By Daniel R. Schwarz (auth.)
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Additional resources for Disraeli’s Fiction
8-9). When as a youngster he encounters Christiana, his imagination transforms the adolescent girl into a private myth: she 'was the heroine of all my sports. Now I had indeed a princess' (I, iv, p. 12). Transforming her into a character within his own world is a prelude to his creating a fantasy love who will not have other commitments and interests. He names this woman 'Egeria', after the mythical advisor of Numa Pompilius; the psychological cause of this vision is his realisation that Christiana was kindly to other people, including a boy two years older than he.
But where are now my deeds and aspirations, and where the fame I dreamed of when a boy? I find the world just slipping through my fingers, and cannot grasp the jewel ere it falls. I quit on earth, where none will ever miss me, save those whose blood requires no laurels to make them love my memory. My life has been a blunder and a blank, and all ends by my adding one more slight ghost to the shadowy realm of fatal precocity! These are the rubs that make us feel the vanity of life the littleness of man.
Disraeli's political philosophy was often based less upon principles than upon the belief that he could act in the best interest of those less perspicacious, intelligent and informed than himself. He believed that the 'natural aristocracy' of ability had the responsibility to lead and to do so in ways that served the interests of the entire people rather than the special interests of privileged classes. His portrait of Contarini's father is almost prophetic of the kinds of things that were later written ofDisraeli himself after he emerged as a commanding political figure: His character ...