divendres, 27 de novembre de 2015

SHADOWS OF THINGS IN AUTUMN DROWNED IN DROUGHT IN MISTS THAT NOT EXIST IN A COLD INDIAN SUMMER THAT PERSIST SEASON OF DEAD WASPS AND BEES OF FAST CARS AND HUMVEES OF RED APPLES AND NAKED TREES A SEASON THAT EVERYBODY BLESS OF RUNNING WATER IN A NAKED DRESS A SEASON IN WATER DISTRESS

Shadow Are Astray

Mortification of the innocent
The odious anger remains
This is the final funeral

Buried by the dust
The dust from an ancient soul
At a inverted crucifix
your blessed body shall rot

Your inner organs will be replaced by me
I use your body for my sickening science
My obscene autopsy of you
as I cut you limb by limb
Your body I sliced upon altar of my human
flesh pot art
I will slowly perverted get to work
on a cadaver that is as cold as ice
Your inner organs will be replaced by me
I use your body for my sickening science
My obscene autopsy of you
as I cut you limb by limb

Draining your substance
Tearing your soul apart
Your body soon will perish
into the void of outrageous art
I want you to enter my kingdom
of putrefaction and sickening deeds
as I call upon you my stillborn child
To slaughter is getting me high

Dismembered mind
It's a sickening crime
Death is astray
of my sick sadistic ways
Isn't life absurd

dimarts, 24 de novembre de 2015

E preciso confessar que a sociedade se transformou de unia maneira singular no espaço de meio século. Que cousas tão espantosas não teremos que vér dentro de outros cincoenta annos ! Apesar de que não devemos admirar-nos do que succede agora, porque me parece que foi sempre assim. . . Senão, vejamos.» Eu abaixo assignado, Honorato Régnard de edade de cincoenta e três annos, cónego regular da ordem de Santo Agostinho, e procurador da casa de Santa Catharina, declaro que o senhor Marais me encontrou em casa da S. Luiz na rua du Figuier, á qual fui hontem de motu próprio, para me divertir com a Félix. Primeiramente fil-a despir de todo, e comecei a apalpal-a com a mão envolvida na minha capa. «Hoje mesmo, antes de passar o presente, também estive na mesma casa a divertir-me com a dita Félix e com a Júlia, sua companheira, as quaes me tiraram os meus hábitos sacerdotaes, e me vestiram de mulher, pondo-me carmin e seios postiços. O senhor inspector encontrou-me n'este estado. «Declaro mais que já de ba muito tempo tinha este capricho, e que nunca o poude satisfazer até agora. «Em testemunho do que, assigno a presente declaração, que contém a expressão da verdade. de lá trouxeram mulheres, todos para destruição de suas casas, pela liberdade grande ...... públicas, que na velhice vieram a adoecer de algumas doenças incuráveis, ...História da prostituição, em todos os povos do mundo desde a mais remota antiguidade até aos nossos dias ... por Pedro Dufour, notavelmente ampliada e enriquecida com valiosos estudos por D. Amancio Peratoner e outros escriptores, e seguida de um importante trabalho sobre a Historia da prostituição em Portugal, desde os tempos mais obscuros da Lusitania até nossos dias «Engana-se, senhor poeta, não estamos dispostas a brincar. O caso é mais serio do que pensai» —«Ora vamos, dè-me a penna para escrever o que me pediu, porque tenho pressa.» —«iNós é que vamos escrever !» —«Aonde ?» —«Em pergaminho.» —«Não percebo ! . . . » —«Vae perceber não tarda nada. Deite os calções a baixo !» —«O que! Na sua presença, minhas senhoras?» —«Sim, senhor, não tem duvida!»

bispo d'Orleans, a quem a marqueza de 
Pompadour fez dar a folha dos 
benefícios : 

«A marqueza preferiu-o, por isso mesmo que o 
suppunha neutral em questões de politica, e por 
saber, graças á policia, que este prelado recebia 
raparigas da rua de Saint-Honoré, com as quaes 
celebrava orgias. Ha sempre uma 
analogia singular entre a amante de um rei e um prelado d'este género. 

— «Será possível, perguntava a marqueza ao 
chefe de policia, que o bispo 
fosse surprehendido com uma rapariga? 

— «Com uma? replicou o magistrado. Eram pelo menos sete!» 

Os espiões da policia conseguiram também 
descobrir as intrigas do bispo 
de Liége com a certeza Deschamps. 
Car son fils fier et brutal

Traile horriblemenl mal

La race américaine.



!
En amour,

Cest un tour

Trop precoce,

La nuit même des noces.

Mal en prend
Á Gusman

Qui, pour preuve

De foi chrétienne, en sa fin.

Legue a son assassin

Sa veuve

Começando pela origem e etymologia da palavra clássicos, diremos, que vem das classes, em que os cidadãos romanos estavam distribuidos na proporção de seus cabedaes. Aulo Gellio no liv. 7 cap. 13 das suas Noites Atticas nos informa, que: Classici dicehantur non omnes qui in classihas erant, sed prinim tantum classis homines, qici çentum et viginti quinqiie millia ceris amplius censi erant. Infra ciassem autem appellahantur ' secundou classis, cceterarumque omnium classium, qui minori summa ceris qiiam supra dixi censehanticr, D'onde se vê, que a primitiva significação da palavra clássicos foi para designar d' entre os cidadãos romanos os da 1* classe, que era o mesmo que dizer, os homens de mais conta na republica por seus cabedaes, etc. D'aqui por extensão se applicou o mesmo vocábulo para significar os escriptores, que na republica das letras se avantajam A história da civilização de um povo não é mais do que a história do seu progresso intellectual ; e n'ésla história é a da linguagem uma parte integrante, ou, para melhor dizer, essencial. Seguindo as differentes phases da cultura intellectual do povo porluguez, um povo de asnos e outros mais burros pôde a sua lingua considerar-se como tendo já passado por tres edades bem distinctas. A 1* comprehende desde a origem d'ella, desde a primeira combinação (Jc seus elementos até formar um syslema completo, unido e distincto de outro qualquer, aindaque derivado da mesma raiz. Extende-se desde os tempos anteriores á fundação da monarchia até aos fins do século XV, e pôde chamar-se edade ante-classica Chrestomathia classica da lingua portugueza by Antonio Maria Chaves e Mello Mas seja d'éstas qualquerque for a opinião, que se adopte acerca da etymologia da palavra clássicos, é certo, que esta expressão vem sempre a significar a mesma cousa, isto é, os auctores mais insignes na pureza da linguagem, na propriedade da plirase, e na elegância do estylo. É portanto claro, que uma nação não pode dar andores clássicos, emquanto for a sua civilização rude e pouco polida ; emquanto a vida social e o commércio dos homens forem limitados e empecidos; e não tiver chegado a um alto gráo de cultura a razão e o entendimento: porque s6 a par e de mistura com esta cultura da razão e do entendimento pode florecer e prosperar a linguagem, e ir ganhando, quanto lhe for possível, os dotes, de que depende a sua perfeição. Estes dotes consistem (como nos diz um insigne philologo de nossos dias) (3) em ser: 1° clara; 2° copiosa; 3° breve; 4° corrente e fluida; 5*" viva e versátil. Paraque na linguagem se de a clareza, cumpre: 1* que ás palavras se liguem sempre por todos noções fixas e bem tlekTiuinadaá; 2" que se \\\r o iíúíulto das significações de cuia um (l'aíiucll«»s vocábulos, que podom ler muitas; 3' que n'clla haja a maior rogularidadc possível na derivação c composição dos vocábulos, na synlaxo e collocação dos mesmos, c portanto nas inflexões dos vocábulos declináveis. É copiosa a linguagem, que não carece do cabedal de vocábulos necessário para os fins sobrediclos; e que, quando lhe falte, possa s:ippril-o antes do -seu próprio fundo, que recorrendo às linguas cxtranhas. Será breve, quando exprima o maior número de idéas pelo menor número de vocábulos. Corrente ou fluida, quando for de tão fácil pronunciar, que fatigue o menos possível o órgão oral de quem falia ; e os sons simplíces de cada palavra possam ser dislinctamente percebidos por quem ouve, depois de dislinctamente proferidos por quem falia. \iva, quando retractar com a maior viveza as imagens dos objectos, e com a maior sensibilidade os sentimentos do espirito; versátil, (piando tiver cabedal apto para todos os estvlos. Será pois clássico aquelle auclor, que, ou concorrer para elevar a sua lingua ao maior gráo de perfeição em cada um d'estes dotes, ou souber servir-se rectamente d'ella já aperfeiçoada, praclicando sem mancha nos seus escriptos (como dissemos) a pureza da linguagem, a propriedade da plirase e a elegância do estylo. X pureza da linguagem, para não usar de palavras ou extranhas á lingua, ou reprovadas pelo uso razoável ; e evitar assim os barbarisraos, archaismos e solecismos. A propriedade da phrase, para que cada idéa seja exprimida pela palavra ou phrase, que mais propriamente a representa,

aos outros assim no cabedal da sciencia, como no conhecimento o uso  da língua, em que escreviam  sentido o toma o mesmo Aulo gellio, quando
no liv. 19 cap. 8,  de certas questões grammaticaes,
diz: Quecrite an quadrigam et arenas dixerit
e cohorte illa diimtaxai antiquiorey vel oraíorum
aliquis, vel poetarum, id est, classicus assiduiisque aliquis
scriptor, non proletárias. E para cabal conhecimento
d'èstc logar de Aulo Gellio, lembremo-nos, que elle
já no liv. IG cap. 10 linha explicado, quaes eram os
assíduos e os proletários, dizendo: Assiduus in XII tahulis
pro locuplete et facile mxinus faciente, dictus ab
assihus, id est, core dando^ cum id ad têmpora reipuhlíco}
postularen-t: aut a muneris piro familiari copia
faciendi assiduilate. Prolelarii appellali sunt qui vero
nullo aut perquam parvo are censebantur . . . A munere
ofpcioqiie prolis edendw appellati sunt, quod cum
re familiari parva minus possent rempuhlicam juvar Cy
soholis tamen gignendx copia civitatem frequentarent,
etc.
Lá \êcm outros, que discordam d'csta explicação

divendres, 20 de novembre de 2015

SÃO MANTIMENTOS QUE AQUI ACODEM, POR CAUSA DAS MUITAS GENTES TRATANTES QUE SEMPRE ESTÃO NA CIDADE A BUSCAR E TRAZER MERCADORIAS A MAIOR CARREGAÇÃO DE MANTIMENTOS LHE VEM PELO MAR, EM GELVAS QUE SÃO BARCAS PEQUENAS E OS TRAZEM DA COSTA DA ARÁBIA FELIZ, QUE É A TERRA DO ABEXIM, DOS LUGARES DE BARBORA E ZEILA, QUE LHE VEM DA TERRA DENTRO, ONDE HÁ A MELHOR MANTEIGA, AZEITE DE ÁRVORES E GADO VIVO, QUE TRAZEM A VENDER A ADÉM, PELO QUE É MUITO ABUNDADA DE TODAS AS COUSAS. SÓMENTE NÃO TEM ÁGUA, QUE LHA TRAZEM EM ODRES E CAMELOS DE DENTRO DE TERRA PELO QUE CADA UM TEM EM SUAS CASAS TANQUES DE NAUS E GRANDES JARRAS EM QUE RECOLHE CADA UM A QUE HÁ MISTER , QUE TEM MUITA EM ABASTANÇA, PORQUE NÃO CUSTA MUITO O CARRETO Digo que sucedendo Diogo Lopes de Sequeira na governação da Índia (...), põs por obra o que Lopo Soares não quis acabar, seja, levar Mateus embaixador (...), ao pôrto de Maçuá, que é junto de Arquico, pôrto e terra do Preste João. E fêz sua grossa e formosa armada e caminhámos para o dito mar Roxo e chegámos à dita ilha de Maçuá segunda-feira das oitavas da Páscoa, 7 dias do mês de Abril do ano de 1520 no mar havia muitos arábios e abexins que de contínuo andavam nas naus del-Rei de Portugal e que os mouros levavam furtados os abexins de sua terra e os iam vender à Arábia e à Pérsia e ao Egipto e à Índia aos portugueses. E os portugueses onde tomavam mouros, acertavam tomar entre êles muitos abexins e logo os forram e vestem e tratam muito bem, porque sabe que são cristãos e que aí trazíamos a Jorge, língua , (...) que fôra tirado de cativo de poder de um mouro de Ormuz e tal houve aí que descavalgou da mula e fugiu com a barjuleta [bolsa de linhagem] na mão. Lopo da Gama e eu (...) fomos avante e chegámos a outro lugar (...). Alí choviam muitas pedras sôbre nós e o escuro era como não ter olhos e porque não me tirassem pelo sentir do andar da mula apeei-me (...). Quis Deus, que veio ter comigo um homem honrado (...) [e] mui grande (...) e tomou-me a cabeça debaixo de um braço, que eu não lhe chegava mais, e assim me levava como fole de gaiteiro .....eu sei esta terra melhor que nenhum natural dela(...)» Francisco Álvares, Verdadeira Informação... chegou um fidalgo da casa do Preste João, fêz-lhe o Barnagais tal recebimento e festa que nós lhe esquecemos.(...) Depois [da recepção ao fidalgo abexim] veio-se o Embaixador e nós com êle para falarmos ao Barnagais e êle nos despediu dizendo que pelo amor de Deus o deixássemos, que estava doente e quando vínhamos não nos deixavam entrar dizendo que dormia.»Ibd., p.67. 247 «Entrando em serrania não de altura, mas fundura, passámos parte da noite perdidos uns dos outros. (...) Na parte onde eu ia vimos fogo fora das valuras(...) parecia perto e era mais de duas léguas e, indo demandá-lo, seguiram-nos tantos tigres que não é cousa para crer e se chegávamos perto de algum mato, chegavam-se tanto a nós que com mão tente lhe puderam dar com uma lança. (...). [Para evitarem os felinos] Assim nos aposentámos no mais limpo que achámos no meio de uma lavoura e prendemos as mulas tôdas juntas e os companheiros por sua virtude me disseram:- Padre vós dormi que nós vigiaremos as mulas com as espadas nuas. E assim o fizeram.»Ibd., pp.112/113. 248 «Estando o Tigremahon [outro senhor local, do reino de Tigré] de caminho para outras terras, fomo-nos despedir dele, pedindo-lhe que nos mandasse dar bom aviamento para nosso caminho, e respondeu-nos a isto dizendo que a fazenda que levávamos para o Preste João, que êle a mandaria levar e a nossa fazenda (...) para nosso mantimento, que a mandássemos nós levar e com isto nos despediu(...).Vendo como não podíamos caminhar com tanto fato, acordámos mandar outra vez ao Tigremahon (...) e levaram-lhe certas peças, seja, um punhal rico e uma espada guarnecida de bainha de veludo e cabos dourados. Veio recado que nos levassem todo nosso fato, e nos dessem de comer em tôdas suas terras

  E logo ordenaram o presente que haviam de mandar ao Preste e não como el-Rei Nosso Senhor lho mandava por Duarte Galvão, porque já êste era desbaratado em Cochim por Lopo Soares, e o que agora levámos era assaz pobre e levámos por escusa que as peças que lhe traziam se perderam na nau Santo António que se perdeu (...)».E estas são as peças que levávamos ao Preste João: primeiramente uma espada rica, um rico punhal, quatro panos de armar , umas ricas couraças e um capacete e dois berços, quatro câmaras e certos pelouros, dois barris de pólvora, e um mapa-mundi e uns orgãos.»
esperando que nos mandariam chamar para falarmos ao Preste, êle partiu-se de caminho com sua côrte (...). Veio êste frade dizendo de sua parte se queríamos ir para onde se mudava el-Rei, que comprássemos mulas em que levássemos nosso fato, e, assim, dizendo ao Embaixador que se quisesse comprar e vender que o fizesse. Respondeu-lhe o Embaixador que não vinham para ser mercadores mas que vinham para servir a Deus e aos reis e ajuntar cristãos com cristãos

 E na noite que lá [no mosteiro de S. Miguel] ficaram e dormiram os nossos, não cessou Satanás de urdir suas teias e logo fêz haver brigas entre nossa gente e isto pelo Embaixador pôr em prática o que se havia e devia fazer por serviço de Deus e del-Rei e salvamento de nossa vidas e honras e um lhe responder que na companhia vinham homens, que não haviam de fazer o que lhe bem parecesse e nisto vieram às lançadas. Deus seja louvado nenhum se feriu. Tanto que fomos todos no mosteiro, fi-los logo amigos, repreendendo as tais palavras

Quando a embaixada portuguesa chega a Barúa, o Barnagais parte para a sede de outro concelho, Barra: «Pareceu-nos que a sua partida fôra por nos não agasalhar e alguns diziam que se fôra com dor de olhos.» Três dias depois o embaixador desloca-se com cinco companheiros e entre eles 
P.e Francisco, a Barra para se avistar com o Barnagais , mas a entrada na sua casa é-lhe impedida. No dia seguinte, após longa espera são chamados, mas são detidos por guardas com azorragues que lhe exigem pimenta e outra espera. Depois de ultrapassarem a primeira porta, são detidos esperam numa segunda até D. Rodrigo perder a paciência e declarar que ou entrava ou partiriam. 

Em o reyno de Angôt porto do reyno de Amharâ está outra lagoa, q chamão Hâic e poderão dar volta à roda em meio dia ou menos. 
Tem hua ilha em q está hu mosteiro e alguns frades e a Igreja de s. Estevão.Corre esta lagoa de Norte a Sul, tanto q pera lhe dar a volta dizem q he necessario quasi hu dia inteiro caminhando a bom passo; e he quasi tão larga como comprida. 
Tem no meio hua ilha pequena e nella hu mosteiro , em q estão alguns frades, q não lhes falta peixe porq o há aly em abundancia E dizem haver neste reino[de Adel] um grande lago como mar que não tem vista de cabo a cabo e dizem haver nele uma ilha em que em outro tempo um Preste João mandou frazer um mosteiro e pôs em êle muitos frades, pôsto que fôsse em terra de mouros. (...) e ora dizem êles (...) que lá foram , que os frades daquele mosteiro morreram quási todos de febres

E pois que, Senhor, é certo que assim neste cargo que levo, como em outra qualquer cousa que de vosso serviço for, Vossa Alteza há-de ser de mim muito bem servida, a Ela peço que, por me fazer singular mercê, mande vir da ilha de S. Tomé Jorge d'Osoiro, meu genro, o que d'Ela receberei em muita mercê. Beijo as mãos de Vossa Alteza. Deste Porto Seguro, da Vossa ilha de Vera Cruz, hoje, sexta-feira, primeiro dia de Maio de 1500. E, se algum pouco me alonguei, Ela me perdoe, que o desejo que tinha, de Vos tudo dizer, mo fez assim pôr pelo miúdo.Senhor Meu, Presidente desta República de Bananas: Posto que o Capitão-mor desta vossa frota, e assim os outros capitães escrevam a Vossa Alteza a nova do achamento desta vossa terra nova, que ora nesta navegação se achou, não deixarei também de dar disso minha conta a Vossa Alteza, assim como eu melhor puder, ainda que — para o bem contar e falar — o saiba pior que todos fazer... E assim seguimos nosso caminho, por este mar, de longo, até que, terça-feira das Oitavas de Páscoa, que foram 21 dias de abril, estando da dita Ilha obra de 660 ou 670 léguas, segundo os pilotos diziam, topamos alguns sinais de terra, os quais eram muita quantidade de ervas compridas, a que os mareantes chamam botelho, assim como outras a que dão o nome de rabo-de-asno. E quarta-feira seguinte, pela manhã, topamos aves a que chamam fura-buxos. Neste dia, a horas de véspera, houvemos vista de terra! Primeiramente dum grande monte, mui alto e redondo; e doutras serras mais baixas ao sul dele; e de terra chã, com grandes arvoredos: ao monte alto o capitão pôs nome – o Monte Pascoal e à terra – a Terra da Vera Cruz... Dali avistamos homens que andavam pela praia, obra de sete ou oito, segundo disseram os navios pequenos, por chegarem primeiro... Eram pardos, todos nus, sem coisa alguma que lhes cobrisse suas vergonhas. E por isso mereciam respeito Respect disse o capitão mor..

 Nas mãos traziam arcos com suas setas. Vinham todos rijos sobre o batel; e Nicolau Coelho lhes fez sinal que pousassem os arcos. E eles os pousaram. Ali não pôde deles haver fala, nem entendimento de proveito, por o mar quebrar na costa. Somente deu-lhes um barrete vermelho e uma carapuça de linho que levava na cabeça e um sombreiro preto. Um deles deu-lhe um sombreiro de penas de ave, compridas, com uma copazinha de penas vermelhas e pardas como de papagaio; e outro deu-lhe um ramal grande de continhas brancas, miúdas, que querem parecer de aljaveira, as quais peças creio que o Capitão manda a Vossa Alteza, e com isto se volveu às naus por ser tarde e não poder haver deles mais fala, por causa do mar. Na noite seguinte, ventou tanto sueste com chuvaceiros que fez caçar as naus, e especialmente a capitânia. E sexta pela manhã, às oito horas, pouco mais ou menos, por conselho dos pilotos, mandou o Capitão levantar âncoras e fazer vela; e fomos ao longo da costa, com os batéis e esquifes amarrados à popa na direção do norte, para ver se achávamos alguma abrigada e bom pouso, onde nos demorássemos, para tomar água e lenha. Não que nos minguasse, mas por aqui nos acertarmos. Quando fizemos vela, estariam já na praia assentados perto do rio obra de sessenta ou setenta homens que se haviam juntado ali poucos e poucos. Fomos de longo, e mandou o Capitão aos navios pequenos que seguissem mais chegados à terra e, se achassem pouso seguro para as naus, que amainassem. E, velejando nós pela costa, obra de dez léguas do sítio donde tínhamos levantado ferro, acharam os ditos navios pequenos um recife com um porto dentro, muito bom e muito seguro, com uma mui larga entrada. E meteram-se dentro e amainaram. As naus arribaram sobre eles; e um pouco antes do sol posto amainaram também, obra de uma légua do recife, e ancoraram em onze braças. E estando Afonso Lopes, nosso piloto, em um daqueles navios pequenos, por mandado do Capitão, por ser homem vivo e destro para isso, meteu-se logo no esquife a sondar o porto dentro; e tomou dois daqueles homens da terra, mancebos e de bons corpos, que estavam numa almadia. Um deles trazia um arco e seis ou sete setas; e na praia andavam muitos com seus arcos e setas; mas de nada lhes serviram. Trouxe-os logo, já de noite, ao Capitão, em cuja nau foram recebidos com muito prazer e festa. A feição deles é serem pardos, maneira de avermelhados, de bons rostos e bons narizes, bem-feitos. Andam nus, sem nenhuma cobertura. Nem estimam de cobrir ou de mostrar suas vergonhas; e nisso têm tanta inocência como em mostrar o rosto. Ambos traziam os beiços de baixo furados e metidos neles seus ossos brancos e verdadeiros, de comprimento duma mão travessa, da grossura dum fuso de algodão, agudos na ponta como um furador. Metemnos pela parte de dentro do beiço; e a parte que lhes fica entre o beiço e os dentes é feita como roque de xadrez, ali encaixado de tal sorte que não os molesta, nem os estorva no falar, no comer ou no beber. Os cabelos seus são corredios. E andavam tosquiados, de tosquia alta, mais que de sobrepente, de boa grandura e rapados até por cima das orelhas. E um deles trazia por baixo da solapa, de fonte a fonte para detrás, uma espécie de cabeleira de penas de ave amarelas, que seria do comprimento de um coto, mui basta e mui cerrada, que lhe cobria o toutiço e as orelhas. E andava pegada aos cabelos, pena e pena, com uma confeição branda como cera (mas não o era), de maneira que a cabeleira ficava mui redonda e mui basta, e mui igual, e não fazia míngua mais lavagem para a levantar. O Capitão, quando eles vieram, estava sentado em uma cadeira, bem vestido, com um colar de ouro mui grande ao pescoço, e aos pés uma alcatifa por estrado. Sancho de Tovar, Simão de Miranda, Nicolau Coelho, Aires Correia, e nós outros que aqui na nau com ele vamos, sentados no chão, pela alcatifa. Acenderam-se tochas. Entraram. Mas não fizeram sinal de cortesia, nem de falar ao Capitão nem a ninguém. Porém um deles pôs olho no colar do Capitão, e começou de acenar com a mão para a terra e depois para o colar, como que nos dizendo que ali havia ouro. Também olhou para um castiçal de prata e assim mesmo acenava para a terra e novamente para o castiçal como se lá também houvesse prata. Mostraram-lhes um papagaio pardo que o Capitão traz consigo; tomaram-no logo na mão e acenaram para a terra, como quem diz que os havia ali. Mostraram-lhes um carneiro: não fizeram caso. Mostraram-lhes uma galinha, quase tiveram medo dela: não lhe queriam pôr a mão; e depois a tomaram como que espantados. Deram-lhes ali de comer: pão e peixe cozido, confeitos, fartéis, mel e figos passados. Não quiseram comer quase nada daquilo; e, se alguma coisa provaram, logo a lançaram fora. Trouxeram-lhes vinho numa taça; mal lhe puseram a boca; não gostaram nada, nem quiseram mais. Trouxeram-lhes a água em uma albarrada. Não beberam. Mal a tomaram na boca, que lavaram, e logo a lançaram fora. Viu um deles umas contas de rosário, brancas; acenou que lhas dessem, folgou muito com elas, e lançou-as ao pescoço. Depois tirou-as e enrolou-as no braço e acenava para a terra e de novo para as contas e para o colar do Capitão, como dizendo que dariam ouro por aquilo. Isto tomávamos nós assim por assim o desejarmos. Mas se ele queria dizer que levaria as contas e mais o colar, isto não o queríamos nós entender, porque não lho havíamos de dar. E depois tornou as contas a quem lhas dera. Então estiraram-se de costas na alcatifa, a dormir, sem buscarem maneira de cobrirem suas vergonhas, as quais não eram fanadas; e as cabeleiras delas estavam bem rapadas e feitas. O Capitão lhes mandou pôr por baixo das cabeças seus coxins; e o da cabeleira esforçava-se por não a quebrar. E lançaram-lhes um manto por cima; e eles consentiram, quedaram-se e dormiram. Ao sábado pela manhã mandou o Capitão fazer vela, e fomos demandar a entrada, a qual era mui larga e alta de seis a sete braças. Entraram todas as naus dentro; e ancoraram em cinco ou seis braças – ancoragem dentro tão grande, tão formosa e tão segura, que podem abrigar-se nela mais de duzentos navios e naus. E tanto que as naus quedaram ancoradas, todos os capitães vieram a esta nau do Capitão-mor. E daqui mandou o Capitão a Nicolau Coelho e Bartolomeu Dias que fossem em terra e levassem aqueles dois homens e os deixassem ir com seu arco e setas, e isto depois que fez dar a cada um sua camisa nova, sua carapuça vermelha e um rosário de contas brancas de osso, que eles levaram nos braços, seus cascavéis e suas campainhas. E mandou com eles, para lá ficar, um mancebo degredado, criado de D. João Telo, a que chamam Afonso Ribeiro, para lá andar com eles e saber de seu viver e maneiras. E a mim mandou que fosse com Nicolau Coelho. Fomos assim de frecha direitos à praia. Ali acudiram logo obra de duzentos homens, todos nus, e com arcos e setas nas mãos. Aqueles que nós levávamos acenaram-lhes que se afastassem e pousassem os arcos; e eles os pousaram, mas não se afastaram muito. E mal pousaram os arcos, logo saíram os que nós levávamos, e o mancebo degredado com eles. E saídos não pararam mais; nem esperavam um pelo outro, mas antes corriam a quem mais corria. E passaram um rio que por ali corre, de água doce, de muita água que lhes dava pela braga; e outros muitos com eles. E foram assim correndo, além do rio, entre umas moitas de palmas onde estavam outros. Ali pararam. Entretanto foi-se o degredado com um homem que, logo ao sair do batel, o agasalhou e o levou até lá. Mas logo tornaram a nós; e com ele vieram os outros que nós leváramos, os quais vinham já nus e sem carapuças. Então se começaram de chegar muitos. Entravam pela beira do mar para os batéis, até que mais não podiam; traziam cabaços de água, e tomavam alguns barris que nós levávamos: enchiam-nos de água e traziam-nos aos batéis. Não que eles de todos chegassem à borda do batel. Mas junto a ele, lançavam os barris que nós tomávamos; e pediam que lhes dessem alguma coisa. Levava Nicolau Coelho cascavéis e manilhas. E a uns dava um cascavel, a outros uma manilha, de maneira que com aquele engodo quase nos queriam dar a mão. Davam-nos daqueles arcos e setas por sombreiros e carapuças de linho ou por qualquer coisa que homem lhes queria dar. Dali se partiram os outros dois mancebos, que os não vimos mais. Muitos deles ou quase a maior parte dos que andavam ali traziam aqueles bicos de osso nos beiços. E alguns, que andavam sem eles, tinham os beiços furados e nos buracos uns espelhos de pau, que pareciam espelhos de borracha; outros traziam três daqueles bicos, a saber, um no meio e os dois nos cabos. Aí andavam outros, quartejados de cores, a saber, metade deles da sua própria cor, e metade de tintura preta, a modos de azulada; e outros quartejados de escaques. Ali andavam entre eles três ou quatro moças, bem moças e bem gentis, com cabelos muito pretos, compridos pelas espáduas, e suas vergonhas tão altas, tão cerradinhas e tão limpas das cabeleiras que, de as muito bem olharmos, não tínhamos nenhuma vergonha. Ali por então não houve mais fala ou entendimento com eles, por a barbaria deles ser tamanha, que se não entendia nem ouvia ninguém. Acenamos-lhes que se fossem; assim o fizeram e passaram-se além do rio. Saíram três ou quatro homens nossos dos batéis, e encheram não sei quantos barris de água que nós levávamos e tornamonos às naus. Mas quando assim vínhamos, acenaram-nos que tornássemos. Tornamos e eles mandaram o degredado e não quiseram que ficasse lá com eles. Este levava uma bacia pequena e duas ou três carapuças vermelhas para lá as dar ao senhor, se o lá houvesse. Não cuidaram de lhe tomar nada, antes o mandaram com tudo. Mas então Bartolomeu Dias o fez outra vez tornar, ordenando que lhes desse aquilo. E ele tornou e o deu , à vista de nós, àquele que da primeira vez agasalhara. Logo voltou e nós trouxemo-lo. Esse que o agasalhou era já de idade, e andava por louçainha todo cheio de penas, pegadas pelo corpo, que parecia asseteado como S. Sebastião. Outros traziam carapuças de penas amarelas; outros, de vermelhas; e outros de verdes. E uma daquelas moças era toda tingida, de baixo a cima daquela tintura; e certo era tão bem-feita e tão redonda, e sua vergonha (que ela não tinha) tão graciosa, que a muitas mulheres da nossa terra, vendo-lhe tais feições, fizera vergonha, por não terem a sua como ela. Nenhum deles era fanado, mas, todos assim como nós. E com isto nos tornamos e eles foram-se. À tarde saiu o Capitão-mor em seu batel com todos nós outros e com os outros capitães das naus em seus batéis a folgar pela baía, em frente da praia. Mas ninguém saiu em terra, porque o Capitão o não quis, sem embargo de ninguém nela estar. Somente saiu — ele com todos nós — em um ilhéu grande, que na baía está e que na baixa-mar fica mui vazio. Porém é por toda a parte cercado de água, de sorte que ninguém lá pode ir, a não ser de barco ou a nado. Ali folgou ele e todos nós outros, bem uma hora e meia. E alguns marinheiros, que ali andavam com um chinchorro, pescaram peixe miúdo, não muito. Então volvemo-nos às naus, já bem de noite. Ao domingo de Pascoela pela manhã, determinou o Capitão de ir ouvir missa e pregação naquele ilhéu. Mandou a todos os capitães que se aprestassem nos batéis e fossem com ele. E assim foi feito. Mandou naquele ilhéu armar um esperavel, e dentro dele um altar mui bem corregido. E ali com todos nós outros fez dizer missa, a qual foi dita pelo padre frei Henrique, em voz entoada, e oficiada com aquela mesma voz pelos outros padres e sacerdotes, que todos eram ali. A qual missa, segundo meu parecer, foi ouvida por todos com muito prazer e devoção. Ali era com o Capitão a bandeira de Cristo, com que saiu de Belém, a qual esteve sempre levantada, da parte do Evangelho. Acabada a missa, desvestiu-se o padre e subiu a uma cadeira alta; e nós todos lançados por essa areia. E pregou uma solene e proveitosa pregação da história do Evangelho, ao fim da qual tratou da nossa vinda e do achamento desta terra, conformando-se com o sinal da Cruz, sob cuja obediência viemos, o que foi muito a propósito e fez muita devoção. Enquanto estivemos à missa e à pregação, seria na praia outra tanta gente, pouco mais ou menos como a de ontem, com seus arcos e setas, a qual andava folgando. E olhando-nos, sentaram-se. E, depois de acabada a missa, assentados nós à pregação, levantaram-se muitos deles, tangeram corno ou buzina, e começaram a saltar e dançar um pedaço. E alguns deles se metiam em almadias — duas ou três que aí tinham — as quais não são feitas como as que eu já vi; somente são três traves, atadas entre si. E ali se metiam quatro ou cinco, ou esses que queriam não se afastando quase nada da terra, senão enquanto podiam tomar pé. Acabada a pregação, voltou o Capitão, com todos nós, para os batéis, com nossa bandeira alta. Embarcamos e fomos todos em direção à terra para passarmos ao longo por onde eles estavam, indo, na dianteira, por ordem do Capitão, Bartolomeu Dias em seu esquife, com um pau de uma almadia que lhes o mar levara, para lho dar; e nós todos, obra de tiro de pedra, atrás dele. Como viram o esquife de Bartolomeu Dias, chegaram-se logo todos à água, metendo-se nela até onde mais podiam. Acenaram-lhes que pousassem os arcos; e muitos deles os iam logo pôr em terra; e outros não. Andava aí um que falava muito aos outros que se afastassem, mas não que a mim me parecesse que lhe tinham acatamento ou medo. Este que os assim andava afastando trazia seu arco e setas, e andava tinto de tintura vermelha pelos peitos, espáduas, quadris, coxas e pernas até baixo, mas os vazios com a barriga e estômago eram de sua própria cor. E a tintura era assim vermelha que a água a não comia nem desfazia, antes, quando saía da água, parecia mais vermelha. Saiu um homem do esquife de Bartolomeu Dias e andava entre eles, sem implicarem nada com ele para fazer-lhe mal. Antes lhe davam cabaças de água, e acenavam aos do esquife que saíssem em terra. Com isto se volveu Bartolomeu Dias ao Capitão; e viemo-nos às naus, a comer, tangendo gaitas e trombetas, sem lhes dar mais opressão. E eles tornaram-se a assentar na praia e assim por então ficaram. Neste ilhéu, onde fomos ouvir missa e pregação, a água espraia muito, deixando muita areia e muito cascalho a descoberto. Enquanto aí estávamos, foram alguns buscar marisco e apenas acharam alguns camarões grossos e curtos, entre os quais vinha um tão grande e tão grosso, como em nenhum tempo vi tamanho. Também acharam cascas de berbigões e amêijoas, mas não toparam com nenhuma peça inteira. E tanto que comemos, vieram logo todos os capitães a esta nau, por ordem do Capitão-mor, com os quais ele se apartou, e eu na companhia. E perguntou a todos se nos parecia bem mandar a nova do achamento desta terra a Vossa Alteza pelo navio dos mantimentos, para a melhor a mandar descobrir e saber dela mais do que nós agora podíamos saber, por irmos de nossa viagem. E entre muitas falas que no caso se fizeram, foi por todos ou a maior parte dito que seria muito bem. E nisto concluíram. E tanto que a conclusão foi tomada, perguntou mais se lhes parecia bem tomar aqui por força um par destes homens para os mandar a Vossa Alteza, deixando aqui por eles outros dois destes degredados. Sobre isto acordaram que não era necessário tomar por força homens, porque era geral costume dos que assim levavam por força para alguma parte dizerem que há ali de tudo quanto lhes perguntam; e que melhor e muito melhor informação da terra dariam dois homens destes degredados que aqui deixassem, do que eles dariam se os levassem, por ser gente que ninguém entende. Nem eles tão cedo aprenderiam a falar para o saberem tão bem dizer que muito melhor estoutros o não digam, quando Vossa Alteza cá mandar. E que, portanto, não cuidassem de aqui tomar ninguém por força nem de fazer escândalo, para de todo mais os amansar e apacificar, senão somente deixar aqui os dois degredados, quando daqui partíssemos. E assim, por melhor a todos parecer, ficou determinado. Acabado isto, disse o Capitão que fôssemos nos batéis em terra e ver-se-ia bem como era o rio, e também para folgarmos. Fomos todos nos batéis em terra, armados e a bandeira conosco. Eles andavam ali na praia, à boca do rio, para onde nós íamos; e, antes que chegássemos, pelo ensino que dantes tinham, puseram todos os arcos, e acenavam que saíssemos. Mas, tanto que os batéis puseram as proas em terra, passaramse logo todos além do rio, o qual não é mais largo que um jogo de mancal. E mal desembarcamos, alguns dos nossos passaram logo o rio, e meteram-se entre eles. Alguns aguardavam; outros afastavam-se. Era, porém, a coisa de maneira que todos andavam misturados. Eles ofereciam desses arcos com suas setas por sombreiros e carapuças de linho ou por qualquer coisa que lhes davam. Passaram além tantos dos nossos, e andavam assim misturados com eles, que eles se esquivavam e afastavam-se. E deles alguns iam-se para cima onde outros estavam. Então o Capitão fez que dois homens o tomassem ao colo, passou o rio, e fez tornar a todos. A gente que ali estava não seria mais que a costumada. E tanto que o Capitão fez tornar a todos, vieram a ele alguns daqueles, não porque o conhecessem por Senhor, pois me parece que não entendem, nem tomavam disso conhecimento, mas porque a gente nossa passava já para aquém do rio. Ali falavam e traziam muitos arcos e continhas daquelas já ditas, e resgatavam-nas por qualquer coisa, em tal maneira que os nossos trouxeram dali para as naus muitos arcos e setas e contas. Então tornou-se o Capitão aquém do rio, e logo acudiram muitos à beira dele. Ali veríeis galantes, pintados de preto e vermelho, e quartejados, assim nos corpos, como nas pernas, que, certo, pareciam bem assim. Também andavam, entre eles, quatro ou cinco mulheres moças, nuas como eles, que não pareciam mal. Entre elas andava uma com uma coxa, do joelho até o quadril, e a nádega, toda tinta daquela tintura preta; e o resto, tudo da sua própria cor. Outra trazia ambos os joelhos, com as curvas assim tintas, e também os colos dos pés; e suas vergonhas tão nuas e com tanta inocência descobertas, que nisso não havia nenhuma vergonha. Também andava aí outra mulher moça com um menino ou menina ao colo, atado com um pano (não sei de quê) aos peitos, de modo que apenas as perninhas lhe apareciam. Mas as pernas da mãe e o resto não traziam pano algum. Depois andou o Capitão para cima ao longo do rio, que corre sempre chegado à praia. Ali esperou um velho, que trazia na mão uma pá de almadia. Falava, enquanto o Capitão esteve com ele, perante nós todos, sem nunca ninguém o entender, nem ele a nós quantas coisas que lhe demandávamos acerca de ouro, que nós desejávamos saber se na terra havia. Trazia este velho o beiço tão furado, que lhe caberia pelo furo um grande dedo polegar, e metida nele uma pedra verde, ruim, que cerrava por fora esse buraco. O Capitão lha fez tirar. E ele não sei que diabo falava e ia com ela direito ao Capitão, para lha meter na boca. Estivemos sobre isso rindo um pouco; e então enfadou-se o Capitão e deixou-o. E um dos nossos deu-lhe pela pedra um sombreiro velho, não por ela valer alguma coisa, mas por amostra. Depois houve-a o Capitão, segundo creio, para, com as outras coisas, a mandar a Vossa Alteza. Andamos por aí vendo a ribeira, a qual é de muita água e muito boa. Ao longo dela há muitas palmas, não muito altas, em que há muito bons palmitos. Colhemos e comemos deles muitos. Então tornou-se o Capitão para baixo para a boca do rio, onde havíamos desembarcado. Além do rio, andavam muitos deles dançando e folgando, uns diante dos outros, sem se tomarem pelas mãos. E faziam-no bem. Passou-se então além do rio Diogo Dias, almoxarife que foi de Sacavém, que é homem gracioso e de prazer; e levou consigo um gaiteiro nosso com sua gaita. E meteu-se com eles a dançar, tomando-os pelas mãos; e eles folgavam e riam, e andavam com ele muito bem ao som da gaita. Depois de dançarem, fez-lhes ali, andando no chão, muitas voltas ligeiras, e salto real, de que eles se espantavam e riam e folgavam muito. E conquanto com aquilo muito os segurou e afagou, tomavam logo uma esquiveza como de animais monteses, e foram-se para cima. E então o Capitão passou o rio com todos nós outros, e fomos pela praia de longo, indo os batéis, assim, rente da terra. Fomos até uma lagoa grande de água doce, que está junto com a praia, porque toda aquela ribeira do mar é apaulada por cima e sai a água por muitos lugares. E depois de passarmos o rio, foram uns sete ou oito deles andar entre os marinheiros que se recolhiam aos batéis. E levaram dali um tubarão, que Bartolomeu Dias matou, lhes levou e lançou na praia. Bastará dizer-vos que até aqui, como quer que eles um pouco se amansassem, logo duma mão para outra se esquivavam, como pardais, do cevadoiro. Homem não lhes ousa falar de rijo para não se esquivarem mais; e tudo se passa como eles querem, para os bem amansar. O Capitão ao velho, com quem falou, deu uma carapuça vermelha. E com toda a fala que entre ambos se passou e com a carapuça que lhe deu, tanto que se apartou e começou de passar o rio, foise logo recatando e não quis mais tornar de lá para aquém. Os outros dois, que o Capitão teve nas naus, a que deu o que já disse, nunca mais aqui apareceram – do que tiro ser gente bestial, de pouco saber e por isso tão esquiva. Porém e com tudo isso andam muito bem curados e muito limpos. E naquilo me parece ainda mais que são como aves ou alimárias monteses, às quais faz o ar melhor pena e melhor cabelo que às mansas, porque os corpos seus são tão limpos, tão gordos e tão formosos, que não pode mais ser. Isto me faz presumir que não têm casas nem moradas a que se acolham, e o ar, a que se criam, os faz tais. Nem nós ainda até agora vimos nenhuma casa ou maneira delas. Mandou o Capitão aquele degredado Afonso Ribeiro, que se fosse outra vez com eles. Ele foi e andou lá um bom pedaço, mas à tarde tornou-se, que o fizeram eles vir e não o quiseram lá consentir. E deram-lhe arcos e setas; e não lhe tomaram nenhuma coisa do seu. Antes – disse ele – que um lhe tomara umas continhas amarelas, que levava, e fugia com elas, e ele se queixou e os outros foram logo após, e lhas tomaram e tornaram-lhas a dar; e então mandaram-no vir. Disse que não vira lá entre eles senão umas choupaninhas de rama verde e de fetos muito grandes, como de Entre Douro e Minho. E assim nos tornamos às naus, já quase noite, a dormir. À segunda-feira, depois de comer, saímos todos em terra a tomar água. Ali vieram então muitos, mas não tantos como as outras vezes. Já muito poucos traziam arcos. Estiveram assim um pouco afastados de nós; e depois pouco a pouco misturaram-se conosco. Abraçavam-nos e folgavam. E alguns deles se esquivavam logo. Ali davam alguns arcos por folhas de papel e por alguma carapucinha velha ou por qualquer coisa. Em tal maneira isto se passou, que bem vinte ou trinta pessoas das nossas se foram com eles, onde outros muitos estavam com moças e mulheres. E trouxeram de lá muitos arcos e barretes de penas de aves, deles verdes e deles amarelos, dos quais, creio, o Capitão há de mandar amostra a Vossa Alteza. E, segundo diziam esses que lá foram, folgavam com eles. Neste dia os vimos mais de perto e mais à nossa vontade, por andarmos quase todos misturados. Ali, alguns andavam daquelas tinturas quartejados; outros de metades; outros de tanta feição, como em panos de armar, e todos com os beiços furados, e muitos com os ossos neles, e outros sem ossos. Alguns traziam uns ouriços verdes, de árvores, que, na cor, queriam parecer de castanheiros, embora mais pequenos. E eram cheios duns grãos vermelhos pequenos, que, esmagando-os entre os dedos, faziam tintura muito vermelha, de que eles andavam tintos. E quanto mais se molhavam, tanto mais vermelhos ficavam. Todos andam rapados até cima das orelhas; e assim as sobrancelhas e pestanas. Trazem todos as testas, de fonte a fonte, tintas da tintura preta, que parece uma fita preta, da largura de dois dedos. E o Capitão mandou aquele degredado Afonso Ribeiro e a outros dois degredados, que fossem lá andar entre eles; e assim a Diogo Dias, por ser homem ledo, com que eles folgavam. Aos degredados mandou que ficassem lá esta noite. Foram-se lá todos, e andaram entre eles. E, segundo eles diziam, foram bem uma légua e meia a uma povoação, em que haveria nove ou dez casas, as quais eram tão compridas, cada uma, como esta nau capitânia. Eram de madeira, e das ilhargas de tábuas, e cobertas de palha, de razoada altura; todas duma só peça, sem nenhum repartimento, tinham dentro muitos esteios; e, de esteio a esteio, uma rede atada pelos cabos, alta, em que dormiam. Debaixo, para se aquentarem, faziam seus fogos. E tinha cada casa duas portas pequenas, uma num cabo, e outra no outro. Diziam que em cada casa se recolhiam trinta ou quarenta pessoas, e que assim os achavam; e que lhes davam de comer daquela vianda, que eles tinham, a saber, muito inhame e outras sementes, que na terra há e eles comem. Mas, quando se fez tarde fizeram-nos logo tornar a todos e não quiseram que lá ficasse nenhum. Ainda, segundo diziam, queriam vir com eles. Resgataram lá por cascavéis e por outras coisinhas de pouco valor, que levavam, papagaios vermelhos, muito grandes e formosos, e dois verdes pequeninos e carapuças de penas verdes, e um pano de penas de muitas cores, maneira de tecido assaz formoso, segundo Vossa Alteza todas estas coisas verá, porque o Capitão vo-las há de mandar, segundo ele disse. E com isto vieram; e nós tornámo-nos às naus. À terça-feira, depois de comer, fomos em terra dar guarda de lenha e lavar roupa. Estavam na praia, quando chegamos, obra de sessenta ou setenta sem arcos e sem nada. Tanto que chegamos, vieram logo para nós, sem se esquivarem. Depois acudiram muitos, que seriam bem duzentos, todos sem arcos; e misturaram-se todos tanto conosco que alguns nos ajudavam a acarretar lenha e a meter nos batéis. E lutavam com os nossos e tomavam muito prazer. Enquanto cortávamos a lenha, faziam dois carpinteiros uma grande Cruz, dum pau, que ontem para isso se cortou. Muitos deles vinham ali estar com os carpinteiros. E creio que o faziam mais por verem a ferramenta de ferro com que a faziam, do que por verem a Cruz, porque eles não tem coisa que de ferro seja, e cortam sua madeira e paus com pedras feitas como cunhas, metidas em um pau entre duas talas, mui bem atadas e por tal maneira que andam fortes, segundo diziam os homens, que ontem a suas casas foram, porque lhas viram lá. Era já a conversação deles conosco tanta, que quase nos estorvavam no que havíamos de fazer. O Capitão mandou a dois degredados e a Diogo Dias que fossem lá à aldeia (e aoutras, se houvessem novas delas) e que, em toda a maneira, não viessem dormir às naus, ainda que eles os mandassem. E assim se foram. Enquanto andávamos nessa mata a cortar lenha, atravessavam alguns papagaios por essas árvores, deles verdes e outros pardos, grandes e pequenos, de maneira que me parece que haverá muitos nesta terra. Porém eu não veria mais que até nove ou dez. Outras aves então não vimos, somente algumas pombas-seixas, e pareceram-me bastante maiores que as de Portugal. Alguns diziam que viram rolas; eu não as vi. Mas, segundo os arvoredos são mui muitos e grandes, e de infindas maneiras, não duvido que por esse sertão haja muitas aves! Cerca da noite nos volvemos para as naus com nossa lenha. Eu creio, Senhor, que ainda não dei conta aqui a Vossa Alteza da feição de seus arcos e setas. Os arcos são pretos e compridos, as setas também compridas e os ferros delas de canas aparadas, segundo Vossa Alteza verá por alguns que – eu creio — o Capitão a Ela há de enviar. À quarta-feira não fomos em terra, porque o Capitão andou todo o dia no navio dos mantimentos a despejá-lo e fazer levar às naus isso que cada uma podia levar. Eles acudiram à praia; muitos, segundo das naus vimos. No dizer de Sancho de Tovar, que lá foi, seriam obra de trezentos. Diogo Dias e Afonso Ribeiro, o degredado, aos quais o Capitão ontem mandou que em toda maneira lá dormissem, volveram-se, já de noite, por eles não quererem que lá ficassem. Trouxeram papagaios verdes e outras aves pretas, quase como pegas, a não ser que tinham o bico branco e os rabos curtos. Quando Sancho de Tovar se recolheu à nau, queriam vir com ele alguns, mas ele não quis senão dois mancebos dispostos e homens de prol. Mandou-os essa noite mui bem pensar e curar. Comeram toda a vianda que lhes deram; e mandou fazer-lhes cama de lençóis, segundo ele disse. Dormiram e folgaram aquela noite. E assim não houve mais este dia que para escrever seja. À quinta-feira, derradeiro de abril, comemos logo, quase pela manhã, e fomos em terra por mais lenha e água. E, em querendo o Capitão sair desta nau, chegou Sancho de Tovar com seus dois hóspedes. E por ele ainda não ter comido, puseram-lhe toalhas. Trouxeram-lhe vianda e comeu. Aos hóspedes, sentaram cada um em sua cadeira. E de tudo o que lhes deram comeram mui bem, especialmente lacão cozido, frio, e arroz. Não lhes deram vinho, por Sancho de Tovar dizer que o não bebiam bem. Acabado o comer, metemo-nos todos no batel e eles conosco. Deu um grumete a um deles uma armadura grande de porco montês, bem revolta. Tanto que a tomou, meteu-a logo no beiço, e, porque se lhe não queria segurar, deram-lhe uma pequena de cera vermelha. E ele ajeitou-lhe seu adereço detrás para ficar segura, e meteu-a no beiço, assim revolta para cima. E vinha tão contente com ela, como se tivesse uma grande jóia. E tanto que saímos em terra, foi-se logo com ela, e não apareceu mais aí. Andariam na praia, quando saímos, oito ou dez deles; e de aí a pouco começaram a vir mais. E parece-me que viriam, este dia, à praia quatrocentos ou quatrocentos e cinqüenta. Traziam alguns deles arcos e setas, que todos trocaram por carapuças ou por qualquer coisa que lhes davam. Comiam conosco do que lhes dávamos. Bebiam alguns deles vinho; outros o não podiam beber. Mas parece-me, que se lho avezarem, o beberão de boa vontade. Andavam todos tão dispostos, tão bem-feitos e galantes com suas tinturas, que pareciam bem. Acarretavam dessa lenha, quanta podiam, com mui boa vontade, e levavam-na aos batéis. Andavam já mais mansos e seguros entre nós, do que nós andávamos entre eles. Foi o Capitão com alguns de nós um pedaço por este arvoredo até uma ribeira grande e de muita água que, a nosso parecer, era esta mesma, que vem ter à praia, e em que nós tomamos água. Ali ficamos um pedaço, bebendo e folgando, ao longo dela, entre esse arvoredo, que é tanto, tamanho, tão basto e de tantas prumagens, que homens as não podem contar. Há entre ele muitas palmas, de que colhemos muitos e bons palmitos. Quando saímos do batel, disse o Capitão que seria bom irmos direitos à Cruz, que estava encostada a uma árvore, junto com o rio, para se erguer amanhã, que é sexta-feira, e que nos puséssemos todos de joelhos e a beijássemos para eles verem o acatamento que lhe tínhamos. E assim fizemos. A esses dez ou doze que aí estavam, acenaram-lhe que fizessem assim, e foram logo todos beijá-la. Parece-me gente de tal inocência que, se homem os entendesse e eles a nós, seriam logo cristãos, porque eles, segundo parece, não têm, nem entendem em nenhuma crença. E portanto, se os degredados, que aqui hão de ficar aprenderem bem a sua fala e os entenderem, não duvido que eles, segundo a santa intenção de Vossa Alteza, se hão de fazer cristãos e crer em nossa santa fé, à qual praza a Nosso Senhor que os traga, porque, certo, esta gente é boa e de boa simplicidade. E imprimir-se-á ligeiramente neles qualquer cunho, que lhes quiserem dar. E pois Nosso Senhor, que lhes deu bons corpos e bons rostos, como a bons homens, por aqui nos trouxe, creio que não foi sem causa. Portanto Vossa Alteza, que tanto deseja acrescentar a santa fé católica, deve cuidar da sua salvação. E prazerá a Deus que com pouco trabalho seja assim. Eles não lavram, nem criam. Não há aqui boi, nem vaca, nem cabra, nem ovelha, nem galinha, nem qualquer outra alimária, que costumada seja ao viver dos homens. Nem comem senão desse inhame, que aqui há muito, e dessa semente e frutos, que a terra e as árvores de si lançam. E com isto andam tais e tão rijos e tão nédios, que o não somos nós tanto, com quanto trigo e legumes comemos. Neste dia, enquanto ali andaram, dançaram e bailaram sempre com os nossos, ao som dum tamboril dos nossos, em maneira que são muito mais nossos amigos que nós seus. Se lhes homem acenava se queriam vir às naus, faziam-se logo prestes para isso, em tal maneira que, se a gente todos quisera convidar, todos vieram. Porém não trouxemos esta noite às naus, senão quatro ou cinco, a saber: o Capitão-mor, dois; e Simão de Miranda, um, que trazia já por pajem; e Aires Gomes, outro, também por pajem. Um dos que o Capitão trouxe era um dos hóspedes, que lhe trouxeram da primeira vez, quando aqui chegamos, o qual veio hoje aqui, vestido na sua camisa, e com ele um seu irmão; e foram esta noite mui bem agasalhados, assim de vianda, como de cama, de colchões e lençóis, para os mais amansar. E hoje, que é sexta-feira, primeiro dia de maio, pela manhã, saímos em terra, com nossa bandeira; e fomos desembarcar acima do rio contra o sul, onde nos pareceu que seria melhor chantar a Cruz, para melhor ser vista. Ali assinalou o Capitão o lugar, onde fizessem a cova para a chantar. Enquanto a ficaram fazendo, ele com todos nós outros fomos pela Cruz abaixo do rio, onde ela estava. Dali a trouxemos com esses religiosos e sacerdotes diante cantando, em maneira de procissão. Eram já aí alguns deles, obra de setenta ou oitenta; e, quando nos viram assim vir, alguns se foram meter debaixo dela, para nos ajudar. Passamos o rio, ao longo da praia e fomo-la pôr onde havia de ficar, que será do rio obra de dois tiros de besta. Andando-se ali nisto, vieram bem cento e cinqüenta ou mais. Chantada a Cruz, com as armas e a divisa de Vossa Alteza, que primeiramente lhe pregaram, armaram altar ao pé dela. Ali disse missa o padre frei Henrique, a qual foi cantada e oficiada por esses já ditos. Ali estiveram conosco a ela obra de cinqüenta ou sessenta deles, assentados todos de joelhos, assim como nós. E quando veio ao Evangelho, que nos erguemos todos em pé, com as mãos levantadas, eles se levantaram conosco e alçaram as mãos, ficando assim, até ser acabado; e então tornaram-se a assentar como nós. E quando levantaram a Deus, que nos pusemos de joelhos, eles se puseram assim todos, como nós estávamos com as mãos levantadas, e em tal maneira sossegados, que, certifico a Vossa Alteza, nos fez muita devoção. Estiveram assim conosco até acabada a comunhão, depois da qual comungaram esses religiosos e sacerdotes e o Capitão com alguns de nós outros. Alguns deles, por o sol ser grande, quando estávamos comungando, levantaram-se, e outros estiveram e ficaram. Um deles, homem de cinqüenta ou cinqüenta e cinco anos, continuou ali com aqueles que ficaram. Esse, estando nós assim, ajuntava estes, que ali ficaram, e ainda chamava outros. E andando assim entre eles falando, lhes acenou com o dedo para o altar e depois apontou o dedo para o Céu, como se lhes dissesse alguma coisa de bem; e nós assim o tomamos. Acabada a missa, tirou o padre a vestimenta de cima e ficou em alva; e assim se subiu junto com altar, em uma cadeira. Ali nos pregou do Evangelho e dos Apóstolos, cujo dia hoje é, tratando, ao fim da pregação, deste vosso prosseguimento tão santo e virtuoso, o que nos aumentou a devoção. Esses, que à pregação sempre estiveram, quedaram-se como nós olhando para ele. E aquele, que digo, chamava alguns que viessem para ali. Alguns vinham e outros iam-se. E, acabada a pregação, como Nicolau Coelho trouxesse muitas cruzes de estanho com crucifixos, que lhe ficaram ainda da outra vinda, houveram por bem que se lançasse a cada um a sua ao pescoço. Pelo que o padre frei Henrique se assentou ao pé da Cruz e ali, a um por um, lançava a sua atada em um fio ao pescoço, fazendo-lha primeiro beijar e alevantar as mãos. Vinham a isso muitos; e lançaram-nas todas, que seriam obra de quarenta ou cinqüenta. Isto acabado – era já bem uma hora depois do meio-dia – viemos às naus a comer, trazendo o Capitão consigo aquele mesmo que fez aos outros aquela mostrança para o altar e para o Céu e um seu irmão com ele. Fez-lhe muita honra e deu-lhe uma camisa mourisca e ao outro uma camisa destoutras. E, segundo que a mim e a todos pareceu, esta gente não lhes falece outra coisa para ser toda cristã, senão entender-nos, porque assim tomavam aquilo que nos viam fazer, como nós mesmos, por onde nos pareceu a todos que nenhuma idolatria, nem adoração têm. E bem creio que, se Vossa Alteza aqui mandar quem entre eles mais devagar ande, que todos serão tornados ao desejo de Vossa Alteza. E por isso, se alguém vier, não deixe logo de vir clérigo para os batizar, porque já então terão mais conhecimento de nossa fé, pelos dois degredados, que aqui entre eles ficam, os quais, ambos, hoje também comungaram. Entre todos estes que hoje vieram, não veio mais que uma mulher moça, a qual esteve sempre à missa e a quem deram um pano com que se cobrisse. Puseram-lho a redor de si. Porém, ao assentar, não fazia grande memória de o estender bem, para se cobrir. Assim, Senhor, a inocência desta gente é tal, que a de Adão não seria maior, quanto a vergonha. Ora veja Vossa Alteza se quem em tal inocência vive se converterá ou não, ensinando-lhes o que pertence à sua salvação. Acabado isto, fomos assim perante eles beijar a Cruz, despedimo-nos e viemos comer. Creio, Senhor, que com estes dois degredados ficam mais dois grumetes, que esta noite se saíram desta nau no esquife, fugidos para terra. Não vieram mais. E cremos que ficarão aqui, porque de manhã, prazendo a Deus, fazemos daqui nossa partida. Esta terra, Senhor, me parece que da ponta que mais contra o sul vimos até à outra ponta que contra o norte vem, de que nós deste porto houvemos vista, será tamanha que haverá nela bem vinte ou vinte e cinco léguas por costa. Tem, ao longo do mar, nalgumas partes, grandes barreiras, delas vermelhas, delas brancas; e a terra por cima toda chã e muito cheia de grandes arvoredos. De ponta a ponta, é toda praia parma, muito chã e muito formosa. Pelo sertão nos pareceu, vista do mar, muito grande, porque, a estender olhos, não podíamos ver senão terra com arvoredos, que nos parecia muito longa. Nela, até agora, não pudemos saber que haja ouro, nem prata, nem coisa alguma de metal ou ferro; nem lho vimos. Porém a terra em si é de muito bons ares, assim frios e temperados como os de Entre Douro e Minho, porque neste tempo de agora os achávamos como os de lá. Águas são muitas; infindas. E em tal maneira é graciosa que, querendo-a aproveitar, dar-se-á nela tudo, por bem das águas que tem. Porém o melhor fruto, que nela se pode fazer, me parece que será salvar esta gente. E esta deve ser a principal semente que Vossa Alteza em ela deve lançar. E que aí não houvesse mais que ter aqui esta pousada para esta navegação de Calecute, bastaria. Quando mais disposição para se nela cumprir e fazer o que Vossa Alteza tanto deseja, a saber, acrescentamento da nossa santa fé. E nesta maneira, Senhor, dou aqui a Vossa Alteza do que nesta vossa terra vi.

dimecres, 18 de novembre de 2015

CONFESSIONS OF A BOOK REVIEWER In a cold but stuffy bed-sitting room littered with cigarette ends and half-empty cups of tea, a man in a moth-eaten dressing-gown sits at a rickety table, trying to find room for his typewriter among the piles of dusty papers that surround it. He cannot throw the papers away because the wastepaper basket is already overflowing, and besides, somewhere among the unanswered letters and unpaid bills it is possible that there is a cheque for two guineas which he is nearly certain he forgot to pay into the bank. There are also letters with addresses which ought to be entered in his address book. He has lost his address book, and the thought of looking for it, or indeed of looking for anything, afflicts him with acute suicidal impulses. He is a man of 35, but looks 50. He is bald, has varicose veins and wears spectacles, or would wear them if his only pair were not chronically lost. If things are normal with him he will be suffering from malnutrition, but if he has recently had a lucky streak he will be suffering from a hangover. At present it is half-past eleven in the morning, and according to his schedule he should have started work two hours ago; but even if he had made any serious effort to start he would have been frustrated by the almost continuous ringing of the telephone bell, the yells of the baby, the rattle of an electric drill out in the street, and the heavy boots of his creditors clumping up and down the stairs. The most recent interruption was the arrival of the second post, which brought him two circulars and an income tax demand printed in red. Needless to say this person is a writer. He might be a poet, a novelist, or a writer of film scripts or radio features, for all literary people are very much alike, but let us say that he is a book reviewer. Half hidden among the pile of papers is a bulky parcel containing five volumes which his editor has sent with a note suggesting that they "ought to go well together". They arrived four days ago, but for 48 hours the reviewer was prevented by moral paralysis from opening the parcel. Yesterday in a resolute moment he ripped the string off it and found the five volumes to be PALESTINE AT THE CROSS ROADS, SCIENTIFIC DAIRY FARMING, A SHORT HISTORY OF EUROPEAN DEMOCRACY (this one is 680 pages and weighs four pounds), TRIBAL CUSTOMS IN PORTUGUESE EAST AFRICA, and a novel, IT'S NICER LYING DOWN, probably included by mistake. His review–800 words, say–has got to be "in" by midday tomorrow. Three of these books deal with subjects of which he is so ignorant that he will have to read at least 50 pages if he is to avoid making some howler which will betray him not merely to the author (who of course knows all about the habits of book reviewers), but even to the general reader. By four in the afternoon he will have taken the books out of their wrapping paper but will still be suffering from a nervous inability to open them. The prospect of having to read them, and even the smell of the paper, affects him like the prospect of eating cold ground-rice pudding flavoured with castor oil. And yet curiously enough his copy will get to the office in time. Somehow it always does get there in time. At about nine p.m. his mind will grow relatively clear, and until the small hours he will sit in a room which grows colder and colder, while the cigarette smoke grows thicker and thicker, skipping expertly through one book after another and laying each down with the final comment, "God, what tripe!" In the morning, blear-eyed, surly and unshaven, he will gaze for an hour or two at a blank sheet of paper until the menacing finger of the clock frightens him into action. Then suddenly he will snap into it. All the stale old phrases–"a book that no one should miss", "something memorable on every page", "of special value are the chapters dealing with, etc etc"–will jump into their places like iron filings obeying the magnet, and the review will end up at exactly the right length and with just about three minutes to go. Meanwhile another wad of ill-assorted, unappetising books will have arrived by post. So it goes on. And yet with what high hopes this down-trodden, nerve-racked creature started his career, only a few years ago. Do I seem to exaggerate? I ask any regular reviewer–anyone who reviews, say, a minimum of 100 books a year–whether he can deny in honesty that his habits and character are such as I have described. Every writer, in any case, is rather that kind of person, but the prolonged, indiscriminate reviewing of books is a quite exceptionally thankless, irritating and exhausting job. It not only involves praising trash–though it does involve that, as I will show in a moment–but constantly INVENTING reactions towards books about which one has no spontaneous feelings whatever. The reviewer, jaded though he may be, is professionally interested in books, and out of the thousands that appear annually, there are probably fifty or a hundred that he would enjoy writing about. If he is a top-notcher in his profession he may get hold of ten or twenty of them: more probably he gets hold of two or three. The rest of his work, however conscientious he may be in praising or damning, is in essence humbug. He is pouring his immortal spirit down the drain, half a pint at a time. The great majority of reviews give an inadequate or misleading account of the book that is dealt with. Since the war publishers have been less able than before to twist the tails of literary editors and evoke a paean of praise for every book that they produce, but on the other hand the standard of reviewing has gone down owing to lack of space and other inconveniences. Seeing the results, people sometimes suggest that the solution lies in getting book reviewing out of the hands of hacks. Books on specialised subjects ought to be dealt with by experts, and on the other hand a good deal of reviewing, especially of novels, might well be done by amateurs. Nearly every book is capable of arousing passionate feeling, if it is only a passionate dislike, in some or other reader, whose ideas about it would surely be worth more than those of a bored professional. But, unfortunately, as every editor knows, that kind of thing is very difficult to organise. In practice the editor always finds himself reverting to his team of hacks–his "regulars", as he calls them. None of this is remediable so long as it is taken for granted that every book deserves to be reviewed. It is almost impossible to mention books in bulk without grossly overpraising the great majority of them. Until one has some kind of professional relationship with books one does not discover how bad the majority of them are. In much more than nine cases out of ten the only objectively truthful criticism would be "This book is worthless", while the truth about the reviewer's own reaction would probably be "This book does not interest me in any way, and I would not write about it unless I were paid to." But the public will not pay to read that kind of thing. Why should they? They want some kind of guide to the books they are asked to read, and they want some kind of evaluation. But as soon as values are mentioned, standards collapse. For if one says–and nearly every reviewer says this kind of thing at least once a week–that KING LEAR is a good play and THE FOUR JUST MEN is a good thriller, what meaning is there in the word "good"? The best practice, it has always seemed to me, would be simply to ignore the great majority of books and to give very long reviews–1,000 words is a bare minimum–to the few that seem to matter. Short notes of a line or two on forthcoming books can be useful, but the usual middle-length review of about 600 words is bound to be worthless even if the reviewer genuinely wants to write it. Normally he doesn't want to write it, and the week-in, week-out production of snippets soon reduces him to the crushed figure in a dressing-gown whom I described at the beginning of this article. However, everyone in this world has someone else whom he can look down on, and I must say, from experience of both trades, that the book reviewer is better off than the film critic, who cannot even do his work at home, but has to attend trade shows at eleven in the morning and, with one or two notable exceptions, is expected to sell his honour for a glass of inferior sherry.Downe lay the Shepherd Swaine So sober and demure Wishing for his wench againe So bonny and so pure With his head on hillock lowe And his arms akimboe And all was for the losse of his Hye nonny nonny noe... Sweet she was, as kind a love As ever fetter'd Swaine; Never such a daynty one Shall man enjoy again. Sett a thousand on a rowe I forbid that any showe Ever the like of her Hye nonny nonny noe. As the poem proceeds through another six verses, the refrain "Hye nonny nonny noe" takes on an unmistakably obscene meaning, but it ends with the exquisite stanza: But gone she is the prettiest lasse That ever trod on plaine. What ever hath betide of her Blame not the Shepherd Swaine. For why? She was her owne Foe, And gave herself the overthrowe By being so franke of her Hye nonny nonny noe. Mrs Overall was no more an exemplary character than the Vicar of Bray, though a more attractive one. Yet in the end all that remains of her is a poem which still gives pleasure to many people, though for some reason it never gets into the anthologies. The suffering which she presumably caused, and the misery and futility in which her own life must have ended, have been transformed into a sort of lingering fragrance like the smell of tobacco-plants on a summer evening. But to come back to trees. The planting of a tree, especially one of the long-living hardwood trees, is a gift which you can make to posterity at almost no cost and with almost no trouble, and if the tree takes root it will far outlive the visible effect of any of your other actions, good or evil. A year or two ago I wrote a few paragraphs in TRIBUNE about some sixpenny rambler roses from Woolworth's which I had planted before the war. This brought me an indignant letter from a reader who said that roses are bourgeois, but I still think that my sixpence was better spent than if it had gone on cigarettes or even on one of the excellent Fabian Research Pamphlets. Recently, I spent a day at the cottage where I used to live, and noted with a pleased surprise–to be exact, it was a feeling of having done good unconsciously–the progress of the things I had planted nearly ten years ago. I think it is worth recording what some of them cost, just to show what you can do with a few shillings if you invest them in something that grows. First of all there were the two ramblers from Woolworth's, and three polyantha roses, all at sixpence each. Then there were two bush roses which were part of a job lot from a nursery garden. This job lot consisted of six fruit trees, three rose bushes and two gooseberry bushes, all for ten shillings. One of the fruit trees and one of the rose bushes died, but the rest are all flourishing. The sum total is five fruit trees, seven roses and two gooseberry bushes, all for twelve and sixpence. These plants have not entailed much work, and have had nothing spent on them beyond the original amount. They never even received any manure, except what I occasionally collected in a bucket when one of the farm horses happened to have halted outside the gate. Between them, in nine years, those seven rose bushes will have given what would add up to a hundred or a hundred and fifty months of bloom. The fruit trees, which were mere saplings when I put them in, are now just about getting in their stride. Last week one them, a plum, was a mass of blossom, and the apples looked as if they were going to do fairly well. What had originally been the weakling of the family, a Cox's Orange Pippin–it would hardly have been included in the job lot if it had been a good plant–had grown into a sturdy tree with plenty of fruit spurs on it. I maintain that it was a public-spirited action to plant that Cox, for these trees do not fruit quickly and I did not expect to stay there long. I never had an apple off it myself, but it looks as if someone else will have quite a lot. By their fruits ye shall know them, and the Cox's Orange Pippin is a good fruit to be known by. Yet I did not plant it with the conscious intention of doing anybody a good turn. I just saw the job lot going cheap and stuck the things into the ground without much preparation. A thing which I regret, and which I will try to remedy some time, is that I have never in my life planted a walnut. Nobody does plant them nowadays–when you see a walnut it is almost invariably an old tree. If you plant a walnut you are planting it for your grandchildren, and who cares a damn for his grandchildren? Nor does anybody plant a quince, a mulberry or a medlar. But these are garden trees which you can only be expected to plant if you have a patch of ground of your own. On the other hand, in any hedge or in any piece of waste ground you happen to be walking through, you can do something to remedy the appalling massacre of trees, especially oaks, ashes, elms and beeches, which has happened during the war years. Even an apple tree is liable to live for about 100 years, so that the Cox I planted in 1936 may still be bearing fruit well into the twenty-first century. An oak or a beech may live for hundreds of years and be a pleasure to thousands or tens of thousands of people before it is finally sawn up into timber. I am not suggesting that one can discharge all one's obligations towards society by means of a private re-afforestation scheme. Still, it might not be a bad idea, every time you commit an antisocial act, to make a note of it in your diary, and then, at the appropriate season, push an acorn into the ground. And, if even one in twenty of them came to maturity, you might do quite a lot of harm in your lifetime, and still, like the Vicar of Bray, end up as a public benefactor after all.

A NICE CUP OF TEA (1946)

If you look up 'tea' in the first cookery book that comes to hand you will probably find that it is unmentioned; or at most you will find a few lines of sketchy instructions which give no ruling on several of the most important points.
This is curious, not only because tea is one of the main stays of civilization in this country, as well as in Eire, Australia and New Zealand, but because the best manner of making it is the subject of violent disputes.
When I look through my own recipe for the perfect cup of tea, I find no fewer than eleven outstanding points. On perhaps two of them there would be pretty general agreement, but at least four others are acutely controversial. Here are my own eleven rules, every one of which I regard as golden:
First of all, one should use Indian or Ceylonese tea. China tea has virtues which are not to be despised nowadays–it is economical, and one can drink it without milk–but there is not much stimulation in it. One does not feel wiser, braver or more optimistic after drinking it. Anyone who has used that comforting phrase 'a nice cup of tea' invariably means Indian tea. Secondly, tea should be made in small quantities–that is, in a teapot. Tea out of an urn is always tasteless, while army tea, made in a cauldron, tastes of grease and whitewash. The teapot should be made of china or earthenware. Silver or Britanniaware teapots produce inferior tea and enamel pots are worse; though curiously enough a pewter teapot (a rarity nowadays) is not so bad. Thirdly, the pot should be warmed beforehand. This is better done by placing it on the hob than by the usual method of swilling it out with hot water. Fourthly, the tea should be strong. For a pot holding a quart, if you are going to fill it nearly to the brim, six heaped teaspoons would be about right. In a time of rationing, this is not an idea that can be realized on every day of the week, but I maintain that one strong cup of tea is better than twenty weak ones. All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong, but like it a little stronger with each year that passes–a fact which is recognized in the extra ration issued to old-age pensioners. Fifthly, the tea should be put straight into the pot. No strainers, muslin bags or other devices to imprison the tea. In some countries teapots are fitted with little dangling baskets under the spout to catch the stray leaves, which are supposed to be harmful. Actually one can swallow tea-leaves in considerable quantities without ill effect, and if the tea is not loose in the pot it never infuses properly. Sixthly, one should take the teapot to the kettle and not the other way about. The water should be actually boiling at the moment of impact, which means that one should keep it on the flame while one pours. Some people add that one should only use water that has been freshly brought to the boil, but I have never noticed that it makes any difference. Seventhly, after making the tea, one should stir it, or better, give the pot a good shake, afterwards allowing the leaves to settle. Eighthly, one should drink out of a good breakfast cup–that is, the cylindrical type of cup, not the flat, shallow type. The breakfast cup holds more, and with the other kind one's tea is always half cold–before one has well started on it. Ninthly, one should pour the cream off the milk before using it for tea. Milk that is too creamy always gives tea a sickly taste. Tenthly, one should pour tea into the cup first. This is one of the most controversial points of all; indeed in every family in Britain there are probably two schools of thought on the subject. The milk-first school can bring forward some fairly strong arguments, but I maintain that my own argument is unanswerable. This is that, by putting the tea in first and stirring as one pours, one can exactly regulate the amount of milk whereas one is liable to put in too much milk if one does it the other way round.
Lastly, tea–unless one is drinking it in the Russian style–should be drunk WITHOUT SUGAR. I know very well that I am in a minority here. But still, how can you call yourself a true tea-lover if you destroy the flavour of your tea by putting sugar in it? It would be equally reasonable to put in pepper or salt. Tea is meant to be bitter, just as beer is meant to be bitter. If you sweeten it, you are no longer tasting the tea, you are merely tasting the sugar; you could make a very similar drink by dissolving sugar in plain hot water.
Some people would answer that they don't like tea in itself, that they only drink it in order to be warmed and stimulated, and they need sugar to take the taste away. To those misguided people I would say: Try drinking tea without sugar for, say, a fortnight and it is very unlikely that you will ever want to ruin your tea by sweetening it again.
These are not the only controversial points to arise in connexion with tea drinking, but they are sufficient to show how subtilized the whole business has become. There is also the mysterious social etiquette surrounding the teapot (why is it considered vulgar to drink out of your saucer, for instance?) and much might be written about the subsidiary uses of tea leaves, such as telling fortunes, predicting the arrival of visitors, feeding rabbits, healing burns and sweeping the carpet. It is worth paying attention to such details as warming the pot and using water that is really boiling, so as to make quite sure of wringing out of one's ration the twenty good, strong cups of that two ounces, properly handled, ought to represent.

BOOKS VS. CIGARETTES

A couple of years ago a friend of mine, a newspaper editor, was fire watching with some factory workers. They fell to talking about his newspaper, which most of them read and approved of, but when he asked them what they thought of the literary section, the answer he got was: "You don't suppose we read that stuff, do you? Why, half the time you're talking about books that cost twelve and sixpence! Chaps like us couldn't spend twelve and sixpence on a book." These, he said, were men who thought nothing of spending several pounds on a day trip to Blackpool.
This idea that the buying, or even the reading, of books is an expensive hobby and beyond the reach of the average person is so widespread that it deserves some detailed examination. Exactly what reading costs, reckoned in terms of pence per hour, is difficult to estimate, but I have made a start by inventorying my own books and adding up their total price. After allowing for various other expenses, I can make a fairly good guess at my expenditure over the last fifteen years.
The books that I have counted and priced are the ones I have here, in my flat. I have about an equal number stored in another place, so that I shall double the final figure in order to arrive at the complete amount. I have not counted oddments such as proof copies, defaced volumes, cheap paper-covered editions, pamphlets, or magazines, unless bound up into book form. Nor have I counted the kind of junky books-old school text-books and so forth–that accumulate in the bottoms of cupboards. I have counted only those books which I have acquired voluntarily, or else would have acquired voluntarily, and which I intend to keep. In this category I find that I have 442 books, acquired in the following ways:
Bought (mostly second-hand)            251
Given to me or bought with book tokens  33
Review copies and complimentary copies 143
Borrowed and not returned               10
Temporarily on loan                      5
Total                                  442
Now as to the method of pricing. Those books that I have bought I have listed at their full price, as closely as I can determine it. I have also listed at their full price the books that have been given to me, and those that I have temporarily borrowed, or borrowed and kept. This is because book-giving, book-borrowing and book stealing more or less even out. I possess books that do not strictly speaking belong to me, but many other people also have books of mine: so that the books I have not paid for can be taken as balancing others which I have paid for but no longer possess. On the other hand I have listed the review and complimentary copies at half-price. That is about what I would have paid for them second-hand, and they are mostly books that I would only have bought second-hand, if at all. For the prices I have sometimes had to rely on guesswork, but my figures will not be far out. The costs were as follows:
£   s.   d.
Bought                    36    9    0
Gifts                     10   10    0
Review copies, etc        25   11    9
Borrowed and not returned  4   16    9
On loan                    3   10    0
Shelves                    2    0    0
Total                     82   17    6
Adding the other batch of books that I have elsewhere, it seems that I possess altogether nearly 900 books, at a cost of £165 15s. This is the accumulation of about fifteen years–actually more, since some of these books date from my childhood: but call it fifteen years. This works out at £11 1s. a year, but there are other charges that must be added in order to estimate my full reading expenses. The biggest will be for newspapers and periodicals, and for this I think £8 a year would be a reasonable figure. Eight pounds a year covers the cost of two daily papers, one evening paper, two Sunday papers, one weekly review and one or two monthly magazines. This brings the figure up to £19 1s., but to arrive at the grand total one has to make a guess. Obviously one often spends money on books without afterwards having anything to show for it. There are library subscriptions, and there are also the books, chiefly Penguins and other cheap editions, which one buys and then loses or throws away. However, on the basis of my other figures, it looks as though £6 a year would be quite enough to add for expenditure of this kind. So my total reading expenses over the past fifteen years have been in the neighbourhood of £25 a year.
Twenty-five pounds a year sounds quite a lot until you begin to measure it against other kinds of expenditure. It is nearly 9s. 9d. a week, and at present 9s. 9d. is the equivalent of about 83 cigarettes (Players): even before the war it would have bought you less than 200 cigarettes. With prices as they now are, I am spending far more on tobacco than I do on books. I smoke six ounces a week, at half-a-crown an ounce, making nearly £40 a year. Even before the war when the same tobacco cost 8d. an ounce, I was spending over £10 a year on it: and if I also averaged a pint of beer a day, at sixpence, these two items together will have cost me close on £20 a year. This was probably not much above the national average. In 1938 the people of this country spent nearly £10 per head per annum on alcohol and tobacco: however, 20 per cent of the population were children under fifteen and another 40 per cent were women, so that the average smoker and drinker must have been spending much more than £10. In 1944, the annual expenditure per head on these items was no less than £23. Allow for the women and children as before, and £40 is a reasonable individual figure. Forty pounds a year would just about pay for a packet of Woodbines every day and half a pint of mild six days a week–not a magnificent allowance. Of course, all prices are now inflated, including the price of books: still, it looks as though the cost of reading, even if you buy books instead of borrowing them and take in a fairly large number of periodicals, does not amount to more than the combined cost of smoking and drinking.
It is difficult to establish any relationship between the price of books and the value one gets out of them. "Books" includes novels, poetry, text books, works of reference, sociological treatises and much else, and length and price do not correspond to one another, especially if one habitually buys books second-hand. You may spend ten shillings on a poem of 500 lines, and you may spend sixpence on a dictionary which you consult at odd moments over a period of twenty years. There are books that one reads over and over again, books that become part of the furniture of one's mind and alter one's whole attitude to life, books that one dips into but never reads through, books that one reads at a single sitting and forgets a week later: and the cost, in terms of money, may be the same in each case. But if one regards reading simply as a recreation, like going to the pictures, then it is possible to make a rough estimate of what it costs. If you read nothing but novels and "light" literature, and bought every book that you read, you would be spending-allowing eight shillings as the price of a book, and four hours as the time spent in reading it-two shillings an hour. This is about what it costs to sit in one of the more expensive seats in the cinema. If you concentrated on more serious books, and still bought everything that you read, your expenses would be about the same. The books would cost more but they would take longer to read. In either case you would still possess the books after you had read them, and they would be saleable at about a third of their purchase price. If you bought only second-hand books, your reading expenses would, of course, be much less: perhaps sixpence an hour would be a fair estimate. And on the other hand if you don't buy books, but merely borrow them from the lending library, reading costs you round about a halfpenny an hour: if you borrow them from the public library, it costs you next door to nothing.
I have said enough to show that reading is one of the cheaper recreations: after listening to the radio probably THE cheapest. Meanwhile, what is the actual amount that the British public spends on books? I cannot discover any figures, though no doubt they exist. But I do know that before the war this country was publishing annually about 15,000 books, which included reprints and school books. If as many as 10,000 copies of each book were sold–and even allowing for the school books, this is probably a high estimate-the average person was only buying, directly or indirectly, about three books a year. These three books taken together might cost £1, or probably less.
These figures are guesswork, and I should be interested if someone would correct them for me. But if my estimate is anywhere near right, it is not a proud record for a country which is nearly 100 per cent literate and where the ordinary man spends more on cigarettes than an Indian peasant has for his whole livelihood. And if our book consumption remains as low as it has been, at least let us admit that it is because reading is a less exciting pastime than going to the dogs, the pictures or the pub, and not because books, whether bought or borrowed, are too expensive.

IN DEFENCE OF P. G. WODEHOUSE (1945) When the Germans made their rapid advance through Belgium in the early summer of 1940, they captured, among other things, Mr. P. G. Wodehouse, who had been living throughout the early part of the war in his villa at Le Touquet, and seems not to have realised until the last moment that he was in any danger. As he was led away into captivity, he is said to have remarked, "Perhaps after this I shall write a serious book." He was placed for the time being under house arrest, and from his subsequent statements it appears that he was treated in a fairly friendly way, German officers in the neighbourhood frequently "dropping in for a bath or a party". Over a year later, on 25th June 1941, the news came that Wodehouse had been released from internment and was living at the Adlon Hotel in Berlin. On the following day the public was astonished to learn that he had agreed to do some broadcasts of a "non-political" nature over the German radio. The full texts of these broadcasts are not easy to obtain at this date, but Wodehouse seems to have done five of them between 26th June and 2nd July, when the Germans took him off the air again. The first broadcast, on 26th June, was not made on the Nazi radio but took the form of an interview with Harry Flannery, the representative of the Columbia Broadcasting System, which still had its correspondents in Berlin. Wodehouse also published in the SATURDAY EVENING POST an article which he had written while still in the internment camp. The article and the broadcasts dealt mainly with Wodehouse's experiences in internment, but they did include a very few comments on the war. The following are fair samples: "I never was interested in politics. I'm quite unable to work up any kind of belligerent feeling. Just as I'm about to feel belligerent about some country I meet a decent sort of chap. We go out together and lose any fighting thoughts or feelings." "A short time ago they had a look at me on parade and got the right idea; at least they sent us to the local lunatic asylum. And I have been there forty-two weeks. There is a good deal to be said for internment. It keeps you out of the saloon and helps you to keep up with your reading. The chief trouble is that it means you are away from home for a long time. When I join my wife I had better take along a letter of introduction to be on the safe side." "In the days before the war I had always been modestly proud of being an Englishman, but now that I have been some months resident in this bin or repository of Englishmen I am not so sure... The only concession I want from Germany is that she gives me a loaf of bread, tells the gentlemen with muskets at the main gate to look the other way, and leaves the rest to me. In return I am prepared to hand over India, an autographed set of my books, and to reveal the secret process of cooking sliced potatoes on a radiator. This offer holds good till Wednesday week." The first extract quoted above caused great offence. Wodehouse was also censured for using (in the interview with Flannery) the phrase "whether Britain wins the war or not," and he did not make things better by describing in another broadcast the filthy habits of some Belgian prisoners among whom he was interned. The Germans recorded this broadcast and repeated it a number of times. They seem to have supervised his talks very lightly, and they allowed him not only to be funny about the discomforts of internment but to remark that "the internees at Trost camp all fervently believe that Britain will eventually win." The general upshot of the talks, however, was that he had not been ill treated and bore no malice. These broadcasts caused an immediate uproar in England. There were questions in Parliament, angry editorial comments in the press, and a stream of letters from fellow-authors, nearly all of them disapproving, though one or two suggested that it would be better to suspend judgment, and several pleaded that Wodehouse probably did not realise what he was doing. On 15th July, the Home Service of the B.B.C. carried an extremely violent Postscript by "Cassandra" of the DAILY MIRROR, accusing Wodehouse of "selling his country." This postscript made free use of such expressions as "Quisling" and "worshipping the Fìhrer". The main charge was that Wodehouse had agreed to do German propaganda as a way of buying himself out of the internment camp. "Cassandra's" Postscript caused a certain amount of protest, but on the whole it seems to have intensified popular feeling against Wodehouse. One result of it was that numerous lending libraries withdrew Wodehouse's books from circulation. Here is a typical news item: "Within twenty-four hours of listening to the broadcast of Cassandra, the DAILY MIRROR columnist, Portadown (North Ireland) Urban District Council banned P. G. Wodehouse's books from their public library. Mr. Edward McCann said that Cassandra's broadcast had clinched the matter. Wodehouse was funny no longer." (DAILY MIRROR.) In addition the B.B.C. banned Wodehouse's lyrics from the air and was still doing so a couple of years later. As late as December 1944 there were demands in Parliament that Wodehouse should be put on trial as a traitor. There is an old saying that if you throw enough mud some of it will stick, and the mud has stuck to Wodehouse in a rather peculiar way. An impression has been left behind that Wodehouse's talks (not that anyone remembers what he said in them) showed him up not merely as a traitor but as an ideological sympathiser with Fascism. Even at the time several letters to the press claimed that "Fascist tendencies" could be detected in his books, and the charge has been repeated since. I shall try to analyse the mental atmosphere of those books in a moment, but it is important to realise that the events of 1941 do not convict Wodehouse of anything worse than stupidity. The really interesting question is how and why he could be so stupid. When Flannery met Wodehouse (released, but still under guard) at the Adlon Hotel in June 1941, he saw at once that he was dealing with a political innocent, and when preparing him for their broadcast interview he had to warn him against making some exceedingly unfortunate remarks, one of which was by implication slightly anti-Russian. As it was, the phrase "whether England wins or not" did get through. Soon after the interview Wodehouse told him that he was also going to broadcast on the Nazi radio, apparently not realising that this action had any special significance. Flannery comments [ASSIGNMENT TO BERLIN by Harry W. Flannery.]: "By this time the Wodehouse plot was evident. It was one of the best Nazi publicity stunts of the war, the first with a human angle...Plack (Goebbels's assistant) had gone to the camp near Gleiwitz to see Wodehouse, found that the author was completely without political sense, and had an idea. He suggested to Wodehouse that in return for being released from the prison camp he write a series of broadcasts about his experiences; there would be no censorship and he would put them on the air himself. In making that proposal Plack showed that he knew his man. He knew that Wodehouse made fun of the English in all his stories and that he seldom wrote in any other way, that he was still living in the period about which he wrote and had no conception of Nazism and all it meant. Wodehouse was his own Bertie Wooster." The striking of an actual bargain between Wodehouse and Plack seems to be merely Flannery's own interpretation. The arrangement may have been of a much less definite kind, and to judge from the broadcasts themselves, Wodehouse's main idea in making them was to keep in touch with his public and–the comedian's ruling passion–to get a laugh. Obviously they are not the utterances of a Quisling of the type of Ezra Pound or John Amery, nor, probably, of a person capable of understanding the nature of Quislingism. Flannery seems to have warned Wodehouse that it would be unwise to broadcast, but not very forcibly. He adds that Wodehouse (though in one broadcast he refers to himself as an Englishman) seemed to regard himself as an American citizen. He had contemplated naturalisation, but had never filled in the necessary papers. He even used, to Flannery, the phrase, "We're not at war with Germany." I have before me a bibliography of P. G. Wodehouse's works. It names round about fifty books, but is certainly incomplete. It is as well to be honest, and I ought to start by admitting that there are many books by Wodehouse perhaps a quarter or a third of the total–which I have not read. It is not, indeed, easy to read the whole output of a popular writer who is normally published in cheap editions. But I have followed his work fairly closely since 1911, when I was eight years old, and am well acquainted with its peculiar mental atmosphere–an atmosphere which has not, of course, remained completely unchanged, but shows little alteration since about 1925. In the passage from Flannery's book which I quoted above there are two remarks which would immediately strike any attentive reader of Wodehouse. One is to the effect that Wodehouse "was still living in the period about which he wrote," and the other that the Nazi Propaganda Ministry made use of him because he "made fun of the English." The second statement is based on a misconception to which I will return presently. But Flannery's other comment is quite true and contains in it part of the clue to Wodehouse's behaviour. A thing that people often forget about P. G. Wodehouse's novels is how long ago the better-known of them were written. We think of him as in some sense typifying the silliness of the nineteen-twenties and nineteen-thirties, but in fact the scenes and characters by which he is best remembered had all made their appearance before 1925. Psmith first appeared in 1909, having been foreshadowed by other characters in early school stories. Blandings Castle, with Baxter and the Earl of Emsworth both in residence, was introduced in 1915. The Jeeves-Wooster cycle began in 1919, both Jeeves and Wooster having made brief appearances earlier. Ukridge appeared in 1924. When one looks through the list of Wodehouse's books from 1902 onwards, one can observe three fairly well-marked periods. The first is the school-story period. It includes such books as THE GOLD BAT, THE POTHUNTERS, etc and has its high-spot in MIKE (1909). PSMITH IN THE CITY, published in the following year, belongs in this category, though it is not directly concerned with school life. The next is the American period. Wodehouse seems to have lived in the United States from about 1913 to 1920, and for a while showed signs of BECOMING AMERICANISED IN IDIOM AND OUTLOOK. SOME OF THE STORIES IN THE MAN WITH TWO LEFT FEET (1917) appear to have been influenced by 0. Henry, and other books written about this time contain Americanisms (e.g. "highball" for "whisky and soda") which an Englishman would not normally use IN PROPRIA PERSONA. Nevertheless, almost all the books of this period–PSMITH, JOURNALIST; THE LITTLE NUGGET; THE INDISCRETIONS OF ARCHIE; PICCADILLY JIM and various others-depend for their effect on the CONTRAST between English and American manners. English characters appear in an American setting, or vice versa: there is a certain number of purely English stories, but hardly any purely American ones. The third period might fitly be called the country-house period. By the early nineteen-twenties Wodehouse must have been making a very large income, and the social status of his characters moved upwards accordingly, though the Ukridge stories form a partial exception. The typical setting is now a country mansion, a luxurious bachelor flat or an expensive golf club. The schoolboy athleticism of the earlier books fades out, cricket and football giving way to golf, and the element of farce and burlesque becomes more marked. No doubt many of the later books, such as SUMMER LIGHTNING, are light comedy rather than pure farce, but the occasional attempts at moral earnestness which can be found in PSMITH, JOURNALIST; THE LITTLE NUGGET; THE COMING OF BILL, THE MAN WITH TWO LEFT FEET and some of the school stories, no longer appear. Mike Jackson has turned into Bertie Wooster. That, however, is not a very startling metamorphosis, and one of the most noticeable things about Wodehouse is his LACK of development. Books like THE GOLD BAT and TALES OF ST AUSTIN'S, written in the opening years of this century, already have the familiar atmosphere. How much of a formula the writing of his later books had become one can see from the fact that he continued to write stories of English life although throughout the sixteen years before his internment he was living at Hollywood and Le Touquet. MIKE, which is now a difficult book to obtain in an unabridged form, must be one of the best "light" school stories in English. But though its incidents are largely farcical, it is by no means a satire on the public school system, and THE GOLD BAT, THE POTHUNTERS, etc are even less so. Wodehouse was educated at Dulwich, and then worked in a bank and graduated into novel writing by way of very cheap journalism. It is clear that for many years he remained "fixated" on his old school and loathed the unromantic job and the lower-middle-class surroundings in which he found himself. In the early stories the "glamour" of public school life (house matches, fagging, teas round the study fire, etc) is laid on fairly thick, and the "play the game" code of morals is accepted with not many reservations. Wrykyn, Wodehouse's imaginary public school, is a school of a more fashionable type than Dulwich, and one gets the impression that between THE GOLD BAT (1904) and MIKE (1908) Wrykyn itself has become more expensive and moved farther from London. Psychologically the most revealing book of Wodehouse's early period is PSMITH IN THE CITY. Mike Jackson's father has suddenly lost his money, and Mike, like Wodehouse himself, is thrust at the age of about eighteen into an ill-paid subordinate job in a bank. Psmith is similarly employed, though not from financial necessity. Both this book and PSMITH, JOURNALIST (1915) are unusual in that they display a certain amount of political consciousness. Psmith at this stage chooses to call himself a Socialist-in his mind, and no doubt in Wodehouse's, this means no more than ignoring class distinctions-and on one occasion the two boys attend an open-air meeting on Clapham Common and go home to tea with an elderly Socialist orator, whose shabby-genteel home is described with some accuracy. But the most striking feature of the book is Mike's inability to wean himself from the atmosphere of school. He enters upon his job without any pretence of enthusiasm, and his main desire is not, as one might expect, to find a more interesting and useful job, but simply to be playing cricket. When he has to find himself lodgings he chooses to settle at Dulwich, because there he will be near a school and will be able to hear the agreeable sound of the ball striking against the bat. The climax of the book comes when Mike gets the chance to play in a county match and simply walks out of his job in order to do so. The point is that Wodehouse here sympathises with Mike: indeed he identified himself with him, for it is clear enough that Mike bears the same relation to Wodehouse as Julien Sorel to Stendhal. But he created many other heroes essentially similar. Through the books of this and the next period there passes a whole series of young men to whom playing games and "keeping fit" are a sufficient life-work. Wodehouse is almost incapable of imagining a desirable job. The great thing is to have money of your own, or, failing that, to find a sinecure. The hero of SOMETHING FRESH (1915) escapes from low-class journalism by becoming physical-training instructor to a dyspeptic millionaire: this is regarded as a step up, morally as well as financially. In the books of the third period there is no narcissism and no serious interludes, but the implied moral and social background has changed much less than might appear at first sight. If one compares Bertie Wooster with Mike, or even with the rugger-playing prefects of the earliest school stories, one sees that the only real difference between them is that Bertie is richer and lazier. His ideals would be almost the same as theirs, but he fails to live up to them. Archie Moffam, in THE INDISCRETIONS OF ARCHIE (1921), is a type intermediate between Bertie and the earlier heroes: he is an ass, but he is also honest, kind-hearted, athletic and courageous. From first to last Wodehouse takes the public-school code of behaviour for granted, with the difference that in his later, more sophisticated period he prefers to show his characters violating it or living up to it against their will: "Bertie! You wouldn't let down a pal?" "Yes, I would." "But we were at school together, Bertie." "I don't care." "The old school, Bertie, the old school!" "Oh, well–dash it!"

Bertie, a sluggish Don Quixote, has no wish to tilt at windmills, but he would hardly think of refusing to do so when honour calls. Most of the people whom Wodehouse intends as sympathetic characters are parasites, and some of them are plain imbeciles, but very few of them could be described as immoral. Even Ukridge is a visionary rather than a plain crook. The most immoral, or rather un-moral, of Wodehouse's characters is Jeeves, who acts as a foil to Bertie Wooster's comparative high-mindedness and perhaps symbolises the widespread English belief that intelligence and unscrupulousness are much the same thing. How closely Wodehouse sticks to conventional morality can be seen from the fact that nowhere in his books is there anything in the nature of a sex joke. This is an enormous sacrifice for a farcical writer to make. Not only are there no dirty jokes, but there are hardly any compromising situations: the horns-on-the-forehead motif is almost completely avoided. Most of the full-length books, of course, contain a "love interest", but it is always at the light-comedy level: the love affair, with its complications and its idyllic scenes, goes on and on, but, as the saying goes "nothing happens". It is significant that Wodehouse, by nature a writer of farces, was able to collaborate more than once with Ian Hay, a serio-comic writer and an exponent (VIDE PIP, etc) of the "clean-living Englishman" tradition at its silliest.
In SOMETHING FRESH Wodehouse had discovered the comic possibilities of the English aristocracy, and a succession of ridiculous but, save in a very few instances, not actually contemptible barons, earls and what-not followed accordingly. This had the rather curious effect of causing Wodehouse to be regarded, outside England, as a penetrating satirist of English society. Hence Flannery's statement that Wodehouse "made fun of the English," which is the impression he would probably make on a German or even an American reader. Some time after the broadcasts from Berlin I was discussing them with a young Indian Nationalist who defended Wodehouse warmly. He took it for granted that Wodehouse HAD gone over to the enemy, which from his own point of view was the right thing to do. But what interested me was to find that he regarded Wodehouse as an anti-British writer who had done useful work by showing up the British aristocracy in their true colours. This is a mistake that it would be very difficult for an English person to make, and is a good instance of the way in which books, especially humorous books, lose their finer nuances when they reach a foreign audience. For it is clear enough that Wodehouse is not anti-British, and not anti-upper class either. On the contrary, a harmless old-fashioned snobbishness is perceptible all through his work. Just as an intelligent Catholic is able to see that the blasphemies of Baudelaire or James Joyce are not seriously damaging to the Catholic faith, so an English reader can see that in creating such characters as Hildebrand Spencer Poyns de Burgh John Hanneyside Coombe-Crombie, 12th Earl of Dreever, Wodehouse is not really attacking the social hierarchy. Indeed, no one who genuinely despised titles would write of them so much. Wodehouse's attitude towards the English social system is the same as his attitude towards the public-school moral code–a mild facetiousness covering an unthinking acceptance. The Earl of Emsworth is funny because an earl ought to have more dignity, and Bertie Wooster's helpless dependence on Jeeves is funny partly because the servant ought not to be superior to the master. An American reader can mistake these two, and others like them, for hostile caricatures, because he is inclined to be Anglophobe already and they correspond to his preconceived ideas about a decadent aristocracy. Bertie Wooster, with his spats and his cane, is the traditional stage Englishman. But, as any English reader would see, Wodehouse intends him as a sympathetic figure, and Wodehouse's real sin has been to present the English upper classes as much nicer people than they are. All through his books certain problems are constantly avoided. Almost without exception his moneyed young men are unassuming, good mixers, not avaricious: their tone is set for them by Psmith, who retains his own upper-class exterior but bridges the social gap by addressing everyone as "Comrade".
But there is another important point about Bertie Wooster: his out-of-dateness. Conceived in 1917 or thereabouts, Bertie really belongs to an epoch earlier than that. He is the "knut" of the pre-1914 period, celebrated in such songs as "Gilbert the Filbert" or "Reckless Reggie of the Regent's Palace". The kind of life that Wodehouse writes about by preference, the life of the "clubman" or "man about town", the elegant young man who lounges all the morning in Piccadilly with a cane under his arm and a carnation in his buttonhole, barely survived into the nineteen-twenties. It is significant that Wodehouse could publish in 1936 a book entitled YOUNG MEN IN SPATS. For who was wearing spats at that date? They had gone out of fashion quite ten years earlier. But the traditional "knut", the "Piccadilly Johnny", OUGHT to wear spats, just as the pantomime Chinese ought to wear a pigtail. A humorous writer is not obliged to keep up to date, and having struck one or two good veins, Wodehouse continued to exploit them with a regularity that was no doubt all the easier because he did not set foot in England during the sixteen years that preceded his internment. His picture of English society had been formed before 1914, and it was a naive, traditional and, at bottom, admiring picture. Nor did he ever become genuinely Americanised. As I have pointed out, spontaneous Americanisms do occur in the books of the middle period, but Wodehouse remained English enough to find American slang an amusing and slightly shocking novelty. He loves to thrust a slang phrase or a crude fact in among Wardour Street English ("With a hollow groan Ukridge borrowed five shillings from me and went out into the night"), and expressions like "a piece of cheese" or "bust him on the noggin" lend themselves to this purpose. But the trick had been developed before he made any American contacts, and his use of garbled quotations is a common device of English writers running back to Fielding. As Mr John Hayward has pointed out, [Note, below] Wodehouse owes a good deal to his knowledge of English literature and especially of Shakespeare. His books are aimed, not, obviously, at a highbrow audience, but at an audience educated along traditional lines. When, for instance, he describes somebody as heaving "the kind of sigh that Prometheus might have heaved when the vulture dropped in for its lunch", he is assuming that his readers will know something of Greek mythology. In his early days the writers he admired were probably Barry Pain, Jerome K. Jerome, W. W. Jacobs, Kipling and F. Anstey, and he has remained closer to them than to the quick moving American comic writers such as Ring Lardner or Damon Runyon. In his radio interview with Flannery, Wodehouse wondered whether "the kind of people and the kind of England I write about will live after the war", not realising that they were ghosts already. "He was still living in the period about which he wrote," says Flannery, meaning, probably, the nineteen-twenties. But the period was really the Edwardian age, and Bertie Wooster, if he ever existed, was killed round about 1915.
[Note: "P. G. Wodehouse" by John Hayward. (The Saturday Book, 1942.) I believe this is the only full-length critical essay on Wodehouse. (Author's footnote.)]
If my analysis of Wodehouse's mentality is accepted, the idea that in 1941 he consciously aided the Nazi propaganda machine becomes untenable and even ridiculous. He MAY have been induced to broadcast by the promise of an earlier release (he was due for release a few months later, on reaching his sixtieth birthday), but he cannot have realised that what he did would be damaging to British interests. As I have tried to show, his moral outlook has remained that of a public-school boy, and according to the public-school code, treachery in time of war is the most unforgivable of all the sins. But how could he fail to grasp that what he did would be a big propaganda score for the Germans and would bring down a torrent of disapproval on his own head? To answer this one must take two things into consideration. First, Wodehouse's complete lack–so far as one can judge from his printed works–of political awareness. It is nonsense to talk of "Fascist tendencies" in his books. There are no post-1918 tendencies at all. Throughout his work there is a certain uneasy awareness of the problem of class distinctions, and scattered through it at various dates there are ignorant though not unfriendly references to Socialism. In THE HEART OF A GOOF (1926) there is a rather silly story about a Russian novelist, which seems to have been inspired by the factional struggle then raging in the U.S.S.R. But the references in it to the Soviet system are entirely frivolous and, considering the date, not markedly hostile. That is about the extent of Wodehouse's political consciousness, so far as it is discoverable from his writings. Nowhere, so far as I know, does he so much as use the word "Fascism" or "Nazism." In left-wing circles, indeed in "enlightened" circles of any kind, to broadcast on the Nazi radio, to have any truck with the Nazis whatever, would have seemed just as shocking an action before the war as during it. But that is a habit of mind that had been developed during nearly a decade of ideological struggle against Fascism. The bulk of the British people, one ought to remember, remained anaesthetic to that struggle until late into 1940. Abyssinia, Spain, China, Austria, Czechoslovakia–the long series of crimes and aggressions had simply slid past their consciousness or were dimly noted as quarrels occurring among foreigners and "not our business." One can gauge the general ignorance from the fact that the ordinary Englishman thought of "Fascism" as an exclusively Italian thing and was bewildered when the same word was applied to Germany. And there is nothing in Wodehouse's writings to suggest that he was better informed, or more interested in politics, than the general run of his readers.
The other thing one must remember is that Wodehouse happened to be taken prisoner at just the moment when the war reached its desperate phase. We forget these things now, but until that time feelings about the war had been noticeably tepid. There was hardly any fighting, the Chamberlain Government was unpopular, eminent publicists were hinting that we should make a compromise peace as quickly as possible, trade union and Labour Party branches all over the country were passing anti-war resolutions. Afterwards, of course, things changed. The Army was with difficulty extricated from Dunkirk, France collapsed, Britain was alone, the bombs rained on London, Goebbels announced that Britain was to be "reduced to degradation and poverty". By the middle of 1941 the British people knew what they were up against and feelings against the enemy were far fiercer than before. But Wodehouse had spent the intervening year in internment, and his captors seem to have treated him reasonably well. He had missed the turning-point of the war, and in 1941 he was still reacting in terms of 1939. He was not alone in this. On several occasions about this time the Germans brought captured British soldiers to the microphone, and some of them made remarks at least as tactless as Wodehouse's. They attracted no attention, however. And even an outright Quisling like John Amery was afterwards to arouse much less indignation than Wodehouse had done.
But why? Why should a few rather silly but harmless remarks by an elderly novelist have provoked such an outcry? One has to look for the probable answer amid the dirty requirements of propaganda warfare.
There is one point about the Wodehouse broadcasts that is almost certainly significant–the date. Wodehouse was released two or three days before the invasion of the U.S.S.R., and at a time when the higher ranks of the Nazi party must have known that the invasion was imminent. It was vitally necessary to keep America out of the war as long as possible, and in fact, about this time, the German attitude towards the U.S.A. did become more conciliatory than it had been before. The Germans could hardly hope to defeat Russia, Britain and the U.S.A. in combination, but if they could polish off Russia quickly–and presumably they expected to do so–the Americans might never intervene. The release of Wodehouse was only a minor move, but it was not a bad sop to throw to the American isolationists. He was well known in the United States, and he was–or so the Germans calculated–popular with the Anglophobe public as a caricaturist who made fun of the silly-ass Englishman with his spats and his monocle. At the microphone he could be trusted to damage British prestige in one way or another, while his release would demonstrate that the Germans were good fellows and knew how to treat their enemies chivalrously. That presumably was the calculation, though the fact that Wodehouse was only broadcasting for about a week suggests that he did not come up to expectations.
But on the British side similar though opposite calculations were at work. For the two years following Dunkirk, British morale depended largely upon the feeling that this was not only a war for democracy but a war which the common people had to win by their own efforts. The upper classes were discredited by their appeasement policy and by the disasters of 1940, and a social levelling process appeared to be taking place. Patriotism and left-wing sentiments were associated in the popular mind, and numerous able journalists were at work to tie the association tighter. Priestley's 1940 broadcasts, and "Cassandra's" articles in the DAILY MIRROR, were good examples of the demagogic propaganda flourishing at that time. In this atmosphere, Wodehouse made an ideal whipping-boy. For it was generally felt that the rich were treacherous, and Wodehouse–as "Cassandra" vigorously pointed out in his broadcast–was a rich man. But he was the kind of rich man who could be attacked with impunity and without risking any damage to the structure of society. To denounce Wodehouse was not like denouncing, say, Beaverbrook. A mere novelist, however large his earnings may happen to be, is not OF the possessing class. Even if his income touches £50,000 a year he has only the outward semblance of a millionaire. He is a lucky outsider who has fluked into a fortune–usually a very temporary fortune–like the winner of the Calcutta Derby Sweep. Consequently, Wodehouse's indiscretion gave a good propaganda opening. It was a chance to "expose" a wealthy parasite without drawing attention to any of the parasites who really mattered.


In the desperate circumstances of the time, it was excusable to be angry at what Wodehouse did, but to go on denouncing him three or four years later–and more, to let an impression remain that he acted with conscious treachery–is not excusable. Few things in this war have been more morally disgusting than the present hunt after traitors and Quislings. At best it is largely the punishment of the guilty by the guilty. In France, all kinds of petty rats–police officials, penny-a-lining journalists, women who have slept with German soldiers–are hunted down while almost without exception the big rats escape. In England the fiercest tirades against Quislings are uttered by Conservatives who were practising appeasement in 1938 and Communists who were advocating it in 1940. I have striven to show how the wretched Wodehouse–just because success and expatriation had allowed him to remain mentally in the Edwardian age–became the CORPUS VILE in a propaganda experiment, and I suggest that it is now time to regard the incident as closed. If Ezra Pound is caught and shot by the American authorities, it will have the effect of establishing his reputation as a poet for hundreds of years; and even in the case of Wodehouse, if we drive him to retire to the United States and renounce his British citizenship, we shall end by being horribly ashamed of ourselves. Meanwhile, if we really want to punish the people who weakened national morale at critical moments, there are other culprits who are nearer home and better worth chasing.

diumenge, 15 de novembre de 2015

accompanied by humor might be learned and remembered better than information that is presented in a more serious manner (Oppliger, 2003; Teslow, 1995). First, the positive emotion accompanying humor (i.e., mirth) may become associated with the overall learning experience, giving students a more positive attitude toward education in general and increasing their motivation to learn, resulting in higher academic achievement. Second, the novelty and emotionally arousing properties of humor may help to attract and sustain students' attention onto the lesson, thus facilitating acquisition of information. Third, the incongruous mental associations that are an inherent characteristic of humor may facilitate the process of cognitive elaboration, helping in the storage and retention of information in long-term memory. Finally, humorous memory cues associated with previously learned information may facilitate the retrieval of this information from long-term memory at a later date when students are answering questions on a test or examination. Early studies investigating children's attention to humorous educational television programs have provided some evidence of the hypothesized attention-drawing effects of humor, at least in young children. What kinds of humor do teachers use? Although most educational experts recommend that teachers avoid the use of teasing and ridicule, there is evidence that aggressive forms of humor are actually fairly common in the classroom. In a study by Joan Gorham and Diane Christophel (1990), college students were asked to write brief descriptions of all humorous comments made by instructors during classes. Analyses of these humor descriptions indicated that over half of all instances of humor by the college instructors could be categorized as "tendentious" or aggressive, in that they involved poking fun at a person, a group of people, or an institution. As many as 20 percent of all humorous comments by instructors made fun of an individual student in the classroom or the class as a whole, while other tendentious humor targeted the topic or subject of the course, the instructor's academic department, the university, the state, or famous people at the national or international level. About 12 percent of the humor was targeted at the instructors themselves, in what might be described as self-deprecating or perhaps self-defeating humor. Less than half of the college instructors' humor did not have an obvious target. These nontendentious forms of humor included either personal or general anecdotes and stories that were either related or unrelated to the subject of the lecture, "canned" jokes, and physical or vocal comedy ("schtick"). In all, only about 30 percent of the humor was related to the lecture topic.HUMOR IN EDUCATION Although education was traditionally seen as a rather serious and solemn undertaking, pedagogical trends in recent decades have shifted toward the promotion of a APPLICATIONS OF HUMOR more relaxed learning environment and an emphasis on "making learning fun." The current prevailing philosophy of education argues that students are much more likely to be motivated to learn and to retain information if they are happy and amused than if they are feeling anxious and threatened (Oppliger, 2003). Consistent with this trend, many educators in recent years have recommended that teachers introduce humor into the classroom by sprinkling funny anecdotes, examples, and illustrations throughout their lessons, displaying comical images and sayings on the classroom walls, and encouraging frequent humor production in their students.humor as one of the teacher's "most powerful instructional resources" and claimed that it can be used for such diverse purposes as correcting reading difficulties, controlling behavioral problems, building vocabulary, teaching foreign languages, and integrating students who are socially isolated (Cornett, 1986, p. 8). In general, it has been suggested that humor in the classroom helps to reduce tension, stress, anxiety, and boredom; enhances student-teacher relationships; makes the classroom less threatening for students; makes learning enjoyable, creating positive attitudes toward learning; stimulates interest in and attention to educational messages; increases comprehension, cognitive retention, and performance; and promotes creativity and divergent thinking (R. A. Berk and Nanda, 1998; A. P. Davies and Apter, 1980; Ziegler, Boardman, and Thomas, 1985). The use of humor has been seen as an especially useful tool in teaching students about sensitive, anxiety-arousing topics such as death and suicide (H. A. Johnson, 1990), and in teaching courses that are typically associated with negative attitudes and anxiety, such as undergraduate statistics (R. A. Berk and Nanda, 1998). Based on the presumed cognitive, emotional, social, and physiological benefits of humor, some educators have even suggested that one of the goals of education should be to facilitate the development of a good sense of humor

Most of these enthusiastic endorsements of humor are based on anecdotal evidence
and teachers' reports of their own experiences in the classroom. Empirical
research evaluating the claimed educational benefits of humor is unfortunately quite
limited, much of it is over two decades old, little replication has taken place, and the
findings have been rather mixed (Teslow, 1995). Nonetheless, there is some research
on humor in education addressing the following questions: (1) How often and in what
ways do teachers typically use humor in the classroom? (2) Does humor improve the
classroom environment and make learning more enjoyable for students? (3) Does
humor in teaching improve students' ability to learn and retain information? (4) Does
the inclusion of humor in tests and exams help to reduce test anxiety and improve
student performance on the tests? and (5) Does humor in textbooks help to make
them more understandable and improve students' ability to learn the material? In the
following sections I will review research findings addressing each of these questions,
followed by some general caveats concerning the use of humor in education

The respondents were asked to describe in
some detail the most recent situation in which they had used humor in the classroom.
Responses to this question were used by the researcher to develop a taxonomy of
teachers' humor, which contained the following categories: (1) teacher-directed
humor (e.g., self-deprecation, describing an embarrassing personal experience); (2)
student-targeted humor (e.g., joking insult, teasing a student about a mistake); (3)
untargeted humor (e.g., pointing out incongruities, joke-telling, punning, tongue-incheek
or facetious interactions, humorous exaggeration); (4) external source humor
(e.g., relating a humorous historical incident, showing a cartoon that is related or
APPLICATIONS OF HUMOR
unrelated to the subject, humorous demonstrations of natural phenomena); and (5)
nonverbal humor (e.g., making a funny face, humorous vocal style, physical bodily
humor). Although teachers seemed to be generally aware of the potential risks of using
overly aggressive forms of humor directed at students, humor involving teasing,
insults, and joking about students' mistakes still accounted for more than 10 percent
of their overall humor.

In summary, teachers appear to use humor in a wide variety of ways,including
some that appear rather aggressive, such as teasing and playful put-downs of students.
While much of their humor appears to be used to illustrate a pedagogical point, to
make a lesson more vivid and memorable, or simply to add some levity and playful
fun to the learning environment, teachers also appear to use humor for the same sorts
of purposes for which humor is used in other interpersonal contexts. As noted in
Chapter 5, humor serves a variety of social communication functions (e.g., social
probing, enforcing social norms and control, status and hierarchy maintenance, etc.),
and teachers use humor in their interactions with students for many of these purposes,
just as they do in their interactions with other people.


THE COUNTRY SCHOOL ANONYMOUS Put to the door—the school's begun— Stand in your places every one,— Attend,—— Read in the Bible,—tell the place,— Job twentieth and the seventeenth varse— Caleb, begin. And—he—shall—suck— Sir,—Moses got a pin and stuck— Silence,—stop Caleb—Moses! here! What's this complaint? I didn't, Sir,— Hold up your hand,—What, is't a pin? O dear, I won't do so again. Read on. The increase of his h-h-horse— Hold: H,O,U,S,E, spells house. Sir, what's this word? for I can't tell it. Can't you indeed! Why, spell it. Spell it. Begin yourself, I say. Who, I? Yes, try. Sure you can spell it. Try. Go, take your seats and primers, go, You sha'n't abuse the Bible so. Will pray Sir Master mend my pen? Say, Master, that's enough.—Here Ben, Is this your copy? Can't you tell? [Pg 1735]Set all your letters parallel. I've done my sum—'tis just a groat— Let's see it.—Master, m' I g' out? Yes, bring some wood in—What's that noise? It isn't I, Sir, it's them boys.— Come, Billy, read—What's that? That's A— Sir, Jim has snatch'd my rule away— Return it, James.—Here rule with this— Billy, read on,—That's crooked S. Read in the spelling-book—Begin— The boys are out—Then call them in— My nose bleeds, mayn't I get some ice, And hold it in my breeches?—Yes. John, keep your seat. My sum is more— Then do't again—Divide by four, By twelve, and twenty—Mind the rule. Now speak, Manasseh, and spell tool. I can't—Well try—T,W,L. Not wash'd your hands yet, booby, ha? You had your orders yesterday. Give me the ferule, hold your hand. Oh! Oh! There,—mind my next command. The grammar read. Tell where the place is. C sounds like K in cat and cases. My book is torn. The next—Here not— E final makes it long—say note. What are the stops and marks, Susannah? Small points, Sir.—And how many, Hannah? Four, Sir. How many, George? You look: Here's more than fifty in my book. How's this? Just come, Sam? Why, I've been— Who knocks? I don't know, Sir. Come in. "Your most obedient, Sir?" and yours. [Pg 1736]Sit down, Sir. Sam, put to the doors. What do you bring to tell that's new! "Nothing that's either strange or true. What a prodigious school! I'm sure You've got a hundred here, or more. A word, Sir, if you please." I will— You girls, till I come in be still. "Come, we can dance to-night—so you Dismiss your brain-distracting crew, And come—for all the girls are there, We'll have a fiddle and a player." Well, mind and have the sleigh-bells sent, I'll soon dismiss my regiment. Silence! The second class must read. As quick as possible—proceed. Not found your book yet? Stand—be fix'd— The next read, stop—the next—the next. You need not read again, 'tis well. Come, Tom and Dick, choose sides to spell. Will this word do? Yes, Tom spell dunce. Sit still there all you little ones. "I've got a word,—Well, name it. Gizzard. You spell it, Sampson—G,I,Z. Spell conscience, Jack. K,O,N, S,H,U,N,T,S.—Well done! Put out the next—Mine is folks. Tim, spell it—P,H,O,U,X. O shocking. Have you all tried? No. Say Master, but no matter, go— Lay by your books—and you, Josiah, Help Jed to make the morning fire.

The Marxist‑Leninist Theory
of Humor

Tom McLaughlin

Marxist‑Leninists have paid too little attention to the Humor Question. For too long Bourgeois Humor and its miserable mystifying ideology have been allowed to misguide the broad masses of toilers. We must apply the scientific methods developed by Lenin, Stalin and Mao to examine this question so that we may use humor in the class struggle.
What is Humor?
Humor manifests itself by an involuntary muscular and vocal reaction ("laughter") to external stimuli ("jokes," "comedy", etc.). However, to define humor as merely laughter would be to adopt a vulgar empiricist approach. Clearly we must employ the dialectical materialist method to examine the question more deeply.
Base and Superstructure.
Is humor part of the (a) Base or (b) Superstructure? Humor employs language and therefore certain one‑sided dogmatic "Marxists" may try to pervert COMRADE STALIN'S* brilliantly clear statement that language is not part of the superstructure. However let us examine what STALIN did say: "In this respect while it differs in principle from the superstructure, language does not differ from the implements of production, from machines, let us say, which may equally serve a socialist or a capitalist system."
Can humor serve both a capitalist and a socialist system, as the means of production can? Is it therefore part of the base? Is capitalist humor the same as socialist humor? It is necessary only to ask such a question for us to see the answer. Humor must change with changing social conditions in response to differing modes of production. Humor is therefore part of the superstructure which arises in response to the base.
Correct and Incorrect Humor.
We must now distinguish between correct and incorrect humor. Humor contains opinions as to the real material world—i.e., it is a form of consciousness. If we are not to become bourgeois idealist humorists we must be guided by the great work of LENIN**, Materialism and Empirio‑Criticism: "Materialism in general recognizes objectively real being (matter) as independent of consciousness, sensation, experience . . . . Consciousness is only the reflection of being, at best an approximately true (adequate, ideally exact) reflection of it." Humor must therefore reflect objective reality. Humor in its present form reflects the contradictions of capitalism; laughter is always directed against somebody or something and as such reflects the hostility generated by competitive capitalism.
Consider humor as it manifests itself in "comic" strips, where sadistic bourgeois-individualistic characters attack each other verbally and physically. Consider as well the most developed and pervasive from of humor—the practical joke—whose aim is to subject another person to ridicule while attacking him.
While many more examples could be given, these should suffice as particularly striking manifestations of the bourgeois nature of humor.
But there is a deeper reality than competitive capitalism which humor must reflect: class conflict, the struggle between the bourgeoisie and the broad masses of toilers. It is the task of militant class‑conscious humor to point out this contradiction, emphasize it, and mobilize the workers in the class struggle. Proletarian humor must therefore be the exact opposite of Bourgeois humor, not only in form but in content. Bourgeois humor dissipates the energies of the masses through laughter, by fruitless practice (e.g., rolling in the aisles) and by masochistic behavior (e.g., thigh‑slapping). In contrast, proletarian humor directs the workers to the fulfillment of their revolutionary task.
For example: In his speech to the 18th Party Congress STALIN had recourse to humor which admittedly did provoke laughter. But the result was not mere mindless mirth. At the end of his speech the assembled party members arose, shouting "Long live Stalin" and other slogans expressive of revolutionary ardor.
We now have a working definition capable of providing a means of discovering genuine revolutionary humor: Humor is laughter directed against the class enemy in a manner that mobilizes the broad masses of toilers to overthrow capitalism.
Humor as an expression of conflict in general has no place where relations between members of the working class are concerned. In such a situation it can only be divisive and objectively counter‑revolutionary. Thus it should be clear that those would‑be members of the Revolutionary Vanguard who provoke humor are objectively aiding the Bourgeoisie by splitting and wrecking the unity of the working class. This is clearly a Trotskyite tactic. Ironically, their interminable wrangling over "matters of principle" and their ludicrous antics generally make the Trotskyites themselves a humorous counter­revolutionary spectacle.
The members of the revolutionary Party must adopt a resolutely unhumorous attitude, a serious attitude in their relations with each other and with the broad masses of toilers. This should be particularly evident when we reflect on the nature of Socialist Society.
Socialist Seriousness.
Under Socialism there will be no classes and consequently no class conflict. Humor will cease to reflect any objective reality and will wither away. Consequently, those who engage in humor after being admonished by Party members will be clearly identifiable as saboteurs. It will be necessary to root out these weeds from the collective farm of Socialism. However, such saboteurs may prove skillful in hiding themselves. It will thus prove necessary for skilled Party members to ferret them out by engaging in humorous dialogue. If, for instance, a suspected saboteur is found to be cognizant of the answers to riddles, or if he replies to the Party member's encouragement by telling jokes, then such a person must be subject to Revolutionary Justice. It is suggested that the death sentence would be appropriate. This should be administered while the criminal is heavily dosed with helium (laughing gas), so that his "laughing death" may prove a suitable object of horror and negative reinforcement to the broad masses of workers and peasants.
Humor will of course continue to be necessary in relations between socialist and imperialist countries as the class struggle continues on the international stage.
The Correct Employment of Humor.
In its employment humor must be subject to the Party Principle. Not only must the Party as the exponent of the objective interests of the working class decide what is correct humor, but humor must be subject to the discipline and order that only the revolutionary Party can provide. In deciding what is correct humor the party must be guided by this principle: Correct humor is mirth-mobilization that encourages the toiling masses to collectively overthrow the bourgeoisie, under the leadership of the party. This can be illustrated by an example:
a) A worker trips on a banana peel and falls. Is this correct humor? Obviously not! It is blatantly anti‑working class.
b) A boss trips on a banana peel and falls. While this is progressive it is not revolutionary. The overthrow of the capitalist seems to result from material conditions, but in a purely mechanical way. Moreover, he could rise to his feet again.
c) The boss is tripped by the concerted actions of thousands of workers. This is still more progressive, but it is totally spontaneist as it does not show the role of the party.
d) The boss is tripped by the concerted action of thousands of workers after a speech by a party member. This alone of the above examples can be considered correct humor.
And what should be the reaction of the broad masses of toilers? As we have said, they should not dissipate their energies through "laughing", "giggling", etc. Instead a grim smile of determination should be their response, followed by the clenching and raising of the fist. No frivolous petit‑bourgeois individualistic snickering should occur; and when humor is produced under the leadership of the Party we can be assured this will never happen.
We must emphasize that these responses should be in unison. The collective twitching of proletarian mouths in smiles of grim determination, combined with workers' fists raised in the spirit of struggle will be ample evidence of the power of revolutionary humor.
Fight Bourgeois Buffonery!
Create Socialist Seriousness!


*Great former leader of the toiling masses.
** Sublime former leader of the toiling masses.