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The British servant is generally understood to be an embodiment of the British Constitution, Magna Charta, and all the other mundane things for which Britons live and die, and it is also understood that he rules his was ter with a rod of iron.
Specimens of this great creature are shown in “Something New” by Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, and, headed by a lordly butler who attires himself in pink silk pajamas at night, they boldly live up to the tradition of their guild. The plot of the story turns upon the adventures of a scarab of the Fourth Dynasty popularly supposed to have been stolen, and made the subject of an immense reward for which there are many competitors, whose adventures are so curiously intertwined that any conscientious reader will feel it his duty to review them in order to understand their involutions. The treatment of these adventures belongs to the Danbury-News-Burlington-Hawkeye school, which regards rolling down stairs as a tremendous joke, and does not suffer the reader to remember possible contusions and abrasions. It is to be feared that the mildest of readers will accept these views for the moment and will laugh as unfeelingly as he who sees a snow slide descend upon an innocent pedestrian. There are no real griefs in the book, and there are unnumbered laughs.
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P. G. Wodehouse (1881 1975) spent much of his life in Southampton, New York, but was born in England and educated in Surrey. He became an American citizen in 1955. In a literary career spanning more than seventy years, he published more than ninety books and twenty film scripts, and collaborated on more than thirty plays and musical comedies.
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