Bok went to bed


Bok went to bed. He could not get there quick enough, and he
didn't--that is, not before he had experienced that same sensation of
which Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote: he never could understand, he said,
why young authors found so much trouble in getting into the magazines,
for his first trip to Europe was not a day old before, without even the
slightest desire or wish on his part, he became a contributor to the
Atlantic!

The next day, and for days after, Bok smelled, tasted, and felt that
presidential cigar!

A few weeks afterward, Bok was talking after dinner with the President
at a hotel in New York, when once more the cigar-case came out and was
handed to Bok.

"No, thank you, Mr. President," was the instant reply, as visions of his
night in the White House came back to him. "I am like the man from the
West who was willing to try anything once."

And he told the President the story of the White House cigar.

The editor decided to follow General Harrison's discussion of American
affairs by giving his readers a glimpse of foreign politics, and he
fixed upon Mr. Gladstone as the one figure abroad to write for him. He
sailed for England, visited Hawarden Castle, and proposed to Mr.
Gladstone that he should write a series of twelve autobiographical
articles which later could be expanded into a book.

Bok offered fifteen thousand dollars for the twelve articles--a goodly
price in those days--and he saw that the idea and the terms attracted
the English statesman. But he also saw that the statesman was not quite
ready. He decided, therefore, to leave the matter with him, and keep the
avenue of approach favorably open by inducing Mrs. Gladstone to write
for him. Bok knew that Mrs. Gladstone had helped her husband in his
literary work, that she was a woman who had lived a full-rounded life,
and after a day's visit and persuasion, with Mr. Gladstone as an amused
looker-on, the editor closed a contract with Mrs. Gladstone for a series
of reminiscent articles "From a Mother's Life."



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