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I’ve always loved the little grace-notes in really good writing (and in really good musick, come to think of it), and thus  I have been chuckling to myself every time I think about a certain little throwaway passage from Saki’s The Unbearable Bassington, which I recently reread.  In introducing to the story a certain George St. Michael, who has a talent for discovering (or perhaps inventing) and injecting the intimate details of various Society engagements, marriages and partings into what one might call the gossip circuit, Saki rounds off his description thus:

Beyond his industriously-earned pre-eminence in this special branch of intelligence, he was chiefly noteworthy for having a wife reputed to be the tallest and thinnest woman in the Home Counties.  The two were sometimes seen together in Society, where they passed under the collective name of St. Michael and All Angles.

As I say, a grace note, a little throwaway humour.  But a gem nonetheless.

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