‘Enquire Within’ (9): Anecdotes and smart things, and well-oiled moulds…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s letter of the alphabet is the capital ‘M’. The other letters don’t like the capital ‘M’ much, they say he looks a bit superior, and always has a smug smile.

It’s a rather dull looking red fabric covered volume is the Daily Express Enquire Within 1934; (another of my grubby old junk shop books), so it’s not really worth showing you a picture of it dear reader, but the title page does have a nice globe emblem on it:

DSCN4009It is a compendium of facts and useful information on many topics, useful, if you happen to live in Britain in the 1930s. There are several entries on each page, and also across the head of each page there are a few pithy words of wisdom – I will include these too:

Page 348: (He doeth better who doth bless the stranger in his wretchedness.)
The Two Grand Modes of making your conversation interesting, are to enliven it by recitals calculated to effect and impress your hearers, and to intersperse it with anecdotes and smart things. Count Antoine Rivarol, who lived from 1757 to 1801, was a master in the latter mode.

Page 189: (Coals first brought to London in 1357.)
The Lancers ii. Second figure. – First couple advance twice, leaving the lady in the centre with her back to the opposite couple – set in the centre – turn to places – all advance in two lines  – all turn partners. Other couples repeat.

Page 433: (Plain speech is better than much wit.)
Artificial Ivory – To Make. – Make a fine paste of isinglass, finely powdered eggshells, and brandy. Impart the required colour to it, and while it is warm pour it into well-oiled moulds and leave it until it becomes hard.

Page 472: (He that is down, need fear no fall, he that is low, no pride.)
Telephones. – It is surprising that so many people cannot believe that you should talk into a telephone as you would to a friend, enunciating the words clearly and somewhat more slowly than in ordinary conversation. Some think that they must shout into the instrument, forgetting that it is sensitive to speech as a normal ear…
Public telephones are said to be a possible source of contagion, since all sorts and conditions of persons – consumptives and others – use them.

Page 125: (A truth ascertained is a life-pension gained.)
Croquet xxii. Should a player, in trying to make a hoop, knock a wire out of the ground with his ball, the hoop does not count. The ball must be replaced and the stroke played again; but if by the same stroke a roquet be made, the striker may elect whether he will claim the roquet or have the balls replaced.


About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in archeology, books, history, humour, information, instruction, learning, phones, reading, serendipity, surrealism, words and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to ‘Enquire Within’ (9): Anecdotes and smart things, and well-oiled moulds…

  1. memadtwo says:

    Shouting phone calls have now migrated to the streets…well, everywhere…at least we don’t have to worry any more about diseases from public phones I guess.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s