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Mr. Copernicus And The Proletariat

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Mr. Copernicus And The Proletariat

by HC Bunner

Genre: Comedy
Setting: America
Format of Original Source: Short Story
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Reviewed


The old publishing house of T. Copernicus & Son was just recovering from the rush of holiday business-a rush of perhaps a dozen purchasers. Christmas shoppers rarely sought out the dingy building just around the corner from Astor Place, and T. C. & Son had done no great business since young T. C., the “Son,” died, fifteen years before. The house lived on two or three valuable copyrights; and old Mr. Copernicus kept it alive just for occupation’s sake, now that Tom was dead. But he liked to maintain the assumption that his queer old business, with its publication of half-a-dozen scientific or theological works per annum, was the same flourishing concern that it had been in his prime. That it did not flourish was nothing to him. He was rich, thanks to himself; his wife was rich, thanks to her aunt; his daughter was rich, thanks to her grandmother. So he played at business, and every Christmas-time he bought a lot of fancy stationery and gift-books that nobody called for, and hired a couple of extra porters for whom the head-porter did his best to find some work. Then, the week after New Year’s, he would discharge his holiday hands, and give each of them a dollar or two apiece out of his own pocket.

“Barney,” he said to the old porter, “you don’t need those two extra men any longer?”

“‘Deed an’ we do not, sorr!” said Barney; “th’ wan o’ thim wint off av himself the mornin’, an’ t’ other do be readin’ books the whole day long.”

“Send him to me,” Mr. Copernicus ordered, and Barney yelled unceremoniously, “Mike!”


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