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'Even if the words mean nothing in 'I don't,' he said, 'in public, but particular, they are very precious. what a man does in private is some
‘But what has the “violet-tinctured thing between himself and his conessence" to do with common seaweed? science. One has to keep up with the Perhaps it has n't any thing to do with procession in literature as in every it, but if we should find out that it has, thing else; but it's hard on the nerves. there would be an added pleasure which The mind is kept on the stretch. It's comes with intelligence.
the price we have to pay for progress. ‘But perhaps we had better go back But when I go home from the Literary to the vivid phrase "tossings of pain.” Society and sit down by the fire to enPerhaps you have had a touch of joy myself, I always take up the erysipelas which has caused the tossing Proverbial Philosophy. It's a link with of pain, and perhaps it has been re- a happy past. Makes me feel at home lieved by the application of iodine. with my own mind. He tells me what I You can visualize the bottle. Now all knew beforehand, and it's very comthat you need is a very slight knowledge forting to be told it in such a serious of pharmacy to make the poet's mean way. It makes me feel safe and sane. ing sun-clear. When you learn that In these last few years when I've felt one of the chief sources of iodine is that it was my duty to keep up with common seaweed, you are on a perfect the literary advance movement, I've intellectual equality with the poet. craved something I can understand The rather sloppy seaweed on the beach without too much effort. Now I can is glorified by its relation to the usually understand what Tupper is violet-colored essence in the bottle. It driving at. And when he makes an alis a process which the psychoanalysts lusion that is a little difficult all one call sublimation.
has to do is to look at the bottom of the *You ask, “Why does n't the poet page. explain all this?” The answer is, “He ‘For instance take the poem on does, in a footnote, and that is the rea- memory, which begins: — son why I have been able to explain it
"Where art thou, storehouse of the mind, garner to you."
of facts and fancies, That was an unlucky moment for
In what strange firmament are laid the beams of me. The reference to the footnote was thine airy chambers? my undoing. I glanced at Tomlinson. Or art thou that small cavern, the centre of the There was a strange look on his face. It
Where still one sandy morsel testifieth man's was not scorn or indignation, but a look
original. of outraged innocence. Tomlinson seemed as one who was wounded in the 'I should n't have guessed what that home of his friends.
small cavern was, or what was the ‘Martin Farquhar Tupper!'he ex- sandy morsel in the rolling brain, if it claimed. 'Proverbial Philosophy, foot- had n't been for the footnote, which note to page 14.' His tone conveyed explained that “the small cavern is the deep respect for an honored name, and pineal gland, a small oval about the sorrowful surprise at the liberty I had size of a pea, in the centre of the brain, taken with it.
and generally found to contain, even in As we walked home, I broke the si- children, some particles of gravel. lence which had become painful. ‘Tom Galen and afterwards Descartes imlinson,' I said, 'I did n't know that you agined it to be the seat of the soul.” read Tupper.'
“That shows what Tupper had in
mind. After that, it's all clear sailing, I take notice. I'm sure to get some usethough I don't know what the new ful information. That's where you physiologists would say about that slipped up. If you had just recited the piece of gravel in the centre of the poetry, you might have got away with brain. Galen, I suppose, is looked upon it; but when you quoted the footnote I as a back number in medicine.
spotted you. I can repeat every footWhen I'm reading the text of note in the Proverbial Philosophy.' Tupper, I don't tax my memory with 'I'm sorry, Tomlinson, that I made the words. It's the general impression such a bad break.' that every thing is all right that I re- 'I'm sorry too,' he replied. 'I'm tain. But when it comes to a footnote afraid it will break up the club.'
SHALL I DIVORCE MY WIFE? 1
BY BURNHAM HALL
DURING eight months of exile from my siderable of my imagination to help home I have pondered this question. build up a case of mental cruelty Two months ago I filed suit for divorce against me in support of my wife's in a near-by court; yet I still ask my- claim that she found it impossible to live self whether I should put it through. with me. Two of our friends thought The case will not be contested. It is we had a case, but when we placed it clear, definite, and simple, and duly in the hands of the third, who alone substantiated. My wife herself wants of the three was licensed to practice in it to go through, quickly. She wants to our state, he gave it up, saying that he marry the man she has loved, still loves, could not face a judge with such eviand believes she always will love. Hav- dence as we had built together. ing given me just cause for divorce, she He thought, however, that he might is willing to take her medicine and abide construct a case of alienated affections by its inward and outward results. if I would compromise one or another
I, however, would infinitely rather of my women friends, of whom my wife she would get a decree against me in- might claim jealousy! stead. We consulted with three lawyer Then a somewhat celebrated lawyer friends and tried to work up a case offered to get a divorce in favor of my against me for our local courts, obviat wife, if I could provide myself with a ing the necessity for travel into another professional co-respondent, furnish the state, with its consequent expense of necessary cash for detective witnesses, time and money. I lent every reserve and meet a fee of fifteen hundred dolof my personal history, and even con- lars. A less prominent, but doubtless * This paper is, of course, an absolutely true
wiser man of law, advised me against
wiser mai record. — THE EDITOR.
such procedure. He said that the
her ough witraight aced the about.
state of the public mind, and therefore But the problem of her freedom rethat of the bench, was at present dan- mained, and after much more comgerously against such collusion and munion with legal minds (marvelous that it was very apt to fail.
contraptions of historic sophistry!) I Weeks slipped by and my wife grew found myself, as it were, in the very impatient of delay. She thought I was clutches of the law. stalling in the hope that she would settle down again to dull existence with me instead of realizing her dream of abundant life with one whom she loved. I know very little about divorce in She had acted honestly, openly, and the abstract. I have read, since it beeither courageously or merely impru- came a personal problem to me, a few dently when she ran away to him on articles in the Atlantic, in the World's their first adventure. Courageously, Work, and in scattered periodicals here I say, if she went with a full under- and there. None of these articles mean standing of the consequences, and was very much to me. Not one of them willing to face them; imprudently and throws the faintest light on my own foolishly if she dived off on impulse individual case. I sit, in enforced exile, from a springboard of ignorance. awaiting the day appointed for me to
I choose to grant her full credit for come into court and accuse openly, knowing what she was about. She publicly, a friend of mine, my one-time seems to have faced the world and wife, of a statutory crime. I sit here in marched straight ahead. Now she was the very spirit and letter of those lines through with me as a husband, wanted from Wilde's Ballad of Reading Gaol: — her freedom, and wanted it quickly.
I know not whether laws be right I had indeed hoped she might change
Or whether laws be wrong, her mind and, with it, her heart. I All that we know who sit in jail had wondered if this romance were not
Is that the wall is strong, what William James once called an
And that each day is like a year,
A year whose days are long. emotional jag, precipitated by a long and tedious strain and forgivable and My little reading has led me through forgettable as one might forgive and discussions as to whether marriage was forget a spree. I did not know how to made by God or by man; whether help her change that ever mysterious Church, or State, or both, or neither, mind of hers. Perhaps some men know should control marrying and unmarryhow. Sometimes they seem to do such ing. I have read citations from judges, things in novels and movies. I confess quotations from Scripture, extracts to failure, and I also confess to a my- · from anthropology, precedents from opic misunderstanding of what can, the law, and a host of opinions, lay and and does, really happen in a woman's clerical, legal and medical; and I seem soul when she hits the trail of her dream, not one whit wiser, and certainly not not in reverie but in fact.
the least trifle comforted by all these I had welcomed her back to roof, acres of printed word. food, clothing, and the material arte- What concerns me is a definite, bitterfacts of life, not as her husband but ly earnest conflict of feelings within my as a friend in time of need. Having soul, or heart, or mind, or whatever it been dropped as a husband, I chose to is that becomes the battlefield of one's remain a friend, and was accepted emotions. Shall I end these days of unas such.
certainty, of anxious waiting, of inward
perturbation both for myself and for my verbial bean-pole, regret a sprinkling of erstwhile wife, by throttling my sense of gray over my ears, shall probably be courtesy and even decency, go to court, nearly bald within six years and, as a and pillory a woman whom I respect movie-actor, would make an admirable and admire; or shall I drop the case and bookkeeper or professor in a boardinggo my way, leaving it to her to find her school. I do not jot down this contrast freedom as best she can, alone? in levity, but in quite serious earnest.
Nor does retrospective analysis of Physique doth count in unmarrying as the factors involved in this case lend a well as in first marrying. helpful hand toward the settling of my Only inscrutable Providence knows question. It has become a struggle of why my wife elected me the successful almost pure feeling, in which facts, candidate from among her bevy of dates, figures, picture-memories, opin- would-be husbands before we were marions, and abstractions serve as a mere ried. The fact remains that she did, hazy background, or as a dimly in- and that she afterwards regretted her terested audience of wearied faces. choice. On the contrary, I know full The outcome seems to lie in the final well why I selected such a charmingly resultant of two tugging, striving, ma buoyant amazon for a possible wife, jor forces, pulled on tangents by minor and I have not regretted it even issues of chance circumstance and time. through our latest storm, and perhaps
If it were only possible for me to be our last. The hand of the great potter angry, or to feel deeply injured or did not shake when he fashioned her dramatically jealous — how easy my frame, and he breathed a remarkably answer would be! As it is, my coming vital spirit into her clay. approach to the law has all the sem- There must be primal, fundamental blance of cold blooded, maliciously reasons for a romantic revolution in a calculated murder. The end may justi- woman's heart, and sheer quality of fy the means, but I am not as yet a con- physical fitness for reciprocal matehood vert of Machiavelli, nor an emulator of doubtless plays an all important part. I Benvenuto Cellini, both of which wor- mean more than a mere functional cathies I read with considerable delight. pacity for paternity or maternity. Our Yet I cannot even work myself into a vibrantly wholesome daughter, reinrage against the man who has stolen carnating so much of her mother's my wife, to use a phrase rooted in the magnetism and versatility of physique time when wives were private property belies such a physiological level. Nor - like swords, or pipes, or horses. am I persuaded that Mr. Wilfrid Lay's
He is no villain. He is a most admir. thesis, in his interesting but enormously able young man in many ways, many padded Plea for Monogamy, has solved years younger than I, and several years the major problems of the matrimonial younger than the woman he loves and universe. There seems to be, at least wants to marry. Physically he tri- on the part of my own wife, some conumphs over me at every point. His scious or unconscious physical standard shock of curly brown hair would turn or ideal to which I have not measured the Apollo Belvedere jaundiced with up; and this probably accounts, in part envy; he has the shoulders of a young at least, for her change of mind and gorilla, while as a typical caveman he spirit toward me in our married life. would enthrall the feminine element in This factor cannot be affected pracany movie audience. I, on the con- tically by any academic, literary, legal, trary, am built along lines of the pro- clerical, or scientific discussion of our problem. It remains a constant, or at in married life, to less than she had least a very slightly variable factor. hoped and dreamed of in that supposedThe odds here are against me. I accept ly blessed state, and then suddenly dea defeat which was written in my an- cided to snatch from life by sheer force cestry before I was born into this droll, that which it had failed to give her Darwinian world.
with an open hand. Who shall say that she is wrong? The law court, yes; the clergy, yes; her neighbors, acquaint
ances, and even some of her friends, The variables in my perplexity con- perhaps; but if within her own heart sist of that multitude of wavering, she believes she is right, what boots it stressing, straining, and conflicting judge, Church, or people? Where, in thoughts, feelings, words, and acts, literature, or in tradition, or in our own which, together with desire, sympathy, convictions is there a solidly satisfacand sometimes with love, go into the tory answer to such a query? building of married life. Only an im- I ask myself these questions in what possibly complete record of these, in the is perhaps a futile attempt to be intelhands of an omniscient psychoanalyst, lectually honest with myself and with would prove of much practical value in her. I doubt if anyone is ever coman attempted solution of such a prob- pletely honest with himself in such a lem as I have faced during the last situation; but one may keep on trying. eight months and more.
My wife seems to feel something, to I have had ample leisure, lately, to understand something in life that I do go over these elements very thorough. not. She seems to want something of ly and even microscopically. I have which I have only a cloudy and sometapped long-buried memories in retro what poetic conception. Love, to her, spection, reread years of diary and seems to be something vitally different stacks of old letters. My wife and I from what it has been to me. She left have chatted over our historic petty me, not because she hated me, or even differences and major conflicts of opin- because she greatly disliked me; but
proper worth, and perhaps to under- cause she did love somebody else. stand each other better. These items, That somebody has no money. He fit for amicable discussion, are welcome has no home. He has no job and does in law courts, and would make delight- not want one. He is a romantically inful material for gossip among our ac- dependent fellow, intent on building quaintances; but to one's own soul the his own independent career outside of details are like so much wind-blown our vast system of corporation slavery. chaff, and may become as irritating as He offers her nothing save himself and they are useless.
his ambition and his own peculiar Stripped to the skin, exposed in brand of love, with which she felt imprimal nakedness and unashamed, our peratively impelled to mate and there case seems to be that threadbare story found happiness. For him she was willof a self-satisfied husband, content with ing to leave home, fireside, husband, his wife, believing he loved her, and child, and friends. For him she is willfeeling quite sure that she was as happi- ing and anxious to do this again, after ly content with him as he was with her. her temporary return during a time of It is the same old story of yet another material stress. woman who has tried to adjust herself, Yet she loves and wants a home, a