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An essay by Richard King

Autumn Determination

Title:     Autumn Determination
Author: Richard King [More Titles by King]

But unless your determination be something Napoleonic, you won't have achieved very much more than this. It has all been so invigorating and delightful to contemplate; and the way of your decline has been so cosy and so comfortable, and it has so often ended in a glass of hot "toddy" and so to bed. You had stage-managed your self-education so beautifully. You had brought the most comfortable easy-chair right up to the fire; you had put on your "smoking"--not that garment almost as uncomfortable as evening-dress, but that coat which is made of velvet, or flannel, softly lined with silk and deliciously padded: you had brought out all your books--the "First Steps to Russian," "How to appreciate Balzac," "Introduction to Astronomy"--put your feet on the fender, cut the end of your best cigar. Everything simply invited peace and comfort and an intellectual feast. Then, just _one more_ glimpse at the evening paper--and you would begin . . . oh yes! you _would begin_! And so you read about the threatened strike; the murder in East Ham; the leading article, the marriage of Lady Fitzclarence-Forsooth to--well, whoever she married, the funny remark the drunken woman made to the judge when he fined her two-and-six for kissing a policeman; Mr. Justice Darling's latest _mot_; the racing, the forthcoming fashions; the advertisement of Back-Ache Pills; Mr. C. B. Cochran's praise of his own productions, Mr. Selfridge's praise of his own shop; the "Wants," the "Situations Vacant," the . . . Then somebody woke you up to ask if you were asleep . . . which, of course, you _weren't_ . . . Well . . . well . . . It is past midnight! So what can one do now? What _can_ one do? Why, go to bed, of course. Another autumn evening is over. But then, there are plenty more . . . oh, plenty more. "Good-night."

[The end]
Richard King's essay: Autumn Determination