William Fishburne, Charles Aldarondo, and the Online Distributed
BY I. ZANGWILL
Author Of “The Master,” “Children Of The Ghetto” Etc., Etc.
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This book is a selection, slightly revised, from my miscellaneous work
during the last four or five years, and the title is that under which the
bulk of it has appeared, month by month, in the “Pall Mall Magazine.” In
selecting, I have omitted those pieces which hang upon other people’s
books, plays, or pictures—a process of exclusion which, while giving
unity to a possible collection of my critical writings in another volume,
leaves the first selection exclusively egoistic.
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GOSSIPS AND FANTASIES
I. A VISION OF THE BURDEN OF MAN: WHICH MAY SERVE TO INTRODUCE THE
II. TUNING UP
III. ART IN ENGLAND
IV. BOHEMIA AND VERLAINE
V. THE INDESTRUCTIBLES
VI. CONCERNING GENERAL ELECTIONS
VII. THE REALISTIC NOVEL
VIII. IN DEFENCE OF GAMBLING
IX. TRULY RURAL
X. OPINIONS OF THE YOUNG FOGEY
XI. CRITICS AND PEOPLE
XIII. THE ABOLITION OF MONEY
XIV. MODERN MYTH-MAKING
XV. THE PHILOSOPHY OF TOPSY-TURVYDOM
XVII. A THEORY OF TABLE-TURNING
XVIII. SOCIETIES TO FOUND
XIX. INDECENCY ON THE ENGLISH STAGE
XX. LOVE IN LIFE AND LITERATURE
XXI. DEATH AND MARRIAGE
XXII. THE CHOICE OF PARENTS
XXIII. PATER AND PROSE
XXIV. THE INFLUENCE OF NAMES
XXV. AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS
XXVI. THE PENALTIES OF FAME
XXVII. ON FINISHING A BOOK
HERE, THERE, AND SOMEWHERE ELSE: Philosophic Excursions
III. BROADSTAIRS AND RAMSGATE
VII. FIESOLE AND FLORENCE
XL SLAPTON SANDS
XIV. SOMEWHERE ELSE
AFTERTHOUGHTS: A Bundle of Brevities
THE SMALL BOY
A DAY IN TOWN
THE PROFESSION OF CHARITY
THE PRIVILEGES OF POVERTY
SALVATION FOR THE SERAPHIM
TRUTH—LOCAL AND TEMPORAL
THE CREED OF DESPAIR
THE LONDON SEASON
PORTRAITS OF GENTLEMEN
PHOTOGRAPHY AND REALISM
THE GREAT UNHUNG
THE ABOLITION OF CATALOGUES
THE ARTISTIC TEMPERAMENT
Q. E. D. NOVELS
THE MOUSE WHO DIED
THE PROP OF LETTERS
THE LATTER-DAY POET
AN ATTACK OF ALLITERATION
THE DISCOUNT FARCE
THE FRANCHISE FARCE
THE MODERN WAR FARCE
VIVE LA MORT!
MEN AND BOOKMEN
JAMES I. ON TOBACCO
A COUNTERBLAST TO JAMES I.
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GOSSIPS AND FANTASIES
A VISION OF THE BURDEN OF MAN
And it came to pass that my soul was vexed with the problems of life, so
that I could not sleep. So I opened a book by a lady novelist, and fell
to reading therein. And of a sudden I looked up, and lo! a great host of
women filled the chamber, which had become as the Albert Hall for
magnitude—women of all complexions, countries, times, ages, and sexes.
Some were bewitching and beautiful, some wan and flat-breasted, some
elegant and stately, some ugly and squat, some plain and whitewashed, and
some painted and decorated; women in silk gowns, and women in divided
skirts, and women in widows’ weeds, and women in knickerbockers, and
women in ulsters, and women in furs, and women in crinolines, and women
in tights, and women in rags; but every woman of them all in tears. The
great chamber was full of a mighty babel; shouts and ululations, groans
and moans, weeping and wailing and gnashing of false and genuine teeth,
and tearing of hair both artificial and natural; and therewith the
flutter of a myriad fans, and the rustle of a million powder-puffs. And
the air reeked with a thousand indescribable scents—patchouli and attar
of roses and cherry blossom, and the heavy odours of hair-oil and dyes
and cosmetics and patent medicines innumerable.
Now when the women perceived me on my reading-chair in their midst, the
shrill babel swelled to a savage thunder of menace, so that I deemed they
were wroth with me for intruding upon them in mine own house; but as mine
ear grew accustomed to the babel of tongues, I became aware of the true
import of their ejaculations.
“O son of man!” they cried, in various voices: “thy cruel reign is over,
thy long tyranny is done; thou hast glutted thyself with victims, thou
hast got drunken on our hearts’ blood, we have made sport for thee in our
blindness. But the Light is come at last, the slow night has budded into
the rose of dawn, the masculine monster is in his death-throes, the
kingdom of justice is at hand, the Doll’s House has been condemned by the
I strove to deprecate their wrath, but my voice was as the twitter of a
sparrow in a hurricane. At length I ruffled my long hair to a leonine
mane, and seated myself at the piano. And lo! straightway there fell a
deep silence—you could have heard a hairpin drop.
“What would you have me do, O daughters of Eve?” I cried. “What is my
sin? what my iniquity?” Then the clamour recommenced with tenfold
violence, disappointment at the loss of a free performance augmenting
“Give me a husband,” shrieked one.
“Give me a profession,” shrieked another.
“Give me a divorce,” shrieked a third.
“Give me free union,” shrieked a fourth.
“Give me an income,” shrieked a fifth.
“Give me my deceased sister’s husband,” shrieked a sixth.
“Give me my divorced husband’s children,” shrieked a seventh.
“Give me the right to paint from the nude in the Academy schools,”
shrieked an eighth.
“Give me an Oxford degree,” shrieked a ninth.
“Give me a cigar,” shrieked a tenth.
“Give me a vote,” shrieked an eleventh.
“Give me a pair of trousers,” shrieked a twelfth.
“Give me a seat in the House,” shrieked a thirteenth.
“Daughters of the horse-leech,” I made answer, taking advantage of a
momentary lull, “I am not in a position to give away any of these things.
You had better ask at the Stores.” But the tempest out-thundered me.
“I want to ride bareback in the Row in tights and spangles at 1 p. m. on