Sylvie And Bruno - Lewis Carroll - ebook

Sylvie And Bruno ebook

Lewis Carroll



"Sylvia and Bruno", first published in 1889, forms the last novel by Lewis Carroll published during his lifetime. The volume was illustrated by Harry Furniss. The novel has two main plots; one set in the real world at the time the book was published (the Victorian era), the other in the fantasy world of Fairyland. While the latter plot is a fairy tale with many nonsense elements and poems, similar to Carroll's Alice books, the story set in Victorian Britain is a social novel, with its characters discussing various concepts and aspects of religion, society, philosophy and morality. (courtesy of

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Charles Lutwige Dodgson (Lewis Carroll)




























Sylvie and Bruno, Lewis Carroll

Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck

86450 Altenmünster, Germany

ISBN: 9783849621704

[email protected]

Charles Lutwige Dodgson (Lewis Carroll)


 Born 1832. Matric, Ch. Ch. Oxford, 23 May 1850; Student, 1852-70; B. A., 1854; M. A., 1857. Ordained Deacon, 1861. Mathematical Lecturer, Ch. Ch., 1855-81. Works: "A Syllabus of Plane Algebraical Geometry," 1860; "The Formula of Plane Trigonometry," 1861; "A Guide to the Mathematical Student," 1864; "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" (under pseud. "Lewis Carroll"), 1866; [1865]; " An Elementary Treatise on Determinants." 1867; "The Fifth Book of Euclid treated Algebraically," 1868; "Phantasmagoria" (by "Lewis Carroll"), 1869; "Songs from 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland,'" 1870; "Through the Looking-Glass" (by "Lewis Carroll"), 1871; "Facts, Figures and Fancies, (reprint of part of Phantasmagoria), 1871; "Euclid, Bk.V., proved Algebraically." 1874; "The Hunting of the Snark" (by "Lewis Carroll"). 1876; "Euclid and his Modern Rivals," 1879; "Doublets" (by "Lewis Carroll"), 1879; "Rhyme and Reason" (by "Lewis Carroll"), 1883; "Lawn Tennis Tournaments," 1883; "The Principles of Parliamentary Representation," 1884; "A Tangled Tale" (by "Lewis Carroll"), 1885; "Alice's Adventures Underground: a facsimile of the original MS.," 1886; "The Game of Logic" (by "Lewis Carroll"), 1887; "Curiosa Mathematica," pt. L, 1888; "Sylvie and Bruno" (by "Lewis Carroll"), 1889; "The Nursery 'Alice,' " 1890; "Sylvie and Bruno concluded" (by "Lewis Carroll"), 1893; "Symbolic Logic," pt. L, 1896; He has edited: Euclid, Bks. i, ii, 1882.—Sharp, R. Farquharson, 1897, A Dictionary o} English Authors, p. 83.


 It would be futile to attempt even a bare list of the children whom he loved, and who loved him; during forty years of his life he was constantly adding to their number. Some remained friends for life, but in a large proportion of cases the friendship ended with the end of childhood. . . . These friendships usually began all very much in the same way. A chance meeting on the seashore, in the street, at some friend's house, led to conversation; then followed a call on the parents, and after that all sorts of kindnesses on Lewis Carroll's part, presents of books, invitations to stay with him at Oxford, or at Eastbourne, visits with him in the theatre. For the amusement of his little guests he kept a large assortment of musical-boxes, and an organette which had to be fed with paper tunes. On one occasion he ordered about twelve dozen of these tunes " on approval," and asked one of the other dons, who was considered a judge of music, to come in and hear them played over. In addition to these attractions there were clock-work bears, mice, and frogs, and, games and puzzles in infinite variety. ... It was only to those who had but few personal dealings with him that he seemed stiff and "donnish;" to his more intimate acquaintances, who really understood him, each little eccentricity of manner or of habits was a delightful addition to his charming and interesting personality. He very seldom sat down to write, preferring to stand while thus engaged. When making tea for his friends, he used, in order. I suppose, to expedite the process, to walk up and down the room waving the teapot around, and telling meanwhile those delightful anecdotes of which he had an inexhaustible supply. . . . At meals he was very abstemious always, while he took nothing in the middle of the day except a glass of wine and a biscuit. Under these circumstances it is not very surprising that the healthy appetites of his little friends filled him with wonder, and even with alarm.—Collingwood, Stuart Dodgson, 1898, The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll, pp. 367, 369, 389.

 To have ever known such a man as he was is an inestimable boon. To have been with him for so long as a child, to have known sc intimately the man who above all others had understood childhood, is indeed a memory on which to look back with thanksgiving and with tears. ... He was afflicted with what I believe is known as "Housemaid's Knee," and this made his movements singularly jerky and abrupt. Then again he found it impossible to avoid stammering in his speech. He would, when engaged in an animated conversation with a friend, talk quickly and well for a few minutes, and then suddenly and without any very apparent cause would begin to stutter so much, that it was often difficult to understand him. He was very conscious of this impediment, and he tried hard to cure himself. For several years he read a scene from some play of Shakespeare's every day aloud, but despite this he was never quite able to cure himself of the habit. Many people would have found this a great hindrance to the affairs of ordinary life, and would have felt it deeply. Lewis Carroll was different. His mind and life were so simple and open that there was no room in them for self-consciousness, and I have often heard him jest at his own misfortune, with a comic wonder at it. The personal characteristic that you would notice most on meeting Lewis Carroll was his extreme shyness. With children, of course, he was not nearly so reserved, but in the society of people of maturer age he was almost oldmaidishly prim in his manner. When he knew a child well this reserve would vanish completely, but it needed only a slightly disconcerting incident to bring the cloak of shyness about him once more, and close the lips that just before had been talking so delightfully.—Bowman, Isa, 1900, The Story of Lewis Carroll, pp. 3, 10.

 To Dodgson's shyness may partially be attributed the circumstance that his friendships were carried on more by letter than by personal intercourse; and it may account to some extent for the fact that his most cherished intimates were little girls, in entertaining whom he was tireless. There is also no doubt that the dictates of a conscience which was perhaps over exacting for daily life were obeyed too closely for him to be companionable to ordinary adult persons. He made, however, acquaintance with eminent men—among them Ruskin, Tennyson, Millais, and Rossetti—of who he has left valuable photographs, amateur photography having been successfully practiced by him almost from boyhood.— Lucas, E. V., 1901, Dictionary of National Biography, Supplement, vol. a, p. 142.

He must have been, if all the stories still told about him are true, one of the most eccentric of Eccentrics. He did not care for young men, it seems, but he liked young women, who all liked him; and Oxford is now full of women, mature and immature, who adore the gentle memory of the creator of "Alice." One of them, still a young woman, who was but a baby when " Wonderland " was originally visited, says of him that, "he was a man whom one had to read backward." He had to be looked at " As. Through a Looking Glass." She describes him as moody, and as a man of strong dislikes. But he liked her; and, hand in hand on the roofs of the College, she, as a child, and he used to wander, he always amiable and full of queer conceits of speech and of imagination.—Hutton, Laurence, 1903, Literary Landmarks of Oxford, p. 77.


 Mr. Dodgson's specialty, as all the world knows, was mathematics; his passion,— children. He wasted no time on "grownups" that could be given to the little ones— girls, I should add, for he paid little attention to mere boys! " Alice in Wonderland," as all the world also knows, originated in a series of stories told to his particular pet child, Alice Liddell (Mrs. Reginald Hargreaves), and her two younger sisters. . . . We have Dr. George Macdonald to thank for the Lewis Carroll books. Their author had no idea of publishing them, but his friend. Dr. Macdonald. who had read them, persuaded him to submit them to a publisher. ... To the surprise of author and publisher, two thousand copies of the book were sold at once, and "Alice" increased the bank account of her creator for many years.—Gilder, J. L., 1899, The Creator of Wonderland, The Critic, vol. 34, pp. 138, 139.

 It is now more than thirty years ago since "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" was first published. The book at once met with wide-spread appreciation. Some years later, a companion volume, entitled, "Through the Looking Glass," made its appearance, and soon became equally popular. How many editions of these inimitable books have since been reprinted, we know not; yet we may surely take it for granted that, since their publication, few children, amongst those who are fortunate enough to enjoy the privilege of having children's books, have been brought up in ignorance of these "classics of the nursery." But the two "Alices" are not merely "classics of the nursery," they are something more. How many older children— "children of an uncertain age," as their author naively calls them in his preface to "The Nursery Alice"—have delighted in their pages and laughed over their droll humor! There is, indeed, much in that humor which appeals only to such "older children;" and no books written for children within recent years, have enjoyed such a marvelous popularity, or have been so extensively quoted in all sorts of connection as the "Alices."—Airman, C. M., 1899, Lewis Carroll, The New Century Review, The Living Age, vol. 220, p. 427. "Lewis Carroll" may be numbered with those writers of our day who have added a new note to literature; therefore his books have that in them which is likely to win them readers for many years to come. "Alice in Wonderland" may well prove to be one of the world's books whose freshness time cannot stale.—Johnson, E. G., 1899, Lewis Carroll of Wonderland, The Dial, vol. 26, p. 192.

 "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" is a play in which the subordinate actors are quite as excellent in their way as the leading character. They are differentiated from each other by a variation in their personalities, rather than by an inequality in their ability to entertain. Creatures are they of a vagrant fancy, which, like a rushing mountain stream, ofttimes reflects distorted images, but is ever pure, with the sunlight glancing from its bosom. But, like the rapid-flowing brook, there are placid pools in its course, and in one crystal, reposeful spot is the face of Alice. " Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" is a book which appeals alike to young and old. It is an object-lesson that tends to make us realize the truth of the adage, "Men are but boys grown tall."—Newell, Peter, 1901, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Harper's Magazine, vol. 103, p. 716.


 Equal to the author of "Fly Leaves" in fame, but diverse in his peculiar genius, stands the immortal "Lewis Carroll," the inventor of what may be called the modern domestic humour, the creator of that fascinating dreamland through which, veiled in a sunny mist of ethereal mirth, the daily round of life, its peaceful joys, its inanities, its fuss, friction and augmentation pass before our eyes in admired disorder. " Father William," " The Walrus and the Carpenter" and "Jabberwocky" would, it is needless to say, have been more remarkable by their absence from our collection than anything which could have taken their place.—Powell, G. H., 1894, ed. Musa Jocosa, p. 18. "Sylvie and Bruno" was issued in 1889, and its sequel "Sylvie and Bruno Concluded " followed four years later. In this work, Mr. Collingwood says, are embodied the ideals and sentiments most dear to the author. It is didactic in aim, written with a definite purpose of turning its writer's influence to account in enforcing neglected truths; but it falls short of the fresh and spontaneous " Alice" books as a work of art—considerably short of them, we think.—Johnson, E. G., 1899, Lewis Carroll of Wonderland, The Dial, vol. 26, p. 192.

 What more healthy influence can be at work in the world than that which inclines busy, careworn men to identify themselves with an eternal youth? Genial, kindhearted, loving Lewis Carroll! What better tribute can be paid to his excellence than to say that it was his mission in life not only to popularize purity in child literature, but to incite an emulation in other writers, productive of results the extent of the beneficent effects of which it is impossible to estimate.—Newell, Peter, 1901, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Harper's Magazine, vol. 103, p. 716.

 Although like Lear's in some respects, Lewis Carroll's nonsense is perhaps of a more refined type. There is less of the grotesque and more poetic imagery. But though Carroll was more of a poet than Lear, both had the true sense of nonsense. Both assumed the most absurd conditions and proceeded to detail their consequences with a simple seriousness that convulses appreciative readers, and we find ourselves uncertain whether it is the manner or the matter that is more amusing. Lewis Carroll was a man of intellect and education; his funniest sayings are often based on profound knowledge or deep thought. Like Lear, he never spoiled his quaint fancies by over-exaggerating their quaintness or their fancifulness, and his ridiculous plots are as carefully conceived, constructed, and elaborated as though they embodied the soundest facts. No funny detail is ever allowed to become too funny; and it is in this judicious economy of extravagance that his genius is shown. — Wells, Carolyn, 1902, ed., A Nonsense Anthology, Introduction, p. XXVII.


Is all our Life, then but a dream Seen faintly in the goldern gleam Athwart Time's dark resistless stream?

Bowed to the earth with bitter woe Or laughing at some raree-show We flutter idly to and fro.

Man's little Day in haste we spend, And, from its merry noontide, send No glance to meet the silent end.


One little picture in this book, the Magic Locket, at p. 77, was drawn by 'Miss Alice Havers.' I did not state this on the title-page, since it seemed only due, to the artist of all these (to my mind) wonderful pictures, that his name should stand there alone.

The descriptions, at pp. 386, 387, of Sunday as spent by children of the last generation, are quoted verbatim from a speech made to me by a child-friend and a letter written to me by a lady-friend.

The Chapters, headed 'Fairy Sylvie' and 'Bruno's Revenge,' are a reprint, with a few alterations, of a little fairy-tale which I wrote in the year 1867, at the request of the late Mrs. Gatty, for 'Aunt Judy's Magazine,' which she was then editing.

It was in 1874, I believe, that the idea first occurred to me of making it the nucleus of a longer story. As the years went on, I jotted down, at odd moments, all sorts of odd ideas, and fragments of dialogue, that occurred to me—who knows how?—with a transitory suddenness that left me no choice but either to record them then and there, or to abandon them to oblivion. Sometimes one could trace to their source these random flashes of thought—as being suggested by the book one was reading, or struck out from the 'flint' of one's own mind by the 'steel' of a friend's chance remark but they had also a way of their own, of occurring, a propos of nothing—specimens of that hopelessly illogical phenomenon, 'an effect without a cause.' Such, for example, was the last line of 'The Hunting of the Snark,' which came into my head (as I have already related in 'The Theatre' for April, 1887) quite suddenly, during a solitary walk: and such, again, have been passages which occurred in dreams, and which I cannot trace to any antecedent cause whatever. There are at least two instances of such dream-suggestions in this book— one, my Lady's remark, 'it often runs in families, just as a love for pastry does', at p. 88; the other, Eric Lindon's badinage about having been in domestic service, at p. 332.

And thus it came to pass that I found myself at last in possession of a huge unwieldy mass of litterature—if the reader will kindly excuse the spelling—which only needed stringing together, upon the thread of a consecutive story, to constitute the book I hoped to write. Only! The task, at first, seemed absolutely hopeless, and gave me a far clearer idea, than I ever had before, of the meaning of the word 'chaos': and I think it must have been ten years, or more, before I had succeeded in classifying these odds-and-ends sufficiently to see what sort of a story they indicated: for the story had to grow out of the incidents, not the incidents out of the story I am telling all this, in no spirit of egoism, but because I really believe that some of my readers will be interested in these details of the 'genesis' of a book, which looks so simple and straight-forward a matter, when completed, that they might suppose it to have been written straight off, page by page, as one would write a letter, beginning at the beginning; and ending at the end.

It is, no doubt, possible to write a story in that way: and, if it be not vanity to say so, I believe that I could, myself,—if I were in the unfortunate position (for I do hold it to be a real misfortune) of being obliged to produce a given amount of fiction in a given time,— that I could 'fulfil my task,' and produce my 'tale of bricks,' as other slaves have done. One thing, at any rate, I could guarantee as to the story so produced—that it should be utterly commonplace, should contain no new ideas whatever, and should be very very weary reading!

This species of literature has received the very appropriate name of 'padding' which might fitly be defined as 'that which all can write and none can read.' That the present volume contains no such writing I dare not avow: sometimes, in order to bring a picture into its proper place, it has been necessary to eke out a page with two or three extra lines: but I can honestly say I have put in no more than I was absolutely compelled to do.

My readers may perhaps like to amuse themselves by trying to detect, in a given passage, the one piece of 'padding' it contains. While arranging the 'slips' into pages, I found that the passage, whichnow extends from the top of p. 35 to the middle of p. 38, was 3 lines too short. I supplied the deficiency, not by interpolating a word here and a word there, but by writing in 3 consecutive lines. Now can my readers guess which they are?

A harder puzzle if a harder be desired would be to determine, as to the Gardener's Song, in which cases (if any) the stanza was adapted to the surrounding text, and in which (if any) the text was adapted to the stanza.

Perhaps the hardest thing in all literature—at least I have found it so: by no voluntary effort can I accomplish it: I have to take it as it come's is to write anything original. And perhaps the easiest is, when once an original line has been struck out, to follow it up, and to write any amount more to the same tune. I do not know if 'Alice in Wonderland' was an original story—I was, at least, no conscious imitator in writing it—but I do know that, since it came out, something like a dozen story-books have appeared, on identically the same pattern. The path I timidly explored believing myself to be 'the first that ever burst into that silent sea'— is now a beaten high-road: all the way-side flowers have long ago been trampled into the dust: and it would be courting disaster for me to attempt that style again.

Hence it is that, in 'Sylvie and Bruno,' I have striven with I know not what success to strike out yet another new path: be it bad or good, it is the best I can do. It is written, not for money, and not for fame, but in the hope of supplying, for the children whom I love, some thoughts that may suit those hours of innocent merriment which are the very life of Childhood; and also in the hope of suggesting, to them and to others, some thoughts that may prove, I would fain hope, not wholly out of harmony with the graver cadences of Life.

If I have not already exhausted the patience of my readers, I would like to seize this opportunity perhaps the last I shall have of addressing so many friends at once of putting on record some ideas that have occurred to me, as to books desirable to be written—which I should much like to attempt, but may not ever have the time or power to carry through—in the hope that, if I should fail (and the years are gliding away very fast) to finish the task I have set myself, other hands may take it up.

First, a Child's Bible. The only real essentials of this would be, carefully selected passages, suitable for a child's reading and pictures. One principle of selection, which I would adopt, would be that Religion should be put before a child as a revelation of love no need to pain and puzzle the young mind with the history of crime and punishment. (On such a principle I should, for example, omit the history of the Flood.) The supplying of the pictures would involve no great difficulty: no new ones would be needed: hundreds of excellent pictures already exist, the copyright of which has long ago expired, and which simply need photo-zincography, or some similar process, for their successful reproduction. The book should be handy in size with a pretty attractive looking cover—in a clear legible type—and, above all, with abundance of pictures, pictures, pictures!

Secondly, a book of pieces selected from the Bible—not single texts, but passages of from 10 to 20 verses each—to be committed to memory. Such passages would be found useful, to repeat to one's self and to ponder over, on many occasions when reading is difficult, if not impossible: for instance, when lying awake at night—on a railway-journey —when taking a solitary walk-in old age, when eye-sight is failing of wholly lost—and, best of all, when illness, while incapacitating us for reading or any other occupation, condemns us to lie awake through many weary silent hours: at such a time how keenly one may realise the truth of David's rapturous cry 'O how sweet are thy words unto my throat: yea, sweeter than honey unto my mouth!'

I have said 'passages,' rather than single texts, because we have no means of recalling single texts: memory needs links, and here are none: one may have a hundred texts stored in the memory, and not be able to recall, at will, more than half-a-dozen—and those by mere chance: whereas, once get hold of any portion of a chapter that has been committed to memory, and the whole can be recovered: all hangs together.

Thirdly, a collection of passages, both prose and verse, from books other than the Bible. There is not perhaps much, in what is called 'un-inspired' literature (a misnomer, I hold: if Shakespeare was not inspired, one may well doubt if any man ever was), that will bear the process of being pondered over, a hundred times: still there are such passages—enough, I think, to make a goodly store for the memory.

These two books of sacred, and secular, passages for memory—will serve other good purposes besides merely occupying vacant hours: they will help to keep at bay many anxious thoughts, worrying thoughts, uncharitable thoughts, unholy thoughts. Let me say this, in better words than my own, by copying a passage from that most interesting book, Robertson's Lectures on the Epistles to the Corinthians, Lecture XLIX. "If a man finds himself haunted by evil desires and unholy images, which will generally be at periodical hours, let him commit to memory passages of Scripture, or passages from the best writers in verse or prose. Let him store his mind with these, as safeguards to repeat when he lies awake in some restless night, or when despairing imaginations, or gloomy, suicidal thoughts, beset him. Let these be to him the sword, turning everywhere to keep the way of the Garden of Life from the intrusion of profaner footsteps."

Fourthly, a "Shakespeare" for girls: that is, an edition in which everything, not suitable for the perusal of girls of (say) from 10 to 17, should be omitted. Few children under 10 would be likely to understand or enjoy the greatest of poets: and those, who have passed out of girlhood, may safely be left to read Shakespeare, in any edition, 'expurgated' or not, that they may prefer: but it seems a pity that so many children, in the intermediate stage, should be debarred from a great pleasure for want of an edition suitable to them. Neither Bowdler's, Chambers's, Brandram's, nor Cundell's 'Boudoir' Shakespeare, seems to me to meet the want: they are not sufficiently 'expurgated.' Bowdler's is the most extraordinary of all: looking through it, I am filled with a deep sense of wonder, considering what he has left in, that he should have cut anything out! Besides relentlessly erasing all that is unsuitable on the score of reverence or decency, I should be inclined to omit also all that seems too difficult, or not likely to interest young readers. The resulting book might be slightly fragmentary: but it would be a real treasure to all British maidens who have any taste for poetry.

If it be needful to apologize to any one for the new departure I have taken in this story—by introducing, along with what will, I hope, prove to be acceptable nonsense for children, some of the graver thoughts of human life—it must be to one who has learned the Art of keeping such thoughts wholly at a distance in hours of mirth and careless ease. To him such a mixture will seem, no doubt, ill-judged and repulsive. And that such an Art exists I do not dispute: with youth, good health, and sufficient money, it seems quite possible to lead, for years together, a life of unmixed gaiety—with the exception of one solemn fact, with which we are liable to be confronted at any moment, even in the midst of the most brilliant company or the most sparkling entertainment. A man may fix his own times for admitting serious thought, for attending public worship, for prayer, for reading the Bible: all such matters he can defer to that 'convenient season', which is so apt never to occur at all: but he cannot defer, for one single moment, the necessity of attending to a message, which may come before he has finished reading this page,' this night shalt thy soul be required of thee.'

The ever-present sense of this grim possibility has been, in all ages,* Note…At the moment, when I had written these words, there was a knock at the door, and a telegram was brought me, announcing the sudden death of a dear friend. an incubus that men have striven to shake off. Few more interesting subjects of enquiry could be found, by a student of history, than the various weapons that have been used against this shadowy foe. Saddest of all must have been the thoughts of those who saw indeed an existence beyond the grave, but an existence far more terrible than annihilation—an existence as filmy, impalpable, all but invisible spectres, drifting about, through endless ages, in a world of shadows, with nothing to do, nothing to hope for, nothing to love! In the midst of the gay verses of that genial 'bon vivant' Horace, there stands one dreary word whose utter sadness goes to one's heart. It is the word 'exilium' in the well-known passage

Omnes eodem cogimur, omnium Versatur urna serius ocius Sors exitura et nos in aeternum Exilium impositura cymbae.

Yes, to him this present life—spite of all its weariness and all its sorrow—was the only life worth having: all else was 'exile'! Does it not seem almost incredible that one, holding such a creed, should ever have smiled?

And many in this day, I fear, even though believing in an existence beyond the grave far more real than Horace ever dreamed of, yet regard it as a sort of 'exile' from all the joys of life, and so adopt Horace's theory, and say 'let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die.'

We go to entertainments, such as the theatre—I say 'we', for I also go to the play, whenever I get a chance of seeing a really good one and keep at arm's length, if possible, the thought that we may not return alive. Yet how do you know—dear friend, whose patience has carried you through this garrulous preface that it may not be your lot, when mirth is fastest and most furious, to feel the sharp pang, or the deadly faintness, which heralds the final crisis—to see, with vague wonder, anxious friends bending over you to hear their troubled whispers perhaps yourself to shape the question, with trembling lips, "Is it serious?", and to be told "Yes: the end is near" (and oh, how different all Life will look when those words are said!)—how do you know, I say, that all this may not happen to you, this night?

And dare you, knowing this, say to yourself "Well, perhaps it is an immoral play: perhaps the situations are a little too 'risky', the dialogue a little too strong, the 'business' a little too suggestive. I don't say that conscience is quite easy: but the piece is so clever, I must see it this once! I'll begin a stricter life to-morrow." To-morrow, and to-morrow, and tomorrow!

"Who sins in hope, who, sinning, says, 'Sorrow for sin God's judgement stays!' Against God's Spirit he lies; quite stops Mercy with insult; dares, and drops, Like a scorch'd fly, that spins in vain Upon the axis of its pain, Then takes its doom, to limp and crawl, Blind and forgot, from fall to fall."

Let me pause for a moment to say that I believe this thought, of the possibility of death—if calmly realised, and steadily faced would be one of the best possible tests as to our going to any scene of amusement being right or wrong. If the thought of sudden death acquires, for you, a special horror when imagined as happening in a theatre, then be very sure the theatre is harmful for you, however harmless it may be for others; and that you are incurring a deadly peril in going. Be sure the safest rule is that we should not dare to live in any scene in which we dare not die.

But, once realise what the true object is in life—that it is not pleasure, not knowledge, not even fame itself, 'that last infirmity of noble minds'—but that it is the development of character, the rising to a higher, nobler, purer standard, the building-up of the perfect Man—and then, so long as we feel that this is going on, and will (we trust) go on for evermore, death has for us no terror; it is not a shadow, but a light; not an end, but a beginning!

One other matter may perhaps seem to call for apology—that I should have treated with such entire want of sympathy the British passion for 'Sport', which no doubt has been in by-gone days, and is still, in some forms of it, an excellent school for hardihood and for coolness in moments of danger. But I am not entirely without sympathy for genuine 'Sport': I can heartily admire the courage of the man who, with severe bodily toil, and at the risk of his life, hunts down some 'man-eating' tiger: and I can heartily sympathize with him when he exults in the glorious excitement of the chase and the hand-to-hand struggle with the monster brought to bay. But I can but look with deep wonder and sorrow on the hunter who, at his ease and in safety, can find pleasure in what involves, for some defenceless creature, wild terror and a death of agony: deeper, if the hunter be one who has pledged himself to preach to men the Religion of universal Love: deepest of all, if it be one of those 'tender and delicate' beings, whose very name serves as a symbol of Love—'thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women'— whose mission here is surely to help and comfort all that are in pain or sorrow!

'Farewell, farewell! but this I tell To thee, thou Wedding-Guest! He prayeth well, who loveth well Both man and bird and beast.

He prayeth best, who loveth best All things both great and small; For the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all.'


—and then all the people cheered again, and one man, who was more excited than the rest, flung his hat high into the air, and shouted (as well as I could make out) "Who roar for the Sub-Warden?" Everybody roared, but whether it was for the Sub-Warden, or not, did not clearly appear: some were shouting "Bread!" and some "Taxes!", but no one seemed to know what it was they really wanted.

All this I saw from the open window of the Warden's breakfast-saloon, looking across the shoulder of the Lord Chancellor, who had sprung to his feet the moment the shouting began, almost as if he had been expecting it, and had rushed to the window which commanded the best view of the market-place.

"What can it all mean?" he kept repeating to himself, as, with his hands clasped behind him, and his gown floating in the air, he paced rapidly up and down the room. "I never heard such shouting before— and at this time of the morning, too! And with such unanimity! Doesn't it strike you as very remarkable?"

I represented, modestly, that to my ears it appeared that they were shouting for different things, but the Chancellor would not listen to my suggestion for a moment. "They all shout the same words, I assure you!" he said: then, leaning well out of the window, he whispered to a man who was standing close underneath, "Keep'em together, ca'n't you? The Warden will be here directly. Give'em the signal for the march up!" All this was evidently not meant for my ears, but I could scarcely help hearing it, considering that my chin was almost on the Chancellor's shoulder.

The 'march up' was a very curious sight:

a straggling procession of men, marching two and two, began from the other side of the market-place, and advanced in an irregular zig-zag fashion towards the Palace, wildly tacking from side to side, like a sailing vessel making way against an unfavourable wind so that the head of the procession was often further from us at the end of one tack than it had been at the end of the previous one.

Yet it was evident that all was being done under orders, for I noticed that all eyes were fixed on the man who stood just under the window, and to whom the Chancellor was continually whispering. This man held his hat in one hand and a little green flag in the other: whenever he waved the flag the procession advanced a little nearer, when he dipped it they sidled a little farther off, and whenever he waved his hat they all raised a hoarse cheer. "Hoo-roah!" they cried, carefully keeping time with the hat as it bobbed up and down. "Hoo-roah! Noo! Consti! Tooshun! Less! Bread! More! Taxes!"

"That'll do, that'll do!" the Chancellor whispered. "Let 'em rest a bit till I give you the word. He's not here yet!" But at this moment the great folding-doors of the saloon were flung open, and he turned with a guilty start to receive His High Excellency. However it was only Bruno, and the Chancellor gave a little gasp of relieved anxiety.

"Morning!" said the little fellow, addressing the remark, in a general sort of way, to the Chancellor and the waiters. "Doos oo know where Sylvie is? I's looking for Sylvie!"

"She's with the Warden, I believe, y'reince!" the Chancellor replied with a low bow. There was, no doubt, a certain amount of absurdity in applying this title (which, as of course you see without my telling you, was nothing but 'your Royal Highness' condensed into one syllable) to a small creature whose father was merely the Warden of Outland: still, large excuse must be made for a man who had passed several years at the Court of Fairyland, and had there acquired the almost impossible art of pronouncing five syllables as one.

But the bow was lost upon Bruno, who had run out of the room, even while the great feat of The Unpronounceable Monosyllable was being triumphantly performed.

Just then, a single voice in the distance was understood to shout "A speech from the Chancellor!" "Certainly, my friends!" the Chancellor replied with extraordinary promptitude. "You shall have a speech!" Here one of the waiters, who had been for some minutes busy making a queer-looking mixture of egg and sherry, respectfully presented it on a large silver salver. The Chancellor took it haughtily, drank it off thoughtfully, smiled benevolently on the happy waiter as he set down the empty glass, and began. To the best of my recollection this is what he said.

"Ahem! Ahem! Ahem! Fellow-sufferers, or rather suffering fellows—" ("Don't call 'em names!" muttered the man under the window. "I didn't say felons!" the Chancellor explained.) "You may be sure that I always sympa—" ("'Ear, 'ear!" shouted the crowd, so loudly as quite to drown the orator's thin squeaky voice) "—that I always sympa—" he repeated. ("Don't simper quite so much!" said the man under the window. "It makes yer look a hidiot!" And, all this time, "'Ear, 'ear!" went rumbling round the market-place, like a peal of thunder.) "That I always sympathise!" yelled the Chancellor, the first moment there was silence. "But your true friend is the Sub-Warden! Day and night he is brooding on your wrongs—I should say your rights— that is to say your wrongs—no, I mean your rights—" ("Don't talk no more!" growled the man under the window. "You're making a mess of it!") At this moment the Sub-Warden entered the saloon. He was a thin man, with a mean and crafty face, and a greenish-yellow complexion; and he crossed the room very slowly, looking suspiciously about him as if be thought there might be a savage dog hidden somewhere. "Bravo!" he cried, patting the Chancellor on the back. "You did that speech very well indeed. Why, you're a born orator, man!"

"Oh, that's nothing! the Chancellor replied, modestly, with downcast eyes. "Most orators are born, you know."

The Sub-Warden thoughtfully rubbed his chin. "Why, so they are!" he admitted. "I never considered it in that light. Still, you did it very well. A word in your ear!"

The rest of their conversation was all in whispers: so, as I could hear no more, I thought I would go and find Bruno.

I found the little fellow standing in the passage, and being addressed by one of the men in livery, who stood before him, nearly bent double from extreme respectfulness, with his hands hanging in front of him like the fins of a fish. "His High Excellency," this respectful man was saying, "is in his Study, y'reince!" (He didn't pronounce this quite so well as the Chancellor.) Thither Bruno trotted, and I thought it well to follow him.