As no one else was present, he did precisely what nine young men out of ten so situated would have done; he walked up to the mantelpiece, established himself upon the rug, and subducting his coat-tails one under each arm, turned towards the fire that portion of the human frame which it is considered equally indecorous to present to a friend or an enemy.
“Thomas Ingoldsby, Esq.” was the pen name of Richard Harris Barham (1788–1845). Most of the stories and poems gathered under the name “Ingoldsby Legends” were first published in various periodicals over the years 1831–1845. The main exception is the introductory passages that precede most titles in the First and Second Series. These were added for the book, and are generally absent from the Third Series, which was prepared after the author’s death.
The edition used as the basis for this ebook calls itself “Artists’ Edition”. This sounds fancy, but simply means that it used the same illustrations as the periodicals, especially Bentley’s. Most are by George Cruikshank (1792–1878), but you will find a few by John Leech (1817–1864) or John Tenniel (1820–1914).
In this ebook the original illustrations are the ones with a page reference, part of the original caption. I have also restored a few that were omitted from the book, mainly in the Third Series; these will be identified in each story’s Notes and Corrections section.
To go with Cruikshank & Co. I have added illustrations from the 1907 Dent & Dutton edition illustrated by Arthur Rackham (1867–1939). The cover image at the top of this page is from the same source.
Some of the Legends are funny; some are not. Some are so beyond-the-pale unfunny, one has to wonder about the target audience.
The author likes to split words across line breaks to facilitate rhymes:
Renown’d Father Dominic, famous for twisting dom-
estic and foreign necks all over Christendom;
And others (whose name should I try to repeat o-
ver, I’m well assured you would put in your veto),
I wish I’d poor Fuseli’s pencil, who ne’er I bel-
ieve was exceeded in painting the terrible,
Or that of Sir Joshua
Reynolds, who was so a-
droit in depicting it—vide his piece
Descriptive of Cardinal Beaufort’s decease
How glad I am that this book did not have to contend with Distributed Proofreaders!
The Latin words will rhyme if you remember that “New Style” pronunciation is many decades in the future: “case, he / in pace”, “Evasit! / phrase it”, “Imprimis / the time is” and so on. From the rhymes, we also learn that “Huzza” is pronounced “Huzzay”. (I never knew this.) And, finally, the adjective “jimp” is a Northern dialectal word meaning slim, delicate, graceful and so on.
The Ingoldsby Legends, by that name, were published as three volumes or “Series”: the First Series in early 1840, the Second in late 1842, and the Third—significantly shorter than the first two—in late 1847, after the author’s death. But as noted above, most pieces first appeared in assorted periodicals—especially Bentley’s Miscellany—under assorted umbrella titles. In rough chronological order:
“Family Poetry” Nos. I-VII were published in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Monthly at a leisurely pace over the years 1831-35. That includes two that don’t seem to have made it into the books: No. I in Vol. 29 no. 4 (April 1831) with no title beyond “Family Poetry No. I”, and No. IV, “The Country Seat”, in Vol. 34 No. 5 (November 1833).
“Family Stories” and “County Legends” were each published in Bentley’s within a fairly short span: “Family Stories” I-X from February 1837 to November 1838; “County Legends” Nos. I-IV from August 1840 to July 1841.
Overlapping the two came “Golden Legend” Nos. I-VII, published in Bentley’s from April 1838 to January 1843. At least, some of them were. I don’t know what became of Nos. IV and V, if in fact they ever existed; they don’t appear in the book, and I couldn’t find them in Bentley’s. In the periodical, No. III, from July 1839, was followed after a long gap by No. 6 (really) in December 1840; after a still longer gap came No. VII in January 1843.
Finally, a few selections from the Third Series first appeared in The New Monthly Magazine and Humorist between 1843 and 1845.
The text of this ebook is based on the single-volume 1848 Scribner edition, supplemented by the Arthur Rackham illustrations described above. In addition to breaking it up into three parts, corresponding to its three “Series”, I have made two changes, or rather restorations.
First, since saving paper is not a concern, I have restored the verse formatting of the periodicals. In the book, short lines were printed two by two:
Hand in hand The Murderers stand
By one, by two, by three!
where the periodicals typically had
Hand in hand
The Murderers stand
By one, by two, by three!
And, second, I have restored the original “double quotes”.
Typographical errors are marked with and are listed again at the end of each chapter. The word “invisible” means that the letter or punctuation mark is missing, but there is an appropriately sized blank space. Unless otherwise noted, typographical errors—especially missing quotation marks—were corrected from the appropriate periodical.
MIRTH AND MARVELS
The Artists’ Edition
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY CRUIKSHANK, LEECH, AND TENNIEL
SCRIBNER AND WELFORD
My dear Sir,
You wish me to collect into a single volume certain rambling extracts from our family memoranda, many of which have already appeared in the pages of your Miscellany. At the same time you tell me that doubts are entertained in certain quarters as to the authenticity of their details.
Now with respect to their genuineness, the old oak chest, in which the originals are deposited, is not more familiar to my eyes than it is to your own; and if its contents have any value at all, it consists in the strict veracity of the facts they record.
To convince the most incredulous, I can only add, that should business—pleasure is out of the question—ever call them into the neighbourhood of Folkestone, let them take the high road from Canterbury to Dover till they reach the eastern extremity of Barham Downs. Here a beautiful green lane diverging abruptly to the right will carry them through the Oxenden plantations and the unpretending village of Denton, to the foot of a very respectable hill,—as hills go in this part of Europe. On reaching its summit let them look straight before them,—and if, among the hanging woods which crown the opposite side of the valley, they cannot distinguish an antiquated Manor-house of Elizabethan architecture, with its gable ends, stone stanchions, and tortuous chimneys rising above the surrounding trees, why—the sooner they procure a pair of Dollond’s patent spectacles the better.vi
If, on the contrary, they can manage to descry it, and, proceeding some five or six furlongs through the avenue, will ring at the Lodge gate,—they cannot mistake the stone lion with the Ingoldsby escutcheon (Ermine, a saltire engrailed Gules) in his paws,—they will be received with a hearty old English welcome.
The papers in question having been written by different parties, and at various periods, I have thought it advisable to reduce the more ancient of them into a comparatively modern phraseology, and to make my collateral ancestor, Father John especially, “deliver himself like a man of this world;” Mr. Maguire, indeed, is the only Gentleman who, in his account of the late Coronation, retains his own rich vernacular.
As to arrangement, I shall adopt the sentiment expressed by the Constable of Bourbon four centuries ago, teste Shakspeare, one which seems to become more fashionable every day,
“The Devil take all order!!—I’ll to the throng!”
Believe me to be,
My dear Sir,
Yours, most indubitably and immeasurably,
Jan. 20, 1840.
Each Series will have its own dedicatory essay. The one for the Second Series is dated December 1842; the third—published after the author’s death—November 1847.
a very respectable hill,—as hills go in this part of Europe
[Sounds like what Gilbert White would undoubtedly have called a towering peak.]
My dear Sir,
I should have replied sooner to your letter, but that the last three days in January are, as you are aware, always dedicated, at the Hall, to an especial battue, and the old house is full of shooting-jackets, shot-belts, and “double Joes.” Even the women wear percussion caps, and your favourite (?) Rover, who, you may remember, examined the calves of your legs with such suspicious curiosity at Christmas, is as pheasant-mad as if he were a biped, instead of being a genuine four-legged scion of the Blenheim breed. I have managed, however, to avail myself of a lucid interval in the general hallucination (how the rain did come down on Monday!), and as you tell me the excellent friend whom you are in the habit of styling “a Generous and Enlightened Public” has emptied your shelves of the first edition, and “asks for more,” why, I agree with you, it would be a want of respect to that very respectable personification, when furnishing him with a further supply, not to endeavour, at least, to amend my faults, which are few, and your own, which are more numerous. I have, therefore, gone to work con amore, supplying occasionally on my own part a deficient note, or elucidatory stanza, and on yours knocking out, without remorse, your superfluous i’s, and now and then eviscerating your colon.
My duty to your illustrious friend thus performed, I have viii a crow to pluck with him.—Why will he persist—as you tell me he does persist—in calling me by all sorts of names but those to which I am entitled by birth and baptism—my “Sponsorial and Patronymic appellations,” as Dr. Pangloss has it?—Mrs. Malaprop complains, and with justice, of an “assault upon her parts of speech,” but to attack one’s very existence—to deny that one is a person in esse, and scarcely to admit that one may be a person in posse, is tenfold cruelty;—“it is pressing to death, whipping, and hanging!”—let me entreat all such likewise to remember, that as Shakspeare beautifully expresses himself elsewhere—I give his words as quoted by a very worthy Baronet in a neighbouring county, when protesting against a defamatory placard at a general election—
“Who steals my purse steals stuff!—
’Twas mine—’tisn’t his—nor nobody else’s!
But he who runs away with my Good Name,
Robs me of what does not do him any good,
And makes me deuced poor ! !”1
In order utterly to squabash and demolish every gainsayer, I had thought, at one time, of asking my old and esteemed friend, Richard Lane, to crush them at once with his magic pencil, and to transmit my features to posterity, where all his works are sure to be “delivered according to the direction;” but the noble-looking profiles which he has recently executed of the Kemble family put me a little out of conceit of my own, while the undisguised amusement which my “Mephistopheles Eyebrow,” as he termed it, afforded him, in the “full face,” induced me to lay aside the design. Besides, my dear Sir, since, as has well been observed, “there never was a married man yet who had not somebody remarkably like him walking about town,” it is a thousand to one but my lineaments might, after all, out of sheer perverseness, be ascribed to any body rather than to the real owner. I have therefore sent you, instead thereof, a fair sketch of Tappington, taken ix from the Folkestone road (I tore it last night out of Julia Simpkinson’s album); get Gilks to make a woodcut of it. And now, if any miscreant (I use the word only in its primary and “Pickwickian” sense of “Unbeliever,”) ventures to throw any further doubt upon the matter, why, as Jack Cade’s friend says in the play, “There are the chimneys in my father’s house, and the bricks are alive at this day to testify it!”
“Why very well then—we hope here be truths!”
Heaven be with you, my dear Sir!—I was getting a little excited; but you, who are mild as the milk that dews the soft whisker of the new-weaned kitten, will forgive me when, wiping away the nascent moisture from my brow, I “pull in,” and subscribe myself.
Yours quite as much as his own,
Feb. 2, 1848.
1 A reading which seems most unaccountably to have escaped the researches of all modern Shakspearians, including the rival editors of the new and illustrated versions.
and your favourite (?) Rover
[I think this is the earliest I have seen “Rover” as a Generic Dog Name.]
I have, therefore, gone to work con amore
[“Con amore”, unlike “pro bono (publico)”, doesn’t necessarily mean the writer did it for free. It does mean he undertook the job voluntarily, without requiring heavy persuasion.]
but somehow the noble-looking profiles which he has recently executed
text has somewhow
Feb. 2, 1848.
[The author died in 1845. But I’m sure it made sense in 1848.]
|The Spectre of Tappington||1|
|The Nurse’s Story—The Hand of Glory||23|
|Patty Morgan the Milkmaid’s Story—“Look at the Clock”||30|
|Mrs. Botherby’s Story—The Leech of Folkestone||70|
|Legend of Hamilton Tighe||93|
|The Witches’ Frolic||97|
|Singular Passage in the Life of the Late Henry Harris, D.D.||112|
|The Jackdaw of Rheims||132|
|A Lay of St. Dunstan||136|
|A Lay of St. Gengulphus||147|
|The Lay of St. Odille||157|
|A Lay of St. Nicholas||164|
|The Lady Rohesia||172|
|Mr. Barney Maguire’s Account of the Coronation||183|
|The “Monstre” Balloon||186|
|Hon. Mr. Sucklethumbkin’s Story—The Execution||190|
|Some Account of a New Play||194|
|Mr. Peters’s Story—The Bagman’s Dog||203|
|xii Second Series.|
|The Black Mousquetaire||223|
|Sir Rupert the Fearless||244|
|The Merchant of Venice||254|
|The Ingoldsby Penance||286|
|Misadventures at Margate||326|
|The Smuggler’s Leap||331|
|Bloudie Jacke of Shrewsberrie||338|
|The Babes in the Wood||350|
|The Dead Drummer||356|
|A Row in an Omnibus (Box)||368|
|The Lay of St. Cuthbert||373|
|The Lay of St. Aloys||386|
|The Lay of the Old Woman Clothed in Grey||397|
|Raising the Devil||413|
|xii Third Series.|
|The Lord of Thoulouse||424|
|The Wedding-Day; or, the Buccaneer’s Curse||438|
|The Blasphemer’s Warning||453|
|The Brothers of Birchington||474|
|The Knight and the Lady||486|
|The Forlorn One||510|
|Jerry Jarvis’s Wig||511|
|Hermann; or, the Broken Spear||527|
|Hints for an Historical Play||529|
|As I Lay a-Thynkyng||545|
Yes, the Third Series winds up with several duplicate titles. There will also be some apparent duplicates in the Illustrations. But that’s because the story titles are generally used as figure captions, even when there is more than one.
[This makes it seem as if “Appendix” is a separate selection. It is simply the last part of “The Bagman’s Dog”.]
As I Lay a-Thynkyng 545
[In the main text it will always be spelled “a-thynkynge”.]
|The Spectre of Tappington||To face Title-page|
|The Hand of Glory||To face page 26|
|The Grey Dolphin||50|
|The Legend of Hamilton Tighe||96|
|The Witches’ Frolic||108|
|The Jackdaw of Rheims||134|
|A Lay of St. Gengulphus||150|
|A Lay of St. Nicholas||170|
|The Monstre Balloon||188|
|The Black Mousquetaire||242|
|Sir Rupert the Fearless||248|
|Sir Rupert the Fearless||252|
|The Merchant of Venice||262|
|The Ingoldsby Penance||296|
|xvi The Smuggler’s Leap||332|
|The Smuggler’s Leap||336|
|The Dead Drummer||358|
|The Lay of St. Cuthbert||380|
|The Lay of St. Medard||418|
|The Lay of St. Medard||420|
|Roberte de Byrchyngton||476|
The Dent & Dutton edition came with its own list of illustrations, divided into three categories: full-color plates, images with background tint, and line drawings. Page references are retained for completeness; all illustrations have been put as close as practicable to the text they refer to. The original frontispiece has been moved to its natural place in the text. The Pentacle (page 142) was omitted because it is essentially the same as the earlier edition.
|“Hey! up the chimney, lass! Hey after you!” (p. 108)||Frontispiece|
|There’s an old woman dwells upon Tappington Moor||26|
|To Tappington mill-dam||30|
|One kick!—it was but one!—but such a one||46|
|If Orpheus first produced the waltz||62|
|The little man had seated himself in the centre of the circle upon the large skull||94|
|If any one lied,—or if any one swore||140|
|A flood of brown-stout he was up to his knees in||148|
|And the maids cried “Good gracious, how very tenacious!”||160|
|These stiles sadly bothered Odille||162|
|What, indeed, could she do?||164|
|Into the bottomless pit he fell slap||174|
|The Duchess shed tears large as marrow-fat peas||184|
|He bounced up and down||202|
|Tumble out of their beds in affright||302|
|Wandering about and “Boo-hoo”-ing||358|
|Or making their court to their Polls and their Sues||364|
|The horn . . . Was blown with a loud twenty-trumpeter power||382|
|Witches and warlocks, ghosts, goblins and ghouls||396|
|Made one grasshopper spring to the door—and was gone!||412|
|But found nothing at all, save some carp—which they fried||480|
|Sir Thomas, her Lord, was stout of limb||488|
|A grand pas de deux Performed in the very first style by these two||508|
|When a score of ewes had brought in a reasonable profit||526|
|PRINTED WITH TINT|
|Then there was a pretty to-do, heads flew one way—arms and legs another||52|
|And there were gossips sitting there, By one, by two, by three||106|
|Heedless of grammar they all cried, “That’s him”||136|
|Peep’d through the key-hole, and—what saw he there?||144|
|He rescued a maid from the Dey of Algiers||206|
|Poor Blogg went on bobbing and ducking||216|
|They’d such very odd heads and such very odd tails||250|
|They came floating about him like so many prawns||254|
|How you’d frown Should a ladle-full fall on your crown||346|
|His first thought was to throw it into the pig-stye||504|
|We carved her initials||539|
|As I lay a-thynkynge, he rode upon his way||546|
|LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS IN THE TEXT|
|Around, and around, and around they go||vi|
|The fair Caroline||6|
|Whipped his long bony legs into them in a twinkling||13|
|Came close behind him, and with the flat side of the spade—||23|
|Hand in hand The murderers stand, By one, by two, by three!||25|
|The identical face of his poor defunct Wife!||37|
|“Gentlemen! Look at the Clock!!!”||39|
|He meditated a mighty draft||42|
|“Emmanuel Saddleton, truss up your points, and follow me!”||43|
|“Make much of your steed, Robert Shurland!”||54|
|He hated it like poison||61|
|Beckon’d the Cobbler with its wan right hand||65|
|A cow may yet be sometimes seen galloping like mad||74|
|Never was man more swiftly disrobed||92|
|The Coachman thinks he is driving Old Nick||98|
|Head-piece—Singular passage in the Life of the late Henry Harris, D.D.||116|
|Head-piece—The Jackdaw of Rheims||136|
|That little Jackdaw hops off with the ring||137|
|They can’t find the ring!||139|
|First the long beard from the chin they shear’d||153|
|Gaily the Lord Abbot smiled||171|
|In the pantry was the holy man discovered,—at his devotions||177|
|She did not mind death, but she could not stand pinching||187|
|The poor little page, too, himself got no quarter||189|
|Head-piece—Mr. Barney Maguire’s Account of the Coronation||191|
|Which made all the pious Church-Mission folks squall||199|
|A litter of five||211|
|He would then sally out in the streets for “a spree”||229|
|Grandville acted on it, and order’d his Tandem||245|
|Miss Una Von—something||257|
|She was borne off, but stuck, By the greatest good luck, In an oak-tree||259|
|They heard somebody crying, “Old Clo’!”||263|
|Head-piece—The Ingoldsby Penance||291|
|Subjecting his back To thump and to thwack||299|
|He puts his thumb unto his nose, and he spreads his fingers out!||314|
|Throughout that Entry dark doth roam Nell Cook’s unquiet Sprite||316|
|He look’d askew, and did eschew both stool, and bench, and chair||318|
|Squibb’d my pantaloons and stockings||320|
|Gave me—several slaps behind||321|
|A Frill like a fan had by no means been banish’d||323|
|“Ads cuss it! I’ve spoiled myself now by that ’ere nasty gusset!”||325|
|’Twas in Margate last July, I walked upon the pier||331|
|It’s very odd that Sailor-men should wear those things so loose||333|
|A Custom-house officer close by his side||338|
|“Yield thee! now yield thee, thou Smuggler Bill!”||340|
|Till “Battle Field” swarms like a Fair||351|
|The two Misses Tickler of Clapham Rise!||357|
|Head-piece—The Dead Drummer||362|
|To roost all that night on the murderer’s gibbet||372|
|Tail-piece—The Lay of St. Cuthbert||390|
|Bid the bandy-legg’d sexton go run for the May’r!||398|
|An “Old Woman clothed in grey”||403|
|He enlarged so, his shape seem’d approaching a sphere||415|
|The “natives” he found on the Red-Sea shore||424|
|In the midst sits the doctor||435|
|The soapy-tail’d sow||445|
|They dash’d up the hills, and they dash’d down the dales||462|
|Ledger in hand, straight “Auld Hornie” appears||482|
|Tail-piece—The Knight and the Lady||497|
|Sir Christopher Hatton he danced with grace||498|