Grow into an honest man
Translated by Gilbert Cannan
Louisa took the child feverishly and pressed it to her bosom. She looked at it with a bashful and delighted smile.
“Oh, my poor child!” she said shamefacedly. “How ugly you are—how ugly! and how I love you!”
Jean Michel went back to the fireside. He began to poke the fire in protest, but a smile gave the lie to the moroseness and solemnity of his expression.
“Good girl!” he said. “Don’t worry about it. He has plenty of time to alter. And even so, what does it matter? Only one thing is asked of him: that he should grow into an honest man.”
The child was comforted by contact with his mother’s warm body. He could be heard sucking her milk and gurgling and snorting. Jean Michel turned in his chair, and said once more, with some emphasis:
“There’s nothing finer than an honest man.”
Gilbert Cannan (25 June 1884 – 30 June 1955) was a British novelist and dramatist.
Born in Manchester of Scottish descent, he got on badly with his family, and in 1897 he was sent to live in Oxford with the economist Edwin Cannan. He was educated at Manchester Grammar School and King’s College, Cambridge; he started on a legal career, but turned to writing in 1908, after a short spell as an actor.
Cannan worked first as a translator, and a reviewer in London publications.