The Rivet in Grandfather s Neck - A Comedy of Limitations
388 pages
English

The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck - A Comedy of Limitations

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388 pages
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Project Gutenberg's The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck, by James Branch CabellThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck A Comedy of LimitationsAuthor: James Branch CabellRelease Date: November 11, 2003 [EBook #10041]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE RIVET IN GRANDFATHER'S NECK ***Produced by Suzanne Shell, Dave Morgan and PG Distributed ProofreadersTHE RIVET IN GRANDFATHER'S NECKA Comedy of LimitationsBYJAMES BRANCH CABELL"To this new South, who values her high past in chief, as fit foundation of that edifice whereon she labors day by day,and with augmenting strokes."1915TOPRISCILLA BRADLEY CABELL "Nightly I mark and praise, or great or small, Such stars as proudly struggle one by one To heaven's highest place, as Procyon, Antarês, Naös, Tejat and Nibal Attain supremacy, and proudly fall, Still glorious, and glitter, and are gone So very soon;—whilst steadfast and alone Polaris gleams, and is not changed at all. "Daily I find some gallant dream that ranges The heights of heaven; and as others do, I serve my dream until my dream estranges Its errant bondage, and I note anew That nothing dims, nor shakes, nor mars, nor changes, Fond faith in you and in my love of ...

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Publié le 08 décembre 2010
Nombre de lectures 34
Langue English

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Project Gutenberg's The Rivet in Grandfather's
Neck, by James Branch Cabell
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at
no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.
You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the
terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net
Title: The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck A Comedy of
Limitations
Author: James Branch Cabell
Release Date: November 11, 2003 [EBook #10041]
Language: English
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG
EBOOK THE RIVET IN GRANDFATHER'S NECK
***
Produced by Suzanne Shell, Dave Morgan and PG
Distributed ProofreadersTHE RIVET IN
GRANDFATHER'S NECK
A Comedy of Limitations
BY
JAMES BRANCH CABELL
"To this new South, who values her high past in
chief, as fit foundation of that edifice whereon she
labors day by day, and with augmenting strokes."
1915TO
PRISCILLA BRADLEY CABELL
"Nightly I mark and praise, or great or small,
Such stars as proudly struggle one by one
To heaven's highest place, as Procyon,
Antarês, Naös, Tejat and Nibal
Attain supremacy, and proudly fall,
Still glorious, and glitter, and are gone
So very soon;—whilst steadfast and alone
Polaris gleams, and is not changed at all.
"Daily I find some gallant dream that ranges
The heights of heaven; and as others do,
I serve my dream until my dream estranges
Its errant bondage, and I note anew
That nothing dims, nor shakes, nor mars, nor
changes,
Fond faith in you and in my love of you."CONTENTS
PART ONE - PROPINQUITY
PART TWO - RENASCENCE
PART THREE - TERTIUS
PART FOUR - APPRECIATION
PART FIVE - SOUVENIR
PART SIX - BYWAYS
PART SEVEN - YOKED
PART EIGHT - HARVEST
PART NINE - RELICS
PART TEN - IMPRIMIS
In the middle of the cupboard door was the carved
figure of a man…. He had goat's legs, little horns
on his head, and a long beard; the children in theroom called him, "Major-General-field-sergeant -
commander-Billy-goat's-legs" … He was always
looking at the table under the looking-glass where
stood a very pretty little shepherdess made of
china…. Close by her side stood a little chimney-
sweep, as black as coal and also made of china….
Near to them stood another figure…. He was an
old Chinaman who could nod his head, and used to
pretend he was the grandfather of the
shepherdess, although he could not prove it. He,
however, assumed authority over her, and
therefore when "Major-general-field-sergeant-
commander-Billy-goat's -legs" asked for the little
shepherdess to be his wife, he nodded his head to
show that he consented.
Then the little shepherdess cried, and looked at her
sweetheart, the chimney-sweep. "I must entreat
you," said she, "to go out with me into the wide
world, for we cannot stay here." … When the
chimney-sweep saw that she was quite firm, he
said, "My way is through the stove up the
chimney." … So at last they reached the top of the
chimney…. The sky with all its stars was over their
heads…. They could see for a very long distance
out into the wide world, and the poor little
shepherdess leaned her head on her chimney-
sweep's shoulder and wept. "This is too much," she
said, "the world is too large." … And so with a
great deal of trouble they climbed down the
chimney and peeped out…. There lay the old
Chinaman on the floor … broken into three
pieces…. "This is terrible," said the shepherdess.
"He can be riveted," said the chimney-sweep….The family had the Chinaman's back mended and
a strong rivet put through his neck; he looked as
good as new, but when "Major-General-field-
sergeant-commander-Billy-goat's-legs" again asked
for the shepherdess to be his wife, the old
Chinaman could no longer nod his head.
And so the little china people remained together
and were thankful for the rivet in grandfather's
neck, and continued to love each other until they
were broken to pieces.PART ONE - PROPINQUITY
"A singer, eh?… Well, well! but when he sings
Take jealous heed lest idiosyncrasies
Entinge and taint too deep his melodies;
See that his lute has no discordant strings
To harrow us; and let his vaporings
Be all of virtue and its victories,
And of man's best and noblest qualities,
And scenery, and flowers, and similar things.
"Thus bid our paymasters whose mutterings
Some few deride, and blithely link their rhymes
At random; and, as ever, on frail wings
Of wine-stained paper scribbled with such rhymes
Men mount to heaven, and loud laughter springs
From hell's midpit, whose fuel is such rhymes."
PAUL VERVILLE. Nascitur.I
At a very remote period, when editorials were
mostly devoted to discussion as to whether the
Democratic Convention (shortly to be held in
Chicago) would or would not declare in favor of bi-
metallism; when golf was a novel form of
recreation in America, and people disputed how to
pronounce its name, and pedestrians still turned to
stare after an automobile; when, according to the
fashion notes, "the godet skirts and huge sleeves
of the present modes" were already doomed to
extinction; when the baseball season had just
begun, and some of our people were discussing
the national game, and others the spectacular
burning of the old Pennsylvania Railway depot at
Thirty-third and Market Street in Philadelphia, and
yet others the significance of General Fitzhugh
Lee's recent appointment as consul-general to
Habana:—at this remote time, Lichfield talked of
nothing except the Pendomer divorce case.
And Colonel Rudolph Musgrave had very narrowly
escaped being named as the co-respondent. This
much, at least, all Lichfield knew when George
Pendomer—evincing unsuspected funds of
generosity—permitted his wife to secure a divorce
on the euphemistic grounds of "desertion." John
Charteris, acting as Rudolph Musgrave's friend,
had patched up this arrangement; and the colonel
and Mrs. Pendomer, so rumor ran, were to bemarried very quietly after a decent interval.
Remained only to deliberate whether this sop to
the conventions should be accepted as sufficient.
"At least," as Mrs. Ashmeade sagely observed, "we
can combine vituperation with common-sense, and
remember it is not the first time a Musgrave has
figured in an entanglement of the sort. A lecherous
race! proverbial flutterers of petticoats! His
surname convicts the man unheard and almost
excuses him. All of us feel that. And, moreover, it
is not as if the idiots had committed any
unpardonable sin, for they have kept out of the
newspapers."
Her friend seemed dubious, and hazarded
something concerning "the merest sense of
decency."
"In the name of the Prophet, figs! People—I mean
the people who count in Lichfield—are charitable
enough to ignore almost any crime which is just a
matter of common knowledge. In fact, they are
mildly grateful. It gives them something to talk
about. But when detraction is printed in the
morning paper you can't overlook it without
incurring the suspicion of being illiterate and
virtueless. That's Lichfield."
"But, Polly—"
"Sophist, don't I know my Lichfield? I know it
almost as well as I know Rudolph Musgrave. And
so I prophesy that he will not marry Clarice

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