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- Once Aboard The Lugger - 1/75 -


ONCE ABOARD THE LUGGER--

THE HISTORY OF GEORGE AND HIS MARY

By

A. S. M. HUTCHINSON

CONTENTS.

The Author's Advertisement Of His Novel

BOOK I.

_Of George._

I. Excursions In A Garden II. Excursions In Melancholy III. Upon Modesty In Art: And Should Be Skipped IV. Excursions In A Hospital V. Upon Life: And May Be Missed VI. Magnificent Arrival Of A Heroine VII. Moving Passages With A Heroine VIII. Astonishing After-Effects Of A Heroine

BOOK II.

_Of his Mary._

I. Excursions In The Memory Of A Heroine II. Excursions In Vulgarity III. Excursions In The Mind Of A Heroine IV. Excursions In A Nursery V. Excursions At A Dinner-Table

BOOK III.

_Of Glimpses at a Period of this History: Of Love and of War._

I. Notes On The Building Of Bridges II. Excursions Beneath The Bridge III. Excursions In Love IV. Events And Sentiment Mixed In A Letter V. Beefsteak For 14 Palace Gardens VI. A Cab For 14 Palace Gardens

BOOK IV.

_In which this History begins to rattle._

I. The Author Meanders Upon The Enduring Hills; And The Reader Will Lose Nothing By Not Accompanying Him II. An Exquisite Balcony Scene; And Something About Sausages III. Alarums And Excursions By Night IV. Mr. Marrapit Takes A Nice Warm Bath V. Miss Porter Swallows A Particularly Large Sweet VI. The Girl Comes Near The Lugger

BOOK V.

_Of Mr. Marrapit upon the Rack: Of George in Torment._

I. Prosiness Upon Events: So Uneventful That It Should Be Skipped II. Margaret Fishes; Mary Prays III. Barley Water For Mr. Marrapit IV. The Rape Of The Rose V. Horror At Herons' Holt VI. A Detective At Herons' Holt VII. Terror At Dippleford Admiral VIII. Panic At Dippleford Admiral IX. Disaster At Temple Colney

BOOK VI.

_Of Paradise Lost and Found._

I. Mrs. Major Bids For Paradise II. Mrs. Major Finds The Lock III. Mrs. Major Gets The Key IV. George Has A Shot At Paradise V. Of Twin Cats: Of Ananias And Of Sapphira VI. Agony In Meath Street VII. Mr. William Wyvern In Meath Street VIII. Abishag The Shunamite In Meath Street IX. Excursions In A Newspaper Office X. A Perfectly Splendid Chapter

_Last Shots from the Bridge_

THE AUTHOR'S ADVERTISEMENT OF HIS NOVEL.

This book has its title from that dashing sentiment, "Once aboard the lugger and the girl is mine!" It is not to be read by those who in their novels would have the entertainment of characters that are brilliant or wealthy, noble of birth or admirable of spirit. Such have no place in this history. There is a single canon of novel-writing that we have sedulously kept before us in making this history, and that is the law which instructs the novelist to treat only of the manner of persons with whom he is well acquainted. Hence our characters are commonplace folks. We have the acquaintance of none other than commonplace persons, because none other than commonplace persons will have acquaintance with us.

And there are no problems in this history, nor is the reader to be tickled by any risks taken with nice deportment. This history may be kept upon shelves that are easily accessible. It is true that you will be invited to spend something of a night in a lady's bedroom, but the matter is carried through with circumspection and dispatch. There shall not be a blush.

Now, it is our purpose in this advertisement so clearly to give you the manner of our novel that without further waste of time you may forego the task of reading so little as a single chapter if you consider that manner likely to distress you. Hence something must be said touching the style.

We cannot see (to make a start) that the listener or the reader of a story should alone have the right to fidget as he listens or reads; to come and go at his pleasure; to interrupt at his convenience. Something of these privileges should be shared by the narrator; and in this history we have taken them. You may swing your legs or divert your attention as you read; but we too must be permitted to swing our legs and slide off upon matters that interest us, and that indirectly are relevant to the history. Life is not compounded solely of action. One cannot rush breathless from hour to hour. And, since the novel aims to ape life, the reader, if the aim be true, cannot rush breathless from page to page. We can at least warrant him he will not here.

These are the limitations of our history; and we admit them to be considerable. Upon the other hand, the print is beautifully clear.

* * * * *

As touching the title we have chosen, this was not come by at the cost of any labour. Taken, as we have told, from that dashing sentiment, "Once aboard the lugger and the girl is mine!" it is a label that might be applied to all novels. It is a generic title for all modern novels, since there is not one of these but in this form or that sets out the pursuit of his mistress by a man or his treatment of her when he has clapped her beneath hatches. This is a notable matter. The novelist writes under the influences and within the limitations of his age, and the modern novelist correctly mirrors modern life when he presents woman as for man's pursuit till he has her, and for what treatment he may will when he captures her. The position is deplorable, is productive of a million wrongs, and, happily, is slowly changing; but that it exists is clear upon the face of our social existence, and is even advertised between the sexes in love: "You are mine" the man says, and means it. "I am yours" the woman declares, and, fruit of generations of dependence, freely, almost involuntarily, gives herself.

But of this problem (upon which we could bore you to distraction) we are nothing concerned in our novel. Truly we offer you the pursuit of a girl; but my Mary would neither comprehend this matter nor wish to be other than her George's. From page 57 she waves to us; let us hurry along.

_.... Who so will stake his lot, Impelled thereto by nescience or whim, Cupidity or innocence or not, On Chance's colours, let men pray for him._ RALPH HODGSON.

BOOK I.

Of George.

CHAPTER I.

Excursions In A Garden.

I.


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