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A Funny Companion
The Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow is a nice collection of humorous essays written by Jerome K. Jerome. The book encompasses various topics as diverse as being in Love, on being Shy, on Eating and Drinking, on Memory, etc.
The tone of his writing varies from essay to essay - sometimes he is melancholy and poignant, sometimes satirical and hilarious (if you read any of Jerome's books in public, you won't be able to stop yourself from smiling and should be prepared for people asking you what's so funny).
Content of the Book:
ON BEING IDLE
ON BEING IN LOVE
ON BEING IN THE BLUES
ON BEING HARD UP
ON VANITY AND VANITIES
ON GETTING ON IN THE WORLD
ON THE WEATHER
ON CATS AND DOGS
ON BEING SHY
ON EATING AND DRINKING
ON FURNISHED APARTMENTS
ON DRESS AND DEPORTMENT
Some Lines From the Book:
1. I do like cats. They are so unconsciously amusing. There is such a comic dignity about them, such a "How dare you " "Go away, don't touch me" sort of air. Now, there is nothing haughty about a dog. They are "Hail, fellow, well met" with every Tom, Dick, or Harry that they come across. When I meet a dog of my acquaintance I slap his head, call him opprobrious epithets, and roll him over on his back; and there he lies, gaping at me, and doesn't mind it a bit. Fancy carrying on like that with a cat Why, she would never speak to you again as long as you lived.
2. Every one can be got over by flattery. The belted earl-"belted earl" is the correct phrase, I believe. I don't know what it means, unless it be an earl that wears a belt instead of braces. Some men do. I don't like it myself. You have to keep the thing so tight for it to be of any use, and that is uncomfortable. Anyhow, whatever particular kind of an earl a belted earl may be, he is, I assert, get-overable by flattery; just as every other human being is, from a duchess to a cat's-meat man, from a plow boy to a poet-and the poet far easier than the plowboy, for butter sinks better into wheaten bread than into oaten cakes.
3. A shy man's lot is not a happy one. The men dislike him, the women despise him, and he dislikes and despises himself. Use brings him no relief, and there is no cure for him except time; though I once came across a delicious recipe for overcoming the misfortune. It appeared among the "answers to correspondents" in a small weekly journal and ran as follows-I have never forgotten it: "Adopt an easy and pleasing manner, especially toward ladies."
4. So, walk up, walk up, walk up. Walk up, ladies and gentlemen walk up, boys and girls Show your skill and try your strength; brave your luck and prove your pluck. Walk up The show is never closed and the game is always going. The only genuine sport in all the fair, gentlemen-highly respectable and strictly moral-patronized by the nobility, clergy, and gentry. Established in the year one, gentlemen, and been flourishing ever since-walk up
In the Preface of the book, the author puts it this way about the book:
"What readers ask nowadays in a book is that it should improve, instruct, and elevate. This book wouldn't elevate a cow. I cannot conscientiously recommend it for any useful purposes whatever. All I can suggest is that when you get tired of reading "the best hundred books," you may take this up for half an hour. It will be a change."
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Other Books From Our "Humor Classics"
1. My Man Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse
2. Right Ho, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse