Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

fitting a progressive country. Why, of all places, America should have adopted a tradition (which is an insurmountable stone fence), and handicap herself like England, I cannot understand. Traditions are parasites that sap progress, which is life. A hansom cab is a sedan-chair on

wheels. The driver has no control over

the horse because his legs are cramped, and it takes twice its length to turn. Mark my words, the last hansom cab will be ridden in by a woman. Imbecility has a fatal fascination for the creatures who have a fatal fascination for us. Another thing that worries me is the manner in which our coachmen sit on the box. Never having had a coachman, I love the "our.

our.” They look as if they suffered from "mortal cramps;” their legs are tucked in, instead of stretched out, so, if the horse stumbled, they would do an acrobatic feat as parabolic as unexpected. I do say, and, when I say “I do say," I mean it, that when fashions ignore common sense, common sense should ignore fashion. Now, at this point, put down this letter and light a cigarette, and say, "Really, Douglas's letters are a little dull. He will insist in trying to interest me in things that interest him.” Well, old boy, that means that I belong to that full half of the world which is doing the self-same thing to the other half. The world can be divided in a million different halves (Hurrah, a paradox!), but a wise man once said to me: “ The only sure division is that one half are trying to get fat and the other half lean.” Do smile, for I think this funny.

I mean by “ Hellish things " the items of news in the paper: “Young girl throws vitriol in rival's face,” “Man shoots his sweetheart and then himself,” “ Little schoolgirl lured into deserted hallway and assaulted." I know I come down-stairs to breakfast after an eight-hour interview with the gods, feeling as if the world were not such an impossible place, after all, and then come the newspapers and the blues and the horrors, and I feel it would be wiser not to go out without my revolver and a bowie knife. By the way, have you ever been interviewed by a reporter? I have.

Reporter: “The Perennial Liar would like to have the facts in regard to your inordinate love for your mother."

Victim: " I fail to see how this interests the public, so I decline to give any."

Reporter: “The other papers will have a 'story' in to-morrow's issue on the subject, so, should you refuse us the facts, we may have to print something that would cause you pain.”

This seems to me perilously near blackmail. The liberty of the press approaches the tyranny

of the press. I am surrounded at present by an atmosphere of illness, which is always a possible overture to death. In music (God bless it), it is all opera and little overture, but in life it is apt to be much overture and a

sustained note,” called Death. Having so many members of my family ill has given me a feeling of loneliness which is akin to pain. Loneliness is a sense of nakedness, with this difference, that when naked you attract the attention of others, and when lonely you attract none. I am writing this in the library of the club, only one other in the room. I don't know who he is, but he is a wonder at observing the rules. He is flanked on either side by a placard that reads “Silence," and never a word escapes him. “He” is a bust in bronze. He is a little brown and a little green, and his eyes lack expression, but he is very restful, which is grateful, as I have just left a man who has told me, at greater length, more things that I did not care to know than any one I have ever met. When I noticed in the library its beggarly array of empty chairs, I could not help realising how much you can drink if you don't read, and I could not help thinking how thankful the members must be that they were strong enough to resist the temptation to read. Dear old man, I have not much news.

still heart-whole and fancy-free." I should like to continue “heart-whole,” but I should much enjoy having my fancy made captive. This is a distinction with

I am

« AnteriorContinuar »