onsdag den 15. december 2010

PRosa i PRaksis (tjenerprøven - løst med bravur atter)

(samtale mellem Edwin Drood og hans (tvangs)forlovedes formynder, Mr. Grewgious ("an angular man") i The Mystery of Edwin Drood)

"I have lately been down yonder," said Mr. Grewgious, rearranging his skirts; "and that was what I referred to, when I said I could tell you are expected."
"Indeed, sir! Yes; I knew that Pussy was looking out for me."
"Do you keep a cat down there?" asked Mr. Grewgious.
Edwin coloured a little, as he explained: "I call Rosa Pussy."
"Oh, really," said Mr. Gregious, smoothing down his head; "that's very affable."
Edwin glanced at his face, uncertain whether or no he seriously objected to the apellation. But Edwin might as well have glanced at the face of a clock.
"A pet name, sir," he explained again.
"Umps," said Mr. Grewgious, with a nod. But with such an extraordinary compromise between an unqualified assent and a qualified dissent, that his visitor was much disconcerted.
"Did PRosa -" Edwin began, by way of recovering himself.
"PRosa?" repeated Mr. Grewgious.
"I was going to say Pussy, and changed my mind; - did she tell you anything about the Landlesses?"
"No," said Mr. Grewgious. "What is the Landlesses? An estate? A villa? A farm?"
"A brother and a sister. The sister is at the Nun's House, and has become a great friend of P -"
"PRosa's," Mr. Grewgious struck in, with a fixed face.
"She is a strikingly handsome girl, sir, and I thought she might have been described to you, or presented to you perhaps?"
"Neither," said Mr. Grewgious. "But here is Bazzard [Mr. Grewgious' modvillige tjener]."
Bazzard returned, accompanied by two waiters - an immoveable waiter and a flying waiter; and the three brought with them as much fog as gave a new roar to the fire, The flying waiter, who had brought everything on his shoulders, laid the cloth with amazing rapdity and dexterity; while the immoveable waiter, who had brought nothing, found fault with him. The flying waiter then highly polished all the glasses he had brought, and the immoveable waiter looked thorugh them. The flying waiter then flew across Holborn for the soup, and flew back again, and then took another flight for the made-dish, and flew back again, and then took another flight for the joint and poultry, and flew back again, and between flights took supplementary flights for a great variety of articles, as it was discovered from time to time that the immoveable waiter had forgotten them all. But let the flying waiter cleave the air as he might, he was always reproached on his return by the immoveable waiter for bringing fog with him, and being out of breath. At the conclusion of the repast, by which time the flying waiter was severely blown, the immoveable waiter gathered up the tablecloth under his arm with a grand air, and having sternly (not to say with indignation) looked on at the flying waiter while he set clean glasses round, directed a valedictory glance towards Mr. Grewgious, conveying: "Let it be clearly understood between us that the reward is mine, and that Nil is the claim of this slave," and pushed the flying waiter before him out of the room.

(tjenerprøven: at tydeliggøre karakterfuldt en eller flere tjenere eller "tjenere" i forbifarten (dette er den flyvende og den ubevægelige tjeners eneste optræden i romanen - hvilket suverænt personspild!)

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