Monday, 8 November 2010

Perfectly Golden, Wodehouse - Very Good Jeeves

Welcome to the second bulletin in the series "Perfectly Golden, Wodehouse"! As the experienced subscriber might recall, these are compilations in which he might lose himself in the genius of Wodehouse's writings and the splendor of the English language. The first bulletin included golden tidbits from Carry on, Jeeves. This bulletin will quote a five year younger Jeeves and Wooster collection, so read this voluminous (if that's the word I want) though far from exhaustive pastiche and I guarantee you will feel topping ooja-cum-spiff, what?

Second book:
Very Good, Jeeves
First published 1930
(ed. published 2008 by
Arrow Books, London)

"I hit Woollam Chersey at about four o'clock, and found Aunt Agatha in her lair, writing letters. And, from what I know of her, probably offensive letters, with nasty postscripts." (p.17)

"Young Bingo, you see, is one of those fellows who, once their fingers close over the handle of a tennis racket, fall into a sort of trance in which nothing outside the radius of the lawn exists to them. If you came up to Bingo in the middle of a set and told him that panthers were devouring his best friend in the kitchen garden, he would look at you and say, 'Oh, ah?' or words to that effect." (p.26)

"I now came down to earth with a bang: and my slice of cake, slipping from my nerveless fingers, fell to the ground and was wolfed by Aunt Agatha's spaniel, Robert." (p.28)

Bertie and the Right Hon. Mr. Filmer is trapped atop a gazebo by an infuriated swan:
"[The swan] was standing below, stretching up a neck like a hosepipe, just where a bit of brick, judiciously bunged, would catch it amidships. I bunged the brick and scored a bull's-eye. The Right Hon. didn't seem any too well pleased. 'Don't tease it!' he said. 'It teased me,' I said. The swan extended another eight feet of neck and gave an imitation of steam escaping from a leaky pipe." (p.32)

"The Right Hon. was a tubby little chap who looked as if he had been poured into his clothes and had forgotten to say 'When!'" (p.33)

"The swan had been uncoiling a further supply of neck in our direction, but now he whipped round. [...] He subjected Jeeves to a short, keen scrutiny; and then, taking in some breath for hissing purposes, gave a sort of jump and charged ahead." (p.36)

"I had once got engaged to his [Sir Roderick Glossop's (red. anm.)] daughter, Honoria, a ghastly dynamic exhibit who read Nietzsche and had a laugh like waves breaking on a stern and rock-bound coast. The fixture was scratched owing to events occuring which convinced the old boy that I was off my napper; and since then he has always had my name at the top of his list of 'Loonies I have Lunched With'." (p.65)

"he was not young Tuppy. Tuppy has one of those high, squeaky voices that sound like the tenor of the village choir failing to hit a high note. This one was something between the last Trump and a tiger calling for breakfast after being on a diet for a day or two." (p.76)

"'You!' said Sir Roderick finally. And in this connection I want to state that it's all rot to say you can't hiss a word that hasn't an 's' in it. The way he pushed out that 'You!' sounded like an angry cobra, and I am betraying no secrets when I mention that it did me no good whatsoever." (p.78)

"The Bellinger, at Tuppy's request, had sung us a few songs before digging in at the trough, and nobody could have denied that her pipes were in great shape. Plaster was still falling from the ceiling." (p.91)

"'The modern young man,' said Aunt Dahlia, 'is a congenital idiot and wants a nurse to lead him by the hand and some strong attendant to kick him regularly at intervals of a quarter of an hour.'" (p.96)

"'Bertie,' said Aunt Dahlia firmly, 'you will sing "Sonny Boy" on Tuesday, the third prox., and sing it like a lark at sunrise, or may an aunt's curse -'
'I won't!'
'Think of Angela!'
'Dash Angela!'
'No, I mean, hang it all!'
'You won't?'
'No, I won't.'
'That is your last word, is it?'
'It is. Once and for all, Aunt Dahlia, nothing will induce me to let out so much as a single note.'
And so that afternoon I sent a pre-paid wire to Beefy Bingham, offering my services in the cause, and by nightfall the thing was fixed up" (p.101)

"A costermonger, roused, is a terrible thing. [...] From every corner of the hall there proceeded simultaneously the sort of noise you hear, they tell me, at one of those East End boxing places when the referee disqualifies the popular favourite and makes the quick dash for life. And then they passed beyond mere words and began to introduce the vegetable motive.[...] The last seen of him [Tuppy], he was beating a tomato to the exit by a short head" (pp.106-107)

"[Tuppy] came in, and hovered about the mantelpiece as if he were looking for things to fiddle with and break." (p.109)

"an Aberdeen terrier of weak intellect, had been left in my care by the old relative while the went off to Aix-les-Bains to take the cure, and I had never been able to make it see eye to eye with me on the subject of early rising." (p. 112)

"London is not big enough to hold Aunt Agatha and anybody she happens to be blaming." (p. 113)

"With a slight sinking of the old heart, I saw that the kid had recognized me.
'Hullo!' he said.
'Hullo!' I said.
'Where are you off to?' said the kid.
'Ha, ha!' I said, and legged it for the great open spaces." (p.119)

Later, Jeeves was referring to what ensued...
"'Indeed, young Master Blumenfeld was somewhat outspoken.'
'What did he say?'
'I cannot recall his exact words, sir, but he drew a comparison between your mentality and that of a cuckoo'
'A cuckoo, eh?'
'Yes, sir. To the bird's advantage.'"

"No good can come of association with anything labelled Gwladys or Ysobel or Ethyl or Mabelle or Kathryn. But particularly Gwladys." (p.137)

"It's a hard world for a girl, Jeeves, with fellows flinging themselves under the wheels of her car in one long, unending stream." (p.141)

"'Have a drink?' I said.
'A cigarette?'
'A chair?'
I went into silence once more. These non-drinking, non-smoking non-sitters are hard birds to handle." (p.154)

"But now, though she still resembled a lion-tamer, her bearing had most surprisingly become that of a chummy lion-tamer - a tamer who, after tucking the lions in for the night, relaxes in the society of the boys." (p.182)

"'And it is for this [...] that we pay rates and taxes!'
'Awful!' I said
'A bally shame.'
'A crying scandal,' said Miss Mapleton.
'A grim show,' I agreed." (p.184)

"I have never been able to bear with fortitude anything in the shape of a kid with golden curls. Confronted with one, I feel the urge to step on him or drop things on him from a height." (p. 190)

"I think I have mentioned before that my Aunt Dahlia stands alone in the grim regiment of my aunts as a real good sort and a chirpy sportsman. [...] I had just got across the lawn when a head poked itself out of the smoking-room window and beamed at me in an amiable sort of way.
'Ah, Mr Wooster,' it said. 'Ha, ha!'
'Ho, ho!' I replied, not to be outdone in the courtesies." (p.191)

"This scourge of humanity was a chunky kid whom a too indulgent public had allowed to infest the country for a matter of fourteen years." (p.199)

"There came into his eyes the sort of look which would come into those of an Indian chief [...] just before he started reaching for his scalping knife. He had the air of one who is about ready to begin." (p. 205)

"There was a bird or two hopping about, a butterfly or so fluttering to and fro, and an assortment of bees buzzing hither an thither." (p.210)

"'Darling!' said Mrs Bingo, blowing him a kiss.
'Angel!' said Bingo, going on with the sausages." (p. 216)

Bingo suffers under a diet inflicted on him by Mrs Bingo. She forgets the luncheon basket and tells him:
"'It is much the best thing that could have happened.'
Bingo gave her a long, lingering look.
'I see,' he said. 'Well, if you will excuse me, I'll just go off somewhere where I can cheer a bit without exciting comment'" (p.228)

"'You, Jeeves?' I said, and I should rather think Cæsar spoke in the same sort of voice on finding Brutus puncturing him with the sharp instument." (p.228)

"Hell, it is well known, has no fury like a woman who wants her tea and can't get it." (p.229)

”[Health enthusiasts prefer the fruit-liquor]. You make this, apparently, by soaking raisins in cold water and adding the juice of a lemon. After which, I suppose, you invite a couple of old friends in and have an orgy, burying the bodies in the morning” (p. 232)

“The back-seat drivers gave tongue” (p. 233)

“’What I want,’ I said, “is petrol.’
‘What you’ll get,’ said the bloke, ‘is a thick ear.’
And, closing the door with the delicate caution of one brushing flies off a sleeping Venus, he passed out of my life” (p. 236)

“the Pyke [a friend of Mrs. Bingo] is unfit for human consumption and should be cast into outer darkness where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth.” (p. 237)

“He was fat then, and day by day in every way has been getting fatter ever since, till now tailors measure him just for the sake of the exercise.” (p. 244)

“I sauntered along the passage, whistling carelessly, and there on the mat was Aunt Agatha. Herself. Not a
picture. A nasty jar. […] She legged it into the sitting-room and volplaned onto a chair.” (p.249)

“’[I could] bring the car round from the garage –‘
‘And off over the horizon to where men are men?’
‘Precisely, sir.’” (p. 269)

“’Who was the girl?’ I asked, in that casual, snaky way of mine – off hand, I mean.” (p. 278)

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