Frodo distributes Bilbo's farewell gifts at Bag End
Event Type: General
Age: 3rd Age - The Stewards
Date: September 23, 3001
An event in the aftermath of Bilbo's Farewell Party; see that entry for an overview:
The sun rose.... People came and began (by orders) to clear away the pavilions.... Then a number of other people came (without orders):... guests that lived or were staying near. By mid-day... there was a large crowd at Bag End, uninvited but not unexpected.
Frodo was waiting on the step, smiling, but looking rather tired.... He welcomed all the callers, but he had not much more to say.... His reply to all inquiries was...: 'Mr. Bilbo Baggins has gone away; as far as I know, for good.' Some of the visitors he invited to come inside, as Bilbo had left 'messages' for them.
Inside in the hall there was piled a large assortment of packages... and small articles of furniture. On every item there was a label tied...:
For ADELARD TOOK, for his VERY OWN, from Bilbo; on an umbrella. Adelard had carried off many unlabelled ones.
For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large waste-paper basket. Dora was Drogo's sister and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century.
For MILO BURROWS, hoping it will be useful, from B.B.; on a gold pen and ink-bottle. Milo never answered letters.
For ANGELICA'S use, from Uncle Bilbo; on a round convex mirror. She was a young Baggins, and too obviously considered her face shapely.
For the collection of HUGO BRACEGIRDLE, from a contributor; on an (empty) book-case. Hugo was a great borrower of books, and worse than usual at returning them.
For LOBELIA SACKVILLE-BAGGINS, as a PRESENT; on a case of silver spoons. Bilbo believed that she had acquired a good many of his spoons, while he was away on his former journey. Lobelia knew that quite well. When she arrived later in the day, she took the point at once, but she also took the spoons.
This is only a small selection of the assembled presents. Bilbo's residence had got rather cluttered up with things in the course of his long life. It was a tendency of hobbit-holes to get cluttered up: for which the custom of giving so many birthday-presents was largely responsible.... [There] were one or two old mathoms of forgotten uses that had circulated all around the district; but Bilbo had usually given new presents, and kept those that he received. The old hole was now being cleared a little.
Every one of the various parting gifts had labels..., and several had... some joke. But, of course, most of the things were given where they would be wanted and welcome. The poorer hobbits, and especially those of Bagshot Row, did very well. Old Gaffer Gamgee got two sacks of potatoes, a new spade, a woollen waistcoat, and a bottle of ointment for creaking joints. Old Rory Brandybuck, in return for much hospitality, got a dozen bottles of Old Winyards... now quite mature, as it had been laid down by Bilbo's father. Rory quite forgave Bilbo, and voted him a capital fellow after the first bottle.
There was plenty of everything left for Frodo. And, of course, all the chief treasures, as well as the books, pictures, and... furniture, were left in his possession. There was, however, no sign nor mention of money or jewellery: not a penny-piece or a glass bead was given away.
Frodo had a very trying time that afternoon. A false rumour that the whole household was being distributed free spread like wildfire; and before long the place was packed with people who had no business there.... Labels got torn off and mixed, and quarrels broke out. Some people tried to do swaps and deals in the hall; and others tried to make off with minor items not addressed to them, or with anything that seemed unwanted or unwatched....
In the middle of the commotion the Sackville-Bagginses arrived.
The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 1, A Long-expected Party
Elena Tiriel 22Sep07, 30Apr10