Page:My Life and Loves.djvu/298

This page has been validated.
260
MY LIFE AND LOVES.

You've given me an extraordinary, life-like portrait of a great man, blind, so to speak, in one eye, a sort of Cyclops. If he had been a Communist, how much greater he'd have been."

I ventured to disagree and we were soon at it, hammer and tongs. I wanted to see both principles realised in life, individualism and Socialism, the centrifugal as well as the centripetal force and was convinced that the problem was how to bring these opposites to a balance which would ensure an approximation to justice and make for the happiness of all.

Smith on the other hand argued at first as an out-and-out Communist and follower of Marx; but he was too fair-minded to shut his eyes for long to the obvious. Soon he began congratulating me on my insight, declaring I had written a new chapter in economics.

His conversion made me feel that I was at long last his equal as a thinker, in any field where his scholarship didn't give him too great an advantage: I was no longer a pupil but an equal and his quick recognition of the fact increased, I believe, our mutual affection. Though infinitely better read he put me forward in every company with the rarest generosity, asserting that I had discovered new laws in sociology. For months we lived very happily together but his Hegelianism defied all my attacks: it corresponded too intimately with the profound idealism of his own character.

As soon as I had written out the Bradlaugh story, Smith took me down to the "Press" office and introduced me to the chief editor, a Captain Forney: indeed the paper then was usually called "Forney's Press" though already some spoke of it as "The Philadelphia Press". Forney liked my portrait of Brad-laugh and engaged me as a reporter on the staff and