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Gangelin, Paul; Hanson, Earl; Gregory, Horace (ed.) / The Wisconsin literary magazine
Volume XXI, Number 6 (March 1922)

D'Arlequin, Gaston
Manet nihil.,   p. 147

Page 147

a simple, low negative, permitting her to believe that
Herrick and Donne were fighting for the next laureate-
ship of England. Still I managed to have a fairly
good time. Her effort to keep up to my highbrow
standard was amusing.
"'Do you ever go to the movies?' she asked after
a bit.
"'Occasionally,' I murmured abstractedly, for I
was thinking at the moment of marrying a girl with a
gorgeous mop of bobbed hair who was dancing near
me, just so that I could use her hair for a shaving
brush. It would be glorious to work up a lather on
and then just stick my face into it for a brief cool mo-
ment or two before beginning to scrape. But my
dream was brought to a sudden end.
"'You do?'
"'Do what?' I asked startled.
"'Go to the movies.'
"'Yes, quite frequently. Why?'
"'Dont they bore you?-they bore me."
'Why no, not very often. Sometimes I enjoy
them for themselves sometimes they amuse me because
they are so rotten. I'm seldom bored."
"'Well, I'll admit I like the Cecil De Mille pro-
ductions. The Affairs of Anatol, for instance. That
was fine. I think it is good that they are making films
of great literary masterpieces like that.'
"'My dear young lady, if you knew how much it
pains me to disagree with you you wouldn't make
statements like that. The picture you mention was
no more a picturization of Schnitzler's play than a
German street band playing the Humoresque is an
artistic rendering of Dvorak. And that's that.'
"'Well, I didn't see the picture myself,' admitted
Marge, 'but all the girls simply raved about it. They
thought Wally Reid was wonderful.'
"I didn't want to seem didactic, so I refrained from
airing my views on Wally Reid and the movies.
After a bit Marge cooled down. She was a good-
natured little nose-wrinkler. I'll have to hand her
that. So are most of them, but darn it, they think
they know too much, and most of them are just four-
"It wasn't till we were eating a sandwich after the
dance that the conversation became interesting again.
Then, out of a clear sky, she asked what I'd been
reading lately. It happens I hadn't read a thing in
a month worth mentioning except text books, but I
"Oh, nothing in particular-a little Oscar Wilde,
and I read a novel by Dreiser the other night."
"'Oh, aren't both those writers naughty? I heard
that they were.'
"'Naughty? Well, I don't know. I never found
them any naughtier than William Shakespeare at
" 'It seems to me,' she said, 'that all the books that
are supposed to be naughty aren't. Are there really
any naughty books in the world?'
"'Possibly one or two,' I said. 'But I refuse to
tell what they are. They're most fun when you hap-
pen on them accidentally. You'd better hunt them
up yourself.'
"'I think you're mean,' she answered. But any-
way, I wasn't going to get into the clutches of the
Dean of Women for seducing one of her charges via
salacious literature. No chance.
"So I managed to get through the evening without
mishaps, enjoying my potato chips from time to time,
and looked forward to more until we reached her
home. There the bag broke, and they all went into
the mud.
"'Good-night, she said, 'I've had an awfully good
time. It's such a relief to meet a man like you who's
really intellectual. I get so kerribly tired of playing
around with ordinary people. Dont you?'
"I don't, but I didn't say so. My constitution isn't
what it once was. I had a stomach ache."
Farewell, farewell,-the sound is like the sigh
Late summer's sad wind heaves
Softly among the strewn rose-leaves
That fade beneath the heedless Autumn sky.
There were our footsteps that the waking day,
When the wide sea was spanned,
Found printed in the silver sand,
-The sea has washed them quietly away.
-March, 1922

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