Married to a Giantess by Walter Parke
I loved her with all my heart, and, indeed, it took all my heart to
accomplish the feat; for, in sooth, there was a great deal—a very great
deal—of her to love. Although only "sweet seventeen," she had reached
the commanding stature of nine feet nine inches, and, to use the words
of a familiar advertisement, she was "still growing."
From my childhood I had doated on the gigantic, loved the lofty, admired
the massive, and had a weakness for strength. The tales I best loved
were those of giants.
Can you wonder, then, that when I heard that the celebrated Samothracian
Giantess, Goliathina Immensikoff, from the wilds of Wallachia, the
largest woman in the world, was approaching London, my soul was stirred
by the news as by a trumpet-call? I read with the deepest interest the
accounts of her antecedents. I learnt how she was discovered in the
Wilds of Wallachia by Whiteley, the World's Provider, who had "taken her
from the bosom of her family"—and here I could not help exclaiming,
"What a stupendous 'bosom' that 'family' must have had!"
As I reclined on my sofa, smoking the largest possible meerschaum, and
reading with absorbing interest these accounts of one who was certainly
"born to greatness," I suddenly came to a terrific and almost appalling
resolve. Involuntarily I exclaimed, aloud, "She shall be mine!"
Yet how could I hope for success? To win so great a being one must be
not only a lady-killer, but a giant-killer also; and though I bear a
"big" name myself—Hector Gogmagog—Nature has denied me either
extraordinary personal attractions or lofty stature. How hopeless, then,
for me to aspire to the affection of the Monumental Maiden of
Samothracia! Five feet five pitted against nine feet nine is to be
But love laughs at obstacles. That evening I went to the Royal Escurial
Theatre, where Mademoiselle Goliathina was performing, and sat
enthralled to witness her impersonation of the Queen of Brobdingnag. The
pictures had not exaggerated. She was "every inch a queen"—a phrase of
some significance when the number of inches mounts up to one hundred and
The next step was to get an introduction. This I accomplished to my
satisfaction, and though at first naturally overawed by her Leviathan
aspect, thenceforward my wooing proceeded rapidly. I had several
interviews with the colossal charmer, at which I had the satisfaction of
discovering that I was more in her eyes than some other men who were
nearer to herself in point of stature. Words of encouragement coming
from those lips, so near and yet so far away, words spoken in soft
Wallachian, yet in tones that Stentor might have envied—elevated me to
the seventh heaven of pride and delight. I already felt taller by
inches—but what was that to her nine feet nine?
I sent her the very biggest bouquets, such as occupied a whole hansom
cab each; love letters, their weight barely covered by eight stamps; and
valentines that would only go by parcels delivery.
All this had its effect. She would have been less than woman, instead of
a very great deal more—had she been insensible to my devotion. Can I
ever forget what the poet ecstatically calls "the first kiss of
love"—how, at considerable inconvenience to herself, she bent that
statuesque form to accommodate herself to my limited stature? That
was, indeed, "stooping to conquer."
Yet with all this encouragement, it was in fear and trembling that I
approached the momentous question. Fancy a refusal from those lips. It
would be crushing indeed!
"Dearest Goliathina," I said, standing upon the head of the sofa, in
order to place myself upon something like her own exalted level, "say,
oh, say you will be mine. You may be sure of my lifelong devotion. You
will be all in all to me, and, in fact, much more than all; for you are
far too large to be merely my better half. I shall always make much of
you, and look up to you as one infinitely above me. Fortunately, I have
a large heart; but as you occupy it entirely, it would be perfectly
impossible for me to find room for any other object. Were you to reject
me, there would be an immeasurable void in my life, and who else is
capable of filling it?"
She was evidently affected; for what the poet calls a "big round
tear"—and goodness knows how big round tear it was in this
case—could be perceived starting from each of her moonlike eyes. I
clasped her hand—which in point of length was a foot—and she did not
"Fondest Hector," she responded, "I am thine!"
And she leant her head upon my shoulder. I staggered; but by the
exertion of all my strength I was able for some moments to sustain that
Our wedding took place before the Registrar, who, being of a nervous
temperament, was so overwhelmed at the towering dimensions of the bride,
that he could scarcely get through the ceremony. It was all as private
as so abnormal an affair could possibly be kept, and for a time the
famous female colossus figured no longer at the Royal Escurial as Queen
Brobdingnag, a substitute only six feet two inches having been provided.
Marrying a giantess has its inconveniences. I had to have a house built
with exceptionally lofty rooms and doors ten feet high, with furniture
on a corresponding scale. An ordinary carriage was of no use to my wife,
whose size also frightened the horses; so we had a sort of triumphal car
built, drawn by a circus elephant. It was expensive, but an excellent
advertisement in a theatrical sense. She could never walk out without
being mobbed, and terrifying babies. She dared not visit a friend's
house for fear of frightening the children and destroying the furniture.
And fancy her at a dance! Moreover, our housekeeping expenses were
Anon, darker shadows hovered around our domestic sphere. Her temper
proved to be at times uncertain. At the least attempt to thwart any of
her strange caprices, she grew infuriated; and when annoyed, she had a
way of putting me on the top of a high bookcase, or locking me up in a
cupboard, box, or trunk—for I have said all our belongings were on a
gigantic scale—which was peculiarly humiliating.
About this time we became acquainted with Morlock Mastodon, Drum-Major
to his highness the Grand Duke of Samothracia. The Major, though of
small stature compared with my wife, was considered a giant by ordinary
men, being seven feet ten in height. My fondness for giants rendered
him an eligible acquaintance to me. Mrs. Gogmagog naturally took to one
of her own gigantic species; and the Major was pleased to say that ours
was the only comfortable and commodious house in England—he meant the
only one in which the doors were ten feet high, and the chair-seats four
feet from the ground. Anyhow, he soon made himself at home with us—too
much at home, as I couldn't help thinking. I didn't mind him and my
wife being good friends; but when, in their gigantic loftiness, they
seemed to overlook me altogether, I began to entertain natural feelings
of jealousy. Besides, the Major owed me money—large sums in proportion
to his size, which he had borrowed under the obviously false pretence
that he was "very short just now;" and he seemed in no hurry to pay it
back. What could I do? It was rather a risky thing to expostulate with a
man of seven feet ten; and to turn him out of the house would have been
a task altogether beyond my physical strength. At all events I could
resolve that he should never enter it again; and I gave strict
injunctions that always in future when Major Mastodon called there was
to be "nobody at home."
Moreover, I actually summoned up courage to tell my wife of my
resolution, and even to remonstrate with her upon her own demeanour
towards the gallant and gigantic Major. Then she got into a rage. And
such a rage! Heavens! what had I done? What would become of me? I was
as one who had called down upon his devoted head the wrath of the gods
or of the Titans.
She drew herself up to her full height of nearly ten feet, her eyes
glared like those of a demoniac, and grasping my arm in her Herculean
clutch, she lifted me bodily from the ground.
"Hands off!" I exclaimed, struggling. "Hit one your own size!"
"My own size!" she thundered, in a contralto profundo voice that
shook the very roof. "Where am I to find 'em? The only person
approximating to my own size you have forbidden the house. You—you
dare try and control my actions—you, whom I could crush like a
blue-bottle—attempt to dictate to me! I will stand this no longer.
You have offended me once too often. You die!"
"Beware, fearful female!" I gasped. "Colossal as you are, the arm of the
law is still longer and even stronger than yours. Kill me, and you will
assuredly die for it!"
She gave a laugh of scorn.
"Me?" she cried. "Do you believe they would hang me? No; I am above
all laws, and I have sworn that you shall die!"
And in spite of my struggles she flung me, as easily as if I had been a
doll, right out of the third storey window. Down I fell, down, down,
—— found myself on the floor. I had tumbled off the sofa, and so
awakened from my terrific dream. Heavens! what a relief to find that
after all I was not married to a giantess, that it was all a vision
due to my falling asleep over the advertisement, and that Mdlle.
Goliathina was but a gigantic nightmare.