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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

of a Homo Urdus Libri          157

Compensation

If I die prematurely, at any rate I shall be saved from
being bored by my own success.

Hudibras and Erewhon

I was completing the purchase of some small houses at
Lewisham and had to sign my name. The vendor, merely
seeing the name and knowing none of my books, said to me,
rather rudely, but without meaning any mischief :

" Have you written any books like Hudibras ? "

I said promptly: " Certainly; Erewhon is quite as good a
book as Hudibras."

This was coming it too strong for him, so he thought I
had not heard and repeated his question. I said again as
before, and he shut up. I sent him a copy of Erewhon im-
mediately after we had completed. It was rather tall talk
on my part, I admit, but he should not have challenged
me unprovoked.

Life and Habit and Myself

At the Century Club I was talking with a man who asked
me why I did not publish the substance of what I had been
saying. I believed he knew me and said :

" Well, you know, there's Life and Habit.1'

He did not seem to rise at all, so I asked him if he had seen
the book.

" Seen it ? " he answered. " Why, I should think every
one has seen Life and Habit: but what's that got to do with
it?"

I said it had taken me so much time lately that I had
had none to spare for anything else. Again he did not seem
to see the force of the remark and a friend, who was close by,
said:

" You know, Butler wrote Life and Habit.1'

He would not believe it, and it was only after repeated
assurance that he accepted it. It was plain he thought
a great deal of Life and Habit and had idealised its author,