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Fashionable Philosophy and Other Sketches   By: (1829-1888)

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That railway travel is not, as a rule, conducive to serious thought, may fairly be inferred from the class of literature displayed on the bookstalls at the stations. I have therefore refrained from any attempt to excite the reflective faculties of the reader, excepting in the first and third of the accompanying sketches, and even in these have only ventured to suggest ideas, the full scope and pregnancy of which it must be left to his own idiosyncrasy to appreciate and develop, the more especially as they bear upon a certain current of investigation which has recently become popular.

I have to express my thanks to the Editor of the 'Nineteenth Century Review' for the kind permission he has granted me to reproduce "The Sisters of Thibet"; and I avail myself of the opportunity thus afforded of removing the impression which, to my surprise, was conveyed to me by letters from numerous correspondents, that the article contained any record of my own personal experiences. The satire was suggested by the work of an author whose sincerity I do not doubt, and for whose motives I have the highest respect, in order to point out what appears to me the defective morality, from an altruistic and practical point of view, of a system of which he is the principal exponent in this country, and which, under the name of Esoteric Buddhism, still seems to possess some fascination for a certain class of minds.

The other articles originally appeared in 'Blackwood's Magazine,' and I wish to express my acknowledgments to my publishers for their usual courtesy in allowing me to republish them in this form.

ATHENAEUM CLUB, January 1887.


Fashionable Philosophy The Brigand's Bride: a tale of Southern Italy The Sisters of Thibet Adolphus: a comedy of affinities


SCENE A London Drawing room . TIME 5 o'clock P.M.

The afternoon tea apparatus in one corner of the room , and Lady Fritterly on a couch in another . The Hon. Mrs Allmash is announced .

Lady Fritterly . How too kind, dear, of you to come, and so early, too! I've got such a lot of interesting people coming, and we are going to discuss the religion of the future.

Mrs Allmash . How quite delightful! I do so long for something more substantial than the theologies of the past! It is becoming quite puzzling to know what to teach one's children: mine are getting old enough now to understand about things, and one ought to teach them something. I was talking about it to that charming Professor Germsell last night.

Lady Fritterly . Well, I hope he is coming presently, so you will be able to continue your conversation. Then there is Mr Coldwaite, the celebrated Comtist; and Mr Fussle, who writes those delightful articles on prehistoric aesthetic evolution; and Mr Drygull, the eminent theosophist, whose stories about esoteric Buddhism are quite too extraordinary, and who has promised to bring a Khoja a most interesting moral specimen, my dear who has just arrived from Bombay; and Lord Fondleton.

Mrs Allmash . Lord Fondleton! I did not know that he was interested in such subjects.

Lady Fritterly . He says he is, dear; between ourselves but this, of course, is strictly entre nous I rather think that it is I who interest him: but I encourage him, poor fellow; it may wean him from the unprofitable life he is leading, and turn his mind to higher things. Oh! I almost forgot, then there is my new beauty!

Mrs Allmash . Your new beauty!

Lady Fritterly . Yes; if you could only have dined with me the other night, you would have met her. I had such a perfect little dinner. Just think! A poet, an actor, a journalist, a painter, a wit, and a new beauty. I'll tell you how I found her. She really belongs at present to Lady Islington and myself; but of course, now we have started her, all the other people will snap her up... Continue reading book >>

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