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Shadow Of A Name

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At4o'clock on themotning of Easter Snnday at his home near Malvern WelJ ■died Charles Chadband. With the name of Chad baad, thanks to Dickens, the reading world is familiar. It is associated with oiliness, hypocrisy and self seeking. At the very sound of the name the reminiscent grin starts on all faces. He is a national joke. But we pay for all our laughter, and we kave paid for the Chadband jest. I do not mean to say that the unJiappy accident by which Dickens selected the name of Chadband for his imposter was the cause of the death of Charles Chadband. It was not. Hedied of au ordinury disease - consumption, iu fact. But that unbappy accident did oversbadow the whole of Charles Chadband's life. It did prevent hitn frora takiug the place and fame to which he -was justly entitled. It has prevented ■the general public from reading one single line of his very exoellent works. As his literary exeoutor I have had ao choice but to destroy every line of his manuscript, in accordance with his orders. Not a single copy has been ■taken, and uot oue word of his works that his friends remember may be committed to writing. I do not easily believe in the existence of genius, but I believe' that Charles Chadband had genius. Some, far more competent to judge than I ani, thoueht the same. As I watched the last sparks die out in tbe big pile of burned paper it seemed a pity that so nxnch work and such wonderful gifts should be all wasted for such a etupid, ignoble, maddening reason - because the author had inherited tbe name of a character in Dickens. He was very sensitive, but, unlike most very sensitive men, be was not affected or vaiu. When I was first introduced to him, he said, laughing, that he was no relation to the original dhadband. He reveled in Dickens and would quote the original Chadband freely. I had known him a long time before I knew that the coincidence of the names gave him any trouble at alL It was long before I could make out why he would not publish anything. He used to give the most absurd reasons for his reticence, and when driven into a corner he would say that he was going to publish, but not yet. One night, when I had just flnished a long story of iis, I implored him to let me take it away with me to London and see what oonld be done. "No, "he said. "Nobody would publish it." Itoldhim that it might be refused by flve men out of six, but that the sixth would afterward be proud that he had accepted it. Then, quite unexpectedly, the secret came out. "No serious work, " he said, "could posaibly do anything associated with the name of Chadband. " He said it so light heartedly that I thonght he was once more putting me off with a ■wrong reaaon, but I soon fonnd that he "was sincere. He imagined reviewers making jests about his name and owned that he wonld not be able to stand it This surprised me, for he frequently joked about his name himself, and so did his friends. He defended himself. "That's different," he said. "That is in conversation, among men that I know. Bnt I could not have some vulgar brute who did not know me at all doing the same thing in cold print. It would present my stuff f rom the wrong point of view. No, the associations of the name are too strong. If you are called Chadband, you are called Chadband, and there's an end of it You inay do what you like in private, but you can come before the public only as an intemperate, hypocritical, delicious ass, and in no other character whatver. ' ' He would not hear of a pseudonym or of anonymity. If his work succeeded, the secret would be fouud out, and he would be ashamed. If it did not suc-ceed - and he did not think it would - it was not worth his while to add to the annual output of bad books. "Why make all this fuss about nothing?" I isaid, angry with his obstinacy. "Ifyou thiuk it matters one straw - though it does not - change your name once for all and be done with it. " He said that it wonld be sheer cowardice, and he could not dreana of it. Very unfortunately, he had private means. Poverty might have driveu bitn to overeóme his sensitiveness and to publish. Had he done so it would have been curions to watch the growth of an ntirely new set of associations around the name Chadband. I think he was strong enongh to have redeemed the name. He was unmarried - said that he did uot believe in the hereditary principies as applied to jokes. His real reason for not marryinK was, of course, the disease of which he died. He worked exceedingly hard, and, as he knew, to no purposa He would not own that he took pleasure in his work. "No, " he said, "it's like smoking - I getno pleasnre from it, but I should miss it if I gave it up. " He took enormous pains with his work and finished itj as thorougbly as though it were to gonstitute his appeal to the world on thë.following day. He kept the final copy of ■e very thing he approved, but his inetructions were that it was all to be burned as soon as possible af ter his fleath. - Barry Pain in Black and White.


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