The Dance of Life

The Dance of Life

The Dance of Life

The Dance of Life

Excerpt

This book was planned many years ago. As to the idea running through it, I cannot say when that arose. My feeling is, it was born with me. On reflection, indeed, it seems possible the seeds fell imperceptibly in youth -- from F. A. Lange, maybe, and other sources -- to germinate unseen in a congenial soil. However that may be, the idea underlies much that I have written. Even the present book began to be written, and to be published in a preliminary form, more than fifteen years ago. Perhaps I may be allowed to seek consolation for my slowness, however vainly, in the saying of Rodin that 'slowness is beauty,' and certainly it is the slowest dances that have been to me most beautiful to see, while, in the dance of life, the achievement of a civilisation in beauty seems to be inversely to the rapidity of its pace.

Moreover, the book remains incomplete, not merely in the sense that I would desire still to be changing and adding to each chapter, but even incomplete by the absence of many chapters for which I had gathered material, and twenty years ago should have been surprised to find missing. For there are many arts, not among those we conventionally call 'fine,' which seem to me fundamental for living. But now I put forth the book as it stands, deliberately, without remorse, well content so to do.

Once that would not have been possible. A book . . .

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