They had urbanites indeed, flowers, music, art, oratory, letters, song. The events of each day were executed like a piece of music, and even their sarcophagi were covered with scenes of feasting and revelry. But they were not true; and that false note jars through all their pages. Harshness in the poet and pride in the orator make their refinement and culture seem but skin deep.
All the world loves a lover, as in just measure it despises a libertine; and there were fathers of daughters among the miner and foundry folk of the town. On the lips of the transplanted urbanites of the hill houses comment was less elemental, but no less condemnatory.
A proud, patient woman with nothing to do all day but pick at a little housework, and read her eyes out, and wish that she could run in and be neighborly with the indifferent urbanites who formed about her a wall of ice. Yet so confused are human purposes that this good woman who adored her daughter also sapped her daughter's vigor.
Once, on Fifth Avenue, she met Sam Weintraub, and he nonchalantly pointed out, in a passing motor, a man whom he declared to be John D. Rockefeller. Even at lunch-hour Una could not come to much understanding with the girls of the commercial college. They seemed alternately third-rate stenographers, and very haughty urbanites who knew all about "fellows" and "shows" and "glad rags."
We should be stronger, healthier, for such expeditions, and the better able and the more willing to defend our boundaries. But these are the exceptional foot expeditions. For most urbanites there is the opportunity for the daily walk to and from work, if only they were not tempted by the wheel of the street car or motor.
His peasants and simple middle-class folk are as distinctive and enjoyable as anything since Shakspere. He also has a more sophisticated, cutting humor tipped with irony and tart to the taste which he uses in those stories or scenes where urbanites mingle with his country folk. But his humorous triumphs are bucolic.
They were the Bunch, wise and beautiful and amusing; they were Bohemians and urbanites, accustomed to all the luxuries of Zenith: dance-halls, movie-theaters, and roadhouses; and in a cynical superiority to people who were "slow" or "tightwad" they cackled: "Oh, Pete, did I tell you what that dub of a cashier said when I came in late yesterday? Oh, it was per-fect-ly priceless!"
Some scholars believe that many resettled Shang urbanites either were or became businessmen; incidentally, the same word "Shang" means "merchant", up to the present time. The people of the Shang capital lived on and even attempted a revolt in collaboration with some Chou people. The Chou rulers suppressed this revolt, and then transferred a large part of this population to Loyang.
Just as puppet plays and shadow theatre are the "opera of the common man" and took a new development in Ming time, the wood-cut and block-printing developed largely as a cheap substitute of real paintings. The new urbanites wanted to have paintings of the masters and found in the wood-cut which soon became a multi-colour print a cheap mass medium.
Bland gentlemen introduced themselves to unwary strangers. Instead of the mining stock or the sick engineer's story of our more enlightened and refined age, these pleasant urbanites resorted to the cruder weapon of blackmail. The art was reduced to a system.