|Maurice Henry Charlton|
| OBSERVATIONS AND QUOTATIONS OF MAURICE HENRY CHARLTON (1926-1994) sometime Scholar of New College, and Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford.
Also see: Obituary: Dr Maurice Charlton
CHURCH OF ENGLAND
At the end of the War, Temple had been, and Fisher was, Archbishop. A"Temple-haunting martlet" thus became a small military-minded parson in search of preferment; and ordinands became Men of Fisher's.
The old Pope's saying:"Non Angli sed Angeli sunt" becomes "they are not Angels but Anglicans".
On a visit to the Littlemore lunatic asylum Charlton was introduced to a man who exclaimed "Doctor, during the night I have come to the important conclusion that I can regard myself as a fully fledged member of the Church of England." The doctor led Charlton into the next room and said "You see, he is completely insane."
The dull student who "ploughed in Agriculture."
When Oscar Wilde was asked to stop his oral translation from the Greek New Testament concerning the Road to Calvary he asked "Please Gentlemen, let us continue so we may discover what happened to this unfortunate man."
Maurice Bowra, on failing to become Master of his college "Well, buggers can't be choosers."
On the death of All Souls Warden Sumner, Charlton was doubtful of Sparrow's candidature on the ground that 'one Sparrow does not make a Sumner.'
The saying "the labourer is worthy of his hire" means that even a working man can try for the higher school certificate.
The Head Porter of Balliol was heard saying to the Master's dog Agamemnon "I'll have none of those pawky names, you're just plain Hector to me." Showing visitors the front court and Master's lodgings he threw a brick through the drawing room window, saying "and now, unless I am much mistaken, you will see the Master himself."
Newspaper headlines on festivities being cancelled at the outbreak of the War 'Undergrads scratch Balls.'
On hearing strong Yorkshire accents over tea in the Clarendon Hotel "There speaks the authentic voice of Cleckheaton."
An early nineteenth century Naval Officer trying to claim a small island for the Crown started addressing the local inhabitants "Inusitatus ut sum publicum ad loquendum."
Advertisement for breast enlargers 'Real Falsies - beware of imitations'
Asking a wine waiter for a "dry old Beaune."
On a don of his college asking a guest "Would you like another glass of what this good fellow chooses to call MONT RATCHET, the waiter said "1 have had as much as I can take from you, Sir" and poured the entire bottle down the don's neck.
A Frenchman talking about Clemenceau added "Te Tigre, vous savez"
James Joyce describing a condom:"as snug a cloak after the French fashion as ever saved a lady from a wetting." Of Henry James he said "One of the nicest old ladies I've ever met."
From Wordsworth on the sacking of the Bastille " T'was bliss upon that morn to be alive, but to be DEAD was very Heaven."
'Gideon Fell' originated from "I became giddy and fell."
A schoolboy on Lord Byron: "He was an absolute rake in every sense of the word."
The Roman Catholic student at Oxford who failed to get a good degree but was granted an 'Ampleforth.'
The elision in the obituary of a don whereby "he increasingly devoted himself to his favourite 'branch of study'" became 'brandy.'
The newspaper in which the reference to a 'battle scarred' veteran became 'battle scared' and on correction 'bottle scarred.'
The student producing from Latin unseen translation 'Behold, I have cold apples and a snake in my trousers - for guilt.'
A student of Proust excusing his attendance at a cinema "What is a little 'Temps Perdu a la Recherche!'
The old man, on being asked the way to Smethwick, said "How's that again - Owersby Moor?"
LATIN and ITALIAN
The law firm Mann, Rodgers & Grieves illustrates 'Omne anima post coitum triste.'
At Greenwich Naval Library, 'Horatii Flacci Opera' was catalogued 'Horace's Operas by Flaccus.'
Virgil's 'Premit sub corde dolorem' means 'He pressed Dolores to his heart.'
'Bel tempo' means 'Bell-wether.'
'Si non e vero, e ben trovato' means 'If it's not Vera's brother, it's Ben trovato.'
After listening to Charlton, the Venetian peasant exclaimed "Ma, Signore, parlate melio di noi" (You speak better than we do ourselves). Charlton commented "Their Italian must be fucking horrible."
Asking a boatman at Portofino whether the Duke of Windsor sailed to the port he got the English reply "Sir, in winter it rain and snow all the time."
Napoleon complained to a countryman about his baggage being stolen "I Italiani sono tutti laddri."(Italians are all thieves). The old man replied "Non tutti, Signore, Ma una Buonaparte."
Dante's words "Io non avrei mai creduto que morte tanta n'avesse disfatta" means "I've never have believed his death could have fashed auntie so much."
'Rip off the skin and gorge the succulent pulp' from Bridge's 'Testament of Beauty' received manifold interpretations.
The philosophical version of Landor's "Nature I loved; and next to Nature, Art" is "Nietzche I loved; and next to Nietzche, Art." 'Art' being a reference to Arthur Schopenhauer.
Keate, the flogging headmaster of Eton, on a boy presenting himself for punishment for the third time one morning, exclaimed "Your Grace is unfortunate today."
A boy returning from a visit to the King at Windsor had his Exeat signed 'George'. His housemaster commented "Damn fool didn't put his sir-name in."
Having conducted Charles II round Westminster School the headmaster Busby was reprimanded for keeping his hat on the entire time. He replied "It would never do for the boys to think there is a greater man in the whole kingdom than Dr. Busby."
The Italian Army officer whose colleagues put gunpowder in the heel of his boots and who blew up on coming to attention properly for the first time in his military career. The reviewing General said "Before I could catch the poor feller's name he disappeared in a cloud of smoke."
On being told that our friend Kendall (a Scholar of Trinty Hall) had got nowhere as a lawyer, Charlton said "I'm disappointed. One always thought that he was born with the Woolsack in his mouth."
When Bevin was Minister of Labour a headline said 'Bevin wants a hundred thousand women in labour by end of year - Duke of Gloucester to help.'
The Afro-American attendant at the Harvard Club who effortlessly retreived from a large pile the hat of Nathan Pusey (President of Harvard) was asked "How on earth did you know it was my hat?", replied "I didn't know it was your hat, but assumed it was because you gave it to me."
The first edition of Edmund Wilson's 'Memoirs of Hecate County contained two Errata slips 'On page 73 for 'carnal connexion' read 'causal connexion'. On page 112 for 'excretory' read 'secretary.'
At the time I was associated with the shoe heiress Elspeth Bostock and the Tatler refused to name unacceptable social persons appearing in photographs Charlton invented the entry 'Two friends have tea at Weston Manor, Oxfordshire. The shoes are a gift of the bride's father.'
John Foster Dulles visiting foreign countries 'He flies now; you pay later.'
A cry at the beginning of the funeral of Warden Sumner in All Souls Chapel "Sumner is icumen ins"
On my letting down a girl who had given me the religious book 'Year of Grace' by Victor Gollanz, Charlton commented "'Year of Disgrace' would have been more appropriate."
Limericks: 'A handsome young fellow called Walls, used to appear on the Halls. His usual trick was to stand on his prick and roll off the stage on his balls.' 'There was a policeman of Banbury Junction whose penis had long ceased to function. For the rest of his life he delighted his wife by intelligent use of his truncheon.'
The man, keen to illustate the longevity of his family, who said "I'm an active 80 year-old myself, and my father is going very strong at 107. My grandfather has just remarried at 130, but we don't think he was very enthusiastic about it."
Contemptuous of over-described American food, Charlton invented 'Whip-poor-Will Chowder.'
HIS LAST TWO (On the railroad station at Rochester in 1994)
Lord Moran (Churchill's officious doctor) furious at being restrained in an aircraft while his patient went down the ramp. Eventually the loud-hailer bellowed "The man in the tan overcoat may now descend."
Notice on Verona Station 'No profanities allowed.'