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The Hardy Mountaineer

IT is sometimes imagined by an ignorant public that Alpine preparations have assumed an elaborate, not to say luxurious, character. This is, of course, a ludicrous error. In truth, mountaineers revel in hardships, and, as a rule, take with them little beyond the few simple neces¬saries recommended in a well-known " Report on Equip¬ment for Mountaineers." To climb with less would be terribly rash, and might bring a noble recreation into dis¬repute, yet some of the less obvious items in the Report might elude the memory. We have therefore embodied them (duly italicised) in the subjoined ballad, which, if set to stirring music, may some day, by the aid of the " musical - boxes" recommended in the Report, become familiar wherever the ice-man or the penny-ice-man is held in honour.

'' Persicos odi, puer, apparatus."
IT was "a brave, a British boy,"
Who never felt the throb of fear,
Who longed to "snatch the fearful joy"
Which thrills the hardy mountaineer.
In horrid places, far from town,
In tents he fought with frost and fate,
On quilts of finest eider down
Not less than 7 ft. x 8.
Forth to the wilderness he went,
More drouthy than the son of Hagar;
His manly back, perspiring, bent
'Neath half the stock of Dr Jaeger.
With Norfolk-jacket, of the kind
Which loves the pocket, loathes the pleat;
With knickerbockers, flannel-lined,
And garnished with a double seat.
To supplement this scant costume,
• He donned, on sailing from the Mersey,
The neat yet adventitious bloom
Of running drawers and over-jersey.

He wore but half-a-dozen caps;
Two pair of gloves his hands did deck ;
He'd anklets, gaiters, ponchos, wraps,
And mufflers twofold round his neck.
So when, secured by trusty hitch
His walking-mutton faced the steep,
No man could feel quite certain which
Was mountaineer and which was sheep.
'Midst all his hazardous pursuits
Huge waggons followed one by one,
With meats, fowls, soups, oil, wines, and. fruits,
A.nd jams and. jujubes by the ton.
Yet, seeing the heroic band,
Some flung against their heavy traffic
Rude jests about " Mashonaland,"
And "specials" for the Daily Graphic*
Beef-tea sustains him on his tracks,
And kola helps him on and up ;
Behind him, men on aching backs
Bear suitable liqueurs for cup.
He climbs with science, force, and fire ;
Yet, victory in view, he stops—
" Ye gods !" he cries, " we must retire ;
I've left behind my acid drops /"
Thus valour missed its goal sublime,
Ambition in the bud was nipped. No matter !
Better luck next time,
When he's more thoroughly equipped!

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