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PREFACE Writing not long ago to my oldest literary friend, I expressed in a moment of heedless sentiment the wish that we might have again one of our talks of long-past days, over the purposes and methods of our art. And my friend, wiser than I, as he has always been, replied with this doubting phrase "Could we recapture the zest of that old time?" I would not like to believe that our faith in the value of imaginative art has diminished, that... more...

CHAPTER I Mayday afternoon in Oxford Street, and Felix Freeland, a little late, on his way from Hampstead to his brother John's house in Porchester Gardens. Felix Freeland, author, wearing the very first gray top hat of the season. A compromise, that—like many other things in his life and works—between individuality and the accepted view of things, aestheticism and fashion, the critical sense and authority. After the meeting at... more...

"The Forsyte Saga" was the title originally destined for that part of it which is called "The Man of Property"; and to adopt it for the collected chronicles of the Forsyte family has indulged the Forsytean tenacity that is in all of us. The word Saga might be objected to on the ground that it connotes the heroic and that there is little heroism in these pages. But it is used with a suitable irony; and, after all, this long tale, though it may... more...

ABOUT CENSORSHIP Since, time and again, it has been proved, in this country of free institutions, that the great majority of our fellow-countrymen consider the only Censorship that now obtains amongst us, namely the Censorship of Plays, a bulwark for the preservation of their comfort and sensibility against the spiritual researches and speculations of bolder and too active spirits—it has become time to consider whether we should not... more...

ACT I The MARCH'S dining-room opens through French windows on one of thosegardens which seem infinite, till they are seen to be coterminouswith the side walls of the house, and finite at the far end, becauseonly the thick screen of acacias and sumachs prevents another housefrom being seen. The French and other windows form practically allthe outer wall of that dining-room, and between them and the screenof trees lies the difference between the... more...


ENCOUNTER Soames Forsyte emerged from the Knightsbridge Hotel, where he was staying, in the afternoon of the 12th of May, 1920, with the intention of visiting a collection of pictures in a Gallery off Cork Street, and looking into the Future. He walked. Since the War he never took a cab if he could help it. Their drivers were, in his view, an uncivil lot, though, now that the War was over and supply beginning to exceed demand again, getting more... more...

ACT I HILLCRIST'S study. A pleasant room, with books in calfbindings, and signs that the HILLCRIST'S have travelled, suchas a large photograph of the Taj Mahal, of Table Mountain, andthe Pyramids of Egypt. A large bureau [stage Right], devotedto the business of a country estate. Two foxes' masks.Flowers in bowls. Deep armchairs. A large French window open[at Back], with a lovely view of a slight rise of fields andtrees in August sunlight. A fine... more...

ACT I SCENE I The curtain rises on the BARTHWICK'S dining-room, large,modern, and well furnished; the window curtains drawn.Electric light is burning. On the large round dining-table isset out a tray with whisky, a syphon, and a silvercigarette-box. It is past midnight.A fumbling is heard outside the door. It is opened suddenly;JACK BARTHWICK seems to fall into the room. He stands holdingby the door knob, staring before him, with a beatific... more...

ACT I It is the night of Christmas Eve, the SCENE is a Studio, flushwith the street, having a skylight darkened by a fall of snow.There is no one in the room, the walls of which are whitewashed,above a floor of bare dark boards. A fire is cheerfullyburning. On a model's platform stands an easel and canvas.There are busts and pictures; a screen, a little stool, two arm.chairs, and a long old-fashioned settle under the window. Adoor in one wall... more...

CHAPTER I Light, entering the vast room—a room so high that its carved ceiling refused itself to exact scrutiny—travelled, with the wistful, cold curiosity of the dawn, over a fantastic storehouse of Time. Light, unaccompanied by the prejudice of human eyes, made strange revelation of incongruities, as though illuminating the dispassionate march of history. For in this dining hall—one of the finest in England—the Caradoc... more...