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Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth,
And Melancholy marked him for her
"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 cverathleticism; 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 Houyhnhnm 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
believe,' and some evidences drawn from the much derided phenomena of spiritualism, whose positive teachings are so valueless. Above all, let us steer clear of superstition, and not be frightened by our own shadows."
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 littleness. 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 had 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 affection. He illustrated, says Mr. McDaniels, 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 pen! Yes, Cain and Abel."
WHAT THE PUBLIC WANTS.
A PLAY IN FOUR ACTS
BY ARNOLD BENNETT
sizes too large.
His gestures are vulgar. Not gentlemanly, though by fits and starts he seems to remember that he is a gentleman. Age 50.
Emily Vernon.-Beautiful; but conscious that her youth is passing. Charming. Her moods change rapidly. She is dressed with distinguished taste, but not expensively. Her face is sad when she isn't alert. She has been through sorrow and through hard times. Age 29.
Simon Macquoid.-The only thing to note is that he is angry throughout his scene. Age 45.
Private office of Sir Charles Worgan.
Doors r., 1., and back centre. Utmost possible richness of office furniture. Grand central desk, with dictaphone and telephone. Side tables full of papers, correspondence, etc. Large datecalendar prominent. A red disk showing on wall at back. General air of orderliness and great activity. Sir Charles Worgan and Kendrick are opposite each other at central desk, with two piles of assorted magazines and journals on the desk. Kendrick is smoking a large cigar. Time, afternoon, November.
Kendrick. Now then, there's this confounded "Sabbath Chimes"! [picking up a periodical from the pile to his left hand].
Sir C. Well, what's it doing? Kendrick [referring to a list of figures]. Eighteen thousand.
Sir C. It's dropping, then. Kendrick. Dropping? I should say it was! But it never was any real good. We bought it for a song and
Sir C. [interrupting him sharply].
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]. look here, Kendrick, we don't want to waste time in facetiousness. We still have quite twenty papers to go through [fingering pile].
Kendrick [very 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 over]. Hm! No! 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?
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 be ing 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 responsible. 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 "Mercury."
Kendrick. I was forgetting that for the moment.
Sir C. It must not be forgotten even for a moment that the "Daily Mercury" is the leading line of this Company. It must also not be forgotten
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 natural.
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 we growing less spiritual?" rubbish must be stopped in the next number. [Turning casually.] 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. [Nods 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
Kendrick. Certainly, Sir Charles. [Exit 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 a 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. 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?
Sir C. Then I'm the first to see you. And where have you turned up
Francis. I've "turned up" from Japan. Via New York.
Sir C. What do you think of New York?
I don't think of it, except by inadvertence. [Rising and going to disk, in a puzzled tone.] What is that? I saw something like it outside the door, and downstairs in the den of the commissionaire.
Sir C. [rising]. That? It's an apparatus that shows whether I can be seen or not. The red disk is up now. That means I'm engaged and can't be seen by any one, appointment or no appointment! Putting it up here puts it up outside the door and in the commissionaire's room. Here's the green disk-that means that I'm engaged but can be disturbed. Blue means that I'm here, alone. Yellow means that I'm not in my office, but somewhere in the building. And white means that I'm out. Ingenious, eh? [In a serious tone.] Absolutely necessary, you know.
Francis [as they both sit down again]. So that explains why I had such an exciting time in getting to see you.
Sir C. [smiling]. I'm supposed to be the most difficult man to see in London.
Francis. Yes, I noticed the commissionaire was wearing several medals. Doubtless for valor. First he made me fill up a form, as inquisitive as an income-tax paper. When I told him I had an appointment, he instructed me to sit down. So I sat down and read "Golden Words" for ten minutes. Then I thought it would be a good idea to tell him I was your brother, and not merely some one of the same
Sir C. What did he say then? Francis. He told me to sit down, and gave me a sceptical look, as much as to say: "You're his brother, are you? Well, so am I!" So I sat down and read "The Lad's Own Budget" for ten minutes. Then, while he was busy torturing another applicant, I nipped into the lift just as it was going up, and
began wandering about passages. managed to catch a boy. What a lot of boys you have!
Sir C. By the way, is that stick really poisoned?
Francis. No. It was a notion I got out of "The Lad's Own Budget." I was determined to see you or perish in the attempt. I felt sure you couldn't be coming the great man over me, especially as I'd made an appointment. I'll say this for our family, at any rate there's no affected nonsense about any of us.
Sir C. My dear chap, I hadn't the slightest notion you were in London. But how did you make an appointment? With my secretary?
Francis. Secretary! Didn't know you had one! No, I dropped you a line last night, and marked the letter "Private and Immediate."
Sir C. That's just where you made a mistake. We get about five thousand letters a day here. A van brings the first post every morning direct from St. Martin's-le-Grand. [Going to a side table and fingering a large batch of letters.] Our sorting clerks have instructions to put aside all letters addressed to me personally and marked private or urgent, and they are always opened last. [Opening a letter.] Yes, here's
Francis. Why are they opened last? Sir C. It's the dodge of every begging-letter writer in England to mark his envelope "Private and Urgent." [Throws letter into waste-paper basket after glancing at it.] ·
Francis. I see. You may be said to have an organization here!
Sir C. [putting his hands in his pockets and smiling superiorly]. You bet! Considerably over a thousand people earn their bread and butter in this building, and wages run from five bob on to a hundred pounds a week. What price that, eh?
Francis. Well, Charlie, we were