You can’t even say a Boo to a Goose! Authors Anecdotes (Post No.5861)

Compiled by London Swaminathan
Date: 31 December 2018
GMT Time uploaded in London –5-25 am
Post No. 5861

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Lord Craven during the reign of King James I was anxious to meet Ben Johnson, the poet. When the later learned of it he proceeded to call on his lordship. He was in a very shabby condition and the porter insulted him and asked him to go about his business. The poet, enraged, returned the compliment s. Lord Craven, hearing the disturbance came out to inquire about it.

I understand your lordship wishes to see me, said the poet.
You, friend! Exclaimed Lord Craven. Who are you?

“Ben Johnson “

No,no, you can’t be Ben Johnson who wrote “The Silent Woman “.
; you look as if you could not say Boo to a goose.

Boo, then! Cried Ben Johnson.

His lordship laughed and profusely apologised: you are Ben Johnson after all.


Sir Walter Scott told this story

“ One morning last spring, I opened a huge bunch of despatch…the contents proved to be a MS play by a young lady of New York who kindly requested me to read and correct it, equip it with prologue and epilogue, procure it for a favourable reception from the manager of Drury Lane and make Murray or Constable bleed handsome ly for the copyright ; and inspecting the cover I found that I had been charged five pounds odd for the postage . This was bad enough— but there was no help, so I groaned and submitted. A fortnight or so after, another packet , of not less formidable bulk arrived, and I was absent enough to break its seal too without examination.

Conceive my horror when out jumped the same identical tragedy of The Cherokee Lovers, with a second epistle from the authoress, stating that, as the winds had been boisterous, she feared the vessel entrusted with her former communication might have foundered, and therefore judged it prudent to forward a duplicate “.


At an unguarded moment Piron was buttonholed by a poetaster who, standing his victim in a corner, announced that he was going to to read him the five entire acts of a tragedy he had just dashed off. After hearing the first scene, Piron perceived that the play was nothing but a potpourri of verses pillaged from other poets. So as he stood wearily listening he took off his hat and made a low bow to each quotation he recognised. The author at length lifted his eyes, observed Piron’s repeated salutation, and asked him why he bowed so often.
Why, said Piron as he edged away, that is the way I am accustomed to recognise old friends when I find them “.


Albert Smith once wrote an article in “Black woods “ , signed AS.
“Tut”, said Douglas Jerrold, on reading the initials, “what a pity Smith will tell only two thirds of the truth.


Self criticism is an admirable human trait. It is demonstrated in this story of Samuel Goldwyn. A ghost writer, who had been doing a series of articles purporting to be by Goldwyn, became sick and one of the pieces was done by a substitute ghost. Goldwyn, upon reading this article, expressed some dismay, saying,

“This is not up to my usual standard “.

Tags–  authors anecdotes, Goldwyn, Sir Walter Scott, Piron, Ben Johnson

Xxx subham xxx

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