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My Unknown Chum   By:

My Unknown Chum by Charles Bullard Fairbanks

First Page:

My Unknown Chum " Aguecheek "

MY UNKNOWN CHUM "AGUECHEEK"

WITH A FOREWORD BY HENRY GARRITY

NEW YORK THE DEVIN ADAIR COMPANY 1930

THE ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY FIFTH THOUSAND

Copyright, 1912, by The Devin Adair Company

All rights reserved by The Devin Adair Co.

Printed in U. S. A.

CONTENTS

FOREWORD SKETCHES OF FOREIGN TRAVEL A PASSAGE ACROSS THE ATLANTIC LONDON ANTWERP AND BRUSSELS GENOA AND FLORENCE ANCIENT ROME MODERN ROME ROME TO MARSEILLES MARSEILLES, LYONS, AND AIX IN SAVOY AIX TO PARIS PARIS PARIS THE LOUVRE AND ART NAPOLEON THE THIRD THE PHILOSOPHY OF FOREIGN TRAVEL PARIS TO BOULOGNE LONDON ESSAYS STREET LIFE HARD UP IN PARIS THE OLD CORNER SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF THEATRE ALLEY THE OLD CATHEDRAL THE PHILOSOPHY OF SUFFERING BOYHOOD AND BOYS JOSEPHINE GIRLHOOD AND GIRLS SHAKESPEARE AND HIS COMMENTATORS MEMORIALS OF MRS. GRUNDY THE PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE BEHIND THE SCENES THE PHILOSOPHY OF CANT

FOREWORD

Life is too short for reading inferior books.

Bryce.

In 1878 a letter of introduction to Mr. S of Detroit was instrumental in securing for me the close friendship of a man some twenty years my senior a man of unusual poise of mind and of such superb character that I have ever looked upon him as a perfect type of Newman's ideal gentleman.

My new friend was fond of all that is best in art and literature. His pet possession, however, was an old book long out of print "Aguecheek." He spoke to me of its classic charm and of the recurring pleasure he found in reading and rereading the delightful pages of its unknown author, who saw in travel, in art, in literature, in life and humanity, much that other travellers and other writers and scholars had failed to observe seeing all with a purity of vision, a clearness of intellect, and recording it with a grace and ease of phrase that suggest that he himself had perhaps been taught by the Angelic Doctor referred to in the closing lines of his last essay.

A proffered loan of the book was eagerly accepted. Though still in my teens, I soon became a convert to all that my cultured friend had said in its praise.

With the aid of a Murray Street dealer in old books, I was fortunate enough to get a copy for myself. I read it again and again. Obliged to travel much, I was rarely without its companionship; for I knew that if other reading matter proved uninteresting, I could always find some new conversational charm in the views and words of the World Conversant Author.

Fearing that I weighed the merits of the work with a mental scale wanting in balance, I asked others what they thought of it. Much to my surprise, they had never even heard of it. In fact, in these thirty four years I have found but three persons who knew the book at all. Recently at The Players I asked Mr. Evert Jansen Wendell if he knew "Aguecheek." "Why," said he, "it was in my hands only yesterday. It is in my library my dramatic library." The late John E. Grote Higgens, President of the St. George Society, knew its interesting pages well; and it is, I am assured, a "prized unit" in the library of His Eminence Cardinal Farley.

I lent my copy to young and old, to men and women of various professions and to friends in the world of commerce. The opinion of all might be summed up in the appreciation of a well known Monsignor himself an observant traveller and an ardent lover of "real" literature. Returning the book, he said, "I have read it with the greatest of pleasure, and have turned to it often... Continue reading book >>




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