“Full many a shot at random sent,
Finds mark the archer little meant.”
by Alice M. Heins
But yesterday the trees were sere and brown;
A requiem in the rustling leaves
To-day a gorgeous flow’ry crown
Decked with each gem that dewy morning weaves.
But yesterday my lonely aching heart
Listened for Love’s sweet song
To-day I know the fullness – fears depart –
But oh! it seemed so long.
by Chas W. Heins
THE vast perspiring crowd from the Academy, if seeking shelter, had filled the entire capacity of the Soleil d’ Or, this fretful, chattering multitude coming slowly from the great, somber glass topped edifice, where today the awards had been made. Tired and dissatisfied, the steady drizzle outside is not conducive to good humor, except in the little, fat and shrewd proprietor, who fairly beams at this god-send of a rain that is bringing so much custom.
Every topic is the Academy, and all avow themselves satisfied, yet over the little round tables seems to hover a general air of anger and disappointment. Genuine praise in accord with the judges’ decision is heard nowhere, while a few resolve to imitate the pictures that have taken the fancy of a sickly audience.
Boisterous wit alone sparkles where champagne is opened for its excuse, while nervous and ill clad artists who sip their absinthe, grow more sullen and envious at the few who have earned the right to overawe them, and the cynics in the vanquished ranks grow bitter and sarcasm become deeper and more malicious.
Almost apart from this scene, where men played the aftermath of the test to their arnbitions, where the successful elbow those who barely hide their chagrin, a young couple awaited the serving of the coffee and cordial that was to conclude their order.
Tall, lean and sallow, with eyes too dreamy to grasp the practical side of life, one could surely distinguish the painter, though with it would mingle the thought that the rueful smile that seemed perpetually to hover in the angles of his mouth precluded his ever being really happy or famous. She, – a radiant vision of loveliness, of a type whose purity stood out in vivid contrast to the others of her sex who mingled with the noisy throng, she who it seems, need never to rouge or grow envious for gowns to make up the deficiency of nature. A creature to love, to honor, to grow frantic about. Who is made to laugh with joy, yet inevitably neglects the right moment, whose lips could inspire ones soul, but choose to repel by their hard, malignant inflexibility.
“It is too provoking,” she cried suddenly and a look of reproach flitted over her face.
“What is?” he answered roused from a revery, and his eyes lost their dreamy aspect and glistened with reflected astonishment.
“That your pictures were hung so poorly as to offer you even this excuse that their effect was lost. Even you cannot deny that no one remained enthralled in front of them. To be quite candid I am chagrined to realize that you will never be able to succeed.”
“A mournful shade crept into the faint smile of the artist, “The important thing were that I possessed the necessary talent. Success, all things considered, would else be but an empty word.”
“That may agree with your selfish theory,” the pretty creature retorted petulantly. “For my part I would rather the critics would become aware of your existence, or that the papers commented on your pictures so that people would notice you.”
“You have only to be with me to achieve the latter wish,” and a faint eagerness lurked in the painter’s voice.
“Too true,” she querulously agreed, “but really much more so when I am alone. That is something I do not require you for. But how distressing to realize that the man you are with proves himself a fiasco in his art and profession, when in comparison those who succeed achieve it so easily. Take Ferling for instance, what spontaneous acclaim, no one disputes the judges’ decision and why? simply because he shows his skill in well-beaten paths. While you! –”
“But my dear it is simply impossible for me to paint like him and if I could, still not having his connection, I should never achieve his success,” and a weary hand crossed his perplexed brow.
“You are ever ready with an excuse, it would seem that you purposely wish continued failure.”
“But what can I do?” he groaned despairingly. “Perhaps you even think I am not striving enough?”
“Altogether too much, one is hardly ever able to go out to show we are living, instead of this horrible existence. Work! work! that is your plaint and yet – to what avail? All they ever say about you is, that your canvasses are very fine, that you display taste, perhaps a little too exact – ‘but he is a dreamer, a little ahead in his ideas, but not bold enough to stamp his own school so as to impress his public.’ Oh! don’t interrupt,” and she stamped her foot in exasperation. “I know what these praises given with a shrug signify, the empty words that continue you in your folly and allow them to sell their pictures as if they were by Meissonier or Detaillé.”
“I am not able to paint like them either,” the young painter stubbornly insisted, while his sad smile subsided to remorseful despair.
“But what angers me beyond measure,” the pretty creature resumed as she edged her chair closer to him so that the lash of her contempt would strike the keener, “is that you give yourself airs as if you were capable of doing everything better. What entitles you to that belief? Your pictures perhaps! I see nothing so remarkable in them. To me they all seem like spectres in a mist. When one climbs such a self-made pinnacle as you have, surely one ought to create something. Even Ragon, who sells his canvases for their weight in gold, told you how it would be, that your colors are all too dark. But you are above advice and so you will always lack talent and end us in obscurity.”
A wan smile flitted over the countenance of the painter and one could see that it came only after a heroic struggle for mastery over self; while the slender hands that had clenched the table until the veins had swollen to whipcords relaxed and were now stretched out in utter helplessness. “Yes dear, I realize my utter inability to do anything but to love you with all the fervor in me. The rest to me is not essential. If you could only look at it in the same way. – It is all very well to be able to paint beautiful pictures, to please the public and become famous, but after all they still remain only the production of our vanity: and for me weigh not a tithe against the burning and trusting affection I bear for you. It is only love that makes this life worth living and I live but in you. Of what moment, whether my pictures create a furore or what their ultimate end will be, save that we two be happy now. Smile on me, Clio! that is my sun of success.”
But she only shrugged her shoulders in disdain.
“Do not look at me that way,” he pleaded distracted, “I would do anything I could, to make you happy.”
“Sell your pictures like Ragon,” she ironically insisted.
“That is the one thing that is impossible,… Ragon!… come here. You will join us of course,” he suddenly insisted to the tall, rawboned man that had almost passed their table.
Her white determined face suddenly regained its color in the wish to please. The hard lines around the lips softened until they expanded into a radiant smile that crowned their perfect beauty, while the sudden company demeanor stamped her with the most angelic disposition,
Ragon had leisurely seated himself like one who bestows favors. On his coarse features hovered a perpetual, silly grin, born of the knowledge that he could afford to laugh at people, While his massive seal and rings, his perfume and mannerism, seemed almost an affront to good taste.
Amidst this hubbub of blurred figures, this continuous change of human maze, the clatter of dishes and officious waiters, and vibrant emotions that run the gamut of sorrow and despair to arrogance and triumph, these three sit and keep talking over the coffee and cordial.
One – the painter who suffers martyrdom, who racks his brain and thinks only of the solution of how best to apply his talent on the Inflexible laws of art and so gain the renown desired of him.
The other to whom a fickle public bows today, and who self-satisfied as a nabob, complacently accepts their homage as a tribute to his genius: and she – beautiful as an houri who does not even know of what beauty consists – but who smiles only at those who have achieved success.
N. A. P. A. Official Criticism
By 1906-7 Bureau of Critics
THE Cynosure lives up to its name of “literary quarterly,” without fail. It contains matter of didactic character generally, and always of high literary character. In the March issue may be found a rather selfish poem by Russell D. Chase, a funny old fashioned diatribe on womankind by Hervey O. Letendre, some interesting paragraphs by Heath, the old timer, that show he still keeps his love for his former fad, “uniform size,” a brief essay by Sophia Baer, a careful article on laureateships by Edward F. Daas, and writeups of Messrs. Dunlop and Zahn, with portraits, all besides Mr. Ahlhauser’s well considered editorials.
The writeups are a novelty, one wishes they might be “featured” even more strongly. The June issue presents a very excellent portrait of Mr. Ahlhauser himself, and good sound articles on the various phases of amateur journalism by Messrs. Erford, Wehking, Ebert, Pickrell, Brechler, Zahn. Daas and the editor. Mr. Walter Goff has, in the “ex-President’s Number” of the Quarterly Review, presented amateurdom with a real novelty, well carried out, even though it is rather rushing things to put Murphy among the “Ex’s” during his term of office. Harrison, Wylie, Legler, Stinson, Spenser, Brubaker, Burger, James Morton, Nixon, Barnard, Hochstadter and Gilroy make a splendid list of names, and with the exception of Brubaker no one has made a contribution – evidently perfunctory, but has brought a real offering of merit.
Self illuminating editorials by Mr. Goff close the number. In these he explains some of his dreams in the early days of his amateur career, and his present understanding how and why they never came true, These confessions rouse sympathy for Mr. Goff, as well as a feeling of regret that he neglected the energy along educational lines which might have resulted in his achieving some of these ambitions. Unpreparedness and lack of self confidence have been to blame for some of Mr. Goff’s failures in the past. But he is still young and it would seem ought to have as much “future” before as behind him – to be Mrs. Malapropish.
Louis G. Brechler gives a highly readable account of an amateur reunion in The Coyote, without making it exactly plain why it should be dubbed “muck rakers’ number.” Still there ought to be a reason and a strong one, for adopting such an ugly and such an out of date name. The same title is hitched on to The Yellow Peril, which would be a very attractive publication, if only some care had been taken to match the yellow of the pages to the orange of the cover. The contents are fresh and breezy convention writeups.
The Eternal Feminine, second number, is out and “gives away” the names of the editors, about which, it seems there has been an awful to-do in the middle west. Their portraits are printed and they certainly look too ingenuous to long keep up a deception. The paper itself shows its independence by make-up, having editorials in the first pages and literary matter last. The literature includes a poem, “Music and Musings” by one editor and a story by another. Miss Gill’s fiction is very good and impresses one as a transcription from life. Miss Voelchert’s verse shows an idea to which the young author was unable to give adequate expression.
Another unique magazine is Reid’s The Irishman, which is appropriately printed in green. Mr. Reid has adopted a jaunty style and makes a great point of living up to his paper’s name. Oddly enough, however, he has selected as his special abhorrence the entrance of Negros into the N. A. P. A., which dead issue he is energetically trying to animate. Too bad, for his ability deserves better employment.
Entretemps makes a handsome appearance, with Murphy’s delightsome Major and Minor papers, and Henderson’s well written editorials for matter. And there is so much worthy of praise in Zahn’s The Advocate, that one hates to note his editorial in which he infers that most “lady amateurs” are given to “wasting good paper and ink.” But perhaps he thinks the “women amateurs” have still a right to exist!
A cute little magazine is Kerber’s and Everett’s In a Nutshell, which owns that it is printed “for fun.” The same reason animates the editorial staff of The Pine Cone; who have sent out an excellent number full of newsy items about amateur journalists in Maine, and with a portrait and writeup of Mr. Tracy, the senior editor. One of the gayest papers, in outward appearance, is The Dryad, which has a red cover, tied with yellow silk, the pages being white printed with blue. The contents are less gaudy and more pleasing. Samuel A. White has a characteristic poem, and in “The Tragedv of the Stone,” Clinton Pryor tells a story better than he has ever told one before, yet still in a way showing that he has much to learn of artistry. His ideas are good and his plots almost always original, but he needs a greater command of language to avoid tautology. Furthermore, if he will essay the tragic and the sentimental, he must adopt modes of expression other than the ultra common-place. But there is undoubtedly promise in his work.
Master Ross in The Athenian, second number, shows that he is getting splendidly into the “swing” of affairs amateuristic. His contributed matter is all worthy of the dainty pages of the magazine, and his editorials are bright, and give evidence of judgment and discernment, Harry L. Stone has a merry bit of verse, and Murphy’s poem, “If Winter Come, can Spring be Far Behind?” is truly tuneful, save for a lagging line at the close of the first stanza.
Our young editors are doing splendid work this year. Irving MacDonald Sinclair has lately sent forth an elegantly gotten up Cartoons, whose chief physical defect is the fact that the fastening comes too far from the back to allow of easy opening of the publication for reading, The contents make a general display of arrogance and conceit of which Master Sinclair will probably be ashamed when he is a few years older – reference being made, of course, to other than contributed matter. If the lad does not write “Letters from an Old Amateur to His Son,” then he should refuse to print them – and if he does write them one can only hope for the wisdom and sense of decency which properly comes with years.
There are three Olympians since January, each showing the marked progress being made by Master Cole as publisher and editor. Cole’s taste has never failed but once in selection of contributions – “McGinty and I and Dutch” was decidedly unworthy a place in any amateur paper. But for leaven the same number contained poems by Braunstein, Martha Sheppard Lippincott, Arthur H. Goodenough and W. R. Murphv, as well as one of the best pieces of work ever seen from the pen of Mr. Starring, “Stevens Collins Foster.” In the March issue is one of Mrs. Sawyer’s inimitable “Mrs. Dooley” papers, a strong essay on Whitman by James F. Morton Jr., and one of Emerv’s best poems, “Ora Pro Nobis.” In the June number one is pleased to note that Cole has given himself plenty of space – he is so often stingy with himself, because of generosity to others – for a fine account of the Hub Club’s seventeenth anniversary.
The issues of Swift’s Weekly for a quarter of a year make a very respectably sized volume and contains a vast amount of good matter. In January the numbers were largely devoted to reviews of the Atlantic Coast Convention, and also to some excellent critical matter. In February there was verse by Richard Braunstein and others – notably a poem “Deserted,” by Williarn J. Clemence, which ably conveyed the idea suggested by the title in its cadence. Of course there is generally editorial matter, and the article captioned “Let’s All Take a Whack at Murphy,” published March 27, put a clincher on some very silly arguments against the administration. On April 17 Harry L. Stone had a clever bit of verse “Bime-by,” in a vein that is generally neglected by our amateur poets. When one remembers the necessary brevity of all contributions to this four-page journal, one is more than ever impressed with the ability of the editor in giving such varied contents, with a steady maintenance of a high standard.
For The Literary Gem, one is glad to note the attempt of Messrs. Parker and Morton to “catch up” with Father Time. May they succeed in their laudable endeavor! With affairs so quiet in the South that Mr. Staring says “General Apathy has smote the S, A. J. A. a big smite,” it is good to see The Reflector coming right along. Mr. Starring has many difficulties in the way and so deserves more than common praise for his activity.
It is like the good old time to once more have a paper from James Morton. His Libra furnishes food for solid thought and reflection, from first page to last. One of the most entertaining papers is the Gothamite, devoted to writeups of the Gotham Club, and the April number is further made interesting with portraits of present president and official editor, and the past presidents – with the mascotte, dear wee baby Heins. Another New York paper that evidences improvement in an amateur’s work is Matthew Dietle’s Advance Guard. His language, however, is still too often such as to obscure the thought. The Monthly News is another New York publication that is improving, while still showing need of greater care in its makeup and contents.
by Chas. W. Heins
THE Boston Convention of the National Amateur Press Association with its enthusiastic gathering, its enjoyable social side, and sensible business consideration at the sessions, will always rank with the best conventions in our history. That we have been honored by being selected at the helm of the next administration, is an event to which we will never become quite reconciled. But having assumed office, we shall not shirk those responsibilities which every official honor carries with it. There is serious work before the administration but in all justice it should apply with equal force to the amateurs whose interests are served thereby, and to whose co-operation the success of the year will depend.
Having neither bargained for office nor moved heaven or earth to secure it, we naturally have no axes to grind, and our intent is to serve the National Amateur Press Association to the best of our ability, without reference to friends, or amateurs with whom we may have differed in the past.
The traditions of the past will be upheld, the progress of the future must continue and so every member should play a part prompted by an earnest desire to advance the cause of Amateur Journalism through the channels of our Association.
At the risk of it being imputed to us that we wish to repay the labors and sacrifices James F. Morton Jr. extended to us, as our self-appointed campaign manager in the recent election of the National, we cannot refrain from adding our approbation to the intent to unanimously elect him the president of the Interstate A. P. A. on Labor Day, at Philadelphia. Never was a man more loyal to trust imposed on him. Never ability more unstintingly rendered for our cause than that which James F. Morton Jr. from a busy and eventful public life bestows on Amateur Journalism. The association which secures his services needs only to be congratulated, for its work is assured in advance by the skillful and tireless hands that are to direct its course for the coming year.
As the last editor of the The National Amateur we hereby extend an apology to the fraternity for using Mr. Beck’s excellent article on Condie and The Juvenile Portfolio without extending the proper credit to The Fossil, for which it was originally written. We are aware that had our intent been to create the impression that this excellent article was original with the National Amateur, such a proceeding could easily be called by a very ugly name. As however Mr. Beck’s generosity prompted The Fossil being sent to all members of the National Amateur Press Association fully two months before the July issue of The National Amateur in which Mr. Beck’s article was reprinted, this intent on our part must fall before the fact, We are extremely vexed that a large issue, and a desire for its early appearance to enable us to attend the Boston Convention, should have caused us to overlook the ethics usual in such a case, and hereby extend our further apology for this unintentional oversight to Mr. Joseph Dana Miller the official editor, and ex-president Mr. Frank Martin, of the organization of “Fossils” who both so generously extended us permission to use the article in question.
It is to be deplored that as the years have elapsed, the once serviceable and beneficial influence to Amateur Journalism, the United Amateur Press Association, should have been hindered by a division in the Association itself. That its work, despite the efforts of two administrations, has not equalled either in usefulness or activity former years when the Association was a unity cannot be denied. Both passive camps contend, naturally, that each is the Association and each – thank you – are getting along quite well without the other, or the amateurs who have taken issue on the question. But their combined labors do not show the result of such contentions or were conducive in obtaining that promising new blood that is to perpetuate the institution. The old fire of controversy has burned itself out, the issues at stake after all do not count in the scale of the Association’s perpetuation and the natural reaction to be expected, when one great national organization splits itself practically on two sections of the country has taken place. Neither convention recently held, with its nominal local attendance can honestly claim to be. representative, or of national scope.
There are many years of usefulness and aid towards the advancement of Amateur Journalism before the United Amateur Press Association but it is necessary that personal differences and dissensions be relegated, to the past where they belong. No one questions the motive towards this solution that may have prompted the selection of Milwaukee at the Chicago Convention, and the constitutional juggling that deprived the East of the next convention seat, but the amateurs concerned have a right to expect that the motive be an honest effort to restore the warring factions into the original association, who from that happy consummation will spread an era of good fellowship and prove a mighty impetus for active, harmonious and united work.
We retain many pleasant recollections from a year of earnest work, as the official editor of the XXIXthvolume of The National Amateur, among which the knowledge that we endeavored to do our best to deserve the official recognition accorded us proves a deal of satisfaction in the retrospect. But we stand appalled at the unexpected honor that made us the recipient of a beautiful Silver Loving Cup at the Boston Convention, from amateurs whose generosity went far beyond either our merit or our accomplishment. We shall always preserve this splendid gift for the wealth of friendship it symbolizes, and our recollection will always esteem the event as an epoch in our life too sacred to be ever forgotten.
To W. R. Moscow, A. M. Adams, John L. Peltret, C. Fred: Crosby, Ivey W. Lewis, Jas. F. Morton Jr., Edwin B. Swift, Mrs. E. B. Swift, Edward H. Cole, Jacob Golden, Mrs. Edith Miniter, W. H. Thorpe, J. H. Ives Munro, Jos. B. Lynch, Nelson G. Morton, Theo. H. Kahvat, Vincent Haggerty. W. R. Murphy, J. Ray Spink, C. H. Russell and Mrs. Laura Sawyer who we know were implicated in overwhelming us with this gift, we express our deep gratitude and the wish that in their lives may sometime come an occasion, similar to the one due to this generosity, so that they too may feel the insignificance of words to properly express the deep obligation for so signal a mark of appreciation.
Published and Imprinted By
Chas. W. Heins, Archer
And Twanged from the Tepee of
1920 Lexington Ave. New York