RUSSIAN SCANDAL. 401
The wit or fan of the transmitted story is invariably gone, anA nothing but an unmeaning platitude generally remains.
One very interesting ease occurred a few years ago in which the wit of the original story had evidently been lost, but had afterwards been revived in a different form in the latter part of its transmission. The story at starting consisted of the following anecdote : —
The Duke of Eutland and Theodore Hook having dined with the Lord Mayor, were looking for their hats previously to their departura The Duke, unable to find his own, said to his friend : " Hook, I have lost my castor." The Lord Chief Baron, Sir Frederick Pollock, was at that moment passing down the stairs. Hook perceiving him, replied instantly, " Never mind, take Pollock's " (Pollux).
The story told at the conclusion, after a dozen transmissions, was thus : —
Theodore Hook and the Duke of Eutland were dining with the Bishop of Oxford. Both being equally incapable of finding their respective hats, the Duke said to the wit, " Hook, you have stolen my castor." " No," replied the prince of jokers,
- ' I haven't stolen your castor, but I should have no objection
to take your beaver ;" alluding to Belvoir Castle, the splendid seat of the Duke of Butland, which in the language of the day is pronounced precisely in the same way as the name of that animal whom man robs of his great-coat in order to make a covering for his own skulL
It requires considerable training to become an accurate witness of facts. No two persons, however well trained, ever express, in the same form of words, the series of facts they have both observed.
3. There remains a third source from which we arrive at