cliurch . . . he was squatting [with]rn. . . disheveled white men [who]rnwere staring ahead witli aguc, uneomprehendingrneyes, to tlie end ofrnthe room where hvo candlesrnburned. The priest turned towardsrnthem his bland, black face. “Ite,rnmissa est.”rnBy 1933, the church had becomernWaugh’s “shape in chaos,” the principlernof permanence he had first sought inrnhis artistic vocation without satisfaction.rnAs he would say when Brideshead Revisitedrnwas published in 1946, God is therndetermining factor in human life, andrnwriters who do not address this realityrncannot hope to write significantly. (Howrnpoignantly Waugh’s faith in the permanencernof the Church’s liturg}- rings today.rnNo wonder he prayed for the strength notrnto apostatize some 30 years after writingrn”Out of Depth” when Vatican II put anrnend to the Latin Mass.)rn’I he collechon includes another junglernstor’, “The Man Who Liked Dickens,”rnw’hich later became the basis forrnwhat many acclaim as Waugh’s best novel,rnA Handful of Dust. Here in its originalrnform, this narrative concerns PaulrnHcnty, a well-bred young Englishmanrnwho chooses a vear’s adventure in thernAmazon jungle to escape the embarrassmentrnof being cuckolded once again byrnhis faithless wife. .After his expeditionrnfalls apart and he is deserted bv his nativernguides, he contracts disease and wandersrndie jungle deliriousK until he stumblesrninto a backwater village run b}’ Mr. Mc-rnMaster, a half-breed illiterate with an unlikelyrnpassion for Dickens. McMasterrnnurses LIent’ back to health and then introducesrnhim to his edition of the collectedrnworks of the Victorian novelist. “Yournshall read to nie when ou’re better,” hernannounces. It takes the dim Henh’ weeksrnto realize this is not a request but an order.rnThe barbarous illiterate intends tornhold on to his ci ilized captive in order tornsatisfy his obsession widi Victorian sentimentalit}’.rnHentv^ finds himself readingrnDickens’ novels, w bile McMaster ruminatesrnon dieir significance. “Do you believernin God?” his jailer asks one day. “Irnnever really thought about it much,”rnLlentv replies. MeMaster’s rejoinder isrnwithering: “Dickens did.”rnIn this early form, the narrative worksrnquite well as an ironic tale; but in ArnHandful of Dust. Hcnh’s fate becomesrnemblematic of what Waugh took to bernthe civilized person’s dereliction of duh’.rnLlcnh’ becomes Ton I ,ast, the last gendeman.rnLie is decent, kind, well-meaning,rnbut finally feckless. Having spent hisrnlife supporting the forms of the traditionrnin which he was raised, he has neverrnexamined the premise on which theyrnwere built. For Waugh, culture and traditionrnare merely sentimental indrdgencesrnunless they are understood to bernthe means dirough which we seek God.rnWe arc made to feel that, for his shallow,rnuninformed nostalgia, Tony meets hisrnappropriate end. He is doomed to thernSi.syphean task of reading Dickens overrnand over again to his Brazilian captorrnwho, despite his madness, takes the basisrnof Western civilization far more seriouslvrndian Tonv ever did.rnUnderlving all these stories is the convictionrnWaugh elaborated in 1939.rnKnowing somefiiing of historv’ and himself,rnhe argued that “the anarchic elementsrnin soeieh are so strong that it is arnwhole-time task to keep the peace . . .rn[forI barbarism is never finallv defeated;rngiven propitious circumstances, men andrnwomen who seem quite orderly willrnconunit every conceivable atrocih’. . . .rnWe are all potential recruits for anarchv.”rnIn light of diesc prophetic remarks, Irnwould sav Little, Brown’s decision tornpublish these .stories has not come a momentrntoo soon.rnisai^^ iSj^^ii’rnHELP THE ROCKFORD INSTITUTE , . . HURT THE IRSrnThere is oiten a tax advantage in making a gift of appreciatedrnstocks or bonds to The Rockford Institute.rnWhen you do, there are two winners: you and ThernRockford Institute. The only loser is the wicked and greedyrntax collector.rnUrnHere’s how it works:rnWhen you sell appreciated securities, you are taxed on therncapital gains. However, if you contribute appreciated stocksrnor bonds to The Rockford Institute, the gains are not taxable.rnIn fact, you will receive a charitable deduction for the full,rnfair-market value of the securities as of the date of the gift. Tornc]ualif^’, you only have to have held the stocks or bonds forrnmore than one year. Your securities broker can even wire thernshares directly to T h e Rockford histitute’i” investmentrnaccount.rnFor more information, please write or call:rnChristopher CheckrnExecutive Vice PresidentrnThe Rockford Institutern928 North Main StreetrnRockford, Illinois 61103rnTelephone (815) 964-5811rn^’W’ I ” ^ K l -rn2f)/CHRONICLESrnrnrn