Excerpt: ...the craft so diligently that by merely clapping my eyes upon a bookseller I can tell you with certainty what manner of books he sells; but you must know that the ideal bookseller has no fads, being equally proficient in and a lover of all spheres, departments, branches, and lines of his art. He is, moreover, of a benignant nature, and ...Read MoreExcerpt: ...the craft so diligently that by merely clapping my eyes upon a bookseller I can tell you with certainty what manner of books he sells; but you must know that the ideal bookseller has no fads, being equally proficient in and a lover of all spheres, departments, branches, and lines of his art. He is, moreover, of a benignant nature, and he denies credit to none; yet, withal, he is righteously so discriminating that he lets the poor scholar have for a paltry sum that which the rich parvenu must pay dearly for. He is courteous and considerate where courtesy and consideration are most seemly. Samuel Johnson once rolled into a London bookseller's shop to ask for literary employment. The bookseller scrutinized his burly frame, enormous hands, coarse face, and humble apparel. "You would make a better porter," said he. This was too much for the young lexicographer's patience. He picked up a folio and incontinently let fly at the bookseller's head, and then stepping over the prostrate victim he made his exit, saying: "Lie there, thou lump of lead!" This bookseller was Osborne, who had a shop at Gray's Inn Gate. To Boswell Johnson subsequently explained: "Sir, he was impertinent to me, and I beat him." Jacob Tonson was Dryden's bookseller; in the earlier times a seller was also a publisher of books. Dryden was not always on amiable terms with Tonson, presumably because Dryden invariably was in debt to Tonson. On one occasion Dryden asked for an advance of money, but Tonson refused upon the grounds that the poet's overdraft already exceeded the limits of reasonableness. Thereupon Dryden penned the following lines and sent them to Tonson with the message that he who wrote these lines could write more: With leering looks, bull-faced and freckled fair With two left legs, with Judas-colored hair, And frowzy pores that taint the ambient air. These lines wrought the desired effect: Tonson sent the money which Dryden had asked for. When Dryden died Tonson made...Read Less
New. This item is printed on demand. A story by Eugene Field, the American writer, best known for poetry for children and for humourous essays. He first started publishing poetry on the side in 1879, when his book Christian Treasures appeared. Over a dozen mo.
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