In the course of relating the sensational reception of "A Defence of Cosmetics," which few periodical critics realized was a spoof, his memorist S. N. Behrman includes the poetic response of Punch — a paraody, I should explain, of Isaac Watt's "Against Idleness and Mischief" from Divine Songs for Children (1715) that Lewis Carroll had already parodied in Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland. The text of Watts's poem comes Martin Gardner's Annotated Alice, pp. 38-39.
How would the little busy bore
"Against Idleness and Mischief"
How doth the little busy bee
How skillfully she builds her cell!
In works of labour or of skill,
In books, or work, or healthful play,
"How doth the little crocodile"
"How doth the little crocodile
"How cheerfully heseems to grin.
Beerbohm, Max. The Works of Max Beerbohm. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1922. 107-135.
Behrman, S. N. Portrait of Max: An Intimate Memoir of Sir Max Beerbohm. New York: Random House, 1960.
Carroll, Lewis. The Annotated Alice: Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass. Ed. Martin Gardner. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 1960.
Last modified 9 May 2008