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Title: Love Instigated: The Story of a Carved Ivory Umbrella Handle
Author: Sherley, George Douglass, 1857-1917
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Love Instigated: The Story of a Carved Ivory Umbrella Handle" ***

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produced from images generously made available by The
Kentuckiana Digital Library)



[Illustration]



                                      LOVE
                                   INSTIGATED

                                       BY
                               BELL THE CAT SURLY
                             of the PENDENNIS CLUB


                                   THE STORY
                                      OF A
                         CARVED IVORY UMBRELLA HANDLE.



         "The Man that Plants Cabbages Imitates God."--Dobson's Choice.



                                 Caveat Filed,
                        By CURRY & DEARING, Publishers,
                                Louisville, Ky.



                          LOVE PERPETUATED:--
                            --The Story of a Dagger.

                              By Douglass Sherley,

                                   WHO WROTE

                          --THE STORY OF A PICTURE.--

                       *       *       *       *       *

  An Edition de Luxe [special] net, $10.00. Limited number. Ninety-nine
  copies--signed by the Author. Right reserved to advance price at any
  time. Subscriptions received now. Popular Edition--a Christmas Card
  Booklet [in a box], $1.00. Liberal Discount to the Trade.

  Edition de Luxe ready December Fifteenth.

  Popular Edition ready December First.


                                            John P. Morton and Company.
                                             Main St., Louisville, Ky.



                               Special·Dedication
                                       to
                        the·Members·of·the·Sherley·Club
                                       of
                               Little·:·Britain:

                           --Despair·ye·not·at·all--

                 E'en·by·so·Small·a·Thing·as·this·Poor·Booklet
                                    May·Your
                              Loves·be·Instigated!



                                   Dedicated
                      To·Each·Single·Son·of·St.·Pendennis
                       Who·Worships·not·at·the·Shrine·of
                         The·Maiden·Priestess·of·To-day
                             --Let·Him·Look·to't,--
                       Or·Likewise·He·May·Somewhere·Find
                               Love·Perpetrated.



                                Love Instigated.



It was a daisy bit of Ivory.

It was a curious piece of Workmanship.

It was carved and carved again with Conventional Lines, which formed
a Female Head of East-Indian Unexceptionableness.

It seemed to Smile and to Beckon, and then to Scowl repellantly--a
Living Mockery!

It was Hateful--Oh, so Hateful!--the sight Of so conventional a Thing.

And yet there had been such a Longing to touch It and to Hold It in the
Hand!

But See the Sequel.

It was not an Idol of India.

It was the Carved Ivory Handle of a Tanned Gingham Umbrella, of very
Plebeian American Manufacture.

It stood in a Hand-painted China Receptacle in The long quiet Hall, in
the House of a Friend. It was there when I Dined with him the Night
After Christmas.

It Gleamed at me with a Sinister Gleam of its Dexter Eye!

And it seemed to Smile and to Beckon at me out of the Soft, Voluptuous
Environment of The "Inner·Sisterhood," of which it was a Fellow.

And when we were seated at the Glittering Table, beautiful with Crystal
and Silver--

And Lemonade and Cake--

An Esthetic Banquet--

It Chanced, by Merest Accident, that I was Given a seat opposite The
Portiered Archway which led into

The Long Quiet Hall,

With its Wine-Colored Wealth of Turkish-Bath Toweling thrown back.

And as we Sat Beneath the Iridescent Glow Of the Keely-Motor

Electric Lamp, which

Glistened and Shimmered Its Stained-Glass Iridescence on all about
it, and gave its hue to The Invigorating Beverage, we heeded not the
Elemental war waging upon the Queen Anne Exterior of the Hospitable
Mansion of my Friend.

And when we were left to our Coffee and our Pipes, we talked of Daggers,
and Epitaphs, and Tombs!

And as he told me in a Mysterious Whisper the Story of the Malay Dagger,
"Guiltless of all Guile," the Vitreous Eye of that Quaintly Carved
Odalisque--for such my fevered fancy Pictured it--was ever Glaring at
me with its Sinister Glare!

And when our Ghostly Talk was Interrupted By the Entrance of other
Guests, I Quaffed Another Crystal Goblet of My Friend's Brain-Maddening
Concoction, and casting a long, lingering Look at the Persian Rug which
hid the Graeco-Romanesque Architecture of the vaulted Ceiling, I passed
from the Gothic Portals of this Esthetic Shrine into the outer
darkness--beyond the glamour of the Seven Lamps of Architecture.

But,--Oh Fitful Fate!--as I passed though The Long, Quiet Hall and
by the wine-colored Plush Corner from whose Voluptuous Shadow The
Sinister-Eyed, Carved-Ivory-Handle Odalisque cast an Alluring,
Appealing Look toward Me, and all Unconsciously, Unintentionally, and
Unresistingly I Took it from its Hand-Painted China Receptacle, and
closing the Heavy doors of Rolled, Cathedral Plate Glass After me,
I Unfurled its Sun-Tanned Gingham Folds to the aforementioned warring
elements. And as I Wended my Desolate Way to the Sainted Shrine of
Pendennis, my Seething Brain Peopled the Valley of Unrest with Elfs,
And Ravens and Brahman Gods, and the Dagger whose blood-stain belonged
to a Venetian Duke. When I Presently Entered the Resounding Cloisters of
the Order of ST. PENDENNIS--when I entered this "House without a Woman"
I sought the seclusion of a dark, Wine-Colored, Plush-Lined Cell, and
carelessly placing the Tanned Gingham, Vegetable-Ivory-handled Umbrella
on the Eighteenth Century Hearth before me,

I threw my mentally-exhausted frame into a a Massive, Damask-covered
Chair with heavily-carved Arms of highly-polished Oak, and sounded the
Tiny, Tintinnabulating Call-Bell for Something to Counteract the Effects
of the Too-exhilerating Potables of my Friend, and his no less Harrowing
Stories!

But while I thus sat waiting, with my feet to The Comfortable Fire, all
at once my Gaze was Unconsciously, Unintentionally and Unresistingly
Transfixed by the Sinister Glance of The Dexter Eye of the Carved-Ivory
Odalisque.

And as I sat there in the Twilight Glare of the Slowly-Consuming
Embers on the Wide and Deep, Old-Fashioned, Open Fire-place, with
Lacquered-Brass Fire-Dogs--beneath the Spell of those Stealthy, Roguish
Glances, I, against My Wish and Will, was led to Think of The dark,
strange and weirdly grotesque things of which My Friend had Told me.

And finally, as under the Strange Fascination of the Vitreous Dexter and
Sinister Eyes of The Carved-Ivory Odalisque, which Held me Spell-Bound,
I Learned from the Thin, Curled Lips of the said Carved-Ivory Odalisque
its Own Story.

It was not Created by Love.

Nor was it in Itself the Embodiment of Love. But it Bore in one of its
Flexible Ribs the Tangible Evidence of the Adhesive Qualities of a Love
Driven Back upon itself,--the Concentration of an Otherwise Wasted
Force.

Less than a Thousand Years ago, a Dudish Roderick Dhu stood Flustrated
with Fiery Indignation, face to face with a Maiden Priestess--a
Prideful, Haughty Woman!

It was on the Rue Quatrieme. It was at the Intersection of two great
Thoroughfares.

The Clouds had Parted their Bangs in the Middle, and were Shimmering
their Crystal Drops of Distilled Ocean in torrental volume upon the
Luckless Wayfarers.

It chanced that the Prideful Maiden Priestess Was Hurrying adown the
Boulevard with the Self-same Carved-Ivory-Handled Umbrella Closely
Clasped in Her Delicate Marie Antoinette fingers. She was thus Ensconced
Behind the Sheltering Tautness of the Stout-ribbed Gingham Umbrella
With the Carved-Ivory Handle, when she passed out of the Shadow of The
Massive Marble Edifice of Gothic Architecture and turned into the Rue
de la Chataigne--and Unconsciously, Unintentionally and Unresistingly
Punched a Tear out of the Dexter Eye of the Resistless Roderick Dhu!

I am sure that Carved-Ivory, Oggling Odalisque was to Blame! I am sure
that it Wantonly Drove the Spare Rib of the Stout Gingham Umbrella to
the Accomplishment of its own Foul Purpose!

The Prideful Maiden Priestess had great Commiseration for the Ardent
Roderick.

She Frankly Told him so.

And in a Tacit but Potent--Oh, so Potent--Way, bade him, if he liked,
to go with her to her Shrine and there have his Weeping Wounds Bound up
with "a Bit of East India Silk,"--at her Shrine, whose Doors should ever
be Open to Him.

Oh! Chance, Fortuitous Chance! How many Followers of St. Pendennis are
Annually Ensnared in thy Name!

Ere Long,--within a Month, a Little Month--the Dudish Roderick Dhu was a
cringing devotee at the Vestal Shrine of the Maiden Priestess, Praying
that she should receive all his Suppliant Love, and "right smart" of his
devotion. He would never leave Her Side. He would Never, never Smile on
other Maidens. He would Sacrifice each Trusted and Trusting Friend and
Creditor. She MUST receive his Heart and Hand, and his Partially-Eclipsed
Occular!

Else, where, all the while, was all this Wealth of Passionate Love to
go to--If it was Spurned and Sent Back to its Donor? Who would have it
Second-Handed?

This was, indeed, a Poser.

It was Unanswerable!

She did not Attempt to Answer it. She only Considered the First
Proposition.

And she Thought of the Cruel, Cruel Deed Which she had been Led
by the Vitreous-Eyed Odalisque of Carved-Ivory to Unintentionally,
Unconsciously, and Unresistingly Perpetrate Upon Him; And--to cut a
Short Story shorter--she cast her 'Mind's Eye, Horatio,' upon his Queen
Anne Mansion Front, and Determined to Bestow upon the Injured Innocent
what remained--after Five Seasons--of the Wealth of Her Young Love.

                      --Thus Simply is Love Instigated.--

Had the Maiden Princess Refused him her Silver-Tinged Love--Had she
Spurned and Thrown back upon his Hands his Passion torn To Tatters--he
Might Have Perpetuated his Love by Writing "a Book Without a Woman," or
Better still, he Might Have Spent the Force of his Extravagant Passion
by Executing, in Endless number and variety, Patent Ivory-handled
Umbrellas, Quaintly Carved in the Verisimility of the Oggling Odalisque,
which Impelled the Hand that Instigated his Love by Peeling his Dexter
Eye.

But, Alas! The Thoughtless Pair of Innocents did not Consider that
their Love, being Mutual, Must, by the Decree of St. Douglass,
die--Unperpetuated--with Them!

Or, if they Weighed the Dire Decree in the Balances of their Social
Philosophy, I Doubt Not that they Considered that if they Perpetuated
their Love the Length of their Natural Lives they Would have
Accomplished Enough. And, methinks their Heads were Equipoised. This
Work-a-Day World has all the Dudish Booklets and Carved-Ivory Dagger and
Umbrella Handles that it can Easily Carry. Let not Another Booklet break
Old Atlas' Back.

And "Douglass, O Douglass, Tender and True," Carve for us no more
Heathen Gods of Love. E'en now Their Occupation's Gone.

The Star-Eyed Goddess that Shines Forth From the Glittering Surface of
the Almighty Dollar is Goddess Potent enough to Perpetuate the Love of
this Day and Generation, even as by her Influence often is

                                Love Instigated.

       *       *       *       *       *

But the Quaintly Carved Vegetable-Ivory Odalisque Handle of the
Tanned-Gingham Umbrella that Rested in the Hand-Painted China Receptacle
that Stood in the Voluptuous Environment of the Wine-Colored Plush
Corner of the Long, Quiet Hall of the House of a Friend Where I Supped
the Night after Christmas--[Was this the House that Zack Built?]--It
still Glared at me with a Sinister Gleam of its Dexter Eye as it Oggled
me from its Place on the Hearth of the Wine-Scented Cell--Plush-Lined
Cell--in the Cloistered Precincts of Saint Pendennis.

       *       *       *       *       *

It seemed to Smile a Ready, Garrulous Assent to all that which I have
Said.

These Words it Seemed to Murmur:

Oh! Thou Unmitigated Umbrella-Theif! Return Me to the home of those
whose Love I Instigated, whose Happy Household I am Responsible for.
Wake ye! Sleeping Son of Pendennis, or by the Goddess Si[l]va, I will
Execute Dire Vengeance Upon you!

Even as I once was the Instigator of Love, upon You may be,

                                Love Instigated!



[Illustration]





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