Thursday, May 01, 2008


As those of us who live in London face the dismal prospect of voting, in the hope (which I fear will be dashed) of replacing a Trotskyite thug with a tow-headed Tory 'character' , we need the kind of laugh this story so generously affords. It puts me in mind of the great set piece in Ronald Firbank's Vainglory, where the Professor unveils his newly discovered fragment of Sappho. I pass this on too in the great good cause of spreading a little mirth...

...And then, after what may have become an anguishing obbligato, the Professor declaimed impressively the imperishable lines. 'Oh, delicious!' Lady Listless exclaimed, looking quite perplexed. 'Very charming indeed!'
'Will anyone tell me what it means', Mrs Thumbler queried, 'in plain English? Unfortunately, my Greek -'
'In plain English', the Professor said, with some reluctance, 'it means: 'Could not' he wagged a finger ‘Could not, for the fury of her feet!''
'Do you mean she ran away?'
'O-h!' Mrs Thumbler seemed inclined to faint. The Professor riveted her with his curious nut-coloured eyes. 'Could not . . .', she murmured helplessly, as though clinging to an alpenstock, and not quite sure of her guide. Below her, so to speak, were the rooftops, pots and pans: Chamonix twinkling in the snow. 'But no doubt there is a sous-entendu?' Monsignor Parr suspiciously enquired. 'Indeed, no!' the Professor answered. '. . . Here is an adventurous line, separated (alas!) from its full context. Decorative, useless, as you will: a water-colour on silk!'
'I don’t know why', Lady Georgia confessed, 'it thrills me, but it does!'
'Do you suppose she refers to -'
'Nothing of the kind!' the Professor interrupted.


  1. And with that title I intend to break all records for hits per day...

  2. Ha. "Sapphics" is the new "Tattoos".

    I'm off to vote in a sec. God, I hope we finally see the back of that slimy crook...

  3. Not salacious enough, I'm afraid, Nige. It's hardly a tabloid headline, is it?

  4. Nothing like a bit of sapphistry to goose the ratings, but most men want pictures as well.

  5. One thing about old Sapphy, she had the painters in a lather for a long time.
    Funny that, Lesbos, funny that, Outside of York Minster, every weekend, the hair productless ones, why?