fair, like the shore seen from a ship far out at sea, and 
he is now exalted on a peak and needs no help from man 
or God, and now grovels supine on the floor glad of a kick 
from a housemaid—the experience cannot be imparted 
and, as is always the way with these dumb things, his own 
suffering serves but to wake memories in his friends' 
minds of their influenzas, their aches and pains which 
went unwept last February, and now cry out, desperately, 
clamorously, for the divine relief of sympathy.

But sympathy we cannot have. Wisest Fate says no. If 
her children, weighted as they already are with sorrow, were 
to take on them that burden too, adding in imagination 
other pains to their own, buildings would cease to rise; 
roads would peter out into grassy tracks; there would be 
an end of music and of paintings; one great sigh alone would 
rise to Heaven, and the only attitudes for men and women 
would be those of horror and despair. As it is, there is 
always some little distraction—an organ grinder at the 
corner of the hospital, a shop with book or trinket to 
decoy one past the prison or the workhouse, some absur-
dity of cat or dog to prevent one from turning the old 
beggar's hieroglyphic of misery into volumes of sordid 
suffering, and the vast effort of sympathy which those 
barracks of pain and discipline, those dried symbols of 
sorrow, ask us to exert on their behalf, is uneasily shuffled 
off for another time. Sympathy nowadays is dispensed 
chiefly by the laggards and failures, women for the most 
part (in whom the obsolete exists so strangely side by side 
with anarchy and newness), who, having dropped out of 
the race, have time to spend upon fantastic and unprofi-
table excursions; C.L., for example, who sitting by the 
stale sickroom fire builds up with touches at once sober 
and imaginative, the nursery fender, the loaf, the lamp, 
barrel organs in the street, and all the simple old wives' 
tales of pinafores and escapades; A. R., the rash, the 
magnanimous, who if you fancied a giant tortoise to solace