Joe McElderry – Shuddering nonentity from the north-east.
“Without the cathedral, Kingsbridge would be nothing, the priory would sink back into obscurity, and Philip would once again be a nonentity, which is what he deserves.”
His nonentity was a source of regret to us: we lamented to see a tall handsome youth, destined to rule over his fellow-men, trembling at the eight of a horse, and wasting his time in the game of hide-and-seek, or at leap-frog and whose whole information consisted in knowing his prayers, and in saying grace before and after meals.
What the rationalist calls nonentity is the substrate and locus of all ideas, having the obstinate reality of matter, the crushing irrationality of existence itself; and one who attempts to override it becomes to that extent an irrelevant rhapsodist, dealing with thin after-images of being.
He has been brought up to understand that to be a Duke is not to be a titled nonentity or a pampered _roué_, but to be one whom Providence has blessed with an opportunity of benefiting and watching over the welfare of those less fortunate than himself in the world's good gifts.