But Some Are Even Satisfied

The next diversion of a lonely and discouraged spirit occurs with the entrance of a messenger bearing light from the educational side of the house. It shines in the following: —
‘ It is with a certain feeling of complacency that we of the Educational Department lean back serenely to view our neat row of texts. We are preparing a new catalogue which necessitates a review of our accomplishments, and we contemplate each volume, as we search for the aptest phrase with which to introduce it to the world. Atlantic Classics, I and II,—our firstborn,— admirable in content, comely in appearance; Essays and Essay-Writing, Atlantic Narratives, Atlantic Prose and Poetry: thus we progress down the long line of red and gold. At the very end appear the latest books. We eye them fondlyand consider their promising careers: Dramatic Episodes in Congress and Parliament, containing bits of American history masouerading as Current Events; Silas Marner, and Idylls of the King, in neat editions suggestive of fine old wine in new bottles; and Fact. Fancy, and Opinion with its bright essays snatched from an amazing variety of sources; they are a pleasing prospect.
‘ It is a temptation to linger over the very newest. Professor Gay has wandered far afield in search of his facts and fancies, Unlike the editors of our other books and except for his flattering spoils from the “ Bookshelf ” —he has turned his back upon the Atlantic files; and he would none of the well-tried literature of other generations. Instead he has plunged adventurously into the realm of contemporary newspapers and magazines. From these he has garnered with unerring judgment. He has plucked here an editorial, there a vignette, and bound them into a volume that will be a joy to any reader, and a light on the path of the wistful writer of daily themes. We close the book well pleased and return once more to the catalogue that caused this slight digression from the day’s work.’
Having read this satisfactory exposition of a feeling of satisfaction, the Shop-Talker feels more deserted than ever. Is there no one near to share with him his August megrims? Not within reach, at least, and so he sits, nearly a Byronic figure, as if he were the old, unhappy, far-off thing about which the reaper sang.