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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

Titles and Subjects             235

The Moral Painter
A Tale of Double Personality

Once upon a time there was a painter who divided his
life into two halves; in the cne half he painted pot-boilers
for the market, setting every consideration aside except
that of doing for his master, the public, something for which
he could get paid the money on which he lived. He was
great at floods and never looked at nature except in order
to see what would make most show with least expense.
On the whole he found nothing so cheap to make and easy
to sell as veiled heads.

The other half of his time he studied and painted with
the sincerity of Giovanni Bellini, Rembrandt, Holbein or
De Hooghe. He was then his own master and thought
only of doing his work as well as he could, regardless of
whether it would bring him anything but debt and abuse
or not. He gave his best without receiving so much as
thanks.

He avoided the temptation of telling either half about
the other.

Two Writers

One left little or nothing about himself and the world
complained that it was puzzled. Another, mindful of this,
left copious details about himself, whereon the world said
that it was even more puzzled about him than about the
man who had left nothing, till presently it found out that
it was also bored, and troubled itself no more about either.

The Archbishop of Heligoland

The Archbishop of Heligoland believes his faith, and it
.Tiakes him so unhappy that he finds it impossible to advise
any one to accept it. He summons the Devil, makes a compact
with him and is relieved by being made to see that there was
nothing in itó-whereon he is very good and happy and leads
a most beneficent life, but is haunted by the thought that on
his death the Devil will claim his bond. This terror grows