As a special bonus today, in addition to the usual short Idlepost you are reading, I have recast the supplication on the “Pay!” page (here), so that it now includes its own special offer. It is also a little longer, which gives everyone who goes there more to read.

An expert in epistolary marketing (which he called something else) once told me that it is important to make appeals for money long and vacuous (not the terms he used). They must also be grave, earnest, and deadly serious, resisting every temptation to lightness or humour. (“Never make a joke at a cashpoint,” he told me again and again.) The “mailer” must also address the interests of the subject, to the exclusion of one’s own self-regarding interest in getting his money. (“Don’t tell me about your grass seed, tell me about my lawn!” he’d imagine the reader of the mailer imploring.) Ambiguity should be avoided, notwithstanding the convolutions, and a “unique selling point” constantly repeated until it is driven home. There should be no question what the recipient should do (i.e. reach for his wallet), and in addition to a plenitude of carrots, there should be somewhere a flourish of sticks. Flattery for the reader should be inserted here and there. And, never omit the Free Special Offer.

If the gentleman be reading this, in Malta today, I hope he will see how much I learnt from him, back in our magazine days.

Let me add, to those who complain that the titles I offer do not seem to come with plausible estates, that one may easily obtain the addresses of many suitable castles and ancient manorial houses, right across Olde England. These have been occupied by liberals and progressives since about the time of Henry VIII (along with parish churches, chapels, chantries, shrines, hermitages, abbeys, cathedrals, and so forth).

As the young daughter of a dear Catholic friend put the matter, upon being told that e.g. Westminster Abbey is now in the custody of Phyletists and Erastians: “Why don’t we storm it and take it back?”

My advertisement is to be ignored by several gentle readers, who have already contributed more than their share to this little enterprise.

That means you, Lord Jowls: you have enough titles already.