Number 4 Cover

Number 4

Number 4 Banner

Greenwich Village of Yore
Greenwich Village: The Place Where One Meets Specters

GREENWICH VILLAGE always has been to me the most attractive portion of New York. It has the positive individuality, the age, much of the picturesqueness, of that fascinating region of which the center is Chatham Square; yet it is agreeably free from the foul odors and the foul humanity which make expeditions in the vicinity of Chatham Square, while abstractly delightful, so stingingly distressing to one's nose and soul.

Greenwich owes its picturesqueness to the protecting spirit of grace which has saved its streets from being rectangular and its houses from being all alike and which also has preserved its many quaintnesses and beauties of age — with such resulting blessings as the view around the curve in Morton Street toward St. Luke's Church, or under the arch of trees where Grove and Christopher streets are mitred together by the little park, and the many friendly old houses which stand squarely on their right to be individual and have their own opinion of the rows of modern dwellings all made of precisely the same material cast in precisely the same mold.

The cleanliness, moral and physical, of the village is accounted for by the fact that from the very beginning it has been inhabited by a humanity of the better sort. From Fourteenth Street down to Canal Street, west of the meridian of Sixth Avenue, distinctively is the American quarter of New York. A sprinkling of French and Italians is found within these limits, together with the few Irish required for political purposes; and in the vicinity of Carmine Street are scattered some of the tents of the children of Ham. But with these exceptions the population is composed of substantial, well-to-do Americans — and it really does one's heart good, on the Fourth of July and the 22nd of February, to see the way the owners of the roomy comfortable houses which here abound proclaim their nationality by setting the trim streets of Greenwich gallantly ablaze with American flags. As compared with the corresponding region on the east side — where a score of families may be found packed into a single building, and where even the bad smells have foreign names — this American quarter of New York is a liberal lesson in cleanliness, good citizenship, and self-respect.

And how interesting are the people whom one hereabouts encounters (with but the most trifling effort of the imagination) stepping along the ancient thoroughfares which once knew them in material form! — Wouter Van Twiller, chuckling over his easily won tobacco plantation; the Labadist envoys rejoicing because of their discovery of a country permissive of liberty of conscience and productive of good beer; General O.L. De Lancey —wearing the Tory uniform which later cost him his patrimony — taking the air with his sister, Lady Warren, the stout, bewigged Sir Peter, and the three little girls; Governor Clinton, with the harried look of one upon whom an advance copy of the Declaration of Independence has been served; Senator Richard Henry Lee, of Virginia, who honored Greenwich by making it his home during the session of Congress in 1789; Master Tom Paine — escaped from Madame Bonneville and the little boys in the house on Grove Street — on his way lo the Old Grapevine for a fresh jug of rum; shrewd old Jacob Barker, looking with satisfaction at the house on Jane Street bought from a butcher who had enough faith in him to take the doubtful notes of his bank at par. Only in Greenwich, or below the City Hall — a region over-noisy for wraiths — will one meet agreeable specters such as these.
                                                Thomas A. Janvier

Limburger Cheese is the Wagner of the Nose
                                        Thomas A. Edison

The Vow: The True Story of an Ancient House

                                                "I struck my dear son; I, his sire.
                                                An idiot made him in my ire;
                                                I hear him mumble in the sun,
                                                And see him listless walk or run.

                                                If I by penance might atone,
                                                And kneeling wear away the stone!
                                                If I might hope by prayer or fast
                                                To absolve me of my sin at last!

                                                Can any fast or penance heal
                                                The stare thy father's hand did deal?
                                                What withering vigil can restore
                                                Thy happy laughter as of yore?

                                                Thy mother of thy daftness died,
                                                She did not hear thee at her side;
                                                Thy vacant eyes became her doom,
                                                Thy jargon laid her in the tomb.


                                                See! by my side he loves to stand,
                                                And puts into my own his hand;
                                                And at my knee his favorite place,
                                                God! how he smiles into my face!
                                                                                Stephen Phillips

This never before published poem of Stephen Phillips, the recently deceased English poet, was part of a collection of autographs sold by Reverend Baunt of England, in order to provide English soldiers of his parish with Christmas presents. The manuscripts were bought by Patrick F. Madigan.

London Letter
                                        London Office of BRUNO'S WEEKLY,
                                        18 St. Charles Square, New Kensington
                                                            January 1st

IN the theatre world of London there is nothing to be seen at the moment but musical comedies and pantomimes. The theatre which at Christmas always tends to develop a saccharine sentimentality, touches at present the depths of banality. The titles of the pieces now running such as, ''A Little Bit of Fluff,'' 'Tonight's the Night," "Charley's Aunt," 'Tina," "The Spanish Main," "Betty," and "Shell Out," suggest that managers do not feel the present to be the moment for originality or enterprise.

The two most important art exhibitions of the winter, the New English Art Club and The London Group, have recently opened their doors. The war again and the bad conditions which it creates for artists have reduced the attractiveness of these groups considerably.

The New English Art Club was indeed in doubt for a while if it should give a winter exhibition. It has done so, but there is little to comment on in the result. Mr. Augustas John, the most brilliant figure of this Club, shows some Irish peasant types drawn with the reality of which he is a master and not a little of his on-creeping mannerism.

The London group is generally the most revolutionary of the art exhibitions. Futurism and Vorticism are usually in violent activity there, but in this session neither Mr. Epstein nor Mr. Wyndham Lewis — two of the most interesting figures of the advance guard — have sent anything. The Neo-Realists, Gilman, Ginner, Bevan and company, maintain a steady average of honest effort. They are essentially honest painters, these three, well mannered, industrious and not without talent. They still hold their Saturday afternoon salon up in Cumberland Market, a beautiful old London haymarket, full of light and the atmosphere of early Victorian days. Two or three years ago some painters discovered its charm and its good light, and began to colonize in the queer old rickety houses.

I looked into the Poetry Bookshop in Devonshire Street the other day and great activity was evident The public in London really buys a lot of poetry at Christmas and the New Year. It has a preference for something exquisitely bound and printed, but the cheaper little books sell well too, as Christmas or New Year cards. This house has just issued two chap books; Images, by Richard Aldington and Cadences, by F. S. Flint. They contain some charming lines. Both volumes I believe are being published shortly in the States.

I should like to call the attention of your readers to A. E.'s Imaginations and Reveries (Maunsel 5\-). A. K (George W. Russel) js well known of course as one of the men who brought about the wonderful Irish Literary movement which is undoubtedly the most important literary development that has taken place in these isles for a long time. Justice has perhaps never been done to A. E. Purposely he has kept himself in the background, happy enough to be able to work for his ideal which has been to breathe a new soul into his beloved country. It is only now beginning to be generally recognized what Yeats, A. E., Lady Gregory, Synge and all the abbey theatre group have done not only for Ireland, but even for England. They have provided that tradition, that sense of cooperation and security which alone makes a national art possible. They have shown the writers of young Ireland that the best way to serve themselves is to serve something greater than themselves — an ideal.

Imaginations and Reveries is a fine book, finer perhaps in its details than as a whole, and I know that a book of such character could not possibly have come out of England. Its inspiring words flame behind a background of rich and communal life. Reading them, one feels the Irish people, their passions and their dreams, and above all, their great and undeniable love of their country.

I hope to be going to Ireland this week, so that perhaps in my next letter I may have something to say of the literary isle, of Dublin and of the Irish poets, some of whom I am sure to meet.
                                                                                                                    Edward Storer

Eternal Minutes
By Guido Bruno

THE two men sat in the summer house at the back of the big residence. It was dark. The white candle on the table flickered an insufficient yellow light. The river far below seemed an unstransgressable separating depth of the high hills that grew into the heavens on the other side. Not a star shone on the clouded skies. A big ugly moth did her best to commit suicide in the flame of the candle. The air was laden with heaviness. It was one of the nights that we declare our love, that we exchange confidences, in which we regret lost chances and resurrect dead memories. The man with a sad, almost mourning look, broke the silence.

.  .  .  .  "And so I gave up because of my real, eternal, never changing love. I never thought that I could do it. But love wins. I watched her closely. I tried to understand every one of her actions. I indulged her eccentricities. She was sick. I felt her pain. I watched over her day and night. And her husband was always at hand."

"Your life has always been simple, my dear fellow. You don't know what it means to love a woman, to receive favors from her, all those small and big favors that make life worth living — and then, you have to say good night every evening. You have to make appointments to meet at this and that place when you know that she should be with you all the time. Then there were her children. It's a funny thing about those children. Wouldn't you expect rather strange, even hard feelings towards the living testimony of her devotion to another man? But no —I never did. They seemed to be a part of her. I loved them almost as much as herself."

"You know, we went on this way for months. Women are such masters at burning life's candles at both ends. They know that the two lights must meet at some time. And that then there will be darkness. But they don't think. They don't feel the creep of the inevitable shadow."

"We met every day. We lived. We kissed. We loved . . . God! The torture of it! When I sat evening after evening in my quiet quarters with her picture in front of me. And she . . . . I don't know what she was doing. I only imagined: I believed in her with all my heart."

"She loved her home, the old furniture so carefully selected by her and for her, the old servants upon whom she depended; she hung with all her soul upon the everyday routine of living that she had followed for more than twenty years. I was now a new factor in the new routine — a beloved one, but an addition."
                                                                                                                        (To be continued)

Little Tales by Feodor Sologub
Two Candles, One Candle, Three Candles
Translated by John Cournos

TWO white candles were burning, and there were many lamps upon the walls. A man was reading a manuscript, and people were listening in silence.

The flames trembled. The candles also were listening — the reading pleased them, but the flames were agitated, and trembled.

The man finished reading. The candles were blown out. Every one left.

And it was just as before.

A grey candle was burning. A seamstress sat sewing. An infant slept, and coughed in its sleep. Gusts of cold air came from the wall. The candle wept heavy tears. The tears flowed and congealed. Dawn came. The seamstress, with red eyes, kept on sewing. She blew out the candle. She kept on sewing.

And it was just as before.

Three yellow candles were burning. In a box lay a man, yellow and cold. Another was reading a book. A woman was weeping. The candles flickered from fright and from pity. A crowd came. Chants were sung, incense was burned. The box was carried away. The candles were blown out. Every one left.

And it was just as before.

Three Globs of Spit

    A man went by, and spat three globs of spit.
    He walked away, the gobs remained.
    Said one of the gobs:
    "We are here, but the man is not here."
    Said the second:
    "He has gone."
    Said the third:
"He came precisely for the purpose of planting us here. We are the goal of man's life. He has gone, but we have remained."

A Marriage

A drop of rain fell through the air, a speck of dust lay on the ground.

The drop wished to unite with a hard substance; it was tired of its free, active existence.

It joined itself to the speck of dust — and lay on the ground a blob of mud.

Fuit Ilium   .   .   .

    The days I have lived and longed for
    Have come and have gone at last
    But not all the sorrows of future
    Can deaden the joys of the Past
                                                            Tom Sleeper


    THE withered leaves have fallen
        The stark and naked trees
    Stand shivering bleak and hopeless
    While every chilling breeze
        Drives cold November rain.

    A little youth — a little hope
    A striving to attain — then
    Like the trees the grave lies drenched
        By cold November rain.
                                                            Tom Sleeper

The Cigarette

SHE was a very young and very poor waitress.
        She had only one passion, or better, one longing  . . . .
very good Egyptian cigarettes.
    I gave her a few.
    One day I kissed her.
    She did not object very strenuously.
    Later on she said: "I am sorry — I don't enjoy any more of these fine cigarettes so much. Heretofore, I had them for nothing."
After the German of Peter Attenberg, by Guido Bruno

Extra!  Extra!

        LITTLE Low Lizzie is shiverin' cold,
        She ain't goin' to live a lot more;
        Over there she's a-lying
        By the empty ole stove
        Just a bundle of rags on the floor.

        She's suffering too, I kin tell by her breath
        Comes an' goes with a queer sort of sound,
        But soon she'll be put
        Where she's wantin' to be,
        In a bit of a box underground.

        Lots of times, just the same,
        When I ain't sold me papers,
        When I'm hungry and me fingers is blue,
        I hitch up me belt and blow on me hands,
        And thinks, Lizzie — I wish I was you.
                                                                Tom Sleeper

Allah Knows Better
Just a Turkish War Story

AN aga of Moerch, in Gen, had been fighting against the rebellious Christians of Macedonia. Because a Christian — so thought the aga — was never a good soldier, the dogs of Macedonia had cut off his right hand. Therefore, he petitioned for a pension claiming to be an invalid. But the bey decreed that only such were invalids as have neither arms nor legs; but the aga having still his left hand and both legs could not be considered to be made the beneficiary of a pension. The aga was a learned man who knew well the laws of his country and who even had learned how to write. Therefore, he wrote with his left hand to the pasha of his district, claiming to be an invalid and entitled to the pensions granted by the government. The pasha decided in his favor, but because he had directed his claims directly to him and not to the effendi, he had the aga punished with twenty lashes on his soles. The aga received the twenty lashes and then entered a complaint to the ceraskier, who commissioned the military kadi with the investigation of the case. The ceraskier found among old laws and codices that only he can be a soldier of the sultan who is in full possession of his right hand, and he also found a military law according to which soldiers could write to their superiors, using their right hand only. The aga put in as defense that he was not a soldier any longer at the time he lost his right hand. The wise kadi was of the opinion that the aga had been a soldier until dismissed by his bey, no matter whether he was in possession of his right hand or not; and therefore, he should have written to the pasha with his right hand. After careful deliberation he arrived at the decision that the aga who, while being a soldier had written with his left hand to a superior officer, should be punished very severely. His left hand should be cut off. Such was the verdict of the military kadi and he added: "Allah knows better."

The grand sultan said, after having been informed of the verdict pronounced by the kadi: "By the beard of the prophet, only a right believing Muslim can be a righteous judge."
Translated from the German, author unknown, by Guido Bruno

In Our Village

WHAT would you answer a stranger, who after jumping through the open window into your room should ask: "Who are you? — in whose room am I?" Would you be kind and obliging and tell him who has annoyed you who you are and what the name of the street is on which the house stands upon which he has intruded, or, would you be indignant and throw him out?

Isn't it about the same if the telephone bell rings violently, interrupting you in work, sleep or conversation, and then you hear some impertinent sounding voice asking: "Who is this please?" And you know that this happens to you almost every day. The telephone is a wonderful invention. But blessed are those who do not need it. Its advantages are indispensable, but the annoyance it causes to the individual constantly does not permit us to rejoice over this commerce promoting invention. Especially here in Greenwich Village the service is undependable and time absorbing because of its inefficiency and annoying on account of the ignorance, indolence and unwillingness of the operators. We pay a nickel for each call, and I believe we are entitled to an immediate connection; we are entitled to a report on a number which we do not get The telephone pay-stations in the various drug stores and hotels (the nickel pay-stations) are still worse than the private wire. The report "Does not answer" or "Busy" is rarely given if not asked for specifically by the user of the telephone. 'Information' needs an unusually long time to look up a name or a number. And then there seems to be an inefficiency which makes itself hard felt in the regulations concerning rooming houses and lodging houses. A good many rooming houses in our village — so-called studio buildings — extend to the inhabitants' telephone privileges. The people who live there are naturally not registered in the telephone book but the owner of the telephone, who is either the caretaker or the proprietor of the house. Very rarely do we know the name of the people and if we ask 'information' to give us the telephone number of such and such a house at such and such street, the information will be denied because we don't know the name under which the telephone is entered, and especially hard is it to get the number in such a house where there are several instruments installed and the owner or caretaker of such a building neglected to state his occupation at the time he signed his contract.

And if you have an instrument of your own on your desk or in your house, how often does the bell ring and it is a ''mistake" or you don't get an answer at all or an indignant sounding voice will answer; "Who is this?"

Complaining! — it won't do any good. Where there is no competition, there is absolute independence. No matter how disappointed, you have to continue it or go without it.

Life is so short that we really should try to exclude everything which adds unpleasant moments to our days. And who hasn't had unpleasant experiences with his telephone?

The Greenwich Village Battalion, United States Boy Scouts, has become an important factor in the lives of the youth of the Village. Organized less than two years ago, it now numbers more than three hundred members, has up-to-date equipment, with drum, fife and bugle corps of sixty pieces and frequently shows at theatres, exhibitions and at every local affair. Its four Captains have seen service with Uncle Sam's regulars. Drills are held each Monday and Thursday night at Public School 95, Clarkson Street, near Hudson Street.

A committee of lifelong residents of Old Greenwich Village with Charles F. Dillon, as Chairman, John McFarland, Secretary, and Jesse Heim, Treasurer, assist Colonel Nolan and his officers.

The exhibition of paintings, marine scenes and forest scenes, including portraits of Abraham Lincoln and of Nancy Hanks, Lincoln's mother, by Captain George Edward Hall, will continue on the walls of Bruno's Garret until the last days in January.

Charles Keeler will read in a recital in Bruno's Garret, on the evening of Monday, January 24th, a group of etchings from his new collected poems, "The Mirror of Manhattan." They are realistic impressions of people met in the metropolis, with reflections from many angles of life, high and low. His program comprises, with one or two exceptions, only numbers which have not hitherto been heard. Among them are his "Knight Songs for Children" and a group from "The Victory," including picturesque and musical numbers in marked contrast to the realistic note in his poems of New York life.

The reading will start at 8:15 sharp. Admission is by ticket only. Because the seating capacity is limited, it will be necessary to close the garret if this limit is reached.

Charlotte James, well known to the frequenters of Charles Edison's Little Thimble Theatre, is severely ill and will not be able to appear at her usual seat at the piano, for quite a while.

Robert McQuinn, the scenic artist, who designed the stage settings for the "Hip-Hip-Hooray" and for the latest Dillingham success, "Stop, Look and Listen!" closed last week a contract for a new production. He will spend a few weeks in Atlantic City, his home town, before he engages in his new work.

Pepe & Brother, the real estate kings of the village, are rebuilding at present several old residences into studio buildings. They are combining the useful with the pleasant, taking into consideration the light and space requirements of people who wish to work in comfort

Miss Gertrude C. Mosshart, publicity agent of the National American Woman's Suffrage Association of Washington, D. C., made a thorough investigation of our village during her recent short stay in New York and she thought it would be great to start a sort of a village in the capital.

Passing Paris
                                        Paris, January, 1st

THE enthusiasm sending a Charles Peguy — a humanist in his opinions to the war should be a proof of my assertion as to the popularity of this war at its outset before opinion had been fanned by the press and the cabal of optimistic falsehoods which M.M. Tery in L'Oeuvre, Compere-Morel in L'Humanite, and that tardy patriot Herve (who once said the dunghill was the only proper place for the national flag, in La Guerre Sociale are now, somewhat late in the day and long after the public has opened its eyes of its own accord, beginning to criticize. Yet one may ask oneself whether this artificially created optimism had not its advantages if it helped to contribute to the stoicism shown by the French to every one's, including their own, surprise.

The Germans argue that war cannot be conducted courteously. The French may reply that as it cannot be conducted without hatred, therefore, as with other munitions, the more there is of it the better, and that whatever is done to increase the supply is justified by the end in view.

If purists of the truth, humanitarians, pacifists and socialists, etc., had not undergone the metamorphosis they did it is possible Paris would now be as German as Brussels. Which would be a grievous pity.

One of the leaders of the symbolist movement, Stuart Merrill, has just died at Versailles, his residence, at the age of fifty-two years. Like Jean Moreas, like the Comtesse de Noailles, like Renee Vivien, Stuart Merrill was a foreigner — an American of the United States — who had elected to express himself in French in preference to his native tongue, in which he had, however, made his first poetic attempts. He had acquired familiarity with the language of France during his childhood, having been educated at a Paris lycee. He had named his different volumes of poetry Les Gammes, Petits Poemes d'Automne, Les Quatre Saisons, and Une Voix dans la Foule, M. Anatole France said that he was a poet appealing only to the ear, but a poet who can hold attention by this means is a clever man. The criticism cannot, however, be extended to all his poems indiscriminately.

M. Ricciotto Canudo, an Italian who writes in French, author of La Ville Sans Chef, a book with ideas, has been distinguishing himself in Serbia, where he has been promoted to the rank of captain — a titled that I believe he alone among literary soldiers has as yet attained.

The poet-humorist Guillaume Appollinaire, who has occasionally been quoted in these columns, is a second lieutenant.
                                        Muriel Ciolkowska
Extract from a Letter to "The Egoist," London

Books and Magazines of the Week

OUR old friend, Hippolyte Havel, has reached the goal of his ambition. He has a magazine of his own. Hard and discouraging were his tribulations, but now the two numbers published of his paper, "The Revolt," must compensate him fully. And there is another credit due Hippolyte Havel: he is the man who first conceived the idea of starting a kind of an eating house in Greenwich Village, a place where artists and writers could eat wholesome food in a congenial atmosphere. The Greenwich Village Inn, as it was originally on Washington Place and still longer ago in the basement of 137 MacDougal Street, called "The Basement," was his creation. His contributors are men well known to the average magazine reader. But in what a different vein do they give themselves in Havel's "Revolt!"

Reedy's Mirror

"Three years go," says Mr. Reedy in the current issue of his Mirror, "the Encyclopedia Brittanica was sold widely at a good, plump sum on what looked like a positive guarantee that it would never be cheaper in price at first hand. Now there's an edition advertised at a reduction of 46 per cent. Even though this edition is put forth by Sears, Roebuck & Co., a corporation headed by philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, there's something like a swindle in this procedure. The purchasers of the earlier edition were deceived or the new edition is not, as advertised, the equal of the first. The publishers of the first edition would appear definitely to have broken faith with those who bought the book, to have robbed those purchasers of the 46 per cent, the purchasers of the new edition are said to save."

Others, For January

Edward J. O'Brien, the man who read two thousand two hundred and some odd short stories in order to select the best and publish the titles and the names of their authors in the Boston Transcript, is represented in the January issue of Kreymborg's Magazine of the New Verse with a gentle poem, which discloses him as a luring shepherd. Max Endicoff has in the same issue, a few etchings. He thinks just as every one of us does, things we read a long time ago somewhere else. But he writes and calls it "Etchings." That is the difference, "see?" Yes, he is courageous.

The Missouri Mule

It is a monthly magazine of fun, philosophy and puns, the good old sort of paper which used to come from our western back woods. It really makes us laugh and it is free from the intricacies of artists and writers who wish to be at least twenty-five years ahead of themselves.

The Nutshell

From his studio in Carnegie Hall, A. G. Heaton, the artist and traveler, sends The Nutshell, his little monthly paper. He sends it to his friends to whom he has owed letters for quite a while, and to such people as he wants to remind of his existence. It's a good idea to have once a month such a wholesome letter day.

The Egoist

John C. Cournos contributes in the current issue of the London "Egoist," to this new era of revived Russian men of letters of twenty and more years ago, a vivid picture of Feodor Sologub, author of twenty volumes comprising almost every literary form, of which The Created Legend is best known to English readers. A few translations of his characteristic poems taken from this issue of "The Egoist," are reproduced on another page. ''The Egoist" is today the only journal, which finds its way from Europe to our editorial table, not saturated with this tiresome war business, giving a review of everything of interest in literary matters and in art, and even not excluding Germany and Austria.

Loose Leaves

Number 6 of these flying fame pamphlets published by our London correspondent, Edward Storer, contains a very original article on "Absolute Poetry," five poems by John Goodman, and a few verses by F. W. Tancred, bringing us a new breath from the English shores. Among all the realism of our contemporaries there seems to thrive a small group of idealists, of artists. These poets are like architects who have abandoned the designing of public buildings in different styles and have started to work on temples consecrated to gods; gods who are so real that one could mistake them for the ancient divinities of the Greeks and Romans. But they are just their own real gods.

Charles Edison's Little Thimble Theatre:
Its Real Mission

JUST to make it clear once more: Mr. Charles Edison's Little Thimble Theatre has no other purpose but to give young American musicians, composers, poets and playwrights a hearing. To act as a free forum accessible to everybody who has done something that he considers worth while and to give him a chance to be heard by an unprejudiced audience.

Judging from Mr. Edison's mail, a good many people seem to be under the impression that the Thimble Theatre is a kind of philanthropic institution for musicians and singers out of employment, others mistake it for a concert hall where artists of fame will be heard. The mere fact that one has a known name, that one has a pocketful of newspaper clippings or has sung or played before European princes and members of royal families and has received medals and crosses of honor, bars him from an appearance in the Little Thimble Theatre.

It is just the American who works and toils honestly in this country and has not had, for some reason or another, a chance to be rejected or accepted by an American public, that Mr. Edison is interested in.

We live in an age of recognition. The tragedy of a Poe could hardly be repeated today. The good work done will ultimately gain recognition and it is solely up to the man himself to create for himself the right circle of activities. America needs good music, good poems, good books. While the writer has it comparatively easy to persuade a publisher to see the merits of his works, the musician is handicapped by that supreme illusion which has taken hold of all impresarios and producers of plays: that America has no music and that the American has to look for real good stuff to Mother Europe. But the worst of it is they don't want even to lend themselves to an experiment. They are afraid of everything that hasn't got the European label.

It would be megalomania to assume that the activities of the Little Thimble Theatre, even if successful beyond expectation, could change this condition. But the little snowball kicked off incidentally from the high mountain grows to be a big avalanche. And if the larger public cannot be reached and the composer or musician derives no other benefit but to play in public, his self-confidence is being strengthened and he returns home filled with new ambitions, and plunges into his work with new vigor.

Mr. Edison invites every American musician, composer or singer to take advantage of his Little Thimble Theatre. Serious efforts will find serious consideration.

The Story of Oscar Wilde's Life and Experience in Reading Gaol*
By His Warder

*I am indebted for this story to Mr. Patrick F. Modigan, Vfho has the original, in the handwriting of Oscar Wilde's warder, and also the two manuscripts mentioned in this story.

                                                                                I NEVER saw a man who looked
                                                                                With such a wistful eye
                                                                            Upon that little patch of blue
                                                                              Which prisoners call the sky;
                                                                            And at every wandering cloud
                                                                                That trailed
                                                                            Its reveled fleeces by

AN ex-prison warder who was at Reading Gaol during the entire period of Wilde's incarceration, has drawn aside the veil that hid the ill-fated man of genius during his degradation and despair "in the depths."

The publication of the posthumous book by the great literary genius, who "sinned and suffered." has induced this warder, who had charge of Oscar Wilde during his imprisonment, to tell how that unhappy man of letters ''circled the center of pain" as he in poignant phrase described the daily prison ordeal.

        "The warders strutted up and down,
        And watched their herd of brutes."

wrote Wilde on his release, and in this fragment of verse can be read his own bitter self-contempt Of the warders themselves, he made no complaint — he regarded them as simply instruments of an iron, soul killing system that might be right — or wrong.

The warders, on their side, knew how terrible was the punishment the former pampered pet of society must be undergoing, for they could see he was suffering a thousand fold because of his strangely sensitive temperament and previous ignorance of all hardships and iron discipline.

"Poor Wilde," writes his former prison custodian, who is by no means the iron-hearted creature warders are generally suppose to be.

"I remember, before he was transferred from Wandsworth Prison, the governor of Reading Gaol said to us, 'A certain prisoner is about to be transferred here, and you should be proud to think the Prison Commissioners have chosen Reading Gaol as the one most suitable for this man to serve the remainder of his sentence in.' "

"The governor never told us the name, but directly the prisoner arrived, we saw that 'C33' which was his prison letter and number, afterwards made famous by him, thus signing the 'Ballad of Reading Gaol' was none other than Oscar Wilde."

"The probable cause of his transfer from Wandsworth Prison was his inability to comply with the regulation tasks allotted to his class of prisoner. On one or two occasions he had been brought up before the governor there for idleness at oakum-picking or talking."

"I remember my first sight of the fallen literary idol of whom all the world was then talking in terms of infamy."

''A tall figure with a large head and fat, pendulous cheeks, with hair that curled artistically, and a hopeless look in his eyes — that was Oscar Wilde as I first met him."

"Not even the hideous prison garb, or 'C 33,' the badge of ignominy he bore could altogether hide the air of distinction and ever-present intellectual force that lifted him always far above 'the herd of brutes,' as he so bitterly afterwards styled his fellow convicts and himself."

"From the first it was apparent to us that he was totally unfit for manual work, or hardships of any kind, and he was treated accordingly."

"He was no good for anything — except writing, and that as a rule, has small place inside a prison. But on account of his former greatness a small concession was made him, and he was allowed to read and write as much as he liked."

"Had this boon not been granted him he would, I am confident, have pined away and died. He was so unlike other men. Just a bundle of brains —and that is all."

"When he arrived his hair was long and curly, and it was ordered to be cut at once."

"It fell to my lot as warder in charge to carry out this order and cut his hair, and never shall I forget it."

"To Oscar Wilde it seemed as though the clipping of his locks, and thus placing him on the same level as the closely shorn, bullet-headed prisoners round him was the last drop in the cup of sorrow and degradation which he had to drain to the bitter dregs."

" 'Must it be cut,' he cried piteously to me. 'You don't know what it means to me,' and the tears rolled down his cheeks."

"It may seem somewhat ludicrous to some who do not know, as I do, what a curiously constituted character was that of Oscar Wilde but I know it cut me to the heart to have to be the person to cause him his crowning shame. Warders have feelings, although their duty will not always allow them to show it"
(To be Continued)

Maude: A Memory
By Guido Bruno

Anything, the most unusual thing that Courtland would have done could not have astonished him more than this hoarsely uttered question.

Mrs. Regan involuntarily made a few steps back toward the door of the waiting-room. There she stood for seconds that seemed hours. Kenneth, watching the doctor, did not seem to pay any attention to her presence in the room. She opened the door. She opened it slowly; inch by inch the interior of the waiting room could be seen from the doctor's den. A nurse was busying herself noiselessly with some papers on a small table. In a deep leather upholstered chair sat a young woman. Shortly after she had espied Mrs. Regan, she jumped to her feet, crossed the room with hasty steps. "Will he go, mother? Is he coming with us?" She stood in the open doorway. Both men looked at her.

"Courtland!" exclaimed the girl, approaching the doctor with extended hand, "I know you'll go with us, please do."

"So you are not married, Maude?" was the answer of the doctor who had grasped the hand, holding it tightly in his.

Mrs. Maude Regan was introducing her daughter Maude, to Kenneth. There seemed to be method in the madness that she had feared to read in Courtland's face, in his actions.

Number 4

Number 4

Number 4

Proceed To Next Issue

Go To Table Of Contents

Return To Home Page