chapter  XX
15 Pages

'THE DYNASTS'

In writing about F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda, James Thurber once remarked that ‘there were four or five Zeldas and at least eight Scotts, so that their living room was forever tense with the presence of a dozen disparate personalities’ .1 In writing The Dynasts Thomas Hardy demonstrated that he too was the possessor of a dozen disparate personalities. He was, in fact, himself well aware of this multiple diversity in his make-up and called attention to it in a poem entitled ‘So

Various’ . He there described a jury of twelve men: i. a briskeyed man, quite young; 2. a stiff old man of cold manner; 3. a staunch, robust man; 4. a fickle man; 5. a dunce; 6. a learned seer; 7. a man of sadness; 8. ‘a man so glad, you never could conceive him sad’ ; 9. an unadventurous, slow man; 10. a man of enterprise, shrewd and swift; 11. a poor old fellow who forgot anything said to him; and 12. a vindictive man who forgot nothing.2 And then, in a concluding stanza, Hardy added:

All these specimens of men . . . Curious to say Were one man. Yea, I was all they.