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Father Payne

by Arthur Christopher Benson

Often as I have thought of my old friend "Father Payne," as we affectionately called him, I had somehow never intended to write about him, or if I did, it was "like as a dream when one awaketh," a vision that melted away at the touch of common life. Yet I always felt that his was one of those rich personalities well worth depicting, if the attitude and gesture with which he faced the world could be caught and fixed. The difficulty was that he was a man of ideas rather than of performance, suggestive rather than active: and the whole history of his experiment with life was evasive, and even to ordinary views fantastic.


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