The Clements Library website includes events, exhibits, subject guides, newsletter issues, library staff, and more.

Home » Adopt a Piece of History » Hoffman, “Snarl of a Cynic: A Rhyme,” 1868.

Hoffman, “Snarl of a Cynic: A Rhyme,” 1868.



Hoffman, Beneville Ottomar. Snarl of a Cynic: A Rhyme. Ephrata, Pa.: P. Martin Heitler, 1868. 40 pp.

Likely a review copy mailed to the editor of the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, includes original mailing envelope.

The author is described in the printer’s introduction as “one of that class of native Americans, known as the ‘Pennsylvania Dutch,’ a peculiar class of people, of peculiar habits and customs, and perhaps of peculiar turns of thought.” This poem describes his cynical perspective and philosophy of life, apparently his first and only book.

“Our legislation is controlled
By rogues with fraud and shrewd devices;
Law-maker’s votes are bought and sold
At various prices.

The public good, my mind recalls
Once moved the patriot’s zeal and passion,
But now in legislative halls
Quite out of fashion.”