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and leaded or double-leaded matter, with blank space left in the proper manner, so that the work shall stare out from among the average platitude of advertising columns, a Luna inter, minora sidera; a pyramid upon the desert.

I am astonished at myself, when I reflect what a structure I erected upon this occasion, to be displayed in the pages of the able newspaper presswhat a fairy-like edifice, hued over in turret and balcony with golden sunlights or vivid rainbows of promise, founded below upon such a massive substructure of deep and solid knowledge, and stanchioned throughout with such stiffness in the shape of maxims and axioms of business and ethics!

Topmost in the print were sundry short shouts in big or "bold-faced " type, followed by names of officers and trustees, somewhat as follows:


Sound Business and Speedy Riches!

Seize the Golden Opportunity!

tice, as it went along, to Baku and the Sacred Fire, Rangoon, and Arracan and Rainanghong, Zante and Trinidad, Parma and Modena, and so forth, and ended with a spirited climax, showing how Western Pennsylvania excelled all these, how Venango County excelled all the rest of Western Pennsylvania, and how the oil-lands of the N. Y. & L. P. Co. excelled still more all the rest of Venango County.

2. THE SCIENTIFIC, in which I showed: a. exactly how the petroleum got into the ground.

b. exactly how to get it out.

c. exactly how to manufacture and refine it, and

d. exactly what could be done with it.

3. THE BUSINESS; where, by a brief and irrefutable computation, I demonstrated that subscribers must in six months be in the receipt of an Independent Fortune from each hundred shares; stating the amount of petroleum in the world, the demand for it, the price, and the quantity to a gallon which the Company must necessarily be receiving within three months at

The New York and London Petroleum furthest-a flood that their mightiest


Capital Stock One Million Dollars!

Shares Ten Dollars Each.

A Limited Number for Sale at Five Dollars, to


Wells already Supplying Oil.


Hon. Philander Flutterbug,

Philetus Fips, Esq.,

Bartram Biffles, Esq.,


eic., etc., etc.


struggle could scarce avert, should they once open the door of their Fountain in the Rocks; and lastly:

4. THE HIGH MORAL; in which I gravely and weightily reprobated all deceits, illusions, and misrepresentations, especially in business; showed how the Officers and Trustees of the Company could not make any thing if Secretary. they would, and would not if they could, out of the Company's enterprise, except, of course, the modest salaries of the officers and legitimate dividends on the stock held by all of them (held, by the way, to prove the unaffected sincerity with which they were nurturing their oily offspring, the Company); how the Company was thus, in fact, rather a benevolent institution for the practical exemplification of lofty ethical principles of the Golden Rule as applied to business, and of ascetic self-denial on the part of the managers, than a mere vulgar corporation.

After this skirmish-line marched the main body of the ad, in four corps or chapters, to wit:

1. THE HISTORICAL, briefly and ably summarizing the Petroliacs of the World. This treatise began at the slime which the builders of Babel had for mortar, and the slime-pits of which the vale of Siddim was full, where the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled and fell before Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, Tidal king of nations et al. It did jus

I have a copy of this performance

by me, and it is with the greatest grief that I refrain from printing it here in full, it is so beautifully done! But the Editor, upon my intimating something of the sort, was so strangely cold and repellent in his answer, that I forbear.

Well; so far, so good. I had my document printed and made into a circular. I took it to Spreademout & Co., and by the force of the facts I could vouch for and those I believed in together, along with some small personal influence upon their manager, and the general operation of the Credit Principle, I contrived to get the necessary three months on the bill; and the ad was in a few days shouting at the top of its stud-horse and display head-line and doubled-leaded-matter voice up and down the land, through the innumerable trumpets of the thirty-five best advertising newspapers in the United States.

Along with this multitudinous appeal, I moreover caused, wherever it was possible, the insertion of an editorial recommending the "New York and London Petroleum Company." In this part of my plan, I am bound to confess that I met unexpected difficulty, few editors consenting to any such endorsement. But I had one glorious success in it, namely, with Mr. Gorum, into whose really influential newspaper I bought an editorial that did us "lots of good." It ought to; for I paid that extortionating old scalper Five Dollars a Line for one insertion. But I drew that editorial myself; and in it that highly influential and prominent paper in express terms said that our enterprise was sound and safe, our Company strong, our views most fair and intelligent, our profits perfectly certain, our men able, wise, and honest, and investments with us unprecedently desirable. Gorum did skin us, that's the factbut we got our skin's worth, that's equally the fact! I do suppose that that one editorial brought us in not less than One Hundred Thousand Dollars in actual money. Didn't we send it "flying all abroad" in the country papers,

credited to Gorum's big metropolitan weekly! And didn't the letters come in by scores, beginning, "Having noticed the recommendation of your Company, given by the N. Y. Weekly - !"

I thought I knew the force of puffing. But the result of that joint machination of Fips & Gasby was-as I once heard a Pennsylvanian say "a huckleberry above my persimmons." It is my present belief that Anything can be done by advertising. If Archimedes had had that engine at command, he would not have gone snivelling about after a Pou Sto. He could have moved the world by liberally printing the advertisements which I, Ananias Gasby, would have drafted for him at the most reasonable rates, having at the same time bought a "stunning " editorial endorsement in Gorum's paper! He would have shouted Eureka! and run about en déshabille for a whole week, instead of twenty minutes.

This great splash of success, however, I did not learn for two or three weeks, as I had to be away from New York on a reporting expedition. During my absence I will candidly confess that I had from time to time sundry doubts about the Company, although my meditations were mainly in rose-pink. My cash; my stock;-those were no contemptible sums to a drudging sub. But there was something beyond. I knew that while the advertising already engaged would inaugurate success, if success was to come to pass at all, yet that a much larger measure of advertising would be necessary for completing the sale of all the stock. And (I would not tell this to every body-but you, dear reader, are surely a friend worthy of confidence ?) I might well hope to obtain from my commission allowed by the advertising agents money enough to enable me to live six months. In that time I could complete MY NOVEL. Most of us have begun a novel. And I shall lack no sympathy for the throb of delight which such a possibility gave to my poor over-drudged heart, sneakingly confident of the materials for famous romances, smothered as yet under the

dry crust of newspaper slavery, as flower-seeds lie ingerminate beneath the cloddy surface of some neglected and trampled and sunbaked border. And, as in some valley of dry bones, all my poor little heroes and heroines began to stir out of their death and rise up and take on their harmless fineries, and talk and be brave and lovely and good, and fall in love as of old.

Well; I came back, and quickly I went down to the offices of "The New York and London Petroleum Company," which I had not yet seen, at least since they were fully fitted up. I found them very solidly and impressively furnished in green Brussels and reps and black-walnut woodwork. There was a monstrous safe for the books and securities of the Co., a great regulator-clock to economize accurately the invaluable time of the Co., a massive rail to keep folks out of the business precinct. There were sundry pictures of things oleaginous. One was a vast Refinery, with acres of sheds, a front of smoking chimneys, and innumerable barrels, all supposed to show how and where part of the Oil of the Co. was preparing for market. Another showed a broad valley with ever so many derricks and engines busily at work, boring the wells of the Co., or raising the oil of the Co. And so on. There was a fine portrait (in oils) of the Honorable Philander Flutterbug, President of the Co., in a thoughtful attitude, gazing upon a vial of petroleum with a wise and bland and yet reverential expression, as if to intimate that there was a Palladium in that vial, and he knew exactly how to guard and invoke the Palladium. Then there was an inner office, a special" sanctum " for the same respected and venerable man. And then, laid out on the solid new desks, were the solid new books with the entries of the vast cash receipts of the Co. therein. And envelopes and writing-paper lay about, with the insignia and title of the Co. blazoned at large thereupon in the most flamboyant man

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similar to that in the portrait of Mr. President Flutterbug; uniform in shape and size, but containing varieties of the Oil of the Co.—the very wealth itself, which all this stateliness and splendor was evoking from the depths, and whose presence there (in a manner) proved the whole. Oil? Why, there is the very stuff-right there. Take it in your hand-shake it about. Smell of it. Taste of it, if you want to. Don't sputter! Can unlimited wealth have a disagreeable taste? At any rate, there can be no doubt, while you hold that in your hand, of the immense success of the Co.! Some of this Oil was lim pid as distilled water; some was of a delicate straw-color like Niersteiner; some of a strong amber hue like pale sherry; and one specimen was of a dark and mottled green, heavily-moving; a slab and slimy mixture. And on the whole, every thing was very trim and fresh and business-like and prosperous and oily indeed.

All these things I had time to observe while waiting for the arrival of Mr. Vice-President Fips. And I had further time to gaze through the plate-glass windows at the improving prospect just across Vicar-street, of the tombs and grave-stones in the ancient buryingground that lies there, so silent and calm, at the very heart of the furiouslythrobbing business life of the great city; and to experience the sobering, and perhaps chilling influence of those ancient memorials of cold death, brought so close to my overworked and fatigued mind, like ice laid upon a feverish forehead. And also I had time to reflect a little upon my darling novel, and to consider whether it would be better to have Arthur slender and tall and erect as a pine-tree, or deep-chested and powerfully knit.

To me thus musing, entered first Mr. Secretary Biffles-a jolly, blonde, rattlepated young fellow, quick-witted enough and of good business abilities, but not of a very solid or lofty character-a fit assistant for the heavy yet nervous gravity of Fips. I had a chatting acquaintance with Biffles, and after a

pleasant exchange of congratulations on the prosperity of the Company, I casually inquired about the charming varieties of the vials of oil. We were on the esoteric footing of fellow-originators of the Company, of course; but I was sufficiently startled at the answer which Biffles made, with his jolly laugh, and evidently thinking it the funniest thing possible.

"Ha! ha ha! Certainly, certainly. My dear fellow-between ourselves, you know-that's the whole of the oil now belonging to the Company. We paid ten dollars for that assortment. There's a fellow that sells those sets to all the new companies, and a very pretty thing he makes of it!"

Up to this moment I had had no tangible reason for distrust. I don't think I showed any signs of it just then either; at least, I saw none reflected in the features of the bustling young secretary, as he proceeded to set about his day's work. But I could not help a conviction that this brazen parade of a deliberate dozen of lies bottled and set out on purpose, was an index of worse and deeper deceits.

While I thus meditated, Mr. Fips came in. My first glance showed me that something was changed. True, the worthy gentleman smiled exactly as he always did, shook hands with me, and observed with a certain fervor, "Gasby, you're a good fellow." But this was business; he did it by rule, as he filed papers. The thing that I felt was an indefinable something in his whole manner. My instincts are true and quick about such things. I instantly said to myself, He don't want to see me; and again, He feels big. And-like a fool, I suppose-I instantly began to be angry at him, and to feel both contempt and wrath at the vapid pompous ways of the fellow, whereas I had before always found them perfectly tolerable, and even amusing.

However, he tried hard to be exactly as polite as usual; and seeing that he wanted me not to know his feelings, I did not show that I did. He showed me all the fittings and decorations in

the office that I had already seen; praised the place; praised himself for venturing to hire it, for having originated and built up the Company, for having managed the advertising so well

"Oh, ho!" I thought. "Then I had nothing to do with securing you the three months' credit which set you afloat?" But I said not a word.


"What do you think, Gasby," at last summed up the excellent man, we have deposited One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars in bank, up to this day."

I was really astonished now, and said so.

"Yes, sir," continued Fips, making a round O of his mouth and lifting his eyebrows so as to make two other round O's of his eyes, "and we are receiving from One Thousand to Five Thousand Dollars a-day now."

I said my astonishment again, and added,

"Don't let prosperity ruin you, Mr. Fips. Don't be caught asking whether this is not great Babylon that you have built."

The worthy Vice-President looked a little disturbed, as he had always done when I had used any jocular expressions; for the ironic method, as well as all the other humorous phases of thought, were foreign to his mind; and he turned the subject by inviting me into the inner office, where we sat down, and I proceeded at once to business. First of all I presented my bill against the Company for services, which was paid as per agreement, cash in part and a memorandum certificate of my shares of stock in full to balance.

Next I asked of the welfare and advancement of the business of the Company, and especially about its oil-property-what lands and wells had been bought; how far they were advanced towards actual shipments of crude oil to refineries or to a market. In reply, Mr. Fips very readily furnished me a printed schedule of items of real estate, paid for, and of which the deeds were all duly executed and recorded.

"Well," I said, "the good ship is safely embarked on her voyage, Mr. Fips. I congratulate you on an enterprise so evidently successful. I take it for granted that an assignment of stock was provided for yourself for your time and trouble and services in organizing and managing the Company. Mr. Fips, counting that, and adding regular salary, you are worth at least Fifty Thousand Dollars to-day, aren't you?"

He hesitated a moment. I resumed, cheerfully, "All made out of your own especial enterprise here in about a month. An independent fortune!"

My tone of admiration kindled his vanity. "Yes," he said, with a good deal of pomp, 66 yes, Fifty Thousand?

I call myself worth twice that!"

"Better than niggling round to get two-hundred-dollar commissions out of old Gorum, and then having him scalp you out of 'em just because he can," I answered. "But see here, this is what I came to say. Now is your time to change your advertisement. This one that's running now won't fill your subscription. It only tells what we are going to do. We've got land and money. We ought now to tell what we have done. This ad has set things agoing. Now there should be another; longer, larger, grander, in five times as many newspapers. With one such bold and decided investment every share of this stock can be sold. Don't you see it?"

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"Eighteen thousand?" said I. "It is one and eight-tenths per cent. on a million. You would secure that subscription dog-cheap for such an outlay. And you know well enough that I know how to make an advertisement tell."

Hmm," "reflected Fips again. It is odd, but that man always looked foolishest when he tried to be wisest.

"Ye-es," he said again, as if thinking "ye-es. I had thought of doing that advertising. It would be well. Ye-es.-Fifteen hundred dollars." He looked at me with an expression as if he meant to show a kind of surprise at the amount. "That's a great deal of money, Mr. Gasby-a great deal of money!"

Well, Fips spoke the truth, so far as I was concerned. For poor me, it was indeed a great deal of money—more, ten times over, than in my drudging newspaper-hack's life I had ever possessed at one time. Potentially, it was far more than the hundred thousand dollars which I was really well pleased to see Fips enjoy so keenly. For him, the money was simply money. For me, that fifteen hundred dollars would open the door of a whole year of freedom-a golden year of liberty for my soul, in which to speak my best thoughts in my best words-to paint all the beautiful forms and noble deeds, the fresh characters and striking thoughts that had so long lived and shone in my mind, and which I had so patiently endured not to write. I was sure I could write a good Romance. If I should, my own chosen career lay open before me. If not, still it was worth a world to make the trial, and know at least what I could not do.

The intensity of such longings is indescribable and unintelligible, except to those who have themselves felt the yearning, painful wish of creative impulses ungratified-the artist's own pain. Such thoughts had been whirling and seething in my mind ever since the advertisement business had been put into my hands. As Fips spoke, they danced and glittered before me with more enticing charms than ever, all summoned up in one bright band by

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