I was presenting you some of the choicest from the very funny stuff Wodehouse wrote in his lifetime. I hope you did enjoy it and if you are immune to such writing, you are fit, to use one of Wodehouse’s favourite Shakespearean quotations, only for treasons, stratagems and spoils.
After those splendid collection on one-line descriptions of people and emotions, lets take some dialogues:
“I’ve been through hell, Bertie.”
“Oh, hell? And what took you there?”
“Goodbye, Bertie,” he said, rising.
I seemed to spot an error.
“You mean ‘Hullo,’ don’t you?”
“No, I don’t. I mean goodbye. I’m off.”
“To the kitchen garden. To drown myself.”
“Don’t be an ass.”
“I’m not an ass…. Am I an ass, Jeeves?”
“Possibly a little injudicious, sir.”
“Drowning myself, you mean?”
“You think, on the whole, not drown myself?”
“I should not advocate it, sir.”
“Very well, Jeeves. I accept your ruling. After all, it would be unpleasant for Mrs. Travers to find a swollen body floating in her pond.”
“What ho!” I said.
“What ho!” said Monty.
“What ho! What ho!”
“What ho! What ho! What ho!”
After that it seemed rather difficult to go on with the conversation.
Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French. One of the things which Gertrude Butterwick had impressed on Monty Bodkin when he left for his holiday on the Riviera was that he must be sure to practise his French, and Gertrude’s word was law. So now, though he knew that it was going to make his nose tickle, he said:
‘Er, garçon, esker-vous avez un spot de l’encre et une piece de papier—note papier, vous savez—et une envelope et une plume.’
The strain was too great. Monty relapsed into his native tongue.
‘I want to write a letter,’ he said. And having, like all lovers, rather a tendency to share his romance with the world, he would probably have added ‘to the sweetest girl on earth’ , had not the waiter already bounded off like a retriever, to return a few moments later with the fixings.
‘V’la, sir! Zere you are, sir,’ said the waiter. He was engaged to a girl in Paris who had told him that when on the Riviera he must be sure to practise his English. ‘Eenk—pin—pipper—enveloppe—and a liddle bit of bloddin-pipper.’
‘Oh, merci,’ said Monty, well pleased at this efficiency. ‘Thanks. Right-ho.’
‘Right-ho, m’sieur,’ said the waiter.
“…Have you ever had a what-do-you-call-it? What’s the word I want? One of those things fellows get sometimes.”
“Headaches?” hazarded George.
“No, no. I don’t mean anything you get — I mean something you get if you know what I mean.”
“Anonymous letter. That’s what I was trying to say.”
“I’m sorry marriage depresses you, Ferris. Surely when two people love each other and mean to go on loving each other.”
“Marriage is not a process for prolonging love, sir. It merely mummifies the corpse.”
“Suppose your Aunt Dahlia read in the paper one morning that you were going to be shot at sunrise.’
‘I couldn’t be, I’m never up so early.”
And a slightly longer account, well displaying Wodehouse’s skill at outrageous hyberbole and unthinkable comparisons:
Although nobody who had met him was likely to get George Cyril Wellbeloved confused with the poet Keats, it was extraordinary on what similar lines the two men’s minds worked. “Oh, for a beaker of the warm South, full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene!’‘ sang Keats, licking his lips, and “Oh, for a mug of beer, with, if possible, a spot of gin in it!” sighed George Cyril Wellbeloved, licking his; and in quest of the elixir he had visited in turn the Emsworth Arms, the Wheatsheaf, the Waggoner’s Rest, the Beetle and Wedge, the Stitch in Time, the Jolly Cricketers and all the other hostelries at which Market Blandings pointed with so much pride.
But everywhere the story was the same. Barmaids had been given their instructions, pot boys warned to be on the alert. They had placed at his disposal gingerbeer, ginger ale, sarsaparilla, lime juice and on one occasion milk, but his request for the cup that clears today of past regrets and future fears was met with a firm nolle prosequi . Staunch and incorruptible, the barmaids and the pot boys refused to serve him with anything that would have interested Omar Khayyam, and he had come away parched and saddened.
To be continued…..