George Bernard Shaw: Man of the Century

By Archibald Henderson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 17
Fabian Essayist and Street-Corner Orator

THE MEETINGS OF THE FABIAN SOCIETY, FOR THE FIRST FEW YEARS, WERE OCCAsions for tumultuous and often heated discussion. There were Individualists and Anarchists, Secularists and Atheists, Millites and Marxists, conservatives and catastrophists in the little band. Few of them knew what they wanted, or even had made clear to themselves the meaning of Socialism; but they were volubly vocal with their partial knowledge and prejudice and ignorance. Aside from the society's discussions, there were speeches to be made outside to gatherings of all sorts, as Socialist propaganda. Deficient in training as a public speaker, Shaw was nevertheless just "r'arin' to go." In a preface to Three Plays for Puritans, published in later years, he voiced a signal trait of his character in the sentiment: "I leave the delicacies of retirement to those who are gentlemen first and literary workmen afterwards. The cart and trumpet for me."

After his conversion to Socialism Shaw grew increasingly zealous as a public speaker. He was realizing himself at last, and was on fire with his Socialistic views. In a letter to me, he said:

I was so full of it at first that I dragged it in by the ears on all occasions, and presently so annoyed an audience South Place that for the only time in my life I was met with a demonstration of impatience. I took the hint so rapidly & apprehensively that no great harm was done; but I still remember it as an unpleasant & mortifying discovery that there is a limit even to the patience of that poor helpless long-suffering animal, the public, with political speakers. It had never occurred before; and it never occurred again.

I now set to work to apply my dogged practice to propagating Socialism. In 1883 I accepted an invitation to address a workmen's club at Woolwich; and I thought at first of writing a lecture & even of committing it to memory; for it seemed hardly possible to speak for an hour without text when I had thitherto only spoken for ten minutes in a debate. But I saw that if I were to speak often on Socialism--as. I fully meant to do--writing and learning by rote would be impossible for mere want of time. I made a few notes, being by this time cool enough to use them. The lecture was called Thieves, and was a demonstration that the proprietor of an unearned income inflicted on the community exactly the same injury as a burglar does.

-223-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
George Bernard Shaw: Man of the Century
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 978

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.