Laws of Propriety

The Butcher in the 5th fit of The Hunting of the Snark:

“The method employed I would gladly explain,
 While I have it so clear in my head,
If I had but the time and you had but the brain —
 But much yet remains to be said.

“In one moment I’ve seen what has hitherto been
 Enveloped in absolute mystery,
And without extra charge I will give you at large
 A Lesson in Natural History.”

In his genial way he proceeded to say
 (Forgetting all laws of propriety,
And that giving instruction, without introduction,
 Would have caused quite a thrill in Society).

Comic Arithmetic, Rule III, Subtraction

Subtraction teaches to “take from” or to find the difference of two numbers; having taken too much in, and slept out; to find the difference in sovereigns and shillings between that and sleeping at home according to the “conventional laws of virtuous propriety.” (Vide Miss Martineau.)


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