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Shandygaff   By: (1890-1957)

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A number of most agreeable Inquirendoes upon Life & Letters, interspersed with Short Stories & Skits, the whole most Diverting to the Reader

[Illustration: Photo by Charles H. Davis



I wanted to call these exercises "Casual Ablutions," in memory of the immortal sign in the washroom of the British Museum, but my arbiter of elegance forbade it. You remember that George Gissing, homeless and penniless on London streets, used to enjoy the lavatory of the Museum Reading Room as a fountain and a shrine. But the flinty hearted trustees, finding him using the wash stand for bath tub and laundry, were exceeding wroth, and set up the notice


I would like to issue the same warning to the implacable reader: these fugitive pieces, very casual rinsings in the great basin of letters, must not be too bitterly resented, even by their publishers. To borrow O. Henry's joke, they are more demitasso than Tasso.

The real purpose in writing books is to have the pleasure of dedicating them to someone, and here I am in a quandary. So many dedications have occurred to me, it seems only fair to give them all a chance.

I thought of dedicating the book to CLAYTON SEDGWICK COOPER The Laird of Westcolang

I thought of dedicating to the TWO BEST BOOK SHOPS IN THE WORLD Blackwell's in Oxford and Leary's in Philadelphia

I thought of dedicating to THE 8:13 TRAIN

I thought of dedicating to EDWARD PAGE ALLINSON The Squire of Town's End Farm Better known as Mifflin McGill In affectionate memory of Many unseasonable jests

I thought of dedicating to PROFESSOR FRANCIS B. GUMMERE From an erring pupil

I thought of dedicating to FRANCIS R. BELLAMY Author of "The Balance" Whose Talent I Revere, But Whose Syntax I Deplore

I thought of dedicating to JOHN N. BEFFEL My First Editor Who insisted on taking me seriously

I thought of dedicating to GUY S.K. WHEELER The Lion Cub

I thought of dedicating to ROBERT CORTES HOLLIDAY The Urbanolater

I thought of dedicating to SILAS ORRIN HOWES Faithful Servant of Letters

But my final and irrevocable decision is to dedicate this book to THE MIEHLE PRINTING PRESS More Sinned Against Than Sinning

For permission to reprint, I denounce The New York Evening Post , The Boston Transcript , The Bellman , The Smart Set , The New York Sun , The New York Evening Sun , The American Oxonian , Collier's , and The Ladies' Home Journal .

Wyncote, Pa.

November. 1917.

SHANDYGAFF: a very refreshing drink, being a mixture of bitter ale or beer and ginger beer, commonly drunk by the lower classes in England, and by strolling tinkers, low church parsons, newspaper men, journalists, and prizefighters. Said to have been invented by Henry VIII as a solace for his matrimonial difficulties. It is believed that a continual bibbing of shandygaff saps the will, the nerves, the resolution, and the finer faculties, but there are those who will abide no other tipple.

John Mistletoe: Dictionary of Deplorable Facts .


The Song of Shandygaff Titles and Dedications A Question of Plumage Don Marquis The Art of Walking Rupert Brooke The Man The Head of the Firm 17 Heriot Row Frank Confessions of a Publisher's Reader William McFee Rhubarb The Haunting Beauty of Strychnine Ingo Housebroken The Hilarity of Hilaire A Casual of the Sea The Last Pipe Time to Light the Furnace My Friend A Poet of Sad Vigils Trivia Prefaces The Skipper A Friend of FitzGerald A Venture in Mysticism An Oxford Landlady "Peacock Pie" The Literary Pawnshop A Morning in Marathon The American House of Lords Cotswold Winds Clouds Unhealthy Confessions of a Smoker Hay Febrifuge Appendix: Suggestions for Teachers... Continue reading book >>

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