Jackanapes

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The thunder-clouds close o'er it, which when rent The earth is covered thick with other clay, Which her own clay shall cover, heaped and pent, Rider and horse:—friend, foe,—in one red burial blent. Their praise is hymn'd by loftier harps than mine: Yet one would I select from that proud throng, —to thee, to thousands, of whom each And one as all a ghastly gap did make In his own kind and kindred, whom to teach Forgetfulness were mercy for their sake; The Archangel's trump, not glory's, must awake Those whom they thirst for.

TWO Donkeys and the Geese lived on the Green, and all other residents of any social standing lived in houses round it. The houses had no names.

Everybody's address was "The Green," but the Postman and the people of the place knew where each family lived. As to the rest of the world, what has one to do with the rest of the world, when he is safe at home on his own Goose Green? Moreover, if a stranger did come on any lawful business, he might ask his way at the shop.

The Grey Goose and the big Miss Jessamine were the only elderly persons who kept their ages secret. Indeed, Miss Jessamine never mentioned any one's age, or recalled the exact year in which anything had happened. She said that she had been taught that it was bad manners to do so "in a mixed assembly. She never got farther than "last Michaelmas," "the Michaelmas before that," and "the Michaelmas before the Michaelmas before that. But she remembered the little Miss Jessamine, the Miss Jessamine with the "conspicuous" hair.

Her aunt, the big Miss Jessamine, said it was her only fault. The hair was clean, was abundant, was glossy, but do what you would with it, it never looked quite like other people's. And at church, after Saturday night's wash, it shone like the best brass fender after a Spring cleaning. In short, it was conspicuous, which does not become a young woman—especially in church.

Those were worrying times altogether, and the Green was used for strange purposes. A political meeting was held on it with the village Cobbler in the chair, and a speaker who came by stage coach from the town, where they had wrecked the baker's shops, and discussed the price of bread. They took him to the pond and tried to make him swim, which he could not do, and the whole affair was very disturbing to all quiet and peaceable fowls.

After which another man came, and preached sermons on the Green, and a great many people went to hear him; for those were "trying times," and folk ran hither and thither for comfort. And then what did they do but drill the ploughboys on the Green, to get them ready to fight the French, and teach them the goose-step! However, that came to an end at last, for Bony was sent to St. Helena, and the ploughboys were sent back to the plough. Everybody lived in fear of Bony in those days, especially the naughty children, who were kept in order during the day by threats of, "Bony shall have you," and who had nightmares about him in the dark.

They thought he was an Ogre in a cocked hat. The Grey Goose thought he was a Fox, and that all the men of England were going out in red coats to hunt him. It was no use to argue the point, for she had a very small head, and when one idea got into it there was no room for another. Besides, the Grey Goose never saw Bony, nor did the children, which rather spoilt the terror of him, so that the Black Captain became more effective as a Bogy with hardened offenders. The Grey Goose remembered his coming to the place perfectly.

What he came for she did not pretend to know. It was all part and parcel of the war and bad times. He was called the Black Captain, partly because of himself, and partly because of his wonderful black mare. Strange stories were afloat of how far and fast that mare could go, when her master's hand was on her mane and he whispered in her ear. But that, of course, made him none the less useful to the Johnson's Nurse, when the little Miss Johnsons were naughty. But he did not call for Miss Jane that time. He went on to the Green, where he came so suddenly upon the eldest Master Johnson, sitting in a puddle on purpose, in his new nankeen skeleton suit, that the young gentleman thought judgement had overtaken him at last, and abandoned himself to the howlings of despair.

His howls were redoubled when he was clutched from behind and swung over the Black Captain's shoulder, but in five minutes his tears were stanched, and he was playing with the officer's accoutrements. All of which the Grey Goose saw with her own eyes, and heard afterwards that that bad boy had been whining to go back to the Black Captain ever since, which showed how hardened he was, and that nobody but Bonaparte himself could be expected to do him any good.

But those were "trying times. The big Miss Jessamine's objection to him was that he was a soldier, and this prejudice was shared by all the Green. Indeed, whilst our most peaceful citizens were prosperous chiefly by means of cotton, of sugar, and of the rise and fall of the money-market not to speak of such saleable matters as opium, firearms, and "black ivory" , disturbances were apt to arise in India, Africa, and other outlandish parts, where the fathers of our domestic race were making fortunes for their families.

And, for that matter, even on the Green, we did not wish the military to leave us in the lurch, so long as there was any fear that the French were coming. Her Aunt would not hear of it; and then, to crown all, it appeared that the Captain's father did not think the young lady good enough for his son. Never was any affair more clearly brought to a conclusion. But those were "trying times;" and one moonlight night, when the Grey Goose was sound asleep upon one leg, the Green was rudely shaken under her by the thud of a horse's feet. The horse had passed like a shot. But next day, there was hurrying and skurrying and cackling at a very early hour, all about the white house with the black beams, where Miss Jessamine lived.

And when the sun was so low, and the shadows so long on the grass that the Grey Goose felt ready to run away at the sight of her own neck, little Miss Jane Johnson, and her "particular friend" Clarinda, sat under the big oak-tree on the Green, and Jane pinched Clarinda's little finger till she found that she could keep a secret, and then she told her in confidence that she had heard from Nurse and Jemima that Miss Jessamine's niece had been a very naughty girl, and that that horrid wicked officer had come for her on his black horse, and carried her off right away.

Jackanapes

Next day Jane had heard more. A Gretna Green. Don't ask so many questions, child," said Jane; who, having no more to tell, gave herself airs. Jane was wrong on one point. Miss Jessamine's niece did come back, and she and her husband were forgiven. The Grey Goose remembered it well, it was Michaelmas-tide, the Michaelmas before the Michaelmas before the Michaelmas—but, ga, ga!

What does the date matter? It was autumn, harvest-time, and everybody was so busy prophesying and praying about the crops, that the young couple wandered through the lanes, and got blackberries for Miss Jessamine's celebrated crab and blackberry jam, and made guys of themselves with bryony-wreaths, and not a soul troubled his head about them, except the children, and the Postman. The children dogged the Black Captain's footsteps his bubble reputation as an Ogre having burst , clamouring for a ride on the black mare.

And the Postman would go somewhat out of his postal way to catch the Captain's dark eye, and show that he had not forgotten how to salute an officer. But they were "trying times. War and bad times! Black-Captain now , lived very economically that they might help their poorer neighbours. One day it was a day in the following June it came in earlier than usual, and the young lady was not there to meet it.

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But a crowd soon gathered round the George and Dragon , gaping to see the Mail Coach dressed with flowers and oak-leaves, and the guard wearing a laurel-wreath over and above his royal livery. The ribbons that decked the horses were stained and flecked with the warmth and foam of the pace at which they had come, for they had pressed on with the news of Victory. Miss Jessamine was sitting with her niece under the oak-tree on the Green, when the Postman put a newspaper silently into her hand. Her niece turned quickly— "Is there news? It had not been possible to make out a return of the killed and wounded when Major Percy left headquarters.

The names of the officers killed and wounded, as far as they can be collected, are annexed. Read the list! But Miss Jessamine did. Steadying her voice, as best she might, she read on, and the old soldier stood bare-headed to hear that first Roll of the Dead at Waterloo, which began with the Duke of Brunswick, and ended with Ensign Brown. There are killed and wounded by war, of whom no returns reach Downing Street. Three days later, the Captain's wife had joined him, and Miss Jessamine was kneeling by the cradle of their orphan son, a purple-red morsel of humanity, with conspicuously golden hair.

GOD bless my soul, ma'am! Look at him! The young Jackanapes! One word as to thy comparison of military and commercial persons. What manner of men be they who have supplied the Caffres with the firearms and ammunition to maintain their savage and deplorable wars?

Jackanapes dictionary definition | jackanapes defined

Assuredly they are not military. Cease then, if thou woulds't be counted among the just, to vilify soldiers. The grandest chapter of our experience, within the whole Mail Coach service, was on those occasions when we went down from London with the news of Victory. Five years of life it was worth paying down for the privilege of an outside place. And he wandered away and away With Nature, the dear old Nurse. THE Grey Goose remembered quite well the year that Jackanapes began to walk, for it was the year that the speckled hen for the first time in all her motherly life got out of patience when she was sitting.

She had been rather proud of the eggs—they were unusually large—but she never felt quite comfortable on them; and whether it was because she used to get cramp, and go off the nest, or because the season was bad, or what, she never could tell, but every egg was addled but one, and the one that did hatch gave her more trouble than any chick she had ever reared.

It was a fine, downy, bright yellow little thing, but it had a monstrous big nose and feet, and such an ungainly walk as she knew no other instance of in her well-bred and high-stepping family. And as to behaviour, it was not that it was either quarrelsome or moping, but simply unlike the rest. When the other chicks hopped and peeped on the Green about their mother's feet, this solitary yellow brat went waddling off on its own responsibility, and do or cluck what the speckled hen would, it went to play in the pond. Jackanapes had had the start of the Postman by nearly ten minutes.

The world—the round green world with an oak tree on it—was just becoming interesting to him. Now he was his own master, and might, by courage and energy, become the master of that delightful, downy, dumpty, yellow thing, that was bobbing along over the green grass in front of him. He aimed well, and grabbed it, but only to feel the delicious downiness and dumpiness slipping through his fingers as he fell upon his face. It was this oblique movement that enabled Jackanapes to come up with it, for it was bound for the Pond, and therefore obliged to come back into line.

He failed again from top-heaviness, and his prey escaped sideways as before, and, as before, lost ground in getting back to the direct road to the Pond. And at the Pond the Postman found them both, one yellow thing rocking safely on the ripples that lie beyond duck-weed, and the other washing his draggled frock with tears, because he too had tried to sit upon the Pond, and it wouldn't hold him. If studious, copie fair what time hath blurred, Redeem truth from his jawes; if souldier, Chase brave employments with a naked sword Throughout the world.

Fool not; for all may have, If they dare try, a glorious life, or grave. In brief, acquit thee bravely: play the man. Look not on pleasures as they come, but go. Defer not the least vertue: life's poore span Make not an ell, by trifling in thy woe. If thou do ill, the joy fades, not the pains. If well: the pain doth fade, the joy remains. Johnson, who was a mother of many, hardly knew which to pity more; Miss Jessamine for having her little ways and her antimacassars rumpled by a young Jackanapes; or the boy himself, for being brought up by an old maid.

Oddly enough, she would probably have pitied neither, had Jackanapes been a girl. One is so apt to think that what works smoothest works to the highest ends, having no patience for the results of friction. And the robuster virtues require some fresh air and freedom. As, on the other hand, Jackanapes who had a boy's full share of the little beast and the young monkey in his natural composition was none the worse, at his tender years, for learning some maidenliness—so far as maidenliness means decency, pity, unselfishness, and pretty behaviour.

And it is due to him to say that he was an obedient boy, and a boy whose word could be depended on, long before his grandfather the General came to live at the Green. He was obedient; that is he did what his great aunt told him. But—oh dear! It was when he had just been put into skeletons frocks never suited him that he became very friendly with Master Tony Johnson, a younger brother of the young gentleman who sat in the puddle on purpose.

Tony was not enterprising, and Jackanapes led him by the nose. One summer's evening they were out late, and Miss Jessamine was becoming anxious, when Jackanapes presented himself with a ghastly face all besmirched with tears. He was unusually subdued. Do you mean to tell me that you've been smoking? Only segars like Mr. If it could be possible that any "unpleasantness" could arise between two such amiable neighbours as Miss Jessamine and Mrs. Johnson—and if the still more incredible paradox can be that ladies may differ over a point on which they are agreed—that point was the admitted fact that Tony Johnson was "delicate," and the difference lay chiefly in this: Mrs.


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Johnson said that Tony was delicate—meaning that he was more finely strung, more sensitive, a properer subject for pampering and petting than Jackanapes, and that, consequently, Jackanapes was to blame for leading Tony into scrapes which resulted in his being chilled, frightened, or most frequently sick. But when Miss Jessamine said that Tony Johnson was delicate, she meant that he was more puling, less manly, and less healthily brought up than Jackanapes, who, when they got into mischief together, was certainly not to blame because his friend could not get wet, sit a kicking donkey, ride in the giddy-go-round, bear the noise of a cracker, or smoke brown paper with impunity, as he could.

Not that there was ever the slightest quarrel between the ladies. It never even came near it, except the day after Tony had been so very sick with riding Bucephalus in the giddy-go-round. Johnson understood Miss Jessamine to say, but it appeared that she only said "Treaclestick!

It was at the Fair that Tony was made ill by riding on Bucephalus. Once a year the Goose Green became the scene of a carnival.

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First of all, carts and caravans were rumbling up all along, day and night. The family used a collar and chain on their coat of arms, which was an unfortunate choice, as this was more associated with monkey leashes, leading to the derisive nickname Jack Napis for de la Pole, yielding the insult.

The same process and mis-analysis occurred for fustian of Naples, which became fustian a napes, fustian anapes, etc. Also attributed to the transition of the playing card 'Knave' to 'Jack' where both cards were associated with the idea of roguery. The 'Jack' became the ' Jack a napes ', derived from ' Jack a naipes ', ' naipes' being the Spanish for playing card.

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jackanapes

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