30 Works of Barry Pain
How true it is, as one of our English poets has remarked, that it is always darkest before the silver lining!
While this little work was actually in the hands of the printers, an incident occurred of such great and far-reaching importance that I cannot refrain from making it the subject of an additional paper. I [...]
Properly speaking, we had quarrelled with the Pagrams.
We both lived in the same street, and Pagram is in the same office as myself. For some time we were on terms. Then one night they looked in to borrow–well, I forget now precisely what it was, but they looked in to borrow something. A month afterward, [...]
The “Christian Martyr” was what is called an engraving, and a very tasteful thing, too, besides being the largest picture we had. It represented a young woman, drowned, floating down a river by night, with her hands tied, and a very pleasing expression on her face. With the frame (maple, and a gilt border inside) [...]
I am not a landlord. It suits my purpose better, and is in every way more convenient, to rent a small house on a yearly agreement. But if I were a landlord, I would not allow any tenant of mine to do anything that tended to undermine and honeycomb the gentility of the district. I [...]
The ink-pot contained a shallow sediment, with short hairs, grit, and a little moisture in it. It came out on the pen in chunks. When I had spoiled the second postcard, Eliza said I was not to talk like that.
“Very well, then,” I said, “why don’t you have the ink-pot refilled? I’m not made of [...]
I had bought the little book at the station stall, and it seemed to be very well worth the sixpence which I paid for it. It was entitled “Everybody’s Book of Bright and Original Conundrums.” Of course I had an idea in my head in buying the book; I am not the man to throw [...]
In the course of conversation on Saturday evening it had transpired that Eliza had never been in St. Paul’s Cathedral. “Then,” I said, “you shall go there to-morrow morning; I will take you.”
“I’m sure I’m agreeable,” said Eliza.
On the Sunday morning one or two little things had happened to put me out. At breakfast I [...]
Eliza always works me some little pretty trifle for my birthday, and always has done so since the day when I led her to the hymeneal altar. But it is not done at all as a matter of course. During the days before my birthday, when she is working at the present, she keeps a [...]
I must say that both Eliza and myself felt a good deal of contempt for the Mopworths. We had known them for three years, and that gave us a claim; Peter Mopworth was a connection of Eliza’s by marriage, and that also gave us a claim; further, our social position gave us a claim. Nevertheless, [...]
I had got the money by work done at home, out of office hours. It came to four pounds altogether. At first I thought I would use it to discharge a part of our debt to Eliza’s mother. But it was very possible that she would send it back again, in which case the pence [...]
We were at breakfast one morning in the summer when the girl entered rather excitedly and said that to the best of her belief there was a mushroom coming in the little lawn in front of the house. It seemed a most extraordinary thing, and Eliza and I both went out to look at it. [...]
On the occasion of the marriage of our junior partner to Ethel Mary, only surviving daughter of William Hubblestead, Esq., J.P., of Banlingbury, by the Canon of Blockminster, assisted by the Rev. Eugene Hubblestead, cousin of the bride–on this occasion the office was closed for the whole of one day, and the staff had a [...]
“Eliza,” I said one evening, “do you think that you are fonder of me than I am of you, or that I am fonder of you than you are of me?”
She answered, “What is thirteen from twenty-eight?” without looking up from the account-book.
“I do think,” I said, “that when I speak to you you might [...]
The girl had just removed the supper things. We have supper rather early, because I like a long evening. “Now, Eliza,” I said, “you take your work,–your sewing, or whatever it may be,–and I will take my work. Yes, I’ve brought it with me, and it’s to be paid as overtime. I daresay it mayn’t [...]
I had long believed that all was not right with my hat. I could prove nothing, but I had no doubt in my own mind that the girl took liberties with it. It is very easy to brush a silk hat the wrong way, for instance, but silk hats do not brush themselves the wrong [...]
One of our younger clerks, a man of the name of Perkins, is said to be very well connected. He certainly spends more than his salary, and rarely wears the same trousers on two consecutive days. But I am not a snob, nor one who thinks much of these things, and I had never cultivated [...]
We do a large export trade (that is, the firm does), and there are often samples lying about in the office. There was a bottle of Tarret’s Tonic Port, which had been there some time, and one of the partners told the head clerk that he could have it if he liked. Later in the [...]
The orchestrome was on Lady Sandlingbury’s stall at the bazaar. Her ladyship came up to Eliza in the friendliest way, and said, “My dear lady, I am convinced that you need an orchestrome. It’s the sweetest instrument in the world, worth at least five pounds, and for one shilling you have a chance of getting [...]
On Saturdays I always get back from the office early. This particular Saturday afternoon I looked at our chimneys as I came down the street. I thought it very queer, but, to make certain, as soon as I got into the house I opened the drawing-room door. It was just as I thought. I called [...]
I generally send Eliza to spend a day with her mother early in December, and try to cheer her up a little. I daresay the old lady is very lonely, and appreciates the kindly thought. The return ticket is four-and-two, and Eliza generally buys a few flowers to take with her. That does not leave [...]
About a year ago Eliza and myself had a little difference of opinion. I mentioned to her that we had no visiting-cards.
“Of course not,” she said. “The idea of such a thing!” She spoke rather hastily.
“Why do you say ‘of course not’?” I replied, quietly. “Visiting-cards are, I believe, in common use among ladies and [...]
“Suppose,” I said to one of the junior clerks at our office the other day, “you were asked to describe yourself in a few words, could you do it?”
His answer that he could describe me in two was no answer at all. Also the two words were not a description, and were so offensive that [...]
This book was suggested by the reading of some extracts from the autobiography of a brilliant lady who had much to tell us about a number of interesting people. There was a quality in that autobiography which seemed to demand parody, and no doubt the autobiographer who cannot wait for posterity and perspective will [...]
Miss Markham in certain respects was a fortunate lady. She had a flat in town and had recently acquired a little bungalow for week-end purposes on a cliff that overlooked the sea. There are one or two other little bungalows in the vicinity, and the people who own them do not give away the [...]
Miss Caterham was forty-five, and said so, and looked it. She wore black cashmere in the afternoon, and black silk in the evening. She was methodical, and professed a hatred of all nonsense. She liked to take care of everything and to avoid using it. Also, though fundamentally kind-hearted, she was firm even to [...]
I was in a part of the country where it is a good deal safer to kill a child than to take a pheasant. There are more people to look after the pheasants. I have always felt as if a man who could get his bird without a gun and cook it without a kitchen [...]
Myra Larose was a good governess, capable, and highly certificated.
At Salston Hill School they rewarded her services with forty pounds per annum, and board and lodging during term-time. She had often been fortunate enough to secure private pupils for the holidays, and she knew a stationer who bought hand-painted Christmas cards. At the end of [...]
James Smith was a trainer and exhibitor of performing dogs. His age was forty-five, but on the stage he looked less, moving always with an alertness suggestive of youth. His face was dominant, but not cruel. He never petted a dog. On the other hand, he never thrashed a dog, unless he considered that [...]
(The first few pages of the account of his travels by Mr Lemuel Gulliver, junior, have unfortunately been damaged by fire and are for the most part illegible. They contain reference to a sea-fog and to a shipwreck. He appears to have escaped by swimming, and his record of the number of days he [...]
THE RECLAMATION OF THE CAT-WALK: AND THE STORY OF “THE POOL IN THE DESERT”
My London garden is not really mine. I have it for a period of years on conditions arranged between two legal gentlemen, the tenant paying the landlord’s cost. Obviously the person who owns the property can better afford to pay those [...]