Semi-Centennial: Some of the Life and Part of the Opinions of Leonard Bacon

Semi-Centennial: Some of the Life and Part of the Opinions of Leonard Bacon

Semi-Centennial: Some of the Life and Part of the Opinions of Leonard Bacon

Semi-Centennial: Some of the Life and Part of the Opinions of Leonard Bacon

Excerpt

This book is the partial and imperfect record of a life in which there has been a great deal of happiness. Many details which might have a certain pungency have been left out, some because they were forgotten, some because they had better be. It is a truism that everyone has plenty to be ashamed of, but quite apart from that I am tired of the convention of exploiting one's obliquities, however profitable, and even more tired of the more satisfactory convention of exploiting the obliquities of others. Deliberately I have refrained from the violation of reserves.

I have tried to set down what I saw or knew and to express my feelings about the seen or the known as exactly and vividly as lay in my power. The matters I have chosen to relate have been selected from a memory, which, like all memories, is as crowded as the rush-hour in a subway, and they were chosen because I hoped they might divert or attract persons who had never heard of me and might perhaps prefer things that way. I speak mainly as a witness and I hope not as the scribes. I have endeavored to be accurate. But memory may be at fault and belief or prejudice still more so. It will be sufficient if I have avoided essential errors.

My life has been governed by proclivity and desire, rather than by what is called thought. But in that respect I resemble the vast majority of what are called thinkers. They are at liberty, if they choose, to reproach me with a failure to . . .

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