Saturday, December 11, 2004

Jack's Hat

A little excerpt from C.S. Lewis at the Breakfast Table:

Now there are many stories about this famous hat, and Major Lewis* recalls one of them in his Memoir prefacing the Letters. He writes:

Jack's clothes were a matter of complete indifference to him: he had an extraordinary knack of making a new suit look shabby the second time he wore it. One of his garments has passed into legend. It is said that Jack once took a guest for an early morning walk on the Magdalen College grounds, in Oxford, after a very wet night. Presently the guest brought his attention to a curious lump of cloth hanging on a bush. "That looks like my hat," said Jack; then joyfully, "It is my hat." And clapping the sodden mass on his head, he continued his walk.

"Jack, shown here hat-less"

That same hat was lost on one of our picnics, coming back from Cambridge at the end of a term. On the way to Cambridge, at the beginning of the next term, we looked inside the field gate where we had picnicked, and there was the hat, under the hedge, being used as a home for field mice. Jack retrieved it, of course, and later on continued to wear it. Sometime after that, that same hat spent a week under the front seat of my car; and the very last time I drove the professor, the same hat sat squarely on his head.
~Clifford Morris, "A Christian Gentleman", C.S. Lewis at the Breakfast Table and Other Remininscences (1979)

*Warren Lewis, Lewis's brother

3 Comment(s):

At Sun Dec 12, 01:28:00 PM EST, Blogger Sandicomm said...

I did that once with a hat! It fell out of my hand, next to a park, and a week or so later, I realized I didn't have my hat. During the spring, I saw that someone had put my hat on the ground on the other side of the wall so I took it home. But then after awhile it fell into a very interesting place and I don't think even Jack would have retrieved his hat from there...

At Sun Dec 12, 06:44:00 PM EST, Blogger Anamire said...

Sounds like his hat was haunting him. :)

One has to wonder how it got into that bush in the first place.

At Sun Dec 12, 07:35:00 PM EST, Blogger Arevanye said...

Lewis loved his walks, and tried to make time in his schedule daily to have an early-morning walk on the grounds of the college.

I imagine it must have been lost on a previous turn round that same path.


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