Impressions of Theophrastus Such eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 202 pages of information about Impressions of Theophrastus Such.

But I did not set out on the wide survey that would carry me into tragedy, and in fact had nothing more serious in my mind than certain small chronic ailments that come of small authorship.  I was thinking principally of Vorticella, who flourished in my youth not only as a portly lady walking in silk attire, but also as the authoress of a book entitled ‘The Channel Islands, with Notes and an Appendix.’  I would by no means make it a reproach to her that she wrote no more than one book; on the contrary, her stopping there seems to me a laudable example.  What one would have wished, after experience, was that she had refrained from producing even that single volume, and thus from giving her self-importance a troublesome kind of double incorporation which became oppressive to her acquaintances, and set up in herself one of those slight chronic forms of disease to which I have just referred.  She lived in the considerable provincial town of Pumpiter, which had its own newspaper press, with the usual divisions of political partisanship and the usual varieties of literary criticism—­the florid and allusive, the staccato and peremptory, the clairvoyant and prophetic, the safe and pattern-phrased, or what one might call “the many-a-long-day style.”

Vorticella being the wife of an important townsman had naturally the satisfaction of seeing ‘The Channel Islands’ reviewed by all the organs of Pumpiter opinion, and their articles or paragraphs held as naturally the opening pages in the elegantly bound album prepared by her for the reception of “critical opinions.”  This ornamental volume lay on a special table in her drawing-room close to the still more gorgeously bound work of which it was the significant effect, and every guest was allowed the privilege of reading what had been said of the authoress and her work in the ‘Pumpiter Gazette and Literary Watchman,’ the ’Pumpshire Post,’ the ‘Church Clock,’ the ‘Independent Monitor,’ and the lively but judicious publication known as the ‘Medley Pie;’ to be followed up, if he chose, by the instructive perusal of the strikingly confirmatory judgments, sometimes concurrent in the very phrases, of journals from the most distant counties; as the ‘Latchgate Argus,’ the Penllwy Universe,’ the ‘Cockaleekie Advertiser,’ the ‘Goodwin Sands Opinion,’ and the ‘Land’s End Times.’

I had friends in Pumpiter and occasionally paid a long visit there.  When I called on Vorticella, who had a cousinship with my hosts, she had to excuse herself because a message claimed her attention for eight or ten minutes, and handing me the album of critical opinions said, with a certain emphasis which, considering my youth, was highly complimentary, that she would really like me to read what I should find there.  This seemed a permissive politeness which I could not feel to be an oppression, and I ran my eyes over the dozen pages, each with a strip or islet of newspaper in the centre, with that freedom of mind

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Impressions of Theophrastus Such from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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