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right people, I should always have been books. We hated roughness and coarseafraid I wasn't the right person to profit ness, wherever and whoever. We weren't by them. I'm not sure, now; but, any esthetes, God knows; but we cared for how, they made me a lieutenant in the what the race had taken the trouble to Flanders mud—not at Aldershot. As an achieve in the way of amenities. We officer, I'm the fruit of the war. The weren't Puritans, either. And it still war, my dear. ... The two most hor seems to me important that the ways of rible words any language holds, for they civilized living shouldn't pass from the imply and contain all the others." earth-even to a bit of a savory at the Yes, of course.
end of a dinner, or a glass of Burgundy “Of course'! Look at her!" His meanwhile. Or a cigarette." She smiled voice was ironic, though tender. “You and pushed the box over to him. “It's sit here, giving me caviar and Burgundy my way of keeping the home fires burn—and candle-light, and gracious intona- ing, Oswald. Even as Tommy on leave tions—and peace and firelight. It's as must find beer and tripes waiting. Ask if you offered me a Roman bath, com Lady Sayres if I'm a sybarite by proplete, from tepidarium to solium, with fession! But one isn't going to have to thirty skilful slaves to pamper me. It's do war-relief work forever. There is the an anachronism; it's irrelevant; it's un rest of life—for some of you.' real; it's—you might say—Martian. I She looked him very directly in the don't mind the escape from life, if you eyes. “Do you think I don't see how can pull it off; but you can't. Why do lots of people take it?” she went on. you suppose I can't eat your cates and “That plenty of women think, because drink your wine? Why, my dear, the he
goes back, mode has changed. My palate calls for he should have everything his appetite the food of my generation. You give me suggests before he goes? There's enough marchpane, as it were. Do you hon- champagne drunk in London to float a estly expect any one in the twentieth hospital unit in. I loathe that—if only century to eat marchpane?”
because it can't last any more than the “My dear Oswald, do you imagine I tragedy that sustains it can last. It's live this way, myself? If I tried to make immoral because it can't be a permanent a little feast for you-” She broke down basis for life. But my marchpane! You in her attempt to justify herself. If may kill me for it, my dear, but I place Oswald did not understand her, he had it with Magdalen Tower and Westindeed changed.
minster Abbey and the things that we “I am not reproaching you, Milli must come back to. Things that are cent. The words fell with great soft- waiting, because they are strong and ness and suavity.
good, because they've been proved. I “Oh, I thought ... The point is that give you a frugal little dinner—which this—what you call marchpane, what may be our last; and I've worked myself you
and I, equally, were bred on comes to the bone to make it not too unlike into my morality. You know how little many dinners I've given you beforeI approve of"_“leash-eating,” she was just because, if you pull out of it and I going to say, but caught herself back; pull out, and the world pulls out, that there was not time to teach him new is the kind of dinner best suited to us, slang—“of excess, at any time. But I because it's by such familiar details of care for beauty and decency and leisure life that we shall reconstruct the life we and the pleasures of the mind; and it thought worth while when we had breath has always seemed to me important that and chance to choose. And you call it the pleasures of the flesh should show marchpane-and immoral! No, my dear some sign of being ordered by the spirit. Oswald”-she shook her head—“I don't We were both, in the times that were, see it that way. Every woman does ascetic hedonists. We hated gross
what she can for her fighting men when things and we believed in taking pleasures they come home. I do this just the delicately. We believed in good food quiet old modest thing, the thing that and good wine and good clothes as we has a right to last. For the rest-I live believed in good pictures and good somewhat less well than my pensioner
yonder. I shouldn't feel decent to be liv She quivered a little at the compliing comfortably while my best friend on ment, but his tone of voice, all gravity earth is in the trenches. But when my and tenderness, forbade her to mind its best friend comes back to meno army strangeness. chaplain in the world will tell me that I “A matter of taste.” He repeated must give him bully beef for his dinner another phrase. “It's just, Millicent or not light a few fagots on my hearth.' my dear, that I don't like marchpane She flung out her arms, gently emphatic. any more. I don't know why I used that “Is it my morality against yours, for the silly word, but we'll keep it for confirst time in our lives, Oswald?”
venience. Our Elizabethan ancestors He had listened carefully to her expo crowned all feasts with it. I only meant sition. “It's not a question of moral that for all practical purposes my palate
,” he answered quietly, at last. has altered as much as if this familiar "Oh, well, of taste.
food you give me were in truth Eliza“Not taste in that sense. Not taste in bethan. I sit at your table not as mythe precious sense of form. Taste in the self, but as an ancestor. And my taste bodily sense, rather. You've meant to refuses to turn ancestral. I don't like the appeal to something that isn't there any fare. There's nothing in me that craves longer to be appealed to.”
it. I've been hurled three hundred She looked at him quietly, making her years ahead into space and time. I eyes stony—to counteract, she hoped, don't know what it may have done to the flush that she could not control. Was others; I don't think it has affected it merely to pick a quarrel with her that Tommy much. But I have had an unhe had come? To tell her, without tell usual experience. I watch our fellows ing her, that there was another woman? trying not to throw back-and it isn't Well, let him. Did it matter, if she lost easy in Flanders, where you look across him, whether it was by defection or by No Man's Land at skin-clad beasts. death? Her honest heart told her not. They have thrown back so far and so Better, indeed, to lose him to his happi- successfully that we mostly dig our heels ness than to his destruction. Let him
go in to stay where we are and shame them. -even to a leash-eater, if he must. Yet But my heels took wings unto them and the feminine of classic proverbs had for went forward into a grim and nasty an instant its way with her, and she future. It would have been easiergazed at the puckered cheek with in pleasanter—to go back. . . . I seem to ward cynicism, affecting to herself to have been born again into a bleak new find it a supreme disfigurement.
world. The trenches are real. They are “May we go into the other room?" he too physical not to be. And that future asked.
is very physical, too-but it isn't the old She withdrew her heavy eyes from his kind." You are trying, God bless you, face. “Surely.” And she led the way. to poetize food and drink—"
Once there, he abetted her apostasy “Not just food and drink, Oswald,” if, that was what he thought it-by she protested. placing, unrequested, another bit of
“No, I suppose not. Put it that I've wood on the little fire.
got a twist in my mind to match the “Won't you smoke!” he interpolated. twist in my face." Unconsciously he A bitter little smile crooked her lips. turned his cheek slightly to the light. “I've given it up long since. I sha'n't "I'm not normal; I'm utterly different. begin again until the war is over." I don't
like I Not a question of morality,” he re
don't think there are. It's your-ourpeated, when the fire-mending was done. beastly luck that I've taken this thing ** It's not moral marchpane I reproach at a tangent of my own."
I'm an odd stick, and you “Is it perhaps just a question of tenmustn't take me as typical. But since sion? That you don't dare let yourself I pay myself the compliment of assum down until it's over? That you have ing that you're more interested in a found a mood that resists it, and you friend than in his type, you must let must keep that mood at all costs?" me have my say out-pretty thing!" Her voice was very soothing and
VOL. CXXXVI.-No. 816.—99
sweet. The figment of the other woman made me and, it must be, a lot of others had passed from her mind, and in travail -materialists.' she was recapturing, for his sake, her In spite of her trouble, she laughed. old lucidity.
“I can't say it seems to have hit you “You're a dear, Millicent. You al
that way, Oswald.” ways were. I think you could under He smiled grudgingly. “No. Not in stand anything in the world but this."
the old sense.
In a new one. I've lost “I haven't met it before, you see. the power to dream, to think. I grapple In spite of her, a note of professional with nasty facts. I care immensely to get cheerfulness - a hospital tone - crept my food, but I only want the food I need. into her voice. She had met shell shock I only want some kind of bed to sleep in, often, in such intervals as she knew and I don't want to sleep too soft. I hours when, to rest yourself from hard want to do my day's work and do it with work, you took on some harder work. my
whole body. I can't stand non-essen“Most men are glad enough to see tials or intellectual debauches. I don't Blighty. And when they aren't wounded want ever to read a book or see a picture. they seem to rollick. They seize the I don't want to be amused.” day. . . . I've wondered if that wasn't “In that you are special. Not a bit like what pulled them through. It's a pity the proletariat. Cinemas and beer have you feel the future. Most of them don't not lost their hold on Whitechapel.” think of the future. They've apparently “No. I said I was different. ... Our learned not to."
beastly luck!” he murmured once more. "I don't think of it in that sense,” he "I want machinery, more and more of it, apologized. “It simply is all around me. and days parceled out intelligently. I can't go back to what pleased me be
Machines to do more than they ever fore. I'm different to what I was.” He have done before, with fewer hours of stated it simply, painfully. "If I call it labor, but every one laboring; ”
"Oh," she breathed. “Why, cheer the future is going to be more like my vis up, my dear! It's just Socialism. Lots ion of the world than likeyours ortheirs.” of people have that. Even Lady Sayres
He lighted another cigarette. “Just has it. That's why she's so hard on us. take the fact,” he said, presently," that He went on, paying no attention to the I don't crave, or even like, the familiar interruption."I don't care how they food and the familiar mise en scène." manage it. I simply want life to be
“But do you like bully beef and apple made physically possible for every one. jam and a world all-crawly?" "she That means it won't be physically luxasked, defiantly.
urious for any one. I don't want high“No, but it seems natural. It's
falutin' talk ... and I'm not especially be like that, for all civilized men, for a interested at present in the inevitable long time. Until the war is over.” politics of it. I don't even mind people's
“Yes. Granted. And then? For that being privileged, so long as they don't is my only point.”
waste their time on non-essentials. And “ľve lost touch with the old habits. I come back to the fact that everything And I don't particularly want to go back that isn't necessary to health and long to them. This isn't a disagreeable inter life is unnecessary to anything. Elimilude, like a stretch of poverty in a man's nate the danger and the sickness and the life, you see. It's the whole blooming vermin, and you'd have a possible world show, forever and ever.”
right there in the trenches. But Magda“Yet the war must end."
len Tower and Westminster Abber“It must.
He ground his teeth. they've nothing whatever to do with life. “It must. But when we come back “You don't resent Rheims?” there'll be thousands of us broke to a “I resent it"-he spoke very slowlynew thing, with no capacity for harking “because of the spirit that prompted it. back to the old. You won't be able to They smashed it because they thought do anything with us. And what we the French cared. That was beastly.' shall do with you, God knows. The war “And you think that, in a world which is making a lot of men mystics; it's rules out beauty and graciousness and
pleasure, you'll manage to have a tol- beauty means the toil of slaves. It's erable ethic?”
only by overworking thousands, and “We went to war for ethics. We've underfeeding more than thousands, that been perpetrating indecencies for two enough labor can be spent uselessly on years in the interests of decency. It's the the tyrants' pleasure-garden. I'm not a last great paradox. But if I thought we Socialist, because Socialists think they were fighting for Magdalen Tower-I'd can eat their cake and have it, too. I quit. The only right we have to fight at know what you call beauty must pass. all-bar the old right of self-defense—is Lots of people know it in their heartsthe right of knowing that, on the whole, but they regret it. I don't
. I'm already we're more willing than they are to give broke. The non-essentials disgust me. everybody a chance at the essentials." “And you insist on making your own
And you think that the machinists of definition of essential. It hasn't struck the future-since, apparently, we're all you that the human race has never to run machines—will be gentlemen? thought mere bodily health in itself You think that this terre à terre material- enough? What about the chromo-lithoism of yours will make for kindness, for graphs in the slums, and the draggled not hurting other people's feelings, for feathers in battered hats?” not looting and wantonly murdering and “They've aped others. Beauty has breaking cathedrals stone by stone?” had a prestige value. When the prestige
“I think that the men who come out of value has gone—you'll see how quick the hell of Flanders and France will jolly they'll drop esthetics.” well see to it that there shall be no need What about love?” She asked it
very less suffering. We're fed up with suffer- coldly. “Love has always brought what ing:
you call non-essentials in its train.' And you think you can prevent peo
“I don't know about love. There'll be ple from wanting beauty and laughter healthy creatures meeting each other and dreams—the life of the spirit?” and mating, no doubt. But all the tire
"I think they will believe, having some fal-lals will have to go. All the lived the life of the body for so long, that decorations and the vanity—the rings the body comes first. I think they will and nose jewels, the changeable suits of see to it that all bodies are made, and apparel and the mantles and the wim
A pretty big order in ples and the crisping-pins.' itself. . . . And I think, for a long time, “And you think”-she mocked him they will feel that absence of bodily softly, with a return of the old tendersuffering is 'paradise enow.' To insure ness—"that you will change the human that, they'll pass minimum-kindness heart so easily?” laws, if need be.” He smiled his twisted “Easily!" he groaned; and he got up smile. “But they're not going to traffic and walked to the tightly shuttered winwith beauty and such-like."
dow, where he stood with his back to her. "It sounds very German,” she vent Easily!” he muttered from that disured, drily. Her own problem she had tance. And silence fell between them pushed back into the farthest recesses while her imagination and his memory of her mind. There could be no personal conjured up that world of bitter mud, problem with a man like this. Yet she that nether slime to which men had volmust get to the bottom of it. He was still untarily returned in indefinable and undear to her, whether madman, or invalid, translatable pain. or merely a soul estranged from her.
she murmured, after a "No; because Germany has the old moment, “in so short a time, can the ideas. They don't really want people to
heart of man and woman change?" be comfortable. They want wealth and “Is it so short a time? It seems to me pomp and luxury; in their uneducated long enough to beget a new type. Millway, they still want what they call ions of years have been compressed. .. beauty. They don't see. . They There must be other men like me, might be Romans or Medicis. Kindness came his cry of pain. “Men to whom takes beauty from the world; they'll beauty, even a woman's beauty, means never stoop to kindness. What you call nothing any more; men who don't want
any of the things they wanted before; long for her. She passed through, in men who know that if needless pain is to measured moments, the throes of revulpass from the world, there can be no sions that might have taken months. needless pleasure left in it. ... Men who Two hours before she had known that don't give a damn for anything except she loved him ardently; now she knew immunity from pain. . . . Materialists that he left her cold; and she seemed to not nice ones—men like me,” he repeated. have been growing cold for years.
All Millicent Hay's house of life lay While he remained silent-worn out, tumbled about her feet, destroyed by perhaps in his strained position, she night in London even as houses of wood looked down at the puckered cheek so and stone were destroyed by Zeppelins. close to her. It was hideous. Two hours Because that devastation was so vast, ago it had not mattered. Now she knew she felt the courage not to flee; courage that she could never marry a man with a to search among the refuse like a scaven face like that. The flesh had not known ger
for any fragment that might be left. itself in the first moment of encounter. “Just how"-her voice, grown small, So, ten years after marriage, her nerves pierced the dusk in which he stood un might have begun to revolt against the certain—"just how do you feel about marred visage. And because she was me, Oswald?"
now as cold as he declared himself to be, He turned and came slowly back to she saw that his case was sadder than her, picking his way, stepping carefully, hers. She braced herself to do the utas though he, too, were conscious of sur most—to let him prove his case the rounding ruins. Then he bowed himself worse. She bent her head down again at her feet, taking her hands in his, hid until her hair brushed his; her gentle ing his eyes upon them. She looked hands were on his shoulders; his mouth down quietly at his ruined cheek. was hidden in the folds of her dress;
“You're the only thing that keeps me but she pressed her lips hard down upon there,” he whispered. “I pretend I'm de the hideous cheek and kissed it-kissed fending you from pain. You and others it close and long, as though a snake had like you—if there are any others like you. bitten him and she were drawing the
Her ardor, pressed back upon her poison out into herself. heart, set that to beating hard, but she He started. Had she hurt him? She stayed silent.
did not know. But he rose with a clean "For I'm tired of killing people to straight spring and presently shook his prevent killing in the future. I hate all head. Her gorge had risen at the touch paradox; it belongs to the old world I of that inhuman flesh; but, her lips recan't stomach. All the big historic leased from it, she was firm. She smiled gestures have been urged by paradox. at him, so infinitely relieved at his headParadox must stop, as much as war.” shake that there was no shame in her His tired muffled voice came so low that eyes. She had clung to him like a lover, she had to bend her head very close to for the first time in her life, and she felt his to hear. "I'm sorry that I don't care as if she had been doing some unprintas I did. I loved you very much. But able, necessary hospital task. It was now-you're good and sweet . . . and over; it had done no good; she should yet caring has gone. I'm just incapable. never have to do it again. This man was And yet I longed to marry you, Milli- nothing to her; thank God she was nothcent, as men do long. You were the best ing to him. But pity was uppermost. the old order had to offer. You've been War had crushed the Oswald Hamlin she an angel to me to-night. But I've no knew. Here was only a straight and more feeling than a rock.” His voice martial creature, prime food for cannon died away in a sigh.
-no coward, a good officer, but a man Millicent Hay was to know the whole from whom war, with a skill beyond surgamut of emotion in one fraught evening gery, had removed his familiar soul. of her life. For an instant she felt he He was evidently leaving, and she had spoken truth in saying that millions rose. Vaguely, as they stood there, she of years were nowadays compressed. longed for an air raid. There were no Life, at all events, was proceeding head tests left that she could apply unaided.