Sunday, August 19, 2012


Beastly Little Cad

Alec Waugh (1898-1981), The Loom of Youth (1917), Book II, Chapter I:
"You know, these young men aren't what we were," he used to say to his form; "not one of them can write a decent copy of Latin verses. All these Cambridge men are useless—useless!" In his form it was unnecessary to work very hard; but in it the average boy learnt more than he learnt anywhere else. For Macdonald was essentially a scholar; he did not merely mug up notes by German commentators an hour before the lesson. For him the classics lived; and he made his form realise this. To do Aristophanes with him was far better than any music hall. Horace he hated. One day when they were doing Donec gratus eram tibi, he burst out with wrath:

"Horrible little cad he was! Can't you see him? Small man, blue nose with too much drinking. Bibulous little beast. If I had been Lydia I would have smacked his face and told him to go to Chloë. I'd have had done with him. Beastly little cad!"

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