The Illimitable Ocean of Inexplicability

Month: November, 2012

A foretoken

An excerpt from

The Posthumous Papers

of the Pickwick Club

by Charles Dickens

CHAPTER XXV.

SHOWING, AMONG A VARIETY OF PLEASANT MATTERS, HOW MAJESTIC AND IMPARTIAL Mr. NUPKINS WAS; AND HOW Mr. WELLER RETURNED Mr. JOB TROTTER’S SHUTTLECOCK AS HEAVILY AS IT CAME—WITH ANOTHER MATTER, WHICH WILL BE FOUND IN ITS PLACE

 

In this amusement they all took part by turns, except three or four fortunate individuals, who, having discovered a grating in the gate, which commanded a view of nothing, stared through it with the indefatigable perseverance with which people will flatten their noses against the front windows of a chemist’s shop, when a drunken man, who has been run over by a dog-cart in the street, is undergoing a surgical inspection in the back-parlour.

High_two-wheeled_dog_cart,_1816

a high two-wheeled dog cart

An enterprise of great pith and moment

Didn’t I tell you, Don Quixote, sir, to turn back, for they were not armies you were going to attack, but flocks of sheep?”

Omne ignotum pro magnifico*

* The title is borrowed from the story “The Red-Headed League” written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and first published in the Strand Magazine in August 1891. It’s occurrence takes place during a conversation between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson as follows

“I begin to think, Watson,” said Holmes, “that I make a mistake in explaining, ‘Omne ignotum pro magnifico,’ you know, and my poor little reputation, such as it is, will suffer shipwreck if I am so candid..”