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Volume 1910h1
Georges Dodds'
The Ape-Man: his Kith and Kin
A collection of texts which prepared the advent of Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Selected 19thCentury Simian Fiction (1830-1914)
Shelf H1
1. Roe L. Hendrick: A Carful of Monkeys

2. C.L. Hildreth: Joli
3. Mary Howitt: The Monkey
4. Basil Hall: Vagaries of a Pet Monkey
5. Colonel Humphreys: The Monkey Who Shaved Himself and his Friends. A Fable
6. Hiram: Cats-paw


Roe L. Hendrick
A Carful of Monkeys
The Youth's Companion
75: 45: 589
A circus boy must think fast when he is stuck in a cage with angry monkeys

A Carful of Monkeys

The summer after my twenty-first birthday I became tired of the monotony of farm life, and began to cast about for a change of occupation. For a time I tried to keep the books' in a hardware store, but the rapid manip­ulation of figures was no easy task for me, and as there was really more work than one man could do, I sacrificed accuracy to speed, with disastrous results.

My employers were very patient with me, but I became greatly discouraged, so much so that one day when the circus was in town I applied for a place in its employ. I suppose I looked fairly strong and moderately intelligent; at any rate, the manager hired me readily enough as an extra man to assist the ringmaster.

The hardware firm accepted my resig­nation without hesitation or apparent regret, and I went away with the circus that night.

During the two years which I spent in this suddenly acquired position I had a good many interesting experiences and a few which were exciting; but most distinct in my memory is the night I spent as the unwilling guest of a carful of monkeys.

One hot afternoon in August of my second season we were "showing" at a county-seat in western Missouri, about fifty miles from Kansas City.

It was a part of my regular work to remain by the bear cages in the menagerie tent for an hour before the performance in the rings, and help the keepers see to it that the visitors did not take any dangerous liberties with the animals. On this afternoon the bear-keeper's assistant was ill, and of course the crowd was more difficult to handle than usual.

As a consequence, a small, dark-complexioned man, with gold earrings, escaped our vigilance, crowded under the ropes and pressed close against the cage containing the cinnamon bears.

In some way he succeeded in irritating the cross old male, and just as I caught sight of him the bear thrust out a paw and seized the intruder's right arm, his long nails sinking deep into the flesh. The fellow screamed wildly. I ran to his side and was reaching for the sharp-pointed steel goad that is always to be found beneath a cage floor, for use in emergencies, when Mr. Grattan, one of the proprietors, burst through the crowd and handed me a small bulb and nozzle. It was one of the earliest samples of the now familiar ammonia "dog-pistol," carried by wheelmen for subduing ugly canines, but at that time I never had seen one before.

I looked at it curiously, not knowing what use to make of it, when Mr. Grattan whispered in my ear, "Squirt it in the bear's face!"

I did so, and the huge beast collapsed in a heap almost instantly, releasing the man, who fell backward into my arms. We carried him into the mess-tent and summoned the company's surgeon. The man's arm was torn, but he was not dangerously hurt. In a moment he was joined by another swarthy fellow, and we learned that they were Sicilian organ-grinders.

The newcomer carried a forlorn little Panama monkey, and it soon developed that they wished to sell it at a good price as a balm for the man's torn arm and lacerated feelings. Fifty dollars was the asking price, but after much excited argument and many gesticulations, half of that sum bought the little beast and settled all claims for damages, a receipt in full being exacted and given.

"Well," said Mr. Grattan, after they had gone, "we need that monkey about as much as a cat needs seven tails, but it's always cheaper and safer to settle than to take chances with a suit at law. Here," he added, turning to me, "I haven't made you a present in a long time; that monkey is yours!"

I neither looked nor felt overwhelmed with delight. But as I was in a hurry I thanked Mr. Grattan, seized my gift, and thrust the monkey into the big cage beside the main entrance. There his many cousins greeted him noisily, and I hoped he would be happy.

This hope was doomed to speedy extinction. That evening, after the performance, one of the keepers, a kindly old German, came to me and said:

"Eef dot leedle long-tailed monkey ees yours, you'd petter gid heem oudt of dot gage. De odder monkeys will keel heem if he's left dere."

"All right," I assented, with a groan, for I was very tired. I meant to keep my word, but was delayed by different tasks connected with our hurried departure, and when I was finally at liberty all the cages had been loaded and the train was ready to start. The old keeper looked at me so reproachfully that I borrowed his lantern and the keys to the car and cage, and jumped aboard just as the engineer pulled out. I knew the train would have to stop at Hempstead Junction, about ten miles distant, and I thought I could get out there and enter the sleeping-car.

The cage was one of two in an ordinary box car, with sliding doors on the sides. The monkey cage was not boxed, but the other, which contained snakes at one end and birds at the other, was boarded up tightly.

Hanging the lantern on a nail high up on the side of the car, I peered through the latticework. What I saw fully justified the keeper's state­ment. All the other monkeys were jostling, biting, pinching and tweaking the poor little stranger, who was crouched in a corner, crying like a child and nearly half-dead.

There were more than twenty-five monkeys in the cage, and they all seemed animated by a spirit of deviltry the like of which I never had witnessed before, although I have since learned that it is by no means uncommon.

The sight made me so angry that I seized the goad from beneath the cage and began thrusting and striking at them. In a minute I had driven them to their perches, but when I attempted to coax the little fellow from his corner to the door, which I held invitingly open, he proved to be too frightened to stir.

Finally, after much difficulty, I thrust myself behind the cage, intending to drive him to the front; but he looked into my face so beseechingly, and strove so hard to fight his way through the bars into my arms, that I could not summon up sufficient hardness of heart to frighten him.

Instead, I resolved upon doing what was, under the circumstances, a very rash and foolish thing. I made up my mind to enter the cage, locking the door behind me, and to bring him out.

In broad daylight and with a crowd about nearly any one can enter a monkey's cage with comparative safety, although even then a few sly bites and pinches are to be expected; but this was after midnight, by the dim light of an oil lantern and in a swaying railroad-car. I was alone, and the spiteful little animals were already incensed at me for the beating I had given them.

I also made the further mistake of not taking the goad with me, judging that it was too long to be swung inside the cage. That was true, but the monkeys stood in awe of it, and regarded me as far less formidable when I came among them empty-handed.

The narrow iron door was fastened with a spring-lock, but there was room enough between the bars to thrust one's hand outside and unlock it. So I left the key in the hole, entered boldly, slammed the door after me, and took a step toward the trembling creature in the corner.

As I did so, a white-headed capuchin swung down from his perch by his tail and seized my left shoulder in his teeth, drawing blood freely, as I subsequently discovered. I threw him from me with all my strength, and he was dashed against the bars and fell half-dazed to the floor, where he set up such a whimpering that in an instant the whole cage was in an uproar.

I seized the Panama monkey, who threw his arms about my neck and half-strangled me with his overaffectionate embraces. As I wheeled about, the car lurched sud­denly, probably in rounding a sharp curve, and I lost my footing, falling face downward upon my hands and knees. This was the signal for every monkey in the cage to spring at me.

The number of my assailants proved to be my salvation. They impeded one another and gave me time to scramble to my feet, when I fought my way to the door, striking, kicking and shouting. I soon dis­abled several, but the remainder worried me like dogs, and in two minutes my clothes were half-torn from my body. I was getting exhausted and badly frightened, too, for the seriousness of my situation had finally dawned upon me.

I got my back against the door, but it was impossible for me to reach outside and unlock it, as both my hands were constantly occupied in striking and parrying. Suddenly I thought of the bulb I still carried in my pocket, having forgotten to return it to Mr. Grattan. I snatched it out, and to my delight found it more than two-thirds full of ammonia.

Three of the biggest monkeys were coming at me in a diagonal line on my right, and the first stream I threw caught each of them in turn, brushing across their noses. Under other circumstances I should have roared with laughter to see them roll over and over, blinded and gasping. There were others coming at my left, and I turned the nozzle in their direction, throwing little jets, each of which floored its victim in the twinkling of an eye. Even those I did not actually hit were so overcome by the odor that they retreated to the farthest comer of the cage. Indeed, I was almost suffocated myself, and the bulb was not yet quite empty.

It was harder work to unlock the door from the inside than I had expected, but I was not molested, and after a minute or two I succeeded in turning the key. But I was dizzy from the ammonia fumes, and when I stooped to pass out I pitched forward headlong and fell heavily to the car floor.

When I came to myself the little monkey was struggling under my breast, half-crushed, I imagine, but still with his amis tightly clasped about my neck.

As I realized where I was and what had occurred, it dawned upon me that the car was not moving, but the next instant it started. Then I knew we must have passed the junction, and that I had lain unconscious while the train was being shifted from one railroad to the other.

The monkey cage was empty; even the injured capuchin had crawled out and jumped over my prostate body. Possibly they had believed me dead, and so not worth attacking again, for apparently they had not come near me.

Most of the monkeys were clustered on top of the other cage. Getting possession of the goad, I sat down in a comer and took my small protege on my lap. He finally released his hold about my neck and went to sleep. My head ached and there was dried blood on my face, evidently from a cut in my scalp, but I felt well pleased at having escaped so easily and having saved my little comrade's life.

Twice during the forty-mile ride several of the monkeys came near me, but a smart cut from the goad sent them scampering back. They did not seem to feel quite so much at home in the car is in their cage, and so were less inclined to attack me. Possibly they also remembered the ammonia.

Finally, after a couple of hours, each of which seemed as long as an average night, the train slowed down, and after various delays came to a halt in the Kansas City yards. There my cries brought assistance and I was released, although not without difficulty, for several of the monkeys wanted to get out, too. All of the forenoon was required to get them back in their cage. As for my Panama monkey, I gave him to the curator of the Kansas City Zoo. I have never seen him since, for I left the circus on its return East that autumn to go into business, and I have not been West again; but I hope the little fellow is still well and happy.

C.L. Hildreth
Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly
24: 1: 97-100
Joli, a young lady's monkey, saves the man who loves her from the top of a church steeple


If it be a crime to believe in humanity and to trust a friend, that crime I had committed, and sorely had I been chastised for it. I had known and loved Armand Duchesne from a child, and when, in his trouble, he came to me, I gladly gave him my name as an indorse­ment [sic] of his good faith.

He had betrayed me and fled, and to save my name from dishonor I relinquished every acre of my ancestral estate and went forth into the world a ruined man.

Had it been a mere question of the loss of wealth, I should have felt the blow less, but it severed me from the woman I loved, in the bitterness of my grief, I be­lieved for over.

Her family would never consent to her union with a beggar. Nay, could I ask her to share my poverty and assist me in the struggle for mere subsistence? So I wrote to her, disguising nothing, and released her from her engagement. The next day I turned my back upon all that I held dear in this life.

So utter was my downfall that when I reached Villeroi, the cathedral town, I had remaining, out of all my wealth, only the suit I wore and a few francs in silver.

I turned aside from the main road, and, entering the square before the cathedral, sat down to meditate. There seemed not one ray of hope in the terrible gloom which oppressed me. Brought up to no profession -- for who could have dreamed of my father's son laboring with his hands like a peasant? -- too proud to ask assist­ance, where could I turn for relief in my distress?

And Claire, whose smile should gladden my life no more with those exquisite visions which love tempts from heaven to glorify this world!

The thought was more than I could bear. I started to my feet and looked wildly around me. The massive gray wall of the cathedral, with its spire tapering four hundred feet into the air, caught my eye.

An evil inspiration rushed into my mind. A leap from one of those small windows, scarcely visible in the height of tho spire, a swift plunge, one pang, and all would be over.

I walked hurriedly toward the portal of the church, firmly resolved upon the deed. As I was about entering, my attention was attracted by a placard posted upon one of the pillars near the door. I mechanically approached it, and read as follows:


"The above sum will be paid to any person who will venture to mount the spire and attach a cable to tho vane. Further particulurs," etc.
Six thousand francs! -- the sum which I would have thought a small price for the poorest horse in my stables, a week before -- seemed marvelously large now. "With six thousand francs could I not begin anew in life, win back my fortune by earnest endeavor, and with it Claire? My dream of self-murder was forgotten in the sudden revulsion of hope.

I turned to ask an explanation of tho placard from the old sacristan who stood near.

"It is a large sum," he said, gravely, "but it has tempted no one to make the trial."

"Why?" I inquired, "Is the feat considered so dangerous?"

"Dangerous!" he echoed. "Say rather certain death. Last Winter a great storm wrenched the great ball from, its socket, leaving it in an unsafe condition. What they want is some brave adventurer who will ascend outside the spire and fasten a rope so that the workmen may go up and repair it. No one has attempted such a feat these two hundred years, and, in spite of the magnitude of the reward no one dare try it now."

"I will try it," I said, quietly.

"You?" cried the old man, starting back. "Why, you are a gentleman. You cannot -- pardon me! -- need the money?"

"No," I replied, my cheek blushing, as I uttered the falsehood. "It is from the love of adventure -- yes, the love of adventure."

The old man looked at me solemnly, as if he did not half believe my words.

"You will surely be dashed in pieces," he protested; "many strong men and skilled climbers have refused the task."

"It is not a question of strength or skill," I replied; "it merely requires courage and calmness, and I possess both."

The sacristan made no further attempt to dissuade me, but, with a look and manner as if he were preceding me to my execution, led me up the winding stairs of the spire until we reached the last gallery, whence my peril­ous ascent was to begin. Here he gave me a few simple instructions, provided me with a stout rope, and, as I swung out of the narrow window, bade me Godspeed with a muttered prayer. The spire of the Cathedral of Villeroi is one of the tallest in Europe. It is of stone, highly ornamented, and, from the pavement to the top of the great golden ball, rises nearly four hundred feet. The ancient architects built their steeples as if they never dreamed they might need repair in the future. In the present in­stance no means of ascent above the topmost gallery to the ball had been provided. I had examined the struc­ture, however, and believed I saw a means of accomplish­ing my purpose. It was one of such awful peril as to have forbidden any but one as forlorn as I to have thought of it for a moment.

From the window to the base of the ball the distance was seventy feet, the slope very acute, and, except at tho corners where the blocks of stone were joined octagonally, as smooth as glass. Up these joints ran a vertical coping of stone, broken at intervals of ten feet by protruding ornaments, carved in the shape of the trefoil. My plan, the only possible one, was to cast a loop in my rope over the trefoil above me, and, clasping the coping between my knees, haul myself up the rope. When I had reached the trefoil I would bestride it, unfasten the rope, endeavor to cast the noose over tho next above my head, and so on. All this I was to accomplish over a sheer height of three hundred odd feet. When it is re­membered that the trefoils, my solo supports, extended but eighteen inches outward from the spire, and were, moreover, worn smooth and slippery by the weather, some idea of the terrors of my task may be gained.

But I was desperate. To fail either way meant death to me. What difference if my fall was accidental, or the self-conscious act of despair? And was I not warmed by the sweetest of all hopes? To reach the ball, fasten the rope and pulley to it, and descend again in safety, was in my mind equivalent to winning back my lost betrothed. With a firm heart and cool brain, I began my upward journey.

My first glance downward sickened me with an awful terror, and I clung frantically to the coping with a sense of falling headlong into space. The feeling lasted but for a moment. I regained my coolness and looked about me. Carefully preparing my rope, I cast it at the trefoil above me. It missed and came rattling down, nearly un­seating me. I tried again and again, until, at the tenth effort, the noose caught and remained firm. Gripping the coping between my knees, and the rope in my hands, I worked my way along until, panting and exhausted, I bestrode the trefoil, ten feet above the window. There I clung, resting myself for a moment.

My next effort took still longer, and, at the end of half an hour, I had only mounted twenty feet, with fifty still to climb. As I clung to the second trefoil, a faint tumultuous noise reached my ears.

Looking down, I saw that a crowd had collected in the square, and was watching my movements with turbulent interest. But I paid small heed to it, and soon resumed my upward journey.

My progress became more difficult with each step. The trefoils grew smaller and smoother as I mounted.

A strong wind had arisen, and, by blowing aside my noose, compelled me to redouble my efforts; but I per­severed, and at four o'clock in the afternoon reached the stone ring supporting the ball.

As I sat down, panting and dizzy with my labors, a tremendous shout from below hailed my triumph. This time, in the fullness of my joy, I waved my hand to them in response.

The ring where I sat was about two foot wide, and afforded a comfortable, but precarious, resting-place.

Along its outor edge ran a second ring of iron, as thick as a man's wrist, separated from the stone and held in place by braces. It was to this ring that I attached the pulley by its hook.

Having accomplished this, and shaken loose the rope attached to the pulley so that it hung down the side of the steeple within reach of a window, I had completed my task.

In-doing this, the smaller cord by which I had mounted slipped from my fingers and fell out of sight, but as I counted upon descending by tho other rope, this acci­dent did not greatly disturb me.

With my back to the ball, firmly grasping the stone­work to support me against the strong wind, I remained a few moments to regain my strength.

During this interval a slight clanking sound attracted my attention. This proceeded from the hook of the pulley, which was being tossed to and fro in the gale.

As I reached forward to secure it, a fiercer gust dashed it aside. The hook bounded from the ring, and in an instant pulley and rope plunged out of sight.

Mechanically looking over, I saw them hanging upon a projecting corbel two hundred feet below.

For a moment the true meaning of the catastrophe did not occur to me; then the full terror of my position rushed upon me. I was as utterly separated from tho world, from all possibility of human aid, as if I had been stranded upon a desert island in the mid-Pacific.

Four hundred feet above the multitude in the streets below me, who would dare the feat which I had accom­plished, to save a stranger?

Too well I know if I remained there until my skeleton bleached in tho sun and storm, none would mount the spire.

The seventy feet I had passed by the aid of a rope I could not repass without it. The slope was at such an angle that, if I had attempted to slide down it, I should have shot into space like an elastic ball.

No, there was no hope for me. I must die there slowly of starvation, or seek a more speedy death by my own will!

But a strange revulsion of feeling had taken place in my mind. A few hours before I had sought the spire with tho fixed intention of casting myself down from it. Now, I could no more have done it than I could have flown. I clung to the masonry, and looked around me with despairing eyes.

The sun was sinking over tho western hills, and the valleys were already dusky in the twilight.

Below me the throng of people surged to and fro, and vague cries seemed to indicate that they had divined. something of my peril. I tore a leaf from my notebook, and wrote upon it these words:

"My ropes have fallen. I am imprisoned upon the tower. Unless some brave heart will mount to my aid, I am lost."
I attached the paper to my penknife and threw it into the crowd. I heard a sudden wild shout. Then there were runnings hither and thither, aimless gesticulations; many were upon their knees in prayer, but none came to the rescue.

The sun set and night, bright with its countless stars, brooded serenely over my awful anguish. Fires were lighted in the square below, and the throng still kept their station though I was visible to them no longer.

As the long hours lapsed away, the first wild terror passed from me, and my mind resumed its normal calm. I must die, soon or late, what difference did it make? When the pangs of famine became too severe, or my cramped limbs would sustain me no longer, one leap and my sufferings would be over. With my terror my illu­sions fled. I saw how vain my hopes of renewed fortune and happiness had been. Had I gained the six thou­sand francs, in my inexperienced hands they would have but postponed the evil day. My love was lost to me for ever, and what was life to me without her?"[sic]

A sense, almost akin to contentment, stole upon me. I resolved that I would neither seek death nor refuse it. When the time came it should find me ready.

The sun arose in glory, lighting the golden ball above my head, and revealing me once more to the vast throng below. A great, solemn murmur reached me. It was their farewell to me; they knew I was doomed. I raised my hand and pointed upward. In a moment the whole multitude were kneeling, and from the great cathedral below me came the sound of the organ and the choir, chanting the Miserere -- they were singing the service for the dead for me.

After that, as I lay in the shadow of the ball, I fell into a doze which must have lasted several hours. I was awakened by a shrill outcry from the crowd. Something now seemed to have occurred. Could it be possi­ble that some one was coming to my aid after all? I leaned down and looked over the stonework. Far be­low me I beheld a small black object mounting slowly up to the spire. What it could be I could not at first discern. But as it came nearer, I saw that it was some little animal. Then, out of the window from which I had begun my ascent, I saw a beautiful fair head emerge, and a hand waved to me, and I understood all.

Among Claire's favorites was a small monkey, Joli by name, a wonder­fully intelligent creature, who seemed to love his mistress with an almost human de­votion. In my visits to the chateau I had succeeded in mak­ing friends with the animal, and nobly was he re­paying my kind­ness. In obedience to his mistress's voice, he was mount­ing up the stonework, drawing after him a slender cord attached to his waist.

"With the instinctive love of life strong within me again, I watched him as he progressed, sometimes hesi­tating, either from terror or freakishness, and again making a few steps toward me. Often he appeared de­termined to return, but a gesture from his mistress im­pelled him onward. When he came within the sound of my voice I called to him in all the endearing terms of a lover, and never were the features of a friend more beau­tiful to me than the odd little face raised to mine.

At length I lifted him upon the ring, unfastened the cord, and drew toward me, oh, how cautiously! a larger one, and finally a rope, stout enough to bear my weight. It required but a moment to secure it, and, bearing Joli on my shoulder, to begin my descent. When I reached the little window, and was drawn in by a dozen strong arms, my overstrained senses gave way and I fainted.

I passed through a severe fit of sickness, nursed by the devoted woman who, in her distant home, had devised the sole means of saving my life, and who now, in the divine perfection of love, yielded her all, herself and her for­tune, to me.

But though I accepted the one I was enabled to refuse the other; for, in the course of events, it was found that my own for­tune was not wholly lost. Enough remained to serve as the foundation of the estate which will descend to Claire's children and mine.

Yonder you see her, still in the beauty of early matronhood, with her little flock about her. And, if you examine the pediment of the new fountain in the square of Villeroi, you will detect the likeness of Joli, carven in stone as a tribute to his many virtues.

Mary Howitt  (1799-1888)
The Monkey
The Juvenile Poetical Library; Selected from the Works of Modern British Poets, for the Use of Young Persons from the Age of Twelve Years. (Mrs. Alaric Watts, ed.) 
London: Longman, Orme, Brown, Green, & Longmans.
Children's poem about a monkey

The Monkey

Monkey, little merry fellow,
Thou art nature's punchinello!
Full of fun as Puck could be;
Harlequin might learn of thee!

Look now at his odd grimaces!
Saw you e'er such comic faces?
Now like learned judge sedate;
Now with nonsense in his pate!

Nature, in a sunny wood,
Must have been in merry mood,
And with laughter fit to burst,
Monkey, when she made thee first.

How you leaped and frisked about
When your life you first found out;
How you threw in roguish mirth,
Cocoa nuts on mother earth;

How you sat and made a din
Louder than had ever been,
Till the parrots all a-riot
Chattered too to keep you quiet.

How the world's first children ran
Laughing from the monkey-man,
Little Abel and his brother,
Laughing, shouting to their mother.

And could you keep down your mirth
When the floods were on the earth;
When from all your drowning kin,
Good old Noah took you in?

In the very Ark, no doubt,
You went frolicking about,
Never keeping in your mind
Drowned monkeys left behind!

No, we cannot hear of this;
Gone are all the witnesses;
But I 'm very sure that you
Made both mirth and mischief too.

Have ye no traditions, none,
Of the court of Solomon?
No memorial how ye went
With Prince Hiram's armament?

Were ye given or were ye sold
With the peacocks and the gold?
Is it all forgotten quite,
'Cause ye neither read nor write?

Look now at him! slyly peep,
He pretends he is asleep;
Fast asleep upon his bed,
With his arm beneath his head.

Now that posture is not right,
And he is not settled quite;
There! that's better than before
And the knave pretends to snore.

Ha! he is not half asleep!
See he slyly takes a peep.
Monkey, though your eyes were shut,
You could see this little nut.

You shall have it, pigmy brother.
What another? and another?
Nay, your cheeks are like a sack,
Sit down and begin to crack.

There, the little ancient man
Cracks as fast as crack he can;
Now good-by, you merry fellow,
Nature's primest punchinello!

Basil Hall
Vagaries of a Pet Monkey

Fragments of Voyages. The Philadephia Album and Ladies' Literary Portfolio
6(26): 206-207
A monkey pulls pranks aboard ship
Vagaries of a Pet Monkey
[19] Basil Hall. 1832. Vagaries of a Pet Monkey
from Fragments of Voyages. The Philadephia Album and Ladies' Literary Portfolio 6(26): 206-207. [A monkey pulls pranks aboard ship]

I need not dwell on the common place tricks of a nautical monkey, as they must be well known to every one, such as catching hold of the end of a sail maker's ball of twine, and paying the whole overboard, hand-over-hand, from a secure station in the rigging; or his stealing the boatswain's call and letting it drop from the end of the cathead; or his getting into one of the cabin posts, and tearing up the captain's letter, a trick at which even the stately skipper is obliged to laugh. One of our monkey's grand amusements was to watch some one arranging his clothes in his bag. After the stowage was completed, and every thing put carefully away, he would steal round, untie the strings, and, having opened the mouth of the bag, would draw forth, in succession, every article of dress, first smell to it, then turn it over and over and lastly fling it away on the wet deck. It was amusing enough to observe, that all the while he was committing any piece of mischief, he appeared not only to be under the fullest consciousness of guilt, but living under the perfect certainty that he was earning a good sound drubbing for his pains. Still, the pleasure of doing wrong was so strong and habitual within him, that he seemed utterly incapabe of resisting the temptation whenever it fell in his way. When occupied in these misdeeds, he continued alternately chattering with terror, and screaming with delight at his own ingenuity, till the engaged owner of the property burst in upon him, hardly more angry with Jacko than with his malicious messmates, who, instead of preventing, rather encouraged the pillage.

All this was innocent, however, compared with the tricks which the bluejackets taught him to play upon the jolly marines. How they set about this laudable piece of instruction, I know not; but the antipathy winch they established in Jacko's breast against the red coats was something far beyond ordinary prejudice, and in its consequences partook more of the interminable war between cat and dog. The monkey, who entered with all the zeal of a hot partizan [sic], into the designs of the blues, showed no mercy to the red faction, against whom he had not, in fact, the slightest shadow of a real quarrel. As that trifling circumstance, however, seemed, as in graver cases of quarrel, only to aggravate the hostility, every new day brought a new mode of attack upon the unhappy soldiers, who were never safe. At first, he merely chattered, or grinned contemptuously at them; or, at worst, snapped at their heels, soiled their fine pipe clayed trowsers, or pulled the cartridges out of their cartouch boxes, and scattered the powder over the decks; feats for which his rump was sure to smart under the rattan of the indignant sergeant, to whom the "party" made their complaint. Upon these occasions, the sailors laughed so heartily at their friend Jacko, as he placed his hands before him, and in an agony of rage and pain, rubbed the seat of honour, smarting under the sergeant's chastisement, that, if he could have reasoned the matter like a statesman, he would soon have distrusted his advantage in this offensive, but not defensive, alliance with the Johnies against the Jollies. Sometimes, indeed, he appeared to be quite sensible of his absurd position, caned by his enemy, and ridiculed by his friends in whose cause he was suffering. On these occasions, he often made a run, open mouthed, at the sailors, in return for which mutinous proceeding he was sure to get a smart rap over the nose from his own party, which more than counterpoised the anguish at the other extremity of his person, giving ludicrous occupation to both hands, and redoubling the shouts of laughter at his expense. In short, poor St. Jago literally got what is currently called monkey's allowance, viz: "more kicks than halfpence."

In process of time, as Mr. Monkey, by dint of that bitter monitor, experience, gained higher knowledge in the art of marine warfare and ship diplomacy, he became much more formidable in his attacks on the "corps," and generally contrived to keep himself well beyond the reach ot the sergeant's merciless ratan. One of the favourite pranks of the sailors was to place him near the break of the forecastle, with a handspike taken from the bow chaser gun, in his paws, it was quite as much as he could carry, and far more than he could use as a missile against the royals; but he was soon instructed in a method of employing it, which always grievously annoyed the enemy. Theoretically speaking, I presume poor Jacob knew no more of the laws of gravitation, when applying it to the annoyance of the marines, than his frieuds, the seamen, did of centrifugal action, when swinging round the hand-lead to gain soundings by pitching it far forward into the water; but without such scientific knowledge, both the monkey and his wicked associates knew very well that if a handspike were held across the top of the forecastle ladder, and let go when a person was about half way down it, the heels of the said individual would be sure to bring up, or stop the bar. The unhappy marine, therefore, who happened to be descending the steps when Jacko let his handspike fall, generally got the skin taken off his heels, or his instep, according as his rear or his front was turned towards the foe. The instant Jacko let go his hold, and the law of gravitation began to act, so that the handspike was heard to rattle down the ladder, oft he jumped to the bow of the barge, overlooking the spot, and there sat with his neck stretched out, his eyes starting from his head, and his lips drawn back, till his teeth, displayed from ear to ear, wrapped one another like a pair of castanets in a bolero, under the influence of the most ecstatic alarm, curiously mixed up with the joy of complete success. The poor wounded Gulpin, in the meantime, rubbed his ankles, as he fired off a volley of imprecations, the only effect of which was to increase the number of his audience, grinning and laughing in chorus with the terrified mischief maker.

Colonel Humphreys
The Monkey Who Shaved Himself and his Friends. A Fable

United States Magazine; or, General repository of Ueful Instruction and...
1(1): 56
A barber's monkey learns by imitation
The Monkey Who Shaved Himself and his Friends. A Fable
[35] Colonel Humphreys. 1794. The Monkey Who Shaved Himself and his Friends. A Fable. United States Magazine; or, General repository of Ueful Instruction and... 1(1): 56. [A barber's monkey learns by imitation]

A man who own'd a Barber's shop,
At York, and shav'd full man a fop,
A Monkey kept for their amusement,
He made no other kind of use on't;
This Monkey took great observation,
Was wonderful at imitation,
And all he saw the Barber do,
He mimick'd strait, and did it too.

It chanc'd in shop the Dog and Cat,
While frisieur din'd demurely fate,
Jacko found nought to play the knave in,
So thought he'd try his hand at shaving,
Around the shop in haste he rushes,
And gets the razor; soap and brushes;
Now puss he fix'd (no muscle miss stirs)
And lather'd well her beard and whiskers,
Then gave a gash, as he begun,
The Cat cried waugh! and off she run.

Next towser's beard he tried his skill in,
Tho' towfer seem'd somewhat unwilling;
As badly he again succeeding,
The Dog runs howling round and bleeding.

Nor yet was tir'd our roguish elf,
He'd seen the Barber shave himself;
So by the glass, upon the table,
He rubs with soap his visage sable;
Then with left hand holds smooth his jaw --
The razor,in the dexter paw;
Around he flourishes and slashes,
Till all his face is seam'd with gashes.

His cheeks dispatch'd -- his visage thin
He cock'd, to shave beneath his chin;
Drew razor swift as he could pull it,
And cut from ear to ear his gullet.


Who cannot write, yet handle pens,
Are apt to hurt themselves and friends;
Tho' others use them well yet fools
Should ne'er meddle with edge tools.


Merry's Museum and Parley's Magazine
31: 102
A monkey uses a cat's paw to get chestnuts out from hot embers
[37] Hiram. 1856. Cats-paw. Merry's Museum and Parley's Magazine 31: 102. [A monkey uses a cat's paw to get chestnuts out from hot embers]

See the saucy rogue! How impudently he laughs at the joke he is perpetrating on the poor helpless cat. The nuts are in the fire, all roasted, and ready to burn. Jocko wants them, and will have them, but don't mean to burn his own delicate fingers, by pulling them out. So he promises Miss Puss a liberal share of the delicacies, if she only lends him her paw, to rake them out of the fire. Puss demurs, and screams vociferously, but all to no purpose. She is in the scrape, having helped him to steal the nuts, and now she must bear the penalty of being in bad company. Puss is sadly burned, so that she cannot eat a morsel, and Jocko takes the entire spoil to himself, chuckling over his ready wit, and good fortune. Look out sharp, boys, for the company you keep. You will find many a good-natured, grinning Jocko, who will flatter your self-love, and tickle your fancy, in a thousand ways, only to make a Cats-paw of you, for his own advantage.


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William Hillman

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