Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Job Interview

Tobias Smollett (1721-1771), The Expedition of Humphry Clinker (London, May 4):
'Suppose I was inclined to take you into my service (said he) what are your qualifications? what are you good for?' 'An please your honour (answered this original) I can read and write, and do the business of the stable indifferent well — I can dress a horse, and shoe him, and bleed and rowel him; and, as for the practice of sow-gelding, I won't turn my back on e'er a he in the county of Wilts — Then I can make hog's puddings and hob-nails, mend kettles and tin sauce-pans.' — Here uncle burst out a-laughing; and inquired what other accomplishments he was master of — 'I know something of single-stick, and psalmody (proceeded Clinker); I can play upon the Jew's-harp, sing Black-ey'd Susan, Arthur-o'Bradley, and divers other songs; I can dance a Welsh jig, and Nancy Dawson; wrestle a fall with any lad of my inches, when I'm in heart; and, under correction, I can find a hare when your honour wants a bit of game.'
He got the job.

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