10 September 2013

A Human Lentil

Richard King (pseudonym of Richard King Huskinson, 1879-1947), With Silent Friends (London: Bodley Head, 1917), pp. 65-66:
Take it from me; the man or woman who has never played truant from the ideal for which he lives is just a human lentil with all the dulness of that estimable and most uninteresting vegetable. It is the man and woman who, having fallen, rise again who get there at the end of time. Sometimes I rather fancy that we have to fall in order to rise, but Tennyson has, of course, put that idea into some haunting lines in "In Memoriam." At any rate, the person whose character and temperament never lead him into temptation, who is content, and more than content — smugly self satisfied — to go on day in, day out, being dully respectable — respectability founded upon no personal conviction but merely upon an inherited tradition — will never reach any great heights. He may not fall, but he certainly will not rise, and his life will be merely one long jog-trot between blinkers along the Dull Road of Conventionality which leads from the Congress of Old Women into the Kingdom of Deathless Yawns.