Entertainment, before TV was ubiquitised

But who comes here? What is the meaning of these roars of laughter that greet the last mask who runs into the market-place? Why do all the women and children hurry together, calling up one another, and shouting with delight? What is this thing? Is it some new species of bird, thus covered with feathers… Read more »

Industrial Mastery

My main feeling at the Durbar while I watched those splendid beasts–the crowds of camels, the crowds of elephants–all being driven along by the little, faint, dreamy, sleepy-looking people was, “Why don’t their elephants turn around on them and chase them?”I kept thinking at first that they would, almost any minute. Our elephants chase us–most… Read more »

Thank Heaven for little girls!

On one of these occasions, when Johnny [Gillat] was engaged in making peace between two little girls—little girls were his specialty—the rector met him and it was then it occurred to him that Mr. Gillat might help in the school. It was not much of an honour, the school was in rather a bad way… Read more »

Punchy humour

The Charivaria section of the Punch magazine is always good for a little amusement, as it pops out pithy comments and witty one-liners each week, based on news of the week previous (here, 3rd Nov, 1920).  If t’were written now, it would be one of those emails people forward round the office on a Monday… Read more »

… and then there are statistics

Colonel Bellairs looked at him with the suspicion which appears to be the one light shadow that lies across the sunny life of the bore. “I said so half an hour ago,” he remarked severely, “when we were inspecting my new manure tanks, and you said you did not notice it.” “You were right all… Read more »

The colour of Love

Confessedly, as a class, the quadroon women of New Orleans are the most beautiful in America. Their personal attractions are not only irresistible, but they have, in general, the best blood of America in their veins. They are mostly white in complexion, and are, many of them, highly educated and accomplished; and yet, by the… Read more »

The Ghastly Influence of Bad Literature on the Weak Mind

Firmly in the “nothing new here” category comes this commentary on a crusade to ban “Penny Dreadfuls” [aka. trashy fiction at the end of the 19th century.] Our friends have been occupied with the case of a half-witted boy who consumed Penny Dreadfuls and afterwards went and killed his mother. They infer that he killed… Read more »

An answer to that pressing question — what DO pirates have for breakfast?

Captain Thomas Pound. On August 8th, 1689, this pirate, with five men and a boy, sailed out of Boston Harbour as passengers in a small vessel. When off Lovell’s Island, five other armed men joined them. Pound now seized the craft and took command, and declared his intention of going on a piratical cruise. The… Read more »

Sometimes even the words disappear …

Reconstituting my lost blog — hoorah for the Internet Wayback Machine. I’ve lost some, but not much, given I’m such a lackadaisical soul. This is obviously the best of quotes to begin again with. Let them pile up costly and lofty monuments–reaching heavenward; let the artist cut their names and virtues deep into the enduring… Read more »