Wodehouse Quotations

relaxing body invites thought

The ability to sleep soundly and deeply is the prerogative, as has been pointed earlier, of the upper classes of those who do not think quickly. The Earl E., who had not thought quickly since the occasion of 1874 ...

Even in his dream Lord E. had been perplexed as to what his next move ought to be, and when he found himself awake, he was at first merely thankful that necessity for making a decision had at any rate been postponed.

Day in, day out, Rupert Baxter had been exercising his brain and now he had gone and sprained it.

I always found Baxter reasonable man, ready to welcome suggestions from outside sources.

What he didn't know about ... was not worth knowing.

He had examined the position of affairs and found it good.

My friends have frequently told me that when once I start talking it requires something in the nature of cataclysm to stop me.

Everything in this world, I like to think, is placed there for some useful end: But why the authorities unleashed Miss ... on us is beyond me.

Even Freddie, though normally an unobservant youth seemed awed by the ruin he helped to create.

Exasperating sense of men's inadequacy

For a girl of iron resolution and unswerving purpose...

His presence here had something of the breathtaking quality of a miracle.

You hinted as much yourself just now that my own position in this little matter has an appearance, which to the uninitiated night seem tolerably rummy.

... - the allusion is a classical one and the fruit of an expensive education.

I am strongly of the opinion that after the age of twenty one, a man ought not to be out of bed and awake at four in the morning. The hour breeds thought. At 21 life being all future, it may be examined with impunity. But, at thirty, having become an uncomfortable mixture of future and past it is a thing to be looked at only when the sun is high and the world full of warmth and optimism.

I tried to analyze her qualifications for the place she held in my heart. I had known women who had attracted me more physically, and women who had attracted me more mentally. I had known wiser women, more amiable women, but no one of them affected me like she.

/Summer Moonshine/

Women had let him down too often, and he was not going to put his battered heart within kicking distance of the foot of even so apparently trustworthy a girl as Jane.

Sir, B. had often dredged the dictionary for adjectives to describe ., but "cute" was one which had not occurred to him

Cheer up, chief. I've only been indulging in a little persiflage.

I'm in rare shape this morning. I could tackle ten women, come about ten bills.

Have you thought of truing homoeopathic treatment ...? In cases like this, I always think another girl should be applied immediately.

Oh, I've nothing against her, except that she's a hard, arrogant, vindictive, domineering harridan, if harridan's the world I want. And now I simply must rush.

... when he was deeper than usual in gloomy thoughts on Woman's perfidy

Girls, he knew, were notoriously odd in matters of the heart, but it seemed incredible that any girl could have been so odd as to get engaged to ...

... but he refrained - not so much because he shrank from being brusque as because he had no time to speak.

I don't see how he can repeat that performance this time, unless he is the very dickens of a hurler.

The thought chilled him to the marrow.

At first, when starting to run, he had no fixed plan, merely a sort of vague general desire to get away from it all.

The line was not in the script, but the scene had gone so well that she felt entitled to gag.

He was gazing down at her with an expression that was half indulgent, like that of an affectionate father watching his idiot child disport itself, and half worshipping, as of one regarding a goddess.

"You know, young Jane," - he said, getting in beside her, "one of things I like about you is that you are so slim, so slight, so slender, so - in a word - portable."

"I think you had better get out of here," he said. "As our reverend Buck would say, the natives seemed unfriendly, so we decided not to stay the night."

The emotion of a man who comes out of bathroom, all pink and glowing, and with a song on his lips, to find that in his absence from the bedroom adjoining it, some hidden hand has removed his clothes may be compared roughly with to those of one who, sauntering along a garden path in the dusk, steps on the teeth of a rake and has the handle shoot up and hit him in the face. There is the same sense of shock, the same fleeting illusion that Judgement Day had arrived without warning.

For a long instant Prudence stood staring, as terror wrestled with outraged modesty within her. Then uttering a low, honking cry like that of some refined creature of the wild caught in a trap, she staggered back against the wall.

There are a few men capable of remaining composed and tranquil when a woman is saying "So!" at them, especially when sweeping gesture accompanies the word. Napoleon could have done it, and Henry VIII, and probably Genghiz Khan, But Sir B. was not of their number.

/Indiscretions of Archie/

"Listen, old thing! I came over to this country to nose about in search of job, because there doesn't seem what you might call a general demand for my services in England."

- Why you're the most wonderful thing in the world, precious! Surely you know that?

- Absolutely escaped my notice.

True, he had gathered in the course of the conversation that dear Archie had no occupation and no private means; but Mr. Brewster felt that a great-souled man like Archie didn't need them. You can't have anything, and Archie, according to Lucille's account, was practically a hundred per cent man in soul, looks, manners, amiability, and breeding. There are things that count.

"How would it be to bury the jolly old hatchet - start a new life - forgive and forget - learn to love each other - and all that sort of rot? I'm game if you are. Is it a bet?"

Mr. Daniel Brewster, his father-in-law, remained consistently unfriendly.

"Of course, I admit that so far I haven't been one of the toilers, but the dashed difficult thing is to know how to start. I'm nosing round, but the openings for a bright young man seem so scarce. "

"It is a rummy thing," said Archie, pursuing a train of thought which was constantly with him, "the more I see of you, the more I wonder ..."

"Yes, but my old artist," said Archie, "what you don't seem to grasp - what you appear not to realize - is that I'm getting a crick in the back."

"I wonder why you chappies call this sort of thing "sitting".

The mildness of the expletive was proof that the full horror of situation had not immediately come to him.

And then, suddenly, he realized that that this infernal, officious ass of subconscious self had deposited him right in the gumbo.

He found himself confronting the hurried gentleman who had run upstairs. This sprinter had produced an automatic pistol, and was pointing it in a truculent manner in his head.

He shifted his wholesome (or as some say, unwholesome) morsel to the other side of his mouth and ...

J.B. Wheeler had wanted quick results, and he got them.

Archie had long since ceased to regard J.B. Wheeler as anything but a tumor of the social system, but he was bound to admit that he had certainly done him a good turn now.

"Dashed dangerous things, canaries," said Archie, thoughtfully. "They peck at you".

Despite the eulogies, which Sheriff had uttered concerning Peter, he found his doubts increasing. Peter as the press-agent had stated to be a great scout, but was his little Garden of Eden on the fifth floor likely to be improved by the advent of even the most amiable and winsome of serpents?

The whole affair took but a few seconds. Generals have received the thanks of their nations for displaying less resource on the field of battle.

"Dear sir, - It is some time since the undersigned had the honor of conversing with you, but I am respectfully trusting that you may recall me to mind when I mention that until recently I served Mr. Brewster in capacity of valet."

He bore it with equanimity and even with positive enthusiasm.

The cloud, which had settled on Archie's mind lifted abruptly. For an instant he was enabled to think about hundred times more quickly than was his leisure wont.

- What are you doing in my room?

- Well, if it comes to that, you know - shouldn't have mentioned it if you hadn't brought the subject in the course of general chit-chat - what are you doing in mine?

- Where is your chivalry?

- Never mind my dashed chivalry!

Any form of sustained concentration fatigued Reggie.

What men like Gus needed for the salvation of their souls was an occasional good jolt right where it would do most good.

There are moments in life when, passing idly on our way, we see a strange face, look into strange eyes, and with a sudden glow of human warmth say to ourselves, "We have found a friend!" This was not one those moments.

The other, curtly expressing a wish that the proprietor would go to eternal perdition and take his entire stock with him, stumped out.

I wouldn't for the world say anything derogatory, as it were, to your jolly old pater, but there is no getting away from the fact that he's by way of being one of our leading man-eating fishes. It would be idle to deny that ...

It was plain even at that distance, that Daniel had his troubles and was bearing them with an ill grace.

"Oh, positively!" said Archie. "Beneath a rugged exterior I hide a brain like a buzz-saw. Sense? I exude it, laddie; I drip with it."

Seen from the front, he was even more unnerving.

to fasten a gimlet eye upon s-dy

This sort of thing doesn't run in the family.

Reggie was a rather melancholy young man who suffered from elephantiasis of bank-roll and the other evils that arise from that complaint. Gentle and sentimental by nature, his sensibilities had been much wounded by contact with a sordid world; and the thing that had first endeared Archie to him was the fact that the latter, though chronically hard-up, had never made any attempt to borrow money from him.

We don't have to ask for jobs. We consider offers.

He thought bitterly of the exigent Jane, whom he recollected dimly as tall female with teeth.

He had had one of those sudden, luminous ideas, which help a man who does not much thinking as a rule to restore his average. He stood there for a moment, almost dizzy at the brilliance of his thoughts; then hurried on. Napoleon, he mused as he walked, must have felt rather like this after thinking up a hot one to spring on the enemy.

She was breathing as stertorously as ever her son had done on the previous night.

Rightly or wrongly she regards me ass a bit of a hound in diplomacy line.

It was plain that something had happened in the hinterland of Mr. McCall's soul.

Archie's connection with that devastatingly popular ballad was one to which he always looked with a certain pride. "Mother Knee", it will be remembered, went though the world like a pestilence.

to be cementing with cigarettes and pleasant conversation his renewed friendship with ...

... and you're dashed lucky to have me in your corner, a guide, philosopher, and friend, full of the fruitiest ideas.

"Shrimps!" diagnosed Bill, churlishly

... asked Archie, ignoring the slur.

"Am I afraid of father?" cried Archie, manfully. "Well, yes, I am!" he added, after a moment's reflecttion.

Mr. Brewster, looning over the table like a thundercloud, regarded Archie with more than his customary hostility.

... pleased with the smoothness with which matters had opened ...

Even in this tense moment Archie found time almost unconsciously to admire his father-in-law's penetration and intuition. He seemed to have a sort of six sense. No doubt this was how great fortunes were made.

For the picture, dashingly painted in oils, represented a comfortably plump young woman who, from her rather weak-minded simper and the fact that she wore absolutely nothing except a small dove on the left shoulder, was plainly intended to be the goddess Venus. Archie was not much lad about picture-galleries, but he knew enough about Art to recognize Venus when he saw her; though once or twice, it is true, artists had double-crossed him by brining in some such title as "Day Dreams," or "When the Heart is Young."

His memory was weak, he knew; but never before had it let him down so scurvily as this.

It perplexed Archie a little during the next few days to notice in Lucille, whom he had always looked on as preeminently a girl who knew her own mind, a curious streak of vacillation.

She was a girl with conscience and that conscience was troubling her a little.

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