A Budding Novelist

— In a country rectory, in the interior of New York State, lives a small youth of ten years, who is possibly destined to illuminate the literary world.

His latest and most ambitious attempt at literature is a novel in three volumes. Its title is Bloomfield ; or, Love’s Labor Lost. He explained the title by telling us that the hero, Roger Lindsay, is in love with the heroine, Jane Peabody, who does not return his affection. Therefore, by gifts, he tries to win her love. He is apparently successful at first, but finally she marries another man, and his labor is lost. Here is the preface, verbatim : —

“ This book is not intended as a hit on any one. However, there are a great many people such as Mr. Lindsay, Foolish, Vain, and capable of committing any Atrocity, to make ends meet.

“ Miss Peabody is not intended for a Representation of the Middle classes : she is only intended as a foolish, simple, headstrong girl ; a little too given to love-affairs, and decidedly too loving tordes her suitors. It is to he hoped it will be very interesting and satisfactory toards its readers, and very comprehensive to all.”

Possibly it may be more “ satisfactory and comprehensive to all ” if an extract from the opening chapter is given : —

“ I must explain that Miss Jane Peabody was wholly indifferent to Roger Lindsay, but loved William Marston. Roger knew this, but hoped to win her over to him, by presents, kindness, and attention.

[The profound knowledge of human nature that our budding novelist displays makes one turn pale. Where will he end ?]

“ Miss Peabody was sitting in her house at 12.45, at noon, wondering at her lover’s prolonged absence. Suddenly the doorbell rang loudly, and it was soon followed by a maid, who appeared at the door, and said in a pleasant voice, —

“ ‘ Roger Lindsay, ma’am.’

“ ‘Show him in,’ was the reply, given in an indifferent one.

“ Roger Lindsay lost no time in complying with the request, and politely advanced, with the remark, —

“ ‘ I’ve brought you a present, Miss Peabody.’

“ ‘ Oh, you have, have you ? Won’t you stay to dinner ? ’ was the answer.

“ ‘ I believe I will, thank you,’ said Roger, waiting for the burst of praise which would follow the opening of the package.

“To his surprise, however, the only remark which followed the revealing was, —

“ ‘ Oh, only a lace handkerchief ! ’ saying which, she politely blew her nose on it, and put it in her pocket, and asked him to sit down to dinner, which was announced just then.

“ Roger was vexed. He had paid S6.50 for a lace handkerchief only for this ! Perhaps love might do ; so, during dinner, he politely inquired, —

“ ‘ Will you marry me ? ’

“ ‘ I am engaged to Mr. William Marston,’ was Miss Peabody’s reply.

“ ‘Look out,’ said Roger. ‘I can show you papers that that man marries you for Money. He has been in jail once, and in prison three times. You had better not marry him,’ and he thought with glee of the forged papers that were to prove William Marston’s ruin.

“ ‘ Where are the papers ? ’ said Jane.

“ ‘ Home,’ was the reply.

“ ‘ I would like to see them,’ said Jane.

“ ‘ If you will wait a moment, I will bring them.’

“ ‘Hurry up.’

“ ‘ Yes,. I will.’

“ Roger hurried away, and soon returned, He was believed, and from that day rose in the esteem of Miss Peabody.

“ Five years passed slowly by. [This is the author’s hiatus, not mine.] Roger, by constant attention, had won over Miss Peabody, who consented to marry him if her former lover did not turn up. Roger did not think he would, for no one knew of his whereabouts, or the reason of his absence ; and the wedding was to be in two months.

“ Roger had Spent, in presents, about $300.75 on Miss Peabody.

“ But here an incident occurred that proved Roger Lindsay’s RUIN. William Marston came home, and ” —

But it is too harrowing a tale to allow of our following the fortunes of this interesting trio further. Let us call it a novel after Mr, James, and the reader may make his own ending.

Are we educating the Future American Novelist ?