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25 Works of Walter Prichard Eaton

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I have one grave objection to the “new poetry”–I cannot remember it. Some, to be sure, would say that is no objection at all, but I am not of the number. It would hardly become me, in fact, since I have, in a minor pipe, committed “new poetry” myself on various and sundry occasions, or […]

Penguin Persons

Story type: Essay

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After all, one knows so little about a man from his printed works! They are the gleanings of his thoughts and investigations, the pick of his mind and heart; and they are at best but an impersonal and partial record of the writer. Even autobiography has something unsatisfactory about it; one feels the narrator is […]

The world for a great many years has accepted the dictum of the poet, that– Of all sad words of tongue or pen,The saddest are these: It might have been. Even those people who refused to accept the rhyme have accepted the reason. But the fact is that the reason of this copybook couplet is […]

James Huneker has pointed out that lovers of the drama, who are sound judges as well, too frequently have so little taste in music that they tolerate or even approve the most atrocious noises emitted in the name of musical comedy; while lovers and sound judges of music are quite as often woefully remiss in […]

At the heart of morality lies content. That is a statement either optimistic or cynical, as you choose to look at it; but it is a statement of fact. Even the reformer seeks to allay his discontent, which does not arise from the morality in him, but from the immorality in other people. Anybody who […]

I have written the title, “A forgotten American poet,” and I shall let it stand, though I am not sure that he was ever well enough known to be spoken of now as forgotten. Ten or a dozen years ago a friend of mine who was working on an anthology of American poetry, at the […]

When the ordinary American who “does things”–atrocious phrase, symbol of our unrecking materialism that does not consider the value of the things done–wants to give a place a name, he affixes his own, or that of his sister-in-law or the congressman from his district. Thus our noblest North American mountain is called McKinley, though it […]

It has been many years since I have seen a sundial on the stage. There was a time when the stage could not get along without them; but styles have changed. “Iram indeed has gone with all his rose,” and Eddie Sothern, best beloved of romantic actors in your generation and mine, has written his […]

We have just been perusing a copy of a certain magazine which proclaims on its cover that it has doubled its circulation in twenty months. Within, the editor sets forth what he believes to be the reasons for this gratifying growth. “The magazine accepts man as he is–and helps him,” says the editor. “The magazine […]

All my life I have suffered from politeness–not my own, but the politeness of other people. So far as I know, nobody has ever accused me of being polite. I suspect that I must be, however, for hitherto I have borne the politeness of other people without a protest. But I must protest now, if […]

Last season I gave up golf forever two days before our course opened in May, on the evenings of June 17th and July 4th, at noon on July 27th, on the evenings of August 2nd, 9th, 15th, and 21st, at 11:15 A.M. on Labor Day, again Labor Day evening, on September 19th, 23rd, 30th, and […]

You may recall that Mr. Ezra Barkley acquired a great reputation for learning by imparting to the spinsters of Old Chester such astonishing facts as the approximate number of roe contained in a shad. His sister-in-law, in her ignorance, supposed there were only two hundred! Ezra also knew who first kept bees, and many other […]

No daffodils “take the winds of March with beauty” in our Berkshire gardens. What daffodils we have in that month of alternate slush and blizzard bloom in pots, indoors. But one sign of spring the gardens holds no less plain to read, even if some people may not regard it as so poetic–over across the […]

A great dramatist is authority for the statement that– The evil that men do lives after them;The good is oft interred with their bones. That is no doubt in a measure true; yet it would be grossly unfair to blame personally certain great ones of the past for the evil that has lived after them […]

I am content to let Mr. John Corbin sing the praises of the stage without scenery; I prefer to sing the praises of the stage without actors. Ever since I was a little boy, nothing in the world has been for me so full of charm and suggestiveness as an empty room. I remember as […]

There are two people who annoy an author more than any others–the person who calmly supposes that everything he writes is biographical, or even autobiographical, and the person who declares, “I’ve got a dandy plot for you”–and proceeds to tell it. The first person, of course, is annoying, because an author’s stories always are either […]

New York! How few of us call it home! We have been sucked into it, as into a whirlpool, and as we spin round and round on its mighty unrest our hearts and fancies find repose in memory–the memory of an old New England village, or a corn field and a split-rail fence and then […]

“Once man defended his home and hearth; now he defends his home and radiator.” The words stared out of the bulk of print on the page with startling vividness, a gem of philosophy, a “criticism of life,” in the waste of jokes which the comic-paper editor had read and doubtless paid for, and which the […]

Old Hundred and I were taking our Saturday afternoon walk in the country–that is, in such suburbanized country as we could achieve in the neighborhood of New York. We had passed innumerable small boys and not a few small girls, but save for an occasional noisy group on a base-ball diamond none of them seemed […]

I have just been to a barber shop,–not a city barber shop, where you expect tiled floors and polished mirrors and a haughty Venus by a table in the corner, who glances scornfully at your hands as you give your hat, coat, and collar to a boy, as much as to say, “Manicures himself!”–but a […]

I wonder if other wayfarers through New England greet, as I do, with special affection the old house on the bend of the road? It is so characteristic of an earlier civilization, so suggestive of a vanished epoch–and withal so picturesque! Even if you are unfortunate enough to “tour” in a motor-car, which of course […]

It is well sometimes, when we are puffed up with our achievements as a race,–our conquest of the elements, our building of mighty bridges and lofty sky-scrapers, our invention of wireless telegraphy and horseless carriages and aeroplanes and machine guns and secret diplomacy and wage slavery and war,–it is well to indulge in the chastening […]

“It was rats,” said I. “It was warts,” said Old Hundred. “I know it was rats, I tell you,” I continued, “because my uncle Eben knew a man who did it. His house was full of rats, so he wrote a very polite note to them, setting forth that, much as he enjoyed their excellent […]

The Button Box

Story type: Essay

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“Have you,” said I, “anything like the ones left?”–and I held out to my wife a shirt just back from the laundry, and minus a strategic button. “I’ll look in my button box and see,” she answered, taking the shirt. Her button box! I did not know she had one, and followed her into her […]


Story type: Literature

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I have just purchased a little bag of peppermints, and returned with them to my rooms above the Square. I did not purchase them at the promptings of a sweet tooth, but of a hungry heart. They take me back into the forgotten Aprils of my life, where I often love to loiter, not from […]