Pickings from the Bookman "Young Authors" column
In the Bookman magazine, there was always (well, for quite some time, anyway) a section called "The Young Author's Page", which appears to be comments on writings sent in. Sometimes it is rather harsh.
RODERICK -- I see you enjoyed a picture. That is something. But in grateful homage to the painter, you might, since you rhymed, have made your lines scan, chosen a metre and stuck to it, and found a more graceful way of expressing your admiration than ``Late do our steps from this view diverge''.
ELINA -- You can do nothing with these, I fear. They are but bursts of fine language connected by desperate rhymes. To criticise them in detail would not be useful or fair.
Both from Bookman vol XII, April 1897, page 156.
And these, from May 1897, page 104:
HATHI -- Quite amusing. It might be accepted, but your handwriting is against it. I have found great difficulty in deciphering the MS.
VAGABOND -- Carefully and nicely written. ... The sentiment and language hardly call for criticism, but it is all a little dull and pointless. A missionary paper might print it.
And from Bookman vol XIV, of May 1898, page 54, there is more:
SHIELDS -- Your little girl's stories are really marvellous. Her command of language is extraordinary, as well as her power of carrying on a continuous narrative. I am glad she is `uneducated', and glad that she is the child of a medical man, who will know how to prevent her mental activity from injuring her health. I should like to hear how her talent develops.
WASSELAS -- If you had told me whether you are a very little girl or not, I should have known better what to say to you. The little story is very neatly and correctly written out, but it is not exactly a clever or very wise one. Still, your moral is quite right. Maidens should not go away, even to a palace, with any strange person who asks them, however handsome he might be.
I find these things amusing.