Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Tea-table Talk Jerome K. Jerome

Chapter IV

Page 1 of 5

Table Of Contents: Tea-table Talk

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

"What is the time?" asked the Girton Girl.

I looked at my watch. "Twenty past four," I answered.

"Exactly?" demanded the Girton Girl.

"Precisely," I replied.

"Strange," murmured the Girton Girl. "There is no accounting for it, yet it always is so."

"What is there no accounting for?" I inquired. "What is strange?"

"It is a German superstition," explained the Girton Girl, "I learnt it at school. Whenever complete silence falls upon any company, it is always twenty minutes past the hour."

"Why do we talk so much?" demanded the Minor Poet.

"As a matter of fact," observed the Woman of the World, "I don't think we do--not we, personally, not much. Most of our time we appear to be listening to you."

"Then why do I talk so much, if you prefer to put it that way?" continued the Minor Poet. "If I talked less, one of you others would have to talk more."

"There would be that advantage about it," agreed the Philosopher.

"In all probability, you," returned to him the Minor Poet. "Whether as a happy party we should gain or lose by the exchange, it is not for me to say, though I have my own opinion. The essential remains- -that the stream of chatter must be kept perpetually flowing. Why?"

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

"There is a man I know," I said; "you may have met him, a man named Longrush. He is not exactly a bore. A bore expects you to listen to him. This man is apparently unaware whether you are listening to him or not. He is not a fool. A fool is occasionally amusing-- Longrush never. No subject comes amiss to him. Whatever the topic, he has something uninteresting to say about it. He talks as a piano-organ grinds out music steadily, strenuously, tirelessly. The moment you stand or sit him down he begins, to continue ceaselessly till wheeled away in cab or omnibus to his next halting-place. As in the case of his prototype, his rollers are changed about once a month to suit the popular taste. In January he repeats to you Dan Leno's jokes, and gives you other people's opinions concerning the Old Masters at the Guild-hall. In June he recounts at length what is generally thought concerning the Academy, and agrees with most people on most points connected with the Opera. If forgetful for a moment--as an Englishman may be excused for being--whether it be summer or winter, one may assure oneself by waiting to see whether Longrush is enthusing over cricket or football. He is always up-to- date. The last new Shakespeare, the latest scandal, the man of the hour, the next nine days' wonder--by the evening Longrush has his roller ready. In my early days of journalism I had to write each evening a column for a provincial daily, headed 'What People are Saying.' The editor was precise in his instructions. 'I don't want your opinions; I don't want you to be funny; never mind whether the thing appears to you to be interesting or not. I want it to be real, the things people ARE saying.' I tried to be conscientious. Each paragraph began with 'That.' I wrote the column because I wanted the thirty shillings. Why anybody ever read it, I fail to understand to this day; but I believe it was one of the popular features of the paper. Longrush invariably brings back to my mind the dreary hours I spent penning that fatuous record."

Page 1 of 5 Previous Chapter   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Tea-table Talk
Jerome K. Jerome

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004