MADAME ROLAND

The articulate heroine has her reward of appreciation and her dues of praise; it is her appropriate fortune to have it definitely measured, and generally on equal terms. She takes pains to explain herself, and is understood, and pitied, when need is, on the right occasions. For instance, Madame Roland, a woman of merit, who knew her "merit's name and place," addressed her memoirs, her studies in contemporary history, her autobiography, her many speeches, and her last phrase at the foot of the undaunting scaffold, to a great audience of her equals (more or less) then living and to live in the ages then to come—her equals and those she raises to her own level, as the heroic example has authority to do.

Another woman—the Queen—suffered at that time, and suffered without the command of language, the exactitude of phrase, the precision of judgement, the proffer of prophecy, the explicit sense of Innocence and Moderation oppressed in her person. These were Madame Roland's; but the other woman, without eloquence, without literature, and without any judicial sense of history, addresses no mere congregation of readers. Marie Antoinette's unrecorded pangs pass into the treasuries of the experience of the whole human family. All that are human have some part there; genius itself may lean in contemplation over that abyss

-219-

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Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Winds and Waters 1
  • Ceres' Runaway 3
  • Wells 7
  • Rain 12
  • The Tow Path 15
  • The Tethered Constellations 19
  • Rushes and Reeds 22
  • In a Book Room 27
  • A Northern Fancy 29
  • Pathos 35
  • Anima Pellegrina! 38
  • A Point of Biography 43
  • The Honours of Mortality 48
  • Composure 50
  • The Little Language 55
  • A Counterchange 61
  • Harlequin Mercutio 67
  • Commentaries 71
  • Laughter 73
  • The Rhythm of Life 78
  • Domus Angusta 82
  • Innocence and Experience 86
  • The Hours of Sleep 89
  • Solitude 93
  • Decivilized 99
  • Wayfaring 103
  • The Spirit of Place 105
  • Popular Burlesque 110
  • Have Patience, Little Saint 114
  • At Monastery Gates 120
  • The Sea Wall 126
  • Arts 133
  • Tithonus 135
  • Symmetry and Incident 142
  • The Plaid 152
  • The Flower 156
  • Unstable Equilibrium 159
  • Victorian Caricature 161
  • The Point of Honour 165
  • The Colour of Life 169
  • The Colour of Life 171
  • The Horizon 176
  • In July 181
  • Cloud 184
  • Shadows 188
  • Women and Books 193
  • The Seventeenth Century 195
  • Mrs. Dingley 201
  • Prue 207
  • Mrs. Johnson 213
  • Madame Roland 219
  • The Darling Young 225
  • Fellow Travellers with a Bird 227
  • The Child of Tumult 235
  • The Child of Subsiding Tumult 242
  • The Unready 247
  • That Pretty Person 252
  • Under the Early Stars 259
  • The Illusion of Historic Time 262
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