The Complete Essays of John Galsworthy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 213 pages of information about The Complete Essays of John Galsworthy.
Hedda—­Sir Robert would never even have spoken to such baggages!  Mon sieur Bergeret—­an amiable weak thing!  D’Artagnan—­a true swashbuckler!  Tom Jones, Faust, Don Juan—­we might not even think of them:  And those poor Greeks:  Prometheus—­shocking rebel.  OEdipus for a long time banished by the Censor.  Phaedra and Elektra, not even so virtuous as Mary, who failed of being what she should be!  And coming to more familiar persons Joseph and Moses, David and Elijah, all of them lacked his finality of true heroism—­none could quite pass muster beside Sir Robert . . . .  Long we meditated, and, reflecting that an author must ever be superior to the creatures of his brain, were refreshed to think that there were so many living authors capable of giving birth to Sir Robert; for indeed, Sir Robert and finality like his—­no doubtful heroes, no flower of author, and no mystery is what mankind at large has always wanted from Letters, and will always want.

As truly as that oil and water do not mix, there are two kinds of men.  The main cleavage in the whole tale of life is this subtle, all pervading division of mankind into the man of facts and the man of feeling.  And not by what they are or do can they be told one from the other, but just by their attitude toward finality.  Fortunately most of us are neither quite the one nor quite the other.  But between the pure-blooded of each kind there is real antipathy, far deeper than the antipathies of race, politics, or religion—­an antipathy that not circumstance, love, goodwill, or necessity will ever quite get rid of.  Sooner shall the panther agree with the bull than that other one with the man of facts.  There is no bridging the gorge that divides these worlds.

Nor is it so easy to tell, of each, to which world he belongs, as it was to place the lady, who held out her finger over that gorge called Grand Canyon, and said: 

“It doesn’t look thirteen miles; but they measured it just there!  Excuse my pointing!” 1912.


“Et nous jongleurs inutiles, frivoles joueurs de luth!”. . .  Useless jugglers, frivolous players on the lute!  Must we so describe ourselves, we, the producers, season by season, of so many hundreds of “remarkable” works of fiction?—­for though, when we take up the remarkable works of our fellows, we “really cannot read them!” the Press and the advertisements of our publishers tell us that they are “remarkable.”

A story goes that once in the twilight undergrowth of a forest of nut-bearing trees a number of little purblind creatures wandered, singing for nuts.  On some of these purblind creatures the nuts fell heavy and full, extremely indigestible, and were quickly swallowed; on others they fell light, and contained nothing, because the kernel had already been eaten up above, and these light and kernel-less nuts were accompanied by sibilations or laughter.  On others

Project Gutenberg
The Complete Essays of John Galsworthy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook