When Watt spoke, he spoke in a low and rapid voice. Lower voices, voices more rapid, have been heard, will be heard, than Watt's voice, no doubt. But that there ever issued from the mouth of man, or ever shall again, except in moments of delirium, or during the service of the mass, a voice at once so rapid and so low, is hard to believe. Watt spoke also with scant regard for grammer, for syntax, for pronunciation, for enunciation, and very likely, if the truth were known, for spelling too, as these are generally received. Proper names, however, both of place and of persons, such as Knott, Christ, Gomorra, Cork, he articulated with great deliberation, and from his discourse these emerged, palms, atolls, at long intervals, for he seldom specified, in a most refreshing manner. The labour of composition, the uncertainty as to how to proceed, or whether to proceed at all, inseparable from even our most happy improvisations, and from which neither the songs of birds, nor even the cries of quadrupeds, are exempt, had here no part, apparently. But Watt spoke as one speaking to dictation, or reciting, parrot-like, a text, by long repetition becomes familiar. Of this impetuous murmur much fell in vain on my imperfect hearing and understanding, and much by the rushing wind was carried away, and lost for ever.
Samuel Beckett, Watt, Olympia Press, 1953, Paris, p. 156.
PLACE: Northern Europe (Ireland?)