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The Silent Isle - Chapter 39 The Silent Isle - Chapter 39

The Silent Isle - Chapter 39
CHAPTER XXXIXI have an acquaintance at Cambridge, John Meyrick by name, who visits me here at intervals, and is to me an object of curious interest. He is a Fellow and Lecturer of his College. He came up there on a scholarship from a small school. He worked hard; he was a moderate oar; he did not make many friends, but he was greatly respected for a sort of quiet directness and common-sense. He never put himself forward, but when it fell to him to do anything he did it with confidence and discretion. He had an excellent head for business,... Essays - Post by : eggibiz - Date : May 2012 - Author : Arthur C. Benson - Read : 3712

The Silent Isle - Chapter 38 The Silent Isle - Chapter 38

The Silent Isle - Chapter 38
CHAPTER XXXVIIIThere are some people in the world, I am sure, who are born solitary, who are not conscious of any closeness of relationship with others. They are not necessarily ungenial people--indeed they sometimes have a great deal of external geniality; but when it is a question of forming a closer relationship, they are alarmed and depressed by the responsibility which attaches to it, and become colder instead of warmer, the deeper and more imperative that the claims upon them become. Such people are not as a rule unhappy, because they are spared the pain which arises from the strain of... Essays - Post by : eggibiz - Date : May 2012 - Author : Arthur C. Benson - Read : 1428

The Silent Isle - Chapter 37 The Silent Isle - Chapter 37

The Silent Isle - Chapter 37
CHAPTER XXXVIII have had two visitors lately who have set me reflecting upon the odd social habits of the men of my nation. They were not unusual experiences--indeed I think they may fairly be called typical. One of these was a man who invited himself to come and see me; the excuse, a small matter of business; but he added that we had many common friends, that he had read my books, and much wished to make my acquaintance. He came down to luncheon and to spend the afternoon. He was a tall, handsome, well-dressed man, with a courteous, conventional manner,... Essays - Post by : eggibiz - Date : May 2012 - Author : Arthur C. Benson - Read : 2921

The Silent Isle - Chapter 36 The Silent Isle - Chapter 36

The Silent Isle - Chapter 36
CHAPTER XXXVII have had rather a humiliating experience to-day. A young literary man, whom I knew slightly, came down to see me, and stayed the night. He was a small, shapely, trim personage, with a pale, eloquent face, large eyes, mobile lips, and of extraordinary intelligence. I was prepared--I make the confession very frankly--to find a certain shyness and deference about my young friend. He has not made his mark as yet, though I think he is likely to make it; he has written nothing in particular as I am rather a veteran in these matters. We had a long talk... Essays - Post by : eggibiz - Date : May 2012 - Author : Arthur C. Benson - Read : 1895

The Silent Isle - Chapter 35 The Silent Isle - Chapter 35

The Silent Isle - Chapter 35
CHAPTER XXXVThere are certain writers--men, too, of ability, humour, perspicacity, with wide knowledge, lucidity of expression, firm intellectual grip, genuine admirations, who really live among the things of the mind--whose writings are almost wholly distressing to me, and affect me exactly as the cry of an itinerant vendor in a quiet and picturesque town affects me. It is an honest trade enough; he saves people a great deal of trouble; he sells, no doubt, perfectly wholesome and inexpensive things; but I am glad when he has turned the corner, and when his raucous clamour is heard more faintly--glad when he is... Essays - Post by : eggibiz - Date : May 2012 - Author : Arthur C. Benson - Read : 1533

The Silent Isle - Chapter 34 The Silent Isle - Chapter 34

The Silent Isle - Chapter 34
CHAPTER XXXIVI have just returned from a very curious and interesting visit. I have been to stay with an old school friend of my own, a retired Major; he has a small place of his own in the country, and has lately married a very young and pretty wife. I met him by chance in my club in London, looking more grey and dim than a man who has just married a lovely and charming girl ought to look. He asked me rather pressingly to come and stay with him; and though I do not like country-house visits, for the sake... Essays - Post by : eggibiz - Date : May 2012 - Author : Arthur C. Benson - Read : 3247

The Silent Isle - Chapter 33 The Silent Isle - Chapter 33

The Silent Isle - Chapter 33
CHAPTER XXXIIIMy way this afternoon lay through a succession of old hamlets, one closely bordering on another, that lie all along the base of the wold. I have no doubt that the reason for their position is simply that it is just along the base of the hills that the springs break out, and a village near a perennial and pure spring generally represents a very old human settlement indeed. Sometimes the wold drew near the road, sometimes lay more remote; its pale fallows, its faintly-tinted pastures, seemed to lie very quietly to-day under the grey laden sky. Here a chalk-pit... Essays - Post by : eggibiz - Date : May 2012 - Author : Arthur C. Benson - Read : 790

The Silent Isle - Chapter 29 The Silent Isle - Chapter 29

The Silent Isle - Chapter 29
CHAPTER XXIXWe artists who try to discern beauty, and endeavour to rule our lives to be as tranquil, as perceptive, as joyful as possible, are apt to be too impatient of the petty, mean, and sordid things with which the fabric of life is so much interwoven--the ugly words of spiteful people, little fretting ailments, unsympathetic criticisms, coldness and indifference, tiresome business, wearisome persons. It is a deep-seated mistake. We cannot cast these things away as mere debris. They must be used, applied, accommodated. These are our materials, which we must strive to combine and adapt. To be disgusted with them,... Essays - Post by : eggibiz - Date : May 2012 - Author : Arthur C. Benson - Read : 1108

The Silent Isle - Chapter 28 The Silent Isle - Chapter 28

The Silent Isle - Chapter 28
CHAPTER XXVIIIA few days ago an old friend of mine, who has been a good friend to me, who is more careful of my reputation even than myself, gave me some serious advice. He said, speaking with affectionate partiality, that I had considerable literary gifts, but that I was tending to devote myself too much to ephemeral and imaginative literature, and that I ought to take up a task more worthy of my powers, write a historical biography such as a Life of Canning, or produce a complete annotated edition of the works of Pope, with a biography and appendices. I... Essays - Post by : eggibiz - Date : May 2012 - Author : Arthur C. Benson - Read : 2247

The Silent Isle - Chapter 27 The Silent Isle - Chapter 27

The Silent Isle - Chapter 27
CHAPTER XXVIII have often thought that in Art, judging by the analogy of previous development, we ought to be able to prophesy more or less the direction in which development is likely to take place. I mean that in music, for instance, the writers of the stricter ancient music might have seen that the art was likely to develop a greater intricacy of form, an increased richness of harmony, a larger use of discords, suspensions, and chromatic intervals, a tendency to conceal superficial form rather than to emphasise it, and so forth. Yet it is a curious question whether if Handel,... Essays - Post by : eggibiz - Date : May 2012 - Author : Arthur C. Benson - Read : 1197

The Silent Isle - Chapter 26 The Silent Isle - Chapter 26

The Silent Isle - Chapter 26
CHAPTER XXVII once wrote and published a personal and intimate book; it was a curious experience. There was a certain admixture of fiction in it, but in the main it was a confession of opinions; for various reasons the book had a certain vogue, and though it was published anonymously, the authorship was within my own circle detected. I saw several reviews of it, and I was amused to find that the critics perspicuously conjectured that because it was written in the first person it was probably autobiographical. I had several criticisms made on it by personal friends: some of them... Essays - Post by : eggibiz - Date : May 2012 - Author : Arthur C. Benson - Read : 1647

The Silent Isle - Chapter 25 The Silent Isle - Chapter 25

The Silent Isle - Chapter 25
CHAPTER XXVIt is such a perennial mystery to me what beauty is; it baffles me entirely. No one has ever helped me to discover in what region of the spirit it abides. The philosopher begins by telling you that the simplest and most elementary form of beauty which appeals to every one, the beauty of human beings, has its root originally only in desire; but I cannot follow that, because that would only account for one's admiring a certain kind of fresh and youthful beauty, and in admiring human beauty less and less as it declines from that. But this is... Essays - Post by : eggibiz - Date : May 2012 - Author : Arthur C. Benson - Read : 3655

The Silent Isle - Chapter 24 The Silent Isle - Chapter 24

The Silent Isle - Chapter 24
CHAPTER XXIVOne meets a great many people of various kinds, old and young, kind and severe, amiable and harsh, gentle and dry, rude and polite, tiresome and interesting. One meets men who are, one recognises, virtuous, honourable, conscientious, and able; one meets women of character, and ingenuousness, and charm, and beauty. But the thing that really interests me is to meet a person--and it is not a common experience--who has made something of himself or herself; who began with one set of qualities, and who has achieved another set of qualities, by desiring them and patiently practising them; who, one is... Essays - Post by : eggibiz - Date : May 2012 - Author : Arthur C. Benson - Read : 1933

The Silent Isle - Chapter 23 The Silent Isle - Chapter 23

The Silent Isle - Chapter 23
CHAPTER XXIIIThe great fen to-day was full, far and wide, of little smouldering fires. On fallow after fallow, there lay small burning heaps of roots and fibres, carefully collected, kindled, tended. I tried to learn from an old labourer what it was that he was burning, but I could not understand his explanation, and I am not sure that he knew himself. Perhaps it was the tares, as in the parable, that were at length gathered into heaps and burned! Anyhow, it was a pretty sight to see the white smoke, all at one delicate angle, rising into the clear, cloudless... Essays - Post by : eggibiz - Date : May 2012 - Author : Arthur C. Benson - Read : 3483

The Silent Isle - Chapter 19 The Silent Isle - Chapter 19

The Silent Isle - Chapter 19
CHAPTER XIXIt is generally taken for granted nowadays by fervent educationalists that the important thing to encourage in boys is keenness in every department of school life. As a matter of fact, the keenness which is as a rule most developed in the public school product is keenness about athletic exercises. In the intellectual region, a boy is encouraged to do his duty, but there is no question that a boy who manifested an intense enthusiasm for his school work, who talked, thought, dreamed of nothing but success in examinations, would be considered rather abnormal and eccentric both by his instructors... Essays - Post by : eggibiz - Date : May 2012 - Author : Arthur C. Benson - Read : 1370

The Silent Isle - Chapter 18 The Silent Isle - Chapter 18

The Silent Isle - Chapter 18
CHAPTER XVIIII have had a night of strange and terror-haunted dreams. Yesterday I was forced to work at full speed, feverishly and furiously for a great many hours, at a piece of work that admitted of no delay. By the evening I was considerably exhausted, yet the work was not done. I slept for an hour, and then settled down again and worked very late in the night, until it was finished. Such a strain cannot be borne with impunity, and I never do such a thing except under pressure of absolute necessity. I suppose that I contrived to inflame some... Essays - Post by : eggibiz - Date : May 2012 - Author : Arthur C. Benson - Read : 1343

The Silent Isle - Chapter 17 The Silent Isle - Chapter 17

The Silent Isle - Chapter 17
CHAPTER XVIIWhat a strange, illusory power memory has in dealing with the past, of creating a scene and an emotion that not only never existed, but that could not possibly ever have existed. When I look back to my own commonplace, ordinary, straightforward boyhood, wrapped up in tiny ambitions, vexed with trivial cares, full of trifling events, with a constant sense of small dissatisfaction, I am amazed at the colours with which memory tints the scene. She selects a few golden hours, scenes of peculiar and instantaneous radiance, when the old towers and trees were touched with a fine sunshine, when... Essays - Post by : eggibiz - Date : May 2012 - Author : Arthur C. Benson - Read : 2333

The Silent Isle - Chapter 16 The Silent Isle - Chapter 16

The Silent Isle - Chapter 16
CHAPTER XVII have been thinking all to-day, for no particular reason that I can discover, of a house where I spent many of the happiest days of my life. It belonged for some years to an old friend of mine a bachelor, a professional man, who used to go there for his holidays, and delighted to gather round him a few familiar friends. Year after year I used to go there, sometimes twice in the year, for long periods together. The house was in North Wales: it stood somewhat above the plain on a terrace among woods, at the base of... Essays - Post by : eggibiz - Date : May 2012 - Author : Arthur C. Benson - Read : 820

The Silent Isle - Chapter 15 The Silent Isle - Chapter 15

The Silent Isle - Chapter 15
CHAPTER XVIn one respect only does the advance of age cast a shadow over my mind; in most matters it is a pure gain. Even though a certain peculiar quality of light-hearted happiness visits me more rarely--a happiness like that of a lark that soars, beats her wings, and trills in the blue sky--yet the loss is more than compensated for by the growth of an equable tranquillity, neither rapturous nor sad, which abides with me for long spaces. But here is the secret wound--_clausum pectore volnus!_--I am or would be an artist in words. Well, when I look round at... Essays - Post by : eggibiz - Date : May 2012 - Author : Arthur C. Benson - Read : 3013

The Silent Isle - Chapter 14 The Silent Isle - Chapter 14

The Silent Isle - Chapter 14
CHAPTER XIVI have just finished a book and despatched it to the press. It is rather a dreary moment that! At first one has a sense of relief at having finished a task and set down a burden, but that elation lasts only for a day or two, and then one begins to miss one's true and faithful companion. This particular book has been in a special sense a companion to me, because it has been a book out of my own mind and heart, not a book undertaken for the sake of diffusing useful information, but a book of which... Essays - Post by : eggibiz - Date : May 2012 - Author : Arthur C. Benson - Read : 3009