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1674 The Dutch Government obtains permission to entertain British Troops in its service 1
—— Ten Companies formed—the siege of Grave 2
—— The Fifth, and three other regiments, formed —
1676 Siege of Maastricht 3
1677 Battle of Mont-Cassel 7
1678 Battle of St. Denis —
1685 The Regiment proceeds to England 10
—— Returns to Holland 11
1688 Accompanies the Prince of Orange to England 12
—— Revolution—Placed on the English Establishment 14
1690 Proceeds to Ireland —
—— Battle of the Boyne 15
1691 Skirmish near Castle-Cuff, &c. —
—— Siege of Athlone 17
—— Siege of Limerick 18
—— Returns to England —
1692 Proceeds to Flanders —
—— Returns to England 19
1693 Expedition to Martinico —
—— Returns to England —
—— Proceeds to Flanders —
1695 Covering the siege of Namur 20
1697 Returns to England 22
1698 Proceeds to Ireland —
1707 Embarks for Portugal —
[vi] 1709 Battle of Caya 24
1710 Capture of Xeres de los Cabaleros 25
1713 Embarks for Gibraltar 27
1727 Defence of Gibraltar —
1728 Proceeds to Ireland 28
1735 Embarks for England —
1737 Returns to Ireland 29
1755 Proceeds to England —
1758 Expedition to the Coast of France—destruction of Shipping, &c., at St. Maloes —
—— Capture of Cherbourg, &c.—Returns to England 30
1760 Proceeds to Germany —
—— Skirmish at Corbach 31
—— Battle of Warbourg —
—— Surprise at Zirenberg 32
—— Skirmish at Campen —
1761 Battle of Kirch-Denkern —
—— Affair at Capelnhagen 33
—— Skirmish at Eimbeck —
—— Skirmish at Foorwohle —
1762 Battle of Groebenstien, &c. —
—— Skirmish at Lutterberg 36
—— Skirmish at Homburg —
—— Covering the siege of Cassel —
1763 Marches through Holland and embarks for England —
—— Proceeds to Ireland 37
1767 The "Order of Merit" introduced —
1771 Suppression of disturbances in Ireland 39
1774 Embarks for Boston in North America —
1775 Affair at Concord and Lexington 40
—— Attack on Bunker's Hill 42
1776 Embarks from Boston for Nova Scotia 44
—— Reduction of Long Island —
—— Action at White Plains 45
[vii] 1776 Capture of Forts Washington and Lee 45
—— Reduction of New Jersey —
1777 Expedition to Pennsylvania—actions at Brandywine Creek and Germantown 46
1778 Retreat through the Jerseys—skirmish at Freehold 48
—— Expedition to Little Egg Harbour —
—— Reduction of the Island of St. Lucie 49
—— The men equipped with White Plumes 51
1779} In various actions in the West Indies —
1780 Proceeds to England 51
1781 Embarks for Ireland 52
1787 Proceeds to Canada 54
1797 Returns to England 56
1799 Second battalion formed—both battalions embark for Holland —
—— Action at Walmenhuysen, Shoreldam, and Egmont-op-Zee 57
—— Action at Winkle 58
—— Returns to England —
1800 Proceeds to Gibraltar 59
1802 Returns to England—Second battalion disbanded —
1803 Proceeds to Guernsey —
1804 Returns to England—a Second battalion raised —
1805 Second battalion to Guernsey—First battalion embarks for Hanover —
1806 First battalion returns to England—embarks for South America 60
1807 Attack on Buenos Ayres —
—— Both battalions proceed to Ireland 61
1808 First battalion embarks for Portugal —
—— —————– Battle of Roleia 62
—— —————– Battle of Vimiera —
—— —————– Advances into Spain—Retreats to the coast 63
[viii] 1809 First battalion, battle of Corunna 63
—— —————— Returns to England—proceeds on the Walcheren expedition 64
—— First battalion returns to England 65
—— —————– Detachment at the battle of Talavera —
—— Second battalion from Ireland to Portugal —
1810 ——————– Battle of Busaco—Lines of Torres Vedras 66
—— First battalion proceeds from England to Ireland —
1811 Second battalion, affair at Redinha 67
—— ——————— Battle of Sabugal —
—— ——————— Battle of Fuentes d'Onor 68
—— ——————— Siege of Badajoz —
—— ——————— Action at El Bodon —
1812 ——————— Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo 74
—— ——————— Siege of Badajoz 76
—— First battalion from Ireland to Portugal 78
—— Both battalions at the battle of Salamanca —
—— —————— advance to Madrid 79
—— Chivalrous spirit of James Grant —
—— Second battalion proceeds to England 80
—— First battalion retreats from Madrid to Portugal —
1813 —————– Battle of Vittoria 81
—— —————– Battle of the Pyrenees 82
—— —————– Enters France—battle of Nivelle —
—— —————– Passage of the Nive —
1814 —————– Affair near the Gave d'Oleron 83
—— —————– Battle of Orthes —
—— —————– Battle of Toulouse —
—— —————– Embarks for North America 84
—— —————– Action near Plattsburg —
1815 —————– Proceeds from America to Flanders 85
—— —————– Advances to Paris —
—— —————– Forms part of the Army of Occupation in France —
[ix] 1818 First battalion proceeds to England 85
—— Reduced to one battalion in 1816 86
—— Proceeds to the West Indies —
1821 Reduced from ten to eight companies —
1824 Privilege of wearing a distinguishing feather confirmed 87
1825 Augmented from eight to ten companies —
1826 Embarks for England —
1827 Proceeds to Ireland 88
1829 To wear a red and white feather 90
1830 Good conduct during the Galway election 91
1831 Six companies embark for Gibraltar, and four companies remain in Ireland 95
1832 The "Order of Merit" sanctioned 96
1833 Colours destroyed by fire 97
1834 Service companies from Gibraltar to Malta 98
—— Facings changed to a lively green 99
1835 Correspondence relative to an additional banner 100
—— The reserve companies proceed to England 101
1836 Equipped as Fusiliers, and styled the Fifth Regiment of Foot, or Northumberland Fusiliers —
—— "Wilhelmsthal" inscribed on the Colours 102
—— New Colours presented to the regiment 103
1837 Service companies proceed to Corfu 106
—— The Conclusion
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The Fifth continued in Portugal, and was encamped during the summer of 1712 on the pleasant plains of the Tarra. In the autumn a suspension of hostilities was proclaimed at the camp by Major-General Pearce, and the regiment went into cantonments.


From Portugal, the regiment proceeded to Gibraltar, which fortress had been captured by an English and Dutch force in 1704, and was ceded to Great Britain in 1713 by the treaty of Utrecht, when the Earl of Portmore was appointed Governor; and the protection of the place was confided to the Fifth, Thirteenth, and Twentieth regiments. Here the regiment remained in garrison for a period of fifteen years; its establishment was 500 men, and it became as celebrated for its excellent conduct in time of peace, as it had been distinguished for its noble bearing and gallantry in war.


The crown of Spain had relinquished its claim on Gibraltar with reluctance, and having, towards the end of 1726, resolved to engage in a war with Great Britain, a Spanish army was assembled in Andalusia under the command of the Count de la Torres, to commence hostilities with the siege of this desirable entrepôt to the Mediterranean. This gave the Fifth another opportunity of signalizing itself, and of adding to its honours already acquired,—the proud distinction of a successful defence of this important conquest.


The preparations of the enemy were made upon a most extensive scale. Their troops were encamped before the place in January, 1727, the bringing up of cannon, mortars, and stores to the camp, occupied several weeks, and the heavy artillery was removed from the works at Cadiz and other fortified towns; at the same[28] time the whole disposable force, including part of the garrison of almost every town in Spain, was assembled to take part in the siege. The works having been commenced in February, before any declaration of war was made, and persisted in against the remonstrance of the Lieutenant-Governor, Colonel Jasper Clayton, a council of war of the commanding officers of regiments was assembled, and a determined opposition was resolved upon. On the 21st of February the garrison opened its fire on the besiegers, and from that day the storm of war raged round the rocks of Gibraltar with dreadful violence, increasing in fury until the roar of a hundred cannon and the fire of small arms became almost incessant in the day-time, and was partially continued throughout the night, with the most fatal effects to the Spaniards, whose loss was particularly great. This contest was continued with a few partial intermissions until many thousands of the besiegers had perished in the attempt; while the tremendous fire of the Spaniards had produced little effect beyond the bursting of many of their own cannon, and the enlarging of the touchholes of others so as to render them useless. In the early part of June the fire slackened, and on the 18th of that month hostilities ceased. Thus the ostentatious vaunts of Spain terminated in defeat and confusion.


The Fifth embarked from Gibraltar on the 12th of April, 1728, and proceeded to Ireland, in which country it remained seven years.


In September 1732, General Thomas Pearce, who had commanded the regiment for twenty-eight years, was removed to the Fifth Horse, now Fourth Dragoon Guards, and was succeeded by Colonel John (afterwards Sir John) Cope from the Thirty-ninth regiment.


The regiment left Ireland in 1735, and was stationed[29] in England in that and the following year; but in 1737 it again proceeded to Ireland. At the same time Colonel Cope was removed to the Ninth Dragoons, and the Colonelcy of the Fifth was conferred on Alexander Irwin.


A period of seventeen years was now passed by the regiment in Ireland, where it continued to retain its high state of discipline and efficiency, and preserved untarnished the laurels it had previously won.


After the decease of Colonel Irwin, in 1752, the command of the regiment was given to Charles Whiteford; who was succeeded on the 20th of August, 1754, by Lord George Bentinck.


In the spring of 1755, the regiment left Ireland, and was quartered in England; and in September of that year it had the honour to receive King George II. at Chelmsford, on his way from Harwich to London.


The regiment remained in the south of England during the two succeeding years; and in 1758, another war having broken out, it formed part of an expedition designed to effect the reduction of the maritime power of France, and to make a diversion in favour of the Hanoverians. It accordingly proceeded to the Isle of Wight,—the general rendezvous,—embarked at Cowes eight hundred and eighty-eight men strong on the 25th of May, and its grenadier company was the first to make good its landing on the coast of France on the evening of the 5th of June, when seven companies of French foot, and three troops of dragoons, were quickly dispersed. On the 7th the army advanced in two columns;—the Fifth, taking the main road to St. Maloes, encamped in the evening about a mile from the town, and after sunset furnished, in common with the other regiments, a detachment, which, proceeding to the harbour, set fire to the shipping, magazines, &c., when a grand yet dreadful[30] scene of conflagration presented itself. Having destroyed a valuable fleet and all the stores, the troops re-embarked and returned to England.
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In August of the same year, the Fifth was engaged in a second expedition to the coast of France, when Cherbourg was captured, and the harbour, forts, magazines, and ordnance, consisting of 173 pieces of iron cannon and 3 mortars, were destroyed: at the same time 22 pieces of fine brass cannon, and two brass mortars, were brought off as trophies, and sent to England; and these guns, having been seen by King George II. in Hyde Park on the 16th of September, were conducted in procession through the city to the Tower of London.

The Fifth was also engaged in the descent made on the coast of Brittany on the 4th of September, when the batteries in the bay of St. Lunaire were destroyed, and the troops, marching into the interior, crossed the Drouette and Equernon, and advanced to Matignon, while the fleet proceeded to the Bay of St. Cas; thus alarming the country with the view of producing the return of the French army from Germany. While the Fifth was in France, some sharp skirmishing occurred, and when the troops re-embarked at St. Cas, the enemy attacked the rear-guard and occasioned considerable loss. The loss of the Fifth in these three descents was ninety-five men. Towards the end of September the regiment landed at Cowes, and, having encamped a short period near Newport, went into quarters.


The decease of Lord George Bentinck having occurred in 1759, Studholme Hodgson was appointed to the Colonelcy of the Fifth, from the 50th regiment.


In the mean time the war was continued in Hanover and the neighbouring States, and the Fifth, having been ordered to proceed to Germany, embarked at Gravesend[31] on the 12th of May, 1760, and arrived in the Weser on the 22nd of that month. After landing near Bremen, the regiment marched up the country, and joined the allied army commanded by Ferdinand Duke of Brunswick, at Fritzlar in Hesse-Cassel, on the 17th of June; when the grenadier company was detached to form, with the grenadier companies of the other regiments, two Battalions, which, being united in Brigade with the Scots Highlanders, usually formed the advance-guard of the army.

The regiment, after being employed in several manœuvres, formed part of the corps commanded by the hereditary Prince of Brunswick, which marched on the 10th of July to take post on the heights of Corbach; but found the ground occupied by the enemy in force; when a sharp skirmish occurred in which the Fifth lost five men.[23]

Towards the end of July the regiment was encamped at Kalle. At 11 o'clock on the night of the 30th of that month it marched with the main army for Liebenau, and, having crossed the Dymel, advanced at five on the following morning to attack the enemy in his position on the heights of Warbourg.

The German corps and British grenadiers in advance having commenced the action, the French retired before the English infantry arrived. "No troops could show more eagerness than they showed. Many of the men, from the heat of the weather, and overstraining themselves to get on through morasses and difficult ground, suddenly dropped down on their march.[24]" The grenadier company of the Fifth, being in the column which [32]commenced the attack, highly distinguished itself[25], and had four men killed, and Captain Ross, Lieutenant Baker, and twenty-six men, wounded.

The regiment remained for some time encamped near Warbourg; and the grenadier company, being encamped on the heights of Wilda, was engaged, on the night of the 5th of September, in surprising a French force in the town of Zierenberg, which service was performed with distinguished gallantry and success. The grenadiers were afterwards detached to the Lower Rhine, and were engaged in the attempt to surprise the enemy's camp at Rheinberg on the morning of the 16th of October, when a sharp action was fought at the Convent of Campen, in which the company of the Fifth lost several men. In December the regiment left the camp at Warbourg, and went into cantonments in the villages on the bank of the Weser.


In February, 1761, it again advanced, and, having crossed the Dymel, proceeded through a deep snow into Hesse-Cassel, where it had great success in several actions with the enemy; but returned to its former quarters in March.

The regiment again took the field in June, forming part of the Marquis of Granby's corps, and, after some manœuvring and skirmishing, it was encamped upon the heights in front of Kirch-Denkern in the bishopric of Paderborn. This post was attacked on the 15th of July, and was defended by the British troops with admirable firmness and resolution, and eventually the enemy was driven back with great loss. The attack was renewed by the enemy on the following morning with great fury,[33] when the Fifth displayed its usual spirit and determination in the defence of its post; and, after five hours' sharp fighting, some disorder appearing in the enemy's ranks, the regiment advanced to the charge and routed the enemy; at the same time the grenadier battalion, of which the company of the Fifth formed a part, took prisoners the regiment of Rouge (formerly Belsunce) with its cannon and colours. The Fifth lost in this action, Lieutenant Lillewood, 2 serjeants, and 9 men killed; also two officers, 5 serjeants, and 12 men wounded.
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During the stay of the Fifth in Ireland it was frequently engaged in the service of the revenue; and also in suppressing the outrageous proceedings of bands of armed peasantry called Whiteboys, Hearts of Steel, and Hearts of Oak, and particularly against the latter in 1772, at and near Guildford in the north, where the house of Richard Johnson, Esquire, was attacked and reduced to ashes, and a clergyman, the Rev. Mr. Meroll, was barbarously murdered by these misguided insurgents.


The regiment remained in Ireland until the unfortunate misunderstanding between Great Britain and her North American Colonies assumed an aspect so formidable, that it was deemed necessary to send additional forces to that country. The Fifth was one of the corps selected to proceed on this service; and, having embarked at Monkstown near Cork on the 7th of May,[40] 1774, it landed in the beginning of July at Boston, the capital of the state of Massachusetts, which had recently been the scene of violence and outrage, particularly of the destruction of an immense consignment of Tea by the provincials. After landing, the regiment was encamped near the town for some time; a body of troops was assembled at this place under the Governor of the province, General Gage, and several fortifications were constructed.


During the winter a determination to proceed to open resistance became general in the American States; they embodied a militia force, and in April 1775, a circumstance occurred which occasioned the display of these hostile designs. The occasion was the collection of some military stores at Concord, in Middlesex county, about eighteen miles from Boston; when General Gage sent the grenadiers and light infantry, including the companies of the Fifth, under the orders of Colonel Smith, to destroy those stores. This detachment embarked in boats on the evening of the 18th of April, and, having proceeded a short distance up Charles river, landed on the marshes of Cambridge and proceeded to the village of Lexington, where it arrived at day-break and found a company of the militia formed up near the entrance of the town. These men were ordered to lay down their arms, but they did not comply; some desultory firing immediately occurred, which was followed by a volley from the troops which laid ten of the militia dead upon the spot, wounded several others, and dispersed the remainder: thus was the first blood drawn in this unhappy contest. After this skirmish, the troops continued their march to Concord, detaching six Light Infantry companies to take possession of the bridges beyond the town, while the remainder of the detachment effected[41] the destruction of the military stores. In the mean time the country had been alarmed by the firing of guns and the ringing of bells: and a division of provincial militia was seen advancing towards the bridges, but they avoided committing any hostile act until the light infantry companies had killed two men, when the Americans instantly opened a sharp fire, and by their superior numbers forced the King's troops to retire. The country now appeared swarming with armed men, who fired on the troops on all sides, while numbers followed in their rear, and during the six miles' march from Concord to Lexington, skirmish succeeded skirmish, and a continued but irregular fire was sustained until the detachment had expended nearly all its ammunition. Fortunately it was met at Lexington by Earl Percy (Colonel of the Fifth), who had been sent forward to support the detachment with his brigade and two pieces of artillery, and his lordship after a short halt made dispositions for continuing the march to Boston[31]. But the moment the troops were in motion the attacks became more frequent and more violent than before, the Americans hovering in hundreds upon the rear and keeping up a sharp fire from houses, from behind walls, trees, and other coverts, on both sides of the road; yet the troops, displaying a steady and noble bearing, united with a high state of discipline and undaunted spirit, marched under all these difficulties, in perfect order, a distance of fifteen miles to Charlestown, where they arrived at sunset, quite exhausted from a march of[42] about thirty-five miles, on a hot day, and experiencing the extraordinary fatigues already mentioned. From Charlestown the troops crossed the river by the ferry to Boston, under cover of the fire of the men-of-war. The loss of the Fifth, in this day's skirmishes, was five men killed; with Lieutenant Thomas Baker, Lieutenant William Cox, Lieutenant Thomas Hawkshaw, and fifteen men wounded; also one man taken prisoner[32].

This affair was followed by the appearance of the whole province in arms;—an immense number of men invested Boston, where the King's troops were stationed, on the land side; and on the morning of the 17th of June, it was ascertained that they had constructed works on Bunker's Hill—a high ground beyond the river. A body of troops, of which the Fifth formed a part, was ordered to attack the heights; and this force, having embarked about noon, landed without opposition and formed up on some high ground near the shore. The enemy appearing resolved to defend this post, the ships of war opened their fire upon the works, while the King's troops, advancing under cover of the guns, went boldly to the attack; and commenced one of the most sanguinary actions on record. The Fifth, ever emulous of glory, was seen ascending the hill on the side next Charlestown with signal intrepidity, and bravely sustaining its ancient reputation. Captain Harris (afterwards the conqueror of the Mysore) while leading on the grenadier company, was severely wounded, and obliged to quit the field, but he had in Lieutenant Lord Rawdon (afterwards Marquis of Hastings) a successor in command, who emulated and equalled the intrepidity of his disabled captain. Eventually the troops were staggered by the resolute tenacity of the defence, and the superior numbers of the[43] enemy; yet, recovering, they appeared in a moment fired by a new ardour, and with fixed bayonets they went cheering forward with determined bravery and resolution,—encountering the Americans in close combat and driving them, after a sharp contest, out of the works. The King's troops were now established on Bunker's Hill, which they afterwards fortified and occupied in force. The loss of the Fifth was 22 men killed; Captain Harris, Captain Jackson, Captain Downes, Captain Marsden, Lieutenant M'Clintock, Lieutenant Croker, Ensign Charleton, Ensign Ballaguire, 10 Serjeants, 2 Drummers, and 116 rank and file wounded[33]. General Burgoyne, in a letter written at the time to Lord Derby and subsequently published, says, in reference to Bunker's Hill, "The Fifth has behaved the best, and suffered the most[34]."
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I. The Start 9
II. Jimmieboy Receives His Orders 22
III. Major Blueface Tries To Assist 36
IV. Jimmieboy Meets The Enemy 51
V. The Major Returns 65
VI. The Corporal's Fairy Story 79
VII. A Disagreeable Personage 95
VIII. Arrangements For A Duel 108
IX. The Sprite's Story 122
X. The Major's Tale 135
XI. Planning A Visit 149
XII. In Fortyforefoot Valley 162
XIII. The Rescue 176
XIV. Home Again 192


In Camp With A Tin Soldier




Copyright, 1892.




open quote

BR-R-R-RUB-A-DUB-DUB! Br-r-r-rub-a-dub-a-dub-dub! Br-r-r-rub-adub-dub-a-dub-dub-a-dub-dub!"

"What's that?" cried Jimmieboy, rising from his pillow on the nursery couch, and looking about him, his eyes wide open with astonishment.

"What's what?" asked mamma, who was sitting near at hand, knitting a pair of socks for a small boy she knew who would shortly want them to keep his feet warm when he went off coasting with his papa.
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AS the noise made by the clattering hoofs of Major Blueface's horse grew fainter and fainter, and finally died away entirely in the distance, Jimmieboy was a little startled to hear something that sounded very like a hiss in the trees behind him. At first he thought it was the light breeze blowing through the branches, making the leaves rustle, but when it was repeated he stopped short in the road and glanced backward, grasping his sword as he did so.

"Hello there!" he cried. "Who are you, and what do you want?"

"Sh-sh-sh!" answered the mysterious something. "Don't talk so loud, general, the major may come back."

"What if he does?" said Jimmieboy. "I rather think I wish he would. I don't know whether or not I'm big enough not to be afraid of you. Can't you come out of the bushes and let me see you?"

[52] "Not unless the major is out of sight," was the answer. "I can't stand the major; but you needn't be afraid of me. I wouldn't hurt you for all the world. I'm the enemy."

"The what?" cried Jimmieboy, aghast.

"I'm the enemy," replied the invisible object. "That's what I call myself when I'm with sensible people. Other people have a long name for me that I never could pronounce or spell. I'm the animal that got away."

"Not the Parallelopipedon?" said Jimmieboy.

"That's it! That's the name I can't pronounce," said the invisible animal. "I'm the Parallelandsoforth, and I've been trying to have an interview with you ever since I heard they'd made you general. The fact is, Jimmieboy, I am very anxious that you should succeed in capturing me, because I don't like it out here very much. The fences are the toughest eating I ever had, and I actually sprained my wisdom-tooth at breakfast this morning trying to bite a brown stone ball off the top of a gate post."

"But if you feel that way," said Jimmieboy, somewhat surprised at this unusual occurrence, "why don't you surrender?"

"Me?" cried the Parallelopipedon. "A Parallelandsoforth of my standing surrender right on[53] the eve of a battle that means all the sweetmeats I can eat, and more too? I guess not."

"I wish I could see you," said Jimmieboy, earnestly. "I don't like standing here talking to a wee little voice with nothing to him. Why don't you come out here where I can see you?"

"It's for your good, Jimmieboy; that's why I stay in here. I am an awful spectacle. Why, it puts me all in a tremble just to look at myself; and if it affects me that way, just think how it would be with you."

"I wouldn't be afraid," said Jimmieboy, bravely.

"Yes, you would too," answered the Parallelopipedon. "You'd be so scared you couldn't run, I am so ugly. Didn't the major tell you that story about my reflection in the looking-glass?"

"No," answered Jimmieboy. "He didn't say anything about it."

"That's queer. The story is in rhyme, and the major always tells everybody all the poetry he knows," said the invisible enemy. "That's why I never go near him. He has only enough to last one year, and the second year he tells it all over again. I'm surprised he never told you about my reflection in the mirror, because it is one of[54] his worst, and he always likes them better than the others."

"I'll ask him to tell it to me next time I see him," said Jimmieboy, "unless you'll tell it to me now."

"I'd just as lief tell you," said the Parallelopipedon. "Only you mustn't laugh or cry, because you haven't time to laugh, and generals never cry. This is the way it goes:


The Parallelopipedon so very ugly is,

His own heart fills with terror when he looks upon his phiz.

That's why he wears blue goggles—twenty pairs upon his nose,

And never dares to show himself, no matter where he goes.

One day when he was walking down a crowded village street,

He looked into a little shop where stood a mirror neat.

He saw his own reflection there as plain as plain could be;

And said, 'I'd give four dollars if that really wasn't me.'

And, strange to say, the figure in the mirror's silver face

Was also filled with terror at the other's lack of grace;

And this reflection trembled till it strangely came to pass

The handsome mirror shivered to ten thousand bits of glass.

To this tale there's a moral, and that moral briefly is:

If you perchance are burdened with a terrifying phiz,

Don't look into your mirror—'tis a fearful risk to take—

'Tis certain sure to happen that the mirror it will break."
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"Well, if that's so, I guess I don't want to see you," said Jimmieboy. "I only like pretty things. But tell me; if all this is true, how did the major come to say it? I thought he couldn't tell the truth."

"That's only as a rule. Rules have exceptions. For instance," explained the Parallelopipedon, "as a rule I can't pronounce my name, but in reciting that poem to you I did speak my name in the very first line—but if you only knew how it hurt me to do it! Oh dear me, how it hurt! Did you ever have a tooth pulled?"

"Once," said Jimmieboy, wincing at the remembrance of his painful experience.

"Well, pronouncing my name is to me worse than having all my teeth pulled and then put back again, and except when I get hold of a fine general like you I never make the sacrifice," said the Parallelopipedon. "But tell me, Jimmieboy, you are out after preserved cherries and pickled peaches, I understand?"

"Yes," said Jimmieboy. "And powdered sugar, almonds, jam, and several other things that are large and elegant."

"Well, just let me tell you one thing," said the Parallelopipedon, confidentially. "I'm so sick of cherries and peaches that I run every time I see[56] them, and when I run there is no tin soldier or general of your size in the world that can catch me. Now what are we here for? I am here to be captured; you are here to capture me. To accomplish our various purposes we've got to begin right, and you might as well understand now as at any other time that you are beginning wrong."

"I don't know what else to do," said Jimmieboy. "I'm obeying orders. The colonel told me to get those things, and I supposed I ought to get 'em."

"It doesn't pay to suppose," said the Parallelopipedon. "Many a victory has been lost by a supposition. As that old idiot Major Blueface said once, when he tried to tell an untruth, and so hit the truth by mistake:

'Success always comes to

The mortal who knows,

And never to him who

Does naught but suppose.

For knowledge is certain,

While hypothesees

Oft drop defeat's curtain

On great victories.'"

"What are hypothesees?" asked Jimmieboy.

"They are ifs in words of four syllables," said the Parallelopipedon, "and you want to steer clear of them as much as you can."

[57] "I'll try to," said Jimmieboy. "But how am I to get knowledge instead of hypotheseeses? I have to take what people tell me. I don't know everything."

"Well, that's only natural," said the Parallelopipedon, kindly. "There are only two creatures about here that do know everything. They—between you and me—are me and myself. The others you meet here don't even begin to know everything, though they'll try to make you believe they do. Now I dare say that tin colonel of yours would try to make you believe that water is wet, and that fire is hot, and other things like that. Well, they are, but he doesn't know it. He only thinks it. He has put his hand into a pail of water and found out that it was wet, but he doesn't know why it is wet any more than he knows why fire is hot."

"Do you?" queried Jimmieboy.

"Certainly," returned the Parallelopipedon. "Water is wet because it is water, and fire is hot because it wouldn't be fire if it wasn't hot. Oh, it takes brains to know everything, Jimmieboy, and if there's one thing old Colonel Zinc hasn't got, it's brains. If you don't believe it, cut his head off some day and see for yourself. You won't find a whole brain in his head."

[58] "It must be nice to know everything," said Jimmieboy.

"It's pretty nice," said the Parallelopipedon, cautiously. "But it's not always the nicest thing in the world. If you are off on a long journey, for instance, it's awfully hard work to carry all you know along with you. It has given me a headache many a time, I can tell you. Sometimes I wish I did like your papa, and kept all I know in books instead of in my head. It's a great deal better to do things that way; then, when you go travelling, and have to take what you know along with you, you can just pack it up in a trunk and make the railroad people carry it."
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Old 08-06-2019
Froggy Froggy is offline
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1st Lieutenant
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 434

"Do you know what's going to happen to-morrow and the next day?" asked Jimmieboy, gazing in rapt admiration at the spot whence the voice proceeded.

"Yes, indeed. That's just where the great trouble comes in," answered the Parallelopipedon. "It isn't so much bother to know what has been—what everybody knows—but when you have to store up in your mind thousands and millions of things that aren't so now, but have got to be so some day, it's positively awful. Why, Jimmieboy," he said, impressively, "you'd[59] be terrified if I told you what is going to be known by the time you go to school; it's awful to think of all the things you will have to learn then that aren't things yet, but are going to be within a year or two. I'm real sorry for the little boys who will live a hundred years from now, when I think of all the history they will have to learn when they go to school—history that isn't made yet. Just take the Presidents of the United States, for instance. In George Washington's time it didn't take a boy five seconds to learn the list of Presidents; but think of that list to-day! Why, there are twenty-five names on it now, and more to come. It gets harder every year. Now I—I know the names of all the Presidents there's ever going to be, and it would take me just eighteen million nine hundred and sixty-seven years, eleven months and twenty-six days, four hours and twenty-eight minutes to tell you all of them, and even then I wouldn't be half through."

"Why, it's terrible," said Jimmieboy.

"Yes, indeed it is," returned the Parallelopipedon. "You ought to be glad you are a little boy now instead of having to wait until then. The boys of the year 19,605,726,422 are going to have the hardest time in the world learning things,[60] and I don't believe they'll get through going to school much before they're ninety years old."

"I guess the colonel is glad he doesn't know all that," said Jimmieboy, "if it's so hard to carry it around with you."

"Indeed he ought to be, if he isn't," ejaculated the Parallelopipedon. "There's no two ways about it; if he had the weight of one half of what I know on his shoulders, it would bend him in two and squash him into a piece of tin-foil."

"Say," said Jimmieboy, after a moment's pause. "I heard my papa say he thought I might be President of the United States some day. If you know all the names of the Presidents that are to come, tell me, will I be?"

"I don't remember any name like Jimmieboy on the list," said the Parallelopipedon; "but that doesn't prove anything. You might get elected on your last name. But don't let's talk about that—that's politics, and I don't like politics. What I want to know is, do you really want to capture me?"

"Yes, I do," said Jimmieboy.

"Then you'd better give up trying to get the peaches and cherries," said the Parallelopipedon, firmly. "I won't have 'em. You can shoot 'em at me at the rate of a can a minute for[61] ninety-seven years, and I'll never surrender. I hate 'em."

"But what am I to do, then?" queried the little general. "What must I do to capture you?"

"Get something in the place of the cherries and peaches that I like, that's all. Very simple matter, that."

"But I don't know what you like," said Jimmieboy. "I never took lunch with you."

"No—and you never will," answered the Parallelopipedon. "And for a very good reason. I never eat lunch, breakfast, tea, or supper. I never eat anything but dinner, and I eat that four times a day."

Jimmieboy laughed, half with mirth at the oddity of the Parallelopipedon's habit of eating, and half with the pleasure it gave him to think of what a delectable habit it was. Four dinners a day seemed to him to be the height of bliss, and he almost wished he too were a Parallelopipedon, that he might enjoy the same privilege.

"Don't you ever eat between meals?" he asked, after a minute of silence.

"Never," said the Parallelopipedon. "Never. There isn't time for it in the first place, and in the second there's never anything left between meals for me to eat. But if you had ever dined[62] with me you'd know mighty well what I like, for I always have the same thing at every single dinner—two platefuls of each thing. It's a fine plan, that of having the same dishes at every dinner, day after day. Your stomach always knows what to expect, and is ready for it, so you don't get cholera morbus. If you want me to, I'll tell you what I always have, and what you must get me before you can coax me back."

"Thank you," said Jimmieboy. "I'll be very much obliged."

And then the Parallelopipedon recited the following delicious bill of fare for the young general.


First bring on a spring mock-turtle

Stuffed with chestnuts roasted through,

Served in gravy; then a fertile

Steaming bowl of oyster stew.

Then about six dozen tartlets

Full of huckleberry jam,

Edges trimmed with juicy Bartletts—

Pears, these latter—then some ham.

Follow these with cauliflower,

Soaked in maple syrup sweet;

Then an apple large and sour,

And a rich red rosy beet.[63]

Then eight quarts of cream—vanilla

Is the flavor I like best—

Acts sublimely as a chiller,

Gives your fevered system rest.

After this a pint of coffee,

Forty jars of marmalade,

And a pound of peanut toffee,

Then a pumpkin pie—home-made.

Top this off with pickled salmon,

Cold roast beef, and eat it four

Times each day, and ghastly famine

Ne'er will enter at your door."
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Old 08-06-2019
Froggy Froggy is offline
Senior Member
1st Lieutenant
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 434

"H'm! h'm! h'm!" cried Jimmieboy, dancing up and down, and clapping his hands with delight at the very thought of such a meal. "Do you mean to say that you eat that four times a day?"

"Yes," said the Parallelopipedon, "I do. In fact, general, it is that that has made me what I am. I was originally a Parallelogram, and I ate that four times a day, and it kept doubling me up until I became six Parallelograms as I am to-day. Get me those things—enough of them to enable me to have 'em five times a day, and I surrender. Without them, I go on and stay escaped forever, and the longer I stay escaped, the worse it will be for these people who live about here, for I shall devastate the country. I shall[64] chew up all the mowing-machines in Pictureland. I'll bite the smoke-stack off every railway engine I encounter, and throw it into the smoking car, where it really belongs. I'll drink all the water in the wells. I'll pull up all the cellars by the roots; I may even go so far as to run down into your nursery, and gnaw into the wire that holds this picture country upon the wall, and let it drop into the water pitcher. But, oh dear, there's the major coming down the road!" he added, in a tone of alarm. "I must go, or he'll insist on telling me a poem. But remember what I say, my boy, and beware! I'll do all I threaten to do if you don't do what I tell you. Good-by!"

There was a slight rustling among the leaves, and the Parallelopipedon's voice died away as Major Blueface came galloping up astride of his panting, lather-covered steed.
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Old 08-06-2019
Froggy Froggy is offline
Senior Member
1st Lieutenant
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 434

This is the song that Jimmieboy heard:

"I would not be a man of peace,

Oh, no-ho-ho—not I;

But give me battles without cease;

Give me grim war with no release,

Or let me die-hi-hi.

I love the frightful things we eat

In times of war-or-or;

The biscuit tough, the granite meat,

And hard green apples are a treat

Which I adore-dor-dor.

I love the sound of roaring guns

Upon my e-e-ears,

I love in routs the lengthy runs,

I do not mind the stupid puns

Of dull-ull grenadiers.

I should not weep to lose a limb,

An arm, or thumb-bum-bum.

I laugh with glee to hear the zim

Of shells that make my chance seem slim

Of getting safe back hum.[81]

Just let me sniff gunpowder in

My nasal fee-a-ture,

And I will ever sing and grin.

To me sweet music is the din

Of war, you may be sure."
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