Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Remedy for Many Ills

CRICHTON. Since we landed on the island, my lord, it seems to me that Mr. Ernest's epigrams have been particularly brilliant.

ERNEST (gratified). Thank you, Crichton.

CRICHTON. But I find--I seem to find it growing wild, my lord, in the woods, that sayings which would be justly admired in England are not much use on an island. I would therefore most respectfully propose that henceforth every time Mr. Ernest favours us with an epigram his head should be immersed in a bucket of cold spring

(There is a terrible silence.)

LORD LOAM (uneasily). Serve him right.

ERNEST. I should like to see you try to do it, uncle.

CRICHTON (ever ready to come to the succour of his lordship). My feeling, my lord, is that at the next offence I should convey him to a retired spot, where I shall carry out the undertaking in as respectful a manner as is consistent with a thorough immersion.

(Though his manner is most respectful, he is firm; he evidently means what he says.)

James Barrie, The Admirable Crichton, Act II. Of course, we find in Act III that it has worked wonderfully.

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