With a Memorial Sketch by Mrs. Stockton
ung, and thinking of them. Then, again, editorial work makes urgent demands upon time and strength, and until freed from it he had not the leisure or inclination to fashion stories for more exacting and critical readers. Perhaps, too, he was slow in recognizing his possibilities. Certain it is that the public were not slow to recognize him. He did, however, experience difficulties in getting the collected papers of Rudder Grange published in book form. I will quote his own account, which is interesting as showing how slow he was to appreciate the fact that the public would gladly accept the writings of a humorist:
"The discovery that humorous compositions could be used in journals other than those termed comic marked a new era in my work. Periodicals especially devoted to wit and humor were very scarce in those days, and as this sort of writing came naturally to me, it was difficult, until the advent of Puck, to find a medium of publication for writings of this nature. I contributed a good deal to this paper, but it was only partly satisfactory, for articles which make up a comic paper must be terse and short, and I wanted to write humorous tales which should be as long as ordinary magazine stories. I had good reason for my opinion of the gravity of the situation, for the editor of a prominent magazine declined a humorous story (afterward very popular) which I had sent him, on the ground that the traditions of magazines forbade the publication of stories strictly humorous. Therefore, when I found an editor at last who actually wished me to write humorous stories, I was truly rejoiced. My first venture in this line was Rudder Grange. And, after all, I had difficulty in getting the series published in book form. Two publishers would have nothing to do with them, assuring me that although the papers were well enough for a magazine, a thing of ephemeral nature, the book-reading public would not care for them. The third publisher to whom I applied issued the work, and found the venture satisfactory."
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