Irish Impressions – An Example And A Question

WE all had occasion to rejoice at the return of Sherlock Holmes when he was supposed to be dead; and I presume we may soon rejoice in his return even when he is really dead. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in his widespread new campaign in favor of Spiritualism, ought at least to delight us with the comedy of Holmes as a control and Watson as a medium. But I have for the moment a use for the great detective not concerned with the psychical side of the question. Of that I will only say, in passing, that in this as in many other cases, I find myself in agreement with an authority about where the line is drawn between good and bad, but have the misfortune to think his good bad, and his bad good. Sir Arthur explains that he would lift Spiritualism to a graver and more elevated plane of idealism; and that he quite agrees with his critics that the mere tricks with tables and chairs are grotesque and vulgar. I think this quite true if turned upside down, like the table. I do not mind the grotesque and vulgar part of Spiritualism; what I object to is the grave and elevating part. After all, a miracle is a miracle and means something; it means that Materialism is non-sense. But it is not true that a message is always a message; and it sometimes only means that Spiritualism is also nonsense. If the table at which. I am now writing takes to itself wings and flies out of the window, perhaps carrying me along with it, the incident will arouse in me a real intelligent interest, verging on surprise. But if the pen with which I am writing begins to scrawl, all by itself, the sort of things I have seen in spirit writing; if it begins to say that all things are aspects of universal purity and peace, and so on, why, then I shall not only be annoyed, but also bored. If a great man like the late Sir William Crookes says a table went walking upstairs, I am impressed by the news; but not by news from nowhere to the effect that all men are perpetually walking upstairs, up a spiritual staircase, which seems to be as mechanical and labour-saving as a moving staircase at Charing Cross. Moreover, even a benevolent spirit might conceivably throw the furniture about merely for fun ; whereas I doubt if anything but a devil from hell would say that all things are aspects of purity and peace.

But I am here taking from the Spiritualistic articles a text that has nothing to do with Spiritualism. In a recent contribution to Nash’s Magazine, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle remarks very truly that the modern world is weary and wicked and in need of a religion; and he gives examples of its more typical and terrible corruptions. It is perhaps natural that he should revert to the case of the Congo, and talk of it in the torrid fashion which recalls the days when Morel and Casement had some credit in English politics. We have since had an opportunity of judging the real attitude of a man like Morel in the plainest case of black and white injustice that the world has ever seen. It was at once a replica and a reversal of the position expressed in the Pious Editor’s Creed, and might roughly be rendered in similar language.

He had of course a lurid denunciation of the late King Leopold, of which I will only say that, uttered by a Belgian about the Belgian ing in his own land and lifetime, it would be highly courageous and largely correct; but that the parallel test is how much truth was told by British journalists about British kings in their own land and lifetime; and that until we can pass that test, such denunciations do us very little good. But what interests me in the matter at the moment is this. Sir Arthur feels it right to say something about British corruptions, and passes from the Congo to Putumayo, touching a little more lightly; for even the most honest Britons have an unconscious trick of touching more lightly on the case of British capitalists. He says that our capitalists were not guilty of direct cruelty, but of an attitude careless and even callous. But what strikes me is that Sir Arthur, with his taste for such protests and inquiries, need not have wandered quite so far from his own home as the forests of South America.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is an Irishman; and in his own country, within my own memory, there occurred a staggering and almost incredible crime, or series of crimes, which were worthier than anything in the world of the attention of Sherlock Holmes in fiction, or Conan Doyle in reality. It always will be a tribute to the author of Sherlock Holmes that he did, about the same time, do such good work in reality. He made an admirable plea for Adolf Beck and Oscar Slater; he was also connected, I remember, with the reversal of a miscarriage of justice in a case of cattle-mutilation. And all this, while altogether to his credit, makes it seem all the more strange that his talents could not be used for, and in, his own home and native country, in a mystery that had the dimensions of a monstrosity, and which did involve, if I remember right, a question of cattle-maiming. Anyhow, it was concerned with moonlighters and the charges made against them, such as the common one of cutting off the tails of cows. I can imagine Sherlock Holmes on such a quest, keen-eyed and relentless, finding the cloven hoof of some sinister and suspected cow. I can imagine Dr Watson, like the cow’s tail, always behind. I can imagine Sherlock Holmes remarking, in a light allusive fashion, that he himself had written a little monograph on the subject of cows’ tails; with diagrams and tables solving the great traditional problem of how many cows’ tails would reach the moon; a subject of extraordinary interest to moonlighters. And I can still more easily imagine him saying after-wards, having resumed the pipe and dressing-gown of Baker Street, ` A remarkable little problem, Watson. In some of its features it was perhaps more singular than any you have been good enough to report. I do not think that even the Tooting Trouser-Stretching Mystery, or the singular little affair of the Radium Toothpick, offered more strange and sensational developments.’ For if the celebrated pair had really tracked out the Irish crime I have in mind, they would have found a story which, considered merely as a detective story, is by far the most dramatic and dreadful of modern times. Like nearly all such sensational stories, it traced the crime to somebody far higher in station and responsibility than any of those suspected. Like many of the most sensational of them, it actually traced the crime to the detective who was investigating it. For if they had really crawled about with a magnifying glass, studying the supposed footprints of the peasants incriminated, they would have found they were made by the boots of the policeman. And the boots of a policeman, one feels, are things that even Watson might recognise.

I have told the astounding story of Sergeant Sheridan before; and I shall often tell it again. Hardly any English people know it; and I shall go on telling it in the hope that all English people may know it some day. It ought to be first in every collection of causes célèbres, in every book about criminals, in every book of historical mysteries; and on its merits it would be. It is not in any of them. It is not there because there is a motive, in all modern British plutocracy, against finding the big British miscarriages of justice where they are really to be found; and that is a great deal nearer than Putumayo. It is a place far more appropriate to the exploits of the family of the Doyles. It is called Ireland; and in that place a powerful British official named Sheridan had been highly successful in the imperial service by convicting a series of poor Irishmen of agrarian crimes. It was afterwards discovered that the British official had carefully committed every one of the crimes himself; and then, with equal foresight, perjured himself to imprison innocent men. Any one who does not know the story will naturally ask what punishment was held adequate for such a Neronian monster; I will tell him. He was bowed out of the country like a distinguished stranger, his expenses politely paid, as if he had been delivering a series of instructive lectures; and he is now probably smoking a cigar in an American hotel, and much more comfortable than any poor policeman who has done his duty. I defy anybody to deny him a place in our literature about great criminals. Charles Peace escaped many times before conviction; Sheridan escaped altogether after conviction. J2 -k the Ripper was safe because he was undiscovered; Sheridan was discovered and was still safe. But I only repeat the matter here for two reasons. First, we may call our rule in Ireland what we like; we may call it the union when there is no union; we may call it Protestant ascendancy when we are no longer Protestants; or Teutonic lordship when we could only be ashamed of being Teutons. But this is what it is, and everything else is waste of words. And second, because an Irish investigator of cattle-maiming, so oblivious of the Irish cow, is in some danger of figuring as an Irish bull.

Anyhow, that is the real and remarkable story of Sergeant Sheridan, and I put it first because it is the most practical test of the practical question of whether Ireland is misgoverned. It is strictly a fair test; for it is a test by the minimum and an argument a fortiori. A British official in Ireland can run a career of crime, punishing innocent people for his own felonies, and when he is found out, he is found to be above the law. This may seem like putting things at the worst, but it is really putting them at the best. This story was not told us on the word of a wild Irish Fenian, or even a responsible Irish Nationalist. It was told, word for word as I have told it, by the Unionist Minister in charge of the matter and reporting it, with regret and shame, to Parliament. I-le was not one of the worst Irish Secretaries, who might be responsible for the worst regime; on the contrary, he was by far the best. If even he could only partially restrain or reveal such things, there can be no deduction in common sense except that in the ordinary way such things go on gaily in the dark, with nobody to reveal and nobody to restrain them. It was not something done in those dark days of torture and terrorism, which happened in Ireland a hundred years ago, and which Englishmen talk of as having happened a million years ago. It was something that happened quite recently, in my own mature manhood, about the time that the better things like the Land Acts were already before the world. I remember writing to the Westminster Gazette to emphasise it when it occurred; but it seems to have passed out of memory in an almost half-witted fashion. But that peep-hole into hell has afforded me ever since a horrible amusement, when I hear the Irish softly rebuked for remembering old unhappy far-off things and wrongs done in the Dark Ages. Thus I was especially amused to find the Rev. R. J. Campbell saying that ` Ireland has been petted and coddled more than any other part of the British Isles ‘; because Mr Campbell was chiefly famous for a comfortable creed himself, for saying that evil is only ` a shadow where light should be ‘; and there is no doubt here of his throwing a very black shadow where light is very much required. I will conceive the policeman at the corner of the street in which Mr Campbell resides as in the habit of killing a crossing-sweeper every now and then for his private entertainment, burgling the houses of Mr Campbell’s neighbours, cutting off the tails of their carriage horses, and otherwise disporting himself by moonlight like a fairy. It is his custom to visit the consequences of each of these crimes upon the Rev. R. J. Campbell, whom he arrests at Intervals, successfully convicts by perjury, and proceeds to coddle in penal servitude. But I have another reason for mentioning Mr Campbell, a gentleman whom I heartily respect in many other aspects; and the reason is connected with his name, as it occurs in another connection on another page. It shows how in anything, but especially in anything coming from Ireland, the old facts of family and faith out-weigh a million modern philosophies. The words in Who’s Who—’ Ulster Protestant of Scottish ancestry ‘—give the really Irish and the really honourable reason for Mr Camp-bell’s extraordinary remark. A man may preach for years, with radiant universalism, that many waters cannot quench love; but Boyne Water can. Mr Campbell appears very promptly with what Kettle called ` a bucketful of Boyne, to put the sunrise out.’ I will not take the opportunity of saying, like the Ulsterman, that there never was treason yet but a Campbell was at the bottom of it. But I will say that there never was Modernism yet but a Calvinist was at the bottom of it. The old theology is much livelier than the New Theology.

Many other such true tales could be told; but what we need here is a sort of test. This tale is a test; because it is the best that could be said, about the best that could be done, by the best Englishman ruling Ireland, in face of the English system established there; and it is the best, or at any rate the most, that we can know about that system. Another truth which might also serve as a test, is this; to note among the responsible English not only their testimony against each other, but their testimony against themselves. I mean the consideration of how very rapidly we realise that our own conduct in Ireland has been infamous, not in the remote past, but in the very recent past. I have lived just long enough to see the wheel come full circle inside one generation; when I was a schoolboy, the sort of Kensington middle class to which I belong was nearly solidly resisting, not only the first Home Rule Bill, but any suggestion that the Land League had a leg to stand on, or that the landlords need do anything but get their rents or kick out their tenants. The whole Unionist Press, which was three-quarters of the Press, simply supported Clanricarde, and charged any one who did not do so with supporting the Clan-na-Gael. Mr Balfour was simply admired for enforcing the system, which it is his real apologia to have tried to end, or at least to have allowed Wyndham to end. I am not yet far gone in senile decay; but already I have lived to hear my countrymen talk about their own blind policy in the time of the Land League, exactly as they talked before of their blind policy in the time of the Limerick Treaty. The shadow on our past, shifts forward as we advance into the future; and always seems to end just behind us. I was told in my youth that the age-long misgovernment of Ireland lasted down to about 1870; it is now agreed among all intelligent people that it lasted at least down to about 1890. A little common sense, after a hint like the Sheridan case, will lead one to suspect the simple explanation that it is going on still.

Now I heard scores of such stories as the Sheridan story in Ireland, many of which I mention elsewhere; but I do not mention them here because they cannot be publicly tested; and that for a very simple reason. We must accept all the advantages and disadvantages of a rule of absolute and iron militarism. We cannot impose silence and then sift stories; we cannot forbid argument and then ask for proof; we cannot destroy rights and then discover wrongs. I say this quite impartially in the matter of militarism itself. I am far from certain that soldiers are worse rulers than lawyers and merchants; and I am quite certain that a nation has a right to give abnormal power to its soldiers in time of war. I only say that a soldier, if he is a sensible soldier, will know what he is doing and therefore what he cannot do; that he cannot gag a man and then cross-examine him, any more than he can blow out his brains and then convince his intelligence. There may be; humanly speaking, there must be, a mass of injustices in the militaristic government of Ireland. The militarism itself may be the least of them; but it must involve the concealment of all the rest.

It has been remarked above that establishing militarism is a thing which a nation had a right to do, and (what is not at all the same thing) which it may be right in doing. But with that very phrase ` a nation,’ we collide of course with the whole real question; the alleged abstract wrong about which the Irish talk much more than about their concrete wrongs. I have put first the matters mentioned above, because I wish to make clear, as a matter of common sense, the impression of any reasonable outsider that they certainly have concrete wrongs. But even those who doubt it, and say that the Irish have no concrete grievance but only a sentiment of Nationalism, fall into a final and very serious error about the nature of the thing called Nationalism, and even the meaning of the word ` concrete.’ For the truth is that, in dealing with a nation, the grievance which is most abstract of all is also the one which is most concrete of all.

Not only is patriotism a part of practical politics, but it is more practical than any politics. To neglect it, and ask only for grievances, is like counting the clouds and forgetting the climate. To neglect it, and think only of laws, is like seeing the landmarks and never seeing the landscape. It will be found that the denial of nationality is much more of a daily nuisance than the denial of votes or the denial of juries. Nationality is the most practical thing, because so many things are national without being political, or without being legal. A man in a conquered country feels it when he goes to market or even goes to church, which may be more often than he goes to law; and the harvest is more general than the General Election. Altering the flag on the roof is like altering the sun in the sky; the very chimney-pots and lamp-posts look different. Nay, after a certain interval of occupation they are different. As a man would know he was in a land of strangers before he knew it was a land of savages, so he knows a rule is alien long before he knows it is oppressive. It is not necessary for it to add injury to insult.

For instance, when I first walked about Dublin, I was disposed to smile at the names of the streets being inscribed in Irish as well as English. I will not here discuss the question of what is called the Irish language, the only arguable case against which is that it is not the Irish language. But at any rate it is not the English language, and I have come to appreciate more imaginatively the importance of that fact. It may be used rather as a weapon than a tool; but it is a national weapon if it is not a national tool. I see the significance of having something which the eye commonly encounters, as it does a chimney-pot or a lamp-post; but which is like a chimney reared above an Irish hearth or a lamp to light an Irish road. I see the point of having a solid object in the street to remind an Irishman that he is in Ireland, as a red pillar-box reminds an English-man that he is in England. But there must be a thousand things as practical as pillar-boxes which remind an Irishman that, if he is in his country, it is not yet a free country; everything connected with the principal seat of government reminds him of it perpetually. It may not be easy for an Englishman to imagine how many of such daily details there are. But there is, after all, one very simple effort of the fancy, which would fix the fact for him for ever. He has only to imagine that the Germans have conquered London.

A brilliant writer who has earned the name of a Pacifist, and even a Pro-German, once propounded to me his highly personal and even perverse type of internationalism by saying, as a sort of unanswerable challenge, ` Wouldn’t you rather be ruled by Goethe than by Walter Long ? ‘ I replied that words could not express the wild love and loyalty I should feel for Mr ‘Walter Long, if the only alternative were Goethe. I could not have put my own national case in a clearer or more compact form. I might occasionally feel inclined to kill Mr Long; but under the approaching shadow of Goethe, I should feel more inclined to kill myself. That is the deathly element in de-nationalisation; that it poisons life itself, the most real of all realities. But perhaps the best way of putting the point conversationally is to say that Goethe would certainly put up a monument to Shakespeare. I would sooner die than walk past it every day of my life. And in the other case of the street inscriptions, it is well to remember that these things, which we also walk past every day, are exactly the sort of things that always have, in a nameless fashion, the national note. If the Germans conquered London, they would not need to massacre me or even enslave me in order to annoy me; it would be quite enough that their notices were in a German style, if not in a German language. Suppose I looked up in an English railway carriage and saw these words written in English exactly as I have seen them in a German railway carriage written in German : ` The out-leaning of the body from the window of the carriage is because of the therewith bound up life’s danger strictly prohibited.’ It is not rude. It would certainly be impossible to complain that it is curt. I should not be annoyed by its brutality and brevity; but on the contrary by its elaborateness and even its laxity. But if it does not exactly shine in lucidity, it gives a reason; which after all is a very reasonable thing to do. By every cosmopolitan test, it is more polite than the sentence I have read in my childhood : ` Wait until the train stops.’ This is curt; this might be called rude; but it never annoyed me in the least. The nearest I can get to defining my sentiment is to say that I can sympathise with the Englishman who wrote the English notice. Having a rude thing to write, he wrote it as quickly as he could, and went home to his tea; or preferably to his beer. But what is too much for me, an overpowering vision, is the thought of that German calmly sitting down to compose that sentence like a sort of essay. It is the thought of him serenely waving away the one important word till the very end of the sentence, like the Day of judgment to the end of the world. It is perhaps the mere thought that he did not break down in the middle of it, but endured to the end; or that he could afterwards calmly review it, and see that sentence go marching by, like the whole German army. In short, I do not object to it because it is dictatorial or despotic or bureaucratic or anything of the kind, but simply because it is German. Because it is German I do not object to it in Germany. Because it is German I should violently revolt against it in England. I do not revolt against the command to wait until the train stops, not because it is less rude, but because it is the kind of rudeness I can understand. The official may be treating me casually, but at least he is not treating himself seriously. And so, in return, I can treat him and his notice not seriously but casually. I can neglect to wait until the train stops, and fall down on the platform, as I did on the platform of Wolverhampton, to the permanent damage of that fine structure. I can, by a stroke of satiric genius, truly national and traditional, the dexterous elimination of a single letter, alter the maxim to ` ‘Wait until the rain stops.’ It is a jest as profoundly English as the weather to which it refers. Nobody would be tempted to take such a liberty with the German sentence; not only because he would be instantly imprisoned in a fortress, but because he would not know at which end to begin.

Now this is the truth which is expressed, though perhaps very imperfectly, in things like the Gaelic lettering on streets in Dublin. It will be wholesome for us who are English to realise that there is almost certainly an English way of putting things, even the most harmless things, which appears to an Irishman quite as ungainly, unnatural, and ludicrous as that German sentence appears to me. As the famous Frenchman did not know when he was talking prose, the official Englishman does not know when he is talking English. He unconsciously assumes that he is talking Esperanto. Imperialism is not an insanity of patriotism; it is merely an illusion of cosmopolitanism.

For the national note of the Irish language is not peculiar to what used to be called the Erse language. The whole nation used the tongue common to both nations with a difference far beyond a dialect. It is not a difference of accent, but a difference of style; which is generally a difference of soul. The emphasis, the elision, the short cuts and sharp endings of speech, show a variety which may be almost un noticeable but is none the less untranslatable. It may be only a little more weight on a word, or an inversion allowable in English but abounding in Irish; but we can no more copy it than copy the compactness of the French on or the Latin ablative absolute. The commonest case of what I mean, for instance, is the locution that lingers in my mind with an agreeable phrase from one of Mr Yeats’s stories : ` Whom I shall yet see upon the hob of hell, and them screeching.’ It is an idiom that gives the effect of a pointed postscript, a parting kick or sting in the tail of the sentence, which is unfathomably national. It is noteworthy and even curious that quite a crowd of Irishmen, who quoted to me with just admiration the noble ending of Kathleen-na-Hulahan, where the new-comer is asked if he has seen the old woman who is the tragic type of Ireland going out, quoted his answer in that form, ` I did not. But I saw a young woman, and she walking like a queen.’ I say it is curious, because I have since been told that in the actual book (which I cannot lay my hand on at the moment) a more classic English idiom is used. It would generally be most unwise to alter the diction of such a master of style as Mr Yeats : though indeed it is possible that he altered it himself, as he has sometimes done, and not always, I think, for the better. But whether this form came from himself or from his countrymen, it was very redolent of his country. And there was something inspiring in thus seeing, as it were before one’s eyes, literature becoming legend. But a hundred other examples could be given, even from my own short experience, of such fine turns of language, nor are the finest necessarily to be found in literature. It is perfectly true, though prigs may overwork and snobs underrate the truth, that in a country like this the peasants can talk like poets. When I was on the wild coast of Donegal, an old unhappy woman who had starved through the famines and the evictions, was telling a lady the tales of those times, and she mentioned quite naturally one that might have come straight out of times so mystical that we should call them mythical, that sonic travellers had met a poor wandering woman with a baby in those great gray rocky wastes, and asked her who she was. And she answered, ` I am the Mother of God, and this is Himself, and He is the boy you will all be wanting at the last.

There is more in that story than can be put into any book, even on a matter in which its meaning plays so deep a part, and it seems almost profane to analyse it however sympathetically. But if any one wishes to know what I mean by the untranslatable truth which makes a language national, it will be worth while to look at the mere diction of that speech, and note how its whole effect turns on certain phrases and customs which happen to he peculiar to the nation. It is well known that in Ireland the husband or head of the house is always called ` himself ‘; nor is it peculiar to the peasantry, but adopted, if partly in jest, by the gentry. A distinguished Dublin publicist, a landlord and leader among the more national aristocracy, always called me ` himself ‘ when he was talking to my wife. It will be noted how a sort of shadow of that common meaning mingles with the more shining significance of its position in a sentence where it is also strictly logical, in the sense of theological. All literary style, especially national style, is made up of such coincidences, which are a spiritual sort of puns. That is why style is untranslatable; because it is possible to render the meaning, but not the double meaning. There is even a faint differentiation in the half-humorous possibilities of the word ` boy ‘; another wholly national nuance. Say instead, ` And He is the child,’ and it is some-thing perhaps stiffer, and certainly quite different. Take away, ` This is Himself’ and simply substitute ` This is He,’ and it is a piece of pedantry ten thousand miles from the original. But above all it has lost its note of something national, because it has lost its note of something domestic. All roads in Ireland, of fact or folk-lore, of theology or grammar, lead us back to that door and hearth of the household, that fortress of the family which is the key-fortress of the whole strategy of the island. The Irish Catholics, like other Christians, admit a mystery in the Holy Trinity, but they may almost be said to admit an experience in the Holy Family. Their historical experience, alas, has made it seem to them not unnatural that the Holy Family should be a homeless family. They also have found that there was no room for them at the inn, or any-where but in the jail; they also have dragged their new-horn babes out of their cradles, and trailed in despair along the road to Egypt, or at least along the road to exile. They also have heard, in the dark and the distance behind them, the noise of the horsemen of Herod.

Now it is this sensation of stemming a stream, of ten thousand things all pouring one way, labels, titles, monuments, metaphors, modes of address, assumptions in controversy, that make an Englishman in Ireland know that he is in a strange land. Nor is he merely bewildered, as among a medley of strange things. On the contrary, if he has any sense, he soon finds them unified and simplified to a single impression, as if he were talking to a strange person. He cannot define it, because nobody can define a person, and nobody can define a nation. Ile can only sec it, smell it, hear it, handle it, bump into it, fall over it, kill it, be killed for it, or be damned for doing it wrong. He must be content with these mere hints of its existence; but he cannot define it, because it is like a person, and no book of logic will undertake to define Aunt Jane or Uncle William. We can only say, with more or less mournful conviction, that if Aunt Jane is not a person, there is no such thing as a person. And I say with equal conviction that if Ireland is not a nation, there is no such thing as a nation. France is not a nation, England is not a nation; there is no such thing as patriotism on this planet. Any Englishman, of any party, with any proposal, may well clear his mind of cant about that preliminary question. It we free Ireland, we must free it to be a nation; if we go on repressing Ireland, we are repressing a nation; if we are right to repress Ireland, we are right to repress a nation. After that we may consider what can be done, according to our opinions about the respect due to patriotism, the reality of cosmopolitan and imperial alternatives, and so on. I will debate with the man who does not want mankind divided into nations at all; I can imagine a case for the man who wants specially to restrain one particular nation, as I would restrain anti-national Prussia. But I will not argue with a man about whether Ireland is a nation, or about the yet more awful question of whether it is an island. I know there is a sceptical philosophy which suggests that all ultimate ideas are only penulcimate ideas, and there-fore perhaps that all islands are really peninsulas. Eut I will claim to know what I mean by an island and what I mean by an individual; and v-hen I think suddenly of my experience in the island in question, the impression is a sine one; the voices mingle in a human voice which I should know if I heard it again, calling in the distance; the crowds dwindle into a single figure whom I have seen long ago upon a strange hill-side, and she walking like a queen. OF that cloud of dream which seems to drift over so many Irish poems and impressions, I felt very little in Ireland. There is a real meaning in this suggestion of a mystic sleep, but it does not mean what most of us imagine, and is not to be found where we expect it. On the contrary, I think the most vivid impression the nation left on me, was that it was almost unnaturally wide awake. I might almost say that Ireland suffers from insomnia. This is not only literally true, of those tremendous talks, the prolonged activities of rich and restless intellects, that can burn up the nights from darkness to daybreak. It is true on the doubtful as well as the delightful side, and the temperament has something of the morbid vigilance and even of the irritability of insomnia.