Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh, from Project Gutenberg Canada
Book Source: Digital Library of India Item sovet4ik.info: Evelyn sovet4ik.infoioned. terms of an academic education, Oxford “is not up to date in the latest theories of In his novels Brideshead Revisited and Decline and Fall Waugh shows the. UNIFORM EDITION OF EVELYN WAUGH'S NOVELS DECLINE AND FALL VILE “No, there ain't been no bloodshed up to date, sir I Decline and Fall.
The truth about 'Shevelyn': He eventually dies, though we only hear of his decline and demise through the throwaway remarks of others.
Waugh never concealed his ambivalence about Oxford: He was awarded a third-class degree but never took it, having failed the residence requirements. The common appraisal of Decline and Fall is as social satire: It is a canvas on which Waugh, whose list of grudges and grievances was legendary, could exhibit some of the more pressing.
Decline and Fall: Evelyn Waugh's orgy of bad taste
He wrote the book at a time of isolation, teaching in the sort of grim prep school that he mocked in its pages, and takes out his frustration not just on that institution, but on the Oxford where he failed and the glamorous set from which he was then excluded. We shan't see the like of them again.
I don't suppose I was really sober for more than a few hours for the whole of that war. Then I got into the soup again, pretty badly that time.
Happened over in France. They said, "Now, Grimes, you've got to behave like a gentleman. We don't want a court-martial in this regiment. We're going to leave you alone for half an hour. You know what to do. Goodbye, old man," they said quite affectionately.
I put it up to my head twice, but each time I brought it down again. It was a long half-hour, but luckily they had left a decanter of whisky in there with me. They'd all had a few, I think. That's what made them all so solemn. There wasn't much whisky left when they came back, and, what with that and the strain of the situation, I could only laugh when they came in.
Silly thing to do, but they looked so surprised, seeing me there alive and drunk. A major came over from another battalion to try my case.
He came to see me first, and bless me if it wasn't a cove I'd known at school! What's all this nonsense about a court-martial? Still it's out of the question to shoot an old Harrovian. I'll see what I can do about it. That saw me out as far as the war was concerned. You can't get into the soup in Ireland, do what you like. I don't know if all this bores you?
Someone always turns up and says, "I can't see a public school man down and out. Let me put you on your feet again. He was wearing a very expensive-looking Charvet dressing-gown. If you want to get there before Mr Prendergast, you ought to go now. Captain Grimes doesn't wash much,' he added, and then disappeared. Paul went to the bath and was rewarded some minutes later by hearing the shuffling of slippers down the passage and the door furiously rattled.
As he was dressing Philbrick appeared.
Breakfast is in ten minutes. Mr Prendergast was there polishing his pipes, one by one, with a chamois leather. He looked reproachfully at Paul. I have one before breakfast. I might have known you'd want the bath. It was so easy when there was only Grimes and that other young man.
He was never down in time for breakfast. I can see that things are going to be very difficult. It's all part of the same thing. Everything has been like this since I left the ministry.
If things had happened a little differently I should be a rector with my own house and bath-room. I might even have been a rural dean, only'—and Mr Prendergast dropped his voice to a whisper—'only I had Doubts. I somehow feel you'll understand. I had just been presented to a living in Worthing.
- Decline And Fall Evelyn Waugh
- Evelyn Waugh-decline And Fall
- Decline and Fall: Evelyn Waugh's orgy of bad taste
It was such an attractive church, not old, but very beautifully decorated, six candles on the altar, Reservation in the Lady Chapel, and an excellent heating apparatus which burned coke in a little shed by the sacristy door; no graveyard, just a hedge of golden privet between the church and the rectory. She bought some chintz, out of her own money, for the drawing-room curtains. She used to be "at home" once a week to the ladies of the congregation.
One of them, the dentist's wife, gave me a set of the Encyclopaedia Britannica for my study. It was all very pleasant until my Doubts began. But I expect I am boring you?
That's to say, unless you find it painful to think about. It happened like this, quite suddenly. We had been there about three months, and my mother had made great friends with some people called Bundle—rather a curious name.
I think he was an insurance agent until he retired. Mrs Bundle used very kindly to ask us in to supper on Sundays after Evensong. They were pleasant, informal gatherings, and I used quite to look forward to them. I can see them now as they sat there on this particular evening; there was my mother and Mr and Mrs Bundle, and their son, rather a spotty boy, I remember, who used to go in to Brighton College by train every day, and Mrs Bundle's mother, a Mrs Round, rather deaf, but a very good Churchwoman, and Mrs Abel—that was the name of the dentist's wife who gave me the Encyclopaedia Britannica—and old Major Ending, the people's warden.
I had preached two sermons that day besides taking the children's Bible-class in the afternoon, and I had rather dropped out of the conversation. They were all talking away quite happily about the preparations that were being made on the pier for the summer season, when suddenly, for no reason at all, my Doubts began. You see, it wasn't the ordinary sort of Doubt about Cain's wife or the Old Testament miracles or the consecration of Archbishop Parker.
I'd been taught how to explain all those while I was at college. No, it was something deeper than all that. I couldn't understand why God had made the world at all. There was my mother and the Bundles and Mrs Round talking away quite unconcernedly while I sat there wrestling with this sudden assault of doubt.
You see how fundamental that is. Once granted the first step, I can see that everything else follows—Tower of Babel, Babylonian captivity, Incarnation, Church, bishops, incense, everything—but what I couldn't see, and what I can't see now, is, why did it all begin? He said that he didn't think the point really arose as far as my practical duties as a parish priest were concerned.
I discussed it with my mother. At first she was inclined to regard it as a passing phase. But it didn't pass, so finally she agreed with me that the only honourable thing to do was to resign my living; she never really recovered from the shock, poor old lady! It was a great blow after she had bought the chintz and got so friendly with the Bundles. Meanwhile—' Clutterbuck ran past the door, whistling hideously.
The boys stood ranged along the panelled walls, each holding in his hands a little pile of books. Grimes sat on one of the chairs beside the baronial chimney-piece.
Do I smell of drink? Prendy been telling you about his Doubts? I don't pretend to be a particularly pious sort of chap, but I've never had any Doubts. When you've been in the soup as often as I have, it gives you a sort of feeling that everything's for the best, really.
You know, God's in His heaven; all's right with the world.
I can't quite explain it, but I don't believe one can ever be unhappy for long provided one does just exactly what one wants to and when one wants to. The last chap who put me on my feet said I was "singularly in harmony with the primitive promptings of humanity".
I've remembered that phrase because somehow it seemed to fit me. Here comes the old man. This is where we stand up.
He wore an orchid in his button-hole. The Doctor advanced to the table at the end of the room, picked up a Bible, and opening it at random, read a chapter of blood-curdling military history without any evident relish. From that he plunged into the Lord's Prayer, which the boys took up in a quiet chatter. Mr Prendergast's voice led them in tones that testified to his ecclesiastical past.
Then the Doctor glanced at a sheet of notes he held in his hand. The Fagan cross-country running challenge cup will not be competed for this year on account of the floods. I look to the prefects to stop this, unless of course they are themselves responsible, in which case I must urge them in my own interests to make use of the village post-office, to which they have access.
Boys, I have been deeply distressed to learn that several cigar ends have been found—where have they been found? I regard this as reprehensible. What boy has been smoking cigars in the downstair lavatory?
If I do not hear from him by then the whole school will be heavily punished. I hope the little beast has the sense to keep quiet. The boys filed out. It is not a gentlemanly fault. Just keep them quiet. Paul watched him amble into his class-room at the end of the passage, where a burst of applause greeted his arrival.
Dumb with terror, he went into his own class-room. Ten boys sat before him, their hands folded, their eyes bright with expectation. At this the boy took out a handkerchief and began to cry quietly. He's very sensitive; it's his Welsh blood, you know: Say "Good morning" to him, sir, or he won't be happy all day. After all, it is a good morning, isn't it, sir?
The ten boys stopped talking and sat perfectly still, staring at him. He felt himself getting hot and red under their scrutiny. What is your name? He's just trying to be funny. Me trying to be funny! Please, sir, I'm Tangent, sir; really I am.
Anyone else can jolly well go to blazes. I wouldn't be called Tangent, not on the end of a barge-pole. Blows were already being exchanged, when the door opened and Grimes came in. There was a slight hush.
Jack Whitehall stars in Evelyn Waugh's Decline And Fall | Daily Mail Online
Meanwhile you will all write an essay on "Self-indulgence". There will be a prize of half a crown for the longest essay, irrespective of any possible merit.
Paul, still holding the stick, gazed despondently out of the window. Now and then there rose from below the shrill voices of the servants scolding each other in Welsh.
By the time the bell rang Clutterbuck had covered sixteen pages, and was awarded the half-crown. I find all boys utterly intractable. I don't know why it is. Of course my wig has a lot to do with it. Have you noticed that I wear a wig? It was a great mistake my ever getting one. I thought when I left Worthing that I looked too old to get a job easily. I was only forty-one. It was very expensive, even though I chose the cheapest quality.
Perhaps that's why it looks so like a wig. I knew from the first that it was a mistake, but once they had seen it, it was too late to go back.
They make all sorts of jokes about it. I dare say it's a good thing to localize their ridicule as far as possible. If it wasn't for my pipes, I don't know how I should manage to keep on.
What made you come here? And there's the bell. I believe that loathsome little man's taken my gown. It was their second music lesson. How d'you mean "hit"? He'd just got a tin of pine-apple chunks Captain Grimes had given him. Tangent said, "Are you going to take that into Hall? It's little stinkers like you," he said, "who turn decent masters savage.
I only wish she'd go out more often. It's my opinion and Brolly's that Dingy and Philbrick are having an intrigue. I'll tell you another thing. You know all those trunk calls the Doctor was talking about. It was Philbrick made them. That man never leaves the telephone day or night.Pennyfeather's last supper - Decline and Fall: Episode 3 Preview - BBC One
If you ask me, there's something fishy about Philbrick. As Beste-Chetwynde had told him, he was a distinct success with his form; after the first day an understanding had been established between them.
It was tacitly agreed that when Paul wished to read or to write letters he was allowed to do so undisturbed while he left them to employ the time as they thought best; when Paul took it upon him to talk to them about their lessons they remained silent, and when he set them work to do some of it was done.
It had rained steadily, so that there had been no games. No punishments, no reprisals, no exertion, and in the evenings the confessions of Grimes, any one of which would have glowed with outstanding shamelessness from the appendix to a treatise in sexual psychology.
Mr Prendergast came in with the post. There was a time when I used to get five or six letters a day, not counting circulars. My mother used to file them for me to answer—one heap of charity appeals, another for personal letters, another for marriages and funerals, another for baptisms and churchings and another for anonymous abuse. I wonder why it is the clergy always get so many letters of that sort, sometimes from quite educated people.
I remember my father had great trouble in that way once, and he was forced to call in the police because they became so threatening. And, do you know, it was the curate's wife who had sent them—such a quiet little woman.
Grimes' look like bills. I can't think why shops give that man credit at all. But d'you know that except for my tobacco and the Daily News and occasionally a little port when it's very cold, I don't think I've bought anything for two years. The last thing I bought was that walking stick.
I got it at Shanklin, and Grimes uses it for beating the boys with. I hadn't really meant to buy one, but I was there for the day—two years this August—and I went into the tobacconist's to buy some tobacco. He hadn't the sort I wanted, and I felt I couldn't go without getting something, so I bought that.
It cost one and six,' he added wistfully, 'so I had no tea. It had been forwarded from Onslow Square. On the flap were embossed the arms of Scone College. It was from one of his four friends. Oxford My Dear Pennyfeather it ranI need hardly tell you how distressed I was when I heard of your disastrous misfortune. It seems to me that a real injustice has been done to you. I have not heard the full facts of the case, but I was confirmed in my opinion by a very curious incident last evening.
I was just going to bed when Digby-Vaine-Trumpington came into my rooms without knocking. He was smoking a cigar. I had never spoken to him before, as you know, and was very much surprised at his visit. It's all I can spare at the moment. Wouldn't it be a useful thing to do?
I asked him how he dared treat a gentleman like that just because he wasn't in his awful set. He seemed rather taken aback and said: I bicycled over to St Magnus's at Little Beckley and took some rubbings of the brasses there.
I wished you had been with me. It seems to me that the great problem of education is to train the moral perceptions, not merely to discipline the appetites. I cannot help thinking that it is in greater fastidiousness rather than in greater self-control that the future progress of the race lies. I shall be interested to hear what your experience has been over the matter.
The chaplain does not agree with me in this. He says great sensibility usually leads to enervation of will. Let me know what you think. It doesn't do to rely on one's own feelings, does it, not in anything? I hope you are in no doubt about that. Accept it at once, of course. Why, it takes me half a term to earn that. In the dining-hall Paul gave the letter to Grimes. I should think you would.
He thought about it all through afternoon school, all the time he was dressing for dinner, and all through dinner.
It was a severe struggle, but his early training was victorious. It would always be on my mind. If I refuse, I shall be sure of having done right. I shall look back upon my self-denial with exquisite self-approval. By refusing I can convince myself that, in spite of the unbelievable things that have been happening to me during the last ten days, I am still the same Paul Pennyfeather I have respected so long. It is a test-case of the durability of my ideals.
There is every reason why I should take this money. Digby-Vaine-Trumpington is exceedingly rich; and if he keeps it, it will undoubtedly be spent on betting or on some deplorable debauch. Owing to his party I have suffered irreparable harm.
My whole future is shattered, and I have directly lost one hundred and twenty pounds a year in scholarships and two hundred and fifty pounds a year allowance from my guardian. By any ordinary process of thought, the money is justly mine.
But,' said Paul Pennyfeather, 'there is my honour. For generations the British bourgeoisie have spoken of themselves as gentlemen, and by that they have meant, among other things, a self-respecting scorn of irregular perquisites. It is the quality that distinguishes the gentleman from both the artist and the aristocrat. Now I am a gentleman. I can't help it: I just can't take that money.
Tell Trumpington send money quick, and signed it "Pennyfeather". I don't mind lending you the bob till it comes, either. I am glad that my dealings with him are at an end. I cannot pretend to understand your attitude in this matter, but no doubt you are the best judge. Stiggins is reading a paper to the O. Everyone expects rather a row, because you know how keen Walton is on the mystical element, which I think Stiggins is inclined to discount. There is a most interesting article in the Educational Review on the new methods that are being tried at the Innesborough High School to induce co-ordination of the senses.
They put small objects into the children's mouths and make them draw the shapes in red chalk. Have you tried this with your boys? I must say I envy you your opportunities. Are your colleagues enlightened? Still, we've got the doings. How about a binge? I should like to ask Prendy too. It's just what Prendy needs. He's been looking awfully down in the mouth lately. Why shouldn't we all go over to the Metropole at Cwmpryddyg for dinner one night?
We shall have to wait until the old boy goes away, otherwise he'll notice that there's no one on duty. I hardly know what to say. Of course, I should love it.
Jack Whitehall stars in Evelyn Waugh's Decline And Fall
I can't remember when I dined at an hotel last. Certainly not since the War. It will be a treat. My dear boy, I'm quite overcome. The Doctor made one of his rare visits to the school dining-hall. At his entry everybody stopped eating and laid down his knife and fork. Clutterbuck, will you kindly stop eating while I am addressing the school. The boys' manners need correcting, Mr Prendergast.
I look to the prefects to see to this. Boys, the chief sporting event of the year will take place in the playing-fields tomorrow. Mr Pennyfeather, who, as you know, is himself a distinguished athlete, will be in charge of all arrangements. The preliminary heats will be run off today. All boys must compete in all events. The Countess of Circumference has kindly consented to present the prizes.
Mr Prendergast will act as referee, and Captain Grimes as time-keeper. I shall myself be present tomorrow to watch the final competitions. Mr Pennyfeather, perhaps you will favour me with an interview when you have finished your luncheon? Do you wear spiked shoes, sir? You see, we never know beforehand when there's going to be sports, so we don't have time to get ready.
Now I shall have to stay here all the afternoon. A horrid comic monster, she seduces him and mixes him in up her slave-trading empire. It is, of course, Pennyfeather who goes to prison. Between andPoirot ran for thirteen series, 70 episodes and was watched by million people in countries. But, as Suchet explains, he came perilously close to turning the iconic role down.
You are a serious Shakespearean actor. Poirot's a bit of a joke, a buffoon. It's not you at all. Finally I decided that I should take the job, convinced that I could bring the true Poirot, as Agatha Christie had written him, to life.
After the final episode of Poirot was aired in NovemberSuchet admits he found it hard to cope without his alter ego.
He became my best friend. I knew him so well, better than I know anybody else. I used to go out as him, walking around London for the whole day, seeing the world through his eyes. The orderliness of his vast living-room, everything arranged just so, is very Poirot. Fagan in Decline And Fall. We now live in an extreme liberal society.