Larger Font   Reset Font Size   Smaller Font  

Complete Stories of Eveyln

Evelyn Waugh









  Decline and Fall

  Vile Bodies

  Black Mischief

  A Handful of Dust


  Put Out More Flags

  Work Suspended

  Brideshead Revisited

  Scott-King’s Modern Europe

  The Loved One


  Men at Arms

  Love among the Ruins

  Officers and Gentlemen

  The End of the Battle

  The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold


  Mr. Loveday’s Little Outing, and Other Sad Stories

  Tactical Exercise

  Basil Seal Rides Again

  Charles Ryder’s Schooldays

  The Complete Stories of Evelyn Waugh



  Edmund Campion

  Msgr. Ronald Knox


  A Little Learning

  The Diaries of Evelyn Waugh

  The Letters of Evelyn Waugh


  A Bachelor Abroad

  They Were Still Dancing

  Ninety-Two Days

  Waugh in Abyssinia

  Mexico: An Object Lesson

  When the Going Was Good

  A Tourist in Africa

  A Little Order

  The Essays, Articles and Reviews of Evelyn Waugh








  Boston New York London

  Copyright © 1998 by the Estate of Evelyn Waugh

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review.

  ISBN: 978-0-4469-3144-1

  The “Warner Books” name and logo are trademarks of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

  First U.S. edition published in hardcover by Little, Brown and Company, Hachette Book Group, 237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017

  First eBook Edition: September 2000

  Visit our Web site at


  About the Stories

  Bibliographical Note


  The Balance

  A House of Gentlefolks

  The Manager of “The Kremlin”

  Love in the Slump

  Too Much Tolerance

  Excursion in Reality

  Incident in Azania

  Bella Fleace Gave a Party


  The Man Who Liked Dickens

  Out of Depth

  By Special Request

  Period Piece

  On Guard

  Mr. Loveday’s Little Outing

  Winner Takes All

  An Englishman’s Home

  The Sympathetic Passenger

  My Father’s House

  Lucy Simmonds

  Charles Ryder’s Schooldays

  Scott-King’s Modern Europe

  Tactical Exercise


  Love Among the Ruins

  Basil Seal Rides Again


  The Curse of the Horse Race

  Fidon’s Confetion

  Multa Pecunia

  Fragment of a Novel


  The House: An Anti-Climax


  Portrait of Young Man with Career

  Antony, Who Sought Things That Were Lost

  Edward of Unique Achievement

  Fragments: They Dine with the Past

  Conspiracy to Murder

  Unacademic Exercise: A Nature Story

  The National Game


  Evelyn Waugh wrote short fiction throughout his life. His literary career—which gained critical momentum in 1928, when his first book, a biography of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and his first novel, Decline and Fall, were both published—actually commenced in 1926, with the publication of Waugh’s first post-Oxford story.

  Through the decades that followed, as Waugh produced sixteen novels and nearly a dozen nonfiction works, he continued to write short fiction. Most of his stories appeared originally in periodicals ranging from Harper’s Bazaar to The Atlantic and Good Housekeeping. The stories were subsequently published in book form in Waugh’s lifetime in such collections as Mr. Loveday’s Little Outing and Other Sad Stories, Tactical Exercise, and Basil Seal Rides Again; an additional volume, Charles Ryder’s Schooldays, was published posthumously.

  The Complete Stories of Evelyn Waugh, which makes all of Waugh’s short fiction available to American readers for the first time, is adapted from a scholarly edition compiled by Ann Pasternak Slater and published in Great Britain by the Everyman’s Library. Following is bibliographical information regarding the initial publication of each of Evelyn Waugh’s stories.


  “The Balance: A Yarn of the Good Old Days of Broad Trousers and High Necked Jumpers,” Georgian Stories 1926, ed. Alec Waugh, Chapman & Hall, London, 1926.

  “A House of Gentlefolks,” introduced as “The Tutor’s Tale” in The New Decameron: The Fifth Day, ed. Hugh Chesterman, Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1927.

  “The Manager of ‘The Kremlin,’ ” for a series of “Real Life Stories—by Famous Authors,” John Bull, 15 February 1930.

  “Love in the Slump,” first published as “The Patriotic Honeymoon,” Harper’s Bazaar, London, January 1932.

  “Too Much Tolerance,” no. 7 in a series of “The Seven Deadly Sins of To-Day,” John Bull, 21 May 1932.

  “Excursion in Reality,” first published as “An Entirely New Angle,” Harper’s Bazaar, New York, July 1932, and as “This Quota Stuff: Positive Proof That the British Can Make Good Films,” Harper’s Bazaar, London, August 1932.

  “Incident in Azania,” Windsor Magazine, December 1933.

  “Bella Fleace Gave a Party,” Harper’s Bazaar, London, December 1932, and Harper’s Bazaar, New York, March 1933.

  “Cruise,” Harper’s Bazaar, London, February 1933.

  “The Man Who Liked Dickens,” Hearst’s International combined with Cosmopolitan, September 1933, and Nash’s Pall Mall Magazine, November 1933.

  “Out of Depth,” subtitled “An Experiment Begun in Shaftesbury Avenue and Ended in Time,” Harper’s Bazaar, London, December 1933.

  “By Special Request,” first published with the subtitle “Chapter Five, The Next Winter,” as the fifth and last episode in A Flat in London (serial version of A Handful of Dust), Harper’s Bazaar, New York, October 1934, and Harper’s Bazaar, London, October 1934.

  “Period Piece,” Mr. Loveday’s Little Outing, and Other Sad Stories, Chapman & Hall, London, 1936.

  “On Guard,” Harper’s Bazaar, London, December 1934.

  “Mr. Loveday’s Little Outing,” first published as “Mr. Crutwell’s Little Outing,” Harper’s Bazaar, New York, March 1935, and as “Mr. Crutwell’s Outing,” Nash’s Pall Mall Magazine, May 1935.

  “Winner Takes All,” Strand, March 1936.

  “An Englishman’s Home,” Good Housekeeping, London, August 1939.

  “The Sympathetic Passenger,” for the “Tight Corner” series in The Daily Mail, 4 May 1939.

  “Work Suspended: Two Chapters of an Unfinished Novel,” Chapma
n & Hall, London, 1942.

  “Charles Ryder’s Schooldays,” The Times Literary Supplement, 5 March 1982, with an introduction by Michael Sissons.

  “Scott-King’s Modern Europe” (abridged version), Cornhill, Summer 1947, also published as “A Sojourn in Neutralia,” Hearst’s International combined with Cosmopolitan, November 1947.

  “Tactical Exercise,” Strand, March 1947, also published as “The Wish,” Good Housekeeping, New York, March 1947.

  “Compassion,” The Month, August 1949. A shorter version appeared as “The Major Intervenes,” The Atlantic, July 1949.

  “Love Among the Ruins: A Romance of the Near Future,” Chapman & Hall, London, 1953.

  “Basil Seal Rides Again” or “The Rake’s Regress,” Chapman & Hall, London, 1963.


  “The Curse of the Horse Race,” Little Innocents: Childhood Reminiscences by Dame Ethyl Smith and others, Cobden-Sanderson, London, 1932.

  “Fidon’s Confetion,” “Fragment of a Novel,” “Essay,” “The House: An Anti-Climax,” Evelyn Waugh, Apprentice: The Early Writings, 1910–27, edited and with an introduction by R. M. Davis, Pilgrim Books, Norman, Oklahoma, 1985.

  “Multa Pecunia,” The Pistol Troop Magazine, 1912.


  “Portrait of Young Man with Career,” The Isis, 30 May 1923.

  “Antony, Who Sought Things That Were Lost,” The Oxford Broom, June 1923.

  “Edward of Unique Achievement,” The Cherwell, 1 August 1923.

  “Fragments: They Dine with the Past,” The Cherwell, 15 August 1923.

  “Conspiracy to Murder,” The Cherwell, 5 September 1923.

  “Unacademic Exercise: A Nature Story,” The Cherwell, 19 September 1923.

  “The National Game,” The Cherwell, 26 September 1923.





  “Do you know, I don’t think I can read mine. It’s rather unkind.”

  “Oh, Basil, you must.”

  “Please, Basil.”

  This always happened when Basil played paper games.

  “No, I can’t, look it’s all scrumbled up.”

  “Oh, Basil, dearest, do.”

  “Oh, Basil, please.”

  “Darling Basil, you must.”

  “No, I won’t. Imogen will be in a rage with me.”

  “No, she won’t, will you, Imogen?”

  “Imogen, tell him you won’t be in a rage with him.”

  “Basil, do read it please.”

  “Well, then, if you promise you won’t hate me”—and he smoothed out the piece of paper.







  “And Animal—Boa constrictor.”

  “Oh, Basil, how marvellous.”

  “Poor Adam, I never thought of him as Dublin, of course it’s perfect.”

  “Why Cactus?”

  “So phallic, my dear, and prickly.”

  “And such vulgar flowers.”

  “Boa constrictor is brilliant.”

  “Yes, his digestion you know.”

  “And can’t sting, only crush.”

  “And fascinates rabbits.”

  “I must draw a picture of Adam fascinating a rabbit,” and then, “Imogen, you’re not going?”

  “I must. I’m terribly sleepy. Don’t get drunk and wake me up, will you?”

  “Imogen, you are in a rage with me.”

  “My dear, I’m far too tired to be in a rage with anybody. Good night.”

  The door shut.

  “My dear, she’s furious.”

  “I knew she would be, you shouldn’t have made me read it.”

  “She’s been very odd all the evening, I consider.”

  “She told me she lunched with Adam before she came down.”

  “I expect she ate too much. One does with Adam, don’t you find?”

  “Just libido.”

  “But you know, I’m rather proud of that character all the same. I wonder why none of us ever thought of Dublin before.”

  “Basil, do you think Imogen can have been having an affaire with Adam, really?”


  NOTE.—No attempt, beyond the omission of some of the aspirates, has been made at a phonetic rendering of the speech of Gladys and Ada; they are the cook and house-parlourmaid from a small house in Earls Court, and it is to be supposed that they speak as such.

  The conversations in the film are deduced by the experienced picture-goer from the gestures of the actors; only those parts which appear in capitals are actual “captions.”



  The “Art title” shows a still life of a champagne bottle, glasses, and a comic mask—or is it yawning?

  “Oh, Gladys, it’s begun; I knew we’d be late.”

  “Never mind, dear, I can see the way. Oh, I say—I am sorry. Thought the seat was empty—really I did.”

  Erotic giggling and a slight struggle.

  “Give over, can’t you, and let me get by—saucy kid.”

  “’Ere you are, Gladys, there’s two seats ’ere.”

  “Well I never—tried to make me sit on ’is knee.”

  “Go on. I say, Gladys, what sort of picture is this—is it comic?”

  The screen is almost completely dark as though the film has been greatly over-exposed. Fitful but brilliant illumination reveals a large crowd dancing, talking and eating.

  “No, Ada—that’s lightning. I dare say it’s a desert storm. I see a picture like that the other day with Fred.”


  Close up: the head of a girl.

  “That’s ’is baby. See if she ain’t.”

  It is rather a lovely head, shingled and superbly poised on its neck. One is just beginning to appreciate its exquisite modelling—the film is too poor to give any clear impression of texture—when it is flashed away and its place taken by a stout and elderly man playing a saxophone. The film becomes obscure—after the manner of the more modern Continental studios: the saxophonist has become the vortex of movement; faces flash out and disappear again; fragmentary captions will not wait until they are read.

  “Well, I do call this soft.”

  A voice with a Cambridge accent from the more expensive seats says, “Expressionismus.”

  Gladys nudges Ada and says, “Foreigner.”

  After several shiftings of perspective, the focus becomes suddenly and stereoscopically clear. The girl is seated at a table leaning towards a young man who is lighting her cigarette for her. Three or four others join them at the table and sit down. They are all in evening dress.

  “No, it isn’t comic, Ada—it’s Society.”

  “Society’s sometimes comic. You see.”

  The girl is protesting that she must go.

  “Adam, I must. Mother thinks I went out to a theatre with you and your mother. I don’t know what will happen if she finds I’m not in.”

  There is a general leave-taking and paying of bills.

  “I say, Gladys, ’e’s ’ad a drop too much, ain’t ’e?”

  The hero and heroine drive away in a taxi.

  Halfway down Pont Street, the heroine stops the taxi.

  “Don’t let him come any farther, Adam. Lady R. will hear.”

  “Good night, Imogen dear.”

  “Good night, Adam.”

  She hesitates for a moment and then kisses him.

  Adam and the taxi drive away.

  Close up of Adam. He is a young man of about twenty-two, clean-shaven, with thick, very dark hair. He looks so infinitely sad that even Ada is shaken.

  Can it be funny?

  “Buster Keaton looks
sad like that sometimes—don’t ’e?”

  Ada is reassured.

  Buster Keaton looks sad; Buster Keaton is funny. Adam looks sad; Adam is funny. What could be clearer?

  The cab stops and Adam gives it all his money. It wishes him “Good-night” and disappears into the darkness. Adam unlocks the front door.

  On his way upstairs he takes his letters from the hall table; they are two bills and an invitation to a dance.

  He reaches his room, undresses and sits for some time wretchedly staring at himself in the glass. Then he gets into bed. He dare not turn out the light because he knows that if he does the room will start spinning round him; he must be there thinking of Imogen until he becomes sober.

  The film becomes darker. The room begins to swim and then steadies itself. It is getting quite dark. The orchestra plays very softly the first bars of “Everybody loves my baby.” It is quite dark.

  Close up: the heroine.

  Close up: the hero asleep.

  Fade out.


  The hero still asleep. The electric light is still burning.

  A disagreeable-looking maid enters, turns out the light and raises the blind.

  Adam wakes up.

  “Good morning, Parsons.”

  “Good morning, sir.”

  “Is the bathroom empty?”

  “I think Miss Jane’s just this minute gone along there.”

  She picks up Adam’s evening clothes from the floor.

  Adam lies back and ponders the question of whether he shall miss his bath or miss getting a place at the studio.

  Miss Jane in her bath.

  Adam deciding to get up.

  Tired out but with no inclination to sleep, Adam dresses. He goes down to breakfast.

  “It can’t be Society, Gladys, they aren’t eating grape fruit.”

  “It’s such a small ’ouse too.”

  “And no butler.”

  “Look, there’s ’is little old mother. She’ll lead ’im straight in the end. See if she don’t.”

  “Well, that dress isn’t at all what I call fashionable, if you ask me.”

  “Well, if it isn’t funny and it isn’t murder and it isn’t Society, what is it?”

  “P’r’aps there’ll be a murder yet.”

  “Well, I calls it soft, that’s what I calls it.”

  “Look now, ’e’s got a invitation to a dance from a Countess.”

  “I don’t understand this picture.”

  The Countess’s invitation.