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Old 02-03-2009, 02:22 AM   #1
nrapallo
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Jones, Henry Festing: Diversions in Sicily, v1, 03 Feb 2009

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Henry Festing Jones (1851-1928) was the friend and posthumous biographer of Samuel Butler. His biography of Butler, entitled Samuel Butler, Author of Erewhon (1835-1902) - A Memoir, won the inaugural James Tait Black Memorial Prize for biography in 1919.
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...so I took out a packet of cigarettes and offered them round. In those days there used to be in every packet of Italian cigarettes a loose piece of paper about the size of a postage stamp with a number on it. Boxes of biscuits in England sometimes have a similar paper to identify the person responsible for the packing should anything be found to be wrong. In my packet there happened to be two pieces of paper which fluttered out upon the table as I opened it. The brigadier instantly pounced upon them. There was silence in the room. Every one watched and waited. Each of my pieces of paper bore the number thirty-three. The brigadier did me the honour of cancelling all his previous orders to Angelo and of putting his money for next week’s lottery on thirty-three. The corporal and several of the men who had not intended to gamble changed their minds and gave similar instructions.
This book strikes a personal cord; my grandparents were born around this time near Trapani, Sicily.
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