fight with dead men slowly dropping through the green water—

As dead bird leaf-resisted

Shot on tall plane tree’s top,

Down, never truly stopping,

Through green translucence dropping,

They often seemed to stop.

And how, again could any thorough searcher of this book fail to mention that delightful recipe for wine “Sent From Egypt with a Fair Robe of Tissue to a Sicilian Vine-dresser, 276 B. C.” And surely no obscurity nor any uncouthness of figure—such as your critic objects to, as if poets did not have the faults of their virtues—mar those beautiful child poems:

That man who wishes not for wings,

Must be the slave of care;

For birds that have them move so well

And softly through the air:

They venture far into the sky,

If not so far as thoughts or angels fly.

Were William Cory making a prediction rather than “An Invocation” when he ended his poem of that title with the line:

Two minds shall flow together, the English and the Greek.

I would feel like nominating Mr. T. Sturge Moore as its fulfillment.

Llewellyn Jones.

Amy Lowell’s Contribution

Sword Blades and Poppy Seed, by Amy Lowell. [The Macmillan Company, New York.]

... And Amy Lowell’s new volume of verse refutes all the critical disparagement of vers libre, imagism, or “unrhymed cadence,” as Miss Lowell herself chooses to call her work. For she demonstrates that it is something new—that it is a clear-eyed workmanship which belongs distinctly to this keener age of ours. Miss Lowell’s technical debt to the French—to the so-called Parnassian school—has been paid in a poetical production that will put to shame our hackneyed and slovenly “accepted” poets. Most of the poems in her book are written in vers libre, and this is the way Miss Lowell analyzes them: “They are built upon ‘organic rhythm,’ or the rhythm of the speaking voice with its necessity for breathing, rather than upon a strict metrical system. They differ from ordinary prose rhythms by being more curved and containing more stress. The stress, and exceedingly marked curve, of any regular metre is easily perceived. These poems, built upon cadence, are more subtle, but the laws they follow are not less fixed. Merely chopping prose lines into lengths does not produce cadence; it is constructed upon mathematical and absolute laws of balance and time. In the preface to his Poems, Henley speaks of ‘those unrhyming rythms in which I had tried to quintessentialize, as (I believe) one scarce can do in rhyme.’ The desire to ‘quintessentialize,’ to head-up an emotion until it burns white-hot, seems to be an integral part of the modern temper, and certainly ‘unrhymed cadence’ is unique in its power of expressing this.”

Take Miss Lowell’s White and Green, for example:

Hey! My daffodil-crowned,

Slim and without sandals!

As the sudden spurt of flame upon darkness

So my eyeballs are startled with you,

Supple-limbed youth among the fruit-trees,

Light runner through tasselled orchards.

You are an almond flower unsheathed

Leaping and flickering between the budded branches.

Or Absence:

My cup is empty tonight,

Cold and dry are its sides,

Chilled by the wind from the open window.

Empty and void, it sparkles white in the moonlight.

The room is filled with the strange scent

Of wistaria blossoms.

They sway in the moon’s radiance

And tap against the wall.

But the cup of my heart is still,

And cold, and empty.

When you come, it brims

Red and trembling with blood,

Heart’s blood for your drinking;

To fill your mouth with love

And the bitter-sweet taste of a soul.

M. C. A.

Star Trouble

Helen Hoyt

A little star

Came into the heaven

At the close of even.

It seemed not very far,

And it was young and soft.

But the gray

Got in its way,

So that I longed to reach my hand aloft

And push the clouds by

From its little eye,

From its little soft ray.


Conrad Aiken

Nine days he suffered. It was in this wise.—

He, being scion to Homer in our time,

Must needs be telling tales, in prose or rhyme;

He was a pair of large blue hungry eyes.

Money he had, enough to live in ease;—

Drank wine occasionally; would often sit—

Child and critic alternate—in the Pit:

Cheap at a half-crown he thought feasts like these.

Plays held him by the throat—and cinemas too—

They blanched his face and made him grip his seat;

And oh, fine music to his soul was sweet—

He said, “His ears towards that music grew!”

And he kept watch with stars night after night,

Spinning tales from the little of life he knew.—

Of modern life he was the parasite.

Subtle his senses were—yea, like a child,

Sudden his spirit was to cry or laugh;

Strange modern blending of the tame and wild;

As sensitive to life as seismograph.

His sympathies were keen and sweet and quick,

He could play music subtly in your mood;

Raw life, to him, was often strange and rude—

Slight accidents could make him white and sick.

Unreasoning, but lovable was he;—

Men liked him, he was brave; and yet withal

When brute truth stunned him, he could cringe and crawl;

When most he loved the world, he least could see.

Now let him speak himself, as he well can,

In his queer modern style of poesy.—

Then judge him, you, as poet and as man.

. . . . . . . . .

There was a woman lived by Bloomsbury Square,—

She was not all that womankind can be,—

Yet she was good to me, I thought her fair,—

I loved her, she was all the world to me;

O, I was adoration, she divine,

And star or moon could not so sweetly shine.

I will say little—it was neither’s fault—

Yet to a bitter time my loving came,

A time of doubt, of faltering, of halt,

A time of passionate begging and of shame,

When I threw all life’s purpose at her feet,

And she stood strange to me, and cold and sweet—

Child that I was! for when it came, that hour,

It was in no wise as my heart had thought—

For comic devils had me in their power,

She laughed at me, we wrangled, and I fought,

And there was hot breath gasped in murderous words....

It was at dusk, when sweetly sang the birds....

Then there was silence—oh, how still and cold!

Without good-bye I went; for she had said—

“Young fool!”—that was a rapier-turn that told;

I could have killed her, for she knew I bled—

And smiled a little, as I turned away;

We have not known each other since that day.

I had expected, if my love went wrong,

The world in sympathy; I suffered pain

That evening when I heard the birds in song,

And stars swam out, and there was no hope for rain,

And the air was dense with lilac-sweet.... I walked

In sullen way; fierce with my soul I talked—;

And knew what knave I was; yet I devised,

Being still too angry for sincerer grief,

Some pain,—appropriate for a soul despised,—

In simulated venom crushed a leaf,—

And glared at strangers, thinking I would kill

Any that dared to thwart my casual will.

So, passing through dark streets, with heedless eyes,

I came upon a beggar, who had drawn

Pictures, upon the stones, of ships, and skies;

The moonlight lay upon them, grey and wan—

And they seemed beautiful, alive they seemed;

Beside them, cap in hand, their maker dreamed.

Above him there a long, long while I stood,

Striving to go, like dream-stuff, to his heart;

Striving to pierce his infinite solitude,

To be of him, and of his world, a part;

I stood beside his seas, beneath his skies,

I felt his ships beneath me dip and rise;

I heard his winds go roaring through tall trees,

Thunder his sails, and drive the lifted spray;

I heard the sullen beating of his seas;

In a deep valley, at the end of day,

I walked through darkness green along with him,

And saw the little stars, by moon made dim,

Peer softly through the dusk, the clouds between,

And dance their dance inviolable and bright;

Aloft on barren mountains I have seen

With him the slow recession of the night,

The morning dusk, the broad and swimming sun,

And all the tree-tops burn, and valleys run

With wine of daybreak; he and I had kept

Vigil with stars on bitter frosty nights:

The stars and frost so burned, we never slept,

But cursed the cold, and talked, and watched the lights

Down in the valleys, passing to and fro,

Like large and luminous stars that wandered slow....

Rising at dawn, those times, we had no fire,—

And we were cold,—O bitter times were those,—

And we were rained on, and we walked through mire,

Or found a haystack, there to lie and doze;

Until at evening, with a let of rain,

We shivered awake, and limped, with crying pain,

To farms, and begged a meal.... if they were kind

We warmed ourselves, and maybe were allowed

The barn to sleep in.... I was nearly blind,

Sometimes, with need to sleep—sometimes so cowed

By pain and hunger that for weeks on end

I’d work in the fields,—and maybe lose my friend:

Live steady for a while and flesh my bones,

And reap or plough, or drive the cattle home,

And weed the kitchen patch, and pile up stones;

But always it must end, and I must roam;

One night, as still as stars, I rose, was gone,

They had no trace of me at come of dawn,

And I was out once more in wind and weather,

Brother of larks and leaves and dewy ferns,

Friends of the road I had, we begged together,

And slept together, and tended fire by turns:

O, they were rare times, bitter times were they,

Winding the open road day after day!

And then I came to London.... Sick, half dead,

Crossing a street I shocked with dizzy pain,

With fury of sound, and darkness ... then in bed

I woke; there was a long white counterpane;

I heard, impassively, the doctors talk.

From that day, without crutch, I could not walk.

O, the sick-hearted times that took me then!

The days, like vultures, sat to watch me dying.

It seemed as if they lived to feed on men.

I found no work, it seemed so useless trying.

And I got sick of hearing doorbells ring:

Begging in London was a hopeless thing.

Once I had driven: I tried to get a job

At driving ’busses, but there wasn’t any;

Sometimes, by washing wheels, I earned a bob;

Sometimes held horses for a stingy penny;

And it was hard to choose between the bed

That penny paid for, and a bite of bread.

Often I hid in parks, and slept on benches,

After the criers had wailed and passed me by;

And it was cold, but better than the stenches

Of ten men packed in one room like a sty.

Twice, I was caught and jailed. It wasn’t bad,

Come to think of the cot and bread I had.

But O the weariness, day in, day out,

Watching the people walking on so cold,

So full of purpose, deaf to even a shout,—

It was their utter heedlessness that told;

It made me white at heart and sick with hate.

Some guiltily looked away; some walked so straight

They never knew I lived, but trod my shadow,

Brushed at the laces that I tried to sell....

O God, could I but then have seen a meadow,

Or walked erect in woods, it had been well,

These wretched things I might have then forgiven,

Nor spread my shadow betwixt them and heaven....

I failed at hawking.... somehow, I never sold....

I wasn’t shaped for it by Him that makes.

I tried with matches, toys, sham studs of gold,—

I failed; it needs a fakir to sell fakes.

The bitter pennies that I saved for buying

Were going to hell, and my whole soul was dying.

I tried to steal a sleep, without my penny,

One night at John’s. I hadn’t fed all day.

It was a shrewish winter night, and rainy.

John found me out and swore. I said I’d pay

Next afternoon, or die—he said I’d die....

O, I was longing for a place to lie!...

He pushed me to the door and opened it,

His stinking arm was smothered round my face,

And then I raged and swung my crutch and hit,

He only laughed and knocked me into space.

When I came to, Joe Cluer bathed my head,

And he had paid my penny, so he said.

Joe Cluer was a man—God help him now,

Pneumonia got him down last year and took him.

But he had colored chalks, and taught me how

To draw on stones; sometimes the d.t.’s shook him

So hard he couldn’t draw, himself, but show

The way it’s done.... That’s how I made a go.

And we’d steal out together, he and I,

And draw before the crowds began to come.

At first he helped me. But as time went by

Drink made him worse, and I would help him some:

I drew him six on paper, in the end,

And he would take them out, and just pretend

To draw a little on the dewy stones....

But it was useless, for the stones were wet,

And he just wasted chalk, and chilled his bones,

His hand shook ... O, I can see him yet ...

Cramping his fingers down with hellish pain

To write out “My Own Talent,” large and plain.

Sometimes, to go out early, it was fun,

When it was not too cold, on autumn days

When leaves were rustling downward, and the sun

Came rising red and paley through the haze....

The streets were fairly quiet, the people few,

There was a smell of dead leaves damp with dew....

And I’d draw, singing, places I had seen,

The places that I walked when I was free,

And of my colors best I loved the green,—

O, it would break my heart to draw a tree

Growing in fields, and shaking off the sun,

With cattle standing under, one and one....

And roads I loved to draw,—the white roads winding

Away up, beautifully, through blue hills;

Queer, when I drew them I was always minding

The happy things, forgetting all the ills,

And I’d think I was young again, and strong,

Rising at smell of dawn to walk along....

To walk along in the cool breath of dawn,

Through dusk mysterious with faint song of birds....

Out of the valleys, mist was not yet gone,—

Like sleeping rivers; it were hard for words

To say that quiet wonder, and that sleep,

And I alone, walking along the steep,

To see and love it, like the God who made!...

And I would draw the sea—when I was young

I lived by sea. Its long slow cannonade

Sullen against the cliffs, as the waves swung,

I heard now, and the hollow guttural roar

Of desolate shingle muttering down the shore....

And the long swift waves unfurled in smother of white,

Snow, streaked with green, and sea-gulls shining high,—

And their keen wings,—I minded how, in flight,

They made a whimpering sound; and the clean sky,

Swept blue by winds—O what would I have given

To change this London pall for that sweet heaven!

And I kept thinking of a Devon village

That snuggled in a sea-side deep ravine,

With the tall trees above, and the red tillage,

And little houses smothered soft in green,

And the fishers talking, biding for the tides,

And mackerel boats all beached upon their sides.

And it was pleasure edged with lightning pain

To draw these things again in colored chalk,

And I would sometimes think they lived again,

And I would think “O God, if I could walk,

It’s little while I’d linger in this street

Giving my heart to bitterly wounding feet....”

And shame would gnaw me that I had to do it.

O there were moments when I could have cried

To draw the thing I loved—and yet, I drew it;

But how I longed to say I hadn’t lied,

That I had been and seen it, that I wanted

To go again, that through my dreams it haunted,

That it was lovely here, but lovelier far

Under its own sky, sweet as God had made.

It hurt me keenly that I had to mar

With gritty chalk, and smutchy light and shade,

On grimy pavings, in a public square,

What shone so purely yonder in soft air!

And yet I drew—year after year I drew;

Until the pictures, that I once so loved,

Though better drawn, seemed not of things I knew,

But dreamed perhaps; my heart no longer moved;

And it no longer mattered if the rain

Wiped out what I had drawn with so much pain.

I only care to find the best-paid places,

To get there first and get my pictures done,

And then sit back and hate the pallid faces,

And shut my eyes to warm them, if there’s sun,

And get the pennies saved for harder times,—

Winter in London is no joke, by crimes.

It’s hellish cold. Your hands turn blue at drawing.

You’re cramped; and frost goes cutting to your bones.

O you would pray to God for sun and thawing

If you had sat and dithered on these stones,

And wanted shoes and not known how to get them,

With these few clothes and winter rains to wet them.

You come and try it, you just come and try!

O for one day if you would take my place!

If we could only change once, you and I,

You, with your soft white wrists and delicate face!

One day of it, my man, and like Joe Cluer,

Pneumonia’d get you and you’d die, that’s sure.

O God, if on dark days you yet remember

So small and base a thing as I, who pray,

Though of myself I am but now the ember—

For my great sorrows grant me this, that they

Who look upon me may be shaken deep

By sufferings; O let me curse their sleep,

A devil’s dance, a demon’s wicked laughter,—

To haunt them for a space; so they may know

How sleek and fat their spirits are; and after,

When they have prospered of me, I will go;

Grant me but this, and I am well content.

Then strike me quickly, God, for I am spent.

Yet,—lift me from these streets before I die.

For the old hunger takes me, and I yearn

To go where swelling hills are, and blue sky,

And slowly walk in woods, and sleep in fern;

To wake in fern, and see the larks go winging,

Vanish in sunlight, and still hear them singing!

So die; and leave behind me no more trace

Than stays of chalkings after night of rain;

Even myself, I hardly know their place

When I go back next day to draw again;

Only the withered leaves, which the rain beat,

And the grey gentle stones, with rain still sweet.

So for nine days I suffered this man’s curse,

And lived with him, and lived his life, and ached;

And this vicarious suffering was far worse

Than my own pain had been.... But when I waked,

His pain, my sorrow, were together flown;

My grief had lived and died; and the sun shone.

There was a woman lived by Bloomsbury Square—

She is no more to me; I could not sorrow

To think, I loved this woman, she was fair;

All grief I had was grief that I could borrow—

A beggar’s grief. With him, all these long years,

I lived his life of wretchedness and tears.


George Burman Foster

A powerful appeal to peoples, especially to the German peoples, it was with this that the nineteenth century began. Still in the eighteenth century there were no peoples, only dynasties, courts. All life revolved around these courts. On the crumbs that fell from royal tables, peoples lived. For the sake of these crumbs, peoples crawled and crouched and cringed. Then came the Corsican! He trod under foot all these gracious sovereigns. The greater selfishness of the giant swallowed up the selfishness of the pygmies. Germany was still but an historical memory. Europe seemed to have but one will: the will of Napoleon. In the collapse of dynasties, peoples began to consider themselves. Preachers of repentance arose who interpreted the sufferings of the people in a way that could be understood. The Napoleonic thunder awoke them from the sleep of centuries. There came the prophet Fichte with his ever-memorable Reden an die deutsche Nation. A living divine breath blew over the dead bones of the Fatherland until they became alive again. And as the people considered and reflected upon themselves, and showed the astonished world that they were still there, the judgment that was executed against the royal courts was turned against their executor. The German phoenix arose from its ashes, the people revealed their unwithering power, their eternal life. A rebirth of the people’s life, this was the program of the major prophet Fichte. Folk culture, folk education, this was to create a new self within the folk, a free self, dependent upon a life of its own, instead of a self that was unfree, dismembered, unsettled. And all the best, freest, noblest spirits went about the work with a will to renew the folk life in head and heart and hand.

Did this work succeed? Was even an auspicious beginning made? Or, was a false path taken from the very start? Confessedly opinions deviate most widely as to all this. But among those who consider this work as abortive and bungling, no one has aired his displeasure—if not, indeed, his disgust and distemper—so energetically as Friedrich Nietzsche. The Germans grew proud of their folk schools, where every one could learn to read and write, if nothing more. But Nietzsche raged: “Everybody can learn to read and write today, which in the long run ruins not only the writing, but the thinking as well!” The Germans founded libraries, built reading halls, and art institutes, that the spiritual treasures of humanity might be as widely available as possible. But Nietzsche scoffed: “Once there was the Spirit of God, now—through its introduction into the masses it has become Pöbel, the vulgar plebeian mob!” He even called the whole German culture pöbelhaft, vulgar, coarse, plebeian; German manners, unlike French, inelegant and unrefined; ochlocracy or mobocracy, the democratic instinct of modern civilization—to Nietzsche, the grave of all genuine human life.

In the tendency of the times there is undoubtedly the danger of leveling men, of uniformizing their culture, consequently of externalizing their culture. Nietzsche’s aversion to this tendency is understandable, and is well worth laying to heart. For example, religion ecclesiasticized is disspiritualized; morals conventionalized are degraded; so is art; so is even science, as is seen in the “science made easy” cults and courses. Nietzsche made it the special business of his life to dam back this current in the affairs of our modern world. To him, the preaching of the equality of all men was the most dangerous lie of the last century. Therefore, he preached the inequality of all men; required of men that they should not be ironed out to the same smoothness, that they should not all be hand and glove with each other, but on the contrary, that they should be aware of their manifold inequalities, keep their distances, and that thus great and small might be clear as to their real differences. Not liberty, equality, fraternity, but the Eigenheit, the peculiarity, the uniqueness, the own-ness of the human personality, the right of man to his Eigenheit, the pleasure in its unfolding and formation—this was to be the watchword of the new culture.

This was what Nietzsche required. He based his requirement upon the fact that every man is an unrepeatable miracle. He never was before, he never will be again, except in his own self. This fact is almost self-evident. It must be kept in mind especially when we place a man into relation with his surroundings. A man cannot possibly be explained merely as a result of his environment. No man can be so explained, least of all a superior individual who has awakened to a self-conscious life, of distinctive personality, and who is inwardly aware of the mystery of his own person. Here scientific inquiry, with its descriptions and explanations, halts. At this point science ceases and we must resort to intuition and interpretation of life’s deepest mysteries.

Nietzsche was right in his requirement. Man is an unrepeatable miracle. But may we not go even further than Nietzsche did? All life is peculiar and singular and unique. Behold the billowy field of grain! Countless stalks bend to the breeze. The whole seems to be but a great homogeneous mass. But take any two of these stalks and consider them more minutely, compare them with each other. Each is something special, something with an individual life of its own. Pluck an ear from the stalk. One grain is side by side with another, one looks for all the world just like another. But, in fact, no one is just like another. And from each grain a special stalk grows, so special that the like of it was never in the world before. Or, you wander along the beach. Innumerable are the grains of sand on the shore of the sea. The multitude of grains form indeed a uniform mass, so uniform that its very uniformity wearies and pains the eye, if it is looked at for long. But look sharply, consider any two of these grains of sand. Each is something for itself. In the whole illimitable mass, you find no second grain just like the first. What is true of the little grains of sand is true of every drop in the wide and deep sea; true of every mote in the air, of every least particle in vast shoreless cosmic spaces. Then, too, there are the stars—one star differs from another star in glory, as Paul saw and said long ago.

All this I call the wealth of nature, the wealth, if you will, of God. In this eternal life, nothing is ever repeated or duplicated. This I call infinite creative power. Never and nowhere does the weaving and waxing world deal with copies. Everywhere and everywhen the world creates an original fontal life of its very own.

Then should not man be awakened to such a life—man in whose eyes and soul all this singular and peculiar life is mirrored? Should it be man’s lot alone to be excluded from all this superabounding fulness of original life? Should he be offended at what is a blessing to all other creatures, fear their fulness, find the true task of his life in the renunciation of this fulness? To be sure, the centripetal, solidaric forces of life do indeed awaken in man. With the breadth of his spirit man spans the greatest and the least, compares the likest and the unlikest, combines the nearest and the farthest. But, for all that, he would sin against life, he would commit spiritual suicide, were he to use this systematic power of thought to overpaint gray in gray the variegated world with its colorful magnificence, to make everything in his own world so similar, so uniform and so unicolored, everything that was divinely destined and created for an existence of its own. From everything that was repeated or duplicated in the world would ascend an accusation to God in whose life all human life was rooted. We who would thus be only a repetition of another would have the feeling that we were so much too much, that we were superfluous in the world! For the proof that we are not superfluous in life is to be found in the fact that no one else can be put into our place, can be confounded with us, that there is a gap in life, in the heart, into which no one else can fit, and that if ever another does occupy our place in life, the gap abides, surviving as the only trace of our existence in the human heart, corresponding to our image and our nature. To be superfluous in the world, to fill therein no place of one’s own, to drift and drag about with this feeling—the feeling of all this is alone the real damnation of life, the worst hell that there is in this or in any other world. But the feeling, even with the minimum capital of life, which yet we may call our own—the feeling that one makes a necessary, organic, irreplaceable contribution to the possessions of humanity, this is life indeed; who has this life, and keeps it alive, knows more joy and bliss than any other heaven can guarantee.

A life of one’s own that shall yet serve the life of all—there is the consummation devoutly to be wished! In these days we hear much about decadence and the decadent. What does that mean? At bottom, the decadent seeks to escape the diremption of the modern man between the individual and the social, by affirming the former and negating the latter. The individual, the social cell, detaches itself from the whole organization, from the social body, without considering that he thereby dooms himself to death. The cell can just as little exist without the organism, as the organism without the cell. Decadence is the last word which anti-social individualism has to say to our time. The history of this individualism is the judgment of this individualism. The man who fundamentally detaches himself from society cuts the arteries of life. Still the man must be his own man, and not another, even that he may give a service of his own to society, as a cell must be its own cell and not another if it is to construct and constitute the organism of which it is so small a part. Besides, man is not entirely like a cell. He is in an important sense a supersocial being, as the cell is not super-organic. So we may as well go on with our discussion of the Nietzschean uniqueness and own-ness of personality. Personality is both super-individual and supersocial. We have its truth in value-judgment and not simply in existence-judgment.

Somewhere in the old forgotten gospels there is a grim stirring word: Enter by the narrow gate, for the gate is broad and the road is wide that leads to destruction, and many enter that way. But the road that leads to life is both narrow and close, and there are few who find it.

Yes, indeed! It is a narrow, a very narrow gate through which men enter into life; a small, a very small path that leads to this narrow gate. There is room for only one man at a time—only one! There is one precaution with which man must sharpen all his wits, if he is to have regard for the way, so that he may at no moment lose sight of the way; or if his feet are not to lose their hold and slip, if he is not to grow dizzy and plunge into the abyss. This is not every man’s thing; it costs stress and strain and tension; it needs sharp eyes, cool head, firm and brave heart. It is much easier to stroll along the broad way, where one keeps step with another, where many wander along together; and if there but be one that is the guide of all, then of course all follow that one step by step. On this broad way no one need take upon himself any responsibility for the right way. Should the leader mislead his blind followers, the latter would disbelieve their own eyes rather than their leader, would “confess” that the false broad way was nevertheless the right way, rather than condemn their own blindness and indolence. These are the Herdenmenschen, the herd men who cannot understand that there is a strength which only the man feels who stands alone. These are the men who have no stay in themselves and seek their stay, therefore, in dependence upon others; possess no supplies of their own, and ever therefore only consume the capital which others amass.

Friedrich Nietzsche summoned men out and away from this herd. Friedrich Nietzsche warned men of the broad way and guided their minds to the solitary paths which are difficult and perilous indeed, but along which the true life is to be lived. These small paths, these are the paths of the creative: “Where man becomes a new force, and a new law, a wheel rolling of itself, and a first mover!” There every force of his being becomes a living creative force. No thought is repeated, no feeling, no decision, is a copy of something which was before. This is a new faith in man. He does not need to live by borrowing. There is a stratum in his own soul, in whose hidden depths veins of gold are concealed, gold that he needs but to mine in order to have a worth of his own, a wealth of his own. This is a new love to the man who conceals undreamt of riches underneath his poor shell, divine living seedcorn preserved with germinating power underneath all the burden of the dead that overlay him. Here Nietzsche, the godless one, chimes with the godly Gallet who values the error which man of himself finds more highly than the truth he learns by rote. To be sure, man possesses this that is his very own, this power of the creator, in his soul, not in his coat, not in his manners, not in life’s forms of social intercourse. The man is still far from having everything his very own, if he be only different from others, if he only says “no” to what others say “yes.” There are people enough whom one might call reverse Herdenmenschen. They esteem themselves original because they act, think, speak differently from what they see everybody else doing, and yet they are only the counterpart of others, they receive the impulse of their life, not from what is living in their ownselves, but from opposition to what they themselves are not. What they call beautiful is not beautiful to them because it grips their souls, fills their hearts with the free joy of vision, but because others cannot endure it, and call it ugly. The good for which they strive is not good because they have themselves thereby become stronger, greater, better, and will always become stronger, greater, better thereby, but a caprice which they follow, making it a law to themselves, because others may not do so. As if anyone could live on negation, or create by digging mole tracks in the fields and meadows of men! Even the small path is path, and every path has a goal, and the goal of every path is a “yes” and not a “no!” Therefore, Friedrich Nietzsche, Contemner of Pöbel, of the plebeian mass, would count all as Pöbel who held themselves aloof from the broad way purely because they saw how many there were that trod it. He would also call the most select and sought-after exclusivists Herdenmenschen were they to derive the reason of their action and passion merely from the mania and disease to be different from the herd.

Plain, indeed, then, is Nietzsche’s great requirement. Let every man honor and safeguard his unrepeatable miracle, and be something on his own account. This cultural requirement is supplementation and development of the moral ideal of the great German prophet at the beginning of the nineteenth century, speaking as he did out of the blackest night of a people’s life. Fichte, too, would create a folk, no Pöbel. To be folk, all that is Pöbel must be overcome. Pöbel, that is all that lives herd-like, and borrows the impulse of its action and passion from others, not from itself; or, more accurately, Pöbel, to speak with Nietzsche, is wherever man is not himself, but his neighbor! Pöbel signifies, therefore, not a human class, not a social layer of the population, but a disposition. Everywhere there are aristocratic Pöbel, wherever men pride themselves on reciprocally surpassing each other in flunkey-like ways of thinking. There is a political, a partisan Pöbel which counts it human duty to help increase the great pride that runs after a leader on the broad way of the herd. There are Pöbel in science and in art, wherever men do not dare to ally themselves with a cause, a principle, a work, until some “authority” has pronounced judgment in the matter. There are pious Pöbel who cock their ears for what their neighbor believes, who, even in questions of conscience and of heart, are impressed by large numbers and determined by vast herds. Pöbel shouts its “hosanna” and its “Crucify him” without knowing what it does, and blasphemes every body who does not shout with it. To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplace, who call to their playmates, “We piped to you and you would not dance, we lamented and you would not beat your breasts.”

We are all influenced by what the medicinal psychologist is wont to call “suggestion”—influenced, that is, by alien thoughts, alien expressions of will. What we repeatedly hear comes to lose its strangeness; we come to think that we have understood it and appropriated it. Our taste, our moral judgment, our religious faith, these and such as these are probably far more alien than domestic, far more the life of others than our own,—in a word, suggestion. We have not tested the alien, elaborated it, made it our own. We have let these uncritically empty themselves into the vessel of our spirit where they coalesce, motley enough at times, with the rest of the content. There is, therefore, something of Pöbel in all of us, whether we control others or are controlled by others. To form out of Pöbel strong and free personalities of our very own,—as a cell is formed from the precellular stuff of life, as the flowers and fruit of a tree are elaborated from the sap and substance at their disposal,—this is the first and best service we can render society. To form out of Pöbel a folk, not a distinctionless mass that wanders along the broad way to damnation,—a community of men, where each walks the narrow path of life, no herd in which the individual only has his number and answers when it is called,—a body with many members, each member having its own life and its own soul,—also sprach Jesu-Fichte-Nietzsche!

The Prophecy of Gwic’hlan

(Translated by Edward Ramos from the French of Hersart de la Villemarque)


When the sun sets, when the sea snores, I sing upon the sill of my door.

When I was young, I used to sing; and I still sing who am grown old.

I sing of the night, of the day, and none the less I am discontent.

If my head is low, if I am discontented, it is not without cause.

It is not that I am afraid; I am not afraid to be killed.

It is not that I am afraid; I have lived long enough.

When one does not look for me, I am found; and when one looks for me, he finds me not.

Little import that which advenes: that which ought to be will be.

And one must die three times, before he come to repose.


I see the wild-boar that comes out of the wood; he drinks very much, and he has a wounded foot.

His jaws are drooping, blood-covered, and his bristles are whitened with age.

He is followed by his tribe, grunting from hunger.[5]

The sea-horse[6] comes to meet him; he makes the river banks tremble in horror.

He is as white as the brilliant snow; he has silver horns on his forehead.

The water boils under him from the thunder-fire of his nostrils.

Other sea-horses surround him, close packed as herbs by a swamp.

“Hold fast! hold fast! sea-horse; hit him on the head; hit hard, hit!

The bare feet slip in the blood! harder! have at them! harder!

I see blood flowing like a river! hit hard! hit them! strike harder!

I see the blood rise to his knees! I see blood like a lake!

Harder! have at them! harder! Thou may’st rest thyself tomorrow.

Hit hard! Hit hard, sea-horse! Hit him on the head! Hit hard! Hit!

[5] Wild-boar and his brood—the men of Bretagne and their leader.

[6] Sea-horse—the Norsemen.


As I lay soft wrapt in sleep in my cold tomb, I heard the eagle call in the midst of the night.

He summoned his brood and all the birds of the heavens.

He said to them in calling:

“Rise you quickly upon your two wings!

It is not of the rotten flesh of dogs or of sheep; it is of the flesh of Christians that we will be eating!

“Old sea-crow, listen; tell me—what do you hold there?”

“I hold the head of the Chief of the Army; I wish to have his two red eyes.

I tear out his two eyes, because he has torn out thine own.”

“And you, fox, tell me—what do you hold there?”

“I hold his heart, which was false as mine is;

The heart which desired your death, and long ago plotted your death.”

“And you, tell me, Toad, what do you there, at the corner of his mouth?”

“I, I am put here to await his soul in passage:

It will remain in me as long as I shall live in punishment for the crime he has committed against the Bard who no longer lives between Roc’allaz and Porzguenn.”

Editorials and Announcements

Rupert Brooke on the War

In her Letter from London two months ago Miss Amy Lowell made a reference to Harold Munro’s Poetry Book Shop in London which may have seemed a little unfair to people who know the high aim of Mr. Munro in that undertaking of his. Miss Lowell did not intend it to be so; in fact she plans for an early number of The Little Review an article which shall set forth the interesting work that is being done there. In the meantime we have been shown a letter from Robert Brooke, one of the Poetry Book Shop group, which is certainly not open to the charge of “preciousness”. Mr. Brooke is in the War; he is a Naval Sub-Lieutenant for service on land, attached to the Second Naval Battalion and was sent with the relief force to Antwerp “just too late”. The letter reads: “There I saw a city bombarded and a hundred thousand refugees, sat in the trenches, marched all night, and did other typical and interesting things. Now we’re back for more training. I will probably get out again by Christmas.... There’s nothing to say, except that the tragedy of Belgium is the greatest and worst of any country for centuries. It’s ghastly for anyone who liked Germany as well as I did.... I’m afraid fifty years won’t give them the continuity and loveliness of life back again! Most people are enlisting. —— and his brother have gone into cavalry; I’m here: among my fellow officers being Denis Brown, one of the best musicians in England; Kelly, the pianist who won the Diamond Sculls; one of the Asquiths; a man who has been mining in the Soudan; a New Zealander—an Olympic swimmer; an infinitely pleasant American youth, called ——, who was hurriedly naturalized “to fight for justice” ... and a thousand more oddities. In the end, those of us who come back will start writing great new plays.” Our London correspondent, Mr. E. Buxton Shanks, sends a note with infinite pathos in it. “I enclose a letter for December,” he writes. “Unfortunately it may be my last. The greater part of my regiment went to France last Monday and I expect to follow it before long, so that this may be not only my last Letter to The Little Review, but also my last piece of literature for ever and ever.”

Russia in Storm

From Russian newspapers and private letters that have been smuggled through into this country we learn about the great resurrection that is taking place in the land of extremes. The war has shaken the dormant giant, and life is pulsating with tremendous vigor. The abolition of liquor-trade has had an unbelievable effect on the population; the fact that this reform was promulgated by the government which has thereby lost nearly a billion yearly revenue, is of inestimable significance. The Czar and his counsellors have finally awakened to recognize the impossibility of reigning over a country without citizens, and liberal reforms on a wide scope are being announced. Nationalities and parties are united under a new slogan: “Down with Nationalism! Long live Patriotism!” Even the reactionary organs have abandoned their chauvinistic tone, and they preach equality and freedom and the abolition of the bureaucratic régime which they ascribe to Germanistic influences. The revolutionary parties, however, are not intoxicated with the momentary upheaval; they have had too many bitter experiences to be lulled by promises from the throne. Of all the warring nations the Russian socialists were the only party to take an openly antagonistic attitude towards their government. They were demonstratively absent from the Douma when the war manifesto was announced, and later they gave out a declaration in which they expressed their condemnation of the government and its policy. Recently an official communication stated a discovered conspiracy among the radical members of the Douma. It is clear that the revolutionists intend to forge the iron while it is hot; this time affords them a rare opportunity for forcing the Autocrat to yield to the demands of the people and in defiance of popular sentiments and drummed up patriotism, the uncompromising fighters brave their way forward to the ultimate goal. It is great life in Russia!

Alexander Berkman on the Crime of Prisons

Mr. Alexander Berkman, author of Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist, which is reviewed in this issue, will deliver two lectures in Chicago, Sunday, December 6, in Room 512 of the Masonic Temple. His subject in the afternoon will be War and Culture; in the evening The Psychology of Crime and Prisons.

Winter Rain

Eunice Tietjens

Winter now has come again;

All the gentle summer rain

Has grown chill, and stings like pain,

And it whispers of things slain,

Love of mine.

I had thought to bury love,

All the ways and wiles thereof

Buried deep and buried rough—

But it has not been enough,

Heart of mine.

Though I buried him so deep,—

Tramped his grave and piled it steep,

Strewed with flowers the aching heap,—

Yet it seems he cannot sleep,

Soul of mine.

And the drops of winter rain,

In the grave where he is lain

Drip and drip, and sting like pain,

Till my love grows live again,

Life of mine!

Home as an Emotional Adventure

Margaret C. Anderson

I was going Home!

It was seven o’clock on a clear, cold, snowless night in December—the ideal night for a journey. Behind me, Chicago:—noise, jangle, rush, and dirt; great crowds of people; a hall room of agonizing ugliness, with walks of a green tone that produces a sort of savage mental biliousness and furniture of striped oak that makes you pray for destruction by fire; frayed rugs the color of cold dishwater and painted woodwork that peels off like a healing sore; smells of impromptu laundry work, and dust that sticks like a hopeful creditor; an outlook of bare brick walls, and air through the window that should have been put through a sieve before entering. All these—and one thing more which makes them as nothing: the huge glory of accomplishment.

Before me?... It was snowing hard as we steamed in. There came a clanging of brakes, a cold blast of snowy air through the opened doors, a rush of expectant people; and then, shining in the glow of a flickering station light, one of the loveliest faces I’ve ever seen—my sister’s,—and one of the noblest—my “Dad’s.” Then a whirring taxi, a luxurious adjustment to comfort in its dark depths, a confusion of “So glad you’re here,” and “Mother’s waiting at home”; a surging of all my appreciation at the beauty of young Betty, with her rich furs and stunningly simple hat and exquisitely untouched face; a long dash through familiar streets until we reached the more open spaces—the Country Club district where there are only a few homes and a great expanse of park and trees; and finally a snorting and jerking as we drew up before a white house from which lights were shining.

Now this little house is all white, with green shutters and shingles, with a small formal entrance porch, like a Wallace Nutting print, in front, and a large white-pillared, glass-enclosed living-porch on one side. A red brick walk of the New England type leads up to it, and great trees stand like sentinels at the back. On a winter night, when the red walk and the terrace are covered with soft snow, when the little cedar trees massed around the entrance sparkle with icy frost, when the warm light from the windows touches the whiteness with an amethyst radiance—well, it’s the kind of house that all good dreamers sometimes have the reward of dreaming about. And when Mother opened the door, letting out another stream of light and showing her there against the warm red background of the hall, I was convinced that getting home was like being invited to paradise.

Of course we talked and laughed for an hour; and underneath it all I was conscious, above everything, of the red and white room in which we sat; of the roaring, singing fire; of the shadows it threw on the luxurious rugs and old mahogany; of the book-lined walls; of the scattered magazines on the long table; of the chiming grandfather’s clock; of the soft lights; and—more than all—of the vase of white roses against the red wall.

“But you must hear the new Victrola records!” Mother cried. And so I lay back in a deep chair with my face to the fire, and listened—listened with my soul, I think, to some of the world’s great music: Sembrich and Melba and Homer and Gluck; Paderewski and Pachmann, orchestras, operas, and old, old songs; and finally my favorites—the violin ones. There was Kreisler, with his perfect art, playing old Vienna waltzes, haunting Provence folk songs, quaint seventeenth-century gavottes and dances; Maud Powell putting new beauty into the Schubert Ave Maria, and that exquisite tone-picture of Saint-Saëns called The Swan; and last of all Mischa Elman, with his deep, passionate singing of Bach’s Air for the G String and Tschaikovsky’s Ye Who Have Yearned Alone. There’s a beauty about those last ones that is almost terrible, so close is it to the heart of human sorrow.

“Well,” said Dad, a little later, “I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m going to bed. And first I mean to have some milk and a piece of pumpkin pie. Does that attract a city girl?”

It did—to the extent of three glasses of milk, besides the pie. “You’ll not sleep,” warned Mother; but I retorted that I didn’t care; I was too happy to sleep, anyhow. And, besides, the kitchen, in its immaculate gray and whiteness, was so refreshing that I wanted to stay there awhile. Large baskets of grape fruits and oranges and red apples stood on the pantry shelves; the stove was polished until it looked like a Sapolio advertisement; and a clock, ticking loudly, gave the room that curious sense of loneliness that a kitchen needs. I can conceive of a library without books, or a fireplace without a fire, but never of a kitchen without a loud-ticking clock.

After a while we all trooped up to bed—up the white staircase with the mahogany rail, and into fresh white bedrooms in such perfect harmony with the snow outside.

“This house is positively sensuous!” I told Mother. “It’s an emotional adventure just to come into it....”

I climbed into a big mahogany four-poster; but not to sleep—oh no! I sat bolt upright with the silk comfortlet (oh luxury of luxuries!) around my knees, and gazed out the windows: for from both of them I saw a fairyland. It was all white—all except the amethyst shimmerings of boulevard lights; and white flakes dropped one by one through the amethyst. Away in the distance on both sides were faint outlines of woods—bare, brown woods now covered warmly with snow. And over it all a complete and absolute stillness. Just as in spring I used to feel fairies leaping from every separate violet and tulip and hyacinth for their twilight dance on the wet grass, so now I felt a great company of snow fairies dancing in the faint rays of amethyst that darted into the woods—dancing and singing and glittering in their silver frostiness. And then a slow quiet wind would sound far off in the branches of the oak trees; and gradually the fairy carnival ceased and I went ecstatically to sleep.

The next morning, after breakfast in a dining-room of old blue and white and mahogany, I stated my ideas of what one ought to do in such a house. “I don’t want to go anyplace or see anyone or do anything. Don’t plan luncheons or teas or other things. It will take a week to store up all the impressions I want to. So please just let me stay here quietly and absorb the atmosphere.”

And so my precious week began. In the mornings I’d put on boots—for the snow was deep by this time—and take long tramps through the woods. Then each afternoon had its distinct adventure: sometimes it would be a mere wandering about from room to room standing before a specially-loved picture or buried in a favorite old book. And what an enchanting thing it is to read in such a setting: to look up from your book knowing that wherever your eyes fall they will be rested; to feel your imagination sinking into the soft depths of a reality that is almost dream stuff!

Sometimes the afternoon would have its hard-fought game of cards between Dad and me—with the table drawn close to the fire, and Bertha running in from the kitchen with a hearty offering of cider and hot doughnuts. (Bertha always seemed to sense the exact moment when we declared, with groans, that to wait another hour for dinner would be a physical impossibility.) Sometimes at four o’clock I’d conceal myself in a mass of cushions in the big swing on the porch, and wait for the darkness to come on, loving every change of tone in the grayness until the boulevard lights blossomed like flowers and made another fairyland. And always we’d have tea by candle-light—on the porch in deep wicker chairs, or before the leaping fire.

Sometimes after tea I’d take a two-mile tramp down town, stopping at the post-office (because a post-office in a small town is a place worth seeing at five o’clock in the evening) and trying deliberately to get cold and tired before reaching home again, so that the warmth and comfort would come as a fresh shock and joy. And then a quite wonderful thing would happen: namely, the miracle of a superlatively good dinner. I shall never forget those dinners! Not the mere physical pleasure of them, but their setting: Mother feeling a little gossipy, and talking cozily of the day’s small happenings; Dad in a mood of tolerant amusement at our chatter; and Betty, usually in white, looking so adorable that even the roses on the table couldn’t rival her.

But most perfect of all were the long evenings! First we’d read aloud a little Pater, just for the ravishing music of his language, and then Betty would sing. I don’t know any lovelier singing than Betty’s; it’s so young and fresh and wistful. And when she’d finish with the Brahms Lullaby I could have cried with the beauty of it all. Later, when everyone had gone to bed, I would creep downstairs again to lie by the fire and have the obliging Mr. Mischa Elman play me another concert. Ye Who Have Yearned Alone was the thing he’d play most often, for it has a surging sadness that keeps one humble in the midst of happiness. Everything of yearning is in it: the agonies of countless tragic loves; the sad, sad strivings for joy and comprehension; the world-old miseries of “buried lives”; hopes and fears and faiths—and crucifixions; ecstacies dying out like flames; utter weariness of living—and utter striving to live.

Oh, you people who have homes! Why don’t you realize what they might yield you! When you find yourself uneager, stupefied with contentment, ashamed of your vicious comfort—why not share your homes?... Back in Chicago, I have a vision strong and soothing, like a poppy seed that brings sleep. I close my eyes at night; and suddenly my bare walls are lined with books; soft lights are lighted; in a great fireplace burns a crackling fire that has in it sometimes soft sounds like bird-singing; and out of the rumble of elevated trains, drowning the roar of traffic and bringing a deep stillness, come the singing tones of a violin, rising and falling over an immortal melody—Ye Who Have Yearned Alone.

A Miracle

Charles Ashleigh

If the gods of Greece walked abroad,

The sun blazing their splendor to all eyes,

It would not amaze me.

If the court of Solomon, the king,

In clashing storm of color,

Were to descend into the murk of the city,

I should not be surprised.

For I have conversed with a stripped soul

And its grandeur and wonder have filled me.

London Letter

E. Buxton Shanks

London, September 29th.

Enough of war poetry. An industrious statistician has calculated that three thousand pieces have been printed since the beginning of August. When our poets are unanimous in the choice of a subject, their unanimity is horrible. We have had lyrical outrages from railway porters, dairymen, postmen, road scavengers, and what not, with their names and professions duly appended, in the delectable fashion set some time ago by The English Review. Meanwhile, in France, young poets are killing one another. We must arrange a balance-sheet of gains and losses when the war is done. M. Charles Péguy is gone already; that is a loss which makes one fear for Jules Romains and the rest who must be at the front in one army or the other. The French and German casualty lists are not published in the English papers: when the smoke clears off again the arts of the continent will show a different complexion.

Meanwhile we are beginning to ask, prematurely of course, what effect the war will have indirectly on our own arts. The war of ’70 caused an epoch of literary ferment in Germany and was at the back of much good poetry. To that war we owe Detter von Liliencron, Richard Dehmel, and Gerhart Hauptmann, who is, I freely admit, a great dramatist, though I cannot abide him. In France it produced the tired subtleties of Kahn, Régnier, and the other Symbolists. In Austria, a century of humiliation, which has become almost a national habit, has evolved the tired elegance of Hofmannsthal and the weary tenderness of Schnitzler who is so obviously so sorry for all his characters as almost to make the reader weep with him. If we win this war, what may we expect? We can be certain that the English arts will react to the strain: the reaction will not necessarily be a good one, unless the efforts of those who sit about at home and vulgarize war are neutralized or ignored. The tone of our newspapers—and these mould our minds, whether we like it or not—is now most insufferably ugly. And as a result of victory, I fear a blatant hollow tone of exultation in our poetry that—from a literary and social standpoint—is almost worse than the languors of defeat. It will be well if we achieve victory when every person in the country has been made to feel the cost of it. Three days knee-deep in flooded trenches—our arts must draw strength from that dreadful experience.

It is true perhaps that we do wish to feel the cost. We are supposed to live in fear of a Zeppelin raid. In my opinion, half the inhabitants of London constantly though secretly hope it. We feel that with a bomb or two tumbling about our heads we shall be “in it.” To read the newspapers is like having a surfeit of the kind of book which is called “The Great War of 19—.” I have read dozens of them and they move my imagination almost as much as the reports—some of them, such as are well-written, like Mr. Wells’s War in the Air, even more.

The result that we must pray for is a greater concreteness and reality in our writing. We have developed an inhuman literary point of view which is fundamentally insincere and which is never more ugly or less convincing than when our poets try to be “modern.” Such poets as Emile Verhaeren—now a refugee in London—treat factories and so forth, the typical products, they think, of modern life, purely as romantic apparitions, much as the romantic writers treated mountains and deserts, excuses for rhetoric and flamboyant description. They have never felt the reality of them, because modern life in its rapidity has outdistanced the poet’s mind in his attempt to conceive it.

I hold no brief for “modern poetry” in that sort of sense: I do not hold it necessary to write about these things. But if you will compose upon a factory or a railway-station, you must feel what factories and railway-stations really are; you must not take refuge in a romantic description of lights and roaring machinery. The perpetually breaking high note of the Futurists is merely a rather useless attempt to deal with a difficulty that we all know. Perhaps the war will bring us rather suddenly and jarringly in touch with reality. It is certain that the young men of the class from which literature chiefly comes, have now in their minds a fixed and permanent thought which from time to time comes up onto the surface of consciousness. This thought is the thought of violent death. We have grown physically and morally soft in security; but, as I write, affairs are reaching a crisis in France, fresh regiments are being sent abroad. We each of us wonder which may be the next to go.

This honest and undisguised fear—a man is wonderfully insensitive if he does not feel it and a braggart if he will not admit it—has a powerful and purifying effect on the spirit. Its spiritual action is comparable to that of violent and maintained physical exercise. The flabby weight of our emotions is being reduced and hardened: we have sweated away a great many sick fancies and superfluous notions. The severe pressure of training for war induces in us a love of reason, a taste for hard thinking and exactitude and a capacity for discipline.

The art of war is fortunately an art that allows itself to be definitely judged. Either you win your battles or you lose them. It is of no use to say that Warmser was a great general whose subtle and esoteric methods of making war have never been appreciated by a numskulled public. Napoleon thrashed him and there is an end of argument. A soldier cannot resignedly appeal from the fortunes of the field to the arbitrament of the future.

The consideration of these facts leads us to wish that poetry were in the same case; and we are beginning to feel both that poetry may become a more active factor in normal life than hitherto and that a careful criticism may remove it from the desert space of assertion and undefended preference which it now inhabits. Possibly the war may help to cure us of our ancient English muddle-headedness. We have awakened with surprise to find our army an admirable and workmanlike machine. The South African war rid us, in military affairs, of the incompetent amateur and the obstructive official. Vague rumors of what the army had learnt there even reached other departments of activity: possibly this war will infect us all with a new energy and a new sense of reality. We may learn how to reach our ends by taking thought and by cherishing ideas instead of plunging on in a sublimely obstinate and indisciplined muddle. As for our war-poetry—I must end where I began—it is merely a sloughing of the old skin, a last discharge of the old disease.

New York Letter

George Soule

Nature flowers in the spring, man in the fall. With the first of November comes a bewilderment of elections, concerts, books, plays, new magazines, bombs, exhibitions, and all the other things that seem to have blossomed so futilely year after year. To set about the task of discovering the significant in it all is more confusing than to attempt to trace the origin of new species in a single May countryside.

Take the theatres, for instance. There is the usual increase in plays which are so bad that even visiting travelling salesmen begin to suspect their artistic integrity. There is Shaw’s Pygmalion, which some think is second-rate Shavism well acted by Mrs. Campbell, and others believe is a good play badly acted. There is Molnar’s The Phantom Rival, an amusing and slender satire which is understood by one-quarter of the audience, and applauded for its faults by the other three-quarters. MacDonald Hastings, who aroused hopes with The New Sin, has descended to a very bad second-rate in a vehicle for Nazimova called That Sort. Elsie Ferguson has made a hit in Outcasts, written by Hubert Henry Davies,—the author of the fascinating Cousin Kate,—as a vehicle for Ethel Levey, the former star of unspeakable musical comedy in America who has become a great actress in London. It is a play of sordid “realism,” whose principal function seems to be to raise an almost academic question of morals and then disclaim any moral intent by a solution which in the opinion of most of the audience is either grossly immoral or disgustingly moral. Everything is topsy-turvy.

Early in the season the Schubert organ created some amusement by demanding the abolition of dramatic critics. Here are the managers, ran the argument, responsible business men who put large sums of money into new productions. Along comes your newspaper critic to the first night, with a somewhat exalted standard of taste, a jaded appetite, and a reputation for wit. Before the play is over he leaves, hastily writes a column in which he exploits his own cleverness at the expense of the play, and turns away many possible customers. This is not good business ethics. If the play really is bad, let the public find it out gradually. They may never find it out at all. If it is good, we really don’t need the critics for publicity. The article was ingenuous and engaging. Most of our critics are so undiscerning that we were glad to see them baited. Perhaps as a result of this, Alan Dale and Acton Davies both left their respective papers. But as if to heap coals of fire, the critics united in a roar of praise for The Beautiful Adventure, a play so truly awful that the most ingenious and expensive pushing could not even bluff the public into liking it. It failed after a few precarious weeks.

Just now The Catholic Theatre Movement has created a diversion by issuing their “White List” of plays and threatening to prosecute by law the producers of “unclean” drama. They take occasion to compliment the newspaper critics for abandoning to some extent artistic standards of criticism and substituting moral standards. The movement will undoubtedly tell against much undesirable filth, but it is needless to say that it would be used with equal effectiveness against most works of genius which might by some strange chance be produced.

Little Theatres are sprouting up by the handful. The Punch and Judy Theatre is a clever imitation of the theatrical prototype, with benches for seats, wall boxes for two only, and boy ushers. It is the personal enterprize of Charles Hopkins, a Yale graduate who shows his enthusiasm by combining not only the rôles of actor, manager, and producer, but owner and playwright as well. He has not yet, however, put on any of his own plays. Mrs. Hopkins, a really talented graduate of Ben Greet’s company, plays the feminine leads. The Neighborhood Theatre is a quasi-philanthropic undertaking with enough money behind it to aspire to the new stage art in all its magnificence of the concrete dome and more expensive settings. Perhaps the most interesting of all will be a new theatre planned by the Washington Square villagers under the leadership of a committee among whose members are Mr. and Mrs. Max Eastman and Charles and Albert Boni. It will be supported principally by its own subscribers at a very moderate expense, and will be as far as possible from a philanthropic attempt to “elevate the stage.” It is the result merely of a belief that here is a group of people who want to see more intelligent drama than is ordinarily supplied, and that the dramatic material and acting and producing ability are available. Plays by American authors will be used as far as possible, but the standards will not be lowered for the sake of encouraging either authors or propaganda. Such a thing cannot avoid being at least a healthy experiment.

Pavlowa opened in the Metropolitan a week after Genée had given a Red-Cross benefit in a vaudeville theatre. The conjunction was a striking example of the marked inferiority of a romantic form to a classic unless the romantic vehicle is done honestly and supremely well. Genée gave in ten minutes more genuine æsthetic pleasure by her perfection of line than Pavlowa in a whole evening of half-done work. Pavlowa has proved often enough that she can be one of the goddesses of the dance. Last year she had with her Cecceti, her ballet master, and practiced with him constantly. Only by such external vigilance can perfection be maintained. This year, presumably for reasons of economy, Cecceti is not present. The company is much weakened by the absence of the principal character dancers. The opening ballet was a second-rate concoction with almost no real dancing in it. And to top off the insult, a third of the program was devoted to ordinary ball-room dances, which any number of cabaret performers in the United States can do better than trained ballet people. It was the usual tragedy of the artist who tries to popularize his work. An enthusiast sitting next me said: “We are now seeing the funeral of good dancing in America. Those who want this sort of thing will go to the restaurants. And the others will say, ‘If this is ballet, give me baseball.’” But there is still hope. The original Diaghilew company which plays yearly in London and Paris is coming next season. Then we shall see romantic ballet at its highest.

Only one other event must be mentioned now. While various discontented persons, perhaps anarchists, have been leaving bombs about public buildings, the socialists have elected Meyer London to Congress. In itself this is not of great significance. It is interesting to see, however, that twelve thousand people went to the public reception to him in Madison Square Garden. It is still more interesting to compare what was said there with ordinary political buncombe. Mr. London began by calling President Wilson one of the ablest men this country has produced. He went on to say “The business of socialism is to give intelligence to discontent.... When I take my seat in Congress I do not expect to accomplish wonders. What I expect to do is to take to Washington the message of the people, to give expression there to the philosophy of socialism. I want to show them what the East side of New York is and what the East side Jew is. I am confident that I will get fair play. I will be given my opportunity, and I do not intend to abuse it. Do not let yourselves be deceived by this victory. You are good noise-makers, but you are poor organizers. Organize now for the next campaign. Organize for victory, not by violence, but by the greatest of all forces, the force of the human intellect. Give the people your message clearly and make them think about it.”

If the ballot fails because of lack of intelligence, is it reasonable to suppose that violence will succeed with the same material? Or that any arrangement under the sun for the welfare of human beings can take the place of individual human quality? “My friends, mankind is something to be surpassed!”

The Theatre

“The Philanderer”

(Chicago Little Theater)

The most interesting thing about Shaw’s Philanderer as it was put on at The Little Theater the latter part of November, was the new treatment it received at the hands of the scenic artists of that precious institution. One is tempted to use the trite but pretty figure and say that it was an instance of an old gem in a new setting, only modifying it by the statement that The Philanderer is merely a fake gem. The luster it may have had in the eighteen-nineties is now almost entirely worn away. In short, its fun is pointless. Ibsen, thanks largely to Mr. Shaw’s active propaganda, is a household pet. Ibsen clubs are as obsolete as Browning clubs; while the “new” woman as embodied in her present-day sister, the feminist, is too familiar and too permanent a figure to be the subject of effective satire. That the play still has appeal for a modern audience is due wholly to its characters, and yet these stage people are not real. They are no more than caricatures, each effectively distorted and exaggerated in the drawing, each effectively touched off in monochrome. To use another overworked phrase, they are typically Shavian in that they are not characters but traits of character. They are not real people; they are perambulating states of mind, as are almost all of Shaw’s creations, and the more emotional, rather than intellectual, the state of mind, the wider its appeal.

But neither Shaw nor the play is the thing in this discussion. The setting of the play, subordinate, no doubt, in intention, but predominating because of its novelty, is what interested most the eyes of the layman brought up for years on the familiar conventions of the ordinary-sized theater. The action demands interior settings, but instead of the realistically-painted canvas walls and wooden doors, The Little Theater gives us tinted backgrounds with rectangular openings for entrances and exits. The first act is done in gray, the second and third in blue, and the fourth in a soft green. The effect of people, particularly of women, moving against such plain unrelieved tints is pictorial in the extreme. Each successive movement, each new position is a new picture. The curtains parting on the last act, showing the copper tint of a samovar, a vase of delicate pink flowers, a white tablecloth, a handsome dark woman pouring tea, all against a soft glowing green, gave one the feeling of seeing an artfully-composed, skillfully-colored canvas at a picture gallery. And it suggested, more successfully than any other setting I have ever seen, the home of a person of refinement and restraint. Less successful was the setting for the second and third acts. The use of indigo in representing an Ibsen club may be satirical and it may be subtle, but its effect on the spectator after an hour or so is depressing, and in the general atmospheric gloom that increases as the act goes on the sparkle of some of the brightest dialogue is lost.

On the whole, the workings out of this new idea in scenery is suggestive in its effect and lovely in its pictorial quality, but until the novelty wears off it obtrudes itself upon the interest that belongs rightly to the play. Its cheapness should ingratiate it to the professional producer. Naturally, the effect of one unrelieved tint in the settings of a theater of ordinary size would be deadly in its monotony, but the idea suggests of itself endless variation and improvements. After leaving The Philanderer, with its obvious limitations, with its uneven, at times amateurish acting, one cannot help wishing that our every night plays had half the thought, half the taste, half the imagination in their production that The Little Theater plays seem to have.

Samuel Kaplan.


The Kneisel Quartet and Hofmannized Chopin

... And in the meantime war went on beyond the ocean. Strange, but this absurd thought accompanied me as a shrill dissonance throughout the concert. I could not help conjecturing what would be the result, if all the warriors were brought together to listen to the Kneisel Quartet: Would they not become ennobled, harmonized, pacified, humanized? Could they go on with their dull work—for modern war gives no thrills for the individual fighter—after Mozart’s Quartet in E Flat Major, which has the soothing effect of a transparent vase? They might have found Brahms’s Quintet suffering from this artist’s usual weakness—lack of sense of measure,—but the Scherzo would certainly have elated the most avowed anti-German. The four instruments performed their work so artistically that one forgot their existence and heard “just music.” The only number that could have aroused international complications was the insincere grotesque of Zoltan Kodaly, who succeeded in misusing an excellent source, Danuvian motives. “But this is Modern”, I was shrapnelled. Well, call me a conservative, but if this is modern music, then, in the name of Mozart and Beethoven, Pereat!

Still imagining a Marsian audience I was not dismayed even by the appearance of the effeminate Chopin. For Josef Hofmann took the artistic liberty of interpreting the gentle Pole in his own way, and the Scherzo in B Flat Minor sounded as a virile volcanic charge. The pianist refuses to take Chopin sentimentally, and he puts charming vigor even into the moon-beamed, tear-strewn D Flat Nocturne, even into the frail ephemeral E Minor Valse.


Hofmann’s Concert

The spoiled child of the world’s pianism—Josef Hofmann—played Schumann’s A Minor piano concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at two concerts during the first week in November. Both performances were masterly and splendid in musical values.

Since he left his cradle, Hofmann has had the world sitting at his pianistic feet and fingers so that he has come to take the most vigorous and sincere homage as a matter of fact; and, perhaps for this reason, he occasionally fails to merit it. He is insolent to his worshippers and furious with his critics. Long and copious praise has gone to his head. His insolence is less poetic and far less handsome than Paderewski’s, and Hofmann’s playing needs to reach magnificent proportions before one is able to forget his bad-boyish disposition.

But one does forget. For his musicianship and key-wizardry are things of great beauty. Despite the fact that his scorn sometimes leads him to abuse the piano, in the way of crude smashing blows, there is (in the Schumann work, for instance, which displays him at his best) never a moment in which he loses a rythmic grasp that is deeply satisfying. And when he chooses, and doesn’t lose his temper, he can bring forth remarkable tonal beauties from the box of wood and wire. There is an admirable drive in his art. It is vital and powerful. One’s regrets are swallowed and quite forgotten in listening to his artistic qualities of tone, rhythm, piano-color, and, in fact, of genuine music.

Herman Schuchert.


Rose Madder or Red?

William Saphier

Physical usefulness predominates in the make-up of every real piece of craftsmanship. Its lines and the beauty of its decoration make up its value.

Art does not rely on physical usefulness, form, or decoration. It is its suggestiveness, its appeal to the imagination, its drawing out of sympathy or hatred, its arousing of new and deep emotion—this is what gives the fine arts their importance in life. Art should act as a screen for fine tragic acts, for great emotions. Nature should be the pigment for the painter’s brush, but not his aim. He should dilute it with his blood and marrow and fling it on the canvas with determination.

Thus I pondered as I entered the twenty-seventh exhibition of American Oil Paintings and Sculpture at the Chicago Art Institute. Wandering from canvas to canvas, from one prize-winner to another, I felt all my hope for a miracle vanish. They are so real, so true to life, so bereft of imagination, that one wonders why anybody ever took the trouble to paint them.

Just look at these flowers, trees, cows, and nudes. I have seen them many, many times exactly the same way and under the same circumstances in life. They are “pretty” and will undoubtedly make a good decoration in a middle-class home. This may be a worthy thing to do, but why should it be called art? I think this is our punishment for great achievements in the industrial field. No nation can go on building the fastest railroads, the tallest skyscrapers, the largest factories, the fastest automobiles, without paying for it by a loss of its finer æsthetic senses.

But I am getting away from the exhibition. It has become the fashion to be disappointed with exhibitions both here and abroad—and with good reason. As there are few good artists, the chances of getting them on a jury is slight. The result is apparent: good pieces of craftsmanship are hung along with fine pieces of art, and the prizes intended for fine art go to good craftsmanship. In saying this I do not wish to join the popular sport of hitting the jury and getting a round of applause. But how can one escape these conclusions if he compares the prize-winner, A Nude, by Richard E. Miller, with “Under the Bough,” by Arthur B. Davis, whose rhythmically-moving figures and beautiful colors transport one to fairyland? The figures remind me of Hodler, the foremost painter today in Switzerland, who is sixty years old and younger than the youngest. Or compare the prize with Thomas and his Red Coat, by Robert Henri. What simple forms and colors—what a thorough understanding of a child and his world! Or The Widow, by Charles W. Hawthorne. These are works of great simplicity, understanding, imagination, and individuality; they are monuments to some fine feeling, dream, thought, or incident in the life of their creators.

As for the other prize winners—the disjointed color spots serving as garden flowers and the chocolate box cover-design—I shall not discuss them. The meaning of such stuff and the reason for awarding is too obscure.

Outside the pictures mentioned above the following are worth seeing: The Venetian Blind, by Frederic C. Frieseke; Dance of the Hours, by Louis F. Berneker; Winter Logging, by George Elmer Brown; Through the Trees, by Frank T. Hutchins; The Harbor, by Jonas Lie; The Garden, by Jerome S. Blum; Procession of the Redentore Venice, by Grace Ravlin; The Ox Team, by Chauncey F. Ryder; Smeaton’s Quay, St. Ive’s, by Hayley Lever; The Fledgling, by Grace H. Turnbull. A Hudson River Holiday, by Gifford Beal, looks much like a department store. In fact you may find everything in this exhibition from a flag to a mountain—and all the popular colors. The only thing that is missing is a “For Sale” sign, with a “marked-down” price.

Seven pieces of sculpture by Stanislaw Szukalski, whose work the readers of The Little Review had a chance to see reproduced in the last number, make up the most interesting part of the exhibition.

The original obscuring of the works of Grace Ravlin, Grace H. Turnbull, Johansen, and Blum by the hanging committee deserves praise. But I think if they really wanted to do something unusual they might have thought of something better. For instance, hang all the rejected ones in separate rooms, marked “rejected,” and let the visitors see and judge for themselves. This would give the exhibition a bigger meaning. As it is, it means confusion; and confusion asks persistently in this case: are the fine arts anything in particular or just a mixture of craftsmanship, cleverness (the usual companion of emptiness) and some undigested ideas?

Life is a learning to die.—Plato.

Man grows used to everything, the scoundrel!—Dostoevsky.

Book Discussion

A Watteauesque Enthusiast

The Enchantment of Art, by Duncan Phillips. [John Lane Company, New York.]

To Mr. Phillips life is a Fête Galante in Watteau’s style. He sees nothing but the elegant, the poetic, the joyous, the enchanting. I picture him in a powdered wig, clad in a gorgeous costume of the Louis XV. period, playfully lorgnetting life and art, and raving ecstatically over everybody and everything. I confess, an all-loving person looks suspicious to me; but Mr. Phillips’ book is so sincere, he adores things so pathetically, that I cannot help enjoying him. He becomes irritating only at such moments when he tries to be very much in earnest and breaks into absurd generalization. His credo is Impressionism—in life and in art—but what an elastic term is Impressionism to our dear enthusiast. Giotto, Titian, Da Vinci, Velasquez, Corot, and Dégas were impressionists, and so were Shakespeare, and Browning, and Keats, and Yeats, and Robert Bridges and who not! He loves them all, loves beautifully, touchingly, but he fails pitifully to define his beliefs. Why should he define? Why not be happy in enjoying good things without giving reasons, without strained endeavors to form classifications and definitions? Oh, those definitions! But we easily forgive the author his absurd statements, we can even sympathize with the pain he gets when contemplating the Futurists, whom he terms “lawless.” We forgive a lover everything, for we feel grateful to him for the moments of bliss that he generously shares with us. Truly, it is a book of religious joy.


Old Virtues in New Forms

The Age of Mother-Power, by C. Gasquoine Hartley (Mrs. Walter M. Gallichan). [Dodd, Mead and Company, New York.]

One is compelled to take Mrs. Gallichan seriously in her visioning of the future social status of men and of women in the world of sex; for the results of close observation, research, and computation strengthen the most reasonable prophecies. She is modest enough to state her big idea in simple terms. She points out that, since society had in its primitive days a long and up-tending period of mother-power, or female dominance; and, following that, a protracted season of masculine rule, which is only now awakening to feminine rebellion; it is clearly apparent that a new era is commencing, in which all the old virtues of mother-right will be re-established in new forms, with the distinctly modern addition of that solitary virtue of male despotism—father-protection. This is a theory—only a theory, if one wishes to preen one’s own prejudice—which the writer approaches and develops from various angles. She has fruitfully studied history, legend, folk-lore, savages, and other departments of human life. Her deductions are carefully and lucidly thought out, strongly original, and entirely worthy of attention.

Herman Schuchert.

A Handbook of the War

The Great War, by Frank H. Simonds. [Mitchell Kennerley, New York.]

The European war threatens to become a prolonged phenomenon. To the Trans-Atlantic public it is a keenly-felt tragedy; to us here it is an interesting spectacle, the audience being requested to remain neutral, to refrain from applause and disapproval. Even so, we are in need of a libretto. Frank H. Simonds supplies us with a comprehensive account of the first act of the drama. The lay reader is getting acquainted with the complexities of the pre-war events and with the further developments of the conflict down to the fall of Antwerp. The simple maps and the lucid comments make the book not only instructive, but also readable. You must read the book if you do not want to play the ignoramus in present-day floating, cinematographic history.

The New Reporting

Insurgent Mexico, by John Reed. [D. Appleton and Company, New York.]

“Who is John Reed?”, asked the newspapers when, forgetting for the moment their name-worshipping arrogance, they discovered that the best reports from Mexico were coming, not from the veteran correspondents, but from an unknown. The answer is that John Reed is the only “correspondent” that the Mexican mix-up or the present European struggle has yet brought to light, who has a really new and individual method of reporting. These are not dogmatic, cock-sure, crisis-solving “articles” from the front, but simple, vivid reporting of scenes and actions that have some reason for being reported. And John Reed is about the only reporter who has shown us that the Mexican people have visions of a future. The newspapers and those whose duty it seems to be to uphold the old idea are now crying that Reed’s simple realism is too slight to be of value as history, and that he does not “get beneath the surface”—but these people have still to see which kind of reporting can endure as history.

Incorrect Values

Life and Law, by Maude Glasgow. [G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York.]

A secondary title—“The Development of the Exercise of the Sex Function Together with a Study of the Effect of Certain Natural and Human Laws and a Consideration of the Hygiene of Sex”—is evidence per se that the book is inadequate and superficial. In less than two hundred pages no writer can more than hint at all these topics, and in trying to cover so much ground the author really covers nothing. She tells over old facts and frequently gives them what are now accepted as incorrect values. Her statements are as sweeping as the scare heads of the old quack medicine almanacs. She describes men as ignorant, intolerable, immoral monsters; and women as being universally down-trodden and the sexual victims of man’s unbridled appetite. The book is as full of “musts” and “shoulds” as the rules of an old-fashioned school master. The author tells nothing new; veers from science to sentimentality in a most disconcerting way; and adds nothing to the constantly-increasing library of valuable sex books.

Mary Adams Stearns.

Sentence Reviews

Abroad at Home, by Julian Street. [The Century Company, New York.] So far as what he will write is concerned we don’t give a rap whether Shaw visits America or not. Yes, we don’t believe even he could lay out the statisticians as Street does when he advises us on the purchase of pig iron; or display such fiendish glee at the chance of hurting the feelings of a professional Fair booster: or—well, every paragraph of every chapter is worth reading.

Reminiscences of Tolstoy, by Count Ilya Tolstoy. [The Century Company, New York.] The book is richly illustrated; this is its main value. Nothing is added to what we have known about Tolstoy’s personality; we have had numerous, perhaps too many, works on his intimate life; Sergeyenko nearly exhausted the subject. True, we gain considerable information about the great man’s son, Count Ilya, but, pray, who is interested in it?

American Public Opinion, by James Davenport Whelpley. [E. P. Dutton and Company, New York.] The name is misleading: the book presents a series of articles on American internal and foreign problems, written from the point of view of a conservative. Why call Mr. Whelpley’s personal opinion “American Public Opinion”? The articles on our foreign diplomacy are valuable; they reveal our infancy in this peculiarly European art.

Jael, by Florence Kiper Frank. [Chicago Little Theater.] The production of this play was treated subjectively in the last issue of this magazine. In the reading of it the verse impresses one in much the same manner as the viewing of the production. The two effects are so similar as to impress one with the coherence and wonderful worth of the Chicago Little Theatre in harmonizing the value of the play as literature with the importance of the production.

The House of Deceit. Anonymous. [Henry Holt and Company, New York.] Maurice Sangster had a “conviction in his heart that he was born to make a conflagration of the Thames”. He came to London and proceeded to attack the religious, political, and social institutions of the present day. He serves merely as a blind for the author, who, attacking almost everything under the sun, is not courageous enough to reveal his identity.

The Mystery of the Oriental Rug, by Dr. G. Griffin Lewis. [J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia.] To the lover of Persian and Caucasian rugs the book will surely bring moments of exquisite joy. The author possesses both knowledge and taste, and he tells us curious things about the history of the oriental rug.

(A number of reviews of important books are held over until next month because of lack of space.)

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By Caroline Caffin and Marius de Zayas

8vo. Cloth, richly illustrated in tint and in black and white. $3.50 net

Lovers of vaudeville—and they are legion—will find this a book of rare fascination.

Caroline Caffin knows vaudeville from the inside; she loves it too, and she writes with understanding of the men and women who, season after season, bring joy to so many people in all of the larger cities. Mr. De Zayas, one of the cleverest of living cartoonists, furnishes almost two score of his inimitable caricatures of our most popular vaudeville stars.

Among those who flit through these pages are:

Nora Bayes
Eva Tanguay
Harry Lauder
Yvette Guilbert
Fay Templeton

Ruth St. Denis
Gertrude Hoffman
The Castles
Elsie Janis

Marie Lloyd
Annette Kellerman
Frank Tinney
McIntyre & Heath
Al Jolson


By Sheldon Cheney

8vo. Cloth, with sixteen plates and explanatory tissues. $2.00 net

A most comprehensive book. There is not an aspect of the tremendously interesting new movement in the theatre upon which Mr. Cheney does not touch. And to every chapter he brings a wealth of knowledge gathered from a great variety of sources—most of it at first hand. Furthermore, he writes with charm and distinction: his book never fails, before all else, to interest. Gordon Craig, Max Reinhardt, Bakst, and the Russian Ballet; Shaw, Galsworthy, the German, French and American contemporary drama; David Belasco, the influence of the Greek theatre, the newest mechanical and architectural developments in the theatre—all these and others are in Mr. Cheney’s dozen brilliant chapters. Numerous interesting illustrations add to the value of his book and make it one that no lover of the theatre can afford to be without.

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Author of “The Garden Without Walls,” “Florence on a Certain Night,” etc.

“Life at its beginning and its end is bounded by a haunted wood. When no one is watching, children creep back to it to play with the fairies and to listen to the angels’ footsteps. As the road of their journey lengthens, they return more rarely. Remembering less and less, they build themselves cities of imperative endeavor. But at night the wood comes marching to their walls, tall trees moving silently as clouds and little trees treading softly. The green host halts and calls—in the voice of memory, poetry, religion, legend, or, as the Greeks put it, in the faint pipes and stampeding feet of Pan.”

34 West Thirty-third Street


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Profusely illustrated. $3.50 net; postage extra.

Half Hours


From the delightful, romantic fantasy of “Pantaloon” to the present-day realism of “The Twelve Pound Look,” represents the wide scope of Mr. Barrie’s dramatic work. All four of the plays in this volume, though their subjects are quite diverse, are beautifully suggestive of Barrie at his best with all his keenest humor, brightest spontaneity, and deepest insight.

“Pantaloon,” “The Twelve Pound Look,” “Rosalind” and “The Will.” $1.25 net; postage extra.


has written a new volume of poems:

The Grand Canyon

And Other Poems

This collection of Dr. van Dyke’s recent verse takes its title from that impressive description of the Grand Canyon of Arizona at daybreak, which stands among the most beautiful of Dr. van Dyke’s poems. The rest of the collection is characterized by those rare qualities that, as The Outlook has said, have enabled the author “to win the suffrage of the few as well as the applause of the many.”

$1.25 net; postage extra.

Robert Frank

By Sigurd Ibsen

Henry Ibsen’s only son is the author of this drama, which William Archer, the distinguished English critic, considers convincing proof that he possesses “dramatic faculty in abundance.” Mr. Archer defines it as “a powerful and interesting play which claims attention on its own merits,” “eminently a play of today, or, rather, perhaps, of tomorrow.”

$1.25 net; postage extra.

Artist and Public And Other Essays on Art Subjects

By Kenyon Cox

There is no one writing of art today with the vitality that fills every paragraph of Mr. Cox’s work. Its freedom from what has become almost a conventional jargon in much art criticism, and the essential interest of every comment and suggestion, account for an altogether exceptional success that his book on The Classic Spirit has had within the last few years, and that will be repeated with this volume.

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With an Introduction by E. C. Stedman and Notes by Professor G. E. Woodberry

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The Diary of Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson

The Cruise of the “JANET NICHOL” Among the South Sea Islands

There can be no greater inspiration and pleasure for lovers of Stevenson and his work than in the diary of his wife, written during their cruise in 1890, with no thought of publication, but, as she says, “to help her husband’s memory where his own diary had fallen in arrears.” It is full of vivid descriptions of strange characters, both native and white, and also gives most fascinating glimpses of Stevenson himself which are a delightful addition to our knowledge of Stevenson, as they have never before been given to the public in any way.

Fully illustrated from photographs taken during the trip. $1.75 net; postage extra.


By John Galsworthy

This is a charmingly sympathetic biographical sketch of a dog—a cocker spaniel that came into the author’s possession almost at birth and remained with him through life. It has none of the imaginative exaggeration common in modern animal stories—records nothing improbable at all. But the author’s insight and his power of interpretation individualize the little spaniel and bring him into the reader’s intimate sympathy.

Illustrated with four full-page colored illustrations and a large number in black and white by Maud Earl. $1.50 net; postage extra.

The End of the Trail

By E. Alexander Powell, F.R.G.S.

A narrative of the most remarkable journey ever made by automobile on this continent—a narrative upon which are strung descriptions of the climate, customs, characteristics, resources, problems, and prospects of every State and province between Texas and Alaska in such a manner as to form the only comprehensive and recent volume on the Far West.

With 45 full-page illustrations and map. $3.00 net; postage extra.

The British Empire and the United States

A Review of Their Relations During the Century of Peace Following the Treaty of Ghent, by William Archibald Dunning. With an Introduction by the Right Honorable Viscount Bryce and a Preface by Nicholas Murray Butler

This is the psychological moment for the appearance of a book which explains the century of peace between Great Britain and the United States. When nearly every world power except the United States is at war, the history of our relations with a country, one of whose dominions borders ours for a distance of 3,000 miles, cannot help being intensely interesting and helpful to an understanding of war and peace and their underlying causes.

$2.00 net; postage extra.

The Diplomatic History of the War

Edited by M. P. Price, M.A.

This volume is the first complete record of the events preceding the war. It includes a Diary of Negotiations and Events in the Different Capitals, the Texts of the Official Documents of the Various Governments, full report of the public speeches in all the European Parliaments by the leaders of the different parties concerning the War, an account of the military preparations, of the countries concerned, and much original matter.

$2.25 net.

Una Mary

By Una A. Hunt

Here is child idealism beautifully described in personal reminiscences. A sensitive and imaginative child creates in her fancy a second self embodying her dearest ideals. The two selves grow up together and eventually become one. The book is intensely interesting, not only from a human point of view, but also from that of a scientific psychologist.

$1.25 net; postage extra.

Notes on Novelists With Some Other Notes

By Henry James

Here is a book which describes with penetrating analysis and in a thoroughly entertaining manner of telling the work not only of the great modern novelists of the last century, Stevenson, Zola, Balzac, Flaubert, and Thackeray, but also takes up in a chapter entitled “The New Novel” the work of Galsworthy, Mrs. Wharton, Conrad, Wells, Walpole, Bennett and the other more important contemporary novelists. This chapter gives in a short space as keen and authoritative a criticism of present-day fiction as can be found.

$2.50 net; postage extra.

The Man Behind the Bars

By Winifred Louise Taylor

To gain the confidence of convicts, to know their inner lives, and through this knowledge to attempt to better prison conditions and methods of punishment throughout the country is Miss Taylor’s life aim. In this book, composed of a series of anecdotes, amusing, pathetic, and all intensely interesting, she has embodied the experience of many years of concentrated work in this field. In its sympathy, an essentially human quality, the book is thoroughly fascinating and gives the point of view of a class too little known to most of us.

$1.50 net; postage extra.


By Robert Louis Stevenson

“I am very much struck with Mr. Hermann’s drawings to the Stevenson ‘Fables.’ They seem to me to show remarkable power, both of invention and hand.”—Sydney Colvin.

Illustrated with 20 full-page illustrations, 20 initials, and 20 tail-pieces, by E. R. Hermann. $3.00 net.

One Woman to Another And Other Poems

By Corinne Roosevelt Robinson

“Mrs. Robinson has a gift of poetic thought and expression and an ear for the music of poetry which rarely permits a discordant line, but it is this constant impression of deep sincerity which is her most appealing and distinguishing quality.”—Springfield Republican.

$1.25 net; postage extra.


By W. C. Brownell

This suggestive essay is a systematic exposition and defense of criticism by one of the foremost American critics. It considers philosophically the field, function, equipment, criterion and method of criticism in a way that will equally delight readers, authors, and critics.

75 cents net; postage extra.

The gift of a good book implies a compliment to the intelligence of the recipient. Instead of giving books which you would resent having on your shelves, why not present these books which you would like to own?



$1.25 net; weight about 18 oz.

After a number of years, the potency of the great Russian’s pen is again exercised. This commanding volume of stories discloses varied aspects of the foremost living writer among those who attracted universal attention to modern Russian literature. The folk and psychology of Italy, to which country he retired in exile, supply the themes of thirteen of the twenty-two tales, the others are of Russian life. Gorky’s admirers will find in the collection a reaffirmation of the art which secured his high place among interpreters of life through fiction.



$1.50 net; weight 22 oz.

CONTAINS: “Schluck and Jau;” “And Pippa Dances;” “Charlemagne’s Hostage.”

The second group of Hauptmann’s Symbolic and Legendary Dramas gains unity by a recognizable oneness of inspiration. The poet has become a seeker; he questions the nature and quality of various ultimate values; he abandons the field of the personal and individual life and “sends his soul into the infinite.” [A special circular, with contents of the preceding volumes, will be mailed upon request to the publisher.]


$1.25 net; weight about 18 oz.

CONTAINS: “The Neighbors,” by Zona Gale; “In Hospital,” by Thomas H. Dickinson; “Glory of the Morning,” by William Ellery Leonard.

A noteworthy manifestation of the interest in the stage and its literature is the work, both in writing of plays and their performance, of the gifted band organized as the Wisconsin Dramatic Society. The three one-act plays in this volume are fruits of the movement. Having met with success in the theatre, they are now offered to the creative reader to whose imagination dramatic literature is a stimulus.



50 cents net; weight about 8 oz.

This new book in the Art of Life Series deals with work as a way to culture and service. When the cry everywhere is vocational education, it is worth while to stop and ask, What of the education that is possible through the vocation itself? This question is studied in six chapters, with a lightness of touch that saves the teaching from didacticism and gives it universal human appeal. The book is a companion study to the author’s popular “The Use of the Margin.” Dr. Griggs is particularly satisfying in such brief, trenchant studies of deep problems of life, and the new book should be of special value to young people and to men and women longing to make each day yield its full return in culture and wisdom.



$1.25 net; weight about 18 oz.

An amazingly perfect production of incomparable restraint and power; it reveals with a quality enchaining the attention, the interwoven web of human revelations, romantic from their very prosaicness. The life of one in other’s minds—the “social consciousness” about which the sociologists have developed abstruse theories, is here portrayed explicitly, with a fascination no theory can have. The uniqueness of the book is suggested by the fact that the “Nobody” about whom the action revolves dies in the second chapter. Though fiction, it will supply convincing arguments to believers in life after death. It is not only a masterpiece of literary art, but might well be used as the concrete text of the mind of the crowd. Translated from the French by Desmond MacCarthy and Sydney Waterlow.

All of these may be obtained from booksellers or from the publisher. Upon application to the latter, a list of interesting publications of 1914 may be obtained.

B. W. HUEBSCH, 225 Fifth avenue, New York


The Pastor’s Wife

By the Author of “Elizabeth and Her German Garden”

A delicious and timely piece of satire on German and English ways by the Author of “Elizabeth and Her German Garden.” A story of an English girl who marries a German pastor, and of her laughable attempts to Germanize herself and Anglicize her children.

Illustrated by Arthur Litle. Net $1.35.


By Marjorie Benton Cooke. Bubbling over with good cheer and fun, with little side-glimpses into New York Literary and Theatrical circles. Fourth Large Printing. Illustrated. Net $1.25.

A Soldier of the Legion

By C. N. and A. M. Williamson. A romance of Algiers and the famous Foreign Legion, now fighting at the front. Net $1.35.

The Grand Assize

By Hugh Carton

If you were judged today what would the verdict be? In this volume, Lawyer, Minister, Actor, Author, Plutocrat and Derelict—all stand before the Judgment Bar. It is a book of extraordinary character which you will not forget in a long time. Net $1.35.

The Drama League
Series of Plays

Already Issued.

I. Kindling.

By Charles Kenyon

II. A Thousand Years Ago.

By Percy MacKaye

III. The Great Galeoto.

By José Echegaray.

IV. The Sunken Bell.

By Gerhart Hauptmann.

V. Mary Goes First.

By Henry Arthur Jones

VI. Her Husband’s Wife.

By A. E. Thomas.

VII. Change. A Welsh Play.

By J. O. Francis.

VIII. Marta of the Lowlands.

By Angel Guimerá


IX. The Thief.

By Henry Bernstein

Bound in Brown Boards. Each, net, 75c.

Art and Literature

The Art of the Low Countries

By Wilhelm R. Valentiner of the Metropolitan Museum, New York.

Translated by Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer

A survey of Dutch art from the earliest time to the present, written by the greatest authority in this country. Illustrated. Net $2.50.

Country Houses

By Aymar Embury II

Plans with photographs inside and out of a number of houses designed by the author. Illustrated. Net $3.00.

Joseph Conrad

By Richard Curle

The first adequate appreciation of Conrad, the man and his works. Frontispiece. Net $1.25.

Early American Churches

By Aymar Embury II

A book of pictures and descriptions of historic American churches, by a well-known architect. Illustrated. Net $2.80.

Joseph Conrad

The Deep Sea Edition

Bound in sea blue limp leather.


The Nigger of the Narcissus.
Almayer’s Folly.
An Outcast of the Islands.
’Twixt Land and Sea.
Lord Jim.

10 Volumes. Boxed. Net, $15.00. Single Volumes, net, $1.50.

A Handbook to the Poetry of Rudyard Kipling


Mr. Kipling has personally helped prepare this book, which clears up the many obscure allusions and unfamiliar expressions in his verses. A book for every lover of Rudyard Kipling. Net $2.00.

Illustrated Children’s Gift Books

Myths Every Child Should Know

Edited by Hamilton Wright Mabie

Illustrated by Mary Hamilton Frye

These imperishable tales, which have delighted children the world over, receive fresh and original treatment in Miss Frye’s hands.

10 illustrations in color, 10 in black and white. Boxed, net $2.00.

Andersen’s Fairy Tales

Illustrated by Dougald Stewart Walker

Mr. Walker’s illustrations for these fairy tale classics, by reason of their poetic quality and exquisite detail, make this volume one of the most truly artistic gift books of the Holiday Season.

12 illustrations in color. Many in black and white. Net $1.50.

Published by DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & CO., Garden City, N.Y.



Author of “The Conqueror,” “Tower of Ivory,” etc.

In this novel, which gives the romance of mining in Montana, appears a new figure in American fiction—Ida Compton—so real, so true to America as to make her almost a national figure. The story of her growth from a crude, beautiful girl to a woman of fire and character makes a wholesome, satisfying novel. $1.35 net.

“For other novels written by a woman and having the scope and power of Mrs. Atherton’s we must hark back to George Eliot, George Sand, and Madame de Stael. It is hard to discover American men equaling Mrs. Atherton in width of wisdom, depth of sympathy, and sense of consecration.”—American Review of Reviews.



A clever, pungent book which accounts for and defends the Post-Impressionist School, showing it to be allied with vital art throughout its history. It is by a man who has a keen interest in life and art, and can express himself tersely, with flashes of humor. It has created a lively discussion in England. Illustrated. $1.25 net.


“Goes on the same shelf with Jacob Riis’ The Making of an American, Booker Washington’s Up from Slavery and Mary Antin’s The Promised Land.”—Brooklyn Eagle. The Scotch-Irish boy who came here to do his best tells of his rise in a simple, fascinating way. As the editor who introduced to us Kipling, Stevenson, and others equally famous, and first brought American magazines into national affairs, he gives a remarkable inside view of our letters and national life. Illustrated. $1.75 net.



The first adequate history of early German art—the masterpieces as yet untouched by war. The author has made a special study of the original paintings and writes with insight and inspiration. Special attention is devoted to von Byrde, Cranach, Grünewald, Moser, the two Holbeins, Dürer, etc. 4 illustrations in color and 100 in monotone. Cloth, 4to, $5.00 net.



Selections from Lectures on Politics

The first English edition of the words of the great professor so often cited by Bernhardi. Here is what the great spokesman of militarism really said. Cloth. 12mo. 75 cents net.



Christianity vs. War is the theme of this powerful play whose action takes place in a Balkan village on Christmas Eve. It pictures with almost prophetic exactness scenes which may now be taking place in the field of conflict. Cloth. 12mo. 60 cents net.



This part of that classic, “Woman and Labor,” written after the author’s personal experience of warfare, is the best and most eloquent statement of what war means to women and what their relation is and should be to war. Boards. 12mo. 50 cents net.


Appleton’s Newest Publications

Washington, The Man of Action

Text by Frederick Trevor Hill

Pictures in Color by JOB (J. O. de Breville)

A splendid holiday biography of George Washington, by the well known American historian, superbly illustrated by the famous French artist, Comte J. Onfroy de Breville, known to art lovers the world over as JOB. There are forty-eight full page pictures (including several double-page pictures), each covering the entire page, printed in the French style without margins, and reproduced in five colors. Altogether the volume is the most attractive and probably the most interesting and authoritative pictorial life of Washington which has been made.

Handsomely bound in green and gold. Quarto. Boxed, $5.00 net.

Love and the Soul-Maker

By Mary Austin, author of “The Arrow Maker

In this new book the author makes one of the strongest pleas for the home that has ever been voiced. Mrs. Austin discusses frankly the problems of sex differences that are being encountered everywhere today in our social life, and proves that the balance of the social relations can be accomplished only by the same frank handling of the so-called problem of the double standard of morality. Every serious minded man and woman should read it. Cloth, $1.50 net.

Hail and Farewell—

“Ave,” “Salve” and “Vale”

By George Moore

In these three volumes the author brings us into very close touch with very many men and women who have helped to make the history of art and literature during the last decade. “It is a wonderful tour de force in literary art, with scarcely a parallel since Rousseau’s Confessions.”—North American, Philadelphia. Cloth, gilt top, $1.75 each vol.

Insurgent Mexico

By John Reed

This is the true story of the Mexico of today; showing the peon in war and in peace; intimately portraying the character of this little understood people and their leaders; describing many of the scenes along the march of Villa’s victorious army, and offering to the reader the only up-to-date and accurate account of the Mexican situation available. $1.50 net.

Americans and the Britons

By Frederic C. De Sumichrast

A timely book discussing the differences between American and British social order; The American Woman; Education; Foreign Relations; Journalism in America and Britain; Militarism; Patriotism; Naturalization, and many other important subjects of interest to all English speaking people. The author is a strong believer in Democracy, though he sees many faults in it. These he discusses frankly, with a hopeful outlook for the future. Cloth, $1.75 net.

Notable New Novels

Anne Feversham

By J. C. Snaith. A splendid picture of the Elizabethan period. By the author of “Araminta.”

$1.35 net.


By E. Temple Thurston. The third volume in the trilogy of Mr. Thurston’s character study of Richard Furlong: Artist.

$1.35 net.


By George Madden Martin. A delightful story of a bright little girl and her first venture in the business world. By the author of “Emmy Lou.”

Illustrated, $1.30 net.

Kent Knowles: Quahaug

By Joseph C. Lincoln. The quaintest and most romantic of all Mr. Lincoln’s novels. The love story of a very quiet young man.

Illustrated, $1.35 net.

Sinister Street

By Compton Mackenzie

An Oxford graduate’s experiences in London’s moral by-paths.

$1.35 net.

To-Day’s Daughter

By Josephine Daskam Bacon

The story of a modern young woman who discovers a romance while in search of a career.

Illustrated, $1.35 net.

The Torch Bearer

By Reina Melcher Marquis

The story of a woman’s wonderful sacrifice and what came out of it.

$1.30 net.


By the Baroness Von Hutten

The romance of a beautiful opera singer and a Balkan king.

$1.35 net.




24 illustrations. Octavo. Buckram. $2.00 net. Half levant. $5.00 net. Postage extra.

This new volume in the True Biography and History Series is the work of a writer peculiarly fitted to deal with Grant. Not only Grant, the general, but Grant the man, and Grant, the president, are treated with the same regard for truth that characterizes all the volumes in the series.



Former Minister of the United States to Austria-Hungary. Ambassador to Russia and to Germany.

$1.50 net. Postage extra.

Essays upon vital subjects by one of our greatest figures in the diplomatic world will demand instant attention. Mr. Tower knows whereof he speaks when he treats such subjects as “The European Attitude Towards the Monroe Doctrine,” etc. The book will be widely read for its important revelations in the light of the present disturbed conditions.



Frontis in color and 30 full-page plates. $1.50 net. Postage extra.

This charming book is compact with information and no one should buy rugs without its aid.

Books for the Holidays





96 perfect reproductions in full-color of all varieties of roses. Octavo, cloth in a box. $4.00 net. Postage extra.

The rose-lover and the rose-grower should be keenly interested in this beautiful and comprehensive book on roses. The exquisite illustrations and general attractiveness of the volume make it a practical gift book for any one engaged in flower-culture.



250 illustrations. Octavo. Cloth. In a box. $5.00 net. Postage extra.

A practical book for those who wish to know and buy period furniture. It contains all that it is necessary to know about the subject. By means of an illustrated chronological key (something entirely new) one is enabled to identify the period to which any piece of furniture belongs.



(Regular Edition). 105 illustrations from lithographs. Quarto. In a box. $7.50 net. (Autographed Edition). Signed by both author and artist, with ten additional lithographs. Special buckram binding in a box. $18.00 net. Carriage charges extra. (This edition limited to advance subscribers).

An intimate personal record in text and in picture of the lives of the famous author and artist in the city whose recent story will be to many an absolute surprise. Mr. Pennell’s illustrations, made especially for this volume, are the greatest he has yet accomplished.



Half morocco. $3.00 net. Postage extra.

Mr. Walsh has compiled the famous characters and famous names in modern novels, romances, poems, and dramas. These are classified, analyzed, and criticised and supplemented with citations from the best authorities. A valuable, interesting reference book.



Limited edition, printed from type, which has been distributed. With 65 illustrations. Octavo. In a box, $5.00 net. Postage extra.

Uniform in style and price with others in the Limited Edition Series—“Colonial Homes of Philadelphia,” “Manors of Virginia,” etc., all of which are now out of print and at a premium.



Illustrated with photographs. $2.50 net. Postage extra.

Few people possibly realize that the American Beaver is one of our most interesting native animals. Mr. Dugmore tells everything worth knowing about them, and this new work will delight the stay-at-home as well as the out-of-doors man.




This set of books for children comprises some of the most famous stories ever written. They are beautifully illustrated in color. Be sure to ask for this series. Each $1.25 net. The 1914 Volume is

8 illustrations in color. $1.25 net.

This is one of the most delightful children’s stories ever written.


Boys! Girls!

Send 14 cents for this Beautiful Twelve Page Calendar in color.

Books for the Holidays






Four illustrations in color by Henry J. Soulen. Page Decorations. 12mo. Cloth, decorated in green and gold, $1.50 net. Postage extra.

A Southern story that carries the true spirit of Christmas to the hearts of young and old. To the tune of Dixie fiddles there is a rout of festive dances, early morning fox-hunts, and spirited feasts of turkey, egg-nog and the other delicious dishes for which Virginia cooks and Virginia farms are rightly famous.



Illustrated in color by Charles Robinson. Head and tail pieces and decorative lining papers. Octavo. Cloth. $1.75 net. Postage extra.

This book is a sheer delight, filled with the whims and fancies of garden-lovers. The authors have caught the note of family life in a picturesque old English dwelling, where grown-ups and children live largely out of doors, and where birds and animals and bees and flowers become of a most human comradeship. If one cannot own such a sentimental garden the next best thing is to know all about one.




Illustrated. $1.25 net. Postage extra.

An inspiring, wonderful story of the adventures of a boy during those perilous and exciting times when Buffalo Bill began the adventurous career that has indissolubly linked his picturesque figure with the opening of the west to civilization. They were the romantic days of the Overland Trail, the Pony Express, and the Deadwood Coach. In the same series, “WITH CARSON AND FREMONT,” “ON THE PLAINS WITH CUSTER,” “DAVID CROCKETT; SCOUT,” “DANIEL BOONE; BACKWOODSMAN,” “CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH.”




Illus. $1.25 net. Postage extra.


“Historical romance will never lose its fascination as long as such vivid, picturesque, and wholly entertaining tales as this are forthcoming. For ‘The Ward of Tecumseh’ combines the thrill and excitement of a red-blooded Western story with the compelling interest of historic narrative.”



Frontispiece. $1.25 net. Postage extra.


“Her story is written with such sincerity of feeling and appreciation of moral beauty and contains so much human truth that the author deserves warm commendation. An achievement worth while.”



Frontispiece. $1.25 net. Postage extra.


“There are plots and counter-plots, hand-to-hand fights, and many thrilling adventures ... until the end the reader is kept in a high state of doubt as to whether or not they will all escape in safety.”





By YOSHIO MARKINO, Author of “A Japanese Artist in London.”

8vo. Cloth. Fifteen illustrations in color and monochrome.

$2.00 net

The charming intimacies which were given in the author’s previous book are here continued. Mr. Markino’s style is indescribable; frankness, originality of expression and spontaneity are the chief characteristics.


By RIDGWELL CULLUM, Author of “The Night Riders,” etc. 12mo. Cloth. Wrapper in color and four illustrations by Douglas Duer.

$1.35 net

It tells the story of a MAN—of powerful build and powerful spirit. In his clash as a capitalist with labor; in his frenzied love for his wife; in his every undertaking, this man is a character of force and power.


By WILLIAM BYRON FORBUSH, Ph. D, Author of “The Boy Problem,” etc. 12mo. Cloth. Illustrated.

$1.50 net

Designed for parents and all having the care of children. It deals with play with dolls, play with balls, imaginative play, constructive play, laughter plays, play for girls, Sunday play and neighborhood play, etc.


(American Crisis Biographies)

By FREDERIC A. OGG, Ph. D., Professor of History in the University of Wisconsin, and author of “The Governments of Europe.” 12mo. Cloth. With portrait.

$1.25 net

The man Webster is brought out in strong contrast to the statesman and publicist.


By EDWIN ANTHONY. 16mo. Limp cloth. With rules and specimen hands.

75 cts. net

An up-to-date work dealing with the game in its most interesting form, “Royal Spades,” and giving a brief exposition of the nullo count.


By SCOTT NEARING, Ph. D., Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Author of “Wages in the United States,” “Social Adjustment,” etc.

12mo. Cloth. With numerous tables.

$1.25 net

A comprehensive discussion of the problems that enter into the ever-increasing cost of living. The book is clear, concise and logical. The author’s conclusions are based upon facts.


A book for the after-dinner speaker. 16mo. Cloth. 75 cents net. Limp leather, boxed.

$1.25 net

The best humor that has appeared in the last two years. The same discrimination and refinement that have been responsible for the success of “That Reminds Me” and “That Reminds Me Again” are features of this volume.


(American Crisis Biographies)

By FRANKLIN S. EDMONDS, Author of “A Century’s Progress in Education.” 12mo. Cloth. With portrait.

$1.25 net

A careful study of the great general, furnishing some interesting information heretofore unknown.


By JAMES YOXALL, Author of “The A B C About Collecting.” 8vo. Cloth. One hundred and nine illustrations.

$2.00 net

Gives detailed information for the amateur and semi-amateur collector of furniture, earthenware, glassware, porcelain, pictures, books, autographs, etc.

For sale by all booksellers or by the publishers

GEORGE W. JACOBS & CO., Philadelphia

Many possibilities for gift
selecting offered in

The Rare Book Department

In a room set quite apart from our general stocks are housed the precious jewels of bookdom—thousands of rare volumes, finely bound and extra-illustrated, beautiful books such as collectors love to possess.

Continuously new book treasures are coming in to take the places of those which are going out into private hands. Knowing that the books in this little corner of the book world are usually but one of a kind, book-lovers make a point of dropping in often to assure themselves that nothing desirable slips by them.

We invite you to be our guest at your early convenience—to make use of not only the Rare Book Department, but the whole McClurg store, whether you have any purchase in mind or not.

McClurg’s is more than a book store, it is a public institution.

at McClurg’s
on Wabash Avenue, between Adams and Jackson

The New Poetry




In “The Boston Herald” Josephine Preston Peabody writes of this unusual book:

“First, last and all inclusive in Miss Amy Lowell’s poetic equipment is vitality enough to float the work of half a score of minor poets.... Against the multitudinous array of daily verse our times produce ... this volume utters itself with a range and brilliancy wholly remarkable.... A wealth of subtleties and sympathies, gorgeously wrought, full of macabre effects (as many of the poems are) and brilliantly worked out ... personally I cannot see that Miss Lowell’s use of unrhymed vers libre has been surpassed in English. This breadth and ardor run through the whole fabric of the subject matter.... Here is the fairly Dionysiac revelry of a tireless workman. With an honesty as whole as anything in literature she hails any and all experience as stuff for poetry. The things of splendor she has made she will hardly outdo in their kind.”

Price $1.25 net. At all bookstores.


64-66 5th Avenue



Before Madame Melba went abroad last June, her concert tour being over, she stepped into the factory warerooms to select a Mason & Hamlin piano for her own personal use.

She tested them herself, for she plays as well as sings. Rising from before a beautiful parlor grand, she said with all of an artist’s enthusiasm: “This is the piano for me—it’s just like my voice!” Then and there she bought one of those beautifully toned

Mason & Hamlin Pianos

ordering it sent to her home in Melbourne, Australia.

What a pretty compliment: “It’s just like my voice”—and you can easily forgive the little conceit in it, for singing tone was exactly what she was looking for, and it is exactly what Mason & Hamlin makers continually strive for—and get. If you feel that the best is none too good for you, then by all means call and hear the Mason & Hamlin, the Stradivarius of pianos.

Cable Piano Company

Wabash and Jackson CHICAGO

For the Little Folk


By L. Frank Baum

The “Children’s Favorite Author” has here a jolly story in his best vein of humor and invention. All the old favorites whose reappearance children demand, and many new ones of droll interest. A story to keep the youngsters guessing and to bring them back again and again. Illustrations in great number by John R. Neill.



By Anita de Campi

A great big book, 11×17½ inches, giving the ever-popular Mother Goose jingles new settings and new utility. Humorous interpretations in gay colors. A combination painting-in and cut-out book for child entertainment and for practical nursery decoration. Illuminated boards.


For Girls


By Elia W. Peattie

Charm and vigor and wholesome girl interests, in a story of the Blue Ridge. Mrs. Peattie thoroughly understands the American girl and what she likes in the way of reading. “Azalea” has made many friends.

75c net


By Margaret Love Sanderson

A new narrative interest for girls. An outdoor story bright with things “doing.” A Camp Fire Girls story of more than ordinary merit and interest. For any girl who likes reading.

75c net


By Edith Van Dyne

The ninth title of one of the most successful series of girls’ stories in recent years. Distinguished by more than usual plot, brisk action, cheery, vivacious girl characters.


For Boys


By Elliott Whitney

The thrill of big game hunting and capital adventure, with plenty of action and suspense. Not sensational, but decidedly diverting.



By Gordon Stuart

The outdoor boy will read this Boy Scout story with eager attention—so will his “booky” brother. A Great Lake cruise with a treasure hunt at the end of it, carries promise of adventure well fulfilled in this story.


For Grown-Ups


By Edith Stow

The charm of simplicity and naturalness, and the infectious good cheer of a heroine of a whimsical humor and hopefulness, make this novel more than merely entertaining. You will recommend it to your friends. 12mo; illustrated.

$1.00 net


By Leona Dalrymple

The $10,000 Prize Novel—an outdoor love story, refreshing in atmosphere and sentiment, bright with conversation and originality. A surprising plot—a captivating heroine—a satisfying story of love, laughter, adventure, mystery.

$1.35 net


By Frances Boyd Calhoun

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Transcriber’s Notes

Advertisements were collected at the end of the text.

The table of contents on the title page was adjusted in order to reflect correctly the headings in this issue of The Little Review.

The original spelling was mostly preserved. A few obvious typographical errors were silently corrected. All other changes are shown here (before/after):