The Ocean Chart

089    The Bellman himself they all praised to the skies—
090        Such a carriage, such ease and such grace!
091    Such solemnity, too! One could see he was wise,
092        The moment one looked in his face!

093    He had bought a large map representing the sea,
094        Without the least vestige of land:
095    And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be
096        A map they could all understand.

097    “What’s the good of Mercator’s North Poles and Equators,
098        Tropics, Zones, and Meridian Lines?”
099    So the Bellman would cry: and the crew would reply
100        “They are merely conventional signs!

101    “Other maps are such shapes, with their islands and capes!
102        But we’ve got our brave Captain to thank:
103    (So the crew would protest) “that he’s bought us the best—
104        A perfect and absolute blank!”

105    This was charming, no doubt; but they shortly found out
106        That the Captain they trusted so well
107    Had only one notion for crossing the ocean,
108        And that was to tingle his bell.

Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark (1876) has been published “with nine illustrations by Henry Holiday”. But there are ten illustrations. One possible explanation: The Ocean-Chart (aka the Bellman’s map) has not been made by Henry Holiday and Joseph Swain. The map is a typographical illustration. In the Knight Letter #87, Doug Howick assumes that Lewis Carroll arranged this chart.

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