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The Romance of the Commonplace

Gelett Burgess

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .To him alone it is not a livery; he is not the servant of custom. If it pleases him to settle a dispute out of hand, he will send the butler for the dictionary while the discussion is hot, or more likely go himself forthright. If he wishes to see a red rose in the hair of his host's daughter over against him, he will whip round two corners to her place, and adjust the decoration. And if it is necessary to his thesis that you, his shocked or amused partner, help him illustrate a Spanish jerabe, you too must up and help him in the pantomime if you would not have such fine enthusiasm wasted for a scruple.

I knew one such once who retrieved an almost hopelessly misarranged dinner by his generalship, usurping the power of the hostess herself. The guests were distributed in a way to give the greatest possible discomfort to the greatest number, though from stupidity rather than from malice. Mr. Comet solved the problem at a glance. He rose before the . . . Read More