Thursday, February 22, 2007

Literary Buffet

“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.” Francis Bacon

On today's buffet:

Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog!) by Jerome K. Jerome

pg. 102
How good one feels when one is full--how satisfied with ourselves and with the world! People who have tried it, tell me that a clear conscience makes you very happy and contented; but a full stomach does the business quite as well, and is cheaper, and more easily obtained. One feels so forgiving and generous after a substantial and well-digested meal--so noble-minded, so kindly hearted.

It is very strange, this domination of our intellect by our digestive organs. We cannot work, we cannot think, unless our stomachs will so. It dictates to us our emotions, our passions. After eggs and bacon it says "Work!" After beefsteak and porter it says "Sleep!" After a cup of tea..., it says to the brain, "Now rise and show your strength. Be eloquent, and deep, and tender, see with a clear eye, into nature and into life; spread your white wings of quivering thought, and soar, a godlike spirit, over the whirling world beneath you, up through long lanes of flaming stars to the gates of eternity!"

pg. 163
It always does seem to me that I am doing more work than I should do. It is not that I object to the work, mind you; I like work; it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours. I love to keep it by me; the idea of getting rid of it nearly breaks my heart.

You cannot give me too much work; to accumulate work has almost become a passion with me; my study is so full of it now that there is hardly an inch of room for any more. I shall have to throw out a wing soon.

And I am careful of my work, too. Why, some of the work that I have by me now has been in my possession for years and years, and there isn't a finger mark on it. I take a great pride in my work; I take it down now and then and dust it. No man keeps his work in a better state of preservation than I do.

But though I crave for work, I still like to be fair. I do not ask for more than my proper share.

But I get it without asking for it--at least, so it appears to me--and this worries me.

I would say Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog!) is well-worth the taste. Now, to go brew myself a strong cup of tea...


my5wolfcubs said...

I came from the WTM board to look at pictures of your kissable cutie (and he sure is!!). But I had to comment on this book! I remember laughing so hard about the butter -- I think when they were packing?
Thanks for the morning smile!

Heidi said...

Ah, yes. The butter. Quite hilarious. There were so many laugh-out-loud moments!

Glad I could help put a smile on your face this morning.