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Select Conversations with an Uncle

(now extinct)

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Author: H.G. Wells
Published: 1895
Language: English
Wordcount: 19,621 / 62 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 65.2
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 1,310
Added to site: 2009.07.21 24766
Genres: Essays, Humor

He was, I remember, short, but by no means conspicuously short, and of a bright, almost juvenile, complexion, very active in his movements and garrulous—or at least very talkative. His judgments were copious and frequent in the old days, and some at least I found entertaining. At times his fluency was really remarkable. He had a low opinion of eminent people—a thing I have been careful to suppress, and his dissertations had ever an irresponsible gaiety of manner that may have blinded me to their true want of merit. That, I say, was in the old days, before his abrupt extinction, before the cares of this world suddenly sprang upon, and choked him. I would listen to him, cheerfully, and afterwards I would go away and make articles out of him for the Pall Mall Gazette, so adding a certain material advantage to my mental and moral benefit. But all that has gone now, to my infinite regret; and sorrowing, I have arranged this unworthy little tribute to his memory, this poor dozen of casual monologues that were so preserved. The merits of the monument are his entirely; its faults entirely my own.

Show Excerpt

down and put its legs somewhere out of the way, and being continually stirred up by women in felt hats and short skirts, and haggard men with those beastly, long, insufficient beards, and soulful eyes, and trumpet-headed creatures, and bogles with spectacles and bald heads, and nephews who look at watches. What are you looking at your watch for, George? I'm very happy as I am.

"Has it ever occurred to you, George, that one of the most uncomfortable things in the world must be to outlive your age? To have all the reforms of your boyish liberalism coming home to roost, just as you are settling down to the old order....

"Six o'clock, by Jove! We shall keep them waiting if we don't mind."


"Ideals!" said my uncle; "certainly Ideals. Of course one must have ideals, else life would be bare materialism. Bare fact alone, naked necessity, is impossible barren rock for a soul to root upon. Life, indeed, is an unfurnished house, an empty glass in a thirsty land--good and



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