I bought an "automaton
" once in April, and I did have a time with it!
And now the haunch of mutton vapour-bath having received a gamey infusion, and a few last touches of sweets and coffee, was quite ready, and the bathers came; but not before the discreet automaton had got behind the bars of the piano music-desk, and there presented the appearance of a captive languishing in a rose- wood jail.
Then the discreet automaton who had surveyed his ground, played a blossomless tuneless 'set,' and sixteen disciples of Podsnappery went through the figures of - 1, Getting up at eight and shaving close at a quarter past - 2, Breakfasting at nine - 3, Going to the City at ten - 4, Coming home at half-past five - 5, Dining at seven, and the grand chain.
And now, the grand chain riveted to the last link, the discreet automaton ceased, and the sixteen, two and two, took a walk among the furniture.
John spoke almost like an automaton
: himself only knew the effort it cost him thus to refuse.
He was like a soldierly automaton
, or rather, like a magnificent marionette.
You sit at that desk in Crimsworth's counting-house day by day and week by week, scraping with a pen on paper, just like an automaton
; you never get up; you never say you are tired; you never ask for a holiday; you never take change or relaxation; you give way to no excess of an evening; you neither keep wild company, nor indulge in strong drink."
Once a man who was strong and in all the power of his manhood came because a persistent aching troubled him and his club-doctor did not seem to do him any good; and the verdict for him too was death, not the inevitable death that horrified and yet was tolerable because science was helpless before it, but the death which was inevitable because the man was a little wheel in the great machine of a complex civilisation, and had as little power of changing the circumstances as an automaton
. Complete rest was his only chance.
I never care about the footmen; they're mere automatons
: it's nothing to them what their superiors say or do; they won't dare to repeat it; and as to what they think--if they presume to think at all--of course, nobody cares for that.
They move to their terrible end as automatons
There you might have seen a throng of young females, not filled with envyings of each other's charms, nor displaying the ridiculous affectations of gentility, nor yet moving in whalebone corsets, like so many automatons
, but free, inartificially happy, and unconstrained.
Here in London it seems to me that we live the life of automatons
. We lunch, we dine, we amuse or we bore ourselves, and we sleep--and all the rest of the world does the same.