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 - In-the Gen. Wallace's Story. AS GENERAL WALLACE...
In-the Gen. Wallace's Story. AS GENERAL WALLACE told the story himself, the oft repeated tale Is re-. re-. re-. pudlated that he was an unbeliever before he wrote "Ben Hur," and was convinced convinced of his error through his -researches -researches for material-for material-for material-for the story. I met him during one of his visits to Washington, Washington, and it was then that he disclaimed most emphatically the newspaper yarn, which seemed especially odious to him. Front a talk about old friends and Incidents of the past the conversation drifted to books, and. by easy stages, to his own books. He waa at that time completing' bis "Prince of India," India," and I asked him If he had chosen a title for the new book, as many conflicting storlea had. been published, with as many namesas-signed namesas-signed namesas-signed as there were stories. "Of course not," he replied. "We gle the name to the book, not the book to the name, and it will name itself by the time It is completed. completed. You would not settle the name of a babe before it is born, you know, for If you chose a boy's name the Infant might turn out a girl, and vice versa. Newspaper people have been very good to me In that line, and X have found out a great many things about myself that 1 would not otherwise have known, by reading the papers. "I collected the material for this story on the spot, but I never saw Syria until after my first book was completed. I wrote it, and then went over to see what changes were ucww, vui a wk eiAu iv uuu lua i iioue wrrs . necessary." . "Why, general!" I exclaimed In astonishment, astonishment, "how could you conceive all those realistic realistic pictures of a civilisation so entirely different from ours when you knew nothing about it. and with nothing upon which ta draw Tor material?" . Familiar With Sabjeet. "But I did know something about it," said he. "I knew all about it, I linew far more, in fact, than if I had been there to see for myself. I did have something to draw upon, too variety of books, a good map, a knowledge knowledge of mathematics, -and -and a vivid imagination; imagination; how could a man make a mistake T I read books of travel, studying the manners and customs; I studied the history of the country, both sacred and profane; the story of Christ, also, and the geography of the country, with my large map banging always on the wall where I could see it; upon which I could, with a little knowledge of aatronomy thrown In, measure distances, settle relative relative positlona. and compute the difference la time. There was no possibility of a mistake. "Then I talked with those who had been there and got them to tell me about the birda their plumage, and their songs, and about thi flowers and the trees; and to describe tha gardena, the residences, and the furniture, especially that of antique fashion; they told ornan say, us colors and changes, of the rain and the dew, and ot the climate and Its effects.- effects.- -You -You see, I was pretty thoroughly thoroughly posted. , "Such knowledge is more to be depended upoo, too, than that derived from an actual Titlt. If I had gone to the spot to gather my data-1 data-1 data-1 should have, relisd largely upon my memory, and I am not above the human habit of forgetting. - Then, too. I should have seen so much In a limited time that there would have been danger that the whole would become become Just a confused Jumble or conglomeration conglomeration of facta, hard to separate when I soould come to use them. As It was. I had the books and the map before me, and when I forgot anything I could refresh my memory without leaving my chair from a store ot knowledge assorted and systematized, pr I could make an evening call on some of my friends who had traveled In Syria, and'lf one had forgotten the thing I wanted to know, another was sure to remember 1L When I weat to Syria myself myself to view the original of my pictures I found It quite true to life." "Yes," I remarked; "the reader, even when he has never traveled there, can see that. Just as one recognizes a true likeness In' a good portrait, even it unacquainted with tbe original. original. . But I think your book does more than m.,.1. nf.t.... til... .-.!..; .-.!..; .-.!..; 1 see, and to my mind its chief and most charming charming feature Is that you-present you-present you-present the humanity of Christ to your readera in a way that makes one feel really acquainted with him, as it be had lived and died in our midst." Destlea Old Story. 11 am glad to hear you say that," responded responded the General; "tor It you taw it so, others probably have don so. too. and that is precisely the effect I waa trying to produce. Your criticism has given m great satisfaction satisfaction for that reason." "Then the pretty story Is not true that yoa beaan the book anif rrrii1 it ant fnr Iha una purpose of vindicating Infidelity, and your researches to tbat end resulted In convincing you ot its fallacy, followed by your own con- con- - a. t. .. "No, no, certainly not!" h exclaimed, with some warmth. "I. began the book and carried it out for the one purpose ot maklcg plain to. modern readers the humanity of Christ, and proving his divinity also." Then, modulating modulating his voice to a softer tone, he added: "I learned Christianity at my mother's knee. "That story, like many others," te went on. "emanated from tbe fertile brain of some correspondent correspondent who was hard up for an item and I can forgive him it he got paid for tbe Item, and" here a short aposlopesis, as if he thought the remark to follow might prove a debatable, question "and used it Judiciously. Judiciously. But I am engaged most tndustHously at present in colgirg the correspond nts." The General was in his most Interesting and talkative mood, and I considered myself myself most fortunate in obtaining an interview on this frequently debated story concerning the author of Ben Hur. MARG AIvHT FULL! VAN TX- TX-

Clipped from The Inter Ocean15 Oct 1905, SunPage 28

The Inter Ocean (Chicago, Illinois)15 Oct 1905, SunPage 28
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