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and sisters who look to me. I do my utmost as a governess to support them. I toil at night when they are at rest, and my own hand and brain are alike tired. If I could add but little to our means by my pen, many of my poor invalid's wants might be supplied, and I could procure for her comforts to which she is now a stranger. Heaven knows it is not for want of will or for want of energy on my part, that she is now in ill-health, and our little household almost without bread. Do-do cast a kind glance over my poem,

and if help us, the widow, the orphans will bless you! I remain, sir, in anxious expectancy,

“Your faithful

servant;

“ S. S. S."

you can

And enclosed is a little poem or two, and an envelope with its penny stamp-heaven help us !—and the writer's name and address.

Now you see what I mean by a thorn. Here is the case put with true female logic. “I am poor; I am good; I am ill; I work hard ; I have a sick mother and hungry brothers and sisters dependent on me. You can help us if you will.” And tien I look at the paper, with the thousandth part of a faint hope that it may be suitable, and I find it won't do; and I knew it wouldn't do; and why is this poor lady to appeal to my pity and bring her poor little ones kneeling to my bedside, and calling for bread which I can give them if I choose? No day passes but that argument ad misericordiam is used. Day and night that sad voice is crying out for help. Thrice it appealed to me yesterday. Twice this morning it cried to me: and I have no doubt when I go to get my hat, I shall find it with its piteous face and its pale family about it, waiting for me in the hall. One of the immense advantages which women have over our sex is, that they actually like to read these letters. Like letters? O mercy on us ! Before I was an editor I did not like the postman much :—but now !

A very common way with these petitioners is to begin with a fine flummery about the merits and eminent genius of the person whom they are addressing. But this artifice, I state publicly, is of no avail. When I see that kind of herb, I know the snake within it, and fling it away before it has time to sting. Away, reptile, to the waste-paper basket, and thence to the flames!

But of these disappointed people, some take their disappointment and meekly bear it. Some hate and hold you their enemy because you could not be their friend. Some, furious and envious, say : “Who is this man who refuses what I offer, and how dares he, the conceited coxcomb, to deny my merit?

Sometimes my letters contain not mere thorns, but bludgeons. Here are two choice slips from that noble Irish oak, which has more than once supplied alpeens for this meek and unoffending skull :

" Theatre Royal, Donnybrook. “SIR-I have just finished reading the first portion of your Tale, Lovel the Widower, and am much surprised at the unwarrantable strictures you pass thereon on the corps de ballet.

“I have been for more than ten years connected with the theatrical profession, and I beg to assure you that the majority of the corps de ballet are virtuous, well-conducted girls, and, consequently, that snug cottages are not taken for them in the Regent's Park.

I also have to inform you that theatrical managers are in the habit of speaking good English, possibly better English than authors.

** You either know nothing of the subject in question, or you assert a wilful falsehood.

“I am happy to say that the characters of the corps de ballet, as also those of actors and actresses, are superior to the snarlings of dyspeptic libellers, or the spiteful attacks and brutum fulmen of ephemeral authors.

“I am, sir, your obedient servant, “The Editor of the Cornhill Magazine.

“A. B. C."

“ Theatre Royal, Donnybrook. “Sır.-I have just read in the Cornhill Magazine for January, the first portion of a Tale written by you, and entitled Lovel the Widower.

" In the production in question you employ all your malicious spite (and you have great capabilities that way) in trying to degrade the character of the corps de ballet. imply that the majority of ballet-girls have villas taken for them in the Regent's Park, I say you tell a deliberare falsehood.

“ Having been brought up to the stage from infancy, and, though now an actress, having been seven years principal dancer at the opera, I am competent to speak on the subject. I am only surprised that so vile a libeller as yourself should be allowed to presidé at the Dramatic Fund dinner on the 22d instant. I think it would be much better if you were to reform your own life, instead of telling lies of those who are immeasurably your superiors.

“ Yours in supreme disgust,

** A. D."

When you

The signatures of the respected writers are altered, and for the site of their Theatre Royal an adjacent place is named which (as I may have been falsely informed) used to be famous for quarrels, thumps, and broken heads. But, I say, is this an easy chair to sit on, when you are liable to have a pair of such shillelaghs flung at it? And, prithee, what was all the quarrel about? In the little history of “Lovel the Widower” I decribed, and brought to condign punishment, a certain wretch of a ballet-dancer, who lived splendidly for a while on ill-gotten gains, had an accident, and lost her beauty, and died poor, deserted, ugly, and every way odious. In the same page, other little ballet-dancers are described, wearing homely clothing, doing their duty, and carrying their humble savings to the family at home. But nothing will content my dear correspon. dents but to have me declare that the majority of ballet-dancers have villas in the Regent's Park, and to convict me of “deliberate falsehood.” Suppose, for instance, I had chosen to introduce a red-haired washerwoman into a story? I might get an expostulatory letter saying, “Sir, in stating that the majority of washerwomen are red-haired, you are a liar! and you had best not speak of ladies who are immeasurably your superiors." Or suppose I had ventured to describe an illiterate haber. dasher? One of the craft might write to me, “Sir, in describing haberdashers as illiterate, you utter a wilful falsehood. Haberdashers use much better English than authors." It is a mis take, to be sure. I have never said what my correspondents say I say. There is the text under their noses, but what if they choose to read it their own way? “Hurroo, lads! Here's for a fight. There's a bald head peeping out of the hut. There's a bald head ! It must be Tim Malone's.” And whack ! come down both the bludgeons at once.

Ah me !, we wound where we never intended to strike ; we create anger where we never meant harm ; and these thoughts are the thorns in our Cushion. Out of mere malignity, I suppose, there is no man who would like to make enemies. But here, in this editorial business, you can't do otherwise : and a queer, sad, strange, bitter thought it is, that must cross the mind of many a public man : “Do what I will, be innocent or spiteful, be generous or cruel, there are A and B, and C and D, who will hate me to the end of the chapter-to the chapter's end-to the Finis of the page—when hate, and envy, and fortune, and disappointment shall be over.”

ON SCREENS IN DINING-ROOMS,

A GRANDSON of the late Rev. Dr. Primrose (of Wakefield, vicar) wrote me a little note from his country living this morning, and the kind fellow had the precaution to write “No thorn”, upon the envelope, so that, ere I broke the seal, my mind might be relieved of any anxiety lest the letter should contain one of those lurking stabs which are so painful to the present gentle writer. Your epigraph, my dear P., shows your kind and artless nature ; but don't you see it is of no use? People who are bent upon assassinating you in the manner mentioned will write “No thorn ” upon their envelopes too ; and you open the case, and presently out flies a poisoned stiletto, which springs into a man's bosom, and makes the wretch howl with anguish. When the bailiffs are after a man, they adopt all sorts of disguises, pop out on him from all conceivable corners, and tap his miserable shoulder. His wife is taken ill; his sweetheart, who remarked his brilliant, too brilliant appearance at the Hyde Park review, will meet him at Cremorne, or where

The old friend who has owed him that money these five years will meet him at so-and-so and pay. By one bait or

you will.

other the victim is hooked, netted, landed, and down goes the basket-lid. It is not your wife, your sweetheart, your friend, who is going to pay you.

It is Mr. Nab the bailiff. You know- -you are caught. You are off in a cab to Chancery Lane.

You know, I say? Why should you know? I make no manner of doubt you never were taken by a bailiff in your life.

I never was. I have been in two or three debtors' prisons, but not on my own account. Goodness be praised! I mean you can't escape your lot; and Nab only stands here metaphorically as the watchful, certain, and untiring officer of Mr Sheriff Fate. Why, my dear Primrose, this morning along with your letter comes another, bearing the well-known superscription of another old friend, which I open without the least suspicion, and what do I find ? A few lines from my friend Johnson, it is true, but they are written on a page covered with feminine handwriting “Dear Mr. Johnson,” says the writer, “I have just been perusing with delight a most charming tale by the Archbishop of Cambray. It is called “Telemachus;' and I think it would be admirably suited to the Cornhill Magazine. As you know the Editor, will you have the great kindness, dear Mr. Johnson, to communicate with him personally (as that is much better than writing in a roundabout way to the Publishers', and waiting goodness knows how long for an answer), and state my readiness to translate this excellent and instructive story. I do not wish to breathe a word against 'Lovel Parsonage,' * Framley the Widower,' or any of the novels which have appeared in the Cornhill Magazine, but I am sure Telemachus' is as good as new to English readers, and in point of interest and morality, far," &c., &c., &c.

There it is. I am stabbed through Johnson. He has lent himself to this attack on me. He is weak about women. Other strong men are. He submits to the common lot, poor fellow. In my reply I do not use a word of unkindness. I write him back gently, that I fear “Telemachus' won't suit us. He can send the letter on to his fair correspondent. But however soft the answer, I question whether the wrath will be turned away. Will there not be a coolness between him and the lady ? and is it not possible that henceforth her fine eyes will look with darkling glances upon the pretty orange cover of our Magazine ?

Certain writers, they say, have a bad opinion of women. Now am I very whimsical in supposing that this disappointed candidate will be hurt at her rejection, and angry or cast down according to her nature? “ Angry, indeed!” says Juno, gathering up her purple robes and royal raiment. “Sorry, indeed!" cries Minerva, lacing on her corselet again, and scowling under her helmet. (I imagine the well-known Apple case has just been argued and decided.) “Hurt, forsooth! Do you suppose we care for the opinion of that hobnailed lout of a Paris? Do you suppose that I, the Goddess of Wisdom, can't make allowances for mortal ignorance, and am so base as to bear malice against a poor creature who knows no better? You little know the goddess nature when you dare to insinuate that our divine minds are actuated by motives so base. A love of justice influences us.

We are above mean revenge. We are too magnanimous to be angry at the award of such a judge in favor of such a creature.” And rustling out their skirts, the ladies walk away together. This is all very weil.' You are bound to believe them. They are actuated by no hostility: not they. They bear no malice-of course rot. But when the Trojan war occurs presently, which side will they take? Many brave souls will be sent to Hades. Hector will perish. Poor old Priam's bald numskull will be cracked, and Troy town will burn, because Paris prefers golden-haired Venus to ox-eyed Juno and gray-eyed Minerva.

The last Essay of this Roundabout Series, describing the grief and miseries of the editoral chair, was written, as the kind reader will acknowledge, in a mild and gentle, not in a warlike or satirical spirit. I showed how cudgels were applied; but surely, the meek object of persecution hit no blows in return. The beating did not hurt much, and the person assaulted could afford to keep his good-humor; indeed, I admired that brave though illogical little actress, of the T. R. D-bl-n, for her fiery vindication of her profession's honor. I assure her I had no intention to tell 1-5—well, let us say, monosyllables—about my superiors : and I wish her nothing but well, and when Macmahon (or shall it be Mulligan ?) Roi d'Irlande ascends his throne, I hope she may be appointed professor of English to the princesses of the royal house. Nuper in former days—I too have militated ; sometimes, as I now think, unjustly; but always, I vow, without personal rancor. Which of us has not idle words to recall, flippant jokes to regret? Have you never committed an imprudence ? never had a dispute, and found out that you were wrong? So much the worse for you. Woe be to the man qui croit toujours avoir raison. His anger is not a brief madness, but a permanent mania. His rage is not a fever-fit, but a black poison inflaming him, distorting his judgment, disturbing his rest, embittering his

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