CITY O' LIGG $2.50
BE A GOOP?
By GELETT BURGESS
Sl author of "Goops and How To Be Them," etc.
S The average child of five years, says
Gelett Burgess, has about one hundred
Said fifty faults.
Children gradually outgrow most of
heir faults as they do their milk teeth.
Sutt those that don't drop out naturally
ieed a little moral help.
WHY BE A GOOP? contains
painless treatment for seventy-six
of these little errors of deportment,
administered with a sugar-coating
: of humor.
Not only are they warnings
and guides so jinglingly put as to
enter into the child's subcon-
scious mind, but in this latest of
the popular and now classic
Goop books, Gelett Burgess has
contrived, in the little stories
S about his grotesque pictures, to
implant many hints to Parents
as to original methods for cor-
recting the faults he describes
S and dramatizes.
With 76 pages of illustrations
THE LIVELY CITY O' LIGG
T H E LI V E LY
CITY O' LIGG
A Cycle of Modern Fairy Tales
for City Children
FORMERLY EDITOR OF THE "LARK"
AUTHOR OF "VIVETTE," ETC.
WITH FIFTY-THREE ILLUSTRATIONS
BY THE AUTHOR
FREDERICK A. STOK-ES COMPANY,
BY GELETT BURGESS
Printed in the United States of America
ARNOLD'S SENSITIVE TASTE
ROBIN'S ADVENTUROUS SPIRIT
THESE HEADLONG FANCIES
ARE FEARFULLY SUBMITTED.
The Author and Illustrator desires to express his
gratitude to MR. HARVEY ELLIS, of Rochester, N.
Y., for the interest he has added to this book by a
sympathetic colouring of the plates, achieved with an
originality far above the capacity of their envious
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS, .
PREFACE. THE CIDIVATION OF INANIMATE THINGS.
I. THE TERRIBLE TRAIN, .
II. THE RUNAWAY CHAIRS,
III. THE THREE ELEVATORS,
IV. THE VERY GRAND PIANO,
V. THE PERT FIRE ENGINE,
VI. THE INSANE BATTERY, .
VII. THE HILARIOUS HANSOM,
VIII. THE STEAMBOAT AND THE LOCOMOTIVE,
IX. THE BOTHERSOME BRIG,
X. THE HOUSE WHO WALKED IN HER SLEEP,.
XI. THE BOLD BALLOON, .
XII. THE LAZY LAMPPOSTS, .
XIII. THE BICYCLE'S FAMILY, .
XIV. THE FLYING STABLE, .
XV. THE BLIND CAMERA, .
XVI. THE BUMPTIOUS BRIDGE, .
XVII. THE ECCENTRIC LOOM, .
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
Washing the Terrible Train, half drowned and spluttering, out into the
air. (Coloured.). .. Frontispiece.
A Train that would climb the Church Steeple and spin the Weather Vane. 29
His faithful Train supported him by doing acrobatic tricks for tourists.
The Train coiled itself up in the Orchestra, and, lazily thumping its tail
against the Balconies, it fell asleep.. 38
A gallant charge of Rocking-chairs attacked the carters. (Coloured.) 40
The Furniture formed in line and marched silently to the Park (Head'g). 41
At twelve o' clock the Doors of the Houses slowly opened. 44
The express Elevator flew through -the house high into the air. 53
At the end of the main corridor was a shaft in which lived Three Elevators.
"Come on and help I can't hold on it much longer I" said the strong
The Piano, standing beneath the long arms of his beloved Windmill,
would serenade her plaintively. (Coloured.) 62
The Piano tore out a few heavy wires and threw them as far as he could.
The Very Grand Piano made his way, with the help of a Road Engine, to
the Windmill. 67
Suddenly the Telegraph poles closed around him. 7
The Fire Engine, with a laugh, sent a stream of water through its win-
dow. (Heading.) 73
He was severely scolded by the Mayor o' Ligg. 78
12 LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
The Cannons now began firing at everything in sight. (Coloured.) 82
The Cannons lay about the fortifications, wheezing and sneezing and
coughing. (Heading.) 83
One after another the Guns were dismounted. 88
The Hansom, with a terrible jerk, threw his shaft upward and tossed the
horse high into the air. 93
The Cab Wheels began to revolve, and they began to gail up the river like
a new sort of steamboat. (Heading.) 95
The last thing the Hansom saw of the mill it was disappearing into the
forest, a half mile away. .
The Locomotive hoisted the Steamboat on top of his cab, and set out
across the fields. (Coloured.) 104
At midnight the Locomotive got on board the Steamboat, and she
steamed slowly up the river. (Heading.) .
The Balloon then rose, and the Locomotive and the Steamboat were
hoisted high in the air. o
The Locomotive finally succeeded in climbing a tall tree. 0
It was impossible to get the Brig round the corner. 117
The Brig went forward easily, under full sail. (Heading.) 9
The Brig dipped her bowsprit under the wheel of the Steam Roller and
pushed till she had got the machine up the bank. 122
The Church hid behind a clump of trees to see the little House swimming
in her sleep! (Coloured.) 130
The little House had always behaved with the greatest propriety.
The two dripping, purple buildings embraced each other with touching
The City Clocks used to make faces at him, but he paid them well for
that by twisting their hands round the wrong way. 141
Slowly, his silken bag filled with gas, and his strength returned.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 13
"How do you do ? said the Sewing-machine, "and who are you ? 147
Wading in boldly, they carefully pushed their way through the waves.
The Lampposts on Queer Street were the most disorderly in the City o'
Ligg. (Heading.) 153
As they reached the harbour, the Lampposts became exceedingly ill. .156
A maroon-enamelled machine shot after her, at a terrific speed. 163
Mr. Diamond Frame was proud of his family and his connections.
She found her lover disgracefully lurching round the rink, under the
weight of a fat man, learning to ride 166
The Stable stuck there, pierced through by the spire, impaled an hun-
dred feet high above the street. (Coloured.) 174
The Stable rose steadily in the air, like balloon! (Heading.) .175
It was their firm belief that the Stable devoured horses. 176
He opened the door and stepped out into the studio to tell the others
about it. 185
He stood on his head. (Heading.) 187
He sank on a painted imitation balustrade. 19
The Train gave a tremendous leap into the air and hurdled the Bridge. 199
It was not a good, honest Suspension Bridge, hung from wire cables, but
was supported by iron rods and straps. (Heading.) 201
The Crane picked up the carriages one by one and tossed them into the
He led them over to No. 7, and the Mayor and Yak looked curiously at
the roll of Tapestry. 2
The Mayor laughed. "That is a crazy design, isn't it? said the
Mayor. (Heading.) 213
Yak had been cutting up the Tapestry and had it spread out on the floor
and walls. 216
THERE is no mistake more common in everyday life,
than that which transposes cause for effect; and it is no-
where more common than in our conception of Inanimate
Objects. We say that because Objects are inanimate,
therefore they are not intelligent; whereas the proper
reasoning would affirm that because they are not intelli-
gent, therefore they are not animated. This casuistry,
however, does not carry us far afield, since most are will-
ing to accept without challenge the fact that such objects
are, in point of fact, neither animated nor intelligent. It
is only when we push the investigation toward the
speculation as to whether or not they ever existed in any
other condition, that opinions diverge.
It is remarkable what slow progress has been made in
18 THE LIVELY CITY O'LIGG.
this question since its partial discussion by Mrs. Walker.
Her essay upon the Total Depravity of Inanimate Things *
broke the first ground, but subsequent attempts to pursue
the matter have been few and fitful. Mrs. Walker, indeed
proceeded in the most unscientific and loose manner, and
contented herself with an analysis of a minor consideration,
a specialised detail of the characteristics of Inanimate Ob-
jects, missing the opportunity of being the first to formulate
the theory that such objects do or did actually possess more
or less highly developed characteristics, manners and
customs, of which their total depravity is but one evidence.
It is not too late, then, to go back to the main point
at issue, and assemble the main evidences of what may be
called character, in the Unnatural Science of the whole
genera. To be comprehensive, to catalogue all the data
bearing upon the subject, would extend unduly the limits
of such an essay as this, and therefore, only a few of the
many various phases of the subject will be taken up;
enough to prove indubitably the thesis, but leaving to
subsequent investigators the collocation of the myriad
facts necp-sary to establish the definitive and exhaustive
deductions that shall formulate and classify all inanimate
"The Total Depravity of Inanimate Things," by Mrs. E. A. Walker. "Little
Classics Series,-Volume V. Laughter."
The three most convincing proofs that such an unnat-
ural science does exist, and that, whatever their present
condition, inanimate objects are derived from similar
objects possessing animation in a more or less developed
state, from which condition they have, in the supremacy
of Man, degenerated, are as follows:
I. Evidences of prehistoric animation, shown by
Etymology, in the gender of words in foreign languages,
and English idiom, etc.
II. Evidences of a comatose or degenerate animation
in the Objects themselves.
III. Evidences of degenerate functions and features in
i. We have only to inspect the empirical use of gender
in French and other substantives, to be confronted imme-
diately with a paradox which the affirmation of this
thesis alone can explain. The English language has, it
is true, discarded the old categories, but that, it might
be said, en passant, is but another example of the hard
and fast literalness of our tongue, its radical spirit, con-
stantly changing to the spirit of new conditions, its dis-
regard for derivation and analogy; in a word, its
wonderful power of growth. We need only go back one
step to the French, however, to find the evidences which
English Etymology has been in such haste to conceal.
20 THE LIVELY CITY O' LIGG.
In French, then, we have the following Objects, for
example, classed as Masculine: Balloon, Piano, Train,
Cannon, Cab, Mill, and Boat; while other things are
designated as Feminine, such as House, Chair, Table,
Locomotive, Church, Stable, and Lantern.
Obviously, where there is evidence of sex, there must
have been life, one being a function of the other, and the
inevitable conclusion is that at some period of their exist-
ence, all these Objects,and many others, must have been
known to be, or to have been, animate as late as the rise
of the Romance tongues.
At first glance the German Language seems to con-
tain evidences of a transitionary state, and, to mark the
first abandonment of the old tradition that objects had
been once alive, we find the use of the neuter gender,
so called, to distinguish many objects, as well as a double
use of masculine and feminine. For instance, we have
three words for Mill : Meizel, (Masculine) Muehle (fem-
inine) and Hammerwerk, (Neuter). The superficial
explanation would doubtless be, that with the growing
distrust in the early legends, the genders of objects had be-
come confused in the Teutonic mind, newly freed from the
strict empire of this theory, and become lax and inaccurate,
and there is no doubt that the increasing use of the neuter
form played havoc with the former recognized distinction.
Indeed, it is only fair to say, this view is strenghtened by
the fact .that many words masculine in French are femi-
nine in German,-Cannon, Boat, for instance, to cite from
our previous list, where, too, the reverse case may be
exemplified as well.
A deeper reasoning, however, will convince one that
this theory is not inadequate, and it is impossible to escape
the more comprehensive explanation that this double
form in so many substantives proves a much more
reasonable state of things, i. e., that objects in their
animate state had highly developed sexual distinctions,
even amongst things of the same sort. In fine, there were
doubtless male and female houses, mills, and pianos, &c.,
as might naturally be inferred A prior. Thus the Ger-
man Genders hark back to the primeval knowledge of
mankind even more clearly than the French, the Teu-
tonic imagination and poetic insight retaining faith in
the early myths long after it had crystalised into an
empirical dogma amongst the Gauls.
But though we have not these convincing evidences
in English etymology, our native idiom preserves many
traces of the folk, or rather the object-lore of our
ancestors. We still speak of the legs of a chair, of the
arms of a sofa, the back of a settee, the hands of a watch.
.it is idle to controvert the, obvious inference by suppos-
22 THE LIVELY CITY O' LIGG.
ing these to have been named merely by resemblances of
form. Does the leg of a table resemble in any way the
leg of a man or a horse ? No it undoubtedly was so
named, far back in the early days of the race, because at
one time tables had legs, with which they stood, walked,
ran and kicked. In the same way it is not uncommon,
even nowadays, to hear that highly suggestive idiom:
"the lamp has gone out," and the craftsmen, who per-
haps preserve more of the old words and phrases than any
other class, still speak of the "teeth" of saws, the
"heads of nails, the "eyes of needles: the printer
" feeds" his press; we speak of a piano as "grand" or
"upright," we even distinguish "bell buoys. These
are only a few of a thousand cases that might be cited in
support of the theory.
2. The evidence of degenerate functions or even
actions of Inanimate Objects has been too well shown,
in the above-mentioned essay, to need much elaboration
here. The reader is referred to that work, and, his eyes
once opened to the bearing of its evidence upon the higher
issues involved, he may easily read into the text, a full
exposition of the importance of such phenomena, in their
bearing upon the case. Many other manifestations
might be adduced, such as the table-tipping of Spiritual-
ists, never before accounted for by this simple explana-
tion, the shutting of doors, and the ease with which
small articles get lost. A ball left standing upon the
slope of a hill, will run down to the bottom. The clock
moves its hands, strikes, and goes slow or fast; all
objects grow old. If these instances are not conclusive,
further multiplication of cases is futile.
3. Not the least interesting, though perhaps not the
most conclusive, evidence of a previous state of animation
in Inanimate Objects is to be found in Architecture.
There is no doubt that houses were the most highly
organised, as well as the first and best known objects
with which Primeval Man was familiar. The esteem
with which dwellings were held by the descendants of the
cave-dwellers is evidenced in the earliest attempts to
imitate houses, and it is a remarkable and conclusive fact,
that as yet no single house built by our primitive ancestors,
however remote, has been found that does not possess
some sort of rude elementary door, and indeed, as far
back as the Lake dwellings, we have abundant corrob-
oration of the fact that windows were not unknown!
The door and window, in fact, were persistent elements
in all ancient Architecture. We can trace the influence
of the original idea through the Roman, Egyptian,
Greek, Byzantine, and Renaissance periods, down to the
very end of the Victorian Era. What does this mean ?
24 THE LIVELY CITY O' LIGG.
There is scarcely any doubt but that, in the original
Animate Objects, the door was by way of being the'
mouth of the house, and it was but natural that Primitive
Man, to whom food was the most important need of his
savage life, emphasised the organ of Eating in his
earliest attempts at architecture. Next to subsistence
came the necessity for Seeing. Self Defence demanded
an eye, hence the window, the eyes of the extinct
Houses. We have just seen how these canons came
down to us and how in the development of Architecture
they were never wholly lost sight of. Indeed, one need
only to look at a modern house to recognize the rea-
sonableness of this hypothesis.
This much is too apparent to need further proof, and
few will have the temerity to deny the glaring probabili-
ties of the case, but the unnatural scientist will look
farther, and see a host of corroborative details. The
most striking, as well as one of the least-known phrases
lies in what might be called the expression" of houses,
irrespective of any marked similarity to human beings.
This is what architects term "design." It is enough to
say that certain houses have an anxious, some an uneasy,
and others a generous, reposeful aspect. Our poets are
fond of describing church steeples as "fingers pointing
Heavenward." The illustration, and the whole miscon-
ceived personification is ill-described, but it exemplifies a
state of things well understood by the imaginative.
Could space be afforded, proofs might also be added
from mythology and the sacred writings of early literature.
We will not insult our readers' intelligence, however, by
burdening a volume of proof already overwhelming.
It is unfortunate, that, in this mechanical age, most
objects have lost more and more of those characteristics
which were common to all before their cidivation. It
may be said broadly, however, that the nearer an Object
approaches an art, the stronger is its personality, what-
ever be its powers of will. The piano is a familiar
instance, with its gracefully curved legs, which once were
capable of dignified locomotion, and its voice, now pro.
evoked only at the discretion of the musician. The
Camera has other pronounced characteristics and quali-
ties, and a certain curious dignity of its own, despite its
absurd three legs (a rudimentary fourth being often
noticed), and the early over-development of its eye will
occur to every intelligent thinker.
It is not within the scope of this article to discuss the
causes which led to the degeneracy of this strange race
of objects, the means by which their freedom was sub-
verted by Man, or the scope and locus of its original civ-
26 THE LIVELY CITY O' LIGG.
Less apropos even than interesting this balance of
power is the consideration of the possibility of the cross-
ing of the two equi-dominant races or species, as hinted
in the analogies of the biped beasts of mythology. Here,
however, the reader may investigate for himself and
amuse himself with speculations upon the Equus Cabal-
lustrade, the Liano or Piano Lion, the Giraffopost and
other strange mongrels. There was doubtless a stage
in the progress of the two races, when animals and ob-
jects existed contemporaneously, and were equipped with
approximately equal powers, and it is to this era that the
mise en scene of the tales in this book belongs. But
the one was destined to go on and perfect a still higher
culture, while the other had already passed its summa-
tion of development, and was degenerating. The
struggle must have been furious, though probably of
short duration, and the laws of Evolution triumphed.
We can have no doubt but that it was a survival of the
THE TERRIBLE TRAIN.
ABOUT twenty-one miles outside of the City o' Ligg,
there was a long, narrow, dark, slimy tunnel like a worm-
hole in the hills-such a terrible tunnel that no one had
ever ventured inside for more than a few steps, and then
only by daylight. By night, no one had ever dared go
near this awful round hole at all, for in it lived a fearful,
fierce and furious railway train; the most terrific train
that ever was. It had once been harmless enough, and
had carried many a load of passengers from the seaside
up to the City o' Ligg, but long ago it had escaped from
the railway station, and had run away into the hills, so
that it should not have to work.
The tunnel was so narrow that, when inside, the train
could not turn itself round, and one could hear it roaring
and hissing, deep in the dark inside of the hill, grumbling
32 THE LIVELY CITY 0' LIGG.
like a dragon. From time to time it would stick its head
out of the hole in the hillside, and whistle with wild, hor-
rible shrieks, and spit fire and steam out of its smoke-
stack, and cough out volumes of black smoke, in a way to
terrify the people for miles around.
It was an English train, all jointed together with little
coaches. Its head was an old-style locomotive, with a
closed cab like a monkey's ears. Its thorax was com-
posed of first-class compartment carriages, its abdomen
.of second and third-class carriages, and it had a tail like a
scorpion-a little, stumpy brake-van that wobbled from
side to side and would never stay on the line. From
nose to tail the train was all of a whitish yellow, like a
slug having faded and bleached by living in the darkness
of the tunnel for so many years.
The train looked for all the world like a big snake,
especially when it came out at night to eat fences ; for,
as the neighbours had taken up the rails leading into the
tunnel, it had to hump itself along like an immense inch-
worm, covering an eighth of a mile at each hump! As
it worked its way along, it waved its yellow locomotive
head from side to side, and its shrieks frightened every
person in the country into his house, there to look, with
white face, from the third story windows, trembling, till
the monster had passed, and had gone back into his
THE TERRIBLE TRAIN.
tunnel to sleepily digest a few miles of picket-fence in
Now, many rewards had been offered by the Mayor of
the City o'Ligg for the capture of the terrible train, but
for a long, long time no one had dared even to think of
attempting such a dangerous feat. But there was in
town a little boy named Yak, very valourous and high-
spirited, who had set his wits to work upon the problem,
till at last good idea crawled into his small head.
So one day he painted himself with black paint from
head to foot, so that he could not be seen in the dark.
He took a bag of jam sandwiches, and he crawled into
the tunnel, to spend the day in watching the train.
After he had got in a few miles, he heard the muffled hiss
of the engine's pistons, and he flattened himself against
the side of the tunnel, and edged along in perfect silence.
It was an anxious moment, for if he should come across
the head of the train, it would be certain death, because
he knew that the train would chase him and eat him up
before he could get away.
Suddenly his foot slipped and he fell against the tail
of the train, hitting the brake-van that was wagging away
very contentedly. Yak's heart jumped, and he gave him-
self up for lost; but seeing that the train had either not
noticed the blow, or had thought it was only some little
34 THE LIVELY CITY O' LIGG.
hand-car that had ventured in, he worked himself along-
side the carriages till, round a curve, he saw a flicker, and
there was the train eating away, with its little head-light
flashing first on one side of the tunnel and then on the
other! The side walls were black and shiny masses of
rock. It was as Yak had expected-the train was eating
its dinner of anthracite coal!
As the boy watched, he accidentally touched a second-
class carriage in the train's most sensitive and ticklish
spot. With a roar and a loud, screaming whistle, it be-
gan to writhe backwards to get at the intruder, but Yak
turned and ran for his life, and reached the mouth of the
tunnel just in time to escape being crushed under the
In spite of the danger, however, Yak crawled into the
tunnel the next day and the next, to watch the train eat-
ing its dinner of anthracite coal. He had the good luck
never to encounter the head of the train, which would
undoubtedly have bitten him into little pieces, or even
swallowed him whole. The last day he went in was a
Sunday, when he found the train feeding at a new place,
and Yak saw, by the look of the dull black walls of the
tunnel, that this was where the train kept his soft, bitu-
minous coal. There was so little of it that the train kept
it only for Sundays, for soft coal was considered a great
delicacy by this greedy train.
THE TERRIBLE TRAIN.
Now that Yak was sure of the train's weakness, he laid
his plans boldly, and, with the help of the Mayor o' Ligg,
and a million labourers, he laid a line from the City
o' Ligg to the mouth of the tunnel, and spread the track
very thickly with a layer of soft, bituminous coal. But to
get the train to turn around, so that it should come out
head first upon the line-that was the question !
The far end of the tunnel came out of the hill by the
side of a river, where Yak had often seen the train come
to drink, and so here the boy and the Mayor came, with
their million men. They dug and they delved for many
nights and many days, till they had dammed the stream,
and made a new channel leading from the river to the
mouth of the tunnel. When, at last, all was ready, they
waited till the train had gone into the tunnel after drink-
ing one evening and then turned the stream into the por-
tal, and it rushed through the hole in the hill like a
deluge, washing the terrible train, half drowned and
spluttering, head foremost, out into the open air, along-
side the new laid-line. The train, which had not had a
bath for many, many years, took it a good deal more
good-humouredly than might have been expected, and,
shaking itself till the water was spattered over the
countryside like a thunderstorm, it crawled upon the em-
bankment, and began to eat the soft coal, as if nothing
disturbing had happened.
36 THE LIVELY CITY O' LIGG.
When it had eaten all it could burn, it slowly backed
into the tunnel again and slept all night, snoring loudly.
It came out every day after that, rolling along the rails,
and eating a little more coal each time, getting gradually
farther and farther from its tunnel, till, in three weeks
it had boldly entered the City o' Ligg !
Now, the end of the line led into the Grand Opera
House, and precisely a month after its bath, the train
puffed into the building, heavy with coal, and coiling it-
self up in the orchestra and lazily thumping its tail
against-the balconies, it fell fast asleep !
In a moment the doors were bolted. Then, telling the
Mayor that the rest was easily done, Yak ran home and
went to bed, for he had not had a good night's sleep for
When he re-entered the Grand Opera House, the train
was lying in a stupor, its tail limp, and its little head-light
dull and smoky. Yak seated himself beside the locomo-
tive and softly stroked its head. As the train slowly
awoke, it felt the little boy oiling its wheels, and quietly
rubbing the connecting-rods, and polishing the brasses
and boiler of its locomotive. This kindness was too
affecting for the train to resist; its engine would not
snort and its bell rang very softly, so as not to frighten
its little friend. Yak came every day to see the train,
THE TERRIBLE TRAIN.
and at last the monster grew so tame that it would eat
out of the boy's hand.
The train was now released from the Opera House and
all the citizens of the City o' Ligg came out to welcome
it and its little master. All praised its docility. The
little girls brought garlands of roses and hung them
round its neck, and the ladies of the town trimmed it with
flags, while the men painted it freshly with white and
gold. It was pointed out to all the railway stations as a
model of deportment.
The train never outgrew its love for its little master,
Yak, and it became his especial pet, carrying him to
school every day, and waiting for him under the trees
until he was ready to return home. It would, however,
never allow any of the other children on its back; it
would gently but firmly shake them off, whenever they
attempted to steal a ride. Long after Yak grew too old
to work, his faithful train supported him by doing acro-
batic tricks for tourists in the City o' Ligg, and many
strangers brought away with them strange and improba-
ble tales of a train that would stand on its head for a
penny, or climb the church steeple .and spin the weather
vane for their amusement.
At last the train died. It was a sad and cruel death,
caused by a malicious little boy, who was jealous of Yak's
38 THE LIVELY CITY O' LIGG.
reputation as a train-tamer. He found the train alone
one night, on a siding, and, after uncoupling all the
carriages, shunted them around to different parts of the
station yard. The next morning help was sent for, but,
by a fearful mistake,the train was put together wrongly,
with all the third-class carriages next the locomotive It
had much trouble in digesting even the softest coke or
wood after this, and at last it came to a standstill upon a
suspension bridge, and never moved again.
THE RUNAWAY CHAIRS.
THE RUNAWAY CHA RS
IT was a sly old rocking-chair that began it, but the
conspiracy spread so quickly all over the City o' Ligg
that all the furniture must have been quite ready for the
I have been sat upon quite enough! said the rocker;
"not to speak of the horrid men that put their feet in my
I don't see why you should care if they put their feet
on you," a pert little foot-stool replied. For my part, I
think it's low of them to sit on me; you were made for
that, but I wasn't !"
At all events," the old sofa grumbled, only one can
sit on you at a time-you needn't complain. What
would you do. if a half dozen of them tried to sit on you
at once ? That's what they do to me "
42 THE LIVELY CITY 0' LIGG.
Well, they can't throw you around the room, and use
you for a step-ladder or a table, anyway !" It was a
frisky young stool who had interrupted. "They not only
put their feet on me, but they stand on me, too Look
at my rungs-they're all barked and sore; the skin's all
Wait till they break your leg as they did mine, be-
fore you talk," said the easy chair. "They gave my
arm an awful wrench yesterday; and, the first thing I
know, I'll have to go to the cabinet-maker's, and have it
set. Perhaps you know what hot glue feels like, young
fellow ? "
No, thank Heaven, I don't !" said the stool; but I
have been scraped and sandpapered!"
Tkat doesn't hurt!" said the table. When they
begin to use the plane on you, then you can squeak!
Here I am, with only two castors to my feet. I wonder
how they'd like to go without toes ?"
"That's all right; you don't have to be upholstered,
and tacked and sown up. Perhaps it's fun to have long
needles stuck into you every year or so, and about a
thousand tacks driven in, and have all your stuffing
pulled out, just as soon as it's flattened down easy in the
worn spots!" The rocking-chair tossed violently as it
spoke, and hitched its way over to the stool.
THE RUNAWAY CHAIRS.
What are you going to do about it ? said the piano-
stool, turning from one to the other.
I have been thinking about it, and I propose that we
all strike, and send the foot-stool round through the
town to notify all the furniture in all the houses to quit
work," the rocker said.
The plot was discussed and accepted forthwith, and
that night the little foot-stool stole out of doors, and
visited a dozen houses. Up and down the street the
excitement spread, and every piece of furniture in the
City o' Ligg was at last converted, except the pianos.
"It's all right for you fellows," they said, "but we
have no complaints. They don't dare abuse us, and
stand on us, or leave the window open so that we'll catch
cold, for we're too jolly expensive But you go on, and
we wish you good luck! "
And so it was decided that, on an appointed night,
every piece of furniture in the City o' Ligg should run
away into the woods outside the town. The houses,
after a good deal of persuasion, reluctantly consented to
open their doors.
Now, the little boy named Yak lived in the very house
where the plot began, and that night he went to sleep
upon the old sofa, under a large rug. Why the sofa
never told the others, was never found out. Perhaps
44 THE LIVELY CITY O' LIGG.
he thought he would keep the boy prisoner as a hos-
tage, perhaps the sofa was so heavy that he did not
notice the extra weight, but, at any rate, Yak slept on
through all the bustle of the runaway, and never woke
up until it was all over.
It was a strange sight, the migration of the chairs and
tables, that August night. At twelve o'clock, all over
the city o' Ligg, the doors of the houses slowly opened,
and creeping quietly downstairs came lines of chairs, and
stools, and tables, and sofas. As each house was emptied,
THE RUNAWAY CHAIRS.
the furniture formed in line and marched silently to the
park in the centre of the town. The lamp posts waved
at them as they passed, and the few ash-barrels that were
left upon the streets rolled with laughter to see the
clumsy old pieces of furniture go by.
In the park they were joined by many benches, anxious
to escape from the work they had to do, not only by day
but often by night, when, at least, the others might rest.
The rocking-chair then divided the whole army into divi-
sions for the march.
First came the little foot-stools. After these came the
three and four-legged stools and piano-stools, who
creaked like a fife-corps in time with the marching legs
of the straight chairs that followed. There were thou-
sands of these; dining-chairs, parlour chairs with curved
legs, stiff chamber chairs-stuffed, padded, and cane-
seated. The arm-chairs and sofas came next, waddling
along heavily, and a regiment of tables brought up the
rear. Alongside the procession galloped the rockers,
keeping the whole line moving in an orderly fashion, and
carrying orders back and forth. The chairs with castors
got along very easily on the paved streets, but when they
struck the rough roads of the country, they slipped in
the most ludicrous fashion.
The wood was reached just as day broke, and the whole
46 THE LIVELY CITY O' LIGG.
army stood around amongst the trees, and rested. The
campaign had been a great success, and they laughed to
think that their days of work were over. As.long as they
could hide in the forest they were safe.
It was just as they were congratulating themselves on
their freedom that little Yak awoke. When he put his
head out from under the rug, he was astonished to see
himself in the forest; but when he looked round, and
saw thousands and thousands of chairs and tables and
sofas, he could not believe his eyes. The old rocker had
just begun to address the assembled furniture.
Fellow Pieces," said he, "this is all right for a be-
ginning, and we may congratulate ourselves upon our
success, but we have a still greater duty to perform.
There is no doubt that as soon as our loss is discovered,
other pieces of furniture will be speedily manufactured
and will be forced to submit to the slavery from which
we have escaped. Can we rest happily here, while our
new-made brothers and sisters are ground under the foot
of tyrant Man ? "
NO cried all the furniture, as with a single voice.
"No!" answered the rocker. "I, myself, am of the
solidest mahogany, and I am one of the oldest Sheraton
designs; but were I the cheapest veneer, my glue would
boil at such selfishness. Let us send emissaries, then,
THE RUNAWAY CHAIRS.
into the town every night, and teach these unfortunates
how to throw off the yoke! Who will volunteer for this
dangerous service ?"
Yak waited to hear no more. Luckily he was on the
outskirts of the mob, for if he had been observed he
would have been trodden to death by the excited chairs.
He dropped to the ground and crawled out of sight, and
then ran as fast as he could for the town. He found the
City o' Ligg in confusion. It was now noon, and nobody
had been able to sit down, except upon the floor, since
early morning. He thought to himself how terrible it
would have been if the beds had run away, also !
The inhabitants of the city were dumfounded when
they discovered that there was not a seat left in the whole
town. They had to eat their dinners from the mantle-
pieces or sitting tailor-wise on the floor, and they could
not imagine what had become of all their furniture. Yak
went directly to the Mayor, and told his story.
"It is impossible that my furniture should have been
so ungrateful!" said the Mayor. "Why, it was only last
spring that I gave every piece in my house a new coat of
"Well," said Yak, there they all are, and I doubt if
there is much varnish left on them by this time."
The Mayor was at last convinced of the exodus, and
48 THE LIVELY CITY O' LIGG.
taking many horses and many carts, waggons, wains,
drays, trucks, and vans, he went out to the wood to see
what could be done about the matter. When the pieces
of furniture saw men approaching, they formed in battal-
ions, and prepared to fight the enemy. Before the
Mayor knew what to expect, a gallant charge of rocking-
chairs had attacked the carters, and, while they were in
confusion, platoons of heavy dining-tables advanced, and
began to rear and kick so that no man could stand against
them. The solid mahogany sofas cut off all retreat, and
before long the Mayor and all his men were surrounded
by the now infuriated furniture.
Although they had won the victory, the old rocker was
shrewd enough to know that, now their hiding place was
discovered, it was only a question of time when the
Mayor would be reinforced by a squadron of cabinet
makers with sharp saws and planes; so, taking some of
the more influential pieces of furniture aside, he suggested
that a treaty be made with the Mayor of the City o' Ligg.
This was agreed to, after much discussion, and the offer
was proposed to the Mayor.
The Mayor, in his turn, wished to consult with his
council, but the chairs refused to allow this. The Mayor
haggled about the terms of the agreement, but after he
had hesitated some time, eight elephantine billiard tables,
THE RUNAWAY CHAIRS.
impatient at the delay, threatened to begin to kick with
their legs if he did not agree immediately. And so the
Mayor, now quite terrified, signed the following agree-
i. Owners of furniture should not put their feet on
anything but foot-stools, and should not sit down on any-
thing but chairs and sofas.
2. Furniture should be repaired and revarnished as
soon as possible after being broken or scratched.
3. Furniture should be upholstered with only the best
and softest materials, and covered with good taste, gimp
to be glued on, and not tacked.
4. Rocking-chairs should have the ends of all rockers
round, instead of pointed, and all other chairs to be fur-
nished with easily-rolling castors.
5. The sofas should not have to hold more than three
persons, and the twirling piano-stools should be oiled
once a week.
6. All the furniture should be carted back to the City
o' Ligg with the honours of war.
And back they were carried, indeed, and they drove
into the city waving their legs from a thousand carts,
waggons, wains, drays, trucks, and vans, from which they
were selected by their crestfallen owners, and taken to
their respective homes. The houses welcomed them
50 THE LIVELY CITY O' LIGG.
soberly enough; but more than one window winked its
shutter, as if to say, That's all right, but I wonder how
long it will be before my master puts his feet on the
rungs of his best white-and-gold parlour chairs again ?"
THE THREE ELEVATORS.
THERE was one immense building in the City o' Ligg ;
it was twenty-seven stories high! At the end of the
main corridor, which was a gorgeous affair, paved with
marble and walled with malachite, there was a shaft, in
which lived three elevators.
One of these elevators was very, very strong. One
was very, very swift. One was neither very strong nor
very swift, but it made up for it by being very, very
clever, as you shall see.
The strong elevator was used chiefly for carrying up
heavy pieces of merchandise, and was not fitted up so
beautifully as the others. The swift one was an Express
Elevator," and did not stop till he got to the twentieth
THE LIVELY CITY 0' LIGG.
story. If you wanted to go to a floor between that and
the ground floor, you had to take the one in the middle
of the three, which was the clever elevator.
At night, after the power was turned off, the three
elevators rested, side by side on the ground floor, at the
end of the corridor. It was then that they used to gos-
sip over the day's work, and the strong one would brag
of the heavy cases he had lifted; the swift one would
boast of how he had made the trip to the roof in two
minutes many and many a time, and could do it in 1:46,
if necessary, with a good elevator boy; and the clever
one did not say much, but she would lead the others on,
and keep them talking.
One day the swift elevator, who always made the last
trip, dropped down to the floor as the electric lights were
turned off, in a great excitement.
What do you think ? he said, a great, stupid house
has crawled on top of this building; it is a ten-story
Heavens! Do you suppose we'll have to make
thirty-seven-story trips, now ? That is too much of a
good thing said the strong elevator.
"I am afraid we shall," said the clever one, "unless
we can do something about it, in a hurry !"
What can we do ? cried the other two.
THE THREE ELEVATORS.
Well," said the clever one to the swift one, if you
could only go fast enough- "
"Oh, no fear, I can go fast enough; you wait !" said
the swift elevator, shaking her annunciator drops.
Or if you were a little stronger," continued the one
in the centre, as she looked slyly at the heavy freight
The strong one rattled his rope with his chuckles.
Well, I think you can trust me "
"Well, then, perhaps we can do it," said the clever
"But how ?" enquired the other two.
Why, it's only necessary to push the house off ; and
it doesn't matter whether you shoot up fast and knock it
off with a jerk, or go up slowly, the way old freightie
does, and push it off by main force; it's all the same, as
long as the house falls off. I'm not very strong, and I'm
not very swift, but I can see the way it ought to be done,
Then the other two consulted together. "Let me try
first !" said one, and No, let me try first," said the other,
till they had to appeal to the middle one to decide which
should have the honour of the first trial.
Let the express go first," said the clever one, and if
he can't do it, then the goods elevator may try it."
58 THE LIVELY CITY O' LIGG.
So the express elevator drew a long breath and braced
himself against a floor. Go! cried the others. He
shot up like a bullet out of a gun, so fast and so hard
that he drove up and up, right into the house on top of
the building, where there was no shaft, and tore a hole,
ten stories high, clear through it. But his speed was so
great that he flew through the house, high into the air,
and then fell down, smash! on the roof of the house,
and was killed.
THE THREE ELEVATORS.
"'Now, it is your turn," said the clever one, smiling
The strong freight car took a tight hold on his rope,
and crawled slowly up, story by story, till he had reached
the top of the shaft, at the twenty-seventh floor. There
he rested a few minutes to get his breath. Then he put
his head against the house, and exerted all his strength
in a mighty effort. He pushed and pushed, but though
he lifted the whole house up about twenty feet, he could
do no more.
Then he shouted down the shaft to the other : Come
on and help It's heavier than I thought, and I can't
hold it much longer Come quickly !"
I'm right here!" said the clever elevator, who had
stolen up the shaft after him; I'll help."
But instead of helping, that sly little car crawled out
of the hole the swift elevator had made, and crept along
the roof of the building in the space left by the other's
holding up the house. It was lucky for her that the
stupid freight elevator could not see, for if he had dropped
the house, it would have crushed her flatter than a pan-
cake. She was a little frightened, but she got safely to
the edge, and dropped to a roof near by, and lay there
laughing to her own naughty little self.
6o THE LIVELY CITY O' LIGG.
The strong elevator held up the house as long as he
could, and then let it drop with a groan.
Why didn't you push more ?" he said; but when he
came down and found that the clever one was gone, he
didn't know what to make of it at all. He was a very
dull machine, and he never knew what a fool the sly one
had made of them both.
But the clever little car stayed up on the roof in the
sun watching the lively City o' Ligg all day, and slept
all night, thanking her ropes that she didn't have to
work any more, and didn't have to obey an ignorant
elevator boy who would stop her with a jerk, and start
her with a jounce. And unless she has been taken away
and made into a street car, she is there yet !
THE VERY GRAND PIANO.
THERE was once a piano in the City o' Ligg, who was
so very grand that, besides the black and white keys that
most pianos have, he possessed blue and red keys also,
on which he could imitate the songs of birds, the ripple
of rivulets, and the laughter of little children.
But though he was the grandest piano in the City o'
Ligg, he was not at all happy. He had fallen in love
with a windmill, who did not encourage him! The
piano would often gulumph across the fields of an even-
ing, clumsily climbing the many walls, fences, and hedges
on the way, and, standing beneath the long arms of his
beloved, he would serenade her plaintively in A-sharp.
But it would never do any good; the windmill would
not notice him.
After years of such futile devotion, the piano went to
call upon an old church organ to seek advice.
64 THE LIVELY CITY O' LIGG.
"I know very little of love," said the organ, though
I am often present at weddings; but why not try B-flat
for a change."
This seemed a good idea to the piano, and that very
night he stole out of the music room, and made his way
to where the windmill lived. He struck up a merry,
frolicking tune in B-flat, that should have charmed a
church clock. Indeed, this time the windmill did not
seem so indifferent to his suit. She stopped to fan her-
self, and turned her head to look at the piano; but when
she saw him squatting on three stumpy, though highly
ornamented rosewood legs, in the middle of a ploughed
field, she laughed aloud.
This was too much for the Very Grand Piano, and, shut-
ting his lid with a bang, he waddled across the field and
jumped into the river, intending to drown himself, and
so forget his sorrows and perpetual disappointments.
He did not drown, however. The river bore him,
floundering, down toward its mouth, but instead of
swallowing him, it cast him high and dry, on a desert
island, in the harbour. By this time he had decided to
live, in spite of his sorrows, and he crawled up into the
sun, opened his cover, and dried his sounding-board.
For many days he was too wretched to speak, but at
last the burden of his misery was too much to bear, and
THE VERY GRAND PIANO.
he groaned and sang aloud, chiefly in minor chords, upon
his blue keys. So he continued, bewailing his fate, till,
one day, a kite carried the story of his sorrow to the
windmill in the field.
Is he really as serious and as constant as all that ? "
she said. Perhaps I missed something, after all!"
And she sent a message, by way of the water-pipe, with
whom she was connected (on her mother's side), to let
the piano know that she was sorry.
The water-pipe gave the message to the foghorn, who
bawled it across to the foolish old piano upon the island.
"Come home Come home !" shouted the foghorn, in
a hoarse voice, across the waters of the harbour.
But how was the piano to get home? He could not
swim, and there was nothing in which to sail, for all the
tugs in the harbour said it was none of their business if
the piano wanted to make such a fool of himself, and
they couldn't be expected to carry him.
The piano was now more wretched than ever, and he
played on his black keys all day the most heartrending
music that ever was heard. The buoys bobbled with
sympathy and excitement, but they had to stay and
watch for ships, and so, of course, could do nothing.
Many weeks passed in this miserable way.
At last a kind old steamboat passed the island, and
66 THE LIVELY CITY O' LIGG
answered the grand piano's frantic signals. The steam-
boat was willing to help, but the water was too shallow
for her to approach very near the island, though the
piano, half crazed with disappointment, waded out as far
as he dared. All hope seemed over, when the steamboat
whistled : Pull out your strings, and throw them over
With a cry of joy, the piano tore out a few heavy
wires and, tying them together, threw them as far as he
could. But no, they would not reach! He tore out
more and more, till only three wires were left-A, C,
and D-flat. This sacrifice enabled him to reach the
steamboat, and he was drawn aboard half drowned, and
with one leg broken in the operation. It was set, but so
clumsily put on that he was bowlegged all the rest of
And so, after many other misfortunes, this Very Grand
Piano at last made his way, with the help of a road
engine, to the field where the windmill was waiting for
him. She, too, had not been happy, and the memory of
the beautiful, bright rosewood piano, whom she had
scorned, kept her awake night after night. How terri-
ble, then, it was to see him again-old, blistered, dull,
and scratched, with one leg awry, his keys rough and
soiled, and his carved music-rest full of sand !
THE VERY GRAND PIANO.
But when he began to speak to her once more-though,
indeed, he played only on two black keys and one blue
one--her heart melted, and she completely broke down,
weeping so that they thought her water-pipe had burst.
And so she found that she loved the piano, in spite of
his miserable appearance, and they were married and
lived happily forever afterwards, having two children, an
_.Eolian harp and a hand organ.
68 THE LIVELY CITY O' LIGG.
But the old foghorn never stopped wondering why the
windmill would refuse a handsome polished Very Grand
Piano, with plenty of strings, and accept him after he was
old and used up, and with only three strings to his name!
THE PERT FIRE ENGINE.
THERE were many fire engines, members of the Fire
Department of the City o' Ligg; but of all the number,
the most ill-behaved was the disreputable little Number
Four. He was known all over the city as the black
sheep of the flock, and everyone knew the stories of his
In spite of his evil deeds, however, he was a very
handsome machine, wearing a pretty coat of red enamel,
and all his fittings were nickelled, so that they shone like
silver buttons. He always had silken hose, too, for he
was very rich. But he was usually the last engine at the
fire, and he was always sure to shirk. He would hold
back when he was signalled to Play away, Four /" and
he would squirt a stream strong enough to drench the
Chief, when he should have held back. He consumed an
74 THE LIVELY CITY 0' LIGG.
enormous amount of the most expensive fuel, and he
wheezed and puffed till the air shook with vibrations. He
could have been the best engine in the Department, if he
had wanted to, but he didn't.
So the people of the City o' Ligg were not very much
surprised when they learned that Number Four had run
away. They hoped only that he would stay away, for
they could get along much better without him. He's
more trouble than he's worth," said an old ladder-cart.
" I've been tempted, more than once, to fall on him and
break his boiler for him. He won't even have his hose
darned, because he prefers to leak all over the street !"
For a few weeks Number Four enjoyed his truancy.
He spent most of his time down by a lake, a little out-
side the city, and there he amused himself by going in
swimming, and squirting water over himself like an ele-
phant, till he shone brilliantly in the sunshine. When he
was tired of that, he went around to the farmhouses, and
sucked all the water out of their wells, and flooded their
cellars. The stables were all very much afraid of him,
but dared not complain, though they told their fences to
catch him if they could.
Another favourite game of his was to fill his tank with
water, and squirt it at the windmills, playing on their
sails so as to make the wheels spin backwards. This
THE PERT FIRE ENGINE.
made many of the windmills so ill that they had to stop
pumping for weeks.
But at last Number Four grew tired of this mischief in
the country, and he began to cast about for something
more exciting to do. So one night he loaded himself
with water and rolled into the City o' Ligg.
He drew up before a little two-story house that was
not painted, but only whitewashed, and began to squirt
water all over her. The poor little house shut her doors
and windows, but even then she was drenched to the
skin, and after an hour or so, almost all her whitewash
was soaked off, and she stood, cold, dripping, and shiver-
ing in the night air, with her naked boards streaked with
white. The naughty fire engine laughed brutally at her
distress, and went back to the lake to concoct more mis-
Every night, after that, Number Four went into the
town and drenched the houses, laughing, as he poured
streams of cold water down their chimneys, breaking
their windows, washing away their foundations, and
splashing them all over with muddy water.
At last it got to be altogether too much to endure, and
the houses consulted together to see how Number Four
could be caught and punished. They could think of no
way, however, and so, after the fire engine had showered
76 THE LIVELY CITY O' LIGG.
a very old and respectable church, and had given him a
severe cold, they applied to the telegraph office to help
The telegraph office was by far the cleverest building
in the City o' Ligg, but it took him some time to think
of a remedy for this trouble. He consulted, by wire, with
all the offices around Ligg, and at last they decided upon
Notice was sent out to all the telegraph poles to strip
off their wires and come into Ligg for further orders.
The next day the houses were surprised to see a proces-
sion of long, naked telegraph poles march into town,
each with a roll of wire on its arm. They marched up to
the telegraph office that night and received their instruc-
As soon as it was dark, the poles separated this way
and that, going, some to one part of the town, and some
to another, till the whole city was surrounded. For
several hours, while the houses slept in peace, the poles
worked, going in and out with the wires till they had
woven a fence all round the town. At the principal en-
trances, they left the streets free for the fire engine to get
in ; but they contrived big V-shaped traps here and there,
which could be closed by the poles at a moment's notice.
It was by this time twelve o'clock, the hour when Number
THE PERT FIRE ENGINE.
Four usually appeared, and when all the town was quiet
the poles waited for the bad engine to come.
At last they heard the rumble of wheels on the road
from the lake, and in the dark they saw a bright light
approaching; it was the fire in the naughty engine, who
was puffing his way into the town, chuckling to himself
over the fun he was to have with the Town Hall that
night ; for he had planned to fill the whole of the third
story with water before he came back.
Number Four came up to the city gate, with no sus-
picion of what was awaiting him, and boldly rolled up the
main avenue, past the double line of sleeping houses.
There was one house that was snoring with a rough noise,
and the fire engine turned with a laugh and sent a stream
of water through its window.
Suddenly the telegraph poles closed round him; they
waved and towered over his head, they lay on the ground
across his road, they threatened to fall upon him. The
poor engine was terrified out of his senses. He backed
and jumped, he whistled and groaned, and he spouted a
black column of smoke out of his funnel, and sent streams
of water in every direction. Suddenly, seeing an open-
ing, he darted back toward the gate, but he soon found
himself walled in by the wire fences. He tried another
way and another, but there was no escape; the wires
78 THE LIVELY CITY O' LIGG.
hemmed him in on all sides, till finally he was stuck so fast
that he could not move, and he stood panting, waiting to
see what would happen next.
His wheels were tied, and his fires put out, and the
next morning the poor shame-faced engine was pulled
into town past the lines of houses, who jeered at him
scornfully. He was led into the Park in the centre of the
City o' Ligg, and there, where all the principal buildings
could see, he was severely scolded by the Mayor.
It was a long lecture, telling the whole story of his
wickedness, and ending with the sentence that was to be
inflicted upon him as a punishment. One by one they
THE PERT FIRE ENGINE.
took off his bright red and gold wheels, they took off his
pole, and whiffle-trees, his seat-cushions, and tool-box,
and then they dug a deep hole in the middle of the Park,
by the side of a well, put him in, covered him with dirt,
and sodded over the burial place.
And so, now, when the tourist in the City o' Ligg
compliments the Mayor upon the beautiful fountain that
plays night and day in the middle of the Park, sending
up a straight stream of water a hundred feet in the air,
the Mayor says :
Oh, yes; quite so, quite so That is the naughty
fire engine, little Number Four, working out his time
of punishment. He was put in for twenty years, but if
he behaves well, we're going to let him out in nineteen "
THE INSANE BATTERY.
THE MSANE BATTERY
THE City o' Ligg scarcely needed any defenses, for
the town was certainly quite able to take care of himself,
with so many spirited inhabitants, but for all that there
was a fort, with extensive earthworks, on the river side.
In the fort lived two dozen cannon, and very ferocious
guns they were. There were a dozen more field-pieces
mounting guard in the earthworks, and it was this battery
that once made a good deal of trouble.
Perhaps the guns were not altogether at fault, after all,
but they certainly went crazy and did much damage. It
was partly the Mayor's fault, for, being of an economical
turn of mind, he decided to feed them with cobble stones,
to save the expense of iron cannon balls.
It was not long before one of the largest guns fell ill,
and he insisted that cobble stones disagreed with him.
Very little attention was paid to him, for he was well
84 THE LIVELY CITY O' LIGG.
known to be a grumbler; but when, one after the other,
all the rest of the cannon refused to eat more cobble
stones, and lay about the fortifications, wheezing and
sneezing and coughing, it was plainly to be seen that
something must be done about it.
The whole battery was sent to be treated at the fort,
where it lay about, groaning and barking, in great agony.
Red-hot cannon balls and shells did no good whatever.
The guns swallowed tons and tons of powder, which
were rammed down their throats with ramrods, but it
seemed to be of no use, and the little caissons who waited
on them and nursed them grew very much alarmed. One
or two of the cannon blew up one night, with a loud,
terrifying report, while in a violent fit of coughing.
At last, unable to stand the agony any longer, one of
the field-pieces got up and wheeled down to the magazine,
to see if he couldn't find something that would ease his
pain, and there he discovered, in one corner, a large pile
of dynamite sticks. He tried one, and it tasted sweet
and fresh. "At any rate," he said to himself, "whether
these are good for me or not, they can't be worse than cob-
ble stones, and they taste much better, so I might as well
die happily. I'm going to eat all I can !"
So he ate a dozen or more sticks of dynamite, and then
went up to the hospital and told the other guns about it.
THE INSANE BATTERY.
They all became much excited at the news, and resolved
to do the same. "Who knows, it may do us good!"
So they all went down into the magazine, and began
to eat dynamite. By and by they began to feel very
queer. The youngest and smallest guns began to prance
around the room in their carriages, and yell in loud, coarse
voices. The older ones were not affected so soon, but
after a while, they, too, began to feel very gay and silly,
so that before long there was such a riot in the magazine
that the mortars thought the place had exploded, and
waddled away for their lives.
Let's go into the town !" cried one of the cannon,
and the words were no sooner out of his mouth, than the
whole battery of them echoed, Let's go into the town!"
So they formed a disorderly procession, and rolling and
wheeling in confusion, shouting and screaming, bumping
and falling, they raced into town. By this time, it is
needless to say, they were stark, staring mad !
At the City gate they fired a heavy salute, and then
broke in with a yell. An old omnibus rolled up to them
to see what was the matter, but when he saw the battery
he took to his wheels and scuttled off. The guns began
firing shots at him at short range, and drove him back, in
great alarm, to tell the awful news.
86 THE LIVELY CITY O' LIGG.
The cannon now began firing at everything in sight.
They shot the weathercocks off the church steeples; they
shot patterns of ball-holes in the front of the town hall;
they broke windows with grape, and they ploughed up
the streets with canister. They tossed shells into the
shops, and they blew the roofs off dwelling houses. They
set fire to barns and stables, and they pounded the piers
of the bridges to pieces. They blew up the sidewalks
with shrapnel, and cut down all the trees in the Park close
to their roots. Meanwhile, they were smoking and swear-
ing horribly, while they loaded themselves with fury.
It was a terrible time for the inhabitants of the City o'
Ligg The town had not been so lively since the fire
engine ran away. By morning, when the exhausted
artillery had fallen asleep in the Park, there was not a
human being in the City, for all had run away to the
woods. Here the Mayor held a great mass meeting to
see what could be done to prevent a continuation of the
night's outrage. But no one had anything effective to
propose, for no one dared to enter the town to do any-
thing. If it kept up much longer, the houses would
surely run away, and then where would be the City o'
But there was a little boy there, named Yak, who was
very valourous. He was the same who once tamed a
THE INSANE BATTERY.
frightfully furious railway train, and though he was very
little, he was a great friend of the Mayor.
I think I can do it," he said, "and all I want is a
So the Mayor gave him a hammer and his blessing,
and Yak went all alone into the City o' Ligg.
It was nine o'clock in the morning, and the fieldpieces
were still sound asleep, in the middle of the Park, by the.
fountain. They were snoring in a terrible manner, and
all around the houses were trembling as if there were an
earthquake on foot, for they were dreading the waking of
the artillery. Some of the houses had already begun to
move. The streets looked as if they had been deserted
for one hundred and fifty-two years.
Yak, tightly clasping his hammer in his hand, stealthily
approached the mad battery, which was sprawling in
great confusion on the grass. Almost all the guns had
gone to sleep in their carriages, but there were a few
who had dismounted, and lay upon the ground. The
little boy made his way carefully amongst them, and
stepped up to the largest gun. With a single stroke he
knocked off its sights, rendering the piece totally blind.
Before he had quite awakened Yak was out of harm's
way, and had attacked another cannon. The first was
now thoroughly aroused, and, wild with pain and rage,
began to fire away blindly, right and left.
88 .THE LIVELY CITY O' LIGG.
It was a dangerous ordeal, but Yak's courage did not
once desert him. He ran from one gun to another
while they were still drowsy with dynamite, and finally
succeeded in knocking the sights off them all, except the
three upon the ground. He dragged their carriages
away from them, so that they could not turn round, but
would have to fire only in one direction. As by this time
they were the only ones who could see, they were in a
ferocious rage, and implored their comrades to shoot the
boy. But as the others could not aim, they sent cannon
balls in every direction but the right one.
The fury of the battery was now awful. It fired right
and left and into the air, hoping that some of the balls
might fallon Yak. It made a most frightful banging, and
the City was soon filled with clouds of smoke.
THE INSANE BATTERY.
Yak's work, however, was not yet done. Alone and
single-handed, at the risk of his life, he dragged the
carriages this way and that and tied them down. His
plan was to range them in two opposite rows so that
they would shoot each other to little pieces. In this he
was at last successful. One after another the guns
were dismounted. As soon as one was left alone in the
duel Yak spiked it, driving a nail into the touch-hole, till
by noontime every gun was silenced or destroyed.
When the inhabitants at last dared to venture into the
City o' Ligg, they found little Yak sitting on a gun
carriage smiling, but so dirty that the Mayor hardly knew
him. His face was black with gunpowder and smoke,
and the only white things about him were his teeth and
The Mayor of the City o' Ligg never tried to be
economical after that.
THE HILARIOUS HANSOM.
THERE was once, in the City o' Ligg, a splendid, vain-
glorious hansom cab, with a blue body and yellow wheels.
It was fitted up in the very best taste, having once been
a private hansom, when it used to be driven by a coach-
man in livery. Now that it was only a hackney carriage,
licensed to carry two persons, and with an ugly, white
tariff list of charges fastened to its dashboard, it was in a
perpetual state of dissatisfaction.
"To think that I should have to carry Tom, Dick, and
Harry it said to itself. I, who have been a private
carriage I'll show them that I still have spirit !" And
it fairly jounced with indignation.
It used to misbehave itself so, that at last its driver
hardly dared to drive it. The hansom would back and
wheel, and toss him off his box, and behave in many
96 THE LIVELY CITY O' LIGG.
other disagreeable ways, so that the poor cabby had hard
work in getting a fare. Every one shunned the blue han-
som with yellow wheels, for the story of its pranks had
spread over the City o' Ligg, and people said that such an
ill-tempered cab was not safe.
The driver's trade fell off so that he decided to dis-
guise the cab; so he sent it to a coach painter, and had it
all painted as black as a beetle. When it came out again,
all shiny with varnish, the hansom was so furious that,
when they harnessed the horse in between the shafts, its
lanterns flashed with rage.
All of a sudden, just as the driver was mounting the
little seat behind, the hansom exerted all its strength,
bent its shafts almost to the ground, and then with a terri-
ble jerk threw them upward, breaking the traces, and
tossed the horse a hundred feet high into the air !
The enraged driver took his whip and beat the cab
unmercifully, but, of course, that did no good. The cab
chased him all round the stable yard and came near pin-
ning him against the fence. It clapped its little doors
together and spun around in circles till the cabby yelled
An old green omnibus rolled up to the stable and
wanted to know what was the matter. After the driver
had told him, the omnibus said: Oh, I know how to fix
THE HILARIOUS HANSOM.
him! I've seen horrid hansoms before, and, as for that,
they're all a pretty bad lot, these two-wheelers; one can
never depend on them. You see, they have no brakes,
and they're always letting their tempers run away with
them. But the thing for you to do is to harness your
horse in backwards, then the cab can't do anything at
all But the omnibus did not notice that this hansom
was one of the very few that have windows in the back ;
that makes a good deal of difference in a hansom cab, for
then it can see behind it.
The driver thanked the omnibus very politely for his
advice, and got twenty men to hold his cab while he
harnessed another horse into the shafts, putting the head
of the animal where its tail ought to be-facing the dash-
board. The cab seemed by this time to be as gentle a
vehicle as ever rolled on wheels. It was as quiet as a
wheelbarrow, but it was a sly, 'cute hansom, and it was
waiting for a good chance to get away.
It was a remarkable sight, when the cabby drove out
of the stable yard, and the twenty men yelled.with joy to
see the hansom going backwards, pushed by a bewildered
horse, and the driver in the little box, up in the front of
the carriage, with the reins stretching out behind him.
But he got along better than he had expected, hard as it
was to steer around corners in this queer way.
98 THE LIVELY CITY O' LIGG.
Very few persons dared to try to ride in such an equi-
page, however, and by noontime the driver became very
much discouraged, and started for home. Now it was
very foolish of him to attempt to drive down hill with the
cab before the horse, in this way, but he did not stop to
think of the danger, and, before he knew it, he was on a
heavy down grade.
This was just what the cab had been waiting for. It
opened the window in its back, which was now its front,
and, drawing a long breath, it dashed forward with tre-
mendous speed, dragging the horse behind it so fast that
the poor creature could hardly keep his feet on the
ground, and was swept through the air in great, undigni-
In vain the driver shouted for help. He tried to get
down from the box, but he dared not risk a fall, so he
clung to his seat with both hands, in terror, jolted to one
side and the other as the hilarious hansom flew down the
hill faster and faster. The cab was running away with
him, and he dared not think what was going to happen
The road at the bottom of the hill crossed a wide river
by a stone bridge. Just before the runaway reached
this the cab sheered suddenly to the left, nearly throw-
ing off the shrieking, terrified driver, and, with a tremen-