y we begin to talk of something worth the talking: not merely of how the great man creased his trousers, and call it 'the study of character,' but of how he was great, and whether it is possible to climb after him.
Talk, too, is so definite, so limited. The people we meet might seem so wonderful, might mean such quaint and charming meanings sometimes, if they would not talk. Like some delightfully bound old volume in a foreign tongue, that looks like one of the Sibylline books, till a friend translates the title and explains that it is a sixteenth-century law dictionary: so are the men and women we meet. How interesting they might be if they would not persist in telling us what they are about!
That, indeed, is the abiding charm of Nature. No sensible man can envy Asylas, to whom the language of birds was as familiar as French argot to our young décadents. Think how terrible it would be if Nature could all of a sudden learn English! That exquisite mirror of all our shifti