Another pleasing fact is that while he was a medical student Keats lived in Bird-in-Hand Court, Cheapside—best known nowadays as the home of Simpson’s, that magnificent chophouse. Who else, in modern times, came so close to holding unruffled in his hand the shy wild bird of Poetry?
A CITY NOTE-BOOK
Well, now let us see in what respect we are richer to-day than we were yesterday.
Coming down Fifth Avenue on top of a bus, we saw a man absorbed in a book. Ha, we thought, here is our chance to see how bus reading compares to subway reading! After some manoeuvering, we managed to get the seat behind the victim. The volume was “Every Man a King,” by Orison Swett Marden, and the uncrowned monarch reading it was busy with the thirteenth chapter, to wit: “Thoughts Radiate as Influence.” We did a little radiating of our own, and it seemed to reach him, for presently he grew uneasy, put the volume carefully away in a brief-case, and (as far as we could see) struck out toward his kingdom, which apparently lay on the north shore of Forty-second Street.
We felt then that we would recuperate by glancing at a little literature. So we made our way toward the newly enlarged shrine of James F. Drake on Fortieth Street. Here we encountered our friends the two Messrs. Drake, junior, and complimented them on their thews and sinews, these two gentlemen having recently, unaided, succeeded in moving a half-ton safe, filled with the treasures of Elizabethan literature, into the new sanctum. Here, where formerly sped the nimble fingers of M. Tappe’s young ladies, busy with the compilation of engaging bonnets for the fair, now stand upon wine-dark shelves the rich gold and amber of fine bindings. We were moved by this sight. We said in our heart, we will erect a small madrigal upon this theme, entitled: “Song Upon Certain Songbirds of the Elizabethan Age Now Garnishing the Chamber Erstwhile Bright With the Stuffed Plumage of the Milliner.” To the Messrs. Drake we mentioned the interesting letter of Mr. J. Acton Lomax in yesterday’s Tribune, which called attention to the fact that the poem at the end of “Through the Looking Glass” is an acrostic giving the name of the original Alice—viz., Alice Pleasance Liddell. In return for which we were shown a copy of the first edition of “Alice in Wonderland.” Here, too, we dallied for some time over a first edition of Dr. Johnson’s Dictionary, and were pleased to learn that the great doctor was no more infallible in proofreading than the rest of us, one of our hosts pointing out to us a curious error by which some words beginning in COV had slipped in ahead of words beginning in COU.
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