"And, so far as I can gather, your definition is not wanting in breadth--no, nor in accuracy. Sentimentality is the opposite to sentiment."
"That is a point on which we agreed a moment ago. My father says that sentiment is a strong man's concealment of what he feels, while sentimentality is a weak man's expression of what he doesn't feel."
"And the Parthenon audience--you and I--laugh at the latter--that is, because we have practiced some form of athletics. The bicycle has given its /coup de grace/ to sentimentality. That man over there with the head and face like a lion's, and that woman whose face is nature illuminated, have long ago recognized the shallowness of sentimentality--the depths of sentiment. We could not imagine either of them striking a false note. They have been the teachers of this generation--the generation to which you belong. Great Heavens! to think that for so many years human passion should be banished from art, though every line of Shakspere is tremulous with passion! Why, the word was absolutely banished; it was regarded as impure."
"I know that--I was at a boarding school. The preceptresses regarded as impure everything that is human."
"Whereas, just the opposite is the case?"
"I didn't say that, Mr. Courtland."
"You could scarcely say it. I am only beginning to think it, and I have lived among savages for years. That man with the lion's face has not feared to deal with passion. All actors who have lived since Garrick have never gone further than to illustrate passion in the hands of a man; but that lion-man, whose stage we are now standing on, shows us not the passion in the hands of a man, but the man in the hands of the passion. The man who tears the passion to tatters is the robustious periwig-pated fellow; the actor, who shows us the man torn in tatters by the passion, is the supreme artist. I am no authority on modern literature; but I must confess that I was astonished at the change that a few years have brought about. I was in a proper position for noticing it, having been practically without books for two years."
"Is it a change for the better, do you think, Mr. Courtland?"