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‘On some of the great subjects … he scarcely seemed to have thought at all’

  • Robert Buchanan
Chapter

Abstract

Our relations though friendly were never those of unreserved intimacy. I was many years his junior, and had been reared in a rougher school; I had neither his dilettante tastes nor his dilettante omniscience. My attitude towards him, moreover, was that of a pupil to a teacher, to one whose intellectual position was assured, while mine was, to say the best of it, uncertain. But for this very reason I was prepared to recognise the moral greatness in him, and even to exaggerate the signs of a superior wisdom. I realised, however, very reluctantly, that, apart from his books, which were still a priceless treasure to me, he had little or no intellectual stimulus to give me. Many of his opinions seemed narrow, some of them even childish. They seemed to me essentially the opinions of a man in good society, less concerned with the great movements of Humanity than with the fleeting artistic phenomena of the hour. On some of the great subjects which concern our happiness as conditioned beings, he scarcely seemed to have thought at all.

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000

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  • Robert Buchanan

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