Author of "Bracken", "Sleeping Waters", etc.

With an Introduction by







For eight years or more, since I first became acquainted with the novels

and tales of John Trevena it has been my firm conviction that only

Thomas Hardy and George Moore among contemporary novelists rival his art

at its best. Like Meredith, he has written for twenty years in

obscurity, and like Meredith also he has been content with a small

discriminating audience. I suppose that in 1950 our grandchildren will

be electing college courses on his literary method, but meanwhile it

would be more gratifying if there were even a slight public response to

the quality of his individual talent.

Trevena's novels are the expression of a passionate feeling for Nature,

regarded as the sum of human personality and experience, in all its

moods,--benign and malign, as man is benign and malign, and faithful to

life in the stone as well as the flower. What a gallery of memorable

characters they are, Mary and Peter Tavy, Brightly, Cuthbert Orton,

Jasper Ramrige, Anthonie and Petronel, William and Yellow Leaf, Captain

Drake and dark Pendoggat, Ann Code, Cyril Rossingall, and a hundred

others, passionate and gentle, with wind and water and earth and sky for

a chorus, and the shifting pageantry of Nature as a stage.

His fourteen volumes reveal a gift for characterization equalled by none

of the contemporary English realists, and a Shakespearian humor

elsewhere gone from our day. In _Furze the Cruel_, _Bracken_, _Wintering

Hay_, and _Sleeping Waters_, to name no others, John Trevena has written

novels of Dartmoor that will take their rightful place in the great

English line, when the honest carpentering of Phillpotts that now

overshadows them is totally forgotten.

The feeling has spread among Trevena's few critical American admirers

who have written about him, that he is fundamentally morbid and

one-sided. On the contrary, I know of few novelists who are more

recklessly and irresistibly gay, in whom sheer fun bubbles over so

spontaneously and wholeheartedly. To ignore life's harshness is simply

to ignore life. Trevena's many-sidedness will be apparent only when

there is a definitive edition of his work. His habit of confining a

novel to a single mood or passion of nature, together with the fact that

Americans have only had an opportunity to read those novels by him which

deal with nature's most cruel moods, have done the reputation of Trevena

a grave injustice.

_By Violence_ and _Matrimony_ are Trevena's most beautiful short tales,

and I hardly know which is the finer revelation of poetic grace and

gentle vision. Their message is conveyed so quietly that they may be

read for their sensuous beauty only, and yet convey a rare pleasure. If

their feeling is veiled and somewhat aloof from the common ways of men,

there is none the less a fine human sympathy concealed in them, and a

golden radiance indissolubly woven into their pages.

If Nature's power is inevitable in these stories, it is also kind, and I

like to think that from _By Violence_ as a text a new reading of earth

may be deciphered. Trevena has written the books of furze and heather

and granite and bracken, which outlast time on the hills of Dartmoor.

But this tale hints at a fifth force which survives all the others. Some

day, when the wind is strong, John Trevena will write the book of "The

Rain-drop," which is the gentlest of all elements, and yet outlasts the


Edward J. O'Brien

_South Yarmouth, Mass._

_February 26, 1918_


"Dear Sir,--

"The wooden enemies are out.

"Yours obediently,

"Oliver Vorse."

Simon Searell read this short message as he tramped the streets of

Stonehouse, which were full of fog, from the sea on one side and the

river on the other. Vorse was an uneducated man; the mysticism of

flowers was nothing to him, the time of spring was merely a change of

season, and the most spiritual of blooms were only "wooden enemies."

Searell frowned a little, not at the lack of education, which was rather

a peace to be desired, but at the harshness of the words, and went on,

wondering if the wood-anemones were to be his friends, or little cups of


He climbed streets of poor houses, their unhappy windows curtained with

mist, and came out near a small church made of iron, a cheap and gaudy

thing, almost as squalid on the outside as the houses. The backslider

looked at it with a shudder. It was his no longer; he had given it up;

he was forgetting those toy-like altars, the cheap brass candlesticks,

the artificial flowers, and all the images. They were wooden and stone

enemies to him now. He was going deeper to find the throbbing heart of

religion, putting aside dolls and tapers and the sham of sentimentality.

Solitude and mysticism were to be his stars through the night, and he

trusted, with their aid, to reach the dawn. He turned from the church,

stopped at a house, and that was squalid too, knocked, then wiped his

boots, as if certain of being admitted.

"Father Damon?" he asked shortly. Searell's voice was sweet; he had

helped people "home," as they called it, with his tongue, not with his

soul, just as a sweet-toned organ calls for tears with the beauty of its

sounds, though the instrument itself is dead.

"Yes, your reverence," the housekeeper answered, as shortly; and Searell

walked up the foggy stairs murmuring to himself, "The wind-flowers are

out, and I am free."

Father Damon stood in a little square room hideously papered. He was

small, dark, heavy-featured, peasant-like; and Searell saw at a glance

that his successor was as dull in many ways as Oliver Vorse. All that he

knew had been forced upon him almost violently; he had not gone forth

gathering for himself, he dared not, his mind had been tilled by careful

teachers, kept under restraint, all his side-growths pruned away, in

order that orthodoxy might develop in one large unlovely head. When the

order went forth to kneel, he knelt, and when it was time to lift his

eyes to Heaven, he lifted them. It was a life of prison, and he could

never smell the woodland through the fog of incense.

"He knows nothing," muttered Searell. "He thinks it is daylight where he


"I come to give you information about the mission," he said aloud, and

then began; but the telling took some time. How troublesome, how paltry,

the details; and Father Damon was so dull. Everything had to be

repeated, explained so carefully; and was it worth the words? The

successor was very earnest, but not enthusiastic, that had been crushed

out of him; and Searell grew impatient at the wooden figure, with its

simple face and child-like questions. He spoke faster, almost angrily,

desiring to get away and smell the earth; and his eyes wandered about

the room, which was so unlovely, not bare, but filled with those things

that make for the nakedness of life. There was wanting something to

galvanise that sluggish Damon into passion, to destroy the machinery,

turn him into a strong animal with dilating nostrils. One little touch

would have done it. A portrait of a pretty woman upon the mantelshelf

would have gone far; but there was nothing except pictures of mythical


"You are retiring. You seem strong and well," said Damon, when he had

obtained all the information that was required.

Searell was in a hurry to be gone, as the sleeper struggles to awake

from a bad dream; but that voice and its stagnantrepose aroused him.

"I am old, I am sixty," he said. "I am beginning again, trying to find

what the Church has not shown me."

"What is that?"


Damon stared with the eyes of horror, and put out his peasant-like hands

as if to force away some weight that pressed against him; but he said


"I will not depart in the odour of hypocrisy. Listen," said Searell. "I

am far from saying that the Church does not lead towards a kind of

light; but it has not led me. And this do I say, that in the world at

large all religion is a failure; and I am going to find mine in the


"The truth is in the Church. It is your fault if you have missed it,"

said Damon, in a hollow voice, hoping that the other, for the sake of

his soul, was mad.

"It is there for some, the minority. You will never realize how small

that minority is. We cannot hasten the dawn with juggling. True religion

is a thing of innocence, not a matter of spells and charms; and it is in

the innocence of Nature that I will search for it. I believe it exists

there, underneath the outward cruelty, and I shall find it among the

flowers. The flower alone does not struggle with violence, it sheds no

blood; the weed smothers, and the bindweed chokes; but without some

fault upon the surface, perfection might be obtained, which cannot be.

Look into the flower, and you will find a condition which is not

approached by man or other animals. There is a purity which brings tears

into your eyes. Eliminate violence, and you have innocence; obtain

innocence, and you see the light. At the beginning of things we are told

that the world was destroyed by water because the earth was filled with

violence. At the beginning of the new era we learn that the Kingdom of

Heaven suffereth violence. Will you say the Church does not rule by

violence, by threats, suppressions, rubrics, and by vows?"

"I cannot understand you," said Damon.

"Will you understand when I say that the God of life is to be found

among the flowers?"

The other shook his head and looked frightened. Free speech was not

allowed, and, if it had been, he would not have known how to use it. He

walked between rubrics, turning neither to the right hand nor to the

left; and the living lily was a thing for funeral wreaths. For the

altars, artificial flowers were good enough, as they did not require

renewing, and they looked real to the congregation, and how they were

regarded elsewhere did not concern him; and whether they had been made

by sweated labour did not concern him, because he was not allowed to

think, and he himself was artificial, neither man nor animal, but a

side-growth of supernaturalism.

"Let me go on now I have begun," said Searell. "I am leaving here, and

my words will not live after me. I am a man who has tested life, who has

been through every experience, and I have discovered that what morality

calls bad is often good, and that which we call virtue sometimes springs

from vice. The purest water runs upon mud, only you must not rake it up.

In my youth I served as a soldier, and upon leaving the army I sought

the Church, partly to find a rest, chiefly, perhaps, because my mind was

mystical. But nothing was revealed, and nothing could be, for the mystic

must be free; and the priest is a soul in prison, and the book of his

captivity is always before him. Here he must join his hands; there he

must lift his eyes to Heaven, prostrate himself, kiss the altar, until

the time comes when he feels alone, cut off from the Creator of his

dreams by these mechanics, horribly alone among images; and he seems to

hear a voice asking sorrowfully, 'What is this rule you are following?

Who told you to do this? Go out upon the hills and into the woods, for I

am there.' But he cannot move, for the time has come to join his hands

again, and the revelation passes unseen, because he has to keep his eyes

shut. It is written so, and he must obey."

"I cannot answer you," muttered Damon; and it was true, for these words

took him outside the well-worn groove and dropped him useless.

"If I found the man who could, I would follow him," came the answer, and

the white-headed priest passed a hand across his eyes, as if trying to

brush the fog away. "I have been longing to escape for years. The iron

of the little mission-church has eaten into my soul. I ought to have

resigned? Why so, when I performed all my duties? Without means I could

not have faced the world, for the mystic is not a practical man, and

these hands," he said, frowning, "they are hands to be despised, for

they have done nothing. No, do not answer me, you cannot, you are bound.

I am free. A year ago I was left money--"

"A curse."

"If you will, a curse to buy a pathway to my Heaven. There was a place I

pined for, up on the heights of Dartmoor, a valley among mountains. I

have bought it. They call it Pixyland."

"Paganism," cried the peasant-priest hoarsely, and crossed himself.

"Purity," said Searell, in his sweet voice. "Pure air, pure hills, pure

loneliness. It is a place of rocks, of heather and large-rooted ferns,

and it is very steep, terrace rising upon terrace to the heights. At the

bottom of the valley are trees; here also is a wild path and a wild

stream broken upon the rocks, and becoming whole again at the foot of a

glen. For centuries the place has been haunted in men's imagination, and

they have avoided it because it is a garden of--angels. I am going now

to make it bloom, I am going to grasp that solitude and weave with it a

mantle of light. I am going to walk on my pixy-path and watch the

shadows creeping up and down my pixy-glen; and the growth will come, the

growth of knowledge, and of consciousness; and there I may meet my

Gardener, driven out of the world by violence, out of the Church by

violence, revealing Himself, not tortured, cross-laden, and frowning,

and not awful, but as the smiling Guardian of the flowers."

There was hardly a sound in the cold room, stiff with the antique

pictures of quaint saints, dark with that dull peasant born to be ruled;

and yet Searell was going out with a haunted face, passing like a

phantom from the house of poverty, and the wet board with Mass notices,

and the waste of ground heaped up with rubbish. There was a pear-tree

leaning from the waste, a tree which the builders had forgotten, and

from the tree hung a broken branch, and at the end of that branch,

beneath the buds of spring, were two black leaves neglected by the

winter, side by side, struggling with one another; for there was wind

down the street which made them struggle; but neither dropped, and they

fought on silently while the wind lasted.

"Violence even in dead things," Searell murmured; and, reaching up his

hand, he quieted those two restless leaves for ever.


Oliver Vorse was lying among the wood-anemones, and he was drunk. He

would have looked like a monster had his condition been rare; but it was

common, therefore Vorse was not abnormal, only a fool. He did not know

where he was, in the pixy-path upon the wind-flowers, crushing so many

with his sodden carcase, while the pure pixy-water trickled underneath.

He had come the wrong way at the turning of the path; instead of

ascending to the house, which was the way of difficulty, he had stepped

downwards choosing the path of ease, as men will, even when sober. The

state of his body was nothing, as nobody would see him except Sibley,

his wife. The master was expected tomorrow, and then he would have to

pretend to be a man.

The moon was young, a cradle of silver, and the stars were wrapped in

sleep-compelling clouds; and all the light that there was seemed to come

from the anemones which Vorse was defiling. The little white things were

  • introduction [,intrə´dʌkʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.介绍;引言;引导   (初中英语单词)
  • conviction [kən´vikʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.定罪;确信,信服   (初中英语单词)
  • audience [´ɔ:diəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.听众;观众;接见   (初中英语单词)
  • literary [´litərəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.文学(上)的   (初中英语单词)
  • meanwhile [´mi:n´wail] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&ad.其间;同时   (初中英语单词)
  • personality [,pə:sə´næliti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.人;个性;人品;人物   (初中英语单词)
  • faithful [´feiθfəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.忠实的;可靠的   (初中英语单词)
  • gallery [´gæləri] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.画廊;美术馆;长廊   (初中英语单词)
  • chorus [´kɔ:rəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.合唱;齐声 v.合唱   (初中英语单词)
  • contrary [´kɔntrəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.相反的 n.相反   (初中英语单词)
  • apparent [ə´pærənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.显然的;表面上的   (初中英语单词)
  • passion [´pæʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.激情;激怒;恋爱   (初中英语单词)
  • vision [´viʒən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.视觉;想象力;幻影   (初中英语单词)
  • convey [kən´vei] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.运送;传达;转让   (初中英语单词)
  • sympathy [´simpəθi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.同情,怜悯   (初中英语单词)
  • reading [´ri:diŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(阅)读;朗读;读物   (初中英语单词)
  • wooden [´wudn] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.木制的;呆板的   (初中英语单词)
  • spiritual [´spiritʃuəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.精神(上)的;神圣的   (初中英语单词)
  • unhappy [ʌn´hæpi] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不幸的;不快乐的   (初中英语单词)
  • artificial [,ɑ:ti´fiʃəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.人工的;模拟的   (初中英语单词)
  • shortly [´ʃɔ:tli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.立刻,马上;不久   (初中英语单词)
  • instrument [´instrumənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.仪器;手段;乐器   (初中英语单词)
  • daylight [´deilait] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.日光;黎明   (初中英语单词)
  • earnest [´ə:nist] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.认真的 n.认真;诚恳   (初中英语单词)
  • beginning [bi´giniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.开始,开端;起源   (初中英语单词)
  • horror [´hɔrə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.恐怖;战栗   (初中英语单词)
  • failure [´feiljə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.失败;衰竭;破产   (初中英语单词)
  • hasten [´heisən] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.催促;促进 vi.赶紧   (初中英语单词)
  • underneath [,ʌndə´ni:θ] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.&prep.在底下   (初中英语单词)
  • violence [´vaiələns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.猛烈;暴力(行)   (初中英语单词)
  • purity [´pjuəriti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.纯净;贞洁   (初中英语单词)
  • funeral [´fju:nərəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.葬礼,丧葬;困难   (初中英语单词)
  • elsewhere [,elsweə] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.在别处;向别处   (初中英语单词)
  • virtue [´və:tʃu:] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.美德;贞操;长处   (初中英语单词)
  • partly [´pɑ:tli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.部分地;不完全地   (初中英语单词)
  • chiefly [´tʃi:fli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.主要地;尤其   (初中英语单词)
  • priest [pri:st] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.教士;牧师;神父   (初中英语单词)
  • valley [´væli] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.谷;河谷;流域   (初中英语单词)
  • haunted [´hɔ:tid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.常出现鬼的,闹鬼的   (初中英语单词)
  • imagination [i,mædʒi´neiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.想象(力)   (初中英语单词)
  • driven [´driv(ə)n] 移动到这儿单词发声  drive 的过去分词   (初中英语单词)
  • peasant [´pezənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.农民;庄稼人   (初中英语单词)
  • poverty [´pɔvəti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.贫穷(乏,瘠);不足   (初中英语单词)
  • silently [´sailəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.寂静地;沉默地   (初中英语单词)
  • restless [´restləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.没有休息的   (初中英语单词)
  • monster [´mɔnstə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.怪物 a.大得异常的   (初中英语单词)
  • therefore [´ðeəfɔ:] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.&conj.因此;所以   (初中英语单词)
  • abnormal [æb´nɔ:məl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.变态的,反常的   (初中英语单词)
  • cradle [´kreidl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.摇篮;发源地   (初中英语单词)
  • contemporary [kən´tempərəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.&n.同时代的(人)   (高中英语单词)
  • response [ri´spɔns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.回答;响应   (高中英语单词)
  • passionate [´pæʃənit] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.易动情的;易怒的   (高中英语单词)
  • brightly [´braitli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.明亮地;聪明地   (高中英语单词)
  • critical [´kritikəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.批评的;关键性的   (高中英语单词)
  • ignore [ig´nɔ:] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.忽视,不理,不顾   (高中英语单词)
  • edition [i´diʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.版本;很相似的   (高中英语单词)
  • revelation [,revə´leiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.展现;揭露(的事物)   (高中英语单词)
  • inevitable [i´nevitəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不可避免的   (高中英语单词)
  • granite [´grænit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.花岗岩   (高中英语单词)
  • shudder [´ʃʌdə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&vi.震颤;发抖   (高中英语单词)
  • housekeeper [´haus,ki:pə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.主妇,女管家   (高中英语单词)
  • successor [sək´sesə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.继承人,接班人   (高中英语单词)
  • violently [´vaiələntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.强暴地;猛烈地   (高中英语单词)
  • restraint [ri´streint] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.抑制;管束;克制   (高中英语单词)
  • woodland [´wudlənd] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.树林,林地   (高中英语单词)
  • enthusiastic [inθju:zi´æstik] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.热情的,热心的   (高中英语单词)
  • impatient [im´peiʃənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不耐烦的,急躁的   (高中英语单词)
  • portrait [´pɔ:trit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.肖像;相片;雕像   (高中英语单词)
  • repose [ri´pəuz] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.&n.(使)休息;安息   (高中英语单词)
  • saying [´seiŋ, ´sei-iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.言语;言论;格言   (高中英语单词)
  • minority [mai´nɔriti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.少数(民族);未成年   (高中英语单词)
  • innocence [´inəsəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.无罪;天真   (高中英语单词)
  • outward [´autwəd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.外面的 ad.向外   (高中英语单词)
  • cruelty [´kru:əlti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.残忍;残酷行为   (高中英语单词)
  • perfection [pə´fekʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.完美;极致;熟练   (高中英语单词)
  • eliminate [i´limineit] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.消除;淘汰   (高中英语单词)
  • mechanics [mi´kæniks] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.力学;构成法;技巧   (高中英语单词)
  • unseen [,ʌn´si:n] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.未看见的   (高中英语单词)
  • longing [´lɔŋiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&a.渴望(的)   (高中英语单词)
  • terrace [´terəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.梯田 vt.使成梯田   (高中英语单词)
  • solitude [´sɔlitju:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.孤独;寂寞;荒凉   (高中英语单词)
  • consciousness [´kɔnʃəsnis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.意识;觉悟;知觉   (高中英语单词)
  • guardian [´gɑ:diən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.监护人;保护人   (高中英语单词)
  • quaint [kweint] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.离奇的;奇妙的   (高中英语单词)
  • totally [´təutəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.统统,完全   (英语四级单词)
  • reputation [repju´teiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.名誉;名声;信誉   (英语四级单词)
  • radiance [´reidjəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.发光;光彩;辐射   (英语四级单词)
  • trying [´traiiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.难堪的;费劲的   (英语四级单词)
  • congregation [,kɔŋgri´geiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.集合;团体   (英语四级单词)
  • prostrate [´prɔstreit, prɔ´streit] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.俯伏的 vt.弄倒   (英语四级单词)
  • creator [kri:´eitə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.创造者;设立者   (英语四级单词)
  • groove [gru:v] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.槽 vt.在…作槽   (英语四级单词)
  • pathway [´pɑ:θwei] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.小路   (英语四级单词)
  • rubbish [´rʌbiʃ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.垃圾;碎屑;废话   (英语四级单词)
  • rightful [´raitfəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.正义的;合法的   (英语六级单词)
  • poetic [pəu´etik] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.理想化了的   (英语六级单词)
  • wanting [´wɔntiŋ, wɑ:n-] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.短缺的;不足的   (英语六级单词)
  • sluggish [´slʌgiʃ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.呆滞的;偷懒的   (英语六级单词)
  • sleeper [´sli:pə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.睡眠者;(铁路)枕木   (英语六级单词)
  • stagnant [´stægnənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.停滞的;萧条的   (英语六级单词)
  • hypocrisy [hi´pɔkrisi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.伪善   (英语六级单词)
  • horribly [´hɔrəbli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.恐怖地   (英语六级单词)
  • mystic [´mistik] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.神秘的;难以理解的   (英语六级单词)
  • hoarsely [´hɔ:sli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.嘶哑地   (英语六级单词)
  • heather [´heðə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.石南属植物   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 17:37:52
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