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Chimney-Pot Papers   By: (1878-1934)

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First Page:

Chimney Pot Papers

by Charles S. Brooks.

Illustrated with wood cuts

by Fritz Endell.


New Haven: Yale University Press.

London: Humphrey Milford: Oxford University Press

Copyright, 1919, by Yale University Press.

First published, 1919. Second printing, 1920.

Publisher's Note:

The Yale University Press makes grateful acknowledgment to the Editors of the Unpopular Review and The Century Magazine for permission to include in the present volume, essays of which they were the original publishers.

To Minerva, my Wife.


I. The Chimney Pots 11

II. The Quest of the Lost Digamma 19

III. On a Rainy Morning 35

IV. "1917" 43

V. On Going Afoot 47

VI. On Livelihoods 68

VII. The Tread of the Friendly Giants 79

VIII. On Spending a Holiday 89

IX. Runaway Studies 109

X. On Turning into Forty 117

XI. On the Difference between Wit and Humor 128

XII. On Going to a Party 136

XIII. On a Pair of Leather Suspenders 146

XIV. Boots for Runaways 159

XV. On Hanging a Stocking at Christmas 169

The Chimney Pots.

My windows look across the roofs of the crowded city and my thoughts often take their suggestion from the life that is manifest at my neighbors' windows and on these roofs.

Across the way, one story lower than our own, there dwells "with his subsidiary parents" a little lad who has been ill for several weeks. After his household is up and dressed I regularly discover him in bed, with his books and toys piled about him. Sometimes his knees are raised to form a snowy mountain, and he leads his paper soldiers up the slope. Sometimes his kitten romps across the coverlet and pounces on his wriggling toes; and again sleeps on the sunny window sill. His book, by his rapt attention, must deal with far off islands and with waving cocoanut trees. Lately I have observed that a yellow drink is brought to him in the afternoon a delicious blend of eggs and milk and by the zest with which he licks the remainder from his lips, it is a prime favorite of his. In these last few days, however, I have seen the lad's nose flat and eager on the window, and I know that he is convalescent.

At another set of windows now that the days are growing short and there is need of lights I see in shadowgraph against the curtains an occasional domestic drama. Tonight, by the appearance of hurry and the shifting of garments, I surmise that there is preparation for a party. Presently, when the upstairs lights have disappeared, I shall see these folk below, issuing from their door in glossy raiment. My dear sir and madame, I wish you an agreeable dinner and if your tooth resembles mine ice cream for dessert.

The window of a kitchen, also, is opposite, and I often look on savory messes as they ripen on the fire a stirring with a long iron spoon. This spoon is of such unusual length that even if one supped with the devil (surely the fearful adage cannot apply to our quiet street) he might lift his food in safety from the common pot... Continue reading book >>

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