"Trivia", by Logan Pearsall Smith

{Logan Pearsall Smith (1865 – 1946) was an American-born British essayist and critic. Harvard and Oxford educated, he was known for his aphorisms and epigrams, and his Trivia has been highly rated. He was a literary perfectionist and could take days refining his sentences. He is now probably most remembered for his autobiography Unforgotten Years (1938). Wikipedia}

Extracts from :

Logan Pearsall Smith




I woke this morning out of dreams into what we call Reality, into the daylight, the furniture of my familiar bedroom — in fact into the well-known, often-discussed, but, to my mind, as yet unexplained Universe.

Then I, who came out of Eternity and seem to be on my way thither, got up and spent the day as I usually spend it. I read, I pottered, I talked, and took exercise ; and I sat punctually down to eat the cooked meals that appeared at stated intervals.


Green Ivory

What a bore it is, waking up in the morning always the same person. I wish I were unflinching and emphatic, and had big, bushy eyebrows and a Message for the Age. I wish I were a deep Thinker, or a great Ventriloquist.

I should like to be refined-looking and melancholy, the victim of a hopeless passion; to love in the old, stilted way, with impossible Adoration and Despair under the pale-faced Moon.

I wish I could get up; I wish I were the world's greatest living Violinist. I wish I had lots of silver, and first Editions, and green ivory.


The Afternoon Post

The village Post Office, with its clock and letter-box, its postmistress lost in tales of love-lorn Dukes and coroneted woe, and the sallow-faced grocer watching from his window opposite, is the scene of a daily crisis in my life, when every afternoon I walk there through the country lanes and ask that well-read young lady for my letters. I always expect good news and cheques; and then, of course, there is the magical Fortune which is coming, and word of it may reach me any day.

What it is, this strange Felicity, or whence it shall come, I have no notion; but I hurry down in the morning to find the news on the breakfast table, open telegrams in delighted panic, and say to myself "Here it is !" when at night I hear wheels approaching along the road.

So, happy in the hope of Happiness, and not greatly concerned with any other interest or ambition, I live on in my quiet, ordered house; and so I shall live perhaps until the end. Is it, indeed, merely the last great summons and revelation for which I am waiting ? I do not know.


The Busy Bees

Sitting for hours idle in the shade of an apple tree, near the garden-hives, and under the aerial thoroughfares of those honey-merchants — sometimes when the noonday heat is loud with their minute industry, or when they fall in crowds out of the late sun to their night-long labours — I have sought instruction from the Bees, and tried to appropriate to myself the old industrious lesson.