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Full text of "Cecil Aldin's merry party;"

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CECIL ALDIN'S MERRY PARTY 



UNIFORM WITH THIS VOLUME 

CECIL ALDIN'S 

HAPPY FAMILY 



Many Illustrations in Colour and 
Black-and-White 

Letterpress by May Byron 



CECIL ALDIN'S 

MERRY PARTY 



Containing an account ^Qf/w-^ i'\'-\ - 

Forager's Hunt . Breakfast v'''\ 
Rags' Garden Party :,. : 

Master QuacH-s Water Picmc 
Tabitha's Tea Party ' .; \ vV*'" v ' 
Peter's Dinner Party •'•'' 



AND 



Humpty and Dumpty's Fancy Dress Ball 



To/d by May Byron and Illustrated' with many Full-Page 

Pictures in Colour 



LONDON 
HENRY FROWDE 
HODDER &> STOUGHTON 

1913 



• • •* 



■ ,R;tHARD Clay &» Sons,' JiVjiiTfio, 

BRUNSy'lCK 'STREET, STAMF0RB.';3XREET, S.E., 



THE NEW YORK 

PUBLIC LIBRARY 
1 8 O o I 

ASTtR LENOX AND 

TILDER FOUNDATISNS 

O l_ 



s 



A-HUNTING WE WILL GO 



» » "a* 




" HE SAT HIMSELF DOWN AT HIS DESK ' 






The hunting season had begun, ^ and the 
days were bright and clear, ^ when Forager 
said, " Let's have some fun ^ that will suit 
this time of the year, o A jolly Hunt Break- 
fast to all my friends <> is the sort of affair I 
propose. ^ A gentleman never cares what he 
spends -^ on big entertainments like those. 
Now, sometimes people don't want to eat, 
they are not hungry, indeed, <^ if they get 
their breakfast before the Meet. ^ To see them 
properly feed, ^ the breakfast must happen at 
luncheon-time, ^ and last till it's time for 
tea. ^ And oh, I intend it shall be prime ! " 
^ said Forager, shouting with glee. ^ So he 
sat himself down at his desk, and penned, <> 
in his boldest, dashingest style, <> an 
invitation to every friend ^ who lived within 
half a mile. 



When Forager's letter next day was 
received ^ by Rags, he was mad with pleasure. 
<^ " It's really too jolly to be believed ! " <^ 
he cried as he read it at leisure. -^ " I wouldn't 
miss it on any account : ^ it's a most un- 
expected treat. ^ The bother is, I must find 
a mount, ^ or how shall I go to the 
Meet ? " 



DOUBTS AND FEARS 




" INSTEAD OF HUNTING, WE MIGHT GET HUNTED " 



II 

Thouph Foraper worded his letter so 
nicely ^ it didn't exactly strike ^ all his 
neighbours as being precisely <> the kind of a 
party they'd like. <> Tabitha merely shrugged 
her shoulder, ^ and said, with another shrug, 
^ " When Forager gets a little bit older, ^ 
he'll know one prefers to stay snug ^ by 
one's own fireside, to such gallivanting ! " ^ 
And Humpty and Dumpty, they <=^ huddled 
together, alarmed and panting, ^ and 
whispered, " What shall we say ? " ^ They 
never before had been confronted ^ with a 
puzzle like that. They thought, ^ " Instead 
of hunting, we might get hunted, — ^ oh, 
gracious ! we might get caught ! " ^ So 
they sent a very polite little letter, ^ regretting 
in all sorts of ways ^ they couldn't accept, 
but they thought they had better ^ stay 
home, these changeable days. 




^k'^ 



MOUNTS FOR THE MEET 



./r"' 'v;:'N^ 



T .t) C|. -V 



4 



/!»' 



BOBS AND TOGO 




Ill 



Nothing could scare the Quacks, however ^ 
^ they were awfully plucky, those two. <^ 
They made up a plan that was rather clever. 
^ They went to some twins they knew, ^ 
Bobs and Togo — just like each other — ^ 
and said, with an artful air, ^ " Will you let 
us ride on you and your brother ^ to Forager's 
Hunt affair P <^ We are both of us very light 
weights, you know, ^ we really scarce 
weigh a feather ; <^ and as, no doubt, you 
are meaning to go, ^ 'twould be nice if we all 
went together ! " ^ Bobs and Togo were 
taken aback <^ at this cool composed request ; ^ 
but each of them answered, " Well, Master 
Quack, <^ no doubt your plan would be 
best." 



THE ROUGH RIDERS 




TUB QUACKS AS HUNTSMEN 



/i 

IV 



But Bobs and Togo, poor simple chaps, -^ 
soon found they were quite the prey ^ of the 
Quacks, who, attired in huntsman's caps, ^ 
came practising every day. ^ They were made 
to gallop, to canter, to trot, ^ they were 
pulled up sharp with a jerk. ^ They gasped, 
" We are getting most fearfully hot ! " — -^ 
they groaned, " This is very hard work ! " ^ 
But the Quacks were yelling, " Get on ! 
Tally-ho ! ^ Tantivy ! Gee-up ! Look 
slick ! " ^ And they kicked their steeds when 
they went too slow, o and choked them for 
going too quick. ^ " It's excellent practice ! " 
they kept on crying, <^ " why do you make 
such a fuss ? ^ It's just as good, there is no 
denying, ^ for you as it is for us ! " 



'V 




^'k' 



/ 5 I 



A SMART TURN=OUT 



D 




'THEY KEPT QUITE OUT OF THE WAY 



But Peter, who was extremely wise, o was 
keeping his movements dark. ^ He was taking 
daily exercise, <> and riding out in the Park, ^ 
on Billy, a friend he long had known. ^ At 
length he appeared on the scene o on the 
day of the Meet, in a coat of his own, <> of 
the smartest, huntingest green. <> Forager, 
M. F. H., was ready : ^ he sat, with a 
smiling face, <> mounted well on his comrade 
Neddy, ^ the picture of health and grace. 

Then the Quacks rode up at a spanking 
rate, ^ with Bobs and Togo quite gay. o 
They chortled, " It never will do to be 
late, ^ for this is our hunting day ! " ^ 
And this is a secret, — whisper low ! o 
The Humpties who didn't accept, <> because 
they couldn't a-hunting go, o turned up all 
the same, though they kept ^ quite out the 



way J and Tabitha, she ^ took a peep from 
a safe retreat. ^ They were so dreadfully 
anxious to see ^ this noble and glorious 
Meet ! ^ 



/7 



/f 



GALLANT AND GAY 




'a fine old ENGLISH SQUIRE " 



VI 

The newspapers said that the Meet, which 
was splendid, <> took place at Bramblewood 
Bank. ^ They added that it '' was largely 
attended ^ by the height of our fashion and 
rank." ^ They also gave the whole of the 
run : ^ you can read it yourself if you choose ^ 
■^ you've only to buy a " Mudshire Sun," ^ 
or a copy of " Farmyard News." ^ The 
breakfast, however, they couldn't describe : <^ 
it was much too rich and too rare. ^ All our 
friends, the whole of the tribe, <> were gaily 
assembled there, ^ including Humpty and 
Dumpty, both, ^ and Tabitha, who had been 
^ (no wonder !) feeling extremely loth ^ to 
be absent from such a scene. •^ Forager looked 
so portly and proud, ^ like a fine old English 
squire, -^ as with courtly manner he asked 
the crowd, <> " Have you everything you 



require ? " ^ From venison pasty to fillet of 
veal, oh, how the table was laid ! ^ That 
Breakfast was the heartiest meal ^ that ever 
a huntsman made ! 




1>t) 



INVITATIONS 




"THEY WASHED THEIR SOMEWHAT ELDERLY DUCKS 



>/ 



When the summer was just about half- 
way through, ^ and the strawberries just full 
in, ^ " I know of a spiffing thing to do ! " 
^ said Rags to himself with a grin. ^ " A 
garden-party ! Cream buns, and fruits, ^ 
plenty of iced lemonade, ^ all the guests 
in their lightest suits, ^ and tennis-courts 
properly laid." <^ And he left a note at every- 
one's door, -^ to say, " Sir, Madam, or Miss, 
■^ excuse my not having written before, ^ 
and such very short notice as this ^ ^ but I 
am At Home to-morrow at three. <^ There'll 
be Chinese lanterns and flags, ^ tennis, bowls, 
and a scrumptious tea. ^ Do come ! Yours 
sincerely. Rags." 

The Master Quacks were wild with delight. 
•^ They bought a packet of Lux, ^ and 
washed exceedingly clean and white ^ their 



somewhat elderly ducks. ^ They mended 
their gaudy tennis-jackets, ^ which were not 
much the worse for wear, ^ and with elegant 
hats and up-to-date rackets, ^ they did look 
a handsome pair ! 



)i 



SUMMER FASHIONS 




A NEW HOBBLB GOWN 



II 



Humpty and Dumpty had just been buy- 
ing ^ each a new hobble gown. ^ Of course, 
in those it is no use trying <^ tennis — you'd 
tumble down, o They couldn't help wishing 
the skirts were wider; ^ but still it was 
nice to feel ^ both Humpty, and Dumpty 
walking beside her, <> were stylish from head 
to heel. ^ They could just sit down ; but they 
chose a seat ^ as near as they could to the 
table, ^ which was covered with beautiful 
things to eat ; <> and they luckily found 
they were able ^ to stow away quite a lot of 
these, ^ in their mouths and their vanity 
bags. ^ " Oh, thanks, I will ! " and " Yes, 
if you please ! " <> they said every minute 
to Rao-s. 



>< 




dc 



U" 



A MISFIT 




* ' -Dwripw'i 



PETER'S TROUSERS WERE DREADFULLY SHRUNK 



111 

Peter's trousers — grey flannels they were — 
^ were dreadfully shrunk, he found. ^ " Yet I 
cannot afford another pair," ^ he said as he 
turned them round. ^ However, he managed 
to let them out, ^ but they still were decidedly 
small. ^ " I must take care how I jump or 
shout, ^ and mind that I do not fall," ^ said 
Peter. " My cricketing shirt and shoes, ^ 
they only were new this year ; <^ but I must 
be careful how I use ^ these trousers — that's 
very clear. ^ Tennis I shan't attempt to 
play, — ^ certainly not in these bags. ^ I 
must stand about in a graceful way, — ^ I'll 
try and explain to Rags." 



^ 



FAULT ! 




PETER RETIRED TO THE TENTS " 



IV 



But, getting in rather a flurried state ^ 
with fixing his cummerbund neatly, ^ 
Peter arrived at the party late, <^ and he lost 
his head completely. ^ He was dragged at 
once to the tennis-courts — ^ no time to 
refuse or explain — ^ and a whisper, " Peter's 
in footer shorts ! " -^ was heard from the 
Quacks, quite plain. ^ Peter was burning with 
mdignation — ^ enough to make anyone 
burn ! ^ He hit out wildly in desperation, 
^ and, taking an awkward return, ^ he felt 
something giving a little bit — ^ he heard 
two pistol-like cracks ; <^ and the whole 
side seam of his trousers split ^ amid deafen- 
ing cheers from the Quacks. ^ In a sad 
condition of tatters and rents, ^ and splintery 
jags and tags, -^ unhappy Peter retired to the 
tents, -^ escorted in haste by Rags. 



5^ 




PETER PATCHED 




'ROLLED IT AS SMOOTH AS A PLATE 



But Tabitha, who, I forgot to mention, ^ 
was sitting all cool in the shade, ^ imme- 
diately gave him her kindest attention ^ -^ 
and a very good job she made ^ of Peter's 
garments. For, neat and nimble, ^ she 
borrowed another pair ^ from Rags ^ pro- 
duced from her pocket a thimble, ^ and let 
them out then and there. ^ She did it so 
well, she did it so quick, — ^ in a jiffy, or 
not much more, — <> that Peter appeared 
again, perfectly spick, ^ and gave the young 
Quacks what-for ! ^ 

Forager saw to the bowling-green, ^ and 
rolled it as smooth as a plate. <> But after 
an hour, as no one had been, ^ he thought 
he had better not wait. <^ He came and 
sat by the lemonade, ^ an excellent place 
to choose, ^ and watched how splendidly 
Peter played, ^ and talked of the latest 
news. 



5f 



3i 



BREAKING=UP 




HANDSHAKES AND BOWS AND WAGS ' 



VI 



When the garden grew dusk, and the sun 
was low, ^ and all the refreshments were 
done, ^ the visitors said, " I suppose we must 
go, ^ but oh, it has been such fun ! <> Of 
all the parties we ever were at," <> said each 
delighted guest, ^ and Tabitha echoed from 
where she sat, ^ " Rags' At Home is the 
best ! " <^ And the air was thick with grunts 
and purrs, ^ and handshakes and bows and 
wags. 

" Good-night to you. Madam and Misses 
and Sirs ! ^ I'm glad you were pleased ! " said 
Rags. 



.-*« ">, 




^ 




GOOD-NIGHT 



PETER'S PREPARATIONS 



H 




" IF THEY can't ALL SWIM, THEY MUST JUST 
LEARN HOW " 



3^ 



" Parties, It seems, are all the go," <> 
said Master Quack to his brother Joe. ^ 
" We'll give a party ourselves, I vote, o A 
water-picnic, entirely afloat, ^ would be 
rather decent, and quite unique." ^ Joseph 
replied in a joyful squeak, o " Right oh ! 
But I say, look here, brother Jim, <^ we 
must only invite the folks that can swim." 
•^ " Rubbish ! " said James, as he wrinkled 
his brow, ^ "if they can't all swim, they 
must just learn how. ^ Refreshments, all of 
the nicest sorts, <^ will be on the shore, and 
aquatic sports ^ upon the water. Come on ! 
let's send ^ an invitation to every friend ! " 

Peter was asked, and at once declared 
that if he went he should go prepared. ^ His 
mackintosh, brolly, and life-belt he wore. ^ 
" Such things," said he, " seem absurd 



>.::> 
'■C- 



ashore ; ^ but they're just the things when 
one's going to partake ^ of the joys of a 
picnic on the lake." 



•fo 



THE BATH BUNNIES 




'THEY TOOK IT IN TURNS TO PRACTISE SWIMMING 



II 



Humpty and Dumpty were ever so keen ^ 
about the party ^ they'd never been ^ to a 
water-picnic. " It's something quite new ; 
^ a jolly notion, I think, don't you ? " ^ they 
said to each other. " But we must prepare ^ 
ourselves at once for this fine affair ! " -^ So 
they filled the bath-tin till it was brimming, ^ 
and took it in turns to practise swimming, ^ 
in bathing suits of the latest cut. <> And they 
tried to practise some diving, but ^ the 
bath-tin objected, and hit out madly, <> and 
Humpty's elbow was hurt rather badly. 



■I'i^ 




Hi 



A LAND LADY 





"RAGS ON THE SPRINGBOARD WAS SOMETHING GREAT!" 



Ill 



Rags and Forager, as you might guess, ^ 
looked very swagger in bathing dress, o At 
diving and swimming they both were cracks, 
^ almost as good as the Master Quacks. ^ 
Rags on the springboard was something 
great ! ^ As for Tabitha, — well, she was 
late o in sending an answer. When it came, 
^ neatly written and signed with her name, 
■^ with a beautiful seal and a clean, new stamp, 
^ it said that she always avoided damp : ^ 
it gave her bronchitis. However, said she, <> 
she'd be simply charmed to attend the tea ; 
^ and although the aquatic sports on the 
pond, -^ as the Quacks would see, were a 
little beyond ^ such a delicate lady, they'd 
like her, perhaps, ^ to act as crowd, — do 
the cheers and claps. 




%■■ 



F 



NO SAILOR BOLD 




■ I REFl'SE TO GO IN UNLESS MY LIFE-BELT 
13 ROrND MV BACK " 



^'1 

IV 



The day was gloriously bright and sunny, 
^ when at last it came. No end of money ^ 
had been spent by the Quacks, to have every- 
thing there, ^ the programme of sports and 
the tea bill-of-fare, -^ well arranged and 
exceedingly pleasant. ^ Everyone who'd 
been asked was present, ^ and they looked at 
the water with joy extreme, ^ for it really was 
calm as Devonshire cream ! ^ But Peter, 
well, he hadn't the pluck -^ of a Humpty or 
Dumpty, much less of a duck. -^ " I refuse to 
go in," he told Master Quack, ^ " unless my 
life-belt is round my back. ^ I won't run risks. 
I am not afraid, <> but my health insurance 
hasn't been paid ! " 



y,^ 




WATER=LOGGED 



K 




"PETER SAT THERE, WRAPPED IN HIS MACKINTOSH' 



i'i) 



V 



So the sports began ^ and the very first 
race, ^ amid great excitement, was taking 
place, o and Tabitha cheering on the bank <> 
with Humpty and Dumpty, when — Peter 
sank ! <> The life-belt slipped, and next 
moment, — no wonder, — ^ in half a twink- 
ling Peter was under ! ^ 

The Master Quacks immediately flew <> to 
the rescue — Rags and Forager too. ^ But 
the rescue was very hard work, they found, ^ 
and meanwhile Peter got nearly drowned. 
He had swallowed a gallon of water, before 
they managed to lug him up safe on shore. 
Peter, all dismal duckweed and slosh, ^ sat 
there, wrapped in his mackintosh, <> while 
Humpty fed him with something sweet, ^ 
and Tabitha rubbed his hands and feet. ^ 
And the Quacks said, " Too much life-belt 
about him. ^ The sports had better go on 
without him." 



o 



<?- 




i 



i'i- 



GREAT SPORT 



p-'-J 



Vv »■■ ^ 




THE GREASY POLE 



5-3 
VI 



There isn't time to tell you the story 
•^ of all that followed : such frolic and 
glory ! — ^ the water-polo, the greasy pole, 
^ the duck-hunt, the races, — the tea was the 
goal, — o the marvellous swims and astonish- 
ing dives. ^ They had never had so much 
fun in their lives ! ^ And Tabitha cheered so 
long and loud, ^ it sounded like an enormous 
crowd ! ^ But when the very last sports were 
ended, ^ the picnic happened — and that was 
splendid ! ^ Everyone, as was only right, ^ 
had a large and a healthy appetite. ^ Oh ! 
didn't they polish off cakes and tarts, ^ and 
sandwiches too, with thankful hearts ! ^ And 
even Peter recovered his speech ^ when he saw 
the ices within his reach. <^ " Has our water- 
picnic been a success } " <> asked the Quacks. 
And the visitors yelled out " Yes ! " 



i 



VERY SELECT 




"he put ox all his nicest clothes " 



6^ 



Tabitha was the busiest cat you ever yet 
did see. ^ She was getting everything ready for 
her beautiful birthday tea. ^ The guests, 
though there were only three, were very, 
very select — ^ Hungry Peter and Humpty and 
Dumpty. Of course, as you might expect,^ 
Peter accepted the invitation with great de- 
light; for he said, ^ "Oh ! won't there be a 
spiffing feast ! a most splendiferous spread ! "^ 
He put on all his nicest clothes, ever so spick 
and spruce, ^ though he felt he might have 
eaten more if they'd been a bit more loose ^ <^ 
and, hoping he shouldn't be quite the very 
earliest to arrive ^ (but he was), he knocked 
at Tabitha's door at just five minutes to five. ^ 
And he tried to be very calm and polite, 
but could hardly hide his glee <> at the thought 
of all the lovely things he would have at 
Tabitha's tea ! 



't> 




CROCKERY AND CRUMPETS 




" HER BIGGEST PARTY TEA-POT " 



II 



Tabitha wasn't exactly ready — it gave her 
rather a shock, <> and made her hot and 
flustered, to hear Peter's knocketty-knock. o 
For she only that minute had fetched her 
biggest party tea-pot out, <> and was rinsing 
it very carefully, because of the crack in 
the spout. ^ And the cups and saucers — " Oh, 
dear, dear ! what shall I do ? " said she ; ^ 
" I thought I'd certainly five of them — and 
I can't find more than three ! ^ Extremely 
awkward ! " said Tabitha. But nobody ever 
looked sweeter, ^ and more at ease, as she 
opened the door, and said, " Welcome, dear 
Mr. Peter ! ^ How well you're looking ! 
How pleased I am to think you were not 
prevented o from coming ! " Peter, all soaped, 
and brushed, and collared, and gloved, and 
scented, ^ gazed at the crumpets in the 



fender. " They mostly disagree," ^ thought 
Peter, " but still, I do love crumpets. Hurrah 
for Tabitha's tea ! " 



5-f 



OUT IN THE COLD 



M 




THEY BOTH FELT VERY MUCH OUT IN THE COLD " 



III 

Humpty and Dumpty, charmingly dressed, 
appeared a few minutes after. ^ The room 
was full of the scent of tea, and the sound 
of chatter and laughter. <^ Everyone was 
occupied with the very pleasing employment 
o of eating all one possibly could, which, you 
know, is perfect enjoyment, ^ when Rags and 
Forager happened to pass. 

Now, they hadn't even been told ^ of 
Tabitha's party : and so they both felt very 
much out in the cold. ^ " Cakes ! " said 
Forager, giving a sniff. " Scones ! " said 
Rags with a snuff. ^ " Crumpets, I think ! " 
said both together, " but probably dreadfully 
tough ! " ^ " Give me a leg up. Forager," 
said Rags, " I want to see." 

Oh ! how he licked his quivering lips as 
he stared at Tabitha's tea ! 



6' 




fc^ 



UPS AND DOWNS 





' RAGS WENT SLITHERY — STAGGERY— SLIP ' 



(.3 



IV 



But, of course, however good-natured one 
is, and anxious to help a friend, <> one cannot 
act as a bench, or a form, for at least ten 
minutes on end. ^ While Rags was licking 
his lips, as we've said, and gurgling, 
"Crumpets! Oh! oh!" o Forager got a 
trifle tired, and a good deal bored, below. <> 
So he first sat down — without due notice — 
perhaps it was rather rash, ^ for Rags went 
slithery — staggery — slip, and then came down 
with a crash. 

" Hush ! " said Humpty and Dumpty, 
within, quite frightened, " what could that 
be.!^" o Peter said nothing : his mouth was 
much too full of Tabitha's tea. 

" You idiot. Forager ! " Rags exclaimed, 
" why couldn't you stand up straight } " <^ 
" All very well," said Forager, " but you 



really are rather a weight. ^ And I thought 
it my duty to let you down — you know, it's 
decidedly rude <> to glare through a lady's 
window at people having their food ! " 



Li 




4^ 



if"' 



^ 

l" 



BARKS AND BITES 



N 




"HE SEIZED FAST HOLD OF FORAGER's EAR ' 



fct 



Humpty, Dumpty, and Hungry Peter still 
were quite in the dark ^ as to what had 
happened. They only heard a smothered 
sort of a bark ; <^ and Tabitha said, as she 
helped the cake, " It's nothing at all, I think." 
o So they all began to talk again, and 
merrily eat and drink ; <=> when, just in the 
midst of their joyful meal, there rose a great 
noise beneath <> the window, such a yapping, 
and snapping, and snarling, and gnashing of 
teeth ! ^ For Rags, whose temper was shorter 
than short, was feeling exceedingly vexed, 
<^ first, because he hadn't been asked, and 
then with Forager next. ^ And he seized 
fast hold of Forager's ear, and yelled in an 
angry tone, ^ " Mind your own business, 
will you, stupid ! and leave my manners 
alone ! " 



Humpty, Dumpty, and Tabltha, all in a 
terrible fright, ^ stood at the open window, 
shocked at this painful sight. ^ But Peter 
(when he was able to speak) mumbled, " Oh, 
let 'em be. <> Don't let's waste time. Much 
better for us to attend to Tabitha's tea ! " 



k1 




d'c 



it 



yf 



PEACE AND PLENTY 




"WHY wasn't I ASKED?" 



VI 



Meanwhile, Peter sat still and ate, till at 
last he really required ^ not a single crumb 
or spoonful more ^ and then, feeling ever so 
tired, ^ he lay and snored on the sofa. 

" Dear me ! how glad I am ^ that noise 
has stopped ! " said Tabitha, as she opened 
some more plum jam. 

" Why wasn't I asked ? " shrieked the 
voice of Rags in a rage ^ and, lo and 
behold, ^ there he was up at the window 
again ! Humpty and Dumpty turned cold. -^ 
But Tabitha, who was very sensible, shut 
down the window tight. ^ " Now," said she, 
" that ill-behaved person can stare, if he likes, 
all night! ^ Come on, I've got some beau- 
tiful scones just ready, a quite fresh lot." ^ 
And she took them out of the oven, a plateful, 
all piping hot. ^ When they'd finished the 



tea at last, and the things were cleared away, 
^ Peter awoke, and they had such fun, with 
every game they could play ! <> All's well 
that ends well, as you've heard ^ and certainly 
nothing could be ^ more jolly than the 
ending-up of Tabitha's birthday tea ! 



-)l 



PETER PREPARES FOR 
THE PARTY 




■ I KNOW I don't eat enough " 



n> 



" I'm really growing thinner," said Peter 
with much distress. ^ " My legs are like a 
spider's ; my waist is very much less ^ than it 
used to be. It's hunger! I know I don't 
eat enough. ^ The things that I am given 
are always such tasteless stuff. <> I think I'll 
study cooking, — I'll teach myself how to 
make ^ everything, from an omelet to a first- 
class wedding cake." ^ And, with this noble 
object, he studied by night and day, ^ and he 
turned out splendid dishes in a quite remark- 
able way. ^ And at last he declared with 
triumph, " I'll give a big party now ! ^ I'll 
ask my friends to dinner, if it's only to show 
them how ^ that sort of thing should be 
managed ! " So at once he made up his 
mind. ^ He arranged the various courses, of 
the most expensive kind ; ^ and he said, with 



great satisfaction, " Oh ! this will be simply 
fine ! ^ At Hungry Peter's party, I'll teach 
'em the way to dine ! " 



73 




7^ 

ROAST AND BOILED 




"OH, didn't he jump and frolic !' 



II ' 



He put on cap and apron, when the 
wonderful day came round. <> Oh, didn't he 
jump and frolic ! oh, didn't he caper and 
bound ! <> He chortled over the saucepans, he 
warbled over the pots, ^ he sang as he washed 
the silver — of which he had lots and lots. <> 
And he hadn't a soul to help him \ but then 
there was never, you know, <> such a diligent 
person as Peter, when he made up his mind 
to go. 

The pans were all on the simmer, the pots 
were just on the boil, ^ the dinner hour was 
approaching, as Peter ended his toil. ^ The 
pies and tarts in the oven were smelling 
extremely nice ; ^ the puddings and col- 
oured jellies, the trifle and strawberry ice, 
o were much too lovely to tell you. And 
Peter now, having placed <> everything ready 



for dishing, took one little tiny taste, ^ to see 
if it all was perfect. " Ha ! ha ! " said he 
with a smile, ^ " they'll see that Peter does 
things in a ship-shape and tip-top style ! " ^ 
But Rags and Forager sadly surveyed the 
back of his head. ^ " Oh, bother ! why will 
he taste it } It's not a bit safe ! " they 
said. <^ " My goodness," said Rags, " let's 
stop him ! Quick, Forager, make some sign, 
o or at Hungry Peter's party we shan't be 
able to dine." 



nh 



l-LX, 




Tl 



RAGS IN MISCHIEF 








RAGS HAD SINGED HIS TAIL " 



^r 



III 



Then Peter stood at his mirror, and made 
himself dainty and spruce. ^ At first he felt 
so excited, his fingers were not much use. <> 
But at last, growing somewhat cooler, he 
tackled his tie quite well ^ ^ and when he 
was dressed, I assure you he looked no end of 
a swell ! ^ But just as the finishing touches 
were carefully being put, ^ he noticed a 
terrible odour,^ — a mixture of feathers and 
soot. 

" Great Scott ^ there is something burning ! 
Oh ! can the turkey have caught ? o Oh ! 
can the cabinet pudding have boiled right 
over ? " he thought. ^ And he flew down- 
stairs to the kitchen, turning first red, then 
pale, •'^ to find it was Rags who was scorch- 
ing ^ for Rags had singed his tail, ^ by 
peeping into the oven to try and look at the 



smell, ^ which every moment grew larger, 
and much more tempting as well. 

" Rags, you've no notion of manners," 
said Peter very severely, ^ " opening the door 
of the oven — you've spoilt things, or very 
nearly. <> Don't you come meddling and 
muddling ! — this dinner's not yours, it's 
mine, <> and I've asked respectable people, 
not rude little curs, to dine ! " 



n1 




-k" 



« 



8t) 



UNCONSIDERED TRIFLES 




"they spilled the salad somehow, before thev sat down to dine 



IV 



No sooner had Rags been mended, with 
vaseline and with haste, <> than there 
came a rat-tat-tatting, and Peter eagerly 
raced <> to let in Humpty and Dumpty. 
They both were delighted and much ^ sur- 
prised when they saw the table. He begged 
of them not to touch, <> while he left them 
there for a moment — the dinner had to be 
dished. ^ But, of course, to be left alone 
there, however much they had wished <^ to 
be good and behave quite nicely, you know, 
it was rather trying. <^ The salad was on 
the side-board, and I fear there is no deny- 
ing ^ that the salad was strangely smaller 
after a minute or two. ^ But I wouldn't say 
they had touched it — oh no, that never 
would do ! ^ Perhaps they were only ad- 
miring the side-board cloth design, ^ and 
they spilled the salad somehow, before they 
sat down to dine ! 



J'3 



UNCOMMON SCENTS 




' WHY, IT S CASTOR SUGAR 1 



V 

But now the guests were arriving, got up 
in the latest style. ^ The front door bell and 
the knocker were echoing all the while. <^ 
The scents that came from the kitchen, as 
Tabitha said, made it seem ^ (she always 
was sentimental) like a much-too-beautiful 
dream. <> Peter was in such spirits, he almost 
managed to make ^ (but don't let out that 
I told you !) a most appalling mistake ! ^ 
He was putting a taste of pepper in the soup 
— was just in the act, — ^ when he said, 
" Why, it's castor sugar ! " — and it was, and 
that's a fact ! 



1 



■ C 



HIGH LIVING 



\ 




' AS we're all teetotal, we ll drink this toast 

— IN THE SOUP " 



f^ 



VI 



Well, Forager, Rags, the Humpties, 
Tabitha, and the Quacks, <^ all sat down to 
the dinner, as prim and as stiff as wax. ^ But 
they cheered as the dinner proceeded ; and 
they certainly cheered the most, ^ when 
Peter, lifting his wine-glass, observed, " I 
propose a toast. ^ Everyone's health ! " he 
shouted ; but his voice had a gentle droop ^ 
while he said, " As we're all teetotal, we'll 
drink this toast — in the soup ! " 

Oh ! how they applauded Peter ! and how 
their eyes did shine ! <> The dinner had 
sixteen courses, so all is said in a line. <> But 
it only was right and proper, that being both 
host and cook, <> Peter was perfectly stunning 
in the number of things he took. ^ There 
wasn't a single dish there he could bring 
himself to decline. ^ I tell you, at Peter's 
party, he showed 'em the way to dine ! 



?9 



< 






JUST FANCY! 



r- 



\\\/. 



<'y> 







" A HORSEY GENTLEMAN — THAT'S MY LINE ' 



^ 



HuMPTY and Dumpty, when they had 
thought ^ for weeks and weeks, decided they 
ought ^ to give a party. They were, as you 
know, ^ so very shy, and it frightened them 
so ^ whenever they faced a lot of folk : <^ 
they simply blushed whenever they spoke. ^ 
But now they said, " Though our friends 
are all ^ much more important, and large, 
and tall, ^ than we, yet they all are ex- 
ceedingly kind ; ^ and it's certain they each 
will be inclined ^ to make our party a big 
success. ^ Let's have a ball, then, — in fancy 
dress." 

So they sent out cards to the neighbours 
all, ^ inviting them to " a modest ball," — ^ 
that's what they said ; and on top of the 
cards ^ they put " Just fancy ! " and " Kind 
regards." ^ R^gs, in a moment, or even 



less, ^ had made up his mind how he would 
dress. ^ " A horsey gentleman — that's my 
line," -^ he said to Forager, "won't it be 
fine ? ^ A spotted tie, and a smart check 
tweed, <^ I flatter myself, will look well 
indeed. ^ Gaiters and swagger cane and 
pin : ^ I'll do it thoroughly once I begin ! " 



''^■^S^^^'!^^~''^^'^'^-^^'''i^-:^ 



ft) 




91 



THE EARLY VICTORIANS 




cy 



■THE CRINOLINES irERE SO SILLY!' 



II 



The hostesses found it a difficult task ^ to 
decide their clothes. So they went to ask ^ 
Tabitha for some useful advice. ^ " Oh," 
she told them, " you'd look so nice ^ in Early 
Victorian fashions, my pets, ^ Crinolines, 
dears, and pantalettes ; ^ coal-scuttle bonnets 
and sandalled shoes." <> " What a lovely 
notion," they said, " to choose ! " ^ And they 
worked like mad, with sewing machines, o 
at dimities and at bombazines, <^ with yards 
of wire for the crinolines, <> and bonnet- 
trimmings in emerald greens. ^ The panta- 
lettes, all snowy and frilly, <^ were sweet ; 
but the crinolines were so silly ! ^ Humpty 
and Dumpty grew dreadfully flustered <> 
putting them on, and hot as mustard. ^ " It 
feels," said Humpty, " as if one had got <> 
by accident into a lobster-pot ! " ^ " No, 



that's just fancy ! " Dumpty replied, <^ as 
she finally squeezed her sister inside. <^ They 
also bought Early Victorian shawls. ^ You 
do spend money for fancy dress balls ! 



^5 




rf 



TABITHA'S TASTEFUL 
ATTIRE 




'A WOLF THAT WENT WITH WHEELS AND A STRING 



III 



Tabitha wouldn't let anyone know o In 
what costume she intended to go. -^ But she 
meant to appear as something quite good : ^ 
what do you think ? — Red Riding Hood ! <> 
Scarlet cloak, and apron of white, ^ she 
really was the most charming sight, ^ with a 
basket— really a life-like thing, — o and a wolf 
that went with wheels and a string. ^ Before 
the looking-glass, every night, <^ she practised 
till she was satisfied quite. ^ " Just fancy ! " 
she said to herself, " not one -^ will think of 
doing as I have done ! ^ How they will 
stare, and how they will call, ^ when Little 
Red Riding Hood comes to the ball ! " 



% 







■ 


"jflH^^^^^^H i-i 




r 


7] 




11 


/ 1 




1 


H 


f 1 


■ 1 Jii'ii^J \ \ nil 


f J 




^jTB^B / ^^^^^ 


^ 





fl 



A TIGHT FIT 




THEY FIT TOO WELL, DO THESE PAGE S CLOTHES ' 



9t 
IV 



But Peter's plan, it was quainter yet. ^ By 
hook or crook he managed to get ^ a page's 
suit of an old-fashioned sort, — ^ very tight 
breeches and coat verv short : ^ a small silk 
hat on the top of his head, ^ and a bun in 
his hand. " Look here," he said ^ to 
Forager, " what do you think of that ? " <> 
" Well, Peter, you look a trifle fat," said 
Forager, trying to be polite. ^ " Good ! " 
exclaimed Peter, " first guess right ! ^ The 
Fat Boy in ' Pickwick,' — that's what you see. 
^ It's an eating part, and will just suit me. 
^ I doze and I eat, — I eat and I doze, — ^ 
though they fit too well, do these page's 
clothes, o It's a fine idea ! " chuckled Peter, 
swelling ^ with pride. " What are you ? " — 
" Oh, well, that's telling ! " ^ said Forager, 
and he gave a wink. <^ " But I rather imagine 



you'll see me in pink. ^ If I can't do a hop, 
I'll do a crawl ^ in pink, at the Humpties' 
fancy dress ball." 



^i 




»^ 



A TIP-TOP AFFAIR 




MASTER QUACK AS MADAME PAVLOVA THE RUSSIAN DANCER 



n\ 



" My goodness me ! " — so Humpty said, 
^ as she very cautiously poked out her head, 
^ and saw the guests as they made their 
approach -^ in waggon and wheelbarrow, 
carriage and coach. ^ " My goodness me ! 
Oh ! Dumpty, do look ! " ^ And, perfectly 
breathless, both of them took, ^ in turns, a 
bit of a squint behind ^ the chink between 
curtain and window-blind. 

For there was Rags, in his sporty costume, 
^ a kind of blend of a lord and a groom ; 
<^ there was Peter, in blue and white, — <> 
fat is no word for that wonderful sight ! <> 
There were the Quacks, who could not be 
beaten ^ for marvellous fancies, one in an 
Eton ; ^ the other said, when pressed for 
an answer, ^ he was Madame Pavlova, the 
Russian dancer. ^ And Tabitha, who (as she 



knew she would), ^ caused shrieks of surprise 
as Red Riding Hood. ^ And Forager last, 
big, bluff, and blunt, <^ in the gorgeous 
dress of the Heathshire Hunt. ^ Never was 
seen, no, never before, <^ such a troop as 
entered the Humpties' door. 



/<i^ 



'\ 



fO S 



THE BELLE OF THE BALL 




' REFRESHMENTS WERE SERVED WHENEVER ONE CHOSE ' 



/if 

VI 

The ball was all that could be desired. ^ 
The Humpties, at great expense, had hired 
o a huge and magnificent gramophone o 
(having no piano as yet of their own). ^ So 
the music was fine. They had got an im- 
mense ^ rich supper (also at great expense), 
^ and refreshments were served whenever one 
chose, — ^ bovril and cofl^ee and things like 
those. ^ And the dancing — really there never 
was such ! ^ Some said Peter had eaten too 
much, o and they hinted his Fat Boy looked 
too fat ; o but he waltzed divinely in spite 
of that. ^ But as for Tabitha, great and 
small o said she was the belle of the fancy 
dress ball ! 

1 400. ch CENTRAL CIRCULATION 

CHILDREN'S ROOM 



piSll