Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Greater Scoundrel


A famous master of Trinity college, Cambridge, had been a friend in earlier days of one Jemmy Gordon, a solicitor. But Jemmy went to the bad, was struck off the rolls and lived from what he could get from old acquaintances. One day he met the master and asked for a shilling. "Gordon," thundered the master, "If you could show me a greater scoundrel than yourself, I would give you half a crown," and he stalked stiffly away to his rooms. In half an hour's time the butler announced that Mr. Pompous, the esquire beadle, wished to see the master. Now, the master had a special detestation of the beadle, who, when admitted and curtly asked what he wanted, replied:

"Mr. Gordon informed me that you desired to see me."

Said the master, "Gordon has made an ass of you!"

In ten minutes more the butler came again, grinning, and said:

"Mr. Jemmy Gordon has called and says you owe him half a crown, sir." — Newcastle Chronicle.

Comment: I like that, the guy's actual name is Mr. Pompous, or maybe not, maybe just a shorthand way of characterizing a person who should not be named. And what a great line from the master, "Gordon has made an ass of you!" Exclamation point, end of story, pay me my half crown!

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