The school's attitude can be summed up in three words. It was one vast, blank, astounded "Here, I say!" Everybody was saying it, though not always in those words. When condensed, everybody's comment on the situation came to that. There is something rather pathetic in the indignation of a school. It must always, or nearly always, expend itself in words, and in private at that. Even the consolation of getting on...
The school's attitude can be summed up in three words. It was one vast, blank, astounded "Here, I say!"
Everybody was saying it, though not always in those words. When condensed, everybody's comment on the situation came to that.
There is something rather pathetic in the indignation of a school. It must always, or nearly always, expend itself in words, and in private at that. Even the consolation of getting on to platforms and shouting at itself is denied to it. A public school has no Hyde Park.
There is every probability-¬in fact, it is certain-¬that, but for one malcontent, the school's indignation would have been allowed to simmer down in the usual way, and finally become a mere vague memory.
The malcontent was Wyatt. He had been responsible for the starting of the matter, and he proceeded now to carry it on till it blazed up into the biggest thing of its kind ever known at Wrykyn-¬the Great Picnic.
Comic timing would seem less of the essence in literature until you read the English wit of P. G. Wodehouse, who shows just how a well-placed comment or properly inflected phrase can create a response that is often all too rare during a reading session: A loud, hearty laugh.
Pelham Grenville Wodehouse was born in 1881 in Guildford, the son of a civil servant, and educated at Dulwich College. He spent a brief period working for the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank before abandoning finance for writing, earning a living by journalism and selling stories to magazines.
An enormously popular and prolific writer, he produced about 100 books. In Jeeves, the ever resourceful "gentleman's personal gentleman", and the good-hearted young blunderer Bertie Wooster, he created two of the best known and best loved characters in twentieth century literature. Their exploits, first collected in Carry On, Jeeves, were chronicled in fourteen books, and have been repeatedly adapted for television, radio and the stage. Wodehouse also created many other comic figures, notably Lord Emsworth, the Hon. Galahad Threepwood, Psmith and the numerous members of the Drones Club. He was part-author and writer of fifteen straight plays and 250 lyrics for some 30 musical comedies. The Times hailed him as a "comic genius recognized in his lifetime as a classic and an old master of farce."
P. G. Wodehouse said, "I believe there are two ways of writing novels. One is mine, making a sort of musical comedy without music and ignoring real life altogether; the other is going right deep down into life and not caring a damn ...."
Wodehouse married in 1914 and took American citizenship in 1955. He was created a Knight of the British Empire in the 1975 New Year's Honours List. In a BBC interview he said that he had no ambitions left now that he had been knighted and there was a waxwork of him in Madame Tussaud's. He died on St. Valentine's Day, 1975, at the age of ninety-three.