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Winsome Winnie and other New Nonsense Novels By Stephen Leacock Characters: 37175

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:04


The strife is done. The conflict has ceased. The wounds are healed. North and South are one. East and West are even less. The Civil War is over. Lee is dead. Grant is buried in New York. The Union Pacific runs from Omaha to San Francisco. There is total prohibition in the United States. The output of dressed beef last year broke all records.

And Eggleston Lee Carey Randolph survives, hale and hearty, bright and cheery, free and easy-and so forth. There is grey hair upon his temples (some, not much), and his step has lost something of its elasticity (not a great deal), and his form is somewhat bowed (though not really crooked).

But he still lives there in the farmstead at Gettysburg, and Leonora, now, like himself, an old woman, is still at his side.

You may see him any day. In fact, he is the old man who shows you over the battlefield for fifty cents and explains how he himself fought and won the great battle.

VIII

BUGGAM GRANGE

A GOOD OLD GHOST STORY

The evening was already falling as the vehicle in which I was contained entered upon the long and gloomy avenue that leads to Buggam Grange.

A resounding shriek echoed through the wood as I entered the avenue. I paid no attention to it at the moment, judging it to be merely one of those resounding shrieks which one might expect to hear in such a place at such a time. As my drive continued, however I found myself wondering in spite of myself why such a shriek should have been uttered at the very moment of my approach.

I am not by temperament in any degree a nervous man, and yet there was much in my surroundings to justify a certain feeling of apprehension. The Grange is situated in the loneliest part of England, the marsh country of the fens to which civilization has still hardly penetrated. The inhabitants, of whom there are only one and a half to the square mile, live here and there among the fens and eke out a miserable existence by frog-fishing and catching flies. They speak a dialect so broken as to be practically unintelligible, while the perpetual rain which falls upon them renders speech itself almost superfluous.

Here and there where the ground rises slightly above the level of the fens there are dense woods tangled with parasitic creepers and filled with owls. Bats fly from wood to wood. The air on the lower ground is charged with the poisonous gases which exude from the marsh, while in the woods it is heavy with the dank odours of deadly nightshade and poison ivy.

It had been raining in the afternoon, and as I drove up the avenue the mournful dripping of the rain from the dark trees accentuated the cheerlessness of the gloom. The vehicle in which I rode was a fly on three wheels, the fourth having apparently been broken and taken off, causing the fly to sag on one side and drag on its axle over the muddy ground, the fly thus moving only at a foot's pace in a way calculated to enhance the dreariness of the occasion. The driver on the box in front of me was so thickly muffled up as to be indistinguishable, while the horse which drew us was so thickly coated with mist as to be practically invisible. Seldom, I may say, have I had a drive of so mournful a character.

The avenue presently opened out upon a lawn with overgrown shrubberies, and in the half darkness I could see the outline of the Grange itself, a rambling, dilapidated building. A dim light struggled through the casement of a window in a tower room. Save for the melancholy cry of a row of owls sitting on the roof, and croaking of the frogs in the moat which ran around the grounds, the place was soundless. My driver halted his horse at the hither side of the moat. I tried in vain to urge him, by signs, to go further. I could see by the fellow's face that he was in a paroxysm of fear, and indeed nothing but the extra sixpence which I had added to his fare would have made him undertake the drive up the avenue. I had no sooner alighted than he wheeled his cab about and made off.

Laughing heartily at the fellow's trepidation (I have a way of laughing heartily in the dark), I made my way to the door and pulled the bell-handle. I could hear the muffled reverberations of the bell far within the building. Then all was silent. I bent my ear to listen, but could hear nothing except, perhaps, the sound of a low moaning as of a person in pain or in great mental distress. Convinced, however, from what my friend Sir Jeremy Buggam had told me, that the Grange was not empty, I raised the ponderous knocker and beat with it loudly against the door.

But perhaps at this point I may do well to explain to my readers (before they are too frightened to listen to me) how I came to be beating on the door of Buggam Grange at nightfall on a gloomy November evening.

A year before I had been sitting with Sir Jeremy Buggam, the present baronet, on the verandah of his ranch in California.

"So you don't believe in the supernatural?" he was saying.

"Not in the slightest," I answered, lighting a cigar as I spoke. When I want to speak very positively, I generally light a cigar as I speak.

"Well, at any rate, Digby," said Sir Jeremy, "Buggam Grange is haunted. If you want to be assured of it go down there any time and spend the night and you'll see for yourself."

"My dear fellow," I replied, "nothing will give me greater pleasure. I shall be back in England in six weeks, and I shall be delighted to put your ideas to the test. Now tell me," I added somewhat cynically, "is there any particular season or day when your Grange is supposed to be specially terrible?"

Sir Jeremy looked at me strangely. "Why do you ask that?" he said. "Have you heard the story of the Grange?"

"Never heard of the place in my life," I answered cheerily. "Till you mentioned it to-night, my dear fellow, I hadn't the remotest idea that you still owned property in England."

"The Grange is shut up," said Sir Jeremy, "and has been for twenty years. But I keep a man there-Horrod-he was butler in my father's time and before. If you care to go, I'll write him that you're coming. And, since you are taking your own fate in your hands, the fifteenth of November is the day."

At that moment Lady Buggam and Clara and the other girls came trooping out on the verandah, and the whole thing passed clean out of my mind. Nor did I think of it again until I was back in London. Then, by one of those strange coincidences or premonitions-call it what you will-it suddenly occurred to me one morning that it was the fifteenth of November. Whether Sir Jeremy had written to Horrod or not, I did not know. But none the less nightfall found me, as I have described, knocking at the door of Buggam Grange.

The sound of the knocker had scarcely ceased to echo when I heard the shuffling of feet within, and the sound of chains and bolts being withdrawn. The door opened. A man stood before me holding a lighted candle which he shaded with his hand. His faded black clothes, once apparently a butler's dress, his white hair and advanced age left me in no doubt that he was Horrod of whom Sir Jeremy had spoken.

Without a word he motioned me to come in, and, still without speech, he helped me to remove my wet outer garments, and then beckoned me into a great room, evidently the dining-room of the Grange.

I am not in any degree a nervous man by temperament, as I think I remarked before, and yet there was something in the vastness of the wainscoted room, lighted only by a single candle, and in the silence of the empty house, and still more in the appearance of my speechless attendant, which gave me a feeling of distinct uneasiness. As Horrod moved to and fro I took occasion to scrutinize his face more narrowly. I have seldom seen features more calculated to inspire a nervous dread. The pallor of his face and the whiteness of his hair (the man was at least seventy), and still more the peculiar furtiveness of his eyes, seemed to mark him as one who lived under a great terror. He moved with a noiseless step and at times he turned his head to glance in the dark corners of the room.

"Sir Jeremy told me," I said, speaking as loudly and as heartily as I could, "that he would apprise you of my coming."

I was looking into his face as I spoke.

In answer Horrod laid his finger across his lips and I knew that he was deaf and dumb. I am not nervous (I think I said that), but the realization that my sole companion in the empty house was a deaf mute struck a cold chill to my heart.

Horrod laid in front of me a cold meat pie, a cold goose, a cheese, and a tall flagon of cider. But my appetite was gone. I ate the goose, but found that after I had finished the pie I had but little zest for the cheese, which I finished without enjoyment. The cider had a sour taste, and after having permitted Horrod to refill the flagon twice I found that it induced a sense of melancholy and decided to drink no more.

My meal finished, the butler picked up the candle and beckoned me to follow him. We passed through the empty corridors of the house, a long line of pictured Buggams looking upon us as we passed, their portraits in the flickering light of the taper assuming a strange and life-like appearance, as if leaning forward from their frames to gaze upon the intruder.

Horrod led me upstairs and I realized that he was taking me to the tower in the east wing, in which I had observed a light.

The rooms to which the butler conducted me consisted of a sitting-room with an adjoining bedroom, both of them fitted with antique wainscoting against which a faded tapestry fluttered. There was a candle burning on the table in the sitting-room, but its insufficient light only rendered the surroundings the more dismal. Horrod bent down in front of the fireplace and endeavoured to light a fire there. But the wood was evidently damp and the fire flickered feebly on the hearth.

The butler left me, and in the stillness of the house I could hear his shuffling step echo down the corridor. It may have been fancy, but it seemed to me that his departure was the signal for a low moan that came from somewhere behind the wainscot. There was a narrow cupboard door at one side of the room, and for the moment I wondered whether the moaning came from within. I am not as a rule lacking in courage (I am sure my reader will be decent enough to believe this), yet I found myself entirely unwilling to open the cupboard door and look within. In place of doing so I seated myself in a great chair in front of the feeble fire. I must have been seated there for some time when I happened to lift my eyes to the mantel above and saw, standing upon it, a letter addressed to myself. I knew the handwriting at once to be that of Sir Jeremy Buggam.

I opened it, and spreading it out within reach of the feeble candlelight, I read as follows:

"My dear Digby,

"In our talk that you will remember, I had no time to finish telling you about the mystery of Buggam Grange. I take for granted, however, that you will go there and that Horrod will put you in the tower rooms, which are the only ones that make any pretence of being habitable. I have, therefore, sent him this letter to deliver at the Grange itself.

"The story is this:

"On the night of the fifteenth of November, fifty years ago, my grandfather was murdered in the room in which you are sitting, by his cousin, Sir Duggam Buggam. He was stabbed from behind while seated at the little table at which you are probably reading this letter. The two had been playing cards at the table and my grandfather's body was found lying in a litter of cards and gold sovereigns on the floor. Sir Duggam Buggam, insensible from drink, lay beside him, the fatal knife at his hand, his fingers smeared with blood. My grandfather, though of the younger branch, possessed a part of the estates which were to revert to Sir Duggam on his death. Sir Duggam Buggam was tried at the Assizes and was hanged. On the day of his execution he was permitted by the authorities, out of respect for his rank, to wear a mask to the scaffold. The clothes in which he was executed are hanging at full length in the little cupboard to your right, and the mask is above them. It is said that on every fifteenth of November at midnight the cupboard door opens and Sir Duggam Buggam walks out into the room. It has been found impossible to get servants to remain at the Grange, and the place-except for the presence of Horrod-has been unoccupied for a generation. At the time of the murder Horrod was a young man of twenty-two, newly entered into the service of the family. It was he who entered the room and discovered the crime. On the day of the execution he was stricken with paralysis and has never spoken since. From that time to this he has never consented to leave the Grange, where he lives in isolation.

"Wishing you a pleasant night after your tiring journey,

"I remain,

"Very faithfully,

"Jeremy Buggam."

I leave my reader to imagine my state of mind when I completed the perusal of the letter.

I have as little belief in the supernatural as anyone, yet I must confess that there was something in the surroundings in which I now found myself which rendered me at least uncomfortable. My reader may smile if he will, but I assure him that it was with a very distinct feeling of uneasiness that I at length managed to rise to my feet, and, grasping my candle in my hand, to move backward into the bedroom. As I backed into it something so like a moan seemed to proceed from the closed cupboard that I accelerated my backward movement to a considerable degree. I hastily blew out the candle, threw myself upon the bed and drew the bedclothes over my head, keeping, however, one eye and one ear still out and available.

How long I lay thus listening to every sound, I cannot tell. The stillness had become absolute. From time to time I could dimly hear the distant cry of an owl, and once far away in the building below a sound as of some one dragging a chain along a floor. More than once I was certain that I heard the sound of moaning behind the wainscot. Meantime I realized that the hour must now be drawing close upon the fatal moment of midnight. My watch I could not see in the darkness, but by reckoning the time that must have elapsed I knew that midnight could not be far away. Then presently my ear, alert to every sound, could just distinguish far away across the fens the striking of a church bell, in the clock tower of Buggam village church, no doubt, tolling the hour of twelve.

On the last stroke of twelve, the cupboard door in the next room opened. There is no need to ask me how I knew it. I couldn't, of course, see it, but I could hear, or sense in some way, the sound of it. I could feel my hair, all of it, rising upon my head. I was aware that there was a presence in the adjoining room, I will not say a person, a living soul, but a presence. Anyone who has been in the next room to a presence will know just how I felt. I could hear a sound as of some one groping on the floor and the faint rattle as of coins.

My hair was now perpendicular. My reader can blame it or not, but it was.

Then at this very moment from somewhere below in the building there came the sound of a prolonged and piercing cry, a cry as of a soul passing in agony. My reader may censure me or not, but right at this moment I decided to beat it. Whether I should have remained to see what was happening is a question that I will not discuss. My one idea was to get out, and to get out quickly. The window of the tower room was some twenty-five feet above the ground. I sprang out through the casement in one leap and landed on the grass below. I jumped over the shrubbery in one bound and cleared the moat in one jump. I went down the avenue in about six strides and ran five miles along the road through the fens in three minutes. This at least is an accurate transcription of my sensations. It may have taken longer. I never stopped till I found myself on the threshold of the Buggam Arms in Little Buggam, beating on the door for the landlord.

I returned to Buggam Grange on the next day in the bright sunlight of a frosty November morning, in a seven-cylinder motor car with six local constables and a physician. It makes all the difference. We carried revolvers, spades, pickaxes, shotguns and an ouija board.

What we found cleared up for ever the mystery of the Grange. We discovered Horrod the butler lying on the dining-room floor quite dead. The physician said that he had died from heart failure. There was evidence from the marks of his shoes in the dust that he had come in the night to the tower room. On the table he had placed a paper which contained a full confession of his having murdered Jeremy Buggam fifty years before. The circumstances of the murder had rendered it easy for him to fasten the crime upon Sir Duggam, already insensible from drink. A few minutes with the ouija board enabled us to get a full corroboration from Sir Duggam. He promised, moreover, now that his name was cleared, to go away from the premises for ever.

My friend, the present Sir Jeremy, has rehabilitated Buggam Grange. The place is rebuilt. The moat is drained. The whole house is lit with electricity. There are beautiful motor drives in all directions in the woods. He has had the bats shot and the owls stuffed. His daughter, Clara Buggam, became my wife. She is looking over my shoulder as I write. What more do you want?

THE END

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

LITERARY LAPSES

Twelfth Edition. Crown 8vo. 5s. net

Spectator.-"This little book is a happy example of the way in which the double life can be lived blamelessly and to the great advantage of the community. The book fairly entitles Mr. Leacock to be considered not only a humorist but a benefactor. The contents should appeal to English readers with the double virtue that attaches to work which is at once new and richly humorous."

Globe.-"One specimen of Mr. Leacock's humour, 'Boarding-House Geometry,' has long been treasured on this side."

The Guardian.-"Much to be welcomed is Professor Stephen Leacock's 'Literary Lapses,'-this charming and humorous work. All the sketches have a freshness and a new personal touch. Mr. Leacock is, as the politicians say, 'a national asset,' and Mr. Leacock is a Canadian to be proud of. One has the comfortable feeling as one reads that one is in the company of a cultured person capable of attractive varieties of foolishness."

Pall Mall Gazette.-"The appearance

of 'Literary Lapses' is practically the English début of a young Canadian writer who is turning from medicine to literature with every success. Dr. Stephen Leacock is at least the equal of many who are likely to be long remembered for their short comic sketches and essays; he has already shown that he has the high spirits of 'Max Adeler' and the fine sense of quick fun. There are many sketches in 'Literary Lapses' that are worthy of comparison with the best American humour."

Morning Post.-"The close connection between imagination, humour, and the mathematical faculty has never been so delightfully demonstrated."

Outlook.-"Mr. John Lane must be credited with the desire of associating the Bodley Head with the discovery of new humorists. Mr. Leacock sets out to make people laugh. He succeeds and makes them laugh at the right thing. He has a wide range of new subjects; the world will gain in cheerfulness if Mr. Leacock continues to produce so many excellent jests to the book as there are in the one under notice."

Truth.-"By the publication of Mr. Stephen Leacock's 'Literary Lapses' Mr. John Lane has introduced to the British Public a new American humorist for whom a widespread popularity can be confidently predicted."

LONDON: JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

NONSENSE NOVELS

THIRTEENTH EDITION

Crown 8vo. 5s. net

Spectator.-"We can assure our readers who delight in mere joyous desipience that they will find a rich harvest of laughter in the purely irresponsible outpourings of Professor Leacock's fancy."

Pall Mall Gazette.-"It is all not only healthy satire, but healthy humour as well, and shows that the author of 'Literary Lapses' is capable of producing a steady flow of high spirits put into a form which is equal to the best traditions of contemporary humour. Mr. Leacock certainly bids fair to rival the immortal 'Lewis Carroll' in combining the irreconcilable-exact science with perfect humour-and making the amusement better the instruction."

Daily Mail.-"In his 'Literary Lapses' Mr. Stephen Leacock gave the laughter-loving world assurance of a new humorist of irresistible high spirits and rare spontaneity and freshness. By this rollicking collection of 'Nonsense Novels,' in tabloid form, he not only confirms the excellent impression of his earlier work, but establishes his reputation as a master of the art of literary burlesque. The whole collection is a sheer delight, and places its author in the front rank as a literary humorist."

Mr. James Douglas in The Star.-"We have all laughed over Mr. Stephen Leacock's 'Literary Lapses.' It is one of those books one would die rather than lend, for to lend it is to lose it for ever. Mr. Leacock's new book, 'Nonsense Novels,' is more humorous than 'Literary Lapses.' That is to say, it is the most humorous book we have had since Mr. Dooley swum into our ken. Its humour is so rich that it places Mr. Leacock beside Mark Twain."

Morning Leader.-"Mr. Leacock possesses infinite verbal dexterity.... Mr. Leacock must be added as a recognized humorist."

Daily Express.-"Mr. Stephen Leacock's 'Nonsense Novels' is the best collection of parodies I have read for many a day. The whole book is a scream, witty, ingenious, irresistible."

Public Opinion.-"A most entertaining book."

LONDON: JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

SUNSHINE SKETCHES OF A LITTLE TOWN

WITH A FRONTISPIECE BY CYRUS CUNEO

Ninth Edition. Crown 8vo. 5s. net

The Times.-"His real hard work, for which no emolument would be a fitting reward, is distilling sunshine. This new book is full of it-the sunshine of humour, the thin keen sunshine of irony, the mellow evening sunshine of sentiment."

Spectator.-"This is not the first but the third volume in which he has contributed to the gaiety of the Old as well as the New World.... A most welcome freedom from the pessimism of Old-World fiction."

Academy.-"One of the best and most enjoyable series of sketches that we have read for some time ... they are all bright and sparkling, and bristle with wit and humour."

Pall Mall Gazette.-"Like all real humorists Mr. Leacock steps at once into his proper position.... His touch of humour will make the Anglo-Saxon world his reader.... We cannot recall a more laughable book."

Globe.-"Professor Leacock never fails to provide a feast of enjoyment.... No one who wishes to dispose intellectually of a few hours should neglect Professor Leacock's admirable contribution to English literature. It is warranted to bring sunshine into every home."

Country Life.-"Informed by a droll humour, quite unforced, Mr. Leacock reviews his little community for the sport of the thing, and the result is a natural and delightful piece of work."

Daily Telegraph.-"His Sketches are so fresh and delightful in the manner of their presentation.... Allowing for differences of theme, and of the human materials for study, Mr. Leacock strikes us as a sort of Americanised Mr. W. W. Jacobs. Like the English humorist, the Canadian one has a delightfully fresh and amusing way of putting things, of suggesting more than he says, of narrating more or less ordinary happenings in an irresistibly comical fashion.... Mr. Leacock should be popular with readers who can appreciate fun shot with kindly satire."

LONDON: JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

BEHIND THE BEYOND

AND OTHER CONTRIBUTIONS TO HUMAN KNOWLEDGE. With 16 Illustrations by A. H. Fish.

Fifth Edition. Crown 8vo. 5s. net

Punch.-"In his latest book, 'Behind the Beyond,' he is in brilliant scoring form. I can see 'Behind the Beyond' breaking up many homes; for no family will be able to stand the sudden sharp yelps of laughter which must infallibly punctuate the decent after-dinner silence when one of its members gets hold of this book. It is Mr. Leacock's peculiar gift that he makes you laugh out loud. When Mr. Leacock's literal translation of Homer, on p. 193, met my eye, a howl of mirth broke from me. I also forgot myself over the interview with the photographer. As for the sketch which gives its title, to the book, it is the last word in polished satire. The present volume is Mr. Leacock at his best."

Spectator.-"Beneficent contributions to the gaiety of nations. The longest and best thing in the book is the delightful burlesque of a modern problem play. Miss Fish's illustrations are decidedly clever."

Observer.-"There are delicious touches in it."

Queen.-"All through the book the author furnishes a continual feast of enjoyment."

Dundee Advertiser.-"'Behind the Beyond' is a brilliant parody, and the other sketches are all of Mr. Leacock's very best, 'Homer and Humbug' being as fine a piece of raillery as Mr. Leacock has written. Mr. Leacock is a humorist of the first rank, unique in his own sphere, and this volume will add yet more to his reputation."

Aberdeen Free Press.-"Exquisite quality ... amazingly funny."

Yorkshire Daily Post.-"In the skit on the problem play which gives the book its title the author reaches his high-water mark."

Glasgow Herald.-"Another welcome addition to the gaiety of the nations. The title-piece is an inimitably clever skit. It is both genial and realistic, and there is a genuine laugh in every line of it. Humour and artistry are finely blended in the drawings."

Daily Express.-"The pictures have genuine and rare distinction."

LONDON: JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

ARCADIAN ADVENTURES WITH THE IDLE RICH

FOURTH EDITION

Crown 8vo. 5s. net

Spectator.-"A blend of delicious fooling and excellent satire. Once more the author of 'Literary Lapses' has proved himself a benefactor of his kind."

Morning Post.-"All the 'Adventures' are full of the fuel of the laughter which is an intellectual thing."

Pall Mall Gazette.-"Professor Leacock shows no falling off either in his fund of social observation or his power of turning it to sarcasm and humour. The book is full to the brim with honest laughter and clever ideas."

Bystander.-"It is necessary to laugh, now even more necessary than at ordinary times. Fortunately, Professor Leacock produces a new book at the right moment. It will cause many chuckles. He is simply irresistible."

Westminster Gazette.-"Marks a distinct advance in Mr. Leacock's artistic development."

Daily Chronicle.-"This altogether delightful and brilliant comedy of life.... Mr. Leacock's humour comes from the very depths of a strong personality, and in the midst of a thousand whimsicalities, a thousand searchlights on the puerilities of human nature he never loses touch with the essential bite of life."

Saturday Review.-"Professor Leacock is a delightful writer of irresponsible nonsense with a fresh and original touch. These 'Arcadian Adventures' are things of sheer delight."

Tatler.-"I have not felt so full of eagerness and life since the war began as after I had read this delightfully humorous and clever book."

Evening Standard.-"In this book the satire is brilliantly conspicuous."

LONDON: JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

MOONBEAMS FROM THE LARGER LUNACY

FOURTH EDITION

Crown 8vo. 5s. net

Times.-"Such a perfect piece of social observation and joyful castigation as the description of the last man in Europe ... the portrait of So-and-so is not likely to be forgotten ... it is so funny and so true."

Morning Post.-"Excellent fooling ... wisdom made laughable."

Daily Chronicle.-"Here is wit, fun, frolic, nonsense, verse, satire, comedy, criticism-a perfect gold mine for those who love laughter."

Sunday Times.-"Very pungent and telling satire. Buy the book-it will give you a happy hour."

Standard.-"Under the beams of the moon of his delight, the author never fails to be amusing."

Pall Mall Gazette.-"Mr. Leacock's humour is a credit to Canada, for it has a depth and a polish such as are both rare in the literature of a young nation."

Land and Water.-"Unlike a number of so-called humorists, Mr. Leacock is really funny, as these sketches prove."

Field.-"Indeed a very pleasant hour can be spent with this author, who is full of humour, wit, and cleverness, and by his work adds much to the gaiety of life."

Spectator.-"Mr. Leacock has added to our indebtedness by his new budget of refreshing absurdities.... In shooting folly as it flies, he launches darts that find their billet on both sides of the Atlantic."

LONDON: JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

ESSAYS AND LITERARY STUDIES

Fifth Edition. Crown 8vo. 5s. net

Truth.-"Full of practical wisdom, as sober as it is sound."

Morning Post.-"He is the subtlest of all transatlantic humorists, and, as we have pointed out before, might almost be defined as the discoverer of a method combining English and American humour. But he never takes either his subject or himself too seriously, and the result is a book which is as readable as any of its mirthful predecessors."

World.-"Those readers who fail to find pleasure in this new volume of Essays will be difficult to please. Here are discourses in the author's happiest vein."

Daily News.-"All are delightful."

Bystander.-"No sane person will object to Professor Leacock professing, so long as he periodically issues such good entertainment as 'Essays and Literary Studies.'"

Daily Telegraph.-"The engaging talent of this Canadian author has hitherto been exercised in the lighter realm of wit and fancy. In his latest volume there is the same irresistible humour, the same delicate satire, the same joyous freshness; but the wisdom he distils is concerned more with realities of our changing age."

Outlook.-"Mr. Leacock's humour is his own, whimsical with the ease of a self-confident personality, far-sighted, quick-witted, and invariably humane."

Times.-"Professor Leacock's paper on American humour is quite the best that we know upon the subject."

Spectator.-"Those of us who are grateful to Mr. Leacock as an intrepid purveyor of wholesome food for laughter have not failed to recognize that he mingles shrewdness with levity-that he is, in short, wise as well as merry."

LONDON: JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

Further Foolishness

SKETCHES AND SATIRES ON THE FOLLIES OF THE DAY

With Coloured Frontispiece by "Fish," and five other Plates by M. Blood

Fourth Edition. Crown 8vo. 5s. net

Morning Post.-"An excellent antidote to war worry."

Evening Standard.-"You will acknowledge, if you have not done so before, the satirical keenness of Mr. Leacock."

Daily Graphic.-"The book is a joy all through, laughter on every page."

Times.-"Further examples of the diverting humour of Professor Leacock."

Bystander.-"'Further Foolishness,' in a word, is the most admirable tonic which I can prescribe to-day ... the jolliest possible medley."

Daily Chronicle.-"Mr. Leacock's fun is fine and delicate, full of quaint surprises; guaranteed to provoke cheerfulness in the dullest. He is a master-humorist, and this book is one of the cleverest examples of honest humour and witty satire ever produced."

Spectator.-"In this new budget of absurdities we are more than ever reminded of Mr. Leacock's essential affinity with Artemus Ward, in whose wildest extravagances there was nearly always a core of wholesome sanity, who was always on the side of the angels, and who was a true patriot as well as a great humorist."

Pall Mall Gazette.-"A humorist of high excellence."

Daily Express.-"Really clever and admirably good fun."

Star.-"Some day there will be a Leacock Club. Its members will all possess a sense of humour."

LONDON: JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

FRENZIED FICTION

FOURTH EDITION

Crown 8vo. 5s. net.

"Everything in 'Frenzied Fiction' is exhilarating. Full of good things."-Morning Post.

"More delightful samples of Leacock humour. These delightful chapters show Mr. Leacock at his best."

Daily Graphic.

"Stephen Leacock has firmly established himself in public favour as one of our greatest humorists. His readers will be more than pleased with 'Frenzied Fiction.'"-Evening Standard.

"It is enough to say that Mr. Leacock retains an unimpaired command of his happy gift of disguising sanity in the garb of the ludicrous. There is always an ultimate core of shrewd common-sense in his burlesques."-Spectator.

"Full of mellow humour."-Daily Mail.

"From beginning to end the book is one long gurgle of delight."-World.

"If it is your first venture into the Leacockian world read that delicious parody 'My Revelations as a Spy,' and we will be sworn that before you've turned half a dozen pages you will have become a life-member of the Leacock Lodge."-Town Topics.

"When humour is such as you get in 'Frenzied Fiction' it is a very good thing indeed."-Sketch.

"There is always sufficient sense under Stephen Leacock's nonsense to enable one to read him at least twice."-Land and Water.

LONDON: JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

THE HOHENZOLLERNS IN AMERICA

AND OTHER IMPOSSIBILITIES

Crown 8vo. 5s. net

"Equal in gay humour and deft satire to any of its predecessors, and no holiday will be so gay but this volume will make it gayer.... It is a book of rollicking good humour that will keep you chuckling long past summer-time."-Daily Chronicle.

"At his best, full of whims and oddities ... the most cheerful of humorists and the wisest of wayside philosophers."-Daily Telegraph.

"He has never provided finer food for quiet enjoyment ... his precious quality of Rabelaisian humanism has matured and broadened in its sympathy."-Globe.

"In the author's merriest mood. All of it is distilled wit and wisdom of the best brand, full of honest laughter, fun and frolic, comedy and criticism."-Daily Graphic.

"The book is inspired by that spirit of broad farce which runs glorious riot through nearly all that Stephen Leacock has written."-Bookman.

"He has all the energy and exuberance of the born humorist.... All admirers will recognize it as typical of Mr. Leacock's best work."-Manchester Guardian.

"An entertaining volume."-Scotsman.

LONDON: JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

THE UNSOLVED RIDDLE OF SOCIAL JUSTICE

Crown 8vo. 5s. net

A discussion of the new social unrest, the transformation of society which it portends and the social catastrophe which it might precipitate.

The point of view taken by the author leads towards the conclusion that the safety of the future lies in a progressive movement of social control alleviating at least the misery it cannot obliterate, and based upon the broad general principle of equality of opportunity, and a fair start. The chief immediate opportunities for social betterment, as the writer sees them, lie in the attempt to give every human being in childhood, education and opportunity.

"His book is short, lucid, always to the point, and sometimes witty."-Times.

"A book for the times, suggestive, critical and highly stimulating. Mr. Leacock surveys the troubled hour and discusses the popular palliatives with a keen, unbiassed intelligence and splendid sympathy. I hope it will have as large a circulation as any of his humorous books, for it has much wisdom in it."-Daily Chronicle.

"The charm of Mr. Leacock's book is ... that it deals tersely and clearly with the problem of Social Justice without technical jargon or any abuse of generalities."-Morning Post.

LONDON: JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD

THE HUMOROUS NOVELS OF HARRY LEON WILSON

BUNKER BEAN

MA PETTENGILL

SOMEWHERE IN RED GAP

RUGGLES OF RED GAP

Crown 8vo. 7s. net

Harry Leon Wilson is one of the first of American humorists, and in popularity he is a close rival of O. Henry. His "Ruggles of Red Gap," published at the beginning of the war, achieved a distinct success in England, while the raciness and vivacity of "Ma Pettengill" have furthered the author's reputation as an inimitable delineator of Western comedy. An English edition of this author's works is in course of preparation, of which the above are the first volumes.

"The author has the rare and precious gift of original humour."-Daily Graphic.

"Thackeray would have enjoyed Mr. Wilson's merry tale of 'Ruggles of Red Gap.' A very triumph of farce."-Sunday Times.

"Mr. Wilson is an American humorist of the first water. We have not for a long time seen anything so clever in its way and so outrageously funny."-Literary World.

LONDON: JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD

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