On Digressions…… (with a caveat)

I have been often accused of making digressions, supposedly avoidable, when recounting something. I acknowledge this but cannot help it because of the “train of thought” syndrome, where one thought leads to an another memory and that to another till a long chain is formed…. well you can blame it on the prodigious memory I possess, which is the envy of some and the despair of a greater number, specially my mother and sister who I reduced to helpless laughter as I dredged back a funny episode almost three decades old.

However, to return to digressions, I will recourse to a passage I recall from an old work I read when I thought of the digressions I make. I will not identify the source and encourage you to expand your reading of Victorian works and especially this supremely comic but no less perceptive writer, who is a treat to read and divinely gifted in his art to present the most common-place happening in a manner that will leave you in fits of laughter.

That done, I must post a caveat here. The work was written over a century ago and contains language that in this day and age, may be considered derogatory and stereotypical. I have not endeavoured to change it….. Her goes.

~~I can only account for our visit to Hanover as the nigger accounted to the magistrate for his appearance in the Deacon’s poultry-yard.


“Yes, sar, what the constable sez is quite true, sar; I was dar, sar.”

“Oh, so you admit it?  And what were you doing with a sack, pray, in Deacon Abraham’s poultry-yard at twelve o’clock at night?”

“I’se gwine ter tell yer, sar; yes, sar.  I’d been to Massa Jordan’s wid a sack of melons.  Yes, sar; an’ Massa Jordan he wuz very ’greeable, an’ axed me for ter come in.”

“Yes, sar, very ’greeable man is Massa Jordan.  An’ dar we sat a talking an’ a talking—”

“Very likely.  What we want to know is what you were doing in the Deacon’s poultry-yard?”

“Yes, sar, dat’s what I’se cumming to.  It wuz ver’ late ’fore I left Massa Jordan’s, an’ den I sez ter mysel’, sez I, now yer jest step out with yer best leg foremost, Ulysses, case yer gets into trouble wid de ole woman.  Ver’ talkative woman she is, sar, very—”

“Yes, never mind her; there are other people very talkative in this town besides your wife.  Deacon Abraham’s house is half a mile out of your way home from Mr. Jordan’s.  How did you get there?”

“Dat’s what I’m a-gwine ter explain, sar.”

“I am glad of that.  And how do you propose to do it?”

“Well, I’se thinkin’, sar, I must ha’ digressed.”


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