Found in translation

I find it hard to part with books and have several old texts from my school days. One such is a book of French Translation Passages. It dates from the late 1960s and when I found it again recently I flicked through to an extract that has come to mind several times over the years since.
I have the book beside me now, open at Passage #42, relating to the writer, Anatole France.
The extract appeals to me. In summary it refers to a charming, greying man, nearly 70 but with a young disposition. Someone whose age suited him and who in the salon preferred to give way rather than argue.
Described as a seductive speaker, drawing on literary references, he disliked stubborn, argumentative people, saying about them : - They think it is important to be right!
That sounds to me now like good role model behaviour. I wonder if I also thought that as the 17-year old translating the piece for the first time.
As I engaged in the lengthy, technical process of translation back then I wonder if those descriptions of Anatole France slipped under the radar to find a home in my unconscious mind where they continue to play their part in formulating my present day values and beliefs. A one time learning that has lasted for life.
The material for translation was selected from Rosny, JH. (1927) Mémoires de la Vie Littéraire, Crès, Paris. It has a new lease of life with an electronic makeover. My search engine has just turned it up as an e-book and I had no difficulty locating the extract on Anatole France!
The translation book, on the other hand, is showing signs of age now.
Its age suits it.

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