Friday, September 18, 2020


God Is a Gentleman

W. Somerset Maugham, "Augustus," The Vagrant Mood: Six Essays (London: William Heinemann Ltd, 1922), pp. 1-50 (at 3-4; on Augustus Hare):
I was accustomed to family prayers and I noticed that some of the prayers Augustus read sounded strangely in my ears. Then I discovered that he had neatly inked out many lines in the Prayer Book he read from. I asked him why.

'I've crossed out all the passages in glorification of God,' he said. 'God is certainly a gentleman, and no gentleman cares to be praised to his face. It is tactless, impertinent and vulgar. I think all that fulsome adulation must be highly offensive to him.'

At the time this notion seemed odd to me and even comic, but since then I have come to think that there was some sense in it.

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