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(Conversation between Bertie Wooster and Gussie Fink-Nottle, after Jeeves advice to Gussie (who breeds newts in his back-garden) to go to a fancy-dress ball dressed as Mephistopheles, suggesting this might impress the woman Gussie was in love with.. )

“And you can’t get away from it that, fundamentally, Jeeves’s idea is sound. In a striking costume like Mephistopheles, I might quite easily pull off something pretty impressive. Colour does make a difference. Look at newts. During the courting season the male newt is brilliantly coloured. It helps him a lot.”

“But you aren’t a male newt.”

“I wish I were. Do you know how a male newt proposes, Bertie? He just stands in front of the female newt vibrating his tail and bending his body in a semi-circle. I could do that on my head. No, you wouldn’t find me grousing if I were a male newt.”

“But if you were a male newt, Madeline Bassett wouldn’t look at you. Not with the eye of love, I mean.”

“She would, if she were a female newt.”

“But she isn’t a female newt.”
“No, but suppose she was.”

“Well, if she was, you wouldn’t be in love with her.”

“Yes, I would, if I were a male newt.”

A slight throbbing about the temples told me that this discussion had reached saturation point.

“Well, anyway,” I said, “coming down to hard facts and cutting out all this visionary stuff about vibrating tails and what not, the salient point that emerges is that you are booked to appear at a fancy-dress ball. And I tell you out of my riper knowledge of fancy-dress balls, Gussie, that you won’t enjoy yourself.”

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