The Literary Club – Summer 1916

This Club has been started for all Fifth Forms and Upper Fourth. It meets about twice a term and reads productions of members sent in under a nom de plume. One of the Mistresses acts as critic, and the members choose what productions are worthy of being preserved in the Club Book. The subjects (usually four in number) suggested for writing are proposed and chosen by vote at the previous meeting. Below are given two which had “Wind” for the subject, and one which took “Brown Paper.” Others are only withheld for want of space.

The wind goes a whistling in the trees
And bangs the cottage door,
Then whirling go the Ash’s keys
While apples fall on the grassy floor.

Away go the leaves for a joyful dance
In dresses of red and gold,
The acorns struggle and long for a chance,
And the old oak shudders with cold.

Oh, merry, merry is the lay
That Autumn’s wind doth sing,
Old Neptune echoes from the bay,
And all proclaim wild Autumn king.


Long, long ago there lived in the land under the sea a very old King, who had an only son. The dearest wish of the old King’s’ heart was that this son should marry and continue the line of sea rulers, but although the Prince had been given every opportunity of seeing the most beautiful princesses of the surrounding kingdoms, he could not decide to ask one of them for her hand. At last the old King called his son to him and asked the reason for this.
The Prince replied: “Father, the princesses I have met during my life here are all so quiet and staid. They have spent their lives in Courts where they are guarded and waited on at every turn, and the result of such an upbringing; is not pleasing, to me at least. No (and here he stopped in his walk to pluck an anemone), I can never marry a princess who is not really free.”
Now this speech troubled the King so much that he lay awake for nights thinking out a means of finding a really free princess, and at last he decided what to do.
“I will go forth on a quest,” he said. “What matter that it will be my last quest, when the future of my son and of my kingdom is at stake.”
So after due preparations he set out. After travelling for many days he came to a land where all is white, white snow; and blue, blue ice; and there he sought out the King and begged him that he might be allowed to see his daughter, if he had one. The King was very stern looking and sat on a great ice throne, in a glistening, dazzling ice hall, and his hair was snow and icicles. But he listened kindly to the prayer of the Sea King, and sent for his daughter.
When she appeared the ice hall was filled with roaring and moaning and chill, and as soon as the questing King could look about him he saw that she stood before him. Very tall, very white, with wild hair, and with icicles all over her sweeping, swathing robes, she stood by her father, and when she spoke her voice was like the biggest breakers on the boundary of the Sea King’s land. “Would that my son were here,” ha said, “for he surely would love this beautiful maid.”
At the, invitation of the lce King he stayed in his Palace while the Prince was sent for, and while there he found that the Princess was often tender, but oftener wild – wild, and that her name was “The North Wind.” And when the Prince arrived he said: “No, she is bound by her wildness; she is not really free.”
So the old Sea King journeyed far away again, with his son, until they came to a land that was all gold, and warmth, and softness.
There, as before, they stayed at the ruler’s castle, and this time the castle was all sunshine and the King was young and as strong as ten other men. His daughter was more beautiful than any the Prince had ever seen, and when she was approaching there was a sound of murmuring and whispering, and ascent of sweetness. She was all golden, and her dress was mist, and her voice was like the tiniest waves on the Sea King’s shores. But the Prince said: “No, she is bound by the softness of this land. Oh, South Wind, you are not really free.”
So once again the two set out, and travelled for many days until they came to a land where everything was brisk, and clear, and sharp. The outlines of the bleak hills were painfully distinct, and the very grass stood up sharply, and the raindrops were pointed instead of round.
In this land the ruler’s daughter was like her surroundings in her sharpness. Her hair and dress were burnished with the rising sun, but her features were clear and cold, her voice was piercing, and her grasp treacherous. “No, O East Wind,” said the Prince, “you are bound by your sharpness; you are not really free.”
Then weary with journeying the old King and his son came at last back to their own domain, the sea, but there, as they were about to sink below the surface into their own Palace, the waves began to ripple excitedly, and the setting sun came down a long golden pathway across the water to see what was happening and from the shining and the rippling came a fourth Princess. Her dress was a swirling cloud round her, and where it touched the sea it glowed with all the colours of the, sunset, which blended and faded until they melted into pearly grey round her face, making the one star on her forehead shine all the more brightly by contrast.
And her voice (like the waves when they are very happy) said: “O Prince, I am not wild like my sister the North Wind, I am not soft like my Sister the South Wind, I am not sharp like my sister the East Wind”; and the Prince, who could contain himself no longer, broke in: “In all my pilgrimage I have found none whom I love like you. We two will henceforth rule the kingdom of the sea together – strong but gentle, firm but tender; you, O West Wind, are really free.”



Here it is! Come by Special Book Messenger. Written on one of Mrs. Foolscap’s best sheets, by Onoto fountain pen. Rather short! But that’s beside the point. It is concerning Paper County I see.
In Paper County, Book land, Mrs. Brown has been having rather a bad time lately. Mrs. Tissue, who prides herself on French descent, has been making fun of the Brown house. Of course, we know that it is not beautiful, but she does more really hard work than anyone. If only she would not stick her walls and roof together with those red-lettered labels. Her house is the best-made paper house in the county, yet there she goes and sticks “Fragile,” “Flowers with Care,” “This side Up,” and like inscriptions, on the outside. No wonder Mrs. Tissue finds it an eyesore. She lives in the daintiest house. White paper walls and inside pink, green, pale blue, and as many other colours as you like to think of on the floors and ceilings.
Just near Christmas Mrs. Brown had a great deal to do. In fact, she was hardly ever out of her storeroom. She had no time to look after her brown cabbages in the garden, and their size made Mrs. Tissue think it the last straw, so she invited the Misses Stamps, the Misses paper Clips, and the Masters Pen to a ball in her house, and then, escorted by all especially elegant mauve pen, she led them to Mrs. Brown’s house, and they all stood and laughed at it.
That night there was a storm of ink, indiarubbers and pen-nibs. Mrs. Tissue’s fair house collapsed at once, but the brown paper resisted the weight of indiarubbers and pen-nibs, though it did get rather black; and the Misses Clips and Masters Pen were glad to take shelter in the brown house. Thence the next morning they went to the site of Tissue house, and with great difficulty pulled the Misses Stamps from the collapsed paper walls and helped the black transparent Mrs. Tissue to the brown house. There amidst Mrs. Brown’s best brown paper sheets she was nursed back to solidness, and when well bought up most of the paper from the storeroom and built her house of it in exact imitation of Mrs. Brown’s, except that she left out the “Glass with care” part.