Изображения страниц

up in juvenile form are totally unsuited And he is not a creator simply because in to juvenile readers. I am inclined to be- modern education they are doing their best lieve that at least forty-five per cent. of to stunt the imagination of the child. Of Andrew Lang's compilations are of value the mass of literature being published for to the antiquarian alone; in fact, that they children, a careful survey makes me fear contain matter of an anthropomorphic that very little is being prompted by the character that young people should not be sheer love of writing for children. If books given. Far better would it be for them to are to survive the democratic demand, the become thoroughly familiar with Æsop, author must cultivate his spontaneous love Anderson, Grimm, Asbjornson, and Greek for the craft. This love is what gave Mrs. mythology-more necessary to their cul- Burnett in "Little Lord Fauntleroy" and ture than East Indian Brahminism or than Mrs. Wiggin in “Rebecca of Sunnybrook South African Zuluism. I have watched Farm” their authority. the effect of story-tellers on their audiences. There was an Australian folk-tale told one day

The Range of Choice that bored to extinction; this was followed Having made these observations, thereby the Uncle Remus story of Brer Rabbit, fore, I repeat that it is surprising how good Brer Fox, and the Tar Baby; the mirth was the literature for children really is, considspontaneous.

ering the range of tastes to be satisfied I also believe that it is unfortunate to and the numbness of the average child to find so many pseudo-fairy tales. Most of style. Beautiful editions pour yearly from our writers are trying to emulate Lewis the presses. All that a buyer has to do is Carroll, even as the versifiers are attempting to start out shopping with a judicious list to imitate Stevenson's “Child's Garden of of children's books, and such a list may be Verses." The author of “Alice in Wonder- had from almost any public library of land” put three elements into that nonsense standing. I was surprised not long ago to story: fact, nonsense, and fairy tale. So find how ignorant kindergartners were on did Charles Kingsley in “The Water Ba- the subject of illustrations for children. bies.” Carroll possessed an innate feeling Picture-books are difficult to find, and the for the incongruous which none of his fol- majority of mothers who frequent the delowers have. Yet the time was never so partment stores turn to the newspaperripe for some one with the ability and with supplement type as the kind that Johnny the understanding, to convert the spirit of wants. And in all probability it is. But machinery, of modern science, into fairy there are not many teachers who have form. Kipling came near it in “Puck of ever had the curiosity to ask to see the Pook's Hill.”

reprints of Kate Greenaway (Warne); to There is but one great fear I have for examine the freedom of Walter Crane's the fate of the present-day children's lit- work (Warne); nor do they even know the erature. The general law of the survival name of Caldecott (Warne), that master of the fittest will take care of the books of of simple line and simple idea. They real value, a few of which appear each year. would smile in ignorance if asked who Thankful indeed we should be that our own Boutet de Monvel (Century) was, and even time has brought us“Uncle Remus," such a modern person as Lucy Fitch Per“Peter Pan,” and the "Jungle Book.” kins (McClurg and Houghton, Mifflin) The publishers to a commendable degree would go unsought. reprint-in editions worthy of the highest Lucky the buyer who has the opportunity praise--books which constitute the child's of purchasing a new edition of Kipling's rich heritage. But the author of juvenile "Jungle Book” (Century), of the “Arabian literature is writing with no other author- Nights” (Holt), of Anatole France's “Girls ity than that which a democratic average and Boys” (Duffield), of the “Story of demands. In fiction he is a journalist, Rostand's Chanticler" (Stokes), of Arthur and since he finds the "series” profitable, Rackham's “Mother Goose” (Century), of he is willing to give his style a sameness Asbjornsen's "Norwegian Tales” (Lippinthat depends on action for external move- cott), of E. Boyd Smith's edition of “Ivanment. In “non-fiction” he has educational hoe" (Houghton, Mifflin), of Madame

” theories which bind him and scholarly exac- Maeterlinck's “The Children's Blue Bird” tions which direct him. In both instances (Dodd, Mead), of “Snow White,” the play, he is a producer rather than a creator. as given at the Little Theatre in New York


[ocr errors]

(Dodd, Mead). None of these books will the moral trend of children's literature sell widely; they are for the élite, and they is concerned. Now and again a snobbish will be bought sparingly by the libraries. tone is to be guarded against, but in the

As a reviewer, I know from the publishers' matter of content-if not of form, of style announcements sent me that there will be -the buyer might purchase blindly. The slight variation from the books of last year. public library guards the public as far as First and foremost, there are the “series” it can; it aims to place the best upon to be continued. From the standpoint its shelves. . But the child will read of timeliness, I know that I shall be sent something inferior until he begins to want several volumes dealing with incident in something better. When he realizes that the Balkans; there will be the usual his- X's tale is not so absorbing as Steventorical display of Revolutionary, 1812, and son's “Treasure Island,” the battle is Civil War stories. Especially strong will

Style will not have won it, but be the last, in view of the war anniversaries the large feeling for events and character we have recently celebrated. I will find and right doing at the right moment. scanty biography, for biography is written The time has arrived when the many only for school requirements. In a letter theorists regarding children's literature from a librarian, I find this memorandum should meet and measure up their investiregarding biography: “I am of the opinion gations. The librarians have done splendid that the biographical form belongs to people service in systematizing the field according of developed taste, and not to people whose · to the wants of childhood. Their book taste is in the making. By that I mean lists should be of inestimable service to that I doubt if we shall ever be able to parents, to anyone interested in the subdevelop in children the love for biography ject. Books have been graded, they have in itself, and I think the biographical form been indexed under various headings, their often hinders, rather than increases, a best editions indicated. The mother who child's interest in an individual. ... I does not know Douglas Jerrold's "Big Book would be inclined, were I treating any life, of Nursery Rhymes” (Dutton) or his not to hold to the usual form, but to give “Big Book of Fables” (Caldwell) had better the dramatic period of an individual's life make their acquaintance. And there is much first and treat the earlier periods

she does not know that could be later in the book, after the

had for the asking. It will child's interest had been

save no end of fruitpermanently estab

less searching at the lished.”

book-stalls, and of Interest estab

unwise purchase. lished is the slo

For it is gan, and it is a

prising how unwise publisher

wise a parent is who places an

in purchasing exciting front

books for her ispiece to his

children. Yet story-books. I

she cannot go repeat this

far wrong, for 'wherever I

she has two have an oppor

things to guide tunity, for it

her: she knows should stand as a

what Johnny warning to the aver

wants, and she age grown person

can usually rely on who purchases books

the imprint of a good for children. A book

publisher. The truth is should be examined be

that parents heretofore fore it is bought; it should

have been indifferent They have their inspiration, these modern not be purchased on the

to the matter. They stories charged with lack of style, and strength of its cover de- their spirit, entering into unfolding lives.

have left to the state sign. One is safe, pretty does teach goodness and kindness and make what they should have generally, as far as

for loftier ideals

taken unto themselves.



[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed]

Morris got up, crossed to us, and stood beside the editor, looking down at him. “What's the use of talking like that, Hurd?" he asked quietly. "You know perfectly well you won't print that story. You don't dare. And when you sent Miss Iverson out on that assignment you knew just what

was coming to her"


"May Iverson's Career"

Here is that eager, brimful-of-life little maid from the convent school who has always so entirely fascinated her “dear companions” and Miss Jordan's own admiring public. She thinks she means to be a nun, this eighteen-year-old, with her ardent imagination, her unquenchable spontaneity, and her girlish zest for life! But having taken her father's breath away with the announcement, she has promised him to spend three preliminary years trying her next-after-that choice of a career, that of newspaper

The diverting ghost-detective-real-firstpage-news story of “May Iverson's First Assignment” was related last month. The little Iverson kid” began in that story to prove her metal. She begins in this one to prove men


By Elizabeth Jordan

Author of "May Iverson-Her Book," "May Iverson Tackles Life," etc.

Illustrated by James Montgomery Flagg


The Cry of the Pack
R. NESTOR HURD, the “feat- thousand years old, instead of only eighteen.

ure” editor of the New York I had received so much advice during the
Searchlight, was in a bad humor. week that some of it was spilling over, and

We all knew he was, and every- I freely and gladly gave the surplus to her. body knew why, except Mr. Nestor I had a desk, too, by this time, in a corner Hurd himself. He thought it was because near a window where I could look out on he had not a competent writer on his City Hall Park and see the newsboys whole dash-blinged staff, and he was ex- stealing baths in the fountain. And I was plaining this to space in words that stung going to be a nun in three years, so who like particularly active gnats. Really it cared, anyway? I went to Mr. Hurd with was because his wife had just called at his my head high and the light of confidence office and drawn his month's salary in

in my eyes. advance to go to Atlantic City.

“'Sthat?” remarked Mr. Hurd, when he Over the little partition that separated heard my soft footfalls approaching his his private office from the square pen where desk. He was too busy to look up and see. his reporters had their desks Mr. Hurd's He was bending over a great heap of newswords flew and lit upon us. Occasionally paper clippings, and the veins bulged out we heard the murmur of Mr. Morris's on his brow from the violence of his mental voice, patting the air like a soothing hand; efforts. Mr. Morris, the thin young editor and at last our chief got tired and stopped, who had a desk near his, told him it was and an office boy came into the outer room Miss Iverson. Mr. Morris had a large and said he wanted to see me.

bulge on each jaw-bone, which Mr. Gibson I went in with steady knees. I was not had told me was caused by the strain of afraid of Mr. Hurd any more. I had been keeping back the things he wanted to say on the Searchlight a whole week, and I had to Mr. Hurd. Mr. Hurd twisted the right written one big “story” and three small corner of his mouth at me, which was his ones, and they had all been printed. I way of showing that he knew that the knew my style was improving every day- person he was talking to stood at his right growing more mature. I had dropped a side. great many amateur expressions, and I "'S Iverson," he began (he hadn't time had learned to stop when I reached the end to say Miss Iverson), "got ’ny money?” of my story, instead of going right on. I thought he wanted to borrow some. I Besides, I was no longer the “cub”reporter. had seen a great deal of borrowing going A new one had been taken on that morning on during the week; everybody's money -a scared-looking girl who told me in a seemed to belong to everybody else. I was trembling voice that she had to write a glad to let him have it, of course, but a little special column every day for women. It surprised. I told him that I had some was plain that she had not studied life as we money, for when I left home papa had girls had in the convent. She made me feel a given me

He interrupted me rudely. "Don't want wasted ur time add ginged at me and said to know how much papa gave you," be things I öst derstand and wanted to snapped. "Want to know where tis." take re to Cocer ad Most of them

I toid him coldly that it was in a savings were rerer er but two or three of them bank, for papa thought

were bette. Vo they cane Dear me He interrupted again. I had never been they sade ze ied queer and sick. After interrupted when I was in the convert they had ieit I wanted to throw open all There the other girls hung on my words the days and rocers and air the room. with suspended breath.

There was one I used to cream oi when I ** "Sall right, then," Jr. Hurd sad. was ore: worked which was usually. He * Here's your story. Go ard see hai a was a rars a case in the cream-a fat, dozen of our biggest milionaires in Wal discussing. lay case, siewly squirming Street-Drake, Carter, Harden-you know over the ground near me, with his buiging the list. Tell 'em you're a strarger in town, græn eres on my face. There were times come to study music or pair tirg. Got when I was afraid to go to sleep ior fear of a little money to see you through-'nough dreaming of that szake: and when, during for a year. Ask 'em what to do with it, the day, he came into the room and over to how to invest it—and write what happens. my desk, I would hardly have been surGood story, eh?" He turned to Morris prised to see him crawi instead of walk. for approval, and all his dimples showed, Indeed, his walk was a kind of crawi. making him look like a six-months-old Mr. Gibson, Hurd's star reporter, whose baby. He immediately regretted this mo- desk was nert to mine, spoke to me about ment of weakness and irowned at me. him one day, and his grin was not as wide ** Sa!!," he said, and I went away.

as usual, I wiil now pause for a moment to de "Is Tawkirs annoying you?" he asked. scribe an interesting phenomenon that “I've seen you actually shudder when he ran through my whole journalistic career. came to your desk. If the cad had any I always went into an editor's room to take sense, he'd see it, too. Has he said anyan assignment with periect confidence, and thing? Done anything?" I usually came out of it in black despair. I said he hadn't, exacty, but that I felt a The confidence was caused by the memory strange feeling of horror every time he came that I had got my past stories; the despair near me; and Gibson raised his eyebrows and was caused by the conviction that I couldn't said he guessed he knew why, and that he possibly get the present one. Each assign- would attend to it. He must have attended ment Mr. Hurd had given me during the to it, for Tawkins stopped coming to my week seemed not only harder than the last desk, and aiter a few months he was disbut less worthy the dignity of a general's charged for letting himself be “thrown daughter. Besides, a new and terrible down" on a big story, and I never saw him thing was happening to me. I was becom- again. But at the time Vr. Hurd gave me ing afraid—not of work, but of men. I his Wall Street assignment I was beginning never had been afraid of anything before. to be horribly airaid to approach strangers, From the time we were laid in our cradles, which is no way for a reporter to feel; and my father taught my brother Jack and me when I had to meet strange men I always not to be afraid. The worst of my fear found myself wondering whether they would now was that I didn't know exactly why be like Hurd or like Tawkins. I hardly I felt it, and there was no one I could go dared to hope they would be like Mr. to and ask about it. All the men I met Gibson, who was like the men at home seemed to be divided into two classes. In kind and casual and friendly; but of course the first class were those who were not kind some of them were. at all-men like Mr. Hurd, who treated Once Mrs. Hoppen, a woman reporter me as if I were a machine, and ignored me on the Sourchligid, came and spoke to me altogether or looked over my head or past about them. She was forty and slender the side of my face when they spoke to me. and black-eyed, and her work was as clever They seemed rude at first, and I did not like as any man's, but it seemed to have made them; but I liked them better and better her very hard. She didn't believe in anyas time went on.

body. She made me feel as if she had In the second class were the men who were dived so deep in life that she had come out too kind-who sprawled over my desk and into a place where there wasn't anything.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »