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“We perceive from this fable how proper it is for those to hold their tongues who would not discover the shallowness of their understandings."
I rather think it would be "painting the lily" to attempt any improvement on this beautiful and instructive parable, by any crude remarks of my own.
THE LITERARY CONTRIBUTION BOX.
LINES TO LOLA MONTES.
SAN FRANCISCO, June 13th, 1353.
ON assuming the responsible position of poetical critic for the Herald, I applied to my friend Mr. Parry for permission to place in one corner of his San Francisco renowned establishment, a cigar-box, with a perforated sliding cover, for the reception of poetical contributions, a request which that gentleman most urbanely granted. Knowing that " Parry's" was the favorite resort of the wits, literati and savans of the city, I hoped and believed that this enterprise would be crowned with the success that it merited; but either our city poets are unable to find quarters in that establishment, or there is dearth of that description of talent at present; for with the exception of two or three contributions of "old soldiers” and a half-dollar deposited by an inebriated member of the last Legislature, on the representation of his friends that the box was placed there for the relief of distressed Chinese women, nothing has come of it.
Diurnally, after imbibing my morning glass of bimbo (a temperance drink, composed of “three parts of root beer and two of water-gruel, thickened with a little soft squash, and strained through a cane-bottomed chair),” have I gazed mournfully into that aching void, and have turned away to meet the sympathetic glance of Batten, who, being a literary man himself, feels for my disappointment, and shakes his head sadly as in reply to my mute inquiry, he utters the significant monosyllable "Nix." But this morning my exertions were rewarded : “I had a bite." In my box I found the following contribution, and feeling delighted at my success, and to encourage others who may dread criticism, I shall publish it without remark or annotation, merely premising that I know nothing whatever of M. W., but that he appears to be a worthy and impulsive young fellow, who, having become possessed of five dollars, invested it very properly in the purchase of a ticket at the American Theatre, where he incontinently fell in love with Mrs. Heald (as possibly others may have done before him), and where he hastily “threw off” the following lines, written doubtless on the back of a playbill, immediately after the conclusion of the Spider Dance, when he probably found himself in a sweet state, compounded of love, excitement and perspiration, caused by a great physical exertion, in psa ducing the encore.
Here it is :
" TO LOLA MONTES.
And into thy soul-speaking eye,
No, Lola, no!
read in those eyes, and on that clear brow,
A Spirit—a Will—it is true;
No, Lola, No!
I will not believe thee cold, heartless and vain!
Man's victim thou ever hast been!
Now isn't this but I promised not to criticise. Try it again, M. W.-you'll do! Winn, who is looking over my shoulder, and is a connoisseur in this description of poetry, says it is very fair—but he will persist in inquiring “what chain is alluded to in the last line but one ?" He thinks “there is a link wanting there to complete the connection." But never mind this, M. W.; he would be glad enough to reward you liberally for a similar article laudatory of buckwheat cakes and golden syrup.
Don't be dis