“Letter to the editor, March 1830”


Palmyra Reflector Newsmonger

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Newsmonger. Letter to the editor, March 1830. The Reflector (Palmyra, New York) new series, no. 13 (30 March 1830): 106–7.

City of Mud, March, 1830

Mr. Reflector–

Sir–As you appear to possess some literary acquirements–if not talents–and as you may possibly take it into your head, some day or other, to publish an exclusively literary paper–I have taken the liberty of sending you a recipe for making one up. It is taken from “real life”–has stood the test of the critique, and is doubtless a great step in the common wealth of letters.

Imprimis.–Be careful to get a soft head for your paper–so that the sound may be pleasing to a lady’s ear–such as GEM, Boquet, &c.–and be careful to state, in your first page, that you paper is devoted entirely to “Literature and Science,” [106] lest half the old women (of both sexse) should never be able to discover your object.

Secondly.–As it is necessary to have in every number, at least one long original, leading, editorial article, the bare thoughts of which, frequently give many of our weak-nerved editors the horrors, you must provide yourself with a good store of romances, written in the fifteenth century, when literary taste was at its zenith; and ranges probably nearer our own times than any other period.

In selecting your subject (article) for dissection, let your scene be laid in France, Italy, or the holy land, (this will be more interesting to the unlearned reader,) cut off the head and tail of it, alter the names, and commence from the bottom of the page to copy upwards, in imitation of the translators of the Book of Mormon, or the “Gold Bible.” In this way you give it a cast of originality.

In making your extracts or selection, take the flattest articles you can find.–This will give a sort of uniformity to the whole. Insert all the garbled nonsense, in the shape, or under the head of poetry, that you can find, appending the sweet smelling names of “nosegay, posey,” &c. This will have a good effect on the censorium. Publish a long prospectus of some forth-coming periodical, to let “your readers know, that weakness loves company”–a column or two of names, as agents for your paper, (should it be a small one,) will be quite interesting–more especially to the divine sex–and last, but not least, be careful to insert in each paper, through the year, the receipt of from fifty to eighty new subscribers “since out last.” NEWSMONGER.

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