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There were four of us – George,
Harris, myself, and Montmorency.
I feel such
come over me at
times that I don’t
know what I am
I have fits of
giddiness too, and
then I hardly know
what I am doing.
My liver is out
of order. I just read
a liver-pill circular, which
details all the symptoms.
I seem to have
It is most extraordinary, but whenever I read a
medicine advertisement, I feel I am suffering
from that disease in its most severe form.
I once read a book on diseases
in the British museum.
It seemed the only disease I did
not have was Housemaid’s knee!
I felt rather hurt. Not having
only that disease seemed to
be an insult somehow...
Worried, I went to see my doctor.
I thought what an interesting case
I must be from the medical point
of view. I was a hospital in myself!
I took the doctor’s prescription
to a chemist. He read it, and
then handed it back.
If I were a
or a family hotel, I
could have helped you.
Being just a chemist
have any of
I followed the directions,
and my life is still going on.
Even as a boy I suffered from this
disease. Since medical science was not too
advanced, they put it down to laziness.
skulking little devil,
get up and do
They did not know, then,
that it was my liver.
Well, to come back to the liver-pill circular, I do
feel I have all the symptoms – the chief one being
‘a general reluctance to do work of any kind’.
Instead of pills, they gave
me clumps on my head.
You know, often, simple
old-fashioned remedies are more
effective than the dispensary stuff!
we want is
Let’s go up
the river. We shall have
fresh air, exercise, and
Change of scene. That
will restore the mental
Well, it is a
George has a cousin who is a medical student,
so he often speaks in this complicated way.
HA! You like it,
but I don’t. Scenery is
not my line, and I don’t
smoke. The whole
thing is darn foolish!
The motion was passed three to one. It was
decided that we would start the next Saturday
from Kingston. Harris and I would take the boat up
to Weybridge, and George would join us there.
camp out or
sleep in inns?
‘It would be so wild... and free...’
Harris is so practical, there is no poetry about him
– no wild longing for the unattainable. If his eyes fill
with tears, you can bet he’s been eating raw onions.
Don’t pull it.
You’ve got it all
Let go of your
This time, however, his practical
view came as a very timely hint.
Camping out in rainy weather
is not very pleasant.
Rainwater becomes the chief ingredient of supper.
The bread is two-thirds rainwater, the beef-steak pie
is rich in it, and the jam, butter, salt, and coffee, all
combine with it to make soup. Only a bottle of whisky
cheers you up and encourages you to go to bed.
And in the morning, you are all quarrelsome
because of the cold caught at night.
We therefore decided that we would camp out on
fine nights, and stay at inns or pubs when it rained.
We discussed our plans the next evening.
give me a pencil,
and I’ll make
First, let’s settle
all that we will take with
us. You get some paper
and write, Jerome. And you
George, get the grocery
No, you get
the paper and
pencil; George, you
write, and I’ll make
That’s Harris for you – so ready to take
the burden of everything himself, and
put it on the backs of other people.
The first list we made
was very long...
...so we tore it, and
decided to make another.
You know, we are on the wrong
track altogether. We must
not think of the things we can
do with, but of the things we
cannot do without.
I call that downright wisdom – not just regarding
this trip, but our trip up the river of life, generally.
George can be really sensible at times.
One of the best-loved classics of all time, Three Men in a Boat is
a hilarious account of three friends and their dog on a holiday
trip down the Thames in England. Harris, George, Jerome (the
narrator), and Montmorency (the dog) decide to take a break
from their tedious routine to restore their ‘mental equilibrium’.
So they take a boating trip, making stops at interesting places,
camping out, and inadvertently landing up in comical muddles
Originally planned as a travelogue, this book turned into a
literary classic, thanks to the narrator’s humorous digressions
and musings as the threesome and their dog cross Hampton
Court Palace, Monkey Island, Magna Carta Island, Marlow, little
villages, and other known landmarks on the way.
Initially received in England with scepticism and severe criticism,
this book has survived through the years and remains to this day
a favourite classic for many.
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