Some time after Bok
Some time after Bok had sent the check to Mrs. Gladstone, he received a
letter from Mr. Gladstone expressing the opinion that his wife must have
written with a golden pen, considering the size of the honorarium.
"But," he added, "she is so impressed with this as the first money she
has ever earned by her pen that she is reluctant to part with the check.
The result is that she has not offered it for deposit, and has decided
to frame it. Considering the condition of our exchequer, I have tried to
explain to her, and so have my son and daughter, that if she were to
present the check for payment and allow it to pass through the bank, the
check would come back to you and that I am sure your company would
return it to her as a souvenir of the momentous occasion. Our arguments
are of no avail, however, and it occurred to me that an assurance from
you might make the check more useful than it is at present!"
Bok saw with this disposition that, as he had hoped, the avenue of
favorable approach to Mr. Gladstone had been kept open. The next summer
Bok again visited Hawarden, where he found the statesman absorbed in
writing a life of Bishop Butler, from which it was difficult for him to
turn away. He explained that it would take at least a year or two to
finish this work. Bok saw, of course, his advantage, and closed a
contract with the English statesman whereby he was to write the twelve
autobiographical articles immediately upon his completion of the work
then under his hand.
Here again, however, as in the case of Mr. Blaine, the contract was
never fulfilled, for Mr. Gladstone passed away before he could free his
mind and begin on the work.
The vicissitudes of an editor's life were certainly beginning to
demonstrate themselves to Edward Bok.