Sunday, January 13, 2013

Fragment 1212013

In chapter 19 Volume 2 of Herman Melville's Mardi, our travellers enter a catacomb housing a library. We are given a catalogue of titles, categorised, naturally:

Then there were plenty of rare old ballads:--
"King Kroko, and the Fisher Girl."
"The Fight at the Ford of Spears."
"The Song of the Skulls."

And brave old chronicles, that made Mohi's mouth water:--
"The Rise and Setting of the Dynasty of Foofoo."
"The Heroic History of the Noble Prince Dragoni; showing
how he killed ten Pinioned Prisoners with his Own Hand."
"The whole Pedigree of the King of Kandidee, with that of his
famous horse, Znorto."

And Tarantula books:--
"Sour Milk for the Young, by a Dairyman."
"The Devil adrift, by a Corsair."
"Grunts and Groans, by a Mad Boar."
"Stings, by a Scorpion."

And poetical productions:--
"Suffusions of a Lily in a Shower."
"Sonnet on the last Breath of an Ephemera."
"The Gad-fly, and Other Poems."

And metaphysical treatises:--
"Necessitarian not Predestinarian."
"Philosophical Necessity and Predestination One Thing and The
"Whatever is not, is."
"Whatever is, is not."

And scarce old memoirs:--
"The One Hundred Books of the Biography of the Great and
Good King Grandissimo."
"The Life of old Philo, the Philanthropist, in one Chapter."

And popular literature:--
"A most Sweet, Pleasant, and Unctuous Account of the Manner
in which Five-and-Forty Robbers were torn asunder by
Swiftly-Going Canoes."

And books by chiefs and nobles:--
"The Art of Making a Noise in Mardi."
"On the Proper Manner of Saluting a Bosom Friend."
"Letters from a Father to a Son, inculcating the Virtue of Vice."
"Pastorals by a Younger Son."
"A Catalogue of Chieftains who have been Authors, by a Chieftain,
who disdains to be deemed an Author."
"A Canto on a Cough caught by my Consort."
"The Philosophy of Honesty, by a late Lord, who died in disgrace."

And theological works:--
"Pepper for the Perverse."
"Pudding for the Pious."
"Pleas for Pardon."
"Pickles for the Persecuted."

And long and tedious romances with short and easy titles:--
"The Buck."
"The Belle."
"The King and the Cook, or the Cook and the King."

And books of voyages:--
"A Sojourn among the Anthropophagi, by One whose Hand was
eaten off at Tiffin among the Savages."
"Franko: its King, Court, and Tadpoles."
"Three Hours in Vivenza, containing a Full and Impartial Account
of that Whole Country: by a Subject of King Bello."

And works of nautical poets:--
"Sky-Sail-Pole Lyrics."

And divers brief books, with panic-striking titles:--
"Are you safe?"
"A Voice from Below."
"Hope for none."
"Fire for all."

And pamphlets by retired warriors:--
"On the Best Gravy for Wild Boar's Meat."
"Three Receipts for Bottling New Arrack."
"To Brown Bread Fruit without Burning."
"Advice to the Dyspeptic."
"On Starch for Tappa."

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