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Frank Merriwell's Nobility Or, The Tragedy of the Ocean Tramp   By: (1866-1945)

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"An ideal publication for the American Youth"





NEW YORK, April 22, 1899.



"Off "

"At last!"


The tramp steamer "Eagle" swung out from the pier and was fairly started en her journey from New York to Liverpool.

On the deck of the steamer stood a group of five persons, three of whom had given utterance to the exclamations recorded above.

On the pier swarmed a group of Yale students, waving hands, hats, handkerchiefs, bidding farewell to their five friends and acquaintances on the steamer. Over the water came the familiar Yale cheer. From the steamer it was answered.

In the midst of the group on deck was Frank Merriwell. Those around him were Bruce Browning, Jack Diamond, Harry Rattleton and Tutor Wellington Maybe.

It was Frank's scheme to spend the summer months abroad, while studying in the attempt to catch up with his class and pass examinations on re entering college in the fall. And he had brought along his three friends, Browning, Diamond and Rattleton. They were on their way to England.

Frank was happy. Fortune had dealt him a heavy blow when he was compelled by poverty to leave dear old Yale, but he had faced the world bravely, and he had struggled like a man. Hard work, long hours and poor pay had not daunted him.

At the very start he had shown that he possessed something more than ordinary ability, and while working on the railroad he had forced his way upward step by step till it seemed that he was in a fair way to reach the top of the ladder.

Then came disaster again. He had lost his position on the railroad, and once more he was forced to face the world and begin over.

Some lads would have been discouraged. Frank Merriwell was not. He set his teeth firmly and struck out once more. He kept his mouth shut and his eyes open. The first honorable thing that came to his hand to do he did. Thus it happened that he found himself on the stage.

Frank's success as an actor had been phenomenal. Of course, to begin with, he had natural ability, but that was not the only thing that won success for him. He had courage, push, determination, stick to it iveness. When he started to do a thing he kept at it till he did it.

Frank united observation and study. He learned everything he could about the stage and about acting by talking with the members of the company and by watching to see how things were done.

He had a good head and plenty of sense. He knew better than to copy after the ordinary actors in the road company to which he belonged. He had seen good acting enough to be able to distinguish between the good and bad. Thus it came about that the bad models about him did not exert a pernicious influence upon him.

Frank believed there were books that would aid him. He found them. He found one on "Acting and Actors," and from it he learned that no actor ever becomes really and truly great that does not have a clear and distinct enunciation and a correct pronunciation. That is the beginning. Then comes the study of the meaning of the words to be spoken and the effect produced by the manner in which they are spoken.

He studied all this, and he went further. He read up on "Traditions of the Stage," and he came to know all about its limitations and its opportunities.

From this it was a natural step to the study of the construction of plays. He found books of criticism on plays and playwriting, and he mastered them. He found books that told how to construct plays, and he mastered them.

Frank Merriwell was a person with a vivid imagination and great mechanical and constructive ability. Had this not been so, he might have studied forever and still never been able to write a successful play. In him there was something study could not give, but study and effort brought it out. He wrote a play.

"John Smith of Montana" was a success. Frank played the leading part, and he made a hit... Continue reading book >>

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