Barnum--autobiography review--be somebody!

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Barnum--autobiography review--be somebody! - Auto - biographies are multiplying, as...
Auto - biographies are multiplying, as everybody knows. He who has got anything to tell is anxious to catch the world by the button hole and astonish it with his story. The charlatan writes a ponderous quarto about his exploits and modestly illustrates tho volume with a portrait of himself, and mayhap of the shanty beneath the shadow of which he gave early evi dence of his genius by pilfering sweetmeats from his playfellows. - The U. S. Review, in noticing this pompous and egotistical mania, puts down Chevalier Barnum as having immortalized himself and his Woolly Horse on the same biogra phical tabtlet, and the gay Chevalier WyckofF has transformed love's stratagems into poetic prose, transmuting corps d' amour and gallant sorties into a biography. What a world ! Everyone striving to merit an edition, pay or no pay to the printer ; every one striving for one lino one immortal line on the momentum cere per - ennius striving to leave a fadeless autograph on the imperishable pillar of fame. Poets, novelists, biographers, are literary butterflies in the great whirlwind of life. A modern youth is fed on high notions from his mother's breast. A namo, my child, a name. Ere the "teens" are gone, our youth havo swallowed Blackstone charmed earth, air and sky with strains iEolian. Ere precocity can stand without the aid of motherly apron strings, she has to incur all the responsibility of foreign travel. Fame, fame ! Letter writers our beardless youth thinks an L. L. B. lies behind " our correspondent," and thus incited proceed to see awful things, visit great countries, talk abominable large adjectives over infinitely small affairs, have the indescribable emotion of standing where somebody else once did, of flirting with au "unfortunate" Parisian miss on the banks of the Seine, of eating within sight of a duchess, and drinking from the same glasses used by Princes and servants. Eternal Rome is daily h ashed in our morning papers ; the immaculate conception is conceived on foolscap ; his holiness, the most Christian Pius IX., is daily run through the press; Mount Vesuvius Deicnes lortn in our evening editions ; London is sent through bv J our own correspondent : Sebastopol is bombarded under a postcript; Mount Troy is laid on the editor's table, and Mormonism is in the hands of "the devil." Niagara is jeweled in brilliant adjectives, and we hear daily thunder from " our Ajax." No one, in this age of dear flour and high rents can afford to be nobody. Be somebody, - bio - graphically, poetically or historically. A biography of the Mermaid would sell. A poem on baby conclaves, with a chorus of crowing Chitagongs would prove financially remunerative. A history of a kiss, and its probable effect on tlje Simian cerebellum, would have a large run. Balaam's early and final career, illustrated, would be hastily devoured, and yet a field for all. To be great it must be new, and must be set to double semiquavers and concentrated by the. brazen arms of the organ, ere it unlocks heaven's gates for the blessing. Kid gloves are inspired, patent leather is sanctified, and gilt edges are alone worthy of a sanctimonious thumbing. Wo must be immortal medically, legally, canonically, or in some p opular way. This age of biographies and baby - shows will occupy an important page in the history of the universe. The recording angels are already wearied. But glory must have her followers, her courtiers. Poets, the beggar angels in our dreary pilgrimage, wade through seas of sonnets, or doggerel for one smile from the deceptive guardians of fame ; but alas, poor fellows, find their names only enrolled on the tablet of the broken hearted. The "fast boy," that bleeds profusely from the effects of some pugilistic encounter, is sure to find his face in our shop windows in unblush - inglithograph. The lass that loses her virtue and her reputation, dies immortal within yellow covers. Tho youth that, to avaid family jars, drives after the honeymoon in tho chariot of elopement, finds himself hurried through a hundred pages of monthly. The Reverends,that have been so fortunate - as to work themselves into double twisted oddities, find their biographies under the title of eccentric sinners. ?

Clipped from
  1. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle,
  2. 11 Oct 1855, Thu,
  3. Page 2

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  • Barnum--autobiography review--be somebody!

    milesharvey – 5 days ago

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