Oh God, no more Elves!

One of the Inklings was Hugo Dyson, a Shakespeare expert. Of all the members, he was probably the most interested in just hanging out and having a good time. He is reported to have moaned “Oh God, no more Elves” whenever Tolkien would pull out another draft chapter from The Lord of the Rings. I found this annecdotal story about him to be a crackup:

Hugo Dyson, on his visits to Oxford from Reading, became a frequent and most welcome interrupter of Warnie Lewis’s ornings: ‘At about half past eleven when I was at work in the front room in College, in burst Dyson in his most exuberant mood. He began by saying that it was such a cold morning that we would have to adjourn almost immediately to get some brandy. I pointed out to him that if he was prepared to accept whiskey as an alternative, it was available in the room. Having sniffed it he observed “it would be unpardonable rudeness to your brother to leave any of this” and emptied the remains of the decanter into the class. After talking very loudly and amusingly for some quarter of an hour, he remarked airily “I suppose we can’t be heard in the next room?” then having listened for a moment, “Oh, it’s all right, it’s the pupil talking – your brother won’t want to listen to him anyway”. He next persuaded me to walk round to Blackwell’s with him and here he was the centre of attraction to a crowd of undergraduates. Walking up to the counter he said: “I want a second hand so-and-so’s Shakespeare; have you got one?” The assistant: “Not a second hand one sir, I’m afraid.” Dyson (impatiently): “Well, take a copy and rubn it on the floor, and sell it to me as shop soiled!.” ‘

-The diary of Warnie Lewis, 2/18/1933. (Inklings p.54)