Page images

the public to-day. Meanwhile he had become a popular speaker before Rotary Clubs all over the country, his favorite theme being PanAmericanism. Whenever his audiences insist, he will talk about Indians, but a better understanding and a closer and more cordial entente among the nations of the two Americas is a subject that lies very near his heart, and one on which he can talk most fascinatingly. He has been, for many years, a naturalized citizen of the United States.

During all these years he never ceased training and striving to reach a higher degree of art. He had always yearned to sing at the Metropolitan Opera House but hardly expected an opportunity. A man who has some influence in the opera house heard Caupolican sing in vaudeville and asked him is he wouldn't like to try grand opera. It isn't worth while recording his reply. He learned some of the leading baritone rôles, and his friend introduced him to one of the coaches at the opera house, who highly commended his singing and assured him that he was a possibility. For several months Caupolican trained assiduously under the coach's direction, and then, last year, came his audition before Gatti-Casazza. He sang three selections, one in English, one in French, and one in Italian; and after the hearing was over, Gatti-Casazza handed him a contract. Another year was to elapse before it went into effect. Art is indeed long and time fleeting. But Caupolican's chance came sooner than he expected. Among the rôles in which he may be heard, as specified in bis contract, are Amonasro, in "Aida;" Escamillo the Toreador, in “Carmen;" Telramund, in “Lohengrin;" Amfortas, in “Parsifal;” Tonio, in “Pagliacci;".

Valentine, in “Faust;" Gerard, in “Andre Chenier;" the high priest, in “Samson and Delilah."

His sincerity is evidenced by the care with which he prepared for his appearance in “The Polish Jew.” He read the original novel, he read the play in which Irving appeared, he went through old newspaper files and studied the comments of the critics on Irving's acting of the part. He read everything that he could find bearing upon Alsatian life of the period. He even studied the construction of the old limekilns to find out how best a body could be thrown into one-in order that he might be strictly accurate in the dream scene. When he made his exit after the first act of the dress rehearsal, Gatti-Casazza exclaimed, “You have performed a miracle!”

“Ah!” replied Caupolican, his mind, as always, leaping forward into the future, "but just give me a chance at. Amonasro!"

That is the rôle which he is looking forward to most eagerly. “I have my own conception of the part,” he said, “—with all deference to those who have sung it before me. Amonasro is one of the most striking characters in

opera- -a big, primeval man. When I sing Amonasro, he will be almost as much Caupolican as AmonasroI mean the old sixteenth-century Caupolican,-aboriginal, elemental, fierce in his loves and hates."

Such remarks reveal his enthusiasm for his art, the keenness of his observation and analytical power. He is one of the most forceful examples that I have ever seen of the lesson which this magazine is trying to drive home to every reader; for Chief Caupolican is a selfmade man, if ever there was one.

To me,


By W. A. Chess (Written after reading Dr. Marden's editorial, Making Business Sick,in The

New Success for February)

[blocks in formation]


HE GROUNDHOG creeps from his win

ter home
And expects to behold a clear, warm day;
He sees a cloud in the heavenly dome
And goes back again for a few weeks' stay.

Don't be a groundhog.
HE HOOT OWL'S call is just as of old;
From the swampy woods comes the

same "Waugh ho!" Not a new idea does he ever unfold, Not a step in advance since the long, long ago,

Don't be a hoot owl.



"HE CRAWFISH moves in a backward

way And knows no method but to retreat; He backs out and off from every fray Not a menacing foe does he ever defeat.

Don't be a crawfish.


Author of “The Man with the Hoe” and other poems


LL true work is more than a deep necessity laid upon life,-more

than a precious discipline laid upon the soul. Necessity and dis

cipline,—these words are too cold and too hard to express the loftier beauty in the face of Labor. It is more than these: it is a sacrament, a communion with God.

"If you would avoid uncleanliness and all the sins," says Thoreau, "work earnestly, though it be at cleaning a stable." No work that is sincere and useful is barren of divinity. “Work is worship,” was a deep saying of the old monks. “What would you wish to be doing?” someone asked a wise man, “if you knew that you were to die in the next ten minutes?" “Just what I am doing now," was the significant reply; although, at the time, the man was neither praying nor singing hymns, but was merely feeding a horse. This philosopher knew that the path of service is the path of safety. He saw his work lit up by the ideal. Work is dull indeed unless we can see upon it some light from the skies. rot only should all work be done in this high spirit, but it should also

be done in joy. Every work of a man should be tinged with the warm color of his heart. No work is true work unless joy is builded into it.

In all worthy work there is a dignity that crowns the man, a dignity that draws the lowly human worker into touch with the Divine Worker. In every true labor a man takes hold of a lever upon which is also pressing the hand of God. Every human work is a door through which some worldforce presses into activity. Man sets his mill-wheel against the moving waters that flow out of the treasuries of God. He slants his sail against the eternal winds that rush out of the chambers of the sky.

He drops the grain into the furrowed field to await the rains of the sweet heavens and the smiling invitation of the sun. He sets up his tuned pillars, and the unfettered lightnings carry his words across the wireless void.

Nome done in joy.

[ocr errors]

HUS man is always dealing with forces vast and mysterious-forces

great as himself. Let him think well of his lofty business on this planet. Let his soul stand erect in noble joy, though his body be bowed. This is no mean thing that he weighs with his brain, or shapes with his hand. He is molding the very stuff that God handles in the secret chambers. He plays and struggles with the very forces with which the young deities have wrestled and tried their radiant strength since Chaos was.


How H. C. Witwer, Former Soda-Water Clerk Became

Highest Paid Humorist in the World



than me.

VIDENTLY H. C. Witwer and enthu- of pep, fun, of sporting spirit, of the joy of

siasm are twins. And Pep is his private youth."

secretary. He radiates energy, opti- Perhaps a sample, taken from his Ed mism, and pluck-a tripity that is guaranteed Harmon stories, may be of interest. By to land a man on top when properly directed, the way, Harmon, is his most noted charor on bottom when misdirected.

acter-and most profitable-having realized When I called to interview Mr. Witwer on more than $60,000. Herewith a sample-Ed how be dared to climb to the higb rungs without Harmon doing the writing: the aid of a college education, I found him Well, yesterday mornin' I am up in my flat, busily engaged in putting the finishing touches Joe, engaged in the innocent pastime of playin' to his latest short story, which will bring him with my baby whilst Jeanne looks on with a $1800. He was pounding the periods, smashing lovin' smile on ber equally lovin' face and a the commas, and banging the exclamation book by the name of “The Whole English points in such a manner that I marveled that Language in One Lesson," in her hand, when the typewriter lasted more than a day without they's a ring at the bell. Our imported maid falling apart.

from Yonkers trips lightly over a rug into the During a pleasant hour, I succeeded in get- room and exclaims that they's a guy outside by ting his own story. It is a

the name of Mac which story better than anything

wishes to see nothin' better he has ever written. I be

I give permission lieve it will interest the

for bim to come in. readers of THE NEW SUCCESS

"Well, well," he says, letwhether they be aspiring

tin' forth a grin. “The authors or perspiring book

happy family, hey? How is keepers.

everybody this mornin'?" Born at Athens, Pennsyl

“What's the use of kickvania, March 11, 1890. At

in'?” I says.

“What d'ye tended grammar school for

think of


child?” several years and learned

"Fine!” says Mac. “What everything but grammar. He

is it?” seemed to be born with a

"What d’ye mean what is natural antipathy toward

it?" I hollers. “It's a babyanything pertaining to cor

think it was a giraffe?" rect English. But don't pity

“I mean is it a boy or a him! His ignorance of the

girl," says Mac. “Save that proper correlation of Messrs.

comedy for the club house." Verbs, Adjective & Co., has

"It's boy," I says. made him approximately

"Some kid, hey?" $125,000. In other words, he

“I'll say he is!” says Mac, has earned that sum by

approachin' carefully like he

Champlain Studio, N. Y. writing what has been termed

was afraid my baby was gon“the most perfect specimen


na bite him or the like. of slang ever propagated.”

who writes as he talks

“Looks just like his mother,

and, therefore, makes his And what Blanche Bates, the

writings pay

too. Got them navy blue famous actress, says is "full.

eyes, hey?”



“Never mind tryin' to get in solid with the wife!" I says, whilst Jeanne presents him with a dazzlin' smile. “D'ye want to hold him a minute?”

“Well-eh-let's start with something else,” says Mac, backin' away. “He seems all right where he is, I'll let that part of it go for awhile, hey?"

Cherie, say 'bon jour' to Monsieur Mac!" remarks Jeanne to my baby.

“Ump-goof-waugh-gunko!" returns my baby with a sarcastical grin.

“Don't mention it!" says Mac. “Say, that kid's a wonder! Talks as plain as I do. How oid is it by now?"

been a delight to the eye of Christopher Columbus. The curtain that hung in front of the unwashed window must have been an heirloom when the Pilgrims landed. The gas jet was a misnomer. It was warmly clad in cotton to prevent any large amount of gas from catching chills. Just enough flame appeared to prove that there was a leak on fire. A pitcher of water nestled on the floor, surrounded by a towel that contained sufficient holes to play the part of a lady's hair-net. The room was partitioned with the aid of a few slats clothed in second-hand wall-paper. A pin dropped on one side caused a terrific racket to be heard on the other. Mr. Witwer's first night was spent in listening to his neighbor beyond the partition reciting gems from Shakespeare. The man was an actor out of employment.

After tramping around for another three days, young Witwer finally obtained a job that was both a delight and a gastronomic

He was to be paid six dollarscount 'em!-a week for serving unsuspecting folk with various kinds of sodas. He was happy; he was en route to success!

Up to this point, it should be mentioned in passing, that he had had no thought of becoming a writer. This fact is stated for the benefit of the young and old who are constantly told that writers start off at infancy by composing sonnets on their bibs and employing their nippled milk-bottles for fountain pens.



fell swoop.

EEDLESS to say, such pummeling of the

King's English did not escape the keen eyes of the language authorities. Far from it. Mr. Witwer has received countless letters from enraged grammarians informing him that he is a menace to the country, et cetera. With all of which, the modest author agrees. He invariably replies to the peeved professor that he started out to write literature but the editors claimed that his stories were entirely too weird. So he started to write illiterature. And went over big!

At the age of sixteen, he decided to conquer New York City, and landed therein with ten dollars in his coat pocket and a straw hat with a six-color ribbon surrounding the same.

Most young men seeking a position generally scan the “Want ads." Not H. C. For the reason that he didn't know what he wanted. So he started down Broadway-which is the name of a street in New York-and canvassed offices, stores; in fact, he went into anything that looked like an entrance. They took his

in some of the places, jollied him in others, and assisted him through assorted doors in the rest. In five hours, he figured that be had covered enough acreage to encompass Utah, Arizona, and Brazil. But not a nibble was felt upon the Witwer hook. He thought of returning to Philadelphia, to his beloved aunt and tell her just how the cruel city had mistreated her ambitious nephew. Instead, he decided to try it a while lɔnger.

That night he rented a on FortySecond Street for $1.50 a week. According to his sworn statement the room was sufficient to discourage a wart hog. It was a hall room. The furnishings were antique. An iron bed, with three steel legs and one wooden leg, took up half of the space. A single, rickety chaircollapsible at less than a moment's notice stood at the head of a bed that must have


HAT night, Witwer' wrote home to his

aunt and informed her that he had conquered the world and points west at one

After which he decided to cut down expenses and become wealthy. Hitherto, he had been squandering large sums for meals. So he decided to cook his own meals over his gas jet--which was strictly against the landlady's pet law.

He made his first attempt that evening when he arrived home with two eggs and a frying pan under his arm. Coaxing the gas to do its best, he dropped the eggs neatly into the pan and held it over the flame. A short while afterabout forty minutes—the eggs were finished. “Finished” is the right word. On investigation the eggs showed that they had turned to either concrete or marble. He threw them out the window into the back yard. Which was poor diplomacy, indeed. For be it known that friend landlady was just emerging from the basement. Exit Mr. Witwer!

Let us now consider his advent into the story-writing game-the game that has made him fame and fortune, friends and enemies:


[ocr errors]


During the next few years, he tried his hand technique, and the rest that makes a story at every job that either man or mammal has valuable to the editors. In his enthusiastic ever devised. For instance, after being fired- ignorance, he wrote three short stories a week. he claims that he was never “discharged”—the Three stories a week were duly sent to the word is too genteel!—from his soda-jerking magazines. Three stories a week were duly position, he was once more on the high seas of returned with the editors' printed regrets. In vagrancy and youthful glory. Since then he fact, his yarns came back so quickly that he has held-anywhere from two hours to two now believes that he must have mailed them years—the following positions: bell-hop, hotel- attached to a rubber band. clerk, private secretary, salesman, cub reporter, He sold his first story March 26, 1915. He sport writei, editor, copy reader, press agent, was paid five dollars! He raved as only a true collector, and about fifteen other positions that author can when a deathless masterpiece is inhave escaped his memory. The collection of sulted in such a manner. Five dollars! For ideal positions are not listed in the order of the moment, he thought seriously of quitting merit or in the order that he tried them, but the game and angling for better fish. they serve to show that he has had a splendid background for the profession of letters. What T was his wife who gave him the suggestion

that set him upon the right road. She writer! No college could possibly inculcate or suggested that he stop trying to be literary and approximate the things he observed and stored highbrow and be himself. To write of things away in his subconscious mind. And it seems he knew about. To his friends he was really safe to remark that, had he not had such ex- funny, decidedly humorous. So Mrs. Witwer periences, he would now-provided that his suggested that he write as he talked. He did. bent was authorship-be writing the pedantic, And he sold the first two stories—written in his dull essays that no live person cares to read. inimitable slang—to a magazine that paid him

Finally, he found himself. He had often real money. It was the beginning of real wondered, during the years that he had skipped success, the start of his remarkable climb from with gay abandon from job to job, what was $5 a story to more than $1800. To date he has his object in life, what was he created for? He made approximately $125,000 from his work, was intelligent enough to understand that, most of it within the past two years. He has before being a success at anything, he must also established a record for work that has first have a purpose, a plan of life, something to. never been equalled in story writing. In a concentrate on.

single year he wrote and sold eighty-five He chanced to meet a newspaper reporter. stories, averaging 9000 words each! And it was this reporter who initiated him into In conclusion, it might be well to mention the newspaper game known to most every- that his path to success was not laid entirely body except reporters themselves, as journalism. with thornless roses. Far from it. Ill health

has been his most constant companion. In FTER having had his fair quota of news- fact, he has spent about three years in hos

gathering positions, he got the idea that pitals, sanatariums, and forth. Chief he should be a successor to Shakespeare and trouble is nervous disorders. He has underwrite for the magazines. So he spent his spare gone two major operations, and was told, time in concocting weird yarns that were sup- each occasion, that he had only a fifty-fifty posed to be salable. No sign of the humorist chance of surviving. Pleasant outlook! showed itself in a single line. Sad stuff, sob Many a man would have complained about stuff, dreary stuff! He made the mistake of the luck of life, the ways of fate, and given up writing about Newport and “The 400" when whatever ambitions he bad, notwithstanding he should have written about Times Square and pep. “The 4,000,000.” He also lacked a knowledge If I had a mountain to move, I'd call upon of how a story should be constructed; its H. C. Witwer for assistance.

[ocr errors]


ON'T surrender your individuality, which is your greatest agent of power

the great mass of those who haven't enough force to preserve their individualities.-Ralph Waldo Trine.

« PreviousContinue »