Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome

“George and Harris and Montmorency are not poetic ideals, but things of flesh and blood—especially George, who weighs about twelve stone.”

“In the present instance, going back to the liver-pill circular, I had the symptoms, beyond all mistake, the chief among them being “a general disinclination to work of any kind.”sd

“…and trying to reach a point three inches beyond what was possible for him to reach, the string would slip, and down he would slide on to the piano, a really fine musical effect being produced by the suddenness with which his head and body struck all the notes at the same time.”

“Everything has its drawbacks, as the man said when his mother-in-law died, and they came down upon him for the funeral expenses.”

“He said he dearly loved a bit of cheese, but it was beyond his means; so he determined to get rid of them.  He threw them into the canal; but had to fish them out again, as the bargemen complained.  They said it made them feel quite faint.  And, after that, he took them one dark night and left them in the parish mortuary.  But the coroner discovered them, and made a fearful fuss. He said it was a plot to deprive him of his living by waking up the corpses.”

“I rummaged the things up into much the same state that they must have been before the world was created, and when chaos reigned.”

“I wonder if there is real intrinsic beauty in the old soup-plates, beer-mugs, and candle-snuffers that we prize so now, or if it is only the halo of age glowing around them that gives them their charms in our eyes.”

“We are creatures of the sun, we men and women.  We love light and life.  That is why we crowd into the towns and cities, and the country grows more and more deserted every year.  In the sunlight—in the daytime, when Nature is alive and busy all around us, we like the open hill-sides and the deep woods well enough: but in the night, when our Mother Earth has gone to sleep, and left us waking, oh! the world seems so lonesome, and we get frightened, like children in a silent house.  Then we sit and sob, and long for the gas-lit streets, and the sound of human voices, and the answering throb of human life.  We feel so helpless and so little in the great stillness, when the dark trees rustle in the night-wind.  There are so many ghosts about, and their silent sighs make us feel so sad.  Let us gather together in the great cities, and light huge bonfires of a million gas-jets, and shout and sing together, and feel brave.”

“When they tittered, I tittered; when they roared, I roared; and I also threw in a little snigger all by myself now and then, as if I had seen a bit of humour that had escaped the others.  I considered this particularly artful on my part.”

“That is my opinion of tow-lines in general.  Of course, there may be honourable exceptions; I do not say that there are not.  There may be tow-lines that are a credit to their profession—conscientious, respectable tow-lines—tow-lines that do not imagine they are crochet-work, and try to knit themselves up into antimacassars the instant they are left to themselves.  I say there may be such tow-lines; I sincerely hope there are.  But I have not met with them.”

“He was so firmly wrapped round and tucked in and folded over, that he could not get out.  He, of course, made frantic struggles for freedom—the birth right of every Englishman,—and, in doing so (I learned this afterwards)”

“That is the only way to get a kettle to boil up the river.  If it sees that you are waiting for it and are anxious, it will never even sing.  You have to go away and begin your meal, as if you were not going to have any tea at all.  You must not even look round at it.  Then you will soon hear it sputtering away, mad to be made into tea.

It is a good plan, too, if you are in a great hurry, to talk very loudly to each other about how you don’t need any tea, and are not going to have any.  You get near the kettle, so that it can overhear you, and then you shout out, “I don’t want any tea; do you, George?” to which George shouts back, “Oh, no, I don’t like tea; we’ll have lemonade instead—tea’s so indigestible.” Upon which the kettle boils over, and puts the stove out.”

“People who have tried it, tell me that a clear conscience makes you very happy and contented; but a full stomach does the business quite as well, and is cheaper, and more easily obtained.”

“They cursed us—not with a common cursory curse, but with long, carefully-thought-out, comprehensive curses, that embraced the whole of our career, and went away into the distant future, and included all our relations, and covered everything connected with us—good, substantial curses.”

“What the eye does not see, the stomach does not get upset over.”

“Six shillings a week does not keep body and soul together very unitedly.  They want to get away from each other when there is only such a very slight bond as that between them.”

“The boy went, and re-appeared five minutes afterwards, struggling with an antediluvian chunk of wood, that looked as though it had been recently dug out of somewhere, and dug out carelessly, so as to have been unnecessarily damaged in the process. My own idea, on first catching sight of the object, was that it was a Roman relic of some sort,—relic of what I do not know, possibly of a coffin.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s