Eighty Years and More; Reminiscences 1815-1897 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 399 pages of information about Eighty Years and More; Reminiscences 1815-1897.

We said at all times and on all other subjects just what we thought, and advertised nothing that we did not believe in.  No advertisements of quack remedies appeared in our columns.  One of our clerks once published a bread powder advertisement, which I did not see until the paper appeared; so, in the next number, I said, editorially, what I thought of it.  I was alone in the office, one day, when a man blustered in.  “Who,” said he, “runs this concern?” “You will find the names of the editors and publishers,” I replied, “on the editorial page.”  “Are you one of them?” “I am,” I replied.  “Well, do you know that I agreed to pay twenty dollars to have that bread powder advertised for one month, and then you condemn it editorially?” “I have nothing to do with the advertising; Miss Anthony pays me to say what I think.”  “Have you any more thoughts to publish on that bread powder?” “Oh, yes,” I replied, “I have not exhausted the subject yet.”  “Then,” said he, “I will have the advertisement taken out.  What is there to pay for the one insertion?” “Oh, nothing,” I replied, “as the editorial probably did you more injury than the advertisement did you good.”  On leaving, with prophetic vision, he said, “I prophesy a short life for this paper; the business world is based on quackery, and you cannot live without it.”  With melancholy certainty, I replied, “I fear you are right.”

CHAPTER XVII.

LYCEUMS AND LECTURERS.

The Lyceum Bureau was, at one time, a great feature in American life.  The three leading bureaus were in Boston, New York, and Chicago.  The managers, map in hand, would lay out trips, more or less extensive according to the capacity or will of the speakers, and then, with a dozen or more victims in hand, make arrangements with the committees in various towns and cities to set them all in motion.  As the managers of the bureaus had ten per cent. of what the speakers made, it was to their interest to keep the time well filled.  Hence the engagements were made without the slightest reference to the comfort of the travelers.  With our immense distances, it was often necessary to travel night and day, sometimes changing cars at midnight, and perhaps arriving at the destination half an hour or less before going on the platform, and starting again on the journey immediately upon leaving it.  The route was always carefully written out, giving the time the trains started from and arrived at various points; but as cross trains often failed to connect, one traveled, guidebook in hand, in a constant fever of anxiety.  As, in the early days, the fees were from one to two hundred dollars a night, the speakers themselves were desirous of accomplishing as much as possible.

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Eighty Years and More; Reminiscences 1815-1897 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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