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|The Man Who Was Thursday||Gilbert K. Chesterton|
The Two Poets Of Saffron Park
|Page 4 of 7||
The girl winced for a flash at the unpleasant word, but Syme was too hot to heed her.
"It is things going right," he cried, "that is poetical I Our digestions, for instance, going sacredly and silently right, that is the foundation of all poetry. Yes, the most poetical thing, more poetical than the flowers, more poetical than the stars--the most poetical thing in the world is not being sick."
"Really," said Gregory superciliously, "the examples you choose--"
"I beg your pardon," said Syme grimly, "I forgot we had abolished all conventions."
For the first time a red patch appeared on Gregory's forehead.
"You don't expect me," he said, "to revolutionise society on this lawn ?"
Syme looked straight into his eyes and smiled sweetly.
"No, I don't," he said; "but I suppose that if you were serious about your anarchism, that is exactly what you would do."
Gregory's big bull's eyes blinked suddenly like those of an angry lion, and one could almost fancy that his red mane rose.
"Don't you think, then," he said in a dangerous voice, "that I am serious about my anarchism?"
"I beg your pardon ?" said Syme.
"Am I not serious about my anarchism ?" cried Gregory, with knotted fists.
"My dear fellow!" said Syme, and strolled away.
With surprise, but with a curious pleasure, he found Rosamond Gregory still in his company.
"Mr. Syme," she said, "do the people who talk like you and my brother often mean what they say ? Do you mean what you say now ?"
"Do you ?" he asked.
"What do you mean ?" asked the girl, with grave eyes.
"My dear Miss Gregory," said Syme gently, "there are many kinds of sincerity and insincerity. When you say 'thank you' for the salt, do you mean what you say ? No. When you say 'the world is round,' do you mean what you say ? No. It is true, but you don't mean it. Now, sometimes a man like your brother really finds a thing he does mean. It may be only a half-truth, quarter-truth, tenth-truth; but then he says more than he means--from sheer force of meaning it."
She was looking at him from under level brows; her face was grave and open, and there had fallen upon it the shadow of that unreasoning responsibility which is at the bottom of the most frivolous woman, the maternal watch which is as old as the world.
"Is he really an anarchist, then?" she asked.
"Only in that sense I speak of," replied Syme; "or if you prefer it, in that nonsense."
She drew her broad brows together and said abruptly--
"He wouldn't really use--bombs or that sort of thing?"
Syme broke into a great laugh, that seemed too large for his slight and somewhat dandified figure.
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|The Man Who Was Thursday
Gilbert K. Chesterton
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