Part 4 out of 5
standing just outside the room. "I have failed in my duty," he
said. "But I am very near to God." He laid his hand on her arm.
"You know, Ella, He is very close to us...."
She looked perplexed.
He sat up in his chair.
"For some months now," he said, "there have been new forces at
work in my mind. I have been invaded by strange doubts and still
stranger realizations. This old church of ours is an empty mask.
God is not specially concerned in it."
"Edward!" she cried, "what are you saying?"
"I have been hesitating to tell you. But I see now I must tell
you plainly. Our church is a cast hull. It is like the empty skin
of a snake. God has gone out of it."
She rose to her feet. She was so horrified that she staggered
backward, pushing her chair behind her. "But you are mad," she
He was astonished at her distress. He stood up also.
"My dear," he said, "I can assure you I am not mad. I should
have prepared you, I know...."
She looked at him wild-eyed. Then she glanced at the phial,
gripped in her hand.
"Oh!" she exclaimed, and going swiftly to the window emptied
out the contents of the little bottle. He realized what she was
doing too late to prevent her.
"Don't waste that!" he cried, and stepping forward caught hold
of her wrist. The phial fell from her white fingers, and crashed
upon the rough paved garden path below.
"My dear," he cried, "my dear. You do not understand."
They stood face to face. "It was a tonic," he said. "I have
been ill. I need it."
"It is a drug," she answered. "You have been uttering
He dropped her arm and walked half-way across the room. Then he
turned and faced her.
"They are not blasphemies," he said. "But I ought not to have
surprised you and shocked you as I have done. I want to tell you
of changes that have happened to my mind."
"Now!" she exclaimed, and then: "I will not hear them now.
Until you are better. Until these fumes--"
Her manner changed. "Oh, Edward!" she cried, "why have you done
this? Why have you taken things secretly? I know you have been
sleepless, but I have been so ready to help you. I have been
willing--you know I have been willing--for any help. My life
is all to be of use to you...."
"Is there any reason," she pleaded, "why you should have hidden
things from me?"
He stood remorseful and distressed. "I should have talked to
you," he said lamely.
"Edward," she said, laying her hands on his shoulders, "will
you do one thing for me? Will you try to eat a little breakfast?
And stay here? I will go down to Mr. Whippham and arrange
whatever is urgent with him. Perhaps if you rest--There is
nothing really imperative until the confirmation in the
afternoon.... I do not understand all this. For some time--I
have felt it was going on. But of that we can talk. The thing now
is that people should not know, that nothing should be seen....
Suppose for instance that horrible White Blackbird were to hear
of it.... I implore you. If you rest here--And if I were to
send for that young doctor who attended Miriam."
"I don't want a doctor," said the bishop.
"But you ought to have a doctor."
"I won't have a doctor," said the bishop.
It was with a perplexed but powerless dissent that the
externalized perceptions of the bishop witnessed his agreement
with the rest of Lady Ella's proposals so soon as this point
about the doctor was conceded.
For the rest of that day until his breakdown in the cathedral
the sense of being in two places at the same time haunted the
bishop's mind. He stood beside the Angel in the great space
amidst the stars, and at the same time he was back in his
ordinary life, he was in his palace at Princhester, first resting
in his bedroom and talking to his wife and presently taking up
the routines of his duties again in his study downstairs.
His chief task was to finish his two addresses for the
confirmation services of the day. He read over his notes, and
threw them aside and remained for a time thinking deeply. The
Greek tags at the end of Likeman's letter came into his thoughts;
they assumed a quality of peculiar relevance to this present
occasion. He repeated the words: "Epitelesei. Epiphausei."
He took his little Testament to verify them. After some slight
trouble he located the two texts. The first, from Philippians,
ran in the old version, "He that hath begun a good work in you
will perform it"; the second was expressed thus: "Christ shall
give thee light." He was dissatisfied with these renderings and
resorted to the revised version, which gave "perfect" instead of
"perform," and "shall shine upon you" for "give thee light." He
reflected profoundly for a time.
Then suddenly his addresses began to take shape in his mind,
and these little points lost any significance. He began to write
rapidly, and as he wrote he felt the Angel stood by his right
hand and read and approved what he was writing. There were
moments when his mind seemed to be working entirely beyond his
control. He had a transitory questioning whether this curious
intellectual automatism was not perhaps what people meant by
The bishop had always been sensitive to the secret fount of
pathos that is hidden in the spectacle of youth. Long years ago
when he and Lady Ella had been in Florence he had been moved to
tears by the beauty of the fresh-faced eager Tobit who runs
beside the great angel in the picture of Botticelli. And suddenly
and almost as uncontrollably, that feeling returned at the sight
of the young congregation below him, of all these scores of
neophytes who were gathered to make a public acknowledgment of
God. The war has invested all youth now with the shadow of
tragedy; before it came many of us were a little envious of youth
and a little too assured of its certainty of happiness. All that
has changed. Fear and a certain tender solicitude mingle in our
regard for every child; not a lad we pass in the street but may
presently be called to face such pain and stress and danger as no
ancient hero ever knew. The patronage, the insolent condescension
of age, has vanished out of the world. It is dreadful to look
upon the young.
He stood surveying the faces of the young people as the rector
read the Preface to the confirmation service. How simple they
were, how innocent! Some were a little flushed by the excitement
of the occasion; some a little pallid. But they were all such
tender faces, so soft in outline, so fresh and delicate in
texture and colour. They had soft credulous mouths. Some glanced
sideways at one another; some listened with a forced intentness.
The expression of one good-looking boy, sitting in a corner scat,
struck the bishop as being curiously defiant. He stood very
erect, he blinked his eyes as though they smarted, his lips were
compressed bitterly. And then it seemed to the bishop that the
Angel stood beside him and gave him understanding.
"He is here," the bishop knew, "because he could not avoid
coming. He tried to excuse himself. His mother wept. What could
he do? But the church's teaching nowadays fails even to grip the
minds of boys."
The rector came to the end of his Preface: "They will evermore
endeavour themselves faithfully to observe such things as they by
their own confession have assented unto."
"Like a smart solicitor pinning them down," said the bishop to
himself, and then roused himself, unrolled the little paper in
his hand, leant forward, and straightway began his first address.
Nowadays it is possible to say very unorthodox things indeed in
an Anglican pulpit unchallenged. There remains no alert doctrinal
criticism in the church congregations. It was possible,
therefore, for the bishop to say all that follows without either
hindrance or disturbance. The only opposition, indeed, came from
within, from a sense of dreamlike incongruity between the place
and the occasion and the things that he found himself delivering.
"All ceremonies," he began, "grow old. All ceremonies are
tainted even from the first by things less worthy than their
first intention, and you, my dear sons and daughters, who have
gathered to-day in this worn and ancient building, beneath these
monuments to ancient vanities and these symbols of forgotten or
abandoned theories about the mystery of God, will do well to
distinguish in your minds between what is essential and what is
superfluous and confusing in this dedication you make of
yourselves to God our Master and King. For that is the real thing
you seek to do today, to give yourselves to God. This is your
spiritual coming of age, in which you set aside your childish
dependence upon teachers and upon taught phrases, upon rote and
direction, and stand up to look your Master in the face. You
profess a great brotherhood when you do that, a brotherhood that
goes round the earth, that numbers men of every race and nation
and country, that aims to bring God into all the affairs of this
world and make him not only the king of your individual lives but
the king--in place of all the upstarts, usurpers, accidents,
and absurdities who bear crowns and sceptres today--of an
He paused, and in the pause he heard a little rustle as though
the congregation before him was sitting up in its places, a sound
that always nerves and reassures an experienced preacher.
"This, my dear children, is the reality of this grave business
to-day, as indeed it is the real and practical end of all true
religion. This is your sacrament urn, your soldier's oath. You
salute and give your fealty to the coming Kingdom of God. And
upon that I would have you fix your minds to the exclusion of
much that, I know only too well, has been narrow and evil and
sectarian in your preparation for this solemn rite. God is like a
precious jewel found among much rubble; you must cast the rubble
from you. The crowning triumph of the human mind is simplicity;
the supreme significance of God lies in his unity and
universality. The God you salute to-day is the God of the Jews
and Gentiles alike, the God of Islam, the God of the Brahmo
Somaj, the unknown God of many a righteous unbeliever. He is not
the God of those felted theologies and inexplicable doctrines
with which your teachers may have confused your minds. I would
have it very clear in your minds that having drunken the draught
you should not reverence unduly the cracked old vessel that has
brought it to your lips. I should be falling short of my duty if
I did not make that and everything I mean by that altogether
plain to you."
He saw the lad whose face of dull defiance he had marked
before, sitting now with a startled interest in his eyes. The
bishop leant over the desk before him, and continued in the
persuasive tone of a man who speaks of things too manifest for
"In all ages religion has come from God through broad-minded
creative men, and in all ages it has fallen very quickly into the
hands of intense and conservative men. These last--narrow,
fearful, and suspicious--have sought in every age to save the
precious gift of religion by putting it into a prison of formulae
and asseverations. Bear that in mind when you are pressed to
definition. It is as if you made a box hermetically sealed to
save the treasure of a fresh breeze from the sea. But they have
sought out exact statements and tortuous explanations of the
plain truth of God, they have tried to take down God in writing,
to commit him to documents, to embalm his living faith as though
it would otherwise corrupt. So they have lost God and fallen into
endless differences, disputes, violence, and darkness about
insignificant things. They have divided religion between this
creed and teacher and that. The corruption of the best is the
worst, said Aristotle; and the great religions of the world, and
especially this Christianity of ours, are the ones most darkened
and divided and wasted by the fussings and false exactitudes of
the creed-monger and the sectary. There is no lie so bad as a
stale disfigured truth. There is no heresy so damnable as a
narrow orthodoxy. All religious associations carry this danger of
the over-statement that misstates and the over-emphasis that
divides and betrays. Beware of that danger. Do not imagine,
because you are gathered in this queerly beautiful old building
today, because I preside here in this odd raiment of an odder
compromise, because you see about you in coloured glass and
carven stone the emblems of much vain disputation, that thereby
you cut yourselves off and come apart from the great world of
faith, Catholic, Islamic, Brahministic, Buddhistic, that grows
now to a common consciousness of the near Advent of God our King.
You enter that waiting world fraternity now, you do not leave it.
This place, this church of ours, should be to you not a seclusion
and a fastness but a door.
"I could quote you a score of instances to establish that this
simple universalism was also the teaching of Christ. But now I
will only remind you that it was Mary who went to her lord
simply, who was commended, and not Martha who troubled about many
things. Learn from the Mary of Faith and not from these Marthas
of the Creeds. Let us abandon the presumptions of an ignorant
past. The perfection of doctrine is not for finite men. Give
yourselves to God. Give yourselves to God. Not to churches and
uses, but to God. To God simply. He is the first word of religion
and the last. He is Alpha; he is Omega. Epitelesei; it is He who
will finish the good work begun."
The bishop ended his address in a vivid silence. Then he began
"Do you here, in the presence of God, and of this congregation,
renew the solemn promise and vow that was made in your name at
your Baptism; ratifying and confirming the same in your own
persons, and acknowledging yourselves--"
He stopped short. The next words were: "bound to believe and do
all those things, which your Godfathers and Godmothers then
undertook for you."
He could not stand those words. He hesitated, and then
substituted: "acknowledge yourselves to be the true servants of
the one God, who is the Lord of Mankind?"
For a moment silence hung in the cathedral. Then one voice, a
boy's voice, led a ragged response. "I do."
Then the bishop: "Our help is in the Name of the Lord."
The congregation answered doubtfully, with a glance at its
prayer books: "Who hath made heaven and earth."
The bishop: "Blessed be the name of the Lord."
The congregation said with returning confidence: "Henceforth,
world without end."
Before his second address the bishop had to listen to Veni
Creator Spiritus, in its English form, and it seemed to him the
worst of all possible hymns. Its defects became monstrously
exaggerated to his hypersensitive mind. It impressed him in its
Englished travesty as a grotesque, as a veritable Charlie Chaplin
among hymns, and in truth it does stick out most awkward feet, it
misses its accusatives, it catches absurdly upon points of
abstruse doctrine. The great Angel stood motionless and ironical
at the bishop's elbow while it was being sung. "Your church," he
seemed to say.
"We must end this sort of thing," whispered the bishop. "We
must end this sort of thing--absolutely." He glanced at the
faces of the singers, and it became beyond all other things
urgent, that he should lift them once for all above the sectarian
dogmatism of that hymn to a simple vision of God's light....
He roused himself to the touching business of the laying on of
hands. While he did so the prepared substance of his second
address was running through his mind. The following prayer and
collects he read without difficulty, and so came to his second
address. His disposition at first was explanatory.
"When I spoke to you just now," he began, "I fell
unintentionally into the use of a Greek word, epitelesei. It was
written to me in a letter from a friend with another word that
also I am now going to quote to you. This letter touched very
closely upon the things I want to say to you now, and so these
two words are very much in my mind. The former one was taken from
the Epistle to the Philippians; it signifies, 'He will complete
the work begun'; the one I have now in mind comes from the
Epistle to the Ephesians; it is Epiphausei--or, to be fuller,
epiphausei soi ho Christos, which signifies that He will shine
upon us. And this is very much in my thoughts now because I do
believe that this world, which seemed so very far from God a
little while ago, draws near now to an unexampled dawn. God is at
"It is your privilege, it is your grave and terrible position,
that you have been born at the very end and collapse of a
negligent age, of an age of sham kingship, sham freedom,
relaxation, evasion, greed, waste, falsehood, and sinister
preparation. Your lives open out in the midst of the breakdown
for which that age prepared. To you negligence is no longer
possible. There is cold and darkness, there is the heat of the
furnace before you; you will live amidst extremes such as our
youth never knew; whatever betide, you of your generation will
have small chance of living untempered lives. Our country is at
war and half mankind is at war; death and destruction trample
through the world; men rot and die by the million, food
diminishes and fails, there is a wasting away of all the hoarded
resources, of all the accumulated well-being of mankind; and
there is no clear prospect yet of any end to this enormous and
frightful conflict. Why did it ever arise? What made it possible?
It arose because men had forgotten God. It was possible because
they worshipped simulacra, were loyal to phantoms of race and
empire, permitted themselves to be ruled and misled by idiot
princes and usurper kings. Their minds were turned from God, who
alone can rule and unite mankind, and so they have passed from
the glare and follies of those former years into the darkness and
anguish of the present day. And in darkness and anguish they will
remain until they turn to that King who comes to rule them, until
the sword and indignation of God have overthrown their misleaders
and oppressors, and the Justice of God, the Kingdom of God set
high over the republics of mankind, has brought peace for ever to
the world. It is to this militant and imminent God, to this
immortal Captain, this undying Law-giver, that you devote
"For he is imminent now. He comes. I have seen in the east and
in the west, the hearts and the minds and the wills of men
turning to him as surely as when a needle is magnetized it turns
towards the north. Even now as I preach to you here, God stands
over us all, ready to receive us...."
And as he said these words, the long nave of the cathedral, the
shadows of its fretted roof, the brown choir with its golden
screen, the rows of seated figures, became like some picture cast
upon a flimsy and translucent curtain. Once more it seemed to the
bishop that he saw God plain. Once more the glorious effulgence
poured about him, and the beautiful and wonderful conquest of
men's hearts and lives was manifest to him.
He lifted up his hands and cried to God, and with an emotion so
profound, an earnestness so commanding, that very many of those
who were present turned their faces to see the figure to which he
looked and spoke. And some of the children had a strange
persuasion of a presence there, as of a divine figure militant,
armed, and serene....
"Oh God our Leader and our Master and our Friend," the bishop
prayed, "forgive our imperfection and our little motives, take us
and make us one with thy great purpose, use us and do not reject
us, make us all here servants of thy kingdom, weave our lives
into thy struggle to conquer and to bring peace and union to the
world. We are small and feeble creatures, we are feeble in
speech, feebler still in action, nevertheless let but thy light
shine upon us and there is not one of us who cannot be lit by thy
fire, and who cannot lose himself in thy salvation. Take us into
thy purpose, O God. Let thy kingdom come into our hearts and into
His voice ceased, and he stood for a measurable time with his
arms extended and his face upturned....
The golden clouds that whirled and eddied so splendidly in his
brain thinned out, his sense of God's immediacy faded and passed,
and he was left aware of the cathedral pulpit in which he stood
so strangely posed, and of the astonished congregation below him.
His arms sank to his side. His eyes fell upon the book in front
of him and he felt for and gripped the two upper corners of it
and, regardless of the common order and practice, read out the
Benediction, changing the words involuntarily as he read:
"The Blessing of God who is the Father, the Son, the Spirit and
the King of all Mankind, be upon you and remain with you for
Then he looked again, as if to look once more upon that radiant
vision of God, but now he saw only the clear cool space of the
cathedral vault and the coloured glass and tracery of the great
rose window. And then, as the first notes of the organ came
pealing above the departing stir of the congregation, he turned
about and descended slowly, like one who is still half dreaming,
from the pulpit.
In the vestry he found Canon Bliss. "Help me to take off these
garments," the bishop said. "I shall never wear them again."
"You are ill," said the canon, scrutinizing his face.
"Not ill. But the word was taken out of my mouth. I perceive
now that I have been in a trance, a trance in which the truth is
real. It is a fearful thing to find oneself among realities. It
is a dreadful thing when God begins to haunt a priest.... I can
never minister in the church again."
Whippham thrust forward a chair for the bishop to sit down. The
bishop felt now extraordinarily fatigued. He sat down heavily,
rested his wrists on the arms of the chair. "Already," he resumed
presently, "I begin to forget what it was I said."
"You became excited," said Bliss, "and spoke very loudly and
"What did I say?"
"I don't know what you said; I have forgotten. I never want to
remember. Things about the Second Advent. Dreadful things. You
said God was close at hand. Happily you spoke partly in Greek. I
doubt if any of those children understood. And you had a kind of
lapse--an aphasia. You mutilated the interrogation and you did
not pronounce the benediction properly. You changed words and you
put in words. One sat frozen--waiting for what would happen
"We must postpone the Pringle confirmation," said Whippham. "I
wonder to whom I could telephone."
Lady Ella appeared, and came and knelt down by the bishop's
chair. "I never ought to have let this happen," she said, taking
his wrists in her hands. "You are in a fever, dear."
"It seemed entirely natural to say what I did," the bishop
Lady Ella looked up at Bliss.
"A doctor has been sent for," said the canon to Lady Ella.
"I must speak to the doctor," said Lady Ella as if her husband
could not hear her. "There is something that will make things
clearer to the doctor. I must speak to the doctor for a moment
before he sees him."
Came a gust of pretty sounds and a flash of bright colour that
shamed the rich vestments at hand. Over the shoulder of the
rector and quite at the back, appeared Lady Sunderbund resolutely
invading the vestry. The rector intercepted her, stood broad with
"I must come in and speak to him. If it is only fo' a moment."
The bishop looked up and saw Lady Ella's expression. Lady Ella
was sitting up very stiffly, listening but not looking round.
A vague horror and a passionate desire to prevent the entry of
Lady Sunderbund at any cost, seized upon the bishop. She would,
he felt, be the last overwhelming complication. He descended to a
base subterfuge. He lay back in his chair slowly as though he
unfolded himself, he covered his eyes with his hand and then
"Leave me alone!" he cried in a voice of agony. "Leave me
alone! I can see no one.... I can--no more."
There was a momentous silence, and then the tumult of Lady
CHAPTER THE EIGHTH - THE NEW WORLD
THAT night the bishop had a temperature of a hundred and a
half. The doctor pronounced him to be in a state of intense
mental excitement, aggravated by some drug. He was a doctor
modern and clear-minded enough to admit that he could not
identify the drug. He overruled, every one overruled, the
bishop's declaration that he had done with the church, that he
could never mock God with his episcopal ministrations again, that
he must proceed at once with his resignation. "Don't think of
these things," said the doctor. "Banish them from your mind until
your temperature is down to ninety-eight. Then after a rest you
may go into them."
Lady Ella insisted upon his keeping his room. It was with
difficulty that he got her to admit Whippham, and Whippham was
exasperatingly in order. "You need not trouble about anything
now, my lord," he said. "Everything will keep until you are ready
to attend to it. It's well we're through with Easter. Bishop
Buncombe of Eastern Blowdesia was coming here anyhow. And there
is Canon Bliss. There's only two ordination candidates because of
the war. We'll get on swimmingly."
The bishop thought he would like to talk to those two
ordination candidates, but they prevailed upon him not to do so.
He lay for the best part of one night confiding remarkable things
to two imaginary ordination candidates.
He developed a marked liking for Eleanor's company. She was
home again now after a visit to some friends. It was decided that
the best thing to do with him would be to send him away in her
charge. A journey abroad was impossible. France would remind him
too dreadfully of the war. His own mind turned suddenly to the
sweet air of Hunstanton. He had gone there at times to read, in
the old Cambridge days. "It is a terribly ugly place," he said,
"but it is wine in the veins."
Lady Ella was doubtful about Zeppelins. Thrice they had been
right over Hunstanton already. They came in by the easy landmark
of the Wash.
"It will interest him," said Eleanor, who knew her father
One warm and still and sunny afternoon the bishop found himself
looking out upon the waters of the Wash. He sat where the highest
pebble layers of the beach reached up to a little cliff of sandy
earth perhaps a foot high, and he looked upon sands and sea and
sky and saw that they were beautiful.
He was a little black-gaitered object in a scene of the most
exquisite and delicate colour. Right and left of him stretched
the low grey salted shore, pale banks of marly earth surmounted
by green-grey wiry grass that held and was half buried in fine
blown sand. Above, the heavens made a complete hemisphere of blue
in which a series of remote cumulus clouds floated and dissolved.
Before him spread the long levels of the sands, and far away at
its utmost ebb was the sea. Eleanor had gone to explore the black
ribs of a wrecked fishing-boat that lay at the edge of a shallow
lagoon. She was a little pink-footed figure, very bright and
apparently transparent. She had reverted for a time to shameless
childishness; she had hidden her stockings among the reeds of the
bank, and she was running to and fro, from star-fish to razor
shell and from cockle to weed. The shingle was pale drab and
purple close at hand, but to the westward, towards Hunstanton,
the sands became brown and purple, and were presently broken up
into endless skerries of low flat weed-covered boulders and
little intensely blue pools. The sea was a band of sapphire that
became silver to the west; it met the silver shining sands in one
delicate breathing edge of intensely white foam. Remote to the
west, very small and black and clear against the afternoon sky,
was a cart, and about it was a score or so of mussel-gatherers. A
little nearer, on an apparently empty stretch of shining wet
sand, a multitude of gulls was mysteriously busy. These two
groups of activities and Eleanor's flitting translucent movements
did but set off and emphasize the immense and soothing
For a long time the bishop sat passively receptive to this
healing beauty. Then a little flow of thought began and gathered
in his mind. He had come out to think over two letters that he
had brought with him. He drew these now rather reluctantly from
his pocket, and after a long pause over the envelopes began to
He reread Likeman's letter first.
Likeman could not forgive him.
"My dear Scrope," he wrote, "your explanation explains nothing.
This sensational declaration of infidelity to our mother church,
made under the most damning and distressing circumstances in the
presence of young and tender minds entrusted to your
ministrations, and in defiance of the honourable engagements
implied in the confirmation service, confirms my worst
apprehensions of the weaknesses of your character. I have always
felt the touch of theatricality in your temperament, the peculiar
craving to be pseudo-deeper, pseudo-simpler than us all, the need
of personal excitement. I know that you were never quite
contented to believe in God at second-hand. You wanted to be
taken notice of--personally. Except for some few hints to you,
I have never breathed a word of these doubts to any human being;
I have always hoped that the ripening that comes with years and
experience would give you an increasing strength against the
dangers of emotionalism and against your strong, deep, quiet
sense of your exceptional personal importance...."
The bishop read thus far, and then sat reflecting.
Was it just?
He had many weaknesses, but had he this egotism? No; that
wasn't the justice of the case. The old man, bitterly
disappointed, was endeavouring to wound. Scrope asked himself
whether he was to blame for that disappointment. That was a more
He dismissed the charge at last, crumpled up the letter in his
hand, and after a moment's hesitation flung it away.... But he
remained acutely sorry, not so much for himself as for the
revelation of Likeman this letter made. He had had a great
affection for Likeman and suddenly it was turned into a wound.
The second letter was from Lady Sunderbund, and it was an
altogether more remarkable document. Lady Sunderbund wrote on a
notepaper that was evidently the result of a perverse research,
but she wrote a letter far more coherent than her speech, and
without that curious falling away of the r's that flavoured even
her gravest observations with an unjust faint aroma of absurdity.
She wrote with a thin pen in a rounded boyish handwriting. She
italicized with slashes of the pen.
He held this letter in both hands between his knees, and
considered it now with an expression that brought his eyebrows
forward until they almost met, and that tucked in the corners of
"My dear Bishop," it began.
"I keep thinking and thinking and thinking of that wonderful
service, of the wonderful, wonderful things you said, and the
wonderful choice you made of the moment to say them--when all
those young lives were coming to the great serious thing in life.
It was most beautifully done. At any rate, dear Bishop and
Teacher, it was most beautifully begun. And now we all stand to
you like creditors because you have given us so much that you owe
us ever so much more. You have started us and you have to go on
with us. You have broken the shell of the old church, and here we
are running about with nowhere to go. You have to make the
shelter of a new church now for us, purged of errors, looking
straight to God. The King of Mankind!--what a wonderful,
wonderful phrase that is. It says everything. Tell us more of him
and more. Count me first--not foremost, but just the little one
that runs in first--among your disciples. They say you are
resigning your position in the church. Of course that must be
true. You are coming out of it--what did you call it?--coming
out of the cracked old vessel from which you have poured the
living waters. I called on Lady Ella yesterday. She did not tell
me very much; I think she is a very reserved as well as a very
dignified woman, but she said that you intended to go to London.
In London then I suppose you will set up the first altar to the
Divine King. I want to help.
"Dear Bishop and Teacher, I want to help tremendously--with
all my heart and all my soul. I want to be let do things for
you." (The "you" was erased by three or four rapid slashes, and
"our King" substituted.) "I want to be privileged to help build
that First Church of the World Unified under God. It is a
dreadful thing to says but, you see, I am very rich; this
dreadful war has made me ever so much richer--steel and
shipping and things--it is my trustees have done it. I am
ashamed to be so rich. I want to give. I want to give and help
this great beginning of yours. I want you to let me help on the
temporal side, to make it easy for you to stand forth and deliver
your message, amidst suitable surroundings and without any horrid
worries on account of the sacrifices you have made. Please do not
turn my offering aside. I have never wanted anything so much in
all my life as I want to make this gift. Unless I can make it I
feel that for me there is no salvation! I shall stick with my
loads and loads of stocks and shares and horrid possessions
outside the Needle's Eye. But if I could build a temple for God,
and just live somewhere near it so as to be the poor woman who
sweeps out the chapels, and die perhaps and be buried under its
floor! Don't smile at me. I mean every word of it. Years ago I
thought of such a thing. After I had visited the Certosa di Pavia
--do you know it? So beautiful, and those two still alabaster
figures--recumbent. But until now I could never see my way to
any such service. Now I do. I am all afire to do it. Help me!
Tell me! Let me stand behind you and make your mission possible.
I feel I have come to the most wonderful phase in my life. I feel
my call has come....
"I have written this letter over three times, and torn each of
them up. I do so want to say all this, and it is so desperately
hard to say. I am full of fears that you despise me. I know there
is a sort of high colour about me. My passion for brightness. I
am absurd. But inside of me is a soul, a real, living, breathing
soul. Crying out to you: 'Oh, let me help! Let me help!' I will
do anything, I will endure anything if only I can keep hold of
the vision splendid you gave me in the cathedral. I see it now
day and night, the dream of the place I can make for you--and
you preaching! My fingers itch to begin. The day before yesterday
I said to myself, 'I am quite unworthy, I am a worldly woman, a
rich, smart, decorated woman. He will never accept me as I am.' I
took off all my jewels, every one, I looked through all my
clothes, and at last I decided I would have made for me a very
simple straight grey dress, just simple and straight and grey.
Perhaps you will think that too is absurd of me, too
self-conscious. I would not tell of it to you if I did not want
you to understand how alive I am to my utter impossibilities, how
resolved I am to do anything so that I may be able to serve. But
never mind about silly me; let me tell you how I see the new
"I think you ought to have some place near the centre of
London; not too west, for you might easily become fashionable,
not too east because you might easily be swallowed up in merely
philanthropic work, but somewhere between the two. There must be
vacant sites still to be got round about Kingsway. And there we
must set up your tabernacle, a very plain, very simple, very
beautifully proportioned building in which you can give your
message. I know a young man, just the very young man to do
something of the sort, something quite new, quite modern, and yet
solemn and serious. Lady Ella seemed to think you wanted to live
somewhere in the north-west of London--but she would tell me
very little. I seem to see you not there at all, not in anything
between west-end and suburb, but yourself as central as your
mind, in a kind of clergy house that will be part of the
building. That is how it is in my dream anyhow. All that though
can be settled afterwards. My imagination and my desire is
running away with me. It is no time yet for premature plans. Not
that I am not planning day and night. This letter is simply to
offer. I just want to offer. Here I am and all my worldly goods.
Take me, I pray you. And not only pray you. Take me, I demand of
you, in the name of God our king. I have a right to be used. And
you have no right to refuse me. You have to go on with your
message, and it is your duty to take me--just as you are
obliged to step on any steppingstone that lies on your way to do
God service.... And so I am waiting. I shall be waiting--on
thorns. I know you will take your time and think. But do not take
too much time. Think of me waiting.
"Your servant, your most humble helper in God (your God),
And then scrawled along the margin of the last sheet:
"If, when you know--a telegram. Even if you cannot say so
much as 'Agreed,' still such a word as 'Favourable.' I just hang
over the Void until I hear.
A letter demanding enormous deliberation. She argued closely in
spite of her italics. It had never dawned upon the bishop before
how light is the servitude of the disciple in comparison with the
servitude of the master. In many ways this proposal repelled and
troubled him, in many ways it attracted him. And the argument of
his clear obligation to accept her co-operation gripped him; it
was a good argument.
And besides it worked in very conveniently with certain other
difficulties that perplexed him.
The bishop became aware that Eleanor was returning to him
across the sands. She had made an end to her paddling, she had
put on her shoes and stockings and become once more the grave and
responsible young woman who had been taking care of him since his
flight from Princhester. He replaced the two letters in his
pocket, and sat ready to smile as she drew near; he admired her
open brow, the toss of her hair, and the poise of her head upon
her neck. It was good to note that her hard reading at Cambridge
hadn't bent her shoulders in the least....
"Well, old Dad! " she said as she drew near. "You've got back a
"I've got back everything. It's time I returned to
"Not in this weather. Not for a day or so." She flung herself
at his feet. "Consider your overworked little daughter. Oh,how
good this is!"
"No," said the bishop in a grave tone that made her look up
into his face. "I must go hack."
He met her clear gaze. "What do you think of all this business,
Eleanor?" he asked abruptly. "Do you think I had a sort of fit in
He winced as he asked the question.
"Daddy," she said, after a little pause; "the things you said
and did that afternoon were the noblest you ever did in your
life. I wish I had been there. It must have been splendid to be
there. I've not told you before--I've been dying to.... I'd
promised not to say a word--not to remind you. I promised the
doctor. But now you ask me, now you are well again, I can tell
you. Kitty Kingdom has told me all about it, how it felt. It was
like light and order coming into a hopeless dark muddle. What you
said was like what we have all been trying to think--I mean all
of us young people. Suddenly it was all clear."
She stopped short. She was breathless with the excitement of
Her father too remained silent for a little while. He was
reminded of his weakness; he was, he perceived, still a little
hysterical. He felt that he might weep at her youthful enthusiasm
if he did not restrain himself.
I'm glad," he said, and patted her shoulder. "I'm glad, Norah."
She looked away from him out across the lank brown sands and
water pools to the sea. "It was what we have all been feeling our
way towards, the absolute simplification of religion, the
absolute simplification of politics and social duty; just God,
just God the King."
"But should I have said that--in the cathedral?"
She felt no scruples. "You had to," she said.
"But now think what it means," he said. "I must leave the
"As a man strips off his coat for a fight."
"That doesn't dismay you?"
She shook her head, and smiled confidently to sea and sky.
"I'm glad if you're with me," he said. "Sometimes--I think--
I'm not a very self-reliant man."
"You'll have all the world with you," she was convinced, "in a
"Perhaps rather a longer time than you think, Norah. In the
She turned to him once more.
"In the meantime there are a great many things to consider.
Young people, they say, never think of the transport that is
needed to win a battle. I have it in my mind that I should leave
the church. But I can't just walk out into the marketplace and
begin preaching there. I see the family furniture being carried
out of the palace and put into vans. It has to go somewhere...."
"I suppose you will go to London."
"Possibly. In fact certainly. I have a plan. Or at least an
opportunity.... But that isn't what I have most in mind. These
things are not done without emotion and a considerable strain
upon one's personal relationships. I do not think this--I do
not think your mother sees things as we do."
"She will," said young enthusiasm, "when she understands."
"I wish she did. But I have been unlucky in the circumstances
of my explanations to her. And of course you understand all this
means risks--poverty perhaps--going without things--travel,
opportunity, nice possessions--for all of us. A loss of
position too. All this sort of thing," he stuck out a gaitered
calf and smiled, "will have to go. People, some of them, may be
disasagreeable to us...."
"After all, Daddy," she said, smiling, "it isn't so bad as the
cross and the lions and burning pitch. And you have the Truth."
"You do believe--?" He left his sentence unfinished.
She nodded, her face aglow. "We know you have the Truth."
"Of course in my own mind now it is very clear. I had a kind of
illumination...." He would have tried to tell her of his vision,
and he was too shy. "It came to me suddenly that the whole world
was in confusion because men followed after a thousand different
immediate aims, when really it was quite easy, if only one could
be simple it was quite easy, to show that nearly all men could
only be fully satisfied and made happy in themselves by one
single aim, which was also the aim that would make the whole
world one great order, and that aim was to make God King of one's
heart and the whole world. I saw that all this world, except for
a few base monstrous spirits, was suffering hideous things
because of this war, and before the war it was full of folly,
waste, social injustice and suspicion for the same reason,
because it had not realized the kingship of God. And that is so
simple; the essence of God is simplicity. The sin of this war
lies with men like myself, men who set up to tell people about
God, more than it lies with any other class--"
"Kings?" she interjected. "Diplomatists? Finance?"
"Yes. Those men could only work mischief in the world because
the priests and teachers let them. All things human lie at last
at the door of the priest and teacher. Who differentiate, who
qualify and complicate, who make mean unnecessary elaborations,
and so divide mankind. If it were not for the weakness and
wickedness of the priests, every one would know and understand
God. Every one who was modest enough not to set up for particular
knowledge. Men disputed whether God is Finite or Infinite,
whether he has a triple or a single aspect. How should they know?
All we need to know is the face he turns to us. They impose their
horrible creeds and distinctions. None of those things matter.
Call him Christ the God or call him simply God, Allah, Heaven; it
does not matter. He comes to us, we know, like a Helper and
Friend; that is all we want to know. You may speculate further if
you like, but it is not religion. They dispute whether he can set
aside nature. But that is superstition. He is either master of
nature and he knows that it is good, or he is part of nature and
must obey. That is an argument for hair-splitting metaphysicians.
Either answer means the same for us. It does not matter which way
we come to believe that he does not idly set the course of things
aside. Obviously he does not set the course of things aside. What
he does do for certain is to give us courage and save us from our
selfishness and the bitter hell it makes for us. And every one
knows too what sort of things we want, and for what end we want
to escape from ourselves. We want to do right. And right, if you
think clearly, is just truth within and service without, the
service of God's kingdom, which is mankind, the service of human
needs and the increase of human power and experience. It is all
perfectly plain, it is all quite easy for any one to understand,
who isn't misled and chattered at and threatened and poisoned by
evil priests and teachers."
"And you are going to preach that, Daddy?"
"If I can. When I am free--you know I have still to resign
and give up--I shall make that my message."
"And so God comes."
"God comes as men perceive him in his simplicity.... Let men
but see God simply, and forthwith God and his kingdom possess the
She looked out to sea in silence for awhile.
Then she turned to her father. "And you think that His Kingdom
will come--perhaps in quite a little time--perhaps in our
lifetimes? And that all these ridiculous or wicked little kings
and emperors, and these political parties, and these policies and
conspiracies, and this nationalist nonsense and all the
patriotism and rowdyism, all the private profit-seeking and every
baseness in life, all the things that it is so horrible and
disgusting to be young among and powerless among, you think they
will fade before him?"
The bishop pulled his faith together.
"They will fade before him--but whether it will take a
lifetime or a hundred lifetimes or a thousand lifetimes, my Norah
He smiled and left his sentence unfinished, and she smiled back
at him to show she understood.
And then he confessed further, because he did not want to seem
merely sentimentally hopeful.
"When I was in the cathedral, Norah--and just before that
service, it seemed to me--it was very real.... It seemed that
perhaps the Kingdom of God is nearer than we suppose, that it
needs but the faith and courage of a few, and it may be that we
may even live to see the dawning of his kingdom, even--who
knows?--the sunrise. I am so full of faith and hope that I fear
to be hopeful with you. But whether it is near or far--"
"We work for it," said Eleanor.
Eleanor thought, eyes downcast for a little while, and then
"It is so wonderful to talk to you like this, Daddy. In the old
days, I didn't dream--Before I went to Newnham. I misjudged
you. I thought Never mind what I thought. It was silly. But now I
am so proud of you. And so happy to be back with you, Daddy, and
find that your religion is after all just the same religion that
I have been wanting."
CHAPTER THE NINTH - THE THIRD VISION
ONE afternoon in October, four months and more after that
previous conversation, the card of Mr. Edward Scrope was brought
up to Dr. Brighton-Pomfrey. The name awakened no memories. The
doctor descended to discover a man so obviously in unaccustomed
plain clothes that he had a momentary disagreeable idea that he
was facing a detective. Then he saw that this secular disguise
draped the familiar form of his old friend, the former Bishop of
Princhester. Scrope was pale and a little untidy; he had already
acquired something of the peculiar, slightly faded quality one
finds in a don who has gone to Hampstead and fallen amongst
advanced thinkers and got mixed up with the Fabian Society. His
anxious eyes and faintly propitiatory manner suggested an
Dr. Brighton-Pomfrey had the savoir-faire of a successful
consultant; he prided himself on being all things to all men; but
just for an instant he was at a loss what sort of thing he had to
be here. Then he adopted the genial, kindly, but by no means
lavishly generous tone advisable in the case of a man who has
suffered considerable social deterioration without being very
seriously to blame.
Dr. Brighton-Pomfrey was a little round-faced man with
defective eyesight and an unsuitable nose for the glasses he
wore, and he flaunted--God knows why--enormous side-whiskers.
"Well," he said, balancing the glasses skilfully by throwing
back his head, "and how are you? And what can I do for you?
There's no external evidence of trouble. You're looking lean and
a little pale, but thoroughly fit."
"Yes," said the late bishop, "I'm fairly fit--"
"Only--?" said the doctor, smiling his teeth, with something of
the manner of an old bathing woman who tells a child to jump.
"Well, I'm run down and--worried."
"We'd better sit down," said the great doctor professionally,
and looked hard at him. Then he pulled at the arm of a chair.
The ex-bishop sat down, and the doctor placed himself between
his patient and the light.
"This business of resigning my bishopric and so forth has
involved very considerable strains," Scrope began. "That I think
is the essence of the trouble. One cuts so many associations....
I did not realize how much feeling there would be....
Difficulties too of readjusting one's position."
"Zactly. Zactly. Zactly," said the doctor, snapping his face
and making his glasses vibrate. "Run down. Want a tonic or a
"Yes. In fact--I want a particular tonic."
Dr. Brighton-Pomfrey made his eyes and mouth round and
"While you were away last spring--"
"Had to go," said the doctor, "unavoidable. Gas gangrene.
Certain enquiries. These young investigators all very well in
their way. But we older reputations--Experience. Maturity of
judgment. Can't do without us. Yes?"
"Well, I came here last spring and saw, an assistant I suppose
he was, or a supply,--do you call them supplies in your
profession?--named, I think--Let me see--D--?"
The doctor as he uttered this word set his face to the
unaccustomed exercise of expressing malignity. His round blue
eyes sought to blaze, small cherubic muscles exerted themselves
to pucker his brows. His colour became a violent pink. "Lunatic!"
he said. "Dangerous Lunatic! He didn't do anything--anything
bad in your case, did he?"
He was evidently highly charged with grievance in this matter.
"That man was sent to me from Cambridge with the highest
testimonials. The very highest. I had to go at twenty-four hours'
notice. Enquiry--gas gangrene. There was nothing for it but to
leave things in his hands."
Dr. Brighton-Pomfrey disavowed responsibility with an open,
"He did me no particular harm," said Scrope.
"You are the first he spared," said Dr. Brighton-Pomfrey.
"Did he--? Was he unskilful?"
"Unskilful is hardly the word."
"Were his methods peculiar?"
The little doctor sprang to his feet and began to pace about
the room. "Peculiar!" he said. "It was abominable that they
should send him to me. Abominable!"
He turned, with all the round knobs that constituted his face,
aglow. His side-whiskers waved apart like wings about to flap. He
protruded his face towards his seated patient. "I am glad that he
has been killed," he said. "Glad! There!"
His glasses fell off--shocked beyond measure. He did not heed
them. They swnng about in front of him as if they sought to
escape while he poured out his feelings.
"Fool!" he spluttered with demonstrative gestures. "Dangerous
fool! His one idea--to upset everybody. Drugs, Sir! The most
terrible drugs! I come back. Find ladies. High social position.
Morphine-maniacs. Others. Reckless use of the most dangerous
expedients.... Cocaine not in it. Stimulants--violent
stimulants. In the highest quarters. Terrible. Exalted persons.
Royalty! Anxious to be given war work and become anonymous....
Horrible! He's been a terrible influence. One idea--to disturb
soul and body. Minds unhinged. Personal relations deranged.
Shattered the practice of years. The harm he has done! The harm!"
He looked as though he was trying to burst--as a final
expression of wrath. He failed. His hands felt trembling to
recover his pince-nez. Then from his tail pocket he produced a
large silk handkerchief and wiped the glasses. Replaced them.
Wriggled his head in his collar, running his fingers round his
neck. Patted his tie.
"Excuse this outbreak!" he said. "But Dr. Dale has inflicted
Scrope got up, walked slowly to the window, clasping his hands
behind his back, and turned. His manner still retained much of
his episcopal dignity. "I am sorry. But still you can no doubt
tell from your books what it was he gave me. It was a tonic that
had a very great effect on me. And I need it badly now."
Dr. Brighton-Pomfrey was quietly malignant. "He kept no diary
at all," he said. "No diary at all."
"If he did," said Dr. Brighton-Pomfrey, holding up a flat hand
and wagging it from side to side, "I wouldn't follow his
treatment." He intensified with the hand going faster. "I
wouldn't follow his treatment. Not under any circumstances."
"Naturally," said Scrope, "if the results are what you say. But
in my case it wasn't a treatment. I was sleepless, confused in my
mind, wretched and demoralized; I came here, and he just produced
the stuff--It clears the head, it clears the mind. One seems to
get away from the cloud of things, to get through to essentials
and fundamentals. It straightened me out.... You must know such a
stuff. Just now, confronted with all sorts of problems arising
out of my resignation, I want that tonic effect again. I must
have it. I have matters to decide--and I can't decide. I find
myself uncertain, changeable from hour to hour. I don't ask you
to take up anything of this man Dale's. This is a new occasion.
But I want that drug."
At the beginning of this speech Dr. Brighton-Pomfrey's hands
had fallen to his hips. As Scrope went on the doctor's pose had
stiffened. His head had gone a little on one side; he had begun
to play with his glasses. At the end he gave vent to one or two
short coughs, and then pointed his words with his glasses held
"Tell me," he said, "tell me." (Cough.) "Had this drug that
cleared your head--anything to do with your resignation?"
And he put on his glasses disconcertingly, and threw his head
back to watch the reply.
"It did help to clear up the situation."
"Exactly," said Dr. Brighton-Pomfrey in a tone that defined his
own position with remorseless clearness. "Exactly." And he held
up a flat, arresting hand. .
"My dear Sir," he said. "How can you expect me to help you to a
drug so disastrous?--even if I could tell you what it is."
"But it was not disastrous to me," said Scrope.
"Your extraordinary resignation--your still more
extraordinary way of proclaiming it!"
"I don't think those were disasters."
"But my dear Sir!"
"You don't want to discuss theology with me, I know. So let me
tell you simply that from my point of view the illumination that
came to me--this drug of Dr. Dale's helping--has been the
great release of my life. It crystallized my mind. It swept aside
the confusing commonplace things about me. Just for a time I saw
truth clearly.... I want to do so again."
"There is a crisis in my affairs--never mind what. But I
cannot see my way clear."
Dr. Brighton-Pomfrey was meditating now with his eyes on his
carpet and the corners of his mouth tucked in. He was swinging
his glasses pendulum-wise. "Tell me," he said, looking sideways
at Scrope, "what were the effects of this drug? It may have been
anything. How did it give you this--this vision of the truth--
that led to your resignation?"
Scrope felt a sudden shyness. But he wanted Dale's drug again
so badly that he obliged himself to describe his previous
experiences to the best of his ability.
"It was," he said in a matter-of-fact tone, "a golden,
transparent liquid. Very golden, like a warm-tinted Chablis. When
water was added it became streaked and opalescent, with a kind of
living quiver in it. I held it up to the light."
"Yes? And when you took it?"
"I felt suddenly clearer. My mind--I had a kind of exaltation
"Your mind," Dr. Brighton-Pomfrey assisted, "began to go
twenty-nine to the dozen."
"It felt stronger and clearer," said Scrope, sticking to his
"And did things look as usual?" asked the doctor, protruding
his knobby little face like a clenched fist.
"No," said Scrope and regarded him. How much was it possible to
tell a man of this type?
"They differed?" said the doctor, relaxing.
"Yes.... Well, to be plain.... I had an immediate sense of God.
I saw the world--as if it were a transparent curtain, and then
God became--evident.... Is it possible for that to determine
"God became--evident," the doctor said with some distaste,
and shook his head slowly. Then in a sudden sharp cross-examining
tone: "You mean you had a vision? Actually saw 'um?"
"It was in the form of a vision." Scrope was now mentally very
The doctor's lips repeated these words noiselessly, with an
effect of contempt. "He must have given you something--It's a
little like morphia. But golden--opalescent? And it was this
vision made you astonish us all with your resignation?"
"That was part of a larger process," said Scrope patiently. "I
had been drifting into a complete repudiation of the Anglican
positions long before that. All that this drug did was to make
clear what was already in my mind. And give it value. Act as a
The doctor suddenly gave way to a botryoidal hilarity. "To
think that one should be consulted about visions of God--in
Mount Street!" he said. "And you know, you know you half want to
believe that vision was real. You know you do."
So far Scrope had been resisting his realization of failure.
Now he gave way to an exasperation that made him reckless of
Brighton-Pomfrey's opinion. "I do think," he said, "that that
drug did in some way make God real to me. I think I saw God."
Dr. Brighton-Pomfrey shook his head in a way that made Scrope
want to hit him.
"I think I saw God," he repeated more firmly. "I had a sudden
realization of how great he was and how great life was, and how
timid and mean and sordid were all our genteel, professional
lives. I was seized upon, for a time I was altogether possessed
by a passion to serve him fitly and recklessly, to make an end to
compromises with comfort and self-love and secondary things. And
I want to hold to that. I want to get back to that. I am given to
lassitudes. I relax. I am by temperament an easy-going man. I
want to buck myself up, I want to get on with my larger purposes,
and I find myself tired, muddled, entangled.... The drug was a
good thing. For me it was a good thing. I want its help again."
"I know no more than you do what it was."
"Are there no other drugs that you do know, that have a kindred
effect? If for example I tried morphia in some form?"
"You'd get visions. They wouldn't be divine visions. If you
took small quantities very discreetly you might get a temporary
quickening. But the swift result of all repeated drug-taking is,
I can assure you, moral decay--rapid moral decay. To touch drugs
habitually is to become hopelessly unpunctual, untruthful,
callously selfish and insincere. I am talking mere textbook, mere
everyday common-places, to you when I tell you that."
"I had an idea. I had a hope...."
"You've a stiff enough fight before you," said the doctor,
"without such a handicap as that."
"You won't help me?"
The doctor walked up and down his hearthrug, and then delivered
himself with an extended hand and waggling fingers.
"I wouldn't if I could. For your good I wouldn't. And even if I
would I couldn't, for I don't know the drug. One of his infernal
brews, no doubt. Something--accidental. It's lost--for good--
for your good, anyhow...."
Scrope halted outside the stucco portals of the doctor's house.
He hesitated whether he should turn to the east or the west.
"That door closes," he said. "There's no getting back that
He stood for a time on the kerb. He turned at last towards Park
Lane and Hyde Park. He walked along thoughtfully, inattentively
steering a course for his new home in Pembury Road, Notting Hill.
At the outset of this new phase in Scrope's life that had
followed the crisis of the confirmation service, everything had
seemed very clear before him. He believed firmly that he had been
shown God, that he had himself stood in the presence of God, and
that there had been a plain call to him to proclaim God to the
world. He had realized God, and it was the task of every one who
had realized God to help all mankind to the same realization. The
proposal of Lady Sunderbund had fallen in with that idea. He had
been steeling himself to a prospect of struggle and dire poverty,
but her prompt loyalty had come as an immense relief to his
anxiety for his wife and family. When he had talked to Eleanor
upon the beach at Hunstanton it had seemed to him that his course
was manifest, perhaps a little severe but by no means impossible.
They had sat together in the sunshine, exalted by a sense of fine
adventure and confident of success, they had looked out upon the
future, upon the great near future in which the idea of God was
to inspire and reconstruct the world.
It was only very slowly that this pristine clearness became
clouded and confused. It had not been so easy as Eleanor had
supposed to win over the sympathy of Lady Ella with his
resignation. Indeed it had not been won over. She had become a
stern and chilling companion, mute now upon the issue of his
resignation, but manifestly resentful. He was secretly
disappointed and disconcerted by her tone. And the same
hesitation of the mind, instinctive rather than reasoned, that
had prevented a frank explanation of his earlier doubts to her,
now restrained him from telling her naturally and at once of the
part that Lady Sunderbund was to play in his future ministry. In
his own mind he felt assured about that part, but in order to
excuse his delay in being frank with his wife, he told himself
that he was not as yet definitely committed to Lady Sunderbund's
project. And in accordance with that idea he set up housekeeping
in London upon a scale that implied a very complete cessation of
income. "As yet," he told Lady Ella, "we do not know where we
stand. For a time we must not so much house ourselves as camp. We
must take some quite small and modest house in some less
expensive district. If possible I would like to take it for a
year, until we know better how things are with us."
He reviewed a choice of London districts.
Lady Ella said her bitterest thing. "Does it matter where we
hide our heads?"
That wrung him to: "We are not hiding our heads."
She repented at once. "I am sorry, Ted," she said. "It slipped
He called it camping, but the house they had found in Pembury
Road, Notting Hill, was more darkened and less airy than any
camp. Neither he nor his wife had ever had any experience of
middle-class house-hunting or middle-class housekeeping before,
and they spent three of the most desolating days of their lives
in looking for this cheap and modest shelter for their household
possessions. Hitherto life had moved them from one established
and comfortable home to another; their worst affliction had been
the modern decorations of the Palace at Princhester, and it was
altogether a revelation to them to visit house after house,
ill-lit, ill-planned, with dingy paint and peeling wallpaper,
kitchens for the most part underground, and either without
bathrooms or with built-out bathrooms that were manifestly
grudging afterthoughts, such as harbour the respectable middle
classes of London. The house agents perceived intimations of
helplessness in their manner, adopted a "rushing" method with
them strange to people who had hitherto lived in a glowing halo
of episcopal dignity. "Take it or leave it," was the note of
those gentlemen; "there are always people ready for houses." The
line that property in land and houses takes in England, the
ex-bishop realized, is always to hold up and look scornful. The
position of the land-owning, house-owning class in a crowded
country like England is ultra-regal. It is under no obligation to
be of use, and people are obliged to get down to the land
somewhere. They cannot conduct business and rear families in the
air. England's necessity is the landlord's opportunity....
Scrope began to generalize about this, and develop a new and
sincerer streak of socialism in his ideas. "The church has been
very remiss," he said, as he and Lady Ella stared at the basement
"breakfast room" of their twenty-seventh dismal possibility. "It
should have insisted far more than it has done upon the
landlord's responsibility. No one should tolerate the offer of
such a house as this--at such a rent--to decent people. It is
At the house agent's he asked in a cold, intelligent ruling-
class voice, the name of the offending landlord.
"It's all the property of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners that
side of the railway," said the agent, picking his teeth with a
pin. "Lazy lot. Dreadfully hard to get 'em to do anything. Own
some of the worst properties in London."
Lady Ella saw things differently again. "If you had stayed in
the church," she said afterwards, "you might have helped to alter
such things as that."
At the time he had no answer.
"But," he said presently as they went back in the tube to their
modest Bloomsbury hotel, "if I had stayed in the church I should
never have realized things like that."
But it does no justice to Lady Ella to record these two
unavoidable expressions of regret without telling also of the
rallying courage with which she presently took over the task of
resettling herself and her stricken family. Her husband's change
of opinion had fallen upon her out of a clear sky, without any
premonition, in one tremendous day. In one day there had come
clamouring upon her, with an effect of revelation after
revelation, the ideas of drugs, of heresy and blasphemy, of an
alien feminine influence, of the entire moral and material
breakdown of the man who had been the centre of her life. Never
was the whole world of a woman so swiftly and comprehensively
smashed. All the previous troubles of her life seemed
infinitesimal in comparison with any single item in this
dismaying debacle. She tried to consolidate it in the idea that
he was ill, "disordered." She assured herself that he would
return from Hunstanton restored to health and orthodoxy, with all
his threatenings of a resignation recalled; the man she had loved
and trusted to succeed in the world and to do right always
according to her ideas. It was only with extreme reluctance that
she faced the fact that with the fumes of the drug dispelled and
all signs of nervous exhaustion gone, he still pressed quietly
but resolutely toward a severance from the church. She tried to
argue with him and she found she could not argue. The church was
a crystal sphere in which her life was wholly contained, her mind
could not go outside it even to consider a dissentient
While he was at Hunstanton, every day she had prayed for an
hour, some days she had prayed for several hours, in the
cathedral, kneeling upon a harsh hassock that hurt her knees.
Even in her prayers she could not argue nor vary. She prayed over
and over again many hundreds of times: "Bring him back, dear
Lord. Bring him back again."
In the past he had always been a very kind and friendly mate to
her, but sometimes he had been irritable about small things,
especially during his seasons of insomnia; now he came back
changed, a much graver man, rather older in his manner, carefully
attentive to her, kinder and more watchful, at times
astonishingly apologetic, but rigidly set upon his purpose of
leaving the church. "I know you do not think with me in this," he
said. "I have to pray you to be patient with me. I have struggled
with my conscience.... For a time it means hardship, I know.
Poverty. But if you will trust me I think I shall be able to pull
through. There are ways of doing my work. Perhaps we shall not
have to undergo this cramping in this house for very long...."
"It is not the poverty I fear," said Lady Ella.
And she did face the worldly situation, if a little sadly, at
any rate with the courage of practical energy. It was she who
stood in one ungainly house after another and schemed how to make
discomforts tolerable, while Scrope raged unhelpfully at
landlordism and the responsibility of the church for economic
disorder. It was she who at last took decisions into her hands
when he was too jaded to do anything but generalize weakly, and
settled upon the house in Pembury Road which became their London
home. She got him to visit Hunstanton again for half a week while
she and Miriam, who was the practical genius of the family, moved
in and made the new home presentable. At the best it was barely
presentable. There were many plain hardships. The girls had to
share one of the chief bedrooms in common instead of their jolly
little individual dens at Princhester.... One little room was all
that could be squeezed out as a study for "father"; it was not
really a separate room, it was merely cut off by closed folding
doors from the dining-room, folding doors that slowly transmitted
the dinner flavours to a sensitive worker, and its window looked
out upon a blackened and uneventful yard and the skylights of a
populous, conversational, and high-spirited millinery
establishment that had been built over the corresponding garden
of the house in Restharrow Street. Lady Ella had this room lined
with open shelves, and Clementina (in the absence of Eleanor at
Newuham) arranged the pick of her father's books. It is to be
noted as a fact of psychological interest that this cramped, ill-
lit little room distressed Lady Ella more than any other of the
discomforts of their new quarters. The bishop's writing-desk
filled a whole side of it. Parsimony ruled her mind, but she
could not resist the impulse to get him at least a seemly
He came back from Hunstanton full of ideas for work in London.
He was, he thought, going to "write something" about his views.
He was very grateful and much surprised at what she had done to
that forbidding house, and full of hints and intimations that it
would not be long before they moved to something roomier. She was
disposed to seek some sort of salaried employment for Clementina
and Miriam at least, but he would not hear of that. "They must go
on and get educated," he said, "if I have to give up smoking to
do it. Perhaps I may manage even without that." Eleanor, it
seemed, had a good prospect of a scholarship at the London School
of Economics that would practically keep her. There would be no
Cambridge for Clementina, but London University might still be
possible with a little pinching, and the move to London had
really improved the prospects of a good musical training for
Miriam. Phoebe and Daphne, Lady Ella believed, might get in on
special terms at the Notting Hill High School.
Scrope found it difficult to guess at what was going on in the
heads of his younger daughters. None displayed such sympathy as
Eleanor had confessed. He had a feeling that his wife had
schooled them to say nothing about the change in their fortunes
to him. But they quarrelled a good deal, he could hear, about the
use of the one bathroom--there was never enough hot water after
the second bath. And Miriam did not seem to enjoy playing the new
upright piano in the drawing-room as much as she had done the
Princhester grand it replaced. Though she was always willing to
play that thing he liked; he knew now that it was the Adagio of
Of. 111; whenever he asked for it.
London servants, Lady Ella found, were now much more difficult
to get than they had been in the Holy Innocents' days in St.
John's Wood. And more difficult to manage when they were got. The
households of the more prosperous clergy are much sought after by
domestics of a serious and excellent type; an unfrocked
clergyman's household is by no means so attractive. The first
comers were young women of unfortunate dispositions; the first
cook was reluctant and insolent, she went before her month was
up; the second careless; she made burnt potatoes and cindered
chops, underboiled and overboiled eggs; a "dropped" look about
everything, harsh coffee and bitter tea seemed to be a natural
aspect of the state of being no longer a bishop. He would often
after a struggle with his nerves in the bedroom come humming
cheerfully to breakfast, to find that Phoebe, who was a delicate
eater, had pushed her plate away scarcely touched, while Lady
Ella sat at the end of the table in a state of dangerous calm,
framing comments for delivering downstairs that would be sure to
sting and yet leave no opening for repartee, and trying at the
same time to believe that a third cook, if the chances were
risked again, would certainly be "all right."
The drawing-room was papered with a morose wallpaper that the
landlord, in view of the fact that Scrope in his optimism would
only take the house on a yearly agreement, had refused to
replace; it was a design of very dark green leaves and grey
gothic arches; and the apartment was lit by a chandelier, which
spilt a pool of light in the centre of the room and splashed
useless weak patches elsewhere. Lady Ella had to interfere to
prevent the monopolization of this centre by Phoebe and Daphne
for their home work. This light trouble was difficult to arrange;
the plain truth was that there was not enough illumination to go
round. In the Princhester drawing-room there had been a number of
obliging little electric pushes. The size of the dining-room, now
that the study was cut off from it, forbade hospitality. As it
was, with only the family at home, the housemaid made it a
grievance that she could scarcely squeeze by on the sideboard
side to wait.
The house vibrated to the trains in the adjacent underground
railway. There was a lady next door but one who was very pluckily
training a contralto voice that most people would have gladly
thrown away. At the end of Restharrow Street was a garage, and a
yard where chauffeurs were accustomed to "tune up" their engines.
All these facts were persistently audible to any one sitting down
in the little back study to think out this project of "writing
something," about a change in the government of the whole world.
Petty inconveniences no doubt all these inconveniences were, but
they distressed a rather oversensitive mind which was also
acutely aware that even upon this scale living would cost
certainly two hundred and fifty pounds if not more in excess of
the little private income available.
These domestic details, irrelevant as they may seem in a
spiritual history, need to be given because they added an
intimate keenness to Scrope's readiness for this private chapel
enterprise that he was discussing with Lady Sunderbund. Along
that line and along that line alone, he saw the way of escape
from the great sea of London dinginess that threatened to
submerge his family. And it was also, he felt, the line of his
duty; it was his "call."
At least that was how he felt at first. And then matters began
to grow complicated again.
Things had gone far between himself and Lady Sunderbund since
that letter he had read upon the beach at Old Hunstanton. The
blinds of the house with the very very blue door in Princhester
had been drawn from the day when the first vanload of the
renegade bishop's private possessions had departed from the
palace. The lady had returned to the brightly decorated flat
overlooking Hyde Park. He had seen her repeatedly since then,
and always with a fairly clear understanding that she was to
provide the chapel and pulpit in which he was to proclaim to
London the gospel of the Simplicity and Universality of God. He
was to be the prophet of a reconsidered faith, calling the whole
world from creeds and sects, from egotisms and vain loyalties,
from prejudices of race and custom, to the worship and service of
the Divine King of all mankind. That in fact had been the ruling
resolve in his mind, the resolve determining his relations not
only with Lady Sunderbund but with Lady Ella and his family, his
friends, enemies and associates. He had set out upon this course
unchecked by any doubt, and overriding the manifest disapproval
of his wife and his younger daughters. Lady Sunderbund's
enthusiasm had been enormous and sustaining....
Almost imperceptibly that resolve had weakened. Imperceptibly
at first. Then the decline had been perceived as one sometimes
perceives a thing in the background out of the corner of one's
In all his early anticipations of the chapel enterprise, he had
imagined himself in the likeness of a small but eloquent figure
standing in a large exposed place and calling this lost misled
world back to God. Lady Sunderbund, he assumed, was to provide
the large exposed place (which was dimly paved with pews) and
guarantee that little matter which was to relieve him of sordid
anxieties for his family, the stipend. He had agreed in an
inattentive way that this was to be eight hundred a year, with a
certain proportion of the subscriptions. "At fl'st, I shall be
the chief subsc'iber," she said. "Before the 'ush comes." He had
been so content to take all this for granted and think no more
about it--more particularly to think no more about it--that
for a time he entirely disregarded the intense decorative
activities into which Lady Sunderbund incontinently plunged. Had
he been inclined to remark them he certainly might have done so,
even though a considerable proportion was being thoughtfully
veiled for a time from his eyes.
For example, there was the young architect with the wonderful
tie whom he met once or twice at lunch in the Hyde Park flat.
This young man pulled the conversation again and again, Lady
Sunderbund aiding and abetting, in the direction of the "ideal
church." It was his ambition, he said, someday, to build an ideal
church, "divorced from tradition."
Scrope had been drawn at last into a dissertation. He said that
hitherto all temples and places of worship had been conditioned
by orientation due to the seasonal aspects of religion, they
pointed to the west or--as in the case of the Egyptian temples
--to some particular star, and by sacramentalism, which centred
everything on a highly lit sacrificial altar. It was almost
impossible to think of a church built upon other lines than that.
The architect would be so free that--"
"Absolutely free," interrupted the young architect. "He might,
for example, build a temple like a star."
"Or like some wondyful casket," said Lady Sunderbund....
And also there was a musician with fuzzy hair and an impulsive
way of taking the salted almonds, who wanted to know about
Scrope hazarded the idea that a chanting people was a religious
people. He said, moreover, that there was a fine religiosity
about Moussorgski, but that the most beautiful single piece of
music in the world was Beethoven's sonata, Opus 111,--he was
thinking, he said, more particularly of the Adagio at the end,
molto semplice e cantabile. It had a real quality of divinity.
The musician betrayed impatience at the name of Beethoven, and
thought, with his mouth appreciatively full of salted almonds,
that nowadays we had got a little beyond that anyhow.
"We shall be superhuman before we get beyond either Purcell or
Beethoven," said Scrope.
Nor did he attach sufficient importance to Lady Sunderbund's
disposition to invite Positivists, members of the Brotherhood
Church, leaders among the Christian Scientists, old followers of
the Rev. Charles Voysey, Swedenborgians, Moslem converts, Indian
Theosophists, psychic phenomena and so forth, to meet him.
Nevertheless it began to drift into his mind that he was by no
means so completely in control of the new departure as he had
supposed at first. Both he and Lady Sunderbund professed
universalism; but while his was the universalism of one who would
simplify to the bare fundamentals of a common faith, hers was the
universalism of the collector. Religion to him was something that
illuminated the soul, to her it was something that illuminated
prayer-books. For a considerable time they followed their
divergent inclinations without any realization of their
divergence. None the less a vague doubt and dissatisfaction with
the prospect before him arose to cloud his confidence.
At first there was little or no doubt of his own faith. He was
still altogether convinced that he had to confess and proclaim
God in his life. He was as sure that God was the necessary king
and saviour of mankind and of a man's life, as he was of the
truth of the Binomial Theorem. But what began first to fade was
the idea that he had been specially called to proclaim the True
God to all the world. He would have the most amiable conference
with Lady Sunderbund, and then as he walked back to Notting Hill
he would suddenly find stuck into his mind like a challenge,
Heaven knows how: "Another prophet?" Even if he succeeded in this
mission enterprise, he found himself asking, what would he be but
just a little West-end Mahomet? He would have founded another
sect, and we have to make an end to all sects. How is there to be
an end to sects, if there are still to be chapels--richly
decorated chapels--and congregations, and salaried specialists
That was a very disconcerting idea. It was particularly active
at night. He did his best to consider it with a cool detachment,
regardless of the facts that his private income was just under
three hundred pounds a year, and that his experiments in cultured
journalism made it extremely improbable that the most sedulous
literary work would do more than double this scanty sum. Yet for
all that these nasty, ugly, sordid facts were entirely
disregarded, they did somehow persist in coming in and squatting
down, shapeless in a black corner of his mind--from which their
eyes shone out, so to speak--whenever his doubt whether he
ought to set up as a prophet at all was under consideration.
Then very suddenly on this October afternoon the situation had
come to a crisis.
He had gone to Lady Sunderbund's flat to see the plans and
drawings for the new church in which he was to give his message
to the world. They had brought home to him the complete
realization of Lady Sunderbund's impossibility. He had attempted
upon the spur of the moment an explanation of just how much they
differed, and he had precipitated a storm of extravagantly
She kept him waiting for perhaps ten minutes before she brought
the plans to him. He waited in the little room with the Wyndham
Lewis picture that opened upon the balcony painted with crazy
squares of livid pink. On a golden table by the window a number
of recently bought books were lying, and he went and stood over
these, taking them up one after another. The first was "The
Countess of Huntingdon and Her Circle," that bearder of
lightminded archbishops, that formidable harbourer of Wesleyan
chaplains. For some minutes he studied the grim portrait of this
inspired lady standing with one foot ostentatiously on her
coronet and then turned to the next volume. This was a life of
Saint Teresa, that energetic organizer of Spanish nunneries. The
third dealt with Madame Guyon. It was difficult not to feel that
Lady Sunderbund was reading for a part.
She was wearing a long simple dress of spangled white with a
very high waist; she had a bracelet of green jade, a waistband of
green silk, and her hair was held by a wreath of artificial
laurel, very stiff and green. Her arms were full of big rolls of
cartridge paper and tracing paper. "I'm so pleased," she said.
"It's 'eady at last and I can show you."
She banged the whole armful down upon a vivid little table of
inlaid black and white wood. He rescued one or two rolls and a
sheet of tracing paper from the floor.
"It's the Temple," she panted in a significant whisper. "It's
the Temple of the One T'ue God!"
She scrabbled among the papers, and held up the elevation of a
strange square building to his startled eyes. "Iszi't it just
pe'fect?" she demanded.
He took the drawing from her. It represented a building,
manifestly an enormous building, consisting largely of two great,
deeply fluted towers flanking a vast archway approached by a long
flight of steps. Between the towers appeared a dome. It was as if
the Mosque of Saint Sophia had produced this offspring in a
mesalliance with the cathedral of Wells. Its enormity was made
manifest by the minuteness of the large automobiles that were
driving away in the foreground after "setting down." "Here is the
plan," she said, thrusting another sheet upon him before he could
fully take in the quality of the design. "The g'eat Hall is to be
pe'fectly 'ound, no aisle, no altar, and in lettas of sapphiah,
'God is ev'ywhe'.'"
She added with a note of solemnity, "It will hold th'ee
thousand people sitting down."
"But--!" said Scrope.
"The'e's a sort of g'andeur," she said. "It's young Venable's
wo'k. It's his fl'st g'ate oppo'tunity."
"But--is this to go on that little site in Aldwych?"
"He says the' isn't 'oom the'!" she explained. "He wants to put
it out at Golda's G'een."
"But--if it is to be this little simple chapel we proposed,
then wasn't our idea to be central?"
"But if the' isn't 'oem! "she said--conclusively. "And isn't
this--isn't it rather a costly undertaking, rather more costly--"
"That docsn't matta. I'm making heaps and heaps of money. Half
my p'ope'ty is in shipping and a lot of the 'eat in munitions.
I'm 'icher than eva. Isn't the' a sort of g'andeur?" she pressed.
He put the elevation down. He took the plan from her hands and
seemed to study it. But he was really staring blankly at the
"Lady Sunderbund," he said at last, with an effort, "I am
afraid all this won't do."
"No. It isn't in the spirit of my intention. It isn't in a
great building of this sort--so--so ornate and imposing, that
the simple gospel of God's Universal Kingdom can be preached."
"But oughtn't so gate a message to have as g'ate a pulpit?"
And then as if she would seize him before he could go on to
further repudiations, she sought hastily among the drawings
"But look," she said. "It has ev'ything! It's not only a
p'eaching place; it's a headquarters for ev'ything."
With the rapid movements of an excited child she began to
thrust the remarkable features and merits of the great project
upon him. The preaching dome was only the heart of it. There were
to be a library, "'efecto'ies," consultation rooms, classrooms, a
publication department, a big underground printing establishment.
"Nowadays," she said, "ev'y gate movement must p'int." There was
to be music, she said, "a gate invisible o'gan," hidden amidst
the architectural details, and pouring out its sounds into the
dome, and then she glanced in passing at possible "p'ocessions"
round the preaching dome. This preaching dome was not a mere
shut-in drum for spiritual reverberations, around it ran great
open corridors, and in these corridors there were to be
"But what for?" he asked, stemming the torrent. "What need is
there for chapels? There are to be no altars, no masses, no
"No," she said, "but they are to be chapels for special
int'ests; a chapel for science, a chapel for healing, a chapel
for gov'ment. Places for peoples to sit and think about those
things--with paintings and symbols."
"I see your intention," he admitted. "I see your intention."
"The' is to be a gate da'k blue 'ound chapel for sta's and
atoms and the myst'ry of matta." Her voice grew solemn. "All
still and deep and high. Like a k'ystal in a da'k place. You will
go down steps to it. Th'ough a da'k 'ounded a'ch ma'ked with
mathematical symbols and balances and scientific app'atus.... And
the ve'y next to it, the ve'y next, is to be a little b'ight
chapel for bi'ds and flowas!"
"Yes," he said, "it is all very fine and expressive. It is, I
see, a symbolical building, a great artistic possibility. But is
it the place for me? What I have to say is something very simple,
that God is the king of the whole world, king of the ha'penny
newspaper and the omnibus and the vulgar everyday things, and
that they have to worship him and serve him as their leader in
every moment of their lives. This isn't that. This is the old
religions over again. This is taking God apart. This is putting
him into a fresh casket instead of the old one. And.... I don't
"Don't like it," she cried, and stood apart from him with her
chin in the air, a tall astonishment and dismay.
"I can't do the work I want to do with this."
"But--Isn't it you' idea?"
"No. It is not in the least my idea. I want to tell the whole
world of the one God that can alone unite it and save it--and
you make this extravagant toy."
He felt as if he had struck her directly he uttered that last
"Toy!" she echoed, taking it in, "you call it a Toy!"
A note in her voice reminded him that there were two people who
might feel strongly in this affair.
"My dear Lady Sunderbund," he said with a sudden change of
manner, "I must needs follow the light of my own mind. I have had
a vision of God, I have seen him as a great leader towering over
the little lives of men, demanding the little lives of men,
prepared to take them and guide them to the salvation of mankind
and the conquest of pain and death. I have seen him as the God of
the human affair, a God of politics, a God of such muddy and
bloody wars as this war, a God of economics, a God of railway
junctions and clinics and factories and evening schools, a God in
fact of men. This God--this God here, that you want to worship,
is a God of artists and poets--of elegant poets, a God of
bric-a-brac, a God of choice allusions. Oh, it has its grandeur!
I don't want you to think that what you are doing may not be
altogether fine and right for you to do. But it is not what I
have to do.... I cannot--indeed I cannot--go on with this
project--upon these lines."
He paused, flushed and breathless. Lady Sunderbund had heard
him to the end. Her bright face was brightly flushed, and there
were tears in her eyes. It was like her that they should seem
tears of the largest, most expensive sort, tears of the first
"But," she cried, and her red delicate mouth went awry with
dismay and disappointment, and her expression was the half
incredulous expression of a child suddenly and cruelly
disappointed: "You won't go on with all this?"
"No," he said. "My dear Lady Sunderbund--"
"Oh! don't Lady Sunderbund me!" she cried with a novel
rudeness. "Don't you see I've done it all for you?"
He winced and felt boorish. He had never liked and disapproved
of Lady Sunderbund so much as he did at that moment. And he had
no words for her.
"How can I stop it all at once like this?"
And still he had no answer.
She pursued her advantage. "What am I to do?" she cried.
She turned upon him passionately. "Look what you've done!" She
marked her points with finger upheld, and gave odd suggestions in
her face of an angry coster girl. "Eva' since I met you, I've
wo'shipped you. I've been 'eady to follow you anywhe'--to do
anything. Eva' since that night when you sat so calm and
dignified, and they baited you and wo'id you. When they we' all
vain and cleva, and you--you thought only of God and 'iligion
and didn't mind fo' you'self.... Up to then--I'd been living--
oh! the emptiest life..."
The tears ran. "Pe'haps I shall live it again...." She dashed
her grief away with a hand beringed with stones as big as