Humor Tarkington, Booth: Cherry (Illustrated). v1, 27 February 2012
#1  GrannyGrump 02-27-2012, 05:18 AM
Tarkington’s fourth published book (1903). A light, amusing tale, this romance spoof is set in colonial America in 1762. Two Princeton University students vie for the affections of Miss Sylvia Gray, the wearer of the cherry ribbons that twine through the story. The narrator, pompous Mr. Sudgeberry, in his self-satisfied smugness, is certain he holds the upper hand. The dashing Will Fentriss has the misfortune to anger the lady, and upon meeting Mr. O’Donnell during their journey home for Christmas, enters into an audacious scheme with that old rascal in an attempt to win back Sylvia's affections.

I found this to be very short and very light --- a quick, enjoyable read. Allow yourself several pages to fall into the rhythm of the language, which is a large part of the fun. Mr. Sudgeberry is SO pompous and SO oratorical --- he never uses one syllable when three are close to hand and usable; five are even better.
“So!” I exclaimed, with great contempt, at the conclusion [of the song]. “What vain pretension to elegance is disclosed in the imperfections of the last stanza! One does not ‘sigh’ a song, but sings it. ’Tis pulled in with a rope for the rhyme!”
In truth, Mr. Sudgeberry dislikes music altogether. When asked if he sings:
“Heaven forbid,” quoth I, rising, “that I should become a practitioner of levities! Why a series of noises at varying pitches should be held pleasing to the ear has always passed my comprehension."
I found this on Internet Archive (NOT Gutenberg, lack of interest maybe?) Three full-page tinted illustrations. Chapter decorations treated with alpha transparency to give a cut-out effect --- I hope it works.

Hope you enjoy it!
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