A Writer's Recollections (In Two Volumes), Volume II
Mrs. Humphry Ward

Part 2 out of 3

came the intervening years, in which one learned to look on Goldwin
Smith as _par excellence_ the great man "gone wrong," on that vital
question, above all, of a sane Imperialism. It was difficult, after a
time, to keep patience with the Englishman whose most passionate desire
seemed to be to break up the Empire, to incorporate Canada in the United
States, to relieve us of India, that "splendid curse," to detach from us
Australia and South Africa, and thereby to wreck forever that vision of
a banded commonwealth of free nations which for innumerable minds at
home was fast becoming the romance of English politics.

So it was that I went with some shrinking, yet still under the glamour
of the old Oxford loyalty, to pay my visit at the Grange in 1908,
walking thither from the house of one of the stanchest Imperialists in
Canada, where I had been lunching. "You are going to see Mr. Goldwin
Smith?" my host had said. "I have not crossed his threshold for twenty
years. I abhor his political views. All the same, we are proud of him in
Canada!" When I entered the drawing-room, which was rather dark, though
it was a late May afternoon, there rose slowly from its chair beside a
bright fire a figure I shall never forget. I had a fairly clear
remembrance of Goldwin Smith in his earlier says. This was like his
phantom, or, if one may say so, without disrespect--his mummy. Shriveled
and spare, yet erect as ever, the iron-gray hair, closely shaven beard,
dark complexion, and black eyes still formidably alive, made on me an
impression at once of extreme age and unabated will. A prophet!--still
delivering his message--but well aware that it found but few listeners
in a degenerate world. He began immediately to talk politics, denouncing
English Imperialism, whether of the Tory or the Liberal type. Canadian
loyalty to the Empire was a mere delusion. A few years, he said, would
see the Dominion merged in the United States; and it was far best it
should be so. He spoke with a bitter, almost a fierce energy, as though
perfectly conscious that, although I did not contradict him, I did not
agree with him; and presently, to my great relief, he allowed the talk
to slip back to old Oxford days.

[Illustration: GOLDWIN SMITH]

Two years later he died, still confident of the future as he dreamt it.
The "very rough times" that he foresaw have indeed come upon the world.
But as to the rest, I wish he could have stood with me, eight years
after this conversation, on the Scherpenberg Hill, held by a Canadian
division, the approach to its summit guarded by Canadian sentries, and
have looked out over that plain, where Canadian and British graves,
lying in their thousands side by side, have forever sealed in blood the
union of the elder and the younger nations.

As to the circulation of _Robert Elsmere_, I have never been able to
ascertain the exact figures in America, but it is probable, from the
data I have, that about half a million copies were sold in the States
within a year of the book's publication. In England, an edition of 5,000
copies a fortnight was the rule for many months after the one-volume
edition appeared; hundreds of thousands have been circulated in the
sixpenny and sevenpenny editions; it has been translated into most
foreign tongues; and it is still, after thirty years, a living book.
Fifteen years after its publication, M. Brunetière, the well-known
editor of the _Revue des deux Mondes_ and leader--in some sort--of the
Catholic reaction in France, began a negotiation with me for the
appearance of a French translation of the whole or part of the book in
his _Revue_. "But how," I asked him (we were sitting in his editor's
sanctum, in the old house of the Rue de l'Université), "could it
possibly suit you, or the _Revue_, to do anything of the kind? And
_now_--after fifteen years?"

But, according to him, the case was simple. When the book first
appeared, the public of the _Revue_ could not have felt any interest in
it. France is a logical country--a country of clear-cut solutions. And
at that time either one was a Catholic or a free thinker. And if one was
a Catholic, one accepted from the Church, say, the date of the Book of
Daniel, as well as everything else. Renan, indeed, left the Church
thirty years earlier because he came to see with certainty that the Book
of Daniel was written under Antiochus Epiphanes, and not when his
teachers at St. Sulpice said it was written. But while the secular world
listened and applauded, the literary argument against dogma made very
little impression on the general Catholic world for many years.

But now [said M. Brunetière] everything is different. Modernism has
arisen. It is penetrating the Seminaries. People begin to talk of it in
the streets. And _Robert Elsmere_ is a study in Modernism--or at any
rate it has so many affinities with Modernism, that _now_--the French
public would be interested.

The length of the book, however, could not be got over, and the plan
fell through. But I came away from my talk with a remarkable man, not a
little stirred. For it had seemed to show that with all its many
faults--and who knew them better than I?--my book had yet possessed a
certain representative and pioneering force; and that, to some extent,
at least, the generation in which it appeared had spoken through it.



I have already mentioned in these papers that I was one of the examiners
for the Spanish Taylorian scholarship at Oxford in 1883, and again in
1888. But perhaps before I go farther in these _Recollections_ I may put
down here--somewhat out of its place--a reminiscence connected with the
first of these examinations, which seems to me worth recording. My
Spanish colleague in 1883 was, as I have said, Don Pascual Gayangos,
well known among students for his _History of Mohammedan Dynasties in
Spain_, for his edition of the Correspondence of Cardinal Cisneros, and
other historical work. _À propos_ of the examination, he came to see me
in Russell Square, and his talk about Spain revived in me, for the time,
a fading passion. Señor Gayangos was born in 1809, so that in 1883 he
was already an old man, though full of vigor and work. He told me the
following story. Unfortunately, I took no contemporary note. I give it
now as I remember it, and if any one who knew Don Pascual, or any
student of Shakespearian lore, can correct and amplify it, no one will
be better pleased than I. He said that as quite a young man, somewhere
in the thirties of the last century, he was traveling through Spain to
England, where, if I remember right, he had relations with Sir Thomas
Phillipps, the ardent book and MSS. collector, so many of whose
treasures are now in the great libraries of Europe. Sir Thomas employed
him in the search for Spanish MSS. and rare Spanish books. I gathered
that at the time to which the story refers Gayangos himself was not much
acquainted with English or English literature. On his journey north from
Madrid to Burgos, which was, of course, in the days before railways, he
stopped at Valladolid for the night, and went to see an acquaintance of
his, the newly appointed librarian of an aristocratic family having a
"palace" in Valladolid. He found his friend in the old library of the
old house, engaged in a work of destruction. On the floor of the long
room was a large _brasero_ in which the new librarian was burning up a
quantity of what he described as useless and miscellaneous books, with a
view to the rearrangement of the library. The old sheepskin or vellum
bindings had been stripped off, while the printed matter was burning
steadily and the room was full of smoke. There was a pile of old books
whose turn had not yet come lying on the floor. Gayangos picked one up.
It was a volume containing the plays of Mr. William Shakespeare, and
published in 1623. In other words, it was a copy of the First Folio,
and, as he declared to me, in excellent preservation. At that time he
knew nothing about Shakespeare bibliography. He was struck, however, by
the name of Shakespeare, and also by the fact that, according to an
inscription inside it, the book had belonged to Count Gondomar, who had
himself lived in Valladolid and collected a large library there. But his
friend the librarian attached no importance to the book, and it was to
go into the common holocaust with the rest. Gayangos noticed
particularly, as he turned it over, that its margins were covered with
notes in a seventeenth-century hand.

He continued his journey to England, and presently mentioned the
incident to Sir Thomas Phillipps, and Sir Thomas's future son-in-law,
Mr. Halliwell--afterward Halliwell-Phillipps. The excitement of both
knew no bounds. A First Folio--which had belonged to Count Gondomar,
Spanish Ambassador to England up to 1622--and covered with contemporary
marginal notes! No doubt a copy which had been sent out to Gondomar from
England; for he was well acquainted with English life and letters and
had collected much of his library in London. The very thought of such a
treasure perishing barbarously in a bonfire of waste paper was enough to
drive a bibliophile out of his wits. Gayangos was sent back to Spain
posthaste. But, alack! he found a library swept and garnished; no trace
of the volume he had once held there in his hand, and on the face of his
friend the librarian only a frank and peevish wonder that anybody should
tease him with questions about such a trifle.

But just dream a little! Who sent the volume? Who wrote the thick
marginal notes? An English correspondent of Gondomar's? Or Gondomar
himself, who arrived in England three years before Shakespeare's death,
was himself a man of letters, and had probably seen most of the plays?

In the few years which intervened between his withdrawal from England
and his own death (1626), did he annotate the copy, storing there what
he could remember of the English stage, and of "pleasant Willy" himself,
perhaps, during his two sojourns in London? And was the book overlooked
as English and of no importance in the transfer of Gondomar's own
library, a hundred and sixty years after his death, to Charles III of
Spain? And had it been sold, perhaps, for an old song, and with other
remnants of Gondomar's books, just for their local interest, to some
Valladolid grandee?

Above all, did those marginal notes which Gayangos had once idly looked
through contain, perhaps--though the First Folio does not, of course,
include the Poems--some faint key to the perennial Shakespeare
mysteries--to Mr. W.H., and the "dark lady," and all the impenetrable
story of the Sonnets?

If so, the gods themselves took care that the veil should not be rent.
The secret remains.

Others abide our question--Thou art free.
We ask and ask. Thou standest and art still,
Outtopping knowledge.

* * * * *

One other recollection of the _Robert Elsmere_ year may fitly end my
story of it. In September we spent an interesting afternoon at
Hawarden--the only time I ever saw "Mr. G." at leisure, amid his own
books and trees. We drove over with Sir Robert and Lady Cunliffe, Mr.
Gladstone's neighbors on the Welsh border, with whom we were staying.
Sir Robert, formerly an ardent Liberal, had parted from Mr. Gladstone in
the Home Rule crisis of 1886, and it was the first time they had called
at Hawarden since the split. But nothing could have been kinder than the
Gladstones' reception of them and of us. "Mr. G." and I let theology
alone!--and he was at his best and brightest, talking books and poetry,
showing us the octagonal room he had built out for his 60,000 selected
letters--among them "hundreds from the Queen"--his library, the park,
and the old keep. As I wrote to my father, his amazing intellectual and
physical vigor, and the alertness with which, leading the way, he
"skipped up the ruins of the keep," were enough "to make a Liberal
Unionist thoughtful." Ulysses was for the time in exile, but the "day of
return" was not far off.

Especially do I remember the animation with which he dwelt on the
horrible story of Damiens, executed with every conceivable torture for
the attempted assassination of Louis Quinze. He ran through the
catalogue of torments so that we all shivered, winding up with a
contemptuous, "And all that for just pricking the skin of that scoundrel
Louis XV."

I was already thinking of some reply both to Mr. Gladstone's article and
to the attack on _Robert Elsmere_ in the _Quarterly_; but it took me
longer than I expected, and it was not till March in the following year
(1889) that I published "The New Reformation," a Dialogue, in the
_Nineteenth Century_. Into that dialogue I was able to throw the reading
and the argument which had been of necessity excluded from the novel.
Mr. Jowett was nervous about it, and came up on purpose from Oxford to
persuade me, if he could, not to write it. His view--and that of Mr.
Stopford Brooke--was that a work of art moves on one plane, and
historical or critical controversy on another, and that a novel cannot
be justified by an essay. But my defense was not an essay; I put it in
the form of a conversation, and made it as living and varied as I could.
By using this particular form, I was able to give the traditional as
well as the critical case with some fullness, and I took great pains
with both. From a recently published letter, I see that Lord Acton wrote
to Mr. Gladstone that the rôle played by the orthodox anti-rational and
wholly fanatical Newcome in the novel belonged "to the infancy of art,"
so little could he be taken as representing the orthodox case. I wonder!
I had very good reasons for Newcome. There are plenty of Newcomes in the
theological literature of the last century. To have provided a more
rational and plausible representative of orthodoxy would, I think, have
slackened the pace and chilled the atmosphere of the novel. After all,
what really supplied "the other side" was the whole system of things in
which the readers of the book lived and moved--the ideas in which they
had been brought up, the books they read, the churches in which they
worshiped, the sermons to which they listened every week. The novel
challenged this system of things; but it was always there to make reply.
It was the eternal _sous-entendu_ of the story, and really gave the
story all its force.

But in the dialogue I could put the underlying conflict of thought into
articulate and logical form, and build up, in outline at least, the
history of "a new learning." When it was published, the dear Master,
with a sigh of relief, confessed that it had "done no harm," and "showed
a considerable knowledge of critical theology." I, too, felt that it had
done no harm--rather that it had vindicated my right to speak, not as an
expert and scholar--to that I never pretended for a moment--but as the
interpreter of experts and scholars who had something to say to the
English world, and of whom the English world was far too little aware.
In the preface to one of the latest editions of his Bampton Lectures,
Canon Liddon wrote an elaborate answer to it, which, I think, implies
that it was felt to have weight; and if Lord Acton had waited for its
appearance he might not, perhaps, have been so ready to condemn the
character of Newcome as belonging "to the infancy of art." That
Newcome's type might have been infinitely better presented is indeed
most true. But in the scheme of the book, it is _right_. For the
ultimate answer to the critical intellect, or, as Newman called it, the
"wild living intellect of man," when it is dealing with Christianity and
miracle, is that reason is _not_ the final judge--is, indeed, in the
last resort, the enemy, and must at some point go down, defeated and
trampled on. "Ideal Ward," and Archdeacon Denison, and Mr. Spurgeon--and
not Doctor Figgis or Doctor Creighton--are the apologists who in the end
hold the fort.

But with this analysis of what may be called the intellectual
presuppositions of _Robert Elsmere_, my mind began to turn to what I
believed to be the other side of the Greenian or Modernist
message--i.e., that life itself, the ordinary human life and
experience of every day as it has been slowly evolved through history,
is the true source of religion, if man will but listen to the message in
his own soul, to the voice of the Eternal Friend, speaking through
Conscience, through Society, through Nature. Hence _David Grieve_, which
was already in my mind within a few months of the publication of _Robert
Elsmere_. We were at Borough Farm when the vision of it first came upon
me. It was a summer evening of extraordinary beauty, and I had been
wandering through the heather and the pine woods. "The country"--to
quote an account written some years ago--"was drenched in sunset; white
towering thunder-clouds descending upon and mingling with the crimson of
the heath, the green stretches of bracken, the brown pools upon the
common, everywhere a rosy suffusion, a majesty of light interweaving
heaven and earth and transfiguring all dear familiar things--the old
farm-house, the sand-pit where the children played and the sand-martins
nested, the wood-pile by the farm door, the phloxes in the tumble-down
farm-yard, the cottage down the lane." After months of rest, the fount
of mental energy which had been exhausted in me the year before had
filled again. I was eager to be at work, and this time on something
"more hopeful, positive, and consoling" than the subject of the
earlier book.

A visit to Derbyshire in the autumn gave me some of the setting for the
story. Then I took the first chapters abroad during the winter to
Valescure, and worked them in that fragrant, sunny spot, making
acquaintance the while with a new and delightful friend, Emily Lawless,
the author of _Hurrish_ and _Grania_, and of some few poems that
deserve, I think, a long life in English anthologies. She and her most
racy, most entertaining mother, old Lady Cloncurry, were spending the
winter at Valescure, and my young daughter and I found them a great
resource. Lady Cloncurry, who was a member of an old Galway family, the
Kirwans of Castle Hackett, seemed to me a typical specimen of those
Anglo-Irish gentry who have been harshly called the "English garrison"
in Ireland, but who were really in the last century the most natural and
kindly link between the two countries. So far as I knew them, they loved
both, with a strong preference for Ireland. All that English people
instinctively resent in Irish character--its dreamy or laughing
indifference toward the ordinary business virtues, thrift, prudence,
tidiness, accuracy--they had been accustomed to, even where they had not
been infected with it, from their childhood. They were not Catholics,
most of them, and, so far as they were landlords, the part played by the
priests in the Land League agitation tried them sore. But Miss Lawless's
_Grania_ is there to show how delicate and profound might be their
sympathy with the lovely things in Irish Catholicism, and her best
poems--"The Dirge of the Munster Forest" and "After Aughrim"--give a
voice to Irish suffering and Irish patriotism which it would be hard to
parallel in the Nationalist or rebel literature of recent years. The
fact that they had both nations in their blood, both patriotisms in
their hearts, infused a peculiar pathos often into their lives.

Pathos, however, was not a word that seemed--at first sight, at any
rate--to have much to do with Lady Cloncurry. She was the most energetic
and sprightly _grande dame_ as I remember her, small, with vivid black
eyes and hair, her head always swathed in a becoming black lace coif,
her hands in black mittens. She and her daughter Emily amused each other
perennially, and were endless good company, besides, for other people.
Lady Cloncurry's clothes varied very little. She had an Irish contempt
for too much pains about your appearance, and a great dislike for
_grande tenue_. When she arrived at an Irish country-house, of which the
hostess told me the story, she said to the mistress of the house, on
being taken to her room: "My dear, you don't want me to come down smart?
I'm sure you don't! Of course I've brought some smart gowns. _They_
[meaning her daughters] make me buy them. But they'll just do for my
maid to show your maid!" And there on the wardrobe shelves they lay
throughout her visit.

At Valescure we were within easy reach of Cannes, where the Actons were
settled at the Villa Madeleine. The awkwardness of the trains prevented
us from seeing as much of them as we had hoped; but I remember some
pleasant walks and talks with Lord Acton, and especially the vehement
advice he gave us, when my husband joined us and we started on a short,
a very short, flight to Italy--for my husband had only a meager holiday
from the _Times: "Go to Rome_! Never mind the journeys. Go! You will
have three days there, you say? Well, to have walked through Rome, to
have spent an hour in the Forum, another on the Palatine; to have seen
the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's; to have climbed the
Janiculum and looked out over the Alban hills and the Campagna--and you
can do all that in three days--well!--life is not the same afterward. If
you only had an afternoon in Rome it would be well worth while. But
_three days_!"

We laughed, took him at his word, and rushed on for Rome. And on the way
we saw Perugia and Assisi for the first time, dipping into spring as
soon as we got south of the Apennines, and tasting that intoxication of
Italian sun in winter which turns northern heads. Of our week in Rome I
remember only the first overwhelming impression--as of something
infinitely old and _pagan_, through which Christianity moved about like
a _parvenu_ amid an elder generation of phantom presences, already gray
with time long before Calvary--that, and the making of a few new
friends. Of these friends, one, who was to hold a lasting place in my
admiration and love through after-years, shall be mentioned
here--Contessa Maria Pasolini.

Contessa Maria for some thirty years has played a great role in the
social and intellectual history of Italy. She is the daughter of one of
the leading business families of Milan, sister to the Marchese Ponti,
who was for long Sindaco of that great city, and intimately concerned in
its stormy industrial history. She married Count Pasolini, the head of
an old aristocratic family with large estates in the Romagna, whose
father was President of the first Senate of United Italy. It was in the
neighborhood of the Pasolini estates that Garibaldi took refuge after
1848; and one may pass through them to reach the lonely hut in which
Anita Garibaldi died.

Count Pasolini's father was also one of Pio Nono's Liberal Ministers,
and the family, at the time, at any rate, of which I am speaking,
combined Liberalism and sympathies for England with an enlightened and
ardent Catholicism. I first made friends with Contessa Maria when we
found her, on a cold February day, receiving in an apartment in the
Piazza dei Santi Apostoli--rather gloomy rooms, to which her dark head
and eyes, her extraordinary expressiveness and grace, and the vivacity
of her talk, seemed to lend a positive brilliance and charm. In her I
first came to know, with some intimacy, a cultivated Italian woman, and
to realize what a strong kindred exists between the English and the
Italian educated mind. Especially, I think, in the case of the educated
_women_ of both nations. I have often felt, in talking to an Italian
woman friend, a similarity of standards, of traditions and instincts,
which would take some explaining, if one came to think it out.
Especially on the practical side of life, the side of what one may call
the minor morals and judgments, which are often more important to
friendship and understanding than the greater matters of the law. How an
Italian lady manages her servants and brings up her children; her
general attitude toward marriage, politics, books, social or economic
questions--in all these fields she is, in some mysterious way, much
nearer to the Englishwoman than the Frenchwoman is. Of course, these
remarks do not apply to the small circle of "black" families in Italy,
particularly in Rome, who still hold aloof from the Italian kingdom and
its institutions. But the Liberal Catholic, man or woman, who is both
patriotically Italian and sincerely religious, will discuss anything or
anybody in heaven or earth, and just as tolerantly as would Lord Acton
himself. They are cosmopolitans, and yet deep rooted in the Italian
soil. Contessa Maria, for instance, was in 1889 still near the
beginnings of what was to prove for twenty-five years the most
interesting _salon_ in Rome. Everybody met there. Grandees of all
nations, ambassadors, ecclesiastics, men of literature, science,
archeology, art, politicians, and diplomats--Contessa Pasolini was equal
to them all, and her talk, rapid, fearless, picturesque, full of
knowledge, yet without a hint of pedantry, gave a note of unity to a
scene that could hardly have been more varied or, in less skilful hands,
more full of jarring possibilities. But later on, when I knew her
better, I saw her also with peasant folk, with the country people of the
Campagna and the Alban hills. And here one realized the same ease, the
same sympathy, the same instinctive and unerring _success_, as one might
watch with delight on one of her "evenings" in the Palazzo Sciarra. When
she was talking to a peasant woman on the Alban ridge, something broad
and big and primitive seemed to come out in her, something of the _Magna
parens_, the Saturnian land; but something, too, that our Englishwomen,
who live in the country and care for their own people, also possess.

But I was to see much more of Contessa Maria and Roman society in later
years, especially when we were at the Villa Barberini and I was writing
_Eleanor_, in 1899. Now I will only recall a little saying of the
Contessa's at our first meeting, which lodged itself in memory. She did
not then talk English fluently, as she afterward came to do; but she was
learning English, with her two boys, from a delightful English tutor,
and evidently pondering English character and ways--"Ah, you
English!"--I can see the white arm and hand, with its cigarette, waving
in the darkness of the old Roman apartment; the broad brow, the smiling
eyes, and glint of white teeth. "You English! Why don't you _talk_?--why
_won't_ you talk? If French people come here, there is no trouble. If I
just tear up an envelope and throw down the pieces, they will talk about
it a whole evening, and so _well_! But you English!--you begin, and then
you stop; one must always start you again--always wind you up!"

Terribly true! But in her company, even we halting English learned to
talk, in our bad French, or whatever came along.

The summer of 1889 was filled with an adventure to which I still look
back with unalloyed delight, which provided me, moreover, with the
setting and one of the main themes of _Marcella_. We were at that time
half-way through the building of a house at Haslemere, which was to
supersede Borough Farm. We had grown out of Borough and were for the
moment houseless, so far as summer quarters were concerned. And for my
work's sake, I felt that eagerness for new scenes and suggestions which
is generally present, I think, in the story-teller of all shades.
Suddenly, in a house-agent's catalogue, we came across an astonishing
advertisement. Hampden House, on the Chiltern Hills, the ancestral home
of John Hampden, of ship-money fame, was to let for the summer, and for
a rent not beyond our powers. The new Lord Buckinghamshire, who had
inherited it, was not then able to live in it. It had, indeed, as we
knew, been let for a while, some years earlier, to our old friends, Sir
Mountstuart and Lady Grant Duff, before his departure for the
Governorship of Madras. The agents reported that it was scantily
furnished, but quite habitable; and without more ado we took it! I have
now before me the letter in which I reported our arrival, in mid-July,
to my husband, detained in town by his _Times_ work.

Hampden is enchanting!--more delightful than even I thought it would
be, and quite comfortable enough. Of course we want a multitude of
things--(baths, wine-glasses, tumblers, cans, etc.!) but those I can
hire from Wycombe. Our great deficiency is lamps! Last night we
crept about in this vast house, with hardly any light.... As to the
ghost, Mrs. Duval (the housekeeper) scoffs at it! The ghost-room is
the tapestry-room, from which there is a staircase down to the
breakfast-room. A good deal of the tapestry is loose, and when there
is any wind it flaps and flaps. Hence all the tales.... The servants
are rather bewildered by the size of everything, and--like me--were
almost too excited to sleep.... The children are wandering
blissfully about, exploring everything.

And what a place to wander in! After we left it, Hampden was restored,
beautified, and refurnished. It is now, I have no doubt, a charming and
comfortable country-house. But when we lived in it for three months--in
its half-finished and tatterdemalion condition--it was Romance pure and
simple. The old galleried hall, the bare rooms, the neglected
pictures--among them the "Queen Elizabeth," presented to the owner of
Hampden by the Queen herself after a visit; the gray walls of King
John's garden, and just beyond it the little church where Hampden lies
buried; the deserted library on the top floor, running along the
beautiful garden-front, with books in it that might have belonged to the
patriot himself, and a stately full-length portrait--painted about
1600--which stood up, torn and frameless, among lumber of various kinds,
the portrait of a beautiful lady in a flowered dress, walking in an
Elizabethan garden; the locked room, opened to us occasionally by the
agent of the property, which contained some of the ancestral treasures
of the house--the family Bible among them, with the births of John
Hampden and his cousin, Oliver Cromwell, recorded on the same fly-leaf;
the black cedars outside, and the great glade in front of the house,
stretching downward for half a mile toward the ruined lodges, just
visible from the windows--all this mingling of nature and history with
the slightest, gentlest touch of pathos and decay, seen, too, under the
golden light of a perfect summer, sank deep into mind and sense.

Whoever cares to turn to the first chapters of _Marcella_ will find as
much of Hampden as could be transferred to paper--Hampden as it was
then--in the description of Mellor.

Our old and dear friend, Mrs. J.R. Green, the widow of the historian,
and herself the most distinguished woman-historian of our time, joined
us in the venture. But she and I both went to Hampden to work. I set up
in one half-dismantled room, and she in another, with the
eighteenth-century drawing-room between us. Here our books and papers
soon made home. I was working at _David Grieve_; she, if I remember
right, at the brilliant book on _English Town Life_ she brought out in
1891. My husband came down to us for long week-ends, and as soon as we
had provided ourselves with the absolute necessaries of life, visitors
began to arrive: Professor and Mrs. Huxley; Sir Alfred Lyall; M.
Jusserand, then _Conseiller d'Ambassade_ under M. Waddington, now the
French Ambassador to Washington; Mr. and Mrs. Lyulph Stanley, now Lord
and Lady Sheffield; my first cousin, H. O. Arnold-Forster, afterward War
Minister in Mr. Balfour's Cabinet, and his wife; Mrs. Graham Smith,
Laura Lyttelton's sister, and many kinsfolk. In those days Hampden was
six miles from the nearest railway station; the Great Central Railway
which now passes through the valley below it was not built, and all
round us stretched beechwoods and commons and lanes, untouched since the
days of Roundhead and Cavalier, where the occasional sound of
wood-cutters in the beech solitudes was often, through a long walk, the
only hint of human life. What good walks and talks we had in those
summer days! My sister had married Professor Huxley's eldest son, so
that with him and his wife we were on terms always of the closest
intimacy and affection. "Pater" and "Moo," as all their kith and kin and
many of their friends called them, were the most racy of guests. He had
been that year pursuing an animated controversy in the _Nineteenth
Century_ with Doctor Wace, now Dean of Canterbury, who had also--about a
year before--belabored the author of _Robert Elsmere_ in the _Quarterly
Review_. The Professor and I naturally enjoyed dancing a little on our
opponents--when there was none to make reply!--as we strolled about
Hampden; but there was never a touch of bitterness in Huxley's nature,
and there couldn't have been much in mine at that moment, life was so
interesting, and its horizon so full of light and color! Of his wife,
"Moo," who outlived him many years, how much one might say! In this very
year, 1889, Huxley wrote to her from the Canaries, whither he had gone
alone for his health:

Catch me going out of reach of letters again. I have been horridly
anxious. Nobody--children or any one else--can be to me what you
are. Ulysses preferred his old woman to immortality, and this
absence has led me to see that he was as wise in that as in
other things.

They were indeed lovers to the end. He had waited and served for her
eight years in his youth, and her sunny, affectionate nature, with its
veins both of humor and of stoicism, gave her man of genius exactly what
he wanted. She survived him for many years, living her own life at
Eastbourne, climbing Beachy Head in all weathers, interested in
everything, and writing poems of little or no technical merit, but
raised occasionally by sheer intensity of feeling--about her
husband--into something very near the real thing. I quote these lines
from a privately printed volume she gave me:

If you were here,--and I were where you lie,
Would you, beloved, give your little span
Of life remaining unto tear and sigh?
No!--setting every tender memory
Within your breast, as faded roses kept
For giver's sake, of giver when bereft,
Still to the last the lamp of work you'd burn
For purpose high, nor any moment spurn.
So, as you would have done, I fain would do
In poorer fashion. Ah, how oft I try,
Try to fulfil your wishes, till at length
The scent of those dead roses steals my strength.

As to our other guests, to what company would not Sir Alfred Lyall have
added that touch of something provocative and challenging which draws
men and women after it, like an Orpheus-music? I can see him sitting
silent, his legs crossed, his white head bent, the corners of his mouth
drooping, his eyes downcast, like some one spent and wearied, from whom
all virtue had gone out. Then some one, a man he liked--but still
oftener a woman--would approach him, and the whole figure would wake to
life--a gentle, whimsical, melancholy life, yet possessed of a strange
spell and pungency. Brooding, sad and deep, seemed to me to hold his
inmost mind. The fatalism and dream of those Oriental religions to which
he had given so much of his scholar's mind had touched him profoundly.
His poems express it in mystical and somber verse, and his volumes of
_Asiatic Studies_ contain the intellectual analysis of that background
of thought from which the poems spring.

Yet no one was shrewder, more acute, than Sir Alfred in dealing with the
men and politics of the moment. He swore to no man's words, and one felt
in him not only the first-rate administrator, as shown by his Indian
career, but also the thinker's scorn for the mere party point of view.
He was an excellent gossip, of a refined and subtle sort; he was the
soul of honor; and there was that in his fragile and delicate
personality which earned the warm affection of many friends. So gentle,
so absent-minded, so tired he often seemed; and yet I could imagine
those gray-blue eyes of Sir Alfred's answering inexorably to any public
or patriotic call. He was a disillusioned spectator of the "great
mundane movement," yet eternally interested in it; and the man who loves
this poor human life of ours, without ever being fooled by it, at least
after youth is past, has a rare place among us. We forgive his insight,
because there is nothing in it Pharisaical. And the irony he uses on us
we know well that he has long since sharpened on himself.

When I think of M. Jusserand playing tennis on the big lawn at Hampden,
and determined to master it, like all else that was English, memory
leads one back behind that pleasant scene to earlier days still. We
first knew the future Ambassador as an official of the French Foreign
Office, who spent much of his scanty holidays in a scholarly pursuit of
English literature. In Russell Square we were close to the British
Museum, where M. Jusserand, during his visits to London, was deep in
Chaucerian and other problems, gathering the learning which he presently
began to throw into a series of books on the English centuries from
Chaucer to Shakespeare. Who introduced him to us I cannot remember, but
during his work at the Museum he would drop in sometimes for luncheon or
tea; so that we soon began to know him well. Then, later, he came to
London as _Conseiller d'Ambassade_ under M. Waddington, an office which
he filled till he became French Minister to Denmark in 1900. Finally, in
1904, he was sent as French Ambassador to the United States, and there
we found him in 1908, when we stayed for a delightful few days at the
British Embassy with Mr. and Mrs. Bryce.

It has always been a question with me, which of two French friends is
the more wonderful English scholar--M. Jusserand or André Chevrillon,
Taine's nephew and literary executor, and himself one of the leaders of
French letters; with whom, as with M. Jusserand, I may reckon now some
thirty years of friendship. No one could say that M. Jusserand speaks
our tongue exactly like an Englishman. He does much better. He uses
it--always, of course, with perfect correctness and fluency--to express
French ideas and French wits, in a way as nearly French as the foreign
language will permit. The result is extraordinarily stimulating to our
English wits. The slight differences both in accent and in phrase keep
the ear attentive and alive. New shades emerge; old _clichés_ are broken
up. M. Chevrillon has much less accent, and his talk is more flowingly
and convincingly English; for which, no doubt, a boyhood partly spent in
England accounts. While for vivacity and ease there is little or nothing
to choose.

But to these two distinguished and accomplished men England and America
owe a real debt of gratitude. They have not by any means always approved
of _our_ national behavior. M. Jusserand during his official career in
Egypt was, I believe, a very candid critic of British administration and
British methods, and in the days of our early acquaintance with him I
can remember many an amusing and caustic sally of his at the expense of
our politicians and our foreign policy.


M. Chevrillon took the Boer side in the South African war, and took it
with passion. All the same, the friendship of both the diplomat and the
man of letters for this country, based upon their knowledge of her, and
warmly returned to them by many English friends, has been a real factor
in the growth of that broad-based sympathy which we now call the
Entente. M. Chevrillon's knowledge of us is really uncanny. He knows
more than we know ourselves. And his last book about us--_L'Angleterre
et la Guerre_--is not only photographically close to the facts, but full
of a spiritual sympathy which is very moving to an English reader. Men
of such high gifts are not easily multiplied in any country. But,
looking to the future of Europe, the more that France and England--and
America--can cultivate in their citizens some degree, at any rate, of
that intimate understanding of a foreign nation which shines so
conspicuously in the work of these two Frenchmen the safer will that
future be.



It was in November, 1891, that I finished _David Grieve_, after a long
wrestle of more than three years. I was tired out, and we fled south for
rest to Rome, Naples, Amalfi, and Ravello. The Cappucini Hotel at
Amalfi, Madame Palumbo's inn at Ravello, remain with me as places of
pure delight, shone on even in winter by a more than earthly sun.

Madame Palumbo was, as her many guests remember, an Englishwoman, and
showed a special zeal in making English folk comfortable. And can one
ever forget the sunrise over the Gulf of Salerno from the Ravello
windows? It was December when we were there; yet nothing spoke of
winter. From the inn, perched on a rocky point above the coast, one
looked straight down for hundreds of feet, through lemon-groves and
olive-gardens, to the blue water. Flaming over the mountains rose an
unclouded sun, shining on the purple coast, with its innumerable
rock-towns--"_tot congesta manu praeruptis oppida saxis_"--and sending
broad paths over the "wine-dark" sea. Never, I think, have I felt the
glory and beauty of the world more rapturously, more _painfully_--for
there is pain in it!--than when one was standing alone on a December
morning, at a window which seemed to make part of the precipitous rock
itself, looking over that fairest of scenes. From Ravello we went back
to Rome, and a short spell of its joys. What is it makes the peculiar
pleasure of society in Rome? A number of elements, of course, enter in.
The setting is incomparable; while the clashing of great world policies,
represented by the diplomats, and of the main religious and Liberal
forces of Europe, as embodied in the Papacy and modern Italy, kindles a
warmth and animation in the social air which matches the clearness of
the Roman day, when the bright spells of the winter weather arrive, and
the omnipresent fountains of the Eternal City flash the January or
February sun through its streets and piazzas. Ours, however, on this
occasion, was only a brief stay. Again we saw Contessa Maria, this time
in the stately setting of the Palazzo Sciarra; and Count Ugo Balzani, an
old friend of ours and of the Creightons since Oxford days, historian
and thinker, and, besides, one of the kindest and truest of men. But the
figure, perhaps, which chiefly stands out in memory as connected with
this short visit is that of Lord Dufferin, then our Ambassador in Rome.
Was there ever a greater charmer than Lord Dufferin? In the sketch of
the "Ambassador" in _Eleanor_, there are some points caught from the
living Lord Dufferin, so closely, indeed, that before the book came out
I sent him the proofs and asked his leave--which he gave at once, in one
of the graceful little notes of which he was always master. For the
diplomatic life and successes of Lord Dufferin are told in many official
documents and in the biography of him by Sir Alfred Lyall; but the key
to it all lay in cradle gifts that are hard to put into print.

In the first place, he was--even at sixty-five--wonderfully handsome. He
had inherited the beauty, and also the humor and the grace, of his
Sheridan ancestry. For his mother, as all the world knows, was Helen
Sheridan, one of the three famous daughters of Tom Sheridan, the
dramatist's only son. Mrs. Norton, the innocent heroine of the Melbourne
divorce suit, was one of his aunts, and the "Queen of Beauty" at the
Eglinton Tournament--then Lady Seymour, afterward Duchess of
Somerset--was the other. His mother's memory was a living thing to him
all his life; he published her letters and poems; and at Clandeboye, his
Ulster home,--in "Helen's Tower"--he had formed a collection of
memorials of her which he liked to show to those of whom he made
friends. "You must come to Clandeboye and let me show you Helen's
Tower," he would say, eagerly, and one would answer with hopeful
vagueness. But for me the time never came. My personal recollections of
him, apart from letters, are all connected with Rome, or Paris, whither
he was transferred the year after we saw him at the Roman Embassy, in
December, 1891.

It was, therefore, his last winter at Rome, and he had only been
Ambassador there a little more than two years--since he ceased to be
Viceroy of India in 1889. But he had already won everybody's affection.
The social duties of the British Embassy in Rome--what with the Italian
world in all its shades, the more or less permanent English colony, and
the rush of English tourists through the winter and spring--seemed to me
by no means easy. But Lady Dufferin's dignity and simplicity, and Lord
Dufferin's temperament, carried them triumphantly through the tangle.
Especially do I remember the informal Christmas dance to which we took,
by the Ambassador's special wish, our young daughter of seventeen, who
was not really "out." And no sooner was she in the room, shyly hiding
behind her elders, than he discovered her. I can see him still, as he
made her a smiling bow, his noble gray head and kind eyes, the blue
ribbon crossing his chest. "You promised me a dance!" And so for her
first waltz, in her first grown-up dance, D. was well provided, nervous
as the moment was.

There is a passage in _Eleanor_ which commemorates first this playful
sympathy and tact which made Lord Dufferin so delightful to all ages,
and next, an amusing conversation with him that I remember a year or two
later in Paris. As to the first--Lucy Foster, the young American girl,
is lunching at the Embassy.

"Ah! my dear lady!" said the Ambassador, "how few things in this
world one does to please one's self! This is one of them."

Lucy flushed with a young and natural pleasure. She was on the
Ambassador's left, and he had just laid his wrinkled hand for an
instant on hers--with a charming and paternal freedom.

"Have you enjoyed yourself?--have you lost your heart to Italy?"
said her host stooping to her....

"I have been in fairyland," said she, shyly, opening her blue eyes
upon him. "Nothing can ever be like it again."

"No--because one can never be twenty again," said the old man,
sighing. "Twenty years hence, you will wonder where the magic came
from. Never mind--just now, anyway, the world's your oyster."

Then he looked at her a little more closely.... He missed some of
that quiver of youth and enjoyment he had felt in her before; and
there were some very dark lines under the beautiful eyes. What was
wrong? Had she met the man--the appointed one?

He began to talk to her with a kindness that was at once simple and

"We must all have our ups and downs," he said to her, presently.
"Let me just give you a word of advice. It'll carry you through most
of them. Remember you are very young, and I shall soon be very old."

He stopped and surveyed her. His eyes blinked through their blanched
lashes. Lucy dropped her fork and looked back at him with smiling

"Learn Persian!" said the old man, in an urgent whisper--"and get
the dictionary by heart!"

Lucy still looked--wondering.

"I finished it this morning," said the Ambassador, in her ear.
"To-morrow I shall begin it again. My daughter hates the sight of
the thing. She says I overtire myself, and that when old people have
done their work they should take a nap. But I know that if it
weren't for my dictionary I should have given up long ago. When too
many tiresome people dine here in the evening--or when they worry me
from home--I take a column. But generally half a column's
enough--good tough Persian roots, and no nonsense. Oh! of course I
can read Hafiz and Omar Khayyam, and all that kind of thing. But
that's the whipped cream. That don't count. What one wants is
something to set one's teeth in. Latin verse will do. Last year I
put half Tommy Moore into hendecasyllables. But my youngest boy,
who's at Oxford, said he wouldn't be responsible for them--so I had
to desist. And I suppose the mathematicians have always something
handy. But, one way or another, one must learn one's dictionary. It
comes next to cultivating one's garden."

The pretty bit of kindness to a very young girl, in 1892, which I have
described, suggested part of this conversation; and I find the
foundation of the rest in a letter written to my father from Paris
in 1896.

We had a very pleasant three days in Paris ... including a most
agreeable couple of hours with the Dufferins. Lord Dufferin showed
me a number of relics of his Sheridan ancestry, and wound up by
taking me into his special little den and telling me Persian stories
with excellent grace and point! He is wild about Persian just now,
and has just finished learning the whole dictionary by heart. He
looks upon this as his chief _délassement_ from official work. Lady
Dufferin, however, does not approve of it at all! His remarks to
Humphry as to the ignorance and inexperience of the innumerable
French Foreign Ministers with whom he has to do, were amusing. An
interview with Berthelot (the famous French chemist and friend of
Renan) was really, he said, a deplorable business. Berthelot
(Foreign Minister 1891-92) knew _everything_ but what he should have
known as French Foreign Minister. And Jusserand's testimony was
practically the same! He is now acting head of the French Foreign
Office, and has had three Ministers in bewildering succession to
instruct in their duties, they being absolutely new to everything.
Now, however, in Hanotaux he has got a strong chief at last.

I recollect that in the course of our exploration of the Embassy, we
passed through a room with a large cheval-glass, of the Empire period.
Lord Dufferin paused before it, reminding me that the house had once
belonged to Pauline Borghese. "This was her room and this glass was
hers. I often stand before it and evoke her. She is there somewhere--if
one had eyes to see!"

And I thought, in the darkening room, as one looked into the shadows of
the glass, of the beautiful, shameless creature as she appears in the
Canova statue in the Villa Borghese, or as David has fixed her,
immortally young, in the Louvre picture.

But before I leave this second Roman visit of ours, let me recall one
more figure in the _entourage_ of the Ambassador--a young attaché,
fair-haired, with all the good looks and good manners that belong to the
post, and how much else of solid wit and capacity the years were then to
find out. I had already seen Mr. Rennell Rodd in the Tennant circle,
where he was everybody's friend. Soon we were to hear of him in Greece,
whence he sent me various volumes of poems and an admirable study of the
Morea, then in Egypt, and afterward in Sweden; while through all these
arduous years of war (I write in 1917) he has been Ambassador in that
same Rome where we saw him as second Secretary in 1891.

The appearance of _David Grieve_ in February, 1892, four years after
_Robert Elsmere_, was to me the occasion of very mixed feelings. The
public took warmly to the novel from the beginning; in its English
circulation and its length of life it has, I think, very nearly equaled
_Robert Elsmere_; only after twenty-five years has it now fallen behind
its predecessor. It has brought me correspondence from all parts and all
classes, more intimate and striking, perhaps, than in the case of any
other of my books. But of hostile reviewing at the moment of its
appearance there was certainly no lack! It was violently attacked in the
_Scots Observer_, then the organ of a group of Scotch Conservatives and
literary men, with W.E. Henley at their head, and received unfriendly
notice from Mrs. Oliphant in _Blackwood_. The two _Quarterlies_ opened
fire upon it, and many lesser guns. A letter from Mr. Meredith Townsend,
the very able, outspoken, and wholly independent colleague of Mr. Hutton
in the editorship of the _Spectator_, gave me some comfort under these

I have read every word of _David Grieve_. Owing to the unusual and
unaccountable imbecility of the reviewing--(the _Athenaeum_ man, for
example, does not even comprehend that he is reading a
biography!)--it may be three months or so before the public fully
takes hold, but I have no doubt of the ultimate verdict.... The
consistency of the leading characters is wonderful, and there is not
one of the twenty-five, except possibly Dora--who is not human
enough--that is not the perfection of lifelikeness.... Louie is a
vivisection. I have the misfortune to know her well ... and I am
startled page after page by the accuracy of the drawing.

Walter Pater wrote, "It seems to me to have all the forces of its
predecessor at work in it, with perhaps a mellower kind of art." Henry
James reviewed it--so generously!--so subtly!--in the _English
Illustrated_. Stopford Brooke and Bishop Creighton wrote to me with a
warmth and emphasis that soon healed the wounds of the _Scots Observer_;
and that the public was with them, and not with my castigators, was
quickly visible from the wide success of the book.

Some of the most interesting letters that reached me about it were from
men of affairs who were voracious readers, but not makers of books--such
as Mr. Goschen, who "could stand an examination on it"; Sir James,
afterward Lord Hannen, one of the Judges of the Parnell Commission; and
Lord Derby, the Minister who seceded, with Lord Carnarvon, from
Disraeli's Government in 1878. We had made acquaintance not long before
with Lord Derby, through his niece, Lady Winifred Byng (now Lady
Burghclere), to whom we had all lost our hearts--children and
parents--at Lucerne in 1888. There are few things I regret more in
relation to London social life than the short time allowed me by fate
wherein to see something more of Lord Derby. If I remember right, we
first met him at a small dinner-party at Lady Winifred's in 1891, and he
died early in 1893. But he made a very great impression upon me, and,
though he was generally thought to be awkward and shy in general
society, in the conversations I remember with him nothing could have
been more genial or more attractive than his manner. He had been at
Rugby under my grandfather, which was a link to begin with; though he
afterward went to Cambridge, and never showed, that I know of, any signs
of the special Rugby influence which stamped men like Dean Stanley and
Clough. And yet of the moral independence and activity which my
grandfather prized and cultivated in his boys, there was certainly no
lack in Lord Derby's career. For the greater part of his political life
he was nominally a Conservative, yet the rank and file of his party only
half trusted a mind trained by John Stuart Mill and perpetually brooding
on social reform. As Lord Stanley, his close association and personal
friendship with Disraeli during the Ministries and politics of the
mid-nineteenth century have been well brought out in Mr. Buckle's last
volume of the Disraeli _Life_. But the ultimate parting between himself
and Dizzy was probably always inevitable. For his loathing of
adventurous policies of all kinds, and of any increase whatever in the
vast commitments of England, was sure at some point to bring him into
conflict with the imagination or, as we may now call it, the prescience,
of Disraeli. It was strange to remember, as one watched him at the
dinner-table, that he had been offered the throne of Greece in 1862.

If he accepts the charge [wrote Dizzy to Mrs. Bridges Williams] I shall
lose a powerful friend and colleague. It is a dazzling adventure for the
House of Stanley, but they are not an imaginative race, and I fancy they
will prefer Knowsley to the Parthenon, and Lancashire to the Attic
plain. It is a privilege to live in this age of rapid and brilliant
events. What an error to consider it an utilitarian age! It is one of
infinite romance. Thrones tumble down and crowns are offered like a

Sixteen years later came his famous resignation, in 1878, when the Fleet
was ordered to the Dardanelles, and Lord Derby, as he had now become,
then Foreign Secretary, refused to sanction a step that might lead to
war. That, for him, was the end as far as Toryism was concerned. In 1880
he joined Mr. Gladstone, but only to separate from him on Home Rule in
1886; and when I first knew him, in 1891, he was leader of the Liberal
Unionist peers in the House of Lords. A little later he became President
of the great Labor Commission in 1892, and before he could see
Gladstone's fresh defeat in 1893, he died.

Speculatively he was as open-minded as a reader and follower of Mill
might be expected to be. He had been interested in _Robert Elsmere_, and
the discussion of books and persons, to which it led him in conversation
with me, showed him fully aware of the new forces abroad in literature
and history. Especially interested, too, as to what Labor was going to
make of Christianity, and well aware--how could he fail to be, as
Chairman of that great, that epoch-making Commission of 1892?--of the
advancing strength of organized labor on all horizons. He appeared to
me, too, as a typical North-countryman--a son of Lancashire, proud of
the great Lancashire towns, and thoroughly at home in the life of the
Lancashire countryside. He could tell a story in dialect admirably. And
I realized that he had thought much--in his balanced, reticent way--on
matters in which I was then groping: how to humanize the relations
between employer and employed, how to enrich and soften the life of the
workman, how, in short, to break down the barrier between modern
industrialism and the stored-up treasures--art, science, thought--of
man's long history.

So that when _David Grieve_ was finished I sent it to Lord Derby, not
long after our first meeting, in no spirit of empty compliment, and I
have always kept his letter in return as a memento of a remarkable
personality. Some day I hope there may be a Memoir of him; for none has
yet appeared. He had not the charm, the versatility, the easy classical
culture, of his famous father--"the Rupert of debate." But with his
great stature--he was six feet two--his square head, and strong,
smooth-shaven face, he was noticeable everywhere. He was a childless
widower when I first knew him, and made the impression of a lonely man,
for all his busy political life and his vast estates. But he was
particularly interesting to me as representing a type I have once or
twice tried to draw--of the aristocrat standing between the old world,
before railways and the first Reform Bill, which saw his birth, and the
new world and new men of the later half of the century. He was
traditionally with the old world; by conviction and conscience, I think,
with the new; yet not sorry, probably, that he was to see no more than
its threshold!

The year 1892, it will be remembered, was the first year of American
copyright: and the great success of _David Grieve_ in America, following
on the extraordinary vogue there of _Robert Elsmere_, in its pirated
editions, brought me largely increased literary receipts. It seemed that
I was not destined, after all, to "ruin my publishers," as I had
despondently foretold in a letter to my husband before the appearance of
_Robert Elsmere;_ but that, with regular work, I might look forward to a
fairly steady income. We therefore felt justified in seizing an
opportunity brought to our notice by an old friend who lived in the
neighborhood, and migrating to a house north of London, in the real
heart of Middle England. After leaving Borough Farm, we had built a
house on a hill near Haslemere, looking south over the blue and purple
Weald; but two years' residence had convinced me that Surrey was almost
as populous as London, and that real solitude for literary work was not
to be found there--at any rate, in that corner of it where we had chosen
to build, and, also, while we were nursing our newly planted shrubberies
of baby pines and rhododendrons, there was always in my mind, as I find
from letters of the time, a discontented yearning for "an old house and
old trees"! We found both at Stocks, whither we migrated in the summer
of 1892. The little estate had then been recently inherited by Mrs.
Grey, mother of Sir Edward Grey, now Lord Grey of Falloden. We were at
first tenants of the house and grounds, but in 1896 we bought the small
property from the Greys, and have now been for more than twenty years
its happy possessors. The house lies on a high upland, under one of the
last easterly spurs of the Chilterns. It was built in 1780 (we rebuilt
it in 1908) in succession to a much older house of which a few fragments
remain, and the village at its gates had changed hardly at all in the
hundred years which preceded our arrival. A few new cottages had been
built; more needed to be built; and two residents, intimately connected
with the past of the village, had built houses just outside it. But
villadom did not exist. The village was rich in old folk, in whom were
stored the memories and traditions of its quiet past. The postmaster,
"Johnny Dolt," who was nearing his eighties, was the universal referee
on all local questions--rights of way, boundaries, village customs, and
the like; and of some of the old women of the village, as they were
twenty-five years ago, I have drawn as faithful a picture as I could in
one or two chapters of _Marcella_.

But the new novel owed not only much of its scenery and setting, but
also its main incident, to the new house. We first entered into
negotiation for Stocks in January, 1892. In the preceding December two
gamekeepers had been murdered on the Stocks property, in a field under a
big wood, not three hundred yards from the house; and naturally the
little community, as it lay in its rural quiet beneath its wooded hills,
was still, when we first entered it, under the shock and excitement of
the tragedy. We heard all the story on the spot, and then viewed it from
another point of view--the sociopolitical--when we went down from London
to stay at one of the neighboring country-houses, in February, and found
the Home Secretary, Mr. Matthews, afterward Lord Llandaff, among the
guests. The trial was over, the verdict given, and the two murderers
were under sentence of death. But there was a strong agitation going on
in favor of a reprieve; and what made the discussion of it, in this
country-house party, particularly piquant was that the case, at that
very moment, was a matter of close consultation between the judge and
the Home Secretary. It was not easy, therefore, to talk of it in Mr.
Matthews's presence. Voices dropped and groups dissolved when he
appeared. Mr. Asquith, who succeeded Mr. Matthews that very year as Home
Secretary, was also, if I remember right, of the party; and there was a
good deal of rather hot discussion of the game laws, and of English
landlordism in general.

With these things in my mind, as soon as we had settled into Stocks, I
began to think of _Marcella_. I wrote the sketch of the book in
September, 1892, and finished it in February, 1894. Many things went to
the making of it--not only the murdered keepers and the village talk,
not only the remembered beauty of Hampden which gave me the main setting
of the story, but a general ferment of mind, connected with much else
that had been happening to me.

For the New Brotherhood of _Robert Elsmere_ had become in some sort a
realized dream; so far as any dream can ever take to itself the
practical garments of this puzzling world. To show that the faith of
Green and Martineau and Stopford Brooke was a faith that would wear and
work--to provide a home for the new learning of a New Reformation, and a
practical outlet for its enthusiasm of humanity--were the chief aims in
the minds of those of us who in 1890 founded the University Hall
Settlement in London. I look back now with emotion on that astonishing
experiment. The scheme had taken shape in my mind during the summer of
1889, and in the following year I was able to persuade Doctor Martineau,
Mr. Stopford Brooke, my old friend Lord Carlisle, and a group of other
religious Liberals, to take part in its realization. We held a crowded
meeting in London, and an adequate subscription list was raised without
difficulty. University Hall in Gordon Square was taken as a residence
for young men, and was very soon filled. Continuous teaching by the best
men available, from all the churches, on the history and philosophy of
religion, was one half the scheme; the other half busied itself with an
attempt to bring about some real contact between brain and manual
workers. We took a little dingy hall in Marchmont Street, where the
residents of the Hall started clubs and classes, Saturday mornings, for
children and the like. The foundation of Toynbee Hall--the Universities
Settlement--in East London, in memory of Arnold Toynbee, was then a
fresh and striking fact in social history. A spirit of fraternization
was in the air, an ardent wish to break down the local and geographical
barriers that separated rich from poor, East End from West End. The new
venture in which I was interested attached itself, therefore, to a
growing movement. The work in Marchmont Street grew and prospered. Men
and women of the working class found in it a real center of comradeship,
and the residents at the Hall in Gordon Square, led by a remarkable man
of deeply religious temper and Quaker origin, the late Mr. Alfred
Robinson, devoted themselves in the evenings to a work marked by a very
genuine and practical enthusiasm.

Soon it was evident that larger premises were wanted. It was in the days
when Mr. Passmore Edwards was giving large sums to institutions of
different kinds in London, but especially to the founding of public
libraries. He began to haunt the shabby hall in Marchmont Street, and
presently offered to build us a new hall there for classes and social
gatherings. But the scheme grew and grew, in my mind as in his. And when
the question of a site arose we were fortunate enough to interest the
practical and generous mind of the chief ground landlord of Bloomsbury,
the Duke of Bedford. With him I explored various sites in the
neighborhood, and finally the Duke offered us a site in Tavistock Place,
on most liberal terms, he himself contributing largely to the building,
granting us a 999 years' lease, and returning us the ground rent.

And there the Settlement now stands, the most beautiful and commodious
Settlement building in London, with a large garden behind it, made by
the Duke out of various old private gardens, and lent to the Settlement
for its various purposes. Mr. Passmore Edwards contributed £14,000 to
its cost, and it bears his name. It was opened in 1898 by Lord Peel and
Mr. Morley, and for twenty years it has been a center of social work and
endeavor in St. Pancras. From it have sprung the Physically Defective
Schools under the Education Authority, now so plentiful in London, and
so frequent in our other large towns. The first school of the kind was
opened at this Settlement in 1898; and the first school ambulance in
London was given to us by Sir Thomas Barlow for our Cripple Children.
The first Play Center in England began there in 1898; and the first
Vacation School was held there in 1902.

During those twenty years the Settlement has played a large part in my
life. We have had our failures and our successes; and the original idea
has been much transformed with time. The Jowett Lectureship, still
devoted to a religious or philosophical subject, forms a link with the
religious lecturing of the past; but otherwise the Settlement, like the
Master himself, stands for the liberal and spiritual life, without
definitions or exclusions. Up to 1915 it was, like Toynbee Hall, a
Settlement for University and professional men who gave their evenings
to the work. Since 1915 it has been a Women's Settlement under a
distinguished head--Miss Hilda Oakeley, M.A., formerly Warden of King's
College for Women. It is now full of women residents and full of work.
There is a Cripple School building belonging to the Settlement, to the
East; our cripples still fill the Duke's garden with the shouts of their
play; and hundreds of other children crowd into the building every
evening in the winter, or sit under the plane-trees in summer. The
charming hall of the Settlement is well attended every winter week by
people to whom the beautiful music that the Settlement gives is a
constant joy; the Library, dedicated to the memory of T. H. Green, has
400 members; the classes and popular lectures have been steadily held
even during this devastating war; the Workers' Educational Association
carry on their work under our roof; mothers bring their babies to the
Infant Welfare Center in the afternoon; there are orchestral and choral
classes, boys' clubs and girls' clubs. Only one club has closed
down--the Men's Club, which occupied the top floor of the Invalid
Children's School before the war. Their members are scattered over
France, Salonika, Egypt, and Mesopotamia, and the Roll of Honor is
a long one.

Twenty years! How clearly one sees the mistakes, the lost opportunities,
of such an enterprise! But so much is certain--that the Settlement has
been an element of happiness in many, many lives. It has had scores of
devoted workers, in the past--men and women to whom the heart of its
founder goes out in gratitude. And I cannot imagine a time when the
spacious and beautiful house and garden, with all the activities that
have a home there, will not be necessary and welcome to St. Pancras. I
see it, in my dreams, at least, half a century hence, when all those who
first learned from it and in it have gone their way, still serving "the
future hour" of an England reborn. To two especially among the early
friends of the Settlement let me turn back with grateful
remembrance--George Howard, Lord Carlisle, whom I have already
mentioned, and Stopford Brooke. Lord Carlisle was one of the most
liberal and most modest of men, an artist himself, and the friend of
artists. On a Sunday in Russell Square, when the drawing-room door
opened to reveal his fine head and shy, kind eyes, one felt how well
worth while it was to stay at home on Sunday afternoons! I find a little
note from him in 1891, the year in which we left Russell Square to move
westward, regretting the "interesting old house" "with which I associate
you in my mind." He was not an easy talker, but his listening had the
quality that makes others talk their best; while the sudden play of
humor or sarcasm through the features that were no less strong than
refined, and the impression throughout of a singularly upright and
humane personality, made him a delightful companion. There were those
who would gladly have seen him take a more prominent part in public
life. Perhaps a certain natural indolence held him back; perhaps a
wonderful fairness of mind which made him slow to judge, and abnormally
sensitive to "the other side." It is well known that as a landlord he
left the administration of his great estates in the north almost wholly
to his wife, and that, except in the great matter of temperance, he and
she differed in politics, Lady Carlisle--who was a Stanley of
Alderley--going with Mr. Gladstone at the time of the Home Rule split,
while Lord Carlisle joined the Liberal Unionists. Both took a public
part, and the political differences of the parents were continued in
their children. Only a very rare and selfless nature could have carried
through so difficult a situation without lack of either dignity or
sweetness. Lord Carlisle, in the late 'eighties and early 'nineties,
when I knew him best, showed no want of either. The restrictions he laid
upon his own life were perhaps made natural by the fact that he was
first and foremost an artist by training and temperament, and that the
ordinary occupations, rural, social, or political, of the great
land-owning noble, had little or no attraction for him. In the years, at
any rate, when I saw him often, I was drawn to him by our common
interest in the liberalizing of religion, and by a common love of Italy
and Italian art. I remember him once in the incomparable setting of
Naworth; but more often in London, and in Stopford Brooke's company.

For he was an intimate friend and follower of Mr. Brooke's, and I came
very early under the spell of that same strong and magnetic personality.
While we were still at Oxford, through J.R.G. we made acquaintance with
Mr. Brooke, and with the wife whose early death in 1879 left desolate
one of the most affectionate of men. I remember well Mr. Brooke's last
sermon in the University pulpit, before his secession, on grounds of
what we should now call Modernism, from the Church of England. Mrs.
Brooke, I think, was staying with us, while Mr. Brooke was at All Souls,
and the strong individuality of both the husband and wife made a deep
impression upon one who was then much more responsive and recipient than
individual. The sermon was a great success; but it was almost Mr.
Brooke's latest utterance within the Anglican Church. The following year
came the news of Mrs. Brooke's mortal illness. During our short meeting
in 1877 I had been greatly attracted by her, and the news filled me with
unbearable pain. But I had not understood from it that the end itself
was near, and I went out into our little garden, which was a mass of
summer roses, and in a bewilderment of feeling gathered all I could
find--a glorious medley of bloom--that they might surround her, if only
for a day, with the beauty she loved. Next day, or the day after, she
died; and that basket of roses, arriving in the house of death--belated,
incongruous offering!--has stayed with me as the symbol of so much else
that is too late in life, and of our human helplessness and futility in
the face of sorrow.

After our move to London, my children and I went for a long time
regularly to hear Mr. Brooke at Bedford Chapel. At the time, I often
felt very critical of the sermons. Looking back, I cannot bring myself
to say a critical word. If only one could still go and hear him! Where
are the same gifts, the same magnetism, the same compelling personality
to be found to-day, among religious leaders? I remember a sermon on
Elijah and the priests of Baal, which for color and range, for
modernness, combined with ethical force and power, remains with me as
perhaps the best I ever heard. And then, the service. Prayers
simplified, repetitions omitted, the Beatitudes instead of the
Commandments, a dozen jarring, intolerable things left out; but for the
rest, no needless break with association. And the relief and consolation
of it! The simple Communion service, adapted very slightly from the
Anglican rite, and administered by Mr. Brooke with a reverence, an
ardor, a tenderness one can only think of with emotion, was an example
of what _could_ be done with our religious traditions, for those who
want new bottles for new wine, if only the courage and the imagination
were there.

The biography of Mr. Brooke, which his son-in-law, Principal Jacks, has
just brought out, will, I think, reveal to many what made the spell of
Stopford Brooke, to a degree which is not common in biography. For _le
papier est bête_!--and the charm of a man who was both poet and artist,
without writing poems or painting pictures, is very hard to hand on to
those who never knew him. But, luckily, Stopford Brooke's diaries and
letters reflect him with great fullness and freedom. They have his
faults, naturally. They are often exuberant or hasty--not, by any means,
always fair to men and women of a different temperament from his own.
Yet, on the whole, there is the same practical, warm-hearted wisdom in
them that many a friend found in the man himself when they went to
consult him in his little study at the back of Bedford Chapel, where he
wrote his sermons and books, and found quiet, without, however, barring
out the world, if it wanted him. And there breathes from them also the
enduring, eager passion for natural and artistic beauty which made the
joy of his own life, and which his letters and journals may well kindle
in others. His old age was a triumph in the most difficult of arts. He
was young to the end, and every day of the last waiting years was happy
for himself, and precious to those about him. He knew what to give up
and what to keep, and his freshness of feeling never failed. Perhaps his
best and most enduring memorial will be the Wordsworth Cottage at
Grasmere, which he planned and carried out. And I like to remember that
my last sight of him was at a spot only a stone's-throw from that
cottage on the Keswick Road, his gray hair beaten back by the light
breeze coming from the pass, and his cheerful eyes, full often, as it
seemed to me, of a mystical content, raised toward the evening glow over
Helm Crag and the Easedale fells.

On the threshold also of the Settlement's early history there stands the
venerable figure of James Martineau--thinker and saint. For he was a
member of the original Council, and his lectures on the Gospel of St.
Luke, in the old "Elsmerian" hall, marked the best of what we tried to
give in those first days. I knew Harriet Martineau in my childhood at
Fox How. Well I remember going to tea with that tremendous woman when I
was eight years old; sitting through a silent meal, in much awe of her
cap, her strong face, her ear-trumpet; and then being taken away to a
neighboring room by a kind niece, that I might not disturb her further.
Once or twice, during my growing up, I saw her. She lived only a mile
from Fox How, and was always on friendly terms with my people. Matthew
Arnold had a true admiration for her--sturdy fighter that she was in
Liberal causes. So had W.E. Forster; only he suffered a good deal at her
hands, as she disapproved of the Education Bill, and contrived so to
manage her trumpet when he came to see her as to take all the argument
and give him all the listening! When my eldest child was born, a
cot-blanket arrived, knitted by Miss Martineau's own hands--the busy
hands (soon then to be at rest) that wrote the _History of the Peace_,
_Feats on the Fiord_, the _Settlers at Home_, and those excellent
biographical sketches of the politicians of the Reform and Corn Law days
in the _Daily News_, which are still well worth reading.

Between Harriet Martineau and her brother James, as many people will
remember, there arose an unhappy difference in middle life which was
never mended or healed. I never heard him speak of her. His standards
were high and severe, for all the sensitive delicacy of his long,
distinguished face and visionary eyes; and neither he nor she was of the
stuff that allows kinship to supersede conscience. He published a
somewhat vehement criticism of a book in which she was part author, and
she never forgave it. And although to me, in the University Hall
venture, he was gentleness and courtesy itself, and though his presence
seemed to hallow a room directly he entered it, one felt always that he
was _formidable_. The prophet and the Puritan lay deep in him. Yet in
his two famous volumes of Sermons there are tones of an exquisite
tenderness and sweetness, together with harmonies of prose style, that
remind me often how he loved music and how his beautiful white head
might be seen at the Monday Popular Concerts, week after week, his
thinker's brow thrown back to catch the finest shades of
Joachim's playing.

The year after _David Grieve_ appeared, Mr. Jowett died. His long letter
to me on the book contained some characteristic passages, of which I
quote the following:

I should like to have a good talk with you. I seldom get any one to
talk on religious subjects. It seems to me that the world is growing
rather tired of German criticism, having got out of it nearly all
that it is capable of giving. To me it appears one of the most
hopeful signs of the present day that we are coming back to the old,
old doctrine, "he can't be wrong whose life is in the right." Yet
this has to be taught in a If new way, adapted to the wants of the
age. We must give up doctrine and teach by the lives of men,
beginning with the life of Christ, instead. And the best words of
men, beginning with the Gospels and the prophets, will be our Bible.

At the end of the year we spent a weekend with him at Balliol, and that
was my last sight of my dear old friend. The year 1893 was for me one of
illness, and of hard work both in the organization of the new Settlement
and in the writing of _Marcella_. But that doesn't reconcile me to the
recollection of how little I knew of his failing health till, suddenly,
in September the news reached me that he was lying dangerously ill in
the house of Sir Robert Wright, in Surrey.

"Every one who waited on him in his illness loved him," wrote an old
friend of his and mine who was with him to the end. What were almost
his last words--"I bless God for my life!--I bless God for my
life!"--seemed to bring the noble story of it to a triumphant close;
and after death he lay "with the look of a little child on his
face.... He will live in the hearts of those who loved him, as well
as in his work."

He lives indeed; and as we recede farther from him the originality and
greatness of his character will become more and more clear to Oxford and
to England. The men whom he trained are now in the full stream of
politics and life. His pupils and friends are or have been everywhere,
and they have borne, in whatever vocation, the influence of his mind or
the mark of his friendship. Lord Lansdowne, Mr. Asquith, Lord Justice
Bowen, Lord Coleridge, Lord Milner, Sir Robert Morier, Matthew Arnold,
Tennyson, Lord Goschen, Miss Nightingale, and a hundred others of the
nation's leaders--amid profoundest difference, the memory of "the
Master" has been for them a common and a felt bond. No other religious
personality of the nineteenth century--unless it be that of Newman--has
stood for so much. In his very contradictions and inconsistencies of
thought he was the typical man of a time beset on all sides by new
problems to which Jowett knew very well there was no intellectual
answer; while through the passion of his faith in a Divine Life, which
makes itself known to man, not in miracle or mystery, but through the
channels of a common experience, he has been a kindling force in many
hearts and minds, and those among the most important to England.
Meanwhile, to these great matters the Jowettan oddities and
idiosyncrasies added just that touch of laughter and surprise that makes
a man loved by his own time and arrests the eye and ear of posterity.



The coming out of _Marcella_, in April, 1894, will always mark for me
perhaps the happiest date in my literary life. The book, for all the
hard work that had gone to it, had none the less been a pleasure to
write; and the good-will that greeted it made the holiday I had
earned--which again was largely spent in Rome--a golden time. Not long
after we left England, "Piccadilly," my sister wrote me, was "placarded
with _Marcella_," the name appearing on the notice-boards of most of the
evening papers--a thing which never happened to me before or since; and
when we arrived in Rome, the content-bills of the London newspapers,
displayed in the Piazza di Spagna, announced her no less flamingly. The
proof-sheets of the book had been tried on various friends, as usual,
with some amusing results. Bishop Creighton, with only the first
two-thirds of the book before him, wrote me denunciations of Marcella.

I am greatly interested in the book and pine for the _dénoûment_. So
far Marcella, though I know her quite well, does not in the least
awaken my sympathy. She is an intolerable girl--but there are many
of them.... I only hope that she may be made to pay for it. Mr. and
Mrs. Boyce are good and original, so is Wharton. I hope that condign
vengeance awaits him. He is the modern politician entirely.... I
really hope Marcella may be converted. It would serve her right to
marry her to Wharton; he would beat her.

Another old friend, one of the industrial leaders of the north, carried
off half the proofs to read on his journey to Yorkshire.

I so ravened on them that I sat still at Blosworth instead of
getting out! The consequence is that all my plans are disarranged. I
shall not get to M---- in time for my meeting, and for all this
Marcella is to blame.... The station-master assured me he called out
"Change for Northampton," but I was much too deep in the scene
between Marcella, Lord Maxwell, and Raeburn to heed anything
belonging to the outer world.

Mr. Goschen wrote:

I don't know how long it is since I have enjoyed reading anything so
much. I can't satisfy myself as to the physical appearance of
Wharton.... I do know some men of a _character_ not quite unlike
him, but they haven't the boyish face with curls. Marcella I see
before me. Mrs. Boyce and Lord Maxwell both interested me very
much....Alack! I must turn from Marcella's enthusiasm and
aspirations to Sir W. Harcourt's speech--a great transition.

And dear Alfred Lyttelton wrote:

I feel a ridiculous pride in her triumphs which I have had the joy
of witnessing on every side.... At least permit an expert to tell
you that his heart beat over the ferrets (in the poaching scene) and
at the intense vividness and truth of the legal episodes.

But there is no one letter in this old packet which moves me specially.
It was on the 1st of March, 1894, that Mr. Gladstone said "Good-by" to
his Cabinet in the Cabinet room at Downing Street, and a little later in
the afternoon walked away for the last time from the House of Commons.
No one who has read it will forget the telling of that episode, in Mr.
Morley's biography, with what concentration, what dignity!--worthy alike
of the subject and of the admirable man of letters--himself an
eye-witness--who records it.

While Lord Kimberley and Sir William Harcourt, on behalf of the rest of
their colleagues, were bidding their great chief farewell, "Mr.
Gladstone sat composed and still as marble, and the emotion of the
Cabinet did not gain him for an instant." When the spokesmen ceased, he
made his own little speech of four or five minutes in reply: "then
hardly above a breath, but every accent heard, he said, 'God bless you
all.' He rose slowly and went out of one door, while his colleagues with
minds oppressed filed out by the other."

On this moving scene there followed what Mr. Gladstone himself described
as the first period of comparative leisure he had ever known, extending
to four and a half months. They were marked first by increasing
blindness, then by an operation for cataract, and finally by a moderate
return of sight. In July he notes that "during the last months of
partial incapacity I have not written with my own hand probably so much
as one letter a day." In this faded packet of mine lies one of these
rare letters, written with his own hand--a full sheet--from Dollis Hill,
on April 27th.

When _Marcella_ arrived my thankfulness was alloyed with a feeling
that the state of my eyesight made your kindness for the time a
waste. But Mr. Nettleship has since then by an infusion supplied a
temporary stimulus to the organ, such that I have been enabled to
begin, and am reading the work with great pleasure and an agreeable
sense of congeniality which I do not doubt I shall retain to
the close.

Then he describes a book--a novel--dealing with religious controversy,
which he had lately been reading, in which every character embodying
views opposed to those of the author "is exhibited as odious." With this
he warmly contrasts the method and spirit of _David Grieve_, and then

Well, I have by my resignation passed into a new state of existence.
And in that state I shall be very glad when our respective stars may
cause our paths to meet. I am full of prospective work; but for the
present a tenacious influenza greatly cripples me and prevents my
making any definite arrangement for an expected operation on my eye.

Eighty-five!--greatly crippled by influenza and blindness--yet "full of
prospective work"! The following year, remembering _Robert Elsmere_
days, and _à propos_ of certain passages in his review of that book, I
ventured to send him an Introduction I had contributed to my
brother-in-law Leonard Huxley's translation of Hausrath's _New Testament
Times._ This time the well-known handwriting is feebler and the old
"fighter" is not roused. He puts discussion by, and turns instead to
kind words about a near relative of my own who had been winning
distinctions at Oxford.

It is one of the most legitimate interests of the old to watch with
hope and joy these opening lives, and it has the secondary effect of
whispering to them that they are not yet wholly frozen up.... I am
busy as far as my limited powers of exertion allow upon a new
edition of Bishop Butler's Works, which costs me a good deal of
labor and leaves me, after a few hours upon it, good for very little
else. And my perspective, dubious as it is, is filled with other
work, in the Homeric region lying beyond. I hope it will be very
long before you know anything of compulsory limitations on the
exercise of your powers. Believe me always,

Sincerely yours,


But it was not till 1897, as he himself records, that the indomitable
spirit so far yielded to these limitations as to resign--or rather
contemplate resigning--the second great task of which he had spoken to
me at Oxford, nine years before. "I have begun seriously to ask myself
whether I shall ever be able to face--_The Olympian Religion_."

It was, I think, in the winter of 1895 that I saw him for the last time
at our neighbors', the Rothschilds, at Tring Park. He was then full of
animation and talk, mainly of things political, and, indeed, not long
before he had addressed a meeting at Chester on the Turkish massacres in
Armenia, and was still to address a large audience at Liverpool on the
same subject--his last public appearance--a year later. When _George
Tressady_ appeared he sent me a message through Mrs. Drew that he feared
George Tressady's Parliamentary conduct "was inconceivable in a man of
honor"; and I was only comforted by the emphatic and laughing dissent of
Lord Peel, to whom I repeated the verdict. "Nothing of the kind! But of
course he was thinking of _us_--the Liberal Unionists."

Then came the last months when, amid a world's sympathy and reverence,
the great life, in weariness and pain, wore to its end. The "lying in
state" in Westminster Hall seemed to me ill arranged. But the burying
remains with me as one of those perfect things, which only the Anglican
Church at its best, in combination with the immemorial associations of
English history, can achieve. After it, I wrote to my son:

I have now seen four great funerals in the Abbey--Darwin, Browning,
Tennyson, and the funeral service for Uncle Forster, which was very
striking, too. But no one above forty of those in the Abbey
yesterday will ever see the like again. It was as beautiful and
noble as the "lying in state" was disappointing and ugly. The music
was exquisite, and fitting in every respect; and when the high
sentence rang out, "and their name liveth for evermore," the effect
was marvelous. One seemed to hear the voice of the future already
pealing through the Abbey--as though the verdict were secured, the
judgment given.

We saw it all, admirably, from the Muniment Room, which is a sort of
lower Triforium above the south Transept. To me, perhaps, the most
thrilling moment was when, bending forward, one saw the
white-covered coffin disappear amid the black crowd round it, and
knew that it had sunk forever into its deep grave, amid that same
primeval clay of Thorny Island on which Edward's Minister was first
reared and the Red King built his hall of judgment and Council. The
statue of Dizzy looked down on him--"So you have come at last!"--and
all the other statues on either side seemed to welcome and receive
him.... The sloping seats for Lords and Commons filled the
transepts, a great black mass against the jeweled windows, the Lords
on one side, the Commons on the other; in front of each black
multitude was the glitter of a mace, and in the hollow between, the
whiteness of the pall--perhaps you can fancy it so.

But the impetus of memory has carried me on too fast. There are some
other figures and scenes to be gathered from these years--1893-98--that
may still interest this present day. Of the most varied kind! For, as I
turn over letters and memoranda, a jumble of recollections passes
through my mind. Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, on the one hand, a
melancholy, kindly man, amid the splendors of Waddesden; a meeting of
the Social Democratic Federation in a cellar in Lisson Grove; days of
absorbing interest in the Jewish East End, and in sweaters' workshops,
while _George Tressady_ was in writing; a first visit to Mentmore while
Lady Rosebery was alive; a talk with Lord Rosebery some time after her
death, in a corner of a local ball-room, while _Helbeck_ was shaping
itself about the old Catholic families of England, which revealed to me
yet another and unsuspected vein of knowledge in one of the best
furnished of minds; the Asquith marriage in 1894; new acquaintances and
experiences in Lancashire towns, again connected with _George Tressady_,
and in which I was helped by that brilliant writer, worker, and fighter,
Mrs. Sidney Webb; a nascent friendship with Sir William Harcourt, one of
the most racy of all possible companions; happy evenings in the Tadema
and Richmond studios with music and good talk; occasional meetings with
and letters from "Pater," the dear and famous Professor, who, like my
uncle, fought half the world and scarcely made an enemy; visits to
Oxford and old friends--such are the scenes and persons that come back
to me as I read old letters, while all through it ran the continual
strain of hard literary work mingled with the new social and religious
interests which the foundation of the Passmore Edwards Settlement had
brought me.

We have been at Margot Tennant's wedding to-day [I wrote to my son
on May 10, 1894]--a great function, very tiring, but very brilliant
and amusing--occasionally dramatic, too, as, when after the service
had begun, the sound of cheering in the street outside drowned the
voice of the Bishop of Rochester, and warned us that Mr. Gladstone
was arriving. Afterward at the house we shook hands with three
Cabinet Ministers on the door-step, and there were all the rest of
them inside! The bride carried herself beautifully and was as
composed and fresh as though it were any ordinary party. From our
seat in the church one saw the interior of the vestry and Mr.
Gladstone's white head against the window as he sat to sign the
register; and the greeting between him and Mr. Balfour when he
had done.

This was written while Lord Rosebery was Prime Minister and Mr. Balfour,
still free, until the following year, from the trammels of office, was
finishing his brilliant _Foundations of Belief_, which came out in 1895.
In acknowledging the copy which he sent me, I ventured to write some
pages on behalf of certain arguments of the Higher Criticism which
seemed to me to deserve a fuller treatment than Mr. Balfour had been
willing to give them--in defense also of our English idealists, such as
Green and Caird, in their relation to orthodoxy. A year or two earlier I
find I had been breaking a lance on behalf of the same school of writers
with a very different opponent. In the controversy between Professor
Huxley and Doctor Wace, in 1889, which opened with the famous article on
"The Gadarene Swine," the Professor had welcomed me as an ally, because
of "The New Reformation," which appeared much about the same time; and
the word of praise in which he compared my reply to Mr. Gladstone, to
the work "of a strong housemaid brushing away cobwebs," gave me a
fearful joy! I well remember a thrilling moment in the Russell Square
drawing-room in 1889, when "Pater" and I were in full talk, he in his
raciest and most amusing form, and suddenly the door opened, and "Doctor
Wace" was announced--the opponent with whom at that moment he was
grappling his hardest in the _Nineteenth Century_. Huxley gave me a
merry look--and then how perfectly they both behaved! I really think the
meeting was a pleasure to both of them, and when my old chief in the
_Dictionary of Christian Biography_ took his departure, Huxley found all
kinds of pleasant personal things to say about him.

But the Professor and I were not always at one. Caird and Green--and,
for other reasons, Martineau--were to me names "of great pith and
moment," and Christian Theism was a reasonable faith. And Huxley, in
controversy, was no more kind to my _sacra_ than to other people's. Once
I dared a mild remonstrance--in 1892--only to provoke one of his most
vigorous replies:

MY DEAR M.--Thanks for your pleasant letter. I do not know whether I
like the praise or the scolding better. They, like pastry, need to
be done with a light hand--especially praise--and I have swallowed
all yours, and feel it thoroughly agrees with me.

As to the scolding I am going to defend myself tooth and nail. In
the first place, by all my Gods and No Gods, neither Green, nor
Martineau, nor the Cairds were in my mind when I talked of
"Sentimental Deism," but the "Vicaire Savoyard," and Charming, and
such as Voysey. There are two chapters of "Rousseauism," I have not
touched yet--Rousseauism in Theology, and Rousseauism in Education.
When I write the former I shall try to show that the people of whom
I speak as "sentimental deists" are the lineal descendants of the
Vicaire Savoyard. I was a great reader of Channing in my boyhood,
and was much taken in by his theosophic confectionery. At present I
have as much (intellectual) antipathy to him as St. John had to the

... Green I know only from his Introduction to Hume--which reminds
me of nothing so much as a man with a hammer and chisel knocking out
bits of bad stone in the Great Pyramid, with the view of bringing it
down.... As to Caird's _Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion_,
I will get it and study it. But as a rule "Philosophies of Religion"
in my experience turn out to be only "Religions of
Philosophers"--quite another business, as you will admit.

And if you please, Ma'am, I wish to add that I think I am _not_
without sympathy for Christian feeling--or rather for what you mean
by it. Beneath the cooled logical upper strata of my microcosm there
is a fused mass of prophetism and mysticism, and the Lord knows what
might happen to me, in case a moral earthquake cracked the
superincumbent deposit, and permitted an eruption of the demonic
element below.... Luckily I am near 70, and not a G.O.M.--so the
danger is slight.

One must stick to one's trade. It is my business to the best of my
ability to fight for scientific clearness--that is what the world
lacks. Feeling Christian or other, is superabundant....

Ever yours affectionately,


A few more letters from him--racy, and living as himself--and then in
1895, just after his first article on the "Foundations of Belief," we
heard with dismay of the illness which killed him. There was never a man
more beloved--more deeply mourned.

The autumn of 1896 brought me a great loss in the death of an intimate
friend, Lady Wemyss--as marked a personality in her own circle as was
her indomitable husband, the famous Lord Elcho, of the Volunteer
movement, on the bigger stage. It was at Balliol, at the Master's table,
and in the early Oxford days, that we first made friends with Lord and
Lady Wemyss, who were staying with the Master for the Sunday. I was
sitting next to Lord Wemyss, and he presently discovered that I was
absent-minded. And I found him so attractive and so human that I soon
told him why. I had left a sick child at home, with a high temperature,
and was fidgeting to get back to him.

"What is the matter?--Fever?--throat? Aconite, of course! You're a
homeopath, aren't you? All sensible people are. Look here--I've got a
servant with me. I'll send him with some aconite at once. Where do you
live?--in the Parks? All right. Give me your address."

Out came an envelope and a pencil. A message was sent round the
dinner-table to Lady Wemyss, whose powerful dreaming face beside the
Master lit up at once. The aconite was sent; the child's temperature
went down; and, if I remember right, either one or both of his new
medical advisers walked up to the Parks the next day to inquire for him.
So began a friendship which for just twenty years, especially from about
1885 to 1896, meant a great deal to me.

How shall I describe Lady Wemyss? An unfriendly critic has recently
allowed me the power of "interesting fashionable ladies in things of the
mind." Was Lady Wemyss a "fashionable lady"? She was the wife,
certainly, of a man of high rank and great possessions; but I met her
first as a friend--a dear and intimate friend, as may be seen from his
correspondence--of Mr. Jowett's; and Mr. Jowett was not very tolerant of
"fashionable ladies." She was in reality a strong and very simple
person, with a natural charm working through a very reserved and often
harsh manner, like the charm of mountain places in spring. She was a
Conservative, and I suppose an aristocrat, whatever that word may mean.
She thought the Harcourt death-duties "terrible" because they broke up
old families and old estates, and she had been brought up to think that
both were useful. Yet I never knew anybody with a more instinctive
passion for equality. This means that she was simply and deeply
interested in all sorts of human beings and all sorts of human lots;
also that, although she was often self-conscious, it was the
self-consciousness one sees in the thoughtful and richly natured young,
whose growth in thought or character has outrun their means of
expression, and never mean or egotistical. Her deep voice; her fine,
marked features; and the sudden play of humor, silent, self-restrained,
yet most infectious to the bystander, that would lighten through them;
her stately ways; and yet, withal, her childlike love of loving and
being loved by the few to whom she gave her deepest affection--in some
such phrases one tries to describe her; but they go a very little way.

I can see her now at the dinner-table at Gosford, sardonically watching
a real "fashionable lady" who had arrived in the afternoon and was
sitting next Lord Wemyss at the farther end--with a wonderful frizzled
head, an infinitesimal waist sheathed in white muslin and blue ribbons,
rouged cheeks, a marvelous concatenation of jewels, and a caressing,
gesticulating manner meant, at fifty, to suggest the ways of "sweet and
twenty." The frizzled head drew nearer and nearer to Lord Wemyss, the
fingers flourished and pointed; and suddenly I heard Lady Wemyss's deep
voice, meditatively amused, beside me:

"Her fingers will be in Frank's eyes soon!" Or again, I see her, stalled
beneath the drawing-room table, on all-fours, by her imperious
grandchildren, patiently playing "horse" or "cow," till her scandalized
daughter-in-law discovered her and ran to her release. Or in her last
illness, turning her noble head and faint, welcoming smile to the few
friends that were admitted; and finally, in the splendid rest after
death, when those of us who had not known her in youth could guess what
the beauty of her youth had been.

She was an omnivorous and most intelligent reader, and a friend that
never failed. Matthew Arnold was very fond of her, and she of him; Laura
Lyttelton, who was nearly forty years her junior, loved her dearly and
never felt the bar of years; the Master owed much to her affection, and
gratefully acknowledged it. The _Commonplace Book_, privately printed
after her death, showed the range of interests which had played upon her
fresh and energetic mind. It was untrained, I suppose, compared to the
woman graduate of to-day. But it was far less tired; and all its
adventures were of its own seeking.

It was in 1896, not long after the appearance of _George Tressady_, that
a conversation in a house on the outskirts of the Lakes suggested to me
the main plot of _Helbeck of Bannisdale._ The talk turned on the
fortunes of that interesting old place, Sizergh Castle, near Kendal, and
of the Catholic family to whom it then still belonged, though mortgages
and lack of pence were threatening imminently to submerge an ancient
stock that had held it unbrokenly, from father to son, through many

The relation between such a family--pinched and obscure, yet with its
own proud record, and inherited consciousness of an unbroken loyalty to
a once persecuted faith--and this modern world of ours struck me as an
admirable subject for a novel. I thought about it next day, all through
a long railway journey from Kendal to London, and by the time I reached
Euston the plot of _Helbeck of Bannisdale_ was more or less clear to me.

I confided it to Lord Acton a little while afterward. We discussed it,
and he cordially encouraged me to work it out. Then I consulted my
father, my Catholic father, without whose assent I should never have
written the book at all; and he raised no difficulty. So I only had
to begin.

But I wanted a setting--somewhere in the border country between the
Lakes mountains and Morecambe Bay. And here another piece of good luck
befell, almost equal to that which had carried us to Hampden for the
summer of 1889. Levens Hall, it appeared, was to be let for the
spring--the famous Elizabethan house, five miles from Kendal, and about
a mile from Sizergh. I had already seen Levens; and we took the
chance at once.

Bannisdale in the novel is a combination, I suppose, of Sizergh and
Levens. The two houses, though of much the same date, are really very
different, and suggest phases of life quite distinct from each other.
Levens compared to Sizergh is--or was then, before the modern
restoration of Sizergh--the spoiled beauty beside the shabby ascetic.
Levens has always been cared for and lived in by people who had money to
spend upon the house and garden they loved, and the result is a
wonderful example of Elizabethan and Jacobean decoration, mellowed by
time into a perfect whole. Yet, for my purposes, there was always
Sizergh, close by, with its austere suggestions of sacrifice and
suffering under the penal laws, borne without flinching by a long
succession of quiet, simple, undistinguished people.

We arrived there in March, 1897. The house greeted us on a clear and
chilly evening under the mingled light of a frosty sunset, and the blaze
of wood fires which had been lit everywhere to warm its new guests.

At last we arrived--saw the wonderful gray house rising above the
river in the evening light, found G---- waiting at the open door for
us, and plunged into the hall, the sitting-rooms, and all the
intricacies of the upper passages and turrets with the delight and
curiosity of a pack of children. Wood and peat fires were burning
everywhere; the great chimneypieces in the drawing-room, the arms of
Elizabeth over the hall fire, the stucco birds and beasts running
round the Hall, showed dimly in the scanty lamplight (we shall want
about six more lamps!)--and the beauty of the marvelous old place
took us all by storm. Then through endless passages and kitchens,
bright with long rows of copper pans and molds, we made our way out
into the gardens among the clipped yews and cedars, and had just
light enough to see that Levens apparently is like nothing else
but itself.
... The drawback of the house at present is certainly _the cold_!

Thus began a happy and fruitful time. We managed to get warm in spite of
a treacherous and tardy spring. Guests came to stay with us--Henry
James, above all; the Creightons, he then in the first months of that
remarkable London episcopate, which in four short years did so much to
raise the name and fame of the Anglican Church in London, at least for
the lay mind; the Neville Lytteltons, who had been since 1893 our summer
neighbors at Stocks; Lord Lytton, then at Cambridge; the Sydney Buxtons;
old Oxford friends, and many kinsfolk. The damson blossom along the
hedgerows that makes of these northern vales in April a glistening
network of white and green, the daffodils and violets, the
lilies-of-the-valley in the Brigsteer woods came and went, the _Helbeck_
made steady progress.

But we left Levens in May, and it took me another eight months to finish
the book. Except perhaps in the case of _Bessie Costrell_, I was never
more possessed by a subject, more shut in by it from the outer world.
And, though its contemporary success was nothing like so great as that
of most of my other books, the response it evoked, as my letters show,
in those to whom the book appealed, was deep and passionate.

My first anxiety was as to my father, and after we had left England for
abroad I was seized with misgivings lest certain passages in the talk of
Doctor Friedland, who, it will perhaps be remembered, is made the
spokesman in the book of certain points in the _intellectual_ case
against Catholicism, should wound or distress him. I, therefore, no
sooner reached Italy than I sent for the proofs again, and worked at
them as much as fatigue would let me, softening them, and, I think,
improving them, too. Then we went on to Florence, and rest, coming home
for the book's publication in June.

The joy and emotion of it were great. George Meredith, J. M. Barrie,
Paul Bourget, and Henry James--the men who at that time stood at the
head of my own art--gave the book a welcome that I can never forget.
George Meredith wrote:

Your _Helbeck of Bannisdale_ held me firmly in the reading and
remains with me.... If I felt a monotony during the struggle, it
came of your being faithful to your theme--rapt--or you would not
have had such power over your reader. I know not another book that
shows the classic so distinctly to view.... Yet a word of thanks for
Doctor Friedland. He is the voice of spring in the book.

J.M. Barrie's generous, enthusiastic note delights and inspires me again
as I read it over. Mr. Morley, my old editor and critic, wrote: "I find
it intensely interesting and with all the elements of beauty, power, and
pathos." For Leslie Stephen, with whom I had only lately made warm and
close friends, I had a copy bound, without the final chapter, that the
book might not, by its tragic close, depress one who had known so much
sorrow. Sir Alfred Lyall thought--"the story reaches a higher pitch of
vigor and dramatic presentation than is to be found even in your later
books"; while Lord Halifax's letter--"how lovable they both are, each in
his way, and how true to the ideal on both sides!"--and others, from Mr.
Godkin, of the American _Nation_, from Frederic Harrison, Lord Goschen,
Lord Dufferin, and many, many more, produced in me that curious mood
which for the artist is much nearer dread than boasting--dread that the
best is over and that one will never earn such sympathy again. One
letter not written to myself, from Mr. George Wyndham to Mr. Wilfred
Ward, I have asked leave to print as a piece of independent criticism:

On Sunday I read _Helbeck of Bannisdale_, and I confess that the
book moved me a great deal. It is her best book. It is a true
tragedy, because the crash is inevitable. This is not so easy to
effect in Art as many suppose. There are very few characters and
situations which lead to inevitable crashes. It is a thousand to one
that a woman who thinks she ought not to marry a man, but loves him
passionately, will, in fact, marry him. She will either discover an
ingenious way out of her woods or else just shut her eyes and "go it
blind," relying on his strength and feeling that it is really right
to relinquish to him her sense of responsibility. In choosing a girl
with nothing left her in the world but loyalty to a dead father and
memory of his attitude toward religion, without knowledge of his
arguments for that attitude, I think that Mrs. Ward has hit on the
only possible _persona_. Had Laura, herself, been a convinced
rationalist, or had her father been still alive, she would have
merged herself and her attitude in Helbeck's strength of character.
Being a work of art, self-consistent and inevitable, the book
becomes symbolic. It is a picture of incompatibility, but, being a
true picture, it is a symbolic index to the incompatible which plays
so large a part in the experience of man.

For the rest, I remember vividly the happy holiday of that summer at
Stocks; the sense of having come through a great wrestle, and finding
everything--my children, the garden, my little Huxley nephews, books and
talk, the Settlement where we were just about to open our Cripple
School, and all else in life, steeped in a special glamour. It faded
soon, no doubt, "into the light of common day"; but if I shut my
thoughts and eyes against the troubles of these dark hours of war, I can
feel my way back into the "wind-warm space" and look into the faces that
earth knows no more--my father, Leslie Stephen, Alfred Lyall, Mr.
Goschen, Alfred Lyttelton, H. O. Arnold-Forster, my sister, Julia
Huxley, my eldest brother--a vanished company!

And in the following year, to complete the story, I owed to _Helbeck_ a
striking and unexpected hour. A message reached me in November, 1898, to
the effect that the Empress Frederick, who had just arrived at Windsor,
admired the book and would like to see the writer of it.

A tragic figure at that moment--the Empress Frederick! That splendid
Crown Prince, in his white uniform, whom we had seen at Schwalbach in
1872, had finished early in 1890 with his phantom reign and tortured
life, and his son reigned in his stead. Bismarck, "the Englishwoman's"
implacable enemy, had died some four months before I saw the Empress,
after eight years' exclusion from power. The Empress herself was on the
verge of the terrible illness which killed her two years later. To me
her life and personality--or, rather, the little I knew of them--had
always been very interesting. She had, of course, the reputation of
being the ablest of her family, and the bitterness of her sudden and
irreparable defeat at the hands of Fate and her son, in 1889-90, had
often struck me as one of the grimmest stories in history. One incident
in it, not, I think, very generally known, I happened to hear from an
eye-witness of the scene, before 1898. It was as follows:

The Empress Frederick in the midst of the Bismarck crisis of March,
1890, when it was evident that the young Emperor William II was bent
on getting rid of his Chancellor, and so "dropping the pilot" of his
House, was sitting at home one afternoon, with the companion from
whom I heard the story, when a servant, looking a good deal scared,
announced that Prince Bismarck had called and wished to know whether
her Majesty would receive him.

"Prince Bismarck!" said the Empress, in amazement. She had probably
not seen him since the death of her husband, and relations between
herself and him had been no more than official for years. Turning to
her companion, she said, "What can he possibly want with me!"

She consented, however, to receive him, and the old Prince, agitated
and hollow-eyed, made his appearance. He had come, as a last hope of
placating the new Kaiser, to ask the Empress to use what influence
she could on his behalf with her son. The Empress listened in
growing astonishment. At the end there was a short silence. Then she
said, with emotion: "I am sorry! You, yourself, Prince Bismarck,
have destroyed all my influence with my son. I can do nothing."

In a sense, it must have been a moment of triumph. But how tragic are
all the implications of the story! It was in my mind as I traveled to
Windsor on November 18, 1898. The following letter was written next day
to one of my children:

D---- and I met at Windsor, and we mounted into the quadrangle,
stopped at the third door on the right as Mrs. M---- had directed
us, interviewed various gorgeous footmen, and were soon in Mrs.
M----'s little sitting-room. Then we found we should have some
little time to wait, as the Empress was just going out with the
Queen and would see me at a quarter to 1. So we waited, much amused
by the talk around us. (It turned, if I remember right, on a certain
German Princess, who had arrived a day or two before as the old
Queen's guest, and had been taken since her arrival on such a
strenuous round of tombs and mausoleums that, hearing on this
particular morning that the Queen proposed to take her in the
afternoon to see yet another mausoleum, she had stubbornly refused
to get up. She had a headache, she said, and would stay in bed. But
the ladies in waiting, with fits of laughter, described how the
Queen had at once ordered her phenacetin, and how there was really
no chance at all for the poor lady. The Queen would get her way, and
the departed would be duly honored--headache or no headache. As
indeed it turned out.)

Presently we saw the Queen's little pony-carriage pass along beyond
the windows with the Empress Frederick, and the Grand Duke and
Duchess Serge walking beside it, and the Indians behind. Then in a
little while the Empress Frederick came hurrying back alone, and
almost directly came my summons. Countess Perponcher, her lady in
waiting, took me up through the Long Corridor, past the entrance to
the Queen's rooms on one side, and Gordon's Bible, in its glass
case, on the other, till we turned to the left, and I was in a small
sitting-room, where a lady, gray-haired and in black, came forward
to meet me.... We talked for about 50 minutes:--of German books and
Universities--Harnack--Renan, for whom she had the greatest
admiration--Strauss, of whom she told me various interesting
things--German colonies, that she thought were "all
nonsense"--Dreyfus, who in her eyes is certainly innocent--reaction
in France--the difference between the Greek Church in Russia and the
Greek Church in Greece, the hopes of Greece, and the freeing of
Crete. It is evident that her whole heart is with Greece and her
daughter there [the young Queen Sophia, on whose character recently
deciphered documents have thrown so strong a light], and she spoke
bitterly, as she always does, about the English hanging-back, and
the dawdling of the European Concert. Then she described how she
read _George Tressady_ aloud to her invalid daughter till the
daughter begged her to stop, lest she should cry over it all
night--she said charming things of _Helbeck_, talked of Italy,
D'Annunzio, quoted "my dear old friend Minghetti" as to the
fundamental paganism in the Italian mind, asked me to write my name
in her book, and to come and see her in Berlin--and it was time to
go.... She is a very attractive, sensitive, impulsive woman, more
charming than I had imagined, and, perhaps, less
intellectual--altogether the very woman to set up the backs of
Bismarck and his like. Never was there a more thorough Englishwoman!
I found myself constantly getting her out of focus, by that
confusion of mind which made one think of her as German.

And to my father I wrote:

The Empress began by asking after Uncle Matt, and nothing could have
been kinder and more sympathetic than her whole manner. But of
course Bismarck hated her. She is absolutely English, parliamentary,
and anti-despotic.... When I ventured to say in bidding her Good-by,
that I had often felt great admiration and deep sympathy for her,
which is true--she threw up her hands with a little sad or bitter
gesture--"Oh!--admiration!--for _me_!"--as if she knew very well
what it was to be conscious of the reverse. A touching, intelligent,
impulsive woman, she seemed to me--no doubt often not a wise
one--but very attractive.

Nineteen years ago! And two years later, after long suffering, like her
husband, the last silence fell on this brave and stormy nature. Let us
thank God for it as we look out upon Europe and see what her son has
made of it.


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