The Happy Profession

The Happy Profession

The Happy Profession

The Happy Profession

Excerpt

"Let nothing," says the immortal Churchill, "interfere with the rancour and asperity of personal opinion." I am a mild-mannered man, but I have sought to abide by that counsel. Dislikes and irritations are behind me, my enthusiasms have a more enduring flame. There is nothing in this book but is set down frankly, without the ardor of a votary or the wry charity that cloaks a writer of obituaries. The truth as a man sees it, I hold to be the truth.

No one who has gone right on living in the face of the Psalmist's warning can fail now and then to ponder the meaning of the long effort. In understanding the Big Show, one difficulty is that too many people are crowded on the stage, for the records the actors leave behind them are wont to be so many justifications of parts they have played, so many libels on the parts of others. A truer impression can come from the audience. Thirty years spent in conducting the Atlantic has given me a comfortable seat on the center aisle and some experience in interpreting the merit of the performance. Mine has been an old-fashioned ambition. For me the good life has been the contented life and, were I to live mine over again, I should aim at the same goal.

Content does not mean smugness. I admire the great but have no importunate craving to join their company. My phi-

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