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Mr. Thomas Hardy, was often mentioned in company with that of Meredith ; but the coupling of the two names is a philosophical and chronological mistake. Mr. Hardy is wholly of our own generation, which is a very unpleasant thing to be. He is shrill and not mellow. He does not worship the unknown God; he knows the God (or thinks he knows the God), and dislikes Him. He is not a pantheist; he is a pandiabolist. The great agnostics of the Victorian age said there was no purpose in Nature. Mr. Hardy is a mystic; he says there is an evil purpose. All this is as far as possible from the plenitude and rational optimism of Meredith. And when we have disposed of Mr. Hardy, what other name is there that can even pretend to recall the heroic Victorian age? The Roman curse lies upon Meredith like a blessing: "Ultimus suorum moriatur”-he has died the last of his own.

The greatness of George Meredith exhibits the same paradox of difficulty as the greatness of Browningthe fact that simplicity was the center, while the utmost luxuriance and complexity was the expression. He was as human as Shakespeare, and also as affected as Shakespeare. It may generally be remarked (I do not know the cause of it) that the men who have an odd or mad point of view express it in plain or bald language. The men who have a genial and everyday point of view express it in ornate and complicated language. Swinburne and Thomas Hardy talk almost in words of one syllable; but the philosophical upshot can be expressed in the most famous of all words of one syllable—damn. Their words are common words; but their view (thank God) is not a common view. They denounce in the style of a spelling-book; while people like Meredith are unpopular through the very richness of their popular sympa

thies. Men like Browning or like Francis Thompson praise God in such a way sometimes that God alone could possibly understand the praise. But they mean all men to understand it; they wish every beast and fish and flying thing to take part in the applauding chorus of the cosmos. On the other hand, those who have bad news to tell are much more explicit, and the poets whose object it is to depress the people take care that they do it. I will not write any more about those poets, because I do not profess to be impartial or even to be good-tempered on the subject. To my thinking, the oppression of the people is a terrible sin; but the depression of the people is a far worse one.

But the glory of George Meredith is that he combined subtlety with primal energy; he criticized life without losing his appetite for it. In him alone, being a man of the world did not mean being a man disgusted with the world. As a rule, there is no difference between the critic and ascetic except that the ascetic sorrows with a hope and the critic without a hope. But George Meredith loved straightness even when he praised it crookedly; he adored innocence even when he analyzed it tortuously; he cared only for unconsciousness, even when he was unduly conscious of it. He was never so good as he was about virgins and schoolboys. In one curious poem, containing many fine lines, he actually rebukes people for being quaint or eccentric, and rebukes them quaintly and eccentrically. He says of Nature, the great earth-mother, whom he worshiped:

She by one sure sign can read,
Have they but held her laws and nature dear;
They mouth no sentence of inverted wit.
More prizes she her beasts than this high breed
Wry in the shape she wastes her milk to rear.

That is the mark of the truly great man: that he sees the common man afar off, and worships him. The great man tries to be ordinary, and becomes extraordinary in the process.

But the small man tries to be mysterious, and becomes lucid in an awful sense-for we can all see through him.

THE LURE OF KARTABO 1

WILLIAM BEEBE

Mr. Beebe disclaims the role of man of letters and would rather be known as an ornithologist. He is in the line of succession of Thoreau, Burroughs, Muir, and Sharp, as well as that of Audubon and Alexander Wilson. His Jungle Peace, published in 1918, and Edge of the Jungle, in 1921, are contributions to American literature as well as to science. They are obviously personal in their point of view and are written with "unconscious power and unconscious grace.”. It is the personal treatment of the scientifically observed life of nature which captures the imagination of the reader of these remarkable books, even though their author's claim is to serve no other end but knowledge.

William Beebe was born in Brooklyn, New York, July 29, 1877He was graduated from Columbia University in the class of 1898 with a degree of Bachelor of Science. The following year he spent at that university as a graduate student. In 1899 he was made an honorary curator of ornithology in the New York Zoölogical Museum. In addition he was director of the British Guiana Zoological Station, fellow of several scientific societies, active member of many others, and corresponding member of still others, both American and foreign. Between 1905 and 1921 he published eight books, all scientific in character, but all eminently readable. In addition to these volumes there are to his credit many scientific papers and monographs relating to birds and to evolution.

A HOUSE may be inherited, as when a wren rears its brood in turn within its own natal hollow; or one may build a new home such as is fashioned from year to year by gaunt and shadowy herons; or we may have it built to order, as do the drones of the wild jungle bees. In my case, I flitted like a hermit crab from one used shell to another. This little crustacean, living his oblique life in the shallows, changes doorways when his home becomes too small or hinders him in searching

1 From Edge of the Jungle, by permission of the publishers, Henry Holt and Company.

for the things which he covets in life. The difference between our estates was that the hermit crab sought only for food, I chiefly for strange new facts—which was a distinction as trivial as that he achieved his desires sideways and on eight legs, while I traversed my environment usually forward and generally on two.

The word of finance went forth and demanded the felling of the second growth around Kalacoon, and for the second time the land was given over to cutlass and fire. But again there was a halting in the affairs of man, and the rubber saplings were not planted or were smothered; and again the jungle smiled patiently through a knee-tangle of thorns and blossoms, and the charred clumps of razor-grass sent forth skeins of saws and hanks of living barbs.

I stood beneath the familiar cashew trees, which had yielded for me so bountifully of their crops of blossoms and hummingbirds, of fruit and of tanagers, and looked out toward the distant jungle, which trembled through the expanse of palpitating heat-waves; and I knew how a hermit crab feels when its home pinches, or is out of gear with the world. And, too, Nupee was dead, and the jungle to the south seemed to call less strongly. So I wandered through the old house for the last time, sniffing the agreeable odor of aged hypo still permeating the dark room, re-covering the empty stains of skins and traces of maps on the walls, and re-filling in my mind the vacant shelves. The vampires had returned to their chosen roost, the martins still swept through the corridors, and as I went down the hill, a moriche oriole sent a silver shaft of song after me from the sentinel palm, just as he had greeted me four years ago.

Then I gathered about me all the strange and unnamable possessions of a tropical laboratory—and moved.

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