From: Kobboltozo: A Sequel to the Last of the Huggermuggers (1869)
Author: Christopher Pearse Cranch
Published: Lee and Shepard 1869 Boston
Mr. Scrawler laughs to scorn our slender juvenile publication, which he stigmatizes as “a penny-trumpet affair—a cobweb to catch flies—a flimsy, childish, weak, uncalled-for, not-to-be-thought-of-for-a-moment tissue of absurdities.” “Why,” he exclaims, “bring out these great scientific facts in the light form of a story-book for children? The sensible Bostonians, New Yorkers, Philadelphians, and all the sensible American citizens in general, demand more solid food. Has, for instance, anything been said in this gilded child’s-rattle of a book, of the geology or botany of the giant’s island—of the height and breadth of Huggermugger and his wife—of the shape and dimensions of Huggermugger Hall—of Huggermugger’s farm-yard—of the vegetables, the fruits, the bread, the meat, the frogs, the fish, and especially of the enormous and singular ‘clams’ which formed his daily food? Or of the clothes the giants wore, how they were obtained, of what stuff they were woven—and who were Huggermugger’s tailors, who his hatters, who his suspender-makers, who taught him English, who supplied him with tobacco, and pipes, and ale? Or has anything been said of the community of dwarfs, of their habits, size, appearance, language, &c., &c.? What presumption,” he adds, “for any one to come before the public, (were it only the juvenile public) with such a lame, one-sided, pitiful statement of facts, with nothing to recommend them but the clap-trap trickery and varnish of the story form. The whole thing,” he says,” is unworthy a man of sense and thought.”
Mr. Scrawler intimates that, of course, he would have given a very different title to his book, and would have shone resplendent on the title-page with a very choice and appropriate motto from Shakspeare—in the following style:—
Like a Colossus, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs”—
That he is grown so great?”
Mr. Scrawler goes on in this vein, boastful of himself and vituperative of us, and concludes with vaguely hinting at a lawsuit.
In our little story we briefly stated our reasons, in a note, for proceeding to print our account. Some years had elapsed, and Mr. Scrawler’s work had not appeared. We heard also, from pretty good authority, that he had shown portions of his book, as far as it was written, to several publishers, who threw buckets of cold water upon his ardent hopes, and not only declined to publish such “solid”—they even said “heavy”—writing, but advised him outright to discontinue it, and take to something else for a living.
We have also been scolded and threatened in another quarter. Mr. Alonzo Scratchaway, the artist who accompanied the Nabbum expedition, threatens to indict us for stealing his illustrations and spoiling them. He says he intended to have brought out a folio edition (as big as Audubon’s Birds) of colored lithograph Huggermugger illustrations, designed to accompany Scrawler’s work, as an atlas accompanies a geography—“and he’ll do it yet, whether Scrawler publishes or not. None of your petty wood-cuts,” says Scratchaway, “but something as grand and original as Retsch, or Flaxman, or Gustave Doré.”
Here I believe we get to the end of our troubles on the score of our (as we thought) inoffensive little book. We believe that Mr. Zebedee Nabbum has not yet complained of misrepresentation as to his character or dialect; that Little Jacket (or Mr. John Cable) does not look otherwise than favorably on our narrative of his curious adventures, and that Mr. Barnum is above imputing any ill feeling in the allusions we have made to his name.
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