Macleod of Dare eBook

William Black
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 619 pages of information about Macleod of Dare.
eyes.  You will excuse me, Sir Keith, but I keep insisting on this point to my daughter.  If she ever becomes a great artist, that will be the secret of her success.  And she ought never to cease from cultivating the habit.  She ought to be ready at any moment to project herself, as it were, into any character.  She ought to practise so as to make of her own emotions an instrument that she can use at will.  It is a great demand that art makes on the life of an artist.  In fact, he ceases to live for himself.  He becomes merely a medium.  His most secret experiences are the property of the world at large, once they have been transfused and moulded by his personal skill.”

And so he continued talking, apparently for the instruction of his daughter, but also giving his guest clearly to understand that Miss Gertrude White was not as other women but rather as one set apart for the high and inexorable sacrifice demanded by art.  At the end of his lecture he abruptly asked Macleod if he had followed him.  Yes, he had followed him, but in rather a bewildered way.  Or had he some confused sense of self-reproach, in that he had distracted the contemplation of this pale and beautiful artist, and sent her downstairs to look after cutlets?

“It seems a little hard, sir,” said Macleod to the old man, “that an artist is not to have any life of his or her own at all; that he or she should become merely a—­a—­a sort of ten-minutes’ emotionalist.”

It was not a bad phrase for a rude Highlander to have invented on the spur of the moment.  But the fact was that some little personal feeling stung him into the speech.  He was prepared to resent this tyranny of art.  And if he now were to see some beautiful pale slave bound in these iron chains, and being exhibited for the amusement of an idle world, what would the fierce blood of the Macleods say to that debasement?  He began to dislike this old man, with his cruel theories and his oracular speech.  But he forbore to have further or any argument with him; for he remembered what the Highlanders call “the advice of the bell of Scoon”—­“The thing that concerns you not meddle not with.



The people who lived in this land of summer, and sunshine, and flowers—­had they no cares at all?  He went out into the garden with these two girls; and they were like two young fawns in their careless play.  Miss Carry, indeed, seemed bent on tantalizing him by the manner in which she petted and teased and caressed her sister—­scolding her, quarrelling with her, and kissing her all at once.  The grave, gentle, forbearing manner in which the elder sister bore all this was beautiful to see.  And then her sudden concern and pity when the wild Miss Carry had succeeded in scratching her finger with the thorn of a rose-bush!  It was the tiniest of scratches:  and all the blood that appeared was about the size

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Macleod of Dare from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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