21st January 2021 at 11:19 am #33200Jeremy NicholasKeymaster
A correspondent writes to ask the following:
A friend and I have been able to confirm that the following quote is attributable to the great man:
“Eat good dinners and drink good wine; read good novels if you have the leisure and see good plays; fall in love, if there is no reason why you should not fall in love; but do not pore over influenza statistics.”
― Jerome K. Jerome
We have seen lots of people sharing it but with no information about the date or source.
Well, I have checked and the quote is definitely NOT from On the Stage and Off, Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, Three Men in a Boat, Diary of a Pilgrimage, Second Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, Three Men on the Bummel or My Life and Times. I’m beginning to think it is apocryphal – yet I seem to remember reading it in a JKJ book somewhere. Frustrating! Can anybody identify the source?
The quote is very similar to another Jerome quote that is widely used, from Boat:
‘Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need – a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing.’29th January 2021 at 9:49 am #33203UlfKParticipant
I have done a search in my Delphi e-edition, with no hits. Searching for parts, like ´good wine´, ´influenza´etc also did not give any results even remotely comparable to the quote above.
Google does not seem to have this quote attributed to anyone else, nor have I been able to find any variations/misspellings, which probably means that the attribution originated from one source only. This, however, does not mean the attribution is correct. If it is Jerome, it is probably from some uncollected article.
The Delphi edition includes the following:
Three Men In A Boat (To Say Nothing Of The Dog)
Three Men On The Bummel
Tommy And Co.
They And I
All Roads Lead To Calvary
The Short Story Collections
Told After Supper
John Ingerfield And Other Stories
Sketches In Lavender, Blue And Green
The Observations Of Henry
The Passing Of The Third Floor Back, And Other Stories
The Angel And The Author And Others
Malvina Of Brittanythe Short Stories
List Of Short Stories In Chronological Order
List Of Short Stories In Alphabetical Order
Fanny And The Servant Problem
The Master Of Mrs. Chilvers
Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow
On The Stage And Off
The Diary Of A Pilgrimage, And Six Essays
Second Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow
Idle Ideas In 1905
Jerome K: Jerome: His Life And Works By Alfred Moss31st July 2022 at 3:37 pm #33263DiegoParticipant
Sorry if this is a bit late. The quote comes from the Dec 16, 1893 issue of To-Day, page 18. The full paragraph reads:
ADVICE TO THE NERVOUS
The statistics of influenza have been appearing in the daily papers of late and I suppose that the inevitable results will follow. A number of persons will take an injudicious care of themselves, a selection of the more advertised quack medicines, and a serious fright; subsequently they will be likely to take the influenza. And the man who does his day’s work, takes the average risks, thinks very little about his bodily health, and regards influenza as a complaint and not as a mysterious ghost with its eye upon him in particular, will be much less likely to take it. Nervous cowardice is an invitation to the influenza. Is there any remedy for nervous cowardice? The best remedy is to acquire an interest in anything or anybody except one’s self. Courage depends less upon the individual than upon the individual’s point of view. Eat good dinners and drink good wine; read good novels if you have the leisure and see good plays; fall in love if there is no reason why you should not fall in love; but do not pore over influenza statistics.
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