Friday, January 12, 2018

"A Burglar He Was, in Truth and Deed"

   "To such depths of frightful duplicity does the downward path, once embarked in, rapidly conduct even an originally right-minded clerical lady!"

"A Social Difficulty."
By Anonymous (Grant Allen, 1848-99).
First appearance: The Cornhill Magazine, February 1887.
Short story (18 pages).
Online at (HERE).
(Note: Text is faded but readable. Use "Zoom In" button three or four times to enlarge.)

"This figure of speech is known to grammarians as an aposiopesis. The name is for the most part unknown to young ladies, but the figure itself is largely employed by them with great effect in ordinary conversation."
The Bishop's daughter is in love with a young officer who moves under a cloud of suspicion, even though he's been acquitted at the court martial. Unsurprisingly, the Bish opposes their relationship and would just as soon see the last of the young man—until, quite by accident, he happens to overhear a crucial conversation . . .

~ Bishop Arthur Brandreth:

  "How easily even the most innocent and respectable of men may fall unawares under a disgraceful suspicion."
~ Captain Harry Burbury:
  "No, no darling, I can never marry you while the shadow of this hideous, unworthy doubt rests over me still."
~ Iris Brandreth, their daughter:
  "And, for the present, we're not to be engaged at all to one another . . ."
~ Charlotte Brandreth, the bishop's wife:
  "My dear Iris, what would your papa say if he only heard you talk like that?"
~ The policeman:
  "You're loiterin' about with intent to commit a felony, that's just about the size of what you're doin'."

Comments: The story depends too much on coincidence; moreover, the author evidently had it in for Episcopalians.
~ ~ ~

   "What a blessed thing it is, to be sure, to be born into this world with the easy-going, happy-go-lucky, artistic temperament!"

"The Conscientious Burglar."
By Grant Allen (1848-99).
First appearance: The Strand Magazine, June 1892.
Reprinted in The Strand Magazine (U.S.), July 1892.
Short story (11 pages, 8 illos).
Online at (HERE).

". . . his impecuniosity arose, strange to say, neither from want of industry nor want of talent, but from pure force of circumstances."
If there are eight million ways to die, then surely there are at least eight million ways to go broke, and young Guy Lethbridge, the proverbial starving artist, has managed to find the very one that will run him afoul of "that blood-sucker of an evil and inequitable social system" and "the Revised Criminal Code of Germany," as well as his own guilt-stricken conscience . . .

~ Guy Lethbridge:
  "He despised his own act with all the contempt and loathing of which his nature was capable."
~ Sir Richard Lavers:
  "Jolly good light on the Thingumbob-berg. You've caught the colour well. If you go on
like that, in the course of a century or so you ought, I should say, to make a painter."
- We last touched based with Grant Allen with respect to "The Great Ruby Robbery" (HERE; scroll down).

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