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loose, and so on, which is very comfort- and you were afraid about her too. We able and gratifying. I fancy the fact could n't get you to take us upstairs that they are not marked is due to in her house; the farthest we could get your genial method of diffusing your was her drawing-room, and we felt that Humor in even quantities throughout even that was musty. You as good as your books; so that one huge nail-mark said that
said that you didn't care to investigate; would be needed. Or it may
be that we
the fine profile was enough; and, like (Society and the Lower Classes alike) Hans Andersen's Elfin Maiden, poor are most inclined to mark passages that Lavinia could n't turn around, because appeal to our sentiment. We read aloud she was hollow behind. the funny ones, but put a little mark Somebody has told me that you lack by the others. Do you remember what form, meaning (upon pressure) a cerSudermann's Princess says of her ideal tain kind of hanging togetherness that woman? - A quiet, peaceful woman we inherit from the Works of the Anwho would treasure a secret little joy cients, who wrote no novels. (This like the apple of her eye, who would again seems — But no matter.) It is know nothing of the world except what true that you often work havoc with she wanted to know, and who would Time, and skip us over relentlessly from have the strength to make her own one period of the Plot to another and choice when it pleased her. I have then back, like little girls (boys can't marked that; and I haven't marked any do it) who jump the rope and cry ‘Fastof your books. But it is a case of not er,' and call for Pepper, Salt, and VineCæsar more, nor Rome more. As I said, gar. Intervals of weeks are nothing to you are all spread out, like Honey over you, and we hate to think of the wella generous slice of bread, for fear that meaning, conscientious persons whom some one might get an unsweetened you have mixed up: one saying, 'Was bite. And sometimes your ether is so this before his father died?' and the fine an essence that all who read may other saying 'No, after,' and both havnot breathe. I am quite sure that there ing to get out the book and look it up, are some passages that my cousin and neither being satisfied that the other Sarah, who dotes upon your works, was right after all. But these readers has n't fathomed at all, – just skipped. are of the kind to be late for breakfast It all depends upon one's sense of the and say it was the fault of the clock, Inappropriate — the delicately Inap- when they had never wound it at all propriate. Not Malapropisms: some- and knew perfectly well that they thing far more delicate than that. And had n't; and you know that they never your funny things never snigger at do hear the alarm anyway: in other themselves; which some very funny words, incompetent and unreliable witthings of other Authors are unable to nesses, and therefore subject to disresist doing.
missal at pleasure. We like you very much, Mr.De Mor- But to continue: it was Unity of gan; and we hope that you will not stop. Form, I believe, that I was told you We like your beery parties too; there were lacking in. For the purposes of are not many of them, by the way, argument, we are willing to admit the that are not . Somehow Good.' When skin of the offense; but a deeper conpeople are so bad as to be horrid, you sideration will discover nothing wrong. refuse to be intimate with them. Take You have, it seems, scorned to be palLavinia Straker, for example. We are pably consecutive; and in this we disterribly afraid that she is Nohow Good; cern conformity with a higher ideal of
Unity. Discarding curls, patches, high Editor would favor such a treatment? heels, and gewgaws in general, - dis- (This is an important question.) It carding even a limb or so and no end seems so much more natural to speak of fingers and toes if necessary, - you to you in terms of yourself. infuse us at once into the circulation Pardon being granted, I conclude of the Corpus Humanum, so that we without more ado that I may be so permay pass through the Heart, and feel sonal as to tell you that your books are how healthily it throbs, and testify to a strong justification of fiction. For the fact that the Liver is living too high unless one is a Great Mathematical and the Lights are dull. For the Cor. Genius, or a Student of Old French, or pus Humanum is not in good working a Biblical Critic, or something else excondition; oh dear, no! But the Heart tremely wonderful in some particular is there, and things will probably mend, Line that wipes out all others (a Line and at any rate we are right there and being granted for this special case the can see for ourselves. This stripping unusual property of wiping out) - unprocess resolves itself into a sort of in- less one is something unspeakably Sunocent nudity suggestive of Ancient perior, one ought not to do without Art (I am glad that we managed to fiction. I have seen people of more than reach back to the Ancients somehow; average culture who went in for serious they do lend respectability) and makes reading, – as if anything could be for a Unity of its own. Simplici myrto more serious than a Problem Novel! nihil allabores; throw away the rose- and who ended by drying up. Perhaps crowns and let us look at these things they would have dried up at any rate; quietly and sanely. And sedulous you but I am convinced that a little wellare, too, in your own way and with your chosen fiction would have renewed their own materials; even if seeming to flout sap and made them Human — which Old Father Time and a few other indis- is something we are all supposed to be, pensable things, none of which matter but are not. I will go further than sayin the least.
ing that your books are full of wisdom, A Letter to a Dead Author is con- and say (may I drop the trick, being sidered no offense (I add wisely, in in- in earnest?) that you yourself must be tention; we all admire Cæsar and he very wise. You have fared through is none the worse), and the pardon of a the first stage of existence, which reLiving Author should be freely granted fuses to be crushed by the knowledge to one who tries to approach him on of Death; and are bra vely on in the his own ground: keeping by necessity last, which will not be overpowered by strictly to the edges, and approaching the knowledge of Life. You have looked only in so far as may be done by sub- for honey, and have found it in the carstituting periods where semi-colons are cass of the lion: and after long gazing looked for, and semi-colons for periods; upon Death, the rose has seemed of a by avoiding any too precise balance of more tender pink. phrase or too pedantic cast of thought; All of this I infer in you: and you and by not trying to frighten away have put it into Fiction and made it a average readers. It is not out of place part of History. For Fiction is indeed to put it to you frankly: would you History, not of fact, but of the imaginrather be written to and told that you ation. It relates and shows not only had a high ethical sense of the under- what has happened, but what may at lying good in humanity; or would any time happen; and is the mirror you not? And do you think that the wherein each man may see reflected
his countenance, his manners, and often denied them in public. In this private his moral life. Fortunate is the nation council alone are we willing to be centhat possesses a fiction in which this sured for past errors, and to pledge our last is portrayed. Civilization beholds manhood to renewed efforts. Such is itself at arm's length, and may judge the power of the literature of the imagof the justice and the wretchedness of ination. The dilettante may forever its virtues. Here may our vices wear smear his canvas with leering rakes and other men's garments, and preach to smirking virgins: one figure lovingly us in the inner region where we secretly outlined by the master's hand speaks admit them after having indignantly eternally to the world.
BY ELIZABETH ROBINS PENNELL
My windows command the Quarter, proached by tunnels so picturesque and what they do not overlook, Au- that Géricault made a lithograph of one gustine does.
when he was in London, so murderous Some people might think there could that to this day they are infested with not be much to overlook, for the Quar- police who greet you with a flashing ter is as quiet and secluded as the old bull's-eye. Altogether, the Quarter is Inns of Court. J. likes to boast that a 'shy place,' full of traps for the unif he is in London he is not of it, and wary. I have had friends, coming to that he lives the simple life with Char- see me for the first time, lose theming Cross just round the corner. selves in our underground maze; I have
The 'full tide of existence' sweeps known the crowd, pouring from the by, seldom overflowing into the Quar- Strand on Lord Mayor's Day, to get ter, which is one of the most difficult hopelessly entangled in our network; places in all the town to find, for those but, as a rule, nobody penetrates into who do not know the way. Only two it except on business or by chance. streets lead directly into it from any- For all that, there is a good deal to where, and they lead directly nowhere see in the Quarter. It is never dull, as out of it again; nor do the thousands I watch it from my high windows. To who pass in the near Strand as much the front I look out on the Thames: as see the dirty courts and dark alleys down to St. Paul's, up to Westminster, which are my short cuts, much less opposite to Surrey, and, on a clear day, the underground passages which serve as far as the hills. Trains rumble the same purpose -- the mysterious across the bridges, trams screech and labyrinth of carpenters' shops and clang along the Embankment, tugs, warehouses and vast wine-cellars, grim pulling their line of black barges, and fantastic and unbelievable as Ali whistle and snort on the river. The Baba and the whole Arabian Nights, tide brings with it the smell of the sea burrowed under the Quarter, and ap- and, in winter, the great white flight of
gulls. At night, myriads of lights come do not know how many more chapters out; and always, at all hours and sea- in Modern Painters had he lived in the sons, there is a sense of movement and Quarter. of life: always I seem to feel the pulse Behind our collection of tumbled of London, even as I have its roar in roofs and gables awry, the sun — al
ways provided there is a sun - sets To the east I look down to streets with a dramatic gorgeousness that, if of houses black with London grime, it were only in any remote part of the still stately in their old-fashioned world, the Londoner would spare
himshabbiness, as old as the eighteenth self no time nor trouble to see; but becentury, which I have read somewhere cause it is in London it remains a means the beginning of the world for spectacle for us to enjoy by ourselves. an American like myself.
And the wonder grows with the night; To the west, I tower over a wilder- the river, with its vague distances and ness of chimney-pots, for our house is romantic glooms and starlike lights, built on the edge of a hill, not very losing itself in mystery, and mystery high, though the London horse mis- lurking in the little old streets with takes it for an Alpine pass, but high their dark spectral mass of houses, enough to lift our walls on this side, broken by one or two spaces of flat sheer and cliff-like, above an amazing white wall, and always in the distance collection of tumbled, weather-worn, the clubs and hotels, now castles and red-tiled roofs and crooked gables stick- cathedrals, and the white tapering ing out at unexpected angles, that ghost pointing heavenward. With so date back I am not to be bullied by stupendous a spectacle arranged for facts into saying how far, and that my benefit, is it any marvel that much stretch away, range upon range, to of my time is spent at my window? loftier houses beyond; they, in their And how can I help it if, when I am turn, overshadowed by the hotels and there, I see many things besides the clubs on the horizon, and, in among beauty that lured us to the Quarter them, an open space with the spire of and keeps us in it? St. Martin's-in-the-Fields springing up Hundreds of windows look over into out of it, white and beautiful by day, mine; some so far off that they are a pale shadow by night — our ghost, mere glittering spots on a rampart of we call it.
high walls in the daylight, mere dots And most wonderful of all is the ex- or points of light after dusk; some alpanse of sky above and around us, in- ways as carefully curtained as if the stead of the tiny strip framed in by the ‘Drawn Blinds' or 'Green Shutters' narrow street, which is the usual share of romance had not stranger things of the Londoner. We could see the su to hide from the curious. But others rise every morning behind St. Paul's, are too near and too unveiled for what if we were up in time, and of course if goes on behind them to escape the there were a sun every morning in most discreet. In what does go on London to rise. Over the river, when there is infinite variety, for the Quarter, fog and mist do not envelop it as in like the Inns of Court, is let out in ofa shroud, the clouds, the big, low, fices and chambers and flats, and the heavy English clouds, float and drift house that shelters but one tenant is the and scurry and whirl and pile them- exception, if indeed it exists. All these selves into mountains with a splendor windows, and the people I see through that might have inspired Ruskin to I them, have become as much a part of my view as the trains and the trams, Companies, Associations, and I know the taxis and the tugs.
not what, that undertake the charge of I should think the last days of the everything under the sun, from AnQuarter were at hand if, the first thing cient Buildings to Women's Freedom; in the morning, I did not find the or without the clubs, where long-haired printer hard at work at his window men and Liberty-gowned women meet under one of the little gables below; to drink tea and dabble in anarchy, or if, the last thing at night, I missed where more responsible citizens profrom the attic next door to him, the pose to re-fashion the world and manlamp of the artist, who never gets up kind, and, incidentally, British poliuntil everybody else is going to bed; tics; where, in a word, philanthropists or if, at any hour I looked over, people of every pattern fill the very air of the were not playing cards in the first-floor Quarter with reform, until my escape windows of the house painted white, from degenerating into a reformer deor frowsy women were not leaning out spite myself seems a daily miracle, and of the little garret windows above, or the sham Bohemianism of the one Club the typewriter were not clicking hard willing to let the rest of the world take in the window with the white muslin care of itself becomes almost a virtue. curtains and the pot of flowers, or the It is probably the seclusion, the manicurist not receiving her clients be- cloistral repose, of the Quarter that hind the window with the disreput- attracts the student and the scholar. able yellow blinds. I should regret even Up at my windows, the busy bee would the fiery, hot-tempered little woman be given points in the art of improving who jumps out of the roof window each shining hour. In every direction immediately below us, like a jack-in- I turn I am so edified by the example the-box, and shakes her fist at us of hard work that I long for the luxury every time Augustine shakes those un- of being shocked by idleness. Behind fortunate rugs which are perpetually the window I look down into, at right getting us into trouble with our neigh- angles from the studio, the Scientist bors. I should think the picture in- in white apron, superintending a litter complete if, of an evening, the ‘diners- of bottles and retorts and microscopes, out' were to disappear from behind is
is always industriously examining the windows of the big hotel, though germs, oblivious to everything outside nothing makes me more uncomfort- which for too long meant, among ably conscious of the strangely mingled other things, the shower of soft white monster' that London is, than the ashes and the evil greasy smoke and contrast between them lingering over the noxious odors sent up by the germs the day's fourth banquet, and the long through his chimneys into our studio; ; black ‘hunger line' forming of a winter nor could the polite representations of morning just beside Cleopatra's Needle our agent that he was a public nuisand waiting in dreary patience for the ance rouse him from his indifference. daily dole of bread and soup.
It was only when J. protested, with I cannot imagine the Quarter with- an American energy effective in Engout actors and actresses in possession land, that the germs ceased to trouble of dozens of its windows, the attraction us and I could bear unmoved the sight to them less its associations with Gar- of the white-aproned Scientist at his rick than its convenient proximity to window. the principal theatres; or without the In the new house with the flat roof Societies, Institutes, Leagues, Bureaus, the Inventor has his office, and I am