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Gift of 

Mrs. William Budge 


1 ■'-.> *■ ■-"^•A* 


Gift of 

Mrs. William Budge 






The Death of the Lion 


A Defence of Cosmetics 

Irremediable . 

The Frontier . 

Night on Curbar Edge 

A Sentimental Cellar 

Stella Maris . 


A Broken Loo king-Glass 

Alere Flam mam 

A Dream of November 

The Dedication 

A Lost Masterpiece . 

Reticence in Literature 

Modern Melodrama 

The Love-Story of Luig' 
Tansillo . 

XXI. The Fool's Hoi 

By Henry James . 

Richard Le Gallien 
Max Beerbohm 
Arthur Christopher 
Ella D'Arcy . 

William Watson 

George Saints bury 
Arthur Symons 

Edmund Gosse 

Fred M. Simpson 
George Egerton 
Arthur Waugh 
Hubert Crackanthorpc 

John Davidson 

Richard Garnett, LL.D. 
John Oliver Hobbcs 

Benson 83 

d George Moore 

The Yellow Book— Vol. I.— April, 1894 


I. A Study 

II. L'Education Sentimcntale 

III. Le Puy en Vclay . 

IV. The Old Oxford Music 

Hall ... 

V. Portrait of a Gentleman . 
VI. The Reflected Faun 
VII. Night Piece . 

By Sir Frederic Lcighton, 

P.R.A. Frontispiece 

Aubrey Beardsley . Page 55 
Joseph Penncll . 63 

VIII. A Study 


IX. Portrait of a Lady . 

X. Portrait of Mrs. Patrick) 
Campbell . . ) 

XI. The Head of Minos 

XII. Portrait of a Lady . 

XIII. A Lady Reading . 

XIV A Book Plate 
XV. A Book Plate 

Walter Sickert 

Will Rothcnstein 
Laurence Housman . 
Aubrey Beardsley 
Sir Frederic Lcighton 

Will Rothenstein 

Aubrey Beardsley . 

J. T. Nettleship 
Charles W. Fursc 
Walter Sickert 
Aubrey Beardsley 
R. Anning Bell 

1 1 1 









4* <r\& 

A Study 

By Sir Frederic Leighton, P.R.A. 

Ripr;Autt,i by ike Swum Eliitric E»g it r uh i g CimfmiJ 


I he Yellow rJook 

An Illustrated Quarterly 

Volume I April 18 

London : Elkin Mathews & 

John Lane 
Boston : Copeland &r Day 
Agents for the Colonies : Robt. 

A Thompson & Co. 

The Death of the Lion 

By Henry James 

I had simply, I suppose, a change of heart, and it must have 
begun when I received my manuscript back from Mr. Pinhorn. 
Mr. Pinhorn was my " chief," as he was called in the office : he 
had accepted the high mission of bringing the paper up. This 
was a weekly periodical, and had been supposed to be almost past 
redemption when he took hold of it. It was Mr. Deedy who had 
let it down so dreadfully — he was never mentioned in the office 
now save in connection with that misdemeanour. Young as I 
was I had been in a mariner taken over from Mr. Deedy, who 
had been owner as well as editor ; forming part of a promiscuous 
lot, mainly plant and office- furniture, which poor Mrs. Deedy, in 
her bereavement and depression, parted with at a rough valuation. 
I could account for my continuity only on the supposition that 
I had been cheap. I rather resented the practice of fathering 
all flatness on my late protector, who was in his unhonoured 
grave ; but as I had my way to make I found matter enough for 
complacency in being on a " staff. " At the same time I was 
aware that I was exposed to suspicion as a product of the old 
lowering system. This made me feel that I was doubly bound to 

8 The Death of the Lion 

have ideas, and had doubtless been at the bottom of my proposing 
to Mr. Pinhorn that I should lay my lean hands on Neil Paraday. 
I remember that he looked at me first as if he had never heard of 
this celebrity, who indeed at that moment was by no means in the 
middle of the heavens ; and even when I had knowingly explained 
he expressed but little confidence in the demand for any such 
matter. When I had reminded him that the great principle on 
which we were supposed to work was just to create the demand 
we required, he considered a moment and then rejoined : a I see ; 
you want to write him up." 

« Call it that if you like." 

u And what's your inducement ? " 

u Bless my soul — my admiration ! " 

Mr. Pinhorn pursed up his mouth. " Is there much to be done 
with him ? " 

"Whatever there is, we should have it all to ourselves, for he 
hasn't been touched." 

This argument was effective, and Mr. Pinhorn responded : 
"Very well, touch him." Then he added : <c But where can you 

« Under the fifth rib ! " I laughed. 

Mr. Pinhorn stared. " Where's that ? " 

" You want me to go down and see him ? " I inquired, when I 
had enjoyed his visible search for this obscure suburb. 

a I don't 'want' anything — the proposal's your own. But you 
must remember that that's the way we do things now" said Mr. 
Pinhorn, with another dig at Mr. Deedy. 

Unregenerate as I was, I could read the queer implications of 
this speech. The present owner's superior virtue as well as his 
deeper craft spoke in his reference to the late editor as one of 
that baser sort who deal in false representations. Mr. Deedy 


By Henry James g 

would as soon have sent me to call on Neil Paraday as he would 
have published a "holiday-number ;" but such scruples presented 
themselves as mere ignoble thrift to his successor, whose own 
sincerity took the form of ringing door-bells and whose definition 
of genius was the art of rinding people at home. It was as if Mr. 
Deedy had published reports without his young men's having, as 
Mr. Pinhorn would have said, really been there. I was unre- 
generate, as I have hinted, and I was not concerned to straighten 
out the journalistic morals of my chief, feeling them indeed to be 
an abyss over the edge of which it was better not to peer. Really 
to be there this time moreover was a vision that made the idea of 
writing something subtle about Neil Paraday only the more 
inspiring. 1 would be as considerate as even Mr. Deedy could 
have wished, and yet I should be as present as only Mr. Pinhorn 
could conceive. My allusion to the sequestered manner in which 
Mr. Paraday lived (which had formed part of my explanation, 
though I knew of it only by hearsay) was, I could divine, very 
much what had made Mr. Pinhorn bite. It struck him as in- 
consistent with the success of his paper that any one should be so 
sequestered as that. Moreover, was not an immediate exposure of 
everything just what the public wanted ? Mr. Pinhorn effectually 
called me to order by reminding me of the promptness with which 
I had met Miss Braby at Liverpool, on her return from her fiasco in 
the States. Hadn't we published, while its freshness and flavour 
were unimpaired, Miss Braby's own version of that great inter- 
national episode ? I felt somewhat uneasy at this coupling of the 
actress and the author, and I confess that after having enlisted Mr. 
Pinhorn's sympathies I procrastinated a little. I had succeeded 
better than I wished, and I had, as it happened, work nearer at 
hand. A few days later I called on Lord Crouchley and carried 
off in triumph the most unintelligible statement that had yet 


io The Death of the Lion 

appeared of his lordship's reasons for his change of front. I thus 
set in motion in the daily papers columns of virtuous verbiage. 
The following week I ran down to Brighton for a chat, as Mr. 
Pinhorn called it, with Mrs. Bounder, who gave me, on the 
subject of her divorce, many curious particulars that had not been 
articulated in court. If ever an article flowed from the prima) 
fount it was that article on Mrs. Bounder. By this time, however, 
I became aware that Neil Paraday's new book was on the point of 
appearing, and that its approach had been the ground of my 
original appeal to Mr. Pinhorn, who was now annoyed with me 
for having lost so many days. He bundled me off — we would at 
least not lose another. I have always though his sudden alertness a 
remarkable example of the journalistic instinct. Nothing had 
occurred, since I first spoke to him, to create a visible urgency, 
and no enlightenment could possibly have reached him. It was a 
pure case of professional flair — he had smelt the coming glory as 
an animal smells its distant prey. 


I may as well say at once that this little record pretends in no 
degree to be a picture either of my introduction to Mr. Paraday 
or of certain proximate steps and stages. The scheme of my 
narrative allows no space for these things and in any case a pro- 
hibitory sentiment would be attached to my recollection of so rare 
an hour. These meagre notes are essentially private, and if they 
see the light the insidious forces that, as my story itself shows, 
make at present for publicity will simply have overmastered my 
precautions. The curtain fell lately enough on the lamentable 


By Henry James 1 1 

drama. My memory of the day I alighted at Mr. Paraday's door 
is a fresh memory of kindness, hospitality, compassion, and of the 
wonderful illuminating talk in which the welcome was conveyed. 
Some voice of the air had taught me the right moment,* the 
moment of his life at which an act of unexpected young allegiance 
might most come home. He had recently recovered from a long, 
grave illness. I had gone to the neighbouring inn for the night, 
but I spent the evening in his company, and he insisted the next 
day on my sleeping under his roof. I had not an indefinite leave : 
Mr. Pinhorn supposed us to put our victims through on the 
gallop. It was later, in the office, that the step was elaborated 
and regulated. I fortified myself however, as my training had 
taught me to do, by the conviction that nothing could be more 
advantageous for my article than to be written in the very atmo- 
sphere. I said nothing to Mr. Paraday about it, but in the 
morning, after my removal from the inn, while he was occupied in 
his study, as he had notified me that he should need to be, I com- 
mitted to paper the quintessence of my impressions. Then 
thinking to commend myself to Mr. Pinhorn by my celerity, I 
walked out and posted my little packet before luncheon. Once 
my paper was written I was free to stay on, and if it was designed 
to divert attention from my frivolity in so doing I could reflect 
with satisfaction that I had never been so clever. I don't mean to 
deny of course that I was aware it was much too good for Mr. 
Pinhorn ; but I was equally conscious that Mr. Pinhorn had the 
supreme shrewdness of recognising from time to time the cases in 
which an article was not too bad only because it was too good. 
There was nothing he loved so much as to print on the right 
occasion a thing he hated. I had begun my visit to Mr. Paraday 
on a Monday, and on the Wednesday his book came out. A copy 
of it arrived by the first post, and he let me go out into the garden 


12 The Death of the Lion 

with it immediately after breakfast. I read it from beginning to 
end that day, and in the evening he asked me to remain with him 
the rest of the week and over the Sunday. 

That night my manuscript came back from Mr. Pinhorn, 
accompanied with a letter, of which the gist was the desire to 
know what I meant by sending him such stuff. That was the 
meaning of the question, if not exactly its form, and it made my 
mistake immense to me. Such as this mistake was I could now 
only look it in the face and accept it. I knew where I had failed, 
but it was exactly where I couldn't have succeeded. I had been 
sent down there to be personal, and in point of fact I hadn't been 
personal at all : what I had sent up to London was merely a little 
finicking, feverish study of my author's talent. Anything less 
relevant to Mr. Pinhorn's purpose couldn't well be imagined, and 
he was visibly angry at my having (at his expense, with a second- 
class ticket) approached the object of our arrangement only to be 
so deucedly distant. For myself, I knew but too well what had 
happened, and how a miracle — as pretty as some old miracle of 
legend — had been wrought on the spot to save me. There had 
been a big brush of wings, the flash of an opaline robe, and then, 
with a great cool stir of the air, the sense of an angel's having 
swooped down and caught me to his bosom. He held me only 
till the danger was over, and it all took place in a minute. With 
my manuscript back on my hands I understood the phenomenon 
better, and the reflections I made on it are what I meant, at the 
beginning of this anecdote, by my change of heart. Mr. Pinhorn's 
note was not only a rebuke decidedly stern, but an invitation 
immediately to send him (it was the case to say so) the genuine 
article, the revealing and reverberating sketch to the promise of 
which — and of which alone — I owed my squandered privilege. A 
week or two later I recast my peccant paper, and giving it a 


By Henry James 1 3 

particular application to Mr. Faraday's new book, obtained for it 
the hospitality of another journal, where, I must admit, Mr. Pin- 
horn was so far justified that it attracted not the least attention. 

I was frankly, at the end of three days, a very prejudiced critic, 
so that one morning when, in the garden, Neil Paraday had 
offered to read me something I quite held my breath as I listened. 
It was the written scheme of another book — something he had 
put aside long ago, before his illness, and lately taken out again to 
reconsider. He had been turning it round when I came down 
upon him, and it had grown magnificently under this second 
hand. Loose, liberal, confident, it might have passed for a great 
gossiping, eloquent letter — the overflow into talk of an artist's 
amorous plan. The subject I thought singularly rich, quite the 
strongest he had yet treated ; and this familiar statement of it, full 
too of fine maturities, was really, in summarised splendour, a mine 
of gold, a precious, independent work. I remember rather pro- 
fanely wondering whether the ultimate production could possibly 
be so happy. His reading of the epistle, at any rate, made me 
feel as if I were, for the advantage of posterity, in close corre- 
spondence with him — were the distinguished person to whom it had 
been affectionately addressed. It was high distinction simply to 
be told such things. The idea he now communicated had all the 
freshness, the flushed fairness of the conception untouched and 
untried : it was Venus rising from the sea, before the airs had 
blown upon her. I had never been so throbbingly present at such 
an unveiling. But when he had tossed the last bright word after 


14 The Death of the Lion 

the others, as I had seen cashiers in banks, weighing mounds of 
coin, drop a final sovereign into the tray, I became conscious of a 
sudden prudent alarm. 

" My dear master, how, after all, are you going to do it ? " I 
asked. " It's infinitely noble, but what time it will take, what 
patience and independence, what assured, what perfect conditions 
it will demand ! Oh for a lone isle in a tepid sea ! " 

" Isn't this practically a lone isle, and aren't you, as an encircling 
medium, tepid enough ? " he replied ; alluding with a laugh to the 
wonder of my young admiration and the narrow limits of his little 
provincial home. u Time isn't what I've lacked hitherto : the 
question hasn't been to find it, but to use it. Of course my 
illness made a great hole, but I daresay there would have been a 
hole at any rate. The earth we tread has more pockets than a 
billiard-table. The great thing is now to keep on my feet." 

" That's exactly what I mean." 

Neil Paraday looked at me with eyes — such pleasant eyes as he 
had — in which, as I now recall their expression, I seem to have 
seen a dim imagination of his fate. He was fifty years old, and 
his illness had been cruel, his convalescence slow. "It isn't as if 
I weren't all right." 

" Oh, if you weren't all right I wouldn't look at you ! " I 
tenderly said. 

We had both got up, quickened by the full sound of it all, and 
he had lighted a cigarette. I had taken a fresh one, and, with an 
intenser smile, by way of answer to my exclamation, he touched it 
with the flame of his match. " If I weren't better I shouldn't 
have thought of that ! " He flourished his epistle in his hand. 

"I don't want to be discouraging, but that's not true," I re- 
turned. " I'm sure that during the months you lay here in pain 
you had visitations sublime. You thought of a thousand things. 



By Henry James 15 

You think of more and more all the while. That's what makes 
you, if you will pardon my familiarity, so respectable. At a time 
when so many people are spent you come into your second wind. 
But, thank God, all the same, you're better ! Thank God, too, 
you're not, as you were telling me yesterday, ' successful.' If you 
weren't a failure, what would be the use of trying ? That's my 
one reserve on the subject of your recovery— that it makes you 
'score,' as the newspapers say. It looks well in the newspapers, 
and almost anything that does that is horrible. ' We are happy 
to announce that Mr. Paraday, the celebrated author, is again in 
the enjoyment of excellent health.' Somehow I shouldn't like to 
see it." 

" You won't see it ; I'm not in the least celebrated — my 
obscurity protects me. But couldn't you bear even to see I was 
dying or dead ? " my companion asked. 

"Dead — faste encore; there's nothing so safe. One never 
knows what a living artist may do — one has mourned so many. 
However, one must make the worst of it ; you must be as dead as 
you can." 

" Don't I meet that condition in having just published a 

" Adequately, let us hope ; for the book is verily a master- 

At this moment the parlour-maid appeared in the door that 
opened into the garden : Paraday lived at no great cost, and the 
frisk of petticoats, with a timorous " Sherry, sir ? " was about his 
modest mahogany. He allowed half his income to his wife, from 
whom he had succeeded in separating without redundancy of legend. 
I had a general faith in his having behaved well, and I had once, in 
London, taken Mrs. Paraday down to dinner. He now turned to 
speak to the maid, who offered him, on a tray, some card or note, 


1 6 The Death of the Lion 

while agitated, excited, I wandered to the end of the garden. 
The idea of his security became supremely dear to me, and I asked 
myself if I were the same young man who had come down a few 
days before to scatter him to the four winds. When I retraced 
my steps he had gone into the house and the woman (the second 
London post had come in) had placed my letters and a newspaper 
on a bench. I sat down there to the letters, which were a brief 
business, and then, without heeding the address, took the paper 
from its envelope. It was the journal of highest renown, The 
Empire of that morning. It regularly came to Paraday, but I 
remembered that neither of us had yet looked at the copy already 
delivered. This one had a great mark on the " editorial " page, 
and, uncrumpling the wrapper, I saw it to be directed to my host 
and stamped with the name of his publishers. I instantly divined 
that The Empire had spoken of him, and I have not forgotten the 
odd little shock of the circumstance. It checked all eagerness and 
made me drop the paper a moment. As I sat there, conscious of 
a palpitation, I think I had a vision of what was to be. I had 
also a vision of the letter I would presently address to Mr. Pinhorn, 
breaking as it were with Mr. Pinhorn. Of course, however, 
the next minute the voice of The Empire was in my ears. 

The article was not, I thanked Heaven, a review ; it was a 
<c leader,", the last of three, presenting Neil Paraday to the human 
race. His new book, the fifth from his hand, had been but a day 
or two out, and The Empire^ already aware of it, fired, as if on the 
birth of a prince, a salute of a whole column. The guns had been 
booming these three hours in the house without our suspecting 
them. The big blundering newspaper had discovered him, and 
now he was proclaimed and anointed and crowned. His place was 
assigned him as publicly as if a fat usher with a wand had pointed 
to the topmost chair j he was to pass up and still up, higher and 


«-i. , WBBMB 

By Henry James 17 

higher, between the watching faces and the envious sounds — away 
up to the dais and the throne. The article was a date ; he had 
taken rank at a bound — waked up a national glory. A national 
glory was needed, and it was an immense convenience he was there. 
What all this meant rolled over me, and I fear 1 grew a little faint 
— it meant so much more than I could say "yea" to on the spot. 
In a flash, somehow, all was different ; the tremendous wave I 
speak of had swept something away. It had knocked down, I 
suppose, my little customary altar, my twinkling tapers and my 
flowers, and had reared itself into the likeness of a temple vast and 
bare. When Neil Paraday should come out of the house he would 
come out a contemporary. That was what had happened — the 
poor man was to be squeezed into his horrible age. I felt as if 
he had been overtaken on the crest of the hill and brought back 
to the city. A little more and he would have dipped down to 
posterity and escaped. 


When he came out it was exactly as if he had been in custody, 
for beside him walked a stout man with a big black beard, who, 
save that he wore spectacles, might have been a policeman, and 
in whom at a second glance I recognised the highest contemporary 

"This is Mr. Morrow," said Paraday, looking, I thought, 
rather white ; " he wants to publish heaven knows what about 

I winced as I remembered that this was exactly what I myself 
had wanted. " Already ? " I exclaimed, with a sort of sense that 
my friend had fled to me for protection. 

The Yellow Book— Vol. I. B Mr. Morrow 

1 8 The Death of the Lion 

Mr. Morrow glared, agreeably, through his glasses : they 
suggested the electric headlights of some monstrous modern ship, 
and I felt as if Paraday and I were tossing terrified under his 
bows. I saw that his momentum was irresistible. U I was 
confident that I should be the first in the field," he declared. 
a A great interest is naturally felt in Mr. Paraday's surroundings." 

" I hadn't the least idea of it," said Paraday, as if he had been 
told he had been snoring. 

<c I find he has not read the article in The Empire" Mr. Morrow 
remarked to me. " That's so very interesting — it's something to 
start with," he smiled. He had begun to pull off his gloves, 
which were violently new, and to look encouragingly round the 
little garden. As a "surrounding" I felt that I myself had 
already been taken in ; I was a little fish in the stomach of a 
bigger one. " I represent," our visitor continued, c< a syndicate of 
influential journals, no less than thirty-seven, whose public — 
whose publics, I may say — are in peculiar sympathy with Mr. 
Paraday's line of thought. They would greatly appreciate any 
expression of his views on the subject of the art he so brilliantly 
practises. Besides my connection with the syndicate just men- 
tioned, I hold a particular commission from The Tatler, whose 
most prominent department, c Smatter and Chatter' — I daresay 
vou've often enjoyed it — attracts such attention. I was honoured 
only last week, as a representative of The Tatler, with the confi- 
dence of Guy Walsingham, the author of 6 Obsessions.' She 
expressed herself thoroughly pleased with my sketch of her 
method ; she went so far as to say that I had made her genius 
more comprehensible even to herself." 

Neil Paraday had dropped upon the garden-bench and sat there, 
at once detached and confused ; he looked hard at a bare spot in 
the lawn, as if with an anxiety that had suddenly made him grave. 


"- K '.'-' ^- r _ ' 

By Henry James 19 

His movement had been interpreted by his visitor as an invitation 
to sink sympathetically into a wicker chair that stood hard by, 
and as Mr. Morrow so settled himself I felt that he had taken 
official possession and that there was no undoing it. One had 
heard of unfortunate people's having "a man in the house," and 
this was just what we had. There was a silence of a moment, 
during which we seemed to acknowledge in the only way that 
was possible the presence of universal fate ; the sunny stillness 
took no pity, and my thought, as I was sure Paraday's was doing, 
performed within the minute a great distant revolution. I saw 
just how emphatic I should make my rejoinder to Mr. Pinhorn, 
and that having come, like Mr. Morrow, to betray, I must 
remain as long as possible to save. Not because I had brought 
my mind back, but because our visitor's last words were in my 
ear, I presently inquired with gloomy irrelevance if Guy Wals- 
ingham were a woman. 

" Oh yes, a mere pseudonym ; but convenient, you know, for 
a lady who goes in for the larger latitude. ' Obsessions, by Miss 
So-and-So' would look a little odd, but men are more naturally 
indelicate. Havd you peeped into ' Obsessions ' ? " Mr. Morrow 
continued sociably to our companion. 

Paraday, still absent, remote, made no answer, as if he had not 
heard the question : a manifestation that appeared to suit the 
cheerful Mr. Morrow as well as any other. Imperturbably bland, 
he was a man of resources — he only needed to be on the spot. 
He had pocketed the whole poor place while Paraday and I were 
woolgathering, and I could imagine that he had already got his 
" heads." His system, at any rate, was justified by the in- 
evitability with which I replied, to save my friend the trouble : 
" Dear, no ; he hasn't read it. He doesn't read such things 1 " I 
unwarily added. 

" Things 

20 The Death of the Lion 

w Things that are too far over the fence, eh ? " I was indeed a 
godsend to Mr. Morrow. It was the psychological moment ; it 
determined the appearance of his notebook, which, however, he at 
first kept slightly behind him, as the dentist, approaching his 
victim, keeps his horrible forceps. " Mr. Paraday holds with the 
good old proprieties — I see ! " And, thinking of the thirty-seven 
influential journals, I found myself, as I found poor Paraday, help- 
lessly gazing at the promulgation of this ineptitude. " There's 
no point on which distinguished views are so acceptable as on this 
question — raised perhaps more strikingly than ever by Guy Wals- 
ingham — of the permissibility of the larger latitude. I have an 
appointment, precisely in connection with it, next week, with 
Dora Forbes, the author of 'The Other Way Round,' which 
everybody is talking about. Has Mr. Paraday glanced at ' The 
Other Way Round ' ? " Mr. Morrow now frankly appealed to 
me. I took upon myself to repudiate the supposition, while our 
companion, still silent, got up nervously and walked away. His 
visitor paid no heed to his withdrawal ; he only opened out the 
notebook with a more motherly pat. " Dora Forbes, I gather, takes 
the ground, the same as Guy Walsingham's, that the larger 
latitude has simply got to come. He holds that it has got to be 
squarely faced. Of course his sex makes him a less prejudiced 
witness. But an authoritative word from Mr. Paraday — from the 
point of view of his sex, you know — would go right round the 
globe. He takes the line that we havtn't got to face it ? " 

I was bewildered ; it sounded somehow as if there were three 
sexes. My interlocutor's pencil was poised, my private responsi- 
bility great. I simply sat staring, however, and only found 
presence of mind to say : " Is this Miss Forbes a gentleman ? " 

Mr. Morrow hesitated an instant, smiling : " It wouldn't be 
' Miss ' — there's a wife ! " 

M I 

By Henry James 


" I mean is she a man ? " 

" The wife ? "—Mr. Morrow, for a moment, was as confused 
as myself. But when I explained that I alluded to Dora Forbes 
in person he informed me, with visible amusement at my being 
so out of it, that tin's was the "pen-name" of an indubitable male — 
he had a big red moustache. "He only assumes a feminine per- 
sonality because the ladies are such popular favourites. A great 
deal of interest is felt in this assumption, and there's every pro- 
spect of its being widely imitated." Our host at this moment 
joined us again, and Mr. Morrow remarked invitingly that he 
should be happy to make a note of any observation the movement 
in question, the bid for success under a lady's name, might suggest 
to Mr. Paraday. But the poor man, without catching the allu- 
sion, excused himself, pleading that, though he was greatly 
honoured by his visitor's interest, he suddenly felt unwell and 
should have to take leave of him — have to go and tie down and 
keep quiet. His young friend might be trusted to answer for 
him, but he hoped Mr. Morrow didn't expect great things even 
of his young friend. His young friend, at this moment, looked at 
Neil Paraday with an anxious eye, greatly wondering if he were 
doomed to be ill again ; but Paraday's own kind face met his question 
reassuringly, seemed to say in a glance intelligible enough : "Oh, 
I'm not ill, but I'm scared : get him out of the house as quietly 
as possible." Getting newspaper-men out of the house was odd 
business for an emissary of Mr. Pinhorn, and I was so exhilarated 
by the idea of it that I called after him as he left us : 

" Read the article in The Empire^ and you'll soon be all 
right ! " 

22 The Death of the Lion 

<c Delicious my having come down to tell him of it ! " Mr. 
Morrow ejaculated. " My cab was at the door twenty minutes 
after The Empire had been laid upon my breakfast-table. Now 
what have you got for me ? " he continued, dropping again into 
his chair, from which, however, the next moment he quickly 
rose. " I was shown into the drawing-room, but there must be 
more to see — his study, his literary sanctum, the little things he 
has about, or other domestic objects or features. He wouldn't be 
lying down on his study-table ? There's a great interest always 
felt in the scene of an author's labours. Sometimes we're favoured 
with very delightful peeps. Dora Forbes showed me all his table- 
drawers, and almost jammed my hand into one into which I made 
a dash ! I don't ask that of you, but if we could talk things 
over right there where he sits »I feel as if I should get the 

I had no wish whatever to be rude to Mr. Morrow, I was 
much too initiated not to prefer the safety of other ways ; but I 
had a quick inspiration and I entertained an insurmountable, an 
almost superstitious objection to his crossing the threshold of my 
friend's little lonely, shabby, consecrated workshop. u No, no — 
we sha'n't get at his life that way," I said. " The way to get at 
his life is to — But wait a moment ! " I broke off and went 
quickly into the house j then, in three minutes, I reappeared before 
Mi. Morrow with the two volumes of Paraday's new book. 
u His life's here," I went on, "and I'm so full of this admirable 
thing that I can't talk of anything else. The artist's life's his 
work, and this is the place to observe him. What he has to teli 


By Henry James 23 

us he tells us with this perfection. My dear sir, the best inter- 
viewer's the best reader." 

Mr. Morrow good-humouredly protested. " Do you mean to 
say that no other source of information should be open to us ? " 

" None other till this particular one — by far the most copious — 
has been quite exhausted. Have you exhausted it, my dear sir ? 
Had you exhausted it when you came down here ? It seems to 
me in our time almost wholly neglected, and something should 
surely be done to restore its ruined credit. It's the course to 
which the artist himself at every step, and with such pathetic 
confidence, refers us. This last book of Mr. Paraday's is full of 

" Revelations ? " panted Mr. Morrow, whom I had forced 
again into his chair. 

" The only kind that count. It tells you with a perfection that 
seems to me quite final all the author thinks, for instance, about the 
advent of the ' larger latitude.' " 

" Where does it do that ? " asked Mr. Morrow, who had picked 
up the second volume and was insincerely thumbing it. 

" Everywhere — in the whole treatment of his case. Extract the 
opinion, disengage the answer — those are the real acts of homage." 

Mr. Morrow, after a minute, tossed the book away. "Ah, but 
you mustn't take me for a reviewer." 

" Heaven forbid I should take you for anything so dreadful ! 
You came down to perform a little act of sympathy, and so, I 
may confide to you, did I. Let us perform our little act together. 
These pages overflow with the testimony we want : let us read 
them and taste them and interpret them. You will of course 
have perceived for yourself that one scarcely does read Neil 
Paraday till one reads him aloud ; he gives out to the ear an extra- 
ordinary quality, and it's only when you expose it confidently to 


24 The Death of the Lion 

that test that you really get near his style. Take up your book 
again and let me listen, while you pay it out, to that wonderful 
fifteenth chapter. If you feel that you can't do it justice, compose 
yourself to attention while I produce for you — I think I can ! — 
this scarcely less admirable ninth." 

Mr. Morrow gave me a straight glance which was as hard as a 
blow between the eyes ; he had turned rather red and a question had 
formed itself in his mind which reached my sense as distinctly as if 
he had uttered it : a What sort of a damned fool are you ? " Then 
he got up, gathering together his hat and gloves, buttoning his 
coat, projecting hungrily all over the place the big transparency of 
his mask. It seemed to flare over Fleet Street and somehow 
made the actual spot distressingly humble : there was so little for 
it to feed on unless he counted the blisters of our stucco or saw 
his way to do something with the roses. Even the poor roses 
were common kinds. Presently his eyes fell upon the manuscript 
from which Paraday has been reading to me and which still lay on 
the bench. As my own followed them I saw that it looked 
promising, looked pregnant, as if it gently throbbed with the life 
the reader had given it. Mr. Morrow indulged in a nod toward 
it and a vague thrust of his umbrella. a What's that ? " 

" Oh, it's a plan — a secret." 

" A secret ! " There was an instant's silence, and then Mr. 
Morrow made another movement. I may have been mistaken, 
but it affected me as the translated impulse of the desire to lay 
hands on the manuscript, and this led me to indulge in a quick 
anticipatory grab which may very well have seemed ungraceful, or 
even impertinent, and which at any rate left Mr. Paraday's two 
admirers very erect, glaring at each other while one of them held 
a bundle of papers well behind him. An instant later Mr. 
Morrow quitted me abruptly, as if he had really carried some- 

By Henry James 


thing away. To reassure myself, watching his broad back recede, 
I only grasped my manuscript the tighter. He went to the 
back-door of the house, the one he had come out from, but on 
trying the handle he appeared to find it fastened. So he passed 
round into the front garden, and, by listening intently enough, I 
could presently hear the outer gate close behind him with a bang. 
I thought again of the thirty-seven influential journals and 
wondered what would be his revenge, I hasten to add that he was 
magnanimous: which was just the most dreadful thing he could 
have been. The Tatler published a charming, chatty, familiar 
account of Mr. Paraday's " Home-life," and on the wings of the 
thirty-seven influential journals it went, to use Mr. Morrow's own 
expression, right round the globe. 


A week later, early in May, my glorified friend came up to 
town, where, it may be veraciously recorded, he was the king of 
the beasts of the year. No advancement was ever more rapid, no 
exaltation more complete, no bewilderment more teachable. His 
book sold but moderately, though the article in The Empire had 
done unwonted wonders for it ; but he circulated in person in a 
manner that the libraries might well have envied. His formula 
had been found — he was a "revelation." His momentary terror 
had been real, just as mine had been — the overclouding of his 
passionate desire to be left to finish his work. He was far from 
unsociable, but he had the finest conception of being let alone 
that I have ever met. For the time, however, he took his profit 
where it seemed most to crowd upon him, having in his pocket 


26 The Death of the Lion 

the portable sophistries about the nature of the artist's task. 
Observation too was a kind of work and experience a kind of 
success ; London dinners were all material and London ladies 
were fruitful toil. a No one has the faintest conception of what 
I'm trying for," he said to me, "and not many have read three 
pages that I've written ; but they're all enthusiastic, enchanted, 
devoted." He found himself in truth equally amused and fatigued ; 
but the fatigue had the merit of being a new sort, and the phantas- 
magoric town was perhaps after all less of a battlefield than the 
haunted study. He once told me that he had had no personal life 
to speak of since his fortieth year, but had had more than was 
good for him before. London closed the parenthesis and exhibited 
him in relations ; one of the most inevitable of these being that in 
which he found himself to Mrs. Weeks Wimbush, wife of the 
boundless brewer and proprietress of the universal menagerie. 
In this establishment, as everybody knows, on occasions when the 
crush is great, the animals rub shoulders freely with the spectators 
and the lions sit down for whole evenings with the lambs. 

It had been ominously clear to me from the first that in Neil 
Paraday this lady, who, as all the world agreed, was tremendous 
fun, considered that she had secured a prime attraction, a creature 
of almost heraldic oddity. Nothing could exceed her enthusiasm 
over her capture, and nothing could exceed the confused apprehen- 
sions it excited in me. I had an instinctive fear of her which I 
tried without effect to conceal from her victim, but which I let 
her perceive with perfect impunity. Paraday heeded it, but she 
never did, for her conscience was that of a romping child. She was 
a blind, violent force, to which I could attach no more idea of 
responsibility than to the hum of a spinning-top. It was difficult 
to say what she conduced to but to circulation. She was constructed 
of steel and leather, and all I asked of her for our tractable friend 


By Henry James 27 

was not to do him to death. He had consented for a time to be 
of indiarubbcr, but my thoughts were fixed on the day he should 
resume his shape or at least get back into his box. It was 
evidently all right, but I should be glad when it was well over. I 
was simply nervous — the impression was ineffaceable of the hour 
when, after Mr. Morrow's departure, I had found him on the sofa 
in his study. That pretext of indisposition had not in the least 
been meant as a snub to the envoy of The Tatler — he had gone 
to lie down in very truth. He had felt a pang of his old pain, the 
result of the agitation wrought in him by this forcing open of a 
new period. His old programme, his old ideal even had to be 
changed. Say what one would, success was a complication and 
recognition had to be reciprocal. The monastic life, the pious 
illumination of the missal in the convent cell were things of the 
gathered past. It didn't engender despair, but it at least required 
adjustment. Before I left him on that occasion we had passed a 
bargain, my part of which was that I should make it my business 
to take care of him. Let whoever would represent the interest in 
his presence (I had a mystical prevision of Mrs. Weeks Wimbush), 
I should represent the interest in his work — in other words in -his 
absence. These two interests were in their essence opposed ; and 
I doubt, as youth is fleeting, if I shall ever again know the 
intensity of joy with which I felt that in so good a cause I was 
willing to make myself odious. 

One day, in Sloane Street, I found myself questioning Paraday's 
landlord, who had come to the door in answer to my knock. Two 
vehicles, a barouche and a smart hansom, were drawn up before 
the house. 

" In the drawing-room, sir ? Mrs. Weeks Wimbush." 

" And in the dining-room ? " 

" A young lady, sir — waiting : I think a foreigner." 


28 The Death of the Lion 

It was three o'clock, and on days when Paraday didn't lunch 
out he attached a value to these subjugated hours. On which 
days, however, didn't the dear man lunch out ? Mrs. Wimbush, 
at such a crisis, would have rushed round immediately after her 
own repast. I went into the dining-room first, postponing the 
pleasure of seeing how, upstairs, the lady of the barouche would, 
on my arrival, point the moral of my sweet solicitude. No one 
took such an interest as herself in his doing only what was good 
for him, and she was always on the spot to see that he did it. 
She made appointments with him to discuss the best means of 
economising his time and protecting his privacy. She further 
made his health her special business, and had so much sympathy 
with my own zeal for it that she was the author of pleasing 
fictions on the subject of what my devotion had led me to give 
up. I gave up nothing (I don't count Mr. Pinhorn) because I 
had nothing, and all I had as yet achieved was to find myself 
also in the menagerie. I had dashed in to save my friend, but I 
had only got domesticated and wedged ; so that I could do nothing 
for him but exchange with him over people's heads looks of 
intense but futile intelligence. 


The young lady in the dining-room had a brave face, black 
hair, blue eyes, and in her lap a big volume. " I've come for his 
autograph," she said, when I had explained to her that I was 
under bonds to see people for him when he was occupied. "I've 
been waiting half an hour, but I'm prepared to wait all day." I 
don't know whether it was this that told me she was American, 


By Henry James 29 

for the propensity to wait all day is not in general characteristic 
of her race. I was enlightened probably not so much by the 
spirit of the utterance as by some quality of its sound. At any 
rate I saw she had an individual patience and a lovely frock, to- 
gether with an expression that played among her pretty features 
as a breeze among flowers. Putting her book upon the table, she 
showed me a massive album, showily bound and full of autographs 
of price. The collection of faded notes, of still more faded 
" thoughts," of quotations, platitudes, signatures, represented a 
formidable purpose. 

" Most people apply to Mr. Paraday by letter, you know," I said. 

" Yes, but he doesn't answer. I've written three times." 

" Very true," I reflected ; " the sort of letter you mean goes 
straight into the fire." 

" How do you know the sort I mean ? " my interlocutress 
asked. She had blushed and smiled and in a moment she added : 
" I don't believe he gets many like them ! " 

" I'm sure they're beautiful, but he burns without reading." I 
didn't add that I had told him he ought to. 

" Isn't he then in danger of burning things of importance ? " 

" He would be, if distinguished men hadn't an infallible nose for 
a petition." 

She looked at me a moment — her face was sweet and gay. 
" Do you burn without reading, too ? " she asked ; in answer to 
which I assured her that if she would trust me with her repository 
I would see that Mr. Paraday should write his name in it. 

She considered a little. "That's very well, but it wouldn't 
make me see him." 

" Do you want very much to see him ? " \ It seemed ungracious 
to catechise so charming a creature, but somehow I had never yet 
taken my duty to the great author so seriously. 

w Enough 

30 The Death of the Lion 

" Enough to have come from America for the purpose." 

I stared. " All alone ? " 

a I don't see that that's exactly your business ; but if it will 
make me more appealing I will confess that I'm quite by myself. 
I had to come alone or not at all." 

She was interesting ; I could imagine that she had lost parents, 
natural protectors — could conceive even that she had inherited 
money. I was in a phase of my own fortunes when keeping 
hansoms at doors seemed to me pure swagger. As a trick of 
this frank and delicate girl, however, it became romantic — a part 
of the general romance of her freedom, her errand, her innocence. 
The confidence of young Americans was notorious, and I speedily 
arrived at a conviction that no impulse could have been more 
generous than the impulse that had operated here. I foresaw at 
that moment that it would make her my peculiar charge, just as cir- 
cumstances had made Neil Paraday. She would be another person 
to look after, and one's honour would be concerned in guiding her 
straight. These things became clearer to me later ; at the 
instant I had scepticism enough to observe to her, as I turned the 
pages of her volume, that her net had, all the same, caught many a 
big fish. She appeared to have had fruitful access to the great 
ones of the earth j there were people moreover whose signatures 
she had presumably secured without a personal interview. She 
couldn't have waylaid George Washington and Friedrich Schiller 
and Hannah More. She met this argument, to my surprise, by 
throwing up the album without a pang. It wasn't even her own $ 
she was responsible for none of its treasures. It belonged to a 
girl-friend in America, a young lady in a western city. This 
young lady had insisted on her bringing it, to pick up more auto- 
graphs : she thought they might like to see, in Europe, in what 
company they would be. The "girl-friend," the western city, 


By Henry James 31 

the immortal names, the curious errand, the idyllic faith, all made 
a story as strange to me, and as beguiling, as some tale in the 
Arabian Nights. Thus it was that my informant had encum- 
bered herself with the ponderous tome ; but she hastened to assure 
me that this was the first time she had brought it out. For her 
visit to Mr. Paraday it had simply been a pretext. She didn't 
really care a straw that he should write his name ; what she did 
want was to look straight into his face. 

I demurred a little, " And why do you require to do that ? " 

" Because I just love him ! " Before I could recover from the 
agitating effect of this crystal ring my companion had continued : 
*' Hasn't there ever been any face that you've wanted to look 
into ? " 

How could I tell her so soon how much I appreciated the 
opportunity of looking into hers ? I could only assent in general 
to the proposition that there were certainly for every one such 
faces j and I felt that the crisis demanded all my lucidity, all my 
wisdom. "Oh, yes, I'm a student of physiognomy. Do you 
mean," I pursued, "that you've a passion for Mr. Paraday's 
books ? " 

"They've been everything to me — I know them by heart. 
They've completely taken hold of me. There's no author about 
whom I feel as I do about Neil Paraday," 

" Permit me to remark then," I presently rejoined, " that 
you're one of the right sort." 

" One of the enthusiasts ? Of course I am ! " 

"Oh, there are enthusiasts who are quite of the wrong. I 
mean you're one of those to whom an appeal can be made." 

" An appeal ? " Her face lighted as if with the chance of some 
great sacrifice. 

If she was ready for one it was only waiting for her, and in a 


32 The Death of the Lion 

moment I mentioned it. " Give up this rigid purpose of seeing 
him. Go away without it. That will be far better." 

She looked mystified; then she turned visibly pale. "Why, 
hasn't he any personal charm ? " The girl was terrible and laugh- 
able in her bright directness. 

"Ah, that dreadful word 'personal'!" I exclaimed; "we're 
dying of it, and you women bring it out with murderous effect. 
When you encounter a genius as fine as this idol of ours, let him 
off" the dreary duty of being a personality as well. Know him 
only by what's best in him, and spare him for the same sweet 

My young lady continued to look at me in confusion and mis- 
trust, and the result of her reflection on what I had just said 
was to make her suddenly break out : " Look here, sir — what's the 
matter with him ? " 

" The matter with him is that, if he doesn't look out, people 
will eat a great hole in his life." 

She considered a moment. " He hasn't any disfigurement ? " 

" Nothing to speak of! " 

" Do you mean that social engagements interfere with his occu- 
pations ? " 

" That but feebly expresses it." 

"So that he can't give himself up to his beautiful imagin- 
ation ? " 

"He's badgered, bothered, overwhelmed, on the pretext of 
being applauded. People expect him to give them his time, his 
golden time, who wouldn't themselves give five shillings for one of 
his books." 

" Five ? I'd give five thousand ! " 

" Give your sympathy — give your forbearance. Two-thirds of 
those who approach him only do it to advertise themselves." 

" Why, 

By Henry James 33 

"Why, it's too bad!" the girl exclaimed, with the face of an 

I followed up my advantage. "There's a lady with him now 
who's a terrible complication, and who yet hasn't read, I am sure, 
ten pages that he ever wrote." 

My visitor's wide eyes grew tenderer, " Then how does she 
talk ?" 

" Without ceasing. I only mention her as a single case. Do 
you want to know how to show a superlative consideration ? 
Simply avoid him." 

" Avoid him ? " she softly wailed. 

" Don't force him to have to take account of you ; admire him 
in silence, cultivate him at a distance and secretly appropriate his 
message. Do you want to know," I continued, warming to 
my idea, " how to perform an act of homage really sublime ? " 
Then as she hung on my words: "Succeed in never seeing 
him ! " 

" Never ? " she pathetically gasped. 

"The more you get into his writings the less you'll want to j 
and you'll be immensely sustained by the thought of the good 
you're doing him." 

She looked at me without resentment or spite, and at the truth 
I had put before her with candour, credulity and pity. I was 
afterwards happy to remember that she must have recognised in 
my face the liveliness of my interest in herself. " I think I see 


you r 

" Oh, I express it badly ; but I should be delighted if you would 
let me come to see you — to explain it better." 

She made no response to this, and her thoughtful eyes fell on 
the big album, on which she presently laid her hands as if to take 
it away. " I did use to say out West that they might write a little 

The Yellow Book— Vol. I. c less 

34 The Death of the Lion 

less for autographs (to all the great poets, you know) and study 
the thoughts and style a little more." 

tt What do they care for the thoughts and style ? They didn't 
even understand you. I'm not sure," I added, " that I do myself, 
and I daresay that you by no means make me out." She had got 
up to go, and though I wanted her to succeed in not seeing Neil 
Paraday I wanted her also, inconsequently, to remain in the house. 
I was at any rate far from desiring to hustle her off. As Mrs. 
Weeks Wimbush, upstairs, was still saving our friend in her own 
way, I asked my young lady to let me briefly relate, in illustration 
of my point, the little incident of my having gone down into the 
country for a profane purpose and been converted on the spot to 
holiness. Sinking again into her chair to listen, she showed a deep 
interest in the anecdote. Then thinking it over gravely, she ex- 
claimed with her odd intonation : 

a Yes, but you do see him ! " I had to admit that this was the 
case -, and I was not so prepared with an effective attenuation as I 
could have wished. She eased the situation off, however, by the 
charming quaintness with which she finally said : " Well, I 
wouldn't want him to be lonely ! " This time she rose in earnest, 
but I persuaded her to let me keep the album to show to Mr. 
Paraday. I assured her I would bring it back to her myself. 
"Well, you'll find my address somewhere in it, on a paper ! " she 
sighed resignedly, as she took leave. 


I blush to confess it, but I invited Mr. Paraday that very day 
to transcribe into the album one of his most characteristic passages. 

I told 

By Henry James 35 

I told him how I had got rid of the strange girl who had brought 
it — her ominous name was Miss Hurter and she lived at an hotel j 
quite agreeing with him moreover as to the wisdom of getting 
rid with equal promptitude of the book itself. This was why I 
carried it to Albemarle Street no later than on the morrow. I 
failed to find her at home, but she wrote to me and I went again : 
she wanted so much to hear more about Neil Paraday. I returned 
repeatedly, I may briefly declare, to supply her with this informa- 
tion. She had been immensely taken, the more she thought of it, 
with that idea of mine about the act of homage : it had ended by 
filling her with a generous rapture. She positively desired to do 
something sublime for him, though indeed I could see that, as this 
particular flight was difficult, she appreciated the tact that my visits 
kept her up. I had it on my conscience to keep her up ; I 
neglected nothing that would contribute to it, and her conception 
of our cherished author's independence became at last as fine as his 
own conception. " Read him, read him," I constantly repeated ; 
while, seeking him in his works, she represented herself as con- 
vinced that, according to my assurance, this was the system that 
had, as she expressed it, weaned her. We read him together when 
I could find time, and the generous creature's sacrifice was fed by 
our conversation. There were twenty selfish women, about whom 
I told her, who stirred her with a beautiful rage. Immediately 
after my first visit her sister, Mrs. Milsom, came overifrom Paris, 
and the two ladies began to present, as they called it, their letters. 
I thanked our stars that none had been presented to Mr. Paraday. 
They received invitations and dined out, and some of these occa- 
sions enabled Fanny Hurter to perform, for consistency's sake, 
touching feats of submission. Nothing indeed would now have 
induced her even to look at the object of her admiration. Once, 
hearing his name announced at a party, she instantly left the room 


36 The Death of the Lion 

by another door and then straightway quitted the house. At 
another time, when I was at the opera with them (Mrs. Milsom 
had invited me to their box) I attempted to point Mr. Paraday 
out to her in the stalls. On this she asked her lister to change 
places with her, and while that lady devoured the great man 
through a powerful glass, presented, all the rest of the evening, 
her inspired back to the house. To torment her tenderly I pressed 
the glass upon her, telling her how wonderfully near it brought our 
friend's handsome head. By way of answer she simply looked at me 
in grave silence ; on which I saw that tears had gathered in her eyes. 
These tears, I may remark, produced an effect on me of which 
the end is not yet. There was a moment when I felt it my 
duty to mention them to Neil Paraday ; but I was deterred 
by the reflection that there were questions more relevant to his 

These questions indeed, by the end of the season, were reduced 
to a single one — the question of reconstituting, so far as might be 
possible, the conditions under which he had produced his best 
work. Such conditions could never all come back, for there was a 
new one that took up too much place ; but some perhaps were 
not beyond recall. I wanted above all things to see him sit down 
to the subject of which, on my making his acquaintance, he had 
read me that admirable sketch. Something told me there was no 
security but in his doing so before the new factor, as we used to say 
at Mr. Pinhorn's, should render the problem incalculable. It only 
half reassured me that the sketch itself was so copious and so eloquent 
that even at the worst there would be the making of a small but com- 
plete book, a tiny volume which, for the faithful, might well become 
an object of adoration. There would even not be wanting critics 
to declare, I foresaw, that the plan was a thing to be more thankful 
for than the structure to have been reared on it. My impatience 


By Henry James 


for the structure, none the less, grew and grew with the interrup- 
tions. He had, on coming up to town, begun to sit for his portrait 
to a young painter, Mr. Rumble, whose little game, as we used to 
say at Mr. Pinhorn's, was to be the first to perch on the shoulders 
of renown. Mr. Rumble's studio was a circus in which the man 
of the hour, and still more the woman, leaped through the hoops 
of his showy frames almost as electrically as they burst into tele- 
grams and "specials." He pranced into the exhibitions on their 
back ; he was the reporter on canvas, the Vandyke up to date, 
and there was one roaring year in which Mrs. Sounder and Miss 
Braby, Guy Walsingham and Dora Forbes proclaimed in chorus 
from the same pictured walls that no one had yet got ahead of 

Paraday had been promptly caught and saddled, accepting with 
characteristic good-humour his confidential hint that to figure in his 
show was not so much a consequence as a cause of immortality. 
From Mrs. Wimbush to the last " representative " who called to 
ascertain his twelve favourite dishes, it was the same ingenuous 
assumption that he would rejoice in the repercussion. There 
were moments when I fancied I might have had more patience 
with them if they had not been so fatally benevolent. I hated, 
at all events, Mr. Rumble's picture, and had my bottled resent- 
ment ready when, later on, I found my distracted friend had 
been stuffed by Mrs. Wimbush into the mouth of another cannon. 
A young artist in whom she was intensely interested, and who 
had no connection with Mr. Rumble, was to show how far he 
could shoot him. Poor Paraday, in return, was naturally to write 
something somewhere about the young artist. She played her 
victims against each other with admirable ingenuity, and her 
establishment was a huge machine in which the tiniest and the 
biggest wheels went round to the same treadle. I had a scene 


38 The Death of the Lion 

with her in which I tried to express that the function of such a 
man was to exercise his genius — not to serve as a hoarding for 
pictorial posters. The people I was perhaps angriest with were 
the editors of magazines who had introduced what they called new 
features, so aware were they that the newest feature of all would 
be to make him grind their axes by contributing his views on 
vital topics and taking part in the periodical prattle about the 
future of fiction. I made sure that before I should have done 
with him there would scarcely be a current form of words left 
me to be sick of ; but meanwhile I could make surer still of my 
animosity to bustling ladies for whom he drew the water that 
irrigated their social flower-beds. 

I had a battle with Mrs. Wimbush over the artist she protected, 
and another over the question of a certain week, at the end of 
July, that Mr. Paraday appeared to have contracted to spend with 
her in the country. I protested against this visit ; I intimated 
that he was too unwell for hospitality without a nuance^ for caresses 
without imagination ; I begged he might rather take the time in 
some restorative way. A sultry air of promises, of reminders hung 
over his August, and he would greatly profit by the interval of 
rest. He had not told me he was ill again — that he had had a 
warning ; but I had not needed this, and I found his reticence 
his worst symptom. The only thing he said to me was that he 
believed a comfortable attack of something or other would set him 
up : it would put out of the question everything but the exemp- 
tions he prized. I am afraid I shall have presented him as a 
martyr in a very small cause if I fail to explain that he surren- 
dered himself much more liberally than I surrendered him. He 
filled his lungs, for the most part, with the comedy of his queer 
fate : the tragedy was in the spectacles through which I chose to 
look. He was conscious of inconvenience, and above all of a 


By Henry James 39 

great renouncement ; but how could he have heard a mere dirge 
in the bells of his accession ? The sagacity and the jealousy were 
mine, and his the impressions and the anecdotes. Of course, as 
regards Mrs. Wimbush, I was worsted in my encounters, for was 
not the state of his health the very reason for his coming to her 
at Prestidge ? Wasn't it precisely at Prestidge that he was to 
be coddled, and wasn't the dear Princess coming to help her to 
coddle him ? The dear Princess, now on a visit to England, was 
of a famous foreign house, and, in her gilded cage, with her retinue 
of keepers and feeders, was the most expensive specimen in the 
good lady's collection. I don't think her august presence had had 
to do with Paraday's consenting to go, but it is not impossible 
that he had operated as a bait to the illustrious stranger. The 
party had been made up for him, Mrs. Wimbush averred, and 
every one was counting on it, the dear Princess most of all. If he 
was well enough he was to read them something absolutely fresh, 
and it was on that particular prospect the Princess had set her 
heart. She was so fond of genius, in any walk of life, and she was 
so used to it, and understood it so well ; she was the greatest of 
Mr. Paraday's admirers, she devoured everything he wrote. And 
then he read like an angel. Mrs. Wimbush reminded me that he 
had again and again given her, Mrs. Wimbush, the privilege of 
listening to him. 

I looked at her a moment. " What has he read to you ? " I 
crudely inquired. 

For a moment too she met my eyes, and for the fraction of a 
moment she hesitated and coloured. " Oh, all sorts of things ! " 

I wondered whether this were a perfect fib or only an imperfect 
recollection, and she quite understood my unuttered comment on 
her perception of such things. But if she could forget Neil 
Paraday's beauties she could of course forget my rudeness, and 


40 The Death of the Lion 

three days later she invited me, by telegraph, to join the party at 
Prestidge. This time she might indeed have had a story about 
what I had given up to be near the master. I addressed from 
that fine residence several communications to a young lady in 
London, a young lady whom, I confess, I quitted with reluctance 
and whom the reminder of what she herself could give up was 
required to make me quit at all. It adds to the gratitude I owe 
her on other grounds that she kindly allows me to transcribe from 
my letters a few of the passages in which that hateful sojourn is 
candidly commemorated. 


" I suppose I ought to enjoy the joke," I wrote, " of what's 
going on here, but somehow it doesn't amuse me. Pessimism on 
the contrary possesses me and cynicism solicits. I positively feel 
my own flesh sore from the brass nails in Neil Paraday's social 
harness. The house is full of people who like him, as they 
mention, awfully, and with whom his talent for talking nonsense 
has prodigious success. I delight in his nonsense myself; why is 
it therefore that I grudge these happy folk their artless satisfac- 
tion ? Mystery of the human heart — abyss of the critical spirit I 
Mrs. Wimbush thinks she can answer that question, and as my 
want of gaiety has at last worn out her patience she has given me 
a glimpse of her shrewd guess. I am made restless by the selfish- 
ness of the insincere friend — I want to monopolise Paraday in 
order that he may push me on. To be intimate with him is a 
feather in my cap ; it gives me an importance that I couldn't 
naturally pretend to, and I seek to deprive him of social refresh- 
ment because I fear that meeting more disinterested people may 


By Henry James 41 

enlighten him as to my real spirit. All the disinterested people 
here are his particular admirers and have been carefully selected as 
such. There is supposed to be a copy of his last book in the 
house, and in the hall I come upon ladies, in attitudes, bending 
gracefully over the first volume. I discreetly avert my eyes, and 
when I next look round the precarious joy has been superseded by 
the book of life. There is a sociable circle or a confidential 
couple, and the relinquished volume lies open on its face, as if it 
had been dropped under extreme coercion. Somebody else pre- 
sently finds it and transfers it, with its air of momentary deso- 
lation, to another piece of furniture. Every one is asking every 
one about it all day, and every one is telling every one where they 
put it last. I'm sure it's rather smudgy about the twentieth page. 
I have a strong impression too that the second volume is lost — 
has been packed in the bag of some departing guest ; and yet 
everybody has the impression that somebody else has read to the 
end. You see therefore that the beautiful book plays a great 
part in our conversation. Why should I take the. occasion of 
such distinguished honours to say that I begin to see deeper into 
Gustave Flaubert's doleful refrain about the hatred of literature ? 
I refer you again to the perverse constitution of man. 

u The Princess is a massive lady with the organisation of an 
athlete and the confusion of tongues of a valet de place. She 
contrives to commit herself extraordinarily little in a great many 
languages, and is entertained and conversed with in detachments 
and relays, like an institution which goes on from generation to 
generation or a big building contracted for under a forfeit. She 
can't have a personal taste, any more than, when her husband 
succeeds, she can have a personal crown, and her opinion on any 
matter is rusty and heavy and plain — made, in the night of ages> 
to last and be transmitted. I feel as if I ought to pay some one a 


42 The Death of the Lion 

fee for my glimpse of it. She has been told everything in the 
world and has never perceived anything, and the echoes of her 
education respond awfully to the rash footfall — I mean the casual 
remark — in the cold Valhalla of her memory. Mrs. Wimbush 
delights in her wit and says there is nothing so charming as to 
hear Mr. Paraday draw it out. He is perpetually detailed for this 
job, and he tells me it has a peculiarly exhausting effect. Every 
one is beginning — at the end of two days — to sidle obsequiously 
away from her, and Mrs. Wimbush pushes him again and again into 
the breach. None of the uses I have yet seen him put to irritate 
me quite so much. He looks very fagged, and has at last confessed 
to me that his condition makes him uneasy — has even promised 
me that he will go straight home instead of returning to his final 
engagements in town. Last night I had some talk with him 
about going to-day, cutting his visit short ; so sure am I that he 
will be better as soon as he is shut up in his lighthouse. He told 
me that this is what he would like to do ; reminding me, how- 
ever, that the first lesson of his greatness has been precisely that 
he can't do what he likes. Mrs. Wimbush would never forgive 
him if he should leave her before the Princess has received the 
last hand. When I say that a violent rupture with our hostess 
would be the best thing in the world for him he gives me to 
understand that if his reason assents to the proposition his courage 
hangs wofully back. He makes no secret of being mortally afraid 
of her, and when I ask what harm she can do him that she hasn't 
already done he simply repeats : c I'm afraid, I'm afraid ! Don't 
inquire too closely,' he said last night ; c only believe that I feel 
a sort of terror. It's strange, when she's so kind ! At any rate, 
I would as soon overturn that piece of priceless Sevres as tell her 
that I must go before my date.' It sounds dreadfully weak, but 
he has some reason, and he pays for his imagination, which puts 


By Henry James 43 

him (I should hate it) in the place of others and makes him feel, 
«ven against himself, their feelings, their appetites, their motives. 
He's so beastly intelligent. Besides, the famous reading is still to 
come off, and it has been postponed a day, to allow Guy Walsing- 
ham to arrive. It appears that this eminent lady is staying at a 
house a few miles off, which means of course that Mrs. Wimbush 
has forcibly annexed her. She's to come over in a day or two — 
Mrs. Wimbush wants her to hear Mr. Paraday. 

"To-day's wet and cold, and several of the company, at the 
invitation of the Duke, have driven over to luncheon at Bigwood. 
I saw poor Paraday wedge himself, by command, into the little 
supplementary seat of a brougham in which the Princess and our 
hostess were already ensconced. If the front glass isn't open on his 
dear old back perhaps he'll survive. Bigwood, I believe, is very 
grand and frigid, all marble and precedence, and I wish him well 
out of the adventure. I can't tell you how much more and more 
your attitude to him, in the midst of all this, shines out by contrast. 
I never willingly talk to these people about him, but see what a 
comfort I find it to scribble to you ! I appreciate it ; it keeps me 
warm ; there are no fires in the house. Mrs. Wimbush goes by 
the calendar, the temperature goes by the weather, the weather 
goes by God knows what, and the Princess is easily heated. I 
have nothing but my acrimony to warm me, and have been out 
under an umbrella to restore my circulation. Coming in an hour 
ago, I found Lady Augusta Minch rummaging about the hall. 
When I asked her what she was looking for she said she had 
mislaid something that Mr. Paraday had lent her. I ascertained 
in a moment that the article in question is a manuscript, and I 
have a foreboding that it's the noble morsel he read me six weeks 
ago. When I expressed my surprise that he should have passed 
about anything so precious (I happen to know it's his only copy — 


44 The Death of the Lion 

in the most beautiful hand in all the world) Lady Augusta confessed 
to me that she had not had it from himself, but from Mrs. 
Wimbush, who had wished to give her a glimpse of it as a salve 
for her not being able to stay and hear it read. 

" c Is that the piece he's to read,' I asked, c when Guy Wals- 
ingham arrives ? ' 

" c It's not for Guy Walsingham they're waiting now, it's for 
Dora Forbes,' Lady Augusta said. c She's coming, I believe, early 
to-morrow. Meanwhile Mrs. Wimbush has found out about him y 
and is actively wiring to him. She says he also must hear him.' " 

" c You bewilder me a little,' I replied ; c in the age we live in 
one gets lost among the genders and the pronouns. The clear 
thing is that Mrs. Wimbush doesn't guard such a treasure as 
jealously as she might.' 

" c Poor dear, she has the Princess to guard ! Mr. Paraday lent 
her the manuscript to look over.' 

" c Did she speak as if it were the morning paper ? ' 

"Lady Augusta stared — my irony was lost upon her. 'She 
didn't have time, so she gave me a chance first j because unfor- 
tunately I go to-morrow to Bigwood.' 

" c And your chance has only proved a chance to lose it ? ' 

" c I haven't lost it. I remember now — it was very stupid of 
me to have forgotten. I told my maid to give it to Lord 
Dorimont — or at least to his man.' 

tt c And Lord Dorimont went away directly after luncheon.' 

" c Of course he gave it back to my maid — or else his man did,' 
said Lady Augusta. ' I daresay it's all right.' 

" The conscience of these people is like a summer sea. They 
haven't time to c look over ' a priceless composition ; they've only 
time to kick it about the house. I suggested that the ' man,' fired 
with a noble emulation, had perhaps kept the work for his own 

perusal ; 

By Henry James 45 

perusal ; and her ladyship wanted to know whether, if the thing 
didn't turn up again in time for the session appointed by our 
hostess, the author wouldn't have something else to read that would 
do just as well. Their questions are too delightful ! I declared 
to Lady Augusta briefly that nothing in the world can ever do as 
well as the thing that does best ; and at this she looked a little 
confused and scared. But I added that if the manuscript had gone 
astray our little circle would have the less of an effort of attention 
to make. The piece in question was very long — it would keep 
them three hours. 

" ' Three hours ! Oh, the Princess will get up ! * said Lady 

"'I thought she was Mr. Paraday's greatest admirer.' 

"'I daresay she is — she's so awfully clever. But what's the 

use of being a Princess * " 

"'If you can't dissemble your love? ' I asked, as Lady Augusta 
was vague. She said, at any rate, that she would question her 
maid ; and I am hoping that when I go down to dinner I shall 
find the manuscript has been recovered." 

" It has not been recovered," I wrote early the next day, "and 
I am moreover much troubled about our friend. He came back 
from Bigwood with a chill and, being allowed to have a fire in his 
room, lay down a while before dinner. I tried to send him to 
bed and indeed thought I had put him in the way of it ; but after 
I had gone to dress Mrs. Wimbush came up to see him, with the 
inevitable result that when I returned I found him under arms and 


46 The Death of the Lion 

flushed and feverish, though decorated with the rare flower she 
had brought him for his button-hole. He came down to dinner, 
but Lady Augusta Minch was very shy of him. To-day he's in 
great pain, and the advent of those ladies — I mean of Guy 
Walsingham and Dora Forbes — doesn't at all console me. It 
does Mrs. Wimbush however, for she has consented to his re- 
maining in bed, so that he may be all right to-morrow for the 
seance. Guy Walsingham is already on the scene, and the doctor, 
for Paraday, also arrived early. I haven't yet seen the author of 
c Obsessions,' but of course I've had a moment by myself with 
the doctor. I tried to get him to say that our invalid must go 
straight home — I mean to-morrow or next day ; but he quite 
refuses to talk about the future. Absolute quiet and warmth and 
the regular administration of an important remedy are the points 
he mainly insists on. He returns this afternoon, and I'm to go 
back to see the patient at one o'clock, when he next takes his 
medicine. It consoles me a little that he certainly won't be able 
to read — an exertion he was already more than unfit for. Lady 
Augusta went off after breakfast, assuring me that her first care 
would be to follow up the lost manuscript. I can see she thinks 
me a shocking busybody and doesn't understand my alarm, but 
she will do what she can, for she's a good-natured woman. c So 
are they all honourable men.' That was precisely what made her 
give the thing to Lord Dorimont and made Lord Dorimont bag 
it. What use he has for it God only knows. I have the worst 
forebodings, but somehow I'm strangely without passion — des- 
perately calm. As I consider the unconscious, the well-meaning 
ravages of our appreciative circle I bow my head in submission to 
some great natural, some universal accident ; I'm rendered almost 
indifferent, in fact quite gay (ha-ha !) by the sense of immitigable 
fete. Lady Augusta promises me to trace, the precious object and 


By Henry James 47 

let me have it, through the post, by the time Faraday is well 
enough to play his part with it. The last evidence is that her 
maid did give it to his lordship's valet. One would think it was 
some thrilling number of The Family Budget. Mrs. Wimbush, 
who is aware of the accident, is much less agitated by it than she 
would doubtless be were she not for the hour inevitably engrossed 
with Guy Walsingham." 

Later in the day I informed my correspondent, for whom 
indeed I kept a sort of diary of the situation, that I had made the 
acquaintance of this celebrity and that she was a pretty little girl 
who wore her hair in what used to be called a crop. She looked 
so juvenile and so innocent that if, as Mr. Morrow had announced, 
she was resigned to the larger latitude, her fortitude must have 
come to her early. I spent most of the day hovering about Neil 
Paraday's room, but it was communicated to me from below that 
Guy Walsingham, at Prestidge, was a success. Towards evening 
I became conscious somehow that her resignation was contagious, 
and by the time the company separated for the night I was sure 
that the larger latitude had been generally accepted. I thought of 
Dora Forbes and felt that he had no time to lose. Before dinner 
I received a telegram from Lady Augusta Mtnch. "Lord 
Dorimont thinks he must have left bundle in train — inquire." 
How could I inquire — if I was to take the word as a command ? 
I was too worried and now too alarmed about Neil Faraday. 
The doctor came back, and it was an immense satisfaction to me 
to feel that he was wise and interested. He was proud of being 
called to so distinguished a patient, but he admitted to me that 
night that my friend was gravely ill. It was really a relapse, a 
recrudescence of his old malady. There could be no question of 
moving him : we must at any rate see first, on the spot, what 
turn his condition would take. Meanwhile, on the morrow, he 

4# The Death of the Lion 

WM to have a nunc. On the morrow the dear man was easier, 
and my tpi'ritt rote to ftich cheerfulness that I could almost laugh 
over l/ddy Augusta's second telegram : a Lord Dorimont's servant 
been to station - -nothing found. Push inquiries." I did laugh, I 
am %ure f a* I remembered this was the mystic scroll I had scarcely 
allowed poor Mr. Morrow to point his umbrella at. Fool that 
I hail been : the thirty-seven influential journals wouldn't have 
destroyed it, they would only have printed it. Of course I said 
nothing to Paraday. 

When the nurse arrived she turned me out of the room, on 
which I went downstairs. I should premise that at breakfast the 
news that our brilliant friend was doing well excited universal 
complacency, and the Princess graciously remarked that he was 
only to be commiserated for missing the society of Miss Collop. 
Mrs. Wimbush, whose social gift never shone brighter than in the 
dry decorum with which she accepted this blemish on her perfec- 
tion, mentioned to me that Guy Walsingham had made a very 
favourable impression on her Imperial Highness. Indeed I think 
every one did so and that, like the money-market or the national 
honour, her Imperial Highness was constitutionally sensitive. 
There wus a certain gladness, a perceptible bustle in the air, how- 
ever, which I thought slightly anomalous in a house where a great 
Author lay critically ill. u Le roy est mort — vive le roy" : I was 
reminded that another great author had already stepped into his 
shoes. When I came down again after the nurse had taken 
possession I found a strange gentleman hanging about the hall 
and pacing to and fro by the closed door of the drawing-room. 
This personage was florid and bald, he had a big red moustache 
and wore showy knickerbockers -characteristics all that fitted into 
my conception of the identity of Dora Forbes. In a moment I 
saw what had happened : the author of u The Other Way Round w 


By Henry James 49 

had just alighted at the portals of Prestidge, but had suffered a 
scruple to restrain him from penetrating further. I recognised his 
scruple when, pausing to listen at his gesture of caution, I heard a 
shrill voice lifted in a prolonged monotonous quaver. The famous 
reading had begun, only it was the author of "Obsessions" who 
now furnished the sacrifice. The new visitor whispered to me 
that he judged something was going on that he oughtn't to 

"Miss Collop arrived last night," I smiled, "and the Princess 
has a thirst for the inidit" 

Dora Forbes lifted his bushy brows. " Miss Collop ? " 
"Guy Walsingham, your distinguished cenfrert — or shall I say 
your formidable rival t " 

"Oh!" growled Dora Forbes. Then he added: "Shall I 
spoil it if I go in ? " 

" I should think nothing could spoil it ! " I ambiguously 

Dora Forbes evidently felt the dilemma ; he gave an irritated 
crook to his moustache. " Shall I go in ? " he presently asked. 

We looked at each other hard a moment ; then I expressed 
something bitter that was in me, expressed it in an infernal 
" Yes ! " After this I got out into the air, but not so quickly as 
not to hear, as the door of the drawing-room opened, the dis- 
concerted drop of Miss Collop's public manner : she must have 
been in the midst of the larger latitude. Producing with extreme 
rapidity, Guy Walsingham has just published a work in which 
amiable people who are not initiated have been pained to sec the 
genius of a sister-novelist held up to unmistakable ridicule ; so 
fresh an exhibition does it seem to them of the dreadful way men 
have always treated women. Dora Forbes, it is true, at the 
present hour, is immensely pushed by Mrs. Wimbush, and has sat 
The Yellow Book— Vol. I. d for 

{'/ The Death of the Lion 

tfff UU ptrtlfnlil U$ the young artists she protects, sat for it not 
ftii\f )n tfih hut U% monumental alabaster. 

(Vhaf \m\t\mtwA at Prestidge later in the day is of course con- 
iHhl*tt*ty MtUtry. If the interruption I had whimsically sanc- 
lUilwi wm altruist a scandal, what is to be said of that general 
fllft|Wftifl nt ihn company which, under the doctor's rule, began to 
takf 1*1*4 p III thu evening f His rule was soothing to behold, small 
HiHifiill as I wan to have at the end. He decreed in the interest 
nt III* pat kill an absolutely soundless house and a consequent 
blMrtk M|i of the party. Little country practitioner as he was, he 
llimallv |Miki)(l oil* the Princess. She departed as promptly as if 
H involution Imil broken out, and Guy Walsingham emigrated with 
ItMi I WW kindly permitted to remain, and this was not denied 
f\t>M «o Mt«« Wlmbush. The privilege was withheld indeed 
\\\\\\\ 1>*M* Km heat so Mnu Wimbush kept her latest capture 
tvm|mt*t(ly WN\wfaI% This was so little, however, her usual way 
wl *W*Imv£ with her eminent friends that a couple of days of it 
*sH*Mftwi Km |*ttenc*t *tul *b* ***** U P *> town with him in 
£tv*t |*tiMwNYi The *u\klen turn tor the worse her afflicted 
^\v**\ kfel *th* * totet in\tMM\*meM* ttken on the third night 
t*mst ^ >^M*\V tv v ta *w^$ him before her rttftat ; a fortunate 
v vw svw^VMHV v^v^^W^s M $4* w** tu^dsmenulhr disappointed in 
fcsvwv I'fcvx *** *s* tW t^ v^ |*rfocm*i*c* for whkh she lad 
tH\*\*A fcw* ** *\****%*v h* ttttttoi tW hrtt*sx^v Lee me kasmi 
V\v *W VW **** vtf iW 5pN*ttv*& *cts wfecfe W^ c&m^ercxd ker 
^vvv^V ,s s * ***SkN*rt* «** vtbtt wxtu W* £«<r $c Ttosdt for 

VVSN- ^*** '«** ^N^> ******* *** $*Hlt**s &* *tl*t «*<sr 

*v* Vi*v V%< x 3*5%V^y t^N^ * ** n .**^ ^V»^ vtri ^gc 5a 

By Henry James 51 

my heart I was too full of another wrong. In the event of his 
death it would fall to me perhaps to bring out in some charming 
form, with notes, with the tenderest editorial care, that precious 
heritage of his written project. But where was that precious 
heritage, and were both the author and the book to have been 
snatched from us ? Lady Augusta wrote me that she had done 
all she could and that poor Lord Dorimont, who had really been 
worried to death, was extremely sorry. I couldn't have the matter 
out with Mrs. Wimbush, for I didn't want to be taunted by her 
with desiring to aggrandise myself by a public connection with 
Mr. Paraday's sweepings. She had signified her willingness to 
meet the expense of all advertising, as indeed she was always ready 
to do. The last night of the horrible series, the night before 
he died, I put my ear closer to his pillow. 

a That thing I read you that morning, you know." 

a In your garden — that dreadful day ? Yes ! " 

" Won't it do as it is ? " 

u It would have been a glorious book." 

"It is a glorious book," Neil Paraday murmured. " Print it 
as it stands — beautifully." 

a Beautifully ! " I passionately promised. 

It may be imagined whether, now that he is gone, the promise 
seems to me less sacred. I am convinced that if such pages had 
appeared in his lifetime the Abbey would hold him to-day. I 
have kept the advertising in my own hands, but the manuscript 
has not been recovered. It's impossible, and at any rate intoler- 
able, to suppose it can have been wantonly destroyed. Perhaps 
some chance blundering hand, some brutal ignorance has lighted 
kitchen-fires with it. Every stupid and hideous accident haunts 
my meditations. My undiscouragable search for the lost treasure 
would make a long chapter. Fortunately I have a devoted 


52 The Death of the Lion 

associate in the person of a young lady who has every day a fresh 
indignation and a fresh idea and who maintains with intensity 
that the prize will still turn up. Sometimes I believe her, but I 
have quite ceased to believe myself. The only thing for us, at 
all events, is to go on seeking and hoping together ; and we should 
be closely united by this firm tie even were we not at present by 

L'Education Sentimentale 

By Aubrey Beardsley 

Reproduced by the Swan Electric Engraving Company 



By Richard Le Galliennc 

Vast and mysterious brother, ere was yet of me 
So much as men may poise upon a needle's end, 
Still shook with laughter all this monstrous might of thee, 
And still with haughty crest it called the morning friend. 

Thy latticed column jetted up the bright blue air, 
Tall as a mast it was, and stronger than a tower ; 

Three hundred winters had beheld thee mighty there, 
Before my little life had lived one little hour. 

With rocky foot stern-set like iron in the land, 

With leafy rustling crest the morning sows with pearls, 

Huge as a minster, half in heaven men saw thee stand, 
Thy rugged girth the waists of fifty Eastern girls. 

Knotted and warted, slabbed and armoured like the hide 

Of tropic elephant ; unstormable and steep 
As some grim fortress with a princess-pearl inside, 

Where savage guardian faces beard the bastioned keep : 


5 8 Tree- Worship 

So hard a rind, old tree, shielding so soft a heart, 
A woman's heart of tender little nestling leaves ; 

Nor rind so hard but that a touch so soft can part, 
And spring's first baby-bud an easy passage cleaves. 

I picture thee within with dainty satin sides, 

Where all the long day through the sleeping dryad dreams, 
But when the moon bends low and taps thee thrice she glides, 

Knowing the fairy knock, to bask within her beams. 

And all the long night through, for him with eyes and ears, 
She sways within thine arms and sings a fairy tune, 

Till, startled with the dawn, she softly disappears, 
And sleeps and dreams again until the rising moon. 

But with the peep of day great bands of heavenly birds 
Fill all thy branchy chambers with a thousand flutes, 

And with the torrid noon stroll up the weary herds, 
To seek thy friendly shade and doze about thy roots ; 

Till with the setting sun they turn them once more home : 
And, ere the moon dawns, for a brief enchanted space, 

Weary with million miles, the sore-spent star-beams come, 
And moths and bats hold witches' sabbath in the place. 

And then I picture thee some bloodstained Holyrood, 

Dread haunted palace of the bat and owl, whence steal, 
Shrouded all day, lost murdered spirits of the wood, 
And fright young happy nests with homeless hoot and 


By Richard Le Gallienne 59 

Some Rizzio nightingale that plained adulterous love 
Beneath the boudoir-bough of some fast-married bird, 

Some dove that cooed to some one else's lawful dove, 
And felt the dagger-beak pierce while his lady heard. 

Then, maybe, dangling from thy gloomy gallows boughs, 
A human corpse swings, mournful, rattling bones and 
chains — 
His eighteenth century flesh hath fattened nineteenth century 
cows — 
Ghastly JEolian harp fingered of winds and rains. 

Poor Rizpah comes to reap each newly-fallen bone 

That once thrilled soft, a little limb, within her womb ; 

And mark yon alchemist, with zodiac-spangled zone, 
Wrenching the mandrake root that fattens in the gloom. 

So rounds thy day, from maiden morn to haunted night, 
From larks and sunlit dreams to owl and gibbering ghost ; 

A catacomb of dark, a sponge of living light, 

To the wide sea of air a green and welcome coast. 

I seek a god, old tree : accept my worship, thou ! 

All other gods have failed me always in my need. 
I hang my votive song beneath thy temple bough, 

Unto thy strength I cry — Old monster, be my creed ! 

Give me to clasp this earth with feeding roots like thine, 
To mount yon heaven with such star-aspiring head, 

Fill full with sap and buds this shrunken life of mine, 

And from my boughs O might such stalwart sons be shed ! 


60 Tree- Worship 

With loving cheek pressed close against thy horny breast, 
I hear the roar of sap mounting within thy veins ; 

Tingling with buds, thy great hands open towards the west, 
To catch the sweetheart wind that brings the sister rains. 

O winds that blow from out the fruitful mouth of God, 
O rains that softly fall from his all-loving eyes, 

You that bring buds to trees and daisies to the sod, 
O God's best Angel of the Spring, in me arise. 

Le Puy en Velay 

By Joseph Pennell 

Reproduced by the Swan Electric Engraving Company 


A Defence of Cosmetics 

By Max Beerbohm 

Nay, but it is useless to protest. Artifice must queen it once 
more in the town, and so, if there be any whose hearts chafe 
at her return, let them not say, " We have come into evil times," 
and be all for resistance, reformation or angry cavilling. For did 
the king's sceptre send the sea retrograde, or the wand of the 
sorcerer avail to turn the sun from its old course ? And what 
man or what number of men ever stayed that reiterated process by 
which the cities of this world grow, are very strong, foil and grow 
again ? Indeed, indeed, there is charm in every period, and only 
fools and flutterpates do not seek reverently for what is charming 
in their own day. No martyrdom, however fine, nor satire, how- 
ever splendidly bitter, has changed by a little tittle the known 
tendency of things. It is the times that can perfect us, not we 
the times, and so let all of us wisely acquiesce. Like the little 
wired marionettes, let us acquiesce in the dance. 

For behold ! The Victorian era comes to its end and the day 
of sancta simplicitas is quite ended. The old signs are here and 
the portents to warn the seer of life that we are ripe for a new 
epoch of artifice. Are not men rattling the dice-box and ladies 
dipping their fingers in the rouge-pot ? At Rome, in the keenest 
time of her degringolade, when there was gambling even in the holy 


66 A Defence of Cosmetics 

temples, great ladies (does not Lucian tell us ?) did not scruple to 
squander all they had upon unguents from Arabia. Nero's mistress 
and unhappy wife, Poppsea, of shameful memory, had in her travel- 
ling retinue fifteen — or, as some say, fifty — she-asses, for the sake 
of their milk, that was thought an incomparable guard against 
cosmetics with poison in them. Last century, too, when life was 
lived by candle-light, and ethics was but etiquette, and even art a 
question of punctilio, women, we know, gave the best hours of the 
day to the crafty ferding of their faces and the towering of their 
coiffures. And men, throwing passion into the wine-bowl to sink 
or swim, turned out thought to browse upon the green cloth. 
Cannot we even now in our fancy see them, those silent exquisites 
round the long table at Brooks 9 , masked, all of them, " lest the 
countenance should betray feeling," in quinze masks, through whose 
eyelets they sat peeping, peeping, while macao brought them 
riches or ruin ? We can see them, those silent rascals, sitting there 
with their cards and their rouleaux and * their wooden money- 
bowls, long after the dawn had crept up St. James' and pressed its 
haggard face against the window of the little club. Yes, we can 
raise their ghosts — and, more, we can see manywhere a devotion 
to hazard fully as meek as theirs. In England there has been a 
wonderful revival of cards. Roulette may rival dead faro in the 
tale of her devotees. Her wheel is spinning busily in every house 
and ere long it may be that tender parents will be writing to 
complain of the compulsory baccarat in our public schools. 

In fact, we are all gamblers once more, but our gambling is on 
a finer scale than ever it was. We fly from the card-room to the 
heath, and from the heath to the City, and from the City to the 
coast of the Mediterranean. And just as no one seriously en- 
courages the clergy in its frantic efforts to lay the spirit of chance, 
that has thus resurged among us, so no longer are many feces set 


By Max Beerbohm 67 

against that other great sign of a more complicated life, the love 
for cosmetics. No longer is a lady of fashion blamed if, to escape 
the outrageous persecution of time, she fly for sanctuary to the 
toilet-table ; and if a damosel, prying in her mirror, be sure that 
'with brush and pigment she can trick herself into more charm, we 
are not angry. Indeed, why should we ever have been ? Surely 
it is laudable, this wish to make fair the ugly and overtop fairness, 
and no wonder that within the last five years the trade of the 
makers of cosmetics has increased immoderately — twenty fold, so 
one of these makers has said to me. We need but walk down 
any modish street and peer into the little broughams that flit 
past, or (in Thackeray's phrase) under the bonnet of any woman 
we meet, to see over how wide a kingdom rouge reigns. We 
men, who, from Juvenal down to that discourteous painter of 
whom Lord Chesterfield tells us, have especially shown a dislike of 
cosmetics, are quite yielding ; and there are, I fancy, many such 
husbands as he who, suddenly realising that his wife was painted, 
bad her sternly, " Go up and take it all off," and, on her reappear- 
ance, bad her with increasing sternness, " Go up and put it all 
on again." 

But now that the use of pigments is becoming general, and 
most women are not so young as they are painted, it may be asked 
curiously how the prejudice ever came into being. Indeed, it is 
hard to trace folly, for that it is inconsequent, to its start ; and 
perhaps it savours too much of reason to suggest that the prejudice 
was due to the tristful confusion man has made of soul and surface. 
Through trusting so keenly to the detection of the one by keeping 
watch upon the other, and by force of the thousand errors following, 
he has come to think of surface even as the reverse of soul. He 
supposes that every clown beneath his paint and lip-salve is moribund 
and knows it, (though in verity, I am told, clowns are as cheerful 

a class 

68 A Defence of Cosmetics 

a class of men as any other), that the fairer the fruit's rind and the 
more delectable its bloom, the closer are packed the ashes within it. 
The very jargon of the hunting-field connects cunning with a 
mask. And so perhaps came man's anger at the embellishment of 
women — that lovely mask of enamel with its shadows of pink 
and tiny pencilled veins, what must lurk behind it ? Of what 
treacherous mysteries may it not be the screen ? Does not the 
heathen lacquer her dark face, and the harlot paint her cheeks, 
because sorrow has made them pale ? 

After all, the old prejudice is a-dying. We need not pry into 
the secret of its birth. Rather is this a time of jolliness and glad 
indulgence. For the era of rouge is upon us, and as only in an 
elaborate era can man by the tangled accrescency of his own 
pleasures and emotions reach that refinement which is his highest 
excellence, and by making himself, so to say, independent of 
Nature, come nearest to God, so only in an elaborate era is woman 
perfect. Artifice is the strength of the world, and in that same 
mask of paint and powder, shadowed with vermeil tinct and most 
trimly pencilled, is woman's strength. 

For see ! We need not look so far back to see woman under 
the direct influence of Nature. Early in this century, our grand- 
mothers, sickening of the odour of faded exotics and spilt wine, 
came out into the daylight once more and let the breezes blow 
around their faces and enter, sharp and welcome, into their lungs. 
Artifice they drove forth, and they set Martin Tupper upon a 
throne of mahogany to rule over them. A very reign of terror set 
in. All things were sacrificed to the fetish Nature. Old ladies 
may still be heard to tell how, when they were girls, affectation 
was not ; and, if we verify their assertion in the light of such 
literary authorities as Dickens, we find that it is absolutely true. 
Women appear to have been in those days utterly natural in their 


By Max Beerbohm 69 

conduct — flighty, gushing, blushing, fainting, giggling and shaking 
their curls. They knew no reserve in the first days of the 
Victorian era. No thought was held too trivial, no emotion too 
silly, to express. To Nature everything was sacrificed. Great 
heavens ! And in those barren days what influence was exerted 
by women ? By men they seem not to have been feared nor loved, 
but regarded rather as " dear little creatures " or " wonderful little 
beings," and in their relation to life as foolish and ineffectual as the 
landscapes they did in water-colour. Yet, if the women of those 
years were of no great account, they had a certain charm and they 
at least had not begun to trespass upon men's ground ; if they 
touched not thought, which is theirs by right, at any rate they 
refrained from action, which is ours. Far more serious was it 
when, in the natural trend of time, they became enamoured of 
rinking and archery and galloping along the Brighton Parade. 
Swiftly they have sped on since then from horror to horror. The 
invasion of the tennis-courts and of the golf-links, the seizure of the 
tricycle and of the type-writer, were but steps preliminary in that 
campaign which is to end with the final victorious occupation of 
St. Stephen's. But stay ! The horrific pioneers of womanhood 
who gad hither and thither and, confounding wisdom with the 
device on her shield, shriek for the unbecoming, are doomed. 
Though they spin their tricycle-treadles so amazingly fast, they 
are too late. Though they scream victory, none follow them. 
Artifice, that fair exile, has returned. 

Yes, though the pioneers know it not, they are doomed already. 
For of the curiosities of history not the least strange is the manner 
in which two social movements may be seen to overlap, long after 
the second has, in truth, given its deathblow to the first. And, 
in like manner as one has seen the limbs of a murdered thing in 
lively movement, so we need not doubt that, though the voices of 

The Yellow Book— Vol. I. e those 

jo A Defence of Cosmetics 

those who cry out for reform be very terribly shrill, they will soon» 
be hushed. Dear Artifice is with us. It needed but that we 
should wait. 

Surely, without any of my pleading, women will welcome their 
great and amiable protectrix, as by instinct. For (have I not 
said?) it is upon her that all their strength, their life almost^ 
depends. Artifice's first command to them is that they should 
repose. With bodily activity their powder will fly, their enamet 
crack. They are butterflies who must not flit, if they love their 
bloom. Now, setting aside the point of view of passion, from 
which very many obvious things might be said, (and probably have 
been by the minor poets), it is, from the intellectual point of 
view, quite necessary that a woman should repose. Hers is the 
resupinate sex. On her couch she is a goddess, but so soon as 
ever she put her foot to the ground — lo, she is the veriest little 
silly pop and quite done for. She cannot rival us in action, but she 
is our mistress in the things of the mind. Let her not by second- 
rate athletics, nor indeed by any exercise soever of the limbs, 
spoil the pretty procedure of her reason. Let her be content to- 
remain the guide, the subtle suggester of what we must do, the 
strategist whose soldiers we are, the little architect whose work- 

" After aU, w as a pretty girl once said to me, u women are a sex 
by themselves, so to speak," and the sharper the line between 
their worldly functions and ours, the better. This greater 
swiftness and less erring subtlety of mind, their forte and privilege, 
justifies the painted mask that Artifice bids them wear. Behind 
it their minds can play without let. They gain the strength of 
reserve. They become important, as in the days of the Roman 
Empire were the Emperor's mistresses, as was the Pompadour at 
Versailles, as was our Elizabeth. Yet do not their faces become 


By Max Beerbohm 71 

lined with thought ; beautiful and without meaning are their 

And, truly, of all the good things that will happen with the 
full renascence of cosmetics, one of the best is that surface will 
finally be severed from soul. That damnable confusion will be 
solved by the extinguishing of a prejudice which, as I suggest^ 
itself created. Too long has the face been degraded from its rank 
as a thing of beauty to a mere vulgar index of character or 
emotion. We had come to troubling ourselves, not with its 
charm of colour and line, but with such questions as whether the 
lips were sensuous, the eyes full of sadness, the nose indicative of 
determination. I have no quarrel with physiognomy. For my 
own part, I believe in it. But it has tended to degrade the face 
aesthetically, in such wise as the study of cheirosophy has tended 
to degrade the hand. And the use of cosmetics, the masking of 
the face, will change this. We shall gaze at a woman merely 
because she is beautiful, not stare into her face anxiously, as into 
the face of a barometer. 

How fatal it has been, in how many ways, this confusion of 
soul and surface ! Wise were the Greeks in making plain masks 
for their mummers to play in, and dunces we not to have done the 
same ! Only the other day, an actress was saying that what she 
was most proud of in her art — next, of course, to having appeared 
in some provincial pantomime at the age of three — was the deft- 
ness with which she contrived, in parts demanding a rapid succes- 
sion of emotions, to dab her cheeks quite quickly with rouge from 
the palm of her right hand, or powder from the palm of her left* 
Gracious goodness ! why do not we have masks upon the stage ? 
Drama is the presentment of the soul in action. The mirror of 
the soul is the voice. Let the young critics, who seek a cheap 
reputation for austerity, by cavilling at "incidental music," set 


72 A Defence of Cosmetics 

their faces rather against the attempt to justify inferior dramatic 
art by the subvention of a quite alien art like painting, of any art, 
indeed, whose sphere is only surface. Let those, again, who sneer, 
so rightly, at the " painted anecdotes of the Academy," censure 
•equally the writers who trespass on painter's ground. It is a 
proclaimed sin that a painter should concern himself with a good 
little girl's affection for a Scotch greyhound, or the keen enjoyment 
■of their port by elderly gentlemen of the early 'forties. Yet, for a 
painter to prod the soul with his paint-brush is no worse than for 
a novelist to refuse to dip under the surface, and the fashion of 
avoiding a psychological study of grief by stating that the owner's 
hair turned white in a single night, or of shame by mentioning a 
sudden rush of scarlet to the cheeks, is as lamentable as may 
be. But ! But with the universal use of cosmetics and the 
•consequent secernment of soul and surface, which, at the risk of 
irritating a reader, I must again insist upon, all those old properties 
that went to bolster up the ordinary novel — the trembling lips, the 
flashing eyes, the determined curve of the chin, the nervous trick of 
biting the moustache — aye and the hectic spot of red on either 
•cheek — will be made spiflicate, as the puppets were spiflicated by 
Don Quixote. Yes, even now Demos begins to discern. The same 
spirit that has revived rouge, smote his mouth as it grinned at 
the wondrous painter of mist and river, and now sends him 
sprawling for the pearls that Meredith dived for in the deep 
waters of romance. 

Indeed the revival of cosmetics must needs be so splendid an 
influence, conjuring boons innumerable, that one inclines almost 
to mutter against that inexorable law by which Artifice must 
perish from time to time. That such branches of painting as the 
staining of glass or the illuminating of manuscripts should fall into 
disuse seems, in comparison, so likely ; these were esoteric arts ; 


By Max Beerbohm 73 

they died with the monastic spirit. But personal appearance is 
art's very basis. The painting of the face is the first kind of 
painting men can have known. To make beautiful things — 
is it not an impulse laid upon few ? But to make oneself beautiful 
is an universal instinct. Strange that the resultant art could ever 
perish ! So fascinating an art too ! So various in its materials 
from stimmis, psimythium and fuligo to bismuth and arsenic, so' 
simple in that its ground and its subject-matter are one, so 
marvellous in that its very subject-matter becomes lovely when an 
artist has selected it ! For surely this is no idle nor fantastic 
saying. To deny that "making-up" is an art, on the pretext 
that the finished work of its exponents depends for beauty and 
excellence upon the ground chosen for the work, is absurd. At 
the touch of a true artist, the plainest face turns comely. As 
subject-matter the face is no more than suggestive, as ground, 
merely a loom round which the beatus artifex may spin the 
threads of any golden fabric : 

" Quae nunc nomen habent opcrosi signa Maronis 
Pondus iners quondam duraquc massa fuit. 
Multa viros nescire decet ; pars maxima rcrum 
Offendat, si non intcriora tegas," 

and, as Ovid would seem t6 suggest, by pigments any tone may be 
set aglow on a woman's cheek, from enamel the features take any 
form. Insomuch that surely the advocates of soup-kitchens and 
free-libraries and other devices for giving people what providence 
did not mean them to receive, should send out pamphlets in the 
praise of self-embellishment. For it will place Beauty within 
easy reach of many who could not otherwise hope to attain to it. 

But of course Artifice is rather exacting. In return for the 
repose she forces — so wisely ! — upon her followers when the sun is 


~x A Dcienrc cf C:snern3 

ai gi or ne unnn .a sftown job aexrea* am 
Oct jixouut 3stx ier !nmr inunaise jr ne 31111'$ rstng> Tke tmrtarr> 
teaer aoe *aosr jghnv xgaa her jLvsicna > F>jr r it a lad cam- 
pjpran ae incKmsme* 33 be in-^nuxred -* J iiiiugv - j nc ^ ami when 
the rater is 'arirr jnce mure win ne ruiras jt its daboratxciiy wc 
shad hear 30 mure ir rie jiuue jczapscun aor women* And 
tin r: it, raw iweer an eaerxr.. n sc ic ne anrror of c m^u e m ? 
See rae dear -nerics ar nc Tnier as stows: man out 
the wa2a or Rinnan ispcsEmpc or, = 
^TMi""t^ ynntarnr descriocun ir J 

Eiaer Rdcibea lLdaneraiJ T BL=h£ jt 5ahmafs ace as dbe 
ffcmnjrri ■ J ti> s :ir ■ u tt $£ iier aest-^iianiher 33 rfi^ hiH ii hri of her 
tpfiet. Toe £x?e>-£-JrJs aaare jung been ^ruling, their white feet 
upon tae marou? auor. Trurr sgrdi* cause ennui Greek gins, 
fnrrr^* 77 ^ bi "frrV baauuns^ Farir las aer apya i irni task, and 
ail kneel bi w etenmg as Ssnina. soaks* agar and avwuiu g g to the 

X'ipnuTg socps 0U&L3. trout m*«g than, and, dipping a 
-ji a rwwi or aoc silk, passes ft Sagittfrr, ever so lightly, 
stress THkT ike Poppaean: pastes melt beneath it Eke 
A cooira^ iboai 3 pcureit o«er her brow and is fanned 
with AExtxiersw Prtzzje comes arbsr« a. carver gtri, captured in some 
sea-ik£niii5& in ~e Aegean. Lr ber kct band she holds the ivory 
box wherein are die pfcsc» ami tsat voter powder, psimythium ; 
ia ber right a sbezf or *3ni brusaesw With bow sure a touch does 
she minrje the cabers* and in wsac sweet p ropor ti on blushes 
and baacbes ber fair's ujcj ra cc tace- PksakJs thecfcrerestofall 
the scares. Now Caamx dtps ber <p£H in a certain p ow d er that 
floats, Squid and sabie* in the bouow ot ber pain, fr^^ng upon 
rip-toe and with »p? ported* sac traces the arch of the e y ebr ows . 
The slaves whisper loudly ot their lady's beauty, and two of them 
hood up a mirror to ber. Yes, the cychiuws ate rightly arched* 


By Max Beerbohm 75 

But why does Psecas abase herself ? She is craving leave to powder 
Sabina's hair with a fine new powder. It is made of the grated rind 
of the cedar-tree, and a Gallic perfumer, whose stall is near the 
Circus, gave it to her for a kiss. No lady in Rome knows of it. 
And so, when four special slaves have piled up the head-dress, out 
of a perforated box this glistening powder is showered. Into every 
little brown ringlet it enters, till Sabina's hair seems like a pile of 
gold coins. Lest the breezes send it flying, the girls lay the 
powder with sprinkled attar. Soon Sabina will start for the 
Temple of Cybele. 

Ah ! Such are the lures of the toilet that none will for long 
hold aloof from them. Cosmetics are not going to be a mere 
prosaic remedy for age or plainness, but all ladies and all young girls 
will come to love them. Does not a certain blithe Marquise, 
whose lettres intimes from the Court of Louis Seize are less read 
than their wit would merit, tell us how she was scandalised to see 
a mime les toutes jeunes demoiselles emaillees comme ma t aba tier e ? " 
So it shall be with us. Surely the common prejudice against 
painting the lily can but be based on mere ground of economy. 
That which is already fair is complete, it may be urged — urged 
implausibly, for there are not so many lovely things in this world 
that we can afford not to know each one of them by heart. 
There is only one white lily, and who that has ever seen — as I have 
— a lily really well painted could grudge the artist so fair a ground 
for his skill? Scarcely do you believe through how many nice 
metamorphoses a lily may be passed by him. In like manner, we 
all know the young girl, with her simpleness, her goodness, her 
wayward ignorance. And a very charming ideal for England 
must she have been, and a very natural one, when a young girl sat 
<even on the throne. But no nation can keep its ideal for ever 
and it needed none of Mr. Gilbert's delicate satire in " Utopia " to 


j6 A Defence of Cosmetics 

remind us that she had passed out of our ken with the rest of 
the early Victorian era. What writer of plays, as lately 
asked some pressman, who had been told off to attend many first 
nights and knew what he was talking about, ever dreams of 
making the young girl the centre of his theme ? Rather he seeks 
inspiration from the tried and tired woman of the world, in all her 
intricate maturity, whilst, by way of comic relief, he sends the 
young girl flitting in and out with a tennis-racket, the poor 
€cSd)Xov apavp6v of her former self. The season of the unsophis- 
ticated is gone by, and the young girl's final extinction beneath the 
rising tides of cosmetics will leave no gap in life and will rob art of 

" Tush," I can hear some damned flutter pate exclaim, "girlish- 
ness and innocence are as strong and as permanent as womanhood 
itself ! Why, a few months past, the whole town went mad over 
Miss Cissie Loftus ! Was not hers a success of girlish innocence 
and the absence of rouge ? If such things as these be outmoded, 
why was she so wildly popular ? " Indeed, the triumph of that 
clever girl, whose debut made London nice even in August, is but 
another witness to the truth of my contention. In a very 
sophisticated time, simplicity has a new dulcedo. Hers was a 
success of contrast. Accustomed to clever malaperts like Miss 
Lloyd or Miss Reeve, whose experienced pouts and smiles under 
the sun-bonnet are a standing burlesque of innocence and girlish- 
ness, Demos was really delighted, for once and away, to see the 
real presentment of these things upon his stage. Coming after all 
those sly serios, coming so young and mere with her pink frock 
and straightly combed hair, Miss Cissie Loftus had the charm 
which things of another period often do possess. Besides, just as 
we adored her for the abrupt nod with which she was wont at 
first to acknowledge the applause, so we were glad for her to come 


By Max Beerbohm 77 

upon the stage with nothing to tinge the ivory of her cheeks. It 
seemed so strange, that neglect of convention. To be behind 
footlights and not rouged ! Yes, hers was a success of 
contrast. She was like a daisy in the window at Solomons'. She 
was delightful. And yet, such is the force of convention, that 
when last I saw her, playing in some burlesque at the Gaiety, her 
fringe was curled and her pretty face rouged with the best of 
them. And, if further need be to show the absurdity of having 
called her performance w a triumph of naturalness over the jaded 
spirit of modernity," let us reflect that the little mimic was not a 
real old-fashioned girl after all. She had none of that restless 
naturalness that would seem to have characterised the girl of the 
early Victorian days. She had no pretty ways — no smiles nor 
blushes nor tremors. Possibly Demos could not have stood a pre- 
sentment of girlishness unrestrained. 

But with her grave insouciance, Miss Cissie Loftus had much 
of the reserve that is one of the factors of feminine perfection, and 
to most comes only, as I have said, with artifice. Her features 
played very, very slightly. And in truth, this may have been one 
of the reasons of her great success. For expression is but too 
often the ruin of a face ; and, since we cannot as yet so order the 
circumstances of life that women shall never be betrayed into "an 
unbecoming emotion," when the brunette shall never have cause 
to blush, and the lady who looks well with parted lips be kept in a 
permanent state of surprise, the safest way by far is to create, by 
brush and pigments, artificial expressions for every face. 

And this — say you? — will make monotony? You are mis- 
taken, tata ewk mistaken. When your mistress has wearied you 
with one expression, then it will need but a few touches of that 
pencil, a backward sweep of that brush, and lo, you will be 
revelling in another. For though, of course, the painting of the 


y% A Defence of Cosmetics 

face is, in manner, most like the painting of canvas, in outcome it 
is rather akin to the art of music — lasting, like music's echo, not 
for very long. So that, no doubt, of the many little appurte- 
nances of the Reformed Toilet Table, not the least vital will be 
a list of the emotions that become its owner, with recipes for 
simulating them. According to the colour she wills her hair to 
be for the time — black or yellow or, peradventure, burnished red 
— she will blush for you, sneer for you, laugh or languish for you. 
The good combinations of line and colour are nearly numberless, 
and by their means poor restless woman will be able to realise her 
moods in all their shades and lights and dappledoms, to live many 
lives and masquerade through many moments of joy. No mono- 
tony will be. And for us men matrimony will have lost its 

But be it remembered ! Though we men will garner these 
oblique boons, it is into the hands of women that Artifice gives her 
pigments. I know, I know that many men in a certain sect of 
society have shown a marked tendency to the use of cosmetics. I 
speak not of the countless gentlemen who walk about town in the 
time of its desertion from August to October, artificially bronzed, 
as though they were fresh from the moors or from the Solent. 
This, I conceive, is done for purely social reasons and need not 
concern me here. Rather do I speak of those who make them- 
selves up, seemingly with an aesthetic purpose. Doubtless — I 
wish to be quite just — there are many who look the better 
for such embellishment ; but, at the hazard of being thought old- 
fashioned and prejudiced, I cannot speak of the custom with any- 
thing but strong disapproval. If men are to lie among the 
rouge-pots, inevitably it will tend to promote that amalgamation of 
the sexes which is one of the chief planks in the decadent platform 
and to obtund that piquant contrast between him and her, which 


By Max Beerbohm 79 

is one of the redeeming features of creation. Besides, really, men 
have not the excuse of facial monotony, that holds in the case of 
women. Have we not hair upon our chins and upper-lips ? And 
can we not, by diverting the trend of our moustache or by growing 
our beard in this way or that, avoid the boredom of looking the same 
for long ? Let us beware. For if, in violation of unwritten 
sexual law, men take to trifling with the paints and brushes that 
are feminine heritage, it may be that our great ladies will don false 
imperials, and the little doner deck her pretty chin with a Newgate 
fringe ! After all, I think we need not fear that many men will 
thus trespass. Most of them are in the City nowadays, and the 
great wear and tear of that place would put their use of rouge — 
that demands bodily repose from its dependents — quite outside the 
range of practical aesthetics. 

But that in the world of women they will not neglect this art, 
so ripping in itself, in its result so wonderfully beneficent, I am 
sure indeed. Much, I have said, is already done for its full 
renascence. The spirit of the age has made straight the path of 
its professors. Fashion has made Jezebel surrender her monopoly 
of the rouge-pot. As yet, the great art of self-embellishment is 
for us but in its infancy. But if Englishwomen can bring it to 
the flower of an excellence so supreme as never yet has it known, 
then, though Old England may lose her martial and commercial 
supremacy, we patriots will have the satisfaction of knowing that 
she has been advanced at one bound to a place in the councils of 
aesthetic Europe. And, in sooth, is this hoping too high of my 
countrywomen ? True that, as the art seems always to have 
appealed to the ladies of Athens, and it was not until the waning 
time of the Republic that Roman ladies learned to love the practice 
of it, so Paris, Athenian in this as in all other things, has been noted 
hitherto as a far more vivid centre of the art than London. But it was 

80 A Defence of Cosmetics 

in Rome, under the Emperors, that unguentaria reached its zenith, 
and shall it not be in London, soon, that unguentaria shall outstrip 
its Roman perfection ? Surely there must be among us artists as 
cunning in the use of brush and puff as any who lived at Versailles. 
Surely the splendid, impalpable advance of good taste, as shown in 
dress and in the decoration of houses, may justify my hope of the 
preeminence of Englishwomen in the cosmetic art. By their 
innate delicacy of touch they will accomplish much, and much, of 
course, by their swift feminine perception. Yet it were well that 
they should know something also of the theoretical side of the craft. 
Modern authorities upon the mysteries of the toilet are, it is true > 
rather few ; but among the ancients many a writer would seem to 
have been fascinated by them. Archigenes, a man of science at 
the Court of Cleopatra, and Criton at the Court of the Emperor 
Trajan, both wrote treatises upon cosmetics — doubtless most 
scholarly treatises that would have given many a precious hint. 
It is a pity they are not extant. From Lucian or from Juvenal, 
with his bitter picture of a Roman levee^ much may be learnt ; 
from the staid pages of Xenophon and Aristophanes' dear farces. 
But best of all is that fine book of the Ars Amatoria that Ovid 
has set aside for the consideration of dyes, perfumes and pomades. 
Written by an artist who knew the allurements of the toilet and 
understood its philosophy, it remains without rival as a treatise 
upon Artifice. It is more than a poem, it is a manual j and if 
there be left in England any lady who cannot read Latin in the 
original, she will do well to procure a discreet translation. In 
the Bodleian Library there is treasured the only known copy of a 
very poignant and delightful rendering of this one book of Ovid's 
masterpiece. It was made by a certain Wye Waltonstall, who 
lived in the days of Elizabeth, and, seeing that he dedicated it to 
" the Vertuous Ladyes and Gentlewomen of Great Britain,*' I am 


By Max Beerbohm 81 

sure that the gallant writer, could he know of our great renascence 
of cosmetics, would wish his little work to be placed . once more 
within their reach. "Inasmuch as to you, ladyes and gentle- 
women," so he writes in his queer little dedication, " my booke of 
pigments doth first addresse itself, that it may kisse your hands and 
afterward have the lines thereof in reading sweetened by the odour 
of your breath, while the dead letters formed into words by your 
divided lips may receive new life by your passionate expression, 
and the words marryed in that Ruby coloured temple may thus 
happily united, multiply your contentment." It is rather sad to 
think that, at this crisis in the history of pigments, the Vertuous 
Ladyes and Gentlewomen cannot read the libellus of Wye Walton- 
stall, who did so dearly love pigments. 

But since the days when these great critics wrote their treatises, 
with what gifts innumerable has Artifice been loaded by Science ! 
Many little partitions must be added to the narthecium before it 
can comprehend all the new cosmetics that have been quietly 
devised since classical days, and will make the modern toilet chalks 
away more splendid in its possibilities. A pity that no one has 
devoted himself to the compiling of a new list; but doubtless all the 
newest devices are known to the admirable unguentarians of Bond 
Street, who will impart them to their clients. Our thanks, too, 
should be given to Science for ridding us of the old danger that 
was latent in the use of cosmetics. Nowadays they cannot, being 
purged of any poisonous element, do harm to the skin that they 
make beautiful. There need be no more sowing the seeds of 
destruction in the furrows of time, no martyrs to the cause like 
Georgina Gunning, that fair dame but infelix, who died, so they 
relate, from the effect of a poisonous rouge upon her lips. No, 
we need have no fears now. Artifice will claim not another 
victim from among her worshippers. 


82 A Defence of Cosmetics 

Loveliness shall sit at the toilet, watching her oval face in the 
oval mirror. Her smooth fingers shall flit among the paints and 
powder, to tip and mingle them, catch up a pencil, clasp a phial, 
and what not and what #*/, until the mask of vermeil tinct has been 
laid aptly, the enamel quite hardened. And, heavens, how she will 
charm us and ensorcel our eyes ! Positively rouge will rob us for 
a time of all our reason ; we' shall go mad over masks. Was it 
not at Capua that they had a whole street where nothing was sold 
but dyes and unguents ? We must have such a street, and, to fill 
our new Seplasia, our Arcade of the Unguents* all herbs and minerals 
and live creatures shall give of their substance. The white cliffs 
of Albion shall be ground to powder for loveliness, and perfumed 
by the ghost of many a little violet. The fluffy eider-ducks, that 
are swimming round the pond, shall lose their feathers, that the 
powder-puff may be moonlike as it passes over loveliness's lovely 
face. Even the camels shall become ministers of delight, giving 
their hair in many tufts to be stained by the paints in her 
colour-box, and across her cheek the swift hare's foot shall fly as of 
old. The sea shall offer her the phucus, its scarlet weed. We 
shall spill the blood of mulberries at her bidding. And, as in 
another period of great ecstasy, a dancing wanton, la belle Aubrey, 
was crowned upon a church's lighted altar, so Arsenic, that "green- 
tress'd goddess," ashamed at length of skulking between the soup 
of the unpopular and the test-tubes of the Queen's analyst, shall be 
exalted to a place of highest honour upon loveliness's toilet-table. 

All these things shall come to pass. Times of jolliness and 
glad indulgence ! For Artifice, whom we drove forth, has returned 
among us, and, though her eyes are red with crying, she is 
smiling forgiveness. She is kind. Let us dance and be glad, and 
trip the cockawhoop ! Artifice, sweetest exile, is come into her 
kingdom. Let us dance her a welcome ! 


By Arthur Christopher Benson 

You were clear as a sandy spring 
After a drought, when its waters run 
Evenly, sparingly, filtering 
Into the eye of the sun. 

Love you took with a placid smile, 

Pain you bore with a hopeful sigh, 

Never a thought of gain or guile 
Slept in your wide blue eye. 

Suddenly, once, at a trivial word, — 
Side by side together we stept, — 

Rose a tempest that swayed and stirred ; 
Over your soul it swept. 

Dismal visitants, suddenly, 

Pulled the doors in your house of clay ; 
Out of the windows there stared at me 

Something horrible, grey. 


By Ella D'Arcy 

A young man strolled along a country road one August evening 
after a long delicious day— a day of that blessed idleness 
the man of leisure never knows : one must be a bank clerk forty- 
nine weeks out of the fifty-two before one can really appreciate 
the exquisite enjoyment of doing nothing for twelve hours at a 
stretch. Willoughby had spent the morning lounging about a 
sunny rickyard ; then, when the heat grew unbearable, he had 
retreated to an orchard, where, lying on his back in the long cool 
grass, he had traced the pattern of the apple-leaves diapered above 
him upon the summer sky ; now that the heat of the day was over 
he had come to roam whither sweet fancy led him, to lean over 
gates, view the prospect and meditate upon the pleasures of a well- 
spent day. Five such days had already passed over his head, 
fifteen more remained to him. Then farewell to freedom and 
clean country air ! Back again to London and another year's 

He came to a gate on the right of the road. Behind it a foot- 
path meandered up over a grassy slope. The sheep nibbling on 
its summit cast long shadows down the hill almost to his feet. 
Road and field-path were equally new to him, but the latter offered 
greener attractions ; he vaulted lightly over the gate and had so 

The Yellow Book— Vol. I. f little 

88 Irremediable 

little idea he was taking thus the first step towards ruin that he 
began to whistle cc White Wings " from pure joy of life. 

The sheep stopped feeding and raised their heads to stare at him 
from pale-lashed eyes ; first one and then another broke into a 
startled run, until there was a sudden woolly stampede of the entire 
flock. When Willoughby gained the ridge from which they had 
just scattered he came in sight of a woman sitting on a stile at 
the further end of the field. As he advanced towards her he saw 
that she was young and that she was not what is called cc a lady " — 
of which he was glad : an earlier episode in his career having 
indissolubly associated in his mind ideas of feminine refinement 
with those of feminine treachery. 

He thought it probable this girl would be willing to dispense 
with the formalities of an introduction and that he might venture 
with her on some pleasant foolish chat. 

As she made no movement to let him pass he stood still, and, 
looking at her, began to smile. 

She returned his gaze from unabashed dark eyes and then 
laughed, showing teeth white, sound, and smooth as split hazel-nuts. 

cc Do you wanter get over ? " she remarked familiarly. 

" I'm afraid I can't without disturbing you." 

" Dontcher think you're much better where you are ? " said the 
girl, on which Willoughby hazarded : 

" You mean to say looking at you ? Well, perhaps I am ! " 

The girl at this laughed again, but nevertheless dropped herself 
down into the further field j then, leaning her arms upon the cross- 
bar, she informed the young man : " No, I don't wanter spoil your 
walk. You were goin' p'raps ter Beacon Point ? It's very pretty 
that wye." 

" I was going nowhere in particular," he replied : "just exploring, 
so to speak. I'm a stranger in these parts." 


By Ella D'Arcy 89 

"How funny! Imcr stranger here too. I only come down 
larse Friday to stye with a Naunter mine in Horton. Are you 
stying in Horton ? " 

Willoughby told her he was not in Orton, but at Povey Cross 
Farm out in the other direction. 

" Oh, Mrs. Payne's, ain't it ? I've heard aunt speak ower. She 
takes summer boarders, don't chee r I cgspec you come from 
London, heh ? " 

" And I expect you come from London too ? " said Willoughby, 
recognising the familiar accent. 

"You're as sharp as a needle," cried the girl with her un- 
restrained laugh ; " so I do. I'm here for a hollerday 'cos I was 
so done up with the work and the hot weather. I don't look as 
though I'd bin ill, do I ? But I was, though : for it was just 
stifflin' hot up in our workrooms all larse month, an' tailoring 
awful hard work at the bester times." 

Willoughby felt a sudden accession of interest in her. Like 
many intelligent young men he had dabbled a little in Socialism 
and at one time had wandered among the dispossessed ; but since 
then, had caught up and held loosely the new doctrine — It is a good 
and fitting thing that woman also should earn her bread by the 
sweat of her brow. Always in reference to the woman who, 
fifteen months before, had treated him ill, he had said to himself 
that even the breaking of stones in the road should be considered 
a more feminine employment than the breaking of hearts. 

He gave way therefore to a movement of friendliness for this 
working daughter of the people, and joined her on the other side 
of the stile in token of his approval. She, twisting round to face 
him, leaned now with her back against the bar, and the sunset fires 
lent a fleeting glory to her face. Perhaps she guessed how 
becoming the light was, for she took off her hat and let it touch to 


90 Irremediable 

gold the ends and fringes of her rough abundant hair. Thus and 
at this moment she made an agreeable picture, to which stood as 
background all the beautiful wooded Southshire view. 

Ci You don't really mean to say you are a tailoress ? " said 
Willoughby with a sort of eager compassion. 

Ci I do, though ! An' I've bin one ever since I was fourteen. 
Look at my fingers if you don't b'lieve me." 

She put out her right hand, and he took hold of it, as he was 
expected to do. The finger-ends were frayed and blackened by 
needle-pricks, but the hand itself was plump, moist, and not un- 
shapely. She meanwhile examined Willoughby's fingers enclosing 

cc It's easy ter see you've never done no work ! " she said, half 
admiring, half envious. a I s'pose you're a tip-top swell, ain't 
you ? " 

<c Oh, yes ! I'm a tremendous swell indeed ! " said Willoughby 
ironically. He thought of his hundred and thirty pounds' salary ; 
and he mentioned his position in the British and Colonial Banking 
hoijse, without shedding much illumination on her mind ; for she 
insisted : 

u Well, anyhow, you're a gentleman. I've often wished I was 
a lady. It must be so nice ter wear fine clo'es an' never have ter 
do any work all day long." 

Willoughby thought it innocent of the girl to say this ; it re- 
minded him of his own notion as a child — that kings and queens 
put on their crowns the first thing on rising in the morning. His 
cordiality rose another degree. 

<c If being a gentleman means having nothing to do," said he, 
smiling, u I can certainly lay no claim to the title. Life isn't all 
beer and skittles with me, any more than it is with you. Which 
is the better reason for enjoying the present moment, don't you 


By Ella D'Arcy 91 

think ? Suppose, now, like a kind little girl, you were to 
show me the way to Beacon Point, which you say is so 
pretty ? " 

She required no further persuasion. As he walked beside her 
through the upland fields where the dusk was beginning to fall, 
and the white evening moths to emerge from their daytime 
hiding-places, she asked him many personal questions, most of 
which he thought fit to parry. Taking no offence thereat, she 
told him, instead, much concerning herself and her family. Thus 
he learned her name was Esther Stables, that she and her people 
lived Whitechapcl way ; that her father was seldom sober, and 
her mother always ill ; and that the aunt with whom she was 
staying kept the post-office and general shop in Orton village. 
He learned, too, that Esther was discontented with life in general ; 
that, though she hated being at home, she found the country 
dreadfully dull ; and that, consequently, she was extremely glad to 
have made his acquaintance. But what he chiefly realised when 
they parted was that he had spent a couple of pleasant hours 
talking nonsense with a girl who was natural, simple-minded, and 
entirely free from that repellent ly protective atmosphere with 
which a woman of the "classes" so carefully surrounds herself. 
He and Esther had "made friends" with the ease and rapidity 
of children before they have learned the dread meaning of 
"etiquette," and they said good-night, not without some talk 
of meeting each other again. 

Ohliged to breakfast at a quarter to eight in town, Willoughby 
was always luxuriously late when in the country, where he took 
his meals also in leisurely fashion, often reading from a book 
propped up on the table before him. But the morning after his 
meeting with Esther Stables found him less disposed to read than 
usual. Her image obtruded itself upon the printed page, and at 


92 Irremediable 

length grew so importunate he came to the conclusion the only 
way to lay it was to confront it with the girl herself. 

Wanting some tobacco he saw a good reason for going into 
Orton. Esther had told him he could get tobacco and everything 
else at her aunt's. He found the post-office to be one of the first 
houses in the widely spaced village-street. In front of the cottage 
was a small garden ablaze with old-fashioned flowers ; and in a 
larger garden at one side were apple-trees, raspberry and currant 
bushes, and six thatched beehives on a bench. The bowed 
windows of the little shop were partly screened by sunblinds ; 
nevertheless the lower panes still displayed a heterogeneous collec- 
tion of goods — lemons, hanks of yarn, white linen buttons upon 
blue cards, sugar cones, churchwarden pipes, and tobacco jars. A 
letter-box opened its narrow mouth low down in one wall, and 
over the door swung the sign, u Stamps and money-order office," 
in black letters on white enamelled iron. 

The interior of the shop was cool and dark. A second glass- 
door at the back permitted Wi Hough by to see into a small 
sitting-room, and out again through a low and square-paned 
window to the sunny landscape beyond. Silhouetted against 
the light were the heads of two women : the rough young head 
of yesterday's Esther, the lean outline and bugled cap of Esther's 

It was the latter who at the jingling of the door-bell rose from 
her work and came forward to serve the customer ; but the girl, 
with much mute meaning in her eyes and a finger laid upon her 
smiling mouth, followed behind. Her aunt heard her footfall. 
"What do you want here, Esther ?" she said with thin disapproval; 
u get back to your sewing." 

Esther gave the young man a signal seen only by him and 
slipped out into the side-garden, where he found her when his 


By Ella D'Arcy 93 

purchases were made. She leaned over the privet-hedge to inter- 
cept him as he passed. 

tt Aunt's an awful ole maid," she remarked apologetically ; u I 
b'lieve she'd never let me say a word to enny one if she could 
help it." 

cc So you got home all right last night ?" Willoughby inquired; 
u what did your aunt say to you ? " 

cc Oh, she arst me where I'd been, and I tolder a lotter lies ! " 
Then, with woman's intuition, perceiving that this speech 
jarred, Esther made haste to add, u She's so dreadful hard on me ! 
I dursn't tell her I'd been with a gentleman or she'd never have let 
me out alone again." 

"And at present I suppose you'll be found somewhere about 
that same stile every evening ? " said Willoughby foolishly, for he 
really did not much care whether he met her again or not. Now 
he was actually in her company he was surprised at himself for 
having given her a whole morning's thought ; yet the eagerness of 
her answer flattered him, too. 

a To-night I can't come, worse luck ! It's Thursday, and the 
shops here close of a Thursday at five. I'll havter keep aunt 
company. But to-morrer ? — I can be there to-morrer. You'll 
come, say ? " 

a Esther ! " cried a vexed voice, and the precise, right-minded aunt 
emerged through the row of raspberry-bushes ; iC whatever are you 
thinking about, delayin' the gentleman in this fashion ? " She was 
full of rustic and official civility for a the gentleman," but indignant 
with her niece. " I don't want none of your London manners 
down here," Willoughby heard her say as she marched the girl off. 

He himself was not sorry to be released from Esther's too 
friendly eyes, and he spent an agreeable evening over a book, and 
this time managed to forget her completely. 


94 Irremediable 

Though he remembered her first thing next morning, it was to 
smile wisely and determine he would not meet her again. Yet by 
dinner-time the day seemed long ; why, after all, should he not 
meet her ? By tea-time prudence triumphed anew — no, he would 
not go. Then he drank his tea hastily and set off for the 

Esther was waiting for him. Expectation had given an 
additional colour to her cheeks, and her red-brown hair showed 
here and there a beautiful glint of gold. He could not help 
admiring the vigorous way in which it waved and twisted, or the 
little curls which grew at the nape of her neck, tight and close as 
those of a. young lamb's fleece. Her neck here was admirable, too, 
in its smooth creaminess ; and when her eyes lighted up with such 
evident pleasure at his coming, how avoid the conviction she was a 
good and nice girl after all ? 

He proposed they should go down into the little copse on the 
right, where they would be less disturbed by the occasional passer- 
by. Here, seated on a felled tree-trunk, Willoughby began that 
bantering silly meaningless form of conversation known among 
the u classes " as flirting. He had but the wish to make himself 
agreeable, and to while away the time. Esther, however, mis- 
understood him. 

Willoughby's hand lay palm downwards on his knee, and she, 
noticing a ring which he wore on his little finger, took hold of it. 

" What a funny ring ! " she said ; " let's look ? " 

To disembarrass himself of her touch he pulled the ring off and 
gave it her to examine. 

a What's that ugly dark green stone ? " she asked. 

" It's called a sardonyx." 

cc What's it for ? " she said, turning it about. 

u It's a signet ring, to seal letters with." 


By Ella D'Arcy 95 

"An* there's a sorter king's head scratched on it, an' some 
writin* too, only I carnt make it out ? " 

cc It isn't the head of a king, although it wears a crown," 
Willoughby explained, u but the head and bust of a Saracen 
against whom my ancestor of many hundred years ago went to 
fight in the Holy Land. And the words cut round it are the 
motto of our house, 'Vertue vaunceth,' which means virtue 

Willoughby may have displayed some slight accession of dignity 
in giving this bit of family history, for Esther fell into uncontrolled 
laughter, at which he was much displeased. And when the girl 
made as though she would put the ring on her own finger, asking, 
a Shall I keep it ? " he coloured up with sudden annoyance. 

u It was only my fun ! " said Esther hastily, and gave him the 
ring back, but his cordiality was gone. He felt no inclination to 
renew the idle-word pastime, said it was time to go back, and, 
swinging his cane vexedly, struck off the heads of the flowers and 
the weeds as he went. Esther walked by his side in complete 
silence, a phenomenon of which he presently became conscious. 
He felt rather ashamed of having shown temper. 

cc Well, here's your way home," said he with an effort at friend- 
liness. a Good-bye, we've had a nice evening anyhow. It was 
pleasant down there in the woods, eh ? " 

He was astonished to see her eyes soften with tears, and to hear 
the real emotion in her voice as she answered, "It was just heaven 
down there with you until you turned so funny-like. What had 
I done to make you cross ? Say you forgive me, do ! " 

u Silly child ! " said Willoughby, completely mollified, u I'm not 
the least angry. There ! good-bye ! " and like a fool he kissed 

He anathematised his folly in the white light of next morning, 


96 Irremediable 

and, remembering the kiss he had given her, repented it very 
sincerely. He had an uncomfortable suspicion she had not 
received it in the same spirit in which it had been bestowed, but, 
attaching more serious meaning to it, would build expectations 
thereon which must be left unfulfilled. It were best indeed not to 
meet her again 5 for he acknowledged to himself that, though he 
only half liked, and even slightly feared, her, there was a certain 
attraction about her — was it in her dark unflinching eyes or in 
her very red lips ? — which might lead him into greater follies 

Thus it came about that for two successive evenings Esther 
waited for him in vain, and on the third evening he said to himself 
with a grudging relief that by this time she had probably trans- 
ferred her affections to some one else. 

It was Saturday, the second Saturday since he left town. He 
spent the day about the farm, contemplated the pigs, inspected the 
feeding of the stock, and assisted at the afternoon milking. Then 
at evening, with a refilled pipe, he went for a long lean over the 
west gate, while he traced fantastic pictures and wove romances in 
the glories of the sunset clouds. 

He watched the colours glow from gold to scarlet, change to 
crimson, sink at last to sad purple reefs and isles, when the sudden 
consciousness of some one being near him made him turn round. 
There stood Esther, and her eyes were full of eagerness and anger. 

u Why have you never been to the stile again i n she asked him. 
cc You promised to come faithful, and you never came. Why 
have you not kep your promise ? Why ? — why ? " she persisted, 
stamping her foot because Willoughby remained silent. 

What could he say ? Tell her she had no business to follow 
him like this j or own, what was, unfortunately, the truth, he was 
just a little glad to see her ? 

tt P'raps 

By Elk D'Arcy 97 

" P'raps you don't care to see me ? ** she said. M Well, why did 
you kiss me, then ? ** 

Why, indeed .' thought Willoughby, marvelling at his own 
idiotcy, and yet — such is the inconsistency of man — not wholly 
without the desire to kiss her again. And while he looked at her 
she suddenly flung herself down on the hedge-bank at his feet and 
burst into tears. She did not cover up her face, but simply pressed 
one cheek down upon the grass while the water poured from her 
eyes with astonishing abundance. Willoughby saw the dry earth 
turn dark and moist as it drank the tears in. This, his first 
experience of Esther's powers of weeping, distressed him horribly ; 
never in his life before had he seen any one weep like that ; he 
should not have believed such a thing possible, and he was alarmed, 
too, lest she should be noticed from the house. He opened the 
gate ; w Esther ! " he begged, " don't cry. Come out here, like 
a dear girl, and let us talk sensibly." 

Because she stumbled, unable to see her way through wet eyes, 
he gave her his hand, and they found themselves in a field of corn, 
walking along the narrow grass-path that skirted it, in the shadow 
of the hedgerow. 

"What is there to cry about because you have not seen me for 
two days ? " he began ; "why, Esther, we are only strangers, after 
all. When we have been at home a week or two we shall scarcely 
remember each other's names." 

Esther sobbed at intervals, but her tears had ceased. "Jt's fine 
for you to talk of home," she said to this. " You've got some- 
thing that is a home I s'pose ? But me ! my home's like hell, 
with nothing but quarrellin* and cursin*, and father who beats us 
whether sober or drunk. Yes ! " she repeated shrewdly, seeing 
the lively disgust on Willoughby's face, " he beat me, all ill as 1 
was, jus' before I come away. I could show you the bruises on 


98 Irremediable 

my arms still. And now to go back there after knowin' you ! 
It'll be worse than ever. I can't endure it and I won't ! I'll 
put an end to it or myself somehow, I swear ! " 

" But, my poor Esther, how can I help it, what can I do ? " said 
Willoughby. He was greatly moved, full of wrath with her 
father, with all the world which makes women suffer. He had 
suffered himself at the hands of a woman and severely, but this, 
instead of hardening his heart, had only rendered it the more 
supple. And yet he had a vivid perception of the peril in which 
he stood. An interior voice urged him to break away, to seek 
safety in flight even at the cost of appearing cruel or ridiculous ; 
so, coming to a point in the field where an elm-bole jutted out 
across the path, he saw with relief he could now withdraw his 
hand from the girl's, since they must walk singly to skirt round it. 

Esther took a step in advance, stopped and suddenly turned to 
face him ; she held out her two hands and her face was very near 
his own. 

" Don't you care for me one little bit ? " she said wistfully, and 
surely sudden madness fell upon him. For he kissed her again, he 
kissed her many times, and pushed all thoughts of the consequences 
far from him. 

But some of these consequences already called loudly to him as 
he and Esther reached the last gate on the road to Orton. 

"You know I have only ^130 a year ? " he told her ; "it's no 
very brilliant prospect for you to marry me on that." 

For he had actually offered her marriage, although such 
conduct to the mediocre man must appear incredible or at least 
uncalled for. But to Willoughby it seemed the only course 
possible. How else justify his kisses, rescue her from her father's 
brutality, or bring back the smiles to her face ? 

As for Esther, sudden exultation had leaped in her heart; 


By Ella D'Arcy 99 

then ere fifty seconds were gone by, she was certain she would 
never have consented to anything less. 

u O ! I'me used to managin'," she told him confidently, and 
mentally resolved to buy herself, so soon as she was married, a 
black feather boa, such as she had coveted last winter. 

Wi Hough by spent the remaining days of his holiday in thinking 
out and planning with Esther the details of his return to London 
and her own, the secrecy to be observed, the necessary legal steps 
to be taken, and the quiet suburb in which they would set up 
housekeeping. And, so successfully did he carry out his arrange- 
ments, that within five weeks from the day on which he had 
first met Esther Stables he and she came out one morning from a 
church in Highbury husband and wife. It was a mellow Septem- 
ber day, the streets were filled with sunshine, and Willoughby, 
in reckless high spirits, imagined he saw a reflection of his own 
gaiety on the indifferent feces of the passers-by. There being no 
one else to perform the office he congratulated himself very warmly, 
and Esther's frequent laughter filled in the pauses of the day. 

Three months later Willoughby was dining with a friend, and 
the hour-hand of the clock nearing ten the host no longer resisted 
the guest's growing anxiety to be gone. He arose and exchanged 
with him good wishes and good-byes. 

"Marriage is evidently a most successful institution," said he, 
half jesting, half sincere ; " you almost make me inclined to go 
and get married myself. Confess now your thoughts have been 
at home the whole evening ? " 

Willoughby thus addressed turned red to the roots of his hair, 
but did not deny the soft impeachment. 

The other laughed. " And very commendable they should be," 
he continued, "since you are scarcely, so to speak, out of your 


ioo Irremediable 

With a social smile on his lips Willoughby calculated a moment 
before replying, u I have been married exactly three months and 
three days ; " then, after a few words respecting their next meeting, 
the two shook hands and parted, the young host to finish the 
evening with books and pipe, the young husband to set out on a 
twenty minutes' walk to his home. 

It was a cold clear December night following a day of rain. A 
touch of frost in the air had dried the pavements, and Willoughby's 
footfall ringing upon the stones re-echoed down the empty 
suburban street. Above his head was a dark remote sky thickly 
powdered with stars, and as he turned westward Alpherat hung 
for a moment " comme le point sur un /," over the slender spire of 
St. John's. But he was insensible to the worlds about him ; he 
was absorbed in his own thoughts, and these, as his friend had 
surmised, were entirely with his wife. For Esther's face was 
always before his eyes, her voice was always in his ears, she filled 
the universe for him ; yet only four months ago he had never 
seen her, had never heard her name. This was the curious part 
of it — here in December he found himself the husband of a girl 
who was completely dependent upon him not only for food, 
clothes, and lodging, but for her present happiness, her whole 
future life ; and last July he had been scarcely more than a boy 
himself, with no greater care on his mind than the pleasant difficulty 
of deciding where he should spend his annual three weeks' holiday. 

But it is events, not months or years, which age. Willoughby, 
who was only twenty-six, remembered his youth as a sometime 
companion irrevocably lost to him ; its vague, delightful hopes 
were now crystallised into definite ties, and its happy irresponsi- 
bility displaced by a sense of care inseparable perhaps from the 
most fortunate of marriages. 

As he reached the street in which he lodged his {NKg iorokin- 


By Ella D'Arcy ioi 

tarily slackened. While still some distance off his eye sought out 
and distinguished the windows of the room in which Esther 
awaited him. Through the broken slats of the Venetian blind* 
he could see the yellow gaslight within. The parlour beneath 
was in darkness ; his landlady had evidently gone to bed, there 
being no light over the hall-door either. In some apprehension 
he consulted his watch under the last street-lamp he passed, to 
find comfort in assuring himself it was only ten minutes after 
ten. He let himself in with his latch-key, hung up his hat and 
overcoat by the sense of touch, and, groping his way upstairs, 
opened the door of the first floor sitting-room. 

At the table in the centre of the room sat his wife, leaning upon 
her elbows, her two hands thrust up into her ruffled hair ; spread 
out before her was a crumpled yesterday's newspaper, and so 
interested was she to all appearance in its contents that she neither 
spoke nor looked up as Willoughby entered. Around her were 
the still uncleared tokens of her last meal : tea-slops, bread-crumbs, 
and an eggshell crushed to fragments upon a plate, which was one 
of those trifles that set Willoughby's teeth on edge — whenever 
his wife ate an egg she persisted in turning the egg-cup upside 
down upon the tablecloth, and pounding the shell to pieces in her 
plate with her spoon. 

The room was repulsive in its disorder. The one lighted 
burner of the gaselier, turned too high, hissed up into a long 
tongue of flame. The' fire smoked feebly under a newly adminis- 
tered shovelful of "slack," and a heap of ashes and cinders 
littered the grate. A pair of walking boots, caked in dry mud, lay 
on the hearthrug just where they had been thrown off. On the 
mantelpiece, amidst a dozen other articles which had no business 
there, was a bedroom-candlestick ; and every single article of 
furniture stood crookedly out of its place. 


1 02 Irremediable 

Willoughby took in the whole intolerable picture, and yet spoke 
with kindliness. " Well, Esther ! I'm not so late, after all. I hope 
you did not feel the time dull by yourself? " Then he explained 
the reason of his absence. He had met a friend he had not seen for 
a couple of years, who had insisted on taking him home to dine. 

His wife gave no sign of having heard him ; she kept her eyes 
rivetted on the paper before her. 

"You received my wire, of course," Willoughby went on, 
" and did not wait ? " 

Now she crushed the newspaper up with a passionate move- 
ment, and threw it from her. She raised her head, showing cheeks 
blazing with anger, and dark, sullen, unflinching eyes. 

u I did wyte then ! " she cried. " I wyted till near eight before 
I got your old telegraph ! I s'pose that's what you call the 
manners of a 'gentleman,' to keep your wife mewed up here, 
while you go gallivantin' off with your fine friends ? " 

Whenever Esther was angry, which was often, she taunted 
Willoughby with being "a gentleman," although this was the 
precise point about him which at other times found most favour 
in her eyes. But to-night she was envenomed by the idea he had 
been enjoying himself without her, stung by fear lest he should 
have been in company with some other woman. 

Willoughby, hearing the taunt, resigned himself to the inevit- 
able. Nothing that he could do might now avert the breaking 
storm, all his words would only be twisted into fresh griefs. But 
sad experience had taught him that to take refuge in silence was 
more fatal still. When Esther was in such a mood as this it was 
best to supply the fire with fuel, that, through the very violence of 
the conflagration, it might the sooner burn itself out. 

So he said what soothing things he could, and Esther caught 
them up, disfigured them, and flung them back at him with 


By Elk D'Arcy 

!0 3 

scorn. She reproached him with no longer caring for her ; 
she vituperated (he conduct of his family in never taking the 
smallest notice of her marriage ; and she detailed the insolence of 
the landlady who had told her that morning she pitied "poor Mr. 
Willoughby," and had refused to go out and buy herrings for 
Esther's early dinner. 

Every affront or grievance, real or imaginary, since the day she 
and Willoughby had first met, she poured forth with a fluency due 
to frequent repetition, for, with the exception of to-day's added 
injuries, Willoughby had heard the whole litany many times 

While she raged and he looked at her, he remembered he had 
once thought her pretty. He had seen beauty in her rough brown 
hair, her strong colouring, her full red mouth. He fell into 
musing .... a woman may lack beauty, he told himself, and yet 
be loved 

Meantime Esther reached white heats of passion, and the strain 
could no longer be sustained. She broke into sobs and began to 
shed tears with the facility peculiar to her. In a moment her face 
was all wet with the big drops which rolled down her cheeks 
faster and faster and fell with audible splashes on to the table, on 
to her lap, on to the floor. To this tearful abundance, formerly a 
surprising spectacle, Willoughby was now acclimatised ; but the 
remnant of chivalrous feeling not yet extinguished in his bosom 
forbade him to sit stolidly by while a woman wept, without 
seeking to console her. As on previous occasions, his peace- 
overtures were eventually accepted. Esther's tears gradually 
ceased to flow, she began to exhibit a sort of compunction, she 
wished to be forgiven, and, with the kiss of reconciliation, passed 
into a phase of demonstrative affection perhaps more trying to 
Willoughby's patience than all that had preceded it. "You don't 

The Yellow Book— Vol. I. G love 



love me ? " she questioned, " I'm sure you don't love me ? " she 
reiterated ; and he asseverated that he loved her until he loathed 
himself. Then at last, only half satisfied, but wearied out with 
vexation — possibly, too, with a movement of pity at the sight of 
fats haggard face — she consented to leave him ; only what was he 
going to do ? she asked suspiciously : write those rubbishing 
stories of his ? Well, he must promise not to stay up more than 
half an hour at the latest— only until he had smoked one pipe ! 

Willoughby promised, as he would have promised anything on 
earth to secure to himself a half-hour's peace and solitude. Esther 
groped for her slippers, which were kicked off under the table ; 
scratched four or five matches along the box and threw them away 
before she succeeded in lighting her candle ; set it down again to 
contemplate her tear-swollen reflection in the chimney-glass, and 
burst out laughing. 

" What a fright I do look, to be sure ! " she remarked com- 
placently, and again thrust her two hands up through her dis- 
ordered curls. Then, holding the candle at such an angle that the 
grease ran over on to the carpet, she gave Willoughby another 
vehement kiss and trailed out of the room with an ineffectual 
attempt to close the door behind her. 

Willoughby got up to shut it himself, and wondered why it was 
that Esther never did any one mortal thing efficiently or well. 
Good God ! how irritable he felt ! It was impossible to write. 
He must find an outlet for his impatience, rend or mend 
something. He began to straighten the room, but a wave of 
disgust came over him before the task was Fairly commenced. 
What was the use ? To-morrow all would be bad as ever. 
What was the use of doing anything ? He sat down by the table 
and leaned his head upon his hands. 


By Ella D'Arcy 105 

The past came back to him in pictures: his boyhood's past first 
of all. He saw again the old home, every inch of which was 
familiar to him as his own name ; he reconstructed in his thought 
all the old well-known furniture, and replaced it precisely as it had 
stood long ago. He passed again a childish finger over the rough 
surface of the faded Utrecht velvet chairs, and smelled again the 
strong fragrance of the white lilac-tree, blowing in through the 
open parlour-window. He savoured anew the pleasant mental 
atmosphere produced by the dainty neatness of cultured women, 
the companionship of a few good pictures, of a few good books. 
Yet this home had been broken up years ago, the dear familiar 
things had been scattered far and wide, never to find themselves 
under the same roof again ; and from those near relatives who still 
remained to him he lived now hopelessly estranged. 

Then came the past of his first love-dream, when he worshipped 
at the feet of Nora Beresford, and, with the wholeheartedness of 
the true fanatic, clothed his idol with every imaginable attribute of 
virtue and tenderness. To this day there remained a secret shrine 
in his heart wherein the Lady of his young ideal was still 
enthroned, although it was long since he had come to perceive she 
had nothing whatever in common with the Nora of reality. For 
the real Nora he had no longer any sentiment : she had passed 
altogether out of his life and thoughts ; and yet, so permanent is 
all influence, whether good or evil, that the effect she wrought 
upon his character remained. He recognised to-night that her 
treatment of him in the past did not count for nothing among the 
various factors which had determined his fate. 

Now the past of only last year returned, and, strangely enough, 
this seemed farther removed from him than all the rest. He had 
been particularly strong, well and happy this time last year. Nora 
was dismissed from his mind, and he had thrown all his energies 

Io6 Irremediable 

■mo hi* work. His castes were sane and ii tuple, ami his dingv, 
furnished rooms had become through habit very pleasant to him. 
In being his own they were invested with a greater charm titan 
another man's castle. Here he had smoked and studied, here he 
had made many a glorious voyage into the land ot" books. Manv 
a home-coming, too, rote up before him out of the dark uu- 
genial streets to a clean blazing lire, a neatly bid cloth, an evening 
of ideal enjoyment ; many a summer twilight when he mused at 
the Open window, plunging his gaze deep into the recesses ot" his 
neighbour's lime-tree, where the unseen sparrows chattered with 
inch unflagging gaiety. 

Hr had always been given to much day-dreaming, and it was in 
the silence of his rooms of an evening that he turned his phantas- 
mal adventures into stories for the magazines ; here had come to 
him many an editorial refusal, but here, too, he had received the 
ll«W* of his first unexpected success. All his happiest memories 
W«re embalmed in those shabby, badly furnished rooms. 

Now all was changed. Now might there be no longer any 
Mtft indulgence of the hour's mood. His rooms and everything he 
ifwiinl belonged now to Esther, too. She had objected to most of 
hi* Lilt u lug rap hi, and had removed them. She hated books, and were 
h* evi'i m> ill-advised as to open one in her presence, she im- 
llirdiutt'ly began to talk, no matter bow silent or how sullen her 
pirvliiiH mood had been. If he read aloud to her she either 
VHWlieil despairingly, or was tickled into laughter where there was 
ih> ivnnimablc cause. At first, Willoughby had tried to educate 
hn wiul hat) gone hopefully to the cask. It is so natural to think 
vvm iiinv make what you will of the woman who loves you. But 
b/t|mt "«d ■*> wiin to ' m P rove - She evinced all the sclf- 
Mtutih-liiiil of an illiterate mind. To her husband's gentle 
Mltuvtnitiuiii she replied with brevity that she thought her way 

By Ella D'Arcy 107 

quite as good as his ; or, if he didn't approve of her pronunciation, 
he might do the other thing, she was too old to go to school again. 
He gave up the attempt, and, with humiliation at his previous 
fatuity, perceived that it was folly to expect a few weeks of his 
companionship could alter or pull up the impressions of years, 
or rather of generations. 

Yet here he paused to admit a curious thing : it was not only 
Esther's bad habits which vexed him, but habits quite un blame- 
worthy in themselves, and which he never would have noticed in 
another, irritated him in her. He disliked her manner of standing, 
of walking, of sitting in a chair, of folding her hands. Like a 
lover he was conscious of her proximity without seeing her. Like 
a lover, too, his eyes followed her every movement, his ear noted 
every change in her voice. But, then, instead of being charmed 
by everything as the lover is, everything jarred upon him. 

What was the meaning of this ? To-night the anomaly pressed 
upon him : he reviewed his position. Here was he quite a young 
man, just twenty-six years of age, married to Esther, and bound to 
live with her so long as life should last — twenty, forty, perhaps 
fifty years more. Every day of those years to be spent in her 
society ; he and she face to face, soul to soul -, they two alone 
amid all the whirling, busy, indifferent world. So near together in 
semblance, in truth so far apart as regards all that makes life dear. 

Willoughby groaned. From the woman he did not love, whom 
he had never loved, he might not again go free ; so much be 
recognised. The feeling he had once entertained for Esther, strange 
compound of mistaken chivalry and nattered vanity, was long since 
extinct ; but what, then, was the sentiment with which she inspired 
him ? For he was not indifferent to her — no, never for one instant 
could he persuade himself he was indifferent, never for one instant 
could he banish her from his thoughts. His mind's eye followed 


1 08 Irremediable 

her during his hours of absence as pertinaciously as his bodily eye 
dwelt upon her actual presence. She was the principal object of 
the universe to him, the centre around which his wheel of life 
revolved with an appalling fidelity. 

What did it mean? What could it mean? he asked himself 
with anguish. 

And the sweat broke out upon his forehead and his hands grew 
cold, for on a sudden the truth by there like a wiiti e n word upon 
the tablecloth before him. This woman, whom he had taken to 
himself for better for worse, inspired him with a passion — intense 
indeed, all-masterful, soul-subduing as Love itself — . . . . But when 
he understood the terror of his Hatred, he hid his head upon his 
arms and wept, not facile tears like Esther's, but tears wrung out 
from his agonising unavailing regret. 

.Portrait of a Gentleman 

By Will Rothenstein 

RifrcJtad if llu $m* Elrark E*grein*[ Omftny 

Two Sonnets 

By William Watson 

I— The Frontier 

at the hushed brink of twilight, — when, as though 
f\ Some solemn journeying phantom paused to lay 
An ominous finger on the awestruck day, 
Earth holds her breath till that great presence go, — 
A moment comes of visionary glow, 
Pendulous 'twixt the gold hour and the grey, 
Lovelier than these, more eloquent than they 
Of memory, foresight, and life's ebb and flow. 

So have I known, in some fair woman's face, 

While viewless yet was Time's more gross imprint, 

The first, faint, hesitant, elusive hint 

Of that invasion of the vandal years 

Seem deeper beauty than youth's cloudless grace, 

Wake subtler dreams, and touch me nigh to tears. 

H4 Two Sonnets 

II — Night on Curbar Edge, Derbyshire 

No echo of man's life pursues my ears ; 
Nothing disputes this Desolation's reign ; 
Change comes not, this dread temple to profane, 
Where time by aeons reckons, not by years. 
Its patient form one crag, sole-stranded, rears, 
Type of whate'er is destined to remain 
While yon still host encamped on Night's waste plain 
Keeps armed watch, a million quivering spears. 

Hushed are the wild and wing'd lives of the moor ; 
The sleeping sheep nestle 'neath ruined wall, 
Or unhewn stones in random concourse hurled : 
Solitude, sleepless, listens at Fate's door ; 
And there is built and 'stablisht over all 
Tremendous Silence, older than the world. 

The Reflected Faun 

By Laurence Housman 

tUfnimti hf Atom. Carl HhikM V C 

A Sentimental Cellar 

By George Saintsbury 

[It would appear from the reference to a " Queen " that the following 
piece was written in or with a view to the reign of Queen Anne, 
though an anachronism or two (such as a reference to the '45 
and a quotation from Adam Smith) may be noted. On the 
other hand, an occasional mixture of " you " and " thou " seems 
to argue a date before Johnson. It must at any rate have been 
composed for, or in imitation of the style of, one or other of the 
eighteenth-century collections of Essays.] 

IT chanced the other day that I had a mind to visit my old 
friend Falernianus. The maid who opened the door to me 
showed me into his study, and apologised for her master's absence 
by saying that he was in the cellar. He soon appeared, and I 
rallied him a little on the gravity of his occupation. Falernianus, 
I must tell you, is neither a drunkard nor a man of fortune. But 
he has a pretty taste in wine, indulges it rather in collection than 
in consumption, and arranges his cellar (or, as he sometimes calls 
it, "cellaret") himself, having no butler or other man-servant. 
He took my pleasantry very good-humouredly ; and when I 
asked him further if I might behold this temple of his devotions 
he complied at once. a 'Tis rather a chantry than a temple, 


120 A Sentimental Cellar 

Eugenius," said he, u but you are very welcome to see it if you 
please ; and if you are minded to hear a sermon, perhaps I can 
preach one different from what you may expect at an Oracle of 
the Bottle." 

We soon reached the cavern, which, indeed, was much less 
magnificent than that over which Bacbuc presided ; and I 
perused, not without interest (for I had often tasted the contents), 
the various bins in which bottles of different shapes and sizes were 
stowed away with a modest neatness. Falernianus amused him- 
self, and did not go so far as to weary me, with some tales of luck 
or disappointment in his purchases, of the singular improvement 
of this vintage, and the mortifying conduct of that. For these 
wine-lovers are curious in their phrase ; and it is not disgusting to 
hear them say regretfully that the claret of such and such a year 
"has not spoken yet"; or that another was long "under the 
curse of the seventies." This last phrase, indeed, had a grandilo- 
quent and romantic turn which half surprised me from my friend, 
a humourist with a special horror of fine speech or writing, and 
turning sharply I saw a smile on his lips. 

"But," said I, "my Falernianus, your sermon ? For I scarce 
think that this wine-chat would be dignified by you with such a 

"You are right, Eugenius," answered he, "but I do not quite 
know whether I am wise to disclose even to you the ruling fancy 
under which I have formed this little liquid museum, or Baccheum 
if you prefer it." 

" I think you may," said I, " for in the first place we are old 
enough friends for such confidences, and in the second I know 
you to be too much given to laugh at your own foibles to be 
greatly afraid of another's ridicule." 

" You say well," he said, " so mark ! For if my sermon inflicts 


By George Saintsbury 


what our toasts call ennui upon you, remember that in the 
words of their favourite Moliere, c You have willed it.' 

<c I do not, Eugenius, pretend to be indifferent to good wine in 
itself. But when I called this little cellar of mine just now a 
museum I did no dishonour to the daughters of Mnemosyne. 
For you will observe that wine, by the fact of its keeping powers 
and by the other fact of its date being known, is a sort of calendar 
made to the hand of whoso would commemorate, with a festive 
solemnity, the things that are, as Mr. Dryden says, 

' Hid in the sacred treasure of the past.' 

If not the mere juice of the grape (for the merit of the strongest 
wine after fifty or sixty years is mostly but itself a memory) strong 
waters brewed on the day of a man's birth will keep their fire 
and gain ever fresh mellowness though he were to outlive the 
longest lifetime ; and in these little flasks here, my Eugenius, 
you will find a cup of Nantz that was born with me, and that 
will keep its virtues long after thou and I have gone to solve 
the great enigma. Again, thou seest those pints of red port 
which nestle together ? Within a few days, Eugenius, of the 
time when that must was foaming round the Douro peasants, I 
made mine entrance at the University. You can imagine with 
what a mixture of tender and humorous feelings I quaff them now 
and then. When their juice was tunned, what amiable visions, 
what boyish hopes floated before my eyes ! I was to carry off* 
all that Cam or Isis had of honours or profit, all that either 
could give of learning. I was to have my choice of learned 
retirement on the one hand, or of ardent struggle at the hoarse 
bar on the other, with the prizes of the senate beyond. They 
were scarce throwing down their crust when that dream faded ; 


122 A Sentimental Cellar 

they had scarce become drinkable by a hasty toper before I 
saw clearly that metaphysical aid was wanting, and that a very 
different fete must be mine. I make no moan over it, Eugenius, 
and I puff away like a worse than prostitute as she is, the demon 
Envy when she whispers in my ear the names of Titius or Seius, 
and adds, c Had they better parts, or only better stars than you ? ' 
But as they fable that the wine itself throbs with the early move- 
ment of the sap in the vines, so, Eugenius, when I sip that cordial 
(and truth 'tis a noble vintage) the old hopes, the old follies, the 
old dreams waken in me, and I am once more eighteen. 

<c Look yonder again at those cobwebbed vessels of various 
shapes that lie side by side, although of different vineyards, in the 
peaceful bins. They all date from a year in which the wheel of 
fortune brought honest men to the top in England j and if only 
for a brief space, as, I am told, they sing in North Britain, 'the 
de'il went hame wi' a' the Whigs before him* (I must tell you, 

Mr. , that Falernianus, though a loyal subject to our good 

Queen, is a most malignant Tory, and indeed I have heard him 
impeached of Jacobitism by ill-willers). But no more of politics." 
He paused a moment and then went on : " I think I see you smile 
again, Eugenius, and say to yourself, 'These are but dry-lipped 
subjects for so flowing a calendar.' And to tell the truth, my 
friend, the main part of my ephemerides of this kind has been filled 
by the aid of the goddess who was ever nearest and kindest to 
Bacchus. In yonder bin lie phials of the mightiest port that 
Lusitanian summers ever blackened, and flasks of sack from the 
more southern parts of that peninsula, which our Ben or his son 
Herrick would have loved. In the same year which saw the 
pressing of these generous juices the earth was made more fair by 
the birth of Bellamira and Candiope. The blackest purple of the 
Lusitanian grape is not so black as the tresses of Candiope's hair, 


By George Saintsbury 123 

nor doth the golden glow of the sherris approach in flame the 
locks of Bellamira ; but if I let the sunlight play through both, 
Love, with fantastic triumph, shows me, as the bright motes 
flicker and flee through the sack, the tawny eyes of Candiope, and 
the stain, no longer black or purple, but rosy red, that floats from 
the Oportian juice on the white napery, recalls the velvet blush of 
Bellamira's cheek." 

"And this?" I said, pointing to a bin of Bordeaux near me. 
"Thou shalt try it this very day," said Falernianus with a laugh, 
which I thought carried ofF some feelings a little overstrained ; 
" 'tis a right pleasant wine, and they made it in the year when I first 
saw the lips of Damaris. The flavour is not unlike theirs, and if 
it should fluster thine head a little, and - cause thee what men call 
heartburn, I will not say that the effects are wholly dissimilar." 
It is not like Falernianus even to jest at women, and I turned to 
another. His face cleared. " Many a year has passed," he said, 
" since the grape that bore that juice was gathered, and even as it 
was ripening it chanced that I met Lalage and won her. The 
wine was always good and the love likewise ; but in neither in 
their early years was there half the pleasure that there is now. But 
I weary you, Eugenius, and perhaps the philosopher speaks truly 
in saying that these things are not matters of sympathy, or, as the 
Scripture saith, a stranger is not partaker of them. Suffice it to 
say that these imprisoned rubies and topazes, amethysts and 
jacinths, never flash in the glass, nor collect their deeper body of 
colour in the flagon, without bringing a memory with them, that 
my lips seldom kiss them without recalling other kisses, my 
eye never beholds them without seeing other colours and other 
forms in 'the sessions of sweet silent thought.' At the refining 
of this elixir I assumed the virile gown ; when that nectar was fit 
for drinking I made my first appearance in the field of letters ; and 

The Yellow Book— Vol. I. H thii 

124 A Sentimental Cellar 

this again recalls the death of dear friends and the waning of idle 
hopes. When I am dead, or if any reverse of fortune makes me 
part with this cabinet of quintessence, it will pass to heirs or pur- 
chasers as so much good wine and nothing more. To me it is 
that and much more — a casket of magic liquors, a museum, as I 
have called it, of glasses like that of Dr. Dee, in which I see again 
the smile of beauty and the hope of youth, in which once more I 
win, lose, possess, conquer, am defeated ; in which I live over 
again in the recesses of fantasy the vanished life of the past. 

(( But it is not often that I preach in this fashion. Let us take 
a turn in the garden while they get dinner ready, that you may 
taste," and he smiled, "that you may taste — if you dare — the wine 
that I have likened to the lips of Damaris." 

Night Piece 

By Aubrey Beardsley 

RifrpJtad if fit Swm Eltctrk Engraving Ornftnj 

Stella Maris 

By Arthur Symons 

Why is it I remember yet 
You, of all women one has met 
In random wayfare, as one meets 
The chance romances of the streets, 
The Juliet of a night ? I know 
Your heart holds many a Romeo. 
And I, who call to mind your face 
In so serene a pausing-place, 
Where the bright pure expanse of sea, 
The shadowy shore's austerity, 
Seems a reproach to you and me, 
I too have sought on many a breast 
The ecstasy of love's unrest, 
I too have had my dreams, and met 
(Ah me !) how many a Juliet. 
Why is it, then, that I recall 
You, neither first nor last of all ? 
For, surely as I see to-night 
The glancing of the lighthouse light, 
Against the sky, across the bay, 
As turn by turn it falls my way, 

130 Stella Maris 

So surely do I see your eyes 
Out of the empty night arise, 
Child, you arise and smile to me 
Out of the night, out of the sea, 
The Nereid of a moment there, 
And is it seaweed in your hair ? 

lost and wrecked, how long ago, 
Out of the drowned past, I know, 
You come to call me, come to claim 
My share of your delicious shame. 
Child, I remember, and can tell 
One night we loved each other well ; 
And one night's love, at least or most, 
Is not so small a thing to boast. 

You were adorable, and I 

Adored you to infinity, 

That nuptial night too briefly borne 

To the oblivion of morn. 

Oh, no oblivion ! for I feel 

Your lips deliriously steal 

Along my neck, and fasten there ; 

1 feel the perfume of your hair, 

And your soft breast that heaves and dips, 

Desiring my desirous lips, 

And that ineffable delight 

When souls turn bodies, and unite 

In the intolerable, the whole 

Rapture of the embodied soul. 

That joy was ours, we passed it by ; 
You have forgotten me, and I 


By Arthur Symons 

Remember you thus strangely, won 

An instant from oblivion. 

And I, remembering, would declare 

That joy, not shame, is ours to share, 

Joy that we had the will and power, 

In spite of fate, to snatch one hour, 

Out of vague nights, and days at strife, 

So infinitely full of life. 

And 'tis for this I sec you rise, 

A wraith, with starlight in your eyes, 

Here, where the drowsy-minded mood 

Is one with Nature's solitude ; 

For this, for this, you come to me 

Out of. the night, out of the sea. 



By Sir Frederic Leighto 


■ic Leighton, P.R.A. 

t. - ■ ■ .. . * , ■■ *» 

.'. •■!»• wi'tg Company 

Two Sketches 

By Henry Harland 

I — Mercedes 

When I was a child some one gave me a family of white 
mice. I don't remember how old I was, I think about 
ten or eleven ; but I remember very clearly the day I received 
them. It must have been a Thursday, a half-holiday, for I had 
come home from school rather early in the afternoon. Alexandre, 
dear old ruddy round-faced Alexandre, who opened the door for 
me, smiled in a way that seemed to announce, " There's a surprise 
in store for you, sir." Then my mother smiled too, a smile, I 
thought, of peculiar promise and interest. After I had kissed her 
she said, " Come into the dining-room. There's something you 
will like." Perhaps I concluded it would be something to eat. 
Anyhow, all agog with curiosity, I followed her into the dining- 
room — and Alexandre followed me^ anxious to take part in the 
rejoicing. In the window stood a big cage, enclosing the family 
of white mice. 

I remember it as a very big cage indeed ; no doubt I should 
find it shrunken to quite moderate dimensions if I could see it 
again. There were three generations of mice in it : a fat old 
couple, the founders of the race, dozing phlegmatically on their 


136 Two Sketches 

laurels in a corner ; then a dozen medium-sized, slender mice, 
trim and youthful looking, rushing irrelevantly hither and thither, 
with funny inquisitive little faces ; and then a squirming mass of 
pink things, like caterpillars, that were really infant mice, new- 
born. They didn't remain infants long, though. In a few days 
they had put on virile togas of white fur, and were scrambling 
about the cage and nibbling their food as independently as their 
elders. The rapidity with which my mice multiplied and grew 
to maturity was a constant source of astonishment to me. It 
seemed as if every morning I found a new litter of young mice in 
the cage — though how they had effected an entrance through the 
wire gauze that lined it was a hopeless puzzle — and these would 
have become responsible, self-supporting mice in no time. 

My mother told me that somebody had sent me this soul- 
stirring present from the country, and I dare say I was made to 
sit down and write a letter of thanks. But I'm ashamed to own 
I can't remember who the giver was. I have a vague notion that 
it was a lady, an elderly maiden-lady — Mademoiselle some- 
thing that began with P — who lived near Tours, and who used 
to come to Paris once or twice a year, and always brought me a 
box of prunes. 

Alexandre carried the cage into my play-room, and set it up 
against the wall. I stationed myself in front of it, and remained 
there all the rest of the afternoon, gazing in, entranced. To watch 
their antics, their comings and goings, their labours and amuse- 
ments, to study their shrewd, alert physiognomies, to wonder 
about their feelings, thoughts, intentions, to try to divine the 
meaning of their busy twittering language — it was such keen, 
deep delight. Of course I was an anthropomorphist, and read a 
great deal of human nature into them ; otherwise it wouldn't have 
been such fun. I dragged myself reluctantly away when I was 


By Henry Harland 


called to dinner. It was hard that evening to apply myself to 
my school-books. Before I went to bed I paid them a parting 
visit ; they were huddled together in their nest of cotton-wool, 
sleeping soundly. And I was up at an unheard-of hour next 
morning, to have a bout with them before going to school. I 
found Alexandre, in his nightcap and long white apron, occupied 
with the soins de proprete^ as he said. He cleaned out the cage, 
put in fresh food and water, and then, pointing to the fat old 
couple, the grandparents, who stopped lazily abed, sitting up and 
rubbing their noses together, whilst their juniors scampered merrily 
about their affairs, " Tiens ! On dirait Monsieur et Madame 
Denis," he cried. I felt the appositeness of his allusion ; and the 
old couple were forthwith officially denominated Monsieur and 
Madame Denis, for their resemblance to the hero and heroine of 
the song — though which was Monsieur, and which Madame, I'm 
not sure that I ever clearly knew. 

It was a little after this that I was taken for the first time in 
my life to the play. I fancy the theatre must have been the Porte 
St. Martin ; at any rate, it was a theatre in the Boulevard, and 
towards the East, for I remember the long drive we had to reach 
it. And the piece was The Count of Monte Cristo. In my 
memory the adventure shines, of course, as a vague blur of light 
and joy ; a child's first visit to the play, and that play The Count 
of Monte Cristo! It was all the breath-taking pleasantness of 
romance made visible, audible, actual. A vague blur of light and 
joy, from which only two details separate themselves. First, the 
prison scene, and an aged man, with a long white beard, moving a 
great stone from the wall ; then — the figure of Mercedes. I went 
home terribly in love with Mercedes. Surely there are no such 
grandes passions in maturer life as those helpless, inarticulate ones 
we burn in secret with before our teens ; surely we never love 


138 Two Sketches 

again so violently, desperately, consumedly. Anyhow, I went 
home terribly in love with Mercedes. And — do all children lack 
humour ? — I picked out the prettiest young ladyish-looking mouse 
in my collection, cut off her moustaches, adopted her as my 
especial pet, and called her by the name of my dea eerie. 

All of my mice by this time had become quite tame. They 
had plenty to eat and drink, and a comfortable home, and not a 
care in the world ; and familiarity with their master had bred 
assurance ; and so they had become quite tame and shamefully, 
abominably lazy. Luxury, we are taught, was ever the mother of 
sloth. I could put my hand in amongst them, and not one would 
bestir himself the littlest bit to escape me. Mercedes and I were 
inseparable. I used to take her to school with me every day ; she 
could be more conveniently and privately transported than a lamb. 
Each lyceen had a desk in front of his form, and she would spend 
the school-hours in mine, I leaving the lid raised a little, that she 
might have light and air. One day, the usher having left the 
room for a moment, I put her down on the floor, thereby creating 
a great excitement amongst my fellow-pupils, who got up from 
their places and formed an eager circle round her. Then suddenly 
the usher came back, and we all hurried to our seats, while he, 
catching sight of Mercedes, cried out, " A mouse ! A white 
mouse ! Who dares to bring a white mouse to the class ? " And 
he made a dash for her. But she was too quick, too 'cute, for 
"the likes of" Monsieur le Pion. She gave a jump, and in the 
twinkling of an eye had disappeared up my leg, under my trousers. 
The usher searched high and low for her, but she prudently 
remained in her hiding-place ; and thus her life was saved, for, 
when he had abandoned his ineffectual chase, he announced, " I 
should have wrung her neck." I turned pale to imagine the doom 
she had escaped as by a hair's-breadth. u It is useless to ask which 


By Henry Harland 139 

of you brought her here," he continued. "But mark my words : 
if ever I find a mouse again in the class / will wring her neck ! " 
And yet, in private life, this bloodthirsty pion was a quite gentle, 
kindly, underfed, underpaid, shabby, struggling fellow, with literary 
aspirations, who would not have hurt a fly. 

The secrets of a schoolboy's pocket ! I once saw a boy 
surreptitiously angling in Kensington Gardens, with a string and 
a bent pin. Presently he landed a fish, a fish no bigger than your 
thumb perhaps, but still a fish. Alive and wet and flopping as 
it was, he 1 slipped it into his pocket. I used to carry Mercedes 
about in mine. One evening, when I put in my hand to take her 
out, I discovered to my bewilderment that she was not alone. 
There were four little pink mites of infant mice clinging to her. 

I had enjoyed my visit to the theatre so much that at the jour 

de Pan my father included a toy-theatre among my presents. It 

had a real curtain of green baize, that would roll up and down, 

and beautiful coloured scenery that you could shift, and footlights, 

and a trap-door in the middle of the stage ; and indeed it would 

have been altogether perfect, except for the Company. I have 

since learned that this is not infrequently the case with theatres. 

My company consisted of pasteboard men and women who, as 

artists, struck me as eminently unsatisfactory. They couldn't 

move their arms or legs, and they had such stolid, uninteresting 

faces. I don't know how it first occurred to me to turn them all 

off, and fill their places with my mice. Mercedes, of course, was 

leading lady ; Monsieur and Madame Denis were the heavy 

parents ; and a gentlemanlike young mouse named Leander was 

jeune premier. Then, in my leisure, they used to act the most 

tremendous plays. I was stage-manager, prompter, playwright, 

chorus, and audience, placing the theatre before a looking-glass, so 

that, though my duties kept me behind, I could peer round the 


140 Two Sketches 

edge, and watch the spectacle as from the front. I would invent 
the lines and deliver them, but, that my illusion might be the 
more complete, I would change my voice for each personage. 
The lines tried hard to be verses ; no doubt they were vers Hires. 
At any rate, they were mouth-filling and sonorous. The first 
play we attempted, I need hardly say, was Le Comte de Monte 
Crisis, such version of it as I could reconstruct from memory. 
That had rather a long run. Then I dramatised Aladdin and 
the Wonderful Lamp, Paul et Virginity S^uentin Durward, and 
La Dame de Mmtoreau. Mercedes made a charming Diane, 
Leandcr a brilliant and dashing Bussy ; Monsieur Denis was cast 
for the role of Frere Gorenflot ; and a long, thin, cadavcrous- 
loolcing mouse, Don Quichotte by name, somewhat inadequately 
represented Chicot. We began, as you see, with melodrama ; 
presently we descended to light comedy, playing Let Menmres cfun 
Jne, Jean qui «>, and other works of the immortal Madame de 
Segur. And then at last we turned a new leaf, and became 
naturalistic. We had never heard of the naturalist school, 
though Monsieur Zola had already published some volumes of the 
Rsugon-Macquart ; but ideas are in the air ; and we, for 
ourselves, discovered the possibilities of naturalism simultaneously, 
as it were, with the acknowledged apostle of that form of art. 
We would impersonate the characters of our own world — our 
schoolfellows and masters, our parents, servants, friends — and carry 
them through experiences and situations derived from our impres- 
sions of real life. Perhaps we rather led them a dance ; and I 
dare say those we didn't like came in for a good deal of 
retributive justice. It was a little universe, of which we were the 
arch-arbiters, our will the final law. 

I don't know whether all children lack humour ; but I'm sure 
no grown-up author-manager can take his business more seriously 


By Henry Harland 141 

than I took mine. Oh, I enjoyed it hugely ; the hours I spent at 
it were enraptured hours ; but it was grim, grim earnest. After a 
while I began to long for a less subjective public, a more various 
audience. I would summon the servants, range them in chairs at 
one end of the room, conceal myself behind the theatre, and spout 
the play with fervid solemnity. And they would giggle, and make 
flippant commentaries, and at my most impassioned climaxes burst 
into guffaws. My mice, as has been said, were overfed and 
lazy, and I used to have to poke them through their parts with 
sticks from the wings ; but this was a detail which a superior 
imagination should have accepted as one of the conventions of the 
art. It made the servants laugh, however ; and when I would 
step to the front in person, and, with tears in my eyes, beseech 
them to be sober, they would but laugh the louder. " Bless you, sir, 
they're only mice — ce ne sont que des souris" the cook called out on one 
such occasion. She meant it as an apology and a consolation, but 
it was the unkindest cut of all. Only mice, indeed ! To me 
they had been a young gentleman and lady lost in the Desert of 
Sahara, near to die for the want of water, and about to be attacked, 
captured, and sold into slavery by a band of Bedouin Arabs. Ah, 
well, the artist- must steel himself to meet with indifference or 
derision from the public, to be ignored, misunderstood, or jeered 
at ; and to rely for his real, his legitimate, reward on the pleasure 
he finds in his work. 

And now there befell a great change in my life. Our home in 
Paris was broken up, and we moved to St. Petersburg. It was 
impossible to take my mice with us ; their cage would have hope- 
lessly complicated our impedimenta. So we gave them to the 
children of our concierge. Mercedes, however, I was resolved I 
would not part with, and I carried her all the way to the Russian 
capital by hand. In my heart I was looking to her to found 


1 4 2 

Two Sketches 

another family — she had so frequently become a mother in the 
past. But month succeeded month, and she forever disappointed 
me, and at last I abandoned hope. In solitude and exile Mercedes 
degenerated sadly ; got monstrously fat -, too indolent to gnaw, let 
her teeth grow to a preposterous length ; and in the end died of a 
surfeit of smetana. 

When I returned to Paris, at the age of twenty, to falrt man 
druit in the Latin Quarter, I paid a visit to our old house, and 
discovered the same old concierge in the Ugt. I asked her about 
the mice, and she told me her children had found the care of them 
such a bother that at first they had neglected them, and at last 
allowed them to escape. "They took to the walls, and for a long 
time afterwards, Monsieur, the mice of this neighbourhood were 
pied. To this day they are of a paler hue than elsewhere." 

II — A Broken Looking-Glass 

HE climbed the three flights of stone stairs, and put his key 
into the lock ; but before he turned it, he stopped — to rest, 
to take breath. On the door his name was painted in big white 
letters, Mr. Richard Dane. It is always silent in the Temple at 
midnight ; to-night the silence was dense, like a fog. It was 
Sunday night ; and on Sunday night, even within the hushed 
precincts of the Temple, one is conscious of a deeper hush. 

When he had lighted the lamp in his sitting-room, he let him- 
self drop into an arm-chair before the empty fireplace. He was 
tired, he was exhausted. Yet nothing had happened to tire him. 
He had dined, as he always dined on Sundays, with the Rodericks, 
in Chcync Walk ( he had driven home in a hansom. There was 

By Henry Harland 


no reason why he should be tired. But he was tired. A deadly 
lassitude penetrated his body and his spirit, like a fluid. He was 
too tired to go to bed. 

"I suppose I am getting old," he thought. 

To a second person the matter would have appeared one not of 
supposition but of certainty, not of progression but of accomplish- 
ment. Getting old indeed ? But he was old. It was an old 
man, grey and wrinkled and wasted, who sat there, limp, sunken 
upon himself, in his easy-chair. In years, to be sure, he was 
under sixty ; but he looked like a man of seventy-five. 

"I am getting old, I suppose I am getting old." 

And vaguely, dullv, he contemplated his life, spread out behind 
him like a misty landscape, and thought what a failure it had been. 
What had it come to r What had it brought him ? What had 
he done or won r Nothing, nothing. It had brought him 
nothing but old age, solitude, disappointment, and, to-night 
especially, a sense of fatigue and apathy that weighed upon him 
like a suffocating blanket. On a table, a yard or two away, stood 
a decanter of whisky, with some soda-water bottles and tumblers ; 
he looked at it with heavy eyes, and he knew that there was what 
he needed. A little whisky would strengthen him, revive him, 
and make it possible for him to bestir himself and undress and go 
to bed. But when he thought of rising and moving to pour the 
whisky out, he shrunk from that effort as from an Herculean 
labour ; no — he was too tired. Then his mind went back to the 
friends he had left in Chelsea half an hour ago ; it seemed an 
indefinably long time ago, years and years ago ; they were like 
blurred phantoms, dimly remembered from a r 

Yes, his life had been a failure ; total, i 
come to nothing ; its harvest was a harves 
been a useful life, he could have accepted i 

The Yellow Book— Vol. I. i 

; past. 
able, abject. 


It had 

144 Two Sketches 

had been a happy life, he could have forgotten its uselessness ; but 
it had been both useless and unhappy. He had done nothing for 
others, he had won nothing for himself. Oh, but he had tried, 
he had tried. When he had left Oxford people expected great 
things of him ; he had expected great things of himself. He was 
admitted to be clever, to be gifted ; he was ambitious, he was in 
earnest. He wished to make a name, he wished to justify his 
existence by fruitful work. And he had worked hard. He had 
put all his knowledge, all his talent, all his energy, into his work ; 
he had not spared himself; he had passed laborious days and 
studious nights. And what remained to show for it ? Three or 
four volumes upon Political Economy, that had been read in their 
day a little, discussed a little, and then quite forgotten — super- 
seded by the books of newer men. u Pulped, pulped," he reflected 
bitterly. Except for a stray dozen of copies scattered here and 
there — in the British Museum, in his College library, on his own 
bookshelves — his published writings had by this time (he could 
not doubt) met with the common fate of unsuccessful literature, 
and been u pulped." 

" Pulped — pulped ; pulped — pulped." The hateful word beat 
rhythmically again and again in his tired brain ; and for a little 
while that was all he was conscious of. 

So much for the work of his life. And for the rest ? The 
play ? The living ? Oh, he had nothing to recall but failure. 
It had sufficed that he should desire a thing, for him to miss it ; 
that he should set his heart upon a thing, for it to be removed 
beyond the sphere of his possible acquisition. It had been so 
from the beginning ; it had been so always. He sat motionless as 
a stone, and allowed his thoughts to drift listlessly hither and 
thither in the current of memory. Everywhere they encountered 
wreckage, derelicts : defeated aspirations, broken hopes. Languidly 


By Henry Harland 145 

he envisaged these. He was too tired to resent, to rebel. He 
even found a certain sluggish satisfaction in recognising with what 
unvarying harshness destiny had treated him, in resigning himself 
to the unmerited. 

He caught sight of his hand, lying flat and inert upon the 
brown leather arm of his chair. His eyes rested on it, and for the 
moment he forgot everything else in a sort of torpid study of it. 
How white it was, how thin, how withered ; the nails were 
parched into minute corrugations ; the veins stood out like dark 
wires ; the skin hung loosely on it, and had a dry lustre : an old 
man's hand. He gazed at it fixedly, till his eyes closed and his 
head fell forward. But he was not sleepy, he was only tired and 

He raised his head with a start, and changed his position, He 
felt cold ; but to endure the cold was easier than to get up, and 
put something on, or go to bed. 

How silent the world was ; how empty his room. An immense 
feeling of solitude, ol isolation, fell upon him. He was quite cut 
off from the rest of humanity here. If anything should happen 
to him, if he should need help of any sort, what could he do? 
Call out ? But who would hear ? At nine in the morning the 
porter's wife would come with his tea. But if anything should 
happen to him in the meantime ? There would be nothing for it 
but to wait till nine o'clock. 

Ah, if he had married, if he had had children, a wife, a home of 
his own, instead of these desolate bachelor chambers ! 

If he had married, indeed ! It was his sorrow's crown of sorrow 
that he had not married, that he had not been able to marry, that 
the girl he had wished to marry wouldn't have him. Failure ? 
Success ? He could have accounted failure in other things a trifle, 
he could have laughed at what the world calls failure, if Elinor 


146 Two Sketches 

Lynd had been his wife. But that was the heart of his misfortune, 
she wouldn't have him. 

He had met her for the first time when he was a lad of twenty, 
and she a girl of eighteen. He could see her palpable before him 
now : her slender girlish figure, her bright eyes, her laughing 
mouth, her warm brown hair curling round her forehead. Oh, 
how he had loved her. For twelve years he had waited upon her, 
wooed her, hoped to win her. But she had always said, " No — I 
don't love you. I am very fond of you ; I love you as a friend ; 
we all love you that way — my mother, my father, my sisters. 
But I can't marry you." However, she married no one else, she 
loved no one else j and for twelve years he was an ever-welcome 
guest in her father's house ; and she would talk with him, play to 
him, pity him ; and he could hope. Then she died. He called 
one day, and they said she was ill. After that there came a blank 
in his memory — a gulf, full of blackness and redness, anguish and 
confusion ; and then a sort of dreadful sudden calm, when they 
told him she was dead. 

He remembered standing in her room, after the funeral, with 
her father, her mother, her sister Elizabeth. He remembered the 
pale daylight that filled it, and how orderly and cold and forsaken 
it all looked. And there was her bed, the bed she had died in ; 
and there her dressing-table, with her combs and brushes ; and 
there her writing-desk, her bookcase. He remembered a row of 
medicine bottles on the mantelpiece ; he remembered the fierce 
anger, the hatred of them, as if they were animate, that had welled 
up in his heart as he looked at them, because they had failed to do 
their work. 

u You will wish to have something that was hers, Richard," 
her mother said. " What would you like ? " 

On her dressing-table there was a small looking-glass, in an 


By Henry Harland 


ivory frame. He asked if he might have that, and carried it away 
with him. She had looked into it a thousand times, no doubt ; she 
had done her hair in it ; it had reflected her, enclosed her, contained 
her. He could almost persuade himself that something of her 
must remain in it. To own it was like owning something of 
herself. He carried it home with him, hugging it to his side with 
a kind of passion. 

He had prized it, he prized it still, as his dearest treasure ; the 
looking-glass in which her face had been reflected a thousand 
times ; the glass that had contained her, known her ; in which 
something of herself, he felt, must linger. To handle it, look at 
it, into it, behind it, was like holding a mystic communion with 
her ; it gave him an emotion that was infinitely sweet and bitter, a 
pain that was dissolved in joy. 

The glass lay now, folded in its ivory case, on the chimney-sheif 
in front of him. That was its place ; he always kept it on his 
chimney-shelf, so that he could see it whenever he glanced round 
his room. He leaned back in his chair, and looked at it ; for 
a long time his eyes remained fixed upon it. "If she had married 
me, she wouldn't have died. My love, my care, would have healed 
her. She could not have died." Monotonously, automatically, 
the phrase repeated itself over and over again in his mind, while 
his eyes remained fixed on the ivory case into which her looking- 
glass was folded. It was an effect of his fatigue, no doubt, that 
his eyes, once directed upon an object, were slow to leave it for 
another ; that a phrase once pronounced in his thought had this 
tendency to repeat itself over and over again. 

But at last he roused himself a little, and leaning forward, put 
his hand out and up, to take the glass from the shelf. He wished 
to hold it, to touch it and look into it. As he lifted it towards 
him, it fell open, the mirror proper being fastened to a leather 


148 Two Sketches 

back, which was glued to the ivory, and formed a hinge. It fell 
open ; and his grasp had been insecure ; and the jerk as it opened 
was enough. It slipped from his fingers, and dropped with a crash 
upon the hearthstone. 

The sound went through him like a physical pain. He sank 
back into his chair, and closed his eyes. His heart was beating as 
after a mighty physical exertion. He knew vaguely that a calamity 
had befallen him ; he could vaguely imagine the splinters of 
shattered glass at his feet. But his physical prostration was so 
great as to obliterate, to neutralise, emotion. He felt very cold. 
He felt that he was being hurried along with terrible speed through 
darkness and cold air. There was the continuous roar of rapid 
motion in his ears, a faint, dizzy bewilderment in his head. He 
felt that he was trying to catch hold of things, to stop his progress, 
but his hands closed upon emptiness ; that he was trying to call 
out for help, but' he could make no sound. On — on — on, he was 
being whirled through some immeasurable abyss of space. 
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ « 

" Ah, yes, he's dead, quite dead," the doctor said. " He has 
been dead some hours. He must have passed away peacefully, 
sitting here in his chair." 

"Poor gentleman," said the porter's wife. "And a broken 
looking-glass beside him. Oh, it's a sure sign, a broken looking- 

Portrait of a Lady 

By Will Rothenstein 

Rrfmhutd by lit Sua* Elalric Engraving Cempotj 

Two Poems 

By Edmund Gosse 

I — Alere Flammam 

To A. C. B. 

In ancient Rome, the secret fire, — 
An intimate and holy thing, — 
Was guarded by a tender choir 

Of kindred maidens in a ring ; 
Deep, deep within the house it lay, 

No stranger ever gazed thereon, 
But, flickering still by night and day, 

The beacon of the house, it shone ; 
Thro' birth and death, from age to age, 
It passed, a quenchless heritage ; 

And there were hymns of mystic tone 
Sung round about the family flame, 

Beyond the threshold all unknown, 
Fast-welded to an ancient name j 

There sacrificed the nirv. an print, 
Before that altar, none hut hr, 


154 Two Poems 

Alone he spread the solemn feast 

For a most secret deity ; 
He knew the god had once been sire, 
And served the same memorial fire. 

Ah ! so, untouched by windy roar 

Of public issues loud and long, 
The Poet holds the sacred door, 

And guards the glowing coal of song ; 
Not his to grasp at praise or blame, 

Red gold, or crowns beneath the sun, 
His only pride to tend the flame 

That Homer and that Virgil won, 
Retain the rite, preserve the act, 
And pass the worship on intact. 

Before the shrine at last he falls ; 

The crowd rush in, a chattering band ; 
But, ere he fades in death, he calls 

Another priest to ward the brand ; 
He, with a gesture of disdain, 

Flings back the ringing brazen gate, 
Reproves, repressing, the profane, 

And feeds the flame in primal state j 
Content to toil and fade in turn, 
If still the sacred embers burn. 


By Edmund Gosse 

l SS 

II — A Dream of November 

Far, far away, I know not where, I know not how, 
The skies are grey, the boughs are bare, bare boughs in 
flower : 
Long lilac silk is softly drawn from bough to bough, 

With flowers of milk and buds of fawn, a broidered shower. 

Beneath that tent an Empress sits, with slanted eyes, 
And wafts of scent from censers flit, a lilac flood ; 

Around her throne bloom peach and plum in lacquered dyes, 
And many a blown chrysanthemum, and many a bud. 

She sits and dreams, while bonzes twain strike some rich bell, 
Whose music seems a metal rain of radiant dye ; 

In this strange birth of various blooms, I cannot tell 

Which sprang from earth, which slipped from looms, which 
^sank from sky. 

Beneath her wings of lilac dim, in robes of blue, 

The Empress sings a wordless hymn that thrills her bower ; 

My trance unweaves, and winds, and shreds, and forms anew 
Dark bronze, bright leaves, pure silken threads, in triple flower. 



■ « « ^ 


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: \ Aubrey Beard*!-; 

Ar^fc.'-V' * by tht -Vo*.* 1 I. t. >;- Fy\** if Company 

The Dedication 

By Fred M. Simpson 

Persons Represented 
Lucy Rimmerton. Harold Sekbourne 

Scene I — The period is 1863 

The sitting-room in Lucy Rimmerton's lodgings. She is seated in 

front of the fire making some toast. 

Lucy. There ! I think that will do, although it isn't anything 
very great. [Rises.] What a colour I must have ! Harold says 
I always manage to toast myself very much better than I do the 
bread. [Lights the gas y and begins arranging some flowers on the 
table.] His favourite flowers ; I know he will be pleased when 
he sees them. How strange it is that he should really care for 
me ! — I, who am so commonplace and ordinary, hardly pretty 
either, although he says I am. I always tell him he might have 
done so much better than propose to a poor governess without a 
penny. — Oh, if only his book proves a success ! — a really great 
success ! — how glorious it will be ! Why doesn't the wretched 


160 The Dedication 

publisher make haste and bring it out ? I believe he is keeping it 
back on purpose. What dreadful creatures they are ! At first — 
squabble, squabble, squabble ; squabble about terms, squabble about 
this, another squabble about that, and then, when everything is 
finally arranged, delay, delay, delay. "You must wait for the 
publishing season." As though a book were a young lady whose 
future might be seriously jeopardised if it made its debut at an 
unfashionable time. 

[The door opens, and Harold bursts into the room."] 

Harold. It's out, it's out ; out at last. 

Lucy. What, the book ! Really ! Where is it ? Do show it 
to me. 

Harold. Do you think you deserve it ? 

Lucy. Oh ! don't tantalise me. Have you seen it ? What is 
it like ? 

Harold. It is printed, and very much like other books. 

Lucy. You are horrid. I believe you have it with you. Have 
you ? 

Harold. And what if I say yes ? 

Lucy. You have. Do let me see it. 

Harold. And will you be very good if I do ? 

Lucy. I'll be angelic. 

Harold. Then on that condition only — There ! take it gently. 
[Lucy snatches it y and cuts the string."] I thought you never cut 
string ? 

Lucy. There is never a never that hasn't an exception. 

Harold. Not a woman's, certainly, 

Lucy. Oh ! how nice it looks ! And to think that it is yours, 
really and truly yours. "Grace: a Sketch. By Harold Sek- 
bourne." It's delicious ! "[Holding the book, dances round the room.] 


By Fred M. Simpson 161 

Harold. I shall begin to be jealous. You will soon be more in 
love with my book than you are with me. 

Lucy. And why shouldn't I be ? Haven't you always said that 
a man's work is the best part of him ? 

Harold. If my silly sayings are to be brought up in evidence 
against me like this, I shall 

Lucy. You shall what ? 

Harold. Take the book back. 

Lucy. Oh, will you ? I should like to see you do it. [Holds 
it behind her.] You have got to get it first. 

Harold. And what are you going to give me for it ? 

Lucy. Isn't it a presentation copy ? 

Harold. It is the very first to leave the printer's. 

Lucy. Then you ought not to want any payment. 

Harold. I do though, all the same. Come — no payment, no 

Lucy. There, there, there ! 

Harold. And there. 

Lucy. Oh ! don't ! You'll stifle me. And is this for me ; 
may I really keep it ? 

Harold. Of course you may ; I brought it expressly for you. 

Lucy. How nice of you ! And you'll write my name in it ? 

Harold. I'll write the dedication. 

Lucy. What do you mean ? 

Harold. You shall see. Pen and ink for the author ! A new 
pen and virgin ink ! 

Lucy. Your Authorship has but to command to be obeyed. 

Harold. [Sitting down, writes.] It is printed in all the other 
copies, but this one I have had bound specially for you, with a 
blank sheet where the dedication comes, so that in your copy, and 
yours alone, I can write it myself. There. 


i62 The Dedication 

Lucy. [Looks over his shoulder and reads.] "To my Lady 
Luce." Oh, Harold, you have dedicated it to me ! 

Harold. Who else could I dedicate it to ? although 'tis — 

<c Not so much honouring thee, 
As giving it a hope that now 
It may immortal be." 

Lucy. It is good of you. 

Harold. [Writes again.] "Harold Sek bourne " — what's to- 
day ? — oh, yes, "3rd November, 1863." 

Lucy. And will people know who the " Lady Luce " is ? 

Harold. They will some day. The dedication in my next 
book shall be " To my Lady Wife." 

Lucy. I wonder if I shall ever be that. It seems so long 

Harold. I don't mind when it is — to-morrow, if you like. 

Lucy. Don't talk nonsense, although it is my fault for beginning 
it. And now sit down — no, here in the arm-chair — and you shall 
have some nice tea. 

[She makes and pours out the tea as Harold talks.] 

Harold. You won't have to wait long if this proves a success ; 
and it will be one. I know it ; I feel it. It isn't only that 
everybody who has read it, likes it ; it's something else that I can't 
describe, not even to you ; a feeling inside, that — call it conceit if 
you like, but it isn't conceit j it isn't conceit to feel confidence in 
oneself. Why, look at the trash, the arrant trash, that succeeds 
every day ; you will say, perhaps, that it succeeds because it is trash, 
that trash is what people want — they certainly get it. But no 
book that ever had real stuff in it has failed yet, and I feel 
that — Ha ! ha ! the same old feeling mentioned above. Don't 
think me an awful prig, Luce. I don't talk to anybody else 
as I do to you ; and if you only knew what a relief it is to 


By Fred M. Simpson 


me to let myself go a bit occasionally, you would excuse every- 

Lucy. You have a right to be conceited. 

Harold. Not yet. I have done nothing yet ; but I mean to, 
[Takes up the booi.] I wonder what will become of you and 
your fellows ; what will be your future ? Will you one day 
adorn the shelves of libraries, figure in catalogues of" Rare books 
and first editions," and be contended for by snuffy !ong-clothed 
bibliomaniacs, who will bid one against the other for the honour of 
possessing you ? Or will you descend to the tables of secondhand 
book-stalls marked at a great reduction ; or lie in a heap, with 
other lumber, outside the shop-front, all this lot sixpence each, 
awaiting there, uncared for, unnoticed, and unknown, your ultimate 
destination, the dust-hole ? 

Lucy. You are horrid. What an idea ! 

Harold. No, I don't think that will be your end. [Put; down 
the hooi.] You are not going to the dustbin, you are going to 
be a success. No more hack work for me after this. Why, sup- 
posing only the first edition is sold, I more than clear expenses, 
and if it runs to two — ten — twenty editions, I shall receive — the 
amount fairly takes my breath away. Twentieth thousand ; 
doesn't it sound fine ? We shall have our mansion in Grosvenor 
Square yet, Luce ; and that charming, little old house we saw the 
other day up the river — we'll have that, too ; so that we can run 
down there from Saturday to Monday, to get away from London 
fog and nastinesses. Yes, I am going to be rich some day — rich 
— in ten years' time, if this book gets a fair start and I have any- 
thing like decent luck, I shall be the best known author in 
England. [&il*.] The son of the old bookseller who failed will 
be able then to repay those who helped him when he wanted help, 
and, more delightful thought still, pay back those with interest 

The Yellow Book— Vol. I. k who 

164 The Dedication 

who did their best to keep him down, when they could just as 
easily have helped him to rise. I am going to have a success, 
I feel it. In a few weeks' time I'll bring you a batch of criticisms 
that will astonish you. But what is the matter ? why so silent 
all of a sudden ? has my long and conceited tirade disgusted you ? 

Lucy. No, not at all. 

Harold. Then what is it ? 

Lucy. I was only thinking that — [hesitates]. 

Harold. Thinking what ? About me ? 

Lucy. Yes, about you and — and also about myself. 

Harold. That is just as it should be, about us two together. 

Lucy. Yes, but I was afraid 

Harold. [Smiling.] Afraid! what of? 

Lucy. Nothing, nothing really. I am ashamed that — let me 
give you some more tea. 

Harold. No, thanks. Come, let me hear, make a clean breast 
of it. 

Lucy. I can't, really ; you would only laugh at me. 

Harold. Then why deny me a pleasure, for you know I love 
to laugh ? 

Lucy. Well, then — if you become famous — and rich 

Harold. If I do ; well ? 

Lucy. You won't — you won't forget me, will you ? 

Harold. Forget you, what an idea ! Why do I want to become 
famous ? why do I want to become rich ? For my own sake ? 
for the sake of the money ? Neither. I want it for your sake, 
so that you can be rich ; so that you can have everything you can 
possibly want. I don't mind roughing it a bit myself, but 

Lucy. No more do I : I am sure we might be very happy 
living even here. 

Harold. No, thank you j no second pair fronts for me, or, 


By Fred M. Simpson 


rather, none for my wife. I want you to forget all about this 
place, as though it had never existed ; I want you to only 
remember your giving lessons as a nightmare which has passed 
and gone. I want you to take a position in the world, to go into 

Lucy. But, Harold 

Harold. To entertain, receive, lead 

Lucy. But I could never lead. I detest receiving. I hate 
entertain i ng 

Harold, Except me. 

Lucy. I often wonder if I do. You are so clever and I 

Harold. Such a goose. Whatever put such ideas into your 
head ? Why, you are actually crying. 

Lucy. I am not. 

Harold. Then what is that ? [Puts his finger against her cheek.] 
What is that little sparkling drop? 

Lucy. It must be a tear of joy, then. 

Harold. Which shall be used to christen the book ! 

Lucy. Oh, don't — there, you have left a mark. 

Harold. It is your fault. My finger wouldn't have done it by 
itself. Are you going to be silly any more ? 

Lucy. No, I am not. 

Harold. And you are going to love me, believe in me, and 
trust me ? 

Lucy. I do all three — implicitly. 

Harold. [He kisses her.'] The seal ot the trinity. [Looks at 
his watch.] By jove, I must be going. 

Lucy. So soon ? 

Harold. Rather; I have to dine in Berkeley Square at eight 
o'clock, at Sir Humphrey Mockton's. You would like their house, 
it's a beauty, a seventeenth or eighteenth century one, with such 

1 66 The Dedication 

a gorgeous old staircase. He's awfully rich, and just a little bit 
vulgar — "wool" I think it was, or "cottons," or some other 
commodity ; but his daughter is charming — I should say daughters, 
as there are two of them, so you needn't be jealous. 

Lucy. Jealous? of course I am not. Have you known them 
long ? 

Harold. Oh ! some little time. They are awfully keen to see 
my book. I am going to take — send them a copy. You see I 
must be civil to these people, they know such an awful lot of the 
right sort ; and their recommendation of a book will have more 
weight than fifty advertisements. So good-bye. [Takes his 

Lucy. Let me help you. But you are going without noticing 
my flowers. 

Harold. I have been admiring them all along, except when I 
was looking at you. 

Lucy. Don't be silly. 

Harold. They are charming. Sir Humphrey has some orchids 
just the same colours ; you ought to see them ; he has basketsful 
sent up every week from his place in Surrey. 

Lucy. No wonder my poor little chrysanthemums didn't impress 

Harold. What nonsense ! I would give more for one little 
flower from you, than for the contents of all his conservatories. 

Lucy. Then you shall have that for nothing. 

Harold. Don't, it will destroy the bunch. 

Lucy. What does that matter ? they are all yours. 

Harold. You do your best to spoil me. 

Lucy. [Pins the flower into his button-hole.] Don't talk non- 
sense. There ! 

Harold. What a swell you have made me look ! 


By Fred M. Simpson 167 

Lucy. Good-bye ; when shall I see you again ? 

Harold. Not until Sunday, I am afraid ; I am so busy just now. 
But I'll come round early, and, if fine, we'll go and lunch at 
Richmond, and have a good walk across the Park afterwards. 
Would you like it ? 

Lucy. Above all things, but — but don't spend all your money 
on me. 

Harold. Bother the money ! I am going to be rich. Good- 
bye till Sunday. 

Lucy. Au revoir; and while you are dining in your grand 
house, with lots of grand people, I am going to enjoy a delightful 
evening here, not alone, as I shall have your book for company. 

Six Months elapse between Scene I. and Scene II. 

Scene II — The Scene and Persons are the, same 

Lucy is dressed as before ; she is seated. Harold is in evening dress, 
with a flower in his button-hole ; he stands by the fireplace. 

Harold. Well, all I have to say is, I think you are most 

Lucy. You have no right to say that. 

Harold. I have if I think it. 

Lucy. Well, you have no right to think it. 

Harold. My thoughts are not my own, I suppose ? 

Lucy. They are so different from what I should have expected 
you to have that I almost doubt it. 


1 68 The Dedication 

Harold. Better say I have changed at once. 

Lucy. And so you have. 

Harold. Who is saying things one has no right to say now ? 

Lucy. I am only saying what I think. 

Harold. Then if you want to have the right to your own 
thoughts, kindly let me have the right to mine. \Walks to the 
window.'} I can't prevent people sending me invitations, can I ? 

Lucy. You need not accept them. 

Harold. And make enemies right and left, I suppose ? 

Lucy. I don't want you to do that, and I don't want either to 
prevent your enjoying yourself ; but — but, I do want to see you 

Harold. And so you do. 

Lucy. Yes, very — perhaps I should say I want to see you often. 

Harold. And so do I you, but I can't be in two places at once* 
That is what I mean when I say you are unreasonable. I must 
go out. If I am to write, I must study people, character, scenes. 
I can't do that by stopping at home ; I can't do that by coming 
here ; I know you and I know your landlady, and there is nobody 
else in the house, except the slavey and the cat ; and although the 
slavey may be a very excellent servant and the cat a most original 
quadruped, still, I don't want to make elaborate studies of animals 
— either four-legged or two. One would imagine, from the way 
you talk, that I did nothing except enjoy myself. I only go out in 
the evenings. 

Lucy. Still, you might spare a little time, now and then, to come 
and see me, if only for half an hour. 

Harold. What am I doing now ? I gave up a dinner-party to 
come here to-night. 

Lucy. Do you know it is exactly a month yesterday since you 
were here last ? 


By Fred M. Simpson 169 

Harold. I can't be always dangling at your apron-strings. 

Lucy. Harold ! 

Harold. If we are going to be married, we 

Lucy. If? 

Harold. Well, when, if you like it better ; we shall see enough 
of one another then. I have written to you, it isn't as though I 
hadn't done that. 

Lucy. But that is not the same thing as seeing you ; and your 
letters, too, have been so scrappy. [Harold throws himself into the 
arm-chair."] They used to be so different before your book came out. 

Harold. I had more time then. 

Lucy. I sometimes wish that it had never been published at all, 
that you had never written it, or, at all events, that it had never 
been such a success. 

Harold. That's kind, at all events — deuced kind and considerate ! 

Lucy. It seems to have come between us as a barrier. When I 
think how eagerly we looked forward to its appearance, what 
castles in the air we built as to how happy we were going to be, 
and all the things we were going to do, if it were a success, and 
now to think that 

Harold. [Jumps up.] Look here, Lucy, I'm damned if — I can't 
stand this much longer ! Nag, nag, nag ! I can't stand it. I am 
worked off my head during the day, I am out half the night, 
and when I come here for a little quiet, a little rest, it's — [Breaks 
off suddenly]. 

Lucy. I am so sorry. If I had thought 

Harold. Can't you see that you are driving me mad ? I have 
been here half an hour, and the whole of the time it has been 
nothing but reproaches. 

Lucy. I don't think they would have affected you so much ir 
you hadn't felt that you deserved them ! 


170 The Dedication 

Harold. There you go again ! I deserve them — [laughs harshly]. 
It is my fault, I suppose, that it is the season ; it is my fault that 
people give dinner-parties and balls ; it is my fault, I suppose, that 
you don't go out as much as I do ? 

Lucy. Certainly not ; although, as a matter of fact, I haven't 
been out one single evening for the last three — nearly four: — 

Harold. That's right ; draw comparisons ; say I'm a selfish 
brute. You'll tell me next that I am tired of you, and 

Lucy. Harold ! don't, don't — you — you hurt me! Of course 
I never thought of such a — [she rises] — You are not, are you ? 
I — I couldn't bear it ! 

Harold. Of course I am not. Don't be so silly. [He sits.] 

Lucy. It was silly of me, I confess it. I know you better than 
that. Why, its rank high treason, I deserve to lose my head ; and 
my only excuse is that thinking such a thing proves I must have 
lost it already. Will your majesty deign to pardon ? 

Harold. [Testily.] Yes, yes, that's all right ! There, look out, 
you'll crumple my tie. 

Lucy. I am so sorry ! And now tell me all about your grand 
friends and 

Harold. They are not grand to me. Simply because a person 
is rich or has a title, I don't consider them any " grander " than I 
— by jove, no ! These people are useful to me, or else I shouldn't 
stand it. They u patronise " me, put their hand on my shoulder 
and say, u My dear young friend, we predict great things for you." 
The fools, as though a single one of them was capable even of 
forming an opinion, much less of prophesying. They make 
remarks about me before my face ; they talk of, and pet, me as 
though I were a poodle. I go through my tricks and they applaud ; 
and they lean over with an idiotic simper to the dear friend next to 


By Fred M. Simpson 171 

them and say, u Isn't he clever ? " as though they had taught me 
themselves. Bah ! They invite me to their houses, I dine with 
them once a week ; but if I were to tell them to-morrow that I 
wanted to marry one of their daughters, they would kick me out 
of the room, and consider it a greater insult than if the proposal had 
come from their own footman. 

Lucy. But that doesn't matter,. because you don't want to marry 
one of them, do you ? Was that Miss Mockton with you in the 
Park last Sunday ? 

Harold. How do you know I was in the Park at all ? 

Lucy. Because I saw you there. 

Harold. You were spying, I suppose. 

Lucy. Spying ? I don't know what you mean. I went there 
for a walk after church. 

Harold. Alone? 

Lucy. Of course not, I was with Mrs. Glover. 

Harold. Your landlady ? 

Lucy. Why not ? — Oh ! you need not be afraid. I shouldn't 
have brought disgrace upon you by obliging you to acknowledge 
me before your grand friends. I took good care to keep in the 

Harold. Do you mean to insinuate that I am a snob ? 

Lucy. Be a little kind. 

Harold. Well, it is your own fault, you insinuate that 

Lucy. I was wrong. I apologise, but — but — [begins to cry]. 

Harold. There, don't make a scene — don't, there's a good girl. 
There, rest your head here. I suppose I am nasty. I didn't 
mean it, really. You must make allowances for me, I am 
worried and bothered. I can't work — at least I can't do work that 
satisfies me — and altogether I am not quite myself. Late hours 
are playing the very deuce with my nerves. There, let me kiss 


172 The Dedication 

away the tears — now give me your promise that you will never be 
so foolish again. 

Lucy. I — I promise. It is silly of me — now I am all right. 

Harold. Giboulees d'Avril ! The sun comes out once more, 
the shower is quite over. 

Lucy. Yes, quite over ; you always are so kind. It is my 
fault entirely. I — I think my nerves must be a little upset, 

Harold. We shall make a nice couple, sha'n't we ? if we are often 
going to behave like this ! Now, are you quite calm ? 

Lucy. Yes, quite. 

Harold. That's right, because I want you to listen patiently for 
a few minutes to what I am going to say ; it is something I want 
to talk to you about very seriously. You won't interrupt me until 
I have quite finished, will you ? 

Lucy. What is it ? not that — no, I won't. 

Harold. You know we talked about — I mean it was arranged 
we should be married the beginning of July — wasn't it ? 

Lucy. Yes. 

Harold. Well, I want to know if you would mind very much 
putting it off a little — quite a little — only till the autumn ? I'll 
tell you why. Of course if you do mind very much, I sha'n't 
press it, but — it's like this : the scene of my new book is, as you 
know, laid abroad. I have been trying to write it, but can't get 
on with it one little bit. I want some local colour. I thought 
I should be able to invent it, I find I can't. It is hampering 
and keeping me back terribly. And so — and so I thought if 
you didn't mind very much that — that if I were to go to France 
for — for six months or so — alone, that — in fact it would be the 
making of me. I have never had an opportunity before ; it has 
always been grind, grind, grind, and if I am prevented from 


By Fred M. Simpson 173 

going now, I may never have a chance again. What do you 

Lucy. But why shouldn't we be married as arranged, and spend 
our honeymoon over there ? 

Harold. Because I want to work. 

Lucy. And would my being there prevent you ? You used to 
say you always worked so much better when I was 

Harold. But you don't understand. This is different. I want 
to work hard, and no man could do that on his honeymoon — at 
least I know I couldn't. 

Lucy. No, but — And — and till when did you want to put off 
our — our marriage ? Until your return ? 

Harold. Well, that would depend on circumstances. You don't 
suppose I would postpone it for a second, if I could help it ; but — 
Until my return ? I hope sincerely that it can be managed 
then, but, you see, over there I shall be spending money all the 
time, and not earning a sou, and — and so we might have to wait a 
little bit longer, just until I could replenish the locker, until I had 
published and been paid for my new book. 

Lucy. But I have given notice to leave at midsummer. 

Harold. Has Mrs. Duncan got another governess ? 

Lucy. No, but 

Harold. Then you can stop on, can't you ? They will surely 
be only too delighted to keep you. 

Lucy. Yes — I can stop on. [He tries to kiss her.] No, don't ; 
not now. 

Harold. And you don't really mind the postponement very 
much, do you ? 

Lucy. Not if it will assist you. 

Harold. I thought you would say that, I knew you would. It 
will assist me very much. I shouldn't otherwise suggest it. It 


174 The Dedication 

does seem too bad though, doesn't it ? To have to postpone it 
after waiting all these years, and just as it was so near, too. I 
have a good mind not to go, after all — only, if I let this chance 
slip, I may never have another. Besides, six months is not so 
very long, is it ? And when they are over, then we won't wait 
any longer. You will come and see me off, won't you ? It would 
never do for an engaged man to go away for even six months, 
without his lady love coming to see him start. 

Lucy. Yes, I will come. When do you go ? 

Harold. The end of next week, I expect ; perhaps earlier it I 
can manage it. But I shall see you before then. We'll go and 
have dinner together at our favourite little restaurant. When 
shall it be ? Let me see, I am engaged on — I can't quite remember 
what my engagements are. 

Lucy. I have none. 

Harold. Then that's settled. Good-bye, Luce ; you don't mind 
very much, do you ? The time will soon pass. You are a little 
brick to behave as you have done. [Going.] It will be Monday or 
Tuesday next for our dinner, but I will let you know. Good- 

Lucy. Good-bye. 

Thirty Years elapse between Scene II. and Scene III. 


By Fred M. Simpson 175 

Scene III — Lucy Rimmerton, Agnes Rimmerton 

(her niece) 

A well-furnished comfortable room in Lucy Rimmerton's house. 
She is seated in front of the fire, in an easy-chair, reading. 
The door opens, without her noticing *it, and Agnes comes 
in, closes the door gently, crosses the room, and bends over 

Agnes. A happy New Year to you, Aunt Luce. 

Lucy. What ! Agnes, is that you ? I never heard you come in, 
I really think I must be getting deaf. 

Agnes. What nonsense ! I didn't intend you should hear me, 
I wanted to wish you a happy New Year first. 

Lucy. So as to make your Aunt play second fiddle. The same 
to you, dear. 

Agnes. Thank you. {Warms her hand at the fire.] Oh, it is 
cold ; not here I mean, but out of doors ; the thermometer is 
down I don't know how many degrees below freezing. 

Lucy. It seems to agree with you, at all events. You look as 
bright and rosy as though you were the New Year itself come to 
visit me. 

Agnes. [Laughs merrily.] So I ought to. I ran nearly all the 
way, except when I slid, to the great horror of an old gentleman 
who was busily engaged lecturing some little boys on the enormity 
of their sins in making a beautifully long slide in the middle of the 

Lucy. And what brought you out so early ? 

Agnes. To see you, of course. Besides, the morning is so lovely 


176 The Dedication 

it seemed a sin to remain indoors. I do hope the frost continues 
all the holidays. 

Lucy. It is all very well for you, but it must be terribly trying 
for many people — the poor, for instance. 

Agnes. Yes. [A pause.] Auntie, you don't know anything, do 
you, about how — how poor people live ? 

Lucy. Not so much as I ought to. 

Agnes. I didn't mean very poor people, not working people. I 
meant a person poor like — like I am poor. 

Lucy. [Smiling.] Don't you know how you live yourself? 

Agnes. Of course I do, but — I was thinking of — of a friend of 
mine, a governess like myself, who has just got engaged ; and I — 
I was wondering on how much, or, rather, how little, they could 
live. But you don't know, of course. You are rich, and 

Lucy. But I wasn't always rich. Thirty years ago when I was 
your age 

Agnes. When you were my age ! I like that ! why you are 
not fifty. 

Lucy. Little flatterer. Fifty-two last birthday. 

Agnes. Fifty-two ! Well, you don't look it, at all events. 

Lucy. Gross flatterer. When I was your age I was poor and a 
governess as you are. 

Agnes. But I thought that your Aunt Emily left you all her 

Lucy. So she did, or nearly all ; but that was afterwards. It 
isn't quite thirty years yet since she came back from India, a 
widow, just after she had lost her husband and only child. I was 
very ill at the time — I almost died ; and she, good woman as she 
was, came and nursed me. 

Agnes. Of course, I know. I have heard father talk about it. 
And then she was taken ill, wasn't she ? 


By Fred M. Simpson 177 

Lucy. Yes, almost before I was well. It was very unfair that 
she should leave everything to me ; your father was her nephew, 
just as I was her niece, but he wouldn't hear of my sharing it 

Agnes. I should think not indeed ! I should be very sorry to 
think that my father would ever allow such a thing. Although, 
at the same time, it is all very well for you to imagine that you 
don't share it, but you do. Who pays for Lillie's and May's and 
George's schooling ? Who sent Alfred to Cambridge, and Frank 

Lucy. Don't, please. What a huge family you are, to be sure. 

Agnes. And last, but not least, who gave me a chance of going 
to Girton ? Oh, we are not supposed to know anything about it, 
I know, but you see we do. You thought you had arranged it 
all so beautifully, and kept every one of us entirely in the dark, 
but you haven't one little bit. 

Lucy. Nonsense, Agnes, you 

Agnes. Oh, you are a huge big fraud, you know you are ; I 
am quite ashamed of you. [Lucy is going to speak.] You are 
not to be thanked, I know ; and you needn't be afraid, I am not 
going to do so ; but if you could only hear us when we are talking 
quietly together, you would find that a certain person, who shall 
be nameless, is simply worship 

Lucy. Hush ! you silly little girl. You don't know what you 
are saying. You have nothing to thank me for whatsoever. 

Agnes. Haven't we just ? I know better. 

Lucy. Young people always do. So you see I do know some- 
thing of how u the poor " live. 

Agnes. Yes, but you were never married. 

Lucy. No, dear. 

Agnes. That is what I want to Why weren't you 

married ? 

178 The Dedication 

married ? Oh, I know I have no business to ask such a question ; 
it is fearfully rude I know, but I have wondered so often. You 
are lovely now, and you must have been beautiful when you were 
a girl. 

Lucy. No, I wasn't — I was barely pretty. 

Agnes. I can't believe that. 

Lucy. And I am not going to accept your description of me 
now as a true one ; although I confess I am vain enough — 
even in my present old age — to look in the glass occasionally, 
and say to myself: "You are better-looking now than you ever 


Agnes. Well, at all events you were always an angel. 

Lucy. And men don't like angels ; besides — I was poor. 

Agnes. You were not poor when you got Aunt Emily's money. 

Lucy. No, but then it was too I mean I then had no 

wish to marry. 

Agnes. You mean you determined to sacrifice yourself for us, 
that is what you mean. 

Lucy. I must have possessed a very prophetic soul then, or 
been gifted with second sight, as none of you, except Reginald, 
were born. But to come back to your friend, Agnes ; has she no 
money ? 

Agnes. No, none. 

Lucy. Nor he ? 

Agnes. Not a penny. 

Lucy. And they want to get married ? 

Agnes. Yes. 

Lucy. And are afraid they haven't enough ? 

Agnes. They certainly haven't. 

Lucy. Then why don't they apply to some friend or relative 
who has more than enough ; say, to — an aunt, for instance. 


By Fred M. Simpson 


a say 

Agnes. Auntie ! 

Lucy. And what is his name ? 

Agnes. Geo Mr. Reddell. 

Lucy. And hers is? 

Agnes. Oh, I never intended to tell you. I didn't 
a word. 

Lucy. When did it happen ? 

Agna. Three days ago. That is to say, he proposed to me 
then, but of course it has been going on for a long time. I could 
see that he — at least I thought I could see. But I can hardly 
realise it yet. It seems all so strange. And I did intend telling 
you, I felt I must tell somebody, although George doesn't want it 
known yet, because, as I told you, he — and so I haven't said a word 
to father yet; but I must soon — and you won't say anything, will 
you ? and — and oh, I am silly. 

Lucy. There, have your cry out, 
tell me about Mr. Reddell. What is 

Agnes. He is a writer— an authi 
showed you a story of his a little titn 

Lucy. I thought I knew the name. 

Agnes. And you said you liked it ; I was so pleased. 

Lucy. Yes, I did. I thought it clever and 

Agnes. He it clever ; and I do so want you to know him. He 
wants to know you, too. You will try to like him, won't you, 
for my sake r 

Lucy. I have no doubt I shall. 

Agnes. He is just bringing out a book. Some of the stories 
have been published before ; the one you read was one, and if that 
proves a success then it will be all right ; we shall be able to get 
married and- 

Lucy. Wait a minute, Agnes. How long have you known him? 
The Yellow Book— Vol. I. l Agnes. 

it will do you good. Now 
j he? 

Don't you remember I 

i8o The Dedication 

Agnes. Over a year — nearly two years. 

Lucy. And do you really know him well ? Are you quite 
certain you can trust him ? 

Agnes. What a question ! How can you doubt it ? You 
wouldn't for a minute if you knew him. 

Lucy. I ought not to, knowing you, you mean. And supposing 
this book is a success. May it not spoil him — make him con- 
ceited ? 

Agnes. All the better if it does. He is not conceited enough, 
and so I always tell him. 

Lucy. But may it not make him worldly ? May he not, after a 
time, regret his proposal to you if he sees a chance of making a 
more advantageous 

Agnes. Impossible. What a dreadful opinion you must have of 
mankind. You don't think it really, I know. I have never heard 
you say or hint anything nasty about anybody before. 

Lucy. I only do it for your own good, my dear. I once knew 
a man — just such another as you describe Mr. Reddell to be. He 
was an author, too, and — and when I knew him his first book was 
also just about to appear. He was engaged to be married to — 
to quite a nice girl too, although she was never so pretty as 
you are. 

Agnes. Who is the flatterer now ? 

Lucy. The book was published. It was a great success. He 
became quite the lion of the season — it is many years ago now. 
The wedding-day was definitely fixed. Two months before the 
date he suggested a postponement — for six months. 

Agnes. How horrible ! 

Lucy. And just about the time originally fixed upon for the 
wedding she received a letter from him — he was abroad at the 
time — suggesting that their engagement had better be broken off. 


By Fred M. Simpson 181 

Agnes. Oh, the brute ! the big brute ! But she didn't consent, 
did she ? 

Lucy, Of course. The man she had loved was dead. The new 
person she was indifferent to. 

Agnes. But how — but you don't suggest that Mr. Reddell could 
behave like that ? he couldn't. He wouldn't, I feel certain. But 
there must surely have been something else ; I can't believe that 
any man would behave so utterly unfeelingly — so brutally. They 
say there are always two sides to every story. Mayn't there have 
been some reason that you knew nothing about? Mayn't she 
have done something ? She must have been a little bit to blame > 
too, and this side of the story you never heard. 

Lucy. Yes — it is possible. 

Agnes. I can't think that any man would deliberately behave so 
like a cad as you say he did. 

Lucy. It may have been her fault. I used to think it might be 
— just a little, as you say. 

Agnes. Well, it sha'n't be mine at all events. I won't give 

any cause — besides even if I did Oh, no, it is utterly 

impossible to imagine such a thing ! 

Lucy. I hope it is, for your sake. 

Agnes. Of course it is ; of that I am quite certain. And you 
don't think it is very wrong of me to — to 

Lucy. To say Yes to a man you love. No, my dear, that can 
never be wrong, although it may be foolish. 

Agnes. From a worldly point of view, perhaps ; but I should 
never have thought that you 

Lucy. I didn't mean that. But love seems to grow so quickly 

when you once allow it to do so, that it is sometimes wiser to 

but never mind, bring him to see me, and — and may you be 
happy. [ A long pause. ] 


1 82 The Dedication 

Agnes. You are crying now, Auntie ! You have nothing 

Lucy. Haven't I ? What, not at the chance of losing you ? 
So this is what brought you out so early this morning and occa- 
sioned your bright, rosy cheeks ? You didn't only come to see 

Agnes. To see you and talk to you, yes, that was all. No, 
by-the-by, it wasn't all. Have you seen a paper this morning ? 
No? I thought it would interest you, so I brought it round. It 
is bad news, not good news ; your favourite author is dead. 

Lucy. I am afraid my favourite authors have been dead very 
many years. 

Agnes. I should say the author of your favourite book. 

Lucy. You mean 

Agnes. Sir Harold Sekbourne. [Lucy leans back in her chair.] 
He died last night. Here it is; here is the paragraph. [Reads.] 
^Wc regret to announce the death of Sir Harold Sekbourne, the 
well-known novelist, which occurred at his town house, in Prince's 
•Gate, late last evening." Shall I read it to you ? 

Lucy. No — no, give me the paper. And — and, Agnes, do vou 
mind going down to Franklin's room, and telling her that receipt 
you promised her ? 

Agnes. For the Japanese custard ? Of course I will ; I quite 
forgot all about it. There it is. [Gives her the paper y indicating 
she paragraph with her finger ', then goes out.] 

Lucy. [Sits staring at the paper for a few seconds^ then reads 
slowly.] "Sir Harold had been slightly indisposed for some weeks, 
but no anxiety was felt until two days ago, when a change for the 
worse set in, and despite all the care, attention, and skill of Drs. 
Thornton and Douglas, who hardly left his bedside, he never 
rallied, and passed peacefully away, at the early age of fifty-eight 
at the time above mentioned. It is now thirty years ago since the 


By Fred M. Simpson 

■ 83 

deceased baronet published his first book, 'Grace; a Sketch,' 
which had such an immediate and great success. This was followed 
nearly a year afterwards by 'Alain Treven,' the scene of which is 
laid in Brittany; and from that time until his death his pen was 
never idle. His last work, 'The Incoming Tide,' has just been 
published in book form, it having appeared in the pages of The 
Illustrated Courier during the last year. Despite the rare power of 
his later works, disclosing thoroughly, as they do, his scholarly 
knowledge, his masterly construction, vivid imagination, and his 
keen insight into character and details of every-day life, they none 
of them can, for exquisite freshness and rare delicacy of execution, 
compare with his first publication, 'Grace: a Sketch.' We have 
before us, as we write, a first edition of this delightful story, with 
its curiously sentimental dedication ' To my Lady Luce,' which in 
the subsequent editions was omitted. A baronetcy was conferred 
on Sir Harold by her Majesty two years ago, at the personal instiga- 
tion, it is said, of the Prime Minister, who is one of his greatest 
admirers, but the title is now extinct, as Sir Harold leaves no son. 
He married in June, 1866, a daughter of the late Sir Humphrey 
Mockton, who survives him. His two daughters are both mar- 
ried- — one to Lord Duncan, eldest son of the Earl of Andstar ; 
the other to Sir Reginald de Laver. His loss will be greatly felt, 
not only in the literary world, but wherever the English tongue is 
sjioken and read." 

[Lucy^wi to the bookcase, takes out a book, and opens it. 
Agnes comes in.] 
Agnes. Franklin is silly. I had to repeat the directions three 
times, and even now I doubt if she understands them properly. 
[Comes behind Lucy and looks over her shoulder."} Why, I 
never knew you had a first edition. [Lucy starts and doses the 
book, then opens it again.] May I look at it ? But this is written ; 


184 * The Dedication 

the ink has quite faded. "To my Lady Luce. Harold Sek- 
bourne, 3rd November, 1863." What a strong handwriting it is ! 

Luce ! how strange that the name should be the same as 

[Looks suddenly at Lucy.] Oh, Auntie, forgive me. I never 
dreamt I am so sorry. 

The Head of Minos 

By J. T. Ncttleship 

Rgfroductd by tke Swan EltctrU Engraving Company 

A Lost Masterpiece 

A City Mood, Aug. '93 

By George Egerton 

1 regret it, but what am I to do ? It was not my fault — I can 
only regret it. It was thus it happened to me. 

I had come to town straight from a hillside cottage in a lonely 
ploughland, with the smell of the turf in my nostrils, and the 
swish of the scythes in my ears ; the scythes that flashed in the 
meadows where the upland hay, drought-parched, stretched thirstily 
up to the clouds that mustered upon the mountain-tops, and 
marched mockingly away, and held no rain. 

The desire to mix with the crowd, to lav mv ear once more to 
the heart of the world and listen to its life-throbs, had grown too 
strong for me ; and so I had come back — but the sights and sounds 
of my late life clung to me — it is singular how the most opposite 
things often fill one with associative memory. 

That gamin of the bird-tribe, the Cockney sparrow, recalled 
the swallows that built in the tumble-down shed ; and I could 
almost see the gleam of their white bellies, as they circled 
in ever narrowing sweeps and clove the air with forked wings, 
uttering a shrill note, with a querulous grace-note in front 
of it. 


190 A Lost Masterpiece 

The freshness of the country still lurked in me, unconsciously 
influencing my attitude towards the city. 

One forenoon business drove me citywards, and following an 
inclination that always impels me to water-ways rather than road- 
ways, I elected to go by river steamer. 

I left home in a glad mood, disposed to view the whole world 
with kindly eyes. I was filled with a happy-go-lucky insouciance 
that made walking the pavements a loafing in Elysian fields. 
The coarser touches of street-life, the oddities of accent, the 
idiosyncrasies of that most eccentric of city-dwellers, the Lon- 
doner, did not jar as at other times — rather added a zest to enjoy- 
ment ; impressions crowded in too quickly to admit of analysis, I 
was simply an interested spectator of a varied panorama. 

I was conscious, too, of a peculiar dual action of brain and 
senses, for, though keenly alive to every unimportant detail of the 
life about me, I was yet able to follow a process by which delicate 
inner threads were being spun into a fanciful web that had nothing 
to do with my outer self. 

At Chelsea I boarded a river steamer bound for London Bridge. 
The river was wrapped in a delicate grey haze with a golden sub- 
tone, like a beautiful bright thought struggling for utterance 
through a mist of obscure words. It glowed through the turbid 
waters under the arches, so that I feared to see a face or a hand 
wave through its dull amber — for I always think of drowned 
creatures washing wearily in its murky depths — it lit up the great 
warehouses, and warmed the brickwork of the monster chimneys 
in the background. No detail escaped my outer eyes — not the 
hideous green of the velveteen in the sleeves of the woman on my 
left, nor the supercilious giggle of the young ladies on my right, 
who made audible remarks about my personal appearance. 

But what cared I ? Was I not happy, absurdly happy ? — 


By George Egerton 191 

because all the while my inner eyes saw undercurrents of beauty 
and pathos, quaint contrasts, whimsical details that tickled my 
sense of humour deliciously. The elf that lurks in some inner 
cell was very busy, now throwing out tender mimosa-like threads 
of creative fancy, now recording fleeting impressions with delicate 
sure brushwork for future use ; touching a hundred vagrant 
things with the magic of imagination, making a running comment 
on the scenes we passed. 

The warehouses told a tale of an up-to-date Soil und Haben, one 
of my very own, one that would thrust old Freytag out of the 
book-mart. The tall chimneys ceased to be giraffic throats 
belching soot and smoke over the blackening city. They were 
obelisks rearing granite heads heavenwards ! Joints in the bricks, 
weather-stains ? You are mistaken ; they were hieroglyphics, 
setting down for posterity a tragic epic of man the conqueror, and 
fire his slave ; and how they strangled beauty in the grip of gain. 
A theme for a Whitman ! 

And so it talks and I listen with my inner ear — and yet nothing 
outward escapes me — the slackening of the boat — the stepping on 
and off of folk — the lowering of the funnel — the name *' Stanley" on 
the little tug, with its self-sufficient puff-puff, fussing by with 
a line of grimy barges in tow ; freight-laden, for the water 
washes over them — and on the last a woman sits suckling her 
baby, and a terrier with badly cropped ears yaps at us as we 

And as this English river scene flashes by, lines of association 
form angles in my brain ; and the point of each is a dot of light 
that expands into a background for forgotten canal scenes, with 
green-grey water, and leaning balconies, and strange crafts — Cana- 
letti and Guadi seen long ago in picture galleries 

A delicate featured youth with gold-laced cap, scrapes a prelude on 

a thin- 

192 A Lost Masterpiece 

a thin-toned violin, and his companion thrums an accompaniment 
on a harp. 

I don't know what they play, some tuneful thing with an under- 
note of sadness and sentiment running through its commonplace — 
likely a music-hall ditty ; for a lad with a cheap silk hat, and the 
hateful expression of knowingness that makes him a type of his 
kind, grins appreciatively and hums the words. 

I turn from him to the harp. It is the wreck of a handsome 
instrument, its gold is tarnished, its white is smirched, its stucco 
rose- wreaths sadly battered. It has the air of an antique beauty 
in dirty ball finery ; and is it fancy, or does not a shamed wail lurk 
in the tone of its strings ? 

The whimsical idea occurs to me that it has once belonged to 
a lady with drooping ringlets and an embroidered spencer ; and that 
she touched its chords to the words of a song by Thomas Haynes 
Baily, and that Miss La Creevy transferred them both to ivory. 

The youth played mechanically, without a trace of emotion ; 
whilst the harpist, whose nose is a study in purples and whose 
bloodshot eyes have the glassy brightness of drink, felt every 
touch of beauty in the poor little tune, and drew it tenderly forth. 

They added the musical note to my joyous mood; the poetry of 
the city dovetailed harmoniously with country scenes too recent to 
be treated as memories — and I stepped off the boat with the melody 
vibrating through the city sounds. 

I swung from place to place in happy, lightsome mood, glad as a 
fairy prince in quest of adventures. The air of the city was 
exhilarating ether — and all mankind my brethren — in fact I felt 
effusively affectionate. 

I smiled at a pretty anaemic city girl, and only remembered that 
she was a stranger when she flashed back an indignant look of 
affected affront. 


By George Egerton 193 

But what cared I ? Not a jot ! I could afford to say 
pityingly : " Go thy way, little city maid, get thee to thy 

And all the while that these outward insignificant things occu- 
pied me, I knew that a precious little pearl of a thought was 
evolving slowly out of the inner chaos. 

It was such an unique little gem, with the lustre of a tear, and 
the light of moonlight and streamlight and love smiles reflected in 
its pure sheen — and, best of all, it was all my own — a priceless 
possession, not to be bartered for the Jagersfontein diamond — a 
city childling with the prepotency of the country working in it — 
and I revelled in its fresh charm and dainty strength ; it seemed 
original, it was so frankly natural. 

And as I dodged through the great waggons laden with wares 
from outer continents, I listened and watched it forming inside, 
until my soul became filled with the light of its brightness ; and a 
wild elation possessed me at the thought of this darling brain-child, 
this offspring of my fancy, this rare little creation, perhaps embryo 
of genius that was my very own. 

I smiled benevolently at the passers-by, with their harassed 
business faces, and shiny black bags bulging with the weight of 
common every-day documents, as I thought of the treat I would 
give them later on ; the delicate feast I held in store for them, 
when I would transfer this dainty elusive birthling of my brain to 
paper for their benefit. 

It would make them dream of moonlit lanes and sweethearting ; 
reveal to them the golden threads in the sober city woof; creep 
in close and whisper good cheer, and smooth out tired creases 
in heart and brain ; a draught from the fountain of Jouvence 
could work no greater miracle than the tale I had to unfold. 

Aye, they might pass me by now, not even give me the inside 


194 A Lost Masterpiece 

of the pavement, I would not blame them for it ! — but later on, 
later on, they would flock to thank me. They just didn't realise, 
poor money-grubbers ! How could they ? But later on ... . 
I grew perfectly radiant at the thought of what I would do for 
poor humanity, and absurdly self-satisfied as the conviction grew 
upon me that this would prove a work of genius — no mere 
glimmer of the spiritual afflatus — but a solid chunk of genius. 

Meanwhile I took a 'bus and paid my penny. I leant back 
and chuckled to myself as each fresh thought-atom added to the 
precious quality of my pearl. Pearl ? Not one any longer — a 
whole quarrelet of pearls, Oriental pearls of the greatest price ! 
Ah, how happy I was as I fondled my conceit ! 

It was near Chancery Lane that a foreign element cropped up 
and disturbed the rich flow of my fancy. 

I happened to glance at the side-walk. A woman, a little woman, 
was hurrying along in a most remarkable way. It annoyed me, 
for I could not help wondering why she was in such a desperate 
hurry. Bother the jade ! what business had she to thrust herself 
on my observation like that, and tangle the threads of a web of 
genius, undoubted genius ? 

I closed my eyes to avoid seeing her ; I could see her through 
the lids. She had square shoulders and a high bust, and a white 
gauze tie, like a snowy feather in the breast of a pouter pigeon. 

We stop — I look again — aye, there she is ! Her black eyes 
stare boldly through her kohol-tinted lids, her face has a violet 
tint. She grips her gloves in one hand, her white-handled umbrella 
in the other, handle up, like a knobkerrie. 

She has great feet, too, in pointed shoes, and the heels are under 
her insteps ; and as we outdistance her I fancy I can hear their 
decisive tap-tap above the thousand sounds of the street. 

I breathe a sigh of relief as I return to my pearl — my pearl 


By George Egerton 195 

that is to bring me kudos and make countless thousands rejoice. 
It is dimmed a little, I must nurse it tenderly. 

Jerk, jerk, jangle — stop. — Bother the bell ! We pull up to 
drop some passengers, the idiots ! and, as I live, she overtakes us ! 
How the men and women cede her the middle of the pavement ! 
How her figure dominates it, and her great feet emphasise her 
ridiculous haste ! Why should she disturb me ? My nerves are 
quivering pitifully ; the sweet inner light is waning, I am in 
mortal dread of losing my little masterpiece. Thank Heavens, we 
are off again 

a Charing Cross, Army and Navy, V'toria ! " — Stop ! 

Of course, naturally ! Here she comes, elbows out, umbrella 

waving ! How the steel in her bonnet glistens ! She recalls 

something, what is it ? — what is it ? A-ah! I have it! — a strident 

voice, on the deck of a steamer in the glorious bay of Rio, 

singing : 

44 Jc suis lc vr-r-rai pompier, 

Lc scul pompier . . . ." 

and la mibla snaps her fingers gaily and trills her rV; and the 
Corcovado is outlined clearly on the purple background as if 
bending to listen ; and the palms and the mosque-like buildings, 
and the fair islets bathed in the witchery of moonlight, and the 
star-gems twinned in the lap of the bay, intoxicate as a dream of 

the East. 

44 Je suis le vr-r-rai pompier, 

Le seul pompier . . . ." 

What in the world is a pompier ? What connection has the 

word with this creature who is murdering, deliberately murdering, 

a delicate creation of my brain, begotten by the fusion of country 

and town ? 

44 Je suis le vr-r-rai pompier, . . . ." 

I am 

196 A Lost Masterpiece 

I am convinced pompier expresses her in some subtle way — 
absurd word ! I look back at her, I criticise her, I anathematise 
her, I bate her ! 

What is she hurrying for ? We can't escape her — always we 
stop and let her overtake us with her elbowing gait, and tight skirt 
shortened to show her great splay feet — ugh ! 

My brain is void, all is dark within ; the flowers are faded, the 
music stilled ; the lovely illusive little being has flown, and yet she 
pounds along untiringly. 

Is she a feminine presentment of the wandering Jew, a living 
embodiment of the ghoul-like spirit that haunts the city and 
murders fancy ? 

What business had she, I ask, to come and thrust her white- 
handled umbrella into the delicate network of my nerves and untune 
their harmony ? 

Does she realise what she has done ? She has trampled a rare 
little mind-being unto death, destroyed a precious literary gem. 
Aye, one that, for aught I know, might have worked a revolution 
in modern thought ; added a new human document to the archives 
of man ; been the keystone to psychic investigations ; solved 
problems that lurk in the depths of our natures and tantalise us 
with elusive gleams of truth ; heralded in, perchance, the new era ; 
when such simple problems as Home Rule, Bimetallism, or the 
Woman Question will be mere themes for school-board composi- 
tions — who can tell ? 

Well, it was not my fault. — No one regrets it more, no one 
— but what could I do ? 

Blame her, woman of the great feet and dominating gait, and 
waving umbrella-handle ! — blame her ! I can only regret it — 
regret it ! 

Portrait of a Lady 

By Charles W. Furse 

Rtpnttut'd tj tkt Saai Eltttr:.- Engraving Curfany 

The Yellow Book— Vol. I. 

Reticence in Literature 

By Arthur Waugh 

Y Y E '" ruer 'poke out. Upon these four words, gathered by 
J. A. chance from a private letter, Matthew Arnold, with that 
super-subtle ingenuity which loved to take the word and play upon 
it and make it of innumerable colours, has constructed, as one may 
conjecture some antediluvian wonder from its smallest fragment, a 
full, complete, and intimate picture of the poet Thomas Gray. He 
never spate out. Here, we arc told, lies the secret of Gray's limita- 
tion as much in life as in literature : so sensitive was he in private 
life, so modest in public, that the thoughts that arose in him never 
got full utterance, the possibilities of his genius were never ful- 
filled i and we, in our turn, are left the poorer for that nervous 
delicacy which has proved the bane of the poet, living and dead 
alike. It is a singularly characteristic essay — this paper on Gray, 
showing the writer's logical talent at once in its strongest and 
its weakest capacities, and a complete study of Arnold's method 
might well, I think, be founded upon its thirty pages. But in the 
present instance I have recurred to that recurring phrase, He never 
spoie out^ not to discuss Matthew Arnold's estimate of Gray, nor, 
indeed, to consider Gray's relation to his age ; but merely to point 
out, what the turn of Arnold's argument did not require him lo 
consider, namely, the extraordinarily un-English aspect of this 

202 Reticence in Literature 

reticence in Gray, a reticence alien without doubt to the English 
character, but still more alien to English literature. Reticence is 
not a national characteristic — far otherwise. The phrase " national 
characteristic " is, I know well, a cant phrase, and, as such, full of 
the dangers of abuse. Historical and ethnographical criticism, 
proceeding on popular lines, has tried from time to time to fix 
certain tendencies to certain races, and to argue from individuals 
to generalities with a freedom that every law of induction belies. 
And so we have come to endow the Frenchman, universally and 
without exception, with politeness, the Indian, equally univer- 
sally, with cunning, the American with the commercial talent, the 
German with the educational, and so forth. Generalisations of 
this kind must, of course, be accepted with limitations. But it is 
not too much, perhaps, to say that the Englishman has always 
prided himself upon his frankness. He is always for speaking out ; 
and it is this faculty of outspokenness that he is anxious to 
attribute to those characters which he sets up in the market-places 
of his religion and his literature, as those whom he chiefly delights 
to honour. The demigods of our national verse, the heroes of our 
national fiction, are brow-bound, above all other laurels, with this 
glorious freedom of free speech and open manners, and we have 
come to regard this broad, untrammelled virtue of ours, as all 
individual virtues will be regarded with the revolution of the cycle 
of provinciality, as a guerdon above question or control. We have 
become inclined to forget that every good thing has, as Aristotle 
pointed out so long ago, its corresponding evil, and that the cor- 
ruption of the best is always worst of all. Frankness is so great a 
boon, we say : we can forgive anything to the man who has the 
courage of his convictions, the fearlessness of freedom — the man, 
in a word, who speaks out. 

But we have to distinguish, I think, at the outset between a 


By Arthur Waugh 203 

national virtue in the rough and the artificial or acquired fashion 
in which we put that virtue into use. It is obvious that, though 
many things are possible to us, which are good in themselves, 
many things are inexpedient, when considered relatively to our 
environment. Count Tolstoi may preach his gospel of non- 
resistance till the beauty of his holiness seems almost Christ-like j 
but every man who goes forth to his work and to his labour 
knows that the habitual turning of the right cheek to the smiter 
of the left, the universal gift of the cloak to the beggar of our coat, 
is subversive of all political economy, and no slight incentive to 
immorality as well. In the same way, it will be clear, that this 
national virtue of ours, this wholesome, sincere outspokenness, is 
only possible within certain limits, set by custom and expediency, 
and it is probably a fact that there was never a truly wise man yet 
but tempered his natural freedom of speech by an acquired habit 
of reticence. The man who never speaks out may be morose ; 
the man who is always speaking out is a most undesirable 

Now, I suppose every one is prepared to admit with Matthew 
Arnold that the literature of an age (we are not now speaking of 
poetry alone, be it understood, but of literature as a whole), that 
this literature must, in so far as it is truly representative of, 
and therefore truly valuable to, the time in which it is produced, 
reflect and criticise the manners, tastes, development, the life, in 
fact, of the age for whose service it was devised. We have, of 
course, critical literature probing the past : we have philosophical 
literature prophesying the future ; but the truly representative 
literature of every age is the creative, which shows its people its 
natural face in a glass, and leaves to posterity the record of the 

manner of man it found. In one sense, indeed, 
must inevitably be critical as well, critical 



employs the 


204 Reticence in Literature 

double methods of analysis and synthesis, dissecting motives and 
tendencies first, and then from this examination building up a 
type, a sample of the representative man and woman of its epoch. 
The truest fiction of any given century, yes, and the truest poetry, 
too (though the impressionist may deny it), must be a criticism 
of life, must reflect its surroundings. Men pass, and fashions 
change ; but in the literature of their day their characters, their 
tendencies, remain crystallised for all time : and what we know of 
the England of Chaucer and Shakespeare, we know wholly and 
absolutely in the truly representative, truly creative, because truly 
critical literature which they have left to those that come after. 

It is, then, the privilege, it is more, it is the duty of the man of 
letters to speak out, to be fearless, to be frank, to give no ear to 
the puritans of his hour, to have no care for the objections of 
prudery; the life that he lives is the life he must depict, if his work 
is to be of any lasting value. He must be frank, but he must be 
something more. He must remember — hourly and momently he 
must remember — that his virtue, step by step, inch by inch, im- 
perceptibly melts into the vice which stands at its pole ; and that 
(to employ Aristotelian phraseology for the moment) there is a 
sort of middle point, a centre of equilibrium, to pass which is to 
disturb and overset the entire fabric of his labours. Midway 
between liberty and license, in literature as in morals, stands the 
pivot of good taste, the centre-point of art. The natural inclina- 
tion of frankness, the inclination of the virtue in the rough, is to 
blunder on resolutely with an indomitable and damning sincerity, 
till all is said that can be said, and art is lost in photography. 
The inclination of frankness, restrained by and tutored to the 
limitations of art and beauty, is to speak so much as is in accord- 
ance with the moral idea: and then, at the point where ideas melt 
into mere report, mere journalistic detail, to feel intuitively the 


By Arthur Waugh 205 

restraining, the saving influence of reticence. In every age there 
has been some point (its exact position has varied, it is true, but 
the point has always been there) at which speech stopped short; 
and the literature which has most faithfully reflected the manners 
of that age, the literature, in fine, which has survived its little 
hour of popularity, and has lived and is still living, has inevitably, 
invariably, and without exception been the literature which stayed 
its hand and voice at the point at which the taste of the age, the 
age's conception of art, set up its statue of reticence, with her 
finger to her lips, and the inscription about her feet : "So far shalt 
thou go, and no further." 

We have now, it seems, arrived at one consideration, which 
must always limit the liberty of frankness, namely, the standard of 
contemporary taste. The modesty that hesitates to allign itself 
with that standard is a shortcoming, the audacity that rushes 
beyond is a violence to the unchanging law of literature. But 
the single consideration is insufficient. If we are content with 
the criterion of contemporary taste alone, our standard of judg- 
ment becomes purely historical : we are left, so to speak, with a 
sliding scale which readjusts itself to every new epoch : we have 
no permanent and universal test to apply to the literature of 
different ages : in a word, comparative criticism is impossible. 
We feel at once that we need, besides the shifting standard of 
contemporary taste, some fixed unit of judgment that never 
varies, some foot-rule that applies with equal infallibility to the 
literature of early Greece and to the literature of later France ; 
and such an unit, such a foot-rule, can only be found in the final 
test of all art, the necessity of the moral idea. We must, in 
distinguishing the thing that may be said fairly and artistically 
from the thing whose utterance is inadmissible, we must in such 
a decision control our judgment by two standards — the one, the 


206 Reticence in Literature 

shifting standard of contemporary taste : the other, the permanent 
standard of artistic justification, the presence of the moral idea. 
With these two elements in action, we ought, I think, to be able 
to estimate with tolerable fairness the amount of reticence in any 
age which ceases to be a shortcoming, the amount of frankness 
which begins to be a violence in the literature of the period. We 
ought, with these two elements in motion, to be able to employ a 
scheme of comparative criticism which will prevent us from 
encouraging that retarding and dangerous doctrine that what was 
expedient and justifiable, for instance, in the dramatists of the 
Restoration is expedient and justifiable in the playwrights of our 
own Victorian era ; we ought, too, to be able to arrive in- 
stinctively at a sense of the limits of art, and to appreciate the 
point at which frankness becomes a violence, in that it has de- 
generated into mere brawling, animated neither by purpose nor 
idea. Let us, then, consider these two standards of taste and art 
separately : and first, let us give a brief attention to the contem- 
porary standard. 

We may, I think, take it as a rough working axiom that 
the point of reticence in literature, judged by a contemporary 
standard, should be settled by the point of reticence in the 
conversation of the taste and culture of the age. Literature is, 
after all, simply the ordered, careful exposition of the thought 
of its period, seeking the best matter of the time, and setting it 
forth in the best possible manner ; and it is surely clear that what 
is written in excess of what is spoken (in excess I mean on the 
side of license) is a violence to, a misrepresentation of, the period 
to whose service the literature is devoted. The course of the 
highest thought of the time should be the course of its literature, 
the limit of the most delicate taste of the time the limit of literary 
expression : whatever falls below that standard is a shortcoming, 



By Arthur Waugh 


whatever exceeds it a violence. Obviously the standard varies 
immensely with the period. It would be tedious, nor is it 
necessary to our purpose, to make a long historical research into the 
development of taste j but a few striking examples may help us to 
appreciate its variations. 

To begin with a very early stage of literature, we find among 
the Heracleidae of Herodotus a stage of contemporary taste which 
is the result of pure brutality. It is clear that literature adjusted 
to the frankness of the uxorious pleasantries of Candaules and 
Gyges would justifiably assume a degree of license which, reason- 
able enough in its environment, would be absolutely impossible, 
directly the influences of civilisation began to make themselves 
felt. The age is one of unrestrained brutality, and the literature 
which represented it won 1^ without violence to the contemporary 
taste, be brutal too. To pass at a bound to the Rome of Juvenal 
is again to be transported to an age of national sensuality : the 
escapades of Messalina are the inevitable outcome of a national 
taste that is swamped and left putrescent by limitless self- 
indulgence ; and the literature which represented this taste would, 
without violence, be lascivious and polluted to its depth. In con- 
tinuing, with a still wider sweep, to the England of Shakespeare, 
we find a new development of taste altogether. Brutality is 
softened, licentiousness is restrained, immorality no longer stalks 
abroad shouting its coarse phrases at every wayfarer who passes 
the Mermaid or the Globe. But, even among types of purity, 
reticence is little known. The innuendoes are whispered under 
the breath, but when once the voice is lowered, it matters little 
what is said. Rosalind and Celia enjoy their little doubles enttndrts 
together. Hero's wedding morning is an occasion for delicate 
hints of experiences to come. Hamlet plies the coarsest sugges- 
tions upon Ophelia in the intervals of a theatrical performance. 


208 Reticence in Literature 

The language reflects the taste : we feel no violence here. To 
take but one more instance, let us end with Sheridan. By his 
time speech had been refined by sentiment, and the most graceful 
compliments glide, without effort, from the lips of the adept 
courtier. But even still, in the drawing-rooms of fashion, delicate 
morsels of scandal are discussed by his fine ladies with a freedom 
which is absolutely unknown to the Mayfair of the last half- 
century, where innuendo might be conveyed by the eye and 
suggested by the smile, but would never, so reticent has taste 
become, find the frank emphatic utterance which brought no 
blush to the cheek of Mrs. Candour and Lady Sneerwell. In the 
passage of time reticence has become more and more pronounced ; 
and literature, moving, as it must, with the age, has assumed in its 
normal and wholesome form the degree of silence which it finds 
about it. 

The standard of taste in literature, then, so far as it responds to 
contemporary judgment, should be regulated by the normal taste of 
the hale and cultured man of its age : it should steer a middle 
course between the prudery of the manse, which is for hiding 
everything vital, and the effrontery of the pot-house, which makes 
for ribaldry and bawdry ; and the more it approximates to the 
exact equilibrium of its period, the more thoroughly does it become 
representative of the best taste of its time, the more certain is it of 
permanent recognition. The literature of shortcoming and the 
literature of violence have their reward : 


They have their day, and cease to be " ; 

the literature which reflects the hale and wholesome frankness of 
its age can be read, with pleasure and profit, long after its openness 
of speech and outlook has ceased to reproduce the surrounding life. 


By Arthur Waugh 209 

The environment is ephemeral, but the literature is immortal. 
But why is the literature immortal ? Why is it that a play like 
Pericles^ for instance, full as it is of scenes which revolt the moral 
taste, has lived and is a classic forever, while innumerable con- 
temporary pieces of no less genius (for Pericles is no masterpiece) 
have passed into oblivion ? Why is it that the impurity of 
Pericles strikes the reader scarcely at all, while the memory dwells 
upon its beauties and forgets its foulness in recollection of its 
refinement ? The reason is not far to seek. Pericles is not only 
free of offence when judged by the taste of its age, it is no less 
blameless when we subject it to the test by which all literature is 
judged at last ; it conforms to the standard of art ; it is permeated 
by the moral idea. The standard of art — the presence of the 
idea — the two expressions are, I believe, synonymous. It is easy 
enough to babble of the beauty of things considered apart from 
their meaning, it is easy enough to dilate on the satisfaction of art 
in itself, but all these phrases are merely collocations of terms, 
empty and meaningless. A thing can only be artistic by virtue of 
the idea it suggests to us ; when the idea is coarse, ungainly, 
unspeakable, the object that suggests it is coarse, ungainly, 
unspeakable ; art and ethics must always be allied in that the 
merit of the art is dependent on the merit of the idea it 

Perhaps I shall show my meaning more clearly by an example 
from the more tangible art of painting ; and let me take as an 
instance an artist who has produced pictures at once the most 
revolting and most moral of any in the history of English art. 
I mean Hogarth. We are all familiar with his coarsenesses ; all 
these have we known from our youth up. But it is only the 
schoolboy who searches the Bible for its indecent passages ; when 
we are become men, we put away such childish satisfactions. 


210 Reticence in Literature 

Then we begin to appreciate the idea which underlies the subject : 
we feel that Hogarth — 

"Whose pictured morals charm the mind, 
And through the eye correct the heart " — 

was, even in his grossest moments, profoundly moral, entirely 
sane, because he never dallied lasciviously with his subject, 
because he did not put forth vice with the pleasing semblance of 
virtue, because, like all hale and wholesome critics of life, he 
condemned excess, and pictured it merely to portray the worth- 
lessness, the weariness, the dissatisfaction of lust and license. 
Art, we say, claims every subject for her own ; life is open to her 
ken ; she may fairly gather her subjects where she will. Most 
true. But there is all the difference in the world between 
drawing life as we find it, sternly and relentlessly, surveying it all 
the while from outside with the calm, unflinching gaze of 
criticism, and, on the other hand, yielding ourselves to the warmth 
and colour of its excesses, losing our judgment in the ecstasies of 
the joy of life, becoming, in a word, effeminate. 

The man lives by ideas ; the woman by sensations ; and while 
the man remains an artist so long as he holds true to his own view 
of life, the woman becomes one as soon as she throws off the 
habit of her sex, and learns to rely upon her judgment, and not 
upon her senses. It is only when we regard life with the un- 
trammelled view of the impartial spectator, when we pierce below 
the substance for its animating idea, that we approximate to the 
artistic temperament. It is unmanly, it is effeminate, it is in- 
artistic to gloat over pleasure, to revel in immoderation, to become 
passion's slave ; and literature demands as much calmness of 
judgment, as much reticence, as life itself. The man who loses 


By Arthur Waugh 2 1 1 

reticence loses self-respect, and the man who has no respect for 
himself will scarcely find others to venerate him. After all, the 
world generally takes us at our own valuation. 

We have now, I trust, arrived (though, it may be, by a rather 
circuitous journey) at something like a definite and reasonable law 
for the exercise of reticence ; it only remains to consider by what 
test we shall most easily discover the presence or absence of the 
animating moral idea which we have found indispensable to art. 
It seems to me that three questions will generally suffice. Does 
the work, we should ask ourselves, make for that standard of taste 
which is normal to wholesomeness and sanity of judgment ? 
Does it, or does it not, encourage us to such a line of life as is 
recommended, all question of tenet and creed apart, by the 
experience of the age, as the life best calculated to promote 
individual and general good ? And does it encourage to this life 
in language and by example so chosen as not to offend the 
susceptibilities of that ordinarily strong and unaffected taste which, 
after all, varies very little with the changes of the period and 
development ? When creative literature satisfies these three 
requirements — when it is sane, equable, and well spoken, then it 
is safe to say it conforms to the moral idea, and is consonant with 
art. By its sanity it eludes the risk of effeminate demonstration ; 
by its choice of language it avoids brutality ; and between these 
two poles, it may be affirmed without fear of question, true taste 
will and must be found to lie. 

These general considerations, already too far prolonged, become 
of immediate interest to us as soon as we attempt to apply them to 
the literature of our own half-century, and I propose concluding what 
I wished to say on the necessity of reticence by considering, briefly 
and without mention of names, that realistic movement in English 
literature which, under different titles, and protected by the aegis or 


212 Reticence in Literature 

various schools, has proved, without doubt, the most interesting and 
suggestive development in the poetry and fiction of our time. 
During the last quarter of a century, more particularly, the 
English man-of-letters has been indulging, with an entirely new 
freedom, his national birthright of outspokenness, and during the 
last twelve months there have been no uncertain indications that 
this freedom of speech is degenerating into a license which some of 
us cannot but view with regret and apprehension. The writers 
and the critics of contemporary literature have, it would seem, 
alike lost their heads ; they have gone out into the byways and 
hedges in search of the new thing, and have brought into the 
study and subjected to the microscope mean objects of the road- 
side, whose analysis may be of value to science but is absolutely 
foreign to art. The age of brutality, pure and simple, is dead 
with us, it is true; but the age of effeminacy appears, if one is to 
judge by recent evidence, to be growing to its dawn. The day 
that follows will, if it fulfils the promise of its morning, be very 
serious and very detrimental to the future of our literature. 

Every great productive period of literature has been the result of 
some internal or external revulsion of feeling, some current of 
ideas. This is a commonplace. The greatest periods of pro- 
duction have been those when the national mind has been directed 
to some vast movement of emancipation — the discovery of new 
countries, the defeat of old enemies, the opening of fresh possi- 
bilities. Literature is best stimulated by stirrings like these. Now, 
the last quarter of a century in English history has been singularly 
sterile of important movements. There has been no very inspiring 
acquisition to territory or to knowledge : there has been, in' con- 
sequence, no marked influx of new ideas. The mind has been 
thrown back upon itself; lacking stimulus without, it has sought . 
inspiration within, and the most characteristic literature of 

By Arthur Waugh 213 

time has been introspective. Following one course, it has 
betaken itself to that intimately analytical fiction which we 
associate primarily with America ; it has sifted motives and probed 
psychology, with the result that it has produced an exceedingly 
clever, exact, and scientific, but scarcely stimulating, or progressive 
school of literature. Following another course, it has sought for 
subject-matter in the discussion of passions and sensations, common, 
doubtless, to every age of mankind, interesting and necessary, too, 
in their way, but passions and sensations hitherto dissociated with 
literature, hitherto, perhaps, scarcely realised to their depth and 
intensity. It is in this development that the new school of realism 
has gone furthest ; and it is in this direction that the literature of 
the future seems likely to follow. It is, therefore, not without 
value to consider for a moment whither this new frankness is 
leading us, and how far its freedom is reconciled to that standard 
of necessary reticence which I have tried to indicate in these pages. 
This present tendency to literary frankness had its origin, I 
think, no less than twenty-eight years ago. It was then that the 
dovecotes of English taste were tremulously fluttered by the 
coming of a new poet, whose naked outspokenness startled his 
readers into indignation. Literature, which had retrograded into 
a melancholy sameness, found itself convulsed by a sudden access 
of passion, which was probably without parallel since the age of 
the silver poets of Rome. This new singer scrupled not to revel 
in sensations which for years had remained unmentioned upon the 
printed page ; he even chose for his subjects refinements of lust, 
which the commonly healthy Englishman believed to have become 
extinct with the time of Juvenal. Here was an innovation which 
was absolutely alien to the standard of contemporary taste — an 
innovation, I believe, that was equally opposed to that final 
moderation without which literature is lifeless. 


214 Reticence in Literature 

Let us listen for one n 

" By the ravenous teeth that have smitten 
Through the kisses that blossom and bud. 
By the lips intertwisted and bitten 

Till the foam has a savour of blood, 
By the pulse as it rises and falters, 

By the hands as they slacken and strain, 
[ adjure thee, respond from thine altars, 
Our Lady of Pain. 

As of old when the world's heart was lighter. 
Through thy garments the grace of thee glows 

The white wealth of thy body made whiter 
By the blushes of amorous blows, 

And seamed with sharp lips and fierce fingers. 
And branded by kisses that bruise ; 

When all shall be gone that now lingers, 
Ah, what shall we lose ? 

Thou wcrt fair in thy fearless old fashion, 

And thy limbs are as melodies yet, 
And move to the music of passion 

With lithe and lascivious regret. 
What ailed us, O gods, to desert you 

For creeds that refuse and restrain i 
Come down and redeem us from virtue, 
Our Udy of Pain." 

This was twenty-eight years ago , and still the poetry lives. At 
lift night it would seem as though tht desirable reticence, upon which 
wc have been insisting, were as yet unnecessary to immortality. 
A quarter of a century ha* passed, it might be argued, and the 

By Arthur Waugh 


verse is as fresh to-day and as widely recognised as it was in its 
morning : is not this a proof that art asks for no moderation ? I 
believe not It is true that the poetry lives, that we all recognise, 
at some period of our lives, the grasp and tenacity of its influence ; 
that, even when the days come in which we say we have no 
pleasure in it, we still turn to it at times for something we do not 
find elsewhere. But the thing we seek is not the matter, but the 
manner. The poetry is living, not by reason of its unrestrained 
frankness, but in spite of it, for the sake of something else. That 
sweet singer who charmed and shocked the audiences of 1866, 
charms us, if he shocks us not now, by virtue of the one new 
thing that he imported into English poetry, the unique and as yet 
imperishable faculty of musical possibilities hitherto unattained. 
There is no such music in all the range of English verse, seek 
where you will, as there is in him. But the perfection of the one 
talent, its care, its elaboration, have resulted in a corresponding 
decay of those other faculties by which alone, in the long run, 
poetry can live. Open him where you will, there is in his poetry 
neither construction nor proportion ; no development, no sustained 
dramatic power. Open him where you will, you acquire as much 
sense of his meaning and purpose from any two isolated stanzas as 
from the study of a whole poem. There remains in your ears, 
when you have ceased from reading, the echo only of a beautiful 
voice, chanting, as it were, the melodies of some outland tongui 

Is this the sort of poetry that will survive 
ages? It cannot survive. The time will con 
some newer singer discovers melodies as yet 1 
which surpass in their modulations and vari 
and ballads of twenty-eight years ago ; and, 1 
the new note, what will be left of the earlier s: 
shall of necessity return ? A message? No. Philosophy? No, 

The Yellow Book— Vol. I. n A new 


luble of the 
) when 
ties those poems 
when we have found 
'j> which we 

216 Reticence in Literature 

A new vision of life ? No. A criticism of contemporary existence ? 
Assuredly not. There remains the melody alone ; and this, when 
once it is surpassed, will charm us little enough. We shall forget 
it then. Art brings in her revenges, and this will be of them. 

But the new movement did not stop here. If, in the poet we 
have been discussing, we have found the voice among us that 
corresponds to the decadent voices of the failing Roman Republic, 
there has reached us from France another utterance, which I 
should be inclined to liken to the outspoken brutality of Restora- 
tion drama. Taste no longer fails on the ground of a delicate, 
weakly dalliance, it begins to see its own limitations, and springs 
to the opposite pole. It will now be virile, full of the sap of life, 
strong, robust, and muscular. It will hurry us out into the fields, 
will show us the coarser passions of the common farm-hand ; at 
any expense it will paint the life it finds around it ; it will at least 
be consonant with that standard of want of taste which it felsely 
believes to be contemporary. We get a realistic fiction abroad, 
and we begin to copy it at home. We will trace the life of the 
travelling actor, follow him into the vulgar, sordid surroundings 
which he chooses for the palace of his love, be it a pottery-shed or 
the ill-furnished lodging-room with its black horsehair sofe — we 
will draw them all, and be faithful to the lives we live. Is that 
the sort of literature that will survive the trouble of the ages ? It 
cannot survive. We are no longer untrue to our time, perhaps, if 
we are to seek for the heart of that time in the lowest and meanest 
of its representatives ; but we are untrue to art, untrue to the 
record of our literary past, when we are content to turn for our own 
inspiration to anything but the best line of thought, the highest 
school of life, through which we are moving. This grosser 
realism is no more representative of its time than were the 
elaborate pastiches of classical degradation ; it is as though one 


By Arthur Waugh 


should repcople Eden with creatures imagined from a study of the 
serpent's head. In the history of literature this movement, too, 
will with the lapse of time pass unrecognised ; it has mourned 
unceasingly to an age which did not lack for innocent piping and 
dancing in its market-places. 

The two developments of realism of which we have been 
speaking seem to me to typify the two excesses into which frank- 
ness is inclined to fall ; on the one hand, the excess prompted by 
effeminacy — that is to say, by the want of restraint which starts 
from enervated sensation ; and, on the other, the excess which 
results from a certain brutal virilitv, which proceeds from coarse 
familiarity with indulgence. The one whispers, the other shouts i 
the one is the language of the courtesan, the other of the bargee. 
What we miss in both alike is that true frankness which springs 
from the artistic and moral temperament ; the episodes are no part 
of a whole in unity with itself; the impression they leave upon 
the reader is not the impression of Hogarth's pictures ; in one 
form they employ all their art to render vice attractive, in the 
other, with absolutely no art at all, they merely reproduce, with 
the fidelity of the kodak, scenes and situations the existence of 
which we all acknowledge, while taste prefers to forget them. 
But the latest development of literary frankness is, I think, the 
tost insidious and fraught with the greatest danger to art. A 
school has arisen which combines the characteristics of 
Feminacy and brutality. In its effeminate aspect it plays with 
e subtler emotions of sensual pleasure, on its brutal side it has 
ivcloped into that class of fiction which for want of a better word 
: call chirurgical. In poetry it deals with very much the 
; passions as those which we have traced in the verse to which 
i has been made above ; but, instead of leaving these refine- 
1 the haunts to which they are fitted, it has intro- 

218 Reticence in Literature 

duced them into the domestic chamber, and permeated marriage 
with the ardours of promiscuous intercourse. In fiction it infects 
its heroines with acquired diseases of names unmentionable, and 
has debased the beauty of maternity by analysis of the process 
of gestation. Surely the inartistic temperament can scarcely 
abuse literature further. I own I can conceive nothing less 

It was said of a great poet by a little critic that he wheeled his 
nuptial couch into the area ; but these small poets and smaller 
novelists bring out their sick into the thoroughfare, and stop the 
traffic while they give as a clinical lecture upon their sufferings. 
We are told that this is a part of the revolt of woman, and certainly 
our women-writers are chiefly to blame. It is out of date, no 
doubt, to clamour for modesty ; but the woman who describes the 
sensations of childbirth does so, it is to be presumed — not as the 
writer of advice to a wife — but as an artist producing literature for 
art's sake. And so one may fairly ask her : How is art served by 
all this ? What has she told us that we did not all know, or could 
not learn from medical manuals ? and what impression has she left 
us over and above the memory of her unpalatable details ? And 
our poets, who know no rhyme for " rest " but that " breast " 
whose snowinesses and softnesses they are for ever describing with 
every accent of indulgence, whose eyes are all for frills, if not for 
garters, what have they sung that was not sung with far greater 
beauty and sincerity in the days when frills and garters were 
alluded to with the open frankness that cried shame on him who 
evil thought. The one extremity, it seems to me, offends against 
the standard of contemporary taste ; ("people," as Hedda Gabler 
said, "do not say such things now ; ") the other extremity rebels 
against that universal standard of good taste that has from the days 
of Milo distinguished between the naked and the nude. We are 


By Arthur Waugh 219 

losing the distinction now ; the cry .for realism, naked and un- 
ashamed, is borne in upon us from every side : 

" Rip your brother's vices open, strip your own foul passions bare ; 
Down with Reticence, down with Reverence — forward — naked — 
let them stare." 

But there was an Emperor once (we know the story) who went 
forth among his people naked. It was said that he wore fairy 
clothes, and that only the unwise could foil to see them. At last 
a little child raised its voice from the crowd : " Why, he has 
nothing on," it said. And so these writers of ours go out from 
day to day, girded on, they would have us believe, with the 
garments of art ; and fashion has lacked the courage to cry out 
with the little child : " They have nothing on." No robe of art, 
no texture of skill, they whirl before us in a bacchanalian dance, 
naked and unashamed. But the time will come, it must, when 
the voices of the multitude will take up the cry of the child, and 
the revellers will hurry to their houses in dismay. Without 
dignity, without self-restraint, without the morality of art, literature 
has never survived ; they are the few who rose superior to the 
baser levels of their time, who stand unimpugned among the 
immortals now. And that mortal who would put on immortality 
must first assume that habit of reticence, that garb of humility by 
which true greatness is best known. To endure restraint — that 
is to be strong. 

A Lady Reading 

By Walter Sicken 

V*-**.. faHMtfVQ 

Modern Melodrama 

By Hubert Crackanthorpe 

The pink shade of a single lamp supplied an air of subdued 
mystery ; the fire burned red and still ; in place of door 
and windows hung curtains, obscure, formless j the furniture, 
dainty, but sparse, stood detached and incoordinate like the furni- 
ture of a stage-scene ; the atmosphere was heavy with heat, 
and a scent of stale tobacco ; some cut flowers, half withered, 
tissue-paper still wrapping their stalks, lay on a gilt, cane-bottomed 

" Will you give me a sheet of paper, please ? " 

He had crossed the room, to seat himself before the prin- 
cipal table. He wore a fur-lined overcoat, and he was tall, 
and broad, and bald ; a sleek face, made grave by gold-rimmed 

The other man was in evening dress ; his back leaning against 
the mantelpiece, his hands in his pockets : he was moodily scraping 
the hearthrug with his toe. Clean-shaved ; stolid and coarsely 
regular features ; black, shiny hair, flattened on to his head ; 
under-sized eyes, moist and glistening ; the tint of his face uniform, 
the tint of discoloured ivory ; he looked a man who ate well and 
lived hard. 

" Certainly, sir, certainly," and he started to hurry about the room. 

" Daisy," 

224 Modern Melodrama 


Daisy," he exclaimed roughly, a moment later, "where the 
deuce do you keep the note-paper ? " 

u I don't know if there is any, but the girl always has some." 
She spoke in a slow tone — insolent and fatigued. 

A couple of bed-pillows were supporting her head, and a scarlet 
plush cloak, trimmed with white down, was covering her feet, as 
she lav curled on the sofa. The fire-light glinted on the metallic 
gold of her hair, which clashed with the black of her eyebrows ; 
and the full, blue eyes, wide-set, contradicted the hard line of her 
vivid-red lips. She drummed her fingers on the sofa-edge, 

" Never mind," said the bald man shortly, producing a note- 
book from his breast-pocket, and tearing a leaf from it. 

He wrote, and the other two staved silent ; the man returned to 
the hearthrug, lifting his coat-tails under his arms ; the girl went 
on drumming the sofa-edge. 

a There," sliding back his chair, and looking from the one to 
the other, evidently uncertain which of the two he should address. 
"Here is the prescription. Get it made up to-night, a table- 
spoonful at a time, in a wine-glassful of water at lunch-time, at 
dinner-time and before going to bed. Go on with the port wine 
twice a day, and (to the girl, deliberately and distinctly) you mast 
keep quite quiet ; avoid all sort of excitement — that is extremely 
important. Of course you must on no account go out at night. 
Go to bed early, take regular meals, and keep always warm." 

a I say," broke in the girl, " tell us, it isn't bad — dangerous, I 
mean ? " 

" Dangerous ! — no, not if you do what I tell you." 

He glanced at his watch, and rose, buttoning his coat. 

" Good-evening," he said gravely. 

At first she paid no heed ; she was vacantly staring before her : 


By Hubert Crackanthorpe 

then, suddenly conscious that he v 

aicing, she looked up ; 

"Good-night, doctor." 

She held out her hand, and he took it. 

" I'll get all right, won't I ? " she asked, stil 

"All right — of course you will — of cour 
you must do what I tell you." 

The other man handed him his hat and i 
door for him, and it closed behind them. 

looking up at him. 
e. But remember 

nbrella, opened the 


The girl remained quiet, sharply blinking her eyes, her whole 
expression eager, intense. 

A murmur of voices, a muffled tread of footsteps des 
the stairs — the gentle shutting of a door — stillness. 

She raised herself on her elbow, listening ; the cloak slipped 
noiselessly to the floor. Quickly her arm shot out to the bell- 
rope ; she pulled it violently ; waited, expectant i and pulled again. 

A slatternly figure appeared — a woman of middle-age— her 
arms, bared to the elbows, smeared with dirt ; a grimy apron 
over her knees. 

" What's up ? — I was smashin' coal," she explained. 

"Come here," hoarsely whispered the girl — "here — no—nearer 
— quite close. Where's he gone ? " 

"Gone? 'oo?» 


door slam." 

"And Dick, where's he?" 

" They're both in there together, I s'ppose." 

"I want you to go down— quietly — without making a noise — 
listen at the door— come up, and tell me what they're saying." 


i that was here." 

1 the downstairs room. 

I ain't 'eard the front 

226 Modern Melodrama 

a What ? Down there ? " jerking her thumb over her 

a Yes, of course — at once," answered the girl, impatiently. 

" And if they catches me — a nice fool I looks. No, I'm jesi 
blowed if I do ! " she concluded. " Whatever's up ? " 

u You must," the girl broke out excitedly. " I tell you, you 

u Must — must — an' if I do, what am I goin' to git out of it ? " 
She paused, reflecting; then added: "Look 'ere — I tell yer 
what — I'll do it for half a quid, there ? " 

u Yes — yes — all right— only make haste." 

" An' 'ow d' I know as I'll git it ? " she objected doggedly. 
" It's a jolly risk, yer know." 

The girl sprang up, flushed and feverish. 

" Quick— or he'll be gone. I don't know where it is — but you 
shall have it — I promise — quick — please go— quick." 

The other hesitated, her lips pressed together ; turned, and 
went out. 

And the girl, catching at her breath, clutched a chair. 

A flame flickered up in the fire, buzzing spasmodically. A 
creak outside. She had come up. But the curtains did not move. 
Why didn't she come in ? She was going past. The girl hastened 
across the room, the intensity of the impulse lending her strength. 

a Come — come in," she gasped. a Quick — I'm slipping." 

She struck at the wall ; but with the flat of her hand, for 
there was no grip. The woman bursting in, caught her, and led 
her back to the sofa. 

<c There, there, dearie," tucking the cloak round her feet. 
"Lift up the piller, my 'ands are that mucky. Will yer 'ave 
anythin' ? " 


By Hubert Crackanthorpe 

She shook her head. " It's gone," she muttered. " No' 


" Tell yer ? — tell yer what ? Why — why — there ain't jest 
nothin' to tell yer." 

"What were they saying ? Quick." 

" I didn't 'ear nothin'. They was talking about some ballet- 

The girl began to cry, feebly, helplessly, like a child in pain. 

" You might tell me, Liz. You might tell me. I've been a 
good sort to you." 

"That yer 'ave. I knows yer 'ave, dearie. There, there, 
don't yer take on like that. Yer'll only make yerself bad again." 

"Tell me- — tell me," she wailed. "I've been a good sort to 

" Well, they wasn't talkin' of no ballet-woman — that's straight," 
the woman blurted out savagely. 

" What did he say ?— tell me." Her voice was weaker now. 

" I can't tell yer — don't yer ask me — for God's sake, don't yer 
ask me." 

With a low crooning the girl cried again. 

" Oh ! for God's sake, don't yer take on like that — it's awful — 
I can't stand it. There, dearie, stop that cryin'an' I'll tell yer — I 
will indeed. It was jest this way — I slips my shoes off, an' I goes 
down as careful — jest as careful as a cat— an' when I gets to 
the door I crouches myself down, listenin' as 'ard as ever I 
could. The first thing as I 'ears was Mr. Dick speakin' thick- 
like — like as if 'ee'd bin drinkin' — an t'other chap 'ee says some- 
thin' about lungs, using some long word — I missed that— there 
was a van or somethin' rackettin' on the road. Then 'ee says 
'gallopin', gallopin',' jest like as if 'ee was talkin' of a 'orse. An' 
Mr. Dick, 'ee says, * ain't there no chance — no'ow ? ' and 'ee give a 


228 Modern Melodrama 

sort of a grunt. I was awful sorry for 'im, that I was, 'ee must 
'ave been crool bad, 'ee's mostly so quiet-like, ain't 'ee ? An', in 
a minute, 'ee sort o' groans out somethin', an' t'other chap 'ee 
answer 'im quite cool-like, that 'ee don't properly know : but, 
anyways, it 'ud be over afore the end of February. There I've 
done it. Oh ! dearie, it's awful, awful, that's jest what it is. 
An' I 'ad no intention to tell yer — not a blessed word — that I 
didn't — may God strike me blind if I did ! Some'ow it all come 
out, seem* yer chokin' that 'ard an' feelin' at the wall there. Yer 
'ad no right to ask me to do it — 'ow was I to know 'ee was a 
doctor ? " 

She put the two corners of her apron to her eyes, gurgling 

44 Look 'ere, don't yer b'lieve a word of it — I don't — I tell yer 
they're a 'umbuggin' lot, them doctors, all together. I know it. 
Yer take my word for that — yer'll git all right again. Yer'U be 
as well as I am, afore yer've done — Oh, Lord ! — it's jest awful — I 
feel that upset — I'd like to cut my tongue out, for 'avin' told yer 
— but I jest couldn't 'elp myself." She was retreating towards 
the door, wiping her eyes, and snorting out loud sobs — <4 An', 
don't yer offer me that half quid — I couldn't take it of yer — that 
I couldn't." 


She shivered, sat up, and dragged the cloak tight round her 
shoulders. In her desire to get warm she forgot what had 
happened. She extended the palms of her hands towards the 
grate : the heat was delicious. A smoking lump of coal clattered 
on to the fender: she lifted the tongs, but the sickening remembrance 
arrested her. The things in the room were receding, dancing 
round : the fire was growing taller and taller. The woollen scarf 
chafed her skin : she wrenched it off. Then hope, keen and 


By Hubert Crackanthorpe 229 

bitter, shot up, hurting her. " How could he know ? Of course 
he couldn't know. She'd been a lot better this last fortnight — 

the other doctor said so— she didn't believe it — she didn't care 

Anyway, it would be over before the end of February ! " 

Suddenly the crooning wail started again : next, spasms of 
weeping, harsh and gasping. 

By-and-by she understood that she was crying noisily, and that 
she was alone in the room : like a light in a wind, the sobbing fit 

" Let me live— let me live — I'll be straight — I'll go to church 
— I'll do anything ! Take it away — it hurts — I can't bear it ! " 

Once more the sound of her own voice in the empty room 
calmed her. But the tension of emotion slackened, only to 
tighten again : immediately she was jeering at herself. What 
was she wasting her breath for? What had Jesus ever done for 
her? She'd had her fling, and it was no thanks to him. 

" ' Dy-sy — Dy-sy ' " 

From the street below, boisterous and loud, the refrain came up. 
And, as the footsteps tramped away, the words reached her once 
more, indistinct in the distance : 

"'I'm jest cryzy, all for the love o' you.'" 

She felt frightened. It was like a thing in a play. It was as 
if some one was there, in the room — hiding — watching her. 

Then a coughing fit started, racking her. In the middle, she 
struggled to cry for help ; she thought she was going to suffocate. 

Afterwards she sank back, limp, tired, and sleepy. 

The end of February — she was going to die — it was important, 
exciting — what would it be like ? Everybody else died. Midge 
had died in the summer — but that was worry and going the pace. 
And they said that Annie Evans was going off too. Damn it ! 
she wasn't going to be chicken-hearted. She'd face it. She'd 


230 Modern Melodrama 

had a jolly time. She'd be game till the end. Hell-fire — that 
was all stuff and nonsense — she knew that. It would be just 
nothing — like a sleep. Not even painful : she'd be just shut 
down in a coffin, and she wouldn't know that they were doing it. 
Ah ! but they might do it before she was quite dead ! It had 
happened sometimes. And she wouldn't be able to get out. The 
lid would be nailed, and there would be earth on the top. And if 
she called, no one would hear. 

Ugh ! what a fit of the blues she was getting ! It was beastly, 
being alone. Why the devil didn't Dick come back ? 

That noise ! What was that ? 

Bah ! only some one in the street. What a fool she was ! 

She winced again as the fierce feeling of revolt swept through 
her, the wild longing to fight. It was damned rough — four 
months ! A year, six months* even, was a long time. The pain 
grew acute, different from anything she had felt before. 

a Good Lord ! what am I maundering on about ? Four 
months — I'll go out with a fizzle like a firework. Why the 
devil doesn't Dick come ? — or Liz — or somebody ? What do 
they leave me alone like this for ? " 

She dragged at the bell-rope. 


He came in, white and blear-eyed. 

" Whatever have you been doing all this time ? " she began 

" I've been chatting with the doctor." He was pretending to 
read a newspaper : there was something funny about his voice. 

" It's ripping. He says you'll soon be fit again, as long as you 
♦ don't get colds, or that sort of thing. Yes, he says you'll soon be 
fit again " — a quick, crackling noise — he had gripped the news- 
paper in his fist. 


By Hubert Crackanthorpe 231 

She looked at him, surprised, in spite of herself. She would 
never have thought he'd have done it like that. He was a good 
sort, after all. But — she didn't know why- — she broke out 
furiously : 

" You infernal liar ! — -I know. I shall be done for by the end 
of February — ha ! ha ! " 

Seizing a vase of flowers, she flung it into the grate. The 
crash and the shrivelling of the leaves in the flames brought her 
an instant's relief. Then she said quietly : 

"There- — I've made an idiot of myself ; but" (weakly) "I 
didn't know— I didn't know — J thought it was different." 

He hesitated, embarrassed by his own emotion. Presently he 
went up to her and put his hands round her cheeks. 

" No," she said, " that's no good, I don't want that. Get me 
something to drink. I feel bad." 

He hurried to the cupboard and fumbled with the cork of a 
champagne bottle. It flew out with a bang. She started 

" You clumsy fool ! " she exclaimed. 

She drank off the wine at a gulp. 

" Daisy," he began. 

She was staring stonily at the empty glass. 

" Daisy," he repeated. 

She tapped her toe against the fender-rail. 

At this sign, he went on ; 

" How did 

a listen," she answered mechanically. 
He looked about him, helpless. 
"I think I'll smoke," he said feebly. 
She made no answer. 
" Here, put the glass down," she said. 

232 Modern Melodrama 

He obeyed. 

He lit a cigarette over the lamp, sat down opposite her, puffing 
dense clouds of smoke. 

And, for a long while, neither spoke. 

" Is that doctor a good man ? " 

" I don't know. People say so," he answered. 

Two Songs 

By John Davidson 

I — London 

athwart the sky a lowly sigh 
J\ From west to east the sweet wind carried ; 
The sun stood still on Primrose Hill ; 

His light in all the city tarried : 
The clouds on viewless columns bloomed 
Like smouldering lilies unconsumed. 

" Oh, sweetheart, see, how shadowy, 
Of some occult magician's rearing, 

Or swung in space of Heaven's grace, 
Dissolving, dimly reappearing, 

Afloat upon ethereal tides 

St. Paul's above the city rides ! " 

A rumour broke through the thin smoke 
Enwreathing Abbey, Tower, and Palace, 

The parks, the squares, the thoroughfares, 
The million-peopled lanes and alleys, 

An ever-muttering prisoned storm, 

The heart of London beating warm. 
The Yellow Book— Vol. I. o 

234 Two Songs 

II — D own-a-down 

Foxes peeped from out their dens, 
Day grew pale and olden ; 
Blackbirds, willow-warblers, wrens, 
Staunched their voices golden. 

High, oh high, from the opal sky, 

Shouting against the dark, 
" Why, why, why must the day go by ? " 

Fell a passionate lark. 

But the cuckoos beat their brazen gongs, 

Sounding, sounding so ; 
And the nightingales poured in starry songs 

A galaxy below. 

Slowly tolling the vesper bell 

Ushered the stately night. 
Down-a-down in a hawthorn dell 

A boy and a girl and love's delight. 

The Love-Story of Luigi Tansillo 

By Richard Garnett 

Now that my wings are spread to my desire, 

The more vast height withdraws the dwindling land, 

Wider to wind these pinions I expand, 
And earth disdain, and higher mount and higher : 
Nor of the fate of Icarus inquire, 

Or cautious droop, or sway to either hand ; 

Dead I shall fall, full well I understand ; 
But who lives gloriously as I expire ? 
Yet hear I my own heart that pleading cries, 

Stay, madman ! Whither art thou bound .' Descend ! 

Ruin is ready Rashness to chastise. 
But I, Fear not, though this indeed the end ; 

Cleave we the clouds, and praise our destinies, 

If noble fall on noble flight attend. 

The above sonnet, one of the finest in Italian literature, is 
already known to many English readers in another transla- 
tion by the late Mr. J. Addington Symonds, which originally 
appeared in the Cornhill Magazine, and is prefixed to his trans- 
lation of the sonnets of Michael Angelo and Campanella (London, 
1878), under the title of "The Philosopher's Flight." In his 
preface Mr. Symonds says : "The sonnet prefixed as a proem 

236 The Love-Story of Luigi Tansillo 

to the whole book is generally attributed to Giordano Bruno, in 
whose Dialogue in the ( Eroici Furori ' it occurs. There seems, 
however, good reason to suppose that it was really written by 
Tansillo, who recites it in that dialogue. Whoever may have 
been its author, it expresses in noble and impassioned verse the 
sense of danger, the audacity, and the exultation of those pioneers 
of modern thought, for whom philosophy was a voyage of dis- 
covery into untravelled regions." Mr. Symonds's knowledge of 
Italian literature was so extensive that he must have had ground 
for stating that the sonnet is generally attributed to Giordano 
Bruno ; as it certainly is by De Sanctis, though it is printed as 
Tansillo's in all editions of his works, imperfect as these were 
before the appearance of Signor Fiorentino's in 1882. It is, 
nevertheless, remarkable that he should add : " There seems good 
reason to suppose that it was really written by Tansillo," as if there 
could be a shadow of doubt on the matter. " Eroici Furori " is 
professedly a series of dialogues between Luigi Tansillo the 
Neapolitan poet, who had died about twenty years before their 
composition, and Cicero, but is in reality little more than a mono- 
logue, for Tansillo does nearly all the talking, and Cicero receives 
his instructions with singular docility. The reason of Tansillo's 
selection for so great an honour was undoubtedly that, although 
born at Venosa, he belonged by descent to Nola, Bruno's own 
city. In making such free use of Tansillo's poetry as he has 
done throughout these dialogues, Bruno was far from the least 
idea of pillaging his distinguished countryman. In introducing 
the four sonnets he has borrowed (for there are three besides that 
already quoted) he is always careful to make Tansillo speak of 
them as his own compositions, which he never does when Bruno's 
own verses are put into his mouth. If a particle of doubt could 
remain, it would be dispelled by the fact that this sonnet, with 


By Richard Garnett 

2 37 

other poems by Tansiilo, including the three other sonnets intro- 
duced into Bruno's dialogue, is published under his name in the 
"Rime di diversi illustri Signori Napoletani," edited by Lodovico 
Dolce at Venice, in 1555, when Bruno was about seven years 

Mr. Symonds's interpretation of the sonnet also is erroneous— 
in so far, at least, as that the meaning assigned by him never 
entered into the head of the author. It is certainly fully suscep- 
tible of such an exposition. But Tansiilo, no philosopher, but 
a cavalier, the active part of whose life was mainly spent in naval 
expeditions against the Turks, no more thought with Mr Symonds 
of "the pioneers of modern philosophy," than he thought with 
Bruno of "arising and freeing himself from the body and sensual 
cognition." On the contrary, the sonnet is a love-sonnet, and 
depicts with extraordinary grandeur the elation of spirit, combined 
with a sense of peril, consequent upon the poet having conceived 
a passion for a lady greatly his superior in rank. The proof of 
this is to be found in the fact that the sonnet is one of a series, 
unequivocally celebrating an earthly passion ; and especially in the 
sonnet immediately preceding it in Dolce's collection, manifestly 
written at the same time and referring to the same circumstance, 
in which the poet ascribes his Icarian flight, not to the 
influence of Philosophy, but of Love : 

Love fits me forth with wings, which so dilate. 
Sped skyward at the call of daring thought, 
I high and higher soar, with purpose fraught 

Soon to lay smiting hand on Heaven's gate. 

Yet altitude 30 vast might well abate 

My confidence, if Love not succour brought. 
Pledging my fame not jeopardised in aught, 

And promising renown as ruin great. 

238 The Love-Story of Luigi Tansillo 

If he whom like audacity inspired, 

Falling gave name immortal to the flood, 

As sunny flame his waxen pinion fired ; 
Then of thee too it shall be understood, 

No meaner prize than Heaven thy soul required, 

And firmer than thy life thy courage stood. 

The meaning of the two sonnets is fully recognised by 
Muratori, who prints them together in his treatise, " Delia per* 
fetta poesia," and adds : " volea dire costui che Cera imbarcato in utC 
amor troppo alto, e s andava facendo coraggio" 

This is surely one of the most remarkable instances possible to 
adduce of the infinite significance of true poetry, and its capacity 
for inspiring ideas and suggesting interpretations of which the 
poet never dreamed, but which are nevertheless fairly deducible 
from his expressions. 

It is now a matter of considerable interest to ascertain the 
identity of this lady of rank, who could inspire a passion at once 
so exalted and so perilous. The point has been investigated by 
Tansillo's editor, Signor F. Fiorentino, who has done so much 
to rescue his unpublished compositions from oblivion, and his 
view must be pronounced perfectly satisfactory. She was Maria 
d'Aragona, Marchioness del Vasto, whose husband, the Marquis 
del Vasto, a celebrated general of Spanish descent, famous as 
Charles the Fifth's right hand in his successful expedition against 
Tunis, and at one time governor of the Milanese, was as remark- 
able for his jealousy as the lady, grand-daughter of a King of 
Naples, was for her pride and haughtiness. Fiorentino proves 
his case by showing how well all personal allusions in Tansillo's 
poems, so far as they can be traced, agree with the circumstances 
of the Marchioness, and in particular that the latter is represented 
as at one time residing on the island of Ischia, where del Vasto 


By Richard Garnett 


was accustomed to deposit his wife for security, when absent on 
his campaigns. He is apparently not aware that the object of 
Tansillo's affection had already been identified with a member of 
the house of Aragon by Faria e Sousa, the Portuguese editor of 
Camoens, who, in his commentary on Camoens's sixty-ninth 
sonnet, gives an interminable catalogue of ladies celebrated by 
enamoured poets, and says, "Tansillo sang Donna Isabel de 
Aragon." This lady, however, the niece of the Marchioness 
del Vasto, was a little girl in Tansillo's time, and is only men- 
tioned by him as inconsolable for the death of a favourite dwarf. 

The sentiment, therefore, of the two sonnets of Tansillo which 
wc have quoted, is sufficiently justified by the exalted station of 
the lady who had inspired his passion, and the risk he ran from 
the power and jealousy of her husband. It seems certain, how- 
ever, that the Marquis had on his part no ground for apprehension. 
Maria d'Aragona does not seem to have had much heart to bestow 
upon anyone, and would, in any case, have disdained to bestow 
what heart she had upon a poor gentleman and retainer of Don 
Garcia de Toledo, son of the Viceroy of Naples. She would 
think that she honoured him beyond his deserts by accepting his 
poetical homage. Tansilio, on his part, says in one of his sonnets 
that his devotion is purely platonic ; it might have been more 
ardent, he hints, but he is dazzled by the splendour of the light he 
contemplates, and intimidated by the richness of the band by which 
he is led. So it may have been at first, but as time wore on the 
poet naturally craved some proof that his lady was not entirelv 
indifferent to him, and did not tolerate him merely for the sake of 
his verses. This, in the nature of things, could not be given ; 
and the poet's raptures pass into doubt and suspicion, thence into 
despairing resignation j thence into resentment and open hostility, 
terminating in a cold reconciliation, leaving him free to marry 

a much 

240 The Love-Story of Luigi Tansillo 

a much humbler but probably a more affectionate person, to whom 

he addresses no impassioned sonnets, but whom he instructs in a 

very elegant poem ( a La Balia") how to bring up her infant 

children. These varying affections are depicted with extreme 

liveliness in a series of sonnets, of which we propose to offer some 

translated specimens. The order will not be that of the editions 

of Tansillo, where the pieces are distributed at random, but the 

probable order of composition, as indicated by the nature of the 

feeling expressed. It is, of course, impossible to give more than a 

few examples, though most deserve to be reproduced. Tansillo 

had the advantage over most Italian poets of his time of being in 

love with a real woman ; hence, though possibly inferior in style 

and diction to such artists in rhyme as Bembo or Molza, he greatly 

surpasses them in all the qualities that discriminate poetry from the 

accomplishment of verse. 

The first sonnet which we shall give is still all fire and 

rapture : — 


Lady, the heart that entered through your eyes 

Returncth not. Well may he make delay, 

For if the very windows that display 
Your spirit, sparkle in such wondrous wise, 
Of her enthroned within this Paradise 

What shall be deemed ? If heart for ever stay, 

Small wonder, dazzled by more radiant day 
Than gazers from without can recognise. 
Glory of sun and moon and silver star 

In firmament above, arc these not sign 

Of things within more excellent by far ? 
Rejoice then in thy kingdom, heart of mine, 

While Love and Fortune favourable are, 

Nor thou yet exiled for default of thine. 


By Richard Garnett 241 

Although, however, Tansillo's heart might well remain with its 
lady, Tansillo's person was necessitated to join the frequent mari- 
time expeditions of the great nobleman to whom he was attached, 
Don Garcia de Toledo, against the Turks. The constant free- 
booting of the Turkish and Barbary rovers kept the Mediterranean 
in a state of commotion comparable to that of the Spanish Main 
in the succeeding age, and these expeditions, whose picturesque 
history remains to be written, were no doubt very interesting ; 
though from a philosophical point of view it is impossible not 
to sympathise with the humane and generous poet when he 
inquires: — 

Che il Turco nasca turco, c 'I Moro 
E giusta causa qucsta, and' altri ed ii 
Dobbiam incriidelir nel sangue loroi 

With such feelings it may well be believed that in his enforced 
absence he was thinking at least as much of love as of war, and 
that the following sonnet is as truthful as it is an animated picture 
of his feelings : — 


No length of banishment did e'er remove 

My heart from you, nor if by Fortune sped 

I roam the azure waters, or the Red, 
E'er with the body shall the spirit rove r 
If by each drop of every wave we clove, 

Or by Sun's light or Moon's encompassed, 

Another Venus were engendered. 
And each were pregnant with another Love : 

242 The Love-Story of Luigi Tansillo 

And thus new shapes of Love where'er we went 

Started to life at every stroke of oar, 

And each were cradled in an amorous thought ; 
Not more than now this spirit should adore ; 

That none the less doth constantly lament 

It cannot worship as it would and ought. 

Before long, however, the pangs of separation overcome this 
elation of spirit, while he is not yet afraid of being forgotten : — 


Like lightning shining forth from cast to west, 

Hurled are the happy hours from morn to night, 

And leave the spirit steeped in undelight 
In like proportion as themselves were blest. 
Slow move sad hours, by thousand curbs opprest, 

Wherewith the churlish Fates delay their flight ; 

Those, impulses of Mercury incite, 
These lag at the Saturnian star's behest. 
While thou wert near, ere separation's grief 

Smote me, like steeds contending in the race, 

My days and nights with equal speed did run : 
Now broken either wheel, not swift the pace 

Of summer's night though summer's moon be brief; 

Or wintry days for brevity of sun. 


Now that the Sun hath borne with him the day, 
And haled dark Night from prison subterrene, 
Come forth, fair Moon, and, robed in light serene, 

With thy own loveliness the world array. 


By Richard Garnett 

2 43 

Heaven's spheres, slow wheeled on their majestic wa 
Invoke as they revolve thy orb unseen. 
And all the pageant of the starry scene, 

Wronged by thy absence, chides at thy delay. 

Shades even as splendours, earth and heaven both 
Smile at the apparition of thy face, 
And my own gloom no longer seems so loth ; 

Yet, while my eye regards thec, thought doth trace 
Another's image ; if in vows be troth, 
I am not yet estranged from Love's embrace. 

Continual separation, however, and the absence of any marked 
token that he is borne in memory, necessarily prey more and more 
on the sensitive spirit of the poet. During the first part, her 
husband's tenure of office as Governor of the Milanese, the 
Marchioness, as already mentioned, took up her residence in the 
island of Ischia, where she received her adorer's eloquent aspira- 
tions for her welfare — heartfelt, but so worded as to convey a 
reproach : — 

That this fair isle with all delight abound. 

Clad be it ever in sky's smile serene, 

No thundering billow boom from deeps marine, 
And calm with Neptune and his folk be found. 
Fast may all winds by jEolus be bound, 

Save faintest breath of lispings Zcphyrcne ; 

And be the odorous earth with glowing green 
Of gladsome herbs, bright flowers, quaint foliage crowned. 
All ire, all tempest, all misfortune be 

Heaped on my head, lest aught thy pleasure stain, 

244 The Lore-Story of Loigi TansiDo 

Nor dm dkt axbed by any thooghc of me, 

So sooarged with ills' innumerable train, 
New grief new tear begetteth hoc; as sea 

Chafes not the more for deluge of the ram. 

The "quaint foliage" is in the original "Arab leaves^ tfr*A* 
frmdi^ an interesting proof of the cultivation of exotic plants ai 
the period. 

The lady rejoins her husband at Milan, and TansiDo, landing 
on the Campanian coast, lately devastated by earthquakes and 
eruptions, finds everywhere the image of his own bosom, and 
rejoices at the opportunity which yawning rifts and chasms ol 
earth afford for an appeal to the infernal powers : — 


Wild precipice and earthquake-riven wall ; 

Bare jagged lava naked to the sky ; 

Whence densely struggles up and slow floats by 
Heaven's murky shroud of smoke funereal ; 
Horror whereby the silent groves enthral ; 

Black weedy pit and rifted cavity ; 

Bleak loneliness whose drear sterility 
Doth prowling creatures of the wild appal : 
Like one distraught who doth his woe deplore, 

Bereft of sense by thousand miseries. 

As passion prompts, companioned or alone ; 
Your desert so I rove ; if as before 

Heaven deaf continue, through these crevices, 

My cry shall pierce to the Avernian throne. 

The poet 9 i melancholy deepen ^ ttagc o 

dismal and hopeless resignatfor 

By Richard Garnett 





ich be 


111 J Tim 

:harm have force 

,, strife 

i uneasy c 

Proving if drug, or gem, 1 
To conquer the dire cvii thai assails i 
Bui when at last no remedy prevails. 

And bankrupt Art stands empty of resource, 
Beholds Death in the face, and scorns recourse 
To skill whose impotence in nought avails. 
So I, who long have borne in trust unspent 

That distance, indignatit 
With Fate would heal ti 

Frustrate all hopes wher 
And yield unto my destiny, content 

To languish for the little left of life. 
A lower depth still has to be reached ere the period of salutary 
and defiant reaction : — 


So mightily abound the hoses of Pain, 

Whom sentries of my bosom Love hath made, 

No space is left to enter or evade, 
And inwardly expire sighs born in vain, 
If any Pleasure mingle with the train. 

By the first glimpse of my poor heart dismayed. 

Instant he dies, or else, in bondage stayed, 
Pines languishing, or flies that drear domain. 
Pale semblances of terror keep the keys, 

Of frowning portals they for none displace 
Save messengers of novel miseries : 

All thoughts they scare that wear a gladsome face } 
And, were they anything but Miseries, 

Themselves would hasten from the gloomy place. 


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By Richard Garnett 

The eyes that yielded tears continually 

Have now with Lethe's drops my fire bespren 
And more behold, Illusion's glamour spent. 

Than fabled Argus with hia century. 

The tyrant of my spirit, left forlorn 

As vassal thoughts forsake him, doth remove, 

And back unto her throne is Reason borne, 
And I my metamorphosis approve. 

And, old strains tuning to new keys, of Scorn 
Will sing as anciently I sang of Love. 


Several solutions of this situation are conceivable. Tansillo's 
is that which was perhaps that most likely in the case of an 
emotional nature, where the feelings arc more powerful than the 
will. He simply surrenders at discretion, retracts everything dis- 
paraging that he has said of the lady (taking care, however, not to 
burn the peccant verses, which are much too good to be lightlv 
parted with), and professes himself her humble slave upon her own 


All bitter words I spoke of you while yet 

My heart was sore, and every virgin scroll 
Blackened with ire, now past from my control. 

These would I now recall ; for 'tis most tit 

My style should change, now Reason doth reknit, 
Tics Passion sundered, and again make whole ; 
Be then Oblivion's prey whate'er my soul 

Hath wrongly of thee thought, spoke, sung, or writ. 

Not, Lady, that impeachment of thy fame 
With tongue or pen I ever did design ; 

248 The Love-Story of Luigi Tansillo 

But that, if unto these shall reach my name, 

Ages to come may study in my line 
How year by year more streamed and towered my flame, 

And how I living was and dying thine. 

There is no reason to doubt the perfect sincerity of these lines 
at the period of their composition ; but Tansillo's mistress had 
apparently resolved that his attachment should not henceforth have 
the diet even of a chameleon ; and it is small wonder to find him 
shortly afterwards a tender husband and father, lamenting the 
death of an infant son in strains of extreme pathos, and instructing 
his wife on certain details of domestic economy in which she 
might have been supposed to be better versed than himself. His 
marriage took place in 1550, and in one of his sonnets he says 
that his unhappy attachment had endured sixteen years, which, 
allowing for a decent interval between the Romeo and the Bene- 
dict, would date its commencement at 1532 or 1533. 

Maria d'Aragona died on November 9, 1568, and Tansillo, 
whose services had been rewarded by a judicial appointment in the 
kingdom of Naples, followed her to the tomb on December 1. If 
her death is really the subject of the two poems in terza rima which 
appear to deplore it, he certainly lost no time in bewailing her, 
but the interval is so brief, and the poems are so weak, that they may 
have been composed on some other occasion. With respect to the 
latter consideration, however, it must be remembered that he was 
himself, in all probability, suffering from disabling sickness, having 
made his will on November 29. It is also worthy of note that 
the first sonnets composed by Petrarch upon the death of Laura 
are in general much inferior in depth of tenderness to those written 
years after the event. a In Memoriam" is another proof that the 
adequate poetical expression of grief, unlike that of life, requires 
time and study. Tansillo, then, may not have been so completely 


By Richard Garnet t 249 

disillusioned as his editor thinks. If the poems do not relate to 
Maria d'Aragona, we have no clue to the ultimate nature of his 
feelings towards her. 

A generally fair estimate of Tansillo's rank as a poet is given 
in Ginguenes "History of Italian Literature," vol. ix., pp. 340-343. 
It can scarcely be admitted that his boldness and fertility of imagi- 
nation transported him beyond the limits of lyric poetry — for this 
is hardly possible — but it is true that they sometimes transcended 
the limits of good taste, and that the germs may be found in him 
of the extravagance which so disfigured Italian poetry in the 
seventeenth century. On the other hand, he has the inestimable 
advantage over most Italian poets of his day of writing of genuine 
passion from genuine experience. Hence a truth and vigour 
preferable even to the exquisite elegance of his countryman, 
Angelo di Costanzo, and much more so to the mere amatory 
exercises of other contemporaries. After Michael Angelo he 
stands farther aloof than any contemporary from Petrarch, a merit 
in an age when the study of Petrarch had degenerated into slavish 
imitation. His faults as a lyrist are absent from his didactic 
poems, which are models of taste and elegance. His one unpar- 
donable sin is want of patriotism; he is the dependant and 
panegyrist of the foreign conqueror, and seems equally uncon- 
scious of the past glories, the actual degradation, or the prospec- 
tive regeneration of Italy. Born a Spanish subject, his ideal of 
loyalty was entirely misplaced, and he must not be severely 
censured for what he could hardly avoid. But Italy lost a 
Tyrtseus in him. 

The Yellow Book— Vol. I. 

\ Bonk Plate for 

j. L. Propert, Esq. 

By Aubrey Beardslev 

A Bo^k Ph.»-- for 

M;iior-Geiicr;il Cosset 

By R. Aiming Bell 

/.'. tf'f o* <:. 




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The Fool's Hour 

The First Act of a Comedy 

By John Oliver Hobbes 
and George Moore 

Characters of the Comedy 

Lord Doldrummond 

Cyril, his Son (Viscount Aprile) 

Sir Digby Soame 

Charles Mandeville, a tenor 

Mr. Banish, a banker 

The Hon. Arthur Featherleigh 

Mr. Samuel Benjamin, a money-lender 

Lady Doldrummond 

Julia, an heiress 

The Hon. Mrs. Howard de Trappe, her mother, 

a widow 
Sarah Sparrow, an American prima donna 

254 The Fool's Hour 

Act I 

Scene — The Library in Lord Doldrummond's house at Brighton. 
The scene represents a richly- furnished but somewhat oppressive 
room. The chairs and tables are all narrow, the lamp-shades 
stiffs the windows have double glasses. Lord Doldrummond, a 
man of middle-age, handsome, but with a dejected^ browbeaten 
air y sits with a rug over his knees, reading u The Church Times." 
The Butler announces "Sir Digby Soame." Sir Digby is 
thin and elderly ; has an easy smile and a sharp eye ; dresses 
well ; has two manners — the abrupt with men, the suave with 
women ; smiles into his beard over his own witticisms. 

Lord Dol. Ah, Soame, so you are here at last ? 

Soame. [Looking at his watch.'] I am pretty punctual, only a few 
minutes late. 

Lord Dol. I am worried, anxious, irritable, and that has made 
the time seem long. 

Soame. Worried, anxious ? And what about ? Are you not 
well ? Have you found that regularity of life ruins the constitu- 
tion ? 

Lord Dol. No, my dear Soame, no. But I am willing to own 
that the existence which my wife enjoys, and which I have learnt 
to endure, would not suit every one. 

Soame. I am glad to find you more tolerant. You used to hold 
the very harshest and most crude opinions. I remember when we 
were boys, I could never persuade you to accept the admirable 
doctrine that a reformed rake makes the best husband ! 

Lord Dol. [Timidly.'] Repentance does not require so large an 
income as folly ! This may explain that paradox. You know, in 


By John Oliver Hobbes and George Moore 255 

my way, I, too, am something of a philosopher ! I married very 
young, whereas you entered the Diplomatic Service and resolved 
to remain single : you wished to study women. I have lived with 
one for five-and-twenty years. [Sighs.] 

Soame. Oh, I admit at once that yours is the greater achievement 
and was the more daring ambition ! 

Lord Dol. I know all I wish to know about women, but men 
puzzle me extremely. So I have sent for you. I want your 
advice. It is Cyril who is the cause of my uneasiness. I am 
afraid that he is not happy. 

Soame. Cyril not happy ? What is he unhappy about ? You 
have never refused him anything ? 

Lord Dol. Never ! No man has had a kinder father ! When 
he is unreasonable I merely say u You are a fool, but please your- 
self ! " No man has had a kinder father ! 

Soame. Does he complain ? 

Lord Dol. He has hinted that his home is uncongenial — yet 
we have an excellent cook ! Ah, thank heaven every night and 
morning, my dear Digby, that you are a bachelor. Praying 
for sinners and breeding them would seem the whole duty o\ 
man. I was no sooner born than my parents were filled with 
uneasiness lest I should not live to marry and beget an heir of my 
own. Now I have an heir, his mother will never know peace 
until she has found him a wife ! 

Soame. And will you permit Lady Doldrummond to use the 
same method with Cyril which your mother adopted with such 
appalling results in your own case ? 

Lord Dol. It does not seem my place to interfere, and love- 
affairs are not a fit subject of conversation between father and 
son ! 

Soame. But what does Cyril say to the matrimonial prospect ? 


256 The Fool's Hour 

Lord DoL He seems melancholy and eats nothing but oranges. 
Yes, Cyril is a source of great uneasiness. 

Soame. Does Lady Doldrummond share this uneasiness ? 

Lord DoL My wife would regard a second thought on any 
subject as a most dangerous form of temptation. She insists that 
Cyril has everything which a young man could desire, and when 
he complains that the house is dull, she takes him for a drive ! 

Soame. But you understand him ? 

Lord DoL I think I do. If I were young again 

Soame. Ah, you regret ! I always said you would regret it if you 
did not take your fling ! The pleasures we imagine are so much 
more alluring, so much more dangerous, than those we experience. 
I suppose you recognise in Cyril the rascal you might have been, 
and feel that you have missed your vocation ? 

Lord DoL [Meekly.'] I was never unruly, my dear Soame. We 
all have our moments, I own, yet — well, perhaps Cyril has 
inherited the tastes which I possessed at his age, but lacked the 
courage to obey. 

Soame. And so you wish me to advise you how to deal with 
him ! Is he in love ? I have constantly observed that when 
young men find their homes unsympathetic, it is because some 
particular lady does not form a member of the household. It is 
usually a lady, too, who would not be considered a convenient 
addition to any mother's visiting-list ! 

Lord DoL Lady Doldrummond has taught him that women 
are the scourges of creation. You, perhaps, do not share that 
view ? 

Soame. Certainly not. I would teach him to regard them as the 
reward, the compensation, the sole delight of this dreariest of all 
possible worlds. 

Lord DoL [Uneasily.'] Reward ! Compensation ! Delight ! I 


By John Oliver Hobbes and George Moore 257 

beg you will not go so far as that. What notion would be more 
upsetting ? Pray, do not use such extreme terms ! 

Soame. Ha ! ha ! But tell me, Doldrummond, is it true that 
your wife insists on his retiring at eleven and rising at eight ? 
I hear that she allows him nothing stronger than ginger ale and 
lemon j that she selects his friends, makes his engagements, and 
superintends his amusements ? Should he marry, I am told she 
will even undertake the office of best man ! 

Lord Dol. Poor soul ! she means well ; and if devotion could 
make the boy a saint he would have been in heaven before he was 
out of his long clothes. As it is, I fear that nothing can save him. 

Soamt. Save him? You speak as though you suspected that he 
was not such a saint as his mother thinks him. 

Lord Dol. I suspect nothing. I only know that my boy is 
unhappy. You might speak to him, and draw him out if occasion 
should offer — but do not say a word about this to Lady Dol- 

[Enter Lady Doldrummond. — She is a tall, slight, but not angular 
woman. Her ha'tr is brawn, and brushed buck from her ttmplet 
in the simplest possible fashion. SelJ-satisJaction (oj a gentle 
and ladylike sort) and eminent contentment with her lot are the 
only writings on her smooth, almost girlish countenance. She 
has a prim tenderness and charm of manner which soften her 
rather ml ting voice.] 

Lady Del. What ! Cyril not here ? How do you do, Sir 
Digby I I am looking for my tiresome boy. I promised to take 
htm to pay some calls this afternoon, and as he may have to talk ] 
must tell him what to say. He has no idea of making himself 
pleasant to women, and is the shyest creature in the world ! 

Soame. You have always been so careful to shield him from all 

258 The FooPs Hour 

responsibility, Lady Doldrummond. Who knows what eloquence, 
what decision, what energy he might display, if you did not 
possess these gifts in so pre-eminent a degree as to make any 
exertion on his part unnecessary, and perhaps disrespectful. 

Lady DoL Ah ! mothers are going out of fashion. Even Cyril 
occasionally shows a certain impatience when I venture to correct 
him. As if I would hurt any one's feelings unless from a sense 
of duty ! And pray, where is the pleasure of having a son if you 
may not direct his life ? 

Lord DoL Cyril might ask, where is the pleasure of having 
parents if you may not disobey them. 

Lady DoL [To Soame.] When Herbert is alone with me he 
never makes flippant remarks of this kind. [To Lord Doldrum- 
mond.] I wonder that you like to give your friends such a wrong 
impression of your character. [Turning to Sir Digby.] But I 
think I see your drift, Sir Digby. You wish to remind me that 
Cyril is now at an age when I must naturally desire to see him 
established in a home of his own. 

Soame. You have caught my meaning. As he is now two- 
and-twenty, I think he should be allowed more freedom than may 
have been expedient when he was — say, six months old. 

Lady DoL I quite agree with you, and I trust you will con- 
vince Herbert that women understand young men far better than 
their fathers ever could. I have found the very wife for Cyril, 
and I hope I may soon have the pleasure of welcoming her as 
a daughter. 

Soame. A wife ! Good heavens ! I was suggesting that the 
boy had more liberty. Marriage is the prison of all emotions, and 
I should be very sorry to ask any young girl to be a man's gaol- 

Lord DoL Sir Digby is right. 


By John Oliver Hobbes and George Moore 259 

Lady Dal. The presence of a third person has the strangest 
effect on Herbert's moral vision. As I have trained my son with 
a care and tenderness rarely bestowed nowadays even on a girl, I 
think I may show some resentment when I am asked to believe 
him a being with the instincts of a ruffian and the philosophy of 
a middle-aged bachelor. No, Sir Digby, Cyril is not my child if 
he does not make his home and his family the happiest in the 
world ! 

Soame. Yes ? 

Lady 'Dal. He has no taste for cards, horses, brandy, or actresses. 
We read together, walk together, and drive together. In the 
evening, if he is too tired to engage in conversation, I play the 
piano while he clozes. Lately he has taken a particular interest in 
Mozart's classic light opera. Any interest of that kind is so 
elevating, and I know of nothing more agreeable than a musical 

e she is resolved < 

1 his marriage, and she has 
t with us for the last five weeks in 
to a crisis. 

I Our marriage was arranged for 
could have led to such perfect 

Lard Dal. You se 
had Julia de Trappe > 
the hope of bringing 

Lady 'Da/. And why not > 
us, and what idle fancies of our 
contentment ? 

[Lord Doldrummond avoids her eyes.'] 

Soame. Julia de Trappe ? She must be the daughter of that 
Mrs. Howard de Trappe who gives large At Homes in a small 
house, and who spends her time hunting for old lovers and new 

Lady Dal. I own that dear Julia has been allowed to meet men 
and women who are not fit companions for a young girl, no 
matter how interesting they may be to the general public. Only 


260 The FooFs Hour 

yesterday she told me she was well acquainted with Mr. Mande- 
ville, the tenor. Mrs. de Trappe, it seems, frequently invites him 
to dinner. Still, Julia herself is very sensible, and the family is of 
extraordinary antiquity. 

Soame. But the mother ? If she has not been in the divorce 
court, it is through no fault of her own. 

Lady Dol. [Biting her lip.] Mrs. de Trappe is vain and silly, I 
admit ; but as she has at last decided to marry Mr. Banish, the 
banker, I am hoping she will live in his house at Hampstead, and 
think a little more about her immortal soul. 

Soame. Does Cyril seem at all interested in Miss Julia ? 

Lady Dol. Cyril has great elegance of mind, and is not very 
strong in the expression of his feelings one way or the other. 
But I may say that a deep attachment exists between them. 

Soame. A man must have sound wisdom before he can ap- 
preciate innocence. But I have no desire to be discouraging, and 
I hope I may soon have the pleasure of congratulating you all on 
the wedding. Good-bye. 

Lord Dol. What ! must you go ? 

Soame. Yes. But [aside to Lord Dol.] I shall bear in mind 
what you say. I will do my best. I have an engagement in 
town to-night. [Chuckles."] An amusing one. 

Lord Dol. [With envy.] Where ? 

Soame. At the Parnassus. 

Lady Dol. [With a supercilious smile.] And what is the Par- 
nassus ? 

Soame. A theatre much favoured by young men who wish to 
be thought wicked, and by young ladies who are. Good-bye, 
good-bye. [Shakes hands with Lord and Lady Doldrummond and 
goes out.] 

Lady Dol. Thank goodness, he is gone ! What a terrible 


By John Oliver Hobbes and George Moore 26 r 

example for Cyril. I was on thorns every second lest he should 
come in. Soame has just those meretricious attractions which 
appeal to youth ami inexperience. That you should encourage 
such an acquaintance, and even discuss before him such an 
intimate matter as my hope with regard to Julia, is, perhaps, more 
painful than astonishing. 

Lord Dol. They are both too young to marry. Let them 
enjoy life while they may. 

Lady Dol. Enjoy life ? What a degrading suggestion ! I have 
often observed that there is a lurking taste for the vicious in every 
Doldrummond. [Picking up Cyril's miniature from the table.] 
Cyril is pure Bedingfield : my second self! 

[ The Butler announces Mrs. de Trappe, Mr. Arthur Featherleigh, 
Mr. Banish. Mrs. de Trappe is a pretty woman with big 
eyes and a small ivaist ; she has a trict of biting her under-lip, 
and looking shocked, as it were, at her own audacity. Her 
manner is a little effusive, but always well-bred. She dees not 
seem affected^ and has something artless, confiding, and pathetic. 
Mr. Featherleigh has a nervous laugh and a gentlemanly appear- 
ance; otherwise inscrutable. Mr. Banish is old, well-preserved, 
rather pompous, and evidently miitakes deportment for dignity.] 

Mrs. de Trappe. [Kissing Lady Dol. on each cheek.] Dear Edith, 
I knew we should surprise you. But Mr. Banish and I are 
house-hunting, and I thought I must run in and see you and 
Julia, if only for a second. I felt sure you would not mind my 
bringing Arthur [indicating Featherleigh]. He is so lonely at the 
prospect of my marriage that Mr. Banish and I have promised to 
keep him always with us. We have known each other so long. 
How should we spend our evenings without him ? James admits 
they would be tedious, don't you, James ? [Indicating Banish.] 


262 The Fool's Hour 

Banish. Certainly, my dear. 

Lady Dol. [Stiffly.] I can well understand that you have 
learned to regard Mr. Featherleigh as your own son. And, 
as we advance in years, it is so pleasant to have young people 
about us. 

Mrs. de Trappe. [After a slight pause.] How odd that it should 
never have struck me in that light before ! I have always thought 
of Arthur as the trustee, as it were, of my poor fatherless Julia. 
[To Banish.] Have I not often said so, James ? 

Banish. [Dryly.] Often. In fact I have always thought that 
Julia would never lack a father whilst Arthur was alive. But I 
admit that he is a little young for the responsibility. 

Feather. [Unmoved.] Do not forget, Violet, that our train 
leaves in fifty-five minutes. 

Lord Dol. [Catching a desperate glance from Lady Doldrum- 
mond.] Then I shall have time to show you the Russian poodles 
which the Duke of Camdem brought me from Japan. 

Mrs. de Trappe. [Peevishly.] Yes, please take them away. 
[Waving her hand in the direction of Banish and Featherleigh.] 
Edith and I have many secrets to discuss. Of courle she will tell 
you [to Lord Dol.] everything I have said when we are gone, 
and I shall tell Arthur and James all she has said as we go home. 
But it is so amusing to think ourselves mysterious for twenty 
minutes. [As the men go out laughing, she turns to Lady Drummond 
with a sigh.] Ah, Edith, when I pause in all these gaieties and 
say to myself, Violet, you are about to marry a second husband, I 
cannot feel sufficiently thankful that it is not the third. 

Lady Dol. The third ? 

Mrs. de Trappe. To face the possibility of a third honeymoon, 
a third disappointment, and a third funeral would tax my courage 
to the utmost ! And I am not strong. 


By John Oliver Hobbes and George Moore 263 

Lady Del. I am shocked to see you so despondent. Surely you 
anticipate every happiness with Mr. Banish ? 

Mrs. de Trappe. Oh, yes. He has money, and Arthur thinks 
him a very worthy sort of person. He is a little dull, but then, 
middle-class people are always so gross in their air when they 
attempt to be lively or amusing ; so long as they are grave I can 
bear them well enough, but I know of nothing so unpleasant as 
the sight of a banker laughing. As Arthur says, City men and 
butlers should always be serious. 

Lady Dol. Do you think that the world will quite understand— 
Arthur ? 

Mrs. de Trappe. What do you mean, Edith ? A woman must 
have an adviser. Arthur was my late husband's friend, and he is 
my future husband's friend. Surely that should be enough to 
satisfy the most exacting. 

Lady Dol. But why marry at all ? why not remain as you are ? 

Mrs. de Trappe. How unreasonable you are, Edith! How often 
have you urged me to marry Mr. Banish, and now that it is all 
arranged and Arthur is satisfied, you begin to object. 

Lady Dol. I though that you liked Mr. Banish better. 

Mrs. de Trappe. Better than Arthur ? No, I am not so unkind 
as that, nor would James wish it. I am marrying because I am 
poor. My husband, as you know, left nearly all his money to 
Julia, and I feel the injustice so acutely that the absurd settlement 
he made on me is spent upon doctor's bills alone. If it were not 
for Arthur and one or two other kind friends who send me game 
and other little things from time to time, I could not exist at all. 
[Draws off her gloves^ displays a diamond ring on each finger^ and 
wipes her eyes with a point-lace pocket-handkerchief.] And when I 
think of all that I endured with De Trappe ! How often have I been 
roused from a sound sleep to see the room illuminated and De 


264 The Fool's Hour 

Trappe, rolled up in flannel, sitting by the fire reading c< Lead, 
kindly Light." What an existence ! But now tell me about 
Julia. I hope she does not give you much trouble. 

Lady Dol. I only hope that I may keep her always with me. 

Mrs. de Trappe. How she must have improved ! When she is 
at home I find her so depressing. And she does not appeal to 
men in the least. 

Lady Dol. I could wish that all young girls were as modest. 

Mrs. de Trappe. Oh, I daresay Julia has all the qualities we like 
to see in some other woman's daughter. But if you were her 
mother and had to find her a husband, you would regard her virtues 
in another light. Fortunately, she has eight thousand a year, so 
she may be able to find somebody. Still, even money does not 
tempt men as it once did. A girl must have an extraordinary 
charm. She is so jealous of me. I cannot keep her out of the 
drawing-room when I have got callers, especially when Mr. 
Mandeville is there. 

Lady Dol. I have heard of Mr. Mandeville. He is an actor, a 

Mrs. de Trappe. A lovely tenor voice. All the women are in 
love with him, except me. I would not listen to him. And now 
they say he is going to marry Sarah Sparrow — a great mistake. I 
should like to know who would care about him or his singing, 
once he is married. 

Lady Dol. And who is Sarah Sparrow ? 

Mrs. de Trappe. Don't you know ? She is the last great 
success. She has two notes : B flat and the lower G — the 
orchestra plays the rest. You must go to the Parnassus and hear 
her. To-night is the dress rehearsal of the new piece. 

Lady Dol. And do you receive Miss Sparrow ? 

Mrs. de Trappe. No, women take up too much time. They 


Bv John Oliver Hobbes and George Moore 265 

say, too, that she is frantically jealous because Mandeville used to 
come and practise in my boudoir. He says no one can accom- 
pany- him as I do ! 

Lady Dol. I hope Cyril does not meet Mr. Mandeville when he 
goes to your house. 

Mrs. de Trappe. Let me see. I believe I introduced them. 
At any rate, I know I saw them at luncheon together last week. 

Lady Dol. At luncheon together ! Cyril and this person who 
sings ? What could my boy and Mr. Mandeville have in common ? 

Mrs. dt Trappe. They both appear to admire Sarah Sparrow 
very much. And I cannot find what men see in her. She is not 
tall and her figure is most innocent ; you would say she was still 
in pinafores. As for her prettiness, I admit she has fine eyes, but 
of course she blackens them. I think the great attraction is her 
atrocious temper. One never knows whom she will slab next. 

Lady Do!. [Half to herself.] Last week Cyril came in after 
midnight. He refused to answer my questions. 

Mrs. de Trappe. You seem absent-minded, my dear Edith. 
[Pause.] I must be going now. Where are Arthur and James ? 
We have not a moment to lose. We are going to choose wedding 
presents. James is going to choose Arthur's and Arthur is going 
to choose James's, so there can be no jealousy. It was I who 
thought of that way out of the difficulty. One does one's best to 
be nice to them, and then something happens and upsets all one's 
plans. Where is Cyril f 

Lady Do/. I am afraid Cyril is not at home. 

Mrs. de Trappe. Then I shall not see him. Tell him I am 
angry, and give my love to Julia. I hope she does not disturb 
you when you are in the drawing-room and have visitors. So 
difficult to keep a grown-up girl out of the drawing-room. Where 
can those men be? [Enter Lord Doldrummond, Mr. Feaiher- 


266 The Fool's Hour 

leigh, and Mr. Banish.] Ah ! here they are. Now, come 
along ; we haven't a moment to lose. Good-bye, Edith. 

[Exeunt (after wishing their adieux) Mrs. de Trappe, Mr. 
Featherleigh, and Mr. Banish, Lord Doldrummond 
following them.] 
Lady Dot. [Stands alone in the middle of the room, repeating.] 
Cyril and — Sarah Sparrow ! My son and Sarah Sparrow ! And 
he has met her through the one woman for whom I have 
been wrong enough to forget my prejudices. What a punish- 
ment ! 

[Julia enters cautiously. She is so unusually beautiful that she barely 
escapes the terrible charge of sublimity. But there is a certain 
peevishness in her expression which adds a comfortable smack of 
human nature to her classic features.] 

Julia. I thought mamma would never go. I have been hiding 
in your boudoir ever since I heard she was here. 

Lady Dol. Was Cyril with you ? 

Julia. Oh, no ; he has gone out for a walk. 

Lady Dol. Tell me, dearest, have you and Cyril had any dis- 
agreement lately ? Is there any misunderstanding ? 

Julia. Oh, no. [Sighs.] 

Lady Dol. I remember quite well that before I married Herbert 
he often suffered from the oddest moods of depression. Several 
times he entreated me to break off the engagement. His affection 
was so reverential that he feared he was not worthy of me. I 
assure you I had the greatest difficulty in overcoming his scruples, 
and persuading him that whatever his faults were I could help him 
to subdue them. 

Julia. But Cyril and I are not engaged. It is all so uncertain, 
so humiliating. 


By John Oliver Hobbes and George Moore 267 

Lady Dol. Men take these things for granted. If the truth 
were known, I daresay he already regards you as his wife. 

Julia. [IVith an inspired air.] Perhaps that is why he treats 

me so 


I tin 

e often thought that if 

he were my 

husband he could 

not be 

more disagrt 

:eable! He ha 

s not a word 

for me 

when I 

speak t 

3 him. He does not hea 

r. Oh, Lady 


nmond, I know v 

/hat is the 

matter. He is 

in love, but I 

am not 

the one. 


e all wrong. 


Dol. No 

, no, no 

. He loves 

you ; I am suri 

: of it. Only 

be patient with h 

im and 1 

t will come 

all right. Hus 

.h ! is that his 

step ? 

Stay here, 


, and I wilt 

go into my ro 

jm and write 


[ Exit, b 


the tears fro 

m her eyes.] 

[ Butler ushers in Mr. Mandeviltc. Neither of them perceive Julia, 
who has gone to the window.] 

Butler. His Lordship will be down in half an hour, sir. He is 
now having his hair brushed. 

Julia. [In surprise as she looks round.] Mr. Mandeville ! [Pause.] 
I hardly expected to meet you here. 

Mandeville. And why, may I ask? 

Julia. You know what Lady Doldrummond is. How did you 
overcome her scruples ? 

Mandeville. Is my reputation then so very bad ? 

Julia. You — you are supposed to be rather dangerous. You 
sing on the stage, and have a tenor voice. 

Mandeville. Is that enough to make a man dangerous ? 

Julia. How can / tell ? But mamma said you were invincible. 
You admire mamma, of course. [Sighs.] 

Mandeville. A charming woman, Mrs. de Trappe. A very 
interesting woman ; so sympathetic. 

Julia. But she said she would not listen to you. 
The Yellow Book— Vol. I. U Mandeville. 

268 The Fool's Hour 

Mandeville. Did she say that? [A slight pause.] I hope you 
will not be angry when I own that I do not especially admire your 
mother. A quarter of a century ago she may have had consider- 
able attractions, but — are you offended ? 

Julia. Offended ? Oh, no. Only it seems strange. I thought 
that all men admired mamma. [Pause.] You have not told me 
yet how you made Lady Doldrummond's acquaintance. 

Mandeville. I am here at Lord Aprile's invitation. He has 
decided that he feels no further need of Lady Doldrummond's 

Julia. Oh, Mr. Mandeville, are you teaching him to be 
wicked ? 

Mandeville. But you will agree with me that a young man 
cannot make his mother a kind of scribbling diary ? 

Julia. Still, if he spends his time well, there does not seem to 
be any reason why he should refuse to say where he dines when he 
is not at home. 

Mandeville. Lady Doldrummond holds such peculiar ideas ; she 
would find immorality in a sofa-cushion. If she were to know 
that Cyril is coming with me to the dress rehearsal of our new 
piece ! 

Julia. It would break her heart. And Lord Doldrummond 
would be indignant. Mamma says his own morals are so excellent ! 

Mandeville. Is he an invalid ? 

Julia. Certainly not. Why do you ask ? 

Mandeville. Whenever I hear of a charming husband I always 
think that he must be an invalid. But as for morals, there can be no 
harm in taking Cyril to a dress rehearsal. If you do not wish him 
to go, however, I can easily say that the manager does not care to 
have strangers present. [Pause.] Afterwards there is to be a 
ball at Miss Sparrow's. 

By John Oliver Hobbes and George Moore 269 

i, but I «ri 

, to remain ; 

mtioned this 

Julia. Is Cyril going there, too ? 

Mandeviile. I believe that he has an 
persuade him to refuse it, if you would prefer hin 

'Julia. You are very kind, Mr. Mandeviile, but it 
indifference to me where Lord Aprile goes. 

Mandeviile. Perhaps I ought not to have i 
you ? 

Julia. {Annoyed.} It does not make the least difference. In , 
fact, I am delighted to think that you are taking Cyril out into 
the world. He is wretched in this house, \With heroism.] I am 
glad to think that he knows any one so interesting and clever and 
beautiful as Sarah Sparrow. I suppose she would be considered 
beautiful ? 

Mandeviile. [JVith a profound glance.] One can forget her — 

Julia. [Looting down.] Perhaps — when I am as old as she is — 
I shall be prettier than I am at present. 

Mandeviile. You always said you liked my voice. We never 
see anything of each other now. I once thought that — well — 
that you might like me better. Are you sure you are not angry 
with me because I am taking Cyril to this rehearsal ? 

Julia. Quite sure. Why should I care where Cyril goes ? I 
only wish that I, too, might go to the theatre to-night. What 
part do you play ? And what do you sing ? A serenade ? 

Mandeviile. [Astounded.] Yes. How on earth did you guess 
that ? The costume is, of course, picturesque, and that is the greai 
thing in an opera. A few men can sing — after a fashion — but to 
find the right clothes to sing (M^that shows the true artist. 

Julia. And Sarah ; does she look her part f 

Alundevillt. Well, I dn not like to say anything against her, 


270 The Fool's Hour 

but she is not quite the person I should cast for la Marquise de la 
Perdrigonde. Ah ! if you were on the stage, Miss de Trappe ! 
You have just the exquisite charm, the grace, the majesty of 
bearing which, in the opinion of those who have never been to 
Court, is the peculiar distinction of women accustomed to the 
highest society. 

Julia. Oh, I should like to be an actress ! 

Mandeville. No ! no ! I spoke selfishly — if you only acted 
with 771*, it would be different ; but — but I could not bear to see 
another man making love to you — another man holding your hand 

and singing into your eyes — and — and Oh, this is madness. 

You must not listen to me. 

Julia. 1 am not — angry, but — you must never again say things 
which you do not mean. If I thought you were untruthful it 
would make me so — so miserable. Always tell me the truth. 
[Holds out her band.] 

Mandev'tlle. You are very beautiful ! 

[She drops her eyes, smiles, and wanders unconsciously to the 
mirror. ] 

[Lady Doldrummond suddenly enters from the boudoir, and Cyril 
from the middle door. Cyril is handsome, but his features have 
that delicacy and his expression that pensiveness which promise 
artistic longings and domestic disappointment.] 

Cyril. [Cordially and in a state of suppressed excitement.] Oh, 
mother, this is my friend Mandeville. You have heard me men- 
tion him ? 

Lady Dol. I do not remember, but 

Cyril. When I promised to go out with you this afternoon, I 
forgot that I had another engagement. Mandeville has been kind 
enough to call for me. 


By John Oliver Hobbes and George Moore 271 

Lady Dol. Another engagement, Cyril ? 

[Lord Doldrummond enters and comes down, anxiously looking from 
one to the other.] 

Cyril. Father, this is my friend Mandeville. We have arranged 
to go up to town this afternoon. 

Lady Dal. [Calmly.] What time shall I send the carriage to the 
station for you ? The last train usually arrives about 

Cyril. I shall not return to-night. I intend to stay in town. 
Mandeville will put me up. 

Lord Dot. And where are you going r 

Mandeville. He is coming to our dress rehearsal of the " Dandy 
and the Dancer." 

Cyril. At the Parnassus. [Lord and Lady Doldrummond 
exchange horrified glances.] I daresay you have never heard of the 
place, but it amuses me to go there, and I must learn life for 
myself. 1 am two-and-twenty, and it is not extraordinary that I 
should wish to be my own master. 1 intend to have chambers of 

Lady Dol. Surely you have every liberty in this house ? 

Lord Dol. If you leave us, you will leave the rooms in which 
your mother has spent every hour of her life, since the day you 
were born, planning and improving. Must all her care and 
thought go for nothing r The silk hangings in your bedroom she 
worked with her own hands. There is not so much as a pen- 
wiper in your quarter of the house which she did not choose with 
the idea of giving you one more token of her affection. 

Cyril. I am not ungrateful, but I cannot see much of the world 
through my mother's embroidery. As you say, I have every 
comfort here. I may gorge at your expense and snore on your 
pillows and bully your servants. I can do everything, in fact, but 


272 The Fool's Hour 

live. Dear mother, be reasonable. [Tries to kiss her. She remains 
quite frigid."] 

[Footman enters.] 

Footman. The dog-cart is at the door, my lord. 

Cyril. You think it well over and you will see that I am 
perfectly right. Come on, Mandeville, we shall miss the train. 
Make haste : there is no time to be polite. [He goes out y dragging 
Mandeville after him^ and ignoring Julia.] 

Lord DoL Was that my son ? I am ashamed of him ! To 
desert us in this rude, insolent, heartless manner. If I had 
whipped him more and loved him less, he would not have been 
leaving me to lodge with a God knows who. I disown him ! 
The fool ! 

Lady Dot. If you have anything to say, blame me! Cyril has 
the noblest heart in the world ; / am the fool. 


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18Q4 »•» 


4 MKm& amm ae saf anr d 
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dk£ ace -an?r 13 Mi. Srsasrss 

¥zmt% Marzs^vs rnsa ]bES 

•finr~iirrr,g . aar rber fkiir niT — Ri;V'«^ &£ 

n If*. L2 G^LSJzasxfs 

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exams ^ r^oi asoe ax :a* imr tit cc praicinf «nf 3«1i»t^ 
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fiMfafcaifc. aarr iec zaer are* ^m^Sk ir« 
^d^aaSrk pnncsr aaf iai 

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Essays in Modekmty. Cr. 8vo. 5s. net. [Shortlp. 




From the Asolan Hills. A Poem. 300 copies, imp. 
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Lyric Poems. With title-page by Selwyn Image, sq. i6mo. 
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The Ancient Crosses of Dartmoor. With 11 plates, 
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Sight and Song (Poems on Pictures). 400 copies, fcap. 8vo. 
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GREENE (G. A.). 

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Liber Amoris, a reprint of the 1823 edition, with numerous 
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£ 1 s. is. net. [ Very shortly. 


A Volume of Poems. Fcap. 8vo. y. net. [In preparation. 


Three Essays, now issued in book form for the first time. 
Edited by H. Buxton Form an, with life-mask by 
Haydon. Fcap. 410. [Very few remain. 


Each volume with specially designed title-page by Aubrey 
Beardsley. Cr. 8vo, cloth, y. 6d. net. 

Vol 1. Keynotes. By George Egerton. 

\F0u1 tk edition now ready. 

Vol. 11. The Dancing Faun. By Florence Farr. 


Vol. hi. Poor Folk. Translated from the Russian of F. 
Dostoievsky by Lena Milman, with a preface by 
George Moor e. [ Very shortly. 

Vol iv. A Child of the Age, By Francis Adams. 

[/* rapid preparation. 

VoL v. The Great God Pan and the Inmost Light. 
By Arthur Machen. [In preparation. 



Verses. 250 copies fcap. 8vo. 

Transferred by the Author to the present Publishers* 


The Student and the Rody-Snatcher and 

A few of the 50 large paper copies remain* js. 6d. net. 

[Small paper edition out of print. 


Prose Fancies. With portrait of the Author by Wilson 
Steer. Cr. 8vo, purple cloth, uniform with " The 
Religion of a Literary Man." 5*. net. Also a limited 
large paper edition. 12s. 6d. net. [Immediately. 


The Book Bills of Narcissus. An account rendered by 
Richard le Gallienne. 2nd edition, cr. 8vo, buck- 
ram. 3J. 6d. net. 


English Poems. 3rd edition, cr. 8vo, purple cloth, uniform 
with the " Religion of a Literary Man." $s. net. 


George Meredith : some Characteristics ; with a Bibliography 
(much enlarged) by John Lane, portrait, &c 3rd edition, 
cr. 8vo. $s. 6d. net. 


The Religion of a Literary Man. 4th thousand, cr. 8vo, 
purple cloth, y. bd. net. 

Also a special rubricated edition on hand-made paper, 8vo. 
ioj. bd. net. 


500 copies, fcap. 8vo. 35. bd. net. [ Very few remain. 



A Last Harvest: Lyrics and Sonnets from the Book 
of Love. Edited by Louise Chandler Moulton. 
500 copies, post 8vo. 5*. net. 

Also 50 copies on large paper, hand-made. ior. 6a\ net. 

[ Very few remain. 


Quatrains, Life's Mystery and Other Poems. i6mo. 
2s. 6d. net. [ Very few remain. 


The Gallery of Pigeons and Other Poems. Post 8vo. 
4s. 6d. net. [ Very few remain. 

Transferred by the Author to the present Publishers. 


Poems. 2nd edition, fcap. 8vo. y. 6d. net. A few of the 50 
large paper copies (1st edition) remain, ior. 6d. net. 


The Rhythm of Life and Other Essays. 2nd edition, 
fcap. 8vo. y. 6d. net. A few of the 50 large paper copies 
(1st edition) remain, 12s. dd. net. 


Books and Plays : A Volume of Essays. 400 copies, 
crown 8vo. $s. net. [Shortly, 


Portrait as Beatrice Crnci. With critical notice con- 
taining four letters from Robert Browning. 8vo, wrapper. 
2J. net. 


Robert Browning. Essays and Thoughts. Third edition, cr. 
8vo $s. 6d. net, in preparation. Half a dozen of the 
Whatman L.P. copies (first edition) remain, £\ is. net. 



The Sonnet in England and Other Essays. Title-page 
and cover design by Austin Young. 600 copies, cr. 8vo. 
$s. net. Also 50 copies L.P. 121. 6d. net. 


Poor People's Christmas. 250 copies, 161x10. is. net. 

[Very few remain, 


A series of lithographed portraits by Will Rothenstein. with 
text by F.York Powell and others. To be issued monthlj 
in term. Each number will contain two portraits. Parts L 
to V. ready. 200 sets only, folio, wrapper, 55. net per part; 
25 special large paper sets containing proof impressions of 
the portraits signed by the artist, 101. dd net per part. 


Galeazzo : A Venetian Episode and other Poems. Etched 
frontispiece. i6mo. 5*. net. [ Very few remain. 

Transferred by the Author to the present Publishers* 


Songs. A new volume of verse. [In preparation. 


Chambers Twain. Frontispiece by Walter Crane. 350 
copies, imp. i6mo. 51. net. 

Also 50 copies large paper, xoj. 6d. net. [Very few remain. 


With contributions by E. Dowson, E. J. Ellis, G. A. Greene, 
A. Hillier, L. Johnson, R. le Gallienne, V. Plarr, 
E. Radford, E. Rhys, T. W. Rolleston, A. Symoxs, 

J. TODHUNTER, AND W. B. YEATS. 500 COpieS (400 for 
sale). Sq. i6mo. $s. net. 

Also 50 copies large paper. 101. 6d. net. {Immediately. 



Hero and Leander. By Christopher Marlowe and 
George Chapman, with Borders, Initials, and Illus- 
trations designed and engraved on the wood by C. S. 
Ricketts and C. H. Shannon. Bound in English 
vellum and gold. 200 copies only. 35*. net. 



A London Rose and Other Rhymes. With title-page 
designed by Selwyn Image. 600 copies, cr. 8vo. 
5J. net. {Immediately. 


Literature and -Poetry : Papers on Dante, etc. Portrait 
and Plates, 100 copies only, 8vo. 10s. net. 


The Lion's Cub ; with other Verse. Portrait. 100 copies 
only, bound in an illuminated Persian design, fcap. 8vo. [Very few remain. 

STREET (G. S.). 

The Autobiography of a Boy. Passages selected by his 
friend. G. S. S. With title-page designed by C W. 
Furse. 500 copies, fcap. 8vo. y. 6d. net. 



In the Key of Blue, and other Prose Essays. Cover 
design by C. S. Ricketts. 2nd edition,' thick cr. 8vo. 
Ss. od. net. 


A Volume of Poems. With frontispiece, title-page, and 
cover design by Laurence Housman. 4th edition, 
pott 4to. >yS. net. 


A Sicilian Idyll. Frontispiece by Walter Crane. 250 
copies. Imp. i6mo 5J. net. 

Also 50 copies large paper, fcap. 4to. 101. 6d. net. 

[ Very few remain. 







? After Sunset. A volume of Poems. With title-page and 
J cover design by R. Anning Bell. nmo. $s. net. 

' Also a limited large paper edition, i&r. 6d. net. 
. [In preparation. 

: 77?££ (H. BEERBOHM). 

r The Imaginative Faculty, a Lecture delivered at the Royal 

Institution. With portrait of Mr. Tree from an unpublished 
drawing by the Marchioness of Gran by. Fcap. 8vo, boards. 

■ as. 6d. net. 


Cuckoo Songs. With title-page and cover design by Laur- 
ence Holsman. Fcap. 8vo. $s. net. 


The Poetry of Tennyson. 3rd edition, enlarged, cr. 8vo. 
$s. 6d. net. 

The late Laureate himself gave valuable aid in correcting 

various details. 


The Eloping Angels : a Caprice. Second edition, sq. 
i6mo, buckram, y. 6d. net. 


Excursions in Criticism; being some Prose Recreations 
of A Rhymer. 2nd edition, cr. 8vo. 55. net. 


The Prince's Quest, and Other Poems. With a biblio- 
graphical note added. 2nd edition, fcap. 8vo. 4s. 6d. net. 


Pastorals of France — Renunciations. A volume of 
Stories. Title-page by John Fulleylove, R.I. 3rd edition, 
cr. 8vo. $s. net. [In preparation. 

A few of the large paper copies of Renunciations (1st edition) 

remain, 101. 6d. net. 



Dante : Si* Skrmons. 3rd edition, cr. Svo. ai. met. 


The Sphinx. A Poem. Decorated throughout in line and 
colour and bound in a design bvCHARt.Es Ricketts. 150 
copies. £3 as. nil. 25 copies large paper. £ 5 M . net. 

1 Very shortly. 


The incomparable and ingenious history of Mr, W. H.. being 
the true secret of Shakes pear' 5 sonnets, now for the first 
lime here fully set forth. With initial letters and cover 
design by CHARLES RiCKKTTS. 500 copies, icj. fd. net. 
Also 50 copies large paper, an, net [In preparalio*. 


Dramatic Works, now printed for the first time. With a 
specially designed binding to. each volume, by CHARLES 
Shannon, 500 copies, sm, 410, jsu 6J. net per vol. 
Also 50 copies large paper. r$J- net par vol. 

VoL 1. Lady WinUEKMEHE's I^av. A comedy in four acts. 

Vol. 11. A Woman op No Importance. A comedy in four 
acts. [/mmediately. 

VoL ml The Duchess of Padua. A blank verse tragedy in 
five acts. [ Very shortly. 


Salome : A Tragedy in one act, done into English, with 
10 illustrations, title-page, Uiil-picce, and cover design by 
Aubrey Beakdslky. 500 copies, sm. 410. 151. net. Also 
100 copies large paper, 301. net. 


WHISPER. A volume of Verse. Fcap.Bvo. xs. bd, net. 

A Memoir by Katharine Tynan and a portrait have 
been added. 
Transferred by the Author Is the Present Publishers. 



The Hobby Horse. 

A new series of ihis illustrated magaiinc will be published quarterly hy 
subscription, under the Editorship of Herbert P. Home. Subscrip- 
tion £\ per annum, post free, for the four numbers. Quarto, printed 
on hand-made paper, nnd issued in a lir-iiled edition to subscribers 
only. The magaiine will contain articles upon Literature, Music. 
Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, and the Decorative Arts ; Poems 
Essays; Fiction; original Designs; with reproductions of 
pictures and drawings by the old masters and con- 
temporary artists. There will be a new title-page 
and ornaments designed by the Editor. 
Among the contributors to the 
Hobby Horse are; 

Til* latb Mat 

LAUimNCF. Bin- 
Wilfrid Hi 
Fovo Maw 

OHas, A.R.A. 


Chmstixa G. Rosssrrrt 

W. kf. RnssBTTI. 

[OHM Kuuih, D.C.L., LL.D. 

t'™u^l« Sakoy* 

Tub late W. Bull Scott. 


Simbib SolOHON. 

Tur. latbJ. Audi kgtonSv nouns. 

T. Hor» McLachla 
May Mo 

'• Nearly every book put out by Messrs. Elkin Mathews 
and John Lane, at the sign of the Dudley Head, is a satis- 
faction to the special senses of the modern bookman for 
bindings, shapes, types, and papers. They have surpassed 
themselves, and registered a real achievement in English 
book-making by the volume of ' Poems, Dramatic and 
Lyrical,' of Lord Da Tabley." — N/avastlt Daily ChroHicU. 

"A ray of hopefulness is stealing again into English poetry 
after the twilight greys of Clough, Arnold, and Tennyson. 
Even unbelief wears braver colours. Despite the jeremiads, 
which are the dirges of the elder gods. England is still a 
nest of singing-birds {liftt the Catalogue of Elkin Mathews 
and John Lane)."— Mh. Z a now ill, in Pall Mall Magatiiu. 

" One can nearly always be certain, when one sees on the 
title-page of any given book the name of Messrs Elkis 
Mathews and John Lank as being the publishers thereof, 
that there will be something worth reading to be found 
between the boards."— World. 

"All Messrs. Elkin Mathews and John Lane's books are 
so beautifully printed and so tastefully issued, that it rejoices 
the heart of a book-lover to handle them : but they have 
shown their sound judgment not less markedly in the literary 
quality of their publications The choiceness of form is not 
inappropriate to (be mtttter, which is always of something 
more than ephemeral worth. This was a distinction on which 
the better publishers at one lime prided themselves; they 
never lent their names to trash ; but some names associated 
with worthy traditions have proved more than once a delusion 
and a snare. The record of Messrs. Elkin Mathews and 
John Lane is perfect in this respect, and their imprint is a 
guarantee of the worth of what they publish." 

Birmingham Daily Pint, Nov. 6II1, 1393. 

3 blDS 005 >27 « n 




(415) 723-1493 

All books moy be recoiled after 7 days 



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■■■■! '.ry Jjtiips 
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By M« Beethnhm 

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