Read PART II - THE COUNTRIES OF THE EARTH of This Giddy Globe , free online book, by Oliver Herford, on

The Countries of the Earth may be divided into two Groups, the English speaking countries and the Foreign Countries.

The English Speaking Countries which comprise the United States and the British Empire occupy one fourth of the entire surface of the Globe.

The rest are just Foreign Countries.


The Earth has three kinds of Poles, the Frigid Poles in the North and South and the very hot Poles in the centre of Europe.

This chapter is about the North Pole.

The North Pole is the Geographical interrogation point of the Earth.

It is probably the only absolutely moral spot in the World.

Scientists declare it to be the site of the Garden of Eden, thus giving colour to the popular notion that Eden was the original Roof Garden.

The only language that has ever been spoken at the North Pole is

The language that Lieutenant Peary used when he found the footprint of Doctor Cook on the Pole, whatever else it might be, was English, and the language of the next discoverer, when he finds (or does not find) the footprint of Lieutenant Peary, will probably be English too.

Whatever use may be ultimately found for the North Pole, up to the present time it has only been used for advertising purposes.

The frozen tracts that surround it bear the names of Adventurers, Princes and Editors, and the very topmost tip, out of compliment to a well-known pianist and politician, has been called the Magnetic Pole.

So far as we know, all the disadvantages of the North Pole are shared by the South Pole, but for some reason the South Pole has never been so successful as an advertising medium.


Let us see America first.

On a modern map of the Western Hemisphere America is as easy to see as the Decorations on the breast of a Rear Admiral of a Dry Dock.

One wonders how it escaped being discovered so long!

But when you look at this map of the Western Hemisphere as it appeared about a thousand years ago, when Lief Ericsen discovered New England, you will understand that discovering America in those days was no child’s play.

Nevertheless, Lief, the son of Eric, did not think much of his find.

How could a lowbrowed viking be expected to understand Boston, much less what was going to be Boston in a thousand years!

After writing his Impressions of America in obscure Runes on a conspicuous rock, Lief pulled up his anchor and sailed home to Norway.

No one could decipher the Runes, but everybody suspected what they meant.

And Lief was justly punished for his rudeness, his statue stands (so runs the tale) in the Fenway of Boston to this day.

America was not discovered again for nearly five hundred years.

Then Christopher Columbus took a hand, but though he made four trips to the New World, Columbus carelessly neglected to write a book or even a magazine article on his Impressions of America.

A new path in Navigation, just as in Art or Literature, once shown, is easy to follow, and seven years later an Italian plagiarist named Amerigo discovered America all over again and copyrighted the whole continent in his own name.

By this time, as the accompanying map will show, the continent of America had gained considerably in bulk and offered an easy mark to the horde of discoverers who came in the wake of Amerigo.

And still they come — and though it is too late to secure a copyright on the continent they never fail to copyright their impressions of America.


In spite of many laudable attempts, America was never seriously discovered until the year 1620 when the Mayflower landed in Massachusetts a cargo of Heirlooms, Boston Terriers, Beans and Ancestors.

Thus were established the three leading industries of Massachusetts, the manufacture of genuine antique furniture and Pedigrees (Human and canine).

BOSTON is a centre of Gravity completely surrounded by Newtons.

BOSTON is also the centre of the Universe.

The great poet Anonymous has immortalized Boston as

    "The home of the Bean and the Cod
    Where Lowells speak only to Cabots
    And Cabots speak only to God."

Some say the lines were not written by Anonymous but by a later poet named Ibid, but what does a poet’s name matter except to his creditors?

Boston is famous for its historic associations and landmarks which well repay a visit.

Even the quaint and curious Pullmans that convey the traveller thither are relics of a bygone day and a joy to the heart of the antiquarian.


The United States is a large body of laughter-loving people completely surrounded by Trusts.

It is the richest country in the world.  Nowhere is food so plentiful, nowhere are the Cows so friendly, the Hens so industrious.

When the American Hens die they go to join their unhatched children in a cold-storage Heaven where they live forever.

So too the Cows, so too the Fish, if there is room for them; if not they are turned into fertilizer to keep them from scaling down the market price.

To add to the merriment of the People, the Sovereign Farmers and Financiers passed an amendment to the Constitution and Holy Writ (See I. Timothy .) abolishing Temperance, the sin of resisting temptation.

At their bidding, thousands of acres of deadly grape vines have been destroyed, and, if these great and good men fulfil their promise, ere long the nation will be saved also from the ravages of the vicious Tobac —

We fail to see what this has
to do with Geography.
The Reader.

Well, to return to the United States.  The United States is a large dry country bounded on the north by Canadian Club Whisky, on the south by Mexican Pulque, and on the East and West by Salt Water.  The Population consists of one hundred million thirsty souls, some of whom are Americans.

Religious to a fault, and ambidexterously prodigal, they nevertheless show signs of reverting to the condition of the Arboreal Anthropoids.

A race of Straphangers is developing.  At certain hours of the day, they may be seen seeking their habitations in great flocks, swinging from strap to strap with loud cries and a peculiar whirling motion.

The Original inhabitants were Red Indians; these were supplanted by Pale Pilgrims, who first settled the country and then settled the Indians.

The Indian practice of painting and wearing feathers shocked the Pilgrim Fathers and Pilgrim Mothers, but the Pilgrim Daughters made a note of the fashions for future use.

The climate of the United States is bracing and stimulating; travellers have even been known to compare the air to champagne but, though highly exhilarating it is absolutely non-intoxicating.

Prohibition Chemists after a careful analysis having discovered no perceptible trace of Alcohol, The Anti-Saloon League has decided that the use of the atmosphere shall be in no way restricted.

In large cities the sky is kept clean by means of tall Sky-Scrapers.  Nowhere is there a more impressive example of American inventive Genius than the array of Sky-Scrapers seen from New York Harbour, day and night, year in, year out, scraping away the germ-laden dust and refuse and imparting a bright and cheerful gloss to the surface of the sky.

Another object of interest in the harbour is the statue of a once popular favourite.

People who remember her, say it is far from a flattering likeness.

The Capitol of the United States is Washington — named after a famous Britisher who won American Independence from George the III, the fat German King of unsound mind, then holding down the English Throne.

New York is the tallest and the noisiest city in the world.  It contains over Five million people speaking a Babel of twenty different languages besides English.

The inhabitants of America are the most Moral and Patriotic people in the World, and their army is second to none in bravery and won the World War.


Canada, with the exception of Mexico, is the only part of North America not ruled by the Irish.

In former days it was a popular Health Resort for frenzied financiers who wished to retire from private life.

It is now a still more popular resort for Americans suffering from thirst.

Though next door neighbours and rivals in business and, what is still more trying, near relatives, Canada and the United States are the best of friends.

For over a hundred years there has not been so much as a picket-fence or a policeman, much less a patrol or a fortification, on the border line between the two countries.

Canada has not, like her sister Columbia, “severed home ties”; she is perfectly happy under the parental roof, earns her own living, has a latch key and stays out as late as she pleases and has never been able to understand “why girls leave home.”

Though differing in many respects, the United States and Canada have so much in common and are so nearly of the same age and size that, in any musical comedy of Nations, the two might easily pass for a “sister turn.”

The inhabitants of Canada are the most Moral and Patriotic people in the World, and their army is second to none in bravery and won the World War.


If you look carefully under the upper left hand corner of the map of Europe, you will find a small pink island no bigger than the state of Idaho.

But a Country must not be judged by its size.

The Planet Jupiter is twelve times as large as this Giddy Globe of ours, and has eight private moons of its own, but for all that Jupiter is not a desirable spot for Lovers, being for the most part molten, and somewhat spotty.

This little Pink Island is Great Britain, the little mother of one-fourth of all the countries of the Globe, including the United States.

The English People, or (if one must be accurate) the British, are the most to and fro-ward people in the world; like the bear in the fable when they are tired of going to and fro they reverse the process and go fro and to.

With Bibles and Bathtubs And Ballots and Beer And Hope and Hygienics They girdle the Sphere.

In every quarter of the globe they have planted seeds of self-government which today are blossoming into an English-Speaking Union under the British and American Flags that embrace one-fourth of the surface of the earth.

The climate of England is temperate.  Its air is not, like that of the United States, compared to champagne.

London, the capital, is famous for its fogs; this is due to the absence of Sky-Scrapers.

London is also the centre of that vicious heritage of the Victorian Era, Respectability.

For any enjoyable degree of latitude, the Londoner must go to Paris, Vienna or Buda Pesth and other capitals, which in return take their degrees of longitude from London (or Greenwich).

This picture shows the famous Rock of Gibraltar, inscribed with the French motto of British respectability (Honi soit qui mal y pense) done into English.

The principal products of Great Britain are Beef, Bishops, Banks, and Barometers.

The inhabitants of England are the most Moral and Patriotic people in the World, and their army is second to none in bravery and won the World War.


A mountainous, peaty region in the northern part of Great Britain.

The Dew distilled from the Scotch mountains, flavoured with the peat of the valleys is highly prized by the natives, not only of Scotland but of all the English speaking countries of this Giddy Globe.

The inhabitants are a tall, barb-wiry, music-loving, pious and joke-fearing race, fond of loud plaids and still Lauder songs.

Their tall spare frames have given rise to the term Bony (or Bonny) Scotland, supposed by some to be derived from “Bonnet,” the national headgear.

The principal products of Scotland are Porridge, Parsons and Pilbrochs.

The inhabitants of Scotland are the most Moral and Patriotic people in the World, and their army is second to none in bravery and won the World War.


Ireland is the land of the Irish Bull, a paradoxical Bovine whose cross-eyed horns can toss a British commonplace in two directions at once.

The population of Ireland consists chiefly of Absentee landlords and Emigrants to the United States.

They are ruled by two Absentee governments, a Parliament at Westminster and an Itinerant President.

The country is infested with Absentee Snakes.  It is believed that the Serpent who tempted Eve (from the “way he had with the women”) was one of these Absentee snakes.

Strabo, the Greek Geographer who visited Ireland long before St. Patrick, describes the inhabitants as, “more savage than the Britons, feeding on human flesh and enormous eaters, deeming it commendable to devour their deceased fathers.”

Strabo evidently attended a wake and miscalculated the strength of the national beverage.

The principal products of Ireland are Potatoes, Pugilists, Patriots, Poteen and Bernard Shaw.

  The term Patriot is derived from two Greek words, Pat, a
 patronymic, and Riot, a national pastime.

The inhabitants of Ireland are the most Moral and Patriotic people in the World, and their army is second to none in bravery and won the World War.


See the Welsh Rabbit — he is bred on cheese;
(Or cheese on bread, whichever way you please).
Although he’s tough, he looks so mild, who’d think
That a strong man from this small beast would shrink?

                                                                  Carolyn Wells.

Wales is the home of the Welsh bards so called because the language in which they are written, which resembles a mixture of Chech, Chinese, Celtic and Chocktaw, is barred from the concert and operatic stage.

The most famous products of Wales are the Welsh Rabbit, the Prince of Wales and Lloyd George.

The Welsh Rabbit, born in a chafing dish and prolific as his namesake of Australia, has spread all over the Giddy Globe and been a potent factor in keeping the world awake.

Lloyd George too (strange parallel!) was born in a political chafing dish and has been an even more powerful factor in keeping the world awake.

Let us hope that the Prince of Wales (Bless him) will follow in the footsteps of this illustrious pair and live to keep the world awake long after this Geography has gone into its hundred thousandth edition!

The Prince has been immortalized in the following lines: 

"Hurray!” cried the Kitten,
As he merrily set the sails,
"I sail o’er the ocean
today, today,
To look at the Prince of Wales!"

"Oh, Kitten, pause at the brink!
And think of the angry gales!"
"Ah, yes,” cried the Kitten, “but think!
Oh, think of the Prince of Wales!"

"But, Kitten,” I cried, dismayed,
"If you live through the angry gales
You know you will be afraid
To look at the Prince of Wales!"

Said the Kitten, “No such thing! Why should he make me wince? If a Cat may look at a King, A Kitten may look at a Prince!"