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372                An Encounter with an Interviewer
" Why, certainly!"
" Oh, that is what took me so long."
" Why, my dear sir, what did you propose to spell it with?"
" Well, I — I —hardly know. I had the Una­bridged, and I was ciphering around in the back end, hoping I might tree her among the pictures. But it's a very old edition."
" Why, my friend, they wouldn't have a picture of it in even the latest e— My dear sir, I beg your pardon, I mean no harm in the world, but you do not look as — as — intelligent as I had expected you would. No harm — I mean no harm at all."
" Oh, don't mention it! It has often been said, and by people who would not flatter and who could have no inducement to flatter, that I am quite remarkable in that way. Yes — yes; they always speak of it with rapture."
" I can easily imagine it. But about this interview. You know it is the custom, now, to interview any man who has become notorious."
" Indeed, I had not heard of it before. It must be very interesting. What do you do it with?"
"Ah, well — well — well — this is disheartening. It ought to be done with a club in some cases; but cus­tomarily it consists in the interviewer asking questions and the interviewed answering them. It is all the rage now. Will you let me ask you certain questions cal­culated to bring out the salient points of your public and private history?"
" Oh, with pleasure — with pleasure. I have a very bad memory, but I hope you will not mind that. That is to say, it is an irregular memory — singularly irregular. Sometimes it goes in a gallop, and then again it will be as much as a fortnight passing a given point. This is a great grief to me."