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"ow 'appy she looks - the way she did before that skunk came foolin' round 'ere.'
Up in her room, Linda found it difficult to concentrate on the mechanical act of forwarding Leigh's message. She sat down by her telephone and smoothed out the paper; but it took several readings for his written words to connect with her mind, which happiness had temporarily drugged.
Then suddenly they and their purport became burned upon her brain. It was addressed to his campaign manager and left unsigned.
'Stop all activities to further my candidacy. Events have arisen which would render it impossible for me to accept the nomination. Throw any influence we can control to Joyce. Will see you to-morrow morning.'
If Linda had lost time through being unable to concentrate her thoughts, she made up for it now. Thoughts, unwelcome and at times confused, rushed through her mind, bearing her down with the weight of their evidence. Leigh was giving up his career because he was pledged to marry her, — Linda Mainwaring, a divorced woman. She was that in the eyes of the world, though in her own she was divorced, not only from Mainwaring, but from the girl who had married Mainwaring. Had she known Leigh less well, she might have hesitated, might have seen less clearly that, should she marry him, his thwarted career would always prove a barrier between them that even their love could not surmount. But she knew him too intimately to deceive herself; she was fully aware of his ambitions, his convictions as to what a man in his circumstances owed to his country and to his tradition.
It was midnight when her course presented itself to her; so clearly did she see it, and so quickly must she act, that she was only dimly aware of her
emotions. Soon they would claim her, they would engulf her in utter misery and despair; but for the moment, the too swift reaction from her bliss had numbed them.
She opened the door that led from her fire and lamp-lit room to the dark spaciousness of the hall, felt her way along to the servant's portion of the house, and knocked on Mitten's door. The old man opened it cautiously, his gaunt figure and curious, lined face illumined in the dim light which burned on the service stairway.
'No, no, Mitten, - nothing is the matter. I mean, nothing with me. Something has happened which makes it necessary I should get a letter to Mr. Vane early to-morrow morning, - his message was very important,—an answer has come to it. I want you to go to town on the milk train and take it to him yourself; it is very important. Wake Henry and tell him he must take you to the station at five; I'll have the letter for you then, the letter will be quite ready, — it's very important.'
She was aware that she was repeating herself, that her voice sounded flat and without emphasis; but she gathered from Mitten's concerned replies that he comprehended and would follow out her instructions.
Back in her own room she managed to control her voice sufficiently to send the telegram. Then she was confronted with the necessity for writing the letter
the terrible letter which would keep Leigh from her forever, the lying letter which was in itself a sin against love. She sat at her desk for hours, writing, destroying what she had written, rewriting, drawing aimless lines and little pictures of nothing. It was nearly five o'clock when she folded her completed missive into its envelope and reeled across the room in response to Mitten's knock.
I think I must have been mad tonight life has been so difficult that at times I have felt utterly defeated, and it was one of those moments, my dear, when you called to me in the garden. All at once it seemed to me possible, because of my deep affection for you, to lay the whole burden of my problems on you. But now I am alone again, I am sane. I care too much for you to be willing that the woman you marry should go to you defeated, wanting only rest and comfort; she shall go to you triumphant, wanting nothing but your love. That part of me is gone forever, burned out by the fire which destroyed my youth-what I gave once I shall never have to give again; and here in this house where so much of my drama has been enacted, I realize that the stage cannot be reset, or the play
ers recast for its conclusion. You have been a loyal, helpful, wonderful friend always; you will not, I am sure, ask me to relinquish that friendship because for a few short hours we mistook it for something else. You have made me more reliant, given me new confidence to meet situations as they arise in my path. It would be a poor return to give you the husk of love; forgive me for offering it, and forget that I once thought it could be made to satisfy you. It would be as impossible to find within myself anything more worthy of you as it would be to recapture summer in my frost-touched garden; but there will still be warm, pleasant days of Indian summer, when our friendship will ripen and deepen.
With every wish always for your success and happiness,
BY AMY LOWELL
YOUR voice is like bells over roofs at dawn
When a bird flies
And the sky changes to a fresher color.
Speak, speak, Beloved.
Say little things
For my ears to catch
And run with them to my heart.
PREACHING IN LONDON. II
BY JOSEPH FORT NEWTON
January 1, 1918. 1918. Christmas is over, thank God! The contrast between its gentle ideals and the ghastly realities round about us almost tears one in two. Here we sing, 'Peace on earth among men of good-will'; out there, the killing of boys goes on. What irony! Still, one remembers that it was a hard old Roman world in which the Angels of the first Christmas sang their anthem of prophecy. How far off it must have seemed that day; how far off it seems today. The world is yet in twilight, and from behind dim horizons comes ceaselessly the thunder of great guns. A frost-like surface of garish gayety sparkles in our cities, as anxiety turns to laughter, or to apathy, for relief.
After all these ages, must we say that the song of Christmas is as vain as all the vain things proclaimed of Solomon? No; it will come true. It is not a myth. It is not a mockery. Surviving ages of slaughter, it returns to haunt us, proving in this last defeat its immortality. Because that music is far off, we know that it is not our own, but was sent into the world by One who is as far above our discordant noises as the stars are above the mists. Whatever befall, we dare not lose Faith, dare not surrender to Hate, since that would be the saddest of all defeats. And the children sang carols at our doors, as in the days of Dickens, as if to rebuke our misgiving and despair.
home. Indeed, he can hardly touch them at all when criticism is required-save as they may be international in their range. Yesterday, on the national Day of Prayer, I made protest in the City Temple against allowing the increase of brewery supplies to stand, on the ground that it is not cricket to destroy foodstuffs at a time when we have no bread fit to eat and cannot get sugar for our children. To-day every brewery paper in the kingdom jumped upon me with all four feet, John Bull leading the pack. It does not matter if every journal in the land stands on its hind-legs and howls, as most of them are doing. What hurts me is the silence of the churches! The majority of Free Churchmen are against the traffic, but hardly so in the Established Church. Indeed, that Church is more or less involved in the trade, at least to the extent of allowing its properties to be used by public houses. Many of the higher clergy refused to forego their wine during the war, even at the request of the King.
The situation is unlike anything we know in America. Liquor is used in England much as we use coffee; it is intrenched in custom, disinfected by habit, and protected by respectability. Moreover, the traffic is less open, less easy to get at in England, and those who profit by it are often of the most aristocratic and influential class in the community. There is, besides, a school of English political thought which holds the sublime doctrine that the way to keep the workingman quiet and con
tented is to keep him pickled in beer. Any suggestion of abolishing the traffic is, therefore, regarded as an invitation to anarchy, and dire predictions are made. Almost anywhere in London one sees a dozen baby-carts at the door of a public house, while the mothers are inside guzzling beer. Never before have I seen drunken mothers trying to push baby-carts! Surely England has an enemy behind the lines!
January 12. Had a delicious tilt with Chesterton, who apparently regards the Dogma of Beer as an article of Christian faith. Every time I meet him I think of The Man Who Was Thursday a story in which he has drawn a portrait of himself. He is not only enormously fat, but tall to boot; a mountain of a man. His head, seen from behind, looks larger than any human head has a right to be. He is the soul of goodfellowship, and as the wine in his glass goes down, one may witness an exhibition worth going miles to see. He leads words into the arena, first in single file, then four abreast, then in regiments; and the feats they perform are hairraising. If he talks in paradoxes, it is for the same reason that more solemn persons talk in platitudes he cannot help it.
. From the Gospel of Beer, the talk turned to Wells and his new theology; and it was good to hear Chesterton laugh about a God unfinished and still in the making. His epigram hit it off to a dot. "The Christ of Wells is tidy; the real Christ is titanic.' We agreed that the portraiture of Jesus by Wells is in bad drawing, being too much like Wells himself; but we remembered other portraits by the same hand,- Kipps, Polly, and the rest, very ordinary men made extraordinary and individual and alluring by the magic of genius.
One may call Chesterton many names, - an irrationalist, a reactionary idealist, a humorist teaching serious truth in
fun, but his rich humanity and robust common sense are things for which to give thanks. He is a prophet of normal human nature, and his uproarious faith in God is a tonic in days like these. If Dickens was the greatest American ever born in England, some of us feel that Chesterton is the best thing England has given us since Dickens. One loves him for his strength, his sanity, and his divine joyousness. The Holy Spirit, said Hermas, is a hilarious spirit!
January 17. Dr. John Hutton, of Glasgow, preached in the City Temple to-day, his theme being "The Temptation,' that is, the one temptation that includes all others the spirit of cynicism that haunts all high moods. Artfully, subtly it seeks to lower, somehow, the lights of the soul, to slay ideals, to betray and deliver us to base-mindedness. Such preaching! He searches like a surgeon and heals like a physician. Seldom, if ever, have I had anyone walk right into my heart with a lighted candle in his hand, as he did, and look into the dark corners. For years I had known him as a master of the inner life, whether dealing with the Bible At Close Quarters, or with those friends and aiders of faith, like Browning; and there are passages in The Winds of God that echo like great music. As a guide to those who are walking in the middle years of life, where bafflements of faith are many and moral pitfalls are deep, there is no one like Hutton; no one near him. But, rich as his books are, his preaching is more wonderful than his writing. While his sermon has the finish of a literary essay, it is delivered with the enthusiasm of an evangelist. The whole man goes into it, uniting humor, pathos, unction, with a certain wildness of abandon, as of one possessed, which is the note of truly great preaching. In my humble judgment he is the greatest preacher in Britain.
January 23. Just returned from a
journey into the Midlands. At Manchester I preached on Sunday in the Cavendish Street Chapel, where Joseph Parker ministered before going to the City Temple, and lectured on 'Lincoln and the War' the following evening. No man ever had a more cordial reception in any city. As a preface to my lecture I paid a tribute to the Manchester Guardian as one of the great institutions of this island, and expressed gratitude for its sympathetic and intelligent understanding of America and her President, in the difficult days of our neutrality. The American Consul, in seconding a vote of thanks, told an interesting fact found in the files of his office. A group of Manchester citizens, knowing the admiration of Lincoln for John Bright, a Manchester man, had a bust of the Quaker statesman made, and it was ready to be sent when the news of the assassination came. They cabled Mrs. Lincoln, asking what they should do. She told them to send it to Washington; and it is now in the White House.
As a fact, I did not see Birmingham at all, because a heavy fog hung over it when I arrived and had not lifted when I left. I could hardly see my audience when I rose to speak, and felt halfchoked all through the lecture. As it was my first visit to Birmingham, I began by recalling the great men with whom the city was associated in my mind. The first was Joseph Chamberlain. No sooner had I uttered the name than there were hisses and cries, 'No, no! John Bright!' I had forgotten that Bright ever sat for a Birmingham district. The next name was that of John Henry, Cardinal Newman. It was received at first with silence, then with a few groans. But when I mentioned the name of Dr. Dale, there was loud applause; for he was not only a mighty preacher, but a great political influence in the city. Then I reminded my audi
ence that, when Chamberlain was accused in the House of Commons of representing Dr. Dale, he retorted, in praise of the great preacher, that he had no mean constituency. The last man named was J. H. Shorthouse, the author of John Inglesant, one of my favorite books. If the name was recognized at all, there was no sign of it. January 27. Have been on another short tour, preaching to the men in the camps, including one of the khaki colleges of the Canadian army at Whitley. Twice, when the men were given a choice between a sermon and a lecture, they voted to have a sermon. And what they want is a straight talk, hot from the heart, about the truths that make us men; no 'set sermon with a stunt text,' as one of them explained. When I asked what he meant, he said: 'Such texts as "Put on the whole armor of God," or "Fight the good fight," or "Quit you like men"; they are doing that now.' But they are being undone the while by a terrible shattering of faith, and in many a moral trenchfight.
No end of nonsense has been talked about the men in the armies, as if putting on khaki made a man a saint. No, they are men like ourselves,—our boys, - with the passions and temptations of the rest of us. As one of them put
Our Padre, 'e says I'm a sinner, And John Bull says I'm a saint; And they're both of 'em bound to be liars, For I'm neither of them, I ain't. I'm a man, and a man's a mixture, Right down from his very birth; For part of 'im comes from 'eaven, And part of 'im comes from earth. And upon this basis - being a man myself, and therefore a mixture - I talked to them, without mincing words, about the fight for faith and the desperate struggles of the moral life. Never can I forget those eager, earnest, upturned faces, bronzed by war and weather