Complete Short Works of George Meredith eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 640 pages of information about Complete Short Works of George Meredith.

No doubt Mr. Matthew Arnold is correct in his apprehensions of the dangers we may fear from a Dublin House of Commons.  The declarations and novel or ultra theories might almost be written down beforehand.  I should, for my part, anticipate a greater danger in the familiar attitude of the English metropolitan Press and public toward an experiment they dislike and incline to dread:—­the cynical comments, the quotations between inverted commas, the commiserating shrug, cold irony, raw banter, growl of menace, sharp snap, rounds of laughter.  Frenchmen of the Young Republic, not presently appreciated as offensive, have had some of these careless trifles translated for them, and have been stung.  We favoured Germany with them now and then, before Germany became the first power in Europe.  Before America had displayed herself as greatest among the giants that do not go to pieces, she had, as Americans forgivingly remember, without mentioning, a series of flicks of the whip.  It is well to learn manners without having them imposed on us.  There are various ways for tripping the experiment.  Nevertheless, when the experiment is tried, considering that our welfare is involved in its not failing, as we have failed, we should prepare to start it cordially, cordially assist it.  Thoughtful political minds regard the measure as a backward step; yet conceiving but a prospect that a measure accepted by Home Rulers will possibly enable the Irish and English to step together, it seems better worth the venture than to pursue a course of prospectless discord!  Whatever we do or abstain from doing has now its evident dangers, and this being imminent may appear the larger of them; but if a weighing of the conditions dictates it, and conscience approves, the wiser proceeding is to make trial of the untried.  Our outlook was preternaturally black, with enormous increase of dangers when the originator of our species venturesomely arose from the posture of the ‘quatre pattes’.  We consider that we have not lost by his temerity.  In states of dubitation under impelling elements, the instinct pointing to courageous action is, besides the manlier, conjecturably the right one.

LESLIE STEPHEN—­1904

When that noble body of scholarly and cheerful pedestrians, the Sunday Tramps, were on the march, with Leslie Stephen to lead them, there was conversation which would have made the presence of a shorthand writer a benefaction to the country.  A pause to it came at the examination of the leader’s watch and Ordnance map under the western sun, and void was given for the strike across country to catch the tail of a train offering dinner in London, at the cost of a run through hedges, over ditches and fellows, past proclamation against trespassers, under suspicion of being taken for more serious depredators in flight.  The chief of the Tramps had a wonderful calculating eye in the observation of distances and the nature

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Complete Short Works of George Meredith from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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