F. C. BURNAND.
F. C. BURNAND.
BRADBURY, EVANS, & CO., 10, BOUVERIE ST.
BRADBURY, EVANS, AND CO., PRINTERS, WHITEFRIARS.
HAPPY THOUGHT—To Dedicate this
GEORGE BISHOP, Esq.,
[Mr. Bishop’s Observatory, where Mr. Hind
EARLIEST HAPPY THOUGHTSviii
THE GREATER PART
Which reminds me that not a line
WRITTEN IN THE
|LITERARY BUSINESS—OF FRIDOLINE MARRIED—A HOLIDAY—BABY AND RASH—WILLIS—HIS FRIEND—WIGTHORPE—A SUGGESTION||1|
|CATCHING A HANSOM—THE FRENCH RESTAURANT’S—THE VISITORS—SETTLEMENT—THE LATCH-KEY||7|
|WHERE TO GO—THE CLUB—BOODELS’ LETTER—INDECISION—MILBURD—COUNT DE BOOTJACK—NOTE ON BABY—CONVERSATION ON FARMING—LORD DUNGENESS—IRISH PROPRIETOR||14|
|CLUB CONVERSATION CONTINUED—A FLAT JOKE—MY FARMING—AN INVITATION—ANOTHER—PARTY BREAKS UP—PROPOSALS FOR “LARKS”—IN THE DARK—SNORING—SOMEBODY IN BED—AWKWARD—SLEEPER AWAKENED||23|
|SITUATION CONTINUED—DROWSY STRANGER—A DIFFICULTY—AN ARGUMENT—GRAINGER—SELFISHNESS—DETERMINATION—HOTEL—NUMBER THREE HUNDRED, &C.||31|
|x CHAPTER VI.|
|THE DREAM—HOTEL BELLS—LETTERS—NOTES—HEROES—HOTEL PROVERB—TUPPER AND SOLOMON—ACADEMY—SUGGESTIONS—PLANS||41|
|AT THE ROYAL ACADEMY—THE CATALOGUE—CRUSH—WORKING OUT A PLAN—“NO. 214”—MISS MILLAR—A COMPLIMENT—POETRY—RELATIONS-IN-LAW—A SURPRISE—DISCOMFITURE||48|
|DILBURY, A.R.A.—HIS PICTURE—MEETINGS—GREETINGS—LAMPADEPHORIA—“WE MET”—AN INTRODUCTION||54|
|WILLIS’S AGAIN—POPGOOD AND GROOLLY—EPISTOLARY—CALCULATION—A SNEEZE—MINUS A BUTTON—INEQUALITY—BOODELS||60|
|RAWLINSON—IMPORTANT QUESTION—UNINTERESTED FRIEND—REVISION OF MS.—TO THE PUBLISHERS—COSTUME—QUERY SPECTACLES—THE OFFICE—POPGOOD AND GROOLLY INTERVIEWED||66|
|AT POPGOOD AND GROOLLY’S—INTRODUCTIONS—TAKING LEAVE—A BANTLING QUERY—A LATE CHAT—LETTER FROM ASPHODEL COTTAGE—ADVANTAGES OF COUNTRY—HAIR OIL—A SLIGHT MISTAKE||78|
|xi CHAPTER XII.|
|EXPECTANT—ARRANGEMENTS—DISRAELI’S CURIOSITIES—MR. BUCKLE’S PORTMANTEAU—NOTES OF STORIES—COMMENCEMENTS—ALPHAS AND OMEGAS—MEMORY—CAZELL ACCEPTS—THAT FELLOW JAMES—WRINKLES AND WINKS||86|
|CAZELL—SHERIDAN MANUFACTURED—CHANGE OF NAME—JOKES—THE BELL—DOGS—BURGLARS—WHIFFS—IDEA FOR CAZELL—ADAMS—DR. BALSAM—DOG AND FOWL||94|
|OUR INSPECTOR—DEFIANCE—THE INSPECTOR’S STORY—INTERVIEWING THE PIGS—CAZELL MY FRIEND—INSPECTOR’S FRIEND—DIFFERENCES—MAKING A JOB OF IT||104|
|PROPOSALS FOR VOYAGING—COMPANIONS—EXPENSE—LETTER FROM PUBLISHERS—PILZEN—RHEUMATICS AND MILBURD||112|
|MY RELATIONS—MUSSELS—MY AUNT—MY UNCLE—POLITENESS—VAMPIRES—FEE FOR DOCTOR||117|
|DR. PILZEN’S—WAITING—MYSTERY—MY EYE—FEE SIMPLE—THE PAS—HOMŒOPATHY—ALLOPATHY—HOLE IN POCKET—THE CONJURING TRICK—MANUAL—INVITATION||123|
|xii CHAPTER XVIII.|
|THE DINNER PARTY—GUESTS—MESMERISM—ELDERLY AND HEARTY STRANGER—A PUZZLE—A MISTAKE—NOTE ON SMILING—CAPTAIN DYNGWELL—DRAWINGS OUT—FIRST COURSE||129|
|ON DINNER COMPANY—START OF CONVERSATION—CAPTAIN DYNGWELL—THE MOZAMBIQUE—IGNORANCE—ANCIENT MARINER—ABSTRACT RIGHT—TWO THINGS AT ONCE—DINNER ARGUMENT||136|
|VOYAGING—THE BARON OSY—ADMIRAL—FOREBODINGS—ADVICES—DIFFICULTIES—ADMIRAL’S BREVITY—GETTING OUT INTO THE OPEN—MORE FOREBODINGS—TITTUPING||145|
|STILL NAUTICAL—NAUTICAL NOT STILL—BORN A SAILOR—AT SEA—TURNS—UNCERTAINTY—HOME THOUGHTS—LURCHES—CONUNDRUM—OTHER THOUGHTS—PUNS—LE MOMENT—FEARFUL STRUGGLES—PROSPECTS OF PEACE||152|
|IMPROVEMENT—STILL ON BOARD—CAZELL—THE PILOT—MORNING—WASH AND BRUSH UP—PLAN—ANTWERP—ARCHITECTURE—A CICERONE—THE LIGHTS—CHILVERN’S CHANGE—HIS COSTUME—QUITE THE TOURIST||159|
|xiii CHAPTER XXIII.|
|ANTWERP—CHILVERN’S FUN—SNOBBISM—EATING—DRINKING—THE CRESSES—CHILVERN LE POLISSON—THE CARTE—THE LANGUAGE—THE DEJEUNER PROGRESSES—SALAD—MONEY||167|
|LES RUES D’ANVERS—THE STATUES—LIGHTS—BOYS—CONSIDERATIONS—L’EGLISE DE ST. JACQUES—A REFUGE—ROUT—MURRAY—THE MONK—THE MUSEUM—CHILVERN COMES OUT—STRONGLY||174|
|ACCOUNTS—MEMS—DIFFERENCES—CHARACTER—ROUND SUM—ACQUAINTANCES—VOW—SIGNED—ROW—WAKING MOMENTS—DODGE||182|
|ADIEU! ANVERS!—TICKETS—CHILVERN FINISHED—CHANGE-T-ON?—THE BUFFET—STOPPAGE—COCKALORUMS—AIX LA CHAPELLE—BAGGAGE—FLY—L’HÔTEL—PICK UP NAMES—OBSERVATIONS—RECEPTION—POPULARITY—LANGUAGE—NOVELTIES—CHAMBERMAID—RESTAURANTS—RETURN—MISTAKE||188|
|THE WAITER—PANTOMIMIC—CONCERT—EARLY HOURS—PROBABILITIES—GERMAN DIALOGUES—KALT—ZIMMER—COUNTERPANE—PRACTICE—BAD||196|
|xiv CHAPTER XXVIII.|
|DOCTOR’S VISIT—INVALID’S BREAKFAST—DYNGWELL’S ADVICE—SYSTEM—PROFESSOR WANTED—INVALIDS AT DINNER—TABLE D’HÔTE—MIXTURE—THE TIMES—DECEPTIONS—DIFFICULTIES—NOTE FOR POPGOOD—MY TUMBLER AND I||203|
|DRINK THE FIRST—ELISA—MISS ELISA—A SMELL—OTHER DRINKERS—IDEA OF LANGUAGE—SPIRIT—OBSERVATIONS—DYNGWELL ON PRUSSIAN NAVY—POLYTECHNIC MEMORY—COSMOPOLITANISM—SULPHUR—COMING OUT—STRONG—APPROPRIATE MUSIC—INVENTION OF TERMS—MARVELS||211|
|THE BATHS—THALERS—DESCENT—BATH-MAN—CELLS—SUGGESTIVE—CONVERSATION—TROUBLE—BOOK—DIRTY AND THIRTY—SOLVITUR||220|
|A DIP BY DAYLIGHT—THOUGHTS—WHAT TO DO—A SINGER—ASSISTANCE—DER HERR—EIN LIED—DER ANDERE MANN—BOX AND COX—A THEORY—THE INDEX—SULPHUR||226|
|CATHEDRAL—AACHEN—HIGH MASS—THE HERETICAL THEORY—TELEGRAM—DYNGWELL’S PRESCRIPTION—KAGELSPIEL—LETTER—THE VAPOUR—DER ANDERE MANN||232|
|xv CHAPTER XXXIII.|
|DER ANDERE MANN—COMPARISONS—DISGUST—END OF VAPOUR—THE FAILURE—THE DOUCHE—HAMLET’S GHOST—PROCEDURE—DOUCHING—CONVERSATION—BON MOT—NIAGARA||239|
|TABLE D’HÔTE—OUR PARTY—CONVERSATION—CLASSICS—NAVAL TOPICS—CUTTING IN—FOURTH WEEK—LETTER FROM HOME—OUR PROFESSOR—COCKALORUMS—DYNGWELL—A CLUB—GERMAN EXERCISES—GERMAN LETTER—RESTORATION||245|
|MUSIC—DYNGWELL’S NOTION—ECONOMY—THE PARTY—THE CONCERT—HERR SOMEBODY—FIDDLING—THE SHIPBOY—CONCERT OVER—SUPPER—BILLIARDS—MONGOOSE—COMMANDER’S STORY||254|
|LEAVING—THE SCOOP—FOREIGNERS—MORE EXERCISES—GERMAN VERBS—DYNGWELL’S EXERCISE—HYMN—TO PARIS—POETRY—ARRANGEMENTS||261|
LITERARY BUSINESS—OF FRIDOLINE MARRIED—A HOLIDAY—BABY AND RASH—WILLIS—HIS FRIEND—WIGTHORPE—A SUGGESTION.
In London.—The progress of my book, Typical Developments, Vol. I., brings me up to town to find a publisher. Milburd, whom I meet accidentally, says, “A publisher would jump at it.” I ask him what publisher? He says, in an off-hand way, “Oh, any publisher,” but doesn’t volunteer any particular information on the subject. Boodels, I remember, published a volume of poems a year or two since.
Happy Thought.—To write to Boodels, and ask what publisher jumped at his poems.
Odd that my wife doesn’t enter into my work. We have 2 been married three years. I read her the first chapter of Book I. during the honeymoon. Since that time I have sometimes said, “Now, I’ll read you some more,” or have selected some passage that has struck me as peculiarly happy. She has generally been busy. One evening, on my opening the manuscript, she said she didn’t want to be bothered. I told her I didn’t think it was kind of her. She replied, that rather than I should think her unkind, she’d listen. I returned, “Oh, but don’t, if you’d rather not.” She said that though she’d rather not, yet she would, to please me. I didn’t want to be cruel, so I said, “Never mind.” She confesses she’d like to see it when it was in print. Before we married I thought that Fridoline cared for literature. She doesn’t: except for novels.
Her mother, Mrs. Symperson, is staying with us at my cottage, in a lovely situation.
Happy Thought.—To come up to London to look for a publisher. Also might see the Academy, and the Opera, and dine with some fellows at the Club.
Happy Thought.—Not to say anything about this, as course I don’t know that I am going to do it: only mention the publisher. They say they shan’t be dull without me; and as I haven’t been away for a holiday—I mean away from home—for some time, my wife thinks it will do me good.
Happy Thought.—To say it’s not a holiday—it’s business. Going to London, in fact, on business. My mother-in-law 3 suggests that we should all go. All means herself principally. I point out that I shall only be away, probably, for a day or two. Better to say “probably” in case I should stop three weeks. I add that I shall be engaged the whole time, and not be able to attend to them. Fridoline says, “Yes, better wait till we can all go away to Brighton. Baby will want change of air soon.”
Happy Thought.—To agree at once. Brighton, by all means, for baby, at some time or other. I consider this to be the condition of my getting away now. My own opinion, privately, is that Brighton may wait. Baby is always having a rash, and always wanting, so they say, to go to Brighton.
I leave the cottage (Asphodel Cottage it is called—that is, Friddy would call it Asphodel until she thinks of something she’d like better) in the lovely situation, and go up by the 4.40 to town.
Happy Thought.—Take my cheque-book.
In the Train.—It occurs to me that going to a hotel in town is expensive. I’ll drive to Bob Willis’s, in Conduit Street. Willis asked me whenever I wanted a bed in town to come to him.
In Conduit Street.—I jump out and ring. I know Willis well: a good fellow—always glad to see me. Willis is a sort of fellow who’d do anything for you. I foresee how I’ll dash past the servant, rush up-stairs, and say, “Willis, old boy here’s a lark: I’ve come to stay with you.” And Willis will jump up, and order the bed, and——The door 4 opens. The maid. “Is Mr. Willis in?” “Mr. Who, Sir?” the maid asks. “Willis.” “No one of that name here,” she says, as if she expected me to try another name, as that wouldn’t do. I ask her “if she’s quite sure?” On second thoughts, this question was absurd, as of course she’d know who was living in the house. I am perplexed. I say, “Oh, he’s not here, eh?” to myself.
Happy Thought.—Perhaps he’s next door.
The maid says, “Yes, perhaps next door.” She shuts hers, and I go to the next door bell. I don’t know why, but I fancy the cabman doesn’t think much of me after this failure. Perhaps his idea is, that it’s a dodge of mine for not paying the fare. It’s stupid of him if he that, because he’s got my portmanteau and my hat-box, and my bag with the MS. of Typical Developments in it. I’ve heard of swindlers’ portmanteaus filled with stones. He may think mine a swindler’s portmanteau, but even then it would be worth more than two-and-sixpence—his fare, at the outside. Besides, there’s Typical Developments, worth thousands, perhaps: only, not to a cabman.
Next door opens; I put the question diffidently this time; in fact, I beg her pardon first, and then request to be informed if “anyone of the name of Willis lives here?” “Yes, Sir.”
Ah, capital! here we are! Down come my things. Here, cabman, half-a-crown. He is indignant, and says he’s been waiting about more than half an hour. I dispute it. He says, “Look here: it was six when you took me at the 5 Station, now it’s seven.” It might have been six—it is seven.
Happy Thought.—Always look at your watch when you take a cab.
Sixpence makes very little difference: pay him.
“Which floor are Mr. Willis’s rooms?” Second. I rush up. I bound into the room. old boy——” In another instant I am begging somebody’s pardon (whom I don’t know) who is lying on the sofa half asleep. I explain that I thought Willis was—— He cuts me short courteously. They have a room together.
Happy Thought.—Like Box and Cox.
I don’t say this, but think it. Willis may be in by eight, or if not by eight, not till twelve. Would I like to wait?
Happy Thought.—Say I’ll come back about nine; and first go and get some dinner. I add that I think that will be my best course.
The stranger (Willis’s partner—the Cox of the firm) politely agrees with me that this will be my best course. He doesn’t offer me any dinner there. I hate inhospitality. I mean if anybody, a perfect stranger, but still a friend of the partner of my rooms, came in, I should press him to take something—sherry and a biscuit. I say, however, that I’ll leave my things here (this will give Willis a hint of what I mean by coming at all), and I will return when I’ve dined. The stranger (Cox) replies, seriously, “Very good,” and is evidently getting bored by me. I retire.6
Happy Thought.—At all events I’ve found out where Willis lives. Must dine somewhere. Where? At my Club, or somebody else’s Club?
Happy Thought.—Somebody else’s Club.
Turning into Regent Street, I come accidentally upon Wigthorpe. He is delighted to see me. I am to see him. I think (to myself) that I’ll ask him to come and dine with me at my Club. I think it over while I’m walking with him and he’s telling me a story about what he did last week in Devonshire. He stops suddenly to ask me if I don’t think that (whatever it was he was saying) a capital idea? I reply, “Yes,” and put off giving him my invitation until I see what he is going to do. He asks me what I’m going to do tonight.
Happy Thought.—To reply, cautiously, that I’ve got to go and see Willis. He says that he’s sorry for this, as he should have liked me to dine with him. I say I can with pleasure. “Or stop,” he says, suggestively, “suppose I dine with you?”
Happy Thought.—Too late to order dinner at my Club. Very inconvenient. Fix it for another day. Say I’ll write to him. “Very well, then,” he says, “we’ll dine together, and you shall have a French dinner.” “Capital. Agreed.” We walk off together to a French dinner.7
CATCHING A HANSOM—THE FRENCH RESTAURANT’S—THE VISITORS—SETTLEMENT—THE LATCH-KEY.
The worst of Wigthorpe is, that he’s a fellow who never has any change. I make this note the day after our French dinner. I had never met Wigthorpe before in London: always in the country, at somebody else’s house, where, of course, one didn’t want change.
Happy Thought.—One goes down into the country for “change,” and gets it. Say this as Sydney Smith’s.
He proposes a cab up to the French restaurant. It’s somewhere in Soho, and will only be, he says, “a shilling’s-worth.” A Hansom passes: its driver looking the other way. I don’t like to shout in Regent Street, so I hail him with my umbrella. He passes on. Three Hansoms pass on, all looking the other way. One trots up with no one inside. He sees me, but shakes his head, and doesn’t stop. Why is this? Wigthorpe says it’s because he’s going home. I say it’s impudence. I say I should like to have taken his number. Wigthorpe wants to know what I should have done with it. I reply, had him up. On consideration I don’t know where I should have had him up, or what I 8 should have charged him with. The charge might have been for going home, and not taking me. I stop another. We get in. As Wigthorpe doesn’t know the name of the place he is going to, he tells him to drive along Oxford Street, and he’ll direct him whenever he has to turn.
Wigthorpe is a fidgety fellow. Odd that I never noticed this before. He keeps popping forward to see where the turning is. He hits up the little trap-door, under the driver’s nose, suddenly, and shouts out, “To the right!” then he directs him with his umbrella. Very intricate place, Soho. We are perpetually turning from right to left, and left to right, down little streets. At last we stop at a shabby-looking restaurant. “Now, my boy,” says Wigthorpe, heartily, “I’ll give you a French dinner.” He jumps out, and enters the house. If I pay the cabman now, I can settle with Wigthorpe afterwards. A married man must be careful. When I was a bachelor, a trifle like eighteenpence (it isn’t “a shilling’s-worth”) wouldn’t have mattered.
Happy Thought.—He says give me a French dinner. I wonder if I’m dining with him, or whether we’re dining together? Delicate question.
Happy Thought.—Better not ask. Take it for granted that I’m dining with him.
I follow him in, along a narrow passage. At the end of the passage is a perspiring man in a white nightcap, backed by stewpans and black pots. He salutes Wigthorpe, and we pass into the dining room.9
In an off-hand way (just like Wigthorpe, now I know him) he stops as he is opening the door, to ask me, “Did you pay the cabman?” I reply that I did, expecting him to offer his share. He answers, “Ah, that’s all right, as I hadn’t any change.” I think (to myself) he’s evidently giving me the dinner, as he has brought a note out with him, and no small change. He takes off his hat to a respectable-looking woman standing behind a counter, and informs me that it’s a French custom.
Happy Thought.—Will go to Paris with Wigthorpe. Will write and tell my wife. Better not take her until I’ve been once or twice myself, and know the place. A literary man (engaged on such a work as Typical Developments) must go about and see varieties of life. It’s business, not pleasure. My wife and her mother-in-law (very poorly-read person, Mrs. Symperson) are inclined to call it pleasure. They never can understand what I mean.
Wigthorpe appears to be known here. He says, “Garçon!” boldly to the waiter, who returns, “Bienm’sieu!” and whisks imaginary crumbs off a table with his napkin. Wigthorpe reads several French names to me from the bill of fare, and asks me what I’d like. I say I’ll leave it to him. “Then,” he says, “I’ll give you a regular French dinner, just what you’d get at the Dîner de Paris.”
Happy Thought.—Capital preparation for going to Paris. Come and dine here often, and speak nothing but French to the waiter. Mem. To do it.10
I wish they wouldn’t allow smoking while I’m dining. That’s the worst of foreigners; all in the same room and at different stages of dinner. The room is full of foreigners—Frenchmen, I suppose—and two or three have evidently brought their wives or daughters. They all seem to know one another, and talk across the tables and to the Woman at the Counter.
Happy Thought.—Good name for a novel, The Woman at the Counter. Mem. in note-book.
The is a stout Frenchman, who plays with a dog and a cat, and patronises the establishment in his shirt-sleeves, which are very white; in fact he is so round and white, and so white all round, that his face comes out at the top like a brown plum-pudding. As this is a decidedly happy simile (I am better, I think, at similes than I used to be), I tell it to Wigthorpe, who begs me to “hush,” as the understands English, and hates to be called a plum-pudding. Wigthorpe tells me that most of the foreigners dining here are émigrés, who are perpetually plotting something or other. He says that they all stick together like wax. I should say they do, as they all look very hot. [Note this down for Vol. II. of Typical Developments, “On Émigrés.”] I notice that all these distinguished Royalists put their knives in their mouths, recklessly. Wigthorpe asks, “Why not?” When I tell him that I don’t think it’s good-breeding, he retorts that I’m narrow-minded.
Some of them have little bits of red riband in their button-holes, 11 and others parti-coloured rosettes about the size of a fourpenny piece. Wigthorpe whispers to me that there are lots of secret police always about here. I say, “Indeed!” and can’t help looking about to find out a Secret Policeman.
First Dish. Mussels in butter. I think I’d rather not. Wigthorpe says, “Absurd! You don’t know how good they are.” He adds, that it is the dish here. After tasting them, I am sorry to hear it is the dish, as I confess I don’t like them. Wigthorpe replies, “Perhaps you don’t at first—it’s an acquired taste.” I eat as many as I can, to prove to Wigthorpe that I am not a mere John Bull, and prejudiced, but I can’t get beyond half-a-dozen, and those with suspicion. We then have some fish and oil, or rather Oil and fish. Wigthorpe is in raptures. He says it’s the best French dinner in London. He pours out a bumper of red wine. I do the same. I suggest to Wigthorpe that perhaps it’s a little thin and acid. He won’t hear of it, and replies, indignantly, “Acid! Not a bit! Hang it, it’s the wine of the country.” He speaks as if we were in France—not within five minutes of Leicester Square. I want some bread, and call out, “Waiter!” Wigthorpe is disgusted. He likes to keep up the illusion about being in Paris. He says, “Garçon! du pain!” and puts himself on a par with the émigrés and the secret police.
I can’t get a spoon for the salt, or the pepper. Wigthorpe laughs. “They never do use spoons for salt and pepper,” he says, helping himself with the point of his knife. After the fish we have radishes, sardines, and butter. I ask him if we’ve finished dinner, as I’m still hungry. The waiter brings 12 some filets de bœuf au cresson. Wigthorpe is in ecstasies. There is barely enough for one to be divided by two. Wigthorpe is astonished at my appetite. The next thing is the leg of a chicken in a lot of olives. This is also for two. Then there is cheese, then coffee and a cigarette. “For goodness’ sake,” cries Wigthorpe, “don’t take milk with your café!” While here he talks all his English in a subdued voice, and his French very loud. “There’s a dinner, Sir,” says he: “better than you can get at any Club in London; and only two-and-sixpence altogether. Two-and sixpence each! Very cheap! And threepence for garçon—two-and-nine.” Wigthorpe feels in his pocket, and confounds it, because he has no change. “I have: what for?” “Ah,” he says, “you can’t manage a check, can you, for twenty?” “No, I can’t.” “Then,” says he, pleasantly, “you square the dinner, and I’ll settle with you afterwards.” I don’t feel I’ve dined, and say so. Wigthorpe pretends to be perfectly full and satisfied. He adds, “Well, we can sup together somewhere.”
Happy Thought.—To say I should like it, but am engaged to Willis. Wigthorpe says good-bye, and hopes I’ll “come and look him up” in town. I will: and then he can settle with me for the dinner.
Back to Willis’s, in Conduit Street. Maid opens door. “Oh, are you the gentleman, Sir, who’s going to sleep here, to-night?” I reply that I am, “Ah, then,” says the maid, “here’s Mr. Rawlinson’s latch-key.” Mr. Rawlinson is, it appears, the sharer of Willis’s sitting-room. I ask if he 13 won’t want it himself? Maid replies that he left it out a purpose, as he was gone to bed early, and he’d just had a letter from Mr. Willis in the country, who wasn’t coming up to town, but had given his bedroom to a friend for the night. Good fellow, Willis. Wonder how he knew I was coming? Or did the maid mean that he had given permission to Mr. Rawlinson to let a friend have it? Maid says she dare say that was it; only, as Mr. Willis hadn’t sent up his own latch-key, Mr. Rawlinson had lent his in case I wanted to stay out late.
Happy Thought.—Go somewhere.14
WHERE TO GO—THE CLUB—BOODELS’ LETTER—INDECISION—MILBURD—COUNT DE BOOTJACK—NOTE ON BABY—CONVERSATION ON FARMING—LORD DUNGENESS—IRISH PROPRIETOR.
Very jolly to have a friend like Willis. A large-hearted generous fellow, who keeps open bedroom for friends. Perhaps he’ll let me stay here for a week or so. At nine o’ clock in London, with nothing particular to do, it is difficult to decide where to go. The theatres are half over; and then if you haven’t got your place, and aren’t dressed for the evening, it’s uncomfortable. There’s Cremorne. But nobody’s there until about eleven. Madame Tussaud’s is always the same; but I suppose that’s shut by this. Besides, I want something more stirring and exciting. Wonder if anything is going on at the Egyptian Hall? Might walk there. I go there: it is closed. At St. James’s Hall there are the Christy’s. As I arrive, people are beginning to leave. Policeman at door says it will all be over in ten minutes. No good going in for ten minutes. Three shillings for ten minutes—three into ten—that’s threepence-farthing and a fraction over per minute for the Christy’s. Won’t do. I should like to make a night of 15 it somewhere: but where? I almost wish Wigthorpe had stopped with me. I shouldn’t have minded paying his cab to Cremorne, if he would have come. If I went now, I should be in time for everything: perhaps the balloon; certainly the fireworks.
Happy Thought.—Go to my Club, and see if I can get somebody to go with me.
Mine is a quiet Club in a quiet corner. It’s very convenient for anyone living in the country at least so everyone says. But I can’t see why it is more convenient than any other when you are once in London. It makes a home for you in town. As I enter I notice a new hall-porter, who notices me, and he evidently inquires my name of another porter. To save trouble, I ask if there are any letters for me. I don’t expect any of course. By the way, I do, though—an answer from Boodels about publishers jumping at poems. Porter makes a faint attempt at pretending to remember my name. I help him to it. There is a letter from Boodels. Into the smoking-room to read it. I don’t want any brandy-and-water, nor a cigar, but I call for them, and take a seat in the smoking-room. As I don’t recognise anyone there, I am glad to have Boodels’ letter to read. Boodels’ letter informs me that his printing and publishing was an exceptional affair, as his publisher was a distant connection of his family’s by his mother’s side, and so they did it more to oblige him than for any other reason; but he is sure, that if I know any respectable firm, they would be most happy to do it for me. If it is a work of a philosophical and scientific character, why not go 16 (says the letter) to Popgood and Groolly? He incloses Popgood and Groolly’s address (cut out of a newspaper) and wishes me luck, “P.S. You mustn’t be surprised if you hear of my being married soon. Don’t mention it at present. Any day you like to come down and have some fun dragging the pond, do. I shall be delighted to see you. Remember me to your wife.”
Oh, Boodels can’t be going to be married. Impossible. But why impossible? Why should I be surprised?
Happy Thought.—To write him something pretty and neat back in verse. Something he can keep and show to his intended and say, “Wasn’t that very thoughtful of him?”
I will. Awkward word to rhyme to—“Boodels.” Poodles. Noodles. Toodles. There’s a farce called The Toodles. Saw it once in a country theatre. Mr. and Mrs. Toodles. Might say
“Oh may you, William Augustus Boodels,
Be happy as Mister and Mrs. Toodles!”
Then Noodles has to be got in:—
“’Tis true, my dear Boodels,
Unmarried are Noodles,
They pet their small lap-dogs.
Canaries and Poodles.
But you,” &c., &c.
Mem. To work this up and send it to-morrow. I find that the firm that published Boodels’ lucubrations was Winser, Finchin, and Wattlemas. The whole firm couldn’t have been distant connections.17
Past Eleven o’Clock.—No one in the Club I know. If I go to Cremorne by myself, it’s dull; and the fireworks will be over. Besides, after all, what are fireworks unless you’re in spirits for ’em? A gentleman in evening dress saunters into the Club-room, followed by two others, laughing heartily. They all order “Slings,” and as the first turns round, I exclaim, “Hallo, Milburd!” It’s quite a pleasure to join in a conversation.
He introduces me to his friends Lord Dungeness and Count de ——. I can’t quite catch the name, but it sounds like “Bootjack;” and Milburd takes the opportunity of whispering to me, immediately afterwards, that he is a distinguished Prussian over here on a secret embassy.
Happy Thought.—To say, “No! is he?” and watch him sipping gin-sling.
Happy Thought.—Hessian boots.
I put this down in my note-book as a happy thought, because, somehow or other, I can’t help associating a Count with Hessian boots. I never met a real one before. Hitherto, I fancy, I had considered it as a stage title—a dashing character in a Hussar uniform, with a comic servant and a small portmanteau. I can’t help thinking that (as Wigthorpe said at the French dinner) I am narrow-minded on some points. A literary man and a philosopher should be large-hearted. I confess (to myself in my mem-book) that I am a little annoyed with myself at finding the mention of a Count only brings up the idea of Hessian boots. Somehow, also, 18 polkas, with brass heels. It shows what early training is: I recollect some picture or another, when I was a boy, of two smiling Hungarians, in red jackets and brass heels dancing a toe-and-heel step to polka time. My nurse used to call them a Count and Countess, and I’ve never got over it. Must take care how I train my baby with the rashes.
[Our baby always has rashes all over him. There never was such a troublesome baby. When my wife and myself once went to a theatre, we heard a troublesome scoundrel described as a “villain of the deepest dye.” By an inspiration I noted down
Happy Thought.—Our infant a “baby of the deepest dye.”]
The Count de Bootjack does not immediately get up and dance the polka, but sucks his gin-sling rapidly, talking excellent English.
The conversation turns on farming. Ours is a country gentleman’s club, and therefore, whenever we can, we do turn the conversation on farming. Lord Dungeness asks me how things are in my part of the world? I reply (this being safe), that the farmers in my part are complaining. He becomes interested immediately, and inquires “What about?” I have to take time to consider my answer, as I don’t know what they are complaining about; nor, except for the sake of keeping up a conversation, that they are complaining at all. I throw my remark out as a feeler, because now is evidently an opportunity for me to learn something about Agriculture 19 (Typ. Develop., vol. iii. par. 1, letter A, “Agriculture.”) Milburd takes the reply out of my mouth, by interrupting with “Pooh! let ’em complain, the English farmer doesn’t know how to pull the value off his land.” We are all interested now; ready to pick up intelligence about the English farmer.
Milburd’s idea is to “let the soil rest.” This appears very sensible, and I can’t help expressing myself to that effect: the Count asks me “Why?” I reply that it is evident to reason (not to put it on agricultural grounds), that if you let it rest, it is fresh again.
Happy Thought.—Got out of that very well. The explanation doesn’t seem to impress them much, as they continue their argument. [I note down what I can of their conversation at odd times, for future use.] Lord Dungeness wants to know “Why let it rest?” “There,” he says, “is the ground—there it remains—it doesn’t run away.”
Happy Thought, which I say out loud. “It might in a landslip.”
Milburd complains that I will come in as a buffoon. I beg his pardon with some asperity, I meant it. The two others, the Count, and Lord Dungeness, agree with me that a landslip might make a difference; but barring landslips, there was your land, you raised your crops, you turned it over, you were always working it, lower soils and top soils, with dressings, and you’d pull off cent. per cent. every year The Count remarks that that is true, in Turnips alone.20
Happy Thought.—Cent. per cent. in turnips: go in for turnips. Milburd shakes his head over potatoes this year.
“Except,” says Lord Dungeness, “in Jersey—large exports made there now.” This diverts the conversation for a time to Jersey. I say àpropos of the potatoes, that I’ve never been to Jersey. Milburd asks me if I’ll go with him? We have more gin-sling, and I arrange to go to Jersey with him in a few weeks’ time. Shall have to explain this to my wife judiciously.
The Count says that Prussians let the soil work itself; which seems clever.
“But after three years of top-dressings?” puts in Lord Dungeness.
I feel inclined (Lord Dungeness has pointed this question so strongly) to say, “Yes, what would you do then?” only it occurs to me that in that form, and from me, it would sound like a riddle, and Milburd would immediately reply, “Gib it up,” like a nigger (I know him) which would stop this really interesting and valuable conversation. So I merely listen, and look as farmerish as possible.
An Irish gentleman joins us, a large landed proprietor [Milburd whispers this to me], and then plunges at once, in medias res, by observing defiantly that there is no farming like Irish farming. The Prussian Count attends to this closely. Perhaps this is some of the secret information he has come over for. Milburd doubts this statement about Irish farming. The Irish gentleman offers to prove it to him on his fingers, with a cigar.
“Thus, ye’ll take so many counties, ye see”—we all say 21 “yes,” and nod. “Well,” he continues, “ye don’t take one crop and there an end, but ye just take one aft’her the other and work ’em on and on, successively, and each one helps the others. Ye take one field with the other”—here he sums up on his left-hand fingers, checking them off as fields, or farmers, or counties, (we are none of us, I am sure, quite clear which) “and ye lose nothing ’av the prod’huce. The acres last for ever—it’s not like hard cash or paper—and ye get your interest and principal together, increasing the first, and the second too, for the matter of that, in proportion. Ye see how ’tis?” As we all profess to have followed his argument closely, he doesn’t continue, but announces himself as being dry, and orders “what you other fellows are drink ing there with ice in it.” Here are two people I never met before—a Prussian Count and an Irish Landed Proprietor.
Happy Thought.—Opportunity for varied information. Ask Irish Proprietor if he’s ever been shot at from behind a hedge. He laughs at my credulity. “They never do it,” he says. that thought from the Papers, that——”
“The Papers!” he exclaims. “If ye’ll believe a word they say of Ireland, I give ye up intirely.” As I don’t want to irritate him, I tell him that I don’t believe every word they say, and assure him that I am only asking for information.
“Why, Sir,” he says, “my property lies among the worst and wildest parts, and I might walk among ’em any day if I chose, Protestant or Catholic, no matter, without a gun or a 22 dog, or a stick, or any mortal thing, and they’d not touch me.”
Interesting conversation this: must get back to Willis’s, though.23
CLUB CONVERSATION CONTINUED—A FLAT JOKE—MY FARMING—AN INVITATION—ANOTHER—PARTY BREAKS UP—PROPOSALS FOR “LARKS”—IN THE DARK—SNORING—SOMEBODY IN BED—AWKWARD—SLEEPER AWAKENED.
Still at the Club. The conversation (kept up, with animation, by the Count de Bootjack, Milburd, Lord Dungeness and the Irish Proprietor) turns upon Drainage. I can’t tear myself away from Drainage, as this is to me a novel topic. [“D” for Drainage, Typical Developments, Book V.) The Prussian Count questions (as I understand him, or rather as I don’t understand him) the utility of Alluvial Deposits. Milburd, who really seems to know what he’s talking about on this subject, observes that the great point is neither to exhaust the land by over-manuring and working off three crops for one, nor to under-fertilise it by constant drainage. This (I say, thoughtfully, as I cannot sit there without making some observation) is mere common sense.
Milburd retorts with some sharpness, “Of course it’s common sense; but who does it?” to which I can only reply, 24 as he seems annoyed, “Ah, that’s it,” and take a sip at my gin-sling. A pause. More orders to waiter.
Happy Thought.—To say that the Drainage question involves many “slings.”
No one seems to notice my having said this except the Prussian Count, who smiles somewhat patronisingly, and says, “Yes, we drain slings,” then laughs again. I laugh, out of compliment, not that I see anything funny in what he said, as it was only a sort of explanation of my joke. The Irish Proprietor asks me if I farm at all. I reply, “No, scarcely at all.” This reply sounds like a hundred acres or so, nothing to speak of. [It really means five hens that won’t lay, two pigs (invalids) a cock that crows in the afternoon only, and a small field let out to somebody else’s cow.]
Milburd observes that he’s heard I’ve a very nice place in the country. I tell him I shall be very glad if he’ll come and see me there. Feeling that this invitation to only one in the company may be taken as a slight by the others, I add (not knowing their names, and I can’t address the Count as De Bootjack) “and anyone who likes to come down.” They murmur something about being delighted, and then follows a sort of awkward pause, as if I’d insulted every one of them.
Happy Thought.—To break the silence by saying, “I like living in the country.”
The Irish Proprietor remarks, that I must come to Ireland if I want to see country. “Ye must come over,” he says, 25 heartily, “to my shooting-box this side of Connemara, and I’ll show you Ireland.”
Happy Thought.—A real opportunity of seeing life and character: the Fine Old Irish Gentleman; bailiffs shot on the premises: port wine; attached peasantry ready to die for the Masther; old servants saying witty things all over the house: car-drivers; laughter all day; flinging money right and left; Father Tom and whisky-punch in the evening, and no one at all uncomfortable except a hard landlord and a rent-collector.
I accept with pleasure.
Irish Proprietor wants to know when I’ll come, as he shan’t be at home for the next four months, but after that will I write to him? I promise.
Note.—Jersey with Milburd, Ireland with Mr. Delany.
Happy Thought.—Must arrange for my wife to go somewhere with my mother-in-law.
Prussian Count says he must go to bed. I rise too. We say good-bye. He asks me if I’m going anywhere near Brussels this year. I reply. “No. Jersey and Ireland, I shan’t go any farther.” “Well,” he returns, “if you do, look me up.” I promise I will.
Happy Thought.—Ask him to write down his address so that I may know his name, which of course can’t be De Bootjack.
The Count answers that everyone knows him, and that 26 he’s always to be heard of either at the Legation or the Embassy; or, if it’s after November, and I go on to Turin, “just inquire at the Palace, and they’ll tell you my whereabouts, and we’ll have a pipe and a chat.” I reply, “Oh, yes, of course,” as if I was in the habit of calling at Palaces, and having pipes and chats with Lord Derby.
“He’s a greater swell than Lord Derby when he’s at home,” says Milburd, to whom I relate my parting words with the Count. I really must go and see him, and drop Ireland and Jersey. More character and life in Brussels, Vienna, and Turin. Diplomatic life, too. The Count de (I must get his right title, as it would never do to go to the Palace at Turin, and ask for a Prussian Count, describing him as a greater swell than Lord Derby, with a name like De Bootjack)—The Count would introduce me everywhere.
Happy Thought.—Get up my French and Italian.
Happy Thought.—Say “good night,” and go to Willis’s, in Conduit Street. Milburd and Lord Dungeness will walk part of the way. Milburd is suddenly in wonderful spirits. It is almost daylight. Milburd sees a coffee-stand, and stops. He says, “Wouldn’t it be a lark to upset the whole lot, and bolt?” I laugh [Happy Thought—like the monks of old, “Ha! ha!”] and get him to walk on. By Burlington Arcade he stops again, and says, “Wouldn’t it be a lark to knock up the beadle, and when he came out just say ‘How are you this morning?’ and run away?” Lord Dungeness 27 wishes there was a jolly good fire, as we’d all have a ride on the engine.
Milburd observes “he should like to have a row somewhere,” and Dungeness proposes St. Giles’s or Wapping. Milburd says to me, “Yes, that’s your place (meaning Wapping) for character, if you want to fill up ‘Biblical Elephants.’” [He will still call Typical Developments “Biblical Elephants.” That’s the worst of Milburd—always overdoes a joke. I will really get one good unanswerable repartee, to be delivered before a lot of people, and settle him for ever. One never knows, now, whether Milburd is serious or joking.] It occurs to Dungeness that he knows what he calls “a crib” where the last comer has to fight the thieves’ champion, and “stand liquor” all round. “It’s a sort of den,” he adds, “that it’s not safe to go into without about five policemen.” But he doesn’t mind.
Happy Thought.—To say, “Should like to see those places very much, but got to be up to-morrow morning, and must go to bed now. Very sorry. Staying with a fellow, so won’t do to be too As I open the door, Milburd says, “Don’t forget Jersey.” Nod my head: all right. As much as to intimate that I’m ready for Jersey at any moment. Can’t help thinking what a good fellow Willis is to let me have his room in town, and to write to say I might be expected.
Happy Thought.—Simple arrangement, a latch-key. Feel as if I were getting in burglariously. Gas out. Wish I 28 knew where the stairs commenced. Stupid practice having a bench in the passage. They might have left out a light—
Happy Thought (in the dark)—instead of leaving a light out. [Mem. Put this down, and work it up as something of Sheridan’s. People will laugh at it then.] Fallen against the umbrella-stand. Awkward if the Landlady is awoke. She’s never seen me before, and I should have to explain who I was and how I got there. Might end in Police. Willis ought to have written to his Landlady about me.
Happy Thought.—Stairs at last, and banisters. Willis lives on second floor. Snoring on first floor. Stop to listen. Lots of snoring about. Landlady below, perhaps; maidservant above; lodgers all round: all snoring. Something awful in these sounds. Not solemn, but ghostly, as if all the snoring people would certainly burst out upon you from the different doors. Simile occurs to me—Roberto and the Nuns. That ended in a ballet. Fancy this ending in a ballet—with the Landlady. Daylight streams in through window on second flight. Very pale light: makes me feel ghostly, especially about the white waistcoat: a sort of dingy ghost. Up the next stairs quietly. Pass Rawlinson’s bed-room. More snoring. Rawlinson snores angrily. The other people down below contentedly; except one, somewhere, who varies it with a heavy sigh. Glad to shut the door on it all, and go to bed.
Happy Thought (in connection with the ballet and Roberto).—“Willis’s Rooms.” Good idea this. Should like to wake 29 up Rawlinson, and tell him what I’d thought of. Won’t: don’t know him well enough. My portmanteau has been moved into the bed-room evidently. But here’s my bag on the sofa: everything in it for the night ready. See these by the pale daylight. Look at myself in the glass. Say, “This won’t do: mustn’t stop out so late.” Hair looks wiry. The bed-room is quite dark, so I must light a candle to go in there, as somehow the stupid idiots at home have put the only thing I really do want for night in my portmanteau, instead of in my bag. Delicious it will be to go to bed, and get up when I like in the morning.
In the bed-room. Hullo! why, I can’t have made a mistake: there’s some one in bed. Is it some one, or a cat, or—no, Some One fast asleep. Willis come back, confound him! He turns. It isn’t Willis. But—I can’t make it out: these are the rooms I was in before. Yes. I go gently back and examine. Yes, not a doubt of it. I return still more gently, and examine sleeping stranger by candle-light. Don’t know him from Adam. Wonder what he’s doing there. Sleeping, of course. He can’t be a thief. Thieves don’t take all their things off (his boots and clothes are littered all over the place anyhow), and go to bed. Intoxicated lodger, perhaps, mistaken the room. I really don’t know what to do. Most awkward situation. Shall I call Rawlinson up to look at him? What shall I say to Rawlinson? Say, “Look here, Rawlinson, sorry to disturb you, but just come and see what I’ve found in Willis’s bed.”30
I mustn’t do it too suddenly, or nervously, or Rawlinson might be frightened into a fit. Recollect hearing once of a man being awoke suddenly, and frightened into a fit. But I think, by the way, that that had something to do with a sham ghost and a turnip. Perhaps, on the whole, I’d better take my things and go away quietly. Where?
Must unpack my portmanteau, and get my things out first, as I can’t lug the horrid thing down-stairs without disturbing the house; in which case I should have to explain to everybody. Perhaps there are eight or ten lodgers, and the Landlady. I still stand surveying him by candle-light, as if there were some chance of his getting up, of his own accord, in his sleep, and going away to a hotel instead of me. I only hope he won’t wake. He is waking. I can’t move. He is awake. We stare at one another. He says, “Eh! Why? What the—”
Happy Thought.—To answer very politely. Say, “Don’t disturb yourself. Quite an accident.”
Happy Thought that will come into my mind. Scene from somebody’s opera or oratorio, The Sleeper Awakened. Whose? Perhaps a continuation of Sonnambula. This all flashes across my mind as he says, hazily, “Accident!” Then starting bolt upright, “Not fire!! Eh?”31
SITUATION CONTINUED—DROWSY STRANGER—A DIFFICULTY—AN ARGUMENT—GRAINGER—SELFISHNESS—DETERMINATION—HOTEL—NUMBER THREE HUNDRED, &C.
As the Stranger comes up suddenly from under the bedclothes, and inquires if it’s a fire, I can’t help noticing (in the flash of a second) that his appearance, about the head I mean, is rather conflagratory than otherwise. His hair is red, long, and rough; his face is red, his moustache and beard are red.
Happy Thought.—The Fire King in bed.
I explain that it is not a fire, and that, generally, no danger is to be apprehended.
“Then,” says he, stupidly, “what’s the time?” As if he’d been expecting me at a certain hour, and I had anticipated the appointment.
It doesn’t seem to occur to him that he is causing me any inconvenience; and, having once ascertained that there’s no fire, he strangely enough appears to take no further interest in me, but lies down again, and, turning away on his side, 32 mutters. “Well,—all right—never mind—don’t bother—get out?” He is not a bit afraid; only, after a short, spasmodic gleam of intelligence, he relapses into the heaviest drowsiness.
This is so annoying that I determine to try if his sense of justice will not bring him out.
Happy Thought.—To say, simply, but emphatically, “I beg your pardon: you’ve got my bed.”
He replies, gruffly and drowsily, without stirring, “You be somethinged! Don’t bother.”
Now I do think that to come home at three in the morning, happily and pleasantly, expecting to turn in and rest, then to find a red-haired stranger, a man whom you never saw in your life before, in your bed, and, on your informing him of his mistake, to be told that you may be “somethinged” (a word worth five shillings in a police-court), and are not to “bother,” is rather a strong proceeding, to say the least of it.
“Yes,” I reply, “but I must bother.” I am becoming annoyed, and I will have him out. Why should I pay for a bed at a hotel? Why shouldn’t he? Or, stop——
Happy Thought.—If he won’t move out, he might pay for my bed at a hotel. By the way, isn’t this rather like a street-organ nuisance? “Give me so much, and I’ll go away.” Can’t help it if it is. It’s only fair.
I continue, louder, so as to stop his going to sleep, “You’ve got my bed.”33
From under the sheets he murmurs pleasantly, “I’ll have your hat!” as if he thought my address to him mere low, vulgar chaff. As if I should come (I can’t help putting this to him pointedly) at three o’clock in the morning merely to indulge in low, vulgar chaff with a stranger! Does he think it likely?
He pretends to have fallen asleep again. Humbug!
I repeat, angrily, “I tell you, Sir, you’re in my bed.”
He replies, more stupidly than ever, “All right!”
I say, sarcastically, “Well, Sir, as you don’t dispute the fact, perhaps you’ll kindly turn out.”
This does rouse him, as he turns round and asks me, in unnecessarily strong language, who the blank I am? what the blank I want? why the blank I come there bothering?
I answer, simply, that Willis lent me his bed.
He retorts, “Well, Willis lent it me!”
I did not expect this, and am staggered for the moment; so much so’ that I can only say, very inadequately, “Did he?”
“Yes,” continues the Stranger, angrily, “for as long as I like to stop.” Evidently implying that he’s not going to get up yet.
“But,” I remonstrate, “Willis lent it to me first.”
“Couldn’t,” returns Red-Haired Stranger, rudely: “I’ve just come straight from him. He gave me his latch-key.” And, sure enough, on the table lies the fellow to Rawlinson’s.
“But I came up this afternoon,” I inform him. I feel this is weak as an argument.
To which he replies, “And I came this evening.”34
“Yes.” I reply, admitting the fact, “but I came here first:” wherewith I point to my portmanteau. I don’t exactly see why he should take this as corroborative evidence, but it strikes me (as a Happy Thought at the moment) that it will quite knock him over; which, however, it doesn’t at all.
“Well,” says he, clenching the matter, “I came to bed first.”
I can’t deny this. Don’t know what to do. I should like to have the power of producing some crushing argument which should bring him out of bed.
Happy Thought.—Fetch Rawlinson.
I look into his room cautiously, and, as it were, breathe his name. I breathe it louder. He is awake and bolt upright in bed with the suddenness of a toy Jack-in-the-Box. Then he laughs: then he asks me, “Can’t you eat ’em?”
I ask, rather astonished, “Eat what?”
He replies, “Turnips,” seriously: from which I gather that he has not yet mastered the fact of my being in his room, and that, despite his sudden liveliness, he is still dreaming. After a few more disjointed words, he laughs and apologises, and adds that, as he’s quite awake now, he wants to know what’s the matter.
“Ah! that must be Grainger,” he answers, when I tell him of the red man in bed. He says this with an evident conviction that what I’ve told him is so like Grainger: Grainger down to the ground, in fact. It appears that Willis has been staying with Grainger, and that Grainger 35 has come straight up from Willis, with permission to use his room in town, while Willis uses Grainger’s in the country. “I don’t see how you can turn him out,” observes Rawlinson, thoughtfully, but at the same time settling himself once more under the sheets, as much as to say, “and you can’t expect me to give up my bed.”
Happy Thought.—To say, “It’s rather hard to have to turn out at this time to go to a hotel.” I say this piteously, with a view to appealing to his sense of compassion, as I had before to Grainger’s sense of justice. Rawlinson, comfortably under the clothes again, agrees with me. “It is,” he says, “confoundedly hard.” “Such a nuisance,” I continue plaintively. “Horrid!” returns Rawlinson, under the clothes, in a tone which signifies that he really doesn’t care twopence about it as long as he’s left alone.
Happy Thought.—The selfishness of Bed. Note. This is worth an Essay.
I stand there hesitating.
Happy Thought.—To suggest “Isn’t there a spare bed in the house?”
Rawlinson answers, decidedly, “No.”
I can’t help feeling that if he got up and looked, I dare say he’d find one; or, in fact, that if he interested himself at all in the matter, he might do something for me.
It occurs to me at this moment that I have often professed myself able to shake down anywhere, and rough it. I suggest 36 (I can only suggest, as I feel that, now, not having any, as it were, legal status in Willis and Rawlinson’s rooms, I am there simply on sufferance—a wayfarer—a wanderer, glad of a night’s lodging anywhere, anyhow,)—I suggest that the sofa might do.
Rawlinson, half way to fast asleep, replies, “Yes.”
Happy Thought.—To say that the table-cloth would do for sheets, &c., in the hope that he’ll return, “Oh, if you want sheets, here you are,” and jump out and give me some out of his cupboard. He does not seem to be particularly struck with the ingenuity of the idea, and again, more feebly than before, replies “Yes.”
Hang it, I think he might do something. I am angry, I can’t help it. I go back to the sitting-room. Broad daylight. I might sit up till Rawlinson, or the red man, rises, and then go to bed. The sofa is a hard horse-hair one. Suddenly I become determined. I’ll go to a hotel, and then write to Willis, and complain. Complain? of what? Something’s too bad of somebody, but who’s to blame? I’ll have it out to-morrow morning. Go to bedroom to get portmanteau. Red man has locked his door to prevent intrusion. My night things are in the portmanteau. I tell him this through the door. He won’t hear. I thump. No. I anathematise the servant at home, who didn’t pack up my things in my bag, as I told her.
Happy Thought.—Write down instructions in future. Anathematise Rawlinson, Red Man, Willis, everybody. 37 Descend stairs with bag. Feel reckless; don’t care whom I wake now. Landlady, maid, lodgers, anybody. “Confound ’em! they’re all sleeping comfortably, while I——” I bang the bag down in the passage, and open the door. Where’s a cab? All gone home. There’s one up in Regent Street, crawling. I don’t care what noise I make now. “Hallo! Hi! Cab! here!” As I put my bag in the cab, it occurs to me that this looks uncommonly like having robbed the plate chest, and coming away with the contents.
“Where to, Sir?” I think. I’ve only once been to a hotel in town. Morley’s. Stop; on second thoughts, Morley’s wouldn’t like being rung up at this time. A railway hotel is the place where they’re accustomed to it.
Happy Thought.—Charing Cross, where the Foreign Mail trains come in. Always up and awake there, and suppers, and Boots, and Chambermaids, all alive at night as well as by day.
Happy Thought.—Much better, after all, to go to a hotel than to Willis’s. Here we are. How sleepy I am. Discharge cab. How sleepy the night porter is. Everything gigantic and gloomy. Large hall, large staircase, large passages, small porter with small chamber-candle. A doubt crosses my mind, and I wish I hadn’t discharged the cab. “Can I have a bed here?” “Yes,” says the porter, with a sort of reluctance which I attribute to his sleepiness. He then consults a mystic board, and I find I can be accommodated with Number Three Hundred and Seventy Five.38
Happy Thought.—Go up by the Lift. Rather fun.
Answer: No lift at night. Should like a soda-and-brandy, I say. Not that I want it, but to give him to understand that I am not an outcast, to be placed in Number Three Hundred and Seventy Five, five stories high. No other room? No.
Happy Thought.—“Not got one on the First Floor?” This also is to give him an idea of my importance. I am not a bale of goods, to be shoved up into Number Three Hundred and Seventy Five. I have an idea that rooms on the First Floor are about two guineas a day, and (I fancy) are let out in suites to Ambassadors, or distinguished Foreigners.
Happy Thought.—Ambassadors have their rooms for nothing. Paid for by their Government. Wish I could say I was an Ambassador. Milburd would have done it. There is no brandy and soda out. He can give me some, he says, when the bar opens, about three hours hence. Idiot! Will he bring up my bag? No; the house-porter will do that. He communicates with the house-porter through a pipe in a hole. He tells me to go up-stairs as far as I can, and I shall meet the house-porter with my bag.
I go up the grand staircase. As I ascend, I think of pictures of staircases in the Illustrated London News, and people going up them. Look down long corridors. All sorts of boots out: keeping guard before the doors. Like a prison on the silent system: the prisoners having put their boots 39 out. On the landing of last staircase I meet the house-porter with my bag. He leads me (gaoler and prisoner—gaoler carrying bag full of stolen property) down one corridor, up another, through a third, up small stairs, into a fourth corridor smaller than the previous ones. We come suddenly upon Number Three Hundred and Seventy-Five. He has a key ready: the door is opened: bang goes my bag on to a stand. I walk forward towards glass, examine myself leisurely, debate, will give my orders to the Boots, and, take it, generally, very easily, having arrived at a haven of rest.
Happy Thought.—A haven where I wouldn’t be.
Happy Thought.—To be called at ten, and have a cup of tea brought. He will be good enough to open my bag, and put out my things. I like a hotel, because you are waited on so beautifully: much better than at home.
Before I can turn (quite leisurely, and with something of a “swagger,” just to show him that though I am up in Number Three Hundred and Seventy-Five, I oughtn’t to be)—before I can turn to give my orders, the house-porter has gone, without—confound him!—without undoing a single strap.
Happy, but very angry Thought.—To ring, and show him I will be attended to. My hand is on the bell. I pause. On second thoughts, I’ll pitch into him to-morrow morning. Go to bed now. Let me see—take my note-book to bed, and make mems for to-morrow. Royal Academy40
Happy Thought.—After night’s fitful fever he sleeps well. He went away (house-porter did, I mean) without my telling him when I want to be called. Doesn’t matter. Call myself, and ring the bell when I awake, to call him and pitch into him. Wish I’d got all my regular night things. Know I shall catch cold.41
THE DREAM—HOTEL BELLS—LETTERS—NOTES—HEROES—HOTEL PROVERB—TUPPER AND SOLOMON—ACADEMY—SUGGESTIONS—PLANS.
I wake up in the Hotel apparently in the middle of a dream.
Happy Thought (on the instant).—To note it, as it seems a connected story. My dream. of Connected Dreams for Typical Developments, Vol. IX. ch. ii., par. 3, under “D,” for Dreams, i.e. Dreams of all Nations.] I thought Lord Westbury came up to me, somewhere in a room or a garden, took me aside and said something to the effect that “his real name was Sarsaparilla.” I don’t think I was surprised at the announcement, or perhaps I hadn’t time to express any astonishment, as immediately afterwards I was attempting to creep on all-fours under a kitchen-table which some one (I don’t know who it was as I didn’t see him) said was a Monastery for Little Boys. Then immediately, I seemed to be in India, about to be executed for to a General who was crying. I didn’t know any of the officers except Boodels, who was explaining to me the principle of the guillotine. I replied to some one 42 (to Boodels, I fancy) that I must write home to ask permission. But for what I don’t know, unless I meant permission to be executed. The dream, at this point, became confused, and by the way, on looking over the above notes it doesn’t seem so clearly connected as it had at first appeared. I am sure there are some missing links which have escaped my memory. I’ll think of them during the day and put them down. My impression about the in India and the guillotine is so vivid, that I am really quite glad to find myself in the Hotel bed.
Happy Thought.—Ring the bell and order cup of tea, to thoroughly wake me. First, to find the bell. It’s generally, in hotels, near the bed. No it isn’t. Or above my head. No.
Happy Thought. (Brilliant in fact.)—To trace position of bell-handle by following the wires at the top of the room. I should have made a good detective. There are no wires. I sit up in bed and then observe that the bell-handles are on either side of the fireplace: as if it was a dining-room. It’s absurd to have a bed-room like a dining-room: the architect ought to have known better. By the way, is it the architect’s business! Curious how ignorant one is on these really common subjects. I never thought of it before, but now I do consider the matter, it appears to me that the architect manages the outside of the building—its architectural part—and has nothing to do with the inside. Then who does the stairs? and the doors? Carpenters and 43 upholsterers? I wish I had a dictionary here, I’d look out what façade means, as I know it’s the architect’s business to attend to that. Odd, now I think of it again, I do believe I’ve left out Architecture under A, in Typical Developments, Vol. II. However I shall show the publishers only Vol. I., which is complete up to Abstractions. Get up and ring the bell. Get into bed again. Delightful to think in bed. To lie and think: then take note-book and jot something down. Jot down my arrangements for the day. 1st. Get up. Wash and dress. Need hardly put that down, but I will. There’s nothing like regularity in details. 2nd. Have breakfast, &c. Start a separate heading. Letters to write. By the way they haven’t answered that bell. Out of bed to ring again. Jump in once more. Quite exercise. Jot on. Letter to Boodels. I’ve got lots to write, I know, but can’t think just now to whom. One to Willis about his bed and the stranger Grainger in it. That’s all. No. One to my wife. Forgot that. What can I say?
Happy Thought.— say “I’m enjoying myself very much in London.” Will write. “Horrid place, London this time of year.” (Happy Thought: Height of the Season.) “Wish I was back home in our cottage. But can’t: business with publisher—most important. Kiss baby for me. Love to Mamma” (I mean Mrs. Symperson, my mother-in-law. Must shove in that). Ring the bell again. That’s the third time.
Happy Thought, (for letter to my wife) to throw in 44 pathetically, “The longer I stay away the more I am convinced there is no place like home.” This will be a sort of apology for my staying away ever so long now, perhaps including going to Jersey, and Prussia to see Count de Bootjack. Looking at the sentence in two ways, there is one in which it isn’t very complimentary. [Happy Thought.—Look at it in the other way. Wife will, I hope.] Finish up letter with, “There is no news here.” (Where? I don’t exactly know. Epistolary Conventionalities. Good title for handy book. Suggest it to publisher. Wonder whether he’ll “jump at it.”) Finish with “I am, dearest Friddy” (short for Fridoline) “your ever affectionate husband”—— By the way, why sign my Christian and surname to my wife? (Ring the bell again. That’s the fourth time. I suppose I am so out of the way they don’t care about me in Number Three Hundred and Seventy-Five. Too bad: because what should I do in case of fire? Ah well, p’raps one would hardly want a bell then, except to ring and order a cab. Say, for instance, “There’s a fire here: so I shan’t stay any longer. Get me a cab.” Back to bed for the fourth time. That’s eight jumps in and out, and the room crossed eight times: walk before breakfast.) To resume. Why should I sign any name to my wife’s letter? Odd I’ve always done it, but its absurdity never struck me till this moment.
Happy Thought.—“Your ever affectionate husband.” Full stop, and a dash to the final “d” of husband. This, as it were, marks an era in letter-writing. I wish they’d answer 45 the bell. Fifth time of jumping out and in and ringing. Pause: no answer. Sixth time. Enter Maid suddenly, “Did you rang, Sir?” Yes, I did rang, I answer crossly. Can’t help being cross—she’s an elderly woman of the very plainest pattern. [Note for Typical Developments: Physiognomy: Effect on Persons.] I complain. Rang ten times: exaggeration pardonable. She never heard the bell—it’s not her landing. “Then why did she come?” I feel immediately afterwards that this question is ungrateful. What did I want? Well—I—(my memory is so treacherous. Odd. For the moment I’ve quite forgotten what I had been ringing six times for?)
Happy Thought.—Oh, please take clothes and boots, and brush ’em. “Here they are, Sir, outside.” Ah, taken while I was asleep. Oh, (as she is leaving the room) I know: Tea and a bath. She understands me and retires. Note down what else I’ve got to do to-day. Do the Royal Academy.
Happy Thought.—Get up, and go early. It takes me a long time getting up. Wish I could do what heroes in novels do. Their toilet never takes them more than a few minutes. “Ten minutes sufficed him to complete his toilet, and then hurrying down the stairs he met,” &c., &c., or “To jump from the rude couch, and to buckle on his armour, was with Sir Reginald the work of a few seconds. When fully accoutred he descended the steps and found Lady Eveline on the Terrace,” &c., &c. I should like to 46 fill this out (“Come in!” to Boots, with bath) with details. “To jump from the bed, look in the glass, brush his hair, blow his nose, wash his face and hands, tub himself, brush his teeth, put on a clean shirt of mail, get a button sewn on behind, ask for a clean pocket-handkerchief, and have his armour brushed and polished, was with Sir Reginald the work of fewer seconds than it has taken me to write this.”
Happy Thought.—After breakfast tell Boots to pack up bag, bring it down, and I’ll call for it in the course of the day. Very Happy Thought, because by this means I don’t have to lug it about town. (By the way, where am I going to sleep to-night? At Willis’s, if Grainger’s gone: call and see). I don’t have to pack it myself, and I fetch it without any ostentation. Without ostentation means that ten to one against this particular Boots being in the Charing Cross Hall, and so I shan’t have to tip him. Don’t deserve tips for not answering bells. Almost a proverb this—“Who answers no bells, gets no Tips.”
Happy Thought.—Compose a book of new Proverbs. Offer this to a publisher who’ll jump at it. What a lot of things I shall have to offer to the publisher when I go with Vol. I. of Typical Developments! Might make a fortune if he only goes on jumping. “New Proverbs” is a first rate notion. Stop, though—isn’t it rather sacrilegious? (That isn’t the word I want, but, I mean, isn’t it rather treading on Solomon’s ground?) Wouldn’t do this for anything. By the way, didn’t Tupper? That’s rather against it. But 47 mine’s a totally different notion. “New Proverbs,” with the celebrated motto, “Let who will, write their songs, give me the composition of their proverbs,” or words to that effect. Find out who said this, and when: date &c.)
Dressed and breakfasted. Now to the Academy.
At the Royal Academy. Early. Very early. No one there. Up the steps into the hall. Not a soul. No one to take the money. Perhaps they’ve abolished payments. Good that. So gloomy, I’m quite depressed. See a policeman. He reminds me that—of course—how idiotic!—the Royal Academy has gone to Piccadilly, and here I am in the old Trafalgar Square place.
Happy Thought.—Take a cab to the New Academy.
Ah, nice new place! Inscription over the entrance all on one side. Leave my stick, and take a catalogue. Hate a catalogue: why can’t they put the names on the pictures, and charge extra for entrance? I know that there used to be a North and a South and an East and a West room in the old place.
Happy Thought.—Make a plan for seeing the rooms in order. Go back, and buy a pencil. I’ll begin with the North, then to the East, then to the West, and so on.48
AT THE ROYAL ACADEMY—THE CATALOGUE—CRUSH—WORKING OUT A PLAN—“NO. 214”—MISS MILLAR—A COMPLIMENT—POETRY—RELATIONS-IN-LAW—A SURPRISE—DISCOMFITURE.
The Catalogue, on reference to it, is, I find, divided into galleries all numbered.
Happy Thought.—Take Number One first, and so on, in order. Where is Number One? I find myself opposite 214. I won’t look to see what it is, as I want to begin with Number One. This I ascertain by the Catalogue is Gallery No. IV., and the picture is Landing Herrings. By C. Taylor. Go into another Gallery. 336. The Nursling Donkey. A. Hughes. Oh, this is Gallery No. VI. Retrace my steps to another. Let me see: think I’ve been here before. Have I seen that picture? What I want is Number One. What number is that! Oh. 214. Landing Herrings again, of course. To another room. Now then. Old men talking. Can’t help stopping before this picture, though I want to go on to Number One. This is 137. Politicians. T. Webster, R.A. Capital. But this is Gallery No. III. People are crowding in now. Nuisance. Wedged in. Beg 49 pardon. Somebody’s elbowing my back. Big lady stops the way. Beg pardon. Thanks. Squeeze by.
In another Room. I hope Number One this time. 429. Soonabharr. J. Griffiths, Gallery No. VII. Bother Soonabharr! Try back again.
Beg pardon several times for toes and elbows. No one begs my pardon. Irritating place the Royal Academy, when you can’t get a settled place. Where is Number One? Beg pardon, bow, bend, toes, elbows, push, squeeze, and I’m in another room. Hot work.
Happy Thought.—Watch old lady in chair. When she goes I will sit down. Getting a seat is quite a game: like Puss in the Corner. She does go at last, and, though elbowed, hit, trodden upon, backed upon, and pushed, I’ve never moved. I sit. Now then to take it coolly. Where am I? What’s that just opposite? Have I seen it before? 214. Landing Herrings. C. Taylor. Gallery No. IV. That’s the third time I’ve seen the picture.
Happy Thought.—To look out in Catalogue for what is Number One. Number One is Topsy, Wasp, Sailor, and Master Turvey, protégés of James Farrer, Esq., of Ingleborough. A. D. Cooper. Wonder what that means? He might have called it Topsy Wopsy & Co. Funny that. As I am being funny all to myself, I see two ladies whom I know. Miss Millar and her Mamma.
Happy Thought.—Offer Mamma a seat, and walk with 50 Miss Millar. Opportunity for artistic conversation. Clever girl, Miss Millar, and pretty. “Do I like pictures?” Yes I do, I answer, with a reservation of “Some—not all.” “Have I been here before?” I’ve not. Pause. Say, “It’s very warm, though.” (Why “though”? Consider this.) Miss Millar, looking at a picture, wants to know “Whose that is?” I say, off-hand, (one really ought to know an artist’s style without referring to the Catalogue,) “Millais.” I add, “I think.” I refer to Catalogue. It isn’t. We both say, “Very like him, though.”
Miss Millar observes there are some pretty faces on the walls.
Happy Thought.—To say, “Not so pretty as those off it.” I don’t say this at once, because it doesn’t appear to me at the moment well arranged as a compliment: and, as it would sound flat a few minutes afterwards, I don’t say it at all. Stupid of me. Reserve it. It will come in again for somebody else, or for when Miss Millar gives me another opportunity.
Portrait of a Lady.—The opportunity. I think. Don’t I admire that? “Not so much as——” If I say, “As you,” it’s too coarse, and, in fact, not wrapped up enough. She asks— “As what?” I refer to Catalogue, and reply, at a venture, “As Storey’s Sister.” Miss Millar wants to know who she is? I explain—a picture of “Sister,” by G. A. Storey.
We are opposite 428. Sighing his Soul into his Lady’s Face. Calderon. We both say, “Beautiful!” I say, 51 “How delightful to pass a day like that!” Miss Millar thinks, with a laugh, that it’s rather too spooney. (Don’t like “spooney” to be used by a girl.) “Spooney!” I say.
Happy Thought.—Opportunity for quoting a poetical description out of Typical Developments, just to see how it goes. If it doesn’t go with Miss Millar, cut it out, or publisher won’t jump. I say, “See this lovely glade, this sloping bank, the trees drooping o’er the stream, which on its bosom carries these two lovers, who know no more of their future than does the drifting stream on which they float.” She observes, “That is really a poetic description! Do you like rowing?” Yes, I do, and——
Happy Thought.—Wouldn’t it be nice to have a up the river? Miss Millar says, “Oh do.” She knows some girls who will go. I reply I know some men who will be delighted: only she (Miss Millar) must let me chaperon her for the day. (This with an arch look: rather telling, I think. Couldn’t have done it so well before I was married. Being married, of course there’s no harm in it.) “Oh yes,” she replies, “of course.” Wonder if she means what she is saying. I ask what day? and take out my note-book. I say, gently, “I shall look forward to——” Before I can finish, I am suddenly aware of two girls and a boy (from fourteen downwards,) very provincially dressed, rushing at me with beaming faces, and the taller of the girls crying out (the three positively shout—the uncouth wretches!) “Oh, Brother Wiggy!” (they all say this,) seizes me round the 52 neck, jumps at me, and kisses me. The lesser one follows. Same performance. I can’t keep them off. They are my wife’s youngest sisters and little brother just from school, whom I used at one time foolishly to encourage. Friddy told them about my song of the little Pig, and they always (as a matter of endearment) call me “Brother Wiggy.” I shall write to my wife, or tell her when I get home, that her family must really be kept quiet. I can’t stand it. I smile, and look pleased (everyone is turning to observe me except Miss Millar, who pretends to be absorbed in a picture,) and say, “Ah, Betty! ah, Polly! how d’ye do? When did you come up?”
Happy Thought.—When are you going back again? Give them half-a-crown to go to the refreshment-room, and eat buns and ices. They go. Miss Millar has found her Mamma, and gone into another room. Hang those little Sympersons. Somebody treads on my toes. I will not beg his pardon. I am very angry. Somebody nearly knocks my hat off pointing out a picture to a friend. He doesn’t beg my pardon. Rude people come to the Academy. I’ll be rude. I’ll hit some one in the ribs when I want to change my position, I’ll tread on toes, and say nothing about it. Very tall people oughtn’t to be allowed in the Academy.
Happy Thought.—Walk between tall person and pictures. Must be rude at the Academy, or one will never see any pictures at all—at least, close to.53
A hit, really a blow, in my side. I turn savagely, “Confound it, Sir——”
It’s that donkey Milburd, who introduces a tall young friend as Mr. Dilbury. “What picture do you particularly want to see?” asks Milburd. I tell him number One. Dilbury will show me.
“But first,” says Dilbury, taking me by the arm, “here’s rather a good bit of colour.” He is evidently a critic, and walks me up in front of a picture. “There!” says Dilbury.
I refer to Catalogue. Oh, of course——
214. Landing Herrings, C. Taylor, for the fifth time. I tell him I know it, and so we pass on.54
DILBURY, A.R.A.—HIS PICTURE—MEETINGS—GREETINGS—LAMPADEPHORIA—“WE MET”—AN INTRODUCTION.
Dilbury takes me to see Eagles Attacked. By Sir Edwin Landseer. We stand opposite the picture in front of several people: we are silent. Dilbury says presently, “Fine picture that?” I agree with Dilbury. Wonder where Sir Edwin was when he saw it. I don’t see how he could have imagined it, because, from what one knows of eagles and swans, it is about the last thing I should have thought of. Perhaps it occurred to him as a Happy Thought. But what suggested it? I put it to Dilbury.
“The Serpentine, perhaps,” Dilbury thinks, adding afterwards, “and a walk in the Zoo.”
Dilbury tells me that that is how subjects suggest themselves to him. From which I gather that Dilbury is an artist. I don’t like to ask him, “Do you paint?” as he may be some very well known painter.
He says, “I’ll show you a little thing I think you’ll like.” He takes me by the elbow, and evidently knowing the Academy by heart, bumps, shoves, and pushes me at a sharp pace through the crowd. Dilbury has an awkward way of stopping one suddenly in a sharp walk to draw one’s attention 55 to something or somebody, that has attracted him—generally, a pretty face.
“I say,” says he, after two bumps and a shove have brought us just into the doorway of Gallery No. III., “There’s a deuced pretty girl, eh?”
Before I have time to note which girl he means, he is off again with me by the elbow. Bump to the right, shove to the left, over somebody’s toes, and through a knot of people into Gallery IV. Stop suddenly. Hey what? “There’s a rum old bird,” says Dilbury, winking slily, “in Eastern dress, he’d make a first-rate model for my new picture; sacred subject. Coming of Age in the Olden time. Wonder if he’d sit?”
Happy Thought.—To say, jestingly, “I wish I could,” meaning sit down, now.
Dilbury is rejoiced. Would I sit to him? He is giving his mind to sacred subjects, and is going to bring out Balaam and Balak. Would I give him a sitting, say for Balak? Milburd has promised him one for Balaam, unless I’d like to take Balaam. (As he pronounces this name Baa-lamb, I don’t at first catch his meaning.) I promise to think of it. He gives me his address.
Happy Thought.—Have my portrait taken. Not as Balaam, as myself. Settle it with Dilbury. He’ll paint it this year, and exhibit it next. Milburd, who happens to come upon us at this moment, suggests showing it at a shilling a head in Bond Street, as a sensation picture.56
“I’ll be with him,” says Milburd, “as Balaam (you’ve promised me that), and he shall be the ‘——’”
I know what he’s going to say, and move off with Dilbury before he’s finished. Milburd will talk so loud. He’s so vain, too: does it all for applause from strangers. I saw some people laughing about Balaam. Hope the little Sympersons have gone. As we are squeezing through the door, we come upon Mrs. and Miss Millar again. Meeting for the third time, I don’t know what to do.
Happy Thought.—Safest thing to smile and take off my hat. Miss Millar acknowledges it gravely. Pity people can’t be hearty. She might have twinkled up and nodded.
Dilbury points out a picture to me. A large one. “Yours?” I ask.
Happy Thought.—To make sure of this before I say anything about it. He nods yes, and looks about to see whether any one is listening. I suppose he expects that if it got about that he was here he’d be seized and carried in procession round the galleries on the shoulders of exulting multitudes. However, there is no one near the picture (“which” he complains “is very badly hung”) and consequently no demonstration.
“Good subject, eh?” he asks me. “Yes, very,” I answer, wishing I’d asked him first what it was, or had referred to the Catalogue. It is classical, evidently; that is, judging from the costume, what there is of it. I try to find out quietly in the Catalogue.57
Dilbury says, “You see what it is, of course?” Well—I—I—I in fact, don’t,—that is, not quite.
“Well,” he replies, in a tone implying that I am sure to recognise it when I hear it, “it’s Prometheus Instituting the Lampadephoria.” To which I say, “Oh, yes, of course. Prometheus vinctus,” and look at the number to see how he spells it. I compliment him. Very fine effect of light and shade. In fact, it’s all light and shade, representing a lot of Corinthians (he says it’s in Corinth) running about with red torches. Dilbury points out to me the beauties of the picture. He says it wants a week’s study. He informs me that it was taken on the spot, and that his models were “the genuine thing.”
Happy Thought.—To say, “I could stop and look at this for an age,” then take out my watch.
“You can come back again to it,” observes Dilbury, seizing my elbow again.
Meet Mrs. and Miss Millar again. Awkward. Don’t know whether to bow or smile, or nod, or what this time. I say, as we pass, “Not gone yet?” I don’t think she likes it. I didn’t say it as I should like to have said it, or as I would have said it, if I had the opportunity over again. I daresay it sounded rude.
Dilbury stops me suddenly with, “Pretty face that, eh?” and looks back at Miss Millar. Whereupon I rejoin, “Hush! I know them.” Dilbury immediately wishes to be introduced. I will, as an Academician, and his picture, too. We go back after them. We struggle towards them: we are 58 all jammed up in a crowd together. I hear something crack. I become aware of treading on somebody’s dress. It is Miss Millar’s. I beg her pardon. “I hope I——”
Happy Thought.—“We met: ’twas in a crowd.” Old song.
I say this so as to give a pleasant turn to the apology and the introduction. I don’t think Miss Millar is a good-tempered girl. Somebody is nudging me in the back, and somebody else is wedging me in on either side. As she is almost swept away from me by one current, and I from her by another, I say, hurriedly, “Miss Millar, let me introduce my friend, Mr. Dilbury—an Academician.” She tries to stop: I turn, and lay hold of someone who ought to be Dilbury, in order to bring him forward. It isn’t Dilbury at all, but some one else—a perfect stranger, who is very angry, and wants to kick or hit—I don’t know which (but he can’t, on account of the crowd), and I am carried on, begging Miss Millar’s pardon and his pardon, and remonstrating with a stout, bald-headed man in front, who will get in the way.
Happy Thought.—Get out of this as quickly as possible.
Getting out again. Lost my Catalogue. Meet Milburd. I ask him what’s that picture, alluding to one with a lot of people in scant drapery in an oriental apartment. He replies, “Portraits of members of the Garrick Club taking a Turkish bath.” It is No. 277. It simply can’t be. Besides there are ladies present. Milburd pretends to be annoyed, and says, I needn’t believe it unless I like.59
Must go to Willis’s: see about sleeping to-night, luggage, dinner, and a lot of things.
Happy Thought.—Have my hair cut. Have an ice first. Leave the Academy.60
WILLIS’S AGAIN—POPGOOD AND GROOLLY—EPISTOLARY—CALCULATION—A SNEEZE—MINUS A BUTTON—INEQUALITY—BOODELS.
I look in at Willis’s. Grainger (the stranger) has gone. Rawlinson says, “if I like to stop here, and use Willis’s bed, I can.” I will. Rawlinson wants to know what I’m going to do this evening.
Happy Thought.—Don’t know—dine with him, if he likes.
“He won’t do that,” he says, “but will meet me anywhere afterwards.” Go to Club. Ask for letters: two: one from my wife. Keep that until I’ve opened this envelope with the names of Messrs. Popgood and Groolly, Ludgate, the eminent publishers, stamped on the seal.
Popgood and Groolly have jumped at Typical Developments; at least, in answer to a letter of mine, with an introduction from Boodels’ second cousin, “they will be glad if I will favour them with an early call.” An early call, say six in the morning. Popgood and Groolly in bed. Popgood in one room, Groolly in another, myself in a room between the two, reading aloud Vol. I. of Typical Developments. I 61 say this to a friend in the Club, as I must talk to some one on the subject, being in high spirits.
Must look over the MS. and see it’s all in order to-night. Better read some of it out loud to myself, for practice, or try passages on Rawlinson when he comes in in the evening.
Happy Thought.—If I asked Rawlinson to dine with me, he couldn’t very well help listening to it afterwards.
Open Friddy’s letter. She says, “Baby’s got another rash; her Mamma advises change of air—sea-side. How long am I going to be away? Why don’t I write? She is not very well. Now I am in town I must call on Uncle and Aunt Benson, who have complained to my mother of my neglecting them. My mother (the letter goes on to say) was down here the other day, and cried about it a good deal. Her Mamma (my wife’s, my mother-in-law, Mrs. Symperson) sends her love, and will I call and pay Fribsby’s bill for her, to save her coming up to town. Fribsby, the Jeweller, in Bond Street.”
Write by return; dash the letter off to show how busy I am:—
Full of business just now. Popgood and Groolly, the great Publishers, are going to buy Typical Developments, I’m going to see them to-morrow. Love to everyone. Poor Baby! Will see about Uncle.
Your affectionate Husband, in haste.
P.S. Going to have my portrait done by Dilbury, A.R.A.
Letter sent. Send to Messrs. Popgood and Groolly to say I’m coming to-morrow? or shall I take them by surprise?
After some consideration I think I’d better take them by surprise. Having nothing to do this afternoon—(I feel as if I had dismissed everything from my mind by having sent that letter to my wife, saying, “how full of business I am just now.”)—I will stroll towards Belgravia and call on Uncle and Aunt Benson.
Happy Thought.—Take Rotten Row and the drive on my way.
After the Popgood-and-Groolly letter I feel that I have, as it were, a place in the world. My mother and Uncle and Aunt Benson have always wanted me to take up a profession; especially since my marriage. Friddy agrees with them. Well, here is a profession. Literature. Commence with Typ. Devel., I. Say that runs to fifteen editions; say it’s a thousand pounds for each edition, and a thousand for each volume; there will be at least fifty volumes, that’s fifty thousand; then fifteen times fifty is seven hundred and fifty, that is, seven hundred and fifty thousand pounds. Say it takes me ten years to complete the work, then that’s seventy-five thousand pounds a year. I stop to make this calculation in my pocket-book. A sneeze suddenly takes me: I haven’t got a cold at all, but it shakes me violently, and I feel that a button has gone somewhere. The back button to my collar, I think: as I fancy I feel it wriggling up. I really thought when one was married all these things would have been kept in proper order.63
Happy Thought.—Might stop somewhere, and ask them to sew on a button.
Where? Pastrycook’s. Shall I? I look into the window at a jelly, and think how I shall manage it. I, as it were, rehearse the scene in my mind. Suppose I enter. Suppose I say to girl at counter, I’ll take an ice: strawberry, if you please; and, oh by the way, (as if I hadn’t come in for this at all) have you got such a thing as a button about you which you could kindly sew on for me? Think I’d better not. It might look odd. Or go into a haberdasher’s. Buy gloves: only I don’t want gloves, and that’ll be four-and-sixpence for having a button sewn on.
I feel the collar is wriggling up, and has got over my waistcoat. I seem to be wrong all over. There’s a sort of sympathy in my clothes. On looking down (I’d not noticed it before) I see that one trouser leg is shorter than the other. I mentioned this about the last pair to my tailor. I particularly told him not to make one leg longer than the other. It’s his great fault. After three days’ wear one leg always becomes shorter than the other.
Happy Thought.—Can rectify it by standing before a shop window, pretending to look in, unbutton my waistcoat, and adjust braces.
Much the same difficulty about braces as about my stirrups in riding.
Somebody seizes my arm suddenly, and turns me round. I face Boodels, an elderly gentleman and two ladies, very 64 fashionably dressed, to whom, he says, he wants to introduce me.
Horridly annoying; my shirt-collar is up round my neck, my waistcoat is open, and in twisting me round (so thoughtless of Boodels!) the lower part of the brace is broken. Awkward. I can’t explain that it’s only my braces, because that would sound as if it wasn’t. Boodels says they’ve been longing for an introduction. Well, now they’ve got it. The Elderly Gentleman (I don’t catch any of their names) shakes hands with me, (I have to disengage my hand for him,) and says with a smile, “I have heard a great deal of you, Sir. I am told you are a very humorous person.”
Happy Thought.—To say, “Oh, no, not at all.”
What a stupid remark for him to make. I couldn’t answer, “Yes, Sir, I am very humorous.” A gloom falls over the party after this, and we walk silently down Piccadilly. I can’t help thinking how disappointed they must be in me as a very humorous person. Then Boodels shouldn’t have led them to expect it. I’ll have a row with him afterwards.
When I turn to speak to the young lady (rather handsome and tall) my collar turns too, and seems to come up very much on one side. I should like to be brilliant—and humorous—now. The result is that I ask her (round my collar, which I pull down to enable me to speak comfortably) if she is making any stay in town? which, on the whole, is not particularly brilliant, or humorous.
She replies, “No,” and leaves the rest to me.
The Elderly Gentleman (her papa, I fancy) on the other 65 side repeats “We’ve heard of you”—this with almost a chuckle of triumph, as if he’d caught me at last—“We’ve heard of you as a very humorous person.”
I return “Indeed,” and we proceed in silence up to Apsley House. They’re silent, not liking (as Boodels tells me afterwards) to speak, for fear I should satirically laugh at them, and also to hear some witty remarks from me.
Happy Thought (by Park Gate).—Very sorry, must leave; got to go in the opposite direction. Should like to say something humorous at parting, but can’t. Say Good-bye, and look as humorous as possible.66
RAWLINSON—IMPORTANT QUESTION—UNINTERESTED FRIEND—REVISION OF MS.—TO THE PUBLISHERS—COSTUME—QUERY SPECTACLES—THE OFFICE—POPGOOD AND GROOLLY INTERVIEWED.
Willis not returned, so use his bed. I awake to the fact that it is the day for Popgood and Groolly, and Typical Developments.
Rawlinson is down to breakfast about a quarter of an hour before I am. He always will come down a quarter of an hour before I do, and then he begins breakfast without telling me he is there—which is unsociable, as I now know him well enough to tell him. Apparently his object in being first at breakfast is to get hold of the Times, which he keeps until five minutes before the boy calls for it (it is only hired) and then asks me if “I’d like to see it,” though, he adds, “there’s nothing particular in it this morning.”
The important question to me now is how shall I appear before Popgood and Groolly? I mean, how dressed? I’ve never called on a publisher, or a pair of publishers before, and the difficulty (I put it thus to Rawlinson) is, should one be shabbily dressed to give them an idea of poverty (starving 67 author, children in attic, Grub Street, &c., &c., of which one has heard so much) or should I go in the height of fashion, so as to appear independent? Rawlinson doesn’t take his eyes off the newspaper but smiles, and replies, “Ah, yes, that’s the question.”
Happy Thought.—To interest him personally, and get his advice by saying, “What would you do if you were in my position?”
He looks up from his paper for a second or so, vaguely, and after answering, “that he doesn’t precisely know,” resumes his perusal.
Happy Thought.—To express an opinion, so as to get him to differ from me, and then the subject will have the benefit of a discussion. I say, “I should think one ought to go dressed well, eh?”
Rawlinson (without taking his attention from the Times) replies, “Oh, yes, decidedly.”
I don’t know him sufficiently well to express my annoyance at his selfishness in not going into the matter thoroughly with me. He is selfish, very. I took him to dine at my Club with me, in order that on returning to his rooms together he might listen to me reading my MS. aloud, as a sort of rehearsal for Popgood and Groolly, but he picked up two friends on the road, and whispering to me, “You’d like to know those fellows, one plays the piano very well,” he brought them in, and they stayed in his and Willis’s rooms, singing, playing and smoking, until past three in the morning, and 68 in fact I still heard them roaring with laughter after I had gone to bed.
Rawlinson says this morning, apologetically, that he’s sorry those fellows stopped so confoundedly late, as he had missed hearing part of my Typical Developments, which he had hoped I would have read to him.
I say, “Oh, it doesn’t matter,” but I shan’t give a friend a dinner at the Club again in order to secure his attention afterwards.
He adds presently and still apologetically, that he should so much have liked to have heard me read some of my best passages to him now, after breakfast, if it hadn’t been that he is obliged to go down to the Temple this morning.
As I should really like to try some of it before appearing before Popgood and Groolly, I ask him at what hour he must be at the Temple, as there would be, probably, plenty of time for him to hear something of it at all events.
Rawlinson looks at the clock, and says regretfully, “Ah, I’m afraid I must be off immediately,” and proceeds at once to look for his umbrella and brush his hat.
Happy Thought.—To bring my MS. out of my bag and commence at once on a passage with “What do you think of this?”
Rawlinson has his hat on, and his hand on the door-handle. I read, “On the various bearings of Philological Ethnography on Typical Development. The assimilation of characteristic is perhaps, from our present point of view, one 69 of the most interesting studies of the present day.” Must cut out the second “present;” tautology would quite knock over Popgood and Groolly.
Happy Thought.—Ask Rawlinson to lend me a pencil.
Very sorry he hasn’t got one. I say “Just stop a minute, while I erase the word;” he looks at the clock again, and observes, he’s afraid he must——
I tell him that listening to this passage won’t take a second. “In Central Africa the present——” very odd, another “present;” scratch it out: only having scratched it out, the next word to it is “present”—can’t make it out at all. I pause and consider what I could have meant. I ask Rawlinson to look at the word. What is it? “Pheasants, I think,” he says, “but I can’t stop now: hope to hear good account of your interview with what’s-his-name the publisher,” and runs out of the room.
Happy Thought.—Must really read this through quietly, and see it’s all right before going to Popgood and Groolly.
“In Central Africa the Present presents an aspect not remarkably dissimilar from his brother of the American States.” I see what I meant: for “Present” read “Peasant,” and the next word is a verb.
My eye soon gets accustomed to my own writing, after going carefully over several pages (there are a hundred and fifty-two in this MS.), and I determine upon driving to Popgood and Groolly immediately.
Buy a pencil. Take a cab.70
Happy Thought.—To appear (in the cab) opening and reading my MS., and correcting with pencil. Anyone passing, who knows me, will point me out as up to my eyes in literary business. I wish I could have a placard on the cab, with “Going to call on Popgood and Groolly, the eminent publishers, with Typical Developments, Vol. I.” The result of the dressing question is, that I am principally in black, as if I had suddenly gone into half-mourning, or was going to fight a duel with Popgood and Groolly.
Happy Thought.—Might buy a pair of spectacles. Looks studious, and adds ten years’ worth of respectable age to the character. Perhaps I’d better not; as if they found me out afterwards, they’d think I’d been making a fool of them.
We drive eastward, and pull up at the entrance of a narrow street which has apparently no outlet. I pay Cabby, and enter under an archway. I feel very nervous, and inclined to be polite to everyone. My MS. seems to me quite in character when in the neighbourhood of Fleet Street, though I couldn’t have walked up Regent Street with it on any account. I think (encouragingly to myself) of Dr. Johnson, and Goldsmith, and Mrs. Thrale, and Sir Joshua Reynolds, and then of Smollett and Fielding, and I am saying to myself, “They went to a publisher’s for the first time once;” when I find myself opposite a door on which is written “Popgood and Groolly.” I ascertain that this is not the only door with their names on it. There are doors to the right, to the left—71
[Happy Thought (don’t know why it occurs now, but suppose I am nervous)—
“Doors to the right of me,
Doors to the left of me,
Rode the Six Hundred;”
only it wasn’t “doors”—it was “cannon” or “foes”]—and on all the doors is “Popgood and Groolly.”
There is a great deal of noise from some quarter, as of machinery (not unlike the sounds you encounter on entering the Polytechnic), and I deliberate as to which door I shall enter by. I see, on a wall, a flourishing hand pointing up some stone steps to “Clerks’ Office Up-Stairs.”
Happy Thought.—Go up and see a clerk.
The passages are all deserted. They are divided into, it seems, different rooms; every room has its ground-glass window. Perhaps numbers of people can see me, though I can’t see them. Perhaps Popgood and Groolly are examining me from somewhere, and seeing what I’m like, and settling how they’ll deal with me.
Happy Thought.—To walk to the end of the passage, and if I don’t meet any one, come back again.
I do meet some one, however,—a clerk, bustling. He inquires of me, hastily, “Whom do you want, Sir?” I reply, “Well—” rather hesitatingly, as if I either didn’t wish to commit myself with a subordinate, or hadn’t an excuse at hand for being in there at all. (By the way, I never knew publishers had clerks. I had always thought that a publisher 72 was, as it were, a sort of Literary Judge or Critic, who said, “Yes, I’ll print your book, and send it to the booksellers.” Certainly varied experience enlarges the mind.) “Well,”—I continue my reply—“I want to see Pop——” I check myself in saying familiarly, Popgood and Groolly, and substitute, “Mr. Popgood or Mr. Groolly.” The brisk clerk says, “This way,” and I follow him into a small room, with a small clerk in it, who, it appears, doesn’t know if Mr. Popgood or Mr. Groolly is disengaged, but will take in my name.
I fancy they are eyeing my manuscript. I feel that the appearance of the roll of MS. is against me. If I could only have come to see Popgood and Groolly for pleasure, it strikes me I should have been shown in at once. But I can imagine (while I am waiting, having written my name down on a slip of paper) the little clerk hinting to Popgood and Groolly that the visitor has a manuscript with him; in which case Popgood and Groolly, being taken by surprise, and not liking it, won’t be at home.
The little clerk returns, and says, “Will I step this way?” I step his way, and, feeling very hot and uncomfortable (much as I did when I was about to propose to Fridoline in the conservatory), I am suddenly ushered into Popgood and Groolly’s private office. The boy pauses by the door a minute, apparently curious to see what we’ll do to each other, for here sits either Popgood or Groolly, I don’t know which, in a chair between a large writing-table and the fender. I think the clerk mentions the gentleman’s name, but I can’t catch it.73
Popgood, or Groolly, rises slightly, bows, and indicates a chair on the opposite side of the hearthrug to where he is sitting.
I bow to him. So far nothing could be more pleasant or charming.
My hat suddenly becomes a nuisance, and I don’t know whether to put my hat on the table, and my MS. on the floor, or vice versâ—hat on floor, MS. on table.
Happy Thought.—To say, “I think you had a letter of introduction to me—I mean, about me—from Mr. Boodels.”
It seems so formal to call him Mr. Boodels, that the interview at once assumes the air of a sort of state ceremony.
Popgood, or Groolly, bows again. I wish I knew which it was. He is elderly, and rather clerical in appearance. I should imagine him to be Popgood. I don’t like to dash in quickly with “Now I’ll read you Typical Developments, Vol. I.,” though that would be the way to come to business.
Happy Thought.—To talk to him about Boodels; to make Boodels pro tem. the subject of conversation, to give us, as it were, common ground to start on.
I remark, that (taking it for granted that Popgood, or Groolly, knows Boodels) he is a capital fellow; a great friend of mine; that he has (this I say patronisingly) written several little things, and—in fact—oh yes, he is a very good fellow. Popgood, or Groolly, replies that he hasn’t the pleasure of Boodels’ acquaintance, and that it was a relation of his “from whom we (the firm of P. and G.) received this letter.”74
Happy Thought.—To ask, Did he mention what my Work was?
Popgood, or Groolly (somehow I begin to think it is Groolly), says, “No, he did not. What may be——” he inquires rather sleepily, as if I had failed to interest him up to this point, “What may be the nature of the work?”
Happy Thought.—To stop myself from answering hastily. “Well, I don’t know,” which in my nervousness I was going to do.
I hesitate. I should almost like to ask him “What sort of thing he wants?” Because, really and truly, Typical Developments would suit all readers.
I say, “It is rather difficult to explain, as it comprises a vast variety of subjects.”
“It’s not,” says Popgood, or Groolly, “a collection of tales, I mean such as we could bring out, with illustrations, at Christmas?”
I am obliged to say, “No, it’s not that,” though I wish at the moment I could turn it into that, just to please Popgood and Groolly.
“We should be open for something on this model,” says Popgood, or Groolly, producing a thin book with green and yellow binding, and coloured illustrations about Puss in Boots. “It went,” he adds, “very well last Christmas.” It occurs to me that the letter written by Boodels’ relative must have given Popgood and Groolly quite a wrong notion of Typ. Devel. He seems to have introduced me as an author of Nursery Books.75
Happy Thought.—To say I think Typical Developments would illustrate very well.
It appears this is the first time he has heard the title. “A religious work?” he inquires. “Well—no, Mr. Popgood,” I am about to say pleasantly, only it occurs to me, as a Happy Thought, that if he is Groolly he won’t like being called Popgood, so I reply, “Not exactly religious.” Feeling that perhaps I have gone too far here, I correct myself with, “But, of course, not atheistical.”
Popgood, or Groolly, considers. “We are very busy just now, and our hands are quite full,” he says. “Everything is very dull—[Happy Thought.—“Except Typical Developments” But I don’t say it]—and it’s a bad time of year for bringing out a book of the—of the—nature you intimate.”
I say, to put it clearly and help him along, that it’s something after the style of a Dictionary. At this Popgood, or Groolly, appears much relieved, and says, “It’s a bad time just now for bringing out Dictionaries, even,” he adds, “if they were in our line.” It appears, from further conversation, that Popgood and Groolly did once bring out a Dictionary, in monthly parts, which nearly proved fatal to them. I explain that, though I said it was after the style of a Dictionary, yet it was not merely a Dictionary, but if I read him a little of it, he could judge better for himself. He bows. I take the MS. off the table. It is all curled up, and won’t open properly. I tell him I will select any passage at haphazard. He bows again. It is difficult. Something about “Forms in a Primæval Forest” catches my eye. I wonder 76 if that is a good specimen to read to him. I’ve forgotten what it’s about.
Happy Thought.—To beg his pardon for a minute, just to gain time, and cast my eye over it, to see if I can get at the meaning at once, so as not to give it with wrong emphasis.
I commence, with Popgood’s, or Groolly’s, eye upon me, “The first forms, or Protoplastic creations, have in themselves such interest to us of the present day, that—” then follows a hard word scratched out, and I have to read on to find out what it ought to be. I can’t imagine what this confounded word was.
Happy Thought.—To say this is only a mere prelude, and to pass on to a paragraph lower down.
The door (not the one I came in by, but another on the opposite side) opens, and in comes a tall, bluff gentleman with a beard. The clerical person to whom I am reading introduces him.
Happy Thought.—Shall now know which is Popgood and which Groolly.
He introduces him as “My Partner.” Popgood and Groolly are before me. If I only knew which was which, I could carry on the conversation so much more pleasantly.
Happy Thought.—To say “Well, Mr. Groolly,” and look 77 at both of them. One of the two must acknowledge his name.
No. Both bow.
Happy Thought.—Try “Mr. Popgood” next time.78
AT POPGOOD AND GROOLLY’S—INTRODUCTIONS—TAKING LEAVE—A BANTLING QUERY—A LATE CHAT—LETTER FROM ASPHODEL COTTAGE—ADVANTAGES OF COUNTRY—HAIR OIL—A SLIGHT MISTAKE.
The Sitting-down partner (Groolly, I fancy) says to the partner standing up (consequently Popgood), “This gentleman has called about his book on—on——”
Happy Thought.—Typical Developments.
We all bow to one another like waxworks. Standing-up partner says, “Ha, yes, I was going to——” and looks about fussily. He evidently thinks that I have been there before, and that he has mislaid my MS. His friend enlightens him with, “He has brought his MS. this morning.” Standing-up partner’s mind much relieved. I corroborate Sitting-down partner, and we all, more or less, do waxworks again.
A silence. I recommence looking in the manuscript for something to read to them. On glancing over it, rapidly, I don’t recognise my own sentences. It would be fatal to everything if I went on reading what I didn’t understand. Sure to show it.79
Happy Thought.—To say, “I think I’ll leave this in your hands,” pleasantly.
It suddenly occurs to them at this point to introduce each other. It is not quite clear at first which is Groolly and which is Popgood. After a short conversation on general topics I try to name them individually and correctly. I fail. Having exhausted general topics (we all fight shy of Typical Developments) I fancy they are getting tired of me, as Popgood says to Groolly (or vice versâ) that he must go to somewhere that I don’t catch. This awakens Groolly to the fact that it’s later than he had imagined.
Happy Thought.—Ingratiate myself by taking the hint.
Hand them the MS. Should like to say something witty and remarkable just before leaving the room. If I did. I feel they’d consult together, and say, “Clever man, that; let’s read his Typical Developments,” and so on to publishing.
The nearest thing to the point I can say is, “Well, I’ll leave this here, shall I?” placing it on the desk, whence Mr. Groolly (or Popgood) removes it to a pigeon-hole, which looks business-like.
I ask “If I shall call again?” I feel immediately I’ve said it that it’s a mistake. Nothing like taking publishers by surprise. Popgood says, “Oh, we won’t trouble you to call; you’ll hear from us.”
I execute a sort of waxwork mechanical movement again, with my hat in one hand and my umbrella in the other. I say, “Good day, Mr. Popgood,” and both return good day at the same time.80
Happy Thought (when I’m outside the house).—I ought to have said, “Gentlemen, I leave my bantling in your hands, you are excellent nurses, I am sure, and will soon show her how to walk.”
I think I’ve heard this before. Will look it out in Dictionary of Quotations. Note. Add a Chapter to Typ. Devel., Book 2, on “Tricks of Memory.” By the way, what is a “Bantling”?
I should say, without a dictionary, the youngest chick of a Bantam. If it’s not that, it’s a foundling put out to nurse. I know the simile comes in happily, somehow. Ought to carry a pocket-dictionary about with me, so as to turn down corners (not of the book, I mean, of the street. Mem. To work up this into a joke, somehow, as, “Sheridan said,” &c.) and look things out while you think of it. It’s merely developing my plan of note-books.
To Willis’s rooms. Rush up to tell Rawlinson everything about it. He’s not there. Pass the evening in dining out, and coming in five times to see if Rawlinson has returned yet. At last he appears.
Sit up with Rawlinson and Milburd chatting. When Rawlinson doesn’t go to bed early, he is an excellent hand at sitting up and chatting. He sits up (when he does sit up) till three or four in the morning, “expecting,” he says, “that it’s not unlikely some fellow will drop in.” I never yet have seen any fellow drop in at that time; so I fancy it’s an excuse that Rawlinson makes to himself, so that “sitting up and chatting” may be set down as an act of politeness.
We naturally discuss Popgood and Groolly.81
I ask him whether he thinks they’ll read it. Rawlinson says, “Oh, of course,” heartily. Rawlinson always commences with the brightest view possible under any circumstances, and then gradually introduces, as it were, saving clauses. He continues, “They’ll read it: at least their man will. Publishers keep a man, you know,” (I don’t know, but I nod as if Popgood’s man was a matter of course,) “who has to read everything and advise upon it.”
I observe, “I suppose he’ll advise on Typical Developments.”
Happy Thought.—P’raps he’s reading it now, and enjoying it.
I say this. Milburd says, “P’raps he isn’t,” which he thinks funny, and I think simply stupid. Rawlinson doesn’t laugh. He sympathises with me in a literary matter, I know.
“I suppose,” addressing myself to Rawlinson, “they won’t be long before they give me an opinion?”
“Oh, no time!” replies Rawlinson heartily.
“Quicker, if possible,” says Milburd. (That’s the worst of him: he never knows when to stop. For myself, I enjoy a joke as much as anybody; but this is out of place now.)
Happy Thought.—Not even smile. Take no notice of him.
Rawlinson says, “Oh yes, they’ll soon give an opinion; that’s if they haven’t much business. Of course, it may take a year or so before their man can read it.”82
Happy Thought.—Oh, Rawlinson can’t know much about it. He only talks from hearsay. But then what is hearsay?
Rawlinson continues. “Those fellows who are paid to read too! They’re a rum lot.”
“Highly educated,” I suppose.
They both pooh-pooh the idea. I don’t care about Milburd’s pooh-poohing, as he’s not in earnest.
“Why,” says Rawlinson, who really does seem to be up in the subject, “I was staying with a fellow once who did the reading for Shaptur and Werse. He had piles of print and manuscript: just like yours this morning—[Happy Thought.—I say yes, and smile. Why smile?]—and he just cut a few pages of one, and dipped into another, and skimmed a third, and threw ’em away like so much trash. Of course if you know him he’ll read your MS.”
Milburd suggests, “Find out Popgood and Groolly’s man, and ask him to dinner.” If it wasn’t Milburd who says this, there really might be something in it.
Rawlinson says, “Perhaps they may not even give it to the man. Perhaps not read it at all.”
Happy Thought.—Really Rawlinson can’t know anything about it.
“From what I saw of Popgood and Groolly to-day, I should say they were rather inclined towards the book than otherwise.”
Rawlinson says heartily as usual, “Oh, most probably. They’ll be delighted at your bringing it to them. Only, don’t you see, as you’re comparatively an unknown man——”83
I feel it is kind of him to put in “comparatively,” it softens down obscurity when, as it were, it is only shared in a less degree by Gladstone, Bulwer Lytton, Disraeli, Dickens, and so forth——“of course you can’t expect the same attention as the great names command.”
Happy Thought.—To take this remark sensibly and calmly and answer, “Oh, of course not.”
Wonder (to myself) whether Popgood and Groolly, immediately I was gone, winked at each other, tied up my MS. in a clean sheet of paper, directed it to me, and gave it to a clerk, to be posted in two days’ time.
We separate at last, [Milburd finding out at four o’clock A.M. that “it’s time to go, by Jove!” as if he’d got to go and meet a bed like a train, and be punctual to the minute. He does say such stupid things,] and Milburd, as he goes down stairs, calls out, “Liquor up the fellow who reads, and he’ll send to old Popkins and Gruel,” [he thinks it so amazingly funny to pretend to mistake names. He will call Typ. Dev., Biblical Elephants. Nonsense,] “and say it’s the best sixpenn’orth he ever read. Good night.”
In the morning, as usual, Rawlinson sneaks down to breakfast, finishes, and is well in to the Times before I have even mastered what o’clock it is. I’m always telling him that this is unsociable. “Then,” remonstrates Rawlinson, “why don’t you get up in time?”
Happy Thought.—Drop the subject, lie in bed and think.84
I tell Rawlinson it’s much jollier waking in the country than in town. While I dress I expatiate to him on the advantages of rustic residence. Sometimes from the next room he replies, “Ah!” “Yes!” “Oh!” “No!” “Well, perhaps!” and so forth, from which I gather that he is absorbed in the Times. It is confoundedly unsociable in the morning. After sitting up late hair looks dried up. They’ve forgotten to pack up my hair-oil. See Willis’s in a bottle labelled Oil of Merovingia. Balsamic properties, &c. &c.
Happy Thought.—Use it.
Generally find other people’s hair-oil better than my own. Other people’s collars and shirts always seem made for me. Curious: same with ties. Other people’s colours always suit me better than my own. Willis has two or three favourites of mine, which I shall always use when I stop at his rooms. Don’t much like the hair-oil, though. It will do however for a change.
Come in to breakfast: letters on table. One for me: open it afterwards. Rawlinson observes that there’s not a nice smell in the room. Isn’t there? (Willis’s hair-oil probably—don’t say so.) Expatiate again on the sweet fragrance of the country in the morning as compared with London smells on waking.
Breakfast. Open my wife’s letter. Say, “There, my boy” (to Rawlinson), “this is perfectly scented with the country.” I read it.
My wife writes to say, “Must come home at once: man been here (that is, to our Rural Cottage) about nuisances—dreadful 85 stenches will spread fevers—and it wouldn’t do to see her or her Mamma, but the man must see me.” Also a man for some taxes or other, and dogs; and something about executions in the house, which, my wife finishes, “I do not understand, but he really did frighten me, and you oughtn’t to stay away so long. Baby’s rash has appeared again—the Doctor was here yesterday.”
Happy Thought.—Say I must go down home on business.
Not a word about fragrance of country. Exceptions prove rules—this seems a very strong exception.
Happy Thought.—Shall return again if Willis isn’t coming back.
Rawlinson says he isn’t just yet, as he’s just heard from him that morning, and he’s rather seedy. Extract from his letter: “Please send me down my diarrhœtic mixture (peculiar prescription, made on purpose) which is in my room. Yours, &c. P.S. By-the-way, the cork went into the proper bottle, so I had my old hair-oil bottle washed and cleaned out, and I put it in that. You’ll know the mixture by its being labelled Oil of Merovingia.”
Happy Thought.—Say nothing about having used this for hair-oil.
Tell it years hence as a practical joke I played on some one a long time ago.86
EXPECTANT—ARRANGEMENTS—DISRAELI’S CURIOSITIES—MR. BUCKLE’S PORTMANTEAU—NOTES OF STORIES—COMMENCEMENTS—ALPHAS AND OMEGAS—MEMORY—CAZELL ACCEPTS—THAT FELLOW JAMES—WRINKLES AND WINKS.
No answer from Popgood and Groolly. Arrange to go home at once and return.
Happy Thought.—Flying visit will enable me to protract my holiday; because I can explain that I must return to—
1. Call on Popgood and Groolly.
2. Make arrangements for publishing, if necessary.
3. Sit for my portrait to What’s-his-Name.
Happy Thought.—Have it engraved as a frontispiece to Typ. Devel., with a little slip in book, “⁂ Directions to Binder: Portrait to face title-page.”
4. Bound to go to Jersey. Ought to go.
5. Bound to go to Milan. Ditto.
6. And to go to Austria, and call on Count de Bootjack.
If my wife says I am too much away, that’s absurd, when it’s business. Then it’s absolutely necessary for my literary work.
Happy Thought.—To put down on paper Literary work in order.
Have read somewhere of orderly habits of literary men (Disraeli’s Curiosities, I think). Good plan, and divide the week and the days.
First, What work? Typical Developments. This will probably run to twenty vols. Notes for these (as did the author of Civilisation, History of). It is said that portmanteaux full of notes were lost. Good plan that, portmanteau for notes for travelling.
Second, Book of Repartees, alphabetically arranged. These require perpetual refining and polishing.
Third, Everybody’s Country Book. This will be a capital Shilling volume, with a picture outside (my portrait again, in colours would do—Milburd says, “Better have it plain”—and expects me to laugh. I do, because another fellow’s present. Idiot Milburd), containing a quantity of valuable information on country subjects, when I have collected it.
Fourth, Humorous Tales and Stories. I began to make a large collection of these; that is, it would have been large only I kept forgetting to carry about the special pocket-book with me, except at first, so that I’ve only got six down. It is so difficult to recollect a good story when you come home late at night and write it down. I’ve got some commenced in the manuscript, but on looking at them I fancy I must 88 have fallen asleep over them. I have since tried to finish them.
Happy Thought.—Might publish a weekly paper of Commencements and Endings, as a sort of Notes and Queries, and invite the public to correspond and fill up.
Very good idea this. Will try it on friends first: try it everywhere. The plan on paper is this—
A Commencement.—“As Brummel was one day coming out of a shop in St. Martin’s Court, an urchin who had been eagerly eyeing the Beau, asked him for a penny. The Beau refused, telling the ragged youngster in words less polite than forcible that he would see him at Jericho before he would bestow upon him a stiver. The Urchin——
“Now what did the Urchin say? The public is requested to supply details.”
Again. “Soame Jenyns, seeing the Lord Chancellor mount his palfrey at the gate of Westminster Hall, observed to George D’Arcy——
“Now what did Soame Jenyns observe to George D’Arcy?
“⁂ Anyone knowing what Soame Jenyns said will kindly forward the same to the Editor of the Commencements, &c.”
As an example of Endings: “There’s a capital Irish story ending with ‘Bedad, Dochter, ’tis the same thing entirely.’ How does this begin?”
“’His nose,’ answered the wit. Erskine smiled at the witticism, but never forgave the satire. How does this commence?”89
I would give a trifle to remember one or two things I’ve said also, but I dare say they’ll come in in time. A friend of Rawlinson’s told me the other day about somebody on a tight-rope, and I made a reply which set everyone roaring with laughter; there were only Rawlinson, Cazell, and self. I couldn’t write it down at the time, and two hours after I couldn’t recall it.
I ask Rawlinson; he doesn’t remember. I ask Cazell, he doesn’t. Cazell says he’ll think of it, and he’s got a capital thing for me for Typ. Devel. Will he tell it me when I return? He’ll be away. He’s going to Busted’s, in Hertfordshire, to-morrow.
My Cottage is near the road—will he stop the night, and over a pipe he could tell me all about it? He accepts.
Cazell has his luggage ready, so we start. I complain of luggage. “I’ll tell you what you ought to do,” says Cazell.
N.B. I subsequently discover that this is Cazell’s peculiarity; he is always telling people “what they ought to do.” He is great in “dodges,” and apparently there is not a single subject he is not well up in. Most useful fellow, Cazell.
As to luggage, he says, “You ought to get one of Spanker and Tickett’s bags. Those are the men: only six guineas. Put everything in ’em for a fortnight.”
Happy Thought.—To say, knowingly, “That depends on what you want.” Capital for repartee-book that. Put it down. I should have said it was unanswerable if Cazell 90 (he is a sharp fellow, Cazell) hadn’t immediately replied, “Yes; but if you take one of these bags, you won’t want anything.”
Happy Thought.—Put Cazell’s answer down instead of mine. Better.
“Have you got one?” I ask.
“No, he has not. He divides things into two lots, one for each week. It is nearly as good.”
Happy Thought.—To say, “Yes, of course,” being uninterested. I don’t know what he means, and hate uninteresting explanations.
We talk about literature: chiefly Typical Developments. I ask his opinion of Popgood and Groolly. He says, “I tell you what you ought to have done: gone to Laxon and Zinskany.”
I say if Popgood and Groolly fail, I’ll go to Laxon.
Happy Thought.—Wish I’d gone to Laxon.
I think Cazell (I put this note down later as an opinion) is calculated to render one dissatisfied.
“Where do you go for your hats?” asks Cazell.
I tell him. He smiles pityingly, and shakes his head.
“Why not?” I ask.
He tells me where I ought to go for hats.
It appears that I go to all the wrong places for gloves, shoes, boots, coats, shirts—everything. All the people are furnishing me with those things who oughtn’t to.91
I apologise for them generally, and say, “Well, they suit me very well.”
Happy Thought.—When Cazell gets out at our Station and sees my boy in livery (as a tiger) and my pony-trap, he won’t go on giving advice as if I was nobody at all, and knew nothing about that sort of thing.
At my Station.—“Come,” I say, heartily, “here’s the trap waiting. I shall be glad to get home for dinner.”
“My servant here?” I ask the Station Master, with a lord-of-the-manorish air.
Station Master hasn’t seen him, and goes off to give some directions to a sub-official. This apparent neglect will not impress Cazell. The trap is not there.
I say, “Confound that fellow James!” (Explain that James is my groom.) The fellow James is four feet high, aged fifteen.
Happy Thought.—Better walk.
“Tell you what you ought to do,” says Cazell, “you ought to have a communication between the Station and your house, so that you could tell ’em when you come down, and so forth.”
I say it would be convenient, but how could it be done?
He says, “Easily; write to the Manager. Represent the case here, and to the London Superintendent, and it’s done.”
We meet James and the pony-trap. He is doing a full gallop, and, on seeing us, pretends the pony has run away. 92 Young vagabond! Most angry at the present state of his livery, he looks so dirty and disreputable (specially about the gloves, and tie), that I wish I could pass him off as somebody else’s boy.
Happy Thought.—Blow him up privately behind the stable-door when we get in, and threaten to send him away if he’s not better.
He weeps copiously at this, (hope Cazell won’t return during this scene: he’ll go about telling everyone that I make my groom cry,) but I feel sure that directly my back is turned he makes faces at me. I turn suddenly one day, and find him (I will swear it) executing a sort of war-dance at my back. I charge him with it, and he says, with a look of utter surprise at such an insinuation, “No, he warn’t.”
I can’t say, “Yes, you were,” when he says, “No, he warn’t.” He must know whether it was a war-dance, or not, better than I.
As to pony-traps, Cazell tells me “what I ought to do.” Go to Lamborn, the fellow who builds for the Prince. This wrinkle (he generally calls his information “wrinkles”) he gives with a wink. In fact, when I think of it, Cazell’s conversation consists of nods, and winks, and wrinkles.
“You mention my name,” says Cazell, “and Lamborn will do it for you at a very moderate price.”
I make a note of this. Begin to wish I’d gone to Lamborn originally.
As Cazell hasn’t much to say about the pony (I am disappointed with Cazell, as most people coming down observe 93 “What a pretty pony!” Ladies say, “What a pet!” “What a delicious little trap,” &c., &c.)—I remark to him that it’s a pretty pony, isn’t it?
Cazell hesitates. “Yes,” he says, dubiously. It appears he doesn’t like that sort. He suggests that it is rather touched in the wind. I deny it. Wish he wouldn’t say these sort of things before the boy James. “If I want a pony,” he says, with a wink and a nod as usual, “he can put me up to a wrinkle. Go to Hodgkins.” Here he leans back in the seat, and looks at me as much as to say, “There! there’s a chance for you, my boy. ’Tisn’t everyone who knows about Hodgkins.”
Happy Thought.—To pretend (as I get rather tired of Cazell) that I wouldn’t go to Hodgkins on any account.
“Then you’re wrong,” says Cazell. Subject dropped.
We arrive at my gate.
James (the tiger) has been instructed by me to touch his hat on going to the horse’s head. He has a salute peculiarly his own: “something between the military and a clown in a ring,” says Cazell (rudely, I think. If he sees a fault, he says, it’s friendly to mention it).
“You ought to send your boy to Thoroughgood, the trainer. He educates them regularly for noblemen. I know him, he’d do it for me.”
I should like to send James to be educated as a tiger.
Happy Thought.—To avail myself of Cazell’s knowing Thoroughgood.94
CAZELL—SHERIDAN MANUFACTURED—CHANGE OF NAME—JOKES—THE BELL—DOGS—BURGLARS—WHIFFS—IDEA FOR CAZELL—ADAMS—DR. BALSAM—DOG AND FOWL.
I never saw such a fellow as Cazell. I mean, he’d make anyone (who wasn’t strong-minded, and able to view things philosophically) discontented with everything around him.
Happy Thought.—Never ask anyone to stop at your house suddenly.
When I note down “suddenly,” I mean, don’t ask a stranger, or a comparative stranger. Cazell is a positive stranger. [Note that down on a side page as either for repartee, or for a story from Sheridan. I see how it might be done. Story about a stranger who laid down the law to Sheridan. Some one says to Sheridan, “So rude, too, from a comparative stranger.” “Comparative,” replied Sherry, “Gad, Sir, he’s a positive stranger.” This will make story 6. Good.]
We arrive at Mede Lodge. A little time ago I called it 95 Asphodel Cottage, but, as there are no Asphodels, and it isn’t exactly a cottage, I said one day,
Happy Thought.—Call it Mede Lodge.
“Why Mede?” says Cazell. “Because,” I answer, triumphantly, “it is in the midst of medes, or meadows.” “Might as well call it Persian,” says Cazell.
Happy Thought.—To reply, “I knew he’d say that,” and pass it over.
Everybody who comes down admires Mede Lodge. It is lovely; the rural thing that I was looking after for years. Everyone, seeing it for the first time—(specially ladies)—is in raptures with it.
I say to Cazell, “Here’s Mede Lodge.”
“Oh, indeed,” says he. “This is the Lodge, eh? Then where’s the House?”
Happy Thought.—To tell him, without a smile, that it’s an old joke.
It suddenly occurs to me, “How will my wife like Cazell?” That’s another reason why one oughtn’t to ask a man down suddenly. Always try your gold in the fire (or some proverb to that effect).
The gate-bell doesn’t respond to the tug I give it.
“I tell you what you ought to do,” says Cazell, seizing the opportunity. “You ought to have a bell attached to the house——”96
“This is attached to the house,” I return, rather snappishly, I own.
Happy Thought.—Host mustn’t lose his temper with comparative stranger. But then Comparative Stranger ought not to go on telling me “what I ought to do,” as if I didn’t know.
“Yes,” he continues, imperturbably; “but don’t you see, if it was attached by means of a metal-plated zinc tube impervious to wet, it would never be out of order, as it is now.”
I ring again violently. No one comes. Most disappointing. What I should have liked would have been one servant rushing out to open the gate, another at door (both smiling at my return) to receive luggage, my wife in the hall, beaming, dogs rushing, barking, jumping up and fondling me. Recollect how Sir Walter Scott used to be welcomed by his Deerhounds.
Happy Thought.—Buy a deerhound, and teach him to welcome me.
I apologise to Cazell. I say, “I suppose the servants, and all of them” (meaning my wife, and Mrs. Symperson, with perhaps nurse and baby) “are in the garden, and don’t hear the bell.”
“It’s certain they don’t hear the bell,” says Cazell. “It’s dangerous, too, in such a lonely place as this. I tell you what you ought to do; you ought to have dogs about.”
I inform him that I have dogs about—four dogs, somewhere. 97 I got them because the place was lonely. I purchased a magnificent stable-yard dog that has been chained up ever since we’ve had him to make him savage, but he won’t be vicious at all, and only plays with all the tradesmen and any strangers who may come in. If a burglar came at night I’m convinced the idiotic brute would play with him, and be rather delighted to see him at midnight (when he must feel it very lonely) than otherwise. Now I come to think of it, a burglar would be quite a godsend to the animal as a playmate.
Happy Thought.—When the dog first came.—To call him Lion.
He is between a retriever and a Newfoundland, with a placid sheep-like expression of countenance.
Another Happy Thought.—To write up, “Beware of the Dog.”
If James, the boy-tiger in top-boots, hadn’t been a wicked, mischievous young ape, (I was obliged to call him this when I found him inciting Lion to jump over the side of the stye and worry the pigs, which the little fiend considered as fair sport in the absence of rats,) people would have believed in Lion’s ferocity. But he told anyone who came up that the dog was as harmless as a kitten. I should never be astonished if we were inundated with tramps and burglars. My dogs inside the house do bark; at the slightest noise too. A stranger (Cazell, for instance) would think there were attempts at burglary all night. If they really did come, I 98 wonder whether the dogs would be afraid. Perhaps they would.
Cazell is about to tell me where I ought to go for dogs when the maid comes down the garden and opens the gate. Cazell says to me, sotto voce, “What a pretty maid you’ve got.”
Happy Thought.—To reply Yes, severely, adding, “and a very good girl, too,” emphatically.
I don’t like Cazell’s conduct. Mem. Certainly not to ask a fellow down whom you’ve only met once casually.
“This gentleman sleeps here to-night,” I tell my maid.
Happy Thought.—Only to-night.
Maid says, “Very well, Sir.”
This is as it should be in a country house—no difficulty about receiving a guest, no trouble, old-fashioned English hospitality.
I ask where her mistress is? She is upstairs with Mrs. Symperson. Very good; then what does Cazell say to a walk round the place before dinner? Cazell says delighted to view the domain. A whiff of dinner comes down the passage from the kitchen. A nasty whiff.
Happy Thought.—Take Cazell out before it gets worse.
I don’t know why, but the smell of cabbages boiling conveys the idea of huts, poverty, and living all in one room.
Cazell won’t be moved, but stops to sniff.99
I say (to take, as it were, the wind out of his sails), “Yes, nasty smell, but the cook will do it, though I’ve told her not to, over and over again.”
Cazell says, “My dear fellow, I’ll tell you what you ought to do. You ought to get one of Ince’s patent door-ventilators. Have it fixed up here,” he taps the wall, and begins examining its capabilities, “and you’d be free from it at once.”
I say, “Indeed!” and he puts on his hat and accompanies me into the garden.
I never knew such a fellow as Cazell!
He surveys my geraniums and asters with an eye of pity: he looks at my roses, of which my gardener is justly proud, and shakes his head as he observes, “Ah! why don’t you have the Double Lancaster? that’s a Rose.” As if this wasn’t. “You ought to go to Mullins’s at Sheffield for them. Mullins is the only man.”
We visit my glass-house, where the grapes are. He starts back—he is horrified. What is it? A wasp? A hornet? No. “My dear fellow,” he says, “you’ll never do anything with your grapes if you don’t move ’em lower down, and syringe them with Sloper’s Ingreser Mixture.”
Happy Thought.—Cazell would be worth anything to tradesmen as an advertiser. Won’t suggest it, he might be angry. Host mustn’t insult guest.
But I say they (the grapes) are very fine this year.
“Fine? well, so so,” he admits; “but next year you won’t have one.”100
Happy Thought.—Call the gardener, who will floor Cazell technically, on the spot.
I call loudly, “Adams!” There is no answer. I know by this that Adams has gone to the village.
Directly his work is finished, Adams, every evening, disappears to the village. Being remonstrated with, he says his work’s done for the day, and what’s he wanted for here when his work’s done? For this I had no solution when he first put the difficulty, nor have I now. I think a repartee, quick, cutting, and decisive, would have settled him. [“G” Gardener. Repartee to a Gardener. Never thought of Gardener before. Had only got down Godchild and Gasman. Repartee to a Godchild: Repartee to a Gasman. Rowland Hill and Sydney Smith used to do this sort of thing: also Dean Swift. Swift cuffed his servant Patrick. Wonder where I should be if I cuffed Adams?]
Cazell approves of the place generally. He agrees with me, “Nothing like being out of town.” But he’ll tell me, he says, what I “ought to do” with this place. This is given in an interrogative form, and evidently demands the answer.
“Why,” he returns emphatically, “buy it.”
Does he think it worth buying, I ask modestly. No, he doesn’t, he says, for the present, but in future it may be valuable. “But,” he goes on, “I’ll tell you what you want.” This is only another form of “what I ought to do,” and it’s no use answering that you don’t want whatever it is. “You want to pull down the left wing, construct a new doorway, 101 throw out a bay window, just put a verandah round the dining-room, and there you are.”
Happy Thought.—To say ironically: Pull down the house in fact.
Cazell replies, “That’s it, pull it down, and build two storeys. What’s your drainage here?”
Happy Thought.—To say, “don’t know,” because this is a question I hate.
I look upon the country as pure and healthy, and questions of drainage and water-supply annoy me. I say to him, jocularly, “Bless you; we don’t know what drainage is here, it’s beautifully managed;” I have an idea how it’s managed, but keep it to myself; “and we, none of us, were ever so healthy anywhere as here.” I always say this, or my wife would want to go somewhere for the benefit of her health and baby’s.
Ring at gate-bell. A gentleman. “Who’s that?”
“That is”—I’m obliged to say—“That is Dr. Balsam.” “Whom has he come to see?” The maid replies, “Missus and baby.” “Thought you said it was so healthy,” observes Cazell.
Happy Thought.—Must remember he is the guest, and I am the host.
Old English hospitality must be observed, or really he is so irritating I could quarrel with him at once.
Dr. Balsam comes out. Cazell doesn’t offer to withdraw, 102 as he might do, on pretence of seeing the plums, or anything, before the family doctor; but he walks with Dr. Balsam and myself round the gardens, while I am being told how my wife is suffering from a low state of nerves and rheumatic hysteria; the baby, of course, from rash.
“Your wife says she’s had the Inspector of Nuisances here.” I try to turn the Doctor’s question off jocosely before Cazell; but it won’t do. Dr. Balsam says, “You must have your pigsty cleaned out, and the drainage is——”
“Ah,” cries Cazell, knowingly, “I’d have sworn I smelt something horrid.”
“It’ll breed fever,” says the Doctor.
What fever! fever! bad drainage! pigs cause of illness at Mede Lodge, in the loveliest part of—— No!
“I tell you what you ought to do,” says Cazell: “buy five tons of Disinfecting Fluid, and ten of Chloride of Amphistartum Compound, and empty it all about the place. It’ll last for two years.”
The Doctor says he’s right, and wishes me good-bye.
Inspector of Nuisances to come to-morrow. I see Doctor to gate.
Happy Thought (which I express).—“A little inconvenience which a few labourers will remove: soon do it. The only nuisance, after all, in the country.”
Man looks over gate with a paper. “For you, Sir,” he says. I open it. A legal document. Summons before the Magistrate for keeping dogs without a licence. Hang the dogs! Irate woman heard at back door. I go round to 103 her. She is holding up a fowl with its head off. “Well?” “Well!” screams irate elderly peasant, “I ain’t going to have this: your nasty (sob) dog came into our field (sob), and killed (sob) my (sob) chicken. I wouldn’t ha’ took five shillin’ for it. I wouldn’t.”
Happy Thought.—To say, “Glad to hear it.” Offer her sixpence.
Cazell says, “You ought to ask if the fowl was tied up, or not.”
I ask the question. This sends her nearly wild. She’ll have the law on me. She’ll go and fetch a policeman. ’Tisn’t because she’s poor and hard-worked she’s to be insulted, &c., &c. She raves through the stable-yard gate. Lion, instead of attacking her (he oughtn’t to have let her pass, the idiotic brute!) pretends to play at something or other with her shawl as she passes his kennel, for which he gets a thump on the head, and retires dismally.
Cazell follows her into the lane to reason with her and tell her what she ought to do.
Happy Thought.—Better leave it to mediation and retire.
Go back into house. Screams. Wife in hysterics on sofa. Doctor, man with summons, woman screaming, smells from pigs, baby with rash too much for her, “And,” says Mrs. Symperson, ironically, “I think you might have taken the trouble to come up-stairs and see how we were when you came in.”
Mem.—Don’t bring down a friend suddenly again.104
OUR INSPECTOR—DEFIANCE—THE INSPECTOR’S STORY—INTERVIEWING THE PIGS—CAZELL MY FRIEND—INSPECTOR’S FRIEND—DIFFERENCES—MAKING A JOB OF IT.
Inspector of Nuisances calls upon me while Cazell is at Mede Lodge in the morning.
Happy Thought.—Try and get Cazell to take a turn round the garden while the Inspector is here.
Cazell won’t. He says that he’s never met an Inspector of Nuisances, and wants to see one.
The Inspector (I thought he’d have a uniform on, but he hasn’t) abruptly observes that he will come to the point at once. I say “by all means.” The point turns out to be “drains.” He says, without any emotion, he’ll have to report me to the Board if I don’t attend to it. He is businesslike and determined. He goes on, in a loud voice, and with a great deal of emphasis with his right hand, to say that he’s been obliged “to bring several people to book who had defied him.” Here he compresses his lips and looks at me sternly.
Happy Thought.—To reply at once that he’s quite right. 105 Hope he doesn’t think that I am going to defy him. Defence not defiance.
“In the exercise of your duty,” I remark (Cazell tells me afterwards that I oughtn’t to have been so patronising to a Government official), “you are quite right.”
“Of course,” returns the Inspector, firmly, and gives us an anecdote about a man who would keep thirty-two pigs, and defied him, the Inspector. “He was a nuisance, Sir,” says the Inspector, with grim retrospective delight at his own triumph. “He was a nuisance, Sir, and defied me.”
“Says he to me,” continues the Inspector, “I’ve got witnesses to prove they’re not a nuisance, says he. Well, I says to him, not going to be defied by him, or any one,” he adds, with a glance at me to see how I like that. I nod in appreciation of his sentiments, and he resumes, “I haven’t any witnesses except myself, and that’s enough. We’ll try it, says he, at law. Before the Magistrates, I says, for I was bound to prosecute him. And prosecute him I did, as he defied me. And,” says the Inspector, warming with the recital, “the Magistrates wouldn’t hear him at all, but when I put it to them, they said the case was clear, and those pigs had to be cleared out, they had, every one on ’em. He defied me, Sir, and it cost him, Sir, a ’underd pound it did, if it cost ’im a penny, it did. But I wasn’t to be beat, I told him, and if he went on a defying me I’d fight him I would, I said, and so I did, and won. Government protects me, you see it does, that’s where it is; and it ain’t no use, as I says to him, your defying me, I says.”
He is so excited that I am afraid he’ll do something violent 106 in my case. He’s a sort of walking Inquisitor, and Government takes his word against anybody’s in a matter of (for instance) pigs.
Happy Thought.—To applaud him and say pleasantly, that I hope it won’t come to that (meaning the hundred pounds) with me.
He hopes not, too; as though this was a subject not to be treated lightly.
Happy Thought.—To appear interested, and ask if the man keeps pigs now.
“Yes, he do still,” says the Inspector, somewhat mournfully (Cazell says afterwards that I oughtn’t to have asked this, as I evidently touched on a sore point), “and I ain’t done with him yet. He wanted to ’ave me hup for perjury, he did,” the Inspector goes on. As he drops an “h,” and puts one in occasionally, I suppose there is no examination for Inspectors (he’d called himself Hinspector) of nuisances. “There was a trial at Westminster it was, about these very pigs,” he continues, proudly; “it was before Baron Bramwell”—(he calls the Judge Brammle)—“yes—and when the Baron ’ears it, he says to the Jury, says he, Look ’ere, says he,”—here the Inspector gives us what he takes to be an exact and correct report of Baron Bramwell’s summing up, supposing Cazell to be the Jury, and myself the plaintiff with the pigs. Cazell smiles, and so do I, as if delighted with the whole thing as an entertainment—“There ain’t no case against the Hinspector in this; not a bit, says the Judge. 107 The pigs was a right down nuisance, says he, they was, and the hofficer—that was me the Baron meant—the hofficer was right in having the law on him. And so you see,” he adds, coming somewhat abruptly, but artistically, to the finish, “that’s how it was.”
We reply, at least I do, speaking for self and Cazell, that I do see clearly. The Inspector adds the moral, that I must see about my pigs at once, and, of course it is understood, that I don’t defy him.
Happy Thought.—Ask him to have a glass of sherry.
As he “doesn’t know but what he will just have a glass,” I order in the bottle, and he helps himself and pledges us. We then resume business on, as it were, a more friendly footing, though (by frequent reference to the celebrated pig case) he gives me to understand that he is, personally, a favourite with the Government, and, generally speaking, not a man to be trifled with, or, of course, defied. In the matter of pigs and drains he is adamant.
Happy Thought.—To say (Cazell tells me afterwards that this is servile, and I ought not to be bullied) that I’ll do whatever he likes.
“Well then,” says he, “make a job of it.” Cazell goes with us round the garden and into the piggeries, where he pretends to be disgusted, and makes the case out worse than the Inspector does himself. It’s unkind of Cazell to do this, and I tell him so subsequently. Cazell now (before the Inspector) tells me “what I ought to do.” “You ought,” 108 says he, “to take up all the old pipes, lay down new ones, turn on the water in a fresh place, open a new ditch, move the piggeries, and put a wall right down the side, and have bell-traps.”
I pooh-pooh this. The Inspector is serious and agrees with Cazell. In fact, he says, that’s the only way to (what he calls) “make a job of it.”
It appears (on my pleading ignorance of anybody who can do all this in the neighbourhood) that a friend of his can make a job of it.
Happy Thought.—To say By all means let your friend come.
If the job isn’t made, the Inspector says, with regret (on account I think of the friendly feeling evoked by the sherry) that he must proceed against me.
Alternative, Inspectors friend to make a job of it, say twenty pounds, or Law Proceedings, Counsel, Judge, Jury, Magistrates, writ, summons, police, Westminster Hall, and Government backing up the Inspector, and, dead against me, say, two hundred pounds. Affair settled. Inspector departs. Friend (he undertakes to say, for curiously enough he’s going to meet him quite accidentally to-night, when he’ll tell him) will come and make a job of it in the morning.
When he’s gone, Cazell tells my wife what I ought to have done. He says I’ve been imposed upon; that I’m weak and have allowed the Inspector to bully me. Fridoline says, “Yes, that she heard us, and knew that I’d be talked into anything by that horrid man.” Mrs. Symperson (who doesn’t understand the case at all, no more does my wife) 109 gives it as her opinion that I oughtn’t to have listened to him for a moment. Both agree with Cazell. Row. All through Cazell, too.
Happy Thought.—To say jocularly, but ironically, “What I ought to do is to have ten thousand a year, pull the house down and make a mansion.”
The presence of a stranger (Cazell) prevents recriminations. On the whole it’s not bad to have a stranger present when there’s a chance of a family quarrel. He can agree with the wife-party when they’re all together, and with the husband-party in the smoking-room afterwards. Have done it myself: and therefore can understand Cazell’s being a humbug. What I object to is his telling my wife that while all these alterations are being made she ought to go to Brighton, or the Isle of Wight, or some other expensive place.
Next morning.—Inspector’s friend at work early: with bricklayer’s hods, pickaxes, spades, bricks, mortar, and things enough to build a house instead of a pigsty.
Inspector’s friend hopes I’ll “’scuse him mentioning it, but that there tool-house isn’t safe quite—not as he should like to see it on a gentleman’s place.” Wonderful what a regard Inspector’s jobbing friend has for my respectability. Cazell says, No, ought to have that down. Dangerous. I say, Well have it down. Inspector’s friend wants to know if I’d mind stepping this way. I step this way. He stops before the coach-house.
“’Scuse me,” says he, “for mentioning it, but this coach-house 110 ain’t in a proper state; you see this here pipe,” &c.: he shows me a pipe which does something or other, I don’t understand what, but something poisonous, or dangerous, or both: at all events it’s “not the sort of pipe as he,” the Inspector’s friend, “would like to see on ’a gentleman’s’ (meaning my) place.” Cazell says I ought to have it up, and adds (literally playing into the Inspectors friend’s hands), “You might have the hen-house done now—it’ll be a nuisance in time, you’ll see.” We inspect the hen-house. Inspector’s friend shakes his head gravely. “It’s not the sort of hen-house he’d like to see,” &c. He points out that the house will be infected with fl**s if the chickens live where they now are. “Chickens are full of fl**s,” he says. Curious fact in Natural History. Inspector’s friend has come “to make a job of it,” and a nice job he’s making. We now discover (through Inspector’s friend) that we have been living in the midst of danger without knowing it. “Why, Sir,” says Inspector’s friend, who suddenly ascertains that soapsuds are poured out on the ground near the kitchen-window, “there ain’t no poison like soapsuds: it’s worse than drainage and pigs.”
Happy Thought.—Then leave the drainage and pigs, and merely give up throwing soapsuds.
Inspectors friend and Cazell smile. Cazell says, “No, go in for making a thoroughly good job of it.” Inspector’s friend says he means to: judging from the bricks and mortar and men (three more have just come in with wheel-barrows and ladders) it looks like it.111
At breakfast I happen to complain of rheumatics. Cazell almost jumps from his chair, and shouts (before the ladies, too!), “Rheumatics! I’ll tell you what you ought to do for rheumatics. Go abroad. Take baths. Drink waters.” Wife says, “Yes, by all means.” Mrs. Symperson says she did it years ago, and it cured her. I answer, “Did it, indeed?” but don’t express joy.
Happy Thought.—Go abroad. Vienna: and call, as I promised, on the Count de Bootjack.112
PROPOSALS FOR VOYAGING—COMPANIONS—EXPENSE—LETTER FROM PUBLISHERS—PILZEN—RHEUMATICS AND MILBURD.
Cazell says I ought to go by Antwerp to Aix. He knows a fellow going: Chilvern—Tom Chilvern. Odd: old schoolfellow of mine. Cazell is going to see a friend in Hertfordshire, for a day or so, but will give me Chilvern’s address in town. Cazell says, “You ought to go and consult a doctor about your rheumatism.” He oughtn’t to say this. It makes one nervous when you’re not really nervous. Wife begs me to consult a doctor. She is nervous about me: thinks I must have caught something from the pigs or the chickens. Cazell has told her (he is an ass in some things and ought not to frighten women) that babies can catch measles from fowls, and chicken-pox too. She is frightened, sends for the Doctor and examines the baby three times an hour. New rash discovered. Doctor says, “Best thing to go to Brighton, and Mrs. Symperson can take care of both.” Wife in delicate state; Doctor says to me, Better go away for change. I smile. He smiles. We both smile. We nod. We understand one another, only what do we mean exactly? He says 113 good-bye, and hopes to hear we’re all soon better, taking it for granted that I’m going abroad.
Happy Thought.—Go on the Continent while Inspector’s friend builds pigsties, and generally speaking “makes a job of it,” which at present looks uncommonly like making a mess of it. If I’m away he can’t have any authority for doing anything more than precisely what he has got to do.
Happy Thought (No. 2 on the same subject).—Quiet place to write Typical Developments, and correct proofs of first volume for Popgood and Groolly.
Cazell leaves. I promise him, as I really am bad with rheumatics, to go and see Dr. Pilzen in London. Wife says she wants a considerable cheque before she goes away. Argument on economy. Mrs. Symperson points out what I should have spent if it hadn’t been for her and Fridoline’s admirable arrangement.
I see some sort of a repartee (might come under heading M. Mother-in-Law. Repartee to a Mother-in-Law), but can’t quite put it into form. The sense is “what I would have spent without them.” Feel this would be cruel. Draw cheque. Affecting parting. Arrangement as to correspondence: I am to write from abroad to Friddy; Friddy to me abroad from Brighton.
London again. At Willis’s rooms. Letter from Popgood and Groolly with MS. Know the MS. by sight at once: it is Typical Developments returned. Civil note:—
“Messrs. Popgood and Groolly present their compliments, 114 and thank the author of the enclosed work for favouring them with a perusal of it; but as they understand from him that it is to reach twenty volumes at least before it is finished, they are unable to pronounce an opinion on its merits in its present condition. If the author will kindly allow them to look over it when it has attained a more perfected form, and is near its completion, they will esteem it a favour, and will give the work their immediate and most careful attention. Sincerely wishing the work in hand a successful issue,
“They beg to subscribe themselves, Sir,
“Popgood and Groolly.”
“P.S. We enclose the list of our latest publications, and also of those works which can now be obtained from our stock at something less than half price.—P. & G.”
Happy Thought.—They’ve read it. Evidently they’ve read it, because they want to see it again when it’s in a more advanced state. Can’t find fault with their answer. Sensible, when you come to think of it. Will write, saying that I agree with them: will get on with the work as quickly as possible, and let them see it. Will take it abroad, and work it.
Next thing is to go about the rheumatics at Pilzen. Meet ilburd in the Club. He exclaims, “Well, old Gropgood Poolly, how are you?” I check him by replying that, seriously, Popgood and Groolly entertain the idea of publishing 115 Typical Developments. He replies, that the idea of publishing Typical Developments will probably entertain Popgood and Groolly. “Old joke,” I say. “Who said it wasn’t?” he retorts, and roars with laughter.
I wish I hadn’t told him about my rheumatics (as I did immediately after the Popgood conversation), as he directly begins to imitate the Pantaloon—tottering about on his stick (and this in the Club hall), and then he says, as Clown, “Poor old man!” in a quavering voice. Then he changes to a boisterous manner, and says, “You got the rheumatics! Walker!” and slaps me on the back. I tell him (being annoyed, I can’t help speaking to him with asperity) that if he had the rheumatics as I have, he wouldn’t laugh. Upon which he winks, and replies, “Yes, but I haven’t, you see—that’s where it is;” and pokes me in the ribs, and says, “Tchk!” and, in fact, so plays the Tom-fool that the Hall-porter disappears behind his desk, and I hear him suppressing a burst of laughter. “Well,” says Milburd, “you’re looking awfully well: never saw you better.”
He is most irritating. I return, that it’s very good of him to say that I’m looking well, but I know I’m not.
Happy Thought.—Try and make him sympathise with me.
I shake my head, and say, sadly—at the moment I am so impressive that I can almost fancy myself at my last gasp—(picture of the sad event in the Club hall—porters kneeling—butler coming, terrified, down-stairs—members explaining to one another—commissionnaire just come in from a 116 message, weeping, and rubbing his eyes with his only arm—Milburd, suddenly struck with remorse, vows never again to be unsympathetic with a sick man, &c., &c.—really good subject for picture: lights and shades of our hall, marble columns, &c., might be as perfect as the late Mr. Roberts’s Cathedral interiors)—I shake my head, and say, sadly, “Yes, I am going to see Pilzen to-morrow, and he will,” more sadly and with intensity, “order me off abroad, somewhere.”
Milburd says, “Hooray! Then I will go with you, my pretty maid: I mean, I daresay I’ll join you. Bravo!” And he slaps me again on the back. N.B. Give up talking rheumatics with Milburd.
Doctors to-morrow, and next day with Chilvern to Antwerp. Note from wife to say what a tremendous job Inspector’s friend is making of it. Wonder what he’s doing?117
MY RELATIONS—MUSSELS—MY AUNT—MY UNCLE—POLITENESS—VAMPIRES—FEE FOR DOCTOR.
Happy Thought.—On my way to the doctor’s call on my Uncle and Aunt, whom I was going to see just before I left town last time, but didn’t.
Don’t know why I didn’t. Very odd, but it’s always been the same as regards my Uncle and Aunt ever since I can recollect. I used to be taken to their house by my nurse. Perhaps the fact of being taken there has remained in my inner consciousness ever since. Mem. for Typical Developments, Vol. IV., Early Compulsion, damaging effects of. By the way, must hurry on with Typ. Devel., I., for Popgood and Groolly.
I remember the street, but forget the number. I don’t know why I hit upon thirty-seven, but I do, and am right. (Stop to make this note in the hall. Mem. for Typ. Dev., Tendrils of Memory, seize on—leave blank here for word to be selected in calmer moments—in early youth, and so on, &c. I shall understand this when I wish to develope the note into——)
I find that the butler has held the drawing-room door open 118 for more than a minute, while I am making this note, coming up-stairs (not easy), in my Pocket-book. My Aunt says, “Shut the door, Mussels,” sharply. Mussels, the butler, retires.
Happy Thought.—Mussels rhymes to Brussels, and I am going to Aix.
If my Aunt or Uncle had any sense of humour, I’d say this as a pleasant commencement. (Note. Typ. Devel., On Commencements.)
My Aunt having stood up to receive me, in the draught which Mussels had made by keeping the door open—(funny name, Mussels)—is cross, and coughs behind her hand.
Happy Thought.—To say cheerfully, and smiling lightly, “How dye do, Aunt?” ignoring the draught. It appears she doesn’t do particularly well, nor my Uncle either.
Happy Thought.—Suit your manners to your company: drop smiling and look serious. My Uncle is sitting in an arm-chair, very feeble, and occasionally groaning. My Aunt describes her own symptoms with painful and touching accuracy, but has no pity for him. She says impatiently, “Oh dear, your Uncle groans and coddles himself up if his little finger aches. I tell him to go out for a good walk, and take healthy exercise.” On examining him reproachfully, as much as to say, “Why don’t you take my Aunt’s advice?” he appears as if he might possibly venture as far as the centre pattern of the carpet and back again. Think my 119 Aunt a little hard on my Uncle. Better not say so. Merely observe gravely, “I am sorry to see you so unwell” (to my Aunt, as if I didn’t care how my Uncle was, dismissing him in fact as a shammer).
[Query. Isn’t this “time serving,” and oughtn’t I to be above it?]
My Aunt gives me a list of her complaints; I appear to be listening with great interest, like a doctor. If Cazell was here, he’d tell her “what she ought to do.” While she is talking I can’t help remembering that I have always heard what expectations I have from my Aunt. Friends have joked me about it. Many have said they envy me. Everyone seems to know what a lucky dog I am going to be except myself. She continues her list of maladies, she shakes her head mournfully, says she’s getting an old woman now.
Happy Thought.—Say politely, “Oh no.”
Feel that she must see through this. If she sets me down as a humbug, it will ruin my chance. Yet I can’t sit, as it were, gloating over my victim like a Vampire. Feel inclined to say solemnly, “Well, Aunt, we must all come to an end” (substituting this expression for “die” which had first occurred to me) “sooner or later.” Should have been obliged to say this, if she hadn’t turned the conversation to my wife and baby.
Happy Thought.—To answer, “They’re longing to come and call on you, but have been so unwell.”120
Partly truth—partly fiction. They have been unwell, but I never can get Fridoline to call on my Aunt. She says, “It’s such a horrible idea to go and see, not how people are getting on, but getting off, when they’re going to leave you money.” The discussion has never ended pleasantly. I can’t help feeling that my wife is honest, but impolitic; so I put it to her reasonably, and she retorts that I want her to be a hypocrite. It is so difficult to explain to a woman the difference between policy and hypocrisy. She won’t go, so I have to call. I own to feeling (as I have said) like a Vampire myself. Perhaps it’s as well as it is.
Happy Thought.—One Vampire’s enough in a family.
Interview over, glad of it. My Uncle, who has not joined in the conversation, except by groaning at intervals, mutters, “Good-bye, won’t see me again.” I really could cry if it wasn’t for my Aunt, who, having rung for Mussels to open the door, is now saying good-bye to me, and remarking quite cheerfully, “Your Uncle is very well, only if he will make stupid mistakes” (with such a look at the poor old gentleman, who groans) “he can’t expect to be well. Good-bye.”
On inquiry, I ascertain from Mussels that the “stupid mistake” my Uncle had made was in drinking his lotion and rubbing in his mixture. As my Aunt said, of course he couldn’t expect to be well.
Happy Thought.—Good-bye, Mr.
Always be polite to the Butler. Recollect Mussels years ago 121 when I used to look at picture-books in the pantry; at least, I think I do, or another butler, just like him. Mr. Mussels asks civilly after my wife and family. I return thanks (to Mussels) for them, and add playfully that “the family” has the rash.
Happy Thought.—Return compliment, “Mrs. Mussels quite well?”
Wish I hadn’t. Mussels has been a widower for five years. Don’t know what to say to this. Not the place for a repartee: opportunity for consolation. The only consolation I can think of at the moment is, “Well, never mind,” with the addition of what I wanted to have said up-stairs about “We must all be buried sooner or later.” Pause on the top step, fumble with umbrella, feel that on the whole nothing can be said except “Dear me!” and walk into the street abstractedly. Door shut. I (as it were) breathe again. Re-action. Walk cheerfully to the Doctor’s.
Wonder what his opinion will be. Shall tell him that friends (really Cazell) have advised me to go abroad for the benefit of my health.
Happy Thought.—Nothing the matter with me except, perhaps, a little rheumatism. However, just as well to see a doctor.
“Prevention better than cure,” sensible saying that, and I shall be able to finish off several volumes of Typ. Devel. at Aix (a very quiet place, I am told), and astonish Popgood and Groolly.122
Happy Thought.—Before I go to Doctor’s, wrap up the fee carefully in a piece of paper, and put it in a pocket by itself. Watch in one pocket; fee in the other. Then you can get at it at once, and give it with a sort of grace.123
DR. PILZEN’S—WAITING—MYSTERY—MY EYE—FEE SIMPLE—THE PAS—HOMŒOPATHY—ALLOPATHY—HOLE IN POCKET—THE CONJURING TRICK—MANUAL—INVITATION.
At the Doctor’s.—Door is opened immediately by a most respectable gentleman (it isn’t the Doctor of course) who shows me at once into a room, and somehow manages to show somebody else out at the front door at the same time. And yet he doesn’t seem to move. Odd and spectral.
In the Waiting-room.—Several people waiting, like waxworks at Madame Tussaud’s, only they’re sitting instead of standing. Some look up, with one movement of the head, at me on my entrance, and then with what they call in machinery “a reverse action,” look down again. (Query. Do they call it “Reverse action?” Note.) There are three doors to the room: one by which I entered; from one of the other two the Doctor will appear, or we shall go to him. Which?
Happy Thought.—Sit as near the middle as possible, by table.124
Door on my right opens. Doctor looks in, says nothing, takes away an elderly lady. Wonder what’s the matter with her? Open a volume of Punch, commence looking at the pictures vaguely. Door opens again. Can’t be my turn? No. Doctor takes off a middle-aged man with his arm in a sling. Wonder what’s the matter with him? Rather expect to hear cries and screams in the distance: everything mysteriously quiet. We are fetched, one after another, like victims for the guillotine. (I make notes while I am sitting here. Note. Was it for the guillotine where the victims sat all in a room and were called out one after the other? or was it something in Japan? Look it up when I get home.) Open another volume of Punch. Doctor wants somebody else.
Happy Thought.—My turn.
No. Old lady and her companion (evidently a companion) have been waiting there nearly an hour.
Happy Thought.—To try and catch the Doctor’s eye next time he looks in.
Throw into my eye an expression which will say to him. “Never mind these people, let me come; I’m worth your trouble. Can’t waste time like they can, being engaged on a great work, Typical Developments.”
Doctor looks in again. Arranged my eye: not quickly enough, as I didn’t catch his. A gentleman and a little boy disappear into the sanctum. I open another volume of Punch. During the morning I read five volumes of Punch, 125 and for an hour and a half I am perpetually attempting to catch the Doctor’s eye.
Doctor looks in for the twentieth time (I count them, and also keep on looking at my watch, with a sort of idea that if the people see me doing this they’ll say to themselves, “He’s a man of business, got appointments, wants to be off; let him go first.”)
Happy Thought.—Feel if my fee is all right in waistcoat pocket.
It is. Arrange a little drama with myself as to how I’ll give the fee. Let the Doctor see it, then, when he’s not looking, place it on the mantel-piece; sort of conjuring trick. When I’m gone he’ll say, “Where’s he put the fee?” Joy on discovering it. End of drama, and enter another patient.
Happy Thought.—Twenty-first appearance of Doctor’s head at door. Jump up—at him.
I hear a rustle behind me of several people, and a murmur. Tall lady in black is by my side, in a second, protesting. I give in. Tall lady retires with Doctor. Feel I’ve done something rude. Never mind, show I’m not to be trifled with. I take a seat, defiantly now, near the
Happy Thought.—Next turn must be mine.
Twenty-second appearance of Doctor’s head. My turn? Doctor speaks this time; most politely, “my turn next,” he says; “this gentleman” (indicating a short stout man with a florid face and a carpet-bag in his hand) “has, I think, 126 the pas.” I bow, not to the carpet-bag invalid, but to the Doctor.
Twenty-third appearance of Doctor, and disappearance of Myself. Interview. Yes, decidedly go abroad. Take baths and waters, and get the incipient gout out of me. I am quite right (Doctor says)—prevention is better than cure. He won’t give me a prescription, but an introduction to a Doctor at the watering-place, which he dashes off there and then.
Happy Thought.—Pick up some medical notes for physiological portion of Typ. Devel.
Commence a discussion with him on Homœopathic theories as applied in Allopathic practice. Would it not, I say, in some cases be allowable? He replies, “Undoubtedly,” and seals up the letter. (He evidently feels he has no ordinary patient to deal with. I can presently introduce Typical Developments to him: he’ll be interested.)
Happy Thought.—To draw him out.
The science of medicine, I observe, is in a state of change. The old practice I suppose (I add) requires readaptation to the increasing knowledge of the present day.
Doctor replies, courteously, “Just so,” and opens the door. Most annoying, the fee has got out of the paper—or, where the deuce has it gone? Awkward to be fumbling for fees, while the Doctor holds the door open. Can’t say anything funny, or scientific. I have got the sum in half a sovereign and silver in my trousers pocket, but that’s mixed up with coppers and keys; and I have got studs in my other pocket 127 to be mended. (Happy Thought.—Everything in separate pockets: have always intended to tell the tailor this.)—I must have lost the fee.
Happy Thought.—No I feel it just over my hip bone.
Hole in pocket; slipped through and got round into lining. Tear, recklessly, the pocket lining, and catch the fee. Might make some jocund remark about “Catching a fee.”
Doctor smiles courteously, but appears pre-occupied. I can’t do the trick I had arranged about placing the fee on the mantelpiece, as he is looking. On the table, or in his hand?
Happy Thought.—On the table.
Am just about to do it, when it strikes me, being in white paper, it looks too staring.
Happy Thought.—Pass it into my other hand (by a sort of legerdemain) and when saying good bye, press it on him, secretly, as much as to say, “Don’t tell anybody.”
Do it. Good bye, and leave.
As I walk along the street.—Wish I hadn’t done it in this manner: bad taste. I should like to have done it in a less underhand way. For instance, to have said, jovially, “Here! what’s this!” holding up fee, “There, take that, you rascal,” playfully, and adding, “I’m very much obliged for your advice. Bless you, good bye, my boy,” and so go out whistling.128
Happy Thought.—To my Handbook of Repartees will add Conversations and Interviews.
Odd, just as I’ve thought of this, I find myself in front of a Bookseller’s shop. In the window is a red-book, Manual of Conversations in French, English, German, and Italian.
Happy Thought.—Buy it. Most useful. And can work up my own from it when travelling.
Full of the idea. When I am full of an idea, I should like to dash it off in the street. If we lived in a literary age, and in a literary town, there might be writing-desks, with pens and ink chained to them (as they did with the Bibles in the Parish Churches), at the corner of the streets. Enter. Pay a halfpenny. Write down idea, stop and develope it if you like; then go on again. If another idea strikes you on the same walk, another halfpenny will, as it were, register it there and then.
Go to Willis’s. Pack up. Say good bye to Rawlinson. Milburd has just been there. A card. “If you’ll dine with me and Chilvern chez club, Cazell and another fellow coming, we’ll all go together to Antwerp by boat to-morrow.”
Happy Thought.—Will dine with Milburd.129
THE DINNER PARTY—GUESTS—MESMERISM—ELDERLY AND HEARTY STRANGER—A PUZZLE—A MISTAKE—NOTE ON SMILING—CAPTAIN DYNGWELL—DRAWINGS OUT—FIRST COURSE.
When I go in, Milburd’s guests are waiting for their host. Cazell is there, and three other men in evening dress. Cazell knows one of them, but doesn’t introduce me to him. We evidently, more or less, consider one another as intruders.
Happy Thought.—To say it’s been a nice day.
Some one (elderly gentleman with yellow grey whiskers) says he doesn’t think so, “but perhaps,” he adds, sarcastically, “you like rain.” Forgot it had been raining. Should like (only he’s my senior) to inform him that my observation was only thrown out to give the conversation a start. Pause. Cazell who might talk to two of us, doesn’t. The third is a gentleman with tight waist, long legs, and a glass in his eye. He manages to pass the time, apparently, by stretching out his legs as far as he can away from him, smoothing them down with both hands, and regarding them critically through 130 his eye-glass. We are all drawn towards him. His smoothing his legs has evidently a mesmeric effect upon us, and we all, at least so it seems to me, begin to take a silent but intense interest in his legs. If we were left there two hours, he would probably become mesmerically mechanical in his movement, and we should all be fixed staring at him in our chairs, unable to move, with mesmerised legs. ( Not to forget Mesmerism, under M, in Typ. Devel., vol. vi.) Another old gentleman is shown in by the waiter. He is portly and enters genially, with his hand out ready to grasp Milburd’s. I can’t help pitying him when he doesn’t see Milburd.
Happy Thought.—Respect age—rise. Old fashion and good.
The old gentleman seizes me by the hand. So glad to see me again. “Capital,” he says, “not met for an age.” I answer that I am delighted to meet him. Wonder to myself where I’ve seen him before: puzzle, give it up.
“Well,” he says, “all well at home?” I answer, “Only pretty well.” He is sorry to hear it.
Happy Thought.—To ask him if he’s all well at home.
“Yes,” he says he is, “though Milly isn’t,” he adds, “quite so well as she might be.” I reply, “Indeed,” thoughtfully, for as I don’t know how well Milly might be if she tried, nor who Milly is, I fancy that there must be a mistake. Still if I ought to know him, to tell him that I haven’t an idea who he is, would be rude—specially from a young man to his senior. Man with eye-glass, in meantime, has lowered himself 131 in easy chair, and is stretching out, complacently, farther than ever. (Note. Silent Gymnastics.) He is still criticising his legs favourably, and varying his movements by pulling up his wristbands, which are very wide, long, and come up to his knuckles.
Old gentleman suddenly puts his hand in his pocket and says to me, “Oh, that reminds me, you didn’t hear from Martin, did you?” A dilemma for me. Of course I don’t know his Martin. Shall I say, simply to make a conversation,
Happy Thought.—Say the truth. “No.”
“Ha!” he exclaims, “then I must settle with you. How much am I in your debt?” This is awkward. It’s difficult at this moment to tell him that I never saw him before in all my life, but I am certain of it. If I had any doubt of it, his recollecting a debt to me would put it beyond question, as I shouldn’t have lent him anything.
“Well?” he asks, pausing with his purse in his hand.
Happy Thought.—Tell the truth again.
I commence, “The fact is——”
Milburd enters. He oughtn’t to leave his guests. “Ha! Commodore!” he says to the old gentleman, “I’m glad to see you’re acquainted.”
I explain at once that we’re not; and he, putting on his spectacles, for the first time, (without which the aged mariner is it appears as blind as a bat) discovers that he has taken me for Milburd.132
Happy Thought.—Aged mariner. Wish I could recollect a quotation. Ought to have something about an albatross at my fingers’ ends.
After this, Introductions: myself to Commodore Brumsby, Chilvern to me, we are to be travelling companions, Milburd says; whereupon Chilvern and myself both smile vaguely at each other, as if such a notion was too preposterous or absurd. After all, if smiling means nothing (when done in this way), it’s better than frowning. [N.B. Make a note in pocket-book to effect that under A might come important article on Amenities.] After this, myself to Captain Dyngwell, who has risen, and on being introduced screws up his glass into one eye, his forehead down on to his glass, and his mouth up on one side, as if undecided whether to scowl, or receive me pleasantly. He murmurs something to himself (for me to take up if I like) about something’s being “doosid funny,” and tries to pull himself out of his coat by tugging at his wristbands. Standing on the rug and stretching the right hand out with a jerk, he catches the elderly gentleman with sandy grey whiskers just behind the ear. Milburd, with admirable presence of mind, introduces them at once.
“Sir Peter Groganal, Captain Dyngwell.” They bow politely, and the Captain is understood to apologise, but as he is struck by something’s being “doosid funny,” the conversation with him, beyond this point, doesn’t progress. It appears, subsequently, that the circumstance of Commodore Brumsby’s having mistaken me for Milburd, has struck the Captain as “doosid funny;” in fact, so utterly and out of all 133 comparison droll has this appeared to the light-hearted soldier, that he is perpetually recurring to the circumstance throughout the evening.
“Sir Peter Groganal,” whispers Milburd to me, “is a great chemist: you’ll like him: you must draw him out.” I say “I will,” but I don’t quite see my way to drawing out a great chemist.
Happy Thought.—Manuals for the Dressing-table. Drawing-out Questions for various professors. A. How to draw out an Artist, &c., say, generally, “Are you hard at work now?” (then he’ll tell you, how hard; what at; why; what next; what he thinks of other Artists; what other Artists think of him, &c., &c.; of ancient art; of old masters, &c.) B. How to draw out a Bishop. “Your Lordship must be very much overworked.” No? “Well, it’s not large pay?” This raises interesting subjects, Income, Church Property, Establishment, Simony, Lay-impropriation, &c. C. Chemist. How to draw out Chemist? Question. “Now should you say,”—put this as if you wouldn’t or he won’t be interested; great secret this, interest your man, “Should you say that Carbolic acid gas acting on the,” &c., &c. course, it is necessary in scientific questions, in order to obtain information, to master up to a certain point the rudiments. Thus you must be sure of its being “Carbolic” not “Carbonic;” acid gas, not “acid in gas;” also, as to whether it “does act on the,” &c., &c.—whatever it may be, just to start it, because there’d be an end to all conversation if A or B or C replied, “No, Sir, such a case couldn’t possibly 134 happen; a child wouldn’t ask so foolish a question as yours.” Only, of course, if he did say this he’d be a bear, and people would get tired of asking him out. I am so convinced of the utility of this Manual that before I go to bed to-night I make notes for its commencement. I’m afraid I’m getting too many irons in my literary fire.
Milburd really has mixed us well. There’s a military man Captain Dyngwell, there’s Chilvern an architect, then Commodore Brumsby, R.N., a great traveller, Sir Peter Groganal, a tremendous chemist, Cazell who will tell everyone “what he ought to do,” and I hope get well set down, Milburd for funniments seasoned by the courtesies of a host, and myself, as a representative, to a certain extent, of Literature.
Happy Thought.—To ask Milburd in a whisper, as we go in to dinner, “What is a Commodore?” Milburd returns, also in a whisper, “Don’t know.”
We all sit down: Captain Dyngwell, stretching out both his wristbands over the table as if he were imparting a fashionable sort of blessing to the knives, forks, glasses and napkins. Will I face Milburd? With pleasure, if he wishes it; but won’t——? “No, no,” says Commodore Brumsby, “Young ’uns do the work.” Sir Peter says, gravely, “Yes, Sir, you can experimentalise.” We are arranged. Milburd at the head: myself, his vis-à-vis: on my right the Commodore, on my left the Chemist. Captain and Chilvern vis-à-vis one another, and there we are. Excellent number, eight. Cazell is on Milburd’s right, and there’s an empty place for a man who ought to have been there but isn’t. None of us care 135 one dump whether he comes or not. No one knows him: he’s a barrister, “very rising man,” says Milburd, whereat one or two of us observe, “Indeed? is he?” and go on with our soup.136
ON DINNER COMPANY—START OF CONVERSATION—CAPTAIN DYNGWELL—THE MOZAMBIQUE—IGNORANCE—ANCIENT MARINER—ABSTRACT RIGHT—TWO THINGS AT ONCE—DINNER ARGUMENT.
Milburd manages to mix his company well for a dinner. Thinking over it next day when on board the packet for Antwerp, how much better it is when you give a dinner, to have one Chemist (for example), one Cavalry Officer, one Architect, one General Conversationalist (almost a profession in itself), one Barrister, one Commodore, one Literary, and one Funny (but not too funny) man,—I say, how much better it is to give a dinner of this sort, than of all Architects, all Chemists, or all Commodores, or all Funny men as the case may be.
Sir Peter Groganal the Chemist remarks as a starting point, that it’s excellent soup. This sets every one off. I don’t know why. Captain Dyngwell pulls up his shirt-sleeves sharply, nearly knocking over the water-bottle in front of him, and says, “Yes, hang it, they don’t give him that soup at the Rag.” Catching my eye, he suppresses a 137 laugh, and murmurs, “Doosid ridiculous.” I ask him across the table “What is?” He answers by leaning a little back, winking his disengaged eye, jerking his head in the Commodore’s direction, and saying, not too loud, “Mistaking you for——” Another jerk, and a wink towards Milburd. Whenever the Captain alludes to this ludicrous incident henceforth, this is the method he adopts. He then chuckles, pulls up his wristband, drops his eye-glass, searches for it with the other eye, replaces it, looks defiantly round, ready either to smile or scowl, and suddenly dives down at his plate of whatever-it-is at the moment.
Sir Peter Groganal the Chemist takes us, viâ soup, into various questions of adulteration. At this point Cazell tells us what we ought to do, and Chilvern the Architect takes that opportunity of recounting an instance in point when he did what he ought to have done, but without effect; the anecdote being introduced for the sake of letting us know that he had once tenders and contracts (or sent in tenders and received contracts, or whatever it was), with Messrs. Ferry, Rust, and Co., the great iron-merchants. This brings out the Commodore, remembers having seen their name somewhere, when he was in the Mozambique, which in turn brings me out.
Happy Thought.—Ask him about the Mozambique.
What I should really like to do at this moment is, to request him to draw a map showing me exactly where the Mozambique is situated; and, while he’s about it, what the Mozambique really is.138
I thought up to this moment it was an island; now as he begins talking, I fancy it must be a Bay or a Gulf.
Really when one considers these every-day matters (afterwards and in cold blood,—that is over an atlas quietly in my own room, before I go to bed), it is astonishing how little one knows about them. Milburd, who as host ought not to say anything rude, hearing our conversation, asks me, as if it were a riddle—
“What’s the Mozambique? Do you give it up?”
I nod and laugh, as if, of course, it was too absurd not to know what the Mozambique is. I feel that Milburd sees through me, and am a little uncomfortable, as he doesn’t mind what he says.
Happy Thought.—Perhaps Milburd doesn’t know any more about it than I do.
Happy Thought.—Discover what the Mozambique is (whether a Gulf, or a Bay, or an Island) from the Commodore’s conversation.
Wish I hadn’t devoted myself to the Commodore. He doesn’t tell me anything particularly distinctive about Mozambique; but his story commences with something about “headwinds on a forecassel and furling sails after soundings.” The mention of “porpoises” seems to put me, as it were, at home again; but from these he gets into reefs, shoals, deep waters, watches, yardarms, and going aloft, and evidently hasn’t got a quarter through his story whatever it is.139
Happy Thought.—He holds me, the guest, like the Ancient Mariner. Should like to ask him about albatrosses. He wouldn’t see the joke, or perhaps, know the allusion. Besides it would prolong his story. I listen respectfully. The worst of it is, that in the meantime a controversy has got up between Sir Peter Groganal, Chilvern, and Slingsby the Barrister (who has just come in, apologised for being late, and plunged into dinner and conversation as if he’d been there the whole time), which really does interest me. It is on the Existence of Abstract Right.
They are playing at a sort of dummy whist with this controversy; that is, Slingsby and Chilvern are on one side, and Sir Peter on the other. I hear every word they say, and am deeply interested. Should like to cut in and make a fourth, but can’t, because I am bound to listen to the Commodore, who is still beating about Mozambique in headwinds. He is telling me something about the maladministration of naval affairs by the Admiralty, illustrating it with an argument just as Slingsby is asserting confidently that there is no such thing as Abstract Right.
Happy Thought.—To say to the Commodore, “Yes, it wants reform,” and turn at once, without giving him an opportunity of dragging me into his nautical conversation again, to Slingsby, asserting the existence of Abstract Right. (1 Vol. Typ. Develop.)
The Commodore won’t give me a chance; I am waiting for even a semicolon in his conversation; but he continues, “Now I’ll just give you a case in point, and you’ll say”—then 140 off he goes into something about a Lieutenant who had been twenty years in the service, and had never got away from Malta, or something to that effect; while in the meantime I hear Slingsby laying down most outrageous laws with regard to his proposition, which I consider false in itself.
Happy Thought.—While the Commodore is in the middle of some Admiralty grievance to turn a little aside towards Slingsby, smile, and shake my head, as much as to say, “No, that won’t do, you know;” look round at the Commodore immediately afterwards, and say, blandly, “Yes, of course it was very hard,” à propos of his story, showing that I can listen to two things at once. Milburd takes off the Commodore’s attention for a second, and I join in with Sir Peter the Chemist, against Slingsby and Chilvern.
I like a thorough philosophical discussion. We all get very warm over it. Chilvern objects to the introduction of theology, and Sir Peter says “Quite so.” Slingsby denies, for the fourth time in my hearing, the existence of Abstract Right, and at it we go again.
I say, “There must be, in the nature of things”—here Milburd recommends some of that pudding, to which I help myself, talking all the time (for in an argument at dinner, if you once stop talking even to take pudding, some one will take your turn away from you. People are so selfish, and want to have it all to themselves). I say, “There must be, in the nature of things, an Abstract Right.”141
“Why?” asks Slingsby the Barrister.
“Why?” I retort, “Why!—Why, if”—I don’t quite see what I am going to say; but by talking steadily and cautiously, you’re safe to come upon something worth saying, at last: besides, this is the true method of induction, or “leading into” a subject—“Why, if Abstract Right,” this with great emphasis, “did not exist,” pronouncing each syllable distinctly (to gain time), “then there would be no Certain Criterion”—(N.B. Talk slowly, and you’ll always be able to get good words.)—“no Certain Criterion by which to judge”—here sauce is handed for the pudding—“by which to judge the actions”—here a liqueur is handed round—“the actions of mankind.”
“Take a savage,” says Slingsby.
“Take a glass of Chartreuse,” says Milburd, from his end of the table. We dismiss Milburd with a nod and a smile, and go back to work again at Abstract Right. Somehow we all get very warm over the subject. Slingsby puts arguments forward which sound unanswerable; but which, I am sure, if I could put them down on paper and go into them, are simply preposterously absurd. Yet, at the moment I can’t confute him.
Happy Thought.—To ask him if he’s read Tomlison on Abstract Right? No, he has not. “Ah,” I say, much relieved, “then when you’ve read that we’ll talk. You’ll find all your arguments answered and confuted there over and over again.” I must get Tomlison’s book myself: I looked into it once, at a friend’s house.142
At this point there is a pause.
“Well, Captain,” says Milburd, chaffingly (that’s the worst of him, never serious!) leaning over to Captain Dyngwell, who has been silently attentive to the wine all the while, “what’s your opinion on the subject?”
The Captain smiles, and replies, “Eh? Oh, it looks uncommonly like a universal tittup.”
I never was so much taken aback. “A what? A universal what?” asks Sir Peter.
“Tittup,” says the Captain.
“I never heard that word before,” says the Analytical Chemist, seriously.
“No?” returns the Captain, carelessly. From this moment the Captain is an object of attraction. It appears that he has quite a vocabulary of his own. The interest I have in him is beyond this, as he has just come from Aix, and is going back again there for the benefit of his health. Will he, I ask, tell me what sort of a place it is?
“Well,” he says, “it’s not much of a place for a tittup. There are one or two jolly old cockalorums there, and, when the season’s on, you can go on the scoop in the way of a music-caper, or a hop, and you can get rid of the stuff there as well as anywhere.”
Happy Thought.—To note these words down. To take him aside afterwards and ask him for an exact explanation of “tittup,” “cockalorum,” “scoop,” “music-caper,” and “stuff.” “Stuff,” I discover, he applies equally to money or liquor of any sort. He passes the stuff at table, he “makes 143 no end of stuff,” or “loses no end of stuff” (the latter, generally, from his own account), on the Derby.
He tells me that he is going back to Aix, to be the “perfect cure,” and “do the regular tittup in Double Dutch,” from which I gather, when I know him better, that he is returning for the benefit of his health, and to the study of the German language.
He kindly tells me he can give me “the correct card for hotels, put me up to all the little games, and do the trick without any kidd, no deception, no spring or false bottom, my noble sportsman.” I laugh at this, whereupon he adds (he has not spared the wine), “That’s your tip, Old Buck; you just screw on to this light-hearted soldier,” meaning himself, “and you’ll turn out right end uppermost, A one copper-plate.” Here he drinks off a bumper, and chuckles at “Old Cockalorum,” meaning Commodore Brumsby, “having mistaken you for Milburd.” This is what he says, “he can’t get over.”
He adds presently, “I say, you were nearly having a universal tittup just now.”
He alludes to our getting warm in our discussion about Abstract Right, and simply means that we should have quarrelled if we’d continued.
We go into the smoking-room; and as Chilvern and I are going by boat to-morrow, we leave early. When the party breaks up, everyone wishes he was going with everyone else abroad next day; and everyone hopes in default of that to meet everyone else, heartily and pleasantly, but vaguely, somewhere else at some time or other. So the evening finishes.144
To-morrow, away from England.
Happy Thought.—Write to Friddy before I start. Ask her to send newspapers out to me.145
VOYAGING—THE BARON OSY—ADMIRAL—FOREBODINGS—ADVICES—DIFFICULTIES—ADMIRAL’S BREVITY—GETTING OUT INTO THE OPEN—MORE FOREBODINGS—TITTUPING.
Here we are on board the Baron Osy, for Antwerp—Chilvern, Captain Dyngwell, Cazell, and self.
Lovely day, with occasional clouds.
Happy Thought.—Secure a berth. Each cabin holds two. Chilvern takes top berth; I take the bottom one.
I say, “Let’s go up-stairs.” Cazell corrects me. He says, indignantly, “You ought to say, up the companion.” He talks to the Captain—I mean the Captain of the Baron Osy.
Happy Thought.—Make friends with the Captain. To distinguish him in my note-book from Captain Dyngwell, put him down as Captain Osy, or say Admiral Osy. Chilvern thinks this a good idea, and improves upon it, he says by proposing to call him to his face “Baron” Osy. I protest, as I don’t want to quarrel with the Admiral of the vessel at starting, or even afterwards. He might make the passage 146 uncomfortable to us. He might tell the man at the wheel to steer into waves, instead of over them, and take every opportunity of splashing us. So I go up and talk to him. He is a foreigner. Odd! a foreigner in command of a British ship. Besides, I thought that no foreigners were sailors. Always thought, up to this moment, that that’s why Nelson won all his victories—because foreigners were so ill at sea. (Note down this now as narrow-minded. Travel expands the ideas.)
Admiral Osy, in answer to my question, answers that, “He not think anybody ill to-day.” “Anybody” means, in my question, myself. Cazell is rather anxious about being rough outside. The Admiral doesn’t know anything about it outside. His opinion generally is that the sea will be like a river to-day, and that we shall do the whole trip in seven hours less than the usual time.
Cazell immediately assumes a knowledge of nautical affairs (my only wonder is that he doesn’t at once tell the Admiral “what he ought to do”), and informs me confidentially, “that we ought to have a splendid passage.”
I say, “Ah, it’s all very well here,” in the river.
Captain Dyngwell, after looking at the clouds through his eye-glass, gives it as his opinion, “That there’ll be no end of a tittup outside.” I am inclined to agree with him about the “tittup” in this instance, only I feel it won’t be confined to “outside.” Cazell says, “You oughtn’t to talk about it.”
Perhaps we oughtn’t, but we all do, and at once begin comparing experiences as to being unwell.147
Happy Thought.—Not to boast about being what Captain Dyngwell says he is—“Quite the sailor,” but observe, modestly, that, “I don’t exactly know; sometimes I’m all right, sometimes I’m all wrong.” Inwardly I sincerely hope I shall be all right; my belief is that I shall be all wrong.
Cazell says, “Lor’ bless you, you can’t be ill here; why the sea’ll be like glass; there won’t be any tossing.”
Chilvern observes, “Yes, that that’s what he hates—the tossing.”
Cazell tells him, “It’s not the tossing you mean, you ought to say the ’rolling.’ The ‘roll’ of the vessel makes you unwell.”
Chilvern replies, that he dares say it is. Conversation then turns on preventives. Chilvern inclines towards filling yourself with porter and chops. Captain Dyngwell says, “A good stiff glass of brandy’s the correct tittup” (everything’s a tittup to-day, with him), and he adds, “go in for being quite the drunkard.”
None of us think this a good preventive. Cazell says, authoritatively, “You ought to stay on deck all the voyage; or if you think there’s a chance of your being ill, then, while you feel well, go at once to your cabin and lie down.”
Happy Thought.—Go at once to my cabin.
They all say, “Pooh!—no use until you get out to sea;” and it appears we shall be seven or eight hours before we’re out of the Thames.
Captain Dyngwell says, “The doose we shall! Why, I thought we got into the briny at Greenwich.” Greenwich is his farthest point on the Thames.148
Happy Thought.—Dyngwell’s England is bounded by Greenwich and Whitebait.
Say this. Expect roars of laughter. No roars. Cazell takes me aside afterwards and tells me, “You oughtn’t to have said that. You don’t know him well enough to joke him, and he’s a tetchy fellow.”
Happy Thought.—Lovely day!
We glide along like—like—anything. (Am not good at similes.) “Swans” won’t do, as we’re not going like swans. “Like a nautilus,” I propose, in conversation. Captain Dyngwell thinks I might as well say, “like an omnibus.” They all laugh. I don’t. Serve him out. If he had laughed at mine, I would have at his. Chilvern says, “going along like winking,” which seems to suit, and we drop the subject.
I make another attempt at raising the tone of conversation by saying, “See how the clouds fleet above us! it makes one feel”——Dyngwell cuts in, “There’s nothing makes you feel so mops-and-brooms as doing that.”
How strange it is! Here are four fellows met together under conditions for inspiring poetical feelings, and not one of them can think of any simile but “winking,” and the other says, that looking up to heaven, while you’re sailing, makes you feel all “mops-and-brooms.”
Happy Thought.—Come down to their level.
Talk of horse-racing, for instance, then bring out newspapers and get seats. Very difficult to sit comfortably on deck: manage it at last on a camp-stool. Chilvern and 149 Dyngwell have both been seized with a strong thirst, apparently from the moment they came on board. Dyngwell is always “doing a little tittup in the way of a moistener,” and Chilvern is joining him in what he calls “a modest B and S,” brandy and soda-water. I never heard fellows suddenly become so slangy. I feel a loose sort of style coming over me too; sort of feeling that makes you turn down your collar and dance a hornpipe. Quite understand why a sailor is a roving, rolling, careless sort of dog. Odd, on board I feel inclined to swear, purposelessly, but in keeping with nauticality.
We are all (at least I am, and I think the others are) surprised to find we can take dinner on board. We are all in good spirits. Admiral Osy at the head of the table, that is, in the chair, doing terrific feats with his knife, mouth, and the gravy. Makes one think of the African sword-swallower. Should like to be yachting. What a jovial life a sailor’s must be, at least if it’s all like this.
Happy Thought.—Still in the river.
I say to the Admiral Osy, “I suppose that the sea between here and Antwerp is nothing more than the river, after all.” I am anxious to hear his answer. His answer is, “Nasty passage, very, sometimes; not much pitch to-night; bad if wind gets round.” Don’t like the sound of this: will draw him out. I say to him, “I suppose he’s seen a deal of nasty weather.” I put this in what appears to me a nautical style. 150 The Admiral Osy nods his head, and walks away. Chilvern says to me that he’s not rude, only I oughtn’t to bother him. Admiral Osy is never without a long clay pipe in his mouth. Chilvern, who is very fond of pipes, says he must get one of them.
“Get ’em—scores,” says the Admiral, whose English is disjointed.
“German?” asks Chilvern. “Dutch,” replies the Admiral.
“Dear?” asks Chilvern. “Cheap,” returns the Admiral.
“You’re a German, I s’pose?” observes Chilvern, knowingly.
“No; Dutch,” answers the Admiral Osy, and stumps away.
Happy Thought.—Seen a Dutchman.
From this moment I feel a great interest in the Admiral, a Dutchman. I say to Cazell, “Doesn’t it remind you of Vanderdecken, the Flying Dutchman, and Washington Irving’s tales?” Cazell, who is reading a paper, says, “No it doesn’t.”
The Captain, who has been looking through a small pocket-telescope, gives his opinion that “it won’t be long before we’re in for a bit of a tittup.” He means that the clouds are gathering, and that out at sea it looks rough.
Wonder if the Admiral puts on a cocked-hat when he’s out at sea. Chilvern says, “Better ask him.”
Happy Thought.—Better not.
Happy Thought.—Have a cup of tea.151
In cabin, not quite so steady as it was; or perhaps it’s fancy, because I’ve been told that we’re coming near the sea. Don’t like the cabin now; shall go on deck. Things seem to have changed on deck, it looks duller. Evening coming on.
“Aren’t we pitching a little?” I ask Cazell, as if merely out of curiosity, and not as taking any personal interest in the movements of the vessel myself.
Cazell says, with a doubtful air, “Yes, I think we’re beginning.”152
STILL NAUTICAL—NAUTICAL NOT STILL—BORN A SAILOR—AT SEA—TURNS—UNCERTAINTY—HOME THOUGHTS—LURCHES—CONUNDRUM—OTHER THOUGHTS—PUNS—LE MOMENT—FEARFUL STRUGGLES—PROSPECTS OF PEACE.
The Admiral comes abaft (or astern; I mean he comes towards us, and we’re about the middle of the ship), smoking, always smoking. Somehow I didn’t notice the smell of his tobacco before: it begins to be unpleasant; so does Chilvern’s pipe; so does Captain Dyngwell’s cigar.
“Won’t I ’baccy?” Dyngwell inquires. “No, thank you, I won’t baccy!” Feel that to baccy just now would be as it were the turning point (or the turning-up point) in my existence. “If you want to keep well,” I say to myself, “be cautious.” Cazell says, “I tell you what you ought to take—a good glass of stout.” No, I don’t want stout, specially just after tea: I feel in fact that stout would—but, no matter—no, thank you, I’d better stay on deck.
Night is coming on. We are no longer in the river. Chilvern says, “If it’s no worse than this he doesn’t mind.” I like to hear a fellow cheering up.153
Happy Thought.—No worse than this, I shall be all right.
Admiral, at the end of his pipe, tells us that the wind’s getting round. “Bad?” asks Chilvern.
Admiral nods and walks abaft, or afore, or somewhere out of sight.
I don’t like to turn in. Horrid expression just now “Turning in.” Odd, how even an expression seems distasteful to me just now. The Captain has a large overcoat and a rug. He intends to “weather it, and do the regular Tar,” he says. I ask him, “If he is ever——?” I don’t like to say the word. He doesn’t mind it, and takes it out of my mouth. (Bah! horrid expression again!) “No,” he replies, “Never. Stand anything,” and he lights another cigar. He politely asks me, “if I mind his baccying?” Of course I politely rejoin that I don’t. In reality I feel (despairingly) that it makes no difference to me now. I am sure my fate is sealed. Only a question of time.
I miss Cazell. I wish he wouldn’t go away. He has gone to be——no, I won’t think of it. Perhaps he hasn’t.
Thoughts (whilst leaning against paddle-box so as to keep in middle of vessel as much as possible. Vessel lurching horribly). Is travelling worth this? Aren’t there many places in England one hasn’t seen? Why should I go abroad?
Wish they’d make a tunnel under the sea—or a bridge over it. Never mind expense. Anyone would subscribe handsomely who’d ever been abroad, and had to cross the sea again. Horrid. So helpless too. Recollect suddenly 154 that Cazell told me, before he disappeared, that you oughtn’t to keep your eyes fixed on one spot. I won’t. I feel that I can hardly take them off a lump of something. No; it’s a man lying in a rug with his head on a camp-stool. Captain Dyngwell is walking up and down deck, with his hands in his great-coat pockets, and a cigar in his mouth. He lurches from side to side occasionally, but still he walks, and appears to enjoy it. I can only stick with my back to the paddle-box. Chilvern too. Chilvern volunteers the statement that he doesn’t feel ill. Do I? he asks. I don’t know, I am uncertain. Perhaps after all—that is—if I don’t talk much or move, I may be all right. Feel that everything is Wish I was at home: would give a sum of money to be sitting with Friddy.
Scarcely Happy Thought.—Remember having heard of somebody being Home-sick. (Ugh I—why do I—) I never was that * * but * * *
A lurch. My camp-stool nearly fell. A wave has broken over us from somewhere. Helpless. Can’t do anything. Let waves break over us. Let the water trickle down to my feet. Very cold. Captain comes up unsteadily, but quite well and smoking. He has been having hot brandy- with the Admiral. He asks us, briskly, “How we’re getting on? Quite the gay Sailor, eh?” he inquires jovially of me. I try to smile, I would smile (to be something of the gay sailor, and show my spirit to the last), but I feel that the slightest relaxation of face, or alteration of position, would be fatal. Chilvern and myself are against the paddle-box, with nothing to hold on by, and a strong inclination to fall face 155 downwards on the deck at every lurch, or roll, or whatever the horrid action of the ship is called. Thought (vaguely).—There’s a dog called a Lurcher. When well might make conundrum: “When is a ship——or——when is a dog * * * * * * *
The vessel now takes a very peculiar motion, and I feel myself, as it were, following all the very peculiar motions of the vessel in detail, as if by some internal (and infernal) machinery. She goes down with a rush, quivering: so do I: that is, I don’t move from where I am, but the machinery does it. It seems as if I’d swallowed the engines. The vessel slides or glides, and then comes up with a sort of scooping motion: exactly the same with me. “On the Scoop”—think of Dyngwell, who seems perfectly happy.
I wonder to myself how Chilvern feels. I turn my head slightly to look at him, and notice that he is staring before him in a blank, helpless manner. The machinery gives a surging groan every time we dive down as if we were going right under the sea, and I feel as if I was being lowered into my boots; we come up again with a rush, and a noise between a shriek and a groan from the machinery. I feel myself entirely dependent on the machinery.
The Captain comes up (he is pacing the deck to keep himself warm) and observes that “We’ve got a deuced fine passage;” and adds, that “He shouldn’t think there’d be a soul ill to-night.”—I can’t answer him: there’s only a glimmer of hope in his speech. My thoughts become gloomy, anything but happy. Except one Happy Thought.—The mind can abstract itself so as to be insensible to pain. 156 Therefore, if I can only think of something else, I shan’t be unwell; or rather, as I feel unwell now, I shan’t be worse, but probably better.
I have tried thinking of conundrums. Perhaps they’re too frivolous for this state. Try something else. Think of stars. See only one. Wonder what it is. Think of the ancient sailors who, without compass or ——. Tremendous lurch. I struggle against interior machinery, and again try to think of the stars. Wave breaks over vessel. Some one says “That’s a nasty one.” Perhaps it is. I am past expressing an opinion. If anyone was to point a pistol at me I couldn’t run away. Try to passages of Shakspeare; to think of my next chapter of Typical Developments; to recollect what Sir Peter Groganal’s argument on Abstract Right was; to think of—— Lurch. Wave. All machinery (internal) in motion. No more stars. Shall I leave paddle-box, Now, or stop a little longer? * * * suspense * * * I think I’ll move * * * I make for the opposite paddle-box * * striking out with my legs at the deck, and waiting for it to come up to me * * jerk to the right * * just miss cannoning against Captain, who is pacing up and down (still with a cigar), and dexterously gets out of my way.
Happy Thought (flash across me even at this supreme moment).—Decks-terously * * wretched * *
I am looking down into the dark waters—at the white foam * * * * if the bulwark were suddenly to give way! * * * * Can I help it? * * * * * * * * Lurch * * roll * * stagger * * grapple with bulwarks * * silent anguish.157
Can anything on the Continent be worth this!!!!! Cathedrals—Churches—pictures—pleasures of Paris—can’t be worth this * * * And * * Oh! I’ve got to come back again!!! Stagger to staircase * * Companion, I mean.
“Quite the jovial Tar, eh?” asks the Captain, who is lighting another filthy, beastly cigar.
“Yes,” I answer, in somebody else’s voice, not mine, and feeling that, if I could see my face, I should never recognise the once joyous author of Typical Developments.
Go down-stairs; horridly awkward stairs. Why couldn’t they be made straight down instead of curling round? specially in a steamboat * * * * when * * * one so * * * particularly * * * wants to go straight * * * *
To my Cabin.—Will undress and regularly get into bed.
Happy Thought.—Give myself the idea of being quite at home.
Haven’t fastened door: it bangs against me, I against it, then it bangs back again, when I bang against chair, then against side, then my head against upper berth, then nearly into lower berth, then over portmanteau, then clutch on desperately by side of lower berth, and try to recover myself. Tear my things off; try to hang them up neatly. Dash at a hook. The hook comes to me and I fall back against berth. Everything seems to be going topsy-turvy. Collapse, like a punch-doll, without any middle joints, into lower berth. On the whole rather astonished to find myself there.
Shut my eyes! * * * * Open them again very quickly. Awful sensation. I am wide awake, and painfully conscious 158 of the oil-lamp, and of the want of air. Out of berth again, to open the door—same performance as before. Put chair adroitly between open door and wall: chance of air now. Stagger—bump—pause for breath. Stagger again: fighting with everything, berth, washstand, door, chairs, which all, apparently, keep coming at me. I notice the name of Scott Russell in the washing-stand basin * * * I hold on * * * I wonder * * * Did Scott Russell make the washstand * * * or the ship * * * if so * * * why didn’t he * * * Lurch—bang * * * * * * * Into berth again, backwards, anyhow, exhausted. This is what Dyngwell calls a “Tittup outside.” * * * * * * Ah * * * * * * Shall I have to get up again? * * * * * * * If not * * * * I think I can * * * * * * Less Lurching * * * *159
IMPROVEMENT—STILL ON BOARD—CAZELL—THE PILOT—MORNING—WASH AND BRUSH UP—PLAN—ANTWERP—ARCHITECTURE—A CICERONE—THE LIGHTS—CHILVERN’S CHANGE—HIS COSTUME—QUITE THE TOURIST.
I am better.
Sleep, gentle sleep, or an imitation of it, with people walking about, shouting, shutting off steam, going backwards and going forwards, and apparently getting (thank heaven!) into still water.
Cazell looks in once, and looks out again very quickly. He merely puts his head in at the door with the view, I believe, to tell me “What I ought to do” under the circumstances, but he thinks better of it. Chilvern comes down—he says he is very jolly now. I won’t attend to him. I’m afraid he’s coming to occupy the other berth above me. Dreadful! He’ll drag my things about, and tumble over my boots.
Happy Thought.—Pretend to be asleep.
Ruse successful. He looks in, says, “Hallo! asleep? eh? The pilot’s come on board,” and then he disappears. He reappears at intervals after this, to inform me (if awake) that, 160 1st, the pilot hasn’t come on board; 2ndly, that the pilot won’t come on board; 3rdly, that the pilot can’t come on board (we are pitching awfully, and horrors are returning); 4thly, that if this pilot doesn’t come on board, we must get a pilot who will; 5thly, that they can’t get a pilot at all; 6thly, that the pilot has come on board. Altogether, I wish the pilot was——but it doesn’t matter now.
Morning.—Recognise feeble portrait of myself in the looking-glass. Recognise several other feeble portraits of yesterday’s originals at breakfast.
Captain Dyngwell comes out of a cabin, “Fit,” he says, “as a fiddle.”
Cazell re-appears. He has not been seen since nine o’clock last night, when he told somebody “what he ought to do,” and then vanished down the companion.
He looks as if he’d been to a ball for three nights together, and was going to bed.
Captain Dyngwell says that Cazell “looks as if he’d been on the scoop,” which strikes me, somehow, as expressive, though not capable of exact definition. “Slang,” some one says, “is the language of the future;” if so, Captain Dyngwell is a sort of gay Wagner.
All more or less represent the Great Unwashed. Chilvern, who is five feet two, represents the Small Unwashed.
N.B. No amount of basining (Scott Russell & Co.) can be satisfactory on board. Look forward to bath at hotel. Wish I hadn’t put my comb and brush and clean pocket-handkerchief in some (apparently) secret part of my portmanteau.161
Happy Thought.—To have a bag, specially for this sort of thing, with compartments, so that whatever you want at the moment comes out first.
It appears there have been some difficulties with the pilot, and so we are some hours late. This accounts for Chilvern’s several visits to me during the night. He was much interested in the pilot, he says; if he hadn’t been, he adds, he should have been unwell, or rather, worse than he actually was.
Happy Thought.—Shore. Antwerp.
Captain Dyngwell says, “Here’s Antwerp,” pointing it out to us, which is unnecessary, as there is no other place near at hand.
I say, “Thank you, I know it.” Consequent coolness between Captain and self. Custom-House officers. Chalked baggage. Crush. I assure a passenger who is digging into me with an umbrella, a bag, and an Alpine stick, that “there is no hurry.” Man in front, whom I am pushing, tells me the same thing. We all struggle and push. Difficult to carry two rugs, umbrella, stick, and coat, to struggle and kick, and at the same time to get one’s ticket out of one’s waistcoat pocket. Do it though, somehow, desperately. Suppose I should lose it at the last moment?
Happy Thought.—Carry it in my teeth: like Newfoundland dog with a stick.
Collector takes it. Ceremony over. Cross the plank. Dangerous. Take breath, and look about.162
Captain and Cazell get off first. Chilvern and self follow. Hôtel de St. Antoine.
Happy Thought.—Foreign Town.
Our party of four is split up into, so to speak, three sub-parties.
First Sub-party is Captain Dyngwell, who doesn’t particularly care about seeing anything, and when I say, “Why, my dear Sir, look at the Churches!” he merely answers, “Oh blow the churches!” evidently not the spirit in which to come to Antwerp. He is entirely, as he expresses it, “for a tittup at the theatre, some sort of Bal Mabille,” here he winks knowingly behind his eyeglass, “and go in for a regular rumti-iddity.” Whereupon he calls out “Waiter!” imperiously, with an aside to us that “he’ll bustle ’em a bit,” and on the appearance of the waiter, the Captain orders a “B and S,” just as if he were in his London club, and confounds the fellow’s ignorance when his command is not exactly understood.
Second Sub-party is myself and Chilvern. Bond of sympathy between us is that he really does want to see the town. Being an architect, he will enjoy (I know he will, and I tell him so) the queer old buildings, the Cathedral, the other Churches, and the pictures. Don’t know why, being an architect, he should enjoy pictures; but it seems natural when you think of it for the first time. Years ago I’ve been to Antwerp. Chilvern observes, “You’ll be able to show me 163 everything.” He adds, “that he likes going about with a fellow who really can show him everything, and who has an artistic appreciation of queer buildings, old houses, fine churches, and pictures.”
Dyngwell says, “If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen all.” We agree, when talking Dyngwell over, that the Captain isn’t troubled with brains. [Analytical Physiological note for Typ. Devel. Isn’t this a form of mental pride? Isn’t it also flattery? It means that Chilvern has a great quantity of brains—so great as to be troubled by them—and that I have also. It’s as much as if I said to Chilvern, “I say, you’re a clever fellow, because if I don’t you won’t say I’m a clever fellow.” Wonder what Chilvern says of me to Dyngwell. In speaking of Chilvern to Dyngwell, I say with truth, that “Chilvern’s clever in his own line,” meaning architecture; this is after we’ve seen the pictures and the town.
Happy Thought.—Chilvern can’t say that of me—nobody can, in fact—because I haven’t got a particular line.]
Third Sub-party. Cazell. By himself. He says he has been a great deal on the Continent, and will insist upon telling every one what he ought to do. Besides, he pretends to know the language. He also orders, with an air of superior knowledge, dishes and drinks, which he says are peculiar to the place. He talks German and French. That is, he talks German, but I don’t think much of his French. We fall out, in fact, on this subject. He professes to speak it like a native. I own I don’t do that; but I say I have a thorough knowledge of it, and can read it easily. Chilvern takes my view of the 164 question. I like Chilvern, A very good fellow, and really clever as an architect; only I do wish he had come abroad with more money than two sovereigns in English money. Will I lend him some? Yes. But why can’t he ask Dyngwell or Cazell? I don’t exactly put this to him in so many words, but he intimates that he can’t go to them for it, as he has “rather quarrelled with them by siding with
Happy Thought.—To tell him he must write home for money at once. See him do it, and post the letter myself.
He is bound to me now. He will fight for my opinions as a sort of mercenary.
Happy Thought.—To secure a companion, I promise to pay for him everywhere, but I won’t lend him any ready money. I point out to him that I am going to show him the town, and that our tastes assimilate. If he had the money in his pocket, perhaps our tastes wouldn’t assimilate.
Cazell tells us we ought to go and see the Cathedral (it isn’t a Cathedral, I say,—dispute), and the Church of St. Jacques and St. Paul, also the Museum of Pictures.
I reply that I will take Chilvern to see the great Church, then the Museum, &c., in fact, choosing my own arrangement.
The head waiter asks me, “Will I have a guide?”
I am indignant. As indignant as if I’d lived in Antwerp all my life. Hate guides. Explain to Chilvern that it’s no use having a guide, one can find one’s way so easily about Antwerp.165
Chilvern replies, “yes;” then suddenly, “I say, let’s go and have some lunch.”
I inform him that abroad there is no such thing as lunch, it’s déjeûner à la fourchette. “All right,” he replies, “let’s go and have anything that’s something to eat.”
I notice, for the first time, that Chilvern, in Antwerp, is peculiarly and offensively English. He seems to have learnt slang, or a slangy manner from Dyngwell.
He is dressed in a suit of what he calls “dittos” and a wide-awake hat.
Happy Thought.—To stop him before we get out of the hotel, and say, “You can’t go out like that.”
“Why not?” asks Chilvern.
“Well, my dear fellow,”—I put it to him reasonably,—“you wouldn’t do it in a town in England.”
“Wouldn’t I!” he exclaims, and cocks his wide-awake on one side.
I request him as a favour, to get his hat, and put on a black coat.
“Haven’t got a hat or a black coat,” he returns.
“Quite the tourist,” observes Dyngwell, with his feet on a small table in the courtyard of the hotel smoking a cigar. He, at all events, is well dressed. He is sensible on that point. I hold him up as a model to Chilvern.
I hesitate about going out with Chilvern. Chilvern says, “It’s all ridiculous humbug.” I reply, “That it isn’t.” He returns, “That it is.” I observe, “That he ought to consider other people’s feelings.” He rejoins, “That I ought to consider 166 his.” I tell him “I do.” He answers flatly “You don’t!”
Happy Thought.—Say I won’t lend him any money.
Happy Thought.—No, not say it, let him think it. See by his face that he is thinking it. Row ends. We go out. To déjeûner somewhere.167
ANTWERP—CHILVERN’S FUN—SNOBBISM—EATING—DRINKING—THE CRESSES—CHILVERN LE POLISSON—THE CARTE—THE LANGUAGE—THE PROGRESSES—SALAD—MONEY.
We find a café in an open sort of square.
I call for the carte. Chilvern makes some joke about cart and horse, something about eating horse-cutlets.
Happy Thought.—Stop his English, by telling him that it’s dangerous to talk it when every one understands, though they don’t speak it.
Waiter attends. “Que désirez-vous?” I ask Chilvern, in an off-hand manner.
Happy Thought.—Garçon thinks I’m a Frenchman. [On considering this question at night quietly, Chilvern says, “That the feeling is snobbish.” “Snobbish!” I retort. “Yes,” he replies, “A fellow’s a snob who wishes to be considered anything better or worse than he really is.”
Wish I’d never lent him any money. This is a note at the 168 end of the day. Ever since he’s become bound to me he’s been disagreeable.]
Chilvern says, laughing, as if it was the greatest joke in the world, “Ask the cove if he’s got some roast beef and plum puddang.” [“Plum-puddang” is his notion of fun in French.]
I hate this sort of thing. I tell Chilvern so afterwards. Hate calling a waiter “a cove,” and ask for plum-pudding in the middle of the day. He wouldn’t do it if he was in England. He replies, “Yes, he would, if he liked.” Hate a man who’s provoking.
Happy Thought.—Not express disgust publicly before waiters in café, but smile as if I was tolerating a drôle.
Happy Thought.—Call Chilvern in French a polisson. Garçon smiles.
Chilvern replies, “Wee, let’s have some of that,” thinking I’d spoken of fish.
The waiter here asks me a long question in rapid French. Haven’t an idea what he means.
Happy Thought.—Won’t tell Chilvern that I don’t understand him. Consider for a few seconds, then reply, in French, “Yes, but make haste.” Garçon says something, and hurries off. Wonder what the dickens I’ve agreed to? Wonder what this will result in. Chilvern asks me, “What did the waiter say?”
Happy Thought.—To answer, “Oh, only something about 169 what we are going to have.” Chilvern presses to know what we are going to have.
Happy Thought.—To say, slily, “You’ll see.” So shall I, for at this minute I haven’t a notion what I’ve ordered, by saying, “Yes; but make haste” to the waiter.
Happy Thought.—I shall find out soon, though; and then I don’t like it, won’t do it again. Just coming from England, one’s out of practice at these things.
While Chilvern and myself are waiting for our déjeûner, I begin to feel the rolling of the vessel again. I remark this as “very curious” to Chilvern. “Curious,” perhaps, I think to myself, is hardly the word. Chilvern observes (also carelessly) that he is experiencing the same sensation. We look at one another—we know what we mean. Begin to fear we shan’t enjoy lunch. Wonder what I’ve ordered by saying “oui” to the garçon. Here he comes. Voilà.
Three little dishes,—sardines, butter, and radishes.
Happy Thought.—Hors d’œuvres.
Chilvern asks which are hors d’œuvres. I explain to him. He at once commences with a sardine and bread-and-butter. I tell him, to encourage him in foreign manners, that that’s quite the correct thing to do, and eat some myself, also a radish.
Garçon appears with a fish of some sort done up in oil, with mushrooms, (I think,) truffles (I fancy,) and mussels (I 170 am not quite sure about these, but, as it’s not oyster season, they must be mussels). wine?”
“Well,” says Chilvern, “I should say——”
I know he’s going to ask for beer, and stop him with Happy Thought (before Chilvern can answer).—Vin ordinaire.
Explain to Chilvern that this is the correct thing. Chilvern, who is much pleased with the first course, says, “capital idea of yours,” to me, “ordering fish. What is it?”
Happy Thought.—Sole Hollandaise. This is as good a title as any other,—better.
Odd, by the way, this fish coming, as I didn’t recognise the word poisson when the waiter asked me rapidly that question about what I’d have, or how I’d have it.
Happy Thought.—Another time will call for the carte, and point out each dish that I want—no mistake then.
Waiter appears with the wine.
Chilvern says, “I wish you’d ask for a pepper-box and salt-spoon.”
I frown at him. I tell him that it’s a Continental custom not to have salt-spoons (I don’t see any), but to take it out of the salt-cellar with your knife.
“Horrid custom!” says Chilvern.
This is what I don’t like in Chilvern abroad; he is insular. Because we have pepper-casters, therefore all the world must. [For psychological analysis,—a note in pocket-book. Is it by force of antagonism that I suddenly become pre-eminently foreign, and peculiarly un-English, when with such a mind as 171 Chilvern’s? Good article for Typ. Devel. Heading, Ant. Word, Antagonism. Division, M. Mental.] I help myself with my knife to salt, and with my fingers to pepper.
Garçon adds watercresses to the hors-d’œuvres. “Bravo!” I exclaim. “J’aime beaucoup le cresson!”
“Watercresses, by Jingo!” shouts Chilvern. He begs my pardon for his excitement, but says he really thought that ’cresses were peculiarly English. I beg him not to shout. Some young men (French or Belgian) are breakfasting at another table, and turn round to stare at him.
I say, “Vous êtes un Anglais pour rire.”
Happy Thought.—To ignore my own nationality, and pretend to be a foreigner (of some sort—don’t know exactly what), taking an Englishman out for a holiday.
Happy Thought (when I say L’Anglais pour rire).—Seen this somewhere in a French picture. Don’t wonder at the idea, if the French take their notions of us from men who behave like Chilvern. Wish I’d come alone.
Happy Thought.—To suggest to Chilvern that, if he holds his tongue, they won’t know what he is.
Chilvern replies, “You be blowed!” If it wasn’t mean, I’d tell him that I wouldn’t lend him any more money. Everything is “odd,” and “rum,” and “queer,” in Chilvern’s eyes. He has got into a habit (from being with the Captain, I think) of calling every one a “cove.” He observes, “What rum coves those are!” meaning at the other table. I tell 172 him, deprecatingly, that I see nothing “rum” about them. I reproach him with being insular. He replies, “Oh! insular be blowed.”
Waiter brings cutlets. Admirable. It seems then I ordered cutlets—fish and cutlets. He then adds salad. He asks me a question. I am taken by surprise.
Result of the answer is that he takes the salad away.
“What’s he done that for?” asks Chilvern.
I am obliged to own that I don’t know, “but fancy,” I add, “that he misunderstood me.”
Happy Thought.—To add, by way of explanation to Chilvern, that it’s the custom. Chilvern won’t be satisfied. Waiter brings salad back again: he took it away to mix it.
Happy Thought.—Now then coffee and cigar. This, I explain to Chilvern, is the real delight of déjeûnering abroad in any café—you can always smoke immediately.
“Du café, garçon” (in an off-hand manner).
“You’ll take some?” I ask Chilvern, to show him that I can hold a conversation with the waiter.
“Yes, I’ll have caffy,” replies Chilvern.
“Oui, deux tasses,” I translate.
We begin to lounge luxuriously. Suddenly motion of vessel returns. Horrid. I hope * * *173
Coffee arrives. Chilvern produces cigars, and I ask the waiter for fire.
“C’est défendu de fumer ici si tôt,” he informs us apologetically.
I can’t believe it. Being unable to argue the point satisfactorily with him, I can only explain to Chilvern that this is not France, but Belgium. Chilvern says, then let’s pay and go. As much as to say, “Let’s go to France, and not stay in Belgium.” Both dissatisfied.
It turns out that we have had the only two dishes that were not on the carte du jour, and that the waiter had asked me, “Would I leave it to him to order?” and it was to this I had answered “Oui.” Horridly dear: thought everything (especially vin ordinaire) was so cheap abroad. Eight francs a-piece. I explain to Chilvern that this is very different to France. Chilvern (who hasn’t had to pay) returns, uninterestedly, “Is it?”
Happy Thought.—Put down in pocket-book everything I pay for Chilvern, or he may say I didn’t. Shall astonish him by-and-bye. He doesn’t know what he’s spending; and therefore doesn’t seem to care. Also keep the bill. We walk out. Wish Chilvern hadn’t brought his umbrella. Suit of dittos, coloured wide-awake, and umbrella. “Quite,” as Captain Dyngwell remarked before, “the tourist.” The people will think he’s a Cook’s excursionist, or some sort of “there and back for seven shillings,” or “a Happy Day at Antwerp for half-a-crown.”174
LES RUES D’ANVERS—THE STATUES—LIGHTS—BOYS—CONSIDERATIONS—L’EGLISE DE ST. JACQUES—A REFUGE—ROUT—MURRAY—THE MONK—THE MUSEUM—CHILVERN COMES OUT—STRONGLY.
Chilvern stops at every shop.
Happy Thought.—To walk on and leave him. When I do this I hear behind me (this in the open street, too), “Hi, old boy! hi! look here! Here’s a rum thing.”
In Antwerp there is a statue—an object of religious devotion—at the corner of nearly every street. People going past, I notice, generally touch their hats. Chilvern stops opposite one larger than the rest: a light is burning before it.
“Hi! hallo! look here!” he cries. “Ain’t this a rum go? This is a queer sort of dodge for lighting the streets.”
Happy Thought.—To take his arm. I explain (I am always explaining to Chilvern) the meaning of these figures. I beg him not to expose himself (and me) to ridicule. I point out that already his umbrella and costume have attracted the little dirty boys. His appearance does rather 175 remind one of “the swell” in a pantomime: dressed in enormously loud check “dittos.” Thank goodness he hasn’t got a white shiny hat turned up with green. They (the dirty boys) are really following us, and laughing at us—I mean at him; but, unfortunately, we are together.
Happy Thought.—Turn down a street.
Boys still following: joined by other boys. Chilvern getting angry, turns suddenly on them with his umbrella. Yells, scrimmage, shouts. Quite the swell in the pantomime losing his temper with clown and crowd, at the end of a scene.
It occurs to me, as a stranger here, what must be the feelings of that unhappy Chinaman whom one sees in London, perpetually walking about in the costume of his country, pursued by little ill-bred, dirty, vagabond boys. We are in precisely the same position, all through Chilvern’s confounded “dittos” and umbrella. There really isn’t another man dressed like him in Antwerp.
Happy Thought.—See the door of a church open. Enter. Refuge from persecuting boys.
Happy Thought.—Sanctuary in the olden time. Boys peep in after us, but a verger, or some sort of official person in seedy black, darts out at them from a recess, and hits the ringleader over the head with a bunch of keys. Delighted. We are. Rout of boys.
Happy Thought.—If we stay long enough in here, boys 176 will get tired of waiting outside. Luckily, it is, we discover, the Church of St. Jacques. The seedy black man locks the door, and commences at once to take us round the church and explain. He is the regular guide.
Of all things I hate it is what Chilvern does at this minute.
He winks at me, and puts his hand in a side-pocket, where there is something bulky, which hitherto I had thought was a large cigar-case. No. Out comes—a big red book.
Murray’s Guide to Belgium.
Suit of dittos, coloured , umbrella, and Murray’s Guide-book! And I was hoping that we shouldn’t be taken for English! If the boys see this when he comes out, it will be worse than——
Happy Thought.—To borrow it of him, and leave it, when he’s not looking, in one of the side-chapels. Do it. Wonder what devotional Belgian will think of this book when she finds it on going to Mass to-morrow. Murray’s Guide to Mass.
Happy Thought.—Leave Antwerp to-morrow, and go on to Aix. Not so much “leave Antwerp” as leave Chilvern.
He is a nuisance. Respectably dressed, I shouldn’t mind him. If he had his own money with him, I could get rid of him. But in his, as it were, celebrated character of a British Excursionist in a suit of “dittos,” and entirely dependent upon me for money, Chilvern is a nuisance.177
Happy Thought.—Like the Monster in Frankenstein. I’m Frankenstein: Monster in “dittos” with umbrella.
He has contracted a habit of staring about him, stopping at corners and before shop-windows.
Happy Thought (while he’s in front of a picture-shop window).—Go on some way ahead, as if I was not connected with him. He’d be sure to find his way to the hotel again. If he didn’t, though? He can’t be robbed, as he has no money, and has only got a steel watch-guard with a bunch of keys at the end of it.
“Hi! Hi! Hi!” Chilvern shouting. “Here! Look here, I say. Here’s such a rum cove at the corner of the street!”
The “rum cove” turns out to be a monk of some order or another. I suppress the strong desire to regard him curiously, and only say, as a lesson to Chilvern, “Oh, of course that’s nothing here. Do come on.”
Happy Thought.—Take his arm, and walk him along briskly.
Chilvern can’t get over the monk. “Why,” he says to me, “he had regular sandals.” I am silent. A few seconds afterwards, he continues, suddenly, “Why, he was shaved all over his head!” His next idea on the subject is that “he’d make his fortune at Covent Garden in the season, at so much a night, for the Huguenots or Favorita.”
Why can’t Chilvern see that he offends the prejudices of the people by talking out loud like this, and staring at a monk? I don’t stare at a monk. I should like to, but I don’t.178
We go to the Museum—where the picture-gallery is. Woman at gate wants to know if I’ll have a catalogue. Chilvern says, “Oh, yes, do have a catalogue!” and takes one off the counter. This costs me three francs. He shouldn’t take it and open it, and read in it, before it’s paid for. He replies, that it’s all the same to him, as it’s in French, and he can’t make it out. Shall certainly go on to Aix to-morrow, and leave Chilvern.
In the Gallery.—Full of Old Masters. Students at easels making copies in oils. I like enjoying pictures by myself. Get away from Chilvern. He is at one end of the room, I in the middle. I am admiring a masterpiece by some Flemish artist, date 1406. What queer attitudes people fell into then!
While I am making this note, I hear Chilvern shouting—positively shouting—“Hi! Look here, I say!” to me. Everybody turns round, and stares. The whole place is disturbed.
Happy Thought.—Ignore him.
He won’t be ignored. He comes towards me, calling all the way, “I say, do look here! Come along. Here’s such a rum go!” I return, quietly, “I wish, Chilvern, you would not insult the prejudices of foreigners, like this. It really does not do. You wouldn’t shout like this in the Royal Academy.” “No,” says Chilvern, knowingly, “but this isn’t the Academy.” I tell him that his answer is not clever, and is not a repartee. He drops the subject, and continues in a tone a little more subdued. “But I say, do come and see 179 this.” I ask him what it is. He is bursting with the discovery of an artistic curiosity, and leads the way quickly up the room, stopping at last in front of a picture. Everyone is watching him. The students are eyeing him with interest. I walk up slowly, staying on my way before a picture of a St. Francis. Most of the subjects are religious.
Chilvern thinks I am not coming, so he shouts out again. “Look here! do come, here it is! Look! Here’s an old cove praying like anything, and two other coves kissing behind a door.”
He thinks I’ll laugh at this. I tell him I am annoyed. Referring sternly to the Catalogue I found the picture he alludes to is St. Bonaventura in an ecstasy, a Pope and a Cardinal standing in the antechamber.
I tell Chilvern once for all that I really will not go about with him, if he behaves like this. He has a rude unpleasant habit of leaning over the students’ shoulders while they are at work, and examining their paintings as if he understood them critically. I remonstrate with him.
“Lor bless you,” he replies, “they rather like it; they think I’m going to buy.”
A small bandy-legged amateur is hard at work before an Adoration of the Magi, by Rubens. His manipulation is most creditable. Judging from a distance I should say this earnest student will make a good copy, and will advance in his art. Chilvern looks over his shoulder—quite bends over him. I think the little man rather resents this as he shakes his head sharply, and a slip of the brush is the result. Instead of begging his pardon and taking off his hat politely, Chilvern 180 observes to him with a wink, “Hallo, Rubens Junior, you’re making a nice muck o’ this, you are.” Disgusting! The student doesn’t understand English, and says so, in French.
Happy Thought.—Leave the Gallery while Chilvern isn’t looking. If he picks me up I’ll take him back to the hotel, and leave him there.
Lost my way. Thought I recollected the streets: ask at a shop. Will they have the goodness to show me the route to the Hotel de St. Antoine? They understand the question in French, or they catch the name. A little woman bustles out into the street, catches me by the elbow, and gives mc directions in rapid Flemish—at least, I suppose it’s Flemish: if not, it’s German. Perhaps German and Flemish. I thank her politely.
Happy Thought.—Say Merci beaucoup, and take off my hat. She appears dissatisfied with her own instructions, and recommences more volubly and more emphatically than before. I’m to do something “rechts,” then “links.”
Happy Thought.—Watch her arms and hands. During the instructions she makes herself into sign-posts. Deduction from watching: Rechts is Right: Links is Left.
I again say, Merci beaucoup, salute her more profoundly than before, and she retires to the door of her shop.
As I haven’t understood her in the least, what is the best thing to do?181
Happy Thought.—Walk straight on. I look back: she is watching my movements. I bow again, to encourage her in the idea that I have clearly comprehended everything she has been telling me.
Looking back again, I find the delay has just upset my plans. Here is Chilvern running after me, waving his umbrella and shouting, ’“Hi! here! stop! I say, stop!”
Happy Thought.—Better stop, as he’s attracting attention, and I might be taken for a thief, or the boys might come out again. Hang Chilvern. I let him come up with me. “Tomorrow,” I tell him decidedly, “I go on to Aix, and leave you.”182
ACCOUNTS—MEMS—DIFFERENCES—CHARACTER—ROUND SUM—ACQUAINTANCES—VOW—SIGNED—ROW—WAKING MOMENTS—DODGE.
Happy Thought (before I go away from Antwerp).—Find out exactly how we (that is, Chilvern and I) stand.
This is a polite way of putting the question. “How much does Chilvern owe me?” Chilvern himself says that’s just what he wants to know. Have I kept an account? “Yes, I have,” I am able to answer, “to a certain extent, and we can leave the rest to memory.” Chilvern says his memory’s a very good one: so, I return, is mine.
I know I put down most of what I paid for Chilvern in my pocket-book, yet, on looking carefully through it, I can only find one entry—“Chilvern, Soap, 1fr. 50c.”
[This discussion takes place in our bed-room on my last evening in Antwerp. Dyngwell and Cazell have, I believe, quarrelled, and are enjoying themselves separately.]
Chilvern remembers the soap. “Odd!” he says. “Now I come to think of it, I can’t call to mind anything else.”
I search the pocket-book again. I know I entered his account somewhere, and headed it in large letters, “Chilvern.”183
Happy Thought (while I am looking in note-book).—His share of the déjeûner à la fourchette.
Chilvern admits this. “How much?” “Seven francs” (at a guess), Chilvern thinks it was six; because he says “Don’t I recollect asking him whether it was fifty or a hundred centimes that went to a franc.”
No, I don’t recollect this. I shouldn’t have asked such a question. “Well,” says Chilvern, “I know you asked me something about centimes, because you didn’t want to change another franc, and wished to use the coppers in your pocket.”
[Note here for Typical Developments.—My mind is so constituted to believe in others, that if a man positively asserts something, and continuously goes on asserting it, I give in: against my better judgment, I give in. I don’t like the man for doing it, and I go away feeling that time will show whether I am right, or he. But when time does show, and I go to the other man and say, “Look here! you were wrong, after all!” he has forgotten all about it, generally denies having said anything of the sort, asserts perhaps something totally contrary, or takes my view of the original case, and swears he had always held it, and so begins the complication all over again.]
How a man’s character comes out in travelling! Chilvern is obstinate. Chilvern is ungrateful. Chilvern is niggardly. Again, what I did not expect, Chilvern repudiates, and condescends to mere details. I am at least three pounds twelve shillings and sixpence out of pocket by him, and he says “he doesn’t see how I make that out.” I answer that 184 “I don’t go into details, but put it down as a round sum, which may be a little more one way or the other.”
He says he doesn’t see what there is beyond “soap” and “breakfast.” I tell him, “Lots of little things, that mount up.”
Happy Thought.—To say, playfully, “I’ll draw it out as a bill.” If this wasn’t said playfully, I feel it might be unpleasant.
|Porters from boat and hotel||2||0|
|For several things on board boat||5||0|
|Catalogue at Museum||3||0|
|Tips to men for showing churches, &c. (at least)||7||0|
|Matches for cigars||0||25|
These are all I can recollect. Then there’s the hotel bill. Chilvern admits it will be all right, if I lend him three pounds more to take him back again. I say, “Won’t Cazell do that?” He returns, that he’d rather not ask Cazell.
Happy Thought.—Say, “We’ll see about it to-morrow.” Will pretend to forget it, and get off by the train when he’s out of the way.
Happy Thought.—Tell Chilvern to go and see the 185 Cathedral to morrow morning at 11.30. Give him a franc to do it with. My train starts at 12.15; and directly he has gone I can be off. Leave him to Cazell.
In Bed (with note-book).—Can’t sleep, whether it’s the foreign atmosphere or whether it isn’t I don’t know. I ought to be tired, but I am not.
Happy Thought.—Take note-book and jot.
Jot down memoranda. Perhaps while I’m jotting mems. for future, I may recollect what I’ve spent on Chilvern. Shan’t travel with Chilvern again unless he has money, and hasn’t a suit of dittos. Also, he must be less insular and narrow.
À propos of “narrow,” note for my own improvement; mems., Books to read while I’m away; French—Balzac (what works?—find ’em out and select two or three), Victor Hugo’s l’Homme qui Rît. Also some standard works, say Molière’s plays. While I’m taking baths at Aix, might devote my time to learning German, and reading Goethe’s Faust in the . List of books also to read when I return Froude’s twelve volumes. Must read this: everyone who reads anything talks about this.
Met an elderly gentleman and his sister, who were well up in it, to-day, in the hotel drawing-room.
Happy Thought (in reply to any question about Froude).—No; I’ve not been right through it yet. The next question will be, probably, “Of course you’ve read his third volume?” To which the reply (if you haven’t) must be, thoughtfully, 186 “Let me see,—the third volume,—what is that about?—I forget at this moment——” Then rely upon your interrogator, who, ten to one, is a humbug after all. Note.—People read History by short cuts now-a-days, in Reviews.
Happy Thought.—Will make the acquaintance of a German philosopher, and ask him what he thinks of the idea of Typical Developments. Get him to translate it. Should like very much to get into a set of German philosophers. Must learn German. Im sure my leading ideas are thoroughly German—deep and profound: only while one is with such men as Dyngwell, Boodels, Milburd, Chilvern, and so forth one fritters away one’s deeper feelings. I’m waiting my time.
As I finish this note, and am about to blow out the candle, I record this, as a sort of vow or resolution, in writing.
(Chilvern’s room is next to mine. I never heard such fearful snoring: “fearful” is the word.)
Resolution.—I have two months or so before me. Got to get rid of rheumatic gout (if any in me, which must be discovered) at Aix. While there will study German, and go in for German philosophy. Will avoid all frivolity, and take this opportunity of working at Typical Developments, Vol. I., in order to have it out with Popgood and Groolly at the beginning of the year. This I vow. Signed (in bed).
If there is anything I detest, it is a fellow snoring when you want to go to sleep yourself. I call to him. More snoring. I will call till I wake him. Call. Snore. Call. Louder snore—apparently derisive. Call. Snore: irritating to the last degree. Call again. Shout. Thumping at wall: 187 man next door begs (in American-English) I won’t do that. I reply that it’s a fellow snoring. Call to Chilvern again. Louder. American next door shouts out that he’ll complain to the hotel manager. I tell him that I really must stop a friend of mine’s snoring. The door between Chilvern’s room and mine is open, that’s why I hear him so plainly. Why should I get out and shut it? “Hi! Chilvern, wake up!” American, next room, thumping, wants to know if I mean to insult him and his wife?
No, I don’t. Confound Chilvern! These Americans think nothing of revolvers, and in a foreign country he’d be applauded for calling me out. Chilvern suddenly grunts, gasps, and, apparently, wakes himself up with a start. He asks, “What is it?” vaguely, and adds, that “he’s just been dreaming of frogs.” I tell him to shut his door. He won’t get out of bed. No more will I. He says, “Shut it yourself, if you don’t like it.” I tell him it’s his door. He says, “It’s yours as much as mine.” Row. He suddenly changes his tone (it occurs to him, probably, that I may not lend him his three pounds, or may go off without paying his share of the bill), and, getting out of bed, shuts the door.
Never catch me with Chilvern again. Shall certainly send him to the Cathedral to-morrow, and leave while he’s there.188
ADIEU! ANVERS!—TICKETS—CHILVERN FINISHED—CHANGE-T-ON?—THE BUFFET—STOPPAGE—COCKALORUMS—AIX LA CHAPELLE—BAGGAGE—FLY—L’HÔTEL—PICK UP NAMES—OBSERVATIONS—RECEPTION—POPULARITY—LANGUAGE—NOVELTIES—CHAMBERMAID—RESTAURANTS—RETURN—MISTAKE.
At the railway station, Antwerp, en route for Aix.—Rather a crowd at the ticket place, and I come in at the tail. My ear not having been accustomed to rapidly-spoken French (by-the-way, I wonder how a Frenchman ever masters the names of our stations as called out by the porters!) I am unable to grasp the exact sum demanded of me for my ticket.
Happy Thought.—Put down a Napoleon, and see what change comes out of it.
Clerk doesn’t take it, but says something more rapidly in French.
Happy Thought.—Say bien, and put down another Napoleon.189
I am not able to count the change, owing to being pushed away by an excited person behind, and led off, at once, by an intelligent porter to get my luggage weighed, for which I have to pay almost as much as for myself.
I suddenly come upon Dyngwell in a smoking carriage. We are the only two—the Captain and myself—out of our original party, going to Aix. He informs me that Chilvern received some money this morning from London. End of Chilvern. Still he’s got to settle up with me.
I make a point of asking the guard at every station, whether we change here. Nothing like being certain. Dyngwell wants to know how long we wait at Liège. I advise him (knowing his peculiar French) to ask the Guard. The result is that the Captain addresses him thus: “Hi, Old Cockalorum, do we stop the waggon here, eh?” Cockalorum returns some answer, and Dyngwell asks me what he said. I interpret it as, “We hardly stop here five minutes.” The result is, in point of fact, that we don’t go on again for nearly half an hour. After ten minutes Dyngwell decides upon going to “the buffet.” He immediately asks for bitter beer loudly, and gets it at once. I can’t make up my mind whether it’s more Continental to take coffee and a cigarette, or vin ordinaire and some roast chicken. I have decided upon the former, and am trying to attract a garçon, when Dyngwell says, “time’s up: the bulgine’s on again.” Bulgine with him means “Engine;” but I somehow fancy that he imagines it to be French. I remark that everyone (with the exception of such Cockalorums as the Guard, who rather stands on the dignity of his uniform, I imagine) understands 190 the Captain’s English, while they don’t seem to get on very well with my French. Dyngwell notices this too.
Happy Thought.—To explain it to him thus, that these are Belgians, and don’t speak like les vrais Parisiens. (When in Paris I can look forward to saying that Belgium and Germany have spoilt my accent—satisfactory.)
We cross the frontier, and suddenly hear nothing but German. Very strange this at first. Dyngwell thinks it would be a rum sort of a start if one went from Kent to Sussex (from Tunbridge Wells to Brighton, for instance) and didn’t understand the language at Three Bridges Station. Dyngwell, I note, has more in him than meets the eye.
Aix at last. When you get there it is called Aachen. Dyngwell explains this happily; he says a Frenchman expects to find Londres, and it turns out to be London.
Examination of Baggage.—Questions in German: answer in dumb show, like a pantomime. We have too much luggage for one trap, so Captain goes on alone. He calls his coachman a Cockalorum, and the man touches his hat. I feel somehow desolate: wish I hadn’t come. Everything looks dreary. I think of Fridoline, and the baby with the rash, and my mother-in-law at Brighton. Wish I’d gone with them. But as I have come all this way to find out whether I’ve got latent rheumatic gout anywhere about me or not, I am determined to go through the ordeal, whatever it may be. I am put into a fly—such a machine! Three miles an hour, and an unwashed coachman in a glazed hat. Destination. L’Hôtel du Grand Monarque. Sounds well.191
First Observation in Note-Book.—Strasse means street. Mem. Will learn German while here. We descend the broad Theater-Strasse.
Happy Thought.—Then there’s a Theater here.
We pass a large hotel—we pass a colonnade. More hotels—plenty of people about: nearly all, apparently, English.
Second Observation.—That at the first glance Aix has a highly respectable appearance, but not gay.
The Hotel at last: courtyard as usual—very fine place. Like a courtyard. I descend: a bell rings—sort of alarm of visitors. More bells. Two porters, an under-waiter, a head-waiter (evidently, though more like an English Curate in an open waistcoat), and in the distance on the stairs two chambermaids come out to receive me. donations to all these when I leave.
Note. Continental Chambermaids always so neat. Dressed exactly to suit their position. No snobbishness.
Happy Thought.—Commence in French (French carries you everywhere) Je désire une chambre au seconde, et——
Immediate Reply of the Low-waistcoated-Curate.—“Yes, Sir, if you’ll step up this way, I will show you.” Very annoying. If you want to speak another language than your own, merely for practice, they won’t let you.
The Head-Waiter insists upon my taking rooms on the first instead of the second floor, as the season is just ending, and it will be all the same. He leaves me, and enter the 192 Chambermaid. She smiles (sweetly), and addresses me in her own native tongue—German. She is asking me, I imagine, from her thumping the bed and then putting a question, whether I am going to bed now. Good gracious, it’s only five o’clock.
This I fancy sounds rough, so I soften it off with Merci. She is now putting another question, this time with a jug in her hand. Evidently, will I have some water. I distinguish the word wasser.
Happy Thought.—Yah—adding with a smile “s’il vous plaît.” Another question from her. Wasser again, but this time she mentions Hice-wasser. Iced-Water? Nein, on no account, merci, thank you. But I should like some—some—(I want to say warm water for my hands). Why isn’t there one universal language, say, English?
Happiest Thought.—To say Warm Wasser. She is intelligent [and sweet-looking though not young], p’raps she’s heard Englishmen try this before, for she replies, laughing good-naturedly (as if I had said something not quite proper, but which she would look over as only attributable to my ignorance of the language) “Varm-vasser.”
Happy Thought.—“Oui, I mean yes, Yah, Varm-vasser.” She leaves me.
Note.—It’s a great thing to have the command of a language. 193 Within half an hour of my arrival I have mastered three words. Strasse is street, Wasser is water, Warm is warm; and I establish one rule, that “w” is pronounced like “v.”
I recollect, when travelling a long time ago, that Yahzo means a good deal. Try it presently, and watch the result.
After unpacking, examine the Hôtel. Very nice. Everything looks worthy of the Grand Monarque, to whom this Hotel is dedicated. Go out and examine the town. Although I’ve never been here in my life, I seem to have seen it all before, somewhere. Excellent shops: large restaurant. No out-of-door seats and tables. Those who are not English are in uniform, at least so it seems at first. Men in uniform are wheeling barrows, men in uniform are driving carts, men in uniform and spectacles are saluting superior uniforms with epaulettes, and also spectacles. To the English eye the town appears to be garrisoned by our postmen. Becoming accustomed to them, you gradually pick out the officers, most of whom are, apparently, short-sighted and use the pince-nez. Everybody is smoking, except the ladies, of course. The toilettes here are not remarkable.
In the Theater-Strasse an enormous building is guarded by a very small sentry. Think the building is a bank, or a post-office. He (the small sentry) carries a big gun in a slouching way, and occasionally stops to look at nothing in particular, with one hand in his pocket. Servant-maids walk about like the Parisian grisettes in clean-looking caps, generally carrying a basket, and an umbrella. [Mem. again. 194 Continental servant-maids are servant-maids. No mistaking them for anything else. No aping superiors. How much better than red ribands, green gloves, yellow parasols, and extravagant Jupes.] Umbrellas are popular. I meet a large sprinkling of the clerical element in chimney-pot hats with narrow brims. The Don Basilio type is not here. Sisters of Charity (also with baskets and umbrellas) in plenty, all looking particularly cheerful and happy. In the window of a bookseller’s shop I see a Manual of Conversation in Four Languages.
Happy Thought.—Buy it.
With this purchase I return to the Grand Monarque. The Head-Waiter, who is politeness itself, begs me to inscribe my name in a book. I suppose Dyngwell has been telling him about my writing Typical Developments, and bringing out a work with Popgood and Groolly. I say I will give him my autograph with pleasure.
It is in the List of Visitors.
I write it down. Head-Waiter smiles, “Ah,” he says, “I know it well.” I am flattered. “Indeed?” I return, thinking of Dyngwell. It’s rather nice of Dyngwell if he has done this; I really did not imagine he had such an appreciation of literature. “Yes,” the Head-Waiter continues, with his peculiar accent, “I remember him well in London, in ’Olborn. Name well known. I am glad to see you here, Sir.”
I don’t live in Holborn, and I never had any association with the place. Is it possible that my intention of publishing has got about, and that even this waiter——No, it can’t be. 195 He goes on to explain. I find that he has mistaken the spelling, and has confounded me (confound him!) with a Large Cheap Tailor’s Establishment. Annoying, but lucky I discover it in time.196
THE WAITER—PANTOMIMIC—CONCERT—EARLY HOURS—PROBABILITIES—GERMAN DIALOGUES—KALT—ZIMMER—COUNTERPANE—PRACTICE—BAD.
Dine with Dyngwell at the large Restaurant.
In my Room.—Ring bell. Tall German waiter answers. He has a way of understanding you before you speak—anticipatory style, provoking.
He enters with “You ring?” I reply that I did. He returns, “I thought so. You want some tea, some eggs, some coffee—what?”
No. I was going to have ordered tea, but I won’t now, just to show him that this is not the sort of thing to try with me. That I’m not one of his ordinary travelling Englishmen. I order, consequently, some sherry and seltzer. “Sherry and seltzer,” he repeats, “anting else? No? No meat, no bread, no butter, nutting? No?”
This sort of thing makes one very angry: it’s a liberty. I answer sternly, “No, nothing else.”
Happy Thought.—“Yes, a biscuit.” I order this, because he hasn’t suggested biscuits. He replies, “Sherry, seltzer, biscuits, nutting else? No? I bring you dem,” and disappears. 197 I say “disappears,” because he is round the corner of the door and out on the landing before I know he has gone. A pantomimic German.
Open my desk and commence reviewing my papers. Waiter back again. “Sherry, seltzer, biscuits, all you want? No?” I say, almost savagely (for it is just as if I was being worried into ordering something else, or hadn’t ordered enough), “Open the bottle.”
He echoes me again. “Open? yes.” He performs this quickly and jerkily. “Zo. Put him in?”
Happy Thought.—To nod instead of replying, by way of checking him.
“Anyting else?” he immediately asks. “No? nutting else? no.” He has vanished, before I recollect. But I do want to ask him something. “Here, Garçon!”
Happy Thought.—Kellner, not Garçon. “Kellner!”
He is back again from the bottom of two flights of stairs, in less than five seconds. “You call, yes? You want someting? No?”
“Yes; I want to know if there is anything going on here to-night?” He shrugs his shoulders, and smiles vaguely.
“Is there?” I repeat.
“Yes, going on? Yes,” he answers. His “Yes” is very prolonged; a thoughtful affirmative.
“What is it?”
“Yes. Going on for day?” Then, after a moment’s consideration, 198 he decides upon telling the truth, which takes this form, “I not know what you say.”
Happy Thought.—To put it thus, slowly, “Is-there-a-Concert, any Music, or is the Theatre open?”
“Oh!” a light breaks in upon him, “A Concert? No, no Concert. De Tayarter is for tree days open. Not dis night. De Band in de Elisa-garten in mornin play.”
Happy Thought.—Very nice. Stroll there about eleven to-morrow. Rank and fashion.
Ask the exact time of performance.
“Seven hour,” he answers.
“Plays for seven hours!” I exclaim.
“No!” he laughs, and shakes his head as correcting his own mistake. “Seven o’clock” (this very distinctly); “de Band play all mornins from seven to eight.”
What!!! Get up at six-thirty A.M. to go to a Concert at seven.
“Do many people go to this concert at seven?” I can’t help inquiring.
“All people here,” he replies. I am staggered. What time is the Theatre then, I wonder. P’raps at 4 A.M.
Suppers at ten in the morning. Fierce dissipation at midday. That’ll do. No, I don’t want anything more.
Decision at present.—Not to go to the Concert in the Elisa-garten at seven to-morrow morning. Examine conversation-book in four languages, in order to address the 199 Chambermaid to-morrow morning on the subject of wasser, boots, clothes, and bath.
The Chambermaid, I find, (to begin with) is a Zimmermädchen. This is satisfactory.
Happy Thought.—To arrange (before I go to sleep tonight) a conversation with the Zimmermädchen. I think Guten morgen is good morning. Can’t find it. Guten morgen, Zimmermädchen, will do very nicely to begin with.
Happy Thought.—Must also master the coinage. They took francs to-day in payment for my conversation-book. One thing at a time. Zimmermädchen at first. How travelling does enlarge our views. I little thought two weeks ago that I should be calling any one a Zimmermädchen, and understanding what I meant by it. Also, mustn’t forget what I came for; i.e., to call on the Doctor, to whom I have an introduction, and ask him if I have got rheumatic gout latent anywhere. If so where, and what’s to be done for it.
It is very cold at night.
Happy Thought.—To ask the Zimmermädchen in the morning for a counterpane and more blankets. Look out “counterpane” and “blankets,” before I go to sleep, in dictionary, so as to remember them in the morning.
Can’t find “counterpane.” Das Betttuch is blanket.
Happy Thought.—Look out “coverlet” instead of 200 “counterpane.” Got it—Oberdecke. “Zimmermädchen,” I will say, “Ich wünsche eine Oberdecke und zwei Betttuchs.”
Sleep on it—I mean sleep on the phrase.
Wake in the morning: rehearse the speech to myself two or three times. Add to it. Bringen Sie mir—[“Bring me,” nothing more simple: and it’s wonderful how sleeping in a foreign town brings the language out of you in the morning, like the sulphur waters do to the gout]— Sie mir heiss Wasser.” “Heiss” is “hot,” and yesterday I thought by the sound it meant just the contrary.
Am I ready to converse with Zimmermädchen? Yes. Ring the bell. Rehearse again to myself quietly. Let me see, I’ve forgotten what “blankets” was. Shan’t have time to look it out before she comes, and it looks so absurd to read to her from a book.
Enter the Zimmermädchen. She wishes me, in her own native tongue (I’ll astonish her presently), “Good morning.” I feel a little nervous—why should I be nervous? It’s nonsense to be nervous. By the way I want a bath, and I’ve forgotten to look it out. She has brought some heiss Wasser, so the words I knew best I have not got to say.
Happy Thought.—Begin the conversation by alluding to the heiss Wasser. Try to assume a careless easy tone, as if talking German had been the amusement of my leisure hours for years. Odd, I feel that I don’t pronounce the words nearly so well as at my rehearsals.
“Sie haben heiss Wasser,” I say it boldly. She is as much 201 astonished as Balaam was, I should imagine. It must come upon her like a voice from the bed itself.
She laughs and replies, “heiss Wasser, ja.” Success: now for number two.
“Oh, Zimmermädchen, I want”—failure. She stares—perhaps it strikes her that I’m a great linguist, and know so many languages that I’m mixing them up—perhaps it doesn’t—“I mean Ich wünsche eine Oberdecke.”
“Nix varm genouf?” she asks; at least, so it sounds, and I understand it perfectly. Very like English, “Not warm enough?”
“Nein,” I return in, this time, admirably grammatical German.
Now all I want her to say is, “Yes, I’ll bring your oberdecke,” and while she’s gone I’ll look out “tepid bath” in the dictionary. But she commences a series of questions, or remarks, or both, founded evidently upon the mistaken impression, which my starting so fluently in her own native tongue had given her, that I talk and understand German.
Happy Thought.—Stick to “Yah, eine Oberdecke.”
She laughs (what at? I don’t know) and goes away. Now then. Bad is bath; tepid is . . . tepid is . . . not down—what a dictionary! It will be worth while studying German here for the sake of my fellow-countrymen who want dictionaries. Tepid is not in the conversation-book. Kalt is cold, but I don’t want a cold bath. “If you please” isn’t in the conversation-book. Yet they seem a polite people. Perhaps it wasn’t a polite person who compiled this book.202
Happy Thought.—Ein Bad mit kalt und heiss Wasser. Kalt und heiss together must be tepid.
Re-enter Zimmermädchen, with such a coverlet! A bed in itself—a sort of balloon stuffed with feathers, which she plumps down on the bed. I can’t explain that it is not at all the sort of thing I mean, because I don’t know the German for the phrase, and I can’t keep her waiting in the room while I find out the words in the dictionary. She says something about “Das ist gut, so.” And I reply (not to hurt her feelings) “Yah, das ist goot.” (Yah should be spelt, I find, “Ja”—odd.)
“Varm?” says she.
“Very varm,” I reply weakly, giving up my German and running into bad English.
Then comes the “Ein bad” request. She does understand me, and brings it.
Rise and go to breakfast with Dyngwell.
Impressions of German language at first.—Not unlike broad Scotch if talked by a nigger. “Yah, yah,” just like the Christy minstrels, is always coming in.203
DOCTOR’S VISIT—INVALID’S BREAKFAST—DYNGWELL’S ADVICE—SYSTEM—PROFESSOR WANTED—INVALIDS AT DINNER—TABLE D’HÔTE—MIXTURE—THE TIMES—DECEPTIONS—DIFFICULTIES—NOTE FOR POPGOOD—MY TUMBLER AND I.
The Doctor comes while we are at breakfast, and takes me by surprise. There are eggs, tongue, grilled chicken-cum-mushrooms on the table; also, coffee, tea, and preserve. I am munching buttered toast, and generally speaking haven’t been so thoroughly well or less like an invalid in the whole course of my life.
Waiter says, “This is the Herr,” pointing to me, and introduces us.
Doctor Caspar begs I won’t derange myself (in excellent English), and will call again. I suppose he means call again when I’ve done the buttered toast, and am more like an invalid.
Mem.—It’s odd that whenever a doctor calls upon me, as a patient, suddenly, I generally happen to be looking remarkably well, and all the symptoms that made me send for him (when, of course, he couldn’t come) have vanished. My idea 204 of a doctor’s visit is, that he should find one moaning, groaning, and looking wretchedly pale: also, “unable to touch a morsel,” not, as Caspar finds me, eating breakfast enough for two, and enjoying it.
Happy Thought.—Apologise for being in such good health. Captain Dyngwell and Dr. Caspar, I perceive, know one another. They talk about what has happened in Dyngwell’s absence. It appears that nothing has happened in his absence (which they expatiate upon to a considerable extent), whereupon he puts his glass in his eye, and asks after several “Cockalorums.” [Dr. Caspar and the Captain both use glasses; the first invariably, the second occasionally.] The Cockalorums generally seem to be doing very well, judging from the Doctor’s statistics, who is quite au fait at Dyngwell’s peculiar English.
“This Cove,” says Dyngwell, when the conversation has come to a standstill, inclining his head sideways towards me, “has got the regular rumti-iddities, papsylals, and pandenoodles all in one. Reg’lar bad case—quite the invalid—give him something to rub in.”
With which piece of medical advice he nods to both of us, and lounges out of the room, observing that we shall meet at the table d’hôte.
Alone with the Doctor, and the remains of the breakfast. Short conversation. Serious moment. Feel that Frivolity has gone out with Dyngwell. Doctor examines me through his eye-glass, which seems a sort of operation in itself. Decision soon arrived at; namely, that probably I’ve got rheumatic 205 gout somewhere about me, and that if I don’t know what’s the matter with me now, I soon shall. “The waters,” Dr. Caspar explains, “will bring it out, whatever it is.”
The summing up appears to me to be, “if you’ve come all the way to Aachen without having something the matter, we’ll soon knock up a disease for you, and you’ll be as bad as anyone here in no time.”
Doctor says I must begin the system to-morrow.
System.—Rise at 6.30. Take the waters at the Elisa Fountain. Take a short walk: take this with the Concert in the garden. Take another glass: take some more Concert. Return to hotel—light breakfast—emphatically, light breakfast. I again apologise for to-day’s excess in breakfast, and lay it on Dyngwell.
System continued.—An hour and a half after breakfast take a bath: stop in, twenty-five minutes. Return to hotel. Keep warm till dinner-time at 1.30, when serve myself up at table d’hôte, hot.
Understand it all. Write it down. Determine to do it. Wonder what will be the result. Wonder what will be the matter with me when I’ve gone through a course of the system.
Happy Thought.—If I don’t like it, shall go home.
Caspar being gone, I am not a man again. Remember suddenly lots of things I ought to have asked him.
Make Mems to ask him when we meet again. May I take champagne? or sherry? or both. If not, which, or what? How about vegetable? How about tea and coffee? Will 206 sugar hurt me? Will milk make any difference? Where am I to get the waters? Where is the Elisa Garden? Who gives the waters? Must one be a subscriber to get the waters? If so—How much? If much—Can’t I get the waters somewhere else? What am I to do in the bath? What am I to say when I go there? In what language am I to ask for a bath? Will they know what I want?
Happy Thought.—Ask Dyngwell. When I ask him a few of these questions, adding that I am going through the course, he observes, interrogatively, “What, my light-hearted invalid, coming out as the perfect cure, eh?”
Must ask about learning German. Get a German professor. Quite common, I suppose, a German professor.
Happy Thought.—If they’re swimming-baths, I could learn German while swimming about with a professor in the water. Dyngwell, to whom I mention this as an idea, remarks that, as for swimming, of course it depends how much water I want for that, as the bath is only about six feet by four. Still, it is a good idea.
Happy Thought.—The Doctor, who also dines at the table d’hôte, will stop me if he sees me eating or drinking anything wrong. Can take everything till stopped. Several English there—all invalids: also invalids of various nations. Dr. Caspar points them out to me, so does Dyngwell. Dyngwell tells me that the Cockalorum opposite me was quite a cripple when he came, but now, he says, “he’s no 207 end of a hand at skittles.” He nudges me (Dyngwell is quite conversational here) to remark the “rum coon next me on my left.” I do so. He is a cheerful-looking elderly gentleman in spectacles. Captain informs me that “he’s a Prussian Attorney in very good practice, which would be better if he wasn’t for four months in the year in a lunatic asylum. The waters,” Dyngwell adds, “are bringing it out of him,” (bringing what out of him?—lunacy?) “but he’s not all right yet: in fact he’s liable to be taken worse at any moment.”
Happy Thought.—Shall change my seat to-morrow.
Dining is different in Prussia to anywhere else, I believe. We start with soup and fish, as in England; after this I lose myself. Better appear as if I was accustomed to this style of living.
Happy Thought.—Take a little of everything. When I dine here again shall know more about it. Besides if I’m wrong, Doctor will stop me.
Result of this determination is, that having got clear of the soup and fish, I find myself taking beef and jam (I think), chicken and cutlets, salad and stewed pears, some sort of game very bitter, and pudding and cheese on the same plate. “The whole to conclude,” as the play-bills say, “with the laughable farce of walnuts.” Then coffee and cigars. The Doctor doesn’t stop me.
I can’t help remarking sotto voce to Dyngwell, that it’s a queer sort of dinner. “You mean,” says he, “it’s a queer 208 sort of mixture you’ve made of it.” He explains that though the waiters hand round these dishes quickly and together, yet it’s only that everyone may make a choice of what he likes. Dyngwell says, “Never mind; waiters will put it into you; waters will take it out of you.” The waters, according to Dyngwell, will take everything out of you.
After dinner we all become conversational, inclining towards argument. The Skittler is introduced to me; the lunatic attorney retires (thank goodness); a tall Englishman (who hasn’t dined there) saunters in and joins our end of the table. The theme of his conversation is that he can dine somewhere in the town on a rumpsteak, eggs, and beer for a shilling. Nobody denies it; and, apparently, nobody envies him. An American moves his coffee-cup up to us, and wants to know who’s seen the paper to-day. No one has, and a lull takes place in the conversation.
Happy Thought.—We get the English papers here.
Note.—When the Times arrives is uncertain: but it does come very early in the morning. Much dishonesty is practised to get it at once. The porter is entreated, the waiters are sent all over the hotel with indignant messages from one person to another about “keeping it so long.” Dyngwell has craftily told the porter at the door, that, at whatever hour of the morning the Times arrives, he is to come and wake him up to read it. Consequently Dyngwell is awoke, to have first look at it: which operation, I ascertain, he performs, first, by being angry at having been roused; secondly, by getting half awake, and saying. “Hey, 209 what? the Cockalorum with the thingummy;” thirdly, by a delay of two or three minutes, to discover “where his infernal eyeglass has got to,” which he finds somewhere over his shoulder, with one string entangled in his whiskers; fourthly, to “shake himself together;” fifthly, to select one attitude for reading in bed less uncomfortable than another; and, lastly, to unfold the Times, confounding it because it isn’t cut, and asking, vaguely, “why don’t they cut it, hang ’em?” He just dashes through it. I observe, while craftily waiting in my dressing-gown to take it to my own room, (and, perhaps, Happy Thought, hide it, which I admit is wrong,—but if I don’t, and once go out, there’ll be no more chance of seeing it for to-day) to him,—“Surely you can’t get much out of the Times that way?” he replies that he only wants to see if they say anything about him in it. It appears that they don’t on any morning; which causes the Captain to use a vast amount of strong language about the old Cockalorums at the Horse Guards, through whom, it seems, he has got some transactions about selling out, or purchasing in, or exchanging. I don’t exactly understand what he is so irate about, but, from his explanation, I conceive that Commissions are not to be had for purchasing; or his isn’t a good one for selling; or that no one will exchange with him; or that the fellow who said he would, wouldn’t; or some other military difficulty.
Happy Thought.—Get Dyngwell to explain the army system to me. Include it under A, Typ. Devel., B. I., Vol. I. Published by Popgood and Groolly, with Addenda to the 210 Thirteenth Edition. Dedicated to—to—whom? Must think of that. Something to think of while I’m at Aix.
Happy Thought.—Put Times in my room. Go and take my first waters at Elisa Fountain. Porter at door tells me I must take my own tumbler. Porter at door, wonderful linguist, in a sort of uniform. Speaks every language: shouldn’t be astonished if a Chinaman were to arrive, and the Porter were to tackle him in his own native tongue at once. I take my tumbler, and, feeling a little odd with it, put it in my great-coat pocket.211
DRINK THE FIRST—ELISA—MISS ELISA—A SMELL—OTHER DRINKERS—IDEA OF LANGUAGE—SPIRIT—OBSERVATIONS—DYNGWELL ON PRUSSIAN NAVY—POLYTECHNIC MEMORY—COSMOPOLITANISM—SULPHUR—COMING OUT—STRONG—APPROPRIATE MUSIC—INVENTION OF TERMS—MARVELS.
Enter under a colonnade in front of a small garden. This is the Elisa Garden. There is something peculiarly Heathen-Templish about the pillars, about the steps down to the mysterious spring which comes out of a lion’s mouth in marble , about the maiden of the waters, and also about the water-seekers with their glass mugs of various colours and dice-box shaped tumblers, that the idea crosses my mind (I have no one to tell it to, so it only crosses my mind, and then, I suppose, recrosses it) that we are engaged in some Pagan rite, and that the Undine—[Happy Thought that, “Undine.” Who was Undine? Let me see: German legend. Undine and the Water-Spout; or the lion. No. Think of this as I descend the steps slowly]—the Undine of the fountain is the High Priestess.212
Happy Thought.—Elisa’s fountain, and this is Miss Elisa.
We are in a curious atmosphere under these Pagan columns. This is the smell of the mineral springs. It might (the smell, I mean) be produced, I imagine, artificially by stirring up a slightly stale egg with a lucifer match until it boiled. In ten minutes’ time one ceases to notice it; though, at first, I think of writing indignantly to the Board of Works at Aachen, and complaining of defective drainage. I left my Cottage near a Wood on account of drainage, so it’s natural to be annoyed at being followed by a smell. The cure, on this supposition, is homœopathic. Here I am to take my first draught. I feel a little nervous.
Happy Thought.—Stand aloof to see what the other people do. Look about.
Having descended the steps. I find myself, with two or three dozen others, invalids of all nations—[Happy Thought.—Good subject this for a Cartoon in the House of Lords, “Invalids of all Nations”],—as at the hotel, in a sort of large area, with railings at the top, over which lounging spectators look down upon us and make remarks, just as the people do to the bears in their pit at the Zoological Gardens when they give them buns, only they don’t give us buns. Shouldn’t mind a bun, by the way, only Dr. Caspar says, nothing before, or with, the waters; nothing, in fact, until breakfast, and then, if possible, less.
German, English, and French is being spoken freely; English, I think, predominating. There are three languages 213 that puzzle me; I subsequently find they are Russian, Dutch, and Greek. The Dutch I always thought was a rolling sort of tongue, so to speak; but, on reflection, I fancy this idea was mainly founded upon the remembrance of having heard “Oh, that a Dutchman’s draught should be,” by a bass singer, late at night, years ago. (Mem. for Typical Developments. Early Impressions. Technical Education. Children. Dutchmen.)
Miss Elisa stands behind a semicircular counter, and is rapid, sure, and business-like in all her movements. I put forward my hand to her with my tumbler in it. She looks at me for a second or so. Not to see what I want, but because (I found this out afterwards on being accustomed to the scene) I am new to her. She is very pretty; I should like to say in good German to her, “Gretchen, my pretty one, wilt Thou give me some of the tepid and limpid Stream that rushes from the Lion’s Mouth?” I am sure I understand thoroughly the German spirit, if I only knew the language.
Happy Thought.—Say “Wasser” as sweetly as possible, because I don’t yet know what German for “if you please” is, and Wasser alone, that is, Wasser neat—[Happy Thought.—Wasser neat. Good. Full of Happy Thoughts this morning: effect of air and early rising]—sounds rude and abrupt; and, worse than all, sounds so insular.
Happy Thought.—Talking of insular, when I get in with some Germans, students and professors, for instance, I must ask ’em how they like being without a Navy. Curious, a 214 nation without any admirals, or jolly tars; but then, after all, they’ve got their mineral waters.
Dyngwell says, “You’re thinking of the Swiss Cockalorums. They’ve got no navy. The Gay Prooshians have no end of ships.” I ask “Where?” He puts his glass in his eye, and replies, carelessly, “Oh, all over the shop. Adoo!” and saunters off.
Elisa catches the water in my tumbler, jerks it out, catches some more, and hands it to me, smiling. Wish I knew what “thank you” is.
Happy Thought.—Say “Danky.” It sounds like good German, and I shouldn’t be much surprised to hear that it is. On second thoughts, yes, I should be surprised. How difficult it must be to invent a language. This leads to deep thought, and will occupy me while I stand and sip the Mineral Wasser. I begin sipping thoughtfully, as if I was tasting to see if I’d have a case sent in in the course of the morning. It’s warm: it’s not exactly nasty; it’s not precisely nice.
Happy Thought.—Epicures say that, to make a perfect salad, you ought first to soupçonner the bowl with a . Mineral Wasser to the taste is as if you’d cleaned out the tumbler with lucifer matches of the old blue-tip school. It’s what I should expect that water at the Polytechnic to be like after it has been flavoured by an experimental blowing up of the Royal George under water by the Diving Professor, or some other scientific gentleman connected with the establishment. 215 (I don’t know whether this goes on now; it used to. But that’s the idea.)
Happy Thought.—Got half through tumbler. Nothing happened to me as yet. Nothing’s happened to any one that I can see. All chattering in little knots and groups and côteries. Regardless of their doom, the little victims drink.
Happy Thought.—Finished tumbler, all but a quarter of an inch depth of water at the bottom. Don’t know what to do with it. Wonder why I’ve an objection to the last drop? Instinct, somehow.
Happy Thought.—Go and hear the band.
I see everyone leaving a quarter of an inch, or so, of water in their tumblers, and then turning it out into two little receptacles, like the lower part of umbrella stands, placed at the corner of the stairs. Do this also. Just as if I’d been doing it all my life.
Happy Thought.—That’s where I feel myself beyond Dyngwell or Cazell or Chilvern and Milburd, and so forth. I am, I feel, cosmopolitan. In a second, by just turning this tumbler topsy-turvy, I feel myself, as it were, free of the place. A walk in the garden, hear the band, another tumbler (this sounds like dissipation and the bottle, but it isn’t—it’s only high, airy, breezy spirits before breakfast, and sulphur mixed), and I shall be naturalised.
Somehow I feel, having finished my glass, that I am de trop 216 here; for everyone is talking to everyone else—quite a family party. All know one another, and are perpetually nodding and bowing, and smiling and smirking, and inquiring after healths, and “what you did last night after we left,” and “whether you’re going to So-and-so to-day,” and so forth. I feel that I am isolated. Wish Fridoline was here. Should like to have her here—to talk to. (Mem. Isn’t this selfish? Is the real use of a wife only to be talked to when you don’t know anybody else? Note for psychological inquiry. Plenty of time for psychological inquiries, if I don’t know anyone here except Dyngwell.) I feel, besides this sense of isolation, a desire to speak to somebody—to throw myself into their arms, and unbosom my pent-up emotions. I haven’t an idea, on reflection, what my pent-up emotions are like, or what I should say if anyone—for instance, that little Frenchman (who’s taken three tumblers to my one in the same time)—stepped forward and said, “Me voici! unbosom yourself!” I don’t think I should know what to do. I should set him down, speaking rationally, as mad. Stop! I pull up. This burning desire for conversation, this hysterical yearning, of course, I see, it is the effect of the sulphur. Sulphur. I must tone myself down again.
Happy Thought.—Bow to Miss Elisa (who seems to notice it as an impertinence; sulphur again—I suppose there was a lurking something in my eye), and ascend steps. Stroll into the garden. People walking up and down rather fast. I walk up and down, round and round. There’s only one path, 217 and you do it in different ways. There are two others, I discover afterwards, but they are short and retired. It is very exhilarating: it isn’t Cremorne; it isn’t Vauxhall; it isn’t Mabille; it isn’t Hyde Park; it isn’t the seaside; it evidently isn’t Tivoli (where I’ve never been); but it’s—Happy Thought—it’s exactly what the inclosure in Leicester Square might be made into, without the present ruined statue, and with mineral waters coming out of the pump.
Mem.—Recommend this to the Board of Works. My statue, equestrian, as a benefactor.
I feel inclined to suggest supper somewhere, and regret stopping up so late. I also have a sort of notion that later in the day the thousand additional lamps will be hung up. (Sulphur again.) There is a pond with two sorts of fish, red, and not red. Sulphur water, I suppose, and sulphur has taken the colour out of some of the weaker ones, or those that have been in the longest. Good band. Pretty faces. There is a Dutch young lady (I hear some one say she is Dutch) to whom I should like to talk—only because she is Dutch. Is this incipient libertinism, or only sulphur? Or is the former the effect, the latter the cause?
Happy Thought.—Don Juan ended, operatically, in sulphur. Good. “Orphée aux Enfers” Quadrilles just played. Appropriate. Will go down during the (it is a quarter to eight A.M.), and take another sulphur. Descend. Fewer people there. I want another tumbler, please. More difficult to ask when there’s not a crowd, as what you say can be heard. Approach Elisa. She is very pretty. (Sulphur.)218
Happy Thought.—Say “Mair wasser.” Scotch is an excellent substitute for German. After all, it isn’t so much the language itself, but the spirit of it, which is the great thing to catch.
Note.—That idea of the difficulty of inventing a language is worth enlarging upon. Suppose one had to do it. What should I have called a cup? I don’t think anything would have suggested “cup” to me, unless it was done suddenly by a happy thought. Or e.g., hat, or handkerchief, or neck, or head. “Head” seems really difficult. Who would have thought, without having a name for it ready to hand, of calling a head a “head”?
A man couldn’t have called his own head a head; but another man—a friend, for instance,—must have done it. Perhaps he did it offensively at first, and meant it as an insult; and then gradually it settled down into an every-day name. Odd occupation, when you come to think of it, for two people, sitting down, and having nothing else to do, saying to each other, “Now what shall we call this?”—a hand, for instance,—like a game of forfeits. Then, after some deliberation, friend says,
Happy Thought.—Call it hand.
Happy Thought.—People who call a spade a spade. I never thought of it before, but he must have been a very clever fellow who did first call a spade a spade. He might have called it a bonnet, and he wouldn’t have been wrong then; that is, if bonnets weren’t made before spades.219
⁂ I review this at night in my note-book, and set it down to sulphur acting suddenly on the system. Dyngwell said “the waters would bring it out of me, whatever it was.” Something’s coming out. But what is it? I can’t help being nervous. Shall tell Caspar to-morrow, and write down my symptoms.220
THE BATHS—THALERS—DESCENT—BATH-MAN—CELLS—SUGGESTIVE—CONVERSATION—TROUBLE—BOOK—DIRTY AND THIRTY—SOLVITUR.
First Visit to the Baths.—I choose the nearest baths, not the Kaiserbad, which is the largest and grandest, and where the baths form part of the hotel.
Am received by a courteous elderly lady and her daughter, who look as if I was the last person they had expected to see.
Happy Thought.—Say what I’ve come for. A few baths. Will I take them all at once, which is cheaper, or not? I don’t quite understand: possibly because I am talking French (in English), and they are speaking the same language (in German). Becoming intelligible to one another, I ascertain that their question is one of tickets. I take a lot, recklessly, paying I don’t know quite how much, in thalers. Elderly lady smiles encouragingly on me, and asks me if I will descend the steps? If they lead to the baths, yes. They do. Elderly lady sounds a bell. I descend, and pass through the glass folding-doors into a passage with whitewashed walls and ceiling, and a row of small doors on either side.221
First Impression.—Prison on the Silent System.
A small, fresh-faced man, in a chronic state of mild perspiration, looking, in his white jacket and apron, something like a superior French cook without a cap, appears before me, and says—
“Good morning, sare.”
Happy Thought.—Bath-man speaks English: in case the bath shouldn’t agree with me, useful. “Which bard?” he asks, laconically, and allows me to look in at the doors of several cells. No prisoners in just now. Attendant shakes his head. “Late for bard (bath),” he says. “Twenty, dirty, men season.” From which I readily gather, that in the season, which is now almost past (there are three days more of it) the baths are full.
Finding that I don’t make up my mind on the subject, he settles it for me peremptorily, and showing me into a cell, observes, “Nice bard,” and shakes his head solemnly, as much as to say, “You couldn’t get a better than this, if you tried ever so much.” The compartment I am in, is a small undressing-room of the very plainest description: either a cell, as struck me at first, in a prison, or in the monastery of a very ascetic order.
Happy Thought.—The Bathing Monks. Never were any, I fancy. Good idea. Might suggest it to ecclesiastical authorities.
The bath is where the sitting-room would be if these were lodgings with apartments en suite.222
At first sight there appears to be a sort of scum on the water, which suggests my remark to the attendant. “Dirty!”
He smiles. “Goot,” he replies. “Dirty; goot,” and dips a large thermometer into the bath.
This doesn’t satisfy me as to its cleanliness. On the wall is a notice, informing the visitor that he has a right to insist upon seeing the bath prepared in his presence, by order of the Committee.
I draw the attendant’s attention to this, and then pointing to the bath, I shake my head, and say emphatically, and with an air of disgust, “Dirty!”
Happy Thought.—Wish Mr. Payne, the pantomimist, were here. Wonder how he’d explain my meaning to the attendant.
The man nods in reply, “Jah so; dirty, hot,” which is not a cheering view. I’ve seen “Third Class” written up over the doors of Baths and Washhouses in London. It strikes me that mine will be something of this sort unless I can explain that I do insist upon its being prepared in my presence.
Happy Thought.—My Conversation-Book is in my pocket. Difficult to find the correct place at once, so as to exactly suit the occasion.
Open quickly and come upon.
|The Chandler||Der Lichtzieher.|
|The Chimney Sweeper||Der Kaminfeger.|
No: that won’t do. Still it will be useful to know where to 223 find the Chandler and Chimney-Sweeper when I do want them another time.
Happy Thought.—Mark the place. Look at Index for “Bath,” “Dirty,” and “Clean.”
Is the Index at the end or beginning?
Look at the end. No. Only “Models for Notes.” “Note on not finding a person at home.” “Note of invitation.” “Note of apology.”
Happy Thought.—Mark these. Useful another time. Index in beginning. Under what heading? Don’t know. Begin at the beginning, Bother: it’s not alphabetical, and it occupies four pages of small print.
The attendant is busy preparing my bath.
I run my eye and finger quickly down the first page of “Contents.”
Happy Thought.—It ought to be dis-contents. (N.B. Work this up; do for something of Sheridan’s or Sydney Smith’s; more like Smith.)
“Fractions, Army, Ammunition.” Hang ammunition! “Time, Man.” I pause here. Man.
Happy Thought.—Look out Man. Perhaps find “Bath-man” under that heading. No; on reflection, it’s “dirty” and “clean” that I want. Go on again with Index: “Reptiles, Insects, Maladies, Kitchen, Cellar, Servants, Mountains, Rivers, Agricultural Implements.” Hang these things! 224 Where are Adjectives, good strong Adjectives? “Affirmative Phrases, Negative Phrases.” This is nearer, warm, as children say in hide-and-seek. “Ecclesiastical Dignities.” Cold again. “Music.” Absolutely chilly. “Field Sports.” Oh, bother! Ha! “Imperative Phrases.” Warmer. “With a Woollen Draper.” Lost it once more. “A Lady at her Toilet.” Toilet may be of some use to me now. “The Master before getting up.”
Happy Thought.—Look out Imperative Lady at Toilet, and Before getting up. Combine some words for present use.
The attendant has finished. The bath is steaming. “Nice bard,” he says. “Nice; hot; dirty.” Here he points to 30° Réaumur on the thermometer.
Happy Thought.—I understand him at last. He thought I wanted the bath at thirty, what he calls dirty.
No: Dr. Caspar particularly said 27°, and, from what I’ve heard, you can’t do better than follow Dr. Caspar’s advice implicitly.
Happy Thought.—Point to that number on Thermometer. Hit myself on the chest, frown, say “No, no, Nein Nein, Ich wünsch (I mean I want) twenty-seven. Doctor order.”
“Not dirty?” he asks, in astonishment.
“Nein, Nein,” I reply, we are beginning to understand one another beautifully. “I said dirty, not Thirty”—pause to let him digest this. He is intelligent. He smiles. “Ah!” he 225 says, and pulls a huge wooden plug out of the bath, I suppose to alter the temperature.
Happy Thought.—While he is busy look out The Master before getting up. Here it is—“Peter what o’clock is “Will you shave?” No. Ah, here, “You must give me my cotton stockings with my boots and my kerseymere trousers”—pretty dress! “Give me my boots, as the streets must be dirty.” Dirty—here we are. [N.B. German manners and customs deduced from Conversation-Book; ex. gr. if the weather hadn’t been dirty, he’d have gone out without his boots.] “Dirty” is .
Happy Thought.—“Das Wasser in dem Bad is Schmuzig.”
He is indignant. To prove his assertion of its cleanliness he takes a handful and drinks it. Solvitur bibendo. I am satisfied.
The bath is ready—and so am I. A voice, resounding beneath the small dome, whence daylight comes in, calls out something.
“Kommen,” replies the attendant and leaves me to my bath. I am to stop in half an hour, and forty minutes if I can do so. Now to commence.226
A DIP BY DAYLIGHT—THOUGHTS—WHAT TO DO—A SINGER—ASSISTANCE—DER HERR—EIN LIED—DER ANDERE MANN—BOX AND COX—A THEORY—THE INDEX—SULPHUR.
What can you do in a bath? How slowly the time goes! Forty minutes in 26° Réaumur. You can’t read with comfort. You can’t talk, unless to yourself, which is, I believe, the sure forerunner of madness. If you have some one in the next bath, you can talk to him, if you’re acquainted; but even then your conversation is heard by everybody else. No, it’s the sulphur silent system and water. But one can’t positively lose forty minutes of the day. What can one do in a bath?
This reminds me of the celebrated Parrot. Besides you can think just as well out of the bath; better. Might learn German in my bath. Might, and also mightn’t.
The Bath is a good place for “wondering.” You can wonder what good it will do you? Wonder what’s the matter with you? Wonder who’s in the next bath? Wonder what the time is? Wonder, if you had a fit, whether you’d be able 227 to seize the bell in time? Wonder if it isn’t all humbug? Wonder if it is? Wonder if the Bath-man flew at you with a knife and attacked you, what chance you’d have? Wonder if you might sleep in the bath? Wonder what possible pleasure the Romans found in always bathing? &c., &c., &c.
The Bath-man suddenly looks in. “Time,” he says, as if I were going in for another round at a prize-fight. I look at my watch: no, I don’t think so. “Nein.” I add, with courage, “Fünf Minuten mair,” I mean five minutes more: mair being, of course, Scotch.
He understands me. I am sure there is nothing like dashing boldly into a language.
The gentleman either in the bath next me, or a few doors off, doesn’t find any difficulty in amusing himself in the bath. I never heard such a row as he makes. He sings snatches of songs, chiefly Operatic, and never correct, in a stentorian voice. Wish I could silence him. I now have something to do in my bath; to silence this dreadful noise.
The question is, hasn’t a man a right to do what he likes in his own bath? Yes. If I may think, he may sing; but, on the other hand——[I always like to put the other side of the question fairly to myself: by the way, I generally see the other side better than my own] he may not sing to the obvious prevention of my thinking. My thinking doesn’t interfere with anybody; his singing does. Stop, though; if I interfere now, the result of my thinking is evidently that I do interfere with his singing. This assumes quite a casuistical appearance. He is beginning an air from Norma that I know by heart. When I say singing, I mean 228 He gets to the seventh bar, and then pauses, evidently in doubt.
Happy Thought.—To finish it for him.
I do so, with diffidence, and not so loudly as he has been giving it. Pause. This will evidently lead to a struggle, unless he has caved in at the first shot from my battery—I should say, bath-ery. I am allowed to think in peace for about a minute. Then he breaks out again. I believe he has been collecting a répertoire during the silence. “Voici le sabre, le sabre, le sabre!” &c. He gets into difficulties at the high part—about the fourteenth bar, I should say.
Happy Thought.—His weakness is my opportunity. I come in at the finish, whistling this time. Without waiting, he begins, “Ah, que j’aime les Militaires!”
Happy Thought.—Puzzle him. Sing the quick movement in , slightly adapted by myself, on the spur of the moment, to the occasion.
He now sings Largo al factotum hoarsely, but not merrily; for I detect a certain ferocity in his voice. I must be careful; because, if he is a Prussian officer, he will call me out when he meets me outside.
Happy Thought.—Can say what the Clown does when he’s caught by a shopkeeper, “Please, Sir, twasn’t me.”
Bath-man appears with towels.
“Fünf Minuten,” says he. I should rather say it was; 229 twenty-five minutes, more likely. “Towel: nice varm,” he continues, and having dried me carefully in one, he wraps me in another, and leaves me.
Classic dress this. Think of Socrates. The Singing Man has holloaed for the bath-attendant, and is evidently preparing to leave.
Happy Thought.—Ring for Bath-man, and (after consulting Conversation-Book and combining my question) ask him who the singing bather is. Can’t find “singing” in Conversation-Book. I find “a song:” i.e., ein Lied. Der Herr is “the gentleman.”
Happy Thought.—Recollect having seen in playbills the part of So-and-So, Mr. Blank (with a song). That’s the idea. The Bath-man enters. “You ring?”
“Yah. Wer ist der Herr mit ein Lied?”
Triumph! only I wish he wouldn’t answer me in German. However, I make out that he doesn’t know. He merely speaks of him as “Der andere Mann;” that is, with a concession to my language, “the other man.” There are two men, then, in the bath; one is myself, and the other is Der andere Mann.
Fifth Bath Day.—Der andere Mann is in the bath every day. I hear him. I never see him. He comes in either just before me, or just after me, and leaves in the same relative proportion of time.
Happy Thought.—The Bathing Box and Cox. Similar in 230 situation, except that we never meet anywhere. I discover that this is one consequence of the Season being terminated. Der andere Mann and myself are the only two remaining to bathe in the New Baths. Other bathers go to the Kaiserbad, or to other springs; for there are sulphur springs everywhere in, out of, and round and about Aix.
Sunday.—Visit the Cathedral in the morning. It is crammed full, as, by the way, are all the Churches, apparently at any hour, in Aachen. I am here struck by a most
Tremendous Happy Thought.—A new idea for Popgood and Groolly. It is a Theory of Origination. It comes to me all at once. It will astonish Colenso, upset Descartes, scatter Darwinian theories, and perhaps create an entire revolution in philosophy and science.
Happy Thought.—Perhaps become a Heresiarch. New sect: Happy Thinkers, not Free-Thinkers. Be condemned by the Pope, be collated (or something, whatever it is) by the Archbishop of Canterbury, denounced by the Chief Imaum, held up to execration by Dr. Adler and the principal Rabbis, pronounced contumacious by the Alexandrine Patriarch, and be anathematised as dangerous by the Grand Lama of Thibet; and, finally, the Book placed on the Index by the Roman Congregation.
Happy Thought.—Splendid advertisement: in large type. New Book, just published, on the Index. Might get Typical Developments on the Index; and then, if both could be 231 excluded from Mudie’s Circulating , its fortune and mine, and Popgood and Groolly’s, would be made.
Happy Thought.—Write to them, or telegraph at once. Shall give up my baths, and run over to England. Tell Doctor Caspar so. He says, “No; on no account. We must get it out of you.” I tell him I feel that it is coming out of me: apparently in the shape of a new heresy, but I don’t add this.
Capital fellow Caspar. Speaks English so well. Dyngwell observes, “I wish I had as many sovereigns as Caspar speaks English,” which is vague, but expresses Dyngwell’s intense admiration of the Doctor’s culture.232
CATHEDRAL—AACHEN—HIGH MASS—THE HERETICAL THEORY—TELEGRAM—DYNGWELL’S PRESCRIPTION—KAGELSPIEL—LETTER—THE VAPOUR—DER ANDERE MANN.
I visit the cathedral again, and I am confirmed in my first impression. My theory (the heretical theory mentioned before) is, that Man is made in moulds; not of mould, but in moulds.
Now I arrive at this, thus:—
On going into the Cathedral, High Mass is just commencing. I struggle into a good place. We are all standing, and seats are an impossibility. Duchesses and draymen elbowing one another, but this by the way; only I do approve of this religious equality, and think it worth noticing.
Before mass, all the canons, choristers, deans, and precentors walk into the body of the church, and commence versicles and responses. What they are I do not know, nor can I attend to the service, for, to my utter amazement, I find that, from the chief dean or head canon, or whatever he is, to the smallest man chorister (not boy), all are thoroughly well known to me. Yes, I recognise every one of their faces. They are as familiar to me as possible. Yet I have never 233 been to Aachen before. Never. I have never been inside this Cathedral prior to this occasion. No. But I know every one of the ecclesiastics here by sight.
I find myself staring at one in particular. He is short and sharp-looking, with a large mouth. He catches my eye: he can’t help it; nor can I help keeping mine fixed on him. We are mesmerising each other. I feel that he is chanting his verses mechanically, and, as it were, addressing them chiefly to me. I wonder whether he is too much mesmerised to move with the procession when it gets in motion again. But who is he? Who are they? I have known only one foreign priest in my life, and he was a Frenchman, and not a bit like any of these. It breaks upon me, on my second visit, all at once. They are well-known theatrical faces, some familiar to me from childhood, and indelibly engraved on my memory, and others known to me in later years.
This small mesmerised priest (a minor canon he is), in a short surplice and a tippet, is Mr. Dominick Murray—neither more nor less. The Chief Dean is Mr. Paul Bedford,* in a cope, assisted by Mr. Buckstone of the Haymarket, and Mr. Rogers of the same company, who hold two candles for him to read small print by. Mr. Barry Sullivan, in a collar with lace, is scowling at his breviary; and Mr. Honey, with his hair cut, is chanting, hard at it, at the bottom of his voice. The others are all well known to me, only I can’t remember their names, except, by the way, Mr. Horace Wigan, who 234 stands out from the rest, because he has lost his place in a large book he is carrying, and has got into difficulties with his spectacles.
* I regret to say, the late Mr. Paul Bedford. There were few faces more familiar to the Theatre-going public, than was this genial Comedian’s.
Hence my theory of Moulds. I find Mr. Dominick Murray (let us say, for example, as he was my chief attraction: he did sing so energetically, and knew his part without a book!) in Germany as a Minor Canon, in England as an excellent comedian. The same with Mr. Buckstone, Wigan, &c. Well, why not in India find the same type of man among the Brahmins?—that is another lot out of the same mould.
⁂ Dr. Caspar has just called in late at night, and finding me at my notes (above) on my new theory, has ordered me not to write any more for a day or two, and to go to bed at once. Caspar is an excellent fellow, and really takes a personal friendly interest in a patient. He is much struck with my theory of “moulds,” and says he will call in and talk it over in the morning. In the meantime (that is, between this and breakfast) I am to go in for a hotter bath up to 28° Réaumur, be very careful in diet, rely upon Friedrichshallerbitterwasser, and not write a line about this new theory till he gives me permission. Should like to telegraph to my wife and tell her. Have sent to and Groolly a telegram to this effect:—
“New theory. Moulds. Upset everything. Great Idea. Write again. Will you publish?”
Dr. Caspar insists on seeing me into bed. He says “the sulphur is doing its work well.” Something is coming out of me. What?235
Dyngwell looks in. “Well, old Cockalorum, got the papsylalls, after all, eh? Doctor given you something golopshus. Rub it in.” This is his general idea of a prescription. “Good night.”
Dr. Caspar prescribes douche and vapour baths. It’ll be all out of me, whatever it is, in another week or so. I ask him if I may employ my leisure in writing Typical Developments and the Theory of Origination, for Popgood and Groolly.
He says “No, decidedly not.” That instead I must devote myself to kagelspiel— is skittles. I remember that Dr. Whately used to relax his mind by swinging on the chains of the post in front of the archiepiscopal palace. Caspar is right. He is, I find, invariably right; being a thoroughly scientific doctor, without a grain of humbug. Baths in the morning, dinner mid-day, kagelspiel in the afternoon; tea in the evening, and attendance at a concert or any musical meeting.
Plenty of music in Aix. I have now been here long enough to observe that my first impressions were remarkably superficial.
I note down that for recovery of health, and generally for getting anything out of you, there is no better place, I should imagine, than Aachen.
Happy Thought.—To write to Milburd and forestall him in the joke which I know he will make when I return about leaving my Aches (Aix) behind me.
Second Happy Thought on Same Subject.—Set the idea to 236 music, “The Girl I left Behind Me,” i.e. “The Aches I left Behind Me.” Say to Milburd in mv letter,—
“If you see any one who asks for me,
And doesn’t know where to find me;
You may say that I’ve gone across the sea,
And left my Aix behind me.”
Copy this into three letters to other people, including one to Friddy. The other people don’t know Milburd, so it will be all right.
The Vapour Bath.—Shown into a bed-room at the Neubad, whitewashed walls and window near the ceiling. Idea. Prisoner’s dormitory, still on the Silent System. Bath-man presently returns looking warmer than usual, and says something that sounds like Der Damp Shift is fertish, which I am right in taking to mean that the Vapour Bath is ready. I follow him, in what I may term, delicately, my popular character of Unfallen Adam, across a paved passage, cell-doors on either side (from which I imagine people suddenly looking out and saying “Hallo!” as Milburd would, if he were here) to a small jam-closet without any shelves, but with a skylight above.
In this closet is the case of, as it were, a small quaint old-fashioned piano, only without the works and key-board. This is the Vapour Bath. The Bath-man opens it: I see at once that I am to step in. I step in. I see that I am to sit down over where the steam is coming up. I do, nervously. The Bath-man then boxes me in by closing the front, and putting up a sort of slanting shutter, which only leaves my 237 head out of a hole at the top, like some sort of Chinese punishment of which I remember a picture. I fancy the Bath-man rather enjoys this, as his only chance of a practical joke. Hope he won’t think it fun, or do something stupid. He hangs my watch on a nail opposite me and says, “fifteen minuten in der bad.”
Happy Thought.—“Nein. Fünf.”
He won’t hear of such a thing. I don’t like being left alone. He smiles and nods, “Nice varm?” he asks, and shuts the door on me. It is varm, but it is not nice. How horribly slow the time passes. Yes, it is like a Chinese punishment. I try to distract my mind. Let me see what can I think about? Odd, I can’t think of anything except the time and the bath. Yes, one thing, “Can any one see through this skylight?” No—ground glass. Suddenly I become aware of myriads of little insects on the wall by my watch. Ants. They are nowhere else.—They are very busy. Suppose they were to forsake the wall, and run all over my face and hair? I can’t do anything. What is Ant in German? I will complain when Bath-man re-appears.
He does re-appear on the instant—that is his head re-appears smilingly, and asks “Nice varm?” I reply “Jah.” He adds, “Time, no?” and retires.
I have forgotten the Ants. Who was it, Bruce or Wallace who became King of Scotland by watching a spider? Galileo made a scientific discovery about the pendulum while watching a church-lamp during a stupid sermon. 238 These Ants might lead me to turn my attention to natural history, if I stay here long enough.
Odd: the Vapour Bath doesn’t seem to be taking anything out of me. I thought it would be something fearful, and that I should yell, half suffocated and parboiled, for help.
Bath-man’s head again. “Nice varm? Time, no?” and disappears.
At the expiration of a quarter of an hour, he enters with a warm linen mantle. He unpacks the box (I could have travelled from here to London in this case, labelled “with care,” and “this side uppermost”) and I come out, like a character in a pantomime, when a watch-box or something is struck by harlequin’s wand and out steps a boy dressed like Napoleon (only I’m dressed like Nobody and in nothing), and am immediately clothed in the warm garment.
Then I follow Bath-man back to bed-room.
Here I am tumbled into a hot bed at once. Bath-man savagely tucks me up. “Nice varm?” he asks again. “Heiss,” I reply. “So ist goot,” he answers. He surveys me in bed. I am helpless. “Der andere Mann,” he informs me, “take dampf bad to-day.”
He says this in an encouraging tone, as much as to impress upon me that in all matters connected with the baths I can’t do better than follow the example of Der andere Mann.239
DER ANDERE MANN—COMPARISONS—DISGUST—END OF VAPOUR—THE FAILURE—THE DOUCHE—HAMLET’S GHOST—PROCEDURE—DOUCHING—CONVERSATION—BON MOT—NIAGARA.
I feel that I ought to be dreadfully, unbearably hot, but I’m not. There seems, as I lie on my back, bound down by sheets under a huge feather bed or two, to be a sort of infernal jingle of a rhyme in my head.
I ought to be hot,
But I’m not, I’m not.
I will if I can,
Like Der andere Mann.
Who is this Andere Mann? I’ve never seen him. Perhaps he is in the next cell to me. Wish I could sleep. Should like to, but mustn’t; at least Caspar says it’s bad to do so. Must stay in for forty minutes. Impossible to read, even if one had a book. Why don’t they invent some plan of fixing up a book before you? Wish Friddy were here: she’d read to me. Devoted wife, reading to vapour-bathed husband. I am not very warm. Wonder if it’s doing me good? or harm?240
Bath-man looks in. He takes a towel, and wipes my forehead: apparently without any satisfactory result, as he is more disgusted with me than ever.
“Nein,” he says, “nix varm.” Then in a tone of expostulation, “Der andere Mann much varm: sveat der andere Mann.”
I am getting angry: I feel it. I am annoyed. What do I care about Der andere Mann’s state of heat? I wish I knew the German for “comparisons are odious,” I’d say it. All I do is to restrain my impatience, and merely say, “Oh, very odd. Twenty minutes,” by which I mean that in that time I will leave this bed, whatever happens, “much varm” or not. Begin to think I’ve had enough of it.
Ten Minutes after the above.—Interval of thinking of nothing, except trying to recollect poetry, and failing. Bath-man enters. He is puzzled by my comparative frigidity.
“Der andere Mann,” he begins again, “much varm: sveat, der andere Mann, much sveat.” This in a loud tone, and as if at a loss to find terms to make me comprehend the admirable conduct of this infernal Andere Mann; “but,” he goes on, more in sorrow than in anger at my utter failure, “you, nix varm, nix sveat; nutting,” and he consequently comes with towels rather before his time, having decided upon giving me up as a bad job. He shakes his head dejectedly, as he goes through the mere formality of wrapping me up, and rubbing me down, to preserve me from sudden chill, and soon leaves me as unworthy of further attention, probably to report my extraordinary conduct to the Andere Mann, and 241 to praise him in fulsome language for his exemplary bearing in and out of the vapour bath.
“Try again another day,” I say to Bath-man as I leave. But he has no reply for me: he is dejected. There are only two men, who, now the season is over, come to these baths. One is myself, and the other is Der andere Mann, and the first is, in the Bath-man’s opinion, beneath contempt as a “Dampf-shifter.”
English party here, small by degrees, and beautifully less; which quotation also applies to the gouts, and rheumatisms, and other ills the flesh is heir to, under Dr. Caspar’s treatment and application of sulphur waters.
System in my case undergoes a change. Besides the vapour bath, where after several ineffectual attempts I never can come up to the temperature of Der andere Mann, I am now douched.
The Douche.—The Doucheman, I mean the man who gives you the douche, appears dressed in a sort of nightgown and nightcap. I get out of his way at first, under the impression that he is an elderly lady, who has mistaken her compartment in the bath. He beckons me, I hesitate under the above-mentioned impression, naturally. He smiles, and beckons me again.
Happy Thought.—Not unlike Hamlet’s Father’s Ghost. “His custom always of an afternoon.”
Another Happy Thought in the same line.—“Lead on, I follow.” He does lead on, and I do follow. To a cell with 242 bath, similar to the others, only with a large water-pipe in it, coming down the back wall, above where your head would be if you sat under it.
We are both silent. He shuts the door. There is something unpleasantly mysterious in these movements. Feel that I must be on the defensive. (Nervous system a little out of order, or else why be afraid of a Doucheman, who, I know, will not do me any harm? Shall refer this to Caspar, who will feel my pulse, which of itself is an operation that disturbs me considerably until the Doctor speaks, when I invariably feel relieved, whatever he says.) Doucheman suddenly takes off his bathing-gown and appears something like an acrobat who is going to support another acrobat on a pole. I am the other acrobat. Wish I knew the German for “acrobat.” He speaks French, so I try “Acrobar.” I say, “We are two Acrobars,” pleasantly. He nods (he is now standing in the bath, doing something with the mouth of the pipe), smiles, and turns the water on to himself, just to see how he likes it before he tries it on me.
He is satisfied with the waterworks, and again imitates the Ghost in “Hamlet.” I descend the steps. “Speak! I’ll go no farther.”
He speaks; “plus bas,” he says, whereupon, after thinking for a few seconds what he means, I take up my position one step lower. I can imagine a very nervous man being thoroughly frightened by the next proceeding, which is to take you, quite unawares, by the leg. Somehow it’s the last thing any one would think of. It seems to me that the Doucheman has no settled plan, but that after considering 243 the patients for a few minutes, he is suddenly seized by a—
Happy Thought.—“Take him by the left leg” (vide poem about the infidel Longlegs) and pummel his foot.
The noise of the water rushing through the pipe on to my leg prevents conversation (it is Niagara in miniature), otherwise I should like to talk to him about the art of douching, and what is his idea of the particular benefit to the subject. In a moment’s pause, that is, before he gets hold of my other leg, I collect myself for a question in French, “Why do you do this?” It sounds piteous, I fancy, as if I had added, “I never did anything unkind to you!”
He answers that it is “pour faire rouler le sang,” and begins kneading my instep.
Happy Thought.—A kneaded friend is a friend indeed, or, a friend who kneads is a friend indeed.
Think it out, and put it down to Sydney Smith.
Douche on my hands, arms, chest, everywhere.
Happy Thought.—All round my hat. Happier thought, on expanding my chest to the full force of the water, “All round my heart.” Niagara on my back. Squirt, rush, whizz, sky-rockets of water at me. I am catching it heavily over the shoulders.
Happy Thought.—Should like to turn round suddenly, and see if the Doucheman is laughing. I daresay it’s very 244 good fun for him. Sort of perpetual practical joke. Capital employment for Milburd if he ever wants a situation.
In twenty minutes it is all over.
Happy Thought.—Write a description of it all in some cheap form. Call it “Twenty minutes with a Doucheman.” Telegraph the idea to Popgood and Groolly. They haven’t replied to my other telegram.
Fresh sulphur water is turned on up to 30° Réaumur, and I sit calmly meditating on the stirring events of the last half hour in the tranquillity of the ordinary bath, the Doucheman having resumed his nightgown and wished me bon jour.
Happy Thought.—“Oh that a Doucheman’s draught should be,” &c. Sing it myself. Stop on remembering that if Der andere Mann is in the building, this will encourage him to begin his operatic selections.
Back in my Room at Hotel.—Never felt so well. Premonitory symptoms of gout have come out and gone. Caspar right. Telegraph to Popgood and Groolly. Say, “Premonitory symptoms gone. How about theory—origination? Will you? Wire back.”245
TABLE D’HÔTE—OUR PARTY—CONVERSATION—CLASSICS—NAVAL TOPICS—CUTTING IN—FOURTH WEEK—LETTER FROM HOME—OUR PROFESSOR—COCKALORUMS—DYNGWELL—A CLUB—GERMAN EXERCISES—GERMAN LETTER—RESTORATION.
Our table-d’hôte party is very select. At the head of the table sits distinguished guest; sort of oldest inhabitant. He knows Madame the proprietress of the Hotel, a lively and agreeable French lady of commanding figure, and with, I should say, an eye to business. Near her are her son (who is, of course, a soldier, and sits at his desk in his bureau, attending to the Hotel accounts, dressed in full uniform) and daughter, and there is no pleasanter party at the table than this most united family.
Happy Thought.—Sit with them, and practise my French. Mention this to Dyngwell, who replies, “Nobody axed you, sir, she said,” which is true.
Our end of the table is the inquisitive and critical department. We are always asking “Who that is?” meaning some new arrival, and, generally have, amongst us, an Eye for Beauty.246
Beauty, however, seldom having an Eye for us in return.
Dr. Caspar takes the chair at our end, and we are very sociable and cheery.
There are two gentlemen in a state of progressive convalescence who compare notes as to health across the table. A nervous person who eats preserved peas with a knife, and has a jerky way like an automaton-diner, with his fork and a bit of bread when eating fish. There are two naval gentlemen, one a Commander and the other a Lieutenant. The Commander has been all over the world, and has a great story about a Mongoose. No one has heard the end of it, as he generally forgets a date or somebody’s name essential to the dénouement of the Mongoose. Always thought, till now, that a Mongoose was humbug, like the Phœnix. The Lieutenant contradicts the Commander on most naval matters, but has never seen a Mongoose. There is a charming old gentleman who has translated Æschylus and Euripides into English verse; he has been complimented by the greatest scholars of the day, and his publishers have just sent him in his bill for printing, and a letter to know what the deuce they shall do with the first thousand. We talk together about Greek poets.
Happy Thought.—Take up Greek again. Read Homer. Old gentleman quotes passages. Of course I remember, he says to me, the passage in the Iliad, commencing “Dinamenos potty,” &c. Of course I don’t.
Happy Thought.—To encourage him, say as if cogitating, 247 “Yes,” dubiously, “I fancy I recollect the gist of the passage.” “Ah!” he replies, “and what would you make of the epithet there: an epithet used only once, as I believe, in that sense by Homer, or any later Greek poet?” I can make nothing of it, and leave it to him. What does he makes of it? “That,” he returns, “has always been his difficulty.’” Don’t like to ask what epithet he means.
Happy Thought.—To quote carelessly “Poluphoisboio Thalasses,” and say with enthusiasm, “Ah, there’s an epithet! How grand and full is the Greek language!” Luckily at this moment the Commander asks me if I’ve heard what he was telling the Doctor about the Mongoose, and the waiter hands the sauer-kraut (excellent dish!!) to the translator of Æschylus.
When we sit late and have Champagne, as is the case on Sundays or on the departure of a friend or a birthday, we all get into philosophical discussion, all except the Commander and the Lieutenant, who nearly come to high words (invariably) on points of seamanship, as to whether it is better or not, in a storm, to rig the boom taffrail, or pay out the gaff. The Commander appeals to our common sense, in behalf of the boom taffrail, and the Lieutenant observes scornfully, that “Any one who knows how to sail a vessel would immediately pay out the gaff.”
Happy Thought.—To say conciliatingly, “Well, I suppose it doesn’t much matter.”
They retort, “Oh, doesn’t it!” and explain. More 248 Champagne. The Commander afterwards takes me aside and depreciates the Lieutenant’s theories in confidence. The Lieutenant takes Dyngwell apart, and says he should be very sorry to be sailing under his (the Commander’s) orders. Dyngwell observes, “That both the nautical Cockalorums have been going on the scoop, and are slightly moppy.” By which we understand him to mean, that the two naval officers have had as much as is bad for them.
Happy Thought.—A naval officer half-seas over. (Think this out, and put it down to Sydney Smith.)
First Day of Fourth Week at Aix.—I am quite well. Three more douches, two vapours, and four ordinary baths will settle the question.
Happy Thought.—Present Dr. Caspar with a testimonial; say the first volume of Typical Developments, when it appears, with plates. “Anatomy” (under A) will interest him.
Letter from Friddy. I must come back, she says——
Happy Thought.—Nice to be written to affectionately.
I turn over the page: she continues, “—or send a cheque.” It appears I have stayed away longer than she expected. The baby is less rashy than he was. Regret that I must go home before I’ve got on with my German.
A German Lesson.—My Professor of languages is the most amiable, patient, and persevering gentleman. He is much tried by Captain Dyngwell, to whom he has been for some time giving lessons. Dyngwell invariably salutes him—he is 249 Doctor-of-Law or some degree or other, and a man with whom anyone of a philosophic turn would at once commence discussing German metaphysics or deep and interesting psychological questions; but Dyngwell invariably salutes him with a slap on the back, a hearty slap on the back, or with a pretended lunge of his walking-stick into the professor’s fifth rib, making him wince but smile, and addressing him as “Hullo! old Cockalorum! Deutsch?”
At first I ascertain the Professor went home and looked out “Cockalorum” in the dictionary—he is a great man for roots and derivations, and knows Beaumont and Fletcher, Massinger, Shakspeare, and most old standard authors by heart. Not finding Cockalorum in any known glossary, he gets near it as a probable genitive plural of Cock-a-leekie, and humbly sets this down to his ignorance of Scotch dialects. Later on, he determines, after a night’s deep thought, that it is a compounded form of Custos Rotulorum, and announces this as an interesting philological discovery to Dyngwell, who receives the information with his glass in his eye and the remark, that it’s “Whatever you please, my little dear, only blow your nose and don’t breathe upon the glasses.” To which he gives an air of authority, very confusing to the Professor, by adding, “hem! Shakspeare,” which causes the good Herr another sleepless night in his library.
Happy Thought.—Explain Dyngwell to him.
We have an interesting discussion on ancient and modern slang. To assist me in reading German, the Professor 250 kindly takes me to his Club; an excellent social club with a reading-room full of newspapers, German, French, and English.
I take up the something Zeitung, and am helpless. End by reading the Times.
Commence German Lesson, Read and translate out of German into English, and back again. The principal characters in the exercise are the shoemaker and the tailor, and, of course, my father and my mother. Dyngwell is satisfied with this sort of thing, and copies out reams of examples.
Happy Thought.—Make my own examples and gradually compile a new exercise-book. My Professor is pleased with the idea as original. I make selections on paper, modelling them on Ahn’s La Langue Allemande.
Examples for the Use of Students (might include these in Typ. Devel.)—The shoemaker is sad. The father of the shoemaker is fat. The wife of the gardener has given an umbrella to the shoemaker. The mother of the carpenter was often in my garden. Will you fight the gardener? No, Henry will fight the gardener, because the shoemaker is ill (krank). Here is Ferdinand! Have you washed your boots? Yes, my mother, I have also washed the boots of the gardener.
For more Advanced Students.—At what hour do you sup? I sup at nine o’clock with the wife of the shoemaker. Have you seen my brother? No: but I have written to my uncle and my aunt. Will you eat some ham? No: I will not 251 eat some ham. The lion is ill. The shoemaker laughs at the gardener’s aunt (i.e., the aunt of the gardener). Your cousin was looking for his hat while the merchant was dancing. The hound is not so fat as the cat (als die Katze).
I dance better than you, but you do your exercises better than I. Your father was playing in the garden with your uncle when the lion came. The industrious schoolboy is loved by everybody. My neighbour has sold his chickens to the lion. The coachman is eating plums and apples, and we have wine and beer. Give me some soup, some wine, some beer, some sugar, some vegetables, and some ink, and do not call me till four in the morning. The tailor is here, so is the shoemaker, but the lion has eaten the gardener.
Happy Thought.—(Finishing sentence to the exercise.) The big lion has eaten the tailor, the shoemaker, the gardener, their aunts and uncles, the brothers and neighbours, and also the ink, the sugar, the tea, the cream, the ham, the plums, and the boots.
Happy Thought.—To astonish Friddy with a letter in German. Write home and say, “Meine liebe Frau, I am not krank now, but very much besser; in fact, quite well. Hast du mein gefunden? Ich habe mein bad genommen. Ich habe mein cheque-buch nicht. Bist du krank?”
Capital exercise the above.252
Dr. Caspar compliments me on being thinner. I feel pleased.
Note that generally every one is pleased at being thinner.
Go and get weighed at Miss Helenthaler’s tobacconist shop. Every one gets weighed here. Wonderful how Miss Catherine, who keeps the shop, speaks English perfectly without ever having been in England. Wonder if I should ever speak German without going to Germany, or even with going to Germany.
Note.—A writer in the Daily Telegraph, whose article I see here, describes two gardens as existing at Aix. One, he says called after the faithless spouse of Menelaus. There is no such place. There is the Elisa Garden, and there is Miss Helenthaler (i.e., Miss Catherine), who is much amused at being called a garden.
Happy Thought.—Write to Daily T. and correct mistake.
Happy Thought.—Leave it alone.
I shall be sorry to leave. The longer one stays in Aachen, the more you learn of the people, the pleasanter it is.
But Popgood and Groolly call; or rather, as they haven’t answered my telegrams, I really must go and see what’s the matter.
Happy Thought.—Return home by Paris. Ask Friddy to meet me there with her mother. On thinking this out (nothing like thinking a thing out), decide that it’s better 253 (besser) not to ask her. Shall like a few days’ holiday in Paris.
Happy Thought.—Celebrate my convalescence by a dinner given to the Professor, Caspar, and Dyngwell.254
MUSIC—DYNGWELL’S NOTION—ECONOMY—THE PARTY—THE CONCERT—HERR SOMEBODY—FIDDLING—THE SHIPBOY—CONCERT OVER—SUPPER—BILLIARDS—MONGOOSE—COMMANDER’S STORY.
Aix is musical, as musical as Manchester, and much in the same way too. Two excellent bands here; and once a visit from Herr Something-or-other on the fiddle of world-wide reputation, the Commander informs me, though he’s the last man whom I should suspect of knowing anything about it.
Happy Thought.—Has sailed round the world, and met Herr Something with his fiddle everywhere.
Dyngwell won’t join our party to the Concert. He says, if the Cockalorum would give us a “right-fol-iddity, or a chant with a coal-box to it” (he means chorus when he says “coal-box,” and the Professor makes a mental note of it, in order to look out this particular use of the word in the Dictionary) “he would come;” but as there is no chance of his taste in this direction being gratified, he stays in his room and runs through his German exercises.255
Happy Thought.—Beer is the same in both languages. Bavarian Beer excellent. So also the lightest wines; e.g. Zeltinger.
Happy Thought.—Take home a cask of the former and a case of the latter. I point out to Dyngwell what a saving this will be, and how necessary it is, as the father of a family (one with rashes) to be economical. He sticks his glass in his eye, and exclaims, “Bravo! quite the drunkard!” which was not, on the whole, exactly the encomium I had expected from him.
At the Concert.—Our party consists of the amiable and learned translator of Æschylus; the jovial, good-natured Yorkshire Squire (who has got well of severe gout, in a week, in consequence of rubbing in his draught, and drinking his lotion by mistake); the Lieutenant, who has come to the Concert in the hopes of there being a “hop” afterwards, which appears to be his one great aim in going to any evening entertainment of any kind; the High Church Anglican clergyman, whose resemblance to a Catholic Priest would be perfect, if there was only the slightest chance of his being mistaken for anything else but an English Protestant Minister; and Dr. Caspar, who knows every one and everything in the place, and is welcome everywhere, and can go anywhere now that Aix is deserted by strangers, and he has time for shaking hands without feeling pulses. Our nervous compatriot does not appear anywhere except at table d’hôte, having probably jerked himself into bed at an early hour, and shaken himself into a sound sleep.256
Happy Thought.—Perhaps I shall discover who Der Andere Mann is.
First overture of Concert over. Room crowded. Elegant toilettes; pretty Saxon faces; Prussian officers, in uniform of course. Commander has been listening in rapt attention to the music. We all listen to a part-song critically.
Happy Thought.—To beat time with my head and hand, in order to show that the English are a musical nation. Commander does the same. I ask him which he prefers, Rossini, Auber, or Wagner. He hesitates. He asks thoughtfully, “Let me see, what was Rossini’s great work?”
Happy Thought.—(By way of reply, while I think what Rossini has written), “His great work! Why he’s written so many.”
The Commander says, “He’s alive still, isn’t he?” I own I am taken by surprise, never having considered the question of his being alive: having, in fact, generally ranked him among the “Old Masters,” and got him back somewhere near Shakspeare’s time.
Happy Thought.—To laugh slily and say, “I suppose so.” If he isn’t, and was in Shakspeare’s time, I can say I thought he (The Commander) was joking. Mem. Read up Musical History: odd. I’ve quite forgotten it: under “C” (Composers) and “M” (Music) in Typ. Devel. Part III. Concert continues.
Herr Somebody on the violin.—Great applause on his 257 appearance. He has long hair, turn-down collar, and a pale face, at least so it seems from this distance. Strange, now I come to think of it, that all great violinists, whom I have ever seen, are always the same, and I always see them from the far end of a room. He plays a melody slowly, with which he appears pleased: so do we. Commander thinks “he must be wonderfully strong in the chin to hold the instrument while his left hand is jumping up and down it.” People look round at Commander and say “Sssh!” reprovingly. Herr Somebody takes three decided scrapes at the strings, and then as it were scrambles about the violin wildly. Three more scrapes; more scrambling; tune nowhere—one, two, three (fiercely); twiddley-twiddley-twiddly-iddley (wildly). Down below like a double-bass, making a sensitive person, like myself, experience a feeling not unlike that caused by the steamboat when it dives in between two waves on a rough passage; then up again, notes running one after the other like mice in a wall, and his four fingers and thumb chasing them nearly to the bridge and not catching them. Back again in among the screws, up the handle, on to the bridge, hand still trying to seize on something, his eyes watching the performance intently, and chin fixed. An occasional shifting his head a little on one side, just for a second, as if he was ticklish, but liked the sensation. Then a plaintive bit, which seems to make him stand on tip toes, and causes me almost to rise out of my seat. Then short note, still plaintive, which brings him down on his heels again. As I watch him he seems to become all violin and arms. Sudden appearance of a little tune, immediately 258 knocked on the head by the bow. Up and down the chromatic scale, in and out the flats and sharps. Herr Somebody loses his way in a labyrinth; more mystification; at last he’s out of the maze; pause, flourish of bow, grand triumphal movement (no tune to speak of, but no mistaking the time), chords crisp, and chords loose. Running up and down the chords; violin swaying as if (so to speak) he’d tumble off it every minute. We hold our breath in suspense. I almost feel inclined to say, “Oh, do stop, Sir! take care! for goodness sake! take care!”
Happy Thought.—A sort of Musical Blondin. On consideration this is a sensational performance.
Flourish, scuttle, scuttle, scuttle, up and down wildly, chords hard, fast, and marked up the scale full pelt, whack! whacker!! WHACKEST!!! and the exhausted performer is bowing his acknowledgments. A sigh of relief from everyone, audibly, as if we congratulated ourselves, and him, on getting through such a dangerous performance without an accident. He is encored; but only reappears and bows. He will not tempt Providence again. Everyone says Admirable! Charming! Wonderful! “almost equal to Joachim,” cries Dr. Caspar, enthusiastically.
Happy Thought.—“Yes, almost.”
Caspar is gone, before I can add that I’ve never heard Joachim. I turn to the Commander to ask him what he, as a musical man, thinks of it. The Commander is fast asleep.259
Happy Thought.—To quote to him when he wakes, “The Rugged Shipboy”—only I forget the rest; but the idea is that the Shipboy sleeps tranquilly through all dangers and tempests on the top of a mast. I have always wondered what he held on by? Will wake the Commander, and ask him to illustrate this passage in Shakspeare. Commander wakes. On being remonstrated with for his drowsiness, he admits confidentially to me, as a thing not to go any further, “that it’s not much good his being here, as he doesn’t know one tune from another.”
After Concert, which is over early (another excellent thing in the Aix arrangements, everything is over early), we adjourn to a café, where we each partake of a Wiener Schnitzel, some Sauer-kraut, and a tankard of such beer as won’t interfere with your waking in the morning. The Commander commences (with the cigars) his usual story about the Mongoose. The Lieutenant begs his pardon for a minute, and seeing a table in the ante-room vacant, proposes billiards as a wind-up. Billiards, by all means.
We rise, and go to the billiard-room. The Commander I see, a little disappointed. At this moment, Dyngwell happens to stroll in with his professorial friend, who joins us in much the same spirit that Dr. Johnson did Beauclerk and the others, when they got him out of bed for a frolic. It appears they’ve been to supper (one of Dyngwell’s ingenious methods of doing a German exercise) at Klöppel’s or Kruppels (I think that’s what they call it), and thought, that he (Dyngwell), and Old Cockalorum (the Professor), would find us here. Dyngwell opportunely salutes the Commander 260 with “Hallo, old Mongoose!” which puts an extinguisher on all chance of hearing the story from the naval officer tonight. He has been trying to tell it for weeks. He proposes to walk home with the Professor. Has probably hit upon the Happy Thought of “Tell him the Mongoose story.” Professor says he shall be delighted, only he must speak to a friend first. He does so; to some one at the other end of the room, and is not seen again, except for a second by me, when I catch sight of his hat, which there is no mistaking, as he is making a quiet exit by the front door.
Commander takes a seat between two Germans, with whom he enters affably into such a conversation as his command of the language permits; i.e. at the rate of two words in five minutes, with an occasional ja or nein. Then he goes to sleep again. Then he wakes up. Then he disappears.261
LEAVING—THE SCOOP—FOREIGNERS—MORE EXERCISES—GERMAN VERBS—DYNGWELL’S EXERCISE—HYMN—TO PARIS—POETRY—ARRANGEMENTS.
In five days I leave this. Sorry; for a pleasanter time I’ve seldom spent, and shall regret leaving Dr. Caspar and our Professor, but must get back. Dyngwell thinks, he says, of running with me to the “gay and festive village,”—he means Paris,—“and going on the scoop for a short burst of it.” I represent to him, gravely, that I can’t go on the scoop; to which his answer is, “Never mind. Cockalorum, we’ll bustle ’em somehow.”
Dyngwell asks me to come and have a chat in his room. We fall into German and French, I propose talking in both languages as a capital plan for foreigners. He says, “Who’s a foreigner?” I reply, “We are,” which seems to astonish him. He had thought that Englishmen never could be foreigners.
Happy Thought.—Suggest that he was thinking of Rule Britannia and chorus. “Never, never, never, never, never, shall be” foreigners.
I say, for practice, will he talk German to me? He won’t. 262 For practice, will I talk French to him? I will. He doesn’t understand a word I say. He says he catches one now and then. We read French to each other. Getting tired of this, he draws my attention to his exercises, and professes to be getting “Quite the German.”
Happy Thought.—To test him and his system. Represent the conventionality of his exercises. Get one of mine (intended for my forthcoming “Method of learning German, French and English simultaneously,” if Popgood and Groolly will have it. Wish they’d answer telegrams) and try him.
For Beginners.—I am fat (gross). You are poor. We are fat and poor. Am I fat or poor? Are you ill or fat? He is old and little. Is he little or old? I am rich (reich) and fatigued. Are you little (klein), and fat (gross), and rich and ill (krank)?
Next Exercise.—I am not tall. They are short and idle. Is the father good and fat? The mother is happy and tall. The father and the mother are small and polite. My aunt is with the shoemaker, but my uncle is in the garden. The wife of the doctor (des Arztes) is in the fat carpenter’s garden.
I have seen the tailor’s uncle’s boots (i.e., I have the boots of the uncle of the tailor seen).
This is what Dyngwell says is his difficulty; viz., that the verb is (so to speak) round the corner; or comes, as it were, at the end of the book.
Happy Thought.—There are more things in heaven and earth, Dyngwell, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.263
Dyngwell puts before me his idea of our exercise.
Dyngwell’s German Exercise.—Will the Cockalorum liquor? The old Cockalorum is moppy. Rub it in. The tailor was bustled a bit by the wife of the Cockalorum. The old cove went on the scoop. The venerable Cockalorum ain’t in good form. The shoemaker is a Hass. The carpenter’s grandmother was quite the drunkard. The gardener has the papsylals in his great toe. Act on the square, boys, and be quite the c’rrect card, your vashup. The carpenter retires to his virtuous downy. My Aunt and my Uncle. The noble swell was all there. Well, my Lord and Marquis, how was you to-morrow? Hallo! says the Dook. Quite the tittup, says the Duchess. The Cockalorum was on. I’ll have your German Exercise!
“Now,” says Dyngwell, “get that into real up and down German, and you’ll be quite the scholar.”
Sunday.—In the Jesuits’ Church. Expect, from seeing the crowd, that I am going to see something peculiarly grand. Edge myself as near as possible to the front row of people all standing. A German hymn which I don’t understand.
Happy Thought.—Never offend prejudices. Look devotional, and hum as much of the tune as I can catch.
No ceremonial, but a sermon. After the first twenty minutes look round to see if there’s any chance of getting out quietly. None. Wedged in. Think of saying Ich bin sehr Krank, and getting them to let me pass. Say this to mv next neighbour. He shakes his head: either he won’t 264 believe me, or doesn’t understand. Try it once more and give it up. Sermon lasts one hour at least.
Happy Thought (for any one who doesn’t understand the language and is uncertain what service he is going to hear).—Get close to the door.
Day of Departure.—Early in the morning get weighed at Miss Caroline’s. Find I’m considerably less.
Say good-bye to even-body. Dyngwell will accompany me to Paris. Everybody in hotel suddenly seems to find an opportunity for coming into my room. Waiters, chambermaids, porters, boots and people whom I’ve never seen before. I call in to see the Bath-man and the Doucheman. They receive their gratuity sorrowfully, being puzzled at the non-success of the vapour-bath in my case as compared with that of Der Andere Mann.
The Commander appears at the hotel door. He is also coming to Paris. “Capital fun, we three,” he says. He promises that he’ll tell us the story of the Mongoose in the train.
Madame Dremel lends me a triumphal car in the shape of a magnificent carriage and pair, and coachman in livery (looking, on the whole, something like a foreign ambassador’s equipage in Hyde Park), and Dr. Caspar is determined to see the last of me, for the present. I add this because I really hope to return, whether there’s anything the matter with me or not. It’s a long journey to Paris; ten hours.265
Happy Thought.—Take light wine, chicken sandwiches, and French literature to prepare for the gay capital. Get Dyngwell to talk French all the way there. Good practice.
Happy Thought.—Ask Dyngwell and Commander to get light wine and sandwiches, also.
Dr. Caspar’s interest secures us a carriage to ourselves—not to be disturbed on any account.
Happy Thought.—As invalids.
Before going, take the names and addresses of every one I leave behind. Will write to them; must see them; will all meet again, jovially—somewhere. We all mean what we say.
“Here’s old Cockalorum!” shouts Dyngwell, catching sight of our good-humoured, kind-hearted Professor’s hat. I ask him to watch for the first volume of my Typ. Develop. He says, “He will do so, with the greatest possible interest.”
Happy Thought.—Paid the Bill.
Happy Thought.—Less than I’d expected. Grand Monarque excellent and moderate.
In making this note I feel as if I was doing it for a Guide-Book. Winter is beginning. Can’t help looking forward, away from the German stoves, to the wood fires of France and the roaring logs and coal of England. Good-bye, sulphur waters! Farewell, Miss Elisa!266
Impromptu in my Pocket-book:—
Fairest of all Aachen’s daughters,
Thou who me sulphur waters,
See, I go to winter quarters;
Says I may, so fare thee well,
What I feel I cannot tell,
No, nor in thy language spell,
Pretty Miss Elisa.
Dyngwell says “Elisa” is pronounced “Elesa.” Oh, is it? very well.
Happy Thought.—Think of rhymes and settle Dingwall. Lesa—Please, Sir—teaser—greaser—tea, Sir—she, Sir—we, Sir—Pisa, &c.
To my Friend * * * *
“Youthful friend, say, have you quaffed
At her hands the sulphur draught?”
“Whose hands, if you please, Sir?”
Then I answer, “She the nymph
Of the boiling sulphur lymph,
Lovely Miss Elisa.”
What’s a “Lymph?” says Dyngwell.
Happy Thought.—To say, “My dear fellow, I suppose you’ve never read any poetry?” Dr. Caspar draws our attention to the Station. (If Dyngwell’s going to be unpleasant on the journey, I shall travel in another compartment with the Commander.)267
Once more, adieu. No, not adieu, rather au plaisir! Tickets. Luggage.
Happy Thought.—Booked through, and change nowhere: so whatever they say to us in German, French, or Dutch, we don’t stir.
Where is the Commander?
Train in motion. Farewell. Au revoir. Hands to hats. The last hand, the last hat (the Professor’s tall crown), I can just see; and also sudden appearance of the Commander, too late. He had stopped behind to tell the Professor the Mongoose story (I hear afterwards), and was obliged to leave in the middle. Aix, farewell!
Happy Thought.—To be prepared for everyone, beginning with Milburd in London coming up and saying, “Well; left all your Aches behind?” on my telling him that I’ve just come from Aix. But have already settled him in that letter: that is, if he got it.
Happy Thought.—Shall simply observe I’ve been staying at Aachen, which will lead to the learned explanation that Aachen is the same as Aix.
Telegraph to Fridoline from Paris. “Home, sweet Home! Wherever I wander, there’s no place like Home!”—that is, of course, when the drains are not up, and the Inspector of Nuisances is not bothering about the grounds. Via Paris to England.268
Return home. Imagine what it will be. Wife, child in arms, retainers, dogs, all ready to meet me. Picture—Return of the Wanderer.
Reality.—Nobody here. Wonder what’s the matter.
Happy Thought.—Ring bell. No rushing in and saying, “Behold me!” On the contrary, am kept waiting at the gate, and have to ring twice. Gardener appears suspiciously. Then a dog barking. Then I am recognised; but only as if rd just been round the corner for five minutes, and had come back again. “Mistress is up in town; will be down in the evening—to dinner, p’raps; if not, to-morrow.” See the cook. “There ain’t no dinner ordered, Sir.” Oh, hang it—here is a welcome to the Weary Traveller! Instant arrangements made for dinner. Look over the house.
Happy Thought.—Scotland stands where it did.—Shakspeare.
Look over the garden: go all round it. Well, how about 269 the drains? “Oh, the Inspector of Nuisances’ friend’s men have been working here, Sir,” says Gardener, with an air of doubt as to the result. “Well?” I inquire. “Well, Sir,” he replies, “I don’t see as they’ve done much good—if you just come round here.” I come round, and am nearly knocked over by an infernal odour which the Inspector of Nuisances had inspected before I left, and turned over to his friend to obviate with pipes and bell-traps, and gutters, and ditches, and sinks, and a disestablishment of pigstyes.
Happy Thought.—What rhymes to “sinks?”
Happy (but angry) Thought.—Send for Mr. Freshlie, i.e., Inspector’s friend; builder, &c.: “&c.” means everything. There’s nothing that Mr. Freshlie, I find on inquiry, does not profess to do. When once I get him on to my estate (three acres and a shrubbery of uncertain tenure) I find from his account that something wants doing in every direction, and that it all comes in his line of business. Locks, blinds, chimneys, carpentry, drains, wire-work, gravel paths, stones, cement, pond cleaning, hedging, ditching, tanks, pumps, in fact, he makes no difficulty about anything at all.
He is a lively, burly, impressive, honest-mannered man, who floors me with technicalities in the presence of my gardener (who pretends he understands all about it as well as Mr. Freshlie, and follows him silently, addressing him with an occasional nod of corroboration) and, when he answers, in person, my message in the morning, is for taking up the paths and opening the brick-work, and, knocking this 270 down, and putting that up in another place by way of a preliminary inquiry into the state of the case.
Happy Thought.—To say, “But your new drains which you were to have put in before I left for Aachen”—(Aachen has no effect upon him whatever)—“when I was so ill”—(he is perfectly undisturbed)—“they” (the drains) “were to have obviated”—(“obviated” doesn’t take him aback one bit)—“the nuisance. Weren’t they?” I put this to him in a question which he must answer honestly in the affirmative.
He is ready with his reply. “Just so, Sir”—(Gardener puts his arms akimbo, and watches the case for the defence)—“only you’ll see at once, Sir, where the mischief is.” He appeals to my keen perception in drainage questions. But I won’t be flattered, and am not to be put off the scent, &c.
Happy Thought.—Wish I could be put off the scent.
“Well, Sir,” he continues, “if you’ll just step this way”—we step this way, he, I, and the Gardener, and we find five of Freshlie’s men at work with pickaxes, who, having taken up a lot of tiles in the rear of the house, are now standing in a trench of their own making. “Now, Sir, here’s the mischief, you see”—he points with a two-foot rule down into the trench. I look in closely,—gardener also, less closely. I have a sort of idea that they are winking at one another (Gardener and Mr. Freshlie) over my back. I am sure the labourers are grinning: I am at a disadvantage, unless I join them, and wink too. It occurs to me now that “winks” rhymes to “sinks.”271
Happy Thought.—Stick obstinately to the fact that the horrid nuisance which he had professed to remove still exists.
“Well?” I ask.
“Well, Sir, if you look here,” i.e., in the trench, “you’ll see a pipe.” I do. “Now this ’ere pipe communicates with the kitchen somehow, and part of it was at one time or another cut off—’cos I knew the party as did it—but in what direction I can’t exactly tell, unless by taking up the tiles on this side, and opening up the yard towards the stable, as it’s not unlikely that the running in may be from where the old pigstyes were, unless the slops are emptied above and overflow from the small cistern into the gutter pipe—I’ve known such things afore now—in which case o’ course it’s very easily accounted for; you don’t know if they do that, Sir?”
No, I don’t. He wants to throw the blame on the servants; if he is right, that is if they do empty slops into the cistern, and if the pipe does carry them down, and if, &c., &c., then it follows that I am to blame. Qui facit per alium facit per se, I know; so it’s clear that if my agents empty slops, it’s the same thing as if I emptied slops; so that, according to Mr. Freshlie, I have only myself to blame, not him.
Happy Thought.—To call out to Housemaid, and ask her. “Yes,” she answers, “she do sometimes,—she ain’t got no other place.”
I appeal to Mr. Freshlie, and say, translating her idiom, “She hasn’t got any other place, you see.”
At once he has the best of it. He looks grave. “Well,” 272 says he, “well soon get over that. If you like”—(this put emphatically, and meaning, “You give me the order, and I’ll run you up a bill in no time”)—“if you like, Sir, I’ll take this tiling up here, lay down a regular set of pipes, which won’t interfere with the overflow, and will take it all off into your ditch at the side, where it won’t be no sort of objection”—(what is he talking about?)—“and then we’ll stop up this place here”—(points with his two-foot rule to the trench, which he has opened himself)—“and run a drain right away off towards the lower part, and by placing a bell-trap with clear openings, which’ll work up and down so as it’ll always keep charged with water, and nothing can come in; it’s an improvement on the old sort of trap you’ve got here”—(which he put in, by the way)—and works as easy as “can be, and then I think everything will be done to make a good job of it.”
Happy Thought.—A good job for him.
Happy Thought.—To ask the Gardener, as a witness on my side, does he think that if this—(“this” means whatever Mr. Freshlie has been talking about)—is done, we shan’t be bothered any more with the nuisance.
Happy Thought.—i.e., with Mr. Freshlie and his bill.
Gardener says, “Yes, he thinks that’ll be all right;” but he doesn’t commit himself more decidedly.
When Fridoline arrives next day, she complains of there being nothing but nasty men digging, and sawing, and 273 hammering, about the place. I point out that it is for sanitary reasons. Then she returns, “What was the good of your going to Aix?”
Happy Thought.—Drop the subject.
THE DEJEUNER PROGRESSES
printed as shown: body text in Ch. XXIII is the same
Not to say anything about this, as of course I don’t know
f in “of” invisible
It’s stupid of him if he thinks that
text has think’s
I bound into the room. “Hallo, old boy——”
open quote missing
The proprieter is a stout Frenchman
the proprieter understands English
Three shillings for ten minutes—three into ten—that’s threepence-farthing and a fraction over per minute for the Christy’s.
[Again, I don’t know if this is a mistake or a joke. The sum is really ten into three (shillings, i.e. 36 pence), making threepence-ha’penny “and a fraction over”.]
I reply that “I had thought from the Papers, that——”
text has “I reply that I
Very sorry. Staying with a fellow, so won’t do to be too late.”
close quote missing
Royal Academy to-morrow.
final . missing
[Example of Connected Dreams for Typical Developments, Vol. IX. ch. ii., par. 3, under “D,” for Dreams, i.e. Dreams of all Nations.]
text has opening parenthesis, closing square bracket
about to be executed for insurbordination
My impression about the insurbordination in India
Mustn’t say “I’m enjoying myself very much in London.”
text has Musn’t
(Mem. Find out who said this, and when: date &c.)
opening parenthesis missing
a pic-nic up the river
unexpected hyphen in the original (at midline)
Methusaleh Coming of Age in the Olden time
Commence with Typ. Devel., Vol. I.
text has Vol I. without .
Mem. Must cut out the second “present;”
. after “Mem.” invisible
This will make story No. 6.
text has No 6. without .
[I really wanted this name to be a joke on Pilsner beer, but I don’t think it was well-known enough yet. Perfunctory research suggests that they had started brewing it in the eponymous Plzeň, but the technique had not reached Germany, let alone the rest of the beer-drinking world.]
Will take it abroad, and work at it.
Meet Milburd in the Club. He exclaims, “Well, old Gropgood and Poolly
“a” in “at”, “M” in “Milburd” and “a” in “and” (second line) invisible at successive line-beginnings
must hurry on with Typ. Devel., Vol I.
text has Vol I. without .
Happy Thought.—Good-bye, Mr. Mussels.
final . missing
I take a seat, defiantly now, near the door.
final . missing
(Note. Not to forget Mesmerism, under M, in Typ. Devel., vol. vi.)
text has Note, with comma for period
Shall I say, simply to make a conversation, “Yes or No”?
quotation marks as shown; expected ‘“Yes” or “No”?’ in separate quotes
This raises interesting subjects, Bishops’ Income, Church Property
text has “Bishops’
Of course, it is necessary in scientific questions
text has O, course
This brings out the Commodore, who remembers
text has Commodore, who, remembers
Cazell is rather anxious about it’s being rough outside
Wish they’d make a tunnel under the sea
[Funny he should say that.]
Feel that everything is uncertain.
final . missing
He has been having hot brandy-and-water with the Admiral
second hyphen missing at line break
Try to recal passages of Shakspeare
spelling “recal” unchanged (“Shakspeare” is normal)
and then and some sort of Bal Mabille
he has “rather quarrelled with them by siding with me?”
final question mark in the original
THE DEJEUNER PROGRESSES
As in the Contents, accents are missing and item is italicized as shown; expected “THE DÉJEÛNER PROGRESSES
and then if I don’t like it
text has then If I
open quote missing
Suit of dittos, coloured wide-awake
text has widewake
reading Goethe’s Faust in the original
text has orginal
Forsee donations to all these when I leave.
I recollect, when travelling a long time ago, that Yahzo means a good deal.
[Somewhere in Mark Twain’s “The Awful German Language” he speaks of filling gaps: first try Schlag, if that doesn’t work try Zug, and if all else fails, Also! should fit like a plug.]
“Bringen Sie mir heiss Wasser.”
open quote missing
which comes out of a lion’s mouth in marble hot and hot
you ought first to soupçonner the bowl with a shalot
Will go down during the entr’acte
text has ent’racte
Look out Imperative Phrases, Lady at Toilet, and Before getting up
text has Phrases. Lady
Here he points to 30° Réaumur on the thermometer.
[The Réaumur scale runs from 0 to 80, so everything in this passage is a little hotter than it sounds:
“Peter what o’clock is it?”
single close quote for double
“Dirty” is Schmuzig.
spelling “schmuzig” unchanged throughout this section
Forty minutes in 26° Réaumur.
text unchanged (in the previous chapter the doctor specified 27°)
When I say singing, I mean roaring.
final . invisible
Sing the quick movement in Italiano in Algeria
text unchanged; expected “Italiana in Algeri”
Mudie’s Circulating Library
text has Liibrary
the late Mr. Paul Bedford
[Bedford died in January 1871: after More Happy Thoughts was originally published, but before this edition.]
Have sent to Popgood and Groolly a telegram to this effect
text has Popwood
I must devote myself to kagelspiel—Kagelspiel is skittles
Word “Kagelspiel” unchanged throughout (correctly “Kegelspiel”)
[Assuming for the sake of discussion that he means δυνάμενος ποτέ: the phrase doesn’t occur in the Iliad, though you can find it in Eustathius.]
[This, on the other hand, really is a stock Homeric epithet—at least if we make it πολυφλοισβοῖο (poluphloisboio) θαλάσσης with another “l” in the middle. I counted seven of them.]
“Hullo! old Cockalorum! Sprechen-Sie Deutsch?”
[This is probably an authorial error, not a typo: French would use a hyphen in this situation, though German doesn’t.]
Hast du mein cheque-buck gefunden?
text unchanged; the next line has the expected “cheque-buch”
this particular use of the word coalbox in the Dictionary
text unchanged; everywhere else “coal-box” is hyphenated
“He’s alive still, isn’t he?”
[Rossini died in 1868, a year or so before More Happy Thoughts, but he retired several decades earlier. So both parties’ position is reasonable, allowing for comic exaggeration.]
The Commander is, I see, a little disappointed
text has is I see,
He had thought that Englishmen never could be foreigners.
[Him and Agatha Christie both.]
Thou who gave’st me sulphur waters,
unexpected apostrophe in the original
The original of this text is in the public domain—at least in the U.S.
My notes are copyright, as are all under-the-hood elements.
If in doubt, ask.