Journeys to Bagdad

Charles S. Brooks
Journeys to Bagdad, by Charles
S. Brooks,

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Brooks, Illustrated by Allen Lewis
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Title: Journeys to Bagdad
Author: Charles S. Brooks

Release Date: December 12, 2006 [eBook #20095]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
E-text prepared by Barbara Tozier, Bill Tozier, and the Project
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Transcriber's note:
Words or phrases in italics are enclosed by underscores.
An underscore is also used in the chapter "Through the Scuttle with the
Tinman" in the equation a=(Dx/2T)f(a, b c T^3) to indicate that the "3"
is a subscript.

Illustrated with Original Wood-Cuts by Allen Lewis

Yale University Press New Haven Connecticut M D CCCC XV
Copyright, 1915, by Yale University Press First printed November,
1915, 1000 copies
The Yale University Press makes grateful acknowledgment to the
Editors of the Yale Review and of the New Republic for permission to
include in the present work essays of which they were the original

Journeys to Bagdad II. The Worst Edition of Shakespeare III. The
Decline of Night-Caps IV. Maps and Rabbit-Holes V. Tunes for Spring
VI. Respectfully Submitted--To a Mournful Air VII. The Chilly
Presence of Hard-headed Persons VIII. Hoopskirts and Other Lively
Matter IX. On Traveling X. Through the Scuttle with the Tinman


Are you of that elect who, at certain seasons of the year--perhaps in
March when there is timid promise of the spring or in the days of
October when there are winds across the earth and gorgeous panic of
fallen leaves--are you of that elect who, on such occasion or any
occasion else, feel stirrings in you to be quit of whatever prosy work is
yours, to throw down your book or ledger, or your measuring tape--if
such device marks your service--and to go forth into the world?
I do count myself of this elect. And I will name such stimuli as most set
these stirrings in me. And first of all there is a smell compounded out
of hemp and tar that works pleasantly to my undoing. Now it happens
that there is in this city, down by the river where it flows black with
city stain as though the toes of commerce had been washed therein, a
certain ship chandlery. It is filthy coming on the place, for there is reek
from the river and staleness from the shops--ancient whiffs no wise
enfeebled by their longevity, Nestors of their race with span of seventy
lusty summers. But these smells do not prevail within the chandlery. At

first you see nothing but rope. Besides clothesline and other such
familiar and domestic twistings, there are great cordages scarce
kinsmen to them, which will later put to sea and will whistle with shrill
enjoyment at their release. There are such hooks, swivels, blocks and
tackles, such confusion of ships' devices as would be enough for the
building of a sea tale. It may be fancied that here is Treasure Island
itself, shuffled and laid apart in bits like a puzzle-picture. (For genius,
maybe, is but a nimbleness of collocation of such hitherto unconsidered
trifles.) Then you will go aloft where sails are made, with sailormen
squatting about, bronzed fellows, rheumatic, all with pipes. And
through all this shop is the smell of hemp and tar.
In finer matters I have no nose. It is ridiculous, really, that this very
messenger and forerunner of myself, this trumpeter of my coming, this
bi-nasal fellow in the crow's-nest, should be so deficient. If smells were
bears, how often I would be bit! My nose may serve by way of
ornament or for the sniffing of the heavier odors, yet will fail in the
nice detection of the fainter waftings and olfactory ticklings. Yet how
will it dilate on the Odyssean smell of hemp and tar! And I have no
explanation of this, for I am no sailor. Indeed, at sea I am misery itself
whenever perchance "the ship goes wop (with a wiggle between)."
Such wistful glances have I cast upon the wide freedom of the decks
when I leave them on the perilous adventure of dinner! So this relish of
hemp and tar must be a legacy from a
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