Columbia Library columns (v.7(1957Nov-1958May))

(New York :  Friends of the Columbia Libraries.  )



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  v.7,no.1(1957:Nov): Page 13  

Excerpts from John Erskine's Letters
to Melville Cane

October 3, 1906
My dear Melville:

I was dehghted to hear from you. Of course we want the Gilbert
talk,—and you inust not think of not giving it; it will do you good
to work it up and to give us a visit, and by that time your home
affairs will be in order again, 1 am sure.... You remember the
discussion of prayer that we had? Surely there is nothing unmanly
in the prayer of Solomon for a wise and an understanding heart;
with that gift, we can solve our own tangles, and I pray for it for
us both.

April 15, 1907

I'lTi delighted you liked the book.* It has had unifonnly good
notices, except from the Boston Transcript, which said I might write
when I had forgotten my Greek. All of the reviewers seem to
think the book better for expression than for substance—which at
first hurt a little, as my heart happens to be written all over it,
quite as much as Ledoux's is in his book, but I haven't that manner
of taking the public into mv confidence. After I had thought of it,
however, I realized that it is a young man's work, and probably
there isn't anything in it of value for substance. We must learn to
be humble. Woodberry wrote me such a letter about it, that I can
well afford to forget what other people, less kindly, have said.

June 23, 1907
You ask for some poetry or prose. The poetry I will send a bit
later; several things are in an unfinished state, which I hope to
round out over Summer. There is a bit of prose-poetry from my
new book, the first chapter of which I send to you (Houghton
Mifflin have given no decision yet on the volume)....
* Actaeon and Other Poems (New York, John Lane, 1906)

  v.7,no.1(1957:Nov): Page 13