Varied Types eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 117 pages of information about Varied Types.
human being, the delight of expectation, the delight of an ardent and flamboyant ignorance.  She serves to show how futile it is of humanity to suppose that pleasure can be attained chiefly by putting on evening dress every evening, and having a box at the theatre every first night.  It is not the man of pleasure who has pleasure; it is not the man of the world who appreciates the world.  The man who has learnt to do all conventional things perfectly has at the same time learnt to do them prosaically.  It is the awkward man, whose evening dress does not fit him, whose gloves will not go on, whose compliments will not come off, who is really full of the ancient ecstasies of youth.  He is frightened enough of society actually to enjoy his triumphs.  He has that element of fear which is one of the eternal ingredients of joy.  This spirit is the central spirit of the Bronte novel.  It is the epic of the exhilaration of the shy man.  As such it is of incalculable value in our time, of which the curse is that it does not take joy reverently because it does not take it fearfully.  The shabby and inconspicuous governess of Charlotte Bronte, with the small outlook and the small creed, had more commerce with the awful and elemental forces which drive the world than a legion of lawless minor poets.  She approached the universe with real simplicity, and, consequently, with real fear and delight.  She was, so to speak, shy before the multitude of the stars, and in this she had possessed herself of the only force which can prevent enjoyment being as black and barren as routine.  The faculty of being shy is the first and the most delicate of the powers of enjoyment.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of pleasure.

Upon the whole, therefore, I think it may justifiably be said that the dark wild youth of the Brontes in their dark wild Yorkshire home has been somewhat exaggerated as a necessary factor in their work and their conception.  The emotions with which they dealt were universal emotions, emotions of the morning of existence, the springtide joy and the springtide terror.  Every one of us as a boy or girl has had some midnight dream of nameless obstacle and unutterable menace, in which there was, under whatever imbecile forms, all the deadly stress and panic of “Wuthering Heights.”  Every one of us has had a day-dream of our own potential destiny not one atom more reasonable than “Jane Eyre.”  And the truth which the Brontes came to tell us is the truth that many waters cannot quench love, and that suburban respectability cannot touch or damp a secret enthusiasm.  Clapham, like every other earthly city, is built upon a volcano.  Thousands of people go to and fro in the wilderness of bricks and mortar, earning mean wages, professing a mean religion, wearing a mean attire, thousands of women who have never found any expression for their exaltation or their tragedy but to go on working harder and yet harder at dull and automatic employments, at scolding children or stitching shirts.  But out

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Varied Types from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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