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The Book of This and That   By: (1879-1949)

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THE BOOK OF THIS AND THAT

THE BOOK OF THIS AND THAT

BY ROBERT LYND

MILLS & BOON, LIMITED 49 RUPERT STREET LONDON, W.

Published 1915

IN MEMORIAM WILLIAM BARKLEY

CONTENTS

PAGE I. SUSPICION 1 II. ON GOOD RESOLUTIONS 9 III. THE SIN OF DANCING 17 IV. THOUGHTS AT A TANGO TEA 25 V. THE HUMOURS OF MURDER 34 VI. THE DECLINE AND FALL OF HELL 43 VII. ON CHEERFUL READERS 51 VIII. ST G. B. S. AND THE BISHOP 59 IX. STUPIDITY 68 X. WASTE 77 XI. ON CHRISTMAS 85 XII. ON DEMAGOGUES 94 XIII. ON COINCIDENCES 102 XIV. ON INDIGNATION 111 XV. THE HEART OF MR GALSWORTHY 120 XVI. SPRING FASHIONS 129 XVII. ON BLACK CATS 137 XVIII. ON BEING SHOCKED 145 XIX. CONFESSIONS 154 XX. THE TERRORS OF POLITICS 162 XXI. ON DISASTERS 170 XXII. THE RIGHTS OF MURDER 180 XXIII. THE HUMOUR OF HOAXES 188 XXIV. ANATOLE FRANCE 197 XXV. THE SEA 205 XXVI. THE FUTURISTS 215 XXVII. A DEFENCE OF CRITICS 224 XXVIII. ON THE BEAUTY OF STATISTICS 232

These essays have appeared from week to week in The New Statesman, to the Editor and Proprietors of which I make grateful acknowledgment.

R. L.

THE BOOK OF THIS AND THAT

I

SUSPICION

Suspicion is a beast with a thousand eyes, but most of them are blind, or colour blind, or askew, or rolling, or yellow. It is a beast with a thousand ears, but most of them are like the ears of the deaf man in the comic recitation who, when you say "whiskers" hears "solicitors," and when you are talking about the weather thinks you are threatening to murder him. It is a beast with a thousand tongues, and they are all slanderous. On the whole, it is the most loathsome monster outside the pages of The Faƫrie Queene . Just as the ugliest ape that ever was born is all the more repellent for being so like a man, so suspicion is all the more hideous because it is so close a caricature of the passion for truth. It is a leering perversion of that passion which sent Columbus looking for a lost continent and urged Galileo to turn his telescope on the heavens. Columbus may, in a sense, be said to have suspected that America was there, and Galileo suspected more than was good for his comfort about the conduct of the stars. But these were noble suspicions leaps into the light. They are no more comparable to the suspicions which are becoming a feature of public life than the energies of an explorer of the South Pole are comparable to the energies of one of those private detectives who are paid to grub after evidence in divorce cases... Continue reading book >>




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