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FOREWORD

Editorial prefaces to new magazines generally lay
great stress on the effort of the directorate, and all
concerned, to make the forthcoming periodical popular.

We have no such expectation: not even, it may be
added, any such intention. We aim at thorough-going
unpopularity: and ther is every reason to believe
that, with the blessed who expect little, we shall not be
disappointed.

    * * *

In the first place, THE PAGAN REVIEW is frankly
pagan: pagan in sentiment, pagan in convictions,
pagan in outlook. This being so, it is a magazine
only for those who, with Mr. George Meredith, can ex-
claim in all sincerity—

    “O sir, the truth, the truth! is’t in the skies,
    Or in the grass, or in this heart of ours?
    But O, the truth, the truth! . . . . “—

and at the same time, and with the same author, are
not unready to admit that truth to life, external and
internal, very often

     “. . . . . . is not meat
    For little people or for fools.”

To quote from Mr. Meredith once more:

    “. . . . . these things are life:
    And life, they say, is worthy of the Muse.”

But we are well aware that this is just what “they”
don’t say. “They”, “the general public”, care very
little about the “Muse” at all; and the one thing they
never advocate of wish is that the “Muse” should be so
indiscreet as to really withdraw from life the approved
veils of Convention.

Nevertheless, we believe that there is a by no means
numerically insignificant public to whom
THE PAGAN
REVIEW may appeal; though our paramount difficulty
will be to reach those who, owing to various circum-

                                                                                                2

THE PAGAN REVIEW

stances, are out of the way of hearing aught concerning
the most recent developments in the world of letters.

    * * *

THE PAGAN REVIEW conveys, or is meant to convey,
a good deal by its title. The new paganism is a potent
leaven in the yeast of the “younger generation”, without
as yet having gained due recognition, or even any suffi-
ciently apt and modern name, any scientific designation.
The “new paganism,” the “modern epicureanism,” and
kindred appellations, are more or less misleading. Yet,
with most of us, there is a fairly definite idea of what
we signify thereby. The religion of our forefathers has
not only ceased for us personally, but is no longer in
any vital and general sense a sovereign power in the
realm. It is still fruitful of vast good, but it is none
the less a poer that was rather than a power that is.
The ideals of our forefathers are not our ideals, except
where the accidents of time and change can work no
havoc. A new epoch is about to be inaugurated, is,
indeed, in many respects, already begun; a new epoch
in civil law, in international comity, in what, vast
and complete though the issues be, may be called
Human Economy. The long half-acknowledged, half-
denied duel between Man and Woman is to cease,
neither through the victory of hereditary overlordship
nor the triumph of the far more deft and subtle if
less potent weapons of the weaker, but through a frank
recognition of copartnery. This new comradeship will
be not less romantic, less inspiring, less worthy of the
chivalrous extremes of life and death, than the old
system of overlord and bondager, while it will open
perspectives of a new-rejoicing humanity, the most
fleeting glimpses of which now make the hearts of
true men and women beat with gladness. Far from
wishing to disintegrate, degrade, abolish marriage, the
“new paganism” with fain see that sexual union
become the flower of human life But, first, the rubbish
must be cleared away; the anomalies must be replaced
by just inter-relations; the sacredness of the individual
must be recognized; and women no longer have to look
upon men as usurpers, men lo longer to regard
women as spiritual foreigners.

FOREWARD                                                                                                 3


    * * *

These remarks, however, must not be taken too liter-
ally as indicative of the literary aspects of
THE PAGAN
REVIEW. Opinions are one thing, the expression of
them another, and the transformation or reincarna-
tion of them through indirect presentment another still.

This magazine is to be a purely literary, not a
philosophical, partisan, or propagandist periodical.
We are concerned here with the new presentment of
things rather than with the phenomena of change and
growth themselves. Our vocation, in a word, is to
give artistic expression to the artistic “inwardness”
of the new paganism; and we voluntarily turn aside
here from such avocations as chronicling every ebb
and flow of thought, speculating upon every fresh sur-
prising derelict upon the ocean of man’s mind, or
expounding well or ill on the new ethic. If those who
sneer at the rallying cry, “Art for Art’s sake,” laugh
at our efforts, we are well content; for even the lungs
of donkeys are strengthened by much braying. If, on
the other hand, those who, by vain pretensions and
paradoxical clamour, degrade Art by making her
merely the more or less seductive panoply of mental
poverty and spiritual barrenness, care to do a grievous
wrong by openly and blatantly siding with us, we are
still content; for we recognise that spiritual byways
and mental sewers relieve the Commonwealth of much
that is unseemly and might breed contagion.
THE
PAGAN REVIEW, in a word, is to be a mouthpiece—we
are genuinely modest enough to disavow the definite
article–of the younger generation. In its
pages there will be found a free exposition of the myriad
aspects of life, in each instance as adequately as possible
reflective of the mind and literary temperament of the
writer. The pass-phrase of the new paganism is ours:
Sic transit gloria Grundi. The supreme interest of Man
is—Woman: and the most profound and fascinating
problem to Woman is Man. This being so, and quite
unquestionably so with all the male and female pagans
of our acquaintance, it is natural that literature domi-
nated by the various forces of the sexual emotion should
prevail. Yet, though paramount in attraction, it is,

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THE PAGAN REVIEW

after all, but one among the many motive forces of
life; so we will hope not to fall into the error of some
of our French confreres and be persistently and even
supernaturally awake to the functional activity and
blind to the general life and interest of the common-
wealth of sould and body. It is
LIFE that we preach, if
perforce we must be taken as preachers at all; Life to
the full, in all its manifestations, in its heights and
depths, precious to the uttermost moment, not to be bar-
tered even when maimed and weary. For here, at any
rate we are alive; and then, alas, after all—

    “how few Junes
    Will heat our pulses quicker. . . “

    * * *

“Much cry for little wool”, some will exclaim. It
may be so. Whenever did a first number of a new
magazine fulfil all its editor’s dreams or even inten-
tions? “Well, we must make the best of it, I suppose.
‘Tis nater after all, and what pleases God”, as Mrs.
Durbeyfield says in “Tess of the Durbervilles.”

* * *

Have you read that charming roman à quatre, the
“Croix de Berny?” If so, you will recollect the fol-
lowing words of Edgar de Meilhan
(alias Théophile
Gautier), which I (“I” standing for editor, and asso-
ciates, and pagans in general) now quote for the delec-
tation of all readers adversely minded or generously
inclined, or dubious as to our real intent—with blithe
hopes that they may be the happier therefor: “Frankly,
I am in earnest this time. Order me a dove-coloured
vest, apple-green trousers, a pouch, a crook; in short
the entire outfit of a Lignon Shepherd. I shall have a
lamb washed to complete the pastoral.”

    * * *

This is “the lamb.”

    THE EDITOR.

* * * Readers are requested to note the administra-
tional remarks on the inside of the cover (p. ii.), and the
Forecast and Editorial intimations printed at the end
of the text.

MLA citation:

Brooks, W.H. [William Sharp]. “Foreword.” The Pagan Review , volume 1, August 1892, pp. 1-4. The Pagan Review Digital Edition, edited by Dennid Denisoff and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, 2010. Yellow Nineties 2.0 , General Editor Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2019. http://1890s.ca/TPR_brooks_foreword/