In those early Bohemian days I saw a great deal of that brilliant but unhappy man, and as a year or so later we quarrelled irretrievably and met no more, I feel the greater obligation to do justice to certain aspects of the man as I knew him. And here also I would record a debt, inasmuch as he helped me to independence of thought and opinion. Normal education and surroundings had exercised a certain restraint on an imagination which resented such control, and association with this daring and gifted personality brought me nearer to emancipation from convention. He had undoubtedly a keen perception of beauty, almost overshadowed by his tremendous sense of humour, which led him into extravagances of paradox. His laughter was genuine, spontaneous and infectious. He had a vivid quickness of apprehension, and an absorbent memory. But at the period of our acquaintance he had accomplished little to entitle him to other recognition than that which his ready wit and deliberate eccentricity commanded. His literary and dramatic gifts were developed later and have been fully recognized since his tragic end.
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- 1.Scènes de la Vie de Bohème, by the French novelist Henri Murger (1822–61). The novel was later dramatised and provided the libretto for Puccini’s opera, La Bohème.Google Scholar
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- James A. McNeill Whistler, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies ( London: Heinemann, 1904 )Google Scholar
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