by the Author of Bodwyn Wook & other japes
AS I am a great Lover of all Works of ingenuity, so more especially am I a great Admirer & Student of those Labours of the Learned, called Web-logs & Web Sites….
My present design there fore is to give to the Publick a short essay, upon the Talents requisite in an Weblog-Writer, by which ’twill appear plainly, how much our community On-line is indebted to Persons of such great and uncommon Parts & Sagacity.
An Weblog-Writer, Ladies & Gentlemen, should be born one like a Poet; for truly it is written among the Works of the learned, Poeta nascitur non fit; so it is a Maxim with me, that Weblogorum scriptor nascitur non fit. Gifts of Nature, compleated by Rules of Art, are indispensably Necessary to make a great Man or Woman this way, as well as any other.
The first Thing requisite in an Weblog-Writer, is (and this, alas, is too-oft overlooked, in the General & Common push To-day to get On-line), That he or she should be descended of a great Family, and bear a Coat of Arms, than without the which no Success is either Deserved, nor is it Worthy. This alone gives Lustre & Authority to what is written, and makes the common people to believe, that certainly this is a great Thinker & Writer. I know of Weblog-Writers so curious and exact in this matter, that they have been at the Expence and Charge of a Photo Shoppe produc’d Image in their Home Page, with their Arms emblazon’d, and surrounded with an Label, expressing the Name of that Family. This, Ladies & Gentleman, makes a great Impression, I confess, upon myself and others, and it makes those Works to go off well.
If the Author who was born to be an Weblog-Writer, has the Misfortune meanly to be descended of the Late Immigration & Of Fore Bears none English-Speaking, but yet, has a true Genius; if he has by him, or can borrow of a Book or an Link on-line, he may safely borrow then a Coat of the Peerage of England by reason, we are so great a Way distant from the Lord Pursuivant of Arms of that Part of Great-Britain call’d England.
The next Talent requisite in the forming of a compleat Weblog-Writer, is a Sort of Gravity, which keeps a due medium between Dulness & Nonsence, and yet has withal an Mixture of both. Now you, Ladies & Gentlemen, know alike that grave Men & Ladies are taken by the common people always for wise Men & Ladies. Gravitas is just as good a Picture of Wisdom, as Pertness there fore is, and levitas of wit, and there fore very taking. And so to compleat an Weblog-Writer, in this particular, the Author should write Sentences and throw out Hints that neither Himself nor Herself, nor any Body else can understand or know the Meaning of. I will give you from mine own Work some instances of this Way of writing, which are almost inimitable, such as these, St. Peter, Jan. 23. 1996. Be ware, the Design is suspected. Feb. 23. The World is Bad with somebody. Mar. 17. Crimes not remitted. April 10. Palid Hilary in Aught but muff appears. May 1. The Sword of Satan is drawn. June 7. The Cat eat the Candle. Now, Ladies & Gentlemen, why should the Sword of Satan be drawn to kill the Cat on the very May Day, when it plainly appears On-line, that the Cat did not eat the Candle till the 7th of June following? This Question no Man but an Astrologer, or an Weblog-Writer of parts can possibly answer.
In the next place, I lay it down as a certain Maxim or Position, that an Web-Log Writer should not be a finish’d Poet but a piece of one, and qualify’d to write, what we vulgarly call Doggerel; and that his Poetry shou’d bear a near Resemblance to his Prose. In what follows, then I draw upon my own Case & Success:
A Farting Horse will never Tire
The Farting Man’s the Man to Hire.
‘Tis so, there were formal Rules once on a Time, for poesis among the Antients & Moderns, but, the Post-modern have found these troublesome, and you may See there fore, from mine own example how the art-ful Weblog-Writer may well achieve a work of Reform of the Publick taste. By subtile steps, and little by little He or She may re-introduce the Passion for Ars poetica, among Our common readers.
I could further prove to you, if I was to go about it, That an Weblog-Writer ought not only to be a piece of Wit, but a very Wag; and that He or She shou’d have the Art also to make people believe, that He or She is almost a sofee Conjurer &c. But these Things I reserve for my greater Work now in hand, and here by To-day give notice of subscription, to the compleat Work now in Press, 382 pp 8vo in Leather bound &c, a piece Twenty-one Shillings sterling.
(w/apologies, to Dr Franklin, of Old Philadelphia.)
[Emmett R Smith all rights reserved 7 June 2006]