R. A. KNOX
(Author of "Signa Severa")
ALDEN & CO. LTD., BOCARDO PRESS
LONDON : SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, HAMILTON, KENT & Co. LTD.
AND SMOKERS OF BRIAR PIPES
THE first five poems in this collection (barring the
Dedication) were written while the author was still at
Eton, and, as no less than three of them wear the
aspect of a positively last appearance, they have been
called, in the words of so many eminent preachers,
"Ninthlies and Lastlies." In the fifth, the reader
will observe a definite promise not to write any more :
this good resolution was kept for nearly a year, but
up at Balliol the author got into a political set, and
in June, 1907, he broke his pledge.
Of the verse, two pieces, " Death in the Pot " and
"The Christchurchman's Lament," appeared in the
Cornhill Magazine, and are reprinted by kind per-
mission of the Editor, Mr. R. J. Smith, K.C. Similar
debts of gratitude are due to the publishers of the
Oxford Magazine for leave to publish " Megalomania "
and " The Window-box," and to Messrs. Alden & Co.
for " Lines to a Lady " and " Annus Mirabilis," acts
of homage to Isis ; three scurrilous Limericks found
a refuge in the same hebdomadal. The fourth, fifth,
and sixth poems recall the familiar atmosphere of the
Eton College Chronicle ; the second and third I have
rescued de igne rapiens, from the columns of the
Outsider : for access to them I must return thanks to
I must apologize for the intrusion of an intolerable
deal of prose. But when the azure binding of Eton
days is exchanged for the dark blue horizon of Oxford,
when the tongue cleaves to the roof of the mouth,
and the right hand forgets her cunning, what wonder
if the Muse, her strength brought down in her
journey, is fain to lag behind? The four prose
articles belong to a time when the author enjoyed
for a term the privilege of editing the Isis, which he
did so inefficiently that he feels sure the printer
will never forget him. They naturally fall into the
same class as the sister poems mentioned above.
The "Decalogue Symposium" but I can't stop to
explain about that now.
The title of this book is taken from Ps. cxxxvii.
R. A. K.
6". Peter in Chains, 1910.
To P. H. S. S.
PATRICK ! if this apostate tongue,
Loosed from the mouth's adhesive rafter,
Not unregretfully has sung
To Balliol's Babylonish laughter,
Slinging about, with larger freedom,
Its brickbats at the sons of Edom;
If sometimes Oxford's term and Vac
Have given me paltrier themes to hymn on,
If somewhere my schismatic back
Has bowed in sanctuaries of Rimmon,
And songs that thrilled from Jordan's harp are
Squandered on Abana and Pharpar ;
The fault is yours ; the fault is theirs
Who, still about our pathway flocking,
Recall our Eton joys and cares,
Our days of sapping, hours of socking ;
Who dare to flaunt their College Wall
'Neath shadows of an alien Hall.
Prodigal, turning out my sty,
I came across these empty parings;
To you, before we part, and I
Have lost, and you have won your Barings, -
I dedicate these husks of chatter,
(You Ve read them, so it does n't matter).
Oxford has given me friends to choose,
Others have sympathized at need,
Agreed more wholly with my views,
But you, you only still succeed,
Without admonitory pokes,
In understanding all my jokes.
BALLIOL, June, jgio.
NINTHLIES AND LASTLIES : PAGK
DEATH IN THE POT - - 3
A PARACLAUSITHYRON 5
LITTLE VICTIMS - u
A HUMOROUS VALE - - 13
ON A GREAT RETIREMENT - 15
BOWINGS TO RIMMON:
THE CHRISTCHURCHMAN'S LAMENT - 19
MY EIGHTS WEEK WINDOW Box - 21
LINES TO A LADY - - 23
ANNUS MIRABILIS - 25
MEGALOMANIA - 27
CUCULLUS FACIT MONACHUM - - 29
OXFORD CLERICAL TYPES - 31
THE VISITORS' BOOK, HARTLAND QUAY - 32
THE VISITORS' BOOK, BOURTON-ON-THE-WATER - 35
ON CAMPS - - .36
THE CELEBRATIONS ON THE FIFTH OF NOVEMBER 40
ON RAGS - - - 44
ON POLITICS . 48
A DECALOGUE SYMPOSIUM - 57
DEATH IN THE POT
[Being a reminiscence of Mr. Upton Sinclair's Meat Scandals.)
WE need no more the poisoned dart,
No more the laden quiver,
When Death is sold in every mart
Beneath the guise of liver;
Our simple faith has had its day,
Our fond illusions totter,
And we must turn, like things of clay,
To rail against the potter.
Thou cask with half-extracted bung,
In whose recesses murky
I did not doubt the power of tongue
To co-exist with turkey ;
What legend haunts about thy shape
That does not warn us to escape
Ingredients wholly Scythic?
O whited sepulchre to see,
To think that once I held thee free
From all exotic matter !
Two months ago, or less than that,
1 could discuss the flavour
Of beef that ill dissembled rat
Without a single quaver.
4 JUXTA SAL1CES
But now with what vague fears of ill
Do Egypt's flesh-pots bristle !
For all is grist that finds their mill,
And most of that is gristle ;
Employes, too, are good to eat,
Who, at their latest minute,
No longer fit to dye the meat,
Will meet their death within it.
Perhaps in this neglected pot
Some rude forefather slumbers;
Melpomene, bewail his lot
In more pathetic numbers !
It is not mine their praise to tell
In high heroic descant;
Each laid within his narrow cell
//; pate requiescant.
ETON, June, 1906,
NINTHLIES AND LASTLIES
[Arising from a Notice to the effect that "School Stores"
would in future be inexorably closed at 6 p.m.]
"WHY did you shut and lock the door,
Mrs. Cl-rke, mum ?
The crowd pass by, and they hunger sore."
" Too late ! they should have come before,
(Absolve us. Heaven, absolve us ;
Too late, too late, between six and seven I )
"There's one that comes and knocks at the gate,
Mrs. Cl-rke, mum,
And asks for a stick of chocolate."
"Shall have the stick upon his pate,
O Adolphus ! "
(Absolve us, Heaven, absolve us ;
Rod, pole, or perch, between six and seven !)
" He stands and shouts with all his might,
Mrs. Cl-rke, mum,
And the things he says are not polite."
" No chocolate shall he have to-night,
(Absolve us, Heaven, absolve us ;
To-morrow morn, between six and seven /)
"There's one that drives up grandly here,
Mrs. Cl-rke, mum,
In a 40 h.p. Napier."
'"And you and 'they, and him and her,
O Adolphus ! "
(Absolve us, Heaven, absolve us;
What does she mean, between six and seven ?)
"He blows his horn at the gate without,
Mrs. Cl-rke, mum,
And he leaves his meaning in little doubt."
41 1 care not what he has come about,
O Adolphus ! "
(Absolve its, Heaven, absolve us;
She does not care, between six and seven ! )
"He has climbed again to his motor car,
Mrs. Cl-rke, mum,
And the carburetter is passing fair."
" Come hither, leave Mr. W-lls to stare,
O Adolphus ! "
(Absolve us, Heaven, absolve us ;
Those motor-cars, between six and seven !)
" There 's one that cries and will not stop,
Mrs. Cl-rke, mum ;
He lifts his lips, and he calls out ' Shop ! ' "
" He shall not thrive, were he thrice in Pop,
(Absolve us, Heaven, absolve us ;
Check pantaloons, between six and seven ! )
NINTHLIES AND LASTLIES ;
" Oh, he prays you as his soul you 'Id bless,
Mrs. Cl-rke, mum,
To take and give him a strawberry mess."
"Sweet hour of my power and his distress,
O Adolphus ! "
(Absolve its, Heaven, absolve us ;
Here } s mess enough, between six and seven /)
"What white thing has passed in the rain,
Mrs. Cl-rke, mum?
I think it flies through the window-pane."
"A lump of sugar, hard and plain,
O Adolphus ! "
(Absolve us, Heaven, absolve us ;
Burst, burst, all burst, between six and seven!)
ETON, June, 1906.
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NINTHLIES AND LASTLIES
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io JUXTA S ALICES
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ETON, ////^ /2//^, 7906.
NINTHLIES AND LASTLIES n
As I wander dejected to look at the people elected,
Musing the while on the crowd now irretrievably
How consoling I find it to think how little they 'd
If the refused ones knew what they escape going
Poor little helpless wretches the watchful pedagogue
Up to the meagre hotel where they are destined to
Or who, strangely accoutred, accompany him who has
Tongues that hardly can speak into a knowledge of
There in hay-harvest weather they sit by fifties
Inconsolably sit under the statue of Pitt
All for what ? For a pittance, whose regular annual
Has, I suppose, no zest but for their people at
All for a cumbrous guerdon, distinctly akin to a
Weighing the shoulders down, known to the world
as a GOWN :
12 JUXTA SALICES
All for Remove to hustle, as out through the passage
All for the dirtiest scug loudly to designate " Tug!"
All to sit in a bully, in raiment ragged and woolly,
On their knees on the ball under a blasphemous
All to compete for prizes of various labour and sizes,
Which, however they sweat, Oppidans probably get ;
All to live in a warren, with practices utterly foreign,
Customs skilfully furled up from the rest of the
All to court a seclusion, in which, for fear of confusion,
Oppidans none may know till they are ready to go ;
All to be always reckoned incontrovertibly second,
Never, wherever they be, rise to the top of the tree
This, just this, is the meaning of all that boast over-
Which you can hardly resist when you appear on
Thus I muse like a sceptic, adopting a slightly
View of the state of affairs as to a Colleger's cares ;
Yes, I am poor as a scoffer ; and if you gave me the
Six more years to remain well, I would do it again.
ETON, Elections, 1907.
NINTH LIES AND LASTL1ES 13
A HUMOROUS VALE
AT last I stop the oaten quill,
I twitch my mantle blue,
And turn again on Windsor Hill
To bid the land adieu ;
Yet 'tis not only stones and trees
That fancy lingers on,
For they will live in changeless ease
When I am dead and gone.
Masters, farewell! Yet, when I come,
You will be here to know.
Farewell, my friends ! Yet surely some
Will follow where I go.
Masters and friends are not the care
That racks the anguished mind;
One numbing thought alone is there
I leave myself behind.
Farewell, old self! For you at least
Some change must undergo;
The form that year by year increased,
The mind that seemed to grow ;
The careless brow, the hairless cheek,
The unbeclouded eye,
The candid tongue that dared to speak
Before it dared to lie.
i 4 JUXTA S ALICES
No more amid the scent of rose
To tell my numbers o'er
In gardens where the water flows
Along a flowery shore !
No more to see my pages turned,
To hear my verses read,
To feel the blush of praise unearned
And thankfulness unsaid !
Upon the willows, lone and drear,
By Isis' banks that spring,
The harp that Thames rejoiced to hear
Shall hush her jocund string ;
Or, if the alien children still
Desire a song of glee,
In every thoughtless word shall thrill
A heart that breaks for thee.
ETON, fuly 26, 1906.
NINTHLIES AND LASTLIES 15
ON A GREAT RETIREMENT*
CLERK in Scholastic Orders ! Can I deem
Thy last roll called, thy final victim beaten,
Thou passest from thy glory, who didst seem
The most imaged in all unaging Eton ?
Oft, like a good Praepostor, have I pounced
On weekly truants, trembling for thy summons
First asked thee how the Thackeray they pronounced
Their names and titles (and they did seem
Then haled them from the labyrinthine suite
Of Science, where they half forgot their panics,
Or, lurking violets, from the coy retreat
That still usurps your sacred name, Mechanics.
And shall another take the Absence bill
From anxious masters, dreading his evflui/r??
Another skulk behind th' unanswering grille,
And be extreme to mark the list's lacunae?
And can it be another form shall stand
Amid the culprits, where they wait gazetted;
Half Charon, piloting his ghastly band,
Half Moses in the dark gap silhouetted ?
That of Gaffney, the School Clerk of Eton.
1 6 JUXTA S ALICES
Eton shall miss thee, though another eye
Thy wit, thy care, thy watchfulness inherit;
Henry shall miss thee, where he points on high
His sceptre to the Heaven he dared to merit:
And one poor exile, when, restored awhile,
He haunts these precincts, anciently thy bear-
Will miss the eye that ne'er refused a smile,
The hand that ne'er disdained to journey hair-
ETON, July, 1910.
[Being some account of the motives which induced certain
gentlemen to set fire to the Stand designed for the Oxford
Pageant of 1907.]
(With occasional apologies to MATTHEW ARNOLD.)
THE CHRISTCHURCHMAN loquitur:
How changed is every spot man makes, or unmakes !
In Northern Oxford nothing keeps the same,
And here, in Christ Church meadows, where the sun
The Cher in summer worthy of its name,
A mushroom growth, raised by a local agent,
A mighty platform threatens the display
Which uninstructed people call a pageant
(Though that, I think, is not the proper way).
Ladies, that punt beneath the cool-haired creepers,
Each clutching her inviolable shade,
Fail to observe the customary reapers
Stand with suspended scythe in yonder glade ;
Women they see, their hands upraised in cursing,
Like Suffragists, beneath the eye of Heaven,
And these, they know, are characters rehearsing
The culminating scene in Tableau VII.
20 . JUXTA SALICES
Bumpkins, that came to hear the choir-boys carol
From Magdalen Tower on May-day, stood and
To see strange men in latter-day apparel
March with umbrellas o'er the trampled sward :
Perhaps those serried companies presented
The loyal muster of King Charles's men,
Perhaps, how undergraduates frequented
Lectures ah yes ! they still had lectures then.
Fain had I lived when Aelfred burnt the crumpets,
Ere Oxford knew the guile that haunts the gown,
Or when the sudden blare of Roundhead trumpets
Would send a proctor flying round the town ;
Or when the Magdalen fellows, rusticated,
Begged their precarious bread o'er lawn and lea,
Then, harmless Indolence was never "gated,"
But Time, not Indolence, has done for me.
Come, cross, my friends, the unpermitted ferry ;
Soon from the High will firemen's pumps come on ;
Soon we shall have the Oxford coster merry
Charging us, here a bobby, there a don ;
Achilles in his tent, the pageant-master
Shall see young Hectors raising brands on high,
And cease his boding presage of disaster.
Commem. is come, and with Commem. come I.
[He plunges into the Cherwell.
OXFORD, June, 1907.
BOWINGS TO RIMMON 21
MY EIGHTS WEEK WINDOW-BOX
(A STUDY IN HYPOCRISY.)
AMANDA ! when my window-box,
With loving care and tea-leaves tended,
Smiles on the Alidensian frocks
That throng the Quad, a vision splendid,
You wonder at my mignonette,
My early efforts at Sweet Willum,
And ask me, where on earth I get
Such beauf&A himantiphyllum.
Alas ! you should not seek to know ;
Truth must be told, though hearts be sorest :
They came on Wednesday, and they go
Next Friday, to the self-same florist!
You curl your lip, you give a stare
Productive of regretful twinges,
As one who in her rival's hair
Discovers epeisactic fringes :
" Bought for the week ? " You mark the flaw :
" At least your Honesty has drooped !
Must your Adonis-gardens draw
The long bow in the cause of Cupid ? "
22 JUXTA S ALICES
But stop each window-dressing gay
Deserves alike your Jeremiad;
The College hires them by the day
From Mr. Johnson's large supply (Ad.)
For isn't Eights Week mostly lies?
Think you that Oxford's always stewing?
That only hock-cup occupies,
And man can nothing, save canoeing?
Come up again, Amanda, ere
The Summer Term be wholly over;
Come up, and take us unaware,
When more of pigs, and less in clover;
When, daily, students read for Groups
Under the dreaming garden trees, and
When, nightly, undeciphered whoops
Thrill from the undergraduate weasand !
OXFORD, May, 7909.
BOWINGS TO RIMMON 23
LINES TO A LADY
IN A PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIO.
RELUCTANT priestess, to whose mystic shrine
Thy suitors come in festal garments drest,
Yet not with festal mien, but cheeks that pine,
And shamefast eyes, and anxious hearts distrest;
Look not so coldly on me, sacred girl,
While with the mirror's aid I overhaul
The truant neck-wear, hurriedly arranged,
The too exuberant curl :
Or while I scan the heads on yonder wall,
The trophies of thy victims, heavens, how
Where is thine acolyte the presence tall,
The smile that never leaves his lips for ours,
Though in a fervid longing to recall
Archdeacons' pleasantries, he tax our powers,
Or jokes in Punch that thralled us long ago?
Why lingers he in yonder mossy cell
Amid those dishes that the lantern's screen
Bathes in a crimson glow?
With what Circean drug, what potent spell,
What hyposulphate, or what hippocrene?
Nay, but he tarries in thy temple fair,
Over the tripod shrouding his pale head;
24 JUXTA SALICES
What careful victim kneels before him there
With folded hands, and gaze disquieted?
He speaks ! I know not with what fears or hopes
He chides him, half in comfort, half in scorn ;
Or with what suddenness, unknown to him
The magic casement opes
'Mid perilous seas that beat on canvas torn,
And Attic colonnades by forests dim.
He calls me. Let him take me while I speak !
For what my presence lacks thy hand can give;
Thy touch can bring the colour to these cheeks,
And smooth this forehead, in the negative.
Adieu, adieu ! Immortal is thine art,
Thy maiden votaries need never dye,
Those images can never lose their prime !
And still, as I depart,
Thou bid'st me hope for proofs that cannot lie,
And prints that fade not with the prints of
MANCHESTER, October^ 1908.
BOWINGS TO RIMMON 25
THE " fst's" QUATERCENTENARY.
[A Study in final vowels.]
MILTON has had his day ;
Darwin has come to stay \
Most people sing or say
Johnson his praises :
Corunna's wild affray,
Beethoven's works in A,
Tennyson's views on May,
Thunder like blazes.
Now Old-Age Pensions free
Dotards of eighty-three
To wander on the spree
Each as he pleases :
Bishops still disagree ;
Asquith is up a tree ;
Every one seems, like me,
Given to sneezes.
Wiseacres grimly sigh,
Saying: "We'll have a high
Old time with that there Nigh
Easterly crisis " :
They may be right, but I
Answer ; " O socii^
Nil desperandum, si
Dux erit ' Sst's.' "
26 JUXTA SALICES
Earthquakes may overthrow;
Yes, it may even snow ;
India don't seem to show
Prospects of roses :
Grayson declares it's no
(To put it coarsely) go
To stick to laws we owe
Mainly to Moses.
The vast unfathomed blue,
Which to submit, it's true,
Sometimes refuses :
Numbers have got the 'flu ;
Suffragists stick like glue;
Oxo and Sunlight Sue
Still court the Muses.
Journalists vainly try
To follow one whose sly
Moves by Great Western Ry.
Call for a lysis-.*
They may be right, but why
Should we neglect to buy
Issues of "Jsis"?
OXFORD, January, 1909.
This poem was written when the "Charlesworth Mystery 3
was at its height.
BOWINGS TO RIMMON
BY A FOURTH YEAR MAN.
HENCE, vain Committee meetings,
Of politics and social fervour born,
Meals at the Grid, and grinds that break the morn
Hence, peaceful punt and noisy Quad,
To some retreat by man untrod,
Some limbo yet impenetrate of Keating's.
But come, my goddess that shalt be,
Humaniores Literae ;
Come, with lecture-haunting haste,
And note-books cunningly enlac'd,
Come with Hope and simple Faith
And philosophick Shibboleth,
And ancient History in thy train,
Pensive, sober, and humane.
When I rise, no punctual Dean
Shall summon me at 1.15,
No jealous pen the record keep
Betwixt my Matins and my sleep.
So to breakfast, and anon
I rise t' attend the drowsy don,
Telling his rosary evermore
Of Tacit, Grote, and Diodore :
Still will I walk, from dawn to dusk
In raiment sordid and subfusc,
Ever, in thought, the candid tie
Shall be my neck's phylactery.
28 JUXTA SALICES
And I will take, 'neath wintry skies,
My postmeridian exercise
To Ferry Hincksey, or the Parks,
Now in Oxon, now in Berks,
With an uncomplaining friend
Discoursing wisely of the End :
(Wherewith the nimble Stagirite
Commenc'd his work, and said, when night
O'ertook him prating of the McVop,
"Let us begin" the Second Lesson).
Then will I to my books again
Till the whisky'd hour of ten,
Or such time as the weary'd Progs
Call in their base-informing dogs.
Such life might well the Gods beseem.
Then to bed at night, to dream
Of Alphas struggling with a pair
Of Categories in the air,
Love-lorn Idealists, that seek
Presentations most unique,
And golfers playing, frantick souls,
Round Copulas of eighteen Wholes.
And ever, to delude my foes,
Wrap me in a cynick pose
Of intellectual despair,
Holier than hermit's shirt of hair.
These give me, and a score of dates,
And I will get a in Greats.
THE OLD PARSONAGE, ST. GILES', October^ 1909.
BOWINGS TO RIMMON 29
CUCULLUS FACIT MONACHUM
[Lines suggested by an ecclesiastical advertisement.]
QUICKLY the Church's seasons change,
" Mutamur nos in Hits" ;
Hasten, ye vicars, to arrange
With Messrs. J-n-s and W-ll-s.
See where he stands, that fervent soul,
The Reverend Michael Dolan,
Accoutred in a Lenten stole,
That is not lent nor stolen !
His visage lit with holy fire
Of that we make no mention ;
It is, in fact, to his attire,
That we would call attention.
The band around his shoulders slim
Is of the very purplest,
For J-n-s and W-ll-s cassocked him,
And J-n-s and W-ll-s surpliced.
The sidesmen, and the wardens too,
Who manage the collection,
Have each an almsbag in their pew
Of just the same complexion.
30 JUXTA SALICES
And peeping out between their thumbs
Both Corydon and Phyllis
Whisper admiringly, "It comes
From Messrs. J-n-s and W-ll-s."
Then come, insure by telegram
An early executing;
Address it to " Eccl-sia, B'ham "
And choose your Lenten suiting.
BOWINGS TO RIMMON 31
OXFORD CLERICAL TYPES
THERE once was a Cleric oh my !
As broad as the ambient sky :
From S. Martin's to Queen's
He travelled by means
Of the Broad, as opposed to the High.
There once was a man who said : "I
Am a Moderate Churchman; for why?
S. Philip, you know,
Was inclined to be Low,
But S. James was excessively High."
There once was a man who said : " Stoles
Pervert undergraduate souls."
So he took his abode
In the Banbury Road,
And saved them as brands from the coles.
OXFORD, October, 1907.
32 JUXTA S ALICES
THE VISITORS' BOOK,
CORYDON. WHAT, Echo, shall I find at Hartland
Save walls abandoned long ago, and sea?
ECHO. Go, and see.
COR. Nay, but describe it, Echo, for thy sighs
My roving accents quaintly parodize.
COR. How shall I reach (for wind and wave are
Those fields untouched by harrow or by
COR. What of the beds? What portion waits the
Lulled by the murmur of the Atlantic
COR. What of the food? What influence supreme,
If baby seems in pain, will hush a scream?
ECH. Luscious cream.
BOWINGS TO RIMMON 33
COR. And will this land, when nought that 's tender
Yield beans and blackberries avro/^arwe?
ECH. Or tomatoes.
COR. What exploits, then, shall occupy my time,
Wearied with wandering in many a clime?
ECH. Many a climb.
COR. Were it not best to lie on couch of clover?
Great is the peril, lest I should fall over.
ECH. Faugh ! loafer.
COR. If, yet untired, I'd cool the heated limb,
Can any panacea heal this whim?
ECH. A healthy swim.
COR. What then my week's expenditure, and how
Reckoned the cost? my mind enlighten now.
ECH. Light enow.
COR. What of mine host ? for, if the host be rude,
The fare, whate'er it be, is none so good.
ECH. None's so good.
COR. Come, Echo, thou hast visited this spot?
I have conjectured shrewdly, have I not ?
ECH. Have I not !
34 JUXTA SALICES
COR. Who dwelt with thee, where Hartland lies
Where winds, that rule in sea, spare stone
and field ?
ECH. Rieu, Lindsay, Speyer, Stone, and Field.
COR. What is thy name? For Atho mountains
Clear "H)(w, but thou art in Pindar "AX.
ECH. R. A. K.
BOWINGS TO RIMMON 35
THE VISITORS' BOOK,
"THE placid Windrush running by
Attracts the weary traveller's eye " ;
So far I may with safety quote
But not the weary traveller's throat.
Bourton on Water ? Rather here
We '11 drink all Burton out of Beer.
36 JUXTA SAUCES
EVER since Clough and his friends settled into
their unpronounceable but conveniently hephthemi-
meral quarters at the Bothie of Tober-na-vuolich, the
reading-party has held a recognized position in the
orthodox conception of a Long Vac. Nor would we
attempt to assail that position, with all the associations
that cluster round it. No doubt four months at a
stretch is more than long enough opportunity to
exchange fond greetings with our over-joyed relatives
and deeply-affected retainers ; we pine once more for
the society of a kindred age, for choice spirits who,
like ourselves, do not view life with the obscurantist
orthodoxy of Uncle Richard, 9r the oppressive
heartiness of the youthful Freddy.
The pseudo-Bohemian atmosphere born of irre-
gular hours, much smoking, and absence of evening
dress combines with the natural attractions of the
lonely spot to heal the sores of our so-called civiliza-
tion. But it is one thing to escape from the Family
for a week or two, as a tonic ; it is another to make
congenial gatherings the staple occupation if not the
raison d^tre of the Long.
It is significant that the decay of home life should
go side by side with that of another great national
institution, the silly season. Belfast riots and
Limerick massacres are not the only things res-
BOWINGS TO RIMMON 37
ponsible for this innovation. From Cambridge, from
Stuttgart, from Yarmouth, from the Hague, we hear
of conferences and rumours of conferences ominous
signs of the times. The Church has long led the
way in organizing discussions of more or less academic
questions in solemn state. And the Peace delegates,
if equally academic, are equally harmless. But of
recent years these high midsummer pomps have been
coming on with a vengeance. There will soon be no
sort of Union, Federation, Association, Society, Guild,
League, Church, Sect, Fad, Movement, Party, Heresy,
Schism, Philosophy, or Conspiracy in the world which
does not meet, with sandwiches and a whole crowd of
reporters, and discuss the " New Movement," or the
"Cause," in its political, religious, philosophical,
ethical, teleological, eschatological, scientific, psy-
chological, historical, practical, theoretical, and heaven
knows what other aspects, for the edification of its
own number, who are all reading papers, and the
impassive custodians of the public Halls in which
they disport themselves.
This craze has bitten Oxford to an alarming degree.
Religious, political, and social organizations are
claiming all the spare time of our wisest and best.
The old idea of a monastic retreat as a means of
recouping from the scars of the world, is replaced by
that of an immense gathering where egg-and-spoon
races and addresses follow one another in dithyrambic
confusion. Heartiness and holiness walk side by
side. And in such camps and campaigns, missions
38 JUXTA SAUCES
and commissions, concerts and congresses, the time
passes away, pleasantly enough, no doubt, but rather
inadequately so far as the humaner letters are con-
cerned. After all, the Vac. is meant for work. If
dissipations in the form of clubs and festivities,
societies and recreations, Mods lectures and Greats
lectures, keep us too busy at Oxford to prepare
ourselves in any way for Schools, at least let us have
our holiday time free to repair the deficiencies.
Nor is it only the favoured few who are threatened.
In the world at large there is no cause so insignificant
as to be without its conference, except perhaps that
of burglary and that of certified insanity. In a short
time the diary of an average Long will run thus :
June 20 30. Congress of the Classical Associa-
tion on the Yorkshire Moors. Professor Talkard
read a paper on the elision of diphthongs in Greek.
Dr. Dryasdust won the obstacle race. Further
discussion on the elision of diphthongs. A well-spent
July i 8. Attended Re-union of the Ethical
Churches in North Wales. Rev. James Wassher on
" The Spirituality of Swinburne " and " Pantheism in
Christina Rossetti." Ethical expedition to Conway.
Rev. James Wassher on "Why I ceased to be a
Baptist." Record attendance of 16. Pietistic picnic
July 9 23. World Congress of anti-bimetallists
at Weston-super-Mare. Count Sauwosch on " The
slavery of Bimetallism."
BOWINGS TO RIMMON 39
July 23 28. Went home to get some clothes
July 29 August 1 8. Health Society's camp on
Salisbury Plain. Dr. John P. Harker on " Hygiene :
the new religion." Constitutional walks on the
plain. Mrs. McFadden on "The Dignity of Diet."
Hygienic hymns sung at night. Returned with a
August 1 8 September 3. Anti-Socialist Gathering
in the Dukeries. Mr. Potter (late M.P.) on "The
Constitution and the Colonies." Champagne dinner
at the Duke of 's. Mr. Hawkins (ex-Mayor of
Poddlebury) on " Our dear old Church."
Sept. 3 25. Diabolists' World Congress on Isle
of Skye. Champion feather-weight (aged 3) on " Is
Diabolo intellectual?" During discussion that
followed, brained the infant champion with a spool.
Sept. 25 onwards. National gathering of stone-
breakers on Dartmoor.
OXFORD, October, 1907.
40 JUXTA SALICES
THE CELEBRATIONS ON THE FIFTH
(From the Journal of Britannic Studies, A.D. 2907.)
By DR. J. PARAFRAZER.
IN several curious fragments of the so-called
Victorian civilization we meet allusions to the festival
observed on "Guy Fawkes" day, the fifth of the
month November. Apparently the Guy, or Gai, as
he should probably be called, was carried round the
streets on a rude chariot, while the followers uttered
incantations, and caused some annoyance by repeated
requests for money. At the conclusion of the pro-
cession the Gai was burned on a large pyre, beside
which some primitive form of pyrotechnic display was
organized. Some of the chants have been preserved
to us ; one of them running thus :
Remember, remember, the Fifth of November,
Gunpowder treason and plot ;
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
It im* in the eye ;
Stick im on a lamp-post
And there let im lie.
* There is little doubt that the aspirate did not exist in
British at the period referred to.
BOWINGS TO RIMMON 41
The purpose of this paper will be to throw some
light on the origin of this interesting cult, hidden as
it is under a mass of ignorant legend and foolhardy
From the first, we must set aside as palpably
aetiological the stratum of pretended history, which
we may term the priestly myth. The well-known
story of the man who attempted to destroy the whole
of the Executive, is condemned at once by its inherent
improbability and by the multitude of parallel examples
of fabrication in the history of comparative religion.
Even as late as the time of the seventh Edward it is
doubtful whether the annihilation of the " Parliament "
would have been looked upon as a national disaster.
Nor is evidence lacking to show that the historicity
of this incident was called in question by the early
critics. In any case we cannot too clearly emphasize
the fact that the mind of primitive peoples does not
work in this way, prior to the dawn of the historic
consciousness. But the legend is interesting as
illustrating the rule that the new religion, as it super-
sedes the old, saddles it with the less amiable
characters of its own mythology, so that the simple
earth-hero becomes an exponent of the old creed,
obstinately setting his face against the newer rival,
and appropriately punished.
We must now turn to the name of the title-role.
That the first part is connected by root with the
Greek Gaia, or earth, there seems no reason to doubt.
Can we assign any similar meaning to the second?
42 JUXTA SAUCES
The great majority of critics have agreed in referring
it the Indo-European root of fax and focus. But all
attempts to establish such connections between lan-
guages radically different are little better than special
pleading. It is impossible to resist the belief that we
have here a trace of a very early totemism. We know
that the Fox, or vulpes communt's, as we should call it
nowadays, was regarded with superstition by the
Britons ; so much so that in spite of frequent depre-
dations on farmers, it was held criminal to kill or
even maim the animal. If, as seems probable, he
was worshipped under the cultus-title of Rainard, it
is well-nigh impossible to resist the suggestion that it
was applied to him in his capacity as controlling the
powers of nature, and consequently responsible for
the fertility or otherwise of the crops. Now if we
combine these sources of evidence we arrive at the
conclusion that " Gai Fox " is an earth-god of con-
siderable antiquity, with the double-name arising
probably from a confusion of cults.
What then is the meaning of the elaborate ritual
above described? The explanation is not far to
seek. We are close to the root of all the sun-myths,
including the legend of Pentheus. The old year,
represented by the stubble-image, is carried out amid
execrations and assaults of apotropaic significance,
and finally burnt in order to secure the safety of the
next year's harvest. The bonfire represents the sun.
Returning then to the second dithyrambic fragment
above quoted, we may fairly assume that the lamp-
BOWINGS TO RIMMON 43
post alluded to has something of the same significance.
Finally, the fireworks would appear to be an appeal
by means of sympathetic magic to the stars as nature-
forceSj or as controlling the destinies of men.
One more question will naturally present itself to us.
Was it only a senseless image of the receding year
that was first pelted in mockery and then burnt at the
stake ? Or may we trace a more sinister meaning in
the silence of most ancient authors on this subject ?
Is it possible that here we meet an actual survival of
human sacrifice in historic and nominally civilized
times ? Most critics have been content to scout the
notion ; Mr. Bilgeway, in a really eloquent defence of
the period, has argued at great length against such a
possibility. But we must not be too mealy-mouthed.
We must not be prepared to read into the history of
a thousand years ago those considerations of humanity
and gentleness which are characteristic of our own.
On the whole, if we are to face the probabilities
squarely, we must admit that the presumption is in
favour of the sterner view, and that in all likelihood
the Fifth of November was stained annually with one
of those orgies of superstitious carnage to which
primitive religion is too sadly liable.
OXFORD, Nove?nber, 1907.
"NE quis confoederationes sive conspirationes
ineat, unde Cancellarius, Procuratores, seu alii ministri
Universitatis, in executione officiorum suorum, se-
cundum Statuta et Ordinationes ejusdem, impediri
vel perturbari possint, sub poena bannitionis ab
Universitate vel in tempus aliquod vel in perpetuum."
Questc parole di colore oscuro vid' to scrittc in the
widely circulated but little read pages of the Statuta
et Decreta Universitatis Oxoniensis. So much the
reader will have guessed from the simple if uncon-
ventional Latinity for which that work is so justly
famous. Deferring for the moment our perusal of its
telling phrases, we ask ourselves : " Why do rags
happen ? Are they all organized of malice prepense ?
And if so, what is this diabolical secret society, which
can turn the High into a seething mass of antinomian
undergraduates and inexorable police ? "
Now one thing is quite clear about rags and riots
and mobs in general, that they arise without any
definite notion of what they are about. It is idle to
suppose that Demetrius and his Union wielded any
real political power in Ephesus. It is idle to suppose
that the Warden of Outland called out any real
hostility from the excitable populace who surrounded
his palace. Nor have we any ground for supposing
that the Roman people was seriously annoyed at the
BOWINGS TO RIMMON 45
death of Julius Caesar. There is but one explanation
of the riot, whether people are crying " Great is Diana
of the Ephesians " or " Less Bread, more Taxes," or
whether they are honest enough to content themselves
with the phrase " We will be satisfied : let us be
satisfied." In every case, the rank and file of illicit
assemblies consists of unattached persons who hear
vaguely that something is afoot, and leave the com-
fort and safety of their homes to see what it is.
The phenomenon is of course recognized, nay,
commonplace. If you have the courage to go out
into the street and stare at the top of a house, or go
down on your knees and peer into one of those
romantic orifices with which a hygienic civilization
has so plentifully honeycombed our thoroughfares, in
a quarter of an hour the street will be lined, and there
will be one or two horse-policemen, and with any
luck somebody reading the Riot Act. If you are the
King of Spain you can compass a similar result by
merely taking a walk in Kensington Gardens. It
simply comes of the unpardonable curiosity of our
unregenerate nature. It is just the same in Belfast.
You have at first a fairly ordinary strike, and a few
words going. Instantly a crowd of people comes to
see the fun ; somebody shoves some one, and his
neighbour in making way for him falls into a police-
man ; the policeman draws a truncheon, and there is
a riot in a moment. All because of people who will
not mind their own business.
At Oxford the thing happens more easily than
46 JUXTA SALICES
anywhere else, because Rumour painted full of
tongues scours her day and night, and sets up her
notices in every College porch. Word gets round
a significant phrase ; pernotescit^ Opourai, on dit^ in
every language we have this same feeling of an
impersonal agency that gives our secrets to the world
word gets round that there is a twenty-firster at
Univ, and they are going to barricade the High ; or
a man has been sent down from Worcester, and his
friends are going to let off fireworks at the Martyrs'
Memorial; instantly the clubs are depopulated, the
Theatre languishes, books and cards are thrown to
the winds, and an anxious crowd gathers at the
appointed spot. If anything happens, most of them
will join in; if nothing happens, they will melt
reluctantly and go home. But if they had not left
their colleges, the organizers of the mischief, some
twenty in number, could have been gagged and bound
by a single bull-dog. About a week later the
authorities get official wind of it, and a posse of
special constables parades the desolate streets like
victors in a sacked and conquered city.
Let it be understood at once that we have not a
word to say in favour or even in extenuation of
" rags." But we do say that the real offender in the
case of a large row is not the man who is healthily
if unpleasantly intoxicated, but the man who goes out
in cold blood out of sheer curiosity, that most
repulsive of vices, to help from a distance in a riot
which he has neither the courage to start nor the
BOWINGS TO RIMMON 47
wit to organize. When people complain that they
were fined for just looking on at Tuesday night's
proceedings, we feel tempted to say, "And serve
True, owing to an insufficiency of attendances at
the ferial offices in Chapel, we were ourselves gated
on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
OXFORD, November, 1907.
48 JUXTA SALICES
A YEAR ago our friend Blennerhasset, of Wadford
College, joined the Tariff Reform League. He did
this to escape from the pesterings of the Free Food
League ; he did not know till later that the subscrip-
tion was double. This was all right so far as it went,
because he never went to a meeting, and never
received any literature, except a list of members,
which he put up on his mantelpiece opposite the
C. S. U. He did not find that it brought him in
touch with the political life of the nation, and was
secretly relieved that it did not. Unfortunately a
political friend observed it, and offered to take him
to a certain Conservative Club of the duller type,
and he accepted the invitation with alacrity. He was
so carried away by the debate (which was on the
Labour Party) that he delivered a very incoherent
speech on antediluvian lines which captivated the
hearts of his audience, and the next week he was
duly elected a member.
From that moment he has been a changed man.
Politics were before to him a subject strictly reserved
for post-prandial self-expansion. He never read the
papers, except the extracts from the Times of 1807,
and, while it lasted, Mr. Le Queux's excellent little
handbook on the Invasion of 1910. He knew few of
BOWINGS TO R1MMON 49
our eminent politicians by portrait, and indeed there
was little reason why he should; for whatever the
mandate of the present Government is, it was not
elected on account of personal attractiveness. He
was not aware that the white man had a burden, nor
what good capital could be made out of it. He had
no idea that Cobden was a schemer, or Gladstone a,
wind-bag. In fact, the calibre of his political know-
ledge was typical of the classes which are quite
content to leave their affairs in other people's hands,
so long as those people are gentlemen.
He has had a revulsion. No conversion was ever
so complete as that which followed the evening when
he stood up and testified about the Labour Party.
He took in the Daily Mail again, and the National
Review^ and listened to several long speeches on
Imperial defence. He attended all the meetings of
his club, and a good many of other clubs, and some
of the others were so insignificant that they also
adopted him. He went regularly to the Union, and
although he never spoke, stayed so long that every-
body thought he would have spoken if he had got
the chance. In time he acquired a sort of second-
hand notoriety which made obscure colleges ask him
to their open debates, mainly on Female Suffrage.
And now we may take him as a very fair representa-
tive of the Beta Plus Oxford politician, with a blunt
humour, and a fund of useless information about
Deep-Sea Fisheries and the like.
A year has rolled over his primrose-wreathed head,
5 o JUXTA SALICES
and we find him still spending his evenings at the
clubs and at the Union. He is various minor
officials, which make it necessary for him to send
off a little sheaf of notes every week to a largely
absentee population. From time to time he frequents
a political dinner, and hears a gentleman or two who
all but got in at the Election discoursing on the
iniquities of the Government. Even in the Vacs,
if he has nothing better to do, he goes and canvasses
at by-elections. Let it not be supposed for a moment
that all this is due to his being a Conservative ; as we
said, if he had known the fact about the subscriptions,
he would probably have become a Liberal or a
Socialist, and there is no reason to suppose that his
career would have been materially different.
Meanwhile, we will not say that his work has
suffered. He passed Moderations with credit, and
even his tutors do not expect him to do well in
History. But the result is that he never reads. He
is hardly ever in his rooms, unless he is being the
Hierophant of some Constitutional orgies ; and many
of his friends have dropped him in consequence.
He battens on the literature he read at his excellent
public school, which he never uses except to draw
incomplete analogies with the political situation. He
does not broaden his mind by conversation, because
he spends moct of his time talking to people who
agree with him, or who disagree with him so violently
that he has made up his mind not to be convinced.
It is not in the least true to say that he learns how to
BOWINGS TO R1MMON 51
argue; he would learn it six times better by going
and listening to a Humanitarian Deist in Hyde Park.
He lives, in short, a life of perpetual routine, which
would be conventual if he ever enjoyed the monastic
privilege of silence. Instead, he has got into the
disagreeable habit of listening to other people to see
where he can pick them up ; and at the same time
deluding himself into the idea that it is their voices,
and not his own, that he comes to hear every week.
None of his relatives can understand this tendency
on his part, but they have a vague notion that a
young man begins to think for himself when he goes
up to Oxford. Exactly the reverse is true : he begins
to take other people's word for things, and reproduce
it as his own.
There is not much more to be said. As he himself
said only last Friday, in addressing the Stratting Club
on Social Reform : "There is little or no doubt that
the people of this country take an intelligent interest
Blennerhasset is going to be a stockbroker. We
have no doubt that he will broke stocks very
adequately. But it seems rather a pity.
I 'M sorry, but I ; m afraid the Decalogue Symposium
must have a preface all to itself. The Decalogue was
a literary Society in Balliol, so called because it con-
sisted of nineteen members. The author conceived
the idea of writing a dialogue which would provide
one part for each member, and no more, and it was
actually read, one summer evening, by a quorum of
the whole Society. Unfortunately, true to the spirit
of modern Drama, the parts were all " written round "
the several actors, and many purely personal allusions
will be lost on a larger audience : it can only be said,
in the words of Hippoclides, that " it was screamingly
funny when you saw it done." One result of this is,
that the characters are not always quite true to them-
selves : and the only living author introduced was
brought in not to expound his own views (whatever
those may be), but to provide a cloak for the person-
ality of the present writer, who sustained the part
A DECALOGUE SYMPOSIUM
Dramatis Personae :
THE CHAIRMAN (almost any XlXth Century Liberal).
HIPPOCLIDES. ADIMANTUS BOSWELL WATSON.
SOCRATES. MR. B - RN - RD SH -|w.
ARISTOTLE. THK MARCH HARE.
CICERO. SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY.
S. FRANCIS. PETER PAN.
CHARLES II. SIR JOHN FALSTAFF.
DR. JOHNSON. SAM WELLER.
MRS. MALAPROP. CHORUS OF VIRTUES.
SHERLOCK HOLMES. CHORUS OF VICES.
(Also New Women, Telephone Messengers, Bimetallists,
Flagellants, Licensed Victuallers, Hyperboreans, Seventh Day
Baptists, Condottieri, Little Oil-Baths, etc.).
THE CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, the time is ripe.
At this moment the don, distended with an enlarged
edition of undergraduate fare, is reclining in his
Senior Common-room. The pale student replaces
the standard dietary with the less peptic alternative
of chocolate biscuits. The Proctor
[SHERLOCK HOLMES (contemptuously). Bunglers !]
nerves himself for his Midianitish prowlings with a
glass of the familiar and blushful Hippocrene. The
rowing man carries his newly-assimilated repast to the
hallowed silence of his dormitory. It is a time to
58 JUXTA SALICES
speak, and not a time to refrain from speaking. I
call on Mr. Socrates to open the discussion.
SOCRATES. I went down lately to the Barneion,
both to see the Procession, how they would organize
it, and also because I thought it would be nice to get
a walk for once in a way. And here I met Sherlock
Holmes, disguised as a history Don, having been
engaged for the occasion by Lady , and also his
friend Watson, who was writing very busily in a
note-book under some such title as "The Strange
Case of the Burgled Biretta." As I was turning to
go away, a plain-clothes man stepped up to me, and
said: "Sherlock Holmes wishes to see you, Sir."
"Very well, then," said I, "we will wait." So we
waited to see what this would come to.
DR. JOHNSON. Sir, if this ungrammatical babbler
is allowed to prosecute his damnable anecdotes, I
shall have no say in the controversy at all.
MRS. MALAPROP. In truth, Master Chairman, you
might ask the gentleman to be a little more Glyconick.
THE CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, I bow to the voice
of the majority; and call on Mr. Aristotle to com-
mence a discussion, of which Mr. Socrates is like to
debar us from the conclusion.
ARISTOTLE (in a great hurry). As to the nature
of Love and the parts of it, and as to the methods
and media of it, and again as to how it originated
and to what completion it has developed or is de-
veloping, let the following words be spoken.
A DECALOGUE SYMPOSIUM 59
THE MARCH HARE. They couldn't follow, you
know, unless they were spoken.
ARIST. There might be a mistake in the Arabic.
THE M. H. They do follow you, though; for
miles together sometimes. Especially the Gerunds.
May be you 've never met a Gerund ?
ARIST. Humour is a certain division of the base.
Whether then Love can be other than physical, let it
now be defined.
HIPPOCLIDES. I am always physical. I made an
awfully good joke once did I ever tell you this?
You see, some other fellows and I were courting a
young lady, and they had just brought in the tea-
table. So, before the servant had time to lay the
things, I did a short-arm balance on the table, and
(graphically) waved my legs in the air. It was
screamingly funny when you saw it done.
CHORUS OF VICES.
Hippoclides ! with dignified ease
Balancing upon a chair;
Little wist he Agariste
Saw him waving in the air.
CHORUS OF VIRTUES. Hush ! Hush !
MR. SH-W. English people always think they are
being funny when they talk about Legs. May I pro-
test against the intrusion of any form of sentiment
in this discussion ? Let 's admit at once that Man
is still a beast ; that morality, when it is n't supersti-
tious, is conventional.
DR. J. What is that over there ?
60 JUXTA SALICES
THE M. H. A heavy man trying to be funny.
S. H. A Socialist, evidently.
A. B. WATSON. My dear Holmes !
S. H. There is no mistaking the peculiar paper of
the Fabian basis which protrudes from his left-hand
coat pocket. A vegetarian, clearly, by his teeth, and
a journalist by the conformation of his right thumb.
He leads a sedentary life, and is an Irishman.
MRS. M. It is a nasty fellow, Doctor, that must
needs come in with his diaphragms, and tell us that
all morality, which is not supposititious, is conventual.
MR. S. I say, Sir, that you're no better than a
beast when you 're in love. You think you are, but
you are n't.
DR. J. Sir, you throw the aegis of a philosophy
which no one but you could adopt, over a porno-
graphy which no one but you could appreciate.
HIPPOC. Half-time. There will be no collection.
Might I ask the honourable gentleman to repeat his
MRS. M. He says, Mr. Sh-w is throwing the
haggis of a philosophy which no one but he could
adopt, over a photography which no one but he could
S. FRANCIS. Surely, Master Sh-w, may it not be
that Love, which exists in us poor mortals in so
imperfect a form, is granted yet more imperfectly
to Brother Ape and Brother Dog ?
MR. S. I don't know anything about your brothers,
Sir, but you 're not qualified to speak on the subject.
A DECALOGUE SYMPOSIUM 61
In spite of being a monk, you know nothing of Love.
You haven't the feelings of a man.
THE M. H. No more have you. You think you
have, but you haven't.
S. FRAN. You say truly, brother. I am only a
MR. S. I detest humility. It is always either
unnecessary or insincere.
S. FRAN. In truth, I had suspected that you and
she were something strangers.
ARIST. How good S. Francis is ! For we call good
that to which we despair of attaining.
PETER PAN (yawning). I am getting tired of this.
I do want to find out what Love really is.
S. H. Who is that? You see it, Watson, you
A. B. W. That 's Peter Pan, the boy who lost his
S. H. It must have been that incompetent fellow
Lestrade. He never can keep anybody in sight for
three minutes together.
SOCRATES. Here, Adimantus, have you finished ?
It appears, then, that Love is not entirely physical ?
A. B. W. My dear Socrates ! I mean, it appears
SOCRATES. And indeed, has this escaped you, that
the further off the object of our affection is, the
stronger does the affection happen to be ?
A. B. W. How do you say ?
SOCRATES. As, for instance, that a man falls in
62 JUXTA SAUCES
love with his mother-in-law rarely if at all? And
similarly with the rest of the family ?
A. B. W. True.
SOCRATES. And again, after long absence, we find
that we are more deeply enamoured, as the poet says :
"Absence makes the heart grow fonder."
A. B. W. It runs the risk of doing so.
CICERO. It often seems to me, when I reflect
upon the nature of Love, that there is something
which produces the effect, that so far from being
weakened in our affection by distance, we should
appear to be more closely conjoined. And I re-
member that I spoke very often on this subject with
a most heavy and ornate man, Caius Brunius Jutus,
and that he was wont to assure me that those friend-
ships which he found most durable were those formed
with friends he saw the least often.
ARIST. What a perfect autobiographical style
Cicero has ! It reminds me of A. C. .
DR. J. Sir, the man who would write his own life
is either afraid of the judgment of posterity, or too
poor a creature to find a biographer.
ARIST. Nevertheless, autobiography seems to have
a function. For the best Art makes men appear
better than they are; and the writings of Mr.
A. B. W. But surely now, Doctor, you yourself
SOCRATES (severely). Adimantus ! ! It would seem,
A DECALOGUE SYMPOSIUM 63
then, that we are able to love those who are in the
most distant countries?
A. B. W. Yes, Doctor, I mean, it appears so.
CHORUS OF VICES.
I love a girl in Damietta!
I can't forget her! I can't forget her!
I love a girl in Damietta
Beneath a mango tree.
CHORUS OF VIRTUES. Hush ! Hush !
There's a little sailor sitting
In a cabin dark and bare ;
There 's a widowed mother knitting,
On a lonely London stair:
She thinks of her boy in the offing
So happy and so pure,
And she knows he's safe from coughing
With 's great Peppermint Cure !
SOCRATES. May we not, then, lay it down that
Love, in so far as it is the love of some one, and not
the love of a certain person of certain features, such
as yellow hair or a bottle nose, but itself by itself, is
entirely spiritual ? Or did we not admit that, there
was a certain kind of love for those who are long
CHARLES II. Sir, I protest that this is a most
ungallant speech in the presence of the charms of
Mrs. Malaprop. I'faith, she is like a Grace among
64 JUXTA SAUCES
MRS. M. La ! your Majesty, I am afraid 'tis not
to myself you refer, but to my attire. You are as
courteous as Sir Caliban.
SIR JOHN FALSTAFF. By the Rood, now, it may
be that I am something different made to other men ;
but whensoever my manhood gets the better of me,
methinks I am not entirely spiritual.
S. H. I see, Sir John, that your mode of life is
A. B. W. My dear Holmes ! How on earth
SIR J. F. Indeed, it may be that I am somewhat
given to ventriculation. But a woman is to me as
a good pint of sack ; a shred of comfort in a vale
S. FRAN. And would it be a vale of misery, Sir,
without the women ?
SIR J. F. Yes, thou vile cloister-bird ! Thou
hateful anatomy, thou abominable bag of bones !
What? Shall I be flouted in mine old age by a
hedge-priest, a bodkin's point, a withered stock-fish,
that eats nothing o' Fridays ? On my conscience,
now, if I were minded to leave this chair, I would
pin thee to yonder wall like a moth, and pepper thee
a little to save thee from corruption !
THE CHAIRMAN. Order ! Order ! This is not the
time, and this is not the place, for the objurgations of
Whitechapel, and the recriminations of Billingsgate.
If you have any respect for Law and Order, if you
wish to prosecute this discussion in the interests of
Truth and to the furtherance of Education, I call
A DECALOGUE SYMPOSIUM 65
upon you, gentlemen, to resist all attempts at violation
of the laws of Assault and Battery.
CICERO. I was just about to remark that the
action contemplated would be in direct contravention
of the Lex Sliggeriana "Ne quis cui endo manum
jicito, neve intra muros conlegii, nisi ob spiritus
animales, strepitus noctu faciatur." I think you have
it in your Festus, gentlemen.
ARIST. It is obvious, then, that Love can neither
be wholly physical nor wholly spiritual. For the one
is the love of beasts, which is revolting. But the
second is the love of angels, which is absurd. Let us
now decide whether it is better to love one person, or
CHARLES II. Gentlemen, I vow it is the greatest
honour I have ever received, to listen to such a galaxy
of talent. But we are here to discuss Love, and if we
are to speak of constancy to a single flame, we shall
but be discussing marriage. For my part, I hold your
Cupido, or god of Love, to be a more roystering
fellow than this, wherefore he is painted with wings,
to show that he flits from one to another ; and blind,
which is as much as to say, that he never knows to
whom he is dispensing his favours. Under such colours
I enrol myself, constant to nothing, save inconstancy.
CHORUS OF VICES (ivith apologies).
Hullo! Hullo! Hullo!
It's a different girl again,
Different eyes, different nose,
Different hair, different clothes
66 fUXTA SAUCES
Hullo! Hullo! Hullo!
To me it's very plain,
You Ve tickled the lady's fancy ; it 's
A different girl again.
CHORUS OF VIRTUES. Hush ! Hush !
The tide, whose motions own the sway
Of yonder silvery moon,
Returneth constant day by day
To flood the same lagoon.
The Sun, above the earth uplift,
Doth swiftly ride and sure,
But still more certain, still more swift
Is 's great Peppermint Cure.
CH. II. Is there any here that will deny me the
right to a wandering love ? Truly, the very spice of
it is, that we cannot move at night-time without the
most dismal secrecy.
S. H. If you take my advice, Charles Stuart, you
will be more careful over your little games in future.
Or must I remind you how I nabbed your pal Kit
Wren on a similar occasion ? I think you have the
case, Watson, under the title : " The Strange Affair
of the Ecclesiastical Architect."
CH. II. Gadzooks, Sir, what is Love, if it be not
Sin ? Or who can call himself lover, that hath ever
kept on the hither side of the Ten Commandments ?
A. B. W. Do you think, Sir, that a man can fall
in love without losing his virtue ?
A DECALOGUE SYMPOSIUM 67
DR. J. Sir, he must keep his virtue, if he will fall
in love. He cannot have the two pleasures at
A. B. W. But may they not be the same thing?
DR. J. Why no, Sir. A man cannot get drunk
but he loses the pleasure of drinking, nor fall asleep
but he loses the pleasure of lying in bed.
A. B. W. What, then, do you think of Love ?
DR. J. Enough, Sir; your conversation is singu-
SAM WELLER. Quite enough for vun evening, as
the old genelman said ven 'e gave it up, and slept on
PETER PAN. I can't understand all this. Wendy
says I am in love with her, and there can't be two
people like Wendy.
SOCRATES. Shall we not then say that the man
who has spent his time in dissipations, being always
led on from one to another, finally arrives at such a
pitch of dissoluteness, that his own pleasures induce
satiety ; and that thus, being as it were automatically
gated by the Junior Dean of his own insensate pas-
sions, he continues to indulge himself not for his own
enjoyment, but because he has lost the power of
relinquishing his habits ; till finally he reaches his
end in the midst of the agathon alone knows how
many miseries and misfortunes ?
A. B. W. True.
SOCRATES. It will therefore be better to retain
a single love, and that not, as the humorists say,
68 JUXTA SALICES
marred by marriage ? For he who marries is doubly
S. H. Excuse me, Sir, but your remarks on this
point seem tinged with personal feeling.
A. B. W. Holmes, you astound me !
S. H. Child's play, my dear Watson. When a
man appears in public with a large stain of pitch
on his left temple, and in a chiton that has not been
brushed for a fortnight, you may be quite sure that he
has fallen out with his wife.
DR. J. (to SOCRATES). Sir, your last remark proves
that you are either a libertine or a liar. Had you
been fortunate enough to arouse my interest, I should
be curious to know to which category you belong.
SOCRATES. I hope that it may not appear, my
friend, that I am both ; for some hold ignorance to
be vice. Nevertheless, we must persevere. Come,
now, would not you yourself say that the married
man has neither the liberty to leave his own wife, nor
the chance of choosing another ?
DR. J. Sir, you shall not turn me into an Echo
for your abominable sophistries. I have a stick here
in my hand, with which I propose to beat you.
(Pursues SOCRATES round the table.)
THE CHAIRMAN. Order ! Order ! I must entreat
you, Sir, to postpone the argumentum ad baculum to
a later occasion.
CICERO. I think, Mr. er Clodius, that you are
exceeding the er limit.
S. H. Perhaps you are unaware, Samuel Johnson,
A DECALOGUE SYMPOSIUM 69
alias Probus Britannicus, that in a quarter of an hour
I can put Scotland Yard in possession of the facts
relating to the authorship of the " Norfolk Prophecy."
^SAMUEL JOHNSON sinks into a chair.)
Our friend there, Watson, is a bully, and like all
bullies, a coward.
SOCRATES (faint, yet pursuing). Let this be laid
down as a kind of frontispiece to our work.
HlPPOC. Ou <frpovTiQ 'IinroK\i$ri.
ALL (shouting loudly). Oh ! Oh ! Hippoclides !
Stop him ! Stop him ! . . .
THE CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, things have gone so
far, that we must mark a period in our deliberations.
We will adjourn, therefore, to enjoy the refreshments
of which the constitution of this Society and the fore-
thought of the Vice-President invite us to partake.
End of Scene I.
PETER PAN (yawning). We seem to have been
going on some time considering we have heard
nothing new yet.
ARIST. Yes, it would be very clever if the author
had thought out his position at all.
HIPPOC. I don't know; do you think it very
funny ? One has to laugh, but I don't feel very
much amused by it.
SOCRATES. Well, I don't know, you know; of
course it's awfully difficult to do that kind of thing.
I think we shall get on all right.
70 JUXTA SAUCES
THE M. H. Gould n't we put it to the vote ?
THE CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, will those in favour
of stopping say "Aye"?
ALL. Aye !
THE CHAIRMAN. Will those against say " No " ?
MR. S. No !
THE CHAIRMAN. I think the Noes have it. I
call upon Mr. Aristotle to continue the discussion of
ARIST. It will now be our duty to determine
whether Love is the outcome of a similarity of tastes,
or again the result of mere familiarity, or whether it
implies a certain oneness of two souls. For one
thing may be ascribed to several causes, as happened
in the case of the man who lost his trousers at Carfax.
CICERO. I have often wondered how it IBS that
community of interests has so little effect in producing
mutual affection. For I suppose there is no man
more closely conjoined to me than that ingenious
man Atticus, although we are immersed in these so
great waves of the Republic, and he prefers to
cultivate leisure. And here I find myself in dis-
agreement with the illustrious Crassus, who was wont
to say that he found those friendships the most de-
lightful which were founded on community of interests.
CHORUS OF VICES.
She's only a corps de ballet,
Only a dancing girl,
'Er name is only Sally,
And I am a belted Earl;
A DECALOGUE SYMPOSIUM 71
But I love 'er, I love 'er,
And you can't get over that;
And she's coming to stay for life, they say,
In my beautiful Bloomsbury flat.
CHORUS OF VIRTUES. Hush ! Hush !
The girl whose cheeks are ripest,
The man whose arms are steel,
The pallid London typist,
The clerk who's done a deal,
All those who say they simply
Life's worries can't endure,
Will find a cleanser from influenza
In 's great Peppermint Cure.
SIR JIGGER DE COVERLEY. Familiarity, too, is
undoubtedly a great incentive to Love, as is proved
by the story of a certain neighbour of mine, that
married one who had been his foster-sister from
Infancy. Upon which I took occasion to ask him,
Whether his passion for her had sprung from this
Connexion? Whereat he reply'd, That if he had
come to know her at twenty, he would never have
recogniz'd her Virtues till he had been too old to
MRS. M. Nevertheless, Sir Roger, I hold that
such intricacy does not become a young woman.
I would not have her acquainted with any male
society, till she should have reached years of
72 JUXTA SAUCES
SIR R. But surely, my dear Mrs. Malaprop, such
a course would leave her no power of choosing, so that
she would either remain a spinster till her dying day,
or else be snapped up by the first saucy intriguer
that sought her hand?
MRS. M. Nay, but she should have nothing to do
with the choosing. These violent predilections don't
become a young woman. I would have her kept
by her parents as straitly as Daniel in the Brazen
Tower; and when the time came, they should
find her an illegible husband to lead her to the
SIR R. It was a custom among the antient
Romans, that the father should have the controul of
his son's choice even in the election of a wife ; in
consequence of which, we hear very frequently of
divorce and separations among them. And indeed
all such restrictions seem to be contrary to Nature,
who has order'd that the young of a beast or bird,
when they become able to shift for themselves, no
longer own their parents' Authority.
MRS. M. I would have a maid at all events espue
the company of such as were not her relatives, if it be
only in the way of Modesty ; lest by habilitating
herself to their Society she come to believe that she
has a regard for them. There is nothing like a good
long absence to test the reality of a girl's ablutions.
SIR R. I believe there is one great difficulty that
we all encounter in discussing this matter of Love,
that so long as a man has no knowledge of it he
A DECALOGUE SYMPOSIUM 73
cannot be required to give a decision ; yet no sooner
does he become caught in the Toils, than he loses all
his Philosophy, and vows, That no other man in the
world ever loved as he does.
MR. S. (to HIPPOC.). Rather boring, all this,
HIPPOC. I must say I think it 's rather rot.
MR. S. Well, you see, they are characters, so they
have to be introduced somehow. It does n't make
the slightest difference to the plot.
THE M. H. There isn't any, you know, so it
MR. S. What I mean is, it makes no difference to
the plot, in so far as there is one.
THE M. H. You might as well say it made no
difference to the Emperor of Timbuctoo, in so far as
there is one.
MR. S. I don't quite see it.
THE M. H. Of course you can't ; it is n't there.
SOCRATES. If then it is not necessary that either
familiarity or common interest are needed to provoke
Love, but rather the contrary, since
" Potter grudges potter, and bard bard,"
may it not be true that each man carries in his heart
the image of a single Love, and that he never can
unclasp the locket, as it were, which contains that
image, till he meets its fleshly counterpart ?
PETER PAN. If you please, Sir, if I 've never seen
her before, how am I to know her when I find her ?
SOCRATES. There, indeed, as the poet, says, you
74 JUXTA SALICES
have struck a point. But how are we to suppose that
any one learns anything ? For if he has seen it, he
knows it, and if he has not, how is he to recognize it ?
A. B. W. Quite so.
SOCRATES. Come, then, do you wish that we
should question this slave here, to discover how he
learns that which he does learn ?
A. B. W. Let us try.
SOCRATES (to SAM WELLER, drawing on a sheet of
paper). Can you tell me what this is ?
(Draws a triangle.)
SAM. It looks rayther like a ham, Sir, as Henry
the Eighth said, ven 'e saw his fourth vife.
SOCRATES. That is not what I am asking. Or
what would you call a ham, if it were without thick-
ness, colour, taste, or smell ?
SAM. If I vos a vaiter, Sir, I should call it pork.
SOCRATES. Come, come, this is a triangle, is it
SAM. I 'm villing to take anything from you, Sir,
as the highvayman said to the guard, ven he held up
SOCRATES. Let the highwayman then remain as he
is ; do you assist me in my search. And first, what
do you say, when you see a figure which turns round
three corners so as to arrive at the point from which
it started ?
SAM. I should rayther say that his last glass had
gone the wrong vay vith him.
SOCRATES. I fear, my friend, that the white horse
A DECALOGUE SYMPOSIUM 75
of the myth has never carried you so far as to let you
see the forms of all things at once.
SAM. The Vite Horse at Ipsvich ? I can't say as
I vos ever taken like that ; but I shall be wery par-
tickler surprised if that 'ere wirtuous shepherd Stiggins
doesn't get 'em before long. (A pause.)
S. FRANCIS. How peaceful is the night !
Dr. J. Sir, it is as dull as the grave. When I was
up at Pembroke, we were a nest of singing birds.
A. B. W. Sir, Balliol has an even greater reputa-
DR. J. Balliol, Sir ? I had not heard of that.
A. B. W. It is a favourite College among us
DR. J. Then I hope, Sir, I may never hear of it again.
ARIST. Let it then be laid down that Love is in
its origin doubtful, but in its manner various. For
many marriages have been made without oneness of
souls ; so it is likely that many onenesses have after
all failed to come together.
CHORUS OF VICES.
I want a little girl to love;
I suppose it has to rhyme with dove;
I very often flirt, but I 'm really rather hurt
That I can't find any one to love.
CHORUS OF VIRTUES.
Amore peccas? quidquid habes, age,
depone tutis auribus. A ! miser,
quanta laborabas Charybdi,
digne puer meliore flamma.
76 JUXTA SALICES
Quae saga, quis te Thessalus Indicis
magus venenis rite medebitur?
sanare jam solum valebit,
Sylva, tuae medicina menthae.
SOCRATES. Has not the time come when we ought
no longer to discuss the aspects of Love and its
limits, but rather see if we cannot discover itself in
itself what it is, and for this purpose relinquish no
clue, till like good sleuth-hounds we have run the
runaway Eros to earth?
S. H. You will find all the clues in the left-hand
top drawer of the large pigeon-hole desk. They are
marked " Moriarty."
THE CHAIRMAN. Perhaps Mr. Hippoclides has
some paronomasias to exude ?
HIPPOC. I really don't know why you men want
me to talk about this kind of thing. One can't make
jokes, either, when one 's talking Greats shop. I
regard love as a natural thing, like eating or drinking.
You don't merely eat to fill your tummy ; there is a
spiritual side, which we call gastronomy, and there 's
a spiritual side in the other game too. Excess in
either case is bad for one. One should n't mix one's
attachments any more than one's liquors ; and of
course one probably has a favourite dish a paropso-
nema, you know. It seems all right till you begin to
border on licence.
SIR J. F. 30,000 in fourteen years ! Oh, 'tis
* An allusion to the now forgotten Licensing Bill of 1908.
A DECALOGUE SYMPOSIUM 77
CICERO. What ! the heresy of the Cyrenaics,
what ! the false doctrine of the Epicureans, which to
some persons indeed are pleasing as a cloak for lust,
to wise and temperate men however are nauseating
and repulsive ; what ! shall philosophy refused by the
general consent of humanity be thus carelessly intro-
duced into our argument ? Shall chastity, shall
self-respect, shall moderation, and again and again
shall respectability, which I myself have practised
assiduously during so many years, be taken from us ?
But, O Hippoclides, take from us Love, take from
us family affection, take our children, pledges of
connubiality, take the most sacred name and office of
wife, take from us all pleasures and indulgences, but
leave us, oh leave us our respectability ! For I have
long been persuaded that this is the only meaning of
all those tastes and appetites known as sensuous, not
that we should be able to exploit them to the full,
but rather for the very purpose that restraining them
and keeping them down we might acquire the re-
putation of being honest, to our own satisfaction, and
so that we could safely cast vice in the teeth of our
political opponents. And here I find myself in
disagreement with the illustrious Caesar.
CH. II. The lousy Puritan !
SAM. That, sir, is what I should call a wery good
speech. Nothing like a few descriptive epithets, as the
bargee said ven they asked him vere he vent to school.
PETER PAN. What is the use of Love if you're
not to fall into it?
78 JUXTA SAUCES
S. FRAN. Surely, masters, there is something
better to be said for Sister Love. I have heard an
old tale, with which, if it be not wearisome, I would
fain tell you my meaning. For, as I was told, when
the Creator left all the beasts in the garden of
Paradise, He implanted in each a little of the Divine
Love ; wherewith the creatures praised Him, not
knowing why, and took delight in the propagating
of their kind, in ignorance that this delight sprang
from the drawing together of those two sparks of the
Very Flame of Desire. And it came to pass, after a
time, that the beasts grew jealous of Man, because
he was the fairest, and had most delight. And when
he would not hear them, the serpent (for he was the
most misshapen of all) tempted them to eat of the
tree of Knowledge. And behold, when they ate
thereof (the history of which is set down in the first
book of Moses), Man found out that the joy he took
in Love was not as the joy of eating or drinking,
which are but lusts of the flesh, and he recognized
the spark of Love which was in him from the first.
And from that time men have never been content to
love with their bodies, as the beasts, for they knew
Love to be of the soul ; yet they might not join soul
to soul by reason of the encumbrance of the mortal
part. So ever since, evil men, that know not self-
discipline, have tried to drown that spiritual flame in
excess of fleshly lust ; but true lovers still draw
together and kiss with their lips, knowing all the
while that their desire is to kiss with the lips of the
A DECALOGUE SYMPOSIUM 79
soul, and confessing " quia hospites sunt et peregrini
PETER PAN. I thought a kiss was a thing to keep
needles out of your hand !
DR. J. Sir, it is a thing to bring a sword into your
HIPPOC. By the way, have you heard what Adam's
telephone number was ?
THE M. H. You oughtn't to speak till you're
SIR ROGER (ignoring the last remark). I agree
with the Reverend gentleman in much that he has
said. His meaning, if I apprehend him aright, is
that all Love has a spiritual principle or element in
it ; and further, that the spiritual part, like the
physical, is eager to join itself with another soul,
though it know such union to be impossible. But
while I agree with his Psychologick, I hope he will not
accuse me of discourtesy if I take exception to his
Teleology. He would have us believe that all the
refinement of affection, all the aetheriality of the
human Passion, is not the direct gift of an All-Wise
Creator, but a Machination on the part of our enemy
the Devil. His attitude is that of Laocoon : " Timeo
Danaos et dona ferentes." Yet this apperception of a
heavenly or celestial meaning I take to be the
Charter of Humanity, and the justification of the
existence of that Being, Whom atheists and agnosticks
deny. And hence I derive the fact, that Love, which
is a virtue of the soul, can be practis'd like other
8o JUXTA SALICES
Virtues ; we do not, like beasts, become helpless as
soon as we see one of the other sex, but rather
consider the object of our Attentions, Whether she
be worthy, Whether within the prohibited degrees,
What fortune she possesses, and so forth. After such
examination, we allow our love to have its way, and
encourage ourselves to overlook any defects that may
at first sight have excited our Distaste. Even to the
last we keep some kind of reserve, and do not ratify
the decree of our Sentiments till she have pronounc'd
her consent ; that if she be unwilling, we may be able
to aver truthfully, That the refusal causes us no great
Disappointment ; thereby saving our own dignity and
her feelings at once.
SAM. And if you found she vos a vidder, you 'd do
well to emigrate vithout say in' any thin' more about it.
MRS. M. I little thought, gentlemen, that I should
come to this meeting to have nasturtiums cast on my
unfortunate position as the relic of Mr. Malaprop !
S. H. Excuse me, Madam, but a lady who is
actually encouraging the advances of a lover under
an assumed name can hardly feel aggrieved at a casual
MRS. M. And what if I have cherished an un-
requited affliction ? What if I have indulged a passion
malodoreuse ? Are you a wizard or an oculist, that
you penetrate my family Arcadia, and tell the com-
pany that I marmalade under an assumed name ?
There are many lovers who before now have assumed
A DECALOGUE SYMPOSIUM 81
S. H. A long shot, Watson ! Allow me to draw
your attention to the brooch the lady is wearing,
marked "L.L." It is new, hence it does not belong
to her first courtship.
SOCRATES. And if such a person come into our
city, bewitching us by discovering secrets, and bring-
ing vexatious accusations, we shall compliment him
as a truly divine and wonderful personage, and having
anointed his head with oil, whether Tatcho or some
other variety, we shall send him on to another city.
As to the question of Love, I know not what I
shall say. For I have suffered a most unusual thing ;
to wit that the other speakers should not all have
contended for obvious untruths. My Pythagorean
friend has said much that seems to me to be true.
For the soul, when it has passed through the period
of ten thousand years, is carried round the circum-
ference of the heavens at a furious pace, together
with other cars without number
[S. H. (dreamily). Blaze at the tyres, Watson!
They've no right to travel without.]
(The whole party gradually go to sleep as S. proceeds.)
and each soul that remembers those beautiful
things which it has seen, not beautiful at one time
and not at another, but true essence essentially
existing itself by itself for all time, whensoever they
see any semblance on earth of the heavenly beauty,
rejoice and become enamoured of it, and are
astonished at its divinity. And having seen Beauty
itself without accidents of any kind, they will recog-
82 JUXTA SALICES
nize it wherever they see it; for it will be equal in
respect of clearness in all its copies, just as a thing
printed is in all its copies equally distinct.
ALL. Good heavens !*
SOCRATES. And hence we shall no longer consent
to keep to a single love, but rather worship it whenso-
ever we see it, and try to engender it mutually in the
object of our regard. To love one is indeed like
admiring one wise man and not another, or worship-
ping one god and not several.
CHORUS OF VICES.
I can't exactly count them, for they're all so much
And each would like to marry me ; they always
call me Mike :
They're all so very pretty that I don't know what
How can I marry one of them, and jilt the twenty-two ?
CHORUS OF VIRTUES. Can this type-writer write
MR. S. No.
CHORUS OF VIRTUES. Then I shan't say any more.
PETER PAN. I want to say how grateful I feel to
the old gentleman who looks like Smee for explaining
what Love really is. Of course it's awfully fascina-
SOCRATES. But what especially ?
* The copies of this dialogue used in the original and only
reading were typewritten and duplicated by an amateur ; and
some of them were rather wanting in distinctness. Still, the
Society need not have been rude about it.
A DECALOGUE SYMPOSIUM 83
PETER PAN. Do you say Love is physical, or
entirely spiritual ?
SOCRATES. Nothing else than this.
PETER PAN. What, then, to give a person a thimble,
is not this physical ?
PETER PAN. And parents thimble their children,
do they not ? As for instance our mother Wendy
PETER PAN. Then the love of a mother is
SOCRATES. Least of all.
PETER PAN. It appears then, in spite of what we
said, that a thimble may be the sign of a spiritual
SOCRATES. It appears so.
PETER PAN. Let us look at it in this way : Is not
a thimble the expression of a desire to be close to
a person ?
SOCRATES. What however ?
PETER PAN. And spiritual love is an appreciation
of the reflection of perfect beauty in a single person ?
SOCRATES. At least we said so.
PETER PAN. And does that make us want to give
them a thimble ?
SOCRATES. By the dog, the nurse-maid, I think so.
PETER PAN. What ? Does the man who admires
the waterfall on that account throw himself in ?
SOCRATES. He does not run the risk.
84 JUXTA SAUCES
PETER PAN. And the man who admires the
volcano, go and touch the flames ?
PETER PAN. Then why should admiration or
reverence for beauty cause us to go as close as
SOCRATES. I am blessed, as the saying is, if I
PETER PAN. Then there can be spiritual love,
which is not merely admiration of the beautiful ?
SOCRATES. I suppose so.
PETER PAN. It is not then necessary to love
spiritually every beautiful person we may meet ? And
that doodle-doo over there* needn't love all the
SOCRATES. It seems to follow from our admissions.
PETER PAN. Of course I don't know much about
these things, but I think Love is a great big adventure,
and if you do it over and over again you may have
more experience, but it 's not nearly so exciting. And
I 'm going to marry Wendy !
SOCRATES (to THE MARCH HARE). What shall we
say then, O Lagos ? Have we anything to say against
this argument, or do we submit ?
THE M. H. You 've got a smut on your nose.
THE CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, time is advancing.
In a short while the clock will be groaning in the
* At the performance, the Chorus of Vices executed his part
in a life-like imitation of the common and rather throaty
A DECALOGUE SYMPOSIUM 85
long-drawn agonies of a quarter-past nine. The gated
aristocrat prefers the scrutiny of the porter to a cir-
cuitous and Satanic inroad on the paradisiac gardens
of St. John's. The politician will be remembering,
too late, the flesh-pots of the Canning or the revolu-
tionary orgies of the Russell. The don attempts to
speed the departure of the High-Table guest by subtle
allusions to efflagitant pupils or long neglected Collec-
tion papers. May I makQ my own the words of the
preacher ; " There is a time to keep silence, and
a time to speak " ? From what I have said you will
see that the occasion is of the former class.
ARIST. Whether, however, a man and a woman
love each other in the same way mutually, or whether
he in one way and she in another, I have a pretty
long speech to make.
CH. II. Gentlemen, I vow I have never till now
theoriz'd for a whole hour. Let us be something
short in our conclusion.
HIPPOC. I do bar any more Greats shop ; the
place has been an absolute Megalopolion for hours.
SIR J. F. And I, gentles, have a marvellous great
craving for refreshment.
SAM. It seems to me that the next time this 'ere
distinguished gathering gets together to discuss Pan-
Anglican subjects, ve might have a little friendly talk
about drink. Ve should be more at home arguing
there, as the young feller said ven his friend told him
to go and tell that to the
CHORUS OF VIRTUES. Hush ! Hush !
86 JUXTA SALICES
SIR ROGER. With regard to the mutual feelings of
a man and a woman, I have often felt that the chief
glory of her love was Sincerity, and of his, Constancy.
For the woman is little tempted to find another
attachment, but the man pleases himself. And this
Virtue is specially prais'd in a poem quoted by the
illustrious Mr. Walton, in his Book of Fishes :
" But contrary, the constant Cantharus
Lives ever constant to his faithful spouse ;
In nuptial duties spending his whole life,
Never loves any but his own dear wife."
CHORUS OF VICES.
The fish that swim in the stream, tra la,
Have nothing to do with the case ;
My wife has a horrible dream, tra la,
Of a grand matriarchal regime, tra la ;
She's in Holloway now for a space,
She's in Holloway now for a space;
And that's what I mean when I say that I wish
My wife was n't blessed with a face like a fish !
Tra la la la la, tra la la la la,
My wife's got a face like a fish.
ARIST. But come now, we must admit that a
father loves his son in one way, and the son his
father in another. For things affect one another not
in the same way, as in the case of the punt which
ran into the eight.
MR. S. The constancy of the man is his desire
for private property. The fervency of the woman is
A DECALOGUE SYMPOSIUM 87
her desire to be possessed. Being the weaker
creature, she likes what she can get.
THE M. H. Is that a joke?
MR. S. Look here, are you writing this, or am I ?
You seem to think you were meant to be a Natural
Man ; but you 're only a natural.
THE M. H. And you seem to think you were
meant to be a superman ; but you 're only a super.
(MR. S. faints in his chair. The rest crowd round
S. H. Quick, Watson, brandy!
(He turns out the light. A moment later it is
turned iip again, and HOLMES is discovered drawing a
document out of ARISTOTLE'S pocket.}
S. H. Here, gentlemen, I have seventeen separate
arguments on the nature of love, which this gentlemen
has stolen from Socrates ! (Sensation.)
S. H. (continuing). If you would just blow your
whistle, Watson, Lestrade will be here in a minute or
so, and we can hand our man over to the proper
ARIST. Let so much be said
S. H. I have to warn you that anything you say
will be used as evidence against you.
MRS. M. I am sure we are all very grateful to you,
Mr. Holmes, for the defection of this plot. May
I offer you a dish of tea to-morrow afternoon ?
S. H. With the greatest pleasure, Madam, My
friend, Dr. Watson, usually accompanies me
MRS. M. I hope he will come too.
88 . JUXTA SAUCES
A. B. W. I think I could get my neighbour to
take on my practice. He is accustomed to it by
MRS. M. (to DR. J.). Will you come too, Doctor ?
DR. J. Madam, I shall be delighted.
MRS. M. Then we shall be a marron glace.
CICERO. I hope Mr. er Smee will recover his
property. Gentlemen, good-night.
S. FRANCIS. Truly, S. James is wise in his counsel
concerning the tongue. We had better have spent
this evening in our beds.
SOCRATES. And so I sat for the rest of the night
drinking liqueurs in great comfort, while the others
went home. And in the morning, having shaved my
beard as my custom is, I kept a roller in the front
THE CHAIRMAN. The House will now adjourn.