lit pulp of their oranges, they were content
to live, dream, and await fulfilment under the
full favor of a Heaven which had never yet
sent them aught but happiness beneath the
EITHER Lethbridge nor Harrow
lately exceedingly important
undergraduates at Harvard and
now twin nobodies in the em-
ployment of the great Occidental Fidelity and
Trust Company neither of these young men,
I say, had any particular business at the New
Arts Theater that afternoon.
For the play was Barnard Haw's Attitudes,
the performance was private and intensely in-
tellectual, the admission by invitation only,
and between the acts there was supposed to
be a general causerie among the gifted individ-
uals of the audience.
Why Stanley West, president of the Occi-
dental Trust, should have presented to his two
young kinsmen the tickets inscribed with his
own name was a problem, unless everybody
else, including the elevator boys, had politely
declined the offer.
" That's probably the case," observed Leth-
bridge. "Do we go?"
" Art," said Harrow, " will be on the loose
among that audience. And if anybody can
speak to anybody there, we'll get spoken to
just as if we were sitting for company, and
first we know somebody will ask us what Art
" I'd like to see a place full of atmosphere,"
suggested Lethbridge. " I've seen almost ev-
erything the Cafe Jaune, and Chinatown,
and you remember that joint at Tangier?
But I've never seen atmosphere. I don't care
how thin it is ; I just want to say that I've
seen it when the next girl throws it all over
me." And as Harrow remained timid, he
added : " We won't have to climb across the
footlights and steal a curl from the author, be-
cause he's already being sheared in England.
There's nothing to scare you."
Normally, however, they were intensely
afraid of Art except at their barbers', and
they had heard, in various ways as vague as
Broad Street rumors, something concerning
these gatherings of the elect at the New Arts
Theater on Saturday afternoons, where unself-
ish reformers produced plays for Art's sake as
a rebuke to managers who declined to produce
that sort of play for anybody's sake.
" I'll bet/' said Harrow, " that some thrifty
genius sent Stanley West those tickets in a
desperate endeavor to amalgamate the aristoc-
racies of wealth and intellect ! as though you
could shake 'em up as you shake a cocktail !
As though you'd catch your Uncle Stanley
wearing his richest Burgundy flush, sitting in
the orchestra and talking Arr Noovo to a
young thing with cheek-bones who'd pinch him
into a cocked hat for a contribution between
the acts ! "
" Still," said Lethbridge, " even Art requires
a wad to pay its license. Isn't West the foxy
Freddie ! Do you suppose, if we go, they'll
sting us for ten? "
" They'll probably take up a collection for
the professor," said Harrow gloomily. " Bet-
ter come to the club and give the tickets to
" Oh, that's putting it all over Art ! If any-
lole 5 1
body with earnest eyes tries to speak to us we
can call a policeman."
" Well," said Harrow, " on your promise to
keep your mouth shut I'll go with you. If
you open it they'll discover you're an appraiser
and I'm a broker, and then they'll think we're
wealthy, because there'd be no other reason for
our being there, and they'll touch us both for
a brace of come-ons, and "
"Perhaps," interrupted the other, "we'll
be .fortunate enough to sit next to a peach!
And as it's the proper thing there to talk to
your neighbor, the prospect er needn't jar
There was a silence as they walked up-town,
which lasted until they entered their lodgings.
And by that time they had concluded to go.
O they went, having nothing bet-
ter on hand, and at two o'clock
they sidled into the squatty lit-
tle theater, shyly sought their
reserved seats and sat very still, abashed in
the presence of the massed intellects of Man-
When Clarence Guilford, the Poet of Sim-
plicity, followed by six healthy, vigorous
young daughters, entered the middle aisle of
the New Arts Theater, a number of people
whispered in reverent recognition : " Guilford,
the poet! Those are his daughters. They
wear nothing but pink pajamas at home.
Sh-sh-h-h ! "
Perhaps the poet heard, for he heard a great
deal when absent-minded. He paused ; his six
tall and blooming daughters, two and two be-
hind him, very naturally paused also, because
the poet was bulky and the aisle narrow.
Those of the elect who had recognized him
had now an opportunity to view him at close
range ; young women with expressive eyes
leaned forward, quivering; several earnest
young men put up lorgnettes.
It was as it should have been ; and the poet
stood motionless in dreamy abstraction, until
an usher took his coupons and turned down
seven seats. Then the six daughters filed in,
and the poet, slowly turning to survey the
house, started slightly, as though surprised to
find himself under public scrutiny, passed a
large, plump hand over his forehead, and
slowly subsided into the aisle-seat with a smile
of whimsical acquiescence in the knowledge of
his own greatness.
" Who/' inquired young Harrow, turning
toward Lethbridge " who is that duck?"
" You can search me," replied Lethbridge
in a low voice, " but for Heaven's sake look
at those girls! Is it right to bunch such
beauty and turn down Senators from Utah ? "
Harrow's dazzled eyes wandered over the
six golden heads and snowy necks, lovely as
six wholesome young goddesses fresh from a
bath in the Hellespont.
" The the one next to the one beside you/'
whispered Lethbridge, edging around. " I
want to run away with her. Would you mind
getting me a hansom ? "
" The one next to me has them all pinched
to death," breathed Harrow unsteadily.
" Look ! when she isn't looking. Did you
ever see such eyes and mouth such a superb
free poise - "
" Sh-sh-h-h ! " muttered Lethbridge, "the
bell-mule is talking to them."
" Art," said the poet, leaning over to look
along the line of fragrant, fresh young beauty,
" Art is an art." With which epigram he
slowly closed his eyes.
His daughters looked at him ; a young wom-
an expensively but not smartly gowned bent
forward from the row behind. Her attitude
was almost prayerful; her eyes burned.
" Art," continued the poet, opening his
heavy lids with a large, sweet smile, " Art
He paused ; his six tall and blooming daughters two and
two behind him.
is above Art, but Art is never below Art.
Art, to be Art, must be artless. That is a
very precious thought very, very precious.
Thank you for understanding me thank
you." And he included in his large smile
young Harrow, who had been unconsciously
bending forward, hypnotized by the monoto-
nous resonance of the poet's deep, rich voice.
Now that the spell was broken, he sank back
in his chair, looking at Lethbridge a little
" Let me sit next after the first act/' began
Lethbridge, coaxing ; " they'll be watching the
stage all the first act and you can look at 'em
without being rude, and they'll do the same
next act, and I can look at 'em, and perhaps
they'll ask us what Art really is "
" Did you hear what that man said ? " inter-
rupted Harrow, recovering his voice. "Did
" Well, listen next time. And all I have to
say is, if that firing-line, with its battery of in-
nocent blue eyes, understands him, you and I
had better apply to the nearest night-school
for the rudiments of an education."
" Well, what did he say ? " began the other
uneasily, when again the poet bent forward to
address the firing-line ; and the lovely blue bat-
tery turned silently upon the author of their
" Art is the result of a complex mental atti-
tude capable of producing concrete simplicity."
" Help ! " whispered Harrow, but the poet
had caught his eye, and was fixing the young
man with a smile that held him as sirup holds
" You ask me what is Art, young sir ? Why
should I not heed you ? Why should I not an-
swer you? What artificial barriers, falsely
called convention, shall force me to ignore the
mute eloquence of your questioning eyes?
You ask me what is Art. I will tell you ; it
is this!" And the poet, inverting his thumb,
pressed it into the air. Then, carefully in-
specting the dent he had made in the atmos-
phere, he erased it with a gesture and folded
his arms, looking gravely at Harrow, whose
fascinated eyes protruded.
Behind him Lethbridge whispered hoarsely,
" I told you how it would be in the New Arts
Theater. I told you a young man alone was
likely to get spoken to. Now those six girls
know you're a broker ! "
"Don't say it so loud," muttered Harrow
savagely. " I'm all right so far, for I haven't
said a word."
" You'd better not," returned the other. " I
wish that curtain would go up and stay up.
It will be my turn to sit next them after this
act, you know."
Harrow ventured to glance at the superb
young creature sitting beside him, and at the
same instant she looked up and, catching his
eye, smiled in the most innocently friendly
fashion the direct, clear-eyed advance of a
child utterly unconscious of self.
" I have never before been in a theater," she
said ; " have you ? "
" I I beg your pardon," stammered Har-
row when he found his voice, " but wer e you
good enough to speak to me?"
" Why, yes ! " she said, surprised but amia-
ble ; " shouldn't I have spoken to you ? "
" Indeed oh, indeed you should ! " said
Harrow hastily, with a quick glance at the
poet. The poet, however, appeared to be im-
mersed in thought, lids partially closed, a be-
nignant smile imprinted on his heavy features.
"What are you doing?" breathed Leth-
bridge in his ear. Harrow calmly turned his
back on his closest friend and gazed raptur-
ously at his goddess. And again her bewil-
dering smile broke out and he fairly blinked
in its glory.
" This is my first play," she said ; " I'm a
little excited. I hope I shall care for it."
" Haven't you ever seen a play ? " asked
Harrow, tenderly amazed.
" Never. You see, we always lived in the
country, and we have always been poor until
my sister lole married. And now our father
has come to live with his new son-in-law. So
that is how we came to be here in New York."
" I am so glad you did come," said Harrow
" So are we. We have never before seen
anything like a large city. We have never had
enough money to see one. But now that lole
is married, everything is possible. It is all so
interesting for us particularly the clothing.
Do you like my gown ? "
" It is a dream ! " stammered the infatuated
" Do you think so ? I think it is wonderful
but not very comfortable."
"Doesn't it fit?" he inquired.
" Perfectly ; that's the trouble. It is not
comfortable. We never before were permitted
to wear skirts and all sorts of pretty fluffy
frills under them, and such high heels, and
such long stockings, and such tight lacing "
She hesitated, then calmly : " But I believe
father told us that we are not to mention our
pretty underwear, though it's hard not to, as
it's the first we ever had."
Harrow was past all speech.
" I wish I had my lounging-suit on," she
said with a sigh and a hitch of her perfectly
" W what sort of things do you usually
dress in ? " he ventured.
" Why, in dress-reform clothes ! " she said,
laughing. " We never have worn anything
" Bloomers ! "
" I don't know ; we had trousers and blouses
and sandals something like the pink pajamas
we have for night-wear now. Formerly we
wore nothing at night. I am beginning to
wonder, from the way people look at us when
we speak of this, whether we were odd. But
all our lives we have never thought about
clothing. However, I am glad you like my
new gown, and I fancy I'll get used to this
tight lacing in time. . . . What is your
" James Harrow," he managed to say, aware
of an innocence and directness of thought and
speech which were awaking in him faintest re-
sponsive echoes. They were the blessed echoes
from the dim, fair land of childhood, but he
did not know it.
"James Harrow," she repeated with a
friendly nod. " My name is Lissa my first
name; the other is Guilford. My father is
the famous poet, Clarence Guilford. He
named us all after butterflies all my sisters "
counting them on her white fingers while her
eyes rested on him " Chlorippe, twelve years
old, that pretty one next to my father; then
Philodice, thirteen; Dione, fourteen; Aphro-
dite, fifteen; Cybele, the one next to me, six-
teen, and almost seventeen ; and myself, seven-
teen, almost eighteen. Besides, there is lole,
who married Mr. Wayne, and Vanessa, mar-
ried to Mr. Briggs. They have been off on
Mr. Wayne's yacht, the Thendara, on their
wedding trip. Now you know all about us.
Do you think you would like to know us ? "
" Like to ! I'd simply love to ! I "
" That is very nice," she said unembarrassed.
lole 6 1
" I thought I should like you when I saw you
leaning over and listening so reverently to fa-
ther's epigrams. Then, besides, I had nobody
but my sisters to talk to. Oh, you can't im-
agine how many attractive men I see every
day in New York and I should like to know
them all and many do look at me as though
they would like it, too; but Mr. Wayne is so
queer, and so are father and Mr. Briggs
about my speaking to people in public places.
They have told me not to, but I I thought
I would," she ended, smiling. " What harm
can it do for me to talk to you ? "
" It's perfectly heavenly of you "
" Oh, do you think so ? ,1 wonder what
father thinks " turning to look ; then, resum-
ing : " He generally makes us stop, but I am
quite sure he expected me to talk to you."
The lone note of a piano broke the thread
of the sweetest, maddest discourse Harrow
had ever listened to; the girl's cheeks flushed
and she turned expectantly toward the cur-
tained stage. Again the lone note, thumped
vigorously, sounded a stacatto monotone.
" Precious very precious," breathed the
poet, closing his eyes in a sort of fatty
ARROW looked at his program,
then, leaning toward Lissa, whis-
pered : " That is the overture to
Attitudes the program explains
it : l A series of pale gray notes ' what the
deuce ! ' pale gray notes giving the value
of the highest light in which the play is
pitched ' " He paused, aghast.
" I understand," whispered the girl, resting
her lovely arm on the chair beside him.
" Look ! The curtain is rising ! How my
heart beats ! Does yours ? "
He nodded, unable to articulate.
The curtain rose very, very slowly, upon the
first scene of Barnard Haw's masterpiece of
satire ; and the lovely firing-line quivered, blue
batteries opening very wide, lips half parted
in breathless anticipation. And about that
time Harrow almost expired as a soft, impul-
sive hand closed nervously over his.
And there, upon the stage, the human spe-
cies was delicately vivisected in one act; hu-
man frailty exposed, human motives detected,
human desire quenched in all the brilliancy of
perverted epigram and the scalpel analysis of
the astigmatic. Life, love, and folly were por-
trayed with the remorseless accuracy of an eye
doubly sensitive through the stimulus of an in-
tellectual strabismus. Barnard Haw at his
greatest! And how he dissected attitudes;
the attitude assumed by the lover, the father,
the wife, the daughter, the mother, the mis-
tress proving that virtue, per se, is a pose.
Attitudes ! How he flayed those who assumed
them. His attitude toward attitudes was re-
morseless, uncompromising, inexorable.
And the curtain fell on the first act, its
gray and silver folds swaying in the half-
crazed whirlwind of applause.
Lissa's silky hand trembled in Harrow's,
her grasp relaxed. He dropped his hand and,
searching, encountered hers again.
" What do you think of it? " she asked.
" I don't think there's any harm in it," he
stammered guiltily, supposing she meant the
contact of their interlaced fingers.
" Harm ? I didn't mean harm," she said.
" The play is perfectly harmless, I think."
"Oh the play! Oh, that's just that sort
of play, you know. They're all alike ; a lot
of people go about telling each other how
black white is and that white is always black
until somebody suddenly discovers that
black and white are a sort of greenish red.
Then the audience applauds frantically in spite
of the fact that everybody in it had concluded
that black and white were really a shade of
yellowish yellow ! "
She had begun to laugh ; and as he pro-
ceeded, excited by her approval, the most ador-
able gaiety possessed her.
" I never heard anything half so clever ! "
she said, leaning toward him.
"I? Clever!" he faltered. " You you
don't really mean that ! "
" Why ? Don't you know you are ? Don't
you know in your heart that you have said the
very thing that I in my heart found no words
to explain ? "
"Did I, really?"
" Yes. Isn't it delightful ! "
It was; Harrow, holding tightly to the
soft little hand half hidden by the folds
of her gown, cast a sneaking look behind
him, and encountered the fixed and furious
glare of his closest friend, who had pinched
" Pig ! " hissed Lethbridge, " do I sit next
" I I can't ; I'll explain "
" You don't understand -"
"I understand you!"
" No, you don't. Lissa and I "
" Ya as ! We're talking very cleverly ; 7
am, too. Wha'd'you wan' to butt in for ? "
with sudden venom.
" Butt in ! Do you think I want to sit here
and look at tha' damfool play ! Fix it or I'll
run about biting ! "
Harrow turned. " Lissa," he whispered in
an exquisitely modulated voice, " what would
happen if I spoke to your sister Cybele ? "
" Why, she'd answer you, silly ! " said the
girl, laughing. " Wouldn't you, Cybele ? "
" I'll tell you what I'd like to do," said Cy-
bele, leaning forward : " I'd like very much
to talk to that attractive man who is trying
to look at me only your head has been in
the way." And she smiled innocently at Leth-
So Lissa moved down one. Harrow took
her seat, and Cybele dropped gaily into Har-
row's vacant place.
" Noiv," she said to Lethbridge, " we can
tell each other all sorts of things. I was so
glad that you looked at me all the while
and so vexed that I couldn't talk to you.
How do you like my new gown? And
what is your name? Have you ever be-
fore seen a play ? I haven't, and my name is
" It is per perfectly heavenly to hear you
talk," stammered Lethbridge.
Harrow heard him, turned and looked
him full in the eyes, then slowly resumed
his attitude of attention: for the poet was
" The Art of Barnard Haw is the quintes-
sence of simplicity. What is the quintessence
of simplicity ? " He lifted one heavy pudgy
hand, joined the tips of his soft thumb and
forefinger, and selecting an atom of air, deftly
captured it. " That is the quintessence of sim-
plicity ; that is Art ! "
He smiled largely on Harrow, whose eyes
had become wild again.
"That!" he repeated, pinching out another
molecule of atmosphere, "and that!" punch-
ing dent after dent in the viewless void with
On the hapless youth the overpowering
sweetness of his smile acted like an anes-
thetic ; he saw things waver, even wabble ; and
his hidden clutch on Lissa's fingers tightened
" Thank you/' said the poet, leaning for-
ward to fix the young man with his heavy-
lidded eyes. " Thank you for the precious
thoughts you inspire in me. Bless you. Our
mental and esthetic commune has been very
precious to me very, very precious/' he
mooned bulkily, his rich voice dying to a res-
onant, soothing drone.
Lissa turned to the petrified young man.
" Please be clever some more," she whispered.
" You were so perfectly delightful about this
" Child ! " he groaned, " I have scarcely
sufficient intellect to keep me overnight. You
must know that I haven't understood one sin-
gle thing your father has been kind enough
" What didn't you understand ? " she asked,
"'Thatl'" He flourished his thumb.
" What does ' Thatl ' mean? "
" Oh, that is only a trick father has caught
from painters who tell you how they're going
to use their brushes. But the truth is I've
usually noticed that they do most of their
work in the air with their thumbs. . . .
What else did you not understand ? "
"Oh Art!" he said wearily. "What is
it? Or, as Barnard Haw, the higher expo-
nent of the Webberfield philosophy, might say :
" I don't know what the Webberfield phi-
losophy is," said Lissa innocently, " but Art is
only things one believes. And it's awfully
hard, too, because nobody sees the same thing
in the same way, or believes the same things
that others believe. So there are all kinds of
Art. I think the only way to be sure is when
the artist makes himself and his audience hap-
pier ; then that is Art. . . . But one need
not use one's thumb, you know."
" The the way you make me happy ? Is
"Do I ? " she laughed. " Perhaps ; for I
am happy, too far, far happier than when I
read the works of Henry Haynes. And Henry
Haynes is Art. Oh, dear ! "
But Harrow knew nothing of the intellec-
tual obstetrics which produced that great mas-
"Have you read Double or Quits?" he
ventured shyly. " It's a humming Wall Street
story showing up the entire bunch and expos-
ing the trading-stamp swindle of the great
department stores. The heroine is a detective
and " She was looking at him so intently
that he feared he had said something he
shouldn't. " But I don't suppose that would
interest you," he muttered, ashamed.
" It does ! It is new! I I never read that
sort of a novel. Tell me ! "
" Are you serious ? "
" Of course. It is perfectly wonderful to
think of a heroine being a detective."
" Oh, she's a dream ! " he said with cautious
enthusiasm. " She falls in love with the worst
stock-washer in Wall Street, and pushes him
off a ferry-boat when she finds he has cornered
the trading-stamp market and is bankrupting
her father, who is president of the department
store trust "
" Go on ! " she whispered breathlessly.
" I will, but
" What is it ? Oh is it my hand you are
looking for? Here it is; I only wanted to
smooth my hair a moment. Now tell me; for
I never, never knew that such books were
written. The books my father permits us to
read are not concerned with all those vital
episodes of every-day life. Nobody ever does
anything in the few novels I am allowed to
read except, once, in Cranford, somebody
gets up out of a chair in one chapter but sits
down again in the next," she added wearily.
" I'll send you something to make anybody
sit up and stay up," he said indignantly.
" Baffles, the Gent Burglar ; Love Militant, by
Nora Norris Newman; The Crown-Snatcher,
by Reginald Rodman Roony oh, it's simply
ghastly to think of what you've missed ! This
is the Victorian era; you have a right to be
fully cognizant of the great literary move-
ments of the twentieth century ! "
" I love to hear you say such things," she
said, her beautiful face afire. " I desire to be
lole 7 1
modern intensely, humanly modern. All my
life I have been nourished on the classics of
ages dead ; the literature of the Orient, of
Asia, of Europe I am familiar with ; the litera-
ture of England as far as Andrew Bang's
boyhood verses. I all my sisters read,
write, speak, even think, in ten languages.
I long for something to read which is vital,
familiar, friendly something of my own time,
my own day. I wish to know what young
people do and dare; what they really think,
what they believe, strive for, desire ! "
" Well well, I don't think people really do
and say and think the things that you read
in interesting modern novels," he said doubt-
fully. " Fact is, only the tiresome novels
seem to tell a portion of the truth ; but they
end by overdoing it and leave you yawn-
ing with a nasty taste in your mouth. I
I think you'd better let your father pick out
" I don't want to," she said rebelliously. " I
want you to."
He looked at the beautiful, rebellious face
and took a closer hold on the hidden hand.
" I wish you I wish I could choose every-