Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/361

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


“How about your ‘group,’ ‘They Have Eyes and They See Not’?” asked Brierley, who had drawn up a chair and stood leaning over its back, gazing into the fire.

“A little better, but not much. The Great Art is along other lines—bigger, higher, stronger—more universal lines, one that has nothing racial about it, one that expresses the human heart no matter what the period or nationality. The ‘Prodigal Son’ is a drama which has been understood and is still understood by the whole earth irrespective of creed or locality. It appeals to the savage and the savant alike and always will to the end of time. So with the Milo. She is Greek, English, or Slav at your option, but she will live forever because she expresses the divine essence of maternity which is eternal. It is this, and only this, which compels. I have had glimmerings of it all my life. Madame cleared out the cobwebs for me in a flash. A great woman—real human.”

Then noticing that no one had either interrupted his outburst or moved his position, he glanced around the group and, as if in doubt as to the way his outburst had been received, said simply:

“Well, speak up; am I right or wrong?