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时间：2021-09-25 07:55:26 编辑：一拳超人 浏览量：20301
If the mere presence in Ireland of Lady Sandhurst and Mr. Stansfeld dismayed Mr. Balfour and scattered his myrmidons as the forces of the Evil One fly before the advent of the angels, could they not have used their semi-divine power for these humiliated rent-payers? Instead of complacently listening to bunkum—which, if they had had any sense of humour would have made them laugh; any of modesty would have made them blush—could they not have brought their inherited principles of commercial honesty and manly fidelity to an engagement to bear on these irate Campaigners, and have reminded them that the very core of Liberalism is the right of each man to unrestricted action, provided he does not hurt his neighbour? But Home Rulers are essentially one-sided in their estimate of tyranny, and things change their names according to the side on which they are ranged. To boycott a man, to mutilate his cattle,[F] to commit outrages on his family, and finally to murder him outright for paying his rent or taking an evicted farm, are all justifiable proceedings of righteous severity. But for a landlord to evict a tenant from the farm for which he will not pay the covenanted rent—will not, but yet could, twice over—is a cowardly, a brutal, a damnable act, for which those slugs from behind a stone-wall are the well-deserved reward.
You asked me to tell you whom I see and what I think of my friends. I haven’t very many; I don’t feel at all en rapport. The people are very good, very serious, very devoted to their work; but there’s a terrible absence of variety of type. Every one’s Mr. Jones, Mr. Brown, and every one looks like Mr. Jones and Mr. Brown. They’re thin, they’re diluted in the great tepid bath of Democracy! They lack completeness of identity; they’re quite without modelling. No, they’re not beautiful, my poor Harvard; it must be whispered that they’re not beautiful. You may say that they’re as beautiful as the French, as the Germans; but I can’t agree with you there. The French, the Germans, have the greatest beauty of all, the beauty of their ugliness — the beauty of the strange, the grotesque. These people are not even ugly — they’re only plain. Many of the girls are pretty, but to be only pretty is (to my sense) to be plain. Yet I’ve had some talk. I’ve seen a young woman. She was on the steamer, and I afterwards saw her in New York — a mere maiden thing, yet a peculiar type, a real personality: a great deal of modelling, a great deal of colour, and withal something elusive and ambiguous. She was not, however, of this country; she was a compound of far-off things. But she was looking for something here — like me. We found each other, and for a moment that was enough. I’ve lost her now; I’m sorry, because she liked to listen to me. She has passed away; I shall not see her again. She liked to listen to me; she almost understood.
But there was no help to be got from hesitation, so with a rueful courage I set off. The place was if possible worse than I had feared. Wading up to the knees with nothing before you but a blank wall of mist and the cheerful consciousness that your next step may be your last — such was my state for one weary mile. The stream itself was high, and rose to my armpits, and once and again I only saved myself by a violent leap backwards from a pitiless green slough. But at last it was past, and I was once more on the solid ground of the hillside.
‘I dinna ken him, and I hadna seen him for years till a fortnicht syne, when a’ Allermuir saw him. He cam doun one afternoon to the public-hoose, and begood to drink. He had aye been kenned for a terrible godly kind o’ a man, so ye may believe folk wondered at this. But when he had stuck to the drink for twae days, and filled himsel’ blind-fou half-a-dozen o’ times, he took a fit o’ repentance, and raved and blethered about siccan a life as he led in the muirs. There was some said he was speakin’ serious, but maist thocht it was juist daftness.’