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    天l娱乐官网[Pg 299]


    As she spoke she smiled at Henry more and more affectionately. Had it not been for the girl he would have fled long before; as it was, with a horrible sickening sensation that in another moment she would stretch out a fat arm and draw him towards her, he held his ground.
    Alas, Henry did not know. It was here that the vision always stayed. At the instant when the ground opened his size, his command, his force collapsed. He fell, with a bang to the ground, generally to find that some one was hitting him in the ribs, or stepping on his toes or cursing him for being in the way.
    "What did he want to take her away for?" asked Henry.


    1."Of course I wouldn't," said Henry.
    2."And I'm one of the fools," broke in Campbell. "Oh, I know. But don't think there's personal feeling in this. There might have been ten years ago. I worried then a terrible deal about whether I were an artist or no; I cared what you people said, read your reviews and was damnably puzzled by the different decisions you gave. And then suddenly I said to myself: 'Why shouldn't I have some fun? Life's short. I'm not a great artist, and never shall be. I'll write to please myself.' And I did. And I've been happy ever since. You're just as divided about me as you used to be. And just as divided about one another. The only difference is that you still worry about one another and fight and scratch, and I bow to your superior judgment—and enjoy myself. I haven't much of an intellect, I'm not a good critic, but I'm nearer real life than you are, any of you. What you people are doing is not separating the sheep from the goats as you think you are—none of you are decided as to who the sheep really are—but you are simply separating Life from Art. We're not an artistic nation—nothing will ever make us one. We've provided some of the greatest artists the world has ever seen because of our vitality and our independence of cliques. How much about Art did Richardson and Fielding, Scott and Jane Austen, Thackeray and Dickens, Trollope and Hardy consciously know? When has Hardy ever written one single statement about Art outside his own prefaces, and in them he talks simply of his own books. But these men knew about life. Fielding could tell you what the inside of a debtor's prison is like, and Scott could plant trees, and Thack[Pg 169]eray was no mean judge of a shady crowd at a foreign watering-place, and Hardy knew all about milking a cow. What do you people know about anything save literary values and over them you squabble all the while. There aren't any literary values until Time has spoken. But there is such a thing as responding to the beauty in something that you've seen or read and telling others that you've enjoyed it—and there are more things in this world to enjoy—even in the mess that it's in at this moment—than any of you people realize."
    3."Well now, Henry, what is it?" asked Peter at last.
    Put away

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