The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Yale Literary Magazine (Vol. LXXXVIII, No. 4, January 1923)

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Title: The Yale Literary Magazine (Vol. LXXXVIII, No. 4, January 1923)

Author: Various

Release date: May 8, 2022 [eBook #68028]

Language: English

Original publication: United States: Herrick & Noyes

Credits: hekula03 and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This book was produced from images made available by the HathiTrust Digital Library.)



Yale Literary Magazine

Conducted by the
Students of Yale University.

“Dum mens grata manet, nomen laudesque Yalenses
Cantabunt Soboles, unanimique Patres.”

January, 1923.

New Haven: Published by the Editors.
Printed at the Van Dyck Press, 121-123 Olive St., New Haven.

Price: Thirty-five Cents.

Entered as second-class matter at the New Haven Post Office.


has the following amount of trade at a 10% discount with these places:

ALEXANDER—Suits $32.00
CHASE—Men’s Furnishings 10.00
GAMER—Tailors 32.00
KLEINER—Tailors 32.00
KIRBY—Jewelers 63.00
KNOX-RAY—Silverware 30.00
PACH—Photographers 24.00
PALLMAN—Kodaks 32.00
ROGER SHERMAN—Photographers 46.50

If you want any of this drop a card to the Business Manager, Yale Station, and a trade slip will be returned on the same day.


Brooks Brothers, CLOTHING, Gentlemen’s Furnishing Goods.


Telephone Murray Hill 8800

Ready-made Outdoor Gear for Winter

The next visit of our representative
will be on March 7 and 8

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220 Bellevue Avenue


A Story of Progress

At the close of the fiscal year, July, 1921, the total membership was 1187.

For the same period ending July, 1922, the membership was 1696.

On January 18th, 1923, the membership was 1905, and men are still joining.

Why stay out when a membership will save you manifold times the cost of the fee.




Leader Russell W. Davenport 107
Autumn Lament Lucius Beebe 112
The Lost Legion Frank D. Ashburn 113
Sonnet—To Blois Morris Tyler 115
Sonnet C. L. Walker 116
Christmas Day at Cherrywold Walter Edwards Houghton, Jr. 117
Lothario in Livorno Norman R. Jaffray 118
Brushwood Rabnon D. G. Carter 124
Book Reviews 132
Editor’s Table 136


The Yale Literary Magazine







It is unfortunately not true to say that the only friend to the Christian is a Christian. Everyone, with the exception of a few free spirits like Gibbon or Nietzsche, has befriended the Christian by virtue of his own inertia; by virtue of his own intellectual dishonesty; and by virtue of his fear of public disapproval. Like the spark of electricity whose inertia carries it over the gap when a circuit is broken (we see it every day above the trolley cars!), the Christian belief has lingered on, a century beyond its time. It is the electrical spark which fills the gap between Popery and the New Thought. It is no longer a current, but a fireworks.

An unfortunate state of affairs, which for the sake of our racial mental integrity should be altered! But why does it exist? What are the causes of this inertia—this posthumous belief?

The causes can be readily wrapped and bundled into one cause—human nature. It is human nature to want to believe in a God. It is human nature to accept a system of belief handed down from generation to generation. It is human nature to overcome the inconsistencies and the logical difficulties of such a[108] belief as peremptorily as possible. What is the result? We look toward the scriptures, and find God: satisfaction of condition number one; but there is the objection that the teachings of the scriptures are obscure, contradictory, and ill-suited to modern business. Condition number two, however, overcomes this difficulty. We are told at home, in the church, and at the school that the Bible must be interpreted “liberally”. It is “symbolical”. One does not literally offer the other cheek; one does not literally love one’s neighbor as oneself, etc. Condition number two is satisfied by a shifting of our original positions. We are no longer literal Christians; we are liberal Christians. In other words, we are not Christians at all; we have nailed Christ to our cross, not to His own. We have distorted His doctrine in order to fit our modern twentieth century. Oh well, what does it matter? Condition number three can satisfy this discrepancy. The case is not one for argument; it is a question of faith. We have faith in Christ’s arguments. We believe that in spirit we are still Christians, although in the letter of the law we are pharisees. We assign to ourselves the pompous right of interpretation and revision (annihilation?) of the original doctrine: and this in spite of our vaunted humility! Christ, we say, meant well. We mean well. Therefore we are Christians. The argument is dismissed, and condition number three is satisfied.

What is a Christian?

Here is a question which ought to urge us to pause in calm deliberation. Do we mean that “all good men” are Christians? Or do we designate, by this word, only those whose lives conform to the original doctrines of faith, charity, love, and humility? If the former, then the question is merely one of definition. If the latter, it is one of revolution.

The Christians, with the supreme perspicacity of their kind (one must have the insight of a Jew to be a Christian!)—the Christians have sensed the danger to which their doctrine has been recently subjected by modern science, and seeing that there is no hope in the open battle-field, have had recourse to an ingenious subterfuge. They say that all good men are Christians: that is, they do not say it brazenly, but they imply it. I have several times heard the most extreme atheist of my acquaintance surnamed “Christian”[109] by one of these canny believers. And in this manner the believer successfully covered up the difficulty; smothered what would otherwise prove to be a revolution; prolonged the spark that jumps the gap between Popery and the New Thought. It is a clever ruse—very clever. But it does not fool the free spirits. They believe that a reference to the original doctrines of the Bible, and a strict interpretation, not necessarily of what they say, but at least of what they mean (in other words, an honest interpretation), is the only possible means of telling what is Christian and what is not. Socrates, for instance, was a good man. But obviously he cannot be called a “Christian”, since he reached the earth, and left it, long before that deluge began. The free spirits, therefore, prefer intellectual honesty to dissimulation and rationalization, and, in the words of Christ—who was honest, in spite of His followers—seek to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s”.

The free spirits wish to call a spade a spade. A Christian is a Christian if he believes in the immaculate conception and the resurrection. Otherwise he is a pagan, or at the most an amorphous Christian. In either case he may or may not be “a good man”. The free spirits think that, from the point of view of physiology at least, the immaculate conception is no less than a great distortion of nature, to be classed with miscarriages, abortions, and infanticides. But, you say, we are not physiologists: we are idealists. O shades of the Greek idealism—O classicism—where has the Deluge washed thee! O Truth, where is thy sting? There was an element of sanity in Socrates’ hatred of the poets and of the national legends, was there not, my friends? Homer’s imagination taught all the other poets how to lie about the gods and the national heroes. Might it not go similarly with the apostles? And unfortunately, in this case, there are twelve of them to deal with instead of one? But no Socrates!

In other words, the free spirits do not care to compromise their position. They take pride in their own intellectual integrity. They agree with Christ in some respects. But they look upon the Christian pill as altogether too large for a sane man to swallow. In fact, to be free with you, they think that Christ was a little bit too much inspired by Himself—by His own divinity—and that[110] He allowed emotion to cloud what might have been a superior intellect.

But the free spirits go one step further. They believe that to find fault with human nature for not responding to Christianity (in the strict sense of the word) is but to blame the patient for not being cured by the medicine. For instance, this love of your neighbor—that fictitious personage who haunts the domicile of the imagination, dressed in a black suit and a derby—this love of neighbor, is nothing but one of those abstractions which the later day Christians—the amorphous Christians—have made in order to satisfy the dictates of strict Christianity. The free spirits say: “There is nothing we would rather do than love our neighbor, if you mean by that, one, or even several, individuals. Such a love makes life worth while. But we refuse, quite frankly, to love our Neighbor, meaning thereby a whole city, or a nation, or a continent. Such love only gives rise to international jealousies, and is a cause of wars.” In other words, the free spirits think that only fools and fanatics can be in love with grand, sweeping, meaningless abstractions. We can love individuals. But to love an abstraction (such as Humanity, the Poor, the Nation, Evolution), is to marry oneself to nihilism, mechanism and metaphysics: it is to immerse one’s personality in an ocean of imagination. What is Humanity, anyway? Who has ever seen it? For the past hundred years the Christians have been romantically chanting about the salvation of it. But it is time now that the world wake up to the fact that Humanity is not an inclusive term meaning all individuals: it is, rather, a generalization meaning non-individuality.

So we take our stand, not only against that distortion of the Christian doctrine which permits of calling “all good men” Christians; not only against the strict Christian doctrine which stands for the effete virtues of Faith, Charity, Love, and Humility; but also against a more pernicious mixture of the two which is tending, by means of Dry Laws and Common Freshman Years, to undermine the integrity of the individual. You say, we are not idealists. Ah, but we are idealists. But we believe that ideals are only vital in so far as they are individualized (i.e., belong to an individual). And Christianity makes hash out of the individual.


What! We are no longer to deal in subtleties? Of course we are to deal in subtleties—(away with your blunt, hard-headed American who talks by statistical tables!). But although subtle and delicate, we are yet to be honest. That is the point: we are to be truthful. But Truth is essentially a pagan virtue. When men are truthful, Christianity becomes superfluous.



Autumn Lament

We speak, ah much, pale Corydon of thee,
Far flung in distant lands and evil times.
We cannot see
The pallid stars above Ionian slopes
Or know the mimes
And their significance that thou hast known—
The dried leaves blown
In drear array among the autumn sheaves
Are our distorted hopes.
We cannot sing. Ah, now return again
Singer and shepherd of the lonely past.
Our autumn pain
Is vanity; no immemorial things
Are ours at last.
Only the bitterness of harvest wind,
Impetuously blind,
And unimagined lyrics of despair
Are ours in deficit of countless springs.


The Lost Legion

Dust of a host long dead,
Grass now and lilies and leaves,
Quickly and beautifully fled
In a time that no one remembers,
Drifts in the wind and weaves
Round the high-hung, mouldering rafter
A wisp of the jests and the laughter
Some one knew in the past;
Breathes and blows on the embers
Of the dying spirit of me.
There is my gauntlet at last,
Down in the ring with a cry
To the hopes that are dead
And the friends that are fled.
I am one with the tremulous past.
With a song in my heart and a smile on my lips
I arise and await to depart,
Nor sigh as the old life slips.
This last call to you friends,
Join me and dare and die?
Or is it that friendship ends
With a little, impatient sigh?
A little sigh and the sadder thought
“He might have ruled our world,
And here he is suddenly crazed and whirled
On an aimless search for the sky.”
But the moon will shine on the towers,
And the stars make beauty by night,
The chimes turn mellow the hours
Till the still dawn waken the light.
I never shall heed such a thing,
For I shall be far in the west
On a dangerous, happy quest,
And forget the others and sing:
“Once there were friends, the best,
To rise and search with a King.
Did they shudder and shrink from the quest?”
—I shall never heed such a thing.


Sonnet—To Blois

Beside the dancing Loire your castle stands,
Steep roofed and gabled over pillared arch.
Its history counts the deeds of many hands;
Speaks of the hall resounding to the march
Of armored host or laughing cavalcade,
While garden walls tell of the times they caught
The breathless whispering of love essayed;
There pride with pride seems never to have fought.
For though the heart of Balafré grew cold
His corpse long hidden by the guard-room door—
While brave De Guise betrayed, so we are told,
Expired in anguish, chained to dungeon floor;
Kind time has healed such scars of human pains,
And utter loveliness alone remains.



Sparkles beneath this pale Italian sky
The turquoise sea. Far down a blue boat dips
And rises like a painted shell; and I
Can see—from here—the curling, ivory tips
That mark the sunlit dancing crests. And there,
From that old wall, the campanula blows—
As blue as Saxon eyes ’mid Saxon hair;
And there the grape all dusty purple grows.
These colors change, and fade, and disappear—
These last! (They say the primrose once was here!)
If I could stand an æon from to-day,
Here on the Punta Tragara, I know—
There where the white beach rims the circling bay—
I’d find the same blue tapestry below.


Christmas Day at Cherrywold

Tis Christmas Day at Cherrywold:
The snow is softly falling,
And through the valley as of old
The chimes are calling.
But I shall wander far away
This Christmas Day, this Christmas Day.
A place more fair than Cherrywold—
With nature’s gifts more blessed—
You may not find, so I’ve been told,
From East to West.
But I would not be led that way,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day.


Lothario in Livorno

George Ardrath had the misfortune to enter his adolescent stage at the same time that he became initiated into the sacred mysteries of poetry-love. As a matter of fact, George was far ahead of most eighteen-year-old prep-school youths in regard to mental development—that is, he had passed the period during which most boys of his age delight in telling of minor moral peccadilloes. He no longer thought that the summum bonum was to be seen in a rather doubtful Manhattan cabaret, or to be able to talk intelligently about the exorbitant price of gin.

George’s appreciation of the finer arts, in its early period of incubation, was limited by the extent of his readings. There were certain intellectual hazards such as Keats’s Ode to a Grecian Urn which George read to find out why they were considered so exquisite; and without being convinced in his own mind as to the merits of those sine qua nons he accepted the judgment of his superiors, and injected an attraction into them by main force. When he was swamped by their intricacies, he memorized them, so as not to be caught napping on any popular masterpiece. George was the kind of fellow who you could be morally certain would remark: “Ah! ‘Rosemary—that’s for remembrance’,” when brought face to face with that poetic flower in the garden in back of Shakespeare’s birthplace. Behind all this aesthetic posing, however, there was a real seeking after beautiful things in George’s heart, trite as that statement may seem, and if the path to a subtle poetic appreciation led through a rather plebeian state of mind, there was no help for it, and in this case the end certainly justified the means.

There was one typically adolescent trait discernible in the adolescent Ardrath, and that was his ambition to be a heart-breaker—a youthful Don Juan, or Romeo, or even perhaps a more mature Paolo. George could be classified in the number of those who smugly exhibit the farewell salutation of a girl’s letter, discreetly shading the immediately preceding part—the whole process being[119] attended by a certain atmosphere of delightful mystification. So George could hardly be called abnormal—his Relations With Women (awe-full term!) redeemed him to the ranks of gum-chewing, suppressed-book-reading Much Younger Generation.

It so happened that George went abroad with his family, the summer before he planned to enter college. Being a creative as well as appreciative dilettante, he felt it his duty to be inspired by the Atlantic, and composed some rather frightful sea-poems. In this respect George was somewhat of an opportunist; there were certain great occasions, tremendous poetical crises, at which George intended to produce intellectual gems—“Upon Seeing Stratford-on-Avon”, “Lines Written at Montmartre”, “At Westminster Abbey”, and so on. Thus it is evident at once that young Ardrath was destined to experience a profound literary Renaissance in Italy. That, however, comes a little later in the story.

George had the further misfortune (in our own critical judgment, though certainly not in his) of meeting on the eight-day boat a girl who really took him seriously—almost as seriously as he took himself. She was older than he, but not much more sophisticated. Irma had studied in a small seminary in California, and had consequently escaped the superworldliness of students in the large Eastern colleges. She saw that George was not an ordinary type of boy, and in his individualistic traits she made out the factors which distinguished him as a future virtuoso, perhaps even a coming genius. Youth often stumbles, through infatuation, upon real truths of significance, and the glamor of a romantic attachment may indeed be but a superficial coating above a genuine appreciation of latent talent. However that may be, Irma liked George immensely, and George imagined that the feeling was mutual.

The enamored pair pursued their literary and amatory inclinations to the full on board ship. They would slip off between dances on the deck by moonlight, and read Swinburne or Dowson to each other, really enjoying themselves. There was a certain zest in believing themselves superior to the common run of couples who merely embraced each other amorously in covert nooks; it seems elevated to kiss to the music of Swinburne’s Atalanta—to shut the book with a half-gasp of utter emotional exhaustion,[120] and seek each other’s lips. Romeo and Juliet could not have acted out the passion more realistically, with all the stage-craft available.

When George and Irma parted at Cherbourg, bound for different destinations, it was with almost genuine affection, though much of it had been puffed up artificially to merit the setting. They promised to write each other faithfully—George had a visual image of himself sitting down at a desk in the Hotel Palermo in Florence and penning something akin to this:

Dearest Irma:

“As I sit here, with the Arno flowing mellifluently far below my lattice window, I cannot help thinking of you in Versailles, that beauty-spot of this prosaic world, walking lightly through the magnificent gardens and estates of the great Louis Quatorze....”

The effects of a catholic taste in literature, and four years of French, are only too evident in this prospective outburst.

It was with intense surprise that George, one bright morning, bumped literally into Irma and her mother on one of the principal streets of Leghorn, on the west coast of Italy. (George preferred the more “mellifluent” name Livorno—Leghorn always reminded him in his subconscious mind of a kind of chicken, and he had an irresistible impulse to laugh, which would have been fatal to all true sentiment). After the conventional references to the small size of the world, after all, George inquired:

“What are you doing here, of all places? You never told me you expected to take in Italy.”

“We really didn’t think at first we would, George, but I wanted to see it so badly that mother finally gave in, and here we are! You don’t look overjoyed to see me, George, or are you overcome by the shock?”

“Nonsense, Irma; you surprised me, that’s all. I was in the clouds just now, reciting Shelley’s ‘To a Skylark’ to myself, to the intense annoyances of all the Livornian traffic-policemen (I presume that’s what they call the creatures). Where are you staying, Mrs. Bench?”


“We’re at the Continental, George; do come up and see us some time. We don’t know a soul, and it’s terribly lonely.”

“Then I shall play the rôle of the Friend From Home to you and Irma, and show you with great and unabating gusto all my snapshots. How about that for a dull evening’s entertainment?”

“Splendid!” said Irma without much enthusiasm. George was always trying to be so infernally clever!

“I’ll come up to-night,” said George in a moment of inspiration, “with appropriate guide-books and illustrated slides.”

And he walked off down the street—but in the confusion he seemed to have forgotten the last few lines of Shelley’s lyric.

That evening, after Mrs. Bench had been tactfully dismissed for the night, the young blood Ardrath and his serious-minded companion took a long walk along the bay of Leghorn. “It was on this bay that Shelley lost his life while sailing,” recited George with the air of a very efficient but somehow uninspiring courier. “In his pocket was a book of his friend Keats’s poems, doubled back at the one called ‘St. Agnes’s Eve’. You know—‘St. Agnes’s Eve, ah, bitter chill it was!’”

“How romantic!” offered Irma. “I suppose you’d like to be drowned here too, and be cremated like Sam McGee (blasphemous thought!).”

They walked on in silence for a few minutes. George was trying to remember the next lines of “St. Agnes’s Eve”, as he termed it. Irma was trying to decide whether she really still liked George or not. Somehow the month’s separation which had just ended had cooled their ardor considerably—on her part, at least.

“Shelley, in a way, must have been rather wet,” said Ardrath after the pause. “He was unpopular at Oxford; they threw mud at him one night when he became particularly obnoxious to the conservative students, and insisted upon advocating atheism to his comrades.”

“Oh, but we’re all wet one way or the other, George, don’t you think? Shelley may not have been the man you are, but he wrote better poetry.” This last with a tinge of irony that did its work.

“You’re making fun of me, Irma. You don’t think I’m a bit sincere in anything I say.”


“Not at all. There were a lot of things you said to me on the boat which I believed were sincere.”

“Don’t you still think so?”

“Not entirely. I have an idea that you were more or less posing when you said them—that you let yourself think they were true, just for the sake of being romantically clever.”

George pondered. After all, there was a certain virtue in being frank.

“As a matter of fact, you’re right—”


Evidently he had blundered. George tried another tack.

“I mean, perhaps I said some things that a sensible person wouldn’t have.”

“Then you can’t be called sensible?”

“No. Sometimes I act like a darn fool.”

“And I was a darn fool on the boat to think you meant anything you said. Well, it’s lucky I’ve gotten over it now.”

“Irma, what do you mean?”

“You know perfectly well what I mean. There’s no use of our pretending we care for each other any longer.”

George waved his hands in a great gesture.

“But you don’t understand, dear. I care for you in a different way now; I’ve gotten over all my sentimental romanticism.”

Somehow this did not sound sincere or convincing to either Irma or himself. The girl straightened.

“How do I know that this is true, if you were just fooling on the boat?”

They were walking on a ledge that overhung the bay now, and the blue water of the Mediterranean gleamed in the moonlight thirty feet below. Irma looked at it, and a devilish glint came into her eye.

“George, if I jump into the sea, will you come after me?”

Assuredly this was carrying things too far, thought Ardrath. Irma had again taken him too seriously. But he maintained his poise.

“Of course; but don’t be a fool.”

“I hate sensible people,” she replied. “They always do the obvious thing. For a long while I’ve wanted to do something[123] unusual, something quite unorthodox. George, I am going to dive in.”

It was impossible to stop her. Bent like the curve of a bow, her slender body arched as it plunged into the water.

There was a big splash as another body hurtled down and struck the waves.

It was unfortunate that George had never learnt how to swim. After he had gurgled around for two breathless submersions, Irma took compassion on him and dragged him out. They have excellent aquatic sports in Pasadena.

“I’m sorry, George, really,” said Irma tenderly. “I never thought for a minute that you couldn’t swim. Will you forgive me?”

“No,” replied George. “Good-night.”

He walked off without further remark. His soggy clothes clung about him; his shoes squirted water from all openings; and he felt damp. Irma followed at a respectful distance. She felt strangely in the wrong.

It was about twelve o’clock when the dripping pair reached the Continental Hotel. To their intense relief there were few people on the streets to see them. In the lobby Irma forced George to take her hand and say good-night in a pleasant tone of voice.

“It was really splendid of you to jump in like that when you might have drowned. I don’t know how I can ever forgive myself, much less expect you to do it. But I hope you will. I was certainly an awful fool to-night.”

George made a fierce effort and regained his poise.

“‘There’s little comfort in the wise’,” he remarked. “Good-night, Irma.”

When Mrs. Bench caught sight of her bedraggled and rather miserable daughter sloshing into the room, she was naturally surprised and quite wrought up.

“What on earth happened to you?” she demanded.

“I fell off a ledge into the bay,” lied Irma glibly, “and George dove in and pulled me out.”



Brushwood Rabnon

The bright spring sun made it a different France than we had tramped two weeks before. Then it had been dark; cold rain had made our cassocks cling like gowns of soft lead, half-frozen roads had cut and blistered our feet. But now, the sky was blue everywhere, and the light sparkled from wet leaves and the little pools that lay along the road. I felt reborn into the full flush of youth: I loved the countryside, the Order which had sent me there, the man with whom I was travelling. I loved the ooze of cool mud that squirted between my toes and splashed about ankles tired from walking. Eleven miles that morning had been a pleasure such as we rarely enjoyed. Our spirits were coming out of their hibernation, with all nature.

I turned at last, as we came over the crest of a hill, and broke the friendly silence that had been between us for some time.

“Look, Rabnon, there is the town. I had not expected it to be so beautiful.”

We stopped to gaze out down the road, for it was beautiful indeed, and we were always willing to stand resting awhile. Below us a shallow valley ran from side to side, its furrow lined by the twistings of a small stream which joined at right angles with the sharper twistings of our present thoroughfare. Where these two met, the village spread itself in an irregular T shape, the larger buildings in the center outlining their tops against the sky, while their lesser, peripheral neighbors snuggled unostentatiously into the flattened background of hill and river. Upstream, on higher and less cultivated ground stood the modest fortress of the Lord of Camereau, its round brown walls unremarkable save by a drawbridge which was half up and half down, so that it rested in relief against a light spot in the woods with a curious air of suspense, and a white pennon which waved in the blue its allegiance to the King of France. Like the pools and foliage at the roadside, roofs and rocks as far as we could see glistened with moisture from the night’s rain and the steaming earth. The stream was a[125] ribbon of alternating coruscance and tree-shaded brown water. The sharp sound of a hammer on planks came distinctly across the intervening mile and told us that some one was repairing his home from the ravages of water. Altogether, everything looked as if in the process of being fixed up and made ready for an event; the valley was as rejuvenated as myself.

“Neither had I,” said Rabnon gruffly, and it was impossible to tell whether or not he felt that immanent something as I did.

It had not occurred to me to look closely at him before this morning, and I turned now as he stood gazing down the road to make sure it was the same Rabnon of a fortnight ago. As you know, this strange director of my dreams appears in surprising forms, and, while matters in dreams are usually matters of course, yet I never began a night’s escapade with him without a little misgiving lest he take some such terrible shape as the pirate who guided my pen in that devastating evening a year back. However, the benign countenance of my fellow-friar could hide no malice to-day, I thought. His grey hood was thrown back over sturdy shoulders, discovering an impressive head of white hair; the face was seamed, and set in a kindly, immobile expression. His eyes alone did not betray his age, for their deep-set glitter was as eager and querulous as I supposed must have come from mine.

We walked on down toward the town, and I began a conversation on a subject which seemed to have been a long time on my mind.

“Rabnon,” I said, “I don’t for a minute doubt the good work our Order is doing, and I feel as whole-heartedly pledged to its cause as in the first days of enthusiasm, but sometimes I grow a little squirmish under its restrictions. I am no longer a boy, but I am still a young man, and it is spring. There is something in my blood that is not as celibate as my body.”

“My boy,” said Rabnon, “love of God and love of woman are as opposite as Heaven and Hell. You cannot serve God and Mammon, and, to speak in pagan terms, you cannot serve Zeus and Aphrodite.”

“But Aphrodite was both daughter and servant to Zeus,” I replied, perhaps a little anxious to show my learning followed his.[126] He only laughed. “Oh, come! We are neither scholars, nor scholists to argue angels off the needle’s point. I mean that if either of us allowed ourselves a woman’s love, there would be moments when God’s purpose would be farthest from our minds. St. Francis knew it as well as anyone, wherefore it is something you must suffer. My blood was hot enough in my day; I used to consider the dissatisfaction of it a part of my martyrdom.” He laughed again, and so disputing we came at length into the street of the town, and to the inn.

Those who do not know Rabnon and me from before must be told of a feminine face I have never been able to remember for description, there in my dreams without the sanction of my most unconscious sense I am sure, delightfully haunting, agonizingly beyond my control. Imagine, then, my surprise in the light of our travel’s talk when I saw a young cavalier in the courtyard helping dismount a lady with such a face and a familiar figure. Imagine, too, the furtive glances of a rebellious celibate, following them through the gate into the high-raftered room where mine host greeted us all from among his many tables. A significant sleeve-plucking from my friend was necessary to make me leave staring after the pair and join him in a corner, where we ordered an ale. And I did not talk more easily with him because the cavalier and his companion were seated at the head of a long table before us, so that I was to be observing them for the duration of our stay.

While we waited for the ale, I looked at that elusive face, and took up the discussion with Rabnon, at the same time. “Now the pretty waitress,” I pointed to the girl who had taken our order—she was then engaged in repartee with my flashy nobleman—“she has probably had more than one lover, and neither she nor they have taken more than the moment’s concentration from their more serious occupations. Yet the youth and the man in them have been satisfied, and—”

“Hold on,” Rabnon interrupted. “Now you are bringing up a different question.”

“Am I?” said I, disinterestedly. The girl’s expression, I thought, was strangely sad, her eyes remarkably wide and frightened, for one in such gay attire and with such dashing company.[127] She should be laughing with her companion, and draining her wine with vigor to mine host, but I saw her fingers tremble as the glass went to her lips, and she sits, quite out of the merriment, her thoughts apparently somewhere beyond the leaded windows.

“You are,” said Rabnon. “The question of passion without love. And it doesn’t work, old man. I can tell you that. It’s a sure way to get into trouble, and more distraction from our work than—”

I cut him short. “Rabnon, you are talking of love, and I am writing of it. Does either of us know anything about it? I have heard that the God of the mystics is perhaps only the effect of psychological actions. Something comes welling up in a man: it is the love of God, whom he sees, as the days go on, more and more clearly through the mists of his own consciousness. Suddenly the idea—is it really God from outside? we wonder—takes the predominant position in his mind; he is in love with God, and he cannot help this. Men have been in love also with other ideas than God. Is it not thus that love of woman comes? Doesn’t it explain ‘love at first sight’? If you had been obsessed by an idea, and it had been forming and churning in your mind for days and days, and suddenly—presto!—there it is in the flesh—” I waved my hand, and turned back to my scrutiny of my lady. “Some day, I am going to remember and write that face,” I finished.

While we were talking, the escort of the lady had risen and advanced to the waitress, who stood before the fire. Everyone in the room could conjecture his intent, and everyone could see that she was frightened; he was big and burly, fitter for battle than for love. Rabnon put his hand on my arm to call my attention to the movement, and we watched silently, with the rest of the room, this sudden dramatic turn of events. It was evident that the man was drunk.

The two by the fire had stood whispering a moment, when the girl, who was strong and buxom, hit her assailant resoundingly across the face. He replied by taking her in his arms, and a struggle ensued for his punitive kiss. The waiting audience roared and clapped, with a great pounding of pottery and dishes. For myself, I was disgusted thoroughly, and I saw Rabnon’s great[128] fist close tightly where it lay upon the table. “I don’t like this atmosphere,” he said presently. “Let’s get out upon our way again.”

But as we got up, the sad lady who had been with the attacker of waitresses rose too, and we stood by our benches, interested in this new complication. She had been watching, I had noticed, with more active distaste than ourselves, her escort’s proceedings. Now she ran lightly to the struggling pair, and laid her hand on the man’s shoulder. “Come Camereau,” she said, “you are attracting a great deal too much attention, and we are late. I did not agree to accompany you on any such doings as these. Let us get on, or I shall go without you.”

I am not fully conscious to what passed during the next few moments. I know that the brute struck her, with an oath, and that she fell back, supporting herself against the table. Rabnon told me later that the maid screamed. I did not hear it; I found myself across the room, with the gallant by the throat. “Were you not so drunk,” I was saying, “I should wad you up the chimney flue with the rest of the waste.”

The man shook himself free, and we stood glaring a moment, while he poured out torrents of abusive threats to me of a more eternal sort of flame. Then he seemed to recollect himself and drew up, straightening the prettiness of his attire. “You should think twice, friend friar,” he said, “before interfering in other people’s affairs. Do you know who I am?”

I stood facing him, my hands on my hips. “I ought to,” I replied. “But you do not know me, Sir Guy.”

“You ought. I am the Guy of Camereau, and my soldiers are everywhere in the village. And why, then, should I be interested in your identity?”

“It seems always necessary,” I said, “to reiterate that I am the author of all these adventures, and that I am the Creator of you all, for am I not dreaming and writing you even as we speak? Great gingoes, man! I notice now that I have forgotten to give you a face, and you prate to me of soldiers and sovereignty! Come now, I shall need to put a physiognomy on you so as to have the pleasure of marring it.”


His hair was black and oily, and hung down about his shoulders in round artificial curls. Black, heavy-browed eyes looked out surlily from above fat bags of dissipation upon his cheeks. His nose was heavy, and seemed turned under at the end, so that he was always smelling his thick mustaches which were curled at either extremity. His lower lip hung down exactly like a grizzled old bulldog’s mouth, and it was there that I hit him while he mumbled more grotesqueries. They were picking him up, unconscious, when I turned about and his lady fell fainting into my arms.

With the feel of that soft arm in silks under my hand, forgotten was Rabnon, and the inn, and the crowd. I picked her lightness up; people were about me, but I shouted, “Make way,” and we two were soon alone by the spring in the courtyard. I was bathing her face with her own small handkerchief, and sobbing. “At last! I have touched you at last, you whom I have seen in so many guises, and who have escaped my grasp as often as you have eluded my pen. Oh, perfection! It cannot be that you are a part of my dreams, for there is nothing within me as perfect as you. Oh, my dear, my dear; I cannot imagine you, I cannot move you, and now, I cannot help you, when, in these hours, it would be my power to awaken anyone else!” And I went on mumbling and mixing my tears with the water I poured on her dainty wrists.

Presently she opened her eyes, and looked at me. “You!” she said. “Why have you always vanished from my dreams just as I was becoming interested in you? I have always suspected you of being not one of my creatures, for I had no control over you whatsoever, and when you were about, my own dream-people did amazing things. You are not at all like anyone of my imaginings, yet I like you far better than the lot of them.”

I would have taken her pretty lips to mine, she was so natural and so weak now, but I remembered my cloth and kept myself kissing her hands. Then I burst out laughing: “The Brushwood Boy!” She smiled. “Were you thinking that too? I’m so glad you have read it. But they had no trouble meeting in their dreams. Look, we must talk this matter out, now, for combined, we can make our evenings bring us together as much[130] as we desire—” And she put her lovely arm about my neck and pulled my head down. “I think I should like to be together with you—in my dreams—forever—”

I had known she would say something of the kind and had steeled myself against it. Women always speak first. “To-night,” I said, “which is todreamday,—I should like to start a long series of dream-days together. And it is true that whatever one wants badly enough may be materialized in a dream; it is thus that we have at last gotten together.

“But to-night I am a friar, and sworn to the observance of celibacy; to-night I have duties elsewhere, so I must see you safely cared for and fare onward into the dusky places of the dream.” She rose, sorrowfully, and supporting her on my arm, I continued, “We can only hope for another meeting at another time. Neither of us can be untrue now to the artistry we have begun. You too must have your destiny to-night?”

“Your Camereau had spoiled it,” she said, as we turned again to the gate. “I was looking, it seemed, for a lover to-night, but he met me on the road.”

I could not help interjecting a smile. “A Freudian pickup!” I laughed. But she would have no levity. “My evening is over,” she said. “I shall stop writing, and awake. Let me precede you into the inn.” And with a vague little glance she turned and went in; I did not see her again.

Shortly, Rabnon came out, and we went on our way again, but my blood was no longer boiling with the spring, and I had no carnal arguments, for I was thinking neither of philosophy nor of Franciscan tenets. After we had walked a mile or so I turned to Rabnon and said, “You are right. A woman will drive our God out of the heart of a man. For a woman is God to a man who is in love.” Rabnon very seriously and apparently irrelevantly, answered as he looked into my face, “We must travel far to-day, my friend.”

And because I was a maudlin artist I could not help writing a soft breeze into the trees that stood by the wayside so that they sighed and shivered as we went down a hill and left Camereau behind us.


I look up and see that dawn is coming in at the window; dawn is here, and a moment ago I was dreading the sunset. For we must travel far, Rabnon and I, to escape from love and laughter, and to do God’s work....

Yet, I am waiting for another dream on another day, where love only is God.



Book Reviews

The Boy Grew Older. By Heywood Broun. (Putnam’s.)

“The Boy Grew Older” is a tale of paternity told in the terms of a sporting-writer. As a story of paternity it is rather appealing; one cannot help but feel a warm sympathy for this bewildered, clumsy, kind-hearted reporter who takes it upon himself to rear his infant son, after his dancer wife has deserted them. The very theme plays (not too delicately!) on the chords of human compassion. But as a story told in the terms of a sporting-writer, it is not so successful. The style shows lack of careful writing. It often verges on sloppiness. Mr. Broun imposes upon a public which has raised him to popularity, in writing in so slipshod a fashion. Besides, the story in itself deserves a finer exposition.

Peter Neale is the writer of a sporting column in a New York newspaper. He falls in love with Maria Algarez, a dancer, and chiefly by virtue of the fact that he praises her as much as she demands, persuades her to marry him. When their baby is born, she runs away to Europe to have her career, unfettered by the cares of maternity. Peter unselfishly devotes himself to the care of the boy. It is his ambition that he shall grow up to be a Harvard athlete, and finally inherit his father’s column. The war comes, and after it there is a meeting with the mother again—with the final decision of the boy’s career.

In an incidental way, Mr. Broun’s often-exercised delight in making Harvard appear superior to Yale comes into the story. Father and son help vanquish Yale. We mustn’t mind that, if it pleases him! Besides, occasionally Mr. Broun achieves an amusing paragraph by his obsession—as when the father, unable to recall the words of a lullaby, sings the baby to sleep with Harvard’s song ending:

“And if any Eli—”

The song had to be cut short; the baby must not learn Harvard men’s words of profanity at such an early age!


Whatever faults the assiduous critic may find, “The Boy Grew Older” is an amusing story—and that’s the greatest reason for buying new novels, anyway!

C. G. P.

Command. By William McFee. (Doubleday, Page & Co.)

In writing a review of a sea story it is customary to hail in the names of several other sea-writers—either for laudatory, or for defamatory, purposes; or for no purpose whatever—but to hail them in, nevertheless. The process usually proves little more than the truth of the ancient observation that comparisons are odious—and odiousness is associated with reviewing quite enough as it is.

The name of William McFee is great enough to stand alone, in the world of books. He writes of the sea with a sureness born of first-hand knowledge, for he was a sailor before he was an author.

“Command” is a story of the life aboard a ship in wartime. Spokesley, the hero, a British second officer, is called to duty in the Aegean immediately after becoming engaged to a girl in England. There was little love wasted in the betrothal, and therefore Mr. Spokesley has few qualms when he becomes really, passionately enamoured of a girl of the South. This is the barest hint of the thread of the plot. “Command” offers a great deal more—pictures of the torpedoing of a ship in mine-strewn waters, of a collision with a warship at night, of the surging life in sea-ports along the Mediterranean—so many that the story is in danger of growing tedious with too long sustained excitement.

The characters are memorable. Not so much by their descriptions as by their actions are they impressed. Mr. McFee has taken so much pains, by inserting a preface to the effect, to assure his readers that the story is purely fiction, that one is tempted to wonder which of the characters are drawn from life.

“Command” is, to be dogmatic, Mr. McFee’s best book; though various people will at once proceed to deny that, they will certainly agree that his work has been so uniformly good as to place it very near the top.

C. G. P.


Where the Blue Begins. By Christopher Morley. (Doubleday, Page & Co.)

To say anything critical about Mr. Morley’s book is like saying anything critical about “Jurgen”—it is impossible—and “Where the Blue Begins” hasn’t even the depths of salacious possibilities which permitted the columnists to fill their columns in the days of Cabell’s first prominence. In fact, it is nowhere so deep as “Jurgen”, yet it is another of those books out of which you may get as much as you bring to it, though you are acutely doubtful throughout whether the author intended half the thoughts he has created within you. But “Where the Blue Begins” is a delightful fantasy for anybody. The whimsical adventures of Gissing are just the disorganized evening-hour adventures in which anyone with a mind is apt to indulge.

“Where the Blue Begins” is an evening-hour book, or rather, a book for several evening-hours. When the fatigued upper-classman has his to-morrow’s Freshman calculus laid aside as a bad job, and has lit his pipe in complete acquiescence to the fact that his brain is in a fog, let him prop his feet against the new University fire-screen and seek happiness with Christopher Morley. But leave a call with the janitor for chapel time next day. You will never know when Morley stopped and your own dreams began.

D. G. C.

Pre-Raphaelite and Other Poets. By Lafcadio Hearn. (Dodd, Mead & Company. Net, $2.50.)

The unusual imaginative mind of Hearn, through Irish and Greek parentage, and exposure to Japanese culture, combined weird romanticism and realism with a strange mysticism. To this variegated composite, he added a background of concepts formulated in England, the United States, and St. Pierre. These impressions, visual and mental, produced spontaneously literary projections ranging from “Stray Leaves from Strange Literature” in 1884 to “Japan, an Interpretation” in 1904.

Professor Erskine of Columbia University compiled this volume from Hearn’s lectures delivered at the University of Tokyo in[135] 1896-1902. The major division includes analyses and studies of Rossetti, Swinburne, Browning, Morris, and Meredith. Corollary to this, are notes upon Rossetti’s prose, and Meredith’s “The Shaving of Shagpat”. A consideration of the harsh Scotch conservatist, Robert Buchanan, and the contemporary poet of quiet effects, Robert Bridges, conclude the volume.

Hearn discerns Rossetti’s thoughtful melancholy, sensuous touches, and mystic feeling. The pictorial quality and medievalistic setting of the poet and the painter’s verse are traced artistically throughout the shorter narrative poems, “Rose Mary” and “The Bride’s Prelude”. The technical construction that underlies the poet’s exotic color and temperament, is emphasized by Hearn as a proof of Rossetti’s energetic intellect.

Swinburne is classified as the greatest English verse writer, scholar, critic, and living dramatist. He is a pessimistic evolutionist preaching almost an immoral law, contrasting vividly with George Meredith. As a further contrast the problem of evil is approached by Swinburne much in the same way as the German philosopher Nietzsche. The music of this poet’s verse, the brilliance of his language, the value and beauty of his diction are revealed logically and enthusiastically by Hearn.

Our critic finds an optimistic pantheism and an intense individualism in Browning and paraphrases excellently some of his poems, but there is, unfortunately, no consideration of Browning’s paradoxical interpretation of Love. William Morris’s “refuge from life” in art and artistry in Norse subjects are translated into expressive prose. “No man ever worked harder for romantic literature and romantic art, and few men have made so deep an impression into the aesthetic sentiments of the English public.”

His interpolation of minute textual explanations diverts the reader’s attention and destroys the general poetic illusion. In addition, there is a failure to note nuances of character and a desire to substitute phantasy for somberness. His book is overcast with an occasional lack of logic and frequent overwriting, but his simple yet analytical paraphrasing, keen and emotionally appreciative imagination, and unbiased, reasoned opinions make the volume first-class criticism in technique, style, classification, and general achievement.

T. A. Z.


Editor’s Table

As they sat about the Editor’s table, shivering, their coats buttoned high about their throats, Richard Cory, Bukis, Ahaseurus, and Mr. Benson resembled those Russian students we hear of, with their thin red hands and noses, their visible frosty breaths clouding the printed page, their chattering teeth interrupting speech.

But Russian students can usually read their own language. This was more than Richard Cory, Bukis, Ahaseurus, and Mr. Benson could do. There was evidently more of a turn than usual in the University towards an individual modern style.

Trying to read it had evidently affected the conversation somewhat. Mr. Benson, remembering Boswell in a vague way, had been for some moments attempting to imitate the bark of a sea-lion, expecting applause.

“Have you ever heard sea-lions at feeding time?” he asked Ahaseurus.

“What time?” said Ahaseurus. He simply did not understand.

Then Richard Cory’s contribution was an outburst of lyric profanity which proved that our language can at least compete with the Russian in that respect. He really should have watched his language.

Ahaseurus, steeped as usual in Einstein Theories, awoke from a trance to remark sadly, with watery eye, that his feet were too large to allow him to join in all this levity. This was a rum go!

But Bukis said: “This is a hell of a night! Let’s go to the Royal!”

This was agreed upon, although Bukis was severely rebuked by the poor old goat upon whom the task of compiling a last-minute Editor’s Table is becoming too habitually thrust:—to wit,

Mr. Benson.

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