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was our African friend, whom suffering appeared, as it should do, to have taught toleration. In the course of his lecture he alluded to the passage of a law by the American authorities, some years before, which weighed heavily upon the unhappy negro. He was then in one of the Northern States, and hearing the news, was constrained, out of his deep sense of injury, to exclaim, 'What does Almighty God mean by it?' (i.e. by suffering it). Said he, How far was my capacity from comprehending the mysteries of the kingdom behind that of an old woman of my congregation, whom we called Aunt Sally. When she heard the news for which we had so anxiously waited, she hopped up and down three times, waving her arms in the air, exclaiming "Glory be to God! Glory be to God! the tighter the hoop, the sooner the barrel will bust !", "
Here we must cease our extracts, only lamenting with the author that the Isthmus of Panama has not been cut through, and thus a navigable way been opened into the Pacific Ocean and to our Australasian possessions.
There is much interesting information in this work respecting the mines of California, many anecdotes, and desultory notices regarding manners, which will be read with much interest. It is in vain for those who snarl and sneer at the progress of the United States to continue their spleen. The States will go on and increase, adding to the glory of the mother country. Englishmen must feel a just pride in legitimate glory. The reflection that East as well as West, and North as well as South, the Anglo race is increasing into powerful nations, will reflect more true glory upon England and her children than all the hordes of Norman robbers, cut-throat knights of the cross, or the pride of her rulers was ever able to confer upon the progress of civilisation and true greatness in the world.
Jan.-VOL. CXLIV. NO. DLXXVII
THE HUNT FOR A PUBLISHER.
FROM THE DANISH. BY MRS. BUSHBY.
As tired as the reader no doubt is of following me from publisher's to publisher's, am I tired of the hunt. I returned home weary and out of spirits; my confidence had quite deserted me, I was disgusted with life, and wished all publishers, with respect be it said, at the deuce. I had no mind, however, to sit alone at home and let disappointment prey on my vitals, therefore, after having taken some refreshment, I determined to go to the theatre, where "A Glass of Water" was to be performed that evening. I had seen the piece before, but I never could see Frue Heiberg too often, even in the same character, so I betook myself to the second row in the pit. On one side of me sat a pretty little Jewish girl, who frequently gave vent audibly to her feelings of pleasure with a "Gott, how charming this is!" which she addressed, it might have been to the actors themselves, or to the Jew who sat by her, or to me, for her head was constantly turning to all sides.
On my right hand sat a tall, lanky man, with spectacles upon his snub nose, and a thin book in his hand, in which he was constantly reading while the curtain was up, and in which, with a pretty little silver pencil, he made from time to time marks, such as crosses, and sundry other figures. I cast a side-long glance on the upper margin of an open page of the book, and saw written on it "A Glass of Water." I, of course, concluded that the lanky man must be a critic employed by some newspaper, who would next day have the pleasure of showing up the poor actors and actresses before the reading public, most of whom would thus decide upon the merits of the performers without having witnessed their performance.
Between the acts I entered into conversation with my neighbour, who had paused in his reading and writing labours, and found that I had not mistaken his occupation. When his literary position, or at least his position so nearly akin to a literary one, became known to me, and that he was well acquainted with booksellers, publishers, and other merchants in literature, I told him of my bad fortune that day, and took the liberty of asking him if he could give me any advice respecting my classical work.
"One can do nothing more absurd," he replied, in a dictatorial
manner, and still more dictatorial voice-" one can do nothing more absurd than to deliver such works over to a publisher, for one has the pleasure of paying hundreds out of one's own pocket, and letting them, without any hope of opposition, fly into the publisher's money bags. If you will take my advice, sir, publish your poem yourself, and when it is printed, send me six copies, addressed to the editor of the newspaper for which I am engaged, and also send some nicely bound copies to the editors of the other newspapers, and then you may be certain that your book will not want for plenty of praise. May I make bold to ask if you belong to those who cry, Long live Lehmann!' or to those who shriek or howl Pereat Orla!""
"Let him live, I say," I replied, like one in a fog, for my mind was already busy in thinking how I could possibly manage to be myself the publisher of my poem.
"Well, I am extremely glad to find that we are on the same side in politics. Now you may rely on our Sunday's paper praising to the utmost your tale in verse. We will place your verses on a par with those of Ehlenschlager, and class your tale with Heiberg's, and the author of 'Hverdags Historier.' Make yourself quite easy, therefore; we can cry up or cry down the genius of every author as we please, or as it suits our political views, or benefits our friends."
"How is that?"
"Oh! It is easily understood. Two men are applying for a certain post or office. One of these belongs to our party, the other to the party opposed to us; the latter we put into the pillory, with such marks of opprobrium that it is impossible for him to get the place; well, what happens? Our friend obtains it. Is not that shrewdly managed? But, apropos, is there any of the philosophy of Hegesias in your work?"
"No, my dear sir! A little of the philosophy of love, that's all!" I replied, feeling somewhat nervous.
"That's bad enough, but we will praise it nevertheless. The monthly periodicals will come with their inexorable scissors, and cut it up, and show the public only the skeleton of your doubtless excellent story; but that won't signify a button, for the public will believe us, that there is a great deal of beauty in it. You have only to follow my advice, and we will help you to a sale among
The curtain drew up; but I saw no more of what was going on upon the stage, my thoughts were whirling about on calculations of what might be the expenses of printing, bookbinding, gilt edges, paper, discount to the booksellers, postages, copies to the different reviews and newspapers, &c. &c., but when I summed up the account roughly, I found that the whole would amount to
too large a sum for me to disburse from my own pocket, especially as I could not expect to receive any emolument from my publication for, at least, twelve months.
When the curtain fell again I renewed the conversation with my neighbour, who had again raised his eyes from his book. After I had informed him that it would be an impossibility for me to follow the advice he had given me, he looked at me kindly through his spectacles, and then allowing his eyes to glide down to the cover of his book (a theatrical repertoire), he pointed with his finger to a name which stood there, and again fixed his eyes on me with a significant look. When, by a smile on my lips, he perceived that I understood the meaning of his look, he put the book in his pocket, and went out for a mouthful of fresh air.
The curtain soon after rose; I sat between the little Jewish girl and my counsellor, who was again reading, and I thought to myself,
"He also advises me to apply to the bookseller Schuboth, I can but try him."
"Gott, how charming that is!" fell at that identical moment on my ear from the Jewish girl's lips, and I accepted this exclamation as the prognostic of a happy result, and felt able, with a lightened heart, to enjoy the remainder of the piece.
THE next morning I started again on the hunt for a publisher, with a secret hope to find one at the Exchange. As a boy I had often gone there joyfully to buy my toys, I had nothing to fear then, now I went with more sobered feelings and some anxiety. In former days people swarmed there, now my footsteps echoed among the silent and deserted walks. The bazaar in Gothersgaden had taken the shine out of the time-honoured Exchange, I felt quite sorry to see the many empty and forsaken enclosures ĺ passed before I came to the bookseller's in question. Here I found a short ruddy-cheeked man with smooth dark hair; he was a man of very courteous manners, who, with great patience and politeness listened to what I had to say, which is already so well known to my readers. When I had finished my discourse the gentleman asked for permission to look at my manuscript, and to keep it for a few days, that he might make himself well acquainted with its contents; a request which I thought very reasonable, and looked upon as a good omen. We shook hands like old friends before separating.
For three or four days I remained in a state of the utmost anxiety and excitement. Sometimes I said to myself, "He will take it," and I felt my cheeks glowing with hope; but soon doubts
arose in my mind, and I exclaimed, "He will not take it," and then I became the picture of dismay. I felt it hardly possible to control my impatience, and I was becoming so ill with the constant alternation of hopes and fears, that I determined to go to the Exchange and know my fate. I arrived at the bookseller's almost out of breath, and there I found my man reading the first pages of my great poem.
"May I beg to know if you have begun to read this for the second time?" I asked, proud and pleased at the idea that he must be so charmed with my work as to be reading it twice over.
"No, it is the first time," he replied, with a slight smile; "I have not had a moment to read it until now, but if you will be so kind as to call again in about eight days you shall have an
This time I was quite as unwilling to agree to the worthy publisher's proposal as I had, on the previous occasion, been willing to do so; but what could I-a poor author-do? I stood there on my last legs, as the saying is. How could I venture to disregard his overtures, slight though they were, by giving a decided refusal? No; but I went forth much disheartened, leaving my beloved and precious manuscript within the walls of the Exchange.
A week, which for happy persons, or for the industrious, passes as swiftly as a falling star across the half-darkened vault of heavena week crept on for me. I was in a wretched state of excitement, and from every trifling occurrence I augured either a fortunate or an unfortunate termination of my poetical affairs. At length the ninth day arrived, and the rosy light of early morning fell upon me as I perambulated the street on the outside of the Exchange, for it had not been opened. It was seven o'clock before I could get inside, but the person whom I wished to see was not possessed of my ardour, for he had not yet come. I endeavoured to while away the time by looking at the handsomely bound books that graced the shelves, works that were so lucky as to have found a publisher, a piece of good fortune the full value of which I now began to appreciate.
"Are you here already? good morning, good morning," I heard exclaimed behind me by a voice I recognised. I turned round, and scarcely taking time to go through the usual ceremonies on meeting, I hastened eagerly to ask,
"Are you satisfied with my Endymion and Diana?"
"Yes, indeed I am, dear Mr. Nostrat. There are, undeniably several fine passages in it; but, excuse me for asking if you are well enough acquainted with any of the celebrated authors of the day to ask one of them to write a preface for you?"
"I have not the honour of knowing anything of them except