a paper when it is lying on the smoking-room table, and tell you it is damned good, but the people that plank down their penny. Thats the sort we want.
Peter Hope, able editor, with ideals, was shockedindignant. William Clodd, business man, without ideals, talked figures.
Theres the advertiser to be thought of, persisted Clodd. I dont pretend to be a George Washington, but whats the use of telling lies that sound like lies, even to ones self while ones telling them? Give me a genuine sale of twenty thousand, and Ill undertake, without committing myself, to convey an impression of forty. But when the actual figures are under eight thousandwell, it hampers you, if you happen to have a conscience.
Give them every week a dozen columns of good, sound literature, continued Clodd insinuatingly, but wrap it up in twenty-four columns of jam. Its the only way theyll take it, and you will be doing them goodeducating them without their knowing it. All powder and no jam! Well, they dont open their mouths, thats all.
Clodd was a man who knew how to get his way. Flippspelled PhilipTweetel arrived in due course of time at 23, Crane Court, ostensibly to take up the position of Good Humours office-boy; in reality, and without his being aware of it, to act as its literary taster. Stories in which Flipp became absorbed were accepted. Peter groaned, but contented himself with correcting only their grosser grammatical blunders; the experiment should be tried in all good faith. Humour at which Flipp laughed was printed. Peter tried to ease his conscience by increasing his subscription to the fund for destitute compositors, but only partially succeeded. Poetry that brought a tear to the eye of Flipp was given leaded type. People of taste and judgment said Good Humour had disappointed them. Its circulation, slowly but steadily, increased.
See! cried the delighted Clodd; told you so!
Its sad to think began Peter.
Always is, interrupted Clodd cheerfully. Moraldont think too much.
Tell you what well do, added Clodd. Well make a fortune out of this paper. Then when we can afford to lose a little money, well launch a paper that shall appeal only to the intellectual portion of the public. Meanwhile
A squat black bottle with a label attached, standing on the desk, arrested Clodds attention.
When did this come? asked Clodd.
About an hour ago, Peter told him.
Any order with it?
I think so. Peter searched for and found a letter addressed to William Clodd, Esq., Advertising Manager, Good Humour. Clodd tore it open, hastily devoured it.
Not closed up yet, are you?
No, not till eight oclock.
Good! I want you to write me a par. Do it now, then you wont forget it. For the Walnuts and Wine column.
Peter sat down, headed a sheet of paper: For W. and W. Col.
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