Walking-Stick Papers eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 215 pages of information about Walking-Stick Papers.
page upon the dramatic occasion of our exit.  But, generally speaking, this type of matter would run somewhere between the seventh and the thirteenth or fifteenth page, according to the number of pages of the issue of the paper coinciding with the date of the ending of our day’s work.  There, if we are pretty important, we should lead the column, and take a two-line head, with a pendant “comb.”  This, altogether, would announce to the passing eye that we went out (as the poet, Edwin Arlington Robinson, puts it) in such or such a year of our age, that pneumonia, or what not, “took” us, that we were a member of one of the city’s oldest families, that a family breach was healed at the death of our sister, or the general points of whatever it is that makes us interesting to the paper’s circulation.  We are likely to have a date line and a brief despatch from Rome, or Savannah, or wherever we happen to be when we shuffle off, stating that we have done so.  This to be followed by a “shirt-tail dash.”  Then begins a beautifully dispassionate and highly dignified recital of the salient facts connected with our career, which may run to a couple of sticks, or, even, did our activities command it, turn the column.

Or, suppose for the sake of our discussion that your achievements have not been quite of the first rank.  You get a one-line head, a sub-head, and a couple of paragraphs.  Somebody has exclaimed concerning how much life it takes to make a little art.  Just so.  How much life it takes to make a very little obituary in the great city!  Early and late, day in and day out, week in and week out, month in and month out, in the sun’s hot eye of summer, through the winter’s blizzard, year after year for thirty-six years you have been a busy practising physician.  You have lived in the thick of births and life and death for thousands of hours.  What you know, and have lived and have seen would fill rows of volumes.  You are a distinguished member of many learned societies, widely known as an educator.  You are good for about a hundred and fifty words.

Perhaps not.  Perhaps you were a person of rather minor importance.  You are, that is, you were, we will say, an astronomer, or you were a mineralogist, or a former Alderman, or something like that.  So you call for a paragraph, with a head.  Your virtues (and your vices) have been many.  You were three times married.  As Mr. Bennett says of another of like momentous history, the love of life was in you, three times you rose triumphant over death.  Goodness! what a novel you would make.  You call for a paragraph, with a head.  All your clubs are given.

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Walking-Stick Papers from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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