"I represent," our visitor continued, "a syndicate of influential journals, no less than thirty-seven, whose public whose publics, I may say are in peculiar sympathy with Mr. Paraday's line of thought. They would greatly appreciate any expression of his views on the subject of the art he so nobly exemplifies.
It is a common delusion of those who discuss contemporary literature that there is such an entity as the "reading public," possest of a certain uniformity of taste. There is not one public; there are many publics, as many in fact as there are different kinds of taste; and the extent of an author's popularity is in proportion to the number of these separate publics he may chance to please.
I had never won no blue ribbons or silver cups; only stakes for the old Master to spend in the publics, and I hadn't won them for being a beautiful, high-quality dog, but just for fighting which, of course, as Woodstock Wizard III. says, is low. So I started for the stables, with my head down and my tail between my legs, feeling sorry I had ever left the Master.
This delay while Tarrano was held virtually a prisoner in Venia was decided upon at the instigation of Georg himself. He Georg would address the publics of the three worlds. With Maida beside him to influence her own public in Venus, they would convince everyone that Georg had the secret and that he alone would use it for the public good. Youthful plans! Youthful enthusiasm!
"Our firm is splendid, I should think six times as big as the tin works, and I am going to try so hard there. "Ironboro' is very dirty, and there are publics everywhere. The men drink a great deal here, and it is such a pity. Mr. Dainton says they could do well if they liked, because the pay is so good.
In like manner the American author who has chosen to call himself Mark Twain has attained to an immense popularity because the qualities he possesses in a high degree appeal to so many and so widely varied publics, first of all, no doubt, to the public that revels in hearty and robust fun, but also to the public which is glad to be swept along by the full current of adventure, which is sincerely touched by manly pathos, which is satisfied by vigorous and exact portrayal of character, which respects shrewdness and wisdom and sanity and which appreciates a healthy hatred of pretense and affectation and sham.
The one thing needful is that it shall neither insult their intelligence nor trifle with their taste. In view of the many different theatre-going publics and their various demands, the critic, in order to be just, must be endowed with a sympathetic versatility of approbation. The one where your place is is the best for you."
The stone-throwing, the blow, the woman, and the cause were widely discussed that same day throughout the clubs and drawing-rooms of Mayfair and Belgravia, no less than among the clubs and "publics" of the East End; and the guests at country-house parties as they hurried out of town for the Sunday, carried the gossip of the matter far and wide.
Now, however, when the new year was beginning its dull days, he began to diverge occasionally to right and left, sometimes eating his luncheon in odd corners, in the bulging parlors of eighteenth-century taverns, that still fronted the surging sea of modern streets, or perhaps in brand new "publics" on the broken borders of the brickfields, smelling of the clay from which they had swollen.
New publics have had to be made for Wagner, for Sunlight Soap, for Bernard Shaw; and it is the men who make new publics be it for big or little things who are artists. They are in spirit, prophets, kings, and world-builders.