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THE COMPLETE NONSENSE
BOOK



THE COMPLETE NON-
SENSE BOOK



BY



EDWARD LEAR

Containing all the Orighial Pictures and Verses, together with New Material



^Edited by
LADY STRACHEY

OF SUTTON COURT



Introduction by
THE EARL OF CROMER

O. C. B., G. C. M. G., E. C. S. I.




NEW YORK

DUFFIELD & COMPANY
1912






CoPYRISHT, 1912, BY

CONSTANCE, LADY STRACHEY



©CI.A309230

I



(Original Srfttraf tun



, TO THE

GREAT-GRANDCHILDREN, GRAND-NEPHEWS, AKD GRAND-NIECES

OP EDWARD, 13TH EARX OF DERBY,

THIS BOOK OF DRAWINGS AND VERSES

{The greater part of which were originally ma.de and composed for their parents,)

3a BebxtaUb by tin? Aatijnr

Edward Lear.
London, 186S.



CONTENTS

PAGE

PREFACE BY LORD CROMER 9

EDITOR'S NOTE 23

LEAR'S INTRODUCTION TO MORE NONSENSE SONGS AND

STORIES 25

THE BIRD BOOK 29

QUEERY LEARY NONSENSE

Mrs. Blue Dickey-Bird .33

Drawings for Mother Goose . ■•• . 34

Illustrations for The Owl and the Pussy Cat 41

Pittacus Pollywhobble ,.,42

Foss . . 45

Ger-woman and Ger-man 46

At Dingle Bank 47

Spots of Greece . .48

Epitaph 48

The Youthful Cove ,. ., 49

Mrs. Jaypher -.51

THE BOOK OF NONSENSE

There was an Old Man with a nose . '55

There was a Young Person of Smyrna ........ 55

There was an Old Man on a hill 56

There was an Old Person of Chili 56

There was an Old Man of Kilkenny 57

There was an Old Man with a gong 57

There was an Old Man of Columbia 58

There was an Old Man in a tree . 58

There was an Old Lady of Chertsey 59

There was a Young Lady whose chin 59

There was an Old Man with a flute 60

There was a Young Lady of Portugal 60

There was an Old Person of Ischia 61

There was an Old Man of Vienna 61

[viil



CONTENTS

PAOE

There was an Old Man in a boat ...... v » . 62

There was an Old Person of Buda 62

There was an Old Man of Moldavia 63

There was an Old Person of Hurst 63

There was an Old Man of Madras 64

There was an Old Person of Dover 64

There was an Old Person of Cadiz 65

There was an Old Person of Leeds 65

There was an Old Man of the Isles 66

There was an Old Person of Basing 66

There was an Old Man who supposed . .67

There was an Old Person whose habits 67

There was an Old Man of the West 68

There was an Old Man of Marseilles 68

There was an Old Man of the Wrekin .69

There was a Young Lady whose nose , ,. 69

There was an Old Man of Apulia ......... 70

There was an Old Man of Quebec 70

There was a Young Lady of Norway 71

There was a Young Lady of Bute 71'

There was an Old Person of Philae . 72

There was an Old Man with a poker 72

There was an Old Man of Peru 73

There was an Old Person of Prague 73

There was an Old Man of the North ........ 74

There was an Old Person of Troy 74

There was an Old Man of Melrose 75

There was an Old Person of Tring 75

There was an Old Person of Mold 76

There was an Old Man of the Nile 77

There was an Old Man of Nepaul 78

There was an Old Man of th' Abruzzi 78

There was an Old Man of Calcutta 79

There was an Old Person of Rhodes ........ 79

There was an Old Man of the South 80

There was an Old Man of the Dee 81

There was a Young Lady of Lucca 81

There was an Old Man of Coblenz . . ... . . . . .82

[ viii ]



CONTENTS

PAGE

There was an Old Man of Bohemia 82

There was an Old Man of Corfu 83

There was an Old Man of Vesuvius 83

There was an Old Man of Dundee 84

There was an Old Lady whose folly 85

There was an Old Man on some rocks 86

There was an Old Person of Rheims 86

There was an Old Man of Leghorn 87

There was an Old Man in a pew 87

There was a Young Lady of Hull 88

There was an Old Person of Dutton 88

There was a Young Lady of Troy 89

There was an Old Man who said, "How 89

There was an Old Person of Bangor ........ 90

There was an Old Man who said, "Hush ! . . . . . .90

There was a Young Lady of Russia .91

There was a Young Lady of Tyre .91

There was an Old Man of Jamaica 92

There was an Old Man of the East 92

There was an Old Man of the Coast 93

There was an Old Man of Kamschatka 93

There was an Old Person of Gretna 94

There was an Old Person of Tartary 94

There was an Old Man of Berlin 95

There was an Old Man of the West 95

There was an Old Person of Cheadle 96

There was an Old Person of Anerley 96

There was an Old Man of Whitehaven 97

There was a Young Lady of Wales 98

There was an Old Man with a beard 99

There was a Young Lady of Welling 100

There was a Young Lady of Sweden 101

There was an Old Person of Chester 101

There was an Old Man of the Cape 102

There was an Old Person of Burton 103

There was an Old Person of Ems 104

There was an Old Lady of Prague .104

There was a Young Lady of Poole 105

There was a Young Girl of Majorca 105

[ix]



CONTENTS

PAGE

There was a Young Lady of Parma . ,. 106

There was an Old Person of Sparta . . 106

There was a Young Lady of Turkey 107

There was an Old Man on whose nose 108

There was an Old Man of Aosta 108

There was a Young Person of Crete 109

There was a Young Lady of Clare . . 110

There was a Young Lady of Dorking 110

There was an Old Man of Cape Horn Ill

There was an Old Person of Cromer 112

There was an Old Man of the Hague 113

There was an Old Person of Spain 114

There was an Old Man who said, "Well! 115

There was an Old Man with an Owl 116

There was an Old Man in a casement 117

There was an Old Person of Ewell .118

There was an Old Man of Peru 119

There was a Young Lady of Eyde 120

There was a Young Lady whose eyes 120

There was an Old Man with a beard] 121

There was a Young Lady whose bonnet .121

NONSENSE SONGS AND STORIES

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat 125

The Duck and the Kangaroo 127

The Daddy Long-Legs and the Fly 130

The Jumblies 134

The Nutcrackers and the Sugar-Tongs 137

Calico Pie 139

Mr. and Mrs. Spiky Sparrow 142

The Broom, the Shovel, the Poker and the Tongs 145

The Table and the Chair 147

The Story of the Foiir Little Children "Who Went Around the World 149

THE HISTORY OF THE SEVEN FAMILIES OF THE LAKE

PIPPLE-POPPLE 169

. 176
. 178
. 180
. 182



THE HISTORY OF THE SEVEN YOUNG PARROTS
THE HISTORY OF THE SEVEN YOUNG STORKS .
THE HISTORY OF THE SEVEN YOUNG GEESE .
THE HISTORY OF THE SEVEN YOUNG OWLS . .

[ X ]



CONTENTS

PAGE

THE HISTORY OF THE SEVEN YOUNG GUINEA PIGS . .183

THE HISTORY OF THE SEVEN YOUNG CATS 184

THE HISTORY OF THE SEVEN YOUNG FISHES .... 185

OF WHAT OCCURRED SUBSEQUENTLY 186

OF WHAT BECAME OF THE PARENTS OF 1 THE FORTY-NINE

CHILDREN 188

CONCLUSION .....,., 189

NONSENSE COOKERY

Extract from "The Nonsense Gazette," for August, 1870. . ... 198

THREE RECEIPTS FOR DOMESTIC COOKERY

To make an Amblongus Pie 194

To Make Crumbobblious Cutlets 195

To make Gosky Patties 196

NONSENSE BOTANY

B arid a Howlaloudia 199

Enkoopia Chiekabiddia .199

Jinglia Tinkettlia 200

Nasticreechia Krorfuppia 200

Arthbroomia Rigida 201

Sophtsluggia Glutinosa 201

Minspysia Deliciosa 202

Shoebootia Utilis 202

Stunnia Dinnerbellia 203

Tickia Orologica 203

Washtubbia Circularis 204

Tigerlillia Terribilis 204

Second Series

Baccopipia Gracilis 207

Bottlephorkia Spoonifolia 207

Cockatooca Superba 208

Fishia Marina 208

Guittara Pensilis 209

Manypeeplia Upsidownia 209

Phattfacia Stupenda 210

Piggiwiggia Pyramidalis 210

Plumbunnia Nutritiosa 211

Pollybirdia Singularis 211

[xi]



CONTENTS

PAGE

Armchairia Comfortabilis 215

Bassia Palealensis 215

Bubblia Blowpipia 216

Bluebottlia Buzztilentia 216

Crabbia Horrida 217

Smalltoothcombia Domestica 217

Knutmigrata Simplice , 218

Tureenia Ladlecum 218

Puffia Leatherbellowsa 219

Queeriflora Babyoides 219

NONSENSE ALPHABETS

A was an ant 223

A was once an apple-pie 248

A was an ape 270

ONE HUNDRED NONSENSE PICTURES AND RHYMES

There was a Young Person of Bantry 293

There was an Old Person of Minety 293

There was an Old Man at a Junction 294

There was an Old Man of Thermopylae 294

There was an Old Person of Deal 295

There was an Old Man on the Humber 295

There was an Old Man in a barge 296

There was an Old Man of Toulouse 296

There was an Old Man of Dunrose 297

There was an Old Person of Bree 297

There was an Old Person of Shields 298

There was an Old Person of Bromley 298

There was an Old Man of Dunluce 299

There was an Old Man of Dee-side 299

There was an Old Person in black 300

There was an Old Man of the Dargle 300

There was an Old Person of Pinner 301

There was an Old Man in a Marsh 801

There was an Old Person of China 302

There was an Old Person of Brill 302

There was an Old Man at a Station 803

[Xii]



CONTENTS

PAGE

There was an Old Person of Wick 303

There was an Old Man of Three Bridges 304

There was an Old Man of Hong Kong 304

There was an Old Person of Fife 305

There was a Young Person in green 305

There was an Old Man who screamed out 306

There was a Young Lady in white 306

There was an Old Person of Slough 307

There was an Old Person of Down 307

There was a Young Person in red 308

There was an Old Person of Hove 308

There was a Young Person in pink 309

There was an Old Lady of France 309

There was an Old Person of Putney 310

There was an Old Person of Loo 310

There was an Old Person of Woking 311

There was an Old Person of Dean 311

There was a Young Lady in blue 312

There was an Old Person of Pisa 312

There was an Old Man in a garden 313

There was an Old Person of Florence 313

There was an Old Person of Sheen 314

There was an Old Man of Cashmere 314

There was an Old Person of Ware 315

There was a Young Person of Janina 315

There was an Old Person of Pett 316

There was an Old Person of Cassel 316

There was an Old Man of Spithead 317

There was an Old Man on the Border 317

There was an Old Man of Dumbree 318

There was an Old Person of Filey 318

There was an Old Man whose remorse 319

There was an Old Man of Ibreem 319

There was an Old Person of Wilts 320

There was an Old Person of Grange 320

There was an Old Man of Dumblane 321

There was an Old Man of El Hums 321

There was an Old Man of West Dumpet 322

[ xiii ]



CONTENTS

PAGE

There was an Old Man of Port Grigor 322

There was an Old Person of Newry 323

There was an Old Person of Sark 323

There was an Old Man whose despair 324

There was an Old Person of Barnes 324

There was an Old Person of Nice 325

There was a Young Lady of Greenwich 325

There was an Old Person of Cannes 326

There was an Old Person in grey 326

There was an Old Person of Hyde 327

There was an Old Person of Ickley 327

There was an Old Man of Ancona 328

There was an Old Person of Sestri 328

There was an Old Person of Blythe 329

There was a Young Person of Ayr 329

There was an Old Person of Rimini 330

There is a Young Lady, whose nose 330

There was an Old Person of Ealing 331

There was an Old Man of Thames Ditton 331

There was an Old Person of Bray 332

There was a Young Person whose history 332

There was an Old Person of Bow 333

There was an Old Person of Rye 333

There was an Old Person of Crowle 334

There was an Old Lady of Winchelsea 334

There was an Old Man in a tree 335

There was a Young Lady of Corsica 335

There was an Old Person of Stroud 336

There was a Young Lady of Firle 336

There was an Old Man of Boulak 337

There was an Old Person of Skye 337

There was an Old Man of Blackheath 338

There was an Old Man, who when little 339

There was an Old Person of Dundalk 340

There was an Old Person of Shoreham 341

There was an Old Person of Bar 342

There was a Young Person of Kew 343

There was an Old Person of Jodd 344

[ xiv ]



CONTENTS

PAGE

There was an Old Person of Bude 345

There was an Old Person of Brigg 346

There was an Old Man of Messina 347

AN ALPHABET

The Absolutely Abstemious Ass 348

LAUGHABLE LYRICS

The Dong with a Luminous Nose 363

The Two Old Bachelors 367

The Pelicans 369

The Pelican Chorus 370

The Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo 373

The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo 374

The Pobble Who Has No Toes 379

The New Vestments 381

Mr. and Mrs. Discobbolos 383

Mr. and Mrs. Discobbolos, Second Part 385

The Quangle Wangle's Hat 388

The Cummerbund, An Indian Poem 391

The Akond of Swat 393

Incidents in the Life of My Uncle Arly 395

Eclogue 397

NONSENSE ALPHABETS

A was an Area Arch 405

A tumbled down 419

HOW PLEASANT TO KNOW MR. LEAR 420

FROM THE LETTERS

O! Mimber for the County Louth 425

There was an Old Man who Felt Pert 426

But ah! (the Landscape Painter said), 426

There was an Old Person of Paxo 426

Tennysonian Parodies 427

O ! Chichester, my Carlingford ! . . . 427

Saith the Poet of Nonsense 428

When "Grand Old Men" persist in folly ., 428

It is a Virtue in Ingenuous Youth 428

His Garden 429

O Brother Chicken 430

[XV]



THE COMPLETE NONSENSE
BOOK



PREFACE

By Lobjd Cromer

Perhaps the best monument to the memory of Edward Lear
is to be found in the merry laughter which his works and draw-
ings have excited amongst children whom he loved so well. He
lives, and will continue to live, in the minds of the public as
one of the great classical authors of nonsense. It is said that
Dickens was wont to peruse carefully the records of births,
deaths and marriages, in order to find names suitable to the
characters in his novels. That he was singularly successful in
the assortment of his names cannot be doubted. Although it
would perhaps be difficult to assign any good reason for our
opinion, we all feel that the character of the immortal Winkle
could not, with any degree of onomatopoeic propriety, have
been assigned to a man who spoke and conducted himself like
Tupman, and that Mr. and Mrs. Murdstone would have be-
haved quite differently if their names had been Trotwood.
Who, again — to put some extreme cases — would suggest that
the names of Micawber and Heep, of Pecksniff and Tapley,
or of Chadband and Bucket could be transposed without
wholly altering the impression of the characters which we
derive from the nomenclature? Similarly, the genius of the
great nonsense authors — Lear and Lewis Caroll — is shown in
their choice of nonsense words. Who can describe a " Scroobi-
ous," or " Runcible " bird? Yet the man who does not at once
grasp the fact that the outward appearance and special char-
acteristics of these two birds must of necessity differ widely,
will be wholly wanting in imagination. More, indeed, may be

[9]



PREFACE

said. A man of well-balanced mind, when he sees Lear's pic-
tures, will forthwith say to himself: " Such is the appearance
which I should naturally attribute to the Scroobious Bird.
The Runcible Bird can obviously be like nothing else than that
which is here depicted." Nothing, I should add, amused Lear
more than the failure of some people to appreciate the utter
absence of sense in his nonsense. He used to relate that some
one once wrote to him to say that he had searched various bo-
tanical and other works without finding any allusion to a
" Bong-tree." * Where, his correspondent, asked, did the
"Bong-tree" grow?

Like Dickens in search of names, Lear was constantly
manufacturing nonsense words. Practice made him proficient
in the art. Here is a letter which he once wrote to me:








' They sailed away for a year and a day
To the land where the bong tree grows,
And there in a wood, a Piggiwig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose."
{The Owl and the Pussy-Cat.)
[10]



PREFACE

I hasten to add, for the benefit of anyone possessed of the
mental endowments of him who asked for information about
the " Bong-tree " that I believe " Slusshypipp " to be a wholly
imaginary individual.

A poet who wrote in that language with which Lear's
acquaintance was, indeed, imperfect, but the literature of
which, nevertheless, whether in its ancient or modern form,
constituted one of the delights and solaces of his life, once said
that Poverty alone awoke the arts, and was the teacher of
labour :

A' Tzeyio Awipayre, X$Y a r< ^ ri^yar; kyeipst,
dura to ^co^doto SiSddxakot;.*

It is to that chill penury against which Lear's life was one
continuous and arduous struggle, that we probably owe pro-
ductions which have been the delight of so many nurseries.
He perhaps occasionally felt some slight disappointment that
his fame rested not so much on his merits as an artist, as on
the fact that he was known throughout the child-world as the
author of " Dumbledownderry." But neither his impecuni-
osity nor his disappointment could sour his essentially lovable
nature, or tinge with the least shade of cynicism a humour,
which was above all things kindly and genial. He was too
warm-hearted to be satirical. His laughter was, indeed, akin
to tears. I have known him sit down to the piano and sob
whilst he played and sang: " Tears, Idle Tears," which he had
himself set to music, and the next morning send me the sub-
joined sketch,

* Theocritus, Idyll xxl. 1.



[11]



PREFACE




accompanied by the following literary production, in which he
poked fun at his favourite poet and devoted friend:



" Nluv, fluv bluv, ffluv biours,
Faith nunfaith kneer beekwl powers
Unfaith naught zwant a faith in all."



I give the following letters, which I have preserved and
which are illustrative of Lear's peculiar epistolary style:



[12]



PREFACE




Beneficial and bricklike Baking, —

Thank you for your note. I will come to His Excellency
to-morry. Meanwhile, please give him the accompanying
Note & Book, which I hope he *& you & Strahan will like.

Give my love to Strahan.*

Xaipe . (pdifiou
'0 Odoapdos Xuap

Dear Baring— Toosdy.

Disgustical to say, I must beg you to thank His Excel-
lency from me, & to relate that I cannot come. I was en-
gaged to dine with the De Verre's,t but am too unwell with
awful cold in the head & eyes to go out at all.

* Captain (subsequently Sir George) Strahan and myself were Aides-
de-Camp to Sir Henry Storks, who, at the time these letters were written,
was Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands.

t Major De Vere, Royal Engineers, was subsequently shot dead by
one of his own men.

[13]



PREFACE

I have sent for 2 large tablecloths to blow my nose on,
having already used up all my handkerchiefs. And altogether
I am so unfit for company that I propose getting into a bag
and being hung up to a bough of a tree till this tyranny is
overpast. Please give the serming I send to His Excellency.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Leak.




[141



PREFACE




J I*- *fzA. *^ true*!*, KA~i*Jdt+f«. x




Evelyn Baring, Royal Artillery, Aide-de-Camp.
[15]



PREFACE







1 /^<^£





Dear Baring, —

I ain't been out yet, but nevertheless will come to His Ex-
cellency to-morrow evening — if snuffling & snorting & shiver-
ing may be overlooked. If I had been out, I should have
written my name at the Palace, which, as yet, I haven't had
the possibility of doing as decent folk should.

Did you ever see such a lot of brutal sno as is on Salva-
[16]



PREFACE

dor?* Ain't it beastly. Generally speaking, I have been
wrapped up like this all the week in a




wholly abject and incapable state. . . .

Will you like to read " Le Maudit " ? — 3 vols.

Yours sincerely,

Edw. Leak.

* Saint Salvador is the name of the highest mountain in Corfu.



[17]



PREFACE



J&*




[18]



PREFACE




On one occasion, in conversation with Lear, one or other
of us quoted the well-known lines in " Hudibras," in which
allusion is made to " the learned Tabacotius " and the surgi-
cal operation which is connected with his name. We were
neither of us quite sure whether we had quoted the last lines
correctly. On the following morning Lear sent me this let-
ter:

" Correction for the last lines of the quotation from
Hewdybrass.

1 But what the porter's life waned out
Off dropt the sympathetic snout.' "



[19]



PREFACE



<7





[20]



PREFACE

15, Stratford Place., W.
30 June, 1864.
Dear Baring, —

You see by the above that the Trunk has at last arrived:
—and queer enough — it had never been opened ! so that every-
one of my letters was just as it was, & every think else — from
2 chocolate drops to an ounce of flea powder — was as it was
before the fathers fell asleep.

So, my dear boy, you are really off to-morrow! * I wish
you heartily a pleasant trip, and shall much like to hear from
you. Now don't get shot, & don't marry a squaw. You'd
better take out " Viscount Kirkwall's " book to amuse you on
the way. I meant to have got a portemonnaie or a cigar case
to leave at 11, Berkeley Sqr. as a memorial of old Corfu days
— but I fear I shan't have time now. But I shall hope to see
you when you come back — before Septbr. is out — or earlier.
For myself, I am all undecided as yet about winter plans.

The Treasurer & Mrs. Boyd & Charlie were with me to-
day, all flourishing. She is a kind-hearted woman. Boyd
showed me xaloXepms letter which you told me of.

You were a good boy to write. Some day we may all
meet at Mollter. Goodbye.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Lear.

When my eldest son was about three years old, his mother
expressed a wish that he should acquire some knowledge of
colour. Lear, with his usual kindness, at once sent twenty
drawings of birds of various colours — including, of course, his
favourites, the Scroobious and the Runcible birds. I had these
bound in a book. They are reproduced in this work.

* I was about to start for America to be a spectator for a short while of
the great war then in course of progress.

[21]



PREFACE

Many of the stories which Lear used to relate of his
travels were extremely amusing. I give one of them. It may
possibly have been already included in one of his published
works, but, in any case, it will bear repetition.

Some fifty years ago, Lord Palmerston, by reason of the
support he afforded to constitutional forms of government,
was extremely unpopular amongst all those, on the Continent
of Europe, who favoured the continuance of autocratic rule.
This unpopularity gave rise to the well-known couplet — I
think of Viennese manufacture: —

" Hat der Teufel einen Sohn

So ist er sicher Palmerston." *

Nowhere was he more unpopular than in the Kingdom of
Naples, then ruled, or perhaps it would be more correct to say
misruled, by Ferdinand II. (Bomba.) Lear was on one oc-
casion sketching near a village in some remote part of Cala-
bria. He was accosted by a gendarme, who requested him to
show his passport. On seeing the signature of Palmerston at
the bottom of the document, the gendarme thought that he
had made an important capture. He arrested Lear and
marched him into the village waving the passport which he
carried in his hand, and shouting " Ho preso Palmerstone!"
36, Wimpole Stbeet.




""\ Cj&



■* 4



* " If the Devil had a son,
Surely he'd be Palmerston.
[22]



EDITOR'S NOTE

Afteh the publication of my book of " Letters of Edward
Lear " to my aunt and uncle, Lady Waldegrave and Lord
Carlingford, in November, 1907, Lord Cromer most kindly
put at my disposal, if I chose to use it, the " Bird Book " now
included in this volume. A third edition of the " Letters "
being about to be published, about June, 1908, it suggested
itself to me that a short preface from such an old friend of Mr.
Lear's would be of great value, and I ventured to ask Lord
Cromer if he would be so good as to write something of this
nature. As time was pressing I mentioned the fact to him,
and with his characteristic promptitude he wrote : " Sunday
I will look out my material, Monday I will write my preface,
and Tuesday you shall have it." And it came as promised, but
in such a form, that I felt the sin of wasting it as an additional
preface to my old book.

So I at once resolved that Lord Cromer's delightful pref-
ace and unique Bird Book, should be the foundation of the
new Nonsense Book I had for a long time contemplated and
now made possible by Lord Cromer's very generous contribu-
tions. I myself had a few unpublished drawings originally
belonging to my uncle; these have been most kindly supple-
mented by the following old friends of Mr. Lear. Mrs. W.
Vaughan (Miss Madge Symonds), a cousin of my husband's
and wife of the present Head Master of Wellington College,
has allowed me to publish a large store of nonsense drawings
drawn mostly, I believe, for her eldest sister Janet, and pre-
served with much care by their mother, Mrs. John Addington
Symonds : —

[23]



EDITOR'S NOTE

*' Lear dancing."


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