The Upton Letters eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 268 pages of information about The Upton Letters.
having, followed as a matter of course.  “Of course he’s not my sort,” was the way in which he dismissed almost the only person we discussed whom I thoroughly admired.  So we went on; and I can only say that the relief I felt when I saw him drive away on Monday morning was so great as almost to make it worth while having endured his visit.  I think he rather enjoyed himself—­at least he threatened to pay me another visit; and I am sure he had the benevolent consciousness of having brought a breath of the big world into a paltry life.  The big world! what a terrible place it would be if it was peopled by Welbores!  My only consolation is that men of his type don’t achieve the great successes.  They are very successful up to a certain point; they get what they want.  Welbore will be a judge before long, and he has already made a large fortune.  But there is a demand for more wisdom and generosity in the great places—­at least I hope so.  Welbore’s idea of the world is a pleasant place where such men as he can make money and have a good time.  He thinks art, religion, beauty, poetry, music, all stuff.  I would not mind that if only he did not know it was stuff.  God forbid that we should pretend to enjoy such things if we do not—­and, after all, the man is not a hypocrite.  But his view is that any one who is cut in a different mould is necessarily inferior; and what put the crowning touch to my disgust was that on Sunday afternoon we met a Cabinet Minister, who is a great student of literature.  He talked about books to Mr. Welbore, and Mr. Welbore heard him with respect, because the Minister was in the swim.  He said afterwards to me that people’s foibles were very odd; but he so far respected the Minister’s success as to think that he had a right to a foible.  He would have crushed one of my colleagues who had battled in the same way, with a laugh and a few ugly words.

Well, let me dismiss Mr. Welbore from my mind.  The worst of it is that, though I don’t agree with him, he has cast a sort of blight on my mind.  It is as though I had seen him spit on the face of a statue that I loved.  I don’t like vice in any shape; but I equally dislike a person who has a preference for manly vices over sentimental ones; and the root of Mr. Welbore’s dislike of vice is simply that it tends to interfere with the hard sort of training which is necessary for success.

Mr. Welbore, as a matter of fact, seems to me really to augur worse for the introduction of the kingdom of heaven upon earth than any number of drunkards and publicans.  One feels that the world is so terribly strong, stronger even than sin; and what is worse, there seems to be so little in the scheme of things that could ever give Mr. Welbore the lie.—­Ever yours,

T. B

July 16, 1904.

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The Upton Letters from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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