A HERMIT IN THE HIMALAYAS
the "happy ever after" note, but rather with the Buddhist's philoso-
phic appraisal of mundane existence as being well-blent with
sorrow, thus betraying the profound pessimism in Chaplin's inner
being, those poor people know well that the former is but a false
note struck by fiction-writers rather than realists. The little shadow-
Jgure of the funny pranks, who greets every major misfortune with a
whimsical raising of his shoulders, helps them towards a light-
hearted fatalism as exquisite as are his hands.
So every cinema theatre may fulfil its mission as a place wherein
to spend a couple of hours happily, free from the oppressions of
care and the burdens of cogitation, released from the doubts and
difficulties which cling like unwanted barnacles to the ship of
I once stayed at a Continental country house where, not long
before, Chaplin had himself been a guest. His signed portrait stood
on the drawing-room piano. After I tried to pour out my tribute to
his genius, my hostess admitted his gifts but retorted with the
accusation, "But he is a Bolshevik!"
It appeared that his conversations revealed his deep interest
in the subject of economics, as well as in the immense revolution
which has been wrought out in the vicinity of Moscow's Kremlin.
*-As a matter of fact,* I do not think she was quite correct, for her
personal fears of the Bolshevik forces which menaced her country
caused her to see flaring red when the actual colour was only a mild
pink. Chaplin is too much of an individualist and too great an artist
to be fit prey for the doctrines of State Socialism. The evidences of
his individuality, his strength and his uniqueness, a^e shown by the
fact that whereas almost the whole moving picture world has
submitted to the supremacy of talkies, he stands away alone and
keeps the flag of speechless films still fluttering.
But whatever his political views, whatever his economic views
may be, his simple unpretentious manners, his sensitive modest
disposition in private life tell us plainly that he has not been spoilt
by success upon the fevered heights of Hollywood, as so many
other actors often are.
Alas, that life without love is incomplete! Man and woman
need one another. We are not disposed to enter the chill arena of
. Unfortunate in marriage though he has been, the fault lay