Schulers Books Online

books - games - software - wallpaper - everything

Bride.Ru

Books Menu

Home
Author Catalog
Title Catalog
Sectioned Catalog

 

- The Translation of a Savage, Volume 1. - 1/10 -


[NOTE: There is a short list of bookmarks, or pointers, at the end of the file for those who may wish to sample the author's ideas before making an entire meal of them. D.W.]

THE TRANSLATION OF A SAVAGE

By Gilbert Parker

Volume 1.

CONTENTS Volume 1. I. HIS GREAT MISTAKE II. A DIFFICULT SITUATION III. OUT OF THE NORTH IV. IN THE NAME OF THE FAMILY V. AN AWKWARD HALF-HOUR

Volume 2. VI. THE PASSING OF THE YEARS VII. A COURT-MARTIAL VIII. TO EVERY MAN HIS HOUR

Volume 3. IX. THE FAITH OF COMRADES X. "THOU KNOWEST THE SECRETS OF OUR HEARTS" XI. UPON THE HIGHWAY XII. "THE CHASE OF THE YELLOW SWAN" XIII. A LIVING POEM XIV. ON THE EDGE OF A FUTURE XV. THE END OF THE TRAIL

INTRODUCTION

The Translation of a Savage was written in the early autumn of 1893, at Hampstead Heath, where for over twenty years I have gone, now and then, when I wished to be in an atmosphere conducive to composition. Hampstead is one of the parts of London which has as yet been scarcely invaded by the lodging-house keeper. It is very difficult to get apartments at Hampstead; it is essentially a residential place; and, like Chelsea, has literary and artistic character all its own. I think I have seen more people carrying books in their hands at Hampstead than in any other spot in England; and there it was, perched above London, with eyes looking towards the Atlantic over the leagues of land and the thousand leagues of sea, that I wrote 'The Translation of a Savage'. It was written, as it were, in one concentrated effort, a ceaseless writing. It was, in effect, what the Daily Chronicle said of 'When Valmond Came to Pontiac', a tour de force. It belonged to a genre which compelled me to dispose of a thing in one continuous effort, or the impulse, impetus, and fulness of movement was gone. The writing of a book of the kind admitted of no invasion from extraneous sources, and that was why, while writing 'The Translation of a Savage' at Hampstead, my letters were only delivered to me once a week. I saw no friends, for no one knew where I was; but I walked the heights, I practised with my golf clubs on the Heath, and I sat in the early autumn evenings looking out at London in that agony of energy which its myriad lives represented. It was a good time.

The story had a basis of fact; the main incident was true. It happened, however, in Michigan rather than in Canada; but I placed the incident in Canada where it was just as true to the life. I was living in Hertfordshire at the time of writing the story, and that is why the English scenes were worked out in Hertfordshire and in London. When I had finished the tale, there came over me suddenly a kind of feeling that the incident was too bold and maybe too crude to be believed, and I was almost tempted to consign it to the flames; but the editor of 'The English Illustrated Magazine', Sir C. Kinloch-Cooke, took a wholly different view, and eagerly published it. The judgment of the press was favourable,--highly so--and I was as much surprised as pleased when Mr. George Moore, in the Hogarth Club one night, in 1894, said to me: "There is a really remarkable play in that book of yours, 'The Translation, of a Savage'." I had not thought up to that time that my work was of the kind which would appeal to George Moore, but he was always making discoveries. Meeting him in Pall Mall one day, he said to me: "My dear fellow, I have made a great discovery. I have been reading the Old Testament. It is magnificent. In the mass of its incoherence it has a series of the most marvellous stories. Do you remember--" etc. Then he came home and had tea with me, revelling, in the meantime, on having discovered the Bible!

I cannot feel that 'The Translation of a Savage' has any significance beyond the truthfulness with which I believe it describes the transformation, or rather the evolution, of a primitive character into a character with an intelligence of perception and a sympathy which is generally supposed to be the outcome of long processes of civilisation and culture. The book has so many friends--this has been sufficiently established by the very large sale it has had in cheap editions--that I am still disposed to feel it was an inevitable manifestation in the progress of my art, such as it is. People of diverse conditions of life have found in it something to interest and to stimulate. One of the most volcanic of the Labour members in the House of Commons told me that the violence of his opposition to me in debate on a certain bill was greatly moderated by the fact that I had written 'The Translation of a Savage'; while a certain rather grave duke remarked to me concerning the character of Lali that "She would have been all right anywhere." I am bound to say that he was a duke who, while a young man, knew the wilds of Canada and the United States almost as well as I know Westminster.

THE TRANSLATION OF A SAVAGE

CHAPTER I

HIS GREAT MISTAKE

It appeared that Armour had made the great mistake of his life. When people came to know, they said that to have done it when sober had shown him possessed of a kind of maliciousness and cynicism almost pardonable, but to do it when tipsy proved him merely weak and foolish. But the fact is, he was less tipsy at the time than was imagined; and he could have answered to more malice and cynicism than was credited to him. To those who know the world it is not singular that, of the two, Armour was thought to have made the mistake and had the misfortune, or that people wasted their pity and their scorn upon him alone. Apparently they did not see that the woman was to be pitied. He had married her; and she was only an Indian girl from Fort Charles of the Hudson's Bay Company, with a little honest white blood in her veins. Nobody, not even her own people, felt that she had anything at stake, or was in danger of unhappiness, or was other than a person who had ludicrously come to bear the name of Mrs. Francis Armour. If any one had said in justification that she loved the man, the answer would have been that plenty of Indian women had loved white men, but had not married them, and yet the population of half- breeds went on increasing.

Frank Armour had been a popular man in London. His club might be found in the vicinity of Pall Mall, his father's name was high and honoured in the Army List, one of his brothers had served with Wolseley in Africa, and Frank himself, having no profession, but with a taste for business and investment, had gone to Canada with some such intention as Lord Selkirk's in the early part of the century. He owned large shares in the Hudson's Bay Company, and when he travelled through the North-West country, prospecting, he was received most hospitably. Of an inquiring and gregarious nature he went as much among the half-breeds--or 'metis', as they are called--and Indians as among the officers of the Hudson's Bay Company and the white settlers. He had ever been credited with having a philosophical turn of mind; and this was accompanied by a certain strain of impulsiveness or daring. He had been accustomed all his life to make up his mind quickly and, because he was well enough off to bear the consequences of momentary rashness in commercial investments, he was not counted among the transgressors. He had his own fortune; he was not drawing upon a common purse. It was a different matter when he trafficked rashly in the family name so far as to marry the daughter of Eye-of-the-Moon, the Indian chief.

He was tolerably happy when he went to the Hudson's Bay country; for Miss Julia Sherwood was his promised wife, and she, if poor, was notably beautiful and of good family. His people had not looked quite kindly on this engagement; they had, indeed, tried in many ways to prevent it; partly because of Miss Sherwood's poverty, and also because they knew that Lady Agnes Martling had long cared for him, and was most happily endowed with wealth and good looks also. When he left for Canada they were inwardly glad (they imagined that something might occur to end the engagement)--all except Richard, the wiseacre of the family, the book- man, the drone, who preferred living at Greyhope, their Hertfordshire home, the year through, to spending half the time in Cavendish Square. Richard was very fond of Frank, admiring him immensely for his buxom strength and cleverness, and not a little, too, for that very rashness which had brought him such havoc at last.

Richard was not, as Frank used to say, "perfectly sound on his pins," --that is, he was slightly lame, but he was right at heart. He was an immense reader, but made little use of what he read. He had an abundant humour, and remembered every anecdote he ever heard. He was kind to the poor, walked much, talked to himself as he walked, and was known by the humble sort as "a'centric." But he had a wise head, and he foresaw danger to Frank's happiness when he went away. While others had gossiped and manoeuvred and were busily idle, he had watched things. He saw that Frank was dear to Julia in proportion to the distance between her and young Lord Haldwell, whose father had done something remarkable in guns or torpedoes and was rewarded with a lordship and an uncommonly large fortune. He also saw that, after Frank left, the distance between Lord Haldwell and Julia became distinctly less--they were both staying at Greyhope. Julia Sherwood was a remarkably clever girl. Though he felt it his duty to speak to her for his brother,--a difficult and delicate matter, he thought it would come better from his mother.

But when he took action it was too late. Miss Sherwood naively declared that she had not known her own heart, and that she did not care for Frank any more. She wept a little, and was soothed by motherly Mrs. Armour, who was inwardly glad, though she knew the matter would cause Frank pain; and even General Armour could not help showing slight satisfaction, though he was innocent of any deliberate action to separate the two. Straightway Miss Sherwood despatched a letter to the wilds of Canada, and for a week was an unengaged young person. But she was no doubt consoled by the fact that for some time past she had had complete control of Lord Haldwell's emotions. At the end of the week her perceptions were justified by Lord Haldwell's proposal, which, with admirable tact and obvious demureness, was accepted.

Now, Frank Armour was wandering much in the wilds, so that his letters


The Translation of a Savage, Volume 1. - 1/10

    Next Page

  1    2    3    4    5    6   10 

Schulers Books Home



 Games Menu

Home
Balls
Battleship
Buzzy
Dice Poker
Memory
Mine
Peg
Poker
Tetris
Tic Tac Toe

Google
 
Web schulers.com
 

Schulers Books Online

books - games - software - wallpaper - everything