The search of the hero for a kingly life fails because, as he says, "I have gone about the world dreaming about tremendous things and I have failed most people." As a character he gives voice to theories, speculations and conclusions about the world today, democracy, sex, true aristocracy and life in general. Readers who have objected to Mr Wells on library shelves will object to this. To his admirers this is one of his most interesting and stimulating books.
hite declares, they are still after much experienced handling, an indigestible aggregation. On this point White is very assured. When Benham thought he was gathering together a book he was dreaming, White says. There is no book in it. . . .
Perhaps too, one might hazard, Benham was dreaming when he thought the noble life a human possibility. Perhaps man, like the ape and the hyaena and the tapeworm and many other of God's necessary but less attractive creatures, is not for such exalted ends. That doubt never seems to have got a lodgment in Benham's skull; though at times one might suppose it the basis of White's thought. You will find in all Benham's story, if only it can be properly told, now subdued, now loud and amazed and distressed, but always traceable, this startled, protesting question, "BUT WHY THE DEVIL AREN'T WE?" As though necessarily we ought to be. He never faltered in his persuasion that behind the dingy face of this world, the earthy stubbornness, the baseness and dulness of himself a
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