Page:Essays in miniature.djvu/176

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the memory of whose rainwashed, desolate streets blots out from his mind all the beauty and the splendor of Oxford. And—to descend from serious to frivolous subjects—no woman can wholly appreciate that pleasant sketch of Mr. Barrie's, called "My Tobacco Pouch," which reveals a mental condition absolutely inexplicable to the most astute feminine apprehension. It is the instinctive desire of our sex for modernism that keeps rolling the great ball of trade. Manufacturers and shopkeepers would starve in common if they catered only to men, who not infrequently have a marked preference for the archaic. But women, to use the words of Sir Thomas Browne, are "complexionally propense to innovation." With wonderful pliancy and adaptability they fit easily into new surroundings, make homes out of new houses, fill their rooms with new objects, and grasp a fair share of happiness in the enjoyment of novelty in every form, whether of fashion, art, literature, religion or philanthropy.

But what of the unfortunate few who, through some strange moral twist, are "com-