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that something has been dropped down; and I took it for

2023-12-03 15:11:10 source:School of insects and fishauthor: music click:386Second-rate

"Besides," I added, "it will make the thing seem more natural if everybody wonders what on earth could have been the reason for their marrying each other."

that something has been dropped down; and I took it for

Brown wasted no further words on me, but turned to MacShaughnassy.

that something has been dropped down; and I took it for

"Can YOU imagine our friend Reuben seized with a burning desire to marry Mary Holme?" he asked, with a smile.

that something has been dropped down; and I took it for

"Of course I can," said MacShaughnassy; "I can imagine anything, and believe anything of anybody. It is only in novels that people act reasonably and in accordance with what might be expected of them. I knew an old sea-captain who used to read the Young Ladies' Journal in bed, and cry over it. I knew a bookmaker who always carried Browning's poems about with him in his pocket to study in the train. I have known a Harley Street doctor to develop at forty-eight a sudden and overmastering passion for switchbacks, and to spend every hour he could spare from his practice at one or other of the exhibitions, having three-pen'orths one after the other. I have known a book-reviewer give oranges (not poisoned ones) to children. A man is not a character, he is a dozen characters, one of them prominent, the other eleven more or less undeveloped. I knew a man once, two of whose characters were of equal value, and the consequences were peculiar."

We begged him to relate the case to us, and he did so.

"He was a Balliol man," said MacShaughnassy, "and his Christian name was Joseph. He was a member of the 'Devonshire' at the time I knew him, and was, I think, the most superior person I have ever met. He sneered at the Saturday Review as the pet journal of the suburban literary club; and at the Athenaeum as the trade organ of the unsuccessful writer. Thackeray, he considered, was fairly entitled to his position of favourite author to the cultured clerk; and Carlyle he regarded as the exponent of the earnest artisan. Living authors he never read, but this did not prevent his criticising them contemptuously. The only inhabitants of the nineteenth century that he ever praised were a few obscure French novelists, of whom nobody but himself had ever heard. He had his own opinion about God Almighty, and objected to Heaven on account of the strong Clapham contingent likely to be found in residence there. Humour made him sad, and sentiment made him ill. Art irritated him and science bored him. He despised his own family and disliked everybody else. For exercise he yawned, and his conversation was mainly confined to an occasional shrug.

"Nobody liked him, but everybody respected him. One felt grateful to him for his condescension in living at all.

"One summer, I was fishing over the Norfolk Broads, and on the Bank Holiday, thinking I would like to see the London 'Arry in his glory, I ran over to Yarmouth. Walking along the sea-front in the evening, I suddenly found myself confronted by four remarkably choice specimens of the class. They were urging on their wild and erratic career arm-in-arm. The one nearest the road was playing an unusually wheezy concertina, and the other three were bawling out the chorus of a music-hall song, the heroine of which appeared to be 'Hemmer.'

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