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There's Pippins and Cheese to Come

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Project Gutenberg's There's Pippins And Cheese To Come, by Charles S. BrooksThis 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: There's Pippins And Cheese To ComeAuthor: Charles S. BrooksRelease Date: November 8, 2003 [EBook #10023]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THERE'S PIPPINS AND CHEESE TO COME ***Produced by Ted Garvin, Josephine Paolucci and PG Distributed ProofreadersOther Books by the Same Author: "Journeys to Bagdad" Sixth printing. "Chimney-Pot Papers" Third printing."Hints to Pilgrims"THERE'S PIPPINSANDCHEESE TO COMEBYCHARLES S. BROOKS1917Illustrated by Theodore Diedricksen, Jr.TO MY FATHER AND MOTHERCONTENTSI. There's Pippins and Cheese to ComeII. On Buying Old BooksIII. Any Stick Will Do to Beat a DogIV. Roads of MorningV. The Man of Grub Street Comes from His GarretVI. Now that Spring is HereVII. The Friendly GeniiVIII. Mr. Pepys Sits in the PitIX. To an Unknown ReaderX. A Plague of All CowardsXI. The Asperities of the Early British ReviewersXII. The Pursuit of FireTHERE'S PIPPINS AND CHEESE TO COMEThere's Pippins and Cheese To ComeIn my noonday quest for food, if the day is fine, it is my habit to shun the nearer places of refreshment. I take the air andstretch myself. Like Eve's serpent I ...

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Project Gutenberg's There's Pippins And CheeseTo Come, by Charles S. BrooksThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere atno cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under theterms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.netTitle: There's Pippins And Cheese To ComeAuthor: Charles S. BrooksRelease Date: November 8, 2003 [EBook #10023]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERGEBOOK THERE'S PIPPINS AND CHEESE TOCOME ***Produced by Ted Garvin, Josephine Paolucci andPG Distributed ProofreadersOther Books by the Same Author:  "Journeys to Bagdad"
  Sixth printing.  "Chimney-Pot Papers"  Third printing."Hints to Pilgrims"
THERE'S PIPPINSANDCHEESE TO COMEBYCHARLES S. BROOKS1917Illustrated by Theodore Diedricksen, Jr.
TO MY FATHER AND MOTHER
CONTENTSI. There's Pippins and Cheese to ComeII. On Buying Old BooksIII. Any Stick Will Do to Beat a DogIV. Roads of MorningV. The Man of Grub Street Comes from His GarretVI. Now that Spring is HereVII. The Friendly GeniiVIII. Mr. Pepys Sits in the PitIX. To an Unknown ReaderX. A Plague of All CowardsXI. The Asperities of the Early British ReviewersXII. The Pursuit of Fire
THERE'S PIPPINS ANDCHEESE TO COMEThere's Pippins and Cheese To ComeIn my noonday quest for food, if the day is fine, it ismy habit to shun the nearer places of refreshment.I take the air and stretch myself. Like Eve'sserpent I go upright for a bit. Yet if time presses,there may be had next door a not unsavorystowage. A drinking bar is nearest to the streetwhere its polished brasses catch the eye. It holds agilded mirror to such red-faced nature as consortswithin. Yet you pass the bar and come upon arange of tables at the rear.Now, if you yield to the habits of the place youorder a rump of meat. Gravy lies about it like amoat around a castle, and if there is in you thezest for encounter, you attack it above thesemurky waters. "This castle hath a pleasant seat,"you cry, and charge upon it with pike advanced.But if your appetite is one to peck and mince, thewhiffs that breathe upon the place comeunwelcome to your nostrils. In no wise are they likethe sweet South upon your senses. There is evena suspicion in you—such is your distemper—that itis too much a witch's cauldron in the kitchen, "eye
of newt, and toe of frog," and you spy and pokeupon your food. Bus boys bear off the crockery asthough they were apprenticed to a juggler andwere only at the beginning of their art. Waitersbawl strange messages to the cook. It's a tongueunguessed by learning, yet sharp and potent. Also,there comes a riot from the kitchen, and steamissues from the door as though the devil himselfwere a partner and conducted here an upperbranch. Like the man in the old comedy, your bellymay still ring dinner, but the tinkle is faint. Suchbeing your state, you choose a daintier place toeat.Having now set upon a longer journey—the daybeing fine and the sidewalks thronged—you passby a restaurant that is but a few doors up thestreet. A fellow in a white coat flops pancakes inthe window. But even though the pancake does adouble somersault and there are twenty curiousnoses pressed against the glass, still you keepyour course uptown.Nor are you led off because a near-by stairwaybeckons you to a Chinese restaurant up above. Agolden dragon swings over the door. Its race hasfallen since its fire-breathing grandsire guarded thefruits of the Hesperides. Are not "soys" and "choumeins" and other such treasures of the East laidout above? And yet the dragon dozes at its postlike a sleepy dog. No flame leaps up its gullet. Theswish of its tail is stilled. If it wag at all, it's but infriendship or because a gust of wind has stirred itfrom its dreams.
I have wondered why Chinese restaurants aregenerally on the second story. A casual inquiryattests it. I know of one, it is true, on the groundlevel, yet here I suspect a special economy. Theplace had formerly been a German restaurant, withTeuton scrolls, "Ich Dien," and heraldries on itswalls. A frugal brush changed the decoration. Fromthe heart of a Prussian blazonry, there flares onyou in Chinese yellow a recommendation to try"Our Chicken Chop Soy." The quartering of theHouse of Hohenzollern wears a baldric in praise of"Subgum Noodle Warmein," which it seems theycook to an unusual delicacy. Even a wall painting ofRip Van Winkle bowling at tenpins in the mountainsis now set off with a pigtail. But the chairs wereDutch and remain as such. Generally, however,Chinese restaurants are on the second story.Probably there is a ritual from the ancient days ofMing Ti that Chinamen when they eat shall sit asnear as possible to the sacred moon.But hold a bit! In your haste up town to find a placeto eat, you are missing some of the finer sightsupon the way. In these windows that you pass, themerchants have set their choicest wares. If there isany commodity of softer gloss than common, orone shinier to the eye—so that your poverty fretsyou—it is displayed here. In the window of thehaberdasher, shirts—mere torsos with not a legbelow or head above—yet disport themselves ingay neckwear. Despite their dismemberment theyare tricked to the latest turn of fashion. Can vanitysurvive such general amputation? Then there ishope for immortality.
But by what sad chance have these blithe fellowsbeen disjointed? If a gloomy mood prevails in you—as might come from a bad turn of the market—you fancy that the evil daughter of Herodias stilllives around the corner, and that she has set outher victims to the general view. If there comes ahurdy-gurdy on the street and you cock your ear tothe tune of it, you may still hear the dancingmeasure of her wicked feet. Or it is possible thatthese are the kindred of Holofernes and that theyhave supped guiltily in their tents with a sisterhoodof Judiths.Or we may conceive—our thoughts running now tofood—that these gamesome creatures of thehaberdasher had dressed themselves for a morerecent banquet. Their black-tailed coats and glossyshirts attest a rare occasion. It was in holidaymood, when they were fresh-combed and perkedin their best, that they were cut off from life. Itwould appear that Jack Ketch the headsman gotthem when they were rubbed and shining for thefeast. We'll not squint upon his writ. It is enoughthat they were apprehended for some rascality.When he came thumping on his dreadfulsummons, here they were already set, fopped fromshoes to head in the newest whim. Spoon in handand bib across their knees—lest they fleck theircareful fronts—they waited for the anchovy tocome. And on a sudden they were cut off from life,unfit, unseasoned for the passage. Like the elderHamlet's brother, they were engaged upon an actthat had no relish of salvation in it. You may
remember the lamentable child somewhere inDickens, who because of an abrupt and distressingaccident, had a sandwich in its hand but no mouthto put it in. Or perhaps you recall the cook of theNancy Bell and his grievous end. The poor fellowwas stewed in his own stew-pot. It was the ElderlyNaval Man, you recall—the two of them being theship's sole survivors on the deserted island, andboth of them lean with hunger—it was the ElderlyNaval Man (the villain of the piece) who "ups withhis heels, and smothers his squeals in the scum ofthe boiling broth."And yet by looking on these torsos of thehaberdasher, one is not brought to thoughts of sadmortality. Their joy is so exultant. And all the thingsthat they hold dear—canes, gloves, silk hats, andthe newer garments on which fashion makes itstwaddle—are within reach of their armless sleeves.Had they fingers they would be smoothingthemselves before the glass. Their unbodiedheads, wherever they may be, are still smiling onthe world, despite their divorcement. Their tonguesare still ready with a jest, their lips still parted forthe anchovy to come.A few days since, as I was thinking—for so I ampleased to call my muddy stirrings—what mannerof essay I might write and how best to sort and layout the rummage, it happened pat to my needsthat I received from a friend a book entitled "TheCloset of Sir Kenelm Digby Knight Opened." Now,before it came I had got so far as to select a title.Indeed, I had written the title on seven different