Page:Saltus - Oscar Wilde, an idler's impression.djvu/19

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YEARS AGO, in a Paris club, one man said to another: "Well, what's up?" The other
shook a paper: "There is only one genius in England and they have put him in jail."

One may wonder though whether it were their doing, or even Wilde's, that put him there. One may wonder whether it were not the high fates who so gratified him in order that, from his purgatory, he might rise to a life more evolved. But that view is perhaps obvious. Wilde himself, who was the least mystic of men, accepted it. In the "De Profundis," after weighing his disasters, he said: "Of these things I am not yet worthy."

The genuflexion has been called a pose. It may have been. Even so, it is perhaps better to kneel, though it be in the gallery, than to stoop at nothing, and Wilde, who