We believe it fair to present our readers' views without censorship or further comment.
Dear Mister Editors,
My name is Alice and I am five years old. I live in a big house and I’m very fond of Christmas. Nurse reads to me from your magazine and sometimes I cry. Mother says that Santa brings presents to people who are good. Do other little children cry when they hear your poems? You must be bad. Because I want to be good I want to ask you to stop writing your magazine so Santa will bring me presents. Thank you and have a merry Christmas.
I had the opportunity to read your recent ALEMBICK, XIV.I, and felt compelled to pass comment on the quality of the poetry therein. I hesitate over the term poetry, Sirs, for what you have published is surely the basest of verse. Mr. Ellihew, I was shocked to find, took pains to rhyme ‘bastion for’ with ‘fashion wore,’ while M. de Ploum was, sadly, unstinting in his praise of the American Continental Army.
As you prepare your next issue, Sirs, I would recount to you a maxim found in Sanford: He that goeth to bedde wyth Doggerel aryseth with fleas.
I remain, Sirs,
Your Humble Servant,
A. de Testèr
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.
I wish to buy my brother a book as a token of my affection for him at this holiday season. He is certainly the only member of our family with a literary inclination and, as you are reputed to be men of letters, I thought it prudent to ask your advice before visiting the booksellers.
I know that my brother is fond of Surtees, and that he enjoys the works of Charles Hamilton. He takes several periodicals, notably the Illustrated Sporting News and the Hound-Meeting Gazette. You will appreciate, Sirs, that he reads poetry, particularly Kipling, and he has also suggested an affection for Whiffle’s work on porciculture.
I am afraid that such literature is far above my own tastes as a reader, and I trust, Sirs, that you might be able to recommend a work of culture and distinction that my brother will enjoy.
John P. Brane
Dear Mr. Brane,
As much as we might be inclined to recommend the Alembick itself as the gift best befitting this occasion, we know we must recommend not what we prefer but what we believe your brother would prefer. Might we therefore suggest that you gift your brother, instead of a book, a case of fine Madeira? It would be to everybody’s satisfaction.