A Book of Scoundrels

Front Cover
1st World Publishing, May 15, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 208 pages
0 Reviews
There are other manifestations of greatness than to relieve suffering or to wreck an empire. Julius Caesar and John Howard are not the only heroes who have smiled upon the world. In the supreme adaptation of means to an end there is a constant nobility, for neither ambition nor virtue is the essential of a perfect action. How shall you contemplate with indifference the career of an artist whom genius or good guidance has compelled to exercise his peculiar skill, to indulge his finer aptitudes? A masterly theft rises in its claim to respect high above the reprobation of the moralist. The scoundrel, when once justice is quit of him, has a right to be appraised by his actions, not by their effect; and he dies secure in the knowledge that he is commonly more distinguished, if he be less loved, than his virtuous contemporaries. While murder is wellnigh as old as life, property and the pocket invented theft, late-born among the arts. It was not until avarice had devised many a cunning trick for the protection of wealth, until civilisation had multiplied the forms of portable property, that thieving became a liberal and an elegant profession. True, in pastoral society, the lawless man was eager to lift cattle, to break down the barrier between robbery and warfare. But the contrast is as sharp between the savagery of the ancient reiver and the polished performance of Captain Hind as between the daub of the pavement and the perfection of Velasquez.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

I
9
II
41
III
54
IV
68
VI
76
VIII
80
IX
89
X
98
XVIII
134
XX
138
XXI
142
XXII
151
XXIII
161
XXV
170
XXVII
173
XXVIII
181

XII
106
XIV
111
XV
120
XVI
126
XXX
190
XXXII
193
XXXIII
199
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

Bibliographic information