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farewell to her new friend. He seemed to strike a note in her that had been unmoved (an unmoved note?) for many years and that now vibrated with exquisite sweetness.

They were both subtly happy. Mr. Hutchinson is much cruder in his indications both of the singularity and of the violence of feeling in his characters. Mark Sabre and Lady Tybar are as carefully set apart from the unfeeling souls as Marian and Nigel. Old Puzzlehead has a quite extraordinary perception of the mysterious and extraordinary character of life and death. But on the whole it is the violence that wins out over the singularity in the style employed. It is all adjectives, all superlatives, words expressive of the highest degree of feeling and suffering; and this on all occasions. Compared with that of Mark Sabre, the experience of Esther Waters or Tess Durbeyfield would seem tame, if we were to judge by the convulsive emphasis of the words in which his feelings are set forth. Nothing happens to him that is not terrible, frightful, or extraordinary, and the lowest degree of suffering to which he is liable is expressed as immensely poignant. Any doctor could diagnose his case at once as a weak heart.


That is always the trouble with the sentimentalist. He has a craving to pass off his weakness for strength. He has an exaggerated view of the merit attaching to strength of feeling; and an uneasy conscience on the score of his own debility. He has two ways of saving his face. He can go in for subtleties, and he can go in for superlatives. The writer who ministers to the sentimentalist has a wide audience; for subtleties and superlatives are things within the reach of all who have been to school. But he will not last long, if we may judge the future by the past.

The noblest subject of literature is heroic suffering and the “tears of things”. One of the most affecting and elevating passages in fiction is that in which Æneas discovers in the temple at Carthage the artistic representation of the great war in which he had borne his part. Since then he had lost his wife and father; he had been driven about by the malice of the gods; he had suffered shipwreck on a forbidding coast; he had lost the greater

part of his companions, and knew.not what hostilities he was to
encounter in this strange land. And here on the walls of the
temple of the rising city of strangers he finds set forth those
great and terrible events most worthy of: all in history to be
recorded, and he knows that he is in a land of art, a civilized land
where noble deeds are prized, where men have tears for things
worthy of tears, and mortal sorrows touch the heart:

En Priamus! sunt hic etiam sua præmia laudi,
Sunt lachrimæ rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt.


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IF Main Street stretches from San Francisco to New York, I know, without seeing, that the way is marked not by milestones but by garbage cans. For my experience is that of the American street, short or long, the garbage can has become an indispensable feature. It no longer hides itself in alleys or slums, but in the highly respectable quarter of the highly respectable town it makes a public exhibition of what would have been called “slops” in primitive days when “slops" were not thought fit for public gaze. I have counted as many as eleven neatly ranged before a stately private residence, as many as twenty-five in front of an eminently correct hotel, and, appalled, I ask myself what must be the number reached on his daily rounds by a policeman given to statistics. Sometimes they are grouped on the curbstone, sometimes more modestly by the area railing, often in the middle of the pavement, a trap for the unwary; but always, morning, noon and night, somewhere in full view, providing for the observant man the opportunity to learn who feasts on lobster or fasts on cabbage, who runs up big bills for flowers or economizes on coal. Occasionally the garbage is collected, but by dumping it into uncovered carts from which it blows right and left, through open doors and windows, back into the houses and so straight into the cans again, our sanitary authorities have arranged that the garbage can is today as permanent an ornament of our streets as the letter box or the lamp post.

It is an ornament that old-fashioned people scarcely think desirable, and, personally, I would rather learn inside a man's house whether lobster or cabbage is the more frequent dish at his table, would rather judge by the fragrance and warmth of his rooms how many flowers he buys and how much coal he burns. But the younger generation must be of another way of thinking, for if the garbage can were to them the offense it is to me, they would have invented long ago means of getting rid of it. In my London flat, if mine were not promptly emptied and promptly returned, up four flights of stairs to my scullery, by ten o'clock in the morning, somebody as promptly wanted to know why, and surely we are not such centuries behind the English as not to have found out how to do what they manage without trouble. Nor can I believe that custom, marvelous as are the miracles it works, has turned the garbage can into a thing of beauty in young America's eyes, or that chance, for all its usual perversity, should have hit upon it as the sort of symbol tea was to our ancestors—the breaking point in our endurance of oppression. Still meek as lambs, we accepted the Eighteenth Amendment; but interfere with our garbage, and then-!

However, the more I think about it, the less I find that anybody else does. Nobody is disturbed or pleased by the presence of the garbage can, because everybody is blind to it. And as nobody cares one way or the other, there it remains at everybody's door, a symbol, after all; not of national independence, however, but of the easy national indifference with which we fall into the easy national habit of slovenliness.

No one expects the great nation, any more than the great man, to be great all the time. But the great nation has not the great man's privilege of privacy for its slippered ease. It must wear its slippers—if it wears them at all-in public, no matter how down at the heels they are, or how out at the toes. That America, as a nation, has intervals of greatness it has not waited for me to discover--modesty is not our predominant fault; that it has also its intervals of rest and enjoys them in unspeakable untidiness, is as little of a state secret. In fact, to flaunt this untidiness in the public's face seems part of the enjoyment. Certainly, the Government is at pains to set the example at national headquarters. If it was at its greatest when it built for our President and our Legislators houses as beautiful in their dignity and simplicity as Democracy is reputed to be and never is, it has remained ever since at its most slovenly in the street that joins them together. It had the chance to make of Pennsylvania Avenue an American Champs-Élysées; it has made it instead a colossal national garbage can filled to overflowing with shanties, odds and ends of Chinatown, cheap lunch counters, dilapidated hotels—all the refuse of the nation's capital. And, in these matters, the country flatters Washington excessively by excess of imitation. New York, feeling its responsibility as our biggest town, does so in the biggest way. Nowhere else is the contrast so sharp between America's achievements in moments of inspiration and America's neglect in moments of relaxation. A few years ago, necessity and architects contrived to transform it into a city of palaces—a glorified Genoa or Florence and to group those palaces in unbelievable beauty just where they command the most unbelievably beautiful harbor in the world. Almost at once, necessity becoming less rigid and the city government discovering the zone law, sky scrapers with no palatial pretense were built, destroying scale and sky line, knocking the composition all to pieces. Fifth Avenue, as a street, is no less impressive than the Upper Bay as a harbor. But if its splendor is unrivalled, so also is the squalor of the near slums where our aliens multiply. Here and there, at some special corner of its vast length, architect and sculptor have worked together for an effect that the stateliest of the stately old towns of France or Spain or Italy could not disdain. But, nobody apparently caring, the most effective of these corners has been quickly overshadowed by a gigantic arrangement of brick bandboxes, with a gilded cock set up on top as if to crow in insolent derision.

Americans with eyes to see, when they come home to New York straight from Paris, will tell you that on landing it shocked them as hideous beyond endurance. But New York is not hid

Paris is not without architectural calamities; only, as a genius for order is the greatest of the great gifts France has given to the world, even architectural calamities there are kept within restraint. The modern French architect may and does go astray in a building, but his mistakes are seldom allowed to destroy the design of the street or the town of which they are a part. He modifies where we, in our easy-going way, exaggerate the discord.

Whatever our object, whether beauty or utility, our greatness gives out before the end, too often at just the wrong moment; but used as we have become to discord in everything, we no longer mind it in anything. New York builds a subway which


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