Once upon a Time there was a Brilliant but Unappreciated Chap who was such a Thorough Bohemian that Strangers usually mistook him for a Tramp.
Would he brush his Clothes? Not he. When he wore a Collar he was Ashamed of himself. He had Pipe-Ashes on his Coat and Vest. He seldom Combed his Hair, and never Shaved.
Every Evening he ate an Imitation Dinner, at a forty-cent Table d’Hote, with a Bottle of Writing Fluid thrown in. He had formed a little Salon of Geniuses, who also were out of Work, and they loved to Loll around on their Shoulder-Blades and Laugh Bitterly at the World.
The main Bohemian was an Author. After being Turned Down by numerous Publishers, he had decided to write for Posterity. Posterity hadn’t heard anything about it, and couldn’t get out an Injunction.
He knew his Works were good, because all the Free and Untrammeled Souls in the Spaghetti Joint told him so. He would read them a Little Thing of his Own about Wandering in the Fields with Lesbia, and then he would turn to a Friend, whose Face was all covered with Human Ivy, and ask him, point blank: “Is it, or is it not, Better than the Dooley Stuff?”
“There is no Comparison,” would be the Reply, coming through the Foliage.
Wandering in the Fields with Lesbia! Lesbia would have done Well. If he had Wandered in the Fields at any Time he would have been Pinched on Suspicion that he was out for Turnips.
The sure-enough Bohemian was a Scathing Critic. If Brander Matthews only knew some of the Things said about him, there would be Tear Marks on his Pillow. And Howells, too. Bah! My, but he was Caustic.
The way he burned up Magazine Writers, it’s a Wonder they didn’t get after him for Arson.
One day, while standing on the Front Stoop at his Boarding House, trying to think of some one who would submit to a Touch, a Flower Pot fell from a Window Ledge above him, and hit him on the Head. He was put into an Ambulance and taken to a Hospital, where the Surgeons clipped his Hair short, in order to take Three Stitches. While he was still Unconscious, and therefore unable to Resist, they Scrubbed him with Castile Soap, gave him a good Shave, and put him into a snowy-white Gown.
His Friends heard of the Accident, and went to the Hospital to offer Condolence. When they found him he was so Clean and Commonplace that they lost all Respect for him.
MORAL: Get a good Make-Up and the Part plays itself.