The Affable Stranger

The Affable Stranger

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1920. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER XIX AN EXPERIMENT IN MODESTY One afternoon toward the end of my trip I made a mistake--for which I am now duly thankful. Through weariness, or carelessness or over-confidence or a human desire to talk frankly to somebody, I dropped my pose of the Affable Stranger and freely admitted to an American whom I had engaged in conversation that I was gathering material for a book. I also went as far as to indicate the nature of my investigations. At once he assumed an attitude of helpfulness. All that he knew about the subject of international relations was at my disposal--and he knew a surprising lot of things that were of no importance. You meet men of this kind wherever new books are discussed--or any kind of human achievement. Parasitic helpers attach themselves to every kind of work from farming to statesmanship. In fact this characteristic must be universal, for Fabre has a passage on it in his description of scarabs. When one of them finds a treasure others help him in just that way. I am being explicit on the point, for the theme of this chapter is modesty as it affects the relations between countries. Being somewhat modest in my claims to modesty I feel competent to discuss the matter with the necessary intellectual aloofness. "The trouble with Canadians," said the candid and helpful American, "is that they are too cocky!" That made me tingle to my last pin-feather, but fortunately I am of Scotch ancestry and the obvious witty retort did not flash back instantly. In fact I was rather dazed, but somewhere deep down in my consciousness I felt the need of taking the criticism in a friendly spirit, for if a man starts out to promote harmonious relations he must not be quick to take offence. Not knowing what else to do I smiled affably, which was quit...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 148 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 8.64mm | 281.23g
  • Createspace
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1507852088
  • 9781507852088

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