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disappearing, and feeling that he was thrown entirely on his own resources, began to think seriously of what he was to do. He had written a poem, when in his twentieth year, on a very comprehensive subject, and one, moreover, of universal and enduring interest : the subject was “ The Universe," and that he proposed to be the title of the book. Hitherto, the poem had lain in undisturbed repose in his trunk; it had never been offered to any publisher; in fact, there was no publisher in the north of Scotland to whom it could be offered. The only individuals who had seen “ The Universe," were a few private friends, and, as is always the case, they were rapturous in their admiration of it. They were unanimous in the opinion, that it was destined at once to raise the author to the highest distinction at which a literary man could aspire-to place him, indeed, on a level with Shakspeare and Milton ; and to procure him that competence, if not fortune, which is the usual accompaniment of a first-rate literary reputation. He therefore resolved on applying himself, in the first instance, to the disposal of his manuscript to a respectable publisher;" not doubting that the name it would get him, immediately on its publication, would at once insure him a market for whatever else he might write, whether in poetry or prose.
Joseph therefore determined on calling personally, next morning, with his manuscript, on the prince of poetic publishers. Who that gentleman is, need not be more particularly indicated. He is known almost as extensively as any of the illustrious poets whose works he has brought out in every variety of form, in a style of surpassing typographical and pictorial elegance, and at so cheap a rate as would make the poets of a previous age hold up their hands in amazement, were they only permitted to revisit our sphere, and to gaze on these “illus trated editions" of the press of the present day. It is no stretch of the imagination to suppose, that were the shades of Shakspeare, Pope, Thomson, and others-Milton, having been blind in his latter years, is necessarily out of the question-cognizant of the elegance with which modern works are brought out, they would wish that the period of their appearance in the world had been deferred until near the middle of the nineteenth century. But this is a digression.
Joseph, according to the resolution he had formed, called, the following morning, with the manuscript of “ The Universe" in his pocket, on the Leviathan bibliopole. He found two cabriolets and a carriage at the door of his business premises, which, as every one knows, are situated in a fashionable street at the West End. He entered, and inquired whether Mr. Harold was at home.
“Your name, sir, if you please,” said a gentlemanly-looking young man behind the counter.
“I only want a few words with him,” remarked Mr. Jenkins.
“ Perhaps you would send up your card, sir," suggested the other.
Joseph had no card to send up. In the north of Scotland, cards are not very common among young persons, not even among the
younger branches of the better orders of society; and he was not aware, that in London a card is almost as indispensable to a person with any pretensions to respectability, as a coat or hat.
My name,” said Joseph, ingeniously avoiding the subject of the card, “ is Mr. Jenkins."
“ Tell Mr. Harold that Mr. Jenkins wishes to see him,” said the party behind the counter, to another young man in an inner room.
The latter vanished for a few seconds, and then re-appeared.
“ Mr. Harold, sir, is sorry that he is so much engaged at present, as to be unable to see you." “Shall I call again?” inquired Mr. Jenkins.
Perhaps you would be kind enough to mention the nature of your business. Would any one else than Mr. Harold do?"
“I should like to see Mr. Harold himself: it is about a matter of great importance to him, as well as to me."
" He is very sorry, sir; but he is particularly engaged at present.”
“Could you mention any other hour at which I should be likely to see him ?”
“ It is quite impossible to say; the claims on his time are so many and urgent."
“I wish to make him the first offer of a poem.
“ A poem, and by a Mr. Jenkins ! a name unknown to poetic or any other kind of fame!”
Both the individuals in the employ of Mr. Harold felt instantaneously relieved.
“ Hadn't you better write to Mr. Harold on the subject ?” suggested the elder of the two.
“ That would be your best course,” remarked the other.
“ Very good; well, I shall write to him. Good morning, gentlemen."
“Good morning, sir.”