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Chief Secretary of State for Ireland The South African War- 
The Land Bill' The Development of the State ' .1 


Illness and journey abroad Lecture on Ronsard Election 

Campaign ....... 121 

JANUARY 1906 TO APRIL 7ra 1908 

In Opposition The Education Bill Death of W. E. Henley- 
Address on Walter Scott The Fiscal Question The Army 
The Licensing Bill . . . . . .177 


The Asquith Ministry Dover Pageant Dover Harbour Cavalry 
Manoauvres Francis Thompson's ' Shelley ' Lord Rector of 
the University of Edinburgh The Education Bill France 
General Election Campaign ..... 299 


FEBRUARY 1910 TO MAY 1911 


In Opposition Army Debate France His Parents' Golden 
Wedding His Rectorial Address ' The Springs of Romance' 
The General Election His Father's Death . . 384 

JUNE 1911 TO JUNE 1913 

Wookey Hole The 'Die Hard' Movement His Silver Wedding 
The Chapel at Clouds His Library His Son's Engage- 
ment and Marriage Rural England .... 447 



P. 23, 1. 25, read ' promontory ' for ' promenade. 

P. 31, 1. 9, read ' man or a mouse.' 

P. 257, 1. 2, read 'Letters' for 'letter.' 

P. 365, 1. 2, read ' Hewins' for 'Henins.' 

P. 435, 1. 3, read 'goal' for 'gold.' 

P. 482, 1. 12, read 'Calveley' for 'Calverley.' 

P. 486, 1. 14, read 'measure' for 'mitre.' 

P. 555, 1. 20, read 'my' for 'any.' 




Chief Secretary of State for Ireland The South African War The 
Land Bill 'The Development of the State.' 


To his Father 

DUBLIN CASTLE November VJth, 1900. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, Old Briggs has written to me also. 
It is a ' distinction ' to be out of the Cabinet anyway. 

I have been here a week and find plenty to do and 
many interests and memories. I ride in the Phoenix 
8.30 to 9.30, breakfast at 10, read papers, to Castle at 
11.30 and leave at 6 o'clock. 

Everyone is very kind but I see rocks ahead. 

I return to London December 7th ; if you could start 
not before 10th or 12th I should see you and Mamma and 
Perf . We shall be at ' 35 ' from 7th to end of session 
about 17th Dec. then back here for Christmas and until 
the House meets in February. We have handed Saighton 
over to Bendor pro tern, so as to confirm our resolution 
not to be absentees. 

Best love to Mamma and Ditchmouse. Your loving 
son, GEORGE. 


To Charles T. Gatty 

DUBLIN CASTLE, 1? 'th November 1900. 

MY DEAR OLD CHARLES, I find that the Government 
of this country is carried on by continuous conversation. 



I have now been talking and listening for a week. That 
is why I am so late in thanking you for your congratulations. 

I am already intensely interested hi my work here. 

You simply must come and stay with us hi January. 
Nice house, Phoenix Park, divine view of Wicklow Hills, 
golden and green glamour over everything, Celtic twi- 
light always on tap Religion, Comparative Mythology, 
Ethnology, round the corner. 

Come, my dear, and do Celtic Crosses, the Book of 
Kells, or what you will, provided you come. Yours 
affectionately, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 


To his Sister, Madeline 

PH<ENIX PARK, DUBLIN, 25th November 1900. 

MOST DARLING MANENAI, I loved your dear letter. 
I am very happy here. Not that I hope to succeed 
personally. A man who expected personal success hi 
Ireland would be ripe for Hanwell. But the work is 
most interesting, and the ' call ' peremptory. I feel 
that I was destined to come here. My solitary trump is 
Mamma. Dear old things remember dancing with her. 
And everyone in the country says 4 at any rate his Mother 
was born hi Ireland.' It is a land of sorcery ; false, but 
so fair that the adventurer willingly dives beneath the 
waters to reach the enchanted palace of the Princess 
Arianrhod. This means that I swim in ' Celtic twilight ' 
but through the green and golden witchery comes the 
piercing appeal of grinding and hopeless poverty. I 
walk like the mermaid in Andersen on pointed knives. 

I got back from the congested districts last night. 
Have driven for three days over tracks of stone and bog 
with houses like pigsties, huddled on to every soppy knoll 
that swells out of the quagmire. In one room, 11 feet 
by 7 feet, was a family of five. In the other room of the 
hovel, a family of 7, a loom, a pig, a cow, a donkey, a 
bed, a spinning-wheel and a cradle. It is beyond belief. 


And every soul is a gentleman or a lady who entertains 
you with wit and pathos. 

I travelled all yesterday back from Mallaranny near 
Achill dressed at the Hotel and on to a public Dinner 
of bigwigs and the Irish Hospital. The toast list was 
interminable. I did not speak till 20 to 12. But luckily 
' got home ' and so back to bed about 1.15, dog-tired. 

In this country you must never be tired and never in 
a hurry. You must listen and laugh with everyone and 
master the land-acts and agricultural returns in stolen 
moments. But still you get wonderful experience, for 
all the departments are under the Chief Secretary. 

Love to Charlie. Your most loving brother, 



To his Mother 

PH<ENIX PARK, DUBLIN, November 25th, 1900. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I loved your letter and I 
believe in its ideal. We are the children of the Past, 
England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and we have 
younger brothers and sisters by a second marriage, Canada, 
Australasia, South Africa. Ireland is the daughter about 
whom the parents quarrelled. She has been Cinderella 
and is poor and hurt. But now invited back to her seat 
on the dais she may take a common pride in being one of 
the first family. But all this is far away and not ready 
as yet even to be spoken of. She is still too poor. 

We will have a long talk hi London. I am not only 
reconciled to being here. I see it was inevitable. A 
Chief Secretary is like a Ghibellme Duke of the 13th 
century representing Empire and a larger organic concep- 
tion in a Guelf republic. Many have failed here because 
they did not realize that they were not in the 19th century. 
I always have a difficulty in persuading myself that I 
am. I really love the Irish and they have been very 
kind and courteous to me during the last fortnight. 


I went round the North of Connaught to Mallaranny 
by Achill from Tuesday to Saturday. It was of the 
greatest service to me and a brilliant tragi-comedy all 
the time. We drove and drove such a party ! Self, 
Hanson ; Wrench, a Unionist, loyal, sensible land com- 
missioner. Father O'Hara, Father O'Flyn who was 
' advanced ' and is enchanting. Mr. Doran, the other 
type, a slow pragmatical Irishman, whose eye only gleams 
when he points out arterial drainage. And so we bumped 
round, going into the cottiers' wretched hovels. No one 
knows in England what ' Hell or Connaught ' means. 
And all the Nationalist remedies of confiscation and 
compulsory sale would only stereotype an intolerable 
existence. I wish you and Pamela could have seen Srah, 
a heap of hovels huddled on to one soppy knoll above the 
bog level in effect a simple piggery. One house had a 
family of five in one room 11 feet by 7 feet. In the other 
room a family of seven. It was complete and picturesque, 
stooping to get under the lintel and waiting till your eyes 
could pierce the peat-haze there slowly emerged to sight 
a hand loom ; the pig ; the cow and her manger ; the 
donkey ; the bed ; a rocking-cradle with child ; the 
hearth ; the spinning-wheel. 

Yesterday morning at Mallaranny with its wild fuschia 
hedges we had the full rain-laden blast from the Atlantic. 
Took a special at 12.20 to Westport and caught the mail 
passing Athlone to Broadstone at 7.15. I drove off and 
dressed at the Shelbourne Hotel and on to a Public Dinner 
to the Irish Hospital. His Excellency, the Lord Chan- 
cellor, Attorney General, Lord Iveagh and many swells 
and officials were present. I did not speak till twenty 
to twelve, and then luckily made quite a hit. I was very 
thankful as I feared after the long drives and pre-occupa- 
tion in economic problems and long railway journey, that 
my brains would not work. I, however, followed my new 
prescription for oratory, viz. : to sleep like a log all the 
afternoon. I am glad I did not ' jolly ' the fence which 
was likely with such a take off. I found S. S. on getting 
here and have spent the morning expatiating on the 


possibilities of the garden. We dine at the Vice-regal 
to-night. I am your own son on these occasions and all 
Ireland knows that you were reared at Athlone ! Your 
most loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Brother 

DUBLIN CASTI.K, Xor.ember 29th, 1900. 

DEAREST OLD GUY, I have not written because I 
have been in the dumps at your not coming home with 
Brock, and more than in the dumps because you were 
not made 2nd in Command. 

But don't mind. These things happen. When they 
have happened to me they have generally come more 
than right in the end. Never fear for a moment that 
your good work will be overlooked, so I dare to hope that 
you will be given some adequate reward for all you have 
done. That might mean a few years in England instead 
of South Africa and no delay to your getting the command 
in the long run. But I did hope that perhaps you would 
get it in a year or so when Bethune went back to the 
staff. However ! 

Dear old Guy you can't think how full this place is of 
memories. I would give anything to have you here and 
to go off hunting together. When you get leave you 
must come with Minnie. I met Grace Malone out hunting 
the other day. I have been out twice * jollying ' over the 
banks and trotting back twelve miles to the ' special.' 
I have two horses from the Captain and shall be able to 
scrape more together. It simply must be, and I hope. 

My work is cut out for me here and no mistake. Every- 
body was up on end and T. W. Russell has gone nap on a 
wild compulsory purchase scheme. 

There will be wigs on the green. Ever your most loving 
brother, GEORGE. 


To Charles Boyd 


MY DEAR CHARLES, Your letter was most interesting 
and very welcome. I have thrown myself into this show. 
But, at times, the twinge of separation from friends, 
from home life, from my part in ' the wide world dreaming 
upon things to come,' is sharp within this grey and circum- 
scribed horizon. Yet it is good discipline and a grand 
training. I have my province. 

Now as to Glasgow don't come ! I have rarely been 
so apprehensive. It is too late to talk of Military Defence ; 
too early to talk of Ireland ; too foolish to buck about the 
General Election ; too rash to prophesy that we shall 
justify the confidence given by the people under compulsion 
of the Opposition's acephalous futility. 

So that I have nothing to say. And no man says 
nothing with a more awkward appreciation of inanity. 
I only wish to say that they are damned fools to have a 
meeting at such a juncture. From this I am debarred 
in my capacity as guest. 

I like my province. It can be governed only by con- 
versation and arbitrary decisions. To be an affable but 
inexorable Haroun al Raschid is the only chance. Yours 
ever, GEORGE W. 


To his Mother 

DUBLIN CASTLE, Christmas Eve, 1900. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, This is to wish you and 
dearest Aunt Emily and all at Hyeres a most Merry 
Christmas and happy New Year. 

The tutor sounds well for the present at any rate. 
But Mr. Perkins must work more than two hours a day. 


He might either do exercises and read in preparation or 
else master the French language with a French tutor in 
the afternoons. It is a golden opportunity to learn 
French and to read French books. I hope you all talk 
French ! 

I have had such glowing accounts of Guy from all sides. 
His General Brock told me he had told Roberts that 
Guy would be wasted on a regiment and ought to have a 
brigade. A man I believe Stewart, but I don't know 
him or his name introduced himself to me at Willis' 
restaurant, because he must tell me about Guy. He had 
commanded a colonial mounted regiment attached to 
Guy's brigade. He said Guy had done everything ; was 
the bravest in South Africa ; had extricated them from 
many tight places ; had re-horsed the brigade after 
Ladysmith in three weeks and then his regiment hi seven 
days was a head and shoulders above anyone in the 
Natal Army, etc., etc., till I nearly sat down on the floor ! 

Kitchener gives much better account of the war than 
you would surmise from the papers. Mountains of love 
to you. Ever your most loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

PHCBNIX PARK, DUBLIN, January I5th, 1901. 

MOST DARLING, Thanks for your letter. I agree to 
all that you and Mr. Lancaster settle. Thank him for 
his letter. Health comes first. But let some French be 

I am delighted but not surprised at dear old Guy's 
mention in despatches. 

I am off to Mount Stewart and hope there to find time 
for a long letter of all my doings. 

I long for you every day. You must come in August 
or September. Last night I dined at Trinity College. 
It is so strange to be the honoured guest and to walk up 


the Hall with the Provost under the gauging eyes of the 
undergraduates. I sat next the Bursar, Grey, who 
remembers as a boy seeing your father riding about at 

I am enjoying my hunts and have made hosts of friends. 
The Museum will enchant you and remind us both of 
Wake's (?) shop and OUT early prowls after fossils and 

I am quite ' diddle ' over some parts of my work. If 
only I can do something that will last. I enjoyed the 
congested District Board last week. I was in the Chair 
for six hours on Wednesday, crossed to England by 
night and went to dear uncle Henry's funeral Thursday ; 
recrossed that night and took the chair on Friday. I 
gave them a grand Friday lunch oysters, ' Bisque ' 
soup, soles and curried lobster which Father O'Hara 
enjoyed. We burrowed away at plans for making a new 
Heaven of Mayo, and had sly digs at each other over the 
meeting I had proclaimed near his parish. 

Now, Darling, I must be off. Best love to you and all 
at Hyeres. Ever your most loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
March 3rd, 1901. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I am afraid that you have 
all been much more ill than I supposed. Is little Perf's 
4 irritability of the heart ' a result of 4 la Grippe ' ? I 
remember that it affected Arthur Balfour's heart some 
years ago. I hope it is that and not a new constitutional 

S. S. and Leffie go out to you on the 7th. I propose, 
if convenient, to come directly the House rises, starting 
2nd, 3rd, or 5th of April as the case may be. Then I 
could bring Perf back with me about the llth or 12th. 
But in that we must be guided by the doctor. 


I am well and absorbed in difficult Parliamentary 
gyrations on uncommonly thin ice surrounded by suspicious 
friends and flattering foes. Without Public money or 
Parliamentary time one can make no advance in Ireland 
so Lord Clanricarde's skating must for the present be the 
model of my policy an alternation of quick turns and 

I must send you a delightful book, the story of Early 
Gaelic literature, by Douglas Hyde. A pre-christian 
dialogue between Cairbre and Cormac, grandson of Con 
of the Hundred Battles, gives the truest and fullest 
instruction for the government of Ireland. Cairbre asks 
4 for what qualifications is a King elected over countries 
and tribes of people ? ' Cormac answers : ' From the 
goodness of his family, from his experience and wisdom, 
from his prudence and magnanimity, from his eloquence, 
and bravery in battle, and from the number of his friends.' 
Cairbre goes on ' O, descendant of Con, what was thy 
deportment when a youth ? ' Cormac answers, ' I was 
cheerful at the banquet, fierce in battle, but vigilant and 
circumspect. I was kind to friends, a physician to the 
sick, merciful towards the weak, stern towards the head- 
strong. Although possessed of knowledge I was inclined 
to taciturnity. Although strong I was not haughty. 
I mocked not the old, although I was young. I was not 
vain, although I was valiant. When I spoke of a person 
in his absence I praised, not defamed him, for it is by 
these customs that we are known to be courteous and 
civilized.' Later he enjoins, ' Be not slothful, nor 
passionate, nor pernicious, nor idle, nor jealous, for he 
who is so is an object of hatred to God as well as to man.' 

I do hope, darling, that you are really better. 

The Exhibition of the ' British School ' at Burlington 
House is the best we have had for years : all the beau- 
tiful Masons and most of the Fred Walkers. Mason's 
4 Pastoral ' boy piping to two girls who dance, with 
sea in distance and Walker's ' Boys Bathing ' and his 
' Plough ' were sights for sore eyes loved long since and 
lost awhile. Also there are three water-colours by Walker, 


new to me and miraculous. Also two water-colours by 
Boyse very good. Some good early Millais, dear B. J.'s 
St. Dorothy ; some Rossetti and Dyce and not too much 
of anything. But the Masons and Walkers sing out 
' Non moriar sed vivam et narrabo opera Domini.' ' I 
shall not die, but live, and I will declare the works of the 
Lord.' That is the artist's true profession of immortality. 
I suggested it to Fisher for a ' plaque ' on his shrine which 
I have given to Sibell. For the porphyry sarcophagus 
I composed by selection from Queen Elizabeth's latin 
Prayer Book of 1574 the following, putting together a 
bit of the Creed / bit of Easter preface / and bit of Psalm 
for Easter/. As thus : 

Passus et sepultus est et resurrexit tertia die 

Qui mortem moriendo destruxit et resurgendo Vitam 

jEternam nobis reparavit 
A Domino factum est istud et id mirabile est in oculis nostris. 

He sufferred and was buried and rose again on the third day 
Who by dying destroyed death and by rising restored to us 

eternal life 
This was of the Lord's doing and it was wonderful in our eyes. 

Best love to Papa, Ditch, and poor Bun and to dearest 
Aunt Emily and all at Hyeres. Ever your most loving 
son, GEORGE. 

To his Father 

March 29th, 1901. 

MY DEAEEST PAPA, Many thanks for your letter. 
I will not forget the cigars. I propose starting Wednesday 
morning and being with you for * Dejeuner ' on Thursday. 

We have had plenty of Irish obstruction quite in the 
old style. And (since we were being driven on to the 
brink of the financial year) the twelve o'clock rule has 
been in chronic suspense. In short, we never go to bed 
till two or three and pretty often not until five or six 


The London Papers * boycot ' Irish questions and 
debates. I have had from twenty to thirty-six questions 
every day and two or three supplementaries to each. 
But I keep wonderfully well and enclose a tribute (news- 
paper cutting) to my physical endurance. 

It is freezing hard with occasional blizzards. You will 
triumph when I tell you that I explain my survival solely 
by the fact that I now wear long woollen drawers. They 
have doubled my vitality. 

Best love to all. Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Father 


April 20th, 1901. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I am delighted at Guy's brevet 
Lieutenant Colonel. This is the best he could have got ; 
far better professionally than a D.S.O. 

If you analyse the list of brevet Lieutenant Colonels, 
you will see that there are only fifteen in all for the Cavalry. 
Of these many are given to officers already temporary 
Lt. Colonels, that is to say, who are really commanding 
their regiments in South Africa. And three are to the 
Life-Guards, Carter, Bingham, Grenfell. 

If you omit Life-Guards and Dragoons who are rather 
apart and take the Hussars and Lancers, the whole list 
is : 

Byng - V VV ' . 10th Hussars. 

*Haig . . . 7th Hussars. 

Nicholson r V 7th Hussars. 

*Lawrence .'./; '' * 17th Lancers. 

Peyton . w<r 15th Hussars. 

*Guy . . . 16th Lancers, 
or six in all. 

What pleases me most is that Haig and Lawrence, 
whom I have marked, are pre-eminently the 'fancy' 


cracks in the first-flight according to War Office views 
and general reputation throughout the service, so that 
dear old Guy at last gets the official stamp on the place 
which he has hardly won and earned well in the ' first- 

To be one of six out of all the light cavalry in an Honours 
Gazette is a real distinction which marks the dear fellow 
for future employment and promotion. Note also that 
this Gazette is for services before the 29th November last, 
1900, and that his rank dates from that day. 

I am hugely delighted. Love to darling Mamma and 
Perf and Ditch. Your most loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

May 23rd, 1901. 

DARLING, This anonymous letter will amuse you. 
Ever your loving son, GEORGE. 

* " Their language was an heirloom of the Irish." 
Bravo ! bravo ! ! bravo ! ! ! 

* Thank God we have a gentleman as Chief Secretary 
for Ireland. All difficulties in the way of English dominion 
will disappear if dealt with in a similar spirit. 

* More power to ye.' 

' Couldn't you give Sir Alfred Milner a hint ' 


To his Father 

CHESHAM, June 4th, 1901. 

DEAREST PAPA, I gather that Minnie starts from South 
Africa to-day or to-morrow and will arrive, I suppose, 
about 21st or 22nd. 

I return for House on Thursday and, if I have time, 
will look in for luncheon. 

I had a grand trip in the Granuaile to Clare Island, 
Killary Bay and the Arran Isles. The pre-historic fort 


of Dun Angus on a sheer precipice down into the Atlantic- 
is one of the best things I have seen. The other chief 
point of interest consisted in the choughs on these islands. 
They are delightful birds, very graceful in their flight and 
when running. It is amusing to see their red legs tucked 
under them when overhead. Your loving son, 



To his Brother 

CHKSHAM, June (Mh, 1901. 

MY DEAREST OLD GUY, Have just heard of your 
appointment to column on 9th May. Am too sorry for 
you and Minnie but overjoyed that, at last, they are 
letting you come 4 through your horses.' I do feel deeply 
for you and Minnie. But now is the time to sit down 
and ride. I never like interfering with advice from a 
distance but, if darling Minnie has started, it will console 
you, if she has not, it may help to decide you to know 
confidentially that K. is beginning to refer in his telegrams 
to the difficulties of making proper arrangements for the 
Plague and to insist that wives of officers not in permanent 
garrison should be induced to go home. I ought to tell 
you this as ' the stable-key often decides the trial,' and 
K. is a thorough-going sort of cuss, who might other 
things being equal give a command to the man whose 
wife was at home. But, dear old boy, I do feel for you 
and miss you very much. I am told that Douglas Haig 
is to command the 17th not officially but on good 
authority. D. H. is in Cape Colony with a column, 
there are ructions there ; French has gone there. With 
luck this should mean that you will be left in Command 
and I hope with an increased command. Now is the time 
for those who have stuck it out to reap their reward and 
what is far more to do the job. I dreamt last night 
that you got another brevet and the D.S.O. and this 
morning I have the good news of your appointment. 

I have had a hard session and an interesting Whitsun. 


There was a row on the Dillon Estate purchased by 
Congested Districts Board, so I went off to Ballaghaderreeii 
to settle it, the moment the House rose. The ' Freeman ' 
beat up an opposition to me and two agitator M.P.'s 
O'Donnell and Cullinan went to hold a rival meeting 
at same time and place. All, however, went off well. 
Their meeting was damped by the rain and I remained 
in possession of the field. After that I went to Westport 
embarked on the Granuaile and visited Clare Island and 
the Arran Isles ; got caught in a gale off Slyne Head but 
enjoyed myself and did a good stroke of business. House 
meets to-morrow and I expect a stiffish two months of 
it. But I 'm still in the saddle and got a letter yesterday 
from a Nationalist telling me to stick to it and not mind 
the agitators. Nor do I. 

But all this is skittles to the terrible grind you have 
had. K.'s news is, on the whole, encouraging. I believe 
you will finish the war by September. If not, I expect 
that we shall begin again and give you all a richly earned 
holiday. But I long for you and the others who have 
done all the work to reap all the rewards. I have no 
doubt but that you and the other few who have seen it 
all will get what is going. Every time a general comes 
back I throw up my hat and feel you are nearer the top 
and nearer which as I said is far more important nearer, 
the work you are fitted to do. So buck up and ride the 
Hell of a finish ! All your recent staff work and this 
command is since November from which your brevet 
dates. It is a separate campaign in which you start as 
a Lieutenant-Colonel with a command. 

God bless you dear old Boy. Ever your most loving 
brother, GEORGE. 


To his Brother 

June 15th, 1901. 

DEAREST OLD GUY, Heartiest congratulations ! The 
papers say you marched 40 miles by night and jumped 


some Boers. The * Times ' mentioned you in its leader. 
You must have done it just at the time when I was think- 
ing of you. 

Well, more power to your elbow ! Your loving brother, 



To his Mother 

DUBLIN CASTLE, August 8th, 1901. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I loved your letter and will 
certainly call on Amelia Ireland with Sibell. I got through 
this session with less reaction and ' de'soeuvrement ' than 
ever before. I must be stronger than I used to be. 

Now we are having a regular old-fashioned summer 
holiday time framed on the model of my earlier exploits. 
Perf is better than for years and has constituted himself 
master of the ceremonies. He knows all the polo, cricket, 
racing and theatrical fixtures and takes care that the 
Chief Secretary shall make a creditable public appear- 
ance wherever the 4 Fancy ' and ' le Sport ' are gathered 

The day presents a wonderful blend of all the family^ 
proclivities. At 8.30 I read prayers to Sibell, the cook, 
and the butler. At 8.40 I ride ' harsing in the Phanix ' 
with Perf and Tony Shaftesbury. Perf was very keen 
to ride and organised it for the first day, last Thursday. 
His nerve has quite come back and he goes full gallop 
for an hour every day with his Papa trotting and cantering 
a quarter of a mile behind. At 9.45 he eats voraciously. 

After my breakfast, I have up the Under-Secretary, or 
Vice-President of Local Government Board, etc., etc., 
and put in two or three hours of easy-going work. Then 
Percy takes me to cricket-matches, polo, Leopardstown, 
etc., etc. And we wind up with frantic lawn-tennis till 
7.30. Dinner at eight. Perf to bed at 9.30. Then music 
as a rule till 12 o'clock. 

We have had really good music Gatty playing accom- 


paniments ; Tony Shaftesbury singing and Ian Malcolm 
working in an ' obligato ' on the violin. Last night they 
4 swept the floor ' with the * Two Grenadiers.' We have 
had a poet, too, called O'Connor and have debauched over 
the Museum. The latest theory by a man called Ridge- 
way admirably reviewed in 4 Quarterly ' of, I think, 
July fits in with the long bronze swords here and is 
most exciting. 

Also as Fraulein says we are contriving a large 
block of Public Buildings. I fly about with all my 
secretaries, Chairman of Board of Works etc., etc. 

Gatty who was operated on, most successfully for 
carbuncle (It is only here that such things happen in 
one's house) and O'Connor left to-day. There remain 
darling Cuckoo and Tony, Hilda and Charlie Southampton, 
Cecil Parker and his daughter, Malcolm, Captain Daven- 
port. That is my Horse-show party. I have lots of 
transport sociable and pair, brougham, and two cars 
at two guineas a day. So we appear everywhere at all 
hours. To-day we rode, saw a Field-day ; did the Rich- 
mond Hospital speaking to every patient, and neglecting 
not even the kitchen, scullery and laundry. Then on 
to Horse-show ; in the ring with the judges (Parker 
*and Southampton are judging) ; Back for polo. Perf, 
as usual was half an hour ahead of me and when I reached 
the ground I found him in the member's stand a little 
intent silhouette with hat well on the back of its head. 
He paved the way for entry by introducing us to the 
secretary. You and Papa would enjoy seeing him. He 
goes everywhere with absolute composure and uncon- 
sciousness and everybody is enjoying him. He dined 
for once at a full-fig stars and garters Vice-Regal 
Dinner by special command. They all say he is just 
like you. 

After that we played tennis. Perf and Malcolm against 
Tony and self. He plays quite well. 

Cuckoo and Tony are regular Paddies too. It turns 
out that Tony, through his mother a Chichester owns 
150,000 acres in Donegal. He and Cuckoo have been 


dining and lunching the whole oi the country-side in 
Inish-owen. On next Saturday they carry me off captive 
to their ' bow and spear ' to Moville on Loch Foyle. 

Malcolm, Hanson, Willeby the musician with piano 
let down into the S.S. Granuaile, and violin and Green 
the Fishery Inspector join that good ship at Derry on 
Sunday. Monday, we have deputations and speeches 
and guarantee prosperity to the entire peninsular of 
Inish-owen. Then we work round the West coast, with 
Perf, right down to Kenmare River. 

It is a grand campaign. I have ' laid on ' Glasgow 
manufacturers, Quarry-owners, County-Councils, Mag- 
nates etc., etc., all the way round ; I have worked in 
short visits to Mrs. Adair, Dunraven, Lansdowne, Sir 
John Colomb and Lady Kenmare. Sibell joins us South 
by train. 

Meanwhile all my Departments are working in lines 
I have laid down to collect every proposal whether for 
railways, harbours, or arterial drainage, and we shall 
together beat out a policy on my return. 

I cross to England with Percy for Eton on 18th, and 
then will come to you perhaps with Sibell, shoot the 
following Tuesday and Wednesday as arranged, and return 
here Thursday 26th to work at my Land Bill. 

To-morrow I have a Congested District Board at 9.45 
a.m. and at 1.30 we all go in pomp with His Excellency, 
Lancer escort etc., etc., to the Horse Show. x 

Thursday, we celebrate my birthday and Cuckoo's 
an old custom and Tony's and have a banquet here of 
all the Heads of Departments Sir David Harrell, Under 
Secretary, Colonel Ross of the Dublin Police, Neville 
Chamberlain of the R.I.C., the Attorney General, General 
Gossett, commanding Dublin District, etc., etc., about 
26 of us in all. 

What with Horse-show, Cricket, Polo, Racing, Hospitals, 
Congested Districts, Lawn-tennis, Croquet, Billiards, and 
Ping-Pong we manage to ' keep the Tambourine a rowlin.' 

Love to Papa, Ditch and all. Your most loving son, 





To his Mother 

LOCH FOYLE, September 2, 1901. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, The Butterfly was too beautiful. 
He has 4 some taste of immortality in him.' 

And so has this spot. ... I must bring you here some- 
how to see it anyhow I pretend that we shall be here 
on such a sky-blue, sea-blue, grass-green, sun-shimmering 
day next year after the Horse-show for which I have 
booked you, Papa and Ditchmouse. 

I am sitting on a deep-piled grass terrace fifteen yards 
wide, then a foot wall ; the tops of two wild fuschia clumps 
and. some rocks showing above it. Beyond, the narrow 
entry to Loch Foyle blue and vitreus as the Butterfly, 
stretches between me and the low sandy flat of Magilligan's 
Point opposite. Behind that rises a transparency of green 
fields, purple moorlands and Basalt scars. To the right 
the loch sweeps and broadens out and narrows again 
eighteen miles off to Deny. To the left is the Atlantic, 
the dun headland of the Giant's Causeway and most 
faint in the summer haze Islay, the Paps of Jura, Rathlin 
Island and yesterday but to-day lost in the haze, the 
Mull of Kintyre. Behind this manor house a little sea, 
wood of Scotch firs and sycamores, and rocks fifty feet 
high shut it in with a wonderful garden blazing with 
summer holiday flowers between pergola walls and fuchsia 
hedges. Three hundred yards off is the huge ruin of 
Greencastle, built by de Burgo. 

At 12 noon I receive a large deputation to talk over a 
steam-ferry from here to Magilligan's Point. 

We steamed here from Deny Saturday afternoon. 
Yesterday we steamed to Giant's Causeway and back 
by the Skerries, Dunluce Castle, Port Rush and Stewart, 
down to Moville. Thence we drove on a car to a bay 
more to the West and walked back over the mountain. 


From the col we could see the sea behind us and the 
loch in front a breathless view. 

After the deputation we start to round Malin Head and 
anchor to-night in Sheep Haven and go on right round to 
Kenmare and Killarney. 

' How fresh was every sight and sound 

On open sea and winding shore, 

We knew the merry earth was round 

And we could sail for evermore.' 

I prepared for this trip by getting out an indexed 
abstract of every public work for which anybody has 
ever asked. 

I have this on my lap with a good map on which they 
are all marked. Then I sail round and see the places 
and the people so as to select those which are most 
urgent and likely to work in best for both developing 
fishing and, also, for giving transit facilities to the small 
congested farms and, also, for working in new industries 
with Morton. 

Our party consists of Hanson, Malcolm, Percy, Willeby 
the musician, and Green, a delightful Fishery Inspector 
who knows all about fishes and all about the legendary 
and historic personalities whose great names haunt these 
highlands and islands De Burgo, O'Doherty, Shane 
O'Neil, Sorey Boyle, McDonnell, Sir Francis Drake, the 
McCahan and so on to the country of Granuaile and the 
ferocious O'Flahertys. 

I wish I were an Emperor to do exactly what I please 
for the people here. But something somehow shall be 

You can easily see this particular problem from the 
map. The whole peninsula of Inish-owen is congested 
and the northern part here twenty miles of carting away 
from Derry. We have made a railway to Carndonagh 
but the high mountains prevent it from helping the 
thick fringe of population on this the eastern side of 

Tony Shaftesbury, as descendant through his mother 


from Sir Arthur Chichester to whom the whole country 
was given in 1612, is head landlord of 150,000 acres about 
here, and he and dear Cuckoo mean to do all they can 
hence my presence and the deputation. But, as ever, 
there are difficulties and jealousies mail contracts to 
Deny, rival railway companies and behind all the grim 
Treasury. What of it ? Something shall be done. 
Best love to all. Your most loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

September 15th, 1901. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I got your letter and Guy's 
three on return here last night. You must not be down- 
cast about Guy. He is having very hard work. But 
it is a mistake to take one sentence out of a letter the 
feeding being a strain and to base a view on that. The 
letters show that he is really fit and keen. Minnie and 
you attached far too much importance to the * Times ' 
Correspondent. That letter referred, not to these of 
Guy written llth, 14th and 17th of August, but to the 
letters of which you sent me copies describing the Camdeboo 
mountain trek of a fortnight or more earlier. French 
gets Guy's reports not the correspondent's twaddle 
written after it is all over from the top of a mountain 
commanding a view of the whole country from which 
the enemy has been shifted. 

The best plan is to note only what Kitchener reports. 
4 No change in the situation ' means that Guy is still 
pursuing Smit. And now and again, Guy's name is 
mentioned. He, for example, came up with Smit on 
August 30th and inflicted some loss on that commando. 

A coup such as ScobelPs would be pleasant reading and 
Guy will, with a little luck, pull one off soon. But it is 
no use to fret over the hitches and disappointments of 
war. It is made up of them until the moment comes. 


I have had a most interesting sail round the west of 
Ireland from Giant's Causeway to Dunmanus Bay, back 
to Kenmare River and up to Drumquinna, winding up 
with a miraculous drive through Windy Gap down on to 
Muckross and Killarney. 

Percy has thriven on it. He was very plucky when 
the gale blew and stuck it out on the bridge with me in 
oilskins like two canaries under a water-spout. 

Itinerary Saturday, August 31st. To Deny by * Granuaile ' 
to Greencastle. 

Sunday, September 1st. Out West to Giant's Causeway 
and back to Greencastle. 

September 2nd. Deputation and steamed, stopping at 
Malin Head to Sheep Haven. A perfect summer day 
and golden sunset bathing Tory Island. 

September 3rd. Drove from Port-na-blagh, near Dun- 
fanaghy to Glenveagh Mrs. Adair's deer forest ; had 
talk with contractor of the new railway. 

September 4th. Started 7.30 a.m. and drove by moun- 
tains Muckish and Errigall, past Gweedore to Bunbeg. 
Thence sailed in boat through the Island, to the ship. 
Called at Gort-na-Sate and anchored at Port Noo some 
way out to sea. Sailed back to the ship into an after-glow 
of Japanese reds and old golds. The wind sending us 
nine knots. Wonderful. 

September 5th. On to Kilcar, and on to Killybegs. 
Steamed across Sligo bay and by night round the Mullet 
to anchor in morning at Black Rock point. It was very 
rough a gale. 

September 6th. Landed at granite quarries trawled in 
the bay and then round Achill Head. It blew a gale and 
the ' glory and glee ' ot the storm were an ecstacy. Achill 
falls sheer two thousand feet into the sea. The whole 
surface of the Atlantic was a weaving haze of spin-drift 
from the wind. The great rollers hit the cliff and roared 
and spouted up two hundred feet. 

Percy had gone below sick. But I carried him up on 
to the bridge in his oilskins and he began to exult in it. 
We went from Achill past Clare Island. A sun-burst 


in the storm threw a rainbow over Achill. It was one 
of the best moments in my life holding Percy to the 
rails with my arms and l galumphing ' over the rollers. 
We could not trust Cleggan Harbour, so put into Bally- 
nakill, as there was daylight to thread the maze of islands. 
Then the sky cleared and we watched a divine sunset 
on the twelve pins of Connemara and Percy shot at bottles 
and caught dog-fish. 

I have forgotten to say that when coming South along 
the Mullet we steamed for an hour at night through 
mackerel. The sea was full of phosphorus. The shoals 
of fish were like breakers of blue light and, as the prow 
overtook them, these light waves particularized themselves 
into ghostly fishes bursting away into bouquets of blue 

September 7th. Steamed to Cleggan Deputation. And 
then, hardening our hearts, we doubled Slyne Head and 
made Roundstone. That was the day of real storm. It 
was past all * whooping.' We all kept going on the bridge 
in oil-skins and singing at the top of our voices. We 
were determined not to be beat by the weather ; and 
yelled at Slyne Head as we swooped and staggered past it. 
* If you want to know who we are, we 're gentlemen from 
Japan ' etc., etc. After that one by one Willeby and 
Hanson and Malcolm gave up and went below. But 
Percy stood by. At Roundstone we landed and found the 
whole place gay with bunting. There, with flags and 
cheers, I had a capital meeting. 

The glass kept falling and wind getting more to the 
west, so there was no chance of getting into a natural 

We were due at Liscannor Harbour, Co. Clare at 4 p.m. 
the next day. So we hardened our hearts again and 
went plumb for the wind's eye to get shelter under the 
lee of the Aran Isles. The wind roared and the rain hit 
our eyes like redhot pellets. Nobody but Percy stayed 
on the bridge with me. At Aran we could not land ; 
so rode it out on two anchors with very fair shelter. 

September 8th. We decided it would be impossible to 


land at Liscannor so steamed before the wind to Olenina 
near Ballyvaghan on the north coast of Clare and drove 
twenty miles past Killfenora to Liscannor. 

There we found one thousand persons and had a great 
time Speeches, an aldermanic Belshazzar with the Priest 
and then on to Lahinch where we did two more deputations 
and supped at ten o'clock. 

September 9th. Got up at five and took the 6 o'clock 
train to Kilrush. Sailed from there to the steamer and 
on to the Fenit River in Tralee Bay. 

After that a wonderful afternoon and evening of coast 
scenery and sunset. Past Brandon Head, three thousand 
feet, Ballydavid, the Three Sisters and Sybil Head. And 
so through the Blaskets to Valencia. 

I longed for you to be there. The Atlantic was blue 
with a heavy swell, the headlands changed from peach- 
blossom to heliotrope, from heliotrope to cyclamen from 
cyclamen to violets, from violets to mysteries of green and 
deep purple. The sun sank like a Japanese lantern. 
The Blaskets and Skelligs became transparent, obsidian 
and serpentine. Well ! Well ! It can only be seen. 

September IQth. Sibell and Lady Castlerosse joined us 
by the Valentia railway. We took them out to the 
Skelligs but could not land. The great Skellig is a 
promenade seven hundred feet high sheer out of the 
Atlantic with its ruins of a fifth century monastery. The 
small Skellig is the home and breeding ground of all the 

September Ilth. Steamed to Bear Haven and on to 
Dorneen in Dunmanus Bay and back through Dursey's 
sound where Murty O'Sullivan slipped the frigate 
to Parknasilla. 

September I2th. Landed at Garinish, Derreen and 

September 13th. Drove over the mountain to Killarney. 

I will tell you all about it on Saturday when I come to 
Clouds. Your most loving son, GEORGE. 



To his Mother 

PHCENIX PARK, DUBLIN, October 3rd, 1901. 

MOST DARLING, Here is the letter. I am having a 
steady pull at creative work : have finished 30 pages of 
quarto on Fisheries ; detailed orders to Police in respect 
of agitation, and am now up to my neck in a Land Bill. 
I like that kind of * firsthand ' work best but it takes it 
out of one. Still I must get it all in print within the 
next ten days. Then I go West to stay with the O'Conor 
Don : do a couple of speeches in England, and then 
' sit down to ride ' on the detailed application of created 
wholes. (Fish : Police : Land :) Even if I succeed in 
accomplishing little, ideas are immortal. They impregnate 
the others and ultimately assert themselves over the 
general inertia of the world. 

But I believe I shall win on Fisheries and ' law and 
order ' and go nearer winning on Land than I really 
thought possible a year ago. 

How hard dear old Guy is working. There is a sense of 
serenity about work which is beyond recompense and even 
beyond intelligent appreciation by the Powers. Your 
most loving son, GEORGE. 

To his Mother 

PH<ENIX PARK, DUBLIN, November 8th, 1901. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, Many thanks for dear old 
Guy's letter. 

The work is terribly hard and the newspapers at home 
destitute of imagination, common sense and dignity. 

But ' it really doesn't matter ! ' Good work well done 
is complete in itself apart from results and, all the more, 
apart from recognition. . 


I squibbed over to London on Wednesday night and 
put in a record of interviews yesterday. Lord Balfour 
of Burleigh at 9.30, the Chancellor at 11.30, Austen Cham- 
berlain at 1, lunch with Cadogan 2 to 3 o'clock, and 
Lansdowne in the afternoon. 

I did pretty well and returned in better spirits, not 
that I can complain on that score ! Travelling back all 
to-day was quite a holiday. 

But I wish ' column leaders ' here or in South Africa 
could be left to do their job in their own way. Let us 
all register an oath that if our turn ever comes we will 
let our subordinates ' rip ' as the man said when he stuck 
a fork into the cat. 

All love to darling Chang. Ever your most loving son, 



To his Brother 

DUBLIN, 19th November 1901. 

MY DEAREST OLD GUY, Your letter of October 16th 
from Piquetberg Road gave me great pleasure. It pro- 
duced another illustration of the ' Corsican Brothers ' 
theory. Oddly enough I had said a week before to 
Mrs. Fleming R. Kipling's sister who goes in for 
telepathy etc., that I had dreamed of you several tunes 
just before getting a letter or hearing of you in the papers. 
The night before your letter came I dreamt of you most 
vividly and the dream was an exaggeration of the turn 
of events told in your letter when it came. I was talking 
to you and you were worried and preoccupied. I said 
' how well you Ve done, you '11 get another brevet soon.' 
You said, ' Oh no, they don't appreciate the difficulties 
and I am only a sergeant now ! ' Then the dream changed. 
You got a splendid message from French and three extra- 
ordinary decorations and we were both in tearing spirits 
smacking each other on the back and making silly jokes. 
When your letter came it told me of French having sent 


for you and said he was completely satisfied. But you 
are too busy to bother about dreams. Mamma is over- 
joyed at the French interview. She has been referring 
to him in recent letters as ' a poor blind mortal ' incapable 
of recognizing merit. 

I am having a hard time of it just now. The agitation 
in the West is beginning to give me a hand-full. Not 
that it troubles me in itself. On the contrary, proclama- 
tions, baton-charges and, possibly, prosecutions are 
simple enough. My trouble is that it complicates my 
labours with the Cabinet to get a proper Land Purchase 
Bill. I have been slaving at that. Having fired off five 
long memos, drafted two Bills and paid three visits to Beach and others in London, I am still hard at it 
and have only had one day's hunting. A skurry from 
' Turnings ' and ride home to Sallins along the Canal 
reminded me of old days. How I long for you to be 
here and ride my horses whilst I sit trying to cajole the 

I mean to make another swoop into the West as I 
do not intend to let Dillon have ' all the limelight.' 
I see copies of your letters and all the telegrams to 
Brodrick, so I know pretty well what is going on. The 
Government is growled at by everyone. But as there 
is no opposition and everyone wants the War pushed 
at all costs if need be for ever, nothing comes of the 

I hope two Cavalry regiments will ease the work out 
there. It is interesting to see the regular Army and, 
above all, the Cavalry coming out alone as the War goes 
on. They seem to give you all the most tiresome work. 
But the War Office and Government have their eye on 
the young column leaders and nobody else will get nearly 
such a show at the end. I must now plug again at my 
work. Best luck to you. Ever your loving brother, 



To his Mother 

PH<ENIX PARK, DUBLIN, November 19th, 1901. 

MOST DARLING, No time to write. I loved your letter 
and feel guilty at having bottled one from old Guy to me. 
You will see by my note that it was a real case of the 
* Corsican brothers ' I cannot convey the vividness of my 
dream. It was, of course, absurd, in a sense, as dreams 
are. Guy said to my congratulations, c Oh no, I 'm only 
a sergeant now ! ! ' and would not be bothered to talk 
about the war. Then a message came from French and 
three extraordinary decorations in a case. At once we 
were smacking each other on the back and playing the 
fool together as we used to do. Then, when I got to 
Dublin the next morning came his letter, following in 
waking-sense the exact turn of events prefigured in my 

I am having a hard time with the Treasury and Cabinet 
over legislation. But I mean to win and am * fighting 
fit.' Ever most loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

PH<ENIX PARK, DUBLIN, December I5th, 1901. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, 1 You have probably seen 
enclosed (newspaper cutting) in the * Morning Post.' 
What an amazing * lingo ' they do write : * did ample 
justice,' * black-feathered visitors,' ' venerable bird.' 

I have not seen the book yet but Sibell encountered 
a pile of it hi the book-shop at Chester. 

I have been bucketted about a good deal lately owing 
to the Cabinet being continually postponed. And now 

1 The letter refers to ' The Ballad of Mr. Rook,' some verses written by 
George Wyndham, and illustrated by his mother, to amuse his boy, Percy. 


I have to cross back again on Wednesday to do business 
in London with some of them on Thursday and Friday. 

I long to see you and Papa and Clouds. It is ages since 
I was there. I shall try to spend my Sundays with you 
after the meeting of Parliament as in 1900 when I pre- 
pared my War speeches in the Smoking-room. 

I want a holiday badly and shall try to make one about 
Christmas with my Perf who is very well and has got up 
to 10th in school order of his Division. 

Best love to you Darling and to all at Clouds. Ever 
your most loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Brother 

Christmas Eve, 1901. 

MY DEAREST OLD GUY, I must write to you first this 
Christmas Eve. It is never much use to take aim through 
the post so that a letter may arrive at Christmas. By 
writing it we secure an appropriate date at one end any 
way. And dear old Boy, all my thoughts are with you 
to-night as ever. The ' Evening Mail ' says you had 
ten casualties on the 20th including two officers wounded. 
How I long to welcome you back. I am very glad that 
dear Minnie will be at hand if not with you, when this 
reaches. I do trust and pray that you are not wearing 
yourself out. I hear all the news for what it is worth. 
I can only say that your big-wigs are in much better 
spirits than they have been for months. French seems 
to be in high fettle and generally blesses all his columns. 
You must ask Minnie to write and tell me, if there is any- 
thing I can send to you or do for you. I will make a 
point of seeing your little George hi January and write a 
description of him to you. 

I have had a chill from cold and over- work not improved 
by crossing three times in twelve days to see the Cabinet, 
each time in a gale of sleet. My Irish friends are being 
as naughty as they dare. I have had to prosecute four 


M.P.s and ten or fifteen minor agitators. In short, the 
agitation storm-cone is hoisted and I am in for a bout 
of the old, old business. It is a great waste of time and 
energy which I could spend to better purpose if they 
would allow me to go on with constructive work. But 
there it is. 

We shall have a hard time when the House meets on 
January 16th. They will obstruct us on new ' rules and 
procedure ' to jockey Irish obstruction. The Irish will 
raise Cain over my prosecutions and the Rosebery-ites 
will try to beat us over the ' Education.' My belief is 
that we shall stay in till the War is over and then go out 
with a vengeance. I cannot tell you how blissfully, 
blatantly, reconciled I should be to retiring for a space 
into private life. If only it might be after the War and 
mean that you and I could lay ourselves out to rest and 
be thankful for some six months. That will come all 
right, never fear ! You shall bring your whole family here 
and ' harse in the Phrenix ' and, I will spend my Sundays 
with you at Westbrook, smoking together, as of old, on 
the lawn and wondering why others are such mortal fools 
as to work themselves out. But all that is for June or 
September. Meanwhile ' once more unto the breach.' 
I want to smash the agitation, introduce a Land Bill, get 
money for a Harbour-fishing Policy in the West and float 
a Catholic University. After that any one may be a 
Minister who prefers missing all the joys of life. 

Give my love to dearest Minnie. I shall send you some 
books and things soon. Perf has grown a great deal and 
passed into 4 Remove.' We had a great gallop in the 
Park to-day, and afterwards went shopping. But I am 
too tired to enjoy much now and look forward all the 
time to rest and being together and happy, and letting 
things rip. But we must just put in five or six more 

God bless you, dearest old Guy. Your most loving 
brother, GEORGE. 



To his Father 

PutKNix PARK, DUBLIN, Christmas, 1901. 

DEAREST PAPA, I have just got your letter and send 
you a Merry Christmas and happy New Year. 

I feel the separation and the impossibility of throwing 
off the work here. Nobody tries to delegate work more 
than I but here everyone looks to the Chief Secretary 
of the day and few will take any responsibility. They 
vyatch your every gesture as a dog does instead of going 
in the direction you point out. In the end you must go 

I must carry on till Easter. Then I should very much 
like to come to Clouds and bring Percy and have him taught 
to shoot. He is fourteen and ought to learn to handle a 
gun at rabbits. 

I sent full particulars in my letter to Mamma of his work 
and Trials. 

I earnestly hope that we shall be turned out so soon as 
the War is over and I wish Rosebery and his friends joy 
of ' efficiency.' Your loving son, GEORGE. 

To Charles Boyd 

[Line undated, but probably 

I have fixed up the motor-transit scheme which shall 
make Ireland a Pioneer, Begob ! 

Also ' at last, you Dogs,' I have got my Railways to 
make proper links to my Western Harbours. 

I pull and push at administering the Land Bill. 

I am happy hi the midst of ' cross-currents ' which are 
slowly, though tumultuously here and there, changing 
this country to a better state. 


It is slow work, mostly invisible, but it is there, or 
rather here. 

All Good Luck in the New Year. 

G. Parker or E. Talbot are the best. Yours ever, 
old boy, GEORGE W. 


To his Mother 

January 20th, 1902. 

DARLING MAMMA, A splendid letter from dear old Guy 
about his Convoy fight. Am having it typed before 
sending it on. He lost 20 per cent, in casualties and was, 
as he says ' a man on a mouse ' for eight hours. I grudge 
keeping you waiting but want a copy to shew to St. John 
and A. J. B. He is so pleased because all the work was 
done by the 16th whom he ' knew could pull him through.' 
That reminds me that Harry Bourke had a talk with 
an Irishman in the 16th, back on sick leave. He said of 
Guy 4 By the Holy I 'd go through the fire of Hell for him.' 
Your most loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Father 

35 PARK LANK, W., 
January 26th, 1902. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I am glad to hear your view of 
Geoff Brooke and the Irish Guards. He saw me for a 
moment, told me his income and of his Trustees' consent. 
I said I could not take any responsibility and that he must 
decide for himself in consultation with you since you had 
been helping him in the matter. But that if he wanted 
to know whether it was possible to be in the Guards at 
that figure I could only say that it was and that many 
of my friends had done it. This is all the more true of 
the Irish Guards who will frequently be quartered in 
Dublin where a man can have more sport, good society 


and recreation for less money than in any other town in 
Europe. I then received your first letter and was glad of 
that as last night at the Abercorns I met Vesey Dawson, 
an old brother officer, who commands the Irish Guards. 

He approached me of his own accord on the subject 
and asked many questions about Geoffrey. 

He was much pleased with my account of him and is 
bent on having Geoffrey in his regiment. 

He told me that there was much less extravagance than 
in my day and no gambling. They have a good lot of 
pleasant professional soldiers and I am quite sure that 
Geoffrey could not do better than go in for them. Hang- 
ing about with Crammers and Militia majors is a terrible 
waste of impressionable years, so that is all for the best. 

I had a talk, too, with Lord Roberts and, in the 
afternoon, with Colonel Ward. The ulterior news from 
South Africa continues to be very cheerful. 

I am riding a long patient race in Ireland disregarding 
the excited advice which is showered on me. Nobody 
knows better than I do the risk of doing anything in that 
country. But I know that the risk of doing nothing is 
far greater and that to take the advice of extremists at 
either pole is not a risk but a certainty of disaster. 

The ' parochialism ' of the Ulster right wing is beyond 

So far all my calculations and forecasts have been 
justified. My ' Fishing Policy ' and ' Land Policy ' are 
ready to take the stage and, in Ireland, arouse a great 
deal of interest. But you must not be disconcerted if 
my Land Policy is received with howls from both the 
extremist sections. It may even be scouted for a time. 
All the same it is the only sound policy. 

Turning to ' Agitation ' and ' Coercion ' I do not expect 
to win for eighteen months ; but I am winning. The 
De Freyne Estate Plan of Campaign has broken down, 
and I know everything about their internal disputes. 
That is why I go on ' riding the race ' in my own way 
and why I hope to win in June 1903. 

Even if I am wrong and have not got hold of the best 


policy it is an advantage to know exactly what you 
intend to do and, in Ireland, almost a certainty that the 
person with definite views will succeed in impressing 
them on that country. 

I shall pass a Land Bill, reconstruct the Agricultural 
Department and Congested District Board, stimulate 
Fishing and Horse-breeding ; and revolutionize Education. 
Then I shall ' nunc dimittis ' and let some one else have a 
turn. Your devoted son, GEORGE. 


To Charles Boyd 

36 PARK LANE, W., 

MY DEAR CHARLES, Your letter fills me with apprehen- 
sion. 1 I trust that we may be spared so great a public 
loss and so keen a private sorrow to those who have known 
and therefore loved C. J. R. Yours ever, GEORGE W. 

To Mrs. Drew 

March 1902. 

I will first answer the two questions in your letter, 
adding a very few remarks, and then I mean to indulge 
myself by writing a short letter to you on my own account. 
But business first. 

I will gladly help to give these letters 2 a wider life, to 
bring the Porch into being, and to show that I jump at 
a chance of doing anything that you ask that can be done. 

I find I have answered both questions. Because I 
would not help to give the letters a wider life if I thought 
them too trivial. For I should not like any but very 
foolish people to be in a position to criticise you for printing 

1 The letter told him of the seiious condition of Cecil Rhodes, who died on 
March 28th. 

8 Letters of Mr. Puskin to Mrs. Drew. 



the letters. Very foolish people may do so as it is. But 
their opinions do not count. 

The letters. They are valuable and delightful inasmuch 
as they reveal something more of a great man . . . great 
in himself and greater because he changed the minds of 
many. But for Ruskin, much of Carlyle's teaching would 
never have reached people who, in their turn again, have 
been allowed to reach yet others. Even if we leave Art, 
Nature and the philosophy of Science aside, the man who 
wrote ' Unto This Last ' remains a great force which, 
thank God, is not expended. 

The letters are generally valuable because they show 
that great men may be playful and affectionate. In 
particular, the references to your Father in No. 1 ; to- 
Browning in No. 5 ; to the Land League in No. 17 ; to 
the law of landowning in 24 ; though unluckily not free 
from obscurity, are all of public importance. 

Again, in another category, ' the planes twisted by rock- 
winds,' and the profound thought on Morning and Evening,, 
Spring and Autumn, in 5 ; the ' move the shadow from 
the dial for evermore ' in 8 ; the * olives, grass and 
cyclamen ' in 28, are treasures which you ought to dispense* 
The reference to Lady Day in 13, and, to make a quick 
change, I like, at any rate, to possess the Bishop and 
Pigsty in 33. 

I have a doubt about the reference to Arthur Balfour 
if it is to him in 4. It is not clear and might be 
misunderstood. . . . 

And now I may please myself by writing to you. That 
is a very poor substitute for seeing you at Saighton ; 
there is just a chance I may be at Eaton on Sunday 
week. I would stay over Monday if you held out a hope 
that you could come over and take the 5 personally. 
Sibell and I would meet you on bicycles. 

The postscript to your letter stirs the deep and bitter 
waters of my life. It may be that I am meant to ' break 
my heart ' as a necessary object lesson to others. I can't 
write about that, but I should love to hear you talk of it. 
I confess that I have been depressed, for me, during the 


last three weeks. I had to get some things done and to 
prevent others with a high temperature, from my bed 
. . . that is an unusual ' coign of vantage ' in my life, 
and probably I magnified and distorted matters which 
are quite big and ugly enough hi themselves. 

But blessings were suddenly showered on me and mine 
on Lady Day, as Sibell was careful to point out. First 
a telegram from my brother Guy, to say he had three 
months' leave. He has been through the whole war, 
away for three years. I have been frightened at the 
strain this has put on my Mother ; now she has three 
months' rest from anxiety. My boy passed his Trials, 
in spite of influenza, also on Lady Day. The Land Bill 
survived a deliberate attempt on the part of the ' Times,' 
* Morning Post,' etc., to stab me and my offspring. This 
means something and may mean a great deal. Last, 
but not least, you wrote on Lady Day and brought back 
a flood of Saighton and poetry and gentleness and peace 
and wisdom and general pleasantness, of which my life 
has been wholly stripped for months. 

So I thank you and purposely keep back the 5 as an 
excuse, at worst, for writing again, and at best for seeing 
you Monday week. 

To his Father 

April 7th, 1902. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I have had some interesting and 
amusing days since I left the haven of Clouds. It was a 
rough passage on Thursday but, after testing the force 
and bitterness of the wind for half an hour I slept like a 
stone and arrived very fresh and well. I talked business 
with Cadogan till dinner. At dinner and after till nearly 
twelve o'clock I polished off (1) Judge Meredith, head of 
Land Commission, leaving him assured that the Land 
Bill was the best possible under circumstances of War 
deficits and (2) Colonel Chamberlain, Inspector General 


of the R. I. C. with whom I went at great length into the 
4 state of the country.' 

Friday I galloped a pulling horse from 8.30 to 9.30 and 
got to the Castle at 10.45. I had a grand morning of 
concentrated work with Harrell, Under Secretary, the 
Attorney General etc., etc., till 2 o'clock. Lunched at 
Kildare Street Club with other officials ; took on the Lord 
Lieutenant and others at 3 o'clock in formal Council till 
5.30, wrote and telegraphed till 7 o'clock. I then felt 
the want of air, so walked on the Quays till 7.30 and dressed 
at the Kildare Street Club for my Landlords' dinner. 

It was a great success and as good as a play. We sat 
down fourteen ; Dermot (Lord Mayo) in command at 
my left ; Lords Clonbrock, Rosse, Rathdonnell, Cloncurry, 
The O'Conor Don, Mr. Bruen, Bagwell, O'Callaghan 
Westrop, De Fellenburg, Montgomery, their Secretary 
Willis, and Solicitor Moore, with Hanson. The com- 
parative gene of the start was relieved by Dermot, who 
ordered in more and more waiters until at one moment 
they could not wait it was a small room for numbers 
and then, at the next, as a corrective, he marshalled them 
erect behind our chairs at an interval of four feet like 
N.C.O.'s on parade. Twenty minutes of alternation 
between the two manoeuvres having led to no one getting 
4 bite or sup ' he resigned the command and the dinner 
really got under way. At 9.30 we cleared the cloth and 
* got to.' They had questions drawn up as points of 
departure. At first it was rather slow going in sticky 
ground. But, somehow, I steadily increased the pace. 
By 11 o'clock we were galloping : and at 12.15 we separated 
in reciprocal enthusiasm. Friday I wrote a memo : in 
the morning. Worked through the other Departments, 
Local Government Board, and Valuation Office, etc. 
Caught the 6.45 to Kingstown, dined 7 to 8 with Wrench, 
the most practical Land Commissioner ; went on Board 
and had an entrancing passage of stars, sparks and fresh 
wind ; got to Eaton at 3 a.m. and slept till 11 o'clock. 

I found Bendor and Shelagh very well and happy. 
Benny had won the 14 stone Hunt race himself on 


Rainbow II., bought from Steeds, and the lightweight 
with Etona, ridden by young Garnett, a Cheshire Squireen. 
He bought the mare from Harry Bourke. Garnett was 
staying with Lady Olivia, Daisy and Hans Pless, Corn- 
wallis, and a South African Officer invalided home an 
amazing amalgam. Cornwallis and Hans Pless great 
on the Income Tax, Compulsory Service, Bridge, etc. 
Bendor quite sees the fun and sails through intent on 
horses, motors and Yeomanry. 

I welcome keenness at his age in anything and he is 
delightfully keen. The whole place has been turned into 
a glorified embodiment of a boy's holidays. In the Park, 
just to the left front of the great iron gates and Watts' 
Statue, he has constructed a steeple-chase course with 
a mile and a half of high tarred rails round it, giving the 
impression that a railway is being laid down in front of 
the house. The water-jump is regulation width, puddled, 
and always full of water from a pipe. The old Deer-house 
is now the home of badgers whose lives have been spared 
after digging out to assist fox-hunting. The stables are 
crammed with hunters, chase-horses, polo ponies, Basutos, 
carriage horses, American Trotter and two motor cars. 
He enjoys it all from morning to night and gives unbounded 
satisfaction to a horse-loving community. In the interval 
of ' stripping ' the horses, which takes from two to three 
hours per diem, he directs my attention to marked passages 
in the works of Mark Twain. But it is all very boyish 
and delightful : no luxury. I was quite glad to sleep in 
a room like a servant's room, with hard bed and windows 
blazing into my eyes. 

To-day they all went off hi motors and waggonettes to 
Yeomanry Point to Point races. I have just got a telegram 
from Lettice to say that Bendor won the Open Cup with 
Etona and the officers' race with Rainbow, riding both 
himself. So that, given his present object, not even 
Rosebery could criticise the ' efficiency ' with which he 
pursues. It won't last, of course, but after all my weeks 
and months of stuffy intelligence I was frankly delighted 
to embrace so much of health and open-air activity. As 


Dizzy said, ' They never read ' ; barring ' Mark Twain.' 
But there is nothing ' slang ' or ' fast ' or ' raffish.' He 
has laid out a very good Dutch garden, gets up early, 
takes an interest in the trees and has collected more four- 
footed companions about him than any of our contempo- 
raries with the exception of Khama King of Palapye. 
I am coming to you for Sunday. Your loving son, 


To Mrs. Drew 

April 9th, 1902. 

I must bless and thank you for your letter. Let me 
tell you one more story of Rhodes. 

After the South African Commission on which I brought 
out facts, not to defend for that was impossible but 
to make some of his actions intelligible, I called on him 
by appointment for breakfast. He had been riding and 
was dressing. He was shy, but unconventional always. 
So he suddenly walked in from his room in a shirt, his 
face lathered all over, a shaving brush in one hand and a 
razor in the other. With these precautions against any 
physical exhibition of gratitude, he said abruptly. in his 
high voice, ' Wyndham, I can't embrace you, but you 
know what I mean.' 

Monday is a precious possession to me. I am sure it 
will not be wasted. And ' you know what I mean.' 

To his Mother 

SALISBURY, April ISth, 1902. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, Your telegrams have kept us 
going. Sibell and I are with you and dear Madge and 
darling little Dick, 1 all the time in thought and prayer. 

I have written to Madge about Woodcock [his brother's 

. * His brother's second son was dangerously ill with pneumonia. 


servant] ; also suggesting that I should send our William 
to help at such a moment. He is all willingness and smiles, 
full of good nature and resource, based let me say 
on being a Christian of Sibell's persuasion. 

Consequently he never gives any trouble and always 
gives a great deal of help. 

I have wandered round our walk, thinking of you and 
praying for Dick, and hoping that this sunny day is helping 
the little darling. 

I wrote to Madeira, saying nothing of the illness but 
offering all possible facilities to Guy and Minnie on arrival. 

Darling we will hope and believe. 

It is not presumptuous to see with Sibell something 
uncommonly like intelligent and kindly guidance when we 
consider where we should be if Guy had sailed in the 
Kinfauns 1 That ship is wrecked near the Needles. So 
all have been spared embarrassment and further anxiety. 
Let us then believe and hope. 

And now darling I am glad that you are getting the 
Doctors to put you right. Get well now. 

Sibell, Perf and I will make Clouds our head-quarters 
for a week, at least. Papa suggests it. 

We go up to-morrow to have Perf over-hauled, first 
by Douglas Powell for chest, and then by Robson Roose 
for general advice. 

Meanwhile we pray for Peace. Things are just a little 
bit better than they look in the papers and I am not 
without hope of Peace. 

God bless you, darling, and little Dick. Ever your most 
loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Father 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
April Uth, 1902. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I must congratulate you on having 
* lived to see the registration duty re-imposed on Corn.' 
The Budget is bold and honest I have my doubts 


of the 2d., instead of Id., on cheques and dividend warrants. 
It seems ' fidgetty ' for half a million. 

You could not have taken the 2,650,000 on corn without 
putting another penny on the income tax. 

To fill the remaining gap of 500,000 I should, I confess 
have preferred some attempt by a further stamp duty to 
get at the people who have large sums to invest and who 
gamble on the Stock Exchange. 

The Id. on cheques will worry the very people who feel the 
Income Tax most, i.e., those with from 700 to 2000 a year. 

But it is a good Budget ; both sound in the revival 
of a principle and opportune in the moment for applying 
it. Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

April 18th, 1902. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I wired to remind you to wire 
to Guy whatever the doctors authorize and you think fit 
to-morrow so as to run no risk of missing if his ship gets 
to Madeira early Monday. It is due on Monday, 
' S.S. Dunvegan Castle, 

I long for better news. 

I had a Field-day yesterday in the House and the result 
in papers to-day is much better than I could have hoped 

All love to you. Give my love to little Dick. Your 
most loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

SALISBURY, April 20th, 1902. 

DARLING, How restful it is to be so much less anxious 
about little Dick and to think of seeing dear old Goukie 
[Guy] in less than a week ! 


I have written to Sir Francis Evans and shall let all 
concerned know the probable hour of the Dunvegan's 
arrival. If, as Minnie says, it is a bad ship, I doubt her 
coming in before Saturday morning. I have looked out 
all the trains. The two most likely to suit are, Southampton 
West 11.50 a.m. Dorchester 1.56 ; and 4.6 p.m. Dorchester 
5.50. Those are the best trains in the day. So at one or 
other of those hours on Friday or Saturday we ought to 
concentrate. I say Dorchester but Weymouth may be 
better ; or, we may, by boating to Fawley and driving on, 
catch a better service. I will keep you advised. 

Tell dear Madge not to bother about bedrooms in view 
of nurses etc. I can make my own arrangements to sleep 
at an Inn in Weymouth. Whatever happens I want to 
see old Guy during the Sunday. I shall insist on not 
having Irish Estimates Friday. 

Am so rejoiced to hear you are getting better. I did 
not like your ' wheeze ' when last together here. But 
with the ' stitch in time ' and the summer coming on you 
will be able now to enjoy Guy. 

I am hopeful about Peace : not immediately, but 

' Sumer is i cumen in 
Loud sing Cucu ! ' 

I rode with Perf yesterday on his * Perfection.' I have 
slept eleven hours since then. To-day I am being gloriously 
idle to get ready for speech at Brighton on Wednesday. 

With Guy back and little Dick getting well nothing else 
matters. Your most loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

April 22nd, 1902. 

DARLING, Papa is writing, but I am so pleased I cannot 
help putting my oar in. 

Sir Francis Evans says the ship will arrive between 
5 and 6 a.m. on Saturday morning. 


We all go down by the 4.50 from Waterloo. I expect, 
D.V. we shall come on Papa, Madge and I by the 
11.50 Saturday, due Dorchester 1.56 for lunch at 2.30. 

I am just off to get a ' Cat ' for Guy, a silver cup of 
some sort with 


Au bon droit 


April 1899 : April 1902 

Per tot discrimina rerum 

which is as who should say, * Through so many bedevil - 
ments of affairs.' It is from Virgil of ^Eneas one of the 
nine Worthies getting home at last, with household 
Gods, to the strand of Lavinia after his many notable 
adventures by sea and land. Hoo Roo ! Your most 
loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Sister, Pamela 

UPWEY, April 27th, 1902. 

BELOVED PAMELA, I must share with you, and the 
others if you think it worth sending on, some little bits 
of our great experience in welcoming dear old Guy. 

But it can only be little bits, for, as you know better 
than most, the great occasions of life, particularly if long, 
must be lived. The sluice gates of perception are all 
drawn up and every minute of long-drawn hours floods 
your soul with the usual, the unusual, and the unexampled, 
each sharply defined and preternaturally significant. 

We arrived at Southampton, about 6.30, Papa, Sibell 
and self, and met there Madge and Walter. We knew 
from a notice that the ship could not be in before 7 o'clock 
next morning and from charts we made out the berth she 
would take up. But this would not suffice. We recon- 
noitred Papa and I the mile and a quarter of wind- 
swept desolation to the ocean quay, pursued sometimes 


by three engines abreast, for the whole extent is one level 
crossing. The great ships and deep docks, the rubbish 
heaps and refreshment shanties became then and remain 
for ever permanent fixtures in the retentive memory of 
over-wrought expectation. 

We reported that at any hour of the night we could find 
the way at a moment's notice, and gave orders to be called 
at 4.30 a.m. although told with some insistence that we 
should be warned an hour and a half before the ship came 
in, on receipt of a wire signalling her at Hurst Castle. 
Some of the party, none the less, kept waking all night 
and at five minutes to four, I bounded out of bed, unable 
to keep from ' doing.' So Madge, Walter and I fared 
out at 5.20 and reached the berth, No. 35, at quarter to 
six. We got up a great excitement on seeing a Union- 
Castle Liner turn the corner of Calshot Castle at that 
moment and steam in. But no. She anchored, and was 
not the Dunvegan Castle. The wind was bitter. We 
tried three mugs of tea and two ice-cakes for 4d. in the 
navvies' beer-hall. Then Sibell arrived, having missed 
Papa. No hope of the ship before 7.30. So back I sent 
her out of the wind ; followed, and rinding her and Papa 
at the Dock Gates, back we came again arriving this 
time at 7 o'clock, with the certainty of having but one 
half hour to wait. Then suddenly in the offing, 
mysteriously sharp and magically tall was the prow of 
our ship only twenty minutes more to wait and the 
prow was visibly, though slowly, growing taller and taller, 
dominating the tugs and anchored yachts and proving 
how absurd it had been to magnify the smaller vessels 
of the past hour and a half with the ship. 

Then she began to turn. We took up a good position, 
craning our necks and straining our eyes to scan the long 
row of faces. No one we knew on the forecastle, or the 
waist, or the stern, and then again just as the chill began 
to grip expectation, quite simply Guy slung out of the 
stern cabin-shelter longer of limb and broader of shoulder 
than our memory of him ; and Minnie all laughter by his 
side. We waved, they waved. The crowd on the Quay 


jammed the navvies with the gangway, feeble handker- 
chiefs were fluttered by the foolish fond, there were some 
gulps and nervous little cheers. A lady who had not seen 
her husband for three years scuttled on board with the 
luggage porters and seemed about to kiss everybody. 
And there was Guy ten yards off, tall and big and calm, 
smiling and finishing a cigarette. 

Then we ground each other's hands and grinned and 
exchanged light pats on the shoulder. And so in two flys 
to breakfast, with bouquet and Cup of welcome. [George 
presented Guy with a large silver bowl for the centre of 
dining table on the occasion of his return.] Hubbub 
quadrupled by Mai West and Daisy Pless. 

Madge and Walter had confided to us that Upwey 
meant to welcome Guy. They were afraid he would be 
annoyed, had done their best to restrain the village 
enthusiasm. But not at all. The villagers had never 
seen Guy ; but he was coming back from the war to the 
' big house ' and they were not going to be done out of 
proprietory rights in the Colonel ! During a three hours 
creeping journey along Poole harbour and the Hampshire 
coast little Walter kept giggling. It was impossible to 
explain that his ebullitions were due to the promised 
reception, and we had some difficulty in starting fresh 
topics to cover these bursts of hilarity. At Bournemouth 
a porter ex-soldier insisted on brushing Guy's khaki 
coat. As we swung out of the Dorchester tunnel the 
* murder was out.' Flags were flying across the streets 
and from the trees of the straggling village suddenly 
revealed. We drew up ; and had our first sight of a 
figure that was to pervade and dominate all subsequent 
proceedings, giving that touch of the absurd which is 
essential to relieve the pathetic. There he was Mr. 
Drake by name once reputed to have been a soldier and 
anyhow claiming to have a son at the war. 

He had been inspired beyond the highest flight ever 
attained by R. Caldicott, to mount a shaggy black village 
pony with rope bridle, and for the greater glory, my dear, 
had armed himself with a large wooden hay-fork, to one 


tip and to the handle of which were tied the two corners 
of a large red and white flag, like a Giant's Bandana. 
We saw him mount, assisted by many, to be in the saddle 
before the train alarmed his steed. Some cheers were 
given, Guy touched his khaki staff-cap ; Minnie grinned 
over her bouquet, and Mr. Drake took command. Minnie 
and Guy in seats of honour were ushered into a village 
landau with one white horse, jogged with difficulty into 
a shamble by flyman, with hat brushed the wrong way. 
Madge and I scrambled into a dog-cart. Mr. Drake having 
held up his banner, called for, * Three cheers for Colonel 
Wyndham,' and took his post at the head of the column. 

Westbrook House is not three furlongs from the station. 
But you must not think we were to drive there straight. 
We went up the valley and down again, past every house 
which could pretend to be included in Upwey. Flags 
flew, and bunches of laurel decked the handles of mops 
ingeniously secured by shutting down the windows on 
their heads. 

Mr. Drake held up his fork in warning and cried, Halt ! 
The old horse was slowly unharnessed and the patriots 
proceeded to drag the carriage by a rope. We were now 
complete in our parade for the avenue. Drake mounted 
and flourishing his fork. Then the draggers, then the 
landau bearing the flyman aloft, whose hat, now that his 
occupation was gone, seemed twice brushed the wrong 
way : the Colonel and his lady ; all the school-children 
hanging on behind, and last Madge, straining her wrists 
not to run over them. At the bridge, in front of the gates 
the Chairman of the Parish Council stopped the cortege 
and made a few appropriate remarks. Guy said nothing, 
but saluted ; and with a cheer in we went through the 
fluttering flags in the grounds, to look up and see little 
Dick held up at the window, in a quilt, and darling Mamma 
with a nurse clinging to each of her arms. Drake, the 
immortal Drake had saved the situation ! The nurses 
were anxious that the emotion would be too much for 
Mamma. But when Drake rode in even she could smile 
and laugh. 


We have all been perfectly happy. Guy looks stronger 
and greater than ever ; talks as slowly and contentedly 
as ever. So let us all thank God, and sing God save the 
King. Ever your devoted brother, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

April 2Qth, 1902. 

BELOVED MAMMA, I missed seeing you in the hurry 
of departure. What a wonderful two days we had. I 
hope to come again next Saturday. 

I have just received a second wonderful gift. Some 
days ago I was given a beautiful green enamel and rose 
diamond pin of Lord Edward's. Yesterday an unknown 
letter enclosed and please keep it sent me a beautiful 
seal that belonged to him. Herewith is an impression 
of it. 

Get well darling, give my best love to little Dick. Ever 
your most loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

May 9th, 1902. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I am getting on very well ; 
much better each day. But Roose will not give me leave 
to travel in this weather. It is most provoking. If the 
wind changes I shall take the law into my own hands. 
If it does not I must submit. Nothing can make amends 
for losing these two Sundays with you and Guy. When 
he and Minnie are with you in London I shall keep all 
my evenings clear and under the new rules drop in to 
8 o'clock dinner most nights. 

The bitterness here and darkness are beyond belief. 
I hope you will take great care of your chest in these 
fiendish winds. 


Pamela dropped in yesterday looking very well and 
composed. I also see a good deal of Papa. 

Hugh Cecil made a magnificent speech on the Education 

You must not be disappointed if the Boers when they 
meet on the 15th May create all kinds of difficulties. 
They are slim and slow and will argue, delay, break-off 
again and again in order to get all they can for the little 
they have to offer. None the less it will in the end spell 

Best love to all. Your most loving son, GEORGE. 

To Charks T. Gatty 

OLD QUEEN STREET, S.W., 26/6/02. 

MY DEAR CHARLES, It is long since we met. I always 
want your company, but exceptionally at times, such as 
this, when the companionship of most is an added burden. 
Please make a special effort to see me Saturday or Sunday. 
Little Percy is coming up from Eton. But I wish parti- 
cularly to see you for a serious talk on Catholic University 
and allied projects. You might be able to help. 

I suggest Saturday or Sunday lunch, and a good ' pow- 
wow ' in Kensington Gardens. Yours affectionately, 




To Charles T. Gatty 

SOth June '02. 

MY DEAR CHARLES, Your letter has crossed with 
mine. The common and ' scooped sand-dunes,' with the 
quest of pigmy arrowheads from 10 a.m. to 7.30 or 8 p.m., 
is a great discovery. Let me never hear again of Alpine- 
climbing or golf. 

Do not let my letter of yesterday perturb you. Come 


and stay when you can ; before Saturday, if you want to 
see Lettice and Sibell. I have a matter of ' great pith 
and moment ' in which the Catholic University plays an 
important part. But no more of that till we meet. 

Your letter about ' real life ' with pines and birds, has 
given me a reflected glory which impels me to write. I 
now (11 a.m. Monday) go down into the pit from which 
I emerge on Friday at 5.30 p.m. 

So far I have next Friday night free. 

Percy was up Saturday to Sunday. We did the Zoo 
with Bendor, Shelagh, Cuckoo and Shaf tesbury in the after- 
noon. In the evening we had a large family dinner ; 
fed an exhausted Bishop of Stepney ; and afterwards 
with the help of Tony S. and Mrs. Arkwright, got through 
some ' Arundel ' to a Harpsichord. 

Next Autumn, if all goes well, should be a time of deep 
interest to me in Ireland. I am marshalling many con- 
verging movements. But what gives me hope is that 
battalions and forces for which I am in no way responsible, 
keep turning up. Fate is calling and the appointed hour. 
See Maeterlink on ' Luck ' passim. Say nothing to nobody, 
but come and listen to my tale. Yours affectionately, 



To his Mother 

July Uth, 1902. 

DARLING MAMMA, Many thanks for your letter. Dear 
Lord S. has sloped away with characteristic ' insouciance.' 

The papers are very ignorant of constitutional procedure. 

What is called a Prune Minister or Premier does not 
exist constitutionally. 

The Sovereign has the right to send for anyone and to 
ask him to * form an administration.' If he succeeds he 
is Prime Minister until he dies or resigns. When he 
resigns he advises the Sovereign to send for some one else. 
In the more usual case of resignation after defeat in the 


House or at the Polls he advises the Sovereign to send for 
the leader of the opposite party. When that happens 
everybody realises that one Government or, properly, 
Administration has come to an end and that another must 
be formed. 

But when, as now, he resigns and advises that one of 
his supporters should be sent for the same holds good. 
Arthur could, in theory, appoint new men to all the offices. 
We only go on by grace and for convenience. 

Of course he will do nothing of the kind. His first act 
was to secure Chamberlain and Devonshire and to try 
and secure Beach. 

Nobody knows how big the shuffle will be or when it 
will begin : not, I imagine before the 9th August. 

I hope they will do it then as the Press paragraphs and 
expectant eyes of aspirants are neither of them very 

Love to darling Manenai. Your most loving son, 



To his Mother 

PH<ENIX PARK, DUBLIN, September 5th, 1902. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I loved your birthday letter. 
We had a rush of ' divarsion ' here during horse-show 
week and, even now, the house keeps pretty full, especially 
at meals. 

It is a great joy to have Dorothy, who wears delightful 
clothes and wreaths and looks very pretty. 

We ride in the morning with a dear collie dog, Chief, 
who barks and pretends to hunt the cows and jumps up 
at our horses' noses. 

Then people come to lunch and dinner and we talk of 
nothing but Ireland. 

I am absorbed in my work. Ireland is more interesting 
than at any time since 87. There is more to win and 
lose in the next six months than ever before. A certain 



amount of fighting is necessary to prevent them from 
bullying each other. But with that there are better hopes 
of a larger peace than I have seen. 

I have bombarded the new Chancellor, Ritchie, with 
memoranda and have boiled down all that can be done 
into a simple comprehensive policy : that can be stated 
on a sheet of notepaper. 

To-morrow I go to stay on an island near Cork with 
Penrose Fitzgerald. On Monday to Fota with Barrymore. 
On Tuesday Sibell, Perf, self and the Lyttons visit the 
Cork Exhibition and lunch with the Lord Mayor. 

Wednesday to Adare and back Thursday. I doubt if I 
shall get to the West : perhaps for a day to Kin Cassia 
in Donegal from Baron's Court and Belfast. 

We are all very well and occupied. But I long for 
you to be here. You must come next September. By 
then it may be that the clouds of Coercion will have 
broken and that some results of work will begin to be 
visible. Ever your most loving son, GEORGE. 

To Mrs. Drew 

October 1th, 1902. 

MY DEAR MARY, I will ' crystallise ' the letter (of 
March 27) and work in your suggestions. ... I go to 
London Wednesday night for Cabinet on 9th. The early 
meeting of that body has telescoped a fortnight's work 
into a week, so that I could not answer before. 

I am full of sorrow for much that goes on here, but far 
fuller of hope for much that will go on ; and sooner than 
I dared to hope. Mayo is, as you say, a ' brick,' and so 
are many on both sides, if they only knew how to apprise 
each other of the fact. Sometimes I almost wish to be 
out of office so as to speak and write all that is in my mind. 
I wished you could have been with us in the Far West 
the other day. I took Sibell, Minnie Ebury, Lytton, 
and Secretaries, by 7 a.m. train to Mallaranny in Clew 


Bay ; they all behaved beautifully getting up at 5.30, 
as of course, preserving astonishing appetite for coarse 
food, and maintaining the temper of Angels. 

Sibell was a revelation to the Cotters in their Hovels, 
full of beasts and filth. On Achill they said 4 We have seen 
many ladies but you are the first that has been kind to 
us.' I took them out to Clare Island, back to Mallaranny, 
and then at 5 p.m. steamed round Achill Head and 
anchored at 9.30 p.m. 

I had effected a concentration of Chairmen, Board of 
Works, Fishery Commissioners, Engineers, etc. It was 
splendid to see them thaw and then glow and shine. 

I started 8 next day from the ship ; rowed ashore, 
drove 7 miles to Belmullet, saw the Priest, set down the 
' Board of Works ' on the spot, and then drove on through 
Erris to the most man-forsaken wilderness God ever 
continued to remember. If I told one-tenth of what it 
is, I should be condemned as a sentimental idiot ; there 
are no fences, no roads, and typhus fever most years. 
I drove and walked all day : they want so much help 
and direction ; they are quite outside politics ; do not 
know the name of their Member, some of them. I got 
back to Belmullet at 6.15, and there behold two depu- 
tations, and finally a bonfire and a speech (!) to the 

I keep all this to myself as the newspapers are too idle 
and malicious. We got to the shore about 8.30 and were 
carried pick-a-back to the boat through 50 yards of water, 
to go to the ship about 9 p.m. It was a day never to be 
forgotten, and ought to give me enough ' steam ' and 
guidance to get something done at last. 

The next day was peerless : an opal sea, the sun rising, 
a crimson sphere, clean out of his bath, and the cone of 
Slievemore suspended, like Japan's Fuziyama, high in 
heaven over the faint mist. So I took a header into the 
Atlantic at 6.30 and swam through the opal waters. We 
started at 7.30 and did all we had to do, steaming across 
Blackrock bay, and then cruising up a creek for miles 
in the boat. The sticky Engineer became ecstatic 


and, one way or another, these people shall get their 

Sibell started with me by 7 a.m. train the next morning 
and visited Foxford for five hours on the way back. Since 
then I have been immersed in the ' Land Question * 

I have great faith and believe the time has nearly come. 
Archbishop Walsh wrote a Christian letter to to-day's 
paper and the Landowners' Convention is beginning to 

Forgive this outburst. Ever your friend, 


To Mrs. Drew 

October 7th, 1902. 

Bless you for your letter. It has by natural grace 
turned 5 into 10, and that only as an index to other 
things of far greater import which it multiplies by larger 
factors than by a little 2. 

Let there be no more W's or D's after either of our 

Dunraven has weighed in with a fine letter on Land* 
The pace here is becoming delirious, so that London, even 
with Cabinet, will seem a stagnant pool. 

Nothing permanent can be done here until we settle 
the Land and Catholic Higher Education. I am up to 
my neck in both, and up to my knees in the next. You 
ought to watch a paper here called the ' Daily Independent.' 
It is beginning to represent the sane men. 

No tune now for more than thanks from the heart. 
I should love to see you and talk as on that Spring morning 
in the Dutch garden at Eaton. 

I too have been longing for Kipling. . . . Walter Scott 
made Scotland. 

With fervent thanks and hope. Ever yours, 




To Charles Waldstein 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
November 8th, 1902. 

MY DEAR CHARLES, The ' Argive Herseum ' is magnifi- 
cent ; a noble gift and token of friendship. I thank you 
with all my heart and shower congratulations on the 
achievement of such splendid work. Some day I must 
get to Cambridge. Just now I am passing through a 
critical time. Ireland is more plastic now than at any 
period I recollect since 1887. Many there are growing 
weary of barren conflict. They should now turn to 
fruitful work ' without prejudice,' to further constitutional 
and economic strife. My plain duty is to make this easy 
by giving protection, avoiding offence, and ' laying nest 
eggs ' of encouragement to self-help in industrial enterprise. 
But this, dear Charles, for the time absorbs me body and 
soul. Ever your friend, 


To Mrs. Drew 

November 22nd, 1902. 

' Jog to the elbow ' or not, your letter was most welcome. 
For it makes me write as children say, ' a real letter,' in 
succession to many imaginary ones despatched to you by 
my mind and heart during the last six weeks. 

In the midst of O'Brien's uproar I wanted to tell you 
that the ' hissing ' and the rest of it, made no shadow of 
difference to what I stated in my last letter after my 
plunge into the Atlantic. I have a conviction almost 
superstitious that from October of this year the change 
in Ireland has begun. 

I hope you approve my appointment of Sir Antony 
MacDonnell ? I took that as a test of my superstition. 


It was a difficult thing to get done. On one night in 
September I thought I had failed. But I returned to 
the charge and won. The ' Westminster ' and all the 
Liberal papers are behaving very well. 

Sibell and self go to Windsor to-day till Monday with 
Arthur Balfour ; this also will help. 

I should love to see you. Oughtn't you to come to 
London before Christmas ? 


To his Father 


PHCENIX PARK, DUBLIN, December 17th, 1902. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I was right in my impression of 
the run on Tuesday. It has already ceased to be the run 
of the season and became historic. The pundits of the 
chase, after careful comparison, give it the record, till 
now held by the Warrenstown run of years ago, of which 
the track is traced and framed in Harry Bourke's house. 
They now say that we went 13 miles as the crow flies 
and 22 as hounds ran. 

I only rode for one hour and persisted for another 
twenty minutes at a trot on the roads etc. The real 
point was that we galloped for 53 minutes. After that 
they muddled on for three hours in all and the fox saved 
his brush because every horse was stone cold. 

It was just like my luck to fall into a historic run at 
the first draw of my season. The legend of it is expanding 
day by day. Next week it will be a twenty mile point I 
Luckily I did not know that the third fence was a noted 
chasm. It appears that we jumped the Ratoath dram 
and the Sutherland double in the first six fences. That, 
at the delirious pace we maintained for fifty minutes, 
with one hover, accounts for the fact that one hundred 
and fifty people never saw us again. 

But, on my bay horse, Martin, I was sublimely uncon- 
scious ; only realising that I had attained felicity. 

To-day, with the Kildares, we had a fair hunting run ; 


forty-three minutes from find to kill in the open from 
Betaghstown Bog, by Clane to Bella villa. 

I rode Michael and he jumped ' like the book of Arith- 
metic.' Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

PH<ENIX PARK, December 22nd, 1902. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, This is to send all love to you 
and Papa and Ditch and Bun, all wishes for Christmas 
and 1903. 

We are here alone, S. S., Perf and I and very restful 
and happy. It is the first time we have been alone for 

I hunt to-morrow with the Meath. I am fighting for 
a holiday between now and the New Year and hunting 
is my only chance. Unless I am definitely out hunting 
people come, even from Belfast, to take their chance of 
seeing me. 

The enclosed will interest you from Lady Bloomfield ! ! 
I wrote her an official answer and also a covering letter to 
* My dear Godmother ' in which I truthfully told her that, 
oddly enough, I had at Bowood the day before talked 
of her in a conversation on God-mothers and cited a 
mechanical duck which she gave me and which I sailed 
on the pond at Petworth. 

She wrote me a very nice letter in reply left in London 
saying she was eighty years old and would like to see 
me and sending much love * to dearest Madeline '=you. 

I had a cheery letter from Guy who had seen Aunt 
Conny Leconfield, Bendor and Shelagh. 

Ian Hamilton talked of him to me in the train c off his 
own bat.' I think we may rest assured that they know 
his value. 

This Country is going nicely into the bit just now and 
I begin to hope that by next August I shall be able to show 
it you, bending in a discreet manege canter. 


The inside work of Cabinet and so forth, has been very 
interesting lately. I find that I have to check a recrud- 
escence of my old foible in childish days when I wanted 
to be stage manager of every play. But I do check it 
and enjoy being behind the scenes even though not allowed 
to play the tomb scene in pitch darkness. 

I look forward to Fridays to Mondays in February and 
March. We will count the daffodils together. Ever most 
loving son, GEORGE. 

To Mrs. Drew 


January 4th, 1903. 

MY DEAR MARY DEAR, I am in such high spirits that 
I must deliberately reproduce an accident in a previous 
effort to spell your name. I have just read an advance 
copy of the Report of the Land Conference. It is full 
of good sense and good feeling. The dry bones can live. 
The sun I saw rise as I swam in the Atlantic was a sign. 

This I know is the ' hot fit.' But we see more clearly 
when the hot fit is on us. The cold fit jaundices our eyes. 

I am well aware that I am only a third or a quarter of 
the way on this quest. But then, how inconceivable it 
seemed to most people a year ago that we should ever 
get so far. I feel like the Old Woman in Pamela's ' Village 
Notes ' who saw in golden letters at the foot of her death- 
bed * Thou shalt not die but live,' and added, ' And I 
didn't die! Hived! Hived!' 

Sibell brought me your letter of the 1st, and I thank 
you for its dear messages. I was positively engaged at 
the time on reconnoitring the proofs and transcripts of 
Ruskin's letters. You shall have a Preface soon as a 
New Year gift, and thank-offering for the way we are 
making here. 

Antony MacDonnell is a trump ! 

All Blessings on you. Ever yours affly. 



To Mrs. Drew 

January 19th, 1903. 

Yesterday being Sunday, I tried to reverse the engines 
from Land and Catholic University into your ' Porch ' 
Preface. But the wheels slid round. To-day something 
of sorts did come which you shall have by to-morrow's 
post. I wish I could have done better. Tear it up if 
you are displeased : dissatisfied you must be. But the 
task, though slight, was not easy. The letters are so 
delicate ; the excerpts from your Father's journal and the 
two letters to Carlyle and Alfred so hard to fit in, that 
anything ponderous, or even coherent, would have seemed 
out of place. I did not scamp the work and doubt if I 
can improve it under present circumstances. So tear it 
up without a qualm, or if you, finding bad gaps, can 
suggest the kind of additions needed, indicate them and 
I will supply to specification. 

20th Jan. '03. I forgot to say the Preface would run 
to about 12 pp. in print. It is an amorphous Crystal 
after all. Yr. GEORGE. 

If I manage a day at Eaton on the way to House of 
Commons, I shall hope for you in the Dutch garden. 

To his Father 

PHOENIX PARK, DUBLIN, January 21st, 1903. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, Mr. ' Puffinger ' [his son] is now 
* free of the craft.' Yesterday he rode a horse of Dudley's, 
called ' Wexford ' with the Meath. Walter Lindsay (left 
in charge of Dudley's horses) piloted him. We did not 
have a good day ; but lots of jumping near Dunshaughlin, 


Perf jumped everything and I was very pleased. To-day 
he rode ' Moyglare,' with the Ward. 

We went fast and straight for forty minutes over really 
big places including two whacking doubles, one with a 
very narrow bank, also a veritable Alp into a road and 
some wide ' rivers.' 

I never supposed that he could have kept up. But in 
less than two minutes after the check, Puffinger arrived 
his face beaming, eyes flashing, hat bashed in, wet up to 
the waist having taken an imperial toss over the narrow 
double ; caught his horse and come on again, using a 
cutting whip at all the big ' leps.' Walter Lindsay said 
that he really rode the horse grandly. Your loving son, 



To Monsieur Auguste Rodin 


MON CHER AMI, Je ne saurais dire combien de plaisir 
et d'orgueil j'ai ressenti en lisant votre lettre si pleine de 
sympathie et d'amitie. 

J'ai fait, du reste, tres peu de choses a Londres pour 
meriter de tels remer9iments. 

Mais votre lettre est d'autant plus chere puisqu'elle 
provient de votre bonte plutot que des pauvres services 
que j'ai pu rend re pour t^moigner mon devouement aux 
beaux Arts dans la personne d'un grand maitre. Je conte 
aussi avec ardeur sur la joie de vous serrer la main au 
printemps. Tout a vous, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 


To his Mother 

DUBLIN CASTLE, Sunday, January 25th, 1903. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, A thousand thanks for the 
beautiful ' Victory.' I could not guess from whom it 


came and only discovered just before your letter to Sibell 
arrived. Robertson had written to say ; but his letter 
was opened by secretaries who assumed that I knew from 
you. One wing, alas ! had come off, broken. So she 
is a * winged ' Victory in more senses than one and, there- 
fore, far more like such victories as we win here and more 
likely to prove a true emblem and harbinger. And, 
besides, Sibell says she can mend the wing with milk, 
and this, also, would be normal. She is very beautiful 
and buoyant : the Nik6 of Samothrace who stood on the 
prow of a war-galley. 

I began to spell * buoyant ' the wrong way. That 
reminds me that Dermot (Mayo), when drafting the final 
Report of the Land Conference during Dunraven's absence, 
put down his pen and asked, ' How do you spell 
" grievance " ? ' eliciting the exclamation ' You 're a 
nice Irishman not to know how to spell grievance ! ' 

I had three days hunting last week and am glowing with 
health in consequence. This sounds idle. But the fact 
is I have got far ahead of colleagues in London and leaders 
of sections here. So I must pull up and wait. 

On Tuesday in the hunting-field I saw a stranger whom 
it was impossible to classify : impeccably dressed in 
scarlet and leathers, with a port -wine coloured hunting- 
collar. Yet he was ' foreign ' ; though with a shrewd 
clean-shaved face and twinkling Irish eyes. I heard he 
was an American master of hounds. He rode desperately 
hard. I got myself introduced and found he was Mr. 
Collier, master of hounds in New Jersey, staying with 
John Watson, and buying all his horses from him. I 
asked him to dine and found he had been a poor Irish boy 
who, aged twelve, hunted on a donkey with Watson's 
father in Carlow. He went to America, became the 
greatest publisher (!) there ; paying 60,000 a year in 
wages. He told me that he knew and liked Percy Wynd- 
ham [cousin] and had mounted him. 

Percy Wyndham came to stay here yesterday, so I 
asked Collier too and had an ' Industrial Revival ' dinner 
last night : Collier, the successful emigrant who rides 


hard ; Percy, our diplomatist at Washington, La Touche, 
the manager of Guinness Brewery ; Father Finlay, the 
chief supporter of Horace Plunkett in co-operative farming, 
industries etc., Pirie, the brains of Belfast ship-building, 
and Hanson. We sat at the table till 10 to 11 p.m. and 
I never assisted at a keener symposium. 

They are all beginning to catch my optimism. The 
Chief Justice makes jokes about the Millennium from the 
bench. The lion frisks with the lamb. The serpent coos 
from a branch. The dove says there is a good deal of 
pigeon-nature in the serpent after all. 

How long will it last ? I hope until I have started other 
projects to engage everyone's attention, excite their hopes, 
and stimulate their generous emulation. But, as I said, 
for the moment I must make a 4 check ' and give them 
tune to breathe. 

Steeds told me a good story on that. A wild young 
rough-rider in Limerick had been pounding everyone, 
riding very jealous. The hounds checked. He de- 
liberately trotted into the middle of the pack and began 
circling round and round through them. 4 My God 1 ' 
cried out the next man to arrive, 4 Are you mad ? ' ' No,* 
was the answer, ' I 'm beat, and I 'm dispersing the dogs. 
You '11 none of ye go on.' 

There are Cabinets on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th. 
This, for your private information in case anything takes 
you or Papa up to London at the time. 

Love to all. Your most loving son, GEORGE. 

To Mrs, Drew 

February 2nd, 1903. 

MY DEAR MARY DEAR, ' How you do go it ! ' that 
is a quotation from a song about a blackbird. In the rush 
here your letter only came to me through Secretaries, 
late last night. To-day I am meditating a revised version 


of the Psalms : * O that my friend would write a preface 
that I might correct his proofs and leave no opportunity 
for revision.' 1 

I wired the printers to await my revise. Perhaps it 
is too late. If so, no matter. If not, I am introducing 
a fair compromise on your emendations, etc., etc. There 
is a hopeless misprint Parsonian for Porsonian. A 
playful allusion to a well-known story of Porson, who 
slipped up and sat down when trying to open his hall 
door, and said ' D n the laws of Nature ! ' Otherwise 
all may stand, and I think I have behaved very well. 
Indeed, I am glad and grateful to you for liking it 
at all. 

They have just shown me a joyous passage in to-day's 
' Irish Society.' ' Lady MacCalmont has presented a 
monkey to the Zoological Gardens. It is her son who 
has inherited the MacCalmont Millions.' 

This would have pleased Ruskin and your Father. 

The blackbird song runs : 

' O Blackbird, what a boy you are, 

How you do go it ! 
Blowing your bugle to a star, 
How you do blow it ! ' 

So we who love Ireland will blow our bugle to a star. 


To Wilfrid Ward 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

March 20th, 1903. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, Your letter comes at a moment 
when such a letter impresses and encourages. 

I am keeping quite still and saving every * ion ' of 
vitality. As Bowles once put it in the House I mean to 

1 Note by Mrs. Drew. I corrected and altered his proofs and sent them to 
publisher with orders to print, if hearing nothing to the contrary from author, 
within twelve hours. 


stay here ' and pull down the blinds to create the impres- 
sion that I have gone to Margate.' 

Still, if you and Mrs. Ward would just look in at tea- 
time Saturday, and Sunday, I should love to grasp your 

I have been quite surprisingly harassed up to the last 
moment by embarrassing suggestions and fatal counsels 
of timidity. 

So I have ' sported my oak.' It is going to be a very 
hard fight but I do hope to win and take courage from the 
date ' Lady-day.' Yours ever, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 


To Charles Boyd 

35 PARK LANE, W., 


MY DEAR CHARLES, I have just lifted a diluted glass 
for I am in training to * the Bond.' Your letter 
has given me pleasure and encouragement. ' What a 
phrase ! ' ' Christ ! ' as Will H. 1 would put it, ' what 
a phrase ! ' But, and let this damp your ardour (if need 
it must) I am qua (cf. C. R. 2 ) phraseology in a Mid- 
Victorian mood. 

To-morrow I must ' imprimis ' be understood by Irish 

Patriots and City brokers: by s (cf. Will H.'s 

vocabulary). And to be intelligible is a serious enterprise, 
a desperate adventure. 

If I may put it in an Irish way, on a First-Reading- 
Speech, Ebullitions must be submerged. Underneath my 
cautious and platitudinarian diction there will be many 
tacit phrases and ' quotes ' sub voce. To wit. 

4 1 believe that a benignant spirit is abroad,' etc. See 
William Wordsworth. Or, since it is Lady Day, and my 
Lady's Birthday, all sorts of pretty words which I shall 
be thinking but not saying. Or, since we are talking of 
Land and " good -will " to a "mixed congregation." '/n 
terra Pax hominibus bonae voluntatis.' 

1 W. E. Henley. 2 Cecil Rhodes. 


Of these things I shall be thinking I shall speak 
of * paramount interest ' and ' flotations below par ' ! 
Consols at 90 ! My God . . . and so on. 

Seriously, dear old Charles, I have had a worse time than 
any of you suspect. There have been desperate encounters 
protracted to the last moment. But the ' Bell rings ' 
and after all I am there. 

Understand that the future of Ireland, my future for 
what it is worth and the grouping of parties on the next 
turn of the kaleidoscope all do turn on what happens 

Yours ever in the bond and do drop in to dinner here 
at 8. G. W. 

Chief of the Bond. 

To Mrs. Drew 

March 26th, 1903. 

I must write one word to you. Many people have 
telegraphed and written good wishes to the Land Bill. 
* Many thanks ' have been telegraphed to each. But 
in obedience to an instinct I must write to you, although 
there is nothing to say except that, so far, the miracles 
go on ; so, I believe, it is not a case of ' asking for a sign.' 
They rain on the hope. 

Some things are eternal. I may be beaten, although 
I mean to win. But, if I am beaten, the wonderful 
unanimity remains : the good sense and goodwill of so 
many people remain. The four Dublin papers are quite 

We must pull it through. And there is more to follow. 

Immediately you will see a project of private enterprise 
by great capitalists to help in the matter of transport for 
Irish produce, of which I have assurance that America 
will underwrite the loan for three years. 


To Charles T. Gatty 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
Sunday, 5th April 1903. 

MY DEAR CHARLES, Look in to lunch if you are free. 

T.'s 1 letter is encouraging. I am looking forward to 
Wednesday as a real treat and rest. You and T. see 
things and feel them as I do. With all the others 
except Arthur Balfour Irish or English, there is so 
much else of politics and commerce mixed up. 

They are sincere and honest, and so on ; but they have 
not the single desire that men, women and children 
should be happy and hopeful in Ireland, and the single 
belief that this can only be by the Grace of God and not 
by our ingenuity and industry. 

It will refresh me to be with you two. 

May I, then, be spared the American ? 

I have had so much of that kind of thing lately, that I 
don't think I can stand any more before getting a holiday. 

It does some good, but at the expense of how many 
' canards ' I ! Yours affectionately, GEORGE W. 

To Mrs. Drew 


April 7th, 1903. 

I am enchanted with the book in its smooth green 
binding, and very proud to have had a hand in it. 

The reference to ' Lady Day ' in the preface and c Why 
rushed the discords in but that Harmony should be prized,* 
seem now prophetic. 

I thank you and bless you. 

1 T. Healy. 



To his Sister, Madeline 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

8tfi May 1903. 

MOST DARLING MANENAI, I can't say what joy your 
letter gives me. I am sending it on to S.S. The whole 
business * surprises by itself.' My speech does not matter. 
But even on that the same miraculous spirit worked. 
I never in all my life felt less able to speek. I am a wreck 
after Influenza, and the three days on the bench, without 
exercise or appetite and with actual sickness from sequelae 
of influenza, made me feel that I could not rise at the fence. 
I had prepared one speech and made another. But the 
air was electrical and though I did not know what I was 
saying, it felt quite easy and inevitable all through. 

May God grant that there will be * a new light set in 
the eyes of dark Rosaleen.' That end of Healy's speech 
made me gulp. Do you know Mangan's poem from 
which he quoted ? Your most loving brother, 


To Sidney C. Cockerell 

CAMBRIDGE, 14 May 1903. 

DEAR MR. COCKERELL, My father sent me ' Letters 
to Ireland ' 1 given to him by you. 

I have been here to * pick up ' after the influenza. In 
the few minutes that remain before I start to replunge, 
let me say : 

(1) That peasant-proprietors afford the best, perhaps 
the only, form of community in which there is now scope 
for all that you desire. They will receive delight from the 
processes of the year and return it, during long winter 
months, in beautiful handiwork, but (2) their handiwork 
cannot receive, any more than their crops, that due meed 

1 The pamphlet referred to was written by Lady Margaret Sackville. 


of security, food and raiment, unless it can be brought to 
market by organised transport at fair rates. (3) Unless 
it is brought to market it cannot influence the world. 

No man, or community, can live unto itself alone. If 
cut off from the Human Race he, and they, wither. 
Yours very sincerely, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 

P.S. Ireland is going to revolutionise America, and 
America the World. 

To his Father 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
Tuesday, June 2nd, 1903. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, We go to France to-morrow. 
I am not going to rush about or see things. Our plan is 
to get away to see leafage in June weather. So we go to 
Amiens a short journey and on to Compiegne. There 
I shall spend three quiet days in the Forest and simply 

I send you a good letter from Perf about the terrible 
fire at Eton. Sibell went there to-day. Percy says that 
Kindersley, the master, was magnificent. Arthur Ellis 
who met Sibell told her that all the boys in and out of 
Kindersley's house behaved splendidly. Nobody lost 
his head. But for this many would have been burned. 
All the bars were taken away to-day. It took the carpenter 
an hour to remove them from one window in Percy's house. 

The tune has not yet come for me to discuss the Tariff 
problem fully. My modest hope is to adjourn that tune. 
The worst battles are those in which the advance guard 
is prematurely committed. Your loving son, GEORGE. 

To his Son 

25th June '03. 

DARLING LITTLE PERF, Your Mamma is much con- 
cerned at your Ascot performance. I am very sorry that 


you went after the new regulations (absence at 4 and 6) 
which make it a more serious offence than in old days, 
I imagine. You are sensible enough not to do foolish 

Your Mamma says she has written suggesting that you 
should tell Mr. de Havilland. You must decide on this 
for yourself. It may be that to do so might get the others 
into trouble. In that case it may be right to say nothing. 
You must be the judge. 

But, of course, if you are asked a question by anyone 
who has the right to ask it, your tutor or House-master, 
or other person in authority, you will simply tell the 
truth about yourself. 

The Land Bill is going on well. Don't spoil my pleasure 
in that by doing silly things. But, anyhow, come to me 
if you ever get into a scrape. Your most loving PUPS. 

To his Mother 

MALVERN LINK, June 2Gth, 1903. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, Imagine my going off yester- 
day without giving you a hug for your birthday ! It 
was all I could do to catch the train as I was very sleepy 
after my speech. I used Papa's story about the singer 
with great effect and all the other quotations. 

I thought of you a great deal yesterday and we had one 
surprise in bird-life which you would have enjoyed. 
Sibell, or Letty, said after lunch * what an extraordinary 
bird there is on the lawn. Is it a young pheasant ? ' 
We looked and saw that it had a red back to its head, 
dark cheeks and a long bill which it kept driving into the 
ground. We got glasses and watched it from a window 
not twenty yards off. It was the big woodpecker ! I 
had never seen one before and there he was on the lawn 
quite close to us. If only we had possessed a camera 
we might have won a prize in ' Country Life.' He was 


huge nearly, if not quite, as big as the white doves on 
the lawn with him. I stalked him afterwards and put 
him up three yards from my feet. As he flew away his 
back was quite green and his head crimson. Then I 
examined the ground and saw that he had been driving 
his bill an inch into the earth to eat ants in the beginnings 
of ant-heaps. So there is no doubt about him. 

I shall look in about 12.20 on my way to the office. 
With many, many many happy returns to us all of your 
birthday. Ever darling, your loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Sister, Pamela 

PH<ENIX PARK, 25 July 1903. 

DARLING PAM, I must begin a letter to you to-day 
perhaps finish it as you, more than anyone else, will 
appreciate the dramatic and pathetic completeness of 
the triumph which the King and Queen have won in 
Irish hearts. You love them because you have a fountain 
of loyalty in you which must gush out if it is allowed a 
channel. That is just how it is with the Irish and how it 
has ever been. But they have hardly ever been given a 
channel for their loyalty. In all history the only sove- 
reigns who ever tried, even, to be Kings to them were 
John, Richard n., and George iv. ; a sorry trio. But 
the Irish loved them ; the first two, to failure and death ; 
the last, until he turned on them or from them, and threw 
in his lot wholly with Orange uncouthness. I exclude 
James n., because he only went to Ireland to fight for his 
own crown and failed to do that. 

To begin at the end, the situation was summed up this 
morning by a little girl, one of the thousands and thou- 
sands of children who for days have done nothing but 
smile and cheer and wave and yearn towards the King 
and Queen. She said to the philanthropist who was 
marshalling them for the last goodbye ' I am so glad 


that we may love the King now because he spoke so 
nicely about the Pope.' 

I revert to the beginning and the simple narration of 

things as I saw them. 

26 July 1903. 

On Monday 20th, I caught the Irish mail (8.45 p.m.) 
from the House of Commons, found it full of Irish notables, 
(laid down 4 hours sleep to have it in hand) and was met 
at Holyhead by a naval officer in a white cap. We 
climbed across a couple of ships to a steam pinnace and 
waited for the King's messenger in the second half of the 
mail. The waning moon hung low with a planet for 
pendant. The transparent sky paled towards dawn. 
The iron-clads seemed grey monsters in the distance. 
At last the second half droned in, a string of lights, and, 
with our King's messenger and despatch boxes aboard, 
we ripped through the dawn-tinted glassy sea out to the 
Royal Yacht, with the grey monsters for her advance 
guard. My cabin was large, with pretty, clean chintzes 
and pale blue silk duvet on the berth. It was too beauti- 
ful to sleep. I watched the daylight grow, or Torpedo- 
catchers tear by like nightmares ; heard the clock strike 4 
and 5, and dropped off to the sound of weighing anchor. 
I woke at 7 to a sense of discouragement. The fairy 
serenity of overnight and dawn had changed to grey skies, 
grey seas, white horses and pitiless, plunging rain. Through 
the mist and torrents the grey monsters on either side 
moved on, ignoring the waves. The Kish lifeboat danced 
foolishly in a flutter of many-coloured bunting, and 
popped off two two-penny guns whose smoke merged in 
the mist and surf. 

I bathed, dressed in uniform with medals and Patrick 
badge, longed for breakfast, met Lds. Knollys, Churchill, 
Admiral Stevenson, Condie Steevens, etc., all more or 
less in uniform, and all longing for breakfast. The rain 
still fell, but less relentlessly. I could not forego the entry ; 
so mounted to hurricane deck and watched the greater 
herd of grey monsters all the Channel and Home Fleets 
reaching in a giant avenue out to sea. We passed 


between .them. Each was manned, and from each a 
bugle blew as we passed. The rack began to lift. Watery 
gleams spread and contracted, to spread again through 
the French-grey and chalky leadenness of the clouds over 
the Wicklow mountains. Kingstown a mile ahead blazed 
with bunting, like beds of geranium and calceolaria, with 
numberless white yachts within the moles. Torpedo- 
catchers again ploughed by, and, at last, breakfast. 

We began this with an awkward mixture of free and 
easy help-yourself added to attentions from powdered 
footmen in scarlet liveries. Nobody was at ease. The 
ladies looked as if it was earlier than usual. Knollys 
asked me what I thought of the Pope's death. The 
rain still fell, but now in jewels. An empty place at 
the head of the table next me had three substantial 
silver dishes, covered, in front of it. A hasty signal 
from Churchill warned me off them and to the side- 
board for my food. As I returned in came the King, 
fresh, happy, most kind, in uniform, and everybody 
was at their ease. The Pope's death and the weather 
did not matter so much. 

He ate well, looked well, spoke well. ' The Pope's 
dead, of course we had expected it.' . . . 'A boiled egg.' 
. . . * Did you sleep well ? ' . . . l Some more bacon.' 
. . . ' You are my Minister in attendance as well as Chief 
Secretary, you know.' . . . And so on with greatest 
kindness, good sense and calm, monumental confidence 
that everything does go right. 

With but 20 minutes to spare before landing, but 
without a trace of effort or fuss, I found myself smoking 
a cigarette with him, altering the reply to the Kingstown 
address under his instructions ; getting it type-written, 
countermanding the Theatre, writing and telegraphing 
to Cardinal L >gue, sending a communique to the Press, 
all as if there was any amount of time and no difficulties 
and the kindness beaming every moment more benignant 
and all-embracing. 

Off I went in a steam pinnace, landed under an awning 
of white and old gold in stripes eighteen inches wide. 


On the wide red carpet were Duchess of Connaught, two 
little princesses and Lady Dudley in chairs ; Dudley and 
Vice-Regal Court, the Deputation, and beyond State 
carriages, escort, soldiers, crowds, grand-stands packed, 
and, to the booming of salutes from all the grey monsters, 
the King's barge of deep navy blue with a huge Royal 
ensign, was pulled up by 12 blue-jackets. It was the 
first of many moments that thrilled. 

We drove, mostly at a walk, through 11 miles of bunting 
and cheering crowds ; growing denser and more vociferous. 
It culminated in the triangular space bounded by Trinity 
College and the old Parliament House. My companions 
of the English Court began to admit that the people 
were really there and really jubilant. Every window and 
housetop was packed. The Bands took up ' God save 
the King ' for mile after mile ; the colours fell flat in the 
mud as the Sovereign passed. They cheered me a good 
deal, and the Land Bill and Wolseley and Bobs. As we 
reached the Vice-Regal the sun went in and the rain, 
poured down. The King and Queen shook hands with 
us all, seeming as ever to be in no hurry and only engaged 
in making every one happy. 

This and the prolonged roar, blare, glare, glitter and 
glamour of two variegated, agitated, sonorous hours, 
telescoped the long, grey expectation of the morning, so 
that Kingstown and the Fleet became old memories, and 
the moon over Holyhead Harbour an experience in another 
life. (Aside to Pamela) ' I doubt whether a letter on 
this scale can be finished However. . . .' 

At my Lodge I found Sibell, Ormonde, Constance 
Butler, Dunraven and Lady vague as usual ; and Col. 
Brock, the Queen's Equerry, and many more, then or 
later, for I have no recollection of the people who have 
slept and fed here. 

Tuesday evening we dined at Vice-Regal Lodge with 
the King and Queen. I sat next to Princess Victoria. 
She is good, gentle and sensible and absolutely unselfish. 
We had great fun ; Lady Gosford on my right ; the Queen 
giving us little nods and smiles, pretending to be shocked 


and being amused at our laughing and chatter. Lady 
Gosford, wife of an ultra landlord, has made friends with 
me, and frankly acknowledges that the people do cheer 
the King more than in Scotland or London. The Queen 
talked to me after dinner and is delicious. 

Wednesday 22nd. Started at 10 a.m., with Ormonde 
in full fig, sociable and pair, etc. Was cheered on the 
way. Chaffed Ormonde for being in infantry uniform. 
He explained that he was Colonel of the Kilkenny Militia, 
' a fine lot of rebels, but they fought wonderfully well in 
South Africa.' 

In St. Patrick's Hall, Arthur Ellis and others coached 
us. I knew my part pretty well, but it is a strain to cling 
to the King's reply and learn up all the deputations in 
their order. There were 82 of them. The roar of cheers r 
' God save the King,' clatter of the escort, and we process 
and group ourselves about the Throne. I stood on the 
steps and presented each of the 82 deputations. They 
were to present the addresses. But they did anything 
but that ; shook the King's hand and marched off with 
address under arm ; were retrieved and address extracted. 
The last touch came, when the spokesman of the Land 
Surveyors touched the tip of the King's fingers, shot the 
address into the waste-paper basket (into which I threw 
the cards after calling the names) and bolted at five 
miles an hour. The Queen was very naughty and did her 
best to make me laugh, so that my next was delivered in 
quavering tones. Yet the Queen did this in such a way 
as to make everyone, including the culprit, feel comfortable 
and witty. I cannot adequately express the kindness 
and coolness of the King. He coached them in a fat, 
cosy whisper ' Hand me the address,' and then accepted 
it with an air and gracious bow, as if gratified at finding 
such adepts in Court ceremonial. 

The only people who approached him in simplicity 
and charm, were the two carmen who presented an address 
signed by 1200 jarveys. Only the Irish can do these 
things. They had not put on Sunday best, but their 
best ordinary clothes, scrupulously brushed. They never 


faltered and invented something between a bow and a 
curtsey that seemed exactly appropriate. 

After that a levee of 1500. We all got tired ; for the 
sun beat in on our eyes. It did, however, come to an end. 
There was just time to get back, lunch and change into 
frock coat, then off to Vice -Regal to see the King at 
3.30. He, in no hurry and, if possible, with greater kind- 
ness, discussed many points which had arisen, suggested 
emendations in replies, all of them happy and dead on 
the Bull's eye. At 4 p.m. I started with King, Queen and 
Princess Victoria. He has always made me drive in their 
carriage. The enthusiasm of the crowd was even greater 
than on Tuesday. For 3 miles to Trinity one roar of 
cheers and frenzy of handkerchiefs. Every woman with 
a baby in Dublin was there to jump him up and down at 
the King ; every ragged urchin, every sleek shopkeeper 
every rough, every battered old Irish- woman with jewel 
eyes in wrinkled Russian leather face. They do not 
say ' God save the King ' as we do, anyhow. They lift 
their hands to Heaven to imprecate ' God BLESS the 
King,' as if adjuring the Deity to fulfil their most ardent 
desire and His most obvious duty. You may have read 
of Trinity. The papers did not repeat the drive back. 
We returned by Sackville Street the finest in Dublin 
and here the people became merely delirious. They 
worked themselves into an ecstasy and all sang ' God 
save the King.' The Queen kept pointing to this or that 
tatterdemalion saying ' The poorer they are, Mr. Wyndham, 
the louder they cheer.' We went on through the poorest 
parts by North Circular road, and ever and always, there 
was the same intense emotion. It brought tears to the 
Queen's eyes, and a lump in my throat. No one who did 
not drive in their carriage will ever know how mesmeric 
it was. It made me understand the Mussulman conquests 
and the Crusades. For here was a whole population in 
hysteria. Polo was still going on as we neared the Vice- 
Regal Gates and at the end of such a day nothing would 
serve but that we should drive on to the grass. The 
Queen asked them to play an extra ten minutes, for the 


game was over. And they did play to the tune of 
' If doughty deeds my lady please.' Nobody, how- 
ever, was killed. Though in one charge they drove a 
pony on to the rail, and turned him and rider head 
over heels into the spectators. We had a dinner party 
that night. 

Thursday 23rd. Presented colours to the Hibernian 
School of little soldier boys. And then to the Review. 
This was the culmination. We rode in a cavalcade from 
the Vice-Regal, grooms, escort, etc., then the King and 
Duke of Connaught. He asked me to ride just behind him 
with Duke of Portland. I wore my Yeomanry uniform 
and rode a little thoroughbred mare I had commandeered 
from the 21st Lancers. As we started the royal salute 
opened. At the Gate a scene, which I shall never forget, 
began. The Phoenix monument was a pyramid of mad 
humanity, screaming, blessing, waving hats and hand- 
kerchiefs, and so on down an interminable lane of frenzied 
enthusiasm. I love riding and a row ; but never before, 
or again, shall I witness such a sight. Some people 
thought it dangerous. But our blood was up and the 
King paced on perfectly calm among dancing dervishes 
and horses mad with fear and excitement. Even the 
horses of the Blues got quite out of control, rearing and 
pirouetting. It looked as if they must knock the King 
over. But as they plunged towards him, the Duke of 
Connaught or Roberts moved between and Portland or 
self backed up. You must imagine 100 acres of green 
sward, framed by trees, with the mountains beyond 
changing under shafts of light between storms that never 
burst. There were thunderstorms all round ; but a 
sheet of burning sunshine on the review. The horses, 
maddened by the cheers from a Nation, did knock down 
the whole of the Admirals and Captains specially invited 
from the Fleet. We rode away and down the line, my 
mare just behaved with enough spirit. And now, as I 
tell you everything, I will tell you two things that pleased 
me. Yesterday, a carman said to me ' We knew you 
in your uniform and watched you all the time with glasses 


from the wall.' And that afternoon the Queen said to me 
' How beautifully you ride.' She knows how to say 
what will please. 

Overnight Osbert Lumley told me that the great point, 
the 4 clou ' as they say in France, was to be that the 
cavalry would line the whole route back to the Vice- 
Regal gates. This nearly settled the business. The 
stupendous cheering and surging of the crowds drove the 
horses out of their senses. Groups screamed at us out of 
the trees overhead, women and children wriggled through 
the horses' legs to get nearer. They knocked over Arthur 
Ellis, who is laid up with gout in consequence. A Lancer's 
chestnut horse put his fore-feet almost on to my shoulders. 
The King paced on and lit a cigarette, bowing and smiling 
and waving his hand to the ragamuffins in the branches. 
That finished me and now I love him. When we dis- 
mounted he laughed, thanked us all, and beamed enough 
to melt an iceberg. Sir William Ewart said to me that he 
had never seen such enthusiasm even for the late Queen. 
It is of no use to try and describe it ; but a great possession 
to have been there. 

In the afternoon we went to races, in the evening 
to dine with the Connaughts. It was memorable. The 
avenue to the Royal Hospital was festooned with Chinese 
lanterns. We banquetted in the great Hall of old oak, 
hung with armour. We sat down at two gigantic round 
tables, 32 at each, laden with roses. But I begin to tire 
and so do you. After that we had a court at the Castle. 
My solace and keen pleasure was to stand near the Queen. 
Her Garter ribband brought out the blue of her eyes. 
Her cramoisie train was hung to her shoulders by 
great jewels of dropping pearls. She had a high open- 
work lace collar, a breastplate and gorget you may 
say of diamonds and ropes of round pearls falling to her 
lap. And she is an Angel. We got to bed about 3 a.m. 

Friday 24th. This is described in the papers. We 
slummed together in the most squalid streets. The bare- 
legged children and tattered members of the submerged, 
hurra-ed themselves hoarse and, incidentally, smashed 


Portland's hat, with a hard, heavy bunch of cottage 
flowers, dog-daisies and sweet peas tied up to the con- 
sistency of a cabbage. 

But this is enough. We went to Maynooth in the 
afternoon by train see papers and on the way back, 
with their supernatural kindness the King and Queen 
came here and loitered and talked and thanked and 
overpraised and made me love them just as if they had 
done nothing and had nothing to do except to please 
Sibell and myself. ' Kindness like this is genius ' and the 
line as Bossuet wrote it may stand for Her ; only it is 
sweetness as much as beauty. 

In the evening we went to a Party. The King kept me 
after all were gone, showed the most eager desire to under- 
stand every twist in the Labyrinth of Irish life and was 
so kind to me that I cannot speak of it. 

Yesterday, we saw them off, and I agreed in sentiment 
with an old Irishwoman on the platform, who just sobbed, 
saying, ' Come back, Ah ! ye will come back ! ' That 
was the cry that pierced through the blaring of the bands, 
and the Blessings and the cheers. ' Come back ' they 
kept calling in every street. And these are the people 
whom some call disloyal. Your most loving brother, 


To his Mother 

PHCENIX PARK, DUBLIN, August 23rd, 1903. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I loved getting your letter 
and am truly thankful to think of you safe and sound at 
Clouds. We are here, very happy together : Sibell, 
Perf, Minnie and old Guy alone till to-morrow when our 
Horse Show guests arrive. I made a brilliant recovery 
from my chill and think that it economises time to be 
definitely ill for two days after a long session. It rests 
me and starts me on another scale of easier life. 

Darling Minnie and all of us had great disappointment 


this morning. Guy has not got his extension of leave. 
It is purely damnable. On the other hand, Ned Talbot 
says 16th will be next for home. 

Our party has expanded in the most extraordinary way 
owing to nice people inviting themselves. We shall be 
Sibell, Perf, self ; Guy, Minnie, Madge, Geoffrey ; Lord 
and Lady Rossmore ; two Secretaries, ' Mr. Ho. and Mr. 
Ha.' l The above are party as contemplated. To which 
add Leinster, and Mr. Victor Corkran asked at odd moments 
and, Shelagh, Molly Crighton, Lady Mab Crighton who 
invited themselves by telegram. So we rely once more 
on the elasticity of an Irish house. 

Guy and I come to you on the 1st. We cannot get to 
you on the 31st without travelling on Sunday night. We 
could shoot Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. 

Just off to Church at Hibernian school. 

I am very happy here and have quite broken the ' wheel 
of thought ' in my old noddle. I hope to cheer Minnie 
up with horse-show and polo and races, and a fiddler, one 
evening, for Madge. 

The Irish climate is most soothing. 

Thank Papa for his letter. The writer in the * Times ' 
is my friend Street, who knows Pamela. Papa would 
delight in him. He was one of dear Henley's young 
men, clean shaved, chubby, rosy-gilled, sedate, literary, 
humourous, old Tory of 1745 ; portentously wise in all 
but making money, a ripe, mellow, preternaturally old 
young-man of letters who might, for anything you can 
observe to the contrary, have been staying last week 
at Crotchet Castle. 

Have you ever read Peacock's ' Crotchet Castle ' and 
4 Maid Marian ? ' Peacock was Shelley's and Byron's 
4 Creeky-Peeky.' ' Crotchet Castle ' shows that we are 
no more modern and no less convinced of the folly of 
modernity than were sensible people one hundred years 
ago. Using electric lights instead of wax-candles makes 
no difference to good books, good company, good sense 
and good fellowship, and these, after all, as Arthur 

1 Mr. Hornibrook and Mr. Hanson. 


says (very often) in his speeches are most of life that is 
worth enjoying. The fourteen professors ought to have 
stayed at Crotchet Castle with Street. 

Love to all. Your devoted son, GEORGE. 

P.S. I mention * Maid Marian ' because you can get 
it in one volume with 'Crotchett Castle' and because it 
was written at the same time as ' Ivanhoe ' which I re- 
read in bed after seeing Coningsburgh a wonderful 


To Monsieur Auguste Rodin 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

\st September '03. 

MON CHER AMI, Puis-je vraiment conter sur une 
visite de votre part pendant cet Automne ? Je serai 
chez moi en Irlande du 10 Septembre jusqu'a la fin 
d'Octobre : trop heureux de vous recevoir et tout dispose^ 
a poser pour mon buste. 
Mon adresse sera 

Right Hon ble George Wyndham, M.P., 
Chief Secretary's Lodge, 
Phoenix Park, 


Je ne puis me consoler de la mort si triste de notre ami, 
Henley. C'etait un grand Artiste et un brave coeur mais 
pour moi surtout un ami sans pareil. 
Je suis toujours a vous, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 

To Charles Boyd 




' In spite of all temptations 
To belong to other nations, 
" I remain " as you see an 
I-i-i-i-rishman ! ' 


It is a curious development that, with Exchequer, 
Colonies and W.O. vacant, I should feel it an absolute 
duty to stay here. You will none of you excepting 
yourself and dear Henley when still with us quite under- 
stand how imperative is my duty here. 

If I had deserted them all, the work since A. J. B. in 
'87-91 would have been imperilled and the tender plant 
of belief in our sincerity rooted up, not even to be sown 
again until after another weary round of 15 or 20 years. 
Now it thrives and is beginning to shoot out the frailest 
tendril of further belief in the Empire. Will it some day 
receive and shelter the birds of the air ? I do not know. 
But just now, and without prejudice, and until cause is 
otherwise shown, and with all the qualifications, reserva- 
tions, trepidations you can suggest, they do still in fact 
believe in me and tremble toward a belief in the Empire 
because of their belief in me. 

By ' they ' I mean the whole lot Unionist, Nationalist, 
Celt, Norman, Elizabethan, Cromwellian, Williamite ; 
Agriculturist and Industrialist ; Educationist and Folk- 
lorist. What more do you want ? Yours ever, 


To Mrs. Drew 

October llth, 1903. 

... I re-visited Mallaranny and recalled my ' plunge * 
into the sea. I looked back upon the vicissitudes 
greater than you know of the Land Act with gratitude 
for your sympathy of a year ago. The Cabinet crisis 
convinced me of the stress your Father had in his time 
to face. The undoubted and growing desire of many 
interests in Ireland to draw together and treat each other 
in a more kindly and reasonable spirit, and though I 
can scarcely breathe it to you the resurrection, in all 
but absolute identity, of the Irish position on Catholic 
University Education which your Father was prevented 


from turning to account all these things bring from day 
to day a memory of you to my mind and an increasing 
wish that you would make some sign of friendship. 

Even if you are angry with us all politically, that would 
not make a difference would it ? 

Anyhow your Father's Life is the last touch and I must 
write. I wish I could see you. I stayed here to work 
on at the Land Question and to hope for another miracle 
over the University Question. That seemed a plain duty. 
With new English universities in Liverpool, Leeds, Man- 
chester (the old Victoria), Birmingham and now Sheffield, 
it is madness to leave Ireland once more behind. It is 
odious to do so out of spite or cowardice. But perhaps 
one cannot have two miracles in two years. 

I find from the note on p. 223, Vol. i., that you are my 
cousin, my fourth cousin, but still of my kin. For Sir 
W. Wyndham was my great-great-great, and apparently 
yours also. (He was Grandfather to Lady Glynne) That 
is a pleasant thought. 

Be very dear and write to say that, Fiscals or no Fiscals, 
you hope that I may do something for University Educa- 
tion here. But do not, as yet, say to others that I am off 
again after dreams. If I fail I shall help the other side 
when they come in to right this ancient wrong. 

To his Father 

PHCENIX PARK, DUBLIN, October I5th, 1903. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I have been commiserating with 
you very much. But, as you say, the big political wigs 
are providing a good entertainment. If anything were 
needed to expose the folly of those who cried ' efficiency,' 
and cried for ' business methods ' it is that they no longer 
cry for these things, but sit down in the stalls to enjoy 
a down-right rhetorical hammer-and-tongs set-to between 
the big wigs. That is what Englishmen enjoy without 


your excuse of convalescence. The huge blue-book of 
statistics ; the speeches by manufacturers, all that is 
expert or informed, the rival theories of economic schools, 
are bundled aside to a general ' Ah ' of relief and satisfac- 
tion, punctuated by ' go it, Joey,' ' bravo ! here 's Rose- 
bery in the ring ! ' Even the War Commission report is 
used only as a missile. South Africa, the Far East, 
Morocco, Ireland, the Navy may ' go hang.' Education 
was all very well ; but, with Nonconformists who can't 
fight well, or won't fight fair, it pales before a classic cam- 
paign of renowned gladiators. ' Heavy pounding, gentle- 
men, and who can pound longest ' is the one consideration. 

This instinct of Englishmen is probably sound. You 
must drop building when the battle begins. I prefer 
building to fighting. But, once fighting has begun, I 
believe in fighting hard in order to get it over and get on 
to building again. Arthur's ' little ministry ' is not a 
bad ' fighting unit.' Arnold Forster and Graham Murray 
are good men on the platform. Austen Chamberlain 
carries weight, Selborne is pretty useful. Stanley can 
rally Lancashire. I mean to ' lift ' the Irish division and 
Kent brigade. 

I have written to all my new colleagues welcoming 
them to the fray and suggesting that, for the present, they 
should not busy themselves in their offices but stick to 
hitting the other side. We must out -gun the enemy in 
the ' Artillery Preparation ' during the Autumn ; fire 
two shots to their one, and be careful not to mask each 
other's fire by speaking on the same day. 

If the press backs us the ' little Ministry ' will win as, 
to compare small things with great, Pitt and his young 
friends won after the collapse of the Rockingham Whigs. 

My Edinburgh meeting stands. It is on November 27th. 
But I feel I ought to give my own constituents the first 
turn. So Sibell and I come to England on Wednesday 
next, 21st, and on Friday, 23rd I speak at a Dover Public 
Meeting. On 28th I take Primrose League Banquet 
there. I mean also to speak at Cockermouth, or 
Workington, on my way from Edinburgh. 



I shall be careful, of course, but not timid. I have 
' cleared the deck,' by hard work of Land Act administra- 
tion, etc., and am free to collect ammunition for the 

My Dover friends are nervous and would like me to 
postpone the public meeting until after the municipal 
election. I do not agree. I am all for slow strategy but 
do not believe in dilatory tactics. Once within striking 
distance, hit hard and hit often, and the more so if you 
have been led within that distance sooner than your own 
judgment thought it wise 

We shall look you up on Wednesday evening or Thursday 
morning. Your loving son, GEORGE. 



To Moreton Frewen 

DUBLIN, November 14A, 1903. 

MY DEAR MORETON, I am sorry to have missed you. 

I am disappointed and chagrined by recent events. 
Nor can I take the sanguine view that the Land Act will 
fulfil the objects of the Land Conference if it is to be 
assailed daily by the ' Freeman,' Davitt and Dillon. 
My power of usefulness to Ireland is already diminished 
and may be destroyed. 

I had convinced my colleagues, a majority of our 
supporters in the House, and a still larger majority in 
the large towns of England, that it was right in itself to 
foster Union among Irishmen, and to obliterate the 
vestiges of ancient feuds without troubling ourselves about 
the ultimate effect of social reconciliation on Ireland's 
attitude towards the ' Home Rule ' VCTSUS ' Union ' 

And this is set back, you cannot deal with the ' University 
Question ' or the ' Labourers ' question if so large and 
beneficent a measure of the Land Act is to be used only to 
divide classes more sharply. 


Take the labourer's question. All things, in the end, 
turn on Finance, the resources for the labourers' Acts turn 
ultimately on local loan stock. That stock is interwoven 
with all the loans of municipal corporations, etc., etc. 
Our credit is low. 

How can I negotiate for better terms, extension of 
period of repayment not to mention the allocation of 
any savings that can be effected in the cost of Irish 
Government if the only result of authorising a loan of 
100,000,000 at 2f with a 68 years' period of redemption, 
is to produce a pandemonium in Ireland ? 

The English are very jealous of the Land Act. They 
want credit on easy terms for many purposes for their 
own labourers, for artisan dwellings, for equalizing ratec, 
for municipal schemes. 

Unless those who care for Ireland can show that the 
Conference and Land Act have produced social recon- 
ciliation, I cannot get a hearing for using Imperial credit 
and Irish savings in accordance with the views of a United 

That is my policy. It is not heroic. But it would 
directly be of great benefit ; and indirectly of far greater 
results. There is no scope for heroic Finance just now. 

If, however, I had a united Irish Party, with leaders 
not subject to repudiation, prepared to co-operate, to a 
certain extent, with Irish landlords, scholars and business 
men, I could get Irish savings for Irish purposes and 
equivalent grants whenever England helps herself too 
freely out of the common Exchequer. 

My point is that I get beaten in detail if I am rebuffed 
by jeering allusions to Irish reconciliation. I am nearly 
tired out. 

I have been slaving away with the Treasury ; with 
Trinity and the Presbyterians ; with the Chairmen of 
Irish railways ; and had hoped to be in a position to 
approach Redmond preferably to approach not only 
the leader of the Irish Party, but something like a larger 
conference and to secure the united action of Ireland on 
Education, allotments, housing. 


Now I suppose it would only embarrass Redmond 
to meet me, or correspond on these matters. And, in 
any case, my position is much weaker than it was three 
weeks ago, because Ireland's position is weaker. 

So long as Dillon and the ' Freeman ' show that their 
object is to cut down the incomes of the landlords, it is 
impossible to deal with ' Evicted Tenants ' and ' Con- 
gestion/ and still more impossible to take on new subjects. 

It is very hard on Redmond that anyone should have 
made capital out of the sale of his estate. O'Brien ought 
not to have left him without warning. 

But I will not lose heart. There is a bad set back. I 
cannot be as confident as I was of having much to offer, 
If Dillon persists in ' wrecking,' the credit for this Land 
Act will not expand beyond 5,000,000 a year to the 
Orangemen, and their allies will criticise my reductions 
in the police. 

To put it shortly : I cannot (1) get Imperial credit ; 
(2) make and keep savings for Ireland if every action 
taken by the Government on the advice, and with the 
assent, of Irishmen, is used only to attack the fortunes 
and insult the feelings of those classes in Ireland whom 
the great majority of people in England feel bound to 

On the other hand, if the English were once assured of 
their safety, Parliament would I believe be very ready 
to sanction the development of Ireland on Irish lines. 
This might take us very far indeed in what I believe to 
be the right direction. 

The two countries are utterly dissimilar, both in their 
needs and their resources, and above all, in the genius 
and temperament of their inhabitants. 

If the Irish could so far agree as to demonstrate the 
safety of threatened classes, and to allow them some 
place in local government, the English would welcome 
that fact as the discharge of an onerous obligation, and 
as time went on admit any reasonable consequences. 
Yours very sincerely, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 



To his Father 


November 21st, 1903. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I am not surprised at your inability 
to follow the ' exits and entrances ' of Irish Leaders. I 
understand, but it is not easy to explain. 

Briefly, there are two fundamental groups in Irish 
Nationalism: (1) The political descendants of the 'Young 
Irelander.' They, as a rule, wish to improve the economic 
and constitutional position of Ireland in order some day, 
to make what they hold to be better economic and 
constitutional terms with England. They hate the Union 
and hate ' British ' ideas, but, as a rule, would like to 
gather up all the personal resources of Ireland, Moderate 
landlords, the Bar, the Towns, Commerce, etc. into a 
more harmonious and therefore stronger Ireland hoping, 
immediately, to get more generous financial treatment 
and acquiescence to Irish modes of thought e.g. Protection, 
State-aid to Industry etc., and ultimately, to get Home 
Rule, or a large measure of Local Self Government. 

(2) The second group are, primarily, Agrarian Socialists 
and, secondarily, professional agitators who attack pro- 
perty and sow dissension in order to postpone any solution. 

Historically ; Parnell belonged to group (1) but, for a 
time, fused with it group (2) in his * No Rent ' agitation, 
in order to * kick up a dust * and collect money in America. 

Per contra, O'Brien belonged to group (2) but, seeing 
the misery and futility of Agrarian Agitation, joined 
Redmond in signing the Land Conference Peace. 

They meant to go for Class Reconciliation. 

But Dillon, who is a pure Agrarian sore-head, Davitt, 
who is a pure Revolutionary Socialist ; Sexton, Editor 
of the ' Freeman,' who has been left out of Parliamentary 
life ; joined together to ' spike ' conciliation. The high 
water-mark of Class Conciliation is represented by the 
* Irish People ' O'Brien's paper of November 7th. 


Immediately after publishing that, with an article in 
it by Dunraven praise of myself the substitution of 
' shamrocks ' for crossed ' pikes and muskets ' between 
the paragraphs, he ' threw up the sponge,' resigned and 
stopped the paper. 

This, on the face of it, is bad. But it has frightened the 
moderates ; and I am re- weaving my web. 

The Roman Catholic Church wobbles from one side to 
the other. 

Meanwhile the dynamic finance of the Land Act con- 
tinues to operate and good sense will win, though not 
quite so soon as I might have hoped. 

Redmond went to Limerick a city and was well 

His fear, and the fear also of the landlords is that I 
may resign in disgust. It is all to the good that they 
should be frightened. But I have not the slightest 
intention of taking their antics to heart and hope that, 
in some ways, all the pother will do good. 

Just for the moment the Irish Government is the only 
popular and powerful force in Irish life. 

This shows how right I was to stick to Ireland. If I 
had gone elsewhere O'Brien would have resigned and 
saddled me with the blame for leaving him and Redmond 
alone exposed to the ' Freeman,' and Davitt Dillon & Co. 

I have left all that in train and am concentrating on 
speeches at Edinburgh, November 27th : Workington, 
Cockermouth, a luncheon, and Liverpool. 

All love to all at Clouds. Your loving son, 



To his Father 

35 PARK LANE, W. f 

November 22nd, 1903. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, Are you reading Morley's ' Glad- 
stone ' ? Vol. i. chapter 8, and especially pp. 254 onwards 
will interest you in connexion with ' Fiscals.' 


It seems to me that we have paid the penalty of a 
historical muddle. 

Peel did do a great thing. 

Finding (i.) a deficit for three cumulative years, (ii.) 
indirect taxation on 1200 articles, (iii.) a corn tax pro- 
hibitive at 70/- a quarter, (iv.) stupid aggravations from 
the wooden operation of the sliding scale, (v.) the operatives 
in the towns at the mercy in the age of sailing ships and 
undeveloped continents of our own harvest ; he : 

(a) imposed an income tax. 

(b) worked towards a fixed duty on corn at 8/- (or 10/- 
no matter). 

(c) revised the taxes intelligently on 750 out of 1200 

That is great, intelligent work. 

We want to get back to a like intelligent and compre- 
hensive handling of these questions in the light of new 
conditions developed continents ; steam instead of 
sails ; reaping machines ; national competition ; bounties ; 
trusts ; dumping. 

We in a sense are Peelites. See specially Gladstone 
on p. 262. Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 


MONAGHAN, IRELAND, December 23rd, 1903. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, This is to wish you a most 
happy Christmas. I loved your letter about Bassen- 
thwaite, and Withup Hill. I felt it intensely too and was 
in mind a boy of seven to fourteen. I think, now, that 
I should like to go there with you some August or 
September. I do not believe that either you or I have 
changed much inside, if at all, in the last thirty years. 
Anyway ghosts ought not to be unhappy. The fact that 
there are only a few ghosts at all, apparently, discontented 
about trifles seems to show that the great majority of 
ghosts are very happy and too absorbed in iridescent 


recollections when they revisit immemorial scenes to 
trouble about manifesting themselves to the living. 

I enjoyed being a ghost all the way from Penrith to 
Workington with a kind of inverted home-sickness. And, 
in the evening, I went to a political meeting instead of 
a play with Mr. Holland. Otherwise it might have been 
the last day of the holidays in -73, -4, -5, or -6. 

All love to you, most Darling. Ever your most loving 
son, GEORGE. 


To his Father 

PHCENIX PARK, DUBLIN, Christmas Eve, 1903. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I wish you a happy Christmas 
and all good luck in the New Year. Perf and I had a 
good hunt last Saturday with the Kildares from Enfield. 
He went very well. 

In the hunting field several landlords and tenants 
thanked me for the Land Act. It is winning its way 
slowly but steadily. The English Press seems more 
ignorant than ever of all that happens in this country. 
I should have made a disastrous mistake if I had left in 

We shot Perf and I two days with Lord Rossmore. 
Perf shot well. I saw him kill five rabbits running rapidly 
among rocks and bracken and he shot two woodcock. 
We got twenty-three altogether yesterday and a bag of 
nearly 300 head, mostly pheasants and rabbits. 

The Cabinets have been very interesting lately ; but 
entail much heavy work, at them and between them. 
Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To Lt.-Col. Stephen Frewen 

DUBLIN, December 28th, 1903. 

MY DEAR STE, Many thanks for your letter, good 
wishes and ' cuttings.' My enthusiasm is not damped 


by the * Freeman.' The Land Act is winning steadily 
against that organ. All the ' able editors ' and ' village 
Solomons ' in Ireland can only delay it a little, and, with 
Consols at 88, that is not an unmixed evil. 

All the same, they were great fools to give the English 
an excuse for going slowly. 

All good luck to you in the New Year. Yours ever, 



To Philip Hanson 
Private and Confidential. 

OLD QUEEN STREET, S.W., 29.1.04. 

MY DEAR P. H., You will see by enclosed that Co. 
Mayo has responded. Now, can the B. of W. go ' full 
steam ahead ' ? 

Redmond has sent me a courteous notice of his intention 
to raise the whole question of Irish Government and 
inefficiency in all departments. So tremble ! 

I have asked U. S. to get from each Department a brief 
and I mean by that a brief, very brief statement of 
noble benefits conferred, and lavish Financial assistance. 

Lansdowne suggests that I should defend our old W. O. 
in 1899 against Robson, K.C., and the War Commission. 

We are ' whizzing ' over the Army and Foreign affairs. 
Altogether a merry tune, and I miss you. Yours ever, 



To Philip Hanson 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
12.40 a.m., 24th February '04. 

MY DEAR P. H., I am minded to write to you, not to 
convey or seek information but, (observe Henley comma) 
merely for companionship. Your photograph hangs on 
my wall, bearing the significant legend 1898-1904. I 


wish we could have had the last three weeks together. 
They have projected a reflex pale but insistent of 
February 1900. The Irish have, seemingly, reverted to 
1 Constitutional methods ' a la Butt, which is as much as 
to say, polite, but insatiable, demands for information 
and pronouncements of policy from the Chief Secretary 
coupled with veiled obstruction and unabashed interrup- 
tion of everybody else; the whole framed in a bold 
declaration that they vote on all questions irrespective 
of their merits for the sole purpose of baiting the Govern- 
ment and Opposition Caesar and Pompey, very much 
alike, specially Pompey. 

I gather from A. P. MacDonnelPs postal and telegraphic 
and reiterated communications ' qua ' Irish University 
that, in Ireland, you have no conception of the Devil's 
own rumpus which is exploding furibondically on this side 
the water. I am in my element : Consols at 85 ; 
European complications ; unimaginable Estimates for 
Navy and Army ; Roberts sacked ; Protestant campaign ; 
no substantive legislation for any, bar Brewers ; huge 
deficit ; panic on Continental Bourses ; insults to Wanklyn 
from * my Secretary ' Moore ' Junior ' ; pistols and coffee 
for two, or more. Such time as I can spare from eating, 
sleeping and talking is spent in walking the corridors of 
the House, arm-in-arm with desperately earnest men. 
Such is life in 1904. 

Give me, say I, space of 4 dimensions, or the Absolute ; 
or the ' Plastic stress.' I ask for no more after making a 
speech of one hour, equally acceptable to Willie Redmond 
and Banbury, and equally intelligible to both. Yours 
ever, G. W. 

To his Father 

GRANTHAM, February 2&th, 1904. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, We came here Saturday to 
Monday on a family visit of ceremony to the Duke ; 


' uncle John ' as Sibell calls him. It is rather hard to 
follow the relationships owing to the length of some of the 
generations. The Duke's sister was SibelFs grandmother. 
It is curious to stay with anybody whose mother was 
married in the XVIIIth Century. Yet so it is. His 
father and mother married in 1799. My host is the 
great-grandson of the Marquess of Granby, Commander- 
in-Chief and the great -grand-uncle of Mister Percy ! 

I have been by way of coming here ever since I married 
seventeen years ago. Your loving son, GEORGE. 

To Mrs. Drew 

St. Patrick's Day, 1904. 

I * am little better than one of the wicked ' not to have 
answered before. I always love the sight of your hand- 
writing and I long for a talk I will not grumble hi a 
letter. But I am rather tired and wholly overworked. 
It is dear of you to tell me of books to read. But I want 
to see you. 

Could you, miraculously, come to London to go with 
me and Pamela to see the Irish National Theatre play 
at the Royalty on Saturday 26th March ? They are new 
and true : all light and delight. The man and woman 
who act have genius. Barrie tried to get her at 50 a 
week to act in ' Little Mary.' But they are wrapped up 
in their revival, and properly contemptuous. Do come. 
I am sure we can put you up at 35 Park Lane. I am 
starved of friendship. 

To Charles Boyd 

St. Patrick's Day, 1904. 

MY DEAR CHARLES, Your letter gave me great joy 
in the ' companionship of your letter.' I have been 


starved of friendship latterly ; overworked, and put on 
as a 4 smoother ' where smoothing could scarcely be. 
That makes for Fatigue. 

But, anon, we will have better times. 

Now as to your question : not a bracelet, or ornament. 
She has too many and cares not for them. If you desire 
to please as you do seek some old and beautiful book 
of Devotion ; the Life of a Saint ; a Vulgate ; an Italian 
crucifix ; an ivory Virgin. Or else, just a beautiful 
object ; a box, or enamel, etc. That is the line. Yet 
flowers would be as welcome. I will choose a day for 
dinner soon. Just now I am hypothecated body and 
soul, up to the armpit. Yours ever in the brotherly bond, 



To his Sister, Pamela 

Ou> QUEEN STREET, S.W., 1st May 1904. 

MOST DARLING PAMELA, I am glad that you spread 
yourself over quarto on St. George's Day. I have since 
then been contracted by the Royal Visit to Ireland, but, 
arrived this morning, I now in turn bulge out. 

It was a blow to miss you and the Bims at Easter. 
I am undergoing a phase always a welcome sign of life. 
It took the form of nausea at Politics, nostalgia for poetry, 
and a lurch in that direction ; a pious, ghostly and regretful 
return to * fallen places of my dead delight.' For the 
moment it seemed less empty than asking of the Irish 
* Why does one Punch-and-Judy beat the other Punch- 
and-Judy ? ' It feels like falling in love again with the 
same person. I say to poetry, as Catullus to Lesbia : 

' Ut liceat nobis tota producere vita 

Aeternum hoc sanctae foedus amicitiae.' 

' O that it may be vouchsafed to us to draw out and on 
through the whole of life this eternal compact of holy 
affection.' Instead of which . . but avaunt ! I must 


get the life of Hayden ; must see you ; and meet Margaret ; l 
and soon. Now, my dear, the only day I can propose in 
any near future is Saturday the 14th May. Next Saturday, 
the 7th, is also possible, but probably too near. I should 
like to meet Margaret very much. 

For Whitsuntide I go to Paris to be ' busted ' by Rodin 
in ten days. I desire to keep touch with letters and 
sculpture during these divine days of spring leaves and 
sunshine and so keep an escape way open from the dusti- 
ness and fustiness of politics. I did not see your Legend 
of the N. W., but I heard of him and nothing that was 
not to his credit. 

The Queen was as beautiful as ever in Ireland, and the 
King as kind as ever. I love being with them. You 
would have appreciated the ' Command ' night at the 
theatre. The audience, 4000 in uniform and tiaras, with 
a gallery packed from the streets, stood up in one wave 
towards the Royal Box. And then the Gallery sang 
' God save the King ' for two minutes, without a note 
from the band ; hi the same key. 

But I wish it meant more for Ireland ; that they were 
not such Punches and such Judys ; that the English were 
not so fulfilled with the rubbish of the moment ; in short, 
that people would think and feel and dream more, and 
fuss and scold less. Let me obey my own precept and 
refrain from scolding anybody. 

I hunger for someone to arise and write a very beautiful 
book, at once restrained and lyrical. 'How all 
impoverished and fallen from renown ' are these days ! 
whilst April laughs above us through her tears. Will 
no one shine again above the little arts and devices of 
a day ? 

' Urit enim fulgore suo qui praegravat artes 
Infra se impositas; extinctus amabitur idem.' 

4 For he burns with his own splendour who presses down 
the arts beneath his excellence ; when his light has gone 
out he is still loved the same.' 

1 Mrs. Mackail. 


Well, well, I shall go out and see the green leaves and 
come to you by glassy waters. And the Past shall sing 
to us of the Future. Your most loving brother, 



To his Sister, Pamela 

24 Mai, 1904. 

DARLING PAMELO, I came to these parts as you know 
to be ' busted ' by Rodin, and, at last, have struck a 
perfect 4 pitch,' here at Belle vue. We went first to the 
H6tel d'lena and I hated it : darkness filled with other 
people's conversation through their partitions and mainly 
in the American voice. I pined for three days apart from 
Rodin, who was perfect, and two dinners at Paillard, at 
one of which I saw a really beautiful French woman, 
and learned from the waiter that she was Madame 
Leterrier, wife of the Editor of ' Le Journal.' We dined 
also with Alphonse Rothschild ; saw a beautiful Raphael, 
which I remembered in Rome, anno 1887, and there, too, 
I had a capital talk with a Marquis de Dulau ; the witty, 
well-bred Frenchman of the past, who make the best 
companions for most evenings. In politics he is a dis- 
enchanted Orleanist. We dejeune-ed to-day with 
Duchesse de Luynes, our Legitimist friend. They are 
children, arrested in intelligence and so narrow that you 
couldn't put a knife into them even if you wanted to. 
They hate us (as a nation ; love us as friends), hate 
Jews, Americans, the present and last two centuries, 
the Government, Rodin, the future, the Fine Arts. Apart 
from an arsenal of dislikes, they are unconscious of the 

You may imagine how I delighted in Rodin for four or 
five solid hours a day. I stand for hour and then talk 
for ten minutes. We have run over the whole Universe 
lightly, but deeply. His conversation is something like 
this : 


La beaute est partout ; dans le corps humain, dans 
les arbres, les animaux, les collines, dans chaque partie 
du corps, aussi bien dans la vieillesse que dans la jeunesse. 
Tout est beau. Le modele n'est qu'un. Dieu 1'a fait 
pour re'fle'ter la lumiere et retenir 1'ombre. Si nous 
parlons images, c'est ainsi qu'il s'est exprime en faisant 
la terre. Je ne lis pas le Grec ; les Grecs me parlent par 
leurs ceuvres. . . . Eh bien, oui, voyez . . . (prenons un 
moment de repos) . . . (Showing one of his groups) . . . 
C'est la main de Dieu. Elle sort du rocher, du chaos, des 
nuages. Elle a bien la pouce d'un sculpteur. Elle tient 
le limon et la-dessus se creent Adam et Eve. La femme 
c'est la couronne de Phomme. La vie, Penergie c'est 
tout . . . Ces portes ? Oui, elles seront bientot finies. 
J'y ai travaille pendant vingt ans. Mais j'ai beaucoup 
appris pendant ce temps-la. D'abord, je cherchais le 
mouvement. Apres, j'ai su que les Grecs ont trouve la 
vie dans le repos. C'est tout ce qu'il faut. Ou la vie 
circule, la sculpture plait ! 

All this is Greek to Madame de Luynes ; so * nous 
de"testons Rodin.' Meanwhile he is there all the time, 
and perhaps, for all time. In any case a very great man 
and the greatest Dear. 

So here we are near his house at Meudon. This, Belle vue, 
is a French Richmond. We came to it, 20 minutes in 
a boat, and up 100 yards in a funicular. We are on a 
height, amid tree-tops, in silence, with the forest of Meudon 
behind us. We drove in it before dinner, heard the cuckoo ; 
smelt the damp woods, saw the sun set and dined on a 
terrace as the stars came out. It is an ideal spot, 20 
minutes from picture galleries, and any friend you want 
to see such a difference and two minutes walk from a 
forest. Our rooms are large, light and clean and look 
out over the void into the stars. It is just like Cliveden. 
The site was chosen by Madame de Pompadour, and the 
ruins of her ' Brimborion ' are next the terrace, overgrown 
with ivy. 

That is all there is to tell you. 

I met Ian Malcolm and his wife. They reminded me 


that I had promised an inscription for the cup I gave them 
as a wedding present, so I wrote this : 

' I gave this cup, Love filled it, drink and prove 
How everlasting is the fount of love.' 

excellent advice, given in the manner of the Greek 

The bust is going to be very good ; not in the least 
catastrophic or Demiurgic, but just simply Your devoted 
brother, GEORGE. 

P.S. Not ' in his habit as he lived,' for there are no 


To his Sister, Pamela 

26 Mai, 1904. 

DARLING PAMELO, I must just add to my letter that 
nightingales sing here all night. I listened to them at 
midnight and again at 2 a.m. this morning. It is much 
to be on a height amid tree tops, with nightingales, six 
or seven, singing between you and the river below, and 
beyond the river, a deep violet gloom, picked out by the 
tearful lights of Paris. The nightingales are singing now 
10.45 terrifically. I wonder what they thought of 
the Band which played Faust and Tristram among their 
trees till an hour ago ? 

There are soft scarfs of cloud against the stars, and 
sapphire darkness overhead. The acacias are Japanese 
in blossom. The roses ramp up old stocks. The band 
thank God has gone to bed, a dog is barking in Auteuil, 
over the river I hear the whistle and pantings of trains. 
And these nightingales go it jug-jug-tu-whee-whee-reu- 
reu-reu-whee-tu-tu-tereu, jug-jug-whee-whee, pissle-pissle- 
rew-too and so forth. 

As Rodin says it is curious that with all our Art, our 
sculpture, our painting, our theatres, we have done 
nothing so good as Nature. What an irony it is of the 


Aristophanes of Heaven that we labour, with our Imperial- 
isms and our Nationalisms, our gold-mines and transits, 
our Education (may God forgive us !) to make more people 
who shall see, and be able to see, the beauty of the World. 
And yet all the time we destroy it. 

Here, for how long ? for a year or two more, the old 
road reaches in zig-zag up a forbidding ascent of cobble- 
stones to forests as they were in the 13th century. The 
river flows 100 yards below. And beyond the dog barks, 
as when he guarded savages in their wattled forts. But 
further the trains pant and rumble and whistle and ' tout 
Paris ' asserts itself in points of electric light. Your 
devoted brother, GEORGE. 


To Wilfrid Scawen Blunt 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
11 August '04. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, I think I saw the draft, but am 
not quite sure. I hope to leave London almost imme- 
diately. Perhaps it would be well to send it registered to 
me next week at 

Madresfield Court, 
Malvern Link. 

I shall try to meet you at Clouds September 1st. I 
should enjoy immensely some riding with you and a 
Squire's Partridge shoot, with tune-honoured keepers, 
untrained dogs, cider for lunch and recitations from the 
4 Idler's Calendar.' 

Am very much overworked and disposed to hum 

' In Summer when the shaws be sheen 

And leves both brode and longe, 
Full merye Hyt is in faire Forest 
To hear the foulys songe.' 

Yours affectionately, GEORGE W. 




To Wilfrid Scawen Blunt 

.SALISBURY,, 1 September 1904. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, I return, in another large envelope, 
the draft of the settlement which I have read and approve. 

I am very glad to find that we shall meet here if you 
hold by your plan of coming on Monday. Sibell and 
Percy will also be here, so do not fail. If you will send 
me a line indicating your route from Stonehenge, I will 
ride out early on Monday to meet you with Dorothy, if 
I can get her to accompany me. I imagine that you will 
come by Wylie and will reconnoitre for you beyond. 
If you make an early start you would be at Wylie between 
8 and 9. 

Percy has been touring through Connemara in buggies 
with a party of friends. He has written me capital letters 
which I will show you. I rode here from Cranborne 
Manor yesterday, over 5 miles of down, then 3 of Cran- 
borne Chace to the high ridge of down and on by Fern, 
Wardour, Pyt House, Summerleas to E. Knoyle. Sibell 
and Percy are expected to-night. I hope you will not 
change your plans, as I want to see you, shoot, ride and 
talk ; and I want Percy to know you well. Yours 
affectionately, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 


To Wilfrid Ward 

DUBLIN, October 9th, 1904. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, I have awaited Sunday to thank 
you for the ' Aubrey de Vere ' and once more to express 
gratitude for the ' Dedication.' I have not had leisure 
to read the book yet, but I have followed the Reviews. 
Evidently you have scored a marked success. You hold 
a strong and established position from which you can 


exert much influence on the views of your contemporaries. 
That is power. And you use your power to the best ends. 

I am wrestling with my Rectorial Address. The pen, 
for a longish effort, has become rather unfamiliar to me. 
My inclination is to speak and my tendency to be too 
rhetorical for a Rector. So soon as I have read the book 
I will write again. 

With my kindest regards to your wife. Yours ever, 



To Charles Boyd 

PH<ENIX PARK, DUBLIN, 18th October '04. 

MY DEAR CHARLES, First let me write of immediate, 
and selfish, matters. 

By the Bond, and the brotherhood of the Bond, these 
presents adjure you that you do instantly and forthwith 
repair to Constable's your London Constable's or Edin- 
burgh Constable's preferably London Constable's, so 
that you may enforce by word and if need be by blows 
instead of by letter. Repair then to your Constable's 
and arrange (i.) that they print without delay my Address ;* 
that they send it in * galleys,' twice, if need be, here ; 
that they print it for my own use in type which I shall 
select, vouchsafing to them (for the time being and under 
your responsibility of blood -bondship) my treasure, to wit, 
the sheets from which A. J. B. read his Glasgow address. 

(ii.) Arrange with your Constables, for me, that they 
publish my address ; reserve foreign and American 
rights ; pay me whatever you think proper ; to undertake 
that I may if I choose republish at some future date 
in a volume of collected Essays with Plutarch, Shake- 
speare, etc. if the whim so prompts me. 

In all seriousness I am hard pressed and over-pressed. 
I know what printers are. Unless you will personally 
harangue and kick them I shall get no ' proof ' in time. 

1 The Development of the State.' 


If they ' buck up ' under your personal persuasion, 
you shall choose the date of the Address. The second 
week in November late in that, or early in the third 
smiles at me. Cabinets are apt to fall on Fridays or 
Mondays ; for we pander to week-enders. 

So to arrive at Glasgow, clean and crisp, or to get back 
for a Cabinet, Wednesday looks like the day. The 9th 
is impossible. Manent the 16th and 23rd. 

I am not happy about the Address. It is suggestive, 
but congested. I have written it with blood and sweat 
against time and amid continual interruptions. Still, 
I finished the MS. this afternoon. But I must cut and 
expand and ' comb ' * no end ' on the proofs. This the 
excellent Constable must take into account. 

Now, / do ask you to help in the above. For I am water- 
logged in administration here. 

And, secondly (see first line) I come to your S. African 
problem. I write under the seal of the Bond very 
bluntly and coarsely. If you find wisdom in my words, 
sharpen and sweeten and moderate before you pass on 
that wisdom. After Milner we need a man of character, 
but not an ingenious man, not a man of initiative, or 

To my mind W will not do. To select him is to 

repeat the mistake sometimes made even by C. J. R., 
that is, in avoiding a man likely to strike out a line of his 
own, we tumble on a dumpling, apparently rotund, but 
essentially plastic to other people's ideas; without initiative, 
which is good ; but inert into the bargain, which is bad. 
Avoid him. He is a ' stumer.' 

Of course if A. L. can be translated, why ' Hurray ! ' 
I am all for that. It would be an experiment ; but a 
grand experiment and signal illustration of the Imperial 
thesis. The interchangeability of Cabinet Ministers and 
pro-consuls is the first step in practical demonstration. 

If that ' cock won't fight,' I should ask B. of B., ex- 
Colonial Governors, retired Generals, and all the ancient 


Do something else and something new, right away. 

In my political crowd novelty and safety would be good 
in one of two men. Lord Stanley, the P.M.G., has character, 
saw S. Africa ; has blatant, (apparent) good-nature, but 
is sterling. No risk of ideas and initiative, and no risk of 
being directed or transmogrified. His father is young. 
He is popular with the other side. He might accept and 
would not be recalled. 

2. Graham Murray ; he is adroit, but sound. I know 
you think this impracticable. But he would prove an 
excellent bureaucrat, play the game, and avoid sensation. 
I mean what I write. Verb. sap. 

And now under the Bond <listil this, and do arrange 
(a) the printing, (b) the subsequent publication of my 
address. Yours, G. W. 


To his Sister, Mary 

PEKENIX PARK, DUBLIN, IQth October '04. 

BELOVED CHANG, Excellent. I will come on Saturday 
afternoon and take a real holiday on Sunday with you, 
dear Evelyn 1 and darling Mamma. Give my love to 
Cyncie and let us all have a ride in the Phcenix on Monday 
afternoon. You can go on by the evening boat and sleep 
the better for the exercise. 

I thought Arthur's Edinburgh speech perfect. It has 
rallied all ' bien pensants ' Free Fooders and yet enabled 
Imperialists like your little brother, to pursue their 
mission which has nothing in common with Protection, 
and very little with Retaliation. I am working in the 
Castle to-day for a change. I finished the M.S. of my 
Address yesterday : after two * smashing ' days. So 
am tired and happier. Of course that is only the first 
stage ; there follow, (1) typed copy, (2) proof in ' galleys,' 
(3) proof in pages. And these are the critical stages. 

1 Lady de Vesci. 


I do more work in them than when writing, but they 
do not tire me. It is the mental strain of composing, of 
avoiding committal to blind alleys and excursions over 
4 illimitable veldts ' of interesting, but irrelevant, matter, 
accompanied by the to me physical weariness and 
' nausea ' of driving a pen for 9 or 10 hours that sickens 
and kills. I retch from nervous abhorrence of the task. 
But as Dr. Johnson justly observed, ' any man can write 
if he will set himself doggedly to do it.' I ' dogged ' it 
for 48 hours and feel to-day serene and buoyant. I 
should like to give the address the day before Arthur's 
Glasgow speech and stay for that. He speaks I think 
on November 23rd. 

Nobody ' stage-manages ' for Arthur. I used to when 
I was his P. S. And it is important. It does not do 
as the proverb goes ' to let the Devil have all the good 
tunes.' A. J. ought to have Cabinet Ministers and fair 
ladies, and many M.P.'s, on his platform when he makes 
a big speech as P. M. and leader of our Party. 

To Mrs. Drew 

October 30th, 1904. 

I have waited until the North Sea crisis is over as I 
trust and believe it to be. So I too am here with the 
Saints, Sibell and Lettie, between Friday's Cabinet and 
another at 12.30 to-morrow. I feel as if balm had been 
poured all over me. Lettie's attitude towards imminent 
maternity is a pure joy. One almost expects to find 
haloes hung up on the hat-pegs. It makes me feel that 
the family, and above all the Mother and Child, constitute 
the central fact and final end of human life and politics, 
as they were the origin. 

Are you, by chance, following Oliver Lodge's pronounce- 
ments ? They interest me deeply. He is a sage in the 
front of modern science. A year and a half ago, he was 
at the point of saying to me that Christianity and the 


Church had made Faith unnecessarily hard to thinkers. 
But at Babraham the other day, after Arthur's Address 
to the British Association, he said suddenly, ' I begin to 
see that the Church was right about the Incarnation.' 
I am not, therefore, surprised to find Ray Lankester and 
other Weissmann-ites pommelling him in the Press for, 
I imagine, subconscious betrayal of this change in his 
lectures and addresses. 

I shall try and interpolate a bit of Lord Acton in my 
Address. The Address is, I hope, suggestive, but I know 
congested. I ought to blow it to bits and build something 
more modest out of the debris. I do not quite agree with 
his (Lord Acton's) views on Nationality. But the diffi- 
culty of agreeing, or even of dissenting, in these matters, 
is partly due to the fact that we all mean different things 
when we speak of Nationality ; and that the word once 
meant, and still suggests, a number of other things all 
differing from any one thing which any one of us may 
mean now. 

And this is the tangled skein which I am proposing to 
unwind ! If Switzerland as he declares is a Nationality 
although its inhabitants speak French, German and 
Italian, are undoubtedly descended from all three, and 
most probably also from a non-Aryan, round-headed 
Race which took refuge in the Alps, where I ask myself 
are we ? Why is Nationality to stop at Switzerland, 
or at France, hammered together out of Bretons, Gauls, 
Franks, Burgundians, Basques, etc. ? 

My inclination is to say that the process which produced 
these complex politics will continue to act, and that you 
cannot say ' halt ! ' at the stage of development contained 
in your own epoch. Things are going to proceed as they 
have proceeded. But and here I agree with Lord 
Acton if that be so, there must be reverence for the 
liberty of Individuals, and also for the local and traditional 
* patriotism ' of various races. And so on. . . . 

I do not think that Devolution is practicable or wise, 
until we have had the pluck, or the luck, or both, necessary 
to settle the last stage in Catholic Emancipation. After 


that, in conditions which we do not know, something may 
present itself which we cannot now foresee. 

At present there is a darkness that can be felt in front 
of us all a general tendency in Home politics and World 
politics to mistake fishing craft for torpedo boats. ' Shoot 
first,' is the Bismarckian message to mankind. To me 
it seems hysterical and carries the incidental disadvantage 
of reconstructing Christendom on the model of a mining- 
camp bar-saloon. 

I rejoice at Hawarden's propinquity to Saighton, and 
insist on seeing a great deal of you next Autumn. 


To his Father 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

November 23rd, 1904. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I have written Mamma a long 
letter on the Address and the students. The leader in, 
the ' Glasgow Herald ' the Liberal paper is the most 
interesting and fair, to the point of generosity. For all 
that, I could begin arguing it all over again. For example 
the ' Westminster ' cites America as a State which exhibits 
a complete solution of the ' race ' difficulty. Of course, 
I had America in my mind through every denunciation 
of * cosmopolitanism.' The ' polyglot restaurants and 
international sleeping cars ' and ' shoddy ' Universities, 
and Carnegie bribes give the classical example of all I 
detest. But, then, I could not attack America. 

Glasgow University has existed for 453 years. Among 
my predecessors who have delivered Rectorial Addresses 
are Burke, Adam Smith, Brougham, Sir Robert Peel, 
Lord John Russell, Macaulay, Bulwer Lytton, Palmerston, 
Derby, Disraeli, Gladstone, Bright, Balfour, Chamberlain 
and Rosebery. Their ' shades ' were close and menacing 
when I faced the audience. Your loving son, 


P.S. Burke ' broke down ' for the first and only time 
in his life during his Address. 



To his Mother 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

November 23rd, 1904. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I loved getting your letter 
yesterday morning before ' going into action.' I acknow- 
ledge that I was nervous. And nobody said anything 
to make me less nervous. They harped on the rowdyism 
of Finlay's function last year ; advised me to be popular 
and humourous ; talked of Disraeli's marvellous exhibition 
of memory in 1871 when he declaimed his Address on 
4 The Spirit of the Age ' without a glance at the paper 
before him ; and so on. I had gone through a hard week 
State Banquet at Windsor, Wednesday ; speech of hour 
and five minutes Dover, Thursday ; Cabinet in London 
and speech at Dover, Friday ; three speeches Saturday 
and kick-off at a Football Match ; desperate journey 
through blizzard on Monday. 

But I trusted the students, absolutely, because, like 
you, I belong all the time to the secret society of youth 
and they guess it. Well, nothing could have been more 
delightful than the students. They were all things by 
turn ; noisy and solemn, warm-hearted and respectful ; 
showing the fantastic high-spirits and preternatural 
seriousness of extreme youth. They looked on me as 
their own property ; treated me with the mingled awe 
and familiarity with which a boy treats his first gun or 
hunter a thing that is his own property with two aspects ; 
partly the last and best toy of his boyhood, partly the first 
talisman of his manhood, instinct with mysterious pro- 
phecies of unknown possibilities. 

But you can't analyse youth and I must just write down 
a few facts for, unless I do so now, I never shall. The old 
bothers begin again to-morrow. 

The blizzard had cleared and there was a full moon 
shining on the frost when we arrived. Sibell went off 
with my ' Assessor.' I was taken for an hour's torchlight 
procession by the students. They were many of them, 


say two hundred in fancy dress, Zulus, policemen, 
clowns, etc. They leapt with excitement, cheered, sang 
songs and dragged me up a steep hill to the Principal's 
House. There I had to make them a short speech. I 
had only twenty minutes to dress for a big dinner of 
dons, M.P.'s, bishops and so forth, all very gracious. 
And Mrs. Storey, my hostess was a mother to me. After 
that a party with introductions to many and a smoke 
with two professors. The next morning I felt like Mar- 
lowe's Faustus waiting for the Devil to take him at 12. 
But on these occasions one becomes an automaton. I 
put on my Rectorial Robes, signed a Latin Declaration 
in a hall of the University and drove off with the Principal 
and my Assessor, preceded in another carriage by the 
Bedellus (Beadle in fact) with 15th century mace, and 
followed by a procession of open flys filled with dons in 
robes. So we reached Hengler's Circus. It was bitterly 
cold. The auditorium held between two and three 
thousand, and all the students were there raising Cain ! 
We marched in, preceded by the Bedellus. They gave me 
a great reception. The Lord Provost and Corporation 
were there in robes and ermine. I found myself on the 
stage. Saw Sibell in a box. Heard the students inter- 
rupting a long Latin prayer with nasal Amens, penny 
whistles and trumpets and, introduced only by the words 
* The Lord Rector ' plunged into my Address. It was a 
strain. I had put up a great deal of weight. It seemed 
interminable. I had one or two panics that it would 
last two hours ; that they were only suffering me, not 
gladly ; that they would lose patience and break out. 
This was borne in twice by organized shuffling of feet. 
Afterwards I heard this was a protest against two people 
who left the hall. At the words ' entrenched in a medley 
of there was a wild outburst afterwards explained by 
the fact that the name of one lecturer is Medley. But 
I did not betray any qualms and declaimed away, to a 
death-still attention, broken rather often by loud and 
prolonged applause. At the end they cheered again and 
again. By a miracle the trick had been done. They 


nearly pulled my arms out of my body clutching my hands 
in powerful and frenzied grips of enthusiasm. They took 
the horses out and dragged me the whole way through the 
town. They made me speak again out of the landau. 
Then we had lunch. After lunch I made almost, if not 
quite, the best ' after dinner ' speech I have ever made, 
just to show that I could be playful and speak without 
preparation. A brief interim of tea-drinking at the 
Principal's house and, lo, there were the students outside 
to take me to the ' Union ' ; evidently there, to judge 
by wild echoes of ' For he 's a jolly good fellow.' I went 
out and was at once picked up and carried shoulder high 
to the ' Union.' There I made the Liberal leader speak, 
by replying to the now familiar cry of ' Speech ' with a 
retort ' Debate.' We resolved ourselves into an informal 
smoking-concert, at the end of which I had to stand on 
the table and make another speech in which I pleased 
them a great deal. So they carried me all the way back, 
shoulder-high, singing 'And will ye no come back again.' 
Some of the nicest professors, specially Ramsay ' of 
Humanity ' which means ' Latin ' up there, called and 
were very kind. I then slept like a stone for an hour, 
dressed and dined with my Assessor, Baird, to meet 
students and dons. One don, Jones, a Welshman and 
lecturer on philosophy came in and we had a splendid 
discussion on the themes of the Address which they had 
all got hold of. The University Magazine, ' G. U. M.,' 
had a verbatim report on sale in the streets the moment 
I left Hengler's Circus. (I had given the Editor a copy 
and they had printed it in the night.) So they had read 
it after hearing it. I slept well and the students saw me 
off at the station with the old songs, etc. etc. Altogether a 
memorable experience. It proves once more that ' grand 
jeu ' is the best game. They took the ' steepness ' of the 
Address as a compliment. It confirms my conviction that 
you should never play down to an audience. Still I will 
own that when I got up to deliver the Address, and once or 
twice during its delivery, I felt like poor old ' Manifesto ' 
the steeple-chase horse with fourteen stone on his back. 


And now I must go to bed ; for to-morrow I have to 
prepare against the United Club Dinner on Friday after 
a Cabinet. I am sending to Clouds a packet of the 
newspapers. The ' Scotsman ' and ' Glasgow Herald * 
report verbatim and the ' Herald,' considering it is liberal, 
is very fair, indeed more than fair. 

Best love to Papa and Ditch. Ever your most loving 
son, GEORGE. 


To Charles Boyd 

OLD QUEEN STREET, S.W., 24.xi.04. 

MY DEAR CHARLES, Your letter of 20th has only now 
reached me 4 p.m. but it has reached to touch. I 
give three cheers for the Bond. 

Last night I thought you might, perhaps, have been 
back, and sent you a note stating I was lonely ' after the 

I realised as deeply as you can have done the immense 
interest of Glasgow and of your presence for ' fraternity/ 
I had my eye on you at the little speech I made after 
luncheon on the 22nd. Indeed I made that speech to you. 

For me, alas, there is no rest. I am grappling with a 
speech for to-morrow night, and am be-devilled by other 
public bothers. So I swear by the Bond ; and have, 
also, become a Scot & Breadalbane Campbell x in the 
future, if you please ; with proclivities tor the Stone Age. 

A 1000 thanks for the letter and for Constable. Ever 
your affectionately GEORGE W. 


To his Father 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

November 2,6th, 1904. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I am waiting to send a respectable 
copy of my Address to Clouds : bound in vellum and 

1 His mother's family. 


printed on paper instead of the wood-fibre and porcelain 
cement of a * shilling shocker.' 

But the publishers are * slow dogs.' Meanwhile I send 
you, as an advance copy, a specimen of the shilling 

The three Latin quotations on the fly-leaf state the 
4 themes ' of the symphony. The first from Ennius says, 
* The Roman state stands on ancient customs and on 
men.'' That is Tradition. The second from Claudian 
' floruit ' 430 says, ' This is she who alone (among 
nations) accepted into her embrace those whom she had 
conquered . . . after the manner, not of an Empress, 
but of a Mother, and called those to be her citizens whom 
she had overthrown, and bound to herself by a chain of 
love the uttermost parts of the world. All of us owe to 
her peaceful practice that each guest enjoys her hospitality 
as if he were at home ; that it is easy to change your 
residence.' That is Transit. The third from Virgil, 
says, ' A greater configuration of the State is borne in 
upon me ; I am suggesting a " bigger business." That 
is : I am asking you to consider an ideal of the State, 
which embraces both Conservative tradition and modern 
intercommunication with its consequences : but is newer 
and larger than either taken alone. 

The address has been well received ; but it has puzzled 
everybody. That is just what I aimed at. I wanted to 
make them think : an unusual enterprise in our day. 
Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To the Lord Bishop of Ossory 

DUBLIN, November 28, 1904. 

MY DEAR DEAN, I must thank you for the great 
kindness of your letter. I acknowledge the complexity 
of the issues I raised and plead guilty to a 4 congestion ' 
in my exposition which, if not inevitable, was at any rate 
not avoided. 


But your letter shows that my address was intelligible ; 
for you seize my points as clearly as they present them- 
selves to my own mind up to one point which cannot, I 
believe, be made. I mean a complete answer to the 
question ' What is a Nation ? ' 

Your citation of the Jews is very just. Their attitude 
towards the Gentiles, or nations, offers a close parallel 
to the attitude of the Romans towards the ' nations.* 
The Jews and, I might add, the Arabs have remained a 
race, though each, for a comparatively brief period, 
played a part in State-building. 

I asked the question ' What do we now call a Nation ? * 
and gave instances to prove that no answer, ready and com- 
plete, can be found. I said that the use of the word was 
a matter of feeling rather than of thought. It is almost a 
question of taste. But, accepting both your tests together, 
i.e. racial affinity and political union, I feel that a people 
which has enjoyed both together for a considerable period, 
does not cease to be a nation because other powers tear 
it to pieces. Now, in respect of the Poles, they had a 
kingdom for many centuries. The ' political ' predecessor 
of the Tsar, i.e. the Grand Duke of Muscovy, paid homage 
to the King of Poland in the days of our Queen Elizabeth, 
when Scotland was a separate kingdom. Dryden satirises 
Shaftesbury in the ' Medal ' for his supposed ambition 
to be elected ' King of Poland.' Poland was for long and 
until recently a kingdom. 

It is, as I say, a question of feeling. The Armenians 
offer a nicer and a harder occasion for definition. In 
many respects they are like the Jews ; but, I suppose 
they might urge their king Tigranes. 

My desire was to show that the word is ' equivocal ' 
and that the thing wasj never ' the State ' except from 
the 16th century on to our time when it has ceased 
or is ceasing to be * the State ' because of Imperial 

Those who agree with Lord Acton would stereotype the 
state at the stage of fc Nation-States,' actually constructed 
in the 15th and 16th centuries and of others which might 


have been constructed then e.g. Italy, though they were 
not till later ; or others, e.g. Poland, existing then and 
demolished since. 

I say that ' Empire-States ' now being perfected are 
not more artificial than ' Nation-States.' 

But to save an Empire-State from ' cosmopolitanism * 
I would cherish pride hi Race, to give feature and colour. 

So that I gladly accept your conclusion that Pride 
of Political Unity is a nobler incentive than Pride of 
Race. I sought to indicate that view in the phrase 
1 Let Pride be in Race ; Patriotism for the Empire.' 
For I place Patriotism above Pride, even in Race. 

I need Pride in Race only to redeem Empire from 
Cosmopolitanism, and to afford a ' school ' for patriotism 
by cultivating one of its origins, viz. the sentiment of 
consanguinity. A man, for example, who is proud of 
his school and his university is better fitted for loyalty, 
in after life, to larger conceptions ; the Church, the Army, 
the Navy. 

So an Irishman who is proud of Milesian, or Norman, 
Elizabethan or Cromwellian, descent is better fitted for 
patriotism to the Empire. 

But I do not exclude pride of Nationality. I only 
mean that it is a doubtful and perplexing ' middle term,' 
not so helpful to the ' Development of the State ' as Pride 
in Race coupled with patriotism for the Empire. 

But I must apologize for inflicting another lecture. 
I hope that we may have a talk over the subject one even- 
ing after dinner at the Lodge. Yours very sincerely, 



To Monsieur Auguste Rodin 


MON CHER AMI, J'etais enchante de recevoir votre 
lettre mais, de ces jours-ci, j'ai eu tant d'affaires, de 


discours a prononcer, de voyages a Londres, et de retours 
a Dublin, qu'il fallait attendre le moment pour ecrire une 

En fait de 1'exposition a Dublin je ne comprend pas 
precisement dans tous ces rapports le projet de Mr. Lane. 
II d6sire, a ce qu'on me dit, que vous permettrez qu'on 
presente a une galerie a Dublin un exemplaire de 1'Age 
d'Airain. Nous ne sommes pas bien riches en Irlande 
et je ne sais pas le prix de ce chef-d'oeuvre. 

Pour mon buste je suis tout-a-fait de votre avis. C'est 
a dire qu'il faut envoyer le marbre directement a la ' New 
Gallery.' Mais je serais tres content de recevoir ici, a 
Dublin, une epreuve en platre au plus tot possible. a 
int^ressera mes amis Irlandais qui sont amateurs des 
Beaux Arts et donnera un elan au projet qu'ils discutent 
d'acheter 1'Age d'Airain. Je suis toujours votre Ami bien 
reconnaissant, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 


To Wilfrid Ward 

DUBLIN, December 6th, 1904. 


The Catholic church does, for a Catholic, fulfil my ideal. 
I am, consequently, deeply interested in the second 
chapter Oxford, Cambridge and Rome of ' Aubrey de 
Vere.' I shall write on the whole book ; but not yet. 
I want to muse after browsing. 

The period of thought among young men depicted 
in chapter 2, is most interesting to me. I believe that 
between that period and our own there has been no 
original thinking. But you are thinking and writing, 
what others think. The men who were young in the first 
period have died off, leaving, until now, in recent years 
a void of which I would say, in the words applied by 
Wordsworth to France that it 


' Hath brought forth no such souls as we had then. 
Perpetual emptiness ! Unceasing change ! 
No single volume paramount, no code, 
No master spirit, no determined road ; 
But equally a want of books and men ! ' 

Yours ever, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 


To his Sister, Madeline 


MOST DARLING MANENAI, I take a fairly long shot 
at Christmas to wish that it may be ' merry ' for you all ; 
to send my fondest love ; and to desire, with all my heart, 
all luck and blessings on you, and Charlie, and all the 
4 poussins ' during next year. 

I am sending you a heavy gift my Address in vellum. 
But it may become rare and present the attraction of a 
virgin Alp to intrepid climbers. 

We got our Perf back late yesterday, it was such a joy. 
He had pierced the lingual fog of German and French 
station-masters and the atmospheric fog of lands more 
articulate (to him). So in he came as brisk as may be. 

I simply loved my evenings with you during these last 
weeks of gloom and racket. Here all is serene, incon- 
sequent, graceful, warm-hearted, Irish, in short and I 
feel at rest. 

Everybody here knows me, and Sibell and Percy. Their 
kindness is beyond words. The less one can do for them, 
the more loving they are on a common basis of congenial, 
congenital and patriotic futility. There is nothing like 
the swing and lilt with which they pursue the rainbow ; 
and nothing like the comfortable consolation, as of ' a 
mother of many,' with which they surround a ' horizon- 
catcher ' when just for once the horizon is still beyond 
him. These people are worth all the half-penny papers 
in the world ; and I am off on Wednesday to the worst 



parts of the West to hear them say ' It 's not so bad after 
all, and, indeed, it 's very kind of you to take any notice 
at all of it.' That is their way of facing * Distress.' I 
prefer it to Trafalgar Square. 

And so my best love to you, darling Manenai. Your 
devoted brother, GEORGE. 


To his Father 

PHCENIX PARK, DUBLIN, December 22nd, 1904. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, This is to wish you a merry 
Christmas and happy New Year. 

Perf arrived last night about 9.30, having * pushed 
through ' from Frankfurt. He is very well and strong. 
The Attorney General was dining to play bridge with two 
secretaries and self. But Perf kept us amused and laugh- 
ing for an hour and a half with the account of his travels, 
the life at Frankfurt ; and a hockey match between 
Frankfurt and Mannheim. Owing to Geidt's establish- 
ment Frankfurt won by eleven goals to one, amid frenzied 
plaudits from the crowd and waving of handkerchiefs 
from German ladies. He tells me that none of them are 
good-looking enough to pass muster. They, the German 
ladies (though not up to his standard) are, apparently 
all ' anglo-manes.' If the hockey is fixed for 2.30 p.m. 
they parade the town all the morning in short skirts, 
brandishing then* sticks. 

He explained some difficulties he encountered at the 
frontier not having registered his luggage by interject- 
ing that the custom house officer ' spoke very bad German.' 
The Attorney General said he ought to be ' an expert 
witness ' or a member of Parliament. Such resource of 
debating reply would be wasted on the Army. 

A plaster ' epreuve ' of my Rodin bust has arrived. 
It is very good even in plaster. Your loving son, 




To his Mother 

PHCENIX PARK, DUBLIN, December 22nd, 1904. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, This is to wish you a merry 
Christmas and most happy New year ! It is much to 
have Guy back and, I add, Percy with us, tall and strong 
and well. I am sending you a vellum ' Address,' just 
as a gift, and just as I gave you a translation of Ovid's 

* Arion ' at Hyeres in 1873. 

Amongst all the botherations of Ireland, priceless things 
occur. This will amuse you and Pamela and Gatty and 

* Uncle Tom Codley and all.' 

In the London evening papers you read of desperate 
symptons of intimidation ; ' black spot ' etc. I plaster 
on Police Protection ; chiefly for Parliamentary purposes. 
But this is what really happens. 

Casey, in Templemore, Tipperary, says he goes in fear 
of his life from Kennedy. Casey is given two policeman 
to protect him from Kennedy. They stay at Casey's 
house, escort him to fairs, and are fed by Casey. Coming 
back from the fair in the dark, Casey, with two policeman 
in his cart, says, ' Wait awhile ' and disappears over the 
bank of the road ; for no purpose but to cut cabbages for 
the policemen's supper. He selects the garden of Kennedy 
the man who is supposed to be terrorising him. Kennedy 
catches him, calls the two police, protecting Casey (from 
Kennedy) and tells them to arrest Casey. They do so, 
and resume their drive to Casey's house minus cabbages. 
Casey pleads guilty. Kennedy, instead of charging the 
policemen with being accessories to the attempted theft, 
charges them with ' being drunk ' ! ! Well ! Well ! can 
I expect the sub-editor of the ' Globe ' to unravel that 
skein ? 

Perf arrived rather late last night from Frankfurt, very 
well. We had a good gallop together this morning and 
then went off shopping and to see pictures. To-morrow 


we have a hockey-match on the lawn here. The men 
and maidens bring ' shoes ' to dance afterwards in the 
ball-room to a * pianola.' Now that Perf is back as master 
of the revels, all the candles will be lighted. On Saturday 
we hunt at Celbridge. Next week I shall take a run on 
motor and ' Granuaile ' round the worst part of the West 
to see the potato failure. 

All love to you, most beloved Mamma, from your 
most loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Brother 

PH<ENIX PARK, DUBLIN, Christmas Eve, 1904. 

DEAREST OLD GUY, Perf and I are just in from a 
capital day with Kildares : galloping and jumping all 
the time. Met Celbridge (1) Demesne Hunt, with good 
scent and bad fox, one loop out and out to ground at the 
end. (2) Grof ton's Rath, a bright burst, fast but not racing, 
over good clean big c leps ' check after fifteen minutes ;. 
slow hunting, again to ground. (3) Taghado (Tattoo) 
fox and pack away within two minutes of putting in ; 
hounds a field ahead as we galloped round the corner ; 
breast-high scent, racing pace straight for just under 
fifteen minutes, check but only just time to breathe ; 
on again very fast, check ; on again and to ground in 
fifty minutes all told : a fine hunt : the best so far this 
year. The * going ' is perfect. We went over the cream 
of the country, Perf and I both well carried, and no falls. 
There was any amount of grief. Did not see much of 
it as kept a good place, but at each check five or six loose 
horses came up. I had about the best of the first burst, 
with Turrell and Cub Kennedy. Perf was close up 
having been stopped by a man falling in front of him. 
He beat me altogether in the last part, as the fox turned 
a good deal at the end and I got too wide on the left 
crediting with a better point. I rode with Perf the second 
burst, but he finished four or five lengths in front of me, 


even then. The pace of the first burst from Taghado was 
terrific : have not seen hounds go faster. 

We are looking out for hirelings to fill up with when 
you are here. Scent has been good all last week and I 
believe we are in for a spell of good sport. Your loving 
brother, GEORGE. 


To Monsieur Auguste Rodin 

PHOSNIX PARK, DUBLIN, 25th Decembre 1904. 

encore vu le marbre qui est, sans doute, a Londres, mais 
de 1'epreuve en platre qu'est-ce que je puis dire ? Enfin 
j'ai passe une heure avec Mr. Lane, extasies tous les deux, 
en regardant ce chef-d'oeuvre. C'est bien un portrait, 
et des plus saisissants. C'est vrai et vivant au point 
qu'en regardant le gosier on s'attend a voir le buste avaler. 
Mais c'est plus que cela ; et beaucoup plus. C'est PHomme 
de quarante ans, et jamais on n'a fait a, personne ne 1'a 
fait. Nous avons des maitres la jeunesse ; et puis, le 
vieillard. Nous n'avons pas, de qui que ce soit, un ceuvre 
qui est, et sera toujours, a la fois, un portrait, le Vrai la 
Vie et l'Homme en pleine carriere, avec ses regrets, ses 
soucis, sa force, ses espoirs, son elan. 

J'ai compris parfaitement, avant meme que vous me 
1'aviez signale, que 1'absence des prunelles, surtout dans 
le platre qui jette des ombres trop accuses, donnait un 
air un peu tracasse" au buste quand on le regarde d'en 
face. Mais 1'epreuve en platre est pour les intelligents. 

Mais avec les yeux moins creux, en platre et davantage 
en marbre ou en bronze, la serenite surviendra sans 
amoindrir tout ce qu'il y a de vif et de vecu. 

Apres ma conversation avec M. Lane je puis vous dire 
precis6ment ce que nous esperons de votre buste ! II 
s'agit d'une galerie de 1'Art moderne pour Dublin. Je 
vous enverrai si je puis mettre la main dessus des 
renseignements sur le projet. Mais en deux mots, Sargent, 


et d'autres nous ont donne pour cinquante pieces. Nous 
osons esperer d'acheter la ' collection Forbes,' c'est a dire 
quinze Corot, des Millet, des Mauve, des Maril, des 
D'Aubigne, des Constable. 

Alors nous desirons deux choses. Pour ma part je 
donnerai mon buste en bronze. Et puis, la Societ6 
desire d'acheter ' 1'Age d'Airain.' Qa ira 1 nous allons 
voir a Dublin une galerie dont on parlera quand ceux qui 
aiment, soit l'Art, ou soit PIrlande ou les deux auront 
joui pendant des siecles du repos de la mort. Et pendant 
ce temps la le peuple Irlandais, endormi dans la douleur, 
mais si dispose a la vie, et a l'Art, se reveillera a 1'appel 
de vos chef-d'ceuvres. 

Je suis desole d'entendre ce mot funeste la grippe 
soignez-vous bien, et agr6ez 1'assurance de mon ann'tie" 
profonde et mes souhaits ardents que le nouvel an vous 
comble de bienfaits. GEORGE WYNDHAM. 


To his Mother 



St. Stephen's Day. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, The enamel is too lovely. 
We are overjoyed to have it. You spoil us both. 

Mr. Lane is very anxious to get one of your paintings 
for the Gallery of Modern Art which he, and others, are 
starting in Dublin. We are trying to buy the best of 
old Forbes's collection for 30,000, and many of the great 
have given a work each. Watts left one in his will. I 
should like to see one of yours in your own city. 

They want Rodin's bust of my ' nob.' I think you 
will like it ; even if Sibell is right in saying that it is more 
like Guy than me. Rodin writes that the mould plucked 
out the eyes in the plaster proof which I have. This 
gives the full face a worried look that will disappear when 
the deep shadows are gone. White plaster is not a good 
medium. Indeed, unless lit only by a suffused top light 


the shadows are exaggerated, as in a photographic nega- 
tive. It is a very fine and instructive piece of work. 

With thanks over and over again, beloved Mamma, 
for the beautiful enamel. Your most loving son, 



To his Father 

PH<ENIX PARK, DUBLIN, January 2-ith, 1905. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I am much pleased to hear your 
appreciation of the Rodin bust. It is a great work apart 
from the likeness. It might be called ' I'homme a 
quarante.' There are fine busts of youths and also of 
old men with completed careers carved in their faces. 
Each type has its own repose ; and can, more or less, 
easily be rendered. But the ' man of forty ' is hard to 
render. Rodin has captured the blend of fatigue and 
alacrity and created a new type. 

I have loved sculpture since I was at Rome in 1887 
and think such a bust for 400 a far more interesting 
possession than a picture for 1500. 

Pamela and Eddy are here with little Clare. They 
enjoy the place very much. 

Love to all. Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
February 18th, 1905. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I love your letter. I am 
quite happy and now that the big 4 Cat ' Dudley is 
out of the bag, no longer worried. 

My only remaining anxiety is, not to be apologetic, and 
to avoid talking about myself; I don't want to excul- 
pate myself by ' sitting on ' Dudley and Antony. 


Uncle D.'s speech was outrageous in the Lords. I can, 
however, show that without attacking him. 

I feel much more free and light-hearted than at any 
time these last four and a half months, and Arthur is a 
' brick.' The only difficulty now is a purely technical 
one. On Monday I shall be by way of repelling a Home 
Rule amendment to an audience exclusively concerned 
with the personal question of Dunraven, MacDonnell, 
Dudley and self. 

Nobody will listen to me on the motion before the 
House and then they will say that I ' shelved it.' 

I can't go quite so far as Arthur in his parting words 
to me last night : ' Well, George, I really think you '11 
have very good fun on Monday.' We shall see. Any- 
how my spirits are bounding up because I am not one 
of the throng ' whose sails were never to the tempest 
given.' Your most loving son, GEORGE. 

To Mrs. Drew 


February 24M, 1905. 

You are an Angel ! Sibell will tell you how grateful, 
and almost necessary, to me at this moment is such a 
letter from such a friend. My brain is rather weary and 
I take gloomy views ; which is absurd. 

So I 'm off for two days to Clouds, to 

' Flee far away, dissolve and quite forget 

What Thou among the leaves hast never known, 
The weariness, the Fever, and the Fret ' 

Yours gratefully and affectionately, G. W. 

P.S. I underline Fever because, just at moments, I 
have felt like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego rolled 
into one. 

But that 's all nonsense I really had nothing to do 
but to say everything. 



Illness and journey abroad Lecture on Ronsard Election 


To his Father 

St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 1905. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, Percy will have given you a good 
account of us. I am making steady progress and hope 
earnestly that neither you, nor Mamma, nor Mary, nor 
Manenai nor anyone will be in the least anxious about 
me or doubtful of my being quite myself at an early date. 
I want to ' potter ' for a time. Then I will do as much 
Veightly etc. as anybody may desire. But, at present, 
I want to stop introspection of mind and body. Distance 
and the Spring will heal me up to the point at which 
Doctors may begin. 

If I were in England I could not rest. I should want 
to help Arthur at every turn and fret because that would 
be impossible. 

We mean as at present advised to go on to Lucerne. 
The English papers come here and I can't resist reading 
them. So I am going further afield. 

Fondest love to Mamma, Ditch and all. Your most 
loving son, GEORGE. 

P.S. I can never say how much I realised and appre- 
ciated all you were to me at Clouds. When I get there 
again I shall be another person. 




To his Mother 

LUCERNE, March 19th, 1905. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I must send you one line of 
great love. S. S. will have told you that I am much 
better to-day. My plan of aimless travelling suits me 
best. As I get farther away the impossibility of answer- 
ing letters becomes a physical fact and, by degrees, I 
let the ropes that bind me to the past slip away. We 
paddled peacefully in a steamer up the lake to Brunnen 
and back from 2.15 to 6 this afternoon. I enjoyed it and 
felt much healthier after the air. Air is what I need. I 
shall not hurry back. 

We are quite idle, except that S. S. writes letters. I 

I have read the second volume of Creighton's Life 
and enjoyed the theological hair-splitting. He was too 
clever. But I read very little. I don't want to spoil 
any poetry by reading it now. It is sufficient to see 
the wild duck swing in pairs over-head, and to watch 
the tame ducks and coots squabbling for bread under 
the old bridge. 

Sibell is reconciled to Lucerne because it reminds her 
of Earl's Court ! 

The contests in Parliament over estimates and Jam 
look very small from here, as reported in the ' Daily Tele- 
graph.' So I turn back to the Ducks and Coots ; their 
squabbles are more interesting. 

I see that my dear Congested District Board passed 
vote of thanks to me. 

Now I am going to bed 9.45. All love to you darling, 
and to Papa, Ditch and all dear ones. Your most loving 
son, GEORGE. 



To his Mother 

ITALIE, Friday, March 24th, 1905. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I got your letter to-day out 
of the Poste Restante. We are anxious about darling 
Lettice. She had an operation yesterday. We only 
heard by telegram last night. But it was thank God 
successful and her state satisfactory. Sibell cannot start 
back as she has a chill nothing serious. But there it 
is. ... 

A good doctor, Dr. Danvers came early this morning. 
It is a chill with temperature only one degree up (99*4). 
I am taking the greatest care of her : giving her milk and 
a recommended water, and Brand's essence of chicken. 

We can only pray for darling Lettie and wait and be 
patient. Sibell cannot travel until her temperature is down. 

She went out again the day before yesterday in the 
evening. It was raining and she got this chill. I was 
asleep from 4 to 8 o'clock, or I should have kept her in. 

There is some sun to-day. We have two windows wide 
open to the sea. 

Darling Mamma I hope your leg is really well. Take 
great care of yourself. 

There is nothing to do except to get Sibell well and 
pray for Lettice. Your most loving son, GEORGE. 

Thanks for the nice ' pig ' letter. 

We are as near home here as at Lucerne. It is very 
quiet. I am much better and, of course, too absorbed 
in Sibell and sweet Leffie to think of insignificant things. 



To his Mother 

BORDIGHERA, Friday, March 24th, 1905. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, We are much happier to-night. 
We got good telegrams about darling Leffie at 3.15 and 


SibelPs temperature was down almost to normal when 
the doctor came at 5 o'clock. Also she has had four 
4 goes ' of milk and ' San Gemini ' and one of Brands' 
Essence since 1 o'clock. So we are much happier. 

The blatant picture of this hotel on the writing-paper 
strikes the grotesque note, never absent from crisis. And 
the perfect beauty of the sun-lit day whilst we waited 
and waited for news also seemed familiar. These moments 
reconstruct one's life. In the evening there was a fine 
thunderstorm in the hills ; but the sunset beat the storm, 
enveloping its edges and piercing its ragged rims with a 
rosy-copper-golden suffusion and long gleams of light 
across the sea. 

Taking care of Sibell has cured me. We are not like 
* buckets in a well,' but like acrobats who alternately 
support each other. 

I avoid the Table d'hote and dine, with a book, in the 
deserted Restaurant. Across the ' dead waste ' of the 
waxed floor the Grand Duke Cyril, who went down in 
the iron-clad at Port Arthur, dines with an Aide-de-camp. 
So, like the two ship-wrecked mariners in the Ballads 
(who had not been introduced), we ' consider ourselves ' 
apart. Yet that is not quite it. Men do not moralize 
in breathing spaces after a storm or between storms ? 
They wonder like children at a world which is new to 
them and full of little things and big things of surprising 
interest. 4 Cceli enarrant ' ' The Heavens declare the 
Glory of God ' in sunlight and storm : and, then again, 
to think that each sheet of this paper is covered with a 
bit of flimsy to protect the engraving of the Hotel Augst ! 
Such are the artless Heavens ; such is ingenious Man in 
the XXth century. A piece of the flimsy paper has 
you will observe adhered to the engraving. 

I, now, read the Psalms to Sibell. The first one for 
to-day CXVI is the one set apart for little ladies 
saved from danger of death. We took it for an omen 
a good omen whilst we waited for news of Lettie : 
4 Quia eripuit animam meam de morte,' ' because he has 
snatched my darling from death.' 


And now, Good -night to you, Darling ! I have been 
writing for company as Sibell is dozing. The night is 
lovely from our balcony. A cool wind is shuffling the 
palms. The cadence of the frogs' chorus rises and falls. 
A light is leaping from a far-off promontory. I can hear 
a train coming the whole length of the Riviera with a 
meaning noise. And, so, really Good-night and love to 
you all. 

Lady Day. 

Doctor gives capital account of S. S. He has gone 
down-stairs to order a light pudding (!) which she is to 
eat at 12 o'clock. So there you are ! 

All love to you all. Your devoted son, GEORGE. 


To his Sister, Madeline 

30th March 1905. 

MOST DARLING MANENAi, This is to wish you many, 
many happy returns of your dear birthday, to-morrow. 
It will reach you too late. For I took a long walk on the 
hills yesterday and missed the post. But I have been 
remembering your birthday for several days past and 
often thinking of you, Darling. I am so full of thankful- 
ness for darling Lettie's escape that I am not troubling 
to think of anything else. This is a good place when you 
get up into the hills behind it. The little Duchess of 
Leeds lives up in the hills at the back and Lady Paget 
and Lady Windsor have been staying there since Friday. 
So I have been two expeditions with them. At other 
tunes after taking care of S. S. I just go up a hill and 
pretend to read some little old Italian books which I bought 
at Milan. I ' pickle away ' occasionally at Virgil's Georgics 
and enjoy the Psalms in Latin. My theory is that when 
one is tired it is restful to read in languages one but half 
understands. You can't race through and it reproduces 


the pleasing ignorance of childhood to wonder what 
things mean exactly. We are going on, I believe, to 
Florence to stay with Lady Paget. Her conversation 
has the same feature of being partially unintelligible, 
so that I need not dispute propositions which I do not 
understand and without sacrifice of truth give a tacit 
assent to Vegetarianism, Metempsychosis and the virtues 
of the German Emperor. S. S. is really resting and quite 
* chirpy ' again. Give my love to Charlie and the Poussins. 
I am longing to see you, Beloved. I hope to be very free 
from work and care this summer, and so to have time to 
enjoy you. Ever your devoted brother, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

April 7th, 1905. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I had a great time all this 
morning in the Laurentian Library with the Director 
Biagi. The illuminations are wonderful. A Psalter for 
Corvinus J King of Hungary is most beautiful. I had out 
all the MSS. of Virgil, Boccacio, Alfieri, a Jarrow Bible 
of 680 ; Tacitus and so on. We had a great talk about 
Castiglione's Courtier and I promised to write him a 
short article on the influence of that book in England 
through Hoby's translation. I am trying to learn Italian 
and can read the newspaper and old poetry pretty well, 
but nothing else between those extremes so far. 

Lady Paget is excellent company full of scandal, forty 
years old, which, like old wine, gains in strength and 
loses in acerbity. The Spring here is divine. I am 

1 Mathias Corvinus was elected King of Hungary in 1459. He defeated the 
Turks in 1474, and waged war successfully as an independent sovereign against 
the Empire, laying siege to and taking Vienna in 1477. The psalter was 
ordered by Lorenzo il Magnifico for the King, but Corvinus died in 1490 
before the book had been delivered. Lorenzo himself died two years later and 
the psalter remained in Florence. 


rather idle about picture galleries. I remembered them 
all too well. The buildings, sculptures and illuminated 
MSS. are my principal toys. One of the latter had days 
of creation that B. J. would have loved, rather, no doubt, 
did love. I long to look at these illuminations with you. 
They are better than any I knew at the British Museum 
and they gain enormously by being where they are, in 
the library of the Medici, to whom they were brought by 
the earliest humanists. One gives me a great thrill : a 
beautifully illuminated MS. of Aristotle in Latin, written 
by Agiropoulos, the Greek from Constantinople, and 
given to Lorenzo with a picture of Agiropoulus on the 
first page. That is the revival of learning with a ven- 
geance. And there it is in his library. There is also a 
fine Latin Bible of 680 with gold letters on purple vellum 
for the front sheet and excellent illuminations. It was 
written at Jarrow in Northumberland and after many 
adventures is here. The name of the Northumbrian 
Abbot has been erased and an Italian name substituted. 
What you would enjoy with me is the picture of the life 
at Jarrow hi 680 proving as I always maintain that 
people were just as, or more, civilised then. The book- 
case might have been made by Morris from a design of 
Webb i.e. the bookcase depicted in the illumination 
with lovely books bound in red lying side by side in the 
shelves and the table would do for tea in our gold room 
at ' 35.' It is by looking at these illuminations and 
reading in the fresh handwriting Latin which might be 
written to-day, of an easy-going simple, modern kind ; 
that you can dispel the false conceit of archaism of age. 
It is all fresh and full of new life as the Spring. The 
people who wrote and painted it might ' ha died o' Wednes- 
day ' or meet one to-morrow. This gives the sense of 
Eternity and makes Time and Age and Death the accidents 
they are. ' I am not Time's fool.' The old book-shop 
of Frances-chini would have proved as tempting to you 
as to me, with our love of rubbish. I bought an old 
Decameron, a Plutarch's Morals in Latin and a Bembo : 
glorious rubbish. The old books were piled four feet deep 


on the floor and the aged, very dirty, enthusiast encou- 
raged me to wade in them and take what I liked. 

Love to all. Your most loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Father 

FIRENZE, April llth, 1905. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I was amused by your postcard 
and subsequent letter to Lady Paget. I wrote to Mamma 
a day or two ago. But I am so idle and contented as 
to make me lazy about writing. The after-momentum 
of high-pressure maintained through years has expended 
itself. I am in a state of passive and peaceful enjoy- 
ment, detached from any immediate purpose. Some 
people lunched here on Saturday, the Humphrey Wards 
and Placi, a dilettante Italian, who remembers you all 
at 4 Lung Arno and pretends to remember me. I had 
a pleasant talk to him about modern Italian poetry and 
walked with him in the afternoon. On Sunday I took 
a slashing walk of nine miles beyond the Certosa and back 
by a westward loop along the valley of the Greve river. 
After four o'clock Lord Halifax called and I walked with 
him for another two hours. I called on the Stanhopes 
one evening and was made very welcome as a cousin. 
Yesterday the morning was divine with a hot sun and 
air like champagne. I took Sibell to San Marco the 
Annunziata, Peragirn's fresco in St. Maddelena de Pazzi 
and the Belle Arti. We met May Talbot and Lord and 
Lady Wolseley. But I have not slaved at sight-seeing. 
I care much for only a few pictures and prefer to receive 
general impressions. Lady Paget and selves lunched 
formally with the Stanhopes, talked of B. J. and Morris 
and Rosetti. Afterwards I called on Lady Airlie who 
has been very kind to me. We returned at 4 for Lady 
Paget's ' day.' There came a delightful old Princess 
aged 80 with whom I conducted an animated conversa- 


tion in French, several Italian Princesses or swells of 
sorts, and Lady Mabel Howard, a sister of Lord Antrim. 
I have read a good, gossipy book in two volumes about 
La Grande Mademoiselle, Lauzun and the Court of Louis 
Quatorze. I learn a little Italian. I have also been read- 
ing Lady Paget's Memories. They are very interesting on 
Diplomatic Society in Copenhagen, Florence and Rome for 
1860-1872. I am trying to get Sibell rested. For myself, 
the general plan of the day is, breakfast with Lady Paget 
in the garden at 8-30 ; lunch in the open loggia upstairs 
at 1 o'clock, dinner at 8, conversation to 10 o'clock 
and then to bed reading Memoires and so forth till 11 
or 12 o'clock. Lady Paget is a most agreeable companion. 
Between-whiles I walk, spend a good deal of time in the 
Laurentian library with Biagi and enjoy the general 
architecture more than the pictures with a few excep- 
tions. We do not change much. The pictures and statues 
which I picked out in -87 and -95 are still the only ones 
to me. I have learned little since then except about 
literature and history. Art belongs to no particular date 
or place. A little of it is very good, eternal and universal. 
The rest is unimportant. In a way though it takes 
longer to discover this only a certain number of people 
and books are important and these, also, have always 
been the same ; just like the thrushes that are now sing- 
ing, and the ilex trees on which they sing. I enjoy it 
all, art, books, people and nature and in my present 
mood do not want to change anything. It seems 
simpler to appreciate what is good and ignore the rest. 

The ' Guards ' plan of which Percy writes exists in 
common with all Army plans at present only in embryo. 
I shall not oppose his wishes if the plan is ever defined 
and adopted ; and I have written to Codrington. Mean- 
while he cannot do better than read for Oxford. He is 
counting the days to his Easter holiday and longs to 
be at Clouds. I look forward to being there again in 
good health and taking long rides. 

I should have preferred the Oxford method of entry 
for it would have allowed of travel abroad with Percy. 



I want to bring him here. He must learn to speak French 

All love to darling Mamma and Ditch. Your loving son, 



To his Mother 

FRANKFURT A. MAIN, April 14th, 1905. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, We are on our way back by 
easy stages. As Percy's establishment here is closed for 
Easter holidays, it is absurd to keep him doing nothing 
and he longs to be at Clouds. I do not much want to 
be back before the House rises. But it is dull to stay 
here without him. So I shall come quietly to Clouds and 
arrive Tuesday or Wednesday. I will telegraph the train 
when I get to England. Perf has to leave us from Easter 
Tuesday to Friday for an exam, at Oxford ; an addi- 
tional reason for not delaying here. We are sending a 
horse and Perfection with a groom to Clouds for riding. 

I am really very well and in excellent spirits. I enjoyed 
Florence enormously but will keep all the news till I 

As I say I hope to arrive Tuesday, or Wednesday, but 
I don't mean to racket myself by travelling too fast as I 
want to prove that Italy is a better cure than Electricity. 
And I must do justice to my own prescription. Love to 
all. Your most loving son, GEORGE. 

To Mrs. Hinkson 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
May 17th, 1905. 

DEAR MRS. TYNAN-HINKSON, I am grateful to you 
for having written and for what you have written. I was 
glad to get your book and thought that, perhaps, you 


would write. And now we have only got to wait for the 
next chance of helping somebody, whoever he may be, 
to get something done. You must never for one moment 
allow yourself to believe that Ireland is unlucky, or that 
she brings ill-luck. It is because people allow themselves 
to believe this that things sometimes go wrong in Ireland 
or, rather, that it is harder to set them right when they 
do go wrong ; in Ireland as elsewhere. The great thing 
is to be quite sure that : 

' All we have hoped of good shall exist, 
not its semblance, but itself. . . / 

If enough people believe that a great many will live to 
see it. Your books help me to believe this. That is 
why I want you to go on writing books in the same vein 
of charity and it is one of the reasons why I am, Yours 
gratefully, GEORGE. 


To Charles Waldstein 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
May 17th, 1905. 

MY DEAR CHARLES, When I left England for the 
continent I was too ill to read the many, many letters 
written me by my friends. They were kept from me till 
my return, and then my first duty was to attend to arrears 
of work that called for immediate attention. 

But now it is a great solace to me to read such letters 
as the one you wrote. 

This is not yet the time to say or write anything of my 
work and hopes in Ireland. Yet the hopes are not extin- 
guished. I dare to believe that these vicissitudes will 
have their uses for many. For me, at least, they have 
brought friends nearer. Ever your friend, 




To Wilfrid Ward 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
May 28th, 1905. 

MY DEAR WILFBID, I have read your article with 
great interest. It is a fine piece of psychological analysis. 
In an ideal world no one would be expected to say ' yes ' 
or * no ' to a project for closer commercial union with the 
Colonies. You cannot do so ' without prejudice.' 

During the Boer War when the French press was out- 
rageous to our feelings, no sensible man would have 
declared for or against an understanding with France. 
In theology many express an aspiration towards the re- 
union of Christendom. But they do so at their peril. 
And their peril is extreme if the aspiration is connected 
with some concrete questions as e.g. the validity of Orders. 

Yours ever, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 


To Philip Hanson 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
June 6th, '05. 

MY DEAR P. H., Thanks for a clean breath from the 
Atlantic and for soft airs from Donegal. It was good of 
you to write at such length, and very good for me. And 
yet another set of ' Western ' photographs links me across 
the breach to the happy past. I am very glad to hear 
of Meredith and the old man who waved his cap for us 
from the rock at Kincasslagh. 

Meanwhile do not be concerned for my health. I have 
made a distinct advance since last Saturday, which I spent 
at Eton (3rd, for 4th of June a Sunday) quietly with 
Ainger and Lulu Harcourt. I missed Percy and felt 
sentimental when the ' Thelion ' swept by in green and 


My interests have been varied and not onerous. I have 
been in close touch with the P. M. over Albert Hall, and 
with other anxious hearts. Lansdowne was good in the 
Lords yesterday. 

I have also been engaged with Crundall and Mowll 
over Dover Harbour and the Railways. This is interest- 
ing. The Harbour Board and the Railways have come 
to a complete deadlock. If I can persuade them to ' drop 
their swords and daggers,' I shall do a big thing for 
everybody concerned. Why is it so hard to persuade 
people to follow their own interests instead of attacking 
the interests of others ? As in Ireland, a number of in- 
genious gentlemen have devoted their intellects and 
other people's money during three years to achieve the 
following results : (1) No proper accommodation at 
Dover ; (2) 700,000 spent at Folkestone which cannot 
be made into a port ; (3) A poll-tax on all passengers and 
no visible results ; (4) Worse services to the Continent ; 

(5) Railways, no power to evict the Harbour Board ; 

(6) Harbour Board, no power to spend another penny 
without guarantee from Railways. A complete stale- 
mate, as the sole result of years of work and an expendi- 
ture of 1,300,000. It shocks nobody ; it surprises 
nobody, and everybody is solely interested to show how 
cleverly he stopped the other fellow at every stage, and 
how easy it will be to go on doing so ' ad infinitum.' 

I dine with Lansdowne to meet the King of Spain 
to-morrow, and then I am off to ' camp ' with my Yeomanry 
in Delamere Forest. You must approve of that ! 

Later I go to Dover and make myself pleasant to all 
eschewing oratory and dilating merely -on * our Historic 

The Cabinet-making of the Opposition will become 
delirious now that Lansdowne has suggested that there 
may actually be an Election within a year. It was obvious 
that we could not deal with the report of a Conference 
which only meets in June 1906, and may not report till 
we should be in a seventh Session. Yet good men and 
true worry over it, and take God to witness, and quarrel 


for all the world as if anything ever did happen. Whereas 
it is well known that nothing ever does happen except 
of course, casus, 4 fallings down.' ' All the King's horses 
and all the King's men ' are perennially engaged on the 
abortive hoisting of Humpty-Dumpty. That is Politics. 

Occasionally it is well to take a turn in the part of 
Humpty-Dumpty. I was amused to hear that, when 
A. J. B.'s illness threatened non-appearance at the Albert 
Hall, an anxious group of Conservative M.P.'s, after 
ruling out Liberal Unionists and Beach and Douglas, 
wondered whether I could be got back in time to take 
the meeting 1 How funny of them not to guess that 
Humpty-Dumpty sticks to the privilege of inertia sits, 
falls and acquiesces in re-hoisting but never climbs. 
Yours ever, G. W. 


To his Mother 

NORTHWICH, June 13, 1905. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I got your delightful letter 
a nice fat one and, as our Field-day is put off for half 
an hour, am answering straight away. What fun you 
and uncle Freddy and the two Jackasses must be having 
all together. I am very glad the two Jackasses have 
arrived. I hate any change in places that I love and 
missed their laughter the last few times at Clouds. 

I am very well. We have the first sprinkle of rain 
this morning. Till now it has been as dry as a bone here. 
The nights were cold ; but I thrived on them. At first 
I put on long drawers under my pyjamas and many 
blankets and a fur rug. But as that almost crushed me 
011 a camp bed and as I became rapidly acclimatised I 
now sleep with only a couple of blankets. This is a 
lovely spot a long upland glade one and a half mile by 
a third of a mile with the forest on each side, Scotch firs, 
birches, chestnuts and bracken. We are on the high 


ground on the further side of ' High Billings ' from 
Saighton. I spent Sunday there with Sibell and felt 
quite keen to get back to my books and the garden. 
The Yeomanry has made a good transition from Ireland 
back to Cheshire. Everybody is so pleased to see us 
and all the old hunting and camp stories carry me back 
ten years. All the young officers are good fellows. We 
drill, or manoeuvre in the Forest all the morning and 
in the afternoon stimulated by our C. O. Lord Harrington 
we cut at heads and posts and shoot children's coloured 
air-balloons as we jump, a la Dick Turpin. As I am 
always really only sixteen years old inside I enjoy this 
as much as Percy could. My new horse, Terence, takes 
to soldiering well. He is very fond of me already and 
wise. Horses are immensely proud and self-conscious 
when they find themselves with hundreds of other horses. 
They think that the uniforms and the Flag-staff and the 
Trumpets are all there in their honour. Personally I 
know no better amusement than commanding a squadron 
on a good horse. Arty Grosvenor and Bendor are in 
the squadron and all the young riding farmers from 
round Saighton. Our Sergeant Major from the Blues 
weighs 20 stone and we have a horse in the ranks over 
18 hands high. He is called ' Dick ' which amuses me 
and is a general favourite. Now the sun is bursting out 
and I am off to ' umpire ' at the fight a canter out of 
five miles through the Forest. We shall lunch out and 
be six or seven hours in the saddle. 

I will let you know about coming to ' 44.' I want 
Sibell to stay at Saighton as much as possible. She 
rackets herself to death in London and is much happier 

I am very glad that they made Alphonso Colonel of 
the 16th. I read about the Cavalry charge at Aldershot 
and heard of old Guy at the Court Ball. I suppose he 
will get a Spanish order and wear a locket. 

I go on to Letty's Ball at Madresfield. 

Love to all. Ever your most loving son, 




To Wilfrid Scawen Blunt 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
June 22, '05. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, My thoughts turned to you at 
Mamma's Birthday dinner party on Tuesday. And, 
now, I want to settle a day for my visit to you at New- 
buildings. Would Saturday July 1st be convenient ? 
Between now and then I have to go to Dover. 

Button 1 is dining with me here to-night. 

The Fancy Dress Ball at Madresfield Lettice's home 
was a great success. Lettice and Beauchamp appeared 
as a Lord and Lady Beauchamp of Powick, anno 1450. 
I wore my Palaeologus dress of 1437 which you saw once 
at Saighton. Percy who came from Germany wore a 
beautiful Valois dress, and Bendor went as the Earl of 
Surrey temp. Henry vin. after a picture at Hampton 
Court. They made a fine pair and Sibell was very proud 
of them. She wore a dress, also from picture at Hampton 
Court, of Miss Stewart, afterwards Duchess of Richmond. 
But Sibell called herself Margaret Godolphin, supposed 
to be, perhaps, the only perfectly respectable lady of the 
Restoration Court. 

I hope that June is doing you good. I wrote some 
verses on June which I will show you at Newbuildings. 
Ever yours affectionately, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 


To Bertram W indie 

July I4th, 1905. 

MY DEAR DOCTOR WINDLE, Your 4 Wessex ' is a 
delightful book to read at any time and in any place, but, 
above all, in London and mid July. I am most grateful 

1 Hon. Algernon Bourke. 


for the gift. I admire Mr. New's illustrations. Am I 
right in believing that he illustrated one of the Kelmscott 
books ? At any rate the combination is a most effective 

Wiltshire, Dorset and the Cotswolds are my favourite 
tracks in England. Some day I hope to do a little Wilt- 
shire with you from Clouds, my father's place. 

I shall press Education on Mr. Long. It is the thing 
most needed and the only thing that can be done under 
existing circumstances. 

Thanking you again. Yours very sincerely, 



To his Father 

CHESTER, August 8th, 1905. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I appreciated your letter and 
shall follow its advice. 

I am very well. I finished my lecture on Ronsard 
some days ago, and have polished it up without effort. 

In the mornings I play Polo ! at Eaton or, rather, 
knock the ball about with Bendor and Shelagh and 
two of the Demigods who played for England against 

Bendor has on hand a Polo Tournament. It is great 
fun. There are nine teams and ninety-two ponies, worth 
500 a piece, put up for the week. 

Hugh Cecil is staying with me and is quite absorbed in 
the Polo. At first we were rather afraid of the swells, 
Nickalls, Millers, Wilson etc. But they are very kind 
and affable. What with the concentration of motors, 
the herds of famous ponies, the ' Bloods,' the wives 
of the 'Bloods,' the bands (1) Military, (2) Gotlieb, 
the concourse of the County etc., it is a sort of Eglinton 
Tournament ' up to date.' Your loving son, 




To Charles T. Gatty 

CHESTER, 18th August '05. 

MY DEAR CHARLES, It was delightful to see your 
handwriting in a letter to Sibell, and to know that I shall 
soon see you. But I insist on more than one day's visit 
that is absurd and I propose that you come on, or 
as soon after September 1st as you can manage. Cuckoo 
comes on the first. Try and come 1st or 2nd and stay 
a few days. I have invaded the upper room in the tower 
the 4 girls' schoolroom ' eheu fugaces ! There I feel 
like the Greek tyrant who slept in the top storey and 
pulled the ladder up after him through a hole in the floor. 
The room is cleared and whitewashed. I retain my own, 
old, lower room also. I started to sort my books on the 
broad principle of poetry, literature, books of reference, 
upstairs; history, politics, philosophy, science, down- 
stairs. I found that nine-tenths of the books in each 
class were not in the storey of their ultimate destination, 
but in the other. So I spent 2 days on the turret stairs, 
perspiring freely, with 10 volumes on each journey clasped 
between my hands and chin. Now order reigns, and 
it is mighty pleasant. 

Hugh Cecil spent some five days with me. We dis- 
cussed most of the Centuries and Continents, read Poetry, 
mapped out the future of the Church, and assigned their 
provinces and ideals to novel combinations of parties in 
Home Politics. Also we attended, day by day, the 
Polo Tournament organised by Bendor on a basis of 
11 teams and 92 ponies. 

I wrote a lecture on Ronsard and delivered it at Oxford 
in my Doctor's gown. 

Now I perpend and wait for the Seven Devils to occupy 
my swept and garnished life. 

I have two offers to write on Shakespeare ; an inclina- 
tion to write a few essays on my own account, and 


a determination not to join this Government whatever 

I trust that your images are really within sight of 
repaying you. But, dear Charles, don't work yourself 
to death even in the cause of gypsum. 

I stayed with the Dean of Christchurch for the lecture 
and met interesting people : Armstrong, an authority on 
Italian poetry, and many more. 

Among them Canon Henson, a pathetic figure ; clever, 
and overworked. 

I do hope that you will come as early as you can in 
September and stay for some days. Yours affection- 
ately, GEORGE W. 


To Philip Hanson 

CHESTER, 25.viii.05. 

MY DEAR P. H., Your letter is conclusive on the 
theory of telepathy. I thought of you a good deal yester- 
day ; realised that I had not heard from you for quite a 
tune ; and determined to write myself the first thing to-day 
Then pat ! comes just the letter I was missing. It is 
very welcome, every line of it. When do you take your 
holiday ? and can you look in here on the way ? We 
shall be here 1st to 4th and 12th to 18th September, and 
then from about 10th October onwards. The gaps repre- 
sent a visit, or so, and Dover. 

Sometimes Politics surge up from the back caverns of 
thought and memory. But I put them aside. I read 
the ' Seething Pot ' in Florence. It is good. The other 
aspect of Ireland, what I may call the Polo-Ground 
aspect is more insistent. I loved the Phoenix Park, and 
the Lodge, and am haunted by memories of people who 
were kind. Yet I agree it is ' all nonsense really,' as you 
say. Nevertheless, give my warm remembrance to Lady 
Thomson and Sir T. Myles and others. 


The ' erraticke sterres ' are not in it with Percy. He 
called on you the other day, being at Leopardstown, etc., 
returned to have a tSte-a-tete with the Dean of Christ- 
church, and, after settling to read hard lor another ' shot ' 
in December, looked in here yesterday, and was off again 
to Dublin ! It is jolly to be as young as all that. 

Ronsard was good fun. I lectured in crimson glory of 
D.C.L. robes, the perspiration dripping from my brow, 
to a large audience about 1,200 mostly composed of 
lean and earnest ladies. Need I tell you that I had to 
throw more than a quarter overboard, although speaking 
pretty fast for one hour and ten minutes ? 

Macmillan wants to publish and make ' something 
rather nice of it.' But the Devil has tempted me to 
' finish ' the section I omitted, influence on Elizabethans. 
You ought to be here to take it away from me. I will 
send it off to-day : and finish on the * proofs.' 

I made a great effort after austerity and only break out 
once or twice. The structure is of Spartan simplicity : 
(1) The Age and the Man ; (2) Sources of Inspiration and 
Aim of Art ; (3) Achievement and Influence. So far, so 
good. But when I said to Walter Raleigh as I left the 
platform, ' I 'm afraid it was three lectures,' he answered 
' No, a book.' 

Sidney Lee in his ' Elizabethan Sonnets,' published 
only last year, forestalled a good deal that I had worked 
out 10 years ago. But no matter for that. 

* B-o-o-k, Book,' and then go and write it as I must 

Be really happy, write soon ; let us meet. Yours ever, 



To Wilfrid Ward 

August 26th, 1905. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, I did not refer to your proposed 
4 notes on Ireland,' because as you rightly judged I 
do prefer not to offer any opinion. 


Much that I said has been so misconstrued that, for 
the present, I maintain silence. 

It is not the case that I tried to construct a moderate 
party i.e. a body with an organisation, leader, programme, 

What I preached in season and out of season was that 
all, no matter to what parties they belonged, or what 
extreme views they might hold, should endeavour to 
agree on practical proposals of a moderate character. 
Yours ever, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 


To his Mother 

CHESTER, September 1st, 1905. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, The Mallaranny Picture is 
quite beautiful : a beautiful picture and a beautiful poem, 
in one. It is a work of genius. You must paint some 
more sketches from recollection. They are worth many 
enamels. The mind selects what the imagination has 
received. Louis Stevenson, in one of his essays on travel 
says that he can only describe a country properly after 
he has left it and then, only, if he has no notes, or con- 
temporary letters to refer to. These, he argues, inter- 
fere with the process of natural selection in the mind 
which, if unembarrassed by notes, leads up to a ' survival 
of the fittest.' Your sketch of Mallaranny proves that 
this is true of painting also. It gives vision. 

Lavery, the painter, told me that he painted in that 
way sometimes and could best give a landscape in that 

I am very well. Macmillan is publishing my Ronsard 
lecture, as a little book, or pamphlet. Courtney asked 
me to send it to the ' Fortnightly ' but I had said ' done ' 
to Macmillan and prefer a separate publication for a 
thing that appeals to a small audience. 

I cannot quite make up my mind whether I shall, or 


shall not, add an Appendix of some of my translations. 
Probably I shall. 

Hanson is staying here for a night and Gatty till 
Tuesday, also darling Cuckoo. We are very happy. 

We go to Derwent on the 5th, to Wynward on the 
8th, and return on the 12th. 

Bless you, darling, for the lovely picture and ' alli- 
gator ' on the back and letter. Your most loving son, 



To Wilfrid Scawen Blunt 

September 3, '05. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, I have been thinking of you 
constantly, during long stretches, day after day. Your 
presence is strangely insistent. The last two nights I 
have spent in reading your poetry. Your poetry touched 
me first when I was very young and turned me into what 
I am. But, reading it again, I receive two vivid impres- 
sions ; that you are a Poet, without any shadow of doubt, 
destined to great praise in years still long distant ; and, 
again, that the stuff of your poetry is linked very closely 
with my life. I feel coerced to write this to-night. I have 
left everybody downstairs to do it. 

September 4M. 

I was interrupted by Charles Gatty, who is here. We 
often talk of you. Please ask Cockerell to write and tell 
me how you are. I expect to go south at the end of 
September, in order to visit my constituents, and I shall 
come to see you early in October. I enjoyed my lecture 
on Ronsard at Oxford. I delivered it in my crimson 
D.C.L. robes. Macmillan is publishing it. I stayed 
with the Dean at Christchurch. His lawn between 
Cardinal Wolseley's library and the Cathedral of St. 
Frydeswytte (I am not sure of the lady's name) is a 
perfect spot for meditation. The remains of St. Frydes- 
wytte's shrine are very beautiful and were much admired 


by Burne-Jones. The adventures of her corpse give an 
epitome of the English Reformation. When Edward vi. 
came to the throne, Somerset disinterred St. Frydeswytte 
and buried, in her place, the wife of Peter Martyr, a nun 
who had broken her vows. When Mary Tudor succeeded, 
Mrs. Peter Martyr was removed and St. F. replaced. 
When Elizabeth reigned in her place she put them both 
in together, and there they are just like the Communion 
Service in the Prayer Book. 

I have been riding with Percy and long for the day when 
I shall ride with you again. Yours affectionately, 



To Charles Boyd 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
10.x. 05. 

MY DEAR CHARLES, I was delighted to get your letter. 
What a ten years it has been ! My plan of campaign is 
simple, viz. : to remain young, to make Dover doubly 
secure, to entrench myself politically for some months 
in Conservative principles as a base from which to 
operate towards closer Imperial Unity. Incidentally I 
attend at Dover, Chamber of Commerce Banquet, 
Mayor's Dinner, Primrose League Dinner, etc., etc. 

I spoke for one hour and twenty minutes at Dover on 
the 27th to a large audience. But just now no one must 
start new plans. 

The Government make a mistake in staying in. They 
are boring the country and tiring out their army. All 
the more reason say I that those who mean business 
should keep within their lines of Torres Vedras. After 
that Imperial Organisation by all means. But don't 
touch compulsory service for the Army. The proper 
plan as I informed the House of Commons 4| years 
ago is to have Militia in all parts of the Empire, receiving 
a small Imperial retainer and all coming on to a uniform 
rate of Imperial pay in the hour of Imperial Emergency. 


That is part of Imperial Organisation. Conscription 
at home by whatever name you like to call it is Insular. 
Our Empire is Oceanic. That fact is the test stone of 
every plan for Imperial organisation. 

Meanwhile, Percy is here for a week's holiday. We 
went cub-hunting to-day from 7.45 to 1.45, and jumped 
many brooks and fences. 

I have to deliver a ' Short Address ' in Chester to- 
morrow. Macmillan is publishing my lecture on Ronsard. 
I go to London on Monday next, the 16th, and could dine 
or talk after dinner. I go to bed early now and take 
immense care of my health. Yours ever in the bond, 


To Bertram W indie 

CHESTER, November 1st, 1905. 

MY DEAR DOCTOR WINDLE, Your letter has given me 
something more than pleasure. It makes me hope that 
you will achieve some of the projects for which I worked. 
And, being human, I cannot but be glad to hear from you 
that some remember that I did work and guess, perhaps, 
how deeply I cared. 

I tried very hard to get a Central Committee for enquiry 
and advice on questions of commerce, transit, manufacture 
and handicraft. I know the political rocks and shoals, 
and can estimate the considerable measure of success 
which you have attained. The list of speakers for 
November 21st and 22nd proves to me that much has 
already been accomplished. It is most encouraging to 
see that, in addition to the Chairman of the Cork and 
Dublin Chambers of Commerce, the New Department, 
and the Bishops of Cloyne and Waterford, you have also 
secured politicians representing so many divergent sections 
of political opinion. Messrs. Boland, T. W. Russell, 
William Field, Sloan and Captain Donelan, with Lord 
Dunraven, comprise almost every shade. I regret that, 


excepting Mr. Russell and Mr. Sloan whose usefulness 
I would by no means minimise Belfast is not yet, 
apparently, ready to throw in her lot with the general 
prosperity of Ireland. Her Captains of Industry hold 
back. It is slow work, demanding infinite patience. 
It may be that Belfast will always stand aside. If so, 
there is all the more reason for closer communion through- 
out the centre and south. 

I also read with pleasure and relief that you ' find 
plenty to do and never have an idle moment.' That 
reconciles me to having lured you into such troublous 

I shall read your inaugilral address with keen interest. 
Some day I shall pay you a visit. But, for the present, 
I cannot help Ireland. Any action or words of mine 
would be misrepresented, and serve only to em- 
barrass those who at I am sure considerable risk are 
willing to take up the task of assisting Ireland * to find 

In the long run it may prove that my failure to secure 
support in Ireland and financial assistance from Parlia- 
ment, is not to be regretted. 

If Irishmen come to understand how little English 
politicians Conservatives, Liberals, Free-Traders, Pro- 
tectionists and Labour men know or care about Irish 
interests, they will discover that they cannot afford to 
imitate the worst features in our Party system. 

It is all to the good that no one can say of the 'First 
Irish Industrial Conference ' that it is promoted or 
engineered by a Chief Secretary. That makes it easier 
for Irish politicians to co-operate, and easier for them to 
defend their co-operation from malicious attacks. 

So, as a private individual without any political * arriere 
pensee,' who merely cares for the well-being of Ireland, 
your Conference and your attempts to improve the oppor- 
tunities for Higher Education, have my heartfelt good 
wishes. Yours very sincerely, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 

VOL. n. 


To his Father 

YORKSHIRE, November 26th, 1905. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I owe you several letters. I 
have been interested in politics and deluged with corres- 
pondence, which mounts up during a shooting party. 

Last week I spent with Sir William Eden at Windle- 
stone. We shot three days and hunted Friday. It was 
a mixed party and amused me when I got used to it. 
The guns were, besides host and self, Lord Villiers, ' Jack ' 
Menzies, Hunter, Cazalet and George Lambton. 

Hunter is husband to Mrs. Hunter, sister to Ethel 
Smythe. She has been painted by Sargent and * sculp- 
tured ' by Rodin ; Mrs. Menzies and Muriel Beckett were 
younger ' beauties.' 

I raised a horse in the neighbourhood and enjoyed 
hunting with Willy Eden and George Lambton, though 
the run was too short. It reminded me of old days. 
My horse was a good jumper. 

We are alone here with the Zetlands and he mounts 
me with his hounds to-morrow. 

There is a beautiful Sir Joshua here of George rv. as 
a young man the companion picture to Col. St. Leger. 
Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To Philip Hanson 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

MY DEAR P. H., Your letter only reached me this 
morning in Yorkshire. I go on to Dover to-morrow and 
cannot be sure when I shall get back to Saighton. Even 
if I am as I expect at Saighton, Sunday I shall be too 
busy to enjoy Filgate's company, for I start again on 

I should like to see you immensely, and not in such a 


hurry. Could you come later and stay longer ? Then, 
by all means, let Filgate accompany you for a day. 
Next Sunday I must l sport my oak.' Now I come to 
think of it, I get back Friday, give prizes that night with 
speech on Education, and hunt Saturday, so that Sunday 
is my only day for getting things ship-shape again. 

I want a talk with you : I shall be at Saighton, I think, 
13th-17th, and continuously after, say, the 20th or 21st. 
You MUST see us on way to and from Christmas. 

I have, at last, begun to study ' Fiscals ' seriously. A 
great deal has happened lately. 

PRIVATE. I took a decisive step about a month ago, 
rather less. First A. C. and then J. C. asked me to join 
in an agitation for Tariff Reform. I felt the time had 
come to define my position. I wrote to J. C. definitely 
declining an all-round Tariff for double object of (i) giving 
employment, (ii) raising surplus millions to relieve rates 
and promote social legislation. That being so, I added that 
an ' agitation at least in my hands (!) could serve only 
to accentuate Party divisions on the eve of an Election.' 

I have corresponded with others, including the P. M. 

We are all risking much ; so that Politics have regained 
their dignity. 

In view of the general ruction I have agreed to address 
4000 people at Huddersfield on January 23rd. 

I have never been daunted by Colonial Preference. 
For a laudable object and adequate return I will tax, 
with preference to Colonies, (a) luxuries, (b) corn up to 
2/- if necessary. 

Or take Retaliation : let us try negotiating, and, if 
need be, fighting to get our goods into markets from which 
they are shut out. If we do, with any regard to facts 
and common sense, again the counter-blow would fall 
on (a) luxuries, (b) food, rather than on manufactures. 

When a manufacturer and this is a favourite Pro- 
tectionist argument transfers his mill to Germany, it 
is because he sold his goods to Germany and can do so 
no longer. To ' protect ' his manufactures here effects 
nothing ; it irritates without hurting. 


Both these projects make against, rather than for, 

My difficulty begins with ' broadening the basis of 

I do not believe that either of the two projects named 
would protect ; but neither do I believe that they would 
bring in Revenue to any appreciable extent. In so far 
as they fulfil their ostensible and to me real objects, 
they will do neither. Indeed, a tax on wine might 
decrease Revenue. For our existing taxes have reached 
the limit of productivity qua indirect, and the limit of 
prudence qua direct taxation. 

There 's the rub ! I preach economy, honestly. But 
in my heart of hearts I know that Imperial Defence 
developing the Unity of Empire bettering the conditions 
of life at home must mean greater expenditure. Whether 
at the W. O. or the I. O., I found many things that ought 
to be done and could not be done for lack of funds. 

I cannot, therefore, say that I will never put on new 
taxes. Indeed, if I were Chancellor of Exchequer in 
ten years' tune, I should be driven to it. 

Taxes on manufactured articles will not, I believe, 
produce much revenue. They will, probably, merely 
shift employment from one trade into another, or from 
one grade into another grade of the same trade. They 
would protect certain trades, or processes, i.e. the agri- 
culturist would pay more tor his machine, and the opera- 
tive would make more pig-iron and iewer tin-plates. 

If, therefore, I found it necessary to discover new taxes 
for Revenue, the most effective and fairest course would 
be to have a revenue tariff, really general and really non- 
protective, except accidentally to an insignificant degree. 

To be brief : the ideal is, that such taxes should be 
universal and very low. 

I have two objects : (i) Imperial, (ii) domestic. 

(i) Imperial. I go to my conference hoping for closer 
Union, less taxation on my manufactures, trade routes 
within the Empire, and last, but not least, some appreci- 
able contribution from the Colonies towards Imperial 


Defence, say, the Navy, and imperial retainer for Militia 
throughout the Empire. 

Now, most of our Colonies have a protective tariff for 
manufactures, but also a genuine revenue tariff. It 
used to be 7% ad valorem at the Cape when I was there. 

If I am to devise a plan for the Empire, I must take 
into account the custom of all the parts. 

I may say that taxes which go exclusively into the 
Exchequer and give no indirect protection, are best for 
me. But I cannot say they are best for South Africa 
or India. So without violating the Free Trader's theory 
qua this Island, I can advocate an all-round 2% ad 
valorem, the proceeds of which are to be ear-marked for 
Imperial defence. In the Cape or India it would be a 
slight addition to their customary system. Here it would 
be an insignificant exception from our system. 

Having dealt thus with (i) Imperial, I turn to (ii) 
Domestic, and put on another l%-3% in all to make 
a k pool ' for carrying out Balfour of Burleigh's Report. 
I should come out with an Imperial and Domestic policy 
based on all round 3% taxes for Revenue. 

Protection disappears. Retaliation is left rather high 
and dry. If needed, the 4 blows ' ought to be devised 
to act as threats. They ought to hit where it hurts and 
not to be of a protective character. 

I did not mean to write all this. It is purely speculative. 

For the moment we must keep clear of J. C.'s 10% on 
manufacture. Yours ever, G. W. 


To Philip Hanson 

CHESTER, l.xii.05. 

MY DEAR P. H., Many thanks for your letter. You 
must come on the 21st. Percy will be here and we shall 
have a royal time. Bring Charles with you. 

I wrote to the Orange Colonel, Wednesday, on the 
' Times ' Report. So far I have received no reply, explana- 
tion, or even acknowledgment. 


It is curious that all the people who go for Joe have 
begun to knife the people who don't. 

The Irish are getting excited. The only thing that 
angers me is when they attack A. J. B. 

I am just in from a short address on Education at 
Chester, after Prizes by my Lady. I said one thing that 
still pleases me. I led up to it with * danger of gospel of 
Efficiency pushed to excess ' ; why should we ' beat the 
Foreigner ' unless our descendants are to be ' Heirs of all 
the ages ' ? And then my epigram ' Do not make a 
scrap-heap of the Past and a treadmill of the Future.' 

You must allow that this was good for the students. 

I begged them to preserve the qualities which used to 
distinguish man from the brutes in the past, and ought 
to distinguish him from machines in the future. What 
are these inherent qualities ? To find them we must, in 
accordance with Modern Science, go to the nursery and 
study children, or to uncivilised countries and study 
savages. What do we find ? (1) Pommeling, (2) Riddles, 
(3) Mud-pies. To fight, to understand, to make. 

Fighting men or nature is sufficiently preserved in 
games and sport. In earliest periods Fighting and Hunt- 
ing pursued to exclusion of all else. Danger now is that 
so-called ' Battle of Life ' with nothing of primitive 
daring and loyalty, shall be pursued also to exclusion of 
all else. Danger is that we shall become machines. So 
hark back to the Understanding and Making. (Aside 
Here Charles will interrupt with gypsum.) 

We must know truth and model beauty, etc., etc. 

They all liked it ! Yours ever, GEORGE W. 


To Charles T. Gatty 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

MY DEAR CHARLES, Many thanks for your letter. I 
hope to be back at Saighton on Wednesday 7th, unless 


detained. Her ladyship will be there till Friday, and both 
of us back Wednesday 13th. 

I should like to see you. 

Saunderson accepts my contradiction unreservedly. 
What an extraordinary people they are. 

Bendor, you may have noticed, is Lord Lieutenant of 

In answer to your question, I do not believe that the 
Irish Vote turns 142 seats, or, indeed, any considerable 

C. B. will form a Government, I feel pretty sure. 

The situation is curiously analogous to that of 1845. 
Lord John Russell then failed to do so because one man, 
Howick (afterwards Grey), refused to join. Peel then 
resumed and carried on, execrated by the Protectionists 
and just supported by the Liberals till Repeal was passed. 
Then the Protectionists and Irish joined forces and 
smashed him. Yours ever, G. W. 


To his Sister, Madeline 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

MOST DARLING MANENAi, I am coming without fail 
and will let you know train. 1 I may have to cut the visit 
very short as, besides Dover, the smash at Charing Cross 
is taxing my time. You spell the second name Philfip 
with II I shall spell it Phi/ip with one I merely as a 
supporter of compulsory Greek. It ought to be PhilMpjp. 
But nobody spells it that way, and, out of deference to 
convention, even I refrain. I hope he will love the 
Horse. Your devoted brother, GEORGE W. 

Off to Dover ! 

1 For the christening of her son. 


To Mrs. Drew 

December 20th, 1905. Midnight. 

MY DEAR MARY, I forgive you because you ask me to 
do so, and am very, very sorry to have missed you. 

I am too tired to argue to-night. 

I stated my position in advance, on the Address of 
1901. It was a difficult position to assume, and defend. 
It has not been made easier for me by ' the other party.' 
On the contrary, it was made untenable. 

I asked then (1901), and again and again, during more 
than four years, that the questions of Land, Education, 
etc., should be discussed on their merits, with a desire 
to make progress and without reference to Home Rule : 
as I put it, ' without making them stalking horses for 
Home Rule.' 

Yet most Liberal speakers, and all Liberal papers, have 
insisted that I did not mean what I said. 

Finally, at a moment when nobody believes that the 
Liberals can pass, or even introduce a Home Rule Bill, 
the Leader of the Liberal Party quite gratuitously asserts 
that everything done for the benefit of Ireland is to be 
considered, not on its merits, but as a step to Home 

Let me put it in this way : if, for what seems the Party 
object of proving that I and the Unionist Government 
were ready to work towards Home Rule, Liberal speakers 
persistently ignore the distinction I drew, then no course 
is open to me but to draw that distinction more sharply. 

And, believe me, there is nothing but disappointment 
and bitterness and delay to all progress in confusing 
as I would put it such practical questions, on which 
agreement is possible, with the creation of a legislative 
Assembly upon which agreement is not possible. 

I deplore C. B.'s speech, because I believe that it adjourns 
evert/thing for 5 or 10 years. 


I did not mean to argue. But I care intensely for these 

It was bad enough to be murdered ' politically ' as a 
reformer in Ireland. It is almost worse to see your Party 
committing suicide in a like capacity. 

Fortunately I am young. And when your Party has 
reaped, in turn, its crop of savage ingratitude, I may 
still hope to see the parties working together for what is 
possible in Ireland as they are now working together for 
what is possible in Foreign Affairs. 

I need hardly add that the report which you have seen 
of my speech is a scanty presentment of 45 minutes. 
My constituents know, and approve, my desire to see 
practical work done for Ireland. They are entitled to 
know that I object to handing over legislation, except 
for private Bills, to a subordinate Parliament. As I 
have stated that objection repeatedly for 18 years, I 
am entitled to re-state it when it is persistently discredited 
by a combination of English Liberals and Ulster Fanatics. 

Now I must ask you to forgive me. We are close on 
Christmas, and, apart from charity, I am, yours 
affectionately, G. W. 


To his Father 

December 22nd, 1905. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, Your letter of 16th was interesting. 
But much has happened since then. I was ' slated.' 
But, politically, my position is beginning to emerge from 
the morass of hard lying. I wrote Saunderson a quiet, 
but firm, letter contradicting him flatly for the second 
time. He has not replied. If he ever raises the matter 
in the House I have but to read the correspondence in 
order to blow him out of the water. 

After that ' private scrimmage ' I went to Bowood, 
Friday to Tuesday, and had interesting talks with 
Metternich and Lansdowne. Then, on Wednesday week, 


13th, I took on Dover. I spoke nine times in four nights 
and was in very good form. I went over Harbour Works 
and Iron Works all the mornings, had political or social 
lunches, slept the whole afternoon, had tea and eggs 
and spoke freely, without preparation, in the evenings 
from 7.30 to 12 o'clock. I did three meetings first night, 
one the second, four the third and one the fourth reported 
more or less. 

On Sunday I needed a rest so I went with George Peel 
who with his father, Lord Peel, happened to be at my 
hotel to Canterbury by the 9 a.m. train and mooned 
about the cathedral till 3 o'clock. It is unparalleled. In 
the afternoon I returned to Dover and called on retired 
officers the ' upper-crust ' who would be ' huffy ' if I 
only attended to capital and labour and shop-keepers. 

Monday I went to Babraham for the christening of 
Manenai's heir, on Tuesday. It was perfect. Our pro- 
cession of ' Lady Libbet ' with a crutch-handled stick 
darling Chang and self as God-parents, dowager baby and 
four sisters was inimitable. Beyond the little stream 
there was another procession of all the babies in the parish 
hi perambulators, silhouetted, beyond the cut-limes, 
against the green meadows. The church was full. I 
put in a morning at Cambridge, by motor, with Charlie ; 
looked up Walter Durnford Master of King's and Mayor 
of Cambridge, saw King's and John's library and the 
Templar's church. 

I ran down here Wednesday night with Perf who had 
' flitted ' to London, for the day, to try on clothes. 

All this is introduction. For the moment though 
enchanted with C. B.'s folly at the Albert Hall, I am 
absorbed in hunting. 

S. S. and I open our campaign at Dover at 7 p.m. on 
28th with torchlight procession and speech from windows 
of the Carlton Club, Dover. But, till then, I merely 
hunt, every day. I suppose I ought to write my address 
on Sunday. All my ' followers ' are clamouring for it 
and Colonel Haigh the new man in Middleton's place 
is besieging me to speak all over the country. But 


as I said this is beer and skittles by comparison with 
hunting. So, let me write about that. 

Perf, besides riding far, far better than I did at his age 
has developed a faculty for successful horse-coping. 
Besides the capital mare which he bought for 21 at 
Wrexham in September he has bought with my money 
a black thoroughbred near Aston for 70. He rode 
the black blood-horse with great distinction on Tuesday. 
They hunted fast all over the cream of south Cheshire and 
the first flight tell me that Perf went in front all the time. 

To-day, we met at Holt, five miles from here. We 
had one of those days that make hunting a romance, 
comparable only to fighting. It was perfect. Shelagh 
Westminster and her uncle, Heremon FitzPatrick were 
out from Eaton ; Perf and I, from Saighton : and I may 
say that we four will concede equality only to Cholmon- 
deley and W. Jones, and Weaver the horse-dealer 
and superiority, only to Goswell, the Steeple-chase jockey 
and trainer. I admit that he beat us. Nobody else did. 
* A southerly wind and a cloudy sky ' with a rising glass 
' proclaimed a hunting morning.' 

We found at * Royalty ' the best of Watkin Wynn's 
coverts, in the pick of the vale, two and a half miles from 
Saighton. There was the scent which only comes once 
or twice in the few seasons which men remember. We 
ran our fox to ground an eight and a quarter mile point 
fourteen to fifteen miles, as we ran, over all the best 
country, in one hour and fifteen minutes. Royalty, 
Garden, Edge Park, Overton Scar, Broughton. Perf 
was the first man at the Garden River, and the only one 
who got over it. Wengy Jones nearly drowned himself 
and his horse. I had the best of the start. But, to my 
huge delight, Perf pounded me and the whole field at a 
' supposed ' unjumpable place. Excepting Goswell ; Perf, 
Fitzpatrick, Shelagh and self, saw the whole run as well 
as anybody. And ' anybody ' only means Wengy Jones, 
Maiden (the huntsman), Cholmondeley and Weaver. 
Indeed, the hounds beat us altogether the last twenty 
minutes of this sublime one hour and fifteen minutes. 


I am glad to say that Weaver, Wengy, Jones and self 
jumped the paddock rails into Broughton Park after we 
had been running over the hour. In short, the hounds 
carried such a head that a horse could jump anything 
and putt after he ought to have been tired out. 

But this was not nearly all. We changed horses and 
drew Garden Cliff. I viewed the fox away and, with 
' Rock ' (Cholmondeley) and Goswell, had the best of 
the first rush to the check (fifteen minutes). Then we 
hunted again, for about thirteen to fourteen miles after 
a loop right across the vale into the Cheshire country, 
and * whipped off ' in the dark at Tattenhall, ibur miles 
from home. There were divine bits of racing pace, 
three or four times, over the best of the Cheshire Vale. 

It is not possible to describe this kind of thing. Putting 
the two hunts together we must have galloped and jumped 
for at least twenty-six miles probably thirty. The 
hounds were never cast in either of the two runs. We 
hunt again to-morrow. 

Perf, with his hat on the back of his head, sailing away, 
gives me undiluted joy. He has taken his place, straight 
away, in the very first flight of the seven or ten people 
who ride hard and see runs. The * professionals ' like 
Weaver and Goswell all mention him to me ; and it is 
notable to c pound ' such a field over an unjumpable 
brook and to see two such hunts to their conclusion. 

We rode back together in the dark, absolutely happy, 
and played a game of picquet together after dinner. 

And so I wish you, and darling Mamma, and Ditch- 
mouse, and Guy and Minnie, and all at Clouds a Merry 
Christmas and most Happy New Year. Your loving son, 


P.S. You like accuracy. Perf, alone, jumped the 
Garden river and cleared it. But his horse would have 
slipped back with him. So he threw himself off, pulled the 
horse up the opposite bank, remounted, and sailed away. 

P.S. 2. When Wengy Jones got into the Garden River 
I saw that I could not get over it. So I shouted to Perf, 
as he remounted, ' You Ve got 'em to yourself, Go on ! ' 



To his Mother 

CHESTER, Christmas Eve, 1905. 

MOST DARLING, This is to wish you a most Merry 
Christmas and Happy New Year, and to send you all my 

Bendor is just back, very well and dear to everybody. 

Cuckoo's children are staying with us. Perf and I are 
very happy. Give my love to Papa, and dear old Guy 
and Minnie, and Ditchmouse and all. 

I am not writing other letters this year as I am hard 
at it to hunt and get plenty of oxygen into my blood and 
to put together papers, etc., for the election campaign. 
Your most loving son, GEORGE. 

To Mrs. Hinkson 

CHESTER, Christmas Eve, 1905. 

* Innocencies.' Children explain the riddle of life. They 
are the only rest we know. And I thank you, too, for 
the ' Dedication.' For the sake of the children of the 
future a ' grown-up ' like myself must follow the gleam ; 
and, sometimes, through murky defiles in cumbrous 

But that is just when your song leads my own self out 
of its case and grime, beyond the sunless gorges, over the 
hills and far away ' Adown the pale green avenues ' to 
where ' the wind ruffles the windflower.' I and many, 
many more than you suppose thank you for that 

As you have sent me so many songs, I will send you one 
which I wrote years ago in 1891 because your poetry 
is to me what I felt then. 



Out in the air again, 
Over the downs ; 
How the wind drowns 
Body and brain ! 
Hums in my ears, 
Blinds me with tears, 
Washing the world of the dead winter's stain 

Spring winds are here again, 
Scouring the world ; 
See the dust whirled 
Over the plain ! 
Cleansing the mind 
Foully confined. 
Day after day in the prison of pain. 

Listen ! The lark again 
Sings where the skies 
Dazzle our eyes. 
Oh ! How his strain, 
Sharper than sight, 
Pierces the height, 
Tingles from Heaven like glittering rain. 

When I read ' Innocencies ' I cry, ' Listen, the lark 
again ! ' 

Was it your husband who wrote to the P. M. G. a letter 
about the * Catholic Association ' ? I hope so. 

Late, on this Xmas eve, all my thanks and good wishes, 
go out to you. Yours very sincerely, 



To Bertram W indie 

CHESTER, Christmas Eve, 1905. 

MY DEAR DR. WINDLE, I cannot resist writing to 
thank you for your good wishes, and to reciprocate them 


most warmly. Lady Grosvenor, who joins me in wishing 
you a happy Christmas and successful New Year, is 
delighted with ' Ad Matrem.' 

I am much struck by the passage in Dr. O'Dwyer's 
address, and, even more, by your Bishop's action in 
respect of the Students' sodality. 

We are getting to work here to battle over a Home 
Rule proposal which may never be made. 

These fights of ' Bates and Crows ' would be grotesque 
if they did not mean the distraction of attention from 
practical work on which men of all political views can 
agree. As it is, they are tragic and to no one more so 
than to yours very sincerely, 



To his Sister, Pamela 

CHESTER, Xmastide, 1905. 

MOST DARLING PAMELO, I have been thinking of you 
these days and send all love to you and real dynamic 
wishes that you shall be happy and blessed in the New 
Year. Give love to Eddy and much to the children. 

You must tell me what good set of books Clare would 
really like from me. Bowdler's Shakespeare in 6 vols. ; 
or all Walter Scott, or all Dickens. Or would she like 
a desk. 

As for Bim, I think a desk ? if he has not got one. Let 
me know at your leisure. 

To-day 28th I start now for the Election ; and shall 
scarcely be human for three weeks. It seems a silly way 
to govern a country for everybody to talk loud, and boast 
and bicker and malign during three weeks. The only 
thing that redeems it to my mind is that it resembles the 
conduct of dogs when suddenly surprised by a normal 
incident, such as the moon rising, or the dinner bell 
ringing. Your devoted brother, GEORGE. 



To his Sister, Pamela 

DOVER, 31st December 1905. 

MOST DARLING PAM, I love the Book of Peace and 
the quotation. I like one from Troilus (Chaucer) : 

' Let not this wretched woe thine herte grieve. 
But manly set the world on six and seven 
And if thou die a martyr, go to Heaven.' 

(Half the fun is to write on this outrageous paper. It 
gives the local colour of an Election.) 

I am immensely amused by the numbers, enthusiasm 
and complete ignorance of Dover ladies, dying to help. 
I have armies of lady canvassers. But they are bowled 
out by the first question of the canvassee. Like irregular 
horse, they come back plunging through the ranks for 
support from Head Quarters. It is now decided that I 
am to give them a lecture. A ladies' class will gather, 
and I shall explain Fiscals, Education and Licensing to 
them. They hope after I have served out the ammuni- 
tion to do great execution. But I have my doubts. 
Your devoted brother, GEORGE. 


To his Father 

DOVER, January 9th, 1906. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, Sibell and self are both keeping 
very well. To-day I feel a little limp, partly owing to 
the weather, partly because last night one of those occa- 
sions came to me which make me speak far better than 
my form. I gave so much of my vitality to the audience 
that I feel the reaction ; all the more as I spoke at a 
second meeting when I was very tired. But it was worth 


it. My Chairman had tears in his eyes and I worked 
up the meeting to a frenzy of anger and enthusiasm. 

So far I have always held, and sometimes ' swept ' my 
audiences. But as they vote for me unanimously, or 
with only three to five dissentients, it is clear that they 
agree in the main. 

You must not be disappointed even if I were beaten. 

I have three difficulties. My friends are the supporters 
of the Conservative Corporation. They have burdened 
the rates, and are hated by many. So that my Army, 
though loyal, is a stage army, turning up every night and 
numbering ? That is the rub ! Is it 2000 or 2500 ? 

My second difficulty is that all the Nonconformists 
have been, and are working against me with silent, but 
relentless, animosity. 

My third difficulty is the one you note in your letter 
to S. S. The Trades Union leaders and socialists have 
issued orders to all the working-men. 

The Railway Vote is shaky : Weetman Pearson, a 
Liberal, is employing 1500 on the Harbour works ; the 
Flour mills ; Paper mills and Gas works are all, I fear, 
doubtful. There are 2000 new Electors, who, like Brer 
Rabbit, * lay low, and say nothink ! ' So we mustn't 
mind a beating if it comes. 

I expected to win by 500. I now put it at 300, a slender 
margin on 6300 electors of whom 2000 are an unknown 

But we have * put up ' a grand fight and, as I could 
not have done more, my mind is quite peaceful. 

S. S. is a constant source of amusement to me. I wish 
I could remember all her sayings. 

I want to win and figure in the ' little band ' of Con- 
servatives who will emerge from this tempest. 

I have made seventeen speeches and have only four 
more. The ' Telegraph ' reports a bit from Dover most 

All love to darling Mamma and all at Clouds. Your 
loving son, GEORGE. 

VOL. ii. r. 



To his Mother 

DOVER, January 10th, 1906. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, We loved your letter. If I 
did not feel that you had all been very busy over ' Red 
Riding Hood ' 1 I should feel rather selfish for not having 
told you more of our contest. But I have been going 
4 top pace ' every day, without a moment to spare. I 
have made 21 speeches. We have got the mob and the 
aristocracy with us. So I suppose we are Tories. 

My chief amusement consists in S. S.' gradual, but 
rapid, conversion into an out-and-out Electioneer-er. She 
now comes to all my meetings. A certain number of 
working-men one a pale-faced enthusiast with blue eyes, 
another, a sort of Goblin who dances after every meeting 
follow me wherever I go and take front places and watch 
me with gleaming, strained, attention. Well, S. S. and 
these demoniacs are now hand-in-glove, on the ' Here we 
are again ' principle. As far as enthusiasm goes we are 
all demented. The climax of each night beats the night 
before. Any man who interrupted would have his neck 
broke. But last night in respect of S. S., beat all. I 
4 swept ' the Harbour men at 4 p.m. Had a unanimous 
meeting (with the pale enthusiast and goblin at 7.30) 
another mad meeting of enthusiasm at 8.45 to 1O 
o'clock. Then we went at my Chairman's suggestion to 
the Town Hall. Our Ward Committees three of them 
were meeting in the Council Chamber, Mayor's Parlour 
and another room, at the back. Bryce, my opponent, 
had a mass meeting in front, i.e. in the Town Hall itself. 
So we entered by the police door, crept like Guy Faux 
past the cells, and up a ladder into the dock in the court, 
and so got to our Ward meetings. We could hear the 
cheers and applause in the big hall like sounds in a 

1 Children's theatricals at Clouds. 


phonograph. And suddenly, in went S. S. and self into 
the Council Chamber. There were 300 and more stalwarts 
working at the organization. It was a miracle to her. 
They took her on whilst I spoke to that Ward to the 
other in the Mayor's Parlour. There she made a speech ! ! ! 
And, so on, to the third Ward Committee. All the time 
we heard the ghostly cheers and clapping from the enemy's 
mass meeting under the same roof. 

Papa says I am more of a Chamberlain-ite than twelve 
months ago. 

I have never mentioned Chamberlain, except in refer- 
ence to the outrageous interruption at Derby. 

I preach the * official ' programme. But I serve it up 
so * piping hot ' hot with anger against the foreigners ; 
hot with enthusiasm for our colonies that the delirium 

It 's a hard fight. I, myself, only hope to win by three 
hundred to five hundred . My workers talk of one thousand, 
but they are excited. 

I see that one little gibe of mine has got into the London 
Press. I enclose cutting. It would have pleased dear 

It comes from Henry vi and is a good parallel to 
C. B.'s fatuous vacillation. Henry vi. says * For Margaret 
my Queen, and Warwick too,' I have only changed the 

The Irish are polling for me on Religious Education 
and work done, in defiance of the National League. That 
makes me happy. I have the soldiers solid. I have 
about three quarters of the working-men on Fiscal Reform. 
Some who have always been Radical are with me. 

On the other hand, every Nonconformist in the Town 
is voting against me. 

They mean to hold back and vote in a solid army from 
6 o'clock to 8 in the evening, in the hope of blocking the 
polling-booths against our working-men who generally 

There are 6300 voters. I have 3600 promises in 
round numbers. 


If you discount both figures, it comes to a near thing. 
But my people believe I shall win by a good majority. 

Anyway we * go in ' on the first day and are straining 
every nerve to set an example. Your most loving son, 



To his Mother 

DOVER, January 12th, 1906. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, S. S. did show me your letter, 
but only just now, after all the meetings, and roaring, 
and canvassing and trapesing are Thank God ! over. 

I am rather sorry I said I might be beaten. But it was 
right, really, to let you know. I am enthusiastic when 
anything can be done by ' having the God in you.' That 
is what enthusiasm means in Greek. The literal English 
would be ' God-inside-of-us-ness.' But no one is cooler 
over chances. That is why I played at gambling when a 
boy, before I worked at things when a man. 

Now, on the canvassing returns, if you take an 80 % 
Poll, that is, if you assume that only four will vote at all 
out of five on the register ; and if you take 75 % of your 
promises, that is, that only three will vote out of four 
who say they will I should only win by 270. 

If I assume that the Freemen are in some cases entered 
twice on the Register ; once as Freemen and again as 
occupiers, and write off half of them on that score : 
then my majority would be 470. 

These are narrow margins on 6730 electors. 

A wave against you would play the Devil ! 

My opponents have tried every trick. 

They got Sir Weetman Pearson, the Contractor for 
the Naval Harbour Works, to wire that he hoped Bryce 
would win. Well, 2000 men are employed on the Harbour. 
So there you are ! at least let us hope so. 

The great thing is to get the wave the other way. 

If I have done that I may swell my 270, or my 470, up 


to 700. I almost hope I have done it, or that S. S. and 
I, have done it between us. 

We hunt down the * doubtfuls,' for every vote counts. 
And we play right up to the ' Mob.' 

The mob I have got and the soldiers. 

You must not abuse dear Dover. 

My people have worked splendidly, and we S. S. and 
I have the funniest friends, the landlady of a Public 
House, all the real working-men of Dover ; and Army. 
On the other hand what will Pearson's men do ? and the 
Railway men ? and the Gas Works ? 

I shall know to-morrow night. We had a wild evening. 
There have never been such doings. 

They tried to break up my meeting far the largest 
ever held. 

We stood at bay for fifteen or twenty minutes. I 
started twice, and then sat down and smoked a cigarette 
(quite right for once) I got 'em at last and spoke for 
forty or fifty minutes. 

Then I stood on a chair in the next Hall and addressed 
the overflow. Then S. S. and I were dragged round the 
town without horses Mrs. Rhodes, the landlady, at the 
door, and the funny man who dances on the box. 

Then I spoke to them again from the carriage. 

I love the real working-man and he loves us. Your 
loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

DOVER, Midnight, 13/A January 1906. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, We are all astounded at our 
victory. It upsets all reasonable, and received rules. I 
reckoned on getting | 75 % of those who promised, that 
is, told the canvassers they were ' for Wyndham.' I sent 
my estimate up to the Central office in London ; because 
they are very ' jumpy ' there and had their eye on Dover. 
Our Chief Colonel Haig Middleton's successor, wrote 


back that my estimate was the one he had found correct 
during sixteen years as chief Agent in Scotland. 

Very well : I did the sum and it gave me a 470 majority. 
I felt I had the people, the mob, the men, women and 
children with me, and, towards the end, thought the 
' wave ' might carry me to ' 700.' 

But we have upset all calculations. We have swept 
the board. Instead of polling three out of four promises, 
I polled seven out of eight. What Trojans they are 1 ! 
I love them. 

S. S. has been superb. What I love is that the working 
men love me. I won by their hearts. 

My people were scared to-day when Sir Weatman 
Pearson, the contractor for the Admiralty telegraphed 
all to support Bryce and to go against Fiscal Reform. 

I was quite overcome by the immense response. 

Of course we have used our heads as well as our hearts. 
I think we have beaten all records of electioneering, initia- 
tive and ingenuity and dash. 

Instead of six or seven nomination papers, I had 95 
with ten names to each, representing all interests. When 
3270 (?) people said ' Yes ' to my canvassers, I wrote an 
autograph letter, had it lithographed and sent it to each, 
thanking them and asking them to increase my obliga- 
tion and add to the value of their support of * our prin- 
ciples ' by polling between 8 and 11 in the morning. 

Last night I beat organized interruption and then spoke 
for fifty minutes ; and then got on a chair and spoke to 
an overflow meeting ; and then drove all round the 
town, horses taken out spoke again here from the 

To-day S. S. and I started at 9 o'clock and drove round 
till 6.30 and off again at 7.30 to the Town Hall. All the 
children were with me. They clustered like bees on my 
carriage singing electioneering songs. 

I drove up the oldest sailors in our sociable. Men 
walked in six miles labourers to vote for me. 

The sea of faces at the declaration remains bitten into 
my memory. Then we went to the Carlton Club and I 


spoke from the window to a solid square of humanity 
filling the Market Square, and so on and so on. 

My hand is crushed with hand-shakes. We all love 
each other. 

My joy is that in spite of Pearson, and Trades Unions, I 
polled out the Working-man for the Empire. 

I have never attacked my opponent or anyone else. 

All my song has been the brotherhood of the Empire 
for us all, fair terms from the Foreigner, and the glory of 
Empire for our children with a little straight talk for 
Christianity in our schools, as the birthright of English 

Instead of being ' smart ' at the expense of my opponents 
I have opened my heart to all their hearts and, we just 
love each other. 

I won on Toryism, Empire and Fiscal Reform. The 
Irish voted for me ; the Fishermen voted for me, the 
Soldiers voted tor me, the Artisans voted for me ! simply 
because we liked each other and love the traditions of the 
past and the Glory of the Future. Your loving son, 



To his Mother 

CHESTER, January 24th, 1906. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, Your long, wonderful ' Mother's ' 
letter, found me just at the right moment. 

We are anxious about darling Cuckoo's little Mary. 
* Satisfactory ' wire this morning : but she has pneu- 
monia, at Madresfield. S. S. is there. 

So I am alone just arrived and Perf out hunting. 
Now you see how clever it was of you to write yesterday 
and address the letter here ! 

SibelPs letter which met me in the brougham made me 
anxious about little Mary my God-daughter and such 
.a sweet and, then, Cuckoo. . . . Then I found a wire to 
Perf, here, sent to-day which said it was satisfactory. 


This touch of the actual would make me realize the 
insignificance of Electioneering ; if I needed a reminder. 
But I do not. 

I have felt a great deal and thought a great deal in the 
last year. I do not think with you, Darling, that I am 
an ' instrument,' in the sense of being necessary or im- 
portant. But I know I am an ' instrument ' in the 
sense that I have been made to feel more and, perhaps, 
to think more, than others. That gives me, or strengthens 
hi me, the odd power that I certainly have not of myself 
over great masses of people. 

They listen and believe. I have not always got it to- 
the full. It fluctuates. But when I am really magnetic I 
can sweep crowd after crowd. It is not oratory. Because, 
when I have it, they do not wait for me to finish my sen- 
tences. I have it on alternate days. Monday, at Penarth, 
I only ' held ' a huge meeting, and only argued. But 
Tuesday, at the blackest of the rout, I spoke better and 
exerted more influence than at any time in my life with 
the two exceptions of my speech on the War, and my 
speech on the Land Act in the House. It was almost 
frightening to be so intimate with so many. I know the 
symptoms. But they made me gasp at the end. They 
mobbed up to the platform and made me sign my name 
on cards and tickets, and bits of torn paper till my hand 
ached and then dragged me round the town. 

I shall never forget my night, alone at the Royal Hotel, 
Cardiff. The ' Mail ' office flashed Liberal wins with 
red lights into my room, all night till 1 a.m. amid hoarse 
cheers and shouts of execration. I was alone with those 
Danger Signals. Yet I had a great, intoxicated wave 
of humanity with me. 

At Brigend on Wednesday I did very well but without 
magic. On Saturday I again ' swept ' my audience on 
Market day in the Shire Hall. On Monday I went to 
Bognor to help Edmund Talbot. They had the biggest 
meeting ever known in the Assembly Rooms. I spoke 
for an hour and did well but no magic, and then spoke 
at an overflow with magic. Then I drove to Chichester 


with his daughter, Magdalene. Yesterday, Tuesday, I 
had a hard day. Went to London, saw Ned Talbot for 
a moment, drove to St. Pancras, ten minutes lunch at 
the station, and long journey to Hyde in Cheshire. I 
arrived too late for Dinner, had some bread and butter 
and was delivered, worn-out and unprepared, to an 
audience of 4000 in the theatre. They did all I detest. 
Put up the Candidate who cannot speak. Asked me to 
wait and speak after Balcarres. He was at the ' over- 
flow ' ; did not get back in time etc., etc. So that, tired, 
hungry, I suddenly had to speak. And once more, the 
power came to me. I made them delirious. Then they 
took me to the overflow and I spoke again. Then they 
took me to the Club and I made my third speech. 

I refused to speak to-night. To-morrow I speak at 
Crewe, and on Friday at Rhyl. 

I wish you had been there on Tuesday, or last night. 
But I cannot count on doing it. It happens to me. 

Last night, when I had conquered all opposition and 
lit a light in many eyes, it was too late to argue. Some 
verses of Davidson, came into my head : 

' The Present is a Dungeon Dark 
Of Social Problems. Break the Jail ! 
Get out into the splendid Past 
Or bid the splendid Future hail.' 

To-day it seems silly to quote that. 

Last night I quoted it, and applied it, and turned and 
twisted it up spirals of impassioned words, until as I 
shouted ' Bid the more splendid Future hail ! And go 
forward to meet it ! ! ' There was such a roar of cheering 
that I sat down ; having ' done it ' once more. 

And, now, to-day comes the human touch of loneliness 
and little Mary's danger. 

I remember your saying, when Clouds was burnt, that 
it made you feel the truth of immortality. Papa dissented. 
But that is what I feel. 

I never felt so sure that Conservatism and Imperialism 
are true and immortal, than to-day. 


I am sorry that I am not speaking to-night. 

I do not feel vindictive. I do look forward to the 
Debate on the Address. 

Only one thing has persisted in this turmoil. That is 
the blatant, lower-middle-class, fraud, called Liberalism 
or * Free Trade.' 

Two things that are real emerge : 

Labour and Imperialism. They aim at the same goal : 
a better life for more of us. 

I believe in my method. They believe in their method. 
We shall see. 

But, whether we are Socialists or Imperialists, we are 
living men. 

The others are old women and senile professors. 

They have got to clear out of ' the ring ' in which we 
are going to have a * fight to the finish.' Your ever loving 
son, GEORGE. 


To his Father 

CHESTER, January 2&th, 1906. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I am much interested in your 
letter, but too tired to reply. 

Melbourne's observation on ' fools ' was in respect of 
Catholic Emancipation. He was right on existing facts. 
He was wrong on the facts that were to be. If the ' fools ' 
who were right on existing facts had prevailed against 
the common sense of the Duke of Wellington we should 
have endured sixty years ago, what we now have to face, 
but the question would have been poisoned by religious 

Conservatives who reverence, and believe in, the Past, 
can alone gaze at the Future. 

The rotten mystification of Radicalism consists in 
fidgeting and fussing, about the Present. 

My detachment from the present sometimes troubles me. 

But it gives me an immense power over mobs. They 


feel that I do not worry over the Present. And, because 
they feel that, they listen to me when I applaud the Past 
and unfold the Future. 

I have three talismans which help me in such a welter 
as we are now confronting. 

1. Pater. ' The Present, is an apex between two 
hypothetical Eternities.' 

2. Bagehot. ' A Romantic attachment to the Past is 
a very different thing from a slavish adoration of the 

3. When the last Emperor of Eastern Rome, Constantine 
Palaeologus, fell buried under a pyramid of Eastern chivalry 
in 1453, all seemed lost. 

But he * fought to a finish.' And that colossal over- 
throw created the Renaissance of Modern Europe. 

Now, to-day in England, we are fighting to a finish 
* damned badly ' I admit. 

But in the course of the fight, the Education Act, and 
Home Rule, and Chinese Slavery, and ' Dear Food ' are 
so much ammunition which has thinned our ranks but is, 
now, expended. 

Two ideals, and only two, emerge from the vortex : 

(1) Imperialism, which demands Unity at Home, 
between classes, and Unity throughout the Empire ; and 
which prescribes Fiscal Reform to secure both. 

(2) Insular Socialism and Class Antagonism. 

Both these ideals are intellectually reasonable. But 
the first is based on the past, on experience, and looks to 
the Future. The second looks only at the Present, 
through a microscope. 

Between these two ideals a great battle will be fought. 
I do not know which will win. If Imperialism wins we 
shall go on and be a great Empire. 

If Socialism wins we shall cease to be. The rich will 
be plundered. The poor will suffer. We shall perish 
with Babylon, Rome and Constantinople. 

The fight is a ' square ' fight. 

As for the * Liberals ' and ' Unionist Free Traders ' 
the * Whigs ' of our day Well ! Their day is over. 


It is they who are drowned. 

The Imperialists and Socialists emerge. 

That is the dividing line of future parties. 

The Bankers and Hair-dressers and 4 epiciers,' are out 
of the hunt. 

It is a good fight for huge stakes. 

As for C. B. and the remnants of * Whiggery ' there is 
no room for their subterfuges. 

We, the Imperialists, using Fiscal Reform as our weapon, 
are only beginning. Your affectionate son, 



To Bertram Windle 

CHESTER, January 25th, 1906. 

MY DEAR DR. WINDLE, It is always a pleasure to see 
your handwriting. I appreciated your kind letter of 
congratulations on Dover above almost all that reached 
me, and now we come to a business which I long to see 

I am writing a brief note to Mr. Bryce by this post, 
directing his attention to the formal memo, which I sent 
to Mr. Long, and asking for an interview at an early date. 

I wish we could both of us meet him soon. The personal 
obligation on my part to you is the only outstanding Irish 
Question which vexes me But apart from, and beyond, 
that, I can enjoy no public peace of mind until something 
is done to get rid of the disparity in respect of opportunities 
for Education under which Ireland suffers. 

That is outside the Home Rule controversy. I read 
Mr. Haldane's speech with pleasure and relief. 

The Liberals have a chance which I never enjoyed. I 
hope they will use it for Irish Education. It is the only 
Irish question they can advance. I have suffered in that 
cause and am ready to suffer again. But they must drop 
4 step by step to constitutional Home Rule.' That spells 
ruin to all practical measures. I am fighting our ' lost 


cause ' de node in noctem. But I have time for the things 
that I care about ; and Irish Education is one of them. 
Yours very sincerely, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 

P.S. I have marked this ' private.' But you may, 
of course, send it to the Chief Sec. 


To his Mother 

CHESTER, January 27th, 1906. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I found your two letters on 
arriving here at the end of my campaign. 

I had neuralgia on Thursday. But I ' came to time ' 
for the Crewe meeting that night. I slept in the tram 
there, found the hotel full up for the Hunt Ball, but slept 
three-quarters of an hour on a sofa in the commercial 
travellers' room. My neuralgia was gone. And to my 
pleasant surprise I carried my audience away. You 
cannot imagine the wild enthusiasm. They hoisted me 
up on their shoulders and pitched me into the carriage. 
Then they took out the horses and dragged me to the 
Market-Square and made me speak to the cheering and 
yelling crowds. We have lost the seat. But over 5000 
men are mad on the revenge. That night I worked on 
the contrast between the Albert Hall speech of C. B. and 
the smooth sedative of Haldane at the end after the lies 
had done the trick. I took for my text the line in the 
Peers' chorus of lolanthe, 4 We did nothing in particular 
and did it very well.' I showed them the composite 
victory won by lies about slavery, lies about dear food 
etc., and then I said, there are only two parties that face 
facts The Labour Party and our Party. I denounced 
them the Labour Party's methods alliance with Home 
Rule, reliance on Foreign socialists and defiance to our 
own Colonies. But I applauded their aim. I then held 
up our method to reach the same goal, interdependence 
instead of class antagonism, Union, Empire, fair play, 
etc., etc. When, for the third or fourth time I said, and 


now, after all the Hullabaloo, it means that Haldane 
and Asquith are to do nothing in particular, but to do it 
very well, they yelled in derision of the most infamous- 
swindle ever imposed on the public. 

Last night I went to St. Asaph and spoke at Rhyl.. 
There is no chance there. The Bishop's son is standing. 

I can never speak except to persuade. How was I to 
do it at this last moment of a lost campaign ? I had twa 
' motifs.'' (1) Comic The Giant Majority ' Even real 
giants, that you see at a Fair, are not very strong especi- 
ally in the head (roars of laughter) and medical science 
teaches us that the head of the giant has a less perfect 
control over the limbs than in the case of ordinary persons. 
But made up giants, whom you see in a Pantomime always 
come to pieces before the end of the Performance ! ! ! ' 

(2) My other serious motif was that whether we 
won or lost every vote for a Unionist had a meaning 
and a value, it meant fiscal Reform, it bought the applica- 
tion of the sound remedy a day nearer ! 

I am glad to say that I spoke better last night even- 
than at Cardiff or Hyde or Crewe. I made their eyes 

My campaign has not been futile. We have polled 
2,300,000 votes for ' Facing Facts and finding a remedy 
in Fiscal Reform.' 

The Liberals have polled 2,500,000. But of these how 
many are Nationalists and Labour who detest the sham 
of ' profit sharing ' liberalism ? 

By fighting on up-hill we have won a moral victory, 
' There is a budding morrow in midnight.' 

And now I am going to rest ; hoping and believing, 
that on the Address, and after, I shall have much to say 
to the point, without a button on it. 

I am ' journalier ' as you know. I am sorry that I did 
not ' come off ' at Bognor on Monday. I am sorry that 
I have spoken better since Dover than at Dover. 

But for reasons which I cannot understand, I have 
spoken at Cardiff, Brigend, Hyde, Crewe and Rhyl far 
better than when all went well in 1900. 


And I am at last my own self again. I sleep sound. 
My tongue is as pink as a raspberry. And, after speaking 
thirty-five times, I have only just begun to unfold my 
argument. Your loving son, GEORGE. 

To Wilfrid Ward 

January 28lh, 1906. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, At last I have a moment to myself, 
and can thank you for your congratulations. 

I have been speaking, all over the country to good 
audiences. It is a strange experience and, I imagine, a 
bad one on the whole. To be the centre of cheering and 
yelling for nearly five weeks cannot be good for the soul, 
the mind, or the body. The general impression to me is 
always barbaric and sometimes savage. 

But it has a good side. All barriers of birth and wealth 
and education are cast down. You make real, intimate 
friends of men whom otherwise you would never have 
known. The intimacy of naked contention is bracing 
though primitive. And there are pretty touches ; the 
election of Ned 1 in his absence for example. 

But, in the main, the whole business is blatant and 

With my kindest regards to your wife and children, 
Yours ever, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 


To his Sister, Pamela 

CHESTER, 28th January 1906. 

DARLING PAMELO, ' Now the hurly-burly 's done,' I 
must write to congratulate on Eddy's victory. I have 
been speaking continuously for over four weeks. 

To-day I have been dealing with my correspondence 

1 Lord Edmund Talbot. 


a desolating experience. The phrase always suggests to 
my mind a smiling lunatic, with straws in his hair, deal- 
ing out his letters as if for Bridge, in fact I have got mine 
into four packets, marked ' Pressing,' ' Immediate,' 
4 Dover,' and ' Friends.' More, at present, I cannot 
attempt, so I just write to thank you for Eddy's victorious 
portrait, and to congratulate. 

Let us enjoy the first part of the Session. Ever your 
devoted brother, GEORGE. 


To his Sister, Madeline 

CHESTER, 28.i.06. 

DARLING MANENAI, I send one line of thanks for your 
dear congratulations. 

' Whew ! ' what a licking we have taken. 

I enjoy a losing fight and have taken ' delight of battle 
with my peers ' for nearly five weeks. 

My meetings have been glorious. 

I am quite sure that we shall win on Fiscal Reform. I 
would not be on the other side for the fortune of an 
American millionaire. I am glad Charley is not of that 
camp of lying and hypocrisy. 

Now at last we have a straight fight before us 
(1) Tariff Reform and the Empire against (2) Cosmopolitan 
sentiment and parochial malice. 

In the autumn I felt a longing to ' chuck the whole 
show.' Now I am ready to fight on, for years, in the sure 
confidence of victory. I have made 35 speeches and 
* trained on ' all the time. But my audiences have 
' trained on ' far better. As Buller said, ' the MEN are 
splendid.' We have no use for those who are not MEN. 
Your loving brother, GEORGE. 



In Opposition The Education Bill Death of W. E. Henley- 
Address on Walter Scott The Fiscal Question The Army The 
Licensing Bill. 


To his Father 

CHESTER, February 4th, 1906. 

DEAREST PAPA, Since I saw you I have been in the thick 
of ' the Crisis.' I had an hour and a quarter alone with 
Arthur just before he dined alone with Joe on Friday, 
and I return to-morrow, Monday, at his suggestion. A 
good deal is going on, if indeed ' on ' is the right word to 
put after ' going,' that is what we shall see. 

I had written to him a long letter the previous Sunday 
and was just off by the 4. p.m. (after seeing Wilfrid), 
luckily I looked in at ' 44 ' and found two telegrams tell- 
ing me to come to Arthur. 

I caught the 7-30 after our talk, and was given on the 
platform a letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury, 
begging me to see him Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday 
on Education. 

So I start early to-morrow on these quests. It seems 
impossible to hunt this year and Percy is benefitting to 
the extent of the amalgamated stud. 

I have read Lord Masham's obituary notice in the 
'Times' of 3-2-06. I put it in a long envelope with 
this note. N.B. This short life is (1) Best reply to the 
theory that all wealth is created by labour (2) Best argu- 
ment for social reform. Your loving son, GEORGE. 




To his Father 

February \lth, 1906. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I am here for * swearing in ' and 
now must stay over to-morrow for Party Meeting. I 
should like to return Saturday for Arthur Balfour's ' Oppo- 
sition Dinner.' If really quite convenient I should also 
like to make * 44 ' my headquarters for the fortnight of 
the Address i.e. till March 3rd. I then go to Dover. 
Sibell has let our house till March 9th, at twenty-five 
guineas a week a sum we cannot afford to despise. 

But apart from any other arrangements, Pamela would 
like me to stay at Lennox Gardens, so that if it is at all 
inconvenient for me to be here I can get board very easily. 

I should very much like to be with you at ' 44 ' and 
indulge in constitutional comparisons between the pre- 
sent situation and those which you remember. 

I can easily do my writing in your dressing-room 
upstairs without troubling Margaret to keep a fire in the 
boudoir or elsewhere. 

I am very busy, I intend to take a line of my own on 
South Africa and the Education Bill. Your loving son, 



To his Mother 

February 14th, 1906. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, What a nice Valentine ! Yes r 
these cross-loyalties make a teazing net. But I am not 
going to write now after dinner as I am really in 
training for the Future and determined not to excite 
my brain before going to bed. 

I enclose the best substitute for a look ! a snap-shot 
taken as I walked away from the House yesterday which 


appears I am told in the ' Daily Mirror.' The man 
sent it me. 

I, probably, go to Dover March 3rd to the 9th after 
the Address. 

Now to bed ! I want to be fresh for the Party Meeting. 
Ever most loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

February 20th, 1906. 

DARLING MAMMA, Easter will be delightful. I am 
very busy and very well. ' 44 ' is quite comfortable. I 
am in your room enjoying ' Cupid and Psyche ' : and using 
the dressing-room as an office. 

The debates have been dull. I intend to take up 
Education and defend the Church. I keep quiet and 
wait. Education, South Africa, Army, Ireland ; on all 
these I have a great deal to say and then, Fiscals and 

Unless I am dragged into debate on the Address I shall 
wait for the peremptory call of circumstance. Your most 
loving son, GEOKGE. 


To his Mother 

February 28th, 1906. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I hardly think it would be 
worth while to come to Dover. I doubt if there would 
be any big functions ; probably only a supper to Ward 
Committee and a dinner to the Carlton Club ; in fact, I 
feel sure that the election fever is over. You must come 
to a big Meeting in the Autumn, I hope by then to have 
done something to make the Party grateful. 

I was at Basingstoke the night of the division on Chinese 
Labour. Our leaders are in bed. Arthur and I ' chipped 


in ' this afternoon on Rules of Procedure. I wanted to 
make more row. But there is no backing at present. 

I am anxious over South Africa. But the defensive 
forces are great and can be marshalled. Clouds will be 
delightful. Perf is very happy with Allen reading Euri- 
pides, Cicero, Burke, and Gibbon. 

Love to all. Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Father 

DOVER, March 3rd, 1906. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I find that there will be even less 
going on at Dover than I expected, so that it certainly 
would not be worth Mamma's while to go there now. 

Churchill only left me fourteen minutes for my reply 
before midnight. I had, therefore, to get my shots on 
the target very quickly, merely making my points without 
developing them. 

The Government are playing the very Devil with South 

Love to all. Your loving son, GEORGE. 

To his Father 

CHESTER, March 24th, 1906. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, We came here yesterday for a rest 
and breath of fresh air. 

Bendor had a grand meeting of ' delegates ' from all 
North Wales gave lunch to five hundred and sat from 
12 to 4.30. Telegraphed, and sent a message to Lord 
Milner and, on Tuesday, Bendor will speak in the Lords 
on Land Settlement in South Africa. 

He is really a splendid fellow and is becoming a very 
great personage in these parts. 

We all hunted to-day and had very good sport with 


Watkin Wynn. First we went up into the hills, chopped 
a fox, and drove another into the vale. We had to get 
down a precipice and those who had climbed the hill and 
4 negotiated ' the precipice enjoyed a capital hunting run, 
with a * holding ' scent. We ran to ground near the 
Wyches a point of from five to six miles. 

In the afternoon we had a good gallop from one of the 
best vale coverts about thirty-five minutes over the 
cream of the country. But for one check it would have 
been ideal. Bendor, Wengy Jones, and I ' cut out the 
work ' to the check and enjoyed ourselves, hugely, over 
flying fences, rails and the Grafton brook. 

Hunting is certainly the best ' stand-by ' one can have. 
It requires no practice. After four weeks in the House 
one can just simply float away in the first flight. 

Golf and shooting take more time and exact practice. 
But with hunting, given a scent, you have only got to 
enjoy yourself. There is no bother or anxiety about it. 

I feel ten years younger after my ride. Your loving 
son, GEORGE. 


To his Sister, Pamela 

Lady Day, 1906. 

MOST DARLING PAMELO, How would next Saturday 
suit for crossing the lintel ? Sunday is the first of 
April, the real New Year's Day, so that I should begin 
the year with you in the new Wilsford. April, Avril 
the month of Aphrodite, is my favourite out of all the 
pomp. I want to be one of the first to cross the lintel, 
and hope that my little gifts for the children will be ready 
by then. But I must find something for Christopher 
and David. 

I saw a silly joke in a shop window the other day ; a 
picture of a fat man drowning in mid-stream and calling 
out * help ! help ! I can't swim.' A lean American on 
the bank replies ' Wall, I can't swim either, but I don't 
make such a durned noise about it.' 


We came here Friday, after much penting at West- 
minster, and on Saturday I had a good hunt two capital 
gallops over the vale. To-day I played with my books 
and defied the North East wind. 

The owls woke me at five o'clock. I could hear their 
wings as they brushed past our windows. They are paid, 
like old watchmen, to call the birds, for the dawn chorus 
began immediately. The garden is full of confiding 
thrushes with latticed breasts, looking sentimental out 
of round, liquid eyes. What with the east wind and 
over-eating, they are ' as sad as night for very wantonness,' 
sad, of course, in the comfortable, over-fed, sentimental 
way that makes for liquid eyes and liquid utterance. 
There is nothing austere about a thrush. Lyrical people 
are never austere. 

Sibell, Percy and I go to Clouds for Easter, and I shall 
ride over to see you then. But I hope Saturday next 
will suit for I long to see the House whilst it is still self- 
conscious and appreciative of attention. Houses and 
children pass beyond that stage so soon, and hate being 
told that you remember them when they were so high. 

Why have I written lintel twice instead of threshold ? 
I can think of no reason except that I like the word better. 
Nobody threshes corn in the doorway now, and, if they 
ever did, I doubt if they gave a utilitarian name to such a 
mystical limit. I shall call it the door-sill and not the 
threshold, since I may not call it the lintel. Your devoted 
brother, GEORGE. 

To his Mother 

SALISBURY, April 1st, 1906. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, It is too bad that darling 
Guy should be laid up. But Minnie's wire of yesterday 
to you is consoling. 

This is a beautiful home full of peace and happy children. 
The architecture gives me positive joy and plenty of it. 
Pam is very well. Eddy, Pam in Mouse cart and I 


walked up to the Stones yesterday and engaged in village 
humour with the policeman in charge, who was born at 
Newton Toney and served with dear old Guy at Canterbury 
in the 16th. 

The desk I have given to Bim was a great success and 
also the set of Dickens to Clare. 

I love this country. Love to all. Your most loving 
son, GEORGE. 

To Wilfrid Ward 

SALISBURY, April Ilth, 1906. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, I devoted my first afternoon of 
holiday to the April ' Dublin Review.' It is a good number. 
I always want to cross-examine Barry ; mainly because 
I want to accept the conclusions towards which he 
manoeuvres. But I have a sense that he is 4 manoeuvring ' 
and this increased by a style which has become more 
laboured. Contrast O'Dwyer ! How direct he is, and 
with what sober gallantry his sentences march ! 

But, perhaps, I am influenced not only by his style 
but even more by his matter. 

He has made me feel a fool and I am glad of it. 

He is right. The next step is to endow and deliver 
the Senate of the Royal University. I feel a fool for not 
having thought of that. It is so obvious when stated. 
We were blinded by the true objections to an Examining 
University. But I agree with every word he has written. 
Aim at a teaching residential University ; but find your 
constituent Assembly ready to hand for its construction 
in the Senate of the existing Examining University. That 
is sound conservative and constructive statemanship. 
But the Government might accept it on the plea of letting 
Irishmen settle the matter. But if it is to be done it must 
be done quickly. Birrell's Bill spells war to the knife for 
all English Churchmen. 

Settle the Irish University question before English 


elementary education develops as it will into the most 
savage fight since the seventeenth century. 

On that issue I am content to fight for five, ten, or 
twenty years. 

If the Catholics desert, we the Church of England 
shall fight for our own hand. But we shall not begin tx> 
do so, or even talk about it, until, and unless, the Catholics 
make a separate peace. I do not, for a moment, impute 
that to them. In any case we shall fight ; with them for 
choice ; without them if it must be so. And it 's going 
to be the biggest fight since 1640. Yours ever, 



To his Father 

REDDITCH, April 2Ist, 1906. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I should like to keep the parable 
on Education for the present. 

There is much in the suggestion that, if the Religious 
stimulus or ' animus ' be withdrawn, little enthusiasm 
for pure knowledge will be left. 

I enjoyed myself immensely at Clouds. 

I am spending a quiet Sunday here. I have to speak 
against the Education Bill twice in the Albert Hall, on 
May 2nd for the Primrose League, and May llth, at a 
Mass Meeting of the diocese of London. 

This controversy will absorb all others for a year. 
Your loving son, GEORGE. 

To Wilfrid Ward 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

April 24M, 1906. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, Many thanks for letting me see 
the Bishop's letter. I am relieved to hear that there is a 
good chance of the Irish Party fighting the Education 
Bill. I am bracing myself for the battle. I feel that 



this has come to me ; I did not seek it and now I rejoice 
over my resignation of last year. It has given me the 
right to be myself. I explained to A. J. B. the night 
before the Session began that, on this question I should 
fight ' in front of the line ' ; and now I have got to do so. 
I have been asked to move the Resolution against the 
Bill at the annual gathering of the Primrose League in 
the Albert Hall on May 2nd, and also asked to speak on 
May llth by our Bishop of London. 

I accept your reproach on my Synthetic 1 lapses. I do 
mean to attend in future. But May 3rd was booked for 
Dover just after the Election. 

All this is by the way. I write to-day because I must. 
I have not finished ' Out of due Time,' 2 but I want to say 
now that I am deeply interested, and even excited ; it is 
far away better than ' One Poor Scruple ' and ' The Light 
Behind.' It is a book with a life before it. 

Of course the ' ingredients ' arrest my fancy ; the 
picture of Derwent is wonderful. I sometimes see that 
this or that model including yourself has sat for some 
of the characters. But where did the Count come from ? 
I have never met anyone like him, and yet I feel that he 
is real ; certainly real in the impression which he leaves 
on those who know him. Marcelle is astonishingly good. 
Where did her French thought in English language come 

I shall write again of this at length. Quite apart from 
the stage, the characters, the play and the purpose all 
good the Art of it all is good. Scores of touches delight 
me by their clean dexterity. I rejoice and lay my warm 
and profound respect at the feet of the author. Yours 

1 George Wyndham was one of the group of persons interested in the 
philosophy of religion, who in 1896 founded the Synthetic Society. Mr. "Wilfrid 
Ward and he were for a time its honorary secretaries, and among their colleagues 
were Mr. Arthur Balfour ; the present Lord Haldane ; Mr. Henry Sidgwick j 
Dr. Talbot, now Bishop of Winchester ; Father Tyrrell ; Baron von Hiigel ; 
Sir Alfred Lyall ; and Sir Oliver Lodge, as well as two veterans who had 
helped to found the old Metaphysical Society in 1869, namely, R. H. Hutton 
and Dr. Martineau. See Men and Matters, by Wilfrid Ward. 

2 A novel by Mrs. Wilfrid Ward. 



To G. K. Chesterton 

April 27th, 1906. 

DEAR MR. CHESTERTON, My excuse for writing is that 
I had the pleasure of meeting you at Taplow last summer, 
but my reason is to thank you for your letter in yester- 
day's * Westminster Gazette.' The many who are grateful 
will not think of thanks, or dare to give them. But I 
feel constrained to say my thanks. 

After four hundred years of battle, always with brains 
and sometimes with swords, it is a nightmare to watch 
the Holy Catholic Church being huddled off the stage of 
history and hope. 

The people do not mean this, or understand it. I can't 
say it because I have not the gift of simple speech and, if 
I could say it, nobody would believe a Tory. Yet, for 
all I care, we may have Socialism to-morrow if future 
generations may still believe in the Divine Society here 
upon earth. 

However ... I only want to thank you as one, I 
think, of many who could not believe in Christianity until 
they grasped the idea of the Church. Yours truly, 


P.S. Please do not trouble to acknowledge. 

To Wilfrid Ward 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
May 2nd, 1906. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, Your letter gave me real pleasure. 
I_am not greedy of applause but, as I once wrote in verse 

' After the thrill 
Of onset every wind strikes chill.' 

Even if I discount your friendship and keenness in the 


cause, you would not have written as you did unless my 
speech had * reached ' you. 

It is a great tax to speak in that Hall. 1 Two ladies 
who were there to-day told me that the echo made Balfour 
hard to follow and that it was a strain to hear me. One 
has to discard most of a speaker's devices. No one can 
see the speaker's expression and if they have to listen 
intently no one can be affected by inflections of the 

So the speaker has to ami at broad, simple, effects. 
But that entails severe mental concentration and, all 
the time, there is a dead weight to be lifted without much 
help from the audience. Nobody could speak to a hostile 
audience in that arena. To say that, is to say that a 
speaker has to discard his principal function i.e ' pleading.'' 
He must declaim and declare, i.e. physically make striking, 
and, mentally, make simple, what everybody is prepared 
to admit. 

And yet, I agree with you about the concourse. The 
facts that so many people have come from so many places 
to be in one place for one purpose, make one great fact 
of sense, and thought, and feeling. 

The ingredients make the magic broth. The speaker 
has but to stir it with a big wooden spoon. 

A demain ! I like your enclosure. If only the Catholics 
hold firm I moi qui vous parle will answer with my 
head for the Anglicans. Yours ever, 


To Wilfrid Ward 


SHIFNAL, May 13th, 1906. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, I return the proof, with these 

I prefer my own punctuation. The first three quatrains 

1 The Albert Hall. 


are, really, one sentence ; though a long one. The effec- 
tive verb is not reached till we get to ' yields ' in the tenth 

This applies even more forcibly to the elimination of a 
full-stop and substitution of a colon after ' immensities.* 
' Their love ' is the nominative of * seems ' five lines lower 
down. If cut off by a full-stop no one will find it. 

My only correction of substance is to omit the sixth 
stanza beginning ' And this their close reality.' 

I propose the omission for these reasons : 

(1) A set of verses like a speech gains by excision. 

(2) ' Reality ' and ' immortality ' are not good English 
rhymes. They are good French rhymes and were used, 
no doubt, under the influence of French poetry. 

(3) The next stanza does the ' business ' more poetically. 

(4) The total number of quatrains, without the omission, 
is 13, an unlucky and awkward number. 

(5) With the omission the twelve quatrains fall into 
three symmetrical groups of four each. 

The first four introduce the subject and strike a note of 

The second four dwell on the walls and books with two 
for each. 

The last four give the upward movement to life, per- 
sisting after life. 

Symmetry is an antiseptic, like style. 

I am sure I am right. Yours ever, 


P.S. I must stick to initials ' G. W.' I cannot afford 
to show a target when so many are firing at me as the 
opponent of the Education Bill. 


Long rows of books in figured backs 
Of gleaming leather, dimly lit ; 

A ticking clock, whose soft attacks 
Upon the silence deepen it ; 


No other sound in all the house 

But the low fluttering of the fire ; 
To stab the stillness and arouse 

The ghosts of anger or desire : 

Within the warmth of these four walls 

Yields warrant, then, for quiet mirth ; 
Without, the chasm of night appals, 

The full moon grins upon the earth. 

Her frozen signal of decay, 

As a dead tree in summer, tells 
That the whole universe one day 

Shall speak of death and nothing else. 

And all who wrote these books are dead, 

Yet of their laughter and their tears 
We are not disinherited ; 

These walls have stood six hundred years. 

Ancestral legends lichening 

The parapets of long ago 
Enchant them with strange dreams that sing 

Of deeds our childhood seemed to know. 

And from these books departed souls 

Shoot out their radiance into mine, 
As heat, incarcerate in coals, 

From suns that ceased long since to shine. 

Nor may I well believe that thus 

In brute appliances alone, 
Such souls communicate with us 

From darkness, whither they are gone. 

But, as the virtue of a star 

Thrills through the ether to our eyes, 
Their love, vibrating from afar, 

Pierces our night's immensities ; 

And here, where ancient wit and worth 

Have still so much of life to tell, 
Like blinder forces of the earth, 

Seems also indestructible. 


I feel their souls without a sound 

Growing and glowing nigh and nigher 

Within the shadows closing round 
The somnolencies of the fire : 

Until, possessed by memories 

Of men who conquered lust and strife, 

I am persuaded that there is 
A life persisting after life. 

G. W. 

To his Mother 

SHIFNAL, May 15th, 1906. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, Fancy my not having written 
to you, Beloved, till to-day. I meant to write in the House 
directly after speaking last Monday, as if I was making 
notes. But the whole week has been a rush and rather 
a burden, what with Railway Meetings, prize to Ambu- 
lance corps and speech, to Dover and speech, to Albert 
Hall and speech. I should like ' to come to old Khayam 
and leave the wise to talk ' if as I said to C. G. Gould 
' it is the wise who talk.' I always doubt that after 
speaking myself. 

We are here very quiet and happy with Ida and New- 
port, Aldred and Celia Scarborough, for Sunday. The 
house, spoilt outside by stucco, is very pleasant inside 
with plenty of good books and bad pictures that are, all the 
same, interesting and amusing. There are six delightful 
little hunting pictures by Morland. These are good and 
more interesting too than his pigs and straw-yards. 

It was naughty of you to put out your shoulder ! I 
have been thinking of you all the week. I have to speak 
at Chester Thursday and mean to rest at Saighton till 
Monday after and then we shall soon be at Whitsun, 
with Yeomanry for a change of thought and scene. I 
am longing for you to be in London. Your most loving 
son, GEORGE. 


To his Sister, Pamela 

16th May '06. 

DARLING PAMELO, It was delicious to see your hand- 
writing after fourth son. I have been trying to write to 
you often, but I am rather overworked just now. 

Indeed I will asterisk 16th and 23rd of June. I never 
mind crystallizing for the very very few whom I love to 
be with. Apart from the positive merit, there is the 
negative merit of filling up one's book, so that one can 
say * no ' to the rest of the world, without rudeness or 
deceit. I shall need the water-meadows badly by then, 
for this Education Bill is going to be a severe strain. 

Ronsard has come complete in pages, and looks very 
nice. Pp. 1-60, Introduction ; 61-192, French ; 193-254, 
my translations. I call it RONSARD'S LA PLEIADE with 
selections from their Poetry and some translations in 
the original metre by George Wyndham. 

Sibell and self are off to Chester to-morrow at 8.30, to 
speak at 2 p.m. Then I shall rest till Monday, correct- 
ing proofs. 

It is delicious to think of my June Sunday with you. 
I like my fellow-guests. I hope Ronsard will be printed 
in time. I hate Politics. Ever your devoted brother, 


To his Mother 

CHESTER, May 18th, 1906. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, Supposing S. S. thought of 
letting 35 Park Lane, would you and Papa like me to 
come to 44 and would it be quite convenient ? It is not 
at all important and you must not give it a thought 
unless it is really quite convenient in every way to you 
all. Sibell is offered a good deal for the House and will 
be away herself most of the time with Leffie. 


I am concentrating on the Education Bill. If it really 
suited I should come about Monday, llth June. 

We came here yesterday by 8.30 to Chester ; had some 
lunch at the Grosvenor Hotel and then a meeting at 
2 o'clock. I went to sleep in the carriage driving back 
after the Meeting and have been sleeping most of the tune 
since then. The Yeomanry will be a pleasant change 
from politics. 

I am longing to see you and will look in on Monday. 
Would you like me to dine if I can get away ? The new 
rules will be very severe during the Committee stage, four 
to eleven o'clock on end without a break. But I 
daresay it will be possible to slip out to dinner for a bite 
and sup occasionally. 

The birds are singing here and the wall a blaze of Alpine 
plants and saxifrage. Your most loving son, 


P.S. Ronsard looks very nice in pages. 

To his Mother 

May 20th, 1906. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I love the thought of coming 
to * 44 ' and, really, prefer the room upstairs. 

I have had a little chill and stayed in bed yesterday but 
am up again and shall be fit for the fray which begins 

Guy has written me a capital, cheery, letter. He is 
going to Madrid for the wedding. General French unveils 
the memorial to the 16th in Canterbury Cathedral on 
Saturday, June 30th, and the 16th are going to Aldershot 
in October. All this pleases me. Guy and his regiment 
are buried at Colchester. 

Don't count on me to-morrow. It may be best for 
me to keep in the house once I get there, until I have 
quite shaken off my chill. Your devoted and most 
loving son, GEORGE. 



To Wilfrid Scawen Blunt 

13th June '06. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, I am sorry to say that I cannot 
get to you on Saturday. Sibell is staying at Putney with 
Lettice, who expects her baby to-morrow, and, as we have 
been separated for 3 weeks over Yeomanry, she wishes 
me to go there for Sunday. 

Would the 30th June do ? I go to Canterbury that day 
to see the memorial to Guy's regiment, 16th Lancers, un- 
veiled, and could come on, either across country, or back by 
special train to Victoria and on to you on Saturday evening. 

I must send you a copy of Guy's excellent letter about 
the Madrid bomb. 1 He was on the spot, helped the 
Queen, and made her courtly speeches. Yours affec- 
tionately, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 


To Mrs. Drew 

June 28th, 1906. 

I THINK I can undertake what you ask in September, 
and gladly, because you ask it. 

A better Clause 4, 2 applicable to the future : teachers 
to teach, and equal facilities all round, is the irreducible 
minimum without which there cannot be peace. 

I hope to bring Hugh Cecil to Saighton directly after 
the Session, so please be at Hawarden first and second 
weeks in August. We will ride over to see you with 
Percy, and you shall, will and must come to stay. 

The idea is a few Churchmen (very few), say Master- 
man and Gore some ' bloods ' for Percy ponies 
horses books and conversation flowers and trees. 

1 The bomb thrown by the anarchist Morales at the carriage of the King and 
Queen of Spain on the way from the Cathedral to the Palace after the wedding 
ceremony. The King of Spain was colonel-in-chief of his brother's regiment 
the i6th (the Queen's) Lancers. a Of the Education Bill. 



To Mrs. Drew 

June 29th, 1906. 

WHAT a blow ! But in September we will oscillate 
between Hawarden and Saighton. 

I wish I knew what the Lords will do. I fear Devon- 
shire and others. I am therefore certain that we ought 
to keep on insisting on the just solution and do nothing 
to complicate the approach towards it. But all this 
takes time to explain, and I am sleepy after a long but 
deeply interesting day at Canterbury that stirred my heart. 

General French unveiled a monument to those of my 
brother's regiment, the 16th Lancers, who died in S. Africa. 

The Cathedral, a perfect service, with, at appropriate 
moments, the ' Last Post ' and the ' Reveille ' on trumpets, 
and nothing else of the pomp of war, assured me of how 
right it is to fight for the Church. 

I want your three Angels for Bruera. Do send their 
names to Sibell. 


To his Father 

August 9th, 1906. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I enjoyed your interesting letter. 
Percy is very good at polo. The three Millers, who are 
at the top of the polo tree, want him to stay with them 
for a fortnight's tuition. I shall give him your message. 
I am very fairly confident that all he wants is to go into 
a cavalry regiment, play polo and hunt. 

I have ordered what you want from the Vote Office. 

I send Friday's programme of the Polo Tournament. 
Percy's team not in this programme won the Consola- 
tion Handicap on Saturday. 

I have entered in ink the final result of the Ladies' 
Nomination Tournament. In this kind of tournament 


each of the five teams plays the other four in turn and the 
team which has at the end the greatest nett number of 
goals i.e. goals won, minus goals lost, wins. By this 
means the excitement in every match is maintained to 
the end. 

The feature of the whole business was Percy, as number 
1 of his team, tackling John Watson (Master of Meath) 
as back. They are great friends. 

The final of the Eaton Cup, won by Eaton v. Tatten- 
Hall by six to four, was a magnificent display. 

Besides polo, we hunted two mornings with beagles 
and had a Gymkhana on another. 

My Harbour difficulties are adjourned till the House 
meets again. So I am resting. For example I definitely 
refused to take part in the East Denbigh contest hard by. 
Hugh Cecil went from here to speak and spoke very 
well last night in a motor with Sibell, who is quite a 
politician now. 

This week I do nothing but lazy summer rides with 
Hugh Cecil, and talk about books and politics. 

I shall probably look in at Clouds in the course of the 
next two or three weeks, with a horse and inspect the 
Hunkerman's * regiment on the plain. 

Best love to Mamma and Ditch. Your loving son, 



To his Sister, Pamela 

3rd September 1906. 

BELOVED PAM, I have felt very mischievous the last 
few days. Some of my friends, and sweet enemies, have 
been punching at me politically. I gasp at the torrid 
exuberance of their controversial methods, which remind 
me of an old French farce, called ' 90 in the Shade.' It 
seems that I am a political salamander. But when my 
friends cast me for that part, as if each were a Benvenuto 

1 His brother. 


Cellini (see autobiography) I feel mischievous. I give 
them the private retort courteous, await events, and burst 
into the fantastic for my own behoof. Your devoted 
brother, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

SALISBURY, September 12th, 1906. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, Yes, it was a pity just to 
miss on Monday, but I shall be with you before this time 
next week. 

The life here is delightful. I breakfast with Guy at 
7.30, start ' riding horsebag ' at 8.15.' pick up the regi- 
ment beyond ' the stones ' x at 9 o'clock ; play at soldiers 
for two hours or more, and then ride home across the 
downs ; in at noon. Yesterday we did three ' attacks/ 
In the afternoon there is the river. In the evening we 
rode again, hunting the hare. We had a fine course with 
Annie and Welcome and killed. For the rest the only 
book I am reading is Pickwick and all is Peace . . . pour 
le moment ! but not, I imagine for long [Long]. 2 This 
turns out to be a joke ! 

I am glad you liked what I said at Birmingham. Ever 
your most loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Sister, Pamela 

16th September 1906. 

BELOVED PAMELO, Wilsford was delicious. That bit, 
or slip, of the river-valley and down, and the wideness of 
sky and earth it commands, is a bit, or slip, of my larger 
dream-life. It plucks at my own heart-strings ! A 
sudden intimate aspect of loose hedge-rows, a keen, 
known, smell of chalk-dust and sheep, the little triangle 
of grass and trees where we branch from Amesbury to 

1 Stonehenge. 2 Mr. Walter Long. 


Wilsford, the * stones.' Fargo ; x ... all these are 
eternal to me. I find that I am the same person who 
rode there thirty years ago. They have not changed and 
I have not changed. And what they were 30 years ago, 
they were 60 years before that. And so was I, 600 years 
before that. Therefore, I give to you eternal Me. 

I made a little tune to my song, in the mode of 600, or 
6000, years ago. The little air of it tries to sing how every 
day is new, and, at the same time, a day of the days. 

Perf and I had a great day to-day ; we rode at 7.15 
for two hours and have been together all day. He is 
just beginning to love Poetry. Imagine my delight at 
recognizing another aspect of eternity in heritage. We 
have pretty well gutted Keats to-day, all the Odes and 
* St. Agnes Eve,' with a plenty of soldiering talk, and 
riding talk, and political talk, thrown in, to throw up the 
supremacy of the fantastic. 

That is the river of life ; the surface that reflects Heaven 
and derived from far sources in the hills, and goes out at last 
to sea, to foregather again and reflect Heaven once more. 
The drudgery of turning the mill, the party-political 
mill, of hatred, malice and all uncharitableness is but an 
incident. So, ' Heyday ! and grey day. But every day 
is new ' and yet, thank God, as old as the hills, and secure 
as the stars. 

Send me back my little barbaric air. Your devoted 
brother, GEORGE. 


To Moreton Frewen 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

September 27th, 1906. 

MY DEAR MORETON, 2 Your letter gave me real plea- 
sure. Not that I needed any evidence of your friendship ; 

1 Name of a wood near Stonehenge. 

2 When forwarding this letter Mr. Moreton Frewen wrote in explanation : 
' I had got George to lunch at Tim's house to discuss ' Devolution ' (which 
seems destined to invade history as the 'Wyndham Policy'), but George would 
not have it at any price. When the Orange party and the 'Times' made the 
fuss I offered to write and get Tim to write and say so hence the reply.' 


but because there are times when it does one good to hear 
from a friend who is not too much engrossed in the spec- 
tacle of politics to realise that some of the actors in that 
4 National pastime ' are fighting for things that are 
precious to them. 

I have always thought ' Devolution ' a vague, and 
therefore foolish, name for an unworkable, and therefore 
silly, thing ; upon which no two Irishmen would ever 

I have often said so, and never said anything else. You. 
remind me that I said so to you. 

It would interest me if you can remember when I said it. 

As for writing to the Press, I am disposed to think that 
anybody, who knows me and does not believe me, will not 
believe * though one rose from the dead.' 

You would only get damned for your pains. I should 
be damned by the ' Times ' for meeting Tim, and Tim- 
damned by the ' Freeman ' for meeting me. 

To all this I am impervious, nothing would please me 
more than to walk arm-in-arm with Tim Healy in front 
of * Printing House Square.' He was * human ' to a 
Chief Secretary and that is rare. I shall never forget 
it. Yours ever, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 


To Ms Mother 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

September 28th, 1906. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I was very happy at Clouds 
and am glad I talked to Papa. I felt from the way 
you all spoiled me that you thoroughly understood the 

I dined alone at the Travellers', went to bed at 11 o'clock 
and slept for 9| hours like a stone at the bottom of a deep 
well. I did not know where I was when I woke ; or why 
I was here when I recognized the room. 

I hope to make a good speech out of my refreshment. 
I enclose a cutting or two about my Hawarden speech. 


Give a great deal of love to Ditchmouse. I was very 
sorry to miss her. 

A certain number of people are beginning to go out of 
their way to please me ; writing me letters and so forth. 
Among them Colin Campbell [a cousin] sent me a dear 
letter with a copy of the earliest picture of Lord Edward 1 
and a good quotation from Walt Whitman, 

'Me Imperturbe . . . 
. . . Aplomb in the midst of 

irrational things . . . 
Me wherever my life is lived, 
O to be self-balanced for contingencies, 
To confront night, storms, hunger, 

ridicule, accidents, rebuffs, 
As the Trees and Animals do.' 

I am all for the Animals but, as I pointed out in my reply, 
they have not to make a speech at Canterbury to-night, 
and I have. So here goes ! All love to you darling, and 
to Papa. Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To Rudyard Kipling 

5th October 1906. 

MY DEAR KIPLING, Last night, on finishing ' Puck 
of Pook's Hill ' with sharp regret, because I shall never 
read it again for the first time, and huge delight because 
so many will have that joy I felt that I must say ' Thank 

This morning, out cub-hunting, I felt that I was a cub 
for presuming to distinguish myself from the dear many 
who never say ' Thank you.' But, remembering some 
talks at Rottingdean, and your father, and your uncle, 
I will say ' Thank you.' 

I thank you for every page of it. I thank you, specially, 
for C. Aquila, Maximus, and ' one man's work.' I thank 

1 Lord Edward Fitzgerald, great-grandfather of George Wyndham. 


you, above all, for Maximus. I read my Gibbon again 
this afternoon, and measured the amount of your creation. 
It is stupendous. Knowing Maximus intimately, as I 
do since yesterday I may say that he will not thank 
you when you meet him in the Elysian fields. 

But I thank you most for him. I am not unmindful 
of THE WALL, and the snake along the Wall ; nor un- 
grateful to you for declaring better than it has been 
shown before how that the sun really rose, every day, 
at the usual hour, in the 4th, and llth, centuries just as 
he does in the 20th century. And he knows how to rise. 
Such is his Conservatism. 

I always knew that and, also, that men and women 
and children, who lived from one to ten thousand years 
ago, were as like men and women and children of to-day 
as any million peas, or two suns. But you can shew this, 
and we can't. That is much genius and so forth. The 
two officers in charge of The Wall, and Maximus, and 
the Rescue, are more. 

That parable tells the men and women and children 
what they have got to do in the everlasting sunlight, 
and, even, why they have got to do it. They may now 
understand that the world rots in everlasting sunlight ; 
and that they must delay the rot, year in and year out, 
on the chance that, once in 100 years, a saviour, and once 
in 500 years, a creator, may or may not appear. That 
is their glory. Your glory is that you have told them 
so ! 

To his Sister, Pamela 

6th October 1906. 

BELOVED PAM, I got back to Saighton late last night 
after a month's racket, more or less, and am alone in my 
tower ; and alone in many ways. When one is alone, 
all the other lonely people begin to talk. The Psalmist, 
shouting out against his enemies in the night, becomes a 


pal. And everything that has been said well becomes a 
masonic grip of secret fraternity. I read ' Puck of Pook's 
Hill ' yesterday, and I will be bound to say that nobody 
has enjoyed it, or will ever enjoy it, more than I did. It 
will I daresay strike you from the children, governess, 
tea-time, fairy-tale point of view. And, quite possibly, 
you will feel that, from that point of view, you know a 
great deal more than Rudyard Kipling. But anyway 
that is only the envelope of his letter. His letter what 
he meant was written to me. Because I am alone in my 
Tower. So I thanked him. 

Few of the lonely ones, who confabulate, have ever 
understood better all the time, and shewn better some 
of the time, than Browning ; for example, this is all that 
I could wish to hear about my work in Ireland and 
afterwards . . . 

' So with this thought of yours that fain would work 
Free in the world : it wants just what it finds 
The ignorance, stupidity, the hate, 
Envy and malice and uncharitableness 
That bar your passage, break the flow of you 
Down from those happy heights where many a cloud 
Combined to give you birth and bid you be 
The roughest of rivers : on you glide 
Silverly till you reach the summit-edge, 
Then over, on to all that ignorance, 
Stupidity, hate, envy, bluffs and blocks, 
Posted to fret you into form and noise. 
What of it ? Up you mount in minute mist, 
And bridge the chasm that crushed your quietude, 
A spirit-rainbow, earthborn jewelry 
Outsparkling the insipid firmament, 
Blue above Terni and its orange-trees.' 

All I could wish to hear ; I should think so ! But I do 
hear it now in my tower and know it is far more than I 
deserve. But that is the way of the lonely people. They 
are generous. Wasn't it jolly of Browning, only two 
pages after that, to tell a story of some cognoscenti who 
hid all the group of the Laocoon, and then invited the 


critics to say what his agony expressed. Then Browning 
(I feel I may call him Robert) says this : 


And may he live to write my history 
Only One, said " I think the gesture strives 
Against an obstacle we cannot see." ' 

No more room, except to add that the lonely ones are 
uncommon good company. Your devoted brother, 


To Mrs. Drew 


October 1906. 

DEAREST MARY, I am rather jealous of Sibell because 
you were here when I was not. For a good Patriot and 
Imperialist, prepared to hear that Portsmouth has been 
raided by Torpedo Boats German for choice with 
comparative equanimity, perhaps it would do if the 
Chairman of my Banquet an ex-Lord Mayor who looked 
the part shared the fate of the Burgomaster of Kopenick. 
I think I shall subscribe to a press-cutting agency in the 
name of the Burgomaster of Kopenick, for I want to read, 
and engross in an Album, all about him. This wholly 
delightful event adds one more to the forty good stories 
which have been told since the Stone Age. And it is fit 
for ears polite. It beats the thief in the Rhamsonites of 
Herodotus. It beats the Golden Ass of Apuleius. It 
beats Don Quixote, it beats Banagher. It is good to live 
when such things happen. 

And why did not B. J. live to read it ? But I can feel 
him laughing and rumpling Morris' hair, and hear the 
4 Limerick ' which Rossetti would have composed perhaps 
not fit for ears polite. 

It has done me good, as the ladies say in advertisements 
of Bile Beans. For I have had a bother not of my own* 


lately which has disposed me to laugh at the grotesque 
side of the soldier ' as such.' What a moral it conveys, 
never to do what you are told to do. 

I hear that you ' reneged ' at ' Puck of Pook's Hill ' 
and were, more or less, converted by Sibell's report of my 

I broke out and wrote to Rudyard Kipling. I backed 
4 De Aquila,' but I plumped for ' Maximus ' and ' The 
Wall. So I was pleased when R. K. wrote back a * Thank 
you very much for your letter, and especially for what 
you say about Maximus, which makes me proud as well 
as pleased. Yes Gibbon was the fat heifer I ploughed 
with : but all those * decline-and-fall ' officers are so 
amazingly modern that as soon as I got him started I 
went on as easily as Mr. Wegg did : they being mellowing 
to the organ. I swear I didn't mean to write parables 
much but when situations are so ludicrously, or terribly, 
parallel, what can one do ? * 

That raises a question. What Rudyard Kipling does 
is to wrap up two perfect peep-shows into the past and 
therefore into all time, in a machinery of children in 
Sussex and Puck and the rest of it. 

This nearly stopped me and did stop you, for a time : 
which is bad. It did not stop the reviewers. But it 
baffled them and revealed their well revealed what 
they are, and, specially, how many people they are not. 
But this * machinery ' is only the ' Walk up ' of the 
Showman, his ' Boniment,' as the French say. It isn't 
bad boniment either. But the peep-shows are what I 
see all the time (better lighted and grouped by R. K.) 
and piercing through the ages with that flashing main of 
Eternity which is the Halcyon home of all those sea -blue 
birds of the Spring who keep a careless heart as they fly 
over the foam flowers. 

Perhaps you will feel nothing of this. And then you 
will tell me so. But tell me whether or No. And then 
I will tell you what I wrote to Kipling. 

The soldiers who arrested the Burgomaster made me 
think of De Aquila and Maximus : R. K.'s. Mr. Wegg 


leads me to say that I have just finished reading ' Little 
Dorrit ' again. I can't bear to think that I must wait 
5 or 10 years 5 if greedy, 10 if prudent, before reading 
it yet once more. 

What a great man Dickens is ! And how are the 
4 Tite Barnacles ' avenged by the Ulster Party. With 
what avidity the ' Times ' returns to the vomit of the 
Circumlocution Office. How readily the dear stupid 
English folk believe in ' How not to do it.' How intensely 
they suspect and hate anybody who does anything or 
might conceivably do anything, arrogating to their dear 
muddled heads and dear little hearts the right of scolding 
everybody because nothing is done. And then majestically 
assassinating anybody who presumes to do anything. 

This they call ' common sense.' I have often pondered 
on the linguistic freak or revelation ? which led the 
Greeks and the French to talk of ' good sense ' and the 
English to talk of ' common sense.' And the worst of it 
is that when, now and again, an Englishman is sick of 
* common ' sense, he does not deviate gracefully into 
' good ' sense. He bursts out into ' uncommon nonsense ' 
and calls it paradox ; as a protest against a commercial 

But this is our Country. And I love it : as a man loves 
a brutal woman. Yours affectionately, G. W. 

P.S. But having effected a ' judicial ' on my part 
4 separation ' from my country, I do not think that I 
would ever * marry ' her again in the Registry Office of 
a Cabinet. I do not seek divorce ' a vinculis.' But I 
revel in separation * a mensa et thoro.' 


To his Mother 

CHESTER, October 19th, 1906. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I thought so much of you and 
Aunt Emily, first in your anxiety, and then in your relief 
over dear Uncle Charlie. 


Send them my fond love. 

Thank Papa for cutting on * compulsory mathematics.' 

My Portsmouth Banquet was a great success. I spoke 
for fifty-five minutes. 

I have been very busy of late too busy. 

I speak at Birmingham on the 25th, Dover the 7th 
November, and Liverpool, 5th December. 

Ronsard ought to be out ' anywhen.' I have passed 
the ' make up ' in ' Dummy.' That is the last act in 
producing a book. There are only two agreeable moments 
in this tedious operation. One, when the MS. is sent 
off ; the other, when you pass the ' Dummy ' and know 
what clothes your child is to wear. All the rest is sheer 
labour ; and the labour on ' Proofs ' is more exacting 
to me than the labour of writing in the first instance. 
I go up to London Monday or Tuesday for Parliament, 
4 to be there ' which Dizzy called the first condition of 
parliamentary success and to talk over Lords' amend- 
ments with Lansdowne. Your most loving son, 


To Mrs. Drew 


November 9th, 1906. 

I took full advantage of your leave to 4 ponder ' and 
heard yesterday from Mr. Frowde. I will think over 
books. . . . My life has become a scurry. When I get 
back to Saighton, we must have a good day in the Tower 
as a companion picture in memory to the morning under 
the poplar. It is these little bits of happy serenity that 
shine out from the past the day in the garden I read 
you the ' Wood beyond the World ' and half a morning 
in Shelagh's garden. I have been speaking too much. 
To-day I broke out with Sibell and saw Holman Hunt's 
pictures. Silence ought to be imposed in a gallery. 
When I was taking in the wind-swung lilt of rose cloudlets 
from Magdelene Tower on the May morning, this is what 
I heard : 


Old Lady (deaf) : ' But how wonderful it is to see the 
way it 's lasted ! ' 

Young Lady (shrill) : ' Some of them are not very old.' 


Young Lady : ' It 's rather pretty.' 

They move on to the ' Two Gentlemen of Verona.' 

Old Lady : ' That looks very modern.' 

Young Lady : ' Oh no ! that was painted in 1857.' 
And so on. 

To-day I go to Wilfrid Blunt for two days of poetry. 


To his Mother 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

November 16th, 1906. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, Enclosed came back to me 
through Dead Letter Office. You know Miss Hamilton's 
address. Will you send it on as it is to show that I 
did answer her letter. 

* Fairy ' King and I are having a great rummage among 
papers to-day. For I have reached a pause in work. 

I almost believe that I have finished Dover Harbour. 
But I shall not send my wire to you till after the 3rd 
Reading. Next week I am busy ; speaking London on 
21st, Dover 22nd, and Oxford 23rd. Shall I come to 
Clouds, Saturday, 24th, if free ? 

I have another bunch of speeches on 5th, 6th, and 10th 
December in Liverpool and Glasgow. So if tired 
shall rest in London on 24th-26th. But if not, Clouds 
would be delicious and I long to see you. 

My new battle-horse is the Navy. 

We made a grand fight on Land Tenure and the Squires 
of England ought to be obliged to us. The opposition 
knew nothing about Rural life and we banged 'em from 
pillar to post. Your most loving son, GEORGE. 



To Wilfrid Ward 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
November 16th, 1906. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, I cannot find time to write any- 
thing. But if possible I will dine on 28th from the 

A suggestion occurs to me as I write rude and crude. 
Let me put it in this way : 

1. Historical exegesis has so far mainly rejected 
certain books from canonical books the Bible, as some 
call the collection. 

But it has rejected them to be more precise in respect, 
not of their ecclesiastical authority, but of their traditional 
ascription to certain authors and dates. 

2. Reverse the process. Let historical exegesis examine 
the traditional value of non-canonical books and legends. 
What does history make of ' Domine, quo vadis ? ' Of 
the apostolic conversion of Britain ? of the peregrina- 
tions of St. James ? 

Conclusion. Historical exegesis belittles the Canon by 
demonstrating that Tradition which has grown up round 
it is irreconcileable with historical results. But these 
traditions mean something. They are not pure inven- 
tions. Therefore let historical exegesis appraise all tradi- 
tions and see what happens. 

This suggests another track which I once sketched hi a 
walk we took together. Assuming Revelation, of any 
kind, it had to be conveyed in a known language but also, 
with a like necessity, in a familiar order of religious and 
metaphysical thought. To collate the ' Book of the 
Dead ' or the sacramental rites of a Zagreus or an Adonis 
with canonical scriptures does not diminish the authority 
of Christianity. It only shows that two great ideas in 
Christianity : (1) reward and punishment after death, (2) 
the mystery of regeneration by sacrifice were the reli- 
gious, or metaphysical, medium in which the truths of 
Christianity had perforce to be stated if they were to be 


understood ; just as Aramaic or Alexandrian Greek, were 
the linguistic media in which they had, similarly, to be 
stated, if they were to be intelligible. Yours ever, 


To his Father 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
November 19th, 1906. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, Many thanks for transferring 
the securities. I am sure you are right to do so. We 
shall certainly have some form of graduated income tax 
the operation of which, combined with Death Duties, must 
dissipate any fortune in the course of three generations. 
Unless the Landed Gentry treat their personal estates 
on the lines of men in business ; i.e. hold it divided as 
you propose among capable living members of the 
family, each one of whom should take advice on re-invest- 
ment from time to time. 

But you need have no fears of speculation on my part. 

I merely hold that a little time and attention ought to 
secure three and three quarters per cent on capital and 
that unless this is done incomes must perish. 

A judicious re-investment of Railway securities, even 
ten years ago, would have increased many private incomes 
and made them safer at the same time. 

You will save income tax on my 1800. But I ought 
to be able to re-invest to cover the payment which will 
now fall on me. Your loving son, GEORGE. 

P.S. Tell Mamma that my Land Bill books are found. 
The Ronsard file will be sent to her when complete 
Reviews are still coming in. 

To Mrs. Drew 

November 24th, 1906. 

I want to tell you that the ' Young Squire of Hawarden * 
did very well (my Oxford Union was the third of three 


consecutive speeches). He was by far the best of the 
four speakers. Talbot was good ; straight, burly and 
in earnest. Villiers gave a polished, fluent little discourse. 

But the 4 Young Squire ' 1 has the root of the matter 
in him. He debated, put his case, came into contact 
with reality, was at ease and without mannerism of any 

I ' debated ' his speech and we are embalmed together 
in the * Tunes.' 

The whole thing was a pleasant experience and made 
me wish I was 20 years younger. 

To Wilfrid Ward 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

December 20th, 1906. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, Many thanks for your letter and 
Eccles' review. It is very good. I read it with delight 
and sounded his praise to a small gathering of ' notables ' 
last night Robert Cecil, Seely, Masterman, Butcher and 
Rawlinson. He is not a ' barren rascal ' ! He is not your 
mere battledore Reviewer returning to the author his 
shuttlecock, a little frayed. He has fecundity and ripe 
sayings * an arsenal of glory and a granary of vital 

At last, to-night I finish this working year. We buried 
the Education Bill this afternoon. I have won my elec- 
tion, made speeches, published my little book, made new 
friends, fought old enemies. I have lived and life is 

I shall wait impatiently for your ' XlXth Century ' 
article on France. I spent Sunday at Arundel. Norfolk 
makes little account of French Catholics. Among new 
friends I have Belloc. But towards Christmas the heart 
turns to old friends, to you and your wife. And I send 
you greetings. Yours ever, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 

1 William Gladstone, the President of the Union. 



To his Mother 

CHESTER, December 22nd, 1906. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, This is to wish you a merry 
Christmas and happy New Year and to send you moun- 
tains of love. This has been a year of work and at 
times of anxiety. But it is over. I have enjoyed Guy 
at 35, Park Lane, immensely. I hope to get to Clouds 
later on. 

I was ' in at the death ' of the Education Bill on Thursday. 

The last three days Monday-Wednesday, were very 
tense. I was dug out of the Westminster Latin Play 
Monday night. We conferred in Arthur's room from 
9-30 to past midnight, again on Tuesday from 5 to 8 
o'clock, and on Wednesday from 12 to 2 o'clock. It was 

S. S. and I got here last night. To-day I hunted and 
had a good gallop which made me very hot and will make 
me very stiff. 

Now I am going to hunt and amuse myself. 

I shall for pleasure begin reading all Walter Scott, 
as I have to deliver an address on him next November in 
Edinburgh, which will, afterwards, serve as a little essay. 

Can you lend me Lockhart's Life from your East Room ? 

It will make a pleasant holiday task and fit in with my 
general literary work as another aspect of the Romantic 

I am longing to see you. Your most loving son, 



To his Brother 

Christmas Eve, 1906. 

DEAREST OLD GUY, Let me hear from time to time 
what you do in the way of hunting. 


We had good sport to-day with the South Cheshire 
Heggie Corbett's forty-five minutes, rather moderate, to 
ground ; and then a capital fox-chase. Found at Broom- 
hall, ran fast 20 minutes to a covert, dwelt there six or 
seven minutes, viewed him away, slower hunting, and a 
fast finish, killed in the open. One hour and fifteen 
minutes in all. 

We were quite the ' Huntbaches ' Bendor, Shelagh, 
' Pat,' * Mrs. Malone, Madge, John Fowler, Arthur Gros- 
venor, Gerry Grosvenor, Perl' and self, Ivor Guest and 
4 uncle Tom Codley and all.' 

There was a large field out but plenty of room to ride 
and lots of ' lepping.' I enjoyed myself hugely. 

The sun-dial 2 has been erected ' with all military pre- 
cautions.' Sibell knows nothing of it, nor Percy either. 

I visited it after coming in from hunting. The rain 
poured down. The gardeners gave me glimpses of it 
with a bull's-eye lantern. ' Muin was the word.' And 
we separated in the darkness before Sibell got back from 
her last I hope shopping expedition to Chester. Love 
to all. Your devoted brother, GEORGE. 


To his Nephew, George Wyndham 

CHESTER, January 4th, 1907. 

MY DEAR LITTLE GEORGE, I think I must write to you 
my Fox-hunting letter this time. I told your father of 
the good day we had on Wednesday. 

To-day, again, we had very good sport : first, a run of 
about fifty minutes, with lots of jumping ; second, forty- 
five minutes and a kill in the open and third, about twenty- 
five minutes, not so good. 

We all enjoyed ourselves. Percy rode a new horse 

1 Heremon Lindsay Fitzpatrick. 

2 He had bought an old sun-dial and erected it in the garden as a surprise 
Christmas gift to his wife. 


that jumped well. Bendor and I both took mild tosses 
in the second run. Your uncle Pat was out too and 
Mrs. Malone. 

I am glad that my whip brought you luck and that you 
got the brush. Your affectionate uncle, GEORGE. 


To Monsieur Auguste Rodin 

CHESTER, 7 Janvier 1907. 

MON CHER AMI, J'ai eu tant a faire ces jours-ci que je 
n'ai pu repondre a votre lettre jusqu' aujourd'hui. Je vous 
demande mille pardons de ce delai. Ne songez pas que 
votre lettre ne m'a pas rejoui le coeur. Je suis toujours 
enchante d'entendre d'un de mes meilleurs amis. Et, 
encore, je suis plein de reconnaissance pour votre bonne 
intention de m'envoyer un bronze de mon buste. C'est 
un vrai cadeau d'amitie" que je cherirai pendant toute ma 
vie. Egalement pour sa valeur artistique et en souve- 
nance de nos entretiens d'autour. Qu'ils soient bientdt 
renouveles est mon ardent desir. 

Je vous donne d'accord ma permission de placer une 
troisieme epreuve dans un musee de 1'Etat. En verite" je 
vous remercie d'un tel honneur, quelqu' indigne que je 
suis d'etre tant soit peu ' immortalise ' d'une mani^re si 

N'oubliez jamais, cher Monsieur Rodin, que je suis 
votre ami, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 


To Mrs. Drew 

January 15th, 1907. 

We had all kinds of adventures with our motor after 
leaving your Hawarden haven. It could not go up-hill 


and was not safe going down, having no * sprag,' what- 
ever that may be. We got lunch at 3.15, and only just 
caught the train at Chester at 6.17. The motor, which 
had stopped at every gradient, finished its performance 
by running up on to the pavement at the station. We 
were patient from good-fellowship and brave from igno- 
rance, with the exception of Charlie Adeane, who has 
a motor of his own and talked ominously of * sprags.' The 
pale-faced chauffeur maintained a harassed silence. I 
give him the prize for patience and courage. 


To his Brother 

CHESTER, January 16th, 1907. 

DEAREST OLD GUY, I am delighted to hear that 
Wellington can take little George, all the more as every- 
one tells me that it is bar Eton the best of all public 

I have been idle over writing hunting news, for the 
pleasant reason that our good sport is quite continuous. 
Excepting New Year's day we have enjoyed ourselves on 
each day, galloping and jumping to our heart's content. 
We had two good gallops, Thursday, two good gallops, 
Friday. The North had a great day Monday ; Watkyn 
a capital day yesterday and to-day Wednesday we are 
just in from hunting all round here. (1) Found in Saighton 
Drives and ran 50 minutes, slow to ground. (2) Found 
Saighton Gorse and ran very fast forty-seven minutes 
over the vale and killed. (3) Viewed a fox and ran across 
the vale through Eaton and nearly to Chester. We whip 
off every day in the dark, Benny, Shelagh, Perf, Pat and 
I crack along in front all the time. Apart from the rare 
sport the weather is so delicious. I sweat through every- 
thing twice a day, and the country looks beautiful and 
smells sweet of moist earth. Perf is a recognized exponent 
of the Art, always in front flight, and often *' cutting out 
the work.' 


It seems a shame to make you work for the W. O. But 
I suppose you will be able to get some hunting. Perf and 
I have six horses between us that all ' know to jump.* 
The seventh we are selling as he falls from old age. Your 
devoted brother, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

CHESTER, January 16th, 1907. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I have been so occupied with 
a Railway Board hi London each week and hunting on 
all other days that I have not had tune to write. 

I will have a search for the Rossetti ; but do not 
remember him. 

As for the seal his fine disc, as well as his Venetian 
glass handle ask for some rare device. I have G. W. on 
the old Fox-Pad seal of the 5th January 1880 I You 
remember the run from Everleigh to West Woods, one 
hour and thirty minutes. 

I don't like imitating Morris' motto. 
I have taken for my motto a Latin line, Virgil, ' Tu ne 
cede malis, sed contra audentior ito ' which means, * Do 
not yield to misfortunes but rather meet them more 
boldly.' The last two words would do as thus : 



or else ' ne quid timide,' Cicero. 

or else ' optima quseque dies ' which means, ' Each best 

But do not let us decide in a hurry. You might look 
into the little book of Emblems I gave you, there were 
some good tags in that. 

For the rest, do not trouble over cigarettes etc. I am 
in much better trim in all those ways. Hunting makes 
it very easy not to smoke much. Your most loving son, 




To his Sister, Pamela 

18th January 1907. 

MOST DARLING PAMELA, It was a great joy to get your 
letter. My answer to your question is that I am hunting 
with Percy just as if nothing had happened. I skip 
details. We are merely happy. We have 7 hunters and 
odd mounts from Bendor and bust along and perspire 
and leave all letters unanswered, except your letter and 
pressing invitations to speak, which we reject with scorn. 

In the evenings we read ' Antony and Cleopatra ' and 
old books about Cheshire and England : Puller's Worthies, 
The Vale Royal of England, Camden's Britannia, and 
Froissart. For it is our pleasure, after riding over the 
country, to retrieve the renown of great men who came 
from here and fought in France and Spain, under the 
Black Prince for 40 years Earl of Chester. 

Thus, we love the horsemanship of the folk we spring 
from ; and cherish every rise and fall in the ground that 
nurtured them. We, also, cherish their marksmanship 
with the Bow. I opened a miniature rifle range last 
Wednesday week. I made a speech that has made them 
all think ; quoting from ancient annals. Then, by good 
fortune, I put up my miniature rifle and beat them all to 
blazes. 110 shot, and I won by 6 points. It was very 
lucky as I had said in my speech that shooting like 
skating and swimming once learned was never forgot. 

But, in the main, we merely hunt the fox ; and get very 
hot, and sleep like stones and prepare for the next call to 
enterprise by thing our body and resting our head. 

All this sounds very brutal, and in the mode of Squire 
Western. But say what you will it gives me rest and 
pleasure, it is jolly to find that 20 years cannot abate one's 
huge delight in riding to hounds ; and the added joy of 
seeing Perf always in the first flight and often cutting out 
the work is exquisite. If I can keep my place of old days 


I am pleased like a boy. If he beats me I am in the 
seventh heaven. 

Meanwhile I am at last really resting my brain. I 
sleep like a stone. I weigh half a stone less and I nurse 
a glorious contempt for all the little people who fuss about 

But, occasionally, I write verse again, and I read nothing 
except Virgil, Catullus, Shakespeare, Walter Scott and 

So I live, getting younger and younger, loathing the 
thought of going back into the pig-stye of Politics. But, 
therefore, preparing to take on Devolution or the Army 
Scheme with a maximum of refreshed detachment, it is 
jolly to weigh half a stone less and to sleep and feel free. 

I rejoice in Bim's poem, it is delightful. But never 
instigate him. If he writes that now, leave him alone. 
Encourage him to ride and sail a boat or shoot birds. His 
brain will dart out only too soon. Muffle it in hardy 

I speak from knowledge. As a boy, and once or twice 
since, I have been near the precipice of abnormal cere- 
bration. But the whole truth is, if you have a brain 
that works at lightning speed when stimulated, to drug 
it with wholesome fatigue, involving courage and initiative. 
It will shoot out, fast enough, at any Cabinet Council 
which he may condescend to illuminate. Your devoted 
brother GEORGE. 


To his Father 

January IQth, 1907. 

DEAREST PAPA, Yes, that is what I mean. The 
increased volume of Trade stated in terms of .s.d. does 
not prove any great increase in income ; i.e. profits ; 
of the ten per cent increase of total trade one half five 
per cent is attributable to a general rise in prices. The 
materials cost more as well as the products. Apart from 


that minor consideration, I maintain that no probable 
increase in taxable income will meet the probable demand 
for increased revenue. 

The Government will try to cut down Army and Navy. 
But they cannot go far enough to make any material 
difference. Even if they save five million which I 
think impossible the reaction will set in. We shall have 
a revival of complaints that barracks are not kept in 
sanitary repair and of scares that our guns and rifles are 
not the best, etc. If the Government go on against these 
storm signals, men like Haldane and Sir John Fisher will 

On the other hand the Government must find money 
to meet the growing and excessive demands of their sup- 
porters. Some day old age pensions will be voted. 

Apart from these direct payments from the State the 
time is coming when the Imperial Exchequer will have 
to help County Councils with grants in aid. 

Apart from that, they will be driven in order to assist 
4 Reforms ' without paying cash to * guarantee ' more 
loans ; and to lower the rate of interest in existing loans, 
e.g. Local Loan Stock, or rather Housing Loans based on 
that stock. 

All this tends to lower our credit ; i.e. the borrowing 
power of the Exchequer. 

The time will, therefore, come when the Government 
cannot meet the demands made on it unless it restores 
the credit of the Exchequer. And that can only be done 
in the long run by paying off debt, i.e. raising revenue 
another twenty million a year to increase the sinking fund. 
If the Government try to do this by direct taxation e.g. 
violent graduation of Income Tax, they will increase the 
mischief. The City will not lend them money ; or float 
their loans ; and private persons will invest more and 
more abroad and ultimately, if they feel they are being 
unfairly treated, will evade income tax by lodging their 
securities in banks abroad, say, Switzerland. 

If the population increases as it does and, at the 
same time insists on state-aid, as it does, by way of costly 


education, costly Poor Law ; perhaps direct pensions ; 
and by way of Housing Schemes, and Small Holding 
Schemes, guaranteed by the State at low interest and 
long periods of repayment, there is no possible ultimate 
solution except that the people should pay for all this. 
And there is no way in which they can pay except by 
broadening the basis of taxation. 

That alone yields a sufficient amount of revenue to 
restore credit, and that alone affords an effective system 
of graduation i.e. the ' automatic ' graduation as I have 
called it which proceeds from the relatively poor not 
buying as many luxuries as the relatively rich. 

The English delight in discussing these problems in 
terms of Justice. Even, on that basis, it is absurd to 
tax a man with 2000 a year and ten children at the same 
rate of graduation as a bachelor with the same income. 

It is more reasonable to discuss the problem in terms 
of common sense and to determine as the old financiers 
did (1) How much money do we want ? and (2) How 
can we get it with the least annoyance and disturbance ? 

Our present system is not sound. It is not effective 
to depend as largely as we do on taxes of three kinds 

(1) Taxes on Beer, Spirits, and Tobacco, which hit the 

(2) Taxes on Stamps which hit the makers of wealth. 

(3) Death Duties and Income Tax which hit the owners 
of wealth i.e. the savers and investors. 

Besides all this, there is another cloud on the financial 
horizon. I mean the Savings Banks. There is, I think, 
200,000,000 in the Savings Banks and no securities. If 
the Labour Party organised a scare and run on the 
Savings Banks they could smash our existing system of 

Some day a Chancellor of the Exchequer will have the 
courage to tell the truth. 

He will have to consolidate the Debt again ; on a 
two-and-three-quarter per cent basis : including all our 
Debt, i.e., all the loans we guarantee as well as Consols. 

He will have to assist the low rateable arrears. 


He will have to increase the sinking fund. He 
will have also to restrict the borrowing power of Local 

And to do this, without destroying the Navy and Army 
(which in turn are necessary for our credit) he will have to 
increase largely the number of articles on which duty is 
paid ; so largely, that he may as well go in for an all- 
round Tariff and use part of it for bargaining with other 

That is the way in which Fiscal Reform will come. 

I see that I have not given a plain answer to your 
question ' How do Consols at 86 affect the Government ? ' 

The answer is that they cannot get the money they 
need on reasonable terms ; and sometimes that they 
cannot get it at all. 

As things are they cannot get the money for Irish Land 

Very well. They have now got to get the money for 
Irish labourers. 

Then their English supporters want Housing Schemes. 
What is that to be ? Five millions a year would be a 
flea-bite. But they would have to borrow it. And so 
on with Small-holdings ; and, of course, with Old Age 

For these purposes they must either borrow, issuing a 
loan themselves ; or, they must get the City to issue the 
loan and guarantee the interest. 

Apart from these larger transactions, a Government 
has to borrow in the course of every year. The income 
tax does not come in ' pat ' to the day ; nor do the proceeds 
of other taxes. But the Government has to pay soldiers 
and sailors, and postmen once a week, and to pay for 
ships and public buildings ' on the nail.' 

With Consols at 86 i.e., with a low credit, they have 
to borrow at high interest. The Bank rate was six per 
cent, it is now five per cent. So they cannot get ' cheap ' 
money for a short period, any more than you can, or a 
Railway Company. 

I do not for a moment believe that Arthur will resign 


the Leadership. There is plenty of intrigue against him ; 
but it is confined to a minority of men in the House, and 
of men who are likely to get into the House. 

In a Democracy politicians have to be ' Vote-hunters.' 
But they can hunt for them in a proper, as well as in an 
improper, fashion. They can appeal to Patriotism as 
well as to Pockets, and to common interests as well as to 
Class jealousies. 

Bendor, Percy and self, with Cecil Parker and Colonel 
Lloyd had an interesting shoot to-day, second time over. 
I have not got the exact bag. But it was pleasantly 
varied by 7 woodcock, 8 snipe, 6 teal, 1 jay, 1 magpie and 
one pigeon with, I suppose about 170 pheasants, and a 
few hares and rabbits. Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Father 

CHESTER, January 20th, 1907. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I posted my answer last night. 

The Navy. The Government did diminish the building 
programme. But Lord Brassey may be right in saying 
that the Two-Power standard is maintained ; for the 
Government declare that they reduced their programme 
because other countries will not complete some ships 
they are building as soon as we expected ; that other 
countries are not ' laying down ' new ships and that, in 
any case, as we build faster we can out-pace them if they 
do suddenly lay down new ships. 

Without fuller knowledge it is not wise to attack the 
Government for not laying down more ships. 

The case I make against them is that they are (1) 
taking Battleships out of full commission (2) putting them 
into the Reserve and simply christening the Reserve ' The 
Home Fleet ' and (3) Then recreating the bad type of 
Reserve which we abolished. 

This shows it : 




In full commission, i.e. at sea all 
the year round . . .32 

At sea with full crews only for 
part of the year . . -,s * 14 




14 2 


Having taken six Battleships out of full commission 
and put them down into the Reserves now called ' Home 

They have taken six out of that Reserve and, practically, 
put them into harbour, permanently, with only men to 
oil the guns etc. sort of caretakers, and a vague promise 
to take them out sometimes. 

Now a ship does not ' find herself ' till she has been two 
months at sea with all the ranks on board that will navigate 
and fight her in war. Again, by taking ships out of full 
commission, they keep officers and men ashore who ought 
to be at sea ; and allow many ' repairs ' to accumulate, 
the need of which would only be discovered after the 
ships had been at sea. 

Besides this they are scamping repairs everywhere. 

' Ready, aye, ready ' ought to be our motto for the 
Navy. Nothing is worse than to have ships laid up in 
time of Peace that would require over-hauling at the out- 
break of War. It was precisely that system which we 
abolished : and now they are bringing it back by degrees 
to save the cost, in coal, wages and repairs of keeping our 
First Line at sea, all the year round. 

We have let our house till about the 10th of March. 
Would it be quite convenient to give me a bed at 44 during 
the first three weeks of the session ? Your loving son, 


1 We called this the Reserve, of the new kind, with nucleus crews. 

2 They call it the Home Fleet ! 



To his Sister, Mary 


MOST DARLING CHANG, I gauged the situation on 
Monday night and saw that it did not present the elements 
of a good talk except by going to supper together. I 
should have liked that. But Sibell was looking white 
and tired, so I whipped her off to be out of reach of temp- 
tation. Had I stayed and supped, I should have cheered 
up and not gone to bed till 3. 

The first simmer of excitement, the fun of seeing you 
all, and Pamela and ' notables,' the restless enthusiasm 
of Blow, the thrill of the * Drums of Oude,' the intolerable 
twaddle of ' Toddles,' the yawning distance between our 
chairs, the gnawing pangs of hunger, after a long journey, 
and 20 minutes' dinner, all pointed either to a large and 
leisurely supper or else to bed on the principle of ' qui 
dort dine.' I decided rightly, for as it was Sibell did not 
get to bed till 1.30 and began again at 6 a.m. to catch 
the 8.30. 

I snatched a pretty good hunt between two frosts on 
Wednesday. The Eaton Party had many casualties. 
Shelagh fell and got a bruise, but nothing of consequence. 
Lady Chesterfield and Tullibardine also fell. I picked 
up Lady C. and we did not lose our places in the first 
flight. At the end we heard Shelagh was hurt, but soon 
met her walking and laughing and sent her home safe and 
warm in a motor which Benny had galloped for to Eaton 
and driven out himself. 

Yesterday we shot, a lovely day. Then I had to go 
again to London last night for Railway Meeting, and back 
to-day, and here I am with a blazing fire in my room and 
my books round me. Perf, who went yesterday to the 
Bicester Ball, got into my carriage at Bletchley. 

I am eager for a good talk with you. 

I am interested to read A. J. B.'s speech. I gather 


that he is going to ' put his foot down.' I feel more and 
more that it is very noble of him and rather noble of 
me I to bother about politics at all. I look forward to 
the session with disgust approaching to nausea. Since 
Christmas I have for the first time since I took office felt 
young and happy ; hunting, reading good books, enjoying 
Percy, and living, in short. 

To go back to the House, its dust and dullness and 
littleness, is like a bad dream. It makes me sick to think 
of Herbert Gladstone backing an iniquitous Licensing 
Bill. It makes me sorry to think of poor Birrell talking 
clever rubbish about Ireland ; and dear Haldane reeling 
off his ' continuous band ' of undistinguished, but gram- 
matical, English, in which he ties up and strangles what 
little of life is left in the Army on which St. John sat 
heavily, and A. F. stamped furiously. 

Our own crew are most depressing and peevish. They 
have no heart in them and no pride of race. There is 
nothing magnanimous or generous in the whole show of 
petty intrigue and sheepish cowardice. But for my 
affection for Arthur and admiration of his tenacity, I 
doubt whether a waning sense of duty would be strong 
enough to prevent me from quietly dropping my odious 
trade before the ' Dyer's hand ' is quite ' subdued to 
what it works in.' 

Democracy is a disease for which there is no cure, or, 
at best, a normal form of senile decay in States. When I 
was young I read cheerfully such platitudes as that States 
are like trees, with their periods of growth, maturity and 
decay. But, as life goes on, the truth of platitudes becomes 
poignant enough to pierce through their used envelopes. 
Instead of laughing at them for being stale, one is shocked 
by them for being true. Age in States, or men, or, above 
all, in women, is no joke. 

But at this point in my melancholy reflection the waning 
sense of duty begins to perk up a little. I despise the 
French aristocracy for having thrown up the sponge ; 
and any man or woman who declines into a praiser of 
past days. 


So I conclude with Dr. Johnson's robust assertion : 
' If the changes that we fear be thus irresistible, what 
remains but to acquiesce with silence, as in other insur- 
mountable distresses of humanity ? It remains that we 
retard what we cannot repel, that we palliate what we 
cannot cure.' 

But I go further being now on the upward track 
and say once more, that the Empire is a new State among 
other new States. And that if we will realise that 
there may be two or three centuries still ahead of the 
glorious indiscretions and rapt visions of youth ; the 
tumbles and victories. 

We ought to fight for this. So I suppose I shall go up 
to London on the llth and ' peg away ' as usual. But 
personally I detest the job, and prefer hunting and the 
society of the people I am fond of, whether dead and 
embalmed in books, or alive and pleasant for their beauty 
and keen wits. Your loving brother, GEORGE. 


To his Father 

February 2nd, 1907. 

DEAREST PAPA, If you look in to-day's * Times ' you 
will find that ' P. L. Wyndham, gent.' is gazetted a 2nd 
Lieutenant, on probation to the Coldstream Guards. 
Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

CHESTER, February 6th, 1907. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, It is just possible that we 
might not be able to get to you till the Wednesday after 
Easter Sunday, 3rd April ; for I have to do Yeomanry 
Musketry here on the 2nd and Sibell would like to do her 
Easter Festival here. But that ought to leave me a 


week or two as with an early Easter, I do not suppose 
the House will rise till the last moment. 

I, too, have been thinking a great deal over old days. 
I feel the ' epoch ' of Perf taking the plunge. He is 
' posted ' to my old battalion, the 1st. I am glad of that 
for old sake's sake and because he will be in London this 
summer and under Billy Lambton as his C.O. 

The frost has been a disappointment. But I am keep- 
ing myself idle and fit in spite of it. Yesterday I walked 
to Chester, round the walls and all the sights, and back by 
Eccleston, quite twelve miles. 

I am very glad that Papa is helping Guy. It will make 
all the difference to his success that he should not have 
cares, or feel that Minnie is worried. 

I am longing to see you and will come for a Sunday, 
pretty soon. 

The Government are, apparently, going to ' shunt ' 
their legislation in order to attack the House of Lords. I 
liked Arthur's speech at Hull. Loving and devoted son, 



To his Father 

CHESTER, February 1th, 1907. 

DEAREST PAPA, To-night we had what Sibell calls 
lier ' Social Gathering ' in the School. It is not an Enter- 
tainment. There is no host and hostess. We merely 
all go selves, farmers, parson and labourers. We pro- 
vide tea, etc., and put out games, photographs and any- 
thing likely to interest or amuse. Anybody sings or 
plays ; who can. And, when the ice is broken, they push 
away the table and dance to a concertina. 

It is amusing to watch Sibell playing some desperate 
game, such as the ' Counties of England ' with a party 
of five or six. Lettice came over from Eaton and grinned 
and beamed at everybody. 

I felt that they were nearly all out and out Tories and 
VOL. n. p 


Protectionists. One wife of a farmer Mrs. Fernall 
would please you. She is a remarkable woman. They 
now have 150 cows and make eight cheeses a day. She 
has been married 36 years ; and milked herself from the 
age of fourteen to last year. Her ' maids ' ' milk- 
maids ' were dancing. She was surprised that they 
could do it so well. Her one ambition is to present a 
cheese to the King. She is running the politics of the 
district and asks me to get ' The Duke ' to take a more 
active part. For her part, she denounces the ' Land 
Tenure ' Bill and all Radicalism, saying * I want nothing 
better than to be the Duke's Tenant.' She does not say 
this to me ; but to the local Radical agitator. 

Last week I went to our c Eaton,' Yeomanry, Squadron 
dance, as C.O. of the squadron. Eighty-two men in my 
squadron rode their own, or their father's horses at the 
last training. The wife of one N.C.O. Mrs. Moore ne'e 
Partington has three brothers, a husband, and brother- 
in-law in the Yeomanry. She, again, is a most capable 
person and good company runs the farm, backs the 
Yeomanry, is herself and at her ease. Now, she went 
to London for the first, and only time, in her life last year. 
But she is somebody. Most of the people in London are 
not anybody. All these country people detest and fear 
the present Government. 

This interests me in connexion with the general elections. 

Our people will rally to a traditional, organic England 
and ' play-up * for Empire if we will lead them. 

But we must be Conservatives who love the past and 
Imperialists who believe in the Future. Given that we 
can enroll battalions. 

The Midland Conservative Club have asked me to be 
President for a second year, and I have accepted. lam 
a Vice-President of the National Union in Kent and, by 
special request, here in Cheshire and, to-day, I got Bendor 
to accept the office of President. 

The vice of the moment consists in natural leaders 
being swayed by the London Press. ' The only way ' is 
for each man who can lead to ' hoe his own' row ' in 


his own district. If we do that we shall win the next 

Perf has written me two letters since he was trapped 
like a mouse the moment he shewed his nose in barracks 
after the gazette. * Billy Lambton ' his C.O. said, 4 Have 
you done any drills ? ' Perf answered * No.' Billy replied, 
' Then you had better begin at two o'clock to-day.' So 
there he is touching his toes from 8 to 5 per diem. 

He is taking two horses to Windsor for the Drag and I 
think I shall follow his example, and get hot twice a week. 

With Lettice, Guy and self in Belgrave Square and 
Perf at Chelsea Barracks, we shall be quite a colony in 

The frost has been a cruel disappointment. But, 
having got very fit by hunting four or five days a week I 
am keeping fit by walking to Eaton and back and playing 
hockey on the ice and then squash rackets, by electric light. 

I hope, in consequence, to take a burly view of the 
King's speech and to express it bluntly to his ' faithful 
Commons.' Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To Mrs. Drew 

February 8th, 1907. 

I AM crestfallen and really distressed about the article. 
But also I am burning with curiosity to read it. What 
does it contain which has scared Wilfrid Ward ? He 
evidently thinks the patrons of the ' Dublin Review ' 
would be deeply exercised by its contents. 

Percy has joined the Coldstream Guards this is to 
realise middle age with a vengeance ; but I make no 
complaint. I like middle age, or, rather, enjoy many 
quiet things that I used to neglect, and can on occasion 
enjoy all the unquiet things also. 

I am off to London for the Session, and staying a 
month with my father at 44 B. Square. 



To his Mother 

St. Valentine's Day, 1907. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I opened one of your bills by 
mistake. I am in your dear room and with old Guy 
where I was last year. 

Perf is very busy and happy over his soldiering and has 
lost his voice shouting at drill. 

I dined with Pamela last night in her house of pictures 
and the day before I got a glimpse of Lettie in silver and 
emeralds after opening of Parliament. She was dressed 
to match her new house, which is all white and green. 

I am only sending this as a line of great love, on the 
pretext of the bill I opened. Most loving son, 



To Wilfrid Ward 

February 21st, 1907- 

MY DEAR WILFRID, I am glad you met brother Guy. 
We are curiously complementary persons. He has more 
obstinacy and less imagination than I have. But we 
have much in common and, as far as nearness in affection 
can go are regular * Corsican brothers.' We slept in 
the same room for fifteen out of the first seventeen years 
of my life. Since then ' the seas between us braid ha' 
roared.' But I have, more than once, felt his adventures 

I am grinding at the Army question. My mind is a 
chaos of Regulars and Auxiliaries ; Effectives and non- 
Effectives. But I hope to be terser than Haldane. 
Yours ever, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 



To his Mother 

Lady Day, 1907. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, We have just celebrated S. S.'s 
birthday. Guy, Minnie and Lily Zetland dined. I 
4 bunched ' S. S. and gave her a new wonderful re- 
production of Botticelli's Madonna. My ' Bunch ' also 
was of roses and lilies. And now, for plans. 

I am coming to Clouds on Wednesday or Thursday and 
Perf comes on Saturday. We can sleep in one room or 
do any amount of ' campaigning ' if you are full up. 

Our great intent is to hunt on Saturday somewhere. 

I am bringing three horses on Wednesday. But I do 
not expect a real holiday. I have to ' open the ball ' on 
Haldane's scheme on the 9th. That means work, and I 
suppose that Pupsy 1 will put me through my paces into 
the bargain. 

4 Quand mdme ' it will be glorious. Loving son, 



To Wilfrid Ward 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

Midnight, April 9th-10th, 1907. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, You were elected unanimously to 
The Club. 2 I was much concerned over your candida- 
ture. As Salisbury wrote to me saying he could not be 
there and Hugh Cecil who ought to have been in the 
Chair. But that was in your letter. I was much over- 
driven, as I had to open the Debate and bound by custom 
to remain on the bench. However, I decided that Friend- 

1 Lord Wemyss. 

2 A dining club founded by Johnson, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and Burke in 
1764. Its members included besides those mentioned in the letter Sir Edward 
Grey, Lord Haldane, Mr. Arthur Balfour, Sir George Murray, Mr. Alfred 
Lyttelton, Mr. Spencer Lyttelton and Lord Rosebery. 


ship belongs to Eternity and Army Debates to Time. 
So I broke out, and went to * The Club,' made the 7th 
necessary to a quorum and proposed you in the absence 
of your proposer. 

All this is a reasoned apology for not having answered 
your letter. I proceeded ' par voie de faits ' ; for a 
friend my bite is better than my bark. Yours ever, 


P.S. The seven present were Arthur Elliot, Lord 
Kelvin, Asquith, Lord Welby, Spencer Walpole, Sir 
Alfred Lyall and self. 


To his Sister, Pamela 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
28th April 1907. 

DARLING PAM, Your letter gave me a thrill of pleasure. 
I am glad that the book x is going to be, and more glad 
that you are making it. I got your letter just as I was 
off to make a speech, and I envied your more permanent 
offspring and the serene atmosphere of its creation. 

The best books, of all kinds, are not only each a part 
of its author. The author, in making each, must play his 
usual part. Shakespeare puts parts of himself in every 
one of his characters. And, as he lived by the stage, he 
writes Plays. You are a mother with delightful children 
and interesting pictures, so you tell the child which is in 
every man and woman about those pictures. 

The really good books, big or little, are written by only 
two classes of authors. In the first, is the author with 
many parts of humanity in him, who, also, plays many 
parts in the world. In the second, is the author with one 
part principally developed in him or her, who keeps, in 
the main, to one role in the play of life. In the first are 
Chaucer and Shakespeare ; in the second Borrow and 
Jane Austen. The literary authors, however great, do 

1 'The Children and the Pictures.' 


not make such good books. They only approach that 
when, like Ben Jonson, Dryden, or Dr. Johnson, their 
parts are books and their world a library. You have a 
fair chance of writing a little classic. The thing is to 
write a classic, however little, rather than a book, however 

Send for Walter Raleigh's * Shakespeare.' What a 
comfort that man is ! What a discomfort, in the long 
run, is a Gosse or, even, an Andrew Lang. 

The Lyric Poet is a bird apart like the thrush. He 
just sings all that matters to all who live in a peculiar trill 
which no one can imitate. If others are sparrows and feel 
the Spring, let them say ' cheep, cheep ' and be done with 
it. I like that. It is good as far as it goes. But they 
try to go further and make ocarinas. I once heard 
nn ocarina played in an Earl's Court Exhibition, and 
recognized the ' Spectator's ' minor poet ; just a bit of 
mechanicism in a shabby arcade. But I must stop here. 
Your loving brother, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

Wednesday, July Qth, 1907. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I feel sure I can dine Thursday 
.and shall love to. At 3 o'clock on Thursday, to-morrow 
afternoon, we have a little ceremony in the crypt of St. 
Paul's, i.e. handing over Rodin's monument of dear 
Henley formally to the charge of the Chapter. 

I shall have to make a little speech what the French 
xjall ' eloge.' 

Lord Plymouth unveils the bust. Do come. All 
friends and admirers were invited by Plymouth's letter 
to the Press and by notice in the Press. You would enjoy 
it down there with the tombs of Nelson and Wellington, 
Poets and Musicians. Your most loving son, 



To Mrs. Drew 

July Uth, 1907. 

Reading Rodin in St. Paul's made my ' knees chatter/ 
as Pamela says. But I wanted to honour my dead friend, 
and succeeded, more or less, in being monumental without 
being sepulchral. 

' The promise of wistful hills ' is Henley. It is beautiful, 
' Promise ' to Henley was never more than expectancy 
based on the goodness of the known past and unlimited 
possibility of the unknown future. He saw that the 
naked realities of life were good : Why, then, he asked r 
should not the vague, iridescent horizon enfold something 
better to be perhaps unfolded ? 


To Philip Hanson 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

MY DEAR P. H., I know you are abroad. But I indite 
these few lines on the ' Preference ' Vote of Censure. 

I have read * Bowley .' He merely stimulates my curiosity, 

But, even if it were satiated after 30 years of investiga- 
tion, I believe that capable men would still take sides 
instinctively either for (1) a Cosmopolitan view, supported 
by the idea of setting an example, or for (2) the Imperial 
view, supported by the idea of fighting for more freedom 
in all protected markets, and getting it in our growing 
Colonial markets. 

To descend abruptly to the particular. The best 
speech was a ' maiden ' by Simon, a Fellow of All Souls 
and barrister, on the Government, Free Trade, side. It 
was nearly perfect ; indeed, perfect, but for a faint touch 
of the ' superior person.' 

Yet he and this is interesting, perhaps significant 
founded his best attack on preference (as you did in 1903) 
on the incompatibility of varying colonial products, sup* 


ported by ridicule of any system which taxed food, with 
a preference, and which did not tax raw material. Here 
he was excellent. He took the Australian sheep ' meat 
inside and wool outside.' 

But his excellence as ever suggested retort. 

It suggested to me a reply, confined to the concrete, 
as per invitation, and limited to a contrast of Sheep and 
Sugar : as thus 

(i) Sheep and sugar are alike in being, each of them, 
both food and raw material for industry. 

(ii) In the case of sheep the two can be and are dis- 
criminated. The sheep is meat inside and wool outside. 
But the two come as a rule in separate ships, to wit, 
as ' Canterbury lamb ' and as wool. 

Sugar, per contra, though soluble, cannot be melted 
into food and raw material. 

(iii) Both contravene the postulate that it is inexpedient 
for us to tax food and raw material. 

(iv) But in the case of sheep you can if you choose 
only tax food ; in the case of sugar, if you tax at all, you 
must tax both. 

(v) In the case of sheep taxing only food you can 
by ' preference ' do a deal with a growing market. 

In the case of sugar taxing both food and raw material 
you can only do a deal with Jamaica and are debarred 
from that by the Convention. 

So we get back to the fundamental dichotomy Imperi- 
alism or Cosmopolitanism, with this further observation, 
that a tax on meat, with preference, falls in with the first, 
and that a tax on sugar does not fall in with the second, 
and is plainly a bad tax from any point of view. Yours 
ever, G. W. 


To Lieul.-Col. Stephen Frewen 

July 2CKA, 1907. 

DEAR OLD STE., I am a real villain in having left you 
for so long without a letter, and specially one after your 


illness. But you are often in my thoughts and Lady 
Grosvenor's, and we are often talking of you and your wife. 

I pass Tarvin Sands, hunting and with Yeomanry, and 
never without a regret for old happy days. The old days 
were happier both for good soldiers and respectable 

I put in my share of the work on Haldane's Bill. But 
we are a feeble folk like the conies in the Bible. And 
this Government is, at once, the most tyrannical and the 
most incompetent ever known. 

My chief quarrel with them (may be compared to yours 
with the present W. O.) is that they never keep a pledge. 
The old idea that an honourable man ought to stick by 
what he says and fulfils his promises, is openly abandoned. 
This knocks the bottom out of Political and Military life. 
What is the use of obtaining pledges in Parliament or 
earning promises of employment in the Army, when both 
are given merely to delay and deceive ? 

I agree with what you say about the Army as a profes- 
sion. Men will work only on one out of three conditions : 
for (1) a market salary, or (2) prestige, or (3) a good time. 

But now the pay of an officer is contemptible by com- 
parison with the emoluments of any other walk in life. 
So far from prestige being accorded, there is no Under- 
secretary or penny-a-liner in the Press so obscure as not 
to feel at liberty to scold the officers of the British Army, 
day after day and year after year, as if they were mere 
encumbrances to the State. And, as for a good time ! 
a subaltern now has to do the combined work of a clerk, 
a navvy and an usher in a school. 

But, for all that, I am glad that your boy is joining. 
Percy joined the Coldstreams in February and is going 
strong. He was beaten only by a neck in the regimental 
Point-to-Point within three weeks of joining ; plays in 
their first Polo team out of three teams, and rows for them 
in their ' Eight.' As they have night marches most nights, 
he never gets to bed. 

I must go and look at your battle-picture. But you 


must not think of giving me a ' proof.' I will get one and 
give it to Guy. 

I look forward to riding with you again and forgetting 
in the chase all the cares and disappointments of middle 
age. So good luck and my love to you. Yours ever, 



To G. K. Chesterton 

Aug. 2nd, 1907. 

MY DEAR MR. CHESTERTON, This is not a mere invita- 
tion to dine here of all places and at short notice, viz : 
on Monday next, August 5th, at 8 p.m. 

I must adopt the historic method to persuade you. 

Last year, when feeling ran high during the last gasps 
of the Education Bill, Bob Cecil gave a dinner here 
to Masterman, Jack Seely, Butcher, Rawlinson and 

We all remember it. And now I have asked the other 
five. All have said ' yes,' and all six of us want you, if 
you will, to come too and make the mystic seven. 

I hope you can manage this. Yours very sincerely, 



To Philip Hanson 


The Twelfth, of Pious and Immortal Memory, 1907- 

MY DEAR P. H., You are, maybe, hi France ; but no 
matter. This is to thank you for the Bowley book of 
figures. It shall be guarded and returned. I spent all 
to-day at Dover, 4 assisting ' at the first County Match 
played there Kent v. Gloucester on the Athletic Ground. 
It is a huge success nearly 8,000 people yesterday and, 
they say, more to-day. So here we have another vindica- 


tion of ideas. The original promoters of the ground lost 
their 10,000. The Corporation bought for 5,000, and 
have rated the people for upkeep. The people murmured. 
Now the people are happy. Everybody would have been 
happy long ago but for the fact always to be remembered 
that it takes 10 years to get an idea into the head of 

Incidentally I saw Jessop knock up 74 in no time an 
exhilarating experience. 

In 10 years my Revenue argument will begin to attract 
attention as a paradox. By this easy transition I arrive 
at the Manchester speech. 

It is fairly well reported in the ' Guardian,' and got a 
leader in that intelligent though hostile publication ; 
but, Lord ! how flat it fell ! The conditions were of the 
kind that almost kill me : a long journey, a reception by 
uncongenial persons who drank whiskey at the Club, a 
show drive funereal for three miles up an East wind 
to Bellevue, a late start, a large audience 4,000 they 
said, almost entirely composed of many women and a 
few boys in a large auditorium that would easily hold 
10,000. It was intolerable. So I spoke badly. But all 
the bones of a good speech are in the ' Guardian ' report, 
and they are being disinterred from day to day in news- 
papers and by Alfred Lyttelton, who thought it novel 
and excellent and proposes to reproduce parts in his Vote 
of Censure. But to me it was a strain. 

Per contra the Henley memorial in the crypt of St. 
Paul's was the best I have yet done. I was horribly 
frightened ; had to read a long MS. in French by Rodin, 
and then launch out on my own. Yet I ' did it on my 
head,' giving my whole philosophy of Life and Death, 
Art and Nature, War and Peace, France and England, 
within the compass of 15 minutes in a style that was 
monumental without being sepulchral and this in a 
crypt ! Do look me up on your way back ! Yours ever, 

G. W. 



To his Sister, Pamela 

SAIGHTON, 20th August 1907. 

DARLING PAMELA, I feel inclined to write to you 
to-night, but not of the ' Polo Week ' at Eaton. That 
is past, and has already taken its place a small one 
in the perspective of Time. Percy played well. I hurt 
my leg, not even at polo, but at racquets. And that is 
all ; and enough, of such pleasant, and unpleasant, trifles. 

Hugh Cecil stayed on from Saturday till to-day and 
Mary Drew joined us. We read and talked gossip com- 
parative ethics as the late Lord Salisbury had it. And 
we cultivated the Muses. Now they are all gone ; I 
mean the guests, not the Nine. Though Terpsichore left 
last Wednesday, when I hurt my leg, so far as I was con- 
cerned, and there are only eight little muses for me. 

I bought a book the other day, of XVIIIth Century 
children's stories ; partly because you, too, emulate de 
Genlis ; partly because some of them are called ' Stories 
of the Wyndham family.' It amuses me. The Preface 
begins ' To publish a work with the title borne by this, 
may, perhaps, by some, be thought presumption, when 
it is recollected that Madame de Genlis has already occupied 
the Dramatic line, in a manner to be imitated by few, and, 
probably, to be equalled by none.' Observe her commas ! 
But the writer is modest and explains : * This short 
explanation the Authoress thought due to herself, lest 
she should be suspected of endeavouring to imitate one 
of the first Authors the Age has produced.' Her Dialogues, 
she pleads, should ' be considered as an additional barrier 
against the encroachment of error, and an additional 
support to the efforts of Virtue.' With a nice discrimina- 
tion ' Virtue ' has a capital, ' error,' only a little ' e.' In 
conclusion, she trusts them, ' not without hope, to the 
<3andour of a generous Public, who at least will give her 
credit for purity of intention.' The name of ' Wyndham ' 
is taken I hope not in vain, but still taken. And Mr. 


Wyndham plays a subsidiary part in the Dialogues of his 
offspring. ' Mr. Wyndham ' as the talented authoress 
puts it, ' will appear in a more amiable light as their father 
than any other.' This amuses me, and there are two 
pleasant engravings. 

But, my Dear ! how different it all is from ourselves ; 
and first I maintain because it was written in a stirring 
Age, and we live in dull days : ' Age,' with a capital ' A, r 
and ' days ' with a little ' d.' They hardly deserve a Big, 
Big * D.' Tho' they are very annoying. 

What with my lame leg, and the weather, and a middle- 
aged walk round the garden, and the receipt of a volume 
of verse called c The Robin's Song,' and much else of the 
like order ; I wrote a protest last night. It represents a 
disillusion which I ever detected in August, and have 
lately found confirmed by a Cheshire August and Middle 
Age. It gives a mood, but, for all that, an aspect of 
truth, and thus it goes : 

In August fields there are no wild-flowers, 
The robin sings without a fellow. 

The trees are dark and their leaves tired. 
All the meadows are shorn and yellow, 

The hope of the year has expired. 
The robin sings alone for hours. 

Nothing is young, and nothing mellow. 


Cart wheels creak and robins sing. 

But no thrush flutes of before and after. 

Rust in the wood and dust on the road 
Choke defiance and love and laughter. 

Nothing is won. All has been shewed. 
There are no mysteries of the Spring, 
And lofts are bare from floor to rafter. 

Your devoted brother, GEORGE. 



To his Sister, Pamela 

ST. PAGAN'S, 26th August 1907. 

DARLING PAM, 1 Your letter amused me very much. 
It is lucky I can crawl out of the discomfiture of your 
criticism on my creaking cart-wheels. Permit a brief 
retort. I said nothing of the corn-fields, if for no other 
reason, then because there are none round Saighton, * the 
meadows are shorn and yellow ' observe ! Summer does 
say * it is finished ' with a sense of satiety and rest. I 
object to both ; particularly when my leg is lame and I 
am afraid of getting fat. 

I will come to you if I can, perhaps third week of 
September, perhaps on my way to Perth in October, for 
a speech on the 18th. 

Punctuation is the devil. I can do it in my own way. 
A comma means that something is omitted which would 
be included in a legal document. Except in a legal docu- 
ment we never rehearse all that must be said in order to 
avoid any ambiguity of interpretation. They ought not 
to be used to indicate rhythm. 

I am pickling away at my address on Sir Walter Scott. 
I have six or seven things to say about him. As an address 
is delivered each year it is unnecessary to repeat the 
obvious. I shall avoid the ' good Sir Walter ' business. 
Except, perhaps, just to note that his works gain a re- 
flected charm from our knowledge of a personality which 
he was at such pains to dissemble. I am very vague at 
present. Probably the essay will form round two aspects. 
I. His Art. He was a romantic. That is how he saw 
things and said them this, with all pertinent comparisons 
and contrasts, etc. The romantic revival in England and 
France. Here I am on my native heath. 

1 On receipt of the previous letter his sister had chaffingly written the follow- 
ing criticism : ' Why did the cart wheels creak when the carts were so empty ? 
The poet tells us "The lofts were bare from floor to rafter." What had happened 
to the harvest?" 


II. His meaning. What was it that he saw and said ? 
So I lead up to the last motif, which is Reconciliation 
reconciliation of Highlands to Lowlands ; of England to 
Scotland ; of Jacobite to Hanoverian ; of servant to 
master ; of the present with the past. 

I sketched a conclusion on those lines which may do. 
In any case, it is well to have a goal to work up to. In 
getting there one may diverge to another and a better 
goal. But here is my sketch of the end : 

By these reconciliations, by searching for recondite 
chords of human experience, he feels his way towards the 
supreme reconciliation of man to man's fate. His 
' diapason closes full on man.' This is the work, often 
unconscious, of great masters. But for their magical 
counterpoint the present would be all to each of us ; ' an 
apex,' Pater calls it, ' between two hypothetical eternities ' ; 
a masked note, so poignant that it pierces. All this has 
been said, better than I can say it. Only the other day a 
friend pointed out to me this phrase in Lander's ' Imaginary 
Conversations,' * the present, like a note in music, is 
nothing but as it appertains to what is past and what is 
to come.' But how few among writers, Classic, Romantic, 
or Realist, have known this, and shewn it. 

Walter Scott is of those few. He extracted secrets 
from oblivion so to endow what is with the charm of what 
has been, and to put us in case to expect the future. He 
strikes a full chord upon the keys of Time. It is only the 
greatest musicians of humanity who thus enrich the 
present by fealty to the past and make it a herald of 
eternal harmonies. 


To his Mother 

CARDIFF, August 28th, 1907. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I love your birthday letter. 
We had a wonderful expedition to Caldey Island. Some 
of Sibell's friends have started or re-started there a 


monastery of Benedictines ; but Anglican, not Roman. 
I had read of it in one of her books, and found it was off 
Tenby, between ninety and one hundred miles from here. 

So she, Gay 1 and I set out at a quarter to nine yesterday 
in the motor. S. S. had written to the Abbot and the 
Island was reported to be at no great distance from the 
shore. We ate some sandwiches in a field by a little 
brook between wooded cliffs between Coermarten and 
Tenby and reached Tenby at a quarter to 2 o'clock. The 
Abbot owns the Island and a little steamer which we were 
told was to start at 2 o'clock. We did not get under way 
till 2.30. The day was divine, sea sky-blue and many 
medusae pulsating past us. Tenby is like an Italian town 
and the scenery is lovely. 

As we drew near the Island we saw the Abbot in his 
white and black habit waiting to receive us on the sand. 
The tide was out. We had to get into a little row-boat 
and be carried out of that by two sailors apiece. 

Then we made the ' tour de proprietaire ' with the Abbot 
who was delightful. There were monks there for over a 
1000 years down to the dissolution of the monasteries 
first Celtic and then Benedictines. 

The beach is grown over with long dried grass as in 
our Costa picture. Sea-thistles were lovely, beyond are 
low cliffs, pine-woods, and sycamores growing thick up 
a chine to the old monastery. 

On one cliff is a 9th century Watch Tower against 
pirates and further on a 7th century church. The remains 
of the old monastery are now surrounded by farm build- 
ings but there are good 13th century bits and a carved 
stone of the 6th century, with inscriptions in Latin and 
Celtic, asking all to pray for the soul of somebody ' the 
son of the otter ' ! We did not disembark till 5.30, and 
only got back, after wonderful sunset and moon-rise at 
a quarter to ten o'clock. 

I want to come and ride at Clouds very much. But I 
fear it must be a little later. I have a vague idea that 
you have said you will be away the third week in September 

1 Lady Plymouth. 


Anyhow I am away the week beginning the 23rd September. 
We shall stay at Saighton till S. S. goes to Leffy on 15th 
September. So I might come on the 15th or on the 28th 
for a day or two and bring you on with me to Saighton. 
Or both ! Phyllis 1 and Gay would perhaps like to ride, 
but they could only come 28th or 30th, just for two days. 
Anyhow, you and Papa come to us early in October and 
I would not shorten your visit. We go North on the 
17th of October. 

All love to you darling. Your most loving son, 


To Mrs. Drew 

August 28th, 1907. 

. . . We went with motor all the way, more than 90 
miles, to Tenby, and then took the Abbot's little steamer 
and set out to sea for Caldey Island, to visit the Benedictine 
Monastery that is being revived there by Dom Aelred 
Carlyle. It was a divine day, the sea was sky-blue and 
the scenery wonderful. As we approached the shore, we 
could see the Abbot in his black and white habit awaiting 
us on the sand. The tide was out, and we were carried 
ashore by two sailors. The Abbot was perfect, and all 
he is doing is right. He first showed us the Guest House, 
built of their own stone, for there are rocky cliffs on the 
Island. Near it, on a knoll, is a 9th Century tower built 
by the old Monks to look out for pirates. Further back 
is a 7th Century Church. The Monks were there for more 
than 1000 years, first Celtic and then Benedictine. The 
Church is two cubes of stone with a Celtic arch between. 
Then we saw two of the Brothers at work in a long row 
of white cottages, red -roofed, which are to be let to mothers, 
relations and friends of the Monks. The new Monastery 
is to be built on a height near a pinewood. We had tea 
with the Abbot's Mother and went into the old Monastery 
buildings. The Chapel is 13th Century. It was excavated 
out of the ground and there is the old 13th Century Gate- 

1 Lady Phyllis Clive. 


house and Dovecot. There they dug up a strange stone 
inscribed in Latin and Celtic of the 6th Century, asking 
our prayers for the soul of ' the son of the otter.' The 
old fish-ponds are there and the carp are in them still. 

The Abbot walked us down to embark, looking exactly 
like a 14th Century picture with his tonsured head against 
the Mantegna rocks. He blessed us as we took leave ; 
after a brilliant sunset and magical moonrise, we got back 
at 9.45. The simplicity of the new buildings and the 
mystery of the old are beyond admiration. It is a perfect 


To his Mother 

CHESTER, September Qth, 1907. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I hope ' no more visits ' does 
not mean that you and Papa are not coming here in 
October. I shall come to you about the 27th of September 
for some rides anyhow. And perhaps only perhaps 
for a day or two next week. But I fear not. I am hard 
at it on Walter Scott and arranging book, and papers for 
political campaign. It will be a bit of a miracle if I can 
get away and serenity during the Autumn will depend on 
having finished Walter Scott and laid a solid foundation 
for speeches in the course of the next fortnight. It is the 
only clear tune I shall have till the 13th of December. I 
want to think,- and read, and arrange my subjects. I am 
very happy over Sir Walter. It does one good to live in 
his company, as I am. I have read again the four volumes, 
of his Journal two, and of letters two, and skimmed 
Lockhart and plunged into the period in England, Scot- 
land and France. The little address will be a ' ridiculous 
mouse ' from such a ' mountain.' But the task has given 
excuse and energy for reading all my old loves, Shelley, 
Keats, right through bits of Byron, and he is much 
better as one gets older ; early Victor Hugo and his pre- 
faces which are excellent as e.g. ' Revolutions change 


everything except the human heart.' That knocks out 
the socialists except as barren rascals and disturbers of 
humanity ; mere mules ' without pride of ancestry or 
hope of posterity.' I am also at Jane Austen and Peacock 
and Raleigh's ' History of the English Novel ' and Nassau 
Senior's criticisms in the ' Quarterly ' on the ' Waverleys ' 
as they appeared. ' How it strikes a Contemporary ' 
may give me a good start. I think I shall bring in Papa's 
governess being run away with into the laurels at Petworth 
whilst reading ' Marmion ' to illustrate the vogue. 

Jack Mackail sent me an excellent lecture of his on 
William Morris and his circle ' and that goes in too.' ' Put 
it in the bag ' as we used to say with the clown in the 
Pantomime, Robinson Crusoe. Walter Scott worked in 
that way, sticking all that came along into his work. 

But what giants they were ; and how degenerate are 
these days ! It is wonderful to think of 1814, Napoleon's 
last great campaign ' Waverley ' an anonymous novel 
in a sea-side book box Byron blazing. Even the prices 
make one jump, 3000 for ' Lady of the Lake ' and 3000 
for 'Lalla Rookh,' and 8000 for 'Woodstock,' and 
12,000 for the ' Life of Napoleon.' 

I was offered 1000 the day before yesterday to begin 
a short History of England. But I am married to that 
cursed shrew Politics, and must say ' No.' I should be 
more ' healthy, wealthy and wise ' if she died and I married 
her sister, Literature, in spite of the Bishops. 

And consider the marvellous year 1820 two novels 
from Scott ; some of the best Shelley all the best of 
Keats some Coleridge, third Canto of ' Childe Harold,' 
and now, Bernard Shaw ! Your most loving son, 


P.S. My reference to MackaiPs lecture is too brief to 
be intelligible. I mean something like this Walter Scott 
the greatest force in the Romantic Movement ; that 
Movement the mother of the Oxford Movement ; and that 
Movement at least the aunt of the Morris' Movement. 
And there are now no movements : only stagnation. We 


live in a phase of indolent mediocrity. I remember the 
seventies and eighties and declare that this is Autumn ; 
but an Autumn of more mist than usual and no mellow 
fruit. This is a parable. There is so much mist, so little 
fruit, such a portentous quietness, that some people think 
that this is no usual Autumn at all, but the dull blight 
that broods before an earthquake. 

For my part as an optimist I hope it is merely 
Autumn, with rottenness dripping through fogs, only 
more so. I am still disposed to sing, ' If Winter come, 
can Spring be far behind.' But we want a ' West Wind ' 


To Philip Hanson 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

MY DEAR P. H., I wish it had been possible for you 
to look in at Saighton during these last glorious days of 
sunshine. Lady Grosvenor went to Lady Beauchamp 
yesterday to welcome another grandchild, and I came 
here to have my leg electrified. To-morrow I go to 
Derwent, then Hornby Castle, then Clouds, on Thursday 
or Friday next week. I am writing after a day of happy 
solitude in a London, neither swept nor garnished, but 
empty and exhilarated by serene September sunlight. I 
feel brisk. And the feeling, long lost, chimes with the 
outward aspect and reminds me of early days at the W. O. 
in '98 and '99. So my thoughts turn to you. 

I have ' broken the back ' of my address on ' Walter 
Scott ' : written the first half and the end and sketched 
the rest of the second half. This has given me stimulus 
and excuse for wide reading over 1798-1832. What a 
time ! Napoleon, Wellington, Pitt, Canning, Goethe, 
Victor Hugo, Byron, Scott and meanwhile such quin- 
tennial flowers as Keats and Shelley blossoming unseen. 

And here we are, rather ' now ' we are, still unravelling 
the meaning of the so-called Romantic Revival. I see 
Politics by the light of Art. 


If I do see anything, I see that they the ' makers ' in 
Politics or Poetry were puzzled by a mistaken, and false, 
antagonism between the ' Classic ' and ' Romantic.' I 
see that the ' Classic ' is not an original, or primary, mode 
of the mind's energy to express the need of the heart. 
There are two original modes, the Romantic and Realist, 
based respectively on imagination and observation. Either, 
or both, become ' Classic.' But that is a secondary mode 
of either. You choose and polish your imagination or 
your observation, until the element of Wonder disappears 
from your image of life. The * Classic ' becomes a statue 
at Chatsworth : the Realistic a clerk at his desk. 

Then the passion for Wonder revives in man the 
wonderer. And the little try to gratify it for pence. The 
school of Horror substitutes a Hobgoblin for the statue. 
The school of Scandal substitutes a Profligate for the 
clerk. Each tries to tickle or shock. 

Scott's huge performance was to hark back to first 
springs. He was lucky, like all conquerors. He happened 
to have read and liked the old Romances and imitated 
them. He happened to have read and understood the 
new Realists and analysed Defoe. 

Then and that is the supreme thing which he did he 
merged the two in Waverley, anno 1814. He canalised 
the welter of cross-currents and drew off the power in a 
stream of literary energy which turned the mills of the 
Oxford Movement, the Young England Movement, and, 
last of all, the Morris-Rossetti Movement. Keats and 
Shelley were beautiful flowers that grew by the brim : 
Hugo and Byron, tumultuous currents, deep or surface, 
that never got out of the whirlpool. He did in Literature 
what Disraeli meant to do in Politics. 

The literary stream is now almost lost in sand. The 
Political stream never was canalised. Napoleon nearly 
did it for the Continent. Here, in our Island, Canning 
died ; Wellington became ' The Duke ' ; and Disraeli 
... I can't finish this sentence because I don't know 
what exactly happened to him. He would have rounded 
it off with an epigram. But there is nothing epigram- 


matic about a man who starts with observing British 
institutions : the Peerage, the Church, the Gentry, 
Labour ; and imagining World History in terms of Oriental 
Empire ; who despises the first and postpones the second ; 
and ends by becoming the senile slave of both. 

It is odd that * Joe,' with acute observation in a succes- 
sion of limited fields, and impulse as a ' substitute for 
imagination,' still went so much nearer combining observa- 
tion and imagination than Balfour or even Gladstone 
that many have a soft place in their heart for him as 
they had for Randolph. 

But that the coupling of imagination and observa- 
tion, those two engines of the mind to minister to the 
needs of the heart, is the job of our political giant ; when 
we get him. 

Meanwhile, it is meanwhile : a long while and very 

If only poets would sing, meanwhile ! But they never 
do, any more than birds, in a mist which optimists, like 
myself, declare to be mere mists of Autumn, heralds of 
Winter's lean alacrity, and Spring's exuberance : and 
pessimists declare to be abnormal vapours brooding before 
an earthquake. ' The sedge is withered from the lake 
and no birds sing.' 

Indeed, a writer in the ' Outlook ' maintains that birds- 
poets will never sing again. He is chronicling the death 
of Sully-Prudhomme as the last of those birds. This, 
says he, is a * practical ' age. But what ' in the name of 
glory ' do we practise ? Yours ever, 



To his Mother 

BEDALE, YORKSHIRE, September 2Srd, 1907. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, S. S. sent me your letter. I 
a,m glad that you are not anxious about Robert 1 and 

1 His nephew, Robert Adeane. 


delighted to hear that Papa is much better. Give him 
my love. I hope to get to you before Saturday and will 
let you know. I am sending two horses to Clouds on 
Thursday or Wednesday. Perf 's leave begins on October 
1st, so I want him to come to Clouds and ride about with 
me. I hope that Gay and Phyllis will come to ride on 
Monday. I am hard at old Sir Walter Scott and at 
politics with a small travelling library. There are 
interesting books here, specially a beautiful illuminated 
4 Roman de la Rose ' MS. of about 1450, bound in old 
cramoisie velvet with letters pounced alternately on the 
outside covers. When you find out how to read them, 
they spell this : see below, 

A O R M U R 


T E I D S R 


I E D R T O 


that is Amour Regret Desir Espoir et Doubte. 

I hope to be with you Friday, at latest ; perhaps 
Thursday. Your most loving son, GEORGE. 


To Charles Whibley 

EAST KNOYLE, 4th October 1907- 

MY DEAR CHARLES, I have corrected a few ' literals ' in 
the proof herewith returned. It omits a passage which I 
cannot recall. But it is an excellent report. 

I am well. I wish that we met more often. This 
autumn I ' addict ' myself to Politics, beginning at Perth, 
on October 18th, and continuing at Hexham, Birmingham, 
Dover, Manchester, York and Leicester, not to mention 
an address on Walter Scott at Edinburgh. 

I do this from a sense of duty. The Gentry of England 
must not abdicate. But I have little belief in the use- 
fulness of platform discourse. Nothing will serve but 


terror of Germany and a further collapse in Funds at the 
prospect of Socialism. 

Something might be done with the pen. A ' tongue 
with a tang ' will not convince those who like to be 
scratched where'er they do itch. 

Still I must ' tang ' away, on the off-chance that the 
English do not wish to be relieved of all responsibility 
and liberty. Yours ever, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 


To Mrs. Drew 

CLOUDS, October 6th, 1907. 

. . . The gloom of impending speeches begins to descend 
on my heart. I mean political speeches I like the 
others. But political speeches, and in Scotland, is almost 
more than I can bear. It is no consolation that 
everybody on all sides Government, Opposition, Irish, 
Noncons., Labour, Protectionists, Free Traders, Individu- 
alists, Socialists, Churchmen, Temperance Advocates, 
Brewers, Soldiers, Sailors, Railway Employees, Directors, 
Bankers, ' Uncle Tom Codley and all and all ' seem 
equally disgusted with things in general, except C. B. 1 
He ' sits on a stile and continues to smile ' . 


To Wilfrid Ward 

36 PARK LANE, W., 

October 10th, 1907. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, If I do not answer your letter 
now I doubt doing so for many days. I have a very 
heavy political programme before me which will tax my 
time and vitality. 

So I give you an ' Ave Caesar ' : not that I expect to 
die in the arena but that I am certain to be swallowed by 
its dust, for many days. 

I took your letter with me to Dover yesterday and am 

1 Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman. 


off north to-morrow. May I say that it needed careful 
deciphering ? What has become of your type-writer ? 

Though too absorbed to exchange written signals of 
Amity, I have followed the Encyclical with a personal, 
almost poignant, interest in its relation to yourself. I 
half guessed that all the arrows were not drawn at 
a venture. 

The ' crux ' is that every shot at you is a shot at New- 
man, and a shot at all that his apologetics and reconcilia- 
tions have meant, not only to you and yours, but to 
others, including myself. 

It is a bad business. Rather I ought to say a ' tragic ' 
business. And, having said that, I ought to add that 
Tragedy is the note of man's endeavour to comprehend 
the Divine ; just as it was the note of the Divine's con- 
descension to penetrate man's intelligence through his 

But you are more happy than any non-Catholic can be. 
For you are instructed in the necessity of waiting and 
drilled to support the waiting with patience. You are 
an Army with Generals who may be dilatory, or retro- 
grade. We are a mob, with individuals who may be 
brilliant and impulsive. Still, when your Army moves, 
it moves as a whole. And that is much ; perhaps all. 
For what else are the ' saecula sseculorum ' ? 

To alter my image : the complement of 4 securus 
judicat orbis terrarum,' is, that the mountain-tops are 
not to shout when tipped with the rosy light of Dawn. 
But, rather, to be still in hush'd altitudes till the darkest 
valleys are steeped by noon-day. 

To compare small things with great you cannot guess 
how difficult the 4 Protestantism ' of Britain makes 

Any man who sees starts on his -ism ; his Socialism 
or his Individualism, his Imperialism or his Cosmopoli- 
tanism. Each one who sees has his point of view and his 
focus of vision. 

But very few see. Still fewer see together. And the 
multitude, who don't see, are distracted by the dissen- 


sions of confident seers. The ' Genus irritabile vatum ' 
becomes more irritable ; the herd, more lethargic. 

Pisgah is the peak from which one man in isolation sees 
the promised land. The others wander and halt and 
retire and advance and grumble and rebel, in a crowd 
with all its drawbacks. But, in a crowd, they get to the 
Promised Land, at last. 

What an intolerable Apologue I have inflicted ! It 
only means that I should be content with a hush'd alti- 
tude at Dawn if I were sure of the sun at Noon. I should 
not fret over the creeping shadows. Yours ever, 



To Charles Boyd 

CHESTER, 14.x. 07. 

MY DEAR CHARLES, Many thanks for a most oppor- 
tune letter on Socialism, and for another opportune in all 
but my lack of leisure to reply. 

I agree that wild hitting is worse than useless. But I 
am sure that some hitting there must be. 

I am off to Perth for an orgy of speaking, and on to 
other places for the same. 

I mean, at the risk of boring my audience and failing 
completely, to tackle Socialism and all the -isms. My 
chain of thought is 

(1) Individualism the real Cobdenite theory to which 
Lord B. of B. 1 asks me to revert, 

Ignored the State. Pretended the world was, or 
would be cosmopolitan, which it is not and will not be. 

Asserted Capital would go anywhere, which is true 
too true ! and that Labour would follow, which is false. 

Under that system, even as it is, we have Cosmopolitan 
Capital and ' Stranded ' Labour. 

(2) Hence the demand for Socialism. 

But that is out of the frying-pan into the fire. 

1 Lord Balfour of Burleigh. 


Criticism of Socialism. 

But there is a great Problem. Penury over-popu- 
lation, depopulation, unemployment. To defeat false 
remedy and find a true one, we need a Policy based on 
Principle and supported by a united Party. 

(3) Is that to be found in Government ? 
Obviously not. 

(4) In Unionism ? yes. 

It grasps the reality of the ' State ' in all its bearings ; in 
its external relations and, not less, in its relations to the 
Individual, not as an individual in a cosmopolitan world, 
but as a citizen of the State. 

And for this must accept legitimate development of 
Unionist Principles, i.e. Tariff Reform. 

Them 's my sentiments. Yours ever, G. W. 


To Charles T. Gaily 

CHESTER, 23.x. 07. 

MY DEAR CHARLES, I have just seen a characteristic 
letter from the Hon ble P. 1 to Percy. It begins simply 
and suddenly as follows : 

4 MY DEAR PERF, There are 3 things which I hope you 
will not do : 

(1) Become a Roman Catholic ; (2) Marry an American 

(3) Go into the House of Commons.' 

Certainly there is much to be said against Politics. 

I hope you are not tiring yourself out over Industries. 
I got back here, with Sibell, this afternoon and walked 
back most of the way from Chester. After a fortnight's 
politics it was refreshing to see Percy come in from hunt- 
ing without a care. 

I hope to hunt next week till Friday, when I go to 
Edinburgh to talk about Walter Scott. Yours ever, 

G. W. 

1 His father. 



To his Sister, Pamela 

CHESTER, 30th October 1907. 

BELOVED PAMELO, I found your book x here Monday 
and have read it all. It is very good. The structure 
works out well. The conclusion is excellent, and must 
have been very difficult. What a lot you have put into 
it and what a lot of yourself. I think it is a little classic ; 
not that it is little in size ! I long to hear of the reviews. 
But I cannot review it in a letter to you. It is very alle- 
gorical to me ; full of deep sayings that find an echo. 
The lively bits of observation, the phrases clean-cut and 
polished, the quips and cranks are all needed to prevent 
the deep sayings from sounding too sad. But they are 
all there to amuse and soothe and delight. That is the 
office of Art to mankind, they are like the twisted ropes 
of flowering creepers used in some lands for bridges over 
rivers in chasms. In any true work of Art we need both 
the bridges and the chasms. And for all the grace of 
your garland-bridges I can hear the ' muffled tremulous 
roar.' Sometimes the chasms of hopes that fail, and love, 
and departing youth in all around, yawn below one. 
They cannot be bridged by Politics. Your devoted 
brother, GEORGE. 

To Charles T. Gatty 

CHESTER, 2.xi.07. 

MY DEAR CHARLES, A thousand thanks for the photo- 
graph of the Picture. I like it better than the Picture. 
Also as they say in Germany I hold you to the promise 
of a visit before, or after, Christmas. 

You will marvel at the excavations which Sibell and the 

1 'The Children and the Pictures,' published by William Heinemann. 


gardener have made at the entrance here on the left after 
coming in by the gate. It was a bank thickly crowded 
with shrubs. But and here is the point the wall which 
you remember on the top of the rock along the road from 
Chester outside, turns sharp to the left at the gate and 
runs along the top of the live rock inside. Well, we have 
excavated and disclosed both, leaving three bastions, 
revetted with stone, to retain the best of the flowering trees, 
as lilac, cornel and maple. This enhances the ' rock and 
fortress ' note of the ancient Abbots' country seat. 

The work reminded me of old days along the ' Abbot's 
Walk,' and lends force to my insistence on a visit from 
you. I understand the weariness of your enterprise. So 
am I weary to death of my politics. All the more reason 
is there for re-affirming old days and old ways. One 
phrase of Walter Scott struck me hard. He is writing 
to one of a band of early companions, and speaks of the 
others as * all now sequestered or squandered.' So it 
is. Some go to the Empire's extremities and others toil 
in tunnels at home. 

And now I must toil. ' Man goeth forth to his labour.' 
Yours ever, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 

P.S. Sibell is very well and we expect Perkins to-day 
on leave from his military duties. 


To Philip Hanson 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

MY DEAR P. H., I got your letter yesterday before 
starting for London. I return to Saighton to-night. I 
came up for the Railway * crisis.' But of that later on. 

The only good report fair report of the speech we 
discussed was in the t Aberdeen Journal ' of 19.x. 

Your letter interests and impresses me. It is difficult 
as Joe discovered to propose a policy without detail, 
and impossible to go into detail on the platform. 

The aspect of Finance which interests me most is the 


hardest to handle I mean Credit. And it is overlooked 
most frequently. I come across it over Railway work. 
Let me use it as an illustration. Railway servants want 
higher wages and shorter hours. Anyone can sympathise 
with that. To do anything in that direction you must 
choose between two alternatives. The first is to pay 
the shareholders less. Now the reason why you cannot 
pay the shareholders less is not that they have a right 
to 3%. It is that until you give them 4% they won't 
lend you any more money ; and that you cannot proceed 
unless you can borrow. 

That being so, if railway servants are to have higher 
wages and shorter hours, the public must have fewer 
trains and higher fares. This is an apologue. The general 
trend of opinion in this country is still Cobdenite. Opinion 
holds that the remedy for any evil is to have more things 
at lower prices. I do not believe that this opinion was 
ever altogether sound. I am sure it is false when opinion, 
illogically, inclines also and at the same time towards 
higher wages and shorter hours. 

Now let me jump to general Fiscals. 

I differ from you to this extent. You hold that I ought 
not to ' attack ' without an alternative, in some detail. 

I hold that Asquith's conundrums are irrelevant unless 
he can say that the present system is sound. 

My arguments against the present system are : 

I. Revenue Argument. 

(a) Present system is inadequate ; even for Defence 
and Education ; apart from Housing, Land, Rating ; 
and hopelessly inadequate if anything is to be done for 
those three in addition. 

Increase on Defence and Education during our ten years 
was 60% on each an increase monstrously in excess of 
the growth of population. 

(b) Present system is inelastic. 

(i) Direct. If you could have 2/- income tax, 20% 
instead of 10% Death duty on large properties, well and 
good. But you can't. It drives capital abroad and 
destroys credit. Asquith before the Election said I/- 


was altogether too high if income tax was to be what it 
ought to be in any sound system, i.e. a Reserve, 3d. on 
earned incomes under 2000 total is right enough ; but 
does not touch question of reserve. 

(ii). Indirect on articles of ordinary consumption we 
take 63 millions as against 53 for MacKinley Tariff. 

Therefore, if you are to subserve the 5 objects named 
without destroying credit, you must ' broaden basis,' 
i.e. have more taxes on more articles. 

II. Argument from Retaliation and Preference. If 
you do I., you are then free to attempt II. But your 
attempt must be tentative and experimental. 

The first tax that can be put on is a Corn tax. The l/- 
till Low abolished it on pedantic grounds brought in some 
revenue. When Beach reimposed it, it bid fair to bring 
in more, and price of bread fell. In order to give pre- 
ference we advocated 2/-. Price of corn, etc., has gone 
up from 10/- to 16/-, and price of loaf has only risen Id. 
in some few places and has not risen in others. 

It is clear, therefore, that some revenue can be got 
without raising price. 

But, then, I advocate a preference. / would not give 
Canada the whole 2/-. I would give her I/-. 

I believe that such a plan would have a large sentimental 
effect. Its tendency would be to foster what is already 
going on, i.e. labour (all she needs) going to Canada 
instead of U.S.A. 

But I do not believe that U.S.A. would sit down and 
acquiesce. She would try to pour in corn, and it is not 
improbable that Canada paying I/- and U.S.A. paying 
2/- would increase supplies and cheapen. 

But now I must catch my train. 

III. Argument is Humanitarian Standard. 

We cannot have inspectors as well as Consuls abroad, 
and therefore it is sense to have a low duty on most 
manufactured articles. 

If you are interested, I will deal with Asquith's conun- 
drums about meat and wool in another letter. Yours 
ever, G. W. 



To his Father 

CHESTER, November 5th, 1907. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I am not going to buy the Queen's 
letter. I think it very likely that you will be able to 
get it for 30/- in six months' or a year's time. 

I was up in London to-day for the Railway crisis but 
had not a moment in which to look you up. 

I quite understand what you feel about politics ; I 
think that I, too, am getting politically old. For I 
dislike politics more and more and care less and less for 
any issues before the country, or likely to come before it 
in my time. 

If I can get a good report of my speeches I will send it 
to you. 

I shall look up the article on ' Trees ' in the * Times.* 

Pam's book is very good. The Dreams frighten me 
and would have given me a fit when I was Clare's age. 
Poor Pam is worried about her baby ill in Scotland but 
going on well. I was pleased by the Review in the ' Times' 
Literary Supplement ' of last Friday ; chiefly because her 
book supposed a book for children was reviewed and 
reviewed second, under ' Fiction,' to a work by the man 
who wrote ' Number (something) John Street ' ; a book 
that made a great splash. 

The other works of fiction are reviewed later ; or 
relegated in shoals to the advertisement column. 

Perf arrived here Sunday night and was telegraphed for 
Monday night for a Court Martial. But we both got 
back this evening, he from the Army, I from the Railway 
crisis. And now we shall get a hunt or two together. 

I had two good days last week and enjoyed them 
immensely. I should like to hunt a provincial pack of 
hounds, command a Yeomanry Regiment and write a 
book once in five years ; and let politics ' go hang.' 

In politics it is impossible to do more than one thing 
VOL. n. R 


at a time ; and difficult to do one thing since, to do that, 
you must interest and control a great number of different 
classes, and traditions and theories. 

The whole theory of Cobdenism is wrong. Even in 
the minor matter of the Railway crisis, the practical 
difficulty arises entirely from a pursuit of cheapness and 
competition. The hours are long and the wages low, if 
not for those hours then, certainly, for the amount of work 
done in them. 

If you stood on the platform at Crewe for twelve hours 
you would see an almost continuous procession of trains, 
coming in and being broken up into sections, going out 
in different directions to the North. This is a great 
strain. It arises from four lines racing North, pandering 
to the lower middle-class and ' blackmailed ' by Parliament 
and the Press. 

The only practical way of relieving the strain is to have 
fewer trains and higher fares. This applies chiefly to 
the Northern lines. Our men are satisfied and solidly 
loyal. But then we are a butt of scorn because we do 
not run an express every half hour at less than cost price. 
Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

DOVER, November 16th, 1907. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I return Pam's letters. It is 
a relief to know as I do from later ones that she is no 
longer anxious. 

S. S. and I are comfortable here. We both felt dear 
Chesham's death. It prevented S. S. from going to 
Birmingham. But I had to go, not only to be present 
at the Conference and Mass Meeting but, as President 
for a second year of the Midland Conservative Club. 
I had to take the chair there, after Arthur's big speech, 
to introduce him to the members. It was a heavy day. 
We started at 10 a.m. and got back after 12.30 at night. I 


then talked to Chang in her room till 2 o'clock. Yesterday 
I returned to London, dashed across and picking up S. S. 
I slept all the way in the train to Dover. Last night was 
our Mayor's banquet. I made two speeches ; proposing 
the Mayor and returning thanks for self. Now we are 
doing Dover quietly till Wednesday when I speak on 
politics. It is a dreary day of fog and rain. 

Arthur's speech was a complete success. He spoke 
well with scarcely a note and no hesitation. It was his 
best chance and, almost, his last chance. But he took it 
and we are all happy. 

Best love to papa. Your most loving son, GEORGE. 


To Philip Hanson 

DOVER, 17.ri.07. 

MY DEAR P. H., This, the 17th, represents my first 
blow at the air-hole of leisure since yours of the 6th. I 
cannot, without an effort, remember all that has happened 
since, and I am too idle to fetch a diary. Now, I remember. 
I had two great days hunting with Percy, 7th and 8th, 
enjoyed myself huge>y and took two rattling falls. I 
was, of course, saddened by Chesham's death. 1 But it 
was a good death, of a kind, brave, sensible man. I 
dashed off to meet Lady Grosvenor at Madresfield last 
Monday, to reconstruct plans. We agreed I must not 
give up the Birmingham Conference. Thursday was a 
full, interesting day. I sat at the Conference from eleven 
onward. Banqueted with A. J. B. at six. Heard him 
speak at eight. He spoke very well ; hardly looked at a 
note (on one sheet) and never hesitated for one hour and 
twenty minutes. He did the trick. We told him it was 
his best chance ; and his last. So he took it. I some- 
tunes wish that extremity was not the only ' jumping- 
board ' from which he can jump. After the mass meet- 

1 Lord Chesham was killed by a fall when hunting in Cheshire. 


ing I took the chair as President of the Midland Conserva- 
tive Club, introduced him, etc. ' The old Tory Fortress 
of the Midlands,' and so forth. He made another nice 
speech. I got back at twenty to one, and sat up talking 
to my sister, Lady Elcho, in her bedroom, till any hour. 
She, rightly, observed that the occasion bespoke anything 
but prudence. Started early Friday, just caught the 
train in London, slept like a stone to Dover and made two 
bright speeches at the Mayor's banquet. 

Between whiles I have corrected and polished my 
* Scott.' Sent off the typed copy corrected and touched 
up, to-night. Some of the last touches amused me : as 
thus, for the Richardson business ' any party of nobodies 
seated round a table ' and then the added touch, ' and 
applying a delicate seismometer to any tremor, however 
faint, with which the heart responds to any fact, however 
trivial.' And this other touch : ' The Romantic smoothed 
to the inane, had to be galvanised to the diabolic. The 
Realistic sweetened with sentiment, had to be salted with 
satire.' And that, my dear P. H., is ' the kind of hair- 
pins we are.' 

But what the Burgesses and Literary gents of the 
Modern Athens will make of it all I leave you to surmise. 

It is now too late to begin preparing my speech for 
Wednesday, and too early to go to bed, so I am talking 
to you. It is only 10 o'clock ! But I am too idle to con- 
tinue my last letter in grim earnest. I will sketch in the 
faintest outline what I mean by tackling Asquith's 

He says 'what about (1) Corn, (2) Meat, (3) Wool, 
(4) Wood ? ' 

There are, at least, Four lines of reply. 

I. The colonies have never asked for ' distributive 
justice ' from us, and don't give it to each other. 

II. They want their production stimulated ; but on 
what ? Canada on Corn, but not on Wood. Australia 
on Meat and Corn, but not on Wool (pace that old fat, 
red-faced donkey Sir ). 

III. Looking homewards our appetite for food is 


relatively limited by comparison with our appetite for 
raw material. 

IV. Anyway, if we are to compare Fiscal systems, will 
you weigh the comparative merits of ' Sheep and Sugar ? ' 

I take this comparison because Simon, M.P., made a 
speech on the Budget about Australian sheep which was 
taken to be mighty clever and conclusive. He is one of 
the * rising lights.' Son of Rev. E. Simon, Congregational 
Minister, Barrister-at-law, Fellow of All Souls ' nec-non 
and the deuce knows what ' (Browning). Well, says he, 
look at ' the Australian sheep, meat inside and wool 
outside.' (Roars of laughter.) ' How are you going to 
tax one and not the other ? ' (Loud cheers.) 

Now that is the kind of clever nonsense which I won't 

I retort : Look at Sheep and Sugar. Each is both 
food and raw material. But, with this distinction : that 
the food is the sheep and the raw material, come here 
separately and can be separately dealt with. The sugar 
comes solid. If I tax sugar as a food, I must tax sugar 
as a raw material. If I tax Australian meat, I need not 
and shall not tax Australian wool. 

But, waiving the raw material side to the argument 
(having scored that trick) what of the Food side ? 

If the tax is on meat, which we produce, and if we give 
Australia a preference, one of two things must happen, 
either the Foreigner will pay the tax, or else he will desist 
from importing because, and when, the Empire becomes 
self-sufficient. Why not have two good things one after 
the other, instead of neither at any time ? Personally I 
believe you will get both. This, I know, makes the Free 
Trader scream. But that is because he lives in the abstract. 
In the concrete world sentiment plays a huge part. Senti- 
ment will stimulate the Australian, and, for that matter, 
Charlie Adeane, to have rather more sheep the next year 
after the Tariff. And sentiment will stimulate the Foreigner 
not to be beat. He will pay a small tax rather than 
surrender a market. The price of meat will not go up. 
That is a miracle in the abstract. But a probability, 


verging on a certainty, in the concrete. At any rate I 
mean to try it. 

And now I shall go to bed at 10.40. 

To-morrow I start at 9.30 to go all over the Harbour, 
and drink the sea breeze, and marvel at the ingenuity 
with which mind manoeuvres masses, and defies ' the 
mighty Being ' who 

1 doth with his eternal motion make 
A sound like thunder everlastingly.' 

Whiles, the ' mighty Being ' puts in one. The other day 
he put a ship into the Mole, and moved all those 80 ton 
blocks, pushing a hole through them as if they were bricks. 
They had not settled down on their concrete beds to their 
everlasting job. My dear old friend, Mr. Heyn, in charge 
of the works, multiplied the mass of the ship into her 
' velocity ' she was only making 9 knots and found that 
she knocked the Mole to the tune of a 60,000 ton blow. 
It is a pleasure to consider these arguments after Simon's 
windlestraws and Asquith's powder-puffs. But the Harbour 
is not finished, and Tariff Reform is still in the offing. I 
spare you ' Tantse molis erat.' Yours ever, G. W. 


To his Father 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

December 5th, 1907. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, This is Perf's birthday 20 years 

I thought I had sent you a report of my speech on 
Walter Scott. But Sibell writes that I did not. Even 
the ' Scotsman ' left out the bit I like best. So I send 
that report and the ' Irish Times.' 

Read the ' Scotsman ' till you get to (A). Then read 
the bit marked (A) in the ' Irish Times.' 

I was pleased to find from the Press cuttings that the 
Irish papers report me very fully whenever I speak. 

The English ' Times ' boycotts me. That is because 


Macmillan the publisher's protagonist against the Times 
Book Club published my Ronsard last year. 

I had a splendid meeting at Dartford last night. There 
is a short report in ' Standard ' and ' Morning Post.' And 
to-morrow I go as a Tariff Reformer into the Lions' 
Den. For I have to speak in Manchester. 

Love to darling Mamma. Your loving son, 


P.S. All the papers omit from my ' Scott ' a rather 
amusing exordium. Hanson came from Ireland to hear. 
A good ' Dog Tray.' 


To Lieut.-Col. Stephen Frewen 

CHESTER, December 15th, 1907. 

DEAR OLD STE., What a brick you are to write such 
long, interesting letters to an old pal. The mistake over 
the Battle picture * is mine, or rather it is properly to be 
charged to an excellent young lady who helps me with 
correspondence, type-writing, etc. I remember nothing 
about it. But I am sure that she said * Here is a picture ' 
just when I was preparing a speech and starting off to 
catch the train. I shall buy the picture and give it to 
Guy for Christmas. ... I must add that qua speaking 
I have been galloped pretty near to a standstill this 
Autumn. I totted up and find that since October 9th I 
have made 12 big and 7 little speeches. 

Between all these speeches I have put in some hunts. 
. . . On Tuesday we had a ' topper ' ; 5 mile point, 7 
miles as they ran or more ; in 35 minutes. Yesterday, 
at Darnhall, we had a fair turn over the Paradise-Wellen- 
hall, Darnhall country. I remember you on your old 
grey showing us how to do that. I had a superb toss 
over wire ; floated over a ' Leicestershire ' fence, and 

1 'The Charge at Klipfontein' that was led by the i6th Lancers under com- 
mand of Lieut.-Col. Frewen, and brought about the relief of Kimberley. 


was turned head over heels with my horse by a wire on 
the landing side. It is pleasant to find that, in spite of 
politics, I am not stiff from the fall. I cut my face and 
had to be ' stitched,' but otherwise am none the worse. 
Tried a horse to-day and bought him. 

I only put in all this prattle to revive your memories 
of old days. Percy is on leave, here, and ' going ' well. 
He, too, took a toss over rails. In fact, we are all tumbling 
a good deal this year. It was very blind at the start, 
and is now very deep. We all felt dear Chesham's death. 
But it was a good way to end a good life. 

You must not let your disappointment weigh on your 
mind. Maybe it can be righted. Maybe it cannot. But 
what does it matter to an English gentleman who has led 
a charge in war and can hold his own with the youngsters 
out hunting ? It matters nothing. In my little Political 
way I have not received much thanks. But I don't care 
a damn. 

And they may want us both, yet. And if they don't 
want us, we can be ourselves, and ride straight. Yours 


To Philip Hanson 

35 PARK LANE, W., 


MY DEAR P. H., I enclose E. Tennant's letter written 
on same day as yours. 

I am hard pressed just in front of the last fence 
Leicester of my long course. They suddenly shot me 
for a speech last night at ' The United Empire Club.' I 
spoke well. There is a report in the ' Morning Post.' 

To-day I felt tired as the Dinner was long, and the room 
hot. It was a fine gathering. I am fighting hard to keep 
January clear of speeches. 

They want me to be guest of evening at ' 1900 Club,' 
but I have said February. 

I am quite happy in my mind about politics. Whether I 


should ever be happy in any conceivable Government is 
another affair. For I mean business over Social Reform 
and cannot allow myself to be ' jobbed off ' again. // we 
get in on T. R. and S. R. 1 and drop the latter, I take a line 
of my own. Rather, I will not go in without assurances. 

To-morrow I shall try something like this. 

Prelude. The reawakened interest in Politics. 

(N.B. You are right about that. Why were there so 
few speeches last year ? Because nobody asked us to 
speak. Why so many now ? Because everybody is 
clamouring for them.) 

So next Election, of great and, perhaps, decisive 

Will reveal temper and purpose of British people. 
Strain of the 20 years '85 to '05, on the new democracy. 

What a lot of questions settled. Ireland ; Partition of 

Africa; Egypt; Navy. Beginning of 

No wonder a collapse. But were we old and spent, or only 
tired and irritable ? I hope the latter. 

If so, take up burden of Empire and Social Reform. 
But for that must not be distracted must concentrate. 

My quarrel with Government that they distract by 
unsettling Navy 2 power standard. 

Ireland : Union and order to be maintained. 

These 2 must be held to be settled. 

House of Lords useful for that. 

Education can be settled only on basis of State's 
impartiality. It must be settled and added to the long 
list of settled policies outside Party conflict India, Asia, 
Foreign Office, Ireland, Africa, Egypt, Navy. 

Then can attack Empire and Social Reform. 

Which ' me judice ' are what interest ; can only 
be tackled by Tariff Reform, and are outside scope of 
House of Lords. 

Very well then : 

Power of Empire and Welfare of People are closely 
connected, but must begin somewhere. I will begin at 

1 Tariff Reform and Social Reform. 


beginning, not with Empire, or U. K., or Leicester, but 
with a slum and a child in that slum, returning on a dark 
winter afternoon from school, without having had a meal, 
to an insanitary home. What are you going to do ? 
Something you must do (& la Carlyle). 

There are only 2 plans, Socialistic and Imperialistic. 
Look at first. 

Increase direct taxation and rates, to feed and clothe 
the child and to pension his parents. 

Borrow money to build them a better and more expensive 
house. What happens ? 

Higher taxes drive capital abroad. 

Higher rates prevent erection of factories and workshops, 
etc., etc. 

Ends in turning England into the Poplar and West 
Ham of Europe. 

The plan is bad, because you tried to find out How to 
remedy the evil, without asking, first, Why it is there. 

Why was the child hungry ? 

Because his father was unemployed. 


Because of 

Pauper aliens 
Dumped goods 
Sweated goods 
High rates 
High direct taxes. 

And into it I go with gusto and glee, and work right up 
the keyboard to the crashing harmonies of Empire and 
Employment with a lovely leit-motif of the ' Sister States * 
bless 'em carolling like birds through the strumming 
of Statistics and bugle-calls of the higher Patriotism. 

This exuberance is due to the fact that I have just been 
to sleep like a stone from 3 to 5, and am refreshed by a 
cup of tea. 

Also, I find it easier to write a letter to you than to 
work at a speech. But incidentally I have made one. 
So hey ! for Leicester and the Lions' Den of Radical 
Nonconformity. Yours ever, G. W. 



To his Mother 

CHESTER, December 22nd, 1907. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, So as to be sure of hitting off 
Christmas I am writing to-night to send you all love and 
all wishes for a merry Christmas and happy new year. 
Give my best love to Papa. 

I finished my speaking campaign at Leicester on Friday. 
It was an immense relief to get it all over. I spoke at a 
mass meeting and again later at a working-man's club. 
Yesterday in the train I felt like a boy coming home for 
the holidays. And last night I slept for eleven hours on 
end ! after sleeping for an hour in the afternoon twelve 
in all. 

And now I am going to hunt and read good old books. 
Whilst I was away last week Perf entertained four brother- 
officers here all hunting with many horses and a motor 
car. Sibell wrote that they were ' as quiet as mice.' I 
don't know what she expected ! 

My * Scott ' speech is being printed as a pamphlet, and 
I will send you a copy. Your most loving son, 



To his Father 

CHESTER, Christmas, 1907. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, The hounds meet here to-morrow. 
Twenty-eight persons are coming out from Eaton. This 
is,- 1 think, the record of ' Hunt-batches.' With Percy 
and self it makes a party of thirty. I wonder if Bad- 
minton ever put such a ' posse comitatus ' in the field. 
The competition will be keen. For most of Bendor's 
guests are 4 artists ' Ikey Bell, ' Greepy ' de Crespigny, 
Rivy Grenfell, Fitzpatrick, Ivor Guest and many more. 


And the local lights will try to hold their own against the 
paladins of Leicestershire and Meath. It is interesting 
apart from the fun of it and the sport to see this when 
political changes may abolish the gentry and their pursuits. 
Personally, I back the gentry. In addition to hunting, 
Bendor and I are going to start a political revival in 
Cheshire. He has asked everybody with a name and a 
shilling to lunch at the Grosvenor Hotel on January 4th 
and we are going to tell them that unless they subscribe 
to and work for our Party they are useless and doomed. 
We put Tariff Reform in the front and ask for a guarantee 
of 1000 a year for four years in addition to all subscrip- 
tions in separate constituencies. Our object is to win 
back all the seats in Cheshire. Your loving son, 



To his Father 

CHESTER, December 28th, 1907. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, We are having great fun here 
after all the grind and wretchedness of a platform cam- 
paign. On Christmas night we sat down thirty-nine to 
dinner, and thirty of forty-five hunted Thursday. To- 
day we were all out again and had three hunts ; the last 
perfect and the others good. I had great luck all day. 
In the first run I was third over a hunting-bridge which 
broke with the tenth man. So nine of us had the hounds 
to ourselves. And in the evening we had a perfect thirty- 
five minutes ; after a good thirty minutes in the afternoon. 

I got a glorious start over a river, after we had been run- 
ning for ten minutes and then had a divine seventeen or 
eighteen minutes, leading and ' cutting out the work.' 

That is the joy of hunting. There is nothing like it. 
Three of us Hornby, a whip and self sailed away fifty 
lengths in front of Bendor, Mrs. Tom Galley and the 
Grenfell ' Twins.' The rest were nowhere. We * spread- 
eagled ' the field. The pace was too hot to choose your 


place by a yard. We just took everything as it came with 
the hounds screaming by our side. Nobody could gain an 
inch. These are the moments that justify fox-hunting. 
At the end we forded the river again and had to ' whip -off * 
at 4-12 p.m. in the dark. Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Father 

CHESTER, January 1st, 1908. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, A happy New Year to you ! I 
am afraid I cannot shoot on the 21st. I have a Railway 
Board Meeting on that day at 11 o'clock and another at 
10-30 on the 22nd. I am shirking two meetings next 
week and those on the 21st and 22nd are important as we 
settle everything at them before the half-yearly meeting 
of the shareholders. But I should love to start the New 
Year fairly early with you at Clouds and would come on 
the Saturday, 18th and stay till late Monday night. If, 
which Heaven avert, it was freezing, I could come on the 

I hunted four days last week and Monday and to-day. 
But now it is over till we get a south-west wind. To-day 
was impossible. We did some necessary, though belated 
' cubbing ' in a little wood where there are eleven foxes 
and killed one of them. But the gateways and ploughs 
were too hard to let the hounds go away. I rode back 
here with de Crespigny over ' the Gap ' in the Cheshire 
hills. The sun was shining and the view is wonderful. 
At the ' Gap,' a ' Col ' over the range, you see the whole 
expanse of the vale to Crewe and, then, directly you cross 
it, the whole expanse of our vale to Chester. I gave him 
lunch and got on another horse and rode him over to Eaton. 
Then I walked the line of our first hunt last Thursday and 
looked at the jumps. So I got six or seven hours' exercise 
in what the ' Globe Leader ' describes as ' The biting blasts 
that blow round the death-bed of the departing year.' 


Like * Mobled Queen ' that is a good phrase. 

Bendor, who is indefatigable, whipped over, after dinner, 
in his motor, to discuss our last moves in the campaign 
which we open on Saturday. I think he will make a good 

Most of the really rich men who hunt five days a week 
and subscribe only 25 to the Hounds and 1-1-0 to 
politics, have refused his invitation. But seventeen are 
coming. You must make a beginning. And in politics, 
as in hunting, it is useless to ride up and down the fence. 
We are off 1 And we mean to make the Palatinate of 
Cheshire a pattern for the Unionist Revival. 

Bendor and de Crespigny think the photographs of 
Orpen's pictures the best they have ever seen. De Cres- 
pigny means to have his father, and Bendor his children 
painted in the same way. 

Perf left us last night to resume duty on January 1st, 
and we miss him very much. He is a glorious sunbeam in 
the house and an exhilarating companion in the chase. 
Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

CHESTER, January 1st, 1908. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, We loved your telegram and 
I must send a word of all love to you on this first day of 
another year. 

It is strange to recall that I was here twenty years ago, 
married and hunting with Percy two months old, but so 
it is ! But not, as Manenai (Bless her from me !) had 
it in her solitary contribution to English literature ; 1 not 
* sad to say ' ; but * glad to say.' 

Here we are ! All loving each other in a wonderful 
world, full of colour and movement and structure and pur- 
pose : brothers or sisters of the sun and moon and milky 

1 ' The Sad Story of a Pig and a little Girl.' Written by Madeline Wyndham 
(aged 6 years) and illustrated by Richard Doyle. 


way : all, as dear Henley wrote, ' going to the same glad 
golden time ' : all going with ' the scheme of things,' and 
therefore, obviously, all coming towards his ' the end 
I know, is the best of all ! ' 

These sentiments, like Manenai's masque, and Peck- 
sniff's (Chuzzlewit) reflections on a syren are ' Pagan, I 
fear.' But that kind of Paganism is a sound basis for 
Christianity. Your most loving son, GEORGE. 


To Charles T. Gatty 



MY DEAR CHARLES, ' Carmina Gadelica ' are despatched 
to-day. I had ordered a new copy, but found yet a third 
in my bookcase. I must have laid them down like Port. 

So you need give no thought to their price, or cost, but 
you must, rather, consider their value and worth. Their 
value is their own. Their worth consists in adding 
solemnity and point to our hilarious divagations over the 
Springs of Romance and the Macaronic sermons. 

The introduction should be noted for two reasons : 
First, because puritanism is there shewn to have made 
an old fiddler sell his fiddle and break his heart ; secondly, 
because confirmation is lent to my theory that popular 
poetry was written by the learned and handed down by 
the lewd, or unlearned. 

All songs derive from the Sanctuary or the Court. The 
Court was the great invention of Barbarism, and marks 
its triumph over savagery. In the Court, the Barbarian 
reconciled strength and justice : a startling paradox in 
his day. In the Sanctuary the Church unveiled Mercy 
and Peace, and, so, turned the paradox into a platitude. 

The rivers from each origin flash and mingle in the 
Poetry of the Middle Age. It is a fair stream reflecting 
all the personages of the Court of Heaven. It is filled 
with the water of life in every sense and not choked 
with the dust of ages. 


I have read ' Carmina Gadelica ' through this after- 
noon. They are full of life and lore, of wisdom and, 
therefore, of repose. We can repose on the Past. 

In fine, my gift is the recording stele of our exploration 
to discover the springs of Romance and their foam-bow 
of Rhyme. Yours ever, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 

P.S. ' High are the Peaks and shadow-gloom'd and 
Huge ! ' * 

P.S. (2). Please send me the name and number of the 
Hymn which may give me a model for my Pageant chorus 
and an air. 


To Charles Boyd 

CHESTER, 23.ii.08. 

MY DEAR CHARLES, Precisely ! But if you infest a 
cottage in a wood by Woking ? What then ? We have 
both become too truly rural for urbanity. 

I am all for your dining with us at 35 on a day in the 
week which begins on Sunday March 1st. Why not that 
day, if we can secure and fix the now volatile Percy ? 
Observe. You frequent Woking, (moralising in the necro- 
polis) no less insistently than I harbour myself here. I 
kept what is called ' the establishment ' here, with the 
purpose, fulfilled, of hunting after the Session began and 
spending my Saturdays and Sundays like Cato major, 
' seething parsnips by my fireside.' 

The speeches you commend were excursions ' into the 
enemy's country.' I prefer as a staple of living to 
hunt with Percy and dine off roast mutton with my lady 
wife. By this absence of device, in despite of falsely 
supposed artistic divagation, I push and eat my way 
to a thorough understanding of the English. As thus : 
on Monday I spoke at Birmingham ; on Tuesday I attended 
the House and dined at ' the ' Club ; on Wednesday I 
attended the House closely ; but, on Thursday I came 

1 Translation of a line from the Chanson de Roland. 


here and, so, hunted with Percy Friday and Saturday ; 
4 walked ' a point-to-point race course with him and 
Bendor to-day (after attending Church in the morning), 
dined with Percy and Sibell a trois for the 4th evening 
in succession, and to-morrow go back for a hideous week 
of the House and Railway Boards. So repulsive is that 
week, ending as it does with responding for ' Literature ' 
to Whitefriars on Friday and may they be fried ! 
so grim is it, that I adjourn our reunion until it is well or 
ill over. 

I am now in middle life. That means (1) that I enjoy 
being at home and riding to hounds, and (2) that in all 
human likelihood nay, in inevitable certainty I cannot 
have these joys for much longer. In ten years Percy 
will be 31, and, too probably, married. In ten years I 
may be fat or busy. Very well. Am I to forego the 
very marrow of life when I have its thighbone between 
my teeth ? Am I to parade at Westminster and intrigue 
in its purlieus ? No ! The answer is ' No.' 

I have a wife, a son, a home, six good hunters and a 
library of Romance literature. I mean to enjoy them. 
If I am wanted, I can be found. I spare you Cincinnatus 
and Cato major (bis). 

In this part of the world I am known as ' The Colonel ' 
qua Yeomanry ; as a subscriber to the Cheshire Hounds ; 
and, politically, as a robust ' true-blue ' with honest 
leanings towards Protection. And besides I love to hear 
the thrushes sing and to watch a pair of lesser-spotted 
woodpeckers that are building in our garden. Yours in 
the bond, G. W. 

P.S. What is a letter without a postscript ? Let me 
add that I am 10 Ibs. lighter than I was ; that I have made 
29 speeches since October 18th and hunted on 26 days ; 
that I have read a good deal of Virgil, and much early 
French both of the Trouveres and, in smaller quantities, 
of the Troubadours. That I have studied the trade 
returns ; Dizzy's ' Sibell ' ; Charlotte Bronte's ' Shirley ' ; 
some Carlyle and Ruskin, to get the reflexion in literature 
VOL. n. s 


of the political ineptitudes that must be remedied. That 
is * the kind of hairpins we are.' To balance Dizzy (early) 
and Carlyle, I also read Bagehot and Lord Avebury in 

* The Times.' But they don't balance, anything, but 
their ledgers ; or discount, anything, but bills. 

It is clear to me, now, that the British Race has one 
foe Cosmopolitan Finance with an oriental complexion. 

* Delenda est Carthago ' is all my song. I have twice 
repaired to the crest of the Cheshire hills and looked at 
the fat, fair expanse of English fields with their smoulder- 
ing girdle of chimneys around the far horizon. And I 
have sworn that they shall not be sucked like eggs by 
the weasels of pure finance. No, nor the plains of Ireland 
either ! I have sworn and it shall be in accordance with 
my oath. 


To his Mother 

36 PARK LANE, W., 

February 26th, 1908. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, You and Papa will be inter- 
ested to hear that I shall probably have to follow Asquith 
on Monday in full-dress debate on Armaments. 

It is short notice as I have to speak on ' Literature ' 
Friday night. But I shall dine with Manenai and, perhaps, 
if she agrees, bring dear Hanson with me. He is here and 
can help me over the old track. Your most loving son, 



To Philip Hanson 


MY DEAR P. H., The ' little Gods ' are against me. 
Thanks to your letter, I have, now, a speech. But I 
also have a cold & bad cold and I may not be able 
to make the speech. That will be a pity. 

But, even so, I shall not mourn. 


For I have got to the heart of this mystery of. the 
British Army. 

The answer to the Sphinx is : 

(1)1 reject your Artillery Special Reserve. 

(2) I amend your Infantry S. R. into our 1 reserve 

I say, at the end, you are for Cardwell ; Sir P, Mac- 
Dougall said two things : 

(a) Identify Militia with depot. 
You have done it with a vengeance. 

(b) Don't make the Dep6t a battalion in ' the hurry and 
rush of a great war.' 

Very well Perge modo 

Make them what you call them BATTALIONS, and 
for 2,000,000 a year cheaper than was possible before you 
had ' IDENTIFIED ' the Militia. 

These people can't do it. But 1 will. And you must 
be my Mowatt at the Treasury, for the achievement, 
It 's worth doing. 

What pleases me most is that the glacier-like progres- 
sion of facts (the French ' La chute des choses ' reduced 
to the speed of the English illogical glacier-progression) 
does indicate a standard for our Army which is self-con- 
tained. It is that the Home Regular Army, with colours 
or in Reserve, must be our old 3 Army Corps or Haldane's 
re-christened 6 divisions (same thing) if we are to 

1. Maintain Garrisons. 

2. Liberate Fleet, reinforce Garrisons, deliver counter- 

Any or all, and that for 

3. Liberate expeditions, Expand and support it, Main- 
tain confidence at home. 

You must (i) avoid chasm between regular and citizen 
soldiers in peace, if you hope to avoid chaos in war ; and 
(ii) therefore, in peace, have enough * cadres ' with enough 
variety of design to cater for tastes. 

With this observation, if fewer cadres in peace more 
important they should be filled. 

1 (Yours and mine of 1900.) 


If of uniform shape, less likely that they will be 

There was more to be said for the old affair in Infantry 
156 battalions Regulars 
123 Militia 

? Volunteers, 

than Brodrick, or Forster, or Haldane have discovered. 

But, if you absorb the Militia, you must make your 
Special Reserve of Infantry into a short-service Army, 
and not into a shelter, competing with the Salvation and 
Church Army for the manufacture of Unemployed. 
Yours ever, G. W. 

P.S. ll.iii.08. 

I made the speech very shortly I suppose because I 
was not fit. But I think it was quite clear in outline. It 
only took just over 40 minutes. 

The ' lay ' mind in the person of Harry Chaplin, pro- 
nounced that I had exploded Haldane's scheme. 

He, Haldane, is going to ' sleep on it ' and reply to- 
morrow. I shall have to sleep too, if I am to ' toe the 
line * again. 


To his Father 

35 PARK LANK, W., 
March 13th, 1908. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I am sorry to say that we have 
people dining here on Saturday, so I cannot get away. 

We have been ' dusting ' the Government well during 
the last fortnight, their supporters are quarrelling and the 
House looks quite dead. 

We shall get the ships out of them and I hope to get the 
Field Artillery. I spoke well last night ; but am badly 
reported. Haldane got very short and our men were 
pleased. It is madness to break up thirty-three batteries 
of Field Artillery hi order to train civilians for ammunition 


columns. And the special Reserve of Infantry is a danger : 
all the more since it cannot be tested. Nobody will know 
how bad it is till the war comes. I fear it will prove 
little better than a ' shelter ' for the unemployed com- 
peting with the Salvation Army's efforts. 

All love to darling Mamma. Your loving son, 



To his Sister, Pamela, 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
March IGth, 1908. 

MOST DARLING PAMELA, 1 I have been thinking of you 
constantly and taking comfort from scraps of news. And 
I have been meaning to write news to you, since that is 
all I can do whilst you are imprisoned by this detestable 
scourge and worried by the baby's illness. But, first, I 
had to give anything the chance of happening, either to 
me, or in me, which I could conceivably write about. It 
was inconceivable that I should write about the House 
of Commons ; and I lived there till last Saturday. Then 
I broke out. 

In the afternoon I went to the Zoo with Sibell, after 
lunching with darling Manenai. I chose the * Zoo.' There 
were other suggestions, as, a performance of 'Pilgrim's 
Progress,' and a concert at the Queen's Hall. But I 
needed air and life, preferably of a primitive kind. So I 
chose the Zoo in spite of SibelPs remark that we ought 
to wait until we could go with children. I wanted to go 
for myself and specially to look at Birds. When flying 
from men, I avoid monkeys ' and addict myself ' to birds. 
(Parrots are not birds ; and are useless to one escaped 
from the House of Commons. ' O ! for the wings of a 
dove ' is an aspiration that does not waft me to the voices 
of parrots.) 

I went to the real, bird-like birds, who live in a row, 

1 Hit sister and children were in quarantine for scarlet fever. 


just to the right, after entering the gardens. These birds 
are like our birds in a dream, or a Grimm's fairy story. 
Naturally, many of them are blue ; others are green, or 
orange, or earth-colour, and one was crimson. Yet they 
are not Macaws or Toucans or other monstrosities. They 
are thrushes, starlings, pigeons, doves, robins, partridges 
and quails ; but of slimmer shape and brighter colour 
than our birds. And some are mixtures of these, and 
some are distinct but comparable such as minas, bower- 
birds and weaver buds. But all are alert and happy and 
vocal ! ! as they said in the XVIIIth century. 

In front of the first cage was a Kate Greenaway tree of 
box the stem three feet six inches high, the spreading 
top four feet wide. I stepped round the corner and in 
the heart of the green there sat and looked at me, a thrush, 
the colour of an orange. There he sits and sings : as 
yellow as a Walter Crane's ' Yellow Dwarf.' 

There were miniature doves and quails no larger than 
wood-wrens, or small pebbles in the desert. And there 
was one mina not the plump, fat, Indian sort of mina 
but slim as a shuttle and parti-coloured, black and yellow. 
His name is ' George.' He loves mankind. He like 
Jx>rd Nelson never knew fear. He sat on my fingers 
and the keeper put him into his pocket. As I walked 
away I saw him in close conversation through the wire 
with two little red-haired girls, who had walked straight 
out of an Holman Hunt picture. He does all this from 
love or mere absence of fear. But these two gifts are 
almost one. Mere absence of fear carries a delicacy denied 
to the appetite of gazelles, however graciously embellished 
by melting eyes and insinuating approach. 

Now the keeper of these birds has a great contempt for 
America. ' They call that a " blue bird " the common 
"blue-bird" of America; but it 's a robin.' And, looking 
at the profile and beak one sees that it is a robin. Or, 
again, ' They call that a robin, but it is a thrush.' And 
one sees that it is a thrush ; only with a red breast and 
very big and, so, called a robin, by Americans. This 
keeper pierced the facile deceit of the large and obvious. 


He made a profound observation of Americans apolo- 
getically ' But they were very ignorant when they went 
there.' Thus, did he dismiss, and forgive, the pilgrim 
fathers, with an ' Ite, missa est.' So much and no more 
for the ' Pilgrim Fathers ' who landed on the Plymouth 
rock. But what of their descendants ? They are still 
ignorant. They class by superficial resemblance and 
claim because of size. Some day they will produce an 
American Bible, much bigger than our Bible and as like 
it as a thrush is to a robin. 

From the birds I went to the elephants. I detest half 
measures : after a fortnight in the House of Commons. 
The birds are beside man's life. This the Romans knew 
when they wrote * ubi aves ite angeli ' ' where there are 
birds there are angels.' But the elephants are before 
man's life. They are primeval and sacrosanct. Yet 
they like to be fed ; even on biscuits. A due attention 
to Birds and Elephants, to the volatile and monumental, 
innures one to time and prepares one for Eternity. We 
have the elephant's glacier-like progression towards a 
Geological museum, and the bird's swift-dip and high 
quiver of * indomitable song.' Both are for ever falling, 
at different paces and angles ; as ' Lucretius ' declared 
in six books ; crystallised by the French in one phrase 
4 La chute des choses.' But, for me, the yellow thrush 
singing in the green bush and the fearlessness of ' George ' 
are immortal. And, if for me, then for everybody, for 
ever. I say to both 

' Thou wast not meant for death, immortal Bird. 
No hungry generations tread thee down.' 

I cannot say so much for the Gazelles. Yet because 
they are beautiful through voracious, I will give them 

But, darling Pamela, the last thing I meant to do was 
to moralize. I went to the Zoo to escape morality. 

In the evening we dined with Lettice and Will Beau- 
champ. It was a pleasing entertainment ; not unlike 
the Zoo. For we had Ambassadors and Ministers of 


many nations suddenly caged in surprising contiguity, 
with their wives. It was not too unlike the Zoo. I have 
dropped into poetry like Silas Wegg. 

' It was not too 
Unlike the Zoo 
Because the speech 
Unique to each 
Discuss'd the food 
Which all found good 
Beneath the pall 
Of sleep for all.' 

I sat between the beautiful Ambassadress of Spain and 
the wife of ' Lulu ' Harcourt. The Ambassadress has 
beautiful sloping shoulders and a delicate way of unmask- 
ing the batteries of her South-American eyes. I had to 
talk French of my sort to the Ambassadress. But, 
to each flank, we talked of the difficulty of talking and 
the solace of food. So it, really, was the Zoo over again. 
Speaking and eating are, respectively, the end and origin 
of life, if you come to think of it : subsistence and expres- 

This morning still in pursuit of a holiday I walked 
through Hyde Park. ' Lulu ' Harcourt as First Com- 
missioner of Works is playing the Devil there. He does 
not understand that London was London, and cannot 
become Paris, or Berlin. So he gets workmen to make 
4 Places de la Concorde ' and * Tea-house Gazebos.' He 
is in error. But, just as the yellow thrush and the man- 
loving because fearless bird 'George' justified the 'Zoo,' 
so did two British workmen justify Lulu's Tea-house. 

I saw them leaning, one against the end, the other 
against the wheel, of a large barrow. They were motion- 
less figures in the wind-swept variety of the Park in March. 
It was not a landscape ' animated by figures,' but a group 
of two statues animated by wind -waved branches. As I 
advanced they seemed larger in accordance with the 
law of perspective but they did not move. Nor, do I 
think, that they spoke. But, as I passed the group, 


they spoke, without moving. And this is what they said. 
For I heard them. First workman to second workman. 
4 Well, Sir, I think it 's time that we should do something.' 
Second workman to first. ' Right you are, and what 
would be better than half a pint of beer.' They are one 
with the penguins and gazelles putting beer for fishes 
and buns. We cannot all be birds or elephants. We 
cannot all be swift or wise. But some can sing. And I 
do wish I could sing to you, darling, in your cage, of ' the 
Daedal Earth and the dancing stars.' For all life is good 
and Eternal. Your devoted brother, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

36 PARK LANE, W., 

March I8th, 1908. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I saw your letter to S. S. and 
longed to write at once. But I had a strenuous fort- 
night over Navy and Army ; on the bench every day 
and making many speeches. I wanted to say that we 
have not got the scarlet fever or influenza. But I begin 
to believe that I did have a touch of influenza, the day 
I spoke on Vote A for the Army. However, I shook it 
off spoke, and am none the worse. 

Enough of these ailments ! 

After dealing with accumulations of letters I amused 
myself on Saturday. I wrote of that to Pamela and got 
Miss King to copy the letter, since the original must be 
burnt on the altar of scarlet-fever. It may amuse you. 

I must go back to the bench to-morrow, instead of 
hunting as I had hoped. I am happy to-night because 
Perf rode in the Army Point-to-Point and did not fall. 
I gather that his and my battalion did well. Four of 
them ' ran-up ' in a race open to the whole Army. 

To-night, George Curzon dined alone with S. S. and 
self. He was very dear and affectionate. 

He is standing for the Lord Rectorship of Glasgow, and 


I, yesterday, accepted an invitation to stand for the Lord 
Rectorship of Edinburgh. It will be amusing to come 
out together and useful if we both win. I am afraid that 
he suffers a good deal of pain. 

I am longing to see you and papa. But I am rather 
hard pressed just now. Easter will be all the more 
delightful. We will sing the praises of ' La Regina 
Avrillosa ' together. I have the ' Army ' again to-day 
and speak on Monday at Dover against the Licensing Bill. 

At Easter I shall begin ' The Springs of Romance ' in 
the Barrel room. It is such a good title that I ought to 
be able to write a little book ' up to it.' The idea is 
Where did romance come from ? There was none among 
our Northern ancestors in the 9th century. It came 
from contact with the East and West contact with the 
East owing to the conflict between Christendom and the 
Paynim from Roncevalles onwards contact with the 
West, from the Geraldines' transit through Wales into 

The first gives me the run of the ' Chanson de Roland ' 
down to the ' Arabian Nights,' by way of the Crusades. 
The second gives me the run of the Arthurian cycle and 
all the Celtic glamour from ' Ossian ' to ' Percy's reliques.' 

Incidentally I get two sub-chapters : one, on rhyme, 
traced to Arabia eastward and the ' Celts ' whoever they 
were, westward, hi Armorica, Cornwailles, Wales, Ireland, 
Scotland the other sub-chapter will take the * religious ' 
aspects, eastward, Platonism, Christianity, Gnosticism, 
Neo-platonism, and Islam : westward Fairy stories, 
Folk-lore, Stonehenge Wishing-wells are the relics of 
some old Nature-Magic that was the religion of the Stone- 

In all this you will agree there is ' matter for a May 

I shall stick it full of all I like The ' Regina Avrillosa 7 
and the Border ballads ; The Castle of Clerimont and the 
Lady of Tripoli, the song of Roland and the fall of Con- 
stantinople, Marco Polo and Antoine Galand and all the 
songs that ever were sung and all the incantations. In 


conclusion, I can say with Malory ' Now all this was but 
enchantment,' and invite you to be enchanted. Your 
most loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
March 26th, 1908. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, You will like the enclosed. I 
answered that I, too, had an Irish mother. 

I am so rejoiced to hear that Papa is quite well and I 
cannot tell you how wildly I am looking forward to Clouds 
at Easter. For added delight the Installation at Dover 
is postponed. 

Things generally are smoothing themselves out 
Pamela is happy again. Guy comes back next Sunday. 

Perf ran 4th yesterday in the Brigade Point-to-Point. 
Cuckoo's family are through their measles and other ail- 
ments. I have finished with the Army Debates for 
another year etc., etc. 

If I can get a copy I will send Papa the * Morning 
Advertiser's ' report of my speech on Monday at Dover 
against the Licensing Bill. The meeting was the largest 
I, or anybody else, has ever seen at Dover. The Town 
Hall was jammed ten minutes after the doors were opened 
at 7 for the meeting at 8 o'clock. 

The ' Maison Dieu ' Hall the old ' Hubert de Burgh ' 
one next to the Town Hall was jammed with the overflow 
by 7.30, and there were hundreds in the street who could 
not get in anywhere. 

The only thing that surprises me is that other people 
did not foresee as I did two years ago that this could be 
the only end of such a Government and such a majority. 

Perf was 4th yesterday out of a field of fifteen. His 
mare, Solitaire, has everything but the necessary turn of 
speed. I hope he will get to Clouds for a day or two. 
I shall bring two or three horses and my lawn-tennis shoes 
and a small library in a box. I had a good talk to Mark 


Sykes, just back from Arabia and found as I supposed 
that the 12th century is still going on there, with Trouba- 
dours, and Jongleurs all complete. 

From Belloc I have another touch for my ' Springs of 
Romance.' It is strange that all the three Roman Legions 
in Palestine at the Crucifixion were Gauls. That accounts 
for the Grail and the spear of Longinus. If Longinus was 
a Celt present in Hellenistic Syria at the death of Our Lord, 
it becomes easy to understand Glastonbury. 

I begin to see that the pleasure of getting older consists 
in understanding the History of the world better. Your 
devoted son, GEORGE. 


To his Sister, Pamela 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
27th March 1908. 

MOST DARLING PAMELA, I praise, you can't guess how 
much I praise your visual phrases as, e.g., ' in grey-leaved 
cluster ' ; that is admirable. But, if I am to say what 
I think it is this. You or anybody would have to 
work for three months at three hours a day on this theme 
to finish it. And this is the point it is worth your while, 
or anybody's to work for that period. 

But work there must be on two separate lines. 

(1) You must state separate grammatical propositions 
or aspirations at least in each sonnet. 

(2) You must finish each sonnet in the form with which 
you begin. 

If you don't, or can't, or won't, do that ; then, print the 
whole thing as an effusion of 6x14=84 lines. 

I would add that, even in an effusion, you cannot have 
Dawn, own, lawn, shown as alternating rhymes. They 
are too like each other, they have no difference beyond the 
difference of vowel intonation. 

My difficulty is that you get some visual sentences, and 
some ethical, or aesthetical feelings. You get them, I can't 
get them. But, then, you waste them. You put these 


joys into sentences that are not concluded, and you put 
your conclusive sentences into poetical forms that are not 

Granting as I do the immense merit oi your des- 
criptive phrases and general aspiration towards Beauty 
and Peace, I must say that they demand, and deserve, 
better treatment. 

I feel pretty sure that this poem for it is poetry and 
not verse had better not affect the sonnet form. I am 
quite sure that if you keep to the sonnet form, the poem 
must be re-written. 

But Great Heavens if I had that amount of truly 
poetical material, I should not bother about Politics or 
anything else. 

Taking these 6x14 lines=84 ; you have as much poetic 
wealth as Gray in his Elegy, and far more poetic wealth 
than Campbell had for the Battle of the Baltic. Why 
are Gray and Campbell immortal ? Because Gray worked 
for 7 years on his Elegy, and because Campbell reduced a 
foolish ballad of 30 stanzas to a classic of 8 or 9 stanzas. 

In this desperate business of writing English in verse, 
it is necessary to do two things. 

(1) You must say what you mean, without over-lapping 
or obscurity. 

(2) You must conform to a known type of verse, or 
invent a new type and conform to that. 

In this case I should not affect the sonnet form. I 
should call the whole thing ' My Garden, ' and give the 
world 84 lines of good verse, exalted by rhyme. Such 
lines as 

' The Garden has a soul, it has its moods 
As any sentient mind from hour to hour ' 

are perfect. They ought not to be cramped in a sonnet 

I have written some sonnet-sequences. I cannot print 
them, unless I either (1) Work at them for 10 years, or (2) 
Knock them out of the sonnet form, and work them into 
something else during 10 months. 


This is only a first impression, it amounts to my sure 
knowledge that you have got in these 84 lines, the pure ore 
of Poetry. 

But that you have not yet smelted that ore, so as to ex- 
clude all dross ; and that when you have done this you 
must mint it into current coinage. 

This is only a first impression. 

Perhaps you would be right to leave it as it stands, it is 
full of beautiful flowers ; of flowers so beautiful that they 
cannot die. But you should insist on their living by any 
precaution of art. 

You may be right. I am a mere politician. Your 
devoted brother, GEORGE. 


To his Sister, Pamela 

36 PARK LANK, W., 

27th March 1908. 

MOST DARLING PAM, I am so impressed by the beauty, 
freshness and truth of your Garden Verses, that I must 
write again. 

Perhaps you have invented a new form of verse, you 
certainly have not written sonnets in the strictest sense. 
But you have gone much nearer than Owen Meredith to 
importing the joy, without the restrictions, of rhyme-forms 
into English ten-syllabled lines. 

Your sequence cannot be made into sonnets, it is a 
sequence of lines, haunted by the memory of sonnets. 
Leave it at that, so far as form is matter for discussion. 
But, now, for sense. 

What is the sense of the poem ? 

What do you know, or feel, which you, the poet, mean to 
teach ? Well, what ? 

The liveliness and fragrance of flowers, of course, that 
this is my garden ' connu.' 

But the new things, and true things, which you say are 
(1) certain flowers that do not please everybody, please 
me, because they are in my garden. (2) But why is my 


garden mine ; not by private possession but by peculiar 
joy ? (3) Because it has no boundaries. There is the 
paradox, which inspired, explains, and justifies the poem. 
(4) My garden is my garden a mon gr because it 
merges into the high chalk Down and into sedgy marsh of 
water-meadows by the Avon. (5) It has no boundaries 
and hi its heart are wild-flowers. (6) And to conclude 
anyway it is fragrant and lovely, and a delight in a two- 
fold way, (a) it is not restricted ; (6) altho' not restricted, 
altho' it merges into the Down and the river, altho' wild 
flowers camp in it, my own selected flowers are there, and 
I love them, and love them the more, because they flourish 
in liberty, not denied to the wild-flowers of the land in 
which I live. 

Anyway, that is the impression which your poem makes 
on me. 

If it is not the impression which you meant your reader 
to feel, you must begin again. 

If it is the impression which you meant your reader to 
feel, you must make your poem more precise. 

But precise in sense ; not in form. Drop the sonnet 
form. Concentrate on stating and illustrating what you 
feel and mean to make other people feel. 

Above all do not cramp the lovely poetry of your des- 
criptive epithets in the iron mould of 17th century sonnets. 

They are flowers like the flowers of your garden, don't 
bruise them into bunches. Your devoted (but tiresome) 
brother, GEORGE. 


To his Sister, Pamela 

36 PARK LANE, W., 
2Sth March 1908. 

MOST DARLING PAM, Do not vex yourself with my 
two long lumbering letters on your poem. I will come to 
you as soon as you are visible and tell you what I mean. 

All love to you, beloved, and rejoicings at the end of 
anxiety. Your devoted brother, GEORGE. 



To his Sister, Pamela 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
30th March 1908. 

DARLING PAM, Your letter made me happy. Before 
it came, I had concluded that I was right to put my views. 
But I balanced and swayed, backwards and forwards, in 
my mind. And as I am very scrupulous about Art, I felt 
that I had, perhaps, overstated the case against the 
sonnet-form, when I said (as I think I did) that it would 
take 10 months work to make your poem, a poem in 6 

For a penance I attacked it myself, for many hours, just 
as if it had been mine. 

I found that I could make something of it that pleased 

That involved leaving out altogether your V., and alter- 
ing the order of the others to your I., IV., II., III., VI. 

There are two main things to be done to this poem. 

The first is to group the ideas which are scattered 
through it. 

The second is to reject, quite sternly, anything that 
' won't do ' in respect of form. 

(1) For the first purpose grouping of ideas one has 
to think what it is that one wishes to say, and to say that 
in a way that will not mislead, for example ; the ' great 
hedge ' in I. will start people (who don't know the garden) 
in the idea that there is a hedge round it, they receive that 
impression. Later on they come into collision with one of 
the great ideas, namely, that the garden has no hedge. 
The mere repetition of the rhymes hedge and edge is a 
fault. But when that fault confuses the statement of ideas, 
it destroys the chance of the poem being read with equani- 

(2) Form. It is hopeless to start a long poem with a 
quatrain rhyming abb a and then to rhyme all the 
other octaves a b a b, c d c d. 


These, then, are the main considerations. 

I. To group your ideas, and establish a sequence between 
them that can be followed. 

II. To observe a form which fulfils the expectations 
which it creates or else, to abandon that form and write 
to please. 

In another and lower plane less important, but still 
important it is necessary to observe the two rules laid 
down by Keats. 

Rule (1). We must be misers of sound and syllable. 

Rule (2). We must fill every rift with ore. 

Briefly, we must not be prolix or thin, but serried and 

For example in your III. in some ways the best of 
all the six sonnets there are two faults that must be 

You make * flower-cups ' rhyme with * buttercups.' 
That is not an English rhyme because the sound is 
identical, and it is not a French rhyme because the sense 
of cups is identical. 

Having said that, I wish to retract my saying that it 
would be better to run the thing into a continuous whole. 

On reflexion, I think you could have five (not six, for 
4 the Bee ' is an intruder), but you could have five sets of 
14 lines each ; provided that the first 8 in each were con- 
cluded on the Shakespeare model, a b a b ; cdcd; and 
the last 6 as sextets on the Petrarchan model. That 
would be a new form. But, just because it would be new, 
it would also be imperative to observe it. 

This could be done, I have done it; working in your 
excellent material for many hours. Your devoted brother, 


P.S. Of all that I have said, by far the most important 
is that you must group your ideas, all the more, since you 
have at least three main ideas that are new and true : I 
mean (1) the moods of the Garden at different hours ; (2) 
the fact that the Garden has no boundary or hedge ; but 
merges into meadow and the Downs ; (3) that within it 



there are vagrants such tramps as Ragged Robins and 

All these three ideas are worth stating. But each must 
be stated. There are subsidiary sentiments, of these two 
are worth preferring (1) the Crown Imperial's tears ; 
with the child's momentary attention and the world's 
unheeding dance ; (2) the Hemlock's screen, veiling 
the sun-filled, unclouded, delight of Tulips, etc., in the 

But, tho' subsidiary, these sentiments must be arranged 
or, else, omitted. 

From all this, the under-current of personal emotion 
will emerge with greater force, if the general ideas and 
sentiments are presented in a sequence of thought, instead 
of being suggested by sensation. Your devoted brother, 



To his Sister, Pamela 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
6th April 1908. 

BELOVED PAM,- I am hard at work too ; on a speech 
two speeches. 

But unless I send you the scrawl now it will wait a 
week so, here it is. 

Only we must talk it over. If you are quite disinfected 
I might ride to you on way to Clouds. 

In answer to questions. 

I think all the octaves should be in one model, and for 
choice a b a b/ c d c d/. Then the sestet can be e f/ e f e f 
or e f e f g g/. But, if you have abba/ you must go on 
abba/ or, at least, a c c a/. If you start a Petrarchan 
octave the 1st, 4th, 5th and 8th lines must have the same 

Otherwise you disappoint an expectation which is en- 
grained in the modern mind. 


The first sonnet is the hardest to deal with. 

One thing I had not mentioned. You cannot have 
lawn, own, dawn, shewn. Because they are not different 
enough their consonantal frame-work is the same. 

I mourn bitterly for * the sunlight pulsing in the flower- 
cups.' But * sups ' is the only rhyme to ' cups.' If you 
keep ' flower-cups ' you must have ' sups ' instead of 
4 butter-cups.' 

Now I must do my work. 

When I am filing at lines absurd suggestions make me 
laugh. I find myself saying or making the breeze say 
* the Dawn, the Dawn, and smell of hay ! ' Your devoted 
brother, GEORGE. 


To his Sister, Pamela 


Afternoon, 6th April 1908. 

DARLING, Just an after-thought to save your ' flower- 

end of your 3. 

Gardens have souls, and this one has its moods, 
I love the leafy stillness of its woods. 


And yet I love its glory of mid-day ! 

The sunlight pulses in the flower-cups, 

The whole world swoons to the sweet scent of may 


Round or fields where the bee drones and sups. 


It is not necessary to say butter-cups. You cannot say 
butter-cups if you say flower-cups. And it is- not neces- 
sary, for if you say golden or glittering we shall see butter- 
cups all right. 


If you say shimmering or quivering we shall guess 
butter-cups and see the mirage and feel the heat. 

But lordy ! me I must work at Tariff Reform. Ever 
devoted brother, GEORGE. 


To his Sister, Pamela 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
6th April 1908. 

MOST DARLING PAMELo, I am delighted with your 
letters about the sonnets. And now, I have a breath- 
ing space to write a less breathless answer to your last 
letter. I have mapped out my big speech for Thursday, 
attended the House, and welcomed its adjournment for 
3 weeks. I feel like a man on his financial beam-ends 
who has suddenly been left a legacy of 5000. I have 
two whole days in hand ! Everybody I could play with 
has gone away. Bendor and Perf went to France, par 
exemple, this morning. And but for the Leeds speeches 
I should now be on their track in the night mail, wearing 
a panama hat, like Chamberlain, as a note of defiant 
recuperation. I have two days in hand ; in which I can 
ride for exercise, sleep for rest and work for duty. I am 
a Croesus of leisure. Nothing like that has happened to 
me since I had the influenza. 

So, for joy, and to prevent relapsing into that accursed 
speech on applied economics, I will infest you with more 
words on Poetry. It is always well to remember that 
Poetry means * making ' in the language of the Greeks, 
who understood how to tell the heart of things in words. 
Poetry is this business of making. 

Very well then ; I shall write from memory, for I have 
posted to you my little sketch of how to make your 
material. It was only an illustration of the manner of 
making : not by any means an achievement. Writing 
from memory ; I take, as my point of departure, the line 
which we both long to preserve : 

' The sunlight pulses in the flower-cups.' 


We cannot have both ' flower-cups ' and ' butter-cups,' 
so we keep ' flower-cups.' Because that is poetry a con- 
tribution to poetry, since it is new and true and visualised. 

That being decided, we must have 4 sups.' Because 
there is no other rhyme to ' cups ' in English which is not 
plainly grotesque. (Browning would have written ' downs 
and ups ' instead of ' ups and downs.' But such inversions 
are devilish.) 

Even ' sups ' is grotesque, unless a Bee does the supping. 
So we must have a Bee. And, note, this is an added 
reason for omitting the ' Bee ' sonnet. . . . (Here there has 
been an interlude. Sibell came in and I declaimed to her 
all the heads of my 'applied economics.' She has now gone 
to bed, amazed.) I resume. . . . Speaking from recollec- 
tion ; I put the sunlit quatrain, sharp, against the Hem- 
lock cavern veiling motif, which ends * I love the leafy 
stillness of its woods.' 

I, originally, proceeded : 

' But yet I love its glory of mid-day, 
When sunlight pulses in the dew it sups 
And all the world swoons to the scent of May 
In flower round fields of glittering buttercups.' 

or words to that effect as they say in a law court. 
On reflexion, I point out that the effect is very poor. 
Take the first line : 

' But yet I love its glory of mid-day/ 

that is deplorable. I will tell you why. 

4 But ' and ' yet ' and * its ' are, all three, built on the 
same plan of a monosyllable, confined by a ' t.' Consonan- 
tally, that is impossible, ' its ' and ' mid ' are by vowel 
sound, identical. Assonantally, that is wretched. 

Keats said that his music was born from the rich variety 
of vowel sounds. I say bowing to his grave Yes, with 
this to be added. Have the same vowel sound to support 
the greater stresses of rhythm and, so, link your quatrain 
together, apart from the rhymes. I bow to Keats' precept, 


and cite the example of Shakespeare ; who always sup- 
ported his quatrains, deliberately, by that device. 

But this is certain. You must not have the impoverish- 
ment of identical, or closely similar, effects, either in con- 
sonantal framework, or vowel sounds, unless you have it 
on purpose. 

English poetry revolves itself into 

I. Selecting and grouping Ideas ; so as to say much, 
and suggest more. 

II. Selecting and grouping sounds ; so as to produce 
rich variety, and sustain consecutive rhythm. So I 
change the line 

' But yet I love its glory of mid-day ' 

' And yet I love its glory of noon-day.' 

Thus I get 8 different vowel-sounds in one line and bow 
again to Keats. I would say * the glory ' instead of * its 
glory,' but for the fact that I mean to end the line with a 
note of exclamation (!) and go on with the line we cherish : 

* The sunlight pulses in the flower-cups.' 

I should like to put * the,' or anything else, instead of 
* it ' or * its.' Because thinking very properly of the 
Garden you have ' it ' and 4 its ' multiplied incredibly 
throughout the sequence. Pausing here . . . (Darling, 
I am shewing you how I work, perhaps in quite the wrong 
way.) Pausing here, I see that I need not have ' the sun- 
light.' I might say more largely 

1 And yet I love the glory of noon-day ' 
(that line is approaching perfection) and go on, 
' Hot sunlight pulses in the flower-cups ' 

or avoiding the ' t ' sound (it, its, yet) and avoiding 
two * the-s ' in one line : 
Why not 

' Gold sunlight pulses in the flower-cups ' ? 
That gives me a useful, purposeful, alliteration from the 


stress on glory, in line 1, to the stress on gold, in line '2. 
It also suggests the gold colour motif, so that I need net 
say golden later on. My readers arc seized of the gold 
colour idea. And if I help them by saying glittering later 
on, the alliteration will not only clamp the quatrain to- 
gether by sustaining its major stresses of rhythm, it will, 
also, make them expect the colour gold, and read it into 
the resplendance of ' buttercups.' This helps us not to 
say buttercups. In poetry we suggest by selection of 
sense and sound. 

So, after the gloomy, quiet caverns, beneath beech- 
trees, usurped by Hemlock, that shew the first green and 
the first sereness ; and dim, or veil, the unabashed sun-kist 
slopes ; and after reverting to that mood of vast sombre 

' I love the leafy stillness of its woods' 

you explode ! into 

' And yet I love the glory of noon-day I 
Gold sunlight pulses in the flower-cups. 
The whole world swoons to the sweet scent of May 
Round glittering fields where the bee drones and sups.' 

Personally, I should make the fourth line 

' Blown over glittering fields where the bee sups.' 

I think that is better as thus : 

'And yet I love the glory of noon-day ! 
Gold sunlight pulses in the flower-cups. 
The whole world swoons to the sweet scent of May 
Blown over glittering fields where the bee sups. 
For is it not my garden's crown of crowns 
To be encompass'd by no narrowing hedge ? 
It wanders to the freedom of the Downs 
And takes its own way to the water's edge. 
Gaj ragged robin and the vagrant dock 
Whose seeds you draw into your passing hand 
Camp in the waste, made pale with ladies-smock, 
Where pollards lean over a marshy land. 

for a 

Shut gardens please. But this one's crown of crowns 

My own is 

Is to be merged in meadow and the Downs. 


I put ' shut ' instead of ' all ' because (1) it suggests the 
contrast in idea of the ' hortus inclusus ' and (2) the 
* sh ' carries on the ' sh ' in marshy or ' Wall'd gardens ' 
that 's better and carries on the ' ws.' Darling, I could 
go on for ever in this vein. But you by now are pro- 
bably asleep ; or too worried to sleep, and ready to rend me. 
I have been thinking on paper with my pen of your 
poem. Partly mainly to please you. Partly, hi a 
lesser degree, to escape the problems of Direct Taxation 
on the assessment of mutual credits. 

' But that way madness lies.' 
I shall not have lived in vain if we preserve 

' The sunlight pulsing in the flower-cups.' 
Your devoted brother, GEORGE. 

P.S. As the scribble over the last two lines is a variant 
to avoid * this one's * not, perhaps, quite a pretty phrase 
-they would run 

'Shut gardens please. But for a crown of crowns 
My own is merged in meadow and the Downs.' 

(2) * Still harping on my daughter.' I now want to alter 
line 4 again, and keep the t droning,' ' o,' sound, to suggest 
the stresses and clamp the quatrain together ; and force 
people to see buttercups by repeating * gold.' 
* And yet I love the glory of noon-day ! 
Gold sunlight pulses in the flower-cups. 
The whole world swoons to the sweet scent of May 
Round fields of gold where the bee drones and sups.' 



Lilies and Pansies, and the Pink that grows 
In grey-leav'd clusters by the garden's edge, 

Sweet-scented Arabis, the climbing Rose, 

Coil'd Honeysuckle ramping the great hedge, 

1 The poem was published in a book of verse under the title of ' Windlestraw,' 
by Pamela Tennant, but not in this form. The first, third, and fourth stanzas 
appeared under the title * Wilsford,' the fourth stanza being completely rewritten. 
The second and fifth stanzas appeared as separate sonnets under the titles ' Crown 
Imperial ' and ' Dawn. ' 


The Rose named Celeste and Rose named Dawn : 
These have I knowledge of because I love them. 

Where lush-green water-meadows meet a lawn 
They lift their rapture to the sky above them. 

I love this garden. When the noise and fret 

Of living saps the citadel of ease, 
I court its precincts, only to forget 

All but the sunlight of its silences. 
I take my spirit's road. At last, the wet 

Cool rain falls suddenly for thirsty trees. 

Rare Crown-Imperial holds herself apart ; 

She droops her petals from the shining skies (or ardent) 
'Tis said she has a deeply wounded heart 

Since tears are ever spangled in her eyes. 
At whiles a child, abandoning his play 

Peeps in her blossom, touch'd to interest : 
' O, Crown- Imperial 's crying ! ' he will say, 

And so forget her for another quest. 

Life scrapes a fiddle for the world to dance, 

Swung in the cadence of a roundabout. 
The grave, the gay, the few with radiant glance, 

All, trace a figure in the motley rout. 
And Crown-Imperial dances with her peers : 

Only the wise, or simple, guess her tears. 

This garden has a soul and, so, its moods 

As any sentient mind from hour to hour. 
I know the leafy silence of its woods 

Vast quiet harbours of the Hemlock-flower. 
The Hemlock, with her maze of delicate lace, 

Whose leaf's the first green leaf of all the year, 
Usurps the beech-trees' overshadowed space 

To spread her forest that shall first be sere. 

She weaves a veil, as if to dim the slopes 
Of sun-kist joy too unabash'd to hide, 

Where Tulips blaze and, later, Heliotropes 
Are set with Poppies, hectic in their pride. 

Gardens have souls ; and this one has its moods : 
I love the leafy stillness of its woods. 



But yet I love its glory of mid-day 

When sunlight pulses in the dew it sups (or, where 

the great bee sups) 
And all the world swoons to the scent of May 

In flower round fields of glittering Butter-cups. 
For is it not this garden's crown of crowns 

To be encompass'd by no narrowing hedge ? 
It wanders to the freedom of the Downs 

And takes its own way to the water's edge. 

Gay Ragged Robin and the vagrant Dock 

Whose seeds you draw into your passing hand 

Camp in the waste made pale with Ladies' Smock 
Where Pollards lean across the marshy land. 

All gardens please, but this one's crown of crowns 

Is to be merged in meadow and the Downs. 


Listen ! I know this garden at the dawn : 

Before the day breaks on a world made new, 
When cobwebs drench'd upon the grey-green lawn, 

Are meshes that have caught the silver dew ; 
Before the birds sing ; long before the sun 

Summons the swathes of vapour to arise 
Just when the night is overpast and done, 

And yet no daylight quickens in the skies : 

Then, there 's no murmur from the idle trees. 

The voiceless Universe is robed in grey 
And tranced to hear expectant ecstasies ; 

As if each leaf upon each separate spray 
Were listening, waiting, till a little breeze 

Whispers ' the Dawn, the Dawn ' and dies away. 



The Asquith Ministry Dover Pageant Dover Harbour Cavalry 
Manoeuvres Francis Thompson's 'Shelley' Lord Rector of the 
University of Edinburgh The Education Bill France General 
Election Campaign. 

To his Father 

WINCHCOMBE, April 14th, 190B. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I am motoring over to Clouds on 
Thursday with Mary, in Arthur Balfour's motor. 

I am bringing two horses and a groom. I hunted here 
on Saturday and had quite a pleasant gallop. The meet 
was at Broadway. Since then the fun here has been 
* fast and furious.' The Party consisted of Arty Paget and 
Lady Muriel, Professor W. Raleigh and his wife Madame 
Benkendorf, H. Cust and wife, a young man from Balliol, 
called Ridley, Cyncie, and A. J. B. 

Mary I must tell you asked me to come ' and see her 
quiet home life.' I have never heard, and rarely, made 
more noise before. But all very amusing. A. Paget is 
a ' Pied Piper of Hamelin ' with his guitar and we were 
rats who danced to his music. 

I rode yesterday with Cyncie along the Cotswold and 
motored to-day to see the stained glass in Fairford Church. 
Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Sister, Pamela 

7th July 1908. 

DARLING PAMELO, The invitation is most fascinating. 
But I am afraid I cannot get away. The last four weeks 



of the Session are always odious. And, this year, I have 
to be in Dover the Monday 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th, for 
the Pageant. This I must do, as my Doverians have 
spent 8000 on it, and I have to be there and ask people 
down, and introduce Royalties and give luncheon, etc., 
and so on. As I have to get away on the Friday and make 
a big speech to 8000 people in Cheshire on August 3rd, 
I dare not encroach on the Saturday-Sunday, 25-26. 
They are my two days for preparation. 

I will not grumble. My rule is to acquiesce in July, 
like a fish letting the rapids go over him. Or rather that 
is my ideal. The practice is more like a hen dodging 
motors on the Ripley Road. 

I know you won't come to Dover on Tuesday 28th or 
Thursday 30th best days but I wish you would, bring- 
ing Bim and Clare. It is going to be quite delightful. 
Arthurian Prologue William the Conqueror coming over 
to Western Heights and leaving Kent ' Invicta ' with her 
Saxon customs John and Pandulph Edward i. return- 
ing with my beloved Eleanor from the last Crusade- 
Henry v. Harry our King and Kate of France 
Henry vm. starting for Field of Cloth of Gold and finally 
Charles i. receiving Henrietta Maria. 

The last Act is written by Tiercelin in brilliant French 
Alexandrines. The French parts are acted by French 
actors and actresses. They will speak real broken English. 
The English parts by Englishmen who will speak real 
broken French. 

I know you won't come, but I should like you to see it, 
as I invented the selection of scenes as a glorification of 
the Sea and the ' Entente.' 

The poetry is by Rhodes and the songs excellent. 

I am particularly pleased at having brought in King 
Arthur out of Caxton's preface to Malory. I was tired of 
the Early Britons and monastic martyrs with skulls, as 
St. Alban and St. Edmund, so I said * skull for skull, give 
me Gawain,' whose skull, according to Caxton, was to be 
seen at Dover. 

There is a deeper point in this Prologue ; as thus 


Our Arthurian Romances were written at the time of 
Henry n. and John. 

Besides being poems based on Welsh mythology, picked 
up as the Geraldines went through Wales to conquer 
Ireland, they also reflect the politics and events of the age 
in which they were written. They reflect Henry ii.'s 
dominion from the Pyrenees to the Grampians ; the 
Interdict under John ; and the Crusades. They, there- 
fore, supply a proper prologue to the episodes of John and 
Edward i. 

Incidentally we shall build a ship to a sea chorus of 
hammer'd planks. 

I propose to attend the Cavalry Manreuvres with Sibell 
and shall look you up if we get near Stonehenge the week 
of August 17th. Your devoted brother, GEORGE. 

To his Mother 

DOVER, July 29th, 1908. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I wished that I could have 
loeen next you at the Pageant. There was plenty of 
armour in it but, perhaps, not enough fighting. I thought 
the 4 Mobled Queens ' very good, when Gawain's corse 
was carried out. I like best the Arthurian Prologue and 
the last episode with Henriette Marie, and, above all, the 
marching and counter-marching at the end. I hope dear 
Papa was not tired. I am sorry I bundled little George 
into your full carriage. But I had been keeping the train 
for him for three minutes and the officials were fussing. 
Arthur Balfour was very keen and sympathetic. The 
whole drama is a good work of art. All the ladies near 
me fell in love with Henry v. a young Irishman French- 
Blake in the East Kent Yeomanry. 

I did all the work of carriages and seating forty-seven 
at lunch and 40 in the Royal enclosure over night. So 
yesterday morning I amused myself. We did the Castle 


at 10 o'clock and had the Harbour Board Tug at 11 
o'clock. In her we went all round the harbour inside 
and outside. It is pleasant to see and know that the 
promenade pier, the Prince of Wales' Pier, the National 
Harbour, the berth for the Red Star Liners, the broadening 
of the Admiralty Pier for Marine Station, and, last, the 
Craning Dock which passed the Lords on Monday are 
all in a considerable degree my own work. I look at them 
from the flag-staff in the Keep and smile as I remember the 
hours I have spent treading the alien stairs of Government 
offices and colloguing with distracted parliamentary agents. 

After the Pageant S. S. and I drove off and paid a visit 
of ceremony to Lord and Lady Brassey on the ' Sunbeam.' 
Tiercelin, the French poet, a Breton and Catholic who 
wrote the last episode and the Comte de Belabre dined 
with us. We had a great ' go in ' over French poetry 
and Celtic legends. 

This afternoon I must work at my speech and look in 
at the Pageant for the end which I think quite beautiful. 
The six silver trumpets are a joy and the ship ' Invicta ' 
with the shields hanging over her side. Your most loving 
son, GEORGE. 


To his Father 


SALISBURY PLAIN, August 16th, 1908. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, Here I am in General Scobell's 
Camp. There are four Cavalry Brigades, R.H.A., etc. 
So we spread over a great extent of country. But this, 
the Head Quarter Camp, is by Barrow Plantation, on the 
Salisbury to Devizes road, just two miles north of Orches- 
ton St. Mary, and one mile west of Rushall Down. I will 
wire if I hear that we are working your way. 

We had six days hard polo at Eaton. I enjoyed it very 
much, but shall enjoy this even more. All love to darling 
Mamma. Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Father 

SALISBURY PLAIN, August 17th, 1908. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I am afraid we shall not come 
towards Clouds. 

The centre of our camps is Ell-Barrow, which you 
remember no doubt. We worked from there this morning 
to Knighton Down and attacked back. It is a magni- 
ficent sight and one which has never been seen before 
in England. There are four brigades=12 regiments=36 
squadrons and 48 Horse Artillery guns. We galloped the 
last three miles to-day. It is not possible to describe the 
effect of such bodies gliding over the downs, up the ridges 
and sweeping the hollows (where our ponies used to ' take 
charge ') and finally, charging home. 

I am riding on Scobell's staff and he is very kind and 
attentive to me. This is very much better than being in 
the visitor's camp, where there are 36 officers together who 
merely ride about and look on, with orders not to show 
themselves too much. 

To-morrow we do much the same, Wednesday and 
Thursday we shall go over the river between Netheravon 
and Amesbury. The only way you could see anything 
would be to train to Salisbury and motor out. If you 
do decide to do this Wednesday or Thursday, send me a 
wire and I will try to wire where we are likely to be about 
11 o'clock. Love to darling Mamma, Your loving son, 


To Wilfrid Ward 

CARDIFF, August 28th, 1908. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, I have been in camp on Salisbury 
Plain with the Cavalry Division an invigorating experi- 


ence. But the conditions precluded any study of the 
* Shelley ' article. 1 I reserve that for next week, and am 
preparing by reading a good deal of Shelley. My interest 
is sharpened by your letter and the criticism, or rather 
panegyric, of the ' Observer.' It is, also, but a few weeks 
four I think, since I visited Wilfrid Blunt, saw a sketch 
of Francis Thompson drawn just before his death, read 
some of his poetry aloud and heard all his story in great 
detail. I believe that Wilfrid Blunt could send you an 
interesting article on Thompson. Yours ever, 


To his Father 

August 31st, 1908. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I am very glad to know that you 
saw the Cavalry Division at work. It was and, probably 
will remain, a unique sight. There was never anything 
quite like it before. And, next year, I expect that the 
manoeuvres will be on a larger and slower scale, embracing 
Infantry and Field Artillery. These Cavalry Manoeuvres 
were an epoch in Cavalry Drill a ' little classic ' in their 
way. The Learned, when they discuss them, talk of 
Alexander, Cromwell, and Seidlitz. The point is that 
masses of mounted men were moved rapidly over gradients 
in consonance with an idea and without losing co-operation 
between component parts. That is important. 

If Germany fights France and we have to go to Belgium, 
it counts that we can put in four brigades of such Cavalry, 
with their Horse Artillery. 

I saw a good deal of your German I. G. General Count 
Von Dohne. He seemed to me to be a capable man. He 
looked at every horse and, as I thought too closely at 
some of our ' dodges ' such as our method of horsing 
Artillery. But he was a capable and gallant old boy. 
When I conducted them the foreigners through the 

5 By Francis Thompson. 


Cavalry School at Netheravon, someone said * the road is 
up. They have dug a deep trench across it.' I went on 
and jumped a wide and deep trench with a drain-pipe at 
the bottom. Old Von Dohne jumped after me and all the 
rest of the Staff went round. 

Perf arrived here to-night. We meant to be together 
with Sibell till you come on the llth, but Lily Zetland is 
ill and wants Sibell. So Perf and I feel we must make a 
dash somewhere. We both have work ahead. He has 
manoeuvres on the 12th and then cramming for his Exam. 
I have the Autumn session and speeches. We should 
languish here, so we go off to Venice for a day or two and 
return for the llth. The choice lay between that and 
Scotland. And we preferred the sunny South. 

After our work we hope to hunt together in December 
and have decided that if it freezes we will, at once, go to 
St. Petersburg and see Guy. 1 The Mintos asked Perf to 
spend his leave at Calcutta as an extra Aide-de-Camp. 
He says * No ' this year. But will do it next year. 

Their Military Secretary advised them to ask him. I 
believe that he will make soldiering his profession. I 
think he is right. 

WJien I was young soldiering ' petered ' out and politics 
became important. Now politics are petering out and 
soldiering is becoming the crux. 

So, as he must jaunt at his age, I mean to jaunt with 
him to Venice this week, and to Petersburg if it freezes 
after Christmas. 

I am looking forward tremendously to your visit on the 

To Wilfrid Ward 

CHESTER, September 16/A, 1908. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, I reached home from Venice on 
Saturday, and of Venice I will say a word later. I must 

1 His brother was Military Attache at St. Petersburg. 


now tell you that I have read Francis Thompson's ' Shelley ' 
more than once to myself, and once aloud to Sibell, my 
mother and father. I was rash when I promised a full 
letter on it. I cannot write one to-night ; nor indeed 
until I have digested it finally after further rumination. 

For the moment I will say that it is the most important 
contribution to pure Letters written in English during 
the last twenty years. In saying that I compare this 
essay in criticism with poetry as well as with other critical 

Speaking from memory, Swinburne's last effective 
volume, * Astrophel ' with the ' Nympholept ' in it, came 
out in '87 or '88 ; Browning's 'Asolando' in '89. Tenny- 
son's ' CEnone ' is also, I think, at the verge of my twenty 
years. But even so, these were pale Autumn blossoms 
of more radiant Springs. It may be when posterity 
judges that Thompson's own poems will alone overthrow 
this opinion. But I doubt if they ought to. There is 
more of Thompson in this essay than in his poems. In 
any case there is a strain in a comparison between criticism 
and poetry ; prose and verse. 

It is more natural to seek comparison with other essays 
devoted to the appreciation of poetry. 

I have a very great regard for Matthew Arnold's * Essays 
in Criticism ' : partly reasoned, partly sentimental. But 
they were earlier. They did not reach such heights. 
They do not handle subjects as a rule so pertinent to 
poetry. When they do in the ' Wordsworth ' and ' Byron ' 
(2nd series) they are outclassed by this essay. The Heine 
essays deal with religion rather than poetry. 

The only recent English essay on poetry and, therefore, 
life temporal and eternal, which challenges comparison 
as I read Thompson's * Shelley ' is Myers' * Virgil ' and, 
specially the first part. 

I think these two are the best English essays on poetry, 
of our day. Myers gams by virtue of Virgil's wider appeal 
to mortal men in all ages. Thompson gains by virtue of 
the fact that he is himself a poet, writing on the poet who, 
in English, appeals specially to poets. His subject is 


narrower, but his style is incomparable in the very quali- 
ties at which Myers aimed ; of rhythm and profuse illus- 
tration. Both, perhaps, exceeded in these qualities. 
But Thompson, the poet, is the better man at varying 
and castigating his prose style. He is rich and melodic, 
where Myers is, at moments, sweet and ornate. Both are 
sentimental, and each speaks out of his own sorrow. 
Myers sorrowed after confirmation of Immortality. 
Thompson sorrowed out of sheer misery. When Myers 
writes of Virgil's ' intimations ' of Immortality he is think- 
ing of his own sorrow. When Thompson writes of Mangan's 
sheer misery he is thinking of his own slough of despond. 
Both meant to be personally reticent. But Thompson 
succeeds. Unless I knew Thompson's story I could not 
read between the lines of his wailing over Mangan. But 
any one who reads Myers sees the blots of his tears. Again, 
Myers is conscious of Virgil as a precursor on the track of 
unrevealed Immortality. Thompson seems is, I believe 
unconscious of any comparison between himself and 
Shelley, as angels ascending the iridescent ladders of 
sunlit imagination. He follows the ' Sun-treader ' with 
his eye, unaware that his feet are automatically scaling 
the Empyrean. 

That his article is addressed to Catholics in no degree 
deflects his aim. It begins with an apologia for writing 
on Shelley. It ends with an apologia for Shelley. These 
are but the grey-goose feathers that speed it to the 
universal heart of man. There it is pinned and quivers. 

But enough ! I am glad that you display this ' captain 
jewel ' in a good * carcanet.' The number (of July) is 
excellent and ' editorially ' a plumb-centre ; with a right 
good article from the editor into the bargain. 

Of this I cannot write now ; still less of Venice. At 
another time I could expatiate, but, believe me, it was 
good to be alone with my boy on a yacht off the Ponte 
della Salute ; it was good to see a procession ascend the 
steps of S. Maria della Salute on the feast of her nativity ; 
it was good to swim in the Adriatic ; it was good to see 
Tintoretto ; it was good to read Villehardouin on the spot 


where he and his three companions, as ambassadors of the 
Chivalry of Europe, knelt in 1202 and would not rise till 
Venice vouchsafed Christendom's request for ships so that 
the shame of our Lord might be avenged. 

The older I get the more do I affect the two extremes- 
of Literature. Let me have, either pure poetry, or else, 
the statements of actors and sufferers. Thompson's 
article, though an essay in prose criticism, is pure poetry, 
and also, unconsciously, a human document of intense 
suffering. But I won't pity him. He scaled the heavens 
because he had to sing, and so dropped in a niche above the 
portals of the temple of Fame. And little enough would 
he care for that ! Why should he ? Myers doubted. 
But he knew that souls, not only of Poets, but of Saints 
4 beacon from the abodes where the Eternals are.' He is 
a meteor exhaled from the miasma of mire. And all 
meteors, earth-born and heaven-fallen, help the heavens 
to declare the Glory of God. Coeli enarrant. But the 
grammar of then* speech is the ' large utterance ' of such 
men made * splendid with swords.' Yours ever, 


P.S. Reverting to Thompson's article and its place 
in the pure literature of recent years ; I ought to mention 
Walter Raleigh's ' Milton,' and with even greater gratitude 
his 4 Wordsworth.' But these are books. Of single 
essays on a high poetic theme, I adhere to Myers' * Virgil r 
and Thompson's ' Shelley,' and put Thompson first. 

To his Father 

Michael Mass, 1908. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I enjoyed my visit to Clouds 
immensely. I wish Perf could have been there. We mean 
to grow wild chicory here, if possible. It is a lovely flower. 

At Wynyard I met an interesting group Buckle, editor 
of the 'Tunes' who was effusive to me Morant, the 
permanent head of the Education Office Moneypenny, 


who is writing the life of Dizzy. I had talks with all 
three. Then Metternich German Ambassador arrived 
on the scene. He is not well disposed towards the * Times.' 
He is always silent. 

On this occasion he arrived at 6 o'clock. Said nothing 
turned the whole establishment upside-down in order 
to send a motor at midnight to Darlington, and left at 
8 A.M. the next morning. All this happened because of 
the Bulgarian crisis which the Germans are fomenting. 
They mean to have a war : not, necessarily, in the imme- 
diate future, but some day, and pretty soon. So they pour 
acids into Morocco and Bulgaria and tell lies all the time. 
But having neither the old brutality of their Bismarck, 
nor the finesse of old France, their attempts at lying afford 
an excellent substitute for blurting out the truth. ' There 
is no deception ' as the clumsy conjuror has it. 

On Monday yesterday we had a long walk after 
partridges with five guns and killed 20 1 brace ; I picked up 
15 birds. 

On our first day of 75 brace, I picked up 47 birds ; 23| 

Reggie and Margaret Talbot were at Wynyard and she 
played divinely. 

Between whiles I wrote two manifestoes. One on the 
Territorial Army and another ' Message ' which will be 
published in the new form of the * Manchester Courier.' 

I have consistently prophesied that this Government 
would dissolve early next year. Other people are now 
beginning to say so. I hear it, indirectly from Carson, 
and also from a member of the Government. I think the 
election will be in March. 

To amuse you, I enclose a letter from Perf and another 
from Belloc. Please return at leisure. 

I cannot put my hand on your last letter. I should like 
to shoot the pheasants and, even more, to drive the 
partridges again. But you must not bother about my 
dates. I could only shoot on Fridays and Saturdays. 

I mean to attend the House closely and have speeches 
on 14th October, llth November, 18th, 19th, 20th Novem- 


ber, National Union and Tariff Reform at Cardiff. Dover 
the next week, i.e. 25th and 26th November, and the Mass 
Meeting etc. at Liverpool the first week in December. 

Perf 's spelling reminds one of the ' Paston Letters.' * Mais. 
il a une maniere bien nette d'exprimer son idee.' Belloc 
plays the fool, but plays it well. All love to darling 
Mamma. Your loving son, GEORGE. 

Love from Sibell. 

To his Mother 

CHESTER, October 1st, 1908. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I am just going to write you a 
line about curlews and wild chicory. 

And, first, about curlews. Until yesterday I had never 
seen a curlew in these parts. But they have always 
haunted me with their cry of watery wildness. I first 
heard and then saw a curlew flying over Bassenthwaite 
Lake when fishing with you for perch. And you told me 
his name. When I wrote my * Shakespeare ' I put in a 
long note on ' Lyrics ' opposing Bagehot's definition- 
Although I did not mention a curlew, the note sprang from 
that. I read of them too much in ' Locksley Hall * 
between whiles. I was familiar with them on the West 
Coast of Ireland. But, till yesterday, I had never seen 
one here. 

Well, yesterday, as I rode beyond Sir Hugh de 
Calveley's derelict moat, by the Alford brook, I saw a 
strange bird. Then I heard his cry, and knew it was 
a curlew. And, in the twinkling of an eye, a heron 
came after him, making short barks. The heron was 
saying ' who are you and what do you mean by being a 
big bird with a long beak, though not so big as I am, and 
with a thinner beak, curved too, and altogether outlandish ? 
so, out you go ! You are too big, anyway, and look 
as if you might try to catch my fish.' So the curlew flew 
away towards Saighton and the heron probably the cock 


circled back in dignity to the Beechins. He was pro- 
bably the cock because, soon, another heron came back 
from the distance into which the curlew had flown, to 
report about the stranger. This heron talked more than 
the first. The second heron was probably the hen. She 
had been ordered to follow up the stranger and came 
back filling the welkin with information and scandal 
just to show what a jealous lady-heron she was to her 
Lord and how jealous of the little heron's right to all the 
fish ; on the hasty theory that curlews eat fish which 
they don't. 

To-day in the morning I took a walk with S. S. over 
the fields towards Waverton ; on the side of Saighton, and 
three miles away from the Alford brook. There we saw 
the strange bird again and stalked him and put him up 
twice. He was a curlew. And this time the rooks were 
in the Devil's own stew over the interloper. They could 
talk of nothing else. They cawed out ' what are we coming 
to, if a bird as big as ourselves, but of a different colour, 
and shape, settles here as if the place belonged to him ? ' 

I thought * it must be my curlew of yesterday, hunted 
by the herons to face the rooks ! ' But this afternoon I 
rode again into the marshy flats beyond the site of Sir 
Hugh's timbered mansion and, lo ! and behold ! I put up 
seven (7) curlews. My friend of yesterday had called up 
his supports. I do not think that these seven can have 
been one brood, for I have been told that the curlew only 
lays two eggs. If that is true but is it ? here were two 
families minus one member. Perhaps the missing member 
was my friend of this morning. How little we know ! 
How inglorious is our ignorance. 

That leads me to wild chicory or succory with its 
bright green leaves and bright blue flower. Papa tells 
me that he was to drive you to see the wild chicory beyond 
the plantation opposite Pertwood. 

Well now, here we are all striving to have blue flowers. 
Nemophylla and amagallus I am shaky over these 
names are not in it with chicory. Why not have a 
patch of chicory in the garden for September days ? Why 


not ? I find from the books that it grows wild anywhere 
between here and India, but chiefly on chalky soil. I 
am told by my gardener that the only way to get it is to 
dig it up in its native sod. I should hate to dig up many 
near Pert wood. But if you would send me one or two I 
would lay down a chalky bed to receive them. 

I should like to do that. But I am not bent upon it. 
Perhaps it is better to know that they are glorious near 
Pertwood, and at many other spots, all the way across 
Europe, Asia Minor and on to India. 

I have asked Cecil Parker to issue orders that the curlews 
shall not be shot. So it is rather base to dig up even one 
plant of chicory. The curlews and chicory are 4 pleasant 
and lovely in their lives.' I feel that, all the more clearly, 
as the man who lives at Newbold, between Saighton and 
the Beechins, has enclosed a square mile and planted it 
with rare shrubs. The result swears with everything 
and makes the fox-hunter swear. It looks like a new 

4 Let 'un live,' x say I. And yet I should like a patch 
of bright blue chicory; if I felt sure they could live and 
say ' so am not I ' with the foolish scullion. Indeed, 
Sterne's foolish scullion was not foolish, but as wise as his 
starling. Sterne's scullion and starling stand for life and 
liberty against his dead donkey and dying lieutenant. 
So do the wild chicory and watery curlews stand against 
the stunted shrubs of Mr. Colley's plantations. Perhaps 
we had best leave them at that. Your most loving son, 


P.S.I have written all this on the paper you gave me. 
With such paper there is no impediment to writing on for 
ever. I put ' reason ' first and then scratched it out. 
There is always this much of reason for writing, that I 
love you and all you taught me to love such as curlews 
and chicory and all that is wild enough and bright enough 
to deserve loving and be spared from death, or decency, 
or order. 

1 Barne's Dorset Poems, ' The Old Oak Tree.' 



To Philip Hanson 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
5.x. 08. 

MY DEAR P. H., It seems a long while since I heard 
from, or wrote to, you. It is long and seems longer pro- 
bably because I have been moving about and enjoying 
life, I have really followed at last advice which you have 
often tendered. I have taken a complete holiday of two 
months. I marvel at the exhilaration which this pro- 
duces. Sometimes I wonder whether I shall ever work 
again. I am filled with a new gusto for enjoyment. One 
of two things may happen. I may either begin to work 
again with ease, or become by conviction a middle-aged 
pleasure-seeker. I have not done a stroke of real work 
since August 3, when I spoke at a mass meeting in Eaton 
Park. It is only two months and three days ago. But 
I feel as if I had never worked and almost as if I never 
would. I went to Clouds and played lawn tennis ; I 
returned to Eaton and played polo ; I went to Salisbury 
Plain and played at soldiers, to such purpose that a Guard 
turned out and mistook me for a General, presented 
arms and blew a fanfare on a trumpet ; a deserved tribute 
to grey hair and a red (Yeomanry) cap with a white cover. 
More by token, I went to Venice with Percy, and led the 
life of a Monte Cristo. We two had Westminster's yacht 
to ourselves, safely anchor'd off the Punte della Salute. 
We chartered a Gondola with a figure (Pagan, naked and 
unashamed) of Fortune on our prow. We saw Palaces 
and Churches. We discovered Tintoretto just as if we 
were Ruskin. We read Villehardouin's own account of 
his transactions with Dandolo in 1202. We bathed in 
the Adriatic from the Lido. We gave a Dinner Party 
on board, and if we did not paint the town red, why I I 
can only say that is unnecessary in ' Venise, la rouge.' 
But after that I went to Clouds again and shot partridges. 
I went to Wynyard and met Buckle and Moneypenny, 


and finally I have, for the first time since 1900, been at 
Saighton in summer weather. 

I am here only for a Railway Board, and back to- 
Saighton immediately after it. 

I have definitely refused to write an article for the 
centenary of the ' Quarterly.' 

I mean without preparation to hurl my exuberance on 
an effete House of Commons. And then hunt and if 
it freezes go to see brother Guy at Petersburg. 

I have just read the proceedings at Cork. They com- 
plete the illusion of being five years younger, without 
re-creating the delusion that anything is likely to happen 
except a war with Germany. 

Mahaffy has been with us at Saighton, and a quite 
delightful companion. I wish you could pop over for 
48 hours before next Saturday. 

I crystallised my Italian in Venice. It came to me 
suddenly like swimming or skating. So that without 
effort or merit on my part I can now read that language 
and have read four or five volumes in it. But I can't 
read German. Perhaps you could tell me the purport 
of the enclosed remarks on my * Walter Scott.' I shall 
bear up if the sense is as repellent as the form seems to 
my untutor'd eye. 

Anyway let me hear from you. Yours ever, G. W. 

P.S. Reverting to the German review. I know not 
the speech, but I am glad to have been spared the first 
word in the criticism which follows the par. on my W. S_ 
* Quellenuntersuchungen.' What an awful thing to say 
about anybody ! 

To his Father 

October I2th, 1908. 

MY DEAR PAPA, I was much amused to hear that the 
wild chicory came from Chester, and much interested by 
the information you have given me about it. It is some 


years since I first saw the blue flowers for we were walking 
partridges. I took some home then and found out that 
it was the plant used for salad. But as I had never seen 
the flower in the garden I did not believe it. You explain 
the mystery. Thanks too, for telling me about the 
curlew's four eggs. I brought the curlews into a speech 
at the Conversazione at the ' Charles Kingsley ' Natural 
History Society in Chester last Thursday. 

On Friday I went to Derwent and shot grouse Saturday 
with Edmund Talbot. Owing to a high wind, which 
blew them off the estate, we only got 66 brace with five 

A man staying there knew a great deal about birds. 

I ought to have said before that you must not think of 
changing your dates for shooting. I shall hope to get to 
Clouds for a Sunday or two soon. All love to darling 
Mamma. Your loving son, GEORGE. 

To his Mother 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
29th October 1908. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, Your letter besides being 
dear amuses me, because all my congratulators on the 
Lord Rectorship are more pleased at Winston's defeat 
than at my victory. 

I did not expect to win. But, as I have won, I shall 
try to say something to them in my address. Meanwhile 
new links with real youth have a new joy. The unreal 
youth of middle age is light-hearted. But the real youth 
of twenty years is portentous in the solemnity of its 
ignorance. Never having been out of its depth it needs 
no bladders of mirth to swim with. Little ripples from 
the tide of fate kiss its ankles. And it walks gravely 
through them like a conqueror of ' seas of trouble.' 

On Monday the Leader of the Edinburgh under- 
graduate opposition and his right hand man sent in 
their cards to me at the House. They were at pains to- 


explain how much they had wished and how hard they 
had tried to beat me. But as between gentlemen that 
being over, they wished to express their respect for ' The 
Lord Rector.' So I made them dine without dressing, 
and they regaled Sibell and myself with their earnestness 
and certainty, over what seems trifles to the middle-aged. 
Your loving and devoted son, GEORGE. 

To his Father 

Friday Night, October 30th, 1908. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I am counting on coming to 
Clouds for several Sundays ; and should as you half 
expected have come to-morrow. But for several reasons : 
as, for example, Percy comes here to-morrow from 
Aldershot ; Sibell has a feast of the Church on Sunday ; 
and I am immersed in arithmetical calculations over the 
Irish Land Act. But I mean to come soon, perhaps next 
Friday or Saturday. 

I will try to see Harold White, meanwhile. 

I do not think we need worry over the state of affairs. 
Because all classes are worrying. Margaret Dalton of 
Saighton village wrote to Sibell much on the lines of your 
letter. The whole country, and specially what are called 
the lower classes are shocked at all that is taking place. 

My main concern is that I fear this wretched Govern- 
ment will collapse next March and let us in, before we 
are ready to face national bankruptcy and anarchy in 

I am not a cynic and find no pleasure in the general 
sordid insanity which seems inherent in the third year of 
a so-called Liberal administration. Yet the Government's 
position is diabolically absurd. 

Four hundred of their supporters are pledged to Woman's 
Suffrage. The Prime Minister though opposed personally 
has publicly invited them to ventilate their cause. Their 


watch- word is, * No taxation without representation/ 
Excellent. But what do we see ? 

The House of Commons is often surrounded by a cordon 
of police. The public galleries are shut. We live in a 
state of siege. 

So, too, in Ireland. Yesterday several policemen were 
shot and a cattle-driver was shot dead. 

All this goes on. But the House of Commons is only 
allowed to discuss quite ridiculous provisions in the 
Licensing Bill. 

This afternoon, for example, the House of Commons 
made it a crime for a father to take his boy into a railway 
station Refreshment Room if there was a ' bar ' on the 

To ' top up ' or, as the French say, * pour surcroit de 
bonheur.' We are face to face with national bankruptcy 
and not too far removed from a war with Germany. In 
face of that situation we are exporting the Reserve to our 
protectionist Colonies hi order that they may not starve 
in Free Trade England. 

4 Is that all ? ' as we say in English. ' Merci du peu * 
as they say in French. 

I await the explosion. 4 Impavidum ferient ruinae ' as 
they say in Latin, which is as much as to say in English 
* I shall not be alarmed,' nor, let me add, surprised. 

But, alas ! the Party will hardly be ready. Your 
loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Father 


MY DEAREST PAPA, I have told them to look for the 
two letters in the ' Times ' of the 2nd. 

I have studied ' Invisible Exports ' and Capital invested 
abroad for some time. 

Nobody attended to it before 1903. 

In the Board of Trade Blue-Book, prepared by Gerald 
Balfour in that year, they took a shot. 


To account for excess of Imports over Exports, they 
said (a) some pay the freights of our ships, (b) others to 
the tune of 90,000,000 are interest on capital invested 

Schooling in the British Trade Year Book has proved 
that our shipping does not earn the amount credited 
to it. 

I think it far more likely that more much more than 
90,000,000 is interest on capital invested abroad coming 
back in the shape of articles. And I am sure that more 
must come back in future. 

It is difficult to identify our capital invested abroad. 
The only part we can identify is that on which income 
tax is paid in block by bankers. These are called ' iden- 
tified profits from abroad.' 

They show that capital is pouring out of this country. 
It goes for two reasons : (1) to get a higher interest, 
because a shilling income tax and death duties force 
people to try for 5 per cent, preferring the risk to the 
certainty of being ruined in three generations ; (2) to 
take refuge behind Tariff walls. 

The increase is astounding. In the 19 years previous 
to 1904-1905, capital so identified went abroad at the 
average rate of 22,000,000 a year. But in the next two 
years 05/06 06/07 it went at the average of 135,000,000 
a year 270,000,000 in the two years. 

Now the curious point is this. These huge sums did 
not go in sovereigns or bullion, most of them went as 
our exports. Yet imports exceeded exports in 1906 : 


Imports 607,888,500 

Exports 375,575,338 

Total . 983,463,838 


Total . 1,071,843,025 


One result is certain, viz. : the operation of Tariff walls. 

They tend to make the Imports of 645 millions consist 
of wholly manufactured articles ; and they tend to make 
the 426 millions of our Exports consist of raw material, 
e.g. coal, and partly manufactured articles. 

Consequently they tend to displace our skilled artisans 
and to entice yet more capital abroad. 

The ultimate result is to turn us into a nation of bankers 
and commission agents, supporting armies of unemployed 

That is what happened in ancient Rome, in Constanti- 
nople, and in Venice, with the results that history teaches. 
Your loving son, GEORGE. 

P.S. Few people know that Constantinople in the 
XlVth century had a revenue as large as ours 150 
millions a year. Yet it collapsed like a card-castle before 
the Turks in 1457 and had been taken already by the 
Franks in 1204. 

All this makes me sad. 


To his Mother 


Saturday Night, November 7th, 1908. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I wish I were at Clouds. And 
this is to say, definitely, that I shall come to Clouds by 
the morning tram next Saturday. For many reasons next 
Sunday is easier than this Sunday. We shall have finished 
the Committee stage of the Licensing Bill on which I 
speak every day. On one day I spoke six times ! And 
with average luck I shall have broken the back of 
preparation for platform speeches. When that has been 
done a holiday, before making them, is a holiday and 
helps me to make them better. But a holiday when I am 
up to my neck in work is not a holiday. 

Besides my work on the Licensing Bill, I have circu- 
lated to ex-colleagues a memo, of 21 pages foolscap typed 


on the finance of the Land Act, and answered every letter 
that anyone has addressed to me. 

The decks are cleared for action. 

I have to speak at the Mayor's Banquet, Dover, on the 
llth. But my work to-morrow, Tuesday, Thursday and 
Friday, is to get ready for my real platform campaign. 
On the 18th the Tariff Reform branch of all South Wales 
gives me a luncheon. On the 19th I hope to speak at the 
National Union Conference. On the 20th I have a mass 
meeting. That is three in one week. The next week I 
speak on the 23rd in the House on Irish Land ; and then 
in the country platform on 25th and 26th ; the next 
week on December 1st ; the next, on December 9th and 
10th ; all 4 Platform.' 

I stayed here to-night to reconnoitre the field of opera- 
tions. I just mean to block it out before I begin. And 
as I said I have cleared off everything else. My life is 
swept and garnished for the house-warming of the seven 
Devils of the Platform. Your most loving son, 



To his Sister, Pamela 

SALISBURY, 15th November 1908. 

DARLING PAM, This is a diminutive herald to our 
lunch on Tuesday, blowing his little trumpet to announce 
whence I come, since my stay must be short. I can only 
nick in on Tuesday. For on Wednesday I have to make 
a speech and another on Thursday, and another on Friday, 
and another on Monday, and so on for ever. By luck, and 
inspiration derived from Clouds, I know just what I mean 
to say on Wednesday about Tariff Reform. And, by dint 
of hard plugging at Act, and statistics, I also know just 
what I mean to say to-morrow week on Irish Land Pur- 
chase. Having arrived at these by luncheon time, I 
walked five miles with Dorothy and read, after tea, rather 
sleepily, Filson Young's last novel. But suddenly one 
scene woke me. The hero, who can draw, hears O'Donnell 


read a poem to a gathering of artistic prigs. So he says 
all of a sudden * I can draw that ' and does it. Here 
are the Arts colloguing. I said to myself ' I can write 
that.' And went and wrote it. I make Art talk ; and 
this is what SHE says : 


I am the way the ancient trick 

Of making ; as things must be made, 

By measure, and arithmetic, 
And the old custom of a trade. 

I am the truth the empty gaze 

At far horizons veiled in mist : 
I falter as I search the maze 

Of Dawn's abysmal amethyst. 


I am the life the miracle, 

Of plan and vision, merged in one ; 

Whose high harmonics soar and dwell 
In ecstasies of unison. 


I am the way, the truth, the life ; 

The road to go, the rim to see, 
The song to shout, above the strife 

Of rapture with utility. 

Art says with Moliere * Je prends mon bien ou je le 
trouve.' And in this case as in so many finds her 
quarry in the Founder of Christianity. Les beaux esprits 
se rencontrent. Before Art disinterred that Jewel, I had 
gaped at the opalescent profundity of the saying ' I am 
the way, the truth and the life.' It is when stated so 
evident that life means method and vision. And that, 
my Darling, is why I make Art say so. Your devoted 
brother, GEORGE. 




To Wilfrid Ward 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
November 27th, 1908. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, I was on the point of writing to 
you now at 11 p.m. when I found your letter. I had 
read the A.J.B. Essay and noted the dexterity with which 
you have interpolated my suggested * double barrel ' 
The Imperial Conference plus Asquith's Budget, in 1907. 
And I had glanced at all the others. The book, for which 
I am very grateful, came to my hands about six this 
evening. It reached me at one of those rare moments 
of forlorn fatigue that occur in the course of strenuous 
stretches. And at those rare moments the touch of 
friendship is ' grateful and comforting.' 

We are troubled to-day. A wire from Madeira, four 
days ago told us that Westminster, whom we expected 
from South Africa to-morrow was ill with malaria, and, 
this morning, a wireless message turned uneasiness to 
anxiety. So, Sibell and the Duchess have gone off to 
Southampton with a doctor, and I was left alone. Other- 
wise I have not had and cannot foresee any gap in the 
strain of political effort. I spoke at Cardiff on Wednesday 
and Thursday. On Monday I spoke to the House for 
an hour on Irish Land Purchase, and at Dover on 
Wednesday, and to-day I had to speak in the House, 
in spite of this anxiety. 

Even if all goes well, I cannot alas ! think of Lotus 1 
before Xmas. I must speak on Education in the House 
and watch it all next week except Tuesday when I 
speak at Gravesend, and, apart from the House, I have 
big Meetings the week after on the 7th and 10th. 

All this is accompanied by exacting work on Irish 
Purchase and Education, behind the scenes. So as you 
say Literature cannot be my career. Forgive this 
explosion ! 

1 The name of Mr. Ward's house at Dorking. 


I am deeply concerned over the so-called Education 
Compromise. It makes me sad to feel how remote I am 
from my countrymen and how remote they are with 
all their excellent qualities from the rudiments of 
philosophic thought. It is dear of them to jump at a 
compromise ; but silly to jump before looking. They 
will look afterwards. They will look back and say, ' If 
we had only known.' Yet they do not realise that they 
preclude themselves from knowing now or ever owing 
to their inveterate distrust of thinking. Any man who 
thinks on these occasions, and shows that he is thinking, 
is suspect. I am suspect. But I -must think ; and I 
will believe that it is wise to do so. Yet, I am nearly 
powerless. I thought and spoke on Wednesday. The 
* Times ' suppressed my speech, the *' Morning Post ' 
published a sketch of the rest and suppressed all I said 
upon Education. 

You have leisure, and a rostrum in the * Dublin Review.' 
It is your duty to try and make them think. 

Will you help me to make them see before the smash 
that there are only two ways of approaching the problem ? 
(1) To start from Uniformity of religious instruction ; 
and (2) to start from Unity of the National System of 
Education. Or, putting it another way (1) to start from 
a neutral religion, and (2) to start from the neutrality of 
the State to all religions. 

From whichever point you make your departure, you 
must I admit and assert make illogical exceptions to 
fit in with present practical needs. 

But and here is the whole matter if you start from 
a fair theory, cela ne peche pas par la base. No wrecker 
can find a cranny in your foundation, insert his crowbar, 
and overthrow the whole edifice. 

If, on the other hand, you start from an unfair theory 
as this Bill does no amount of charity and ingenuity is 
of any avail. 

There it is, in the black and white of Clause I., that the 
State's imprimatur is to be affixed only on undenomi- 
national teaching. If once you say that, 'contracting 


out ' is a necessary consequence. You may mitigate its 
secular evils by lavish grants. But you cannot irradicate 
the stigma. 

It makes me sad and sick. Think of the irony of the 
situation. On Tuesday the House of Commons by five 
to one supported a motion in favour of relieving Roman 
Catholics from important, but largely sentimental, griev- 
ances. The accession oath, the prohibition on the 
appointment of an R.C. Lord Lieutenant of Ireland or 
Lord Chancellor are grievances. They are antiquated 
insults and irrational disabilities. We said so on Tuesday 
by five votes to one. Yet because Englishmen will not,, 
or cannot think, on Thursday, in the same week, within 
forty-eight hours, we say by nearly two and half votes to- 
one, that new disabilities not sentimental and antiquated 
but modern and practical are to be imposed in respect 
of Education for all the Catholic youth in the country. 

Nothing can wholly amend that original defect. 

But the Bill has been * Guillotined.' Clause I. goes 
through automatically on Monday. 

I deplore, but accept perforce, that situation. 

What really kills me is that your people and our people 
who want to be kind can't think enough to gauge the 
consequences of that initial mistake. 

They say, ' If the Government makes the grant big 
enough what does it matter ? ' 

They say that because they will not, or cannot, think- 
Help me to make them think. 

On their own absurd basis, their Bill is valueless unless 
it is a settlement. Very well. 

The cost of education has increased, is increasing, and 
will increase. 

Consequently any fixed grant which is fair to-day, will 
be unfair next year, grossly unfair in five years, and 
utterly useless in ten years. Therefore, instead of 
haggling for sixpences, they must insist on paying only a 
quota for the rights of citizenship. They must say, 
4 We think it unfair to pay rates for your religion. We 
think it sad to be excluded from all your national system 
of Education, and bad for that system. But you will 


have it so. How much are we to pay ? Isn't a shilling 
in the pound enough ? We have three hundred thousand 
Catholic children. A child's education costs about 3 
a head. Is not nine hundred thousand shillings 45,000 
a year a sufficient tax on our religious convictions ? ' 

Supposing that the House sees the force of that, i.e. 
that for a permanent settlement the private contribu- 
tion must be a quota and not a fixed grant then, point 
out : 

II. Population increases. When new schools are 
wanted, you must give us building grants for the same 
proportion of 19:1. If we need 20,000 for new schools, 
you must pay 19,000, and we will find 1000. 

I don't know why I trouble you with all this. 

At this moment I feel as if I lived in a community of 
deaf men. The more I talk the more worried they look. 
, . . And nothing happens. 

Let us quit all this hopeless, helpless, dumb show of 
hypnotised Democracy going to its appointed doom of 
Bureaucracy and Caesarism now, as ever and everywhere, 
quod semper et ubique. 

Let us laugh ! 

We ought to laugh. Surprise is the basis of laughter. 
And what can be more surprising than to see the leaders 
of Nonconformity in the House of Commons, bribed by 
baronetcies, abrogating the constitution, and laughing 
as well they may at the spectacle of the Anglican Arch- 
bishop ramming Nonconformity down my throat with the 
butt end of his crozier ? They laugh. Had not I better 
laugh too ? ' Taking it hi good part ' is I believe the 
classic phrase for acquiescing in comic turpitude. 

But I have not quitted this grim subject of sordid and 
sardonic infamy. I must or I shall forget to laugh and 
increase the merriment of other's by getting angry. 

That would be absurd, when neither Anglican nor 
Catholic, nor Educationalist, nor Unionists, are willing 
to think of anything but their Christmas holidays. 

So now, having relieved my feelings> I will write out 
some lines which I did write out for you the other day 
and then tore up. 


They may be condemned on the three grounds of (1) 
profanity, (2) plagiarism (3) mystical obscurity. 

And yet, for all that, I am glad to have written them. 
They sprang from a book about Art. I thought. And 
it came to me that Art should speak for herself. If her 
language is obscure it is not she protests more obscure 
than the language of those who speak for her. This is 
what she said to me. The Lady speaks : 


' I am the way the ancient trick/ etc., etc. 

[See preceding letter.] 

Yours ever, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 


To his Mother 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

December 2nd, 1908. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, One scribble before I go back 
to the House to say how sorry I am to hear that Amelia 
Ireland is dead, and how well I understand what that 
means to you, Darling. But, then, I am glad that I can 
know this ; because you and I went to Doncebate together, 
when she was still just what I knew she had been from 
your old stories ; I might so easily not have gone, or been 
prevented by work. 

The real objection to work is that it prevents one from 
doing things that leave memories far more lasting than 
the results of any work. I feel that about work, and par- 
ticularly about political work. It has no ' smack of 
immortality ' in it. But kindness and courage and fun 
and joy are immortal. 

Now I must just ' pop hi ' to see Shelagh on my way 
back. S. S. has gone over to see Benny. It is a separate 
and known tropical fever, caused by a separate and known 
microbe with some horrible name. This intruder can 
only be killed by the health of the patient. Nothing but 


rest and the right diet are any good. You have to beat 
him with your own phagocytes. And Benny will beat 
him all right in two or three weeks. 

I made a good speech at Gravesend last night. I 
started from Gravesend to Suakim in 1885 ! just opposite 
old Tilbury fort. What a rush it has been since then. 
And it is a rush now ! I 'm off. Your devoted and most 
loving son, GEORGE. 


To Mrs, Hinkson 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
December 2nd, 1908. 

DEAR MRS. TYNAN-HINKSON, I am not going to 
apologise for the delay of this reply. Because I know you 
will have guessed that I waited till I had the chance of 
reading ' The House of the Crickets ' before thanking 
you for your gift. I took the chance in the midst of 
Tariff Reform, and my old Irish Land Act, and Educa- 
tion. And your book was like the plashing of a pure 
stream through a frowning gorge. It was true. For it 
does not veil the bleak desolation or pollute the stream. 
It is like Life which is made of austerity and kindness. 
It is not like Death which is ' made up ' of sentiment 
and corruption. 

I am sick of the farded skeleton which most novelists 
call life. 

Though it is fearful to believe as you make me in 
such a childhood as the brothers and sisters had ; still, 
the misery and awe of it made them human. Though 
one poor boy died and one sister was wild and inconsiderate ; 
they all found each other. 

But, in the scent and glare and blare of other authors' 
* clever ' novels all the avenues of perception were 
deafened and dazed and suffocated. 

I thank you sincerely for having written the book, and 
warmly for having given it to me. Yours very truly, 




To Charles T. Gatty 

36 PARK LANK, W., 

MY DEAR CHARLES, I saw Bendor to-day for the 
second time. He is going on well and his old self, but 
weak. He may see people. And he begged me to-day 
most particularly to ask you to come and see him. 
He wants cheering up. I wasted the ' Peacock ' and 
* Capers ' on him. You must do them in your * inimitable 
manner ' ! He is longing to see you. 

I am looking forward more than I can say to our 
Christmas together. I am tired ; and have three more 
fences to jump Land Bill Tuesday, Mass Meeting Wednes- 
day, and another a luncheon Thursday. Then I go 
to Mark l to shoot pheasants Friday and come back to 
wind up on Monday 14th. Then the sooner we forget 
all about politics and l addict ourselves wholly ' to 
Christmas, the better ! Yours affectionately, 



To Charles Boyd 

36 PARK LANE, W., 

MY DEAR CHARLES, I shall begin this letter now, 
to-night ; it is 12.20 and really the 16th of December. I 
shall finish it later, after attempting to see Seely again 
before we all dispart for Christmas. I shall write in 
pencil because I cannot find a pen. I have just returned 
from seeing 'King Henry V with Lady Grosvenor. It 
is wonderful. I should like to read it aloud to large 
audiences instead of speaking about Defence and the 
Union of the Empire. 

So far as one member of the Board is concerned to 

1 Mark Napier. 


wit, C. B. I shall try the Newfoundland fly. So far as 
the other G. W. is concerned, he is touched by your 
suggestion. But really it is not possible. The Slab 
within the chaplet of weathered boulders calls. But, 
but, but ... I cannot do all that I have to do as it is. 
I believe (no one else does) that there will be a general 
election next year. I am very well, but working all day 
and every day. I have had to refuse all sorts of attrac- 
tive jobs an article in the ' Centenary Quarterly,' etc., 
etc. I am just going to take another holiday till January 
21, when I speak at Edinburgh. And I have just finished 
the biggest course I ever ran over. I won't worry you 
with details. It has all been ' speeches.' But real ones. 
The climax came last week. On Tuesday I moved the 
rejection of Birrell's Land Bill in the House 1 hour and 
5 minutes. On Wednesday I spoke at Liverpool to many 
more than 5,000 persons for 1 hour and 10 minutes on 
Tariff Reform, and on Thursday I spoke for 30 minutes 
to the Conservative Club there. Through no merit of 
mine, but from some touch of actuality, I swept the board 
three times running. Then I went to York and shot on 
the wolds for two days and came back braced by a North 
wind and being 800 feet above the sea. So that I am 
fitter and fresher than when the race began in October. 
I don't want a holiday. But I mean to take one ; for, 
from January 21 onwards, I take off the gloves. Enough 
of this. Now I go to bed. To-morrow I shall try to see 

Give my love to the Doctor even if it makes him jump. 

I am thinking deeply over your last letter. If you 
ever see my recent speeches at Cardiff and Liverpool, you 
will understand how ' pat ' that letter came to my purpose. 
4 Finance ' won't do. I see my path quite clearly. I 
shall follow it. I mean to fight a straight fight for Defend- 
ing the Empire, Uniting the Empire and (a) * Safeguard- 
ing ' protecting if you like the skilled artisans in the 
Mother Country ; (b) doing something to enlist the mob 
of loafers into the ranks of regular labour. 

I have said this three times. It is, therefore (see the 


' Hunting of the Snark ') true. But it entails this. The 
Press bar the ' Standard ' is ' agin ' me. Because the 
press of England belongs to Cosmopolitan Finance, they 
suppress my speeches. But thousands come to listen ; 
and these three speeches have been printed verbatim and 
are circulated to tens of thousands as leaflets not by 
me, but by Liverpool and the Tariff Reform League. 

As that is the kind of ' hairpins we are,' you will guess 
my view on Rhodesia being made a counter in the Cosmo- 
politan Financial game. ' It won't do.' It must be 
stopped. The Bond shall stop it. I look to Rhodesia 
now, as I did in 1897, to unite South Africa on an Imperial 
basis. I want South Africa to take up the running. 
Imperial Preference depends, now, on South Africa. 
Canada is being caught in the cogs of U.S.A. and French 
and German Tariffs. The policy of the Matoppos has 
got to win. C. J. R. and all the men who died in South 
Africa, shall not have lived and died in vain. But for 
that Rhodesia, which is the key to South African Unity, 
just as South Africa is the key to Imperial Unity, must 
be purged at all costs from any dross and base metal 
of oriental Finance. 

I wish you could have heard and seen the thousands 
in the Sun Hall at Liverpool rise at me when I said that 
we would not lose all that for which our soldiers and 
sailors had died during three centuries. If you are on 
that tack and you are no man will understand you 
more readily, and gladly, than Jack Seely. . . . Good- 

To his Father 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
December 15th, 1908. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I was very glad to get your letter. 
' The Times ' has been very * queer ' lately. I am told 
that it will turn over a new leaf on January 1st. I think 
they feel that they owe me some reparation, as yester- 
day, in the House, their new Lobby representative asked 


to be introduced to me, and ceremoniously booked the 
dates of my next speeches on January 21st at Edinburgh 
and February 1st at Birkenhead. 

My Tariff Reform Speech on Wednesday has made 
a considerable stir. Several of the active Tariff Reformers 
in the House came to me yesterday, and thanked me for 
it. I am to see Professor Hewins to-morrow at the Head 
Office of the League and on another day to meet Garvin 
at luncheon. 

I mean to fight this thing through in my own way, 
without attempting to please the 4 Mugwumps.' The 
audience in the Sun Hall was magnificent. I should say 
about 4700 on my side, and 500 or 700 either hostile, or 
unconvinced. But they all listened. I enclose two small 
cuttings, one from P. M. G. the other, sent to me, gives 
a description of the way in which I spoke. The ' Daily 
Post ' is the big Liberal Paper hi Liverpool. I also enclose 
a letter from Sir Joseph Lawrence, which I should like 
to have back. 

I spoke again, the third time, to a luncheon on Thursday 
in the Liverpool Conservative Club ; and succeeded really 
spoke better than the night before, but in a lighter vein. 

They are printing 20,000 copies of my Mass Meeting 
speech in Liverpool, and the Tariff Reform League is 
also going to make it a leaflet. 

I did not go to Saighton but to York and motored out 
to Mark Sykes, for two days' wild shooting in the wolds, 
800 feet above the sea. It refreshed and braced me. I 
shot up to my best form at high wild pheasants. The 
second day we got 8 Woodcock. 

All love to Mamma. Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

December I6th, 1908. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I must send a line to say 
that Sibell and I went to ' Henry V ' last night and 


it was splendid. If it is running in February we ought 
to go together. 

I think I must get to Saighton Saturday and come to 
you in January, for Percy's coming of age celebrations. 

I am not a penny the worse for my hard week of speak- 
ing. But now I am going to take tour weeks of complete 
holiday. Then I shall prepare again for Edinburgh on 
21st January, and Birkenhead 4000 Mass Meeting on 
February 1st. 

I imagine the House will meet on February 9th. 

I am just off to see Hewins at the Tariff Reform League. 
Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Father 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

December VJth, 1908. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, Enclosed from Lawrence will 
interest you. The meaning of (A) is that the editor of 
the 'Morning Post' replied that, he agreed; that, however, 
they never criticized the management of other papers ; 
and, so, could not publish Lawrence's letter in which he 
attacked the ' Times ' for suppressing my speeches. 

My plan is to go on making speeches until they have to 
report them. Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Father 

December I7th, 1908. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, There is one slip in my Liverpool 
speech. It is 4 hundredweights,' not tons, of ' tin-plates.' 
I think it must be the reporters' mistake as I have 
hundredweights underlined on my notes. It does not 
affect the argument. I have corrected it and sent the 
exact figures to two correspondents who wrote on the 
point. The speech has made a great stir. Indeed, too 


much in one way ; for I have many letters to answer, 
all favourable and eager for more. 

Yet, I really made that speech not so well, but still 
quite as definitely in April 1907 near Birmingham. But 
it was not reported. 

I have no evidence that ' critics on our side ' are annoyed. 
The opposition papers say they are. But the opposition 
papers and Gould have lived for five years on exaggerating 
our differences, especially over a tax on wheat. 

I shall make a point of pushing (1) the Corn Tax (2) 
Home Industries, all over again, in January and on the 
1st of February at Birkenhead. Meanwhile I shall take 
no notice of criticism. 

National Review Article. I have not read it yet. I 
read a quotation about it in a ' press cutting ' just before I 
made those three speeches Irish Land and the two at 
Liverpool. And, as I travelled to York after the third 
speech I read a Leading Article on it in the ' Yorkshire 
Post.' I did not take it to heart. 

Oddly enough, it has rallied a great many people to 
my side. There is a lot of loose ill-nature in the world. 
But there is, also, a lot of loose good-nature. And when 
the first is focussed, the second gets focussed, too, in 
antagonism to the first. 

Many members of the House of Commons, without 
referring to the article, have gone out of their way to stop 
me in the lobbies, and praise my Irish speech and my 
Liverpool speech. That is their way of showing that they 
think the article is outside the rules of the game. 

Nobody knows who wrote it. ' They say ' (1) Leo 
Maxie would not have published it as by ' M.P.' unless it 
was written by an * M.P.' (2) There is no M.P. on our 
benches bright enough to have written it. (3) So it must 
have been written by a peer, who, of course, is also a 
member of Parliament. 

Sibell who thought I should mind it, when she found 
I did not started to-night, the surprising, but ingenious, 
view that it was written by Lucy Toby under the clock. 
He calls himself in 'Punch' M.P. for Barkshire. It 


amuses me that she should have taken the trouble to 
think so much. Sometimes women guess things. But I 
incline to the duller view that it was written by an Irish 
peer, or somebody like Lord Robertson. 

I have not thought about it. But as I write it 
seems to me the product rather of an older man who is 
cross with the front-benches, who supplanted him ; than 
of a younger man who wants to supplant them. It 
smacks of ' spretae injuria formae ' and uric acid. There 
is little acidity in the young. 

However I must read it. This opinion is based 011 
another ' press cutting ' which gave longer extracts. 

I will send your note to Perf. You could not have hit 
on a better present. Perf is very practical. He got the 
Saighton people to give him their present, before we 
arrived. Their present was a new saddle, bridle, hunting- 
horn, etc. And, having got it, he used them all the next 
day, because the meet was at Saighton. All the donors 
looked on with admiring eyes and were satisfied that they 
had hit on something which he was glad to get. 

I am very sorry not to have heard his speech. But I 
am more glad that he should have done a sensible and 
tactful thing without consulting me, or asking for any- 
body's advice. There is no indecision in his character. 
He could act Henry v. but not Hamlet. 

To my sorrow the Plymouths are in great anxiety over 
their eldest son who is dangerously ill with enteric in 
India. I shall put my foot down against Perf going to 
Egypt till he is twenty-three at least. Your loving son, 



To his Mother 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
December 23rd, 1908. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I will write you a real letter. 
This is only a scribble of all love to you and to wish you 
a merry Christmas and happy New Year. My heart is 


very sad because of Oti's 1 death. Is has been such anxiety 
to them and now this great sorrow. 

But he was given to the Empire as much as if he had 
died in battle. Still . . . 

Well, Darling, I love you. Ever your most loving son, 



To his Father 

CHESTER, December 27th, 1908. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, This is to wish you a very happy 
New Year. I think we shall come to you on the 9th, 
and certainly on the llth. 

I have had three days' hunting last week with Percy 
and enjoyed them very much. But now it is snowing 
and blowing. 

I will send you the Liverpool speech when I get it. 
They thought very little of Lloyd George's speech in 
Liverpool. One of the Liberal papers said that he was 
nervous and ill-at-ease. 

I am taking no notice of his criticism until I speak 
again. Probably I shall reserve my answer to February 
1st when I speak at Birkenhead next to Liverpool. At 
Edinburgh I must be more general and interest the 
undergraduates . 

I have some other figures about capital going abroad. 
If you take the capital authorised and issued from January 
1st to November 30th of this year, there was 80,000,000 
British out of 230,000,000 in all. So that 150,000,000 
went for purposes outside this country. 

That is new capital raised. 

The effect of selling British securities and buying 
Foreign ones is more indirect : but it also tends to diminish 
employment. For example, the continued sale of British 
Railway Stock depresses its value and, as a consequence, 
our Railways postpone work. We put off rebuilding 
stations, replacing rolling stock etc., because, with Stocks 

1 Lord Plymouth's son. 


down we cannot borrow more money except for high 
interest, and sometimes cannot borrow it at all. Your 
loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Father 

CHESTER, January l&th, 1909. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I enjoyed every minute of the 
celebrations at Clouds. 1 They were perfectly organized 
and delightful in every way. I am just in from a great 
hound run, parts of which were very good to ride ; and 
all most interesting. We ran from Philo, at Oulton, to 
Crewe ! That is a good nine mile point, over an arc, 
with turns, so that we covered a great track of country 
Philo, Oulton Low, nearly to Darnhall, Church Monshall 
and on, and then South to Crewe. Shelagh, de Crespigny, 
Bertie Wilson and young Lord Stafford came from Eaton. 
I borrowed rugs and got the horses into a train at Crewe. 
Then we borrowed Lady Crewe's motor and went to 
Shelagh's, which was at Oulton, and so home. 

We were all the time over a wild, wet country, with 
boggy take-offs and hairy fences, and never in a wood or 
bad country till we got into the outskirts of Crewe, the 
fox went round some houses and doubled back. Shelagh 
was so tired and the horses, that we went straight to 
the station. The fox was only just in front of us the last 
four miles. All love to darling Mamma. Your loving son, 



To his Father 

CHESTER, February 5th, 1909. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I was shocked by the sad death 
of Lady Florence Grant 2 and realised how deeply you would 

1 On the coming of age of his son. 

2 Lady Florence Grant was knocked down by a man on a bicycle on the hill 
near Shaftesbury. 


feel it. I read Mamma's letter to Sibell to-night. It is 
sad to know that no one had the common sense to put 
Lady Florence at once in the best room of the Railway 
Hotel. But I doubt if this would have availed. Very 
few people recover from a fracture of the base of the skull. 
And I am certain that she felt nothing. After a wound 
to the brain, the sub-liminal consciousness takes command. 
People so wounded, talk and know the essentials of their 
identity and the locality of their home. But they feel 
nothing. This is true of concussion, and more true of 

Sibell wants me to send you this letter from Bigland, 
our Candidate from Birkenhead. The meeting was a 
' well saved ' and because of that, encouraged me more 
than a success under good conditions. The strain was 
so great that I did not know what I was saying and, when 
I sat down, could not remember what I had said. But, 
curiously, the reports are very good ; and the speech is 
to be printed in pamphlet form. I will send you one when 
they are out. I am afraid we shall not get a report of all 
that I said ; for I spoke for one hour and twenty minutes. 
The best thing, at which I worked hardest, is not in any 
report I have seen. I shall do it again. It was a popular 
account of what happens when anybody invests, say, 
4000 abroad. I shall keep that and do it, earlier, in one 
of my next speeches. I am speaking on the 27th of 
March at the 21st annual meeting of the Lancashire and 
Cheshire Working Men's Federation, at Wigan. I spoke 
21 years ago at their first meeting. Last year Walter 
Long spoke at their 20th. The next week, on April 2nd, 
I collaborate with Austen Chamberlain, and Bonar Law, 
at the annual meeting of the Tariff Reform League. 
Hitherto it has always been held in London. This year 
they invade Yorkshire. A. Chamberlain speaks at Leeds, 
Bonar Law I forget and I at Huddersfield. Before 
these two I am to have one big meeting in London to 
myself. I am inundated with requests for speeches. But 
I mean, in future, only to take these big meetings, and 
build up a series of speeches which I shall publish in a 



book. Four of them have been printed as pamphlets 
(including Birkenhead). After Wigan and Huddersfield, 
I shall have made six or seven with London ; enough for 
a book. Then, next late summer, I shall make a tour hi 
Scotland where, as Lord Rector of Edinburgh I get the 

This has been one of the most active weeks of my life. 
After Birkenhead I caught the 11.55 at Liverpool for 
London, and slept in the train. Next day, Tuesday, I 
did our Railway half yearly from 11 to 2 ; wrote a letter 
to the ' Standard ' and another to the ' Morning Post/ 
They sent to ask me for a letter ; because the London 
Press summary of my speech had a stupid abbreviation 
which was bound to mislead anyone. I despair of the 
Press. The London Papers to-day, for example, have 
columns about the Scotch Divorce Case ; Mrs. Carrie 
Nation an elderly American matron with a passion for 
' smashing ' advertisements and ' twaddle ' by Bernard 
Shaw about pedantry by Mallock. Austen Chamberlain, 
I hear, spoke well last night at Shrewsbury for an hour 
to a great audience. The 4 Times ' gives him 18| inches. 
The ' Standard,' nothing. 

That being so, I shall continue to make speeches which 
are essays ; and then, re-publish them. I came back 
here Tuesday. On Wednesday I sorted all my corre- 
spondence and walked ten miles. I was quite alone in the 
house, Sibell being at Madresfield. 

And, to wind up the week, yesterday and to-day I did 
more hunting than usually goes to a fortnight, or even 
a month. Yesterday I rode in five runs and to-day hi two. 
I had two horses each day. The first run began about 12 
o'clock yesterday, the seventh finished at 3.30 to-day. 
So that, apart from incidental riding to and from the 
' draws ' I have ridden seven gallops in 27 hours. On a 
minimum estimate I make out that I have galloped and 

jumped forty miles : 9+3+5+3+9+7+4=40. The ones 
I have marked x were all five excellent just as fast as 
you can drive a horse ; and all the seven over grass and 


fences. We jumped all there is to jump. Yesterday we 
jumped the Tattenhall brook three times, and to-day the 
Cholmondeley drain twice. And these are our two big 
water leaps. I enjoyed it hugely ; but feel tired, and 
am going to bed. We killed three foxes. The horses 
are none the worse but tired too. Your loving son, 


P.S. One ought not to think about jumping when 
intent on the chase. But I was pleased when ' Cardinal ' 
* looped ' me over quite a high flight of iron rails. 


To his Mother 

CHESTER, February 13th, 1909. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, You will know from my two 
telegrams how sad we are. We had a little hope yester- 
day evening. But a little before six o'clock this morning 
dear Benny rang us up to say the little boy was uncon- 

I drove Sibell and Lettice over at once. Dr. Dobie 
whom I met at the door told me there was no hope and 
at 8.30 Lettice told me the little child was dying. 

No one was aware really that he was ill till Monday 
when the Dobies (Chester doctors) advised an operation 
for appendicitis. Sir Alfred Fripp came Tuesday and 
said the operation must be performed on Wednesday. 

This was done, revealing an abcess ; but successfully. 
But the little fellow suffered from continuous sickness. 
We were very anxious yesterday. Then he slept for 
four hours and our hopes rose. But now we have none. 

Dear Shelagh talked of you and your love, and would 
I know, love a letter. 

Will write by second post. Your loving son, 




To his Mother 

February 13th, 1909. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I have just sent you the third 
telegram. The little boy died quite peacefully at 11 
o'clock. I had no hope after seven o'clock this morning. 

He was staying here with us only the week before last ; 
full of love and fun. Little Ursula has been here since 
Wednesday and does not know or realise. 

Beauchamp brought darling Lettice here last night. 
As I told you in my last letter we had hopes then, for he 
had slept from 3 to 7 o'clock. Bendor has been wonder- 
fully brave. On Thursday night he took the chair at a 
meeting for a few minutes and explained why he had to 
leave it and go home. 

Shelagh has been wonderful in the sick-room and 
Benny has buoyed her up between-whiles. 

Everything that could be done to save him, was done. 
He suffered hardly at all : indeed, I think not at all. He 
was an extraordinarily brave little boy, never complaining 
and talking a little to his father and mother. 

Sibell told me this morning that two days ago when 
they were only anxious Shelagh talked of you and wanted 
to hear from you. Your most loving son, 


P.S. 5 p.m. Thanks for dear telegram. I walked 
with dear Benny to choose the little grave this afternoon. 
The funeral is at 12 o'clock on Monday. Sibell has told 

February I4th, 1909. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, Your letter I am told- 
was a great help to dear Shelagh. I have not seen her. 
The terrible side of it strikes her. Benny is quite wonder- 
ful just the simplest courage and great kindness. 

Darling Cuckoo arrived about 7 o'clock last night. 


After dinner S. S. Cuckoo, Lettice and I went over. S. S. 
had arrayed the little boy's coffin, under a white soft 
silk pall, in the chancel of the chapel here, with six silver 
candle-sticks, and lilies in silver vases, and boughs of 
blossoming trees around it. 

We, with Benny, Colonel Lloyd and Cecil Parker, and 
no one else, went there, and S. S. read beautiful sentences 
out of her old books. 

Then we all manoeuvred to get Benny and Sibell a 
night's rest. They both slept. This morning Cuckoo 
and Lettice, went over to Ben and S. S. and I took little 
Ursula to Bruera Church, and went on to Eaton, and 
Ursula saw Shelagh. 

I am now going to take a walk with Benny. 

The local papers said that he and Shelagh were prostrate. 
That is not true. Benny without a touch of bitterness 
or hardness or complaint is as straight as a sword ; just 
a simple emblem of finely tempered courage. He is quite 
natural himself only more so. Your most loving son, 


To Charles T. Gatty 



MY DEAR CHARLES, The play I was trying to recall is 
named ' The Return from Parnassus.' It was acted by 
the students of St. John's College, Cambridge. The date 
is uncertain. Arber argues for January of 1602. 

What a strange thing memory is. In all the rush of 
the last 8 days I had forgotten what I was doing three 
weeks ago. But when you asked me the date of this 
play, I said 1602 ! though I have not thought of that for 
eleven years. 

I do hope you will come to luncheon to-morrow, Sunday. 
You could glance at the passages about this and similar 
attacks. Yours affectionately, 




To his Mother 

36 PARK LANE, W., 

February 20th, 1909. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, It is long since Bun used to 
paste ' Press-cuttings ' in a book, and long since I have 
read them. 

But I send you these because I believe the debate which 
ended yesterday was historic. 

It is sixty and odd years since Disraeli, bidding farewell 
to Protection, said ' But the dark and inevitable hour 
will arrive. Then, when their spirit is softened by mis- 
fortune they will recur to those principles which made 
England great, and which, in our belief, alone can keep 
England great. Then too, perhaps, they may remember, 
but with kindness, those who, betrayed and deserted, 
were neither ashamed nor afraid to struggle for the good 
old cause . . . the cause of labour, the cause of the 
people, the cause of England.' 

Yesterday, for the first time since then, an effective 
party, made an effective fight, for that cause. 

I am glad that I led the attack yesterday. Your 
loving son, GEORGE. 

P.S. I led the attack yesterday. But Austen Cham- 
berlain led it on Thursday and made a very good speech. 


To his Father 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

February 20th, 1909. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I propose going to Charles at 
Petworth next Saturday, 27th. I may, possibly, run 
down on Thursday 25th, for a hunt Friday : but must 
dine with the Speaker, Friday night, 26th. 

We had a capital debate on Tariff Reform ; and the best 
of it all the time. People were pleased with my speech. 


I spoke for one hour and six minutes. Austen Chamber- 
lain made a good speech the first day. 

Arthur was very good in his philosophic way. To win 
in the country it is necessary to attack more directly the 
position of the Free Traders and to state facts and figures, 
which other speakers can use. It is that which puts up a 
fight all along the line. 

Unless that is done the untrue assertions that there 
is more unemployment and dearer living in protected 
countries impose upon the working-men. 

Love to darling Mamma. Your loving son, 



To his Father 

LYMINGTON, HANTS, Monday, February 22, 1909. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I ran down here to-day to give 
dear Bendor some exercise. We took a long walk by the 
cliffs opposite the Needles and then had a gallop on the 
sands in which dear Shelagh joined. Our principal exer- 
cise consisted in making the horses go into the sea. They 
pretended to be frightened by the waves, but, in the end, 
enjoyed their bathing very much. 

I just proposed myself and they jumped at it, I am stay- 
ing the night and return early to-morrow for the Irish 
Amendment. Give my love to dear Pug [Pamela Preston], 

My speech was a success. A good many people said it 
was the best I have made in this Parliament. I prepared 
it in the early hours, six to eight of Thursday, and seven 
to eight o'clock of Friday morning. All my day-time was 

My chief interest as I wrote to Mamma was that this 
is the first time, since Peel broke the party, that ' a party ' 
have acted together for safe-guarding British employ- 
ment. The debate has an historic interest and, on our 
side, was worthy of the occasion. The Government de- 
fence was weak. Masterman missed the importance of 


the occasion and lost the ' House ' by feeble banter. 
Lloyd George deliberately shirked speaking for only 
twenty minutes and Churchill was merely smart. His 
admission that the, Government might have to take some 
action in face of the proposed French Tariff gave offence 
to the ' out and outers ' on his side ; and with reason. 
For if once they admit that the Tariff reprisals may be 
less injurious than trusting to the ' Most Favoured Nation *' 
clause, they are beaten. 

Their men have been taught to assert the contrary with 
scornful confidence. They cannot change their tactics 
now without turning their forces into a mob. 

There is an instructive letter on the French Tariff in 
to-day's * Morning Post.' 

It proves our contention that these Tariffs are designed 
to attract imports of mainly unmanufactured articles. In 
this case there is a high duty on wholly manufactured 
woollens, a low duty on woollen ' threads ' and a rebate^ 
of 60% even of that, on the export of the finished article. 
As I put it in a passage not reported the object and, 
in a large measure, the effect of these Tariffs is to change 
the contents of the currents hi the vast streams of our 
Imports and Exports. 

I hope this frost will go as I may get a day's hunting 
with Charles 1 at Up Park on Friday come back to dine 
with the Speaker and return to Petworth Saturday. 
My horses go there Tuesday. Your loving son, 



To his Mother 

36 PARK LANE, W., 

Evening, March 31st, 1909. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I had a glimpse of dear Minnie 
to-day, looking her best. I only saw her for a few moments 
and must have seemed, as indeed I was, ' hardly all there.' 
I was just ' betwixt and between,' getting out of bed from 

1 Lord Lecon field. 


chill and temperature and going down to the House to 
speak on dear old Irish Land Purchase. And what little 
else there is left of me as a total personality had sped 
away with S. S. by the 12.10 to see dear Katie and all of 
them, in the farm house at Woor with dear, beautiful 
Molly. 1 Now I have a gleam of hope for Molly. S. S. and 
I couldn't hope much this morning. That 's why she 
went off to Crewe, to motor out to Katie at the farm. 
But when I got back here about 9 o'clock I found a good 
wire from S. S. 4 Better account, hopeful, delighted with 
flowers.' I had sent a lot of flowers from I. Solompn's. 
I couldn't do anything, and there was nothing to be said. 
So I thought that a lot of lovely flowers by special express 
to the farm would be a little token of companionship and 
hope and Spring ; just a signal that didn't want an answer. 
So I was glad to hear that she got them, and liked them. 
We 've had many a good ride together since, long ago, we 
jumped the Saighton Drain side by side, when she was a 
little girl with her hair in a pig-tail, riding ' Oak-apple.' 

I had that wire to-night, and your excellent wire about 
dear Papa yesterday, and a glimpse of Perf yesterday 
morning at 6 o'clock. He had come up overnight to ride 
a gallop at Kenley. I 'd had a real old-fashioned feverish 
night only 101 with a draft every three hours. And 
to hear the boisterous splashing in the bath at 6 a.m. and 
again, after the ride, at 10, ' bucked me up ' and made 
me feel that we are all, really, eternally young and endowed 
with everlasting hope. 

So I reversed the treatment from febrifuge to tonic ; 
settled to speak to-day in the House ; settled not to attempt 
Huddersfield on Friday ; settled not to dream of Dread- 
noughts and Tariff Reform, and Irish Land, and illness, 
and accidents, as one wonderful problem, of which I had 
once known the simple solution ; unaccountably forgotten, 
and wearily pursued through a feverish night. All that 
broke and dissolved in the showers of Perf's splashing. 
And, since his bath, I had your excellent news of Papa and 
a glimpse of Minnie and the better news of Molly ; and 

1 Lady Crichton. 


have spoken for one hour and five minutes on Irish Land ; 
and none the worse. 

Indeed all I have to do is to stick to my resolution not 
to try Huddersfield on Friday. Perhaps that would be 
tempting ' little gods ' too far. The ' little gods ' have 
been very busy with us lately. If we beat them back a 
bit by our eternal youth and everlasting hope : we must 
not therefore presume. We must be modest and mean 
and go to bed as I do now. Your most loving son, 


P.S. All this is only about our own fears and hopes. 
The great fact of the last three days is that Arthur has 
been glorious. In his speeches Monday, in the House ; 
Tuesday, to 10,000 in Agricultural Hall, Islington ; to-day 
in the Guildhall, he has captured the Empire for Naval 
supremacy and Tariff Reform ; and now holds those two 
issues, and all the true forces of the Empire in his hand. 
Tell this to Papa. 

We have won the race. But the course is not finished. 
We have only to think now of ' staying the course.' So, 
I repeat, I am going to bed. 


To his Mother 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

Tuesday, April 27th, 1909. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I shall love to stay at ' 44 ' 
this summer to be with you and dear Papa. I shall not 
be living there till after Whitsuntide. But as I go out 
with Yeomanry on May 9th, it would simplify my arrange- 
ments if I can send my things to wait for me there, before 
that date. 

I was ' shot at short notice ' to be the ' Guest of the 
evening ' of the Tariff Reform Committee in the House of 
Commons last night. There was a very full attendance. 
Edmund Talbot was in the chair. I spoke for thirty or 
forty minutes. Nobody knows which it was ! I am 
rarely other than displeased with my own speeches ; and 


very rarely pleased. Last night was all right. When that 
happens it puts me in better heart. 

And in a quiet way lots of people showed that they 
wanted to * say sorry.' Some of the extreme Ulster-men 
attended. People do notice things. F. E. Smith spoke 
and said that no one had done such platform-work. He 
said one thing which I would only quote, quite privately, 
to you, but which I own did please me, and pleases me 
still : * For three years wherever the clouds were darkest, 
there you found Wyndham fighting.' Well ! well ! But 
how silly that makes it all. But the point of the evening 
was that I converted a ' sinner ' ; like a methodist at a 
revival. Sir Philip Magnus, who has been little better 
than a free-fooder, got up after my speech and ' testified.' 
He said I had convinced him and that, henceforward, 
he chucked Cobden and would go bald-headed for Tariff 

To-morrow night I have to play on a * queer-pitch.' I 
am the ' Guest of the evening ' at the Militia Club with 
Lord Wemyss as the other and Duke of Bedford in the 
Chair. Whew ! There could not be a more difficult 
moment or a more difficult audience, or a more difficult 
and deaf ally. 

Very well. I really love ' cramped odds.' And these 
are so cramped and exorbitant, that preparation is out of 
the question. I mean to say just what I think ; after 
due warning that, as things are, no sane man can do more 
than brood over the waters of chaos, like the Holy Ghost. 
Your most loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

36 PARK LANE, W., 

April 30th, 1909. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I send you back something 
that belongs to you. I made a good speech on Wednesday 
no reporters to the Militia Club with Bedford in the 
Chair. Yesterday, Thursday, I played Polo in the morning 


at Wembley Park and enjoyed the game. My side won 
by seven to three. Guy, Minnie, and little George lunched, 
then I raced off to the Marjory Eden Wedding at 2 o'clock, 
and on to the Budget at 3. 

The Budget t O my eye ' Banbury's description is the 
best : * The maddest Budget ever introduced.' I hope 
dear Papa will not permit it to bother him. From a Tariff 
Reform point of view I am glad it is so mad ; and will 
pay up cheerfully hi the knowledge that it will make more 
converts to our cause than any number of speeches. Your 
most loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Father 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
May 13th, 1909. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I was delighted to hear from you. 
Tunes are pretty bad, but there will soon be a reaction. 

I came up from our camp on Salisbury Plain to put in 
two fights on the Budget, and return this afternoon. 

Harold Cox made a brilliant speech yesterday. I will 
send it to you. The Government meant to force through 
the Income Tax resolution last night. But we frightened 
them to bed soon after 12.30. We expected an all-night 

The Yeomanry have turned out in great strength. Our 
old Brigade, Cheshire under Arthur Grosvenor, Shropshire 
under Lord Kenyon, Denbighshire under Parry, and a 
battery of Artillery is encamped at the far end of Salisbury 
Plain between Ell Barrow and Urchfont Clump. I shall 
motor over to see you some afternoon soon. 

It is very cold at night, but glorious in the morning. 
The Downs are covered with cowslips. Each of the three 
regiments is between 430 and 450 in strength a big 
Brigade. It is a fine performance of these farmers to have 
left their work and travelled all night with the horses in 
cattle trucks. 

I set a tactical scheme for two squadrons of Cheshire 


against two squadrons of Shropshire which was to be fought 

to-day. I shall be interested to know what has happened. 

Love to darling Mamma. Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 



May 16th, 1909, 10.30 p.m. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, My little adventure is not yet 
over, but, so far, I have enjoyed it, every minute. What 
with my having to master the mysteries of a free-wheel 
and our both having to walk up the hills, it became appar- 
ent to me that I was delaying Fletcher, and not improbable 
that I should not stay the whole course. So, when we 
<^,me to face the long climb up to Great Ridge from the 
old house at the far end of Chicklade Bottom, we made 
another plan. By ' facing the climb,' I mean seeing what it 
was going to be like from the high ground beyond Hindon. 
Seeing that, we decided that he should push on to the 
Camp and send a motor back. By that time we reckoned 
that young Mallet had not succeeded in getting Jack 
Bennett's motor, or the other visionary one in Shaftesbury. 
And this, indeed, is now confirmed ; for it is past 10.30. 

I, for my part, undertook to get to Wylye and wait near 
the Church. The motor from the camp (when it comes) 
is to blow its horn. I gave him the map and matches and 
off he went, like an arrow down the steep hill to the old 
house at the far end of Chicklade Bottom. After sweeping 
down I could see him, in the failing light, walking up the 
long hill to Stockton Wood. 

By then, I had so far mastered the art of free-wheeling, 
that I got the whole way down that hill without dismount- 
ing or being run away with. Then I walked up the long 
pull to Stockton Wood, sweating at every pore. 

I remounted and shot through the gloom of Stockton 
Wood. Having experienced some difficulty in catching 
the pedal, when it was too dark to see it ; and bethinking 


me that discretion was the better part of valour, I dis- 
mounted before the very steep part of the descent into the 
Wylye valley. But I ran most of the way down. As I 
came to the Railway Bridge over the Salisbury to Bath 
line, I met a youth and asked if there was any inn near 
the Church. He recommended the Bell Inn, and here I 

I got here at 9.20 and explained my plight to the Land- 
lord. He was very sympathetic. I blessed the House of 
Lords for throwing out the Licensing Bill, and considered 
in how much deeper a hole I should have been had they 
passed it. 

The Inn was full of good fellows and village matrons, 
' burring ' away in broad Wiltshire ; all quite sober, civil, 
kindly and companionable. 

But mine host impressed by the advent of a real * Bona 
fide ' traveller and detecting my foreign accent, showed 
me into a little parlour like a ship's cabin. The walls are 
enlivened by the old coloured prints of the * First Steeple 
Chase on record ' ; the one in which officers ride by moon- 
light in their night-shirts a congenial theme, and opposite 
me hangs an old coloured print of Wellington and Nelson. 

He prepared me a supper of fried eggs, broiled slabs of 
uncured ham, bread, cheese and beer. This was English 
and quite wonderfully good. 

It made me feel what a good country England has been, 
and might be, but for the absurd people who have never 
lived in the country. 

The clock is now striking eleven rather fast I make 
it six minutes to eleven. 

I calculate that Fletcher cannot get to camp before 
eleven. I hope he is getting there now. If so I may be 
relieved at midnight. ' But then, again, No.' The 
chauffeurs may be in Lavington. They may miss their 
way. But Fletcher will ' get ' somehow and then, they 
will know where I am. At worst I shall sleep on the horse- 
hair sofa and push on at dawn. 

It takes many off-chances, coming off with a vengeance, 
to get benighted in England in the xxth century, even on 


Salisbury Plain. But this was once a common experience. 
It is by no means an unpleasant one. 

I have six illustrated volumes of the ' Russian War ' 
with steel engravings of Canrobert, Raglan, Lord Cardigan ; 
the battle of Inkerman, the charge of the Light Brigade. 
It is prefaced with a synopsis of Russian history, which 
I have read. I have also read a capital old guide book 
to Stonehenge, published in 1802. 

On the title page are four lines from the prize essay of 
T. S. Salmon. They are very good of their kind. 

* Wrapt in the veil of Time's unbroken gloom, 
Obscure as death, and silent as the tomb ; 
Where cold oblivion holds her dusty reign 
Frowns her dark pile on Sarum's lonely plain.' 

This invaluable work contains the ' Various Conjectures ' 

Geoffrey of Monmouth 
Giraldus Cambrencis 




You read them all and take your choice. I have read 
them all. 

Browne takes my fancy. He sees in Stonehenge an 
' Antediluvian Creation,' and traces the exact manner in 
which the Flood swept up to the Stones and by guttering 
through them made certain little channels in the ground 
between them. 

The next man on the list, Weaver, was a poor sceptic. 
He thought these slight depressions were made by all the 
people who had walked and ridden between them for so 


many years. I shall finish this when (?) I hear the horn, 
or before starting on my bicycle at Daybreak . . . 

One a.m. ! has just struck, I have been half asleep on 
the sofa. Shall now go quite asleep in a bed if I can get 
one and bicycle on at Dawn. Your loving son, 



To his Father 

May 27th, 1909. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, We are just off to Paris. I am 
scribbling this in a hurry to tell you that I have heard 
glowing accounts of Percy's soldiering. (1) On Monday I 
sat next Lady Halifax at Lettice's dinner-party. Lady H. 
is related to Sutton, 2nd in command of Perks' battalion. 
Sutton had told her that Percy was much the best of all 
the young officers. (2) On Tuesday, at the ' Nulli ' 
Dinner, Arthur Henniker who commands the 1st Brigade, 
in the Aldershot Division, with Percy's battalion in it, 
began talking of him to me. Said he was a very good 
soldier, that he had employed him as acting Brigade 
Major ! on some field-days ; that he wanted him to 
' gallop ' for him, i.e. be A.D.C., only the present A.D.C. 
was staying on ; and that Percy ought to try for the ad- 
jutancy and would make a good one. (3) Colonel * Billy ' 
Lambton, Percy's C.O. also began the same conversation, 
wanted him to be adjutant, and would help to ' push ' him 
for A.D.C. All this made me very happy. 

1 Billy ' Lambton seemed to think that I should want 
to take Percy out of the Brigade. I told him that, whilst 
Percy was free to carve out his own career, I, personally 
should much prefer him to stick to the Army and should 
advise him not to enter politics. 

If they do put him on the staff of the Brigade, whilst 
at Aldershot, he will get an early insight into the interest 
of soldiering and so not be ' choked off ' by the ten or 
twelve years of regimental routine and guard mounting. 


I should love to see him galloping on manoeuvres. They 
all say he has a true gift for soldiering. If that is so, and 
he leaves the Army young, he will regret it, no matter how 
successful he may be at anything else. 

Love to darling Mamma. Your loving son, 


P.S. Nelly's * Ball was a triumphant success. I 
brought on Arthur Balfour from the House, and took Lady 
Salisbury to supper. Chang and Manenai played up and 
' all was gas and gaiters.' 

To his Mother 

June 8th, 1909. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I have booked 24th for your 
dear birthday and shall look forward to it. We had a 
great time in France Chartres, Fontainebleau, Meudon, 
St. Germain, Meridon, and all the galleries and museums. 
I enjoyed it very much and feel very well. 

Tuesday at Fontainebleau was one of the most beautiful 
days I remember. The sun was hot and had exhaled all 
the resin from miles of firs and all the oxygen from billions 
of leaves, and all the scents of moss and heather, and a 
light evening breeze blew all that incense through the cool 
caverns under beech-trees one hundred feet high. 

In the Cluny Museum I saw a treasure after our own 
hearts, three crowns of Gothic Kings offered at Toledo 
in about 670 A.D. and dug up not many years ago. This, 
again, shews that legends and Poets are always in advance 
of discovery. For all the business of the Romance of 
old Spam was written long before the archaeologist un- 
earthed the crowns. Hanging from the lower rim of the 
largest is a fringe of Gothic letters, each suspended by a 
separate chain. They say in Lathi that RECCES- 
w i N T H o s (Recceswinthus) offered his crown to the 

1 Mrs. Grahame Stewart. 


Lord. I used to love the rugged end of their names, 
especially the Princess Amala-swinthus, which worked in 
the God-descended Amals, whom Kipling introduces in 
4 Pook's Hill.' And now I have seen their crowns. In 
the Louvre, I was disgusted to see the sword of Charle- 
magne which you shewed me when I was ten years old, 
re-labelled xnth Century. Pooh ! Your most loving son, 



To his Cousin, Gerald Campbell 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

Friday, 29 July '09 

MY DEAR GERALD, Many thanks for the book. 1 I 
shall read it with deep interest. 

But, now, about a few pp. of introduction. It depends 
on time. When must you have them ? I must finish the 
Session before I give a thought to anything else, say to 
17 August. Then I must rest for a fortnight, so that I 
could not write, and revise, before September 20th or so 
at earliest. 

If I wrote, it would be to say that all of us first cousins 
have owed to our mother or father, as the case may be, 
a love of beauty and fun, a quick, almost eager interest 
in Nature, an alertness and sense of humour, etc., which 
goes back undoubtedly to Grandmamma, to whom 
our parents owed it in turn. Then I could put in any- 
thing we have and my visit with my mother to Athlone. 
Then with some traditions the little French nursery 
songs, a presumption that Grandmamma, who lived with 
Pamela, imbibed it from her, and so by a slenderer hypo- 
thesis to Madame de Genlis ; with her love of nature, 
water-colours, books for children and general Rousseau- 

To sum up a tradition, handed on as traditions mainly 
are by mothers. Your affectionate cousin, 


1 ' Edward and Pamela Fitzgerald,' by Gerald Campbell. 



To his Mother 

CARDIFF, Vjth August 1909. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, It is splendid to hear such good 
accounts of dear Papa after his journey. I am taking my 
week's holiday, prescribed by A. J. B. and am out all day ; 
riding with Phyllis before breakfast and playing good 
lawn-tennis with Plymouth and the two boys. 

My speech was a success at Plymouth * the town Ply- 
mouth.' I will send you the ' Western Morning News '- 
I think it is called which has a long, but not very good 
report and a leading article. I spoke for one hour and 
seven minutes. 

Now I am just filling myself with air and reading Chaucer 
and Pickwick. We are in for a very long fight of two or 
three years in Politics. ' And whether it is worth taking 
so much trouble to learn so little as the charity boy said of 
the Alphabet ' I do not know. But it must be done, and 
done well. And there is no need to trouble further than 
to see that it is done well, and stuck. 

I shall run down to Clouds often in the Autumn. Give 
all my love to dearest Papa. Your most loving son, 



To his Father 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

August 26th, 1909. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I was just on the point of pro- 
posing myself to Clouds from Monday next 30th to Wed- 
nesday morning. I had not realised that Wednesday was 
St. Partridge's day. But the temptation, now that I am 
aware of it, is irresistible. It would be pedantry to return 
in the morning. If we could begin to shoot fairly early, 
say about 10.30. I would catch an afternoon train and 


go straight to the House from Waterloo in plenty of time 
for an all-night sitting. 

I am ' holding the fort ' all this week over the Irish 
Land Bill with a little army of thirty ! to support me, 
whilst the others, Arthur, A. Chamberlain, Prettyman, 
Lyttelton etc. are resting and refreshing themselves. 
So I shall make no scruple if I can get to the House before 
dinner on Wednesday. 

Love to darling Mamma. Your loving son, 


P.S. The Budget does not come on before Wednesday. 
On Monday and Tuesday we have ' Town Planning ' of 
which I know nothing. 


To his Sister, Madeline 

SALISBURY, 31st August '09. 

MOST DARLING MANENAi, I loved your dear letter 
which reached me here this morning. I am glad that you 
love me. It is. a great rest to feel love going on, when one 
has so much dull work to do. 

I spent Sunday at St. Giles with Cuckoo : such a funny 
mixture and delightful of people : Wilfrid Blunt, Poet ; 
George Milner, Cavalry Colonel ; Boissier, in Navy ; a 
Chaplain who is a mystic ; Lilah Ormonde, and Froudy ! 
The children are very dear, and there are many dogs and 
a cat. I rode before breakfast yesterday, then walked for 
two hours with Aileen now Lady Ardee Dunraven's 
daughter. Then we dragged a pool and took out 61 trout 
and put them in the lake. Then after infinite delays, 
Cuckoo, Tony, the little boy and girl and I started to ride 
at 4 to 5, instead of 4. Then we waited for the children 
at Hurley Gap, and said good-bye ; then Cuckoo's hat 
wouldn't work in the wind, and had to be taken off ; then 
we lost the track and had to jump ; then Cuckoo dropped 
her pearl-headed hatpin ; then long good-byes at the crest 
of the Downs ; so that it was 20 to 8 before I arrived ! 


I am much interested in your Ramsgatc house and shall 
try to get there. 

All love to you, darling. Your devoted brother, 

P.S. Papa is MUCH better. 


Extract from a letter to his Wife 

WINCHCOMBE, September 23rd, 1909. 

It has, of course, been impossible for me to write during 
manoeuvres. But I got your letters. I never have had 
so much joy and interest and pleasure. To you I can say 
that the great point for me was to be in Percy's life for 
four days. I wish I could explain. But it almost frightens 
me to write even to you of my supreme joy in seeing him 
realise and eclipse all my own dreams when I was his age. 
It seems silly, and is silly, to write or speak about any- 
thing of one's own that is obviously all one could wish and 
far beyond one's wildest hopes. 

So, just to indicate The 1st Brigade of the 1st. 
Aldershot Division is the flower of our Army. Arthur 
Henniker in the Coldstream with me commands it. 
The Brigade has four battalions Coldstream, Grenadierc, 
West York, and S. Wales Borderers. Billy Lambton 
commands my old Coldstream battalion and that is, by 
universal consent, the best of the four battalions, in the 
best Brigade. 

But, besides the four battalions, there are three batteries 
of Artillery ; two companies of Mounted Infantry ; scouts ; 
transport of 1st and 2nd line. Now Percy knows and 
is loved and trusted by everyone from the Brigadier, 
Brigade Major, four Battalion Commanders, down to the 
Mounted Infantry and the men who drive the Transport 
waggons. He is the winged mercury of the whole show. 
The Brigade Major, Gathorne Hardysaid by all to be 
the best young Staff Officer volunteered to me on the 
first day that Percy was the best Aide-de-Camp he had 


ever known. And I saw it all. He is as quick as light- 
ning and quite calm always. Understands in a moment, 
is off like a flash, explains quietly, and makes everyone 
understand from Colonels down to Transport drivers. 
And also arranged and ran all our messing. He never 
tires and after all the marching and fighting, waits at 
table, like the Squire in Chaucer, on the officers attached 
to the Head Quarter Staff ; and cracks his little jokes, and 
leaves his food to look after the last waggon. And comes 
back all smiles to eat the last bit of cold meat and sleep 
in his boots and spurs. 

They all love him. And all the swells only want him 
to go on, and up. And no one is jealous of him. He looks 
the part, too. On Tuesday our hardest day he rode 
both his horses to a stand and then got on mine, Cardinal, 
and flashed all over the country, jumping brooks and 
rails to extricate our two Brigades, that were out-numbered 
and crumpled up. That was a grand day. I went into 
the attack with my old battalion, and before I knew where 
I was there I found myself ' in the old prank ' I rode 
out and spotted a flank attack and got two companies 
and the maxim on it. When owing to the 2nd brigade 
wavering, the 1st was left, I admired Billy Lambton's 
coolness and skill. But we were out-numbered by 3 to 1. 
We were crushed back into a village called Deanfield. 
We scraped up three companies of Grenadiers and shoved 
them in at the critical moment. But we were almost 
surrounded. Billy asked me to get a message to Sutton 
who had four companies further back. I nearly got shot 
by one of our own guns ! Such was the pandemonuim. 
But I got back, dismounted of course, borrowed a bicycle 
for some way, and then by running and boring through 
the fences, got the message through. We got three 
battalions out of the four into a splendid second position 
and staved off the disaster, and thus by ' Containing ' 
as the experts say the superior force against us, pre- 
vented the enemy from getting back across the Isis in 
tune. So our left division the other three Brigades 
carried Farringdon. 


But all this is gibberish unless I explained the whole 
of the strategy and tactics which is out of the question. 

Taking it by the days, I left here at three o'clock on 
Sunday with Billy Lambton and Percy. We joined the 
1st brigade at the outskirts of Cheltenham. We were to 
march at 4 a.m. So we packed everything and slept on 
the ground. We got up at three, breakfasted at 3-15, 
marshalled the column, with advance, flank, and rear 
guards and stepped out as the clocks of Cheltenham 
struck 4. We had a long anxious flank march. But, 
thanks to the splendid work of the Household Cavalry 
Brigade we did our 28 miles far more for the flank - 
guard and others who had to go back with guns to repell 
attacks on our rear. Yet, when \ve halted at dusk, the 
men swung in singing. The marching of the Infantry 
has been the chief feature. Everyone and especially the 
French officers talk of nothing else. 

Just as we had settled to cold pies and dinner for the 
men there was a slight night attack. But it came to 
nothing. We slept in a lovely orchard. I lay on the 
ground next Perf and watched the stars and slept and 
woke feeling twenty years younger. Then, Tuesday, 
came our hard fight all day and retirement whilst our 
2nd division carried Faringdon on the other side of the 

On the third day as our Brigade was in reserve I put 
on a ' neutral ' badge and rode all over the battle field 
with Ivor Maxie who was umpiring. It was most inter- 
esting. The battle-front was only four miles long. On 
Tuesday, the battle was ten miles long. I rode every- 
where, and had interesting conversations with Duke of 
Connaught, Lord Roberts, and Repington, the ' Times ' 
correspondent. At the end I went back to see my brigade 
deliver the final attack. It was superb. 

But to cut a long story short, the moral of it all was put 
as only the French can put things, by a French General, 
at Dinner with our Divisional General Grierson. (I ought 
to say that the last attack was by three Brigades of which 
ours was one though the best.) 


The French General said, * Your attack was excellent, 
like this glass of port (holding it up in his hand) it only 
wants refilling. What is one glass of port ? You want 
three or four.' 

The keen interest of the French officers in our capacity 
is a significant symptom. They all believe that Germany 
will attack us within three years. 

And now Good-night. I have forgotten all about 
Politics and shall resume them with a fresh mind and 
exuberant vitality. 

This is a ridiculous letter. For it is impossible to 
explain my pleasure without inflicting a lecture on strategy 
and tactics etc., etc. And besides, all that there were 
the dawns and sunsets, the lovely English land, the old 
churches, the hedge-row elms, the stubble fields, Kelms- 
cote, the country-folk and through all that mellow peace 
the humming maze of men, and horses, and bicycles, 
and guns and field-telegraphs and heliographs and sig- 
nalling, and the healthy scent of sweat and energy directed 
by cool intellect. 

To Philip Hanson 

35 PARK LANE, W., 


MY DEAR P. H., If you were here you would send me 
to bed. As you are not here I shall ' compromise ' with 
a line, to say that you must come to Saighton before 
Christmas. I should like to sit up and write fully on the 
problems you unfold. But I mustn't to-night, i.e. the 

I was deeply grieved for Lady Thomson and am going 
to write to her myself; but not until the rush is over. 
That is not because I flinch from writing such letters. I 
have been very close to great sorrow during the last year. 
It is because it is not natural to say these things at all, 
unless one can give oneself for an hour to the friend who 
has suffered. Just now I am * in the " whirl " but not 
of it.' 


I made a good speech for Professor Hewins near Bradford 
on the 18th ; a speech which disappointed me, rather 
badly, for Mark Sykes, on the 20th ; a good speech but 
not quite the focus at Leith on Friday 26th. Then I 
thought I was bowled out. I woke at 4 a.m. with a 
raging feverish cold. But I had to start again to get 
South for a speech at Cheltenham yesterday, 29th. And 
just for once again I suppose because I was too seedy 
to worry I did the trick. Last night I made one of the 
five speeches of my life. I think it was as good as the 
one I made at Cardiff on ' the just and necessary war ' 
which you liked in 1900. Why I can only do this when I 
am ill, I do not know. But although I have still a heavy 
catarrh and have to speak to-morrow and Friday and 
Tuesday next it has bucked me up. 

After Driffield on the 20th I honestly felt in my heart 
that this platform business was not my game. After last 
night I feel as honestly that if it comes to me, like that, 
once in fifty times, I still ought to go on. 

I was so interested in the psychology of the event, that, 
before I went to sleep, I counted up my speeches this 
year. I found that apart from the House, and even such 
affairs as six nights running (a whole week) of occasional 
speeches at Dover, I had made 21 speeches in the country 
since 1st February. Now why, my dear P. H., should 
the 21st be so much better than all the other 20 ? 
Was it the cold in my head ? Was it that the archi- 
tecture of the Town Hall was good and the lighting 
perfect ? Was it that I had a simple structure which 
embraced and defined the whole situation ? Or was it 
a resultant from all these ? Or was it just the luck of 
the Devil ? 

I do not know and I do not care. But the happy chance 
has braced me. 

I should like to enter into some questions on Lloyd 
George's Estimates. 

(i) * Is it a trick ? ' I think so, or, rather, I believe that 
Lloyd George does not know, and will not learn, what his 
experts could tell him. 


(ii) Have I a good answer ? See my letter to ' Times ' 
of 26th. 

I cannot accuse him of cheating if he says as he does 
that the paper of 22 October and the paper of November 5 
deal with separate matters. I can only say as 1 have 
that no distinction is drawn, and note as I have for the 
next round that he has made an egregious blunder over 
' Stamps.' I am reserving this for his reply. But he 
has not replied. 

(iii) Was I mistaken ? I think not. 

What I believe to have happened is this : Lloyd George 
begged his experts to show increases in future years from 
(a) Land Value Duties, (b) Excise. They refused. But 
they made the most of everything on October 22. 

On November 5 they gave a sober ' official ' estimate. 

I believe, further, that there would be apart from 
action of the Lords a bad realised deficit next March of 
from 3,000,000 to 6,000,000, and perhaps more. 

I believe that the policy of the Government is dictated 
by the desire to attribute this deficit to the action of the 
Lords instead of to the financial rottenness of the Budget. 

These are mere amateur speculations. But they are 
not shots in the dark. 

Some things are ascertained or certain, e.g. 

(a) Death Duties. Charles Morrison cannot die twice in 
one year. 

(b) Stamps. Lloyd George is wrong in saying that the 
existing duties give an increase of 450,000. They give 
an increase of 250,000. (N.B. That is held in reserve.) 

(c) Income Tax yielded f of a million less in first 6 
months of this year ; in spite of extra 2d. The bulk, no 
doubt, comes in at the end of the Financial year. But 
the 2d. has been taken off all dividend warrants and the 
causes which effect the decrease are operating more widely 
as time goes on. 

(d) Much less tobacco is being smoked. 

Yet he hopes and declares qua (c) and (d) that there 
will be no decrease below estimates on Income Tax or 


He has only 'owned up' to 1,300,000 on spirits, because 
that enabled him to gush about Temperance. 

Celtic Electioneering is his game. 

Meanwhile much else is happening. The odds against 
our whining were 10 to 1 two months ago. They are now 
even money in the City. As a result people are importing 
for all they are worth to anticipate the Tariff. That is a 
hard nut for us to crack. 

In conclusion, I expect that Asquith's Constitutional 
Agitation, to begin on Thursday, will be lost in (1st) the 
right of the Electorate to choose between the Budget and 
Tariff Reform before being committed to either, and (2) 
practical concern over (a) realised deficit ; (b) collapse of 
Income Tax, and further collapse of Excise ; (c) further 
flight of Capital ; (d) the next Naval panic ; (e) disloca- 
tion of pure Finance (private, not Exchequer) ; (f ) huge 
Imports creating more unemployment. 

Last Word on (f) there is a point, viz. : as things are 
many who receive imports state the value at far below 
the real cost. 

It is not an exaggeration to say that the atrocities of 
modern architecture are due to importing all our stone 
' decoration ' from abroad at less than ^ of its cost by the 
humblest monumental mason. 

Nor is it an exaggeration to say that the cost of our 
lowest cost of production is habitually under-stated at 
the Customs. 

But enough, enough, and more than enough. 

The Constitutional question pales before the realities. 
Either Government will have a bad time next year. 
Yours ever, G. W. 


To Philip Hanson 

35 PARK LANE, W., 


MY DEAR P. H., Do make a point of coming on the 
18th or 17th if you can. I fear I shall have to go to 


Dover on the 20th. But, if you come before then, we 
could travel up together. 

I said in Yorkshire that there would be a deficit of 
6,000,000. I am, therefore, interested to see that the 
' Financial Times ' of 3rd inst. says ditto, and even speaks 
of 7,000,000. 

I had a good meeting at the Opera House, Tunbridge 
Wells, on Friday, with an overflow of 900 in the Great 
Hall. Lloyd George and Winston have I believe 
manoeuvred for position. But, so far, we are going strong. 
The public sees the manreuvring and is suspicious of those 
two gentlemen. 

The only sensible plan I have ever seen for reforming 
the House of Lords is, I fear, outside the range of our 
old friend, practical Politics. It comes from Horatio 
Bottomley ! He suggests that the H. of C. and H. of L. 
should each elect one half of the Second Chamber for the 
duration of a Parliament. 

The root of the matter is that no Second Chamber, 
however composed, would pass the kind of Bill that a 
modern Liberal Government brings in, i.e. a Bill to please 
one relatively small minority e.g. Licensing Bill, which 
is passed through the H. of C. by other log-rolling minorities 
expectant of their turn. If the Liberal Party cannot 
exist without that, then either there can be no Liberal 
Party, or no Second Chamber; and if the Liberal Party 
drive the country into that choice, the country will I 
think prefer a Second Chamber to the Liberal Party. 
That is a matter of opinion. I am not certain and no 
one can be. But that for what it is worth is my view ; 
and the view of some Liberals. Yours ever, G. W. 


To his Father 

CHESTER, December llth, 1909. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, It is long since I have written to 
you, because I have been in the thick of the fight for a 


good while. Besides ten nights at Dover, I have spoken 
to big audiences at Idle (for Professor Henins) and Drif- 
field in Yorkshire, at Leith (which means Edinburgh), 
Cheltenham, Tunbridge Wells, Constitutional Club, London, 
on Tuesday, and to a Cheshire Conference on Wednesday. 

We are doing well. I do not quite like Arthur's Mani- 
festo to-day. I can explain what I mean by one example. 
He says, * If we win, we shall do a great deal. If we fail 
(but I do not think we shall fail) the loss will be appalling.' 
That is not a verbatim quotation. But it is the order in 
which he states that part of his Manifesto, parenthesis and 
all. We, who know him, realise that he has gone a long 
way to promise victory and rich fruits of victory. But 
those who do not know him cannot imagine that a General, 
saying ' once more into the breach, dear Friends, once 
more,' would put it in that way. They all, anybody but 
Arthur, would turn the phrases about. Anyone else in 
his position would say, ' If we fail, the loss is irreparable. 
But, as we are going to win, let me point out how great 
the reward of victory will be.' 

I am surprised at the progress we have made in the last 
eight weeks. I cannot get excited over it, because I am 
working so hard, like a man rowing in an eight-oar, or 
riding a pulling horse in a steeple-chase. I am too intent 
to fret over victory or defeat. But, for all that, I feel 
the growing enthusiasm round me. 

I hardly like to tell you that we have a chance of winning. 
I will bnly say that, if we don't win this time, we shall 
knock them out within two years. But many steady- 
going people now think we may win. If we do, the greatest 
joy of it all to me far the greatest joy of it will be 
that you will have seen your own wisdom justified, and 
that you will receive the amends of a life spent in waiting. 
If we win I shall insist on a public recognition of the 
veterans of ' Fair Trade.' I have always remembered 
what you said at ' 44 ' x soon after Joe's first speech, six 
years ago, in 1903. You have not been able to follow my 
adaptations to Arthur's sinuous leading. But now all is 

1 44 Belgrave Square. 


plain. The battle is pitched. We have won the South, 
and the Midlands. We are going to win a little more 
than we hoped in Scotland, Northumberland and Durham. 

The belt of territory in which the difference between 
Victory and Defeat will be decided is Lancashire and 
Cheshire on the West, and Yorkshire on the East. That 
is Sarah Battle's green board, and I 'm not ' unbending ' 
over it. 

After my speech at the Constitutional Club on Tuesday 
I came here, and on Wednesday gave a dinner at 7.30 to 
those who count in these parts. I ' wound them up ' 
and we are going to have a big campaign, first at Chester, 
and then on the Cheshire fringe of Lancashire. I speak 
at Wolverhampton on Wednesday, 15th. 

Love to darling Mamma. Your devoted son, 


P.S. Garvin who writes in * The Observer ' was next 
me when I spoke at the Constitutional Club. He said 
that he had heard nothing like it since Joe at Newport 
five years ago. Everybody is angry with the Press for 
reporting Winston Churchill at length and boycotting us. 
It does not matter. We are getting the people on our 

To his Sister, Pamela 

CHESTER, 13th December 1909. 

MOST DARLING PAMELA, 1 I was thinking of you 
vividly yesterday and to-day. So I was not surprised 
to find a letter to-night, mysteriously, at 10.30 p.m., and 
apart from known deliveries of the Post-Master General. 
Certainly there was no letter at 8 p.m., for I had cleared 
the decks of all correspondence, before going into action 
on a big speech to-morrow. I felt vividly that I had not 

1 This letter is in answer to one from his sister in which she told him that her 
little boy had expressed a wish that Death should not be called ' Death ' ; he 
said he would not mind it so much if it were called ' Hig. ' 


touched you for long. And that, of course, was you 
touching me. 

It is called Hig. And, let me add, with people like 
David and me, never talk of the c Grave.' We say 
* Poobles.' In the Hymnal we shall edit, you will read 

O Hig, where is thy sting ? 
Where 's Poobles' victory ? 

We know Hig and Poobles, and don't worry over them. 

I dislike Joseph. I hate the name and I hate the thing, 
as Mr. Gladstone used to say of Coercion. The name has 
in these days been redeemed by the purpose and tragedy 
of Chamberlain's life and, more so, by the dim public recog- 
nition of both. But the original Joseph is tiresome with 
his coat of many colours, and tin cup in the corn sacks, 
and as I think congenital hesitation over all problems, 
including ' la pauvre Madame Potiphar.' He was a smug 

But when David conies ' to wearing your soul instead 
of your body,' he dives deep with his little fingers into 
green wounds. It is the frayed souls for whom forgive- 
ness is begged by Christ. The spotted souls are admitted 
into Heaven as curiosities, like cameleopards. But the 
frayed souls are treasured there, like the sere manuscripts 
of Poets, and dinted armour, and old gold rings worn to 
a thread in the sacraments of private tragedies and signet 
messages that spelt the life and death of nations. 

And now for my dear little Clare. I long to see her. 
Let her stop here 18th to 20th. I must to Dover on the 
20th. But that Saturday to Monday she would find here 
Sibell, Perf, self, Mahaffy and Hanson. We should be 
talking about Greek Influence and Hunting. It is my 
only lull in this whirlpool of Politics. Perhaps in spite 
of all you say she might return to hunt herself when the 
battle is over in the last week of January or first week of 
February. But she would like that Sunday of books, and 
horses to feed (8 lovely hunters) and dear dogs. Mahaffy's 
last book on Greek Influence is by far the best thing he 
has done and a good book for Clare or you or me to 


read. It is so good and cool ! Just a perfect pool to 
bathe in, with none of the mud of forest pools and none of 
the clamour of the ocean. It has only the seclusion of 
woodland haunts and the salt freshness of the main. So 
send little Clare here on Saturday. Even if I have to 
work many hours, she will grasp the place and come back 
to read and hunt and be a little dear one in my life. I 
have a gap for her to fill. I have been speaking a great 
deal and have to speak very often. But to-day I had two 
hunts of 1 hour and 1| hours with Bendor and Perf. I 
loved it. I sweated through everything and forgot 
Tariff Reform, and my flesh was made new like the flesh 
of a little child. Your devoted brother, GEORGE. 

To his Mother and Father 

SAIGHTON, December 23rd, 1909. 

send you one line of love to wish you both a Merry Christmas 
and happy New Year. 

I have been working hard on the Platform in this fight ; 
and must go on till the end. 

But at the back of my head and in all my heart I am 
always thinking of you. 

The Latin Epilogue of the Westminster Play in to-day's 
4 Times ' pleased me. As I told Chang in my letter to 
her I was gratified in a vain way by finding my tag 
about the Dreadnoughts. 

' We want eight and we won't wait 'in that Burlesque 
epitome of the year ; as thus : 

' nos poscimus octo naves, nee mora sit ' 

' We demand eight ships, and let there be no delay.' 

But the last couplet might well be inscribed or carved 
in the Hall of Clouds, with the date Xmas, 1909. I write 
it longways on the next page, with a free rendering. 


XMAS 1909 

Interea, quicquid mutato erit ordine rerum 

Mutatum, iiobis fioreat alma domus. 
Meanwhile, whate'er of change shall be in all established 

For us may our dear family renew eternal springs. 

Your most loving and devoted son, GEORGE. 

P.S. Or would you prefer in the second line : 
f May this dear house revive for us perpetual flourishings ! ' 

To his Mother 

CHESTER, Christmas, 1909. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I am so delighted to hear 
that dearest Papa is better. And I am amused by your 
letter asking for tips on a Hunt Breakfast. The Christmas 
sideboard, somewhat fortified, as for example cold Turkey, 
a Ham, a large game, or meat, pie, and developed into 
sandwiches and cake, with drinks, Port and Cherry Brandy, 
is all and more than enough. Some of the farmers are 
hungry and, if they come from far, return for a back- 
hander at luncheon about 2.30 if there has been sport in 
the morning which brings the hounds back to Clouds. 
Percy is taking two beautiful horses, * C. B.' and ' Admira- 
tion,' the pride of his stud. I wish I could come, but it is 
not possible. On Tuesday 28th I am the speaker at a 
big Demonstration in the Skating-Rink at Chester with 
Benny in the Chair ; and on Thursday again at Hale, in 
the Altrincham Division, near the boundary of Cheshire 
and Lancashire. The belt across England of Lancashire 
and Cheshire on the West, and Yorks on the East, is the 
debatable land where Victory or Defeat will be decided. 
We shall win in London and the South, * it is here that the 
battle is fought.' And, more by token, if I was not 
speaking in Cheshire I should be speaking somewhere else. 

VOL. II. 2 A 


Now that my troubles are over I will tell you what a 
funny Christmas day I have had. At 9.30 I started in a 
taxi to Chester and had a big molar tooth with three fangs 
hauled out under laughing gas. After that I slept most 
of the morning, ate as I have not eaten for a week and 
slept the whole afternoon. The relief is beyond words. 
There was a chronic abscess at the roots of the fangs and 
I have not slept or eaten for pain since last Sunday. I 
travelled with that to Dover last Monday, spoke one hour 
and twenty minutes, made two speeches Tuesday and 
two Wednesday, travelled back Thursday, went to 
Dentist three times at Dover, once in London on way 
back and again yesterday at Chester. They would not 
pull it out. The modern Dentist, thinking of his profes- 
sional pride and his pocket, never will pull out a tooth. 
But yesterday evening I struck and insisted on the thing 
being done at 10 o'clock this morning. If there had been 
a free fortnight I might have stuck to it longer. But 
with speeches this week and continuously after it was an 
intolerable prospect. In any case I was right, for, with 
an abscess, I should only have had weeks of pain and pro- 
bably made myself ill. Now it is over. 

I send the little quotation from the Westminster 
Epilogue. You can stick it in the book as an outward 
sign of my inward presence with you and dearest Papa. 
It is strange to think that by the end of January we shall 
know whether we are men or mice. Then, whatever may 
have happened, I shall be able to come and see you and 
dearest Papa. The election will be as great a relief to 
the country as having my tooth out is to me. May the 
issues be as happy, for this Budget is an abscess gnawing 
away at the nerves of England. 

You must make Percy parade on ' Admiration ' so that 
Papa can see him from a window. He makes a good 
picture and is the most delightful companion for me when- 
ever I get an odd day's hunting. We had some good 
rides together a week ago. He is quite the ' Star ' of the 
hunt here, and leaves his Papa behind. All love to dearest 
Papa and you. Your most loving son, GEORGE. 



To his Mother 

CHESTER, January 2nd, 1910. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, Just a line to say that the 
two Cheshire meetings were successful. After them on 
Friday and yesterday I had two excellent days hunting 
with Percy and Benny and sweated out all the remains 
of tooth-ache and cold. 

I have just sorted my books and papers for Dover after 
writing my address to the Electors. So here we are 
4 swept and garnished ' and ready for the seven devils. 
S. S. and I go to the Burlington Hotel, Dover, to-morrow. 
Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

DOVER, January 9th, 1910. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, As a Sunday night 4 treat ' I 
will write to you and dearest Papa a little line of love and 
news. It is a treat not to be speaking ! 

The general result of the whole battle interests me more 
than my own little tactical combat here. 

Of the whole result I have said for some time that we 
should win 130 seats. But now I am more sanguine. 
At the same time we must admit that the 4 experts ' 
were never more at variance. As one man says in to-day's 
' Observer ' from a majority of 200 for the government, to 
a majority of 200 for the opposition, anything is possible. 

My problem here is that, last time, in 1906, I fought a 
' carpet-bagger ' who annoyed everybody. So that many 
liberals abstained and some, I believe, voted for me. 
There also was a general feeling in the Town that they 
wanted to ' back ' me after my resignation and ' know 
the reason why,' etc. 


This time my opponent is a very good fellow, Montague 
Bradley, about my age, Colonel of the Territorial Artillery, 
Chairman of the Liberal Party, son of the old Chairman, 
solicitor to half the undertakings in the place, and a rela- 
tion by blood or marriage of all the Liberal Party, also a 
nonconformist and benefactor of Chapels, etc. 

We get little help from our three conservative papers, 
whose only idea of contest is to ask me for money. 

On the other hand, we have capital meetings. I spoke 
four nights last week and also to three open-air meetings, 
the Railway Works, Iron Works, and Brewery. I speak 
all five nights next week, and in the daytime, to Harbour 
Works, Paper Mills, and the * Shore Force,' that is the 
porters who handle the continental goods. 

S. S. is working like a beaver. Also Miss King is can- 
vassing, and Jenny, SibelPs maid, and Arthur, my valet. 

He came in flushed with triumph the day before yester- 
day, saying, ' I Ve got one * as if he had caught a fish. 
His method is not to argue, to shew the picture of the 
Graves in the Transvaal, with the names of dear Wiltie 1 
and David Airlie on them. 

Our old Friends are all to the front. There are specially 
Mrs. Rhodes and ' Snowball,' the hostess of a rather rowdy 
public -house and a costermonger, who have a special 
devotion to Sibell and wring our hands before and after 
the meetings. I only ' claim ' to win by 700. But I 
shall do better, I hope. The * mob ' and the ' children ' 
are fond of us. 

Talking of my opponent, I wonder if he is a relation of 
the Bradley who taught me Latin in the little room next 
the drawing-room at Deal Castle ? 

I wanted a rest to-day. So we went off to Deal, darling, 
in a taxi. I rather dreaded it. For it is 36 years since I 
was there. They have built up to the Castle. But it is 
there untouched and unspoilt. The bridge, the dint in 
the door from Cromwell's cannon-ball, the archway which 
you painted, the bastions, the guns, the prints of sailors, 
the fig-trees in the moat. 

1 Marquis of Winchester. 


I was flooded with memories of the boat the old sailor 
made for me, cricket beyond the wooden bridge, seats 
with publicfc on them, and the K painted over to suit 
modern spelling, the hard-bake shop, the sports of the 
Marines at the barracks, Sandown Castle blown up and 
lost in the sea Shellness dear old Godfrey, and George 
Sumner, and Lord Clanwilliam himself who took me to 
Isel after my first term at Chittendens. 

I went into your bedroom, and there, on the walls, were 
the photographs of Albert Durer's Knight (Sintram) and 
Titians. They carried an echo from those days. Nothing 
was gone except the broken shell-bomb in the drawing- 
room ; a thing like a shattered bit of iron piping. I 
remember, or have invented as children will that its 
explosion had killed Lord Clanwilliam's eldest son. Is 
that memory of a fact, or memory of a child's imagination ? 

Now I am four years older than at the last Election 
and twenty years older than when I was first elected. I 
am an ' institution ' : and yet, my immortal soul feels 
the same boy's soul, and the same youth's soul. As I 
looked at the moat I felt my old dread of earwigs, and in 
the little room could see the page of the Eton 4 Latin 
Grammar ' from which I learnt * Amo ' ' Amas ' ' Amat.' 

Anyway * Amo ' I love you, darling Mamma, with all 
love to dearest Papa. Your most loving son, 



To his Father 

DOVER, llth January 1910. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, Your letter is cheering over our 
prospects in Wilts. I should be particularly pleased if we 
won Johnny Fuller's seat, not from any ill-will to him, 
but because it is that type of liberal which most misleads. 
If Johnny Fuller, with a stake in the country, an officer 
in the Yeomanry, playing polo, etc., connives at socialism 
and bolsters up Free Trade, it is not easy to convince Mr. 
Jones the solicitor, or Mr. Smith the builder, or Tom, 


Dick, and Harry, that we are being beaten in manufacture 
and threatened with defeat in War. 

The other class, who do even more harm, are the conserva- 
tives who merely amuse themselves. I prefer the cackling 
alarmist. It was the geese who saved the Capitol. 

We are doing well here to the best of my belief. But 
there was never so uncertain an Election over the country 
generally. Sibell is working like a Trojan. I have no 
view on the general result, beyond this. Two months 
ago I said we should win 130 seats. Now, I believe we 
shall do better. 

Of five years hence I can speak with more confidence. 
I am confident that by then we shall have a large majority 
for Tariff Reform and Defence ; unless ' absit omen '- 
we have been wiped out by Germany and social discord 
before the five years are up. Your loving son, 



To his Father 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

January 16th, 1910. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, You are still asking about five 
years hence. I agree ; that is my point. My view on it 
is that in five years time two things will have happened. 
The ' English ' will have realised that they must resume 
their part of deciding policy. They will deny the right 
of the Irish, Welsh, and Scotch to deflect Imperial policy 
because of Home Rule, Disestablishment, or a belated 
regard for Mr. Gladstone. 

The ' English ' will use all constitutional means and, if 
if need be, extra-constitutional means. 

(2) In the same way the ' English ' will take note of 
organised ' Labour ' and deny its right to deflect Imperial 

Against (1) the Nationalist and (2) the class forces of 
separation they will assert their own qualities of (1) Indi- 
vidual independence and (2) Imperial consolidation. 

For these two objects Tariff Reform is essential. 


I am quite sure of the result five years hence. If I knew 
I was going to die next week I should die a happy man in 
the certainty that our English love of personal indepen- 
dence and Imperial inter-dependence was going to triumph. 

In this present acute controversy I see by the first day's 
results that candidates of definite personality win. For 
example Tommy Bowles beats Eddy Cadogan. 

The new House of Commons will be much more like 
the House of Commons you knew than any we have had 
for many years. 

We shall have the best ' men.' 

To descend from these generalisations, the Central 
Office (and A. J. B.) will perceive the absurdity of fighting 
with Candidates called ' Profumo ' or * Bellilios.' 

After all the ' shouting and the wreaths ' at Dover I 
felt lost in London this afternoon. But I met Timmy 
[Winchester] at the Carlton, and Sibell and I dined quietly 
with him and Tossy. 

Timmy has made big speeches about the country, and 
even in Wales has done good work. 

Why ? Because he, in his way, has studied the question 
of Tariff Reform. 

Most of our speakers have not studied it, it takes two 
years to teach any constituency the elements of the con- 
troversy between Tariff Reform and the received Free 
Trade assertions. 

From that point of view also I conclude that we could 
not have won the battle in this election. But I also am 
sure that, as study and controversy proceed, we shall win 
in five years. Personally, I think we shall win in two 
years. And, by * winning,' I mean that the whole nation 
will be converted. 

So, to sum up, whether we win by ten now, or as I 
expect are beaten by 40, the future is certain and sound. 
I have said all along that we should win 130 seats. I said 
this when most people thought we should win nothing. 
I said it when many people thought we should win by a 
working majority. And I say it now. 


Supposing that turns out to be true, I give the Govern- 
ment eighteen months, and then am persuaded that we 
shall win, and be in for twenty years. Your loving son, 


P.S. Sibell will tell you what the children of Dover 
were like. They swarmed like bees on our carriage. They 
were the children of the poorest. But they might, any 
one of them, have been my child or Bendor's child. The 
race has not degenerated. It has been cramped and sold 
to the foreigner. These half -fed, badly clothed, wretchedly 
poor children, had clear eyes, good features, clean limbs. 
They were all 4 gentlemen.' They cheered me, and Sibell, 
and mark this c Mr. Wyndham's coachman ' and ' the 
old horses that pull us.' I said no word of politics 
to them. Sibell as a Christian only suggested that 
instead of hooting the other side (when we passed their 
strongholds) they should only cheer louder. That puzzled 
them, for they love conflict. 

But of their own selves they said from time to tune 
' We want a strong Navy,' or * That 's shut because the 
Germans take away our father's work.' 

These little ill-fed, clean-bred, English children are my 
guarantee of the future and my answer to what will 
happen five years hence. 

The whole of Dover went mad last night. I had a 
crowd of 6000 or 8000 shouting themselves into delirium. 

Even the night before, on Friday, so many got on to the 
carriage that they broke the front wheel, and S. S. and 
I walked home arm-in-arm escorted by thousands of the 
poorest people in England, who love us because they know 
we love their country. 


To his Mother 

CHESTER, January 24th, 1910. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I am picking up fast and shall 
get out of bed this afternoon. I am only limp, with slow 


pulse, and so soon as I can eat shall be strong again. I 
have rested my brain and last night almost ceased dream- 
ing of politics. I have been reading ' David Copperfield ' 
for the 4th time. 

It does annoy me to be 4 out of the hunt ' just for this 
last bit. But, on the other hand, I have been going hard 
all the time and I expected I should have to stop. I 
meant to finish Dover anyhow. And I did. I never 
missed one meeting though I had bronchial catarrh and 
the bottom of one lung bunged up. Then I determined 
I would hang on till after Crewe on Friday night. I did 
Louth in Lincolnshire on Tuesday, spoke for one hour and 
ten minutes. But the long journey the next day some- 
how settled the business, and on Thursday night I hauled 
down my flag. 

The general result is excellent. We shall have another 
Election very shortly : perhaps this year ; and from now 
till then must keep up a continuous fight with all our foes 
as if it was one General Election. It is a tiring prospect. 
But that is what we have got to do. 

S. S. has let ' 35 ' for February 1st. Could I go to ' 44 ' 
and be looked after by Margaret ? I should love that if 
quite convenient. It always inspires my work to be at 
44. Your devoted son, GEORGE. 


To his Father 

January 25th, 1910. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I enjoyed the card and tape. It 
worked perfectly. I know that Tariff Reform is not every- 
thing. But it is a great thing in itself, and, also, in my 
opinion, the only weapon by which we can defeat the 
kind of legislation that alarms you. 

It is a great thing in itself, because you cannot have 
a healthy State, or Nation, even in Peace, unless it has a 
Frontier. You must think on all matters of your country 
as a definite organism, and not as a chance part of a cos- 
mopolitan community. 


It is the only weapon with which you can fight Socialism ; 
because ' Labour ' or even the wrecks and misfits of 
' Labour ' will always look somewhere for help and 

Cosmopolitan Individualism was never a truth, only a 
dream, and, I think, a nightmare. 

In Feudal times, Labour and the * misfits * looked to 
the ' fief ' and were helped and sustained. 

When Feudalism as an ideal was destroyed a hundred 
years ago, people tried cosmopolitan individualism. It 
never worked. 

Now they must either look to the State as a State ; or 
to the world as a Socialistic community. 

The second is insanity. The first, if realised by Tariff 
Reform, can help the individual without sapping his 

The foolish blend of Individualism and Socialism to 
which the Liberal-Labour Party is reduced is worse than 
the two ' ideals ' of which it is compounded. They are 
each insane. For each neglects the Frontier and the 
Home, which are the two poles of political existence. 
There is something more repulsive than insanity, and that 
is sheer Folly ; known to be folly by those who practice it. 
This foolish Blend which the Lib.-Labs. call a policy 
combines mental aberration with mental turpitude. 
There is no mixture more nauseous and deadly. 

I hope to get to Clouds before the House meets. 

Just now I am busy getting well. All love to darling 
Mamma and to you. Your most loving son, 



To his Mother 

CHESTER, January 25th, 1910. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, -I am much better to-day. 
Indeed the Results would revive a Mummy. To-day's 
results, i.e. of yesterday's polls, are, on examination, the 
best we have had. For there are only 13 seats to attack 



in England, twelve Liberal and one Labour. Out of the 
twelve Liberal seats we won nine and they only saved 

Oddly enough we also won a seat in Ireland, or ten to 
the good in all. 

I have invented the best plan I modestly suggest 
for shewing day by day how the Lib. -Lab. majority ha^ 

The sound test for the great questions at stake i.e. 
Budget, House of Lords, on the Government side is to 
shew the result of each day's Polling on (1) The Liberal 
and Labour majority over the Unionists, and (2) the Lib.- 
Lab. majority over Unionists and Nationalists, i.e. Majority 
in the whole House. 

That is the sound test because on the Budget we know 
that the Irish are against the Lib. -Labs. Whilst on the 
Constitutional question of the House of Lords, if the Irish 
are with them, it is only because of Home Rule. 

If S. S. copies my chart I will send it, but the results 
which shew the process of ' melting a majority ' are : 


Over Unionists. 

In Whole House. 

14th January 

. 251 



. 223 



. 193 



. 169 



. 133 



. Ill 


No majority 


. 75 



. 79 



. 58 


That means that if no side won or lost any more seals, 
then if on the Budget, or the next Budget in May, the 


Irish abstained, the Lib.-Labs. would beat us by 58. But 
if the Irish voted against the Budget, the Lib.-Labs. would 
be beaten by 24. 

Of course, if they attack the Lords and buy the Irish, 
they would have a large majority of 58+82=140. 

But the country would not stand that, for it involves 
buying the Irish by (a) letting them off taxes, and putting 
more taxes on the English ; (b) promising the Irish Home 
Rule ; and (c) making the Lords incapable of preventing 
them from carrying the promise out. 

The English would support the Lords in resisting this 
' Yes, I don't think ! ' The above is based on taking 
present nett gains 97=194 on a division, and, as I said, 
assuming no more gains, till we get them. But we shall 
get some more. 

I prophesied 130 nett gains ; so we still want 33. We 
shall see. 

The most amusing result would be if we won exactly 
126 nett. For then we should be 294 and the Lib.-Labs. 
293, and, as the Speaker is on our side, for practical 
purposes it would be 293 each, apart from the Irish. 

There are minor features which must modify results 
and may prove important and even decisive. 

(a) The Independent Nationalists under W. O'Brien, 
who hate Redmond, have won some seats from him. 
They will raise Hell's delight in the House it" Redmond 
tries to support the 'Land Values and Licence Taxes' 
Budget, in order to attack the Lords, on the pretence of 
getting Home Rule in the long run. 

(b) Among the so-called Liberals there are several bad 

eggs from their, and indeed any point of view A , 

B , C , D . I do not see them out tiger- 
hunting with Lloyd George. 

If Asquith is captured again by the extreme left these 
creatures will probably vote against the Government. 

The only one of them for whom I have any respect is 
the 4 shadiest ' of the lot, by common slander, B . 


I shall watch him with interest. He is very clever and 
bold, and has a long score to wipe off against the Govern- 

He has also taken the precaution of hedging on Tariff 
Reform. So that he is free to cross the floor when he 
pleases. And that will be the first time he can stab the 

That is all fair enough. The men I cannot stomach are 

those such as D , a financial Polo-Player, Christian 

names and * dear old boy ' with all of us. Well, he goes 
and beats a trump like by 50 votes for the gar- 
bage of political success and the off-chance of a peerage, 
if he makes enough money by promoting companies to 
buy one. 

The above seems to me to be distinctly libellous if it 
were not as it is a privileged opinion from a son to 
his mother. 

I thank God that E , a fraudulent Polish Jew 

Financier, has been beaten. The insolent cur having 
bought an English wife, and maltreated her, and bought 

his entrance into the Hunting Field, proposed to 

buy an English constituency in order to buy a peerage 
later on. Luckily he was too blatant even for these 
days. He had the insolence to say he would buy 500,000 
worth of House Property and reduce all the rents ten 
per cent. 

Such is the cause of Progress and of * the People versus 
the Peers.' E , curly haired C , ' dear old chap- 
pie ' D , and all the other ' bounding brothers ' of 

cosmopolitan Finance and polyglot ' Society ' and dining 
off truffles and imitating the Yiddish pronunciation of 
the letter R with a guttural growl. ' That 's the dog's 
letter,' as Shakespeare says. ' O their offence is rank, it 
smells to Heaven.' When they are black-balled for the 
Yacht-Squadron they attack the House of Lords in order 
to buy a Peerage. But, thank God, I say again, the 
English counties have ' carried the scent of the hay over 
the footlights ' and bust their show. So three cheers for 
Merry England and down with the Ortolan brigade. Let 


them go to Monte Carlo and play with motor-boats instead 
of making ducks and drakes of the British Navy. 

I feel distinctly better after writing the above. I 
loathe convalescence and it is a real relief to write about 

E and D . Quite seriously it is the truth that 

England has been saved by the fact that Mary's coach- 
man, Prue, and my gardener, whose name happens to be 
England, share my opinion of them. 

The E revolution has not been a success. ' Chap- 
pies ' in Polo-breeches can't lead the Sans-culottes. 
Proficiency in the Yiddish gutturals prevents Welsh 
Psalm-singing with the right nasal twang. The Truffle- 
hunters are poor Apostles of the little loaf. 

I wish Asquith joy of all his piebald Hybrids and express 
an earnest prayer that our central office will permit us 
to fight another tune without the assistance of the Pro- 
fumos, and Bellilios, and other Levantine levies. Your 
most loving son, GEORGE. 


P.S. Must buck this up in haste. We only won ten 
yesterday, not eleven. I have corrected the chart. You 
can go on with it. One has to wait for the full returns of 
each day, e.g. up to now we have lost two and won 
one on yesterday. We shall get the other returns to-night 
or to-morrow morn. All love. 

P.S. 2. Much better, pulse 56 ! instead of 48. 


To his Father 

CHESTER, January 26th } 1910. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I send you a reprint of my speech 
at Hale on 30th December, which has been circulated. 
Hale is eight miles from Manchester in the Cotton district. 
It was an open mass meeting, so there was not the occa- 
sion for polished phrases. But the speech is a piece of 
fair and close argument. They listened to all the last 


part about cotton with rapt attention. We shall win 
cotton in two years' time. But only, I believe, by this 
kind of advocacy, with figures to support statements. 
Your loving son, GEORGE. 

To Hilairc Belloc 

(JuKSTKii, oO//( January 1910. 

MY DEAR BELLOC, ' Now the Hurly-Burly 's done ' it 
is time for us to exchange signs of life and signals of amity. 
I should not have mourned over your defeat nor you ? 
But this I will say, if any one of my political opponents 
was to win I would have chosen you. You ought to be 
in the House of Commons on public grounds, and I am 
glad that you are on the private grounds of friendship. 
For we are companions. 

I do not propose to write much to-night. Since my 
election and an incursion into Lincolnshire I have been in 
bed with congestion of the lungs. But now I am up and 
well and eager for life and light and brave words about 
the wonder of living. When the House meets we will 
eat sausages and drink beer and be merry and wise 
together. I was glad to see that ' Marie Antoinette ' has 
gone into a second edition and sorry to recall that you 
sold her before she was born. 

If you write to me soon address to 44 Belgrave Square. 
We have let 35 Park Lane till the end of March. But 
if you don't write for ten days then write here. Yours 


FEBRUARY 1910 TO MAY 1911 

In Opposition Army Debate France His Parents' Golden 
Wedding His Rectorial Address ' The Springs of Romance ' The 
General Election His Father's Death? 

To Philip Hanson 

WINCHCOMBE, 13.ii. 10. 

MY DEAR P. H., I read your two articles with interest 
and will send them back when I next come across a large 
envelope. They arrived opportunely to give my mind a 
suitable list, for the Sidney Webbs are here and conversa- 
tion gravitates into the pit of social regeneration. We 
are also A. J. B., the Salisburys and Hugh Cecil, and 
John Hugh Smith. 

Excepting one talk with A. J. B. I have done no Politics. 
I have been ' pickling ' rather idly and pleasantly over 
materials that may, or may not, help in my Rectorial 
Address. Literature of the Dark Ages, troubadours, etc., 
etc., and making notes. 

Side by side with an historical attempt to account for 
Romance, I am thinking more obscurely (!) of a physical, 
or metaphysical, explanation of what Romance is. It is 
still very dim. But whether this is, or is not, of use to 
the Address, I want to write something more to accom- 
pany my Scott some day in a book of essays. I know 
that Zola's realism is wrong, and that Pope is inadequate. 
As Dr. Johnson said, ' He excelled all others in poetical 
prudence.' I know that Scott was right. And I ask 
myself why. 

Chesterton's criticism is nearly right, too, when he says 



that Dickens was realistic because he was Romantic- 
only, as usual, he uses words in a way that confounds. 
His examples, that Murdstone is the step-father as he is 
to a small child, or, that the characters in ' Copperfield ' are 
large because David was small, are illuminating. 

In my Scott we carried it, I think, as far as that Realism 
(= observation) and Romanticism (= imagination) are the 
primary modes. 

I think I see my way to two further steps, perhaps to 
three further steps. 

(1) Romanticism = the reaction of the mind on the real, 
not its mere reflection in a mirror. 

(2) Romanticism reacts chiefly on the strange, instead 
of repelling the strange as the Greek mind and Latin 
mind repelled it. 

(3) (And this, my dear P. H., is the devil !) Romanticism 
in accepting the strange, performs an act of recognition, 
because man's mind is (teste the Greeks (?) a microcosm, 
and the Bible in the image of God) and so holds all 
in itself implicitly. But after Classicism, or prolonged 
routine, some things are atrophied in the Mind. Then, 
on being met by the Mind, they are recognised, like the 
prodigal son, and re-united to the familiar with jubilation 
and extravagance in the matter of a fatted calf. 

I believe this. But will anybody believe me ? Yours 
ever, G. W. 

P.S. I go to Saighton to-morrow and hunt with Percy, 
return to 44 Belgrave Square Saturday, and dine with 
A. J. B. 

And Lettice has a little girl born yesterday, at which 
we rejoice. 

P.S. 2. To revert to Unemployment and ' without 
prejudice ' to Tariff Reform, but looking only to research 
and classification as preliminaries, I had an idea last 

It sprang from your section on seasonal trades. I 
rather demurred to your inclusion of Gas-making, merely 
practically (not imaginatively), for I know that the Dover 
VOL. ii. 2s 


Gas-works have for years in Winter and Summer 
employed the same numbers. I also know that Gas- 
works make a great many things beside gas, e.g. dyes 
and ammonia as by-products. I wondered whether 
therein lay the explanation. Then I had the idea. 

Why not discover and classify the by-products of the 
workers' faculty, e.g. a paper-hanger may be qualified 
in a secondary way by his aptitude for hanging paper 
to do something else. Ditto the house -painter, and 
so on. 

I think this ought to be true. 

I know that some faculties disqualify for some other 
channels of activity. Now if the reverse is also true, we 
might find that the paper-hanger and house-painter had 
developed a secondary aptitude which could be exercised 
after the summer holidays are over. 

I tried this on Sidney Webb, with whom I had a 
strenuous two hours, and he did not scout it. But that 
may be due to his politeness. 


To his Father 

February 16th, 1910. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I am very much obliged to you 
for letting me put up at 44 till Easter. I will see that all 
bills are sent in and paid by me and keep the receipts ; 
also putting my servant on board wages. 

I had some interesting talk with Arthur Balfour at 
Stanway. Redmond will, I feel pretty sure, accept 
Asquith's assurances whatever they may be ; and then 
quarrel with the Liberals later on. Redmond cannot 
afford another General Election this year, and Asquith 
wishes to stay in for a year and a half or two years. That 
being so, they will both * Humbug ' their respective parties 
and connive at nothing much happening till 1911 at 
earliest. That is what they will try to do. They may, 
however, be stampeded by Lloyd George. 


I hunted yesterday and am none the worse for it, so I 
shall hunt to-morrow and Friday and go up for Arthur's 
dinner and the King's speech on Saturday. Perf is very 
well. He won a race last Saturday against professional 
jockeys over hurdles. It was a good performance and 
has brought him fame in this part of the world. . But I 
hope he will soon be too heavy for such exploits. Bendor 
has been hunting six days a week, going well, and giving 
complete satisfaction to an exacting Field. 

We are still full of politics in Cheshire and determined 
to win more seats next time. 

Love to darling mamma. Your loving son, 



To his Father 

CHESTER, February 18th, 1910. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, Perf, Bendor and self are just in 
from a * Red-letter ' day. After the gale yesterday, which 
of course spoilt our sport though we did have a rather 
nice gallop in the evening we settled that to-day, as the 
wind had dropped, we were going to do great things. As 
we motored to the Meet about three miles the other side 
of the Cheshire Hills from Saighton, we settled what run 
we would like to have and chose the best you could have, 
by way of the longest point over the best line. Well, we 
did it twice ! and once back again. 

We only drew two coverts all day. We found at once 
at Wardle, a good covert half a mile from the Meet. 
Viewed away a big dog-fox, ran first away from the hills 
to Hurleston covert, which is six miles as the crow flies 
from the hills. Viewed the same fox away and then raced 
slap for the hills and killed our old dog-fox fair and square 
in the open after 50 minutes of the best, just a mile short 
of the hills. 

Benny then trotted back slowly the whole way to 
Baddiley, which is one and a half miles further from the 


hills than Hurleston. I have just measured it, a full 7| 
or 7 as the crow flies. We found at once, ran fast along 
the canal i.e. parallel to the hills the 7 miles and more 
from them. Then we turned and ran right to them with- 
out touching a covert, racing a field off from where we had 
killed. Fox, and hounds, and the first five or six of us 
were all together into the little outlying wood of the big 
woods on the hills. I said to the whip, 4 Perhaps the fox 
can't face the hill ' which is very steep. He said, ' It 
may break his heart.' But he was headed by rustics 
screaming with excitement and that saved him. For he 
lay down and another jumped up and took them all the 
way back to Baddiley ! I stopped at the hills and rode 
home. It was just 50 minutes again to where he lay down. 
A day to remember. Your loving son, GEORGE. 

To his Father 

Sunday, 9 p.m., March 6th, 1910. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I am just back 9 p.m. from a 
Saturday and a half Sunday at Saighton. I agree that we 
are in a political crisis of suffering from a National illness. 
I cannot prove that we shall recover, but I believe we shall. 
As Disraeli said, ' The history of England is a history of re- 
actions.' So was the history of Rome. Indeed our case 
is far more favourable than most of the grave cases from 
which we, and other nations, have recovered. It is mainly 
due to idleness and pusillanimity of ' moderate ' men, 
especially among liberals, but also among conservatives. 
We have not, so far, to contend with famine, general bank- 
ruptcy, and the fierce passions which these engender. 
Yet our ancestors, and the Romans on several occasions, 
dealt faithfully with these also. Perhaps one might say 
in a gloomy mood that the absence of such scourges 
delays the reaction. There are no violent causes to force 
thoughtful men to think and brave men to act. So, for 
lack of decision, the crisis and the malady are prolonged. 


But I am not gloomy. On the contrary, it is my know- 
ledge that we are in a tight place which reconciles me to 
politics. If all were well, I should retire, write a book, 
and keep a pack of hounds. 

As it is, I have to work hard and cannot make plans. 
I may be able to get to Clouds for a Sunday before Easter. 
But I am hard pressed for time. At such a moment one 
has to think (and that is a long process) in order to be 
ready to act. 

I am very sorry about dear Fly [a dog]. All love to 
darling mamma. Your loving son, GEORGE. 

P.S. I am in charge of the House during Army Esti- 
mates to-morrow, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and must 
think before I go to bed. 


To Hilaire Belloc 

SALISBURY,, 16th April 1910. 

MY DEAR BELLOC, Many thanks for the ' New Age.' 
It is very good. I wonder if we could teach the ' reformers ' 
that their action is not only bad for the poor, because cruel, 
but bad for themselves, because nothing does a man more 
harm than being cruel. Do you think they would be 
frightened about themselves if they realised how dan- 
gerous it is to be cruel, and that the danger increases when 
meanness and conceit are added to cruelty ? That this 
is, indeed, damnable ? That they are damned by doing 
it ? I believe that they dread damnation. Just as hang- 
men object to being hanged, so do those who condemn 
others shrink instinctively from being damned. They 
dislike the prospect so much that they disapprove of the 
word, and are shocked when it is used. 

I wrote these lines on Thursday evening after going to 
Jimmy Tomkinson's funeral. Yours ever, 



I. M. 

14TH APRIL 1910 

It was April to-day as I rush'd in a train to bury a friend. 

Why did I go ? Well, because we had soldier' d and ridden 

I whirl'd up to Cheshire and back, convinced that his death was 

no end, 

But a gleam in the laughter and tears of life, that is like 
April weather. 

In April there is not a doubt. Vicissitudes promise the store 
Which every true lover of life accepts from the infinite art 

Of a world that shouts ' Go ! ' to the young, and to older men, 

' Go it once more ! ' 
For April and courage deny any end to a work of the heart. 

It is all very well to be wise, to think, and to shrink, and to 

shirk ; 
But April is wiser. * Come out ! ' is her cry in the rain, or 

the sun. 
Her flowers explain that to live is a challenge no menace can 


That to be is to do, and to die, the summit of all we have 

To Charles T. Gaily 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

MY DEAR CHARLES, I have 10 minutes before starting 
to Crewe to speak ; I use them to convey a ' clincher ' 
on the sonnets which I saw in 10 seconds, opening at 
hazard. Sonnet 70, lines 56-78, demonstrate my theory, 
because apart from it they are nonsense. ' Time,' at end 
of line 6, is the Enemy. ' Being woo'd of Time,' means 
to suffer from the tyrant, but that shows the worth of the 
sufferer, because he is attacked by Time, the Tyrant. 

The ' pure unstained Prime ' is the eternal past. The 
wounds and mud of Time are the * accidents.' 


You see that in this sonnet, which seems so personal, the 
Immortal Bard touches on his perennial theme, i.e. his 
attack on Time. 

No upholder of the ultra-personal theory can explain 
* being woo'd of Time.' 10 minutes up and I 'm off to 
defend the Constitution which is also being woo'd of Time ; 
and, indeed, debauched. Yours, G. W. 


To Charles T. Gatty 


MY DEAR CHARLES, Just back from Crewe to resume our 
talk on the Sonnets. 

I have thought that ' Informer ' was an apostrophe to 
Time. And it may be that. On the whole, when I was 
writing and more soaked in the stuff, I compared it to 
* frailer spies ' hi cxxi. I felt that c to cxxv was one 

Still you agree with me that the sonnets generally, and 
c to cxxv specially, are primarily a metaphysical out- 
burst, but, secondarily, based upon and built up with 
actual experience, and, probably, addressed to an audience 
also steeped in neo-platonic attacks on the reality of Time, 
and also acquainted with political and personal and literary 
(rival poets) events which had troubled the relations, and 
darkened the atmosphere, of a poetical circle of friends. 

You will find what I said on this in the last half of 
page 250. 

I had a ' full house ' at Crewe, spoke for one hour and 
five minutes, and also at an overflow. But my chief 
interest was to see every bridge between London and 
Crewe crowded with rustics waiting for the flying-men 
and silhouetted against one of the most lovely April skies 
I remember. Yours ever, G. W. 



To Charles Boyd 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

MY DEAR CHARLES, All my energy has been devoted, 
since we met, to fundamental questions of Public Policy. 

Whilst ruminating in the Park on these matters I met 
George Street. 

To him, in that mood, I said, ' with emphasis,' that I 
would rather my occasional lines on Jimmy Tomkinson 
were not published. 

In so far as I can care about such an ephemeral response 
to the drama of life, that mood persists, for two reasons : 

(1) My relations with Jimmy Tomkinson were private. 
I shrink from giving any one touch to what is sad to his 
sons and daughters. 

(2) I may be wanted for the great public contention on 
the constitution at any moment. It is wiser, in view of 
that possibility, to offer no ' target.' I am not at liberty 
to ' unpack my heart ' or ' air my music ' ; ' lights out ' 
is the motto for men in waiting for the moment of counter- 
attack. So I would rather not publish anything, or say, 
or write anything just now. I mean to get the right thing 
done. Yours ever, G. W. 


To his Father 

35 PARK LANK, W., 
May Wth, 1910. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, The Addresses in the House last 
Wednesday were moved in good speeches by Asquith and 
Arthur. Then we got in taxi-cabs and took the Address 
to the King (new) at Marlborough House. He shook hands 
with us all simply and kindly. 

Saturday I went with Bendor by the 8.30 a.m. from 
Euston to Chester for Yeomanry. We had a pleasant 


journey with breakfast in the train and talked over Yeo- 
manry and Politics. We motored to Eaton. On arriving, 
went straight to the polo ground in the Park, where we 
had a vigorous practice and got very hot. Then we had 
a short lunch ; changed into uniform, and motored four 
miles to Handley, whither two horses were sent on and 
where the Eaton squadron was assembled. We rode with 
the squadron to Camp near Cholmondeley about seven 
miles. Since then I have been very busy. We missed your 
fine weather, for Saturday night was icy cold and yesterday 
it rained in a deluge from eight to four in the afternoon. 
But to-day the sun shone and everybody cheered up. 

The work of Yeomanry increases every year. They 
now insist on our doing all our cooking and waiting by 
ourselves and with our own ovens and utensils and without 
a contractor. This entails great difficulty in what is called 
' interior economy.' In another region of activity, they 
insist on our training 16 signallers, two maxim gun detach- 
ments, and twenty trained scouts. In another, they 
leave us to make the contract for camp and drill and 
manoeuvre ground. This, owing to difficulties over Chol- 
mondeley Park, entailed walking six miles and hiring four 
large fields from farmers. 

To-day we drilled all the morning. In the afternoon 
we drilled dismounted and I worked out two manoeuvre 
schemes and a night outpost scheme with the Adjutant. 
Then I motored to Crewe and caught the 7.30, arriving 
here at 11 p.m., as I have to be in Westminster Hall with 
the * Faithful Commons ' at 11 a.m. to-morrow. I go 
back to Cholmondeley to-morrow and return Thursday 
night for the funeral at Windsor to which Sibell and self 
are both commanded. The great excitement is that dear 
Guy is coming for it from Petersburg. So we shall be 
there together. 

Sibell went to Buckingham Palace to-day at 2 p.m. with 
Lily Zetland to pass by the coffin in the Throne Room. 
She says that the six officers of the Brigade who stand like 
statues round the coffin are most impressive. 

Percy has come up with three brother officers and 


quartered them here. Lily Zetland is putting up 

Love to darling mamma. Your loving son, 


To Charles Boyd 


MY DEAR CHARLES, I knew ' The Shropshire Lad ' of 
old, but I read the book through twice to myself in the 
train, and a quarter of it aloud to Sibell after dinner. 
The roses in the garden and buttercups in the fields are 
beyond science. Tho' seen, they belong to Faith ; like 
young love and armies at last confronted ! Of the clusters 
and explosions of crimson roses on the crimson tower I 
will not even write. Some other art must be invented by 
man before we too can shout of that summer without making 
any noise, even of a pen. An element in that art will be 
to have oceans of green round our silent crimson trumpets, 
and new-mown lawns leading to them and the shadows of 

When I see Summer I feel justified of the only attack 
I have ever made on the Roman Church. How easy it is 
to write of the contrast of what we adore. Housman 
writes of death and suicide because he loves the May and 
the dusty roads of England, and lads insolent with life. 
All the Art of the world has only caught a few larks in a 
few cages to remind man of Summer in the blind-alleys of 
his slum. Yours, G. W. 


To Charles Boyd 

Friday, 1.20 a.m. 

MY DEAR CHARLES, I could not get to the Garrick as 
I was at a concert and am just back. Nor can I be here 
at 11.30 to-day as I have to do things on the way to Euston 
for 12.10 to Saighton. 


All this is absurd ! Can you be Napoleonic, cut the 
painter, and come with me to Saighton by the 12.10 
Euston ? I am ordering two seats in luncheon car on the 

If you are entangled with the Fair, tell a lie. If you 
are busy with mankind, tell them to go to Hell ! Come 
along and let us have a jolly journey to see the garden at 
Saighton. There is no one there but Lady Grosvenor and 
self. Then, on Saturday, I will get a taxi and we will 
whirl over the country and do Beeston Castle and Bun- 
bury Church ; or take Chester by storm. I propose a 
sudden decision and a noble exploit. I stay at Saighton 
till Monday and hope to bring Sibell back early for my 
Mother's birthday on Monday. Come along ! there is no 
time like the present ; nor, indeed, any other than the 
present. The remainder consists of two hypothetical 
eternities. Yours in the bond, G. W. 


To Philip Hanson 

SAIGHTON, 1st July 1910. 

MY DEAR P. H., I had been wondering when I should 
hear from you, or write to you, and had been talking of 
you to my Mother and Sibell at luncheon two or three days 
ago. This, no doubt, moved you to write. I answer at 
once, partly because I ought to be thinking of the lines of 
a beast of a speech to 3000 or more Unionist and Tariff 
Reform Women (!) in the Queen's Hall on Thursday next. 

I am very glad you liked my Army Speech. I composed 
it between 7 a.m. and 9.30 a.m. on Sunday morning, and 
made the notes on Monday morning, and let it off that 
afternoon. The official report has some foolish errors. 
They were cross because I sent my notes to the * Times,' 
asking that organ to pass them on. But as the ' Times ' 
did not do so till past 11 p.m., the official reporter paid 
me out. The speech took one hour and a quarter to 


deliver. But some of our men told me that not a word of 
it could have been spared. 

Haldane's verbosity and shiftiness was superb in its way. 
He has grown idle. He sent under the Gallery three or four 
times, and could not master the information supplied. 
A. J. B. told me afterwards, on Wednesday, that my speech 
alarmed him. I asked why, and he answered that the 
logic of it was convincing and most disturbing. 

As you say, it all turns on the ' sealed -pattern ' raid of 
70,000. If that a careful revision of the 5000 to 10,000 
raid is bosh, then it does not matter even if the Terri- 
torial Force is slosh and the Special Reserve tosh. But 
if the ' sealed-pattern ' raid is a thing to be reasonably 
apprehended, then we are in a bad hole. And if Roberts 
is right hi saying that it might be 150,000 v. 70,000, then 
we are asking for it. 

Haldane's attack on compulsion served the purpose of 
evading any reply to my criticism on his T.F. reserve and 
Veteran reserve. 

The true inwardness of these is that the boom in recruit- 
ing for the T.F. has been followed by a slump. I know 
that Esher has reported, or is about to report, that he 
cannot get on in London any further. So, to make his 
numbers, Haldane squared the Press, put up Ian Hamilton 
to slobber over some Surrey Veterans on the Horse Guards 
Parade, and launched his reserves. He takes 33% of the 
T.F. Establishment =41% of its strength, i.e. the whole 
proportion who really do 15 days' training, and says 
that if they go into the reserve after four years, they may 
shoot off twenty rounds at the public expense, and need 
not do any more drill or training at all ! It is sublime ! 

The Irish names in your letter thrill me. I am delighted 
to hear of Downing's Bay and Kincashlagh. We liked 
both places. How I wish it were ten years ago ! 

Horace Plunkett is going to spend Sunday here on his 
way back to Ireland. 

I am sick at the University. 

Nobody knows what will happen in the Autumn. I, 
myself, believe that Asquith will manage somehow to play 


the Coronation and Imperial Conference off against his 
malcontents for another year's peace in office, and that 
Redmond will say of the Budget, ' No matter, let it pass, 
a ti-ime will come ! ' 

You must come here in September. Yours ever, 



To Hilaire Belloc 

SAIGHTON, 20th July 1910. 

MY DEAR BELLOC, I came here to see the Chester 
Pageant and found my garden in July which I had watched 
in January. So I wrote a transcendental sonnet, based 
on Byron. As you detest transcendental belief, I will 
inflict it on you, as thus : 


'When the stars twinkle through the loops of Time.' 

Childe Harold. 

We starved for snowdrops, now the privet's bloom 
Adds pungence to the pageantry of change 
From tenderest green to purple and the mange 

Of lilies that but blossom to their doom. 

To bud, flower, breed ; fight, build, out of the gloom, 
Are incidents of struggling with the strange 
Which plant, beast, man, unravel in their range 

To clarion calls of ' more light ' and more room. 

Our triune tragedy accords the chime 

Of Beauty's incantation as we build 
Her parapets compacted out of slime : 

Our shatter'd arcs declare what she has will'd 
' When the stars twinkle through the loops of Time ' 

And flash eternity on the poor kill'd. 

This will give you a headache. Yours ever, G. W. 



To Hilaire Belloc 

2Qth July 1910. 

MY DEAR BELLOC, I came here this afternoon. In the 
train I finished Chesterton's ' What 's Wrong with the 
World.' When I told you the other day that I did not care 
for it so much as I care for his other work, I had only read 
the first half. I find, now, that I have dog's-eared all the 
last half, blazing my track, and turned down only one 
page in the first half. It is a big book when finished. 
And note, it is finished before the little appendix with a 
reference to my Irish Land Act. But for that, I was on 
the point of writing to him myself. Not that I have any 
modesty. I should like some day to tell him and you what 
a lot of smashing I had to do to get that act made. I 
agree with him that ' Jones's garden ' is the goal and 
momentum of my reaction and his revolution. We both 
want the same thing for the same reasons. But well, 
let me put it in this way the family lawyer, the manager 
of the Bank of Ireland, the young man whom Lord Ash- 
bourne would job into the office of deeds, but for the Land 
Act, the orphans and widows acting through solicitors 
who had borrowed on the expectation of remainder-men 
an expectation destroyed when we bully and bribe the 
tenant for life to sell out, and, probably, the second cousin 
to a young man in the office of Crown and Hanaper are 
each one of them just Jones with a garden. When you 
barge in as I did you blight their gardens. That amount 
of splintering is nothing compared to the stocks and 
shares business ; the commissions to the Bank of Eng- 
land for floating the stock, the commissions to the national 
debt Commissioners (and rightly so called) for managing 
the loan, the commissions to the Bankers, and brokers and 
jobbers (again named as poets name) here is the rub. 
(I pray you not to fly off on the Anglo- Judaic oligarchy.) 

I do not believe that the rub is with the landlord. You 


and Chesterton hold the opposite view. I wish we could 
talk it all out one day. You and he know facts which I 
don't know, and I know facts which you don't know, and 
it is on our ignorance that Sidney Webb and his active 
consort build their gaols and penitentiaries. 

Chesterton's excellent recapitulation, page 283, breaks 
down, I believe, on the usurious landlord. 

At any rate the big landlords are not the usurious land- 
lords. Mind you, I am not, therefore, in favour of big 
landlords. I want many small land-owners. 

But I want Chesterton to consider this. The big land- 
lord, as such, owns in land a property that is worth less, 
even absolutely, and relatively far less than it was worth 
150 years ago. But, when it was worth more absolutely, 
and far more relatively, he invested his savings, first in 
consols, then in British railways, now in outlandish enter- 
prises and the municipal loans of Mexican cities. Still, 
as a landlord he prevents the conditions which determinate 
the hair-cutting business. 

On the other hand, the men who prepare the way for 
destroying the glory of dear little English girls, are those 
who trafficked in the ' agiotage ' of outlandish enterprises, 
and lent money to rich boys, and, at last, bought landed 
property. This they treated precisely as a Financier 
treats the bonds of a Mexican corporation. 

Now, I believe that you can get the Landlords to sell 
their land, and be English. ' Young England ' and 
' Merry England ' are ideas. 

But investment, and re-investment, are simply devilish 
* paperasseries ' to which English landlords are seduced 
and driven. God knows what they are doing and piling 
up for the vengeance of other centuries. They don't 
know. How should they ? But they do know that their 
fathers loved the English and were loved by them. And 
they still love the English. I would use that love. 

If the Noailles gave up their titles because they were 
French, the big English landlords will give up their land 
because they are English. 

What they resent is having their money taken not 


their land in order to pepper the country with Sidney 
Webb's penitentiaries. They also resent and I am 
absolutely with them in that having their son disin- 
herited from his home in order that Sidney Webb may 
live in it, as Lord High Gaoler, and conduct experimental 
slavery in their park. If I am forced to choose : I prefer 
a herd of fallow-deer to a labour colony for people who 
refuse to become teetotallers. 

The mere knowledge that there are fallow-deer in the 
parish and the off-chance not of shooting them, for this 
is a degenerate age, but of trying to pat them, might be 
something in any boy's life. On the other hand, the 
knowledge that his father because he frequented the 
4 Bald-headed Stag ' was to water beans with a chemical 
solution in the park, would be a desolating reflection even 
for the young people in a County Council school. 

But why this choice ? Why not more homes, and more 
properties, with, as a corollary, more publicities ? 

I will now inflict the last version of 


We saw the lilies die. St. Michael's daisies 
Clanged purple to the gladiolus red : 
They told the tale of all the flowers had said, 

To make joy sure before the autumn hazes. 

The winds were mists of silence in the mazes 

Of songless woods. The dank leaves dripp'd. A dread 
Came when the choir of birds, pack'd overhead, 

Were dumbly bent on flights beyond our gazes. 

What is there left to care for ? Wastes of snow 
Betray the tracks of beasts, but bear no life. 

Their record prophesies the earth's last woe 
When utter cold shall seal the pulse of strife. 

No, look ! The dawn breaks in a bloodier glow 
Of passionate hearths and battles to the knife. 

I shall go to London on Monday, 44 Belgrave Square, 
and return here on Tuesday. Yours ever, G. W. 


P.S. If you say of my sonnet that it is 

' built beyond mortal thought 
Far in the unapparent ' 

I shall take it as a compliment. It is a compliment which 
I pay to Chesterton, when I don't agree with him. 


To his Mother 

SALISBURY, August 30th, 1910. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I loved getting your telegram 
on my old birthday. I am alive and kicking after a great 
excursion into parts of France that I knew nothing of before. 
Belloc telegraphed to me, ' Will you come to France on 
Wednesday for two or three days ? ' I telegraphed back, 
* Done with you,' and on Wednesday last we started from 
Charing Cross at 9 p.m. each with only a small hand-bag 
besides the clothes we stood up in. I did not know where 
we were going ; nor did he. But he had in his head 
some places he wished to see. We reached Paris at 6.15 
Thursday morn, drove across to the P.L.M., had a cup of 
coffee and caught the 7.10 South. We travelled third 
class in a crowded train, admiring the babies and discuss- 
ing the crops with our companions. We also hailed, each 
time we saw it, the great road from Rome to Paris, and 
looked with awe at the mounded hill of Alexia where 
Julius Csesar conquered Vercingetorix. We talked of the 
Senones who over-ran Asia Minor from what is now Sens. 
And all the time with a railway-guide and map we debated 
what we should do. At last we settled to get out of the 
train at Blaisy-Bas, 12.30 p.m., and march right over the 
hills down into the Burgundian Vineyards of the C6te-d'or. 
We sent our bags on by train, round the hills to Gevrey- 
Chambertin, and, at 12.45, swung off on foot up into the 
Forest. We tried a track marked on the map, but, as 
eight years have passed since the map was made, the track 
was interlaced with boughs. We had to push through like 
VOL. ii. 2 c 


rhinoceroses, taking turn about to lead. In the end we 
were beaten by the growth of underwood and had to strike 
west by the sun, to get the driving path. We struck it, 
emerging from the tangled wood on a height that over- 
looked the wide valley of the Ouche [a river] ; the view was 
like Costa's Assisi, only on a wider scale. Below we could 
see two little hamlets we had to pass, and beyond the pine- 
covered heights. We had to cross two more ridges and 
then the descent guessed on the far side 20 miles away. 
It was a baking hot day. We passed a holy well with a 
bronze bust of St. Bernard over it against the burning 
deep blue sky. At Pralons, a little hamlet, we drank beer 
and talked to its seller. Of the well, he said cautiously 
(for religion is a ticklish affair in France just now) ' C'est 
de Panciennete. Autrefois il-y-avait un seigneur au 
Couvent.' The vines have been spoilt by this awful 
summer. Of the prospective vintage he said, ' For this 
year there is what calls itself nothing Pour cette annee 
il-y-a ce qui s'appelle rien.' We only rested a few minutes 
and then pushed on to our bridge the Pont de Pany 
over the Ouche, which we reached at 4.15. Then we toiled 
up a wonderful road that left the river and canal of Bur- 
gundy and wound like a snake past low cliffs up to the 
crest of that ridge, about 2000 feet high. Here there was 
an undulating plateau. At Uray (beer again), reached at 
6 p.m., we could see the next valley, and got another short 
cut by track over fields and up to the crest of the next 
ridge and over to Champ-de-bceuf, another little home- 
stead. It was dark, for the night falls sooner and more 
suddenly in the South. The stars were marvellous and 
the Milky Way and all about the glow-worms shone. But 
We for the moment were beat and our legs too stiff to 
move, so three-quarters of a mile beyond Champ-de-boeuf 
we threw ourselves on the ground and looked up at the 
stars through the leaves of a little chestnut tree. Then 
we rubbed our legs and swung down the road by a gigantic 
ravine a black chasm on our right, with high cliffs on our 
left. We sang all the songs we could remember, and at 
8.30 saw a light in the valley. That was Gevrey-Cham- 


foertin, t where the wine comes from.' We reached the 
little Inn at 8.45, after walking for eight hours and doing 
between 22 and 23 miles. It was good to eat and drink. 
The station two miles off was shut, so we rolled into bed 
without any change of clothes in a hostel which was much 
the same sort of gite as any occupied by anybody from the 
time of Hadrian down the centuries. I woke at five, they 
got our bags by seven. We went to the station and took 
the little local train along to C6te-d'or, past Mirts-St. 
George and Pouilly and all the vineyards to Beaune at 
10.30. There we saw the church and belfry and hospital 
of 15th century, and eat and took a motor and shot 100 
kilometres North by West into ' le Morvan,' a wild upland, 
3000 feet high of forest and mountain, more like Wales 
than France. Then we walked again three hours to 
Avallon, a little town on a peak. The forest was full of 
large red slugs. Just as Avallon appeared like a vignette, 
a storm burst on us. We took refuge in a wayside cottage 
and made the children dance. Then we climbed up and 
arrived like draggled rats at the H6tel du Chapeau rouge. 
The coiffeur next door by a few dexterous strokes of his 
comb transformed me into the image of a retired Colonel 
of French chasseurs. I let him have his way, which in- 
cluded waxing my moustachios into two sharp spikes. 
I woke at 5.30 and began to mobilise at 6, and started soon 
after. We walked till 10.30, when we reached the wall 
of the wonderful pinnacled town of Vezelay, where St. Ber- 
nard preached the 2nd Crusade to Louis vii. and, Conrad 
on 31st March 1146. 

O my 1 What a church ! Byzantine and rebuilt just 
after that crusade. The XHth century. One ot the 
Councils of the Empire met there. Our Cceur-de-lion 
was there, too, before the 3rd Crusade. And now it has 
800 inhabitants only and is sound asleep, dreaming of the 
past. At 1 we got a little trap and drove to a railway. 
Vezelay is what it is because it is far from any railway. 
We travelled 3rd class till 4.30, then got out and walked 
for three hours to Auxerre with its three great churches. 
We meant to go on at 9 by train to Melun. But no. 


We eat and drank and slept. We started at six and 
caught the 7 a.m. to Paris on Sunday. Arrived at 10.30, 
Saw the Luxembourg and Pantheon, and traced the old 
Roman road and the spot where the first Frenchman re- 
entered Paris after Jeanne-d'Arc had turned the tide of 
war. I left Belloc, caught the 4 p.m. slept to Boulogne, 
Dined on board, reached Charing Cross at 11, and came 
here by the 8.50 yesterday motoring out from Salisbury 
as I had promised Cuckoo to celebrate my Birthday with 

Now was not that a good scamper ? 

I will see you and dearest Papa this week. Your most 
loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

September 8th, 1910. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I am hard at work on my 
Rectorial Address. I take a run in the garden before 
breakfast. Work from 10 to 1 o'clock, run, lunch, ride, 
and then work from 4 to 8 o'clock, dine, and then think 
till 11.30. 

It takes a power of thinking to decide on a track through 
a forest of delightful lore, in which it is all but impossible 
not to lose oneself. 

I shall not write till Monday, leaving myself three weeks 
in which to write. But this is the agonising period. I 
have to prevent myself from writing, and to curb myself 
from reading too much. But there is a savage joy in 
reading, and noting, as one does during the preliminary 

And I say to myself that, even if I cannot get a clear 
track, still I shall have had the zest of reading for example 
la Chanson de Roland and much else a little library 
with a devilish racing-for-blood concentration, which I 
cannot get except when I am preparing to write. 

I know la Chanson de Roland. I sometimes read it. 


I often want to read it to you and others. But I can't do 
this unless I am on the trail to get my scalp. 

Now I am on the trail. But whether I can make the 
trail endurable to an audience of Edinburgh Students is a 
question which cannot be answered until I have worked 
for another ten days. 

I will not allow myself to write until I have reduced what 
I have to say to six, or at most seven, definite propositions, 
which lead the one to the other, and ultimately compose 
into a truth. 

I know I could do this if all went well. And I think I 
am going to do it. If I don't I think I shall have had a 
wonderful four weeks of exploring. 

I can tell you what the real trouble in my mind is, as 
thus : 

You remember Charles Kingsley's ' Madam How and 
Lady Why.' 

Very well ; I can tell them How Romance came into 
Europe in 1050, culminated in 1150, and influenced to 1550 
and even on to 1600. 

I can almost tell them Why : 

But can I tell them What it was ? ? ? 

That 's the point. Prudence suggests that I should only 
announce the How sketch the Why and throw out the 
What in a few mystical sentences. 

Still, it is a strange thing that Europe soon after 1750 
began to feel it had lost something it could not spare 
(like its shadow or its soul), and that from 1800 till now it 
has been recovering what it had lost. 

Now this becomes more strange and significant if we 
admit, as we must, that the same thing happened before 
on a greater scale. 

And the whole thing becomes deliriously interesting 
when you find that all the business of Romance was written 
in the French language, in England, by Normans, who had 
touched Bretons and Welsh on the West, and Arabs in the 
South in Spain, and in the East owing to the Crusades. 


It is almost too good to be true. 

Yet it is true that the Chanson de Roland, the tale of 
Troy, the tale of Thebes, and the tale of Arthur, all the lays 
of Marie de France, and all there is except perhaps the 
Alexander tale and the fables about animals were all 
written in England between 1150 and 1220 by Norman and 
Southern Frenchmen and Welshmen who wrote French. 

And that all this happened because of two accidents. 

I. Roland, a Frank, overwhelmed by Basques in the 
Pyrenees, was Count of the Breton marches. 

II. Henry n. married Eleanor the divorced wife of 
Louis vin. who brought the Troubadours of the South, and 
the Tronveres of the North, into England and through Wales 
into Ireland, after going to the East in the second Crusade. 

Those two accidents do the trick of * Madam How.' 
But then there is Lady Why, and after that the inscrut- 
able What was it that happened ? 

That being in my mind I shall refuse to Define Romance 
and set out to Discover it : Citing the precedent of Colum- 
bus who went to America before there was any Map. 
Your most loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Father 

CHESTER, September 17th, 1910. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I have read your letters and en- 
closure on the Osborne Judgment with interest. Though 
busy with my Address I keep an eye on what passes. I 
do not believe that the House of Commons will reverse 
the judgment, but am rather concerned at the hot-heads 
of the Unionist Party plunging in favour of the payment 
of members. That would be a lesser evil but would com- 
plete the degradation of the House. 

But as you truly say I do find it may be foolish 
consolation in the ' chapter of accidents ' or, as I would 
put it, in the complexity of incidents that make up national 


life and world-politics. Any one of these may suddenly 
absorb public attention, and the business of Politicians 
consists in combining them into groups in such a way as 
to counteract separate tendencies towards evil, and secure 
some common tendency towards good. This is easier said 
than done. Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

September 20th, 1910. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, It was good of you to send 
back the French book in white and gold binding. I lose 
some books that I can ill spare and, notably, I have lost 
a little old Latin book, ' Historia Regum Britanniae,' by 
Geoffrey of Monmouth. Luckily I remember it, since it 
must play a big part in my Address. Possibly I am better 
without it. For, if it were here, I should find something 
else in it which I should be tempted to cram into the 
Address. Anyway * it 's gone,' like the chicken from the 
ship in ' The Lady of the Aroostook.' 

I am sure that you and Papa could give me a reference I 
do want : for the story is one of our old favourites . Who ( ? ) 
was it who said what (?) on a Cumberland mountain, the 
gist of which was that he had to remember the cook-shop (?) 
in (?) (London). Was it Lamb ? If you can give me the 
reference I will send to the London Library for the book. 
The tedious part of address- writing is that one has to 
' verify one's references ' ; and nobody knows what that is 
till they Ve tried to do it. 

The alarming part of writing an Address is that one has 
to write a book afterwards. An Address on Ronsard at 
Oxford entailed a little book. This Address will entail a 
larger book. I shall be driven into writing a book. Just 
now I am being driven into writing far more than I can say 
in an hour. I shall select bits out of it for the Address. 
But the rest, which I must leave out, will haunt me like a 
ghost till I lay it in a book. 


It would be much simpler to write Poetry, or even to 
paint Pictures, than to search for the soul of Romance by 
the historical method. Still, having set myself that task, 
I mean to do it, and to limit myself, for its execution, 
to the tools of dry historical research. 

When that is done I will let myself out in a book and, 
when that is done, I will write about the other theme of 
which I spoke to you. 

Meanwhile you may assure Papa that this kind of work 
does not unfit me for dealing with the Osborne Judgment. 
On the contrary I wanted a quiet six weeks of reading 
and thinking and shall be all the better for them poli- 
tically. Your most loving son, GEORGE. 

P.S. Have just heard from Perf at Hythe. He, too, is 
in a lodging by the sea as I was in 1884. It was then that 
I bought a pearl pin to wear in a black tie because of 
national mourning for Prince Leopold. I gave you that 
pin when I went to the Soudan the next year. And you 
gave it back to me when I returned. And it is still the pin 
that I wear, in a white tie, when I hunt. I shall hunt 
every day in the week after the Address. Then I shall 
make speeches on the 7th, 8th and 9th of November. 
Hunting and literature are not incompatible with politics. 
Henry of Anjou (our Henry n.) who made the Empire 
from the Pyrenees to the Grampians always had ' a bow 
or a book in his hand.' 

To Mrs. Drew 

September 22nd, 1910. 

MY DEAR MARY, Many thanks for the elegiac couplet. 
It is quite beautiful, and quite untranslatable. 

I have written my first attempt over the page. Yours 
affectionately, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 

Lead on, too well-beloved : Go happy part 

Of our one soul : God calls ; but teach my heart, 

Mourning alone, to follow where thou art. 


To Mrs. Drew 

September 23rd, 1910. 

' I, nimium dilecta ; vocat Deus ; I bona nostrae 
Pars animae; moerens, altera, disce sequi.' 

MY DEAR MARY, You little knew what you were * in 
for ' when you sent me that perfect elegiac couplet. You 
must not trouble to read all my shots at translating the 
untranslatable. But apart from gratitude for its evasive 
loveliness, I want to thank you for giving me a ' whetstone 
for wit ' * cos ingeniorum ' just when I needed one. Now, 
at odd moments, I sharpen and exercise my wit on ' I, 
nimium dilecta, etc.,' instead of blunting and tiring it by 
mumbling the Rectorial Address, if that ever became some- 
thing saner than Casaubon's ' Key to all the Mythologies ' 
was it ? in Middlemarch ? so fortunate a result will be 
due to my possession of and by ' I, nimium, etc.,' for that 
affords a strenuous relaxation and that was your gift. 
Thanks to it, the rectorial has made strides. Many pages 
have been re-written that are at least intelligible and some- 
times melt into lucidity. After that exordium I must tell 
you what has happened in my leisure, since I received the 

It seemed to me that there were only two things to be 
done with it : either to forget its form and attempt an 
original English poem on its theme, or else to aim at the 
most literal translation compatible with the retention of 
an English rhythm. 

I have not tried the first. But who knows ? That may 
follow the effort at translation. So far, I have tried my 
hand only at translation. 

I have always felt that in a translation two rules must 
be observed. The translator must try to echo the form, 
e.g. he must not turn a couplet into a quatrain. If the 
original is a couplet, a couplet he must write. The other 
rule is that he must try to express all the meaning of the 
original and add nothing to it. 


Within those limits he must seek to obey Rossetti's general 
injunction, viz. ' not to turn a good poem into a bad one.' 

All this is, of course, impossible. But that is why it 
supplies so excellent a whetstone for wit. 

If ' I, nimium ' is to be translated at all, the translation 
must be a compromise between a complete and exclusive 
rendering of the Latin's meaning, on the one hand, and a 
decent approach to English rhythm on the other. And 
that compromise must be contained in a couplet. 

I am still vacillating between two alternative com- 

If the translation is to be more literal in its meaning 
than English in its rhythm, it would run : 

' Go, too beloved ; God calls. Go, our soul's happier part, 
That other grief shall learn to follow where thou art.' 

But if the translation is to be more English in its rhythm 
to English ears, and more lucid in its syntax to English 
minds, it would run : 

' Go, too beloved ; God calls, our soul's more happy part : 
What's left shall learn from grief; I '11 follow where thou art.' 

Sibell prefers the last. 

I think I am right in translating ' bona ' by ' happy/ 
' Bona,' of course, means ' good.' But the word for ' good r 
in all languages often stands for ' lucky,' or ' happy ' 
which is the same, with greater dignity. Certainly in a 
celebrated Latin line ' O Fortunati nimium bona si sua 
ndrint ' ' bona ' means ' happiness.' The author of our 
couplet probably had that line singing in the back of his 
head, as he puts both 'nimium' and 'bona' into his first line. 

Again, if ' happy ' be justifiable as a translation of the 
Lathi meaning, ' more happy ' is justifiable in respect of 
English rhythm, for it is taken from Keats' ' Ode to a 
Grecian Urn.' 

Probably the first course, which I have not attempted, is 
the best, viz. to forget the form of ' I, nimium ' and write 
an English poem on its theme. ' Manet sors tertia caedi r 
i.e. ' take a licking ' and leave the Latin as it stands. 
Yours affectionately, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 



To Philip Hanson 

SAIGHTON, 30.ix.10. 

MY DEAR P. H., I was beginning to miss any news of 
you, and beginning to hope that you might propose a 
meeting here. But * mea culpa ' I ought to have written 
to you long ago and urged you to come. My thoughts, 
like yours, have been turning back to old days. The sun- 
light here for the past ten days carried me back ten years. 
You and Norman and, I think, Ian Malcolm, played lawn 
tennis with me here in the sun, before we dreamed of 
leaving the W.O. And when November comes it will be 
ten years since you and I sailed over a blue sea to Ireland 
with the collie-dog Chief a little puppy in a basket on 
the deck. 

* The days that I regret 

Are those that are no more.' 

But they were good days ; and I knew it at the time, so I 
have no remorse, only regret. 

I wish you could pop over for even one of the sort of 
days we put up with now. Let me forecast the immediate 
future to that end, before I relate the immediate past. I 
go to London Monday night and return here Wednesday 
night, 5th October. That would be a good moment, or 
any other till Tuesday llth, when I go to London and on 
to Clouds to celebrate my Father's and my Mother's 
Golden Wedding. I return on the 17th and that would be 
a good moment for a glimpse of you. Early in the next 
week I go to Whittinghame and deliver my Address at 
Edinburgh on Friday 28th. I return the next day, 29th, 
D.V., and * in any case ' on Monday 31st. That would 
do well, but not so well, because I then replunge into 
politics and hunting. This I have not done for many 
weeks, and am too rusty to answer your questions. Now 
I relate the immediate Past. I took a month of violent 
holiday-making after the Session. Played polo hard here 


till the 15th August. Went to South Wales and bathed in 
the sea. Went to France with Belloc and walked miles 
and miles over hills to Burgundy and back by V6zelay, 
where St. Bernard preached the second Crusade. Went 
to St. Giles and Clouds, and got here on September 5th. 
Since then I have worked at my Address every day like 
a miner in the bowels of the earth, and have forgotten 
pro tern. all about politics. I have been in the valley of 
the shadow of composition, which is darker than any sub- 
terranean gallery and less securely propped. 

Halt sunt li pui e tenebrus e grant 
Li val parfunt e les ewes curanz. 

This is not madness : 

High are the peaks and shadow-gloomed and vast, 
Profound the valleys where the torrents dash. 

Nor is this. It is an attempt at the meaning and sound of 
two lines in the Song of Roland. 

I have thought of nothing but the subject of my Address 
since the 5th of September. I say the subject advisedly. 
For, provided I can make the Address tolerable, even to 
Scotchmen, I am using the lull of the Conference to learn 
all that appertains to a book which I mean to write. It 
will follow on to the * Ronsard ' and ' Walter Scott.' That 
is to say, its province will be early French literature, and 
its aim, another definition of Romance, reached by the 
historic method. 

I wish you could come for a day and join in. I have 
just read the first half to brother Guy, who is here till 
Monday. He prefers it to the Glasgow address, and, 
indeed, if simplicity can be reached by agony, this should 
be a white lamb by comparison with that black and hairy 

After all let me remember, for my peace, that in this 
address I am not taking on the History of the World, but 
only four centuries 1050 to 1450 confined to Western 
Europe and tied down to literature. For the moment, 
my lamb is tied too tight ; but, when I have got the 


sequence of propositions in the only order, I shall allow 
that little lamb to frisk and caper like a goat. 

To change the metaphor : after the historic work, I 
mean for my own delectation to soar from the earth into 
the ' blue inane ' of metaphysics, like an airman (see 
* Daily Mail ' pattern). But, instead of coming down 
with a bump to the ground, I shall disappear ' Far in the 
unapparent ' (see Shelley's ' Adonais '). 

Now am not I well ' Hedged ' ? I believe it will take 
an hour to speak the historic part. Very well, then I 
shall have all the fun to myself, and will make a book of 
it. That is my plan. But if I can pack the history into 
45 minutes, the Scots, who like their metaphysics, will 
have to stomach mine ; or howl me down. In either 
case we go off to luncheon together at the Union when the 
Address has been delivered, or interrupted. 

More than enough of myself. You must not take ' the 
forties ' to heart. When I had them, badly, in 1905, you 
helped me as much as any man has been helped by another 
man. What you feel I have felt. But, now that I am 
within three years of being fifty, I feel much better. 

I cannot write of the Conference ; but I am grateful for 
it. I love the lull. I am very sorry to hear of Lady 
Atkinson's illness. I laughed out aloud at his ' But it is 
not padded.' 

I think you ought to succeed H and outstrip him 

in the end. 

I am to speak on Politics most days, on and after 
November 7th. But to-day, and to-morrow, and until 
October the 28th, I am bathing in the ' Springs of Romance.' 
That (but this is, till then, a secret) is the short title of my 
Address. The full title is 



Note the limitation. I have tried to observe it. I did 
not mind foregoing Cathay. But to leave out Architecture 


has been a grim business, considering that St. Bernard 
preached the second Crusade at Vezelay which I visited 
last month and that the second Crusade explains Romance, 
historically. Yours ever, G. W. 


To his Sister, Mary 

CHESTER, 6.x. 10. 

MY DARLING CHANG, The great point is that we shall 
all 5 be together at Clouds on the 15th. 1 

I am not skilled in Heraldry, but I like it. If done at 
all, it must be correct. 

One thing I do know, and that is that no woman can 
have a crest. Indeed, in the case of a married woman her 
husband bears her arms for her. It seems to me that 
this would not only be correct, but appropriate, to a 
Golden Wedding. The technical term is that the husband 
impales his wife's arms. The effect is like this : 

Au Bon Droit 

In the half of the escutcheon which I have left blank 
the Campbell arms of Mamma's Father should be dis- 
played in full. 

A woman does not have a crest because she is not sup- 
posed to wear a helmet. Her husband is her helmet and 
her shield. So long as he lives, her arms appear beside 
his on one shield. Nor does a woman have a motto ; for 
that is a war-cry. 

Before marriage, young ladies, and after marriage, 
widows, display their arms, not on a shield, but on a 

1 For the Golden Wedding of their parents. The discussion of the arms was 
in connection with the presents the five sons and daughters were preparing. 


I will see what I can do in the way of a dedication. 
Your loving brother, GEORGE. 

P.S. Minnie has some other idea. But I hold to the 
bound book. It should be made of paper, or parchment, 
and leather that will last for centuries. 


To Charles Boyd 

SAIGHTON, 21.x. 10. 

MY DEAR CHARLES, Your letter of the 17th reached 
me to-day and was welcome. It would be ' jolly ' if you 
reached Edinburgh for the Rectorial : Percy would have 
said, a year ago, ' if you rolled up ; ' now he would say 
* if you blew in ' a delightful addition to the vocabulary 
of nonchalance. 

I am asking Walter Blaikie to send you a ' confidential ' 
early copy. But, if you do ' blow in ' at the M'Ewan 
Hall, do not read it. I would like in that event to 
know from a trusty and truthful comrade whether the 
thing is tolerable as a spoken Address. I think it is 

In speaking it I shall omit all quotations, references, 
qualifications and botherations, in the hope of presenting 
the naked argument. 

But all these omissions will be printed. Otherwise 
many and, for instance, Andrew Lang, will be ' as tire- 
some as ever.' 

Blaikie has printed it magnanimously. Yours ever in 
the bond, G. W. 


To his Father 

PRESTONKIRK, N.B., October 30th , 1910. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I have booked December 1st and 
2nd for shooting at Clouds. 


I tried Adey's British Cigars and liked them pretty well 
for a time. But I got tired of them. I think Havannahs 
are the best. 

I am posting a bound copy of my Address to Mamma. 
It is beautifully printed. Sibell has, I know, written 
her impressions of the scene, the interruptions made the 
delivery a strain ; but I managed to fire off a good deal of 
it and all the end. We motored out, starting at 9.30. I 
saw dear aunt Connie 1 and Pamela ; and had quite a 
company of close supporters in the front row. After the 
Address I inspected the Officers' Training Corps in the 
quadrangle and said a few words. Then Arthur and I 
were photographed in many groups. Then we had a 
huge luncheon about 250 at the Union and, again, a 
few words in response to our guests. By that it was 3.30 
and we were due at the General Council of the University, 
where Arthur took the Chair. Then to tea with Sir 
Ludovic Grant, the Regius Professor of Law. 

I got an hour to myself before dinner and composed 
my next speech. I dined with all the Professors at the 
Balmoral Hotel. The dinner is called the Symposium 
Academicum. The other guests were Lord Finlay, Lord 
Dunedin and Lord Dundas. We turned out in the balcony 
to see the Students' Torch-light procession a fine sight 
like the Carnival with many cars and mounted men. 
The dinner lasted from 8 to 11.30. I returned thanks for 
* The Students ' as their representative and made a rather 
amusing speech. I walked back to the North British 
with Hepburn Millar, now a professor of law, who used 
to write in Henley's paper and hails me as a comrade in 
arms. We smoked a cigar together. He is a Tory of 
Tories. I took a walk at 8.30 the next morning and had 
three of the leading Students to breakfast with me at 
9 o'clock. The two leaders of the Conservative and 
Liberal party and the President of the Union. They were 
very agreeable and we had quite a good talk. Then I 
motored here where the strenuous life still continues, 
urged on by Sidney Webb and Mrs. Webb. 

1 Lady Leconfield. 


To-morrow I return to Saighton for a week's hunting ; 
and then a week's politics. Love to darling Mamma. 
Your loving son, GEORGE. 

To Mrs. Drew 


October 3Ist, 1910. 

... I read three chapters of ' Martin Eden ' 1 last 
night, and read it right through to the end to-day. It is 
a big book. I have marked many pages. Success did 
not come too late to M. E. If it had come a few weeks 
earlier, he would have married the false fool ; and that 
would have been hell for him ; not because she was false, 
but because she was so little in every way, mind, heart, 
body. When he was an awkward sailor he mistook the 
absence of mind, heart and body for the presence of the 
soul. The author may have lived this in his life or in 
his imagination. As it seems true, I incline to the belief 
that he lived it in his imagination. Chaucer could make 
Emelye, Creseyda and the Wife of Bath ; Shakespeare 
could make Juliet and Lady Macbeth : this creative busi- 
ness is done by imagination, not by suffering life. It is a 
protest against that suffering. What I believe to be true 
is that the author at present is under the spell of 
Herbert Spencer and Nietzsche. If he had read poetry 
instead of biology, Martin Eden would not have climbed 
through the port-hole at the end, but up to the stars and 
down again. 

This book is a work of Art, and, like all works of 
Art, has a practical value which is mercifully denied to 
manuals of common sense. I say ' mercifully ' because I 
hope they will all perish and leave the field some day to 
Imagination and Art. 

The by-products of practical value are twofold. In the 
first place, it ought to be read by every young lady who 
contemplates matrimony : in the second, it ought to be 

1 By Jack London. 
VOL. II. 2 D 


read by every poet who contemplates publication. The 
young ladies will learn what they are, and the poets will 
learn a great deal from the change in the author's style. 
At the beginning, by his Americanisms and sham culture, 
he disgusts as he meant to : near the end and in the 
middle he writes the language which belongs to the truth 
that transcends nationality and sex and philosophies. In 
the last six pages he relapses into bosh as we all do at 
moments of fatigue and relapses the more deeply because 
he still, doubtfully, believes in Spencer, and still, doubt- 
fully, admires the superman. 

I infer that he is still young ; still so young that he can 
be ' as sad as night for very wantonness.' If I am right, 
he will, in middle age, cry out, * Hang up Philosophy ! 
Can Philosophy make a Juliet ? ' He will never make a 
* Juliet ' or a ' Falstaff,' but he will make some people, 
and is somebody. 

To Mrs. Drew 

November 1st, 1910. 

Your dear human letter is opened last of 40 I found on 
my return to-night. Sibell tells me she has written about 
the Address. The youths meant well, but their occasional 
interruptions, paper darts and snatches of song would 
have beat me, if I had not worked so hard at the Address 
that I knew it by heart, and believed in it so much that 
I made them listen to the last part, after sparing them a 
good deal of the history and all the qualifications. 

The only ones who really made a noise were the Officers' 
Training Corps. And the jolly, illogical fun of this kind 
of business is that immediately after the Address I in- 
spected them in the quadrangle. They stood up like 
rocks and dared not blink an eyelid. To them in that 
capacity I was a grown man who had been a real soldier 
that they respected. Romance they considered exces- 
sive. Then we had a public luncheon, and I made them 


all laugh. Then we had a Genera] Council of the Uni- 
versity, and A. J. B. was profoundly perturbed at the 
suggestion to make French and German equivalent to 
Greek and Latin. As I discovered that the General 
Council has no power, I felt calm. For the time being 
Universities and Courts of Law are not democratic, which 
is as much as to say the puppets of Financiers and the 
halfpenny Press. 

Then Sibell and I went to tea with the Regius Pro- 
fessor of Law, and were ' death on culture in Chicago ' 
with the elect of Edinburgh, all in * Edinburgh English.' 

Then I dined with all the Professors and made them 
laugh again. Then I walked back to my Hotel with 
Hepburn Millar, who wrote ' The Literature of the Kail- 
yard ' and ' The Bounder in Literature.' 

Then I had the students 3 leaders to breakfast with 
me at 9 a.m. on Saturday, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. 

Then I motored back to Whittingehame and liked ' the 
Greek Chorus ' very much. 

On Sunday I played lawn tennis with the Greek Chorus 
in a grey suit, as a concession to the Sabbath. Then I 
read ' Martin Eden ' from cover to cover. 

P.S. And all the time A. J. B. was quite delightful, a 
perfect host and friend. 


To his Father 

CHESTER, l.xi.10. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I will send a bound copy of the 
Address to dear Aunt Connie. It gave me great pleasure 
to see her there with her smiling face, full of cleverness 
and affection. 

I enclose a letter from the Student (leader of their Con- 
servative Party) who asked me to stand for the Lord 
Rectorship. You will see that they meant very well by 
me, in all their proceedings. 


The 3rd leading article in to-day's * Times ' is on 
' Romance ' and based on the Address. 

I did mention Homer, as an exception, and the ' Atys ' 
of Catullus is precisely the kind of thing I had in my mind 
when I said that the Romantic touches in Classical litera- 
ture were (1) mainly in the earliest or latest poems, (2) 
all in poems that deal with alien customs and supersti- 

The * Atys ' fulfils both conditions. It is early, before 
the Augustan epoch and deals with the savage rites of 
religious mutilation. Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To Philip Hanson 


CHESTER, 3.xL10. 

MY DEAR P. H., Your letter gave me the keenest 
pleasure. I was looking out for it and was determined 
not to make up my own mind about the Address until I 
had heard yours. I know that you always have a mind 
of your own and that you always speak it. Imagine, 
then, my relief at hearing from you that it was ' sweet 
and easy, simple and firm.' This to a man known only 
to write in Choktaw ! I care for your appreciation far 
more than for the reviews in the Press. They, however, 
are far better than I expected. There is one hi the 
' Saturday ' which I naturally like as it is favourable. 
But it is also informed and I don't know who wrote 
it. ' Birmingham Post ' was good, but obstinate about 
Homer ; 4 Daily Telegraph ' very friendly ; ' Times ' had 
a column ; and so on. 

I see hi to-day's Literary Supplement of the ' Times ' a 
review of Sidney Lee's book on Elizabethan borrowings 
from the French. They mention my name. But Sidney 
Lee borrowed the idea from my early article in ' Cosmo- 
polis.' This is not mentioned. 

I hunted Tuesday and to-day after dining last night 


with the Tarporley Hunt Club and amusing them in a 

But now, my dear Philip, the blackness of night and 
Tariff Reform overshadows the next seven days. I must 
work for three, then on Monday, 2.30, I take the chair at 
a ' Dumping ' exhibition in Manchester, speak at 8 ; move 
resolution at Conference at 11.30 Tuesday morning ; and 
take meeting at Bolton on Thursday. 

I hate politics more and more, and specially after seven 
weeks of pure Letters. What sort of a copy did Blaikie 
send you ? If only in grey paper cover, I will send one 
in buckram. 

You must get here somehow after the rush of politics. 
I hear, on good authority, that old Asquith is determined 
to have a short Session, 4 weeks, whatever happens. 
There is much to be said for a Prime Minister of his tem- 
perament. Yours ever, G. W. 

P.S. If you only knew how much I left out of the 
Address ! 


To his Mother 


CHESTER, 6.xi.l(X 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I loved your letter, and if I 
don't write to you now, ' when will I ? ' For to-morrow 
I begin a row of speeches in our Lancashire campaign. I 
have written the first one out and sent a typed copy to 
the ' Morning Post.' The others must take their chance. 
I shall be staying at the Midland Hotel, Manchester. 

I enclose a precious letter. Please return it. W. P. 
Ker, the writer, is the one man alive, now that Gaston 
Paris is dead, whose praise of my * Romance ' is a thing 
past belief. It has flabbergasted me. . I asked him, 
humbly, if he would allow me to dedicate; it to him ; and 
he gave his permission. That pleased me more than I 
can say. And he is not the man to gush over anything. 
He is the dryest old sarcastic, silent, Fellow-of-All-Souls, 
on the old celibate foundation ; the ripe embodiment of 


the old Oxford tradition ' nothing new and nothing true, 
and no matter.* Besides Oxford, he is the history and 
literature Professor at the London University. Finally, 
and ' therefore I love him,' in spite of silence and sarcasm, 
he wrote ' Epic and Romance,' ' The Dark Ages,' and 
' Mediaeval Literature.' And yet ... I can't quite be- 
lieve that he wrote me this letter. Of course one must 
discount a good deal. It is the tribute of a sportsman to 
a poacher. And now I must forget it, and get to fresh 
work. But I must just explain that what he says ' I don't 
like being spoken of as a master ' is because, in the copy 
I sent him, I wrote ' To William Paton Ker, the master, 
from George Wyndham, the disciple,' and I meant it. 

The fresh work I must get to to-morrow is all Tariff 
Reform and such tedious botherations, and suspicions, 
and jealousies, and ' bull-rushes ' from Leo Maxse, and 
hesitations and all the -ations that rhyme with Damnation. 

But, on that best of all days which we call ' some day,' 

1 promise myself a combination of joy and work. 

It occurred to me quite suddenly about 4 days ago. I 
remembered with regret the big book I meant to write 
about romantic literature, with a leaning towards the 
French. Then I began to remember all the things I 
have written, which I had forgotten. They are hidden 
away in ' The New Review ' (extinct), ' Cosmopolis ' 
(extinct), and in introductions to books that are out of 
print, or don't sell. Then it suddenly flashed on me that, 
without knowing it, I liave written f (or f ) of my book ! 
And I see exactly what remains to be written. The 
4 Springs ' is the first chapter. I never thought of that ; 
it was a toss up to the last moment, whether I wrote it, 
or an essay on the theme of the 2 sonnets I read to you 
the other day at breakfast. Chapter II. not written 
will be ' The Chroniclers and the Crusades.' It is not 
written, but I have all the stuff and many notes. That 
takes me right through the 13th Century. It may become 

2 chapters in order to bring in Dante and the Spaniards. 
Then, just to please myself, I am going to have ' Songs ' 
(not written). But, after that it is nearly all finished. 


IV. (or V.) is my old Poetry of the Prison, about Charles 
D'Orlans and Villon (' New Review,' out of print) ; V., 
or VI., is Chaucer (not written) ; VI., or VII., North's 
Plutarch, written indeed I must cut it down ; VII., or 
VIII., is Ronsard, written. Indeed I have written it 
twice and there is a great deal in the old article in ' Cosmo- 
polis ' that I must print again. VIII., or IX., is Shake- 
speare, written, and must be cut down. IX., or X., is 
Elizabethan Mariners in Elizabethan Literature, written 
in the ' Fortnightly ' 12 years ago. X., or XI., is Scott, 
written. XI., or XII., is the new French romantics not 
published, but almost all written with many translations. 

And besides all these I have written and printed, for a 
last movement, 2 speeches on literature to learned societies, 
my panegyric on Henley, my introduction, about Ruskin, 
to Mary Drew's book, that made 500, for her church not 
for me. My articles on Henley and Maeterlinck, printed 
in the ' Outlook.' 

Aren't you astonished ? I was. I must have written 
3 volumes of prose, without knowing it like M. Jourdain, 
all on Literature, and quite apart from ' The Development 
of the State ' and articles on Politics. 

But now I must go to bed. Your most loving son, 


OXFORD, 5 Nov. 1910. 

MY DEAR WYNDHAM, This is a glorious thing only I 
don't like being spoken of as a master tho' it is better 
than professor, when one thinks of it. I have read the 
discourse with great delight it is encouraging, and so is 
your letter. Very different from the organised mechanical 
research that I come upon in the way of business. An 
American said to me yesterday that it was a complaint 
in the Universities there, how people seemed to give up 
reading when they took to the study of literature . Nothing 
good is done except by adventurers in that branch of 
learning anyhow and I hope you will go on. Ever yours 
truly, W. P. KER. 



To Lord Hugh Cecil 

35 PARK LANE, W. , 

MY DEAR LINKY, I am most grateful for Percy's 
poems. I like all those to which you refer me, and shall 
study them all. I like, too, * The Image of the Heavenly ' 
on page 19 of ' Broken Lights.' 

I enclose the two sonnets. I had altered them in several 
places, but, on the whole, prefer the first form. To a 
certain extent they belong to you in that form, for I 
think I wrote them in close connection with a talk we 
had walking back from Broadway to Stanway. 

I also send a copy of my Rectorial Address. It is 
chiefly historical and literary, but at the end as the way 
is with my thought it fades away ' far in the unapparent.' 
Yet the last movement was the first in my mind when I 
began writing. Yours ever, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 



The world's a stage : ' to tread it we assume 

A sex, tradition, character and part. 

We take for granted a great Author's art, 
Dazed by the glare abolishing our gloom. 
Bright scenery suggests fair hours and room 

To conjure laughter, or to wring the heart. 

Who laughs ? at what ? Do any good tears start ? 
We guess at all except the curtain's doom. 
What is the grave? A green-room where the soul 

Puts by the properties of man or maid. 
None has created, few can fill a role, 

Most only walk and leave their lines unsaid. 
The grave is dumb of all parts, and the whole 

A drawer for masks after a masquerade. 



'The world's a stage/ where courage, love, and fun, 

Answer the riddle of Man's agony. 

The Author, bent on grinding out these three, 
Contrives a trap no artifice may shun. 
His tragic plot entangles everyone, 

Till King and clown, hag, debutante, all see 

Danger 's for daring ; sorrow, absurdity, 
For laughter and kindness. Then the play is done. 
What is the grave ? A green-room where the soul, 

Disrobed and cleansed from travesty of paint, 
Stops shuddering at 'the dagger or the bowl.' 

That grim alternative was only quaint, 
Since fun, and love, and courage, are the whole, 

And each poor player, a hero, fool, and saint. 

G. W. 


To his Father 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

November 18th, 1910. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, I am sorry to say that I shall not 
be able to shoot at Clouds on the 1st. There is more at 
stake in this election than in any of our time and I must 
be free to fight every day. 

If I have a contest in Dover I shall speak there once. 
Perhaps, even if I do have a contest I shall get leave to 
fight where the issue is in doubt. In either case I cannot 
amuse myself during the battle. 

As at present advised I shall begin in Manchester and 
surrounding District, work down the West to Cornwall, 
via Galley's seat in Wiltshire, and then ride a finish in 
Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. 

Arthur made a splendid speech last night and things 
have gone well with us in the House to-day. So far there 
is nothing to regret and, even if there was, we have only 
to fight to the finish. Your loving son, GEORGE. 



To his Mother 

November 20th, 1910. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I loved getting such a full- 
blown letter from you at this fate-full crisis. 

It would be ridiculous to explain. We must act. 

Well ; I can only say this to you and Papa. All that 
I am from you the largeness and the precision I have 
been allowed to say in this utterly secret private body of 
persons who know, and care, and dare. 

I do not believe that a more representative group could 
have met together. Curzon, Arthur Balfour, Lansdowne, 
Salisbury, Selborne, Harry Chaplin, F. E. Smith and self 
and others. 

We have worked hard to-day for five hours. 

I am satisfied with the result. 

And now we must fight. 

But it would make me happier to know that you and 
Papa realised that we are not sparing ourselves. We 
mean to declare ; to shew all our cards, to be honest and 
Patriotic and simple. 

If we win, all is saved. If we lose ; we shall win when 
the electorate see. 

There is nothing to regret. What more can a man ask 
for. Your most loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 


November 23, 1910. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I agree with Major Poore. 
But we must not discuss details however vital, till we 
have won the battle of a real second chamber against 
no real one, but a sham, which would be more dangerous 
than none at all. 

I feel quite sure that we shall win, if not in the next 
fortnight, then in the next eighteen months. 


No ! I see that Major Poore has got hold of my plan 
viz. : You must group County Councils and County 
Boroughs together ; and in that grouping we shall revert 
to something rather like the Heptarchy. 

But now I must work. I am speaking at the Dover 
Chamber of Commerce dinner to-night, and shall revive 
dear Papa's old battle-cry by denouncing the Declaration 
of London, as he denounced the Declaration of Paris. 

We are doing well all along the line. I go to Lancashire 
on Monday. Your most loving son, GEORGE. 

P.S. If the other side demand details now our answer 
is that these are precisely what the Parliament they have 
burked ought to discuss. 

To his Father 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

November 25th, 1910. 

MY DEAREST PAPA, Delighted to get your letter in 
such good heart, considering the stresses we are in. 

The Declaration of London is as you guess the out- 
come of Campbell-Bannerman's tomfoolery at the Hague. 

In spite of what you say justly about the action of 
Conservatives in the seventies, I think it possible that 
this extreme folly may lead to a reversion in favour of 
your contention against the Declaration of Paris. 

This new Declaration of London has been attacked by 
the Chambers of Commerce of London, Glasgow, Liver- 
pool and Bristol. 

The attack will go home. 

Incidentally it is a great collateral support to Preference. 

It is almost incredible but shortly this is the position. 

(a) We abandoned our right to take Enemy's goods (by 
the Declaration of Paris) in neutral ships with as a set- 
off the abolition of privateering (not subscribed to by 
America and Spain). 

(b) The new Declaration of London puts ' Food-stuffs ' 
first in articles of conditional Contrabands. 


The conditions allow Germany to take or sink any ship 
bringing food-stuffs to England ; and leave us powerless. 

It is a premium on War by Germany on us, without 
declaration of War. 

We may not transfer our shipping to another flag 
(an ignominious expedient but the main argument for 
the Declaration of Paris urged by Sir W. Harcourt) unless 
we do so thirty days before War. 

But Germany may change a merchant ship into a 
vessel of War, after hostilities. That is tantamount to 
reviving privateering. 

And this is to be the rule of the game after 

(1) We have surrendered the supremacy of the sea. 

(2) Concentrated all our Fleet in the North Sea, leaving 
the Ocean unprotected. 

(3) With no punishment for destroying a ship, except 
paying the cost if you are in the wrong ! ! ! 

(4) Whether you are right or wrong is to be decided by 
an International Board on which Roumania and Argentina 
have a voice equal to our own. 

It is mad. 

And so are the Governments. Your devoted son, 


P.S. But I do believe it will scare Lancashire. 

P.S. 2. If you want to look into this ask Lord Des- 
borough (Willy Grenfell) to send you the report of the 
Committee of the London Chamber of Commerce over 
which he presided. He will be glad to get any further 
publicity. Tommy Bowles is wild about it. 

Edward Grey has promised not to ratify until after a 
debate in both houses. 


To his Mother 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

November 26, 1910. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I am deeply grieved to read 
the sad news that our friend's wife is dead. I have written 


one word to her son, Rudyard. Will you tell Mr. Kipling 
that I am thinking of him ? . . . 

Asquith's speech is a splendid ' target.' 

I have been hard at work, arming for the battle. On 
Monday it begins. My interventions are Monday, Man- 
chester, Tuesday, Manchester, Wednesday, Warrington, 
Saturday, Cheltenham, Tuesday, Stourbridge, Friday, 
Swindon, Tuesday, Eyde. 

Beyond that I wait orders. And probably I shall put 
in one or two more in between. 

But these seven, that are arrayed, are all to big audiences 
of 3000 to 4000 each. 

In one sense it is a great tax to take large audiences, 
but, in another, it must be more difficult to speak in rural 
villages. Each man to his job : and each man to the 
large audience of employers and artizans ; or to the small 
audience of squire and farmer and solicitor and labourer 
can be quite sure of his cause on the Constitution 
and on Tariff Reform; and sure that we are fighting 
honourable. Very well ! I repeat this is very well and 
to my taste. It is a great comfort to say ' Let God 
defend the right ' and to mean it ! 

My love to Papa. Your loving son, GEORGE. 

To Charles Whibley 

CHESTER, 21st December 1910. 

MY DEAR CHARLES, I am moved to write to you. I 
am back here after six weeks and two days of Politics. I 
wish you could come here for a bit in the course of the 
next fortnight. You may retort that I have not been 
to Wavenden Manor. That is true. But consider to 
how many places I have been owing to the combined 
results of democracy and an inept central office. During 
this Election, and well inside of three weeks, I have been 
up and down England three times. I think I have done 


nearly 3000 miles in the train. Very well, then ; why 
should not you come here even although I have not been 
to see you ? I put it to you that I ought to stay here for 
at least a fortnight. I must think, before acting. 

I ran up against Northcliffe in the corridor of the Houses 
of Parliament, just before the Election. We suddenly 
met and pleasantly. I would now like to do what we 
have spoken of more than once. I want to get five or 
six or seven who belonged to W. E. H. 1 to dine with me 
in February. I note that W. E. H.'s ' lines ' are becoming 
parts of English speech. He would have been glad to see 
that happen. It was inevitable. But it has happened 
soon. I wonder if this always happened soon. Did 
everybody with an inkpot quote * I could not love thee, 
dear, so much,' etc., within ten years ? 

I purposely take a hackneyed quotation. Some things 
stick. ' Where 's Tray and where 's the Maypole in the 
Strand ' sticks. ' It 's only pretty Fanny's way ' sticks. 
And now quite a number of Henley's lines have begun to 
stick. But it is of his best that sticks. He is there with 
his best. That is a great sign of excellence. 

All this is relaxation. I have been fighting hard in twelve 
constituencies, and I know we have to fight harder for all 
that has value. I should like to talk over the muffled 
revolution with you. I don't want to * spar ' in private. 
But I do want to submit my idea of a counter-revolution 
to a friend who is not a politician, but a student of politics 
and an Imperialist. Yours ever, 



To Hilaire Belloc 

Xmas Eve, 1910. 

MY DEAR HILAIRE BELLOC, I will write to you once 
more about your ' Verses ' ; 2 but only garrulously. This 
is not a considered appreciation. It is the resultant of 

1 W. E. Henley. 

2 Verses by H. Belloc. Published by Duckworth and Co. 


two forces. New poetry compels my attention. Old 
letters and how many lie unanswered before me dispel 
my industry. I will have none of them to-night. I have 
done my share of work the last six weeks. I had taken a 
resolve not to lapse into letters. I had sworn to myself 
that I would rest and ride and tackle Politics in four days' 
time. And, then, here you come along with your volume 
of Verse ; and I don't want to rest ; I read them before 
dinner ; read some of them to Sibell at dinner ; read them 
again after dinner. Now I am in a warm, lighted room 
at the top of my tower. The wind is trying to say the 
world's story of wrong and liberty. It is trying to talk 
like a dog whose feelings have been hurt by its master's 
absence, or like a ghost with a tremendous secret and no 
articulate tongue to tell it. The wind shuffles and whimpers 
round the corners of the tower and bluffs off in gusts of 
despair to the hills, and then comes back suddenly and 
tugs at the latticed windows. The wind's inarticulate 
tongue and wounded wrath and soft gushes of clean air 
prove to me the great need of verse. Without verse Man 
is as helpless as the wind and more miserable. Glad am I 
to have not only the lighted warmth but also your Verses. 

I will not deny that people are right when they say that 
4 The South Country ' is the best of them. Nor will I deny 
that your sarcastic verses about the rich and South Africa 
seem to me not so much out of place as in the way of the 
larger sayings. 

4 Everybody,' I suppose, will say these two things : and 
I belong to the herd. 

Perhaps because this is Christmas Eve I am lured by 
4 Noel ' and 4 The Birds ' and ' Our Lord and Our Lady.' 
But, of that group, 4 In a Boat ' is the one that hits me 
and will hit the herd, some day. 

In literature a great deal depends on what the writer 
does with the great emotions of Man ; and by these I 
mean (at this moment) Passionate love, Passionate 
courage and Passionate fear. 

Now most writers shirk Fear. Some and I am one 
smother it under Courage and Love. I have said that 


courage is the fundamental thing. But after reading 
your Verses I am prepared to be taught that Fear is 
under courage. I used to hate the ' Fear of God ' in the 
Bible. But no honest man will deny that the sense of 
chasm and inanity and being lost like a child is the 
base of man's being. You get that ' In a Boat ' ! You 
soothe that in ' The Night.' You comfort that with 
magic in ' The Leader.' ' The Leader ' is large enough 
and vague enough to help us all. It helps the practical 
man in us with ' And after them all the guns, the guns.' 
It helps the seeing man in us with 

' She stretched her arms and smiled at us 
Her head was higher than the hills.' 

And then you revert to the primal truth of our station, 
or absence of station : 

' She led us to the endless plains, 
We lost her in the dawn.' 

' The Leader ' is a poem : I believe, a great poem. 
But the biggest thing in your book is ' The Prophet Lost 
in the Hills at Evening.' That is great ; because you 
have taken the emotional vision which came to you in 
the Pyrenees ; and made it true for us all anywhere. It 
is as true of a General Election as of ascending a mountain 
range and coming down on the same side. This is the 
biggest thing you have done ; and you have done it on the 
right, crusading, side of Faith. When Peter Wanderwide 
meets St. Peter, the Porter of Heaven, and St. Michael, they 
will both know beforehand that you wrote it. They will 
love you for your faults but they will respect you for this. 

You will, probably, be very angry with me for saying 
so, and furious when I compare it with Henley and Kipling. 
Yet that is the comparison. Your ' Prophet ' is as vast 
and true as ' out of the night that covers me ' but it is 
more true. It is as brave as Kipling's ' But I didn't, 
but I didn't, I went down the other side ' ; but it has 
the. humility of a greater courage. ' By God 'tis Good ' 
(Ben Jonson), and it is by God. . . . 


At this moment the Waits have cornc to sing outside 
my Tower. In their way they arc ringing 'And harbour 
me Almighty God ! ' under the inscrutable stars. And 
the uneasy wind has dropped. It is rumbling an obligato 
accompaniment to their simple crystal melody of certi- 
tude in the inane. 

Naturally I delight in the " Cuckoo ' and the Drinking 
songs and ' The Little Serving Maid.' These are the 
songs that men have sung for 30,000 ycavs and you sing 
them well. 

If I presumed to ' appreciate ' 1 should rank them next 
after the Christmas Carols Our Ldy group. Both 
these groups are of things that are necessary and you have 
done them right well for us, once again. 

' In a Boat ' is a transition from these to the heights of 
4 The Leader ' and the summit of c The Wophet Lo^t in 
the Hills at Evening.' 

The other Group in your book that ranks with these 
and will be preferred by some though net by me, is made 
up of ' A Bivouac.' (That 's true ! It happened to rnc 
in the Soudan. I was asleep dreaming behind the Zariba 
of those I loved, and then the Hadendowas suddenly shot 
at us and knocked out the signal lamp.) And of ' The 
Yellow Mustard.' The Yellow Mustard is as good as it 
can be. Some will prefer it to the * Prophet.' It is the 
way, or a way, by which some, who cannot defy the chasm 
of space, or appeal from its grisly immensity ' And 
harbour me Almighty God ! ' do get to an absolute 
release from horror. Any man who can sing 

To see the yellow mustard grow 
Beyond the town above, beloAv 
Beyond the purple houses, oh ! 
To see the yellow mustard grow 

is happy, and safe. 

He doesn't know why he is happy and safe. But he 
knows that he is secure. He breaks out of the prison of 
Time into Eternity. Like God, in the first chapter of 
Genesis, he sees that it is good. 

VOL. II. 9.V. 


I am not as well versed as I should be in the ' Old Testa- 
ment.' But, speaking from memory on the moment, I 
believe I have always felt that in Genesis alone God 
descends to Man, and that, between Genesis and the In- 
carnation, you have nothing but the Chasm and Jeremiads. 

The best things in your book are each in its separate 
way the ' Prophet ' and the 4 Yellow Mustard.' One 
gives a refuge and the other an evasion. But the refuge 
is best. In the ' Prophet ' you sing of immortality hi 
immortal words. . . . 

And now, once more, the Waits are singing the English 
version of ' Adeste Fideles.' I am glad to know that the 
tune is comparatively modern. * I am not Time's fool,' 
though I do hanker after the thirteenth century. I can 
say with all my heart and more than all my brain ' O come 
let us adore Him.' The little figure of Notre Dame de 
Paris which I bought, ' te duce ' after our walk into 
Burgundy, is now in a beautiful gold shrine (in Sibell's 
chapel) made by the village carpenter. 

How and when did you write 4 The Prophet Lost in 
the Hills at Evening ' ? It does not matter. Thank God 
that you wrote it and accept my thanks as an earnest of 
Man's gratitude. ' By God 'tis Good.' I don't suppose 
you know how good it is. 

The critic will say that 

I hunger and I have no bread. 

My gourd is empty of the wine. 
Surely the footsteps of the dead 

Are shuffling softly close to mine ! 

is the best thing in it. 

He will fail to observe that this imaginative simplicity 
is led up to by the two preceding quatrains. He will fail 
to observe the ' It darkens,' that follows immediately, 
and the repeat, c it darkens,' which precedes the climax. 

Stand about my wraith, 
And harbour me Almighty God ! 

I am glad that so big a thing has been done secundum 
Artem. To make * wraith ' rhyme with ' Faith ' at the 


finish not only inevitably but, accumulatively, ' beats 
Banagher.' But all the rhymes are glorious and the 
Poem they wing on its flight hits the gold of emancipa- 
tion from the sorrow of Man. Yours ever, G. W. 

P.S. ' And I am awfully afraid.' 

I bow to you for that line. 

The whole poem is the best I have read by any man 
now living. It will be repeated by little children know- 
ing nothing of the horror you have sounded as long 
as our language is spoken. My Christmas present to 
you is a solemn declaration that in this poem you have 
4 done it.' You, who are more troubled than I over 
Immortality, have attained it in this poem and given it 
to others. 

What a mercy it was that you lost your way in the 
Pyrenees ! 


To his Sister, Madeline 

CHESTER, ll.i.ll. 

MOST DARLING MANENAi, I must wind up to-day with 
a word of love to you. For one reason, naughty Sibell 
only gave me to-day your little Christmas note of 23 
December 1910 ! I do not blame her. In the absence 
of Benny and Shelagh she tries to run everything. To- 
night she went, with Clare, who is here to hunt, to Chester 
to judge a children's Fancy Dress Ball for the League of 
Pity. But where does Pity come in ? It left me in, even 
for me, the most funny surroundings. I dined alone with 
(1 ) Clare's French Governess, (2) Ursula's German Governess . 

Well, I made the best of it, and really enjoyed my 
evening. We talked French all the time and wound up 
with Rostand's ' Chantecler.' I was quite happy and 
welcomed the opportunity of three hours' French on end. 

Pamela sent little Clare here, to hunt and be with us. 
So far it has been a great success I think and we are 
off to hunt together to-morrow. 

Charles Gatty, George Street, Mark Sykes, Mahaffy, 


Ronny Norman, and so forth, have been here all very 
literary and archaeological. 

But we did get a point on Saturday. We went to 
Beeston, the old Norman ruined castle on a crag. On the 
way up, Mark Sykes said, ' That cutting the way they 
rode up must be Roman, not Norman.' I answered, 
' Roman ! My dear boy, a knob like this has been held 
by man for 10,000 or 20,000 years before the Romans got 
here.' Hardly had I spoken, when at the very top, 
loosened out from its secure abode by the last night's 
rain, we found the most perfect little flint arrow-head I 
have ever seen, with clear cut edges, point and both barbs, 
and as transparent as onyx a gem. 

My dear ! why do we fret ? Life is immortal. Your 
devoted brother, GEORGE. 

To Wilfrid Ward 

CHESTER, January I3th, 1911. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, I have read the January ' Dublin ' 
with deep and varied interest. 

Your political article is most true, because it is profound 
and calm. 

My knowledge such as it is informs me that ' Demo- 
cracy ' has never lasted a whole generation. Ferrero's 
new history of Rome demonstrates this. When an oli- 
garchy, based on war and farming, perishes, you get a 
good two generations, or three generations, of ' Roman 
Equites.' The prudent and thoughtful oust the political 
militia. But, they always invoke Democracy after thirty 
or sixty years. Then Democracy develops the ' cry ' and 
the * caucus ' and so dies ; giving place to Bureaucracy, or 
Caesarism, or a combination of the two. 

My ' little knowledge ' tells me that this is our disease. 
But my astonishing at forty-seven years of age credulity 
and buoyant animal spirits say to me ' Tush ! the English 
will do something that no one else has done.' 


If it were possible to tell one's friends all that one thinks 
and writes and does, I should like to show you all the 
memoranda I have written during the last year. But 
that would take as long as it has taken to play my part 
in this obscure drama. 

Again, in the January ' Dublin,' Belloc is good. Some 
will denounce him for making things too obvious. Still, 
he does, in that article, explain to Tariff Reformers, and 
Socialists what it is that is worrying them. 

I read again, after many years, Ruskin's introduction 
to ' Unto this Last.' Some one, who has time, ought to 
write an article on that. It is wonderful that any man 
in 1858-9 should have demanded (1) for the start of life, 
National Education ; (3) for the end of life, ' Old Age 
Pensions.' Given these ratifications of what then seemed 
ranting, it is well worth any man's while to read his (2) 
for the middle of life. It is the middle of life that I care 
for. The voyage is more essential than the yard in which 
the ship is built or the ' port ' which she makes. The 
1 yard ' and the ' port ' exist for the ' voyage.' 

Of course I was enchanted by Eccles on Romance. I 
can't say how glad I am. I knew where he would criticise ; 
and deliberately left out the argument founded on St. 
Michael, which he puts in a foot-note. 

W. P. Ker who knows more about these things than 
any one now Gaston Paris is dead, wrote me a letter about 
that address which took my breath away. He is not 
lavish of praise, or, indeed, of any words. Yet he said 
' This is a glorious thing.' So, I got the only people for 
whose opinion I care ; on that subject. Yours ever, 


To his Mother 

CHESTER, 23rd January 1911. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, It was like you to produce 
the very box for my flint arrow-head. I got a glimpse 


of Cyncie on Thursday and dined with Benny. I had not 
seen him since his South African tour. We had a great 
talk over S. African politics and his 2nd. property there 
on which he is growing wonderful crops of cotton. This 
venture is exactly the kind of thing which rich people 
ought to do and all the cotton magnates are agog with 
interest. He has grown 5 worth of cotton from each 
acre for which he paid two pennies. But, then, he took 
the lead and the risk and is now deeply interested in 
getting the Chartered Company and the Colonial Office 
to realise what has been done. I do not suppose that 
you know what good work ' Timmy ' is doing as a director 
of the Chartered Company. Timmy, with Birchenough 
and Jameson, are the three whom everybody respects for 
their work, and for ' developing ' the country instead of 
merely ' floating ' shares. 

Benny, Perf and I, had quite a good day's hunting on 
Friday, and on Saturday we had the ' real thing ' a 
slashing gallop and forty minutes to the first check. I 
enjoyed it hugely, but was very stiff after it. Yesterday 
I dined with our new General, Sir W. Henry Mackinnon 
at Government House, and had a useful evening. At 
last we have a man who will move. We have got one, 
and may get two, ranges for musketry. Chang, Ego, 
Letty and Guy Charteris came here Saturday to Monday. 
We hunt to-morrow and other days. On Friday I must 
attend my half-yearly Railway meeting, but get back to 
have the 2nd in command, 4 Squadron Leaders and 
Adjutant to dine and sleep here ; so as to discuss Yeo- 
manry before I am engulfed in Politics. 

Of course I am doing too many things. But . . .well ? 
I still like doing them ; and the Railway people, and 
Yeomanry and soldier people, and hunting people all 
help to pull together ; so do the literary people. I brought 
Belloc back late last night after my dinner with the 
General. He had been lecturing in Manchester, and 
Liverpool and lectured again to-night. He was in great 
form and enchanted us at luncheon to which Benny came. 
The Political people, on the other hand, with whom my 


lot is cast, do not pull together and do not enchant me. 
Yet as a consolation I reflect that the great woof of 
English life, with its soldiering, and railways, and sporty, 
and literature, goes on getting woven and is far more 
substantial than the intrigues of Party Politics or the 
grasping dreams of Socialism. That is why I cannot 
share dear Papa's depression over politics. The real 
working life of the country is so much more to me than 
the mischievous tomfoolery of cranks and scamps. 

I do not deny the menace of their tomfoolery. But I 
do defy it. I do not believe in its lasting power for evil. 
I know that all the people feel with me and would follow 
if one ever had to give a lead. Meanwhile, no doubt, it is 
irritating to be bound down to the theatrical insincerity 
of Politics. But that is the price, paid beforehand, for 
perhaps one more chance of making something an army, 
perhaps, or a sensible Poor Law, or an Imperial Tariff. 
It is so delightful to make anything that will last. That 
being so, naturally, the price of the chance of making 
anything, is a high one in Politics. But it is not higher 
than the price of making anything in that or literature. 
In any case, to * make ' anything, from a horse out of a 
colt, or a book out of the English language, or a human 
society out of the jealousies and vanities of mankind- 
is not easy. It is not meant to be easy ; and demands, 
in each case, a sort of careless courage, which helps and 

Of course there is the danger of getting to like ' the 
pretty quarrel as it stands ' for the sake of its neat antag- 
onism. But the truth of the matter is that even Sir 
Lucius O'Trigger does not enjoy pretty antagonism, 
unless he believes in something worth fighting for. If a 
man believes that the Universe is not necessarily absurd 
because it is incomprehensible, he can be happy in that 
belief, and all the happier because the riddle exercises his 
ingenuity and patience. Your loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Father 

29th January 1911. 

MY DEAREST PAVA, I was very sorry indeed to hear of 
Mr. Kipling's death. I enjoyed my last evening with 
him and we shall all miss him very much. 

I agree with you about the Declaration of London. 
We have got to think of these matters in terms of a War 
in which we are a Belligerent. All the mischief has arisen 
from the complaints of certain ship-owners whose vessels 
were interfered with during the Russian and Japanese 

Percy and I have been hunting hard and having quite 
good sport. Percy ' pounded ' the first flight yesterday 
over a gate that was tied up. Your loving son, 


To Philip Hanson 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
Private. l st March 1911. 

MY DEAR P. H., 4 Them 's my sentiments.' I believe 
that everything turns on achieving fairness between 
' Parties.' 

In work of this kind one must expect ' ups and downs.' 
After writing to you I had a bad ' down ' on Monday. 
But yesterday I had a much better 4 up,' and I am hopeful. 
When I say ' hopeful/ I am not thinking of the immediate 
future : I mean exactly what you say, viz. : that honest 
work, based on the facts and on prolonged thought, 
without any party bias, must have a touch of immortality 
in it, and must be useful. 

I have a speech to make to-morrow in Hammersmith. 
Unluckily I have a heavy cold on me, so that ' the dull 
brain perplexes and retards.' 

In spite of that, I shall try to do some ' thinking aloud.' 

The occasion is fairly suggestive. It appears that on 


the 2nd March twenty-five years ago, Randolph Churchill 
invented the name ' Unionist,' and we celebrate the 

I am trying to say that ' Unionism ' is a true and lasting 
Political Creed opposed to all other -isms, and profoundly 
different from Opportunism and from log-rolling. 

(I did not know I was saying that till I wrote it to you.) 

I did mean to say and shall say perhaps with that 
addition that Unionism consists in finding certain prin- 
ciples common to several * parties ' or ' States in the 
Empire,' and then standing on those principles, and inviting 
others to stand with you ; and that this involves the 
mutual concession of many political predilections which 
do not conflict with those principles. 

Suppose, for example, that qua the Constitution I laid 

I. Stability. 

II. Predominance of the House of Commons. 

III. Ultimate decision of the People. 

I could deduce from those principles a Constitution on 
which most people could agree if they were ready to waive 

I. Stability does involve two Chambers on facts and 
possibilities, for a * written Constitution ' comparable to 
that of the U.S.A. is neither actual, possible, nor desirable. 

II. Predominance of House of Commons does in- 
volve a smaller second Chamber, and does, I believe, 
exclude a second Chamber wholly elected, from huge 

III. Ultimate decision of the people does involve 
either frequent Elections on mixed issues, or Referendum 
for rare and grave cases. 

These are only examples, but they are fundamental. 

I should then say that on the political creed of Unionism 
it was impossible to present such a scheme unless in a 
shape which was not only sincerely, but obviously, free 
from Party bias. 

I believe I can make something of this. But to-morrow 
the offspring of my brain can only be embryonic. By 


next week, when I speak at Cambridge, I shall have licked 
the cub into shape. 

My crux at this moment is the difficulty of persuading 
good, clever and honest men that they must not ' pack ' 
the initial * second Chamber.' They cannot ' cast their 
bread on the waters.' 

The clever ones give excellent, and sincere, reasons for 
refraining from that imaginative exercise, e.g. ' We shall 
be betraying the Union ' a shaft peculiarly deadly when 
it is shot at me, although, if Ulster speeches mean any- 
thing, I am now credited with having done as much to 
save the Union as anyone else. I can think of a far more 
clever defence for ' packing,' but God forbid I should tell 
them of it. The clever defence of ' packing ' would be 
that under any reasonable plan for a second Chamber, e.g. 
with longer tenure of office on (a) ' big constituency elec- 
tions,' and (b) nominations by P. M., we should now have 
a * remainder ' majority in the second Chamber, that we 
are, therefore, entitled to ' make it so ' in initial, transi- 
tory, provisions ; arguing, at the same tune, that the per- 
manent provisions will give Asquith a majority in the 
second Chamber before his majority in the House of 
Commons is melted or reversed. 

That argument is not only clever, it is, also, sound. 
But to strike the imagination it is essential to be, not 
only fair, but generous. If only all could grasp the 
exaggerated profits of the ' beau r61e,' all would be well. 

Unluckily they grasp neither that nor anything. They 
clutch the air with cramped fingers. Yours ever, 

G. W. 



March 13, 1911. 

To Charles Gatty, 92 Victoria Street, London, W. 
My dear father passed away quite peacefully soon after 
ten this morning. GEORGE WYNDHAM. 



To Charles T. Gatty 


EAST KNOYLE, 16.iii.ll. 

MY DEAR CHARLES, Bless you for your kindness. You 
know what the loss is. My Mother is splendidly brave ; 
my dear brother, Guy, has just arrived from Petersburg. 
It is hardest for him. 

I believe dear Benny is coming to the funeral. Come 
too. We shall all love to grasp your hand and you will 
see nothing here but courage and peace. Of course you 
must not if it is at all inconvenient. The train leaves 
Waterloo at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Bless you. Yours 
affectionately, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 

To Mrs. Mackail 

EAST KNOYLE, 17.iii.ll. 

VERY DEAR MARGARET, I loved your message. 1 I 
have thought of you and yours very often during these 
last days, because of Wilbury, and because of Rottingdean, 
Dear, when I had a second vision of you, doing, so beauti- 
fully, what I have been trying to do. 

And before this came I often thought of you as I realised 
that I could not bicycle down to see you and Angela and 
Denis and Clare and the Dormouse (was it a Dormouse ?) 
as I did once or twice, to be happy, and learn about 
clavichords and spinets. 

I have realised that very often. But I did not regret. 
Because I am quite sure that the few, really beautiful 
things that come to us, are immortal, somehow or other, 
and, probably, in millions of ways. 

I do thank you and bless you. Yours, 


1 On his father's death. 


To Philip Hanson 

SALISBURY, S.iv.ll. 

MY DEAR P. H., I would have written long ago to 
thank you for your letter, had I not been in bed for a 
week with tonsilitis. My dear Father was absolutely 
himself to the very end, and was, indeed, ready for either 
alternative. He did not surrender weakly, but neither 
did he struggle to live. His mind was as clear as crystal to 
the end. The evening before he died he saw Percy, asked 
about his hunting hi Ireland, and his musketry at Hythe, 

and then said ' I 'm very sorry about G 's marriage, 

you won't do that, Percy ? ' in a clear, kind voice. And 
Percy answered 4 No, I won't.' 

All the work I have to do here only increases if that 
were possible my deep respect for his definite character 
and my admiration of his justice and generosity. 

Let me know if you are likely to be over any time after 
Easter. Nothing could be more consoling than a good 
stump with you round Regent's Park. My dear Mother 
sends you her love and is wonderfully brave and well. 
Yours ever, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 

To his Mother 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
19th April 1911. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I loved your letter because it 
was like you. I am not going to guess and fret over the 
mere machinery of living ' at my time of life.' But just 
now, for these few weeks, partly because I have great, 
deep waves of sadness sweeping through me from the loss 
of Papa ; partly because that feeling impells me to try 
at least to realise his objects ; partly because it is only 
\yy using my brains and energy now to put the new life on 


a self-working basis, for the very purpose of freeing my 
brain and energy for large national and imperial duties : 
for these three reasons I am concentrating, just now, 
on the ' mere machinery of life.' I hope I have not 
4 fussed ' ; but, if I have at all, it is only to protect all 
concerned from 4 fuss ' in the near future and the far 
future. I believe that everything will work out well, if 
I put in a little concentration, and I know that nothing 
will work out if I don't. Also, I know that my chance of 
concentrating is a short one. Yesterday, for example, I 
was, at once, sucked into the Parliamentary Vortex and 
found myself in charge of our side till 4.30 a.m. ! This 
morning I was in charge because Arthur went to vote in 
East Lothian, and nobody else was there except Lyttelton, 
whom I sent to bed, as he had to speak to-night. Bless 
you. I love you and, between us, we will see that every- 
thing goes well. Your most loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Mother 

20th April 1911. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, Rather a curious thing hap- 
pened to-day. Our lawyer, H. White, told me that 
Lloyd's bank had a small parcel of jewellery * which they 
could only deliver to me. It has to be valued. So I 
called on my way to the House at that Bank, after making 
an appointment by telephone. They brought the little 
parcel and made me open it to show it had not been 
tampered with. It was sealed ; twice, on the outside 
cover of brown paper, and once on the inside cover of 
white paper, and addressed to Papa care of Herries and 
Farquhar. I do not know the handwriting. The seals 
show a crest of a stag's head, and on the shield a stag's 

1 The jewellery had belonged to his great-grandmother Pamela, Lady 
Edward Fitzgerald. It had been placed in the bank by his father, and owing 
to some mistake in the receipt could not be traced by the bank a few years 
before his father's death. Hence it was believed to have been lost. 


head in a twisted rope across the shield. The date, on 
both covers, is March 1871 ; just over forty years ago. 
There was a small square case inside, about the size of a 
case for a miniature ; and in it one narrow necklace of 
rather small pearls, with a little round ornament of small 
diamonds ; and second necklace consisting of an orna- 
ment, a little gorget I suppose it might be called suspended 
on a thin chain. I have told them to preserve the paper 
covers in case the seals and handwriting can throw any 
light on it. 

Do you think these could be Aunt Helen's ? You once 
told me that some packet of hers had been lost. We had 
better not jump to conclusions ; or speak about it, until I 
have set White on to tracing the seals and handwriting. 
All love to you most beloved. Your loving son, 


To Mrs. Hinkson 

May 29th, 1911. 

MY DEAR MRS. TYNAN-HINKSON, I love ' The Dearest 
of All.' The poems are beautiful and most true of this 
sorrow which has come into both our lives. I will never 
shrink from the dear Dead ; and am sitting in my Father's 
chair at this moment. Yours very sincerely, 



JUNE 1911 TO JUNE 1913 

Wookey Hole The ' Die Hard ' Movement His Silver Wedding 
The Chapel at Clouds His Library His Son's Engagement and 
Marriage Rural England. 

To his Mother 

SOMERSET, About 1th or 5th June 1911. 

the soft green boughs waving their welcome with the 
noiseless motion of an owl's flight was delicious. And 
here we are very happy in this glorious weather. Dear 
Benny is lending us a motor that arrives to-day. But 
we wanted to take this place in slowly first. We started 
from Paddington at 10.30 yesterday, changed and had 
luncheon-basket at Westbury ; changed at Witham, and 
arrived at about 1.30. (When we have a motor the 10.30 
from Paddington to Westbury will be an alternative route 
to Clouds.) Apart from preliminaries in and around the 
Cathedral, Palace, Deanery, Close, Chain-gate and St. 
Cuthbert's I walked to Wookey Hole, of which I have 
heard all my life. It is a cavern in the Mendip Hills 
1| miles off. Out of it the River Axe flows, transparent 
and green, into a wooded cleft in the hill-side. I found 
the guide a youth at the farm with candles and a 
can of paraffin oil and in we went. It is marvellous. 
These are the entrails of hill in which our early forefathers 
took refuge. When the lake-village by Glastonbury was 
destroyed, the Celts Britons hid in this long hole, and 
have left their pottery, and coins, and needles and pins, 
and their bones, in the soil. This Wookey -Hole is but 



one of five great galleries into the rock. The other four, 
above it, used to be the bed of the river Axe ages and ages 
ago ; now the Axe wells in pools, and flows down the 
corridors in the lowest gallery ; but you can climb up 
into the fourth with a rope-ladder. Sometimes the 
passage is quite narrow and so low that you have to stoop ; 
then it opens into great chambers, like chapter-houses, 
75 feet high. If you scatter paraffin on the Axe and light 
it, you can see into its green depths. I found out from 
the guide that the leading spirit in the excavations is a 
Mr. Balch, in the Post Office. I walked back over the 
hill by a footpath with a distant view of Glastonbury Tor 
and as I reached the ridge the Cathedral before me 
in the evening light. Directly I got back I started out to 
find Balch and unearthed him in a cottage with a garden 
full of flowers and children. He was a man after my own 
heart and in two minutes we were hard at it just as if 
I was talking to Charles Gatty. My dear ! what a good 
talk ! He has querns found in the cavern, in which he 
has ground corn ; a beautiful silver denarius (Roman 
coin) of 124 B.C. Now perpend ! How is that ? The 
Roman conquest was in 70 A.D. I plumped at once for 
the theory that it had filtered through the dim, but 
civilized, Europe of which Morris tells his tales. And 
Balch agreed with me. Then he showed me a piece of 
pottery, striped, but with little holes punched between 
the stripes, and scattered like constellations, or the chance 
borings of book-worms. Yet each had been made with 
an instrument. He asked me what I thought it could be ? 
I said I have never seen anything like this, and he answered 
' and no one else before six weeks ago when I found it.' 
Then I hazarded ' Is there any repetition of the pattern, 
because, if there is, you might find a likeness to oghams * 
just dots in clay, instead of notches in stone.' And his 
wide, speculating blue eyes, lit with almost insane enthu- 
siasm. He gasped out, ' Yes, yes, there is repetition, I 
sent it to London and only one of the Archaeological 

1 Ogham is a particular kind of steganography, or writing in cypher, practised 
by the Irish. 


Society doubts it 's accepted as writing ; and as wonderful 
as Egyptian hieroglyphics only we can't read it.' He 
has other pottery, with wave patterns, and rows of the 
wooden combs with which those patterns were drawn 
precisely as the ' British Workman ' 1 grained his oak, 
and a little triangle with a hole in each corner. That 
stumped me. But by the striation in the holes he proves 
that it was an invention, perhaps of one man, for twisting 
a triple cord ; and he can make a beautiful triple cord 
with it. And so on, as the sun set, and the flowers lit 
up and the moths came out and bats ; bats early in June ! 
When I told Sibell she telegraphed for Gatty. But we 
do very well as we are. After dinner I took Sibell up to 
the ridge and walked back by moonlight, and finished the 
evening watching a cheap-Jack selling his wares under a 
gas-flare in the market place. 

To-day we went to early service at 8. Then I thoroughly 
explored the Cathedral and at 12.15 got into the library 
with Canon Holmes and had a debauch with old Manu- 
scripts. They have a Papal Bull of 1061 with this excellent 

abbreviation at the end Ix which is BENE VALETE 

Fare you well, so I will say Fare well, darling. To-morrow 
we do Glastonbury, sleep here again, and on Tuesday 
motor to Dunster. I will plant the oak as soon as possible 
after coronation day. But you must choose where he is 
to live. With all love. Your most loving son, 


To Hilaire Belloc 

(SOMERSET), 6th June 1911. 

MY DEAR BELLOC, I did not answer your letter because 
you threatened never to write again if I subjected myself 
to that exertion. Also I was busy and could not see you 
on Friday. I was busy because I meant to escape a 

1 A book of comic pictures by Sullivan. 
VOL. II. g F 


good word for a great adventure on Saturday. And 
escape I did with Sibell by the 10.30 a.m. from Paddington 
to Westbury, where a slip-carriage pulled up in obedience 
to immutable law (of gravitation). There I remembered 
with a sharp pang that I had so waited, on the same plat- 
form, on my last visit but one to my father, and my last 
visit that was to find him as I had known him from my 

But I did not dwell on this, since my purpose was to 
escape. I ' changed ' and went more towards the west 
to Witham. There I ' changed ' again and went still 
more towards the west in a panting little train by Shepton 
Mallet to Wells. I thanked God, and the imbecility of 
the English, for a train service which so far has pro- 
tected Wells and left it habitable. 

I went to Wells, for a number of reasons : imprimis 
Sibell loves to live near a Cathedral ; (2) I wanted to see 
the Cathedral again myself (3) I wanted to have a quiet 
spell in the library (4) I did not know Somerset and 
cherished a great regard for Somerset. It is a Diocese 
which coincides with a settlement. It is a port indeed 
it is of the Europe before Rome conquered Europe. It 
was a settlement of the Belgse 800 or 900 years before 
it was a settlement of Saxons. It was once upon a 
time a system of sea-meres (Sea-mere-settlement) 
akin to your Landes and to Venice of the Veneti. It 
was and it is a part of Europe, and not a settlement 
for coal-soot. 

In the train I glanced but once, say twice at a Guide 
book and learned that Wookey Hole was near Wells. I 
walked from the station to this town whilst Sibell took 
the one-horse bus. Twenty years ago there was a one- 
horse bus at Chartres. That is still the vehicle at Wells. 
As I walked I read ' Wookey Hole ' on a sign-post : and 
that determined my fate. 

[But here I must digress. I admit that the sign-posts 
in Somerset are enamelled in white and blue like adver- 
tisements of 4 Simplex ' or ' Cymplus ' water-closets. I 
admit this. But take it that the boys of Somerset have 


so bombarded the sign-posts with stones as to leave little 
of the enamel and much of the rusted iron foundation.] 

That sign-post decided my Fate. On the plea that I 
needed exercise after a perfunctory turn round the 
Cathedral I walked to Wookey Hole. It is a pure joy : 
I think the only natural wonder and human legacy from 
languages in this country which has not been spoilt. You 
ask for a guide at a farm ; walk through somebody's 
stable-gates, into somebody's orchard full of white chickens, 
wander on by a path that undulates on one wooded bank 
of a dell hewn by the river Axe and wait for the guide. 
When he comes he is a farm lad of fifteen years armed 
with two candles and a can of paraffin. With that boy 
you penetrate into the entrails of the Mendip Hills. You 
climb and descend tortuous corridors into great chambers, 
like Chapter-Houses, and see beneath you the subter- 
ranean River Axe. Now, the boy-guide speaks of one, 
Mr. Balch, as the excavator. So when I emerged (like 
Virgil) and returned to Wells I sought out Mr. Balch, the 
assistant Post-Master, and found him in a cottage no 
more with a garden full of flowers and his children. In 
two minutes we were at it, talking as we talk together of 
old times. That man has the fiery particle. He is a Celt, 
with blue eyes. His pride is that Wookey Hole was not 
inhabited in the Stone Age, but was a fastness of Celts, 
who used bronze and iron and made pottery, and wove 
and kept goats. He has an immense collection of their 
works. He rejoices (as our grandfathers did over Waterloo) 
because when the people who lived in the mere by Glaston- 
bury were swept away, some Celts * our people ' held 
on in that ' reduit ' of the limestone crags. 

I could tell you of the coins and combs and needles and 
querns that he has found. But I won't. Not I ! For I 
purpose that you and I shall one day and quarn primum 
start from Clouds, with a motor (merely to revert to old 
routes and save time) ; and that we shall ourselves try 
to understand the civilization of 300 B.C. (1) on the upland 
of Salisbury plain (2) by the Sea-meres that being 
reclaimed are now So-mer-set. 


Meanwhile I am sure of many things that I suspected 
and of one that I never guessed. The one thing I never 
guessed, though you may have known it for years, is that 
the comb, as an ornament for a lady's hair, is the comb 
with which she pulled down the warp on the web, when 
weaving, and, sticking it in her back-hair (as a clerk puts 
his pen behind his ear) retained it for an ornament and 
symbol of married estate. It would be great fun to dis- 
cover that the spinster only spun and that the mother 
who wove stuck the weaving comb in her tresses. What 
fun that would be ! And that is the kind of fun which I 
mean to combine with shooting partridges for my younger 

I have mentioned the comb. But I have three things 
much more marvellous and enticing of which I will 
say no word ; no I not one word even when we 
meet. They are the bait that are to attract you to these 

You may infer that I have cared only of archaeology. 
You are wrong. I had a great time in the library also. 
What I liked best, and far beyond an autograph of Erasmus, 
an Aldine Aristotle etc. etc., was just a Papal Bull of 
1061 A.D. five years before the conquest. It was a com- 
fortable thing, in legible Latin ; Petrus et Paulus-^-or it 
might be of last week. And it ended with an excellent 
abbreviation as this : 

=Bene Valete 

and so say I to you and yours. Yours ever, 


P.S. I go to Dunster to-morrow. Then to Cirencester. 
Then north and my next * address ' is Hewell Grange, 
Redditch. (Hewell Grange, Redditch) on Friday. I shall 
fetch London about the 16th. 



To Charles T. Gatty 

SOMERSET, 4th June 1911. 

Facing the Cathedral. 

MY DEAR CHARLES, This is the kind of hair-pins we 
are. Sibell was so impressed by my excitement over Mr. 
Balch assistant Post-master (for his profession) and a 
genius at archaeology (for his glory and our delight) that 
she telegraphed incontinently to you to join us. I knew 
it was impossible. But the ebullition expressed our feel- 
ings. Let me explain at once. . . . Mr. Balch burrows 
into the entrails of the Mendip Hills and emerges from 
Troglodyte habitations, laden with flint implements, bone 
implements, bronze implements, iron implements, and 
the bones of our predecessors in Britain. He has been a 
pure joy to me a Celt with speculation in his clear blue 
eyes, who rejoices, as our grandfathers did over Waterloo, 
because in his opinion (buttressed by an array of facts) 
when the Lake Village near Glastonbury was blotted out, 
' our people ' as he says stuck it out through the Roman 
occupation, returning to the caverns of the Stone Age 
and the Hyaena, and held their own till the last waves 
of Saxon conquest pushed them over the Parrot river, and 
even into Wales. 

Having explained why I am pleased, I will now revert 
to the Historic Method. By this device you will know 
all the time that * Balch ' is looming beyond the normal 
expectations and fulfilments of a visit to an ancient 

We left Paddington at 10.30 a.m. yesterday, Saturday 
3rd June, 1911. It seems years since to me. Our ' slip ' 
carriage stopped at Westbury in obedience to the law of 
gravitation. We changed and went West by Frome to 
Witham. We changed and went West again by Shepton 
Mallet to Wells. Thanks to the imperfect railway system 
of our Motherland, Wells is habitable. We arrived about 


1.30 on a sultry day. Perfunctory glances at the * Guide 
to Somerset ' had as I travelled told me that ' Wookey 
Hole * was near Wells. I walked to this Inn, whilst Sibell 
took the one-horse 'bus, and, so, passed a signpost on 
which I plainly read Wookey Hole. This determined my 
fate. After a preliminary stroll round the Cathedral 
and that is wonderful for the statues, and specially the 
statue of William the Conqueror, with his elbows more 
than akimbo by 45 degrees and the chain gate, etc., I 
said to Sibell that I should be bilious if I did not take a 
walk. So, on the plea of health, and the cheerful disposi- 
tion that springs from health, and is essential to a holiday, 
I started along the road (knowing no better) for Wookey 
Hole. I vaguely knew the name and was informed by 
the Guide book that Boyd Dawkins found a Hyaena cave 
there 50 and more years ago. That was all my know- 
ledge, but enough to direct my purpose. 

I found the village of Wookey Hole, and was told I 
could get a guide to the Cavern at the farm by the paper- 
mill. All in due order, a smiling maiden at the farm set 
me on the track to the cavern, and said the guide would 
come. Charles, as Sir Thomas Malory frequently remarks, 
' all this was but enchauntement,' for Wookey Hole is no 
place of holiday resort, like Stonehenge. When you leave 
the road, by the Farm, you pass through a stable gate into 
an orchard full of white chickens ; you see a little path 
from the orchard beginning to climb and fall and climb 
along the left side of a steep dell, which promises to become 
a gorge, with the river Axe that is so soon to make paper 
translucent and green over white sand below you. You 
sit down and await the guide. He appears a youth of 
15 or 16 years, with two candles and a can of paraffin oil. 
He speaks in the language of Barnes, 1 which is easier to 
read than to hear. Away you go with him along the dell 
that becomes strange. It is heavily wooded on both sides ; 
there is a hanging mist over the water. The path rises, 
and, as the river Axe is now 50 feet below you, issuing 

1 The Dorsetshire poet. 


from the rock, you are confronted by a beetling crag of 
limestone, from every ledge of which the jackdaws discuss 
your advent. In the base of that crag there is a little 
locked door 4' 6" high. You unlock it. The youth 
advises me to leave my stick inside, I add ' and my hat.' 
He says * No, it might save you from a blow on the head 
later on.' We light our tapers and go in. The narrow 
passage, between boulders, and threatened by hanging 
boulders, descends and mounts as the path had undulated. 
Only it is inside the mountain. He throws a flask of 
paraffin on the rock and lights it with the taper, now and 
again, to assist climbing or descent. Then he began to 
talk about what sounds like Mr. Bosh. I become in- 
terested in Mr. Bosh. I ask how tactlessly ! him to 
spell the name. He thinks there is a r and an h in it. 
But, anyway, this is where his hero found a skeleton of 
a man and the skeleton of two goats and pottery. And 
this shewing a sheer cliff up to the left, is where his 
hero gets up by a rope ladder into other galleries and 
halls. After descending a steep incline, so steep and 
long that we reach the level of the River Axe, we come 
into a great cavern, like a Chapter House, 75 feet high, 
with a diameter of 40 yards, and there is the Rivei 
Axe. He throws paraffin on its surface, lights it, and 
reveals cool depths of translucent green over white sand. 
We go on, and do this twice more. For there are three 
great chapter-houses inside the hill, and more beyond, 
now blocked by the water-level. Balch has explored 
them when the water is drawn off by the mill, half a 
mile behind us. 

We return. I walk back by a footpath over the hill, 
with Glastonbury Tor six miles to my right and Wells 
Cathedral in front of me. I miss Sibell, and ask for 
Balch. I need him. I am conducted by the 'bus-driver 
of the Inn to an alley leading to a cottage garden full of 
flowers and children. The 'bus-driver goes to the back 
and hammers. Balch, the blue-eyed Celt appears at the 
front door. I announce myself, and my dear Charles 


in two minutes I am ' up to the hilt ' with him as 
though you and I were talking together. My dear, this 
man is a man to know. He has plans and sections. He 
has written ' The Nether- world of the Mendips.' He has 
his rows of flint implements and his photographs of all 
else. He is perfectly simple and wide-eyed with enthu- 
siasm ; but a true scholar. There are the querns from 
Wookey Hole which he has mounted, and with which he 
has ground flour to taste what it was like. Then come 
the simple questions, 4 What do you think of this Denarius 
of Marcia 124 B.C. ? It is nearly 200 years before the 
Roman occupation.' I say I think it was not hoarded 
by a Roman, but that it filtered through the Europe of 
124 B.C. He agrees. We get on to Rhodes' gold coin 
of Antoninus at Zimbabwe in Rhodesia. He knows all 
about that and has a brother there. Back, then, to 
Wookey Hole and Conundrum No. 2. He shows me 
the bulk of an earthenware jar with stripes from top to 
bottom, and between them holes deliberately made with a 
wooden tool, but disposed well like the constellations, 
or the chance holes made by bookworms in wooden bind- 
ings. And he asks what I think of that. I say * I have 
never seen anything like it.' He answers, * Nor anyone 
else till six weeks ago when I found it in Wookey Hole. 
I 've sent it to London. What do you think it can be ? ' 
I felt excited and said, ' If there 's any repetition of 
pattern, or anything like the oghams, holes in clay, instead 
of notches in stone, you may have got a script.' His 
blue eyes blazed. He said * They all think that in London 
except one man. We read the Egyptian hieroglyphs and 
dig in Crete ; why don't we try to understand the things 
here ? ' I said, ' I hope you can stay here.' He answered, 
4 1 have stayed for sixteen years and prevented my pro- 
motion, and now my friend, who worked with me, is 
gone.' I asked if the P.M.G. knew of his work. He 
answered ' No.' 

Then he came to Conundrum No. 3. A bronze equi- 
lateral triangle with a round hole in each angle. I was 


absolutely flummoxed. I thought of silly solutions an 
ornament for harness stuck on with gold pins, etc. any- 
way a plaque of some sort. But he said ' No ; each of 
those holes is striated. This is the invention perhaps 
of one man for making a perfect rope with a triple cord ; 
and I 've made them with it.' 

Well, my dear, I must not go on any longer. But this 
is a man to know and a place to study. I asked him to 
luncheon with Sibell and self to-day. He accepted. But 
I saw it would be better not to press. I said, 4 This is 
my holiday at Wells. But it 's your holiday too, and 
you must not bother about me. I live within easy motor 
reach and have a friend, Charles Gatty, who loves these 
things, and we must come to see you together.' So he 
gave me his address, and showed me a short way back to 
the Inn, and remained in his cottage garden full of 
flowers and his children, just as the moths and bats were 
coming out in the sunset air. 

Sibell was an angel about my delay and merely tele- 
graphed to you. I walked her out after dinner by 
moonlight to the heights ; went to early service at 8, 
and collared Canon Holmes and got into the Library 
at 12.15. 

The Library ! But for the Stone Age and the Celtic 
resistance to Rome and the Saxons, I should have been 
wild over the library. Mark you, there is no break in 
the Deans of Wells. It never had a Monastery. So 
Henry viu, of uxorious memory, did not smash it. Free- 
man says that here are more ecclesiastical buildings still 
devoted to worship and learning, than in any other city 
of Europe. And that is so. We have a Cathedral, a 
Palace, a Deanery, a close, a Theological College in the 
buildings of the 14th Century, and miles of high 
walls overgrown with saxifrage and Valerian * lilac 

What I liked best in the Library above other treasures 
e.g. an autograph of Erasmus and a Pliny by Jensen 
I think is a Bull of 1061 five years before the Conquest 


in legible Latin Petrus et Paulus, etc. With this 
perfect abbreviation at the end 

=Bene Valete 

and so say I. Yours affectionately, GEORGE W. 

P.S. We do Glastonbury to-morrow. Go to Dunster 
Tuesday. To Cirencester Wednesday, and wind up on 
Friday the 9th at Hewell Grange, Redditch. 

It is evident to me that you and I must motor to Wells 
from Clouds, and stay there two or three days, and hear 
all that Balch has to say, and see all that Balch has to 

Also, perhaps, you being in touch both with Hudson 
and Archaeology and loving the Celts might let Lloyd 
George know that Balch ought to have a Chair of Celtic 
archaeology in a Celtic University, or that he should, at 
least, be curator of a Celtic museum. 


To his Mother 

CIRENCESTER, 1th June 1911. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, S. S. and I have been drinking 
in this miraculous June weather, so I just write to tell you, 
Darling, that we do know how wonderful it is. We have 
never had a motor. I have known for long that S. S. 
would like to do a tour in England, Benny lent us a motor 
and here we are. I told you a little bit about Wells 
and forget where I left off. But that does not matter, 
for the beauty of these days is continuous, like Eternity. 
It has no end and no beginning ; but pervades. 

I have seen some things in these two or three days that 
belong to eternal beauty. And I enjoyed them all the 
more because a rush south from Dunster to Exeter, 
through * scenery ' (The Exe river valley) set an edge on 
my rapture over things that are so much more beautiful 
than * scenery.' If I tried to tell you of orchards, and the 
horizon of the Down and many churches and some tombs, 


and high walls with Valerian in full bloom, and one rose- 
bush near Glastonbury and the after-glow this evening, 
and the moon, with a planet hard-by, this night : I should 
drop into the language of Bottom the Weaver. ' This 
shall be called Bottom's dream because it has no bottom.' 

Wessex in such a June is profound and ethereal. I 
have learned much history and invented more. 

But to take the bones of our voyage : We left Wells 
yesterday morning ; sped across the old sea Mere 
(whence Somerset Seo meare soetan) past Glaston- 
bury, the Isle of Avalon (built by Hugh of the other 
Avalon in Burgundy) up the shoulder of the Polden Hills 
(here was the rose-bush) and then down the spine of 
them (they are low amicable hills) with the plain of Sedge- 
moor to the Quantock on our left (or West), and the inland 
mystery of Avalon enclosed by the Mendips on our Right 
(or East) and so, turning West, to Bridgewater and over 
the Parrett river (with ships in it) that was for over 100 
years the frontier between Saxons and British. We sped 
then along the west of the Bristol Channel to Dunster, 
The Priory Church is beautiful, the screen right across 
the church, from wall to wall cutting off both circles 
as well as the Choir, is evidently the model which 
Bodley has imitated and profaned. Beyond it were many 
monuments of the de Mohuns and one that made me gasp. 
It had a head on a cusp one of four heads. But the one 


I have marked X is of such surpassing beauty of the 
beauty of 1220 A.D. that I go on bowing to it like a china 
Mandarin. Need I say that there is no copy, or drawing, 
or photograph or cast of it in all England. But there it 
is, and also in my mind's eye for ever. 

Then, as we have done forty-six miles before luncheon, 
as I knew S. S. liked to see all Cathedrals and as Exeter 
was but another forty-two away, I plunged right South 
to Exeter along the Valley of the Exe, and we watched 
it grow from a spring to a river. It was a glorious day. 


But that valley is ' scenery ' and Exeter Cathedral is not 
of the 18th, still less of the 12th, century. It has two 
Norman towers, oddly enough, perhaps uniquely, at each 
end of the transept. And it has one tomb of my Black 
Prince period. (There is no photograph of that tomb.) 
Then back those forty-two miles to Dunster. 

We are glad we did this. Because it is glorious to move 
through the air on such a day and because it made to-day 
more beautiful. To-day, with a fresh wind blowing and 
a power for seeing for forty miles, we came back up the 
Polden Hills, saw the Tor of Glastonbury and understood 
its place in the Europe of 300 B.C. 

Here I digress, to give, or anticipate, a view long held 
which I focussed at dinner and, now, knew to be true. 
Near Glastonbury there is a lake village. Archaeologists 
start with the idea that Lake Dwellings are primitive and 
almost savage. They are surprised to find, combs, bronze 
bowls, etc., etc. They don't see two things. (1) the point 
is, that if people lived thus on mud-piles in a swamp, 
other people in 300 B.C. must have lived far otherwise and 
to more splendid purpose on the Isle of Avalon. The 
Lake Dwelling was to Avalon what Pentonville is to St. 
James's. (2) The second is, that a few years before 200 B.C. 
the * Gauls ' captured Rome, and overran Asia Minor. 

Now, think of those two things. Do they not demon- 
strate the absurdity of considering all that happened before 
the Roman conquest of Britain as barbarous and primitive. 
I could go on. But what a digression ! I conclude it. 

We got back to Wells and shot up the East shoulder of 
the Mendips on to the uplands and lunched at Ammer- 
down with Lord and Lady Hylton. We started again at 
4 p.m. through Trowbridge, passing the old Inn at which 
Monmouth slept the night before the Battle of Sedgemoor. 
Then we turned due North to Melksham, and Chippenham 
and Malmesbury. At Malmesbury we had tea, and saw 
all that is left of the Abbey. I cannot explain my satis- 
faction at being back architecturally in the 12th and 
early 13th century. But I know. Without attempting 
argument I assert ; and, if challenged, I avoid discussion 


to silently believe, that the art of 1180 to 1230 was a 
perfect expression of man's tenure of this planet ; There 
it was ; and there, thank God, some of it, is. Then we 
called at Charlton ; a good Jacobean House. Then we 
shot, further north, to this place, Cirencester. I had 
associated it with rhymes to ' sister ' and Percy's ' point- 
to-point races.' Instead of which the church though 
late is wonderful. There is nothing tremendous between 
true ' Romanesque ' (Norman and transitional, if you 
like) and the ethereal decadent (?) attempt to say ' I 
will build my Palace of God out of Glass.' This Church 
is a wonder, of aspiration and stalwart discovery. Because 
evidently, to the eye when they pulled down the old 
thick walls of the Early English nave, in order to build 
four naves, which you can see through (such is the extent 
of the glass) they said to themselves ' But will the old 
Tower stand ? ' They asked themselves that question. 
And they answered it by two stone flying buttresses such 
as I have never seen : for they go from the shoulders of the 
Tower right down into the earth. And they undulate to 
leave free the West windows of the naves. This was long 
after dinner in the after-glow. The tower was rosy from 
the after-glow and, when you went beyond it, a dark blue 
concentration of stone against a star-lit aquamarine sky. 
But, to me, there was something greater and more homely 
and immemorial. My Henry n. had built Almshouses 
on arches. And there they are. For nearly eight hundred 
years his foundation has sheltered the wrecks of men. 

Well, well, enough, if there could ever be enough. 
The moral is : to travel, and in England, and in June. 
Your most loving son, GEORGE. 

To Hilaire Belloc 

June 1911. 

MY DEAR BELLOC, Hurrah for ' More Peers.' I found 
them on my return yesterday and took both copies to 


dinner with Westminster ; so that we could read aloud 
to each other at the same time. And this we did with 

Let me know when you will be in London and let me 
see you soon. Yours ever, G. W. 


To his Mother 

20th June 1911. 

Birthday and I have not written in time ! But I am 
thinking of you and loving you and wishing you many 
many returns to be loved by me and all of us. I saw 
Percy who had loved being at Clouds. 

I now send you back your little tree notices. The 
Valuers have been here. The ' expert ' says the picture 
of Percy O'Brien Wyndham is it ? that hangs in the 
front drawing-room over the cabinet between the two 
doors is a Romney. I wonder if it is. And he made a 
great fuss over the Monk in a red hood eating gruel, that 
is in your boudoir. 

I expect he means to crack it on both of them. 

Darling I am longing to see you. S. S. and I enjoyed 
our motor and when we have yours, you and I must go 
to Wells. 

I will write you a proper letter soon. This is only to 
send you all my love, Beloved. Your most loving son, 



To his Mother 

29/A June 1911. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, The last few days have been 
rather strenuous for me. I had said, weeks ago, that I 
would move the first resolution at the Annual meeting of 


the National Service League. Lord Roberts asked me 
to do this. And the debate on ' The Declaration of 
London ' came on at the same time. So, on Saturday to 
Tuesday I had to study all the voluminous material on 
two big and complicated questions, and to prepare a 
speech on each. Then the usual things happened. I 
spoke to a full audience in the Queen's Hall on ' National 
Service ' and no paper except the ' Morning Post ' re- 
ported me. In respect of the speech on ' Declaration ' I 
was told to speak to-day, then telephoned for to speak 
last night, then told no more. So I had to speak suddenly 
at a few minutes notice. Under all these discouraging 
circumstances nothing but my love of Papa would have 
helped me to prepare, at all, a speech on the Declaration 
of London. But, just because he worked so well against 
the ' Declaration of Paris ' in ' the days of ignorance,' and 
the House was ' counted out ' on the night when he had 
first place, I did, superstitiously, and filially, work at the 
second speech. So, when, quite suddenly I had to get 
up, I spoke for forty-five minutes in the House. 

I did this work as a tribute to Papa, who understood 
forty years ago, what the people are learning now. But 
for my memory of his undeserved neglect, I could not 
have gone on. Your most loving son, GEORGE. 

I had such happy dreams after making up my mind to 
go on. 

To his Mother 

1st July 1911. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I loved getting your letter. 
It made me glad to have spoken to the House and glad to 
have written to you about it. 

The ills from which England is suffering demand a long 
cure. I may not live to see her convalescence. But I 
think we have 4 touched bottom,' or sunk so deep that 
we must believe in rising. 


I do believe that we shall rise and emerge. And I know 
that when that happens all men will revert to revere the 
memory of those who, like Papa, saw clearly in the dazzle 
of false sunshine. My duty is to see clearly in the gloom 
of real darkness. I do see, and I shall act. Your most 
loving son, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 

P.S. I am not gloomy. There is less light. But the 
things are here in England. We shall see them when the 
sun rises. 

To Hilaire Belloc 

1st July 1911. 

MY DEAR, BELLOC, The ' British Revolution ' is huge 
and subtile. I have been reading it to Westminster and 
he has carried off my copy. ' By God 'tis good and if 
you like 't, you may.' We do like it. 

Although you and I and Westminster and e.g. Sir 
Francis Hopwood let us say differ over theories, all 
men are agreed that what is going on is absurd. The 
Party System, and the House of Lords, and the bumptious 
Colonials and the Humanitarians and the Socialist gaolers 
of children are absurd. Let them go, and if to Hell, why 
not ? Unless they go there ; everybody else will. 

I wish I could laugh at it, to stop crying like Byron. 
But I can do neither. It is too ridiculous for laughter 
and too sad for tears. It is only silly. England like 
poor Ophelia is drowning herself to echoes of Bawdry 
and simple flowers. Meanwhile other Powers are more 
philosophic than Hamlet and more resolute than Fortin- 
brass. * Under these circumstances ' and Hurrah for 
a cliche I will wear no willow. Let us rather enact 
what faded prints report of our ancestors. Yours ever, 

G. W. 


To Hilaire Belloc 

3rd July 1911. 

MY DEAR BELLOC, Thanks for a great letter. I hope 
that you will heckle Baron de Forest. 

And now you are never to talk of not coming in, or of 
not proposing yourself, at any hour on any day : for many 
reasons of which I will instance a few, e.g. (1) this is the 
basis of friendship. (2) It is my protection against those 
who are not my friends eating into my life or, to change 
the metaphor, perturbing its orbit. By a friend I am 
never perturbed. (3) By coming in and talking about 
the Declaration you enabled me to speak on it, the day 
after my National Service speech. (4) Had you refrained 
I should have addled my brains over one speech instead 
of clearing them over two. (5) I insist on seeing you when 
you who are really busy have a spare moment. 

Agadir. ' Does my memory serve me ' in ' seeming to 
suggest ' that you told me the French greased the boots 
of their Infantry to prevent the occupation of this very 
place and would have fought on that issue ? Yours 
ever, GEORGE W. 

To Wilfrid Ward 

July 19th, 1911. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, I have read the eleven slips. But 
I doubt if, beyond chronicling that fact, I can say more 
that is worth saying. For, at this moment, I am not only 
watching, but taking part, in the political welter, com- 
parable to the theological welter of seventy years ago and 
onwards. And this demands all my energy. But and 
this is my excuse for writing at all it does not exhaust it. 

On the contrary, your acute analysis of Newman's 
temperament and intellect in a theological whirlpool, 

VOL. II. 2 G 


helps me to grasp the antics of my comrades in a political 

Let me jump to the moral. The moral is that action 
(by martyrdom or championship) does more at the moment 
and, often, for many years, than can be effected by a 
balance of acumen and virtue. 

On the other hand, the strange, or rare, (same thing) 
combination in one man of ' sceptical ' acumen with 
* military ' loyalty if he has the gift of speech leaves 
a cue to the progressive integration of Truth, which 
becomes intelligible and illuminating after seventy or one 
hundred and fifty years. Then, and then only, is that 
man acknowledged as something else, or beyond, a martyr 
and champion. It is then seen that he was a seer. 

The mechanical difficulty with which you are to contend 
consisted in the anachronism of writing the life of Newman 
50 or 100 years before the world can be expected to detect 
the prophet as the third person (if I may use an analogy 
which is not profane) in a Trinity, which includes the 
more obvious champion and martyr. For any great 
cause there is needed the champion of the past and the 
past is the Eternal Father of the present and future 
there, is, also needed, the Martyr to the exigencies of the 
present, in conflict with tradition ; and there is also 
needed the Prophetic soul, proceeding. 

It is this proceeding which gravels the critics. They 
can dimly perceive and, in part, assess the creative tradi- 
tion ; or else, they can assert the majestic agency of the 
irreconcileable offspring. But they rarely connote the 
two ; and the critics never apprehend the ghostly emana- 
tion from that conflict which is the Comforter of the elect. 

Now, to drop this parable, you have tried to explain 
the co-incidence in Newman of the Champion and Martyr ; 
and, not satisfied with that attempt, you have proceeded 
to invite a world-wide acknowledgment of a ghostly 
emanation from his alternations of triumph and despair. 

You are right ! But you are so right that you are in 
the same boat with him. That is to say that you are in 
the boat that is always apparently wrecked by the 


waves of the world that sin against the Holy Ghost. But 
that is the only boat that in reality reaches the Haven 
of Peace. 

I know that boat ; and am trying very ineffectually 
to navigate it through my little cess-pool of Politics. 
Yours ever, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 

To his Mother 

2,Qth July 1911. 10 a.m. 

make me love you more your letter would. But nothing 
can as I love you all together and your letter is a piece 
of your own self. 

If only the 304 Peers who mean to ' walk out ' of 
History into limbo and nothingness had been born of 
Mothers like you History would be different. 

' Non ragionem di lor mal guarda a passu.' 

Now I am back to the fight. Bless you, darling. Ever 
most loving son, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 

To Hilaire Belloc 

29th July 1911. 

MY DEAR BELLOC, I have read your article on the 
Declaration with interest and approval. But don't you 
think that amendment should not be confined to food 
i.e. to Food as conditional Contraband ? 

Surely we ought also to insist on amendment in respect 
of the destruction of neutrals when taking them to a port 
involves ' danger ' ... to the operations in which the 
captor is at the time engaged ? 

The destruction of neutrals in 1904 by Russia shocked 
the world. We protested and received some assurances. 
The practice was discontinued. When it was repeated 
in 1905, we protested and Russia replied it was a mistake 


due to their maritime disorganisation. Surely it is pre- 
posterous for us to ask the world to sanction the de- 
predations which shocked the world at that time and 
conduced, perhaps more than anything else, to precipi- 
tate an attempt at improving International Law ? As 
a minimum of compromise (1) Food should not be con- 
traband unless obviously for the use of armed Forces 
and (2) Neutrals should never be destroyed unless (1) 
carrying munitions of war and (b) no other course is open 
to the captor. 

Please read the report in Hansard of the speech I made 
yesterday. The ' Times ' report is an outrage. Yester- 
day they * boycotted ' my speech on National Service. 
To-day they mutilate my speech on the Convention and 
put (hear, hear) at the end instead of ' cheers.' 

This declaration of London is a bad business. Yours 
ever, GEORGE W. 


To Wilfrid Ward 

July 30th, 1911. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, Your letter needs no excuse. It 
states simply what is in the minds of most men. 

There is a fierce indignation against those who threaten 
to vote with the Government against their own convic- 
tions, for the sole purpose of preventing the creation of 
peers at all costs, including the cost of a general acquies- 
cence in a policy which the majority of Englishmen believe 
to be disastrous. That indignation will burn up the 
Unionist party if this outrage is committed. 

Against the Peers who have formed no judgment of 
their own nothing can be said if they follow the advice of 
Lord Lansdowne. But among those who have announced 
their intention of * walking out ' with Lord Lansdowne 
there are some who will do so from a sense of loyalty, 
although they have formed a judgment opposed to his 
view, and are sincerely convinced that they ought if 
free to vote against the Government. 


There is a strong feeling that Lord Lansdowne ought to 
restore liberty of action to men whose consciences are 
wounded by what he asks them to do, and that he ought 
to denounce the project of any Unionist Peer voting with 
the Government. 

Those of us who act with Lord Halsbury will not yield 
to any pressure. The Peers among us will vote with 
him, and the members of the House of Commons will 
support their action in the country. 

We shall not publish a list of Peers who will vote, for 
two reasons. In the first place, the essence of our cause, 
is that members of a second chamber ought to be inde- 
pendent, and ought not to be ' items ' in a voting machine. 
We hold that their personal independence is necessary to 
the corporate independence of a second chamber ; just as 
we believe that the corporate independence of a second 
chamber affords the last safeguard of the nation's right 
to pronounce on grave measures before they are decided 
by the Party-caucus. In the second place ; if we with- 
hold our list those who say they will vote with the Govern- 
ment must discover for themselves the exact number of 
4 black-legs ' needed to consummate the ruin of the House 
of Lords and destroy the constitution for ever. We are 
not going to measure the margin of treachery required to 
complete so infamous an act. They must attempt that 
nauseous task unaided save by the authors of the Revolu- 
tion and the Harmsworth Press. We believe that they 
cannot effect their purpose and are determined to defeat 
it. Yours ever, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 

To Wilfrid Ward 

August 4th, 1911. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, I must write a line of thanks for 
your letter and enclosure, although I am tired. Our 
Meetings to-night at Chelsea and Holborn which were 
only advertised to put hearts in our troops have been 
passionate triumphs. 


I cannot explain the situation, for it changes from hour 
to hour. 

Last night the Government decided to risk defeat 
without creation of Peers ; as preferable to risking both 
defeat and creation of Peers. 

To-night on the brink of our Meetings something 
like a white flag reached us by devious channels from the 
' Abstainers.' 

But nothing will shake or divide, or puzzle us. We 
shall fight on Wednesday unless all our opponents friends 
and foes surrender. And we shall stand the racket of 
a ' stricken field.' 

If we are beaten by Unionist abstentions and deser- 
tions to the Revolution all is lost except and for this 
we fight the one chance of restoring the constitution 
which resides in our refusal to abandon the constitution. 

If we win on Wednesday we win * the day ' ; but know 
quite well that victory will be the mere beginning of a 
long campaign. 

I do not share Froude's regret, and yours at the absence 
of public response to Norfolk's letter. He has saved the 
State. We ask no more than he has done. It is enough 
if the Peers are not deaf to the call of Honour and blind 
to the signals of common sense. 

All through the days when the Court, the Bishops, the 
Press, and both Party machines were firing at us, with 
threats and ridicule and bitter blows I have believed. 
I told Sibell there would be a miracle. And behold ! ! 
we have the country with us and what is far more a 
sure faith that will survive defeat and save this nation. 
Yours ever, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 

To Wilfrid Ward 

CARDIFF, August 13th, 1911. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, The issue is tragic, even more so 
than you would deduce from our numbers 114 in the 


Lobby. We knew that we should reach that figure 
there or thereabouts. But we hoped I did almost to 
the end that we should get a rally from independent 
Peers who had not declared themselves. We thought 
that our case, being the best case, would win votes during 
the debate ; and the more so, since our speakers by their 
sincerity ought in our judgment to have prevailed over 
the insincere and base and timid. 

I went through our list of promises with Willoughby 
de Broke, for the hundredth, and last time on Friday 
morning. We numbered 115. In view of the chances 
and changes of life it was a splendid result to poll 114. 
In Politics we are always told to deduct 10% from pro- 
mises. But our Poll represents over 99% of the result 
indicated by promises. 

Of course there were slight variations of detail. Aber- 
corn deserted in the afternoon and Mayo was too ill 
to travel. As against these two we got Norfolk and 
Halifax. There was only one missing whom I have not 

Our estimate on the morning was that taking gross 
numbers, our 115 versus all official Liberals adding to 
them ten Bishops and twenty-one renegades, there 
would be a tie at 115. 

Some of those who played the poorest part, kept assur- 
ing me that there would be few renegades. I was shewn a 
list of nine. But I replied that we put them much higher. 
To all intents and purposes 37 men voted against their 
convictions and the Archbishops and Bishops were 13 
instead of 10. 

It is a bad business. For the moment I cannot see the 

There is no getting away from the fact that Unionist 
Peers and Bishops carried the day for single-chamber 
tyranny, knowing that it inevitably involves Home Rule 
and Disestablishment in Wales ; and that they did so 
at the bidding of Harmsworth Press which was directed 
and informed by Curzon and Midleton. I would and 
I will dismiss the suspicion that our Leaders connived 


at this tragedy. I will believe that they were blind and 
obstinate. . . . 

Even so, I cannot see any Future. Perhaps there is no 
future. I try to dismiss this as an effect of fatigue and 
prefer to think that a mist has risen between me and the 
future, and that it will evaporate and reveal some horizon 

After a short rest, during which we have agreed to say 
nothing, my Friends will meet and consider the new 

I cannot get to ' Lotus ' next Sunday and will write 
in a day or two to say if Monday the 21st is possible. 

I have not shaped my views and must await a clearer 
vision. But they tend to condense round the three 
propositions : 

(1) There must be action. 

(2) Action must not be hostile to the abstainers, but 

(3) It must be separate from them. 

So it seems to me. But I must rest and think and 
confer. Then we must act. Yours ever, 


To his Mother 

24/A August 1911. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I never answered your last 
beloved letter. I go to Saighton to-morrow for only a day 
or two. As they have cancelled Army Manoeuvres a bitter 
disappointment to me I must arrange for a Camp and 
training in Cheshire. I am coming to Clouds on the 31st 
vrith Perf and Guy and no one else just to look round at 
the partridges and shoot a few for your dinner. 

I cannot write yet about the Betrayal in the House of 
Lords. But I have not been idle. I should have wished 
to act at once. But others cannot be got together at 
present. Still I am not letting the grass grow under my 
feet and the 4 Conspirators ' are in close touch through the 
post. I am afraid that the news about Germany is worse. 


I was very pleased with my Yeomanry as I had only 
20 applications for leave. I should not have granted 
more than ten and would have brought out the regiment 
practically at full strength. 

I shall now put my back into training them and then 
prepare for hard politics all the Autumn. All love to you, 
Most darling, and may England pull through the betrayal 
of politicians, strikes of socialists and menace of Germany. 
Anny way, we have to help Her all we can ! Your most 
loving son, GEORGE. 


To his Sister, Madeline 


MOST DARLING MANENAi, I must send you a line of 
intense regret over the cancelled manoeuvres . It is cruel 
to lose such a joy. But there it is precisely where most 
of the things one cares about are. It was a shrewd blow 
to be beaten in the Lords by 13 Prelates and 31 traitors 
and 6 mountebanks. My ' book ' on the morning of the 
10th allowed for 10 Prelates and 21 traitors. And, 
behold, there were more. 

But so things befall in these days. 

And we must begin all over again like Robert Bruce's 
tiresome spider. 

I have begun the manoeuvre business ' over again ' by 
getting a capital camp in the Park here at Eaton for train- 
ing. I have fixed up the water supply, settled a road for 
access, etc., etc., and to-day walked 9 miles with Percy 
over the adjoining country making out schemes for field- 

I mean to give them the best training I can, because 
like Cassandra (who was always right though never re- 
garded) I take a grave view of the Franco-German mess 
in Morocco. It is always 100 to 1 against war till war 
breaks out. But one must treat the off-chance seriously. 


Indeed, I cannot take the cancelling of our manoeuvres 
because of ' drought ' seriously. They were cancelled 
the day after an inch of rain fell. On the same day the 
German manoeuvres were cancelled I don't know why. 
The French manoeuvres were cancelled because of ' foot 
and mouth disease.' Our Indian manoeuvres were can- 
celled because of drought. And the French Ambassador 
to Berlin went to bed, instead of going to Berlin. All 
this is as Alice in Wonderland puts it ' curiouser and 
curiouser.' So I train here close to headquarters and 
give no leave. 

If you, Charlie and Poussins all or any of you are 
left rather ' flat ' by the cancelling, do come all or any 
to Saighton for our training, 9th to 23rd. Your loving 
brother, GEORGE. 


To Charles T. Gaily 


SALISBURY, 2.ix.ll. 

MY DEAR CHARLES, This is a scribble, to try and secure 
you for a little archaeology from Clouds. 

I hope to get back here from Yeomanry on 23rd 
September, and have suggested 25, 26, 29th or 30th for 
a visit to my friend Mr. Balch, of Wookey Hole. He 
writes that all his Celtic ' finds ' have now been returned 
from London, and that he has a good deal to show me. 

He would like to see any of my books about Celtic 
inscriptions in Ireland. 

My Yeomanry trains 9th-23rd in the Park at Eaton. 
I wonder if you could come to Saighton first and see some- 
thing of Sibell, Benny and self ? Then we could travel 
back together on the 23rd. We might motor all the way 
in the new motor and look at Stokesay Castle en route. 
Yours ever, GEORGE W. 



To his Niece, Clare Tennant 

SALISBURY, 4th September 1911. 

DARLING LITTLE CLARE, I loved your letter and the 
Equestrian portrait. I shall frame it and keep it in my 
room. It is very good and natural. 

Percy and I have 8 hunters here. They love being 
visited. When they hear my steps, out comes a long row 
of long faces on long necks over the bars of loose-boxes. 
Then they rub me with their noses and think in their dear, 
slow, puzzled way about hunting ; remembering dimly 
that there is something else in life more glorious than 

On Wednesday to their huge surprise at 6 o'clock in 
the morning they will see the Hounds and the Hunt 
Servants' liveries. Then they will remember it all dis- 
tinctly, and give a little squeak of joy and throw a buck. 
But the summer flies will remind them that it is only cub- 
hunting, and their slow thoughts will revolve back to the 
cool comfort of their stables. But on Thursday Terence 
and Cardinal will say 4 Hullo, going by train, are we ? ' 
and get into horse-boxes by force of habit. When they 
get out in the evening they will think they are going 
to their stable at Saighton, and wonder why they are 
ridden to Eaton. Then they will see white tents and 
remember the call of trumpets and the other glory of 
mimic war, and * the thunder of the Captains and the 
Shouting.' So they will be very happy doing the things 
that their ancestors did with Man's ancestors 15,000 
years ago. For the men of the first Stone Age drew some 
excellent portraits of long-faced horses on the tusks of 
mammoths ; and, we must suppose, loved the horses. 

Terence and Cardinal will feel that it is wise to go on 
doing what horses have learned in 5000 generations to do. 
They feel this. They will not think it, for they are happier 
than philosophers and feel things an art which philo- 


sophers lose the knack of. They will see and smell and 
hear that, in camp, there are as many horses as men, and 
be very proud of the equality, and of the number of horses 
all pawing the ground and grunting together. When the 
silver-throated trumpets blow ' Feed ' ; they will all 
neigh together ; partly because they are always ready to 
eat ; but, also, because they feel a strange thrill in their 
slow brains when one sound makes them remember one 
thing distinctly : the strange thrill that Man felt when 
he was learning to speak. 

The next morning when the trumpet sings ' Troops 
right wheel ' round they will go so suddenly that the 
recruit more ignorant than they will nearly tumble 
off on the near side. Thus, again, will they feel the joy 
of companionship with Man, heightened by generous 
emulation in the Arts of Peace and War. Your loving 
uncle, GEORGE. 

To Hilaire Belloc 

SALISBURY, 6th September 1911. 

MY DEAR BELLOC, I write a few words of companion- 
ship. This letter is not to suggest or settle anything. It 
is only, in written words, that which, in spoken words, is 
called by the young and careless ' passing the time of 
day.' For this is a profound truth and a nice discrimina- 
tion between categories. The old, who are wise and 
careful, say * It 's a fine day ' or, perplexed by doubt, ask 
' Do you think it will rain ? ' But the young and the 
very young with greater insistence and repetition ask 
again and again ' Please, Sir, can you tell me the time ? ' 

Now we, who are neither old nor young, may wisely 
avoid assertions about the weather, and, yet, usefully, 
communicate knowledge about tune. For example, I 
will even now tell you that it is twenty minutes to 
twelve, after noon, on this day, the sixth of September A.D. 
1911 (G.ix.ll). Of that I am sure. (For I have looked 


at a good clock, after looking at the stars.) And, thus, 
we may hug some security : and take heart of grace. 

I have been happy to-day. I got up at 5 a.m. and rode 
out through the mists with my boy at a quarter to six 
and drew for foxes (Cub hunting) and found them and 
then breakfast at 9. And then, the Estate Carpenter 
(who employs ten men) at ten. And then the Secretary 
for a bit. (As a result he has written thirty-seven letters.) 
And then the agent (of the farmer class) and then lunch. 
And then household business ; and then two hours sleep. 
And then Lawn Tennis. And then old memories at 
dinner with my mother. 

Now, all this sounds trivial. But it means content to 
a number of Englishmen. 

And through it all I have been reading G. K. C.'s Ballad 
of the White Horse. 

And through it all I have been hoping that you and he 
will some day, on a day of the days come here and 
take in the downs and the vale with me and be glad of 

I say ' and be glad of England.' Of course, politically 
and economically it is sad and we are divided about 
remedies, and prepared if it must be to be beaten, 
or shamed by Germany. 

But the lovely land is here and the loveable folk, and 
the old memories and the hope as good as when the same 
stars shone on it, any time these ten thousand years. 

Some day I would like I would love you and Gilbert 
Chesterton to poke about the detail of this bit of Wessex 
with me ; not as archaeologists or ' literary gents ' but 
as lovers of this land and of its people. Yours ever, 


P.S. You may consider this letter an affront to Sussex. 
On the contrary the Habitable or (Ecumenical parts of the 
earth consist for Englishmen in the counties of Sussex, 
Wiltshire, and parts of the counties of Gloucestershire, 
Hampshire and Dorset. With the rest we have to do, 
but it is in these that we can live. And to applaud the 


excellence of any one of these is for us to assert the 
necessity to us of them all. 

If we grasp that we can understand on equal terms 
the Latin and the Gael. I will not be troubled over 
others. And, we can revel in * The Ballad of the White 
Horse.' Nay more if you come we can go and look 
at him. 

P.S. 2. I am aware that Chesterton has gone to live 
in Kent and deplore his departure from London. There 
was much to be said for Kent and something may still be 
said. But, O Lord, the aliens that infest it ! London 
but to write of London would be excessive. In a second 
postscript it is enough to say that London if Cockney 
is respectable. 

To his Mother 

SALISBURY, 1st October 1911. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I cannot say how much I 
miss you here at every moment. I don't think I have 
ever been at Clouds without you. I went out early the 
morning after you left and found two doves, one on each 
feeding-bracket to right and left of your window, like 
supporters to a coat of arms. 

Detmar Blow put in good work over the Memorial 1 and 
the Library. The Partridge shooting was a success 136| 
brace and 110| brace. I have been wandering about the 
Park and, when next you are here, we will toddle round 
together and you shall confirm or advise on some clean- 
ing up and clearing out, which would I think enable people 
to enjoy the views and good trees better. 

I shall have to be in London on business and Politics 
(Die-Hards) for a day or two this week. So we will meet, 
darling Mamma. 

Perf thinks that when there is Electric light when ? 
the lamp-room would make a beautiful Crypt chapel 
for S. S. 

1 To his father. 


Charles Gatty has been looking through some of the 
old deeds about this place and has found two beautiful 

(1) of Charles n, with engraved portrait of the Monarch 
and gold letters. 

(2) of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector. I am going 
to frame them leaving a record that this has been done 
and putting the record also on the backs of the frames. 
They are beautiful bits of engraving and writing and 
interesting. So they ought to be seen. 

Darling I do miss you here very much indeed and very 

The Pomegranate has blossomed on the 1st of October ! 
Your most loving son, GEORGE. 

Willoughby de Broke was enchanted with the place. 

To Mrs. Hinkson 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
October 12th, 1911. 

DEAR MRS. TYNAN-HINKSON, You have often given 
me joy by your books ; and by your letters, at those 
moments of life that count for ever, a sense of peace and 
companionship. But I like your last letter because it is 
long and a letter of a friend, though we have never met. 
As life goes on, and some are taken from us, and some 
whom we love are away for long absences, we realise the 
minor importance of such accidents as seeing and hearing. 
Such a friendly letter from one whom I have never seen 
chimes with such thoughts. I did like the new poems and 
am glad that you write in the ' Eye- witness.' To read a 
poem by Katherine Tynan in a paper edited by a friend 
carries me back to the days of the ' National Observer ' 
and Henley. I will send you a photograph and believe 
that prayer and kind thoughts are an armour of protection. 

I wrote a few lines the other day and send them as a 
poor return for your poems. 



Because I love, and death threatens, but shall never 

Take into darkness my adored, 

I will build a city that shall last for ever, 

And fight for it with my sword. 

Truth soon grows old, life lags for death to end it, 

Love only is beautiful and still new : 

I will cradle it in stone, and set steel to defend it, 

And forget fear and be true. 

Yours gratefully, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 


To Lionel Amery 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

MY DEAR AMERY, I have had a bad cold since the 
12th, and a good deal of work. So forgive the delay of 
this reply. 

I have studied your notes on the Home Rule Question 
carefully, and will make, first, some comments in passing 
necessarily hurried and then state, also shortly, the 
policy which I believe should be pursued. 



To sum up. My conclusion is that, now, with a fight 
before us, for National and Imperial existence, we should, 
in respect of the Irish section of the Fighting Line, do 3 

A. Denounce the tainted origin of the Home Rule Bill ; 
decline to look at any measure by means of the overthrow 
of our Constitution ; insist that the Union was handi- 
capped by charges of political corruption and duress and 
that Home Rule cannot even by Home Rulers be 
launched by the actual commission of those crimes. And 
retaliate by declaring that, being at war, you will dis- 
franchise Redmond's rotten boroughs. 


B. (1) Strike at the false analogy with Colonial self- 
Government and strike hard. 

(2) Declare for Ulster and never abandon her. 

C. (1) Insist on Tariff Reform and National Tariff. 

(2) Restoration of Land Purchase ; National welfare. 

(3) National Transport. This needs more careful con- 
sideration, in the course of which two factors must be 
taken into account, (i) We shall have a recommendation 
in favour of nationalising Railways ; supported by 
Socialists and resisted by Shareholders, (ii) If credit and 
cash is devoted to this object, there will be neither for the 
institution of small ownership. 

My inclination and I would be glad of your view upon 
it is 

To defend the shareholders against the Socialists, and, 
as a quid pro quo, to get through rates for agricultural 
produce on all railways in the United Kingdom ; accom- 
panying this stipulation if need be by guaranteeing 
existing profits on transport of such produce in return for 
the construction of suitable rolling-stock, refrigerator cars, 
etc. This has been done in Canada. 

We have a great opportunity which will be missed unless 
we link up a ' Rural policy ' with a * Railway ' policy ; 
and cannot be taken until we get Tariff Reform. 

Such a Policy would tighten the Union and relieve our 
Industrial centres from the back-wash of ruined husbandmen. 

It is a Unionist Policy for all parts of the United Kingdom, 
and leads to what I most desire, a square fight of Unionists 
against Separatists and Socialists. 

To Hilaire Belloc 

36 PARK LANE, W., 
22nd October 1911. 

MY DEAR BELLOC, I am ignorant and eager to learn. 
I only know of Alfred's doings in our country by oral 
tradition and the names of ' King's Settle J 1 and * Alfred's 

1 A wood near Shaftesbury. 
VOL. II. 2 H 


But I am sure you are right. Alfred camped just west 
of Great Ridge Wood. I have always felt the mystery 
of that spot. You may remember that I pointed it out 
to you as we motored from Warminster and that I told 
you I must take you to Wylye Wood : that 's the place, 
or hard by to it. Why called Wylye Wood I don't know 
for it is miles from Wylye village and the river of that 

I am sensitive to such places. I discovered some such 
interest about the Lea Mill near Saighton and took people 
to see the place and feel it for years before I knew that 
Sir Hugh de Calverley lived there. But the wild land 
between the west of Great Ridge and Wylye Wood is 
haunted. Here we have one of those eddies of deep 
emotion which persist long after the stream of Time has 
passed on. It is a haunted spot. The Stone-Curlew or 
Thick-knee breeds there. 

Just off to Clouds after making a speech about Nelson 
last night. Yours ever, G. W. 


To Charles Boyd 


MY DEAR CHARLES, I am grateful for your thoughts. 
Think of me again to-morrow, Friday, night. I have to 
take on the Free Trade Hall a large order. I am deeply 
interested in Tariff Reform, but it is difficult to put it to 
a vast audience. 

I felt the sadness of things when Arthur Balfour re- 
signed. But he chose the moment with all the wonderful 
clearness of his mind, and the manner with all the 
kindness of his heart. 

' He nothing common did, nor mean, 
Upon that memorable scene.' 

And he wrote me an affectionate letter which I prize, and 
told me not to be too pessimistic. For all that, and all 
that . . . you can understand. Yours ever, G. W. 


To his Mother 

SALISBURY, llth December 1911. 

MOST DARLING BELOVED MAMMA, I was just going to 
write to you * for company ' when S. S. brought in the 
design of Fisher's Cross for dear Papa's grave. I am so 
glad that you do not like red brick. Here in this land of 
green and grey waiting for the glories of blossom in Spring 
and Summer and of the Sky, at many hours on most days 
in the year, it is an outrage to put red bricks anywhere, and 
an insult to put them in the grass, near a wood, hard-bye 
to a 13th century Church tower and under a northern 
sky that changes from dove-colour to crimson and gold, 
and Persian blue behind the shifting scenery of soft clouds. 

Your cross with green-sandstone about it will begin my 
monument in the right way. I shall finish my monu- 
ment or if I die Percy will finish it. But the great 
thing is to begin in the right way. Then the rest has to 

I shall finish our plot in the church-yard and my library 
just with Mallet, 1 using the wood that grows from, and 
the stone that lies beneath this soil. And, most beloved, 
your beginning will guide me. 

All the ' ways ' of life show me that Eternity is true, 
and not time, and that other 4 times ' however good 
are manifestly false. Blow, 2 who lived in 1220, now lives 
in 1690. But we live for ever and must say so in what 
we make. I shall, therefore, to come back to the library, 
do it in my own way and not in Blow's ' period.' 

All this consoles me for the cross-purposes of Time. I 
had arranged my duties so as to be here with Percy. But, 
I had to make speeches while he was here and now that 
I am here he has to do Adjutant at Wellington Barracks. 
So it is and how can I regret ? 

I do mean to get out of Politics when I can. But I 

1 The estate carpenter. 2 Mr. Detmar Blow. 


can't now. Percy is so sought after in his soldiering that 
I have had to pursue him in order to arrange my own 
Time-Table so as to see him sometimes. 

He was offered, and accepted, a staff post as Aide-de- 
Camp to General Rawlinson commanding the 3rd Divi- 
sion at Cholderton(\) Then he was offered the Adjutancy 
of his battalion ; and he had to choose. He has chosen 
the A.D.C. job. I think rightly ; as he had said ' done ' 
on that before the other chance opened. I think that Papa 
would have liked him to stick to the thing he had accepted. 

As that is so ; he will live and that does 4 touch up ' 
the past at Park House where we used to go and see the 
race-horse Fox-hall ! 

I hope after the next three days at the House of 
Commons to get four weeks solid here and to get Percy 
for most of it. 

After that I have to run a political campaign in Here- 
fordshire and another big one in Lancashire and 
Cheshire. Meanwhile I am to write an essay on * Land 
Purchase ' for a book jointly composed against Home 
Rule : and I am Chairman of the Sub-Committee on 
' Defence ' in the Halsbury Club. So that ; with these 
two campaigns of speaking and two campaigns of writing 
and organising I am ' full up ' till Easter ; as I shall have 
to do * Army Estimates ' and also so I hear our opposi- 
tion to Welsh Disestablishment. 

I got a day's hunting to-day and as Perf is away 
had three horses to ride. I enjoyed it very much ; had 
good talks to farmers, got very hot ; and felt fairly young. 

Love to darling Manenai and to Charlie and Poussins 
and all love to you, Beloved. Your most loving son, 



To Charks T. Gatty 

SALISBURY, 19.xii.lJ. 

MY DEAR CHARLES, We are overjoyed ! I think you 
had better telephone to the stationmaster at Waterloo and 


ask him what would be a good train, and then let me know. 
The usual afternoon train is 3.30 p.m. to Semley. But 
the time-table may be altered. 

You will find me hard at the Library. We have knocked 
down four walls and are up to our waists in bricks and 

Also, to descend to the basement, I am making a chapel 
for Sibell in the lamp-room and have got about 100 feet 
of beautiful old panelling, with pilasters. 

I have four different plans for using the panels, and you 
shall help me to decide. 

I am glad you are coming. Yours affectionately, 



To his Mother 

SALISBURY, 21st December 1911. 

love for Xmas. I miss you here all day long ; and am 
counting the days till you are back to look at the first 
flowers. I hunted Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and 
hope to hunt Friday and Saturday. Meanwhile Mallet and 
I are getting on very fast with the library. We had to 
change Blow's design as it would have cut down the 
windows outside and spoilt the face of the house. So 
this gave me a good excuse for changing his plan inside 
too. Only I wish, most Beloved, that you were here to 
tell me how to do it. I must send you his drawing and 
Mallet's ; so that you can tell me to stop if I am spoiling 
it. I don't think I am. Blow left 1| feet between the 
book-cases and the beam in the ceiling with an ornament 
squashed by the beam. Mallet and I are carrying the 
cases up to support the beams. 

It will look safe and I believe be safer. 

Then, Darling, in the Lamp-room I am making Sibell's 
Chapel. I bought about 100 feet of very dark, formal, 
beautiful panelling, with a lovely pilaster every twenty- 


seven inches dividing the panels. It is exactly the right 
height ; and with a white-washed barrel-vaulted ceiling, 
and red brick floor, gives a simple deep colour chord to 
the whole. 

It was the deuce to know how to manage the panelling 
round the two square brick columns that carry the two 
low arches running North to South between the three 
barrel-vaults. But I think I have done it and Mallet 
approves ! I put a pilaster in the centre of each face of 
the two columns ; and in the centre of each face of the 
four projections two in north and two in south wall, 
that are opposite the columns. Then I put a pilaster, 
the middle one of nine, in the centre of each of the side 
walls West and East. By a miracle if you mitre the 
panelling on each side of the pilasters round the two square 
brick columns they fit with a waste of only two inches of 

But I can't describe this. I will draw it for you. 

And now I give you a great hug and all my love and a 
longing to see you. Ever your most loving son, 


To his Mother 

SALISBURY, 2lst December 1911. 

MOST DARLING BELOVED MAMMA, I said in my letter 
of this afternoon that I could not describe my idea for 
Sibell's chapel but would draw it for you. Well here 
is the scrawl I have made after dinner ! 

Owing to drawing away without a plan it looks like a 
hall in a Palace. In fact, the space is limited and the 
ceiling low. Also the breadth west to east is less than the 
length north to south, whereas, in the scrawl you would 
suppose the contrary. 

The scrawl is made from my memory of the Lamp- 
room and from my imagination of the Chapel. 

The points are three : 


(1) The cornice of the panelling exactly reaches to the 
spring of : 

(a) The 3 barrel vaults springing from W. to E. 

(b) The spring of the 4 low arches that (in two 
pairs) divide the barrel vaults. 

The plan of the room is like this : 


(2) By putting a pilaster 

(a) On the S. faces of the projections from 
the North wall ; 

(b) On the N. faces of the projections from the 
S. wall ; 

(c) In the middle of the W. and E. wall ; 

(d) On all four faces of the two columns : 

It follows that the pilasters conform to, and emphasise, 
Philip Webb's architecture of 3 barrel- vaults, divided and 
supported, by two low arches. 

So much for form. 

(3) Colour. The floor is rich red bricks. The panelling 
is deep brown old Italian ' noce ' chestnut- wood. All the 
roof (vaults and arches) is white ; white-wash on good 

That those three things are the idea. 

The luck was that having been in the Lamp-room once 
I saw at a glance that the panelling would just do the 

The charm is that the Lamp-room becomes a brother 
to the chantry underground at Assisi which I saw in 
1887. The purpose is to have no little things in this 

It needs no more than some silver sconces and the smell 
of bees-wax and incense. 

Of course I leave the space behind the altar i.e. between 
the projections from the south wall to S. S. 

There she can go 4 nap ' by degrees in a gold-cloth 
reredos and embroidered altar front. 

The opposite recess will have no pilasters for two 


reasons. (1) There are none to spare (2) It will be the 
family seat and a flat back to one's own back will not be 
amiss. Your most loving son, GEORGE. 

P.S. Detail. I have got 39 pilasters to ' play with.' 
On S. wall 3 each side of Altar recess = 6 
On W. and E. walls 9 =18 

On N. wall (W. side) = 3 


That leaves me 12 

To wit : on face of N. & S. 

projections 4 

On four sides | Columns 8 


The altar recess in S. wall has no pilasters ; because it 
can have a reredos. The opposite recess in N. wall has 
no pilasters because there are none to spare and we don't 
want to scratch our backs. The remaining third of the N. 
wall has no pilasters because there are none to spare 
and there is the wide door into the chapel which can be 
adequately treated with jambs and a panel on each side. 

It is almost miraculous that a chance purchase should 
fit the lamp room. (S. S. is really pleased) It is not quite 
miraculous because the whole thing is as men of science 
say * susceptible of the simplest explanation.' The 
explanation is that Philip Webb * was a man of genius. 
S. S. tells me that the wine-cellar if properly treated - 
might challenge the forest of pillars at Cordova. I shall 
look for the Lion-Court in the Brush-room ! 

To Hilaire Belloc 

SALISBURY, 22nd December 1911, 

MY DEAR BELLOC, It is high time I should write to 
you and Christmas is the time for writing to friends. 
Yesterday I wrote to my Mother, my brother and three 

1 The architect of Clouds House. 


sisters. To-night I write to you : not that I am over- 
burdened with news or with views. I have nothing to 
say. I follow a natural inclination. As the vernacular 
has it * I feel like writing to you.' And I just do it without 
excuse, explanation or purpose. It would be an imperti- 
nence to tell you what I have been doing (and suffering) : 
because we have not been doing and putting up with it 
together. It would be a savage act to solicit your account 
of your farings. But I must fore-gather with you in the 
lull of Christmas. Lord ! How I love that lull. Like 
so much else it is mechanical. I contrive it by sending 
my secretary away to his home, for his holiday ; and then, 
treating my correspondence with contempt. He ' barges ' 
in from Chester, where his Father lives, with ' urgent 
business.' I lock it up in a despatch box and swear to 
Xmas that no business will I 4 transact ' That was the 
word ? before the 5th of January. I escaped from the 
cut-throat cage of Politics, in which slime usurps the place 
of gore, last Friday. I became once more an animal and 
a man. I shot rabbits with two neighbours on Saturday. 
I hunted the fox, with neighbours, on Monday, Tuesday, 
Wednesday and to-day Friday. I shall hunt the Fox 
to-morrow with neighbours. On Thursday I wrote of 
my love to my nearest and dearest. 

This Fox-hunting is a great matter. I have not lived 
here since 1886-87. But, just by these few days, I know 
the whole terrain 30x20 miles and I know many who 
such is the pass we are in were eager to welcome me. 
Now, to-day, just because my boy Percy and I asked 
forty Farmers to course hares here twice, farmer after 
farmer found me out and begged me to ride over their 
land. The coursing of Hares stigmatised by the Pundit 
of Fox-hunting as ' mad for a minute and melancholy 
for an hour ' is the oldest sport. And now that Alas ! 
fewer farmers can afford to hunt the Fox it is what 
they love. They breed the greyhounds and have as a 
rule, only two outlets for their skill and keenness. They 
read the |d Press about the Waterloo Cup and have 
one rotten, betting-bedevilled-meeting. But when you 


welcome them all onto the land and have a lunch of 
sandwiches in a barn and a bottle or so of vintage 
port, why then you feel that in the South Country we 
have not been Jew-ed out of the England of Shake- 
speare and Chaucer (before him) and Michael Dray- 
ton who in Polyolbion has a great passage about 
coursing hares. 

What a glorious piece of the earth is South England ! 
And how happy we can be together in it. 

Now about your coming here and Mrs. Belloc and your 
musical cousin, if she so pleases. My holiday lasts only 
to the 5th January. Then I must work and go to Hell, 
viz. : the Platform till the end of January. But, after 
the end of January, I mean to take the first fortnight of 
February solid here, with my friends. So, if it smiles on 
you come from now to 5th January or, from 1st to 14th 
February ; or both. February would be the best time ; 
as Christmas and the New Year involve local duties. 

I hunt the Fox most days and you may infer that I 
should not be companionable. On that supposition you 
would err. Because I have a motor. That implies that 
my friend if he likes can go out with me in the machine 
leaving at 10 a.m., see the country, visit the ancienc monu- 
ments ; lunch at an Inn and take me back at 3 to tea 
here at 4 and have four hours to dinner ; two hours at 
dinner and two to three hours after dinner. During 
these hours 9 to 12 I prosecute the Muses and two as 
I think interesting ventures. I am making the whole 
top of the house on South side into a library and, in 
the bottom of the house I am making a chapel for Sibell. 
It is great fun. I am doing it with my carpenter. We 
have knocked a vista from one side of the house to the 
other upstairs : and are just at the ecstatic moment of 
deciding the size and shape of a band of mullioned windows 
West and East of the roof. Downstairs in what was the 
Lamp room and will be the chapel of Our Latly I am 
having the time of my life. This crypt for such it is 
consists of three barrel-vaults with two pairs of low arches 
between them. I found thirty metres of old Italian 


panelling with thirty-nine pilasters. I am enthralled in 
the task of making that Lamp-room a counterpart to the 
underground church at Assisi : with no silly pedantry. 
The carpenter and I do it. 

I have just read the last ' Eye-Witness.' It is very 
good. Wedgewood is insane and that spoils his paper. 
But the rest is all I could wish. But here I stop. God 
forbid that I should slide back into the slime. I liked 
Junius' letter to Brookfield. He puts far better what 
I said to Selborne and others three weeks ago. They 
were babbling in chorus on the false line. I stopped them 
by saying ' If I make a silly joke about the Holy Ghost 
it may be in the worst taste but it is not so offensive 
as a long dull book to prove there is no God ! ' I gather 
that Robertson in * Pagan Christs ' has concentrated 
the range and venom of Frazer. I have thought since 
the first (mild) edition of 'The Golden Bough 'that 
comparative Mythology ambushed Christianity to a 
more deadly result than (1) Astronomy (2) Geology 
(3) Darwinism. 

But, when I first reconnoitred this new attack, I replied 
to Wilfrid Ward (1) If there was a revelation it could 
not be in Choctaw. It was in Greek. (2) It could not 
be in mythology as alien from Mediterranean thought, as 
Choctaw from the Greek tongue. It was in the religious 
tradition of early Europe. 

Since then I have reflected that Western and Northern 
Europe (with Baldur) provided the channels which the 
Jews and Arabs could not provide for a relatively 
fuller revelation of God. The Epiphane was the other 
way about. It was only when the Jews hit the West that 
Christianity began. It was only when the North hit the 
Mediterranean that God was in part revealed. The 
true date of the Epiphane is about 1170 A.D. The result 
may be seen in the architecture and social fabric of the 
13th century. The effects of reaction towards the East 
may be read in the * Eye-Witness.' 

A merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to you and 
Mrs. Belloc. Yours ever, G. W. 



To Hilaire Belloc 

SALISBURY, 29th December 1911. 

MY DEAR BELLOC, In order to be clear I begin about 
dates. Your dates are the best for me, say 6th February 
to 13th. On that day I must dine with Bonar Law before 
the By Our Lady Session. 

I have steeped my body and brain in wind and rain. 
For I hunted five days last week and four this and always 
get soaked to the skin. But in the ancient riding-coat, 
leather breeches and boots this does a man good. He 
becomes a hot, happy, soppy, sweaty animal with a blithe 
heart and no mind. So I cannot write lucid prose or 
undulating verse. I can only wish to you and Mrs. 
Belloc All Happiness in the New Year and say how glad 
I shall be, and Sibell, to welcome you on the 6th February. 
Yours ever, G. W. 

To Mrs. Hinkson 

SALISBURY, December 29th, 1911. 

MY DEAR MRS. TYNAN-HINKSON, I did not know to 
whom I was indebted for the ' Life of Edward Fitzgerald ' 
and now hasten to thank you for the gift which I shall 
prize. It will be a link between us if you should live at 
Frescati and will deeply interest my beloved mother. 
She was touched and pleased by your book which reached 
her through Lady Grosvenor. 

I can only thank you with all my heart for the unseen, 
but nearly felt, friendship which you show me and wish 
to you and yours all happiness in the New Year. Yours 
very sincerely, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 

P.S. Your letter made me home-sick for Ireland. We 
talked only of Ireland last night. 



To his Mother 

SALISBURY, 29th December 1911. 

MOST DARLING, BELOVED, MAMMA, This is not a letter, 
only a line of LOVE and little outburst of my need to 
talk to you, at every moment of every day, here. 

Mallet is a real trump. 

I keep getting further and further away from Blow's 
design for the library. Having ' scrapped ' it in principle 
I am now at new detail in close harmony with Philip 
Webb's work. But I walk warily. I was struck the 
other night by the fact that Webb's oak panelling on the 
staircase does ' die into ' his white panelling round the 
Hall. That made me look at his oak panelling round the 
column in the library. Out of the two Mallet and I have 
concocted a flat ' bench-end ' with panels ; and set it up 
in dummy. I think I shall get it quite right by degrees. 
The new windows outside will be ^-sisters to the window 
in the roof of the kitchen ; and the panelling and book- 
cases inside will be ^-brothers to the wood-work in the 
hall, staircase and dining-room. 

I think that dear Benny is coming to hunt here with 
Perf and me. Indeed I feel sure he is as he is sending 
four grooms and six horses ! So there will be twenty 
horses in the stables. 

And now, Darling, once more I wish you a most Happy 
New Year and lots of it spent together. Your most 
loving son, GEORGE. 


To Hilaire Belloc 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

29th January 1912, a Monday, 10 a.m. 

MY DEAR BELLOC, Your letter rejoiced me. And, 
when you and Mrs. Belloc come to Clouds I shall rejoice 


the more. Sibell is grieved at having to be away but she 
always goes to Lettice when another little Beauchamp 
enters this perplexing place of existence and this time her 
presence is exacted by the fact that Beauchamp has to 
be away a good deal for Cabinets. If anything could 
increase my pleasure at your both coming it would be 
that without you I should be very lonely during the last 
few days before the horrors of Parliament. I had kept 
them clear for merry-making, and merriment there shall 
be, seasoned with deep discourse on the possibility of 
saving agriculture and creating owners of the soil. 

There I am with you, and, what is more, I found that 
working-men in Lancashire, weavers, spinners and a 
miner (one) quite understand that Rural England must 
be restored. 

I cannot write about politics for I am but just reviving. 
I was ' ridden out ' by Saturday night having made eleven 
speeches in five days at Chester, Southport, Blackburn, 
Warrington, Bolton, Manchester and Rochdale. Golly ! 
what a country or, to be precise, what a town. It is one 
town. But the people are sound and strong. It is the 
Merchants who live on commissions and the Oriental 
Financiers that ruin it. 

I was so tired that I could not eat, and could not drink. 
The last day I drank only light beer ; which is meat and 
drink and the only fuel for a tired body. I went to bed 
at 9.30 last night. This morning I hear from you of your 
' Enchanted Mug.' I might have gone on another week 
had I possessed such a treasure. I want someone to 
give me a simpler aid to existence ; a case for my glasses 
(pince-nez glasses) thai, shall be of a brilliant scarlet 
colour with gold spots on it. The dark-green one I try 
to possess eludes possession. It performs its own * esca- 
motage ' and I spend say one hour fifteen minutes a day 
looking for it in my pockets and on the floor. 

I read the ' Eye-Witness ' with close attention and 
interest on (1) Expeditionary Force (2) Belfast. I could 
say not write much on these subjects and listen to any 
amount. It is strangely refreshing to find a newspaper 


and one mind that sees these problems and refrains from 
hiding them. Ninety per cent of our countrymen cannot 
see them. Nine per cent see them and say ' O Lord ! 
nobody else must be allowed to see.' 

The mam objection to a separate Expeditionary Force 
is a conviction not negligeable because it is based on 
experience that separate Armies go to the Devil them- 
selves through pride and exclusiveness and send other 
Forces to the Devil through a soured humility. It may 
be that a solution lurks in a revival ' up-to-date ' of the 
old system of a ' rota ' by which a particular regiment, 
keeping its tradition, is ear-marked during a period of 
years for a particular kind of service. There are remnants 
of this system in the practice still observed of a regiment 
going to India for fifteen years with a different and 
larger establishment and longer period of service with 
the colours. 

This might be expanded and differentiated to subserve 
the several military needs we have to meet. I worked 
it out once and have the Memo somewhere. E.g. as a 
rough illustration out of 100 battalions 30 for Expedi- 
tionary force, 20 at Home, 50 in India. Next you must 
decide on colour and reserve service for each, during its 
allocation to its task and these will have to be shortened 
all round (a) to meet the difficulty of landing men in civil 
life when too late to learn a trade (b) because with the 
multiplication and cheapening of transit it is foolish to 
keep a man eight years in India and cheaper to increase 
the vote for Transport than to increase the vote for pay 
and Pensions. The Recruit will choose the service which 
he fancies and the first should offer better terms in pay 
and deferred pay ; e.g. for Expeditionary Force three 
years with colours three in reserve, for Home battalions 
two and six. For Indian battalions five and 3. 

The last adjustment I shall not attempt it is for what 
periods the battalion (not the man) shall be detailed for 
these three services and in what order, it can be done. 
But enough of this except to say that (me judice amico 
contradicente). National training however short in a 


Territorial Force would enlarge, and not restrict, the 
number of men who would be tempted to take any one 
of the three options in the Regular Army, each of which 
must be voluntary. 

The main objection to the Belfast Enclave is that (a) 
there are many Nationalists in Belfast (b) many Orange- 
men in Down, Antrim, Monaghan etc. Intellectually 
the heart of the problem is that you must ' satisfy Ireland's 
aspiration in a way to which you can secure England's 

Unless you believe that can be done in a new way it is 
better to stick to the old way however unsatisfactory. 
Dismissing for a moment the ' tainted origin ' argu- 
ment against the Union, (for why bandy words ? It is 
easy to retort that the alternative is being launched by 
bribery and corruption) it remains true that Pitt and, 
above all, Cornwallis sought by the Union to give Irish- 
men (not you may say Ireland) political equality with 
Englishmen and that Grattan, Sheridan and other Irish 
leaders said that Ireland would not be satisfied with any- 
thing less than political equality. It is probable and I 
believe that this is still true. 

The ' dry light ' shews me that to give Ireland ' self 
Government ' and deny her government any say in 
Defence and Finance is an enormity too monstrously 
divergent from all known types of politics. It would not 
last two years. 

On the other hand psychological instinct tells me that 
the English will not consent to making Ireland a Sister 
State with as much latitude in respect of Defence and 
Finance as is granted to Canada, Australia and South 
Africa. The English instinct is probably right ; just 
because of Defence and Finance. It is not that Ireland is 
more important than Canada. It is that altering a Frontier 
and dividing an Exchequer are damned ticklish jobs. 

That is the heart of the problem. 

The ' representation at Westminster ' argument is 
merely dialectical ; because who is represented at West- 
minster now ? And by whom ? and how ? and why ? 


Observe to go back that if England treated the 
sister state solution with a gambler's generosity it might 
work. But, also, if Ireland treated the Union in like 
manner, it also, might work. 

Either might conceivably work. But to me it is not 
conceivable that a Plan would work which pretended to 
give Ireland self-government and gave her no say in 
Defence and Finance. So, till the 6th and come sooner 
if you can. 

With my best wishes to your wife. Yours ever, 

G. W. 


To his Mother 

SALISBURY, 1st February 1912. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I got back here on Tuesday- 
after a very hard ten days' tour which tired me out. But 
I have revived. S. S. is with Lettice and kept there as 
Will Beauchamp has to be away for Cabinets. So Perf 
and I are two bachelors. None the less we have enter- 
tained a lady. Dear Lady Paget came and stayed although 
S. S. could not be here. I have asked dear old Guy to 
come with all, or any of his family, to keep company with 
us. Belloc and Mrs. Belloc are coming on the 6th other- 
wise we mean as it is still freezing and we cannot hunt 
to do all that Miles * and the farmers and folk can want 
in the way of understanding and planning. 

I went to see your cross on dear Papa's grave. It is 
very good. Mallet and I will complete the wall and plot 
without further reference to Blow. 

It is perhaps ? too cold for you to travel as yet. 
But here we are if the spirit moves you. If it is too cold, 
let us all come here together for Sunday 25th or the next 
Sunday so that you may see everything and help me when 
the first flowers come out. It would be heavenly if you 
felt inclined to come now. But you must not make an 

1 The agent. 

VOL. II. 2 I 


effort. Only if you felt inclined I would meet you in the 
motor at Salisbury any day. I come to London on the 
13th. Your most loving and devoted son, GEORGE. 

To Philip Hanson 

SALISBURY, S.ii.12. 

MY DEAR P. H., I am wrestling with my Essay on 
Land Purchase under notable disabilities. 

(i) I am late because of Tariff Reform tour (a success, 
but O ! what a grind 11 speeches in 5 days). 

(ii) I am torpid owing to frost. 

(iii) Poor Hyde 1 is in bed with influenza. 

There is one small point on which you could help me 
(but don't if it is a trouble, for I must as things are 
avoid small points and figures and boldly assert). 

The small point is this : 

Mr. Stewart's letter to you of 15th December 1911 gave 
from 9th September to 1st December, 1911, 
Applications and amount 

2,227 348,660 x 

Your letter to me of 14th September, 

2,227 651,340 x 

Your figure agrees qua applications, differs qua amount. 

Your figure is obtained in both cases by subtracting the 
figures up to 9th September (Report of Landowner's Con- 
vention, p. 8) from the figure totals in Mr. Stewart's letter 
of 14th December, 11. 

How then does he get 348,660 for amount ? 

When he and you give 2,227 for applications ? 

If there is any easy and readily accessible explana- 
tion, may I have it ? 

But do not put yourself out. I must avoid figures and 
go for big features. 

I have all that is necessary in my memo, of 1908, and, 
above all, in our correspondence of that date. 

1 Denis -Hyde, his secretary. 


There is also this further cause for content. In the 
memo. I put 300 as ' outside estimate ' of average price 
for farms still unpurchased. Well, the average price 
since March 1908 closing point of memo. is 283. 
This confirms my argument that the best articles were 
sold first, and proves that the worst will cost less. 

The real big points are 

(i) If you stick to abolishing dual-ownership, the problem 
is not large. 

(ii) If you add to that the new inflated dealing with 
congestion a question of policy you increase the size 
of the financial problem but over many years and only 
by 10,000,000. 

(iii) If you cut up the grass to start new men, you shatter 
the show and make the Finance impossible for a United 
Exchequer and preposterous under Home Rule. 

(iv) The starting of new men is a policy to be considered, 
if at all, for England no less than Ireland, on equal terms, 
in a remote future, after (a) abolishing dual ownership 
in Ireland, and (b) helping tenants in Great Britain to buy 
their holdings. 

Lady Grosvenor is with Lady Beauchamp, so Percy 
and I are two old bachelors at Clouds. Yours ever, 

G. W. 


To G. K. Chesterton 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
(Feb. ?) 1912. 

MY DEAR CHESTERTON, You are not to answer this 
letter. I must write it. I must thank you for the * White 
Horse.' I cannot go on reading it to myself (4 times) 
and reading it aloud at the top of my voice (5 times) and 
refrain any longer from thanking you. It is your due to 
be told that many eyes shine with delight at its strength, 
and that knots climb up the throats of women and men 
at its beauty. Its wisdom we shall patiently learn. ' At 
last ! ' and * Thank God I ' are what people say when 


they read it or hear it read. But I thank you in addition 
to thanking God and my stars, for having been given 
what I most needed in the largest measure. I am not 
selfish over it. I do not hoard it for my own satisfaction. 
On the contrary, I read it aloud to all my friends and have 
huge joy in watching it working in them. This I can 
easily do over the top of the book, as I know most of the 
plums by heart. Like all great gifts, it goes round. It 
can be shared. It is not like a diamond or a sonnet in a 
language that few people know. To read the * White 
Horse ' aloud is like bathing in the sea or riding over the 
downs in a company that becomes good company because 
of the exhilaration. 

Belloc tells me that the address ' Beaconsfield ' will 
find you. I hope so, as I cannot contain my thankful- 
ness. Yours sincerely, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 

To Wilfrid Ward 

SALISBURY, February llth, 1912. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, I was on the point of writing many 
days ago to congratulate you on the achievement of your 
great work and on the reviews being intelligent. Then I 
was tempted to wait until I had read the ' Newman.' It 
arrived with the Publisher's compliments. Doubtless I 
owe this to you and am most grateful for the gift. When 
you come to Clouds I will ask you to ' inscrire.' I am 
making a library which will I hope be not unworthy of 
such works. But I was tempted, once more, to wait till 
I had read the two volumes. Well, I have not done so 
yet but I can no longer delay the congratulations of a 
friend to a friend who has triumphed. Yours affection- 



27th February 1912. 

MY DEAR CHARLES, Your letter is most helpful, and 
please thank your brother from me for the information 
it contains. I hate bothering anybody about my private 
affairs, but the difficulties of the gentry have ceased to be 
private. I hear next year's Budget is to finish off those 
who love the land. 

Very well, I don't believe it. But even if it should 
prove to be true, we have no grievance against Fate. We 
are not forced to say with Fleury, after Sedan, ' Never 
mind, we have amused ourselves well for twenty years,' 
because we have been a happy part in the being and doing 
of England for much longer. I shall stick on and your 
letter helps, in its degree, to show how. 

These personal and class problems do not interest me 
much. I am not supercilious ; the pictures and ' marbles ' 
and books that the Gentry collected, were worth collecting. 
The sport they gave their neighbours was worth giving ; 
the services they gave their country when others had 
no opportunity as soldiers and sailors and ambassadors 
and statesmen, has been duly perhaps excessively 
acknowledged : their ' urn will not be unlamented.' 

What does interest me I will not say frightens me, 
for, rather, it suddenly arrests attention, is the census of 
production. It startles to know that, of all our people, 
only 7,000,000 produced only 700,000,000 worth of 
goods (omitting agriculture and fishing) in a ' boom ' 
year 1907. For think what that means. It means less 
than 2 a week per producer for taxes, rates, deprecia- 
tion, experiment, profits, wages. 

In the light of that revelation the * minimum wage ' 
and the National Insurance Bill becomes incredible. The 
' balance of wealth ' falsely so-called, comes from invest- 


ment e.g. the Robinson Mine ; and ' virtuoso ' perform- 
ances, e.g. the barrister who earns 20,000 a year, and the 
musical comedy lady who earns 100 a week. It is 
politics apart impossible to tax Finance and [word 
illegible] i.e. skill in producing intellectual or sensual 
luxuries without smashing the machine which makes pro- 
duction possible, and extends the higher rewards that 
persuade a people to produce. 

The situation quite apart from Germany's challenge, 
Ireland's dissidence, and the coal crisis is dark and 
damnably like Byzantium before the Turks took that 
Banking Centre in 1453 (I think ?). 

But just because the future is so dim and the present 
so precarious, it is more worth while to be living. To 
hear a thrush sing in February, or to see a soldier on 
sentry-go, prove that it is well to live in England and right 
to die there, or elsewhere, for England. I am dropping 
into the ballad vein, as thus . . . how shall it go ? 



I '11 not bewail my home 

Or loves that waved good-bye ; 

Soldiers engaged to roam 
Without a sigh. 

Far lands are calling loud, 

Louder than winds that cry ; 
But I am glad and proud 

To do or die. 

That is the sort of stuff that soldiers like to sing. But, 
as Ruskin observed in the ' Roots of Valour,' they do go 
and they do die if need be ; whereas the merchant and 
the usurer do not go and do not die ; they remain and 
prosper. Yours ever, G. W. 

P.S. The socialists' argument depends on asserting 
that a paint-brush is a little broom ; because it looks like 
it, and the house must be swept ; whereas the picture 


need not be painted. For all that I am this may shock 
you theoretically persuaded that a minimum wage is 
right ; with, of course, the corollary that the man who 
can't earn it is a deserving object of discriminating charity. 
Ruskin was right. The State ought to launch the young ; 
and provide a haven for the old. Between youth and 
age, the State should say that a good man deserves a 
living. At what year in the human span you can end 
youth and begin age depends on the amount of wealth 
accumulated. It is really simple. Nothing surprises me 
more than that we do in the country give a minimum 
wage and yet are horrified at proposing it for the Town. 
I pay a stableman l a week in Cheshire and 16/ in Wilt- 
shire. If he cannot groom two horses I get someone else. 
This has been done for 200 years in the country. It is 
not socialism, but a survival of the wise Middle Ages. 
Cobden was a donkey. 

To his Sister, Pamela 


DARLING PAMELO, I simply must dine with you on the 
18th, if you will have me on the basis that I may be forced 
to return to the House about 10 p.m. I hardly ever accept 
an invitation to dinner ; but this is different. On the 
days of the week owing to Leap Year this is the day 
on which Papa died. All that happened last year on the 
Sunday, Sunday night and Monday morn was very present 
to my mind. 

I can't tell you the loveliness of the dawn at Clouds 
this morning. I watched it, and sunrise, and the mists, 
and the moon, from my window for 1J hours. It was 
more beautiful and more dramatic than any opera of 

All the while I felt glad that Papa's spirit was not per- 
turbed by the incidence of strikes and so forth through 
the limitations of illness. He would have been unhappy 
if he had lived. 


Do you know Richepin's poem about a Mother's Heart ? 
It means something like this : 

' There was a poor wretch who loved a woman who 
would not love him. She asked him for his Mother's 
heart, so he killed his Mother to cut out her heart and 
hurried off with it to his love. He ran so fast that he 
tripped and fell, and the heart rolled away. As it rolled 
it began to speak and asked "Darling child have you hurt 
yourself ? " ' Your devoted brother, GEORGE. 

P.S. * The last person in the world ' etc. i.e. a political 
agent, asked me to locate a quotation which he could not 
remember, or attribute. But he wanted it for a speech 
against killing birds, for ladies' hats ! This is the best 
news I have had of Party Politics for a long time. * Epuis 
la memoire.' Even agents perceive beauty and shrink 
from silly destruction. 

I feel sure that the quotation he sought must be 
' Never to blend our pleasure or our pride 
With SOITOW of the meanest thing that feels.' 

WORDSWORTH, ' Hart-Leap Well ' 

and I advised him to that effect by return of post. 


D To Hilaire Belloc 


35 PARK LANE, W., 
Uth March 1912. 

MY DEAR BELLOC, Only a word between friends before 
I go back to my task at 11 p.m. 

I have just read to-day's ' Outlook.' I daresay all I 
read in it on the pro-striker side is untrue ' What is 
truth ? ' I am sure it is ex parte=ihe presentment of a 
case from one side. But it is profoundly interesting, 
illuminating and moving. 

I do not easily surrender to another's will and I never 
surrender conviction. 

Yet I say to you that I am now persuaded that you 
were right over the falsity of Parliament and the venality 
of the Press. 


A fortnight of free Debate in the House and of free 
journalistic comment would not have been too much for 
n free country to ask. 

I daresay again that the case of investors in coal 
mine securities would be ex parte very powerful on the 
other side. 

What I declare to be intolerable is that neither side 
should be able to state their case in Parliament or the 
Press. Yet that is true of this urgent, immediate national 
domestic problem. 

It is also true of Defence. 

To-day the Speaker prevented any demand for a reply 
from Seely on the criticism of admitted gaps yawning 
chasms in our Army Defence. So we talked about 

On Monday the Navy will be ' starred ' and ' boomed ' 
to side-track the Coal-strike and only no one thinks of 
that the need for an Army. 

Times are bad ; but friends are good so I wave to 
you in the gloom. Yours ever, G. W. 

To Hilaire Belloc 

35 PARK LANE, W., 
23rd March 1912. 

MY DEAR BELLOC, Just a ' signal of Amity.' I have 
not had a moment last week. But I think we ought to 
meet Tuesday or Wednesday. This has been a tense 

I doubt if we should agree about the problem. I don't 
mean on the solution on which any ? intelligent men 
differ but on the terms. 

To my thinking the only question at issue is whether 
it is best to have a statutory presumption for rates of 
wages by ' callings ' ; or for rates of wages by the custom 
of districts. Let me illustrate that. In the North, rail- 
way-men get higher wages, which are lower than the 
wages of artisans. In the South railway-men get low 


wages which are higher than the wages of agricultural 
labourers. Which is best to create a parliamentary pre- 
sumption that ' porters ' and ' signalmen ' are to have 
a normal wage, as such, with exceptions qua districts ; 
or to create a parliamentary presumption that * porters ' 
and 4 signal-men ' are to have a living wage in their respec- 
tive localities ? 

The test case of the whole problem is the agricultural 
labourer's position. 

Unless we can help him the whole nation is damned. 
Can we help the agricultural labourer by saying that no 
Englishman ought to be such a ' mean white ' as to earn 
less than 20/ a week ? That to me is the crux. And I 
say no ; we cannot help him in that way. 

We might enact a 20/ minimum per week for him and 
it would be little enough. But if we did as a Free Trade 
country all England would go under grass, of which 
two-thirds would become mossy grass. 

With 4 the best intentions ' we should depopulate rural 

I would like to hear your comment or denunciation 
as your lucid mind may decide. 

More widely. Does not a minimum wage imply that 
if any trade, in any District, cannot support that minimum, 
then it ought to be ' scrapped.' 

Now I admit, and assent, that a Patriot can patriotically 
say ' yes ' or * no ' to that question. 

But I incline to the belief that Ruskin was right in 
' Unto this Last ' and that the true answer is for the State 
to run industries with a high minimum wage against any 
who prefer masters and men to run industries at a low 
minimum wage, in order to have any wage. 

I think Ruskin will prove right here, as he has proved 
to be right about Free Education at the start of life, 
and about Old Age Pensions at the end of life ; both of 
which were scouted by all men in 1860, when he laid down 
the three propositions. However that may be, I am unable 
to understand any one of the views we are asked to consider 
in the absence of a Tariff. Yours ever, G. W. 



To Hilaire Belloc 

WINCHCOMBE, 4th April 1912. 

MY DEAR BELLOC, Deep gratitude for your letter and 
adequate information in re Hague Conference. But I 
have got my mind hitched (like some weeds caught round 
a snag in a river). 

I have been riding for two days on the Cotswold. I 
have read at night your last volume of Essays * First and 
Last Things.* The snag that snared my mind was the 
essay called * The Lost Things.' It told me of other, and 
more notable, examples of what I saw : and could not 

What I saw (a) on the map, the Roman roads shooting 
out from Cirencester : (b) as I rode, undoubtable pre- 
Roman roads along the heights that were lost in some 
valleys, to reappear on the next height and so on all the 
way to Kelmscott on the Isis. 

How, when, why, were they lost ? Again, how, when 
and why did your road to Boulogne get lost ? The answer 
came to-night, ' Per do,' I lose is also ' Per do,' I destroy. 
They were Perdita, destroyed. Yes, but how thoroughly ? 
I would say as thoroughly as the degree we may gleam 
from the Old Testament an excellent book. Not one 
stone was left upon another ; then the thing was ploughed 
up ; and, afterwards salted. These * things that are 
lost ' were destroyed as Bridges, and Railways are 
destroyed by modern armies ; but to a more lasting 

Each conquering race with its plan meant its plan 
to succeed. Each conquering race effected that object 
by two means ; (1) by the excellence of their plan ; (2) by 
the imbecility of the older plan. 

They made the best plan they could as, e.g. the roads 
(Roman) of which Cirencester is the star-point. But 
they took jolly good care to make the plan they superseded 


imbecile. They ' blew it up ' where it could not be 

I know that this is the answer to your question, because 
I have followed a pre-Roman road on horseback in the 
morning and read your Essay in the evening. It was so. 

Even if I had not seen it, I could have guessed it after 
reading your Essay. 

I now know that this has happened many times. What 
the Romans did to the Roads of their predecessors, the 
Normans did when it suited their strategy to the 
Roman Roads. And the predecessors of the Romans 
with iron weapons, did it to their predecessors with bronze 
weapons, and they did it to their predecessors with flint 
weapons ; and each wave of intelligent strategy was 
guided more in this matter of perdition by the transport- 
habit than by the missile-habit of the people they ruined : 
and shoved off the open spaces into the bogs or mountains. 

This truth can be seen on the Cotswolds and on Salisbury 

I have, also, seen it in Africa. There, too, when once 
you are up above the morass-level, you see a network of 
roads and tracks. 

Everywhere some of these roads, or tracks, end in- 
explicably except on the hypothesis, that new-comers 
with new tracks for new military and commercial needs, 
spoilt the old tracks by deleting them where they descended 
into valleys, or approached harbours, or fastnesses. 

The Arts of War and Peace consist in making your 
Roads, and destroying the Roads of your predecessor and 
possible antagonist. 

That has always been true and it is true now ; but the 
Cobdenites have forgotten the truth. 

I do not ask you to believe me. If you ever come to 
Salisbury Plain or the Cotswold, you will believe your 

You asked me to write of anything. I have written 
the truth. Yours ever, G. W. 



To Hilaire Belloc 

June 1912. 


The passer-by shall hear me still 
A boy that sings on Duncton Hill. 

Perge, prosit, esto perpetua-or-us. O King, live for ever ! 
You have written the wisdom that never did die in simple 
words that live for ever. You will sing for ever in the 

And now I must go to bed. 

And to-morrow I must wrestle with a speech and be 
damned to all such thoughts ! 

The passer-by shall hear me still 
A boy that sings on Duncton Hill. 

Lord ! How I do love that. 

If I had read those two lines in the waiting-room of a 
railway station, with texts on the wall, a decanter of 
water, one glass (unbreakable) and a Bible in American 
leather on the table, I should not have rested until I had 
found the man who wrote those two lines. 

But I must go to bed. Also believe me that to say of 
new flames that they are like leaves of Holly is to be 

To Feed, to Fight, and to Be-get offspring are the heroic 
purposes of man. But to sing is to be more than man. 
And to sing of Eternity without singing of love is Divine. 
I can only sing of love when I escape from time and so 
sing sadly ; as thus : 

But since such joys are doomed by time 

I take Eternity 
And all the stars that wheel and climb 

For you and love and me 


The galaxies of endless space 

Contain not room enough 
To fold the radiance of your grace 

And the passion of my love. 

It is better to sing for ever, a boy on Duncton Hill. 
Yours, G. W. 


To his Sister, Madeline 

35 PARK LANE, W., 


MOST DARLING MANENAi, When your dear letter 
reached me at Clouds, I did not understand it, as I had 
no idea you were all going to spoil Sibell and me with such 
a lovely present. I am most grateful to you and dear 
Charlie for joining in this beautiful gift. 1 

We took in with great solemnity and put the Cross on 
the altar. 2 

I wish you could have been at Clouds for Chang's birth- 
day : and you must come some Sunday after manoeuvres. 
I shall see you then. I am by way of going with Sir 
John French, but could I come to you just before, or 
just after ? 

I motored Chang all the way to Pixton to see Mary 
Herbert's home yesterday, and am very sleepy and 
end-of-the-Season-ish. I wonder if you and Charlie 
and a Poussin, or so, could come to Clouds earlier, 
say the week beginning September 2 ? There are no 
partridges to shoot as they are all drowned. But per- 
haps Lettice is coming and we could make an expedition 
to Wells. 

Bless you, Darling, again. Your devoted brother 


1 His mother and brother and sisters gave as a silver wedding present a cross 
designed and made by Mr. Fisher. 

1 In the chapel that he had designed and was then carrying out the work of 
at Clouds. 



To Hilaire Belloc 

SALISBURY, 24th August 191?. 

MY DEAR BELLOC, I have mislaid your last letter 
at least I think so. I have one of 19th before me which 
says you cannot come here on September 2nd. Damn ! 
Come on 7th. I can't make out when you start for 

All I do know is that the 3rd Division which I call 
Percy's Division as he is A.D.C. to its General Sir H. 
Rawlinson will be inspected on the 9th and 10th. That 
means that they will do a scheme probably near Pewsey, 
North of Salisbury Plain, over 48 hours or longer. 

I have asked Repington here for it and shall look on by 
means of motor and horses and sleep out at inns. Now 
if you can come it will be a joy. 

When that is over I shall go to Cambridge and see the 
Army Manoeuvres which begin on the 16th. 

The rain depresses me. I am also hipped as I am pre- 
paring for a Tariff Reform Campaign. I go to Cumber- 
land on Wednesday, speak Workington Thursday, Cocker- 
mouth Saturday and return that night. I stay at Cocker - 
mouth Castle. This will please me ; as I lived there from 
the age of one to the age of six and remember hearing my 
Father speak from the hustings in 1868 on the meadows 
by the river where I, in turn, shall speak on August 31st 
after an interval of forty-four years. 

When will the Burgundy I bought be ready to drink ? 
Our friend of the Hotel de la Paste said in three years. So 
I fear I must wait one more year. 

Now let this be a warning to you. 

Next year you must come in September and look on at 
the troops and drink our Burgundy. 

We are not immortal. Anni labuntur. It is good to be 
in the open air with soldiers and to drink Burgundy after- 
wards. But these manly exercises are denied to those 
who go in for Foreigneering and travel for five days I 


think in a train propelled by the burning of wood, 
instead of coal, in the hope of seeing Moscow. 

The rain has dished me. The wheat cut ten days ago 
has begun to sprout. Also owing to Foot and Mouth 
disease I could not sell 500 sheep at Bridport a month 
ago and must wait to sell them at Wilton in September. 
Meanwhile the brutes eat all the winter feed and I get no 
cheque for sheep sold but overdraw at my Bank, instead. 

The library here is going to be a perpetual delight. The 
solid oak is going up and by October I hope it will be 
finished. Yours ever, G. W. 


To Wilfrid Scawen Blunt 

SALISBURY, 12. ix. 1912. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, I am moved to write first, to ask 
whether you will be at New Buildings 27th and onward, 
because if that be so I will send you 3 hares ; secondly, 
and generally, to exchange such news as either of us may 
feel disposed to give ; not that I have a large parcel. On 
the contrary, for my part, I have become a squire with an 
interlude of Tariff Reform speeches in Cumberland. 

The interlude, of aforesaid propaganda, had its touches 
of mortality and the remembrance of childish joys, for I 
stayed at Cockermouth Castle with Charles Leconfield. 
I had not slept in that house since I was 6 years old, or 
seen it since I was 14. I found and recalled my night- 
nursery and day-nursery. My Mother's room over the 
gateway is now the housekeeper's. The place is the same. 
I felt that I had dreamed for 43 years of the ruins, and the 
sound of the weir and of the wind through the trees in the 
courtyard. The eagle-owl I knew in confinement is now 
stuffed in the sitting-room. The stone hall, adorned in 
old days, somewhat gauntly, by the skin of General 
Wyndham's charger, has fallen in and joined the ruins. 
The frame of the large window that commanded the 
Derwent river, remains in a framework of touchwood. I 


left Clouds at 9 a.m. and reached Cockermouth at 
9.40 p.m. I had not dined. I supped with Charles and 
his wife looking on. The next day, after preparing a 
speech in the morning, I looked on at two ' sports ' of 
which I had heard, but never seen. Both are good for 
spectators. The first was a trial of sheep-dogs who, obey- 
ing the gestures and whistles of their owners, tied by a 
string to the starting-point, persuade 3 sheep to follow an 
intricate course round flags and between hurdles and 
finally but how rarely ! induce them to enter a narrow 
pen. The second is called a Hound Trail. Some 15 lean 
fox-hounds, all baying the welkin in agonised expectancy 
and wild recollection of earlier triumphs and defeats, are 
unleashed in a row on a drag, and are off like a flight 
of arrows. They disappear into the scenery. I am told 
that the drag has been laid over 17 miles to Bassen- 
thwaite Lake and Skiddaw, and that I shall see them 
again coming down the ridge of Hay Hill. This prophecy 
after watching the jumping of horses and wrestling of 
men in a withering wind proves true. They appear and 
amid a hubbub of hoarse cries the winners and second 
and third come through the last fence and are caught, 1, 
by Lady Leconfield, 2, by Charles, 3, by Jefferson, M.F.H. 
4 Climber,' the favourite, was beat by a neck, and 4 Merry 
Maid,' an outsider, at 40 to 1, launched a lad of 13 years 
on the road to ruin, or fame, by winning him 5 for the 
modest risk of half-a-crown. 

At 7.20 p.m. Charles and I went in an open motor through 
blinding rain to Workington, and there, in the * Opera 
House,' I spoke for an hour and then for 20 minutes to an 
overflow. Next day, 30th August, I started at 9 and 
shot grouse with Charles on Fauld Brow, and recognised 
the mountain scenery that I knew long ago and have seen 
magnificent in dreams ever since. On the 31st Charles 
entertained 700 Tariff Reform delegates to luncheon in a 
vast tent, and I spoke to 3,500 people from a large Punch 
and Judy show platform, in the open. 

I travelled back here, through the night and half 
the next day, to be a squire, diversified by being a 

VOL. II. 2 K 


conceivable Minister for War looking on at Manoeuvres 
near Stonehenge, where I hawked and hunted, not so long 
ago, but still many years since, from Wilbury. 

We have looked at what should have been the harvest ; 
wondered if enough partridges have survived the deluge, 
sold 550 sheep at Wilton for just over 40/- apiece, exhibited 
2 hunters at the Shaftesbury Show, and ridden over the 
plain 4 days to observe the final training and inspection 
of what I call ' Percy's Division,' because he is A.D.C. to 
the General. Manoeuvres in these days are realistic. 
Nobody ate and few slept for 48 hours. In the course 
of such exercises the whole division passed the Avon 
between Amesbury and Bulford after midnight and fought 
till 1.30 the next day. 

J^ow, that is all my news. My Library goes on and 
takes shape in close conformation to my idea. I shall 
roof in the Windmill before the frosts, with a stone-slate 
roof, like the shell of a tortoise, and four dormer windows 
from which it will be possible to enjoy the landscape of 
the South-West in any weather and ensure complete seclu- 
sion in an upper chamber, approached by a staircase 
winding in a spiral up the interior walls of the old building. 
Again, I am building a cow-shed for 36 cows at Pertwood, 
where I have already started a stud for hunters on the 
tiny scale of one mare, ' Justice,' with a filly ' Portia,' by 
' The Duke.' The sire of the next foal being ' Border 
Prince,' the offspring if a colt will be named ' Jedburgh.' 
For the moment I am no more concerned with politics than 
to mete out ' Jedburgh Justice,' if I can, on the Plutocrats 
who have bought the Government in order to sell the 
country. Yours affectionately, 


To his Mother 

SALISBURY, 27/A October 1912. 

next Sunday to be here with you. 


What a bust we are going ! I have to make seven 
platform speeches between now and Christmas, in addi- 
tion to House of Commons. I am really * training ' 
for it. 

I have managed to put the dates on Thursdays in the 
hope of getting here for the Fridays to Mondays. 

But two Sundays are gone one the 8th to 10th to 
stay with Willoughby de Broke and 29th to 2nd December 
to stay with Cuckoo. 

That leaves me Friday 1st (and you), 15th and 22nd 
to be here. Perhaps you can run back with me for those 
two also if the weather is fine and, any way, I shall 
' infest ' 44 Belgrave Square and sometimes bring Carson 
and your fighting friends to dinner from the House. 

I have seen a good deal of Carson lately. We are closely 
bound by kindred passions for definite fighting. I have 
been too busy to write. 

My ' raid ' on Limerick was a joy to me, it made me 
happy. Perf accompanied me with a large stick. I think 
that at the back of his head he meant to hit anyone 
who hit me. But we revelled in it all. We crossed on 
Tuesday night the 8th, breakfasted at the North Wall 
with Hanson ! and then Hanson and I toured round all 
the old haunts of the Phoenix in a motor lent us by Horace 
Plunkett, it was a day of days, all gold and azure and 
diamonds in the air. Perf trotted off to see a horse near 
Sallins. I went on at 12.30 and picked him up ; having 
on the train two luncheon baskets. Then we bumped 
along the old line to Boher, near Limerick, remembering 
old days. We stayed with Sir Charles Barrington at 
Glendall. He was the perfect Irish host : aged 62 and 
singing all over the house. Indeed he sat down to the 
piano and sang ' The girl that came from Clare ' before 
dinner. The meeting was a huge success. Then we had 
a riot and ultimately had to wait in a garage till we could 
motor out to a wayside station. I had the old cam- 
paigner's sense to telegraph for luncheon baskets at 
Limerick Junction. It was 9 p.m. before we got them 
half a hot chicken in each. After the meal you would 


have thought two hawks had been regaling, for nothing 
but polished bones were left. Then across the sea to 
Fishguard. The stars were shining and the wind warm. 
I lay in my night things with the ports open and bathed 
in the sea-wind : an outing to remember and rejoice over 
for ever. 

I liked your little hint about Death Duties and Insur- 
ance. But I have done it already. Papa used to say 
and I quite agreed then that people with an income from 
investments ought to save and not insure. Now all is 
changed owing to the heavy death duties. If I died before 
I can save Percy could not live at Clouds, so I have insured 
my life and my saving must consist in paying the premiums. 
With that Perf could find the rest without having to let 
the place. 

I have paired for Monday to attend the opening meet 
of the Hounds with Perf. 

Give my great love to darling Aunt Emily and all my 
love to you. Your most loving son, GEORGE. 

To Charles T. Gatty 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

MY DEAR CHARLES, I am counting on you for Christmas. 

What, you may well ask, is Christmas to such as you ? 
I reply (a) / go to Clouds Friday next 18th, and if I 
return to House of Commons on Monday 16th, still (b) I 
return to Clouds again on Friday 20th and stay there till 
Monday 30th. So much Asquith permits. Very well 
then : Come on the 18th and stay till the 30th and if 
you will stay on to greet my next return on Friday 
3rd January, 1913, to Monday the 6th, and so on, in- 
definitely. The ' fat ' of the business is between the 20th 
and 30th, the ' frills ' before and after. 

It remains to ask and answer two questions. (1) Who 


will be there ? No one but us, for certain, but I have a 
hope that the Edmunds [Talbots] and Marks [Sykes] may 
come. They are nibbling. A neighbour at our gates has 
a Chapel of your Faith. And where else can they go for 
so short a time ? 

(2) What will be there ? Our old friends the Library, 
the Windmill, the Chapel, the plantations ; in short, the 
* angulus ille ' and ' interiore nota ' ; ' nunc veterum 
libris, nunc somno et inertibus horis ' I invite you with 
me to * Ducere sollicitae jucunda oblivia vitae ' to taste 
the Falernian and pile up the logs on a hearth in a Home. 
It is very necessary that you should do this. There will 
also be Perkins and dogs and close friendships. Yours 
affectionately, GEORGE W. 

P.S. You needn't ride the Horses. 

To his Mother 

SALISBURY, Xmas Eve, 1912. 


you. I have been thinking of you so intensely and vividly 
ever since I got here on Friday night. I always think 
of you and love you every day of my life. I was worrying 
about you last week, when I had four days solid on the 
bench (Front) ! and kept wondering how you were and 
being sorry that I could not pop in to 44 to ' see for myself.' 
But here this place is you and you haunt it in the heavenly 
way of haunting. Next year you must be here for 
Christmas, darling ; and Manenai and the Poussins, too. 
I do hope and pray that you are well, Darling. Clouds 
has been beautiful these days. The Dawns are wonderful 
and I think of all the Dawns you have watched here. I 
think a great deal of Papa, and feel that he is pleased with 
Perkins and knows that all the farmers and everyone 
love him. I went round the Park with Miles and Perkins 
yesterday looking at each tree and settling where to put 


some limes, that have grown too big for .the nursery 
garden. I rode in the morning through Great Ridge to 
the view over the plain. On Saturday I had quite a good 
gallop with Perf in the Blackmoor Vale. He rides very 
well and sails away in front of everybody, and as they 
say in Ireland ' throws a great seat on a horse.' The 
library is nearly finished. I am giving Sibell some crimson 
stuff to go behind the altar in the chapel ; designed by 
Leonardo da Vinci with doves, and flames, and our motto 
almost : ' A Bon Droit.' 

Give fondest love to darling Manenai and take in all the 
love I pour out to you and take great care of yourself and 
come here directly the flowers begin to blossom, and bless 
you darling Mamma. Your most loving and devoted 
son, GEORGE. 

To Mrs. Hinkson 

SALISBURY, December 28tfi, 1912. 

should love to see your Irish home and to place in sur- 
roundings what I must be allowed to call our friendship* 
But, as things are, I am cast for the part of the ' Flying 
Dutchman.' I hardly know how to get to Limerick and 
back between duties before and after. So it is, but so it 
must not be. I want, badly, to come to Ireland for 
Friendship, apart from Politics, that weary me more and 
more. And, if ever you come to England, do come here 
and look at pictures that would interest you, and at the 
downs that are as poor and happy and hospitable as 
Ireland is. 

It was most kind of you to write so dear a letter. I 
know that I had not thanked you for ' Sally ' : but I 
loved ' Sally ' and waited for the right moment which you 
have bestowed. Yours very sincerely, 



To his Mother 

35 PARK LANE, W., 

19th January 1913. 

ing to write to you. And now, first, just for business 
that 's pleasure could you, quite conveniently, put me 
up at 44 towards the end of this week ? S. S. has let this 
house, I think, after the 28th. 

I am off to Gateshead on Tuesday, 21st., to speak in 
Northumberland, and come back on Wednesday 22nd. 
If I could move my papers to 44 on Thursday or Friday 
24th, it would help. But, darling, if it is not quite con- 
venient it doesn't matter at all. 

I 'd love a talk with you one of these days. You will 
have known that politically the ' old ' iron has entered 
into my * old ' soul, these last three weeks. Not that it 's 
any use ' talking ' even to you, most darling. Things 
are bad, and times are bad, and one must just put a brave 
face on them and go on and begin all over again, like 
Alfred in his march, and Bruce with his spider. 

I didn't know that so many men were cowards. Yet, I 
ought to have known it ! After the Lords ran away in 
the ' Die-hard ' time on 10th August 1911, 1 never expected 

For all that, and all that, I took them on at Llandudno 
on Wednesday week last, and at Dover on Wednesday 
last, and did the House of Commons Thursday ; and spoke 
there Friday, and ran to Charing Cross and caught the 
train back to Dover ; and made three speeches there 
yesterday ; and attended the Parish Church ; and got 
back here to-night ; and, after work and the House 
to-morrow, I am off Tuesday to take them on at Gateshead. 

I am not dismayed. But the words of Napoleon ring 
in my ears : * Unless men are firm in heart, and in purpose, 
they ought not to meddle with War or Government ' and, 
again, * Whether to advance, or not to advance, is a ques- 


tion for the gravest consideration at the commencement 
of a campaign. But, when once the offensive has been 
assumed, it must be sustained to the last extremity ; ' and, 
again, * In a battle your enemy's losses will be nearly equal 
to your own. But, in a retreat the losses will be yours 

I say this to you, Darling, but I say it over and over 
again to myself ; and dream of it at night ; and wake 
early to realise its dawn-cold truth. 

But I don't let the poor shivering Sheep-men know that 
I know this. I tell them to go on. And if they are too 
sheepish to listen, I go on alone. 

But it is not so bad as all that. On the contrary, Bonar 
Law, Austen Chamberlain, and Edward Carson are good 
men and true. We have been crushed together for 
company. And there are seventy men who mean well, 
of whom, unluckily, only fifteen can say ' BO ' to a goose 
and quite one hundred who will ' rat ' back to the seventy 
if they think the seventy are going to win. So, to Gates- 
head, on Tuesday and unless Fortune is a ' triple- 
turned whore ' a meeting soon in the Free-Trade Hall 
at Manchester. 

Indeed, darling Mamma, I will go there alone. But 
I needn't be alone. Ten M.P.'s and three thousand 
artizans will back me up against a corrupt Press and the 
alien millionaires. Whatever else happens I do not think 
that Mond and Chiozza Money are the * Natural Leaders ' 
of the English people. ' / don't think.' 

With all and all of love to my lion-hearted Mamma. 
Your devoted son, GEORGE. 


To Hilaire Belloc 

2Qth January 1913. 

MY DEAR BELLOC, I read so much as the * Press * 
permitted of your duel. You did well to the old only 
good tune of * Hey-diddle-diddle, Pink him in the 


middle ' a good ' Naval engagement ' so I thought in 
so far as the Press permitted materials for an opinion. 
And, now, I burst into Song ! 

How good it is that I and you 

Are sure that nothing matters 
If this, or that, obsequious Jew 

From Mirth, or Terror, chatters. 

He chatters of perennial Peace 

And ' Bulls ' to make a rise 
In golden-edged securities 

But ' O ! what a surprise.' 

When Turks, are Turks, he understands 

In spite of Norman Angel, 
That even Turks prefer their lands 

To his brand-new evangel. 

How good it is that you and I 

Should know his abject terror 
Is but the first reluctant cry 

Wrung from abysmal error. 

For when he 'takes on' Europe, then, 

The children of the church, 
Our mother, who has made us men, 

Will leave him in the lurch. 

And that is just the only place 

Where he and his must die ; 
Because no Fatalist dare face 

The lot, like you and I. 

Come one, come all, come Hell on Earth ; 

No numbers can deceive 
One man, whose heritage of birth 

Is to Believe : 

And so be * damned ' to the Usurers. They can't play 
their own game. We needn't damn them. They were 
born damned and unfruitful : just sterilities. 

And now, my dear Belloc, having burst into song, I 
will go to bed : and make several speeches to-morrow 


and then go Home and breathe the southern air and look 
at the Downs, and thank God, that my property, being 
chalk, will not be distributed by you for who would 
thank you for distribution ? or nationalised by Shaw 
for what Jew would Finance the transfer ? 

No my job is to see that the people who have lived 
there, shall live there, and drink beer, and poach Hares, 
and plough fields, and plash hedges and be merry. Yours 
ever, GEORGE W. 

P.S. 30.1.13 

This is my first day out : Had a chill since Saturday 

To Wilfrid Scawen Blunt 


MY DEAR WILFRID, I write at once although tired 
because I appreciate a letter from you at any time, and, 
the more so, when I am having a bad time. 

I got out to-day & wreck did a Railway meeting of 
shareholders at 12 noon ; spoke in the House of Commons 
on Welsh Church ; dined with Generals and the whole 
staff of the ' Times ' on Army Defence : a long, varied, 
exhausting day for the first day of convalescence. But 
so it is. 

So let me add it should not be. 

I do regret your departure from Chapel Street. 

I hope that here, or at 35 Park Lane, you will be my 
guest, when Spring returns, and revives us ; and I am 
determined to be your guest with luck, when the birds 
are in chorus and * in any case ' when the wild roses 

You are fortunate. To select, and print Poetry, with 
dear Dorothy's accomplished assistance, seems to me, 
after influenza, in a dark drizzle, and damned to the 
hell of politics, an inconceivable extravagance of joy. 
Now, if this World was made, the design must have been 
for joy. If it was not made, our revolt should be for joy. 


You are accomplishing the Design of the Great Arti- 
ficer ; or else (if he never was) helping to fill the gap of 
his non-existence. 

But I, Good Lack ! am a Member of Parliament ! 

I mean, however, to escape, and to get you to London 
to see pictures and plays ; or to go to you and hear the 
birds and see the blossoms. 

I am glad that a Buck has been killed. Fond as I am 
of wild creatures and loath as I am to arrest their felicity, 
I am also glad when something definite is done. 

Let there be murder, or even rape, rather than vague 
aspiration and no end achieved. Let something be done 
even to DEATH. I feel this fiercely after my Parlia- 
mentary experience, in which nothing happens. Ajax 
defied the lightning because he knew that Achilles was 
an ass to sulk in his tent. A flash and a crash even if 
they mean only the explosion of Obby's gun and the fall 
of a fat beast, are better, because more definite, than the 
murky drizzle of the Mother of Parliaments. Yours 
affectionately, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 

To Hilaire Belloc 

5th February 1913. 

MY DEAR BELLOC, What ho ! P.T.O. Observe the 
rhyme ! And you will read an appreciation of your 
verse : Spondaic ? Why yes. You have more than 
once flattered my use of the heavy-footed Turn-Turn, 
And here or there, over the page it says, with due 
solemnity, what I think. Yours, G. W, 


O, your Hexameter ! Aptitude tells us, ' Here is an Artist ' f 
Pouring the lilt of our tongue into a mould of the past ; 

Tense steel, blended by you from the phantasmagorical symbols 
Folks, forgotten, shaped, long before nations Mere named. 


You make new metal reforged arin'd mad petillations, 

Sparks, called ' soldiers/ crack, scaling the chimney of dreams 
Whilst you sing, Hearth, God, Home, hush'd penetralia, Life 

charr'd : 
Only that embers may blaze shooting at stars that excel. 

G. W. 

P.S. And it is a pretty compliment, but, let me add, 
a penetrating appreciation of your work. I have managed 
to say in your damned elegiacs what you are doing * all 
the time.' 

P.S. 2. We belong to our age. My verse reminds me 
of Persius who wrote in a decadence. My verse exhibits 
the opalescence of decay. It is therefore prismatic. 

To Sir Charles Waldstein 

February 13th, 1913. 

MY DEAR CHARLES, All that you say is only too sad 
and more true than you can know. I am worn out with 
work. I get away to-morrow for three weeks' holiday. 
So Sibell and I cannot be in London before March 10th. 

We had no holiday at Christmas, or, indeed, for years. 

But I will not despair. A time will come, and then, 
when good times come back, we will meet and remember 
the * good old times.' 

At present my life is that of a train in a tunnel that 
never ends. Yours ever, GEORGE WYNDHAM. 

To his Son 

SALISBURY, 15.ii.1tf. 

MOST DARLING PERKINS, What a Valentine ! You 
know how much I love you and that your marriage means 
far more to me than anything else could mean. You 


are evidently in love ; and that is essential. I have read 
your letter several times, and the sentence ' I know I am 
doing right ' is the one to which I pin my hopes, although 
when people fall in love they rarely do know what they 
are doing. Anyway I give you consent, love and blessing, 
and will do all I can to add to the happiness of your 
marriage. ' I agree ' as you put it to everything 
except again, as you put it that you have been a 
' Blighter.' You have been a loving child to me and a 
good soldier. And I know you will go on being the first. 
I hope you will go on being the second. I was much 
pleased to read that the young lady ' wants you to go on 
soldiering and everything.' I see that her family motto 
is ' Retinens vestigia famae,' and I hope she will make 
you stick to it. If she wants to win my heart not a 
difficult enterprise you may tell her with my love 
that that is the way to set about it. You remember my 
joke about the blank stone to be kept in the cellar ? 
Already I shall not have to inscribe ' married nobody ' on 
it ; and if she helps you to serve our country, I need not 
put ' and did nothing.' 

Darling Perks, I am deeply moved and will do all I can, 
and you must explain to Diana that I like being spoilt 
by being allowed to share in the happiness and purport 
of your life. 

I have been saving every penny I could in case you 
came one fine day to say you wanted to marry. I make 
no conditions. I believe as you know in liberty and 
light hands. But you also know that, if you and she can, 
of your own free will, get to know this place, and help this 
little bit of England for which we are responsible, and 
' belong ' here then you will crown my life and I shall 
sing 4 Nunc dimittis ' my task is done.' 

It was impossible to keep the secret here, what with 
asking to have your letter the moment it arrived and 
firing off our telegrams. So I told Icke J in the sten- 
torian tone his deafness demands, and, at once, with an 
xvmth century bow, he replied ' I hope you will tell 

1 The butler. 


Mr. Percy on behalf of us all here that we are delighted 
to hear it and wish him all happiness.' 

If Rawley 1 gives any trouble I will wheel him into 
line. It will be great fun if I can take a Mrs. Perkins to 
manoeuvres in our motor, as extra A.D.C. to the 3rd 

Now for plans : Memmy and I will bustle up to 44 by 
the 9.30 Monday, and tell Finlay to have a good luncheon 
at 1 p.m. 

Then I will do whatever you wish. Perhaps it will be 
best to go back to Leicestershire together Monday even- 
ing. Indeed I would like to see what the last phase of 
your bachelor life was like. I have been getting well for 
that as quickly as I could. But, of course, if you would 
like to bring her here Monday instead, that would be 
delightful, too. In any case I hope she can come here 
Thursday or Friday. I simply couldn't forego the plea- 
sure of welcoming Diana here on her first visit. 

I am sorry she has to go abroad. 

I don't know what your idea of a ' short ' engagement 
is, but I suppose you mean April (May is unlucky !). 

I am free till Monday 10th March. Then very busy 
till the 31st in London over Army Estimates. Then from 
1st April on I could throw myself into settlements and 

Mrs. Simnet has just burst in and wrung me by the 
hand. She is very proud, as through a maid of Aunt 
Mary's, she knows the young lady's photograph ; a 
feather in her cap which she flourishes. I don't believe 
I have ever set eyes on Diana. 

I knew there must be something important when you 
wired me to look out for a letter. I had to tell Memmy 
it was no use trying to guess. We inclined to think it 
might mean that you were off with Rawley to the Balkans, 
or further afield. 

Now I must stop. All love till Monday : Leicester- 
shire or not, as you please ; and, if you can, DO bring 
Diana here Thursday or Friday. You can have the East 

1 General Sir Henry Rawlinson. 


room to play in, and horses to ride. I must introduce 
her to Clouds and Wiltshire. Bless you, Darling. 
Devoted, PUPS. 

To his Mother 

SALISBURY, 15th February 1913. 

here to write lots to you about being with you in London, 
or your coming here. 

And now, my dear ! ! ! I have got lots with a Bless- 
ing of News. Am gasping at it myself. Percy is engaged 
to marry Diana Lister, Lord Ribblesdale's daughter. 
Well there it is. ... It is no use being surprised, or 
thinking of this or that of course one does think. I had 
not the remotest inkling. But he is evidently in love ; 
lyrically in love. And you must take risks for love and 
marriage, of health and fortune. Still it is better to be 
brave and rather careless than to be cautious and rather 
selfish. You know my views. 

I am astounded ; as people always are when their son 
marries the last person they would have thought of, as 
they often do. 

The fact that she has no money is all to the good. The 
fact that he was very happy, soldiering and hunting, and 
not without friends, and happy with us all, proves that 
he must know what he is about ; in so far as anyone can 
know what they are about when they fall in love. 

He has written me sheets all the old ' consecrated ' 
litany that people smile at and that is so pathetic. 

' It 's really the most wonderful thing that has ever 
happened ' so it is. We 've never heard that before. 
4 Yes, I don't think.' 

And he goes on ' I can't explain it, but it 's just abso- 
lutely perfect. If only I had any command of the English 
language I might try and tell you, but it 's beyond any- 
thing I know ' and so on, for pages ! You will not be 


surprised to hear that in his opinion she is ' perfect woman 
and girl mixed,' that she only wants to help him, that 
they like being poor, that he only wants an ' uneventful 
happy home life with a wife ' that he is ' quite calm and 
collected,' that I have ' only to see her to understand 
quite ' ' et toute la lyre.' 

Well., well., well, and it shall be well by God's blessing. 

Anyway all I have to do is to join in from the start and 
not croak and suddenly pretend to be the ' Heavy Father ' 
a part for which I have no aptitude. Let 'em try to be 
happy and I will help all I can. 

Your most loving and devoted son, GEORGE. 

Perkins is 25 and she is 20. 

To Mrs. Drew 


MY DEAR MARY, If I had surmised, however remotely, 
what I learn for the first time to-day, I would have con- 
sulted your friendship and superlative understanding of 
matrimonial problems. But as things are Sibell and 
I, alone here, in this vast, empty house, received a telegram 
from Percy last night asking us to await a letter by first 
post. I pointed out as men will the futility of guess- 
ing at its contents ; and then as men do guessed away 
not too cheerfully for hours, and, at last, in the same 
inconsequent vein, said : ' Well ! we must go to bed.' 
This morning I rushed down to grasp the letter and read, 
after endearments : 4 Here is rather a sudden shock for 
you, but it is All Right ! I am engaged to Diana Lister.' 

Sibell and I have been staggering together all day under 
this ' blessing ' from the Blue. We had no idea nor, 
indeed, do I think had Percy But who knows ? that 
he contemplated marriage at present, or for years. 

But there it is. I have never seen Diana Lister. I 
have heard praise of her sister, now Lady Lovatt. Do 


write me an affectionate, indiscreet, understanding letter. 
Please do ! Dear Mary. 

I have written this amazing intelligence only to my 
Mother, sisters and brother, and to You the Expert. But 
I must not pretend that I am divulging a secret which 
otherwise would not leak out. I should have thought 
that ' Mum was the word ' till Tommy Ribblesdale had 
some say. But after telegrams to me sheets signed 
' Percy and Diana,' and telegrams to Sibell signed ' Your 
loving daughter Diana,' well, My Dear, knowing the local 
post office as I do, and the young lady who runs it, further 
mystery at Clouds is ' off.' The Butler has made me a 
speech, the Housekeeper has wrung my hand, the House- 
maid has burst into tears, the Agent has tactfully sug- 
gested that we had better postpone rebuilding the village 
in spite of the * Land Campaign.' They are all quivering 
with emotion and tingling to ring the Bells. They are 
drinking their healths downstairs. So, reverent as I am 
of ancient decorum, I know that Tommy Ribblesdale and 
I have only to ' conform ' ; to get ' in front of the band ' 
if we can. Yours affectionately, 


P.S. But tell me all you know. I know nothing. 
SibelPs dear love. 

To Wilfrid Scawen Blunt 

SALISBURY, 16.ii.13. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, A sudden thing has happened, 
which affects my life and is therefore of interest to you 
because of our kinship and affection. 

Percy my boy is engaged to marry Ribblesdale's 
daughter, Diana Lister. 

I have written to my mother, sisters and brother, and 
now I write to you. But I have little to tell. 

I came here Friday afternoon to rest after influenza 
and speeches. I received a telegram from Percy asking 

VOL. II. 2 L 


me to look out for a letter by early post. Sibell and I, 
alone in this large, empty house, speculated on the import 
of a strange message from a competent child. I insisted 
as men will in domestic circles, however confined on 
the self-evident futility of guessing. But I guessed away 
and was disposed cheerlessly to imagine that Percy 
meant to go off, somewhere far away in the B. Empire 
you detest. It was not so. The letter which I pounced 
on at 8.30 a.m. yesterday began, after endearments 
4 This will be rather a sudden shock to you, but it 's All 
Right ! ! I am engaged to Diana Lister.' 

It was sudden. 

Fate is determined to intertwine our family with the 

It is pleasant that young people should * fall in love.' 
I thought they had forgotten that declension. 

Percy, whose orthography is a soldier's, writes ' I never 
meant to marry for years and I tried hard not to ask her 
for days, but it poped out last night.' Let me explain. 
He rarely doubles his consonants. He means that his 
declaration ..* popped ' out on Wednesday. They hunted 
Thursday and so he says were * wildly happy.' 

I have no aptitude for playing the part of the ' Heavy 
Father.' I revere Love. This is one of its expressions. 
They the young pair have not consulted me or Tommy 
Ribblesdale, we have only to conform. It is for them to 
set the * Pace and Direction ' and for LOVE to Laugh 
or Cry, over the End. But damn the End ! Love is 
Love, even between a young Guardsman and a maid of 
20 years whom he meets out hunting in Leicestershire. 

4 Thine heart it was so ruddy red That every Archer 
knew How best he might impale thee, And drive his 
Arrows through.' 

Percy is a stricken heart : and I must provide, gladly, 
for their bower of bliss, and I hope a nursery to follow. 

I write at once to you because you and one other are 
near to me in all that really touches my life. 

Decorum would enjoin reticence until Tommy Ribbles- 
dale had given his assent. But the young lady who pre- 


sides over the Post Office at Clouds, though all but dense 
to the reception of a message, is all alacrity in the diffu- 
sion of gossip. After sheets of telegrams to me signed 
4 Percy and Diana,' and sheets to Sibell, signed ' Your 
loving daughter Diana,' there is no mystery about it in 
this village and household. The Butler has made me a 
speech in the smoking room. Bertha, the Housemaid, 
has burst into tears. Mrs. Simnet, the Housekeeper, has 
wrung my hand off. Mallet, the House Carpenter, has 
put in a few chosen words. They drank healths in the 
Room and Hall last night, and I was mobbed after Church 
this morning. 

But in so far as ' official ' intelligence goes, I write to 
you, at once. Yours affectionately, 


To his Mother 

Wth February 1913. 

MOST DARLING MAMMA, I long to share all this with 
you. I feel at every moment that if I turned round you 
would be there. Now, will try to tell you what has 
happened, and what Diana is like. We came up Monday 
and found your dear letter ; also a very nice one from 
Tommy Ribblesdale asking me to call at 6 instead of 5.30. 
So I saw him at the Cavendish Hotel, Jermyn Street where 
he lives. He is very pleased and bubbled away. On 
returning we got a telegram asking us to meet Percy and 
Diana at St. Pancras Station 7.40 p.m. So S. S. and I 
bundled off in a taxi. It was a strange expedition. The 
train was 8 minutes late. We grouped ourselves under 
an electric standard, so as to be easily recognised. Of 
course we did not see them as the train pulled up. Then 
I got a prod in the back from an umbrella (Percy's) and felt 
a little dog bombarding my tummy with his paws (Peter), 
Then I saw Percy's grin to Diana, it showed simplicity 


and courage to enter her new family, tired by hunting 
and travel, under the unflattering rays of a blue electric 
light. She was rather smaller than I expected. We all 
four got into the taxi, dropped Percy, then Diana, then 
Sibell then self : all very hungry. I liked Diana but, as 
you will hear, I am quite sure I like her very much now. 
This was the start. Tommy, dear old Guy, Diana, Percy, 
Sibell and I dined at last ; after 9. Cuckoo had come in 
to hug them and I assisted in a dressing-gown. I liked 
her much more at dinner. Yesterday I took a. little trip 
with her and Percy to a photographer, and whilst he waited 
at the Guards' Club was alone with her in the taxi and 
liked her more. Then we all dined at Leffie's (No. 13) to 
meet her family. Barbara and Wilson, Laura and Lovat ; 
and an Aunt (also Margot) watched Perf and Diana and 
liked her most. They are very much in love. She is a 
little cameo ; very well-bred, with a sort of look of Aunt 
Connie as a girl, only smaller. I saw the Aunt, Tommy's 
unmarried sister watching them ; and saw her face 
passing from the curious stage to frank content and 
admiration of Percy. And she looked such a lady, the 
Aunt. So I really was satisfied. Percy the ' infatuated ' 
started at 7 to hunt in Leicestershire and I am to take 
Diana down there this afternoon. We dine at Little 
Dally, Percy's bachelor hunting box. Sibell conies on 
Saturday to Glady and Edward Wyndham ' Warwick 
Lodge.' S. S. and I return Monday and on to Clouds to 
welcome them on Friday 28th. 

Now, darling, London is beastly just now such a black 
bitter N.E. wind. Would you like to come to Clouds on 
the 24th and see the fun : probably a meet of hounds early 
the next week ? 

I will write again if this is so. If you stick to coming 
here 24th I could hug you on my way through. But I 
think Clouds would be better than London for you darling 
and I long to be with you. Ever your most loving son, 


P.S. I fixed up the settlements yesterday and the 
wedding will be on the 17th April. 


They had never seen each other till 24th January out 
hunting and were engaged on 12th February. Percy said 
to Tony Shaftesbury ' It was no use beating about the 


To his Niece, Mrs. H. H. Asquith 

MELTON MOWBRAY, Saturday, 22.ii.13. 

DARLING NYNCLE, It was dear of you to write. I am 
you * love ' Diana as I have a great opinion of your 
taste and wisdom. I am very fond of her. She rides 
beautifully. Percy was allowed to come here by the 
early train, so I had the honour of escorting Dian. We 
all hunted together yesterday and to-day. It is a glorious 
country and such fun to be humming along with young 
people and capering over the perfect fences. 

I go to Clouds Monday to prepare a welcome and enter- 
tain Hugh Cecil. The happy pair join us on Friday or 
Saturday. Could you and Beb come too ? 28th to 3rd, 
or 7th to 10th, or both, or for all the time ? Do ! 

Percy has done all I ever asked. I told him not to 
marry an American, or a Jewess, or an heiress, but just 
a,n English young lady. So he has conformed. 

With much love to Nyncie. From her Uncle, 


To Mrs. Mackail 




DEAREST MARGARET, You wrote me a heavenly letter. 
It does make one * feel nice and in love oneself.' Jack 
has written too, and Angela. That was good of her. Of 
course she remembered my plunging in at her ecstatic 


moment ; but it was good to write and say so. She 
recommends marriage. 

It is a ' whack ' of Happiness and Spring to me already. 
I rather wanted one. It has cured a sore throat that 
had marred me for five weeks ; and cured me also of 
inward invisible ungraciousness of which the sore throat 
was the outward and sensible sign too inward, all the 

And now for a time perhaps for all the Autumn of my 
days a long Farewell to dismal shadows ; and a Welcome 
to ' the newness of Life ' once more. I am 20 years 
younger. I must come and pump-handle your dear hand. 
And you must come to the Wedding, already fixed for 
Thursday, 17th April, in the morning. 

Angela still ' holds the record ' for time ; but for com- 
plete initiative and independence of action Percy ties 
with her. He saw Diana for the first time out hunting 
on January 24th. Made a point of seeing her on foot, on 
Wednesday following, and was accepted that day fort- 
night after as he says ' trying hard not to ask her for 
days.' They are wildly in love. 

It amuses me that Sibell has always taken the most 
melancholy view of his coming to hunt here. To her 
Melton is the haunt of man-eating Delilahs. ' Instead of 
which ' we get a very early Victorian romance of roseate 
simplicity ; all done ' By the simplicity of Venus' doves/ 

I came down to examine the scene of action ; and know 
exactly how, when and where everything happened. 

This is a bleak little vicarage at the top of a hill, where 
Percy and a friend, George Drummond, had come to be 
ostentatious bachelors, living Spartan lives, never dining 
out, to bed at 10 ; no hot air and little hot water for the 
one bath ; chops and tapioca pudding for dinner. So 
Venus smiled and all the birds are singing ' Ring-a -ding- 
ding.' And I am ever your ever affectionate 


I was wise to turn the Nurseries into a library. I 'm 
glad you spotted that successful challenge to Fortune. 

Going to Clouds to-morrow. 


To Wilfrid Ward 

MELTON MOWBRAY, February 23rd, 1913. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, Your letter of congratulation 
was most welcome. I am pleased at Percy's engagement 
and satisfied with his choice. It came as a complete 
surprise. I had never seen the young lady nor, indeed, 
had he until the 24th of January, out hunting. They 
were engaged, after post, on the 12th of February and I 
received Percy's announcement on the 15th. Since then 
I have seen Diana and my prepossession in her favour, 
based on a long friendship with her father, is confirmed 
by her charm and simplicity. I am truly content and 
happy at the prospect. My only wish was that he should 
marry an English lady and this he proposes to do. They 
fell in love with each other in the early Victorian manner. 
Their happy story might have been written by Miss 
Young in collaboration with Whyte-Melville. 

I go to Clouds to-morrow to prepare a welcome. With 
my kindest remembrance to your wife. Yours ever, 



To his Mother 

SALISBURY, 28th February 1913. 


go to bed, I must write you a little line. Percy and Diana 
and Tommy Ribblesdale are coming here to-morrow ; 
and I can't help feeling ' diddle.' It was that, or some 
such word, I used when you read to me the ' Ice Maiden.' 
But, all the while, my intention is if I can if I could 
to deepen your structural imprint on Clouds, so that 
nobody can alter it. 

I have had just now a great talk with S. S. and she 
really does understand what I am driving at. 


I think you would like the library ; and I think Philip 
Webb would approve. It is good ' And the evening and 
the morning were the first day.' I have, all the time, seen 
* in my mind's eye, Horatio ' that when books were put 
in the shelves of the North wall, the proportion would be 
apparent. Now, to-day, I filled one section with books 
and, Darling, there is the proportion of the attic-Gallery 
for any Ass to see. 

Equally in the Lamp-room-Chapel. There, too, Mallet 
and I are making straight for a ' grand slam.' 

But so also in the Billiard-room. The Billiard table 
is now quite comfortable ensconced in the Barrel- 
room. And the ' Billiard-room ' that was assumes once 
more its original delight. 

But I want you badly to help me. 

I am at it with Miles, outside. The immediate nut I 
have to crack is Milton village. I have been round it, 
cottage by cottage, and tree by tree, with Miles. 

I will not spoil that village. But I will without spoil- 
ing it rebuild every house, that gets no sun, on the 
opposite slope. That is to say I am making a plan which 
can be followed if Percy cares to follow in 10 or 20 
or 30 years, as money may, or may not, be available. 

My plan is to fulfil three objects. 

(1) The people must have good houses. 

(2) Their houses must be the sort of houses which my 
neighbours can build. 

(3) Milton, in thirty years' time, must be a Wiltshire 
village, built of stone and chalk ; and more beautiful 
than it is now, because its owner will have cared to think 
of every house, and family, and of * old England ' made 
new : as it was in the days of ' John Ball.' 

The real distinction is not between old things and new 
things ; but between good things and bad things. 

Do not, for one moment, suppose that I am careless 
about money. I realise that I must do my part, in my 
generation. I cannot have a stink in Milton if 150 will 
get rid of the stink. The stink is there : and it must go. 
But I realise quite vividly that launching Percy into 


matrimony with a young lady who requires four hunters 
is what financialists call a ' stiff proposition.' 

So I am raking through all the money there is, or might 
be, like an * 'Ebrew Jew.' 

And I think I see my way. There is some ' dead wood.' 
For example, a Mill Terwick Mill in Sussex ; head- 
rents in Yorkshire ; a property nobody knows anything 
about in Australia. Well ; if I sell these eccentricities 
kept for votes, and ' plural voting ' is ' off ' or kept in 
Australia because they were there ; I can raise enough to 
give Diana a necklace and pay Percy's debts, without 
endangering the property. 

Any way, most beloved Mamma, it is all joy to me that 
Percy is to marry and I won't lose the ship of his venture 
for a ' porth of Tar.' 

I don't want to spend any more money on myself than 
I have done for the last twenty years. I 'm a * cheap 
man.' I write that to reassure you. 

On the one hand, Percy is my only son. On the other, 
in launching him, I shall be ' careful.' But he must be 

I am glad that Diana is only a child. I am glad that 
Percy's General likes her. Because that means that 
Percy will go on with his soldiering and that Diana 
prompted by me and Percy's General will make Percy 
go to the Staff College. 

My part is to smooth over the acerbity of the ' Red 
House ' by tidying up the garden and putting in some 
chintzes and china. Your most loving son, GEORGE. 

To Philip Hanson 

SAJJSBURY, 2.iii.l913. 

MY DEAR PHIL, I have been * enjoying the engage- 
ment,' and without a moment for responding to your 
appeal to my egotism. 


But before I write about myself let me say a word or 
two about you. What does ' being now retired from 
active affairs ' mean ? Are you antedating the Royal 
assent to the Home Rule Bill ? Or has the shadow cast 
before it already eclipsed your work ? Do you no longer 
think of returning to the Civil Service ' on this side ' ? 
I ply you with questions. 

But even if as I hope you continue to serve the State, 
I would welcome a work from you on the ' Philosophy 
of Politics.' What the age needs is a modern Bagehot. 

Most of the recent Political Economy is amateurish 
socialism. I wish you would write as Bagehot did. His 
works I have turned to them lately are obsolete in 
matters though still attractive in treatment. 

Percy is to be married on April 17th. Can you come 
and pass the Friday to Monday with me here ? Do. 

As for myself : I did too much Platform work last year. 
It tires me. Also I am scarred by (1) the cowardice and 
snobbishness of the Peers on 10 August, 1911 ; (2) the 
cowardice over duties on Foreign Food-stuffs. 

I doubt whether the Unionist Party will ever do any 
great work again. It has the faults the moral faults 
of the Coalition without their dexterity at electioneering. 
The truth is that the candidates, on both sides, are not 
fit to be MJVs. They are selected for their wealth and 
lack both brains and character. The majority have no 
views at all ; and a heavy percentage of the minority 
with views are incapable of explaining or defending them. 
The absence of brains and character in 70% to 80% of our 
politicians depresses me. 

Towards the end of the Session I had influenza, and my 
speech on February 10th at Manchester was an effort that 
left me exhausted. But it was a good speech and success- 
ful. I will send you a copy. You will dissent from it ; 
but it may interest you. 

The worst of it is that I have become in these degenerate 
days a * popular turn ' on the platform. People come 
as they would to a good conjurer or cinematograph. Both 
sides come and pay compliments. But I am under no> 


illusion. A set speech is the respectable dissipation of 
our urban centres. On the other hand to be more 
cheerful I am getting more and more deeply interested 
in agriculture and Rural England. Sibell calls me 
' Farmer George.' 

It is too late for me to be an English * Horace ' (organiser, 1 
not Poet), but in a small way I believe I could get a good 
deal done. 

I am entering into correspondence with Landlords of 
relatively small properties round here, who depend on 
their estates for a living. The ' magnates ' are of no use 
to the smaller landowners, men with 2,000 to 3,000 acres 
or so, or to anyone else. 

But if these smaller men would (1) create for themselves 
a system of mutual credit, (2) have a housing policy of 
their own with ' standardised ' plans and ' spare parts/ 
(3) carry the Farmers with them and convince the Farmers 
that the * whole show ' is doomed unless the labourers are 
treated better why, then a beginning could be made. 

Although I have little free money almost none now 
that Percy is to marry I am not ' tied up ' by settle- 
ments and burdened by charges ; so I can * move and 
have my being.' 

When I dismiss the Magnates I must except Lord 
Radnor. He is a good man who works hard at his job. 

I doubt whether any Government can do much for 
Agriculture. I am convinced that a great deal must be 
done and am not without hope that co-operation might 
do it. 

You must come here. The library is finished. I have 
sorted all the labourers into three categories, so as to 
know what I spend on elderly and idle men. In the same 
way I have sorted all the cottages into ' good, bad and 
indifferent,' and have started a mild ' town-planning ' for 
the village of Milton. 

Upon the whole I incline to the view that public life 
is only useful as an education for private enterprise. 

Let us correspond more frequently and begin by explain- 

1 Sir Horace Plunkett. 


ing what you mean by the phrase * being now retired from 
active affairs.' 

If you are going to write, you had better come and 
study the English Land Question in Wiltshire. Yours 
ever, G. W. 

P.S. Sibell and I are thinking of you with your Mother 
and Father, and send them our kindest remembrance. 

I am really overjoyed at Percy's choice. His young 
woman is a lady ; and fond of the country, and not over- 
educated. She grasps that he has got to be a soldier first 
and a squire next. Perkins can do those two things well 
and has no aptitude for politics or literature. 

Diana rides beautifully. 

To Philip Hanson 

SALISBURY, G.iii.lo. 

MY DEAR PHIL, I am glad to hear that the enigmatic 
sentence only meant more work. 

Now for immediate plans. Percy will be married on 
the 17th April, in London, at St. Margaret's. I feel sure 
that for you to come then and go with me to Clouds on 
the 18th, or evening of 17th, will be the best plan, and 
very delightful. 

I had considered Easter, but (1) there will be no Easter 
holiday, (2) I shall be absorbed in Army Estimates, (3) 
the only counter-inducement Percy and Diana being 
here is more than doubtful, as he must go to her people 
at Gisbourne that, Easter, Sunday. So we will say ' done ' 
and book the 17th. 

I am impressed, and pleased, by your approval of my 
contemplated escape frcm Party Politics. Hugh Cecil 
who came here last week at first scoffed at the idea ; 
but after a little talk and reflection, he, too, approved. I 
cannot desert, with honour, during this bout of opposition. 
But after the next General Election, and 25 years in the 
House of Commons, I shall feel that I have finished that 


part of my duty. I shall be out of the Yeomanry, too, 
and 52 or 53 years of age. That is a good age for begin- 
ning 10 or 20 years of new work ' in novitate vitae.' 
Whereas another round of opposition would kill me ; 
and office does not tempt me ; even if we won the Elec- 
tion, which I, for one, do not expect. 

In any case I mean to study the English Land Question, 
and you shall see the ' start ' on April 18th. 

It is evident that * Plunkett ' co-operation will not 
work here. My present belief is that we must start from 
the * top ' and get the small Landowners together for 
mutual credit, and standardised housing. Then, as a 
second stage, the large farmers may conform. 

I.e. IF (???) the small landowners had succeeded qua 
their part of the job, the large farmers might wish to come 
in qua their part of the job. 

At this point, the syndicated landowners would insist 
on (1) holding the cottages for the whole Trust, instead 
of letting them with Farms ; (2) a higher wage for 

(I am skipping detail although indeed, because I am 
well aware that the detail at this juncture is decisive : 
so I skip it, to think the more.) 

(If I did not skip, I should have to go into (a) standard- 
ising gardens for all cottages, (b) motor traction, owned 
by the first landowners as an additional bait to large 

And at this juncture my parentheses would never end. 

A very important one would include buying out Glebe 
and obsolete tenantry rights so that the standardised 
housing-cum-transport should not be marred by slovenly 
' enclaves.' 

Supposing all that is attempted with some hope of 

Then, and then only, could co-partnership or any 
other long name for a simple and rather hopeless experi- 
ment be brought in. 

At this point, the small-holder of whom I hope little 
(and so will you when you see Sangar's small holding) and 


the rising labourer, of whom I hope much, would 
come in. 

Enough ! * Basta Vedremo,' as the Italians say. But 
you must * wait and see ' with me. 

The twin Tom-fooleries of Mr. George and Ernest 
Pretyman consist in hurrying and never watching. 

The suicide of Landowners consists in not knowing 
their maps and their country-sides. Without maps, and 
ways of proceeding on horse and foot, I am lost. 

E.g. I know the upland here which I farm myself. I 
don't know the vale. A few days ago I tried it on foot. 
I didn't know my boundary, I got bogged and scratched : 
bogged in morasses and scratched in unkempt fences. 
That is all wrong. I am putting it right. 

E.g. 2. The pressure of finding some money for Percy 
to marry on has forced me to take stock of what I possess. 
What do I find ? 

(1) That I own acres in South Australia. At last I got 
a map ; and mean to realise. 

(2) That I own a mill and some few acres in Sussex. 
(8) That I own a head rent in Yorkshire. 

All that sort of thing is the Devil. It is a mere excuse 
for lawyers and stamps and bitter resentment on the part 
of occupiers. It is all wrong and detestable from any 
human angle of vision. I shall sell these execrescences 
very carefully to selected persons who can do their duty 
by them, and put the capital, 8,000 to 6,000, into doing 
my duty by the little stretch of England for which I am 

And now to run on to the end of a garrulous letter : 
It is interesting to shape and improve bits of England. 

To-day, for the first time since September, I made a 
moment to see what I had created ' in my mind ' at 
Pertwood. My dear P. H., it thrilled me. For 1,000 to 
1,400 I have pumped water, by a 3| horse power engine 
1| miles over a great hill, and built a PERFECT cow- 
stable (designed by Mallet and self and executed by a 
small man at Hindon with some help in carting and 
material from me), and fenced in a patch of clay smeared 


on to the high Downs ; noted in Domesday Book as 
pasture, and neglected till now. 

Well, that 's a milk farm made and the capital value 
of 400 acres doubled. And the Farmers out hunting come 
to me and talk about it. 

The Game and it 's a ripping Game is to combine 
(a) all the old traditions here with (b) the eye and imagina- 
tion and cash balance of a man prospecting in N.W. 
Canada. It is a Game ! But, quite seriously, I believe 
it to be a Duty that has been abominably neglected. 
Yours ever, G. W. 

P.S. I believe it can only be played in England from 
the ' top ' with inducements lor all and sundry in their 
order to come in. 

Anyway or, as you say over the water, anny-way 
if the squires are ' scrapped ' by the Plutocrats in the 
very act of playing this great Game of Rural England 
they will be deeply regretted and will go down with a 
grand flag flying. 

To Hilaire Belloc 

12th March 1913. 

MY DEAR BELLOC, Prudence a bitch counsels that 
I should go to bed quam primum. I wave her away and 
take notice only of your letter. 

You are a fortunate man. You have left the House of 

You have been to Glastonbury and are converted. It 
was the city of Glass v it stood in a lake. It was Avalon. 
It glistened and was vitreous and opalescent and enchanted 
and the source of many fables. 

It is not dead like Stonehenge because Christianity was 
spliced onto its superstitions. 

Now Wiltshire is remarkable because it is just East of 
the Mystery-line. But its mysteries are dead. Stone- 
henge is dead. Yarnboro' Castle is dead, White Sheet 


Castle, Castle ditches, Ogglebury's camp, Quarley Hills, 
are all gone dead ; and a new wonder of Rome in a 
trance supervenes. Wiltshire is not dead ; not mys- 
terious ; but Romantic. That 's why I love Wiltshire ; 
stand in awe of Glastonbury ; and shudder at Stone- 
henge (hi Wiltshire but not of it ; any more than the 
aeroplane station is of it, with flag always at half mast 
for seme brave fellow dashed to death). Wiltshire is a 
Belle au bois dormant not a sepulchre : a cataleptic 
not a skeleton. Wiltshire is living and entranced. But 
now I must go to bed. 

Army Estimates are on early next week ; perhaps on 

I only got the Annual Report (dated 30 Sept. 1912) 
to-day, and have only Seely's promise of an early ! copy 
of the Estimates. I must work. Propose a meeting the 
night after Army Estimates. 

I continue to rejoice hi my son's early marriage. I 
care for nothing else, and rejoice hi that without a care. 

I have been bucketted about. Welcomed the young 
couple at Clouds, Saturday March 1st, to London March 
3rd, back to Clouds March 4th, to London March 8th to 
dine with Bonar Law (a moth-eaten affair), to Wimbledon 
to breakfast with step -daughter Lady Shaftesbury March 
9th ; back to Clouds. To London March 10th for open- 
ing of Parliament (a rat-eaten affair). To Maidenhead 
March llth to my beloved Mother and her elder sister 
Mrs. Ellis no words can say what charm and joy surrounds 
ladies of 78 and 79 years of age who are young. Back 
here March 12th to-day, and determined to say what has 
to be said about our microscopic army. The standard 
for the Infantry of the line is 5 ft. 3" and the Estimates 
which Seely will not print will disclose a death-rattle 
in recruiting. Sed victa Catoni, 1 is my motto. Yours 
ever, G. W. 

I-- 1 Lucan. 


To his Mother 

13th March 1913. 

MOST BELOVED MAMMA, I have thought of Papa to-day l 
and gone on with my work, as he would have done. 

I can't be sure of getting to you this Sunday. 

I am trying to extract a copy of Army Estimates : and 
in that process Good News. Failing all else I ran 
Seely to ground about 6 p.m. and, before answering my 
demand for the Estimates, he told me he had approved 
dear old Guy's appointment to good work at the War 
Office in next October. That rolls a load off my heart. 
And * for this relief much thanks,' but, as always, and 
cheerfully this time, I must pay. 

I can't get the Estimates till late Saturday. 

Bonar Law who saw me to-day wants to see me 
seriously on Monday. 

I must wait for those Estimates; eviscerate them 
Sunday ; think over them Monday morn ; have it pat 
for Bonar Law Monday afternoon ; re-cast my speech 
Tuesday and make it Wednesday. And, Beloved, this 
is one of those moments, that rarely come to summon 
one's best. 

So, it will be delicious if you come back here Monday, 
17th, for you will find me as in 1900 doing my very 
best in preparation on Monday and Tuesday and in 
execution on Wednesday and Thursday. 

* Anyway ' it is jolly for you that (1) Guy's life will no 
more be wasted and (2) that I am * at it again ' to per- 
suade the English people that National Security is the 
first thing they ought to think of. 

I had a little symposium here to-night of Bonar Law's 
secretary and his brother who is in the War Office. 

And now ' to bed ' without one thought of the fact that 

1 The anniversary of his father's death. 
VOL. ii. SM 


I have to speak to the Annual Conference of the Tariff 
Reform League at 10.30 a.m. to-morrow 1 

I will take that hi my stride. Your most loving son, 



To Winston Churchill 
Private and Personal. 

SALISBURY, 27.iii.13. 

DEAR WINSTON, I had to catch the last train to these 
parts yesterday evening. That obligation, combined with 
the outburst in the House, prevented me from hearing 
your speech and so defeated the object for which I had 
journeyed to London. I wish you to know that I intended, 
on personal and patriotic grounds, to listen carefully ; for 
I knew that your speech would necessarily be for good or 
evil an historic declaration. 

I have read I may say that I have studied your 
speech in the * Times.' And, again, I wish you to know 
that in my deliberate judgement your speech is wholly 
admirable ; that it presents no points for misconception, 
here, in the Empire, in Germany, or in France ; that it is 
not * open to criticism ' : briefly and I could not say 
more that it was worthy of the occasion. You ex- 
celled your opportunity and fulfilled the exactions of an 

That is my calm and measured judgement. 

I am glad that I had to leave the House. Here, in 
the country like myriads the world over I read and 
weighed what you said and was grateful. 

In terms of the tunes in which we live, and of Party 
Politics this letter is an impertinence. But it is not 
irrelevant to much that will endure. 

It would be an impertinence for which no further con- 
sideration could atone to select for special praise where 
all is so good. I risk it, and say the 4 False dilemma * and 


* Imperial Imperial Squadron ' were the best of all, the 
first in thought, the second in imaginative grasp. Nothing 
could have been ' happier ' than the topical exordium. 
The only doubt that creeps into my mind amarum 
aliquid is whether the men will be forthcoming and your 
speech will help mightily to remove the causes of that 

May you often speak as simply and powerfully is my 
wish for the Navy and the Empire. Yours ever, 


P.S. No answer ! 

To his Niece, Mrs. H. H. Asquith 

10. iv. 13. 

DARLING NYNCIE, It was delicious to hear from you. 
You mustn't bother to answer my letters ; at any rate till 
the Toy arrives. I must hustle it. I dash to Clouds 
whenever I can and spend happy hours listening to the 
birds and arranging my books. There is one thrush in 
the rhododendron who, now and again, between liquid 
lilts, suddenly emits the imperative of a large steel whistle, 
with a pea in it. I thought it was Ursula (Bendor's little 
girl) making fun of me, and ran back to see. As for my 
books, they come in packing-cases from Saighton and 35 
Park Lane, go into the lift, are hoisted to the attics, and 
dumped on the library floor. Then I take them in arm- 
fuls and shove them on to one shelf. Then I think better 
of it, take them down and shove them into another. It 
is glorious exercise. 

So pleasant was it to ride and listen to birds and watch 
tiny leaves and to handle poetry in bulk, that I burst into 
song, as thus : 

I have forgotten how to sing 

If ever I sang, so I only say 
That I am glad, for here is Spring ! 

And I am alive, thank God, to-day. 


And I have forgotten other men's songs 

That made me jubilant long ago 
Before I knew of rights and wrongs 

And the death of delight in Beauty's show. 

So I only say that I am glad 

To live, and breathe, and hear, and see 
The ecstasy of a world gone mad 

To a mood of Heaven's virginity. 

! the ringing and singing and clinging of joy, 
Bird-calls, and new blossom, young grass and live Trees ! 

They were dead ; but are springing to flaunt an ' Ahoy ! ' 
For signals that nutter back ' Do as you please.' 

O ! the leisure, and pleasure, and treasure of Love ! 

The time to be happy and room to be free, 
The unbounded horizon and azure above, 

The miracle of Spring ... to me. 

1 like the change to ' rag-time ' in the 4th quatrain ; 
and it ends suddenly like a thrush. With much love, 



To Wilfrid Scawen Blunt 


MY DEAR WILFRID, I ought to have written long ago. 
Your Wedding Present to Percy is, in fact, a most price- 
less gift to me. I know, and love, that Ronsard. Percy 
has been soldiering with his General all over the S.W. of 
England, so we only met to-day on the eve of his marriage. 
He had, as I had not, opened the parcel and will thank 
you. He proposed to put the Ronsard in my Library, 
and, in time, (I omit ' due ') he will write to you, what 
he said to me, in warm appreciation. 

These days have been tense. Rosebery I don't know 
why asked me to dinner yesterday week, the 8th 
April. He felt then that unless the Emperor of Russia 


could squash the King of Montenegro, there might be a 
mobilisation here before Percy's wedding. 

But those clouds are dispersed. 

So we have enjoyed the preliminaries of Percy's nuptials. 

We had a display of gifts at Ribblesdale's house this 
afternoon, and a dinner of both Families at Grosvenor 
House this evening. 

We all feel that Politics are a bore and should be quitted 
by honest men, and that soldiers are menaced. So as 
you won't come to Clouds we by which I mean Percy, 
Diana, and myself hope in the interval of Peace, to 
invade you at New Buildings in the course of Summer. I 
would like you to see Percy and Diana in the prime of 
their mating. 

It is just possible that they have * hit off ' an alliance 
of Heroic Love combined with matrimony. If this should 
prove to be so, they are lucky. In any case they are 
happy and exorbitant for the moment. 

For the moment they are lovers, and they ought to 
visit your shrine and lay a wreath at the feet of Proteus. 

As a rule people do not know hiw to love ; as an excep- 
tion they love now here ; now there ; as a rarity almighty 
lovers find each other after both are married. 

It is extravagant to suppose that Percy and Diana are 
going to be lovers and, also, husband and wife. 

But it is pleasant to contemplate the hypothesis. 

Li any case I ought to take them, in their youth and 
delight, to see you. Yours affectionately, G, W. 

To Hilaire Belloc 

30fA May 1913. 

MY DEAR BELLOC, Many thanks for the Cockle-shell. 
I have noted, and shall indubitably test, its virtue of pre- 
serving travellers. It may even be though this is not 
certain that I shall dash over to Paris the 2nd of June, 
and proceed to Hotel Lotti wherever that may be to 


join Westminster and take a complete holiday of a few 
days. You may ask, why a holiday ? But I cannot 
suppose that you would put so foolish a question. Still at 
the back of your head there may linger a surmise that I 
have been making holiday since the unspeakable House of 
Commons closed its doors. It is not so. I have enjoyed 
myself ; but without a moment's relaxation. 

The Yeomanry regiment 6 which I have the honour to 
command ' belongs with the Shropshire and Denbigh 
to the Welsh Border Mounted Brigade. Furthermore it 

the Brigade is commanded by Colonel Herbert, who 
believes he is a Welshman (he is undoubtedly a Catholic) 
and cherishes a misplaced affection for his native hills. It 
followed that for sixteen days I was marooned on a morass 
at the foot of a mountain plateau called in the Welsh 
outlandish tongue MYNNID EPPYNT, which ranges from 
1400 to 1600 feet above the sea and is intersected by 
bogs. Again to shore-up the sham of the Territorial 
Force, our camp was run entirely by amateurs and, owing 
to the absurd fifteen days training for all, our supply and 
transport arrived on the day that I did. To complete ; 
it rained in deluges and the winds roared. We were 
exposed to the elements ; drowned out ; obliged to change 
horse-lines and shift tents. On to this scene of inexperi- 
enced effort confronted by unaccustomed difficulties, 
there descended (to shore-up the sham) 1. The Inspector 
General of the Home Forces (2) The Inspector General of 
Cavalry (3) The General Officer Commanding in Chief the 
Western Command. (4. 5. 6. 7. etc.) The rag-tag and bob- 
tail of staff officers who pursue Generals on inspection 
' just as ' to quote the Homeric simile of General Tucker 
' ail the dogs hi the barrack are tied to a bitch on heat ! * 
I therefore had to work hard for long hours and not without 
success ; prejudiced indeed but only for a few moments 

when I nearly bogged the whole illustrious group in a 
deep morass and only extricated them by galloping to a 
stone ford, left by the Romans that I knew of and had 
missed by 300 yards. The generals were afraid of being 
bogged. Not so the gallant Yeomen. They galloped 


cheerily right in and tumbled about with their horses, by 
sixes and even dozens in the treacherous mire. 

I motored back, 51 miles east to Hereford and then 105 
miles south to Clouds. Since then I have ridden early and 
answered scores of letters and meditated on agriculture. 

Fortunatus et ille decs qui novit agrestes . . . 
Ilium non populi fasces, non purpura regum 
Flexit, et infidos agitans discordia fratres . . . 

which is as much as to say that I, when here riding about 
my fields, do not care a damn, about (1) a row at Dover 
over a clock (2) The King's levee on Monday (3) The 
' differences ' in the Unionist Party. I simply am happy 
in the glory of May. In this mood I get a telegram from 
Westminster asking me to go to Paris on Saturday. I 
reply I cannot having guests but will try to do so on 

Consider well whether you would not come here with 
Mrs. Belloc on Friday June 13th ? My brother and sister- 
in-law the Zetlands will be here : But they are quiet folk. 
The library is very good. I am in it now. Yours ever, 


P.S. Westminster expects me to dine Monday. Ring 
up at Hotel Lotti. 

To Hilaire Belloc 


PARIS, 4M June 1913. 

MY DEAR BELLOC, I quite understand. My view 
you know : for I repeated it I fear more than twice 
last night. But a man's own instinct is the only guide 
in these matters. It may be even, apart from that, an 
act to return as you are returning. Shewing a front is 
sometimes an act and not merely a semblance. May it 
prove to be so in this case. 

' Te absente ' I went book-hunting this morning. The 


sport was poor, but I have marked down some quarries 
for to-morrow. I have harboured I hope a stag. I 
was a * limier ' to-day. To-morrow I shall be ' la meute ' in 
full cry. ' Negative information ' in soldier slang is 
often of great value. For example we you and I now 
know that the Restaurant of Henry iv. at St. Germain s 
is unworthy of the Vert galant and his renown. To-night, 
therefore, I ' cast back ' to the Restaurant Le Doyen. 
Now I would not for the world a phrase, but let it pass 
have missed revisiting with you the woods that were a 
part of your boyhood and, therefore a ma guise an 
index to Man's Immortality. But again I would not 
for the world let us pass the phrase once more have 
missed the dinner I ate and the wine I drank at Le Doyen. 
Potage St. Germain, a Barbue the whole of him with a 
sauce that was Maitre d'Hotel sublimated with mush- 
rooms. A cold quail, stuffed with truffles and garnished 
with aspic and parsley, and supported by a salad. 

Hot Asperges vertes, as big as the white ones, with 
sauce mousseline. 

A cold salade Russe without ham but with a perfect 
mayonnaise. And then the best strawberries I can 
remember. For wine a Richebourg of 1890 which stood 
to other wines and stands in the relation of Homer 
and Shakespeare to other poets. It was a miracle of the 
Earth's entrails searched by the sun and responding with 
all the ethereal perfumes of a hot day in Summer tempered 
by the whispering and cool shadows of a breeze. No Jew 
was there. No American. No Englishman but myself. 
The French were dining under a sapphire sky, by an old 
willow-tree, a fountain and a nymph in bronze. I had 
struck an oasis of civilisation. There were few women, 
and that was fit. For how few women understand ? 

The service was traditional. One man human and 
experienced took the order and reminded me that / had 
forgotten the Asparagus. Another man human and 
zealous set the meats before me. Both rejoiced in my 
content and took their tips in the spirit of gentlemen 
knighted on the field of battle. 


And the whole show for three persons with 6 francs to 
the waiter and 5 francs to the head-waiter, cost less than 
last night's ghetto. There was no band. 

You shall dine with me there after a walk of three day--. 
-Yours, G. W. 

[George Wyndham made the expedition with Mr. Belloc, 
visiting, amongst other places, the home of the latter' s youth. 
On Friday 6th he spent the day driving and walking in the 
Forest of Fontainebleau with Lady Plymouth and her daughter. 
He was full of life and interest though at times he appeared 
to be a little tired. They did not return to Paris till 9 P.M., 
and he then owned to having occasionally felt a pain in the 

The following morning he completed the purchase of the 
books that he alludes to in the preceding letter and at dinner 
that night he had apparently quite recovered and was in high 

At 6 o'clock on Sunday morning the pain had returned, 
and at 8 o'clock a doctor was sent for, who found a slight con- 
gestion of the right lung. Throughout the day his temperature 
was not above 99 and he experienced little discomfort except 
for the pain in the chest. The doctors did not apprehend any 
danger but advised the postponement of his journey home for 
two or three days. 

At 7 o'clock in the evening he was given a slight injection 
of morphia. On saying good-night to Lady Plymouth he asked 
her to send a telegram to his brother that he would dictate hi 
the morning and settled himself comfortably to sleep. Lady 
Plymouth returned to the hotel, but at 9.45 P.M. was summoned 
by the nurse on the telephone, and on her arrival ten minutes 
later was told of his death. She found him ' as if he were 
asleep, serene and peaceful.' 

The doctors pronounced his death due to the passage of a 
clot of blood through the heart. 

His son arrived in Paris the following day and wrote to his 
mother ' The Majesty of death is so wonderful. When one is 
with him one cannot cry or moan he looks too much a con- 
queror. His soul must be right high in the Heaven now and 
his beautiful Body just looking as if he had won : One cannot 
mourn for him, he looks too splendid : He is triumphant. 
Let us think of that and be brave ourselves.' 


The following letter was found after his death in his dispatch 
box. His son posted it, and Wilfrid Ward found it on his 
return from attending the funeral at Clouds. Though not the 
last letter written, it was the last received, and is placed at 
the close of these volumes, for the brave words of the post- 
script are most characteristic of his brave life.] 

To Wilfrid Ward 

SALISBURY, May 8th, 1913. 

MY DEAR WILFRID, I had your letter of April 30th 
typed for better accuracy of interpretation. Then I 
mislaid the typed copy, so to-night I have tackled the 
original and I say, cheerily, that I will be your * man 
of the world ' who ' is not a Catholic.' I will read your 
reminiscences with avidity and answer your question 
which is Should they be published in the ' Dublin Review ' 
instead of waiting (as A. J. B. and H. C. advise) to be 
Chapter 1. of a book ? 

I am off to-morrow to command my Yeomanry in the 
uttermost parts of Wales. I could not write and you 
could not read the address. But, if you will send the 
thing, marked ' to be forwarded ' to 44 Belgrave Square, 
it will be forwarded and I shall read it and reply. 

I have just been glancing at W. Morris's socialist lectures, 
published under the title ' Signs of Change ' in 1888 and 
was arrested by a note in pencil at the end written by my 
father, a Tory. It runs, ' Pages 188 and 9. Splendid 
passage, I hope prophetic Wonderful and impossible as 
the change in condition, shadowed forth on pages 20 and 
21, appears from our present standpoint, it is not more 
wonderful and impossible than our present standpoint 
would appear to those who lived thousands of years ago/ 

That is an interesting note coming from my father, a 

The young couple Percy and Diana are very happy 
and preoccupied by starting as householders. 

For myself apart from Politics, Finance (how to float 


the couple and pay Death Duties) and the round of duty 
I am absorbed in two subjects : Rural England and my 

* We know what we are but we know not what we may 
be.' I may perhaps take office again. But I doubt 
it. * Invent portum.' My work, I am almost persuaded, 
must be to tackle the problem of Rural England, and my 
play, I am convinced, to finish my library. The two 
together would give me happy and useful employment for 
twenty years. 

I am attacking ' Rural England,' (1) by action ; based 
on study of the past from Domesday Book onwards 
and on modern science ' so-called.' I think best in 
action and experiment. So I have given the go-by to 
theory and have already pumped water several miles over 
considerable hills ; built cow-sheds ; bought a motor-trolly 
to supersede four cart-horses and done much else ; which 
will I believe put back this bit of England to where it . 
stood in the 17th century and afford working models to 
my neighbours, who lack any capital and imagination. 
It is jolly work.