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Oscar Wilde And The Future Man

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London is considerably agitatcd with .wo somcwhat striking developmcnts of modern progress. One is tho sudden appearance of Oscar Wilde from Paris with his hair cut short and decked iu the costunie of the dudo. The other is ,ho rrablication of a learned essav bv VIr. E. Kay Robinson, doinönstraling that the "Man of the Future" will be a "toothless.hairless, slow-limbed animal, iucapable of extended locomotion," whose f eet "will have no divisions between the toes,'' but will have a "great too projectiner like a thunib fvoni the side," and will be decorated with a "tail longer than its logs." The "Man of the Future" will be "very averseto fighting and will maintain his position in the foremost files of time solely npon the strenffth of a few peculiar coavolutions in his brain." In discussing this startling essay the London reviewers decline to accept Mr. Robinson's theories, and base their objections mainly on the ground that thero is nothing in the developnient of man up to the present tim which foreshadows any such degenera tion in the future. Need we say that the reviewers wrot before Mr. Wilde's transformation Even the most careloss observer mus have inforred as much. Contrast Mr. Wilde, shorn of his flowine locks and rayed in the pointed coat of the dude, with the hairless long-tailed Man of the Future. Is not tbo resemblaneo strong enougn to awaken thought and stimulate speculation? Before he cut his hair, there were many pointsof siuiilarity between Mr. Wilde and the Future Man. The iEsthete was "slow-limbed and incapable of extended locoinotion. ' ' Ho could in fact barely hold his own body upright. He was willowy, and ho leaned perpetually in stained glass and terly limp attitudes. He was averso to anything so violent as fighting, and he maintained "hisposition in thcïoremost files"of nincompoops by a' 'few peculiar' ' - very pecnliar - "convultions iu bis braiu." The onodecidedcontradiction, the long, lank hair, he has done bis best to oblitérate, and time can be trusted to make the obliteration complete. The club foot with the accompanying side toe and the tail are minor developrnents wbich may come later, if not in Mr. Wildo's time, in tbat of his descendants1! lt seems to us that the recognmon 01 Mr. Wilde as the future man folves a doublé problem It gives Mr. Robinson a tangible basis for kis hypothesis and at the sanie time explains the otherwiso inexplicable chango in Mr. Wilde's personal appearance. No man parts lightly with his chicf claims to earthly greatness. Mr. Wilde would nof, have put oft" his knee brocches and his hair except for somo momentous reason. We believe that he did it in obodionee to the cali of Destiny. He steps out of the character of the man of the present time into that of the man of the future. He confessed when he parted tearfnlly from these inhospitable shores that his mission to reform the taste and dress of Americana had been a dreary failure. The chorus of derision with which he was welcomed to EnglaDd convinced hini that there was no demand for his labors there. He went to Paris to meditate unon the situation. and after a scason of seclusion he emerges in a new guise, and at the moment when London isdeclariuc; thatthe future man cannot bc what he is destined to be. Mr. Wilde reappears as one who would say : "Can't he, though:' Will you please look at me? ' There is the inspiration of genius in this. We are afraid also, and we mention the possibility wilh great tance, that thero rnay be a secona American tour in it. If Mr. Robinson's essay were to be well advertised in this country, and if then Barnum were to engage Mr. Wilde for exhibition as the man of the future, the chances are that a great success would be scored. It would. put Mr. Wilde regularly into the sliow business, along with the fat wonian and the bearded lady, but that is substantially the position he occupied on his former trip. Au Arkansas journalist, in assummg control cf the local column of a weekly paper, says: "The proprietors of the Skillet have deemed it advisable for me to lend my influence to this great enterpdso. I am an old hand at the business and come highly recommended, having beea run out of the swamp land district on account of a delicately expressed sentiment to the effect that the eounty judge was a thief of no small capacity. So long as the judge of this county remains honest, or at least is not caught stealing anything, I may stay with you and help you develop the wonderful resources of this section, but just as soon as he is proved to be a thief, I reckon I'll have to slide. I take this method of informing the people that I will preach at the Clay Hill church next Sunday. -


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Ann Arbor Democrat