envied them. Again, that at the first sign of a cold it became my unavoidable privilege to lunch off linseed gruel and sup off brimstone and treacle--a compound named with deliberate intent to deceive the innocent, the treacle, so far as taste is concerned, being wickedly subordinated to the brimstone--was another example of Fortune's favouritism: other little boys were so astoundingly unlucky as to be left alone when they felt ill. If further proof were needed to convince that I had been signalled out by Providence as its especial protege, there remained always the circumstance that I possessed Mrs. Fursey for my nurse. The suggestion that I was not altogether the luckiest of children was a new departure.
The good dame evidently perceived her error, and made haste to correct it.
"Oh, you! You are lucky enough," she replied; "I was thinking of your poor mother."
"Isn't mamma lucky?"
"Well, she hasn't been too lucky since you came."
"Wasn't it lucky, her having me?"
This novel is presumed to be autobiographical and is not the light-hearted whimsy of Three Men in a Boat, although there is humor to be found. Jerome is at his best when writing humor. In this book, Jerome reveals (via Kelver) his sometimes reluctant reconciliation with his role as a humorist.
I imagine only fans of Jerome will be likely to give this book a read. It is more powerful and touching for being so clearly heartfelt, but may not be of much interest to those not interested in Jerome.