What are you doing in there?

by illimitableoceanofinexplicability

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I knew a gentleman who was so good a manager of his time that he would not even lose that small portion of it which the calls of nature obliged him to pass in the necessary-house; but gradually went through all the Latin poets in those moments. He bought, for example, a common edition of Horace, of which he tore off gradually a couple of pages, carried them with him to that necessary place, read them first, and then sent them down as a sacrifice to Cloacina: this was so much time fairly gained, and I recommend you to follow his example…. Books of science and of a grave sort must be read with continuity; but there are very many, and even very useful ones, which may be read with advantage by snatches and unconnectedly: such are all the good Latin poets, except Virgil in his Æneid, and such are most of the modern poets, in which you will find many pieces worth reading that will not take up above seven or eight minutes.

– Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

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“As Lord Chesterfield advised”

Ha, ha. Lord Chesterfield! Who the hell is that? Does it matter? Sounds good. Think of yourself (if you can) urgently in need of the facilities, which have been occupied by me for nearly three quarters of an hour, banging on the door and demanding to know “What are you doing in there”?, and I answer, “As Lord Chesterfield advised”, you’d be ready to kill me. But, you’re just like that, so, I wouldn’t be surprised and I’d just keep reading. Go pee in the yard.

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Institute Trivia: ‘The Floating Head’ was originally called ‘Chesterfield’.

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