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Title: Terribly Intimate Portraits
Author: Coward, Noel, 1899-1973
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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_Printed in the United States of America_




In view of the fact that I have received many
tiresome and even carping letters from the
more captious critics of this child of my brain, I
feel in justice to myself and Miss Macnaughtan
that it is incumbent upon me to protest, in no
measured terms, against what is not only an organised
opposition and a pusillanimous display of
superficial egotism, but a dirty trick.

I have been taunted with my inaccuracies; I
have been called a fool; an idiot; an uneducated
dolt; and an illiterate cow! This is far from kind,
and I resent it.

My concentrated researches prove these memoirs
to be absolutely accurate in every historical detail.

I refute utterly these criticisms, fostered by
naught but the basest jealousy.

My parents and other relatives consider the book




I have endeavoured in writing and compiling this book, to emphasize not
only actual deeds and historical facts, but to aspire to an even higher
goal--to conjure to life for a few brief moments the "Souls" of my
subjects, stark in all their deathless beauty. What task could be nobler
than to delve in these vivid famous lives and bring to light, perhaps,
some hitherto undiscovered motive--some delicate and radiant action
which so far has escaped the common historian and lain unplucked like a
wee wood violet in an old, old garden!

Modern realists would have us believe that romance and beauty are dead,
that the spirit of heroic achievement and chivalry has been crushed by
the juggernautic wheels of civilisation. Poor blind, sad-hearted
fools--their dreary, unlovely minds have risen like gaunt weeds from the
ashes of their wasted opportunities. Romance dead? Never! And in order
to disprove their dismal forebodings, I have included in my portrait
gallery studies of such national heroes as--Snurge, Spout, Puffwater and
Plinge. Men selected purposely not merely for the glory of their
achievements but for the individual dissimilarity of their fundamental
characteristics, and to illustrate to doubting minds the amazing
resemblance between the signal courage and romanticism of our forebears,
and the innate present day spirit of high endeavour.

Take for example "Madcap Moll," Eighth Duchess of Wapping, and her
famous ride to Norwich--and compare it with Jabez Puffwater's ride to
the succour of his old Aunt Topsy. Or E. Maxwell Snurge's celebrated
national appeal in West Forty-Second street, and Sarah, Lady
Tunnell-Penge's dramatic speech from Tower Hill to the turbulent people
of London.

All, all are impregnated through and through with the never failing
spirit of public heroism, and staunch loyalty to existing standards, and
all will stand for beauty, romance, and nobility of purpose until the
end of time.

Ring up the curtain. Bring to life the faded tapestries of yesterday
side by side with the vivid multi-coloured bas-reliefs of to-day! The
frou-frou of brocade and lavender adown bygone corridors, and the sharp
toned clarion call of Twentieth Century heroism and daring-do!




















15. "LA BIBI"





[Illustration: NOEL COWARD _Author of "My American Diary_"]





I felt that some sort of scene was necessary in order to celebrate my
first entrance into America, so I said "Little lamb, who made thee?" to
a customs official. A fracas ensued far exceeding my wildest dreams,
during which he delved down--with malice aforethought--to the bottom of
my trunk and discovered the oddest things in my sponge bag. I think I'm
going to like America.

I have very good letters to Daniel Blood, Dolores Hoofer, Senator
Pinchbeck, Violet Curzon-Meyer, and Julia Pescod, so I ought to get
along all right socially at any rate.

It would be quite impossible to give an adequate description of one's
first glimpse of Broadway at night--I should like to have a little
pocket memory of it to take out and look at whenever I feel depressed. I
shall feel awfully offended for Piccadilly Circus when I get back.

God! How I love frosted chocolate!


For a really jolly evening, recommend me to the Times Square subway
station. You get into any train with that delicious sensation of
breathless uncertainty as to where exactly you are going to be conveyed.
To approach an official is sheer folly, as any tentative question is
quickly calculated to work him up into a frenzy of rage and violence,
while to ask your fellow passengers is equally useless as they are
generally as dazed as you are. The great thing is to keep calm and at
all costs avoid expresses.

As another means of locomotion the Elevated possesses a rugged charm
which is all its own, the serene pleasure of gazing into frowsy bedroom
windows at elderly coloured ladies in bust bodices and flannel
petticoats, being only equalled by the sudden thrill you experience when
the two front carriages hurtle down into the street in flames.

I took three of my plays to Fred Latham at the Globe Theatre. He didn't
accept them for immediate production, but he told me of two delightful
bus rides, one going up Riverside Drive, and the other coming down
Riverside Drive. I was very grateful as the busses, though slow moving,
are more or less tranquil and filled with the wittiest
advertisements--especially the little notices about official civility,
which made everyone rock with laughter.


Met Alexander Woollcott and Heywood Broun at a first night--we were
roguish together for hours--Alexander Woollcott says that each new play
is a fresh joy to him, but the question is whether he's a fresh joy to
each new play!--I wonder.


Spent all last night at Coney Island--I've never known such an
atmosphere of genuine carnival. We went on "The Whip," the sudden
convulsions of which drove the metal clasp of my braces sharply into my
back, I think scarring me for life. Then we went into "The Haunted
House" where a board gave way beneath my feet and ricked my ankle, the
"Giant Dipper" was comparatively tame as I only bruised my side and cut
my cheek. After this we had "hot dog" and stout, which the others seemed
to enjoy immensely, then--laughing gaily--we all ran through a revolving
wooden wheel, at least the others did, I inadvertently caught my foot
and fell, which caused a lot of amusement. I shall not go out again with
a sharp edged cigarette case in my pocket.


Went down to Chinatown with a jolly party all in deep evening dress
which I thought was rather inappropriate. Mrs. Vernon Bale dropped her
side comb into the chop suey which occasioned much laughter--Jeffery was
very tiresome and refused to be impressed, saying repeatedly that he'd
seen it all before in "Aladdin!"

We all went to "Montmartre" afterwards. Ina Claire was there looking
lovely as usual. Marie Prune was sitting at the next table squinting
dreadfully and, I think, rather drunk and obviously upset about her
sister running away with a Chinaman--poor dear, she's had a lot of
trouble but still even that's no excuse for looking like a blanc mange
slipping off the dish, she should cultivate a little more vitality and
never wear pink.


Just back from a week-end at Southampton with Mrs. Vernon Bale. Apart
from coming down to breakfast she's a perfect hostess. We played the
most peculiar games on Sunday evening and she and Florrie Wick did a
Nautch dance which was most entertaining and bizarre! How hospitable
Americans are, I've fixed up heaps of luncheon engagements for next
week--Edgar Peopthatch was particularly kind--he offered to introduce me
to Carl Van Vechten and Sophie Tucker both of whom I've been longing to


Such a busy day! Had plays refused by Edgar Selwyn and William Harris,
and this book turned down by Scribner's. I also fell off a bus, being
unused to getting out on the right-hand side. I just love America.


Went with Lester to hear Tom Burke sing at the Hippodrome. His voice is
better than it's ever been and he sang exceedingly good stuff. Poor John
MacCormack with his winsome Irish ballads.


Lunched at the Coffee House--what an atmosphere--even the veal and ham
pie tasted of the best American literature, and there was a lovely
signed photograph of Hugh Walpole. I do hope I shall be taken again.

The "Vanity Fair" offices impressed me a lot, they're so comfortable,
artistic, and full of deathless endeavour. They took the proofs of this
book in order to publish one or two extracts from it and sent it back
full of the loveliest corrections. I was duly grateful as Mr. Bishop had
told me a _lot_ about burlesque during the afternoon.


Lynn Fontanne took me to tea at Neysa McMein's studio which was most
attractive, she is a charming hostess and there was an air of pleasing
bohemianism about the whole affair which went far towards making me take
another cake--in more formal surroundings I should naturally have
refrained. After tea I played and sang and everybody talked. It was all
great fun. I liked F. P. A. enormously, he really ought to write for the


If I had money I should buy the English rights of "Dulcy" and drag Lynn
back to England by sheer force--we have few enough good actresses
without letting those we have, fly away. There's no denying that
America's the place to get on--this book was refused by Harcourt Brace
only yesterday.

Met the Theatre Guild this morning and played hide and seek with them in
the park--such a merry set of rascals! Teresa Helburn invented a new
prank--she took all my MSS. and hid them in a tin box for two
months--how we laughed!


Apparently all the theatrical "Elite" congregate at the Algonquin for
supper, I noticed Elsie and Mrs. Janis, Irving Berlin, Frances Carson,
and Desiree Bibble who looked appalling in probably the rudest hat that
has ever been worn by man, woman, or child.

Marc Connelly made me laugh for twenty minutes over a friend's
funeral--_what_ a sense of humour!


Spent all day on an island in the middle of the Sound with a lot of old
gentlemen in towels--returned very sunburned and in great pain--now I
know what Jeffery suffered when he embarked for England looking like a
fire engine.

Went to the first night of "Bluebeard's Eighth Wife" with Alfred
Lunt--in which Barry Baxter made an enormous hit, he is now a brilliant
light comedian. I think one or two of his sworn acquaintances in England
will be _quite_ cross when I tell them.


Had my first experience of surf bathing to-day, at Easthampton. Apart
from spraining my wrist, being grazed all over, stunned by a breaker,
and finally swept several miles out to sea, I enjoyed it thoroughly.


Met Mr. Liveright--what a dear!


[Illustration: JULIE DE POOPINAC

_From a Miniature_]

For several years all France rang with the name of Julie de Poopinac--or
to give her her full title, Angélique Yvonne Mathilde Clémentine
Virginie Céleste Julie, Vicomtesse de Poopinac. As the most peerless of
all the beauties at Court during the last years of a desperately
tottering throne, she has been hailed and heralded (and is still in some
outlying villages in Old Provence and Old Normandy) as almost an
enchantress, so great was her beauty and her wit. Born in a stately
château in Old Picardy, she was brought up in comparative seclusion; her
father, the Duc de Potache,[1] spent his time at Court, so that her
radiant loveliness was left to mature and develop unnoticed. Her
childhood was uneventful, but at the age of seventeen this ravishing
creature was wedded by proxy to Gustave de Poopinac, a dashing young
officer in the Garde du Corps,[2] and at twenty-five she came to Court
in order to see her husband; but alas! Fate, seated securely in
Destiny's irreproachable turret, willed it that her journey should be in
vain. She left Old Picardy a merry, laughing married woman--and arrived
at Versailles a widow. Gustave, the husband whose love she would never
know, perished at an early hour on the morning of her arrival, at an
adversary's sword-point behind a potting-shed near the Petit Trianon.
Rumour whispered that it was on account of a woman that he fought and
lost, but this last blow of Providence's hatchet was spared his girl
bride, innocent, secure in her supreme purity and innate virginity. If
evil tongues had even mentioned the word "woman" to her, she would not
have known what they meant.

Gradually the pain of her loss grew less. She commenced to enter into
Court life with a certain amount of zest. Ben-Hepple tells us that it
was during a masked carnival in the Park of Versailles that she first
attracted the attention of the amorous King. He had dropped behind Du
Barry for a moment to tie up his bootlace, and Julie, running girlishly
along the moonlit path, bumped violently into his arched back. With a
muttered exclamation he straightened himself and tore off her mask.
Ben-Hepple goes on to say that his Majesty went from scarlet to white,
from white to green, and then back again to scarlet before he made his
world-famed remark, "_Mon Dieu! Quel visage!_" At this moment Du Barry
appeared, furious at being left, and dragged her royal paramour away.
But the mischief was done. The wheel of circumstance had turned once
more--and a few days later Julie changed her _appartements_ for some on
a higher landing.

What vice! What intrigue! What corruption! Versailles seemed but a vast
conservatory sheltering the vile soil from which sprang the lilies of
France--La Belle France, as Edgar Sheepmeadow so eloquently puts it.
Did any single bloom escape the blight of ineffable depravity? No--not
one! Occasionally some fresh young thing would appear at
Court--appealing and innocent. Then the atmosphere would begin to take
effect: some one would whisper something to her--she would leer almost
unconsciously; a few days later she would be discovered carrying on

Julie de Poopinac, beautiful, accomplished and incredibly witty, queened
it in this _mêlée_ of appalling degeneracy; she was not at heart wicked,
but her environment closed in upon her pinched and wasted heart,
crushing the youth and sweetness from it.

She held between her slim fingers the reins of government, and womanlike
she twisted them this way and that, her foolish head slightly turned by
adulation and flattery. Louis adored her: he gave her a cameo brooch, a
beaded footstool (which his mother had used), and the loveliest cock
linnet, which used to fly about all over the place, singing songs of its
own composition.

All the world knows of her celebrated scene with Marie Antoinette, but
Edgar Sheepmeadow recounts it so deliciously in Volume III of "Women
Large and Women Small" that it would be a sin not to quote it. "They
met," he says, "on the Grand Staircase. The Dauphine, with her usual
hauteur, was mounting with her head held high. Julie, by some
misfortune, happened to get in her way. The Dauphine, not seeing her,
trod heavily on her foot, then jogged her in the ribs with her elbow.
Though realising who it was, the great lady could not but apologise.
Drawing herself up as high as possible, she said in icy tones, 'I beg
your pardon!' Quick as thought Julie replied, 'Granted as soon as
asked!' Then with a toss of her curls she ran down the stairs, leaving
the haughty Princess's mind a vortex of tumultuous feelings."

A few words of description should undoubtedly be vouchsafed to the
decoration of her apartments at Versailles. Artistic from birth, Julie
de Poopinac inaugurated almost a revolution in colour schemes: her
_salle des populaces_ (room of the people), where she received
supplicants for alms and various other favours, was upholstered in
Godstone blue, with hangings of griffin pink; her _salle à manger_
(dining-room) was a tasteful _mélange_ of elephant green, cerise, and
burnt umber. Her _salle de bain_ (bathroom) deserves special mention,
owing to its bizarre mixture of mustard colour and vetch purple--while
her _chambre à coucher_ (bedroom) was a truly fitting setting for so
brilliant a gem. The walls were lined with costly Bridgeport tapestries
in brown and black, picked out here and there with beads and tufts of
gloriously coloured wool. The bed curtains were of soft Norwegian
yellow, with massive tassels of crab mauve, while the carpet and
upholstery were almost entirely Spanish crimson with head-rests of
Liverpool plush! It was here, of course, that she wrote most of her

Her world-renowned "Idyl to Summer":--

    The poplars droop and sway and droop,
        A lazy bee
    With wings athread with gold and green
        His merry way with esctasy
      He takes, amid the garden blooms--
    Ah me, ah God, ah God, ah me!

And the perfectly delicious light poem dedicated to Louis--

    "Beloved, it is morn--I rise
      To smell the roses sweet;
    Emphatic are my hips and thighs,
      Phlegmatic are my feet.
    Ten thousand roses have I got
      Within a garden small,
    Give me but strength to smell the lot,
      Oh, let me sniff them all!"

Then her rather sordid realistic poem to Louis's death-bed commencing

                "Oh, Bed
    Wherein he frequently disposed
    His weary limbs when day was done,
    His last long sleep has murmured down--
    Oh Bed--beneath your silken pall,
    His eyes aglaze with death, and dim
    With age--are closed.
                Oh, Bed!"

It was of course after Louis's death that Julie was forced to seek
retirement in her château in Old Brittany. There for many years she
lived in almost complete seclusion, writing her books which were the
inspired outpourings of a tortured soul: "Lilith: the Story of a Woman";
"The Hopeless Quest," an allegorical tale of the St. Malo sand-dunes,
then unexplored; and "The Pig-Sty," a biting satire on life at Court.

Then the storm-cloud of the revolution broke athwart the length and
breadth of fair France, relentless, and indomitable and irredeemable.
Julie was arrested while blackberrying in a Dolly Varden hat. With a
brave smile, Ben-Hepple tells us, she flung the berries away. "I am
ready!" she said.

You all know of her journey to Paris, and her mockery of a trial before
the tribunal--her pitiful bravery when the inhuman monsters tried to
make her say "_À la lanterne!_" Nothing would induce her to--she had the
firmness of many ancestors behind her.

We will quote Ben-Hepple's vivid description of her execution:--

"The day dawned grey with heavy clouds to the east," he says. "About
five minutes past ten, a few rain-drops fell. The tumbrils were already
rattling along amidst the frenzied jeers of the crowd. The first one
contained a group of _ci-devant_ aristos, laughing and singing--one
elderly vicomtesse was playing on a mouth-organ. In the second tumbril
sat two women--one, Marie Topinambour, a poor dancer, was weeping; the
other, Julie de Poopinac, was playing at cat's cradles. Her dress was of
sprigged muslin, and she wore a rather battered Dolly Varden hat. She
was haughtily impervious to the vile epithets of this mob. Upon reaching
the guillotine, Marie Topinambour became panic-stricken, and swarmed up
one of the posts before any one could stop her. In bell-like tones,
Julie bade her descend. 'Fear nothing, _ma petite_,' she cried. 'See, I
am smiling!' The terrified Marie looked down and was at once calmed.
Julie was indeed smiling. One or two marquises who were waiting their
turn were in hysterics. Marie slowly descended, and was quickly
executed. Then Julie stepped forward. '_Vive le Roi!_' she cried,
forgetting in her excitement that he was already dead, and flinging her
Dolly Varden hat in the very teeth of the crowd, she laid her head in
the prescribed notch. A woman in the mob said '_Pauvre_' and somebody
else said '_À bas!_' The knife fell...."




_From the world-famous portrait by Sir Oswald Cronk, Bart._]

Nobody who knew George I. could help loving him--he possessed that
peculiar charm of manner which had the effect of subjugating all who
came near him into immediate slavery. Madcap Moll--his true love, his
one love (England still resounds with her gay laugh)--adored him with
such devotion as falls to the lot of few men, be they kings or beggars.

They met first in the New Forest, where Norman Bramp informs us, in his
celebrated hunting memoirs "Up and Away," the radiant Juniper spent her
wild, unfettered childhood. She was ever a care-free, undisciplined
creature, snapping her shapely fingers at bad weather, and riding for
preference without a saddle--as hoydenish a girl as one could encounter
on a day's march. Her auburn ringlets ablow in the autumn wind, her
cheeks whipped to a flush by the breeze's caress, and her eyes sparkling
and brimful of tomboyish mischief and roguery! This, then, was the
picture that must have met the King's gaze as he rode with a few trusty
friends through the forest for his annual week of otter shooting. Upon
seeing him, Madcap Moll gave a merry laugh, and crying "Chase me,
George!" in provocative tones, she rode swiftly away on her pony. Many
of the courtiers trembled at such a daring exhibition of _lèse majesté_,
but the King, provoked only by her winning smile, tossed his gun to Lord
Twirp and set off in hot pursuit. Eventually he caught his roguish
quarry by the banks of a sunlit pool. She had flung herself off her
mount and flung herself on the trunk of a tree, which she bestrode as
though it were a better and more fiery steed. The King cast an
appraising glance at her shapely legs, and then tethered his horse to an
old oak.

"Are you a creature of the woods?" he said.

Madcap Moll tossed her curls. "Ask me!" she cried derisively.

"I am asking you," replied the King.

"Odds fudge--you have spindleshanks!" cried Madcap Moll irrelevantly.
The King was charmed. He leant towards her.

"One kiss, mistress!" he implored. At that she slapped his face and made
his nose bleed. He was captivated.

"I'faith, art a daring girl," he cried delightedly. "Knowest who I am?"

"I care not!" replied the girl.

"George the First!" said the King, rising. Madcap Moll blanched.

"Sire," she murmured, "I did not know--a poor, unwitting country
lass--have mercy!"

The King touched her lightly on the nape.

"Get up," he said gently; "you are as loyal and spirited a girl as one
could meet in all Hampshire, I'll warrant. Hast a liking for Court?"

"Oh, sire!" answered the girl.

Thus did the King meet her who was to mean everything in his life, and

It was twilight in the forest, Raymond Waffle tells us, when the King
rode away. In the opposite direction rode a pensive girl, her eyes aglow
with something deeper than had ever before illumined their translucency.

Budde Towers, according to Plabbin's "Guide to Hampshire," lay in the
heart of the forest. Built in the days of William the Conqueror, 1066,
and William Rufus, 1087, by Sir Francis Budde, it had been inhabited by
none but Buddes of each successive generation. Madcap Moll's
great-grandfather, Lord Edmund Budde,[4] added a tower here and there
when he felt inclined, while her uncle Robert Budde--known from
Bournemouth to Lyndhurst as Bounding Bob--built the celebrated picture
gallery (which can be viewed to this day by genealogical enthusiasts),
the family portraits up to then having been stored in the box-room.

Old Earl Budde, Moll's father, was as crusty an old curmudgeon as one
could find in a county. His wife (the lovely Evelyn Wormgate, a daughter
of the Duke of Bognor and Wormgate) had died while the radiant Moll was
but a puling infant. Thus it was that, knowing no hand of motherly
authority, the child perforce ran wild throughout her dazzling

The trees were her playmates, the twittering of the birds her music--all
the wild things of the forest loved her, specially dogs and children.
She knew every woodcutter for miles round by his Christian name. "Why,
here's Madcap Moll!" they would say, as the beautiful girl came
galloping athwart her mustang, untamed and headstrong as she herself.

This, then, was the priceless jewel which George I., spurred on by an
overmastering passion, ordered to be transferred from its rough and
homely setting to the ornate luxury of life at Court, where he
immediately bestowed upon her the title of Eighth Duchess of Wapping.

It was about a month after her arrival in London that Sir Oswald Cronk
painted his celebrated life-size portrait of her in the costly
riding-habit which was one of the many gifts of her royal lover. Sir
Oswald, with his amazing technique, has managed to convey that
suggestion of determination and resolution, one might almost say
obstinacy, lying behind the gay, devil-may-care roguishness of her
bewitching glance. Her slim, girlish figure he has portrayed with
amazing accuracy, also the beautiful negligent manner in which she
invariably carried her hunting-crop; her left hand is lovingly caressing
the head of her faithful hound, Roger, who, Raymond Waffle informs us,
after his mistress's death refused to bury bones anywhere else but on
her grave. Ah me! Would that some of our human friends were as
unflagging in their affections as the faithful Roger!

Her reign as morganatic queen was remarkable for several scientific
inventions of great utility[5]--notably the "pushfast," a machine
designed exclusively for the fixing of leather buttons in church
hassocks; also Dr. Snaggletooth's cunning device for separating the
rind from Camembert cheese without messing the hands! There were in
addition to the examples here quoted many minor inventions which, though
perhaps not of any individually intrinsic value, went far to illustrate
Madcap Moll's influence on the progress of the civilisation of her time.

In Raymond Waffle's rather long-winded record of her life he dwells for
several chapters upon the Papist plots which menaced her position at
Court. After a visit to several of London's museums, I have discovered
that most of the facts he quotes are naught but fallacies. There were
undoubtedly plots, but nothing in the least Papist. She had her
enemies--who has not? But, as far as religion was concerned, Papists,
Protestants, Wesleyans, and occasionally Mahommedans, all joined
together in unstinting praise of her character and judgment.

Any faults or acts of thoughtlessness committed during her brilliant
life were amply compensated for by the supreme deed of loyalty and
patriotism which, alas! marked the tragic close of her all too short
career. Her ride to Norwich--show me the man whose pulses do not thrill
at the mention of that heroic achievement! That wonderful, wonderful
ride--that amazing, glorious _tour de force_ which caused her name to be
revered and hallowed in every sleepy hamlet and hovel of Old
England--her ride to Norwich on Piebald Polly, her thoroughbred mare!
On, on through the night--a fitful moon scrambling aslant the
cloud-blown heavens, the wind whistling past her ears, and the tune of
"God Save the King" ringing in her brain, the rhythm set by the
convulsive movements of Piebald Polly. On, on, through towns and
villages, and then once more the open country--what is that noise? The
roaring of water! Torrents are unloosed--the dam has burst! Miller's
Leap. Can she do it?--can she?--can she? She can--and has. Dawn shows in
the eastern sky--the lights of Norwich--Norwich at last![6]

Poor Moll! the day that dawned as she sped along those weary roads was
to prove itself her last. Her exhaustion was so great on reaching the
city gates that she fell from Piebald Polly's drooping back and never
regained consciousness.

Rumour asserts that the King plunged the country in mourning for several
weeks--some say he never smiled again. Madcap Moll, Eighth Duchess of
Wapping, left behind her no children, but she left engraved upon the
hearts of all who knew her the memory of a beautiful, noble, and winsome




I will not seek to write of E. Maxwell Snurge as his friends have
written of him, tall, courageous, and vitally intelligent. Nor as his
enemies have chronicled him, short, fat and intensely stupid. I will
endeavour with a few brief flourishes of the pen, to portray the various
intricacies of his character as I see them, clearly and dispassionately
with the eyes of a psychological observer, whose hand is uncorrupted by
the bribes of ruthless profiteers, grafters and the like.

It is my desire to convey to the reader the real E. Maxwell Snurge shorn
of tawdry trappings of party politics and the illusion and glamour of
public idolatry--a man--just a man--but _what_ a man!

To dwell on the widely circulated story of his life would be needless,
and to follow his political career, merely futile. What is there left?
you ask. And I answer you with extreme firmness, there is one aspect of
E. Maxwell Snurge which has never been seriously analysed--his soul! And
it is that and that alone which will be the foundation stone of my
structural portrayal of his character.

Why wasn't E. Maxwell Snurge president of the United States? Many have
asked that question, he frequently used to ask it himself, and his
wife--the sainted Amy Snurge of ever revered memory--would rest her
thin, ascetic hand upon his coat sleeve and answer him with yearning
sympathy but little satisfaction--Why?

Let us turn to an early episode in his career in our search for the key
to the complexities of his mind, an episode slight in itself but well
worthy of recording if only for the illumination it throws upon the much
questioned motives of his later actions. He was spending a week-end with
friends on Long Island--a fishing week-end. Mrs. Jake Van Opus (formerly
the lovely Consuelo Root) out of consideration for her eminent guest
and with great tact and charm, immediately he arrived made a point of
forbidding politics as a subject for discussion in the house, and
confined the general conversation exclusively to fish. That this
thoughtful act was appreciated by the overworked politician it is
needless to remark; he settled down to his brief respite with a tranquil
contentment and complete blankness of mind which only the cleverest of
us can assume at will.

Athletic from birth, Snurge cast his line repeatedly far out to sea with
the strength and dogged perseverance which characterised his every
deed--but alas, nearly fifteen hours went by before his patience was
rewarded. Day had turned to dusk and the sun was setting when he was
suddenly jerked from the fishing stand into the water. With an exultant
shout, he clambered on to a rock still clasping his rod--"A Bite, a
Bite!" he cried in tones strangely alien from those he customarily
employed when addressing a civic conference. "A Bite at last!" Playing
his submarine quarry with extraordinary finesse, he eventually, amid
laudatory shouts and frantic cheering, landed an exquisitely striped
bass, which lay at his feet gasping, apparently quite exhausted by its
struggles to evade captivity. Now comes the point of the story, Snurge
surveyed his catch quietly for a few moments--those standing near by
noticed sternly repressed tears in his eyes--then he said a thing which
come what may will eternally prove him the possessor of unparalleled
insight and humanity. Touching the recumbent fish gently with his foot
he sighed deeply--

"This bass is Democracy," he murmured, "And see what I have done with
it!" Superstitious observers state that at this point the bass closed
its eyes wearily, but this may only be a fanatical exaggeration.

Then with a set face he lifted the fish high above his head and flung it
back into its native element, thereby undoing the efforts of many hours'
untiring labour and patience.

I have told this story in order to illustrate definitely the initial
weakness in his lifelong policy, call it folly if you like, or even
imbecility, but I prefer to assign to it the one all embracing
word--"Generosity." He was too generous, all through his career he
sacrificed everything through his generous capacity for seeing and
sympathising with both sides of every question. Many, many times he
would shelve the carefully formulated schemes of months on the sudden
realisation of what the Opposition would suffer if he carried them

Think--as I sometimes think--what a sad thing, what a vortex of
conflicting emotions the heart of Amy Snurge must have been during those
hard years, knowing her husband's strength and resource, deploring yet
loving his weakness, encouraging, aiding and abetting his every act with
the feminine pertinacity which has characterized the world's greatest
heroines. Poor woman, no wonder the grave claimed her so soon, for like
the bass--like Democracy, her vitality was exhausted by the destructive
and constructive force of Snurge. Only unlike the bass she couldn't swim
well, and unlike Democracy she had the man to contend with as well as
the politician.

Snurge was by no means a revolutionary; he possessed too many ideals
and too little passion, he was essentially a passionless man--except of
course the one historic occasion during his campaign against prohibition
when he completely lost control, and flying low in a government
aeroplane broke a bottle of green chartreuse over the head of the Statue
of Liberty.

The uproar which was the natural outcome of this defiant protest, was
abruptly stemmed by the sudden reversal of his tactics on the day
following the event, when he made a spirited appeal in West Forty-Second
Street _for_ prohibition! This resulted in a hopeless gloom enveloping
the metropolis. The populace commenced to realise in a measure the
unreliability of Snurge as a saviour of the state, while at the same
time fully appreciating his many sterling qualities.

Dark things were whispered in the White House.

One need not go far then to seek the reason for his fall from grace, his
utter failure as a Republican candidate for the presidency--it was his
generosity, his innate humanity, and his extraordinary breadth and
clarity of vision.

If this man had but been president in 1914 there might not have been any
war. Had he been president in 1776 there might not have been any
revolution, and had he but been president in 1491 God knows what there
might not have been.


America in Sunshine and Shadow  _B. F. Bramp_. 2 Vols.
The Roguish Royalist            _Anonymous_
Mirrors of Salt Lake City       _By the Gentleman with the Cuspidor. 5 Vols._
Amy Snurge, a Grand Woman       _Ernest Frapple_. 2 Vols.
"Columbia Beware!"              _Weedheim._

_I am also deeply indebted to Esther Throtch for her unlimited energy
and devoted assistance._



_After an engraving by Vittorio Campanele_]

Mediæval Italy has in its time boasted many beautiful women, but there
is one who must take her place before them all, one whose name is a
byword to this day in every corner of that sun-washed country--Bianca di
Pianno-Forti. One shudders at that name--so radiant was she, and yet so
incredibly evil. Her tragic death somehow seems a fitting ending to a
life such as hers--a life so without mercy, so without pity, and yet so
amazingly vivid that it seems to be emblazoned on Italy's very heart.

She first saw the light in Florence. Her father, Allegro, of the
celebrated house of Andante Caprioso, married at the age of fourteen
Giulia Presto, of Verona, at the age of nine. At the birth of Bianca her
mother died, leaving her to the care of her broken-hearted father and
brother Pizzicato (destined later on to make the world ring with his
music). Perhaps the only thing to be said in excuse of Bianca's later
conduct is the fact that she never knew a mother's love. The nuns at the
convent wherein she spent her ripening childhood were kind; but, alas!
they were not mothers--at least, not all of them. Bianca left the
convent when she was sixteen. Slim, lissom, sinuous, with those
arresting eyes that seemed, so Fibinio tells us, to search out the very
souls of all who came near her. Her first love affair occured about a
week after her arrival in her home in Florence. She was in the habit of
walking to mass at the cathedral with her maid Vivace. One morning, so
Poliolioli relates, a handsome soldier stepped out of the shadows of an
adjoining buttress and looked at her. Bianca at once swooned. The same
thing happened again--and again--and yet again. One night she heard the
shutters of her bedchamber rattle! "Who is there?" she cried, yet not
too loudly, because her woman's instinct warned her to be wary. The
shutters were flung open, and the young soldier stepped flamboyantly
into the room. "I am here, _cara, cara mia_!" he cried. "I, Vibrato
Adagio!" With a sibilant cry she fell into his out-stretched arms.
"_Mio, mio,_" she echoed in ecstasy, "I am yours and you are mine!" So
lightly was the first stepping-stone passed on her reckless path of
immorality and vice. Her fickle heart soon tired of the debonair
Vibrato, and in a fit of satiated pique she had his ears cut off and his
tongue removed and tied to his big toe. Thus was her ever-increasing
lust for bloodshed apparent even at that early age. Her next _affaire_
occured when she was travelling to Rome with her brother Pizzicato, who
was to become a chorister at the Vatican. On stopping for refreshment at
a wayside tavern, Bianca was struck by the arresting looks of the ostler
who was tending their steaming steeds. Beckoning to him, she asked of
him his name; he turned his vacant eyes round and round wonderingly for
a moment. "Crescendo," he replied. Bianca's eyes flashed fire.
"_Accelerato!_" she cried imperiously, and, hypnotised into submission,
the scared man fled upstairs, Bianca following.

Upon arriving in Rome, Bianca and Pizzicato repaired to their father's
brother-in-law, who was well known as a lavish entertainer. He was one
Rapidamente Tempo di Valse, a widower, living with his two sons, Lento
and Comprino, handsome lads both in the first flush of manhood, and both
destined to fall victims to Bianca's compelling attractions.
Contemporary history informs us that Bianca stayed in the Palazzo Tempo
di Valse for seven years, visiting Pizzicato from time to time, and
employing herself with various love affairs.

In June she became betrothed to Duke Crazioso di Pianno-Forti, of the
famous family of Moderato e Diminuendo--indirectly descended from the
Cardinal Appassionato Tutti. Tutti was the great-uncle of the infamous
Con Spirito, well known to posterity as the lover of the lovely but
passionate Violenza Allargando, destined to become the mother of Largo
con Craviata, the fearless captain of Dolcissimo's light horse under
General Lamento Agitato, whose grandmother, Sempre Calando, was
notorious for her illicit liaison with Pesante e Stentato, a union
which was to bear fruit in the shape of Lusingando Molto.

Bianca's wedding was celebrated with enormous rejoicing in Venice, where
was situated the ducal palace of the Pianno-Fortis. Mention should be
made of the life led by Bianca during the first years of her marriage,
of her pet staghounds, of her tapestried bedchamber with bloodthirsty
scenes of the chase depicted thereon--how she loved blood, this
beautiful girl!

Her portrait herein reproduced is after an engraving by Campanele; note
the sinister line of the cheek-bone and the passionate beauty of the
nethermost lip! One can visualise her--radiant at the head of crowded
dining-tables, drinking from gem-encrusted goblets, accepting glances
fraught with ardent desire from one or other of the male guests.

All the world knows of her famous visit to the Pope, and how he died a
few hours later; while it would be mere repetition of general knowledge
to enlarge on her sojourn with the Doge, and his subsequent demise. Let
us touch ever so lightly on her three children, Poco, Confuoco, and
Strepitoso. How could they help being beautiful with such a mother, poor
mites, branded from birth with the sense of their impending fate! After
a while Bianca became aware that tongues were a-wag in Venice, sullying
her name with foul calumnies. Her decision for their downfall was swift
and terrible. She persuaded her easy-going husband to ride to Naples;
then, free of his cumbersome authority, she set to work on the
preparations for her world-famous supper party. Picture it if you will:
five hundred and eighty-three guests[7] all seated laughingly in the
immense banqueting-hall--Bianca at the head of the table, superb,
incomparable, her corsage a glittering mass of gems, her breast chilled
by the countless diamonds on her camisole, her smile radiant and a
peach-like flush on the ivory pallor of her face. This was indeed her
hour--her triumph--her subtle revenge. Her heart thrilled with the
knowledge of that inward secret that was hers immutably, for every
morsel of food and drink upon that festive board was impregnated with
the deadliest poison--all except the two pieces of toast with which she
regaled herself, having dined earlier and alone.

Historians tell us that following close on that event some rather ugly
rumours were noised abroad--in fact, some of the relatives of the
poisoned guests even went so far as to complain to various people in
authority and stir up strife in every way possible. Bianca was naturally
furious. Some say that it was her sudden rage on hearing this that
caused her to burn her children to death; others say her act was merely
due to bad temper owing to a sick headache. Anyhow, as later events go
to show, she had chosen the very worst time to murder her children. More
ugly rumours were at once noised abroad by those who were jealous of
her. Upon her husband's return from Naples he was immediately arrested,
and a few days later hung. Too late the hapless Bianca sought to make
her escape; she was caught and taken prisoner while swimming across the
Grand Canal with her clothes and a few personal effects in a bundle in
her mouth. She was carried shrieking to Milan, where she endured a
mockery of a trial; on political grounds she was sentenced to being torn
to pieces by she-goats at Genoa. Poor, beautiful Bianca! On the
fulfilment of her unjust and barbarous sentence it is too horrible to
dwell at any length. This glorious creature, this resplendent vision,
this divine goddess--she-goats! Dreadful, degrading, unutterable!!!

The day for her death[8] dawned fair over the Mediterranean. Bianca,
garbed in white, walked with dignity into the meadow wherein the
she-goats anxiously awaited her. She bravely repressed a shudder, and
fell upon her knees. History tells us that every goat turned away, as
though ashamed of the part it was destined to play. Then, with a look of
ineffable peace stealing over her waxen face, Bianca rose to her full
height, and, flinging her arms heavenwards, she delivered that
celebrated and heartrending speech which has lived after her for so

"_Dio mio, concerto--concerto!_"

One by one the she-goats advanced....




_From a painting by Augustus Punter_]

Ffraddle of 1643 was very different from the Ffraddle of 1789, and still
more different from the Ffraddle of 1832. At a time when civil war was
raging between Jacobites and Papists and Roundheads and Ironsides and
everything, Ffraddle stood grey, silent and indomitable--the very spirit
of peace allied with strength seemed embodied in its grim masonry. The
clash of arms and the death cries from millions of rebellious throats
which echoed athwart the length and breadth of young England were unable
to pierce the stillness of Ffraddle's moated security. Owls murmured on
its battered turrets, sparrows perched on its portcullis, cuckoos cooed
all over it, heedless indeed of the turmoil and frenzied strife raging
outside its feudal gates.

What a birthplace for one of history's most priceless pearls--Sarah
Twig! The heart of every lover of beauty leaps and jumps and starts at
the sound of that name--Sarah Twig. Why are some destined for so much
while others are destined, alas! for so little? Who knows? Sarah--a
rose-leaf, a crumpled atom, dropped as it were from some heavenly garden
into the black times of the Merry Monarch--when, according to
Bloodworthy, virtue was laughed to scorn and evil went unpunished; when,
according to Follygob, virginity was a scream, and harlotry a hobby; and
when, according to Sheepmeadow, homeliness was sin, and beauty but a
gilded casket concealing vice and depravity unutterable.

History relates that though food was scarce and light hearts hard to
find, at the birth of Sarah Twig there was no dearth of these
commodities. The snow was on the ground, Follygob says--the woods and
coppices and hills lay slumbering beneath a glistening white mantle.
What a mind! To have written those words! It was undoubtedly Follygob's
artistic style and phraseology that branded him once and for all as the
master-chronicler of his time.

Sarah Twig was born in the east wing, a lofty room which can be viewed
to this day by all true lovers of historical architecture. To describe
it adequately is indeed difficult. Some say there was a bed in it and an
early Norman window; others have it that there was no bed but a late
Gothic fireplace; while a few outstanding writers insist that there was
nothing at all in the room but a very old Roman washstand.[9]

The night of Sarah's birth was indeed a wild one--snow and sleet eddied
and swirled around the massive structure destined to harbour one whose
radiant beauty was to be a byword in all Europe. The wind, so Follygob
with his incomparable style tells us, lashed itself to a livid fury
against the sturdy Ffraddle turrets and mullions, whilst outside beyond
the keep and raised drawbridge the beacons and camp fires stained the
frost-laden air with vivid streaks of red and yellow--colours which
formed the background of the Ffraddle coat of arms, thus presenting an
omen to the startled inhabitants which history relates they were not
slow to recognise.

Bloodworthy describes for us the plan by which Lord Ffraddle was to
acquaint the village with the sex of the child. If it were a boy, red
fire was to be burnt on the south turret, and if a girl, green fire was
to be burnt on the north turret; but unfortunately, he goes on to tell
us, owing to some misadventure blue fire was firmly burnt on all the
turrets. Imagine the horror of the superstitious populace! Some left the
country never to return, crying aloud that a chameleon had been born to
their beloved chatelaine!

Of Sarah's youth historians tell us little. She was, apart from her
beauty, a very knowing child. Often when missing from the
banqueting-hall she would be discovered in the library reading and
studying the political works of the period.[10] Often Lord Ffraddle was
known to remark in his usual witty way, "In sooth, the child will soon
have as much knowledge as her father," a sally which was invariably
received with shrieks of delight by the infant Sarah, whose brilliant
sense of humour was plainly apparent, even at that early age.

Her adolescence was remarkable for little save the rapid development of
her supple loveliness, some idea of which can be gauged from the
reproduction of Punter's famous portrait on page 74. Though painted at a
somewhat later date, this masterpiece still presents us with most of the
leading characteristics of its ravishing model. Note the eyes--the
dreamy, cognisant expression; glance at the pretty mouth and the dainty
ears. Her demeanour is obviously that of a meek and modest woman, but
Punter, with his true genius, has caught that glint of inward fire, that
fleeting look of shy mischief that earned for her the world-famous
nickname of "Winsome Sal."

It was when she was eighteen[11] that Destiny, with inhuman cunning,
caught up in his net the fragile ball of her life.

The handsome, devil-may-care Julius Fenchurch-Streete applied to Lord
Ffraddle for a secretaryship, which was ultimately granted to him.
Imagine the situation--this rake, this dark-eyed ne'er-do-well,
notorious all down Cheapside for his relentless dalliance with the fair,
placed in intimate proximity with one of England's most glorious
specimens of ripening womanhood. It was, Sheepmeadow writes, like the
meeting of flint and tinder--these two so widely different in the
essentials and yet so akin in their physical beauty. As was inevitable,
from the first they loved--he with the flaming passion of a hell-rake,
she with the sweet, appealing purity of one whose whole life had been
peculiarly virginal. There followed swiftly upon their ardent
confessions the determination to elope together. The night they bade
adieu to Ffraddle and all it held is well known to young and old of
every generation. They crept from their rooms at midnight and met at the
top of the grand staircase, down which they proceeded to crawl on all
fours. A few moments later they were on a sturdy mare, she riding
pillion, he riding anyhow. Not a sound had been heard, not a dog had
barked, not a bird had called. Once, Sheepmeadow informs us, Lady
Ffraddle turned over in her sleep.[12] Poor, unsuspecting mother! On and
on through the snow rode the feckless couple. Once Sarah rested her hand
lightly on her lover's arm. "Whither are we bound?" she inquired. "Only
the mare knows that," Julius replied, and in shaken silence they rode

History is not very enlightening as to how long Julius Fenchurch-Streete
lived with Sarah Twig--poor Sarah, the bubble of her romance soon was to
be pricked. For three weeks they lived gloriously, radiantly, at the old
sign of "The Cod and Haddock" in Egham. "My heart is a pool of ecstasy,"
she wrote in her diary. Pitiful pool, so soon to be drained of its joy!

Then the storm-clouds gathered, the sun withdrew its gold. Julius rode
away--Sarah was alone, alone in Egham, her love unblessed by any sort of
church, no name for the child to come--a sorry, sorry plight. The buxom
proprietress of "The Cod and Haddock," little dreaming her real
identity, set her to work. Work! for those fair hands, those
inexpressibly filbert nails!

Was it the sudden relenting of malleable fate that caused the Merry
Monarch to come riding blithely through sleepy Egham, followed by his
equerry, Lord Francis Tunnell-Penge, and several of his suite? Halting
outside the inn, Bloodworthy relates that his Majesty was immediately
struck by a winsome face at an upper window. "Lud!" he cried
laconically, and dismounted, taking several dogs from his hat as he did
so, and one from his pocket; for he was devoted to animals, Bloodworthy
goes on to say, and often spent days stroking their soft ears
abstractedly. Then, seized by a sudden inspiration, he inquired of the
landlady as to whose was the face he had seen. In a trice the story was
told--the King waved his hand imperiously and took a pinch of snuff.
"Send her to me," he said.

When Sarah entered, all hot from her manual labours, Charles started to
his feet. Here was no scullion, no plaything of an idle hour. Here was
breeding, dignity and beauty. Ah! Beauty! Probably these cold shores
will never again shelter beauty like Sarah Twig's. On seeing the King
she curtsied low. He bowed with the stately elegance for which he was

"Your name?" he asked.

The glorious vision veiled her eyes.

"I have no name, sire--now." With these words, spoken from a heart
surcharged with bitterest sorrow, the poor woman swooned away.

"Lud!" remarked the King irritably, "the girl must have a name. You must
marry her, Francis--she shall be Lady Tunnell-Penge." Then the impulsive
monarch stooped, and, opening a locket on the unconscious woman's
breast, read the name Sarah in blue diamonds on an opaque background.
"But," he added softly under his breath, "I shall know her only as
'Winsome Sal'!"

Thus Sarah Twig, so nearly an outcast through her own girlish folly,
became possessor of a name honoured and even adored throughout England.

The first few years of her life at Court were more or less
uneventful--she saw little of her husband and lots of the King. He and
she used to wander along the river side, simply loaded with different
dogs. Whenever there were theatricals given, Sheepmeadow tells us, Sarah
invariably appeared as Diana or Minerva, preferring these parts on
account of their suitability to her youth and figure. All these events
took place long after Punter's portrait, though several others were done
latterly. Her wit and gaiety were of course world-famed, and her
political treatises are preserved to this day.[13]

On one dramatic occasion her brilliant political knowledge and presence
of mind were the means of saving England from turmoil or worse. Hearing
that the people were hungry and restless, Sarah rushed to the King.
"What's to do?" she cried breathlessly.

"God knows," replied Charles, adding "Lud!" as an afterthought. Then he
went on fondling the long silky ears of one of his lap-dogs with which
the room was strewn.

Heartbroken, Sarah left the room and rushed out of Whitehall as fast as
her legs could carry her, heeding not the jeers of the crowd. She made
for Tower Hill, from the summit of which she delivered her world-famous
political speech, ending with the stirring words, "Sift your corn
through sieves!"

How that speech sends a throb to one's heart--the defiance of it, the
subtlety of it, and yet the intense womanliness of it! The people
cheered her back to the palace. She went straight to the King's room--he
was feeding his dogs.

"I've saved England!" cried Sarah exultantly.

"Lud!" replied the King, and handed her some cat's-meat. No wonder women
loved him!

Incidents like these went to make up the multi-coloured mosaic of Sarah,
Lady Tunnell-Penge's life. Her children were many--Arthur, later on Lord
Crumpingfax; Muriel, later the Duchess of Dripp; and various others.

She died at the age of seventy-nine,[14] thus outliving her Royal
paramour. A beautiful life, a noble life, a gentle life--yet was there
something missing? Sometimes I gaze at her portrait and wonder.



Jabez Puffwater might have been so much physically, mentally and
publicly and has been so little any way that a tattered moral must hang
sadly upon the gaunt tree of his career.

He might have been many things--he might have been a successful
theatrical manager, or only an artistic one--he might have been a naval
commander, or a psychoanalyst, or a Christian Science healer--he might
have imparted to the United States Senate that infinitesimal something
which would probably have proved to be the greatest comfort, especially
in the cold weather.

If Mr. Belasco had not preferred Mr. David Warfield, Jabez Puffwater
might have made an enormous success in "The Return of Peter Grimm"--had
he but possessed an aptitude for histrionic achievement. He might have
sung at the Metropolitan year after year without ceasing if Miss
Geraldine Farrar had not taken an instantaneous dislike to him at
sight--and had he but possessed a flamboyant temperament and an
elementary knowledge of Puccini. In fact there is almost nothing he
couldn't have been if only Fate had but weaned him at the breast of
opportunity instead of ordaining his life drama to be played out in
lonely dignity in the drab but intensely political village of Oggsville,

Oggsville, Ken. has been for many years a hotbed of occasionally
seditious, but always subtle intrigue, the constructive and progressive
policy of the upper part of the town, near the railway bridge, being in
direct opposition to the destructive statesmanship and constitutional
conventionality of the lower residential quarter embracing the
timber-yard, Elijah Square, and Aunt Martha's Soda Fountain. Naturally
Jabez Puffwater, whose modest store stood figuratively and literally at
the crossing of the ways, was always in a somewhat uncertain state of
mind as to which side he should ultimately pin his colours. Perhaps on
a Tuesday St. John Eddle, a staunch upholder of the C. and P.P., would
enter Jabez's store and hit him in the face because he'd sent a tin of
sardines to the Furdlehoe Mansion on the other side of the River. And
maybe on a Friday Moses Whortleberry, a leading light of the D. S. and
C. C. would belabour him with one of his own hams for daring to acquaint
old Hiram Holdit, the station master, with the result of the cocoa
coupon competition.

One thing stood out firmly amid the turmoil of Jabez's environment--and
that was his idealistic and almost fanatical admiration of the exploits
of Buffalo Bill as depicted on the screen and retailed in small
paper-bound books. Indeed so struck was he by the verve and virility of
this astounding man that he took to attiring his lower limbs--which
seldom showed above the counter--in the breeches, leggings, belt and
pistol so well known to all lovers of the limitless prairie. The
infinite pathos of Jabez Puffwater's blind devotion to one whom he had
never seen will not fail to strike home to the stoniest heart. The
tragedy of this man whose dauntless spirit so far outgrew his physical
appearance--being compelled to sell cheeses, hams, molasses, etc, in
order to live, is far more pitiful to me than the stern virginity of
Queen Elizabeth, or even the nose of Cyrano de Bergerac.

It was when Jabez Puffwater had just reached his forty-third birthday
that he first became seriously implicated in that political bombshell,
the Goodge-Keewee Treaty made out with masterful cunning by Albert
Goodge and Nicholas Keewee, with the sole motive of undermining the
transcontinental railroad system to a devastating degree. The various
reasons both for and against this daring policy are so excellently and
clearly put forward in Vernon Treeby's "When Southern Blood is Dripping"
that I will not attempt to go into it here. Enough that it caused an
unparalleled sensation in Oggsville, Ken. and was indirectly the means
of introducing into the heart of Jabez Puffwater the secret fear which
was destined to grow ever larger and larger until eventually its black
wings beat his battered soul into eternity. "The fear of a Black
Rising!" Jabez was undoubtedly a man of more than average courage but
after reading the Goodge-Keewee Treaty he went back to his store a
harassed man. What did it all mean? Nobody knew. Ah, God! If only Jabez
Puffwater had possessed the inspiring rhetoric of a Bernard Proon, or
the imposing presence of a Freddie Hooter, what a lot he could have
done. As it was he just went home--aching--yet withal as yet
subconsciously--for the ability to be of use in some way, the
opportunity of distinguishing himself and saving his belovéd home town
from the awful effects of the fear that was fated from now onward to be
with him always--the dreaded Black Rising.

For many years after that fateful conference Jabez was to be seen every
evening seated outside his store with a horse pistol in his hand ever
pointed in the direction of the wooded hills to the Southward. Little
boys on their way home from school would throw mud at him, but he never
heeded them; little girls would make rude noises quite near him with
their rubber overshoes, but he ignored them utterly. I often wonder on
looking back what Douglas Bogtoe would have been had he but possessed
one half of Puffwater's concentrated repose. That celebrated appeal for
the Louisiana Canal installation would have been worded very differently
and as for his world-famed piscatorial argument with Olaf Campbell in
the Brooke Club--that would have probably been approached from an
entirely opposite angle.

To analyse and compare Bogtoe's electrical psychology with the
phlegmatic determination and boyish zeal of Puffwater would take, alas,
too long; so I will not seek to say more than that had the two widely
differentiated spirits but been combined within the same material
tissues--that a quainter nor a more peculiar juxtaposition of entities
it would have been hard to find, search where you may.

I try occasionally to picture to myself the lonely horror-stricken
nights Jabez Puffwater must have endured with that appalling fear always
crouching within him, egging him on towards the culminating tragedy of
his sad career.

There had been talk of a lynching in New Orleans and of a shooting in
Old Virginia and there were even whispers of a slapping in Alabama.

Jabez was priming his pistol one morning while he hastily scanned the
elevating disclosures--social and otherwise--of the New York American,
when a breathless woman rode up to the store on a tricycle. She
delivered a note to Jabez and waited while he read it.

"Come at once--am exceedingly ill--Aunt Topsy."

Jabez thought for a moment--then crushing down his rising apprehensions
he mounted his mare Buffalo Babs and made for the hills.

Ten miles there and ten miles back, and the fear always with him--the
fear of the Black Rising.

Many psychoanalysts have endeavoured to discover the exact motive for
Jabez Puffwater's sudden and unexpected slaying of his old Aunt
Topsy--whose coal-black arms had fondled him as a baby. Many theories
have been put forward, but none of them--with the exception, perhaps, of
Herman Pipper--possess the ring of truth. Pipper's deduction of the
circumstantial evidence is that it was all the outcome of a naughty
practical joke played by little Michael Drisher who appeared suddenly
during Jabez's interview with his Aunt and burst the awful news upon
them that there had been a fearful Black Rising in Oggsville, Ken. and
that debauch--murder--and worse were going on all over the globe.

"With a great cry," Pipper tells us, "Jabez smote his brow. 'At last!'
he moaned in deep anguish. 'At last it has come!' Then he turned, and
seizing a large milk bottle he battered the head of Aunt Topsy, crying
the while in the voice of a fanatic, 'For my home town! For my home
town! This is a just reprisal!!!' Then with a last look at the havoc he
had wrought he went out of the house and into the wilderness--"

Pipper's imaginative description ends too abruptly to be really
satisfactory; but one fact about the life of Jabez Puffwater will remain
emblazoned on America's history for time immemorial--that if he had only
possessed the rhetoric of a Proon--the presence of a Hooter--the
education of a Floop--the racial understanding of a Bogtoe and the
mentality of a Snurge--he would not only have proved himself invaluable
to the home constituency of Oggsville, Ken. but have been an entirely
different man altogether.



_From the famous etching by Grobmeyer_]

How strange it seems that she of whom we write is dust and less than
dust below the fertile soil of her so beloved Prussia--Furstin
Lieberwurst zu Schweinen-Kalber! Can you not rise from the grave once
more to charm us with the magic of your voice? Are those deep, mellowed
tones, so sonorous and appealing, never to be heard again? Ah, me! Why,
indeed, should such divinity be so short lived? Who could play Juliet as
she could? Nobody! Her enemies laughed and said that her chronic
adenoids utterly destroyed all the beauty of the part. Jealousy! Vile
jealousy! Genius always has that to contend with. Every one has
failings. Gretchen Lieberwurst zu Schweinen-Kalber made of Juliet a
woman--a pulsating, human woman, with failings like the rest of us, the
chief of which happened to be adenoids.[15]

To trace this soul-stirring actress to her obscure birth has indeed been
a labour--but withal, a labour of love! For who could help experiencing
exquisite joy at unearthing trinkets and miniatures and broken memories
of such a radiant being?

Nuremburg, red-roofed and gleaming in the sunlight, was the place
wherein she first saw the light of day. Her father, Peter Schmidt, was
by trade a sausage-moulder, for in those far-off days there was not the
vast machinery of civilisation to wield the good meat into the requisite
shape. Gretchen, when a girl, often used to watch her father as he plied
his trade and recite to him verses she had learnt at her dame
school--fragments from the Teutonic masterpieces of the time--"Kruschen
Kruschen," and--

    "Baby white and baby red,
      Like a moon convulsive
    Rolling up and down the bed,
      Utterly repulsive!"--

a beautiful little lullaby of Herman Veigel's. Gretchen used to recite
it with the tears pouring down her cheeks, so poignantly affected was
she by the sensitive beauty of it. Her father also used to weep
hopelessly--also her mother, if she happened to be near; and Heinrich,
the cat, invariably retreated under the sofa, unutterably moved.

Life dragged on with some monotony for Gretchen. She often used to help
her mother in the kitchen--and occasionally in the sitting-room. One day
she became a woman! Every one noticed it. Neighbours used to meet her
mother in the _strasse_ and say, "Frau Schmidt, your Gretchen is a
woman." Frau Schmidt would nod proudly and reply, "Yes, we have seen
that; my Peter and I--we are very happy." Thus Gretchen left her
girlhood behind her. It was her habit, so Grundelheim tells us, to walk
out in the forest with one Hans Breitel, an actor at the municipal
theatre. He used to teach her to talk to the birds, and when she
besought him ardently to tell her stories of the theatre, he would
relate to her the parts he had nearly played. Gretchen's heart
thrilled--oh to be an actress, an actress! On her twenty-fourth birthday
von Bottiburgen[16] tells us, Gretchen left home, and went to Berlin.
She wanted to get an interview with Goethe. One day, after she had been
in Berlin a little while, she found him. Brampenrich describes the scene
for us, so beautifully and with such truly exquisite rotundity of

"The Great Goethe ate at his lunch. What was that noise? He swiftly put
down his knife: the door bursts open; Gretchen Schmidt enters, her
lovely hair awry, her cheeks flushed. 'I will act!' she cries in
bell-like tones. '_Ach, ach!_' cries Goethe. Then Gretchen, with a
superb gesture, hangs her hat on the door handle, and recites to the
amazed man his beloved 'Faust,' word for word, syllable for syllable!"

Thus Brampenrich shows us, with his supreme word imagery, what really

Gretchen never saw Goethe again; he left Berlin almost immediately for
the Black Forest. Gretchen, alone in the great capital, alone and a
woman, what could she do? Grundelheim, in his celebrated "Toilers who
have Toiled," relates how desperately hard she worked with her mangle in
the Konigstrasse. Then one day, when things seemed at their blackest,
Romance, with its multi-coloured finger, poked a hole in the bubble of
her existence. The King of Prussia drove along the Konigstrasse, bowing
to right and left. Gretchen stepped lightly over her mangle and dropped
a curtsey. The King was immediately captivated, and a few hours later
the happy girl found herself in the Royal Palace. After that events
moved rapidly. At the lax German Court Gretchen soon forgot her austere
upbringing, and entered into the round games and charades with untold
abandon! Alas! the fickle heart of the King was soon turned from her.
Realising this Gretchen seized upon a noble much enamoured of her, Furst
Lieberwurst zu Schweinen-Kalber, and married him one spring morning in
the Chapel Royal. For three months they lived together in the Austrian
Tyrol; then Gretchen, heeding at last the persistent call of her art,
left him, and fled back to Berlin, where she obtained an engagement to
play Juliet. It was from that moment that her real passion for her part
developed. It grew to be an obsession--she was fêted, lauded, mentioned
in several public speeches. For sixty-five years she played it all over
Germany, never tiring, never weakening. People gibbered over her; then
came her tragic death at the age of ninety-two in the balcony scene. She
stumbled forward, Grundelheim says, then backward, then forward, then
backward again, and then forward for the last time. The balcony gave
way, and she fell at Romeo's feet (it was the great Fritz Schnotter,
with whom she had been playing for two years: in private life he was, of
course, her lover--she always insisted on that).

History tells us that he caught her in his arms--Bottiburgen contests
that he caught her in the middle of his chest; anyhow, the house is said
to have risen and cheered, thinking it was a new scene suddenly
interpolated. Then the curtain slowly fell, and they realised the
truth--they would never see their idolised Gretchen again.

In passing, it would perhaps be as well to mention some of the famous
Romeos who played opposite this bewitcher of all sexes. There was
Reginald Bug, a young Englishman, who loved her passionately for a few
years; then the renowned Pierre Dentifrice from the Comédie Française;
then Angelo Carlini, and Basto Caballero (founder of the Shakespearean
Theatre in Barcelona); then Dimitri Chuggski, a very temperamental,
highly strung Russian (it is in Volume VIII. of Edgar Sheepmeadow's
"Beds and their Inmates" that he relates the story of Chuggski's
desertion of Gretchen; he contends that he left her because she always
slept with her mouth open).

Her last and most famous lover on and off the stage was the
aforementioned Fritz Schnotter; he is treated lavishly in three volumes
of Bottiburgen.

Her portrait on page 100 is a reproduction of Grobmeyer's etching. The
original could formerly be viewed, I believe, by applying to the Kaiser
for permission and paying 18,000 marks.



Why is it that to some are vouchsafed such supreme gifts while other
have perforce to drag out their lives in the hideous monotony of offices
and banks and the like?

Jake D'Annunzio Spout--even he, Jake the glorious--Spout the
magnificent--commenced his career behind the counter of a delicatessen
on Ninth Avenue--and now--his name and glory have waved across America
like a pennon of victory. I do not intend as others have done to
describe every small detail of his early life[17]--I merely wish with a
few brief and decided strokes of the pen to expose to the public his
mastery of psychology, his exquisite grace of style and above all his
amazing supremacy of grammar. No writer since Steve Montespan Pligger
has achieved such stupendous feats of literature and even
he--Pligger--failed over his well-remembered attack on an English
Duchess, "The Fall of a Bloated Aristocrat." According to contemporary
criticisms it appears that through lack of familiarity with his subject
he was unable to make her bloated enough--which was a pity as the main
bulk of the book was intensely interesting, but Pligger, great as he
undoubtedly was, could never aspire to the heights of Spout. Many people
on reading Spout's first volume of poems in prose "Autumn in my Garden"
were heard to say with a shake of the head, "Pligger's sun has set, we
are at the Dawn of a new Era--the Spout Era!" Perhaps the greatest
factor in Spout's greatness is his amazing versatility. No one reading
"Marie of Chinatown" for the first time would believe the author capable
of "Across the Sound for a Wife"! The realistic sordidity of the former
balanced against the breathless adventure of the latter, combine in
stamping Spout as a genius of the highest order.

The three books he wrote while still working in the delicatessen store
are indelibly stamped with the pathos of his environment--"Thoughts in
Vinegar," a bitter satire on bohemianism--"Three Little Pickles," an
autobiography of the Barrymores as children and "The lonely Anchovy," a
whimsical fantasy which if we are to believe Town Topics made Sir James
Barrie quite furious.

The story of the sudden recognition of Jake D'Annunzio Spout's genius by
the more advanced literary coterie of New York City, etc., is widely
known but too charming to leave unmentioned. He was, so we are told,
seated on an upturned wooden box behind a pile of cheeses, sunk in a
reverie, when suddenly the door opened and three men came into the

"We wish to see Jake D'Annunzio Spout," said the foremost with a rich
Harvard accent.

Jake rose shyly, knocking a Camembert to the ground in his
embarrassment. "I am he," he said blushing.

A grey-haired man sniffed and waved his hand comprehensively. "You must
leave these sordid surroundings," he said in a beautifully modulated
voice in which a bad cold and a Yale intonation struggled for
precedence, "and come with us."

"Where to?" cried Jake clutching a salami sausage with boyish

All three men doffed their hats.

"To the Coffee House," they said reverently.

"At this point," says Earl Hank in his exquisite study, 'Spout Through
and Through,' tears of ecstasy gushed down the boy's cheeks. 'At last,'
he cried in a choked voice and swooned.

The three men gathered him up tenderly and carried him out towards the

Of course the salient feature of Hank's study of Spout is the deep love
and affection for his subject which permeates every page. Nobody but a
true enthusiast and lover of beauty could ever have been so inspired. It
was not until reaching the intellectually austere atmosphere of the
Coffee House that Spout regained consciousness: he opened his eyes
wearily, but the light of dazzled amazement replaced fatigue when he
beheld the company that surrounded him--every man's face seemed to be
stamped indelibly with the ineffaceable mark of artistic achievement.
Spout rose in happy, awed wonderment.

Hands were stretched forth to him in welcome and friendship--one of the
younger members gave vent to a furtive cheer but was instantly
suppressed. Lunch, we are told, was to the newly-discovered poet a long
dream of ecstasy, with the exception of one incident which, though
somewhat painful, it is necessary to retail in order to illustrate what
havoc habit can work on even the brightest psychologies. Earl Bowles (a
descendant of Senator Didcot Bowles--beloved by all) in his rather wordy
dissertation on "Intellects of the Hour" presents to us perhaps the most
vivid picture of the scene.

"Harvey Pricklebott, for several years editor of 'Art in the Home,'
leant forward to the dazed Spout and requested him to pass a plate of
cold tongue which was lying near. With businesslike alacrity Spout did
so--and then before anyone could prevent it--detached from his belt a
delicatessen payment check for 25 cents and pushed it across the table."

"There was a dreadful silence--Spout realising his appalling error
endeavoured to pass it off by humming the Jewel Song from Faust. For a
moment his nonchalance amazed everyone then as though a veil had been
suddenly snatched from their eyes they gave a great cry: 'This is Spout!
What Humour! What Roguery! Spout the Brilliant!'"

After this serio-comic contretemps every remark Spout made was hailed by
all as a gem of superlative wit.

From the moment of his entrance into the Coffee House, Spout's career
was assured--encouraged by his amazing success in a milieu to which many
aspired but few attained, he at once wrote about it, probably his most
world-famed novel, "The Continuous Fall of Harriet Ramsbotham." To say
that this daring attack upon existing social conditions caused a
sensation is to put the case mildly--it was a positive literary _tour de
force_. Take for example the extraordinarily vital passage in volume
two--when Harriet is insulted by Donald at a soda fountain, or the
sordidly realistic moment in volume three when she is horsewhipped by
Frederick on Long Beach--and above all perhaps those few tense seconds
in volume one when Norman having lured her to Childs' for supper brands
her left thigh with a flat-iron. Immediately upon publication of this
masterpiece Spout received five hundred and ninety-four letters from
anxious mothers, eight hundred and two requests for sexual advice from
oppressed governesses and several threatening telegrams from the police.

The ordinary everyday novelist would at once have become bombastic and
conceited at being the cause of such a universal upheaval--not so Spout.
He retired quite quietly to his cosy kitchenette apartment in Harlem and
wrote that charming and winsome essay in sentiment "Mollie's
Holiday"--which in due course he followed with his celebrated treatise
on reincarnation "A Drop of Blood" and "To Horse, to Horse" a stirring
romance of the Civil War.

I will not seek with convincing falsehoods and unscrupulous sophistry to
hide the fact that Jake D'Annunzio Spout was never quite a gentleman.
Others have endeavoured to do this and to my mind it is not only
degrading but quite unworthy of the man's genius to dwell on such paltry
failings as bad table manners, slight personal uncleanliness and the
like. Many of the greatest men in the world have bitten their nails, and
if we are to believe contemporary biographers, even the gloriously
verbose Carlyle was known to expectorate frequently and with the utmost
abandon while writing his world-famed fantasy "The French Revolution."

Jake Spout was perhaps twenty-six when he met H. Mackenzie Kump the
philanthropic millionaire whose intimate study "Spout, as I Knew Him"
met with such a brilliant success last year. Kump it was who cajoled and
eventually almost by force persuaded Jake to make a tour of the world.
Kump it was who nursed him devotedly through malaria in Mombasa,
dysentery in Delhi, hernia in Hong Kong, cramp in Cape Town and acute
earache in Edinburgh, and who soothed his bedside with almost womanly
tenderness during his fearful outbreak of varicose veins in Vancouver.
The work Spout accomplished in spite of slightly adverse circumstances
while abroad was quite stupendous and had it not been for his tragic
marriage would doubtless have been published with alacrity and read by
millions. It was presumably the will of an unkind fate that he should be
pursued and eventually captured by Esmé Chaddle--a woman not only
without scruples of any description but possessing a revoltingly ugly
face and the temper of a fiend. It was on their honeymoon that she
became suddenly cross at breakfast and burnt all the unpublished MSS.
that she could find in the back yard, thereby destroying heartlessly the
luscious fruits of untold labour while abroad. Spout with the
contradictory stubbornness characteristic of so many geniuses
continued--though very hurt--to adore his vixenish wife with the blind
concentrated passion which for so many years had impregnated his work
and now, alas, was running to waste on such an unyielding desert. His
literary friends and admirers one and all shook their heads sadly,
perceiving reluctantly that the end was in sight. For two years Spout
wrote nothing but three short articles,[18] then as though some
premonition of impending disaster touched with flaming wings the
sleeping carcase of his talent he sat down and wrote his soul-searching
national appeal "Hist." This he completed on his thirty-first birthday.

For a true and sincere description of that last tragic night we must
turn to Richard Floop--whose love for Spout has lent his pen so much
glamour and poetry.

"Dusk was falling when Jake stole softly out through the scullery door
and clambered on the char-à-banc for Coney Island. On arrival at that
home of gaiety and irresponsibility he forgot his troubles--his sordid
domestic upheavals--even his talent he suppressed and merged himself
like an ordinary human being into the mad spirit of carnival. With
boyish shouts he rolled on the joy-wheel; with childish gurgles he
bestrode strange and jolting painted horses and waved his hat daringly
when the merry-go-round was at its fastest. His excitement on the
helter-skelter knew no bounds--while his delighted screams in the river
caves called forth many appreciative raspberries from the friendly
crowds. With no presentiment that this evening of unadulterated ecstasy
was to be the culminating and final sensation in his eventful life he
stepped into that fatal compartment on the big wheel--from which a
quarter of an hour later he hurtled when at an enormous height from the

There ends Floop's beautiful and heart-breaking picture of the death of
a great and wonderful man. Some say it was suicide--others that he was
merely leaning out too far in admiration of the view. Who knows what
really inspired that sudden fierce rush to death? But whatever the cause
there is one fact that remains--shining like a star above the squalid
wreck of his latter years--he died happy. The indisputable proof of this
can be obtained from perusal of the first line of a poem which was
discovered in his breast pocket:

    "All Hail to Fun and Merriment--"

The less widely-known works of Jake D'Annunzio Spout are as follows:

    "Sun-dappled Dreams," a book of poems.
    "Through Bavaria with a Note-book."
    "The Sin of Pharoah Bubster."


    "With Lincoln in Calcutta," a Fantasy.

Fountain-pen pieces and ever-sharp pencil in collection of H. Mackenzie



_From the portrait by Baloona (early Spanish)_]

Spain has ever been the home of romance and beauty and fiery passion,
but never in its whole history has it bred such a tremulously beautiful
love story as that of Donna Isabella Angelica y Bananas. A romance of
two passionate hearts in such a vivid setting cannot but fail to make
the eye kindle and the pulses throb. Compared to it, Lancelot and Elaine
become cardboard puppets, Dante and Beatrice figures of clay utterly
devoid of life, while Paolo and Francesca appear merely idiotic.

Picture to yourself, if you will, the Spain of the Middle Ages; if you
can't, it doesn't matter. Isabella Angelica was born at Seville in 1582,
the daughter of Don Juan de Cabarajal and Maria his wife. Don Juan owned
the Castello del Hurtado, having been left it by his infamous but regal
uncle, Don Lopez a Basastos.

The Castello lay surrounded in the foreground by turrets and moats, in
the middle distance by orange groves and extraordinarily verdant
meadows; while in the background the majestic Pyrenees, rearing their
snowy peaks in serried ranks of symmetrical splendour, imparted to the
whole thing the semblance of rugged grandeur which is the birthright of
every true Spaniard. Isabella Angelica's childhood dawned and waned in
these exquisite surroundings: she would play with her tutors various
games, some of them traditional, such as "catch orange" and
"_raralara_,"[19] and now and then frolics of her own invention, for
history tells us she was ever a merry little trickster. It was not until
she was seventeen that the true radiance of her beauty became apparent.
Her mother had been wiser to guard the child more closely than she did,
for do we not read in Dr. Polata's "From Girl to Woman" that between the
ages of nineteen and twenty she was constantly seen mounting the
Pyrenees in a daring fashion and entirely unattended? But still,
doubtless owing to her charming nature, which was a sweet composition
of mischief and kindliness, she remained unspoilt by this undesirable
contact with a rude world which should, until her marriage, have been
outside her girlish ken.

When she reached the age of twenty--"the very threshold of womanhood,"
as Fernando Lope so beautifully puts it--she was betrothed to Pedro y
Bananas, a noble fresh from the vice and debauchery of the Court at
Valladolid. Knowing naught of love or passion, she consented without
hesitation, being but a tool in the hands of her parents, and a few
months later the wedding took place with enormous pomp in the Cathedral
at Seville.

After the ceremony the bride and bridegroom repaired to the Palazza
Bananas, the country seat of Pedro, who, though poor himself, had had
many costly estates handed down to him.

Here, so report tells us, after subjecting Isabella Angelica for three
years to the vilest insults and utmost cruelty, Pedro left her
temporarily and returned to the Court, now at Castille. Poor Isabella
Angelica! This was the gay world she had dreamed of--the ecstatic life
she had hoped and fully expected to live!

Then suddenly with the departure of her husband, she found peace--peace
in the rocky solitudes, in the scented gardens and rolling foothills;
and here this poor, lonely woman found fulfilment of all her maiden

No one knows the authentic story of her first meeting with Enrique
Baloona. Some say he was fishing for _bolawallas_[20] and she came
graciously up and asked him the time; others aver that he was passing
beneath her lattice and she dropped a fluted hair-tidy at his feet. But
anyhow, from the time they first met they never parted until it was
absolutely necessary. They pursued the course of their love through the
long, tranquil summer days and nights--every word they uttered one to
the other was sheer poetry. Enrique, who was a fully qualified
academician, painted the portrait reproduced on page 124. It is alas!
the only one in existence, all the others having been destroyed by the

But alack! as is the way with all beauty, it is but short-lived. The end
of their peaceful passion came with the announcement of Pedro's return
from the Court, now at Aragon. Isabella Angelica, history relates, was
beside herself with misery. Enrique also was considerably upset.
Together the doomed couple arranged a plan of escape. They flew together
to the Villa Morla, a notorious abode of illicit lovers. It was here
that the enraged Pedro caught up with them and killed Enrique with a
look. Isabella Angelica was then taken against her will to join the
Court. At last at Madrid. For two years, Dr. Polata tells us, her heart
was numb with anguish; then gradually the life at Court, still at
Madrid, began to take effect on her malleable character. She became
intensely vicious: much of the sweetness portrayed in Enrique's portrait
vanished, leaving her expression cross and occasionally even sullen. All
the world knows of her meeting with the Infanta, so we will not dwell
upon it. One day her husband died unexpectedly. Cruel-minded courtiers
suspected Isabella Angelica, but she was so obviously crushed that their
suspicions were allayed. Her heart exulted--she had killed him with a
poisoned pen-wiper. No one knew. Poor Isabella Angelica! Her tragic love
affair had indeed transformed her from the appealing girl of yesterday
to the recklessly unhappy woman of to-day, forced on to the path of
cruelty and vice by unlooked-for circumstances. She performed this deed
and that with almost mechanical diabolicism; some say she knew not one
day from another. In 1597 she was offered an exceedingly good position
by the Inquisition, which she immediately accepted. It was, she felt,
her only chance of happiness--to have the opportunity of inventing a few
good tortures would comfort her; and why not? People of to-day, narrow
and unsympathetic, may censure her as being spiteful and unkind, but in
those days things were--oh, so different!

She sent for her little brother and had him burnt; this eased the pain
at her heart a little. Then her aunt was conveyed to her from Majorca,
and on arrival was pierced by several bodkins and ultimately buried in
hot tar. Isabella Angelica almost gave vent to a wan smile.

She supervised her father's death, the actual work being performed by
her colleagues of the Inquisition. He was cut in moderate-sized snippets
and toasted on one side only.

It says much for Isabella Angelica's charm and personality that the
populace, in spite of their knowledge of her deeds, one and all adored
her--to the end of her life the unstinting love and adulation of all who
came in contact with her was hers irretrievably.

It was during the personal mutilation of her third cousin that she
caught the influenza cold which cost her her life. Poor, doomed Isabella
Angelica: her death-bed was surrounded by heart-broken mourners who had
flocked from all parts of sunny Spain to pay tribute to the dying
beauty; the Inquisition issued an edict that no eyes were to be put out
for a whole week in honour of her.

She died peacefully, clasping an ivory rosary and a faded miniature on
elephant's hide, portraying a handsome, debonair young man. Could it
have been Enrique Baloona?

Thus lived and died one of Spain's most entrancing specimens of feminine


Born in an obscure Scotch manse of Jacobite parents, Maggie McWhistle
goes down to immortality as perhaps the greatest heroine of Scottish
history; and perhaps not. We read of her austere Gallic beauty in every
record and tome of the period--one of the noble women whose paths were
lit for them from birth by Destiny's relentless lamp. What did Maggie
know of the part she was to play in the history of her country? Nothing.
She lived through her girlhood unheeding; she helped her mother with the
baps and her father with the haggis; occasionally she would be given a
new plaidie--she who might have had baps, haggis, and plaidies ten
thousandfold for the asking. A word must be said of her parents. Her
father, Jaimie, known all along Deeside as Handsome Jaimie--how the
light-hearted village girls mourned when he turned minister: he was
high, high above them. Of his meeting with Janey McToddle, the Pride of
Bonny Donside, very little is written. Some say that they met in a
snowstorm on Ben Lomond, where she was tending her kine; others say that
they met on the high road to Aberdeen and his collie Jeannie bit her
collie Jock--thus cementing a friendship that was later on to ripen into
more and more--and even Maggie. Some years later they were wed, and
Jaimie led his girl-bride to the little manse which was destined to be
the birthplace of one of Scotland's saviours. History tells us little of
Maggie McWhistle's childhood: she apparently lived and breathed like any
more ordinary girl--her griddle cakes were famous adown the length and
breadth of Aberdeen. Gradually a little path came to be worn between the
manse and the kirk, seven miles away, where Maggie's feet so often trod
their way to their devotions. She was intensely religious.

One day a stranger came to Aberdeen. He had braw, braw red knees and
bonnie, bonnie red hair. History tells us that on first seeing Maggie
in her plaidie he smiled, and that the second time he saw her he
guffawed, so light-hearted was he.

One day he called at the manse, chucked Maggie under the chin, and ate
one of her baps. Eight years later he came again, and, after tweaking
her nose, ate a little haggis. By then something seemed to have told her
that he was her hero.

One dark night, so the story runs, there came a hammering on the door.
Maggie leapt out of her truckle, and wrapping the plaidie round her, for
she was a modest girl, she ran to the window.

"Wha is there?" she cried in Scotch.

The answer came back through the darkness, thrilling her to the marrow:

"Bonnie Prince Charlie!"

Maggie gave a cry, and, running down-stairs, opened the door and let him
in. She looked at him in the light shed by her homely candle. His brow
was amuck with sweat: he was trembling in every limb; his ears were

"What has happened?"

"I am pursued," he replied, hoarse with exertion and weariness. "Hide
me, bonnie lassie, hide me, hide me!"

Quick as thought, Maggie hid him behind the door, and not a moment too
soon. Then she displayed that strength of will and courage which was to
stamp her as a heroine for all time. There came a fresh hammering on the
door. Maggie opened it defiantly, and never flinched at the sight of so
many brawny men; she only wrapped her plaidie more tightly round her.

"We want Bonnie Prince Charlie," said the leader, in Scotch.

Then came Maggie's well-known answer, also in Scotch.

"Know you not that this is a manse?"

History has it that the man fell back as though struck, and one by one,
awed by the still purity of the white-faced girl, the legions departed
into the night whence they had come. Thus Maggie McWhistle proved
herself the saviour of Bonnie Prince Charlie for the first time.

There were many occasions after that in which she was able to prove
herself a heroine for his sake. She would conceal him up the chimney or
in the oven at the slightest provocation. Soon there were no trees for
thirty miles round in which she had not hidden him at some period or

Poor Maggie--perchance she is finding in heaven the peaceful rest which
was so lacking in her life on earth. For legend hath it that she never
had two consecutive nights' sleep for fifteen years, so busy was she
saving Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Then came that great deed which even now finds an exultant echo in the
heart of every true Scotsman--that deed which none but a bonnie, hardy
Highland lassie could have got away with.... You all know of the massing
of James' troops at Carlisle, and later at Glasgow, and later still at
Aberdeen. Poor Prince Charlie--so sonsie and braw, a fugitive in his own
land--he fled to Loch Morich, followed by Maggie McWhistle in her
plaidie, carrying some haggis and baps to comfort him in his exile.
History is rather hazy as to exactly what happened; but anyhow, Maggie,
with the tattered banner of her country fast unfurling in her heart,
decided to save her hero for the last time; and it was well she did not
tarry longer, for he was sore pressed. History relates that two tears
fell from his eyes on to the shore.[22] Then Maggie, with a brave smile,
handed him a bap.

"Eat," she said in Scotch; "you are probably very hungry."

These simple words, spoken straight from her heart, had the effect, so
chroniclers inform us, of pulling him together a bit.

"Where can I hide?" he asked.

Maggie looked at him fearlessly for a moment.

"You shall hide in a tree," she cried, with sudden inspiration.

Bonnie Prince Charlie fell on his braw red knees.

"Please," he cried pleadingly, "could it be an elm? I'm so tired of
gnarled oaks."

"Yes!" cried the courageous girl exultantly. "Quick, we will trick them

Then came the supreme moment--the act of sheer devotion that was to
brand that simple soul through the ages as a noble martyr in, alas! a
lost cause. Shading her eyes with her hand, she perceived a legion of
the enemy encamped on the one island of which the lonely Gallic loch
boasted. Her woman's wit had devised a plan. Flinging baps and haggis to
the winds, she leapt into a boat and began to row--you all know the
story of that fateful row. Round and round the island she went for three
weeks,[23] never heeding her tired arms and weary hands; blisters came
and went, but she felt them not; her hat flew off, but the lion-hearted
woman never stopped;[24] and all to convince the troops on the island
that it was a fleet approaching under the command of Bonnie Prince
Charlie. Completely routed, every officer and man swam to the mainland
and beat a retreat, and not until the last of them had gone did Maggie
relinquish her hold on the creaking oars.

Thus did the strategy of a simple Highland lassie defeat the aims of
generals whose hearts and souls had been steeped from birth in the
sanguinary ways of war. Of her journey home with the Prince you all
know; and what her white-haired father said when she arrived you've
heard hundreds of times. There has been a lot of argument as to the
exact form the Prince's gratitude took. Some say he unwrapped her
plaidie and went away with it; others write that he cut a lock of his
braw red hair and gave it to her with his usual merry smile; but the
authentic version of that moving scene is that of the burnt scone.
Maggie had baked a scone and handed it to him; then, after he had bitten
it, he handed it back.

"Nay, lassie, nay," he is said to have remarked. "My purse is empty but
my heart is full. Take this scone imprinted by my royal teeth, and
treasure it."

Then with a debonair bow and a ready laugh, a mocking shout and
whimsical wink, he went out into dreary Galway--a homeless wanderer.

Of Maggie's death very little is known. Some say she died of hay-fever;
others say it was nasal catarrh; but only her old mother, with a woman's
unerring instinct, guessed the truth: in reality she died of a broken
heart and a burnt scone.



Under the blue-grey shadow of the Didcot Bowles bungalow, with beech
trees and pussy willows fringing the banks of the river Sippe which
runs, or ran before it was dammed, down past old Caesar Earwhacker's
bicycle shed, three miles from the village of Sagrada, Conn., to the
West and eight miles from Roosefelt under the hill to the North leaving
the South free for a Black Rising and the East for the Civil War;--there
in the seventeenth cottage, with green shutters, below the bridge--with
the pine cones occasionally tap-tapping against the pantry window--owing
to a strange combination of circumstances Rupert Plinge's elder sister
first saw the light of day. Rupert himself being born ten months later
at Guffle Hoe.

Had he been born on the lower reaches of the Yukon and baptised by a
remittance man in a Wesleyan Chapel, he would probably not have
suffered so acutely from the cold as he did at Guffle Hoe, nor could he
have been more persistently victimised and handicapped in after life by
bronchial asthma and pyorrhoea of the gums.

Though coldness for a baby was unpleasant in 1870 it was infinitely more
tiresome in 1592 and perfectly devastating in 1306. But Guffle Hoe--try
to reflect if possible the troglodytic fun of being born within earshot
and eyeshot of people such as Granville Boo, General Udby, Ex-President
Sumplethock, Senator Mills-Tweeper and Harriet Beecher Stowe; and places
such as Mount Knitting, Mudlake West, Pigeon Park and Appleblossom
Villa. These influential factors combined were undoubtedly the
foundations of the enormous mathematical ability which became apparent
long before the boy attained the age of three, but unfortunately for the
level development of his mentality, the repulsive plainness of Senator
Mills-Tweeper coupled with the innate idiocy of General Udby, completely
overshadowed the girlish charm of Harriet Beecher Stowe. Had Rupert
been consulted would he have liked playing the game at all--holding the
cards in the wrong hand as he did from the very start without the
slightest conception of what the game really was and why they were
playing it? But it is quite obvious now to anyone looking back over the
years that had the cards of his life been shuffled by his Auntie Gracie
before her elopement to the Klondyke with Ex-Senator Fortescue, the
ultimate stakes would have been immeasurably dissimilar. At this time
the harsh political spirit of Guffle Hoe was morally if not physically
and perhaps mentally inflamed by the appearance of several tramp
steamers in the mouth of the Sippe, a new hay-cart at Oozeworthy Farm,
and the flashing of the electrifying news across the newly erected
telegraph wires that Peter Rotepillar and Henry Plugg had, apart from
their dramatic refusal to enter themselves as candidates for the
Presidency, declined to take any further interest in politics at all and
had set up a flourishing bee nursery in Bokewood, Mass. This was on a
Friday. Rupert was two months old and naturally sensitive--living and
sometimes breathing in such a political atmosphere--to the far-reaching
effects of such a shattering blow to the constituency. Of all this that
was being performed to complicate his education he became suddenly
conscious of an innate sense of the roundness of the whole universe. He
began to find himself continually oppressed by the protuberant nearness
and corresponding magnitude of his mother's face, which grafted itself
upon his infant psychology by looming with maddening regularity over his
cot and consciousness. The peculiar rotundity of this good woman's
countenance seemed to illustrate to the rising sun of his genius the
ethics of that science at which--had he but lived seventy years
later--he might have become so famous:--Geography.

On September 9th, 1871, he developed croup, which in due course promoted
him to one of the first steps of artistic education--Colour.

For several days he hung between life and death, turning an exquisite
shade of purple and black as each new coughing fit seized him. This not
unusual phenomenon impressed its vivid seal upon the plastic wax of his
unfledged memories with extraordinary precision. In after life, for a
long while, he was quite unable to gaze at an ordinary muscat grape or a
coal-scuttle without either biting his comforter right through or being
extremely sick. Naturally this disability coupled with the physical
weakness and sense of impotence that he invariably experienced when in
the company of his older companions occasioned him much unhappiness; in
fact, many of the intense sorrows of his childhood were caused by the
thoughtless mockery of his sister Leah Clara, aged nineteen months.

To the uninitiated spectator it would appear when gazing casually at
young Rupert Plinge that the psychologically educational environment
surrounding him was deeply impregnated with the spirit of political
reformation which, though neither Elizabethan in tone nor strictly
Cromwellian in atmosphere, was strongly suggestive to the lay mind of
the Second Empire. The subconscious force of this abstract influence
went far toward moulding the delicate shoots of his rapidly developing
mentality into a brilliant knowledge of weights and measures, decimals,
and the native population of Borneo.

Whether Rupert was enjoying his rubber comforter on the cool green
grass, or on the slightly painful gravel, or on the fiercely hot
asphalt, summer was to him a season of unsurpassed sensuality, flooding
his character with rich productive thought and a passionate adoration
for his great-aunt Maud, who was wont to beguile the long sun-stained
hours by lying amid cushions among the foliage, humming "The
Star-Spangled Banner," while she removed with the point of her
nail-scissors caramels and other adhesive morsels from the gutta-percha
plate of her new false teeth which lay in her lap.

With an amazing clarity of perception which, though generally supposed
to be inherited from his great-uncle Miles, for fifty-four years
Unitarian minister in the Red Lamp district of Honolulu, would
undoubtedly in the searching light of twentieth century vision be mainly
attributed to prenatal influences and astronomical premonitions, he
realised that the atmosphere was exceedingly chilly in the winter.

Later biographists have exposed with somewhat malicious emphasis the one
weak point in an otherwise magnificently constructed intelligence--to
wit, the peculiar inability to recognise the inner psychology and
spiritual determination of his great-grandfather--Bobbie Plinge--who as
all the world knows met a tragic death at the hands of Great Brown
Spratt, the last but _one_ of the Mohicans, some fifteen years before
the birth of Rupert himself. This deficiency in one of the greatest of
all American characters was in a measure remedied by his excessive
appreciation of his grandfather O'Callaghan Soddle's luxurious house in
Boob Street, later on when the abode of stupendous intellect had been
completely gutted by fire and soaked in water. The boy Rupert, then aged
two years and a fortnight, exercised a fiercely dominant influence upon
the ground charts, plans, etc., for the new palatial residence which was
soon to rear its mighty pillars and porticos not so very far from the
ivy-grown cottage which in the past had on several occasions sheltered
the wistful personality of Harriet Beecher Stowe.

The inherent passion for beauty thus crystallized in the mellowing
virility of the boy's finely wrought temperament went far toward
satisfying his deep-rooted and well-nigh insatiable yearning for city

In the strange juxtaposition to his unequalled comprehension of national
political problems was a surprising streak of frank insouciance and
happy-hearted boyishness, which frequently expressed itself in the open
defiance of authority in the shape of his great-aunt Maud, his slightly
dropsical mother (née Sheila Soddle) and his two resident cousins,
Alexander Chaffinch and Dorothy Bonk, who at moments were entirely
unable even to bend the finely tempered steel of his inflexible will,
therefore on the one occasion when his decisive plans were unexpectedly
frustrated an impression was photographed with extraordinary bas-relief
upon his mind of the omnipotence of his quite infirm Grandfather
Soddle--and of power as a concrete argument. The incident being the
removal of a half-sucked tin soldier from his hand by the subtle device
of striking his knuckles sharply with the fire tongs. Then and always
the boy insisted that this method of reprimand justified his apparent
submission; the emptiness of his hand and the smarting of his knuckles
indubitably marking probably the only occasion in his life when all his
strategical points abruptly turned inward. Contrary to the suppositions
of impartial psychologists, far from breeding the slightest resentment
against old Mr. Soddle, this occurrence inspired an active dislike to
great-aunt Maud who had indulged in her ever-irritating laugh at his
expense. He expressed his natural anger by filling her handkerchief-case
with bacon fat, and other boyish revenges of a like nature.

A child whose soaring entity had been nourished and over tended in such
an exotic forcing house of accumulated endeavour and democratic
emancipation must indubitably have been the first to realise that the
austerity of his massive intellect was within measurable distance of
completing that predestined cycle of universal knowledge and aspiring
ultimately to the glorious pinnacle of political achievement.

Rupert Plinge's fourth birthday had scarce dawned across the hills of
time when the long drawn out shadow of earthly obscurity completely
enveloped the brightest flower of nineteenth century America. The almost
morbid cultivation of his superluminary brain reached its devastating
climax while committing to memory the anatomy of the common grub in
order to demonstrate to the Eastern constituency the fundamental
principles of fiscal autonomy. Lying in his cot, his large pale eyes
fixed grimly on a visionary goal, he realised with an intuitive pang
that the hour of dismissal was at hand. Calling his mother to him he
asked his last illuminating question, his mind groping still in search
of truth's flaming beacon:

"Mother, why am I dying?"

Mrs. Plinge leant over him and whispered impressively, "You are dying of
dropsy caused by over-education!" And turning on her heel she went
slowly out of the room.

Delirium entered the darkening nursery. Rupert, clasping his hot-water
bottle raptly, murmured dreamily as he merged into the Great Unknown,
the crystallisation of the subconscious influence which had permeated
his whole career--

    "Dropsy, Dropsy,
    Topsy, Topsy--
    Harriet Beecher Stowe."


[Illustration: ANNA PODD

_From a very old Russian oleograph_]

Though of humble origin, though poor and unblessed with any of life's
luxuries, Anna Podd made her way in the world with unfaltering
determination. The tragedy of her life was perhaps her ambition, but who
could blame her for wishing to better herself? She had nothing--nothing
but her beauty. What a woman's beauty can do for herself and her country
is amply portrayed in the kaleidoscopic pageant of Anna Podd's life. The
only existing picture of her (here reproduced) was discovered in Moscow
after Ivan Buminoff's well-remembered siege, lasting seventeen years.
Poor Anna! Destiny seemed ruthlessly determined to lead her so far and
no further. A Tsar loved her, which is more than falls to the lot of
some women, yet fate's unrelenting finger was forever placed upon the
pulse of her career.

Of her parents nothing is known. We first hear of her in a low cabaret
in St. Petersburg West. All night, so Serge Tadski tells us in "Russian
Realism," it was her sordid duty to flaunt that exquisite loveliness
which Heaven had bestowed upon her before the devouring eyes of every
sort and description of Russian man. She was wont to sway rhythmically
and sinuously to the crazy band which played for her; now and then, with
pain in her heart and a merry laugh on her lips, she would leap onto the
tables and snap her fingers indiscriminately.

Often it was her duty to drink off glass after glass of champagne; but
she never became inebriated.[25] Her purpose in life was too set--she
meant to break away. In Nicholas Klick's "Life of Anna Podd" he states
that she met the Tsar at a ball, whence she was hired professionally.
This statement is entirely untrue; and I am more than surprised that
such a talented man as Klick should have made such a grievous error.

It has been absolutely impossible to unearth the true story of her
meeting with the Tsar.

It was after their meeting that the real progress of her career
commenced. Her Royal master established her in the palace as
serving-maid to the ailing Tsarina, a generous but somewhat tactless act
on his part. Somehow or other, history whispers, Anna fell foul of the
Tsarina--they simply hated one another. Occasionally the Tsarina would
throw hot water over Anna for sheer spite. Poor Anna, her beauty was
alike her joy and her terror. The Tsarina, Klick informs us, was
somewhat plain, and knew it--hence her distaste for the dazzling Anna.

One day, the Tsarina died--no one knew why. Anna, guileless and innocent
enough, was at once suspected by all as having poisoned her, except the
Tsar, who, to avert further suspicion, promptly created her Duchess of
Poddoff. This mark of royal esteem had the effect of quieting the people
for a while at least. Life went on much as usual at the Royal Palace.
Anna was kept in close seclusion for safety's sake. The Tsar loved her
with a steady, burning devotion which caused him to have all his
children by the Tsarina rechristened "Anna," indiscriminately of sex.

One day a messenger arrived in blue and yellow uniform[26] to bid the
Tsar gird himself for war. When the luckless Anna heard the news, she
was with her women (all ladies of title): some say she swooned; others
aver that she merely sat down rather suddenly. Fate had indeed dealt her
a smashing blow. Once her Imperial lover left her side she would at once
be taken prisoner and flung God knows where. This she knew
instinctively, intuitively. Klick describes for us her dramatic scene
with the Tsar.

"He was just retiring to bed," he writes, "preparatory to making an
early start the next morning, when the door burst open, and Anna,
tear-stained and sobbing, threw herself into the room and, hurling
herself to the bed, flung herself at his feet, which, owing to his
immensity of stature, were protruding slightly over the end of the
mattress. 'Take me with you!' she cried repeatedly. 'No, no, no!'
replied the Tsar, equally repeatedly. At length, worn out by her
pleading, the poor woman fell asleep. It was dawn when the Tsar,
stepping over her recumbent form, bade her a silent good-bye and went
out to face unknown horror. Half an hour later Anna was flung into a
dungeon, preceding her long and tiring journey to Siberia."

Thus Klick describes for us the pulsating horror of perhaps one of the
most pitiful nights in Russian history.

In those days the journey to Siberia was infinitely more wearisome than
it is now. Poor Anna! She was conveyed so far in a litter, and so far in
a sleigh, and when the prancing dogs grew tired she had perforce to
walk. Heaven indeed have pity on those unfortunate women from whom the
eye of an Emperor has been removed.

For thirty long years Anna slaved in Siberia. She drew water from the
well, swept the floor of the crazy dwelling wherein she lived, lit the
fire, and polished the samovar when necessary. In her heart the bird of
hope occasionally fluttered a draggled wing: would he send for
her--would he? If only the war were ended! But no! Rumours came of
fierce fighting near Itchbanhar, where the troops of General Codski were
quartered. It was, of course, the winter following the fearful siege of
Mootch. According to Brattlevitch in Volume II. of "War and Why," the
General had arranged three battalions in a "frat" or large semi-circle,
in the comparative shelter of a "boz" or low-lying hill, in order to
cover the stealthy advance of several minor divisions who were thus able
to execute a miraculous "yombott" or flank movement, so as to gain the
temporary vantage ground of an adjacent "bluggard" or coppice. All this,
of course, though having nothing material to do with the life of Anna
Podd, goes to show the reader what a serious crisis Russia was going
through at the time.

It was fifteen years after peace was declared that the Tsar sent a
messenger to Siberia commanding Anna's immediate release and return, and
also conferring upon her the time-honoured title of Podski. Anna was
hysterical with joy, and filled herself a flask of vodka against the
journey home. Poor Anna--she was destined never to see St. Petersburg

It was while they were changing sleighs at a wayside inn that she was
attacked by a "mipwip" or white wolf,[27] which consumed quite a lot of
the hapless woman before anyone noticed.

Brattlevitch tells us that the Tsar was utterly dazed by this cruel
bereavement. He had Anna's remains embalmed with great pomp and buried
in a public park, where they were subsequently dug up by frenzied
anarchists.[28] He also conferred upon her in death the deeds and title
of Poddioskovitch, thus proving how a poor cabaret girl rose to be one
of the greatest ladies in the land.


[Illustration: SOPHIE]

Contemporary history tell us little of Sophie, later chronicles tell us
still less, while the present-day historians know nothing whatever about
her. It is only owing to concentrated research and indomitable patience
that we have succeeded in unearthing a few facts which will serve to
distinguish her from that noble band of unknown heroines who have lived,
paid the price, and died, unnoted and unsung!

She was born at Esher. The name of her parents it has been impossible to
discover, and as to what part of Esher she first inhabited we are also
hopelessly undecided.

As a child some say she was merry and playful, while others describe her
as solemn and morose. The reproduction on page 170 is from an old print
discovered by some ardent antiquaries hanging upside down in a disused
wharf at Wapping.

It was obviously achieved when she was somewhere between the ages of
twenty and forty. The unknown artist has caught the fleeting look of
ineffable sadness, as though she entertained some inward premonition of
her destiny and her spirit was rebelling dumbly against what was

Esher in those days was but a tiny hamlet--a few houses clustered here,
and a few more clustered there. London, then a graceful city set upon a
hill, could be seen on a clear day from the northernmost point of Esher.
On anything but a clear day it was, of course, impossible to see it at
all. Esher is now, and always has been, remarkable for its foliage. In
those days, when the spring touched the earth with its joyous wand, all
the trees round and about the village blossomed forth into a mass of
green. The river wound its way through verdant meadows and pastures. In
winter-time--providing that the frost was very strong--it would become
covered in ice, thus forming a charming contrast to early spring and
late autumn, when the rain was wont to transform it into a swirling
torrent, which often, so historians tell us, rose so high that it
overflowed its banks and caused much alarm to the inhabitants of Esher
proper. We do not use the expression "Esher proper" from any prudish
reason, but merely because Little Esher, a mile down the road, might in
the reader's mind become a factor to promote muddle if we did not take
care to indicate clearly its close proximity.

Esher, owing to its remarkable superabundance of trees, was in
summertime famous for its delightful variety of birds: magpies,
jackdaws, thrushes and wagtails, in addition to the usual sparrows and
tom-tits, were seen frequently; occasionally a lark or a starling would
charm the villagers with its song.

The soil of Esher, contrary to the usual supposition, was not as fertile
as one could have wished. Often, unless planted at exactly the right
time, fruit and vegetables would refuse to grow at all. The main road
through Esher proper, passing later through Little Esher, was much used
by those desiring to reach Portsmouth or Swanage or any of the Hampshire
resorts. Of course, travellers wishing to visit Cromer or Southend or
even Felixstowe would naturally leave London by another route entirely.

Dick Turpin was frequently seen tearing through Esher, with his face
muffled, and a large hat and a long cloak, riding a horse, at
night--there was no mistaking him.

According to Sophie's diary, written by her every day with unfailing
regularity for thirty-five years, she always just missed seeing Dick
Turpin. This was apparently a source of great grief to her; often she
would pause by the roadside and weep gently at the thought of him. Poor
Sophie! One was to ride along that very road who was destined to mean
much more to her than bold Dick Turpin. But we anticipate.

It was perhaps early autumn that saw Esher at its best--how brown
everything was, and yet, in some cases, how yellow! As a hunting centre
it was very little used, though occasionally a stag or wild boar would,
like Dick Turpin, pass through it.

One evening, when the trees were soughing in the wind and the sun had
sunk to rest, Sophie went out with her basket. It was too late to buy
anything, but she felt the need of air; not that the basket was
necessary in order to obtain this, but somehow she felt she couldn't
bear to be without it, such a habit had it become. The darkness was
rapidly drawing in. Sophie paused and spoke to a frog she saw in a
puddle; it didn't answer, so she passed on.

Suddenly she heard from the direction of London the sound of hoofs!
"Dick Turpin!" her heart cried, and she at once commenced to climb an
elm the better to see him pass; but it was not Dick Turpin--it was a
shorter man with a beard. On seeing the intrepid girl, he reined in his
roan chestnut-spotted filly. "Hi!" he cried. Sophie slowly climbed down.
"Who are you?" she asked, after she had dusted the bark from her fichu.
"Henry the Eighth!" cried the man with a ready laugh, and, leaping off
his charger, took her in his arms. "Oh, sire!" she said, and would have
swooned but that his strength upheld her. History tells us little about
that interview. Suffice to say that later on Sophie walked gravely back
to Esher proper, alas! without her basket, but carrying proudly in her
hand a brooch cunningly wrought into the shape of a raspberry.

It is known as an authentic fact that Sophie never saw her Royal lover
again. He rode away that night, perhaps to Woking, perhaps to Virginia
Water--who knows?

Sophie lived on in Esher until the age of thirty-nine, when she was
taken to London and flung into the Tower, where she remained a closely
guarded prisoner for a year. Every one loved her and used to visit her
in her cell. She was exceedingly industrious, and managed to get through
quite a lot of tatting during her captivity.

The day of her execution dawned fair over St. Paul's Cathedral. Sophie
in her little cell rose early and turned her fichu. "Why do you do
that?" asked the gaoler. "Because I am going to meet my end," Sophie
gently replied. The man staggered dumbly away, fighting down the lump
which would come in his hardened throat.

When the time came Sophie left her cell with a light step. She walked to
Tower Hill amidst a body of Beefeaters. "The way is long," she said
bravely. Every Beefeater bowed his head.

There was a dense crowd round the scaffold. Sophie heeded them not; she
ran girlishly up the steps to where the executioner was leaning on his
axe. "Where do I put my head?" she asked simply. The executioner pointed
to the block. "There!" said he. "Where did you think you put it?" Sophie
reproved him with a look and knelt down. Then she gazed sweetly at the
gaoler, who for a year had stinted her in everything. "The past is
buried," she said sweetly. "To you I bequeath my tatting!" With these
charitable words still hovering on her lips, she laid her head upon the
fatal block; from that trying position she threw the executioner a dumb
look. "Do your duty, my friend," she said, and shut her eyes and her

Mastering his emotion with an effort, the headsman raised his axe;
through a mist of tears, it fell.


[Illustration: "LA BIBI"

_From the pastel by Coddle_]

Hortense Poissons--"La Bibi," What memories that name conjures up! The
incomparable--the lightsome--the effervescent--her life a rose-coloured
smear across the history of France--her smile--tier upon tier of
sparkling teeth--her heart, that delicate organ for which kings fought
in the streets like common dukes--but enough; let us trace her to her
obscure parentage. You all know the Place de la Concorde--she was not
born there. You have all visited the Champs Elysées--she was not born
there. And there's probably no one who doesn't know of the Faubourg St.
Honoré--but she was not born there. Sufficient to say that she was born.
Her mother, poor, honest, _gauche_, an unpretentious seamstress; she
seamed and seamed until her death in 1682 or 1683: Bibi, at the age of
ten, flung on to the world homeless, motherless, with nothing but her
amazing beauty between her and starvation or worse. Who can blame her
for what she did--who can question or condemn her motives? She was
alone. Then Armand Brochet (who shall be nameless) entered the panorama
of her career. What was she to do--refuse the roof he offered her? This
waif (later on to be the glory of France), this leaf blown hither and
thither by the winds of Destiny--what was she to do? Enough that she

Paris, a city of seething vice and corruption--her home, the place
wherein she danced her first catoucha, that catoucha which was so soon
to be followed by her famous Japanese schottische, and later still by
her celebrated Peruvian minuet. Voltaire wrote a lot, but he didn't
mention her; Jean Jacques Rousseau scribbled hours, but never so much as
referred to her; even Molière was so reticent on the subject of her
undoubted charms that no single word about her can be found in any of
his works.[29]

Her life with Armand Brochet (who shall still be nameless) three years
before she stepped on to the boards--how well we all know it! Her famous
epigram at the breakfast table: "Armand, my friend, this egg is not only
soft--but damn soft." How that remark convulsed Europe!

Her first appearance on the stage was in Paris, 1690, at the Opéra.
Bovine writes of her: "This airy, fairy thing danced into our hearts;
her movements are those of a gossamer gadfly--she is the embodiment of
spring, summer, autumn and winter." By this one can clearly see that in
a trice she had Paris at her feet--and what feet! Pierre Dugaz, the
celebrated chiropodist, describes them for us. "They were ordinary flesh
colour," he tells us, "with blue veins, and toe-nails which, had they
not been cut in time, would have grown several yards long and thus
interfered with her dancing."

What a sidelight on her character!--gay, bohemian, care-free as a child,
not even heeding her feet, her means of livelihood. Oh, Bibi--"Bibi
Coeur d'Or," as she was called so frequently by her multitudinous
adorers--would that in these mundane days you could revisit us with your
girlish laugh and supple dancing form! Look at the portrait of her,
painted by Coddle at the height of her amazing beauty: note the
sensitive nostrils, the delicate little mouth, and those eyes--the
gayest, merriest eyes that ever charmed a king's heart; and her
hair--that "mass of waving corn," as Bloodworthy describes it in his
celebrated book of "International Beauties." But we must follow her
through her wonderful life--destined, if not to alter the whole history
of France, why not?

After her appearance in Paris she journeyed to Vienna, where she met
Herman Veigel: you all know the story of that meeting, so I will not
enlarge upon it--enough that they met. It was, of course, before he
wrote his "Ode to an Unknown Flower" and "My Gretchen has Large Flat
Ears," poems which were destined to live almost forever. Bibi left
Vienna and journeyed to London--London, so cold and grim after Paris
the Gay and Vienna the Wicked. In her letter to Madame Perrier she says,
"My dear--London's awful"; and "Ludgate Circus--I ask you!" But still,
despite her dislike of the city itself, she stayed for eight years, her
whole being warmed by the love and adulation of the populace. She
appeared in the ballet after the opera. "Her dancing," writes Follygob,
"is unbelievable, incredible; she takes one completely by surprise--her
butterfly dance was a revelation." This from Follygob. Then Henry Pidd
wrote of her, "She is a woman." This from H. Pidd!

Then back to Paris--home, the place of her birth. Fresh conquests. In
November, 1701, she introduced her world-famed Bavarian fandango, which
literally took Paris by storm--it was in her dressing-room afterward
that she made her celebrated remark to Maria Pippello (her only rival).
Maria came ostensibly to congratulate her on her success, but in reality
to insult her. "_Ma petite_," she said, sneering, "_l'hibou est-il sur
le haie?_" Quick as thought Bibi turned round and replied with a gay
toss of her curls, "_Non, mais j'ai la plume de ma tante!_" Oh, witty,
sharp-tongued Bibi! A word must be said of the glorious ballets she
originated which charmed France for nearly thirty years. There were
"Life of a Rain Drop," "Hope Triumphant," and "Angels Visiting Ruined
Monastery at Night." This last was an amazing creation for one so
uneducated and uncultured as La Jolie Bibi; people flocked to the Opéra
again and again in order to see it and applaud the ravishing originator.
Then came her meeting with the King in his private box. We are told she
curtsied low, and, glancing up at him coyly from between her bent knees,
gave forth her world-renowned epigram, "_Comment va, Papa?_" Louis was
charmed by this exquisite exhibition of drollery and _diablerie_, and
three weeks later she was brought to dance at Versailles. This was a
triumph indeed--La Belle Bibi was certainly not one to miss
opportunities. A month later she found herself installed at Court--the
King's Right Hand. Then began that amazing reign of hers--short lived,
but oh, how triumphant, dukes, duchesses, countesses, even princes,
paying homage at the feet of La Bibi the dancer, now Hortense, Duchesse
de Mal-Moulle! Did she abuse her power? Some say she did, some say she
didn't; some say she might have, some say she might not have; but there
is no denying that her beauty and gaiety won every heart that was
brought into contact with her. Every afternoon regularly Louis was wont
to visit her by the private staircase to her apartments; together they
would pore over the maps and campaigns of war drawn up and submitted by
the various generals. Then when Louis was weary Bibi would put the maps
in the drawer, draw his head onto her breast, and sing to him songs of
her youth, in the attractive cracked voice that was the bequest of her
mother who used to sing daily whilst she seamed and seamed. Meanwhile,
intrigue was placing its evil fingers upon the strings of her fate.
Lampoons were launched against her, pasquinades were written of her;
when she went out driving, fruit and vegetables were often hurled at
her. Thus were the fickle hearts of the people she loved turned against
their Bibi by the poisonous tongues of those jealous courtiers who so
ardently sought her downfall.

You all know the pitiful story of her fall from favour--how the King,
enraged by the stories he had heard of her, came to her room just as she
was going to bed.

"You've got to go," he said.

"Why?" she answered.

History writes that this ingenuous remark so unmanned him that his eyes
filled with tears, and he dashed from the room, closing the door after
him in order that her appealing eyes might not cause him to deflect from
his purpose.

Poor Bibi--your rose path has come to an end, your day is nearly done.
Back to Paris, back to the squalor and dirt of your early life. Bibi,
now in her forty-seventh year, with the memories of her recent
splendours still in her heart, decided to return to the stage, to the
public who had loved and fêted her. Alas! she had returned too late.
Something was missing--the audience laughed every time she came on, and
applauded her only when she went off. Oh, Bibi, Bibi Coeur d'Or, even
now in this cold age our hearts ache for you. Volauvent writes in the
_Journal_ of the period: "Bibi can dance no longer." Veaux caps it by
saying "She never could," while S. Kayrille, well known for his wit and
kindly humour, reviewed her in the Berlin _Gazette_ of the period by
remarking, in his customarily brilliant manner, "She is very plain and
no longer in her first youth." This subtle criticism of her dancing,
though convulsing the Teutonic capital, was in reality the cause of her
leaving the stage and retiring with her one maid to a small house in
Montmartre, where history has it she petered out the last years of her
eventful career.

Absinthe was her one consolation, together with a miniature of Louis in
full regalia. Who is this haggard wretch with still the vestiges of her
wondrous beauty discernible in her perfectly moulded features?--not La
Belle Bibi! Oh, Fate--Destiny--how cruel are you who guided her straying
feet through the mazes of life! Why could she not have died at her
zenith--when her portrait was painted?

But still her gay humour was with her to the end. As she lay on her
crazy bed, surrounded by priests, she made the supreme and crowning _bon
mot_ of her brilliant life. Stretching out her wasted arm to the nearly
empty absinthe bottle by her bed, she made a slightly resentful _moue_
and murmured "_Encore une!_"

Oh, brave, witty Bibi!



The "Rude" Islands! what a thrill that name awakes in the heart of every
wanderer--lying as they do in the very heart of the rolling Pacific. Was
it two or three hundred years ago that brave Joshua Mortlake discovered
and christened them? History has it that he was standing on the poop
deck of his schooner the "Whoops-a-Daisy" when he first beheld those
pocket Paradises of the Pacific. He shaded his eyes with his hand and
turned to his bosom friend--Eagle Trott:

"What exactly do those islands remind you of?" he asked.

Eagle looked down bashfully. "I'd rather not say," he replied.

At this Joshua slapped him heartily on the back.

"Stap me," he cried, using a colloquialism of the period, "if I do not
name them the Rude Islands." And from that moment they have been known
as nothing else.

To attempt to describe the wild untameable beauty of the coast scenery
would be almost as absurd as to endeavour to portray the seductive
sensuality and exotic perfection of the interior landscapes--but a brief
catalogue of some of the outstanding horticultural marvels will do no
harm to anyone and perhaps convey to the lay mind a slight conception of
the atmosphere in which Ah! Ah! was born and bred. For instance, the
flowering kaia-ooh! with its exquisite perfume (suggestive of the
Californian Poppy), the veemuawees (a small hard fruit suggestive of the
oak apple), and the perennial "Pooh!" (merely suggestive) all combined
to enwrap the infant Ah! Ah! in a somnolent cocoon of sensual
languidness, from which in after life she was hard put to it to escape.
To say that her dazzling beauty completely hypnotised any native for
miles round into instant submission--would perhaps be exaggerating; but
if one is to judge from the accounts of contemporary chroniclers she was
undoubtedly attractive.

For those interested in queer native traditions and legends, the origin
of her name must indeed prove an instructive object
lesson--intermingling as it does the austerity and reproach of the North
with the quaint domestic charm of the further South. The story runs

When quite a child this lithe supple young thing was as full of mischief
and engaging roguery as any tortoiseshell kitten--with elfin glee her
favourite sport was to fill her grandmother's bed with "ouliaries" (Good
God! berries, so called because on sudden contact with bare flesh they
burst with a loud explosion causing the victim to shout "Good God!" from
sheer surprise). For three months this winsome game went undetected
until one day her mother--Kia-oopoo--discovered her creeping in at her
grandmother's door with a basket full of "ouliaries." Catching her
daughter by the scruff of the neck she proceeded to administer several
sharp slaps with great precision--the while murmuring "Ah! Ah!" in tones
of rebuke. And thus, we are informed, was originated a name that was
destined to be handed down to every reigning queen of the Rude Islands
until the devastating tidal wave of 1889.

Ah! Ah!'s childhood was spent running completely wild with her three
sisters "Beaoui" (meaning "Heavens Above"), "Sua-sua" (meaning "Shut
your Face") and young "Goop" (meaning in American "Park your Fanny" and
in English, "Sit Down").

Through the long languid sunny hours they would romp in the "lovieeah"
(long grass), or play "uou" (toss the cocoa-nut) in the "haeeiuol"
(short grass). On moonlight nights when the tide was high they would
fish from the reef--catching generally either "youis" (the Pacific
haddock) or merely the common "choop" (or dab). Life was one long round
of sport and play--until one day--to quote Hans Burdle in his
world-famed book of Travel, "Set Sail ahoy" "the radiant Ah! Ah! awoke
and found herself to be a woman--with a woman's joys, a woman's sorrows
and withal the touch of a woman's hand."

From that moment life in the Rude Islands became a different matter. No
more was she to paddle in the "ku-ku" (small stream or rivulet) or chase
the playful "erieuah" (or hooped snake, which when pursued by its
enemies executes the most peculiar antics eventually disappearing amid a
cloud of smoke). The responsibilities of a greater existence were
suddenly thrust upon her--she was crowned queen.

The story of the unexpected arrival of a Presbyterian missionery in the
midst of her coronation feast is too well known to repeat--and the tale
of the landing of eight Bhuddist monks during the christening of her
first child is now so hackneyed as to be irritating; therefore we will
skip the minor incidents of the early part of her reign and mention a
few of the progressive improvements on existing conditions which found
their source in her tireless and fertile brain.

To begin with she abolished the "plozza" (or notched club), substituting
in its place the "sneep" (a subtle instrument of torture which by means
of the sudden expenditure of the breath would cover one's enemies with
"noonies") (or red ants).

Then, though flying in the face of time-honoured tradition, the
courageous woman completely forbade cannibalism among blood relations;
condemning this practice under the heading of "gavonah" (or incestuous
conduct) and thereby putting an end to many rowdy Sunday evenings.

Not content with these vast changes in the fundamental Island habits she
concentrated her unfailing energies on the reformation of the marriage
laws, which at that time were in a deplorably decadent condition, and
encouraged with all her might the trade of "fuahs" and "aeious" (nose
rings and hair tidies) with the "Bauoacha" Islands a few miles off.
Until the ripe age of eighty-seven she ruled her subjects trustingly and
lovingly--yet withal firmly--earning for herself from all the British
traders the nickname of "Queen Bess of the Pacific."

After her death her eldest illegitimate son, Boo-ah (Goodness Gracious)
ascended the throne, and--if we are to believe Professor Furch's "With
Dusky Friends"--went far towards undoing the unbelievable good worked by
his unflinching mother.

* * *

I have included Ah! Ah! in these memoirs--in the face of almost
overwhelming opposition (mainly on account of race prejudice) in the
first place because she was as beautiful and authoritative as any of the
European queens--and secondly because Ah! Ah! for me stands for
something ineffably noble, inspiring--not perhaps for what she has
done--maybe more for the things she left undone.


BALOONA, ENRIQUE. Artist and _dilettante_, famous for his "Portrait of
Isabella Angelica," "Spanish Peaks," and "Half-Caste Child with Orange."

BEN-HEPPLE, NICHOLAS. Eighteenth century historian. Author of "Julie de
Poopinac" (17 vols.).

BLOODWORTHY, STEPHEN. Author of "International Beauties," "Then and
Now," and "Now and Then."

BOGTOE, DOUGLAS. Company promoter and basket-work expert.

BONK, DOROTHY. First cousin to Rupert Plinge--incidentally the first New
England girl to say "Gosh!"

BOO, A. RANVILLE. Celebrated XIXth century sanitary inspector.

BOTTIBURGEN, HANS VON. Science master, Munich College. Author of "Our
Women," "Do Actresses Mind Much?" and "Life of Fritz Schnotter" (3

BOTTLE, ELIZABETH. Adapter and translator of several works of the

BOVINE, GUSTAVE. Author of "French without Tears" and "Vive les
Vacances," etc.

BOWLES, EARL. "Intellects of the Hour," "Cheese Cookery in All Its

BRAMP, B. F. "America in Sunshine and Shadow," "Pinafore Days."

BRAMP, NORMAN. Author of "Up and Away," "Reynard, the Story of a Fox,"
"Tantivoy," and "Female Influence and Why?" (5 vols.).

BRAMPENRICH, FRITZ. German historian.

BRATTLEVITCH, BORIS. Russian author. Books: "War and Why," "Women of
Russia." Several good cooking recipes.

BUG, REGINALD. Actor--occasional property man. Parts he played: "Romeo,"
"Bottom," "Third Guest" in "The Berlin Girl," "Norman" in "Oh,
Charles--a Satire on the Massacre of Saint Bartholomew," and others.
Hobbies: Cup-and-ball, tilting, and fretwork.

BURDLE, HANS. Bulgarian author; Works: "Set Sail Ahoy," "Abaft,"
"Belay," etc.

CABALLERO, BASTA. Actor and founder of Shakespearean Theatre in

CAMPANELE, VITTORIO. Florentine engraver, "Early Portrait of Bianca di
Pianno-Forti," "Raised Pansies on China Plaque," etc.

CAMPBELL, OLAF. Keen angler and piscatorial expert.

CARLINI, ANGELO. Italian actor--formerly plumber during the Renaissance.

CHADDLE, ESMÉ. Daughter of Avery Chaddle, and subsequently Mrs. J. D.

CHAFFINCH, ALEXANDER. Second cousin to Rupert Plinge; second man to say
"Gee!" in Virginia.

CHUGGSKI, DIMITRI. Russian actor.

CODDLE, HUMPHREY. Artist, well known for his "Cows Grazing outside
Dover," "Playmates," and "Daddy's Darling."

CRONK, OSWALD, BART. Painter of "Madcap Moll, Eighth Duchess of
Wapping," "Pine Trees near Ascot," and "Esther Lollop as 'Cymbeline.'"

DENTIFRICE, PIERRE. Actor--French (early).

DUGAZ, PIERRE. Court chiropodist, seventeenth century. Author of "Feet
and Fashion," "The Valley of Waving Corns," etc.

EARWHACKER, CAESAR. Owner of Old World Bicycle Shed.

FIBINIO, PIETRO. Italian--author of "Bianca," "God Bless the Pope," etc.

FLOOP, RICHARD. "Spout, the Man" (3 vols.); "The Girls of Marley Manor"
and "Janet's Prank."

FOLLYGOB, ALAN. English Dramatic Critic. Clubs: "The Union Jack" and
"The What-Ho" in Jermyn Street.

FORTESCUE, EX-SENATOR. Celebrated for eloping with Rupert Plinge's
Auntie Gracie.

FRAPPLE, ERNEST. "Amy Snurge, A Grand Woman" (2 vols.) and a political
satire, "Don't Vote Till Tuesday!"

FURCH, PROFESSOR, "With Dusky Friends" and "Where Palm Trees Sway."

GERPHIPPS, RONALD. Very old Scotch painter--famous for "Portrait of
Maggie McWhistle," "Evening on Loch Lomond," and "Glasgow, my Glasgow!"

GOETHE. Obscure German author. Suspected of having written "Faust."

GOODGE, ALBERT. Friend of Nicholas Kewee.

GROBMEYER, CARL. Early German etcher.

GRUNDELHEIM, PAUL. German author and historian. Principal works:
"Toilers who have Toiled," "Women of Wurtemburg," and "Byways of the
Black Forest."

HOOTER, FREDDIE. Renowned for physical appearance but flat feet.

HOSPER, SHOLTO Z. "Jake the Climber" (7 vols.) and "Diet or Die."

KAYRILLE, SIEGFRIED. Born in Berlin, 1670. Disappointed playwright, and
subsequent art critic.

KEWEE, NICHOLAS. Friend of Albert Goodge.

KLICK, NICHOLAS. Russian--author of "Life of Anna Podd" (6 vols.), and
"Was Ivan Terrible?"

KUMP, H. MACKENZIE. Keen philanthropist and insatiable globe-trotter.

LINCOLN, ABRAHAM. President and man.

MACTWEED, SANDY. Scotch actor of some note.

MARY, BLOODY. Queen of England.

METTLETHORP, RUPERT. Compiler of "Asiatic Soldiery" (23 vols.).

MILLS-TWEEPER, SENATOR. Famed for hideousness, but kind-hearted and a
great insect lover.

MORTLAKE, JOSHUA. Explorer and discoverer of the Rude Islands.

PIDD, HENRY. Severe dramatic critic--English.

PIPPER, HERMAN. "Poor Puffwater,--A Brown Study."

PLIGGER, STEVE MONTESPAN. "The Fall of a Bloated Aristocrat," "Crab
Apples," "Deadly Nightshade," "Don't Tell Aunt Hester," "Under the Moon,
or Revels by a Dutch Canal," "America From Behind"; Books of Verse:
"Adown the Ganges," "The First Primrose," "Pussy, Pussy, Lap Your Milk"
and "Raspberry Time."

PLINGE, BOBBIE. Killed during Red Indian foray by Great Brown Spratt.

PLINGE, MILES. Unitarian minister in Red Lamp District, Honolulu.

PLUGG, HENRY. One time candidate for the Presidency, subsequently
successful bee-farmer.

POLATA, JOSE. Professor--Spanish. Author of "From Girl to Woman,"
"Spanish Olives, and How," etc., etc.

POLIOLIOLI, GIUSEPPE. Author of "Women of Italy" and "Nelly of Naples,"
a musical comedy of the period.

PRICKLEBOTT, HARVEY. Editor of "Art in the Home" and "Mother Week by

PROON, BERNARD. Well-known speaker, intimate friend of Roosevelt's

PUNTER, AUGUSTUS. Seventeenth century painter, famous for "Sarah, Lady
Tunnell-Penge, with Dog," "Gravesend by Night," and various crayon
portraits, notably "A Merry Girl" and "The Drowsy Sentry."

ROOSEVELT, THEODORE. Man and President.

ROTEPILLAR, PETER. Friend of Henry Plugg and author and compiler of
"Algebra with Many a Laugh!"

ROUSSEAU, JEAN JACQUES. French writer of some note. See Carlyle's
"French Revolution."

SCHNOTTER, FRITZ. German actor, sixteenth century.

SHEEPMEADOW, EDGAR. English writer--author of "Beds and their Inmates"
(18 vols.), "The Corn Chandler," "Women Large and Women Small" (10

SODDLE, O'CALLAGHAN. Gentleman architect of the XIXth century.

SPRATT, GREAT BROWN. Indian of the period.

STOWE, HARRIET BEECHER. Author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin."

SUMPLETHOCK, EX-PRESIDENT. Spaniel trainer and "raconteur."

TADSKI, SERGE. Early, fairly. Russian. Author and compiler of the
following: "Russian Realism," "Natural Mammals of the Steppes," "Flora
and Fauna of Siberia," etc., and light verse.

THROTCH, ESTHER. Well-known XXth century "literateur."

TOSSELE, YVONNE, MME. First female mezzotinter of the Revolutionary Era.

TROTT, EAGLE. Mate and pal of Joshua Mortlake.

TURPIN, DICK. Highwayman--English. Inventor of straw sun hats for hot

UDEY, GENERAL. Congenital idiot of the XIXth century (and very mean).

VEAUX, PAUL. Art critic--Paris.

VEIGEL, HERMAN. German poet--famous for "Twilight Fancies," "There was a
Garden," and "Collected Poems, including 'The Ballad of Crazy Bertha.'"

VOLAUVENT, ARMAND. Art critic--Paris.

VOLTAIRE (Christian name unknown). Old writer--French.

WAFFLE, RAYMOND. Georgian writer. Author of "Our Dogs," "Canine Cameos,"
and "Pretty Rover, the Story of a Boarhound."

WEEDHEIN, H. "Columbia, Beware!" (8 vols.).


CLAGMOUTH CHRONICLE: "A book to be taken up and put down again."


THE GIRLS' GLOBE: "Every young girl should read this."

_Doctor Cheval_ in ADVICE TO A MOTHER: "No bedside table is complete
without 'Terribly Intimate Portraits.'"

_Joe Bogworth_ in CAPITAL AND LABOUR says: "This book is perhaps the
greatest power for good or evil in democratic England or aristocratic
America either, for that matter. Though obviously the work of a thinker,
should it by any chance fall into the wrong hands it would go far
towards undermining not only the League of Nations, but the London
County Council to boot!"

_Aunt Hilda_ in FIRESIDE FUN says: "Darling chicks, get your mumsie to
buy you 'Terribly Intimate Portraits' for your birthday."

_Lady Minerva Stuffe_ in UNDIES writes: "Well-dressed women will eagerly
peruse these fascinating memoirs."

THE PLAYING FIELD: "'Chaps'! Read this book."

THE POLITICAL GAZETTE: "Well done, Noel Coward! Bravo, Lorn

_Herr von Grob_ in THE AUSTRIAN TYROL: "Gott in Himmel!"

CHICKEN CHAT: "I advise keen poultry keepers to buy and read 'Terribly
Intimate Portraits.'"

CRI DE PARIS: "Ce livre n'est pas seulement stupide, mais c'est
excessivement irritant, et absolument sans humeur." (Translation: "This
book is not only charming, but it is excessively entertaining and
brilliantly humorous.")

CLAYBANK COURIER: "Once read--never forgotten."

WIGAN WORLD: "Splendid for those just learning to read."

BOXING WEEKLY: "Dam' good!"


VANITY FAIR: "A book for ladies and gentlemen."

NEW YORK TIMES: "This book treats a delicate theme in the most
indelicate fashion possible."

THE DIAL: "The parabolics are unevenly balanced."

_George Jean Nathan_: "Eugene O'Neill remains our only dramatist."

LIFE: "Noel Coward's first and best book."

PAPER TRADE JOURNAL: "The sulphite used in the paper of 'Terribly
Intimate Portraits' is of excellent quality."

JUDGE: "Two hundred and twelve pages."

REVIEW OF REVIEWS: "Some of it is better than the rest."

THE WORLD: "H. the 3d says that this book makes better paper dolls than
any he has read for a long time."


[1] Famous for being the means of introducing hornless cattle into the

[2] Nicholas Ben-Hepple declares that he married her solely on account
of her "dot"!

[3] The extracts here quoted translated by Elizabeth Bottle.

[4] Lord Edmunde Budde married the notorious Gertrude Pippin: see
"Family Failings," by Bloody Mary.

[5] See Norman Bramp's "Female Influence, and Why," Vol. V.

[6] It has never yet been ascertained exactly why Madcap Moll rode to
Norwich, but many conjectures have been hazarded.

[7] Poliolioli contends that there were five hundred and eighty-five
guests. This, I think, may be treated as a moot point.

[8] October 14th. Poliolioli contests that it was the 17th, but this, I
venture to say, is even a "mooter" point than the other.

[9] Excavated B.C. 8.

[10] Periodicals:--"The Corn Chandler," by Sheepmeadow; "Sidelights on
the Salic Law," Anonymous; "The Stage versus the Church," edited
alternately by Nell Gwyn and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

[11] Two years before Punter's portrait.

[12] "Beds and their Inmates," Vol. III., by Edgar Sheepmeadow (18

[13] These are all in the Brighton Aquarium.

[14] At Pragg Castle, near Hull.

[15] See Sheepmeadow's "Heroines and their Diseases."

[16] Von Bottiburgen, science master at the Munich College, author and
compiler of the following:--"Our Women"; "Do Actresses Mind Much?";
"Life of Fritz Schnotter."

[17] For example, "Spout the Man," 3 vols.--Richard Floop; "Jake the
Climber," 7 vols.--Sholto Z. Hosper.

[18] "Fruit as a Decoration," "With Shaggy Four Legged Playmates" and
"Bhuddism as Opposed to Electricity."

[19] Spanish equivalent to "tag" or "he."

[20] Bolawalla--Spanish equivalent for "mullet."

[21] Bloodworthy says: "It was her fond boast that she never hid him in
the same tree twice."

[22] Bloodworthy, in telling the story, says that only one tear fell;
but Bloodworthy, brilliant recorder as he was, was occasionally

[23] The reproduction on page 134 from the celebrated picture by
Gerphipps--in oils at the National Gallery, in water colour at the Tate
Gallery, and in Paripan at the Edinburgh Art Museum.

[24] The picture represents Maggie at the end of the second week.

[25] Except on one occasion. For particulars, see Boris Brattlevitch's
"Women of Russia."

[26] According to Mettlethorp's "Asiatic Soldiery," Vol. VII.

[27] See Tadski's "Natural Mammals of the Steppes."

[28] During the celebrated rising in 1682.

[29] For full reference, see Dulwich Library--'buses Nos. 48 and 75 and
L.C.C. trams; change at Camberwell Green.

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+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.