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Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 104, April 22, 1893   By:

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Volume 104, April 22nd 1893

edited by Sir Francis Burnand


[Illustration: "The strange sea creatures which made their appearance."]

Two gentlemen of artistic and literary attainments, having studied the romances of VICTOR HUGO for the sake of being inspired by that Grand Old Master's style, determined to essay a "thriller" of most tragic type. These two single authors, Messrs. WYATT and ROSS, being rolled into one, wanted, like the Pickwickian Fat Boy, "to make our flesh creep." In their one volume Hugoesque romance, The Earth Girl , bound in pale grass green, with blood red title, they have most unequivocally succeeded. The heroine, The Earth Girl, who, at the last, is sent back whence she came, and so ends by being the "Earth to Earth" Girl, is named Terra ; she commences by being Terra Incognita , she is never Terra Firma , but her existence, in its consequences to all who come within her influence, is quite a reign of Terra . The authors are to be congratulated on not having yielded to a great temptation by styling their story The Earth Girl; or, Terra ra ra Boom! The scene is laid chiefly in the Island of Breke but to give too many details would spoil the intending reader's pleasure. So, as Hamlet observes, "Breke, Breke my heart, for I must hold my tongue!" The Earth Girl first sees the light, such as it is, in a cavern, and is brought up on raw eggs fresh from the sea bird's nest, uncooked herbs, and raw fish. No tea, coffee, milk, or liquors of any description, were within reach of this unhappy family of three, consisting of Pa, Ma, and the Infant Phenomenon. How they slaked their thirst is not clearly stated, unless a sort of aquarium, in which some amiable sharks reposed, was a fresh water tank. This wild girl was elegantly brought up, as far as their somewhat straitened circumstances would permit, for she learned songs and ballads, French, English, and the Norman patois of the Channel Islands. In these peculiar troglodytian surroundings she had never learned the use of parasol or umbrella, and was entirely ignorant of harp, piano, and the "use of the globes." Coming up out of the caves and breathing once more the upper air, we naturally find ourselves in higher society, and are introduced to a handsome old Peer, Lord Netherdale , who has two sons, the half brothers Royallet , one of whom gaily addresses his respected parent as "The Paladin of Paters," and is not at once locked up in Colney Hatch. The old Peer is as eccentric as he is handsome, and he takes up his residence on the Island of Breke, where "the fruit, the vegetables, the strange sea creatures" (odd fish?), "which made their appearance on his table," (this sounds as if the strange sea creatures walked in unasked. Queer place this Breke for a Breke fast party!) "pleased him." He was easily pleased. Then "he began to think the island cider preferable to Pommery. In short, the eccentric Peer fell in love with Breke." Well! he must have been an eccentric Peer to prefer Channel Island cider, even from the best orchards, to the '84, '80, and '74 the last still existing in some exceptionally favoured spots from the vinevards of Pommery. This eccentric nobleman on seeing the Island of Breke, observed the absence of a landing stage, and jocosely remarked to himself, "They're in want of a pier; I will fix myself there." And so he did. But of all that happened to him there and elsewhere, and to the Earth to Earth Girl, and to the two sons, is it not to be read by the purchaser in the book itself, which, the Baron is pleased to add, will well repay perusal, and will hold the reader's attention to the very last line. At least, this was its effect on the not always easily pleased.




I have seen your Play, and, since then, I have not seen any other like it. "When will I come again?" To see it twice within a week would be too ecstatic a joy for a dweller may I say a Liver in London, who is more at home as one of the Lights of Asia... Continue reading book >>

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