Friday 20 December 2013

The Banker's fit caused by the Bandersnatch

The Banker's fit, caused by the Bandersnatch, an illustration by JVL in Lewis Carroll's 
The Hunting of the Snark, Artists' Choice Editions, 2006.

The text:
 But while he was seeking with thimbles and care,
 A Bandersnatch swiftly drew nigh
 And grabbed at the Banker, who shrieked in despair,
 For he knew it was useless to fly.

He offered large discount--he offered a check
 (Drawn "to bearer") for seven-pounds-ten:
 But the Bandersnatch merely extended its neck
 And grabbed at the Banker again.

Without rest or pause--while those frumious jaws
 Went savagely snapping around-
 He skipped and he hopped, and he floundered and flopped,
 Till fainting he fell to the ground.

The Bandersnatch fled as the others appeared
 Led on by that fear-stricken yell:
 And the Bellman remarked "It is just as I feared!"
 And solemnly tolled on his bell.

He was black in the face, and they scarcely could trace
 The least likeness to what he had been:
 While so great was his fright that his waistcoat turned white-
 A wonderful thing to be seen!

To the horror of all who were present that day.
 He uprose in full evening dress,
 And with senseless grimaces endeavored to say
 What his tongue could no longer express.

Down he sank in a chair--ran his hands through his hair--
 And chanted in mimsiest tones
 Words whose utter inanity proved his insanity,
 While he rattled a couple of bones.

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