A Statement of Fax Relative to the Late Murder
NOTE: This entry is in draft form; it is currently undergoing the VSFP editorial process.
Introductory Note: “Statement of Fax Relative to the Late Murder” was one in a humorous series of pieces composed by William Makepeace Thackeray under the pseudonym of Mrs. D.J. Ramsbottom—a fictional resident of the city of Cambridge. Mrs. Ramsbottom had her place in The Snob as an unofficial news correspondent, relating interesting happenings to the university community. Often dramatic and over wrought, Thackeray’s character’s obvious effort to sound educated was laughable and blended nicely with the general tone of the university journal and Thackeray’s amazingly playful sense of humor.
“Come I to speak in Cæsar’s funeral.” MILTON, JULIUS CÆSAR, ACT III.
ON Wednesday the 3rd of June as I was sitting in my back parlour taking tea, young Frederick Tudge entered the room; I reserved from his dislevelled hair and vegetated appearance, that something was praying on his vittles. When I heard from him the cause of his vegetation, I was putrified! I stood transfigured! His Father, the Editor of “The Snob,” had been macerated in the most sanguine manner. The drops of compassion refused my eyes, for I thought of him, who I had lately seen high in health and happiness; that ingenious indivisable, who often and often when seated alone with me has “made the table roar,” as the poet has it, and whose constant aim in his weakly dromedary was to delight as well as to reprove. His son Frederick, too young to be acquainted with the art of literal imposition, has commissioned me to excommunicate the circumstances of his death, and call down the anger of the Proctors and Court of Aldermen on the phlogitious perforators of the deed.
It appears that as he was taking his customary rendezvous by the side of Trumpington Ditch, he was stopped by some men in under-gravy dresses, who put a pitch-plaister on him, which completely developed his nose and eyes, or, as Shakespeare says, “his visible ray.” He then was dragged into a field, and the horrid deed was replete! Such are the circumstances of his death; but Mr. Tudge died like Wriggle-us, game to the last; or like Cæsar in that beautiful faction of the poet, with which I have headed my remarks, I mean him who wanted to be Poop of Room, but was killed by two Brutes, and the fascinating hands of a perspiring Senate.
With the most sanguinary hopes that the Anniversary and Town will persecute an enquiry into this dreadful action, I will conclude my repeal to the pathetic reader; and if by such a misrepresentation of fax, I have been enabled to awaken an apathy for the children of the late Mr. Tudge, who are left in the most desultory state, I shall feel the satisfaction of having exorcised my pen in the cause of Malevolence, and soothed the inflictions of indignant Misery.
P.S. The publisher requests me to state that the present No. is published from the MS. Found in Mr. Tudge’s pocket, and one more number will be soon forthcoming containing his inhuman papers.
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12 January 2021
27 September 2021
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