The Cornhill Magazine (Vol. XLI, No. 241 new series, July 1916)

By Various

The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Cornhill Magazine (Vol. XLI, No. 241 new series, July 1916)
This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and
most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions
whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms
of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online
at If you are not located in the United States,
you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located
before using this eBook.

Title: The Cornhill Magazine (Vol. XLI, No. 241 new series, July 1916)

Author: Various

Release date: July 7, 2024 [eBook #73986]

Language: English

Original publication: London: Smith, Elder and Co, 1860

Credits: hekula03 and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This book was produced from images made available by the HathiTrust Digital Library.)




                                 No. 241
                                NEW SERIES

                               ONE SHILLING

                                 No. 679



     [_All rights, including the right of publishing Translations of
                Articles in this Magazine, are reserved._]

        _Registered for Transmission to Canada and Newfoundland by
                             Magazine Post._

       *       *       *       *       *






Designed to provide an inexpensive box of Artists’ Colours with a range
of tint and covering power approximately equal to the ordinary Students’

‘_In developing the faculty of observation in children, Drawing and
Colour Work is most essential. The Drawing and Colour materials should
always be of good quality, and suitable for the purpose for which they
are intended._’

    Scholars’ Box of Artists’ Water Colours           =Price 3s. net.=
          Containing 8 Pans and 2 Brushes.
    Refills for Scholars’ Box      =Series 1, 2s. 6d.; Series 2, 4s.;=
                          =Series 3, 6s.; Series 4, 8s. per doz. net.=


       *       *       *       *       *

The Best Magazine for the Homes and Schools of the Empire.

The Review of Reviews


‘It will be generally conceded,’ says the _Wolverhampton Chronicle_,
‘that this old-established periodical is making a successful attempt to
give its readers, war-time notwithstanding, the best possible value.
The Progress of the World is written by the Editor (E. W. Stead), and
comprises a rapid and incisive survey of the principal happenings in
various parts of the globe.’


The magazine can be obtained from Booksellers and Newsagents all over the
country; single copies, 1/-. It can be sent post free for twelve months
to any address for 14/6; Canada, 13/6.

Subscription Orders, enclosing Cheque or Post Office Orders, should
be sent to the Manager, ‘REVIEW OF REVIEWS’ Office, Bank Buildings,
Kingsway, London, W.C.


JULY 1916.



Copyright by Messrs. Smith, Elder & Co. in the United States of America.


It was the beginning of the Lent term. I had stayed up during the
vacation, my College being also my home. And during that vacation a
weight of loneliness descended upon me. This was wrong, since had I
not very much to be thankful for? My position was a secure, and, from
the university standpoint, an even brilliant one. I liked my work. It
interested me. Yet, in some aspects, this university life seemed to me
narrow. It pained me to see old faces depart, and new ones enter who knew
naught of me. Other men halted here, but for a while, on their life’s
journey, moving forward to meet the larger issues, to seek ‘fresh woods
and pastures new.’ And I remained—as one, held up by accident, remains at
some half-way house, seeing the stream of traffic and of wayfarers sweep
for ever forward along the great crowded highroad, and pass him by.

If I had not had that break in my university course, if I had not
spent those two years at Hover in a society and amid interests and
occupations—pleasures, let me put it roundly—foreign to my own social
sphere, Cambridge, and all Cambridge stood for, would not probably have
palled upon me. But I had beheld wider horizons; beheld them, moreover,
through the windows of an enchanted castle. Thus memory cast its shadow
over the present, making me—it was faithless, ungrateful, I had nearly
said, sinful—dissatisfied and sad.

However, being in good health, I was not too sad to eat a good dinner;
and so, one fine day at the beginning of term, when the bell rang for
hall, I crossed the quadrangle and went in—or went rather to the door,
and there stopped short. For, face to face, I met none other than Mr.
Halidane, in all the glory of a freshman’s brand-new gown.

‘Ah! Mr. Brownlow,’ he exclaimed, with his blandest and most beaming
smile, ‘it is indeed a gracious dispensation to meet you, sir, an old and
valued friend, on my first day within these hallowed and venerable walls.
I feared you might not have come up yet. Allow me to congratulate you
upon your distinctions, your degree, your fellowship. With what gladness
have I heard of them, have I welcomed the news of your successful
progress. I trust you are duly thankful to an over-ruling providence!’

‘I trust I am,’ quoth I.

I believed the man to be a hypocrite. He had done me all the harm he
could. Yet, what with my loneliness, what with my memories of that
enchanted castle, I could not but be moved at this unexpected meeting
with him. I choked down my disgust, my resentment for the dirty tricks
he had played me, and shaking him by the hand asked what had brought him

‘The generosity of my pious patron,’ he answered, casting up his eyes
devoutly. ‘Ah! what do I not owe—under providence—to that true ornament
of his exalted station! Through his condescending liberality I am enabled
to fulfil the wish long nearest my heart; and by taking, as I humbly
hope in due time, Holy Orders, to enter upon a more extended sphere of
Christian and national usefulness.’

I abstained from asking how he had suddenly discovered the Church of
England suited his religious convictions and abilities better than the
sect of the ‘Saints indeed,’ and contented myself, not without a beating
heart, by enquiring after Lord Longmoor and all at Hover.

I got answers; but none that I wanted. The Earl was perfection; the
Countess perfection; even for Colonel Esdaile he had three or four
superlatives. The Countess, he trusted, had been lately brought to the
knowledge of the truth. The Colonel only needed to be brought to it—and
he was showing many hopeful signs—to be more than mortal man.—It was
evidently his cue to approve highly of Hover and all dwellers therein.
And when, with almost a faltering voice, I asked news of my dear boy, he
broke out into fresh superlatives; from amid the rank growth of which I
could only discover that Lord Hartover was a very dashing and popular
young man about town, and that it served Mr. Halidane’s purpose to
approve—or seem to approve—of his being such.

‘The pomps and vanities of this wicked world, you know, my dear
Brownlow,’—the fellow began to drop the ‘Mr.’ now—‘the pomps and
vanities—but we must make allowances for youth—and those to whom little
is given, you know, of them will little be required.’

‘Little given!’ thought I with a shudder, as I contrasted Halidane’s
words with my own old lessons.—God grant that this fellow may not have
had the opportunity of undoing all the good which I had done! I made the
boy believe once that very much had been given him.—But I said nothing.
Why waste words where the conversation will never go deeper than words?

So we went in to hall together; and, what was more, came out together,
for it was plainly Mr. Halidane’s plan to quarter himself upon me,
physically and morally—physically, in that he came up into my rooms
and sat down therein, his countenance falling when he perceived that I
brought out no wine.

‘You are a Nazarite still?’ he said at last, after looking uneasily
several times towards door and cupboard.

‘I am, indeed,’ I replied, amused at his inability to keep his own

‘Ah—well. All the more freedom, then, for the wine of the Spirit. I trust
that we shall have gracious converse together often, my dear Brownlow,
and edify one another with talk of that which belongs to our souls’
health as we wander through this wilderness of tears.’

I replied by asking, I fear a little slyly, after Lord Longmoor’s book on

‘As was to be expected—a success,’ he replied—‘a magnificent success,
though I say so. Not perhaps in the number of copies sold. But what is
worldly fame, and how can we expect the carnal man to favour spiritual
things? Not, again, from a pecuniary point of view. But what is filthy
lucre? His lordship’s philanthropy has enabled him, so to speak, to
make the book a present, a free gift to the elect. No, not in such
material gains as Christians will leave to the unsanctified, to a Scott
or a Byron, does success lie; but in the cause of the Gospel. And, if
humble I have been instrumental to that success, either in assisting
his lordship’s deeper intellect, as the mouse might the lion, or in
having the book properly pushed in certain Gospel quarters where I have
a little unworthy influence—’ (Unworthy indeed, I doubt not, thought
I!)—‘why, then—have I not my reward—I say, have I not my reward?’

I thought he certainly had. For being aware he wrote the whole book
himself, and tacked his patron’s name to it, I began to suspect shrewdly
he had been franked at College as hush-money, the book being a dead

And so I told the good old Master next day, who slapped his thigh and
chuckled, and then scolded me for an impudent truth-speaking fellow who
would come to ruin by his honesty.

I assured him that I should tell no one but him, having discovered at
Hover that the wisdom of the serpent was compatible with the innocence
of the dove, and that I expected to need both in my dealing with Mr.

‘Why, I understood that he was an intimate friend of yours. He told me
that your being here was one of the main reasons for his choosing this
College. He entreated humbly to be allowed rooms as near you as possible.
So—as he came with the highest recommendations from Lord Longmoor—we have
put him just over your head!’

I groaned audibly.

‘What’s the matter? He is not given to playing skittles, or practising
the fiddle at midnight, is he?’

‘Heavens, no!’

But I groaned again, at the thought of having Halidane tied to me, riding
me pick-a-back as the Old Man of the Sea did Sindbad, for three years to
come. In explanation I told the Master a good deal of what I knew. About
Nellie, however, I still said not one word.

The Master smiled mischievously.

‘I suspect the object of his sudden conversion from sectarianism is one
of my lord’s fat livings. You may see him a bishop yet, Brownlow, for
a poor opinion of his own merits will never stand in the way of his
promotion.—Well, I will keep my eye on this promising convert to the
Church of England as by Law Established, meanwhile—and you may do the
same if you like.’

I did like—the more so because I found him, again and again, drawing
round to the subject of Mr. Braithwaite and of Nellie. He slipped
away smoothly enough when he saw I avoided the matter, complimenting
me greasily upon my delicacy and discretion. I was torn two ways—by
longing to hear something of both father and daughter, and repulsion
that this man should soil the name of her whom I loved by so much as
daring to pronounce it. But of all living creatures lovers are the most
self-contradictory, fearing the thing they desire, desiring that which
they fear.

At last one day, when he had invaded my rooms after hall, he said
something which forced me to talk about Hover with him. He had been
praising, in his fulsome fashion, Mademoiselle Fédore among the rest.
She too, it appeared, was under gracious influences, aware of her soul’s
danger and all but converted—the very dogs and cats of the house were
qualifying for salvation, I believe, in his suddenly charitable eyes. He
finished up with—‘And how nobly the poor thing behaved, too, when that
villain Marsigli absconded.’

‘Marsigli absconded?’ I exclaimed, in great surprise.

‘Of course—I thought you knew⸺’

‘I know nothing of what happens at Hover now,’ I said, foolishly allowing
bitterness to get the better of caution.

‘No—you don’t tell me so!—Really, very strange,’ and he eyed me sharply.
‘But the facts are simple and lamentable enough. This villain, this
viper, the trusted and pampered servant—for far too much kindness had
been lavished upon him by my lord and lady, as upon all—yes, all—my
unworthy self included.—How refreshing, how inspiring is condescension
in the great!—This pampered menial, I say—ah I what a thing is human
nature when unregenerate!—as was to be expected—for what after all, my
dear Brownlow, can you hope from a Papist?—disappeared one fine morning,
and with him jewels and plate—plate belonging to our sainted friend and
patron, in whose service the viper had fattened so long, to the amount of
four thousand pounds.’

I listened in deepening interest.

‘This is serious,’ I said. ‘Has any of the property been traced and

‘Not one brass farthing’s worth.’

‘And is there no clue?’

‘None, alas! save what Mademoiselle Fédore gave. With wonderful subtlety
and instinct—Ah! that it were further quickened by divine grace!—she
pieced together little incidents, little trifling indications, which
enabled the police to track the miscreant as far as Liverpool. But, after
that, no trace. They concluded he must have sailed for America, where he
is doubtless even now wantoning, amid the licentious democracy of the
West, upon the plunder of the saints.’

He buried his face in his hands and appeared to weep.

I remained silent, greatly perturbed in mind. For there flashed across
me those words of Warcop’s, spoken on the morning of my departure,
when I sat with him in his sanctum, dedicated to the mysteries of the
stud-farm and the chase: ‘By times they—Marsigli and Mamzell—are as thick
as thieves. By times they fight like cat and dog or’—with a knowing
look—‘like man and wife.’ There flashed across me, too, a strange speech
of Fédore’s I had overheard, as I walked along one of the innumerable
dimly lighted passages at Hover, one night, on my way from the library,
where I had worked late, to my own study. To whom she spoke I did not
know, for a door was hastily closed immediately I passed, though not
hastily enough to prevent my hearing a man’s voice answer.—‘Ah! you great
stupid,’ she had said. ‘Why not what these English call feather your
own nest? I have no patience with you when, if you pleased, you could
so easily be rich.’—The episode made an unpleasant impression upon me
at the time, but had almost faded from my mind. Now in the light of my
conversation with Halidane it sprung into vivid relief.

The loss of a few thousand pounds’ worth of jewels and plate was a small
matter. But that Mademoiselle Fédore should remain in the household
as Marsigli’s accomplice—and that she was his accomplice I suspected
gravely—perhaps to regain her power over the boy, was intolerable. As
to her assisting the police by pointing out the probable route of the
delinquent, what easier than to do so with a view to putting them on a
false scent?

‘This is indeed ugly news,’ I said at last. ‘I wonder if the Master

‘Why not? It was reported in the papers at the time.’

‘Ah! and I was absorbed in my work and missed it. How unfortunate!’

‘Do you think you know anything, then?’ he said greedily, with sharp

But the question I did not answer, perceiving he was curiously anxious to
be taken into my confidence.


I sat long, till the fire in the grate burnt low and the chill of the
winter night drove me shivering to my bed, revolving this conversation
in my mind. If it could be proved that Mademoiselle Fédore was in league
with the Italian, still more, if it could be proved she and he were
married, Hartover could be permanently set free from her intrigues and
her influence. I did not want to be vindictive; but with every fibre of
my being I wanted to free the boy. For, as I realised in those lonely
midnight hours, while the wind rumbled in the chimneys and roared through
the bare branches of the elms in the Fellows’ Garden just without, the
boy’s redemption, the boy’s growth into the fine and splendid character
he might be, could be—as I believed—even yet, was dearer to me than any
advantage of my own.

Had I not promised, moreover, to stand by him and help him to the end?
Could I then, in honour, sit with folded hands, when the chance, however
remote, of helping him presented itself? I had always feared Mademoiselle
Fédore had not relinquished her designs on the boy, but merely bided
her time. For a while my presence frustrated those designs; as, in even
greater degree, did his passion for Nellie Braithwaite. But marriage with
Nellie forbidden, and he surrounded, as he must be, by the flatteries
lavished on, and snares set for, a rich and popular young nobleman in
London, was it not too probable that in hours of idleness or reaction
from dissipation she might gain an ascendency over him once more? Not
only self-interest was involved. He being what he was, might she not only
too easily fall genuinely in love with him? I would give her the benefit
of the doubt, anyhow. Upon the exact nature of that love, whether of the
higher, or the baser and animal sort, I did not choose to dwell. The
difference in age, too, struck me now—more versed as I had grown in the
ways of the world and of human nature—as no bar to inclination on his
part. She was a clever woman and a beautiful one, of a voluptuous though
somewhat hard type—to the Empress Theodora I had often compared her in my
own mind. Further, as Warcop said to me long ago, did not ‘the she-kite
know her business?’—Alas! and for certain, only too well!

So sitting there, through the lonely hours, the idea grew on me that
the boy was actually in very grave peril; and that—neglect and silence
notwithstanding—in his innermost heart he clung to me, and to the lessons
of duty and noble living which I had taught him, still. This idea might,
as I told myself, be a mere refinement of personal vanity and egoism. Yet
I could not put it aside. If he called, even unconsciously, and I failed
to answer, a sin of omission and a heavy one would assuredly lie at my

Finally I decided to seek counsel of my kind old friend the Master. The
opportunity of doing so presented itself next day. For the Master had
bidden me to a dinner party at the Lodge, given in honour of his widowed
sister and her daughters, who were staying with him. This flutter of
petticoats in our bachelor, not to say monastic, atmosphere produced in
some quarters, I had reason to fancy, a corresponding flutter of hearts.
Ladies were conspicuous by their absence in the Cambridge of those days,
save during the festivities of the May term; and I own to a certain
feeling of mild elation as I found myself seated beside Miss Alice
Dynevor, the elder of the two young ladies, at the Master’s hospitable

I cannot assert that she appeared to be remarkable either for good
looks or cleverness; but she was fresh and young—about twenty, I judged
her—modest in manner, and evidently desirous to please; full of innocent
questions concerning Cambridge and Cambridge ways, concerning our famous
buildings, their names and histories, which I found it pleasant enough to
answer. In the drawing-room, when we rejoined the ladies after dinner,
she went to the piano, at her uncle’s request, and sang some Scotch songs
and some sentimental ballads then much in vogue, with no great art, I
admit, but with pleasing simplicity and a tuneful voice.

The evening left me under impressions at once agreeable and not a little
sad. For, from the time I returned to Cambridge, I had hardly spoken to
a woman. Doing so now, memories of Mere Ban and of Nellie crowded upon
me thick and fast; and, throwing me back into that fantastic inner life
of unsatisfied and consuming love, threw me also into a necessity for
renewed self-abnegation and self-torment. At all costs I must find means
to set the dear boy free of Fédore’s influence—set him free—and for what?

I stayed after the other guests had left and asked for a little private
talk with the Master; recounted the substance of my conversation with
Halidane last night, and stated my own convictions and the ground of
them. He had heard of Marsigli’s disappearance, but had not mentioned it
to me simply because he supposed I had seen it in the newspapers. I was
much vexed at the strange oversight. Had I but learned it at the time,
how much might have been saved! How much truly—more a thousand times than
I then imagined.—Yet how know I that? No—I will believe all the events of
our lives are well ordered, so long as they do not arise from our wilful
ill-doings; and will never regret, as the result of blind chance, that
which is in truth the education given each one of us, for our soul’s
good, by an all-merciful and all-wise Father in Heaven.


I told the Master enough for him to agree it would be well I should go
to town; and to town two days later I went. I had learned, by cautious
questioning of Mr. Halidane, that the family was in London, as was

So I made my way to the great house in Grosvenor Square, which was not
altogether unknown to me. I had stayed there once, for a few days, with
the dear boy, during the time of my tutorship; and to my delectation had
made acquaintance with its many treasures in the matter of pictures,
furniture, and _objets d’art_. Oh! the priceless possessions of these
people, and the little care they had for them!

The men servants, who received me, were unknown to me, supercilious in
manner and only just not insolent. I asked for my young lord. He was on
guard at St. James’s. They supposed I should hear of him there. Where he
lived, when not staying here, they did not know.—Odd, I thought; but the
ways of great folks were odd sometimes!

I took a coach and drove to the Palace. My longing to see the boy again
was very strong; yet I felt anxious. Would he be greatly changed? Would
he be glad or would he think my coming a bore? Above all, how would he
take my interference? A sense of the extreme delicacy of my mission
increased on me, making me nervous and diffident.

An orderly ushered me into a room where half a dozen dandies were
lounging. These stared at me sufficiently, and thought me, evidently, a
dun. One beardless youth, indeed, after brushing past me, turning his
back to me, and otherwise bristling up like a dog at a strange dog,
expressed his opinion aloud.

‘MacArthur!’ to the orderly. ‘Are you not aware that this is a private

‘I am sorry,’ I said instantly, for their impertinence restored my
self-confidence, ‘if I am intruding. I simply asked for Lord Hartover,
and was, as simply, shown in here.’

I thought the lad might have known me for a gentleman by my voice; but
possibly his experience in life had not extended so far, for he answered:

‘Lord Hartover, I imagine, pays his bills at his own house.’

I did redden, I confess, being still young and sensitive; but, after
staring at him as full as he stared at me, I answered, bowing:

‘I am afraid I am not so useful a person as a tradesman. I am only a
Cambridge scholar, formerly Lord Hartover’s tutor, who wishes to see him
upon urgent private business.’

‘I—I really beg your pardon. Pray sit down, sir,’ quoth the sucking hero,
evidently abashed, handing me a chair.

But at that moment a pair of broad shoulders, which had been bent over a
card-table at the farther end of the room, turned about with:

‘Hey? Why, Brownlow, by all that’s— Odd trick, Ponsonby—wait one
moment.—How are you, my dear fellow? And what on earth brings you here
among us warriors?’

And the mighty Rusher rose, like Saul the son of Kish a head and
shoulders above his fellows. At first I believe he was really pleased to
see me. His handsome face was genial, a light of good-natured and kindly
amusement in his eye.

‘Well, how are you?’ he repeated. ‘Do you remember Brocklesby Whins and
the brown horse? Come up this winter and you shall ride him again; by
Jove, you shall—and take the rascally little grey fox home with you. I’ve
got him stuffed and ready, as I promised I would; and wondered why you’d
not claimed your property before.’

I was beginning to speak, but he ran on:

‘Brother officers, let me introduce you to my friend Mr. Brownlow, as
fine a light-weight across country as you need wish to know, and who
saved my pack from destruction at the risk of his own life,—a long and
prosperous one may it be!’

‘My hunting days are over, I fear,’ I said, as the men of war stared
all the more at the lame young don, black-coated, black-breeched and
black-stockinged—thinking, I doubt not, I was a ‘rum ’un to look at’ even
if a ‘good ’un to go.’

‘But I beg of you to tell me where I can find Lord Hartover; or, if I
cannot see him, to let me have a few words with you.’

‘Where is Faublas—anyone know?’ the Colonel asked of the company in
general, and so doing I fancied his geniality waned a little and a trace
of uneasiness came into his manner. As for me, my heart sank as I heard
that name, of all others, used as my poor boy’s sobriquet.

‘Gone down to Chelsea, I believe,’ said the youth who had first spoken to
me, hardly repressing a smile. ‘He announced he should dine to-night with
the fair unknown.’

‘I question whether he will be at home even to you, then, Brownlow,’ the
Colonel declared, forcing a laugh.

‘In that case I am afraid I must ask for a few minutes’ conversation
alone with you.’

We went out into the Park; and there, pacing up and down under the
leafless trees, I told all I thought fit. I watched his face as I did so.
It was unusually serious.

‘I think, my dear fellow,’ he said at last, ‘you had very much better
leave this matter alone.’

I asked why. He fenced with me, pointing out that I had nothing more
than suspicion to go upon—no real evidence, circumstantial or otherwise.
I urged on him the plain fact that the matter could not be let alone. A
great felony had been committed; and it was an offence, not only against
honour and right, but against law, to withhold such information as I
could give.

‘You will repent it,’ he said.

Again I asked why.

‘I beg you to take my word for it, there are reasons,’ he said earnestly.
‘Be advised, my dear Brownlow. Let sleeping dogs lie.’

I was puzzled—how could I help being so? But, more and more, I began to
fear the connection between Fédore and Hartover had been resumed.

‘And where is Mademoiselle Fédore now?’ I said presently.

‘’Pon honour, I am not responsible for the whereabouts of gay damsels.’

‘Then she is no longer with lady Longmoor?’

‘No, no—has left her these two months—may be in St. Petersburg by now, or
in Timbuctoo, for aught I know.’

‘The police could find her there as well as here.’

His tone changed, becoming as sarcastic as his easy good-nature and not
very extensive vocabulary permitted.

‘And so you would really hunt that poor girl to the gallows? Shut her
up in gaol—eh? I thought you preached mercy, went in for motives of
Christian charity, and so forth. We live and learn—well, well.’

He took another turn, nervously, while I grew increasingly puzzled. Was
it possible Fédore might be connected with him, and not with Hartover? If
so, what more natural and excusable than his reluctance to satisfy me?
That thought softened me.

‘I will do nothing further,’ I said, ‘without consulting his lordship.’

‘His lordship?’ He shrugged his shoulders, laughing contemptuously.

‘Her ladyship, then.’

He paused a moment.

‘Yes,’ he said; ‘you’re right.’ A new light seemed to break on him.
‘Yes,’ he repeated; ‘we’ll go at once on the chance of finding her at
home. It is only seven now. Let’s call a coach.’

So back we drove to Grosvenor Square, both in deep thought. Arrived
at the house, he took me into a small room, off the hall, and kept me
waiting there for the best part of an hour. I began to wonder, indeed, if
he had forgotten me altogether, and whether I had not best ring and make
some enquiry of the servants.

The room was dimly lit with wax candles, set in sconces high on the
silk-panelled wall; yet not so dimly but that, when the Colonel at last
returned, I could see he looked pale and agitated, while his hands
and lips trembled as he spoke. And my mind carried back to the day of
the meet at Vendale Green, when her ladyship—Queen of Beauty that she
was—stepped down from her pony-chaise, and stood on the damp turf beside
his great bay horse, talking to him; and how, straightening himself up
with a jerk, his face grey and aged as that of a man smitten with sudden
illness, he answered her: ‘Impossible, utterly impossible’; and how she,
turning, with a light laugh, got into the pony-chaise again, waving her
hand to him and wishing him good fortune.

‘Yes—you are to go,’ he said to me hurriedly. ‘See Hartover at once. His
address is number ⸺ Church Lane, Chelsea. You’ll remember?’

‘I shall.’

‘Remember, too, I am no party to this proceeding of yours. I warned you
against it. Whatever happens you will have brought on yourself.’

‘Very good. I am perfectly ready to accept the responsibility of my own

‘And I say—see here, Brownlow. You won’t tell Hartover I gave you his

‘Of course not, if you desire it. I can decline to say where I learnt it.’

‘He’ll find out, though, through the other officers,’ he muttered, as we
crossed the hall and he saw me into the still waiting coach. ‘It’s an
accursed business, and we shall come ill out of it. I know we shall; but
a woman must have her way.’

‘For Heaven’s sake,’ I cried, ‘remember you are not alone.’

He looked fiercely at me, as one who should say, ‘What have I betrayed?’
Then added with a sneer:

‘Brownlow, I wish to God we’d never seen you. You’re a devilish deal too
honest a fellow to have got among us.’

With which cryptic words he went back into the great house, leaving me
to drive down to Chelsea, and to my thoughts. What they were I hardly
knew myself. Sufficient that I was most miserable and full of questioning

We passed, as it seemed, through endless streets, until we reached the
then lonely King’s Road; drove along it, turned to the left down Church
Lane, and drew up at a door in a high wall apparently enclosing a garden.
I got out of the coach and rang the bell. A moment after I heard a
woman’s quick tripping footsteps within. The door was flung wide open,
disclosing a covered way leading to a pretty hall, gay with coloured
curtains and carpets, and a voice cried:

‘Ah! c’est toi enfin, mon bien aimé. A-t-il perdu le clef encore une
fois, le petit étourdi?’

The speaker and I recoiled apart. For, immediately before me, under the
passage lamp, was Fédore.

Superbly lovely, certainly, if art can create loveliness, with delicately
tinted cheeks and whitened skin; her raven hair arranged, according to
the prevailing mode, so as to add as much as possible to her height.
Dressed, or rather undressed—for women then wore only little above the
waist—in richest orange and crimson; her bare arms and bosom sparkling
with jewels—none brighter, though, than these bold and brilliant
eyes—there she stood, more like her namesake Empress Theodora than ever,
and flashed lightnings into my face—disappointment, rage, scorn, but no
trace of fear.

‘And what, pray, does Monsieur Brownlow wish at such an hour of the

‘Nothing, Mademoiselle,’ I answered gravely and humbly. ‘I came to see
Lord Hartover, and he is not, I perceive, at home.’

Was she going to shut the door on me? Nothing less. Whether from sheer
shamelessness, or whether—as I have often fancied since—she read my
errand in my face, she composed herself in an instant, becoming amiable
and gracious.

‘Could not Monsieur come in and wait? Would he not stay and sup with us?’

I bowed courteously. She was so superb, so daringly mistress of herself,
I could do no less; and said I should be shocked at interrupting such a
_tête-à-tête_. I apologised for having brought her to the door on so cold
a night; and, raising my hat, departed, having, at least, taken care to
tell her nothing.

Why should I not depart? Had I not seen enough, and more than enough? The
Rusher was right so far—for who was I to interfere? What had I to offer
Hartover as against that gorgeous and voluptuous figure? If my suspicions
could be proved, and I succeeded in parting him from her, would he not
go to someone else? And who was I, after all, to judge her, to say hard
words to her? If she were dazzled by him, what wonder? If he by her,
what wonder either?—Ah! that they had let him marry Nellie, boy though
he was, two years ago! But such is not the way of the world; and the way
of the world, it seemed, he was doomed to go.—Oh! weary life, wherein
all effort for good seemed but as filling the sieve of the Danaides. Oh!
weary work for clean living and righteousness, which seemed as a rolling
of Sisyphus’ stone for ever up the hill, to see it roll down again. What
profit has a man of all his labour? That which has been shall again be,
and there is no new thing under the sun.

I went back to Cambridge unhappy, all but cynical and despairing, and
settled down to my routine of work again, and to the tender attentions
of Mr. Halidane, to whom however I told no word about my fruitless
expedition to London. And so sad was I, and in such a state of chronic
irritation did Halidane keep me, that I verily believe I should have
fallen ill, had not the fresh evil been compensated for by a fresh
good—and that good taken the form of renewed intercourse with Mr.


It fell out on this wise. In the hope of lightening the weight of
depression under which I laboured, I took to riding again so many
afternoons a week—an indulgence which I could now afford. True, a hack
from a livery stable was but a sorry exchange for the horses upon which
Warcop had been wont to mount me; but if love of horse-flesh takes you
that way—and take me that way it did—the veriest crock is better to
bestride than nought.

The day was fine, with sunshine and white fleets of blithely sailing
cloud. Hedges and trees thickened with bud, and the rooks were nesting.
I had made a long round by Madingley and Trumpington, and was walking my
horse back slowly over the cobbles of King’s Parade—admiring, as how many
times before, the matchless Chapel, springing from the greensward, its
slender towers, pinnacles and lace-work of open parapet rising against
spaces of mild blue sky—when, amid groups upon the pavement wearing cap
and gown, or less ceremonial boating and football gear, a tall heavily
built figure, clothed in a coat with bulging skirt-pockets to it,
breeches and gaiters of pepper-and-salt-mixture, attracted my eye. The
man halted now and again to stare at the fine buildings; and at last,
crossing where the side street runs from King’s Parade to the Market
Place, turned into the big bookseller’s at the corner.

I thought I could hardly be mistaken as to his identity; and, calling a
down-at-heels idler to hold my horse, I dismounted and followed him into
the shop. If I had made a mistake, it would be easy to ask for some book
or pamphlet and so cover my discomfiture.

But I had made no mistake. Though older and greyer, his strong
intellectual face more deeply lined by thought, and, as I feared, by
care, Braithwaite himself confronted me.

‘Thou hast found me, O mine enemy,’ he exclaimed, while the clasp of his
hand gave the lie to this doubtful form of greeting. ‘And, to tell the
truth, I hoped you might do so; though I was in two minds about seeking
you out and calling on you myself.’

I returned the clasp of his hand; but, for the moment, my heart was
almost too full for speech.

‘Enemy, neither now nor at any time in our acquaintance,’ I faltered.

‘I know, I know,’ he answered. ‘But until you were your own master, and
had finally cut adrift from certain high folks in high places, I reckoned
we were best apart.’

‘And you were right. Now, for good or evil, all that is over and done
with’—and truly and honestly I believed what I said.

‘So much the better,’ he replied heartily. ‘Then we can start our
friendship afresh—that is, of course, if an ornament of this ancient
seat of learning, a full-fledged don like yourself, is not too fine and
fastidious a person to associate with a plain middle-class man such as

I bade him not be foolish—he had a better opinion of me, I hoped, than
that—asked what of ‘the pride which apes humility,’ and so forth; and all
the while questions about Nellie, her health, her well-being, her present
whereabouts, scorched my tongue. I invited him to my rooms—which I think
pleased him—so that we might talk more at our ease; but he told me he
had the better part of a twenty-mile drive before him, back to Westrea,
a farm which he had lately bought on the Suffolk border. We therefore
agreed that, when I had sent my horse back to the stable, I should join
him at the inn, just off the Market Place, where his gig was put up.

And in the dingy inn parlour, some quarter of an hour later, I at last
found courage and voice to enquire for Nellie. His face clouded, I

‘In answering you frankly, I give you the strongest proof of friendship
which I can give,’ he said.

I thanked him.

‘It went hard with her at first, poor lass,’ he continued, ‘brave and
dutiful though she is. And that’s what has brought me further south.
I judged it best to get her right away from the Yorkshire country and
sound of Yorkshire speech. So I threw up my tenancy of the place I had
taken on leaving Mere Ban. I may tell you I came into some little money
through the death of a relative, last year, which enabled me to buy this
Westrea farm. I took Nellie with me to view it, and the house caught her
fancy. ’Tis a pretty old red-brick place, and my gift to her. I want her
to make a home of it, and interest herself in the development of the
property—about nine hundred acres in all. She has an excellent head for
business; and, in my opinion, there’s no better medicine than keeping
hands and brain occupied in such a case as hers.’

He broke off abruptly, as though unwilling to pursue the subject further,

‘But there, come and see for yourself what our new quarters are like,
Brownlow. No purple wind-swept fells piled up to high heaven behind it,
truly; still, a pleasant enough spot in its way, and fine corn-land too.
I can offer you a comfortable bed and a good plain dinner; and a horse
you needn’t be ashamed to ride, notwithstanding your free run of his
Lordship’s stud at Hover. Come during the vacation. Easter falls late
this year; and the orchard trees should be in blossom, supposing we get
a fine spring, as I believe we shall. It’ll do you no harm to drop your
classics and mathematics, part company with your scandalous old heathen
poets and divinities and take the living world of to-day by the hand for
forty-eight hours or so. I’ll be bound your radicalism has deteriorated
in this academic dry-as-dust atmosphere too, and will be none the worse
for a little wholesome rubbing up.’

So to Westrea I promised to go, his invitation having been given so
spontaneously and kindly. A dangerous experiment perhaps, but the
temptation was too strong for me. At last I should see Nellie again, and
learn how matters really stood with her. That thought threw me into a
fever of excitement.

To go in to hall, with the chance of meeting Halidane and having the
fellow saddle his unctuous, not to say oily, presence upon me for the
rest of the evening, was intolerable. So, after starting Braithwaite
upon his homeward journey, I got a scratch meal at the inn, and then
made my way to The Backs across bridge, and wandered in the softly
deepening twilight under the trees beside the river. I tried—but alas how
vainly!—to calm my excitement, and school myself into rejection alike
of the wild hopes and dark forebodings which assailed me. I lost count
of time, and wandered thus until the lamps were lit and the moonlight
touched the stately masses of college buildings, rising pale from their
lawns and gardens, on the other side of the placid slow-flowing stream.
Hence it was comparatively late when, at length, I climbed the creaking,
foot-worn oaken stairs leading to my rooms.

Immediately on entering I saw that a letter lay upon the table. It was in
Hartover’s handwriting. Trembling, I tore it open.

Why should he write to me after so long a silence? Had he heard of my
visit to St. James’s Palace? Of my visit to Church Lane? About Fédore
surely it must be; and when I began to read I found that so indeed it was.

    ‘Dearest Brownlow,’—it ran—‘I have news to tell you which will
    astonish and at first, I am afraid, shock you. But, after a
    little, you will see it is right enough; and that, in honour, I
    could not do otherwise than I have done. For nearly two months
    now I have been married to Fédore.’

My head fairly spun round. Faint and dizzy, I sank into the nearest
chair, and read on with staring eyes.

    ‘My reasons were very simple. I do not ask you to approve them;
    but to weigh and judge them fairly. You know the circumstances
    under which I came to town and joined my regiment. Parted from
    Her whom I loved—and whom I shall never forget, the thought
    of Her will always be sweet and sacred to me—I became utterly
    reckless. She was gone. You were gone.’

Was that a reproach, and a merited one? Whether or not, it cut me to the

    ‘There was no one to care what I did, no one for me to
    care for. Nothing seemed to matter. I plunged into all the
    follies—and worse—of a young man about town. I will not
    disgust you by describing them—suffice it that I found plenty
    both of men and women to share them with me. I tried to drown
    remembrance of Her, of you, of everything noble and good, in
    pleasure. And at last, you will hardly be surprised to hear,
    I fell into my old madness of drink. I was horribly, quite
    horribly, you understand, hopeless and unhappy. About my
    own people I say nothing—to their own Master they stand or
    fall. I do not want to talk, or even think about them. But
    by last autumn I had pretty well ruined my health. I had, so
    the doctors told me, delirium tremens. I know my nerves were
    shattered, and life seemed a perfect hell. As I lay ill and
    mad, Fédore came to me. She nursed me, controlled me, pulled
    me through. She was most true to me when others wished her to
    be most false. There were those, she has told me since—as I
    suspected all along, even in the old days at Hover—who would
    be glad enough for me to kill myself with debauchery. She
    talked to me, reasoned with me. You yourself could not have
    spoken more wisely. But I felt, Brownlow, I felt I could not
    stand alone. I must have some one to lean on, to be loved by
    and to love. It is a necessity of my nature, and I obeyed it.
    Fédore saved me, and I paid her by marrying her. She refused
    at first, warned me of my seeming folly, of what the world
    would say; told me there were difficulties, that she, too, had
    enemies. But I insisted.—Remember she had compromised herself,
    endangered her reputation by coming to me.—At last she gave
    way, confessing, dear creature, she had loved me all along,
    loved me from a boy.

    ‘You will say, what about the future? I defy it, snap my
    fingers at it. It must take care of itself. It can’t, in any
    case, be more hateful than the past.

    ‘And so good-bye, dear old man. Judge me fairly at least; and
    keep my secret—for secret our marriage must be as long as my
    father is alive. Fédore sends kind remembrances, and bids me
    say when you know all—and there is more behind—you will not
    think of her too harshly.’

Should I not? The woman had greater faith in my leniency—or stupidity,
which?—than I myself had. No harshness was too great, surely, in face
of the wrong she had done the boy by marrying him. Yet two things were
true. For that she loved him—according to her own conception of love—I
did not doubt; and that she had rescued him from the demon of drink—for
the time being—I did not doubt either. And this last—let me try to be
just—this last must be counted to her, in some degree at all events, for
righteousness whatever her ulterior object in so rescuing him might have

But admitting that much, I had admitted all that was possible in her
favour. She had hunted the boy, trapped him, pinned him down, making his
extremity her own opportunity; cleverly laying him under an obligation,
moreover, which could not but evoke all his native sensibility and

The more I thought of it, the more disastrous, the more abominable did
the position appear. So much so that, going back to his letter, I read
it over and over to see if I could make it belie itself and find any
loop-hole of escape. But what was written was written. In Hartover’s
belief he had made Fédore, and done right in making her, his wife.

And there were those, then, who would gladly compass his death! The last
scene with Colonel Esdaile flashed across me; and other scenes, words,
gestures, both of his and of her ladyship’s. Was the boy really and
actually the victim of some shameful conspiracy? Only one life stood
between the Colonel and the title, the great estates, the great wealth.
Was her ladyship playing some desperate game to secure these for him
and—for herself, and for her children as his wife? She was still young
enough to bear children.—In this ugly coil that cardinal point must never
be forgotten. But how could Fédore’s marrying Hartover forward this?
Had the woman been set on as her ladyship’s tool, and then betrayed her
employer and intrigued on her own account?

Good Heavens! and Nellie was free now. At that thought I sprang up; but
only to sink back into my chair again, broken by the vast perplexity, the
vast complexity, of it all. Free? Did I not know better than that? Had
not her father’s tone, her father’s words in speaking of her, told me her
heart was very far from free? Should I so fall from grace as to trade on
her despair, and tempt her to engage herself to me while she still loved
Hartover? Would not that be to follow Fédore’s example—almost; and take a
leaf out of her very questionably virtuous or high-minded book? Besides,
how did I know Nellie would ever be willing to engage herself to me?
Vain dream—for, after all, what did the whole thing amount to?—Hartover
was not of age. His marriage was null—if he so chose. He could find means
to dissolve it himself, surely, when he found out Fédore, and saw her
in her true colours.—And he should see. My temper rose. I would expose
her. I would appeal to Lord ⸺. I would move heaven and earth till I could
prove her complicity in Marsigli’s felony—and her connection with him,
her real marriage. I would⸺

But alas! what could I do, with so many persons—powerful, rich,
unscrupulous—arrayed against me?—Hartover himself, more than likely,
protecting, in a spirit of chivalry, the woman who had nursed and
befriended him, and to whom—as he believed—he had given his name in
wedlock. I, on the other hand, armed but with light and broken threads of
suspicion and of theory. For so far, as the Colonel had reminded me, I
possessed no actual evidence, circumstantial or otherwise, against her.

No; it was impossible to break the web in which she and others—to their
shame—had entangled him. I would put the whole deplorable business from
me, and go quietly to Westrea for the Easter vacation. And Nellie?—I
would never tell her. If she hoped still, I would never undeceive her.
The dark cloud might blow over, the foul bubble burst—and then!—Meanwhile
I would be to her as a brother. I would help her, strengthen her; in a
sense, educate her. For what? For whom?—God knew⸺

But, just there, I was startled out of my painful reverie by shouts,
confused tumult in the usually silent court below, and rush of feet upon
the stair.

(_To be continued._)




A child who was, I suppose, once myself sat on the stairs in an old
house at Twickenham with a thrill of respectful adventure looking up at
the carved oaken figure of a Bishop with benedictory hands standing in
a niche in the panelled wall. The house was Chapel House in Montpelier
Row, inhabited in those days by a Captain Alexander who had fought in
the Peninsular War, and who christened his children by the names of
the battles, and my sister and I were spending the summer there while
my father was in Germany. We enjoyed the old house and garden, and the
youthful companionship of Vittoria Alexander, my contemporary. When I
read the address on some letters which have been lately shown me by the
present Lord Tennyson, one of those wonderful mental cinemas we all carry
in our minds flashed me back to the panelled rooms and the dark hall and
the oak staircase and the benedictory Bishop. Among those who passed
before him treading the broad steps after the Alexanders had left, came
the Poet Laureate and his wife, who lived for a time at Chapel House,
where their son Hallam was born. But Tennyson wished to live in the
country, and they did not stay very long at Twickenham. An early letter
written from thence, introduces a whole party of friends living in those
days of peace. It is dated June 25, 1852, and was despatched by Mrs.
Tennyson to Mrs. Cameron, her neighbour at Sheen.

    ‘MY DEAR MRS. CAMERON,—Thank you. It was very pleasant being
    at Kew Gardens, still we should have liked two pleasant things
    instead of one.... We are by every post expecting a letter
    about a house which may send us in another direction, but I am
    not going to drag you house-hunting even on paper. My husband
    would, I am sure, listen with most hearty interest to you. The
    East is a great inspiring theme. Would that his brother Horatio
    were doing something there ... he would have made a grand
    soldier of the old school. You would like him if he were not
    too shy to show himself as he is. He is living with his mother,
    but we will with all pleasure bring him. I am going to let
    Mrs. Henry Taylor know when we can say with any certainty when
    we shall be at home.

    ‘Hoping that you and they will be able to come to us,

                         ‘Very sincerely yours,

                                                   ‘EMILY TENNYSON.’

This was but the beginning of the long life’s friendship and confidence
between the two friends. As one reads on through letter after letter it
almost seems as if the writers were actually present.

They were ladies something in looks like those familiar paintings by
Watts or by some of the old Italian masters he loved. Watts has painted
Mrs. Tennyson more than once and recorded her beautiful spiritual aspect
and delicate features, and he has also painted her correspondent Mrs.
Cameron, a woman of a noble plainness, carrying herself with dignity and
expression, and well able to set off the laces and Indian shawls she wore
so carelessly. Mrs. Tennyson was more daintily attired: she wore a quaint
little gimp high to her throat; her dresses were of violet and grey and
plum colour; a white net coif fell over her brown hair. Her hair never
turned grey; she remained to us all, a presence sweet and unchanged in
that special and peaceful home shrine to which no votary ever came more
warmly true and responsive than Julia Cameron, her neighbour in the
Island for so many years. Mrs. Cameron was one of the well-known family
of Pattle sisters, beautiful and gifted women who were able to illustrate
their own theories. They were unconscious artists with unconventional
rules for life which excellently suited themselves.

My own first meeting with Mrs. Cameron was not very long after that
youthful stay in Chapel House, one summer’s day when my father took my
sister and myself to Sheen to see his old friend. I remember her, a
strange apparition in a flowing red velvet dress although it was summer
time, cordially welcoming us to a fine house and to some belated meal,
where the attendant butler was addressed by her as ‘Man’ and was ordered
to do many things for our benefit; to bring back luncheon-dishes and
curries for which she and her family had a speciality. When we left she
came with us bareheaded, with trailing draperies, part of the way to
the station as her kind habit was. A friend of mine told me how on one
occasion she accompanied her in the same way, carrying a cup of tea which
she stirred as she walked along. My father, who had known her first as a
girl in Paris, laughed and said ‘She is quite unchanged,’ and unchanged
she remained to the end of her days; generous, unconventional, a more
loyal friend never lived.

Alfred Tennyson, writing to his wife in 1855, says ‘I dined with Mrs.
Cameron last night, she is more wonderful than ever in her wild beaming

       *       *       *       *       *

There are several mentions of this most interesting, most emphatic lady
in Sir Henry Taylor’s ‘Autobiography.’ Sir Henry, who was her chosen
ideal among many, says:

    ‘In India, in the absence of the Governor-General’s wife, she
    has been at the head of the European Society, for Mr. Cameron
    was a very high official, succeeding Lord Macaulay as legal
    member of Council.

    ‘Does Alice,’ he writes to a friend, ‘ever tell you, or do I,
    how we go on with Mrs. Cameron, how she keeps showering on
    us “her barbaric pearls and gold,” Indian shawls, turquoise
    bracelets, inlaid portfolios, ivory elephants, &c., and how she
    writes us letters six sheets long all about ourselves.... It
    was indeed impossible that we should not grow fond of her, and
    not less so for the many, whom her genial ardent and generous
    nature has captivated since.’

It is very difficult to describe Mrs. Cameron. She played the game of
life with such vivid courage and disregard for ordinary rules, she
entered into other people’s interests with such warmhearted sympathy and
determined devotion, that, though her subjects may have occasionally
rebelled, they generally ended by gratefully succumbing to her rule,
laughing and protesting all the time.

Sir Henry quotes her saying to someone with whom she had disagreed:
‘before the year is out you will love me as a sister,’ and he adds that
she proved the truth of this prophecy. She must have been a trying
sister at times, especially when her relations and adopted relations
were ill. She longed to cure them on the spot; she would fly in an agony
from one great doctor to another, demanding advice and insisting on
instant prescription and alleviation. ‘Culpable carelessness, profound
ignorance,’ were the least of her criticisms of family physicians
whom she had not sent in herself. She would eloquently describe the
anxious hours she spent in waiting-rooms, obtaining opinions from great
authorities who had not even seen the patient. Sir Henry’s stepmother
(Mrs. Cameron had barely known her) says:

    I think I might have found good Mrs. Cameron’s loving letter
    difficult to answer, and though I have a sort of scruple about
    refusing kindness and charitable love, yet I cannot help being
    glad you saved me....’


The real neighbours in life do not depend on vicinity only, they have a
way of continuing to be neighbours quite irrespective of their different
addresses. The Tennysons had ever a very faithful following of old
friends wherever they happened to be, none more faithful than Julia

As I have said the first letter quoted from Twickenham was followed by a
life-long correspondence. Mrs. Tennyson had hurt her wrist in early youth
and writing was often difficult to her; though until her son grew up
almost the whole of her husband’s correspondence depended upon her.

Mrs. Cameron on the contrary loved her pen. She wrote a large and flowing
hand. She allowed herself more space in life and on paper than is usually
accorded to other people. I remember her offering to write for my father.
‘Nobody writes as well as I do’ she said.

It was in 1854 that the Tennysons first settled at Farringford. Those
must have been happy days for Mrs. Tennyson, though the trial of delicate
health was always there. She sends to her friend, describing the sights
to be seen from her drawing-room windows:

    ‘The elms make a golden girdle round us now. The dark purple
    bills of England behind are a glorious picture in the morning
    when the sun shines on them and the elm trees....’


    ‘It is tantalizing to have a big smooth rounded down just in
    front of a large window and to be forbidden by bitter winter
    blasts to climb it. It is a pity the golden furze is not in
    bloom, for when it is, it makes a gorgeous contrast to the blue
    Solent.... Alfred has been reading “Hamlet” to me and since
    then has been drawn to the bay by the loud voice of the sea....
    There is something so wholesome in beauty and it is not for me
    to try to tell of all we have here in those delicate tints of
    a distant bay and the still more distant headlands. These I
    see every day with my own eyes, and so many other things with
    _his_, when he comes back from his walk.’

Of her two boys she writes:

    ‘People say they are winning children, even those who are
    neither poets nor mothers. What should I do if I had not a
    poet’s heart to share my feelings for the children?’

We get a pretty glimpse of Alfred one Christmas time putting on little
Hallam’s coatee, a present from Mrs. Cameron, needless to say.

    ‘Thanks, thanks, thanks,’ says Mrs. Tennyson. ‘And for my
    frill, as Alfred calls it, and for the big beautiful ball
    which charms Hallam beyond measure and delights baby too,
    only with so much of fear in the delight that he dare not
    approach the giant without having Mother’s hand in his. I do
    hope that I shall hear you are all well and that things grow
    brighter and brighter as Christmas comes on, for I cannot
    accept old Herbert’s gloomy version of things. I will admit
    most thankfully that griefs are joys in disguise, but not the
    converse except as a half truth, and half truths are the most
    dangerous of all. God wills us to be happy even here ... only
    let us give happiness its most exalted sense. I often think one
    is not told of joy as a Christian virtue as one ought to be.
    This however is rather by the way, for joy can subsist with
    sorrow, and happiness cannot be without happy circumstances.’

Another Christmas brings more acknowledgments for other gifts, and
also friendly reproaches. ‘The only drawback is the old complaint that
you _will_ rain down precious things upon us, not drop by drop, but
in whole Golconda mines at once.’ Mrs. Cameron pays little attention
to such warnings, for the next letter from Mrs. Tennyson begins with
thanks again. ‘Why will you send us these beautiful things which are so

Mrs. Tennyson was afraid of wounding her friend; she tried reprisals
perhaps, which we may guess at as we read Mrs. Cameron’s own reproaches
and eulogies combined in a letter concerning an Easter gift:

    ‘It was really an Easter Day offering to my spirit which seemed
    to tell me of “a bride in raiment clean” and “a glittering
    star” such as I may through God’s grace be some day, but now
    I am a grandmother with every vestige of grace gone, not
    preserving, as you do, a youthful figure; and truly I am not
    worthy of the lovely jacket and _therefore I shall bring it
    back_.... Mr. Jowett has been sitting with Charles and when he
    would long for the open air comes to cheer and enliven him.
    Truly he has a sweet virtue.’

Her name for Jowett was ‘little Benjamin their ruler.’ Her picture of him
in her gallery will be remembered.

Mrs. Cameron the _Martha_ friend loved to work for the _Mary_ friend. We
read of a hat with a long feather and broad blue ribbons to be ordered
in London—then messages and details about furniture from the mistress of

    ‘I have tried many times to get some violet-coloured cloth,
    because Alfred has always admired the violet covering in
    your dining-room. Will you do me the kindness to get me some
    sufficiently good?’

Then she goes on to give news of her home, of the bay-window being added
to the study, ‘that dear little room hallowed by so many associations
which should scarcely be touched even in improvement.’

    ‘Are you afraid of our falling leaves,’ she writes, urging Mrs.
    Cameron to come to stay with them. ‘We sweep them up diligently
    every day for the good of our own little ones and there would
    be an increased diligence for the sake of your poor sick lamb.
    I am so glad you returned thanks in Church. I am sure the world
    would be better if we claimed our right of brotherly sympathy
    with all, for it is only those who give theirs beforehand, who
    think of claiming it....’

One letter dated January 1, 1855, might have been written word for word

    ‘Many, many happy New Years to you, my dear Mrs. Cameron, and
    to all you love. How vain is this wish for thousands on this
    particular year! It is difficult to interest oneself in any
    common events. Only one’s friends can take off one’s thoughts
    from the war....’

Mrs. Tennyson envies someone who has sent out a shipload of help.

    ‘Ah, well! We may all do our little if we will but do what we
    have to do, and not waste our time in vain longings for that
    which is given to others to do. _You_ can never have been
    guilty of this in all your life....’


Mrs. Cameron sometimes writes to Tennyson as well as to his wife. Here is
a quotation from a long letter written in 1855.

    ‘DEAR ALFRED,—It is so tantalising to be in your neighbourhood
    without being able to get to dear Farringford that I must write
    to you from this. If we stayed longer I am sure I should slide
    away and make a run for your coast, but we go home to-morrow
    when our week will be completed. Where are we if we are your
    neighbours? Not near eno’ and yet not far. In one of the
    loveliest homes in England, where from the Tower you can see
    the dear Isle of Wight, the Parnassian Needles, and the silver
    thread of the outline of Alum Bay. Where are we then?...

    ‘Well, Canford is our dwelling-place during this Holiday week.
    This Manor, this Hall and this cricket ground have witnessed
    nothing but sunshine Holiday and midnight revelry all the
    twenty-four hours round.

    ‘The youthful host, Sir Ivor Guest, has had perfect success in
    his entertainment. Everybody has been charming and everybody
    has been charmed.

    ‘There has been great beauty here amongst the young Wives and
    young Maidens.

    ‘Amongst the young Wives “the Queen of Beauty” is Mrs. Hambro
    (one month younger than my Juley), frolicsome and graceful as a
    kitten and having the form and eye of an antelope. She is tall
    and slender, not stately, and not seventeen—but quite able to
    make all daisies rosy and the ground she treads seem proud of

    ‘Then her complexion (or rather skin) is faultless—it is like
    the leaf of “that consummate flower” the Magnolia—a flower
    which is, I think, so mysterious in its beauty as if it were
    the only thing left unsoiled and unspoiled from the garden of
    Eden. A flower a blind man would mistake for a fruit too rich,
    too good for Human Nature’s daily food. We had a standard
    Magnolia tree in our garden at Sheen, and on a still summer
    night the moon would beam down upon these ripe rich vases, and
    they used to send forth a scent that made the soul faint with
    a sense of the luxury of the world of flowers. I always think
    that flowers tell as much of the bounty of God’s love as the
    Firmament shows of His handiwork.’

(After this digression the writer returns to Mrs. Hambro.)

    ‘Very dark hair and eyes contrasting with the magnolia skin,
    diamonds that dazzle and seem laughing when she laughs, and a
    costume that offers new varieties every third hour,’ completes
    the sketch of the heroine.

The letter also goes on to describe at length each of the ten members of
the Guest family and many more visitors and relations, and is too long to
quote in its entirety; but I cannot omit the description of:

    ‘all the young men and maidens standing in a circle in the High
    Hall and singing.

    ‘They all have splendid voices. All the boys play on flutes,
    violins and flageolet, singing every manner of Yankee chorus,
    glee and song, they dance and toss india-rubber balls, the
    grand hall seems almost too noble for this with its

        Storied windows richly dight
        Casting a dim religious light,

    and its measureless roof, it seems fitted for the organ’s
    pealing sound, for the delight of anthem, and the joy of praise
    and prayer, and for reading of great and good Poems. I did once
    persuade them to reading in that Hall. I read your Ode on the
    Duke, and it sounded solemn and sweet there. You know how dear
    Henry Taylor valued it, and I treasured in my heart your answer
    to his praise of it. I enclose you his little note to me about
    “Maud” because you said you would like to see it. I read also
    your lines to James Spedding. I read “St. Agnes,” too, in that
    Hall. _Those_ chants are worthy of that edifice.

    ‘The Hall and staircase are both as beautiful in their way as
    anything I have ever seen anywhere. The whole was built by Sir
    Charles Barry, the architect.

    ‘The house has immense capacities. Last Sunday we slept ninety
    people here, Lady Charlotte told me, tho’ nothing extraordinary
    was going on.

    ‘We dine every evening twenty-six in number. Conversation is
    not fertile, but the young hearts don’t need it.’

This was the year in which ‘Maud’ was published.

Poets always feel criticism, and the reviews of the poem stung Tennyson
cruelly, with their misunderstanding of his personal attitude towards war.

    ‘Is it not well,’ writes his wife, ‘that he should speak anger
    against the base things of the world, against that war which
    calls itself peace slandering the war whence there is the truer
    peace? Surely it was well, for he has not spoken in anger only;
    if he has spoken against baseness and evil in the world he has
    also sung what every loving and noble heart can understand of
    its love and blessedness. But you are right, I do hope that
    in more unmixed and fuller tones, he will one day sing his

Mrs. Cameron’s daughter Julia was engaged to Charles Norman in 1858.

    ‘It is like a book,’ says Emily Tennyson, ‘all so perfectly
    happy and yet I feel ungrateful when I say so, for so long as
    one believes in truth and love, so long must one believe in the
    possibility of happiness, and I myself, having so much of the
    reality, should most of all dare to believe in the possibility
    for others. Let them be married soon—I may be pardoned for a
    horror of long engagements.’

In 1859 the Camerons were still on Putney Heath, but Mr. Cameron was
preparing to visit his estates in Ceylon, of which disquieting news had
reached him.

‘Charles speaks to me of the flower of the coffee plant. I tell him that
the eyes of the first grandchild should be more beautiful than any flower
could ever seem,’ so Mrs. Cameron used to exclaim pathetically, and she
wrote to her friend:

    ‘As for me I have been fairly drowned in troubles and cares,
    and the waters seem to pass over one’s soul. The 20th November
    is now fast approaching and whilst it approaches I am not at
    all more prepared in heart or in deed. I have not had courage
    to make the necessary preparation. To-day the portmanteaux have
    been dragged out, and they stand to me threatening, to Charles
    promising departure.’

Mr. Cameron was seized with illness about this time.

    ‘I tell him this should be a warning to him not to leave home
    and home care and comforts. He assures me that the sea voyage
    is the best thing for him and Ceylon is the cure for all
    things. I look upon this illness as the tender rebuke of a
    friend. He requires home and its comforts. He has been having
    strong beef-tea thickened with arrowroot six times a day!...’

Here is Mrs. Cameron’s menu when the invalid, her husband, was
recovering. What would nurses of to-day say to it?

    ‘The patient has poached eggs at eight, gets up at eleven, has
    his dinner; gravy soup and curry, at one, mulligatawny soup and
    meat at five, a free allowance of port wine, averaging a bottle
    a day. Ten drops of Jeremie’s opiate every morning, a dose of
    creosote zinc and gum arabic before his meals, and a dose of
    quinine after each meal.’

Notwithstanding home comforts and his wife’s remonstrance, the invalid
started with one of his sons while she remained with the younger
children. To add to her troubles Sir Henry Taylor was also very ill at
this time and suffering terribly from the complications of asthma.

Mrs. Cameron says:

    ‘He bears what he calls a hedgehog in his chest with a most
    divine patience, even as a good husband would bear with a bad
    wife, and I fear he will have his hedgehog in his chest till
    death do them part.’[1]

Julia Cameron’s chief comfort seems to have come from her correspondence
with Mrs. Tennyson.

This was an eventful year for the Camerons. The first grandchild, their
daughter’s child, was born.

    ‘May she ever be the delight of your lives,’ wrote Mrs.
    Tennyson; ‘I can fancy the proud happiness of the little
    Uncles. After all this excitement, sorrowful and joyful, after
    the anxious watching of so many hours you need care yourself I
    am sure, so now take a little thought for yourself and so best
    thought for those who love you.’

Already in 1859, not burglars on the lawn such as those Horace Walpole
describes, but Cockneys were beginning to wander across the Farringford
grounds. We read of two who are sitting on one of the gates in the
garden, watching Mr. and Mrs. Tennyson under the cedars. Alfred is
actually speaking of moving, so averse is he to these incursions. Later
on he went for a change to Staffa and Iona. Mrs. Tennyson stayed at home
with her young children, urging him to prolong his tour.

Her nerves were not able to bear much strain nor the fatigue of
journeys—we read of great surges of pain when she tries to write, of
sleepless nights and weakness. Hospitable as she was by nature and by a
sense of duty also, the entertaining of guests was very tiring at times.

We hear of many visitors, familiar names—Lushingtons, Frank Palgrave,
Simeons, Edward Lear (who called his house at San Remo Villa Emily after
the most ideal woman he had ever known), Woolner the sculptor, who stays
for some time, and we read of the portraits he was taking of his hosts.

    ‘Alfred is charmed with the medallion of me and I think myself,
    if such a picture can be made of my worn face, that, if Lady
    Somers and the Queens and Princesses of Pattledom were
    successfully done, it would set the fashion.’

She goes on to say:

    ‘Words fail Mr. Woolner, all eloquent as he is, when he speaks
    of the Pattle sisters, especially of beautiful Mrs. Jackson and
    her three beautiful daughters.’

Among her guests Mrs. Tennyson specially enjoyed Jowett’s visits. She

    ‘He stays this week on condition of being allowed solitary
    mornings for work. You know this suits me well who also have
    work, not a little, to do. In the evening Alfred or he read
    aloud, and we are very happy.’

One year there is a mention of a very important personage departing
_from_ Farringford to London—‘“Tithonus,” the companion poem of
“Ulysses,” going to-day to Thackeray for the _Cornhill_.’

There had been a plan for buying a house at Freshwater for the Camerons,
and the Tennysons are helping in the negotiation for securing the land
before Mr. Cameron’s return. Lawyers, business agents, purchases,
furnishings take up much of the correspondence. Some people look upon
business as a bore, Mrs. Cameron took it as the battle of life.

    ‘The garden is being laid out,’ Mrs. Tennyson writes; ‘Merwood
    proposes that you should have a hedge of black bay and copper
    beach which his wise man Pike tells him make an evergreen hedge
    almost impenetrable, but it is too hard a frost for planting.
    The ice is so thick that Hallam announces an iceberg.’

Then Mrs. Cameron writes:

    ‘C. is indeed well pleased to hear that all seems to prosper
    at Freshwater Bay for us. Yes, how dear it will be for our
    children to grow and live happy together playing mad pranks
    along the healthy lea.’

Then she continues:

    ‘Two days ago, in one of those rare bright days which sometimes
    make autumn delicious, Henry Taylor walked about his own garden
    for an hour with Lord John Russell discoursing politics, and
    suffered in no way.’

It is a pretty account of Mrs. Cameron going to meet the postman through
the pouring rain to get news of her husband: ‘It was as if heaven’s
blessing descended on me when I read of his well-being.’

She adds:

    ‘Last night I dreamt he had returned and was delighted to be at
    Freshwater and that you, dear Alfred, in the emotion of joy at
    seeing him, walked round him three times, and I said “Why don’t
    you then embrace each other?” And Charles answered, “I can’t
    trust myself at my age to give way to my emotion,” but when
    Mrs. Tennyson entered he kissed her hand.

    ‘Now I feel full of gratitude, and the soft sweet feeling of
    returning spring on the earth is scarcely softer than the
    sensation in my heart of returning peace.’


The Prince Consort came to see the Tennysons when they first arrived at
Farringford, and found them in confusion, the departing occupant being
still there with some of his furniture.

There is a letter from Mrs. Tennyson to Matilda Tennyson written in the
spring of 1862 after the Prince’s death, in which we read:

    ‘We hear that the poor Queen is better, she begins to take
    interest in things out of doors, to ask about the birds that he

Then again:

    ‘The Queen sent for Alfred, she looked calm and pale like a
    statue, and spoke very sweetly and sadly. Alfred was touched
    even to tears. He does not remember much of what she said, he
    remembered himself saying thanks, and expressing his happiness
    of being of use.

    ‘When Alfred said “He would have made a great King,” the Queen
    answered “He always used to say to me it was no matter whether
    he or I did the right thing, so long as the right thing was

When the dedication of the ‘Idylls’ came out the Princess Royal wrote:

    ‘I cannot separate King Arthur from the image of him I most
    revere upon earth—as to the dedication I cannot say what I

The following letter was written by Mrs. Tennyson to Tennyson’s mother,
describing the first visit from Farringford to the widowed Queen.


    ‘Father, Mother and children all went, being shown the pretty
    grounds, the dairies, the kitchen where the Princesses amused
    themselves, the gardens of the royal children and the fort
    Prince Arthur had made. On returning to the Palace the Queen
    sent for us all; we heard soon after we had come into the
    drawing-room a quiet shy opening of the door and in she came;
    she gave me her hand, and I found myself on my knees, but
    I don’t exactly know how I got there. Alfred talked most
    eloquently; we talked of everything in heaven and on earth
    almost, Jowett, the farm, the millennium. Her face is so
    beautiful, not a bit like her portraits, small and child-like,
    yet so simple, full of thought and feeling—her eyes are full of
    love, it does one good to look upon her.’

There is a sentence concerning another ruler then living whose reign is
not over.

    ‘We have just come back from seeing Garibaldi, a noble-looking
    man with a grand high square forehead, like the great men of
    the Elizabethan days, strong and sweet with kindly simple
    manners. He stroked Hallam’s head and said it was a good thing
    that the boys lived in the country, his own had grown up strong
    in the fine air of Caprera.’

One quaint story is connected with the meeting of Garibaldi and Mrs.
Cameron. She longed to add a portrait of the Liberator to those she had
already taken of the other great men of the time. Hearing that he was
to come again to the Island she begged the Tennysons to invite him to
sit to her. Mrs. Tennyson wrote in reply that he was only coming for a
few hours. The Seelys were driving him over, and that during his brief
visit to Farringford he could not be asked to spend most of the time
posing in a dark room; they were sure Mrs. Cameron would understand the
impossibility of suggesting such an arrangement. Garibaldi came with
cordial interest, spoke in Italian, planted a tree, and was talking
quietly to Tennyson, when Mrs. Cameron joined them unannounced, and
then quite suddenly went down upon her knees, holding up her two hands
in supplication. ‘Who is this poor woman? What does she want?’ asks
Garibaldi much puzzled by Mrs. Cameron’s entreaties, not the less when
she exclaims to explain her stained finger-tips, ‘General, listen to me!
This is honourable Art, not Dirt!’ Alas! the moment was inopportune and
we have no portrait of Garibaldi by Mrs. Cameron!


The gaiety and youth of Freshwater in the ’seventies still reaches one
as one thinks back. The place was full of young people. Two of Mrs.
Cameron’s five sons lived at home and Hardinge, her special friend and
adviser, used to come over from Ceylon from time to time to gladden his
mother’s warm heart, to add up her bills, to admonish her, to cheer and
enliven the home.

The two Tennyson boys were at Farringford. The Prinseps were at the
Briary with a following of nephews and charming girls belonging to the
family; neighbours joined in, such as Simeons from Swainston, Croziers
from Yarmouth; officers appeared from the forts, and as one remembers it
all, a succession of romantic figures come to one’s mind, still to be
seen in the pictures of Mrs. Cameron’s devising. In those days she seemed
to be omnipresent—organising happy things, calling out, summoning one
person and another, ordering all the day, and long into the night, for
of an evening came impromptu plays and waltzes in the wooden ball-room,
and young partners dancing out under the stars. One warm moonlight night
I remember the whole company of lads and lasses streaming away across
fields and downs, past silvery sheepfolds to the very cliffs overhanging
the sea. Farringford, too, gave its balls, more stately and orderly
in their ways. The rhythmical old-fashioned progress of the poet’s
waltz delighted us all. An impression remains of brightest colour and
animation, of romantic graceful figures, a little fanciful—perfectly
natural, even when under Mrs. Cameron’s rule.

She was a masterful woman, a friend with enough of the foe in her
generous composition to make any of us hesitate who ventured to cross her
decree. The same people returned to the little bay again and again. Some
members of my own family, christened by her with names out of Tennyson
and Wordsworth, or from her favourite Italian poets—Madonna this, Madonna
that—used to join us Easter after Easter—and the friendly parties went
roaming the Downs to the Beacon or towards the Briary.

The Briary, where the Prinseps from Little Holland House were living,
belonged to Watts the painter, for whom Philip Webb had built it. They
were interesting people, all living there, and curiously picturesque
in their looks and habits, to which the influence of the Signor, as we
called Mr. Watts, contributed unconsciously.

He and Mr. Prinsep wore broad hats and cloaks, and so did Tennyson
himself and his brothers. People walking in the lanes would stand to see
them all go by.

Meanwhile Mrs. Cameron’s correspondence never ceased, however interesting
her visitors were and whatever the attractions of the moment might be.
She would sit at her desk until the last moment of the despatch. Then,
when the postman had hurried off, she would send the gardener running
after him with some extra packet labelled ‘immediate.’ Then, soon after,
the gardener’s boy would follow pursuing the gardener with an important
postscript, and, finally, I can remember the donkey being harnessed and
driven galloping all the way to Yarmouth, arriving as the post-bags were
being closed. Even when she was away from Freshwater, Mrs. Cameron still
chose to rule time and circumstance.

She sends word to Tennyson:

    ‘DEAR ALFRED,—I wrote to you from the Wandsworth Station
    yesterday on the way to Bromley. As I was folding your letter
    came the scream of the train, and then the yells of the porters
    with threats that the train would not wait for me, so that
    although I got as far in the direction as your name, I was
    obliged to run down the steps, and trust the directing and
    despatch of the whole to strange hands. I would rather have
    kept back my letter than have thus risked it, had it not been
    for my extreme desire to hear of your wife. Day after day I get
    more anxious to hear and then I write again, and thus I write,
    not to bore you by satisfying my own heart’s wish, but to know
    if I can be any help or comfort. I have been writing one of my
    longest letters to Sir John Herschell to-day, but won’t inflict
    the like upon you.’

(Then come many pages of the reasons which prevent her from writing.)

After she came to live near the Tennysons, Mrs. Cameron had no sense of
ever having done enough for them or more than enough. She would arrive
at Farringford at all hours, convenient and inconvenient, entering by
the door, by the drawing-room window, always bringing goodwill and life
in her train. She would walk in at night, followed by friends, by sons
carrying lanterns, by nieces, by maids bearing parcels and photographs.
Hers was certainly a gift for making life and light for others, though
at times I have known her spirits sink into deepest depths as do those
of impressionable people. Torch-bearers sometimes consume themselves and
burn some of their own life and spirit in the torches they carry. When
Julia Cameron took to photography, her enthusiasm was infectious and her
beautiful pictures seemed a revelation. She was an artist at heart and
she had never felt satisfied till she found her own channel of expression
in these new developments. Watts greatly encouraged her, and I heard him
say of one of her pictures of himself, that he knew no finer portrait
among the old Masters.

One of her admirers, F. D. Maurice, wrote:

    ‘Had we such portraits of Shakespeare and Milton, we should
    know more of their own selves. We should have better
    commentaries on “Hamlet” and on “Comus” than we now possess,
    even as you have secured to us a better commentary on “Maud”
    and “In Memoriam” than all our critics ever will give us.’

Browning, Darwin, Carlyle, Lecky, Sir John Herschell, Henry Taylor with
his flowing beard were all among her sitters and still reveal themselves
to us through her. She photographed without ceasing, in season and out of
season, and she summoned everyone round about to watch the process.

    ‘I turned my coal-house into my dark room,’ she wrote, ‘and a
    glazed fowl-house I had given to my children became my glass
    house, the society of hens and chickens was soon changed into
    that of poets, prophets, painters, children and lovely maidens.
    I worked fruitlessly but not hopelessly.... I longed to arrest
    all the beauty that came before me, and at length the longing
    was satisfied.’

Miss Marie Spartali, a very beautiful young lady who had come over
to pose to Mrs. Cameron, described finding her absorbed in another
sitter—her own parlourmaid, Mary Hillier, draped and patient,
representing some mythological personage. There was a ring at the outer
bell (focussing in those days took long and anxious minutes), and as
Mary Hillier could not be allowed to move, Miss Spartali went to the
door, where the visitor, seeing this stately lovely apparition dressed
in wonderful attire, exclaimed ‘Are you then the beautiful parlourmaid?’
This little ancient joke is still quoted against the beautiful lady.

How familiar to all, who were forced by the photographer into the
little studio, is the remembrance of the mingled scent of chemicals and
sweetbriar already meeting one in the road outside Dimbola! The terrors
of the studio itself are still remembered, the long painful waiting,
when we would have trembled had we dared to do so, under her impetuous
directions to be still.

This is her own description of her art, writing to Mrs. Tennyson:

    ‘I send you dear Louie Simeon’s letter to show how they all
    value the likeness of the father of that house and home. It is
    a sacred blessing which has attended my photography. It gives a
    pleasure to millions and a deeper happiness to very many....
    While the spirit is in me I must praise those I love.’

The coffee crop had failed in Ceylon several years and the money
difficulties became very serious for the Camerons. Photography might have
paid better if the photographer had been less lavish in her gifts and
ways. She was a true artist in her attitude towards money.

She, the most recklessly generous of women, was able to write:

    ‘I myself have never felt humiliated at the idea of receiving
    charities, for I always feel about friendship and love that
    what it is good to give it is also good to take.’

    ‘I do not mean to let you ruin yourself by giving the
    photographs away,’ Mrs. Tennyson wrote: ‘I cannot pretend
    to say that I do not prize a kindness done to mine, more
    than if it were done to myself, still I feel bound to point
    with a solemn finger to those stalwart boys of yours, saying
    “Remember.” I see that I shall have to set up a shop for the
    sale of photographs myself all for your benefit.’

To these remonstrances the photographer would answer: ‘I have always
tried to get my husband to share my feelings—so long as illness and
death are mercifully spared us. _Death_ is as to deeper wounds—only a
grain.’ Julia Cameron was not a woman of to-day. She seemed to belong
to some heroic past. She has told me how as a girl she and her sister,
the dearest of them all, used to wander forth and kneel to pray on the

Once when her eldest son went through a painful operation, which lasted
some time, she had held his hand in hers through it all, and he said he
could not have endured it if she had not been present. ‘As to my bearing
it,’ she said simply, ‘what is there one cannot bear if one can give one
grain of helpful support to any sufferer?’

       *       *       *       *       *

Of a friend in great trouble she writes:

    ‘I am not sure that time with him will soften the calamity. God
    grant it may, but with some

        “Time but the impression stronger makes,
        As streams their channels deeper wear.”

    In the case of my absence from my boys, the more it is
    prolonged, the more the wound seems to widen.’

It was during her husband’s absence that she wrote:

    ‘I found when I was with you the tears were too near my eyes
    to venture to read out aloud Charles’s letters. I am in very
    truth very unhappy. I assume vivacity of manner for my own sake
    as well as for others, but the only real vivacity now at this
    moment in me, is one to conjure up every form of peril and my
    heart is more busy when sleeping than when waking. When waking
    I fag myself to the uttermost by any manner of occupation
    hoping thus to keep the wheels of time working till I hear


The legends are endless of Mrs. Cameron’s doings at Freshwater, and
to this day the older villagers tell of them—of the window she built
and equipped in the room destined for Sir Henry Taylor. It was an east
room; she thought it looked dark in the afternoon and she determined
that a western window should be there when her guest arrived next day.
The village carpenter and his assistant builder sawed and worked late
into the night, in the early morning the glazier was summoned; when the
passengers arrived from the three o’clock boat the window was there, the
western light was pouring in into the spare room through the panes, and
Mrs. Cameron’s faithful maid was putting the last stitches to the muslin
blind. Another inspiration of hers was a lawn, also spread in a single
night, for Mr. Cameron to stroll along when he went for his morning walk
next day.

She used to bring wayfarers of every sort in from the roads outside. We
still may recognise some of the models living at Freshwater—the beautiful
parlourmaid, King Arthur who in robes and armoured dignity appears so
often in her camera, and who still meets travellers from the little
steamer that runs from Lymington to Yarmouth Pier. Indeed wayfarers of
every sort were made welcome by her. After my father’s death she welcomed
us to her cottage, where fires of hospitality and sympathy were lighted
and endless kindness and helping affection surrounded us from her and
from Farringford through that cold and icy winter. When spring had
passed and when at last summer was over, we gratefully returned to the
sheltering bay where such good friends were to be found.

The Camerons’ departure for Ceylon in 1875 will long be remembered—the
farewells, the piles of luggage. Mrs. Cameron grave and valiant, with
a thousand cares and preoccupations. Mr. Cameron with long white locks
falling over his shoulders and dark eyes gleaming through spectacles,
holding his carved, ivory cane in his hand and looking quietly at the
preparations. There were animals—a cow I have been told among them,
bales and boxes without number, their faithful maid Ellen and their
son Hardinge, that spirited prop and adviser, ordering and arranging
everything. He travelled with them, for he was on his way back to his
post in the Civil Service at Colombo. Many of us came down to Southampton
to see them off in the vast ship manned by Lascars, crowded with
passengers and heaving from confusion into order.

I can still see Mr. Cameron in his travelling dress looking quietly up
and down the quay at the piles of luggage, at the assembled friends; he
held a beautiful pink rose which Mrs. Tennyson had given him when he
stopped at Farringford to take leave of her. A member of Mr. Cameron’s
family whom I had never seen before, for he had lived in India, had come
from London with his wife and was standing taking leave with the rest of
us. He was strangely like Mr. Cameron, with white hair and bright fixed
eyes; and even then, starting though they were for the great venture,
Mrs. Cameron came forward and said to me that I must go back to town with
her step-son and he would look after me.... I remember presently finding
myself sitting in the railway carriage sadly flying home, away from the
good friends of many a year, and vaguely wondering at the likeness of Mr.
Cameron sitting on the opposite seat. Then at Waterloo, after putting me
into a hansom, even the likeness departed and I never saw either of the
two again.


It is pleasant to read of the happy progress of the travellers.

    _From Julia Margaret Cameron to Alfred and Emily Tennyson._


    ‘... I now continue my letter in revived spirits, having left
    the month of partings behind, and having entered to-day the
    month of meetings. I think Ewen will send forth my Benjamin
    to greet me. My Har, endowed with double my prudence, has
    hitherto prevented me from telegraphing to tell my boys that
    we had actually started. I resisted at Freshwater. Resisted
    at Southampton. Hardinge prevented me at Gibraltar, prevented
    me at Malta. He says Aden is the best spot, for we can then
    announce we have got over the Red Sea.

    ‘I need not say how often and often I am with you both in
    thought. I need not tell you that amidst all this bustling
    world of 380 people, my husband sits in majesty like a being
    from another sphere, his white hair shining like the foam of
    the sea and his white hands holding on each side his golden

                  (_They travel on to Malta._)

    ‘A real gem of the ocean; everything glittered like a fairy
    world, the sapphire sea, the pearl-white houses, the emerald
    and ruby boats, the shining steps, 132 in number, from the
    Quai to the town, all was delicious. As Har observed, I was
    the most childlike and exuberant of the party—only one thing
    disappointed me, that I did not telegraph to my Ceylon boys. We
    visited the Cathedral of St. John. How delicious the silence
    was after the life on board! What a holy joy to kneel down in
    that solemn silent temple and feel oneself alone with one’s

Her sympathy for the ship’s captain must not be omitted:

    ‘We have daily prayers and the Sunday evening service is
    specially imposing, with the dark ocean around, “The lamps
    filled with everlasting oil” above and the ship lamps hanging
    on the deck and the one voice, like St. John in the Wilderness,
    crying to everyone to repent.’

She raises subscriptions for a harmonium on board as a token of gratitude
to the captain—‘one in a thousand.’

Mr. Cameron would not land at Malta; it had painful memories for him,
he had been there as a child with his beautiful mother, Lady Margaret,
and his father who was Governor of the Island. ‘Our voyage is fabulously
beautiful,’ she says, and she dwells on the pleasure it gives them
to make it easier for an invalid on board by bestowing their most
comfortable chair upon the suffering lady.

As they glide through the Suez Canal Mrs. Cameron writes:

    ‘It is an honour to the French nation that in the face of all
    assertions of impossibility from men of all countries, Lesseps
    persevered and achieved this mighty enterprise. Whilst I write
    we pass a pier and at the end of it is a whole flock of camels,
    with camel drivers waiting to see if any one cares to cross the
    Desert; no one does care, so we glide on.

    ‘The only time I crossed, my Har was a baby in my arms whom I
    never for one instant put down. We crossed through a beautiful
    starlight night. I have never forgotten the rising of the
    morning star nor the utter silence, one seemed to lose the idea
    of time and to feel in a land that could have had no beginning
    and still less could have no end.’

As she finishes her letter the young moon is hanging over the vessel.

    ‘O what good it does to one’s soul to go forth. How it heals
    all the little frets and insect stings of life, to feel the
    pulse of the large world and to count all men as one’s brethren
    and to merge one’s individual self in the thoughts of the
    mighty whole!’

Here is another letter written a year later to Mrs. Tennyson:

                                                       Easter, 1876.

    ‘MY OWN BELOVED AND SWEETEST FRIEND,—This day’s post brought
    me your letter, so strong in love, so feeble in calligraphy,
    in the wielding of that pen which is meant to say so much but
    which now trembles in the hand which used never to tire. Its
    very trembling is expressive of all that you have it in your
    heart to say. How glad I am that your sons, that Alfred’s sons,
    should be what they are! How truly does an answer seem to be
    given in them to your life of holy prayer! I do so devoutly
    wish that you could spend next winter here, the air is so
    uplifting and so life-giving. I think my illness on arrival
    was the result of all that I suffered mentally and bodily, the
    hurry of that decision, the worry of all minutiæ, the anguish
    of some partings, the solemnity of all, the yielding to my
    husband’s absorbing desire, and the yearning need to live with
    my absent children, all this is satisfied and beyond all this,
    beyond the inward content, there is certainly a strength given
    by the aspect of nature in this Island.’

After describing Ceylon and its beauties, the mother returns to the theme
she loves best of all, that of her son Hardinge, who had just paid her a

    ‘He wore for my sake his very brightest looks and you know
    there is no cheer like his. His spirits dance with intellectual
    freshness and buoyancy, all his talk is mirth and wide
    pleasantry and his voice is full of song.

    ‘He has to travel in districts, sleeping in the open and my
    imagination represents the invasion of beasts and reptiles. He
    walks through long grass where I fear snakes for his beloved
    feet. He says alligators on the river-side are the only beasts
    he sees, alligators ten or twelve feet long.’ (_Here many pages
    follow partly concerning Ceylon and the people who then lived
    there, partly concerning Freshwater and its politics._)—‘And
    how is your dear Alfred, dearest of all and greatest ever in
    your heart beyond all; above all, I hope not bothered about
    anything.’ ‘Worries, for him, are as if these vast sublime
    mountains, instead of standing steady as they do, rearing their
    eternal heads to the sky, were to be swayed by the perishable
    chances of the little coffee estates at their feet.

    ‘What is time in the eyes of Him to whom a thousand years are
    but as yesterday and who pities us when we vex our immortal
    souls with fears of more or less gold, and good crops, one year
    or another?

    ‘Think of us in a little hut with only mud walls, four thousand
    four hundred feet above the level of the sea.’

It was in her youngest son’s bungalow on the Glencairn estate that Mrs.
Cameron died, early in 1879, only a short time after her second return
to Ceylon. She had been warned not to return, but she longed to be near
‘her boys.’ The illness only lasted ten days. When she lay dying, her
bed faced the wide-open window; it was a glorious evening and some big
stars were shining. She looked out and just said ‘_Beautiful_’ and died,
her last word, a fitting end to her reverent soul on earth. Her body was
taken in a low open cart, drawn by two great white bullocks, and all
covered with white cloth, over two ridges of mountains, and buried in the
little churchyard at the bottom of the valley, between Galle and Colombo,
where Hardinge was living. After this Hardinge took his father and his
mother’s maid, the faithful Ellen Ottingnon, ‘old E,’ to live with him
there. It was in May of the following year that Mr. Cameron died, and he
too was carried over the mountains and buried in the same churchyard.

    ‘I can’t describe to you the beauty of that valley entered by
    a narrow pass,’ writes Mrs. Bowden Smith who sent this record.
    ‘High mountains surround it and the rolling green grass lands
    and a great river runs all along it. The little church stands
    on a knoll not far above the river, which flows into a lower
    river, also a dream of beauty. They could not have found a more
    beautiful resting-place.’

Lady Tennyson survived her friend seventeen years:

    ‘Such wert thou, half a Saint and half a Queen,
    Close in thy poet’s mighty soul enshrined,
    Lady of Farringford,’

wrote Edith Sichel at the time.

And some one who loved her, speaking lately, said to me:

    ‘Though her vocation was to be a poet’s wife she reminded me of
    a holy Abbess of old, and there was something almost cloistral
    about her.’

She had a gift we all felt, of harmonising and quieting by her _presence_
alone; often too tired to say much, she could contribute the right word
to the talk for which Farringford was always notable. I have a special
memory of once dining with the Tennysons in the company of George Eliot
and Lord Acton, but it was Mrs. Tennyson’s gentle voice which seemed to
take the lead.

Tennyson had said: ‘I felt the peace of God come into my life at the
altar before which I married her.’ And after more than forty years of
marriage he dedicated his last book to her.

    ‘I thought to myself I would offer this work to you,
        This, and my love together,
        To you that are seventy-seven,
    With a faith as clear as the height of the June-blue heaven
        And a fancy as summer-new
    As the green of the bracken amid the gloom of the heather.’

The following paper left by Lady Tennyson concerning her husband might
seem almost too intimate to quote here, if it did not give so truly the
atmosphere at Farringford that one does not venture to omit it.

    ‘... He felt intensely the sin and all the evils of the world
    and all its mystery, and still kept an unshaken faith in the
    God of perfect love, perfect wisdom and infinite power, with
    that confident assurance of man’s immortality which pointed
    to a hereafter where all would be reconciled. “Be ye perfect
    as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” In the _life_ of
    Christ he found his Christianity; undisturbed by the jarring
    of sects and creeds. Politics were to him patriotism, and
    passionately did he feel for all that concerned the welfare of
    the Empire. Party, as far as his own personal opinion went,
    was unintelligible. That all should work conscientiously and
    harmoniously for the common good, each with such differing
    powers as God has given to each, recognising the value of the
    difference, this was his highest idea of Empire. He honoured
    all honest work.’


[1] He did most of his work for the Colonial Office from his sick bed,
and few Secretaries of State have done more important work than he.

[2] Tennyson would say, ‘some of those stupid critics say that King
Arthur is meant for Prince Albert. I never thought of him.’



_April 25, Tuesday._—On Saturday we were going to tea with friends at
Bray when just as we were starting H. (my husband) got an ‘official’ from
the Castle, so I went alone and he went to the Castle. News had come that
a boat had been taken off the Kerry coast, landing ammunition, and a very
important arrest had been made. Easter Sunday passed off in absolute
calm, and yesterday (Easter Monday) morning H. said he had a lot of
letters to write and he would go and write them at his Club, almost next
door to the Sackville Street General Post Office. He found he wanted to
answer some letters that were in his desk at the G.P.O. so he walked over
to his room and was just sitting down when his ’phone went, an urgent
message to go at once to the Castle.

He had only just arrived there and was in consultation with Sir M. N.
when suddenly a volley of shots rang out at the Castle Gate, and it
was found armed bodies of men were in possession of the City Hall and
other houses that commanded the other gates to the Castle, and anyone
attempting to leave the Castle was shot. All the officials in the Castle
were prisoners.

When N. (my son) came in about 12.30 I said we would walk down to the
Club and meet H. The streets were quiet and deserted till we crossed
O’Connell Bridge, when N. remarked there was a dense crowd round Nelson’s
Pillar, but we supposed it was a bank-holiday crowd waiting for trams.
We were close to the General Post Office, when two or three shots were
fired, followed by a volley, and the crowd began rushing down towards the
bridge, the people calling out ‘Go back, go back, the Sinn Feiners are
firing.’ N. said ‘You’d better go back, mother; there’s going to be a
row; I’ll go on to the Club and find Dad.’ So I turned and fled with the
crowd and got back safely to the hotel.

About 1.30 N. returned, having failed to find H., and we had an anxious
lunch. During lunch a telephone message came through saying H. was at the
Castle but could not leave.

At 3 P.M. N. told me all was quiet in Sackville Street and begged me to
go out and see the G.P.O.

I quaked rather, but we set off and reached Sackville Street safely.

Over the fine building of the G.P.O. floated a great green flag with
‘Irish Republic’ on it. Every window on the ground floor was smashed and
barricaded with furniture, and a big placard announced ‘The Headquarters
of the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic.’ At every window
were two men with rifles, and on the roof the parapet was lined with men.
H.’s room appeared not to have been touched and there were no men at his

We stood opposite and were gazing when suddenly two shots were fired,
and, seeing there was likely to be an ugly rush, I fled again.

At 11.30 P.M. H. walked in, to my immense relief. The troops had arrived,
2000 of them from the Curragh, at about 5 P.M., and had promptly stormed
the City Hall, which commanded the main gate of the Castle, and had taken
it after fierce fighting.

_Tuesday._—This morning we hear the military are pouring into the city.

All our valuables were stored in H.’s safe and cupboards when we gave up
our house, and all our dear F.’s books, sword, and all his possessions,
which we value more than anything else in the world; we would not trust
them with the stored furniture.

Yesterday afternoon the mob broke all the windows in various streets,
and looted all the shops. The streets were strewn with clothes, boots,
furniture, tram cushions, and everything you can imagine.

While I am writing now there is incessant firing in St. Stephen’s Green,
and we fear there may be street fighting in this street.

_Tuesday Evening._—H. and N. have just come in, having seen Dr. (now
Major) W., Surgeon to the Forces in Ireland. He told them that so far we
had had about 500 casualties, two-thirds of them being civilians shot in
the streets.

The first thing Dr. W. heard of the outbreak was a ’phone message
telling him to go at once to the Shelbourne, as a man had been shot. He
supposed it was a case of suicide, so jumped into his car and went off,
fortunately in mufti. In Nassau Street his car was stopped and he was
ordered by rebels to get out; he attempted to argue, and was told if he
did not obey instantly he would be shot. Had he been in uniform he would
have been shot at sight; as a civilian doctor they allowed him to go, and
he took his bag and ran. He found three men shot in the Shelbourne, and a
boy was shot as he reached the door.

After we got into bed a ’phone came that H. was to go at once to the
Viceregal Lodge in the Phœnix Park, so he dressed and tried every way to
get a motor; but of course no motor would go out. After some delay he got
the Field Ambulance of the Fire Brigade, at Dr. W.’s suggestion, but when
it came the men told H. they had been carrying wounded all day, and that
they had been constantly stopped by pickets, and the car searched, and if
they went, and the car was stopped and found to contain H., they would
undoubtedly all be shot. So H. considered it too risky and it had to be
abandoned, and eventually his Excellency gave his instructions over the
’phone, first in French, but that particular ’phone did not speak French!
So eventually he took the risk of the ’phone being tapped and gave them
in English.

While we were dressing a terrific bombardment with field guns began, the
first we had heard, and gave me cold shivers. It went on for a quarter
of an hour—awful! big guns and machine guns—and then ceased, but we hear
they were bombarding Liberty Hall, the headquarters of Larkin and the
strikers two years ago. The guns were on H.M.S. _Hecla_, that came up
the river and smashed it from within about fifty yards. It made one feel
quite sick.

H. has just been summoned to the Castle, and there is no knowing when he
will be back. All who go out carry their lives in their hands.

N. did a fine thing yesterday. After the Green had been raked by our
machine guns’ fire, he strolled up, in his casual way, to see the result.
In front of one of the side gates in the railings, which are seven feet
high and spiked three ways, he saw a small group of men peering into
the Green; he went to see what they were looking at. The rebels had
barricaded the gate, which opened inwards, by putting one of the heavy
garden seats against it upside down and on the top of it another right
side up, and lying full length on the seat, face downwards, was a man, a
civilian, with all his lower jaw blown away, and bleeding profusely! N.
immediately climbed the railings and dropped down on the Sinn Fein side,
and found that the man was still alive; he then turned and fairly cursed
the men who were looking on, and asked if there was not one man enough
to come over the railings and help him. Whereupon three men climbed over
and together they lifted down the seat with the poor creature on it,
and dragged away the other seat, when they were able to open the gate,
and they brought out the seat and the man on it, and carried him to the
nearest hospital, where he died in about five minutes.

N.’s theory is that he was probably one of the civilians taken prisoner
by the Sinn Fein the previous day, and was trying to escape from the
awful machine-gun fire when he was shot down and fell back on to the
seat. It was a terrible case.

_Friday_, 10 A.M.—N. is of course safer attached to the Red Cross than
roaming the streets making rescues on his own, and if he was killed one
should at least hear of it; but the risks are many and great, as in
street fighting the ambulances are constantly under fire.

Among other things they enter houses where there are known to be wounded
Sinn Feiners, and bring them out and take them to the hospitals.

This N. was doing yesterday. One of the most awful things in this
terrible time is that there must be scores of dead and dying Sinn
Feiners, many of them mere lads, that no one can get at in the houses,
where they will remain till after the rebellion; and in some cases the
houses take fire and they are burnt. However, whatever is possible is
being done.

All the afternoon an awful battle raged in the neighbourhood of the river
and quays, and the din of the great guns and machine guns was tremendous.
We now have 30,000 troops and plenty of artillery and machine guns, so
the result cannot be uncertain, though there is desperate work to be done
before the end is in sight.

I cannot give you any idea of what it was like when I went to bed; I
sent for Mrs. B., the manager’s wife, and together we watched it from my

It was the most awe-inspiring sight I have ever seen. It seemed as if
the whole city was on fire, the glow extending right across the heavens
and the red glare hundreds of feet high, while above the roar of the
fires the whole air seemed vibrating with the noise of the great guns and
machine guns. It was an inferno! We remained spellbound.

Yesterday Lord S. had a narrow escape from a sniper who has been worrying
this street for two days and could not be located. He was picking off
soldiers during the fighting in Grafton Street, but later turned his
attention to the cross streets between this and Grafton Street and there
as nearly as possible got Lord S., who was coming back to us from the

The military thought the man was on _our_ roof, which made us all whistle
with indignation—the mere idea of the wretch being on our hotel; but a
thorough search proved he was not here, though he evidently had access to
some roof.

Yesterday afternoon, when the firing in Grafton Street was over, the mob
appeared and looted the shops, clearing the great provision shops and

From the windows we watched the proceedings, and I never saw anything so
brazen! The mob were chiefly women and children, with a sprinkling of
men; they swarmed in and out of the side door, bearing huge consignments
of bananas, the great bunches on the stalk, to which the children
attached a cord and ran away dragging it along; other boys had big orange
boxes, which they filled with tinned and bottled fruits. Women with their
skirts held up received showers of apples and oranges and all kinds of
fruit which were thrown from the upper windows by their pals; and ankle
deep on the ground was all the pink and white and silver paper and paper
shavings used for packing choice fruits. It was an amazing sight! And
nothing daunted these people. Higher up, at another shop, we were told a
woman was hanging out of a window dropping down loot to a friend, when
she was shot through the head by a sniper, probably _our_ man. The body
dropped into the street and the mob cleared. In a few minutes a cart
appeared and gathered up the body, and instantly all the mob swarmed back
to continue the joyful proceedings!

H. and Lord S. were sitting at the window for a few minutes yesterday
when the fruit shop was being looted and saw one of the funniest sights
they had ever seen. A very fat, very blowsy old woman emerged from the
side street and staggered on to the pavement, laden with far more loot
than she could carry; in her arms she had an orange box full of fruit,
and under her shawl she had a great bundle tied up, which kept slipping
down; having reached the pavement, she put her box down and sat on it!
And from her bundle rolled forth many tins of fruit; these she surveyed
ruefully, calling on the Almighty and all the Saints to help her! From
these she solemnly made her selection, which she bound up in her bundle
and hoisted, with many groans and lamentations, on her back and made off
with, casting back many longing looks at the pile of things left on the
pavement, which were speedily disposed of by small boys!

Humour and tragedy are so intermixed in this catastrophe! A very delicate
elderly lady who is staying here said to me this morning, in answer to my
inquiry as to how she had slept:

‘I could not sleep at all; when the guns ceased the _awful silence_ made
me so nervous!’

I know exactly what she meant; when the roar of the guns ceases you can
_feel_ the silence.

_5 p.m._—Colonel C. has just come in, having been in the thick of it for
48 hours. He tells us the Post Office has been set on fire by the Sinn
Feiners who have left it. If this is true, and it probably is, I fear
we have lost all our valuable possessions, including my diamond pendant
which was in my jewel-case in H.’s safe.

To-day, about lunch-time, a horrid machine gun gave voice very near us,
also the sniper reappeared on the roofs and this afternoon was opposite
my bedroom window, judging from the sound. A man might be for weeks on
the roofs of these houses among the chimney-stacks and never be found as
long as he had access to some house for food. When we were working in my
room this afternoon he fired some shots which could not have been more
than twenty yards away.

I was almost forgetting to tell you how splendidly one of H.’s men
behaved when the G.P.O. was taken. When the rebels took possession they
demanded the keys from the man who had them in charge. He quietly handed
over the keys, having first abstracted the keys of H.’s room! Imagine
such self-possession at such a terrible moment.

_6.30 p.m._—A party of soldiers and a young officer have just arrived to
search the roof for the sniper. They say he is on the roof of the annexe,
which is connected with the main building by covered-in bridges. They are
now on the roof and shots are being fired, so I expect they have spotted

When N. was out last night another ambulance had a bad experience. They
had fetched three wounded Sinn Feiners out of a house and were taking
them to hospital, when they came under heavy fire; the driver was killed,
so the man beside him took the wheel and was promptly wounded in both
legs; the car then ran away and wrecked itself on a lamp-post. Another
ambulance had to run the gauntlet and go to the rescue! On the whole,
as far as possible the rebels have respected the Red Cross, but not the
white flag.

Guinness’s brewery have made three splendid armoured cars by putting
great long boilers, six feet in diameter, on to their great motor
lorries. Holes are bored down the sides to let in air, and they are
painted grey; the driver sits inside too; they each carry twenty-two
men or a ton of food in absolute security. N. saw them at the Castle
being packed with men; nineteen got in, packed like herrings, and three
remained outside; up came the sergeant.

‘Now then, gentlemen, move up, move up; the car held twenty-two
yesterday, it must hold twenty-two to-day,’ and in the unfortunate three
were stuffed. It must have been suffocating, but they were taken to their
positions in absolute safety!

_29th, Saturday, 4 p.m._—Sir M. N. has just rung up to say the rebels
have surrendered unconditionally. We have no details, and the firing
continues in various parts of the town; but if the leaders have
surrendered it can only be a question of a few hours before peace is
restored and we can go forth and look on the wreck and desolation of
this great city. So ends, we hope, this appalling chapter in the history
of Ireland, days of horror and slaughter comparable only to the Indian

_April 30, Sunday, 10 a.m._—This morning we hear the reports of the
burning of the whole of Sackville Street were exaggerated. The Imperial
Hotel, Clery’s great shop, and one or two others were burnt, but the
street as a whole escaped, and the Accountant’s Office and the Sackville
Street Club were not touched.

Here I must tell you how absolutely heroic the telephone girls have been
at the Exchange. It is in a building a considerable distance from the
G.P.O., and the Sinn Feiners have made great efforts to capture it. The
girls have been surrounded by firing; shots have several times come into
the switch-room, where the men took down the boards from the back of the
switch-boards and arranged them as shelters over the girls’ heads to
protect them from bullets and broken glass. Eight snipers have been shot
on buildings commanding the Exchange, and one of the guard was killed
yesterday, and these girls have never failed. They have been on duty
since yesterday, sleeping when possible in a cellar, and with indifferent
food, and have cheerfully and devotedly stuck to their post, doing the
work of forty. Only those on duty at the outbreak of the rebellion could
remain, those in their homes could never get back, so with the few men
who take the night duty these girls have kept the whole service going;
all telegrams have had to be sent by ‘’phone,’ and they have simply saved
the situation. It has been magnificent!

The shooting is by no means over, as many of the Sinn Fein strongholds
refuse to surrender. Jacob’s biscuit factory is very strongly held, and
when the rebels were called on to surrender they refused unless they
were allowed to march out carrying their arms!

It is said that when Jacob was told that the military might have to blow
up the factory he replied:

‘They may blow it to blazes for all I care; I shall never make another
biscuit in Ireland.’

I don’t know if this is true, but it very well may be, for he has been
one of the model employers in Dublin. He almost gave up the factory at
the time of the Larkin strike, and only continued it for the sake of his
people, and so it will be with the few great industries in the city.
Dublin is ruined!

Yesterday I made a joyful discovery. When we came back from Italy in
March, H. brought back from the office my large despatch-case, in which
I keep all F.’s letters. I did not remember what else was in it, so I
investigated and found my necklace with jewelled cross and the pink
topaz set—both of these, being in large cases, would not go into the
jewel-case,—also the large old paste buckle, so I am not absolutely
destitute of jewelry. But, best of all, there were the three little
handkerchiefs F. sent me from Armentières with my initial worked on them;
for these I was grieving more than for anything, and when I found them
the relief was so great I sat with them in my hand and cried!

This week has been a wonderful week for N. Never before has a boy of
just seventeen had such an experience. Yesterday morning he was at the
Automobile Club filling cans of petrol from casks for the Red Cross
ambulances; he came in to lunch reeking of petrol! In the afternoon he
went round with the Lord Mayor in an ambulance collecting food for forty
starving refugees from the burnt-out district, housed in the Mansion
House, and after tea went out for wounded and brought in an old man of
seventy-eight shot through the body. He was quite cheery over it and
asked N. if he thought he would recover. ‘Good Lord! Yes; why not?’ said
N., and bucked the old man up!

There is intermittent firing in all directions. I doubt if it will quite
cease for some days, as their strongholds will not surrender.

_May 1, 11 a.m._—I had no time to continue this yesterday, but during the
afternoon three of the rebel strongholds surrendered, Jacob’s, Boland’s,
and the College of Surgeons on St. Stephen’s Green. From this last
building 160 men surrendered and were marched down Grafton Street. It is
said that among them was Countess Marcovitz, dressed in a man’s uniform;
it is also said that the military made her take down the green Republican
flag flying over the building herself and replace it by a white one.
When she surrendered she took off her bandolier and kissed it and her
revolver before handing them to the officer. She has been one of the most
dangerous of the leaders. People who saw them marched down Grafton Street
said they held themselves erect, and looked absolutely defiant!

Yesterday H. revisited the Telephone Exchange and a point was cleared up
that had mystified everyone; and that is why, when the rebels on Easter
Monday took every building of importance and every strategic position,
did they overlook the Telephone Exchange? Had they taken it we should
have been absolutely powerless, unable to send messages or telegrams for
troops. The Exchange is situated in Crown Alley, off Dame Street, and
the Superintendent told H. an extraordinary story. It seems when they
had taken the G.P.O. they marched a detachment to take the Exchange,
when just as they were turning into Crown Alley an old woman rushed
towards them with arms held up calling out ‘Go back, go back; the place
is crammed with military.’ And, supposing it to be in the hands of our
troops, they turned back! This was at noon; at 5 P.M. our troops arrived
and took it over.

This saved the whole situation! Whether the woman was on our side, or if
she thought she had seen soldiers, will never be known....

I have just returned from walking round the G.P.O. and Sackville
Street with H. and some of the officials. It passes all my powers of
description; only one word describes it: ‘desolation.’ If you look at
pictures of Ypres or Louvain after the bombardment, it will give you some
idea of the scene.

We looked up through the windows of the G.P.O. and saw the safe that was
in H.’s room still in the wall, and the door does not appear to have been
opened or the safe touched; but the whole place has been such an inferno,
one would think that door must have been red-hot. Among all the débris
the fire was still smouldering, and we could not penetrate inside. Do you
realise that out of all H.’s library he does not possess a single book,
except one volume of his Dante, and I not even a silver teaspoon!

Everything belonging to F. has gone; as he gave his life in the war, so
an act of war has robbed us of everything belonging to him, our most
precious possession!

_May 2, 10 a.m._—Last evening I walked all round the ruined district.
The streets were thronged with people, and threading their way among
the crowd were all sorts of vehicles—carts carrying the bodies of dead
horses, that had been shot the first day and lain in the streets ever
since; Fire Brigade ambulances followed by Irish cars bringing priests
and driven by Fire Brigade men. The motors with Red Cross emblems,
carrying white-jacketed doctors, would dart along, followed by a trail of
Red Cross nurses on bicycles, in their print dresses and white overalls,
their white cap ends floating behind them, all speeding on their errand
of mercy to the stricken city.

From time to time we came across on the unwashed pavement the large
dark stain telling its own grim story, and in some places the blood had
flowed along the pavement for some yards and down into the gutters; but
enough of horrors. We came sadly back, and on the steps we met Mr. O’B.
returning from a similar walk. He could hardly speak of it, and said he
stood in Sackville Street and cried, and many other men did the same.

Out of all the novel experiences of the last eight days, two things
struck me very forcibly. The first is that under circumstances that might
well have tried the nerves of the strongest, there has been no trace of
fear or panic among the people in the hotel, either among the guests or
staff. Anxiety for absent friends of whom no tidings could be heard,
though living only in the next square, one both felt and heard, but of
fear for their own personal safety I have seen not one trace, and the
noise of battle after the first two days seemed to produce nothing but
boredom. The other fact is a total absence of thankfulness at our own

It may come, I don’t know; others may feel it, I don’t. I don’t pretend
to understand it, but so it is. Life as it has been lived for the last
two years in the midst of death seems to have blunted one’s desire for
it, and completely changed one’s feelings towards the Hereafter.



‘Our artillery and automobiles have saved Verdun,’ French officers and
soldiers were continually telling me. And as I look back on two months of
ambulance-driving in the attack, it seems to me that automobiles played
a larger part than even the famous ‘seventy-fives,’ for without motor
transport there would have been no ammunition and no food. One shell,
accurately placed, will put a railway communication out of the running,
but automobiles must be picked off one by one as they come within range.

The picture of the attack that will stay with me always is that of the
Grande Route north from Bar-le-Duc, covered with the snow and ice of the
last days of February. The road was always filled with two columns of
trucks, one going north and the other coming south. The trucks, loaded
with troops, shells, and bread, rolled and bobbled back and forth with
the graceless, uncertain strength of baby elephants. It was almost
impossible to steer them on the icy roads. Many of them fell by the
wayside, overturned, burned up, or were left apparently unnoticed in the
ceaseless tide of traffic that never seemed to hurry or to stop.

All night and all day it continued. Soon the roads began to wear out.
Trucks brought stones from the ruins of the Battle of the Marne and
sprinkled them in the ruts and holes; soldiers, dodging in and out of
the moving cars, broke and packed the stones or sprinkled sand on the
ice-covered hillsides. But the traffic was never stopped for any of these
things. The continuous supply had its effect on the demand. There were
more troops than were needed for the trenches, so they camped along the
road or in the fields. Lines of _camions_ ran off the road and unloaded
the reserve of bread; the same thing was done with the meat, which kept
well enough in the snow; and the shells, which a simple _camouflage_ of
white tarpaulins effectually hid from the enemy airmen.

At night, on the main road, I have watched for hours the dimmed lights of
the _camions_, winding away north and south like the coils of some giant
and luminous snake which never stopped and never ended. It was impressive
evidence of a great organisation that depended and was founded on the
initiative of its members. Behind each light was a unit, the driver,
whose momentary negligence might throw the whole line into confusion.
Yet there were no fixed rules to save him from using his brain quickly
and surely as each crisis presented itself. He must be continually awake
to avoid any one of a thousand possible mischances. The holes and ice on
the road, his skidding car, the cars passing in the same and opposite
directions, the cars in front and behind, the cars broken down on the
sides of the road—all these and many other things he had to consider
before using brake or throttle in making his way along. Often snow and
sleet storms were added to make driving more difficult. Objects six feet
away were completely invisible, and it was only by watching the trees
along the side of the road that one could attempt to steer.

I was connected with the _Service des Autos_ as a driver in Section No.
2 of the Field Service of the American Ambulance of Neuilly. We had
the usual French section of twenty ambulances and one staff car, but,
unlike the other sections, we had only one man to a car. There were two
officers, one the Chief of Section, Walter Lovell, a graduate of Harvard
University and formerly a member of the Boston Stock Exchange; and
George Roder, Mechanical Officer, in charge of the supply of parts and
the repair of cars. Before the war, he was a promising bacteriologist
in the Rockefeller Institute. Our section was one of five which compose
the field service of the American Ambulance, and are located at various
points along the front from Dunkirk to the Vosges. The general direction
of the Field Service is in the hands of A. Piatt Andrew, formerly
professor at Harvard and Assistant Secretary of the United States
Treasury. He has organised the system by which volunteers and funds are
obtained in America, and is the responsible link between the work of the
service and the will of the French authorities.

In each of the five sections there are twenty drivers, all Americans and
volunteers. Most of them are college men who have come over from the
United States to ‘do their bit’ for France and see the war at the same
time. Certainly our section was gathered from the four corners of the
‘States.’ One, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, had worked
for two years on the Panama Canal as an engineer; another, an Alaskan,
had brought 200 dogs over for the French Government, to be used for
transportation in the Vosges; a third was a well-known American novelist
who had left his home at Florence to be a chauffeur for France. There
were also two architects, a New York undertaker, several soi-disant
students, and a man who owned a Mexican ranch that was not sufficiently
flourishing to keep him at home.

The term of service required by the French authorities is now six months,
though, of course, some of the men have been in the section since the
Battle of the Marne. We all got five sous a day and rations as privates
in the French army, which was represented in our midst by a lieutenant, a
_maréchal de logis_, a mechanic, and a cook.

On February 22 our French lieutenant gave us our ‘order to move,’ but
all he could tell us about our destination was that we were going north.
We started from Bar-le-Duc about noon, and it took us six hours to make
forty miles through roads covered with snow, swarming with troops,
and all but blocked by convoys of food carts and sections of trucks.
Of course, we knew that there was an attack in the neighbourhood of
Verdun, but we did not know who was making it or how it was going. Then
about four o’clock in the short winter twilight we passed two or three
regiments of French colonial troops on the march with all their field
equipment. I knew who and what they were by the curious Eastern smell
that I had always before associated with camels and circuses. They were
lined up on each side of the road around their soup kitchens, which were
smoking busily, and I had a good look at them as we drove along.

It was the first time I had seen an African army in the field, and though
they had had a long march they were cheerful and in high spirits at the
prospect of battle. They were all young, active men, and of all colours
and complexions, from blue-eyed blonds to shiny blacks. They all wore
khaki and brown shrapnel casques bearing the trumpet insignia of the
French sharpshooter. We were greeted with laughter and chaff, for the
most part, in an unknown chatter, but now and again some one would say,
‘Hee, hee, Ambulance Americaine,’ or ‘Yes, Ingliish, Good-bye.’

I was fortunate enough to pick up one of their non-commissioned officers
with a bad foot who was going our way. He was born in Africa, which
accounted for his serving in the colonials, though his mother was
American and his father French. From him I learned that the Germans were
attacking at Verdun, and that, to everyone’s surprise, they were trying
to drive the point of the salient south instead of cutting it off from
east to west. As we were passing along, one of his men shouted something
to him about riding in an ambulance, and I remarked that they all seemed
in a very good humour. ‘Oh yes,’ he answered; ‘we’re glad to be on the
move, as we’ve been _en repos_ since autumn in a small quiet place south
of Paris.’ ‘But it means trouble,’ he added proudly, ‘their sending
us up, for we are never used except in attacks, and were being saved
for the summer. Six hundred have been killed in my company since the
beginning, so I have seen something of this war. Now my regiment is mixed
up with two others, and altogether we make about 4000 men.’

As we talked, I realised that his was a different philosophy from that of
the ordinary _poilu_ that I had been carrying. Certainly he loved France
and was at war for her; but soldiering was his business and fighting was
his life. Nothing else counted. He had long since given up any thought of
coming out alive, so the ordinary limitations of life and death did not
affect him. He wanted to fight and last as long as possible to leave a
famous name in his regiment, and to add as many _citations_ as possible
to the three medals he had already gained. He was the only man I ever met
who was really eager to get back to the trenches, and he said to me with
a smile when I stopped to let him off, ‘Thanks for the lift, my old, but
I hope you don’t have to carry me back.’

After that we rode north along the Meuse, through a beautiful country
where the snow-covered hills, with their sky-lines of carefully pruned
French trees, made me think of masterpieces of Japanese art. In the many
little villages there was much excitement and activity with troops,
artillery, and munitions being rushed through to the front, and the
consequent wild rumours of great attacks and victories. Curiously enough,
there were few who thought of defeat. They were all sure, even when a
retreat was reported, that the French were winning, and that spirit of
confidence had much to do with stopping the Germans.

At about six in the evening we reached our destination some forty miles
north-east of Bar-le-Duc. The little village where we stopped had been a
railroad centre until the day before, when the Germans started bombarding
it. Now the town was evacuated, and the smoking station deserted. The
place had ceased to exist, except for a hospital which was established on
the southern edge of the town in a lovely old chateau, overlooking the
Meuse. We were called up to the hospital as soon as we arrived to take
such wounded as could be moved to the nearest available railhead, which
was ten miles away, on the main road, and four miles south of Verdun. We
started out in convoy, but with the then conditions of traffic, it was
impossible to stick together, and it took some of us till five o’clock
the next morning to make the trip. That was the beginning of the attack
for us, and the work of ‘evacuating’ the wounded to the railway stations
went steadily on until March 15. It was left to the driver to decide
how many trips it was physically possible for him to make in each
twenty-four hours. There were more wounded than could be carried, and no
one could be certain of keeping any kind of schedule with the roads as
they then were.

Sometimes we spent five or six hours waiting at a cross-road, while
columns of troops and their equipment filed steadily by. Sometimes
at night we could make a trip in two hours that had taken us ten in
daylight. Sometimes, too, we crawled slowly to a station only to find
it deserted, shells falling, and the hospital moved to some still more
distant point of the line. Situations and conditions changed from day to
day—almost from hour to hour. One day it was sunshine and spring, with
roads six inches deep in mud, no traffic, and nothing to remind one of
war, except the wounded in the car and the distant roar of the guns,
which sounded like a giant beating a carpet. The next day it was winter
again, with mud turned to ice, the roads blocked with troops, and the
Germans turning hell loose with their heavy guns.

In such a crisis as those first days around Verdun, ammunition and
fresh men are the all-essential things. The wounded are the _déchets_,
the ‘has-beens’, and so must take second place. But the French are too
gallant and tender-hearted not to make sacrifices. I remember one morning
I was slapped off the road into a ditch with a broken axle, while passing
a solitary _camion_. The driver got down, came over, and apologised for
the accident, which was easily half my fault. Then we unloaded four
cases of ‘seventy-five’ shells that he was carrying, and put my three
wounded in on the floor of his car. He set out slowly and carefully up
the ice-covered road, saying to me with a smile as he left, ‘Don’t let
the Boches get my marmites while I’m gone.’ For some time I sat there
alone on the road, watching the shells break on a hill some miles away
to the north, and wondering when I could get word back to the ‘base’ of
my mishap. Then a staff car appeared down the road making its way along
slowly and with difficulty, because, being without chains, it skidded
humorously with engine racing and the chauffeur trying vainly to steer.
There was a captain of the _Service des Autos_ sitting on the front seat,
and he was so immaculately clean and well groomed that he seemed far away
from work of any kind. But when the car stopped completely about half-way
up the little hill on which I was broken down, he jumped out, took off
his fur coat, and using it to give the rear wheels a grip on the ice, he
swung it under the car. As the wheels passed over it, he picked it up and
swung it under again. So the car climbed the hill and slid down the other
slope round the curve and out of sight. It was just another incident
that made me realise the spirit and energy of the French Automobile
Service. But the captain had not solved any of my difficulties. He had
been too busy to notice me or wonder why an American ambulance was
sprawled in a ditch with four cases of shells alongside.

I had been waiting there in the road about two hours when another
American came by and took back word of my accident and of the parts
necessary to set it right. Then about noon my friend came back in his
_camion_ to take up his cases of shells and report my wounded safe at the
railway station. We lunched together on the front seat of the _camion_ on
bread, tinned ‘monkey meat,’ and red wine, while he told me stories about
his life as a driver. He had been on his car then for more than twenty
days without leaving it for food or sleep. That morning his ‘partner’ had
been wounded by a shell, so he had to drive all that day alone. Usually
the two men drive two hours, turn and turn about; while one is driving,
the other can eat, sleep, or read the day before yesterday’s newspaper.
The French _camions_ are organised in sections of twenty. Usually each
section works in convoy, and has its name and mark painted on its cars.
I saw some with elephants or ships, some with hearts or diamonds, clubs
or spades, some with dice—in fact every imaginable symbol has been used
to distinguish the thousands of sections in the service. The driver
told me there were more than ten thousand trucks working between Verdun
and Bar-le-Duc. There is great rivalry between the men of the several
sections in matters of speed and load—especially between the sections of
French and those of American or Italian cars. The American product has
the record for speed, which is, however, offset by its frequent need of

My friend told me about trips he had made up as far as the third line
trenches, and how they were using ‘seventy-fives’ like machine-guns in
dug-outs, where the shells were fired at ‘zero’ so that they exploded
immediately after leaving the mouth of the gun. The French, he said,
would rather lose guns than men, and according to him, there were so many
guns placed in the ‘live’ parts of the sector that the wheels touched,
and so formed a continuous line.

As soon as we had finished lunch he left me, and I waited for another
two hours until the American staff car (in other surroundings I should
call it an ordinary Ford touring car with a red cross or so added), came
along loaded with an extra ‘rear construction,’ and driven by the chief
himself. It took us another four hours to remove my battered rear axle
and put in the new parts, but my car was back in service by midnight.

That was a typical instance of the kind of accident that was happening,
and there were about three ‘Ford casualties’ every day. Thanks to the
simplicity of the mechanism of the Ford, and to the fact that, with the
necessary spare parts, the most serious indisposition can be remedied
in a few hours, our section has been at the front for a year—ten months
in the Bois-le-Prêtre, and two months at Verdun—without being sent back
out of service for general repairs. In the Bois-le-Prêtre we had carried
the wounded from the dressing stations to the first hospital, while at
Verdun we were on service from the hospital to the railheads. In this
latter work of _évacuation_ the trips were much longer, thirty to ninety
miles, so the strain on the cars was correspondingly greater. As our
cars, being small and fast, carried only three wounded on stretchers or
five seated, our relative efficiency was low in comparison with the wear
and tear of the ‘running gear’ and the amount of oil and petrol used. But
in the period from February 22 to March 13, twenty days, with an average
of eighteen cars working, we carried 2046 wounded 18,915 miles. This
would be no record on good open roads, but with the conditions I have
already described I think it justified the existence of our volunteer
organisation—if it needed justification. Certainly the French thought so,
but they are too generous to be good judges.

Except for our experiences on the road, there was little romance in
the daily routine. True, we were under shell fire, and had to sleep in
our cars or in a much-inhabited hayloft, and eat in a little inn, half
farmhouse and half stable, where the food was none too good and the
cooking none too clean; but we all realised that the men in the trenches
would have made of such conditions a luxurious paradise, so that kept us
from thinking of it as anything more than a rather strenuous ‘camping

During the first days of the attack, the roads were filled with refugees
from the town of Verdun and the country north of it. As soon as the
bombardment started, civilians were given five hours to leave, and we
saw them—old men, women, and children—struggling along through the snow
on their way south. It was but another of those sad migrations that
occur so often in the ‘Zone des Armées.’ The journey was made difficult
and often dangerous for them by the columns of skidding trucks, so the
more timid took to the fields or the ditches at the roadside. They were
for the most part the _petits bourgeois_ who had kept their shops open
until the last minute, to make the town gay for the troops, who filed
through the Promenade de la Digue in an endless queue on their way to
and from the trenches. Most of them had saved nothing but the clothes
on their backs, though I saw one old woman courageously trundling a
barrow overflowing with laces, post cards, bonbons (doubtless the famous
_Dragées Verdunoises_), and other similar things which had been part of
her stock-in-trade, and with which she would establish a Verdun souvenir
shop when she found her new home. There were many peasant carts loaded
with every imaginable article of household goods from stoves to bird
cages, but no matter what else a cart might contain, there was always a
mattress with the members of the family, old and young, bouncing along on
top. So ubiquitous was this mattress that I asked about it, and was told
that the French peasant considers it the most important of his Lares, for
it is there his babies are born and his old people die—there too, is the
family bank, the hiding-place for the _bas de laine_.

All the people, no matter what their class or station, were excited. Some
were resigned, some weeping, some quarrelling, but every face reflected
terror and suffering, for these derelicts had been suddenly torn from the
ruins of their old homes and their old lives after passing through two
days of the heaviest bombardment the world has ever seen.

I did not wonder at their grief or terror when I had seen the town from
which they fled. Sometimes it is quiet, with no shells and no excitement;
at others it is a raging hell, a modern Pompeii in the ruining. Often I
passed through the town, hearing and seeing nothing to suggest that any
enemy artillery was within range. But one morning I went up to take a
doctor to a near-by hospital, and had just passed under one of the lovely
old twelfth-century gates, with its moat and towers, when the Germans
commenced their morning hate. I counted 150 shells, ‘arrivés,’ in the
first quarter of an hour.

After making my way up on the old fortifications in the north-eastern
quarter, I had an excellent view of the whole city—a typical garrison
town of Northern France spreading over its canals and river up to the
Citadel and Cathedral on the heights. Five and six shells were shrieking
overhead at the same time, and a corresponding number of houses in the
centre of the town going up in dust and débris, one after another, almost
as fast as I could count.

During this bedlam a military gendarme strolled up as unconcerned as if
he had been looking out for a stranger in the Champs Elysées. He told
me about a dug-out that was somewhere ‘around the corner.’ But we both
got so interested watching the shells and their effect that we stayed
where we were. The gendarme had been in the town long enough to become
an authority on bombardments, and he could tell me the different shells
and what they were hitting, from the coloured smoke which rose after each
explosion and hung like a pall over the town in the windless spring air.
When the shells fell on the Cathedral—often there were three breaking
on and around it at the same time—there sprang up a white cloud, while
on the red tiles and zinc roofs they exploded in brilliant pink and
yellow puffs. The air was filled with the smell of the burning celluloid
and coal-tar products used in the manufacture of the high explosive
and incendiary shells. It was very impressive, and even my friend the
gendarme said, ‘_C’est chic, n’est-ce pas?_ It’s the heaviest rain we
have had for several days.’ Then he pointed to the left where a column
of flame and smoke, heavier than that from the shells, was rising, and
said, ‘Watch them now, and you’ll understand their system, the _cochons_.
That’s a house set afire with their incendiary shells, and now they will
throw shrapnel around it to keep our firemen from putting it out.’ And so
they did, for I could see the white puffs of the six-inch shrapnel shells
breaking in and around the column of black smoke, which grew denser
all the time. Then two German Taubes, taking advantage of the smoke,
came over and dropped bombs, for no other reason than to add terror to
the confusion. But the eighty firemen, a brave little band brought up
from Paris with their hose-carts and engine, refused to be confused or
terrified. Under the shells and smoke we could see the streams of water
playing on the burning house. ‘They are working from the cellars,’ said
the gendarme. It was fortunate there was no wind, for that house was
doomed, and but for the fact that all the buildings were stone, the fire
would have spread over all that quarter of the town despite the gallantry
of the firemen.

The bombardment continued steadily for about two hours and a half, until
several houses were well alight and many others completely destroyed.
Then about noon it stopped as suddenly as it had started. I wanted to go
down and watch the firemen work, but the gendarme, who had produced an
excellent bottle of no ordinary ‘_pinard_,’ said, ‘Wait awhile, my old,
that is part of the system. They have only stopped to let the people
come out. In a few minutes it will start again, when they will have more
chance of killing somebody.’

But for once he was wrong, and after waiting with him for half an hour,
I went down to the first house I had seen catch fire. The firemen
were still there, working with hose and axe to prevent the fire from
spreading. The four walls of the house were still standing, but inside
there was nothing but a furnace which glowed and leapt into flame with
every draught of air, so that the sparks flew over the neighbouring
houses, and started other fires which the firemen were busy controlling.
These _pompiers_ are no longer civilians. The black uniform and gay
brass and leather helmet of Paris fashion have been replaced with the
blue-grey of the _poilu_, with the regulation steel shrapnel casque or
_bourguignotte_. The French press has had many accounts of their heroism
since the beginning of the attack. Certainly if any of the town is left,
it will be due to their efforts among the ruins. There are only eighty of
them in the town. Half of them are men too old for ‘_active service_,’
yet they have stayed there for two months working night and day under the
shells, with the strain of the bombardment added to the usual dangers
from falling walls and fire. They are still as gay and eager as ever.
Their spirit and motto is the same as that of every soldier and civilian
who is doing hard work in these hard times. They all say, ‘It is war,’ or
more often, ‘It is for France.’

I left them saving what they could of the house, and walked on over the
river through the town. It is truly the Abomination of Desolation. The
air was heavy and hot with the smell of explosives and the smoke from the
smouldering ruins. Not a sound broke the absolute quiet and not a soul
was in sight. I saw two dogs and a cat all slinking about on the search
for food, and evidently so crazed with terror that they could not leave
their old homes. Finally, crossing over the canal, where the theatre, now
a heap of broken beams and stones, used to stand, I met an old bearded
Territorial leaning over the bridge with a net in his hand to dip out
fish killed by the explosion of the shells in the water. He did not
worry about the danger of his position on the bridge, and, like all true
fishermen, when they have had good luck, he was happy and philosophical.
‘One must live,’ said he, ‘and it’s very amiable of the Boches to keep us
in fish with their marmites, _n’est-ce pas, mon vieux_?’ We chatted for a
while of bombardments, falling walls, and whether the Germans would reach
Verdun. He, of course, like every soldier in that region, was volubly
sure they would not. Then I went on up the hill towards the Cathedral, by
the old library, which was standing with doors and windows wide open, and
with the well-ordered books still on the tables and in the shelves. As
yet it is untouched by fire or shell, but too near the bridge to escape
for long.

I continued my way through streets filled with fallen wires, broken
glass, and bits of shell. Here and there were dead horses and broken
waggons caught in passing to or from the lines. There is nothing but
ruins left of the lovely residential quarter below the Cathedral. The
remaining walls of the houses, gutted by flame and shell, stand in a
wavering line along a street, blocked with débris, and with furniture and
household articles that the firemen have saved. The furniture is as safe
in the middle of the street as anywhere else in the town. As I passed
along I could hear from time to time the crash and roar of falling walls,
and see the rising clouds of white stone dust that has settled thickly

The Cathedral, with its Bishop’s Palace and cloisters—all fine old
structures of which the foundations were laid in the eleventh and twelfth
centuries—must from its commanding position overlooking the town, be
singled out for destruction. I watched ten shells strike the Cathedral
that one morning, and some of them were the terrible ‘380’s,’ the shells
of the 16-inch mortars, which make no noise as they approach and tear
through to the ground before their explosion.

The interior of the Cathedral, blurred with a half-inch layer of stone
dust, is in most ‘unchurchly’ disorder. Four or five shells have torn
large holes through the roof of the nave, and twice as many more have
played havoc with the chapels and aisles at the side. One has fallen
through the gilded canopy over the high altar and broken one of the four
supporting columns, which before were monoliths like those of St. Peter’s
at Rome. Of course, most of the stained glass windows are scattered
in fragments over the floor, and through the openings on the southern
side I could see the ruins of the cloisters, with some chairs and a bed
literally falling into them from a room of the Bishop’s Palace above.

This destruction of the Cathedral is typical of the purposeless barbarity
of the whole proceeding. The wiping out of the town can serve no military
purpose. There are no stores of munitions or railway communications to
be demolished. Naturally there are no troops quartered in the town, and
now all extensive movements of convoys are conducted by other roads than
those leading through the town. Yet the bombardment continues day after
day, and week after week. The Germans are sending in about £5,000,000
worth of shells a month. ‘It’s spite,’ a _poilu_ said to me; ‘they have
made up their minds to destroy the town since they can’t capture it; but
it will be very valuable as an iron mine after the war.’



    _In Agypt’s land on banks of Noile_
    _King Pharaoh’s royal daughter went to bath in shtoile;_
    _She had her dip and hied into the land,_
    _To dry her royal pelt she ran along the sand._
    _A Bulrush thripped her and at her foot she saw_
    _The little Moases, in a wad of sthraw._

                    Fragment, _The Finding of Moses_, ANON.

Never in the cinema of all time have there been such films to record as
on the stage of Egypt. Certain localities are preordained to attract
the come and go of the world, and before all others the Nile delta
has this property. Its strategical location in the world’s assembling
has compelled the holders of power and might and majesty and dominion
to crowd therein. No decay of empires can affect the significance of
geographical siting. Mena and Cheops and Khefren give place to Amenemhats
and Thotmes and a host of Rameses, who yield in turn to such modernities
as the Ptolemies, but the Nile remains the Nile, and the Red Sea the
waterway from East to West.

As Darius and Xerxes and Alexander were compelled by the call of
strategical law, so came Salah-ud-Din and Napoleon and Ferdinand de
Lesseps and Sir Garnet Wolseley. And here, too, would come William of
Hohenzollern, boasting to break the spine of the British Empire, in the
vertebræ that Chesney planned and De Lesseps made.

Between Alexander the Great and William of Hohenzollern the host of
moderns has been legion, but it was for Napoleon and his dreams of
Eastern Empire to bring the British into the scene to short circuit their
sea routes. Since the Corsican brought his legions, his savants, and his
artists to the Pyramids, the English have entered into the joint control
of the Levant, and to help them have brought the armies of India. With
Abercromby came David Baird and his sepoys. Sir Garnet Wolseley, in
Egypt and in the Soudan, had Indian troops to help him, and now, lest
William of Hohenzollern and his Ottoman allies should ‘break the British
spine,’ and disturb the peace and plenty of Egypt, not only has India
sent troops, but all elements of the Empire far and near. Never, even in
the days of Alexander’s armies, had so many varied contingents garrisoned
Egypt, as came when the Hun threatened the Canal in force.

In the late autumn of 1915, what time Serbia was broken on the wheel, the
Hun determined to overrun Egypt and Sinai and Goshen, breaking thereby
the British spine. But the Mistress of the Sea said No. The army of
Gallipoli was conjured back from the Hellespont and the outer Empire sent
its levies, and the great plans of the All-Highest were ‘postponed.’

The force gathered in Egypt was the most wonderful combination of the
Empire that can be imagined. To the gathering came first and most famous
a division of the old army, the army that has held the line from the
Yser to the Aisne, and lies in a grave and lives in a memory for its
guerdon, the world round. With them were Territorial divisions, and
divisions of the new army, brigades of yeomen, divisions from Australia
and New Zealand, the Maoris cheek by jowl with the white, a model in this
respect to the rest of the Empire. Not only was the Indian army proper
there—Gurkha, Sikh, and Pathan in due and ancient form—but the armies of
the protected states, those imperial service contingents, the wisdom of
their conception yearly more apparent. But the tally of Empire ended not
with Gwalior, Mysore, and Bikaneer. Hospitals from Canada, Sambo from
the West Indies cleaning his rifle to Moody and Sankey hymns, and the
Afrikander corps of Dutch and English added to that pageant of Empire,
standing four-square with the troops of the Sultan himself.

Strategically to the world’s power and commerce, the situation of Egypt
is as favourable now as in the days of Alexander, and troops are as well
placed there against emergency as anywhere, and as the danger to Egypt
lessened were ready to be sent by those who rule the sea North, South,
East, or West. Troops can come and go and be switched back quicker than
foes can assemble.

The defending of the canal, a waterless tract, void of roads in
its immediate vicinity, is no easy matter and a subject of much
controversy, the manner of its defence depending, like that of most
other localities, on the troops available and the strength of the enemy
threat. The difficulties have been overcome by a herculean effort. Atkins
bathes happily in its water, and watches the ships of allies and of
neutrals—those lesser breeds who wait—pass us safely.

To most of the English the canal has seemed a desert track dotted with
lonely _gares_, akin in their solitude to a Red Sea lighthouse. A further
acquaintance with them has dispelled many imaginings. The _gares_, the
friendly _chefs de gare_, and their brimming quivers have assumed a
different aspect from their ancient one of milestones on the road to

British patrols thread the ancient course of the Nile now dry, the
Pelusiac and Tanaitic channels that found the sea east of the canal and
explain the delta-like lagoons that still remain. The ruins of Pelusium
and the ancient channel explain how Cleopatra, defeated on the high seas,
escaped by water inland to Damietta, and how the Holy Family found the
road to Egypt far easier than it is now. Across Lake Menzalah from Port
Said lie the ruins of Tanais, the capital of the Pharaohs in the time
of Moses. El Qantara, a British post, closes the road from Palestine to
Egypt that has run since time was, and that has seen in our own time the
legions of Napoleon march by the bridge over the arm of the marsh for
Syria. ‘_Partant pour la Syrie_’ with a vengeance, many, poor souls, to
die miserably.

And no doubt over the El Qantara rode also the _savants_ in their
high hats and veils, their long _directoire_ coats and their striped
pantaloons—like any member of the various royal societies of to-day, but
with the chill off—while the escorting _chasseurs_ chaffed them and their

So to-day Port Said and Suez and Ismailia and Cairo are full of the
soldiery, and a wide camp is spread under the Pyramid of Ghizr, and
young officers walk along the groyne at Port Said, asking ‘what is the
history of that funny old green statue’ which stands a wonder of the
world, like the _Phare_ in ancient Alexandria. Shades of Ferdinand de
Lesseps and Rawdon Chesney! What, indeed, is the history of that ‘funny
old green statue,’ and the ‘spine of the British Empire’ as the Hun
has immortalised it? It is a phrase for which we may thank William of

The mass of the force in Egypt transferred from Gallipoli, rage the
‘_unterseebote_’ never so fiercely, is resting and retraining. If you’ve
been six months on Gallipoli you’ll run a mile to see a nursing sister,
and both Atkins and his officers are soft of heart. Graceful Cairenes in
French cut skirts of black _crépe de chine_ with ever the topmost button
undone, with black head-shawls of the same material, and evanescent veils
that faintly cloud to distraction the face below the eyes, are strong
wine for young soldiers. So attractive is the dress that the old hand
will tell you that many another than Cairenes will don the dress when
out for a spree—a disguise that also enhances attraction is a good find,

Atkins himself and Hotspur the yeoman are nothing if not gallant. Here is
a true story from Port Said. Time about 8 P.M. Attractive English lady
hears two soldiers walking fast behind who come up one on either side.

FIRST SOLDIER. Beg pardon, miss, do you speak English?


BOTH SOLDIERS. Oh, you are English!

FIRST SOLDIER. I think we saw you waving out of the window.

ATTRACTIVE LADY. I think you are mistaking me for Mrs. Brown’s nursemaid!

SECOND SOLDIER (_severely_). You must be an ass to take this young lady
for a nursemaid!

BOTH SOLDIERS. Perhaps we ought not to have spoken, but we are very
lonely—may we walk with you?

ATTRACTIVE LADY. I am going this way.

FIRST SOLDIER. Would you tell us who you are, miss?

ATTRACTIVE LADY. I am the chaplain’s sister. (_Sensation and silence._)

FIRST SOLDIER (_plucking up courage_). We never saw a chaplain’s sister
like you before.

SECOND SOLDIER. No, indeed, only one I knew was enough to give you the

ATTRACTIVE LADY (_somewhat flattered, stopping at door of a house under a
street lamp_). I must say good-night now. I live here.

BOTH SOLDIERS. Now we see you we are sorry we spoke to you, for we can
see you are more one for the officers than for us.


And so it runs from Putney to Port Said, and from Cambridge to Cairo.
Soldiers are very susceptible gents, as the late Francis Bacon knew and
so stated.

And while one big army has delved and dug and built on the canal and
taken toll of Sinai, another force has chased the Senussi up and down
the Western desert, and yeomen from the shires have watered their horses
at the garden steps of the week-end villa at Matrush, where Antony
entertained Cleopatra. This is no doubt foretold by one of the minor
prophets whom Voltaire considered _capable de tout_. It is certainly a
dramatic event for those who moralise on empires’ rise and wane.

Hardly less striking is the prolonged pursuit and charge of the Senussi
by His Grace of Westminster at the head of the motor bandits—as the army
_will_ call the armoured motor-car—in that same Western desert. The
hyacinth and the iris grew for a wonder on surface free from shifting
sands, and the armoured car trick was brought off in a fashion and with
a dash that its promoters could hardly have hoped for in their most
enthusiastic moments.

War has brought many surprises and troubles to the desert and its
denizens. In Sinai, where the Bedouin lives by the date palm, there has
come starvation, and why? Because the female date must be fertilised by
hand, and the male dates are few and far between. The date fertiliser is
a skilled professional and lives in Egypt, and Turks in Sinai have meant
that date trees go unwed. The which is a parable. There is no remedy
save perhaps one similar to that suggested by the American mayor to the
man who complained that the ‘wather had come into me back cellar and
drowned all me hins.’ ‘Young man, I should advise you to keep ducks,’
and the Bedouin might grow the hermaphrodite date. In the country of the
scarabæus it might well be found as Alexander’s soldiers left it on the
Indus. If war has brought harm to some, it has in Egypt brought profit
to the many, and the Greek is ever ready to trade, and merchants one and
all have risen to the occasion and waxed fat. In Alexandria the Greek
influence is very great and sympathy with the Allies considerable. The
Greek will tell you they come of a northern stock, and will quote the
body worship of the _bel âge_ to illustrate affinity with the English,
and that Greeks alone of all Levantine races or Latin races either have
pronounced ‘_th_’ since time was like the English—which, be it true or
false, all makes for good trade. The soldiery all the year are better
than the Americans in the winter, and Young Australia has money to spend.

Another wonder of the ages is that Egypt from the Pyramids to Tel el
Kebir should be the Aldershot of the Australians and New Zealanders,
where Tommy Cornstalk learns to obey for a common cause and to let off
steam in the process.

And over it all grin in the morning sun the Ethiopian lips of the
Sphinx—noting one more trivial mark of chalk on granite, one more grain
of sand in the hour-glass, one more struggle of the captains and the
kings, one more grim grin at peoples rending themselves—perhaps the
thousand-year-long grin sprang from the knowledge that it had only to
endure long enough to see William of Hohenzollern show the world the way
of peace, while the very sand mocked back again.



Was ever a name less appropriately given? I have heard of a Paradise
Court in a grimy city slum and a dilapidated whitewashed house on the
edge of a Connaught bog which had somehow got itself called Monte Carlo.
But these misfits of names moved me only to mirth mingled with a certain
sadness. Sweet Lavender is a sheer astonishment. I hear the words and
think of the edgings of old garden borders, straggling spiky little
bushes with palely, unobtrusive flowers. I think of linen cupboards, of
sheets and pillow-cases redolent with very delicate perfume. I think of
the women who wander through such gardens, who find a pride in their
store of scented house-linen, delicately nurtured ladies, very gentle,
a little tinged with melancholy, innocent, sweet. My thoughts wander
through memories and guesses about their ways of life. Nothing in the
whole long train of thought prepares me for, or tends in any way to
suggest this Sweet Lavender.

It is a building. In the language of the Army—the official language—it
is a hut; but hardly more like the hut of civil life than it is like the
flower from which it takes its name. The walls are of thin wood. The roof
is corrugated iron. It contains two long low halls. Glaring electric
lights hang from the rafters. They must glare if they are to shine at
all, for the air is thick with tobacco smoke. Inside the halls are
gathered hundreds of soldiers. In one, that which we enter first, the men
are sitting, packed close together at small tables. They turn over the
pages of illustrated papers. They drink tea, cocoa, and hot milk. They
eat buns and slices of bread and butter. They write those letters home
which express so little and, to those who understand, mean so much. Of
the letters written home from camp, half at least are on paper which bear
the stamp of the Y.M.C.A.—paper given to all who ask in this hut and a
score of others. Reading, eating, drinking, writing, chatting, or playing
draughts, everybody smokes. Everybody, such is the climate, reeks with
damp. Everybody is hot. The last thing that the air suggests to the nose
of one who enters is the smell of Sweet Lavender.

In the other, the inner hall, there are more men, still more closely
packed together, smoking more persistently, and the air is even denser.
Here no one is eating, no one reading. Few attempt to write. The
evening’s entertainment is about to begin. On a narrow platform at one
end of the hall is a piano. A pianist has taken possession of it. He
has been selected by no one in authority, elected by no committee. He
has occurred, emerged from the mass of men; by virtue of some energy
within him has made good his position in front of the instrument. He
flogs the keys and above the babel of talk sounds some rag-time melody,
once popular, now forgotten or despised at home. Here or there a voice
takes up the tune and sings or chants it. The audience begin to catch the
spirit of the entertainment. Some one calls the name of Corporal Smith. A
man struggles from his seat and leaps on to the platform. He is greeted
with applauding cheers. There is a short consultation between him and the
pianist. A tentative chord is struck. Corporal Smith nods approval and
turns to the audience. His song begins. If it is the kind of song which
has a chorus the audience shouts it, and Corporal Smith conducts the
singing with wavings of his arm.

Corporal Smith is a popular favourite. We know his worth as a singer,
demand and applaud him. But there are other candidates for favour.
Before the applause has died away, while still acknowledgments are being
bowed, another man takes his place on the platform. He is a stranger,
and no one knows what he will sing. But the pianist is a man of genius.
Whisper to him the name of a song, give even a hint of its nature, let
him guess at the kind of voice, bass, baritone, tenor, and he will vamp
an accompaniment. He has his difficulties. A singer will start at the
wrong time, will for a whole verse perhaps make noises in a different
key; the pianist never fails. Somehow, before very long, instrument
and singer get together—more or less. There is no dearth of singers,
no bashful hanging back, no waiting for polite pressure. Everyone who
can sing, or thinks he can, is eager to display his talent. There is no
monotony. A boisterous comic song is succeeded by one about summer roses,
autumn leaves, and the kisses of a maiden at a stile. The vagaries of a
drunkard are a matter for roars of laughter. A song about the beauty of
the rising moon pleases us all equally well. An original genius sings a
song of his own composition, rough-hewn verses set to a familiar tune,
about the difficulty of obtaining leave and the longing that is in all
our hearts for a return to ‘Blighty; dear old Blighty.’ Did ever men
before fix such a name on the standard for which they fight? Now and
again some one comes forward with a long narrative song, a kind of ballad
chanted to a tune very difficult to catch. It is about as hard to keep
track with the story as to pick up the tune. Words—better singers fail in
the same way—are not easily distinguished, though the man does his best,
clears his throat carefully between each verse and spits over the edge of
the platform to improve his enunciation. No one objects to that. About
manners and dress the audience is very little critical. But about the
merits of the songs and the singers the men express their opinions with
the utmost frankness. The applause is genuine, and the singer who wins it
is under no doubt about its reality. The song which makes no appeal is
simply drowned by loud talk, and the unfortunate singer will crack his
voice in vain in an endeavour to regain the attention he has lost.

Encores are rare, and the men are slow to take them. There is a man
towards the end of the evening who wins one, unmistakably, with an
imitation of a drunkard singing ‘Alice, where art Thou?’ The pianist
fails to keep in touch with the hiccoughing vagaries of this performance,
and the singer, unabashed, finishes without accompaniment. The audience
yells with delight and continues to yell till the singer comes forward
again. This time he gives us a song about leaving home, a thing of
heart-rending pathos, and we wail the chorus:

    ‘It’s sad to be giving the last hand-shake,
    It’s sad the last long kiss to take,
            It’s sad to say farewell.’

The entertainment draws to its close about 8 o’clock. Men go to bed
betimes who know that a bugle will sound the réveillé at 5.30 in the
morning. The end is always the same, but always comes strangely, always
as a surprise. We sing a hymn, for choice a very sentimental hymn. We say
a short prayer, often as rugged and unconventional as the entertainment
itself. Then ‘The King.’ In these two words we announce the national
anthem, and the men stand stiffly to attention while they sing. At
half-past eight, by order of the supreme authorities, Sweet Lavender hut
must close its doors. The end of the entertainment is planned to allow
time for a final cup of tea or a last glass of Horlick’s Malted Milk
before we go out to flounder through the mud to our tents. This last
half-hour is a busy one for the ladies behind the counter in the outer
hall. Long queues of men stand waiting to be served. Dripping cups and
sticky buns are passed to them with inconceivable rapidity. The work is
done at high pressure, but with the tea and the food the men receive
something else, something they pay no penny for, something whose value to
them is above all measuring with pennies—the friendly smile, the kindly
word, of a woman. We can partly guess at what these ladies have given
up at home to do this work—servile, sticky, dull work—for men who are
neither kith nor kin to them. No one will ever know the amount of good
they do; without praise, pay, or hope of honours, often without thanks.
If ‘the actions of the just smell sweet and blossom,’ surely these deeds
of love and kindness have a fragrance of surpassing sweetness. Perhaps,
after all, the hut is well-named Sweet Lavender. The discerning eye sees
the flowers through the mist of steaming tea. We catch the perfume while
we choke in the reek of tobacco smoke, damp clothes, and heated bodies.
It is not every Y.M.C.A. which is honoured with a name. Sweet Lavender
stands alone here among huts distinguished only by numbers. But surely
they should all be called after flowers, for in them grow the sweetest
blooms of all.



    _... Fellow creature I am, fellow-servant_
    _Of God: can man fathom God’s dealings with us?..._
    _Oh! man! we, at least, we enjoy, with thanksgiving,_
    _God’s gifts on this earth, though we look not beyond._

    _You sin and you suffer, and we, too, find sorrow_
    _Perchance through your sin—yet it soon will be o’er;_
    _We labour to-day and we slumber to-morrow,_
    _Strong horse and bold rider! and who knoweth more?_

                                     A. LINDSAY GORDON.


In some equine Elysium where there are neither flies nor dust nor steep
hills nor heavy loads; where there is luscious young grass unlimited with
cool streams and shady trees; where one can roam as one pleases and rest
when one is tired: there, far from the racket of gun wheels on hard roads
and the thunder of opposing artillery, oblivious of all the insensate
folly of this warring human world, reposes, I doubt it not, the soul of

His was a humble part. He was never richly caparisoned with embroidered
bridle and trappings of scarlet and gold. He never swept over the desert
beneath some Arab sheikh with the cry ‘Allah for all!’ ringing in his
ears. He bore no general to victory, no king to his coronation. But he
served his country faithfully, and in the end, when he had helped to make
some history, he died for it.

It is eight years since he joined the battery—a woolly-coated, babyish
remount straight from an Irish dealer’s yard. Examining him carefully we
found that beneath his roughness he was not badly shaped; a trifle long
in the back perhaps, and a shade too tall—but then perfection is not
attainable at the government price. There was no denying that his head
was plain and his face distinctly ugly. From his pink and flabby muzzle a
broad streak of white ran upwards to his forehead, widening on the near
side so as almost to reach his eye. The grotesquely lop-sided effect of
this was enhanced by a tousled forelock which straggled down between his

The question of naming him arose and some one said: ‘Except for his face,
which is like nothing on earth, he’s the image of old Alfred that we cast
last year.’

Now a system prevailed in the battery by which horses were called by
names which began with the letter of their subsection.

‘Well,’ said some one else, ‘he’s been posted to B sub; why not call him

And Bilfred he became.

Our rough-rider at the time was a patient man, enthusiastic enough over
his job to take endless trouble with young horses. This was fortunate for
the new-comer, who proved at first an obdurate pupil. Scientists tell
us, of course, that in relative brain-power the horse ranks low in the
animal scale—lower than the domestic pig, in fact. This may be so, but
Bilfred was certainly an exception. It was obvious, too obvious, that he
_thought_, that he definitely used his brain to question the advisability
of doing any given thing. To his rebellious Celtic nature there must
have been added a percentage of Scotch caution. When any new performance
was demanded of him he would ask himself, ‘Is there any personal risk in
this, and even if not, is there any sense in doing it?’ Unless satisfied
on these points he would plead ignorance and fear and anger alternately
until convinced that it would be less unpleasant to acquiesce. For
instance, being driven round in a circle in the riding school at the end
of a long rope struck him as a silly business; but when he discovered
(after a week) that he could neither break the rope nor kick the man who
was holding it, he (metaphorically) shrugged his shoulders and trotted
or walked, according to orders, with a considerable show of willing
intelligence. It took four men half a day to shoe him for the first time,
and he was in a white lather when they had finished. But on the next and
on every subsequent occasion he was as docile as any veteran.

A saddle was first placed upon him, at a moment when his attention was
distracted by a handful of corn offered to him by a confederate of the
rough-rider’s. He even allowed himself to be girthed up without protest.
But when, suddenly and without due warning, he felt the weight of a man
upon his back, his horror was apparent. For a moment he stood stock
still, trembling slightly and breathing hard. Then he made a mighty bound
forward and started to kick his best. To no purpose; he could not get
his head down, and the more he tried, the more it hurt him. The weight
meanwhile remained upon his back. Exhausted, he stood still again and
gave vent to a loud snort. His face depicted his thoughts. ‘I’m done
for,’ he felt, ‘this thing is here for ever.’ He was soothed and petted
until his first panic had subsided; then coaxed into a good humour
again with oats. At the end of a minute or so he was induced to move
forward—cautiously, nervously at first, and then with more confidence.
‘Unpleasant but not dangerous’ was his verdict. In half an hour he was
resigned to his burden.

Yet not entirely. Every day when first mounted he gave two or three
hearty kicks. He hated the cold saddle on his back for one thing, and
for another there was always a vague hope.... One day, about a fortnight
afterwards, this hope fructified. A loose-seated rider, in a moment of
bravado, got upon him and immediately the customary performance began. At
the second plunge the man shot up into space and landed heavily on the
tan. Bilfred, palpably as astonished as he was pleased, tossed his head,
snorted in triumph and bolted round the school, kicking at intervals.
For five thrilling minutes he enjoyed the best time he had had since he
left Connemara. Then, ignominiously, he succumbed to the temptation of a
proffered feed tin and was caught, discovering too late, to his chagrin,
that the tin was empty. It was his first experience of the deceitfulness
of man, and he did not forget it.

Six weeks later he had become a most accomplished person. He could walk
and trot and even canter in a lumbering way; he answered to rein and leg,
could turn and twist, go sideways and backwards; greatest miracle of all,
he had been taught to lurch in ungainly fashion over two-foot-six of

But he had accomplished something beyond all this. He had acquired a
reputation. It had become known throughout the battery that there were
certain things which could not be done to Bilfred with impunity. If you
were his stable companion, for example, you could not try to steal his
food without getting bitten, neither could you nibble the hairs of his
tail without getting kicked. If you were a human being you could not
approach him in his stall until you had spoken to him politely from
outside it. You could not attempt to groom him until you had made friends
with him, and even then you had to keep your eyes open. You got used to
the way he gnashed his teeth and tossed his head about, but occasionally,
when you were occupied with the ticklish under-part of him, he would show
his dislike of the operation by catching you unawares by the slack of
your breeches and throwing you out of his stall.

But there was no vice in him. He was always amenable to kindness, and
prepared to accept gifts of sugar and bread with every symptom of
gratitude and approval. Rumour even had it that he had once eaten the
stable-man’s dinner with apparent relish. And he flourished exceedingly
in his new environment. His baby roundness had disappeared and been
replaced by hard muscle. He no longer moved with an awkward sprawling
gait, but with confidence and precision. His dark-bay coat was sleek
and smooth, his mane hogged, his heels neatly trimmed. Only his tail
remained the difficulty. It was long and its hairs were coarse and curly.
Moreover, he persisted in carrying it slightly inclined towards the off
side, as if to draw attention to it. Frankly it was a vulgar tail. But,
on the whole, Bilfred was presentable.

When the time came to complete his education by putting him in draught
he surprised an expectant crowd of onlookers by going up into his collar
at once and pulling as if he had done that sort of work for years. And
so, as a matter of fact, he had. Irish horses are often put into the
plough as two-year-olds—a fact which had been forgotten. But he would not
consent to go in the wheel. He made this fact quite clear by kicking so
violently that he broke two traces, cut his hocks against the foot-board
and lamed himself. Since ploughs do not run downhill on to one’s heels,
he saw no reason why a gun or wagon should. Persuasion was found to be
useless, and for once his obstinacy triumphed. But he did not abuse his
victory nor seek to extend his gains. He proved himself a willing worker
in any other position, and soon, on his merits as much as on his looks,
he was promoted from the wagon to the gun and definitely took his place
as off leader. It was a good team; some said the show one of the battery.
The wheelers were Beatrice and Belinda, who knew their job as well as did
their driver, whom they justly loved. Being old and dignified they never
fretted, but took life calmly and contentedly. In the centre Bruno and
Binty, young, both of them, and rather excitable, needed watching or they
lost condition, but both had looks. The riding leader was old Bacchus,
tall and strong and honest, a good doer and a veteran of some standing.
Moreover, he was a perfect match for Bilfred. All six of them were of the
same mottled dark-bay colour.

In course of time Bilfred, quick, like most horses, to pick up habits,
exhibited all the characteristics of the typical ‘hairy.’ (It is to be
observed that the term is not one of abuse but of esteem and affection.)
He became frankly and palpably gluttonous, stamping and whinnying for
his food and bolting it ravenously when he got it. At exercise he shied
extravagantly at things which did not frighten him in the least. He
displayed an obstinate disinclination to leave other horses when required
to do so; and at riding drill he quickly discovered that to skimp the
corners as much as possible tends to save exertion. Artillery horses are
not as a rule well bred; one finds in their characters an astonishing
mixture of cunning, vulgarity, and docile good-tempered willingness
which makes them altogether lovable. Their condition reflects their
treatment as in a mirror. Properly looked after they thrive; neglected,
their appearance betrays the fact to every experienced eye. They have
an enormous contempt for ‘these ’ere mufti ’orses,’ as our farrier once
described someone’s private hunter. Watch a subsection out at water when
a contractor’s cart pulls up in the lines; note the way they prick their
ears and stare, then drop their heads to the trough again with a sniff.
It is as if they said in so many words ‘Who the deuce are you? Oh! a mere

Bilfred was like them all in many ways. But, in spite of everything, he
never lost his personality. He invariably kicked three times when he
was first mounted—and never afterwards on that particular day; he hated
motors moving or stationary; and he was an adept at slipping his head
collar and getting loose. It was never safe to let go his head for an
instant. With ears forward and tail straight up on end, he was off in a
flash at a trot that was vulgarly fast. He never galloped till his angry
pursuers were close, and then he could dodge like a Rugby three-quarter.
If he got away in barracks he always made straight for the tennis-lawns,
where his soup-plate feet wrought untold havoc. And no longer was he to
be lured to capture with an empty feed tin. Everybody knew him, most
people cursed him at times, but for all that everybody loved him.


I think that when a new history of the Regiment comes to be written
honourable mention should be made therein of a certain team of dark bays
that pulled the same gun of the same battery for so many years. They
served in England and in Ireland, in France and in the Low Countries;
they thundered over the grassy flats of Salisbury Plain; they toiled
up the steep rocky roads of Glen Imaal; they floundered in the bogs of
Okehampton. They stood exposed in all weathers; they stifled in close
evil-smelling billets, in trains, and on board ship. They were present
at Mons; they were all through the Great Retreat; they swept forward to
the Marne and on to the Aisne; they marched round to Flanders in time
for the first battle of Ypres. They were never sick nor sorry, even when
fodder was short and the marches long, even when there was no time to
slake their raging thirsts. They pulled together in patience and in dumb,
pathetic trust of their lords and masters, knowing nothing, understanding
nothing, until at last Fate overtook them.

At the beginning of August 1914 the battery had just returned to its
station after a month’s hard work at practice camp. Bilfred, a veteran
now of more than seven years’ service, had probably never been in better
condition in his life. Ordinarily he would have been given an easy time
for some weeks, with plenty of food and just enough exercise and collar
work to keep him fit for the strain of the big manœuvres in September.

But there were to be no 1914 manœuvres. About August 6 things quite
beyond Bilfred’s comprehension began to happen. Strange men arrived to
join the battery and in their ignorance took liberties with him which
he resented. Every available space in the lines became crowded with
unkempt, queer-looking horses, obviously of a low caste. Bilfred was shod
a fortnight before his time by a new shoeing-smith, for whom he made
things as unpleasant as possible. His harness, which usually looked like
polished mahogany decorated with silver, was dubbed and oiled until it
looked (and smelt) disgusting. When the battery went out on parade, all
these absurd civilian horses with bushy tails (some even with manes!)
went with it, and for a day or two behaved disgracefully. The whole place
was in confusion and everybody worked all day long. Bilfred, ignorant of
the term ‘mobilisation,’ was completely mystified.

A week or so later he was harnessed up in the middle of the night, hooked
in and marched to the station. Now it had been his habit for years to
object to being entrained. On this occasion he was doubly obstinate and
wasted much precious time. Other horses, even his own team-mates, went
in quietly in front of him; it made no difference, he refused to follow
them. A rope was put round his quarters and he was hauled towards the
truck. He dug his toes in and tried to back. Then, suddenly, his hind
legs slipped and he sat down on his haunches like a dog, tangled in
the rope and unable to move. In the dim light of the station-siding his
white face and scared expression moved us to laughter in spite of our
exasperation. He struggled to his feet again, the cynosure of all eyes,
and the subject of many curses. Then, for no apparent reason whatever, he
changed his mind and allowed himself to be led into the next truck, which
was empty, just as though it was his own stall in barracks. And once
inside he tried by kicking to prevent other horses being put in with him.

He continued in this contrary mood for some time and upheld his
reputation for eccentricity. Some horses made a fuss about embarking.
He made none. He showed his insular contempt for foreigners by making a
frantic effort to bite the first French soldier he saw—a sentry on the
landing quay, who, in his enthusiasm for his Allies, came too close. He
got loose during the night we spent at the rest camp, laid flat about
an acre of standing corn, and was found next morning in the lines of a
cavalry regiment, looking wofully out of place.

On the railway journey up to the concentration area, he slipped down in
the truck several times and was trampled on by the other horses. The
operation of extricating him was dangerous and lengthy. When we detrained
he refused food and water, to our great concern. But he took his place in
the team during the twenty-mile march that followed and was himself again
in the evening.

Where everybody was acutely conscious of the serious nature of the
business during the first day or so, it was something of a relief to
watch the horses behaving exactly as they normally did at home. We,
Heaven help us! knew little enough of what was in store for us, but
they, poor brutes, knew nothing. Oats were plentiful—what else mattered?
Bilfred rolled over and over on his broad back directly his harness
was removed, just as he always did; he plunged his head deep into his
water and pushed his muzzle to and fro washing his mouth and nostrils;
he raised his head when he had drunk, stretched his neck and yawned,
staring vacantly into space as was his wont. For him the world was still
at peace. Of course it was—he knew no better. But we who did, we whose
nerves were on edge with an excitement half-fearful half-exultant, saw
these things and were somehow soothed by them.

Bilfred’s baptism of fire came early. A few rounds of shrapnel burst
over the wagon-line on the very first occasion that we were in action.
Fortunately, the range was just too long and no damage was done. Some of
the horses showed momentary signs of fear, but the drivers easily quieted
them; and, besides, they were in a clover field—an opportunity too good
to be wasted in worrying about strange noises. Bilfred, either because
he despised the German artillery or because he imagined that the reports
were those of his own guns, to which he was quite accustomed, never even
raised his head. His curly tail flapped regularly from side to side,
protecting him from a swarm of flies whilst he reached out as far as his
harness would allow and tore up great mouthfuls of grass. He had always
been a glutton, and it was as if he knew, shells or no shells, that this
was to be his last chance for some time. It was; there followed four days
of desperate strain for man and beast. Through clouds of powdery, choking
dust, beneath a blazing August sun, parched with thirst, often hungry
and always weary, Bilfred and his fellows pulled the two tons of steel
and wood and complicated mechanism called a gun along those straight
interminable roads of northern France. Thousands of horses in dozens of
batteries were doing the same thing—and none knew why.

Then, on the fifth day, our turn came to act as rear-guard artillery. The
horses, tucked away behind a convenient wood when we came into action
just before dawn, had an easy morning—and there were many, especially
amongst the new-comers received on mobilisation, who were badly in need
of it. Now the function of a rear-guard is to gain time, and this we
did. But, when at last the order to withdraw was given, our casualties
were numerous and the enemy was close. Moreover, his artillery had
got our range. The teams issuing from the shelter of their wood had
to face a heavy fire, and it was at this juncture that the seasoned
horses, the real old stagers, who knew as much about limbering up as
most drivers and more than some, set an example to the less experienced
ones. Bilfred (and I take him as typical of the rest) seemed with a
sudden flash of intuition to realise that his apprenticeship and all
his previous training had been arranged expressly that he might bear
himself courageously in just such a situation as this. Somehow, in some
quite inexplicable fashion, he knew that this was the supreme moment of
his career. Regardless of bursting shells and almost without guidance
from his driver he galloped straight for his gun, with ears pricked and
nostrils dilated, the muscles rippling under his dark coat and his traces
taut as bow-strings as he strained at his collar with every thundering
stride. He wheeled with precision exactly over the trail eye, checked
his pace at the right moment, and ‘squared off’ so as to allow the
wheelers to place the limber in position. It was his job, he knew what to
do and he did it perfectly. B was the first gun to get away and the only
one to do so without a casualty....

More marching, more fighting, day after day, night after night; men were
killed and wounded; horses, dropping from utter exhaustion, were cut
loose and left where they lay—old friends, some of them, that it tore
one’s heart to abandon thus. But there could be no tarrying, the enemy
was too close to us for that.

Then came the day when the terrible retreat southwards ceased as abruptly
and as unexpectedly as it had begun. Rejoicing in an advance which soon
developed into a pursuit we forgot our weariness and all the trials and
hardships of the past. And I think we forgot, too, in our eagerness,
that for the horses there was no difference between the advance and the
retirement—the work was as hard, the loads as heavy. For our hopes were
high. We knew that the flood of invasion was stemmed at last. We believed
that final victory was in sight. Reckless of everything we pushed on,
faster and still faster, until our strength was nearly exhausted. It
mattered not, we felt; the enemy retreating in disorder before us must be
in far worse plight.

And then, on the Aisne, we ran up against a strong position, carefully
prepared and held by fresh troops. Trench warfare began, batteries dug
themselves in as never before, and the horses were taken far to the rear
to rest. They had come through a terrible ordeal. Some were lame and some
were galled; staring coats, hollow, wasted backs, and visible ribs told
their own tale. A few, at least, were little more than skeletons for whom
the month’s respite that followed was a godsend. Good forage in plenty,
some grazing and very light work did wonders, and when the moment came
for the move round to Flanders the majority were ready for a renewed
effort. Compared with what they had already done the march was easy work.
They arrived on the Yser fit and healthy.

But the first battle of Ypres took its toll. Bringing up ammunition one
dark night along a road which, though never safe, had perforce to be used
for lack of any other, the teams were caught by a salvo of high explosive
shell and suffered heavily. Four drivers and nine horses were killed,
seven drivers and thirteen horses were wounded. Bilfred escaped unhurt,
but he was the only one in his team who did. A direct hit on the limber
brought instantaneous death to the wheelers and their beloved driver. A
merciful revolver shot put an end to Binty’s screaming agony. Bruno and
Bacchus were fortunate in only getting flesh wounds from splinters. It
was a sad breaking-up of the team which had held together through so many
vicissitudes. It comforted us, though, to think that at least they had
died in harness....

The winter brought hardship for horse as well as man. We built stables
of hop-poles and sacking, but they were only a slight protection against
the biting winds, and it was impossible to cope with the sea of slimy mud
which was euphemistically termed the horse lines. In spite of all our
precautions coughs and colds were rampant. About Christmas-time Bruno,
always rather delicate, succumbed with several others to pneumonia, and
a month later Bacchus strained himself so badly, when struggling to pull
a wagon out of holding mud whilst the rest of the team (all new horses)
jibbed, that he passed out of our hands to a veterinary hospital and was
never seen again. Bilfred alone remained, and Nature, determined to do
her best for him, provided him with the most amazingly woolly coat ever
seen upon a horse. The robustness of his constitution made him impervious
to climatic conditions, but the loss of Bacchus, his companion for so
long, distressed him, and he was at pains to show his dislike of the
substitute provided by biting him at all times except when in harness;
then, and then only, was he Dignity personified.

The end came one day in early spring. The battery was in action in a part
of the line where it was impossible to have the horses far away, for in
those days we had to be prepared for any emergency. It so happened that
the enemy, in the course of his usual morning ‘_strafe_,’ whether by
luck or by intention, put an eight-inch howitzer shell into the middle
of the secluded field where a few of our horses were sunning themselves
in the warm air and picking at the scanty grass. Fortunately, they had
been hobbled so that there was no stampede. The cloud of smoke and dust
cleared away and we thought at first that no harm had been done. Then we
noticed Bilfred lying on his side ten yards or so from the crater, his
hind quarters twitching convulsively. As we went towards him, he lifted
his head and tried to look at the gaping, jagged wound in his flank and
back. There was agony in his soft brown eyes, but he made no sound. He
made a desperate effort to get up, but could only raise his forehand. He
remained thus for a moment, swaying unsteadily and in terrible distress.
Then he dropped back and lay still. A minute later he gave one long deep
sigh—and it was over.

Our old farrier, who in his twenty years’ service had seen many horses
come and go and who was not often given to sentiment, looked at him sadly.

‘’E’s gone,’ he said. ‘A good ’oss—won’t see the like of him again in the
batt’ry this trip, I reckon.’

And Bilfred’s driver, the man who had been with him from the start,
ceased his futile efforts to stem the flow of blood with a dirty

‘Oh! Gawd!’ he muttered in a voice of despair, and turned his back upon
us all to hide his grief.

We kept a hoof, to be mounted for the battery mess when peace comes, for
he was the last of the old lot and his memory must not be allowed to
fade. The fatigue party digging his grave did not grumble at their task.
He was an older member of the battery than them all and a comrade rather
than a beast of burden.

       *       *       *       *       *

I like to imagine that Bilfred had a soul—not such a soul as we try to
conceive for ourselves perhaps—but still I like to picture him in some
heaven suitable to his simple needs, dwelling in quiet peacefulness
among the departed of his race. What a company would be his and what
tales he would hear!—Tales of the chariots of Assyria and Rome, of the
fleet Parthians and the ravaging hosts of Attila; stories of Charlemagne
and King Arthur, of the lists and all the pomp of chivalry. And so down
through the centuries to the crossing of the Alps in 1800 and the grim
tragedy of Moscow twelve years later. Would he stamp his feet and toss
his head proudly when he heard of the Greys at Waterloo or the Light
Brigade at Balaclava? But stories of the guns would delight him more, I
think—Fuentes D’Onoro, Maiwand, Néry, and Le Cateau.

It pleases me to think of him meeting Bacchus and Binty and the rest
and arguing out the meaning of it all. Does he know now, I wonder, the
colossal issues that were at stake during that terrible fortnight between
Mons and the Marne, and does he forgive us our seeming cruelty?

I hope so. I like to think that Bilfred understands.



We had been away from our area for several days on a special mission
and were the guests of the French Staff at X. The programme for the day
included a visit to an observation post, the exact position of which was
not known to our guide, and it was necessary to call at a French battery
and pick up someone to show us the way. A very cheering description
of the situation at Verdun by an officer who had just come from there
had kept us rather later than usual at lunch, a fact to which we owed
our escape from a very unpleasant bit of ‘strafing.’ We had still some
200 yards to go to reach the battery when the Huns started shelling it
furiously. A few ‘overs’ came within about 100 yards of us and there was
rather an unpleasant whirr of splinters, so we took refuge behind a house.

The crash of the first salvo had aroused a good woman and her baby and
she came out, smiling, to see what was happening. Carrying the baby, she
went out into the road and stood in the line of fire watching the fun.
She occasionally dodged back behind the wall when the bits flew too near,
just as a child would run from a snowball. She said her man was in the
‘Chasseurs Alpins’ and had been in the Vosges since the beginning—he was
not afraid of the Boches, why should she be? A French ‘poilu’ passing by
scolded her for exposing the child and she disappeared.

After five minutes of hot shelling the Huns stopped, and Lieutenant M.,
our guide, proposed that we should continue. The Hun usually caters for
those people who ‘carry on’ at once, so we decided to visit a friend
whose office was only two doors off. Lieutenant R. was delighted to see
us. Yes, this particular Boche battery was ‘dégoûtant.’ It fired like
a mitrailleuse, yes, and some of the ‘overs’ came this way. He had the
honour to announce to us that ‘there was an unexploded 77-shell in his
ceiling—no, it had not been there long and was probably still warm.’ Two
more rounds battery fire then came over and we judged the trouble past
for the time being. When we reached the battery we found they had had a
bad time. It was an old territorial field battery—there was probably not
a gunner less than forty in it. One of the guns had had a direct hit.
The wheel and part of the carriage were smashed. Two of the other gun
emplacements had been knocked in. The German battery responsible for this
had been located, and the bearded old Frenchmen were getting ready for
retaliation. Three of the guns were already ready for action, and efforts
were being made to heave the broken one up on to a temporary carriage so
that at least one more shot might be got out of it! A telephone message
had been sent up from the brigade asking them to have a guide ready for
us, but the matter had been forgotten. There was far more excitement
about this than about the bombardment. Lieutenant M. called up the
Sergeant-Major and ‘strafed’ him unmercifully. The Sergeant-Major was
‘désolé,’ but at the moment he had been ‘très occupé.’ He was ‘confus’
and would ‘mon capitaine’ accept his apology—the ‘cochons de Bosches’
were far more responsible than he was. Lieutenant M. said it was all
right, called him ‘mon vieux,’ and we departed for our post with a fit-up
guide who persisted that he did not know the way, but who nevertheless
got us there in the end and we had a good look at the enemy lines and the
country beyond. On our return we passed a small cottage which had been
hit by something big. More than half of it had been blown away and there
was no roof left at all. The chimney, however, was still there and it
poured forth a defiant stream of smoke as the owner cooked his dinner in
a temporary shelter near the fireplace.

The French Headquarters mess was more than usually cheery that evening.
The enemy had had another setback at Verdun.

The British, too, were going to take over more line from the French,
and this brought the subject round to Great Britain and what she was
doing in the war. This was a point I should have preferred to have
left undiscussed at a time when the French were engaged in perhaps the
greatest struggle in the war with, apparently, no direct assistance from
us. Our hosts, however, insisted that, under the circumstances, we were
doing a good deal more than could be expected of us. They were unanimous
that the most remarkable achievement of this greatest of all wars was the
raising of our large Imperial army. It was one thing to make good use of
a working organisation as the Germans had, but, as staff officers, they
would have believed it impossible for any country to have done what we
have done. Each one was able to show the insuperable difficulties that
would have arisen in his own department, and there was nothing one could
do but bow and agree with them.

Next morning we were off again on our rounds, this time with a different
guide, Captain R.

We had a good view of the enemy’s lines from what had once been a child’s
nursery. Poor kid! if she could see her playroom now! On the floor were
a dismembered doll and part of a brick puzzle. The only furniture was a
broken chair by the window and a toy cot in the corner of the room; the
rest had been taken for some neighbouring billet. Near the window was a
field telephone, and, on the wall near by, some printed instructions to
artillery observers. The walls were decorated with numerous sketches,
some of them quite well done, of French artillerymen and famous generals.
A large hole in the wall and the familiar sickly smell of ‘tear shell’
showed that the enemy had detected the post and that it was no place to
loiter in.

After seeing many interesting things that one cannot write about we
reached one of the big ruined towns near the line, where we were
entertained to lunch by two French officers. This lunch was one of the
most memorable of my experiences at the front.

These officers, being engaged on very special and important work, were
_persona grata_ in the town and had a free hand in the matter of billets.
At the time of our visit they were living in a house that might have been
in Park Lane. A marble hall and staircase, luxuriously furnished rooms
and all modern appointments—central heating, electric light, electric
bells. The dining-room had every aspect of peace, wealth, and comfort.
The table linen and service were of the best. The captain’s servant had
evidently been a _chef_ in private life. There were four courses and a
variety of the best wines. All this was within less than a mile of the
German front line, a fact which it would have been impossible to realise
had it not been for the occasional desultory crack of a rifle and the
regular crash and swirl of the French batteries firing over our heads!
Our hosts were excellent fellows, as amusing and full of ‘esprit’ as
only the French can be. They had been in the town over a year and had
been shelled out of two other billets. They showed us the remains of
their last home which had been even more luxurious than the present one.
One could only gather some vague idea of what it had been like from the
carved oak mantel-piece showing over a pile of débris at the end of the
drawing-room and the torn tapestry hanging from the walls. They had
taken to the cellar just in time!

Experience had taught our friends to gauge the Hun’s intentions to a
nicety. A shell would pass close to the house and burst on the other
side of the road. ‘That’s all right—only a short one for such and such a
public building.’ The Frenchmen put another tune on the gramophone and
the next ‘marmite’ goes several streets away. On another occasion a heavy
shell is heard coming over from another direction. It explodes with a
resounding ‘crump’ a long way down the street. That comes from one of
the batteries that shell this part of the town and our two officers have
their coffee served in the cellar!

This knowing when to take to the cellar is a distinct characteristic of
the French. They are not for taking any unnecessary risks as some of us
are, but, when a dangerous job has to be done, they will go about it
with a careless gaiety that is wholly unforced. It is this spirit which
is holding up the French soldier to the admiration of the whole world;
the spirit that has kept the German hordes out of Verdun, and that will
continue to keep them at bay till the time is ripe for a concerted effort
of the allied forces.


In theory we are all on saving bent just now, for it is only by saving
that many of us can do anything towards winning the great fight; and
that each one of us must do something, everyone agrees. Unfortunately,
in practice, to us as a nation saving does not come easily: we have not
the instinct to save. We know no more, indeed, than sparrows, of the
art of making sixpence do the work of a shilling. Quite a fair number
of the petty economies we pride ourselves on having effected, of late,
are ending in something nearly akin to waste. Evidently we shall have to
learn from other nations, nations more thrifty than ourselves, if we are
ever to do anything really worth doing in the way of saving. And there
is hardly a nation in Europe from which we might not learn if we would.
The Germans are experts in all that concerns economy: were it otherwise
the war would be nearer its end than it is. The Austrians, too, although
by nature as wasteful as we are, have been driven by lack of means into
cunning devices for making money go far. These are enemy nations, it is
true; still, that is no reason, surely, why we should not learn from
them, even though we may not buy with them, sell with them, or even talk.

Quite recently the Relief Committee in Strassburg issued a most
instructive public notice. It is an appeal to parents to show their
patriotism, as well as their thrift and care for public health, by seeing
to it that their children go barefoot this summer. ‘By economising
in boots you save leather, and thus render valuable service to your
country,’ they are informed.

Now if our School Authorities could be induced to issue some such notice
as this, and to address it imperatively to parents of all classes alike,
not only would much leather be saved, and with it much money, but many
poor little children would have a much better chance than they have, of
living and thriving, while many poor mothers would be able to face the
world more cheerily. It is safer by far to go barefoot, as everyone who
has ever tried it knows, than to wear shoes unless they be good; and in
normal times, for every child who wears good shoes, shoes into which
water cannot make its way, there are legions who wear shoes that leak,
that have gaps through which toes poke out, soles that serve no purpose.
And the end of this is wet stockings, entailing coughs and colds,
croup, and even pneumonia. Really good shoes are expensive, it must be
remembered: to keep a family of sturdy, active youngsters well shod costs
more than to keep them well dressed. ‘We should get along fine if it was
not for the shoes,’ I am always being told by working-class mothers.
‘It’s the shoes that take all the money.’

‘Not a week goes by but there’s mending to be done, even if there’s no
shoes to be bought,’ a very trustworthy woman assures me. ‘Blakies, it’s
true, are a help; but one must have something to fasten them on to.’

‘It’s just heart-breaking work trying to keep them all dry-shod,’ a
mother of five children declares. ‘They have always, one or other of
them, their toes or heels sticking out.’

‘One might think lads had hoofs instead of feet from the way their shoes
go,’ another mother once informed me. ‘These were new a fortnight ago,
and just see! There’s hardly a bit of sole left.’ Tears came into her
eyes as she held the shoes up for me to look at.

Among the respectable poor, not only of the hand-working class, but of
the lower-middle class, and this is the poorer of the two in these war
days, the great trouble in life is the finding of shoes, the hopeless
struggle to keep children’s feet well covered. Year by year, in every
town in England, women are worried into their graves, because, let them
do what they will, one pair of shoes wears out before they have the
wherewithal to buy another. In every town, too, women lose their health
and strength because, when they ought to be asleep, they will persist in
working, that they may have the money to pay the cobbler. To see their
boys and girls going about without even a patch to hide the holes in
their shoes, seems to be more than most mothers can bear. And the saddest
part of the business is they are sacrificing themselves quite uselessly,
to a mere fetish. For very few of them have any thought of hygiene in
their heads, when they toil and moil, pinch and save, that their children
may have shoes: their thought is all of respectability. They are firmly
convinced that to let them go barefoot would be to rob them of all claim
to rank with the respectable, would be to dub them little ragamuffins in
fact, and thus render them pariahs. And better than that work all night,
no matter what it may lead to.

If these mothers were forced to let their children go barefoot, things
would of course be otherwise; and they would be forced, practically,
were they called upon to do so for patriotism’s sake, for the sake of
saving leather that the soldiers might have plenty of good shoes. There
would be no loss of caste then in banishing shoes and stockings; on
the contrary, it would be the correct thing to do, the ‘just so’; and
they would do it right gladly, thankful that they could do it without
exciting comment. And by doing it, they would both lighten immeasurably
the heavy burden they themselves bear, and add to their children’s chance
of developing into sturdy men and women, men and women able to do good
work for their country, securing for themselves a fair share of life’s
comfort and pleasure the while. For there is proof and to spare that
boys and girls alike are better off all round, stronger, more vigorous,
more active, without shoes than with them, unless the shoes be of better
quality than those most of the respectable poor can afford to buy. Never
would the Strassburg Committee have ventured to call upon parents to
let their offspring go barefoot had they not known that, even so far as
health was concerned, quite apart from the saving of leather, good, not
harm, would result. For in Germany, whoever else may go on short commons,
children, the Fatherland’s future defenders, are always well cared for.
One of the reasons, indeed, that the Committee give for issuing their
notice is that going barefoot is not only economical, and therefore, as
things are, patriotic, but also hygienic. And that it is, most of us can
see for ourselves.

There are districts both in Scotland and Ireland, to say nothing of
Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland, where there is hardly a shoe to be
found. Yet the people there are more stalwart than in any district in
England where every foot has its shoe. The finest lads I have ever come
across are certainly the Montenegrin; and not one in twenty of them has
either a shoe or a stocking. The only reformatory I have known where
the little inmates are physically quite on a par with other children,
as strong, alert, and light-hearted as other children, is the Eggenburg
Reformatory, in Lower Austria, where both boys and girls all go barefoot,
in winter as well as in summer.

Eggenburg is the one public institution, so far as I know, where the
going-barefoot experiment has been tried, on a large scale, for the
express purpose of benefiting the health of the inmates. And it was
tried there under conditions that were just about as unfavourable as
any conditions the wit of man could have devised. For the Eggenburg
children are for the most part of the poorest of the poor class, the
most demoralised, the criminal or semi-criminal class; and such children
almost always start life heavily handicapped physically, as well as
morally. Everyone who goes to this Reformatory must have given proof,
before he—or she—goes, that his natural bent is to do what is wrong;
that he turns to the left rather than the right instinctively; that he
takes to evil ways, in fact, just as a duckling takes to water. There
were nearly 400 inmates the first time I was there; and among them,
although the eldest was under sixteen, there were sixty convicted
thieves, nine incendiaries, and a murderer. One boy had been forty times
in the hands of the police before he went to Eggenburg; another, a tiny
little fellow, was suffering from alcoholism when he arrived there. Nor
was that all: very many of the children were being cruelly ill-treated,
beaten, tortured, or starved, when the police took possession of them.
Thus to try this experiment with such material as they were was to invite
failure. And to try it in the Eggenburg district was certainly not to
invite success. For the climate there is bitterly cold in winter. I have
seen snow five feet deep around the Reformatory, and it lies there for
months together. If folk can go barefoot there with impunity, they can
assuredly go barefoot anywhere in England.

To make matters worse, the very officials who were told off to try the
experiment were against it: they resented being called upon to try it, so
sure were they that it was foredoomed. Not one among them was inclined,
therefore, to do his best to render it a success. I very much doubt,
indeed, judging by what they themselves told me later, whether anyone
among them had even the wish that it should be a success. When Dr.
Schöffel, the Provincial Home Minister, informed them that their charges
were to go barefoot, every man in the institution, every woman too, rose
up indignantly and denounced his project as quite wicked. The Directress
of the girls’ wing stoutly refused to have lot or parcel with any such
doings. If he chose to kill the boys, that was no concern of hers, but
kill her girls he should not, she told him roundly. And to make them
go barefoot would be to kill them, it would be downright murder, she
declared; and she had never a doubt in her mind but that it would.

The storm spread from Eggenburg to Vienna, where public opinion was
strongly on the side of the officials and against their Chief. The
Viennese professed themselves quite shocked at his meanness. Questions
were asked in the Landtag. ‘Is Lower Austria so poor that she cannot
buy shoes for her own adopted children?’ member after member demanded
indignantly. Dr. Schöffel stood his ground firmly, however. That the
experiment should be tried, he was determined; and for the children’s
sake, not the rate-payers’. He was responsible for the children; it was
his duty to see that the best that could be done for them should be
done; and the best was not being done, he declared. When they arrived at
Eggenburg they were almost all physically below the average of children
of their age; they were lacking in stamina even when not tainted with
disease. That in itself was bad, he maintained; but, what was worse, most
of them were still below the average when they left. These children must
each one of them, while at the Reformatory, be put on a par so far as in
them lay with other children, he insisted. Otherwise they would later,
when out in the world, be handicapped in the struggle for life, unable,
therefore, to hold their own and earn their daily bread. It was, as he
told me himself, for the express purpose of trying to put them physically
on a par with other children, and thus give them a fair chance of making
their way in the world, that he had determined they should go barefoot.

Consumption is terribly prevalent among the very poor in Lower Austria,
it must be remembered; and it was at that time very prevalent at
Eggenburg. The doctors had long been insisting that the little inmates
ought to live practically out of doors the whole year round, working on
the land, tending cattle. Arrangements had already been made for them
to do so, but a difficulty had arisen. Working on the land and tending
cattle in deep snow meant wet feet, wet stockings as well as wet shoes;
and that for many of them spelt disaster. Dr. Schöffel was convinced,
however, that it was not the wet feet that did the harm, but the wet
shoes and stockings; and many of the doctors whom he consulted agreed
with him. It was with their warm approval that he had decided to banish
stockings and shoes and leave feet to take care of themselves—to try the
going-barefoot experiment, in fact.

The experiment had long passed the experimental stage when I paid my
first visit to Eggenburg; for, by that time, the inmates had already been
going barefoot for some ten years. From the first it had proved a marked
success, the very officials who had done everything they could to prevent
its being tried, frankly admitted; so marked a success, indeed, that they
had all become hearty supporters of the new system. Even the Directress
of the girls’ wing, who had almost broken her heart when the change was
made, and would have resigned her post forthwith but for her devotion
to her charges, spoke enthusiastically of the good it had wrought among
them. Most of them were at a trying age, between twelve and sixteen; and
most of them were delicate, never free from coughs and colds. She was as
sure as of life itself, therefore, the first day they went barefoot, that
they would all be ill in bed on the morrow. To her amazement, however, as
she told me, when the morrow came, there was no sign of special illness
among them. On the contrary, instead of coughing more than usual, they
coughed less, and were in less urgent need of pocket-handkerchiefs.
Before a week had passed the great majority of them had ceased coughing
at all, and not one of them had a cold in her head.

The Director told me much the same tale; as it was with the girls so was
it with the boys. By banishing shoes and stockings, he declared, Dr.
Schöffel had practically banished colds with all their attendant evils.
Under the new system, it was a rare thing for any boy to develop a cold
after being at Eggenburg a week. The general health of all the children
had improved quite wonderfully, both he and the Directress assured me,
since going barefoot had become the order of the day. And what they said
was confirmed by what I heard from every doctor I came across who knew
Eggenburg; was confirmed, too, by what I saw there with my own eyes. For
a finer set of youngsters than the boys and girls there I have never seen
in any institution, and have not often seen anywhere else.

I had hardly crossed the threshold of Eggenburg before I heard, what I
rarely hear in institutions, peal after peal of hearty laughter; and I
saw little urchins flying as the wind in pursuit of something, I could
not tell what. The very way they threw up their heels as they ran, the
speed with which they went, showed the stuff of which they were made,
the strength of their legs and backs; while the cries they raised left
no doubt as to the strength of their lungs. There was not a laggard
among them, not a weakling. Some of them, it is true, would have been
all the better for more flesh on their bones, I found when I came to
examine them; and some few were not quite so well grown as they ought to
have been. Still they were a wonderfully vigorous set, considering the
handicap with which they had started in life; and they were as alert as
they were vigorous. They swarmed up poles and twirled themselves round
bars, in quite professional style; and went through their drill with head
erect and soldierly swing. Evidently they were not troubled with nerves
at all, nor had they any fear at all of strangers. They met my advances
in the most friendly fashion; and answered my questions intelligently
without hesitation, looking at me straight the while. Their eyes, I
noticed, were not only bright, but, oddly enough, full of fun, many of
them. They were a light-hearted set, it was easy to see, bubbling over
with delight at being alive; they were a kindly sociable set, too, on
good terms with themselves, one another, and even the officials.

This Eggenburg experiment certainly proves that both boys and girls are
the better, not the worse, for going barefoot. Why, then, should they
wear shoes? The wearing of them is sheer waste, surely; and in war days
waste of any sort is unpatriotic, especially waste in shoes. For leather
is none too plentiful, and is becoming scarcer and scarcer from day to
day; while it is only by straining every nerve that shoemakers can keep
the men at the Front even decently well shod. Were all the children in
England to go barefoot, even if only for the next three months, our
soldiers would many of them have much better shoes than they have. And
most children would be delighted to go barefoot; and very many mothers
would be delighted to save the money they now spend on shoes, if only the
School Authorities, by appealing to them to do so for their country’s
sake, would give them the chance of doing so without offence to their
fetish, respectability. Unfortunately, many of these Authorities seem to
prefer the worst of leaking, toe-crippling shoes to bare feet.

I once asked a certain Head Master to let a little Gipsy, who was
sojourning in his district, go to his school without shoes. She had never
worn them and did not wish to wear them. He was quite shocked. Such a
thing was impossible, he assured me. The tone of the whole school would
be lowered were a barefoot child to cross its threshold!

                                                            EDITH SELLERS.



This story belongs to an officer of the Canadians who at the time of
its happening was playing a part in the opening months of the war as a
private in the French Foreign Legion. In that capacity he saw a good deal
of the men of our first Expeditionary Force, and although he is full of
good stories of their amazing doings, he tells this particular one as
perhaps the best and most typical example he met of the cold-blooded
contempt of certain death, the calm indifference to consequences, the
matter-of-fact tackling of the impossible which were such commonplaces
with the old Regular Army in the first days, and which perhaps were the
main factors in the performance of so many historic feats of arms.

It was during the Retreat, in the middle of that constant series
of forced marches and hard fighting, when the remnants of retiring
regiments were inextricably mixed, when the wounded were left behind,
and the unwounded who were unable to keep up with their column or who
strayed from it in the darkness found themselves blundering about the
countryside, dodging groups of enemy cavalry and columns of enemy
infantry, being fed and guided by the French villagers, working always
towards the sound of the guns and struggling to rejoin their own army,
that three just such stragglers after a careful reconnaissance ventured
into the outskirts of a tiny French hamlet. One, the Canadian (who had
been in Paris on the outbreak of war and, fearing that it would be
months before a British force could take the field, had signed on in the
French Foreign Legion and so made sure of an early and ample dose of
the fighting), wore the picturesque dress of a private of the Legion;
another was a French infantry of the Lines-man, and the third a private
of a British infantry regiment. The ‘khaki,’ for no particular reason,
except that he apparently took it for granted that it should be so,
more or less took command of the party, while the Canadian, who spoke
fluent French, acted as interpreter both between the party and the French
‘civvies,’ as the local inhabitants were indiscriminately described by
the Englishman, and in conveying the orders of the self-appointed C.O. to
the non-English-speaking ‘piou-piou.’

Enquiry of the villagers brought the information that there were no
Germans in the hamlet, that a party of Uhlans had ridden through towards
the south an hour before, and that nothing had been seen of any Germans

‘Good enough,’ said the khaki man on hearing this. ‘I’m just about ready
for a shut-eye myself after trekkin’ all last night. We’d better lie up
till it’s gettin’ dark again, and then shove on an’ see if we can get
the touch with our own push. You might ask ’em if this dorp has anythin’
goin’ in the way o’ rations—rooty an’ cheese an’ a pot o’ beer would just
suit my present complaint.’

But the village did better than bread and cheese. The village—women,
old men, and children—escorted the three warriors to the estaminet in
the main street and with voluble explanations handed them over to the
estaminet keeper.

‘Food? But assuredly yes—soup, good strong soup, and all ready and hot;
an omelette, a very large omelette for three, to be ready the moment
the soup was finished with; and then a veal stew, and cream cheese, and
wine—wine white or red, whichever messieurs preferred.’

‘Fust class. Canada, tell ’er fust bloomin’ class. I’ll give up dinin’ at
the Carlton an’ Savoy an’ come ’ere reg’lar in future, tell ’er. An’ how
long before the bugle sounds for dinner?’

At once, they were told. If they would enter, the soup would be served as
soon as they were seated. But the khaki demurred at that. ‘I must ’ave
a wash first,’ he declared. ‘I ’aven’t ’ad a decent wash for days. Just
ask ’er if she’ll show me where the pump is.’ He extracted soap and a
very dirty towel from his haversack and followed his conductress out to
the back, whence presently came the sound of pumping water, a vigorous
splashing and mighty blowing.

‘Come on, Tommy,’ said the Canadian when the other appeared again clean,
save for the stubble on his chin, glowing and rosy. ‘We’ve started the
soup. Good goods too. Pitch in.’

‘That looks good,’ said Tommy sniffing hungrily. He pulled down his
shirt-sleeves and carefully deposited in the corner near his chair the
rifle, haversack, and ammunition-pouches he had carried with him out to
the pump and in again. ‘But we don’t want them Oo-lans ’oppin’ in an’
spoilin’ the dessert. There ain’t enough o’ us to post proper pickets
an’ outposts, but wot’s the matter wi’ enlistin’ some o’ them kids for
temporary duty? I’ll bet they’d spot a Oo-lan a mile off an’ tip us the
wink if they was comin’ this way.’

There were plenty of volunteers for the duty, and half a dozen of the old
men of the village hobbled off to post themselves at various points,
each with several enthusiastic small boy gallopers in attendance to carry
urgent despatches as required.

Then Tommy sat down, and the three ate and drank ravenously. They
devoured the soup, the omelette, and the stew, and were proceeding with
the cheese when they heard the patter and rush of flying feet outside.
Next instant one boy burst into the room, another followed in a whirlwind
rush, and the two broke into breathless and excited speech.

The first dozen words were enough for the Canadian. ‘They’re coming,’ he
said abruptly to the others and jumped from his seat. ‘Very many Germans,
the kid says. Come on, we must hustle out of this quick.’

He ran to the door and looked out, the small boys following, still
talking rapidly and pointing and gesticulating. The Canadian took one
look and stepped back instantly under cover, the French piou-piou, who
had followed close on his heels, doing the same. ‘They’re not in sight
yet, but from what the kids say they should be round the corner and in
sight in minutes. They’re coming from the north, so we’d better slide out
south—or hike out into the fields and find a hole to hide up in.’

‘Comin’ from the north, eh?’ said the Englishman. He was quickly but
methodically stowing the remains of the long loaf in his haversack, and
that done slipped quickly into his accoutrements. ‘That means they’re
goin’ on the way we was tryin’ to stop ’em goin’, an’ pushin’ up into the
firin’ line.’

The Canadian and the piou-piou were engaged in rapid talk with the
landlady and a few other women and a couple of old men who had hurried
in. Tommy walked over to the door, stepped outside, and had a careful
look round. ‘Look ’ere,’ he said calmly, stepping back into the room.
‘There’s a good ditch on both sides o’ the road. You an’ Froggy ’ad
better take a side each. I’ll take the middle o’ the road, an’ there’s a
barrel outside I can roll out there for cover.’

The Canadian stared at him blankly. ‘What d’ you mean?’ he said. ‘What
are you going to do?’

‘Why, we’re goin’ to stop them, of course,’ said Tommy, looking at him
with an air of slight surprise. ‘You said they was Germans an’ goin’
south. That means they’re goin’ to reinforce their firin’ line, so we’ll
’ave to stop their reinforcin’ game. Come on, you two ’ad better take
cover, an’ we’ll give ’em socks as they come round the corner.’

He walked outside and proceeded to roll the empty barrel into the middle
of the road a little way down from the estaminet, which was the last
house of the village. He left an utterly dumbfounded Canadian and an
impatient and non-comprehending Frenchman who was rapidly reduced to a
state of incredulous amazement by the information which the Canadian,
after a long breath and a longer pause, proceeded to impart to him.

Now the Canadian, who is responsible for this story, openly confesses
that the last thing on earth he should have thought of attempting was any
resistance of the German advance, and more than that, that it was with
the greatest possible reluctance he did finally join the imperturbable
Tommy in the impossible task. He tried first to point out the folly of it.

‘See here, Tommy,’ he called from the inn door. ‘You don’t rightly
understand. There’s hundreds of these chaps coming, thousands of ’em for
all I know, but at least a regiment from what the old man says who saw
them. We can’t do anything to a lot like that. We’d far better get off
the grass while we’ve a chance.’

But Tommy had planted his empty barrel fairly in the middle of the road
and was settling himself snugly at full length behind it, his legs spread
wide and left shoulder well advanced after the approved fashion of his
musketry instructor. ‘They’re goin’ south,’ he called back. ‘An’ we come
over ’ere to stop ’em going south. So we’ll just ’ave to stop ’em.’ And
he commenced to lay cartridges in a convenient little pile at his elbow
and push a clip into his rifle magazine.

Even then the Canadian hesitated. The whole thing was so utterly mad,
such a senseless throwing away of their three lives that he was still
inclined to clear out and away. But that prone figure in the road held
him. He felt, as he puts it himself, that he couldn’t decently leave the
beggar there and run away. And a call from outside settled the matter by
the calm assurance it held that the two of them were going to stand by
and see the game through. ‘You two ’ad better be _jildi_.[3] I can see
the dust risin’ just round the corner.’

The Canadian flung a last hurried sentence to the piou-piou, ran out and
across the road and dropped into the ditch in line with the barrel. The
Frenchman looked round at the women and old men, shrugged his shoulders
and laughed shortly. ‘These mad English,’ he said hopelessly, ‘but, name
of a name, what can a Frenchman do but die along with them?’ and he too
ran out and took his place in the nearer ditch in line with the others.

Tommy looked over his shoulder at him and nodded encouragingly. ‘Good
man, Froggy,’ he said loudly, and then turning to the Canadian and
lowering his voice to a confidential undertone, ‘I’m glad to see Froggy
roll up, for the credit of ’is reg’ment’s sake—whatever ’is reg’ment may
be. ’E was so long, I was beginnin’ to think ’e was funkin’ it.’ The
Canadian admits to a queer relief that he himself had not ‘funked it,’
but he had little time to think about it.

A thin dust rose slowly from the road at the distant bend, and ‘’Ere
they come,’ said Tommy. ‘Don’t begin shootin’ till I do. We want to get
into the brown of ’em before we start, an’ we haven’t cartridges enough
to keep goin’ long. I think about four ’undred should be near enough the
range, but I’ll try a sightin’ shot first at that an’ you’ll see where it

For long interminably dragging minutes the three lay there, and then
suddenly, in a bang that made him jump, the Canadian heard the soldier’s
first shot. ‘Just short,’ said Tommy coolly. ‘Better put your sights four
fifty an’ take a fine sight. Come on, let ’em ’ave it.’

The three rifles opened in a crackle of rapid fire, and far down the road
a swirl of dust and a stampede of grey-coated figures to the sides of
the road showed the alarm that the sudden onslaught had raised. It took
several minutes for the crowd to get to any sort of cover, and before
they did so they evidently began to understand how weak was the force
opposed to them. The grey mass dropped to the road and next minute a
steady drum of rifle fire and a storm of bullets came beating down on the
three. The road was _pavé_, floored with the flat cobble-stones common on
first-class French roads, and on these the bullets cracked and smacked
with vicious emphasis, ricochetted and rose with ugly screams and whirrs
and singings. A dozen times in that first minute the hollow barrel banged
to the blow of a bullet, but the figure behind it kept on firing steadily
and without a pause. And presently the Germans, impatient of the delay
perhaps, or angered by the impudence of the attack of such a handful as
they were now sure blocked the way, began to climb over the fence along
the roadside and move along the fields firing as they came, while another
group commenced to trot steadily straight down the road. ‘Now then,
Canada,’ called Tommy, ‘pick your target an’ tell Froggy we’ll fire in
turns. We can’t afford to waste shots.’

So the three commenced to fire steadily and in turn, each waiting after
the other’s shot to see if a man fell, each calling to the others in
triumph if a man went down after their shot, growling angrily if the
shot missed. They made good shooting amongst them, the man in the middle
of the road an unmistakable best and the Canadian second. Their shooting
in fact was so good that it broke the attack down the road, and presently
the remainder of this force ran crouching to the ditches, jumped into
them, and stayed there.

But because the ammunition of the three was almost gone the affair was
almost over, and now there appeared a new factor that looked like ending
it even before their cartridges gave out. Back in the ranks of the main
body three or four men grouped about a machine-gun opened a rapid fire,
and the hailing bullets clashed on the walls of the estaminet, swept down
on to the stones of the _pavé_, found their range and began drumming
and banging on the barrel. The soldier beside it quietly laid down his
empty rifle and looked towards the Canadian. ‘I’m done in,’ he called.
‘Punctured ’arf a dozen places.... You two better keep down ... let ’em
come close, then finish it ... wi’ the bayonet.’

That struck the Canadian as the last word in lunacy; but before he could
speak, he saw the barrel dissolved in splintering wreckage about the
figure lying on the road. Tommy raised his head a little and called once
more, but faintly. ‘Good fight. We did all we could ... to stop ’em. We
did stop ’em all a good time ... an’ we stopped a lot for good.’ A gust
of bullets swept lower, clattered on the stones, set the broken barrel
staves dancing, hailed drumming and thudding on the prone figure in the

Both the Canadian and the Frenchman were wounded severely, but they still
had the strength to crawl back along the ditch, and the luck to emerge
from it amongst the houses in time to be hidden away by the villagers
before the Germans arrived. And that night after they had passed through
and gone, the Canadian went back and found the body of the soldier where
it had been flung in the ditch—a body riddled and rent to pieces with
innumerable bullet wounds.

The Canadian had the villagers bury the body there close outside the
village, and wrote on a smooth board the number and name he took from the
identity disc about the dead man’s neck. And underneath it he wrote in
indelible pencil ‘A good fighting man,’ and the last words he had heard
the fighter gasp—‘We did all we could to stop them; stopped them all a
good time, and stopped a lot for good.’

And as the Canadian said afterwards, ‘That same, if you remember their
record and their fate, being a fairly close fitting epitaph for the old
Contemptible Little Army.’


[3] ‘_Jildi_’—quick.



A short time ago an unknown friend, ‘thinking it may interest you,’ sent
me what turned out to be a precious volume. Its full title runs thus:
‘Random Recollections of the House of Commons from the Year 1830 to the
Close of 1835, including Personal Sketches of the Leading Members of all
Parties; by One of No Party.’ Readers of the CORNHILL will be not the
less attracted by it since, as the imprint shows, it was published in
1836 by the eminent firm of Smith, Elder & Co., at that date located at

Throughout the volume ‘One of No Party,’ whom, for the sake of brevity,
I will in future refer to by the letter Q, preserves his anonymity. In a
modest preface he describes himself as ‘during a very regular attendance
in the House of Commons for several years past being in the habit of
taking notes of what was most interesting in the proceedings, as well as
of the personal and oratorical peculiarities of the leading members.’ As
‘One of No Party’ and all the historical personages who live again under
the magic of his graphic pen have long since passed on to another state,
it would not be indiscreet if the day-books of the old firm in Cornhill
for the year 1835 were looked through and his identity revealed.

Alas, poor Yorick! The final—to be precise, the penultimate—chapter of
the life-story of his book has something touching in its sadness. Its
price on the day of publication is not mentioned. Pencil memoranda on the
fly-sheet indicate that fourscore years later the second-hand bookseller
to whom its possession fell temptingly offered it at the price of one
shilling. There being apparently no bidding, the shilling was crossed out
and sixpence substituted. Finally, oh ye who pass by remaining obdurate
or worse still indifferent, the volume, with its old-fashioned brown
paper back bound with a strip of cloth, was thrown into the fourpenny
box, receptacle of many unrecognised but memorable treasures. As
affording a vivid peep at an historic Parliament, few have exceeded the
intrinsic value of this time-and-weather-stained volume.

Beginning his record in the Unreformed Parliament of 1830, Q indulged
himself in the production of a series of thumb-nail sketches of eminent
members long since gone to another place, whose names live in history.
Here we have the men as they lived and dressed, moved or spoke, depicted
by a keen-sighted independent looker-on. In this Parliament Sir Charles
Wetherell, Member for Bristol, high Tory of a type now extinct, held a
prominent and popular place.

    ‘He never opened his mouth,’ Q says, ‘but the House was
    convulsed with laughter, Wetherell himself preserving a
    countenance morose in its gravity.’

His personal appearance sufficed to attract attention.

    ‘His clothes are always threadbare. I never saw a suit on him
    for which a Jew old-clothes man would give ten shillings. They
    always look as if made by accident, hanging loosely about his
    tall figure. As for braces, he has an unconquerable aversion to

There is a story about the famous Member for Bristol which Q must have
heard but does not relate. When with frequent gestures he addressed
the House his unbraced trousers parted from his waistcoat, displaying
a considerable rim of shirt. A member, gravely rising to a point of
order, once called the attention of the Speaker to the lapse. Manners
Sutton, who filled the Chair at the time, with equal gravity declined to
interfere. ‘It is,’ he said, ‘the hon. gentleman’s only lucid interval.’

Leaving the House at a quarter past seven one morning, having fought the
Reform Bill in Committee through a long series of divisions, Wetherell
discovered it was raining heavily. ‘By G—,’ he said, ‘if I had known this
we would have had a few more divisions.’

A contemporary of Wetherell’s, an active fellow-worker against the Reform
Bill, was Croker, object of Macaulay’s particular aversion, a prejudice
shared by Disraeli. Q describes him as tall, well-made, full six feet in

    ‘He is bald-headed and has been so for ten or twelve years.
    He is about sixty years of age, for one half of which time he
    has been in Parliament. He is a very fluent speaker, but his
    elocution is impaired by the circumstance of his not being able
    to pronounce the letter R. His gestures are violent, often
    theatrically so. He makes infinitely varied evolution, wheeling
    his body round and round, by that means managing to address
    by turns not only every part of the House, but almost every
    member in it. Like a hen on a hot girdle, as an Irish member
    describes him.’

Through a series of weeks Croker spoke every night against clauses
of the Reform Bill. Some nights he made as many as twenty speeches
occupying three hours of the sitting. His apprehension of disastrous
results accruing from the passing of the Bill, fear shared by Sir Charles
Wetherell, was justified by the event. In both cases the enlarged
constituencies rejected their candidature.

At the date of this fascinating record, which closes with the session of
1835, neither Disraeli nor Gladstone was yet in the House. Sir Robert
Peel, unconscious of what was in store for him in the way of personal
connection with them, was Leader of the Tory party in the House of
Commons, a post to which he succeeded on the death of Canning. Q gives us
one of his vivid sketches of the living man:

    ‘He is remarkably good-looking, rather above the usual size,
    and finely proportioned. He is of clear complexion, full round
    face, and red-haired. His usual dress is a green surtout, a
    light waistcoat, and dark trousers. He generally displays
    a watch-chain on his breast, with a bunch of gold seals of
    unusually large dimensions and great splendour. He can scarcely
    be called a dandy, and yet he sacrifices a good deal to these
    graces. I hardly know a public man who dresses in better taste.
    He is in the prime of life, being forty-seven years of age. His
    whole appearance indicates health. He is capable of undergoing
    a great deal of fatigue.’

It was Peel’s custom to remain in the House till one or two o’clock
in the morning, later if necessary. Nor was he a quiescent listener,
following the debate with tireless attention and occasionally
intervening. In this respect Disraeli and Gladstone, brought up at his
feet, were equally close in their attendance and attention. Up to the
last both, whether in office or in Opposition, seated themselves when the
Speaker took the Chair, and with brief interval for dinner remained till
the House was up. The fashion of to-day is widely different, the habit of
the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition (when there was one) being
to withdraw to the privacy of their respective rooms as soon as questions
are over, an example loyally followed by their colleagues.

I don’t know why, but it is something of a surprise to learn that Sir
Robert Peel was a red-haired man. His son Arthur, who for many years
added grace and authority to the Speaker’s Chair, had raven locks. The
circumstance lends support to Q’s quaint theory that in the House of
Commons red hair is the concomitant of supreme ability. There is none in
the present House.

It is curious and interesting to find in this close contemporaneous study
of Sir Robert Peel two mannerisms strongly marked in his most famous
disciple when in due time he filled his master’s official place in the
House of Commons. Q describes how Sir Robert, when speaking on any great
question, was accustomed to strike at regular intervals the brass-bound
box which lies on the table, in front of which a Minister is habituated
to stand whilst addressing the House. Nothing if not precise, Q, with
his eye on the clock, reckoned that Peel smote the box at the rate of
two strokes a minute. Old members of the House of Commons will recall
this curious habit as practised by Gladstone. It was occasionally varied
by another trick of driving home his argument by smiting the open palm
of his left hand with his right. The consequence was that he frequently
drowned in the clamour the concluding words of his leading sentences.

Another trick of Peel’s, unconsciously imitated by his pupil, was that
of turning his back on the Speaker and addressing passages of his
speech directly to supporters on the bench behind him or seated below
the gangway. This is a violation of the fundamental rule of order
requiring a member on his legs to address himself directly to the Chair.
In Gladstone’s case it afforded opportunity for welcome diversion on
the part of members on the benches opposite, who lustily cried ‘Order!
Order!’ Interrupted in the flow of his argument and not immediately
recognising the cause, he added to the merriment by turning round with
inquiring look at his tormentors.

    ‘Sir Robert is the idol of the Tory Party,’ writes this shrewd
    observer. ‘With the Conservatives in the House of Commons
    everything he says is oracular. He can do with them and make of
    them what he pleases. They are the mere creatures of his will,
    are as much under his control, and as ready to be formed and
    fashioned in any way he chooses, as is the clay in the hands of
    the potter.’

Ten years later Peel, counting upon this deference, and believing with
Q that the Tory Party was in all matters submissive to his command,
declared himself a Free Trader. Whereupon, as happened in the old
potter’s shop visited by Omar Khayyam, there was revolt by the clay

And suddenly one more impatient cried:

‘Who is the Potter, pray, and who the Pot?’

The awkward question was answered by Peel’s former vassals uprising and
turning out his Government.

       *       *       *       *       *

The name of Colonel Sibthorpe lingers in the Parliamentary gallery of
notabilities of the Unreformed Parliament. Q describes him as woefully
deficient in judgment.

    ‘If there be a right and a wrong side to any subject he is
    sure to adopt the wrong one. He never makes a very long speech
    because he cannot. But he speaks on every subject, and in
    Committee it is no unusual thing for him to make fifteen or
    twenty speeches in one night.’

Like the maid in the pastoral poem, Colonel Sibthorpe’s face was his
fortune, at least the early making of it.

    ‘Two or three Senators rejoice in tufts,’ Q writes, ‘and a
    few more in whiskers of decent proportions. Compared with
    the moustache and whiskers of the gallant Colonel one feels
    indignant that they should be dignified by the name. The lower
    section of his face, drawing a straight line from ear to ear
    immediately under his nose, is one great forest of hair. You
    hardly know whether he has a mouth or not, so completely is it
    buried amidst the surrounding crop of hair.’

This personal peculiarity elicited from O’Connell a fair example of the
sort of humour that in these past times appealed to an assembly grateful
for temporary deliverance from a state of boredom. Sibthorpe, making one
of his incoherent attacks upon the Liberal majority, said:

    ‘I am no party man. I have never acted from party feelings, but
    I must say I do not like the countenances of hon. gentlemen

O’Connell, following, retorted amid what Q describes as peals of laughter:

    ‘We who sit on this side certainly have not such remarkable
    countenances as that of the gallant Colonel. I would not abate
    him a single hair’—here resounded a peal of laughter—‘in good
    humour on this or any other ordinary occasion.’

Macaulay, seated in the Commons as Member for Leeds, a connection broken
when he went out to India as a Member of Council, did not escape Q’s
searching and shrewd observation. He gives a description of his personal
appearance founded on the style of the ‘Police News’ circulating
particulars respecting an absconded criminal:

    ‘His personal appearance is prepossessing. In stature he is
    about middle size and well formed. His eyes are of a deep blue
    and have a very intelligent expression. His complexion is dark,
    his hair of a beautiful jet black. His face is rather inclined
    to the oval form. His features are small and regular. He is now
    in the thirty-eighth year of his age.’

Passing through the stately hall of the Reform Club, I often stop to look
at a portrait of Macaulay hung on the wall at the foot of the stairway.
One would not recognise it from this minute description of the Member
for Leeds who sat in the Parliament in the early ’thirties of the last
century. But between the printed letter and the painted canvas a period
of thirty years stretched.

In his incomparable biography of his uncle, Sir George Trevelyan
tells of the success of his maiden speech. Q, who heard it, describes
it as electrifying the House. He adds that by refraining from early
reappearance in debate Macaulay shrewdly preserved his laurels.

    ‘He had no gift for extemporaneous speeches. His contributions
    to debate were carefully studied and committed to memory. He
    bestowed a world of labour on their preparation. In every
    sentence we saw the man of genius, the profound scholar, the
    deep thinker, the close and powerful reasoner. His diction
    was faultless. As a speaker, he was not forcible or vehement,
    carrying his audience away with him as by force. Rather, by his
    dulcet tones and engaging manner, he took his hearers with him
    willing captives.’

Whilst the late Duke of Devonshire sat in the House of Commons as Lord
Hartington, I frequently found in him curiously close resemblance,
mental and physical, to Lord Althorpe, Leader of the House of Commons
during Lord Grey’s premiership, and the short duration of the first
administration of Lord Melbourne. The impression is confirmed by Q’s

    ‘He was one of the worst speakers in the House. It was a truly
    melancholy spectacle to see him vindicating the Government
    when in the progress of the Irish Coercion Bill of 1833 it
    was assailed by O’Connell, Sheil, and other Irish Members.
    He could not put three or four sentences together without
    stammering, recalling his words over and over again.’

This is an exaggerated description of Lord Hartington’s manner of
speech. In later days he with sedulous practice improved. His speeches,
found to be surprisingly good when read from verbatim report, suffered
considerably by ineffective delivery.

We come nearer to Lord Hartington as Q proceeds with his study of Lord

    ‘He has a sound judgment, which makes him invariably take
    the common-sense view of a subject. With all his faults as a
    speaker he was much esteemed by men of all parties. It was
    impossible for anyone, however much he might differ from him
    in sentiment, not to respect him. Nothing could make him lose
    his temper. In the most violent altercations, amid scenes of
    greatest uproar and confusion, there he stood motionless as a
    statue, his face shadowing forth the most perfect placidness of

This might have been written of Lord Hartington through many a stormy
scene in the House of Commons, as he sat on the front Opposition Bench,
one hand in his trouser pocket, his hat tilted over his nose, his face as
stony as that of the Sphinx.

It is common experience in modern Parliaments that men who have attained
the highest position at the Bar have been failures in the House of
Commons. Illustrations of the rule are provided in the cases of Lord
Davey and Lord Russell of Killowen. The former, who probably never opened
his mouth in a Court of Law under a fee of one hundred guineas, when
as Sir Horace Davey he spoke in the House of Commons was as successful
as the traditional dinner bell in emptying the Chamber. During a long
parliamentary career Sir Charles Russell only once rose to the height
of his fame as an advocate at the Bar. It was when in debate he pleaded
the cause of Home Rule, whose final triumph he did not live to see.
Exceptions are found in the cases of Sir John Herschell, who, entering
the House of Commons as an unknown barrister, won his way to the
Woolsack, and Sir Edward Clarke, who, if he had set his mind on the same
goal, would certainly have reached it.

That this state of things, though paradoxical, is not new appears from
the case of Lord Jeffrey as narrated by this shrewd observer. Apart
from his pre-eminence at the Scottish Bar, Jeffrey’s editorship of the
‘Edinburgh Review’ invested him with double personal interest. His
maiden speech was looked forward to with absorbing interest. He rose in
a crowded House. According to the implacable Q, the effort was a failure
so lamentable that he never repeated it, content with briefly taking part
in debate only when the duty was imposed upon him in connection with
his office as Lord Advocate. In delivering his maiden speech he spoke
for an hour and twenty minutes with unparalleled rapidity of delivery.
Unfaltering, he proceeded to the end.

    ‘His manner was graceful, his voice clear and pleasant.
    Both lacked variety and flexibility. The discourse was as
    unintelligible to the majority of its auditory as if he had
    spoken some abstruse article intended for the “Edinburgh
    Review” in answer to Kant or some other German metaphysician.’

Jeffrey was approaching his fiftieth year when he entered Parliament. He
is described as being

    ‘Below the middle size and slender in make. His face is small
    and compact, inclining to the angular form. His eyelashes are
    prominent. His forehead is remarkably low considering the
    intellectual character of the man. His complexion is dark and
    his hair black.’

Cobbett, who at the age of seventy-three sat in the same Parliament with
Jeffrey, was of a different physical type. Six foot two in height, he was
one of the stoutest men in the House.

    ‘His ruddy complexion was crowned by a shock of milk-white
    hair. His usual dress was a light grey coat, a white waistcoat,
    and kerseymere breeches of sandy colour, into whose pockets he
    used to thrust his hands when he walked about the House. There
    was something so dull and heavy about his whole appearance
    that anyone who did not know him would have set him down
    for a country clodpoll—to use a favourite expression of his
    own—who not only never read a book or had a single idea in his
    head, but was a mere mass of mortality without a particle of
    sensibility of any kind.’

Lord John Russell, at this time a member of Lord Melbourne’s Cabinet
equally with Jeffrey, had nothing in common with Cobbett except a
light-coloured waistcoat and kerseymere trousers of a sandy complexion.
His height was even less than that attained by the famous editor of the
‘Edinburgh.’ Q describes him as

    ‘Considerably below middle size, slenderly made, and presenting
    the appearance of a person of weakened constitution. His
    features are large and broadly marked, his complexion pale,
    his countenance of a pensive cast. He scarcely ever indulges in
    a smile.’

He is roundly described as one of the worst speakers in the House. His
voice was weak and his enunciation imperfect, hampered by stammer or
stutter at every fourth or fifth sentence. He had a habit of repeating
frequently three or four times the first two or three words of a
sentence. His oratorical style was further embellished by a hesitating
cough. Q supplies a verbatim note taken down as Lord John stood
inanimate at the table, his voice inaudible to one-half of his audience.
‘I—I—I—hem—think the motion of the honourable member is—is ill-timed at
the—at the—hem—present moment.’

Q is inexplicably hard on Palmerston, who at the early age of forty-five
attained the position of Foreign Secretary.

    ‘The situation he fills in the Cabinet,’ he writes with
    solitary touch of personal rancour, ‘gives him a certain degree
    of prominence in the eyes of the country which he certainly
    does not possess in Parliament. His talents are by no means of
    a high order.’

He is described as an indifferent speaker, handicapped like his colleague
Lord John Russell by a vocal trick of stuttering and stammering. ‘He is
very indolent, irregular in his attendance upon his parliamentary duties,
and when in the House by no means active in defence of his principles or
his friends.’

Tall and handsome in person, he was always dressed in the height of
fashion, a habit which we are told suggested to _The Times_ the sobriquet
of ‘Cupid,’ by which, with levity unknown in Printing House Square in
these later days, it was accustomed to make editorial allusion to the
Foreign Secretary.

Hume is described as head of the country Liberal Party.

    ‘He is short-necked, and his head is one of the largest I have
    seen. His hair, of dark brown tipped with grey, is long and
    bushy; his face fat and round, and his complexion has that
    rough, healthy aspect common among gentlemen-farmers.’

Hume was impervious to ridicule or sarcasm, heedless of abuse however
virulent. It was calculated that in the course of a session he delivered
more speeches than the aggregate of any other three members. On a May
night, when the House was in Committee on Civil Service Estimates,
he spoke for forty minutes. His hat played a prominent part in these
parliamentary incursions. He invariably brought it into the House
cram-full of papers. When he rose to speak he planted it out on the bench
or floor within arm’s length, as if it were a cabbage. When he interposed
to make a passing remark, he had an odd trick of putting his hat under
his left arm at an angle that dexterously precluded its contents tumbling
out on the floor. There is somewhere in existence a caricature sketch
of him by H.B. thus possessed of his hat. In his ordinary attire he
lightened up his speeches, which though learned were a little dull, by
presentation of a compact costume of a blue coat, a tartan waistcoat, and
the apparently popular light-coloured ‘cassimere trousers.’

Roebuck, in his thirty-third year, was a member of this House. Here is a
pen-picture of him:

    ‘He is much under the middle size, so slender withal that
    he has quite a boyish appearance. His countenance is pale
    and sickly, with very little flesh on it. His nose is rather
    prominent; his eyes are disproportionately large and sunken.
    There is a scowl so visibly impressed on his brow that the
    merest novice in physiognomy must observe it. He is not a
    favourite in the House, and the limited popularity he has
    acquired out of doors seems to be on the decline.’

Q evidently did not like Roebuck, who, when more than forty years later
he reappeared on the parliamentary scene as Member for Sheffield,
disclosed a natural talent for getting himself disliked. He came back
with the flood of Toryism that in the General Election of 1874 swamped
Mr. Gladstone. Dillwyn, an old and generally esteemed member, secured
the corner seat below the gangway on the Opposition side, a place
made historic in a later Parliament by the occupancy of Lord Randolph
Churchill. Roebuck hankered after this seat, which he might have obtained
by the regulation process of attendance at prayer-time. He preferred to
arrive later and turn out Dillwyn, making himself otherwise pleasant
by prodding his stick along the back of the bench, regardless of the
presence of honourable members.

Dillwyn stood this for a long time. At length his patience was exhausted.
I remember one afternoon when Roebuck, arriving as usual midway in the
course of questions, made for the corner seat and stood there expecting
Dillwyn to rise. The Member for Swansea, studiously unaware of his
presence, made no sign. After a pause watched with eager eyes by a
crowded House, Roebuck turned about and amid a ringing cheer from the
Ministerialists crossed over to the Tory camp, where politically he was
more at home.

In the days when Roebuck represented Bath, Q describes him as

    ‘One of the most petulant, discontented, and conceited of men
    in the House. Full of airs, he was in his own estimation one of
    the most consequential men within the walls of Parliament. He
    spoke frequently, in a voice feeble but clear and distinct.’

‘A man of fair talent but nothing more,’ is Q’s summing-up of one who,
alike in his early prime and in his old age, filled a prominent place in
the House of Commons.

O’Connell was closer to Q’s heart. He devotes an exceptional number of
pages to a study of the Great Beggarman. Tall and athletic in person,
O’Connell’s complexion had about it a freshness and ruddiness indicative
of good health and excellent spirits. In a voice clear and strong he
spoke with broad Irish accent. Occasionally he stammered, not from
physical defect, but because he had upon his mind two or more ideas
struggling for priority of expression. He was known occasionally to
break off in the middle of a sentence, leaving it unfinished whilst he
expounded a brilliant thought that struck him as he spoke.

His gestures and attitude were of endless variety. He had a trick of
stretching out his neck and making wry faces at the Speaker. The next
moment his arms were raised above his head, his fists firmly clenched as
he declaimed a passionate passage of denunciation. He wore a wig, which
suffered greatly in the course of a busy session. He would suddenly
seize it with both hands as if about to tear it to pieces. He was merely
half-consciously intent upon adjusting it. During a memorable speech
advocating the repeal of the Union in 1834 he amazed the House by untying
his cravat, taking it off, and laying it on the bench beside him. In the
height of oratorical happiness he felt incommoded by the tightening of
his neckcloth, and the simplest thing to do obviously was to remove it.

Among Irish members of this epoch Sheil ranked next to O’Connell. His
eloquence commanded attention on both sides of the House. It was,
however, hampered by several eccentricities. Mr. Gladstone, who preserved
to the last a vivid impression of him, told me that when addressing the
House he started on a loud key and rather screeched than spoke. Another
tradition coming down to modern Parliaments describes him as bending
down to scrape the floor with his thumbnail and thanking God he had no
gestures. This reads like fable, but it is confirmed from Q’s personal

    ‘Sometimes,’ he wrote, ‘Mr. Sheil bends his body to such
    a degree that you are not without fear he may lose his
    equilibrium and fall head prostrate on the floor. At other
    times he advances to the table, gives three or four lusty
    strokes on the box, and then suddenly retreats backwards four
    or five steps. In a few seconds we see him by another sudden
    bound leaning over the table, stretching out his neck as if
    trying to reach some hon. member opposite. In addition to an
    unmelodious voice, Sheil’s articulation is indistinct, his
    utterance reaching a stage of amazing rapidity.’

Feargus O’Connor, best known in connection with the Chartist movement,
by favour of O’Connell represented County Cork in the session of 1834.
Among stories told in the smoking-room of the House of Commons during the
Parliament of 1874-80 was one that does not seem to have reached Q’s ear.
It ran to the effect that, strolling about behind the Speaker’s Chair in
the old House of Commons, O’Connor observed through the open door of the
Speaker’s private room preparations for the right hon. gentleman’s early
evening meal. Feargus, so the story ran, whether in a moment of absence
of mind or in a preliminary state of mental defection that some years
later necessitated incarceration in an asylum for the insane, seated
himself at the table and ate the Speaker’s chop.

Differing in all ways from these illustrious unconventional Irishmen
was Edward Bulwer Lytton, who sat in the session of 1835 as Member for
Lincoln. Q describes him as

    ‘Artificial throughout, the mere creature of self-discipline. A
    fine-looking man, tall and handsome, he always dressed in the
    extreme of fashion. His manner of speaking, like his manner
    in all other respects, was affected. He wrote his speeches
    out, learned them off by heart, and delivered them with great
    rapidity in a weak voice, made more difficult to follow by
    reason of affected pronunciation. He did not often speak, and
    was rewarded for his moderation in this respect by finding the
    benches crowded when he interposed in debate.’



Copyright, 1915, by Mrs. Humphry Ward, in the United States of America.


Douglas Falloden was sitting alone in his father’s library surrounded
by paper and documents. He had just concluded a long interview with
the family lawyer; and a tray containing the remains of their hasty
luncheon was on a side table. The room had a dusty, dishevelled air.
Half of the house-servants had been already dismissed; the rest were
disorganised. Lady Laura had left Flood the day before. To her son’s
infinite relief she had consented to take the younger children and go on
a long visit to some Scotch relations. It had been left vague whether she
returned to Flood or not; but Douglas hoped that the parting was already
over—without her knowing it; and that he should be able to persuade her,
after Scotland, to go straight to the London house—which was her own
property—for the winter.

Meanwhile he himself had been doing his best to wind up affairs. The
elaborate will of twenty years earlier, with its many legacies and
bequests, had been cancelled by Sir Arthur only six weeks before his
death. A very short document had been substituted for it, making Douglas
and a certain Marmaduke Falloden, his uncle and an eminent K.C., joint
executors, and appointing Douglas and Lady Laura guardians of the younger
children. Whatever property might remain ‘after the payment of my just
debts’ was to be divided in certain proportions between Douglas and his
brother and sister.

The estates, with the exception of the lands immediately surrounding the
Castle, were to be sold to the tenants, and the dates of the auction were
already fixed. For the Castle itself, negotiations had been opened with
an enormously successful soap-boiler from the north, but the American
proprietor of a dry-goods store in Chicago was also in the market, and
the Falloden solicitors were skilfully playing the two big fish against
each other. The sale of the pictures would come before the Court early in
October. Meanwhile the beautiful Romney—the lady in black—still looked
down upon her stripped and impoverished descendant; and Falloden,
whose sole companion she often was through dreary hours, imagined her
sometimes as tragic or reproachful, but more commonly as mocking him with
a malicious Irish glee.

There would be some few thousand pounds left for himself when all was
settled. He was determined to go into Parliament, and his present
intention was to stand for a Merton Fellowship, and read for the Bar. If
other men could make three or four thousand a year within three years
or so of being called, why not he? His character had steeled under the
pressure of disaster. He realised with a clearer intelligence, day by
day, all that had gone from him—his father—his inheritance—the careless
ease and self-assurance that goes with the chief places at the feast
of life. But if he must now drop to the lower rooms, it would not be
‘with shame’ that he would do that, or anything else. He felt within
himself a driving and boundless energy; an iron will to succeed. There
was even a certain bitter satisfaction in measuring himself against the
world without the props and privileges he had hitherto possessed. He
was often sore and miserable to his heart’s depths; haunted by black
regrets and compunction he could not get rid of. All the same it was his
fixed resolve to waste no thoughts on mere happiness. His business was
to make a place for himself as an able man among able men, to ask of
ambition, intelligence, hard work, and the sharpening of brain on brain,
the satisfaction he had once hoped to get out of marriage with Constance
Bledlow, and the easy, though masterly, use of great wealth.

       *       *       *       *       *

He turned to look at the clock.

She had asked him for five. He had ordered his horse accordingly, the
only beast still left in the Flood stables, and his chief means of
escape, during a dreary fortnight, from his peevish co-executor, who
was of little or no service, and had allowed himself already to say
unpardonable things about his dead brother, even to that brother’s son.

It was too soon to start, but he pushed his papers aside impatiently.
The mere prospect of seeing Constance Bledlow provoked in him a dumb and
troubled excitement. Under its impulse he left the library, and began
to walk aimlessly through the dreary and deserted house, for the mere
sake of movement. The pictures were still on the walls, for the sale of
them had not yet been formally sanctioned by the Court; but all Lady
Laura’s private and personal possessions had been removed to London, and
dust-sheets covered the furniture. Some of it indeed had been already
sold, and workmen were busy packing in the great hall, amid a dusty
litter of paper and straw. The clocks had run down; the flowers had gone,
and with them all the other signs of normal life which make the character
of a house; what remained was only the débris of a once animated whole.
Houses have their fate no less than books; and in the ears of its last
Falloden possessor the whole of the great many-dated fabric, from
its fourteenth-century foundations beneath the central tower to the
pseudo-Gothic with which Wyatt under the fourth George had disfigured the
garden front, had often, since his father’s death, seemed to speak with
an almost human voice of lamentation and distress.

But this afternoon Falloden took little notice of his surroundings. Why
had she written to him?

Well, after all, death is death, and the merest strangers had written to
him—letters that he was now wearily answering. But there had been nothing
perfunctory in her letter. As he read it he had seemed to hear her very
voice saying the soft touching things in it—things that women say so
easily and men can’t hit upon; and to be looking into her changing face,
and the eyes that could be so fierce, and then again so childishly sweet
and sad—as he had seen them, at their last meeting on the moor, while she
was giving him news of Radowitz. Yet there was not a word in the letter
that might not have been read on the house-tops—not a trace in it of
her old alluring, challenging self. Simplicity—deep feeling—sympathy—in
halting words, and unfinished sentences:—and yet—something conspicuously
absent and to all appearance so easily, unconsciously absent, that all
the sweetness and the pity brought him more smart than soothing. Yes, she
had done with him—for all her wish to be kind to him. He saw it plainly;
and he turned back thirstily to those past hours in Lathom Woods, when
he had felt himself, if only for a moment, triumphant master of her
thoughts if not her heart; rebelled against, scolded, flouted, yet still
tormentingly necessary and important. All that delicious friction, those
disputes that are the fore-runner of passion, were gone—for ever. She
was sorry for him—and very kind. His touchy pride recoiled, reading into
her letter what she had never dreamt of putting into it, just because
of the absence of that something—that old tremor—those old signs of his
influence over her, which, of course, she would never let him see again.

All the same he had replied at once, asking if he might come and
say good-bye before she left Scarfedale. And she had sent him a
telegram—‘Delighted—to-morrow—five o’clock.’

And he was going—out of a kind of recklessness—a kind of obstinate recoil
against the sorrowful or depressing circumstance of life. He had given
up all thoughts of trying to win her back—even if there were any chance
of it. His pride would not let him sue as a pauper; and of course the
Langmoors, to whom she was going—he understood—from Scarfedale, would
take good care she did not throw herself away. Quite right too. Very
likely the Tamworths would capture her; and Bletchley was quite a nice

When he did see her, what could they talk about? Radowitz?

He would like to send a message through her to Radowitz—to say something—

What could he say? He had seen Radowitz for a few minutes after the
inquest—to thank him for his evidence—and for what he had done for Sir
Arthur. Both had hurried through it. Falloden had seemed to himself
stricken with aphasia. His mouth was dry, his tongue useless. And
Radowitz had been all nerves, a flickering colour—good God, how deathly
he looked!

Afterwards he had begun a letter to Radowitz, and had toiled at it,
sometimes at dead of night, and in a feverish heat of brain. But he had
never finished or sent it. What was the use? Nothing was changed. That
black sling and the damaged hand in it stood for one of those hard facts
that no wishing, and no sentimentalising, and no remorse could get over.

‘I wish to God I had let him alone!’

That now was the frequent and bitter cry of Falloden’s inmost being.
Trouble and the sight of trouble—sorrow—and death—had been to him, as
to other men, sobering and astonishing facts. The most decisive effect
of them had been to make him vulnerable, to break through the hard
defences of pride and custom, so that he realised what he had done. And
this realisation was fast becoming a more acute and haunting thing than
anything else. It constantly drove out the poignant recollection of his
father’s death, or the dull sense of financial loss and catastrophe. Loss
and catastrophe might be at some distant time made good. But what could
ever give Radowitz back his art—his career—his natural object in life?
The hatches of the present had just got to be closed over this ugly,
irreparable thing. ‘I can’t undo it—nothing can ever be undone. But I
can’t spend my life in repenting it; one must just go forward, and not
let that, or anything else, hamstring a man who has got his fight to
fight, and can’t get out of it.’

Undo it? No. But were no, even partial, amends possible?—nothing that
could be offered, or done, or said?—nothing that would give Constance
Bledlow pleasure, or change her opinion?—efface that shrinking in her, of
which he hated to think?

He cudgelled his brains, but could think of nothing.

Money, of course, was of no use, even if he still possessed it. Radowitz,
in all matters connected with money, was hyper-sensitive and touchy. It
was well known that he had private means; and it was certainly probable
that he was now the richer man of the two.

No—there was nothing to be done. He had maimed for ever the vital
energising impulse in another human being, and it could never be
repaired. ‘His poor music!—_murdered_’—the words from Constance Bledlow’s
horror-stricken letter were always in his mind. And the day after the
inquest on Sir Arthur he had had some conversation on the medical points
of his father’s case, and on the light thrown on them by Radowitz’s
evidence, with the family doctor who was then attending Lady Laura, and
had, it appeared, been several times called in by Sorell during the
preceding weeks to see Radowitz and report on the progress of the hand.
‘A bad business!’ said the young man, who had intelligence and was fresh
from hospital—‘and awful hard luck!—he might have hurt his hand in a
score of ways and still have recovered the use of it, but this particular
injury’—he shook his head—‘nothing to be done! And the worst of it is
that a trouble like this, which cuts across a man’s career, goes so
deep. The thing I should be most afraid of is his general health. You
can see that he’s delicate—narrow-chested—a bundle of nerves. It might
be phthisis—it might be’—he shrugged his shoulders—‘well, depression,
bad neurasthenia. And the poor lad seems to have no family—no mother or
sisters—to look after him. But he’ll want a lot of care if he’s to pull
round again. An Oxford row, wasn’t it? Abominable!’

But here the sudden incursion of Lady Laura’s maid, to ask a question
for her mistress, had diverted the doctor’s thoughts and spared Falloden

       *       *       *       *       *

A little later, he was riding slowly up the side of the moor towards
Scarfedale, looking down on a landscape which since his childhood had
been so intimate and familiar a part of himself that the thought of
being wrenched away from it, immediately and for good, seemed merely

September was nearly gone; and the trees had long passed out of their
August monotony, and were already prophetic of the October blaze. The
level afternoon light was searching out the different planes of distance,
giving to each hedgerow, elm or oak, a separate force and kingship: and
the golden or bronze shades, which were day by day stealing through the
woods, made gorgeous marriage with the evening purple. The Castle, as he
gazed back upon it, had sunk into the shadows, a dim magnificent ghost,
seen through mist, like the Rhine Maidens through the blue water.

And there it would stand, perhaps for generations yet, long after he
and his kindred knew it no more. What did the plight of its last owner
matter to it, or to the woods and hills? He tried to think of that
valley a hundred years hence—a thousand!—and felt himself the merest
insect crawling on the face of this old world, which is yet so young.
But only for a moment. Rushing back, came the proud, resisting sense of
personality—of man’s dominance over Nature—of the Nietzschean ‘will to
power.’ To be strong, to be sufficient to oneself; not to yield, but to
be for ever counter-attacking circumstance, so as to be the master of
circumstance, whatever blows it might choose to strike—that seemed to be
the best, the only creed left to him.

When he reached the Scarfedale house, and a gardener had taken his horse,
the maid who opened the door told him he would find Lady Constance on the
lawn. The old ladies were out driving.

Very decent of the old ladies, he thought, as he followed the path into
the garden.

There she was!—her light form lost, almost, in a deep chair, under a lime
tree. The garden was a tangle of roses and heliotrope; everything growing
rank and fast, as though to get as much out of the soil and the sun as
possible, before the first frost made execution. It was surrounded by old
red walls that held the dropping sun, and it was full of droning bees,
and wagtails stepping daintily over the lawns.

Connie rose and came towards him. She was in black, with pale pink roses
in her hat. In spite of her height, she seemed to him the slightest,
gracefullest thing, and as she neared him she lifted her deep brown eyes,
and it was as though he had never seen before how beautiful they were.

‘It was kind of you to come!’ she said shyly.

He made no reply till she had placed him beside her under the lime. Then
he looked round him, a smile twitching his lip.

‘Your aunts are not at home?’

‘No. They have gone for their drive. Did you wish to see them?’

‘I am in terror of your Aunt Winifred. She and I had many ructions when I
was small. She thought our keepers used to shoot her cats.’

‘They probably did!’

‘Of course. But a keeper who told the truth about it would have no moral

They both laughed, looking into each other’s faces with a sudden sense
of relief from tension. After all the tragedy and the pain, there they
were, still young, still in the same world together. And the sun was
still shining and the roses blooming. Yet, all the same, there was no
thought of any renewal of their old relation on either side. Something
unexpressed, yet apparently final, seemed to stand between them;
differing very much in his mind from the something in hers, yet equally
potent. She, who had gone through agonies of far too tender pity for
him, felt now a touch of something chill and stern in the circumstance
surrounding him, that seemed to put her aside. ‘This is not your
business,’ it seemed to say; so that she saw herself as an inexperienced
child playing with that incalculable thing—the male. Attempts at sympathy
or advice died away—she rebelled—and submitted.

Still there are things—experiments—that even an inexperienced child, a
child ‘of good will,’ may venture. All the time that she was talking to
Falloden, a secret expectation, a secret excitement ran through her inner
mind. There was a garden door to her left, across a lawn. Her eyes were
often on it, and her ear listened for the click of the latch.

Meanwhile Falloden talked very frankly of the family circumstances and
his own plans. How changed the tone was, since they had discussed the
same things, riding through the Lathom Woods in June! There was little
less self-confidence, perhaps; but the quality of it was not the same.
Instead of alienating, it began to touch and thrill her. And her heart
could not help its sudden tremor when he spoke of wintering ‘in or near
Oxford.’ There was apparently a Merton prize Fellowship in December, on
which his hopes were set, and the first part of his Bar examination to
read for, whether he got a Fellowship or no.

‘And Parliament?’ she asked him.

‘Yes—that’s my aim,’ he said, quietly. ‘Of course it’s the fashion just
now, especially in Oxford, to scoff at politics and the House of Commons.
It’s like the art-for-arters in town. As if you could solve anything by
words—or paints!’

‘Your father was in the House for some time?’

She bent towards him, as she mentioned his father, with a lovely
unconscious gesture that sent a tremor through him. He seemed to perceive
all that shaken feeling in her mind to which she found it so impossible
to give expression; on which his own action had placed so strong a curb.

He replied that his father had been in Parliament for some twelve years,
and had been a Tory Whip part of the time. Then he paused, his eyes on
the grass, till he raised them to say abruptly:—

‘You heard about it all—from Radowitz?’

She nodded.

‘He came here that same night.’ And then suddenly, in the golden light,
he saw her flush vividly. Had she realised that what she had said implied
a good deal?—or might be thought to imply it? Why should Radowitz take
the trouble—after his long and exhausting experience—to come round by the
Scarfedale manor-house?

‘It was an awful time for him,’ he said, his eyes on hers. ‘It was very
strange—that he should be there.’

And again he looked down—poking at the grass with his stick.

She hesitated. Her lips trembled.

‘He was very glad—to be there. Only he was sorry—for you.’

‘You mean he was sorry that I wasn’t there sooner—with my father?’

‘I think that was what he felt—that there was only—a stranger.’

‘I was just in time,’ said Falloden, slowly. ‘And I wonder—whether
anything matters, to the dying?’

There was a pause, after which he added, with sudden energy—

I thought—at the inquest—he himself looked pretty bad.’

‘Otto Radowitz?’ Constance covered her eyes with her hands a moment—a
gesture of pain. ‘Mr. Sorell doesn’t know what to do for him. He has been
losing ground lately. The doctors say he ought to live in the open air.
He and Mr. Sorell talk of a cottage near Oxford, where Mr. Sorell can go
often and see him. But he can’t live alone.’

As she spoke Falloden’s attention was diverted. He had raised his head
and was looking across the lawn, towards the garden entrance. There
was the sound of a clicking latch. Constance turned, and saw Radowitz

The young musician paused and wavered at the sight of the two under the
lime. It seemed as though he would have taken to flight. But, instead,
he came on with hesitating step. He had taken off his hat, as he often
did when walking; and his red-gold hair _en brosse_ was as conspicuous as
ever. But otherwise what a change from the youth of three months before!
Falloden, now that the immediate pressure of his own tragedy was relaxed,
perceived the change even more sharply than he had done at the inquest;
perceived it, at first with horror, and then with a wild sense of recoil
and denial, as though some hovering Erinnys advanced with Radowitz over
the leaf-strewn grass.

Radowitz grew paler still as he reached Connie. He gave Falloden a short,
embarrassed greeting, and then subsided into the chair that Constance
offered him. The thought crossed Falloden’s mind—‘Did she arrange this?’

Her face gave little clue—though she could not restrain one quick,
hesitating glance at Falloden. She pressed tea on Radowitz, who accepted
it to please her, and then, schooled as she was in all the minor social
arts, she had soon succeeded in establishing a sort of small-talk between
the three. Falloden, self-conscious and on the rack, could not imagine
why he stayed. But this languid boy had ministered to his dying father!
And to what, and to whom, were the languor, the tragic physical change,
due? He stayed—in purgatory—looking out for any chance to escape.

‘Did you walk all the way?’

The note in Connie’s voice was softly reproachful.

‘Why, it’s only three miles!’ said Radowitz, as though defending himself,
but he spoke with an accent of depression. And Connie remembered how,
in the early days of his recovery from his injury, he had spent hours
rambling over the moors, by himself or with Sorell. Her heart yearned
to him. She would have liked to take his poor hands in hers, and talk
to him, tenderly, like a sister. But there was that other dark face and
those other eyes opposite—watching. And to them too her young sympathy
went out—how differently!—how passionately! A kind of rending and
widening process seemed to be going on within her own nature. Veils were
falling between her and life; and feelings, deeper and stronger than any
she had ever known, were fast developing the woman in the girl. How to
heal Radowitz!—how to comfort Falloden! Her mind ached under the feelings
that filled it—feelings wholly disinterested and pure.

‘You really are taking the Boar’s Hill cottage?’ she asked, addressing

‘I think so. It is nearly settled. But I am trying to find some
companion. Sorell can only come occasionally.’

As he spoke, a wild idea flashed into Falloden’s brain. It seemed to
have entered without—or against—his will; as though suggested by some
imperious agency outside himself. His intelligence laughed at it.
Something else in him entertained it—breathlessly.

Radowitz stooped down to try and tempt Lady Marcia’s dachshund with a
piece of cake.

‘I must anyhow have a dog,’ he said, as the pampered Max accepted the
cake, and laid his head gratefully on the donor’s knee:—‘they’re always

He looked wistfully into the dog’s large friendly eyes.

Connie rose.

‘Please don’t move!’ she said, flushing, ‘I shall be back directly. But
I must put up a letter. I hear the postman!’ She ran across the grass,
leaving the two men in acute discomfort. Falloden thought again, with
rising excitement: ‘She planned it! She wants me to do something—to take
some step⸺ But what?’

An awkward pause followed. Radowitz was still playing with the dog,
caressing its beautiful head with his uninjured hand, and talking to it
in a half whisper. As Constance departed, a bright and feverish red had
rushed into his cheeks; but it had only made his aspect more ghostly,
more unreal.

Again the absurd idea emerged in Falloden’s consciousness; and this time
it seemed to find its own expression, and to be merely making use of his
voice, which he heard as though it were someone else’s.

He bent over towards Radowitz.

‘Would you care to share the cottage with me?’ he said abruptly. ‘I want
to find a place to read in—out of Oxford.’

Radowitz looked up, amazed—speechless! Falloden’s eyes met Otto’s
steadily. The boy turned away. Suddenly he covered his face with his free

‘Why did you hate me so?’ he said, breathing quick. ‘What had I done to

‘I didn’t hate you,’ said Falloden, thickly. ‘I was mad.’

‘Because you were jealous? What a fool you were! She never cared a brass
farthing for me—except as she does now. She would like to nurse me—and
give me back my music. But she can’t—and you can’t.’

There was silence again. Otto’s chest heaved. As far as he could with his
one hand, he hid the tears in his eyes from his companion. And at last he
shook off emotion—with a laugh in which there was no mirth.

‘Well, at least, I shouldn’t make such a row now as I used to

Falloden understood his reference to the soda-water bottle fusillade, by
which the ‘bloods,’ in their first attack upon him, had tried to silence
his piano.

‘Can’t you play at all?’ he said, at last; choosing the easiest of
several remarks that presented themselves.

‘I get about somehow on the keys. It’s better than nothing. And I’m
writing something for my degree. It’s rather good. If I could only keep
well!’ said the boy impatiently. ‘It’s this damned health that gets in
the way.’

Then he threw himself back in his chair, all the melancholy of his face
suddenly breaking up, the eyes sparkling.

‘Suppose I set up one of those automatic pianos they’re now talking
about—could you stand that?’

‘I would have a room where I didn’t hear it. That would be all right.’

‘There’s a wonderful idea I heard of from Paris a week or two ago,’ said
Otto excitedly—‘a marvellous electric invention a man’s at work on, where
you only turn a handle, or press a button, and you get Rubinstein—or
Madame Schumann or my countryman, Paderewski, who’s going to beat
everybody. It isn’t finished yet. But it won’t be for the likes of me.
It’ll cost at least a thousand pounds.’

‘They’ll get cheaper,’ said Falloden, his chin in his hands, elbows on
knees—eyes fixed on his companion. It seemed to him he was talking in a
dream, so strange was this thing he had proposed; which apparently was
going to come to pass. At any rate Radowitz had not refused. He sat with
the dachshund on his knees, alternately pulling out and folding its long
ears. He seemed to be, all in a moment, in high spirits, and when he saw
Connie coming back through the garden gate, with a shy, hesitating step,
he sprang up eagerly to greet her. But there was another figure behind
her. It was Sorell; and at sight of him ‘something sealed’ the boy’s
lips. He looked round at Falloden, and dropped back into his chair.

Falloden rose from his seat abruptly. A formal and scarcely perceptible
greeting passed between him and Sorell. All Falloden’s irritable
self-consciousness rushed back upon him as he recognised the St.
Cyprian’s tutor. He was not going to stay and cry peccavi any more, in
the presence of a bloodless prig, for whom Oxford was the world. But it
was bitter to him all the same to leave him in possession of the garden
and Connie Bledlow’s company.

‘Thank you—I must go,’ he said brusquely, as Connie tried to detain him.
‘There is so much to do nowadays. I shall be leaving Flood next week. The
agent will be in charge.’

‘Leaving—for good?’ she asked, in her appealing voice as they stood apart.

‘Probably—for good.’

‘I don’t know how to say—how sorry I am!’

‘Thank you. But I am glad it’s over. When you get back to Oxford—I shall
venture to come and call.’

‘That’s a promise,’ she said, smiling at him. ‘Where will you be?’

‘Ask Otto Radowitz! Good-bye.’

Her start of surprise pleased him. He approached Radowitz. ‘Shall I hear
from you?’ he said stiffly.

‘Certainly!’ The boy looked up. ‘I will write to-morrow.’

       *       *       *       *       *

The garden door had no sooner closed on Falloden than Radowitz threw
himself back and went into a fit of laughter, curious, hollow laughter.

Sorell looked at him anxiously.

‘What’s the meaning of that, Otto?’

‘You’ll laugh, when you hear! Falloden and I are going to set up house
together, in a cottage on Boar’s Hill—when we’ve found one. He’s going to
read—and I’m to be allowed a piano, and a pianola. Queer, isn’t it?’

‘My dear Otto!’ cried Sorell, in dismay. ‘What on earth do you mean?’

‘Well, he offered it—said he’d come and look after me. I don’t know what
possessed him—nor me either. I didn’t exactly accept. But I shall accept.
Why shouldn’t I?’

‘Because Falloden’s the last person in the world to look after
anybody—least of all, you!’ said Sorell with indignant energy. ‘But of
course it’s a joke! You mean it for a joke. If he proposed it, it was
like his audacity. Nobody would, who had a shred of delicacy. I suppose
he wants to disarm public opinion!’

Radowitz looked oddly at Sorell, from under his finely-marked eyebrows.

‘I don’t believe he cares a hang for public opinion,’ he said slowly.
‘Nor do I. If you could come, Alexis, of course that would settle it. And
if you won’t come to see me, supposing Falloden and I do share diggings,
that settles it too. But you will come, old man—you will come!’

And he nodded, smiling, at his quasi-guardian. Neither of them noticed
Connie. Yet she had hung absorbed on their conversation, the breath
fluttering on her parted lips. And when their talk paused she bent
forward, and laid her hand on Sorell’s arm.

‘Let him!’ she said pleadingly—‘let him do it!’

Sorell looked at her in troubled perplexity. ‘Let Douglas Falloden make
_some_ amends to his victim; if he can and will. Don’t be so unkind as to
prevent it!’ That, he supposed, was what she meant. It seemed to him the
mere sentimental unreason of the young girl, who will not believe that
there is any irrevocableness in things at all, till life teaches her.

Radowitz too! What folly, what mistaken religiosity could make him dream
of consenting to such a housemate through this winter which might very
well be his last!

Monstrous! What kind of qualities had Falloden to fit him for such a
task? All very well, indeed, that he should feel remorse! Sorell hoped
he might feel it a good deal more sharply yet. But that he should ease
his remorse at Otto’s expense, by offering what he could never fulfil,
and by taking the place of someone on whom Otto could have really
leaned: that seemed to Sorell all of a piece with the man’s egotism, his
epicurean impatience of anything that permanently made him uncomfortable
or unhappy. He put something of this into impetuous words as well as
he could. But Otto listened in silence. So did Constance. And Sorell
presently felt that there was a secret bond between them.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before the aunts returned, the rectory pony-carriage came for Radowitz,
who was not strong enough to walk both ways. Sorell and Constance were
left alone.

Sorell, observing her, was struck anew by the signs of change and
development in her. It was as though her mother and her mother’s soul
showed through the girl’s slighter temperament. The old satiric aloofness
in Connie’s brown eyes, an expression all her own, and not her mother’s,
seemed to have slipped away; Sorell missed it. Ella Risborough’s
sympathetic charm had replaced it, but with suggestions of hidden
conflict and suffering, of which Lady Risborough’s bright sweetness
had known nothing. It was borne in upon him that, since her arrival in
Oxford, Constance had gone through a great deal, and gone through it
alone. For after all what had his efforts amounted to? What can a man
friend do for a young girl in these fermenting years of her youth? And
when the man friend knows very well that, but for an iron force upon
himself, he himself would be among her lovers? Sorell felt himself
powerless—in all the greater matters—and was inclined to think that he
deserved to be powerless. Yet he had done his best; and through his Greek
lessons he humbly knew that he had helped her spiritual growth, just as
the Greek immortals had helped and chastened his own youth. They had been
reading Homer together—parts both of the ‘Iliad’ and the ‘Odyssey’; and
through ‘that ageless mouth of all the world,’ what splendid things had
spoken to her!—Hector’s courage, and Andromache’s tenderness, the bitter
sorrow of Priam, the bitter pity of Achilles, mother-love and wife-love,
death and the scorn of death. He had felt her glow and tremble in the
grip of that supreme poetry; for himself he had found her, especially of
late, the dearest and most responsive of pupils.

But what use was anything, if after all, as Radowitz vowed, she was in
love with Douglas Falloden? The antagonism between the men of Sorell’s
type—disinterested, pure-minded, poetic, and liable, often, in action
to the scrupulosity which destroys action; and the men of Falloden’s
type—strong, claimant, self-centred, arrogant, determined—is perennial.
Nor can a man of the one type ever understand the attraction for women of
the other.

Sorell sat on impatiently in the darkening garden, hoping always that
Connie would explain, would confess; for he was certain that she had
somehow schemed for this preposterous reconciliation—if it was a
reconciliation. She wanted, no doubt, to heal Falloden’s conscience, and
so to comfort her own. And she would sacrifice Otto, if need be, in the
process! He vowed to himself that he would prevent it, if he could.

Connie eyed him wistfully. Confidences seemed to be on her very lips, and
then stopped there. In the end she neither explained nor confessed. But
when he was gone she walked up and down the lawn under the evening sky,
her hands behind her—passionately dreaming.

She had never thought of any such plan as had actually sprung to light.
And she understood Sorell’s opposition.

All the same, her heart sang over it. When she had asked Radowitz and
Douglas to meet, each unbeknown to the other, when she had sent away the
kind old aunts and prepared it all, she had reckoned on powers of feeling
in Falloden, in which apparently only she and Aunt Marcia believed; and
she had counted on the mystical and religious fervour she had long since
discovered in Radowitz. That night—after Sir Arthur’s death—she had
looked trembling into the boy’s very soul, had perceived his wondering
sense of a special message to him, through what had happened, from a God
who suffered and forgives.

Yes, she had tried—to make peace.

And she guessed—the tears blinding her as she walked—at the true meaning
of Falloden’s sudden impulse, and Otto’s consent. Falloden’s was an
impulse of repentance; and Otto’s had been an impulse of pardon, in the
Christian sense. ‘If I am to die, I will die at peace with him.’ Was that
the thought—the tragic and touching thought, in the boy’s mind?

As to Falloden, could he do it?—could he rise to the height of what was
offered him? She prayed he might; she believed he could.

Her whole being was aflame. Douglas was no longer in love with her;
that was clear. What matter, if he made peace with his own soul? As for
her, she loved him with her whole heart, and meant to go on loving him,
whatever anyone might say. And that being so, she would of course never

Could she ever make Nora understand the situation? By letter, it was
certainly useless to try!

(_To be continued._)



Updated editions will replace the previous one—the old editions will
be renamed.

Creating the works from print editions not protected by U.S. copyright
law means that no one owns a United States copyright in these works,
so the Foundation (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United
States without permission and without paying copyright
royalties. Special rules, set forth in the General Terms of Use part
of this license, apply to copying and distributing Project
Gutenberg™ electronic works to protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG™
concept and trademark. Project Gutenberg is a registered trademark,
and may not be used if you charge for an eBook, except by following
the terms of the trademark license, including paying royalties for use
of the Project Gutenberg trademark. If you do not charge anything for
copies of this eBook, complying with the trademark license is very
easy. You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose such as creation
of derivative works, reports, performances and research. Project
Gutenberg eBooks may be modified and printed and given away—you may
do practically ANYTHING in the United States with eBooks not protected
by U.S. copyright law. Redistribution is subject to the trademark
license, especially commercial redistribution.




To protect the Project Gutenberg™ mission of promoting the free
distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work
(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase “Project
Gutenberg”), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full
Project Gutenberg™ License available with this file or online at

Section 1. General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project Gutenberg™
electronic works

1.A. By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg™
electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to
and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement. If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or
destroy all copies of Project Gutenberg™ electronic works in your
possession. If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a
Project Gutenberg™ electronic work and you do not agree to be bound
by the terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person
or entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph 1.E.8.

1.B. “Project Gutenberg” is a registered trademark. It may only be
used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who
agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement. There are a few
things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg™ electronic works
even without complying with the full terms of this agreement. See
paragraph 1.C below. There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg™ electronic works if you follow the terms of this
agreement and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg™
electronic works. See paragraph 1.E below.

1.C. The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation (“the
Foundation” or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection
of Project Gutenberg™ electronic works. Nearly all the individual
works in the collection are in the public domain in the United
States. If an individual work is unprotected by copyright law in the
United States and you are located in the United States, we do not
claim a right to prevent you from copying, distributing, performing,
displaying or creating derivative works based on the work as long as
all references to Project Gutenberg are removed. Of course, we hope
that you will support the Project Gutenberg™ mission of promoting
free access to electronic works by freely sharing Project Gutenberg™
works in compliance with the terms of this agreement for keeping the
Project Gutenberg™ name associated with the work. You can easily
comply with the terms of this agreement by keeping this work in the
same format with its attached full Project Gutenberg™ License when
you share it without charge with others.

1.D. The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work. Copyright laws in most countries are
in a constant state of change. If you are outside the United States,
check the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this
agreement before downloading, copying, displaying, performing,
distributing or creating derivative works based on this work or any
other Project Gutenberg™ work. The Foundation makes no
representations concerning the copyright status of any work in any
country other than the United States.

1.E. Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:

1.E.1. The following sentence, with active links to, or other
immediate access to, the full Project Gutenberg™ License must appear
prominently whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg™ work (any work
on which the phrase “Project Gutenberg” appears, or with which the
phrase “Project Gutenberg” is associated) is accessed, displayed,
performed, viewed, copied or distributed:

    This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most
    other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions
    whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms
    of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online
    at If you
    are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws
    of the country where you are located before using this eBook.
1.E.2. If an individual Project Gutenberg™ electronic work is
derived from texts not protected by U.S. copyright law (does not
contain a notice indicating that it is posted with permission of the
copyright holder), the work can be copied and distributed to anyone in
the United States without paying any fees or charges. If you are
redistributing or providing access to a work with the phrase “Project
Gutenberg” associated with or appearing on the work, you must comply
either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 or
obtain permission for the use of the work and the Project Gutenberg™
trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.3. If an individual Project Gutenberg™ electronic work is posted
with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution
must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any
additional terms imposed by the copyright holder. Additional terms
will be linked to the Project Gutenberg™ License for all works
posted with the permission of the copyright holder found at the
beginning of this work.

1.E.4. Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg™
License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this
work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg™.

1.E.5. Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
Gutenberg™ License.

1.E.6. You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including
any word processing or hypertext form. However, if you provide access
to or distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg™ work in a format
other than “Plain Vanilla ASCII” or other format used in the official
version posted on the official Project Gutenberg™ website
(, you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense
to the user, provide a copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means
of obtaining a copy upon request, of the work in its original “Plain
Vanilla ASCII” or other form. Any alternate format must include the
full Project Gutenberg™ License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.

1.E.7. Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,
performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg™ works
unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.8. You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
access to or distributing Project Gutenberg™ electronic works
provided that:

    • You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
        the use of Project Gutenberg™ works calculated using the method
        you already use to calculate your applicable taxes. The fee is owed
        to the owner of the Project Gutenberg™ trademark, but he has
        agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the Project
        Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation. Royalty payments must be paid
        within 60 days following each date on which you prepare (or are
        legally required to prepare) your periodic tax returns. Royalty
        payments should be clearly marked as such and sent to the Project
        Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the address specified in
        Section 4, “Information about donations to the Project Gutenberg
        Literary Archive Foundation.”
    • You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
        you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
        does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg™
        License. You must require such a user to return or destroy all
        copies of the works possessed in a physical medium and discontinue
        all use of and all access to other copies of Project Gutenberg™
    • You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of
        any money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
        electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days of
        receipt of the work.
    • You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
        distribution of Project Gutenberg™ works.

1.E.9. If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project
Gutenberg™ electronic work or group of works on different terms than
are set forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing
from the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the manager of
the Project Gutenberg™ trademark. Contact the Foundation as set
forth in Section 3 below.


1.F.1. Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable
effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread
works not protected by U.S. copyright law in creating the Project
Gutenberg™ collection. Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg™
electronic works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may
contain “Defects,” such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate
or corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other
intellectual property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or
other medium, a computer virus, or computer codes that damage or
cannot be read by your equipment.

of Replacement or Refund” described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg™ trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg™ electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal

defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from. If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium
with your written explanation. The person or entity that provided you
with the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in
lieu of a refund. If you received the work electronically, the person
or entity providing it to you may choose to give you a second
opportunity to receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund. If
the second copy is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing
without further opportunities to fix the problem.

1.F.4. Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you ‘AS-IS’, WITH NO

1.F.5. Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of
damages. If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement
violates the law of the state applicable to this agreement, the
agreement shall be interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or
limitation permitted by the applicable state law. The invalidity or
unenforceability of any provision of this agreement shall not void the
remaining provisions.

1.F.6. INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
providing copies of Project Gutenberg™ electronic works in
accordance with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the
production, promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg™
electronic works, harmless from all liability, costs and expenses,
including legal fees, that arise directly or indirectly from any of
the following which you do or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this
or any Project Gutenberg™ work, (b) alteration, modification, or
additions or deletions to any Project Gutenberg™ work, and (c) any
Defect you cause.

Section 2. Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg™

Project Gutenberg™ is synonymous with the free distribution of
electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of
computers including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers. It
exists because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations
from people in all walks of life.

Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
assistance they need are critical to reaching Project Gutenberg™’s
goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg™ collection will
remain freely available for generations to come. In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and permanent future for Project Gutenberg™ and future
generations. To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation and how your efforts and donations can help, see
Sections 3 and 4 and the Foundation information page at

Section 3. Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non-profit
501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the
state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service. The Foundation’s EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541. Contributions to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent permitted by
U.S. federal laws and your state’s laws.

The Foundation’s business office is located at 809 North 1500 West,
Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887. Email contact links and up
to date contact information can be found at the Foundation’s website
and official page at

Section 4. Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation

Project Gutenberg™ depends upon and cannot survive without widespread
public support and donations to carry out its mission of
increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine-readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment. Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.

The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States. Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements. We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance. To SEND
DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any particular state

While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.

International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States. U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.

Please check the Project Gutenberg web pages for current donation
methods and addresses. Donations are accepted in a number of other
ways including checks, online payments and credit card donations. To
donate, please visit:

Section 5. General Information About Project Gutenberg™ electronic works

Professor Michael S. Hart was the originator of the Project
Gutenberg™ concept of a library of electronic works that could be
freely shared with anyone. For forty years, he produced and
distributed Project Gutenberg™ eBooks with only a loose network of
volunteer support.

Project Gutenberg™ eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as not protected by copyright in
the U.S. unless a copyright notice is included. Thus, we do not
necessarily keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper

Most people start at our website which has the main PG search

This website includes information about Project Gutenberg™,
including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.