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sense of cut-and-dried obstructors of the traffic between mortal minds, but odd quips and spontaneous incongruities she was ready to shower you withal. No less pretentious scholar ever walked a world more suavely aware of her gracious charm, more happily oblivious of the breaches she could make in worn conventions if she brought up her artillery.
The personal revelations in Patrins are unmistakable to those who knew her. She writes On the Delights of an Incognito. Who can fail to see L. I. G. herself in the person of the hypothetical R., walking home after “the day at a library desk" where he “had grown hazy with food and much reading?" And passing the house where he was always delightedly welcome and where he loved to be, he looked in at the shining dinner table where sat the family, unconscious of him and yet—he knew it-only to be the merrier if he dropped in, and "hurried on, never quite so paradoxically happy in his life as when he quitted that familiar pane without rapping, and went back to the dark and the
frost, unapprehended, impersonal, aberrant, a spirit among men.” For Louise Guiney, prettily as she conformed herself to accepted rules, was by nature a vagrom under conventional roofs, a wandering breeze, an addict of fern seed, a cloud, a rainbow fancy, whatever could make itself, as speedily as might be, impalpable to the eye and only a memory to the too-inquisitive mind. As to the inner philosophy of her, the cup of strength she kept ever by her in intimate stillnesses, there it stands in another essay, The Precept of Peace. This bears much dwelling on, not only by the mystic but the honest mind distraught in the terrifying assaults of modern life. How to serve the world while renouncing it, how to possess your own soul, in the peace that lets it grow and ripen seed! She is in love, not with indifference, but the brave behavior it endows you with.
"A very little non-adhesion to common affairs,” she tells you, "a little reserve of unconcern, and the gay spirit of sacrifice, provide the moral immunity which is the only real estate."
A benevolent receptiveness surrounds her. She lets you interrupt her because you cannot actually reach her inner strongholds; she is. at heart and head so engrossed in intimate concerns so far from you that you cannot possibly borrow or steal the key to burst in and stumble about in them. Out of her general kindliness she will deal gently with you, hospitably even, that, being dulled and satisfied, you may go away the sooner and leave her to the only aims worth, to her special aptitudes, pursuing eagerly. This, it must be remembered, was the gay bravado of youth, with so much in its treasury it could afford to squander time and a rain of friendliness on even the invading bore. The day came later when the world jostled her and she had to double and turn to avoid it; but always she cherished a philosophy of courteous endurance. Personages nobly nurtured learn early not to whimper. So, when Demos finds a use for their heads, they die with a grace seemingly reserved for kings and martyrs. And the use Demos finds for the heads of the nobly born in the arts is to weary them
with much crowning and to sap them with the foolish requisition that they shall appear in public arenas. But the great brotherhood our L. I. G. subscribes to "hold the world but as the world" and make no outcry over these hindrances to a consecrated life. They do not shy at uncouth contraptions on the road. They have adopted the blinders of a mind inwardly withdrawn, and—to o'erleap the metaphor !—they smile in their daily dying. This book, Patrins, smiles all through. It informs you, chiefly by an innocently indirect implication, that the phenomenon of being, while it may be taken by schoolmen and moralists for a balance between good and ill, is a whimsical business, and the more you see of it the more firmly you will determine to view it aslant, with an eye to pleasing paradox.
As the tree of her mental life grew and broadened into wider air, it cast a shade not even her votaries were always zealous to penetrate. She tended more and more to the obscure, the far-off and dimly seen. In her biographical work she was the champion of
lost causes, the restorer of names dropped out of rubricated calendars through sheer inattention of an unlearned world, or rusted by time in chantries no longer visited. She would sail, not for those known islands on every map where harbors are charted and the smallest craft can coal and water, but for some lost Atlantis, even if she might only moor in its guessed neighborhood and hear, at least, the plash of ripples over it. She was always listening, the generous hand to the responsive ear, to echoes from "forgotten or infrequent lyres."
"Apollo,” she says, "has a class of mighthave-beens whom he loves: poets bred in melancholy places, under disabilities, with thwarted growth and thinned voices; poets compounded of everything magical and fair, like an elixir which is the outcome of knowledge and patience, and which wants, in the end, even as common water would, the essence of immortality.”
It is not quite easy to tell why she delighted so absolutely in digging for ore in spots of incredible difficulty. It was not that she was