7 July 2013
This account of a super-generous host has to find a niche in Commonplaces. It comes from Alexander William Kinglake’s Eothen, and takes place in Paphos, whither the Vice-Consul, a Greek, has returned with the narrator after a tour.
Determined to provide a feast for his honoured guest, he takes a club, and with a brave air goes to the yard of his cottage, where:
“there were some thin, thoughtful, canting cocks, and serious low-church hens, respectfully listening; and chickens of tender years so well brought up, as scarcely to betray in their conduct the careless levity of youth. The Vice-Consul stood for a moment quite calm, collecting his strength . . .”
Well, you can guess what happens next. Only Flannery O’Connor perhaps, has surpassed this hilarious description of poultry.