Wodehouse Quotations
  McCay's face clouded. Gossctt was an unpopular subject with members of the Cape Pleasant Golf Club. He was the serpent in their Eden. Nobody seemed quite to know how he had got in, but there, unfortunately, he was. 
qq? Genial courtesy rather than strict attention to the rules had been the leading characteristics of their play till his arrival. Up to that time it had been looked on as rather bad form to exact a penalty. A cheery give-and-take system had prevailed. Then Gossctt had come, full of strange rules, and created about the same stir in the community which a hawk would create in a gathering of middle-aged doves. 
jgs! In order that the reader may get the mental half-Nelson on the plot of this narrative which is so essential if a short story is to charm, elevate, and instruct, it is necessary now, for the nonce (but only for the nonce), to inspect Archibald's past life.
;-) Archibald preferred it because being in the same room as Mrs Milsom always made him feel like a murderer with particularly large feet; and Margaret preferred it because, as she told Archibald, these secret meetings lent a touch of poetry to what might otherwise have been a commonplace engagement. 
Archibald thought this charming; but at the same time he could not conceal from himself the fact that Margaret's passion for the poetic cut, so to speak, both ways. He admired and loved the loftiness of her soul, but, on the other hand, it was a tough job having to live up to it. For Archibald was a very ordinary young man. They had tried to inoculate him with a love of poetry at school, but it had not taken. Until he was thirty he had been satisfied to class all poetry (except that of Mr George Cohan) under the general heading of punk. Then he met Margaret, and the trouble began.
gt --------------

'Are you fond of the poets, Mr Mealing?' she said, with a far-off look.

'Me?' said Archibald fervently. 'Me? Why, I eat 'em alive!' 


qq? He knew that Gossett would win the necessary ten holes off the reel. It was saddening, but it was a scientific fact. There was no avoiding it. One simply had to face it. 
qq? The ordinary golfer, whose scores per hole seldom exceed those of Colonel Bogey, docs not understand the whirl of mixed sensations which the really incompetent performer experiences on the rare occasions when he docs strike a winning vein. 

see also ...


The mental struggle was brief but keen. A sharp pang, and his mind was made up. Cost what it might, he must stay on the links. If Margaret broke off the engagement - well, it might be that Time would heal the wound, and that after many years he would find some other girl for whom he might come to care in a wrecked, broken sort of way. But a chance like this could never come again. What is Love compared with holing out before your opponent?
te! ;-) Eye-witnesses of that great encounter will tell the story of the last hole to their dying day. It was one of those Titanic struggles which Time cannot efface from the memory. 
sg This was the result of some rather feverish brainwork on the way from the links to the cottage.
/The Man, The Maid and The Miasma/
gs tt Until the previous day he had served Mr Fcrguson in the capacity of office-boy; but there was that about Master Bean which made it practically impossible for anyone to employ him for long. A syndicate of Galahad, Parsifal, and Marcus Aurclius might have done it, but to an ordinary erring man, conscious of things done which should not have been done, and other things equally numerous left undone, he was too oppressive. One conscience is enough for any man. The employer of Master Bean had to cringe before two. Nobody can last long against an office-boy whose eyes shine with quiet, respectful reproof through gold-rimmed spectacles, whose manner is that of a middle-aged saint, and who obviously knows all the Plod and Punctuality books by heart and orders his life by their precepts. 
vcc! Men who have been hit by bullets say the first sensation is merely a sort of dull shock. So it was with Mr Fcrguson. He stopped in his tracks and stared. 
Mr Ferguson's brain was still in the numbed stage. 
dpctn He looked at her with unwilling respect, the respect of the novice for the veteran. She was nothing to him now, of course. She had passed out of his life. But he could not help remembering that long ago - eighteen months ago - what he had admired most in her had been this same spirit, this game refusal to be disturbed by Fate's blows. It braced him up. 
He was smiling, but wanly. Nobody but a professional fasting man could have looked unmoved into the Inferno she had pictured. Then he rallied. 
Once, soon after his arrival in London, he had allowed a dangerous fanatic to persuade him that the secret of health was to go without breakfast. His lunch that day had cost him eight shillings, and only decent shame had kept the figure as low as that. He knew perfectly well that long ere the dawn of day his whole soul would be crying out for cake, squealing frantically for cocoa. Would it not be better to - no, a thousand times nol Death, but not surrender. His self-respect was at stake. Looking back, he saw that his entire relations with this girl had been a series of battles of will. So far, though he had certainly not won, he had not been defeated. He must not be defeated now. 
met Mr Fcrguson, deprived of the solace of song, filled in the time by gazing at the toiler's back-hair. It set in motion a train of thought - an express train bound for the Land of Yesterday. It recalled days in the woods, evenings on the lawn. It recalled sunshine - storm. Plenty of storm. Minor tempests that burst from a clear sky, apparently without cause, and the great final tornado. 
met There was a train-wreck in the Land of Yesterday. Mr Fcrguson, the only survivor, limped back into the Present.
QQ A man will remain cool and composed under many charges. Hint that his tastes are criminal, and he will shrug his shoulders. But accuse him of goodness, and you rouse the lion 
He began to look on Simeon as an overrated amateur. 
comp The girl upstairs had broken his heart, ruined his life, and practically compared him to Roland Bean, and his pride should have built up an impassable wall between them, but - she had cake and cocoa. In similar circumstances King-Arthur would have grovelled before Guinevere. 
gt 'It's frightful when he looks at you; you think of all the wrong things you have ever done or ever wanted to do.'
/The Good Angel/
;-) Butler The effect that Kcggs, the butler at the Keiths', had on Martin Rossitcr was to make him feel as if he had been caught laughing in a cathedral. He fought against the feeling. He asked himself who Kcggs was, anyway; and replied defiantly ^ that Keggs was a Menial - and an overfed Menial. But all the while he knew that logic was useless.
pofw But things had gone wrong. As he leaned out of his bedroom window at the end of the first week, preparatory to dressing for dinner, he was more than half inclined to make some excuse and get right out of the place next day. The bland dignity of Kcggs had taken all the heart out of him.
dpctn Keggs was a man - one must use that word, though it seems grossly inadequate - of medium height, pigeon-toed at the base, bulgy half-way up, and bald at the apex. His manner was restrained and dignified, his voice soft and grave.
;-) met Martin had no answer. He was dazed. Kcggs had spoken with the proud humility of an emperor compelled by misfortune to shine shoes. 
:-) 'Women, sir,' proceeded Kcggs, 'young ladies - arc peculiar. I have had, if I may say so, certain hopportunities of observing their ways. Miss Elsa reminds me in some respects of Lady Angelica Fendall, whom I had the honour of knowing when I was butler to her father, Lord Stockleigh. Her ladyship was hinclined to be romantic. She was fond of poetry, like Miss Elsa. She would sit by the hour, sir, listening to young Mr Knox reading Tennyson, which was no part of his duties, he being employed by his lordship to teach Lord Bertie Latin and Greek and what not. You may have noticed, sir, that young ladies is often took by Tennyson, hcspccially in the summer-time."
'So I thought, if I might take the liberty, sir, I would place my knowledge of the sex at your disposal. You will find it sound in every respect. That is all. Thank you, sir.' 
ce! 'Don't thank me, sir,' said the butler, indulgently. 'I ask no thanks. We are working together for a common hobject, and any little 'elp I can provide is given freely.'
cs! Mr Barstowe gave tongue. He was a slim, tall, sickcningly beautiful young man, with large, dark eyes, full of expression. 
jgs!  Mr Keith was a man who had built up a large fortune mainly . by consistently refusing to allow anything to agitate him. He carried this policy into private life.
jgs! Kcggs shook his head dcprecatingly, as one who, realizing his limitations, declines to attempt to probe the hidden sources of human actions.
comp Martin gave up the struggle with a sense of blank futility. What could you do with a man like this? It was like quarrelling with Westminster Abbey. 
;-) Martin did as he was requested - so far, that is to say, as the first half of the commission was concerned. As regarded the second, he took it upon himself to make certain changes. Having seen Mr Keith to his room, he put the fitting-out of the relief ship into the good hands of a group of his fellow-guests whom he discovered in the porch. Elsa's feelings towards her rescuer might be one of unmixcd gratitude; but it might, on the other hand, be one of resentment. He did not wish her to connect him in her mind with the episode in any way whatsoever. Martin had once released a dog from a trap, and the dog had bitten him. He had been on an errand of mercy, but the dog had connected him with his sufferings and acted accordingly. It occurred to Martin that Elsa's frame of mind would be uncommonly like that dog's.
Elsa was sitting with her eyes closed and a soft smile of pleasure curving her mouth. 
/Pots O'Money/
From the very start, from the moment when he revealed the fact that his income, salary and private means included, amounted to less than two hundred pounds, he had realized that this was going to be one of his failures. It was the gruesome Early Victorianness of it all that took the heart out of him. Mr Shepphcrd had always reminded him of a heavy father out of a three-volume novel, but, compared with his demeanour as he listened now, his attitude hitherto had been light and whimsical. Until this moment Owen had not imagined that this sort of thing ever happened nowadays outside the comic papers. By the end of the second minute he would not have been surprised to find himself sailing through the air, urged by Mr Shcpp-hcrd's boot, his transit indicated by a dotted line and a few stars. 

Mr Shcpphcrd's manner was inclined to bleakness.

;-) 'My uncle shot his bolt when he got me into the bank. That finished him, as far as I'm concerned. I'm not his only nephew, you know. There arc about a hundred others, all trailing him like bloodhounds.'

George stood in the doorway, grinned, and said: 

' Farsezjerligranmatellyerforchbythecards ?'

'Eh?' said Owen.

The youth repeated the word. 

'Once again.'

On the second repetition light began to creep in. A boyhood spent in the place, added to this ten days' stay, had made Owen something of a linguist.

' Father says would I like grandma to do what ?' 

'Tell yer forch'n by ther cards.' 

'Where is she?' 



ge Owen's mind, wrenched too suddenly from the dreamy future to the vivid present, was not yet completely under control.
Wow! Owen had never quite understood what it was that these young men did want, and now his detached mind refused even more emphatically to grapple with the problem. 
tt Owen left the box somewhat depressed. Life was quite gloomy enough as it was, without going out of one's way to cry one's eyes out over sentimental plays.
gs The manager was seated at his table, thoughtfully regarding the ceiling. His resemblance to a stuffed trout, always striking, was subtly accentuated, and Owen, an expert in these matters, felt that his fears had been well founded - there was trouble in the air. Somebody had been complaining of him, and he was now about, as the phrase went, to be 'run-in'.
gs The manager, who had been listening with some restlessness to the conversation, now intervened. He was a man with a sense of fitness of things, and he objected to having his private room made the scene of what appeared to be a reunion of old college chums. He hinted as much.
Cool! ;-) 'Young man, I begin to believe that there may be something in this. You haven't got a ghost of a proof that would hold water in a court of law, of course; but still, I'm inclined to believe you. For one thing, you haven't the intelligence to invent such a story.' 
;-) 'Now listen to me. That manuscript reached me when I was in the country. There was no name on it. That in itself points strongly to the fact that you were its author. It was precisely the chuckle-headed sort of thing you would have done, to put no name on the thing.' 
/Out of school/
Mark you, I am not defending James Datchett. I hold no brief for James. On the contrary, I am very decidedly of the opinion that he should not have done it. I merely say that there were extenuating circumstances. Just that. Ext. circ. Nothing more.
James's Uncle Frederick was always talking more or less about the Colonies, having made a substantial fortune out in Western Australia, but it was only when James came down from Oxford that the thing became really menacing. Up to that time the uncle had merely spoken of the Colonies as Colonies. Now he began to speak of them with sinister reference to his nephew. He starred James. It became a case of 'Frederick Knott presents James Datchett in "The Colonies",' and there seemed every prospect that the production would be an early one; for if there was one section of the public which Mr Knott disliked more than another, it was Young Men Who Ought To Be Out Earning Their Livings Instead Of Idling At Home. He expressed his views on the subject with some eloquence whenever he visited his sister's house. Mrs Datchett was a widow, and since her husband's death had been in the habit of accepting every utterance of her brother Frederick as a piece of genuine all-wool wisdom; though, as a matter of fact, James's uncle had just about enough brain to make a jay-bird fly crooked, and no more. He had made his money through keeping sheep. And any fool can keep sheep. However, he had this reputation for wisdom, and what he said went. It was not long, therefore, before it was evident that the ranks of the Y.M.W.O.T.B.O.E.T.L.I.O.I.A.H. were about to lose a member.


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Quotes - By books

Index from book Wodehouse on Wodehouse. | Article "About Stories" | Dedications1 | Dedications 2 | Prefaces1 | Prefaces2 | Prefaces3 | Prefaces4 | "Facts from Usborn" (forewords from Vintage Wodehouse)