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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

158                    The Position

whom he was disappointed to find so very commonplace a
person. Exactly the same thing happened to me with Ere-
whon. I was glad to find that Life and Habit had made so
deep an impression at any rate upon one person.

A Disappointing Person

I suspect I am rather a disappointing person, for every
now and then there is a fuss and I am to meet some one who
would very much like to make my acquaintance, or some
one writes me a letter and says he has long admired my
books, and may he, etc. ? Of course I say " Yes," but ex-
perience has taught me that it always ends in turning some
one who was more or less inclined to run me into one who
considers he has a grievance against me for not being a very
different kind of person from what I am. These people
however (and this happens on an average once or twice a
year) do not come solely to see me, they generally tell me
all about themselves and the impression is left upon me
that they have really come in order to be praised. I am as
civil to them as I know how to be but enthusiastic I never
am, for they have never any of them been nice people, and
it is my want of enthusiasm for themselves as much as any-
thing else which disappoints them. They seldom come
again. Mr. Alfred Tylor was the only acquaintance I have
ever made through being sent for to be looked at, or letting
some one come to look at me, who turned out a valuable ally ;
but then he sent for me through mutual friends in the usual
way.

Entertaining Angels

I doubt whether any angel would find me very entertaining.
As for myself, if ever I do entertain one it will have to be
unawares. When people entertain others without an intro-
duction they generally turn out more like devils than angels.

Myself and My Books

The balance against them is now over 350. How com-
pletely they must have been squashed unless I had had a
little money of my own. Is it not likely that many a better