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A Christmas Garland   By: (1872-1956)

Book cover

First Page:

A CHRISTMAS GARLAND

woven by

MAX BEERBOHM

LONDON MCMXXI

WILLIAM HEINEMANN

First printed, October, 1912.

New Impressions, October, 1912; December, 1912; December, 1912; July, 1918; September, 1918; March, 1931.

Copyright, 1912.

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

THE WORKS OF MAX BEERBOHM MORE YET AGAIN

A CHRISTMAS GARLAND

THE HAPPY HYPOCRITE ZULIEKA DOBSON SEVEN MEN AND EVEN NOW

CARICATURES OF TWENTY FIVE GENTLEMEN THE POETS' CORNER THE SECOND CHILDHOOD OF JOHN BULL A BOOK OF CARICATURES FIFTY CARICATURES

NOTE

Stevenson, in one of his essays, tells us how he "played the sedulous ape" to Hazlitt, Sir Thomas Browne, Montaigne, and other writers of the past. And the compositors of all our higher toned newspapers keep the foregoing sentence set up in type always, so constantly does it come tripping off the pens of all higher toned reviewers. Nor ever do I read it without a fresh thrill of respect for the young Stevenson. I, in my own very inferior boyhood, found it hard to revel in so much as a single page of any writer earlier than Thackeray. This disability I did not shake off, alas, after I left school. There seemed to be so many live authors worth reading. I gave precedence to them, and, not being much of a reader, never had time to grapple with the old masters. Meanwhile, I was already writing a little on my own account. I had had some sort of aptitude for Latin prose and Latin verse. I wondered often whether those two things, essential though they were (and are) to the making of a decent style in English prose, sufficed for the making of a style more than decent. I felt that I must have other models. And thus I acquired the habit of aping, now and again, quite sedulously, this or that live writer sometimes, it must be admitted, in the hope of learning rather what to avoid. I acquired, too, the habit of publishing these patient little efforts. Some of them appeared in "The Saturday Review" many years ago; others appeared there more recently. I have selected, by kind permission of the Editor, one from the earlier lot, and seven from the later. The other nine in this book are printed for the first time. The book itself may be taken as a sign that I think my own style is, at length, more or less formed.

M.B.

Rapallo , 1912.

CONTENTS

THE MOTE IN THE MIDDLE DISTANCE, HNRY JMS

P.C., X, 36, RDRD KPLNG

OUT OF HARM'S WAY, A.C. BNSN

PERKINS AND MANKIND, H.G. WLLS

SOME DAMNABLE ERRORS ABOUT CHRISTMAS, G.K. CHSTRTN

A SEQUELULA TO "THE DYNASTS", THMS HRDY

SHAKESPEARE AND CHRISTMAS, FRNK HRRS

SCRUTS, ARNLD BNNTT

ENDEAVOUR, JHN GLSWRTHY

CHRISTMAS, G.S. STRT

THE FEAST, JSPH CNRD

A RECOLLECTION, EDMND GSSE

OF CHRISTMAS, HLRE BLLC

A STRAIGHT TALK, GRG BRNRD SHW

FOND HEARTS ASKEW, MRCE HWLTT

DICKENS, GRGE MRE

EUPHEMIA CLASHTHOUGHT, GRGE MRDTH

THE MOTE IN THE MIDDLE DISTANCE

By

HNRY JMS

It was with the sense of a, for him, very memorable something that he peered now into the immediate future, and tried, not without compunction, to take that period up where he had, prospectively, left it. But just where the deuce had he left it? The consciousness of dubiety was, for our friend, not, this morning, quite yet clean cut enough to outline the figures on what she had called his "horizon," between which and himself the twilight was indeed of a quality somewhat intimidating. He had run up, in the course of time, against a good number of "teasers;" and the function of teasing them back of, as it were, giving them, every now and then, "what for" was in him so much a habit that he would have been at a loss had there been, on the face of it, nothing to lose. Oh, he always had offered rewards, of course had ever so liberally pasted the windows of his soul with staring appeals, minute descriptions, promises that knew no bounds... Continue reading book >>




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