I THE PLEASURES OF IGNORANCE It is impossible to take a walk in the country with an average townsman—especially, perhaps, in April or May—without being amazed at the vast continent of his ignorance. It is impossible to take a walk in the country oneself without being amazed at the vast continent of one's own ignorance. Thousands of men and women live and die without knowing the difference between a beech and an elm, between the song... more...

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... more...

I.—Mr. Pepys   Mr. Pepys was a Puritan. Froude once painted a portrait of Bunyan as an old Cavalier. He almost persuaded one that it was true till the later discovery of Bunyan’s name on the muster-roll of one of Cromwell’s regiments showed that he had been a Puritan from the beginning. If one calls Mr. Pepys a Puritan, however, one does not do so for the love of paradox or at a guess. He tells us himself that he... more...

I DOSTOEVSKY THE SENSATIONALIST Mr. George Moore once summed up Crime and Punishment as "Gaboriau with psychological sauce." He afterwards apologized for the epigram, but he insisted that all the same there is a certain amount of truth in it. And so there is. Dostoevsky's visible world was a world of sensationalism. He may in the last analysis be a great mystic or a great psychologist; but he almost always reveals his genius on a stage... more...