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Lessons of My Life (Classic Reprint)

Lord Vansittart

Verlag: Forgotten Books, 2015
ISBN 10: 1331342317 / ISBN 13: 9781331342311
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Titel: Lessons of My Life (Classic Reprint)

Verlag: Forgotten Books

Erscheinungsdatum: 2015

Einband: Soft cover

Zustand: New


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Inhaltsangabe: Excerpt from Lessons of My Life

Horace Walpole only said that because even he was insular. For mainlanders life has become all tragedy, and it is high time that the reasons were realised. I have written this book because I have something to say on that, Dr. Johnson was surely wrong in affirming that "no man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money"; on the other hand we all write to be read, to please more than we vex, though some people ought to be vexed. We have had as much as we can afford of those resolved to ruin or to rule the state.

I have therefore thought it opportune to collect a small and preliminary instalment of the lessons that I have learned in a long course of service. I hope that no one will be put off if I write of them with feeling. Contrary to our most cherished tradition there is no merit in being a fish. I remember a comment appended by Lord Balfour to one of my early and eager memoranda: "To me the chief interest of this subject is the passion which it appears to excite in the breasts of otherwise honest men." It is at least not my intention to stir up any cuttle-fish disputants.

My purpose has been to write a collection of chapters that need not even be read consecutively - though it is desirable to do so, for they lead in due order to a series of linked conclusions - and to let each of them converge on our greatest problem. I write with experience in politics but without pretensions in literature. I have definite views in the first field. My impressions in the second are those of a plain man jotted down at intervals in life's journey, and shared, I think, by other plain men, who can now see how they fitted the political puzzle. That of course is now, though not always at the time, their chief interest to me. I hope that the combination may seem equally clear to my readers. Anyone can anyhow pick up any of these chapters and get not only some information but, I hope, some light entertainment. I have never seen why political prose should be heavy. Man has the prerogative of laughter, and he needs to laugh at himself, looking back. Nor, looking forward, is there any cause to be depressed by the task of winning the peace; it will be easier, though not shorter, than we incline to think in the long slow months before victory.

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