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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

Titles and Subjects              231

The Happy Mistress, Fifteen mistresses apply for three
cooks and the mistress who thought herself nobody is chosen
by the beautiful and accomplished cook.

The Complete Drunkard. He would not give money to
sober people, he said they would only eat it and send their
children to school with it.

The Contented Porpoise. It knew it was to be stuffed
and set up in a glass case after death, and looked forward
to this as to a life of endless happiness.

The Flying Balance. The ghost of an old cashier haunts
a ledger, so that the books always refuse to balance by the
sum of, say, £1.15.11. No matter how many accountants
are called in, year after year the same error always turns
up; sometimes they think they have it right and it turns
out there was a mistake, so the old error reappears. At
last a son and heir is born, and at some festivities the
old cashier's name is mentioned with honour. This lays
his ghost. Next morning the books are found correct and
remain so.

A Dialogue between Isaac and Ishmael on the night that
Isaac came down from the mountain with his father. The
rebellious Ishmael tries to stir up Isaac, and that good young
man explains the righteousness of the transactionówithout
much effect.

Bad Habits: on the dropping them gradually, as one
leaves off requiring them, on the evolution principle.

A Story about a Frecthinking Father who has an illegiti-
mate son which he considers the proper thing ; he finds
this son taking to immoral ways, e.g. he turns Christian,
becomes a clergyman and insists on marrying.

For a Ballad: Two sets of rooms in some alms-houses
at Cobham near Gravesend have an inscription stating
that they belong to ** the Hundred of Hoo in the Isle of
Grain." These words would make a lovely refrain for a
ballad.

A story about a man who suffered from atrophy of the
purse, or atrophy of the opinions ; but whatever the disease
some plausible Latin, or imitation-Latin name must be
found for it and also some cure.

A Fairy Story modelled on the Ugly Duckling of Hans
Andersen about a bumptious boy whom all the nice boys