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his repulsive details, that Flaubert de- life. The lesson is taught with bitterer picted vice with cold contempt, that Mr. emphasis to the hero of New Grub Moore attempts to discover in a spirit of Street, for whom “la lutte pour la vie" bravado how much the public will stand, proves too much, and whose genius canthat Mr. Howells more genially expounds not survive the hardest blows of fate. the significance of the unessential. But In the struggle of Reardon to be true George Gissing was obviously moved by to his art against the most adverse conthe “ daily spectacles of mortality ” he ditions there is possibly some flavor of contemplated. His was not the detached autobiography, - though for that matter attitude of the scientist; it was the keen every novel that is worth anything must sympathy of the artist. He did not let have a glimpse of the writer's own soul. his sensibilities run away with him ; he But Gissing was not the man to exploit was never morbid or mawkish; he dis- his personality; he was not up to the dained the devices of a melodramatic tricks of the trade as practiced by the sentimentalism; he was incapable of commercial novelist; and it does not “ working up” pathos. He could put require for the appreciation of his art the situation before us as vividly as any any impertinent intrusion into his life. realist of them all. But the deep and New Grub Street is a book to be read. poignant emotion was there, even if the Those who choose to do so may take it superficial reader did not discover it. No as an argument against the marriage of cold observation could have accomplished men of genius to commonplace and selfthis. No novelist by a little intellectual ish women. Indeed, the unequal bond slumming can really tell us how the other of wedlock was often a theme with half lives.
Gissing. But if so many marriages are In the second period of his career unhappy, if a union brought about by that saeva indignatio in him turned more anything less than perfect love and trust to grim satire. He dealt, not with those is certain to be unhappy, what place in whom all classes had cast out, but with the world shall the women who do not a class least likely to have comprehen- marry take? Such a question is hardly sive sympathies, the class which one answered by The Odd Women, anmust still call, despite the objections of other novel far superior to most conmany persons to the term, the “lower temporary fiction. The heroine of that middle.” Perhaps In the Year of Ju- tale does not have, after all, the courage bilee is his most remarkable achieve- of her convictions. But then so few of ment in this respect. The dull monotony us do! of the daily round, the sordid aims, the The Odd Women manifested conspiculaxity of moral fibre, the incapacity to ously Gissing's growing interest in wider comprehend, much less to experience, and higher themes; it also marked a the nobler emotions, — these things are further growth of his idealistic temper; portrayed with a distinctness which one and therefore his later books may appeal may fairly call appalling. Eve's Ran- to readers whom his earlier did not insom is a study of human selfishness. terest. The Crown of Life is, on the The man sacrifices himself for the girl, whole, the most remarkable of these ; it and she receives the sacrifice gayly, and reveals the passionate tenderness which goes her way, leaving him to cherish his is the root of all the author's convictions. hurt in silence. Yet even here Gissing's Love is the crown of life, and the right idealism has the last word. The man woman is worth any man's while to wait realizes that his pain has been worth for. And there are large public quesliving through. “Entbehren sollst du, tions involved in the story, — imperialsollst entbehren,” – that is the law of ism, for example. Our Friend the Char
latan is a still closer study of political trol and in their various ways of evading conditions, though what gives it its value and rebelling against the will and judgis the unsparing analysis of the man who ment of their owners. I may be biased deludes himself no less than he deludes in my impression of their general unothers. It is upon his skill in the deline reliability by the peculiarly untractable ation of character that the fame of the character of my own, which I have found novelist is most likely to rest; plots are endowed with all of the undesirable teneasily forgotten, but the Becky Sharps dencies mentioned by Professor James, and Colonel Newcomes remain more real as well as possessed of several original than the figures of authentic history. shortcomings as yet uncatalogued by psyOne cannot help feeling that Gissing chologists. would have done, had he lived, better Often after a day spent in heading off work in the future than in the past. But and checking one train of thought after he did enough to make his fame secure. another, only to have each in its turn
“My mind to me a kingdom is,” wrote supplanted by something equally objecThe Unruly
Sir Edward Dyer something tionable, I have found myself exhausted Kingdom.
like three hundred years ago; by the conflict with these rebellious menand in a tiresome strain of self-laudation tal processes, and in a mood of unqualihe continues, —
fied disgust and discontent with myself. “ Though much I want that most would have, At such times I have occasionally taken Yet still my mind forbids to crave."
an imaginary revenge on the refractory To condense the substance of several mind, which has given so much trouble, stanzas into plain prose, this remarkable by telling it how cheaply I would dismind, he claims, was indifferent to wealth, pose of it, if minds were only marketpower, love, or hate, had no desires to able commodities. On the supposition satisfy, nothing to fear, no cares to trou that they could be bartered, I have imble ; and he concludes,
agined myself inserting in the column “ Thus do I live, thus will I die ;
for subscribers' wants in some reputable Would all do so as well as I!"
journal an announcement something like To me it has always seemed that in the following: "For sale or exchange. the matter of that poem Sir Edward was A mind in a good state of preservation, either an impostor or the victim of gross never having been subjected to hard use, self-delusion. If he had taken the trou- tolerably quick, and fairly good in disble to keep a careful eye upon the go- position. The owner's reason for partings-on of his mind for even one day, he ing with it is that it never has been well doubtless would have discovered that his broken, is somewhat willful, and too fond kingdom was in no such ideal state of of play. Any one able to train it would subjection as he proudly asserted. find it desirable for light, varied use.
In fact, I much misdoubt any human The present proprietor is in need of a being's having a perfectly disciplined, thoroughly trained, steady-going mind docile mind which never runs away, un of a more substantial character." expectedly shies, or balks at inconvenient But, on the whole, if one could be at
When I encounter a person will the possessor of a plodding, draftwho is always outwardly serene and self- horse sort of mind, would there not be controlled, I find myself wondering what some disadvantages connected with such sort of scenes he has with himself in pri an article? It seems as if there might vate. That there are some lively ones be a dreary monotony about the operaI am confident.
tions of a mind which always worked in Of course there are minds and minds, a rut, and whose methods and proceedall differing in their amenability to con- ings could be predicted with tolerable
certainty. The erratic kind is more than had four rows of five panes. I counted a little trying at times, when it neglects those panes in every possible way, - up the tasks assigned it, and disports itself and down, sideways, diagonally, and zigon forbidden ground; but it must be zag. If the results did not tally, I knew confessed that the unexpectedness of its there was a mistake somewhere and beperformances sometimes makes it more gan again. At a later period I formed entertaining than if it were better regu- the habit of amusing myself during the lated.
sermon by repeating poetry. Now, if When one is thrown upon one's own re my mind shows a disposition to wander sources for diversion, it is not altogether from the clergyman's discourse, I sit with a bad thing to have a mind liable at my eyes fastened respectfully upon him times to do idiotic or preposterous things. and perhaps make up a sermon of my It becomes rather amusing, if not car own. Two or three of these have proved ried too far. I suspect that many peo- of more interest than the others, so I
go ple have discovered a closer mental kin- back to them in preference to inventing ship between themselves and Mr. Barrie's new ones. Sunday after Sunday I have Thomas Sandys than they would care to delivered one or the other of those seracknowledge. It was with genuine de mons to large and attentive audiences. light that I read of the sprained ankle On such occasions I speak without notes. which Tommie was obliged to have as My delivery is exceedingly simple and an excuse for being discovered in tears. quiet, with no effort at display, but the I have been caught so many times in a audience is invariably impressed by the similar predicament that it is a pleasure deep feeling and moral earnestness with to believe that Mr. Barrie may possibly which the address is pervaded. himself have experienced the shame and I am more fond, however, of singing in confusion into which one is plunged un opera than of being a popular preacher. der such circumstances.
My voice is a soprano of remarkable When a small child I was one day purity and richness, equally good in its found crying comfortably by myself. high and low tones. My favorite part The family was greatly concerned to is that of Brunhild, which I render with know the cause of a trouble which sought a dramatic intensity never yet equaled. retirement instead of demanding sym- The cry of the Valkyrs, as I give it, has pathy and consolation. Upon hearing a superhuman quality which sends chills that I was just thinking how I should creeping up and down the spine of the feel if a bear came up and bit my hand, most stolid listener. Not infrequently I there was a chorus of laughter, and I was appear
in the ballet of an opera. Quite left to the enjoyment of my grief. Since often I am an actress. It being hard for then I have been surprised more than me to decide on my favorite character, I once in either tears or laughter due to an generally play on benefit nights, when I imaginary cause, and have been forced give the best scenes from several of my to conjure a more or less plausible ex most famous parts. planation ; but never since that first time However, I am by no means always a have I owned the truth that I was merely celebrity. Frequently I am content to making believe.
be a very commonplace person, my only When as a child I was taken to church remarkable points being an extremely I used to beguile the time during the magnetic personality combined with an prayer and sermon by counting the panes ever ready sympathy and a charm none of glass in the long windows which ran the less real because indefinable, which nearly to the ceiling. There were three bring me the love and esteem of all who sashes to a window, and each sash, I think, know me.
Of course this is supremely idiotic, and What satisfactory substitute can marno one would confess to being so foolish ried people find for the amusement of if he were not tolerably sure that most considering the qualifications of memof his fellow creatures know in their bers of the opposite sex for husbands or own hearts they are no more sensible. wives? One ought doubtless to have They may not acknowledge it. That is conscientious scruples against indulging a different matter.
in this diversion after marriage, and what I wonder how many people realize the a source of entertainment must be lost! comfort there is in having a real brisk A woman can find endless mental occuquarrel mentally with your friends when pation in contemplating the various men they prove exasperating. If it could of her acquaintance, and deciding with only be rightly managed, a not too fre- regard to each whether he would be comquent vigorous scene would be a help in panionable, or glum, uncommunicative most of the intimate relations of life. It and frigid, at home; whether he would would serve at least to break out of the make himself a dictator in regard to rut of commonplace into which any con family affairs, so that his wife would feel stant companionship is liable to sink. All under constant restraint. Could she go the accumulating annoyances and vexa to the city for a day just because she was tions from small daily frictions could thus in the mood for it, without his wanting be swept away in one half hour and the to know the reason, and thinking she weather cleared for some time to come. had better take another day and another The difficulty is that it is an exceedingly train than she had planned ? Worse yet, delicate piece of business to conduct such would he insist upon going with her and a settlement in the right way. One side regulating the whole day's programme or the other is pretty sure to overdo the according to his own ideas? matter. In sultry weather a hard shower What turn do a man's speculations with some sharp thunder and lightning take with respect to the women he knows ? is refreshing, but you don't want a water Probably he wonders whether such a spout or a six weeks' pour.
woman is given to nagging, fretting, or It is a more prudent procedure, there worrying; whether she would be serene fore, unless reasonably confident of the and adequate to the situation when the discretion of the other party, to conduct cook leaves without warning; whether such a readjustment entirely by one's she would inflict all the particulars of self. In that way, while endeavoring in domestic annoyances upon her husband the presence of a friend to preserve an every day, and — and
Well, men outward demeanor aptly described by know best what they think. Scott's Pet Marjorie in the lines quoted But one of the greatest annoyances by Mr. Lang with such relish,
liable to be experienced from minds “She was more than usual calm,
arises from having one that is a misfit. She did not give a single dam,"
There is a disagreeable incongruity about I have been freely applying to the un an old head on young shoulders. We all conscious object of my wrath the entire know people who were old in character alphabet of abusive terms at my com and tastes from the time they were born ; mand, ranging from anaconda, beast and and very tedious they usually are, too. crocodile, to zebra. After further going But the contrary of this is still worse. It on to declare mentally to the person be- is positively mortifying to have a mind fore me that I despise, detest, loathe, and which totally ignores birthdays, and finds hate him or her, as the case may be, the its delight in pastimes it should have outatmosphere will be decidedly fresher and grown. It is decorous to retain an ina pleasant friendly feeling restored. terest in the enjoyments of youth, but it
is highly undignified to have a fondness
“Dizzy always wants plenty for them yourself after the season for of lights,” said his attentive wife. He them is past. My mind has shown most lived in full glare. A set biography could alarming symptoms in this direction. bring out little from dark corners. The Already it is a good ten years behind its Disraeli tradition has grown up, and we age. What a prospect if it should con are entitled to say of it, with the prince tinue to lag! Imagine getting into the in Richard III:sixties and being disgraced in the eyes
“But say, my lord, it were not registered, of all who know you by a mind that still Methinks the truth should live from age to age, lingered in the thirties! Does any one As 't were retailed to all posterity, know of a remedy for such a case ?
Even to the general all-ending day.” Such a book as Wilfrid Meynell's Men will have their stubborn theories, Tradition and about Disraeli? makes one of hero or villain, in real life, and so Biography. doubt whether a formal bio- they will in biography. What an idea graphy has, after all, so great an advan of tenacious conviction one gets, for extage over tradition in fixing the reputa- ample, from Mr. Meynell's account of tion of a man who has lived long in full Nathaniel Basevi, Disraeli's cousin. Earview of the public. It is one contrastly in his political career, when he was more between the great rivals. Mr. hard pressed for money, as, indeed, he Morley's copious illustration of Glad- long was, Disraeli had applied to his stone appeared nearly at the same time uncle, Mr. George Basevi, for a loan. that we learned of Lord Rowton's death. The father called son Nathaniel into He was Disraeli's literary executor, and counsel, and the two determined that the for twenty years it had been supposed flighty political adventurer, as they dethat the official life of his chief would cided he was, had no real security to come from him. But he is gone; and offer. Accordingly, the request for an except for a handful of what Americans advance met a peremptory refusal. Very would call “campaign” biographies of well ; uncles had been hard-hearted and Disraeli, along with the personal detail cousins incredulous before. But note and pleasant gossip that Mr. Meynell what followed. Years later, the Right has now given us in his disconnected Honorable Benjamin Disraeli, Prime narrative, we have no documented record Minister of England, was at Torquay, of his career. Yet what figure could where Mr. Nathaniel Basevi was living stand out with more individual distinct- in retirement. To this Israelite, indeed, ness in the history of his time? Could in whom there was no giving in, it was the most elaborate written life do more intimated that his distinguished kinsman than expand or deepen the impression would be glad to receive bim, letting of him that intelligent students of the bygones be bygones. But the stout old English politics of his day have already gentleman would not budge. He was formed? His novels and speeches and not dazzled. Once an adventurer, alepigrams, with the report of him that ways an adventurer, whether starveling thousands bore away from personal con- aspirant or triumphant Premier. The tact, have etched a character which, we cousin would neither call upon him, nor may be sure, no amount of recovered
be called upon by him. How could Lord letters or diaries could present with fun Rowton possibly have converted this damental difference. Color and body sturdy skeptic? might be added, but the great outlines Jowett's theory of Disraeli was less
1 Benjamin Disraeli. An Unconventional simple or rigorous. He wrote to Sir Biography. By WILFRID MEYNELL. New
R. B. D. Morier in 1878: “ Dizzy is a York : D. Appleton & Co. 1903.
curious combination of the Archpriest