Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Plums of PGW

Coming To Life

I remember when I was a kid at school having to learn a poem of sorts about a fellow named Pig-something - a sculptor he would have been, no doubt - who made a statue of a girl, and what should happen one morning but that the bally thing suddenly came to life. A pretty nasty shock for the chap, of course, but the point I'm working to is that there were a couple of lines that went, if I remember correctly:

She starts. She moves. She seems to feel
The stir of life along her keel.

And what I'm driving at is that you couldn't get a better description of what happened to Gussie as I spoke these heartening words. His brow cleared, his eyes brightened, he lost that fishy look, and he gazed at the slug, which was still on the long, long trail, with something approaching bonhomie. A marked improvement. - Right Ho, Jeeves (1934)


At this moment, a disembodied voice suddenly came from inside one of the bushes, causing Freddie to shoot a full two inches out of his seat. He tells me he remembered a similar experience having happened to Moses in the Wilderness, and he wondered if the prophet had taken it as big as he had done.
'I'm in here!'
Freddie gaped. 'Was that Prudence?' he gurgled.
'That was Prudence,' said April coldly.
'But what's she doing there?'
'She is obliged to remain in those bushes, because she has nothing on.'
'Nothing on? No particular engagements, you mean?'

-Young Men in Spats (1936)

illustration by Paul Cox