Se­lec­tive deaf­ness

Country Life Every Week - - Letters To The Editor -

THE sale of Eve­lyn Waugh’s tele­scopic ear trum­pet (Town & Coun­try, March 22) is a re­minder, as his cousin Claud Cock­burn wrote, that it was chiefly wielded so­cially ‘as a form of re­buke, and a weapon’. Cock­burn cited the time on which a pompous states­man ad­dressed a Lon­don lit­er­ary lunch at which Waugh had ‘by some means clamped [the trum­pet] to his head’ in or­der to free his hands for eat­ing. Af­ter the states­man had been speak­ing for a minute or two, Waugh, with much ex­ag­ger­a­tion, re­moved the trum­pet and placed it on the table­cloth. The states­man lost the thread, re­porters ceased tak­ing notes and the speech was over al­most be­fore it had be­gun. Waugh then tri­umphantly re-at­tached the trum­pet. John Mcewen, by email

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