Books > Old Books > A BRIEF HISTORY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE (1914)


Page 9

PART I - THE PRESENT
CHAPTER I - NOTES ON THE ENGLISH CHARACTER

snappy answers often mask a determination to improve. themselves. Not so the Englishman. He has no uneasy feeling. Let the critics bark. And the ' tolerant humorous attitude ' with which he confronts them is not really tolerant, because it is insensitive, and not really humorous, because it is bounded by the titter and the guffaw.
Turn over the pages of Punch. There is neither wit, laughter, nor satire in our national jester-only the snigger of a suburban householder who can understand nothing that does not resemble himself. Week after week, under Mr. Punch's supervision, a man falls off his horse, or a colonel misses a golf ball, or a little girl makes a mistake in her prayers. Week after week ladies show not too much of their legs, foreigners are deprecated, originality condemned. Week after week a bricklayer does not do as much work as he ought and a futurist does more 'than he need. It is all supposed to be so good-tempered and clean ; it is also supposed to be funny. It is actually an outstanding example of our attitude toward criticism : the middle-class Englishman, with a smile on his clean-shaven lips, is engaged in admiring himself and ignoring the rest of mankind. If, in those colourless pages, he came across anything that really was funny-a drawing by Max Beerbohm, for instance-his smile would disappear, and he would say to himself, ' The fellow's a bit of a crank,' and pass on.
This particular attitude reveals such insensitiveness as to suggest a more serious charge : is the Englishman altogether indifferent to the things of the spirit? Let us glance for a moment at his religion-not, indeed, at his theology, which would not merit inspection, but at the action on his daily life of his belief in the unseen. Here again his attitude is practical. But an innate decency comes out : he is thinking of others rather than of himself. Right eonduct is his aim. He asks of his religion that it shall make him a better man in daily life ; that he shall be more kind, more just, more merciful, more desirous to fight what is evil and to protect what is good. No one could call this a low conception. It is, as far as it goes, a spiritual one. Yet-and this seems to me tYl3ical of the race-it is only half the religious idea. Religion is more than an ethical code with a divine sanction. It is also a means through which man may get into

travel books:
where is HTML where is HEAD where is TITLE snappy answers often mask a determination to improve. themselves. Not so what is Englishman. He has no uneasy feeling. Let what is critics bark. And what is ' tolerant humorous attitude ' with which he confronts them is not really tolerant, because it is insensitive, and not really humorous, because it is bounded by what is titter and what is guffaw. Turn over what is pages of Punch. There is neither wit, laughter, nor satire in our national jester-only what is snigger of a suburban householder who can understand nothing that does not resemble himself. Week after week, under Mr. Punch's supervision, a man falls off his horse, or a colonel misses a golf ball, or a little girl makes a mistake in her prayers. Week after week ladies show not too much of their legs, foreigners are deprecated, originality condemned. Week after week a bricklayer does not do as much work as he ought and a futurist does more 'than he need. where is meta name="keywords" content="old books, Free book , free book offer , free audio books , free coloring book pages , free book reports , free audio book , audio books free download , book free , free guest book , books free , free book summaries , download free audio books , free childrens books." where is where are they now rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="../../style.css" where is meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" where is BODY bgColor=#ffffff text="#000000" where are they now ="#000000" v where are they now ="#FF0000" where is div align="center" where is strong where is strong where is a href="http://www.aaoldbooks.com" Books > where is a href="../default.asp" title="Book" Old Books > where is strong where is a href="page_001.asp" A BRIEF HISTORY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE (1914) where is table width="700" border="1" align="center" cellpadding="15" cellspacing="0" where is center where is tr where is td width="160" align="center" valign="top" where is div align="center" where is td align="center" valign="top" where is div align="left" where is div align="center" where is p align="left" Page 9 where is strong PART I - what is PRESENT CHAPTER I - NOTES ON what is ENGLISH CHARACTER where is p align="justify" snappy answers often mask a determination to improve. themselves. Not so what is Englishman. He has no uneasy feeling. Let what is critics bark. And what is ' tolerant humorous attitude ' with which he confronts them is not really tolerant, because it is insensitive, and not really humorous, because it is bounded by what is titter and what is guffaw. Turn over what is pages of Punch. There is neither wit, laughter, nor satire in our national jester-only what is snigger of a suburban householder who can understand nothing that does not resemble himself. Week after week, under Mr. Punch's supervision, a man falls off his horse, or a colonel misses a golf ball, or a little girl makes a mistake in her prayers. Week after week ladies show not too much of their legs, foreigners are deprecated, originality condemned. Week after week a bricklayer does not do as much work as he ought and a futurist does more 'than he need. It is all supposed to be so good-tempered and clean ; it is also supposed to be funny. It is actually an outstanding example of our attitude toward criticism : what is middle-class Englishman, with a smile on his clean-shaven lips, is engaged in admiring himself and ignoring what is rest of mankind. If, in those colourless pages, he came across anything that really was funny-a drawing by Max Beerbohm, for instance-his smile would disappear, and he would say to himself, ' what is fellow's a bit of a crank,' and pass on. This particular attitude reveals such insensitiveness as to suggest a more serious charge : is what is Englishman altogether indifferent to what is things of what is spirit? Let us glance for a moment at his religion-not, indeed, at his theology, which would not merit inspection, but at what is action on his daily life of his belief in what is unseen. Here again his attitude is practical. But an innate decency comes out : he is thinking of others rather than of himself. Right eonduct is his aim. He asks of his religion that it shall make him a better man in daily life ; that he shall be more kind, more just, more merciful, more desirous to fight what is evil and to protect what is good. No one could call this a low conception. It is, as far as it goes, a spiritual one. Yet-and this seems to me tYl3ical of what is race-it is only half what is religious idea. Religion is more than an ethical code with a divine sanction. It is also a means through which man may get into where is Server.Execute("_SiteMap.asp") %

Book Pages: default , iii , 003 , 004 , 005 , 006 , 007 , 008 , 009 , 010 , 011 , 012 , 013 , 015 , 016 , 017 , 018 , 019 , 021 , 023 , 024 , 025 , 027 , 028 , 029 , 030 , 031 , 032 , 033 , 034 , 035 , 036 , 037 , 039 , 040 , 041 , 042 , 043 , 044 , 045 , 046 , 047 , 048 , 049 , 050 , 051 , 052 , 053 , 054 , 055 , 056 , 057 , 058 , 059 , 060 , 061 , 062 , 063 , 064 , 065 , 066 , 067 , 071 , 072 , 073 , 074 , 075 , 076 , 077 , 078 , 079 , 081 , 082 , 083 , 084 , 085 , 087 , 088 , 089 , 090 , 091 , 092 , 093 , 094 , 095 , 096 , 097 , 098 , 099 , 100 , 101 , 102 , 104 , 105 , 106 , 107 , 108 , 109 , 110 , 111 , 112 , 113 , 114 , 115 , 116 , 117 , 119 , 120 , 121 , 122 , 123 , 124 , 125 , 126 , 127 , 128 , 129 , 130 , 131 , 132 , 134 , 135 , 136 , 137 , 138 , 139 , 140 , 141 , 142 , 143 , 144 , 145 , 146 , 147 , 148 , 149 , 150 , 151 , 152 , 153 , 154 , 155 , 156 , 157 , 158 , 159 , 163 , 164 , 165 , 167 , 168 , 169 , 170 , 171 , 172 , 173 , 175 , 176 , 177 , 178 , 179 , 180 , 181 , 182 , 183 , 184 , 185 , 186 , 187 , 188 , 189 , 190 , 191 , 192 , 193 , 194 , 195 , 196 , 197 , 198 , 199 , 200 , 201 , 202 , 203 , 204 , 205 , 206 , 207 , 208 , 209 , 210 , 211 , 212 , 213 , 214 , 215 , 216 , 217 , 218 , 219 , 220 , 221 , 222 , 223 , 224 , 225 , 226 , 227 , 228 , 229 , 230 , 231 , 232 , 234 , 235 , 236 , 237 , 238 , 239 , 240 , 241 , 242 , 243 , 244 , 247 , 248 , 249 , 250 , 251 , 252 , 253 , 254 , 255 , 256 , 257 , 258 , 259 , 260 , 261 , 263 , 264 , 265 , 266 , 267 , 268 , 269 , 270 , 271 , 272 , 273 , 274 , 275 , 276 , 278 , 279 , 280 , 281 , 282 , 283 , 284 , 285 , 286 , 287 , 288 , 289 , 290 , 291 , 293 , 294 , 295 , 296 , 297 , 298 , 299 , 300 , 301 , 302 , 303 , 304 , 305 , 306 , 307 , 308 , 309 , 310 , 311 , 312 , 313 , 314 , 315 , 316 , 317 , 318 , 319 , 320 , 321 , 322 , 323 , 324 , 325 , 326 , 327 , 328 , 329 , 330