Monday, March 22, 2010

The fretful porpentine

From Jeeves in the Morning (Audio)by P.G. Wodehouse.

Dialogue between Jeeves and Bertie Wooster.
"Sir?"

"It's no good saying 'Sir?' You know perfectly well what I mean. Entirely through your instrumentality, I shall shortly be telling Uncle Percy things about himself which will do something to his knotted and combined locks which at the moment has slipped my memory."

"Make his knotted and combined locks to part and each particular hair to stand on end like quills upon the fretful porpentine, sir."

"Porpentine?"

"Yes, sir."

"That can't be right. There isn't such a thing. However, let that pass. The point is that you have let me in for the ghastly task of ticking Uncle Percy off, and I want to know what you did it for. Was it kind, Jeeves? Was it feudal?"

The original quote is from Shakespeare's Hamlet.
I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combined locks to part
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine:
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood.

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