Miss Mix by Ch-l-tte Br-nte
This just beats all. It is a ‘condensed’ version of …a novel by someone whose name resembles Ch-l-tte Br-nte. This parody was written by Bret Harte in 1867 and it is… totally mad. Some excerpts:
Upon her arrival at ‘Blunderbore Hall’ Miss Mix has just finished her 7th and started her 8th cup of tea when someone jumps in through the library window- shattering the glass:
“Don’t be excited. It’s Mr. Rawjester,—he prefers to come in sometimes in this way. It’s his playfulness, ha! ha! ha!”
“I perceive,” I said calmly. “It’s the unfettered impulse of a lofty soul breaking the tyrannizing bonds of custom.” And I turned toward him.
Mr. Rawjester is very strong indeed, and a little more than ‘peculiar’:
As he absently tied the poker into hard knots with his nervous fingers, I watched him with some interest.
“Fearful! Call you this fearful? Ha! ha! ha! Look! you wretched little atom, look!” and he dashed forward, and, leaping out of the window, stood like a statue in the pelting storm, with folded arms. He did not stay long, but in a few minutes returned by way of the hall chimney. I saw from the way that he wiped his feet on my dress that he had again forgotten my presence.
“You are a governess. What can you teach?” he asked, suddenly and fiercely thrusting his face in mine.
“Manners!” I replied calmly.
“Ha! teach me!”
“You mistake yourself,” I said, adjusting my mittens. “Your manners require not the artificial restraint of society. You are radically polite; this impetuosity and ferociousness is simply the sincerity which is the basis of a proper deportment. Your instincts are moral; your better nature, I see, is religious. As St. Paul justly remarks—see chap. 6, 8, 9, and 10”—
He seized a heavy candlestick, and threw it at me. I dodged it submissively but firmly.
“Excuse me,” he remarked, as his under jaw slowly relaxed. “Excuse me, Miss Mix—but I can’t stand St. Paul! Enough—you are engaged.”
He’s also very romantic:
“So you risked your life to save mine, eh? you canary-colored teacher of infants.”
“You love me, Mary Jane,—don’t deny it! This trembling shows it!” He drew me closely toward him, and said, with his deep voice tenderly modulated,—“How’s her pooty tootens,—did she get her ’ittle tootens wet,—b’ess her?”
There’s a giant ‘negress’ dancing around his bed for awhile- Miss Mix is told this is his ‘first’ but then he throws his boots at her head and that’s an end of that.
And then he robs all of his guests and threatens to kill Jane- I mean Miss Mix if she doesn’t help him. They tie everyone up, he lights the house on fire and proposes to Miss Mix in the glow of the flames devouring his THREE crazy wives (and a bunch of other people).
And they all lived happily ever after… except for the crazy wives, servants, Blanche Marabout, the housekeeper, and little French Nina…