Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)

How did young Jefferson manage to play the bagpipes?

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First, Jefferson began to practice in the morning.


"My friend used to get up early in the morning to practise, but he had to give that plan up, because of his sister. She was somewhat religiously inclined, and she said it seemed such an awful thing to begin the day like that."

After his sister voiced her displeasure, Jefferson began to practice late at night.


So he sat up at night instead, and played after the family had gone to bed, but that did not do, as it got the house such a bad name. People, going home late, would stop outside to listen, and then put it about all over the town, the next morning, that a fearful murder had been committed at Mr. Jefferson’s the night before ; and would describe how they had heard the victim’s shrieks and the brutal oaths and curses of the murderer, followed by the prayer for mercy, and the last dying gurgle of the corpse.

The reactions of the neighbors led the family to allow Jefferson to play during the afternoon rather than the evening....... for awhile.


So they let him practise in the day-time, in the back-kitchen with all the doors shut ; but his more successful passages could generally be heard in the sitting-room, in spite of these precautions, and would affect his mother almost to tears.

Finally, Jefferson was sent to the garden to practice...... a quarter of a mile from the house itself. In the end, he only learned to play one song, but he gave it his best shot.


Then they knocked up a little place for him at the bottom of the garden, about quarter of a mile from the house, and made him take the machine down there when he wanted to work it....



Young Jefferson only learnt to play one tune on those bagpipes ; but I never heard any complaints about the insufficiency of his repertoire none whatever.







Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)