Sunday, May 01, 2005

Joseph Epstein on Maurice Baring

Maurice Baring remained, as did so many Englishmen of his generation and after, something of a schoolboy for life. He corresponded his life long with one of his tutors in verse (in triolets, specifically). His whimsy, surely, was very much that of the schoolboy. When, for example, he was required to spell out his name for people over the telephone, he would exclaim: “B for Beastly, A for Apple, R for Rotten, I for England, N for Nothing, G for God.” Eddie Marsh remembers him at a post office in Florence insisting that the stamps he purchase be “freschi” (fresh), since “they were for an invalid.” (Non-sequitorial humor, to be sure, is not everyone’s cup of claret.) As a university student, he partook in much throwing of food and wine; and, at Oxford, where he spent two terms after work at the crammers’, he and his friends used to buy wine that they referred to as “throwing port.”

1 comment:

Joe said...

As regards throwing food college hasn't changed much, has it? I experienced the greatest food throwing in college. The cafeteria ladies were so understanding of our high intellectual activities. But we never would have thrown wine - not even MD 20/20.