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Full text of "Man In The Modern World"

DOCTOR SPOONER:  THE GROWTH OF A LEGEND
the street, asked after his health and then said: "But I'm afraid that
when he hears what we did at the college meeting yesterday he'll
gnash his tail!" That, I think, bears the stamp of truth. Then a
very curious one, which a friend assures me actually happened.
The Indian mystic, Krishnamurti, was, if you remember, taken up as
a young man by Mrs. Annie Bcsant, who expressed the view that he
was an incarnation of Jesus. He came up for admission as an under-
graduate at New College. As the lists were being gone through, the
Warden said: " Next we come to the name of Mr. Krishnamurti. I
understand that Mr. Krishnamurti is supposed to be an incarnation
of Our Lord, so of course we can't have him at New College.'5 I
think we all sec what he meant, but he certainly put it in a rather
curious way. As illustrating the way legends grow, that story after-
wards had another—quite mythical one—tacked on to it, to the effect
that Spooiier added that he might have a better chance if he tried a
certain other college, the President of which notoriously had a weak-
ness for celebrities.
Then there is a story which I don't vouch for, though it rings true to
type. Spooner was supposed to have been preaching one day in a
village which was one of the New College livings, and gave a long
sermon all about Aristotle. There were only about two people in the
congregation who had ever heard of Aristotle, and their rather dim
recollections didn't tally very well with what the Warden had been
saying. He had finished his sermon and was half-way down the pulpit
stairs when suddenly something struck him, and he trotted up again
and said: " Excuse me, dear brethren: I just want to say that in my
sermon wherever I said Aristotle I should have said St. Paul."
Then it is not generally known that he sometimes did the same sort
of thing—committing what I called " paraphrasia "—in writing as
well as in speaking. I once had a pupil—let us, for the sake of argu-
ment say his name was Wilson—who, after he'd taken his degree,
wrote to the Warden asking if he could stay up for a year, as he wanted
to continue working under his tutor—in other words, me. He showed
me the letter he received in reply. It began: " My dear Wilford"—
his name being Wilson—" I think it would be a very good thing if you
stayed up and went on working under your father." Here he had not
noticed what he had done. But apparently he used sometimes to read
over his letters and see that he had made a mistake. If so, he used to
scratch out the mistake—but just with one line, so that you could still
read the wrong word—and write the right word over the top. I was
shown two letters of this sort by a tutor of New College. One of
them was rather pathetic. It ended up "Yours very truly," but
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