And presently the tide would ebb. The waste of waters became a sea of mud, cheerfully covered as to much of its surface with green grasses. The evening sun struck rainbow colours from the moist softness. Birds sang in the thickets. And George, heaving himself up, walked back to the friendly cosiness of the Marshmoreton Arms. And the remarkable part of it was that everything seemed perfectly natural and sensible to him, nor had he any particular feeling that in falling in love with Lady Maud Marsh and pursuing her to Belpher he had set himself anything in the nature of a hopeless task. Like one kissed by a goddess in a dream, he walked on air; and, while one is walking on air, it is easy to overlook the boulders in the path.
Consider his position, you faint-hearted and self-pitying young men who think you have a tough row to hoe just because, when you pay your evening visit with the pound box of candy under your arm, you see the handsome sophomore from Yale sitting beside her on the porch, playing the ukulele. If ever the world has turned black to you in such a situation and the moon gone in behind a cloud, think of George Bevan and what he was up against. You are at least on the spot. You can at least put up a fight. If there are ukuleles in the world, there are also guitars, and tomorrow it may be you and not he who sits on the moonlit porch; it may be he and not you who arrives late. Who knows? Tomorrow he may not show up till you have finished the Bedouin’s Love Song and are annoying the local birds, roosting in the trees, with Poor Butterfly.
What I mean to say is, you are on the map. You have a sporting chance. Whereas George . . . Well, just go over to England and try wooing an earl’s daughter whom you have only met once—and then without an introduction; whose brother’s hat you have smashed beyond repair; whose family wishes her to marry some other man: who wants to marry some other man herself—and not the same other man, but another other man; who is closely immured in a mediaeval castle . . . Well, all I say is—try it. And then go back to your porch with a chastened spirit and admit that you might be a whole lot worse off.
P. G. Wodehouse, A Damsel in Distress ch. 7 (1919).