Saturday, January 10, 2015


An Old Fogey

Logan Pearsall Smith (1865-1946), Unforgotten Years (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1939), pp. 295-296:
Having thus survived a generation which cared for the things I care for, I find that I now prefer the company of idlers and ne'er-do-wells and scalawags. I like the people who look on at life rather than those who take an active part in its business and affairs. They have plenty of leisure, and no axes to grind, which is pleasant. They don't preach at me, which is still more pleasant; and if they read at all, they read mostly old-fashioned books of the kind I like.

A Protestant controversialist of the seventeenth century once reproved the Catholics for their love of venial sins; they liked, he said, to warm themselves at fantastic fires and to dance in the light of glowworms.

This taste I share with the unreformed, at least in the idle sin of reading. I too like to dance in the light of glowworms, and the earnest and hastily written books of our modern authors are of no interest to me. So I suppose I am an old fogey, after all.

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