[ilds] Atkinson and Durrell

slighcl slighcl at wfu.edu
Sun Jun 3 10:51:44 PDT 2007

On 6/3/2007 12:05 PM, william godshalk wrote:

>Yes, gentle folks, "as it were" is the giveaway. Durrell wrote that one.
Nice job, Richard & Co.  An interesting alignment of passages, Godshalk 
Sahib.  But then I would expect no less from so many old hands trained 
in playing the "Jewel Game." 

Any thoughts about Durrell's stylistic tic, his habitual use of the "as 
if" and "as it were"?  Bill can give us some examples of the former, I 
know, as he has asked me before if I have noted tendency to pitch his 
similes in that characteristic phrasing.

I would love to play along but I am catching the plane to London.  CLS

>     'Gently - gently,' the man replied, and from a drawer under the
>     table dealt a half-handful of clattering trifles into the tray.
>     'Now,' said the child, waving an old newspaper. 'Look on them as
>     long as thou wilt, stranger. Count and, if need be, handle. One
>     look is enough for me.' He turned his back proudly.
>     'But what is the game?'
>     'When thou hast counted and handled and art sure that thou canst
>     remember them all, I cover them with this paper, and thou must
>     tell over the tally to Lurgan Sahib. I will write mine.'
>     'Oah!' The instinct of competition waked in his breast. He bent
>     over the tray. There were but fifteen stones on it. 'That is
>     easy,' he said after a minute. The child slipped the paper over
>     the winking jewels and scribbled in a native account-book.
>     'There are under that paper five blue stones - one big, one
>     smaller, and three small,' said Kim, all in haste. 'There are four
>     green stones, and one with a hole in it; there is one yellow stone
>     that I can see through, and one like a pipe-stem. There are two
>     red stones, and - and - I made the count fifteen, but two I have
>     forgotten. No! Give me time. One was of ivory, little and
>     brownish; and - and - give me time...'
>     'One - two' - Lurgan Sahib counted him out up to ten. Kim shook
>     his head.
>     'Hear my count!' the child burst in, trilling with laughter.
>     'First, are two flawed sapphires - one of two ruttees and one of
>     four as I should judge. The four-ruttee sapphire is chipped at the
>     edge. There is one Turkestan turquoise, plain with black veins,
>     and there are two inscribed - one with a Name of God in gilt, and
>     the other being cracked across, for it came out of an old ring, I
>     cannot read. We have now all five blue stones. Four flawed
>     emeralds there are, but one is drilled in two places, and one is a
>     little carven-'
>     'Their weights?' said Lurgan Sahib impassively.
>     'Three - five - five - and four ruttees as I judge it. There is
>     one piece of old greenish pipe amber, and a cut topaz from Europe.
>     There is one ruby of Burma, of two ruttees, without a flaw, and
>     there is a balas-ruby, flawed, of two ruttees. There is a carved
>     ivory from China representing a rat sucking an egg; and there is
>     last - ah ha! - a ball of crystal as big as a bean set on a gold
>     leaf.'
>     He clapped his hands at the close.
>     'He is thy master,' said Lurgan Sahib, smiling.
>     'Huh! He knew the names of the stones,' said Kim, flushing. 'Try
>     again! With common things such as he and I both know.'
>     They heaped the tray again with odds and ends gathered from the
>     shop, and even the kitchen, and every time the child won, till Kim
>     marvelled.

Charles L. Sligh
Department of English
Wake Forest University
slighcl at wfu.edu

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