Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Read today, while commuting to work, among the endless chatter of my fellow commuters, a beautiful story `Home' by Anton Chekhov. An advocate comes home in the evening and is informed by the governess of his 7 year old son that she has noticed his son smoking. The rest of the story deals with how a father is unable to convince his son that smoking is bad. Until in the end it is bedtime for his son and as usual he tell him a story, which he usually improvises, like most fathers. In that story the emperor's son, who was just twenty, was a good boy, but had a bad fault of smoking, dies because of smoking. The advocate son shudders on hearing this and vows that he will never smoke again. These lines from the story are really good: Medicine should be sweet, truth beautiful, and man has had this foolish habit since the days of Adam . . . though, indeed, perhaps it is all natural, and ought to be so. . . . There are many deceptions and delusions in nature that serve a purpose." Very true. You can read this story, which is on-line.