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This was the style inferential, which Warren made the public familiar with years ago in a pictorial manner, when he depicted the cat spitting at her image reflected in the well-polished boot. There is room for keen wit in advertisements; but we fear the trading mind rarely is equal to it. The tea-dealer, who put up as his sign a tea-chest, and inscribed upon it “ Tu doces," was clearly above the ordinary sort of tradesmen.
There are literary tradesmen, who turn every event to their own advantage in comic verse; but the true style of poetical advertising went out when Robins died'. His advertisements sometimes rose to a height of grandiloquence which really showed genius. For instance, when, on one occasion, after describing a terrestrial paradise, he had the art to make this reservation :“ In fact, there are but two drawbacks to this property, the noise of the nightingales and the litter of the rose leaves." We wonder what has become of the poet Moses used to keep? It is a long time since we have been taken in by a flowery poem ending in the celebrated “Mart.” Possibly, like Southey, he is equally great in prose or verse, for Messrs. Moses have lately, we perceive, put in circulation an essay, entitled “Gossip on Dress; or, Half an Hour's Amusement for our Friends and Constituents ;” and we are compelled to say that this pamphlet is very amusing, and tells us some facts that are new to us. And we can quite forgive the conclusion the essayist comes to, that “people should be almost as particular in the selection of a tailor as in the selection of a family physician;"
or the very palpable hint that that tailor is the inevitable Moses. This little essay marks a new era in advertising, and it certainly is far more calculated to gently instil the wishes of the advertiser than the old stereotyped puffs of that firm.
It is, we think, of vast importance to a man wishing to bring himself prominently before the public, that he should have an uncommon name. If William Smith, for instance, were to advertise his “hats," nobody would remember anything about him, but we defy any person to forget that Harper Twelvetrees gets his living by his Bug-Destroyer. If we were determined to advertise any article, and possessed a commonplace name that would not stick in the public memory, we should take a fresh one for commercial purposes—a good sticking cognomen that would not be forgotten.
In advertising, it is well to beware of feeble attempts. If a man has capital, he should go on until his name might stand for the leading article he sells. For instance, “Watherston and Brogden,” in the public eye, are synonymous with gold chains. If we called a table-knife a “Mappin,” the term would be understood, and time was when a “Doudney” would be translated “over-coat.” This firm somehow seems to have dropped out of the advertising world ; since it has moved westward probably it has grown too genteel to advertise. We question if the public take any heed of the scrawls with whitewash upon walls. It seems, at best, but a cheap and nasty method of puffing goods; moreover, we think people resent the
liberties advertisers sometimes take with private property in this way, and we know they do when public property is made to act as boardman in this impudent manner. For instance, we saw one of the bridges the other day daubed over with the injunction, “Buy your clothes of Moses and Son,” and a certain literary journal some time since posted over all the lamp and other posts along the Bayswater Road with puffing posters. This was a great mistake.
There are certain times when a man is in a mood to read an advertisement, and others when he is not. Two-thirds of the persons, for instance, who have to despatch their breakfast and skim the cream from the Times in ten minutes, never look at an advertisement; in fact, the “double supplement” is only useful to those persons who are in want of something — a very large class,-and not to the mere newsmonger.
There are two places, however, in which we always notice an advertisement, especially a pictorial one — the suburban railway-station and the splash-board of a Hansom cab.
When the mind is undergoing any suspense, it is singularly alive to little trifles that come within its cognizance. Dickens has illustrated this fact in the Trial-scene of Fagin, who, whilst his fate is pending in the jury-box, falls to counting the rails in front of the dock, and wonders how they became broken, and when they were dusted last.
This extraordinary attitude of mind is often found in the railway traveller, who, in a moment of excitement or anxiety, finds himself pacing up and down a platform waiting for a train. On such occasions the reader will, perhaps, remember how deep an impression was made upon his mind by the drawing of Clarke's gigantic manglewurtsel, or of the pictorial illustration of the effect of Thorley's Food for Cattle.
The best spot in the whole world for an advertisement, to our mind, is the little oval splash-board of the Hansom cab which faces you as you sit down. A ride in one of these vehicles is very exhilarating, and the effect upon the brain is to impress objects upon it vividly. Again, it is the only object in the foreground to be seen; and, without doubt, an advertisement in this situation is more deliberately read that in any other place in the world.
Yet what a wide subject Advertising is, and how many people successfully perform it without letting others know what they are about! But the subtle and indirect method of doing it belongs to the Fine-art of Puffing.
A DAY WITH THE CORONER.
The life of a Coroner in a mighty metropolis like London must be an odd one. His grim duty leads him day by day into palaces and cottages, back-slums and noble mansions. In a certain sense he is a modern Charon, whose pass is required ere a company of corpses, some days more, some days less, can find quiet burial. They say ghosts listen for the sound of the crowing cock before they retreat to their narrow beds; so mortals, suddenly deprived of life, must have the permit of twelve good men and true and the coroner's signature, ere the sexton will lift a shovel in their behalf.
Being desirous of having one day's experience of the accidents and offences which pick out, as it werewe will not say by accident, for there is a natural law in these cases as in all others—the lives of a certain per-centage of our population, I asked permission to accompany my friend, the able medical coroner for the central district. Permission being obtained, I was ready at the office at the appointed hour. “Now you must be prepared,” said my friend, "for a good hard day's work. Here are nine cases,” said he, consulting