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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

Written Sketches              255

get the Iliad well into my head before I began my lecture on
The Humour of Homer and I could not afford to throw away
a couple of hours, but I doubt whether Homer was ever
before translated under such circumstances. [1892.]

The Channel Passage

How holy people look when they are sea-sick ! There was
a patient Parsee near me who seemed purified once and for
ever from all taint of the flesh. Buddha was a low, worldly
minded, music-hall comic singer in comparison. He sat like
this for a long time until . . . and he made a noise like cows
coming home to be milked on an April evening.

The Two Barristers at Ypres

When Gogin and I were taking our Easter holiday this
year we went, among other places, to Ypres. We put up at
the Hotel Tete d'Or and found it exquisitely clean, comfort-
able and cheap, with a charming old-world, last-century
feeling. It was Good Friday, and we were to dine maigre ;
this was so clearly de rigueur that we did not venture even
the feeblest protest.

When we came down to dinner we were told that there
were two other gentlemen, also English, who were to dine
with us, and in due course they appeared—the one a man
verging towards fifty-eight, a kind of cross between Cardinal
Manning and the late Mr. John Parry, the other some ten
years younger, amiable-looking and, I should say, not so
shining a light in his own sphere as his companion. These
two sat on one side ol the table and we opposite them. There
was an air about them both which said: " You are not to
try to get into conversation with us ; we shall not let you
if you do ; we dare say you are very good sort of people,
but we have nothing in common ; so long as you keep quiet
we will not hurt you ; but if you so much as ask us to pass the
melted butter we will shoot you." We saw this and so, during
the first two courses, talked sotto wee to one another, and made
no attempt to open up communications.

With the third course, however, there was a new arrival in
the person of a portly gentleman of about fifty-five, or from