Saturday, 30 May 2009

Grandma's album 9

This wacky drawing (I love that horse), by Lily Lyons, illustrates a nonsense verse, which, with the exception of the ever-increasing exclamation marks, is a quote from a dramatic satire called ‘Chrononhotonthologos,’ written by Henry Carey in 1734:

Go, call a coach, and let a coach be called,
And let the man who calleth be the caller,
And in this calling let him nothing call
But “Coach! Coach!! Coach!!!
O for a Coach, ye gods!!!!

According to Wikipedia this passage is a parody of ‘A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!’ from Shakespeare’s Richard III. Carey was a poet, playwright, and songwriter who spent a good part of his life writing and composing anonymously for other people before emerging from the shadows in his later years. I have to admit that I’ve never heard of him, or ‘Chrononhotonthologos.’ Perhaps he was well-known a hundred years ago, or maybe it was just these lines that were remembered as something to write in autograph albums.

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