DAISY'S NECKLACE, And what came of it.
A THRILLING NOVEL, SURPASING, in pathos and quiet satire, the most felicitous efforts of Dickens!!
PRINTEM & SELLEM, Publishers."
That was rather modest and pleasant; but it is pleasanter than all to have an early copy of your book placed on the breakfast-table, unexpectedly, some sunshiny morning—to behold, for the first time, the darling of your meditation in a suit of embossed muslin. How your heart turns over—if you are not used to the thing. How you make pauses between your coffee and muffins, to admire the clear typography, the luxurious paper, the gold letters on the back!
Messrs. Printem & Sellem sent me two out-of-town papers, containing notices of "DAISY." These notices were solicited by advance copies of the work, for the purpose of being used in the publication advertisement. It is curious to remark how great minds will differ.
[From the Blundertown Journal.]
"DAISY'S NECKLACE, AND WHAT CAME OF IT. New-York: Printem and Sellem.
THIS production is an emanation from the culminating mind of glorious genius! Nothing like it has been produced in this century. It possesses all the fine elements of Dickens' novels, without any of their numerous defects. Its scope, its pathos, and wit, is[B] beyond all praise. Our Britannic brethren will no longer ask, 'Who reads an American book?' For we can reply, 'The World!'
"We learn, from good authority, that the publishers have received orders for twenty thousand copies of the work, in advance of its publication. We have no doubt of it; for 'Daisy's Necklace' will shed new lustre on the name of American Literature! Envious authors will abuse the work. As the immortal Goethe says, 'De gustibus non est disputandum!' Our rush of advertisements prevents us from making voluminous extracts from the novel; this, however, would be useless, as everybody will read it for themselves.
"Orders addressed to HIGGINS & CO., of this town, will be promptly filled."
I should take the editor of the "Blundertown Journal" to be a man of cultured taste, appreciative and discriminating. The second review was not quite so "favorable," and can scarcely be called "a first-rate notice."
[From the Frogpond Gazette.]
"DAISY'S NECKLACE" is the silly title of an absurd novel about to be issued by Printem & Sellem, of New-York. From the fact that the author's name is withheld from the title-page, we infer that he had some friends—some few who were not wholly willing that he should make a donkey of himself. We have read a great deal of trash in our day; but 'Daisy's Necklace' is the king of all vapid novels,—sentimental in sentiment, flaccid in fiction, and entirely intolerable from beginning to end. The first forty pages put us to sleep. We advise all druggists to keep the book for sale,—as an anodyne.
"The binding is good, and that is all the praise we can give so contemptible an abortion. A reading public that tolerates a novel like this, must be made up of very good-natured persons—assinine in temperament, and mentally obtuse.
"This 'work,' we presume, is written by that much-abused and prolific myth—'a young gentleman of this city,' distinguished, of course. We believe that he writes all of Printem & Sellem's books. At all events, those enterprising gentlemen always have 'a startling novel' in press, from his immortal pen. What a long string of sins these gentlemen have to answer for! What a commotion there would be among the shelves of their book-store, if dead authors could come back and reclaim stolen property! If the shade of Lindley Murray could stalk among them!
"For our part, we had rather see the Hudson River Railroad's list of 'dead and wounded,' than Printem & Sellem's list of 'Popular Publications!' But it is consoling to know that books like 'Daisy's Necklace,' in spite of 'purchased puffery,' find their level at last as linings for portmanteaus and third-rate trunks. We shall make cigar-lighters of our copy, and thank the stars that we were not born a book-making genius!"
Not a line quoted to prove the justice of the unstrained censure! I could not account for the malignant personality of this critique, until Barry informed me that my publishers never advertised their books in the columns of the "Frogpond Gazette." This, of course, explained it. I only wish I had the stubborn editor of the "Frogpond" at arm's length, I would try the consistency of his ears.
I was somewhat astonished, the next day, to find how ingeniously Messrs. Printem & Sellem made the adverse criticism subservient to their interests.
My lucubration was out.
The "Post" said so; the "Morning Rabid" said it; the "Evening Looking-Glass" said it; and a host of small fry echoed the important fact. I unfolded "The Rabid," and beheld the following advertisement:
"PUBLISHED THIS DAY, A Novel of Unprecedented Power, entitled,
DAISY'S NECKLACE, AND WHAT CAME OF IT.
THE 'FROGPOND GAZETTE,' (high authority), in a long review of this work says: 'Daisy's Necklace is the King of all Novels.'
'The Blundertown Journal' (also high authority) remarks:
'This Book is an emanation from the culminating mind of glorious genius!'
'Nothing like it has been produced in this century!'
'It has all the fine elements of Dickens' Novels, without any of their numerous defects!'
Our first edition (20,000 copies) is exhausted, and we beg our friends to have patience for a few days.
WANTED, 4,000 Agents to sell the above work!!
PRINTEM & SELLEM, Publishers."
"Four thousand agents!" quoth Barry, looking over my shoulder; "I rather think it would take forty thousand to sell an edition of 'DAISY!'"
I laughed at my irate friend, and, igniting a fresh regalia, crossed my feet on the mantel-piece, and remarked, composedly,
"Now for the Critics!"
The Greek of my book-making genius, Ralph —— Esq., seems decidedly rusty. He has evidently given his lexicon an icy shoulder. Will the intellectual and erudite reader substitute kyrie eleyson for kyrie elyson on page 131?
[A] Mr. Barescythe, with his characteristic word-catching spirit, wishes to know if grapes and cherries are ripe at one and the same time in New-England.
[B] Barescythe says, that the wrong verb used in this paragraph is what editors call "a typographical error."
Transcriber's Note. Italics have been indicated in this text version by underscores The following changes have been carried out: Page 22 comma changed to period. 'gently, gently. Sleep,' Page 60. 'distroted' to 'distorted' 'highly polished, distorted knocker' 'kided' to 'kidded' 'white-kidded, be-ruffled gallants' Incorrectly positioned parenthesis moved from before the phrase 'the Museum opposite' to what appears to be a more logical position at the begining of the phrase 'if you would only' Page 98. 'Snarle' to 'Flint' '"Don't go on that way," pleaded Flint,' Page 133. 'rythm' to 'rhythm' 'Musical rhythm' Page 198. 'woes' to 'woos' 'Strephon woos Chloe as of yore' Page 209. 'Shakspeare' to 'Shakespeare' 'thoughtless Will Shakespeare' Unusual spelling has been retained as in the original publication Erratum. This has been carried out in the text.