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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

216             Higgledy-Piggledy

Besides, Vols. I and IV being already bound, I should not
have enough to form Vols. II and III if I cut out all those
that ought to be cut out. [June, 1898.]

P.S.ó- If I had re-read my preface to Vol. IV, I need not
have written the above.

Waste-Paper Baskets

Every one should keep a mental waste-paper basket and
the older he grows the more things he will consign to itó
torn up to irrecoverable tatters.

Flies in the Milk-Jug

Saving scraps is like picking flies out of the milk-jug. We
do not mind doing this, I suppose, because we feel sure the
flies will never want to borrow money off us. We do not feel
so sure about anything much bigger than a fly. If it were a
mouse that had got into the milk-jug, we should call the cat
at once.

My Thoughts

They are like persons met upon a journey ; I think them
very agreeable at first but soon find, as a rule, that I am
tired of them.

Our Ideas

They are for the most part like bad sixpences and we
spend our lives in trying to pass them on one another,

Cat-Ideas and Mouse-Ideas

We can never get rid of mouse-ideas completely, they keep
turning up again and again, and nibble, nibble-óno matter
how often we drive them off. The best way to keep them
down is to have a few good strong cat-ideas which will em-
brace them and ensure their not reappearing till they do so in
another shape.

Incoherency of New Ideas

An idea must not be condemned for being a little shy and
incoherent; all new ideas are shy when introduced first