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By Jerome K. Jerome

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Fancy a man trying to make love on strictly truthful principles, determining never to utter a word of mere compliment or 30 THE IDLE THOUGHTS OF AN IDLE FELLOW. hyperbole, but to scrupulously confine himself to exact fact! Fancy his gazing rapturously into his mistress' eyes and whispering softly to her that she wasn't, on the whole, bad-looking, as girls went! Fancy his holding up her little hand and assuring her that it was of a light drab color shot with red; and telling her as he pressed her to his heart that her nose, for a turned-up one, seemed rather pretty; and that her eyes appeared to him, as far as he could judge, to be quite up to the average standard of such things!

I forgot her for the moment, and when I looked I found that she had squirmed out of my pocket on to the table and was trying to swallow the pen; then she put her leg into the ink-pot and upset it; then she licked her leg; then she swore again--at me this time. I put her down on the floor, and there Tim began rowing with her. I do wish Tim would mind his own business. It was no concern of his what she had been doing. Besides, he is not a saint himself. He is only a two-yearold fox-terrier, and he interferes with everything and gives himself the airs of a gray-headed Scotch collie.

When I make serious observations people chuckle; when I attempt a joke nobody sees it. I had a beautiful one last week. I thought it so good, and I worked it up and brought it in artfully at a dinner-party. " "Oh, 'twas awfully funny," I replied, beginning to giggle myself; "it will make you roar;" and I told it them. " I assured them that it was, and they were very polite and took my word for it. All but one old gentleman at the other end of the table, who wanted to know which was the joke--what he said to her or what she said to him; and we argued it out.

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