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An essay by Israel Zangwill


Title:     Valedictory
Author: Israel Zangwill [More Titles by Zangwill]

And now, gentle reader, the hour has come for parting. You have kept me company a long time; tolerant of all my whimsies and vagaries, and not too restive when I became serious and heavy. I have written for you in many places and in many moods, and I cannot hope to have escaped the mood of dulness.

Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you'll grow double;
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks:
Why all this toil and trouble?

Ah, dear Wordsworth, 't is easy enough to answer your question. Still, at last the pen falls from my tired fingers.

Books! 't is a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet!
How sweet his music! On my life,
There's more of wisdom in it.

Yes, I will go down and hear the woodland linnet, there is one in the bird-shop round the corner. Ah me! he will not pipe--his is the wisdom of silence. Never mind; the pavements are flooded with sunshine, and the folk are walking gaily, and the omnibuses roll along top-heavy, and there is a blue strip of sky over the Strand. Yes, Spring is here, and the violets are blooming in the old women's baskets. How happy everybody seems! Even the sandwich-men have lost their doleful air. The sap is stirring in their boards. They are dreaming of their ancient springtides, when they edited magazines or played "Hamlet." And so, having taken up my pen again to tell you how I dropped it, let me not lay it down without bidding you a fond and last farewell--without prejudice.

[The end]
Israel Zangwill's essay: Valedictory