Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Reminiscences of Froude


Until a year or two before his death Froude had retained much of his youthful vigor. His eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated. He could still land his salmon, and he had been a famous angler. He could still handle a gun, and he had been a crack shot in his time. When aboard the tidy little craft that he kept at Salcombe, especially if the waves ran high, he was almost boyishly elate. Sometimes, no doubt, he was sad, but it was the sadness of one who, looking before and after, has found that the riddle is hard to read. he had indeed an ever present sense of the mysteries of existence and of the awful responsibility of the creature to the unknown and invisible Lawgiver.

I have heard him described by shallow observers as "taciturn" and "saturnine." No two words could be less descriptive. He was a singularly bright and vivacious companion. His smile was winning as a woman's. Possibly he did not always unbend, but when he unbent he unbent wholly. In congenial society he was ready to discourse on every topic in the heaven above or on the earth beneath, and when at his best he was not only a brilliant and picturesque, but a really suggestive talker. — Blackwood's Magazine.

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