Walpole’s RSVP


Horace Walpole

Oh, my dear sir, don’t you find that nine parts in ten of the world are of no use but to make you wish yourself with that tenth part? I am so far from growing used to mankind by living amongst them, that my natural ferocity and wildness does but every day grow worse. They tire me, they fatigue me; I don’t know what to do wIth them; I don’t know what to say to them; I fling open the windows, and fancy I want air; and when I get by myself, I undress myself, and seem to have had people in my pockets, in my plaits, and on my shoulders! I indeed find this fatigue worse in the country than in town, because one can avoid it there, and has more resources; but it is there too. I fear ’tis growing old, but I literally seem to have murdered a man whose name was Ennui, for his ghost is ever before me. They say there is no English word for ennui; I think you may translate it most literally by what is called “entertaining people,” and “doing the honours;” that is, you sit an hour with somebody you don’t know and don’t care for, talk about the wind and the weather, and ask a thousand foolish questions, which all begin with, “I think you live a good deal in the country” or I think you don’t love this thing or that.” ––Oh! ’tis dreadful!


Leland Hayward, a very successful talent agent who represented several leading actors and writers, sometimes confused himself. Ginger Rogers was once sent a script that she found totally unacceptable. Hayward went straight to the producer’s office to complain. “How can you insult Ginger with such trash, such drivel, such rot?” he said indignantly, “Get out of here before I throw you out,” roared the producer. “You sold us that story.”


Published in: on December 9, 2009 at 6:03 PM  Leave a Comment  
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