A unique and interesting UK writer. This volume is a collection of his writings from the Pall Mall Magazine
and cover a wide range of topics. One of the more unusual ones is as follows:
I must really give up not smoking, at least till the American Copyright Act works smoothly, and I am in a position to afford luxuries. At present this habit of not smoking is a drain upon my resources which I can ill support. Whenever a man comes to my house, I have to give him cigars, or else gain the reputation of a churly and ill-mannered host. In the olden days, when I was economical and smoked all day long, I could go to that man’s house and get those cigars back. Very often, too, I used to get the best of the bargain, and thus effect considerable economies in the purchase of good tobacco. Nowadays, not only have I got to give away cigars for nothing, but they must be good ones. Formerly if I gave my friends bad cigars, it was from a box I was obviously smoking myself, and therefore they had at least the consolation of knowing I was a companion in misfortune. But to give others “evils from which you are yourself exempt” (to quote Lucretius) would be a terrible blend of bad taste and inhospitality. Under such circumstances a man looks on a bad cigar as an insult, and the greater insult because it is a gratuitous one. But my losses from these sources are trivial compared with the item for theatres. In the pure, innocent days, when I could not bear to let my pipe out of my mouth even for a moment, I was unable to go to theatres; but now that I have taken to not smoking, I have fallen a victim to my other craving—¬the passion for the play. Three stalls a week tot up frightfully in a year. No, decidedly I must check this extravagant habit of not smoking before I am irretrievably ruined.
This is forced, but Truth often dwells the bottom of a paradox.
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