Title: Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 100. February 21, 1891
Release Date: August 22, 2004 [EBook #13253]
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** Start of this project gutenberg EBOOK Punch ***
Produced by Malcolm Farmer, William Flis, and the
Or the London charivari.
February 21, 1891.
MR. PUNCH’S PRIZE NOVELS.
No. XIII.—Through space on A formula.
(BY rules spurn, AUTHOR OF “GOWNED AND CURLED IN EIGHTY STAYS,” “TWENTY THOUSAND TWEAKS SUNDERED THE FLEA,” “A TEA WITH ICE,” “A DOCTOR ON ROCKS AND PEPPERMINT,” “A CAB-FARE FROM ‘THE SUN,’” “THE CONFIDENCE OF THE CONTINENT,” “ATTORNEY TO DISSENTERS UP AT PERTH,” “LIEUTENANT SCATTERCASH,” &C.)
["This,” writes the Author, “is one of my best and freshest, although on a moderate computation it must be my thousand and first, or so. But I have really lost count. Still it’s grand to talk in large numbers of leagues, miles, vastnesses, secrets, mysteries, and impossible sciences. Some pedants imagine that I write in French. That’s absurd, for every schoolboy knows (and lots of them have told me) that I write only in English or in American. I have some highly dried samples of vivid adventure ready for immediate consumption. Twopence more and up goes the donkey, up, up, up to be a satellite to an undiscovered star. Brave Donkey! I follow.”—R.S.]
The iceberg was moving. There was no doubt of it. Moving with a terrible sinuous motion. Occasionally an incautious ironclad approached like a foolish hen, and pecked at the moving mass. Then there was a slight crash, followed by a mild convulsion of masts, and spars, and iron-plates, and 100-ton guns, then two or three gurgles and all was still. The iceberg passed on smiling in triumph, and British Admirals wrote to the Times to declare that they had known from the first that H.M.S. Thunderbomb had been so faultily constructed, as to make a contest with a hen-coop a certainty for the hen-coop.
And still the iceberg was moving. Within its central chamber sat a venerable man, lightly clad in nankeen breeches, a cap of liberty, and a Liberty silk shirt. He was writing cabalistically. He did not know why, nor did he know what “cabalistically” meant. This was his punishment. Why was he to be punished? Those who read shall hear. The walls of the chamber were fitted with tubes, and