Wodehouse Quotations

Now, looking at the matter broadly

Amusing! - Lady Caroline's voice shook the furniture

Over cigar he became expansive

They'd worry the life put of me.

It might be this or it might be that, but whatever the inner meaning of the words they plainly implied some form of activity of which he would be bound to disapprove.

"But suppose Chippendale lurks and does him home secret injury?' 'Such as?'

Crispin had to admit that he could not specify one offhand, and Bame said he must not let his imagination run away with him.

Crispin hesitated. We all have secrets which we prefer to keep to ourselves, and he saw that he was on the verge of revealing his darkest one. Thn his need for ympathy overcame reticence.

Good heavens, man, you're amiable, intelligent, understanding, sober, honest and kind to animals. I saw you talking yesterday to that cat that hangs around, and I could see you were saying all the right things. You'd be snapped up in no time.

Cheer up. Grips, and keep smiling. That's the thing to do. If you go through life with a smile on your face, you'll be amazed how many people will come up to you and say, "What the hell are you grinning about? What's so funny?" Make you a lot of new friends


This excellent advice, so simple and yet so practical, ought, one would have said, to have been acted on without delay by its recipient, but if Crispin proposed to go through life with a smile on his face, it was plain that he did not intend to start immediately. Nor did the emergence from the house at this moment of the resident broker's man do anything to improve his morale. It is possible that Chippendale had his little circle of admirers who brightened at the sight of him, but Crispin was not of their number.

Nice girls, he reasoned, don't steal things, and if Bamey was not technically a girl, she was unquestionably nice.

'What?' he said, and never had more consternation, agitation indignation and incredulity been condensed into the restricted limits of a monosyllable. Is this a joke. Bill?'

There was a brief interval here, probably occupied . by Willoughby in foaming at the mouth. At its conclusion he assured Crispin that it was not a joke.

It was monstrous that he should have let his bereavement carry him away to the extent of inventing all that wild stuff about shoplifting, but no doubt quiet reflection would make him see how mistaken he had been. One must, at any rate, hope so.

'And don't call me chum,' said Crispin. 'What do you want?'

In his lighter moments Chippendale would have replied that he wanted ten thousand a year, a Rolls Royce, a villa in the South of France and a diamond tiara, but he was here on business.

'That wouldn't get you anywhere. All she'd have to do would be to deny it what's the word, begins with a c, categorically,' said Chippendale, modestly proud of the \ scope of his vocabulary

How long it was before he recovered the ability to face the crisis and examine the situation in depth he could not have said, but eventually something like ^ coherent thought returned to him and he bent his mind to a careful study of his predicament, employing all his brain cells to an endeavour to find a way out of it.

Crispin, as Bamey had said, was amiable, sober, honest and kind to animals, but as a recoverer of stolen miniatures he simply did not qualify. Not that one could blame him for this. Some men have the knack of recovering stolen miniatures, others not. It probably has something to do with the hormones.

Not immediately, of course. You don't walk into a man's house and start crushing him beneath the iron heel without so much as saying Hullo. Obviously there would have to be a few preliminary pourparlers just to get things going

She wants a husband who will cover her with Jewels and Rolls-Royces. Given those, she might make a good wife, though I would hesitate to bet on it.

He was a man who could put two and two together, and the expression 'between one and two million', coupled with the recollection of Jerry's telephone call asking for her name, seemed to point in the direction of the ....

She was a sweet-tempered girlyou have to be to keep smiling at the Mr. Dona-hues who travel by airbut she was conscious of a well-defined urge to hit him on his ginger head with a brick.

Then, as the full beauty of Willoughby's words penetrated to his consciousness, this inelasticity gave place to something resembling the animation of a war horse ' that has heard the sound of the bugle. The war horse, we are told, when the sound of the bugle is drawn to its attention, becomes a good deal stirred. It starts. It quivers. It paws the valley, rejoices in its strength and says 'Ha, ha' among the trumpets, and it was thus, give or take a 'Ha, ha' or two, that Crispin behaved.

Once again Jerry's heart executed a Nijinsky leap. He was finding Crispin hard to focus, and was obliged to blink several times before he could see him steadily and see him whole. His uncle seemed to be flickering like something in an early silent picture.

Jerry found speech. Nothing very bright, but technically speech. He said ...

If the post of village idiot at Mellingham-in- the-Vale is vacant, I feel you ought to apply for it. Still, I suppose it's no good trying to reason with you.

I think that was the name, of which she had spoken in such high terms, and Crispin said he would not forget, which he promptly did.

Crispin, lending a reluctant ear to these confidences, had made a discovery.

He left Crispin a prey to the liveliest misgivings. He had had misgivings before in his time, but seldom any ' as lively as these.

His aspect was that of one who has been looking for the leak in a gas pipe with a lighted candle.

This, it seemed to him, was the end. He was not as a rule very imaginative, but there rose before him as clearly as if it had been the top line on an oculist's chart a vivid picture of what was going to happen next.

From the point of view of an official of the Band of' Hope or some other institution for promoting temperance Chippendale was in infinitely better shape than he had been on leaving the library.

A doctor, however, going deeper into the thing, would have realized that this transformation was the result of a shock and that a severe one, for his eyes were glassy, he breathed stertorously and he was perspiring in a manner which would have reminded a traveller in France of the fountains at Versailles.

'You may well ask, chum,' said Chippendale, continuing to mop. 'I have passed through the furnace, pal, but I came out unscathed, if that's the word, and I'll tell you why I came out unscathed. I came out that way because I've got presence of mind. Always have had from a child. Where others would have stood shuffling their feet with guilt written all over their ruddy faces, I kept my head and pitched a yam and what's more made it stick.

To be obliged to retreat in disorder from a stricken battlefield always tends to lower the spirits. Napoleon, who had this experience at Moscow, made no secret of the fact that he did not enjoy it, and Jerry, going through the same sort of thing at Mellingham Hall, Mellingham-in-the-Vale, was definitely not at his perkiest. One glance had been enough to tell Jane that it was no tale of triumph that he had come to, relate.

If people who say they are going to the vicarage would only go to the vicarage, this would be a better and happier world,' said Jerry bitterly. The subject was one to which he had given much thought

'It was the best I could do. You must bear in mind that I had just been hit on the head by what felt like the Statue of Liberty. My mental processes were somewhat disordered.'

Of course she does. There she is, unfortunate little rat, yearning for you, pining for you, looking on you as her official Prince Charming, saying to herself every morning "Perhaps today he will come riding up on his white horse and put his arms round me and tells me he t loves me", and what happens?

Although it had been said of Crispin Scrope with considerable justice that if men were dominoes, he would be the double blank, he was not without a certain intelligence and the ability to deduce and draw conclusions.

It seemed to Jerry that before anything in the nature of a partnership could be formed a strict understanding must be arrived at.

After he had left them Jerry and Crispin sat in silence for perhaps an hour, full of what Alfred, Lord Tennyson, once described as thoughts too deep for tears. Of the two mourners it was Terrv who mourned the more bitterly, for he was tortured by the galling realization that in supposing that he had the sort of brain that can solve any dilemma he had been mistaken. As Chippendale would have said, it lowered his pride to the dust.

He could see no way out of the impasse. The idea of burgling the vicarage and tying the vicar up and sticking lighted matches between his toes till he disgorged the miniature he dismissed as impracticable. It had a momentary attraction, but prudence told him that that sort of thing would lead to his arrest by Constable Simms. And while this would probably result in the zealous officer being promoted to sergeant, he preferred that his rise to the heights should be achieved by other means.

... looking indeed as if he had just bought the world and paid cash down for it

The bizarre idea that in the world as present constituted there could be such thing as good news held them speechless.

It was just one of those trifling good turns which allies are entitled to expect of one another. If one of the three Musketeers had asked the other two Musketeers to push Cardinal Richelieu into the Seine, the other two Musketeers would have sprung to the task with their hair in a braid.

This was her first visit to England, and of course for all she knew it might be the normal practise of young Englishmen to hide in cupboards, possibly with the idea of jumping out and saying 'Boo!', but something seemed to tell her that this was an individual case and not just a sample of what was going on all the time all over the country.

It was the face of a man so weighed down with weight of woe that one wondered how he could navigate.

A moment later he had seen the way. It involved falsifying the facts, but there are times when facts have to be falsified. Diplomats are doing it every day without their sleep. He decided to tell allor a slightly edited version of all.

What a lesson this should be to all of us never to write off a man as an incompetent poop simply because all his life he has behaved like an incompetent poop

'No,' said Crispin. 'It had to be done, so Ierdid it Any man would have done the same.'

He stared at Homer as a snail might have stared at another snail which had said something to shake it to its depths.

It seemed to Crispin that the hive of bees to which she had objected had transferred itself to his head. It was full of their buzzing.

From early manhood he and trouble had been inseparable companions.

This was not just a girl, but one of such surpassing beauty that one blinked on beholding her; the sort of girl who makes strong men catch their breath and straighten their ties; a girl Sheiks of Araby would dash into tents after like seals in pursuit of slices of fish.

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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)