Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Suffering Fools

Here they met a quite different Aleksandr Petrovich, who declared from the very start that, where hitherto he had demanded their mere wit, now he would demand their highest intelligence - not the intelligence which can make fun of a fool and hold him up to ridicule, but that which can suffer any insult, can suffer a fool - and feel no irritation. Now he started to demand of them what others demand from children. It was this he called intelligence of the highest order. To be able, in the face of every possible disappointment, to preserve the sublime calm in which man should remain in perpetuity - that is what he called intelligence.
- Nikolai Vasilevich Gogol, "Dead Souls: A Poem"