1849 Robert Merry's Museum
Author of Peter Parley's Tales
Especially for: "...readers who are unacquainted with the joys that lie hidden in the bowl of a tobacco pipe."
Robert Merry's Museum 1849
Blowing soap bubbles is one of the very best ways that we know of entertaining children on a rainy day.
It is a quiet, clean amusement, and, more than all, costs nothing. We knew of a lady who had a very careless son, by the name of John; this boy had a horror of cold water, and never like to wash his hands; so that, when ever his mother has company to tea, she gave him a piece of soap, a bowl, and a pipe, and send him to blowing bubbles. At the expiration of half an hour, his hands were wiped and dried, And everybody thought him a very neat boy, and admired the cleanliness of his appearance.
It is a game not at all difficult to play at. In almost every house there is a pipe for a stump of one to be found; or, if not, the grocers sell them at a cent a piece. Then we think we may presume, that in every family that takes Merry's Museum, there is at least one cake of soap; it makes no difference whether it is Windsor, brown, Castile, almond, or bar. We are not sure that bar is not even the best, it makes such a stout, healthy, ponderous bubble. Then it's not like other games. It may be played all alone, when one has no companions to talk to or wrong with.
To play blind man's Bluff, there must be at least six of you; and everybody knows you can't play battlecock, when there is no one to toss the shuttledoor back to you, no, shuttlecock, but you know what I mean. The boy in the picture seems to be getting along very well by himself, and we have put him there to serve as an example to all of our readers who are unacquainted with the joys that lie hidden in the bowl of a tobacco pipe.
We say tobacco pipe, because that's the name of; but we expressly stipulate that there shall be no tobacco in it. Bob Merry hopes it will never be said of him that he encourages the use of tobacco in the young. On the contrary, the bowl of the pipe is to be filled with soap and water; then somebody's mouth is to be placed at the small end, and a gentle, but sustained breath to be forced through the pipe. A bubble will form over the bowl, and this will gradually swell, and grow bigger and bigger, till it's wait detaches it from the pipe, when it will set off on an excursion two some other world, or on a visit To the moon; that is, if no accident befalls it on the way—if it escapes the windowsill, and the eaves of the roof, and does not get lost among the branches of the Elm tree that overshadows the house. What the title for a story! "THE ADVENTURES OF S. BUBBLE, ESQ.., MIDWAY BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH."
We remember a bubble of our blowing, that went out of sight some 40 years ago. 40 years! That's a long time to remember a bubble! But we recollect the occurrence as if it were about yesterday. It was quite a good size bubble, About as large as the one in the picture; and as it sailed out of the window, seemed just like a boy a 15 years old, setting out from the paternal mansion to seek his fortune. It had a roguish, confident way about it, that was quite irresistible; it's fat, Round cheeks were full of gaiety and good humor, and as it rose in the air, the setting sun fell full apartment, Lighting up 1000 prismatic colors, and causing it to smile in every corner of its face. Just doesn't went out of sight, it's slightly wriggled in its passage through a current, seeming by this movement to give us a parking salutation. We kissed our hand to it, and it disappeared in the blue of Heaven. We've never seen it since, and never expect to be hold again. Some rude puff of wind has caught it, and torn at limb from limb before this; or else a drop of rain, falling from heaven to earth, has made a hole through it, and let the breath out of its body.
That was the last bubble we've blew that evening; it made us quite melancholy to think that we could not trace it in its passage through the air, we're be present when it died, and receive its last sigh. We were very sober till we went to bed; and then, we remember, we said our prayers with more than usual feeling period
No bubble we've ever made sense has replaced our first born; we've a blown many a one, which might put a prize pumpkin to Shane for size, but they always burst before they were fairly launched in the air. We've made round, oval, single, double ones, but they never could get beyond the chimney of our house.
Never once have we've been able to make one go out of sight, except the one we have spoken of. Perhaps, when we were young, out of sight was just over the roof, and that's the reason we succeeded that and what we have always since failed in doing. We regret our lost bubble more than we can tell, and would offer a reward for his recovery, if these were days and Beanstalks grew in a night, more than a ship can sail in the week. If any of our readers see it, they can't oblige an old man by telling him of its whereabouts.