Wodehouse Quotations

'There is a mouse in Mr. Pyle's bedroom,' Vera explained, speaking with the weariness of a girl who has heard all she requires about mice.

To say that his conscience was clear i would be inaccurate, for he did not have a conscience, but he had what was much better, an alibi which no prosecuting counsel could break.

In the study Chippendale was showing unmistakeable signs of wishing to be elsewhere. He fidgeted. He licked his lips and stood now on one leg, now on the other. Sherlock Holmes, had he been present, would have deduced that, with ten pounds in his pocket and definite instructions from Jerry West to spend it in revelry, he was thinking of the Goose and Gander and the wines and spirits which its landlord Mr. Hibbs was licensed to sell, and as usual he would have been right.

What with his betrothal and Brotherly Love's victory at a hundred to eight, he had been feeling that everything was for the best in this best of all possible worlds, but the sight of the woman he loved apparently on the verge of having a fit of some kind lowered his high spirits by several degrees, and he uttered a bleat of concern.

That sturdy bachelor never turned a deaf ear to appeals from men desirous of avoiding women. He had been doing it himself for years and considered it the foundation stone on which the good life should be based.

Odd, he reflected, how things turn out. If some unknown sadist had not selected him for jury duty, chuckling at the thought of how it was going to disorganize his working day, he would never have known that Jane existed. Giving credit where credit was due, he saw in the miracle of their meeting one more proof of his guardian angel's efficiency. When that magician undertook a job, he certainly gave service

/A Damsel in Distress/

Give me time to mention these few facts and I am done.

But the voice of calumny is never silent, and there exists a school of thought, headed by Albert, the page-boy, which holds that ...

With regard to this, one can only say that Keggs looks far too much like a particularly saintly bishop to indulge in any such practices. On the other hand, Albert knows Keggs. We / must leave the matter open.

Such a person would probably have jumped to the conclusion that ...

Sherlock Holmes himself might have been misled. One can hear him explaining the thing to Watson in one of those lightning flashes of inductive reasoning of his. 'It is the only explanation, my dear Watson....

The words tell their own story.

The love which other men expend on their nearest and dearest Lord Marshmoreton lavished on seeds, roses.

A simple soul. Lord Marshmoreton - mild and pleasant.

He admitted that she was a 'topper', on several occasions going so far as to describe her as 'absolutely priceless'.

A girl of Maud's age falls in and out of love half a dozen times a year.

Lord Marshmoreton's brain moved slowly when he was preoccupied with his roses.

'We're on excellent terms.'

To Lord Marshmoreton she was rapidly becoming a perfect incubus.

Lord Marshmoreton always assumed a stooping attitude when he saw Miss Faraday approaching with papers in her hand; for he laboured under a pathetic delusion, of which no amount of failures could rid him, that if she did not sec his face she would withdraw.

Maud had left Reggie by the time Alice Faraday reached him, and that ardent youth was sitting on a stone seat, smoking a cigarette and entertaining himself with meditations in which thoughts of Alice competed for precedence with graver reflections connected with the subject of the correct stance for his approach shots. Reggie's was a troubled spirit these days. He was in love, and he had developed a bad slice with his mid-iron. He was practically a soul in torment.

He wished profoundly that he could get rid of his habit of yelping with nervous laughter whenever he encountered the girl of his dreams.

'I see what you mean. Well, as a matter of absolute fact, I, as it were, didn't.'

'No, no I Absolutely not,' said Reggie dutifully, wishing he knew what the word meant, and wishing also that life had not become so frightfully complex.

She crossed the terrace to where Reggie sat brooding on life and its problems.

'The strong, silent man. That's me. What is it?'

'That was the idea.'

to outlive its utility

George Bevan remained outside in the street surveying the frisking children with a sombre glance. They seemed to him very noisy, very dirty, and very young. Disgustingly young. Theirs was joyous, exuberant youth which made a fellow feel at least sixty. Something was wrong with George today, for normally he was fond of children. Indeed, normally he was fond of most things. He was a good-natured and cheerful young man, who liked life and the great majority of those who lived it contemporaneously with himself. He had no enemies and many friends.

But today he had noticed from the moment he had got out of bed that something was amiss with the world.

'How's business. Bill?' she called to him as she passed the spot where he stood brooding on the mortality of tomatoes. And, though he replied 'Rotten', a faint, grim smile ^ did nevertheless flicker across his tragic mask.

Billie's views on the opposite sex who forgot themselves were as rigid as those of Lord Marshmoreton concerning thrips. She liked men, and she would signify this liking in a practical manner by lunching and dining with them, but she was entirely self-supporting, and when men overlooked that fact she reminded them of it in no uncertain voice; for she was a girl of ready speech and direct.

'Here's something for you to read in your spare moments, Mac. Glance through them any time you have a suspicion you may be a chump, and you'll have the comfort of knowing that there are others.

'That's 'ow it is, you see. You pretty soon gets sick of pulling off good things, if you ain't got nobody to pat you on the back for doing of it.

'You seem to understand the art of being happy, Mac

He hasn't let success give him a swelled head.

He quickened his steps, and began to wonder if he was so sunk in senile decay as to have acquired a liver. He discarded the theory as repellent. And yet there must l be a reason for his depression.

After all, he reflected bitterly, this girl was only alone because she was on her way somewhere to meet some confounded man. Besides there was no earthly chance of getting to know her. You can't rush up to pretty girls in the street and tell them you are lonely. At least, you can, but it doesn't get you anywhere except the police station. George's gloom deepened - a thing he would not have believed possible a moment before. He felt that he had been born too late. The restraints of modern civilization irked him. It was not, he told himself, like this in the good old days.

But the twentieth century is a prosaic age, when girls are merely girls and have no troubles at all.

The man with the papers had the air of one whose business is conducted on purely cash principles.

She more than fulfilled the promise she had given at a distance. Had she been constructed to his own specifications, she would not have been more acceptable in George's sight. And now she was going out of his life forever. With an overwhelming sense of pathos, for there is no pathos more bitter than that of parting from someone we have never met, George hailed a taxicab which crawled at the side of the road.

In a situation which might well have thrown the quickest-witted of men off his balance, he acted with promptitude, intelligence, and despatch.

It is estimated that there arc twenty-three important points to be borne in mind simultaneously while making a drive at golf; I and to the man who has mastered the art of remembering them all the task of hiding girls in taxicabs is mere child's play.

Whatever may be said of the possibility of love at first, sight, in which theory George was now a confirmed believer, there can be no doubt that an exactly opposite phenomenon is of frequent occurrence. After one look at some people even friendship is impossible. Such a one, in George's opinion, was this gurgling excrescence underneath the silk hat.

His face was red, his manner dictatorial, and he was touched in the wind. Take him for all in all he looked like a bit of bad news.

'Your argument seems to be without a flaw. But what then ? We applaud the Man of Logic, but what of the Man ' of Action? What arc you going to do about it?'

' 'I know I can't,' said George, 'but I shall. In this life, my dear sir, we must be prepared for every emergency. We must distinguish between the unusual and the impossible. It would be unusual for a comparative stranger to lean out of a cab window and sock you one, but you appear to have laid your plans on the assumption that it would be impossible. Let this be a lesson to you!'

The thing comes on you as a surprise. The whisper flies around the clubs: "Poor old What's-his-name has been taken unawares. He cannot cope with the situation!'

'Oh, there's no mystery about me. I'm an open book.'

He perceived that he had too quickly eliminated Percy from the list of the Things That Matter. Engrossed with his own affairs, and having regarded their late skirmish as a decisive battle from which there would be no rallying, he had overlooked the possibility of this annoying and unnecessary person following them in another cab - a task which, in the congested, slow-moving traffic, must have been a perfectly simple one.

george awoke next morning with a misty sense that '' somehow the world had changed.

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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)

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