Freitag, 29. Januar 2021

Emblemland ; line drawings by Charles Raymond Macauley

 Rollo in Emblemland or Emblemland is a novel by John Kendrick Bangs, written in 1902 and published by R. H. Russell of New York. It is a tale inspired by the style of Lewis Carroll's 1865 book, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

In it, a young boy named Rollo falls asleep and finds himself not in Wonderland, but in "Emblemland", a place described by Cupid as "the home of all Emblems.... Emblems are signs and symbols. I'm an Emblem, because I am the symbol of love; Uncle Sam is the symbol of the United States, and John Bull is the symbol of England, and the Owl is the symbol of wisdom...."

The book features line drawings by Bang's co-author Charles Raymond Macauley.

In 1907, Bangs wrote a parody of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland called Alice in Blunderland: An Iridescent Dream. (Wikipedia)


 Charles Raymond Macauley



 "Paid your fare?" asked the Dolphin, severely.
The queer old row-boat struck upon a strange beach with such force that Rollo's leg flew up in the air.

It was the American flag that fluttered from the top of the slender pole, and, for the first time in his life, Rollo knew what the sight of those stars and of those stripes meant to one who is in a far, strange country.

Rollo looked about him and was much amused to see a pleasant-looking old gentleman, in a frock-coat and high silk-hat, two-thirds of the way up the trunk of a tall birch-tree, struggling as hard as he could to reach the branches above him.

''Give me a boost, I tell you," cried the old gentleman, fiercely, but smiling pleasantly withal. “Iwant to get up, and I'm losing my grip."


…and in a moment he had shinned up the tree, and stood in its branches looking out over the country.



He made the twists and the turns that the Judge had suggested, and, finally coming to a sort of embankment at one side of the high-way, his eye fell upon a huge sign, bearing the words EMBLEMLAND.  " Emblemland, eh ? " said Rollo. "That sounds rather interesting. I guess I'll investigate." Which he immediately proceeded to do. 

Rollo, who had been walking with his head thrown back and his eyes upturned like Johnny-Look-in-the-Air, stopped short, and looked down. "Why, hullo," said he, as he espied the daintiest little Cupid imaginable standing in front of him.

Rollo was amazed to see a huge stork sitting with a book under his wing.

….Hullo, old man !"

These last words were addressed to a feeble-looking old fellow, with a scythe in one hand and an hour-glass in the other, who appeared in an opening of the trees, and was gazing intently upon Rollo.

The Stork faded into a thin veil of mist, and Rollo, gazing after him as if to keep the kindly old bird in sight, was astonished to note right above his head, perched on the limb of a tree, a solemn-look-ing creature which he at once recognized as " The Bird of Wisdom."

Rollo was about to tell the Owl that he thought he was very wise indeed when he caught sight of two smiling old gentlemen walking along the road, chatting and laughing together as if they were brothers—which, as it turned out, they were.

" There go the twins," said the Owl, with a twinkle in his eye : " Uncle Sam and Johnny Bull.”

Rollo hauled back his leg and kicked the foot-ball squarely in the middle of its back.

Down came a winged horse, stumbling upon his knees, and tossing over his head a pretty little rider whom Rollo immediately recognized as his old friend Puck.

"Isn’t this perfectly gorgeous!" cried Rollo, as Pegasus, flapping his wings vigorously, rose high into the heavens, and, as if to show off all his many fine qualities, leaped over clouds as if they were so many hurdles, and cleared sundry steeples and high-roofed buildings at a bound.

Rollo looked ahead of him, and there, sure enough, clad in brilliant armor, riding a magnificent horse, and holding his lance gracefully in his hand, was a handsome knight. 

A great cheer went up from the crowd as Life routed his adversery.

"Very well, then," said Rollo. "I'll go with you, and see you and the Judge try your jokes on the Crocodile." And the two passed down through the wood together.


Seated upon an embankment was the Crocodile, crying as if his heart would break.


Whereupon the Crocodile settled wearily back upon the bank, folded his fore-legs over his chest, and continued to weep while Messrs. Punch and Judge opened their books and began.


And in a moment Rollo was very much relieved to see his two friends bob up out of the water again, and scramble breathlessly up on the Crocodile's back.

" Great Scott ! " groaned the Judge, as he reached a point of safety, " that was a narrow escape."

He caught him by the long white lock.

Over the long, dreary stretch of sand Rollo and Mr. Punch trod their way, until they came upon a huge sandstone figure rising up from the desert, and gazing fixedly into the far-distant horizon. It was an awesome-looking figure with the crouched body of a huge beast and the strange head of a woman, and what added to the solemnity of the moment was the fact that it never moved its head or its eyes or its mouth, not even when it talked, which it began immediately to do.

The Oyster was a gallant bold

Who loved a Soft Shell Crab.

He called upon her, so I'm told,

Dressed up in pink and drab

Up to her residence he rolled

In a brand-new hansom cab.


" The Eel, the Eel, the wiggly Eel,

How very happy he must feel

I sometimes truly envy him,

For he is always in the swim.

And when he goes abroad to dine

And seats himself with people fine,

He does not bother with a tie

That comes undone and goes awry.

But twists his graceful figure so

Himself becomes a perfect bow.”

The Gudgeon is a curious bird

Of whom you have already heard.

He doesn't know a single thing

And spends his time a-wondering;

And such a curious mixture too

You'd almost think it wasn't true,

And yet his mouth, upon my soul,

Looks like a little golfing hole,

He has no nose of any size

And when you look into his eyes

The wise man finds that each compares

With nothing but a flight of stares.


" The lobster is a lucky fish,

As well as a most toothsome dish,

For when he's in the soup, you see.

Instead of finding misery

He's just as happy as can be.

A man who's in the soup you'll find

Is always troubled in his mind.

Just why this is is very plain :

One creature's joy's another's pain.

" Howdy do, Rollo," said the Lion, holding out his right paw, which Rollo took somewhat timidly. " Are you English, or what ?" " I'm American," said Rollo. " A Merican, eh ? " said the Lion. " Hum. Let me see—just what is a Merican? " " I'm an American," Rollo said, correcting himself.

It's a relief to find you, for we don't want any of Uncle Sam's citizens going about unprotected anywhere. Why didn't you leave word? "

" Mr. Bear, this is my young fellow-citizen, Rollo Periwinkle," said the Eagle. " He has kindly consented to act as Secretary for our International Circus." " Glad to meet you," said the Bear, gruffly. " I've just hauled up a bucketful of ink, and pulled a few quills out of the Austrian Eagle's tail for you to write with. Seems to me you're pretty young, though, to know how to write."


…And now how about the German Boar? I don't think we'd better let him in the ring, do you ?He isn't good for much, and he's always looking for trouble."

" But you want to be careful about how you treat her. She wouldn't eat you, but she's very fond of sweets, and if you give her half a chance she'll go through your pockets after 'em quicker than a wink." " Well, what harm does that do ? " said Rollo, walking up to the Tiger's side and stroking the huge creature gently on the head.

They were a curious-looking pair, and apparently well matched, although the Elephant seemed to have a very decided advantage. The Tiger's forepaws were done up in boxing gloves, which he handled in true scientific fashion, but the Elephant so overmatched him in weight, and wielded the glove upon the end of his trunk so rapidly and vigorously that the poor Tiger seemed to have only half a chance.

At the end of twenty minutes both contestants were pretty much out of breath, seeing which the tricky little Donkey rushed out to help the Tiger^ but before he could quite accomplish his purpose, the Elephant with a well-directed swing of his trunk caught him squarely on the top of his head and bowled him completely over.

And so, clambering to a seat behind Uncle Sam's back, Rollo was transported through the wood to the “Hall of Good Intentions."

Mrs. Time met Rollo at the door of the tremendous hallway, and was soon made acquainted with the lad's name by Uncle Sam.


Rollo was inclined to be a trifle indignant at the luncheon, as indeed would most other boys,for it was served like baby-food in a bottle, and he thought he had outgrown that sort of thing, but he was wise enough not to show his real feelings in the matter, and in fact, after he had tasted the contents of the bottle which was labelled ''Good Intentions," he found it a very sweet luncheon indeed.

Treading softly down the avenue through the opening in the Christmas-trees, the Reindeer deposited Rollo on the front door-step of Castle Kris Kringle. Rollo was simply stunned with the beauty of all about him.

" It's me—Rollo Periwinkle," replied the little visitor." Oh, indeed ! " cried Santa Claus, throwing the door wide open and catching Rollo up in his arms.

" Sure, an' it's this Jack Horner, sor," the carpenter said. " We can't keep him supplied wid plums." "What seems to be the matter?" asked Santa Claus. " He's too human, this toy, sor," returned the carpenter.

" Yes, Jimmie. You and Mike bring in the Jackin-the-Boxes and let Rollo hear them sing."

The order was obeyed instantly, and in a few moments the lad was listening to the most singular music you ever heard. One Jack was singing " Yankee Doodle " and " Dixie," and another was splitting his lungs with " Annie Laurie." A third was warbling " Die Wacht am Rhein," while his neighbor was croaking forth " The Wearing of the Green " in a cracked voice that if listened to alone would have set the hearer's teeth on edge. Others were trying their voices on the " Marseillaise " and " God Save the King," and other national songs from all parts of the world.

" Father Neptune, at your service, Rollo," said the handsome old creature, waving his trident over the waters. " You have spent all the extra hours Father Time gave you, my lad, and I am now stilling the sea so that you may sail safely home again.''

He was not on land but in a great flat-bottomed boat, speeding out to sea, and in the stern stood no less a personage than the great Wooden Indian that Rollo had often admired in front of a cigar-store not far from his home. He was a terrible-looking old fellow, but Rollo had known him for so long a time that if he ever had had any fear of him, it had long ago worn off.


Dienstag, 26. Januar 2021

Jessie M. King: Illustrations for A HOUSE OF POMEGRANATES by Oscar Wilde

Jessie Marion King (20 March 1875 – 3 August 1949) was a Scottish illustrator known for her illustrated children's books. She also designed bookplates, jewellery and fabric, and painted pottery. King was one of the artists known as the Glasgow Girls. 


 Jessie Marion King.jpg

  Jessie M. King 1875


And, indeed, it was the hunters who had found him, coming upon him almost by chance as, bare-limbed and pipe in hand, he was following the flock of the poor goatherd who had brought him up, and whose son he had always fancied himself to be. 

...the body of the Princess was being lowered into an open grave that had been dug in a deserted churchyard, beyond the city gates, a grave where it was said that another body was also lying, that of a young man of marvellous and foreign beauty, whose hands were tied behind him with a knotted cord, and whose breast was stabbed with many red wounds.
Then the negroes seized the youngest of the slaves and knocked his gyves off, and filled his nostrils and his ears with wax, and tied a big stone round his waist.  He crept wearily down the ladder, and disappeared into the sea.  A few bubbles rose where he sank.  Some of the other slaves peered curiously over the side.  At the prow of the galley sat a shark-charmer, beating monotonously upon a drum.
And the young King came down from the high altar, and passed home through the midst of the people.  But no man dared look upon his face, for it was like the face of an angel.


On ordinary days she was only allowed to play with children of her own rank, so she had always to play alone, but her birthday was an exception, and the King had given orders that she was to invite any of her young friends whom she liked to come and amuse themselves with her.
But somehow the Birds liked him.  They had seen him often in the forest, dancing about like an elf after the eddying leaves, or crouched up in the hollow of some old oak-tree, sharing his nuts with the squirrels.

He would bring her acorn-cups and dew-drenched anemones, and tiny glow-worms to be stars in the pale gold of her hair.


By the itching of her palm the young Witch knew his coming, and she laughed and let down her red hair.  With her red hair falling around her, she stood at the opening of the cave, and in her hand she had a spray of wild hemlock that was blossoming.
.. and on the morning of the seventh day I lifted up my eyes, and lo! the city lay at my feet, for it is in a valley.
As she went in, she turned round and smiled at me again.  I had never seen any one so pale.
and I found myself in a watered garden of seven terraces.  It was planted with tulip-cups and moonflowers, and silver-studded aloes.  Like a slim reed of crystal a fountain hung in the dusky air.  The cypress-trees were like burnt-out torches.  From one of them a nightingale was singing.     
And when he had laid out the carpet on the floor, he struck with a quill on the wire strings of his lute, and a girl whose face was veiled ran in and began to dance before us.  Her face was veiled with a veil of gauze, but her feet were naked.  Naked were her feet, and they moved over the carpet like little white pigeons.  Never have I seen anything so marvellous; and the city in which she dances is but a day’s journey from this place.’

 And the black waves came hurrying to the shore, bearing with them a burden that was whiter than silver.  White as the surf it was, and like a flower it tossed on the waves.  And the surf took it from the waves, and the foam took it from the surf, and the shore received it, and lying at his feet the young Fisherman saw the body of the little Mermaid.  Dead at his feet it was lying.


And he cried out to his comrade that he had found the treasure that had fallen from the sky, and when his comrade had come up, they sat them down in the snow, and loosened the folds of the cloak that they might divide the pieces of gold.  But, alas! no gold was in it, nor silver, nor, indeed, treasure of any kind, but only a little child who was asleep.
Now there passed one day through the village a poor beggar-woman.  Her garments were torn and ragged, and her feet were bleeding from the rough road on which she had travelled, and she was in very evil plight.  And being weary she sat her down under a chestnut-tree to rest.

And he bound the eyes of the Star-Child with the scarf of figured silk, and led him through the house, and through the garden of poppies, and up the five steps of brass.  And having opened the little door with his ring he set him in the street.