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The Philistines   By: (1850-1918)

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E text prepared by Eric Eldred, Charlie Kirschner, Charles Franks, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team

THE PHILISTINES

BY

ARLO BATES

The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together. All's Well that Ends Well ; iv. 3

DEDICATION.

To my three friends who, by generously acting as amanuenses, have made it possible that the book should be finished, I take pleasure in gratefully dedicating

"This is no square temple to the gate of which thou canst arrive precipitately; this is no mosque to which thou canst come with tumult but without knowledge." Persian Religious Hymn .

CONTENTS. CHAPTER

I. IN PLACE AND IN ACCOUNT NOTHING II. SOME SPEECH OF MARRIAGE III. IN WAY OF TASTE IV. NOW HE IS FOR THE NUMBERS V. 'TWAS WONDROUS PITIFUL VI. THE INLY TOUCH OF LOVE VII. THIS DEED UNSHAPES ME VIII. A NECESSARY EVIL IX. THIS IS NOT A BOON X. THE BITTER PAST XI. THE GREAT ASSAY OF ART XII. WHOM THE FATES HAVE MARKED XIII. THIS "WOULD" CHANGES XIV. THE SHOT OF ACCIDENT XV. LIKE COVERED FIRE XVI. WEIGHING DELIGHT AND DOLE XVII. THE HEAVY MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT XVIII. HE SPEAKS THE MERE CONTRARY XIX. HOW CHANCES MOCK XX. VOLUBLE AND SHARP DISCOURSE XXI. A MINT OF PHRASES IN HIS BRAIN XXII. HIS PURE HEART'S TRUTH XXIII. AS FALSE AS STAIRS OF SAND XXIV. THERE BEGINS CONFUSION XXV. AFTER SUCH A PAGAN CUT XXVI. O, WICKED WIT AND GIFT XXVII. UPON A CHURCH BENCH XXVIII. BEDECKING ORNAMENTS OF PRAISE XXIX. CRUEL PROOF OF THIS MAN'S STRENGTH XXX. THE WORLD IS STILL DECEIVED XXXI. PARTED OUR FELLOWSHIP XXXII. HEART BURNING HEAT OF DUTY XXXIII. A BOND OF AIR XXXIV. WHAT TIME SHE CHANTED XXXV. HEARTSICK WITH THOUGHT XXXVI. FAREWELL AT ONCE, FOR ONCE, FOR ALL AND EVER XXXVII. A SYMPATHY OF WOE

THE PHILISTINES

I

IN PLACE AND IN ACCOUNT NOTHING. I Henry IV.; v. I.

When Arthur Fenton, the most outspoken of all that band of protesting spirits who had been so well known in artistic Boston as the Pagans, married Edith Caldwell, there had been in his mind a purpose, secret but well defined, to turn to his own account his wife's connection with the Philistine art patrons of the town. Miss Caldwell was a niece of Peter Calvin, a wealthy and well meaning man against whom but two grave charges could be made, that he supposed the growth of art in this country to depend largely upon his patronage, and that he could never be persuaded not to take himself seriously. Mr. Calvin was regarded by Philistine circles in Boston as a sort of re incarnation of Apollo, clothed upon with modern enlightenment, and properly arrayed in respectable raiment. Had it been pointed out that to make this theory probable it was necessary to conceive of the god as having undergone mentally much the same metamorphosis as that which had transformed his flowing vestments into trousers, his admirers would have received the remark as highly complimentary to Mr. Peter Calvin. To assume identity between their idol and Apollo would be immensely flattering to the son of Latona.

Fenton understood perfectly the weight and extent of Calvin's influence, yet, in determining to profit by it, he did not in the least deceive himself as to the nature of his own course.

"Honesty," he afterward confessed to his friend Helen Greyson, who scorned him for the admission, "is doubtless a charming thing for digestive purposes, but it is a luxury too expensive for me. The gods in this country bid for shams, and shams I purpose giving them."

So well did he carry out his intention, that in a few years he came to be the fashionable portrait painter of the town; the artist to whom people went who rated the worth of a picture by the amount they were required to pay for it, and the reputation of the painter in conventional circles; the man to whom a Boston society woman inevitably turned when she wished the likeness of her charms preserved on canvas, and when no foreigner was for the moment in vogue and on hand... Continue reading book >>




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