He cut, as they say, a striking rather than handsome figure: tall, without the required chiseled proportions; icy blue eyes, which shifted rather than stared; lips too full, face too pale, nose too round for a female’s fancy; with a great shock of salt-and-pepper hair, more fitting to a well-seasoned philosophy professor than an idealistic thirty-something trying to be taken seriously. His physical appearance was made irrelevant, however, when he opened his mouth and began to speak. The stereotypically Irish gift of gab had passed in abundance from his ancestors, to settle, nay, ignite in his own personality. The warm, round brogue of — County resonated as strongly and fervently as his words. He spoke of people, politics, morals and men, in terms of absolutes, ambitions, ideals, and principles. His absolutes were divine absolutes of God and reality; his ideals those of a patriot-martyr; his ambitions, the ambitions of a romantic or transcendentalist; his principles, the principles of a man with no practical application or experience whatsoever. Unlike the kindly Protestant or the diplomatic atheist, who base their lives on the virtues of skeptical reason and irrational skepticism respectively, this man based his life on the unshakable belief in his Faith — with the emphasis on ‘his.’


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