I came to meet
I asked him if there was not some way I could serve my country more. "Well, my boy, you are serving your country by being wounded. However, I am glad you want to serve your country more."
He was reading a letter as I entered. He
looked at me over his spectacles, then lifting them above
his eyes on his forehead, he looked at me searchingly, as if
looking for my wound. Then he took off his glasses and laid
them on the table. I remember it was a long table piled with
maps and books. He arose and walked slowly around to where I
stood — no longer with fear, but as if I had met my best
friend. He put his hand on my shoulder. "And you would like
to go back to the front? But you are too badly wounded for
that! Wait a little. Go back home and get well and strong.
We are thinking of organizing an Invalid Corps to displace
able men now on guard duty, and when we are ready for
wounded recruits, send in your name and you shall do more
duty for your Country!" He then asked me where and when I
was wounded. "Oh, yes, these bad bulls that ran, but the
last was not so mad-bad as the first." He then asked me
about the management of the second
And I, today, remember as if it were but yesterday, that benevolent face and the great hand that encompassed mine as he said, "My dear boy, don't forget to send in your name for the Invalid Corps. God bless you, good-bye!"
I sent in my name immediately and I was
promptly appointed Second Lieutenant and ordered to
Providence, R. I., where I was again mustered into the
United States service, and from there ordered to Washington,
appointed to First Lieutenant and placed in command of the
4th Company of this new corps, doing guard duty in the
vicinity of the White House. And then I saw considerable of
This is a gullible age! But there is a time
coming when the idealism of
Captain George Edward Hall
Reedy On Preparedness
PREPAREDNESS is the bold typed slogan on the front pages of our newspapers and in politics and a feature of our traveling President's speeches. In the current issue of his "Mirror," William Marion Reedy discloses himself as the only editorial writer in the United States who dares to look this question squarely in the face, writing his editorial so plausibly and so clearly that after reading it we are looking forward to the big politician or the big organizer who will accept circumstances as they are and find a way to "preparedness." Here is what Reedy says about the problems of preparedness:
most of the articles for preparedness you'd think it is
going to be an easy thing to get prepared. But don't you
believe it. First, it's easy to say 'Let us have a standing
army of 500,000.' But where are we to get that many men? The
army cannot be kept up to its present complement of men.
Americans won't enlist in numbers, save in hard times, and
the record of annual desertions is depressing. Well then,
"Let us have the Government take over the militia of the
states." But the consent of the individual states must be
secured, and that is not going to be easy. The states will
not want to bear the expense and give the Government
control. 'Let us adopt the Swiss system, then.' Here, again
is a difficulty. The Swiss system begins with training in
the schools. The states support the schools. They won't want
to pay their money to educate soldiers. Later it will take
men from their work. They will have to be paid for their
time. Who will pay, the states or the
London Office of BRUNO'S WEEKLY
and Russian literature indeed of almost every kind is the
It is all very absurd and discreditable, and of course, as a consequence there will be a reaction when no one will look at a Russian book.
One might prophesy an interest in Belgian literature which has never received its proper attention in this country. Courrouble, Eekhoud, Lemonnier, Rodenbach and Demolder would translate well enough. Probably something will start off a Belgian translation boom one day.
I wonder if you have ever heard of Rutland
Boughton and the Glastonbury Festival theatre which proceeds
with its work in spite of the gloom and discouragement of
the war. It is an interesting venture and I hope to give you
an account of it some day. Last week "
In connection with music, Madame Liza Lehmann's musical version of the old morality, Everyman, has just been given at the Shaftesbury Theatre, with Mr. Poel directing the scenic and fighting arrangements. It is doubtful if any music could add anything to the curious power of Everyman, and to destroy the artistic unity of the play by cuts and alterations in order to superimpose a mood of modern music on the mediaeval morality seems nothing less than ignorance or selfishness.
The French edition of the book I mentioned in my last letter, Romain Rowland's Au-Dessus de la Melee is receiving considerable attention here at the hands of the reviewers. In a long article in the New Witness, entitled The Impartial Mind, Mr. V. Y. Eccles writes of Rolland, "he is a citizen of the world, and perhaps the last of the French romantics. Only it is a pity that he cannot think, or that he cannot be silent."
The English and American editions will not be long in appearing now I fancy.
"All Right; I'll Be a Crook," said Rich
MR. PHIL RICH, day laborer, was betrayed shamefully by his betrothed. With the explanation that his income was too uncertain to risk upon it a marriage, she handed him, after seven years courtship, his walking papers. Mr. Rich was hurt to the roots and he vowed revenge. A very peculiar one. He decided to become a criminal. Not a very desperate criminal, but still one whom they would lock up. And if his betrothed would have only the slightest inkling of a conscience and recognize that it was she who had caused his downfall, her tortures would be terrible. At the same time he wished to combine the pleasant with the useful and to have as good a time as he could. Therefore he chose the profession of a crook and started upon his new activities by entering an automobile factory, He said: "My name is Rich, formerly day laborer. I wish to get an automobile with as many horsepower as you can put in it."
"Just as you please," replied the very polite salesman, "Do you wish to pay in cash for it?"
"Not right now," replied Mr. Rich frankly. "At first I would wish to get it on credit. I just happen to be out of work, you know."
The polite salesman was very sorry not to be able to oblige Mr. Rich and advised him to go to the competitor across the street. He followed the advice but here, too, they did not seem to be very eager to count him among their customers. Everybody simply refused to trust. This astounded Mr. Rich. He always had heard and read how easy it was to get credit, and still two people had refused already to sell him an automobile. But this could not discourage him. He went to a bank. He introduced himself as Mr. Rich, day laborer, and asked for a loan of ten thousand dollars. But here, too, the result of his expedition was very sad. The manager of the bank gave him even a lackey who should show him out of the building. But that was all he was willing to give him.
In the meantime, his monthly room rent became due. Mr. Rich was not able to pay and informed Mrs. Mclntyre, the keeper of his boarding house, to that effect. He assured her at the same time, that he was willing to take from now on in addition to the breakfasts included in his rental, dinner and supper with her. Mrs. Mclntyre didn't seem to approve of this new business arrangement.
"The devil git ye!" did she scream at the top of her voice, "Do yez think Oim crazy?" and she gave him a push and down the stairs he went. All four flights at once. His possessions she forwarded to the sidewalk where he had landed, through the window.
"It's just my luck," he philosophized. And now it had become most urgent to turn some trick or another because his thirst for revenge was diminishing from day to day.
His last recourse was the cook. These beings are supposed to have savings. He wanted to get a hold of them, promise marriage, he wanted to have a good time and then he wanted to welcome his fate no matter what might come. But nothing came. Mr. Rich, day laborer, remained an honest man. Even the cooks wouldn't give him anything. And so he was at the end of his wits. He knew nothing more! To take away the pennies from little children which they kept in their hands, if sent to buy something in the nearby grocery store, seemed even to him in his desperate mood, too dastardly.
And again he become a day laborer. But if ever anybody mentions to him how dead easy it is to get the best of credulous people, he will declare it emphatically as pure invention and just newspaper talk.
After the German, author not named, by Guido
Three Things by Tom Sleeper
WHERE the sullen sea is sounding
Throbbing, moaning, ever pounding
Where alone save for the sea birds
There I wooed you, Elenore.
In an abbey long deserted
Ruined arches, ivy-skirted
Underneath the vault of heaven
There I wed you, Elenore.
How exquisite were those hours
Spent among the tangled flowers,
Alone with you, the birds, the flowers,
Ah, I loved you, Elenore.
To a Buttercup
DAINTY waitress, pretty maid
Your actions are demure and staid
Is it that you fear abuse
That you can find no excuse
For serving me with delicatessen
And in that way incur my blessing?
O' Quae Mutatio Rerum
"OF course you can go" — and I had told her so on many occasions. She always kissed me and went, leaving me to my books and researches. It was pleasant to feel that her youth was enjoying the things she craved . . . . and Sam was really quite a delightful fellow . . . .
books and researches. My mail reaches me now at the
ONE summer evening a moth flew into the lamp of a student who sat reading by the open window of his garret.
While the insect's legs and wings were being withered to ashes it screamed frantically: "I am burning to death," and perished.
"Wasn't that terrible?" said the June bug.
"Frightful," answered the gnat.
"Plague upon all lamps!" said the mosquito.
"But," asked the spider, running to greet a fly that had become tangled in his web, "whose fault was it?"
As I Walk Out On the Street
In the ice cream parlor where I buy my cigarettes and stamps every day, I noticed a big yellow tin box where one can insert money as donations. The red inscription — a happy color combination of red and yellow — says thousands of Belgian soldiers have nothing to smoke. A few nights ago the "Sun" gave away one thousand loaves of bread in half an hour "to one thousand Americans who had nothing to eat."
Lying back in the barber's chair, while Henri stropped the razor, listening to the animated war discussions of the fat man in the next chair, who was having his hair curled, I thought: "My brothers and friends are perhaps just now, at this second, killing or being killed somewhere in the European trenches."
In the Playhouses
The Weavers, at the Garden Theatre
Just what Gerhardt Hauptmann's "The Weavers," means to the German in Germany it is, of course, quite impossible for a New York audience to know and therefore, to feel.
A storm in
"The Weavers," like any other flat-footed play, that is, a play that was originally intended for the whole, the entire surface of the foot, has been plunged into a mincing patter of Fifth Avenue buskins — slightly soiled.
Shaking dust onto a high hat has as yet, failed to make a high hat into a cap, and lime or dust on a pump has failed to make that pump into a slipper, into that heel less thing that the poorest and the most heartbroken of us wear.
Sorrow, great tragedy and desolation have always rested on broken arches. Traditional poverty and the heritage of tears are never heel high from mother earth. Thus it is that at the start, a play with immense fatality and fathomless depths, has been lamed with false sincerity.
It may seem small to pick on shoes, and it is. In self defense, let me say: keep the story of Cinderella intact only substitute brogans.
Is the picture the same? No.
Still, one forgets to remember, sometimes, the tremendous quality of the under voice that rises throughout all the high pitched cries of the weavers.
What old Baumert was ignorant of old Hilse knew: that birth is swifter than death, that death itself is not only the penalty of life but also the penalty of death.
What Moritz, because of his youth,
shouted, those older quieter men, who "must once in a life
time show what we feel" suffered, aye and knew too that
which none of the
"What grows, grows," said Hornig the dealer, "And what dies, dies," says Hauptmann.
When it shall be and how is left in the lives of these weavers, entirely to the dictates of their hunger. It is an ignominious death, indeed — death by the pit of the stomach.
There is no dispute, however, that the play written for the troubles of an older age, are more than applicable to nineteen-hundred and fifteen, when one remembers only Bayonne, Perth Amboy, but also Colorado and its past.
The only question is: can a Reicher production be a Reicher production, with some one playing Reicher's part anonymously?
The Boomerang, at the Belasco
The great success of "The Boomerang" in the Belasco Theatre, can be easily understood. No exaggerations. Just people on the stage as in every day's life. All these characters could be your friends or your neighbors. Nothing unexpected happens. Joy is joy and sadness is sadness. And then there is that natural jealousy and that healthy foolishness which we hate occasionally in our own make-up. And therefore this play is a success. Therefore the houses are sold out daily and therefore again the great truth is established once more: that the theater-going American does not crave for exotic sceneries and impossible stage effects, not for depraved characters or fool saints, nor for half-clothed women and shocking situations. But he enjoys a little bit of everyday truth, characters male and female whom he would not hesitate to introduce to his own family and a solution which is similar to that in life: no need for a deus ex machina before the last curtain drops.
Charles Edison's Little Thimble Theatre
Estelle Robinson who has entered upon an operatic career in New York will sing "J'ai pleure en reve" by Georges Hue, "Der Asra" by Rubenstein, and ''The Elf-Man" by John Barnes Wells, this week Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Mrs. Percy J. Smith, a ballad singer, will convince the audience that the good old ballads of yore are still touching our hearts and flattering our ears even today, in the distinct age of ragtime.
Kathryn Wilton Walton, the youngest toe
A vocal and instrumental selection on the Diamond Disc will conclude the program.
artists who appear this week are taking advantage of Mr.
Charles Edison's offer to American singers, musicians and
interpreters of rhythm to appear upon the stage of his
Thimble Theatre and offer their art to their supremest
critics —the American audience.
Cowley Brown Is the Man
Alexander Harvey in the current issue of his "Bang" makes anonymous mention of an old friend and brother wayfarer on the hard road which leads the writer to become a publisher and subsequently an editor and then a writer again, just a writer.
"For a long time now 'A Non,' whoever that may be, has conducted in the Chicago Musical Leader, a page headed "Major and Minor."
Cowley Stapleton Brown is "that whoever
it might be." He is also editor of the Ten Story Book of Chicago,
and his editorial column "
He is about forty years, in the prime of
his life, in that age where one has digested one's books
and where one sets out with the new vigor of full manhood
to achieve the ideals of boyhood days. With other words,
he knows the world as it is, has no illusions about
anything and has decided that the good old ideals of an
old world humanitarian education, leaving out its little
hypocrisies and substituting cosmos for sect, is about the
real thing. In the early '90s he arrived on the friendly
Real jewels of aphorisms and
criticisms are contained in those few numbers of the Goose Quill he
succeeded in publishing. And later, after he had left the
West and tried his luck as publisher in
many other literary men, is not a man of letter writing.
"Out of sight out of thought," is most likely his motto .
. . . but never out of heart," I am quite sure. If his
eye's meet these lines, a good spirit might move his pen
to write us some of his everyday thoughts which are
occasional Sunday — too often anniversary — thoughts of
the average being.
Books and Magazines of the Week
surely is not contemporary verse which this new literary
(sic) venture of Washington, D. C. offers to us. There is
not one among all the poems of its sixteen page quarto
that possibly could have been written by a contemporary
who lives among us. Its poets seem to be readers of books
and absorbers of verse written two thousand years ago.
They seem like a class in school — these eleven people
whose names appear as contributors, and each of them
brings along his composition on some theme or another.
Their real lives have nothing whatever to do with their
school lives. There is a two page poem by the
distinguished interviewer of poets for the trade paper of
American book publishers, which sounds like the yearning
of little Mary after this year's West Point hop — so
elated and so sentimental and so nice jingles!
too is a new magazine. It appears in
The current issue contains a list, in alphabetical order, of interesting books on Shakespeare. At all branches of The New York Public Library there are now displayed special collections of books about Shakespeare.
Geddes enlarged his picturesque magazine with its January
issue, considerably. Of interest is his article on the one
popular art museum in
In Our Village
Verne Hardin Porter should really have
taken a walk down to the village before writing his story
"Naughty! Naughty!"' for the February Green Book. He calls it
"MacDougal Alley offered us short shrift.
It was filled with rubbish barrels, Italian children, teams
and evidently, tenants. High rents — for even
He means Washington Mews, evidently — the
prolongation of the Alley, this aristocrat among all our
streets and thoroughfares on the other side of
Or, take for instance, that celebrated sage
of The Cosmopolitan,
Samuel Merwin. He, too, followed the vogue of the times and
In his "Remnants of Bohemia," the third installment of his "New York of the Novelists," Arthur Bartlett Maurice tells you in The Bookman, about as much of Greenwich Village's great past, about its landmarks which are today, and might be torn down tomorrow, as is known to even well-informed sources and it is good to know that this interesting series will appear shortly in book form.
Captain Hall's Exhibit
Captain Hall's Exhibition of paintings,
marine scenes and forest scenes, including portraits of
Abraham Lincoln and of Nancy Hanks,
On Monday, the 7th, H. Thompson Rich will read a selection of his poems, including his war poems, at 8:15 in Bruno's Garret. Admission is by ticket only. Write for reservations. There are only forty-two chairs.
On Monday, the 14th of January, Guido Bruno
will speak about "
The Liberal Club at
On the 18th of February, the Liberal Club
will have its annual ball. A big pageant, in which the
winners in the recent beauty prize contest of
Coulton Waugh designed several book plates very successfully and all he demurs, in executing commissions of this sort, are the ideas of the people who wish to own the book plates. But that's how it is in this world. Song birds in gold cages can't sing in the night. Their mistress wishes to sleep and therefore covers them with a nice silk handkerchief.
Tom Sleeper's Awakening
Judging from my mail, Tom Sleeper's
speckled hen caused a good many of the "flock" to scratch
their heads. It will be up to the sleeper from the
A War Play in Bruno's Garret
Vida Ravenscroft Sutton read last Monday in
Bruno's Garret her war play in two scenes, "Kingdom Come,"
which will be produced in the near future on an up-town
private stage. Miss Sutton is a very good reader. She has a
pleasant voice and no matter what she reads one could listen
to her with pleasure for hours. She has been in
Schroeder, of Cos Cob,
Children's Hour on the Square
in the weather — even last week's snowfall doesn't change
the program of the Children's Hour on
the Arch, around the fountain, facing the west, are
children's playgrounds, closed to the traffic. The Diamond
Disc is furnishing them music and the little boys and
girls have a chance to get acquainted with dancing
etiquette. Under the supervision of competent teachers and
women who have volunteered their services as chaperones
and dames de garde open air social dances will be arranged
in the near future.
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. Madigan, who has the original, in the handwriting of Oscar Wilde's warder, and also the two manuscripts mentioned in this story.
"Unknown to Wilde his wife had accompanied the solicitor, but she did not wish her husband to see her."
"The interview with the solicitor took place in the consultation room, and Wilde sat at a table with his head on his hands opposite the lawyer."
"Outside, in the passage with me, waited a sad figure in the deepest mourning. It was Mrs. Wilde — in tears."
"Whilst the consultation was proceeding in the 'solicitor's room,' Mrs. Wilde turned to me and begged a favor. 'Let me have one glimpse of my husband,' she said, and I could not refuse her."
"So silently I stepped on one side, and Mrs. Wilde cast one long lingering glance inside, and saw the convict-poet, who, in deep mental distress himself, was totally unconscious that any eyes save those of the stern lawyer and myself witnessed his degradation."
"A second later, Mrs. Wilde, apparently laboring under deep emotion, drew back, and left the prison with the solicitor."
"I fancy Wilde, when she saw him, was putting the final signature to the divorce papers, and I do not know if she ever saw her unhappy husband again. I do not think she ever did."
"At exercise, when he tramped what he called 'The Fools' Parade' with his companions of 'The Devil's Own Brigade,' he would pace along with bended head as though deep in thought and usually muttering snatches of prose or verse from his favorite authors."
"He took a most sympathetic interest in the sorrows and troubles of other prisoners, and commented fiercely on what he called the brutality of the prison system when a warder was suspended and finally dismissed for putting biscuits in the cell of a young prisoner whom Wilde believed to have been crying from hunger."
"The monotony of the life seemed appalling to Wilde, and when he was released he wrote, you remember:"
I know not whether laws be right
Or whether laws be wrong;
All that we know who be in gaol
Is that the walls are strong,
And that each day is like a year,
A year whose days are long.
"I have good reason to know that Oscar Wilde was satisfied with the way two of the warders treated him."
"After his release he sent us through the Governor, copies of his soul-stirring poem, 'The Ballad of Reading Gaol.' "
"My copy is inscribed 'From his friend,
"You remember the masterly way in which
Wilde worked out the theme of that wonderful poem which
told of the last days in prison of Trooper C. T.
Woolridge, of the Royal Horse Guards, who was hanged for
the murder of his wife at Clewer, near
"Wilde, of course, never
saw the murderer after his condemnation, but he heard
the bell tolling for the execution, and it made a
terrible impression on his mind.
(To be Continued)