Jerome Klapka Jerome: Three Men on the Bummel

If this sequel is marginally less enjoyable to me than Three Men in a Boat, it is only because it mostly happens in Germany, rather than in England. Even so, I have a soft spot for it, because I had once named my diary account of a trip I took with my friends from college Four Men on the Bummel, and later began to refer in my mind to all such trips as ‘bummels’ (pronouncing it [ˈbʌm(ə)l], unaware that this Germanism did not become a part of the common English lexicon). Later I even had it with me on one such … bummel. Reading the novel after many years and a three-year stay in Britain, I was now also amused by the fact that a few of the passages describing some disagreeable German custom (for instance getting up at unearthly hours) made me think “ay, and they’re the same here in the Czech Republic”.

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Quotation:

Age and experience have taught me that there are few matters concerning which a man does well to be positive. Consequently, there remain to me now but a limited number of questions upon which I feel any degree of certainty.
(Chapter III)

 

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