Impressions of Theophrastus Such eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 202 pages of information about Impressions of Theophrastus Such.
But at this moment I am thinking of Spike, an elector who voted on the side of Progress though he was not inwardly attached to it under that name.  For abstractions are deities having many specific names, local habitations, and forms of activity, and so get a multitude of devout servants who care no more for them under their highest titles than the celebrated person who, putting with forcible brevity a view of human motives now much insisted on, asked what Posterity had done for him that he should care for Posterity?  To many minds even among the ancients (thought by some to have been invariably poetical) the goddess of wisdom was doubtless worshipped simply as the patroness of spinning and weaving.  Now spinning and weaving from a manufacturing, wholesale point of view, was the chief form under which Spike from early years had unconsciously been a devotee of Progress.

He was a political molecule of the most gentleman-like appearance, not less than six feet high, and showing the utmost nicety in the care of his person and equipment.  His umbrella was especially remarkable for its neatness, though perhaps he swung it unduly in walking.  His complexion was fresh, his eyes small, bright, and twinkling.  He was seen to great advantage in a hat and greatcoat—­garments frequently fatal to the impressiveness of shorter figures; but when he was uncovered in the drawing-room, it was impossible not to observe that his head shelved off too rapidly from the eyebrows towards the crown, and that his length of limb seemed to have used up his mind so as to cause an air of abstraction from conversational topics.  He appeared, indeed, to be preoccupied with a sense of his exquisite cleanliness, clapped his hands together and rubbed them frequently, straightened his back, and even opened his mouth and closed it again with a slight snap, apparently for no other purpose than the confirmation to himself of his own powers in that line.  These are innocent exercises, but they are not such as give weight to a man’s personality.  Sometimes Spike’s mind, emerging from its preoccupation, burst forth in a remark delivered with smiling zest; as, that he did like to see gravel walks well rolled, or that a lady should always wear the best jewellery, or that a bride was a most interesting object; but finding these ideas received rather coldly, he would relapse into abstraction, draw up his back, wrinkle his brows longitudinally, and seem to regard society, even including gravel walks, jewellery, and brides, as essentially a poor affair.  Indeed his habit of mind was desponding, and he took melancholy views as to the possible extent of human pleasure and the value of existence.  Especially after he had made his fortune in the cotton manufacture, and had thus attained the chief object of his ambition—­the object which had engaged his talent for order and persevering application.  For his easy leisure caused him much ennui.  He was abstemious, and had none of those temptations to sensual excess

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Impressions of Theophrastus Such from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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