The Amateur’s Credo


From Amateur Movie Makers, 1928.

A Song, by William Wallace

Where is my Native Land?
   Where the East sparkles?
Where the wide, wooded West
   By the sea darkles?
Where the soft, sunny South,
   Like a bride glowing,
Sees the proud sun in state
   To her couch going?
Whre the great Nor’ winds march
   On their trumps blowing?
      Where is my Native Land?

That is my Native Land
   Where the East sparkles;
Where the wide, wooded West
   By the sea darkles.
South and north! alike
   Ye claim my being:
All races are the same
   To the All-Seeing.
Down with the feudal lie!
   Man is my brother:
God is my Father, and
   Earth is my Mother.
      The World is my Native Land.

——William Ross Wallace in Holden’s Dollar Magazine, 1849.

A Precise Geometrical Description

His hair, from much running of fingers through it, radiates in all directions, and surrounds his head like a halo of glory, or like the corollary of Euc. I.32.

——Charles Dodgson, Euclid and His Modern Rivals.

A Good Laugh


Teague at the President’s Levee, by F. O. C. Darley, illustrating a scene in Modern Chivalry.

Many will, perhaps, turn up their noses, and throw the book away with contempt; saying, “of what use is all this—a book without ideas, or only such as have no other effect than to cause a laugh!” And does he accomplish nothing who can do this? What is there which so much conduces to health? When I get a man to laugh, I put him in a good humour with himself, and his neighbour. Nothing does a man more good than a hearty laugh, and if it does him good, is it not of use to him? Here then is an argument strictly utilitarian, according to the most rigid rules of logic.

—Hugh Henry Brackenridge, Modern Chivalry.

Artemus Ward on Grammar

A writer who can’t write in a grammerly manner better shut up shop.

—London Punch Letters.