Odd Volume online

. (page 13 of 13)
Online LibraryVariousOdd Volume → online text (page 13 of 13)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

any thing further transpire, after our paper is put to press, we shall
not fail to communicate it to our readers in a second edition.” _(Rings
the Printer’s bell. Mr. Pica enters.)_ Here are two more leaders, Mr.
Pica. How does your _matter stand now?_*

* (i.e.) How much more do you want to fill the paper?

_Mr. P_. I measured it just before you rung the bell, and I had about
a column and a quarter open; but these leaders will make a third of a

_Editor_. Rather more I think.

_[Exit Mr. Pica. Editor alters a paragraph, just left for him to insert
by an irritated dramatic manager, and falls into a brown study, which
lasts several minutes. It is interrupted by the entrance of the clerk,
who brings him the card of a gentleman below stairs, who wishes to speak
with him for one minute. The clerk is ordered to show the gentleman up,
and the Rev Judiah Flinn enters.]_

_Rev. Mr. Flinn_. Are you the Editor of the A - ?

_Editor_. I am.

_Rev. Mr. F_. Then I have called upon you, Sir, to request that you
will contradict a most malicious and unfounded report of the death of my
uncle, which appeared in your paper yesterday.

_Editor_. With great pleasure, if it be unfounded; but I can assure you
there was nothing malicious in the statement. Who is your uncle?

_Rev. Mr. F._ The Bishop of - - - - . This is a letter I received from
him this morning, dated only yesterday; and your paper says, he died
suddenly at his Episcopal palace, last Saturday. These false reports are
not only most distressing to the friends and relations of an individual,
but they are cruel disappointments to a numerous class of your readers.
I have met three deans and one prebendary already, who have hurried up
to town in consequence of the scandalous rumour.

_Editor_. I am really very sorry; but the fact is the rumour did not
originate with us; it was copied from another paper: however I shall be
most happy to give it a positive contradiction.

_Rev. Mr. F_. Sir, I am obliged to you. _(The Rev. Judiah Flinn puts his
uncle’s letter into his pocket and departs.)_

_Editor. (Writes.)_ “We cannot sufficiently reprobate the manner in
which some of our contemporaries give circulation to the most unfounded
reports. We, yesterday, incautiously copied from another paper a
statement of the pretended death of the Bishop of - - - - . We have
the best authority for asserting that this paragraph is wholly without
foundation. We have seen a letter from the Right Reverend prelate,
written four days after the date of his alleged decease, and at which
period he was in the enjoyment of excellent health. We are happy
in being thus enabled to dispel the gloom which the report of his
lordship’s death must have occasioned, wherever talents, piety, moral
worth, private virtue, and public integrity are held dear. At any time,
the loss of such a man as the Bishop of - - - - would be severely felt;
but at a moment like this, when the best interests of the church are in
danger, it would be a national calamity. In the words of Shakspeare we
are ready to exclaim -

- ‘He’s a learned man. May he continue
Long in his country’s favour, and do justice
For truth’s sake, and his conscience, that his bones,
When he has run his course, and sleeps in blessings,
May have a tomb of orphans’ tears wept on’em.’”

Come, I shall do pretty well for leaders, after all, though there _is_
nothing to write about. _(Rings Mr. Pica’s bell.)_ Here is more copy
ready; - this is a leader, and this a common _par. in l. p._ *

* “A common _par_.” is “a common paragraph;” and “l.
p,” stands for that description of letter which is called
_long primer_. Paragraphs, in a paper, have their places of
precedency, and their select company as well as
advertisements. There is as much difference, in point of
dignity and rank, between an l. p. par. (or a paragraph in
large letters), coming immediately after the leaders, and a
scrubby minion par. (or a paragraph in small letter), shoved
any where, as between a minister’s private secretary, and
the private secretary’s private clerk. Your l. p. par. is a
gentleman, and keeps good society. You will always find him
in the midst of their excellencies the ambassadors, who have
paid visits to the foreign office, or received despatches
from their own governments; side by side with peers and
west-end commoners, who have gone out of town, come into
town or given grand dinners; surrounded with princesses and
other illustrious personages, who have taken an airing or
paid a morning visit. But your minion par. is a sneaking,
shabby, obscure little fellow, poked down in a corner by
himself, or at best, only permitted to associate with
“melancholy accidents” - “daring robberies” - “more fires” -
“extraordinary longevity” - the puff particular of Warren’s
Blacking, and the puffs universal of Colburn’s authors. It
is only when parliament is sitting, or there is “a press of
matter,” that these distinctions are levelled in one common
fate of pars, and even leaders. It is then only, that lords
and ladies, M.P’s. and quack doctors, hops, crops, and
concerts, fops, fiddlers, and philosophers, large turnips
and theatrical stars, bishops and burglaries, are all
equally the minions of the daily press, and distinguished
only by their “station in the file.”

_Mr. P_. I have too much already, by at least half a column, and I don’t
know what to leave out.

_Editor._ Half a column too much! - then you do not want any more from

_Mr. P_. No, Sir; I was thinking of keeping the “Awful thunder storm”
till to-morrow, only it is a week old already.

_Editor_. Never mind. We shall have some more thunder storms by
to-morrow, in all probability, and then you can put them all together.

_Mr. P_. Do you care about the “Grand Seignior” and the “Flying Fish”
going in to-day? Because, if they are left out, I can make room for the
“White Witch,” the “Persian Ambassador,” and “Waterloo Bridge.”

_Editor_. Find a place for the “White Witch.” She has been standing for
a long time - ever since Monday.

_Mr. P_. So has “Waterloo Bridge,” Sir. _Editor, (with an arch look.)_
Yes, but that was intended to stand.

_Mr. P. (laughing.)_ I shall want two or three small pars., of about six
lines each, to make out the columns, for none of the long articles will
fit exactly.

_Editor._ Wait a moment, and I’ll give them to you. (
Writes.) - “Mackarel are just now in season, and remarkably cheap. We
are glad of it, for they furnish an economical and wholesome meal to the
poorer classes, with a few potatoes.”

“The metropolis was visited by a violent storm last night. The rain fell
in torrents. We have not heard it extended beyond the immediate vicinity
of London.”

“If the hot weather continues much longer, there will be too much of it.
The farmers are already crying out sadly for rain.”

“As a man was driving a pig yesterday down the Haymarket, the obstinate
animal ran between the legs of an old woman who was carrying a heavy
basket of cabbages on her head, and threw her down. The poor old
creature bruised her elbow shockingly. The pig ran off in the direction
of St. James’s-square. The writer of this saw the accident. What are the
street-keepers about, to allow fellows thus to drive their pigs on
the foot-pavement, in one of the most crowded thoroughfares of the

“_Anecdote_. - An exquisite, that is, a tiptop dandy, was calling a coach
the other day, opposite Southampton-street in the Strand. The delicate
creature could not make his voice heard; when a rough Jack-tar,
who happened to be passing by, hailed coachee, in a voice like a

“‘Here,’ said Jack, looking unutterable things at the dandy, ‘here’s
_something_ wants you.’”

“_A Legal Conundrum_. - When a ship of war has but an indifferent crew,
and is ill provided with cannon, she is in want of the assistance of two
learned counsel. Who are they! _Man_-ning and _Gun_-ning. - N.B. This is
not one of Lord Norbury’s _lasts_.”

There are half-a-dozen _pars_, for you. If you do not want them all
to-day, use any of them that will fit, and keep the rest for another

_[Exit Mr. Pica. The Editor puts away his letters and papers - locks
up his writing-desk - washes his hands - adjusts his cravat - buttons his
coat - puts on his hat and gloves - and sallies forth into the Strand? to
enjoy the fresh air, while Mr. Pica is usings all necessary diligence to
get the paper ready for publication.]_


[Illustration: 373]


I come in the gleams, from the land of dreams,
Wrapp’d round in the midnight’s pall;
Ye may hear my moan, in the night-wind’s groan,
When the tapestry flaps on the wall; -
I come from my rest in the death-owl’s nest,
Where she screams in fear and pain;
And my wings gleam bright in the wild moonlight,
As it whirls round the madman’s brain;
And down sweeps my car, like a falling star,
When the winds have hush’d their breath;
When ye feel in the air, from the cold sepulchre,
The faint damp smell of death.

My vigil I keep, by the murderer’s sleep,
When dreams round his senses spin;
And I ride on his breast, and trouble his rest,
In the shape of his deadliest sin;
And hollow and low is his moan of woe
In the depth of his strangling pain,
And his cold black eye rolls in agony,
And faintly rattles his chain.

The sweat-drops fall on the dark prison wall -
He wakes with a deep-drawn sigh;
He hears my tread, as I pass from his bed,
And he calls on the saints on high.

I fly to the bed where the weary head
Of the poet its rest must seek,
And with false dreams of fame I kindle the flame
Of joy on his pallid cheek.
No thought does he take of the world awake,
And its cold and heartless pleasure,
The holy fire of his own loved lyre
Is his best and dearest treasure.

But neglect’s foul sting that cheek shall bring
To a darker and deadlier hue;
The last dear token, his lyre, is broken,
And his heart is broken too.

When the maiden asleep for her lover may weep,
Afar on the boundless sea,
And she dreams he is press’d to her welcome breast,
Return’d from his dangers free -
I come in the form of a wave of the storm,
And sweep him away from her heart,
And then in a dream she starts with a scream,
To think that in death they part;
And still in the light of her stream-bound sight
The images whirl and dance,
Till my swift elision dispels the vision,
And she wakes as from a trance.

When the clouds, first-born of the breezy morn,
In the eastern chambers roam,
I glide away in the twilight gray
To rest in my shadowy home;
And darkness and sleep to their kingdom sweep,
And dreams rustle by like a storm;
But where I dwell no man can tell
Who hath seen my hideous form;
Whether it be in the caves of the sea,
Where the rolling breakers go,
Or the crystal sphere of the upper air,
Or the depths of hell below.


[Illustration: 376]


When Dr. Gall first announced his new system of Craniology, the wits of
Paris found it a good subject on which to exercise their talents, and it
was attacked with all the light artillery of jokes and epigrams. Among
others, Mercier, the author of the _Tableau de Paris_, entered the
lists with his _Podology_ against _Craniology_, in a squib, in which
he contended, that “it is not in the head that ideas reside, nor by
the head that man differs from other animals; that a man without a head
would not on that account, be less reflecting; in short, that the head
says nothing, does nothing, and contributes nothing to the observation
of man. It is his _foot_ which does every thing. It is in the foot that
we must seek and find the stamp of man’s original dignity. In the
foot? Yes, Sir, in the foot. Look at the footman, who smiles at your
surprise - is it not the foot which supports the head? Does not the
foot express anger and indignation? In Spain, all matters of love and
gallantry begin with the foot. The foot, in China, plays the first part.
There is nothing more rude than to tread upon another’s foot; when a
man gets intoxicated, his foot refuses to carry him in that state of
debasement; in fact, the foot cannot lie like the mouth and eyes. You
must perceive, then, that the foot has all those qualities which prove a
man to be a thinking being, or, in other words, the foot is the seat
of the soul. If you would know, therefore, whether a woman is tender or
faithless, if a man has the understanding of Montesquieu, or the folly
of - - - , instead of looking at his skull, you must see his foot.
Yes, good Dr. Gall; you shall see my _head_, and I will examine your
feet.” - So much for the System of

[Illustration: 379]


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 13

Online LibraryVariousOdd Volume → online text (page 13 of 13)