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Rev. Gabriel Spooner

"I say! is that Carterocephalus silvicolus, the Northern Chequered Skipper"


Very proper, Robust victorian naturalist, of some years.
Home Counties Naturalist, keen walker and observer of timekeeping.

Dear Diary

10th August 1840:

LM showing fine mettle and insists on sending a message inviting the others, for "the hunting is excellent" She's right, of course. Good girl.

9th August 1840:

Sounds like the locals are having a shindig over at Kishangani. Bless them. Might pop in to convert a few.

MacRifle? is a bit too trigger happy today. Needs a damn good walk to calm her down. Bit of fresh air do us all good. The Good Lord help us all if she runs out of whisky.

Frightful affair on the road here - some fellas rolled a boulder down on us from the top of a gorge - some men hurt and scared the Elephants. Local customs and games a rum. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow", eh? Boulder made up of coarse gritty sandstone showing signs of considerable water wear, despite its origin at top of scarp. Interesting. Geology of this area quite something to behold.

Campbell a decent sort, if taken aback by direct views expressed in private. Now seems some Ruski called Iganov queering the pitch, and the lord's a flutter. Need to observe due repect while adjouring to hills. Will discuss with Totty in short order. Not sure others yet merit full disclosure.

Tea best I've had. Fine, delicate, but not insipid. Amazing what one can do with some fermented mouldering leaves. How MAnkind ever worked that out I shall never understand.

Tiger Peak in the evening is breath taking. The Lord's work never ceases to strike awe. Headed down to Dar Jee Lang after sight-seeing. Chap's wife all flustered - not sure we were expected, but one should always be prepared. Still, soup so good I could put it in a tin and take it home.

Totty upset at having left the others behind. No time to explain.

And now the hour is late - how I abhor even writing that word - and I shall retire. Tomorrow will bring new tests, no doubt.


8th August 1840 - Later that day:

Well - mad chap impressed everyone on his way to meet Himself. I hear he may pull through, which will be a testament to the human spirit and mid-over-gaping-wounds. Most curious to take a look at the beast's claws - must be razor sharp. Wonder how they keep them that way? Like Monther's Mrs Tibbles, I suppose, except I can't understand what they would use instead of Father's finest Perian Rug. Natives, I say.

Dirty Rascal-Smythe still excited, even as he passes away.

Wonder what's for tea..."


8th August 1840:

Hmm - Day of the hunt, what?

Mad chap off in Jungle with almost no clothes on, with a butter knife and wicked glint in eye. Must be in a hurry to meet the Maker. Cant abide people being early.

Totty has usual arsenal - enough to see to all the Frenchies in Tangiers, I expect. Got to admire her spirit, Stirs the blood even, though could loose ones head if get in the way. Good girl.

Discovered today that am something of a pachydermophile. Magnificent - even the Asian variety. Odd toes, and strange to think of those feet being used as umbrella stand like the Bish has back at home.

Can't help thinking back to that Hare fella I met in Calcutta - superb man with best intentions. Need to keep him in public eye so his works get the recognition he truly deserves. Not sure what I'm going to do with all those watches though - all look the same. Maybe the Emperor will snap up a couple. Only way I could think of to give him money and keep his pride intact. Still - had endless hours of fun keeping them all fully wound and in time. Oh happy days.

As for those ruddy Catho's popping up everywhere - NOT good for the complexion, must say. Awfull ethos, that business. Sinning all day long, then pop a few Hail M's and expect instant absolution. Bit like saying "Sorry I'm Late". Poor,poor, poor. Still - they do very good work with the sick - or at least I hope they do - chap down at the sloppy guts (dysentry?) tent was very happy to be geven directions on the promise of a cure. And the leppers were falling over bits of themselves to get a blessing from the Cardinal after I gave them the tip-off (gfaw).

Thats all for today. Wonder if mad chap survived?
May the Good Lord have mercy on our souls.

Rev GS

A few thoughts...

It very much enhances my opinion of a mans character, to find him rigidly punctual in all matters in which others are concerned. He who knows how to value time, will seldom fail to get a right value upon other things.

Perhaps nearly half the complaints to which the human body is liable, are brought on by over eating and drinking. The right time to stop at meals is when we are beginning to doubt whether we shall stop or not.

Early rising is a habit to which we should habituate ourselves from our youth. It not only adds to the length of each day, but increases the number of our days by promoting health. It has been observed that long livers have in almost all cases been early risers.

Great talkers are not always wise; nor is every silent man a fool. There are many who talk without thinking; and many who think without talking.

Few things provoke me more in a little way than to hear persons tell their dreams. It is the sign of a very weak mind to suppose that the jingle of incongruous ideas which float upon the brain during sleep can afford the slightest interest to others, if it afford any to themselves.

Telling dreams should have ceased with the age for believing in them.

Pride was not made for man. This is true of all kinds of pride. But to see a man priding himself for that of which he ought to be ashamed is sad indeed.

How many persons will wish upon their deathbeds that they had not lived in vain!

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 June 2006 )

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