When a Few Words Paint a Most Vivid Picture


Rather than tackle the behemoth that is The Way We Live Now, I’ve been meandering through Barchester Towers; it’s been a most pleasant journey.  Tonight I’ve been chortling away at Anthony Trollope’s hilarious descriptions, and thought I’d share with you this little gem of a quote:

Mr. Slope is tall, and not ill-made . . . His hair is lank, and of a dull pale-reddish hue. It is always formed into three straight lumpy masses, each brushed with admirable precision and cemented with much grease. Two of them adhere closely to the sides of his face, and the other lies at right angles above them. He wears no whiskers, and is always punctiliously shaven. His face is nearly of the same color as his hair, though perhaps a little redder. It is not unlike beef – beef, however, one would say, of a bad quality. His forehead is capacious and high, but square and heavy, and unpleasantly shining. His mouth is large, though his lips are thin and bloodless, and his big, prominent, pale-brown eyes inspire anything but confidence. His nose, however, is his redeeming feature. It is pronounced straight and well-formed, though I myself should have liked it better did it not possess a somewhat spongy, porous appearance, as though it have been cleverly formed out of a red-colorer cork.

I never could endure to shake hands with Mr. Slope. A cold, clammy perspiration always exudes from him, the small drops are ever to be seen standing on his brow, and his friendly grasp is unpleasant.

Such is Mr. Slope.

– Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers

What’s been making you laugh these days? 🙂


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