Narrated by Axel Lidenbrock, one of the three adventurers, it tells how he, Professor Otto Lidenbrock, and their guide, Hans Bjelke, descend the chimney of an extinct volcano near Reykjavik, Iceland, proceed to unknown regions, and then, miraculously, survive a volcanic eruption which shoots them to the surface again from the mouth of Mount Etna. The novel begins in the spring of
Forty-nine of us, forty-eight men and one woman, lay on the green waiting for the spike to open. We were too tired to talk much. We just sprawled about exhaustedly, with home-made cigarettes sticking out of our scrubby faces.
Overhead the chestnut branches were covered with blossom, and beyond that great woolly clouds floated almost motionless in a clear sky. Littered on the grass, we seemed dingy, urban riff-raff. We defiled the scene, like sardine-tins and paper bags on the seashore.
What talk there was ran on the Tramp Major of this spike. He was a devil, everyone agreed, a tartar, a tyrant, a bawling, blasphemous, uncharitable dog.
You couldn't call your soul your own when he was about, and many a tramp had he kicked out in the middle of the night for giving a back answer. When You, came to be searched, he fair held you upside down and shook you. If you were caught with tobacco there was bell to. Pay, and if you went in with money which is against the law God help you.
I had eightpence on me. You'd get seven days for going into the spike with eightpence! Then we set about smuggling our matches and tobacco, for it is forbidden to take these into nearly all spikes, and one is supposed to surrender them at the gate. We hid them in our socks, except for the twenty or so per cent who had no socks, and had to carry the tobacco in their boots, even under their very toes.
We stuffed our ankles with contraband until anyone seeing us might have imagined an outbreak of elephantiasis. But is an unwritten law that even the sternest Tramp Majors do not search below the knee, and in the end only one man was caught.
This was Scotty, a little hairy tramp with a bastard accent sired by cockney out of Glasgow. His tin of cigarette ends fell out of his sock at the wrong moment, and was impounded.
At six, the gates swung open and we shuffled in. An official at the gate entered our names and other particulars in the register and took our bundles away from us. The woman was sent off to the workhouse, and we others into the spike.
It was a gloomy, chilly, limewashed place, consisting only of a bathroom and dining-room and about a hundred narrow stone cells.The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day: The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play, And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same, A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.
A. E. Housman The following is a complete collection of Housman's serious poetry, consisting of the two collections A Shropshire Lad and Last Poems that were published in his lifetime, and the two known as More Poems and Additional Poems that were published after his death.
The poems were transcribed and published by me, Martin Hardcastle. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing, 13th Edition. This title is currently unavailable on myPearsonStore.
We recommend Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing, MLA Update Edition, 13th Edition as a replacement. From The Community. Amazon Try Prime. Books.
Further information about the Society, books and merchandise, and events, contact: Max Hunt, Abberley Cottage, 7 Dowles Road, Bewdley, DY12 2EJ.
info [at] housman-society [dot] co [dot] uk. Overseas buyers should send £ sterling drafts or international money orders payable to The Housman Society. "The Hypertext Housman" ← Select poems from the menu, left A Shropshire Lad () is a cycle of sixty-three poems, first published in Initially the collection sold slowly, but during the Second Boer War, Housman's nostalgic depiction of rural life and the premature death of young men resonated with English readers and the book became .