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An honest and extremely self-deprecating marriage proposal

Feb 24, 2012 By Abraham

In 1936, Evelyn Waugh wrote to Laura Herbert asking if she’d marry him…

I can’t advise you in my favour because I think it would be beastly for you, but think how nice it would be for me. I am restless & moody and misanthropic & lazy & have no money except what I earn and if I got ill you would starve. In fact it’s a lousy proposition.

On the other hand I think I could…reform & become quite strict about not getting drunk and I am pretty sure I should be faithful. Also there is always a fair chance that there will be another bigger economic crash in which case if you had married a nobleman with a great house you might find yourself starving, while I am very clever and could probably earn a living of some sort somewhere…

All these are very small advantages compared with the awfulness of my character. I have always tried to be nice to you and you may have got it into your head that I am nice really, but that is all rot. It is only to you & for you. I am jealous & impatient — but there is no point in going into a whole list of my vices. You are a critical girl and I’ve no doubt that you know them all and a great many I don’t know myself.

They were married a year later.

via Futility Closet and The Life of Evelyn Waugh)


    1. Juanny says:

      Take a peek at his wikipedia entry. I have a hard time believing a lazy, broke goon could be as prolific as this guy.

      1. Joe says:

        Prolific doesn’t necessarily mean non-lazy. Imagine what he could’ve accomplished if he wasn’t as lazy as he thought he was. ;o)

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