By Dorothy Sayers
Submitted by Echolocation
Date: 2002 Sep 08
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Excerpt from 'Gaudy Night'

"Do you suppose that, if you find yourself taking pains about a thing, it's proof of it's importance to you?"

"I think it is, to a large extent.  But the big proof is that the thing comes right, without those fundamental errors.  One always makes surface errors, of course.  But a fundamental error is a sure sign of not caring.  I wish one could teach people nowadays that the doctrine of snatching what one thinks one wants is unsound."

"I saw six plays this winter in London," said Harriet.  "All preaching the doctrine of snatch.  I agree that they left me with the feeling that none of the characters knew what they wanted."

"No," said Miss de Vine.  "If you are once sure what you do want, you find that everything else goes down before it like grass under a roller -- all other interests, your own and other peoples."

"Did you discover that by making a fundamental mistake?"

"Yes.  I once got engaged to somebody.  But I found I was always blundering -- hurting his feelings, doing stupid things, making quite elementary mistakes about him.  In the end I realized I simply wasn't taking as much trouble with him as I should have I decided he wasn't my job."

"I suppose one oughtn't to marry anybody, unless one's prepared to make him a full-time job."

"Probably not, though there are a few rare people, I believe, who don't look on themselves as jobs but as fellow creatures."