Mr. Shaw as Critic

Too many words, it will be said, have already been printed around and about the busy journalist and critic Mr. G. B. Shaw. Seldom has a more lively pother been stirred up by the long spoon of virtuosity. Ten years from now he will, no doubt, be well on his way toward oblivion; but for the moment he is a phenomenon to be reckoned with, whether as the Pulcinello, the Cagliostro, or the mere bogey-man of the literary hour. He has made sure of our attention if only, as it were, by putting his feet in our laps. This has appealed to some of us as an act of genius, to which we have hastened to pay a ready tribute of round eyes, if not of worship. Here is the ardent and ingenious Mr. James Huneker picturing Mr. Shaw as an unfathomable being, a man of mystery, hidden from mortal eyes by innumerable concealments and disguises. “He has spoken through so many different masks that the real Shaw is yet to be seen. Perhaps on his deathbed some stray phrase will illuminate with its witty gleam his true soul’s nature. He has played tag with this soul so long that some of it has been lost in the game.” All this is amusing, but it does not mean overmuch. In the light of the present volumes 1 Mr. Shaw does not appear to be a difficult puzzle to solve, if, indeed, he is a puzzle at all. By race and nature a wit, he has indulged himself in paradox and other verbal mystification to the top of his bent. His temperament is all mercury, but his mind is firm enough upon its foundations, such as they are. None of his bodily or mental addictions are strong enough to arrest his flow of spirits; he is a joyous socialist, a boisterous Fabianite, and, yet stranger portent, an exuberant vegetarian. He is extravagant by instinct as well as by policy. So far as questions of good form are concerned, he appears at first, glance to be quite untrammeled by any consideration of taste. This is more obviously untrue of his attitude toward questions of higher importance than good form. However obscured by its fantastic dress of impudence and irreverence, paradox and persiflage, the most characteristic utterance of this self-confessed mountebank proceeds from a singularly rigid morality.

By his most characteristic utterance I do not mean the plays; they represent a phase of heightened self-consciousness and diminished self-command. Mr. Shaw is at his sanest in the dramatic criticisms contributed weekly to the Saturday Review during the years 1895—98, and but now republished in two rather thick volumes. From the outset he is frankly impatient of conventional restraint, and contemptuous of the cautious methods of urbane criticism. “In this world,” he cries presently, “if you do not say a thing in an irritating way, you may just as well not say it at all, since nobody will trouble themselves about anything that does not trouble them.” When this was written, a dozen years ago, Mr. Shaw was already a man of middle age. People were beginning to trouble themselves more or less about what he said in his irritating way. A few earnest persons (at whom he laughed) were disposed to hail him as a prophet. The youthful mind began to rejoice in him as an insubordinate and a cynic. The powers that were regarded him with the sidelong eye, half ashamed, half amused, with which responsible members of society are wont to look upon the not always seemly antics of an enfantterrible. Already in America had been heard the sound of that wild horn on Piccadillian echoes borne.

Mr. Shaw’s training had not been of a sort to breed the amenities. He began life as an electrical engineer. “You must not suppose,” he remarks blandly, “because I am a man of letters, that I never tried to earn an honest living, I began trying to commit that sin against my nature when I was fifteen, and persevered, from youthful timidity and diffidence, until I was twenty-three.” His last professional experience was connected with an unsuccessful attempt to establish the Edison telephone in London; in the end Bell’s machine proved too much for it. Thereupon the young Irishman deliberately betook himself to the literary life of idleness. “Just as people with social ambitions will practice the meanest economies in order to live expensively, so the artist will starve himself through incredible toil and discouragement sooner than go and earn an honest week’s wages.” For the next few years Mr. Shaw so starved himself, writing five novels (surely a liberal experiment) for which no publisher could be found; and was presently driven, according to the best traditions, to the forlorn hope — criticism. Pictures, music, contemporary literature, became in turn his prey. To all of these tasks he brought an open mind, an honest impulse, a. keen eye, unlimited diligence, and immovable self-confidence. Eventually, after some twenty years, he entered upon the experience as dramatic critic the results of winch are now before us. This three years’ service, he complains, nearly killed him. Pictures and music were bad enough, but “the theatre struck me down like the veriest weakling.” At all events, in 1898 he retired, physically ill and mentally exhausted, from his critical post on the Saturday Review, He had fully expressed his opinions of what the modern play is and should be; and these opinions he had reinforced by the purely negative means of his satirical farces, the best of which were already written. “Up to that fateful day,” he says in one of his characteristic prefaces, “I had never stopped to spoon up the spilt drops of my well into bottles. Time enough for that when the well was empty. But now I listened to the voice of the publisher for the first time since he had refused to listen to me. I turned over my articles again; but to serve up the weekly paper of five years ago as a novelty — no: I had not yet fallen so low, though I see that degradation looming up before me as an agricultural laborer sees the workhouse. So I said, I will begin with small sins: I will publish my plays.”’ So the plays were published, with spectacular prefaces, which represent, at least, a less perverted exercise of the critical faculty than the plays do. The writer’s irritated audience was greatly enlarged by the publication, notably in America, which is not so easily mystified by rhodomontade and hyperbole, and is a good deal at home with Mr. Shaw’s humor. Might not Mark Twain have said the same thing, to a comma, about the man of letters and the honest living ?

I do not see that much is to be said for the positive value of the plays, even as wholesome irritants. Their quality is negative. One is interested in them, if at all, because of what they refuse to be, what they suggest; because, in short, of their critical property. On their sparkling griddle is done to a turn all the sham and banality and false flutter of the popular drama; but there is nothing else. Mr. Shaw’s vaunted normality of vision does not prevent his being self-deceived on this head, for it is clear that he regards himself as a writer of genuine plays. “Not,” he says, in speaking of the difficulties involved in his first attempts to get a hearing— “Not that I lacked the dramatist’s gift. As far as that is concerned, I have encountered no limit but my own laziness to my power of conjuring up imaginary people in imaginary places, and making up stories about them in the natural scenic form which has given rise to that curious human institution, the theatre.” Mr. Shaw’s features probably take on an expression of bland amusement when it is intimated that there is nothing in the least “imaginary” in his farces. The people are aspects of his own mind, and the place is where he chances to be; the story is an illustrated lecture. The lecturer, whose themes are serious enough, and who is not a fool, is unable to keep his head before a crowd. The result is a fiasco of criticism gone astray. This fact seems not to have been generally observed, even by assiduous students of the Shaw phenomena. In his Introduction to the present volumes (Mr. Shaw has already said his say in his preface to Three Plays for Puritans), Mr. Huneker remarks briskly, “He now produces plays instead of rowing in the critical chaingang; why cannonade cockchafers when you can demonstrate that the possession of the critical faculty does not oust the creative ? ” If this fact needed proof (one seems to recall such respectable instances to the contrary as Dry den and Goethe and Coleridge), Mr. Shaw’s plays would certainly fail to supply it. His is an instance of a criticism, creative in a minor sense, seeking to enforce itself by a process of purely artificial construction. At best the so-called plays can be said to give inferior, erratic, and partial expression to a fundamentally sound critical instinct, which it would have been a delight to see embodied fully in some '' creative ” form, as the phrase goes. That they fail to present this full embodiment is precisely our cause of quarrel with them. They are not generous, they offer nothing. They sneer at the common cant and would substitute a cant of their own. If beneath their ridicule of conventional sentiment and morality there appeared, however dimly, some sort of reverence for something, we might have in them a group of comedies instead of a series of bitter farces.

In the body of his critical work such a reverence, such a sense of responsibility plainly inheres. Criticism is Mr. Shaw’s “job,” as distinguished from what we may call his super-jobs, the scorn of virtue and the praise of Shaw. And he has a perfectly dignified conception of the critical function: “Even Louis the Eleventh, he says, “had to tolerate his confessor, standing for the eternal against the temporal throne. Democracy has now handed the sceptre of the despot, to the sovereign people; but they too must have their confessor, whom they call Critic.” What finer ideal of criticism does one recall than this of “standing for the eternal against the temporal throne ? ’ Furthermore, Mr. Shaw rightly believes that the critic qualifies for his office by an experience of rational enjoyment. With his contemporary, Mr. Walkley, he holds that the ideal spectator, ὁ αρíϵις, is not the average spectator, but the accomplished spectator: the critic, in short. “The drama’s laws the drama’s patrons give,” he quotes derisively after hearing Mr. Henry James thoroughly “booed.” “Pray, which of its patrons? It is the business of the dramatic critic to educate these dunces, not to echo them.” This, then, is Mr. Shaw’s task as he conceives it, to educate the dunces. And in order to educate them it is first of all necessary to wake them up, to jostle and hustle them into some semblance of attention. Dignity of critical method may be thrown by the board. What is the use in a criticism written for critics ? “Criticism is not only medicinally salutary, it has positive popular attractions in its cruelty, its gladiatorship, and the gratification its attacks on the great give to envy, and its praises to enthusiasm. ... It may say things which many would like to say, but dare not, and indeed for want of skill could not, even if they durst. Its iconoclasms, seditions, and blasphemies, if well turned, tickle those whom they shock; so that the critic adds the privileges of the court jester to those of the confessor.”

This puts the whole situation before us as Mr. Shaw sees it: his aim in criticism is to defend the eternal from the temporal by frankly temporal means. Not even “ vulgarity and impudence ” are to be neglected by the critic “whenever they are the proper tools for his job.” The gospel is to be disseminated at all hazards, — by blaspheming it, if necessary. Mr. Shaw has declared himself a mountebank, blowing his mercenary trumpet at the cart’s tail. He is much more like a salvation laddie, sounding his drum and bellowing rag-time in the name of the Lord. Such performers are prone to be seduced by their own rude music, and they who came to preach remain to play. In the long run, Mr. Shaw’s; gospel has not fared very luckily at his hands; for it must be said that vulgarity and impudence are tools with which nature rather than art has endowed him. They have helped qualify him, in a vulgar sense, as satanic functionary, the useful adversary who brings home to us our silly prides and hypocrisies. Why not ignore the laddie’s manner, and consider, for a moment, the truth that is in him ?

First it is to be noted that he is more powerfully obsessed with the notion of his own exceptional normality than are most men of unusual ability. On top of his failure as a novelist, a physician chanced to pronounce his sight normal; that, is, as he defined it, such as only one person in ten possesses. This explained everything: “My mind’s eye, like my body’s, was normal: it saw things differently from other people’s minds, and saw them better.” Something very like this we feel to be true of geniuses of the first order. Of Mr. Shaw it may be said that, his primary impulses are normal; his virtue lies in what he instinctively feels rather than in what he consciously sees. His utterance as a whole is a witty and petulant protest against the world’s denial of its birthright. His criticism, with all its violences and all its trivialities, is as much as any thing else the expression of a belligerent honesty and a long-suffering but by no means defunct idealism. This is why the critic in him so often shifts to the satirist. This is why his critical faculty so often fails to exercise itself at all, leaving him to brandish his shillalah in the market place, to the amusement or disgust of the tenth who chance to possess normal manners as well as morals. Unless one understands that Mr. Shaw’s work (yes, Widowers Houses and all) is based upon a painfully uncompromising morality, one must altogether miss its animus. It is only necessary to compare him with his compatriot, contemporary, fellow-exile, and fellow-protestant, Mr. George Moore, to do him this kind of justice. Mr. Moore runs amuck against religion, and moral standards, and marriage, out of sheer wantonness. Paganism is the word which he absurdly connects with the attitude. On the other hand, while Mr. Shaw declares that he has “no taste for what is called popular art, no respect for popular morality, no belief in popular religion, no admiration for popular heroics,” the stress is all upon the epithet. It is the stupidly conventional form of things that drives him into his Berserker fury, as it drove Swift and Carlyle before him. At the extreme of the mood he finds it a relief to pretend that he is amused, and not enraged at all. He attacks marriage because it is so often a cloak for cupidity and license; he attacks the clergy because so many of them are mere “blind mouths;” he attacks romance because it is popularly taken to be the same thing as sentimental cant. In all this iconoclasm his impulse, at least, is perfectly healthy and normal.

In matters of taste (a word which Mr. Shaw repudiates) the situation is measurably the same; not absolutely, since æsthetic impulses are so much less to be relied upon than moral impulses. Most of us are provided by nature with an ethical rule of thumb upon which we can rely; as for æsthetic sense, we have, at best, an obscure instinct to start with. In Mr. Shaw this instinct was strong and sound; strong enough and sound enough to survive, and even, in a way, to thrive on, the incessant reactions incident upon a running fight with temperamental insubordination and intellectual “cussedness.” That Mr. Shaw’s education was of a decidedly casual sort is a fact hardly to be regretted. The academic experience could have done little for him. He was born to be the advocatus diaboli of a generation somewhat in need of the prosecuting brief.

As for the individualism or impressionism of his method, it can scarcely be condemned in this age on the ground of irresponsibility. It has, in fact, been the method of most modern dramatic critics of note, — Lewes, Archer, and Walkley; Sarcey, Lemaître, and Anatole France, — M. Brunetière standing well-nigh single-handed for the “objective” tradition of Aristotle, Horace, and Boileau. Ours is the generation in which M. Lemaître has phrased the already famous definition of criticism as “the adventures of a soul among masterpieces;” and in which M. Anatole France has declared, “To be frank, the critic should say, ‘Gentlemen, I am going to talk about myself apropos of Shakespeare, or of Goethe. Could I have a better opportunity ? ’ ” The Shaw egotism has plenty of precedent, it seems. Read Mr. Archer’s collected reviews, and you will find no avoidance of the first person singular, nay, even an occasional ebullition of Caledonian sprightliness which is evidently felt to be in order. Read Mr. Walkley’s, and you will not find him deficient in audacity. Pick up one of Mr. Sarcey’s feuilletons, and you have the ripest opinion uttered with the least possible ceremony, a cheerful flow of colloquialisms, topical allusions, slang of the boulevard and of the theatre. Mr. Shaw is not a monster in that sort, at least..

Nor is he an interpreter of no school. There has been plenty of comment upon his modernity, his revolutionary aspect, his Ibsenism, and so on. The real explanation of the man lies in the fact that he is a survival, in his indignant and perversely expressed conservatism. This public prosecutor of convention, of romance, of idealism, is a stubborn preRaphaelite. His confessions of faith have been clear and frequent enough. “Educated people,” he says, in one of his early criticisms, “have ceased to believe that architecture means ‘ruins by moonlight’ (style, ecclesiastical Gothic); that the once fashionable admiration of the Renaissance and the ‘old masters’ of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries has been swept away by the growth of a genuine sense of the naive dignity and charm of the thirteenth century work, so that nowadays ten acres of Carracci, Giulio Romano, Guido, Domenichino, and Pietro di Cortona will not buy an inch of Botticelli, or Lippi, or John Bellini — no, not even with a few yards of Raphael thrown in; and that the whole rhetorical school in English literature, from Shakespeare to Byron, appears to us in our present mood only another side of the terrible dègringolade from Michael Angelo to Canova and Thorwaldsen, all of whose works would not now tempt us to part with a single fragment by Donatello, or even a pretty foundling baby by Della Robbia. . . . Burne-Jones has made himself the greatest among English decorative painters by picking up the tradition of his art where Lippi left it, and utterly ignoring their Raphaels, Correggios, and stuff. . . . William Morris has made himself the greatest living master of the English language, both in prose and verse, by picking up the tradition of the literary art where Chaucer left it, and Morris and Burne-Jones, close friends and coöperators in many a masterpiece, form the highest aristocracy of English art to-day.” How remote all this seems from the bellicose and vulgar strain which, as such strains will, has carried farthest, — the petulant and rude utterance, it is not uncommonly supposed, of a bounder and a Goth. This man’s hero is William Morris, not Ibsen or Nietzsche. The least farcical of his plays has a confessedly preRaphaelite motive. “To distil the quintessential drama from pre-Raphaelitism mediæval or modern,” he says, apropos of Candida, “it must be shown in conflict with the first, broken, nervous, stumbling attempts to formulate its own revolt against itself as it develops into something higher.” In the young poet-idiot “Marchbanks,” then, we are expected to see “the higher, but vaguer, timider vision, and the incoherent, mischievous, and even ridiculous unpracticalness, which offered me a dramatic antagonist for the clear, bold, sure, sensible, benevolent, salutarily short-sighted Christian Socialist idealism,” as embodied in “Morell.” In effect, Marchbanks is an etherealized Sartorius, Valentine, Bluntschli — Shaw; the voice of disillusion crying in a metropolis. The old things are passing away, and a new world is at hand; a blessed world of Supershaws, in which shall be neither marrying nor giving in marriage, nor good manners, nor conventional morals, nor the building of churches, nor lying, nor folly, nor meat. A delightful plan this, which has appealed to other philosophers than Mr. Shaw from time immemorial. What more thorough-going remedy than, having discovered that the present human race is a failure, to set about the creation of a new one ?

As a matter of fact, every other page of Mr. Shaw’s criticism confesses the existence of an extant and tolerably respectable humanity. It is pleasant to find this supposed iconoclast perpetually betrayed into bursts of indignation against not only stage cant, but stage lubricity, brutality, and unchivalrousness. “To laugh without sympathy is a ruinous abuse of a noble function; and the degradation of any race may be measured by the degree of their addiction to it.” So, between grimaces, speaks our maker of farce, honestly deaf to the quality of the laughter he himself oftenest excites. He sincerely wishes to “stand for the eternal against the temporal throne.” Sincerity is the touchstone applied to the business of the playwright, manager, or actor. The man who is not an artist, Mr. Shaw somewhere intimates, “regards art as a quaint and costly ring in the nose of Nature.” For himself, he is never so uneasy as in the presence of petty contrivance and elaborate convention.

“It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that what most of our critics mean by mastery of stage-craft is recklessness in the substitution of dead machinery and lay figures for vital action and real characters.”

“Character-actor is a technical term denoting a clever stage performer, who cannot act, and therefore makes an elaborate study of the disguises and stage tricks by which acting can be grotesquely simulated.”

“By ‘a good acting play,’ is always meant a play that requires from the performers no qualifications beyond a plausible appearance and a little experience and address in stage business. A ‘literary play,’ I should explain, is a play that the actors have to act, in opposition to the ‘acting play,’ which acts them.”

Naturally this critic loses no chance to express his contempt for what he calls “Sardoodledom:” the cult of the “wellmade” play. He gives M. Sardou no bail, and barely allows Mr. Pinero to go at large on good behavior. (Pinerotic is his happy epithet for the Ebbsmiths and Tanquerays of that culprit.) For Sir Henry Arthur Jones he has little but praise. But I may not begin to go into his criticisms of contemporaries in detail ; it must suffice to say that they deserve to be read by playgoers who have any other than the most trivial interest in play-going.

The general impression made by Mr. Shaw’s utterances on Shakespeare is of a rather conscious blasphemy. He is so impatient of the nonsense commonly associated with Shakespeare’s name, that he has the air of despising the name itself. Just as his idealism causes him to declare that there is no such thing as romance, his love of Shakespeare leads him to run amuck amidst the most cherished observances of our Shakespeareworshiping ritual. For Elizabethan drama as a whole he has nothing but contempt. “There is only one use left for the Elizabethan dramatists, and that is the purification of Shakespeare’s reputation from its spurious elements. Just as you can cure people of talking patronizingly of ‘ Mozartian melody ’ by showing them that the tunes they imagine to be his distinctive characteristic were the commonplaces of his time, so it is possible perhaps to cure people of admiring, as distinctively characteristic of Shakespeare, the false forced rhetoric, the callous sensation-mongering in murder and lust, the ghosts and combats, and the venal expenditure of all the treasures of his genius on the bedizenment of plays which are, as wholes, stupid toys. When Sir Henry Irving presently revives Cymbeline, the numerous descendants of the learned Shakespearean enthusiast who went down on his knees and kissed the Ireland forgeries will see no difference between the great dramatist who changed Imogen from a mere name in a story to a living woman, and the manager-showman who exhibited her with the gory trunk of a, newly-beheaded man in her arms. But why should we, the heirs of so many greater ages, with the dramatic poems of Goethe and Ibsen in our hands, and the music of a great dynasty of musicians, from Bach to Wagner, in our ears, — why should we waste our time on the rank and file of the Elizabethans, or encourage foolish modern persons to imitate them, or talk about Shakespeare as if his moral platitudes, his jingo claptraps, his tavern pleasantries, his bombast and drivel, and his incapacity for following up the scraps of philosophy which he stole so aptly, were as admirable as the mastery of poetic speech, the feeling for nature, and the knack of character-drawing, fun, and heart-wisdom which he was ready, like a true son of the theatre, to prostitute to any subject, any occasion, any theatrical employment? The fact is, we are growing out of Shakespeare. Byron declined to put up with his reputation at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and now, at the beginning of the twentieth, he is nothing but a household pet.” Rude speech this, with quite enough hard sense in it to discomfit the Stratford pilgrim. It is rather comforting to find Mr. Shaw betrayed presently (by the emotions consequent upon an actual hearing of the Irving Cymbeline) into the following sweeping remark: “With the single exception of Homer, there is no eminent writer, not even Walter Scott, whom I can despise so entirely as I despise Shakespeare when I measure my mind against his.” This at once clears the air, and relieves the worst of our apprehensions. Mr. Archer really has said all that needs to be said in the connection: “For my part, I have long ago given up as a bad job the attempt to convert Shakespeare to my views.” Mr. Shaw is incapable of so ignominious a surrender.

His admiration for the pure music of Shakespeare is very great, and he is continually being roused to indignation by the brutal mouthing of the magic lines to be expected of the ordinary actor. The cutting and garbling of the plays in “stage versions” is another red rag to him, as well as the cheapening of their imaginative appeal by the over-elaboration of modern stage-management. He displays, in short, a greater reverence for the integrity of Shakespeare than many Shakespearean scholars — than the greatest Shakespearean actors. Mr. Archer’s remark certainly brings to light the loose screw in Mr. Shaw’s contempt for Shakespeare’s intellect. Shakespeare was neither a pre-Raphaelite, a Fabianite, nor a socialist, and he had a wretched habit of saying the merely normal thing in beautiful verse. Deceiver! Nor is it satisfying that a man who might have roused his age by a sufficiently ruthless recourse to satire should have wasted himself upon romantic follies such as As You Like It. Fribble! All’s Well, Measure for Measure, and Troilus and Cressida are the plays for which our critic has most respect. It is not surprising to find him pronouncing Fielding the most important dramatist between Shakespeare and Ibsen, Fielding’s plays, deficient in the benign humor of the novels, are correspondingly more didactic in motive, and more scathing in wit. Like Mr. Shaw, he wrote, not comedies, but satirical farces; which had as brief a hearing as they deserved. In his Quintessence of Ibsenism, Mr. Shaw has had his say about Ibsen very fully. It cannot be rehearsed here. One may note the characteristic turn given (in a criticism of Little Eyolf) to a sneering allusion made by a brother-critic to Ibsen as “suburban.” “Suburbanity at present means modern civilization. The active, germinating life in the households of today cannot be typified by an aristocratic hero, an ingenuous heroine, a gentlemanforger abetted by an Artful Dodger, and a parlor-maid who takes half-sovereigns and kisses from male visitors. , . . But if you ask me where you find the Helmer household, the Allmers household, the Solness household, the Rosmer household, and all the other Ibsen households, I reply, ' Jump out of the train anywhere between Wimbledon and Haslemere; walk into the first villa you come to: and there you are.’ . . . The true explanation of Hedda Gabler’s vogue is that given by Mr. Grant Allen: ‘I take her in to dinner twice a week.’” When it comes to be considered a little, such a remark seems to have only the merit of a vague suggestiveness. No dinner which included Hedda Gabler could conceivably include Mr. Grant Allen. For the table would be set in an unapproachable villa in some ethereal suburb of Ibsen’s consciousness; and the other guests would be Rosmer, and Nora, and the Lady from the Sea, and the rest; and at the head Peer Gynt.

Mr. Shaw’s own Suburbia has not a trace of poetic aloofness. His stage figures are mere intellectual puppets, fashioned rudely in the image of their maker, and more or less absurdly contorting themselves as his voice crackles on in the wings. In the employment of his proper vehicle, on the other hand, he has proved himself a perfectly intelligible and capable critic of the uncompromising method of Nietzsche. In sober moments he does not claim very much for himself. He is, he confesses, a crow who has followed many ploughs; not particularly original: “What the world calls originality is only an unaccustomed method of tickling it.” His plays he values chiefly as steps in the right direction: “The next Shakespeare that comes along will turn these petty tentatives of mine into masterpieces final for their epoch. . . . We must hurry on: We must get rid of reputations: they are weeds in the soil of ignorance.” At such moments the clown not only achieves dignity, but actually approaches the feat of minor prophecy. However we may disrelish his appearance, however we may distrust his premises and discredit his conclusions, we must perforce yield him the attention due to sincerity of impulse and integrity of conduct. We cannot quite dismiss him with a shrug.

  1. Dramatic Opinions and Essays. By G. BERNARD SHAW. New York: Brentano’s. 1906.