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Impressions And Comments by Havelock Ellis

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all prepossessions, to lie open to the Divine mystery they are
approaching, as the mystic lies open to his Divine mystery, to wait
patiently as every page of the physical and spiritual history is turned
over, to penetrate slowly to the most remote and intimate secrets of
personality, even those that the surface shows no indication of, that have
never been uttered or known--until at last the Illumination comes and the
Meaning is clear.

How few among the general run of us, medical or lay, have yet learnt to
deal thus reverently with Human Beings! Here are these things, Men, Women,
and Children, infinitely fascinating and curious in every curve and
function of their bodies and souls, with the world set in the heart of
each of them, indeed whole Immortalities and Cosmoses, of which one may
sometimes catch glimpses, with amazement if not indeed with amusement, and
such a holy awe as Dostoeffsky felt when in moments of revelation he saw
by some sudden gleam into the hearts of the criminals around him in
Siberia--and what do we do with them? Tie up their souls in official red
tape and render their bodies anaemic with clothes, distort them in
factories or slay them on battlefields. The doctor is herein the New
Mystic at whose feet all must patiently learn the Revelation of Humanity.
When there is not quite so much Mankind in the world, and what remains is
of better quality, we may perhaps begin to see that a new task lies before
Religion, and that all the patient study which men devoted to the
Revelation that seemed to them held in the Text of the Bible is but a
feeble symbol of the Revelation held in the Text of Men and Women, of whom
all the Bibles that ever were merely contain the excretions. It is indeed
exactly on that account that we cannot study Bibles too devoutly.

So before each New Person let us ejaculate internally that profound and
memorable saying: "I study you as I study the Bible."

_September_ 18.--The approach to the comprehension of any original
personality, in art or in philosophy, is slow but full of fascination.
One's first impulse, I have usually found, is one of tedious indifference,
followed by rejection, probably accompanied with repugnance. In this
sphere the door which opens at a touch may only lead into a hovel. The
portal to a glorious temple may be through a dark and dreary narthex, to
be traversed painfully, it may be on one's knees, a passage only
illuminated in its last stages by exhilarating bursts of light as the door
ahead momentarily swings open.

When Jules de Gaultier sent me on publication his first book _Le
Bovarysme_, I glanced through it with but a faint interest and threw it
aside. (I had done the same some years before, perhaps as stupidly, who
knows? with the _Matiere et Memoire_ of the rival philosopher who has
since become so magnificently prosperous in the world.) The awkward and
ill-chosen title offended me, as it offends me still, and Gaultier had
then scarcely attained the full personal charm of his grave, subdued, and
reticent style. But another book arrived from the same author, and yet
another, and I began to feel the attraction of this new thinker and to
grasp slowly his daring and elusive conception of the world. Here, one
remarks, is where the stupid people who are slow of understanding have
their compensation in the end. For whereas the brilliant person sees so
much light at his first effort that he is apt to be content with it, the
other is never content, but is always groping after more, perhaps to come
nearer to the Great Light at last.

For Gaultier the world is a spectacle. We always conceive ourselves other
than we are (that is the famous "Bovarism"), we can never know the world
as it is. The divine creative principle is Error. All the great dramatists
and novelists have unconsciously realised this in the sphere of
literature; Flaubert consciously and supremely realised it. In life also
the same principle holds. Life is a perpetual risk and danger, the
perpetual toss of a die which can never be calculated, a perpetual
challenge to high adventure. But it is only in Art that the solution of
Life's problems can be found. Life is always immoral and unjust. It is Art
alone which, rising above the categories of Morality, justifies the pains
and griefs of Life by demonstrating their representative character and
emphasising their spectacular value, thus redeeming the Pain of Life by

It is along this path that Jules de Gaultier would lead by the hand those
tender and courageous souls who care to follow him.

_September_ 19.--Imbecility is the Enemy, and there are two tragic shapes
of Imbecility which one meets so often, and finds so disheartening,
perhaps not indeed hopeless, not beyond the power even of Training, to say
nothing of Breeding, to better.

There is that form of Imbecility which shows itself in the inability to
see any person or any thing save in a halo of the debased effluvium which
the imbecile creature himself exudes, and in the firm conviction--that is
where the Imbecility comes in--that the halo pertains not to himself but
to the object he gazes at. Law, necessary as it is, powerfully aids these
manifestations, and the Policeman is the accepted representative of this
form of Imbecility. It is a sad form, not only because it is so common,
and so powerfully supported, but because it effectually destroys the
finest blossoms of human aspiration on the pathway to any more beautiful
life. It is the guardian against us of the Gate of Paradise. If the
inspired genius who wrote the delightful book of _Genesis_ were among us
to-day, instead of two cherubim with flaming swords, he would probably
have placed at the door of his Eden two policemen with truncheons. Nothing
can be lovelier, more true to the spiritual fact, than the account in the
Gospel of the angel Gabriel's visit to the Virgin Mary; it represents the
experience of innumerable women in all ages, and on that account it has
received sanctification for ever. It was an incident described by a saint
who was also a poet. But imagine that incident described by a policeman,
and one shudders. So long as the policeman's special form of Imbecility
triumphs in the world, there will be no Paradise Regained.

But there is another shape in which Imbecility is revealed, scarcely less
fatal though it is of the reverse kind. It is the Imbecility of those
young things who, themselves radiating innocence and fragrance,
instinctively cast a garment of their own making round every object that
attracts them, however foul, and never see it for what it is, until too
late, and then, with their illusion, their own innocence and fragrance
have also gone. For this kind of Imbecility erects a fortress for the Evil
in the world it could by a glance strike dead.

In the one case, as in the other, it is Intelligence which is at fault,
the enlightened brain, the calm and discerning eye that can see things for
what they are, neither debasing nor exalting them. The clear-sighted eye
in front of the enlightened brain--there can be no Imbecility then. Only
the Diseases of the Soul which Reason can never cure.

From these two shapes of Imbecility one would like to see a delivering
Saviour arise.

_September_ 24.--The act of bathing in the sea, rightly considered, is a
sacred act, and is so recognised in many parts of the world. It should not
be made as commonplace as a mere hygienic tubbing, nor be carried out by a
crowd of clothed persons in muddy water. No profane unfriendly eye should
be near, the sun must be bright, the air soft, the green transparent sea
should ripple smoothly over the rocks, as I see it below me now, welling
rhythmically into rock-basins and plashing out with a charge of bubbling
air and a delicious murmur of satisfied physiological relief. Enter the
sea in such a manner, on such a day, and the well-tempered water greets
the flesh so lovingly that it opens like a flower with no contraction of
hostile resistance. The discomforting sensation of the salt in the
nostrils becomes a delightful and invigorating fragrance as it blends with
the exhilaration of this experience. So to bathe is more than to bathe. It
is a rite of which the physical delight is a symbol of the spiritual
significance of an act of Communion with Nature, to be stored up with
one's best experiences of Fine Living.

_September_ 27.--It is a soft, wet Cornish day, and as I sit in the
garden, sheltered from the rain, there floats back to memory a day, two
months ago at Ripoll, when I wandered in the wonderful and beautiful
cloisters, where every capital is an individual object of fascinating
study, still fresh after so many centuries, and not a footstep ever
disturbed my peace.

Nothing so well evidences the fine utility of monasticism as the invention
of the cloister. In a sense it was the centre of monastic life, so that
monastery and cloister are almost synonymous terms. No peasant-born monk
of the West, in the carol of his cloister, had occasion to envy the King
of Granada his Court of the Lions. Fresh air, the possibility of movement,
sunshine in winter and shade in summer, the vision of flowers, the
haunting beauty of the well in the centre, and the exhilarating spring of
the arches all around, the _armaria_ of books at hand, and silence--such
things as these are for every man who thinks and writes the essentials of
intellectual living. And every cloister offered them. Literature has smelt
unpleasantly of the lamp since cloisters were no longer built, and men
born for the cloister, the Rousseaus and the Wordsworths and the
Nietzsches, wandered homelessly among the hills, while to-day we seek any
feeble substitute for the cloister wherein to work at leisure in the free
air of Nature, and hear the song of the birds and the plash of the rain at
one's feet.

_September_ 30.--When I pass through the little Cornish valley there is
one tree on which my eye always dwells. It is of no greater size than many
other trees in the valley, nor even, it may be to a casual glance, of any
marked peculiarity; one might say, indeed, that in this alien environment,
so far from its home on the other side of the world, it manifests a
certain unfamiliar shyness, or a well-bred condescension to the
conventions of the English floral world. Yet, such as it is, that tree
calls up endless pictures from the recesses of memory, of the beautiful
sun-suffused land where the Eucalyptus in all its wonderful varieties,
vast and insolent and solemn and fantastic, is lord of the floral land,
and the Mimosa, with the bewitching loveliness that aches for ever at
one's heart, is the lady of the land.

So I walk along the Cornish valley in a dream, and once more kangaroos
bound in slow, great curves down the hills, and gay parrakeets squabble on
the ground, and the soft grey apple-gums slumber in the distance, and the
fragrance of the wattles is wafted in the air.

_October_ 2.--If this Cornish day were always and everywhere October, then
October would never be a month to breed melancholy in the heart, and I
could enter into the rapture of De Regnier over this season of the year.
It would, indeed, be pleasant to think of October as a month when, as
to-day, the faint northeasterly wind is mysteriously languorous, and the
sun burns hot even through misty clouds, and the dim sea has all the soft
plash of summer, and from the throats of birds comes now and again a
liquid and idle note which, they themselves seem to feel, has no function
but the delight of mere languid contentment, and the fuchsia tree casts a
pool of crimson blossoms on the ground while yet retaining amid its deep
metallic greenery a rich burden of exotic bells, to last maybe to
Christmas. If this is indeed October as Nature made October, then we might
always approach Winter in the same mood as, if we are wise, we shall
always approach Death.

_October_ 6.--The Russian philosopher Schestoff points out that while we
have to be reticent regarding the weaknesses of ordinary men, we can
approach the great with open eyes and need never fear to give their
qualities the right names. "How simply and quietly the Gospel reports that
in one night the Apostle Peter denied his Master thrice! And yet that has
not hindered mankind from building him a magnificent temple in Rome, where
untold millions have reverently kissed the feet of his statue, and even
to-day his representative is counted infallible."

It is a pregnant observation that we might well bear in mind when we
concern ourselves with the nature and significance of genius. I know
little about St. Peter's claim to genius. But at least he is here an
admirable symbol. That is how genius is made, and, it is interesting to
note, how the popular mind realises that genius is made; for the creators
of the Gospels, who have clearly omitted or softened so much, have yet
emphatically set forth the bald record of the abject moral failure in the
moment of decisive trial of the inappropriately named Rock on which Christ
built His Church. And Peter's reputation and authority remain supreme to
this day.

James Hinton was wont to dwell on the weakness of genius, as of a point of
least resistance in human nature, an opening through which the force of
Nature might enter the human world. "Where there is nothing there is God,"
and it may be that this weakness is no accident but an essential fact in
the very structure of genius. Weakness may be as necessary to the man of
genius as it is unnecessary to the normal man.

Our biographers of genius are usually futile enough on all grounds, even
in the record of the simplest biological data, as in my own work I have
had sad occasion to experience. But at no point are they so futile as in
toning down, glozing over, or altogether ignoring all those immoralities,
weaknesses, defects, and failures which perhaps are the very Hallmark of
Genius. They all want their Peters to look like real rocks. And on such
rocks no churches are built.

_October_ 13.--I wish that people would be a little more cautious in the
use of the word "Perfection." Or else that they would take the trouble to
find out what they mean by it. One grows tired of endless chatter
concerning the march of Progress towards Perfection, and of the assumption
underlying it that Perfection--as usually defined--is a quality which any
one need desire in anything.

If Perfection is that which is most beautiful and desirable to us, then it
is something of which an essential part is Imperfection.

That is clearly so in relation to physical beauty. A person who is without
demonstrable defect of beauty--some exaggeration of proportion, some
visible flaw--leaves us cold and indifferent. The flaw or the defect may
need to be of some special kind or quality to touch us individually, but
still it is needed. The absence of flaw in beauty is itself a flaw. As I
write my eye falls on a plate of tomatoes. The tense and smoothly curved
red fruits with their wayward green stalks lie at random on a blue dish of
ancient pattern. They are beautiful. Yet each fruit has conspicuously on
it a fleck of reflected light. Looked at in itself, each fleck is ugly, a
greyish patch which effaces the colour it rests on. Yet the brilliant
beauty of these fruits is largely dependent on those flecks of light. So
it is with some little mole on the body of a beautiful woman, or a
mutinous irregularity in the curve of her mouth, or some freak in the
distribution of her hair.

There are some people willing to admit that Perfection is a useless
conception in relation to physical beauty, and yet unwilling to believe
that it is equally useless in the moral sphere. Yet in the moral world
also Imperfection is essential to beauty and desire. What we are pleased
to consider Perfection of character is perhaps easier to attain than
Perfection of body. But, not on that account alone, it is equally
unattractive. The woman who seems a combination of unalloyed virtues is as
inadequate as the woman who is a combination of smooth physical
perfections. In the moral world, indeed, the desired Imperfection needs to
be dynamic and shifting rather than static and fixed, because virtues are
contradictory. Modesty and Courage, for instance, do not sort well
together at the same moment. Men have rhapsodied much on the modesty of
woman, but a woman who was always modest would be as insipid as a woman
who was always courageous would be repellent. An incalculable and dynamic
combination of Shyness and Daring is at the core of a woman's fascination.
And the same relationship binds the more masculine combination of Justice
and Generosity.

Why should we pretend any more that the world is on the road to
Perfection? Or that we want it to be? The world is in perpetual
oscillation. Let us be thankful for every inspiring revelation of a New

_October_ 23.--There has been much discussion over Flaubert's views of the
artist's attitude towards his own work--how far the artist stands outside
his own work, and how far he is himself the stuff of his work--and I see
that Mr. Newbolt has been grappling again with that same problem. Yet
surely it is hardly a problem. Flaubert, we are told, contradicted himself
in those volumes of _Correspondance_ which have seemed to some (indeed
what has Flaubert written that has not seemed to some?) the most
fascinating and profoundly interesting part of his work. The artist must
be impersonal, he insisted, and yet St. Anthony is Flaubert, and he
himself said, "Madame Bovary, c'est moi." He contradicted himself. Well,
what then? "Do I contradict myself?" he might have asked with Whitman.
"Very well, then, I contradict myself." The greatest of literary artists,
we may rest assured, had the clearest vision of the haven for which he was
sailing. But he was bound for a port which few mariners have ever come
near, and he knew that the wind was ever in his teeth. It was only by
taking a course that was a constant series of zigzags, it was only by
perpetually tacking, that he could ever hope to come into harbour. He was
not, therefore, the less acutely aware of his precise course. He was
merely adopting the most strictly scientific method of navigation. The
fluctuating judgments which Flaubert seems to pronounce on the aim of the
artist all represent sound approximations to a complete truth which no
formula will hold. No sailor on this sea ever sailed more triumphantly
into port. That seems to settle the matter.

_October_ 24.--At the crowded concert this evening I found a seat at the
back of the orchestra, and when a singer came on to sing the "Agnus Dei"
of Bach's Mass in B Minor I had the full view of her back, her dress, cut
broad and low, fully showing her shoulder-blades. I thus saw that, though
the movements of her arms were slight, yet as she sang the long drawn-out
sighs, rising and falling, of the "Miserere," the subdued loveliness of
the music was accompanied by an unceasing play of the deltoid and
trapezius muscles. It was a perpetual dance of all the visible muscles, in
swelling and sinking curves, opening out and closing in, rising and
falling and swaying, a beautifully expressive rhythm in embodiment of the

One sees how it was that the Greeks, for whom the whole body was an
ever-open book, could so train their vision to its vivid music (has not
Taine indeed said something to this effect in his travel notes in Southern
Italy?) that when they came to carve reliefs for their Parthenon, even to
represent the body in seeming repose, they instinctively knew how to show
it sensitive, alive, as in truth it is, redeemed from grossness by the
exquisite delicacy of its mechanism at every point. People think that the
so-called _danse du ventre_ is an unnatural distortion, and in its
customary exaggerations so it is. But it is merely the high-trained and
undue emphasis of beautiful natural expression. Rightly considered, the
whole body is a dance. It is for ever in instinctive harmonious movement,
at every point exalted to unstained beauty, because at every moment it is
the outcome of vital expression that springs from its core and is related
to the meaning of the whole. In our blind folly we have hidden the body.
We have denied its purity. We have ignored its vital significance. We pay
the bitter penalty. And I detect a new meaning in the wail of that

_October_ 29.--I am interested to hear that the latest theorists of
harmony in music are abandoning the notion that they must guide practice,
or that music is good or bad according as it follows, or fails to follow,
theoretical laws. One recalls how Beethoven in his lifetime was condemned
by the theorists, and how almost apologetically he himself referred at the
end to his own deliberate breaking of the rules. But now, it appears, the
musical theorists are beginning to realise that theory must be based on
practice and not practice on theory. The artist takes precedence of the
theorist, who learns his theories from observation of the artist, and when
in his turn he teaches, the artist is apt to prove dangerous. "In matters
of art," says Lenormand in his recent book on harmony, "it is dangerous to
learn to do as others do."

Now this interests me because it is in this spirit that I have always
contemplated the art of writing. This must be our attitude before the
so-called rules of grammar and syntax. Certainly one cannot be too
familiar with the rules, they cannot even be wisely broken unless they are
known, and we cannot be too familiar with the practice of those who have
gone before us. But the logic of thought takes precedence of the rules of
grammar, and syntax must ever be moulded afresh on the sensibility of the
individual writer. Only in so far as a man writes in this temper--the
resolute temper, as Thoreau said, of a man who is grasping an axe or a
sword--can he achieve the daring and the skill by which writing lives. To
be clear, to be exact, to be expressive, and so to be beautiful--that is
the writer's proper aim. The rules are good so far--but only so far--as
they help him to sail on the voyage towards his desired haven. Let him
sail warily, and if he miscalculates let him suffer shipwreck.

That is the really inviolable law of all the arts. How long will it be
before we understand that it is also the law of morality, the greatest art
of all, the Art of Living?

_November_ 5.--Surely an uncomfortable feeling must overcome many
excellent people when they realise--if that ever happens--the contrast
between their view of the world and that which prevailed in the ages most
apt for great achievement and abounding vitality. In the moral world of
to-day such didactic energy as men possess is concentrated into one long
litany of Thou Shalt Not.

May it be because the Tradesman has inherited the earth and stocked
Morality on his shelves? That he stocks no line of moral goods to which
the yard-measure cannot be applied? The Saints as well as the Sinners must
go empty away in a social state whose lordship has fallen to Hogarth's
Good Apprentice.

But that is not how Life is. In the moral world--so far as it is a world
of great achievement--the tape-measure is out of place. It is only the
Immeasurable that counts. And Life is not only Immeasurable but
magnificently inconsistent, even incomprehensible, to those who have not
the clue to its Divine Maze.

Think of the thirteenth century, the fourteenth, the fifteenth, the
sixteenth, and all that they achieved for humanity, and consider in what
surviving recesses of them you would find a place for the Moralists of the
Counter, who in their eagerness to open up new markets would cut the cloth
of the moral life not merely for themselves--that would matter to
nobody--but for mankind at large. There would have been no room for them
in the monasteries where, on first thought, we might be inclined to hide
them, notwithstanding the exaggerated love of rule which marked the
monastic mind, for that rule was itself based on a magnificent
extravagance, heroic even when it was not natural. There would have been
still less room for them in the churches, where the priests themselves
joined in the revels of the Feast of Fools, and the builders delighted to
honour God by carving on their temples, inside and outside, the images of
wildest licence, as we may still see here and there to-day. And as for the
ages of Humanism and the Renaissance, our moralists would have been
submerged in laughter. Look even at Boccaccio, a very grave scholar, and
see how in his stories of human life he serenely wove all that men thought
belonged to Heaven and all that they thought belonged to Hell into a
single variegated and harmonious picture.

Since then a strange blindness has struck men in the world we were born
into. There has been a Goethe, no doubt, a Wilhelm von Humboldt, a
Whitman. Men have scarcely noted them. Perhaps the responsibility in part
lies at the door of Protestantism. Unamuno remarks that Catholicism knew
little of that anxious preoccupation with sin, so destructive of heroic
greatness, which has gnawed at the vitals of the Protestantism which we
have inherited, if only in the form of a barren Freethought spreading its
influence far beyond Protestant lands.

Is this a clue to our Intellectual Anaemia and Spiritual Starvation?

_November_ 8.--In a letter of St. Bernard--the ardent theologian, the
relentless fanatic, the austere critic of the world and the flesh--to his
friend Rainald, the Abbot of Foigny, I come with surprised delight on a
quotation from "your favourite"--and it almost seems as though the Saint
had narrowly escaped writing "our favourite"--"your favourite Ovid." So
the Abbot of Foigny, amid the vexations and tribulations he felt so
bitterly, was wont to pore in his cell over the pages of Ovid.

The pages of Ovid, as one glances across them, are like a gay southern
meadow in June, variegated and brilliant, sweet and pensive and rather
luxuriant, and here and there even a little rank. Yet they are swept by
the air and the light and the rain of Nature, and so their seduction never
grew stale. During sixteen centuries, while the world was spiritually
revolutionised again and yet again, the influence of Ovid never failed; it
entered even the unlikeliest places. Homer might be an obscure forgotten
bard and Virgil become a fantastic magician, but Ovid, lifted beyond the
measure of his genius, was for ever a gracious and exalted Influence, yet
human enough to be beloved and with the pathos of exile clinging to his
memory, filling the dreams of fainting monks at the feet of the Virgin,
arousing the veneration of the Humanists, even inspiring the superb and
exuberant poets of the English Renaissance, Marlowe and Shakespeare and

It has sometimes seemed to me that if it were given to the ghosts of the
Great Dead to follow with sensitive eyes the life after life of their fame
on earth, there would be none, not even the greatest--to whom indeed the
vision could often bring only bitterness,--to find more reasonable ground
for prolonged bliss than Ovid.

_November_ 13.--I find myself unable to share that Pessimism in the face
of the world which seems not uncommon to-day. I suspect that the Pessimist
is often merely an impecunious bankrupt Optimist. He had imagined, in
other words, that the eminently respectable March of Progress was bearing
him onwards to the social goal of a glorified Sunday School. Horrible
doubts have seized him. Henceforth, to his eyes, the Universe is shrouded
in Black.

His mistake has doubtless been to emphasise unduly the notion of Progress,
to imagine that any cosmic advance, if such there be, could ever be made
actual to our human eyes. There was a failure to realise that the
everlasting process of Evolution which had obsessed men's minds is
counterbalanced by an equally everlasting process of Involution. There is
no Gain in the world: so be it: but neither is there any Loss. There is
never any failure to this infinite freshness of life, and the ancient
novelty is for ever renewed.

We realise the world better if we imagine it, not as a Progress to Prim
Perfection, but as the sustained upleaping of a Fountain, the pillar of a
Glorious Flame. For, after all, we cannot go beyond the ancient image of
Heraclitus, the "Ever-living Flame, kindled in due measure and in the like
measure extinguished." That translucent and mysterious Flame shines
undyingly before our eyes, never for two moments the same, and always
miraculously incalculable, an ever-flowing stream of fire. The world is
moving, men tell us, to this, to that, to the other. Do not believe them!
Men have never known what the world is moving to. Who foresaw--to say
nothing of older and vaster events--the Crucifixion? What Greek or Roman
in his most fantastic moments prefigured our thirteenth century? What
Christian foresaw the Renaissance? Who ever really expected the French
Revolution? We cannot be too bold, for we are ever at the incipient point
of some new manifestation far more overwhelming than all our dreams. No
one can foresee the next aspect of the Fountain of Life. And all the time
the Pillar of that Flame is burning at exactly the same height it has
always been burning at!

The World is everlasting Novelty, everlasting Monotony. It is just which
aspect you prefer. You will always be right.

_November_ 14.--"Life is a great bundle of little things." It is very many
years since I read that saying of Oliver Wendell Holmes, but there is no
saying I oftener have occasion to repeat to myself. There is the whole
universe to dream over, and one's life is spent in the perpetual doing of
an infinite series of little things. It is a hard task, if one loses the
sense of the significance of little things, the little loose variegated
threads which are yet the stuff of which our picture of the universe is

I admire the wisdom of our ancestors who seem to have spent so much of
their time in weaving beautiful tapestries to hang on the walls of their
rooms, even though, it seems, they were not always careful that there
should be no rats behind the arras. So to live was to have always before
one the visible symbol of life, where every little variegated tag has a
meaning that goes to the heart of the universe. For each of these
insignificant little things of life stretches far beyond itself--like a
certain Impromptu of Schubert's, which begins as though it might be a
cradle song in a nursery and ends like the music of the starry sphere
which carries the world on its course.

_November_ 17.--It has long been a little puzzling to me that my feeling
in regard to the apple and the pear, and their respective symbolisms, is
utterly at variance with tradition and folklore. To the primitive mind the
apple was feminine and the symbol of all feminine things, while the pear
was masculine. To me it is rather the apple that is masculine, while the
pear is extravagantly and deliciously feminine. In its exquisitely
golden-toned skin, which yet is of such firm texture, in the melting
sweetness of its flesh, in its vaguely penetrating fragrance, in its
subtle and ravishing and various curves, even, if you will, in the
tantalising uncertainty as to the state of its heart, the pear is surely a
fruit perfectly endowed with the qualities which fit it to be regarded as
conventionally a feminine symbol. In the apple, on the other hand, I can
see all sorts of qualities which should better befit a masculine symbol.
But it was not so to the primitive mind.

I see now how the apparent clash has come about. It appears that Albertus
Magnus in the thirteenth century, accepting the ancient and orthodox view
of his time, remarked that the pear is rightly considered masculine
because of the hardness of its wood, the coarseness of its leaves, and the
close texture of its fruit. Evidently our pear has been developed away
from the mediaeval pear, while the apple has remained comparatively
stable. The careful cultivation of the apple began at an early period in
history; an orchard in mediaeval days meant an apple orchard. (One recalls
that, in the fourth century, the pear-tree the youthful St. Augustine
robbed was not in an orchard, and the fruit was "tempting neither for
colour nor taste," though, certainly, he says he had better at home.) The
apple for the men of those days was the sweetest and loveliest of the
larger fruits they knew; it naturally seemed to them the symbol of woman.
Here to-day are some pears of the primitive sort they sell in the Cornish
village street, small round fruits, dark green touched with brown in
colour, without fragrance, extremely hard, though as ripe as they ever
will be. This clearly is what Albertus Magnus meant by a pear, and one can
quite understand that he saw nothing femininely symbolic about it. As soon
as the modern pear began to be developed the popular mind at once seized
on its feminine analogies ("Cuisse-Madame," for instance, is the name of
one variety), and as a matter of fact all the modern associations of the
fruit are feminine. They seem first to be traceable about the sixteenth
century, and it was only then, I imagine, that the pear began to be
seriously cultivated. So the seeming conflict is harmonised.

The human mind always reasons and analogises correctly from the data
before it. Only because the data have changed, only because the data were
imperfect, can the reasoning seem to be astray. There is really nothing so
primitive, even so animal, as reason. It may plausibly, however unsoundly,
be maintained that it is by his emotions, not by his reason, that man
differs most from the beasts. "My cat," says Unamuno, who takes this view
in his new book _Del sentimiento tragico de la vida_, "never laughs or
cries; he is always reasoning."

_November_ 22.--I note that a fine scholar remarks with a smile that the
direct simplicity of the Greeks hardly suits our modern taste for

Yet there is obscurity and obscurity. There is, that is to say, the
obscurity that is an accidental result of depth and the obscurity that is
a fundamental result of confusion. Swinburne once had occasion to compare
the obscurity of Chapman with the obscurity of Browning. The difference
was, he said, that Chapman's obscurity was that of smoke and Browning's
that of lightning. One may surely add that smoke is often more beautiful
than lightning (Swinburne himself admitted Chapman's "flashes of high and
subtle beauty"), and that lightning is to our eyes by no means more
intelligible than smoke. If indeed one wished to risk such facile
generalisations, one might say that the difference between Chapman's
obscurity and Browning's is that the one is more often beautiful and the
other more often ugly. If one looks into the matter a little more closely,
it would seem that Chapman was a man whose splendid emotions were apt to
flare up so excessively and swiftly that their smoke was not all converted
into flame, while Browning was a man whose radically prim and conventional
ideas, heavily overladen with emotion, acquired the semblance of
profundity because they struggled into expression through the medium of a
congenital stutter--a stutter which was no doubt one of the great assets
of his fame. But neither Chapman's obscurity nor Browning's obscurity
seems to be intrinsically admirable. There was too much pedantry in both
of them and too little artistry. It is the function of genius to express
the Inexpressed, even to express what men have accounted the
Inexpressible. And so far as the function of genius is concerned, that man
merely cumbers the ground who fails to express. For we can all do that.
And whether we do it in modest privacy or in ten thousand published pages
is beside the point.

Yet, on the other hand, a superlative clearness is not necessarily
admirable. To see truly, according to the fine saying of Renan, is to see
dimly. If art is expression, mere clarity is nothing. The extreme clarity
of an artist may be due not to his marvellous power of illuminating the
abysses of his soul, but merely to the fact that there are no abysses to
illuminate. It is at best but that core of Nothingness which needs to be
enclosed in order to make either Beauty or Depth. The maximum of Clarity
must be consistent with the maximum of Beauty. The impression we receive
on first entering the presence of any supreme work of art is obscurity.
But it is an obscurity like that of a Catalonian Cathedral which slowly
grows luminous as one gazes, until the solid structure beneath is
revealed. The veil of its Depth grows first transparent on the form of Art
before our eyes, and then the veil of its Beauty, and at last there is
only its Clarity. So it comes before us like the Eastern dancer who slowly
unwinds the shimmering veil that floats around her as she dances, and for
one flashing supreme moment of the dance bears no veil at all. But without
the veil there would be no dance.

Be clear. Be clear. Be not too clear.

_November_ 23.--I see that Milton's attitude to the astronomy of his time,
a subject on which Dr. Orchard wrote an elaborate study many years ago, is
once more under discussion.

There is perhaps some interest in comparing Milton's attitude in this
matter to that of his daring and brilliant contemporary, Cyrano de
Bergerac. In reading the Preface which Lebret wrote somewhere about 1656
for his friend Cyrano's _Voyage dans la Lune_, written some years earlier,
I note the remark that most astronomers had then adopted the Copernican
system (without offence, as he is careful to add, to the memory of
Ptolemy) and Bergerac had introduced it into literature; it certainly
suited his genius and his purpose. As we know, Milton--who had once met
the blind Galileo and always venerated his memory--viewed Copernican
astronomy with evident sympathy, even in _Paradise Lost_ itself dismissing
the Ptolemaic cosmogony with contempt. Yet it is precisely on the basis of
that discredited cosmogony that the whole structure of _Paradise Lost_ is
built. Hence a source of worry to the modern critic who is disposed to
conclude that Milton chose the worse way in place of the better out of
timidity or deference to the crowd, though Milton's attitude towards
marriage and divorce might alone serve to shield him from any charge of
intellectual cowardice, and the conditions under which _Paradise Lost_ was
written could scarcely invite any appeal to the mob. This seems to me a
perverse attitude which entirely overlooks the essential point of the
case. Milton was an artist.

If Milton, having abandoned his earlier Arthurian scheme, and chosen in
preference these antique Biblical protagonists, had therewith placed them
on the contemporary cosmogonic stage of the Renaissance he would have
perpetrated, as he must have felt, a hideous incongruity of geocentric and
heliocentric conceptions, and set himself a task which could only work out
absurdly. His stage was as necessary to his drama as Dante's complicated
stage was necessary to his drama. We must not here recall the ancient
observation about "pouring new wine into old bottles." That metaphor is
excellent when we are talking of morals, and it was in the sphere of
morals it was meant to apply. But in the sphere of literary art it is the
reverse of the truth, as the poets of Vers Libres have sometimes found to
their cost. It was probably a very old bottle into which Homer poured his
new wine, and it was certainly a skin of the oldest at hand which
Cervantes chose for his _Quixote_.

In his attitude towards science Milton thus represents the artist's true
instinct. Science, mere concordance with the latest doctrine of the
moment, is nothing to the artist except in so far as it serves his ends.
It is just as likely to be a hindrance as a help, and Tennyson, however
true an artist, profited nothing by dragging into his verse a few scraps
of the latest astronomy. Art is in its sphere as supreme over fact as
Science in its sphere is supreme over fiction. The artist may play either
fast or loose with Science, and the finest artist will sometimes play

_November 24_.--The more one ponders over that attitude of comprehensive
acceptance towards life, on its spiritual and physical sides alike, which
marked the men of the Mediaeval and Renaissance Ages, the more one
realises that its temporary suppression was inevitable. The men of those
days were, one sees, themselves creating the instrument (what a marvellous
intellectual instrument Scholasticism forged!) which was to analyse and
destroy the civilisation they themselves lived in. Their fluid
civilisation held all the elements of life in active vital solution. They
left hard, definite, clear-cut crystals for us to deal with, separate,
immiscible, inharmonious substances. It was Progress, no doubt, as
Progress exists in our world. The men of those days were nearer to
Barbarism. They were also nearer to the Secret of Nature. Nowadays it is
only among men of genius--a Whitman, a Wagner, a Rodin, a Verlaine--that
the ancient secret has survived. Not indeed that it was universal even
among Renaissance men, not even when they were men of genius. If it is
true that, under the influence of Savonarola, Botticelli burnt his
drawings, he was false to the spirit of his age, touched by the spirit of
Progress before its time. Verlaine was nearer to the great secret when he
wrote _Sagesse_ and, at the same time, _Parallelement_.

When Lady Lugard was travelling in the Pacific she met a young Polynesian
of high birth who gravely told her, when asked about his proposed career
in life, that he had not yet decided whether to enter the Church or to
join a Circus. He was still sufficiently near to the large and beautiful
life of his forefathers to feel instinctively that there is no
contradiction between an athletic body and an athletic soul, that we may
enter into communion with Nature along the one road or the other road. He
knew that the union of these two avocations--which to our narrow eyes seem
incompatible--was needed to fulfil his ideal of complete and wholesome
human activity. That young Polynesian chief had in him the secret to
regenerate a world which has only a self-complacent smile for his faith.

It was evidently the great development of the geometrical, mathematical,
and allied sciences in the seventeenth century which completed the
submergence of the Mediaeval and Renaissance attitude towards morals.
There was no room for a biological conception of life in the seventeenth
century, unless it were among the maligned Jesuits. The morbid and
mathematical Pascal claimed to be an authority in morals. The Crystal had
superseded Life.

So it came about that Logic was introduced as the guide of morals; Logic,
which the Greeks regarded as an exercise for schoolboys; Logic, which in
Flaubert's _Tentation_ is the leader of the chorus of the Seven Deadly
Sins! That surprising touch of Flaubert's seems, indeed, a fine example of
the profound and apparently incalculable insight of genius. Who would have
thought to find in the visions of St. Anthony a clue to the disease of our
modern morality? Yet when the fact is before us there is nothing plainer
than the fatal analytic action of logic on the moral life. It is only when
the white light of life is broken up that the wild extravagance of colour
appears. It is only when the harmonious balance of the moral life is
overturned that the Deadly Sins, which in their due co-ordination are
woven into the whole texture of life, become truly damnable. Life says for
ever: "Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself." And
to such Morality Logic is fatally subversive. There can be no large and
harmonious and natural Morality when Logic is made to stand where it ought

Sooner or later the whirligig of time brings its revenges. We return to
the former age, on another plane, purged of its tyranny and of its
cruelty, it may well be, and with all sorts of new imperfections to
console us for the old imperfections we are forced to abandon.

One more turn of the Earthly Kaleidoscope. Who knows what it may bring?

_November_ 25.--In a novel by a distinguished writer, Madame
Delarue-Mardrus, I notice a casual reference to "the English love of
flowers." I am a little surprised to find this stated as a specifically
English characteristic. It seems more obvious to regard the love of
animals as peculiarly English, as it is regarded by the Freudian
physician, Maeder, who believes that the love of animals is the
lightning-rod along which the dangerously repressed emotions of the
English are conducted to earth through harmless channels. It is in Spain
that flowers seem to me more tenderly regarded by the people than
anywhere, the cherished companions of daily life, carefully cultivated on
every poorest balcony. Certainly in Paris one sees very conspicuously the
absence of the love of flowers; or, rather, one may say that for the
subtle and inventive children of the Ile de France the flower is
artificial, and what we call flowers are merely an insipid and subordinate
variety, "natural flowers," having their market in a remote and deserted
corner of the city, whereas in Barcelona the busiest and central part of
the city is the Rambla de las Flores.

The factors involved may well be two, one climatic, one racial: a climate
favourable or unfavourable to horticulture and a popular feeling attracted
or repelled by Nature. Both these factors may work in the same direction
in the Parisian love of artificial flowers and the Catalan love of natural
flowers, while in the parched land of Andalusia one factor alone seems to
keep alive the adoration of flowers. Lucie Delarue-Mardrus belongs to
Normandy, and perhaps the Norman traditions have been a little modified by
the dominant influence of the neighbouring Ile de France. Along this mild
and luxuriant Atlantic seaboard of France, so favourable to flowers, from
the Pyrenees northwards, there seems to me no intrinsic defect in the love
of flowers, which are everywhere cultivated and familiarly regarded. I
have noted, for instance, how constantly the hydrangea plant appears. In
churches for weddings in profusion, in Bordeaux, for example, and in
rooms, on the tables, again and again I have noted the fine taste which
selected for special reverence the hydrangea--that Chinese flower whose
penetrating loveliness is miraculously made out of forms so simple and
colour so effaced.

_November_ 26.--Kraepelin, one of the wisest and most far-sighted
physicians of to-day where the interpretation of insanity is concerned,
believes that Civilisation is just now favouring Degeneration. He
attributes an especially evil influence on mental health to our modern
tendency to limit freedom: the piling-up of burdens of all sorts, within
and without, on the exercise of the will.

This well accords with what I have noted concerning the necessity in any
age of creating New Freedoms and New Restraints. New Restraints by all
means, they are necessary and vital. But just as necessary, just as vital,
are the compensatory New Freedoms.

We cannot count too precious in any age those who sweep away outworn
traditions, effete routines, the burden of unnecessary duties and
superfluous luxuries and useless moralities, too heavy to be borne. We
rebel against these rebels, even shudder at their sacrilegious daring.
But, after all, they are a part of life, an absolutely necessary part of
it. For life is a breaking-down as well as a building-up. Destruction as
well as construction goes to the Metabolism of Society.

_November_ 27.--It seems to me a weakness of the Peace Propaganda of our
time--though a weakness which represents an inevitable reaction from an
ancient superstition--that it tends to be under the dominance of Namby
Pamby. The people who crowd Peace Congresses to demonstrate against war
seem largely people who have little perception of the eternal function of
Pain in the world and no insight into the right uses of Death.

Apart from the intolerable burden of armaments it imposes, and the
flagrant disregard of Justice it involves, the crushing objection to War,
from the standpoint of Humanity and Society, is not that it distributes
Pain and inflicts Death, but that it distributes and inflicts them on an
absurdly wholesale scale and on the wrong people. So that it is awry to
all the ends of reasonable civilisation. Occasionally, no doubt, it may
kill off the people who ought to be killed, but that is only by accident,
for by its very organisation it is more likely to kill the people who
ought not to be killed. Occasionally and incidentally, also, it may
promote Heroism, but its heroes merely exterminate each other for the
benefit of people who are not heroes. In the recent Balkan wars we see
that the combatant States all diligently and ferociously maimed each
other, very little to their own advantage and very much to the
aggrandisement of the one State within their borders which never fired a
gun and never lost a man. If Peace Societies possessed a little
intelligence they would surely issue a faithful history of this war for
free distribution among all the modern States of the world. That is what
War is.

Explorers in Southern Nigeria, I see, have just reported the discovery of
remote Sacred Places consecrated to native worship. Here were found the
Lake of Life and the Pool of Death. Here, also, from time to time human
sacrifices are offered. This ritual the worthy explorers self-complacently
describe as "blood-thirsty."

But how about us? The men of Southern Nigeria, seriously, deliberately,
with a more or less unconscious insight into the secrets of Nature, offer
up human sacrifices on their altars, and when some ignorant European
intrudes and calls them "blood-thirsty" we all meekly acquiesce. In Europe
we kill and maim people by the hundred thousand, not seriously and
deliberately for any sacred ends that make Life more precious to us or the
Mystery of Nature more intelligible, but out of sheer stupidity. We spend
the half, and sometimes more than the half, of our national incomes in
sharpening to the finest point our implements of bloodshed, not to the
accompaniment of any Bacchic Evoe, but incongruously mumbling the Sermon
on the Mount. We put our population into factories which squeeze the blood
out of their anaemic and diseased bodies, and we permit the most
extravagant variations in the infantile death-rate which the slightest
social readjustment would smooth out. We do all this consciously, in full
statistical knowledge to a decimal fraction.

Therein is our blood-thirstiness, beside which that of the Southern
Nigerian savage is negligible, if not estimable, and this European
blood-thirstiness it is which threatens to lead to an extravagant reaction
to the opposite extreme, as it has already led to an ignoble reaction in
our ideals.

For there can be no ideal conception of Life and no true conception of
Nature if we seek to shut out Death and Pain. It is the feeble shrinking
from Death and the flabby horror of Pain that mark the final stage of
decay in any civilisation. Our ancestors, too, offered up human sacrifices
on their altars, and none can say how much of their virility and how much
of the promise of the future they held in their grasp were bound up with
the fact. Different days bring different duties. And we cannot desire to
restore the centuries that are gone. But neither can we afford to dispense
with the radical verities of Life and Nature which they recognised. If we
do we are felling the tree up which we somehow hope to climb to the

It is essential to the human dignity of a truly civilised society that it
should hold in its hands not only the Key of Birth but the Key of Death.

_November_ 29.--The vast and complex machines to which our civilisation
devotes its best energy are no doubt worthy of all admiration. Yet when
one seeks to look broadly at human activity they only seem to be part of
the scaffolding and material. They are not the Life itself.

To whatever sphere of human activity one turns one's attention to-day, one
is constantly met by the same depressing spectacle of pale, lean, nervous,
dyspeptic human creatures, restlessly engaged in building up marvellously
complex machines and elaborate social organisations, all of which, they
tell us, will make for the improvement of Life. But what do they suppose
"Life" to be?

A giant's task demands a giant. When one watches this puny modern
civilised Man engaged on tasks which do so much credit to his imagination
and invention, one is reminded of the little boy who was employed to fill
a large modern vat. He nearly completed the task. One day he disappeared.
They found him at last with only his feet visible above the rim of the

_December_ 1.--I so frequently notice among Moral Reformers--for the most
part highly well-intentioned people--a frantic and unbridled desire to
eliminate from our social world any form of "Temptation." (One wonders how
far this attitude may have been fostered by that petition of the Lord's
Prayer, "Lead us not into Temptation," which, on the face of it, seems to
support Nietzsche's extravagant reaction against Christianity. Yet surely
the Church has misunderstood that petition. Jesus himself faced the
Tempter, and it is evident that he could not have so lacked insight into
the soul's secrets as to countenance the impossible notion of eliminating
Temptation from the world. It was the power to meet the Tempter and yet
not be led into Temptation--if this petition may be regarded as
authentic--that he desired his followers to possess; and therein he was on
the same side as Nietzsche.) No scheme is too extravagantly impossible to
invoke in this cause. No absurdity but we are asked to contemplate it with
a seriously long face if it is sanctified by the aim of eliminating some
temptation from the earth. Of any recognition of Temptation as the Divine
method of burning Up the moral chaff of the world, not a sign!

The fact is that we cannot have too much Temptation in the world. Without
contact with Temptation Virtue is worthless, and even a meaningless term.
Temptation is an essential form of that Conflict which is of the essence
of Life. Without the fire of perpetual Temptation no human spirit can ever
be tempered and fortified. The zeal of the Moral Reformers who would sweep
away all Temptation and place every young creature from the outset in a
Temptation-free vacuum, even if it could be achieved (and the achievement
would not only annihilate the whole environment but eviscerate the human
heart of its vital passions) would merely result in the creation of a race
of useless weaklings. For Temptation is even more than a stimulus to
conflict. It is itself, in so far as it is related to Passion, the ferment
of Life. To face and reject Temptation may be to fortify life. To face and
accept Temptation may be to enrich life. He who can do neither is not fit
to live.

He can indeed be sent to the Home for Defectives. That way lies perhaps
the solution of our Social Problem. The pessimist may cry out at the size
of the Homes that his fears portend. Yet, even at the worst, who will deny
that it is better, beyond comparison better, that even only a minority of
Mankind should be free--free to develop in the sun and free to climb to
the sky and free to be damned--than that the whole world should be made
one vast Home for Moral Imbeciles?

_December_ 4.--There is nothing amid the restlessness of the world that
one lingers over with such tender delight as Flowers and Gods. What can be
more beautiful than Flowers and Gods?

Flowers are of all things most completely and profusely the obvious
efflorescence of loveliness in the whole physical world. Gods are of all
things the most marvellous efflorescence of the human psychic world. These
two Lovelinesses, the Loveliness of Sex and the Loveliness of Creation,
bring the whole universe to two polar points, which yet are in the closest
degree resemblant and allied. In China, the land of flowers, flowers are
nowhere, it is said, so devoutly cultivated as in the monasteries of
Buddha. For flowers are constant symbols of the Gods and instruments of
worship, and when the Gods take fitting shape it is a shape that recalls
to us a flower. Of all Gods made visible none is so divine as Buddha
(one's thoughts constantly return to the most delectable of museums, the
Musee Guimet), and the Buddha of finest imagery is like nothing so much as
a vast and serene flower, a great lotus that rises erect on the bosom of
Humanity's troubled lake.

And perhaps it is because men and women are in function flowers and in
image gods that they are so fascinating, even enwrapped in the rags,
physical and metaphysical, which sometimes serve but to express more
genuinely the Flower-God beneath.

_December_ 11.--_Quid hoc ad aeternitatem?_ So, we are told, an ancient
holy man of the early Christian world was wont to question everything that
was brought before him. It is a question that we cannot too often ask
to-day. I assume that we understand "Eternity" in its essential Christian
sense (on which F. D. Maurice used to insist) as referring not to the
Future, but to the Everlasting Present, not to Time but to the Things that

There are not only far too many people in the world, there are far too
many things. Prodigality is indeed the note of Nature. And rightly so. But
Economy is the note of Man. Rightly also. For Nature has infinite lives to
play with. Man has only one life.

Public Hygiene is nowadays much concerned with the edification of large
and effective Destructors of Refuse. It is well. They can scarcely be too
large or too effective. Large enough to deal with all the Dreadnoughts of
the world and most of its books. And so much else! Let us imitate the
Rich, if that seems well, in the quality of our possessions. But in their
number let us imitate the Poorest. So in our different human way we may
reach towards the Simplicity of Nature.

And let us never grow weary of repeating afresh the stern challenge of
that old champion of the Higher Sabotage: _Quid hoc ad aeternitatem?_

_December_ 15.--"There has always been the same amount of light in the
world," said Thoreau. One sometimes doubts it. Perhaps one fails to
recognise the "bushels" it is hidden under. One need not fear that it is
becoming less. One must not hope that it will become more.

I wonder whether Mazzini, could he revisit the Italy which reveres his
memory, would really find more light there than of old? There was the
Italy that Stendhal loved, the Italy that produced Mazzini, who went out
into the world as its most inspired prophet and sought so earnestly to
regenerate it. And here is the duly regenerated Italy which has gone after
what it considers glory in Tripoli and systematically starved its own
children, and sent its inspired prophet Marinetti into the world, as it
once sent Mazzini. The un-regenerate Italy which produced Mazzini or the
regenerated Italy which produced Marinetti--which is it, I wonder, that
most tries our faith in Thoreau's creed, "There has always been the same
amount of light in the world"?

_December_ 28.--Levy-Bruhl, a penetrating and suggestive moralist, has
written a book, _Les Fonctiones mentales dans les societes inferieures_,
in which he seeks to distinguish between a primitive pre-logical
rationality, not subject to the law of contradiction, and a later logical
rationality, which refuses to admit contradictions. He points out how much
wider and more fruitful is the earlier attitude.

There seems something in this distinction. But it may well be dangerous to
formulate it too precisely. No hard and clear-cut distinctions can here be
made. The logical method can scarcely supersede the pre-logical method,
for it covers less ground and is more exclusive, it can never be the
universal legatee of the pre-logical method. We are probably concerned
with two tendencies which may exist contemporaneously, and each have its
value. It may even be said that the pre-logical and the logical
temperaments represent two types of people, found everywhere even to-day.
Some observers, like Heymans in his thoughtful book on the psychology of
women, have noted how women seem often to combine contradictory impulses
on an organic basis, but they have not always observed that that gift may
be as inestimable as it is dangerous.

In this connection it is interesting to recall that Harnack, the great
historian of Christian dogma, while asserting that Athanasius in combating
Arianism saved Christianity, yet asserts with equal emphasis that the
doctrine of Athanasius embodied a mass of contradictions which multiply as
we advance. He might have added that that was why it was vital. Life, even
in the plant, is a tension of opposing forces. Whatever is vital is
contradictory, and if of two views we wish to find out which is the
richest and the most fruitful we ought perhaps to ask ourselves which
embodies the most contradictions.

_December_ 31.--"The heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll, and all
their host shall fade away, as a leaf fadeth off the vine, and as a fading
leaf from the fig-tree." So the world seemed made to Isaiah, and that
light airy way of accepting it may linger in one's mind all the more
persistently because of its contrast with the heavy solemnity of the
Hebraic genius. So it is with all these men of creative genius, whatever
nation they belong to. Wherever Man flowers into Genius, wherever, that is
to say, he becomes most quintessentially Man, he can never take the world
seriously. He vaguely realises that it is merely his own handiwork, his
own creation out of chaos, and that he himself transcends it. So for the
physicist of genius the universe is made up of holes, and for the poet of
genius it is a dream, and even for the greatest of these solemn Hebraic
prophets it is merely a leaf, a fading leaf from the fig-tree.

_Qualis artifex pereo!_ It may well be the last exclamation of the last
Son of Man on the uninhabitable Earth.


Albert Hall, the
Albertus Magnus
Andersen, Hendrik
Angels and poets
Animals and Man
Apple, symbolism of the
Architecture, Norman and Burgundian;
Arnold, Matthew
Artists as writers
Augustine, St.

Bailey, P. H.
Barker, Granville
Bayeux tapestry

Beauty, in women; and love;
the strangeness of proportion in;
in Nature and Man;
and Nothingness;
and imperfection;
in style
Bergerac, Cyrano de
Bernard, St.
Bianca Stella
Bible, the
Birth-rate, decline in
Body, significance of the
Browning, R.
Bryan, W.J.
Burton, Sir R.
Byng, Admiral

Canterbury, Archbishops of
Carus, P.
Castle Hedingham
Churches, English
City, the World
Clarity in style
Clergyman, the Anglican
_Cliche_, the
Cloister, the
Conductors, English musical,
Crowd, psychology of the,
Curzon, Lord,

Darling, Justice,
Delarue-Mardrus, Lucie,
Denyn, J.,
Deslys, Gaby,
Devil, fate of the,

Eccles, Solomon,
Elizabeth, Queen,
Ellis, Henry,
English, women,
love of flowers,

Franck, Cesar,
French spirit,

Gaultier, Jules de,
Gourmont, Remy de,
Greek language,

Hall, Stanley,
Herrick, Robert,
Hinton, James,
Hostility, the vanity of,
Humboldt, Wilhelm von,


Jacobean furniture,
Janson, G.,


Lamb, C.,
Lind-Af-Hageby, Miss,
Logic in morals,

Malaterra, Geoffrey
Mass, the
Meredith, George
Midsummer Eve
Mob, the
Monks, as epicures
Mont St. Michel

Newbolt, H.
Nigeria, religious rites of
Norman, genius

Obscene, the
Obscurity in style
Ogive, the

Pantheon, the
Peace Propaganda
Pear, symbolism of the
Peter, St.
Pliny, the Elder
Poets, as critics
as angels
Poincare, II.

Raleigh, Sir W.
Regnier, H. de
_Rire, Le_
Romanesque architecture
Roses, wild

the Higher
Sailor, the English
Sea, the
Smoke problem
Stead, W. T.
Stevenson, R. L.
Strassburg Cathedral
Suffragette, the
Sun, the
Symons, Arthur

Temperance movement
Temptation, value of
Theatre, the
Thicknesse, Philip
Thompson, Francis
Thomson, Sir J. J.

Unamuno, M. de
United States

Vinci, Leonardo da
Virgin Mother, the

Warner, C. D.
Whitman, Walt
Women, and social service;
in university towns;
of Normandy;
of Burgundy;
of England;
of France;
psychology of;
and beauty;
as affected by civilisation;
beauty of;
and the pear
Wood, Sir Henry
Work, the Gospel of

_Yellow Jacket, The_


_Printed by_ R. & R. CLARK, LIMITED, _Edinburgh_.

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