Edward Lear's Nonsense Books

Edward Lear's nonsense books complete set - online version

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BUT when the two old Parrots,
and the two old Storks, and the two old Geese, and the two old Owls, and the two old Guinea Pigs, and the two old Cats, and the two old Fishes, became aware, by reading in the newspapers, of the calamitous extinction of the whole of their families, they refused all further sustenance; and, sending out to various shops, they purchased great quantities of Cayenne pepper and brandy and vinegar and blue sealing-wax, besides seven immense glass bottles with air-tight stoppers. And, having done this, they ate a light supper of brown-bread and Jerusalem artichokes, and took an affecting and formal leave of the whole of their acquaintance, which was very numerous and distinguished and select and responsible and ridiculous.
And after this they filled the bottles with the ingredients for pickling, and each couple jumped into a separate bottle; by which effort, of course, they all died immediately, and became thoroughly pickled in a few minutes; having previously made their wills (by the assistance of the most eminent lawyers of the district), in which they left strict orders that the stoppers of the seven bottles should be carefully sealed up with the blue sealing-wax they had purchased; and that they themselves, in the bottles, should be presented to the principal museum of the city of Tosh, to be labelled with parchment or any other anti-congenial succedaneum, and to be placed on a marble table with silver-gilt legs, for the daily inspection and contemplation, and for the perpetual benefit, of the pusillanimous public.
And if you ever happen to go to Gramble-Blamble, and visit that museum in the city of Tosh, look for them on the ninety-eighth table in the four hundred and twenty-seventh room of the right-hand corridor of the left wing of the central quadrangle of that magnificent building; for, if you do not, you certainly will not see them.