Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

Fair Science frowned not on his hum

ble birth, And Melancholy marked him for her

Own.

[blocks in formation]

ness.

“What bothers me in the verse in question is the conjunction, since in your view Melancholy's marking of Gray would have to be a sort of kindness. Higginson, and I think most readers, take the opposite view. The youth labored under three disabilities—(1) humble origin; (2) whatever Science did to him by not frowning; (3) having a melancholy turn of mind. All belong in one category, else I feel the need of a disjunctive but. But basta!"

These inquiries into delicate shades of language are one sign of Garrison's fastidious taste, which is seen also in his ingenious article entitled “A Dissolving View of Punctuation." It does not deal with the elementary instruction of which many writers stand in need, but is full of the niceties which experts appreciate. “Authority in Language" will also please lovers of English. Other papers reprinted here are concerned with politics. "The True Function of a University,'' which includes a needed warning as to crerathleticism; obituaries of E. L. Godkin and other prominent men; “Protraiture" and "Jean Jacques Rousseau," which both deal with a favorite author of Garrison's; “A Talk to Librarians"; and “The New Gulliver," a study of Houy hnhnm folk and Calvinistic theology of all things! The "fair humanities of old religion" were not for Garrison, though few have shown a steadier devotion to duty and conscience. He says of systems of ethics and religion:

"The rubbish cleared away, we are left face to face with the old problems of the meaning of life and the possibility of another existence.

For one, I utterly refuse to waste my time over the former. Towards the latter I keep an open mind and have the will to

The Atheneum.

Garrison published excellent books, particularly his life of his father, a monument of careful evidence and judgment on which he lavished several years. But it is his work as an editor which is his great and inexpugnable claim to recognition. We may say of him what a poet and critic said of a friend:

In the study of art, poetry, or philosophy, he had the most undivided and disinterested love for his object in itself, the greatest aversion to mixing up with it anything accidental or personal. His interest was in literature itself, and it was this which gave so rare a stamp to his character, which kept him so free from all taint of little

In the saturnalia of ignoble personal passions, of which the struggle for literary success, in old and crowded communities, offers so sad a spectacle, he never mingled. He had not yet traduced his friends, nor flattered his enemies, nor disparaged what he admired, nor praised what he despised. Those who knew him well bad the conviction that even with time, these literary arts would never be his.

The whole character is almost bcyond human compass, demanding the virtues of the ancient Stoic; but there was much of that creed in Garrison, who combined a serenity which is hardly of our own day with a devotion to his friends which won unphilosophic altfection. He illustrated, says Mr. VcDaniels, in his practice the possibility of the “brotherhood of man." He certainly fostered the brotherhood of the pen, whereas the modern system of hustling and commercial journalism is calculated to justify the bitter jibe of Robert Brough: "Brethren of the pren! Yes, Cain and Abel."

WHAT THE PUBLIC WANTS.

A PLAY IN FOUR ACTS

BY ARNOLD BENNETT

sorrow

CHARACTERS

sizes too large. His gestures are yulSir Charles Worgan, News

gar. Not gentlemanly, though by fits paper Proprietor.

and starts he seems to remember that Francis Worgan, Wanderer. Brothers. he is a gentleman. Age 50. John Worgan, Provincial

Emily Vernon.--Beautiful; but conDoctor.

scious that her youth is passing. Saul Kendrick, Manager of Worgans, Charming. Her moods change rapidly. Ltd.

She is dressed with distinguished taste, Holt St. John, Theatrical Manager.

but not expensively. Her face is sad Samuel Cleland, His Stage Manager.

when she isn't alert. She has been Simon Macquoid, Dramatic Critic.

through

and through hard James Brindley, Earthenware Manu- times. Age 29. facturer.

Simon Vacquoid.—The only thing to Edward Brindley, His Son.

note is that he is angry throughout his Page-boy.

scene.

Age 45.

Private office of Sir Charles Worgan. Emily Vernon, Widow.

Doors r., I., and back centre. Utmost Yrs. Cleland (Henrietta Blackwood).

possible richness of office furniture. Annie Worgan, Wife of John Worgan.

Grand central desk, with dictaphone Mrs. Morgan, Mother of the Worgans.

and telephone. Side tables full of Hrs. Dounes.

papers, correspondence, etc. Large dateServant at John Worgan's.

calendar prominent. A red disk showing

on wall at back. General air of orTIME: To-day.

derliness and great activity. Sir ACT I

Charles Worgan and Kendrick

opposite each other at central desk, Notes on Characters in This Act

with two piles of assorted magazines Sir Charles Worgan.-Brusque. Ac- and journals on the desk. Kendrick customed to power. With rare flashes is smoking a large cigar. Time, afterof humor, and of charm. Well dressed, noon, November. but not too carefully. Strong frame. Decided gestures. Age 40.

Kendrick. Now then, there's this Francis Worgan.-A traveller, confounded “Sabbath Chimes”! (pickphilosopher, and something of a dilet- ing up a periodical from the pile to his tante; rather afraid of coming to grips left hand). with life. Very well dressed, but with Sir C. Well, what's it doing? a touch of the unusual--for example, Kendrick [referring to a list of figo a quite fashionable collar with a soft ures). Eighteen thousand. necktie tied in a rather obtrusive bow. Sir C. It's dropping, then. Talks quietly. Always punctiliously Kendrick. Dropping? I should say polite. Age 41.

it was! But it never was any Saul Kendrick. – Gross, stoutish, real good. We bought it for a song sporting Dressed correctly, but with- andout taste. Loud. His cigar is several Sir C. [interrupting him sharply). LIVING AGE. VOL. XLIV.

2335

are

а

a а

That's no

reason! We bought the "Evening Courier" when its shares were at sixpence, and now it's earning a thousand pounds a week.

Kendrick. Yes, but the “Courier" isn't religious. You wouldn't call a halfpenny evening paper exactly religious, would you?

Sir C. What's that got to do with it? Do you mean to say there isn't a religious public?

Kendrick. I've never met it (flicking ash off his cigar).

Sir C. [very slightly nettled ). Now look here, Kendrick, we don't want to waste time in facetiousness. We still have quite twenty papers to go through [fingering pile).

Kendrick [rery slightly more deferential]. I'm not joking, Sir Charles. What I say is—there are two things that are absolutely U.P. in this country; one is limericks and the other is religion.

Sir C. That be d d! No one ever expected limericks to last; but let me tell you there's a lot of money in religion yet. [Kendrick shrugs his shoulders.) Let's have a squint at "Chimes" [he turns the pages 014r). Hm! Yo! It isn't crisp enough. I ask you-does it look snappy? [reading from it in a startled tone). “Problems of the day: Are we growing less spiritual?" [Angry.] Great heavens! Whose idiotic notion Was that?

Kendrick. Haliburton's.

Sir C. Well, that really is a bit too thick! You know, seriously, you ought to keep an eye on things better than that.

Kendrick [hurt]. I've been giving all my time to the sporting department. Think of the trouble I've had with the "Billiard Ball" alone, to say nothing of putting the “Racecourse"

on its legs. I can't attend to everything, Sir Charles.

Sir C. (still fuming). “Are we grow

ing less spiritual?" As if anybody cared

tuppenny curse whether we are growing less spiritual or not! No wonder the thing's dropping! What does the Reverend Mr. Haliburton get?

Kendrick. Fifty pounds a month.

Sir C. Does he imagine he's going to earn fifty pounds a month, here, by asking the British public if it's growing less spiritual? Sack the fool. Where did you pick him up?

Kendrick, Religious Tract Society. Fished him out myself.

Sir C. Well, you'd better return him with thanks. Kendrick. That's

all

very fine. Where shall we find some one to take his place? It isn't the first starving curate that comes along who will be able to run Haliburton's department. He's a worker.

Sir C. What's the good of his being a worker if he's never got the hang of our style? [Holding out periodical. ] Look at it!

Kendrick. I'm not defending him. I'm only saying that to find ideas for “Sabbath Chimes,” “The Sunday Comrade," "The Pleasant Sunday Afternoon Record," "Sunday Tales," "The Sunday School Teacher's Friend,” and “Golden Words" is none so much of a blooming picnic. I wouldn't like to have to do it myself.

Sir C. [less angry, persuasively). All right. As you please. You're responsi. ble. But wake him up.

Kendrick. Why can't you give him a lead, Sir Charles ?

Sir C. Me! You know perfectly well I have all I can do for at least a couple of months, shoving the “Vercury.”

Kendrick. I was forgetting that for the moment.

Sir ('. It must not be forgotten even for a

moment that the “Daily Vercury" is the leading line of this Company. It must also not be forgotten

we

a

that the circulation of the "Mercury" must touch a million before the Annual Meeting-even if the country has to go to war for it. No, my boy; you've done wonders in the sporting department. And I'm sure you can do wonders in the religious department, once you really give your mind to it. [Voices outside the door, back.)

Kendrick. It doesn't seem to come SO Latural.

Sir C. Oh, nonsense! The first thing you have to do is to make Haliburton understand what snap is. Take him out to lunch. Pour it into him. And tell him from me that if every one of those papers doesn't show a satisfactory profit in six months' time he will be at liberty to go into the mission field, and the farther off the better. Of course that "Are growing less spiritual?" rubbish must be stopped in the next number. [ Turning cusually.] What's going on outside?

Kendrick (ignoring the question). Yes, and supposing he asks me what's to take its place?

Sir C. It's his business to find out. [Handing paper to Kendrick.]

Kendrick. But what sort of thing?

Sir C. Well, now. Here's a good idea. What's the series called ?

Kendrick. **Problems of the Day."

Sir C. What about this, then: “Ought curates to receive presents from lady-parishioners?"

Kendrick [enthusiastic). By Jove! That's a great idea, that is! I wish you had a bit more time to spare, Sir Charles. [Vods his head approvingly.]

Sir C. (pleased with himself). That ought to give him a start, anyhow.

Fran. Wor. [off). Open that door, or you are a doomed boy. This dagger is tipped with a deadly poison.

Sir C. What in the name of-[Goes quietly to door, back, and opens it. The figures of Francis Worgan and a pageboy are seen. A slight pause.)

Francis [entering, a sword-cane in his hand, very quietly). How d'ye do, Charlie? [A pause.]

Sir C. How do, Frank? [They shake hands. ] Excuse me, will you, Ken. drick?

Kendrick. Certainly, Sir Charles. [Erit Kendrick r. The page-boy closes the door from outside. )

Francis. Well, Charlie, I sympathize with you. I feel just the same as you do-very nervous.

Sir C. Nervous? What about?

Francis (shutting up the sword-cane]. About my demeanor.

How ought brothers to behave who haven't seen each other for nineteen years?

Sir C. I perceive you aren't altered. [They sit.]

Francis. That's a hard thing to say. While I was waiting in your waitingroom I saw

in magazine called "Golden Words," under the heading "Pregnant Utterances of the Month," "We should all strive to do a little better every day, -Archbishop of Canterbury.” That is what I've been doing for nineteen years—and you tell me I haven't altered!

Sir C. You know what I mean. I mean that you still make people wonder what the devil you will say next.

Francis. You've altered, anyhow. You couldn't have said anything as clever as that nineteen years ago.

Sir C. (pleased). Think so? [Pause.)

Francis. However, physically you're astoundingly the same. Sir C. So are you.

[A pause. ] I should have known you anywhere. When did you arrive?

Francis. Yesterday.

Sir C. Then I'm the first to see you. And where have

you

turned up from?

Francis. I've "turned up" from Japan. T'il New York.

Sir C. What do you think of New York?

Francis. I don't think of it, except began wandering about passages. I by inadvertence. [Rising and going to managed to catch a boy. What a lot disk, in a puzzled tone.] What is that? of boys you have! I saw something like it outside the Sir C. By the way, is that stick door, and downstairs in the den of the really poisoned? commissionaire.

Francis. No. It was a notion I got Sir 0. [rising). That?

It's an ap

out of “The Lad's Own Budget." I paratus that shows whether I can be was determined to see you or perish seen or not. The red disk is up now. in the attempt. I felt sure you That means I'm engaged and can't be couldn't be coming the great man over seen by any one, appointment or no me, especially as I'd made an appointappointment! Putting it up here puts ment. I'll say this for our familý, at it up outside the door and in the com- any rate_there's no affected nonsense , missionaire's room.

Here's the green

about any of us. disk-that means that I'm engaged but Sir C. My dear chap, I hadn't the can be disturbed. Blue means that slightest notion you were in London. I'm here, alone. Yellow means that But how did you make an appointI'm not in my office, but somewhere ment? With my secretary? in the building. And white means that

Francis. Secretary! Didn't know I'm out. Ingenious, eh? [In a serious you had one! No, I dropped you a tone.] Absolutely necessary, you

line last night, and marked the letter know.

"Private and Immediate." Francis (as they both sit down again). Sir C. That's just where you made So that explains why I had such a mistake. We get about five thousand an exciting time in getting to see letters a day here. A van brings the you.

first post every morning direct from Sir C. (smiling). I'm supposed to be St. Martin's-le-Grand. [Going to a side the most difficult man to see in Lon- table and fingering a large batch of letdon.

ters.] Our sorting clerks have instrucFrancis. Yes, I noticed the commis- tions to put aside all letters addressed sionaire was wearing several medals. to me personally and marked private Doubtless for valor. First he made or urgent, and they are always opened me fill up a form, as inquisitive as last. [Opening a letter.] Yes, here's an income tax paper. When I told him yours. I had an appointment, he instructed Francis. Why are they opened last? me to sit down. So I sat down and Sir C. It's the dodge of every beg. read “Golden Words" for ten minutes. ging-letter writer in England to mark Then I thought it would be a good idea his envelope “Private and Urgent." to tell him I

your brother, [Throws letter into waste-paper basket and not merely some one of the same

after glancing at it.]

Francis. I see. name.

You may be said to Sir C. What did he say then?

have an organization here! Francis. He told me to sit down, and Sir C. (putting his hands in his gave me a sceptical look, as much as pockets and smiling superiorly). You to say: "You're his brother, are you?

bet! Considerably over

a thousand Well, so am I!" So I sat down and people earn their bread and butter in read “The Lad's Own Budget” for ten this building, and wages run from five minutes. Then, while he was busy tor- bob on to a hundred pounds a week. turing another applicant, I nipped into What price that, eh? the lift just as it was going up, and

Francis. Well, Charlie, were

was

we

« AnkstesnisTęsti »