A Daughter of To-Day eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 316 pages of information about A Daughter of To-Day.
If he staid he felt that he would inevitably compromise his dignity, so he hid himself with some amiable people in Hampshire, who could be relied upon not to worry him, for a week.  He did not deny himself the papers, however.  They reached him in stacks, with the damp chill of the afternoon post upon them; and in their solid paragraphs he read the verdict of the British public written out in words of proper length and much the same phrases that had done duty for Eastlake and Sir Martin Shee.  Fortunately, the amiable people included some very young people, so young that they could properly compel Kendal to go into the fields with them and make cowslip balls, and some robust girls of eighteen and twenty, who mutely demanded the pleasure of beating him at tennis every afternoon.  He was able in this way to work off the depression that visited him daily with the damp odor of London art, criticism, quite independently of its bias toward himself.  He told himself that he had been let off fairly easily, though he winced considerably under the adulation of the Daily Mercury, and found himself breathing most freely when least was said about him.  The day of his triumph in the Mercury he made monstrous cowslip balls, and thought that the world had never been sufficiently congratulated upon possessing the ideal simplicity of children.

Thereafter for two days nothing came, and he began to grow restless.  Then the Decade made its weekly slovenly appearance, without a wrapper.  He opened it with the accumulated interest of forty-eight hours, turned to “Fine Arts,” and girded himself to receive the Decade’s ideas.  He read the first sentence twice—­the article opened curiously, for the Decade.  He looked at the cover to see whether he had not been mistaken.  Then he sat down beside the open window, where a fine rain came in and smote upon the page, and read it through, straining his eyes in the gathering darkness over the last paragraph.  After that he walked up and down the room among the shadows for half an hour, not ringing for lights, because the scented darkness of the garden, where the rain was dripping, and the half outlines of the things in the room were so much more grateful to his imagination as the Decade’s critic had stimulated it with the young, mocking, brilliant voice that spoke in the department of “Fine Arts.”  It stirred him all through.  In the pleasure it gave him he refused to reflect how often it dismissed with contempt where it should have considered with respect, how it was sometimes inconsistent, sometimes exaggerated and obscure.  He was rapt in the delicacy and truth with which the critic translated into words the recognizable souls of a certain few pictures—­it could not displease him that they were very few, since three of his were among them.  When it spoke of these the voice was strong and gentle, with an uplifted tenderness, and all the suppressed suggestion that good pictures themselves have.  It made their quality felt in the lines, and it spoke with a personal joy.

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A Daughter of To-Day from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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