Tuesday, 14 July 2015

The Pickwick Portfolio - July Issue

   It gives me great pleasure to announce that the July issue of the P.P. is finally here!!! *cheering and congratulations*  Enjoy this month's issue!!

                 Mr. Sam Weller

The Pickwick Portfolio
July 2015
In this issue:
“Oh Canada” by Justice Robert Stanley Weir
“Thought about Canada” by Sam Weller
“Under the Greenwood Tree – Part I” by Sam Weller
Quotes to Note
               compiled by Augustus Snodgrass and Tracy Tupman
Note-able Composers
      “Alexina Louie” compiled by Augustus Snodgrass
Kitchen Korner
    “Lemon Ricotta Pancakes” compiled by Theodore Winstint

Nonsensical Notions
“Keyboard Shortcuts” compiled by Nathaniel Winkle
       “A Trip to the Dentist” by Nathaniel Winkle
      “Comic Strip” designed by Nathaniel Winkle
Story Time
“The Garden Party – Part I” by Katherine Mansfield
Poet’s Corner
“My Native Land” by Sir Walter Scott

This paper is part of a club called the “Pickwick Club.” The Pickwick Portfolio, as this paper is called, is designed for the good of the readers. Its purpose is to serve as a paper of news, entertainment, and fun. I would like to apologize for a mistake in last month’s issue. In Note-able Composers, I had compiled a short biography on Alexina Louie for June; however, Louie’s birthday is actually on July 30, not June 30. I have put Alexina Louie in this month’s issue once again, since her birthday is in July. Please forgive! I would also like to draw your attention to the two series that started this issue. You may have noticed the ad designed by Sam Weller in the June issue advertising the “Under the Greenwood Tree” series, fan fiction based on Howard Pyle’s The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood. The other series, “The Garden Party” by Katherine Mansfield, is a short fiction story, which will be divided into five parts over five issues. Thanks to Theodore Winstint, who is contributing this series. Also, since it was Canada’s birthday a few days ago, we decided to include our national anthem in this issue. As well, please take note of the special article written by Sam Weller specifically for this month’s issue, “Thought about Canada,” and the special poem, “My Native Land,” by Sir Walter Scott in Poet’s Corner. Enjoy!
Augustus Snodgrass


by Justice Robert Stanley Weir

O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land, glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee;
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada! Where pines and maples grow,
Great prairies spread and Lordly rivers flow!
How dear to us thy broad domain,
From East to Western sea!
The land of hope for all who toil,
The true North strong and free!
God keep our land, glorious and free.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!

O Canada! Beneath thy shining skies,
May Stalwart sons, and gentle maidens rise.
To keep thee steadfast thro’ the years,
From East to Western sea.
Our own beloved native land,
Our true North strong and free!
God keep our land, glorious and free.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!

Ruler supreme, who hearest humble prayer,
Hold our Dominion, in thy loving care.
Help us to find, O God, in thee,
A lasting rich reward.
As waiting for the better day,
We ever stand on guard.
God keep our land, glorious and free.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!

by Sam Weller
July is the month of Canada's birthday, so I thought it would be fitting to say a few things I love about our great country. Canada is beautiful. I went on a cross-continent trip with my family several years ago, and we drove from Vancouver to Ontario. Though we didn’t drive through the extreme northern parts of Canada, we did experience all the topography of the other provinces. The lush forests, the Rocky Mountains, the badlands, the flat prairies, and the northern woods and lakes… the diversity of Canada is truly amazing. Canada's history is so rich, and I so appreciate how Canada was founded on Godly principles and had so many influential men and women of faith throughout its history. I love the freedom of Canada, from the type of government to things like religious freedom; we are blessed to live in a country that allows these types of freedom, and I also appreciate how, despite the voices against it, our government has kept the original declarations of faith made by our founding fathers and not re-written the documents they may have been made in, for instance, our national anthem. Our government could have re-written it so it would be less Christian, but they didn't. They kept it the same, and for that I am grateful. Those are just some of the reasons why I love Canada.


by Sam Weller
The hoof beats came to a sudden halt. Reigning in her horse, the rider looked up at the rather ominous scene which met her. A wall of thick trees stood before her, with a single road leading into them. She sighed and looked back behind her shoulder.  The look on her face was the saddest thing you have ever see: the type of look you see on a person who has lost all hope. A single tear rolled down her cheek, and she closed her eyes for a brief second. When she looked up, all emotion was wiped from her face. A grim look of determination had her jaw set still, as she turned again to the forest and spurred her horse forward. Without a glance behind her, she plunged in to the wood that many men fear, and the arms of the forest drew her in to its depths.
    On she rode, deeper into the realm of trees till she was at the heart of Sherwood Forest. Once again, she pulled her horse up and dismounted. Grabbing the bridle, she looked about her. Trees of all shapes and sizes were around her, the sunlight catching the leaves as it found its way through the dense thicket. Birds sang sweetly, and flowers grew round the edge of the path. In the distance, the sound of a gurgling, chuckling brook could be heard. The girl breathed deep of the good, sweet air, then turned off the path and into the wood. She walked for about a quarter of an hour, and it seemed that she had no destinations, save to wander the woods. Her head was down; she seemed deep in thought, when two men sauntered out directly before her, blocking the path.
    She started, then regained her composure and studied them carefully, waiting for them to speak. The men were clothed in Lincoln green from head to foot, and besides the yew bows at their backs, carried stout cudgels with them. Both men were tall and strong, though the one was not nearly as tall as the other. The girl swore under her breath that never had she seen so stout a man. “How now sweet lass?” cried the tall one, “pray tell how one so fair and sweet came to be here alone, in Sherwood Forest? Have you not heard the rumours and stories of the devilish Robin Hood who preys on travellers who are unfortunate enough to travel these roads with a heavy purse?” “I have heard,” she responded, in a somewhat colder voice then was necessary, “but if you, good sir, mean to scare me, I will tell you now that you will not, for it is Robin Hood whom I am seeking.”  The men glanced at one another. “Is that so? Well, might I ask why you, a pretty lass, is seeking one so notorious as Robin Hood?” “My business is my own, but would you know of anyone who would lead me to him? It is nearly dark, and I would prefer to speak to him before night falls.” When neither man answered, much to her frustration, she turned and mounted up again. “Very well, I will find him myself. Good day to you!” But as she turned to go, the shorter man leaped forward and caught her horse’s bridle. “Stay a moment, maid. We know Robin Hood. Follow us if you would see him.”
So she swung her horse around and followed them deeper into the woods. They didn't speak again but walked briskly for several minutes, all the while entering deeper into the forest. Then they suddenly went down a ridge, and up a knoll, and what spread out before them caused the girl to catch in her breath. (And I'm sure you would do no different.)
    Sloping slightly beneath her was a large, open clearing. To her left and a few paces away from the border of the clearing was a large Greenwood Tree. In the centre, a large fire roared merrily, while many men bustled about it, and large white sheets had been spread on the ground a comfortable pace away from it. “This way, maid,” directed the short man as she dismounted. He handed her horse to the tall man and led her to the greenwood tree. Sitting beneath it was a man twisting a bow string. He was yellow haired, with a beard. He, like all the men in the clearing, was dressed in pure Lincoln green, and his face was kind and wise. “My lord,” spoke the shorter man, “this maid wishes to speak to you.” He nodded at the girl to speak. “Are you… are you Robin Hood?” she asked. The yellow haired man stood up and looked at her. “I am.”

compiled by Augustus Snodgrass and Tracy Tupman

“Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.” – Samuel Johnson
“Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.” – Confucius
“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana
“The more laws, the less justice.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
 “To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.” – Edmund Burke
“It is not so much our friends’ help that helps us, as the confidence of their help.” – Epicurus
“We have, I fear, confused power with greatness.” – Stewart Udall
“Begin to be now what you will be hereafter.” – William James
“The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.” – Ashley Montagu
“Words are but the signs of ideas.” – Samuel Johnson
 “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” – John Wooden, UCLA basketball coach
“Things turn out for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out.” – John Wooden, UCLA basketball coach
“Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” – John Wooden, UCLA basketball coach
“Never make excuses.  Your friends don’t need them and your foes won’t believe them.” – John Wooden, UCLA basketball coach
“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” – John Wooden, UCLA basketball coach
“It is amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit.” – John Wooden, UCLA basketball coach
 “Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.” – John Wooden, UCLA basketball coach


compiled by Augustus Snodgrass
Happy Birthday, Alexina Louie!
Alexina Louie (born July 30, 1949) is a Canadian composer. She is of Chinese descent who has written many pieces for orchestra, as well as pieces for solo piano.
Perhaps one of her most famous pieces of music, “Distant Memories” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK7nijcSj5k), was written when Louie was thirty-three years old.
Note: Biography from Wikipedia


compiled by Theodore Winstint

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 ½ tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup milk
¾ - 1 cup low-fat ricotta
3 large eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat an electric griddle to moderately-high heat (I just used a non-stick skillet for these and cooked over medium heat on the stove top, so either will work.). In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt for thirty seconds. Make a well in center of flour mixture and set aside. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together milk, ricotta, eggs, and vanilla until well blended. Then, whisk lemon zest with lemon juice and add to milk mixture along with melted butter and blend until combined (It will curdle a little; that’s fine, but you’ll want to hurry and pour it into the dry mixture.). Pour into flour mixture and whisk just until combined (Batter should be slightly lumpy.). Pour about ¼ - 1/3 cup batter onto buttered griddle or skillet and cook until bubbles begin to appear on surface and bottom is golden brown; then flip and cook opposite side until golden brown. Serve warm dusted with powdered sugar if desired and drizzled with maple or berry syrup.
Note: Recipe source is Cooking Classy, inspired by Bobby Flay and others (http://www.cookingclassy.com/2014/02/lemon-ricotta-pancakes/).


compiled by Nathaniel Winkle
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by Nathaniel Winkle
I can do this, I will walk to the Dentist and I won’t have any cavities! Why is the distance shorter when you go to the dentist?!! Okay, take a breath… Wait! Did I brush my teeth last night? I think I did... no, I was tired and forgot. I’M GOING TO HAVE A CAVITY!!! No! Calm down! Missing it once won’t affect your chances! Oh, I’m here.

Put on a smile girl. “Hi, I have an appointment at 4:30.” “I’ll let them know you’re here.” “Okay.” (Take your time.) Okay, I’ll sit down and read a magazine... boy, that kid is annoying! Why is his mother just sitting there?!! HE IS THROWING A TANTRUM! Oh, now he’s throwing toys! Now if I were that kid’s mother I’d... DUCK!!! That was close, well so much for that doll... Should I say something? No that’s his mother’s job, but why… “Excuse me, you’re next.” Gee, I just sat down!

“Have a seat.” Okay, just sit down; you can do this! “It’s good to see you again.” Likewise, I’m sure (sarcastic). “How are your teeth?” “Good.” How would I know? You’re the dentist! “Okay, let's just take a look in here.” Please hurry up, “So how are you today?” “Gahd.” Actually I'm having a horrible day, but I don't want to go into detail, and the main reason is I hate visiting you, no offence. “And how’s school?” “Gahd.” Can't you ever think of anything else to ask? Seriously? “Are you excited about summer?” “I hag thuner tscool.” Okay, clean my teeth, or let’s sit down and chat; pick one! This does not go well together.
“Looks like you don't have any cavities.” I’m going to celebrate with lots of sweets!!!  “Now for the rinse.” “Okay.” I hate rinses! “Just rinse for thirty seconds, and then spit into the sink, and don't swallow.” Okay, here we go… 1,2,3,4… I feel like I need to swallow! Hold on; I can do this. 5, 6,7,8,9…  should I breathe? I don't want to swallow any! Wait where was I? 10? No it was 13 by now… I can't hold my breath much longer! Am I almost done? WHO CAME UP WITH THIS TORTURE?!! “You can spit it out now.” Thank goodness! “Spit as much as you need to get the taste out” (*spit*) This tastes horrible! (*spit*) It won't go away! (*spit*) Get out! (*spit*) Am I spitting too much? (*spit*) Definitely.

Well, that wasn't so bad, and I got a new toothbrush, even though my teeth feel like they will be clean enough for a week. “Bye, see you next year.” I wish not. I'm hungry; why do they make me wait half an hour? At least I'm in the hour farthest from the next appointment…

designed by Nathaniel Winkle

*Terribly sorry, but we are having problems posting the comic strip.
                  We will update it as soon as possible.*


by Katherine Mansfield
And after all the weather was ideal. They could not have had a more perfect day for a garden-party if they had ordered it. Windless, warm, the sky without a cloud. Only the blue was veiled with a haze of light gold, as it is sometimes in early summer. The gardener had been up since dawn, mowing the lawns and sweeping them, until the grass and the dark flat rosettes where the daisy plants had been seemed to shine. As for the roses, you could not help feeling they understood that roses are the only flowers that impress people at garden-parties; the only flowers that everybody is certain of knowing. Hundreds, yes, literally hundreds, had come out in a single night; the green bushes bowed down as though they had been visited by archangels. 
Breakfast was not yet over before the men came to put up the marquee. 
“Where do you want the marquee put, mother?”
“My dear child, it's no use asking me. I'm determined to leave everything to you children this year. Forget I am your mother. Treat me as an honoured guest.”
But Meg could not possibly go and supervise the men. She had washed her hair before breakfast, and she sat drinking her coffee in a green turban, with a dark wet curl stamped on each cheek. Jose, the butterfly, always came down in a silk petticoat and a kimono jacket. 
“You'll have to go, Laura; you're the artistic one.”
Away Laura flew, still holding her piece of bread-and-butter. It's so delicious to have an excuse for eating out of doors, and besides, she loved having to arrange things; she always felt she could do it so much better than anybody else.
Four men in their shirt-sleeves stood grouped together on the garden path. They carried staves covered with rolls of canvas, and they had big tool-bags slung on their backs. They looked impressive. Laura wished now that she had not got the bread-and-butter, but there was nowhere to put it, and she couldn't possibly throw it away. She blushed and tried to look severe and even a little bit short-sighted as she came up to them. 
“Good morning,” she said, copying her mother's voice. But that sounded so fearfully affected that she was ashamed, and stammered like a little girl, “Oh - er - have you come - is it about the marquee?”
“That’s right, miss,” said the tallest of the men, a lanky, freckled fellow, and he shifted his tool-bag, knocked back his straw hat and smiled down at her. “That’s about it.” 
    His smile was so easy, so friendly that Laura recovered. What nice eyes he had, small, but such a dark blue! And now she looked at the others, they were smiling too. “Cheer up, we won’t bite,” their smile seemed to say. How very nice workmen were! And what a beautiful morning! She mustn't mention the morning; she must be business-like. The marquee. 
“Well, what about the lily-lawn? Would that do?” 
And she pointed to the lily-lawn with the hand that didn't hold the bread-and-butter. They turned, they stared in the direction. A little fat chap thrust out his under-lip, and the tall fellow frowned.
“I don’t fancy it,” said he. “Not conspicuous enough. You see, with a thing like a marquee,” and he turned to Laura in his easy way, “you want to put it somewhere where it’ll give you a bang slap in the eye, if you follow me.”
Laura’s upbringing made her wonder for a moment whether it was quite respectful of a workman to talk to her of bangs slap in the eye. But she did quite follow him. 
“A corner of the tennis-court,” she suggested. “But the band's going to be in one corner.” 
“H’m, going to have a band, are you?” said another of the workmen. He was pale. He had a haggard look as his dark eyes scanned the tennis-court. What was he thinking? 
“Only a very small band,” said Laura gently. Perhaps he wouldn't mind so much if the band was quite small. But the tall fellow interrupted. 
“Look here, miss, that’s the place. Against those trees. Over there. That’ll do fine.”
Against the karakas. Then the karaka-trees would be hidden. And they were so lovely, with their broad, gleaming leaves, and their clusters of yellow fruit. They were like trees you imagined growing on a desert island, proud, solitary, lifting their leaves and fruits to the sun in a kind of silent splendour. Must they be hidden by a marquee?
They must. Already the men had shouldered their staves and were making for the place. Only the tall fellow was left. He bent down, pinched a sprig of lavender, put his thumb and forefinger to his nose and snuffed up the smell. When Laura saw that gesture she forgot all about the karakas in her wonder at him caring for things like that - caring for the smell of lavender. How many men that she knew would have done such a thing? Oh, how extraordinarily nice workmen were, she thought. Why couldn't she have workmen for her friends rather than the silly boys she danced with and who came to Sunday night supper? She would get on much better with men like these. 
It’s all the fault, she decided, as the tall fellow drew something on the back of an envelope, something that was to be looped up or left to hang, of these absurd class distinctions. Well, for her part, she didn't feel them. Not a bit, not an atom … And now there came the chock-chock of wooden hammers. Some one whistled, some one sang out, “Are you right there, matey?” “Matey!” The friendliness of it, the - the - Just to prove how happy she was, just to show the tall fellow how at home she felt, and how she despised stupid conventions, Laura took a big bite of her bread-and-butter as she stared at the little drawing. She felt just like a work-girl. 
“Laura, Laura, where are you? Telephone, Laura!” a voice cried from the house. 
“Coming!” Away she skimmed, over the lawn, up the path, up the steps, across the veranda, and into the porch. In the hall her father and Laurie were brushing their hats ready to go to the office. 
“I say, Laura,” said Laurie very fast, “you might just give a squiz at my coat before this afternoon. See if it wants pressing.”
“I will,” said she. Suddenly she couldn't stop herself. She ran at Laurie and gave him a small, quick squeeze. “Oh, I do love parties, don’t you?” gasped Laura. 
“Ra-ther,” said Laurie’s warm, boyish voice, and he squeezed his sister too, and gave her a gentle push. “Dash off to the telephone, old girl.”
The telephone. “Yes, yes; oh yes. Kitty? Good morning, dear. Come to lunch? Do, dear. Delighted of course. It will only be a very scratch meal - just the sandwich crusts and broken meringue-shells and what's left over. Yes, isn't it a perfect morning? Your white? Oh, I certainly should. One moment - hold the line. Mother's calling.” And Laura sat back. “What, mother? Can't hear.”
Mrs. Sheridan’s voice floated down the stairs. “Tell her to wear that sweet hat she had on last Sunday.”
“Mother says you’re to wear that sweet hat you had on last Sunday. Good. One o’clock. Bye-bye.” 
Laura put back the receiver, flung her arms over her head, took a deep breath, stretched and let them fall. “Huh,” she sighed, and the moment after the sigh she sat up quickly. She was still, listening. All the doors in the house seemed to be open. The house was alive with soft, quick steps and running voices. The green baize door that led to the kitchen regions swung open and shut with a muffled thud. And now there came a long, chuckling absurd sound. It was the heavy piano being moved on its stiff castors. But the air! If you stopped to notice, was the air always like this? Little faint winds were playing chase, in at the tops of the windows, out at the doors. And there were two tiny spots of sun, one on the inkpot, one on a silver photograph frame, playing too. Darling little spots. Especially the one on the inkpot lid. It was quite warm. A warm little silver star. She could have kissed it. 
The front door bell pealed, and there sounded the rustle of Sadie's print skirt on the stairs. A man’s voice murmured; Sadie answered, careless, “I’m sure I don’t know. Wait. I’ll ask Mrs Sheridan.”
“What is it, Sadie?” Laura came into the hall. 
“It’s the florist, Miss Laura.”
It was, indeed. There, just inside the door, stood a wide, shallow tray full of pots of pink lilies. No other kind. Nothing but lilies - canna lilies, big pink flowers, wide open, radiant, almost frighteningly alive on bright crimson stems. 
“O-oh, Sadie!” said Laura, and the sound was like a little moan. She crouched down as if to warm herself at that blaze of lilies; she felt they were in her fingers, on her lips, growing in her breast.
“It’s some mistake,” she said faintly. “Nobody ever ordered so many. Sadie, go and find mother.”
But at that moment Mrs. Sheridan joined them. 
“It’s quite right,” she said calmly. “Yes, I ordered them. Aren’t they lovely?” She pressed Laura’s arm. “I was passing the shop yesterday, and I saw them in the window. And I suddenly thought for once in my life I shall have enough canna lilies. The garden-party will be a good excuse.” 
“But I thought you said you didn’t mean to interfere,” said Laura. Sadie had gone. The florist’s man was still outside at his van. She put her arm round her mother’s neck and gently, very gently, she bit her mother’s ear.
“My darling child, you wouldn’t like a logical mother, would you? Don't do that. Here's the man.” 
He carried more lilies still, another whole tray. 
“Bank them up, just inside the door, on both sides of the porch, please,” said Mrs. Sheridan. “Don't you agree, Laura?”
“Oh, I do, mother.” 


by Sir Walter Scott
Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd,
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.


  1. Mr. Weller, I really must compliment you on your exceptional fan fiction of Robin Hood. 'T'is most excellent. And to the rest of the members of the society, I have to say that I am deeply impressed with your selections for Poetry and Composers, in several of your editions. Well done, gentlemen!

  2. Why thank you! It's not very good, but I try.

    Thank you for reading the Portfolio!

    -Sam Weller