Impressions of Theophrastus Such eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 171 pages of information about Impressions of Theophrastus Such.
to the same ground for wonder:  his deficiencies and excesses were alike to be accounted for by the flattering fact of his youth, and his youth was the golden background which set off his many-hued endowments.  Here was already enough to establish a strong association between his sense of identity and his sense of being unusually young.  But after this he devised and founded an ingenious organisation for consolidating the literary interests of all the four continents (subsequently including Australasia and Polynesia), he himself presiding in the central office, which thus became a new theatre for the constantly repeated situation of an astonished stranger in the presence of a boldly scheming administrator found to be remarkably young.  If we imagine with due charity the effect on Ganymede, we shall think it greatly to his credit that he continued to feel the necessity of being something more than young, and did not sink by rapid degrees into a parallel of that melancholy object, a superannuated youthful phenomenon.  Happily he had enough of valid, active faculty to save him from that tragic fate.  He had not exhausted his fountain of eloquent opinion in his ’Comparative Estimate,’ so as to feel himself, like some other juvenile celebrities, the sad survivor of his own manifest destiny, or like one who has risen too early in the morning, and finds all the solid day turned into a fatigued afternoon.  He has continued to be productive both of schemes and writings, being perhaps helped by the fact that his ’Comparative Estimate’ did not greatly affect the currents of European thought, and left him with the stimulating hope that he had not done his best, but might yet produce what would make his youth more surprising than ever.

I saw something of him through his Antinoues period, the time of rich chesnut locks, parted not by a visible white line, but by a shadowed furrow from which they fell in massive ripples to right and left.  In these slim days he looked the younger for being rather below the middle size, and though at last one perceived him contracting an indefinable air of self-consciousness, a slight exaggeration of the facial movements, the attitudes, the little tricks, and the romance in shirt-collars, which must be expected from one who, in spite of his knowledge, was so exceedingly young, it was impossible to say that he was making any great mistake about himself.  He was only undergoing one form of a common moral disease:  being strongly mirrored for himself in the remark of others, he was getting to see his real characteristics as a dramatic part, a type to which his doings were always in correspondence.  Owing to my absence on travel and to other causes I had lost sight of him for several years, but such a separation between two who have not missed each other seems in this busy century only a pleasant reason, when they happen to meet again in some old accustomed haunt, for the one who has stayed at home to be more communicative about himself than he can well be to

Project Gutenberg
Impressions of Theophrastus Such from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook