On Nothing and Kindred Subjects

On Nothing and Kindred Subjects

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On Nothing and Kindred Subjects by Hilaire Belloc

Published:

1908

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On Nothing and Kindred Subjects

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On The Pleasure Of Taking Up One's Pen -- On Getting Respected In Inns And Hotels -- On Ignorance -- On Advertisement -- On A House -- On The Illness Of My Muse -- On A Dog And A Man Also -- On Tea -- On Them -- On Railways And Things -- On Conversations In Trains -- On The Return Of The Dead -- On The Approach Of An Awful Doom -- On A Rich Man Who Suffered -- On A Child Who Died -- On A Lost Manuscript -- On A Man Who Was Protected By Another Man -- On National Debts -- On Lords -- On Jingoes: In The Shape Of A Warning -- On A Winged Horse And The Exile Who Rode Him -- On A Man And His Burden -- On A Fisherman And The Quest Of Peace -- On A Hermit Whom I Knew -- On An Unknown Country -- On A Faëry Castle -- On A Southern Harbour -- On A Young Man And An Older Man -- On The Departure Of A Guest -- On Death -- On Coming To An End

Book Excerpt

only are you alone, but you are going to "create".

When people say "create" they flatter themselves. No man can create anything. I knew a man once who drew a horse on a bit of paper to amuse the company and covered it all over with many parallel streaks as he drew. When he had done this, an aged priest (present upon that occasion) said, "You are pleased to draw a zebra." When the priest said this the man began to curse and to swear, and to protest that he had never seen or heard of a zebra. He said it was all done out of his own head, and he called heaven to witness, and his patron saint (for he was of the Old English Territorial Catholic Families--his patron saint was Aethelstan), and the salvation of his immortal soul he also staked, that he was as innocent of zebras as the babe unborn. But there! He persuaded no one, and the priest scored. It was most evident that the Territorial was crammed full of zebraical knowledge.

All this, then, is a digression, and it must be admitted that there is no

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