Friday March 12th

The House Section had another drill this morning and were really a little smarter so I have done some good. They are still very bad but there was, I was glad to see, more ‘go’ in them today.

Influenza and bronchitis don’t seem to have affected the spirits of John Sargeaunt who was more entirely delightful this morning than he has been this term. We were doing the last 200 lines or so of the ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’, not one would think a very productive subject, but John Sargeaunt was full of stories and quotations. Here are two of J.S.’s stories:

Theodore Hook used to come through a churchyard late at night and always said he saw a ghost in the porch. One night a friend dressed up in a sheet and went and sat in the porch. Theodore Hook looked in as usual and simply remarked cheerfully ‘Oh! There are two of you tonight are there?’ and passed on leaving the friend horribly scared!

The other (somewhat different) of the proud Father of Twins showing them to a Bachelor friend who remarked ‘which do you mean to keep’?!! This was a propos of Coleridge’s lines because the wolf was supposed to eat its young. The connection is not obvious but it shows the delightful way J.S. rambles on.

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