Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 3
An Odd Sort
An Odd Sort.
Dear Reader! Were you ever an apprentice to a printing firm? Did you ever sweep the floor and put the pie in your pocket, so that you would not have to dis. it? Did you ever have to clear away a parcel of jobbing pie, and get bewildered even to distraction over the want of harmony between great-primer and two-line brevier spaces, and others as nearly approximating? Did you ever tax the patience of a comp by continually asking, « Please, sir, where does this letter go? » or « What space is this, sir? » or « Will you reach me down that 2-line great primer black case, sir? » and did that man ever turn on you with bitter sarcasm and remark with a withering glance « Haven't you got any fingers? » « Where are your eyes? » and « Why don't you grow? » Ah me, don't I remember those days. I was such a little chap, and our racks were built up pretty high. I laugh over it now as I think of the little fellow carrying round a box as big as himself. I have always felt a strong sympathy with David Copperfield's boyhood days, and also with Oliver Twist, which I think is owing to the smallness of my own stature when a boy. It was not very pleasant to have rehearsed to one every day such recipes as these:— « Do you want to grow?—then hang on to the door half an hour every day. Eat plenty of burgoo. Sleep with your head and heels tied to each end of your bedstead. Practice standing on nothing. Hang on to to the door with your mother's flat irons tied to your heels, » &c., &c. One day I was clearing away some pie, when I came across a lot of great primer quads and one other quad of which there was no space or letter of a like kind among the stuff. It wasn't 2-line brevier and it wasn't great primer. What was I to do? I did not like to ask my tutor, for I had already used up all his poor stock of patience. Oh, thought I, as I cannot find the case, I'll stick it among the great primers, (which I had already put away). No one will know, so it will be all right. Away went I to the great primer antique case, and turning over some of the quads I put in my friendless one, covered it over, and was turning away to pursue the even tenor of my way, when—yes, my little game was upset. My tutor quietly turning over the g.p's. until he had found the cause of my trouble held it up for the examination of the room, remarking « Is this how you put away your pie? » I had a most uncomfortable quarter-of-an-hour, and when the proper case was shown to me I found it was a bastard shaded letter. That incident was so strongly impressed on my mind that I doubt whether I shall ever forget it, and I have never since been tempted to put an assortment of pie « anywhere out of sight » but I have thought of the bastard, and the memory has had the right effect.