« 前へ次へ »
MR. COSTARD SLY,
DR. ZACHARY PHILEMON VANGRIFTER.
TREMONT HOUSE, Boston
October 31st, 1832.
MY DEAR VANGRIFTER, — You will readily admit that a silent man makes but an indifferent coach-mate. A taciturn guest may pass very well for once—but on the second or third visit, you cannot help feeling that he is a bore; and, thereupon, make up your mind to scratch his name out of your invitation book. I do not even except a good listener, unless he happen to be, at the same time, a good laugher. Then, I grant ye, he is a man to be made much of.
Now I, as a STRANGER, (and as such, considering myself the GUEST of the people among whom I am staying,) do not wish to pass for a dull, idle, good-for-nothing sort of person.
I am proud to acknowledge that I have experienced many, and unexpected kindnesses, since I
bave been in this country. Do not think, my dear Van, that I am contented with entering a memorandum of my gratitude in my journal. .
On the contrary, I have a-strong desire to requite, in some measure, the civilities I have received at the hands of yourself, and your countrymen, by making myself as amusing and agreeable as possible, while I am here present among you.
Will my “PRENTED NOTES," think you, be found either amusing or agreeable? You say YES! You have been good enough to laugh (and sometimes to cry) at my stories—you have chuckled over my sketches--you first encouraged me to take notes-you have frequently urged me to put them into print.
Well, sir, I have followed one part of your • advice. I have taken notes--I now send them to you. Put them into printmif you DARE!
And here, that you may feel quite at your ease on the subject, let me assure you that I have told no FIBS, to please anybody. I will have no soft. swellings on my tongue, I am no lampooner, or scandal-monger. If anything be found incorrectly stated in my pages, I beg it may be set down to the--shortness of my memory..
I have, also, to request that—if you resolve upon publishing the enclosed, —you will ask your BROTHER Critics to be good enough to admire me in the right places.
I know I shall be found dull occasionally, but I really must protest against having my dullnesses extolled, and copied out, in magazines, reviews and newspapers. Praise, injudiciously bestowed, has too frequently (even in our own days,) been the ruin of young authors, young actresses, and young cooks!
Let there be no mistake, Van;—I speak now, principally, of the authors, actresses, and cooks of England,-about whom, of course, I know most. . By the way,--add a note to the reader, that he is at liberty to borrow as much wit, as he pleases, from the book, and to spend it liberally among those friends at whose houses he is most frequently invited to dine;—but beg of him not to tell how any of the stories END. I would ask this as a particular favor, because I should like to be read by others as well as himself. · Lastly, my dear Vangrifter,— knowing your propensity to retail at second-hand the good sayings of others,—if you should ever be tempted to quote any of the opinions, matters, or things, herein recorded—take care that they come in aptly, and to the purpose—that you understand what you do quote—and that NO ESSENTIAL Words are left out!
Yours, sincerely, (in haste,)
P. S. About the TITLE—what think you ? "A