Page 3, 17th January 1958

17th January 1958
Page 3
Page 3, 17th January 1958 — Great Genius for Friendship
Close

Report an error

Noticed an error on this page?
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it.

Tags


Share


Related articles

The Victim's Own Story

Page 3 from 4th March 1960

Less A Foe To Hitler Than A Friend To Gandhi

Page 6 from 15th March 1991

Best Days Of Churchill

Page 11 from 29th January 1965

National Catholic Organisation

Page 2 from 7th December 1945

How We Covered Ourselves In Glory

Page 13 from 20th October 2006

Great Genius for Friendship

By Sir DESMOND MORTON

FRIENDS, FOES AND FOREIGNERS, by Sir Robert Bruce Lockhart (Putnam and Co. Ltd., 21s.).

ANYONE who has met Sir Robert, or who has merely read his books, must recognise his astonishing natural genius

for making acquaintances and friends. Although this gift has been of undoubted advantage to him in his career as a diplomat and author. it would do him the greatest injustice to suggest he has used it cynically for business purposes.

He really likes peoplealmost all sorts of people-for their own sakes. He not only makes acquaintances readily largely because those he meets at once appreciate his genuine interest in their lives and thoughts-but lie turns them into friends, if worthy. and, if unworthy, heartily regrets the fact.

A kindly roan. he has been accused of reluctance to criticise adversely. It must have cost him a lot to include in this book some account of one acquaintance for whom he can feel no admiration and for whose conduct no excuse.

• MAGNANIMITY

S1.1( Robert ascribes his magnanimity to the fact that he is a Scot and that. whereas the Scots are taught to forgive, they never forget. while the English easily forget and so forgive. For the sake of the Scots, it is hoped that this is not wholly correct.

Forgiveness must involve forgetting, while forgetting an injury must involve forgiving. But. as in forgiving. so in forgetting. the will is concerned, whence the alleged action of the English seems the more commendable. However, it is very nice of Sir Robert to be so kind to us.

At first, it is rather puzzling why Sir Robert, out of his abundant store. has chosen for immortality the decidedly mixed bag that he has done. The majority of his friends selected are unknown outside a limited circle. though a few are of international repute.

Actually. this does not matter. since the interest lies in Sir Robert's own reactions to those about whom he writes and the circumstance of his contacts with them. With 'his customary facility, he uses these circumstances to interpolate. or slyly suggest, comments and opinions on the political. social. and sporting atmosphere of the times through which he has lived.

These comments are of much more than passing interest. A very C njoyable book, stimulating thought in the thoughtful reader.




blog comments powered by Disqus