Wednesday, June 13, 2012

In Praise of Publius

Editor's note -- Special Feature: Publius parodies "The Hunting of the Snark" by Lewis Carroll in the comments at The Economist. Faedrus (the Troll) was trying to annoy The Usual Suspect (and everyone else), so Publius intervened.
“Just the place for a Snark!” the Pascover cried,
 As he landed his crew with care;
Supporting each man on the top of the tide
 By a finger entwined in his hair.

“Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
 That alone should encourage the crew.
Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
 What I tell you three times is true.”
The crew was complete: it included a Faedrus —
 A maker of Witfull Asides —
A Teacup brought to arrange their disputes —
 And a Gardner, to value their goods.
A Usual Suspect, whose skill was immense,
 Might perhaps have won more than his share —
But a Hedgefundguy, engaged at enormous expense,
 Had the whole of their cash in his care.
There was also an Ashbird, that paced on the deck,
 Or would sit making lace in the bow:
And had often (the Pascover said) saved them from wreck,
 Though none of the sailors knew how.
There was one who was famed for the number of things
 He forgot when he entered the ship:
His umbrella, his watch, all his jewels and rings,
 And the clothes he had bought for the trip.
He had forty-two boxes, all carefully packed,
 With his name painted clearly on each:
But, since he omitted to mention the fact,
 They were all left behind on the beach.
The loss of his clothes hardly mattered, because
 He had seven coats on when he came,
With three pairs of boots — but the worst of it was,
 He had wholly forgotten his name.
He would answer to “Publius!” or to any loud cry,
 Such as “Fry me!” or “Fritter my wig!”
To “What-you-may-call-um!” or “What-was-his-name!”
 But especially “Thing-um-a-jig!”
While, for those who preferred a more forcible word,
 He had different names from these:
His intimate friends called him “Candle-ends,”
 And his enemies “Toasted-cheese.”
“His form is ungainly — his intellect small —”
 (So the Pascover would often remark)
“But his courage is perfect! And that, after all,
 Is the thing that one needs with a Snark.”
He would joke with hyenas, returning their stare
 With an impudent wag of the head:
And he once went a walk, paw-in-paw, with a bear,
 “Just to keep up its spirits,” he said.
He came as a Thinker: but owned, when too late —
 And it drove the poor Pascover half-mad —
He could only think Whiskey! — for which, I may state,
 No materials were to be had.

Illustrations by Henry Holiday (1876)


  1. I must of got moderated yesterday. If you hadn't posted this I wouldn't have seen it and I'd have lost a good, admiring laugh. Thanks, Flip.

    1. I don't know how you got moderated, either. I thank Publius and you're welcome.

  2. As for "The Hunting of the Snark" and economics, thh chapter "The Banker's Fate" perhaps doesn't need to be changed too much for today's usage:

    1. Ha! No need to change "utter inanity" but I'm tweaking lines 511 & 512 just for Goetz in Munich! !

      And the Chancellor remarked “It is just as I feared!”
      And solemnly tolled on her bell...

      I noticed (on your wrong URL) that you had a couple side-by-sides of Doré engravings. I just posted one for Easter. Hope you had a nice Holiday (no pun intended?)


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