Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wodehouse Wednesday

'The contrast between Lord Emsworth and the newcomer, as they stood there, was striking, almost dramatic. Lord Emsworth was so acutely spectacle-less; Rupert Baxter, his secretary, so pronouncedly spectacled. It was his spectacles that struck you first as you saw the man. They gleamed efficiently at you. If you had a guilty conscience, they pierced you through and through; and even if your conscience was one hundred per cent pure you could not ignore them. “Here,” you said to yourself, “is an efficient young man in spectacles.”

In describing Rupert Baxter as efficient, you did not over-estimate him. He was essentially that. Technically but a salaried subordinate, he had become by degrees, owing to the limp amiability of his employer, the real master of the house. He was the Brains of Blandings, the man at the switch, the person in charge, and the pilot, so to speak, who weathered the storm. Lord Emsworth left everything to Baxter, only asking to be allowed to potter in peace; and Baxter, more than equal to the task, shouldered it without wincing.'

~P.G. Wodehouse, Leave it to Psmith

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