+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

competition of a sporting nature, to All
England. He takes it very ill that we don't
see him. Considers it ungentlemanly. Had
supposed we were a public character, and
doesn't understand it. He comes on behalf
of a gifted friend, with a tragedy in five acts,
a poem in twelve books, or a story that would
occupy a volume or two of this publication.
He brings it out of a cab, and leaves it in the
office, rolled up in paper like a whitey-brown
bolster. It bears evident traces of having
been in every other office in the wide world,
whence any composition in the English
language is disseminated through the agency
of print and paper. He is written to, and
politely informed that the excessive bulk of
this treasure renders it (without reference to
its intrinsic merits or demerits) quite unsuitable
as a blessing to the unhappy H. W. He
reappears with all speed, red-faced and ireful,
reproduces card, demands explanatory
interview, and terrifies publisher. Nothing
coming of it, he, on the spot, indites a letter,
wherein he communicates to us that as we
decline to accept the contribution of his
gifted friend, he requires to be informed in
writing, for the information of his gifted
friend, what our critical opinion is, in
detail, of the bolster, and what publisher we
recommend for it; for which critical opinion
he will call to-morrow afternoon at four
precisely. He is again politely written to and
informed that we cannot undertake to form
and deliver such opinion, having our little
hallucinations and labouring under the delusion
that we have something else to do. Then
he reappears with the cab, and takes the
bolster away in extraordinary dudgeon;
protesting to the last that he had supposed we
were a public character, and that he don't
understand it.

She (God bless her!—Mrs. or Miss Legion)
is not so angry, but she is an unreasonable
Angel, too. She brings little beneficent
schemes in bags of Berlin wool, and, though
they won't suit us, thinks they will suit our
friends: among whom she begs us to distribute
two hundred and fifty copies. She is the
most amiable woman in the worldbut she
is impracticable; she is, indeed, though we
love her! She brings the flattest and thinnest
of little crimson or blue books, published by
subscription, and wants to read them to us
aloud. When she writes, it is on scented
paper, highly glazed, over which all the letters
seem to skate, and all the looped letters to
tumble down. Her favorite title for poetry is
"To a Child," or "To——." We don't know
who—— is, but we wish he would lead her
to the altar. In prose, she addresses the
Gentle Reader constantly, and sprinkles with
French words. She is invariably persuaded
that blanks heighten the interest, and convey
an air of reality. She generally begins, "it
was on a summer evening in the year eighteen
hundred and (blank), near the pretty little
town of (blank), where the (blank) river
murmurs its rippling way among the rushes, that
a youth of handsome mien and fine figure,
who might have numbered two-and-twenty
summers, and whose expressive countenance
was cast in the pure Greek mould." Occasionally,
she presents herself in the serious aspect
of having some relative to support, and is
particularly deserving of the gentlest
consideration and respect. Then it is our misery
to endeavour to explain to her that what is
written for publication can be read for its
own merits only; and that it would be as
hopeful a resource to play a church organ
without any knowledge of, or aptitude for, the
instrument, as to play the muse's lyre. In
any case and every case, she always forms a
profound conviction (and will die in it) that
we have never read her manuscript.

What inventors write and come, and what
people with grievances of immense duration,
and often real grievances too, we will not
endeavour to set forth. What numbers of
people suppose that to smuggle manuscripts
in at our private door is a means of beguiling
us into despatching them by express to the
printer, instead of an infallible means of
delaying their consideration, we will not record.
Through how many of these various rocks and
shoals every devoted number of H. W. steers
its course, our readers may infer from the
following facts. In the last year, we read nine
hundred manuscripts, of which eleven were
available for this journal, after being entirely
re-written. In the same period, we received
and answered two thousand letters, and made
appointments with an odd two or three
hundred more of our fellow creatures than
there were pounds to pay for the celebrated
nails in the horse's shoes, which will go
down to posterity rusty with the tears of
school-boys. On the other hand, it is
delightful to state that five of our very best
regular fellow labourers first became known
to us, as volunteers, at various periods within
the three years and upwards of our existence;
and that some remarkable descriptions in
this Journal have come to us from wholly
unaccustomed writers, who have faithfully
and in thorough earnest put down what they
have undergone or seen.

Let us suppose a Number of H. W. "made
up." In other words, let us suppose the articles
it is to contain, their length, their nature,
their order of succession, all duly calculated,
considered, and decided on. We then go to
the printer's.

Since the whole mind of our own nation
finds its way into type, a London printing-
office is a sort of compound brain, in which
the busy working of the thoughts of the
community are represented by the rapid
flowing of the fount of lead between the
fingers of compositors. Permutations and
combinations of the letters of the alphabet
are carried on incessantly upon the premises
of Messrs. Bradbury and Evans, the printers
of H. W., and the work of the printer goes