Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What Company Is For

From Mark Van Doren (recalling his friendship with Joseph Wood Krutch), The Autobiography of Mark Van Doren. New York: Greenwood Press, 1968—

The important thing was that we had a great deal to say to each other, and that each was really interested in what the other said; also, that each was eager to speak when it came to his turn, and was confident that what he said would be worth hearing. We like those who inspire us to talk well, to talk indeed our best, which in their presence becomes something better than it ever was before, so that it surprises and delights us too. We like least those persons in whose presence we are dull. For we can be either, and company brings it out; this is what company is for.