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- By P. G. Wodehouse
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Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, KBE (/ˈwʊdhaʊs/ WOOD-howss; 15 October 1881 – 14 February 1975) was an English author and one of the most widely read humorists of the 20th century. Born in Guildford, the third son of a British magistrate based in Hong Kong, Wodehouse spent happy teenage years at Dulwich College, to which he remained devoted all his life. After leaving school he was employed by a bank but disliked the work and turned to writing in his spare time. His early novels were mostly school stories, but he later switched to comic fiction, creating several regular characters who became familiar to the public over the years. They include the feather-brained Bertie Wooster and his sagacious valet, Jeeves; the immaculate and loquacious Psmith; Lord Emsworth and the Blandings Castle set; the Oldest Member, with stories about golf; and Mr Mulliner, with tall tales on subjects ranging from bibulous bishops to megalomaniac movie moguls. Most of Wodehouse's fiction is set in his native United Kingdom, although he spent much of his life in the US and used New York and Hollywood as settings for some of his novels and short stories. He wrote a series of Broadway musical comedies during and after the First World War, together with Guy Bolton and Jerome Kern, that played an important part in the development of the American musical. He began the 1930s writing for MGM in Hollywood. In a 1931 interview, his naive revelations of incompetence and extravagance in the studios caused a furore. In the same decade, his literary career reached a new peak.
The Earl of Emsworth sat by the sick bed and regarded the Honorable Freddie almost tenderly. "I fear, Freddie, my dear boy, this has been a great shock to you." "Eh? What? Yes-rather! Deuce of a shock, gov'nor." "I have been thinking it over, my boy, and perhaps I have been a little hard on you. When your ankle is better I have decided to renew your allowance; and you may return to London, as you do not seem happy in the country. Though how any reasonable being can prefer-" The Honorable Freddie started, pop-eyed, to a sitting posture. "My word! Not really?" His father nodded.
"I say, gov'nor, you really are a topper! You really are, you know! I know just how you feel about the country and the jolly old birds and trees and chasing the bally slugs off the young geraniums and all that sort of thing, but somehow it's never quite hit me the same way. It's the way I'm built, I suppose. I like asphalt streets and crowds and dodging taxis and meeting chappies at the club and popping in at the Empire for half an hour and so forth. And there's something about having an allowance-I don't know . . . sort of makes you chuck your chest out and feel you're someone. I don't know how to thank you, gov'nor! You're-you're an absolute sportsman! This is the most priceless bit of work you've ever done. I feel like a two-year-old. I don't know when I've felt so braced. I-I-really, you know, gov'nor, I'm most awfully grateful."
"Exactly," said Lord Emsworth. "Ah-precisely. But, Freddie, my boy," he added, not without pathos, "there is just one thing more. Do you think that-with an effort-for my sake-you could endeavor this time not to make a-a damned fool of yourself?" He eyed his offspring wistfully. "Gov'nor," said the Honorable Freddie firmly, "I'll have a jolly good stab at it!"

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Word Lists:

Asphalt : a mixture of dark bituminous pitch with sand or gravel, used for surfacing roads, flooring, roofing, etc.

Priceless : so precious that its value cannot be determined

Wistfully : with a feeling of vague or regretful longing

Taxi :

Posture : the position in which someone holds their body when standing or sitting

Slug : a tough-skinned terrestrial mollusk which typically lacks a shell and secretes a film of mucus for protection. It can be a serious plant pest.

Offspring : a person's child or children

Allowance : the amount of something that is permitted, especially within a set of regulations or for a specified purpose

Brace : a device fitted to something, in particular a weak or injured part of the body, to give support

Pathos : a quality that evokes pity or sadness

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Rating: A

Words: 332

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