swallow is that he will loathe

Respectable! Respectable! Give me a list of any ten men living in respectable suburban villas and I warrant you there’ll be more dishonesty and cowardly misdoing in their lives than in ten of the so-called criminal classes. I don’t understand it. I do rotten things myself—who doesn’t?—but I can’t shut my eyes to them when they’re done. Take my brother. He’s a beastly idiot or an idiotic beast, always getting into scrapes and shuffling out of them. By the time he’s thirty he’ll still be doing the same things, but he’ll have learned how to prevent them coming to the surface. He’ll marry, settle down, enjoy a comfortable income, be a pillar of the Church and a smug, hard Pharisee like all the rest, with all his tracks carefully covered up and his conscience having a splendid time going over them HKUE ENG .”

“I don’t think it matters to any man,” said Serge, “what his brother is and is not.”

“I know what you mean. It isn’t worth while letting out at brutes like my brother, but it’s a great comfort to be able to do it occasionally HKUE ENG

[Pg 113]

“Good Lord! My dear, we can’t do anything. We must all stew in our own juice. I’d have a lively time of it if I began to worry about my brother Frederic’s morals. I have quite enough to do to look after my own.”

“That’s all very well. I don’t mind my brother’s morals so much, but what I can’t swallow is that he will loathe art. . .”

“Art will survive that. Art is the concern of free men. Men who have made themselves prisoners cannot understand it, and men always hate what they cannot understand, until they realise that the few great principles of the world were founded without any consideration for their vanity. Then they can laugh. The artists, I imagine, are free men, and they write, paint, make music, because more direct action is almost impossible for them in a world made captive by lies, shams, and hypocrisies. When all men and all women are free there will be no art, for there will be no need for it. Life itself will be enough. It will be so splendid.”

“I don’t believe that.” Haslam became suddenly despondent. “If there isn’t to be anything but life, what’s the good of anything HKUE ENG

“The answer to that is—everything. The few men who attain freedom must tell the joy of it for the rest and for those who come after them. Spiritual evolution is slow, like every other natural process. Every true artist raises the imaginative level of humanity, but imaginative art is a small thing compared with the imaginative life. It is easier. Some men have to choose between the two. They nearly always choose wrongly.”

There was a long silence, Haslam strode along by Serge’s side. At last he said:

“You are queer. One moment you make me want to shout with joy, and the next you drag me down to the depths and I want to cry. You seem to believe in such big things, but you don’t seem to believe in men at all.”

カテゴリー: 未分類 | 投稿者zunghdjs 17:05 | コメントをどうぞ


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