By Arthur Mailey
Arthur Mailey's vintage autobiography, first released in 1958, is a wry and fascinating account by way of a skilled cricketer from a really varied era—full of zest, different, speedy, transferring the purpose of assault, occasionally extravagant, often exceptional and consistently considerate. For 50 years, Arthur Mailey performed and watched top notch cricket. in the course of his try out profession he performed opposed to a few of the greats, and on one impressive social gathering brushed off his idol, Victor Trumper, to his speedy remorse: "I felt like a boy who had killed a dove." it is a reminder of the consideration days of cricket—amateurs and execs, Bradman, Noble, and Trumper batting, and Barnes, O'Reilly, and Fleetwood-Smith with the ball.
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Like the hat my seam-pressing days did not last very long. My boss, the meanest man I ever knew, caught me leaning over the pressing board thinking. What was I thinking? About Victor Trumper as usual, I fancy. I couldn’t imagine he had ever had to press seams or be cooped up in a factory and ridiculed by his workmates. Perhaps he was living in a castle or a palace somewhere listening to lovely music while he was served with the tastiest food. Perhaps sitting on the deck of one of those wonderful Orient ships on his way to England.
But they were crude and not up to the standard expected by a London periodical. 37 10 for 66 and All That 21/7/08 5:22 PM Page 38 10 for 66 and All That But, amazingly enough, we seem to have settled how many cartoons I should do and at what intervals I should deliver them and the burning question was gently laid at my door: what remuneration would satisfy me? As a Water Board labourer I had received £3 7s. 6d. a week. But then I was a fairly efficient and experienced labourer. I couldn’t very well ask that much for mere amateurish drawings.
All this is gone—except perhaps a faded replica of the gay and vital Hebe. ’ Fortunately, this is not typical of the present spirit of England but there is at least one section of English society having a lot of fun today that wouldn’t have been allowed to breathe in the early twenties when Jack was just as good as his master—but too modest to boast about it. I could think of a great deal more to say on this theme but I had better leave it to the sociologists and statisticians, who, like many modern cricket writers, seem to have figures at their fingertips.
10 for 66 and All That by Arthur Mailey
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