Tuesday, 21 April 2009

a perseverance worthy of a better cause

Strong stuff, as you will agree, and you haven't even heard it in my favourite of its contexts*:
Many lovers in his position might have consoled themselves with the reflection that Freddie, being now a married man, was presumably out of the race for Veronica Wedge's hand and heart. But Tipton had had the wrong sort of upbringing to permit of his drawing comfort from any thought like that. The son of parents who after marrying each other had almost immediately started marrying other people with a perseverance worth of a better cause, his had been one of those childhoods where the faintly bewildered offspring finds himself passed from hand to hand like a medicine ball...

It's from Full Moon, by Wodehouse (obviously), which also contains this joke:
'Don't say "And Mr Landseer" in that soupy tone of voice,' said Gally sternly. 'He hasn't come to steal the spoons.'

'If he is a friend of yours, I should imagine that he is quite capable of doing so. Is he wanted by the police?'

'No, he is not wanted by the police.'

'How I sympathise with the police,' said Lady Hermione. 'I know just how they feel.'

*An idle Googling suggests the whole thing might start with Dickens in Great Expectations. I have no time for more than an idle Googling though, and if I end up being corrected, there it will be.

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