At a London dinner recently the conversation turned to the various methods of working employed by literary geniuses. Among the examples cited was that of a well-known poet, who, it is said, was wont to arouse his wife about four o'clock in the morning and exclaim, "Maria, get up; I've thought of a good word!" Whereupon the poet's obedient helpmate would crawl out of bed and make a note of the thought-of word.
About an hour later, like as not, a new inspiration would seize the bard, whereupon he would again arouse his wife, saying, "Maria, Maria, get up! I've thought of a better word!"
The company in general listened to the story with admiration, but a merry-eyed American girl remarked: "Well, if he'd been my husband I should have replied, 'Alpheus, get up yourself; I've thought of a bad word!'"