My dear Sir,
We wish to thank you for your dedication and service to HM the Queen, and enclosed please find the license approvals prepared for your use. They will need to be verified and countersigned by a magistrate at your earliest convenience.
Be it hereby known by this
letter that the loyal subject
Mr. John Smith
is hereby granted all rights and
privileges to be considered as a
member of the respectful order of
Privateer; and that he takes full
responsibility for the risks of his
profession; and that his first duty
will remain steadfastly as a servant
to HM the Queen.
All materials so gathered are to be reported in full to HM Customs & Excise.
This license was scripted most elegantly upon a piece of vellum, and, while its contents provided full permission to serve the Crown through murder and plunder, the happiness this document was to bring to Mr. John Smith was never realized, due to a staggering number of considerations.
The applicant, having become enamored with the potential opportunities for promotion as provided by the life of a privateer at sea, and knowing sufficiently the torturous ways of the approvals and licensing system which nominally governed the careers of this unrecognized branch of the civil service, had written a hasty scrawl while in a drunken stupor over the previous Guy Fawkes Day.
reading as a nor'easter streams into the region: quite a few new authors' first novels, recommendations culled from the NYT or the New Yorker, and mostly they make the errors common to the first novel, of an ambitious story but a still developing style.
weather the cats sleep on top of the radiator as the first snowflakes appear