Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Top Ten Wellerisms

Probably my favourite literary character of all time is the endlessly patient cockney man-servant of Mr. Pickwick (Pickwick Papers by Dickens). Both Sam and his father have the habit of switching their "V"s and "W"s, and even Mr. Weller Sr. is not sure how is name is spelled. Sam is a fount of useful metaphors (not sure what else you would call them) and here are my top ten:

10. "He wants you particklar; no one else'll do, as the Devil's private secretary said ven he fetched avay Doctor Faustus.”

9. "There's nothin' so refreshin' as sleep, sir, as the servant-girl said afore she drank the egg-cupful o' laudanum."

8. "I think he's the wictim o' connubiality, as Blue Beard's domestic chaplain said, with a tear of pity, ven he buried him."

7. "Business first, pleasure arterwards, as King Richard the Third said wen he stabbed t'other king in the Tower, afore he smothered the babbies.”

6. "Werry sorry to 'casion any personal inconvenience, ma'am, as the house-breaker said to the old lady when he put her on the fire...."

5. “Vether it's worth while goin' through so much, to learn so little, as the charity-boy said ven he got to the end of the alphabet, is a matter o' taste."

4. "Fine time for them as is well wropped up, as the Polar Bear said to himself, ven he was practising his skating."

3. “I'm pretty tough, that's vun consolation, as the wery old turkey remarked wen the farmer said he was afeered he should be obliged to kill him for the London market."

2. “Oh, quite enough to get, sir, as the soldier said ven they ordered him three hundred and fifty lashes."

and… my number one Wellerism is…

1. "Now we look compact and comfortable, as the father said ven he cut his little boy's head off, to cure him o' squintin'."
(Illustration by Phiz)

1 comment:

willow said...

Those are cute. I've never read "Pickwick Papers" maybe I'll have to get a copy from the library.

Today I am practicing being "insouciant". ;)