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dumb gratitude has shut up the sluices of my heart; and the cataract of my oratorial powers is dried uppro tem. But it will come directly-stop till I get into the house

'Arma virumque cano.'

that is to say, I'll tell you my history; but just at this moment," continued he, smacking his lips, and his little eyes dilating with the eager anticipation of epicurean delights yet to come-" just at this crisis,

'Oh! guide me from this horrid scene,
These high arched walks, and alleys green',

then with a slight pause and smile,

"Let's run the race-he be the winner
Who gets there first, and eats his dinner.'"

As he spoke, he pulled me forcibly by the arm, and I found myself in a neat, clean room, with the happy poet fastened close to my side.

Though no spirit is so lofty but that starvation can bend it, yet in the tranquillity of our replenished bodies we are always wicked enough to enjoy the extravagant emotions which agitate authors and other hungry individuals, when, by any strange variety of life, they happen to get a good dinner.

My friend, who had delighted me with his volubility of speech, no sooner perceived that the preparations were ended, than he fell upon his defenceless prize like a lion on his prey. Poetry and prose, fanciful quotations and lofty ideas, for a time, were banished from his busy brain. Our conversation, the whole burthen of which had at first been borne by him, was now lost in the superior fascinations of beef steak and onions; and a few unintelligible monosyllables, uttered from a mouth crammed full of various articles, were the only attempts made towards an interchange of soul.

The enthusiasm of his attack began at length to abate, and the fire of anticipated delight to give way to an expression less anxious and fluctuating. The discomfited steak lay before him mangled and in ruins.


The onions shed a fainter perfume from the half cleared dish-and the potatoes were done in the strictest sense of the word. The sated author threw himself back in his chair, and exclaimed, "The deed is done-the dinner is eaten-Fidus Achates-my beloved friend-I feel I know not how-A strange combination of various sensations gives me a new confidence to brave the storms of life, and to look back upon the dangers already passed. And now, that I am comparatively composed, and have time to think, will you do me the favor to answer me, what in the name of all that's beautiful in prose, poetry, or real life, induced you to give this strange conclusion to a hungry day?"

"Because," replied I, " your face pleased me more than all the others which I saw-there was talent and

taste in your very dress."

"Ah, come," said he, casting a slight glance upon his well worn garments, "that won't do I am perfectly aware that my external appearance is by no means prepossessing, but what of that? She must marry me and not my clothes.' I cannot help it, if fate, in her unequal distribution of mortal effects, gives you ‍a pair of breeches whose use is to come-and me one whose value has passed-I don't feel ashamed of what a superior power has done for me. It is the mark of merit to be poor. Homer was poor-Johnson was poor—and I am poor. Beside, a rich man cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven-that's flat."

"If poverty," said I, "is a passport through the happy gates, then-"

"Then," interrupted he, "I should have been there as soon as I commenced my literary life, for though self praise is no recommendation, I flatter myself I am as poor as any man in New York, and what's more, I confess it-I am proud of it"


After dinner," said I.

"O you're a wag-but rich or poor, I've had my hopes and disappointments as well as the rest of mankind. Sunshine and shadow have chased each other over my path and now, by your kindness, I am warming myself in the rays of benevolence and friendship Ah, it is a treat for me, I do assure you, to find the true feeling of generosity-the real genuine virtuc cleansed

from the ore of vanity and ostentation, and so unlike the pompous charity of the common world,

'Not to the skies in useless columns tost,
Or in proud falls magnificently lost,

But clear and artless, pouring through the plain,
Health to the sick and solace to the swain.'

"You are the man of my mind, and to you I will speak my sorrows, although my parched lips almost refuse them utterance"-And he cast a sidelong glance at an empty bottle which stood near us on a table. I took the hint, and called for wine. He swallowed a glass full, smacking his lips, and assuming a serious. and important air, thus commenced the narrative of his literary horrors.

"Sir, my name is William Lackwit, Esquire. I am an author whose greatest failure has been in not getting his works into notice, but a fatal oblivion seemed always to ingulf my productions into its Lethean stream-and fate, I do sincerely believe, has been trying upon me some philosophical experiment, to see how many privations human nature could bear. I have been tossed about, sir, like a juggler's ball-and in all the poetical labyrinths in which I have been lost, memory cannot behold

One solitary resting place,
Nor bring me back one branch of grace.

"I was cast upon the world when about seventeen years of age, and possessing a vast share of vanity, which, by the bye, is the staff of an author's life, I determined to write for a living. Animated by the fame of great men who had lived before me, I plunged deeply into literary madness, and fell a victim to the present prevailing epidemic, the cacoethes scribendi, which is now sweeping many young gentlemen from professional existence. I wrote for the newspapers, but made no noise-heard no approbation-and last but not least,' received no pay. Sometimes, perchance, a very particularly complaisant friend would laud the little offsprings of my pen; but it did not gain me bread and butter, and could not satisfy the cravings of hungry na


ture. With a full heart and an empty stomach, I relinquished my attempt, and bade farewell to my sweet lyre, in a manner that, I thought, could not fail of attracting universal sympathy. I walked out the next morning, expecting to meet many a softened heart and friendly hand, but the bell man heaved his unaltered cry as he did the day before; the carts rattled along with their usual thundering rapidity; the busy crowd shuffled by me as if I were not in existence; and the sun shone upon the earth, and the changing clouds floated through the air, exactly as they were wont to do before I determined to shed no more music upon an unfeeling world.

"At length I recovered from my disappointment, and issued a little paper of my own; but it dropped dead from the press, as silently as falls the unnoticed flake of snow no buzz of admiration followed me as I went ; no pretty black eyed girl whispered that's he, as I passed; and if any applause was elicited by my effort, it was so still, and so slyly managed, that one would scarcely have supposed it existed.


Something must be done, thought I-while the great reward of literary fame played far off before my imagination, a glorious prize, to reach which, no exertion would be too great-I walked to my little room, where a remnant of my family's possessions enabled me to keep my chin above the ocean of life. In the solitary silence of my tattered and ill furnished apartment, I sat down upon a broken bench, and lost myself in rumination sad' as to what course I should next pursue. Suddenly, and like a flash of lightning, an idea struck me with almost force enough to knock me down-I'll write a novel-I'll take the public whether they will or not-fortuna favet integros,'and if fame won't come to me, I'll go to fame. I don't wonder that I did not succeed before. The public want something sublime, and I'll give it to them by wholesale. I'll come upon them by surprise; I'll combine the beauties of Addison with the satire of Swift, Goldsmith's sweetness and Pope's fire. I'll have darkness and storm, battle, treachery, murder, thunder and lightning: It must take. The author of a novel like this will make an immense fortune. Old ivy grown castles, moonlight landscapes, Spanish feathers, and Italian serenades

floated in brilliant confusion through my enamoured fancy. Daggers and despair, eloquence, passion, and fire, mingled in a delightful cloud of imagination, and heaved and changed in the dim and dreary distance like a magnificent vision of enchantment, which only wanted the breath of my genius to fan it into shape and exquisite beauty.

"At it I went, 'tooth and nail,' and watched over my young offspring with as much fondness as the mother bends over the cradle that contains her only boy. Already I began to hold up my head and think how differently people would look at me if they only knew who I was, and what I was about to do. The splendid dresses, the ten dollar beaver hats turned upside down in a basin of water, the handsome canes, and polished Wellington boots, which daily obtruded themselves upon my eager sight, as if in mockery of my miserable apparel, I began to look upon as objects already my own. Was I thirsty and hungry while musing on the variety of macaronies and cream tarts, cocoa nut cakes, and coffee, in a confectioner's shop? 'Only wait,' thought I to myself, only wait till I get out my new novel.' Was my coat thread bare and my hat old, only wait for my new novel. Did a coach and four dash by me, footman taking his ease behind, and driver with new hat and white top boots? Drive away coachee, thought I, drive away, but only wait for my new novel. Extreme impatience kept me on pins and needles till my work was done. 'Twas indeed a consummation devoutly to be wished.' A kind of restless anticipation kept me in continual excitement till the developement of my greatness, or what was the same thing, the publication of my work.


At length it was finished, and off it went, two volumes duodecimo, with a modest blue cover, and its name on the back. Long enough, thought I, have I labored in obscurity, but now- -I pulled up my collar (it was a long time ago) and I walked majestically along in all the pride of greatness incog.

Alas! alas! 'twas but a dagger to the mind. It dazzled for a moment before my enraptured sight, and left me again to descend into the nothingness from which, in fancy, I had risen. Although it was printed

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