Title: Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 101, December 12, 1891
Release Date: November 26, 2004 [EBook #14165]
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** Start of this project gutenberg EBOOK Punch ***
Produced by Malcolm Farmer, William Flis, and the
Distributed Proofreading Team.
Or the London charivari.
December 12, 1891.
LETTERS TO ABSTRACTIONS.
No. VIII.—To laziness.
Best (and best-abused) of abstractions,
My heart positively warms to you as I write. At this precise moment I can think of a hundred different things that I ought to be doing. For instance, I have not written to Tom, who is in the wilds of Canada, for months. His last letter ended with a pathetic appeal for an answer.
“Never mind, old chap,” he said, “about not having any news. Little details that you may think too insignificant to relate are bound to interest me in this deserted spot. I am sure you occasionally meet I some of our friends of the old days. Tell them I often think of them and all the fun we used to have together. It all seems like a dream to me now. Let me know what any of them are doing. I heard six months ago from a fellow who was touring out here that Jack Bumpus was married. If it is really our old Jack, congratulate him, and give him my love. I don’t know his present address. But, whatever you do, write. A letter from you is like water in the desert.”
When I read that letter I became full of the noblest resolutions. Not another day should pass, I vowed, before I answered it. So I prepared a great many sheets of thin note-paper, carefully selected a clean nib and sat down at my writing-table to begin. As I did so my eyes fell upon Martin Chuzzlewit, which was lying within easy reach. The book seemed positively to command me to read it for the tenth time. I took it up, and in another moment Mrs. Gamp had taken possession of me. My writing-chair was uncomfortable. I transferred myself into an arm-chair. Is it necessary to add that I did not write to Tom? His letter is getting frayed and soiled from being constantly in my pocket. Day after day it accompanies me on my daily round, unanswered and seemingly unanswerable. For I feel it to be a duty to write, and my mind abhors a duty. The letter weighs upon my conscience like lead. A few strokes of the pen would remove the burden, but I simply cannot screw myself up to the task. That is one of the things I ought to do.