M'Connachie and J.M.B.: Speeches

M'Connachie and J.M.B.: Speeches

M'Connachie and J.M.B.: Speeches

M'Connachie and J.M.B.: Speeches

Excerpt

This is a volume of the speeches of James Barrie. The first thing to be remembered about any speeches anywhere is that they are meant to be spoken. If, when they have been spoken, they are read, the just estimate of them will depend greatly on the reader's awareness of the speaker's personality.

Some great speakers I see exactly before me as I read. Yes, as though I had known them--Burke, Abraham Lincoln, Bright, Gladstone. Do you, when you read these speeches, see Barrie?

What was he really like? I don't know, and what is more, I don't believe that anyone ever knew. Perhaps I am audacious in saying that, for I myself met him very seldom.

My first encounter with him was also my best. It was in 1910, and I was an excited young man at a famous hostess's dinner-table. Next to me was seated a very famous American woman novelist, and on her other side was Barrie. Of all women novelists this one was the most arrogant, snobbish and self- satisfied. After she went upstairs with the other ladies Barrie turned to me and said: 'Wasn't she horrid?' From that moment Barrie was enchanting.

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