These ''Confessions of a Young Man'' constitute one of the most significant documents of the passionate revolt of English literature against the Victorian tradition. It is significant because it reveals so clearly the sources of that revolt. It is in a sense the history of an epoch--an epoch that is just closing. It represents one of the great discoveries of English literature: a discovery that had been made from time to time before, and that is now being made anew in our own generation--the discovery of human nature.
bout this time my father was elected Member of Parliament; our home was broken up, and we went to London. But an ideal set up on its pedestal is not easily displaced, and I persevered in my love, despite the poor promises London life held out for its ultimate attainment; and surreptitiously I continued to nourish it with small bets made in a small tobacconist's. Well do I remember that shop, the oily-faced, sandy-whiskered proprietor, his betting-book, the cheap cigars along the counter, the one-eyed nondescript who leaned his evening away against the counter, and was supposed to know some one who knew Lord ----'s footman, and the great man often spoken of, but rarely seen--he who made "a two-'undred pound book on the Derby"; and the constant coming and going of the cabmen--"Half an ounce of shag, sir." I was then at a military tutor's in the Euston Road; for, in answer to my father's demand as to what occupation I intended to pursue, I had consented to enter the army. In my heart I knew that when it came to
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