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Old 06-25-2012, 05:32 AM   #1
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Jerome, Jerome K.: The Angel and the Author - and Others. v1. 25 June 2012

By the author of “Three Men in a Boat,” “Three Men on the Bummel,” “Diary of a Pilgrimage,” “Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow,” “Stage-Land,” “Paul Kelver,” etc. First published 1908.

Here is another collection of essays and sketches. Jerome takes a delightfully oblique view of a myriad of subjects, including charity, marriage, fireplaces, literature and drama, American girls, the foibles of waiters, proper dress for a gentleman, postcards, and the desirability of human tails.

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An excerpt:

Quote:
IF ONLY WE HAD NOT LOST OUR TAILS!
A friend of mine thinks it a pity that we have lost our tails. He argues it would be so helpful if, like the dog, we possessed a tail that wagged when we were pleased, that stuck out straight when we were feeling mad.

“Now, do come and see us again soon,” says our hostess; “don’t wait to be asked. Drop in whenever you are passing.”

We take her at her word. The servant who answers our knocking says she “will see.” There is a scuffling of feet, a murmur of hushed voices, a swift opening and closing of doors. We are shown into the drawing-room, the maid, breathless from her search, one supposes, having discovered that her mistress is at home. We stand upon the hearthrug, clinging to our hat and stick as to things friendly and sympathetic: the suggestion forcing itself upon us is that of a visit to the dentist.

Our hostess enters wreathed in smiles. Is she really pleased to see us, or is she saying to herself, “Drat the man! Why must he choose the very morning I had intended to fix up the clean curtains?”

But she has to pretend to be delighted, and ask us to stay to lunch. It would save us hours of anxiety could we look beyond her smiling face to her tail peeping out saucily from a placket-hole. Is it wagging, or is it standing out rigid at right angles from her skirt?

But I fear by this time we should have taught our tails polite behaviour. We should have schooled them to wag enthusiastically the while we were growling savagely to ourselves. Man put on insincerity to hide his mind when he made himself a garment of fig-leaves to hide his body.
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