Monday, October 6, 2008

flinty editorial bosom

Mrs. Oliphant to Mr. Blackwood*

Willowburn, Roseneath

I am very sorry to hear of your accident, which certainly, however, must have been a trick of Apollo--isn't he the patron of your trade?--in the interests of literature. I will give your message to Mr. Story, who is at present suffering all those qualms of fear and hope and suspense common to literary aspirants, and regarding you, I suppose, as I remember doing, as a mysterious fate whose decisions are as absolute as they are inscrutable. The pangs you inflict upon poor authors ought to overshadow your dreams; only I fear our sighs and sorrows awake but little emotion in the flinty editorial bosom.

* Major William Blackwood, of Blackwood's Magazine.

-from The Autobiography and Letters of Mrs. M. O. W. Oliphant / arranged and edited by Mrs. Harry Coghill (Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1899) pp. 153.

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