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Title: Impressions And Comments

Author: Havelock Ellis

Release Date: May, 2005 [EBook #8125] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on June 16, 2003]

Edition: 10

Language: English


Produced by S.R.Ellison, Eric Eldred and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.




For many years I have been accustomed to make notes on random leaves of the things in Life and Thought which have chanced to strike my attention. Such records of personal reaction to the outer and inner world have been helpful to my work, and so had their uses.

But as one grows older the possibilities of these uses become more limited. One realises in the Autumn that leaves no longer have a vital function to perform; there is no longer any need why they should cling to the tree. So let them be scattered to the winds!

It is inevitable that such Leaves cannot be judged in the same way as though they constituted a Book. They are much more like loose pages from a Journal. Thus they tend to be more personal, more idiosyncratic, than in a book it would be lawful for a writer to be. Often, also, they show blanks which the intelligence of the reader must fill in. At the best they merely present the aspect of the moment, the flash of a single facet of life, only to be held in the brain provided one also holds therein many other facets, for the fair presentation of the great crystal of life. So it comes about that much is here demanded of the Reader, so much that I feel it rather my duty to warn him away than to hold out any fallacious lures.

The fact has especially to be reckoned with that such Impressions and Comments, stated absolutely and without consideration for divergent Impressions and Comments, may seem, as a friend who has read some of them points out, to lack explicit reasonableness. I trust they are not lacking in implicit reasonableness. They spring, even when they seem to contradict one another, from a central vision, and from a central faith too deeply rooted to care to hasten unduly towards the most obvious goal. From that central core these Impressions and Comments are concerned with many things, with the miracles of Nature, with the Charms and Absurdities of the Human Worm, that Golden Wire wherefrom hang all the joys and the mysteries of Art. I am only troubled because I know how very feebly these things are imaged here. For I have only the medium of words to work in, only words, words that are flung about in the street and often in the mud, only words with which to mould all my images of the Beauty and Gaiety of the World.

Such as they are, these random leaves are here scattered to the winds. It may be that as they flutter to the earth one or another may be caught by the hand of the idle passer-by, and even seem worthy of contemplation. For no two leaves are alike even when they fall from the same tree.



July 24, 1912.—I looked out from my room about ten o'clock at night. Almost below the open window a young woman was clinging to the flat wall for support, with occasional floundering movements towards the attainment of a firmer balance. In the dim light she seemed decently dressed in black; her handkerchief was in her hand; she had evidently been sick.

Every few moments some one passed by. It was quite clear that she was helpless and distressed. No one turned a glance towards her—except a policeman. He gazed at her searchingly as he passed, but without stopping or speaking; she was drunk, no doubt, but not too obtrusively incapable; he mercifully decided that she was of no immediate professional concern to him. She soon made a more violent effort to gain muscular control of herself, but merely staggered round her own escaping centre of gravity and sank gently on to the pavement in a sitting posture.

Every few moments people continued to pass within a few inches of her—men, women, couples. Unlike the priest and the Levite in the parable, they never turned away, but pursued their straight course with callous rectitude. Not one seemed so much as to see her. In a minute or two, stimulated perhaps by some sense of the impropriety of her position, she rose to her feet again, without much difficulty, and returned to cling to the wall.

A few minutes later I saw a decently-dressed young woman, evidently of the working class, walk quietly, but without an instant's hesitation, straight up to the figure against the wall. (It was what, in Moscow, the first passer-by would have done.) I could hear her speaking gently and kindly, though of what she said I could only catch, "Where do you live?" No answers were audible, and perhaps none were given. But the sweet Samaritan continued speaking gently. At last I heard her say, "Come round the corner," and with only the gentle pressure of a hand on the other's arm she guided her round the corner near which they stood, away from the careless stream of passengers, to recover at leisure. I saw no more.

Our modern civilisation, it is well known, long since transformed "chivalry"; it was once an offer of help to distressed women; it is now exclusively reserved for women who are not distressed and clearly able to help themselves. We have to realise that it can scarcely even be said that our growing urban life, however it fosters what has been called "urbanity," has any equally fostering influence on instinctive mutual helpfulness as an element of that urbanity. We do not even see the helpless people who go to the wall or to the pavement. This is true of men and women alike. But when instinctive helpfulness is manifested it seems most likely to reveal itself in a woman. That is why I would like to give to women all possible opportunities—rights and privileges alike—for social service.

July 27.—A gentle rain was falling, and on this my first day in Paris since the unveiling of the Verlaine monument in the Luxembourg Gardens, immediately after I left Paris last year, I thought there could be no better moment to visit the spot so peculiarly fit to be dedicated to the poet who loved such spots—a "coin exquis" where the rain may fall peacefully among the trees, on his image as once on his heart, and the tender mists enfold him from the harsh world.

I scarcely think the sculptor quite happily inspired in his conception of the face of the charming old man I knew of old in his haunts of the Boulevard Saint-Michel. It is too strong a face, too disdainful, with too much character. Verlaine was sympathetic, simple, childlike, humble; when he put on an air of pride it was with a deliberate yet delightful pose, a child's pose. There is an air of almost military rigidity about the pride of this bust; I do not find Verlaine in that trait.

Verlaine's strength was not that of character; it was that of Nature. I could imagine that the Silenus, whom we see with his satellites near by, might be regarded in its expression, indeed in the whole conception of the group—with its helpless languor and yet its divine dominance—as the monument of that divine and helpless poet whom I still recall so well, as with lame leg and stick he would drift genially along the Boulevard a few yards away.

July 31.—At the hotel in Dijon, the flourishing capital of Burgundy, I was amused to note how curiously my room differed from what I once regarded as the type of the French room in the hotels I used to frequent. There is still a Teutonic touch in the Burgundian; he is meticulously thorough. I had six electric lights in different positions, a telephone, hot and cold water laid on into a huge basin, a foot-bath, and, finally, a wastepaper-basket. For the rest, a severely simple room, no ornaments, nothing to remind one of the brace of glass pistols and all the other ugly and useless things which filled my room at the ancient hotel in Rouen where I stayed two years ago. And the "lavabo," as it is here called, a spacious room with an ostentatiously noisy rush of water which may be heard afar and awakens one at night. The sanitary and mechanical age we are now entering makes up for the mercy it grants to our sense of smell by the ferocity with which it assails our sense of hearing. As usual, what we call "Progress" is the exchange of one Nuisance for another Nuisance.

August 5.—It is an idea of mine that a country with a genius for architecture is only able to show that genius supremely in one style, not in all styles. The Catalans have a supreme genius for architecture, but they have only achieved a single style. The English have attempted all styles of architecture, but it was only in Perpendicular that we attained a really free and beautiful native style in our domestic buildings and what one might call our domestic churches. Strassburg Cathedral is thoroughly German and acceptable as such, but Cologne Cathedral is an exotic, and all the energy and the money of Germany through a thousand years can never make it anything but cold, mechanical, and artificial. When I was in Burgundy I felt that the Burgundians had a genius for Romanesque, and that their Gothic is for the most part feeble and insipid. Now, how about the Normans? One cannot say their Romanesque is not fine, in the presence of William the Conqueror's Abbaye aux Hommes, here at Caen. But I should be inclined to ask (without absolutely affirming) whether the finest Norman Romanesque can be coupled with the finest Burgundian Romanesque. The Norman genius was, I think, really for Gothic, and not for what we in England call "Norman" because it happened to come to us through Normandy. Without going to Rouen it is enough to look at many a church here. The Normans had a peculiar plastic power over stone which Gothic alone could give free scope to. Stone became so malleable in their hands that they seem as if working in wood. Probably it really was the case that their familiarity with wood-carving influenced their work in architecture. And they possessed so fine a taste that while they seem to be freely abandoning themselves to their wildest fantasies, the outcome is rarely extravagant (Flaubert in his Tentation is a great Norman architect), and at the best attains a ravishing beauty of flowing and interwoven lines. At its worst, as in St. Sauveur, which is a monstrosity like the Siamese twins, a church with two naves and no aisles, the general result still has its interest, even apart from the exquisite beauty of the details. It is here in Gothic, and not in Romanesque, that the Normans attained full scope. We miss the superb repose, the majestic strength, of the Romanesque of Burgundy and the south-west of France. There is something daring and strange and adventurous in Norman Romanesque. It was by no accident, I think, that the ogive, in which lay the secret of Gothic, appeared first in Norman Romanesque.

August 8.—I have sometimes thought when in Spain that in ancient university towns the women tend to be notably beautiful or attractive, and I have imagined that this might be due to the continuous influence of student blood through many centuries in refining the population, the finest specimens of the young students proving irresistible to the women of the people, and so raising the level of the population by sexual selection. At Salamanca I was impressed by the unusual charm of the women, and even at Palencia to some extent noticed it, though Palencia ceased to be the great university of Spain nearly eight centuries ago. At Fécamp I have been struck by the occasional occurrence of an unusual type of feminine beauty, not, it seems to me, peculiarly Norman, with dark, ardent, spiritual eyes, and a kind of proud hierarchical bearing. I have wondered how far the abbots and monks of this great and ancient abbey of Benedictines were occupied—in the intervals of more supra-mundane avocations—in perfecting, not only the ancient recipe of their liqueur, but also the physical type of the feminine population among which they laboured. The type I have in mind sometimes rather recalls the face of Baudelaire, who, by his mother's family from which he chiefly inherited, the Dufays, belonged, it is held probable, to Normandy.

August 9.—Typical women of Normandy often have a certain highly-bred air. They are slender when young, sometimes inclined to be tall, and the face—of course beautiful in complexion, for they dwell near the sea—is not seldom refined and distinguished. See the proud, sensitive nostrils of that young woman sweeping the pavement with her broom in front of the house this morning; one can tell she is of the same race as Charlotte Corday. And I have certainly never found anywhere in France women who seem to me so naturally charming and so sympathetic as the women who dwell in all this north-western district from Paris to the sea. They are often, as one might expect, a little English-like (it might be in Suffolk on the other side of the Channel, and Beauvais, I recall, has something of the air of old Ipswich), but with a vivacity of movement, and at the same time an aristocratic precision and subtlety one fails to find in the English. When a pretty English girl of the people opens her mouth the charm is often gone. On the contrary, I have often noticed in Normandy that a seemingly commonplace unattractive girl only becomes charming when she does open her mouth, to reveal her softness of speech, the delicately-inflexed and expressive tones, while her face lights up in harmony with her speech. Now—to say nothing of the women of the south, whose hard faces and harsh voices are often so distressing—in Dijon, whence I came to Normandy this time, the women are often sweet, even angelic of aspect, looking proper material for nuns and saints, but, to me at all events, not personally so sympathetic as the Norman women, who are no doubt quite as good but never express the fact with the same air of slightly Teutonic insipidity. The men of Normandy I regard as of finer type than the Burgundian men, and this time it is the men who express goodness more than the women. The Burgundian men, with their big moustaches turned up resolutely at the points and their wickedly-sparkling eyes, have evidently set before themselves the task of incorporating a protest against the attitude of their women. But the Norman men, who allow their golden moustaches to droop, are a fine frank type of manhood at the best, pleasantly honest and unspoilt. I know, indeed, how skilful, how wily, how noble even, in their aristocratic indifference to detail, these Normans can be in extracting money from the stranger (have I not lunched simply at the Hostel Guillaume-le-Conquérant in the village of Dives for the same sum on which I have lived sumptuously for three days at the Hotel Victoria in the heart of Seville?), but the manner of their activity in this matter scarcely seems to me to be happily caught by those Parisians who delight to caricature, as mere dull, avaricious plebeians, "Ces bons Normands." Their ancient chronicler said a thousand years ago of the Normans that their unbounded avarice was balanced by their equally unbounded extravagance. That, perhaps, is a clue to the magnificent achievements of the Normans, in the spiritual world even more than in the material world.

August 10.—On leaving France by the boat from Dieppe I selected a seat close to which, shortly afterwards, three English people—two young women and a man—came to occupy deck-chairs already placed for them by a sailor and surrounded by their bags and wraps. Immediately one of the women began angrily asking her companions why her bag had not been placed the right side up; she would not have her things treated like that, etc. Her companions were gentle and conciliatory,—though I noticed they left her alone during most of the passage,—and the man had with attentive forethought made all arrangements for his companions' comfort. But, somehow, I looked in wonder at her discontented face and heard with surprise her peevish voice. She was just an ordinary stolid nourishing young Englishwoman. But I had been in France, and though I had been travelling for a whole fortnight I had seen nothing like this. She lay back and began reading a novel, which she speedily exchanged for a basin. I fear I felt a certain satisfaction at the spectacle. It is good for the English barbarian to be chastised with scorpions.

How pleasant at Newhaven to find myself near another woman, a young Frenchwoman, with the firm, disciplined, tender face, the sweetly-modulated voice, the air of fine training, the dignified self-respect which also involves respect for others. I realised in a flash the profound contrast to that fellow-countrywoman of mine who had fascinated my attention on board the boat.

But one imagines a French philosopher, a new Taine, let us suppose, setting out from Dieppe for the "land of Suffragettes" to write another Notes sur l'Angleterre. How finely he would build a great generalisation on narrow premises! How acutely he would point out the dependence of the English "gentleman's" good qualities or the ill-conditioned qualities of his women-folk!

August 15.—I enter an empty suburban railway carriage and take up a common-looking little periodical lying on the seat beside me. It is a penny weekly I had never heard of before, written for feminine readers and evidently enjoying an immense circulation. I turn over the pages. One might possibly suppose that at the present moment the feminine world is greatly excited, or at all events mildly interested, by the suffrage movement. But there is not a word in this paper from beginning to end with the faintest reference to the suffrage, nor is there anything bearing on any single great social movement of the day in which, it may seem to us, women are taking a part. Nor, again, is there anything to be found touching on ideas, not even on religion. There are, on the other hand, evidently three great interests dominating the thoughts of the readers of this paper: Clothes, Cookery, Courtship. How to make an old hat look new, how to make sweetmeats, how to behave when a man makes advances to you—these are the problems in which the readers of this journal are profoundly interested, and one can scarcely gather that they are interested in anything else. Very instructive is the long series of questions, problems posed by anxious correspondents for the editor to answer. One finds such a problem as this: Suppose you like a man, and suppose you think he likes you, and suppose he never says so—what ought you to do? The answers, fully accepting the serious nature of the problems, are kindly and sensible enough, almost maternal, admirably adapted to the calibre and outlook of the readers in this little world. But what a little world! So narrow, so palaeolithically ancient, so pathetically simple, so good, so sweet, so humble, so essentially and profoundly feminine! It is difficult not to drop a tear on the thin, common, badly-printed pages.

And then, in the very different journal I have with me, I read the enthusiastic declaration of an ardent masculine feminist—a man of the study—that the executive power of the world is to-day being transferred to women; they alone possess "psychic vision," they alone are interested in the great questions which men ignore—and I realise what those great questions are: Clothes, Cookery, Courtship.

August 23.—I stood on the platform at Paddington station as the Plymouth Express slowly glided out. Leaning out of a third-class compartment stood the figure that attracted my attention. His head was bare and so revealed his harmoniously wavy and carefully-tended grey hair. The expression of his shaven and disciplined face was sympathetic and kindly, evidently attuned to expected emotions of sorrowful farewell, yet composed, clearly not himself overwhelmed by those emotions. His right arm and open hand were held above his head, in an attitude that had in it a not too ostentatious hint of benediction. When he judged that the gracious vision was no longer visible to the sorrowing friends left behind he discreetly withdrew into the carriage. There was a feminine touch about this figure; there was also a touch of the professional actor. But on the whole it was absolutely, without the shadow of a doubt, the complete Anglican Clergyman.

September 2.—Nearly every day just now I have to enter a certain shop where I am served by a young woman. She is married, a mother, at the same time a businesslike young woman who is proud of her businesslike qualities. But she is also pleasant to look upon in her healthy young maternity, her frank open face, her direct speech, her simple natural manner and instinctive friendliness. From her whole body radiates the healthy happiness of her gracious personality. A businesslike person, certainly, and I receive nothing beyond my due money's worth. But I always carry away something that no money can buy, and that is even more nourishing than the eggs and butter and cream she sells.

How few, it seems to me, yet realise the vast importance in civilisation of the quality of the people one is necessarily brought into contact with! Consider the vast number of people in our present communities who are harsh, ugly, ineradically discourteous, selfish, or insolent—the people whose lives are spent in diminishing the joy of the community in which not so much Providence as the absence of providence has placed them, in impeding that community's natural activity, in diminishing its total output of vital force. Lazy and impertinent clerks, stuck-up shop assistants, inconsiderate employers, brutal employees, unendurable servants, and no less unendurable mistresses—what place will be left for them as civilisation advances?

We have assumed, in the past, that these things and the likes of these are modifiable by nurture, and that where they cannot be cured they must be endured. But with the realisation that breeding can be, and eventually must be, controlled by social opinion, a new horizon has opened to civilisation, a new light has come into the world, the glimpse of a new Heaven is revealed.

Animals living in nature are everywhere beautiful; it is only among men that ugliness flourishes. Savages, nearly everywhere, are gracious and harmonious; it is only among the civilised that harshness and discord are permitted to prevail. Henry Ellis, in the narrative of his experiences in Hudson's Bay in the eighteenth century, tells how a party of Eskimo—a people peculiarly tender to their children—came to the English settlement, told heart-brokenly of hardship and famine so severe that one of the children had been eaten. The English only laughed and the indignant Eskimo went on their way. What savages anywhere in the world would have laughed? I recall seeing, years ago, a man enter a railway carriage, fling aside the rug a traveller had deposited to retain a corner seat and obstinately hold that seat. Would such a man be permitted to live among savages? If the eugenic ideals that are now floating before men's eyes never lead us to any Heaven at all, but merely discourage among us the generation of human creatures below the level of decent savagery, they will serve their turn.

September 7.—The music of César Franck always brings before me a man who is seeking peace with himself and consolation with God, at a height, above the crowd, in isolation, as it were in the uppermost turret of a church tower. It recalls the memory of the unforgettable evening when Denyn played on the carillon at Malines, and from the canal side I looked up at the little red casement high in the huge Cathedral tower where the great player seemed to be breathing out his soul, in solitude, among the stars. Always when I hear the music of Franck—a Fleming, also, it may well be by no accident—I seem to be in contact with a sensitive and solitary spirit, absorbed in self-communion, weaving the web of its own Heaven and achieving the fulfilment of its own rapture.

In this symphonic poem, "Les Djinns," the attitude more tenderly revealed in the "Variations Symphoniques," and, above all, the sonata in A Major, is dramatically represented. The solitary dreamer in his tower is surrounded and assailed by evil spirits, we hear the beating of their great wings as they troop past, but the dreamer is strong and undismayed, and in the end he is left in peace, alone.

September 10.—It was an overture by Elgar, and the full solemn sonorous music had drawn to its properly majestic close. Beside me sat an artist friend who is a lover of music, and regularly attends these Promenade Concerts. He removed the cigarette from his lips and chuckled softly to himself for some moments. Then he replaced the cigarette and joined in the tempestuous and prolonged applause. I looked at him inquiringly. "It is a sort of variation of the theme," he said, "that he sometimes calls the Cosmic Angels Working Together or the Soul of Man Striving with the Divine Essence." I glanced at the programme again. The title was "Cockaigne."

September 17.—It has often seemed to me that the bearing of musical conductors is significant for the study of national characteristics, and especially for the difference between the English and the Continental neuro-psychic systems. One always feels inhibition and suppression (such as a Freudian has found characteristic of the English) in the movements of the English conductor, some psychic element holding the nervous play in check, and producing a stiff wooden embarrassed rigidity or an ostentatiously languid and careless indifference. At the extreme remove from this is Birnbaum, that gigantic and feverishly active spider, whose bent body seems to crouch over the whole orchestra, his magically elongated arms to stretch out so far that his wand touches the big drum. But even the quietest of these foreign conductors, Nikisch, for example, gives no impression of psychic inhibition, but rather of that refined and deliberate economy of means which marks the accomplished artist. Among English conductors one may regard Wood (lucus a non lucendo!) as an exception. Most of the rest—I speak of those of the old school, since those of the new school can sometimes be volatile and feverish enough—seem to be saying all the time: "I am in an awkward and embarrassing position, though I shall muddle through successfully. The fact is I am rather out of my element here. I am really a Gentleman."

October 2.—Whenever I come down to Cornwall I realise the curious contradiction which lies in this region as at once a Land of Granite and a Land of Mist. On the one hand archaic rocks, primitive, mighty, unchanging, deep-rooted in the bases of the world. On the other hand, iridescent vapour, for ever changing, one moment covering the land with radiant colour, another enveloping it in a pall of gloom.

I can also see two contradictory types of people among the inhabitants of this land. On the one hand, a people of massive and solid build, a slow-moving people of firm, primitive nature, that for all their calm stolidity may give out a fiery ring if struck, and will fearlessly follow the lure of Adventure or of Right. On the other hand, a race of soft and flexible build, of shifting and elusive mind, alert to speak and slow to act, of rainbow temperament, fascinating and uncertain. Other types there may be, but certainly these two, whatever their racial origin, Children of the Granite and Children of the Mist. October 3.—It has often interested me to observe how a nation of ancient civilisation differs from a nation of new civilisation by what may be called the ennoblement of its lower classes. Among new peoples the lower classes—whatever fine qualities they may possess—are still barbarians, if not savages. Plebeian is written all over them, in their vulgar roughly-moulded faces, in their awkward movements, in their manners, in their servility or in their insolence. But among the peoples of age-long culture, that culture has had time to enter the blood of even the lowest social classes, so that the very beggars may sometimes be fine gentlemen. The features become firmly or delicately moulded, the movements graceful, the manners as gracious; there is an instinctive courtesy and ease, as of equal to equal, even when addressing a social superior. One has only to think of the contrast between Poland and Russia, between Spain and Germany.

I am frequently reminded of that difference here in Cornwall. Anywhere in Cornwall you may see a carter, a miner, a fisherman, a bricklayer, who with the high distinction of his finely cast face, the mingling in his manner of easy nonchalance and old-world courtesy, seems only to need a visit to the tailor to add dignity to a Pall Mall club. No doubt England is not a new country, and the English lower social classes have become in a definite degree more aristocratic than those of Russia or even Germany. But the forefathers of the Cornish were civilised when we English were a horde of savages. One may still find humble families with ancient surnames living in the same spot as lived, we find, if we consult the Heralds' Visitations, armigerous families of the same name in the sixteenth century, already ancient, and perhaps bearing, it is curious to note, the same Christian names as the family which has forgotten them bears to-day.

So it is that in that innate ennoblement which implies no superiority either of the intellect or of the heart, but merely a greater refinement of the nervous tissue, the Cornish have displayed, from the earliest period we can discern, a slight superiority over us English. Drake, a man of this district if not a Cornish-man, when sailing on his daring buccaneering adventures, dined and supped to the music of violins, a refinement which even his Pole-hunting successors of our own day scarcely achieved. Raleigh, partly a Cornishman, still retains popular fame as the man who flung his rich cloak in the mud for the Queen to step on. To-day a poet of Cornish race when introduced in public to Sarah Bernhardt, the goddess of his youthful adoration, at once kissed her hand and declared to her that that was the moment he had all his life been looking for. But we English are not descended from the men who wrote the Mabinogian; our hearts and souls are expressed in Beowulf and Havelok, and more remotely in the Chanson de Roland. We could not imitate the Cornish if we would; and sometimes, perhaps, we would not if we could.

October 4.—I lay with a book on the rocks, overlooking a familiar scene, the great expanse of the sands at low tide. In the far distance near the river was a dim feminine figure in a long coat, accompanied by three dogs. Half an hour later, when I glanced up from my book, I chanced to notice that the slender feminine figure was marching down to the sea, leaving a little pile of garments on the middle of the sands, just now completely deserted. The slender figure leisurely and joyously disported itself in the water. Then at length it returned to the little pile, negligently guarded by the dogs, there was a faint radiance of flesh, a white towel flashed swiftly to and fro for a few moments. Then with amazing celerity the figure had resumed its original appearance, and, decorously proceeding shorewards, disappeared among the sand dunes on the way to its unknown home.

In an age when savagery has passed and civilisation has not arrived, it is only by stealth, at rare moments, that the human form may emerge from the prison house of its garments, it is only from afar that the radiance of its beauty—if beauty is still left to it—may faintly flash before us.

Among pseudo-Christian barbarians, as Heine described them, the Olympian deities still wander homelessly, scarce emerging from beneath obscure disguises, and half ashamed of their own divinity.

October 5.—I made again to-day an observation concerning a curious habit of birds and small mammals which I first made many years ago and have frequently confirmed. If when I am walking along near banks and hedges, absorbed in my own thoughts, and chance suddenly to stand still, any wild creature in covert near the spot will at once scuttle hastily and noisily away: the creature which had awaited the approaching tramp in quiet confidence that the moment of danger would soon be overpast if only he kept quiet and concealed, is overcome by so sudden a panic of terror at the arrest of movement in his neighbourhood that he betrays his own presence in the impulse to escape. The silence which one might imagine to be reassuring to the nervous animal is precisely the cause of his terror. It is a useful adaptation to the ways of the great enemy Man, whether it is an adaptation resulting from individual experience or acquired by natural selection. From the stand-point of wild animality it is the Silence of Man that is ominous.

October 11.—When I come, as now, from Cornwall to West Suffolk, I feel that I have left behind a magic land of sea and sky and exquisite atmosphere. But I have entered a land of humanity, and a land whose humanity—it may be in part from ancestral reasons—I find peculiarly congenial. Humanity is not the chief part of the charm of Cornwall, though sometimes it may seem the very efflorescence of the land. It often seems almost a parasite there. It cannot mould the barren and stubborn soil to any ideal human shapes, or develop upon it any rich harmonious human life, such as I inhale always, with immense satisfaction, in this reposeful and beautifully wrought land of Suffolk.

On this evening of my arrival in the charming old town by the quiet river, how delicious—with remembrance still fresh of the square heavy little granite boxes in which the Cornish live—to find once more these ancient, half-timbered houses reminiscent of the Norman houses, but lighter and more various, wrought with an art at once so admirable and so homely, with such delicate detail, the lovely little old windows with the soft light shining through to reveal their pattern.

The musically voiced bells sound the hour from the great church, rich in beauty and tradition, and we walk across the market-place, this side the castle hill—the hill which held for six hundred years the precious jewelled crucifix, with the splinter of the "True Cross" in its secret recess, a careless English queen once lost from her neck—towards our quiet inn, a real museum of interesting things fittingly housed, for supper of Suffolk ham and country ale, and then to bed, before the long walk of the morrow.

October 14.—The Raphaels and the Peruginos are now ranged side by side along a great wall of the National Gallery. I am able more clearly than ever to realise how much more the early master appeals to me than his greater pupil. I well remember how, as a boy of fifteen, in the old National Gallery, I would linger long before Raphael's "St. Catherine." There was no picture in the whole gallery that appealed to my youthful brain as that picture appealed, with its seductive blend of feminine grace and heavenly aspiration. But a little later the glory of Rubens suddenly broke on my vision. I could never look again with the same eyes on Raphael. By an intellectual effort I can appreciate the gracious plenitude of his accomplishment, his copious facility, his immense variety, the beauty of his draughtsmanship, and the felicity of his decorative design. But all this self-conscious skill, this ingenious affectation, this ostentatious muscularity, this immense superficiality—I feel always now a spiritual vacuity behind it which leaves me cold and critical. Every famous achievement of Raphael's, when I come upon it for the first time, repels me with a fresh shock of disillusionment. I am unpleasantly reminded of Andrea del Sarto and even of lesser men; I see the frescoes of Vasari in the distance. It is all the work of a divinely gifted youth who swiftly ran to waste, carrying with him all the art of his day and land to the same fatal abyss.

But the art of Perugino is still solid and beautiful, immutably serene. It radiates peace and strength. I neither criticise nor admire; my attitude is much more nearly that of worship, not of Perugino's images, but of a far-away ineffable mystery, which he in his time humbly sought to make a little more symbolically visible to men than any that came before him. For here we are in the presence of a great tradition which a long series of artists have in succession wrought, each adding a little that expressed the noblest insight of his own soul at its highest and best moments, and the newest acquirement of his technical skill. Raphael broke up painting, as later on Beethoven broke up music. Not that that blow destroyed the possibility of rare and wonderful developments in special directions. But painting and music alike lost for ever the radiant beauty of their prime and its unconscious serenity.

In a certain sense, if one thinks, it is the ripeness of Raphael's perfection which falls short of Perfection. In all Perfection that satisfies we demand the possibility of a Beyond which enfolds a further Perfection. It is not the fully blown rose which entrances us, but rather that which in its half-blown loveliness suggests a Perfection which no full-blown rose ever reached. In that the rose is the symbol of all vitally beautiful things. Raphael is the full-blown rose; the only Beyond is Dissolution and the straggling of faded petals.

October 17.—"War, that simple-looking word which lightly comes tripping from the lips of unthinking men, and even women." So writes a famous war-correspondent, a man in the midst of war and telling of war as it really is. Now hear a woman war-correspondent, writing about this same war: "I was so proud to see the first gun fired on Wednesday. … I liked to hear the shells swishing. … To women keen on this war it seems almost too good to be true." That is not an extract from one of the poignant satires of Janson. This woman, who writes of war as a girl might write of her first long frock, is an actual woman, a war-correspondent, with a special permit to be at the front. We are told, moreover, that she is, at the same time, actively nursing the wounded in the hospital.

To those psychologists who like large generalisations, how this figure must appeal as a type of the ancient conventional conception of what women are supposed to be—Incarnate Devils, Angels of Mercy, blended together.

October 18.—Stanley Hall has lately pointed out how much we have lost by eliminating the Devil from our theology. He is the inseparable Companion of God, and when faith in the Devil grows dim God fades away. Not only has the Devil been the Guardian of innocent pleasure, of the theatre, of dancing, of sports, Hall observes, but he preserved the virility of God. "Ought not we to rehabilitate and reinstall the Devil?"

There is much psychological truth in this contention, even for those who are not concerned, with Stanley Hall, for the maintenance of orthodox Christian theology. By eliminating one of the Great Persons from our theology we not only emasculate, we dissolve it. We cannot with impunity pick and choose what we will dispense with and what we will preserve in our traditional myths. Let us take another sacred myth, as it may well have been, "Jack and the Bean Stalk." Suppose that our refined civilised impulses lead us to reject Jack, the reckless, mischievous, and irresponsible youth, who, after a brief but discreditable career on earth, climbed up into the clouds and fraudulently deprived the Great Giant in the sky of his most precious possessions. But if the revolted moral sense rejects Jack, is it likely that even the Great Giant himself will much longer retain our faith?

In any case it must still be said that mere grandeur, creativeness, the apotheosis of virtue and benevolence, fail to constitute an adequate theological symbol for the complex human animal. Man needs to deify not only his moments of moral subjection and rectitude, but his moments of orgy and revolt. He has attained the height of civilisation, not along the one line only, but along both lines, and we cannot even be sure that the virtue line is the most important. Even the Puritan Milton ("a true poet and of the Devil's party without knowing it," as Blake said) made Satan the real hero of his theological epic, while the austere Carducci addressed a famous ode to Satan as the creator of human civilisation. And if you suspect that European culture may be only an eccentric aberration, then let us wander to the other side of the world, and we find, for instance, that the great Hawaiian goddess Kapo had a double life—now an angel of grace and beauty, now a demon of darkness and lust. Every profound vision of the world must recognise these two equally essential aspects of Nature and of Man; every vital religion must embody both aspects in superb and ennobling symbols. A religion can no more afford to degrade its Devil than to degrade its God.

That is the error Christianity fell into at last. There can be no doubt that the Christian Devil had grown quite impossible, and his disappearance was imperative. Neither Milton nor Carducci could keep him alive. His palmy days were in the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries, before the Renaissance had grown powerful enough to influence European life. Even during those palmy days he exercised a power that for the most part was not virile, but crushing and inhuman. It has been set forth in Dr. Paul Carus's History of the Devil. In the light of such a history as that I doubt much whether even Professor Stanley Hall himself would lift a finger to bring the Devil back among us again.

October 22.—Gaby Deslys is just now a great attraction at the Palace Theatre. One is amused to note how this very Parisian person and her very Parisian performance are with infinite care adapted to English needs, and attuned to this comfortably respectable, not to say stolidly luxurious, house. We are shown a bedroom with a bed in it, and a little dressing-room by the side. Her task is to undress and go to bed. It is the sort of scene that may be seen anywhere in any music-hall all over Europe. But in the capital city of British propriety, and in a music-hall patronised by Royalty, this delicate task is surrounded and safeguarded by infinite precautions. One seems to detect that the scene has been rehearsed before a committee of ambiguously mixed composition. One sees the care with which they determined the precise moment at which the electric light should be switched off in the dressing-room; one realises their firm decision that the lady must, after all, go to bed fully clothed. One is conscious throughout of a careful anxiety that every avenue to "suggestiveness" shall be just hinted and at once decently veiled. There is something unpleasant, painful, degrading in this ingenious mingling of prurience and prudery. The spectators, if they think of it at all, must realise that throughout the whole trivial performance their emotions are being basely played upon, and yet that they are being treated with an insulting precaution which would be more in place in a lunatic asylum than in a gathering of presumably responsible men and women. In the end one is made to feel how far more purifying and ennobling than this is the spectacle of absolute nakedness, even on the stage, yes, even on the stage.

And my thoughts go back to the day, less than two years ago, when for the first time this was clearly brought home to me by a performance—like this and yet so unlike—in a very different place, the simple, bare, almost sordid Teatro Gayarre. Most of the turns were of the same ordinary sort that might be seen in many another music-hall of the long Calle Marques del Duero. But at the end came on a performer who was, I soon found, of altogether another order. The famous Bianca Stella, as the programme announced, shortly to start on her South American tour, was appearing for a limited number of nights. I had never heard of Bianca Stella. She might, to look at, be Austrian, and one could imagine, from some of her methods, that she was a pupil of Isadora Duncan. She was certainly a highly trained and accomplished artist; though peculiarly fitted for her part by Nature, still an artist, not a child of Nature.

Of fine and high type, tall and rather slim, attractive in face, almost faultless in proportion and detail, playing her difficult part with unfailing dignity and grace, Bianca Stella might in general type be a Bohemian out of Stratz's Schönheit des weiblichen Körpers, or even an aristocratic young Englishwoman. She comes on fully dressed, like Gaby Deslys, but with no such luxurious environment, and slowly disrobes, dancing all the while, one delicate garment at a time, until only a gauzy chemise is left and she flings herself on the bed. Then she rises, fastens on a black mantle which floats behind concealing nothing, at the same moment removing her chemise. There is now no concealment left save by a little close-fitting triangular shield of spangled silver, as large as the palm of her hand, fastened round her waist by an almost invisible cord, and she dances again with her beautiful, dignified air. Once more, this time in the afternoon, I went to see Bianca Stella dance. Now there was a dark curtain as a background. She came on with a piece of simple white drapery wound round her body; as she dances she unfolds it, holds it behind her as she dances, finally flings it away, dancing with her fleckless and delicately proportioned body before the dark curtain. Throughout the dances her dignity and grace, untouched by voluptuous appeal and yet always human, remained unfailing. Other dancers who came on before her, clothed dancers, had been petulantly wanton to their hearts' desire. Bianca Stella seemed to belong to another world. As she danced, when I noted the spectators, I could see here and there a gleam in the eyes of coarse faces, though there was no slightest movement or gesture or look of the dancer to evoke it. For these men Bianca Stella had danced in vain, for—it remains symbolically true—only the pure in heart can see God. To see Bianca Stella truly was to realise that it is not desire but a sacred awe which nakedness inspires, an intoxication of the spirit rather than of the senses, no flame of lust but rather a purifying and exalting fire. To feel otherwise has merely been the unhappy privilege of men intoxicated by the stifling and unwholesome air of modern artificiality. To the natural man, always and everywhere, even to-day, nakedness has in it a power of divine terror, which ancient men throughout the world crystallised into beautiful rites, so that when a woman unveiled herself it seemed to them that thunderstorms were silenced, and that noxious animals were killed, and that vegetation flourished, and that all the powers of evil were put to flight. That was their feeling, and, absurd as it may seem to us, a right and natural instinct lay beneath it. Some day, perhaps, a new moral reformer, a great apostle of purity, will appear among us, having his scourge in his hand, and enter our theatres and music-halls to purge them. Since I have seen Bianca Stella I know something of what he will do. It is not nakedness that he will cast out. It will more likely be clothes.

So it is that when I contemplate Gaby Deslys or her sort, it is of Bianca
Stella that I think.

November 1.—"The way to spiritual life," wrote George Meredith in one of his recently published letters, "lies in the complete unfolding of the creature, not in the nipping of his passions. … To the flourishing of the spirit, then, through the healthy exercise of the senses!"

Yes, all that is very good, I heartily subscribe. And yet, and yet, there lingers a certain hesitation; one vaguely feels that, as a complete statement of the matter, it hardly satisfies all the demands of to-day. George Meredith belonged to the early Victorian period which had encased its head in a huge bonnet and girdled its loins with a stiff crinoline. His function was to react vitally to that state of things, and he performed his function magnificently, evoking, of course, from the Ordeal of Richard Feverel onwards, a doubtless salutary amount of scandal and amazement. The time demanded that its preachers should take their text from the spiritually excessive Blake: "Damn braces, bless relaxes." On that text, throughout his life, Meredith heroically and eloquently preached.

But nowadays that seems a long time ago. The great preacher of to-day cannot react against the attraction to braces, for it no longer exists. We are all quite ready to "damn braces." The moralist, therefore, may now legitimately hold the balance fair and firm, without giving it a little pressure in one direction for wholesome ends of admonition.

When we so look at the matter we have to realise that, biologically and morally alike, healthy restraint is needed for "the flourishing of the spirit" quite as much as healthy exercise; that bracing as well as relaxing is part of the soul's hygiene; that the directive force of a fine asceticism, exerted towards positive and not towards negative ends, is an essential part of life itself.

You might say that a fountain that leaps largely and exquisitely up towards the sky only needs freedom and space. But no, it also needs compression and force, a mighty restrained energy at its roots, of which it is the gay and capricious flower. That, you may say, is not really a vital thing. But take a real flower, the same mechanism is still at work. The flexible convolvulus that must cling to any support from which to expand its delicate bells needs not only freedom to expand but much more the marvellous energy that was wound up and confined, like a spring, in the seed. It will find its own freedom, but it will not find its own force.

Therefore let us hold the moral balance fair and firm. The utmost freedom, the utmost restraint, we need them both. They are two aspects of the same thing. We cannot have freedom in any triumphant degree unless we have restraint. The main point is, that we should not fossilise either our freedoms or our restraints. Every individual needs—harmoniously with the needs of other individuals—the freedoms and restraints his own nature demands. Every age needs new freedoms and new restraints. In the making of New Freedoms and New Restraints lies the rhythm of Life.

November 11.—The psychology of the crowd is interesting, even when it is an educated and well-fed crowd. I take up the newspaper and see the announcement of a "momentous" declaration by the Premier at a Lord Mayor's banquet at the Guildhall. I have the curiosity to read, and I find it to be that the "victors are not to be robbed of the fruits which have cost them so dear." This declaration was followed by "loud and prolonged cheers," as evidently the speaker, being a sagacious lawyer, knew it would be when he chose to put his declaration into this cynical shape, as an appeal to mob feeling, rather than in the form of a statement concerning the rights of the case, whatever the rights may be. Yet not one of those rapturous applauders would for a moment have tolerated that doctrine if it had been proposed to apply it to his own possessions. As a mob they applaud what as individuals they would disclaim with such moral energy as they might be capable of. The spectacle of the big robber is always impressive, and the most respectable of mobs is carried away by it. "Who was ever a pirate for millions?" as Raleigh protested to Bacon.

If we imagine the "victors" in this case to have been on a rather smaller scale the enthusiasm of the Guildhall mob would have been considerably damped. Let us imagine they were a band of burglars who had broken in the night before and carried off the materials for the forthcoming banquet, leaving one of the band behind dead and two wounded. When the guests seated at the bare board heard the emphatic declaration that the victors are not to be robbed of "the fruits which have cost them so dear," would they have raised quite such "loud and prolonged cheers"?

November 12.—The Divine Ironist who surely rules the world seldom leaves Himself without witness. On Lord Mayor's Day this witness appeared in the form of an ignorant ruffian. Within a few yards of the Mansion House, within a few hours of that "momentous declaration" which followed the turtle soup, in Liverpool Street—a street crowded not with ruffians but with business people and bankers' clerks, all the people who carry on the daily routine of civilisation—a man of the people smashed a jeweller's window and flung the jewelry into the street, shouting "Help yourselves." And they helped themselves. In a brief terrific scramble several hundred pounds' worth of jewelry was seized. Two men only of this respectable crowd brought what they had secured into the shop; the rest decamped with the booty. They had scarcely had time to read the "momentous declaration." But they agreed with it. They were not to be "robbed of the fruits which had cost them so dear."

Clearly, again, the Premier had rightly gauged the moral capacities of the mob. We sometimes think that the fundamental instincts of the crowd are, after all, sound; leave them to themselves and they will do the right thing. But, on the other hand, those who despise and contemn the mob will always have a sadly large amount of evidence to support their case, even in the most "respectable" centres of civilisation.

November 20.—The Archbishop of Canterbury, I understand, has publicly expressed his approval of the application of the lash to those persons who are engaged in the so-called "White Slave Traffic." There is always a certain sociological interest in the public utterances of an Archbishop of Canterbury. He is a great State official who automatically registers the level of the public opinion of the respectable classes. The futility for deterrence or reform of the lash or other physical torture as applied to adults has long been a commonplace of historical criminology, and Collas, the standard historian of flagellation, pointing out that the lash can at best only breed the virtues of slavery, declares that "the history of flagellation is that of a moral bankruptcy." Moreover, criminals who are engaged in low-grade commercial affairs, with the large lure that makes them worth while, can usually arrange that the lash should fall on a subordinate's shoulders. It has been ascertained that the "capitalised value" of the average prostitute is nearly four times as great as that of the average respectable working-girl; how many lashes will alter that? But the sadistic impulse, in all its various degrees, is independent of facts. Of late it appears to have been rising. Now it has reached that percentage of the respectable population which automatically puts the archiepiscopal apparatus in motion. For an Archbishop of Canterbury has a public function to perform (has not Sydney Smith described a "foolometer"?) altogether independent of such reasonable and human functions as he may privately perform.

Is this love of torture, by the way, possibly one of the fruits of Empire?
We see it in the Roman Empire, too, and how vigorously it was applied to
Christians and other criminals. Christianos ad leones! But it was a
disastrously unsuccessful policy—or we should not have an Archbishop of
Canterbury with us now.

No disrespect for Archbishops of Canterbury is involved in this recognition of their public function, and I have no wish to be (as Laud wrote of one of my ancestors) "a very troublesome man" to archbishops. They act automatically for the measurement of society, merely in the same sense as an individual is automatically acting for the measurement of himself when he states how profoundly he admires Mendelssohn or R. L. Stevenson. He thereby registers the particular degree of his own spiritual state. And when an Archbishop of Canterbury, with all that sensitiveness to the atmosphere which his supreme office involves, publicly Professes an Opinion, he is necessarily registering a particular degree in the Spiritual State of Society. It is an important function which was never vouchsafed to his Master.

One wonders how many centuries it is since an Archbishop of Canterbury was known to express any public opinion on non-ecclesiastical affairs which was not that of the great majority of Respectable People. Of course in ecclesiastical matters, and in political matters which are ecclesiastical, he is professionally bound, and Beckett and Sudbury and Laud—though one was a victim to the hostility of a King, another to the hostility of the lower class, and the third to the middle class—were all faithful to the death to their profession and their class, as an Archbishop is bound to be even when his profession and his class are in a minority; I speak of the things to which he is not so bound. I have no doubt that at some recent period an Archbishop has archiepiscopally blessed the Temperance Movement. He is opposed to drunkenness, because we all are, even Licensed Victuallers, and because drunkenness is fast dying out. But imagine an Archbishop of Canterbury preaching Temperance in the eighteenth century when nearly every one was liable to be drunk! He would have been mistaken for a Methodist. I must confess it would be to me a great satisfaction to find an Archbishop of Canterbury earnestly pleading in the House of Lords in favour of gambling, or the unrestricted opening of public-houses on Sunday, or some relaxation in the prosecution of pornographic literature. Not by any means that I should agree with his point of view. But the spectacle offered of a morally courageous and intellectually independent Archbishop of Canterbury would be so stimulating, the presence of a Live Person at the head of the Church instead of a glorified Penny-in-the-Slot Machine would be so far-reaching in its results, that all questions of agreement and disagreement would sink into insignificance.

December 5.—I think we under-estimate our ancestors' regard for ease. Whenever I have occasion to go to my "Jacobean" chest of drawers (chests of this type are said really to belong to the end of the seventeenth century) the softness and ease with which the drawers run always gives me a slight thrill of pleasure. They run on grooves along the side of each drawer, so that they can never catch, and when one examines them one finds that grease, now black with age, had been applied to the grooves. (In chests which have passed through the dealers' hands it is not usually easy to find traces of this grease.) The chests of modified "Jacobean" type—belonging, one may suppose, to the early eighteenth century—still show these grooves for the drawers to run on. And then, as the eighteenth century advances, they are no longer found. But that by no means meant that the eighteenth-century craftsman had resolved to be content with such articles of furniture as millions of our patient contemporaries tug and push and more or less mildly curse at. No, the eighteenth-century craftsman said to himself: I have gone beyond those "Jacobean" fellows; I can make drawers so accurately, so exquisitely fitted, that they no longer need grooves, and move as well as though they had them. And he was justified. A beautiful eighteenth-century chest of drawers really is almost as easy to manipulate as my "Jacobean" chest. One realises that the device of grooves, ingenious and successful as it was, rested on an imperfection; it was evidently an effort to overcome the crude and heavy work of earlier imperfect craftsmen.

There is evolution in the vital progress of furniture as in all other vital progress. The Jacobean chest with its oak substance and its panels and its great depth is apparently massive; this is an inherited ancestral trait due to the fact that it developed out of the earlier coffers that really were massive; in reality it is rather light. The later modified Jacobean chest shows only an attenuated appearance of massiveness, and the loss is real, for there are no fresh compensating qualities. But the developed eighteenth-century walnut chest is the unmistakable expression of a new feeling in civilisation, a new feeling of delicacy and refinement, a lovely superficiality such as civilisation demands, alike in furniture and in social intercourse. There is not even the appearance of massiveness now; the panels have gone and the depth has been notably reduced. The final goal of development was reached, and nothing was left to the nineteenth century but degeneration.

An interesting evolution in details is instructive to note. In the Jacobean chest, while the drooping loops of the handles are small and simple, the keyholes are elaborately adorned with beautiful brass scroll-work, the hereditary vestige of mediaeval days when the chest was a coffer, and the key, insistently demanded for security, was far more important than handles, which then indeed had no existence. In the unsatisfactory transitional stage of the later Jacobean chest the keyhole is less beautifully adorned, but the handles remain of similar type. Here, again, the eighteenth-century craftsman shows the fine artist he was. He instinctively felt that the handles must be developed, for not only were they more functionally important than the lock had become, but in dispensing with the grooves for the drawers to run on he had made necessary a somewhat firmer grip. So he made his handles more solid and fastened them in with beautifully-cut fingers of brass. Then he realised that the keyhole with all its fine possibilities must be sacrificed because it clashed with his handles and produced a distracting confusion. He contented himself with a simple narrow rim of brass for his keyholes, and the effect is perfectly right.

Furniture is the natural expression of the civilisation producing it. I sometimes think that there is even an intimate relation between the furniture of an epoch and its other art forms, even its literary style. The people who delighted in Cowley used these Jacobean chests, and in his style there is precisely the same blending of the seemingly massive and the really light, a blending perhaps more incongruous in poetry than in furniture. And the eighteenth-century chests were made for people who had been penetrated by the spirit of the Spectator; their craftsmen put into furniture precisely that exquisite superficiality, that social amenity, that fine conventionism which Addison and Steele put into their essays. I find it hard not to believe that delicate feminine hands once stored away the Spectator in these drawers, and sometimes think I have seen those hands on the canvases of Gainsborough and Romney.

December 7.—One is perhaps too easily disquieted by the incompetence and disaster of our typically modern things. Rotten aeroplanes for fools to ride to destruction, motorcars for drunkards and imbeciles to use as the ancient war-chariots were used, telephones and a thousand other devices which are always out of order—our civilisation after all is not made up of these. I take up Le Rire and I gaze at its coloured pictures again and again. One realises that these are the things that people will turn to when they think of the twentieth century. Our aeroplanes and our motor-cars and our telephones will no doubt be carefully displayed in a neglected cellar of their museums. But here are things they will cherish and admire, and as one gazes at them one grows more at peace with one's own time.

It is easy to detect the influence of Rowlandson and of Hiroshige and the other Japanese designers in the methods of these French artists of to-day, and there could be no better influences. Rowlandson's Dr. Syntax was the delight of my childhood, and is equally a solace to-day when I am better able to understand what that great artist accomplished; Hiroshige's daring and lovely visions of some remote Japanese fairyland are always consoling to take out and gaze at when one is weary or depressed or disgusted. There could be no better influences.

But while it is not difficult to detect such influences in Le Hire's best artists at their best moments,—not so very often attained,—they are yet always themselves and true to their own spirit and vision, or they would have no message to deliver. These pictures have their supreme value because, whether or not they are a true picture of French life, they are a true presentation of the essential French spirit, so recklessly gay and so daringly poignant, so happily exquisite in its methods, and so relentlessly direct in its moral. For some people, who take what they are able to receive, the French spirit seems trivial and superficial, merely wanton and gay, chiefly characterised by that Lubricity which worried the pedagogic Matthew Arnold. The French spirit is more specifically distinguished by its profundity and its seriousness. Without profundity and seriousness, indeed, gaiety and wantonness have no significance. If the Seven Sins had not been Deadly, the Christian Church could never have clothed them in garments of tragic dignity. Unless you cut deep into life, wantonness and gaiety lose their savour and are not fit for the ends of art. The French spirit is not only embodied in Rabelais and Montaigne and Molière—if these are your superficial men!—but also in Pascal. Was there so great a gulf between Pascal and Daumier? And I find not only the spirit of Pascal in some of these pictures in Le Rire, but sometimes even his very phrases used as the titles of them.

December 9.—The Australians, it appears, have been much worried over Chidley. Here was a man who would not fit into their conventional moulds. He was stern, resolute, inflexible, convinced that he carried a Gospel which Australia and the world at large needed. It was a Gospel so eccentrically related to the accepted scheme of things that only he himself could accept it in its entirety. His method of preaching this gospel, moreover, was as eccentric as the gospel itself. It seemed to him that men need to live closer to Nature, that a simpler diet is necessary to salvation, and less clothing, and greater sexual continence. He approved his gospel by being a model of physical muscular fitness. As I have sometimes seen a Rifian from the hills, with bare magnificent limbs, striding down from the heights carolling a song, to enter the bastardly-civilised city of Tangier, so, it would seem, Chidley descended on to the city of Sydney. Having written a book in which to contain the pith of his message, he proceeded to clothe himself in a sort of scanty bathing dress, to lecture the public in the most fashionable streets of the city, and to sell his book to those who might desire it.

Three centuries ago a man of the same type as Chidley, the eminent Quaker, Solomon Eccles, who had his gospel too, would now and then come to Westminster Hall, "very civilly tied about the privities to avoid scandal" (as Pepys, a great stickler for propriety, noted with satisfaction), to call to repentance the wicked generation of Charles II.'s day. But the people of that day were not altogether without wisdom. They let the strenuous Quaker alone. He was doubtless the better, and they were none the worse.

Nowadays, it seems, we need more than a loincloth to protect our hyperaesthetic eyes from the Splendour of Nature. The Australians, afflicted by our modern nervous fussiness, could not leave Chidley alone. The police moved him on, worried him as well as they could, invented reasons for locking him up now and then, and finally, by what seemed a masterstroke, they persuaded the doctors to shut him up in the Asylum. That, however, proved to be too much for Australian popular opinion. The voice of the people began to be heard in the press; there were long debates in Parliament; the Premier sent to the Asylum to inquire on what grounds Chidley had been placed there, and the doctors, who really had no evil intent in the matter, though their mental equilibrium had been momentarily disturbed by this unique Chidley, honourably opened the Asylum doors, and Chidley has returned to preach the Gospel in George Street until new reasons can be puzzled out for harassing him, neurotic, without doubt, but now hall-marked sane.

Like the Athenians of old, the Australians are not averse to hearing some new thing, and they have bought Chidley's book by the thousand. But the Athenians, notwithstanding their love of novelty, offered the cup of hemlock to Socrates. Chidley, if not exactly the Australian Socrates, clearly resembles his disciples, those great Cynics who in the Greek market-places were wont to preach and to practise a philosophy of stern simplicity, often akin to his own. The Athenians killed Socrates, but they produced a Plato to idealise and even to immortalise him. The Australians have drawn the line at killing Chidley. So he still awaits his Plato.

December 15.—Like a Gargantuan casserole outside, but modelled on a kettle inside, the Albert Hall, more or less filled with people, is often to me a delightful spectacle. It is so at this Sunday afternoon concert, when the lights are blended, and the bottom of the kettle is thickspread with humanity, and sprinkled with splashes of dusky crimson or purple on women's hats, while the sides are more slightly spread with the same humanity up to the galleries. The spectacle so fascinates me sometimes that I cannot listen to the music. At such moments the Albert Hall faintly recalls a miniature Spanish bull-ring. It is a far-off resemblance, even farther than the resemblance of St. Paul's Cathedral, with its enclosed dome and its worrying detail, to the simple and superb strength of the Pantheon, which lives in memory through the years as a great consoling Presence, but it often comes to me and brings with it an inspiring sense of dignity and colour and light before which the actual spectacle grows dim.

January 3, 1913.—I chanced to walk along the village street behind two little girls of the people, evidently sisters, with ribbons round their uncovered heads, filleting the hair which fell in careless ringlets on their backs. It was hair of the bright flaxen sort, which the poets have conventionally called "golden," the hair one sees so often on the angels of the Italian primitive painters—though not so often on living Italians. It is the hair which always seems to me more beautiful than any other, and I felt as if I wanted to follow these plain commonplace children as the rats followed the Pied Piper.

The vision brought to my mind the fact I have so often had occasion to realise, that aesthetic attraction has nothing to do with erotic attraction, however at their origins, it may have been, the two attractions were identical or sprang from the same source, and though they have constantly reacted on, and sometimes deflected, each other. Aesthetically this hair fascinates me; it is an exhilarating delight whenever I meet it. But I have never felt any personal attraction in association with this hair, or any great personal interest in the people it belonged to.

What one aesthetically craves is the outcome of one set of influences, due to one's special vision, one's traditions, one's training and environment, influences that are no doubt mainly objective and impersonal, operative on most of one's fellows. But what one personally craves is the outcome of another set of influences, due to one's peculiar and instinctive organic constitution; it is based on one's individual instinctive needs and may not be precisely the same for any two persons.

The Aestheticians are not here indeed altogether in harmony. But it would seem that, while the aesthetic and the sexual must frequently and legitimately overlap, they are definitely separate, that it is possible to distinguish the aesthetically-from the sexually-attractive in different persons and even in different features of the same person, that while it is frequently natural and right to love a "beautiful" woman, to love a woman because she is beautiful is as unreasonable as to fall in love with a beautiful statue. The aesthetically-attractive and the sexually-attractive tend to be held apart. They are two different "substances," as the mediaeval metaphysician would have said. From the standpoint of clear thinking, and also of social well-being, the confusion of them is, in theological language, damnable. In so far as Beauty is a personal lust it is unfit for wholesome social ends. Only in so far as it is lifted above personal desire is it fitted to become a social inspiration.

January 10.—Yesterday I waited for a friend at a London Underground railway station. She was delayed, and I stood for a quarter of an hour at the bottom of a flight of steps, watching the continuous stream of descending passengers, mostly women, and generally young. Some among the less young were swollen, heavy, and awkward; most were slack, drooping, limp, bony, or bent; a few were lithe and lissom; one or two had the emotional vivacity and muscular tone of abounding vitality. Not one plainly indicated that, stripped of her clothing, she would have transformed those Underground steps into the Golden Stairway of Heaven.

"The average civilised woman sags." That is the conclusion lately reached by Dickinson and Truslow after the examination of a very large number of American women, and it is a conclusion which applies without doubt far beyond the limits of the United States. Her breasts droop down, these investigators assert, her buttocks sweep low, her abdomen protrudes. While these defects are general, the modern woman has cultivated two extreme and opposite defects of physical carriage which Dickinson and Truslow picturesquely describe as the Kangaroo Type and the Gorilla Type. In the kangaroo type of civilised woman the upper part of the trunk is carried too much in front of the line of gravity, and the lower part too much behind that line. In the gorilla type of woman, on the contrary, the upper part of the body is carried too much behind the line of gravity, and the lower part too much in front. So far Dickinson and Truslow.

If this were a purely aesthetic matter, though it would still have its importance, it would only intrude to a slight degree into the moral and social sphere. We should simply have to recognise that these defects of the modern woman must be a frequent cause of depression to her more intimate friends, and that that may have its consequences.

There is more in it than that. All such defects of tone and posture (as indeed Dickinson and Truslow realise) have their inevitable reaction on the nervous system: they produce a constant wearing stress, a perpetual liability to pain. The women who have fallen into these habits are inadequate to life, and their inadequacy is felt in all that they are and in all that they attempt to do. Each of them is a stone flung into the social pool to disperse around it an ever-widening circle of disturbance and irritation.

It may be argued that one has seen women—working women especially—whose breasts were firm bowls of beauty, whose buttocks were exquisitely curved, whose bellies would have satisfied the inspired author of The Song of Songs, and yet the women who owned such physical graces have not conspicuously possessed the finer spiritual graces. But we do not enhance one half of human perfection by belittling the other half. And we rarely conceive of any high perfection on one side without some approach to it on the other. Even Jesus—though the whole of his story demands that his visage should be more marred than any man's—is always pictured as beautiful. And do you suppose that the slave girl Blandina would have gone into the arena at Lyons to present her white body as the immortal symbol of the love of Jesus if her breasts had drooped down, and her buttocks swept low, and her abdomen protruded? The human heart is more subtly constructed. Those romantic Christian hagiologists saw to that. And—to come nearer to the point—could her fine tension of soul have been built up on a body as dissolute and weak as a candle in the sun?

We need to-day a great revival of the sense of responsibility, not only in the soul but in the body. We want a new sort of esprit de corps. We need it especially for women, for women, under modern conditions, even less than men, have no use for sagging bodies or sagging souls. It is only by the sanction of nakedness that this can be achieved. "Take this hint from the dancer," a distinguished American dancer has said, "the fewer clothes the better; woman is clumsy because she is overweighted with clothes." With whatever terror we may view any general claim to the right of nakedness, the mere liability to nakedness, the mere freedom to be naked, at once introduces a new motive into life. It becomes a moralising force of the most strenuous urgency. Clothes can no more be put before us as a substitute for the person. The dressmaker can no longer arrogate the functions of a Creator. The way is opened for the appearance in civilisation of a real human race.

January 11.—There seem to be two extreme and opposed styles of writing: the liquid style that flows, and the bronze or marmoreal style that is moulded or carved. Thus there is in English the style of Jeremy Taylor and Newman and Ruskin, and there is the style of Bacon and Landor and Pater, the lyrically-impetuous men and the artistically-deliberate men.

One may even say that a whole language may fall into one or the other of these two groups, according to the temper of the people which created it. There is the Greek tongue, for instance, and there is the Latin tongue. Greek is the embodiment of the fluent speech that runs or soars, the speech of a people which could not help giving winged feet to its god of art. Latin is the embodiment of the weighty and concentrated speech which is hammered and pressed and polished into the shape of its perfection, as the ethically-minded Romans believed that the soul also should be wrought. Virgil said that he licked his poems into shape as a she-bear licks her cubs, and Horace, the other supreme literary artist of Rome, compared the writing of poems to working in bronze. No Greek could have said these things. Whether Plato or Aristophanes or even Thucydides, the Greek's feet touched the earth, touched it lovingly, though it might only be with the pressure of a toe, but there were always wings to his feet, he was always the embodiment of all that he symbolised in Hermes. The speech of the Greek flies, but the speech of the Roman sinks. The Roman's word in art, as in life, was still gravitas, and he contrived to infuse a shade of contempt into the word levis. With the inspired Greek we rise, with the inspired Roman we sink. With the Greek poet, it may be any poet of the Anthology, I am uplifted, I am touched by the breath of rapture. But if it is a Latin poet—Lucretius or Catullus, the quintessential Latin poets—I am hit by something pungent and poignant (they are really the same word, one notes, and that a Latin word) which pierces the flesh and sinks into the heart.

One resents the narrow and defective intelligence of the spirit embodied in Latin, its indifference to Nature, its refusal to hallow the freedom and beauty and gaiety of things, its ever-recurring foretaste of Christianity. But one must not refuse to recognise the superb and eternal morality of that spirit, whether in language or in life. It consecrates struggle, the conquest of brute matter, the perpetual and patient effort after perfection. So Rome is an everlasting challenge to the soul of Man, and the very stones of its city the mightiest of inspirations.

January 13.—An American physician, we are told, paid a visit to the famous dog-kennels on the Vanderbilt estate. He was surprised at the intelligence and gentleness of the animals. "Have you no vicious animals at all?" he asked. And the keeper in surprise answered him: "Do you suppose we would be so foolish as to permit vicious animals to breed?"

Human beings ought surely to be worth more to us than dogs. Yet here in England-and I do not know in what "civilised" country any different order prevails—we gather together all our physical and moral defectives, we bring them into our Workhouses to have babies, under the superintendence of Boards of Guardians, and every one knows that these babies are born in the image of their parents, and will perpetuate the same cycle of misery. Yet, so far as I know, not one of these "Guardians" ever so much as attempts to make clear to those hapless mothers why and how they should avoid having other children. And no one proposes to shut up as dangerous lunatics these precious Guardians of Private Misery and Public Incapacity!

We look down with lofty moral superiority on our ancestors in these islands who were accustomed to eat their fellow-creatures. We do not eat them. We only torture them. That is what we call Progress. At all events we are laying up a bountiful supply of moral superiority for our own descendants. It is not probable that they will be able to read in their newspaper (if newspaper they will still possess) as we can in ours: "At an inquest at Dudley yesterday on a woman who was fatally scalded whilst in a fit, it was stated that she had been an epileptic for years, and that her seven children had all been epileptics, and all had died when young."

January 14.—There are few things that make one so doubtful about the civilising power of England as our indifference to the smoke problem in London. If we were Neapolitan ragamuffins, who could lie in the sun with bare limbs, sucking oranges, there would be nothing to say; under such conditions indolence might be pardonable, almost justified. But we English are feverishly active, we run over the whole world, and we utilise all this energy to build up the biggest and busiest city in the world. Yet we have never created an atmosphere for our great city. Mist is beautiful, with its power of radiant transformation, and London could never, under any circumstances, and need never, be absolutely without mist; it is part of the physical genius of our land, and even perhaps of the spiritual genius of our people. But the black fogs of London are mist soaked with preventable coal smoke; their evils have been recognised from the first. Evelyn protested against this "hellish and dismal cloud of sea-coal," and Charles II. desired Evelyn to prepare a Bill on this nuisance to put before Parliament. But there the matter rested. For three centuries we have been in the position of the Russian gentleman who could not prevent his dilapidated roof from letting in the rain; for, as he pointed out, in wet weather it was quite impossible to effect any repairs, and in dry weather there was really nothing to complain of. In the meanwhile this "cloud of sea-coal" has continued to produce not only actual death and injury in particular cases, but a general diminution of human vitality and the wholesale destruction of plant life. It eats away our most beautiful public buildings; it covers everything and everybody with soot; it is responsible, directly and indirectly, for a financial loss so vast and manifold as to be incalculable.

Yesterday Lord Curzon delivered an address at the Mansion House on the Beautiful London of the Future. He dwelt eloquently on its noble buildings and its long embankments, and its wide streets and its finely placed statues. But of the smoke which nullifies and destroys all these things, not a word! Yet, as he was speaking, outside the Mansion House the people of London were almost feeling their way about, scarce knowing where they were, timidly crawling across motor-infested roads with their hearts in their mouths, all the time permanently ingraining their lungs with black filth. An able man, Lord Curzon, skilful to gauge the British Idealist, ever so absorbed in his own dream of comfort or of cash that he is even blind to the world he lives in, "pinnacled dim in the intense inane" in another sense than the poet intended.

If we were mediaeval monks, who spent our time chanting the rhyme of Bernard of Morlaix, there might seem to be a reason in our madness. To make a Hell of earth is doubtless a useful method of rendering more joyous the transition to Heaven, and less overwhelming the transition to Purgatory. Yet the mediaeval monks burnt no coal and were careful to live in beautiful sites and fine air. The prospect of Purgatory made them epicures in the fine things of Earth. Now we, apparently, care not a snap for any Hereafter. It is therefore a curious psychological problem why we should have chosen to take up our cross in this peculiarly repulsive shape. Apparently our traditions are too strong for us, we cannot dispense with Hell; if robbed of it in the future we must have it Here and Now.

January 15.—When English days are dark and dreary, and the rain falls, and cold winds blow, then it is that memory brings back the full joy of ancient beauty and sunshine. (How could Dante have written "Nessun maggior dolore"! But he had to write of Hell, and Hell were no longer Hell if the lovely memory of Earth still cheered its inmates.) Especially I love to think of that two days' brief journey-the most delightful journey there can be in the world, it sometimes seems—which separates me from Spain. I think of it as it is in early Spring, in the April month, when Browning longed to be in England and most people long to be out of it. I think of the swift passage across the Channel, of the ever-new impression of the light-toned greenery of France and the subtle difference of the beautiful trees, of Paris, of the Quai d'Orsay early next morning, of the mediaeval cities that flash into view on their ancient hills, of the vast stretch of beautiful and varied French land, of Limoges, the last outpost of the Northern French, whom it is sad to leave even when one is bound for Spain, of Rocamadour (and I think of that fantastic old-world shrine, with the legendary blade of Roland's Durandel still struck into its walls, and of the long delicious day on the solitary brooding height over the exquisite ravine), the night at Toulouse at the Hotel Bayard, and the sour bread that marks the Puritanic Southern French, the keen winds and the dreary rain that comes from Provence,—delicious to leave behind. Then Carcassonne and the momentary vision of its turrets, the embodiment of one's dream of the past; lunch at Narbonne with the unfailing cold asparagus of the south, Perpignan, where now at last one is haunted by the fragrance of a city that once was Spanish. Then creeping along by the broken coast, and the rocky creeks up to the outermost edge of the Pyrenees, leaving to the north the ancient path which Pompey and Caesar climbed, and feeling the winds that descend mysteriously from its gorges:

  Le vent qui vient à travers la montagne
  Me rendra fou.

Lo, at once a new Heaven and a new Earth and a new People. A sky that is ever soft and radiant; a land on which strange and fragrant plants flourish, and lakes of crimson poppies glimmer afar; men and women into whose veins seems to have passed something of the lazy sunshine of their sky, something of the rich colour of their earth. Then at last the great city of Barcelona, where work and play are mingled as nowhere else so harmoniously in the whole European world; and, beyond, the sacred height of Montserrat; and, beyond that, all the magic of Spain at my feet.

January 19.—"For three days I have observed two large pictures in solid frames hanging on the wall before me, supported by a cord fastened horizontally behind the frames; these pictures have only one point of support, so that they are sensitive to the slightest movement. The wall goes from east to west, or the other way about, it makes no difference. Now, every morning when I wake, I find these works of art a little askew, the left corner inclined down and the right up!" I came upon that passage in Sylva Sylvarum, the first book of Strindberg's I ever read, and it pleased me so much that I believe I read no further.

I am reminded of it now when Strindberg's fame has grown so great in

It really seems to me that that fantastic image is an excellent symbol of Strindberg himself. For his picture of the world fails to swing concordantly with the world. He has lagged behind in the cosmic rhythm, he has fallen out of the dance of the stars. So that the whole universe is to him an exquisitely keen jar of the nerves, and he hangs awry. That may well make him an extraordinarily interesting person, and, indeed, perhaps he is thereby an index of the world's vital movement, registering it by not moving with it. We have to read Strindberg, but to read him à rebours.

So I experience some amusement when I see to-day the solemn statement in an American journal which claims—I do not say with no reason—to be portentously clever and superior, that Strindberg is destined to become in America the voice of the masculine reaction in favour of "the corrective influence of a matter-of-fact attitude towards woman." One wonders by what strange fatality Strindberg-the most fantastic genius that ever lived—can appeal to an American as "matter-of-fact." And one wonders why Americans, anyway, should go to this distinguished Swede for such a "corrective," when in their own country, to mention but a single name, they have a writer like Robert Herrick, whose novels are surely so admirably subtle and profound an analysis of the position of womanhood in America, and quite reasonably sane. But it is still true, as Jesus sighed two thousand years ago, that a prophet is no prophet in his own country.

January 29.—For supper, we are told, Milton used often to eat a few olives. That statement has frequently recurred to my mind. I never grow weary of the significance of little things. What do the so-called great things of life count for in the end, the fashion of a man's showing-off for the benefit of his fellows? It is the little things that give its savour or its bitterness to life, the little things that direct the currents of activity, the little things that alone really reveal the intimate depths of personality. De minimis non curât lex. But against that dictum of human law one may place the Elder Pliny's maxim concerning natural law: Nusquam magis quam in minimis tota est Natura. For in the sphere of Nature's Laws it is only the minimal things that are worth caring about, the least things in the world, mere specks on the Walls of Life, as it seems to you. But one sets one's eyes to them, and, behold, they are chinks that look out into Infinity.

Milton is one of the "great" things in English life and literature, and his admirers dwell on his great achievements. These achievements often leave me a little cold, intellectually acquiescent, nothing more. But when I hear of these olives which the blind old scholar-poet was wont to eat for supper I am at once brought nearer to him. I intuitively divine what they meant to him.

Olives are not the most obvious food for an English Puritan of the seventeenth century, though olive-oil is said to have been used here even in the fourteenth century. Milton might more naturally, one supposes, like his arch-Puritanic foe, Prynne, have "refocillated" his brain with ale and bread, and indeed he was still too English, and perhaps too wise, to disdain either.

But Milton had lived in Italy. There the most brilliant and happy days of his life had been spent. All the rest of his real and inner life was but an echo of the music he had heard in Italy. For Milton was only on one side of his nature the austere Latin secretary of Cromwell and the ferocious opponent of Salmasius. He was also the champion of the tardy English Renaissance, the grave and beautiful youth whose every fibre thrilled to the magic of Italy. For two rich months he had lived in Florence, then the most attractive of Italian cities, with Gaddi, Dati, Coltellini, and the rest for his friends. He had visited Galileo, then just grown blind, as he was himself destined to be. His inner sight always preserved the old visions he had garnered

  At evening from the top of Fesole,
  Or in Valdarno.

Now at last, in the company of sour and ignorant Puritans who counted him one of themselves, while a new generation grew up which ignored him and which he disdained, in this sulphurous atmosphere of London which sickened and drove away his secretary Ellwood, Milton ate a handful of olives. And all Italy came to him in those olives.

"What! when the sun rises do you not see a round disc of fire, somewhat like a guinea?" "Oh no, no, no!" said Blake, "I see an innumerable company of the heavenly host." And these dull green exotic fruits which the blind Milton ate bedwards were the heralds of dreams diviner than he freighted with magnificent verse.

February 3.—"Every well-written novel," I find Remy de Gourmont stating, "seems immoral." A paradox? By no means; Gourmont, the finest of living critics, is not a paradox-monger. He is referring to the prosecution of Madame Bovary, a book which Taine said might profitably be used in Sunday Schools; and he points out that Flaubert—and every other profoundly original writer—by avoiding the commonplace phrase, the familiar counter, by deliberately choosing each word, by moulding his language to a personal rhythm, imparts such novelty to his descriptions that the reader seems to himself to be assisting for the first time at a scene which is yet exactly the same as those described in all novels. Hence inevitable scandal.

One may very well add that in this matter Life follows the same law as Art. It is the common fate of all creative work (and "non merita nome di Creatore se non Iddio ed il Poeta"). Whoso lives well, as whoso writes well, cannot fail to convey an alarming impression of novelty, precisely because he is in accurate personal adjustment to the facts of his own time. So he is counted immoral and criminal, as Nietzsche delighted to explain. Has not Nietzsche himself been counted, in his own playful phrase, an "immoralist"? Yet the path of life that Nietzsche proposed to follow was just the same ancient, old-fashioned, in the true sense trivial path which all the world has trodden. Only his sensitive feet felt that path so keenly, with such a new grip of the toes on the asperities of it, that the mob cried: Why, this man cannot possibly be on our good old well-worn comfortable highway; he must have set off on some new path, no doubt a very bad and wicked path, where trespassers must be prosecuted. And it was just the same venerable path that all humanity has travelled, the path that Adam and Eve scuttled over, in hairy nakedness, through the jungle of the Garden of Eden!

That is one of the reasons—and there are many of them—why the social ideal of Herbert Spencer, in which the adjustment of life is so perfect that friction is impossible, can never be attained. Putting aside the question of the desirability of such an ideal it is impossible to see how it could be achieved, either along the line of working at Heredity, or along the line of working at the Environment. Even the most keenly intellectual people that ever existed, the most amorous of novelty, the most supple-minded, could not permit Socrates to live, though all the time Socrates was going their own way, his feet pressing the same path; they still could not understand his prosaic way of looking intently where his feet fell. It must always happen so, and it always means conflict. Even a flower cannot burst into bloom without conflict, the balance of forces can never be quite equal and opposite, there must be a breaking down somewhere, there must always be conflict. We may regulate and harmonise the conditions, we cannot abolish the conflict. For Conflict is implicit in Life.

February 5.—I note that Charles Dudley Warner (that splendid type of American man as I recall him in old age, pacing up and down my room, pondering out some serious problem of life), when half a century ago he came over to London for the first time on a visit from Paris, was struck by the contrast between the light luminosity of one city and the prevailing gloomy dirt of the other. The contrast may not be so pronounced to-day. Yet that same dirt—which has its beautiful side no doubt—remains the note of London, brown dirt all over the streets, black dirt all over the buildings, yellow dirt all over the sky, and those who live in it become subdued to what they live in, "like the dyer's hand," even literally.

So the sight of the Cornish coast, the prospect of seeing it, the very thought of its existence, has the exhilaration of a rapturous prayer. There—sometimes, at all events—the earth is exquisitely clean, the bright sea bubbles like champagne, and its mere mists are rainbow-hued dreams; the sky has flung off its dingy robe and is naked, beautiful, alive. Profoundly alien to me as I always feel this land of Cornwall to be, it is much to feel there something of that elemental reality of which men count God the symbol. Here the city-stained soul may become the sacramental agent of a Divine Transubstantiation of the elements of earth, of air, of water, of fire.

February 8.—It was a fine and deep saying of Aristotle's that "the greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor." That is the mark of genius, for, said he, it implies an intuitive perception of the similarity in dissimilars.

All the great thinkers have been masters of metaphor, because all vivid thinking must be in images, and the philosopher whose metaphors are blurred or diluted is one whose thinking is blurred and diluted. Thus it comes about that the thinkers who survive are the thinkers who wrote well and are most nearly poets. Not that they need have attained to that which we, individually or collectively, may be pleased to consider "Truth." But they were alive; they had realised what they meant; they embodied their thoughts in definite images which are a perpetual challenge to thought for all who come after. One may agree or disagree with Schopenhauer or with Nietzsche. But they were vitally and intensely alive; they transformed their thought into wonderful imagery; or they sang it and they danced it; and they are alive for ever. People talk of "the passing of Kant." It may be. But who will talk of the passing of Plato or even of the passing of Hobbes? No thinker has been so buffeted as Hobbes, and there is no school to accept his central thesis. It is no matter. Hobbes flung aside all the armour of tradition and met the giant problem that faced him with his own sling and any stones out of the brook. It was enough to make him immortal. His achievement has receded into the past. The Leviathan is now an ancient tapestry which generations of street urchins have thrown mud at; and yet it remains radiantly beautiful.

All great thinkers are great masters of metaphor because all thinking of any kind must be by analogy. It may often be a misleading guide, but it remains the only guide. To say that thinking is by metaphor is merely the same thing as to say that the world is an infinite series of analogies enclosed one within another in a succession of Chinese boxes. Even the crowd recognises this. The story that Newton first saw the gravitation of the earth in the fall of an apple in the orchard, which Voltaire has transmitted to us from a fairly good source, has no first-hand authority. But the crowd has always accepted it as a gospel truth, and by a sound instinct. The Milky Way itself is pictured by its latest investigators as a vague spiral scarcely to be distinguished from the ascending smoke of a cigarette.

February 10.—A French soprano, and it is the first time she has sung on an English platform. She walks on slowly and stands statuesquely motionless while the preliminary bars are being played. One notes her elegant Parisian costume, clinging and very low-cut, every detail of her appearance carefully thought out, constituting a harmony in itself, though not perhaps a harmony with this negligent Sunday afternoon environment in which the singer finds herself. Her voice is finely trained and under complete control, she enters into the spirit of the operatic scene she sings, dramatically, yet with restraint, with modulated movements, now of her arms, now of her whole supple body. In her voice, as in her body, there is always a reserve of energy, a dignified self-respect; there is never any self-abandonment. She has sung first in French, now she comes on in an Italian air, and afterwards is not too coyly reticent in taking an encore which is in English, to a piano accompaniment, and when that is over she hastens to bring the accompanist by the hand to her side before the audience, and bows, sweetly and graciously, with a gesture of the whole body, yet again with a certain reserve, not, as one may see some great singers, symbolically clasping her arms round the public and kissing it with humble gratitude. She is a complete success with her audience.

Yet she is really, one divines, a fairly commonplace person. And she is not beautiful. And even her voice has no marvellous original quality. She has on her side a certain quality of nervous texture to mould artistically, but that is not a personal possession but merely a quality of her race. She has laboriously wrought this ductile nervous tissue to her own ends. By force of long training, discipline, art, she has made herself what she desired to be. She has become all that she had in her to be. She has given to the world all that the world has any right to ask of her.

That is all. But this training and this discipline, the ability to be oneself and to impart graciously to others the utmost that they have any right to demand—is not that the whole Art of Living and the entire Code of Morality?

February 15.—"There is no Excellent Beauty that hath not some Strangeness in the Proportion." That saying of Bacon's—one of the profoundest of human utterances—is significant not only for all life but for all art. In the sphere of literature, for instance, it makes impossible the use of counters.

The counter or the cliché—no doubt it is better known for what it is to good French writers—is the word or the phrase which has lost the original contour of its mintage and become a mere featureless coin, having still, as it were, its metallic meaning but no longer its fresh beauty and expressiveness. The young novelist whose hero "wends his way," and the journalist for whom a party of fifteen persons may be "literally decimated," are both adepts in the use of the counter. They use ancient worn words, such as leap first into the mind, words which are too effaced to be beautiful, and sometimes too effaced to be accurate. They are just counters for careless writers to pass on to careless readers, and not always reliable as counters.

We are all of us using these counters; they are convenient for the ordinary purposes of life, whenever the search for beauty and rarity and expressiveness may seem uncalled for. Even the master of style uses them unquestioned, so long as he uses them consciously, deliberately, of set purpose, with a sense of their just value for his purpose. When they are used, as sometimes happens, heedlessly and helplessly, by writers who are dealing with beautiful and expressive things, they become jarring vulgarisms which set the teeth on edge. Even a poet of real inspiration, like Francis Thompson, may seek to carry, "hiddenly," as he would express it, beneath the cloak of his rapture, all sorts of absurd archaisms, awkwardly conventional inversions, hideous neologisms like false antiques, all mere counters. A born writer with a personal instinct for expression, like Arthur Symons, is not apt to resort to the use of counters, even when he is seemingly careless; a carefully trained artist in the use of words, like Stevenson, evidently rejects counters immediately; the man who is not a writer, born or made, sometimes uses nothing but counters.

A casual acquaintance once presented to me an epic he had written in rhymed couplets, extending to many cantos. He was a man of bright and vigorous mind, but no poet. So when he set himself to write verse it is clear that he instinctively tested every word or phrase, and rejected those that failed to sound smooth, familiar, "poetic," to his reminiscent ear. The result is that the whole of his book is made up of counters, and every epithet is studiously obvious. The hero is "dauntless," and his "steed" is "noble," and the sky at night is a "spangled vault," and "spicy perfumes load the balmy air." It is thirty years since that epic was placed in my hands, and I have often since had occasion to think that it might profitably be used by any teacher of English literature as a text for an ever needed lesson on the counter. "There is no Excellent Beauty that hath not some Strangeness in the Proportion." Or, as Aristotle had said long before, there must be "a certain admixture of unfamiliarity," a continual slight novelty.

That is the Law of Beauty in Art because it is the Law of Morality in Life. Our acts so easily become defaced and conventionalised, mere uniform counters that have been used a thousand times before and rarely with any special applicability—often, indeed, a flagrant inapplicability—to the case in hand. The demand upon us in Life is to fling away counters, to react vitally to the vital circumstances of the situation. All the teachers of Excellent Beauty in the Moral Life bear witness to the truth of Bacon's saying. Look at the Sermon on the Mount: no doubt about the "Strangeness in the Proportion" there! Socrates and Jesus, unlike as they were, so far as we are able to discern, were yet both marked by the same horror of counters. Sooner than employ them they would die. And indeed, if the Moral Life could be reduced to the simplicity of a slot-machine, it would still be necessary to put real pennies in.

February 23.—Some time ago a navvy working in Sussex came upon a round object like a cocoa-nut which he flung carelessly out of the way. It would soon have disappeared for ever. But by an almost miraculous chance a man of science passed that way and secured the object, easily discernible as a portion of a human skull. Now that, with all that appertains to it, the fragment has been investigated, the Sussex navvy's unconscious find is revealed as perhaps the most precious and interesting thing that has ever been discovered in the earth, the earliest Charter in the History of Man.

Whenever I read of the chance discovery of fossils or human remains, of buried cities in Yucatan or Roman pavements beneath Gloucestershire meadows, or beautiful statues fished out of the Tiber, or mediaeval treasures dug from below old castles, it grows an ever greater wonder to me that no one has yet proposed a systematic exploration of the whole earth beneath our feet. Here is this earth, a marvellous onion, a series of encapsuled worlds, each successive foliation preserving the intimate secrets of its own irrecoverable life. And Man the Baby, neglecting the wonderful Earth he crawls on, has cried for the barren Moon! All science has begun with the stars, and Early Man seemed to himself merely the by-play of a great cosmic process. God was first, and Man who had created Him—out of less than dust—was nowhere. Even in mediaeval days we knew much more about Heaven and Hell than about Earth. The Earth comes last into man's view,—even after Heaven and Hell and Purgatory,—but it will surely be a puzzle for our successors that after a million years, even in our present little era, we had still not begun to scratch up systematically the soil we stand on and could scarcely so much as uncover Pompeii. For though the under-world is not all a buried Pompeii, it is a vast treasure-house. One cannot so much as put a spade into the garden-mould of one's cottage-garden without now and then finding ancient coins and shards of strange pottery; and for all that you know, the clue to some mystery that has puzzled mankind for ages may at this moment lie a few inches below your feet.

It would be the task of an International Exfodiation Commission to dig up the whole earth systematically, leaving no inch of it untouched except on definitely determined grounds, the depth explored in each region being duly determined by experts. One might make a beginning with the banks of the Nile where the task is comparatively easy, and Nature has packed such fragile treasures in such antiseptic sand. Italy with its soil laden with marvellous things could be investigated at the same time, with all the shores of the Mediterranean. The work would take many centuries to complete and would cost vast sums of money. But when the nations are no longer engaged in the task of building warships which are obsolete a few weeks after they are launched, if not before, how vast a sum of money will be saved! The money which is wasted on the armies and navies of Europe alone during a single century would furnish a very respectable credit for the International Exfodiation Commission to begin work with. At the same time the men now employed in laboriously learning the trade of war, which they are seldom or never called upon to exercise, could be given something useful to do. In the meanwhile Exfodiation must wait until what an old English writer called "the essential oil of democracy" is poured over the stormy waves of human society. You doubt whether that oil will calm the waves? But if your essential oil of democracy fails to possess that elementary property of oil it is hardly worth while to manufacture it.

Once achieved, whenever or however it is achieved, the task will be achieved for ever. It would be the greatest task man has ever attempted, and the most inspiring. He would for the first time become fully conscious of himself. He would know all that he once was, and all that he has ever accomplished so far as its record survives. He would read clearly in the earth for the first time the title-deeds that make him the owner of the world. All that is involved is Exfodiation.

I call this process Exfodiation, because if our descendants happen to be at all like us they would much rather Exfodiate than Dig. As for us, we dare not so much as call our bodily organs and functions by their beautifully common names, and to Dig we are even more ashamed than to Beg.

March 3.—Some one was telling me yesterday how lately in Wales he stood in a wood by a little stream that ran swiftly over the stones, babbling and chattering—the poets have wisely said—as children babble and chatter. "It is certainly the stream," he said to himself; "no, it must be children; no, it is the stream." And then a band of careless children, whose voices had mingled with the brook's voice, emerged from amidst the wood.

Children are more than murmuring streams, and women are more than fragrant flowers, and men are more than walking trees. But on one side they are all part of the vision and music of Nature, not merely the creators of pictures and melodies, but even yet more fundamentally themselves the music and the vision. We cannot too often remember that not only is the art of man an art that Nature makes, but that Man himself is Nature. Accordingly as we cherish that faith, and seek to live by it, we vindicate our right to the Earth, and preserve our sane and vital relations to the Earth's life. The poets love to see human emotions in the procession of cosmic phenomena. But we have also to see the force of the sun and the dust of the earth in the dance of the blood through the veins of Man.

Civilisation and Morals may seem to hold us apart from Nature. Yet the world has, even literally, been set in our hearts. We are of the Stuff of the Universe. In comparison with that fact Morals and Civilisation sink into Nothingness.

March 7.—So fine a critic of art as Remy de Gourmont finds it difficult, to his own regret, to admire Shakespeare on the stage, at all events in France in French translations. This is not, he says, what in France is counted great dramatic art; there is no beginning and there is no real end, except such as may be due to the slaughter of the characters; throughout it is possible to interpolate scenes or to subtract scenes. He is referring more especially to Macbeth.

It cannot be denied that there is truth in this plaint. In France, from a French standpoint,—or, for the matter of that, from a Greek standpoint,—Shakespeare must always be a barbarian. It is the same feeling—though not indeed in so great a degree—that one experiences when one looks at the picturesque disorder and irregularity of English Gothic churches from the standpoint of the severely ordered majesty of Chartres, or even of Amiens, which yet has so much about it that recalls its neighbourhood to England. From the right standpoint, however, English Gothic architecture is full of charm, and even of art. In the same way I cannot at all admit that Shakespeare is unsuited for the stage. One has only to remember that it is the Romantic not the Classic stage. It is the function of the Shakespearian drama, and of the whole school of which Shakespeare is the supreme representative (I put aside Marlowe who died in the making of a greater classic tradition), to evoke a variegated vision of the tragi-comedy of life in its height and its depth, its freedom, and its wide horizon. This drama has for the most part little to do with the operation of the Fate which works itself out when a man's soul is in the stern clutch of Necessity. We are far here from Euripides and from Ibsen. Life is always a pageant here, a tragi-comedy, which may lean sometimes more to comedy, and sometimes more to tragedy, but has in it always, even in Lear, an atmosphere of enlarging and exhilarating gaiety.

Shakespeare is for the stage. But what stage? We were cut off for ever from the Shakesperian tradition in the very generation after Shakespeare died, and have not acquired a sound new tradition even yet. The device of substituting drapery for scenery and relying exclusively on the gorgeous flow of words for decorative purposes fails to satisfy us, and we fall back on the foolish trick of submerging Shakespeare in upholstery and limelight.

It seems to me that we may discern the beginning of a more rational tradition in Granville Barker's staging of Twelfth Night at the Savoy. There is something here of the romantic suggestion and the easy freedom which are of the essence of the Shakesperian drama. The creamy walls, possibly an approximation to the courtyard-like theatre of the Elizabethans, are a perfect background for the play of brilliant figures; the light curtains furnish precisely the desired suggestion of scenery; and when at last all the figures wander up the stairway in the background as the Fool sings his inconsequent song, "With hey ho the wind and the rain," the whole gracious dream melts away deliriously, as it seemed to Prospero, and surely to Shakespeare himself, the dream of life in the end melts away in the wind or the rain of the grave.

Thus conceived, the Shakesperian drama has surely as good a right to exist on the stage as the drama of Molière. There cannot be the same perfection of finish and detail, for this is only an experiment, and there is inevitably a total difference of method. Yet, as thus presented, Twelfth Night lingers in my mind with Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme as presented at the Comedie Française, so presented that, by force of tradition wrought with faultless art, a play becomes an embodied symphony, a visible manifestation of gracious music.

March 13.—I passed in the village street the exotic figure of a fat man in a flat cap and a dark blue costume, with very wide baggy trousers down to the ground. He was reading a newspaper as he walked with an easy slouch. His fat shaven face was large and round and wrinkled, yet not flabby. Altogether there was something irresistibly Chinese about him. Strange that this curious figure should be the typical English sailor, the legendary Hero of the British People, and the person on whose existence that of the English nation is held to depend.

March 16.—Two feminine idealists. I read of an English suffragette trying to address a meeting and pelted with tomatoes by a crowd grown weary of suffragette outrages. And shortly after I read of a young German dancer in a small Paris theatre who in the course of her dance is for a few moments absolutely naked, whereupon the Chief of Police sends for her and draws up a charge of "outrage aux moeurs." To a journalist she expresses her indignation at this insult to her art: "Let there be no mistake; when I remove my chemise to come on the stage it is in order to bare my soul." Not quite a wise thing to say to a journalist, but it is in effect what the suffragette also says, and is rewarded with rotten tomatoes as her sister with a procès-verbal.

One sees the whole-hearted enthusiasm of both the suffragette and the dancer. Unwise, no doubt, unable to discern the perspective of life, or to measure the inevitable social reactions of their time. Yet idealists, even martyrs, for Art or for Justice, exposed in the arena of the world, as the Perpetuas and Blandinas of old were exposed out of love for Jesus, all moved by the Spirit of Life, though, as the ages pass, the Excuses for Life differ. Many Masks, but one Face and one Arena.

For the Mob, huddled like sheep around this Arena of Life, and with no vital instinct to play therein any part of their own, it is not for these to cast contumely. Let them be well content that for a brief moment it is theirs to gaze at the Spectacle of Divine Gaiety and then be thrust into outer Darkness.

March 17.—Yet, when one thinks of it, why should the mob in the galleries not hiss, when they so please, the spectacle they were not made to take part in? They are what they are born to be and what circumstances have made them, the legitimate outcome of your Random Procreation, and your Compulsory Education, your Regulations and By-laws, spread thick over every inch of Land and Sea and Air. And if they still throw rotten tomatoes and draw up charge sheets in police stations, why should they not enjoy their brief moment of Living Action, and be Damned?

We may even go a step further. It has to be remembered that the Actors of Life, interesting as they are, exist for the audience, and not the audience for the Actors. The Actors are the abnormal and exceptional people, born out of due time, at variance with the environment; that is why they are Actors. This vast inert mass of people, with no definite individualities of their own, they are normal and healthy Humanity, born to consume the Earth's fruits, even when these fruits happen to be dancers and suffragettes. It is thus that harmony is established between Actors and Spectators; neither could exist without the other. Both are needed in any Cosmic Arena.

March 18.—I always recall with a certain surprise how many years ago a fine critic who is also a fine writer told me he had no admiration for Addison, and even seemed to feel a certain disdain. This attitude caused me no resentment, for Addison makes no personal appeal to me, and I experience no great interest in the things he writes about. I am content to read a page of him in bed, and therewith peacefully fall asleep.

Yet surely Addison, and still more Steele, the authors of the Spectator and the Tatler, represent the high-water mark of English Speech. The mere rubbish left by the tide, if you like, for I am not asserting that the position of Addison and of Steele is necessarily the sole result of individual desert. They mark a special moment in the vital growth of language, if only by revealing the Charm of Triviality, and they stood among a crowd—Defoe, Temple, Swift, and the rest—who at various points surpassed them. A magnificent growth had preceded them. The superb and glowing weight of Bacon had become the tumultuous splendour of Milton, which subsided into the unconscious purity of Bunyan, the delicate simplicity of Cowley, and the muscular orderliness of Dryden. Every necessary quality of prose had been separately conquered. An instrument had been created that contained all the stops, and might be used not only for the deepest things of life, but equally for the lightest. And then, suddenly, the whole English world began to use words beautifully, and not only so, but to spell, to punctuate, to use their capital letters with corresponding beauty. So it was at the end of the seventeenth century and during the first quarter of the eighteenth. Addison and Steele stand for that epoch.

Then the tide began to ebb. That fine equilibrium of all the elements of speech could not be maintained indefinitely. Its poise and equability began to grow trivial, its exalted familiarity to become mere vulgarity. So violent reactions became necessary. Johnson and Johnsonese swept heavily over the retreating tide and killed what natural grace and vivacity might have been left in Goldsmith or in Graves. But even had there been no Johnson the reaction was inevitable. Every great writer began to be an isolated grandee who lost the art of familiarity, for he had no one to be familiar with. Consider Gibbon, in his own domain supreme, but the magnificent fall of his cadences, however fit for his subject, was fit for no other; and look at Landor, the last great writer of English, though even he never quite scoured off the lingering dross of Johnsonese, and at the best has the air of a giant conversing with pigmies.

Then we come to the nineteenth century, where we find writing that is bad, indifferent, good, rarely perfect save now and again for a brief moment, as in Lamb, who incarnated again the old familiar touch on great things and little things alike, and into that was only driven, likely enough, by the scourge of madness. Then there was Pater, who was exquisite, even a magician, yet scarcely great. And there was Stevenson,—prototype of a vast band of accomplished writers of to-day,—the hollow image of a great writer, a man who, having laboriously taught himself to write after the best copybook models, found that he had nothing to say and duly said it at length. It was a state of things highly pleasing to the mob. For they said one to another: Look, here is a man who writes beautifully, evidently a Great Writer; and there is nothing inside him but sawdust, just like you and me. For the most part good writing in the nineteenth century was self-conscious writing, which cannot be beautiful. Is a woman gazing into her mirror beautiful?

Our writers waver between vulgarity on the one hand, artificiality or eccentricity on the other. It is an alternation of evils. The best writing must always possess both Dignity and Familiarity, otherwise it can never touch at once the high things and the low things of life, or appeal simply to the complete human person. That is well illustrated by Cervantes, who thereby becomes, for all his carelessness, one of the supremely great writers. There, again, is Brantôme, not a supremely great writer, or even a writer who set out to be great. But he has in him the roots of great style. He possesses in an incomparable degree this High Familiarity. His voice is so exquisitely pitched that he can describe with equal simplicity and charm the secrets of monarchs' hearts or the intimate peculiarities of maids of honour. He knows that, as a fine critic has said, everything is serious and at the same time frivolous. He makes us feel that the ambitions of monarchs may be frivolous, and the intimate secrets of maids of honour of serious interest.

But where is our great writer to-day, and how can we apply this test to him? If he deals frivolously with the King off he goes to prison, and if he deals seriously with so much as a chambermaid's physical secrets off he goes to prison again, only on a different pretext. And in either case we all cry: Serve him right!

It ought to be a satisfaction to us to feel that we could not well sink lower. There is nothing left for us but to rise. The tide turns at low water as well as at high.

March 19.—"Behold a Republic," once eloquently exclaimed Mr. Bryan, now Secretary of State of the United States, "solving the problem of civilisation, hastening the coming of Universal Brotherhood, a Republic which gives light and inspiration to those who sit in darkness … a Republic gradually but surely becoming the supreme moral factor in the world's progress!"

Behold a Republic, one is hereby at once impelled to continue, where suspected evildoers are soaked in oil and roasted, where the rulings of judges override the law, a Republic where the shadow of morality is preferred to the substance, and a great man is driven out of the land because he has failed to conform to that order of things, a Republic where those who sit in darkness are permitted to finance crime. It would not be difficult to continue Mr. Bryan's rhapsody in the same vein.

Now one has no wish to allude to these things. Moreover, it is easy to set forth definitely splendid achievements on the other side of the account, restoring the statement to balance and sanity. It is the glare of rhapsodical eulogy which instinctively and automatically evokes the complementary colours and afterimages. For, as Keble rightly thought, it is a dangerous exploit to

  wind ourselves too high
  For sinful man beneath the sky.

The spectacle of his hinder parts thus presented to the world may be quite other than the winder intended.

March 20.—The other day a cat climbed the switchboard at the electric lighting works of Cardiff, became entangled in the wires, and plunged the city into darkness, giving up his life in this supreme achievement. It is not known that he was either a Syndicalist or a Suffragette. But his adventure is significant for the Civilisation we are moving towards.

All Civilisation depends on the Intelligence, Sympathy, and Mutual Trust of the persons who wrought that Civilisation. It was not so in barbaric days to anything like the same degree. Then a man's house was his castle. He could shut himself up with his family and his retainers and be independent of society, even laugh at its impotent rage. No man's house is his castle now. He is at the mercy of every imbecile and every fanatic. His whole life is regulated by delicate mechanisms which can be put out of gear by a touch. There is nothing so fragile as civilisation, and no high civilisation has long withstood the manifold risks it is exposed to. Nowadays any naughty grown-up child can say to Society: Give me the sugar-stick I want or I'll make your life intolerable. And for a brief moment he makes it intolerable.

Nature herself in her most exquisite moods has shared the same fate at the hands of Civilised Man. If there is anything anywhere in the world that is rare and wild and wonderful, singular in the perfection of its beauty, Civilised Man sweeps it out of existence. It is the fate everywhere of lyre-birds, of humming-birds, of birds of Paradise, marvellous things that Man may destroy and can never create. They make poor parlour ornaments and but ugly adornments for silly women. The world is the poorer and we none the richer. The same fate is overtaking all the loveliest spots on the earth. There are rare places which Primitive Man only approaches on special occasions, with sacred awe, counting their beauty inviolable and the animals living in them as gods. Such places have existed in the heart of Africa unto to-day. Civilised man arrives, disperses the awe, shoots the animals, if possible turns them into cash. Eventually he turns the scenery into cash, covering it with dear hotels and cheap advertisements. In Europe the process has long been systematised. Lake Leman was once a spot which inspired poets with a new feeling for romantic landscape. What Rousseau or Byron could find inspiration on that lake to-day? The Pacific once hid in its wilderness a multitude of little islands upon which, as the first voyagers and missionaries bore witness, Primitive Man, protected by Nature from the larger world, had developed a rarely beautiful culture, wild and fierce and voluptuous, and yet in the highest degree humane. Civilised man arrived, armed with Alcohol and Syphilis and Trousers and the Bible, and in a few years only a sordid and ridiculous shadow was left of that uniquely wonderful life. People talk with horror of "Sabotage." Naturally enough. Yet they do not see that they themselves are morally supporting, and financially paying for, and even religiously praying for, a gigantic system of world-wide "Sabotage" which for centuries has been recklessly destroying things that are infinitely more lovely and irreparable than any that Syndicalists may have injured.

Nature has her revenge on Civilised Man, and when he in his turn comes to produce exquisite things she in her turn crushes them. By chance, or with a fine irony, she uses as her instruments the very beings whom he, in his reckless fury of incompetent breeding, has himself procreated. And whether he will ever circumvent her by learning to breed better is a question which no one is yet born to answer.

March 21.—It is maintained by some that every great poet is a great critic. I fail to see it. For the most part I suspect the poetry of the great critic and the criticism of the great poet. There can be no more instructive series of documents in this matter than the enthusiastic records of admiration which P. H. Bailey collected from the first poets of his time concerning his Festus. That work was no doubt a fine achievement; when I was fifteen I read it from end to end with real sympathy, and interest that was at least tepid. But to imagine that it was a great poem, or that there was so much as a single line of great poetry in all the six hundred pages of it! It needed a poet for that.

If we consider poets as critics in the field of art generally, where their aesthetic judgment might be less biassed, they show no better. Think of the lovely little poem in which Tennyson eulogised the incongruous façade of Milan Cathedral. And for any one who with Wordsworth's exquisite sonnet on King's College Chapel in his mind has the misfortune to enter that long tunnel, beplastered with false ornament, the disillusion is unforgettable. Robert Browning presents a highly instructive example of the poet as critic. He was interested in many artists in many fields of art, yet it seems impossible for him to be interested in any who were not second-rate or altogether inferior: Abt Vogler, Galuppi, Guercino, Andréa del Sarto, and the rest. One might hesitate indeed to call Filippo Lippi inferior, but the Evil Genius still stands by, and from Browning's hands Lippi escapes a very poor creature.

Baudelaire stands apart as a great poet who was an equally great critic, as intuitive, as daring, as decisively and immediately right in aesthetic judgment as an artistic creation. And even with Baudelaire as one's guide one sometimes needs to walk by faith. In the baroque church of St. Loup in Namur he admired so greatly—the church wherein he was in the end stricken by paralysis—I have wandered and hesitated a little between the great critic's insight into a strange beauty and the great artist's acceptance of so frigidly artificial a model.

Why indeed should one expect a great poet to be a great critic? The fine critic must be sensitive, but he must also be clear-eyed, calm, judicial. The poet must be swept by emotion, carried out of himself, strung to high tension. How can he be sure to hold the critical balance even? He must indeed be a critic, and an exquisite critic, in the embodiment of his own dream, the technique of his own verse. But do not expect him to be a critic outside his own work. Do not expect to find the bee an authority on ant-hills or the ant a critic of honeycomb.

March 22.—Hendrik Andersen sends from Rome the latest news of that proposed World City he is working towards with so much sanguine ardour, the City which is to be the internationally social Embodiment of the World Conscience, though its site—Tervueren, Berne, the Hague, Paris, Fréjus, San Stefano, Rome, Lakewood—still remains undetermined. So far the City is a fairy tale, but in that shape it has secured influential support and been worked out in detail by some forty architects, engineers, sculptors, and painters, under the direction of Hébrard. It covers some ten square miles of ground. In its simple dignity, in its magnificent design, in its unrivalled sanitation, it is unique. The International Centres represented fall into three groups: Physical Culture, Science, Art. The Art centres are closely connected with the Physical Culture Centres by gardens devoted to floriculture, natural history, zoology, and botany. It is all very well.

So far I only know of one World City. But Rome was the creation of a special and powerful race, endowed with great qualities, and with the defects of those qualities, and, moreover, it was the World City of a small world. Who are to be the creators of this new World City? If it is not to be left in the hands of a few long-haired men and short-haired women, it will need a solid basis of ordinary people, including no doubt English, such as Mr. A., and Mrs. B., and Miss C.

Now I know Mr. A., and Mrs. B., and Miss C., their admirable virtues, their prim conventions, their little private weaknesses, their ingrained prejudices, their mutual suspicion of one another. Little people may fittingly rule a little village. But these little people would dominate the huge Natatorium, the wonderful Bureau of Anthropological Records, and the Temple of Religions.

On the whole I would rather work towards the creation of Great People than of World Centres. Before creating a World Conscience let us have bodies and souls for its reception. I am not enthusiastic about a World Conscience which will be enshrined in Mr. A., and Mrs. B., and Miss C. Excellent people, I know, but—a World Conscience?

Easter Sunday.—What a strange fate it is that made England! A little ledge of beautiful land in the ocean, to draw and to keep all the men in Europe who had the sea in their hearts and the wind in their brains, daring children of Nature, greedy enough and romantic enough to trust their fortunes to waves and to gales. The most eccentric of peoples, all the world says, and the most acquisitive, made to be pirates and made to be poets, a people that have fastened their big teeth into every quarter of the globe and flung their big hearts in song at the feet of Nature, and even done both things at the same time. The man who wrote the most magnificent sentence in the English language was a pirate and died on the scaffold.

March 26.—I have lately been hearing Busoni play Chopin, and absorbing an immense joy from the skill with which that master-player evokes all the virile and complex power of Chopin, the power and the intellect which Pachmann, however deliciously he catches the butterflies fluttering up from the keys, for the most part misses.

All the great artists, in whatever medium, take so rare a delight, now and again, in interpreting some unutterable emotion, some ineffable vision, in mere terms of technique. In Chopin, in Rodin, in Besnard, in Rossetti,—indeed in any supreme artist,—again and again I have noted this. Great simple souls for the most part, inarticulate except through an endless power over the medium of their own art, they all love to take some insignificant little lump of that medium, to work at that little lump, with all their subtlest skill and power, in the production of what seemingly may be some absolutely trivial object or detail, and yet, not by what it obviously represents, but by the technique put into it, has become a reality, a secret of the soul, and an embodiment of a vision never before seen on earth.

Many years ago I realised this over Rossetti's poem "Cloud Confines." It is made out of a little lump of tawdry material which says nothing, is, indeed, mere twaddle. Yet it is wrought with so marvellous a technique that we seem to catch in it a far-away echo of voices that were heard when the morning stars sang together, and it clings tremulously to the memory for ever.

Technique is the art of so dealing with matter—whether clay or pigment or sounds or words—that it ceases to affect us in the same way as the stuff it is wrought out of originally affects us, and becomes a Transparent Symbol of a Spiritual Reality. Something that was always familiar and commonplace is suddenly transformed into something that until that moment eye had never seen or ear heard, and that yet seems the revelation of our hearts' secret.

It is an important point to remember. For one sometimes hears ignorant persons speak of technique with a certain supercilious contempt, as though it were a mere negligible and inferior element in an artist's equipment and not the art itself, the mere virtuosity of an accomplished fiddler who seems to say anything with his fiddle, and has never really said anything in his whole life. To the artist technique is another matter. It is the little secret by which he reveals his soul, by which he reveals the soul of the world. Through technique the stuff of the artist's work becomes the stuff of his own soul moulded into shapes that were never before known. In that act Dust is transubstantiated into God. The Garment of the Infinite is lifted, and the aching human heart is pressed for one brief moment against the breast of the Ineffable Mystery.

March 29.—I notice that in his Year's Journey through France and Spain in 1795, Thicknesse favourably contrasts the Frenchman, who only took wine at meals, with the Englishman, who, "earning disease and misery at his bottle, sits at it many hours after dinner and always after supper." The French have largely retained their ancient sober habit (save for the unhappy introduction of the afternoon "aperitif"), but the English have shown a tendency to abandon their intemperance of excess in favour of an opposed intemperance, and instead of drinking till they fall under the table have sometimes developed a passion for not drinking at all. Similarly in eating, the English of old were renowned for the enormous quantities of roast beef they ate; the French, who have been famous bread-makers for at least seven hundred years, ate much bread and only a moderate amount of meat; that remains their practice to-day, and though such skilful cooks of vegetables the French have never shown any tendency to live on them. When I was last at Versailles the latest guide-book mentioned a vegetarian restaurant; I sought it out, only to find that it had already disappeared. But the English have developed a passion for vegetarianism, here again reacting from one intemperance to the opposed intemperance. Just in the same way we have a national passion for bull-baiting and cock-fighting and pheasant-shooting and fox-hunting, and a no less violent passion for anti-vivisection and the protection of animals.

This characteristic really goes very deep into our English temper. The Englishman is termed eccentric, and eccentricity, in a precise and literal sense, is fundamental in the English character. We preserve our balance, in other words, by passing from one extreme to the opposite extreme, and keep in touch with our centre of gravity by rolling heavily from one side of it to the other side.

Geoffrey Malaterra, who outlined the Norman character many centuries ago with much psychological acuteness, insisted on the excessiveness of that gens effrenatissima, the tendency to unite opposite impulses, the taste for contradictory extremes. Now of all their conquests the Normans only made one true and permanent Conquest, the Conquest of England. And as Freeman has pointed out, surely with true insight, the reason of the profound conquest of England by the Normans simply lay in the fact that the spirit of the Norman was already implanted in the English soil, scattered broadcast by a long series of extravagant Northmen who had daringly driven their prows into every attractive inlet. So on the spiritual side the Norman had really in England little conquest to make. The genius of Canute, one of the greatest of English kings and a Northman, had paved the road for William the Conqueror. It was open to William Blake, surely an indubitable Englishman, to establish the English national motto: "The Road of Excess leads to the Palace of Wisdom." Certainly it is a motto that can only be borne triumphantly on the standard of a very well-tempered nation. On that road it is so easy to miss Wisdom and only encounter Dissolution. Doubtless, on the whole, the Greeks knew better.

Now see how Illusion enters into the world, and men are moved by what Jules de Gaultier calls Bovarism, the desire to be other than they are. Here is this profound, blind, unconscious impulse, lying at the heart of the race for thousands of years, and not to be torn out. And the children of the race, when the hidden impulse stirring within drives them to extremes, invent beautiful reasons for these extremes: patriotic reasons, biological reasons, aesthetic reasons, moral reasons, humanitarian reasons, hygienic reasons—there is no end to them.

April 1.—When the boisterous winds of March are at last touched with a new softness and become strangely exhilarating, when one sees the dry hedges everywhere springing into points of delicate green and white blossoms shining in the bare trees, then, for those who live in England and know that summer is still far away, the impulse of migration arises within. It has always seemed remarkable to me that Chaucer, at the outset of the Canterbury Tales, definitely and clearly assumes that the reason for pilgrimage is not primarily religious but biological, an impulse due to the first manifestation of spring:

  Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
  And palmers for to seken straunge strondes.

And what a delightful fiction (a manifestation of Vaihinger's omnipotent "als ob") to transform this inner impulse into a sacred objective duty!

Perhaps if we were duly sensitive to the Inner Voice responding to natural conditions, we might detect a migratory impulse for every month in the year. For every month there is surely some fitting land and sky, some fragrance that satisfies the sense or some vision that satisfies the soul.

In January certainly—if I confined my migrations to Europe—I would be in the gardens of Malaga, for at that season it is that we of the North most crave to lunch beneath the orange trees and to feel the delicious echo of the sun in the air of midnight. In February I would go to Barcelona, where the cooler air may be delightful, though when is it not delightful in Barcelona, even if martial law prevails? For March there is doubtless Sicily. For April there is no spot like Seville, when Spring arrives in a dazzling intoxicating flash. In May one should be in Paris to meet the spring again, softly insinuating itself into the heart under the delicious northern sky. In June and July we may be anywhere, in cities or in forests. August I prefer to spend in London, for then only is London leisurely, brilliant, almost exotic; and only then can one really see London. During September I would be wandering over Suffolk, to inhale its air and to revel in its villages, or else anywhere in Normandy where the crowd are not. I have never known where I would be in October, to escape the first deathly chill of winter; but at all events there is Aix-les-Bains, beautifully cloistered within its hills and still enlivened by fantastic visions from the whole European world. In November there is the Cornish coast, then often most exquisite, with soft nights, magical skies, and bays star-illuminated with fishers' lights, fire-flies of the sea. And before November is over I would be in Rome to end the year, not Rome the new-fangled capital of an upstart kingdom, but that Rome, if we may still detect it, which is the greatest and most inspiring city in the world.

April 4.—An advocate of Anti-vivisection brings an action for libel against an advocate of Vivisection. It matters little which will win. (The action was brought on All Fools' Day.) The interesting point is that each represents a great—or, if you prefer, a little—truth. But if each recognised the other's truth he would be paralysed in proclaiming his own truth. There would be general stagnation. The world is carried on by ensuring that those who carry it on shall be blinded in one or the other eye. We may call it the method of one-sided blinkers.

It is an excellent device of the Ironist.

April 8.—As very slowly, by rare sudden glimpses, one obtains an insight into the lives of people, one is constantly impressed by the large amount of their moral activity which is hidden from view. No doubt there are people who are all of a piece and all on the surface, people who are all that they seem and nothing beyond what they seem. Yet I am sometimes tempted to think that most people circle round the world as the moon circles round it, always carefully displaying one side only to the human spectators' view, and concealing unknown secrets on their hidden hemispheres.

The side that is displayed is, in the moral sphere, generally called "respectable," and the side that is hidden "vicious." What men show they call their "virtues." But if one looks at the matter broadly and naturally, may it not be that the vices themselves are after all nothing but disreputable virtues? It is not only schoolboys and servant-girls who spend a considerable part of their time in doing things which are flagrantly and absurdly contradictory of that artificially modelled propriety which in public they exhibit. It is just the same, one finds by chance revelations, among merchant princes and leaders of learned professions. For it is not merely the degenerate and the unfit who cannot confine all their activities within the limits prescribed by the conventional morality which surrounds them, but often the ablest and most energetic men, the sweetest and gentlest women. Moreover, it would often seem that on this unseen side of their lives they may be even more heroic, more inspired, more ideal, more vitally stimulated, than they are on that side with which they confront the world.

Suppose people were morally inverted, turned upside down, with their vices above water, and their respectable virtues submerged, suppose that they were, so to say, turned morally inside out. And suppose that vice became respectable and the respectabilities vicious, that men and women exercised their vices openly and indulged their virtues in secret, would the world be any the worse? Would there be a difference in the real nature of people if they changed the fashion of wearing the natural hairy fur of their coats inside instead of outside?

And if there is a difference, what is that difference?

April 10.—I am a little surprised sometimes to find how commonly people suppose that when one is unable to accept their opinions one is therefore necessarily hostile to them. Thus a few years ago, I recall, Professor Freud wrote how much pleasure it would give him if he could overcome my hostility to his doctrines. But, as I hastened to reply, I have no hostility to his doctrines, though they may not at every point be acceptable to my own mental constitution. If I see a man pursuing a dangerous mountain track I am not hostile in being unable to follow far on the same track. On the contrary, I may call attention to that pioneer's adventure, may admire his courage and skill, even applaud the results of his efforts, or at all events the great ideal that animated him. In all this I am not with him, but I am not hostile.

Why indeed should one ever be hostile? What a vain thing is this hostility! A dagger that pierces the hand of him that holds it. They who take up the sword shall perish by the sword was the lesson Jesus taught and himself never learnt it. Ferociously, recklessly, that supreme master of denunciation took up the sword of his piercing speech against the "Scribes" and the "Pharisees" of the "generation of vipers," until he made their very names a by-word and a reproach. And yet the Church of Jesus has been the greatest generator of Scribes and Pharisees the world has ever known, and they have even proved the very bulwark of it to this day. Look, again, at Luther. There was the Catholic Church dying by inches, gently, even exquisitely. And here came that gigantic peasant, with his too exuberant energy, battered the dying Church into acute sensibility, kicked it into emotion, galvanised it into life, prolonged its existence for a thousand years. The man who sought to exterminate the Church proved to be the greatest benefactor the Church had ever known.

The end men attain is rarely the end they desired. Some go out like Saul, the son of Kish, who sought his father's asses and found a kingdom, and some sally forth to seek kingdoms and find merely asses. In the one case and in the other they are led by a hand that they knew not to a goal that was not so much their own as that of their enemies.

So it is that we live for ever on hostility. Our friends may be the undoing of us; in the end it is our enemies who save us. The views we hate become ridiculous because they adopt them. Their very thoroughness leads to an overwhelming reaction on whose waves we ride to victory. Even their skill calls out our greater skill and our finer achievement. At their best, at their worst, alike they help us. They are the very life-blood in our veins.

It is a strange world in which, as Paulhan says (and I chance to alight on his concordant words even as I write this note), "things are not employed according to their essence, but, as a rule, for ends which are directly opposed to that essence." We are more unsuccessful than we know. And if we could all realise more keenly that we are fighting not so much in our own cause as in the cause of our enemies, how greatly it would make for the Visible Harmony of the World.

April 12.—All literary art lies in the arrangement of life. The literature most adequate to the needs of life is that most capable of transforming the facts of life into expressive and beautiful words. French literary art has always had that power. English literary art had it once and has lost it now. When I read, for instance, Goncourt's Journal—one of the few permanently interesting memoirs the nineteenth century has left us—my heart sinks at the comparison of its adequacy to life with the inadequacy of all contemporary English literature which seeks to grapple with life. It is all pathetically mirrored in the typical English comic paper, Punch, this inability to go below the surface of life, or even to touch life at all, save in narrowly prescribed regions. But Goncourt is always able to say what there is to say, simply and vividly; whatever aspect of life presents itself, of that he is able to speak. I can understand, surprising as at first it may be, how Verlaine, who seems at every point so remote from Goncourt, yet counted him as the first prose-writer of his time; Verlaine had penetrated to the simplicité cachée (to use Poincaré's phrase) behind the seemingly tortured expressions of Goncourt's art. Goncourt makes us feel that whatever is fit to occur in the world is fit to be spoken of by him who knows how to speak of it. If we wish to face the manifold interest of the world, in its poignancy and its beauty, as well as in its triviality, there is no other way.

English literary art was strong and brave and expressive for several centuries, even, one may say, on the whole, up to the end of the eighteenth century, though I suppose that Dr. Johnson had helped to crush the life out of it. When Queen Victoria came to the throne the finishing stroke seems to have been dealt at it. One might fancy that the whole literary world had become conscious of the youthful and innocent monarch's eye on every book issued from the press, and that every writer feared he might write a word to bring a blush on her virginal countenance. When young Queen Elizabeth came to the throne, they seem to have felt, it was another matter. There was a monarch who feared nothing and nobody, who once spat at a courtier whose costume misliked her, who as a girl had experienced no resentment when the Lord High Admiral, who was courting her, sent a messenger to "ax hir whether hir great buttocks were grown any less or no," a monarch who was not afraid of any word in the English language, and loved the most expressive words best. Under such a monarch, the Victorian writers felt they would no longer have modestly refrained from becoming Shakespeares.

But the excuses for feebleness are apt to be more ingenious than convincing. There is no connection between coarseness and art. Goncourt was a refined aristocrat who associated with the most highly civilised men and women of his day, and possessed the rarest secrets of aesthetic beauty. Indeed we may say that it is precisely the consciousness of coarseness which leads to a cowardly flight from the brave expression of life. Most of these excuses are impotent. Most impotent of all is the excuse that their books reach the Nursery and the Young Ladies' School. Do they suppose by any chance that their books grapple with the real life of Nurseries and Young Ladies' Schools? If they grappled with that they might grapple with anything. It is a subterfuge, a sham, and with fatty degeneration eating away the muscular fibre of their hearts, they snatch at it.

The road is long, and a high discipline is needed, and a great courage, if our English literature is to regain its old power and exert once more its proper influence in the world.

April 16.—I have often noticed—and I find that others also have noticed—that when an artist in design, whether line or colour or clay, takes up a pen and writes, he generally writes well, sometimes even superbly well. Again and again it has happened that a man who has spent his life with a brush in his hand has beaten the best penmen at their own weapon.

Leonardo, who was indeed great in everything, is among the few great writers of Italian prose. Blake was first and above all an artist in design, but at the best he had so magnificent a mastery of words that besides it all but the rare best of his work in design looks thin and artificial. Rossetti was drawing and painting all his life, and yet, as has now become clear, it is only in language, verse and prose alike, that he is a supreme master. Fromentin was a painter for his contemporaries, yet his paintings are now quite uninteresting, while the few books he wrote belong to great literature, to linger over with perpetual delight. Poetry seemed to play but a small part in the life of Michelangelo, yet his sonnets stand to-day by the side of his drawings and his marbles. Rodin has all his life been passionately immersed in plastic art; he has never written and seldom talks; yet whenever his more intimate disciples, a Judith Cladel or a Paul Gsell, have set down the things he utters, they are found to be among the most vital, fascinating, and profound sayings in the world. Even a bad artist with the brush may be on the road to become a good artist with the pen. Euripides was not only a soldier, he had tried to be a painter before he became a supreme tragic dramatist, and, to come down to modern times, Hazlitt and Thackeray, both fine artists with the pen, had first been poor artists with the brush. It is hard, indeed, to think of any artist in design who has been a bad writer. The painter may never write, he may never feel an impulse to write, but when he writes, it would almost seem without an effort, he writes well. The list of good artists and bad artists who have been masters of words, from Vasari and earlier onwards, is long. One sets down at random the names of Reynolds, Northcote, Delacroix, Woolner, Carrière, Leighton, Gauguin, Beardsley, Du Maurier, Besnard, to which doubtless it might be easy to add a host of others. And then, for contrast, think of that other art, which yet seems to be so much nearer to words; think of musicians!

The clue seems to be, not only in the nature of the arts of design, but also in the nature of writing. For, unlike all the arts, writing is not necessarily an art at all. It is just anything. It fails to carry inevitably within it the discipline of art. And if the writer is not an artist, if the discipline of art has left no acquired skill in his muscles and no instinctive habit in his nerves, he may never so much as discover that he is not an artist. The facility of writing is its fate.

Gourmont has well said that whatever is deeply thought is well written. And one might add that whatever is deeply observed is well said. The artist in design is by the very nature of his work compelled to observe deeply, precisely, beautifully. He is never able to revolve in a vacuum, or flounder in a morass, or run after a mirage. When there is nothing there he is still. He is held by his art to Nature. So, when he takes up his pen, by training, by acquired instinct, he still follows with the new instrument, deeply, precisely, beautifully, the same mystery of Nature.

It was by a somewhat similar transference of skilled experience that the great writers of Spain, who in so many cases were first soldiers and men of the sword, when they took up the pen, wrote, carelessly it may seem, but so poignantly, so vividly, so fundamentally well.

April 22.—There is a certain type of mind which constitutionally ignores and overlooks little things, and habitually moves among large generalisations. Of such minds we may well find a type in Bacon, who so often gave James I. occasion to remark jocularly in the Council Chamber of his Lord Chancellor, De minimis non curât lex.

There is another type of mind which is constitutionally sensitive to the infinite significance of minimal things. Of such, very typical in our day are Freud and the Freudians grouped around him. There is nothing so small that for Freud it is not packed with endless meaning. Every slightest twitch of the muscles, every fleeting fancy of the brain, is unconsciously designed to reveal the deepest impulse of the soul. Every detail of the wildest dream of the night is merely a hieroglyph which may be interpreted. Every symptom of disease is a symbol of the heart's desire. In every seeming meaningless lapse of his tongue or his memory a man is unconsciously revealing his most guarded and shameful secret. It is the daring and fantastic attempt, astonishing in the unexpected amount of its success, to work out this Philosophy of the Unconscious which makes the work of the Freudians so fascinating.

They have their defects, both these methods, the far-sighted and the near-sighted. Bacon fell into the ditch, and Freud is obsessed by the vision of a world only seen through the delicate anastomosis of the nerves of sex. Yet also they both have their rightness, they both help us to realise the Divine Mystery of the Soul, towards which no telescope can carry us too far, and no microscope too near.

April 23.—I see to-day that Justice Darling—perhaps going a little out of his way—informed the jury in the course of a summing-up that he "could not read a chapter of Rabelais without being bored to death." The assumption in this obiter dictum seemed to be that Rabelais is an obscene writer. And the implication seemed to be that to a healthily virtuous and superior mind like the Judge's the obscene is merely wearisome.

I note the remark by no means as a foolish eccentricity, but because it is really typical. I seem to remember that, as a boy, I met with a very similar assumption, though scarcely a similar implication, in Macaulay's Essays, which at that time I very carefully read. I thereupon purchased Rabelais in order to investigate for myself, and thus made the discovery that Rabelais is a great philosopher, a discovery which Macaulay had scarcely prepared me for, so that I imagined it to be original, until a few years later I chanced to light upon the observations of Coleridge concerning Rabelais' wonderful philosophic genius and his refined and exalted morality, and I realised for the first time—with an unforgettable thrill of joy—that I was not alone.

It seems clearly to be true that on the appearance in literature of the obscene,—I use the word in a colourless and technical sense to indicate the usually unseen or obverse side of life, the side behind the scenes, the postscenia vitae of Lucretius, and not implying anything necessarily objectionable,—it at once for most readers covers the whole field of vision. The reader may like it or dislike, but his reaction, especially if he is English, seems to be so intense that it absorbs his whole psychic activity. (I say "especially if he is English," because, though this tendency seems universal, it is strongly emphasised in the Anglo-Saxon mind. Gaby Deslys has remarked that she has sometimes felt embarrassed on the London stage by finding that an attempt to arouse mere amusement has been received with intense seriousness: "When I appear en pantalons the whole audience seems to hold its breath!") Henceforth the book is either to be cherished secretly and silently, or else to be spoken of loudly with protest and vituperation. And this reaction is by no means limited to ignorant and unintelligent readers; it affects ordinary people, it affects highly intelligent and super-refined people, it may even affect eminent literary personages. The book may be by a great philosopher and contain his deepest philosophy, but let an obscene word appear in it, and that word will draw every reader's attention. Thus Shakespeare used to be considered an obscene writer, in need of expurgation, and may be so considered still, though his obscene passages even to our prudish modern ears are so few that they could surely be collected on a single page. Thus also it is that even the Bible, the God-inspired book of Christendom, has been judicially declared to be obscene. It may have been a reasonable decision, for judicial decision ought, no doubt, to reflect popular opinion; a judge must be judicial, whether or not he is just.

One wonders how far this is merely due to defective education and therefore modifiable, and how far it is based on an eradicable tendency of the human mind. Of course the forms of obscenity vary in every age, they are varying every day. Much which for the old Roman was obscene is not so for us; much which for us is obscene would have made a Roman smile at our simplicity. But even savages sometimes have obscene words not fit to utter in good aboriginal society, and a very strict code of propriety which to violate would be obscene. Rabelais in his immortal work wore a fantastic and extravagant robe, undoubtedly of very obscene texture, and it concealed from stupid eyes, as he doubtless desired that it should, one of the greatest and wisest spirits that ever lived. It would be pleasant to think that in the presence of such men who in their gay and daring and profound way present life in its wholeness and find it sweet, it may some day be the instinct of the ordinary person to enjoy the vision reverently, if not on his knees, thanking his God for the privilege vouchsafed to him. But one has no sort of confidence that it will be so.

April 27.—Every garden tended by love is a new revelation, and to see it for the first time gives one a new thrill of joy, above all at this moment of the year when flowers are still young and virginal, yet already profuse and beautiful. It is the moment, doubtless, when Linnaeus, according to the legend, saw a gorse-covered English common for the first time and fell on his knees to thank God for the sight. (I say "legend," for I find on consulting Fries that the story must be a praiseworthy English invention, since it was in August that Linnaeus visited England.)

Linnaeus, it may be said, was a naturalist. But it is not merely the naturalist who experiences this emotion; it is common to the larger part of humanity. Savages deck their bodies with flowers just as craftsmen and poets weave them into their work; the cottager cultivates his little garden, and the town artisan cherishes his flower-pots. However alien one's field of interest may be, flowers still make their appeal. I recall the revealing thrill of joy with which, on a certain day, a quite ordinary day nearly forty years ago, my eye caught the flash of the red roses amid the greenery of my verandah in the Australian bush. And this bowl of wall-flowers before me now—these old-fashioned, homely, shapeless, intimately fascinating flowers, with their faint ancient fragrance, their antique faded beauty, their symbolisation of the delicate and contented beauty of old age—seem to me fit for the altar of whatever might be my dearest god.

Why should flowers possess this emotional force? It is a force which is largely independent of association and quite abstracted from direct vital use. Flowers are purely impersonal, they subserve neither of the great primary ends of life. They concern us even less than the sunset. And yet we are irresistibly impelled to "consider the lilies."

Surely it is as symbols, manifoldly complex symbols, that flowers appeal to us so deeply. They are, after all, the organs of sex, and for some creatures they are also the sources of food. So that if we only look at life largely enough flowers are in the main stream of vital necessity. They are useless to man, but man cannot cut himself off from the common trunk of life. He is related to the insects and even in the end to the trees. So that it may not be so surprising that while flowers are vitally useless to man they are yet the very loveliest symbols to him of all the things that are vitally useful. There is nothing so vitally intimate to himself that man has not seen it, and rightly seen it, symbolically embodied in flowers. Study the folk-nomenclature of plants in any country, or glance through Aigremont's Volkserotik und Pflanzenwelt. And the symbolisation is not the less fascinating because it is so obscure, so elusive, usually so unconscious, developed by sudden happy inspirations of peasant genius, and because I am altogether ignorant why the morbid and nameless tones of these curved and wrinkled wall-flowers delight me as they once delighted my mother, and so, it may be, backwards, through ancient generations who dwelt in parsonages whence their gaze caught the flowers which the seventeenth-century herbalist said in his Paradisus Terrestris are "often found growing on the old walls of Churches."

May 8.—It is curious how there seems to be an instinctive disgust in Man for his own nearest ancestors and relations. If only Darwin could conscientiously have traced Man back to the Elephant or the Lion or the Antelope, how much ridicule and prejudice would have been spared to the doctrine of Evolution! "Monkey" and "Worm" have been the bywords of reproach among the more supercilious of human beings, whether schoolboys or theologians. And it was precisely through the Anthropoid Apes, and more remotely the Annelids, that Darwin sought to trace the ancestry of Man. The Annelids have been rejected, but the Arachnids have taken their place.

Really the proud and the haughty have no luck in this world. They can scarcely perform their most elementary natural necessities with dignity, and they have had the misfortune to teach their flesh to creep before spiders and scorpions whom, it may be, they have to recognise as their own forefathers. Well for them that their high place is reserved in another world, and that Milton recognised "obdurate pride" as the chief mark of Satan.

May 9.—The words of Keats concerning the ocean's "priestlike task of pure ablution" often come to my mind in this deserted Cornish bay. For it is on such a margin between sea and land over which the tide rolls from afar that alone—save in some degree on remote Australian hills—-I have ever found the Earth still virginal and unstained by Man. Everywhere else we realise that the Earth has felt the embrace of Man, and been beautified thereby, it may be, or polluted. But here, as the tide recedes, all is ever new and fresh. Nature is untouched, and we see the gleam of her, smell the scent of her, hear the voice of her, as she was before ever life appeared on the Earth, or Venus had risen from the sea. This moment, for all that I perceive, the first Adam may not have been born or the caravel of the Columbus who discovered this new world never yet ground into the fresh-laid sand.

So when I come unto these yellow sands I come to kiss a pure and new-born

May 12.—The name of Philip Thicknesse, at one time Governor of Landguard Fort, is not unknown to posterity. The echo of his bitter quarrel with his son by his second wife, Baron Audley, has come down to us. He wrote also the first biography of Gainsborough, whom he claimed to have discovered. Moreover (herein stealing a march on Wilhelm von Humboldt) he was the first to set on record a detailed enthusiastic description of Montserrat from the modern standpoint. It was this last achievement which led me to him.

Philip Thicknesse, I find, is well worth study for his own sake. He is the accomplished representative of a certain type of Englishman, a type, indeed, once regarded by the world at large outside England as that of the essential Englishman. The men of this type have, in fact, a passion for exploring the physical world, they are often found outside England, and for some strange reason they seem more themselves, more quintessentially English, when they are out of England. They are gentlemen and they are patriots. But they have a natural aptitude for disgust and indignation, and they cannot fail to find ample exercise for that aptitude in the affairs of their own country. So in a moment of passion they shake the dust of England off their feet to rush abroad, where, also, however,—though they are far too intelligent to be inappreciative of what they find,—they meet even more to arouse their disgust and indignation, and in the end they usually come back to England.

So it was with Philip Thicknesse. A lawsuit, with final appeal to the House of Lords, definitely deprived him of all hope of a large sum of money he considered himself entitled to. He at once resolved to abandon his own impossible country and settle in Spain. Accompanied by his wife and his two young daughters, he set out from Calais with his carriage, his horse, his man-servant, and his monkey. A discursive, disorderly, delightful book is the record of his journey through France into Catalonia, of his visit to Montserrat, which takes up the larger part of it, of the abandonment of his proposed settlement in Spain, and of his safe return with his whole retinue to Calais.

Thicknesse was an intelligent man and may be considered a good writer, for, however careless and disorderly, he is often vivid and usually amusing. He was of course something of a dilettante and antiquarian. He had a sound sense for natural beauty. He was an enthusiastic friend as well as a venomous enemy. He was infinitely tender to animals. His insolence could be unmeasured, and as he had no defect of courage it was just as likely to be bestowed on his superiors as on his subordinates. When I read him I am reminded of the advice given in my early (1847) copy of Murray's Guide to France: "Our countrymen have a reputation for pugnacity in France; let them therefore be especially cautious not to make use of their fists." Note Thicknesse's adventure with the dish of spinach. It was on the return journey. He had seen that spinach before it came to table. He gives several reasons why he objected to it, and they are excellent reasons. But notwithstanding his injunction the spinach was served, and thereupon the irate Englishman took up the dish and, dexterously reversing it, spinach and all, made therewith a hat for the serving-maid's head. From the ensuing hubbub and the aubergiste's wrath Thicknesse was delivered by the advent of a French gentleman who chivalrously declared (we are told) that he himself would have acted similarly. But one realises the picture of the typical Englishman which Thicknesse left behind him. It is to his influence and that of our fellow-countrymen who resembled him that we must attribute the evolution of the type of Englishman, arrogant, fantastic, original, who stalks through Continental traditions, down even till to-day, for we find him in Mr. Thomas Tobyson of Tottenwood in Henri de Régnier's La Double Maîtresse. For the most part the manners and customs of this type of man are only known to us by hearsay which we may refuse to credit. But about Thicknesse there is no manner of doubt; he has written himself down; he is the veridic and positive embodiment of the type. That is his supreme distinction.

The type is scarcely that of the essential Englishman, yet it is one type, and a notably interesting type, really racy of the soil. Borrow—less of a fine gentleman than Thicknesse, but more of a genius—belonged to the type. Landor, a man cast in a much grander mould, was yet of the same sort, and the story which tells how he threw his Italian cook out of the window, and then exclaimed with sudden compunction, "Good God! I forgot the violets," is altogether in the spirit of Thicknesse. Trelawney was a man of this kind, and so was Sir Richard Burton. In later years the men of this type have tended, not so much to smooth their angularities as to attenuate and subtilise them, and we have Samuel Butler and Goldwin Smith, but in a rougher and more downright form there was much of the same temper in William Stead. They are an uncomfortable race of men, but in many ways admirable; we should be proud rather than ashamed of them. Their unreasonableness, their inconsiderateness, their irritability, their singular gleams of insight, their exuberant energy of righteous vituperation, the curious irregularities of their minds,—however personally alien one may happen to find such qualities,—can never fail to interest and delight.

May 13.—When Aristotle declared that it is part of probability that the improbable should sometimes happen he invented a formula that is apt for the largest uses. Thus it is a part of justice that injustice should sometimes be done, or, as Gourmont puts it, Injustice is one of the forms of Justice. There lies a great truth which most of the civilised nations of the world have forgotten.

On Candide's arrival in Portsmouth Harbour he found that an English admiral had just been solemnly shot, in the sight of the whole fleet, for having failed to kill as many Frenchmen as with better judgment he might have killed. "Dans ce pays-ci il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres." I suppose that Voltaire was alluding to the trial by court martial of Admiral Byng, which took place in Portsmouth Harbour in 1757, while he was writing Candide.

To encourage the others! England has been regarded as a model of political methods, and that is the method of justice by which, throughout the whole period of her vital development, she has ensured the purity and the efficiency of her political and social growth. Byng was shot in order that, some eighteen months later, Nelson might be brought into life. It was a triumphantly successful method. If our modern progress has carried us beyond that method it is only because progress means change rather than betterment.

Only think how swiftly and efficiently we might purify and ennoble our social structure if we had developed, instead of abandoning, this method. Think, for instance, of the infinite loss of energy, of health, of lives, the endless degradation of physical and spiritual beauty produced in London alone by the mere failure to prevent a few million chimneys from belching soot on the great city and choking all the activities of the vastest focus of activity in the world. Find the official whose inefficiency is responsible for this neglect, improvise a court to try him, and with all the deliberate solemnity and pageantry you can devise put him to death in the presence of all officialdom. And then picture the marvellous efficiency of his successor! In a few years' time where would you find one smut of soot in London? Or, again, think of our complicated factory legislation and the terrible evils which still abound in our factories. Find a sufficiently high-placed official who is responsible for them, and practise the Byng method with him. Under his successor's rule, we may be sure, we should no longer recognise our death-rates, our disease-rates, and our accident rates, and the beautiful excuses which fill our factory inspectors' reports would no longer be needed. There is no body of officials, from the highest to the lowest, among whom the exercise of this ancient privilege would not conduce to the highest ends of justice and the furtherance of human welfare. People talk about the degradation of politics. They fail to see that it is inevitable when politics becomes a mere game. There was no degradation of politics when the Advisers of the Crown were liable to be executed. For it is Death, wisely directed towards noble ends, which gives Dignity to Life.

One may be quite sure that every fat and comfortable citizen (himself probably an official of some sort) on whom this argument may be pressed will take it as a joke in bad taste: "Horrible! disgusting!" Yet that same citizen, stirring the contents of his morning newspaper into his muddy brain as he stirs his sugar in his coffee, will complacently absorb all the news of the day, so many hundred thousand men killed, wounded, or diseased in the course of the Balkan campaigns, so much ugly and hopeless misery all over the earth, and all avoidable, all caused, in the last analysis, by the incompetence, obstinacy, blindness, or greed of some highly placed official whose death at an earlier stage would have made for the salvation of the world.

And if any one still feels any doubt regarding the efficacy of this method, it is enough to point to our English kings. Every king of England has at the back of his mind a vision of a flashing axe on a frosty January morning nearly four centuries ago. It has proved highly salutary in preserving them within the narrow path of Duty. Before Charles I. English monarchs were an almost perpetual source of trouble to their people; they have scarcely ever given more than a moment's trouble since. And justice has herein been achieved by an injustice which has even worked out in Charles's favour. It has conferred upon him a prestige he could never have conferred upon himself. For of all our English monarchs since the Conquest he alone has become a martyr and a saint, so far as Protestantism can canonise anybody, and of all our dead kings he alone evokes to-day a living loyalty. Such a result is surely well worth a Decollation.

We have abandoned the method of our forefathers. And see the ignoble and feeble method we have put in its place. We cowardly promote our inefficient persons to the House of Lords, or similar obscure heights. We shelve them, or swathe them, or drop them. Sometimes, indeed, we apply a simulacrum of the ancient method of punishment, especially if the offence is sexual, but even there we have forgotten the correct method of its application, for in such cases the delinquent is usually an effective rather than an ineffective person, and when he has purged his fault we continue to punish him in petty and underhand ways, mostly degrading to those on whom they are inflicted and always degrading to those who inflict them. We have found no substitute for the sharper way of our ancestors, which was not only more effective socially, but even more pleasant for the victim. For if it was a cause of temporary triumph to his enemies, it was a source of everlasting exultation to his friends.

May 14.—I was gazing at some tulips, the supreme image in our clime of gaiety in Nature, their globes of petals opening into chalices and painted with spires of scarlet and orange wondrously mingled with a careless freedom that never goes astray, brilliant cups of delight serenely poised on the firm shoulders of their stalks, incarnate images of flame under the species of Eternity.

And by some natural transition my thoughts turned to the incident a scholarly member of Parliament chanced to mention to me yesterday, of his old student days in Paris, when early one evening he chanced to meet a joyous band of students, one of whom triumphantly bore a naked girl on his shoulders. In those days the public smiled or shrugged its shoulders: "Youth will be youth." To-day, in the Americanised Latin Quarter, the incident would merely serve to evoke the activities of the police.

Shall we, therefore, rail against the police, or the vulgar ideals of the mob whose minions they are? Rather let us look below the surface and admire the patient and infinite strategy of Nature. She is the same for ever and for ever, and can afford to be as patient as she is infinite, while she winds the springs of the mighty engine which always recoils on those who attempt to censor the staging of her Comedy or dim the radiance of the Earthly Spectacle.

And such is her subtlety that she even uses Man, her plaything, to accomplish her ends. Nothing can be more superbly natural than the tulip, and it was through the Brain of Man that Nature created the tulip.

May 16.—It is an error to suppose that Solitude leads away from Humanity. On the contrary it is Nature who brings us near to Man, her spoilt and darling child. The enemies of their fellows are bred, not in deserts, but in cities, where human creatures fester together in heaps. The lovers of their fellows come out of solitude, like those hermits of the Thebaid, who fled far from cities, who crucified the flesh, who seemed to hang to the world by no more than a thread, and yet were infinite in their compassion, and thought no sacrifice too great for a Human Being.

Here as I lie on the towans by a cloud of daisies among the waving and glistening grass, while the sea recedes along the stretching sands, and the cloudless sky throbs with the song of larks, and no human thing is in sight, it is, after all, of Humanity that I am most conscious. I realise that there is no human function so exalted or so rare, none so simple or so humble, that it has not its symbol in Nature; that if all the Beauty of Nature is in Man, yet all the Beauty of Man is in Nature. So it is that the shuttlecock of Beauty is ever kept in living movement.

It is known to many that we need Solitude to find ourselves. Perhaps it is not so well known that we need Solitude to find our fellows. Even the Saviour is described as reaching Mankind through the Wilderness.

May 20.—Miss Lind-Af-Hageby has just published an enthusiastic though discriminating book on her distinguished fellow-countryman, August Strindberg, the first to appear in English. Miss Lind-Af-Hageby is known as the most brilliant, charming, and passionate opponent of the vivisection of animals. Strindberg is known as perhaps the most ferocious and skilful vivisector of the human soul. The literary idol of the arch-antivivisector of animals is the arch-vivisector of men. It must not be supposed, moreover, that Miss Lind-Af-Hageby overlooks this aspect of Strindberg, which would hardly be possible in any case; she emphasises it, though, it may be by a warning instinct rather than by deliberate intention, she carefully avoids calling Strindberg a "vivisector," using instead the less appropriate term "dissector." "He dissected the human heart," she says, "laid bare its meanness, its uncleanliness; made men and women turn on each other with sudden understanding and loathing, and walked away smiling at the evil he had wrought."

I have often noted with interest that a passionate hatred of pain inflicted on animals is apt to be accompanied by a comparative indifference to pain inflicted on human beings, and sometimes a certain complaisance, even pleasure, in such pain. But it is rare to find the association so clearly presented. Pain is woven into the structure of life. It cannot be dispensed with in the vital action and reaction unless we dispense with life itself. We must all accept it somewhere if we would live at all; and in order that all may live we must not all accept it at the same point. Vivisection—as experiments on animals are picturesquely termed—is based on a passionate effort to combat human pain, anti-vivisection on a passionate effort to combat animal pain. In each case one set of psychic fibres has to be drawn tense, and another set relaxed. Only they do not happen to be the same fibres. We see the dynamic mechanism of the soul's force.

How exquisitely the world is balanced! It is easy to understand how the idea has arisen among so many various peoples, that the scheme of things could only be accounted for by the assumption of a Conscious Creator, who wrought it as a work of art out of nothing, spectator ab extra. It was a brilliant idea, for only such a Creator, and by no means the totality of the creation he so artistically wrought, could ever achieve with complete serenity the Enjoyment of Life.

May 23.—I seem to see some significance in the popularity of The Yellow Jacket, the play at the Duke of York's Theatre "in the Chinese manner," and even more genuinely in the Chinese manner than its producers openly profess. This significance lies in the fact that the Chinese manner of performing plays, like the Chinese manner of making pots, is the ideally perfect manner.

The people who feel as I feel take no interest in the modern English theatre and seldom have any wish to go near it. It combines the maximum of material reality with the maximum of spiritual unreality, an evil mixture but inevitable, for on the stage the one involves the other. Nothing can be more stodgy, more wearisome, more unprofitable, more away from all the finer ends of dramatic art. But I have always believed that the exponents of this theatrical method must in the end be the instruments of their own undoing, give them but rope enough. That is what seems to be happening. A reaction has been gradually prepared by Poel, Gordon Craig, Reinhardt, Barker; we have had a purified Shakespeare on the stage and a moderately reasonable Euripides. Now this Yellow Jacket, in which realism is openly flouted and a drama is played on the same principles as children play in the nursery, attracts crowds. They think they are being amused; they really come to a sermon. They are being taught the value of their own imaginations, the useful function of accepted conventions, and the proper meaning of illusion on the stage.

Material realism on the stage is not only dull, it is deadly; the drama dies at its touch. The limitations of reality on the stage are absurdly narrow; the great central facts of life become impossible of presentation. Nothing is left to the spectator; he is inert, a cypher, a senseless block.

All great drama owes its vitality to the fact that its spectator is not a mere passive block, but the living inspiration of the whole play. He is indeed himself the very stage on which the drama is enacted. He is more, he is the creator of the play. Here are a group of apparently ordinary persons, undoubtedly actors, furnished with beautiful garments and little more, a few routine stage properties, and, above all, certain formal conventions, without which, as we see in Euripides and all great dramatists, there can be no high tragedy. Out of these mere nothings and the suggestions they offer, the Spectator, like God, creates a new world and finds it very good. It is his vision, his imagination, the latent possibilities of his soul that are in play all the time.

Every great dramatic stage the world has seen, in Greece, in Spain, in Elizabethan England, in France, has been ordered on these lines. The great dramatist is not a juggler trying to impose an artifice on his public as a reality; he sets himself in the spectator's heart. Shakespeare was well aware of this principle of the drama; Prospero is the Ideal Spectator of the Theatre.

May 31.—It often impresses me with wonder that in Nature or in Art exquisite beauty is apt to appear other than it is. Jules de Gaultier seeks to apply to human life a principle of Bovarism by which we always naturally seek to appear other than we are, as Madame Bovary sought, as sought all Flaubert's personages, and indeed, less consciously on their creator's part, Gaultier claims, the great figures in all fiction. But sometimes I ask myself whether there is not in Nature herself a touch of Madame Bovary.

There is, however, this difference in the Bovarism of Nature's most exquisite moments. They seem other than they are not by seeming more than they are but by seeming less. It is by the attenuation of the medium, by an approach to obscurity, by an approximation to the faintness of a dream, that Beauty is manifested. I recall the Greek head of a girl once shown at the Burlington Fine Arts Club,—over which Rodin, who chanced to see it there, grew rapturous,—and it seemed to be without substance or weight and almost transparent. "Las Meninas" scarcely seems to me a painting made out of solid pigments laid on to a material canvas, but rather a magically evoked vision that at any moment may tremble and pass out of sight. And when I awoke in the dawn a while ago, and saw a vase of tulips on the background of the drawn curtain over a window before me, the scene was so interpenetrated by the soft and diffused light that it seemed altogether purged of matter and nothing but mere Loveliness remained. There are flowers the horticulturist delights to develop which no longer look like living and complex organisms, but only gay fragments of crinkled tissue-paper cut at random by the swift hand of a happy artist. James Hinton would be swept by emotion as he listened to some passage in Mozart. "And yet," he would say, "there is nothing in it." Blake said much the same of the drawings of Dürer. Even the Universe is perhaps built on the same plan. "In all probability matter is composed mainly of holes," said Sir J.J. Thomson a few years ago; and almost at the same moment Poincaré was declaring that "there is no such thing as matter, there is only holes in the ether." The World is made out of Nothing, and all Supernal Beauty would seem to be an approach to the Divine Mystery of Nothingness. "Clay is fashioned, and thereby the pot is made; but it is its hollowness that makes it useful," said the first and greatest of the Mystics. "By cutting out doors and windows the room is formed; it is the space which makes the room's use. So that when things are useful it is that in them which is Nothing which makes them useful." Use is the symbol of Beauty, and it is through the doors and the windows of Beautiful Things that their Beauty emerges.—Man himself, "the Beauty of the World," emerges on the world through the door of a Beautiful Thing.

June 5.—"A French gentleman, well acquainted with the constitution of his country, told me above eight years since that France increased so rapidly in peace that they must necessarily have a war every twelve or fourteen years to carry off the refuse of the people." So Thicknesse wrote in 1776, and he seems to have accepted the statement as unimpeachable. Indeed, he lived long enough to see the beginning of the deadliest wars in which France ever engaged. The French were then the most military people in Europe. Now they are the leaders in the great modern civilising movement of Anti-Militarism. To what predominant influence are we to attribute that movement? To Christianity? Most certainly not. To Humanitarianism? There is not the slightest reason to believe it. The ultimate and fundamental ground on which the most civilised nations of to-day are becoming Anti-militant, and why France is at the head of them, is—there can be no reasonable doubt—the Decline in the Birth-rate. Men are no longer cheap enough to be used as food for cannon. If their rulers fail to realise that, it will be the worse for those rulers. The people of the nations are growing resolved that they will no longer be treated as "Refuse." The real refuse, they are beginning to believe, already ripe for destruction, are those Obscurantists who set their backs to Civilisation and Humanity, and clamour for a return of that ill-fated recklessness in procreation from which the world suffered so long, the ancient motto, "Increase and multiply,"—never meant for use in our modern world,—still clinging so firmly to the dry walls of their ancient skulls that nothing will ever scrape it off. The best that can be said for them is that they know not what they talk of.

It is really a very good excuse and may serve to save them from the bloody fate they are so eager to send others to. They are entitled to contend that it holds good even of the wisest. For who knows what he talks about when he talks of even the simplest things in the world, the sky or the sunshine or the water?

June 15.—Am I indeed so unreasonable to care so much whether the sun shines? The very world, to our human eyes, seems to care. It only bursts into life, it only bursts even into the semblance of life, when the sun shines. All this anti-cyclonic day the sky has been cloudless, and for three hours on the sea the wavelets have been breaking into sudden flashes and spires of silver flower-like flames, while on the reflecting waters afar it has seemed as though a myriad argent swallows were escorting me to the coasts of France.

In the evening, in Paris, the glory of the day has still left a long delicious echo in the air and on the sky. I wander along the quays, and by a sudden inspiration go to seek out the philosophic hermit of the Rue des Saints Pères, but even he is not at home to-night, so up and down the silent quays I wander, aimlessly and joyously, to inhale the fragrance of Paris and the loveliness of the night, before I leave in the morning for Spain.

June 19.—As I entered Santa Maria del Mar this morning by the north door, and glanced along the walls under the particular illumination of the moment (for in these Spanish churches of subdued light the varying surprises of illumination are endless), there flashed on me a new swift realisation of an old familiar fact. How mediaeval it is! Those grey walls and the ancient sacred objects disposed on them with a strange irregular harmony, they seem to be as mediaeval hands left them yesterday. And indeed every aspect of this church—which to me has always been romantic and beautiful—can scarcely have undergone any substantial change. Even the worshippers must have changed but little, for this is the church of the workers, and the Spanish woman's workaday costume bears little mark of any specific century. If Cervantes were to return to this district—perhaps to this district alone—of the city he loved it is hard to see what he would note afresh, save the results of natural decay and the shifting of the social centre of gravity.

Whenever I enter an old Spanish church, in the south or in the north, still intact in its material details, in the observance of its traditions, in its antique grandiosity or loveliness, nearly always there is a latent fear at my heart. Who knows how long these things will be left on the earth? Even if they escape the dangers due to the ignorance or carelessness of their own guardians, no one knows what swift destruction may not at any moment overtake them.

In the leading article of the Barcelonese Diluvio to-day I read:

The unity which marked the Middle Ages is broken into an infinite variety of opinions and beliefs.

Everywhere else, however, except in our country, there has been formed a gradation, a rhythm, of ideas, passing from the highest to the deepest notes of the scale. There are radicals in politics, in religion, in philosophy; there are also reactionaries in all these fields; but it is the intermediate notes, conciliatory, more or less eclectic, which constitute the nucleus on which every society must depend. In Spain this central nucleus has no existence. Here in all orders of thought there are only the two extremes: all or nothing.

And the article concludes by saying that this state of things is so threatening to the nation that some pessimists are already standing, watch in hand, to count the moments of Spain's existence.

This tendency of the Spanish spirit, which there can be little doubt about, may not threaten the existence of Spain, but it threatens the existence of the last great fortress of mediaeval splendour and beauty and romance. France, the chosen land of Saintliness and Catholicism, has been swept clear of mediaevalism. England, even though it is the chosen land of Compromise, has in the sphere of religion witnessed destructive revolutions and counter-revolutions. What can save the Church in Spain from perishing by that sword of Intolerance which it has itself forged?

June 20.—In a side-chapel there is a large and tall Virgin, with seemingly closed eyes, a serene and gracious personage. Before this image of the Virgin Mother kneels a young girl, devoutly no doubt, though with a certain careless familiarity, with her dark hair down, and on her head the little transparent piece of lace which the Spanish woman, even the smallest Spanish girl-child, unlike the free-spirited Frenchwoman, never fails to adjust as she enters a church.

I have no sympathy with those who look on the Bible as an outworn book and the Church as an institution whose symbols are empty of meaning. It is a good thing that, somewhere amid our social order or disorder, the Mother whose child has no father save God should be regarded as an object of worship. It would be as well to maintain the symbol of that worship until we have really incorporated it into our hearts and are prepared in our daily life to worship the Mother whose child has no known father save God. It is not the final stage in family evolution, certainly, but a step in the right direction. So let us be thankful to the Bible for stating it so divinely and keeping it before our eyes in such splendid imagery.

The official guardians of the Bible have always felt it to be a dangerous book, to be concealed, as the Jews concealed their sacred things in the ark. When after many centuries they could no longer maintain the policy of concealing it in a foreign tongue which few could understand, a brilliant idea occurred to them. They flung the Bible in the vulgar tongue in millions of copies at the heads of the masses. And they dared them to understand it! This audacity has been justified by the results. A sublime faith in Human Imbecility has seldom led those who cherish it astray.

No wonder they feel so holy a horror of Eugenics!

June 22.—I can see, across the narrow side-street, that a room nearly opposite the windows of my room at the hotel is occupied by tailors, possibly a family of them—two men, two women, two girls. They seem to be always at work, from about eight in the morning until late in the evening; even Sunday seems to make only a little difference, for to-day is Sunday, and they have been at work until half-past seven. They sit, always in the same places, round a table, near the large French windows which are constantly kept open. At the earliest sign of dusk the electric light suspended over the table shines out. They rarely glance through the window, though certainly there is little to see, and I am not sure that they go away for meals; I sometimes see them munching a roll, and the Catalan water-pot is always at hand to drink from. If it were not that I know how the Catalan can live by night as well as by day, I should say that this little group can know nothing whatever of the vast and variegated Barcelonese world in whose heart they live, that it is nothing to them that all last night Barcelona was celebrating St. John's Eve (now becoming a movable festival in the cities) with bonfires and illuminations and festivities of every kind, or that at the very same moment in this same city the soldiery were shooting down the people who never cease to protest against the war in Morocco. They are mostly good-looking, neatly dressed, cheerful, animated; they talk and gesticulate; they even play, the men and the girls battering each other for a few moments with any harmless weapons that come to hand. They are always at work, yet it is clear that they have not adopted the heresy that man was made for work.

I am reminded of another workroom I once overlooked in a London suburb where three men tailors worked from very early till late. But that was a very different spectacle. They were careworn, sordid, carelessly half-dressed creatures, and they worked with ferocity, without speaking, with the monotonous routine of machines at high pressure. They were tragic in the fury of their absorption in their work. They might have been the Fates spinning the destinies of the world.

A marvellous thing how pliant the human animal is to work! Certainly it is no Gospel of Work that the world needs. It has ever been the great concern of the lawgivers of mankind, not to ordain work, but, as we see so interestingly in the Mosaic Codes, to enjoin holidays from work.

June 23.—At a little station on the Catalonian-Pyrenean line near Vich a rather thin, worn-looking young woman alighted from the second-class carriage next to mine, and was greeted by a stout matronly woman and a plump young girl with beaming face. These two were clearly mother and daughter, and I suppose that the careworn new-comer from the city, though it was less obviously so, was an elder daughter. The two women greeted each other with scarcely a word, but they stood close together for a few moments, and slight but visible waves of emotion ran sympathetically down their bodies. Then the elder woman tenderly placed her arm beneath the other's, and they walked slowly away, while the radiant girl, on the other side of the new-comer, lovingly gave a straightening little tug to the back of her jacket, as though it needed it.

One sets out for a new expedition into the world always with a concealed unexpressed hope that one will see something new. But in our little European world one never sees anything new. There is merely a little difference in the emotions, a little finer or a little coarser, a little more open or a little more restrained, a little more or a little less charm in the expression of them. But they are everywhere just the same human emotions manifested in substantially the same ways.

It is not indeed always quite the same outside Europe. It is not the same in Morocco. I always remember how I never grew tired of watching the Moors in even the smallest operation of their daily life. For it always seemed that their actions, their commonest actions, were set to a rhythm which to a European was new and strange. Therefore it was infinitely fascinating.

June 24.—St. John's Eve was celebrated here in Ripoll on the correct, or, as the Catalans call it, the classical, date last night. The little market-place was full of animation. (The church, I may note, stands in the middle of the Plaza, and the market is held in the primitive way all round the church, the market-women's stalls clinging close to its walls.) Here for hours, and no doubt long after I had gone to bed, the grave, sweet Catalan girls were dancing with their young men, in couples or in circles, and later I was awakened by the singing of Catalan songs which reminded me a little of Cornish carols. The Catalan girls, up in these Pyrenean heights, are perhaps more often seriously beautiful than in Barcelona, though here, too, they are well endowed with the substantial, homely, good-humoured Catalan graces. But here they do their hair straight and low on the brows on each side and fasten it in knots near the nape of the neck, so they have an air of distinction which sometimes recalls the Florentine women of Ghirlandajo's or Botticelli's portraits. The solar festival of St. John's Eve is perhaps the most ancient in our European world, but even in this remote corner of it the dances seem to have lost all recognised connection with the bonfires, which in Barcelona are mostly left to the children. This dancing is just human, popular dancing to the accompaniment, sad to tell, of a mechanical piano. Yet even as such it is attractive, and I lingered around it. For I am English, very English, and I spend much of my time in London, where dancing in the street is treated by the police as "disorderly conduct." For only the day before I left a London magistrate admonished a man and woman placed in the dock before him for this heinous offence of dancing in the street, which gave so much pleasure to my Catalan youths and maidens all last night: "This is not a country in which people can afford to be jovial. You must cultivate a spirit of melancholy if you want to be safe. Go away and be as sad as you can."

June 25.—Up here on the solitary mountain side, with Ripoll and its swirling, roaring river and many bridges below me, I realise better the admirable position of this ancient monastery city, so admirable that even to-day Ripoll is a flourishing little town. The river has here formed a flat, though further on it enters a narrow gorge, and the mountains open out into an amphitheatre. It is, one sees, on a large and magnificent scale, precisely the site which always commended itself to the monks of old, and not least to the Benedictines when they chose the country for their houses instead of the town, and here, indeed, they were at the outset far away from any great centre of human habitation. Founded, according to the Chronicles, in the ninth century by Wilfred the Shaggy, the first independent Count of Barcelona, one suspects that the selection of the spot was less, an original inspiration of the Shaggy Count's than put into his head by astute monks, who have modestly refrained from mentioning their own part in the transaction. In any case they flourished, and a century later, when Montserrat had been devastated by the Moors, it was restored and repeopled by monks from Ripoll. In their own house they were greatly active. There is the huge monastery of which so much still remains, not a beautiful erection, scarcely even interesting for the most part, massive, orderly, excessively bare, but with two features which will ever make it notable; its Romanesque cloisters with the highly variegated capitals, and the sculptured western portal. This is regarded as one of the earliest works of sculpture in Spain, and certainly it has some very primitive, one may even say Iberian, traits, for the large toro-like animals recall Iberian sculpture. Yet it is a great work, largely and systematically planned, full of imaginative variety; at innumerable points it anticipates what the later more accomplished Gothic sculptors were to achieve, and I suspect, indeed, that much of its apparent lack of executive skill is due to wearing away of the rather soft stone the sculptors used. In the capitals of the cloisters—certainly much later—a peculiarly hard stone has been chosen, and, notwithstanding, the precision and expressive vigour of these artists is clearly shown. But the great portal, a stupendous work of art, as we still dimly perceive it to be, wrought nearly a thousand years ago in this sheltered nook of the Pyrenees, lingers in the memory. Also, like so many other things in the far Past, its crumbling outlines scatter much ancient dust over what we vainly call Modern Progress.

June 26.—Every supposed improvement in methods of travelling seems to me to sacrifice more than it gains; it gains speed, but it sacrifices nearly everything else, even comfort. Yet, I fear, there is a certain unreality in one's lamentations over the decay of the ancient methods; one is still borne on the stream. I have long wanted to cross the Pyrenees, and certainly I should prefer to cross them leisurely, as Thicknesse would have done (had he not preferred to elude them by the easier and beaten road), in one's own carriage. But, failing that, surely I ought to have walked, or, at least, to have travelled by the diligence. Yet I cannot escape the contagious disease of Modernity, and I choose to be whirled through the most delicious and restful scenery in the world, at the most perfect moment of the year, in three hours (including the interval for lunch) in a motor 'bus, while any stray passengers on the road, as by common accord, plant themselves on the further side of the nearest big tree until our fearsome engine of modernity has safely passed. It is an adventure I scarcely feel proud of.

Yet even this hurried whirl has not been too swift to leave memories which will linger long and exquisitely, among far other scenes, even with a sense of abiding peace. How often shall I recall the exhilaration of this clear, soft air of the mountains, touched towards the summits by the icy breath of the snow, these glimpses of swift streams and sudden cascades, the scent of the pine forests, the intense flame of full-flowered broom, and perhaps more than all, the trees, as large as almond trees, of richly blossomed wild roses now fully out, white roses and pink roses, which abound along these winding roads among the mountains. Where else can there be such wild rose trees?

June 27.—It is, I suppose, more than twenty years since I stopped at Perpignan for the night, on the eve of first entering Spain, and pushed open in the twilight the little door of the Cathedral, and knew with sudden deep satisfaction the beauty and originality of Catalonian architecture. The city of Perpignan has emerged into vigorous modern life since then, but the Cathedral remains the same and still calls me with the same voice. It seems but yesterday that I entered it. And there, at the same spot, in the second northern bay, the same little lamp is still twinkling, each faint throb seemingly the last, as in memory it has twinkled for twenty years.

June 28.—Nowhere, it is said, are the offices of the Church more magnificently presented than in Barcelona. However this may be, I nowhere feel so much as in Spain that whatever may happen to Christianity it is essential that the ancient traditions of the Mass should be preserved, and the churches of Catholicism continue to be the arena of such Sacred Operas as the Mass, their supreme and classic type.

I do not assert that it need necessarily be maintained as a Religious Office. There are serious objections to the attempt at divine officiation by those who have no conviction of their own Divine Office. There are surely sufficient persons, even in pessimistic and agnostic Spain, to carry on the Mass in sincerity for a long time to come. When sincerity failed, I would hold that the Mass as an act of religion had come to an end.

It would remain as Art. As Art, as the embodied summary of a great ancient tradition, a supreme moment in the spiritual history of the world, the Mass would retain its vitality as surely as Dante's Divine Comedy retains its vitality, even though the stage of that Comedy has no more reality for most modern readers than the stage of Punch and Judy. So it is here. The Play of the Mass has been wrought through centuries out of the finest intuitions, the loftiest aspirations, of a long succession of the most sensitively spiritual men of their time. Its external shell of superstition may fall away. But when that happens the play will gain rather than lose. It will become clearly visible as the Divine Drama it is, the embodied presentation of the Soul's Great Adventure, the symbolic Initiation of the Individual into the Spiritual Life of the World.

It is not only for the perpetuation of the traditions of the recognised Sacred Offices that Churches such as the Spanish churches continue to constitute the ideal stage. Secular drama arises out of sacred drama, and at its most superb moments (as we see, earlier than Christianity, in the Bacchae, the final achievement of the mature art of Euripides) it still remains infused with the old sacred spirit and even the old sacred forms, for which the Church remains the only fitting background. It might possibly be so for Parsifal. Of all operas since Parsifal that I have seen, the Ariane et Barbe Bleue of Dukas and Maeterlinck seems to me the most beautiful, the most exalted in conception, the most finely symbolic, and surely of all modern operas it is that in which the ideas and the words, the music, the stage pictures, are wrought with finest artistry into one harmonious whole. It seems to me that the emotions aroused by such an Opera as Ariane could only be fittingly expressed—unecclesiastical as Blue Beard's character may appear—in the frame of one of these old Catalonian churches. The unique possibilities of the church for dramatic art constitute one of the reasons why I shudder at the thought that these wonderful and fascinating buildings may some day be swept of their beauty and even torn down.

June 29.—I have always felt a certain antipathy—unreasonable, no doubt—to Brittany, and never experienced any impulse to enter it. Now that I have done so the chances of my route have placed my entry at Nantes, where the contact of neighbouring provinces may well have modified the Breton characteristics. Yet they seem to me quite pronounced, and scarcely affected even by the vigorous and mercantile activity of this large city. A large and busy city, and yet I feel that I am among a people who are, ineradically, provincial peasants, men and women of a temper impervious to civilisation. Here too are those symbols of peasantry, the white caps of endless shape and fashion which seem to exert such an attraction on the sentimental English mind. Yet they are not by any means beautiful. And what terrible faces they enfold—battered, shapeless, featureless faces that may have been tossed among granite rocks but seem never to have been moulded by human intercourse. The young girls are often rather pretty, sometimes coquettish, with occasionally a touch of careless abandonment which reminds one of England rather than of France. But the old women—one can scarcely believe that these tragic, narrow-eyed, narrow-spirited old women are next neighbours to the handsome, jovial old women of Normandy. And the old men, to an extent that surely is seldom found, are the exact counterparts of the old women, with just the same passive, battered, pathetic figures. (I recall the remark of an English friend who has lived much in Brittany, that these people look as though they were still living under the Ancient Régime.) I know I shall never forget the congregation that I saw gathered together in the Cathedral at High Mass this Sunday morning, largely made up of these poor old decayed abortions of humanity, all moved by the most intense and absorbed devotion.

There is something gay and open about this Cathedral. The whole ritual is clear to view; there is a lavish display of scarlet in the choir upholstery; the music is singularly swift and cheerful; the whole tone of the place is bright and joyous. One cannot but realise how perfectly such a worship is adapted to such worshippers. Surely an accomplished ecclesiastical art and insight have been at work here. We seem to see a people scarcely made for this world, and sunk in ruts of sorrow, below the level of humanity, where no hope is visible but the sky. And here is their sky! How can it be but that they should embrace the vision with a fervour surely unparalleled in Christendom outside Russia.

July 4.—Feeble little scraps of reproduction of the Bayeux Tapestry have been familiar to me since I was a child. Yet until to-day I entered the room opposite the Cathedral where it has lately been simply but fittingly housed, I never imagined, and no one had ever told me, how splendid a work of art it is. Nothing could be more unpretentious, more domestic in a sense, with almost the air of our grandmothers' samplers, than this long strip of embroidered canvas, still so fresh in its colours that it might have been finished, if indeed it is finished, yesterday. It is technically crude, childishly conventionalised, wrought with an enforced economy of means. Yet how superbly direct and bold in the presentation of the narrative, in the realism of the essential details, in all this marshalling of ships and horses and men, in this tragic multiplication of death on the battlefield. One feels behind it the fine and free energy of a creative spirit. It is one of our great European masterpieces of art, a glory alike for Normans and for English. It is among the things that once known must live in one's mind to recur to memory with a thrill of exhilaration. There is in it the spirit of another great Norman work of art, the Chanson de Roland; there is even in it the spirit of Homer, or the spirit of Flaubert, "the French Homer," as Gourmont has called him, who lived and worked so few miles away from this city of Bayeux.

July 9.—Now that I have again crossed Normandy, this time from the south-west, I see the old puzzle of the architectural quality of the Norman from a new aspect. Certainly the Normans seem to have had a native impulse to make large, strong, bold buildings. But the aesthetic qualities of these buildings seem sometimes to me a little doubtful. Surely Coutances must lie in a thoroughly Norman district; it possesses three great churches, of which St. Nicolas pleases me most; the Cathedral, even in its strength and originality, makes no strong appeal to me. I find more that is attractive in Bayeux Cathedral, which is a stage nearer to the Seine. And I have asked myself this time whether the architectural phenomena of Normandy may not be explained precisely by this presence of the Seine, running right through the middle of it, and of its capital city, Rouen, which is also its great architectural centre. What is architecturally of the first quality in Normandy and the neighbouring provinces seems to me now to lie on the Seine, or within some fifty miles of its banks. That would include Bayeux and Chartres to the south, as well as Amiens and Beauvais to the north. So I ask myself whether what we see in this region may not be the result of the great highway passing through it. Have we not here, perhaps, action and reaction between the massive constructional spirit of Normandy and the exquisite inventive aesthetic spirit of the Ile de France?

July 12.—Certainly June, at all events as I have known it this year, is the ideal month for rambling through Europe. Here along the Norman coast, indeed, at Avranches and Fécamp, one encounters a damp cloudiness to remind one that England is almost within sight. Yet during a month in Spain and in France, in the Pyrenees and in Normandy, it has never been too hot or too cold, during the whole time I have scarcely so much as seen rain. Everywhere my journey has been an endless procession of summer pageantry, of greenery that is always fresh, of flowers that have just reached their hour of brilliant expansion. "To travel is to die continually"; and I have had occasion to realise the truth of the saying during the past few weeks. But I shall not soon forget the joy of this wild profusion of flowers scattered all along my path, for two thousand miles—the roses and lilies, the broom and the poppies.

July 18.—When one considers that Irony which seems so prevailing a note of human affairs, if we choose to regard human affairs from the theological standpoint, it is interesting to remember that the most pronounced intellectual characteristic of Jesus, whom the instinct of the populace recognised as the Incarnation of God, was, in the wider sense, a ferocious Irony. God is Love, said St. John. The popular mind seems to have had an obscure conviction that God is Irony. And it is in his own image, let us remember, that Man creates God.

July 29.—In his essay on "The Comparative Anatomy of Angels," Fechner, the father of experimental psychology, argued that angels can have no legs. For if we go far down in the animal scale we find that centipedes have God knows how many legs; then come butterflies and beetles with six, and then mammals with four; then come birds, which resemble angels by their free movement through space, and man, who by his own account is half an angel, with only two legs; in the final step to the angelic state of spherical perfection the remaining pair of legs must finally disappear. (Indeed, Origen is said to have believed that the Resurrection body would be spherical.)

One is reminded of Fechner's playful satire by the spectacle of those poets who ape angelic modes of progression. The poet who desires to achieve the music of the spheres may impart to his movement the planetary impulse if he can suggest to our ears the illusion of the swift rush of rustling wings, but he must never forget that in reality he still possesses legs, and that these legs have to be accounted for, and reckoned in the constitution of metre. Every poet must still move with feet, feet that must be exquisitely sensitive to the earth's touch, impeccably skilful to encounter every obstacle on the way with the joyous flashing of his feet. The most splendidly angelic inspirations will not suffice to compensate the poet for feet that draggle in the mud, or stumble higgledy-piggledy among stony words, which his toes should have kissed into jewels.

We find this well illustrated in a quite genuine poet whose biography has just been published. In some poems of Francis Thompson we see that the poet seeks to fling himself into a planetary course, forgetting, and hoping to hypnotise his readers into forgetting, that the poet has feet. He thereby takes his place in the group which Matthew Arnold termed that of Ineffectual Angels. Arnold, it is true, a pedagogue rather than a critic, invented this name for Shelley, whom it scarcely fits. For Shelley, whose feet almost keep pace with his wings, more nearly belongs to the Effectual Angels.

August 3.—In our modern life an immense stress is placed on the value of Morality. Very little stress is placed on the value of Immorality. I do not, of course, use the words "Morality" and "Immorality" in any question-begging way as synonymous of "goodness" and of "badness," but, technically, as names for two different sorts of socially-determined impulses. Morality covers those impulses, of a more communal character, which conform to the standards of action openly accepted at a given time and place; Immorality stands for those impulses, of a more individual character, which fail so to conform. Morality is, more concisely, the mores of the moment; Immorality is the mores of some other moment, it may be a better, it may be a worse moment. Every nonconformist action is immoral, but whether it is thereby good, bad, or indifferent remains another question. Jesus was immoral; so also was Barabbas.

The more one knows of the real lives of people the more one perceives how large a part of them is lived in the sphere of Immorality and how vitally important that part is. It is not the part shown to the world, the mechanism of its activities remains hidden. Yet those activities are so intimate and so potent that in a large proportion of cases it is in their sphere that we must seek the true motive force of the man or woman, who may be a most excellent person, one who lays, indeed, emphatically and honestly, the greatest stress on the value of the impulses of Morality. "The passions are the winds which fill the sails of the vessel," said the hermit to Zadig, and Spinoza had already said the same thing in other words. The passions are by their nature Immoralities. To Morality is left the impulses which guide the rudder, of little value when no winds blow.

Thus to emphasise the value of Immorality is not to diminish the value of Morality. They are both alike necessary. ("Everything is dangerous here below, and everything is necessary.") There should be no call on us to place the stress on one side at the expense of the other side. When Carducci, with thoughts directed on the intellectual history of humanity, wrote his hymn to Satan, it was as the symbol of the revolutionary power of reason that he sang the triumph of Satan over Jehovah. But no such triumph of Immorality over Morality can be foreseen or desired. When we place ourselves at the high biological standpoint we see the vital necessity of each. It is necessary to place the stress on both.

If we ask ourselves why at the present moment the sphere of Morality seems to have acquired, not in actual life, but in popular esteem, an undue prominence over the sphere of Immorality, we may see various tendencies at work, and perhaps not uninfluentially the decay of Christianity. For Religion has always been the foe of Morality, and has always had a sneer for "mere Morality." Religion stands for the Individual as Morality stands for Society. Religion is the champion of Grace; it pours contempt on "Law," the stronghold of Morality, even annuls it. The Pauline and pseudo-Pauline Epistles are inexhaustible on this theme. The Catholic Church with its Absolution and its Indulgences could always override Morality, and Protestantism, for all its hatred of Absolution and of Indulgences, by the aid of Faith and of Grace easily maintained exactly the same conquest over Morality. So the decay of Christianity is the fall of the Sublime Guardian of Immorality.

One may well ask oneself whether it is not a pressing need of our time to see to it that these two great and seemingly opposed impulses are maintained in harmonious balance, by their vital tension to further those Higher Ends of Life to which Morality and Immorality alike must be held in due subjection.

August 18.—How marvellous is the Humility of Man! I find it illustrated in nothing so much as in his treatment of his Idols and Gods. With a charming irony the so-called "Second Isaiah" described how the craftsman deals with mere ordinary wood or stone which he puts to the basest purposes; "and the residue thereof he maketh a God." One wonders whether Isaiah ever realised that he himself was the fellow of that craftsman. He also had moulded his Jehovah out of the residue of his own ordinary emotions and ideas. But that application of his own irony probably never occurred to Isaiah, and if it had he was too wise a prophet to mention it.

Man makes his God and places Him, with nothing to rest on, in a Chaos, and imposes on Him the task of introducing life and order, everything indeed, out of His own Divine Brains. To the savage theologian and his more civilised successors that seems an intelligent theory of the Universe. They fail to see that they have merely removed an inevitable difficulty a stage further back. (And we can understand the reply of the irritable old-world theologian to one who asked what God was doing before the creation: "He was making rods for the backs of fools.") For the Evolution of a Creator is no easier a problem than the Evolution of a Cosmos.

The theologians, with their ineradicable anthropomorphic conceptions, have never been able to see how stupendous an anachronism they committed (without even taking the trouble to analyse Time) when they placed God prior to His Created Universe in the void and formless Nebula. Such a God would not have been worth the mist He was made of.

It is only when we place God at the End, not at the Beginning, that the Universe falls into order. God is an Unutterable Sigh in the Human Heart, said the old German mystic. And therewith said the last word.

August 21.—Is not a certain aloofness essential to our vision of the Heaven of Art?

As I write I glance up from time to time at the open door of a schoolhouse, and am aware of a dim harmony of soft, rich, deep colour and atmosphere framed by the doorway and momentarily falling into a balanced composition, purified of details by obscurity, the semblance of a Velasquez. Doors and windows and gateways vouchsafe to us perpetually the vision of a beauty apparently remote from the sphere of our sorrow, and the impression of a room as we gaze into it from without through the window is more beautiful than when we move within it. Every picture, the creation of the artist's eye and hand, is a vision seen through a window.

It is the delight of mirrors that they give something of the same impression as I receive from the schoolhouse doorway. In music-halls, and restaurants, and other places where large mirrors hang on the walls, we may constantly be entranced by the lovely and shifting pictures of the commonplace things which they chance to frame. In the atmosphere of mirrors there always seems to be a depth and tone which eludes us in the actual direct vision. Mirrors cut off sections of the commonplace real world, and hold them aloof from us in a sphere of beauty. From the days of the Greeks and Etruscans to the days of Henri de Régnier a peculiar suggestion of aesthetic loveliness has thus always adhered to the mirror. The most miraculous of pictures created by man, "Las Meninas," resembles nothing so much as the vision momentarily floated on a mirror. In this world we see "as in a glass darkly," said St. Paul, and he might have added that in so seeing we see more and more beautifully than we can ever hope to see "face to face."

There is sometimes even more deliciously the same kind of lovely attraction in the reflection of lakes and canals, and languid rivers and the pools of fountains. Here reality is mirrored so faintly and tremulously, so brokenly, so as it seems evanescently, that the simplest things may be purged and refined into suggestions of exquisite beauty. Again and again some scene of scarcely more than commonplace charm—seen from some bridge at Thetford, or by some canal at Delft, some pond in Moscow—imprints itself on the memory for ever, because one chances to see it under the accident of fit circumstance reflected in the water.

Still more mysterious, still more elusive, still more remote are the glorious visions of the external world which we may catch in a polished copper bowl, as in crystals and jewels and the human eye. Well might Böhme among the polished pots of his kitchen receive intimation of the secret light of the Universe.

In a certain sense there is more in the tremulously faint and far reflection of a thing than there is in the thing itself. The dog who preferred the reflection of his bone in the water to the bone itself, though from a practical point of view he made a lamentable mistake, was aesthetically justified. No "orb," as Tennyson said, is a "perfect star" while we walk therein. Aloofness is essential to the Beatific Vision. If we entered its portals Heaven would no longer be Heaven.

August 23.—I never grow weary of the endless charm of English parish churches. The more one sees of them the more one realises what fresh, delightful surprises they hold. Nothing else in England betrays so well the curious individuality, the fascinating tendency to incipient eccentricity, which marks the English genius. Certainly there are few English churches one can place beside some of the more noble and exquisitely beautiful French churches, such a church, for instance, as that of Caudebec on the Seine. But one will nowhere find such a series of variously delightful churches springing out of concretely diversified minds.

Here at Maldon I enter the parish church in the centre of the town, and find that the tower, which appears outside, so far as one is able to view it, of the normal four-sided shape, is really triangular; and when in the nave one faces west, this peculiarity imparts an adventurous sense of novelty to the church, a delicious and mysterious surprise one could not anticipate, nor even realise, until one had seen.

Individuality is as common in the world as ever it was, and as precious. But its accepted manifestations become ever rarer. What architect to-day would venture to design a triangular-towered church, and what Committee would accept it? No doubt they would all find excellent reasons against such a tower. But those reasons existed five hundred years ago. Yet the men of Maldon built this tower, and it has set for ever the seal of unique charm upon their church.

The heel of Modern Man is struck down very firmly on Individuality, and not in human life only, but also in Nature. Hahn in his summary survey of the North American fauna and flora comes to the conclusion that their aspect is becoming ever tamer and more commonplace, because all the animals and plants that are rare or bizarre or beautiful are being sedulously destroyed by Man's devastating hand. There is nothing we have to fight for more strenuously than Individuality. Unless, indeed, since Man cannot inhabit the earth for ever, the growing dulness of the world may not be a beneficent adaptation to the final extinction, and the last man die content, thankful to leave so dreary and monotonous a scene.

August 24.—A month ago I was wandering through the superb spiritual fortress overlying a primeval pagan sanctuary, which was dreamed twelve centuries ago in the brain of a Bishop of neighbouring Avranches, and slowly realised by the monastic aspiration, energy, and skill of many generations to dominate the Bay of St. Michel even now after all the monks have passed away. And to-day I have been wandering in a very different scene around the scanty and charming remains of the Abbey of Beeleigh, along peaceful walks by lovely streams in this most delightful corner of Essex, which the Premonstratensian Canons once captured, in witness of the triumph of religion over the world and the right of the religious to enjoy the best that the world can give.

The Premonstratensian Canons who followed the mild Augustinian rule differed from the Benedictines, and it was not in their genius to seize great rocks and convert them into fortresses. Their attitude was humane, their rule not excessively ascetic; they allowed men and women to exercise the religious life side by side in neighbouring houses; they lived in the country but they were in familiar touch with the world. The White Canons ruled Maldon, but they lived at Beeleigh. They appear to have been admirable priests; the official Visitor (for they were free from Episcopal control) could on one occasion find nothing amiss save that the Canons wore more luxuriant hair than befitted those who bear the chastening sign of the tonsure, and their abbots seem to have been exceptionally wise and prudent. This sweet pastoral scenery, these slow streams with luxuriant banks and pleasant, sheltered walks, were altogether to their taste. Here were their fish-ponds and their mills. Here were all the luxuries of Epicurean austerity. Even in the matter of comfort compare the cramped dungeons, made for defence, in which the would-be lords of the world dwelt, with the spacious democratic palaces, or the finely spaced rural villas, with no need to think of defence, in which men led the religious life. Compare this abbey even with Castle Hedingham a few miles away, once the home of the great De Veres, by no means so gloomy as such castles are wont to be, and I doubt if you would prefer it to live in; as a matter of fact it has been little used for centuries, while Beeleigh is still a home. Here in these rich and peaceful gardens, Abbot Epicurus of Beeleigh—who held in his hands, at convenient arm's length, the prosperous town of Maldon—could discourse at leisure to his girl disciples—had there been a house of canonesses here—of the lusts and passions that dominate the world, repletion, extravagance, disorders, disease, warfare, and death. In reality Abbot Epicurus had captured all the best things the world can hold and established them at Beeleigh, leaving only the dregs. And at the same time, by a supreme master-stroke of ironic skill, he persuaded those stupid dregs that in spurning them he had renounced the World!

August 27.—Here in the north-west of Suffolk and on into Norfolk there is a fascinating blank in the map. Much of it was in ancient days fenland, with, long before the dawn of history, at least one spot which was a great civilising centre of England, and even maybe of Europe, from the abundance and the quality of the flints here skilfully worked into implements. Now it is simply undulating stretches of heathland, at this season freshly breaking into flower, with many pine trees, and the most invigorating air one can desire. Not a house sometimes for miles, not a soul maybe in sight all day long, not (as we know of old by sad experience and are provided accordingly) a single wayside inn within reach. Only innumerable rabbits who help to dig out the worked flints one may easily find—broken, imperfect, for the most part no doubt discarded—and rare solitary herons, silent and motionless, with long legs and great bills, and unfamiliar flowers, and gorgeous butterflies. Here, on a bank of heather and thyme, we spread our simple and delicious meal.

Do not ask the way to this ancient centre of civilisation, even by its modern and misleading name, even at the nearest cottage. They cannot tell you, and have not so much as heard of it. Yet it may be that those cottagers themselves are of the race of the men who were here once the pioneers of human civilisation, for until lately the people of this isolated region were said to be of different physical type and even of different dress from other people. So it is, as they said of old, that the glory of the world passes away.

August 29.—Whenever, as to-day, I pass through Bury St. Edmunds or Stowmarket or Sudbury and the neighbourhood, I experience a curious racial home-feeling. I never saw any of these towns or took much interest in them till I had reached middle age. Yet whenever I enter this area I realise that its inhabitants are nearer to me in blood, and doubtless in nervous and psychic tissue, than the people of any other area. It is true that one may feel no special affinity to the members of one's own family group individually. But collectively the affinity cannot fail to be impressive. I am convinced that if a man were to associate with a group of one hundred women (I limit the sex merely because it is in relation to the opposite sex that a man's instinctive and unreasoned sympathies and antipathies are most definite), this group consisting of fifty women who belonged to his own ancestral district, and therefore his own blood, and fifty outside that district, his sympathies would more frequently be evoked by the members of the first group than the second, however indistinguishably they were mingled. That harmonises with the fact that homogamy, as it is called, predominates over heterogamy, that like is attractive to like. Therefore, after all, the feeling I have acquired concerning this part of Suffolk may be in part a matter of instinct.

September 3.—Why is it that notwithstanding my profound admiration for Beethoven, and the delight he frequently gives me, I yet feel so disquieted by that master and so restively hostile to his prevailing temper? I always seem to have a vague feeling that he is a Satan among musicians, a fallen angel in the darkness who is perpetually seeking to fight his way back to happiness, and to enter on the impossible task of taking the Kingdom of Heaven by violence.

Consider the exceedingly popular Fifth Symphony. It seems to me to represent the strenuous efforts of a man who is struggling virtuously with adversity. It is morality rather than art (I would not say the same of the Seventh Symphony, or of the Ninth), and the morality of a proud, self-assertive, rather ill-bred person. I always think of Beethoven as the man who, walking with Goethe at Weimar and meeting the Ducal Court party, turned up his coat collar and elbowed his way through the courtiers, who were all attention to him, while Goethe, scarcely noticed, stood aside bowing, doubtless with an ironic smile at his heart. The Fifth Symphony is a musical rendering of that episode. We feel all through it that self-assertive, self-righteous little man, vigorously thrusting himself through difficulties to the goal of success, and finely advertising his progress over obstacles by that ever-restless drum which is the backbone of the whole symphony. No wonder the Fifth Symphony appeals so much to our virtuous and pushful middle-class audiences. They seem to feel in it the glorification of "a nation of shopkeepers" who are the happy possessors of a "Nonconformist Conscience."

It is another appeal which is made by Bach and Mozart and Schubert. They also may be moved by suffering and sorrow. But they are never in vain rebellion against the Universe. Their sorrow is itself at one with the Universe, and therefore at one with its joy. Such sorrow gives wings to the soul, it elevates and enlarges us; we are not jarred and crushed by violent attacks on a Fortress of Joy which to such attacks must ever be an unscaleable glacis. The Kingdom of Heaven is not taken by violence, and I feel that in the world of music many a smaller man is nearer to the Kingdom of Heaven than this prodigious and lamentable Titan.

September 9.—As I sit basking in the sunshine on this familiar little rocky peninsula in the centre of the bay, still almost surrounded by the falling tide, I note a youth and a girl crossing the sands below me, where the gulls calmly rest, to the edge of dry beach. Then she sits down and he stands or bends tenderly over her. This continues for some time, but the operation thus deliberately carried out, it ultimately becomes clear, is simply that of removing her shoes and stockings. At last it is accomplished, he raises her, swiftly harmonises his costume to hers, and forthwith conducts her through some shallow water to an island of sand. The deeper passage to my peninsula still remains to be forded, and the feat requires some circumspection. In less than half an hour it will be easy to walk across dry-shod, and time is evidently no object. But so prosaic a proceeding is disdained by Paul and Virginia. He wades carefully forward within reach of the rocks, flings boots, white stockings, and other cumbersome belongings on to the lowest ledge of rock, returns to the island, and lifts her up, supporting her body with one arm as she clasps his neck, while with the other he slowly and anxiously feels his way with his stout stick among the big seaweed-grown stones in the surf. I see them clearly now, a serious bespectacled youth of some twenty—one years and a golden—haired girl, some two or three years younger, in a clinging white dress. The young St. Christopher at last deposits his sacred burden at the foot of the peninsula, which they climb, to sit down on the rocks, and in the same deliberate, happy, self-absorbed spirit complete their toilet and depart.

I know not what relation of tender intimacy unites them, but when they have gone their faces remain in my memory. I seem to see them thirty years hence, that honest, faithful, straightforward face of the youth, transformed into the rigid image of an eminently-worthy and wholly-undistinguished citizen, and the radiant, meaningless girl a stout and careful Mrs. Grundy with a band of children around her. Yet the memory of to-day will still perhaps be enshrined in their hearts.

September 12.—"I study you as I study the Bible," said a wise and religious old doctor to a patient who had proved a complex and difficult case. His study was of much benefit to her and probably to himself.

It is precisely in this spirit that the psychoanalysts, taught by the genius of Freud, study their patients, devoting an hour a day for weeks or months or more to the gospel before them, seeking to purge themselves of all prepossessions, to lie open to the Divine mystery they are approaching, as the mystic lies open to his Divine mystery, to wait patiently as every page of the physical and spiritual history is turned over, to penetrate slowly to the most remote and intimate secrets of personality, even those that the surface shows no indication of, that have never been uttered or known—until at last the Illumination comes and the Meaning is clear.

How few among the general run of us, medical or lay, have yet learnt to deal thus reverently with Human Beings! Here are these things, Men, Women, and Children, infinitely fascinating and curious in every curve and function of their bodies and souls, with the world set in the heart of each of them, indeed whole Immortalities and Cosmoses, of which one may sometimes catch glimpses, with amazement if not indeed with amusement, and such a holy awe as Dostoeffsky felt when in moments of revelation he saw by some sudden gleam into the hearts of the criminals around him in Siberia—and what do we do with them? Tie up their souls in official red tape and render their bodies anaemic with clothes, distort them in factories or slay them on battlefields. The doctor is herein the New Mystic at whose feet all must patiently learn the Revelation of Humanity. When there is not quite so much Mankind in the world, and what remains is of better quality, we may perhaps begin to see that a new task lies before Religion, and that all the patient study which men devoted to the Revelation that seemed to them held in the Text of the Bible is but a feeble symbol of the Revelation held in the Text of Men and Women, of whom all the Bibles that ever were merely contain the excretions. It is indeed exactly on that account that we cannot study Bibles too devoutly.

So before each New Person let us ejaculate internally that profound and memorable saying: "I study you as I study the Bible."

September 18.—The approach to the comprehension of any original personality, in art or in philosophy, is slow but full of fascination. One's first impulse, I have usually found, is one of tedious indifference, followed by rejection, probably accompanied with repugnance. In this sphere the door which opens at a touch may only lead into a hovel. The portal to a glorious temple may be through a dark and dreary narthex, to be traversed painfully, it may be on one's knees, a passage only illuminated in its last stages by exhilarating bursts of light as the door ahead momentarily swings open.

When Jules de Gaultier sent me on publication his first book Le Bovarysme, I glanced through it with but a faint interest and threw it aside. (I had done the same some years before, perhaps as stupidly, who knows? with the Matière et Mémoire of the rival philosopher who has since become so magnificently prosperous in the world.) The awkward and ill-chosen title offended me, as it offends me still, and Gaultier had then scarcely attained the full personal charm of his grave, subdued, and reticent style. But another book arrived from the same author, and yet another, and I began to feel the attraction of this new thinker and to grasp slowly his daring and elusive conception of the world. Here, one remarks, is where the stupid people who are slow of understanding have their compensation in the end. For whereas the brilliant person sees so much light at his first effort that he is apt to be content with it, the other is never content, but is always groping after more, perhaps to come nearer to the Great Light at last.

For Gaultier the world is a spectacle. We always conceive ourselves other than we are (that is the famous "Bovarism"), we can never know the world as it is. The divine creative principle is Error. All the great dramatists and novelists have unconsciously realised this in the sphere of literature; Flaubert consciously and supremely realised it. In life also the same principle holds. Life is a perpetual risk and danger, the perpetual toss of a die which can never be calculated, a perpetual challenge to high adventure. But it is only in Art that the solution of Life's problems can be found. Life is always immoral and unjust. It is Art alone which, rising above the categories of Morality, justifies the pains and griefs of Life by demonstrating their representative character and emphasising their spectacular value, thus redeeming the Pain of Life by Beauty.

It is along this path that Jules de Gaultier would lead by the hand those tender and courageous souls who care to follow him.

September 19.—Imbecility is the Enemy, and there are two tragic shapes of Imbecility which one meets so often, and finds so disheartening, perhaps not indeed hopeless, not beyond the power even of Training, to say nothing of Breeding, to better.

There is that form of Imbecility which shows itself in the inability to see any person or any thing save in a halo of the debased effluvium which the imbecile creature himself exudes, and in the firm conviction—that is where the Imbecility comes in—that the halo pertains not to himself but to the object he gazes at. Law, necessary as it is, powerfully aids these manifestations, and the Policeman is the accepted representative of this form of Imbecility. It is a sad form, not only because it is so common, and so powerfully supported, but because it effectually destroys the finest blossoms of human aspiration on the pathway to any more beautiful life. It is the guardian against us of the Gate of Paradise. If the inspired genius who wrote the delightful book of Genesis were among us to-day, instead of two cherubim with flaming swords, he would probably have placed at the door of his Eden two policemen with truncheons. Nothing can be lovelier, more true to the spiritual fact, than the account in the Gospel of the angel Gabriel's visit to the Virgin Mary; it represents the experience of innumerable women in all ages, and on that account it has received sanctification for ever. It was an incident described by a saint who was also a poet. But imagine that incident described by a policeman, and one shudders. So long as the policeman's special form of Imbecility triumphs in the world, there will be no Paradise Regained.

But there is another shape in which Imbecility is revealed, scarcely less fatal though it is of the reverse kind. It is the Imbecility of those young things who, themselves radiating innocence and fragrance, instinctively cast a garment of their own making round every object that attracts them, however foul, and never see it for what it is, until too late, and then, with their illusion, their own innocence and fragrance have also gone. For this kind of Imbecility erects a fortress for the Evil in the world it could by a glance strike dead.

In the one case, as in the other, it is Intelligence which is at fault, the enlightened brain, the calm and discerning eye that can see things for what they are, neither debasing nor exalting them. The clear-sighted eye in front of the enlightened brain—there can be no Imbecility then. Only the Diseases of the Soul which Reason can never cure.

From these two shapes of Imbecility one would like to see a delivering
Saviour arise.

September 24.—The act of bathing in the sea, rightly considered, is a sacred act, and is so recognised in many parts of the world. It should not be made as commonplace as a mere hygienic tubbing, nor be carried out by a crowd of clothed persons in muddy water. No profane unfriendly eye should be near, the sun must be bright, the air soft, the green transparent sea should ripple smoothly over the rocks, as I see it below me now, welling rhythmically into rock-basins and plashing out with a charge of bubbling air and a delicious murmur of satisfied physiological relief. Enter the sea in such a manner, on such a day, and the well-tempered water greets the flesh so lovingly that it opens like a flower with no contraction of hostile resistance. The discomforting sensation of the salt in the nostrils becomes a delightful and invigorating fragrance as it blends with the exhilaration of this experience. So to bathe is more than to bathe. It is a rite of which the physical delight is a symbol of the spiritual significance of an act of Communion with Nature, to be stored up with one's best experiences of Fine Living.

September 27.—It is a soft, wet Cornish day, and as I sit in the garden, sheltered from the rain, there floats back to memory a day, two months ago at Ripoll, when I wandered in the wonderful and beautiful cloisters, where every capital is an individual object of fascinating study, still fresh after so many centuries, and not a footstep ever disturbed my peace.

Nothing so well evidences the fine utility of monasticism as the invention of the cloister. In a sense it was the centre of monastic life, so that monastery and cloister are almost synonymous terms. No peasant-born monk of the West, in the carol of his cloister, had occasion to envy the King of Granada his Court of the Lions. Fresh air, the possibility of movement, sunshine in winter and shade in summer, the vision of flowers, the haunting beauty of the well in the centre, and the exhilarating spring of the arches all around, the armaria of books at hand, and silence—such things as these are for every man who thinks and writes the essentials of intellectual living. And every cloister offered them. Literature has smelt unpleasantly of the lamp since cloisters were no longer built, and men born for the cloister, the Rousseaus and the Wordsworths and the Nietzsches, wandered homelessly among the hills, while to-day we seek any feeble substitute for the cloister wherein to work at leisure in the free air of Nature, and hear the song of the birds and the plash of the rain at one's feet.

September 30.—When I pass through the little Cornish valley there is one tree on which my eye always dwells. It is of no greater size than many other trees in the valley, nor even, it may be to a casual glance, of any marked peculiarity; one might say, indeed, that in this alien environment, so far from its home on the other side of the world, it manifests a certain unfamiliar shyness, or a well-bred condescension to the conventions of the English floral world. Yet, such as it is, that tree calls up endless pictures from the recesses of memory, of the beautiful sun-suffused land where the Eucalyptus in all its wonderful varieties, vast and insolent and solemn and fantastic, is lord of the floral land, and the Mimosa, with the bewitching loveliness that aches for ever at one's heart, is the lady of the land.

So I walk along the Cornish valley in a dream, and once more kangaroos bound in slow, great curves down the hills, and gay parrakeets squabble on the ground, and the soft grey apple-gums slumber in the distance, and the fragrance of the wattles is wafted in the air.

October 2.—If this Cornish day were always and everywhere October, then October would never be a month to breed melancholy in the heart, and I could enter into the rapture of De Régnier over this season of the year. It would, indeed, be pleasant to think of October as a month when, as to-day, the faint northeasterly wind is mysteriously languorous, and the sun burns hot even through misty clouds, and the dim sea has all the soft plash of summer, and from the throats of birds comes now and again a liquid and idle note which, they themselves seem to feel, has no function but the delight of mere languid contentment, and the fuchsia tree casts a pool of crimson blossoms on the ground while yet retaining amid its deep metallic greenery a rich burden of exotic bells, to last maybe to Christmas. If this is indeed October as Nature made October, then we might always approach Winter in the same mood as, if we are wise, we shall always approach Death.

October 6.—The Russian philosopher Schestoff points out that while we have to be reticent regarding the weaknesses of ordinary men, we can approach the great with open eyes and need never fear to give their qualities the right names. "How simply and quietly the Gospel reports that in one night the Apostle Peter denied his Master thrice! And yet that has not hindered mankind from building him a magnificent temple in Rome, where untold millions have reverently kissed the feet of his statue, and even to-day his representative is counted infallible."

It is a pregnant observation that we might well bear in mind when we concern ourselves with the nature and significance of genius. I know little about St. Peter's claim to genius. But at least he is here an admirable symbol. That is how genius is made, and, it is interesting to note, how the popular mind realises that genius is made; for the creators of the Gospels, who have clearly omitted or softened so much, have yet emphatically set forth the bald record of the abject moral failure in the moment of decisive trial of the inappropriately named Rock on which Christ built His Church. And Peter's reputation and authority remain supreme to this day.

James Hinton was wont to dwell on the weakness of genius, as of a point of least resistance in human nature, an opening through which the force of Nature might enter the human world. "Where there is nothing there is God," and it may be that this weakness is no accident but an essential fact in the very structure of genius. Weakness may be as necessary to the man of genius as it is unnecessary to the normal man.

Our biographers of genius are usually futile enough on all grounds, even in the record of the simplest biological data, as in my own work I have had sad occasion to experience. But at no point are they so futile as in toning down, glozing over, or altogether ignoring all those immoralities, weaknesses, defects, and failures which perhaps are the very Hallmark of Genius. They all want their Peters to look like real rocks. And on such rocks no churches are built.

October 13.—I wish that people would be a little more cautious in the use of the word "Perfection." Or else that they would take the trouble to find out what they mean by it. One grows tired of endless chatter concerning the march of Progress towards Perfection, and of the assumption underlying it that Perfection—as usually defined—is a quality which any one need desire in anything.

If Perfection is that which is most beautiful and desirable to us, then it is something of which an essential part is Imperfection.

That is clearly so in relation to physical beauty. A person who is without demonstrable defect of beauty—some exaggeration of proportion, some visible flaw—leaves us cold and indifferent. The flaw or the defect may need to be of some special kind or quality to touch us individually, but still it is needed. The absence of flaw in beauty is itself a flaw. As I write my eye falls on a plate of tomatoes. The tense and smoothly curved red fruits with their wayward green stalks lie at random on a blue dish of ancient pattern. They are beautiful. Yet each fruit has conspicuously on it a fleck of reflected light. Looked at in itself, each fleck is ugly, a greyish patch which effaces the colour it rests on. Yet the brilliant beauty of these fruits is largely dependent on those flecks of light. So it is with some little mole on the body of a beautiful woman, or a mutinous irregularity in the curve of her mouth, or some freak in the distribution of her hair.

There are some people willing to admit that Perfection is a useless conception in relation to physical beauty, and yet unwilling to believe that it is equally useless in the moral sphere. Yet in the moral world also Imperfection is essential to beauty and desire. What we are pleased to consider Perfection of character is perhaps easier to attain than Perfection of body. But, not on that account alone, it is equally unattractive. The woman who seems a combination of unalloyed virtues is as inadequate as the woman who is a combination of smooth physical perfections. In the moral world, indeed, the desired Imperfection needs to be dynamic and shifting rather than static and fixed, because virtues are contradictory. Modesty and Courage, for instance, do not sort well together at the same moment. Men have rhapsodied much on the modesty of woman, but a woman who was always modest would be as insipid as a woman who was always courageous would be repellent. An incalculable and dynamic combination of Shyness and Daring is at the core of a woman's fascination. And the same relationship binds the more masculine combination of Justice and Generosity.

Why should we pretend any more that the world is on the road to
Perfection? Or that we want it to be? The world is in perpetual
oscillation. Let us be thankful for every inspiring revelation of a New

October 23.—There has been much discussion over Flaubert's views of the artist's attitude towards his own work—how far the artist stands outside his own work, and how far he is himself the stuff of his work—and I see that Mr. Newbolt has been grappling again with that same problem. Yet surely it is hardly a problem. Flaubert, we are told, contradicted himself in those volumes of Correspondance which have seemed to some (indeed what has Flaubert written that has not seemed to some?) the most fascinating and profoundly interesting part of his work. The artist must be impersonal, he insisted, and yet St. Anthony is Flaubert, and he himself said, "Madame Bovary, c'est moi." He contradicted himself. Well, what then? "Do I contradict myself?" he might have asked with Whitman. "Very well, then, I contradict myself." The greatest of literary artists, we may rest assured, had the clearest vision of the haven for which he was sailing. But he was bound for a port which few mariners have ever come near, and he knew that the wind was ever in his teeth. It was only by taking a course that was a constant series of zigzags, it was only by perpetually tacking, that he could ever hope to come into harbour. He was not, therefore, the less acutely aware of his precise course. He was merely adopting the most strictly scientific method of navigation. The fluctuating judgments which Flaubert seems to pronounce on the aim of the artist all represent sound approximations to a complete truth which no formula will hold. No sailor on this sea ever sailed more triumphantly into port. That seems to settle the matter.

October 24.—At the crowded concert this evening I found a seat at the back of the orchestra, and when a singer came on to sing the "Agnus Dei" of Bach's Mass in B Minor I had the full view of her back, her dress, cut broad and low, fully showing her shoulder-blades. I thus saw that, though the movements of her arms were slight, yet as she sang the long drawn-out sighs, rising and falling, of the "Miserere," the subdued loveliness of the music was accompanied by an unceasing play of the deltoid and trapezius muscles. It was a perpetual dance of all the visible muscles, in swelling and sinking curves, opening out and closing in, rising and falling and swaying, a beautifully expressive rhythm in embodiment of the melody.

One sees how it was that the Greeks, for whom the whole body was an ever-open book, could so train their vision to its vivid music (has not Taine indeed said something to this effect in his travel notes in Southern Italy?) that when they came to carve reliefs for their Parthenon, even to represent the body in seeming repose, they instinctively knew how to show it sensitive, alive, as in truth it is, redeemed from grossness by the exquisite delicacy of its mechanism at every point. People think that the so-called danse du ventre is an unnatural distortion, and in its customary exaggerations so it is. But it is merely the high-trained and undue emphasis of beautiful natural expression. Rightly considered, the whole body is a dance. It is for ever in instinctive harmonious movement, at every point exalted to unstained beauty, because at every moment it is the outcome of vital expression that springs from its core and is related to the meaning of the whole. In our blind folly we have hidden the body. We have denied its purity. We have ignored its vital significance. We pay the bitter penalty. And I detect a new meaning in the wail of that "Miserere."

October 29.—I am interested to hear that the latest theorists of harmony in music are abandoning the notion that they must guide practice, or that music is good or bad according as it follows, or fails to follow, theoretical laws. One recalls how Beethoven in his lifetime was condemned by the theorists, and how almost apologetically he himself referred at the end to his own deliberate breaking of the rules. But now, it appears, the musical theorists are beginning to realise that theory must be based on practice and not practice on theory. The artist takes precedence of the theorist, who learns his theories from observation of the artist, and when in his turn he teaches, the artist is apt to prove dangerous. "In matters of art," says Lenormand in his recent book on harmony, "it is dangerous to learn to do as others do."

Now this interests me because it is in this spirit that I have always contemplated the art of writing. This must be our attitude before the so-called rules of grammar and syntax. Certainly one cannot be too familiar with the rules, they cannot even be wisely broken unless they are known, and we cannot be too familiar with the practice of those who have gone before us. But the logic of thought takes precedence of the rules of grammar, and syntax must ever be moulded afresh on the sensibility of the individual writer. Only in so far as a man writes in this temper—the resolute temper, as Thoreau said, of a man who is grasping an axe or a sword—can he achieve the daring and the skill by which writing lives. To be clear, to be exact, to be expressive, and so to be beautiful—that is the writer's proper aim. The rules are good so far—but only so far—as they help him to sail on the voyage towards his desired haven. Let him sail warily, and if he miscalculates let him suffer shipwreck.

That is the really inviolable law of all the arts. How long will it be before we understand that it is also the law of morality, the greatest art of all, the Art of Living?

November 5.—Surely an uncomfortable feeling must overcome many excellent people when they realise—if that ever happens—the contrast between their view of the world and that which prevailed in the ages most apt for great achievement and abounding vitality. In the moral world of to-day such didactic energy as men possess is concentrated into one long litany of Thou Shalt Not.

May it be because the Tradesman has inherited the earth and stocked Morality on his shelves? That he stocks no line of moral goods to which the yard-measure cannot be applied? The Saints as well as the Sinners must go empty away in a social state whose lordship has fallen to Hogarth's Good Apprentice.

But that is not how Life is. In the moral world—so far as it is a world of great achievement—the tape-measure is out of place. It is only the Immeasurable that counts. And Life is not only Immeasurable but magnificently inconsistent, even incomprehensible, to those who have not the clue to its Divine Maze.

Think of the thirteenth century, the fourteenth, the fifteenth, the sixteenth, and all that they achieved for humanity, and consider in what surviving recesses of them you would find a place for the Moralists of the Counter, who in their eagerness to open up new markets would cut the cloth of the moral life not merely for themselves—that would matter to nobody—but for mankind at large. There would have been no room for them in the monasteries where, on first thought, we might be inclined to hide them, notwithstanding the exaggerated love of rule which marked the monastic mind, for that rule was itself based on a magnificent extravagance, heroic even when it was not natural. There would have been still less room for them in the churches, where the priests themselves joined in the revels of the Feast of Fools, and the builders delighted to honour God by carving on their temples, inside and outside, the images of wildest licence, as we may still see here and there to-day. And as for the ages of Humanism and the Renaissance, our moralists would have been submerged in laughter. Look even at Boccaccio, a very grave scholar, and see how in his stories of human life he serenely wove all that men thought belonged to Heaven and all that they thought belonged to Hell into a single variegated and harmonious picture.

Since then a strange blindness has struck men in the world we were born into. There has been a Goethe, no doubt, a Wilhelm von Humboldt, a Whitman. Men have scarcely noted them. Perhaps the responsibility in part lies at the door of Protestantism. Unamuno remarks that Catholicism knew little of that anxious preoccupation with sin, so destructive of heroic greatness, which has gnawed at the vitals of the Protestantism which we have inherited, if only in the form of a barren Freethought spreading its influence far beyond Protestant lands.

Is this a clue to our Intellectual Anaemia and Spiritual Starvation?

November 8.—In a letter of St. Bernard—the ardent theologian, the relentless fanatic, the austere critic of the world and the flesh—to his friend Rainald, the Abbot of Foigny, I come with surprised delight on a quotation from "your favourite"—and it almost seems as though the Saint had narrowly escaped writing "our favourite"—"your favourite Ovid." So the Abbot of Foigny, amid the vexations and tribulations he felt so bitterly, was wont to pore in his cell over the pages of Ovid.

The pages of Ovid, as one glances across them, are like a gay southern meadow in June, variegated and brilliant, sweet and pensive and rather luxuriant, and here and there even a little rank. Yet they are swept by the air and the light and the rain of Nature, and so their seduction never grew stale. During sixteen centuries, while the world was spiritually revolutionised again and yet again, the influence of Ovid never failed; it entered even the unlikeliest places. Homer might be an obscure forgotten bard and Virgil become a fantastic magician, but Ovid, lifted beyond the measure of his genius, was for ever a gracious and exalted Influence, yet human enough to be beloved and with the pathos of exile clinging to his memory, filling the dreams of fainting monks at the feet of the Virgin, arousing the veneration of the Humanists, even inspiring the superb and exuberant poets of the English Renaissance, Marlowe and Shakespeare and Milton.

It has sometimes seemed to me that if it were given to the ghosts of the Great Dead to follow with sensitive eyes the life after life of their fame on earth, there would be none, not even the greatest—to whom indeed the vision could often bring only bitterness,—to find more reasonable ground for prolonged bliss than Ovid.

November 13.—I find myself unable to share that Pessimism in the face of the world which seems not uncommon to-day. I suspect that the Pessimist is often merely an impecunious bankrupt Optimist. He had imagined, in other words, that the eminently respectable March of Progress was bearing him onwards to the social goal of a glorified Sunday School. Horrible doubts have seized him. Henceforth, to his eyes, the Universe is shrouded in Black.

His mistake has doubtless been to emphasise unduly the notion of Progress, to imagine that any cosmic advance, if such there be, could ever be made actual to our human eyes. There was a failure to realise that the everlasting process of Evolution which had obsessed men's minds is counterbalanced by an equally everlasting process of Involution. There is no Gain in the world: so be it: but neither is there any Loss. There is never any failure to this infinite freshness of life, and the ancient novelty is for ever renewed.

We realise the world better if we imagine it, not as a Progress to Prim Perfection, but as the sustained upleaping of a Fountain, the pillar of a Glorious Flame. For, after all, we cannot go beyond the ancient image of Heraclitus, the "Ever-living Flame, kindled in due measure and in the like measure extinguished." That translucent and mysterious Flame shines undyingly before our eyes, never for two moments the same, and always miraculously incalculable, an ever-flowing stream of fire. The world is moving, men tell us, to this, to that, to the other. Do not believe them! Men have never known what the world is moving to. Who foresaw—to say nothing of older and vaster events—the Crucifixion? What Greek or Roman in his most fantastic moments prefigured our thirteenth century? What Christian foresaw the Renaissance? Who ever really expected the French Revolution? We cannot be too bold, for we are ever at the incipient point of some new manifestation far more overwhelming than all our dreams. No one can foresee the next aspect of the Fountain of Life. And all the time the Pillar of that Flame is burning at exactly the same height it has always been burning at!

The World is everlasting Novelty, everlasting Monotony. It is just which aspect you prefer. You will always be right.

November 14.—"Life is a great bundle of little things." It is very many years since I read that saying of Oliver Wendell Holmes, but there is no saying I oftener have occasion to repeat to myself. There is the whole universe to dream over, and one's life is spent in the perpetual doing of an infinite series of little things. It is a hard task, if one loses the sense of the significance of little things, the little loose variegated threads which are yet the stuff of which our picture of the universe is woven.

I admire the wisdom of our ancestors who seem to have spent so much of their time in weaving beautiful tapestries to hang on the walls of their rooms, even though, it seems, they were not always careful that there should be no rats behind the arras. So to live was to have always before one the visible symbol of life, where every little variegated tag has a meaning that goes to the heart of the universe. For each of these insignificant little things of life stretches far beyond itself—like a certain Impromptu of Schubert's, which begins as though it might be a cradle song in a nursery and ends like the music of the starry sphere which carries the world on its course.

November 17.—It has long been a little puzzling to me that my feeling in regard to the apple and the pear, and their respective symbolisms, is utterly at variance with tradition and folklore. To the primitive mind the apple was feminine and the symbol of all feminine things, while the pear was masculine. To me it is rather the apple that is masculine, while the pear is extravagantly and deliciously feminine. In its exquisitely golden-toned skin, which yet is of such firm texture, in the melting sweetness of its flesh, in its vaguely penetrating fragrance, in its subtle and ravishing and various curves, even, if you will, in the tantalising uncertainty as to the state of its heart, the pear is surely a fruit perfectly endowed with the qualities which fit it to be regarded as conventionally a feminine symbol. In the apple, on the other hand, I can see all sorts of qualities which should better befit a masculine symbol. But it was not so to the primitive mind.

I see now how the apparent clash has come about. It appears that Albertus Magnus in the thirteenth century, accepting the ancient and orthodox view of his time, remarked that the pear is rightly considered masculine because of the hardness of its wood, the coarseness of its leaves, and the close texture of its fruit. Evidently our pear has been developed away from the mediaeval pear, while the apple has remained comparatively stable. The careful cultivation of the apple began at an early period in history; an orchard in mediaeval days meant an apple orchard. (One recalls that, in the fourth century, the pear-tree the youthful St. Augustine robbed was not in an orchard, and the fruit was "tempting neither for colour nor taste," though, certainly, he says he had better at home.) The apple for the men of those days was the sweetest and loveliest of the larger fruits they knew; it naturally seemed to them the symbol of woman. Here to-day are some pears of the primitive sort they sell in the Cornish village street, small round fruits, dark green touched with brown in colour, without fragrance, extremely hard, though as ripe as they ever will be. This clearly is what Albertus Magnus meant by a pear, and one can quite understand that he saw nothing femininely symbolic about it. As soon as the modern pear began to be developed the popular mind at once seized on its feminine analogies ("Cuisse-Madame," for instance, is the name of one variety), and as a matter of fact all the modern associations of the fruit are feminine. They seem first to be traceable about the sixteenth century, and it was only then, I imagine, that the pear began to be seriously cultivated. So the seeming conflict is harmonised.

The human mind always reasons and analogises correctly from the data before it. Only because the data have changed, only because the data were imperfect, can the reasoning seem to be astray. There is really nothing so primitive, even so animal, as reason. It may plausibly, however unsoundly, be maintained that it is by his emotions, not by his reason, that man differs most from the beasts. "My cat," says Unamuno, who takes this view in his new book Del sentimiento tragico de la vida, "never laughs or cries; he is always reasoning."

November 22.—I note that a fine scholar remarks with a smile that the direct simplicity of the Greeks hardly suits our modern taste for obscurity.

Yet there is obscurity and obscurity. There is, that is to say, the obscurity that is an accidental result of depth and the obscurity that is a fundamental result of confusion. Swinburne once had occasion to compare the obscurity of Chapman with the obscurity of Browning. The difference was, he said, that Chapman's obscurity was that of smoke and Browning's that of lightning. One may surely add that smoke is often more beautiful than lightning (Swinburne himself admitted Chapman's "flashes of high and subtle beauty"), and that lightning is to our eyes by no means more intelligible than smoke. If indeed one wished to risk such facile generalisations, one might say that the difference between Chapman's obscurity and Browning's is that the one is more often beautiful and the other more often ugly. If one looks into the matter a little more closely, it would seem that Chapman was a man whose splendid emotions were apt to flare up so excessively and swiftly that their smoke was not all converted into flame, while Browning was a man whose radically prim and conventional ideas, heavily overladen with emotion, acquired the semblance of profundity because they struggled into expression through the medium of a congenital stutter—a stutter which was no doubt one of the great assets of his fame. But neither Chapman's obscurity nor Browning's obscurity seems to be intrinsically admirable. There was too much pedantry in both of them and too little artistry. It is the function of genius to express the Inexpressed, even to express what men have accounted the Inexpressible. And so far as the function of genius is concerned, that man merely cumbers the ground who fails to express. For we can all do that. And whether we do it in modest privacy or in ten thousand published pages is beside the point.

Yet, on the other hand, a superlative clearness is not necessarily admirable. To see truly, according to the fine saying of Renan, is to see dimly. If art is expression, mere clarity is nothing. The extreme clarity of an artist may be due not to his marvellous power of illuminating the abysses of his soul, but merely to the fact that there are no abysses to illuminate. It is at best but that core of Nothingness which needs to be enclosed in order to make either Beauty or Depth. The maximum of Clarity must be consistent with the maximum of Beauty. The impression we receive on first entering the presence of any supreme work of art is obscurity. But it is an obscurity like that of a Catalonian Cathedral which slowly grows luminous as one gazes, until the solid structure beneath is revealed. The veil of its Depth grows first transparent on the form of Art before our eyes, and then the veil of its Beauty, and at last there is only its Clarity. So it comes before us like the Eastern dancer who slowly unwinds the shimmering veil that floats around her as she dances, and for one flashing supreme moment of the dance bears no veil at all. But without the veil there would be no dance.

Be clear. Be clear. Be not too clear.

November 23.—I see that Milton's attitude to the astronomy of his time, a subject on which Dr. Orchard wrote an elaborate study many years ago, is once more under discussion.

There is perhaps some interest in comparing Milton's attitude in this matter to that of his daring and brilliant contemporary, Cyrano de Bergerac. In reading the Preface which Lebret wrote somewhere about 1656 for his friend Cyrano's Voyage dans la Lune, written some years earlier, I note the remark that most astronomers had then adopted the Copernican system (without offence, as he is careful to add, to the memory of Ptolemy) and Bergerac had introduced it into literature; it certainly suited his genius and his purpose. As we know, Milton—who had once met the blind Galileo and always venerated his memory—viewed Copernican astronomy with evident sympathy, even in Paradise Lost itself dismissing the Ptolemaic cosmogony with contempt. Yet it is precisely on the basis of that discredited cosmogony that the whole structure of Paradise Lost is built. Hence a source of worry to the modern critic who is disposed to conclude that Milton chose the worse way in place of the better out of timidity or deference to the crowd, though Milton's attitude towards marriage and divorce might alone serve to shield him from any charge of intellectual cowardice, and the conditions under which Paradise Lost was written could scarcely invite any appeal to the mob. This seems to me a perverse attitude which entirely overlooks the essential point of the case. Milton was an artist.

If Milton, having abandoned his earlier Arthurian scheme, and chosen in preference these antique Biblical protagonists, had therewith placed them on the contemporary cosmogonic stage of the Renaissance he would have perpetrated, as he must have felt, a hideous incongruity of geocentric and heliocentric conceptions, and set himself a task which could only work out absurdly. His stage was as necessary to his drama as Dante's complicated stage was necessary to his drama. We must not here recall the ancient observation about "pouring new wine into old bottles." That metaphor is excellent when we are talking of morals, and it was in the sphere of morals it was meant to apply. But in the sphere of literary art it is the reverse of the truth, as the poets of Vers Libres have sometimes found to their cost. It was probably a very old bottle into which Homer poured his new wine, and it was certainly a skin of the oldest at hand which Cervantes chose for his Quixote.

In his attitude towards science Milton thus represents the artist's true instinct. Science, mere concordance with the latest doctrine of the moment, is nothing to the artist except in so far as it serves his ends. It is just as likely to be a hindrance as a help, and Tennyson, however true an artist, profited nothing by dragging into his verse a few scraps of the latest astronomy. Art is in its sphere as supreme over fact as Science in its sphere is supreme over fiction. The artist may play either fast or loose with Science, and the finest artist will sometimes play loose.

November 24.—The more one ponders over that attitude of comprehensive acceptance towards life, on its spiritual and physical sides alike, which marked the men of the Mediaeval and Renaissance Ages, the more one realises that its temporary suppression was inevitable. The men of those days were, one sees, themselves creating the instrument (what a marvellous intellectual instrument Scholasticism forged!) which was to analyse and destroy the civilisation they themselves lived in. Their fluid civilisation held all the elements of life in active vital solution. They left hard, definite, clear-cut crystals for us to deal with, separate, immiscible, inharmonious substances. It was Progress, no doubt, as Progress exists in our world. The men of those days were nearer to Barbarism. They were also nearer to the Secret of Nature. Nowadays it is only among men of genius—a Whitman, a Wagner, a Rodin, a Verlaine—that the ancient secret has survived. Not indeed that it was universal even among Renaissance men, not even when they were men of genius. If it is true that, under the influence of Savonarola, Botticelli burnt his drawings, he was false to the spirit of his age, touched by the spirit of Progress before its time. Verlaine was nearer to the great secret when he wrote Sagesse and, at the same time, Parallèlement.

When Lady Lugard was travelling in the Pacific she met a young Polynesian of high birth who gravely told her, when asked about his proposed career in life, that he had not yet decided whether to enter the Church or to join a Circus. He was still sufficiently near to the large and beautiful life of his forefathers to feel instinctively that there is no contradiction between an athletic body and an athletic soul, that we may enter into communion with Nature along the one road or the other road. He knew that the union of these two avocations—which to our narrow eyes seem incompatible—was needed to fulfil his ideal of complete and wholesome human activity. That young Polynesian chief had in him the secret to regenerate a world which has only a self-complacent smile for his faith.

It was evidently the great development of the geometrical, mathematical, and allied sciences in the seventeenth century which completed the submergence of the Mediaeval and Renaissance attitude towards morals. There was no room for a biological conception of life in the seventeenth century, unless it were among the maligned Jesuits. The morbid and mathematical Pascal claimed to be an authority in morals. The Crystal had superseded Life.

So it came about that Logic was introduced as the guide of morals; Logic, which the Greeks regarded as an exercise for schoolboys; Logic, which in Flaubert's Tentation is the leader of the chorus of the Seven Deadly Sins! That surprising touch of Flaubert's seems, indeed, a fine example of the profound and apparently incalculable insight of genius. Who would have thought to find in the visions of St. Anthony a clue to the disease of our modern morality? Yet when the fact is before us there is nothing plainer than the fatal analytic action of logic on the moral life. It is only when the white light of life is broken up that the wild extravagance of colour appears. It is only when the harmonious balance of the moral life is overturned that the Deadly Sins, which in their due co-ordination are woven into the whole texture of life, become truly damnable. Life says for ever: "Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself." And to such Morality Logic is fatally subversive. There can be no large and harmonious and natural Morality when Logic is made to stand where it ought not.

Sooner or later the whirligig of time brings its revenges. We return to the former age, on another plane, purged of its tyranny and of its cruelty, it may well be, and with all sorts of new imperfections to console us for the old imperfections we are forced to abandon.

One more turn of the Earthly Kaleidoscope. Who knows what it may bring?

November 25.—In a novel by a distinguished writer, Madame Delarue-Mardrus, I notice a casual reference to "the English love of flowers." I am a little surprised to find this stated as a specifically English characteristic. It seems more obvious to regard the love of animals as peculiarly English, as it is regarded by the Freudian physician, Maeder, who believes that the love of animals is the lightning-rod along which the dangerously repressed emotions of the English are conducted to earth through harmless channels. It is in Spain that flowers seem to me more tenderly regarded by the people than anywhere, the cherished companions of daily life, carefully cultivated on every poorest balcony. Certainly in Paris one sees very conspicuously the absence of the love of flowers; or, rather, one may say that for the subtle and inventive children of the Ile de France the flower is artificial, and what we call flowers are merely an insipid and subordinate variety, "natural flowers," having their market in a remote and deserted corner of the city, whereas in Barcelona the busiest and central part of the city is the Rambla de las Flores.

The factors involved may well be two, one climatic, one racial: a climate favourable or unfavourable to horticulture and a popular feeling attracted or repelled by Nature. Both these factors may work in the same direction in the Parisian love of artificial flowers and the Catalan love of natural flowers, while in the parched land of Andalusia one factor alone seems to keep alive the adoration of flowers. Lucie Delarue-Mardrus belongs to Normandy, and perhaps the Norman traditions have been a little modified by the dominant influence of the neighbouring Ile de France. Along this mild and luxuriant Atlantic seaboard of France, so favourable to flowers, from the Pyrenees northwards, there seems to me no intrinsic defect in the love of flowers, which are everywhere cultivated and familiarly regarded. I have noted, for instance, how constantly the hydrangea plant appears. In churches for weddings in profusion, in Bordeaux, for example, and in rooms, on the tables, again and again I have noted the fine taste which selected for special reverence the hydrangea—that Chinese flower whose penetrating loveliness is miraculously made out of forms so simple and colour so effaced.

November 26.—Kraepelin, one of the wisest and most far-sighted physicians of to-day where the interpretation of insanity is concerned, believes that Civilisation is just now favouring Degeneration. He attributes an especially evil influence on mental health to our modern tendency to limit freedom: the piling-up of burdens of all sorts, within and without, on the exercise of the will.

This well accords with what I have noted concerning the necessity in any age of creating New Freedoms and New Restraints. New Restraints by all means, they are necessary and vital. But just as necessary, just as vital, are the compensatory New Freedoms.

We cannot count too precious in any age those who sweep away outworn traditions, effete routines, the burden of unnecessary duties and superfluous luxuries and useless moralities, too heavy to be borne. We rebel against these rebels, even shudder at their sacrilegious daring. But, after all, they are a part of life, an absolutely necessary part of it. For life is a breaking-down as well as a building-up. Destruction as well as construction goes to the Metabolism of Society.

November 27.—It seems to me a weakness of the Peace Propaganda of our time—though a weakness which represents an inevitable reaction from an ancient superstition—that it tends to be under the dominance of Namby Pamby. The people who crowd Peace Congresses to demonstrate against war seem largely people who have little perception of the eternal function of Pain in the world and no insight into the right uses of Death.

Apart from the intolerable burden of armaments it imposes, and the flagrant disregard of Justice it involves, the crushing objection to War, from the standpoint of Humanity and Society, is not that it distributes Pain and inflicts Death, but that it distributes and inflicts them on an absurdly wholesale scale and on the wrong people. So that it is awry to all the ends of reasonable civilisation. Occasionally, no doubt, it may kill off the people who ought to be killed, but that is only by accident, for by its very organisation it is more likely to kill the people who ought not to be killed. Occasionally and incidentally, also, it may promote Heroism, but its heroes merely exterminate each other for the benefit of people who are not heroes. In the recent Balkan wars we see that the combatant States all diligently and ferociously maimed each other, very little to their own advantage and very much to the aggrandisement of the one State within their borders which never fired a gun and never lost a man. If Peace Societies possessed a little intelligence they would surely issue a faithful history of this war for free distribution among all the modern States of the world. That is what War is.

Explorers in Southern Nigeria, I see, have just reported the discovery of remote Sacred Places consecrated to native worship. Here were found the Lake of Life and the Pool of Death. Here, also, from time to time human sacrifices are offered. This ritual the worthy explorers self-complacently describe as "blood-thirsty."

But how about us? The men of Southern Nigeria, seriously, deliberately, with a more or less unconscious insight into the secrets of Nature, offer up human sacrifices on their altars, and when some ignorant European intrudes and calls them "blood-thirsty" we all meekly acquiesce. In Europe we kill and maim people by the hundred thousand, not seriously and deliberately for any sacred ends that make Life more precious to us or the Mystery of Nature more intelligible, but out of sheer stupidity. We spend the half, and sometimes more than the half, of our national incomes in sharpening to the finest point our implements of bloodshed, not to the accompaniment of any Bacchic Evoe, but incongruously mumbling the Sermon on the Mount. We put our population into factories which squeeze the blood out of their anaemic and diseased bodies, and we permit the most extravagant variations in the infantile death-rate which the slightest social readjustment would smooth out. We do all this consciously, in full statistical knowledge to a decimal fraction.

Therein is our blood-thirstiness, beside which that of the Southern Nigerian savage is negligible, if not estimable, and this European blood-thirstiness it is which threatens to lead to an extravagant reaction to the opposite extreme, as it has already led to an ignoble reaction in our ideals.

For there can be no ideal conception of Life and no true conception of Nature if we seek to shut out Death and Pain. It is the feeble shrinking from Death and the flabby horror of Pain that mark the final stage of decay in any civilisation. Our ancestors, too, offered up human sacrifices on their altars, and none can say how much of their virility and how much of the promise of the future they held in their grasp were bound up with the fact. Different days bring different duties. And we cannot desire to restore the centuries that are gone. But neither can we afford to dispense with the radical verities of Life and Nature which they recognised. If we do we are felling the tree up which we somehow hope to climb to the clouds.

It is essential to the human dignity of a truly civilised society that it should hold in its hands not only the Key of Birth but the Key of Death.

November 29.—The vast and complex machines to which our civilisation devotes its best energy are no doubt worthy of all admiration. Yet when one seeks to look broadly at human activity they only seem to be part of the scaffolding and material. They are not the Life itself.

To whatever sphere of human activity one turns one's attention to-day, one is constantly met by the same depressing spectacle of pale, lean, nervous, dyspeptic human creatures, restlessly engaged in building up marvellously complex machines and elaborate social organisations, all of which, they tell us, will make for the improvement of Life. But what do they suppose "Life" to be?

A giant's task demands a giant. When one watches this puny modern civilised Man engaged on tasks which do so much credit to his imagination and invention, one is reminded of the little boy who was employed to fill a large modern vat. He nearly completed the task. One day he disappeared. They found him at last with only his feet visible above the rim of the vat.

December 1.—I so frequently notice among Moral Reformers—for the most part highly well-intentioned people—a frantic and unbridled desire to eliminate from our social world any form of "Temptation." (One wonders how far this attitude may have been fostered by that petition of the Lord's Prayer, "Lead us not into Temptation," which, on the face of it, seems to support Nietzsche's extravagant reaction against Christianity. Yet surely the Church has misunderstood that petition. Jesus himself faced the Tempter, and it is evident that he could not have so lacked insight into the soul's secrets as to countenance the impossible notion of eliminating Temptation from the world. It was the power to meet the Tempter and yet not be led into Temptation—if this petition may be regarded as authentic—that he desired his followers to possess; and therein he was on the same side as Nietzsche.) No scheme is too extravagantly impossible to invoke in this cause. No absurdity but we are asked to contemplate it with a seriously long face if it is sanctified by the aim of eliminating some temptation from the earth. Of any recognition of Temptation as the Divine method of burning Up the moral chaff of the world, not a sign!

The fact is that we cannot have too much Temptation in the world. Without contact with Temptation Virtue is worthless, and even a meaningless term. Temptation is an essential form of that Conflict which is of the essence of Life. Without the fire of perpetual Temptation no human spirit can ever be tempered and fortified. The zeal of the Moral Reformers who would sweep away all Temptation and place every young creature from the outset in a Temptation-free vacuum, even if it could be achieved (and the achievement would not only annihilate the whole environment but eviscerate the human heart of its vital passions) would merely result in the creation of a race of useless weaklings. For Temptation is even more than a stimulus to conflict. It is itself, in so far as it is related to Passion, the ferment of Life. To face and reject Temptation may be to fortify life. To face and accept Temptation may be to enrich life. He who can do neither is not fit to live.

He can indeed be sent to the Home for Defectives. That way lies perhaps the solution of our Social Problem. The pessimist may cry out at the size of the Homes that his fears portend. Yet, even at the worst, who will deny that it is better, beyond comparison better, that even only a minority of Mankind should be free—free to develop in the sun and free to climb to the sky and free to be damned—than that the whole world should be made one vast Home for Moral Imbeciles?

December 4.—There is nothing amid the restlessness of the world that one lingers over with such tender delight as Flowers and Gods. What can be more beautiful than Flowers and Gods?

Flowers are of all things most completely and profusely the obvious efflorescence of loveliness in the whole physical world. Gods are of all things the most marvellous efflorescence of the human psychic world. These two Lovelinesses, the Loveliness of Sex and the Loveliness of Creation, bring the whole universe to two polar points, which yet are in the closest degree resemblant and allied. In China, the land of flowers, flowers are nowhere, it is said, so devoutly cultivated as in the monasteries of Buddha. For flowers are constant symbols of the Gods and instruments of worship, and when the Gods take fitting shape it is a shape that recalls to us a flower. Of all Gods made visible none is so divine as Buddha (one's thoughts constantly return to the most delectable of museums, the Musée Guimet), and the Buddha of finest imagery is like nothing so much as a vast and serene flower, a great lotus that rises erect on the bosom of Humanity's troubled lake.

And perhaps it is because men and women are in function flowers and in image gods that they are so fascinating, even enwrapped in the rags, physical and metaphysical, which sometimes serve but to express more genuinely the Flower-God beneath.

December 11.—Quid hoc ad aeternitatem? So, we are told, an ancient holy man of the early Christian world was wont to question everything that was brought before him. It is a question that we cannot too often ask to-day. I assume that we understand "Eternity" in its essential Christian sense (on which F. D. Maurice used to insist) as referring not to the Future, but to the Everlasting Present, not to Time but to the Things that Matter.

There are not only far too many people in the world, there are far too many things. Prodigality is indeed the note of Nature. And rightly so. But Economy is the note of Man. Rightly also. For Nature has infinite lives to play with. Man has only one life.

Public Hygiene is nowadays much concerned with the edification of large and effective Destructors of Refuse. It is well. They can scarcely be too large or too effective. Large enough to deal with all the Dreadnoughts of the world and most of its books. And so much else! Let us imitate the Rich, if that seems well, in the quality of our possessions. But in their number let us imitate the Poorest. So in our different human way we may reach towards the Simplicity of Nature.

And let us never grow weary of repeating afresh the stern challenge of that old champion of the Higher Sabotage: Quid hoc ad aeternitatem?

December 15.—"There has always been the same amount of light in the world," said Thoreau. One sometimes doubts it. Perhaps one fails to recognise the "bushels" it is hidden under. One need not fear that it is becoming less. One must not hope that it will become more.

I wonder whether Mazzini, could he revisit the Italy which reveres his memory, would really find more light there than of old? There was the Italy that Stendhal loved, the Italy that produced Mazzini, who went out into the world as its most inspired prophet and sought so earnestly to regenerate it. And here is the duly regenerated Italy which has gone after what it considers glory in Tripoli and systematically starved its own children, and sent its inspired prophet Marinetti into the world, as it once sent Mazzini. The un-regenerate Italy which produced Mazzini or the regenerated Italy which produced Marinetti—which is it, I wonder, that most tries our faith in Thoreau's creed, "There has always been the same amount of light in the world"?

December 28.—Lévy-Bruhl, a penetrating and suggestive moralist, has written a book, Les Fonctiones mentales dans les sociétés inférieures, in which he seeks to distinguish between a primitive pre-logical rationality, not subject to the law of contradiction, and a later logical rationality, which refuses to admit contradictions. He points out how much wider and more fruitful is the earlier attitude.

There seems something in this distinction. But it may well be dangerous to formulate it too precisely. No hard and clear-cut distinctions can here be made. The logical method can scarcely supersede the pre-logical method, for it covers less ground and is more exclusive, it can never be the universal legatee of the pre-logical method. We are probably concerned with two tendencies which may exist contemporaneously, and each have its value. It may even be said that the pre-logical and the logical temperaments represent two types of people, found everywhere even to-day. Some observers, like Heymans in his thoughtful book on the psychology of women, have noted how women seem often to combine contradictory impulses on an organic basis, but they have not always observed that that gift may be as inestimable as it is dangerous.

In this connection it is interesting to recall that Harnack, the great historian of Christian dogma, while asserting that Athanasius in combating Arianism saved Christianity, yet asserts with equal emphasis that the doctrine of Athanasius embodied a mass of contradictions which multiply as we advance. He might have added that that was why it was vital. Life, even in the plant, is a tension of opposing forces. Whatever is vital is contradictory, and if of two views we wish to find out which is the richest and the most fruitful we ought perhaps to ask ourselves which embodies the most contradictions.

December 31.—"The heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll, and all their host shall fade away, as a leaf fadeth off the vine, and as a fading leaf from the fig-tree." So the world seemed made to Isaiah, and that light airy way of accepting it may linger in one's mind all the more persistently because of its contrast with the heavy solemnity of the Hebraic genius. So it is with all these men of creative genius, whatever nation they belong to. Wherever Man flowers into Genius, wherever, that is to say, he becomes most quintessentially Man, he can never take the world seriously. He vaguely realises that it is merely his own handiwork, his own creation out of chaos, and that he himself transcends it. So for the physicist of genius the universe is made up of holes, and for the poet of genius it is a dream, and even for the greatest of these solemn Hebraic prophets it is merely a leaf, a fading leaf from the fig-tree.

Qualis artifex pereo! It may well be the last exclamation of the last Son of Man on the uninhabitable Earth.


Albert Hall, the
Albertus Magnus
Andersen, Hendrik
Angels and poets
Animals and Man
Apple, symbolism of the
Architecture, Norman and Burgundian;
Arnold, Matthew
Artists as writers
Augustine, St.

Bailey, P. H.
Barker, Granville
Bayeux tapestry

Beauty, in women; and love;
  the strangeness of proportion in;
  in Nature and Man;
  and Nothingness;
  and imperfection;
  in style
Bergerac, Cyrano de
Bernard, St.
Bianca Stella
Bible, the
Birth-rate, decline in
Body, significance of the
Browning, R.
Bryan, W.J.
Burton, Sir R.
Byng, Admiral

Canterbury, Archbishops of
Carus, P.
Castle Hedingham
Churches, English
City, the World
Clarity in style
Clergyman, the Anglican
Cliché, the
Cloister, the
Conductors, English musical,
Crowd, psychology of the,
Curzon, Lord,

Darling, Justice,
Delarue-Mardrus, Lucie,
Denyn, J.,
Deslys, Gaby,
Devil, fate of the,

Eccles, Solomon, Elgar, Elizabeth, Queen, Ellis, Henry, England, English, women, temperament, sailor, literature, excessiveness, type, churches, love of flowers, Eskimo, Eternity, Eucalyptus, Eugenics, Euripides, Evolution, Exfodiation,

Franck, César,
French spirit,

Gaultier, Jules de,
Gourmont, Remy de,
Greek language,

Hall, Stanley,
Herrick, Robert,
Hinton, James,
Hostility, the vanity of,
Humboldt, Wilhelm von,


Jacobean furniture,
Janson, G.,


Lamb, C.,
Lind-Af-Hageby, Miss,
Logic in morals,

Malaterra, Geoffrey
Mass, the
Meredith, George
Midsummer Eve
Mob, the
Monks, as epicures
Mont St. Michel

Newbolt, H.
Nigeria, religious rites of
Norman, genius

Obscene, the
Obscurity in style
Ogive, the

Pantheon, the
Peace Propaganda
Pear, symbolism of the
Peter, St.
Pliny, the Elder
Poets, as critics
  as angels
Poincaré, II.

Raleigh, Sir W.
Régnier, H. de
Rire, Le
Romanesque architecture
Roses, wild

  the Higher
Sailor, the English
Sea, the
Smoke problem
Stead, W. T.
Stevenson, R. L.
Strassburg Cathedral
Suffragette, the
Sun, the
Symons, Arthur

Temperance movement
Temptation, value of
Theatre, the
Thicknesse, Philip
Thompson, Francis
Thomson, Sir J. J.

Unamuno, M. de
United States

Vinci, Leonardo da
Virgin Mother, the

Warner, C. D.
Whitman, Walt
Women, and social service;
  in university towns;
  of Normandy;
  of Burgundy;
  of England;
  of France;
  psychology of;
  and beauty;
  as affected by civilisation;
  beauty of;
  and the pear
Wood, Sir Henry
Work, the Gospel of

Yellow Jacket, The


Printed by R. & R. CLARK, LIMITED, Edinburgh.

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