We believe it fair to present our readers' views without censorship or further comment.
I’m writing to protest in the strongest terms the publication of your periodical, the Alembick. Never in my life have I had the misfortune to encounter such a mangy, oafish, and utterly contemptible rag. It is, without a doubt, the most execrable magazine in existence. I hope, Sirs, that you may be persuaded to cease your sophomoric efforts and to close down immediately. The world will be a better place without your work.
(Nigel Featherstone, Marquess of) Bunbury
It was with the utmost outrage that I first encountered your horrid paper Sunday last. I don’t know what the devil has gotten into you, but the rot that you’ve put out is extraordinary. Ghastly! Poems; prose; those short, witty thingies - vile, the lot of it. Ought not to be allowed!
If you’d have been in my regiment (and I sincerely wish you had), I would have had the lot of you lined up against a wall and shot. Prejudicial to the public morale and all that. Got to make an example! I’ve written to the PM to see if there isn’t some legal way to get you shut down. Until then, a turn in ranks might knock some sense into you.
Maj. PRetQ Sir Horace Stuffington - Windbag, DSO, OBE, BEM
RATHER MORE POLITE LETTERS
Furthermore, we believe it behooves us as gentlemen to give our thoughtful opinion in response to our readers' requests for guidance. This is not legal advice. -EDS.
It is with heavy heart that I write this letter. I shouldn’t like to trouble you, but I fear that I have no one else to whom I can turn in this matter. As you have a reputation as men of discretion and learning, I hope that you will help me.
My son, Gervase, is such a promising boy. Tall, handsome, so very clever, he’s a delight to his father and me. He has been reading the law at Lincoln’s Inn and hopes to be called to the bar in a very short while. I assure you, gentlemen, that Gervase is a bright boy and will make a wonderful lawyer. All the same, he’s taken up with a villainous little band of fellow-students and quite forgotten his studies. He’ll meet them at the Robe and Wig, or else the Three Scrolls, and they’ll stay out all night talking of - gentlemen, I hesitate to say, but you must know the truth - talking of poetry!
Time was that Gervase would come home spinning fancies about John Austin and Bartholemew Gosnold, but now he’ll hardly talk of anything except Byron and Keats. His father and I are worried half to death, and I have no idea what to do.
Oh gentlemen, won’t you talk some sense into my son?
Your humble servant,
If we may presume to say so, we are as shocked as you. The very idea that a young man should idolize such poets is more than we feared was possible even in this ignorant and degenerate age.
He ought to have learned long before reaching the Inn that Keats' method allows of no imitation, and everyone knows Byron's mode of life was fundamentally unsound. We recommend a course of humanistic reeducation, beginning with good old sensible Horace. Should he desire lighter reading in the modern languages, we don't hesitate to recommend Ben Jonson and the learned Dr. Donne as models of decorum.
Under this program we may hope for a speedy recovery.
As ever, madame, your gallant advisors,