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CHAPTER: 1 MY PARENTS AND EARLY LIFE The characteristic features of Indian culture have long been a search for ultimate verities and the concomitant disciple-guru {FN1-2} relationship. My own path led me to a Christlike sage whose beautiful life was chiseled for the ages. He was one of the great masters who are India's sole remaining wealth. Emerging in every generation, they have bulwarked their land against the fate of Babylon and Egypt. I... more...

Many years ago, whilst living at Oxford, I was invited by a very old friend, who had recently taken his degree, to a river picnic; with Nuneham, I think, as its alleged object. Unfortunately, the day proved unfavourable, and we returned in open boats, also with open umbrellas; a generally drenched and bedraggled appearance, and nothing to cheer us on the physical plane except a quantity of iced coffee which had been ordered in anticipation of a... more...

I. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. (BORN 1706--DIED 1790.) HIS FAME STILL CLIMBING TO HEAVEN--WHAT HE HAD DONE AT FIFTY-TWO--POOR RICHARD'S ADDRESS. The late Judge Black was remarkable not only for his wit and humor, which often enlivened the dry logic of law and fact, but also for flashes of unique eloquence. In presenting a certain brief before the United States Supreme Court he had occasion to animadvert upon some of our great men. Among other things... more...

WARREN GAMALIEL HARDING Every time we elect a new President we learn what a various creature is the Typical American. When Mr. Roosevelt was in the White House the Typical American was gay, robustious, full of the joy of living, an expansive spirit from the frontier, a picaresque twentieth century middle class Cavalier. He hit the line hard and did not flinch. And his laugh shook the skies. Came Wilson. And the Typical American was troubled... more...

I. USES OF GREAT MEN. It is natural to believe in great men. If the companions of our childhood should turn out to be heroes, and their condition regal, it would not surprise us. All mythology opens with demigods, and the circumstance is high and poetic; that is, their genius is paramount. In the legends of the Gautama, the first men ate the earth, and found it deliciously sweet. Nature seems to exist for the excellent. The world is upheld by... more...


FOREWORD Naturally, there are chapters of my autobiography which cannot now be written. It seems to me that, for the nation as for the individual, what is most important is to insist on the vital need of combining certain sets of qualities, which separately are common enough, and, alas, useless enough. Practical efficiency is common, and lofty idealism not uncommon; it is the combination which is necessary, and the combination is rare. Love of... more...

There was at this same time in Florence a painter of most beautiful intelligence and most lovely invention, namely, Filippo, son of Fra Filippo of the Carmine, who, following in the steps of his dead father in the art of painting, was brought up and instructed, being still very young, by Sandro Botticelli, notwithstanding that his father had commended him on his death-bed to Fra Diamante, who was much his friend—nay, almost his brother.... more...

CHAPTER I. BIRTH AND EDUCATION—CAMBRIDGE. I cannot, perhaps, more fitly begin this short biography than with some words in which its subject has expressed his own feelings as to the spirit in which such a task should be approached. "Silence," says Wordsworth, "is a privilege of the grave, a right of the departed: let him, therefore, who infringes that right by speaking publicly of, for, or against, those who cannot speak for themselves,... more...

PREFACE Some excuse seems to be needed for venturing at this time to publish biographical sketches of the men of the Victorian era. Several have been written by men, like Lord Morley and Lord Bryce, having first-hand knowledge of their subjects, others by the best critics of the next generation, such as Mr. Chesterton and Mr. Clutton-Brock. With their critical ability I am not able to compete; but they often postulate a knowledge of facts which... more...

G. Washington again unanimously elected President.... War between Great Britain and France.... Queries of the President respecting the conduct to be adopted by the American government.... Proclamation of neutrality.... Arrival of Mr. Genet as minister from France.... His conduct.... Illegal proceedings of the French cruisers.... Opinions of the cabinet.... State of parties.... Democratic societies.... Genet calculates upon the partialities of... more...