Page:Good Wives.djvu/380

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.



HAPPY THOUGHTS. By F. C. Burnand. Price, in Cloth, $1.00; in Illuminated Paper Covers, 75 cents.

From the London Athenæum.

"Of the many 'Happy Thoughts' which have occurred either to Mr. Burnand or his hero, the thought of having such thoughts is the happiest. As we read, we laugh and we admire. Mr. Burnand is so fertile in extravagant comedy, that we have no other resource; but, at least, our laughter is genuine. We do not feel ashamed of having been amused. There is no painful feeling of humiliation afterwards, like the 'next morning' which follows a revel. We may say of Mr. Burnand's fun, that there is not a headache in a hogshead of it. Utterly ludicrous as his characters are, they are neither monstrosities nor abortions. They are exaggerations of what is perfectly real, living 'humors,' combined too copiously, but not invented. But then he overlays them with such a vivid wealth of caricature that we forget our first impression, and give ourselves up to the most uncritical enjoyment. . . . . We cannot decide whether we ought to quote or not; we find ourselves again reading and laughing: and, after all, we resolve upon sending our readers to the book itself, that they may read and laugh with us."

From the London Spectator.

"'Happy Thought!' (Mr. Burnand must have said to himself when he reprinted these papers)—'puzzle the critics.' The present critic confesses himself puzzled. There is such a fund of humor in every page of the book that calm analysis is out of the question. Mr. Burnand is not only comic, but he knows it and he means it. He contrives the most ludicrous situations and thrusts his man into them simply to see what he will say. It is not enough that his man should drink too much at a club dinner, and take short-hand notes of his inarticulate phrases, but he must go and have a serious interview with his 's'lic'tor,' merely in order that his note-book may record all the stages in the typical development of drunkenness. This interview with the solicitor is, perhaps, the most characteristic part of the book. It is marked by more than Mr Burnand's usual daring. The idea of a man writing down in a note-book, 'Happ Thght.—Go to bed in my boots,' is not comic if you try to analyze it. But then you don't analyze it. You accept it without scrutiny. You know the whole thing is a caricature, and so long as you laugh heartily you don't ask whether this or that detail is out of drawing. If you did, the absurdity of a man who can't speak plainly writing down his words exactly as he pronounces them would of course shock your nice sense of proportion. Somehow or other, it does not shock ours. We are in Mr. Burnand's hands. He may do what he likes with us."

From the Pall Mall Gazette.

"It is a handsome little book, and as good as it is good-looking. We do not know when we have seen more fun, or a truer or better kind of fun, than that which sparkles from end to end of Mr. Burnand's brochure."

From The London Review.

"Mr. Burnand is a skilled inventor of clever nonsense, and there is this peculiarity about his fooling which distinguishes it from funny writing in general,—he is never vulgar. A more idle book could not, perhaps, be bought, or one which a reader would sooner buy when he or she wanted to feel idle. It needs no more effort to take in what Mr. Burnand wishes to say than it does to smoke a cigar. . . . . He only aims to amuse, and he succeeds admirably."

Mailed to any address, post-paid, on receipt of the advertised price.

ROBERTS BROTHERS, Publishers, Boston.