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Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow

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IDLE THOUGHTS OF AN IDLE FELLOW ***

Scanned and proofed by Ron Burkey (rburkey@heads-up.com) and Amy Thomte.

Notes on the editing of this text:

1. Italicized phrases are delimited by the underline character ("_"). 2. Hyphens have been left in the text only where it was the clear intention of the author. For example, throughout the text, "tonight" and "tomorrow" appear as "to-night" and "to-morrow". This is intentional, and is not simply a legacy of words having been broken across lines in the printed text. 3. The pound (currency) symbol has been replaced by the word "pounds".

THE IDLE THOUGHTS OF AN IDLE FELLOW.

by JEROME K. JEROME.

TO

THE VERY DEAR AND WELL-BELOVED

FRIEND

OF MY PROSPEROUS AND EVIL DAYS--

TO THE FRIEND WHO, THOUGH IN THE EARLY STAGES OF OUR ACQUAINTANCESHIP DID OFTTIMES DISAGREE WITH ME, HAS SINCE BECOME TO BE MY VERY WARMEST COMRADE--

TO THE FRIEND WHO, HOWEVER OFTEN I MAY PUT HIM OUT, NEVER (NOW) UPSETS ME IN REVENGE--

TO THE FRIEND WHO, TREATED WITH MARKED COOLNESS BY ALL THE FEMALE MEMBERS OF MY HOUSEHOLD, AND REGARDED WITH SUSPICION BY MY VERY DOG, NEVERTHELESS SEEMS DAY BY DAY TO BE MORE DRAWN BY ME, AND IN RETURN TO MORE AND MORE IMPREGNATE ME WITH THE ODOR OF HIS FRIENDSHIP--

TO THE FRIEND WHO NEVER TELLS ME OF MY FAULTS, NEVER WANTS TO BORROW MONEY, AND NEVER TALKS ABOUT HIMSELF--

TO THE COMPANION OF MY IDLE HOURS, THE SOOTHER OF MY SORROWS, THE CONFIDANT OF MY JOYS AND HOPES--

MY OLDEST AND STRONGEST

PIPE,

THIS LITTLE VOLUME

IS

GRATEFULLY AND AFFECTIONATELY

DEDICATED.

PREFACE

One or two friends to whom I showed these papers in MS. having observed that they were not half bad, and some of my relations having promised to buy the book if it ever came out, I feel I have no right to longer delay its issue. But for this, as one may say, public demand, I perhaps should not have ventured to offer these mere "idle thoughts" of mine as mental food for the English-speaking peoples of the earth. What readers ask nowadays in a book is that it should improve, instruct, and elevate. This book wouldn't elevate a cow. I cannot conscientiously recommend it for any useful purposes whatever. All I can suggest is that when you get tired of reading "the best hundred books," you may take this up for half an hour. It will be a change.

CONTENTS.

IDLE THOUGHTS OF AN IDLE FELLOW.

ON BEING IDLE ON BEING IN LOVE ON BEING IN THE BLUES ON BEING HARD UP ON VANITY AND VANITIES ON GETTING ON IN THE WORLD ON THE WEATHER ON CATS AND DOGS ON BEING SHY ON BABIES ON EATING AND DRINKING ON FURNISHED APARTMENTS ON DRESS AND DEPORTMENT ON MEMORY

The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow.

ON BEING IDLE.

Now, this is a subject on which I flatter myself I really am _au fait_. The gentleman who, when I was young, bathed me at wisdom's font for nine guineas a term--no extras--used to say he never knew a boy who could do less work in more time; and I remember my poor grandmother once incidentally observing, in the course of an instruction upon the use of the Prayer-book, that it was highly improbable that I should ever do much that I ought not to do, but that she felt convinced beyond a doubt that I should leave undone pretty well everything that I ought to do.

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