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First published in jg2i 

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V. cannibal's CONSCIENCE 







XII. A faddist's DIVERSIONS 













Seventy Years Among 


A strange lot this, to be dropped down in a world of barbarians — 
Men who see clearly enough the barbarity of all ages except 
their own ! — Ernest Crosby. 

The tales of travellers, from Herodotus to Marco Polo, 
and from Marco Polo to the modern " globe-trotter," 
have in all ages been subject, justly or unjustly, to a 
good deal of suspicion, on the ground that those who 
go in quest of curious information among outlandish 
tribes are likely in the first instance to be imposed on 
themselves, and in the sequel to impose on their readers. 
No such doubt, however, can attach to the following 
record, for I am myself a native of the land whose 
customs are described by me. I cannot think that my 
story, true as it is, and admitting of corroboration by 
the similar witness of others, is any the less adventurous 
on that account ; for, like previous writers who have 
recorded certain startling discoveries, I, too, have to 
speak of solitudes and remotenesses, vast deserts and 
rare oases, inextricable forests and dividing gulfs ; 
and such experiences are none the less noteworthy 
because they are not of the body but of the mind. At 
any rate, the tale which I have to tell deals with inci- 
dents which have had a very real significance for 
myself — quite as real as any of those related by the 
most venturesome of voyagers. 


The seventy years spent by me among savages form 
the subject of this story, but not, be it noted, seventy 
years of consciousness that my hfe was so cast, for 
during the first part of my residence in the strange land 
where 1 was born, the dreadful reality of my surroundings 
was hardly suspected by me, except now and then, 
perhaps, in a passing ghmmer of apprehension. Then, 
by slow degrees, incident after incident brought a 
gradual awakening, until at last there dawned on my 
mind the conviction which alone could explain and 
reconcile for me the many contradictions of our society 
— that we were not " civilized " but " savages " — that 
the "dark ages," far from being part of a remote 
past, were very literally present. 

And here, in explanation of my long blindness to an 
unwelcome truth, it must be remarked that there is a 
fi.xed and almost insuperable superstition among my 
savage fellow-islanders — and, indeed, among all the 
surrounding nations — that they are a cultured and 
highly civiHzed race, living in an age which has wholly 
emerged from the barbarism of their forefathers, the 
" good old times " to which some of them even affect 
to look back with feeHngs of pious regretfulness. It 
was this delusion, to which I was at first fully subject, 
that made it so difficult for me to see things in their 
true light, and still makes it wellnigh impossible to 
communicate the truth to others, except to those 
whose suspicions have in like measure been aroused. 
In reahty, it will be seen, the difference between the 
earlier " barbarism " and the later so-called " civiH- 
zation " is, in the main, a mere matter of the absence 
or presence of certain intellectual refinements and 
mechanical sciences, which, while largely altering and 
complicating the outward conditions of Hfe, leave its 
essentially savage spirit almost entirely untouched. 

It was not till I was over thirty years of age that I 
felt any serious concern as to the manners and customs 
with which I was famiUar, and which I had unquestion- 


ingly accepted from childhood as part of the natural 
order. I had heard and read of " savages," but felt 
the more satisfaction to know that I was a native of 
a land which had for centuries enjoyed the blessings of 
civilization and of reHgion, which it was anxious to 
disseminate as widely as possible throughout the earth. 
Why the diet of my countrymen should have been the 
first thing to set me pondering, I am unable to say, 
for as my later discoveries convinced me, the dietetic 
habits of these people are not more astonishing than 
many kindred practices which I still regarded without 
mistrust. But it was so ; and I then found myself 
realizing, with an amazement which time has not 
diminished, that the " meat " which formed the staple 
of our diet, and which I was accustomed to regard — 
like bread, or fruit, or vegetables — as a mere commodity 
of the table, was in truth dead flesh — the actual flesh 
and blood — of oxen, sheep, swine, and other animals 
that were slaughtered in vast numbers under conditions 
so horrible that even to mention the subject at our 
dinner-tables would have been an unpardonable offence. 

Now, when I began to put questions to my friends 
and acquaintances about this apparently glaring incon- 
sistency in our " civilization," I could not help observing, 
novice though I was in such discussion, that the answers 
by which they sought to parry my awkward impor- 
tunities were extremely evasive and sophistical — 
reminding me of the quibbling explanations which 
travellers have received from cannibals when they 
inquired too closely into certain dietetic observances ; 
and from this I could not but suspect that, as far as 
diet was concerned, we differed in degree only from the 
savages whom we deemed so debased. 

It must be understood, however, that here, and in 
other references to " savages," I use that term in its 
natural and inoffensive meaning, as implying simply 
a lack of the higher civihzation and not any personal 
cruelty or bloodthirstiness. What I write is just a 


friendly account of friendly savages (by one of them) ; 
and I would emphasize the fact that the kindhness 
and good nature of my fellow-countrymen are in one 
direction quite as marked features of their character 
as their savagery is in another. In their own famihes, 
to their own kith and kin, to their personal friends — 
to all those whom fortune has placed within, instead of 
without the charmed circle of relationship — their con- 
duct, in the great majority of cases, is exemplary ; it is 
only where custom or prejudice has dug a gulf of division 
between their fellow-creatures and themselves that they 
indulge in the barbarous practices to which I refer. 

It may be convenient if I here speak briefly of their 
other customs under two heads : first, those that relate 
to human beings ; and, secondly, those that relate to 
the so-called lower animals. In few ways, perhaps, is 
the barbarism of these islanders more apparent than 
in their wars and in their preparation for wars. For 
what they call " peace " is, in fact, only an armed 
truce — an interval between two outbreaks of hostility 
— during which, so far from being at genuine peace with 
their neighbours, they are occupied in speculating 
where the next attack shall be delivered, or, rather 
(for they love to depict themselves as always standing 
on pious self-defence against the wanton aggressiveness 
of others), how they shall repel the next attack from 
abroad. It is their custom always to have, for the 
time being, some bugbear among neighbouring tribes, 
whose supposed machinations against the richer por- 
tions of their empire give them constant cause for 
unrest, and prompt them to cement undying, but equally 
transitory, alliances with other nations, so that their 
very friendships are based less on the spirit of amity 
than on that of distrust. Under pretence of believing 
in an unbehevable and, indeed, wholly ridiculous 
maxim — Si vis paccm, para helium (" If you wish for 
peace, prepare for war ") — they keep their minds for 
ever set on wars and rumours of wars, with the result 


that, in spite of all their profession of benevolence and 
brotherhood, the trade of killing is that which is above 
all others respected by them. Is money required for 
purposes of national welfare, such as education or the 
relief of the poor ? Every difficulty is at once put in 
the way of such expenditure for such ends. But let 
there be the least suspicion, however irrational, of 
some foreign shght to " the flag," and there is scarce 
a savage in the island who is not willing that the public 
treasury should be depleted in pursuance of a childish 
revenge. To remonstrate against such folly is to incur 
the charge of being " unpatriotic." 

But comical as their foreign pohcy is, their social 
system is still more so, for under the guise of " charity " 
and " philanthropy " there exists, in fact, a civil war, 
in which each individual, or group of individuals, plays 
a remorseless game of " Beggar my neighbour " and 
" Devil take the hindmost " in mad scramble for wealth ; 
whence results, of course, a state of gross and glaring 
inequahty, under which certain favoured persons wallow- 
in the good things of hfe, while others pass their years 
in the pinch of extremest poverty. Thus, in due course, 
and by an unerring process, is manufactured what they 
call " the criminal class " — that is, the host of those 
who are driven by social injustice to outlawry and 
violence. And herein, perhaps, more than in any other 
of their customs, is shown the inherent savagery of their 
natures, for, instead of attempting to eradicate the 
cause of these evils by the institution of fairer and 
juster modes of living, my fellow-islanders are almost 
to a man in favour of " punishing " (that is the 
expression) these victims of their own foolish laws by 
the infliction of barbarous sentences of imprisonment, 
or the lash, or, in extreme cases, the gallows. To 
inculcate habits of honesty they shut a man in prison, 
and render him more than ever incapable of earning 
an honest livelihood. As a warning against robbery 
with violence, they give a lesson in official violence by 



flogging the criminal ; and, by way of teaching the 
sanctity of human Hfe, they judicially murder the 
murderer. Many a grotesque absurdity is solemnly 
and deliberately enacted in their so-called " courts of 
law " ; and any one who ventures to suggest that 
this is the case is regarded as a fool and reprobate 
for his pains. 

But it is when we turn to their treatment of the 
non-human races that we lind the surest evidences of 
barbarism ; yet their savagery, even here, is not wholly 
" naked and unashamed," for, strange to say, these 
curious people delight to mask their rudeness in a cloak 
of fallacies and sophisms, and to represent themselves 
as " lovers " of those very creatures whom they 
habitually torture for " sport," " science," and the 
" table." They actually have a law for the pre- 
vention of cruelty to animals, under which certain 
privileged species, classed as " domestic," are protected 
from some specified wrongs, though all the time they 
may, under certain conditions, be subjected with 
impunity to other and worse injuries at the hands of 
the slaughterman or the vivisector ; while the wild 
species, though presumably not less sensitive to pain, 
are regarded as almost entirely outside the pale of 
protection, and as legitimate subjects for those brutalities 
of " fashion " and " sport " which are characteristic 
of the savage mind. Their women go furred and 
feathered with the skins of beasts and birds ; and so 
murderous is their millinery that whole species are 
sacrificed to this reckless habit. Nothing can exceed 
the ferocity of the national pastimes, in which, under 
the plea of affording healthful exercise to their tormen- 
tors, park-bred deer, that have been kept in paddocks 
for the purpose, are turned out before a mob of men 
and dogs to be baited and worried ; foxes, otters, and 
hares are hunted and " broken up " ; bagged rabbits 
are " coursed " in small enclosures by yelHng savages 
on the eve of the weekly rehgious festival ; pheasants 


and other " preserved " birds are mown down in thou- 
sands in an organized butchery euphemistically known 
as the battue ; \ igeons are released from traps in order 
to be shot by gangs of ruffians who gamble over the 
result of their skill ; and almost every conceivable 
form of cowardly slaughter is practised as " sportsman- 
like " and commended as " manly." All this, moreover, 
is done before the eyes and for the example of mere 
youths and children, who are thus from their tenderest 
years instructed in the habit of being pitiless and cruel. 
Nay, in some cases they are even encouraged to take 
part in such doings, and on the first occasion when 
they are " in at the death " are initiated by being 
" blooded " — that is, baptized with the blood of the 
slaughtered victim of their sport. 

Nor are these things perhaps so strange as they 
might at first appear, for, in spite of their boasted 
progress in sciences and arts, my countrymen are still 
practically ignorant of the real kinship which exists 
between mankind and the other races, and of the duties 
which this kinship implies. They are still the victims 
of that old anthropocentric superstition which pictures 
Man as the centre of the universe, and separated from 
the inferior animals — mere playthings made for his 
august pleasure and amusement — by a deep inter- 
vening gulf ; and it is probable enough that if any one 
of these unthinking savages who " break up " a hare, 
or baptize their children in the blood of a butchered 
fox, were reminded that he himself is in very truth an 
" animal," he would resent such statement of an estab- 
lished fact as a slight on his religious convictions and 
on his personal self-respect. For, as the author of 
Hudibras discovered : 

There's nothing so absurd, or vain. 
Or barbarous, or inhumane, 
But if it lay the least pretence 
To piety and godliness. 
And zeal for gospel truths profess. 
Does sacred instantly commence. 


The very scientists themselves, who have in theory 
renounced the old-fashioned idea of a universe created 
for mankind, are inclined in practice to behe their own 
biological faith, for they claim the moral right to devote 
large numbers of the lower animals, without scruple or 
remorse, to the tortures of " research," just as if the 
fact of a close kinship between the vivisector who wields 
the scalpel and the dog who hes in the trough were a 
notion of which Science is unaware ! 

Is it surprising that, to those of us who have gradually 
realized that we are dwelling in a wild land among 
savages such as these, the consciousness of the discovery 
should at times bring with it a sense of unutterable 
loneUness and desolation — that we should feel cut off, 
as it were, by interminable leagues of misunderstanding 
from all human intercourse, and from all possibihty 
of expressing ourselves ? What appeal can be made 
to people whose first instinct, on seeing a beautiful 
animal, full of joyousness and vitaUty, is to hunt or 
eat it ? One can only marvel how such sheer, untem- 
pered barbarism has come down to us from the past. 

But the facts, though so terrible in their first 
impression, are capable of being more hopefully 
regarded ; there is a consolatory, as well as a dis- 
comforting, way of interpreting them. For if these 
countrymen of ours are indeed savages (as who can 
doubt ?), have we not at least reason to rejoice that, 
being savages, they in many ways conduct themselves 
so discreetly, and that, as far as their sense of relation- 
ship extends, they are so civil, so kindly, so law- 
abiding ? Instead, therefore, of too loudly upbraiding 
them for hunting or eating their little brethren, the 
animals, ought we not, perhaps, to feel and express 
some gratitude to them that they do not hunt each 
other — that they have not eaten us? Their self- 
restraint in many directions is, perhaps, quite as 
remarkable as their self-abandonment in others ; and 
the mere fact of one's having lived for many years 


among savages is in itself a testimony to their good 
nature. Looked at in this Hght, the trouble is not so 
much that they are in reaUty savage, as that they 
suppose themselves to be civiUzed ; for it is from the 
false garb of civiUzation that the misapprehension has 

But, however that may be, they are, when the worst 
is said of them, a quaint and interesting people, and 
it is my earnest wish that, by the pubUcation of this 
story, I may be the means of drawing to the habits of 
my fellow-islanders the closer attention of anthro- 
pologists. Surely, in an age when many wild tribes 
have been the subject of learned discourse and of 
missionary enterprise, it is desirable that a race which 
has carried into the twentieth century the primitive 
customs which I have described should be critically and 
exhaustively studied. If such should indeed be the 
result of this book, I shall be more than compensated 
for whatever pain I may have felt in the writing of these 
strange but faithfully recorded experiences. 



Thought would destroy their paradise ! 
No more : where ignorance is bliss 
'Tis folly to be wise. 
Gray's Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College. 

If it be true, as scientists tell us, that the period of 
boyhood corresponds, in human development, with an 
early phase of savagery, and that the individual boy 
is himself an epitome of the uncivilized tribe, it may 
be said with still greater confidence that an English 
public school, or " boy-farm," where hfe is mostly so 
ordered as to foster the more primitive habits of mind, 
is essentially a nursery of barbarism — a microcosm of 
that predatory class whose members, hke the hunters 
of old, toil not, neither do they spin, but ever seek their 
ideal in the twofold cult of sport and soldiership. 
Certainly the Eton of the 'sixties and 'seventies, what- 
ever superficial show it might make of learning and 
refinement, was at heart a stronghold of savager)' — a 
most graceful, easy-going savagery, be it granted ; 
for savages, as we know, are often a very pleasant 

In some reminiscences, Eton under Hornby, published in 
1910, 1 gave a description of the public-school education 
of fifty years ago, a system probably not much worse 
than that of to-day ; and the conclusion reached was 
that as Eton never really changes, it is best to regard 
her, as she regards other institutions, in a mood of good- 
natured unconcern, and as a subject less for argument 


than for anecdote. Eton has been pre-eminently the 
school " where ignorance is bliss," and in a much wider 
sense than that intended by the poet Gray in his famous 
ode " On a Distant Prospect of Eton College." For, if 
it be true of schoolboys that " thought would destroy 
their paradise " — that is, the thought merely of the 
personal ailments of mature age — how much more 
disturbing would be the contemplation of the vast 
social wrongs that fill the world with suffering ! Of 
such sombre thought Eton knew nothing, but basked 
content in the warmth of her own supreme self-satis- 
faction ; and the Eton life was probably the most 
enjoyable of all hitherto invented forms of heedless 
existence. It is, then, of the pleasures of Eton that 
I would speak, and of some of the more distinguished 
of her sons with whom it was my privilege to be 

Long before I was admitted to Eton as a King's 
Scholar, I had a personal hnk with the school in the 
fact that John Moultrie, the friend of Praed, and 
contributor to that most noteworthy of school maga- 
zines, the Etonian — himself a Colleger at Eton from 
181 1 to 1819 — was my great-uncle. At Eton and 
Cambridge, Moultrie's career had been a brilliant one ; 
he was the "Gerard Montgomery" of the Etonian — 
in Praed's words " the humorous Moultrie, and the 
pathetic Moultrie, the Moultrie of ' Godiva,' and the 
Moultrie of ' My Brother's Grave,' " — but his later 
career did not fulfil the promise of his youth. The 
vivid and extravagant fancy of his early poems was 
succeeded by a more homely and sober style, and the 
pastor-poet in his " Dream of Life " even referred 
apologetically to the levities of his youthful muse;^ 
Yet he still retained in some measure the poet's vision ; 
and when Rector of Rugb}' he was famous for the 
powerful interpretation which he gave to Shakespeare 

» In an article published in Macmillan's Magazine, December 
1887, I dealt with the subject of Moultrie's Poems. 



in his reading of the Plays. Him I remember at his 
rectory in the early 'sixties, a dignified, kindly old man, 
with a quaint mixture of humour and pathos, of 
ruggedness and gentleness, in his manner. Many 
stories were current in Rugby of his eccentricities and 
absent-mindedness ; on one occasion when he had 
brought a lengthy sermon to an end, he is said to have 
startled his congregation by substituting for the usual 
formula the equally famihar post-prandial one : " For 
what we have received, the Lord make us truly thankful." 

It was from this Etonian worthy that I first heard 
of Eton ; and though I little foresaw that nearly twenty 
years of my life would be spent there as boy and master, 
it thus came about that in the summer of 1866 I found 
myself being " coached " for an Eton scholarship by 
the Rev. C. Kegan Paul, formerly " Conduct " (Chap- 
lain) at Eton, who held the Eton Uving of Sturminster 
Marshall in Dorsetshire. 

Mr. Paul, afterwards founder of a well-known pub- 
lishing firm, was then a radical parson of very " broad " 
views, a friend of Frederick Denison Maurice, Charles 
Kingsley, and many other Liberals, A man of fine 
taste, he also possessed a large fund of vivacity and 
spirits, which, with his unvarying kindness, made him 
very popular among his pupils ; indeed, only at Eton 
itself could there have been a more dehghtful life, 
regarded from the boyish point of view, than that which 
we led in those summer months, fishing, bathing, 
bird's-nesting. The one cloud on our horizon was the 
impending rite of Confirmation, which some of us had 
to undergo at Blandford, and for which Mr. Paul 
prepared us. I have always felt grateful to him for 
the simplicity of his method, which was free from the 
morbid inquiries then common in schools. I think he 
asked me only one question : " Is it wrong to doubt ? " 
This was a problem in which I felt no sort of concern ; 
making a bold shot, I replied " No," and was gratified 
to find that I had answered correctly. 


At Eton my tutor was Mr. Francis Warre Cornish, 
one of the gentlest and most accomplished of men, the 
very antithesis of the bullying, blustering schoolmaster 
of the good old type which even then was not wholly 
superseded. Much loved by those of his pupils who 
learnt to know him intimately, Mr. Cornish was a good 
deal hampered in his deahngs with boys by his shyness 
and diffidence ; he lacked that gift of geniaUty which 
is essential to a successful teacher. This I discovered 
at an early date, when, in the course of the entrance 
examination, I was told to show him the rough copy 
of my Latin verses. It was to these, as it turned out, 
that I mainly owed my election ; but it somewhat 
depressed me when my prospective tutor, after reading 
the Unes with a sad and forlorn expression, handed 
them back to me with no more cheering remark than : 
" Too many spondees." Years afterwards, when Mr. 
Cornish, competing for a headmastership, was described 
in a testimonial as " trembling on the brink of poetic 
creation " (an odd certificate for such a post), I remem- 
bered his criticism of my youthful verses, and could 
not help thinking that his own poetic genius would 
also have benefited by a larger infusion of the sprightly 
or dactylic element. His nature was decidedly spondaic ; 
but he was a kind and courteous gentleman, in the 
best sense of the word, and in a less rough environment 
than that of a pubHc school his great abihties would 
have found ampler scope. 

Much the same must be said of Dr. J. J. Hornby, 
who succeeded the rigid Dr. Balston in the headmaster- 
ship of Eton in 1868. It was a marvel that a man who 
loved leisure and quietude as he did, and who seemed 
always to desire to doff rather than to don the formalities 
of high office, should have dehberately sought prefer- 
ment in a profession which could not have been very 
congenial to him. Not that he lacked the reputed 
qualities of a ruler : he had a stately presence, a most 
courteous manner, a charming sense of humour, and 


the rare power of interesting an audience in any 
subject of which he spoke. But, behind these external 
capabihties. he had a fatal weakness— slackness, perhaps, 
is the proper term— which loosened the reins of authority, 
and made his headmastership a period of which Eton 
had no reason to be proud. " Idleness holds sway 
everywhere," wrote an Eton boy at that time, " and 
such idleness ! As a man who has never had dealings 
with the Chinese can have but a faint idea of what 
swindling is, so a man who has never been at Eton 
has but a poor conception of what idleness is." ^ What 
wonder, when the headmaster was himself as unpunctual 
as a fourth-form boy ? 

Hornby was too retiring, too sensitive, to govern a 
great school. I was in his Division for two years, almost 
at the beginning of his headmastership ; and I can see 
him still as he sat at his oak table in the middle of the 
sixth-form room, toying with a pencil, and looking at 
us somewhat askance, as if to avoid either scrutinizing 
or being scrutinized, for he was not of the drill-master 
kind, who challenge their class and stare them down. 
We liked him the better for it, but divined that he was 
not quite at ease ; and it occurred to one of us that he 
was aptly described in that terse phrase which Tacitus 
applied to a Roman emperor : Capax imperii nisi 
impcrdsset ("Every inch a ruler — if only he had not 
ruled"). There was a certain maladroitness, too, about 
him which at times set us wondering ; until some one 
suggested that we should look up the cricket records, 
and see how he had acquitted himself in that supreme 
criterion of greatness, the Eton and Harrow match. 
We did so, and found that he had hit his own wicket. 
Thus all was explained, our worst misgivings con- 

The want of discipline in some of the classrooms 
was appalling. My first term was spent in the "lag" 

■ Article on " Eton as it is," in the Adventurer, No. 23, by 
" E. G. R." (G. C. Macaulay), 


Division of Fifth Form, a very rowdy one, then taken 
by a most accomplished classical scholar known as 
" Swage," or " Swog," and a more unpleasant intro- 
duction for a new boy could hardly have been devised. 
So great was the uproar, and so frenzied the attempts of 
the unfortunate " Swage " to suppress it, that it was 
as dangerous to be a member of the class as it is for a 
well-disposed citizen to be mixed up in a street-riot ; 
for among so many tormentors there was no security 
against being mistaken for a ringleader. " Swage's " 
schoolroom was on the ground floor and close to the 
road ; and one of the first scenes I witnessed was a 
determined attempt on the part of some of the bigger 
boys to drive a stray cow into the room ; they got her 
to the doorway, but there she was met and headed 
back by " Swage " himself, shouting at the top of his 
voice and flourishing his large door-key. That was 
the sort of game that went on almost daily. It was 
currently reported, and I believe with truth, that 
" Swage " once set a punishment to a bird. To sing 
and to whistle were common practices in his Division ; 
and when a bird perched near the window and chirruped 
in an interval of the din, he rounded on it blindly with 
a cry of "A hundred lines." 

There was a story, too, that a letter which he once 
wrote to the headmaster, complaining of one of his 
private pupils who persisted in knocking loudly en 
his study door, bore a brief after-cry more eloquent 
than many words : " PS. He is knocking still." 

To fall into the hands of boys, as this ill-fated master 
had done — and his lot was shared by several others — 
was to be a captive among savages : they did not kill 
and eat him, it is true, but that was the extent of their 
tender mercies, and every day he was brought out 
afresh to be baited and worried. 

Such was the state of affairs when Hornby was made 
headmaster ; and it became worse rather than better 
under his lax and listless regime. Yet no one who has 


any knowledge of the history of corporal punishment 
will be surprised to hear that he was a frequent wielder 
of the rod. Seldom did a day pass without a visit 
from the Sixth Form Praepostor to one or more of the 
Divisions, to bid some culprit " stay after school " ; 
and on those occasions the conduct of the class was a 
good indication of the light in which the punishment 
was regarded. As the fatal hour approached, the eyes 
of all would be riveted on the offender, who maintained 
a dauntless demeanour to the last ; pantomimic gestures 
would indicate the nature of the penalty which he was 
shortly to undergo ; watches would be held up to 
emphasize the dreadful fact that, as in the case of 
Dr. Faustus, time was on the wing ; and there would be 
audible surmises as to " how many " he would get. 
The victim's friends, indeed, were hardly so considerate 
and sympathetic as the circumstances might have been 
expected to demand. 

Flogging is an old institution which has found mention 
in every book written about the school, and which could 
never be omitted from any discourse upon Eton. It 
used to be the custom, in the holidays, for parties of 
Windsor trippers to be shown over the school buildings 
under the leadership of a woman — the wife, presumably, 
of one of the College servants — who gave an oral 
explanation of the " sights." When the headmaster's 
room was reached, the guide of course drew attention 
to that awful emblem of authority, the " block " ; 
and after pointing out the part which it played in the 
correction of offenders, she would add, in a croaking 
voice befitting the solemnity of the subject : " They 
receive the punishment upon their seats." That was 
a true, but rather inadequate description of a practice 
which only a very barbarous society could tolerate. 
A flogging was a disgusting sight even to the two 
" lower boys " who then had to act as " holders-down " ; 
still more so to the Sixth Form Praepostor whose duty 
it was to be present ; most of all, one would suppose, 


to the headmaster. It has been described as "an 
operation performed on the naked back by the head- 
master himself, who is always a gentleman, and some- 
times a high dignitary of the Church." » 

The Lower Master, at the time of which I am speaking, 
was the Rev. F. E. Durnford, nicknamed " Judy," 
described in Eio7i under Hornby as " a strange, laughable, 
yet almost pathetic figure, with whimsical puckered 
visage and generally weather-beaten aspect, like a sort 
of Ancient Mariner in academic garb." He, too, used 
the birch freely in his domain of Lower School, but 
his castigations were of a more paternal kind, and 
between the strokes of the rod he would interject 
moral reproofs in his queer nasal voice, such as : 
" You nahty, nahty boy ! " It was said that during 
the punishment he would even enter into conversation 
with the offender, especially when he knew his " people " 
personally, and that on one occasion he was overheard 
to inquire of a boy on the block : " Have you seen your 
uncle lately .^ " a question which, in the circumstances, 
would at first sight seem irrelevant, but was probably 
intended to awaken repentance in the criminal by 
directing his thoughts to some pious and respected 
relative. To the upper boys, " Judy " Durnford was 
a never-failing amusement ; his every gesture was noted 
by them ; as when, in correcting exercises, if some word 
or phrase eluded his memory, he would sit scratching 
his temples vigorously, and exclaiming : " It runs in 
me head." 

Among Dr. Hornby's assistant masters were several 
others whose eccentricities have been a fruitful subject 
of anecdote and legend. Russell Day, a quiet and 
insignificant-looking little man, had a mordant wit 
and gift of ready epigram, which caused him to be 
dreaded ahke by master and boys. " Friend, thou hast 
learned this lesson with a crib : a crib is a thing in 

« Dr. Lyttelton. when Headmaster of Eton, substituted the 
cane for the birch in the Upper School. 


which thou Hest," was his remark in the course of a 
Theocritus lesson to a member of his Division, from 
whom 1 heard the story full fort}^ years later. There 
wore two boys of the name of Bankes, one known 
afterwards as a distinguished K.C., the other a lazy 
vouth who never knew his lessons and was wont to 
mumble the Greek or Latin very slowly in order to 
postpone the moment of discovery. On one of these 
occasions Day leaned back in his chair and said in his 
drawling tones : " Bankes, Bankes, you remind me of 
the banks where the bees suck and with their murmuring 
make me sleep." 1 remember how a friend and school- 
fellow of mine named Swan, who was a pupil of Day's, 
showed me a copy of his Latin verses which had drawn 
the following annotation : " Olor ! You cycnus." Not 
less characteristic was Day's curt dismissal of a youth 
named Cole (report says it was the future director of 
the Bank of England) : " Then, Cole, you may scuttle." 
Nor did he hesitate to turn his wit against his colleagues 
or himself. He called his pony " Lucifer," because, 
as he said, " When you see him coming, it announces 
the approach of Day." 

A still more remarkable teacher was William Johnson, 
author of " lonica," who afterwards took the name of 
Cory, a man of real genius, whose enforced departure 
from Eton (for he did not leave, as was currently sup- 
posed, from some sudden whim of his own) was the 
tragedy of his hfetime, a " strange wounding," as he 
calls it in one of his pubHshcd letters. Of " Billy 
Johnson " many descriptions have been written. Here 
is a passage from one of them : 

" In appearance, as in everything else, he was unlike the 
typical schoolmaster : his thoughtful, handsome, somewhat 
sensuous features were altogether out of the common ; and 
owing to his short sight he had a dreamy, mystic, inquiring 
way of looking at you which was sometimes a little disquieting 
to the schoolboy mind. There were occasions, too, when we 
dreaded his tart sayings (the very school books written by him 
bristled with epigrams), and listened with some anxiety to 


his sharp, staccato utterances, or watched him during those 
' accusing silences ' by which, hardly less than by his barbed 
speeches, he could awe the most unruly class. His blindness 
led to a prevalent story (apocryphal, I believe, as it was told 
also of other persons at different times) that he had been seen 
pursuing a hen down Windsor Hill, and making futile grabs 
at her, under the belief that she was his hat ; but it is certain 
that he was sometimes seen standing stock-still in School Yard, 
or some open space, apparently unconscious of all observers 
or passers-by, and wrapt in a profound daydream. Singular 
he undoubtedly was, to a degree that was inconvenient to a 
schoolmaster ; and there were queer anecdotes of certain too 
generous suppers that he gave to his favourites among the boys, 
when he began by politely overlooking that they were getting 
drunk, and ended by unceremoniously kicking them downstairs."' 

" Formerly wise men used to grow beards. Now 
other persons do so." This sentence in Niices, an 
exercise-book of William Johnson's compilation, was 
supposed by us to be aimed at another assistant 
master, a bearded clergyman, bluff, honest, mannerless, 
and universally disliked, who went by the name of 
" Stiggins." He had a detestable habit of standing at 
right angles to an}' one with whom he was conversing, 
while he looked straight away in front of him, his long 
red beard streaming down to his waist, and when he 
spoke, he jerked his words at you, as it were, from 
round the corner. His rudeness was a by-word ; and 
the attempt sometimes made to excuse it, on the ground 
that it " was not intended," did not appeal very strongly 
I think, either to masters or to boys : and justly, for 
surely the only sort of rudeness which can be pardoned 
is that which is intended. There are occasions, rare, 
but real, when it is necessary and wholesome to be 
rude ; but to be rude without knowing it is the very 
acme of ill manners, and that was precisely the kind of 
discourtesy in which " Stiggins " was unequalled. 

The story of how " Stiggins " was once nearly thrown 
into Barnes Pool, a by-water of the Thames, by a 

« From the chapter on " The Author of lonica," in Eton 
undtr Hornby. 


riotous troop of boys, has been told in more than one 
of the books about Eton ; it was a curious coincidence 
that he should have almost shared the fate of his 
reverend predecessor in Pickwick, who was dipped in 
a horse-trough by the infuriated Mr. Weller. This 
incident was, perhaps, the greatest of the many scandals 
that occurred at Eton during Dr. Hornby's headmaster- 

It has often struck me as strange that I should owe 
to such a plain and unadorned barbarian as " Stiggins " 
my first introduction to Keats's poems : he gave me, 
as' a prize, Moxon's edition of the works. He also 
"sent me up for good" (for Latin verses), an honour 
of which I was rather unpleasantly reminded, some 
twenty or more 3'ears afterwards, when he had retired 
from Eton to a country parsonage ; for in order to 
raise funds for a proposed " restoration " of his church, 
he conceived the idea of soUciting " for the glory of 
God," as he expressed it, a subscription from every 
Old Etonian who in bygone daj's had been " sent up 
for good " in his Division. There was a naive effrontery 
about this proposal which was quite characteristic 
of its author. 

The writing of Latin verse, so highly regarded at 
Eton, was a curious accompHshment. It was said by 
Coleridge in his Tabic Talk that Etonians acquired the 
art " by conning Ovid and Tibullus " : my recollection 
is that we read Ovid but rarely, and Tibullus not at 
all. Some of us certainly became proficient in making 
Latin verses of a kind ; but our models were the render- 
ings of English poems in such collections as the 
Arundine^ Canii or the SahrincB Corolla, rather than 
any Latin originals ; and though we could turn out 
" longs and shorts " with facility, and even with 
neatness, I hardly think our productions would have 
passed muster in the Augustan age. Still, the versifier's 
art, such as it was, brought us a certain gratification ; 
and in the summer, when, as we all felt, the time of the 


leading cricketers was of inestimable value to the 
school, we were glad to turn our skill to good account 
by composing for them their weekly copy of verses, 
and so releasing them, as it were, from a frivolous for 
a serious task. On " verse days " members of the 
Eleven would often come up into College, where each 
would find for himself a poet ; and thus valuable time 
would be saved for practice at the nets. It was but 
little we could do in so great a cause, but we did it with 
wiUingness ; and I remember the honest pride which 
I felt when dictating to the Captain of the Eleven a 
copy of verses, made up largely of old tags and stock 
phrases, which he copied down with much satisfaction 
and without the least understanding. His ignorance of 
the meaning of what purported to be his own com- 
position would lead to no trouble ; for tutors and division- 
masters ahke were aware that they must not press a 
good cricketer too hard. A blue cap covered a multitude 
of sins. 

But that we were savages, who, looking back on those 
bygone times, can doubt ? Non angcli, sed Angli. " It 
was an era," as Mr. Ralph Nevill has well remarked in 
his F lor eat Etona, " when the sickening cant of 
humanitarianism, born of luxury and weakness, had 
not yet arisen, to emasculate and enfeeble the British 
race." The hunting and breaking up of hares then, 
as now, was one of the recognized pastimes ; indeed, 
even as late as the headmastership of Dr. Balston 
(1857-68), it had been permitted to the boys, as a 
variation from the hare-hunt, to pursue with beagles 
a mutilated fox deprived of one of his pads.^ In the 
hundreds of sermons which I have heard preached in 
Eton College Chapel, never was a word spoken on the 
subject of cruelty. And no wonder ; for Eton had 
always been a home of cruel sports. 

There was the less excuse for these miserable prac- 
tices, because an abundance and superabundance of 
« See Brinsley Richards's Seven Years at Eton. 


the nobler sports was within reach of the Eton boy : 
nowhere else could river and playing-field offer such 
attractions. Thrilling beyond all else, and crowning 
the glories of the summer school-time, was the great 
annual cricket match between Eton and Harrow at 
" Lord's," a drama of such excitement as nothing in 
mature life could ever equal. Who, for example, that 
witnessed the match of 1869— C. J. Ottaway's year, 
when Eton broke a long series of defeats by a single- 
innings victory — can have forgotten the deUrious scene 
at the close ? I can still see Dr. Goodford, the venerable 
Provost of Eton, dancing ecstatically, hat in hand, 
before the pavihon, and looking very much as " Spy " 
once pictured him in a famous cartoon in Vanity Fair. 
Athletics, of course, took precedence of all intellectual 
pursuits. The Etonian, in our time, was but a dim 
legend of the past, and the genius of Praed and Moultrie 
had left no direct Hne of succession ; nevertheless 
among the upper boys there was not an entire dearth of 
literary aspiration, and we had a school magazine, 
the Adventurer, which existed from the later 'sixties for 
about five years. One of its editors, a Colleger named 
C. C. Thornton, was the author of some extremely good 
verse ; and among other contributors, towards the 
latter part of the Adventurer's career, were Arthur A. 
Tilley, now a Fellow of King's College, Cambridge ; 
E. C. Sclwyn, afterwards headmaster of Uppingham 
School ; J. E. C. Welldon, the popular Dean of Durham ; 
Herbert W. Paul ; George Campbell Macaulay ; J. C. 
Tarver ; and Sir Melville Macnaghten, who wrote as 
M* ; also, if I mistake not, the nom de plume of " Tom " 
covered some early poems of Mr. F, B. Money-Coutts, 
now known as Baron Latymer. One of the best essays 
in the Adventurer was that on " Arbitration as a Sub- 
stitute for War,"« by Mr. Herbert Paul. Another 
noteworthy contribution, which has some historical 
interest for Etonians of that period, was a poem by 
• The article, unsigned, appeared in No. 23. 


Bishop Welldon, entitled "Adventurer Loquitur"* in 
which the Magazine was represented as giving some 
description of the several members of its " staff," 
whether in recognition of their services or in reproof 
of their remissness. Among those clearly indicated, 
though unnamed, were A. A. Tilley, R. C. Radcliffe, 
G. R. Murray, Bernard Coleridge (now Lord Coleridge), 
H. G. Wintle, G. C. Macaulay, C. C. Lacaita, J. E. C. 
Welldon, E. C. Selwyn, and the writer of these remi- 
niscences. The cause of the Adventurer's decease was 
that it ran counter to Etonian sentiment, in acting 
on the perilous principle that " it is only those who 
truly love Eton that dare to show her her faults." 2 

Apart from the Adventurer, the literary ambition of 
some of the Collegers sought irregular expression, in 
those far-off days, by supplying the Windsor press, 
when opportunity occurred, with exaggerated and 
absurdly inflated accounts of any exciting incident such 
as the outbreak of a fire. Nor was it only the local 
papers that allured us ; for I remember how G. C. 
Macaulay and I once had a daring wager as to which of 
us should more egregicusly hoax the Field with some 
story of a rare bird. He tried a too highly coloured 
anecdote of a bee-eater, and failed to win credence ; 
while I, with a modest narrative of a supposed stork 
in Windsor Park (" can it have been a stork ? I shall 
indeed feel myself lucky if my supposition be correct "), 
not only saw my letter inserted, but drew the gratifying 
editorial comment : " Most probably it was a stork." 
Thus we made natural history and beguiled the idle 

To look upon a group photograph of the Collegers 
of fifty years ago brings many memories to the mind. 
E. C. Selwyn, before we met at Eton, had been my 
schoolfellow at Blackheath Proprietary School, of 
which his father was headmaster ; and our friendly 

' The Adventurer, No. 20. 

' See the concluding article, " Valete Etonenses," No. 29. 


relations were renewed from time to time till his death 
in 19 19. As I once reminded him, we had but two 
quarrels — the first when we were freshmen at Cambridge, 
about Moses, in whom I had been rash enough to say 
that I "did not believe " ; and the second, at a later 
period, because I did beheve in Mr. H. M. Hyndman, 
of whose sociahst doctrines Selwyn as vehemently 
disapproved. Long years afterwards I made what I 
thought was a fair proposal to him — that if he would 
give up Moses, 1 would give up the other patriarch, and 
so our two small disagreements would be mutually 
adjusted ; but his answer was that, though Moses 
need no longer delay a settlement, he could not agree 
to Mr. Hyndman being given up, because his patriotic 
conduct during the Great War had shown him in a new 

We used to call Selwyn " bishop " in those days, 
either because of a distant relationship to Dr. G. A. 
Selwyn, the well-known Bishop of Lichfield, or because 
we thought him almost certainly destined to attain 
to episcopal rank : his scholarship, not to mention his 
defence of Moses, seemed to warrant no less. J. E. C. 
Welldon, who did become a bishop, was another most 
genial schoolfellow, famous in the football field no 
less than in the examination room. I remember 
running second to him in a handicap quarter-mile race, 
in which he was allowed a good many yards' start, 
and with that advantage just managed to keep the 
rest of us in the rear. Herbert Paul, unlike Welldon 
or Selwyn, was by no means designated for a bishopric. 
I recall him, a sceptic even in boyhood, standing in 
Upper Passage, where Collegers often held informal 
discussion, as, with thumbs in waistcoat pockets, he 
would hold forth, already a fearless disputant, on matters 
human and divine. 

Among other figures in the group are Dr. Ryle, 
Dean of Westminster ; Sir Richmond Ritchie ; Mr. 
George Campbell Macaulay ; Mr. C. Lowry, head of 


Tonbridge School ; Dr. Burrows, Bishop of Chichester, 
Dr. Harnier, Bishop of Rochester ; Sir E. Ruggles- 
Brise, Chairman of the Prison Commission ; Mr. E. C. 
Tennyson-d'Eyncourt ; Rev. J. H. J. EUison, late 
Vicar of Windsor ; Sir Lionel Carden, of Mexican fame ; 
and others who in various ways have become distin- 

Very provocative of reminiscence, too, are the 
illustrations, printed in books about Eton, of the College 
servants, the College buildings, and many well-remem- 
bered faces and scenes. Take, for example, a picture of 
" Old College Servants " in Mr. Ralph Nevill'"^ Florcat 

There stands the old College porter, Harry Atkins, 
whom, to our disgrace, we used to bombard on dark 
winter nights in his little lodge at the gateway into 
School Yard, hurling missiles at his door from behind the 
pillars of the cloisters under Upper School, and trusting 
to our superior fleetness of foot when he was goaded 
into a desperate charge. There, too, are Culliford, the 
butler, and Westbrook, the cook, who were treated by 
us with far greater respect than the equally respectable 
Atkins, as presiding over departments in which our 
own personal comforts were more closely concerned, 
and from whose hands, on the occasion of banquets in 
the College Hall, the smaller Collegers would try to 
beg or snatch dainties as they carried them up from 
the kitchen. Among the least prominent members of 
the group is one Wagstaffe, designated " sculhon " ; 
yet, humble though he was in appearance, his name 
had become a household w'ord among the boys ; for 
the somewhat unappetizing dough which formed the 
base of the puddings served to the Collegers was then 
known as " the Wagstaffe," on the supposition, 
presumably, that the under part of the pudding was 
the creation of the under-cook. I do not think I could 
eat that pudding now ; but looking on the worthy 
Wagstaffe's image again, I feel that we wronged him 


in identifying him, as we did, with an unsavoury com- 
position for which he, a mere subordinate, was not 
personally to blame. 

To the College Hall there came daily, for the rem- 
nants of bread and other victuals, a number of poor 
old alms-women ; and if any further proof be needed 
of the exceeding thinness of the veneer by which our 
youthful savagery was overlaid, it will be found in our 
treatment of those humble folk, who were of much 
more use in the world than ourselves. Wc named them 
" the hags " ; and one of our amusements was to 
construct for them what was called a " hag-trap." 
A large square piece of bread was hollowed out in the 
centre through a hole bored in the side, and when the 
cavity had been filled up with mustard, pepper, salt, 
etc., the opening was plugged, and the bread left lying 
on the table as a bait for some unwary victim who should 
carry it to her home. Whether the Eton Mission in 
Hackney Wick has so amchorated the hearts of later 
generations of Etonians that a " hag-trap " would now 
be an impossibihty, I do not know ; but in those days 
we certainly had not the smallest atom of sympathy 
with the working classes, except perhaps with those 
College servants who were known to us personally, 
and who ministered to our wants. 

Wc did not pretend to regard the working man as a 
brother. Once, when I was travclUng with some Eton 
friends, a sweep who was standing on the platform 
tried to enter our carriage just as the train was about to 
start. Instantly we seized the door, and held it closed 
from the inside ; and after a short struggle (the black 
man's anxious eyes still haunt me), the victory re- 
mained with us, for the train begun to move, and the 
sweep was left behind. That was our idea of Fraternity. 
Was it Waterloo that was won in the Eton Playing 
Fields ? I have sometimes thought it must have been 

But let me turn from the recollection of childish deeds 


done by those who were but " scugs," or " lower boys," 
to that of the immense self-importance of which we 
were conscious when we had reached the eminence of 
sixth form. Surely nowhere on earth is there such a 
tremendous personage as a sixth-form Eton boy ; 
he acts continually with that " full sense of responsi- 
bihty " so dear to the occupants of the Parhamentary 
front-bench. No visitor to Eton College Chapel can 
have failed to be impressed by the pompous entry of 
those twenty immaculately attired young men as they 
precede the Headmaster and the Provost in a sort of 
triumphal procession, thinking of anything rather than 
the religious service to which their arrival is the prelude. 
On speech-days, too, when, arrayed in dress-coat and 
knee-breeches, we declaimed passages from the great 
writers of antiquity or of modern times, we felt to the 
full the colossal seriousness of our position — serious also 
it was in another sense, for our self-satisfaction was 
then sobered by the possibiUty of breaking down. To 
keep order in the passages at night ; to say the Latin 
grace in Hall ; to note the names at " Absence " in 
the school-yard, standing by the headmaster's side — 
even to read prayers in the Houses on occasions — these 
were but a few of the many duties and dignities of 
sixth form. No young feathered " bloods " in red 
Indian tribe could have had greater reason to be proud. 

Even in the holidays our grave responsibilities did 
not wholly cease ; for it was a custom for sixth-form 
youths to be sent as tutors to lower boys who needed 
" coaching " at their homes. On two occasions it fell 
to my lot to perform that service for a Hvely but very 
backward boy at Evans's House, Charley Selwyn, 
nephew of the Bishop of Lichfield ; and the awe which 
I felt at sojourning in a bishop's palace helped to fix 
more firmly in my memory some of the impressions 
which I got there. 

Dr. George Augustus Selwyn was the most stalwart 
champion of " muscular Christianity." His face was 



somewhat grim and stern, as was to be expected in so 
redoubtable a preacher of the gospel of hard work ; 
but there was a humorous twinkle in his eyes which 
betokened a very kind heart ; and to any one connected 
with Eton, present Etonian or Old Etonian, he extended 
the warmest of welcomes. In fact, New Zealand, the 
scene of his missionary labours, and Eton, where he had 
been a successful scholar and athlete, were the standing 
subjects of conversation at his table : he and Mrs. 
Selwyn used often to converse together in the Maori 
tongue ; and had there been an Etonian language 
(other than slang) it would assuredly have been spoken 
by them. The world was, for the bishop, divided into 
Etonian and non-Etonian. I once heard him pressing 
upon an old schoolfellow, who was about to leave the 
Palace, some table-deUcacies of rare excellence, and 
quoting the Horatian line : 

Ut libet ; hsc porcis hodie comedenda relinques. 
(" As you like! The pigs will eat them up, if left.") 

He explained that some other guests who were coming 
to Lichfield that day were — non-Etonians. 

But in spite of the large and lion-like geniality of the 
bishop, there were anxious moments when the sight of 
some indolent or slovenly action caused his quick 
temper to give way, and then one knew not whether 
to tremble or be inwardly amused at the forms which 
his anger would take. Once, on a dull Sunday after- 
noon (the Sundays were dull at the Palace), he over- 
heard his nephew yawning wearily and saying he did 
not know what to do. " What ! " cried the bishop. 
" A Christian boy not know what to do on a Sunday 
afternoon ! " Then, in terrible tones : " Go and fetch 
your Greek Testament." Forthwith, while I made haste 
to escape from that scene of wrath, the wretched boy 
had to undergo a long lesson from his uncle. 

On another occasion it was my pupil's sister, a very 
beautiful child of ten or twelve, who caused an eruption 


of the volcano. She had left, in the course of luncheon, 
" a wasteful plate "—that is, she had put the gristle 
of the meat at the side, cleverly hidden, as she thought, 
under knife and fork— and the bishop, observing this, 
lectured her sharply on the sinfulness of such a habit. 
Then, to our consternation, his anger rising higher, 
he ended by seizing the girl's plate, and then and there 
himself devoured the disgusting stuff as a practical 
lesson in frugahty. " The bishop's in a very bad 
temper, to-day, sir," the butler gravely remarked to 
me afterwards.^ 

Eton, then, was the school where ignorance was 
bUss, but the Miss was very dear while it lasted, and it 
would have been dearer still if we had more fully 
reaUzed the nature of the change that was to follow — 
the difference between University and School. As the 
end of the last summer term drew near, we felt more 
and more the pang of the parting that was to come; 
and when it was time to write our Vale — that last copy 
of the weekly verses, in which we were allowed, for 
once, to substitute EngHsh for Latin— we naturally 
hkened ourselves to some prophetic dreamer of sad 
dreams, or to some despairing convict who sees his 
approaching fate. 

So I, who write, feel ever on my heart 
Such dim presentiment, such dull despair : 

Me, too, a doom awaits ; I, too, must part. 
And change a careless life for toil and care. 

Doubtless many such elegies periodically found their 
way, as mine did, into Dr. Hornby's waste-paper 

> The incident is a good example of the way in which the 
real ethics of diet are often overlooked, while stress is laid upon 
some quite minor and subordinate aspect of it. 



Next Camus, reverend sire, went footing slow. 


Certainly, after the liveliness of Thames, old Camus 
seemed to foot it very slowly. Heavy was the fall 
from the exaltation of the sixth form to the lowUness 
of the freshman. A needed experience it may have 
been, as correcting the natural priggishness of boy- 
hood ; but it was a change that we httle rehshed while 
we underwent it. 

King's College, Cambridge, in the early 'seventies, 
was in a phase of transition from the old-fashioned 
system, under which it was a mere appanage of Eton, 
to a new order of things which was gradually throwing 
its gates open to all comers ; much, however, of the 
ancient pettiness of spirit still remained ; the College 
was small in numbers and small in tone, dominated by 
a code of unwritten yet vexatious ordinances, which it 
was waste of time to observe, yet " bad form " to 
neglect. " King's always had a tyrant," was a remark 
made to me by F. W. Cornish, himself a Kingsman. 

The Provost was Dr. Okes, a short, rather crabbed- 
looking old man, whose enormous self-complacency was 
the theme of many tales. Once, when he was walking 
through the court, his pompous gait caused some ill- 
mannered undergraduates, who were watching him 
from a window, to give vent to audible laughter ; where- 
upon he sent for them and explained that such merriment 



must not be indulged in \vhile he was passing by. That 
he himself could have been the cause of the merriment 
was a possibility which had not entered his mind. 

Next in authority was the dean, a wan and withered- 
looking clergyman named Churton, who always seemed 
unhappy himself and infected every one who entered 
his rooms with a sense of discomfort. He used to 
invite undergraduates to breakfast with him, a melan- 
choly function in which he often had the aid of Fred 
Whitting (the name was pronounced Whiting), a bluff 
and more genial don whose conversation just saved the 
guests from utter despair ; and at these entertainments 
poor Churton's one remark, as he helped the fish, was 
to say with a sour smile of ineffable wretchedness : 
" Whitting, will you be a cannibal ? " 

Very different from this chilly dean, and much more 
interesting, as being genuine relics of the brave old 
days when Kingsmen had no need to study or to exert 
themselves, inasmuch as their University career was 
assured them from the first, were two portly and in- 
separable bachelors, Messrs. Law and Brocklebank, 
whose sole employment it seemed to be to reap to the 
full the emoluments of their life-fellowship, which they 
had held for a goodly number of years. " Brock " 
and " Applehead " were their nicknames ; both were 
stout and bulky, but there was a rotundity about Mr. 
Law's cranial development which gave him a more 
imposing appearance. As they ambled side by side 
about the courts and lawns, it amused us to fancy them 
a pair of strange survivals from a rude prehistoric age, 
we ourselves, of course, playing the part of the moderns 
and intellectuals. When " Applehead " died, we were 
enjoined in a poetical epitaph, by some anonymous 
admirer, to deck his grave with pumpkins, gourds, 
melons, cucumbers and other emblematic fruits. 

The literary element was not strong in King's ; but 
in Henry Bradshaw, one of the senior Fellows, the 
College could boast a University Librarian of much 


distinction. He was a kind, but most whimsical and 
eccentric man, whose friendship was open to any under- 
graduate who sought it, only it must be sought, and 
under the conditions imposed by Bradshaw himself, 
for it was never in any circumstances offered. If you 
presented yourself uninvited at his rooms — rather an 
ordeal for a nervous freshman — you were welcomed, 
perhaps taken to his heart. If you did not present 
yourself, he never asked you to come ; on the contrary, 
however often he met you on the stairs or elsewhere, 
he passed with a look of blank and stony indifference 
on his large and somewhat inexpressive visage. I 
knew a scholar of King's who lived on Bradshaw's 
staircase, and who for more than a year was thus passed 
by as non-existent : then, one evening, moved by a 
sudden impulse, he knocked at the great man's door, 
entered, and was immediately admitted to the cheery 
circle of his acquaintance. It was useless to resent 
such waywardness on Bradshaw's part ; there was no 
" ought " in his vocabulary ; you had to take him on 
his own terms, or " go without " ; and the great number 
of University men who came on pilgrimage to his rooms 
was in itself a proof of his mastery. I recall the following 
lines from an epigram which some rebelhous under- 
graduate wrote on him : 

Throned in supreme indifference, he sees 
The growing ardour of his devotees : 
He cares not if they come, yet more and more 
They throng subservient to the sacred door : 
He cares not if they go, yet none the less 
His " harvests ripen and his herds increase." 

It was so ; and Bradshaw, having a gift of very pungent 
speech, was well able to keep his " herds " in order when 
they were assembled : he would at times say a sharp 
and wholesome word to some conceited or presumptuous 
visitor. Even his nearest friends could take no hberties 
with him. It was said that when Mr. G. W. Prothero, 


then a Fellow of King's, took to omitting the " Esquire " 
in the address of letters, and wrote plain " Henry 
Bradshaw," the librarian retahated in his reply by 
addressing laconically to " Prothero " — nothing more. 

To attend lectures and chapel services formed the chief 
duties of undergraduates ; and the lectures were much 
the less tedious task. It was a chilly business, however, 
on a cold winter morning, to hear the great Greek 
scholar, R. Shilleto, hold forth for an hour on his 
beloved Thucydides ; for he was an elderly man with a 
chronic cough, and his enthusiasm for a Greek idiom 
hardly compensated his audience for the physical 
difficulties with which he laboured. He would begin 
cheerily on a difficult passage, and, overtaken by a 
bout of coughing, lose the place for a while ; then, 
with a drawhng " yes," catch up the thread of his 
discourse, till another spasm overwhelmed him ; while 
we, desiring our breakfasts much more than the privilege 
of listening to a second Person, fumed and fidgeted, 
and took notes, or neglected to take notes, till the stroke 
of the clock released us. IMuch more popular were some 
of the lectures which we attended, in other Colleges, 
given by such skilled exponents of the Classics as 
Henry Jackson and R. C. Jebb. Jebb was always 
the same — self-composed, neat and eloquent ; Jackson, 
on the contrary, though not at all less competent, 
used to work himself into a fever of fretfulness when he 
could not find the exact word he sought for ; and then, 
to our amusement, he would upbraid himself as " dolt " 
and " idiot," even while he was giving a most suggestive 

The compulsory " chapels " were a great trial to some 
of us ; and each King's scholar was further liable, in 
turn, to the function of reading the Lessons for a week. 
I do not know why this should have seemed more 
formidable than " speeches " at Eton, but it was an 
office which we would very thankfully have escaped. 
It needed some courage to step down from a stall in 



that spacious chapel — most of all when, as on a Sunday 
afternoon, there was a large concourse of visitors — and 
then to mount, by what cragsmen would call an " exposed 
ridge," the steps that led up to the big lectern in the 
middle of the nave. The sensation was one of extreme 
sohtariness and detachment, with little but the lectern 
itself to give support and protection ; so that we could 
almost sympathize with the plight of that disreputable 
undergraduate who, according to a current story (which, 
be it hoped, was fictitious), had essayed to read the 
Lessons, in some college chapel, when he was not so 
sober as he should have been. Throwing his arms 
round the eagle — for his lectern was fashioned in the 
shape of that pagan bird — he appalled the congregation, 
it was said, by exclaiming, in a pensive voice : "If 
it wasn't for this [something] duck, I'd be down." 

But practice makes all things easier ; and after a 
time one or two of us so far overcame our nervousness 
as to utilize our position at the lectern for the benefit, 
as we thought, of the congregation at large — certainly 
for our own personal comfort ; for we ventured to dock 
and shorten the Lessons as we felt inchned. " Here 
cndeth the Lesson," we would cry, when we had read, 
perhaps, no more than a dozen verses out of twice or 
thrice that number ; and immediately the great organ 
would sound, and the pompous choral service continued 
on its course. We had private information that this 
irregularity did not pass unobserved by some of the 
dons ; but as nothing was said we concluded that they 
blessed us for it in secret. 

The relations between dons and undergraduates were 
for the most part very friendly ; but the blandness of 
the dons was somewhat measured and condescending — 
not without reason, perhaps, for undergraduates, hke 
schoolboys, were apt to take undue advantage of any 
excess of affabihty. Once, when I was walking along 
King's Parade with a friend, we saw the great Dr. 
Lightfoot coming from the opposite direction. " Now 


just look," said my companion, " how polite Lightfoot 
will be. See how I'll make him smile as he passes." 
And sure enough, the learned divine, in response to an 
audacious salute from one who had no sort of claim 
to his acquaintance, was instantly wreathed in smiles 
and benignity, as if he were meeting the son of his 
dearest friend, instead of being impudently imposed on 
by a stranger. 

We rather dreaded the invitations that sometimes 
reached us to a formal breakfast, or worse still, a soiree 
(familiarly known as a " stand-up "), at the residence 
of some high authority. I have spoken of the Churton 
breakfasts in King's ; still more serious an affair was 
it to be one of a dozen undergraduates summoned en 
bloc to breakfast at Trinity Lodge, for Dr. Thompson, 
the Master of Trinity, was a great University magnate, 
widely famed and feared for his sententious sayings 
and biting sarcasms, many of which were reported 
from mouth to mouth. We had heard of that deadly 
verdict of his on a University sermon preached by 
Dean Howson, joint author of Conybeare and Howson's 
Life of Si. Paul : " I was thinking what a very clever 
man Mr. Conybeare must have been." As a member 
once or twice of such a breakfast-party, I recollect 
how awkwardly we stood herded together when we had 
entered the sage's presejice, and how, as we passed into 
the breakfast-room, we almost jostled each other in our 
anxiety to get a seat as far as possible away from that 
end of the long table where the Master in his majestj' 
sat. As for the soirees at Trinity Lodge and elsewhere, 
they demanded some strength of limb ; for the number 
of visitors exceeded the number of seats, and to stand 
for two hours in a corner, and look as if one liked it, 
was irksome even for youth. At these ceremonials, 
when the Provost of King's was the host, he used to 
invite undergraduates with immense condescension to 
" be seated " ; and when he added with emphasis : 
" You may sit down here," he was understood to be 


reflecting on the superior comfort of a Provost's enter- 
tainment as compared with that of Trinity Lodge. 

One thing that rather galled the feehngs of under- 
graduates was that none but Provost and Fellows 
might set foot on the extensive lawns at King's — a 
scltish privilege of the few, as it appeared, maintained to 
the exclusion of the many. However that may have 
been, there came a night when a small party of Kingsmen 
committed the sacrilegious act of releasing a mole in 
front of the Provost's Lodge, and dauntlessly awaited 
the result, thus anticipating Lord Milner's pohcy of 
" damning the consequences." There were no serious 
consequences, except to the most innocent of all the 
persons concerned — the mole. We watched him with 
admiration as he sank into that soft green turf, like a 
seal into water ; and the next morning we were thrilled 
to see a small line of earthen hillocks on the sacred 
sward. Then followed a great to-do of gardeners and 
mole-catchers ; and on the third day, to our regret 
and remorse, the poor mole paid the penalty for the 
trespasses of others. We put a London newspaper on 
the track of this incident, and the editor published 
some humorous speculations, for the benefit of readers 
interested in natural history, as to how the mole could 
have found his way to that cloistered spot. 

The Cambridge Undergraduates' Journal (I am now 
speaking of the year 1873 and thereabouts) was a 
fortnightly paper — edited at one time by G. C. Macaulay, 
at another by Hallam (now Lord) Tennyson — in which 
some of us used to try our hands at the higher journalism, 
and write satirical essays on the various anomalies of 
Cambridge hfe. Compulsory chapels ; compulsory Latin 
and Greek ; " cribbing " in examinations ; antiquated 
college customs ; the exactions of college servants ; 
the social functions known as " stand-ups " — these were 
but a few of the topics on which we held forth with all 
the confidence of youth. It was the Adventurer over 
again, but on a more comprehensive scale ; for the 


undergraduate could express his feelings more openh' 
than the schoolboy ; else the writer of an article on 
compulsory chapels could hardly have inveighed, as 
he did, against the ordinance of full choral service, 
where " the man without an ear " was doomed, for 
two long hours, " to sit, stand, and kneel in wearisome 

The annual competition for the English Prize Poem 
afforded another opportunity for nascent ambition. 
The subject one year was the recovery of the Prince 
of Wales (afterwards King Edward) from a serious 
illness ; and it was this rather snobbish theme that 
drew from one of the competitors a couplet which 
went the round of a deliglited University : 

Flashed o'er the land the electric message came : 
" He is not better, but he's much the same." ' 

Then there were the " Sir William Browne's Medals," 
offered annually for Greek and Latin odes and epigrams. 
These prizes were usually the perquisite of a few select 
scholars (my friend E. C. Selwyn had a way of carrying 
them off) ; but as the poems were sent in anonymously, 
the envelope containing the competitor's name not 
being opened except when he won the medal, it was a 
safe and rather good sport to try one's luck in the 
contest. One of the surprises of ni}^ life was when old 
Shilleto (the coughing grammarian) walked into my 
room one evening, and told me that the examiners had 
awarded me the medal for Greek epigram. There being 
a defect in one of the lines, he sat down and corrected 
it, there and then, by an emendation which was doubt- 
less better Greek and certainly worse poetry. 

Another high Cambridge authority, at that time, was 
Dr. Benjamin Kennedy, famed as former headmaster of 

' I was not aware of these lines having appeared in print, 
until they were quoted by Sir Edward Cook in his Alore Literary 
Recreations, 1919. My version of them is slightly different 
from his ; but I think my recollection is trustworthy. 


ShrcNv-sbury School, and as author of a Latin Grammar 
familiar to'n\any generations of schoolboys. I had been 
told to call on him at his house, for my father had been 
under him at Shrewsbury, and there was an old friend- 
ship between the famihes ; and when I did so with some 
trepidation— perhaps because a recent experience at 
frinity Lodge had made me fearful of " receptions " — 
I found him a most benign old gentleman, quite free 
from the awful stateliness of a Provost or a Master ; 
indeed, when he asked undergraduates to dinner he 
relaxed to an extent which could not but restore con- 
fidence in the most timid. After dinner he would give 
us " words " to decipher, in ivory letters, according to 
that rather inane Victorian pastime ; or he would 
recite odd verses to us in his quaint sing-song voice, 
something between a whisper and a wheeze. Who could 
have feared even the most learned of Professors, when 
he stooped to conquer by rehearsing for us such an 
example of an English pentameter as the following, 
presumabh' of his own composition : 

Strawberry' jam jam jam ; strawberry, strawberry jam. 

But even the genial Dr. Kennedy could not wholly 
release himself from the rigidness of Can/bridge eti- 
quette : it was impossible, so he had stated when he 
desired me to call on him, for him to call on an under- 
eraduate. No such difficulty existed for the greatest 
yet least assuming of the distinguished men then living 
in Cambridge, Frederick Denison Maurice. Having 
heard of me as a pupil of Mr. Kegan Paul's, he came, 
though he was an old man, to my room on the top 
story in King's, and talked so quietly and naturally 
that I felt quite at ease with him. On a later occasion 
I breakfasted at his house, alone with him, a privilege 
which I much valued ; for even then I was aware of 
his real greatness, unlike as he was to the pompous 
University magnates who figured so largely in public. 


If only tlie heads of Colleges and Universities could 
know — but, of course, they rorely know — how much 
more powerful is the influence of simple unaffected 
kindness than of the affabiUty which betrays a touch 
of patronage and condescension ! 

St, Edward's Church, of which Maurice was the 
incumbent, was close to the gates of King's — and some 
of us undergraduates used to go there on Sunday 
evenings, notwithstanding our weariness of our own 
chapel services, in order to hear him preach, for we 
were drawn to him by the obvious impression which he 
gave of quiet sympathy and strength. At a time when 
the revolting doctrine of eternal punishment was still 
widely held, his humanizing influence must have been 
very valuable within the Church. Matthew Arnold's 
clever gibe, that he beat about the bush, but without 
starting the hare, left a good deal unsaid ; for if he 
did not start the hare he helped to silence the 

Not very long before the time of which I am speaking, 
Maurice's curate at sSt. Edward's had been a namesake 
of that saint's, Edward Carpenter, who, as is related 
in his autobiography,^ resigned his Orders, together 
with his Fellowship at Trinity Hall, in 1871. Some 
thirteen years later I made his acquaintance in London ; 
and 1 have often regretted that 1 went to Cambridge 
too late to hear him preach, for I have never been 
able quite to picture the author of Toaards Democracy 
in the pulpit, arra3'ed canonically in surplice or 

The goal of a Kingsman's career at Cambridge was 
the Classical Tripos ; and for three years he would read 
steadily, and with increasing intentness, keeping that 
end in view. It was generallj' thought advisable to 
have a " coach " ; but experience led me to doubt 
whether, for those who knew how to direct their own 
reading, and had the necessary perseverance, it was not 
' My Days and Dreams, by Edward Carpenter, 1916. 


a waste of time to invoke such assistance ; a good 
*' crib " was a far speedier and more effective instructor. 
Some " coaches," moreover, were apt to be rather lazy 
at times, and to put off their pupils' attendance on the 
plea, perhaps, that they had to go to London for the 
day. or were called off by some equally important 
engagement ; and now, by a curious reversal, we, who 
at Eton should have been only too dehghted if our 
tutors had perennially shirked their duties, had become 
in turn the studious ones, and having ourselves paid 
for the tuition were annoyed if we did not get it ! One 
contemporary of mine at King's was so upset by his 
" coach's " remissness that he wrote him a letter of 
remonstrance, more in sadness than anger, and roused 
him to fury by quoting some words from Thucydides 
(o< Sj TrpoXajiuvTtg to apyvptov), in Open allusion to 
those who first get their fee and then neglect to 
earn it. 

Young men often fail to realize the sensitiveness of 
their elders, and thus say and do things which cause 
more hurt than was intended. We used to be resentful, 
in those too fastidious pre-war days, of the considerable 
amount of shale, schist, and rubble which was sold to 
us with our coal ; and a fellow Kingsman once asked 
mc to accompany him to the coal-merchant's, to whom 
he proposed to return a basketful of the refuse in 
question. Foreseeing sport, I went ; but the scene 
that ensued was sorrowful rather than amusing, for 
the head of the firm, a venerable-looking old man with 
white hair, happened to be in the office, and when the 
coal-substitutes were handed to him over the counter 
his wrath was so great that his hand positively shook 
with passion. Savages though we were, we came away 
rather penitent. 

There was, liowever, one Kingsman at that time, an 
undergraduate senior to myself, who was unpleasantly 
famed for the remorseless devilry with which he scored 
off any unfortunate person whom chance placed in his 


power. His tailor, it was said, having by mistake 
sent him in a bill that had already been paid, was 
ordered to set the matter right, on pain of being dis- 
missed. He did so ; and then the offended customer 
said to him : " And now I dismiss you just the same." 
On another occasion it was a broken-down clergyman 
who had the ill-luck to appeal to this young gentleman 
for pecuniary aid : so rare an opportunity could not 
be allowed to shp. " You trust in God, I suppose," 
said the undergraduate. It was not possible for a 
clerg3^man to gainsay it. " Then I will toss up," said 
the other ; " and if you cry rightly, I shall know you 
deserve assistance " ; and forthwith he spun the coin, 
and the clergyman cried — " heads " or " tails " as 
might be. But unluckily for the poor pilgrim, the 
Kingsman was a skilled manipulator of the coin in 
hazards of this sort, and the result was never in doubt. 
The mendicant was proved, on the highest authority, 
to be undeserving. 

But to return to the Classical Tripos. Coached or 
uncoached, we came at last to that great final examina- 
tion, a sort of Judgment Day in miniature, which, for 
some of us, would have an important bearing on our 
later hves. The examination system is in various ways 
open to criticism, and critics have by no means been 
lacking, but it need not be denied that intellectual 
benefit in many cases may result from the sustained 
effort to prepare oneself for a very searching test, 
necessitating a thorough study of the chief Classical 
writers. But the weightiest charge against the Uni- 
versity education is the one which least often finds 
expression — that a learning which would strengthen the 
intellect only, and does not feed the heart, is in the 
main but barren and unprofitable, a culture of the 
liiera inhiimaniores. Except from F. D. Maurice, I 
never heard, during my four years at Cambridge — from 
preacher or professor, from lecturer, dean, or don — the 
least mention of the higher social ethics, without 


which there can be no real culture and no true 

I remember, with shame, that I was once so moved 
by the tlorid rhetoric of Dean Farrar, in a missionary 
sermon preached before the University, that I made a 
contribution to the ofiertory which 1 could ill afford. 
A day or two afterwards, with the return of sanity, 1 felt 
the force of the adage that " fools and their money are 
soon parted," and 1 saw that it was worse than folly 
to send missions to other countries, when we ourselves 
were Uttle better than pagans at home. The mischief 
of this spurious rchgionism was that it lessened the 
chance of any genuine awakening of conscience to the 
facts that stared us in the face. We were made to 
study Paley's fantastic " Evidences," v/hile the evidence 
of nature, of the human heart, and of actual life, was 
sedulously hidden away. 

In the Tripos of 1875 the Senior Classic was Mr. 
Peskett, who belonged properly to the preceding 
year, but owing to illness or some other cause had 
" degraded " into ours, and thus robbed my friend Mr. 
Arthur Tilley of an honour which should rightly have 
been his. Dr. J. Gow, Headmaster of Westminster 
School, was third ; the fifth place was shared by Mr. 
Gerald Balfour and myself. 

It was the custom in those days for heidmasters of 
Eton to draw largely on King's College for their supply 
of assistants : thus a King's Scholar of Eton, after 
taking his degree at Cambridge, would often return 
to the school as a Classical assistant master, and so 
complete the academical round. The process might, 
perhaps, have been hkened to the three stages of 
butterfly life, but with the first and the last phase 
transposed. Vv'e began as the gay Eton insects, whose 
ignorance was bliss ; and then, after passing through the 
chrysalis period by the Cam, reappeared on Thames's 
bank, metamorphosed into the caterpillars locally known 
as " beaks," and usually content thenceforth to crawl 


soberly along on a wingless but well-nourished career. 
But even a worm, as we know, will turn ; and, as the 
next chapter must relate, some of the grubs would at 
times be so unconscionable as to take new and un- 
settling notions into their heads. 



" Why, they are cannibals ! " said Toby. " Granted," I 
replied; "but a more gentlemanly and amiable set of epicures 
do not exist." — Herman Melville. 

What are the feelings of the poacher transformed into 
the gamekeeper ? They must, 1 think, be similar to 
those of a youth who, after studying for a few years at 
the University, returns as master to the school which 
he left as boy. Quantum mutatus ab illo ! The scene 
itself is the same, but the part which he must play in 
it is now to a great extent reversed ; and the irony of 
the situation is that though henceforth an upholder 
of law and order, he still, perhaps, sympathizes at 
heart with the transgressors whom it is his duty to 

To be summoned as an assistant by Dr. Hornby, and 
at a few days' notice (his arrangements were frequently 
made in desperate haste), was to be thrown very sud- 
denly upon one's own resources ; for, an appointment 
once completed, he showed no further interest in the 
matter, and did not even trouble himself to provide a 
school-room in which his latest lieutenant should teach : 
that the number of Divisions exceeded the number of 
rooms was a trifle which did not engage his attention. 
A novice had therefore to consider himself rather lucky 
when he was able to secure, for his first term or two, 
even an apartment so ill equipped for educational 
purposes as a sort of cupboard, situated under the 

stairs that led to the headmaster's room, and popularly 



known as " The Dog-Kennel." Here, with a class of 
about forty boys, a pleasant summer school-time had 
to be spent. 

It was a curious sensation, which I suppose all teachers 
of large classes must have felt, to be confronted by 
serried ranks of boys whose faces were entirely strange, 
though their names were entered on the list which lay, 
like a map, upon the desk. Some time was required 
before each name could be correctly fitted to the face ; 
and in this process any abnormality of feature or size 
in individuals, which might constitute a landmark, 
was a great help. A red-haired boy, or a fat boy, 
served to punctuate a row ; and that classification of 
boys (I forget who made it) into the beef-faced and the 
mealy-faced was a thing to be kept in mind. 

Such were the auspices under which an Eton master 
was in those days started on his career — shut up in the 
Dog- Kennel with a horde of young barbarians, whom, 
in the circumstances, it was hardly possible to instruct, 
and not very easy to control. There were a few masters 
at Eton, as doubtless at other public schools, who had 
a real gift for teaching ; also a few, like our friend 
" Swage," who were unable to maintain any semblance 
of authority. Between these two extremes were those, 
the great majority of us, who, while courteously and 
respectfully treated by the boys, and having pleasant 
relations with them, could not in strict truth flatter 
themselves that, except in special cases, they had 
overcome the natural tendency of boyhood to be idle. 
So much has been written about the defects of the Eton 
system that it suffices here to say that while a reputation 
for cleverness was maintained by a few of the boys, 
mostly King's Scholars, the bulk of the school was 
inflexibly bent upon other activities than those of the 

Nor were the masters themselves unaffected by the 
general tone of the school. There were some fine 
scholars, it is true, on Dr. Hornby's staff, experts not 


in Classical literature only, but in various branches of 
learning ; yet in not a few cases these gifted specialists 
seemed as artless in their outlook on life as they were 

skilled in their particular department. " A d d fool, 

with a taste for the Classics," was the too unceremonious 
description given of one of them by a sarcastic 
acqu^iintance ; and the epigram, however reprehensible 
in expression, hit the mark. Knowledge is not wisdom ; 
and this academical learning often went together with 
a narrow and pedantic spirit which bUndly upheld the 
old order of things and resented every sign of change. 
For example, there was one learned master who used 
to assert, in those years of peace, that what England 
most needed was a war — a grim, hard-fought war ; and 
this was the sort of reckless talk often indulged in by 
the mildest-mannered of men, who themselves were in 
no danger whatever of exchanging the gown for the 

New ideas were under a ban at Eton ; notwith- 
standing the specious invitations given to some dis- 
tinguished men to lecture before the school. Gladstone, 
Arnold, Ruskin, Morris and Lowell were among those 
who addressed the boys in the School Library ; and it 
was instructive to note the reception which they severally 
obtained. Lowell was the most popular ; his cheery 
contention that this world of ours is, after all, " not a 
bad world to live in," being delightedly received by an 
audience which had good personal reasons for concurring 
in such a sentiment : WilHam Morris, on the other 
hand, having ventured on the then dangerous ground of 
Socialism, was hissed. Gladstone discreetly kept to the 
unimpeachable subject of Homer ; and Matthew 
Arnold's staid appearance, with his " mutton-chop " 
whiskers and mechanical bowing of the head in accord 
with the slow rhythm of his sentences, was sufficient to 
lull to sleep any insidious doubts of his respectabihty. 
As a speaker, Ruskin was by far superior to the rest ; 
his lucid train of thought and clear, musical voice could 


hold enchanted an audience, even of Eton boys, for 
the full space of an hour. 

Science lectures formed another branch of the 
intellectual treats that were provided for the school ; 
but Science was still rather under a cloud at that date. 
I recollect the title of but one discussion, and that 
only because I happened to be able to throw some 
light on the geological problem with which it dealt; 
I was living in a small house (once famous as " Drury's "), 
which had a much higher one on either side ; and as 
it was the practice for the boys in neighbouring houses 
to bombard each other with any missiles or minerals 
that might be handy, my garden became a sort of 
" no-man's-land " between the two rival fortresses, and 
its surface was enriched with a very varied deposit. 
When, therefore, a lecture was announced on the 
question, " Will coal be found in the Thames valley ? " 
I was able to solve the problem affirmatively by the 
production from my own premises of some remarkably 
fine samples. 

It would doubtless have shocked Dr. Hornby if any 
one had suggested that there was a lack of religious 
instruction in that most conservative of schools. Chapel 
services there were in plenty ; and a Greek Testament 
lesson on Monday morning ; and " Sunday Questions " 
to be answered in writing ; and " Sunday Private " to 
be attended in the Tutor's pupil-room ; and Prayers 
every evening in each House. Yet the general tone of 
Eton was far from being religious, even in the con- 
ventional meaning of the term ; for the many super- 
ficial observances did not affect the deep underlying 
worldliness of the place. It was Vanity Fair on Sundays 
and week-days alike. There was an Eton story of . a 
servant in a private family who, when the bell was 
rung for evening devotions, was overheard to cry in 
a weary voice : " Oh, dear ! Why do gentry have 
prayers ? " The reference to " gentry " shows the light 
in which such ceremonies are regarded downstairs. 


In the same way, the religious teaching in schools is 
looked upon by the boys as imposed on them foi 
purposes of discipline. 

It was not the boys only who found the Chapel 
services very tedious ; for most of the masters were 
laymen, many of them unorthodox, and for these it was 
no agreeable duty to be victimized both on Sundays 
and on Saints' Days for the sake of keeping up appear- 
ances before the school. Calculations are sometimes 
made of the number of years spent in prison by some 
hardened criminal or " gaol-bird." Why does no one 
tell us how many hours, amounting to how many years, 
some zealous church-goer, or pew-bird, has spent on 
such devotions ? Without claiming that distinction, 
I calculate that during some twenty years spent in 
connection with pubhc school and University I passed 
several thousands of hours in church and chapel. 

Human nature could not but chafe under the fearful 
dulness and length of the sermons in Eton College 
Chapel. Dr. Goodford, the Provost, was a sort of 
personified Doom ; when once he mounted the pulpit 
he was in the saddle, so to speak, and rode his congre- 
gation well-nigh to despair with his merciless homihes, 
all uttered in that droning voice, with its ceaseless burr 
and inevitable cadence, which became to generations of 
Etonians as famihar as the Chapel bell itself. Scarcely 
less fearsome were some of the elder Fellows, retired 
masters, such as Bishop Chapman and the Rev. John 
Wilder, who were often let loose on us on Sunday 
mornings and blithely seized the opportunity : it was 
their field-day, and they were out to enjoy themselves, 
quite unconscious that what was pious sport to them 
was death to their unwilhng audience. Small wonder 
that some assistant masters used to dread the weeks 
when they were on duty (" in desk " it was called) ; 
but providentially there were others who, disliking still 
more the labour of correcting Latin verses, were willing 
to barter " verses " for " desks " ; that is, they would 


take so many of a colleague's desks, while he in return 
would look over a stipulated number of exercises. 
Thus did the Muse come to the aid of her devotees : 

Sic me servavit Apollo. 

Perhaps the strangest form that religion took at Eton 
was that of missionary zeal ; we used to have sermons 
periodically about carrying the gospel to " the heathen "; 
though if ever there was a benighted spot on earth, 
it was that pleasant school by the Thames. Some of 
the boys were at times infected by the passion for 
making proselytes : on one occasion an extremely dull 
and idle youth, who had lately left Eton, wrote to tell 
me, as his former tutor, that he had decided to become 
a missionary " to the poor perishing heathen " — in his 
case, the Chinese, a people much less ignorant and 
barbarous than many of their self-appointed rescuers. 

" Divinity " was one of the studies most encouraged 
and fostered at Eton ; one would have thought the 
place was a training-school for theologians, from the 
prominence that was given in examinations to this 
particular branch of learning. The result, as might 
have been expected, was the same as in the writing of 
Latin verses : a few boys became adepts in the Bible 
Dictionary, while the bulk of the school scarcely 
advanced beyond that stage of biblical knowledge 
exhibited by a certain Etonian who, when invited to 
write an account of St. James the Elder and St. James 
the Less, was able to give a brief description of the 
Elder, but was reduced, in the case of the Lesser saint, 
to the rather inadequate, though so far correct, state- 
ment that : " The other was another." 

We were perhaps somewhat overdone with the 
Saints at Eton : the masters who had to set the Sunday 
Questions were nearly as tired of asking about St. 
Peter and St. Paul as the boys of answering ; and in the 
Chapel sermons we suffered, year after year, under the 


whole Hagiology, until some of us, it must be confessed, 
sighed in secret for the time : 

When Reason's rays, illuming all. 

Shall put the Saints to rout, 
And Peter's holiness shall pall. 

And Paul's shall peter out. 

But if Christianity was the nominal rehgion at Eton, 
the real creed was Respectability. To do the " proper 
thing " ; not to offend against any of the conventional 
canons ; to dress, walk, speak, eat and live in the 
manner prescribed by " good form " — this was the ever- 
present obligation which neither boy nor master could 
disregard. Any slip in matters of etiquette was regarded 
as deadly. There was a dark rumour about one of 
the masters, a good and worthy man, but verj^ short- 
sighted, that by a tragic error in the High Street he 
had taken off his hat to his cook : it was only less dread- 
ful than if he had failed to perform that act of courtesy 
in some case where it was required. 

As is usual in barbarous societies, the number of 
things that were " taboo " was considerable. In the 
early 'eighties the bicycle and tricycle were frowned 
upon, not for boys only but for masters ; and a lady 
living in Eton once received from Mrs. Hornby, who 
of course, was at the head of the Fashions, a message 
that to ride a tricycle was " not a nice thing to do." 
Yet for the boys it was considered a nice thing to hunt 
and " break up " hares. I once witnessed the virtuous 
indignation of one of the masters, a clergyman, and a 
follower of the Eton hounds, when some rather 
" shady " incident of the hunt was reported to the 
headmaster ; but Dr. Hornby soon set matters right by 
explaining that, as all hunting was cruel, he obviously 
could not take notice of any particular malpractice. 
That was the sort of reasoning with which any attempts 
to humanize Eton customs were parried and thwarted. 

Yet new ideas could not be wholly excluded, even 


from that stronghold of the antique ; there were, in 
fact, several members of Hornby's staff who held views 
too advanced to be avowed in such surroundings. 
One of the least prejudiced men at Eton was the French 
Master, M. Roublot, who was a close personal friend 
of his German colleague, Herr Griebel ; and it is 
pleasant to recall the fact that during the horrors of 
the Franco-German War, some ten years earher than 
the period of which I am speaking, these two " enemies " 
had kept their friendship unbroken, and might be seen 
daily taking their walk together, just as if their country- 
men were not insanely engaged in cutting each other's 

Among the Classical tutors, two of the most 
enhghtened spirits, men of great personal charm, were 
Mr. E. S. Shuckburgh, afterwards lecturer at Emmanuel 
College, Cambridge, and the Rev. Duncan Tovey, who 
a few years later took the Eton hving of Worplesdon. 
Shuckburgh, though himself most impatient of the old 
traditions, and sympathizing largely with the newer 
thought, was of a very critical habit of mind, and used 
to dehght, for argumentative purposes, in dwelhng on 
the difficulties and shortcomings of the reforms which 
some of us advocated. Tovey was a hterary man (his 
works on Gray and Thomson are well known), out of 
his element in such a place as Eton, but in his happier 
moods a most dehghtful talker and companion. Mrs. 
Tovey, too, had a lambent wit which could play hghtly 
round the anomalies of Eton hfe. She once wrote a 
charming list of some imaginary books of fiction, the 
authorship of which she assigned to various local 
celebrities : one of the works, the supposed creation of 
an Eton upholsterer notorious for his big bills, had a 
title which might make the fortune of a modern philo- 
sophical novehst : " Man's Time ; a Mystery." 

Some of the junior masters played a useful part in 
challenging the old superstitions. Mr. J. D. Bourchier, 
afterwards a famous correspondent of The Times in 


south-east Europe, was the first rider of the bicycle 
at Eton, and incurred much obloquy through his 
persistence in a practice which no Eton master could 
then countenance with safety. My brother-in-law, 
]. L. Joyncs, jun., was a still worse offender. He had 
been impressed by Henry George's Progress and Poverty, 
and in the summer holidays of 1882 travelled with 
George in Ireland. By a ridiculous blunder of the 
Irish Constabulary, the two were arrested and locked 
up as dangerous conspirators ; and, though they were 
quickly discharged when the magistrates discovered the 
error, the whole Press of the country rang with amused 
comments. The Government had to apologize to Henry 
George as an American citizen ; and an account of 
the fiasco, written by Joynes, and published in The 
Times, caused great scandal in Etonian circles, where 
publicity was regarded, not without good reason, as 
the thing of all things to be deprecated. Great, then, 
was the horror of the Eton authorities when, a few 
weeks later, an advertisement announced Joynes's 
forthcoming volume, Adventures of a Tourist in Lrcland. 
In hot haste he was informed by the headmaster that 
he must choose between his mastership and his book : 
he chose the latter, and resigned his post. That was 
the result, as a patriotic colleague and friend pointed 
out to mc, of giving heed to " a mouldy American." 
Thus fallen from the high estate of an Eton mastership, 
Joynes became a leading spirit in the Social Democratic 
Federation ; and by him I was introduced to many 
well-known sociahsts whose names will be mentioned 
later on. 

During the sixteen years of his headmastership 
Dr. Hornby dismissed no fewer than four assistants, 
and was himself involved at times in serious conflicts 
with the Governing Body, A weak man, he was ob- 
stinate to the last degree when once engaged in con- 
troversy ; as was shown by his determination to get 
rid of Mr. Oscar Browning, who, whatever the merits 


of their quarrel, was worth much more to Eton than 
Hornby himself. It was not generally known that three 
other assistant masters proffered their resignations as a 
protest against Mr. Browning's dismissal ; a most ill- 
judged step, because matters had then reached a point 
where either Hornby or Browning had to go. The 
resignations were accepted, and the three mutineers 
had to ask leave to withdraw them, which they did 
with as good a grace as they could muster. Thus the 
headmaster triumphed ; but it was a victory that 
brought him little credit, and it was a lucky day for 
Eton when, on the death of Dr. Goodford, he was 
appointed to the Provostship in 1884. 

Dr. Warre, succeeding Dr. Hornby, was like King Stork 
following King Log : it was as if the school, after a long 
period of " go as you like," had been suddenly placed 
under a miUtary dictatorship. Warre had nearly been 
appointed headmaster in 1868 ; and though, during 
Hornby's reign, he continued to serve loyally as an 
assistant, it was evident that it galled him to watch the 
nervelessness and vacillation with which the govern- 
ment of the school was conducted : I have heard him 
at a " masters' meeting " appeal to Dr. Hornby in 
terms which, however respectful in form, conveyed a 
reproach which could hardly have been unnoticed : 
" Will the headmaster insist upon his rule being kept ? 
Will you pull us up, sir, if we neglect it ? " We listened 
in amusement, knowing full well that Hornby would 
himself be the first to break his own rule, if it was one 
that demanded either punctuality or perseverance. 

One of Dr. Warre's earliest innovations was to visit 
the different Divisions in person while a lesson was 
going on ; a very right and proper course to take, but 
one which came rather as a shock to the assistant 
masters of that time, who had been accustomed to 
consider their class-rooms, Hke the proverbial Enghsh- 
man's house, as their " castles." We each wondered, 
not without anxiety, when his own turn would come. 


When mine came, I was spared a lengthy inspection 
owing to an incident which was as amusing as it was 
unforeseen. The next room happened to be occupied 
that day by a colleague who was entirely unable to 
keep order ; and as neither the unfortunate man, nor 
his rowdy Division, was aware that the headmaster 
was so near them, I had hardly begun my lesson when 
there rose a terrific din from next door — shrieks, cat- 
calls, peals of laughter, stamping of feet, all the noises 
of a madhouse. With a wave of his hand to me, the 
headmaster slipped swiftly from the room ; and a 
moment later I knew what had happened, not by 
hearing, but by the instant cessation of sound, for that 
wild uproar stopped as suddenly as if it had been cleft 
with an axe, and was succeeded by a deep silence more 
eloquent than words. 

A few days later. Dr. Hornby, the new-made Provost, 
came up to a small group of masters who were standing 
near the school-yard, and smihngly asked us if we 
had been " inspected " yet. " I'm glad," he added, 
with a sigh of reUef, " that they didn't inspect me." 

Dr. Warre was in every way a contrast to Dr. Hornby. 
Far less sensitive and refined, he had much more real 
sympathy, if not with the masters, at any rate with 
the bo3^s, and under a rough exterior showed on many 
occasions a practical kindness which was quite want- 
ing in his predecessor. For example, the setting of 
" Georgics " (i.e. the writing of 500 lines of Virgil), one 
of the most senseless punishments in vogue at that 
time, was always encouraged by Hornby. When Warre 
heard an assistant master remark that he was " looking 
out for an opportunity " to set a " Georgic " to a 
troublesome boy, he interrupted him with : " You 
should look out not to set him a ' Georgic' " He had 
that kindly understanding of boyhood which is of 
great value to a teacher ; and from the point of view 
of those who beUevc that Eton is an ideal school, and 
the " hub " of the universe, it is difficult to see how a 


better headmaster than Dr. Warre could have been 
found ; but he was a Tory of the strictest type, and 
his appointment meant the indefinite postponement of 

Enough has now been said to show why a ten-years' 
sojourn as a master at Eton was hkely to bring dis- 
illusionment, even if outside influences had not quickened 
the process. Socialism was even then " in the air " ; 
and to have become personally acquainted with Bernard 
Shaw, Edward Carpenter, H. M. Hyndman, Henry 
George, William Morris, John Burns, H. H. Champion, 
Belfort Bax, and other apostles of what was then 
termed " revolution," was not calculated to strengthen 
a waverer in the pure Etonian faith. Still earlier, in 
the winter holidays of 1878-79, I had met at Coniston, 
in the Lake District, an ardent disciple of Ruskin, 
Mr. Wilham Harrison Riley, who held communistic 
views ; and in the course of some long walks with him 
on the mountains, in which I acted as his guide, he 
more than repaid the obligation by opening my eyes to 
certain facts which I had previously overlooked. He 
brought me a message from another world. 

This Riley, with all his fiery zeal, was a man of 
touching simplicity. He was then working some land 
of Ruskin's, at St. George's farm, near Sheffield, and 
he had come to Coniston to visit the Master, for whom 
he felt and expressed an almost childlike veneration. 
By Mr. Ruskin's invitation I accompanied Riley to 
luncheon at Brantwood, and was greatly struck by the 
meeting between the two — the devotion of the follower, 
and the geniality of the sage. Early in the morning 
Riley, who was much surprised by the luxuriance of the 
verdure at Coniston, as compared with the grey desola- 
tion of the ShefBeld hills, confided to me his intention 
of taking as a present to Ruskin a clump of moss from 
a wall-top near the hotel ; but as there was hardly a 
wall in the district that was not similarly covered, I 
suggested to him, as dehcately as I could, that it 


might be a case of carrying "coals to Newcastle." 
Disregarding such hints, he arrived at Ruskin's door 
with a big parcel of the moss, and gravely presented 
it as soon as the first salutations were complete. The 
deUghtful charm of Ruskin's manner was seen in this 
little incident : he laughed— for who could have helped 
laughing ?— yet took the gift— and turned the subject 
—with a graciousness that could leave no hurt. A few 
years later Riley migrated to Massachusetts, but took 
with him his quenchless ardour for " the cause." The 
last letter I received from him concluded with the 
words : " My feeble hand still holds aloft the banner 
of the ideal." 

I remember that one of the subjects on which Ruskin 
discoursed was the poetry of Tennyson, who was still 
regarded by most people, certainly by the literati of 
Eton, as a thinker of extraordinary power. He was 
an instance, said Ruskin, " of one who, with proper 
guidance, might have done something great " ; as it 
was, he had written nothing of real value, except, 
perhaps. In Memoriam. Maud and The Princess were 
"useless," Enoch Ardcn "disgusting"; the hero of 
Maud " an ass and a fool," and the war-spirit in the 
poem " downright mischievous." Thus, again, was 
sapped the simple faith of an Eton master, who knew 
by heart a large portion of Tennyson's poetry, including 
the whole of Maud. 

In addition to such dangerous doctrines. Vegetarianism 
was now beginning to be heard of in Eton ; and this 
was in one respect a worse heresy than Socialism, 
because it had to be practised as well as preached, and 
the abstinence from flesh-foods could not fail to attract 
unfavourable attention. There was a distinguished 
scientist among the Eton masters at that time. Dr. P. H. 
Carpenter, a son of Dr. W. B. Carpenter ; and when he 
expressed a wish to speak with me on the subject of 
the new diet which he heard I had adopted, I felt that 
a critical moment had arrived, and as a novice in 


vegetarian practice I awaited the scientific pronounce- 
ment with some awe. When it came, spoken with 
friendly earnestness, it was this : " Don't you think 
that animals were sent us as food ? " I have since 
heard the same pathetic question asked many scores 
of times. What can one say in reply to it, except that 
the invoice has not yet been received ? 

A book of rare merit, filled with a multifarious store 
of facts about the food question in relation to the 
humaner thought, is Mr. Howard Williams's Ethics of 
Diet, which was then appearing by instalments in the 
magazine of the Vegetarian Society. I had the good 
fortune to make Mr. WilUams's personal acquaintance, 
which was the beginning of a valued friendship ; I 
also had helpful correspondence with Professor F. W. 
Newman, then President of the Vegetarian Society, 
and with Professor J. E. B. Mayor, who afterwards 
succeeded to that post. Thus equipped, I was not 
greatly impressed by the proofs which friendly colleagues 
offered me of the " impossibihty " of the humaner 
diet ; nor was I troubled when, of the two medical 
men with whom I was acquainted at Eton, the one 
said to me : " Well, I will give you two years," ^ and 
the other, a rather fooUsh person whom the boj^s used 
to call " Mary," inquired with a look of puzzled despair 
at such incredible madness : "Do vegetarians eat meat 
by night ? " A vegetarian was of course regarded as a 
sheer lunatic in the Eton of those days. Twenty-five 
years later Eton had a vegetarian headmaster in 
Dr. Edward Lyttelton, who was an assistant there in 
the 'eighties. " Little did I think," he wrote to me, 
" when we used to chaff you about cabbages, that it 
would come to this ! " 

It happened, in one of those years, that it fell to 
my lot to set the subject for " Declamations," a Latin 
theme on some debatable point, which had to be com- 

' The two years allowed for vegetarianism have now become 
forty, and all of them years of hard work. 


posed and " spouted " annually by two of the sixth- 
form boys, who took opposite sides in the discussion ; 
and I chose for subject, rather to Dr. Hornby's disgust, 
the question of vegetarianism [An Pythagorei qui came 
abstinent laudandi sint). Another channel for vege- 
tarian propaganda was afforded by the Ascham Society, 
a learned and select body organized by some of the 
masters, who met periodically to read and discuss 
papers on ethical and Hterary subjects. It happened that 
the members were hospitably invited to a dinner by 
one of their colleagues, who specially announced a dish 
of roast veal as an attraction : thus provoked, I could 
not but dechne that treat in the accredited Eton manner, 
a set of Latin verses, of which the conclusion was 
obvious : Spare the calf, or let me be excused : 

Si non vis vitulo parcere, parce mihi. 

Thus gradually the conviction had been forced on me 
that we Eton masters, however irreproachable our 
surroundings, were but cannibals in cap and gown — 
almost literally cannibals, as devouring the flesh and 
blood of the higher non-human animals so closely akin 
to us, and indirectly cannibals, as living by the sweat 
and toil of the classes who do the hard work of the 
world. » To speak of this, with any fulness, in such 
a society as that of Eton, except to the two or three 
friends who held a similar belief, would have been an 
absurdity ; and I do not think I exaggerated, in the 
first chapter of this book, when I described the dis- 
covery as bringing with it a sense of being cut off from 
one's neighbours by interminable leagues of misunder- 
standing. I was hving in pariihus infidelium. It 
became a necessity to leave a place where there could 

' " Our competitive system of industry is a vestigial insti- 
tution. It is a survival from the militant ages of the past. 
... It is a system of cannibalism. Instead of instilling the 
feeling of brotherhood, it compels us to eat each other," — 
Savage Survivals, by J. Howard Moore, 1916. 


be no sympathetic exchange of thought upon matters 
which were felt to be of vastly more importance than 
the accepted religion and routine. 

I treasure the recollection of the interview in which 
I took farewell of Dr. Warre, Most kindly he 
expressed his regret that I had lost faith in that public 
school system to which he himself, as all Etonians are 
aware, devoted a lifetime of unsparing service. " It's 
the Vegetarianism," he gravely remarked ; and I 
understood him to mean that it was the abandonment 
of the orthodox diet that had led, by inevitable 
weakening of the mens sana in corpora sano, to my 
apostasy in regard to Education. When I told him 
that Socialism must take its share of blame, as having 
been at least an auxiliary cause, he was really shocked. 
" Socialism ! " he cried, in his hearty tones. " Then 
blow us up, blow us up ! There's nothing left for it 
but that." 

It is strange to reflect that between thirty and forty 
years ago the mere mention of SociaUsm should have 
suggested desperate acts of violence : the term was 
then the bugbear, for the time being, of the respectable 
classes, who alwa3's keep on hand some convenient 
scare-word, for the purpose of making an alarm. 
" Anarchism " has since served its turn ; " Bol- 
shevism. " is the latest. Something to fear, something 
to hate, seems to be an indispensable requirement ; 
hence the periodical outbreak of war-cries and flogging- 
crazes : it matters httle what the bogey is, so long as 
there is a vendetta of some kind, even if it be only, 
for a diversion, a campaign against the sparrow or 
the rat. There is no surer token of the barbaric mind 
than this capricious state of panic, described by George 
Meredith as " all stormy nightcap and fingers starving 
for the bell-rope." 

My one irreparable loss in leaving Eton was not that 
of culture or scholarship or social position, but of the 
game of Fives ; for I used to think that the evolution 



of the Eton fives-court, the original of which was a 
flagged space between two buttresses of the Chapel 
{" Tax not the royal Saint with vain expense "), was 
the most valuable contribution ever made by the school 
to the well-being of mankind. Fives is a great game ; 
and to have played it with such master-hands as 
A. C. Ainger, E. C. Austen-Leigh, Edward Lyttelton, 
or C. T. Studd, was a privilege neither to be forgotten 
nor to be replaced. I used afterwards to dream at 
times that I was again engaged in the game — " serving," 
perhaps, or taking the service, or enjoying a duel of 
long sweeping strokes on the outer court, or mixed up 
in one of those close-fought rallies that centred round 
the " pepper-box " ; until a perfect shot from one side 
or the other had sent the ball to its resting-place in 
" dead man's hole." 

My parting gift to the school was an article entitled 
" Confessions of an Eton Master," which appeared in 
the Nineteenth Century in January, 1885, and led to a 
good deal of discussion on the Eton system of education. 



If any one should be educated from his infancy in a dark 
cave till he were of full age, and then should of a sudden be 
brought into broad daylight ... no doubt but many strange 
and absurd fancies would arise in his mind. — From Bacon's 
Advancement of Learning. 

" Do you think me a cannibal ? " is the remark often 
made by a cheery flesh-eater, when enjoying his roast 
beef in the presence of a vegetarian ; and it may not be 
denied that such is the thought which commonly 
suggests itself, for the more highly developed non- 
human animals are very closely akin to man. " We do 
not eat negroes," says Mr. W. H. Hudson, " although 
their pigmented skin, flat feet and woolly heads pro- 
claim them a different species — even monkey's flesh is 
abhorrent to us, merely because we fancy that that 
creature, in its ugliness, resembles some old men and 
some women and children that we know. But the 
gentle, large-brained social cow ... we slaughter and 
feed on her flesh — monsters and cannibals that we are." 
No apology, then, shall be made for the heading of this 
chapter. There is a very real likeness, not only between 
anthropophagy and other forms of flesh-eating, but 
between the excuses offered by cannibals and those 
offered by flesh-eaters. 

Forty years ago, the possibility of living healthily on 
a non-flesh diet was by no means so generally admitted as 
it is now ; and consequently very naive and artless 

objections used to be advanced against abstinence from 



butcher 's-meat. Mr. Kegan Paul told me that he had 
once heard a lady say to F. W. Newman: "But, 
Professor, don't you feel very weak ? " to which the 
Professor sturdily replied : " Madam, feel my calves." 
" What on earth do you hve on ? " used to be a frequent 
question at Eton in those days, the implication being 
that there is no " variety " in the vegetarian diet ; 
an amusing complaint, in view of what Richard Jefferies 
has described as " the ceaseless round of mutton and 
beef to which the dead level of civiHzation [sic] reduces 
us." So obvaous is this monotony in the orthodox 
repasts that the Spectator, a good m.any years ago, 
pubhshed an article headed, " Wanted, a New Meat," 
in which it was explained that what is needed is some 
new and large animal, something which " shall combine 
the game flavour with the substantial soHdity of a leg 
of mutton." The Spectator's choice ultimately fell upon 
the eland, but not before the claims of various other 
" neglected animals," among them the wart-hog, had 
been conscientiously debated. 

That the cannibal conscience is somewhat guilty and 
ill at ease seems evident from the nature of the arguments 
put forward by the apologists of flesh-eating ; else why 
did Dr. P. H. Carpenter suggest that the lower animals 
were " sent " to us for food, when, as a scientist, he knew 
well the absurdity of that remark ? Why not say 
frankly what Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote in his English 
Notebook that " the best thing a man born in this island 
can do is to eat his beef and mutton, and drink his 
porter, and take things as they are, and think thoughts 
that shall be so beefish, muttonish, and porterish, that 
they shall be matters rather material than intellectual " ? 
The reckless hardihood of a simple and barbarous people 
is essentially unconscious, just as the action of a hawk 
or weasel is unconscious when it seizes its prey ; but 
when consciousness is once awakened, and a doubt 
arises as to the morahty of the action, the habit begins 
of giving sophistical reasons for practices that cannot 


be justified, Herman Melville tells us in his Typee 
that the Polynesians, being aware of the horror which 
Europeans feel for anthropophagy, " invariably deny 
its existence, and, with the craft peculiar to savages, 
endeavour to conceal every trace of it." The existence 
of flesh-eating cannot be denied ; but do we not see a 
savage's craft in the shifty and far-fetched reasons 
alleged for its continuance ? 

It is only fair to " the noble savage " to draw this 
distinction between the natural barbarism and the 
sophisticated, between the real necessity for killing for 
food and the pretended necessity. Commander Peary, 
the Arctic explorer, once wrote in the Windsor Magazine, 
under the title of " Hunting Musk Oxen near the Pole," 
a story of the genuine hunger, and expressed a doubt 
whether a single one of his readers knew what hunger 
was. He was actually in a famishing state when a 
herd of Musk Oxen came in view : " The big black ^ 
animals," he said, " were not game, but meat, and every 
nerve and fibre in my gaunt body was vibrating with 
a savage lust for that meat, meat that should be soft 
and warm, meat into which the teeth could sink and 
tear and rend." Here was a savagery that can at 
least be understood and respected, that did not need 
to postulate the " sending " of the oxen for its sub- 
sistence ; yet, strange to say, Peary's story would be 
voted disgusting in many a respectable household 
which orders its " home-killed meat " from the family 
butcher and employs a cook to disguise it. Certainly, 
if there is a " noble savage," we must recognize also 
the ignoble variety that has developed the " conscience " 
of which I speak. 

To this " cannibal's conscience " we owe those delight- 
ful excuses, those flowers of sophistry, which strew the 
path of the flesh-eater and lend humour to an otherwise 
very gruesome subject. By far the most entertaining 
of them is what may be called the academical fallacy, 
inasmuch as it seems to have a special attraction for 


learned men — the argument that it is a kindness to 
the animals themselves to kill and eat them, because 
otherwise they would not be bred at all, and so would 
miss the pleasures of existence. This " Canonization of 
the Ogre," as it has been named, was propounded by 
Professor D. G. Ritchie, Sir Leslie Stephen, Sir Henry 
Thompson, Dr. Stanton Coit, and other distinguished 
publicists, » every one of whom, with the single exception 
of Dr. Coit, prudently evaded discussion of the question 
when the flaw in his reasoning was pointed out, viz. 
that existence cannot be compared with non-existence. 
Of existence it is possible to predicate certain qualities — 
good or bad, happiness or unhappiness — but of non- 
existence we can predicate nothing at all ; we must 
first have the actual ground of existence to argue from, 
and he who bases his reasoning on the non-existent is 
building upon the treacherous sands. 

" The Pig has a stronger interest than anyone in the 
demand for bacon," wrote Sir Leslie Stephen in his 
Social Rights and Duties. Sir Leslie was repeatedly 
invited to make some answer to the criticisms which 
this dictum called forth ; but courageous champion of 
intellectual freedom though he was, he preferred in this 
instance to take refuge in silence. To no one but 
Dr. Stanton Coit has philosophy been indebted for a 
full exposition of a comfortable theory which may be 
expressed (with the alteration of one word) in Coleridge's 
famous lines : 

He prayeth best who eaieth best 
All things both great and small. 

" If the motive that might produce the greatest number 
of happiest cattle," said Dr. Coit, " would be the eating 
of beef, then beef-eating, so far, must be commended. 

» Since the above was written, Dean Inge has added his name 
to the illustrious list. Is it not time, by the way, that some 
one collected the Gloomy Dean's golden sayings in a volume — 
under the title of Ingots, perhaps ? 


And while heretofore the <'' u' e has not been for the 
Sjake of cattle, it is con ■'. '.v le that, if vegetarian 
convictions should spread •! . further, love for cattle 
would (if it be not psycho! dly incompatible) blend 
with the love of beef, in the ;i-inds of the opponents of 
vegetarianism." ^ According to this ethical dictum, it 
will be seen, mankind will continue to eat cows, sheep, 
pigs, and other animals for conscience sake — we must 
be, not conscientious objectors to butchery, but con- 
scientious promoters of it. So far. Dr. Coit only set 
forth in greater detail the argument stated by Professor 
Ritchie, Sir Leslie Stephen, and the other casuists in 
cannibahsm ; but now we come to that " psychological 
incompatibility " to which in a parenthesis he referred. 

" But we frankly admit," he continued, " that it is a question 
whether the love of cattle, intensified to the imaginative point 
of individual affection for each separate beast, would not destroy 
the pleasure of eating beef, and render this time-honoured custom 
psychologically impossible. We surmise that bereaved affection 
at the death of a dear creature would destroy the flavour." 

Nothing in controversy ever gave me keener satis- 
faction than to have drawn this " surmise," this pearl 
of great price, from Dr. Stanton Coit in the very serious 
columns of the Ethical World. It shows clearly, I 
think, why his co-adjutors in the metaphysic of the 
larder were wise in their avoidance of discussion. 

It seems to be a benign provision of Nature that those 
who allege altruistic reasons for selfish actions invariably 
make themselves ridiculous. " What would become of 
the Esquimaux ? " was one of the questions often put 
to advocates of vegetarianism ; probably it is the only 
instance on record of any solicitude for the welfare of 
that remote people. Then, again, we were frequently 
asked : " What would become of the animals ? " the 
implication being that under a vegetarian regime there 

» Article on " The Bringing of Sentient Beings into Existence," 
the Ethical World. May 7, 1898. 


would be large numbers of uneaten and neglected 
quadrupeds left straying about the earth. An artist 
friend of mine once drew an amusing picture to illustrate 
this " Flesh-Eaters' Dilemma." A gentleman and lady, 
sitting at a well-ordered dinner-table, are terribly incon- 
venienced by an invasion, through the conservatory 
door, of a number of such superfluous animals : a cow 
is putting her head through the window ; a sheep is 
snatching at the bread ; a pig is playing with a rabbit 
on the floor ; and in the distance a forlorn ox is seen 
lying in desperation against the garden gate. 

Such are some of the sophisms of which cannibal's 
conscience is prohfic. They belong to that class of 
subterfuge which Bacon designated eidola specus, 
" idols of the cave," as lurking in the inmost and darkest 
recesses of the human mind. " Fallacies of the Cave- 
Dwcllcr " might perhaps be a fitting name for them ; 
for they seem to be characteristic of the more primitive 
and uncivilized intelligence. 



Wealth is acquired by overreaching our neighbours, and is 
spent in insulting them. — ^William Godwin. 

In the 'eighties there were two movements especially 

attractive to one who was breaking away from the old 

academical traditions, to wit. Socialism, the more 

equitable distribution of wealth ; and Simplification, 

the saner method of living. William Godwin, in many 

ways a true prophet, had foreshadowed the need of 

both these reforms in that pungent sentence of his 

Political Justice. 

Simplification of life has in all ages had its advocates, 

but it was not till the time of Rousseau and the 

revolutionary epoch that it acquired its full significance, 

when the connection between simple living and a 

juster social state became obvious and unmistakable, 

and it was seen that luxury on the part of one man must 

involve drudgery on the part of another. Thoreau's 

Walden, published in America in 1854, was beginning 

to be known in England some thirty years later ; and 

Edward Carpenter's essays, afterwards collected in his 

England's Ideal (1887), were pointing the way to a 

wiser and healthier mode of life. I read some of those 

essays while still at Eton ; and amid such surroundings 

they had a peculiarly vivid interest, as revealing, what 

was there quite overlooked, that it was possible to 

dispense with the greater part of the trappings with which 

we were encumbered, and to live far more simply and 

cheaply than was dreamed of in polite society. 



The removal from a public school to a cottage among 
the Surrey hills was something more than a change of 
residence : it was an emigration, a romance, a strange 
new hfe in some remote antipodes, where the emblems 
of the old servitude, such as cap and gown, found new 
and better uses, hke swords beaten into ploughshares. 
iMy gown was cut into strips for fastening creepers to 
walls : my top-hat, the last time I remember seeing it, 
was shading a young vegetable-marrow. Servants there 
were none ; and with the loss of them we learnt two 
things : first that servants do a great deal more than 
their employers give them credit for ; secondly, that 
much of what they do may be lessened or rendered need- 
less by a httle judicious forethought in the arrangement 
of a house. 

One ungrateful office that servants perform is that 
of protecting their employers from personal interviews 
with beggars and tramps ; they act as plenipotentiaries 
in the business of saying No. In country districts this 
certainly saves a good deal of a householder's time, 
but whether it is altogether a benefit to him may be 
doubted, for tramps are sometimes an amusing folk, 
and by no means devoid of humour in their mode of 
levying taxes upon the well-to-do. One old mendicant, 
I remember, who called at my back door to solicit a 
small sum for a very special purpose, and told his tale 
so skilfully that from admiration, not conviction, I 
relieved him, as he himself expressed it, of his immediate 
dilTiculty. Two minutes later there was a gentle 
knock at my front door, and behold the same old rascal 
commencing the same old tale 1 He had made the 
mistake of supposing that a single cottage was two 
semi-detached ones, and when the door was opened 
by his late benefactor, I saw him shaken by a momentary 
spasm of laughter, so human as to disarm wrath. 

Then there were the " tramps " in the metaphorical 
sense, the friends and bidden or unbidden guests whose 
visits were welcomed in that secluded region of bare 


heaths and hills. Edward Carpenter, as the writer of 
the books which had shown such life to be possible, 
was, of course, the tutelary deity of the place : Bernard 
Shaw, on the other hand, was the advocatus diaboli, 
whose professed hatred of the country gave an additional 
zest to his appearances there, and culminated in a 
characteristic article, " A Sunday on the Surrey Hills," 
in which he described a wet walk on Hindhead and the 
extremity of his sufferings until he was restored to 
London by " the blessed rescuing train," » But it is 
dangerous to jest on such subjects ; and I regret to 
say that a local paper, some years afterwards, in re- 
printing " G.B.S.'s " jeremiad, added some scathing 
editorial comments, which showed a resentment un- 
mitigated by time, on " a cockney gentleman possessing 
a very fine liver, but no soul above his stomach." * 
In the simplification of household life, Shaw easily 
held his own ; he was most conscientious and exemplary 
in " washing up," and to see the methodical precision 
with which he made his bed was itself a lesson in 
domestic orderliness. Thus was reahzed the truth of 
what Clough had written in his Bothie : 

How even churning and washing, the dairy, the scullerj' duties. 

Wait but a touch to redeem and convert them to charms and 
attractions ; 

Scrubbing requires for true grace but frank and artistical hand- 

And the removal of slops to be ornamentally treated. 

In dealing with tramps, however, even Shaw could 
be at fault. We once had a visit from a very unde- 
sirable vagrant who held forth at great length about a 
fearful wound which he bore on his person ; and when 
his lecture was ended, Shaw, in the approved Fabian 
fashion, proceeded to ask a Question or two. But in 
such company to question is to suspect ; and the tramp, 

I Pall Mall Gazelle, April 28, 1888. 
» Farnham Herald, September 16, 1899. 


deeply hurt at any reflection on his veracity, at once 
commenced to divest himself of his clothing, so as to 
offer ocular proof. " A sight to dream of, not to tell." 
We were just saved from it by an earnest disavowal of 
any fragment of unbelief. 

Among the most welcome of our visitors was " the 
WayfarcV," Mr. W. J. Jupp, author in after years of 
one of the wisest and most gracious of books, a real 
spiritual autobiography, a true story of the heart. ^ 
Himself a devoted nature-lover, he brought us tidings 
of the greatest of poet-naturalists, Henry David Thoreau, 
and thus laid me under the first of the many obhgations 
which 1 owe to a friendship of old date. 

But refreshing though it was thus to throw off the 
signs and symbols of Respectability, it is not so easy 
to drop " tiie gentleman " as one could wish, for the 
tattoo-marks of gentihty are almost as ineffaceable as 
those of the barbarous ritual in which the islanders 
of the Pacific delight. Once a gentleman, always a 
gentleman : the imputation, Hke that of criminahty, 
is hard to live down. I once met the author of Towards 
Democracy walking and talking with a very ragged 
tramp whom he had overtaken on the high road. The 
tramp accosted me, as if wishing to explain matters : 

" This gentleman " he began, indicating Mr. 

Carpenter. " I'm not a gentleman," sharply inter- 
jected the philosopher ; whereupon the tatterdemalion, 
with a puzzled look, and a shake of the head that 
showed entire bewilderment, forsook us and went 
shambling on his way. 

As an organized movement. Simplification has not 
been so successful as the importance of the subject 
might have warranted. The Fellowship of the New 
Life, a society estabhshed in 1883, had the services of 
many thoughtful men, among them Mr. Maurice Adams, 
Mr. W. J, Jupp, Mr. Herbert Rix, Mr. J. Ramsay 

» Wayfarings : a Record of Adventure and Liberation in the 
Life of the Spirit, 1918. 


Macdonald, and Mr. Percival Chubb ; but though its 
protagonist, Mr. Adams, brought to the cause an excep- 
tional knowledge and ability, the Fellowship, after 
lasting a good many years, gradually flagged and expired. 
This was the more to be regretted, because simphfication 
of life is peculiarly liable to misunderstanding and 
cheap ridicule, and therefore needed to be set per- 
manently before the public in a rational form ; whereas 
now it is largel}^ associated in people's minds with Pastor 
Wagner's book. The Simple Life, and similar banalities. 
For it is stupid, nothing less, to represent Simplification 
as merely a personal matter, and as amounting to 
little more than moderation and sincerity in the various 
departments of life : there is a social aspect of the 
question which cannot thus be ignored. As Thoreau 
says : " If I devote myself to other pursuits and 
contemplations, I must first see, at least, that I do not 
pursue them sitting upon another man's shoulders." 
Simplicity is not only " a state of mind " : it implies 
action as well as taste. 

It is not very surprising, perhaps, that this doctrine 
has been ridiculed by critics, in view of the unwise 
manner in which some of its adherents have preached 
and practised it. The attractions of Rousseau's " return 
to nature " have been too powerful for the weaker 
enthusiasts, who, in their desire to be " natural," have 
missed the qualities in which true naturalness consists. 
I remember the case of a clever young man, fresh 
from the University, who, bitten by the creed of sim- 
plicity, rented a large tract in a sandy wilderness where 
crops could hardly be made to grow, and induced an 
experienced labourer, of the old school, to bring his 
family to reside upon this model farm in the hope of 
there reahzing the ideal. He would be "natural"; 
that was his constant cry. A Hardy would have been 
needed to portray the agricultural tragedies that ensued. 
In the fierce heat of a fiery summer the crops withered 
one by one, until the heart of the old husbandman was 


sick within him with a savage despair. I recall a 
Sunday stroll, with the party from the farm, to a hill 
which o\-crlooked that Sahara where their hopes were 
buried, and the deep fervour of the veteran's ejaculations 
as he gazed across the desolate scene. " Well, I am 

" was his repeated remark ; and the language was 

quite unfitted for the mixed company at his side. 

Against fiascos of this sort stood the fact that the 
writings of the true exponents of Simplicity were 
increasingly read and pondered. In Thoreau's genius 
there was a magnetism which could influence not onlj'' 
those who knew him, but a later generation of readers, 
among whom a common love for the " poet-naturalist " 
of Concord has often been a link of friendship (as I 
have reason to remember with gratitude) between lives 
that were otherwise far apart. A first reading of 
Waldcn was in my own case an epoch, a revelation ; 
and I know that in this respect my experience was not 
a singular one ; nor has the impression which I then 
formed of Thoreau's greatness been in any way lessened, 
but on the contrary much strengthened, by my 
correspondence or personal intercourse with those who 
were numbered among his friends. 

One of the most remarkable chapters in Walden is 
that on " Higher Laws," in which the ideal of humane- 
ness is insisted on as an essential part of Simplification. 
How often, from the lack of such principle, in the 
efforts to lead the simple life, has simplicity itself 
become little more than sentimentality ! Who but 
a savage, for example, would include the keeping and 
kilhng of pigs as a feature of a model homestead ? 
Yet in that estabhshment of which I have spoken, 
where the avowed aim was to be " natural," the pig- 
killing was a festive event. " Father sticks 'em, brother 
cleans 'em," was the description vouchsafed by a 
charming young " land-girl " (to use a later-invented 
term), who dwelt with dehght upon these unsavoury 
divisions of labour in her Blithedale Romance. Well 


might Tolstoy use this pig-kiUing process in illustration 
of his argument that, in any advance toward civiUzation, 
a disuse of butchery must be " the first step." 

SociaUsm was at that time in its early and romantic 
stage, when the menace of the Social Democratic 
Federation was becoming a terror to the well-to-do, 
and when many a dignitary of Church and State shared 
Dr. Warre's belief that to " blow us up " was the 
diabohcal desire of the incendiaries who denounced 
CapitaUsm. Doubtless it was the novelty of the attack 
that made it seem so terrible ; for Chartism had been 
largely forgotten, and Secularism had been filling up 
the interval as the national bogey. Certainly in that 
period of the 'eighties the leading sociaUst figures 
seemed more ominous and sinister than do any in 
the Labour movement of to-day. To Wilham Morris, 
indeed, as being a poet of wide renown, a sort of licence 
was accorded to speak as bluntly as he chose ; but 
Hyndman, Burns, Bax and H. H. Champion were 
names of dark import to the " bourgeois " of that 
date. Mr. Hyndman's repeated prophecies of a Revo- 
lution were none the less disturbing because they were 
always unfulfilled ; Mr. Burns was dreaded as a dema- 
gogue who had been imprisoned owing to his defiance of 
law and order, Mr. Champion, as a retired army ofticer, 
who might possibly turn his mihtary knowledge to 
deadly account. To one who knew those reformers 
personally, and their fearless labours in an unpopular 
cause, it is strange to recall the storm of obloquy which 
they then had to face ; to them and others of hke 
mettle is due in large measure such progress as has 
since been made in the betterment of the conditions of 
Labour. Their weakness was that they could not agree 
among themselves (reformers seldom can) ; hence the 
internal ruptures that wrecked the influence of the 
S.D.F. Round Champion in particular the discord 
raged, until he was ostracized by his former colleagues ; 
yet no juster word was ever said of him than a remark 


made to me, years afterwards, by Mr. John Burns— 
that if he were ever in a tight place at a tiger-hunt 
there was no one whom he would so gladly have at 
his side as H. H. C. 

With WilUam Morris it was impossible, even for a 
" comrade," to have any quarrel ; his utter sincerity 
and great-heartedness forbad it. But broad as his 
geniality was, he used to seem rather nonplussed by 
such new ideas as vegetarianism in conjunction with 
teetotalism. " I'd hke to ask you to have a drink," 
he would say, after a meeting or lecture ; and then 
would add, as in despair : " But you won't drink." 

One of the memories of those years is the great 
meeting held in February, 1888, to welcome John Burns 
and Cunninghame Graham on their release from prison. 
Apart from my admiration for the heroes of the 
evening, I had some cause to remember the occasion, 
because, hke many others who were present, I lost a 
valuable watch. This placed us in an embarrassing 
position ; for having assembled to protest against the 
conduct of the poUce in the Square, we could not with 
dignity invoke their aid against the pickpockets. 

Quite the strangest personahty among the sociahsts 
of that time was Dr. Edward Aveling, It is easy to 
set him down as a scoundrel, but in truth he was an 
odd mixture of fine qualities and bad ; a double-dealer, 
yet his duplicities were the result less of a calculated 
dishonesty than of a nature in which there was an 
excess of the emotional and artistic element, with an 
almost complete lack of the moral. The character of 
Dubedat in Mr. Bernard Shaw's play. The Doctor's 
Dilemma, in some ways recalls that of AveUng, for 
nearly every one who had dealings with him, even those 
who were on the friendliest of terms, found themselves 
victimized, sooner or later, by his fraudulence in money 
matters. One's feelings towards him might, perhaps, 
have been summed up in the remark made by one 
of the characters in The Doctor's Dilemma : " 1 can't 


help rather liking you, Dubedat. But you certainly 
are a thorough-going specimen." 

Yet Avcling's services to the socialist cause were 
perfectly sincere ; and so, too, was his love of good 
literature, though it sometimes manifested itself in 
rather too sentimental a strain. He was a skilled 
reciter of poetry, and on one occasion when, with 
Eleanor Marx, he visited our Surrey cottage, he under- 
took to read aloud the last Act of Shelley's Prometheus 
Unbound. As he gave effect to chorus and semi-chorus, 
and to the wonderful succession of spirit voices in that 
greatest of lyrical dramas, he trembled and shook in 
his passionate excitement, and when he had delivered 
himself of the solemn words of Demogorgon with which 
the poem concludes, he burst into a storm of sobs and 
tears. I used to regret that I had never heard his 
recitation, said to be his most effective performance, 
of Poe's " The Bells " ; for there was something rather 
uncanny and impish in his nature which doubtless made 
him a good interpreter of the weird. 

There was real tragedy, however, in Avehng's alliance 
with Karl Marx's daughter ; for Eleanor Marx was a 
splendid woman, strong both in brain and in heart, 
and true as steel to the man who was greatly her inferior 
in both, and who treated her at the end with a treachery 
and ingratitude which led directly to her death. 

As a corrective of the romantic socialism of the S.D.F 
arose the soberer doctrine of Fabianism, a name derived, 
we are told, from the celebrated Fabius, who won his 
victories on the principle of " more haste, less speed " ; 
else one would have been disposed to trace it to a 
derivative of the Latin fari, " to talk," as seen in the 
word " con/a6ulation." In the early and most inter- 
esting days of Fabianism, its chief champions, known 
as " the four," were Sidney Webb, Bernard Shaw, 
Sydney Olivier, and Graham Wallas ; and assuredly no 
Roman three ever " kept the bridge so well " as the 
Fabian four kept the planks of their platform in all 



the assaults that were made on it. Rarely have better 
debates been heard than at those fortnightly meetings 
in Willis's Rooms. The trouble indeed with Fabianism 
was that it became almost too brainy ; it used to remind 
me of Sydney Smith's remark about some one who was 
all mind— that " his intellect was indecently exposed." 
Humaneness found little place in the Fabian philosophy. 
Once, when visiting a suburban villa that had just 
been occupied by a refined Fabian family, I learned 
that the ladies of the household, highly intellectual and 
accomplished women, had themselves been staining the 
floors of their new and charming residence with bullock's 
blood brought in a bucket from the shambles. 

Shaw was, of course, the outstanding figure of 
Fabianism, as he was bound to be of any movement 
in which he took permanent part ; but he was a great 
deal more than Fabian, he was humanitarian as well ; 
and it gives cause for reflection, as showing how much 
easier it is to change men's theories than their habits, 
that, while his influence on social and economic thought 
has been very marked, his followers in the practice of 
the Humanities have been few. It has been noticeable, 
too, how, in the many appreciations that have been 
written of Shaw, his humanitarianism has been almost 
entirely ignored, or passed over as an amiable eccen- 
tricity of a man of genius. Yet it is clear that if 
" G.B.S.," who, during the past forty years, has done 
enough disinterested work to make the reputation of a 
score of philanthropists, is " not to be taken quite 
seriously," there is no sense in taking any one seriously. 
A man is not less in earnest because he has a rich gift 
of humour or veils his truths in paradoxes. Shaw, in 
fact, is one of the most serious and painstaking of 
thinkers : his frivolity is all in the manner, his serious- 
ness in the intent ; whereas, unhappily, in most persons 
it is the intent that is so deadly frivolous, and the manner 
that is so deadly dull. 

Perhaps the dulness of our age shows itself most 


clearly in its humour ; the professional jester of the 
dinner-table or comic journal is of all men the most 
saddening. It is related that when Emerson took his 
Httle boy to see a circus clown, the child looked up with 
troubled eyes and said : " Papa, the funny man makes 
me want to go home." Many of us must have felt that 
sensation when we have heard or read some of the 
banaUties that pass for humorous. It is here that 
" G.B.S. " stands out in refreshing contrast ; his wit is 
as genuine and spontaneous as that of Sydney Smith ; 
but whereas Sydney Smith was constrained in his old 
age to calculate how many cartloads of flesh-meat 
he consumed in his Hfetime, Bernard Shaw has been 
able to tell the world that his funeral will be followed 
" not by mourning coaches, but by herds of oxen, 
sheep, swine, flocks of poultry, and a small travelHng 
aquarium of hve fish " — representatives of grateful 
fellow-beings whom he has not eaten. ^ 

If sociaHsts had cared for the poetical hterature of 
their cause one half so well as the Chartists did, the 
names of Francis Adams and John Barlas would have 
been far more widely known. It was Mr. W. M. 
Rossetti who drew my attention to Adams's fiery 
volume of verse, the Songs of the Army of the Night, 
first pubhshed in AustraUa in 1887 ; and as I was then 
preparing an anthology of Songs of Freedom I got into 
communication with the writer, and our acquaintance 
quickly ripened into friendship. Francis Adams was a 
poet of SociaHsm in a much truer sense than William 
Morris ; for, while Morris was a poet who became a 
sociaUst, Adams, hke Barlas, was less a convert to 
Socialism than a scion of SociaHsm, a veritable Child 
of the Age, to quote the title of his own autobiographical 
romance, in the storm and stress of his career. He had 
received a classical education at Shrewsbury School 
(the " Glastonbury " of his novel), and after a brief 
spell of schoolmastering, had became a journalist and 
« The Academy, October 15, 1898. 


wanderer. He was connected for a short time, in 
18S3 or thereabouts, with the Social Democratic 
Federation, and enrolled himself a member under the 
Regent's Park trees one Sunday afternoon at a meeting 
addressed by his friend, Frank Harris. In Austraha, 
for a time, where he took an active part in the Labour 
movement, and wrote frequently for the Sydney Bulletin 
and other journals, he had many friends and admirers ; 
but just as a ParUamentary career was opening for him he 
was crippled by illness, and returned to England, a con- 
sumptive, in 1890, to die three years later by his own hand. 
Of Adams's prose works the most remarkable is 
A Child of the Age, written when he was only eighteen, 
and first printed under the title of Leicester, an Auto- 
biography, an extraordinarily fascinating, if somewhat 
morbid story, which deserves to be ranked with Wuthering 
Heights and The Story of an African Farm, among 
notable works of immature imagination. He told me 
that it was written almost spontaneously : it just 
" came to him " to write it, and he himself felt that it 
was an abnormal book. Of the Songs of the Army of 
the Night, he said that they were intended to do what 
had never before been done — to express what might be 
the feeUngs of a member of the working classes as he 
found out the hollowness, to him, of our culture and 
learning ; hence the pitiless invective which shows 
itself in many of the poems. As surely as Elliott's 
" Corn Law Rhymes " spoke the troubled spirit of 
their age, so do these fierce keen lyrics, on fire alike 
with love and with hate, express the passionate sym- 
pathies and deep resentments of the socialist movement 
in its revolt from a sham philanthropy and patriotism. 
No rebel poet has ever " arraigned his country and 
his day " in more burning words than Adams in his 
stanzas " To England." 

I, whom you fed with shame and starved with woe, 

I wheel above you, 
Your fatal Vulture, for I hate you so, 

I almost love you. 


But the Songs are not only denunciatory ; they have a 
closer and more personal aspect, as in the infinitely 
compassionate " One among so Many," which endears 
them to the heart of the reader as only a few choice 
books are ever endeared. In their strange mixture of 
sweetness and bitterness, they are very typical of 
Francis Adams himself : he was at one moment, and 
in one aspect, the most simple and lovable of 
beings ; at another, the most aggressively critical and 

But if Francis Adams has not received his just meed 
of recognition, what shall be said of John Barlas, whose 
seven small volumes of richest and most melodious 
verse were printed (they can hardly be said to have 
been published) under the nom de plume of " Evelyn 
Douglas," and mostly in places remote from the world 
of books ? When full allowance is made for such draw- 
backs, it is strange that literary critics, ever on the 
look-out for new genius, failed to discover Barlas ; 
for though the number of modern poets is considerable, 
the born singers are still as few and far between as 
before ; yet it was to that small and select class that 
Barlas unmistakably belonged. His Poems Lyrical and 
Dramatic (1884) contained, with much that was faulty 
and immature, many exquisitely beautiful lyrics, the 
expression of a genuine gift of song. A Greek in spirit, 
he also possessed in a high degree the sense of brother- 
hood with all that breathes, and was ever aspiring in 
his poetry not only to the enjoyment of what is best 
and most beautiful on earth, but to a fairer and happier 
state of society among mankind. Nor was he a dreamer 
only, intent on some far horizon of the future ; he was 
an ardent lover of liberty and progress in the present ; 
and this hope, too, found worthy utterance in his verse. 

' The substance of what is here said about Francis Adams 
is taken from my editorial note to the revised edition of the 
Songs of the Army of the Night, published by Mr. A. C. Fifield, 


It would be difficult to say where Freedom has been 
more nobly presented than in his poem to " Le Jeune 
Barbaroux " : 

Freedom, her arm outstretched, but lips firm set. 
Freedom, her eyes with tears of pity wet. 

But her robe splashed with drops of bloody dew. 
Freedom, thy goddess, is our goddess yet. 
Young Barbaroux. 

Of Barlas's Love Sonnets (1889) it may be said without 
exaggeration that, unknown though they are to the 
reading public and to any but a mere handful of students, 
they are not undeserving to be classed among the best 
sonnet-sequences. It was Meredith's opinion that 
as sonnet-writer Barlas took " high rank among the 
poets of his time " ; and that the concluding sonnet 
was " unmatched for nobihty of sentiment." Nobility 
was indeed a trait of all Barlas's poetry, and of his 
character. Sprung from the line of the famous Kate 
Douglas who won the name of Bar-lass, he was noted 
even in his school-days for magnanimity and courage ; 
and in no way did those qualities show themselves 
more clearly than in the dignity with which he bore 
long years of failure and misfortune, darkened at times 
by insanity. 

The winter of 1891-1892 had brought the one occasion 
on which Barlas's name came before the public. He 
was charged with firing a revolver at the House of 
Commons, which he did to mark his contempt for 
Parliamentary rule ; but when H. H. Champion and 
Oscar Wilde offered themselves as sureties, he was 
discharged in the care of his friends. I first heard 
from him, through Champion, soon after that event, 
in a letter in which he spoke of his poetry as having 
been " three parts of my religion " ; but it was not till 
ten or twelve years later that I became closely acquainted 
with him, and then he wrote to me regularly till his 
death in 1914. His letters, written mostly from an 


asylum in Scotland, are among the most interesting 
I have ever received ; for in spite of his ill health he 
was an untiring student, a great classical scholar, and 
deeply read in many Greek and Latin authors whose 
works lie outside the narrow range of school and 
University curriculum. But his genius was in his 
poems ; and it is to be hoped that a selection from these 
may yet see the light. 

Thus it was that these two poets, Adams and Barlas, 
though true-born children of Socialism, were precluded, 
owing to the misfortunes which beset their lives, from 
taking active part in its advocacy. Edward Carpenter, 
on the other hand, if unattached to any one section of 
reformers, has been one of the most influential writers 
and speakers in the socialist cause ; and his name is 
deservedly honoured not only for his many direct 
services to the movement, but for the personal friend- 
ship which he has extended to fellow-workers, and 
indeed to all who have sought his aid — giving freely 
where, in the nature of the case, there could be little 
or no return. His cottage at Millthorpe had already 
become, in the 'nineties, a place of pilgrimage, the 
resort of " comrades " who dropped down on him from 
the surrounding hills, or swarmed up the valley from 
Chesterfield like a tidal wave, or " bore," as he aptly 
described it. His friend George Adams and family 
were then living with him at Millthorpe ; and those 
who had the good fortune to be intimate with that 
delightful household will always remember their visits 
with pleasure. George Adams, the sandal-maker, was 
as charming a companion as the heart could desire, 
full of artistic feeling (witness his beautiful water- 
colours), of quaint humorous fancies, and of unfailing 
kindliness. His memory is very dear to his friends. 

One of the strangest things said about Edward 
Carpenter, and by one of his most admiring critics, 
is that he has no faculty for organization. I used often 
to be struck by the great patience and adroitness with 


which he marshaUed and managed his numerous unin- 
vited guests. He might fairly have exclaimed, with 
Emerson : 

Askest " how long thou shalt stay " ? 

Devastator of the day I 

But though the pilgrims often showed but little con- 
sideration for their host, in the manner and duration 
of their visits, he seemed to be always master of the 
emergency, receiving the new-comers, however untimely 
their arrival, with imperturbable urbanity, and gently 
detaching the Umpets with a skill that made them seem 
to be taking a voluntary and intended departure. It 
was hospitaUty brought to a fine art. 

For many years there was a quaint division of 
Carpenter's writings in the British Museum catalogue, 
his earher works being attributed to one Edward 
Carpenter, " Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge," and 
the later to another Edward Carpenter, placed on the 
lower grade of " Social Reformer." There was, per- 
haps, some propriety, as well as unconscious humour 
in this dual arrangement ; for Carpenter, hke Morris, 
was not a sociahst born, but one who, by force of natural 
bias, had gravitated from Respectability to Freedom ; 
and his writings bore obvious tokens of the change. 

Another and more audacious classification was once 
propounded to me by Bernard Shaw, viz. that future 
commentators would divide Carpenter's works into two 
periods ; first, that of the comparatively trivial books 
written before he came in contact with " G.B.S. " ; 
secondly, that of the really important contributions 
to hterature, where the Shavian influence is dis- 
cernible. I mentioned this scheme to Carpenter ; 
and he smilingly suggested that if there were any 
indebtedness, the names of the debtor and the 
creditor must be reversed. But it would have 
been as reasonable for an elephant to claim to have 
influenced a whale, or a whale an elephant, as for 


either the thinker or the seer, each moving in quite 
a different province, to suppose that he had affected 
the other's course. One common influence they felt — 
the desire to humanize the barbarous age in which they 
lived — and it is strange that Carpenter, in his book 
on " CiviHzation," should have bestowed so fair and 
unmerited a name on a state of society which, in spite 
of all its boasted sciences and mechanical inventions, 
is at heart little else than an ancient Savagery in a more 
complex and cumbrous form. 



I know not the internal constitution of other men. ... I 
see that in some external attributes they resemble me, but 
when, misled by that appearance, I have thought to appeal 
to something in common, and unburthen my inmost soul to 
them, I have found my language misunderstood, like one in 
a distant and savage land. — Shelley. 

The words quoted above would savour of self-righteous- 
ness, if put into the mouth of any one but the poet who 
wrote them. Coming from Shelley, they do not give 
that impression ; for we feel of him that, as Leigh 
Hunt used to say, he was " a spirit that had darted out 
of its orb and found itself in another world ... he 
had come from the planet Mercury." Or, rather, he 
was a prophet and forerunner of a yet distant state of 
society upon this planet Earth, when the savagery of 
our past and present shall have been replaced by a 
civiUzation that is to be. 

During the latter half of the nineteenth century 
Shelley's influence was very powerful, not only upon 
the canons of poetry, but upon ideals of various kinds — 
upon free-thought, socialism, sex-questions, food-reform, 
and not a few other problems of intellectual and ethical 
import. The Chartist movement set the example. In a 
letter which I received from Eleanor Marx in 1892 she 
spoke of the " enormous influence " exercised by Shelley's 
writings upon leading Chartists : "I have heard my 
father and Engcls again and again speak of this ; and 
I have heard the same from the many Chartists it has 
been my good fortune to know — Ernest Jones, Richard 
Moore, the Watsons, G. J. Harvey, and others." What 
was true of Chartism held equally good of other move- 


ments ; as indeed was admitted by Shelley's detractors 
as well as claimed by his friends : witness Sir Leslie 
Stephen's complaint that " the devotees of some of 
Shelley's pet theories " had become " much noisier." 
In the 'eighties, the interest aroused by the controversies 
that raged about Shelley, both as poet and as pioneer, 
was especially strong, as was proved by the renewed 
output of Shelleyan literature, such as Mr, Forman's 
and Mr. W. M. Rossetti's editions of the works, the 
biography of Dr. Dowden, and the numerous pubUcations 
of the Shelley Society, dating from 1886 to 1892. It 
was a time when the old abusive view of Shelley, as a 
fiend incarnate, was giving way to the equally irrational 
apologetic view — the "poor, poor Shelley" period — of 
which Dowden was the spokesman ; yet a good deal 
of the old bitterness still remained, and Mr. Cordy 
Jeaffreson's lurid fiction, entitled " The Real Shelley," 
was published as late as 1885. 

It is difficult for a humble student of such a genius 
as Shelley to speak frankly of the debt that he owes to 
him, without seeming to forget his own personal 
unimportance ; but I prefer to risk the misunderstanding 
than to leave the tribute unsaid. From the day when 
at a preparatory school I was first introduced to Shelley's 
lyrics by having some stanzas of " The Cloud " set for 
translation into Latin, I never doubted that he stood 
apart from all other poets in the enchantment of his 
verse ; and I soon learnt that there was an equal 
distinction in the beauty and wisdom of his thoughts ; 
so that he became to me, as to others, what Lucretius 
found in Epicurus, a guide and solace in all the 
vicissitudes of hfe : 

Thou art the father of our faith, and thine 
Our holiest precepts ; from thy songs divine, 
As bees sip honey in some flowery dell, 
Cull we the glories of each golden line, 
Golden, and graced with life imperishable. • 

« De Rerum Naturd, iii. 9-13, as translated in Treasures oj 


At Eton there was little knowledge of Shelley, and still 
less understanding. When it was first proposed to 
place a bust of the poet in the Upper School, Dr. Hornby 
is said to have repHed : " No : he was a bad man," 
and to have expressed a humorous regret that he had not 
been educated at Harrow. I once read a paper on 
Shelley before the Ascham Society, and was amazed 
at the ignorance that prevailed about him among Eton 
masters : only one or two of them had any acquaintance 
with the longer poems ; the rest had read the lines " To 
a Skylark " ; one told us with a certain amount of pride 
that he had read " Adonais " ; many thought the poet 
a hbertine ; and though they did not say that he was a 
disgrace to Eton, it was evident that that was the 
underlying sentiment. Several years after I had left 
Eton, William Cory wrote a paper for the Shelley 
Society on " Shelley's Classics " (viz. his knowledge of 
Greek and Latin), which, in his absence, I read at one 
of the Society's meetings ; and I remember being 
surprised to find that even he regarded Shelley as a 
verbose and tedious writer. 

From Mr. Kegan Paul, who was a friend of Sir Percy 
and Lady Shelley, I had heard all that was known of 
the inner history of Shelley's Ufe ; and as, after the 
pubhcation of Dowden's biography in 1886, the main 
facts were no longer in dispute, it seemed to me that 
the best service that could then be rendered to his 
memory was to show how, far from being a " beautiful 
and ineffectual angel," he was a beautiful but very 
efficient prophet of reform. This I did, or tried to do, 
in various essays pubHshed about the time when the 
Shelley Society was beginning its work ; and I was 
thus brought into close touch with it during the seven 
years of its existence. As illustrating how the old 
animosities still smouldered, more than sixty years 
after Shelley's death, I am tempted to quote a testimonial 
received by me from a critic in the Westminster Review, 
where I found myself described as one of the writers 


who grubbed amongst " the offensive matter " of 
Shelley's life " with gross minds and grunts of satis- 
faction," and as having made " an impudent endeavour 
to gain the notoriety of an iconoclast amongst social 
heretics with immoral tendencies and depraved de- 
sires." There was the old genuine ring about this, 
and I felt that I must be on the right track as a Shelley 
student. I knew, too, from letters which I had received 
from Lady Shelley, the poet's daughter-in-law, whose 
Shelley Memorials was the starting-point of all the 
later appreciations, that I was not writing without 
credentials. " For the last thirty-five years," she 
wrote to me in 1888, speaking for Sir Percy Shelley 
and herself, " we have suffered so much from what 
has been written on Shelley by those who had not the 
capacity of understanding his character, and were 
utterly ignorant of the circumstances which shaped 
his life, that I cannot refrain from expressing our 
heartfelt thanks and gratitude for the comfort and 
pleasure we have had in reading your paper." And 
later : " It is a great happiness to me to know, in my 
old age, that when I am gone there will be some one 
left to do battle for the truth against those whose 
nature prevents them from seeing in Shelley's beautiful 
unselfish love and kindness anything but evil." 

The Shelley Society, founded by Dr. F. J. Furnivall 
in 1886, had the support of a large number of the poet's 
admirers, among whom were Mr. W. M. Rossetti, Mr. 
Stopford Brooke, Mr. Buxton Forman, Mr. Hermann 
Vezin, Dr. John Todhunter, Mr. F. S. Ellis, Mr. Stanley 
Little, and Mr, Bernard Shaw ; and much useful work was 
done in the way of meetings and discussions, the pub- 
lication of essays on Shelley, and facsimile reprints of 
some of his rarer volumes, thus throwing new light, 
biographical or bibhographical, on many doubtful 
questions. I will refer only to one of these, in which 
I was myself concerned, a study of " JuHan and 
Maddalo," which I read at a meeting in 1888, and which 


was subsequently printed in the Shelley Society's Papers 
and reissued as a pamphlet. Its object was to make 
clear what had been overlooked by Dowden, Rossetti, 
and the chief authorities, though hinted at by one or 
two writers, viz. that the story of " the maniac " 
(in " Julian and Maddalo ") was not, as generally 
supposed, a mere fanciful interpolation, but a piece of 
poetical autobiography, a veiled record of Shelley's 
own feelings at the time of his separation from Harriet. 
On this point Dr. Furnivall wrote to me (April i6, 
1888) : " Robert Browning says he has always held the 
main part of your view, from the first publication of 
' Juhan and Maddalo,' but you must not push it into 
detail. I had a long talk with him last night." 

The greatest single achievement of the Shelley Society 
was the staging of The Cenci at the Ishngton Theatre, 
in 1886. The performance was technically a private 
one, as the Licenser of Plays had refused his sanction ; 
but great pubUc interest was aroused, and the acting 
of Mr. Hermann Vezin as Count Cenci, and of Miss Alma 
Murray as Beatrice — " the poetic actress without a 
rival " was Browning's description of her — made the 
event one which no lover of Shelley could forget. If 
the Society had done nothing else than this, its existence 
would still have been justified. 

Every literary association, like every social movement, 
is sure to have a humorous aspect as well as a serious 
one, and the Shelley Society was very far from being 
an exception to this beneficent rule ; indeed, on looking 
back over its career, one has to check the impulse to 
be absorbed in the laughable features of the proceedings, 
to the exclusion of its really valuable work. The 
situation was rich in delightful incongruities ; for the 
bulk of the Committee, while admiring Shelley's poetical 
genius, seemed quite unaware of the conclusions to 
which his principles inevitably led, and of the live 
questions which any genuine study of Shelley was certain 
to awake. Accordingly, when Mr. G. W. Foote, the 


President of the National Secular Society, gave an 
address before a very large audience on Shelley's 
rehgion, the Committee, with a few exceptions, marked 
their disgust for the lecturer's views, which happened 
also to be Shelley's, by the expedient of staying away. 
I think it was on an earlier occasion that Bernard Shaw 
appalled the company by commencing a speech with the 
words : " I, as a socialist, an atheist, and a vege- 
tarian ..." I remember how the honorary secretary, 
speaking to me afterwards, as to a sympathetic colleague, 
said that he had always understood that if a man 
avowed himself an atheist it was the proper thing 
" to go for him " ; but when I pointed out that, what- 
ever might be thought of such a course as a general 
rule, it would be a little difficult to act on it in a Shelley 
Society, he seemed struck by my suggestion. Anyhow, 
we did not go for Shaw ; perhaps we knew that 
he had studied the noble art of self-defence. 

Then there was sad trouble on the Committee when 
Dr. Aveling applied for membership, for the majority 
decided to refuse it — his marriage relations being similar 
to Shelley's — and it was only by the determined action 
of the chairman, Mr. W. M. Rossetti, who threatened 
to resign if the resolution were not cancelled, that the 
difficulty was surmounted. This was by no means the 
only occasion on which William Rossetti's sound sense 
rescued the Society from an absurd and impossible 
position ; but sane as were his judgments in all practical 
matters, he was himself somewhat lacking in humour, 
as was made evident by a certain lecture which he 
gave us on " Shelley and Water " ; a title, b}'^ the way, 
which might have been applied, not inaptly, to the 
sentiments of several of our colleagues. There are, as 
all Shelley students know, some curious references, in the 
poems, to death by drowning ; and we thought that the 
lecturer intended to comment on these, and on any 
passages which might illustrate the love which Shelley 
felt for sailing on river or sea ; we were therefore 


rather taken aback when we found that the lecture, 
which was divided into two parts, viz. " Shelley and 
Salt Water " and " Shelley and Fresh Water," con- 
sisted of little more than the quotation of a number of 
passages. We heard the first part (I forget whether it 
was the salt or the fresh), and then, at Dr. Furnivall's 
suggestion, the second was withdrawn. There was 
comedy in this ; but none the less all lovers of Shelley 
owe gratitude to Mr. W. M. Rossetti, for he was one of 
the first critics to understand the real greatness of 
Shelley's genius, and to appreciate not the poetry alone, 
but the conceptions by which it was inspired. He 
likewise did good service in introducing to the public 
some original writers, Walt Whitman among them, 
whose recognition might otherwise have been delayed. 
But the outstanding figure of the Shelley Society was 
that of its founder. Dr. F. J. Furnivall, the veteran 
scholar and sculler, a grand old man whose unflagging 
ardour in his favourite pursuits might have shamed 
many enthusiasts who were his juniors by half a century. 
A born fighter, the vehemence of his disputes with 
certain men of letters (Swinburne, for example), was 
notorious ; but personally he was kindness itself, and 
I have most pleasant recollections of the many visits 
which I paid him in his house near Primrose Hill, 
where, sitting in a big arm-chair, he would talk eagerly, 
as he took tea, over the men he had known or the 
Societies he had founded. His tea-tray used to be 
placed on a sort of small bridge which rested on the 
arms of the chair, and in his excitement over a thrilling 
anecdote, I have seen him forget that he was thus 
restricted, and springing forward send tray and tea 
flying together across the room. He once told me 
that, for hygienic reasons, he had been a vegetarian for 
twenty years, and had done the hardest work of his 
life without flesh-food : then, happening to be confined 
to the house with sprained ankles, he got out of health 
by neglecting to reduce his daily diet. Just at that 


moment a friend sent him a turkey, and he said to 
himself : " Now, why should this fine bird be wasted, 
owing to a mere whim of mine ? " Thus had he relapsed 
into cannibahsm as lightly as he reUnquished it. 

There was an innocence and naiveU about Furnivall 
which at times was almost boyish ; his impetuosity 
and total lack of discretion made him insensible to other 
persons' feehngs, so that he gave direful offence, and 
trod on the toes of many good people, without being 
in the least conscious of it. He ruined the Browning 
Society, of which he was both founder and confounder, 
by an ill-advised speech about Jesus Christ, in a dis- 
cussion on " Christmas Eve and Easter Day " ; and in 
like manner, though with less serious results, he startled 
his Shelleyan friends, when Prometheus was the subject 
of debate, by asking in tones of impatience : " Why 
did the fellow allow himself to be chained to the rock ? 
Why didn't he show fight, as I should have done ? " 
And certainly, when one thinks of it, there would have 
been trouble in the Caucasus, if Dr. Furnivall had been 
bidden to play the martyr's part. 

Knowing of my connection with Eton, Dr. Furnivall 
once came to me, in high spirits, with the news that in 
some researches at the British Museum he had by chance 
unearthed the fact that Nicholas Udall, a headmaster 
of Eton in the sixteenth century, and one of the recog- 
nized " worthies " of the school, had been convicted 
of a criminal offence — its nature I must leave my readers 
to surmise. I had heard this before, but I could not 
spoil the old man's glee by saying so ; I therefore 
congratulated him warmly, and asked him, in jest, 
whether he would not write to Dr. Warre and tell him 
of so interesting a discovery. " I have written to him," 
he cried ; and then, with a shade of real surprise and 
disappointment on his face : " But he's not answered 
me! " 

During the latter part of the Shelley Society's 
career, when its fortunes were dimmed, and many of 



its fashionable members had dropped off, we still 
continued to hold our monthly meetings at University 
College, Gower Street, and very quaint Httle gatherings 
some of them were. The audience at times numbered 
no more than five or six, and the " proceedings " might 
have altogether failed had it not been for two or three 
devoted enthusiasts who never slackened in their 
attendance. One of these was Mrs. Simpson, an old 
lady who became to the Shelley Society what Miss 
FUte was to the Court of Chancery in Bleak House, 
an ever-present spectator and ally. We all liked and 
respected her — she was humanitarian as well as 
Shelleyan — but we were a little embarrassed when her 
fihal piety prompted her to give us copies of her father's 
writings, a bulky volume entitled The Works of Henry 
Heavisides. It was a sobering experience to become 
possessed of that book, the title of which conveyed a 
true indication of the contents. 

The Shelley Centenary (August 4, 1892) marked the 
climax of the cult which had had so great a vogue in 
the previous decade. The local meeting held at Horsham 
in the afternoon, when Sussex squires and literary 
gentlemen from London united in an attempt to white- 
wash Shelley's character — those " shining garments " 
of his, " so little specked with mire," as one speaker 
expressed it — was a very hollow affair which contrasted 
sharply with the London celebration held in the evening 
at the Hall of Science, when Mr. G. W. Foote presided, 
and Mr. Bernard Shaw convulsed the audience by his 
description of the Horsham apologetics. An account of 
both these meetings was written by " G.B.S. " in his 
best vein, and printed in the Albemarle Review : it 
was in this article that he made the suggestion that 
Shelley should be represented, at Horsham, on a bas- 
relief, " in a tall hat, Bible in hand, leading his children 
on Sunday morning to the church of his native parish." 

That piece of sculpture has never been executed ; 
but it would hardly have been more inappropriate than 


the two chief monuments that have been erected, the 
one in Christchurch Priory, Hants, the other at 
University College, Oxford ; for what could be less in 
keeping with the impression left by Shelley's ethereal 
genius than to figure him, as is done in both these works, 
as a dead body, stretched limp and pitiful like some 
suicide's corpse at the Morgue ? Let us rid our thoughts 
of all such ghastly and funereal notions of Shelley, and 
think of him as what he is, the poet not of death but 
of life,^ that nobler life to which mankind shall yet 
attain, when they have learnt, in his own words : 

To live as if to love and live were one. 

The most human portrait of Shelley, to my thinking, 
is the one painted by a young American artist, Wilham 
West, who met him at Byron's villa near Leghorn, 
in 1822, and being greatly struck by his personality, 
made a rough sketch which he afterwards finished and 
took back to America. There it was preserved after 
West's death, and reproduced for the first time in the 
Century Magazine in October, 1905, with an explanatory 
article by its present owner, Mrs. John Dunn. By the 
courtesy of Mrs. Dunn, I was able to use this portrait 
as a frontispiece to a revised edition of my study of 
Shelley, published in 1913. Mr. Buxton Forman told 
me that he did not believe in the genuineness of the 
picture ; but readers of Letters about Shelley (19 17) 
will see that Dr. Richard Garnett held a contrary 
opinion, and so, as I know, did Mr. W. M. Rossetti. 
Some account of West's meeting with Shelley, and of 
his recollections of Byron, may be found in Henry 
Theodore Tuckerman's Book of the Artists. His portrait 
of Byron is well known ; and there seems to be no 
inherent improbability in the account given of the 
origin and preservation of the other picture, which 

» It is significant that the title of Edward Carpenter's lines 
to Shelley : " To a Dead Poet," became, in later editions of 
Towards Democracry, " To One who is where the Eternal are." 


certainly impresses one as being more in agreement with 
the verbal descriptions of Shelley in his later years 
than the almost boyish countenance so famiHar in 

Shelley is the greatest of the poet-pioneers of civiUza- 
tion, and his influence is still very far from having 
reached its zenith : he is " the poet of the young " in 
the sense that future generations will be better and 
better able to understand him. 

Thy wisdom lacks not years, thy wisdom grows 
With our growth and the growth of time unborn.' 

' Sonnet to Shelley, by N. Douglas Deuchar. 



I suffer mute and lonely, yet another 
Uplifts his voice to let n;e know a brother 
Travels the same wild paths though out of sight. 

James Thomson (B.V.), 

Poets, as Shelley said, are " the hierophants of an 
unapprehended inspiration, the mirrors of the gigantic 
shadows which futurity' casts upon the present." The 
surest solace for the conditions in which men's lives 
are still lived is to be found in the utterances of those 
impassioned writers, poets or poet-naturalists as we 
may call them, who are the harbingers of a higher 
social state, and, as such, have power to cheer their 
fellow-beings with the charm of their speech, though it 
is only by the few that the full purport of their message 
can be understood. It is of some of these hghts in the 
darkness, these voices crying in the wilderness, that 
I would now speak. 

There would seem, at first sight, to be a great gulf 
fixed between Shelley and James Thomson, between 
optimist and pessimist, between the poet of Prometheus 
Unbound whose faith in the future was immutable, and 
him of The City of Dreadful Night, who so despaired 
of progress as to hold that before we can reform the 
present we must reform the past. Yet it was on Thom- 
son's shoulders that the mantle of Shelley descended, 
in so far as they were the singers of free-thought ; 
and he was one of the earhest of all writers of distinction 
to apprehend the greatness of that " poet of poets and 


purest of men " to whom his own Vane's Story was 
dedicated. Though we do not assent to the pessi- 
mistic contention that we are the product of a past which 
has foredoomed human effort to failure, we may still 
profit by the mood of pessimism, the genuine vein of 
sadness that is found in all literatures and felt at times 
by all thoughtful men ; for in its due place and pro- 
portion it is as real as the contrary mood of joy. Why, 
then, should the darker mood be sedulously discounten- 
anced, as if it came from the source of all evil ? It 
stands for something ; it is part of us, and it is not to 
be arbitrarily set aside. 

So wonderful a poem as The City of Dreadful Night 
needs no apology ; its justification is in its own grandeur 
and strength : nor ought such literature to be depressing 
in its effect on the reader's mind, but rather (in its 
right sphere and relation) a means of enlightenment 
and help. For whatever the subject and moral of a 
poem may be, there is nothing saddening in Art, provided 
the form and treatment be adequate ; we are not 
discouraged but cheered by any revelation of feeling 
that is sincerely and nobly expressed. I hold Thomson, 
therefore, pessimist though he was, to have been, by 
virtue of his indomitable courage and love of truth, 
one of the inspired voices of democracy. 

Over thirty years ago I was requested by Mr. 
Bertram Dobell, Thomson's friend and literary executor, 
to write a Life of the poet ; and in the preparation 
of that work, which involved a good deal of search for 
scattered letters and other biographical material, I was 
brought into touch not only with many personal friends 
of Thomson, such as Mr. Charles Bradlaugh, Mr. G. W. 
Foote, Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Wright, Mrs. H. 
Bradlaugh Bonner, Mr. J. W. Barrs, Mr. Charles Watts, 
and Mr. Percy Holyoake, but also with some well- 
known writers, among them Mr. George Meredith, 
Mr. Swinburne, Mr. Watts-Dunton, Mr. W. M. Rossetti, 
and Mr. William Sharp. I was impressed by the 


warm regard in which Thomson's memory was held 
by those who had known him, the single exception 
being a sour old landlady in a gloomy London street, 
of whose remarks I took note as an instance of the 
strangely vague views held in some quarters as to the 
function of a biographer. She could give me no in- 
formation about her impecunious lodger, except that 
he had " passed away " ; but she added that if I wished 
to write the Life of a good man, a real Christian, and a 
total abstainer — here she looked at me dubiously, as 
if questioning my ability to carry out her suggestion — 
there was her dear departed husband ! 

In another case an old friend of Thomson's, who told 
me many interesting facts about his early life, detained 
me just as I was taking my departure, and said in a 
meditative way, as if anxious to recall even the veriest 
trifle : "I think I remember that Jimmy once wrote 
a poem on some subject or other." What he imagined 
to be my object in writing a Life of an obscure Army 
schoolmaster, except that he had written a poem, I 
did not discover ; perhaps the idea was that the bio- 
grapher goes about, like the lion, seeking whom he may 

In literary circles there has always been a strong 
prejudice against " B.V.," owing, of course, to his 
atheistical views and the general lack of " respectabihty " 
in his life and surroundings. I was told by Mr. William 
Sharp that, just after the Life of Jatnes Thomson was 
published, he happened to be travelling to Scotland in 
company with Mr. Andrew Lang, and having with him 
a copy of the book, which he was reviewing for the 
Academy, he tried to engage his companion in talk 
about Thomson, but was met by a marked disinclination 
to discuss a subject so uncongenial. I was not surprised 
at hearing this ; but I had been puzzled by a refusal 
which I received from Mr. Swinburne to allow me to 
publish a letter which he had addressed to Mr. W. M. 
Rossetti some years before, in high praise of Thomson's 


narrative poem " Weddah and Om-el-Bonain," which 
he had described as possessing " forthright triumphant 
power." That letter, so Mr. Swinburne wrote to me, 
had been inspired by " a somewhat extravagant and 
uncritical enthusiasm," and he now spoke in rather 
severe reprobation of Thomson, as one who might have 
left behind him " a respectable and memorable name." 
The word " respectable," coming from the author of 
Poems and Ballads, deserves to be noted. 

About two years later, in 1890, the immediate cause 
of this change of opinion on Mr. Swinburne's part was 
explained to me by no less an authority than Mr. Watts- 
Dunton, who had invited me to pay him a visit in 
order to have a talk about Thoreau. During a stroll 
on Putney Heath, shared by Mr. Bernard Shaw, Mr. 
Watts-Dunton told me the story of James Thomson's 
overthrow ; and as the similar downfall of Whitman, 
and of some of Swinburne's other early favourites, was 
probably brought about in the same manner, the process 
is worth relating. Mr. Swinburne, as I have said, had 
written in rapturous praise of one of " B.V.'s " poems. 
One day Mr. Watts-Dunton said to him : " I wish you 
would re-read that poem of Thomson's, as I cannot see 
that it possesses any great merit." A few days later 
Swinburne came to him and said : " You are quite 
right. I have re-read * Weddah and Om-el-Bonain,' 
and I find that it has very little value." Watts- 
Dunton's influence over his friend was so complete 
that there are in fact two Swinburnes : the earlier, 
democratic poet of the Songs before Sunrise, who had 
not yet been rescued by Mr. Watts-Dunton ; and the 
later, respectable Swinburne, whose bent was for the 
most part reactionary. A " lost leader " indeed ! 
Contrary to the proverb, the appeal, in this case, must 
be from Philip sober to Philip drunk. 

At the luncheon which followed our walk, Mr. 
Swinburne was present, and one could not help observing 
that in personal matters, as in his literary views, he 


seemed to be almost dependent on Mr. Watts-Dunton : 
he ran to him with a new book hke a poetic child with 
a plaj^thing. His amiability of manner and courtesy 
were charming ; but his delicate face, quaint chanting 
voice, and restlessly twitching fingers, gave an impression 
of weakness. He talked, I remember, of Meredith's 
Sandra Belloni and Diana of the Cross ways , and com- 
plained of their obscurity (" Can you construe them ? ") ; 
then of his reminiscences of Eton, with friendly inquiries 
about my father-in-law, the Rev. J. L. Joynes, who 
had been his tutor and house-master ; also about one 
of the French teachers, Mr. Henry Tarver, with whom 
he had been on very intimate terms. Here a few words 
on the poet's adventures at Eton may not be out of 

It is stated in Gosse's Life of Swinburne that there 
is no truth in the legend that he was bullied at Eton ; 
it is, however, a fact that his Eton career was not 
altogether an untroubled one. Mr Joynes used to tell 
how Swinburne once came to him before school and 
begged to be allowed to " stay out," because he was 
afraid to face some bigger boys who were temporarily 
attached to his Division — " those dreadful boys," he 
called them. " Oh, sir, they wear tail coats ! Sir, 
they are men ! " The request was not granted ; but 
his tutor soothed the boy by reading a Psalm with 
him, and thus fortified he underwent the ordeal. 

One very characteristic anecdote has unfortunately 
been told incorrectly. Lady Jane Swinburne had come 
to Eton to see her son, who was ill, and she read Shake- 
speare to him as he lay in bed. When she left him for 
a time, a maid, whom she had brought with her, was 
requested to continue the reading, and she did so, 
with the result that a glass of water which stood on a 
table by the bedside was presently dashed over her by 
the invahd. In the version quoted by his biographer 

» From a letter on " Swinburne at Eton," Times Literary 
Supplement, December 25, 19 19. 


the glass of water has become " a pot of jam " — 
quite wrongly, as I can testify, for I heard Mr. Joynes 
tell the story more than once. 

Swinburne was not allowed to read Byron or Shelley 
while he was at Eton. In Mr. Joynes's house there was 
a set of volumes of the old EngHsh dramatists, and the 
young student urgently begged to be permitted to 
read these. " Might he read Ford ? " To settle so 
difficult a question recourse was had to the advice of 
Mr. W. G. Cookesley, a master who was reputed " to 
know about everything " ; and Mr. Cookesley 's judg- 
ment was that the boy might read all Ford's plays 
except one — the one, of course, which has a title cal- 
culated to alarm. But this, it transpired, was one that 
he had specially wished to read ! 

Mr. Watts-Dunton has been well described by Mr. 
Coulson Kernahan as " a hero of friendship " ; and his 
personal friendliness was shown not to distinguished 
writers only, but to any one whom he could encourage 
or help, nor did he take the least offence, however 
bluntly his own criticisms were criticized. In reviewing 
The City of Dreadful Night, on its first appearance in 
book form (1880), he had said that Thomson wrote 
in his pessimistic style " because now it is the fashion 
to be dreadful," a denial of the sincerity of the poet to 
which I referred in my Life of James Thomson as one 
of the strangest of misapprehensions. When I met 
Mr. Watts-Dunton, he alluded to this and other matters 
concerning Thomson so genially as to make me wonder 
how he could at limes have written in so unsympathetic 
and unworthy a manner of authors whom he disliked. 
Admirers of Walt Whitman, in particular, had reason 
to resent the really disgusting things that were said of 
him ; as when he was likened to a savage befouling 
the door-step of the civiHzed man. That Whitman 
himself must have been indignant at the jibes levelled 
at him from Putney Heath can hardly be doubted : 
I was told by a friend of his that he had been heard to 


speak of Swinburne — the second Swinburne — as " a 
damned simulacrum." 

Very different from Swinburne's ungenerous attitude 
to Thomson was that of George Meredith, as may be 
seen from several of his letters to me, pubhshed in the 
Life of James Thomson, and reprinted in Letters of George 
Meredith. A proposal was made that Mr. Meredith 
should himself write an appreciation of " B.V. " ; this 
he could not do, but he gave me permission to make use 
of any opinions he had expressed by letter to me or in 
conversation ; I visited him at Box Hill in 1891, and 
he talked at great length on that and other subjects. 
Of Thomson he spoke with feehngs akin to affection, 
exclaiming more than once : " Poor dear fellow 1 
I bitterly reproach myself that I did not help him more, 
by getting him work on the Athenceum." But he 
doubted if he could at that date have been reclaimed : 
earher in life he might have been saved, he thought, 
by the companionship of a woman who would have 
given him sympathy and aid ; praise, too, which had 
been the ruin of many writers (he instanced George 
Eliot and Dickens, with some trenchant remarks about 
both) would have been good for " B.V.," who was so 
brave and honest. He himself, he said, had often 
felt what it was to lack all recognition, and sometimes, 
when he had looked up from his writing and seen a 
distant field in sunhght, he had thought, " it must be 
well to be in the warmth." What above all he admired 
in Thomson was his resolute clear courage. There had 
been no mention of pessimism in their talk, except 
that when he had been speaking of the brightest and 
the darkest moods of Nature, Thomson answered : " I 
see no brightest." 

Meredith was evidently repelled by this gospel of 
despair ; he said that the writing of The City of Dreadful 
Night had done its author no good, inasmuch as he 
there embodied his gloomier images in a permanent 
form which in turn reacted on him and made him more 


despondent. He considered " Weddah and Om-el- 
Bonain " to be Thomson's masterpiece, and the finest 
narrative poem we have : " Where can you find its 
equal ? " I told him of Swinburne's change of opinion 
about it, and he said instantly : " You know whose 
doing that is." A playful account followed of the way 
in which his own poems used to be reviewed by Watts- 
Dunton in the AthcncBum. " We always receive any- 
thing of Mr. Meredith's with respect." " You know," 
said Meredith, " what that sort of beginning means." 
Of late he had ceased to send out review copies of his 
poems, being sickened by the ineptitude of critics. 
" There are a good many curates about the country," 
he added, " and the fact that many of them do a little 
reviewing in their spare hours does not tend to elevate 

Of social problems he spoke with freedom ; most 
strongly of the certain change that is coming, when 
women get their economic independence. Infinite mis- 
chief comes to the race from loveless marriages. But 
he anticipated it would take six or more generations 
for women to rid themselves of the intellectual follies 
they now inherit from their grandmothers. 

At dinner Mr. Meredith talked of his distaste for 
flesh food, and his esteem for simplicity in all forms, 
and stated emphatically that it was quite a mistake to 
suppose that his own experiments in vegetarianism had 
injured his health. Yet, if he were to try that diet 
again, he knew how his friends would explain to him 
that it is " impossible to live without meat," or (this 
in dramatically sarcastic tones) that "if it be possible 
for some persons, it is not possible for me." ^ I was 

' The assertion made in Mr. H. M. Hyndman's Records of 
an Adventurous Life (igii) that Meredith's vegetarianism was 
" almost the death of him," and that he himself " recognized 
the truth," viz. that Hesh food is a necessity for those who work 
with mind as well as body, is directly at variance with what 
Meredith himself told me twenty years nearer the date of the 
experiment in question. 


struck by his great kindliness as host ; he was in fact 
over-solicitous for the welfare of vegetarian guests. 

The formality and punctiliousness of Mr. Meredith's 
manner, with his somewhat ceremonious gestures and 
pronunciation, perhaps affected a visitor rather un- 
favourably at first introduction ; but after a few minutes 
this impression wore off, and one felt only the vivacity 
and charm of his conversation. It was a continuous 
flow of epigrams, as incisive in many cases as those in 
his books ; during which I noticed the intense sen- 
sitiveness and expressiveness of his mouth, the lips 
curling with irony, as he flung out his sarcasms about 
critics, and curates, and sentimentalists of every order. 
His eyes were remarkably keen and penetrating, and he 
watched narrowly the effect of his points ; so that even 
to keep up with him as a listener was a considerable 
mental strain. It was in consequence of my mentioning 
this to Mr. Bernard Shaw, a few days later, that he 
made his sporting offer that, if he were taken down to 
Box Hill, he " would start talking the moment he entered 
the house, and not let Meredith get a word in edgeways." 
In Mr. S. M. Ellis's biography of Meredith, Shaw is 
quoted as saying that the proposal emanated from 
Mr. Clement Shorter or myself : this, however, is quite 
incorrect, for the suggestion was his own, and much 
too reckless to have had any other source. Such 
an encounter, had it taken place, would not have 
been, as Shaw flattered himself, a monologue, but a 
combat so colossal that one shrinks from speculating on 
the result : all that seems certain is that it would have 
lasted till the talk-out blow was given, and that upon 
the tomb of one or other of the colloquists a hie facet 
would have had to be inscribed. 

I noticed a certain resemblance in Meredith's profile 
to that of Edward Carpenter (it may be seen in some of 
the photographs) ; and this was the more surprising 
because of the unlikeness of the two men in tempera- 
ment, Meredith's cry for " More brain, O Lord, more 


brain ! " being in contrast with Carpenter's rather 
sHghting references to " the wandering lunatic Mind." 
Yet Meredith, too, was an apostle of Nature ; his 
democratic instincts are unmistakable, though the 
scenes of his novels are mostly laid in aristocratic 
surroundings, so that his "cry for simplicity" came 
" from the very camp of the artificial." This was the 
view of his philosophy taken by me in an article on 
*' Nature-lessons from George Meredith," published in 
the Free Review, in reference to which Mr. Meredith 
wrote : " It is pleasant to be appreciated, but the 
chief pleasure for me is in seeing the drift of my work 
rightly apprehended." 

To Mr. Bertram Dobell, the well-known bookseller, 
whose name is so closely associated with Thomson's 
and Trahcrne's, I was indebted for much information 
about books and writers of books, given in that cosy 
shop of his in the Charing Cross Road, which was a 
place of pleasant recollections for so many literary 
men. I had especial reason to be grateful to him for 
directing mc to the writings of Herman Melville, whose 
extraordinary genius, shown in such masterpieces as 
Typec and The Whale, was so unaccountably ignored 
or undervalued that his name is still often confused 
with that of Whyte Melville or of Herman Merivale. 
Melville was a great admirer of James Thomson ; 
this he made plain in several letters addressed to English 
correspondents, in which he described The City of 
Dreadful Night as the " modern Book of Job under an 
original form, duskily looming with the same aboriginal 
verities," and wrote of one of the lighter poems that 
" Sunday up the River, contrasting with the City of 
Dreadful Night, is like a Cuban humming-bird, beautiful 
in fairy tints, flying against the tropic thunderstorm." 

Mr. DobcU was a man of very active mind, and he 
had always in view some further literary projects. One 
of these, of which he told me not long before his death, 
was to write a book about his friend, James Thomson ; 


and it is much to be regretted that this could not 
be accomphshed. Another plan — surely one of the 
strangest ever conceived — was to render or re-write 
Walt Whitman's poems in the Omar Khayyam stanza : 
a proposal which reminded me of the beneficent scheme 
of Fourier, or another of the early communists, to turn 
the waters of the ocean into lemonade. It is difficult 
to speak of Leaves of Grass and the Ruhdiydt in the same 
breath ; yet I once heard the Omar Khayyam poem 
referred to in a still stranger connection by a clergyman 
who was the " autocrat of the breakfast table " in a 
hotel where I was staying. Suddenly pausing in his 
table-talk, he did me the honour of consulting me on 
a small question of authorship. " I am right, am I 
not," he said, " in supposing that the translator of 
Omar Khayyam was — Emerson ? " 

Mr. Dobell's experiences in book-lore had been long 
and varied, and he could tell some excellent stories, 
one of which especially struck me as showing that he 
had a rare fund of shrewd sense as well as of professional 
knowledge. He once missed from his shop a very 
scarce and valuable book, in circumstances which 
made it a matter of certainty to him that it had been 
abstracted by a keen collector who had been talking 
to him that very day, though no word concerning the 
book had been spoken. Dobell was greatly troubled, 
until he hit upon a plan which was at once the simplest 
and most tactful that could have been imagined. 
Without any inquiry or explanation, he sent in a bill 
for the book, as in course of business, and the account 
was duly paid. 

Through Songs of Freedom, an anthology edited by me 
in 1892, I came into correspondence with many 
democratic writers, several of whom, especially Mr. 
Gerald Massey and Mr. W. J. Linton, showed much 
interest in the work and gave me valuable assistance. 
Dr. John Kells Ingram's famous verses, " The Men of 
'Ninety-Eight," were included in the book ; and as 


curio.sity has sometimes been expressed as to how far 
the sentiments of that poem accorded with the later 
views of its author, it may be worth mentioning that, 
in giving me permission to reprint the stanzas, he wrote 
as follows : " You will not suppose that the effusion 
of the vouth exactly represents the convictions of the 
man. But I have never been ashamed of having written 
the verses. They were the fruit of genuine feehng." 
A request for Joaquin Miller's spirited hues, " Sophie 
Perovskaya," brought me a letter from the veteran 
author of that very beautiful book, Life amongst the 
Modocs (a work of art worthy to be classed with Herman 
Melville's Typcc), which was one of the strangest pieces 
of penmanship 1 ever received, having the appearance 
of being written with a piece of wood rather than a pen, 
but more than compensating by its heartiness for the 
labour needed in deciphering it : " I thank you cordially ; 
I am abashed at my audacity long aga, in publishing 
what I did in dear old England. I hope to do something 
really worth your reading before I die." But that 
he had done long before. 

The liberality with which writers of verse allow their 
poems to be used in anthologies is very gratifying to 
an editor ; the more so, as such republication is by no 
means always a benefit to the authors themselves. 
Mr. John Addington Symonds was an example of a 
poet who had suffered much, as he told me, from 
compilers of anthologies, especially in regard to some 
lines in his oft-quoted stanzas, " A Vista," which in the 
original ran thus : 

Nation with nation, land with land. 
Inarmed shall live as comrades free. 

" Inarmed " signified Hnked fraternity, but the word 
being a strange one was changed in some collections to 
" unarmed," and in that easier form had quite escaped 
from Mr. Symonds' s control. This error still continues 
to be repeated and circulated, and has practically taken 


the place of the authorized text. Truth, as the saying 
is, may be great, but it does not always prevail. 

Mr. J. A. Symonds, hke his friend Mr. Roden Noel, 
at whose house I met him, was one of those writers who, 
starting from a purely literary standpoint, came over 
in the end towards the democratic view of life. His 
appreciation of Whitman is well known ; and he told 
me that since he wrote his study of Shelley for the 
" English Men of Letters " series he had changed some 
of his views in the more advanced Shelleyan direction. 

Robert Buchanan was another of Roden Noel's 
friends with whom I became acquainted and had a good 
deal of correspondence. His later writings, owing to 
their democratic tendencies and extreme outspokenness, 
received much less public attention than the earlier 
ones ; in The New Rome, in particular, there w^ere a 
number of trenchant poems denouncing the savageries 
of an aggressive mihtarism, and pleading the cause of 
the weak and suffering folk, whether human or sub- 
human, against the tyrannous and strong. So marked, 
in his later years, became Buchanan's humanitarian 
sympathies, that when his biography was written by 
Miss Harriett Jay, in 1903, I was asked to contribute 
a chapter on the subject. 

An anthologist, as I have said, meets with much 
courtesy from poets, yet his path is not altogether a 
rose-strewn one. When I undertook the work, I was 
warned by Mr. Bernard Shaw that the only certain 
result would be that I should draw on myself the 
concentrated resentment of all the authors concerned : 
this forecast was far from being verified ; but in one 
or two instances I did become aware of certain irritable 
symptoms on the part of poetical acquaintances whose • 
own songs of freedom had unluckily escaped my notice. 
Then the over-anxiety of some authors as to which of 
their master-pieces should be included, and which 
withheld, was at times a trial to an editor. One of my 
contributors, who had moved in high circles, was con- 


ccrncd to think that certain royalties of his acquaintance 
might feel hurt by his arraignment of tyrants : "but 
if the Czar." he wrote, "takes it home to himself, 
1 ^hall be only too dehghted." Whether any protest 
from the Czar or other crowned heads was received 
by the pubUshers of the Canterbury Poets Series, I 

never heard. 

But if poets are the forerunners of a future society, 
to " poet-naturahsts " also must a hke function be 
assigned. Of Thoreau, to whom that title was first 
and most fittingly given, I have already spoken ; and 
his was the genius which, to me, next to that of Shelley, 
was the most astonishing of nineteenth-century por- 
tents ; a scion of the future, springing up, Hke some 
alien ' wild-flower, unclassed and uncomprehended : 
like Shelley's, too, his wisdom is still far ahead of our 
age, and destined to be increasingly acknowledged. 

It was with this thought in mind that I wrote a 
biography of Thoreau, in which task I received valuable 
aid from his surviving friends, Mr. Harrison Blake, 
Mr. Daniel Ricketson, Mr. Frank B. Sanborn, Dr. 
Edward Emerson, and others. With Mr. Sanborn, the 
last of the Concord group, I corresponded for nearly 
thirty years, and 1 had several long talks with him on 
the occasions of his visiting England : he was a man 
of great erudition and extraordinary memory, so that 
his store of information amassed in a long life was 
almost encyclopedic. I learnt much from him about 
Concord and its celebrities ; and he collaborated with 
me in editing a collection of Thoreau's " Poems of 
Nature," which was pubhshed in 1895. Mr. Daniel 
Ricketson, the " Mr. D. R." of Emerson's edition of 
Thoreau's Letters, was another friend to whom I was 
greatly indebted ; his correspondence with me was 
printed in a memorial volume, Daniel Ricketson and his 
Friends, in 1902. By no one was I more helped and 
encouraged than by that most ardent of Thoreau- 
students, Dr. Samuel A. Jones, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, 


who, with his fellow-enthusiast, Mr. Alfred W. Hosmer, 
of Concord, sent me at various times a large amount 
of Thoreauana, and enabled me to make a number of 
corrections and amplifications in a later edition of 
the Life. It was through our common love of Thoreau 
that I first became acquainted with Mr. W. Sloane 
Kennedy, of Belmont, Massachusetts, a true nature- 
lover with whom I have had much pleasant and friendly 
intercourse both personally and by letter. 

Richard Jefferies, unhke Shelley or Thoreau, was so 
far a pessimist as to believe that " Uves spent in doing 
good have been lives nobly wasted " ; but while con- 
vinced that " the whole and the worst the worst pessimist 
could say is far beneath the least particle of the truth, 
so immense is the misery of man," he could yet feel 
the hope of future amelioration. " Full well aware that 
all has failed, yet side by side with the sadness of that 
knowledge, there yet lives on in me an unquenchable 
behef, thought burning like the sun, that there is yet 
something to be found, something real, something to 
give each separate personality sunshine and flowers in 
its own existence now." If ever there was an inspired 
work, a real book of prophecy, such a one is Jefferies's 
Story of my Heart, in which, with his gaze fixed on a 
future society, where the term pauper (" inexpressibly 
wicked word ") shall be unknown, he speaks in scathing 
condemnation of the present lack of just and equitable 
distribution, which keeps the bulk of the human race 
still labouring for bare sustenance and shelter. 

In a study of Jefferies's life and ideals, pubHshed in 
1894, I drew attention to the marked change that 
came over his views, during his later years, on social 
and reUgious questions, a ripening of thought, accom- 
panied by a corresponding growth of hterary style, 
which can be measured by the great superiority of 
The Story over such books as The Gamekeeper at Home ; 
and in connection with this subject I pointed out that 
the incident recorded by Sir Walter Besant in his 


Eulo(:y of Richard Jcffcries of a death-bed return to the 
Christian faith, at a time when Jefferies was physically 
and intellectually a wreck, could not be accepted as 
in any way reversing the authoritative statement of 
his reUgious convictions which he had himself pubhshed 
in his Story. For this I was taken to task in several 
papers as having perverted biography in the interest 
of my own prejudiced opinions ; but under this censure, 
not to mention that my views were shared by those 
friends and students of Jefferies with whom I was 
brought in touch, I had one unsuspected source of 
consolation in the fact that Sir Walter Besant told me 
in private correspondence that, from what he had learnt 
since the pubHcation of his Eulogy, he was convinced 
that I was quite right. I did not make this public 
until many years later, when a new edition of my book 
appeared : there was then some further outcry in a 
section of the press ; but this was not repeated when 
Mr. Edward Thomas, in the latest and fullest biography 
of Jefferies, dismissed the supposed conversion as a 
wrong interpretation by " narrow sectarians " who 
ignored the work of Jefferies's maturity. 

I have thought it worth while to refer to these facts, 
not that they are themselves important, but as illustrat- 
ing a Christianizing process which is often carried on with 
boundless effrontery by " rehgious " writers after the 
death of free-thinkers. Another instance may be seen 
in the case of Francis W. Newman, where a similar 
attempt was made to represent him as having abandoned 
his own deUberate convictions. 

From Jefferies one's thoughts pass naturally to 
Mr. W. H. Hudson. It must be over twenty-five years 
since through the hospitality of Mrs. E. PhilUps, of 
Croydon, an ardent bird-lover and humanitarian, I had 
the good fortune to be introduced to Mr. Hudson and 
to his books. A philosopher and keen observer of all 
forms of life, he is far from being an ornithologist only ; 
but there are certain sympathies that give rise to a sort 


of natural freemasonry among those who feel them ; 
and of these one of the pleasantest and most human is 
the love of birds — not of cooked birds, if you please, 
associated with dining-room memories of " the pleasures 
of the table," nor of caged birds in drawing-rooms, 
nor of stuffed birds in museums ; but of real birds, 
live birds, wild birds, free to exercise their marvellous 
faculties of flight and song. From this love has sprung 
a corresponding bird-literature ; and of the notable 
names among the prophets and interpreters of bird life, 
the latest, and in my opinion the greatest, is that of 
Mr. Hudson : his books, in not a few chapters and 
passages, rise above the level of mere natural history, 
and affect the imagination of the reader as only great 
literature can. If he is an unequal writer and somewhat 
desultory, perhaps, in his manner of work, yet at his 
best he is the greatest living master of EngHsh prose. 
Such books as The Naturalist in La Plata and Nature in 
Downland (to name two only) are classics that can 
never be forgotten. And Mr. Hudson's influence, it 
should be noted, has been thrown more and more on 
the side of that humane study of natural history which 
Thoreau adopted : his verdict is given in no uncertain 
language against the barbarous habits of game-keeper 
and bird-catcher, fashionable milliner, and amateur 
collector of " specimens." 

If a single title were to be sought for Mr. Hudson's 
writings, the name of one of his earlier books, Birds 
and Man, might be the most appropriate ; for there 
seems almost to be a mingling of the avian with the 
human in his nature : I have sometimes fancied that 
he must be a descendant of Picus, or of some other 
prehistoric hero who was changed into a bird. There is 
a passage in Virgil's Mncid where Diomede is represented 
as lamenting, as a " fearful prodigy," such meta- 
morphosis of his companions. 

Lost friends, to birds transfigured, skyward soar, 
Or fill the rocky wold with wailing cries. 


But if such a vicissitude were to befall any of Mr 
Hudson's friends, I feel sure that, far from being dis- 
mayed by it, he would be able to continue his acquaint- 
ance with them on terms of entire understanding : 
they would in no sense be " lost " because they were 
feathered. To him a much more fearful prodigy is the 
savage fashion of wearing the skins and feathers of 
slaughtered birds as ornamental head-gear. 

One of the most devoted followers of this new school 
of natural history, and himself a naturahst of distinction, 
was Dr. Alexander H. Japp, who, under the pen-name 
of " H. A. Page," wrote the first account of Thoreau 
published in this country. I have a recollection of 
many pleasant chats with him, especially of a visit 
which he paid me with Mr. Walton Ricketson, the 
sculptor, a son of that intimate friend of Thoreau's 
of whom I have spoken. Walton Ricketson was a boy 
at the time when Thoreau used to visit his father at 
New Bedford ; but he was present on the occasion when 
the grave hermit of Walden surprised the company by 
a sudden hilarious impulse, which prompted him to 
sing " Tom Bowhng " and to perform an improvised 
dance, in which, it is said, he kept time to the music 
but executed some steps more like those of the Indians 
than the usual ballroom figures. 

Dr. Japp was also a biographer of De Quincey, and 
by his sympathetic understanding did much to correct 
the disparaging judgments passed on " the English 
opium-eater " by many critics and press-writers. As a 
result of a study of De Quincey which I published in 
1904, I made the acquaintance, three years later, of 
Miss Emily de Quincey (she spelt her name in that 
manner), his last surviving daughter. She was a most 
charming old lady, full of vivacity and humour ; and 
her letters, of which I received a good many, were 
written with a sprighthness recaUing that of her father 
in his lighter moods ; some of her reminiscences, too. 
were very interesting. She remembered the opium 


decanter and glass standing on the mantelpiece when 
she was a child, but she said that De Quincey quite 
left off the use of the drug for years before his death. 
She told me that the grudge against her father, which 
frequently found expression in " grotesque descriptions " 
of him, was caused in part by his neglect to answer the 
letters, many of a very flattering kind, addressed to 
him by readers of his books ; a remissness which was 
due, not to any lack of courtesy or gratitude, but to 
his inveterate procrastination ; he would always be 
going to write " to-morrow " or " when he had a good 
pen." On one occasion an admirer wrote to him from 
Australia, begging him for " some truths " that he 
might give to his little son (who had been named after 
De Quincey) when he should be able to understand 
them. De Quincey said sadly to his daughter : " My 
dear, truths are very low with me just now. Do you 
think, if I sent a couple of lies, they would answer the 
purpose ? " She feared that he never sent either truths 
or lies. Among the unanswered letters which her 
father received she recollected that there was one from 
" three brothers," accompanied by a volume of poems 
by " Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell." It was by the 
poetr}' of Ellis that the De Quinceys were most struck, 
but not till years afterwards did they guess that those 
" brothers " were the Bronte sisters in disguise. 

Were it not a common practice of reviewers, in 
estimating the work of a great writer, to omit, as far 
as possible, any mention of humane sympathies shown 
by him, it would be strange that De Quincey should 
be represented as a mere " dreamer " and visionary ; 
for in truth, in spite of the transcendental Toryism of 
his politics, he was in several respects a pioneer of 
advanced humanitarian thought, especially in the 
question of corporal punishment, on which he spoke, 
a hundred years ago, with a dignity and foresight which 
might put to shame many purblind " progressives " of 
to-day. His profound regard for a suffering humanity 


is one of the noblest features in his writings ; he rejoiced, 
for instance, at the interference of ParUament to amend 
the " ruinous social evil " of female labour in mines ; 
and he spoke of the cruelty of that spirit which could 
look " hghtly and indulgently on the affecting spectacle 
of female prostitution." " All I have ever had enjoy- 
ment of in Ufe," he said, " seems to rise up to reproach 
me for my happiness, when I see such misery, and 
think there is so much of it in the world." It is amusing 
to read animadversions on De Quincey's " lack of moral 
fibre," written by critics who lag more than a century 
behind him in some of the matters that afford an 
unequivocal test of man's advance from barbarism to 



Hommes, soyez humains. C'est votre premier devoir. Quelle 
sagesse y a-t-il pour vous, hors de I'humanitd. — Rousseau. 

From the vaticinations of poets and prophets I now 
return to the actuaUties of the present state. Thirty 
years ago there were already in existence a number of 
societies which aimed at the humanizing of pubhc 
opinion, in regard not to war only but to various other 
savage and unciviHzed practices. The Vegetarian 
Society, founded in 1847, advocated a radical amend- 
ment ; and the cause of zoophily, represented by the 
Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 
had been strengthened by the establishment of several 
Anti-Vivisection Societies. In like manner the philan- 
thropic tendencies of the time, with respect to prison 
management and the punishment or reclamation of 
offenders, were reflected in the work of the Howard 

The purpose of the Humanitarian League, which was 
formed in 1891, was to proclaim a general principle 
of humaneness, as underlying the various disconnected 
efforts, and to show that though the several societies 
were necessarily working on separate lines, they were 
nevertheless inspired and united by a single bond of 
fellowship. The promoters of the League saw clearly 
that barbarous practices can be philosophically con- 
demned on no other ground than that of the broad 
democratic sentiment of universal sympathy. Humanity 
and science between them have exploded the time- 


honoured idea of a hard-and-fast line between white 
man and black man, rich man and poor man, educated 
man and uneducated man, good man and bad man : 
equally impossible to maintain, in the light of newer 
knowledge, is the idea that there is any difference in 
kind, and not in degree only, between human and 
non-human intelligence. The emancipation of men 
from cruelty and injustice will bring with it in due 
course the emancipation of animals also. The two 
reforms are inseparably connected, and neither can be 
fully realized alone. 

We were well aware that a movement of this character 
would meet with no popular support ; on the contrary, 
that those who took part in it would be regarded as 
" faddists " and " visionaries " ; but we knew also that 
the direct opposite of this was the truth, and that while 
we were supposed to be merely building " castles in 
the air," we were in fact following Thoreau's most 
practical advice, and putting the foundations under 
them. For what is " the basis of morality," as laid 
down by so great a thinker as Schopenhauer, except y 
this very doctrine of a comprehensive and reasoned 
sympathy ? 

A year or two before the founding of the League, 
I had read at a meeting of the Fabian Society a paper 
on " Humanitarianism," which afterwards formed a 
starting-point for the League's pubUcations. The idea 
of a humane society, with a wider scope than that of 
any previously existing body, was suggested by Mr. 
Howard Williams ; and it was at the house of a very 
true friend of our cause, Mrs. Lewis (now Mrs. Drakoules), 
in Park Square, London, that a small group of persons, 
among whom were Mrs. Lewis, Mr. Edward Maitland, 
Mr. Howard Williams, Mr. Kenneth Romanes, and the 
present writer,' assembled, early in 1891, to draw up a 

« Here perhaps I had better say that my own work for the 
League, though mostly private and anonymous, was continuous 
during the twenty-nine years of the League's existence ; so 


manifesto and to launch the Humanitarian League. 
The title " humanitarian " was chosen because, though 
fully aware of certain objections to the word, we felt 
that it was the only term which sufficiently expressed 
our meaning, and that, whether a good name or a bad 
name, it must be taken up, like a gauntlet, by those 
who intended to fight for the cause which it denotes. 

For it was to be a fighting, not a talking Society 
that the League was designed, even if it were a forlorn 
hope. In an interesting letter, read at the first meeting, 
the opinion was expressed by our veteran friend. 
Professor Francis W. Newman, that the time was not 
ripe for such a venture as the assertion of a humanitarian 
ethic ; but we came to the conclusion that however 
small a beginning might be made, much good would be 
done by a systematic protest against the numerous 
barbarisms of the age — the cruelties inflicted by men on 
men, and the still more atrocious ill-treatment of the 
lower animals. 

Edward Maitland, who, in spite of his advanced 
years, took a good deal of interest in our meetings, 
had had rather a remarkable career as traveller, writer, 
and mystic ; and his earlier book, The Pilgrim and the 
Shrine, had been widely read. Those who knew him 
only as occultist would have been surprised to see how 
extremely critical he was — to the verge of fastidious- 
ness — in discussing practical affairs ; there was no one 
on that committee more useful in bringing the cold 
light of reason to bear on our consultations than the 
joint-author of Dr. Anna Kingsford's very strange 
revelations. At the time I knew him, he was writing 
his magnum opus, the Life of Anna Kingsford, and he 
would often discourse to me freely, after a committee 
meeting, on his spiritual experiences, to the astonish- 
ment, perhaps, of our fellow-travellers by rail or tram : 

that in describing the various aspects of the movement I am 
writing of what I know. The opinions expressed are, of course, 
only personal, as in the remarks about the war (Chap. XV). 


on one occasion he described to me on the top of an 
omnibus how he had been privileged to be a beholder 
of the Great White Throne. There was something in 
these narrations so natural and genuine as to compel 
the respectful attention of the listener, whatever his 
personal behef might be as to the reality of the visions 

Mr. Howard WilHams, on the other hand, was as 
pronounced a rationahst as Maitland was a mystic, 
and one who by word and by pen, in private and in 
public, was a quiet but imtiring champion of the 
humanitarian cause. His Ethics of Diet, which had 
the honour, at a later date, of being highly commended 
by Tolstoy, whose essay entitled " The First Step " 
was written as a preface to his Russian translation of 
the book, is a veritable mine of knowledge, which ranges 
over every period of history and covers not only the 
subject of humane dietetics but the whole field of 
man's attitude toward the non-human races : if Ethical 
Societies were intended to be anything more than places 
of debate, they would long ago have included this work 
among their standard text-books. For the writing of 
such a treatise, Mr. Williams was specially qualified 
by the fact that with a wide classical knowledge he 
united in a remarkable degree the newer spirit and 
enthusiasm of humanity ; he was in the truest sense 
a student and professor of litercB hnmaniores. It is 
difficult to estimate precisely the result of labours such 
as his ; but that they have had an appreciable influence 
upon the growth of a more humane public opinion is 
not to be doubted. 

The Committee was gradually strengthened by the 
inclusion of such experienced workers as the Rev. J. 
Stratton, Colonel W. Lisle B. Coulson, Mrs. L. T. 
Mallet, Mr. J. Frederick Green, Miss EUzabeth Martyn, 
the first secretary of the League, and Mr. Ernest Bell, 
a member of the well-known publishing firm and now 
President of the Vegetarian Society, who for over twenty 


years was a bulwark of strength as chairman and 
treasurer. A campaign against the Royal Buckhounds 
had at once commanded respect ; the pamphlets were 
well noticed in the press — better, perhaps, in those 
days, when they were still a novelty, than later, when 
they were taken as a matter of course — some successful 
meetings were held, and the general interest shown in 
the League's doings was out of all proportion to its 
numerical strength. 

It was in 1895 that the second phase of the League's 
career began with the acquirement of an office in 
Great Queen Street, and the institution of a monthly 
journal, Humanity, so-called at first because its later 
title, The Humanitarian, was at that time appropriated 
elsewhere. The holding of a National Humanitarian 
Conference, at St. Martin's Town Hall, in the same 
year, was the first big public effort that the League 
had made, and attracted a good deal of attention ; 
and the scope of the work was considerably extended 
by the appointment of special departments for deahng 
with such subjects as Sports, Criminal Law and Prison 
Reform, Humane Diet and Dress, and the Education 
of Children ; and by a much wider use of the press as 
a medium for propaganda, in which sphere the League 
was now able to avail itself of the services of Mr. Joseph 
CoUinson, whose numerous press letters soon became a 
distinctive feature of its work. In the summer of 1897 
the League shifted its headquarters to Chancery Lane, 
where it remained till it was brought to an end in 1919. 
The League was soon engaged in controversies of 
various kinds. A little book entitled Animals' Rights, 
which I wrote at the request of my friend, Mr. Ernest 
Bell, and which was published by his firm in 1892, 
led to a great deal of discussion, and passed through 
numerous editions, besides being translated into French, 
German, Dutch, Swedish, and other languages. Among 
its earhest critics was Professor D. G. Ritchie, who, in 
his work on Natural Rights, maintained that though 


" Nvc mav be said to have duties of kindness towards 
the animals, it is incorrect to represent these as strictly 
duties towards the animals themselves, as if they had 
rights against us." (The itaUcs are Mr. Ritchie's.) 
There is a puzzle for you, reader. I took it to mean that, 
in man's duty of kindness, it is the kindness only that 
has reference to the animals, the duty being a private 
aflair of the man's ; the convenience of which arrange- 
ment is that the man can shut off the kindness whenever 
it suits him to do so, the kindness being, as it were, 
the water, and the duty the tap. For instance, when 
the question of vivisection arose, Mr. Ritchie at once 
turned of! the water of kindness, though it had been 
very liberally turned on by him when he gave approval 
to the humanitarian protests against the barbarities of 

To this sophistical hair-splitting, in a matter of much 
practical importance, we from the first refused to 
yield, and made it plain that it was no battle of words 
in which we were engaged but one of ethical conduct, 
and that while we were quite willing to exchange the 
term " rights " for a better one, if better could be 
found, we would not allow the concept either of human 
" duties " or of animals' " rights " to be manipulated 
in the manner of which Mr. Ritchie's book gave a 
conspicuous example. Meanwhile the word " rights " 
held the field. 

The old Catholic school was, of course, antagonistic 
to the recognition of animals' rights, and we had con- 
troversies with Monsignor John S. Vaughan, among 
other sacerdotalist writers, when he laid down the 
ancient proposition that " beasts exist for the use and 
benefit of man." It may be doubted whether argument 
is not a pure waste of time, when there is a fundamental 
difference of opinion as to data and principles : the 
sole reason for such debate was to ensure that the 
humanitarian view of the question was rightly placed 
before the public, and to show how strange was the 


alliance between sacerdotalist and vivisector. Evolu- 
tionary science has demonstrated beyond question the 
kinship of all sentient Hfe ; yet the scientist, in order 
to rake together a moral defence for his doings, con- 
descends to take shelter under the same plea as the 
theologian, and having got rid of the old anthropocentric 
fallacy in the realm of science avails himself of that 
fallacy in the realm of ethics : a progressive in one 
branch of thought, he is still a medievahst in another. 
Thus scientist and sacerdotalist between them would 
perpetuate the experimental tortures of the laboratory. 
Lahorarc est orare was the old saying ; now it should 
be expanded by the Catholic school of vivisectionists 
into lahoratorium est oratorium : the house of torture 
is the house of prayer. It is a beautiful and touching 
scene of reconciHation, this meeting of priest and 
professor over the torture-trough of the helpless animal. 
They might exclaim in Tennyson's words : 

There above the little grave, 
O there above the little grave, 
We kissed again with tears. 

More exhilarating was the discussion when Mr. G. K. 
Chesterton entered the lists as champion of those high 
prerogatives of ^lankind, which he saw threatened by 
the sinister devices of humanitarians, who, as he has 
explained in one of his books, " uphold the claims of all 
creatures against those of humanity." A debate with 
Mr. Chesterton took place in the Essex Hall ; and for 
several years afterwards the argument was renewed at 
times, as, for instance, when reviewing a book of mine 
on The Logic 0/ Vegetarianism, he insisted^ that "the 
difference between our moral relation to men and to 
animals is not a difference of degree in the least : it is 
a difference of kind." The human race, he held, is a 
definite society, different from everything else. " The 
man who breaks a cat's back breaks a cat's back. The 
« Daily News, April 10, 1906, 


man who breaks a man's back breaks an implied treaty." 
To us. this terse saying of Mr. Chesterton's seemed to 
contain unintentionally the root of all cruelty to animals, 
the quintessence of anthropocentric arrogance. The man 
who breaks a cat's back, breaks a cat's back. Yes, 
and the scientist who vivisects a dog, vivisects a dog ; 
the sportsman who breaks up a hare, breaks up a hare. 
That is all. The victims are not human. But it is a 
distinction which has caused, in savage hands, the 
immemorial ill-usage of the lower animals through the 
length and breadth of the world. 

Perhaps the strangest of Mr. Chesterton's charges 
against humanitarians was one which he made in his 
book Orthodoxy, that their trend is "to touch fewer 
and fewer things," i.e. to abstain from one action after 
another until they are left in a merely negative position. 
He failed to see that while we certainly desire to touch 
fewer and fewer things with whip, hob-nailed boot, 
hunting-knife, scalpel, or pole-axe, we equally desire 
to get into touch with more and more of our fellow- 
beings by means of that sympathetic intelligence which 
tells us that they are closely akin to ourselves. Why, 
ultimately, do we object to such practices as vivisection, 
blood-sports, and butchery ? Because of the cruelty 
inseparable from them, no doubt ; but also because of 
the hateful narrowing of our own human pleasures 
which these barbarous customs involve. A recognition 
of the rights of animals implies no sort of disparagement 
of human rights : this indeed was clearly indicated in 
the sub-title of my book. Animals' Rights " considered 
in relation to social progress." 

During the winter of 1895-96, a course of lectures 
on " Rights," as viewed from various standpoints — 
Christian, ethical, secularist, scientific, theosophical, and 
humanitarian — was organized by the Humanitarian 
League ; and of these perhaps the most significant was 
Mr. Frederic Harrison's address on the ethical view, 
in which it was maintained that " man's morality 


towards the lower animals is a vital and indeed 
fundamental part of his morality towards his fellow- 
men." At this same meeting some discussion arose 
on the far from unimportant question of nomenclature, 
objection being taken to Mr. Harrison's use of the term 
" brute." which he, on his part, defended as being 
scientifically correct, and, in the sense of " inarticulate," 
wholly void of offence, even when appUed to such highly 
intelligent beings as the elephant, the horse, or the dog. 
Humanitarians, however, have generally held that the 
meaning of the word " brute," in this connection, is not 
" inarticulate " but " irrational," and that for this 
reason it should be discarded, on the ground that to 
call an animal a brute, or irrational, is the first step 
on the path to treating him accordingly. " Give a dog 
a bad name," says the proverb ; and directly follows 
the injunction : " and hang him." 

For like reasons the Humanitarian League always 
looked with disfavour on the expression " dumb 
animals," because, to begin with, animals are not dumb, 
and secondly, nothing more surely tends to their 
depreciation than thus to attribute to them an unreal 
deficiency or imperfection : such a term may be meant 
to increase our pity, but in the long run it lessens what 
is more important, our respect. In this matter the 
League was glad to have the support of Mr. Theodore 
Watts-Dunton, who, as long ago as 1877, had written 
satirically in the Athcnceum of what he called " the 
great human fallacy " conveyed in the words " the 
dumb animals," and had pointed out that animals 
are no more dumb than men are. Years afterwards he 
wrote to me to inquire about the authorship of an 
article in the Humanitarian in which the same conclusion 
was reached, and expressed his full sympathy with our 
point of view. 

But much more difficult to contend with than any 
anti-humanitarian arguments is the dull dead weight of 
that unreasoning prejudice which cannot see consan- 



guinity except in the conventional forms, and simply 
does not comprehend the statement that " the animals " 
are our fellow-beings. There are numbers of good and 
kindly folk with whom, on this question, one never 
reaches the point of difference at all, but is involved 
in impenetrable misapprehensions : there may be 
talking on either side, but communication there is none. 
Tell them, in Howard Moore's words, that the non- 
human beings are " not conveniences but cousins," and 
they will answer, asscntingly, that they are all in favour 
of " kindness to animals " ; after which they will 
continue to treat them not as cousins but as conveniences. 
This impossibihty of even making oneself intelligible 
was brought home to me with great force, some years 
ago, in connection with the death of a very dear friend, 
a cat, whose long life of fifteen years had to be ended 
in the chloroform-box owing to an incurable ailment. 
The veterinary surgeon whose aid I invoked was an 
extremely kind man, for whose skill 1 shall always 
feel grateful ; and from his patience and sympathetic 
manner I thought he partly understood what the occasion 
meant to me — that, like a human death-bed, it was a 
scene that could never pass from the mind. It was, 
therefore, with something of an amused shock that I 
recollected, after he had gone, what I had hardly 
noticed at the moment, that he had said to me, as he 
left the door : " You'll be wanting a new pussy-cat 

Richard Jefferies has remarked that the belief that 
animals are devoid of reason is rarely held by those 
who themselves labour in the fields : " It is the cabinet- 
thinkers who construct a universe of automatons." 
One is cheered now and then by hearing animals spoken 
of, quite simply and naturally, as rational beings. I 
once made the acquaintance, in the Lake District, 
of an old lady living in a roadside cottage, who had for 
her companion, sitting in an armchair by the fire, a 
lame hen, named Tetty, whom she had saved and reared 


from chicken-hood. Some years later, as I passed that 
way, I called and inquired after Tetty, but learnt that 
she was dead. " Ah, poor Tetty 1 " said the dame, 
as tears fell from her eyes ; " she passed away several 
months ago, quite conscious to the end." That to 
attribute to a dying bird the self-consciousness which 
is supposed to be the special prerogative of mankind, 
should, to the great majority of persons, appear nothing 
less than comical, is a measure of the width of that gulf 
which religion has delved between " the beasts that 
perish " and the Christian with his " soul " to save. 

But it is not often that one hears of a case hke that 
of Tetty : as a rule, disappointment lurks in the hopes 
that flatter the humanitarian mind. We had a neigh- 
bour in Surrey, an old woman living in an adjoining 
cottage, who professed full adherence to our doctrine 
that cats should not be allowed to torture captured 
birds. " I always take them away from my cat : I 
can't bear to see them suffering," she said. We warmly 
approved of this admirable sentiment But then, as 
she turned aside, she added quietly : " Unless, of 
course, they're sparrows." 

A year or two ago the papers described a singular 
accident at a railway station, where a cow got on the 
line and was wedged between the platform and a 
moving train : the cow, we were told, was killed, " but 
fortunately there was no personal injury " — a view of 
the occurrence which seemed, to a humanitarian, still 
stranger than the accident itself. 

Here, again, is an instance of unintended humour : 
" Homeward Bound " as the title of a cheerful picture 
in which a bronzed sailor is represented returning from 
the tropics, carrying — a caged parrot. 

It is this traditional habit of regarding the lower 
animals not as persons and fellow-beings, but as 
automata and " things," that lies behind the deter- 
mined refusal to recognize that they have rights, and is 
thus ultimately responsible for much of the callousness 


with which they are treated. With this superstition 
the League was in conflict from the first. 

But perhaps some of my readers may still think that 
time spent on the rights of animals is so much taken 
away from the great human interests that are at stake. 
Let us help men first, they may argue, and then, when 
mankind is righted, we can help the animals after. 
On the other hand, there are some zoophihsts who take 
the contrary view that men can help themselves, and 
that it is the animals first and foremost who need aid 
and protection. The League's opinion was that both 
these arguments are mistaken, and, for the same reason, 
viz. that, in our complex modern society, all great 
issues of justice or injustice are crossed and inter- 
mingled, so that no one cruelty can be singled out as 
the source of all other cruelties, nor can any one reform 
be fully realized apart from the rest. By ' ' humanitarian " 
we meant one who feels and acts humanely, not towards 
mankind only, or the lower animals only, but towards 
all sentient life — one who adopts the Humanitarian 
League's principle that "it is iniquitous to inflict 
avoidable suffering on any sentient being." We did 
not regard as humanitarians, for example, those 
" philanthropic " persons who, having made a fortune 
by commercial competition, in which the depreciation 
of wages was a recognized method, afterwards gave back 
a portion of their wealth in " charity." This might, 
perhaps, be philanthropy, but it did not seem to be 
quite humanity. Nor did we think that the name 
" humanitarian " should be given to those zoophilists 
or animal lovers who keep useless and pampered animals 
as pets and playthings, wasting on them time and money 
which might be better spent elsewhere, and indeed 
wasting the lives of the animals themselves, for animals 
have their own hves to live as men have. 

Perhaps the most able of all vindications of humane 
principles is that contained in Mr. Howard Moore's 
'Ihc Universal Kinship, pubhshed by the League in 


1906. It was through a notice which I wrote in the 
Humanitarian of an earUer book of his, Better-World 
Philosophy, that the League first came into association 
with him ; and I remember with shame that when that 
" sociological synthesis," as its sub-title proclaimed it 
to be, first came into my hands, I nearly left it unread, 
suspecting it to be but the latest of the many wearisome 
ethical treatises that are a scourge to the reviewer, to 
whom the very word " sociology " or " synthesis " is 
a terror. But fortunately I read the book, and quickly 
discovered its merits ; and from that time, till his death 
in 1916, Howard Moore was one of the truest and 
tenderest of our friends, himself prone to despondency 
and, as his books show, with a touch of pessimism, yet 
never failing in his support and encouragement of others 
and of all humanitarian effort. " What on earth would 
we Unusuals do, in this lonely dream of life," so he 
wrote in one of his letters, " if it were not for the 
sympathy and friendship of the Few ? " 

Howard Moore died by his own hand (he had good 
reason for his action) ; and the timorous attitude which 
so many people adopt towards suicide was shown in 
the silence on this point which was maintained in most 
of the EngHsh zoophiHst journals which mentioned his 
death : one editor hit upon the sagacious announcement 
that " he died very suddenly," which deserves, I think, 
to be noted as a consummate instance of how the truth 
may be truthfully obscured. 

In The Universal Kinship, Howard Moore left to 
humanitarians a treasure which it will be their own 
fault if they do not value as it deserves. There is a 
tendency to forget that it is to modern evolutionary 
science that the ethic of humaneness owes its strongest 
corroboration. The ph^^sical basis of the humane 
philosophy rests on the biological fact that kinship is 
universal. Starting from this admitted truth, Moore 
showed, with much wealth of argument and epigram, 
that the supposed psychical gulf between human and 


non-human has no more existence, apart from the 
imagination of man, than the physical gulf which has 
now been bridged by science. The purpose of our 
mo\ement was admirably stated by him : " to put science 
and humanitarianism in place of tradition and savagery." 
It was with that aim in view that our League of 
Humaneness had been formed. 



Why not bring back at once the boot, the stake, and the 
thumbscrew ? — Professor Lawson Tait. 

It is among the proudest boasts of this country that 
torture is not permitted within its borders : " Torture," 
wrote Macaulay, " was inflicted for the last time in the 
month of May, 1640." But pleasant though it is to 
think that it was in the beautiful springtime that the 
barbarous practice came to an end, this is unfortunately 
one of the cases in which our people allow themselves 
to be beguiled and fooled by very transparent quibbles ; 
for a few minutes' thought would suthce to convince 
the most complacent of Britons that while some 
specialized forms of judicial torture have been aban- 
doned, other tortures, some of them not less painful 
and fully as repulsive, are being inflicted to this day — 
nearly three hundred years after the glorious date of 
abolition. For if " torture," as etymology and the 
dictionaries and common usage tell us, means nothing 
more or less than the forcible infliction of extreme 
pain, it is not a technicality but an absurdity to pretend 
that it finds no place among twentieth-century institu- 

Flogging is torture in a most literal sense, and in one 
of its grossest shapes : the " cat," as Mr. G. K. 
Chesterton has well said, is " the rack without any of 
its intellectual reasons."^ The horror of the old naval 

« Daily News, June 6, 1908. 


and military lashings is within the memory of many 
officers who were compelled to witness them : how is 
the punishment any less savage in its nature because 
it is now administered in a less severe degree, and on 
men convicted of robbery with violence or some breach 
of prison discipUne ? In one of the ParUamentary 
debates of November, 1912, a Member who had been 
invited by the Home Secretary to examine the " cat," 
gave it as his opinion that " if that is not torture, then 
I do not know what torture is." 

In the gloomiest but most impressive of his stories, 
The Island of Dr. Moreau, Mr. H. G. Wells has repre- 
sented his savage " beast-folk " as monotonously 
chanting a certain " idiotic formula " about the infalli- 
biUty of " the Law." With nothing more fitly than 
with this can be compared the undying legend, now 
over half a century old, that " garrotting was put down 
by the lash." It is not often that a popular fallacy, 
however erroneous it may be, can be actually dis- 
proved ; but in this particular case such refutation 
was possible, in the certified fact that the garrotting 
" epidemic " of 1862 had been suppressed by the 
ordinary law before flogging for that offence was legal- 
ized. For many years the Humanitarian League issued 
a public challenge on the subject, and made the facts 
known in thousands of press letters ; the challenge was 
quietly ignored, and the false statement repeated, till 
it was plain that, as De Quincey remarked, " rarer than 
the phoenix is that virtuous man who will consent to 
lose a prosperous story on the consideration that it 
happens to be a lie." One such virtuous man, however, 
and one only, was found, namely, Mr. Montague 
Crackanthorpe, who actually recanted the statement 
which he could not substantiate. ' In view of his unique 
candour, it was suggested after his death that a statue 
should be erected to his memory. 

Very different from the course taken by Mr. 
• Thg Times, December 11 and 26, 1902. 


Crackanthorpe was the action of Sir Alexander Wood 
Renton, of the Supreme Court of Ceylon, who, in an 
article on " Corporal Punishment," introduced into the 
Encyclopedia Britannica of 1910 that very garrotting 
legend from which it had previously been kept free, 
and made the further mistake of giving the date of the 
Flogging Act of 1863 as 1861, thus lending to his 
blunder a misleading appearance of plausibility. When 
called to account, he was content to maintain a masterly 
silence — more eloquent than words — and to allow his 
misstatement, unacknowledged and uncorrected, to 
continue to keep alive a prevalent superstition. Can 
it be wondered that such fallacies persist, when a Chief 
Justice will thus lie low rather than admit himself at 
fault ? 

It is an amusing fact, and far too Httle known, that 
the text which has long lent a sanctity to the use of 
corporal punishment, is not taken, as supposed, from 
the Proverbs of Solomon, but from a passage, and a 
rather unseemly one, in Butler's Hudibras (1663) : » this, 
however, is as it should be, for it is fitting that an 
indecent practice should claim authority from an 
indecent source. Thus encouraged, and with this 
divine precept in their thoughts, parents and school- 
masters, and magistrates, and judges, and all governors 
and rulers, have felt that in wielding the rod they were 
discharging a religious obhgation, and not, as might 
otherwise have been suspected, gratifying some very 
primitive instincts of their own. For " the Wisdom of 
Solomon " has been quoted as our guide, in the correction 
of the old as well as of the young ; indeed, as a writer 
in the People sagely remarked, " the older the evil- 
doer, the more his need of the birch." On this 
principle, aged vagrants have on various occasions 
been sentenced to be corrected with the rod ; but it 

' Then spare the rod and spoil the child. 

Hudibras, Part II, canto 1, 844. 


is to the young that the blessings of the birch more 
properly belong. 

Our British boys, from shore to shore, 

Two priceless boons may find : 
The Flag that's ever waved before. 

The Birch that's waved behind. 

In its campaign against flogging in the Royal Navy, 
the Humanitarian League gained not only a considerable 
success, but an amount of entertainment which of 
itself would have more than repaid the labour expended 
on the work. To begin with, there was the technical 
quibble, very characteristic of officialdom, that though 
the backs of boys, or rather of young men, might be 
cut into ribbons with the birch, there was no " flogging " 
in the Navy, for " flogging " meant the infliction not 
of the birch but of the " cat." With Mr. Swift MacNeill 
conducting the attack in the House of Commons, it 
may be imagined that such prevarications — and there 
were many similar instances — fared but badly ; and it 
was no surprise when " these degrading practices," as 
Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman described them, were 
brought to an end in 1906, though the use of the cane, 
to the discredit of the Admiralty, is still permitted and 

In this long controversy the League was brought into 
conflict with all sorts of opponents, among them several 
Admirals, of whom the " breeziest " were the Hon. V. A. 
Montagu and Sir WiUiam Kennedy. With the latter 
especially we had great fun, as we found in him an 
antagonist of the utmost heartiness and good humour. 
" Of what use is it," he wrote to me, " sending me all 
this rubbish, except to fill the waste-paper basket ? 

I don't care a damn for Admiral 's opinion." On 

another occasion he sent me a formal challenge to meet 
him " at any time and place, when pistols and coffee 
will be provided." At a later date we had his support. 


equally emphatic, in our protest against the practice 
of feeding snakes on live prey at the " Zoo." 

Other friends, too, helped to lend gaiety to a rather 
dismal subject. Among those who actively co-operated 
with the League was a commercial traveller, who was 
deeply versed in the various laws relating to corporal 
punishment, and who, as he once confided to me, had 
been in the habit of working locally as a sort of free- 
lance and Bashi-Bazouk. He had made a practice, 
for example, of writing " How about the Birch ? " on 
the Admiralty's printed notices in which boys were 
invited to reap the benefits of joining the Navy ; and 
this had touched so sore a point that the advertisements 
in question had at length been put within glass frames. 
Another of his little jokes was to write to private school- 
masters, saying that he had a son whom he was about 
to send to school (which was true), and asking whether 
they could guarantee that there would be no corporal 
punishment. Several masters responded favourabl}', 
but as the boy could not be sent to more than one 
place of education, these worthy folk were deprived of 
their quid pro quo ; in the end, however, a nemesis 
fell upon their betrayer, for once, when he had just 
returned home after a .long journey, tired, and wanting 
above everything his tea, who should be announced 
but one of those very pedagogues with whom he had 
been in communication. He too had travelled some 
distance, rather than miss the chance of a pupil, and, 
having " ideas " on the subject of corporal punishment, 
had come, as he said, for " a good talk." " I could 
have eaten him," was our friend's remark. 

In the 'nineties of last century, the state of the 
Criminal Law, as Mr, Justice Mathew pointed out, was 
a hundred years behind the times, and a special depart- 
ment of the Humanitarian League was estabhshed in 
order to advocate certain much-needed reforms. It was 
felt that in view of the severity of the penal laws, the 
inequality of sentences, and the hard and indiscrimi- 


nating character of prison discipline, an organized 
attempt ought to be made to humanize both the spirit 
of the law and the conditions of prison life, and to show 
that the true purpose of imprisonment was the 
reformation, not the mere punishment, of the offender. 
In this campaign the League was able to avail itself of 
a mass of expert information. It pubhshed, in 1893, 
a very effective pamphlet, " I was in Prison," written 
by Mr. Robert Johnson, director of the Colonial College 
at HoUesley Bay ; and this was followed, a year later, 
by " A Plea for Mercy to Offenders," an address given 
before the League by Mr. C. H. Hopwood, the Recorder 
of Liverpool, who, with his friend Mr. Johnson, did 
great service in showing the futihty of long sentences 
of imprisonment. I had several talks about that time 
with Mr. Johnson and Mr. Hopwood ; and they would 
have thrown in their lot altogether with the Humani- 
tarian League but for their fear that the inclusion within 
its programme of many other questions, such as sport 
and vivisection, would aUenate sympathy in some 
quarters from their special subject of prison reform : 
it was for this reason that Mr. Hopwood afterwards 
founded the Romilly Society. 

Two other names stood out conspicuously in the 
same sphere of work — that of Dr. W. Douglas Morrison, 
the well-known criminologist, now Rector of Maryle- 
bone, under whose guidance the League took a promi- 
nent part in the agitation which led to the Prisons 
Act of 1898, and that of " Lex," one of the keenest 
intellects of his time, whose pen was placed unreservedly 
at the League's disposal. Mr. W. H. S. Monck — for 
it was he who adopted that nom de plume — was Chief 
Registrar in Bankruptcy in the King's Bench Division, 
Dubhn, a post which he filled with distinction, while 
his extraordinarily active and versatile mind found 
interest in many other studies : he was a mathematician, 
an astronomer, a writer on logic, political economy, 
and moral philosophy, and withal a chess-player of 


note, among which pursuits he never failed to find 
time to help the humanitarian cause. His official 
position made it desirable that his name should not 
appear ; but many were the press letters that he wrote, 
and many the resolutions, memorials, and letters to 
governmental departments that he drafted on the 
League's behalf. To " ask ' Lex ' to draft it " was often 
the course taken by the Committee when dealing with 
some technical matter that needed exceptional care. 
The two subjects in which Mr. Monck was specially 
concerned, besides that of flogging, were the establish- 
ment of a Court of Criminal Appeal and a revision of 
the law relating to Imprisonment for Debt ; and it was 
largely his unacknowledged labours that brought about 
the one reform and prepared the way for the other. 
In his press letters on corporal punishment he would 
sometimes adopt the ironic manner ; that is, he would 
write as one who in part beHeved in the value of flogging, 
yet in such a way as to suggest rather the flaws and 
failures of the practice, and so to impair any faith in 
it which might linger in the minds of his readers. 

Among other friends to whom this department of the 
League was much indebted were Mr. George Ives, 
author of A History of Penal Methods ; Mrs. H. Bradlaugh 
Bonner; Mr. Carl Heath; Mr. H. B. Montgomery; Mrs. 
L. T, Mallet ; Dr. T. Baty, the distinguished authority 
on International Law ; and Mr. Joseph Colhnson, who 
for some years acted as its honorary secretary. Mr. 
Collinson was a young north-countryman, self-taught, 
and full of native readiness and ingenmt3^ who at an 
early age had developed a passion for humanitarian 
journalism, and whose press letters became as well 
known as those of Mr. Algernon Ashton, while he had a 
marked advantage over that gentleman in having an 
ethical purpose and something definite to write about. 
Any one who should glance over the files of the chief 
London and provincial journals, between the years 1895 
and 1910, could not fail to see a number of letters 


signed " Joseph Collinson," or to admire the pertinacity 
with which the humanitarian view of a host of 
controversial subjects, in particular those relating to 
criminal law and prisons, was brought to the notice of 
the public. Especially in regard to the flogging question 
Mr. Collinson's services were of great value. 

Thus supported, the Humanitarian League had no 
cause to fear any reasoned opposition : our difliculty, 
rather, was to meet with any ; for our antagonists were 
mostly anonymous and often abusive correspondents of 
newspapers, and the real obstacle with which we had to 
cope was the crass weight of prejudice and the immense 
stability of old institutions. Two of our adversaries, 
however, must not go without mention. One was 
Mr. William Tallack, then Secretary of the Howard 
Association, whose hostility was dangerous because it 
lurked under the guise of philanthropy. He was an old 
gentleman of benevolent demeanour, whose method it 
was to sit astutely " on the fence," making oracular 
utterances, now on that side, now on this, so that, like 
the writer of an astrological almanack, he might be 
able in any event to run in and cry : " I told you so." 
In his Penological Principles, a work much advertised 
in those days, there was plenty of penology, but very 
little principle, much more of the Tallack than of the 
Howard : it was, in fact, a farrago of platitudes and 
pieties, which said many things without ultimately 
meaning anything at all. Yet, in spite of his much 
verbiage and many estimable sentiments, Mr. Tallack 
was a reactionist ; he belonged to an antiquated school 
of thought, quite out of sympathy with the new style 
of prison reform ; and as he lost no opportunity of 
disparaging the work of the League, we showed him 
somewhat emphatically that that was a game at which 
two parties could play. This he did not relish, especially 
as wc were strongly backed up by Mr. Passmore Edwards 
in his paper, the Echo. A conference was accordingly 
proposed by Mr. Tallack, where it was agreed that in 


future there should be a friendly arrangement of " hands 
off " on either side. I remember how, at that meeting, 
he told me in his paternal manner, as an instance of 
the advantages of not advocating " extreme " measures 
of reform, that he enjoyed the privilege of being 
able, now and then, to have a personal talk with the 
Home Secretary. " What would humanitarians think of 
that ? " The old gentleman was evidently unaware that 
if he was a persona grata at the Home Ofhce, it was 
precisely because he was known to be a " tame " 
reformer, a parasite of the old system, not a champion 
of the new, and therefore useful to those who wished 
to let matters go on as before. 

In a prison-play " The Home Secretary's Holiday," 
which was acted before the Humanitarian League at 
one of its social gatherings, Mr. Tallack was glanced at 
in the character of Mr. Prim, a Visiting Justice, who 
dwells on the value of " segregation," " introspection," 
" self-questioning," and " remorse," as heaven-sent 
means by which the convicted sinner may be awakened 
to a sense of his guilt. 

Our other critic, of whom I must say a brief word, 
was Sir Robert Anderson, then an ex-Assistant 
Commissioner of Police ; who, being of a choleric and 
over-bearing nature, was consumed with wrathful 
indignation at the activities of the Humanitarian 
League. In his book on Criminals and Crime, vengeful 
tirades against the professional criminal were accom- 
panied with scarcely less violent abuse of " professional 
humanitarians " — a strange term this, to be applied to 
honorary workers in an unpopular cause, and by one 
who had himself been for many years a salaried official 
at Scotland Yard ! In the same work we figured 
variously as " humanity-mongers," " agitators," 
" fools," " hysterical faddists," " doctrinaire philan- 
thropists," " spurious philosophers," " maudhn senti- 
mentahsts," and so on. Authors sometimes describe 
their books as " a labour of love." Sir Robert's was 


certiiinly a labour of hate, and among the punishments 
Nvhich he indicated as suitable for an impenitent thief 
were the gallows, crucifixion, thumb-screws, and the 
rack ; he added that it was consideration for the com- 
munity, not for the thief, that prevented the use of 
them.' It is not pleasant to have to speak of such a 
man ; one would rather forget him. But in estimating 
the savagery of the age, the fact that his most vindictive 
proposals met with a good deal of pubhc support is 
one which cannot be left out of account. 

A thorough-going condemnation of flogging is without 
doubt a very unpopular pohcy ; the Humanitarian 
League lost many members and much pecuniary support 
by its steadfastness on this point, especially, strange to 
say, among zoophiUsts and anti-vivisectionists, many 
of whom were firm beUevers in the propriety of vivi- 
secting the backs of criminals, and would have gone 
any distance, as I have heard said, " to see a vivisector 
flogged." Not the least valuable part of the League's 
duties was to put a check on foolish talk of that sort ; 
and in this we had the satisfaction of being warmly 
supported by so distinguished an opponent of vivisection 
as Professor Lawson Tait. It came about in a rather 
strange way. 

The League held a meeting in Birmingham ; and a 
local member, who had the arrangements in hand, got 
Mr. Tait to preside, but by some oversight did not 
sufficiently apprise him beforehand of our aims and 
objects. When he entered the room — a formidable- 
looking figure, with slow gait, massive build, and heavy 
brows — he was seen to be in a towering rage. The 
storm broke at once. Instead of the usual compli- 
mentary remarks from the chair, he told us in wrathful 
tones that he knew nothing of the Humanitarian League, 
and that it was most improper that he should have been 
left thus uninformed. This was true, and we wished 
the earth would swallow us up ; but there was nothing 
for it but to go on with the business of the meeting, 


and while the speeches were being made Mr. Tait sat 
and studied the League's printed manifesto. As he 
read it, the gloom gradually left him ; he began to 
mutter approval of point after point, then to chuckle 
with satisfaction, and presently he turned to me (I 
happened to be sitting next to him) and told me that 
he was in complete agreement with our programme. A 
great good humour now took the place of his former 
resentment, and presently he spoke at some length, and 
himself moved a resolution that the objects of the League 
were " worthy the support of all good citizens." He 
declared that he felt almost as strongly on the question 
of prison punishments as on that of vivisection, and 
severely censured the clamour for the lash that had 
been raised by some woman-suffragists of Edinburgh. 
It was then that he used the words prefixed to this 
chapter : " Why not bring back at once the boot, 
the stake, and the thumbscrew ? " 

That there are numbers of persons who would be 
quite wiUing to bring back, if it were possible, the 
medieval forms of torture cannot for a moment be 
doubted by any one who, Uke myself, has had the 
experience of working for over twenty-five years for 
the discontinuance of flogging. There are, of course, 
many reasonable advocates of corporal punishment in 
one or another of its forms ; but there are many more 
to whom the cry for flogging, and for more and yet 
more flogging, has become a veritable craze, as was 
seen when, in the agitation for the lashing of " white 
slavers " in 1912, a frenzied shriek of passion went up 
from a large section of the people. " We know," said 
a Member of Parliament at the time, " the extraordinary 
hysterical emotion which this Bill has aroused throughout 
England. We get letters from all sorts of people, chiefly 
women, 'flog them,' ' crucify them,' and anything else 
you like. It is a cry we have had all down the ages." * 

» Mr. J. F. P. Rawlinson, in the House of Commons, 
November i, 191 2. 



That there has been such a cry all down the ages is 
likely enough ; but the age which tolerates it can hardly 
claim to be a civiHzed one. 

In The Flogging Craze, a Statement of the Case against 
Corporal Punishment,^ a book published for the Humani- 
tarian League in 1916, with a preface by my friend 
Sir George Greenwood, I availed myself of the large 
amount of material amassed by the League during its 
long campaign against flogging, in the hope that such 
a work — the first of its kind, if pamphlets be excepted — 
might prove useful to many social reformers, who, 
though instinctively opposed to the use of the lash, 
are often silenced by confident assertions of its efficacy, 
and are unaware that in this, as in similar discussions, 
humanity and reason go hand in hand. 

Let me now turn to another and still more gruesome 
form of torture. It is fitting, perhaps, that the twin 
tyrannies of Flogging and Vivisection should be linked 
together as Lawson Tait saw them, for they are indeed 
kindred expressions of one barbarous spirit. I use, 
for the sake of brevity and convenience, the customary 
term " vivisection," though there is force in the 
objection raised against it by certain humanitarian 
writers, that the Latin word somewhat conceals the 
vileness of the practice, and though the phrase sug- 
gested by Mr. Howard Wilhams, " experimental tor- 
ture," is more strictly appropriate to the nameless 
thing for which a name has to be found. Here, at 
any rate, in the twentieth century of our barbarism, 
is torture in its most naked form — the rack, not indeed 
" without any of its intellectual reasons," as was said 
of the lash, but torture as surely as the boot and the 
thumbscrew were torture. As for the intellectual 
reasons alleged in excuse of the practice, it was pointed 
out in Animals' Rights that before holding vivisection 
justified on the strength of its utility, a wise man will 
take into consideration the other, the moral side of the 
' London : George Allen & Unwin, Ltd. 


question, " the hideous injustice of torturing a sentient 
animal, and the wrong thereby done to the humane 
sense of the community. This contention was quoted 
and corroborated in an unexpected quarter, viz. in a 
book pubhshed in 1901 by a Russian doctor, V. Veresaeff/ 
who, though himself justifying vivisection, did not 
conceal his misgivings as to the ethical aspect of the 
practice. " The question," he said, in reference to 
the passage in Animals' Rights, " is plainly put, and 
there can be no room for any equivocation. I repeat 
that we ought not to ridicule the pretensions of the 
anti-vivisectionists — the sufferings of animals are truly 
horrible ; and sympathy with them is not sentiment- 
ality." In view of that admission, I will waste no 
words in discussing the pretence that anaesthetics have 
relieved the vivisected animals of their " truly horrible " 
sufferings. It is not so, even in this country, where the 
legal restrictions are a farce ; and if it were so here, the 
rest of the world would be open to experimentation 
unlicensed and unlimited. 

The special application of the word " vivisection " to 
physiological experiments has led to a belief, in many 
minds, that the vivisecting scientist is the sole torturer 
of animals. This is unjust both to the laboratory and 
to its victims. The crusade against vivisection would 
be much strengthened if those who take part in it would 
remember that the cruelties of science are only part 
of the great sum of cruelty that in various forms dis- 
graces the dealings of mankind with the lower animals. 
Granted that the worst barbarities of the vivisector 
exceed those of the sportsman or the slaughterman, 
both in duration and intensity, it is still a fact, as 
scientists have often pointed out, that there are other 
tortures than those of the laboratory, and that to some 
of these the name " vivisection " might as accurately 
be appUed. For example, clumsy castration of domestic 

« The Confessions of a Physician, translated by Simeon 
Linden, pp. 158, 159. 


animals, as the law is beginning to recognize, 
is nothing less than " farmyard vivisection " ; the 
" docking " of horses' tails is vivisection in a very 
revolting form ; in the seal-fishery the wretched victims 
of " fashion " have often been skinned ahve ; nor can 
it be pretended that the torture of the egrets, flung 
aside to die when their nuptial plumes have been torn 
off, demands a milder name than vivisection ; yet 
some zoophiUsts, who look upon a vivisecting physio- 
logist as a fiend, do not hesitate to wear an aigrette or a 
sealskin cloak, or to be the owners of docked horses or 
cropped dogs. It is impossible to draw a strict Une 
of division between those barbarities which amount to 
torture and those which fall short of it, and it is 
convenient that the cruelties of sport and fashion should 
be dealt with under a separate head ; nevertheless there 
is one other practice on which a few words must be 
spoken before this chapter is closed. 

Under the antiquated methods of transport and 
butchery still permitted in England, it is impossible to 
doubt that something not far removed from torture is 
often practised in the cattle trade ; for which reason, 
while aware that in vegetarianism lies the only full 
solution of the diet-question, humanitarians have long 
pressed for an amelioration of the worst features of 
cattle-ship and shambles, and, as a minimum, for the 
establishment of public abattoirs in place of private 
slaughterhouses. Even in this respect, owing to the 
supineness of the County Council, London has been 
left at the mercy of " the trade," though in some other 
districts there has been a gratifying improvement. 
The Humanitarian League, enjoying the advantage of 
being advised by such experts as Sir Benjamin 
Richardson, Mr. H. F. Lester (whose Behind the 
Scenes in Slaughterhouses we published in 1892), 
Mr. Charles W. Forward, Mr. C. Cash, and Mr. R. S. 
Ayling, lost no opportunity of making known the need 
of this long postponed reform ; but the subject being 


so repulsive it was always difficult to enlist the sym- 
pathies of the public, that is, of the very persons whose 
conscience ought to have been touched ; or, if any 
interest was awakened, it might be among those who 
were traditionally or professionally opposed to the 
changes desired. 

This danger was once curiously illustrated at a meeting 
held by the League in the rooms of the Royal Society 
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, when Mr. 
John Colam, the Secretary of that Society, took the 
chair, and Mr. C. W. Forward gave an address on the 
Jewish method of slaughtering. A mere handful of our 
friends attended, but the hall was packed from end 
to end with Jewish visitors, who had seen the announce- 
ment of the meeting in the papers, and rallied to the 
defence of their ritual. We had intended to move a 
resolution, strongly condemning the Jewish system, 
but we decided, after a hurried consultation with Mr. 
Colam, that an academic discussion would better suit 
the circumstances ; and fortunately it did not occur 
to our Hebrew friends to propose and pass a resolution 
of the contrary kind : they talked long and volubly, 
and we were glad they did nothing worse. The 
meeting, however, was not without result, for it led, a 
couple of months later, to the reception by the Jewish 
Board of Shecheta of a deputation from the Humani- 
tarian League, at which the Chief Rabbi, Dr. Adler, 
was present, and gave us a very courteous reply. The 
Jewish system of " casting," he said, which had especially 
been criticized as barbarous, was a good deal misunder- 
stood owing to the word by which it was described : 
in reality the animals were not " cast," but " let down 
gently with ropes." Mr. Forward, however, who had 
often witnessed the process, remained unconvinced on 
this point : it seemed to him that it was the public 
that was being let down gently with words. 

The League had the satisfaction of seeing the Jewish 
system strongly condemned in the official report (1904) 


of the Committee appointed to consider the Humane 
Slaughtering of Animals ; but nothing has yet been 
done to carry the recommendations of that Committee 
into effect, the supposed sanctity of a " rehgious " 
usage having been allowed, as usual, to outweigh the 
clearest dictates of humaneness. 

There are not a few other current and strongly- 
rooted practices to which the title of this chapter might 
justly be appUed ; but enough has now been said to 
show that the merry month of May, in the year of 
grace 1640, did not witness, as has been supposed, 
quite the last instance of the infliction of Torture in 
this favoured land of the free. 



Half ignorant, they turn'd an easy wheel, 

That set sharp racks at work, to pinch and peel. 


From the subject of torture we pass naturally to that 
of sport ; indeed, it is difficult to separate them, for 
they are psychologically and actually akin. There is 
undoubtedly an element of sport in the gloating over 
savage punishments, and some of the sufferings which 
sportsmen inflict, such as the hunting to death of a 
timid deer or hare, cannot fairl}^ be distinguished from 
torture. But when I speak of " sport " in this con- 
nection, I mean of course blood-sport ; not the manly 
games of playing-field or river, but the quest for personal 
recreation at the expense of pain to others. The term 
" blood-sports " was first used, as far as I am aware, 
by Mr. John Macdonald, who, under the name of 
" Meliorist," was the author of some suggestive articles 
that appeared in the Echo ; anyhow, the Humanitarian 
League borrowed the word from him, and finding that 
it " went home," made a point of using it on every 
possible occasion. It is the right and proper expression 
for the practices which it connotes. 

The League published in 1914 a volume of essays on 
Killing for Sport, with Preface by Mr. Bernard Shaw, 
in which the various aspects of blood-sports were for 
the first time fully set forth and examined from the 
standpoint of ethics and economics : the book, in 
fact, formed a summary of the League's arraignment of 



certain bloody and barbarous pastimes, just as The 
Flogging Craze was a record of its protests against the 
continued use of the lash. I will here mention only 
a few of the more salient features of a long campaign. 

For ten years, from 1891 to 1901, the League made the 
Royal Buckhounds serve as a "peg" — and a very 
useful peg it was — on which to hang an exposure of the 
cruelty of stag-hunting.' The doings of the Buckhounds 
were watched from season to season ; detailed accounts 
of the " runs " were published, in contradiction of the 
shuffling reports sent to the papers by patrons of the 
Hunt, and a number of horrible cases of mutilation 
were dragged into hght. Questions were put in Parlia- 
ment : leaflets, articles, and press letters printed in 
hundreds, and many lectures given at various clubs 
and institutions. 

In this work we had the sympathy of many dis- 
tinguished pubhc men and the support of a section of 
the press (notably of the Star, which was then edited 
by Mr. Ernest Parke) ; but every possible difficulty was 
put in our way by officials, whether of the Court, the 
Government, or the Hunt, who in this case, as in all, 
desired nothing more than to save themselves trouble 
by letting things go on as before. Red tape cared Httle 
whether carted stags continued to be disembowelled on 
iron palings and worried by hounds. For example, 
when, in 1898, we wished to lay before Queen Victoria 
the case against the Royal Hunt, in answer to Lord 
Ribblesdale's book, The Queen's Hounds, her private 
secretary. Sir A. Bigge, refused to bring the League's 
publications to her notice ; the Home Secretary also 
declined to do so, and so did the Prime Minister, each 
and all of them cordially advising us to apply elsewhere. 
Thus thwarted, we hit on the expedient of petitioning 
the Queen to allow the counter-case to be sent to her, 

• A Member of Parliament who had charge of a Sports Bill 
once begged us not to get the Buckhounds abolished, because, 
aa he said, they were the great incentive to vote for the Bill. 


and in this way the Home Office was finally forced to 
do what it had declared to be " contrary to practice." 
The Queen, as we had known since 1891, from a private 
letter addressed to Mr. Stratton by Sir Henry Ponsonby, 
had been " strongly opposed to stag-hunting for many 
years past " ; and when this fact was published after 
her death it settled the fate of the Buckhounds. 

Looking back twenty years and more, it is comical to 
find the followers of the Royal Hunt trying to exploit 
the visit of the German Emperor, in 1899, in order to 
bolster up the failing reputation of their sport. They 
were very anxious that a " meet " of the Buckhounds 
should be one of the entertainments provided for the 
Kaiser, and on November 24th, in expectation of his 
being present, an unusually large company assembled ; 
but the Humanitarian League had been beforehand in 
the matter, a letter of protest which it had addressed 
to the Prince of Wales had the desired effect, and the 
Kaiser had an engagement elsewhere. Had he been 
present, he would, as it happened, have seen a deer 
staked and done to death in the manner which was 
far from uncommon, and he would have learnt (if he 
had any doubt on the subject) that " Huns " are not 
entirely confined to Germany. 

This rascally " sport," though no longer a State 
institution, is still carried on by private packs in several 
parts of the country, and nothing but fresh legislation 
can prevent its continuance. A " Spurious Sports Bill " 
drafted by the Humanitarian League, with the purpose 
of prohibiting the hunting of carted stags, the coursing 
of bagged rabbits, and the shooting of birds released 
from traps, has been introduced at various times in the 
House of Commons by Mr. A. C. Morton, Mr. H. F. 
Luttrell, Sir William Byles, Sir George Greenwood, and 
other Members, and in the House of Lords by the 
Bishop of Hereford (Dr. Percival) ; but its opponents 
have always succeeded in preventing its becoming law. 
On one occasion (1893) it was " talked out " by Sir 


Frederick Banbury, who is renowned in the House as an 
anti-vivisectionist and friend of animals. It is not 
only human beings who have to pray, at times, to be 
deUvered from their friends. 

The Eton Beagles were another of the League's most 
cherished " pegs," and displayed as useful an illustration 
of the hare-hunt as the Royal Buckhounds of the deer- 
worry. Had humanitarians talked of the cruelty of 
hare-hunting in general, Uttle attention would have 
been paid to them ; but with concrete instances drawn 
from the leading pubhc school, and quoted in the words 
of the boys themselves as printed in the Eton College 
Chronicle— di disgusting record of " blooded " hounds 
and of the hare " broken up," or crawhng " dead- 
beat," " absolutely stiff," " so done that she could not 
stand " — a great impression was made, and the me- 
morials presented to the headmaster or the Governing 
Body, asking for the substitution of a drag-hunt (a form 
of sport which was formerly popular at Eton and led 
to very good runs), received a large number of very 
influential signatures, including that of the Visitor of 
Eton, the late Bishop of Lincoln, Dr. E. L. Hicks. 
But pubhc opinion counts for very little at the school 
where ignorance is bliss ; a far more important con- 
sideration for Governing Bodies and headmasters is 
tlie opinion of Old Etonians ; indeed, it is doubtful 
whether a headmaster of Eton could even retain his 
position if he were to decree the discontinuance of what 
Dr. Warrc described, with all due solemnity, as "an 
old Eton institution." So obvious was this that we 
were inspired to borrow the title of Gray's famous 
poem in an enlarged form, and to indite an " Ode on 
the Exceedingly Distant Prospect of Humane Reform 
at Eton College." 

Dr. E. C. Selwyn, headmaster of Uppingham, wrote 
to me if he were made headmaster of Eton, he would 
abohsh the Beagles " at the earhest opportunity." 
Unfortunately he was not the successful candidate for 


the post when Dr. Wane gave it up, or we might have 
seen some rare sport at Eton, and a hue and cry more 
exciting than any hare-hunt. DisUke of blood-sport as 
a school recreation is by no means confined to humani- 
tarians, as may be seen from the following sentence 
which I quote from an interesting unpubUshed letter 
on the ethics of sport, addressed to Mr. Stratton in 
1905 by Mr. F. C. Selous, the great hon-hunter : " After 
reading your pamphlet, I certainly think it would be 
better to substitute drag-hunting for the pursuit and 
kilhng of a hare. To see one of these animals worried 
and torn by a pack of dogs is not an edifying sight for 
a young boy." 

All hunting, whether of the hare, fox, stag, or otter, 
has many horrible features : perhaps the very nastiest is 
the custom of " blooding," i.e. baptizing with the blood 
of the mangled victim any children or young folk who 
partake in the sport for the first time. The practice has 
been described, but too modestly, it would seem, as 
" a hunting tradition which goes back to the Middle 
Ages " ; one would suppose it went back to still more 
primitive times. Yet to this day this savage ritual is 
patronized by our nobiUty and by royalty. " Prince 
Henry was blooded," was the conclusion of a news- 
paper report of a " kill " with a pack of fox-hounds, 
January 9, 1920. There is a double significance, it 
seems, in the expression " a prince of the blood." 

" You can't eliminate cruelty from sport," says a 
distinguished sportsman, the Earl of Warwick, in his 
Memories of Sixty Years. In no form of blood-sport 
do we more clearly see what a veritable mania this 
amateur butchery may become than in one of Lord 
Warwick's hobbies, " big game hunting," the difficult 
and costly pursuit of wild animals in distant lands, for 
no better reason than the craze for kilhng. Tiger- 
shooting is doubtless an exciting pastime, and there are 
savage beasts that at times have to be destroyed ; but 
what of that other tiger that lurks in the heart of each 


of us ? and how is he going to be eliminated, so long as 
a savage lust for killing is a recognized form of amuse- 
ment ? For in spite of all the barriers and divisions 
that prejudice and superstition have heaped up between 
the human and the non-human, we may take it as 
certain that, in the long run, as we treat out fellow- 
beings, " the animals," so shall we treat our fellow- 

Every one knows how the possessors of such 
" trophies " as the heads and horns of " big game " 
love to decorate their halls with these mementoes of 
the chase. I was oncfe a visitor at a house which was 
not only adorned in this way, but contained also a human 
head that had been sent home by a member of a certain 
African expedition and " preserved " by the skill of 
the taxidermist. When I was invited by the owner of 
the head — the second owner — to see that particular 
trophy, it was with some misgivings that I acquiesced ; 
but when, after passing up a staircase between walls 
plastered with portions of the carcases of elephant, 
rhinoceros, antelope, etc., I came to a landing where, 
\mder a glass case, was the head of a pleasant-looking 
young negro, I felt no special repugnance at the sight. 
It was simply a part — and, as it seemed, not a 
peculiarly dreadful or loathsome part — of the surround- 
ing dead-house ; and I understood how mankind itself 
may be nothing more than " big game " to our soldier- 
sp(jrtsmen abroad. The absolute distinction between 
human and non-human is a fiction which will not bear 
the test either of searching thought in the study or of 
rough experience in the wilds. 

Iniquitous as the Game Laws are, I have often thought 
it strange that Kingsley, even when regarding them, 
quite justly, from the poacher's standpoint, should 
have hurled at the game-preserver that eloquent 
denunciation : 

There's blood on the game you sell, squire. 
And there's blood on the game you eat, 


without in the least reahzing the full truth of the state- 
ment. For there, Uterally, is blood on the " game " 
which the squire (or the poacher) disposes of, viz. 
the blood of the " game " itself ; and that Kingsley 
should have forgotten this, is a singular proof of the 
way in which the lower animals are regarded as mere 
goods and chattels, and not as creatures of flesh and 
blood at all — except to cook and eat. The very use 
of the word " game," in this sense, is most significant. 

As mention has been made of the fall of the Royal 
Buckhounds, a few words must be said of the man who 
chiefly brought it about. The Rev. J. Stratton was 
Master of Lucas's Hospital, Wokingham, a charitable 
institution founded in 1663, where a number of aged 
labourers live as pensioners ; and as Wokingham lay 
in the centre of the hunting district, he was well placed 
for observing what went on, and for obtaining exact 
information : he had, moreover, a first-hand knowledge 
of " sport," and his detestation of it was based on his 
own earlier experiences, as well as on a keen sense of 
fair play. Of all the active workers with whom I have 
been privileged to be associated, Mr. Stratton was the 
finest ; I have known nothing more courageous than 
the way in which, almost single-handed at first, and 
with the whole hunting fraternity against him, he 
gradually " pulled down " (to use a pleasant sporting 
term) the cruel and stupid institution which was carried 
on in the Sovereign's name and at the expense of the 

In character, as in appearance, Mr. Stratton was a 
Roman ; his stern and unswerving rectitude made him 
respected even by his most active opponents. His 
outspokenness, where matters of real import were at 
stake, was quite undaunted, and to an extent which 
sometimes caused consternation among the weaker 
brethren. I was once asked by a sympathetic bishop 
whether it would be possible " to keep Mr. Stratton 
quiet." More than one dignitary of the Church must 


have mused on that problem ; for if Mr. Stratton had 
a weakness, it was for a bishop. I do not mean that 
he viewed bishops with undue reverence, somewhat the 
reverse, for he loved to take a bishop to task ; and 
some of his letters to bishops, in reference to their 
sanction of vivisection or blood-sports, were of a nature 
to cause a mild surprise in episcopal circles. But if 
bishops did not always appreciate Mr. Stratton, other 
persons did. So well did the birds in his garden at 
Wokingham understand him, that they would let him 
talk to them and stroke them as they sat on their 
nests. Could there be a more convincing proof of a 
man's goodness ? 

Another active champion of the reform of blood-sports 
was Colonel W. L. B. Coulson, a well-known Northumber- 
land country gentleman and J. P., who was one of the 
first men of influence to join the Humanitarian League. 
He possessed a fine miUtary presence, and a voice 
which, even at its whisper, had a volume and resonance 
which could not fail to make it heard to the uttermost 
corner of a room ; his appearance, in brief, had so 
little of the pale cast of thought that on the occasion 
when he first met us we were the victims of an odd 
misapprehension. It had been arranged that he would 
preside at a public meeting in London, the first we 
held, on the subject of deer-hunting ; and when the 
members of our Committee arrived, some time before 
the discussion began, we were troubled to find thus 
early upon the scene a very large and powerfully built 
man, whom, as he did not introduce himself, we imagined 
to be a master of staghounds, or at least an opponent 
of formidable calibre, come to intimidate us at the 
start. We were relieved when we discovered him to be 
our missing chairman. 

Colonel Coulson was very popular with his audiences, 
for there was a frankness about him which went straight 
to the heart, and his speeches, though not cultured, 
were full of raciness and humanity. Himself brought up 


as a sportsman, he felt keenly about the sufferings of 
animals, and after his retirement from the army devoted 
much time to lecturing-tours, in which he visited many 
parts of the country and especially addressed himself 
to schools. Eton would not receive him, doubtless 
fearing some reference to her hare-hunt ; but at several 
of the other big public schools he was asked to speak 
more than once. Brave, simple, and courteous, he 
was loved by all who knew him, and by none more than 
by his colleagues in the humanitarian cause. 

Nothing was more remarkable in the history of the 
Humanitarian League than the diversity of character 
in the persons whom its principles attracted. Lady 
Florence Dixie, who joined the League at its start in 
1891, had a strange and adventurous career, and has 
been described, not inaptly, as " a sort of ' Admirable 
Crichton ' among women, a poet, a novelist, an explorer, 
a war correspondent, a splendid horse-woman, a con- 
vincing platform-speaker, a swimmer of great endurance, 
and as keen a humanitarian as ever lived." It was as 
humanitarian that I knew her ; and she was certainly 
one of the most faithful supporters of the League, ever 
ready to help with pen or purse, and prompt, sincere, 
and unwavering in her friendship. Her poems, of which 
she sent me more than one volume, had little worth ; 
but her essay on " The Horrors of Sport " was one of 
the most vivid and moving appeals that have been 
written on the subject ; none of the League's pamphlets 
had so wide a circulation, for it has been read and quoted 
in every part of the English-speaking world. She here 
wrote with full knowledge of the facts, and with a 
sympathetic insight, which, together with a swift and 
picturesque style, made her, at her best, a powerful 
and fascinating writer. Of her personal eccentricities 
many reports were rife ; and I remembered that when 
I lived at Eton she used to be seen in the garden 
of her villa, on the Windsor bank of the Thames, 
walking, like a modern Circe, with a number of wild 


beasts in her train. On one occasion a jaguar made his 
escape from her control, and there was a mild panic 
in Windsor and Eton till he was recaptured : it might 
have indeed been serious if the bold youths who hunted 
the terror-stricken hare had started a quarry that 
showed fight. 

Another unfailing friend of the League's Sports 
Committee was the Hon. FitzRoy Stewart. When I 
lirst knew him he was Secretary of the Central Conserva- 
tive Office, and we were rather surprised at finding an 
allv in that direction ; in fact, we had some suspicions, 
entirely unjust, as the result proved, that Mr. Stewart 
might be desirous of learning our plan of campaign 
against the Royal Buckhounds in the interest of his 
sporting friends. The first time I visited him at the 
Conservative headquarters I was introduced to Sir 
Howard Vincent, M.P., who. though a patron of the 
Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 
had not scrupled to throw in his lot with those who were 
fighting for the continuance of rabbit-coursing, pigeon- 
shooting and stag-hunting. He seemed to be a good- 
natured, vacuous-minded person, and one of his remarks, 
I remember, was that England is "a paradise for 
animals." This was hardly the opinion of FitzRoy 
Stewart, who was indefatigable with his schemes for 
the prohibition of the more cruel forms of sport. He 
had great hopes of young Mr. Winston Churchill, then 
beginning to be known as a rising star of the Tory 
party, and at his earnest request a letter was sent to 
Mr. Churchill from the office of the League, reminding 
him of Lord Randolph Churchill's strong denunciation 
of stag-hunting, and asking his aid against the Buck- 
hounds. Mr. Churchill, however, unmoved by this 
appeal to his filial piety, sagely opined that the crusade 
against tlie Royal Hunt was too democratic. 

Mr. FitzRoy Stewart worked closely with the Humani- 
tarian League till his death in 1914 ; and many were 
his press letters which he and I jointly composed at 


the office in Chancery Lane. He Uked to come there 
armed with some sheets of his Carlton Club notepaper, 
on which the letters, when worded to his satisfaction, 
were duly copied and signed — " Old Harrovian," or 
" A Member of the Carlton Club," was his favourite 
signature — and then he sent them off to some influential 
editors of his acquaintance, whose disgust would have 
been unmeasured had they known what company their 
esteemed contributor had been keeping. Mr. Stewart, 
I must in fairness add, though a strong opponent of 
blood-sport, was a firm believer in the beneficence of 
flogging ; but he was willing to sink this one point of 
difference in his general approval of the League's work. 
So good-natured was he, that when the subject of 
corporal punishment was going to crop up at a Committee 
meeting, he used to ask me to put it first on the agenda, 
so that he might wait outside until that burning question 
was disposed of : then he would join us — coming in 
to dessert, as we expressed it — and take his share in the 
discussion. Oh, if all colleagues were as reasonable ! 
As The Times truly said of him, " his sweetness of 
temper and social tact made him the most com- 
panionable of human beings." 

Mr. John Colam, for many years Secretary of the 
Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 
was a well-known figure in the zoophilist movement 
at the time of which I am speaking, and had a great 
reputation for astuteness. Wily he certainly was, with 
the vast experience he had acquired in evading the 
double pressure of those who cried " forward " and of 
those who cried " back " ; and he was a veritable 
Proteus in the skill with which he gave the slip to any 
one who tried to commit him to any course but the 
safest. He used privately to allege the backwardness 
of his Committee as a cause for this seeming timidity ; 
thus he told me in 1901, when the fate of the Royal 
Buckhounds was hanging in the balance, that the 
R.S.P.C.A. was unable to take any pubhc action, not 



from any remissness on his part, but because certain 
members of the Committee were afraid of ahenating 
subscribers, including King Edward himself. Personally 
1 liked Mr. Colam ; he was humane so far as his interests 
permitted, and when one had realized, once for all, 
the uselessness of attempting to bind him to any fixed 
purpose, it was instructive to have an occasional talk 
with him at Jermyn Street, and to observe the great 
adroitness with which he conducted the affairs of the 
Society ; and he, on his part, when he saw that one 
had no longer any ethical designs on him, but approached 
him rather as a fellow-student, albeit a mere amateur, 
in the art of deahng with unreasonable people, would 
become chatty and confidential and tell amusing stories 
of a Secretary's adventures. He would have made a 
successful Prime Minister, for his " wizardry " was 
of the highest order ; as a humanitarian he left some- 
thing to be desired. 

With the Sporting League, which professed to dis- 
countenance " malpractices " in sport, yet opposed the 
Bill which would have prohibited rabbit-coursing and 
kindred pastimes, we were of course involved in con- 
troversy. We sought to bring this to a point by 
proposing a pubUc discussion of the question : " W'hat 
are malpractices in Sport ? " But this challenge was 
declined, the Sportsman expressing the opinion that 
" such piffling folly is best treated with contempt," 
and the Evening News that " cackling is the strong 
point of the faddists." We were more successful in 
bringing to book some champions of aristocratic blood- 
sports, among them Sir Herbert Maxwell and Sir Edward 
Grey, who on one or two occasions appeared on neutral 
platforms, and seized the opportunity to eulogize their 
own favourite recreations, but showed little relish for 
the discussion which they themselves had provoked. 
Mr, F. G. .\flalo was another of our many antagonists 
in the magazines and the press ; and I have a pleasant 
recollection of friendly encounters with him in the 


Fortnightly Review and elsewhere. Many other apolo- 
gists of blood-sports there were, of a more sentimental 
and unreasoning kind, and with these, too, we much 
enjoyed the argument, which was quite as good sport 
to us as their hunting or coursing was to them. 

Before passing from Sports to Fashions, I will speak 
briefly of those popular places of recreation, known 
euphemistically as " Zoological Gardens," which in a 
civiHzed age would surely be execrated as among the 
saddest and dullest spots on the earth, being, in fact, 
nothing cheerier than big convict-stations, to which the 
ill-fated hfe-prisoners — " stuff," as the keepers call 
them — are conveyed from many distant lands. How 
any rational person can find pleasure in seeing, for 
example, " the Uons fed " (the modern version of 
Christianos ad leones) is a mystery that baffles thought. 
I have not been to the London " Zoo " for a good many 
years ; but when I knew it, the incongruities of the 
place were so ludicrous as almost to obscure one's 
sense of its barbarity : the Tiger's den, for instance, 
was labelled : " Beware of pickpockets," and the 
Eagle's cage bore the inscription : "To the Refreshment 
Rooms " ; and there, sure enough, within sight of the 
captive Bird of Jove moping disconsolate on his perch, 
was a waiter, serving out coffees or lemon-squashes, 
regardless of the great Raptor by whom his prede- 
cessor, Ganymede, had been carried off to be the god's 
cup-bearer. Could bathos have gone further ? 

A friend of mine who, as an Eton boy, used to go to 
the " Zoo " in the hoUdays and amuse himself by teasing 
the captives, was converted to humanitarian principles 
in a rather curious way. An elk, or some large animal 
of the ruminant order, whose wrath he had deservedly 
incurred, coughed on him with such vehemence that 
he retired from the elk-house covered with a sort of 
moist bran, and with his top-hat irrevocably damaged. 
Though at the time this touched his hat rather than his 
heart, he afterwards came to regard the incident as 


what i<; called a " means of grace." It caused him, too, 
to " ruminate," and so brought home to him the fact 
that an elk is " a person." 

A pamphlet of mine, issued by the Humanitarian 
League in 1895. entitled " A Zoophilist at the Zoo," 
was the beginning of an agitation which gradually led 
to a considerable improvement in the housing of the 
animals, in which discussion the most noteworthy 
feature was a series of articles contributed to the 
Saturday Review by Mr. Edmund Selous, and afterwards 
reprinted by the League. Another subject, debated with 
much liveliness, was the practice of feeding pythons 
and other large serpents on Uving prey — ducks, fowls, 
rabbits, and even goats being given to the reptiles, 
to be devoured in a manner which was sickening to 
witness and almost too loathsome to describe.^ These 
exhibitions were open till 1881 ; then for pubhcity 
extreme secrecy was substituted, and all inquiries were 
met by the stereotyped statement that the use of live 
prey was confined to cases " where such food was a 

Who feeds slim serpents must himself be slim. 

The League found the reptile-feeders at Regent's 
Park exceedingly shppery to deal with, and it needed 
long time, and much patience, to bring them to book. 
In this task, however, I was encouraged by the recollec- 
tion of a scene which I once witnessed in a crowded 
railway-carriage, when a large eel had made its escape 
from a basket which one of my fellow-travellers was 
holding, and created a mild panic among the company 
by its convolutions under the seat. An old lady 
sharply upbraided the owner of the eel, and I was 
struck by the reasonableness of his reply in rather 
difficult circumstances, when the eel had repeatedly 
slipped from his grasp. " Wait a little, mum," he said, 

• See Dickens's Jcscription, Forscer's Lije 0] Dickens, iii. 146. 


" until he gets a bit dusty " ; and the result proved 
the man to be right. In like manner we waited till 
the excuses given by the Zoological Society had become 
very dusty indeed. 

Some of the reasons offered for the old system of 
snake-feeding were themselves truly reptiUan. " We 
follow God's ordinances, and they must be right," was 
the reverent remark of a keeper ; and humanitarians 
were told that " to declare the use of Uve food to be 
cruel is to bring that charge against the Designer of 
Nature Himself." So deep and fervent was the piety 
of the Reptile House ! Nevertheless, we continued to 
urge our point, and the subject was hotly debated at 
more than one of the Zoological Society's annual 
meetings, where, as a result of the protests raised by 
Captain Alfred Carpenter, R.N., Mr. Stephen Coleridge, 
Mr. Rowland Hunt, and other F.Z.S.'s, it was made 
evident that the majority of the Fellows, who regarded 
the Society as a sort of private club, were indignant at 
pubUc opinion being brought to bear upon their con- 
cerns. It was a situation not devoid of humour. I 
happen to know that in the course of an excited meeting 
held in November, 1907, when the Duke of Bedford, 
as President of the Zoological Society, was in the chair, 
the following telegram was despatched to his Grace : 

Beg you to stand firm for live food and maintain the 
ordinances of the Creator. 

From Anna Con da. 

This artless prayer of an unknown lady was fully in 
accord with the spirit of the meeting. Nevertheless, 
things moved, even in Regent's Park ; and, when we 
had shown that the snakes in the New York Zoological 
Park were successfully fed on freshly-killed animals, 
we had the satisfaction of seeing the same less barbarous 
method adopted at the London " Zoo." 

I once had the advantage of hearing some of the 
inner history of a large menagerie from the wife of one 


of the keepers, a charwoman in the house where I was 
staving, who was of a somewhat loquacious and com- 
municative disposition, the staple of her talk being 
the adventures of her husband, Johnnie. " Johnnie 
came home dead-tired last night, sir," she said on one 
occasion. " Why was that, Mrs. Smith ? " I asked. 
" Why, sir, he had had to beat the elephant ; 
and after that he was too stiff and tired to take his 
suppiT." My natural inquiry whether the elephant 
had been able to take his supper was set aside as 

Knowing something of the profound piety of the 
keepers at the (London) " Zoo " in relation to snake- 
feeding, I was pained to learn from this good woman 
that her husband, who, unfortunately, was not employed 
in a reptile-department, had " lost his faith," and for 
a reason which I think has not before been recorded 
among the many modern causes of unbelief. " You 
see, sir, Johnny can never again hold with the Church, 
after the way he's seen clergymen going on with girls 
in the elephant house." 

When speaking of cruel pastimes, I referred to the 
value of the term " blood-sports " in the many con- 
troversies which we waged. Just as the fortunes of a 
book may be affected by its title, so in ethical and 
political discussions there is often what may be called 
a winning word ; and where none such is found ready 
to hand, it is advisable to invent one. Thus the 
League made good play with " flagellomania," as used 
by Mr. Bernard Shaw in one of his lectures ; and " brut- 
alitarian " (an invention of our own, I think) did us 
yeoman service, as will be seen in a later chapter. 
" Murderous Millinery," another term which has gained 
a wide circulation, was first used as a chapter-heading 
in my Animals' Rights; and though it rather shocked 
some zoophilists of the older school, who presumably 
thought that only a human being can be " murdered," 
it served a useful purpose, perhaps, in drawing attention 


to the revolting cruelty that underlies the plumage trade. 
In its condemnation of these barbarities, as in other 
matters, the Humanitarian League was a pioneer ; its 
pamphlet on " The Extermination of Birds," written 
by Miss Edith Carrington, and published nearly thirty 
years ago, played a marked part in the creation of a 
better public opinion ; and a Bill drafted by the League 
in 1901, to prohibit the use of the plumage of certain 
rare and beautiful birds, attracted very wide public 
attention, and was the basis of subsequent attempts 
at legislation. But here it must be added that the 
man who has done more than all the Societies together 
to insure the passage of a Plumage Bill is Mr. James 
Buckland. Nothing in the humanitarian movement has 
been finer than the way in which Mr. Buckland forced 
this question to the front and made it pecuharly his 

Every whit as savage as the feather-trade is the 
fur-trade, responsible as it is for some most horrible 
methods of torture — the steel-trap, which inflicts 
shocking injuries on its victim ; the spring-pole, which 
jerks both trap and captive high in air, there to hang till 
the trapper next comes on his rounds ; the terrible 
" dead-fall " used for bears and other large animals ; 
the poisoning of wolves with strychnine ; and the 
abominations in the butchery of seals. Even the fashion- 
able people who wear furs (in a climate where there is 
not the least need of such clothing) would hardly be 
able to continue the habit if they knew how their 
" comforts " were provided ; as it is, the Feather- 
Headed Woman is not a commoner sight in our streets 
than the Ass in the skin of the (Sea) Lion. It would 
seem that fur-wearers are almost unconscious that their 
sables and sealskins are the relicts of previous possessors, 
and, like the heroines of modern drama, have very 
decidedly had " a past " ; or, if they do not wholly 
forget this fact, they think it quite natural that they 
should now have their turn with the skin, as the 


animal had before. Thus Pope, in a well-known 
couplet : 

Know, Nature's children all divide her care; 
The fur that warms a monarch warmed a bear. 

One would have thought that the bear who grew the 
skin had somewhat more right to it than the monarch ! 
Politicians may talk of " one man, one vote " ; but 
really, if there is ever to be a civihzed state, a programme 
of " one man, one skin " seems fairer and more demo- 


No greyhound loves to cote a hare, cis I to turn and course a 
fool. — Scott's Ktnilworth. 

I WONDER how many times, during the past thirty 
years, we humanitarians were told that we were 
" faddists," or " cranks," or " sentimentahsts," that 
our hearts were " better than our heads," and that 
we were totally lacking in a sense of humour. I feel 
sure that if I had kept all the letters and press-cuttings 
in which we found ourselves thus described, they 
would amount not to hundreds but to thousands ; 
for it seemed to be a common belief among the genial 
folk whose unpleasant practices were arraigned by us 
that the Committee of the Humanitarian League must 
be a set of sour Puritans, sitting in joyless conclave, 
and making solemn lamentation over the wickedness 
of the world. Our opponents little knew how much 
we were indebted to them for providing a light and 
comic side in a controversy which might otherwise 
have been just a tvijfic dull. 

It was said by Gibbon, that it was the privilege of 
the medieval church " to defend nonsense by cruelties." 
Nowadays we see the patrons of sport, vivisection, 
butchery, and other time-honoured institutions, adopt- 
ing the contrary process, and defending cruelties by 
nonsense. And by what nonsense ! I do not know 
where else one can find such grotesque absurdities, 

such utter topsy-turvydom of argument, as in the 



quibbling modern brutality which gives sophisticated 
reasons for perpetuating savage customs. 

Of some of the fallacies of the cannibalistic conscience 
I have already spoken : a volume could easily be 
filled with not less diverting utterances culled from 
kindred fields of thought. The apologists of the 
Koyal Buckhounds, for instance, were comedians of 
the first rank, a troupe of entertainers who long ago 
anticipated " The FolHes." Did they not themselves 
assure us that, in hunting the carted stag, they " rode 
to save the deer for another day " ? Such devotion 
needed another Lovelace : 

Did'st wonder, since my love was such, 

I hunted thee so sore ? 
I could not love thee, Deer, so much. 

Loved I not Hunting more. 

The stag, so a noble lord pointed out at a meeting 
of the Sporting League, was " a most pampered animal." 
" When he was going to be hunted, he was carried 
to the meet in a comfortable cart. When set down, 
the first thing he did was to crop the grass. When 
the hounds got too near, they were stopped. By 
and by he lay down, and was wheeled back to his 
comfortable home. It was a life many would like to 
live." Thus it was shown to be a deprivation, to 
humans and non-humans alike, not to be hunted by 
a pack of staghounds over a country of barbed wire 
and broken bottles. Life seemed poor and mean 
without it. 

Fox-hunting, too, has always been refreshingly rich 
in sophistries. The farmer is adjured to be grateful 
to the Hunt, because the fox is killed, and the fox 
because his species (not himself) is " preserved " : 
thus the sportsman takes credit either way — on the 
one hand, for the destruction of a pest ; on the other, 
for saving similar pests from extermination. It is 
a scene for a Gilbertian opera or a " Bab Ballad " ; 


it makes one feel that this British blood-sport must 
be deleterious not only to the victims of the chase, 
but to the mental capacity of the gentlemen who 
indulge in it. 

The climax of absurdity was reached, perhaps, in 
the dedication by the Archbishop of York (Dr. Cosmo 
Lang) of a stained window — a very stained window, 
as was remarked at the time — in the church of Moor 
Monkton, to the memory of the Rev, Charles Slingsby, 
an aged blood-sportsman who broke his neck in the 
hunting-field. That a minister should have been 
" launched into eternity," as the phrase is, while 
chasing a fox, might have been expected to cause a 
sense of deep pain, if not shame, to his co-religionists : 
what happened was that an Archbishop was found 
willing to eulogize, in a consecrated place of worship, 
not only the old gentleman whose life was thus thrown 
away, but the sport of fox-hunting itself : Dr. Lang 
pronounced, in fact, what may be called the Foxology. 
Of the stained window, with its representation, on 
one part, of St. Hubert and the stag, and on the 
other of St. Francis — yes, St. Francis — giving his 
blessing to the birds, one can only think with a smile. 
A few months later, an Izaak Walton memorial window 
was placed in Winchester Cathedral in honour of " the 
quaint old cruel coxcomb " whom Byron satirized. 
Whether, in this work of religious art, the pious angler 
is portrayed in the act of impaling the live frog on 
the hook " as if he loved him," the newspapers did 
not state. 

Many instances might be quoted of the deep god- 
liness, at times even religious rapture, felt by the 
votaries of blood-sports ; perhaps one from the German 
Crown Prince's Leaves from my Hunting Diary is most 
impressive : "To speak of religious feelings is a difficult 
matter. I only know one thing — I have never felt 
so near my God as when I, with my rifle on my knee, 
sat in the golden loneliness of high mountains, or in 


the moving silence of the evening forest." This sort 
of sentiment is by no means exclusively of German 
make. Listen to the piety of a big game-hunter, 
Mr. H. W. Seton-Karr : " Why did Almighty God 
create Hons to prey on harmless animals ? And should 
we not, even at the expense of a donkey as bait, be 
justified in reducing their number ? " Here, again, is 
what the Rev. Walter Crick had to say in defence of 
the fur-trade : " If it is wrong to carry a sealskin 
muff, the camel's-hair raiment of St. John Baptist, 
to say nothing of the garments worn by our first parents 
in the Garden of Eden, stands equally condemned." 

Strictly ecclesiastical was the tone of a pamphlet 
which hailed from New York State, entitled " The 
Dog Question, discussed in the Interest of Humanity," 
and concluded in these terms : " Now, my boy or 
girl, whichever you are, drop this nonsense about 
dogs. They are demanding valuable time that should 
be employed in teaching such as you. A dog cannot 
love you. You cannot love a dog. Naught beside a 
divine soul can love or be loved. Chloroform your 
dog, and take to reading your Testament." 

I once overheard a clergyman, who had taken his 
seat at a tea-table in a Surrey garden, sharply call 
to order some boys of his party who were striking 
wildly at wasps and mashing them with any instrument 
that was handy. I listened, thinking that at last I 
was going to hear some wise words on that silly and 
disgusting practice in which many excitable persons 
indulge ; but it turned out that the cause of the 
reverend gentleman's displeasure was merely that he 
had not yet " said grace " : that done, the wasp- 
mashing was resumed without interruption. 

Space would fail me, were I to attempt to cite one- 
hundredth part of the amazing Book of Fallacies 
written in defence of Brutality. " Methinks," said 
Sir Herbert Maxwell, " were it possible to apply the 
referendum to our flocks and herds, the reply would 


come in a fashion on which vegetarians scarcely 
calculate." There would be a universal roar of remon- 
strance, it seems, from oxen, sheep, and swine, at the 
proposal to sever their grateful association with the 
drover and the slaughterman. Even more dehghtful 
was Mr. W. T. Stead, when he received from the 
spirit world a message to the effect that vegetarianism 
was good for some persons but not good for him. 
That message, I think, smacked less of the starry 
spheres than of the Review of Reviews office : if it 
was not pure spirit, it was pure Stead. 

The " mystics " were often a great joy to us ; for 
example, Mr. J. W. Lloyd, author of an occult work 
called Dawn-Thought, expressed himself as follows : 
" When I go afield with my gun, and kill my little 
brother, the Rabbit, I do not therefore cease to love 
him, or deny my relationship, or do him any real 
wrong. I simply set him free to come one step nearer 
to me." Here was Brer Fox again, only funnier. 
We suggested to Mr. Lloyd that " Brawn-Thought " 
might be a more appropriate title for his book. 

Thus, like pedagogues, we faddists, too, had our 
diversions ; cheered as we were in the weary work 
of propaganda by such mental harlequinades as those 
of which I have quoted a few specimens almost at 

Perhaps the most laughable thing about the poor 
spavined Fallacies was the entire confidence with 
which they were trotted out. They were very old and 
very silly ; they had again and again been refuted ; 
yet they were always advanced in a manner which 
seemed to say : " Surely this is an argument you have 
never heard before ? Surely you will give up your 
humanitarian sentiment now ? " As the frequent oral 
exposure of such inveterate sophisms was a tedious 
task, we found it convenient to print them, tabulated 
and numbered, each with its proper refutation, under 
some such title as " Familiar Fallacies," or, borrowing 


from Sydney Smith. "The Noodle's Oration"; and 
then, when some opponent came along exultingly with 
one or other of them, all we had to do was to send 
him the list, with a mark against his own delusion. 
Trust one who has tried the plan : it is more effective 
than any amount of personal talk. The man who 
will bore you to death with his pertinacious twaddle, 
in the belief that he is saying something new, will 
soon tire of it when he finds the whole story already 
in print, with a " See number — " written large in 
blue pencil against his most original argument. 

But the League did not stop at that point : we felt 
ourselves competent, after years of experience, to 
carry the war into the enemies' camp — to hoist them 
with their own petard by means of the reductio ad 
absurdum, a pretended defence of the very practices 
which wc were attacking. The publication of the 
first and only number of The Brutalitarian, a Journal 
for the Sane and Strong, went far towards achieving 
our aims. The printers were inundated with requests 
for copies, and the editor (as I happen to know) received 
many letters of warm congratulation on his efforts 
" to combat the sickly sentiments of modern times." 
The press, as a whole, regarded the new paper with 
amusement tempered with caution : some suspecting 
in it the hand of Mr. G. K. Chesterton, some of Mr. 
Bernard Shaw, while one venturesome editor hinted 
that the humanitarians themselves might have been 
concerned in it, but prudently added that " perhaps 
that would be attributing too much cleverness to the 
Humanitarian League." So the authorship of the 
Brutalitarian, like that of the letters of Junius, remained 
a secret ; but the laughter caused by its preposterous 
eulogies of Flogging put a stop for the time to the 
cry that had been raised in Blackwood by Mr. G. W. 
Steevens and others, that " we have let BrutaHty die 
out too much." They did not rehsh their own panacea, 
when it was served to them in an undiluted form. 


and with imbecility no less than brutality as its principal 

The Eton Beagles, of course, oi^ered a tempting mark 
for satire, as it was easy to hit upon a strain of balder- 
dash, in mock defence of hare-hunting, the absurdity 
of which would be apparent to the ordinary reader, 
yet would escape the limited intelligence of school- 
boys and sporting papers. Accordingly, there appeared 
in 1907, two numbers of The Beagler Boy, conducted 
by two Old Etonians with the professed purpose of 
" saving a gallant school sport from extinction," and 
with the ulterior design of showing that there is nothing 
too fatuous to be seriously accepted as argument by 
the upholders of blood-sports. 

The success of the Beagler Boy in this adventure was 
not for a moment in doubt. The Etonians were 
enthusiastic over it. The Sportsman found it "a 
pubhcation after our own heart," and " far more 
interesting and invigorating than anything we are 
capable of " ; and the hoax was welcomed in like 
manner by Sporting Life, Horse and Hound, and the 
Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, a periodical 
described (by itself) as " bright, entertaining, and 
original." One of the most solemnly comic notices 
was that in Countryside, Mr. E. Kay Robinson's paper, 
which found the Beagler Boy " clever and strenuous, 
but of course ex parte " ; but the gem of the collection 
was a long and serious dissertation on " Boys and 
Beagles " in the British Medical Journal, which thought 
that its readers would be glad to have their attention 
directed to the new sporting organ. There was a 
sauve qui pent among these worthy people when, from 
the general laughter in the press, they learnt that 
they had been imposed upon ; but the shock was 
borne most good-humouredly. " Even the beagler 
boys," as was remarked by the Evening Standard, 
" those of them, at least, who know how rare and 
precious an instrument satire is, may forgive, after 


they have read : perhaps some will even be converted." 
Their disillusionment must certainly have been rather 
keenly felt at the time ; Hke that of the lion who, 
as related in The Man~Eaters of Tsavo, had carried 
off what he thought was a coohe from the tent, only 
to find, when he had gone some distance, that it was 
a sack of sawdust. 

The Beagler Boy was added, by request, to Lord 
Harcourt's collection of books, pamphlets, and other 
matter relating to Eton, which at a later date he 
presented to the School. It must, I feel sure, be 
gratifying to Sir George Greenwood, and to the other 
Old Etonian who collaborated with him in the editor- 
ship, to know that the fruits of their toil are thus 
enshrined in the archives of Eton College. 

Some twelve months after the meteoric career of 
the Beagler Boy it happened that there was a good 
deal of talk about an Eton Mission to China, which 
was to give the Chinese " an opportunity of the best 
education and of learning Christianity." Then a very 
curious thing happened. A Chinese gentleman, Mr. 
Ching Ping, who was in England at the time, wrote 
to Dr. Lyttelton, the headmaster, and offered to conduct 
a Chinese Mission to Eton, in order to bring " a message 
of humanity and civiUzation to your young barbarians 
of the West." The proposal was not accepted, and 
it was even hinted in the press that Mr. Ching Ping 
came from this side of Suez ; but however that may 
have been, his letter to Dr. Lyttelton had a wide 
circulation, both in England and in the Far East. 

Such were some of a faddist's diversions ; others 
too we had, of a different kind, for the every-day work 
that goes on behind the scenes in an office is by no 
means devoid of entertainment to one who is interested 
in the eccentricities of human nature, and is prepared 
to risk some wasted hours in studying them. There 
was a time when I went to the headquarters of the 
Humanitarian League in Chancery Lane almost daily 


for some years, and there had experience of many 
strange visitors and correspondents of every complexion 
— voluble cranks and genial impostors ; swindlers 
begging for the cost of a railway-ticket to their distant 
and long-lamented homes ; ex-convicts proposing to 
write their prison-story at the League's expense ; 
needy journalists anxious to pick up a paragraph ; 
litigants who wanted gratuitous legal advice ; and, 
worst of all, the confidential Bores who were determined 
to talk to one for hours together about what Mr. Stead 
used to call " the progress of the world." 

Nor did the post often fail to bring me some queer 
tidings — a letter perhaps, from some zealot who sent 
his latest pamphlet about " God's Dumb Animals " 
(himself, alas ! not one of them), with a request that 
it should be at once forwarded to the Pope ; a volu- 
minous work in manuscript, propounding, as its author 
assured me, " opinions of an extraordinary and un- 
dreamt of kind " ; an anthology of Bible-texts in 
praise of some disputed practice ; a suggestion that 
a notorious murderer should be flogged before being 
hanged ; a grave remonstrance from a friend who 
feared that public abattoirs " would pave the way 
for Socialism " ; a request from a very troublesome 
correspondent that the League would award a medal 
to a man who had saved her from drowning ; two 
twenty-page epistles from an American lady, who, 
in the first, complimented me on my " markedly 
intelligent view of the universe," and in the second 
told me frankly that I was a fool ; a note inviting 
m.e to call at a certain address, to fetch a cat whom 
the writer wished me to destroy ; and an urgent inquiry 
whether sea-sand was a healthy bedding for pigs. 
Such communications were the daily reward of those 
who sat in offices to promote humanitarian principles. 
It was remarkable how few persons volunteered for 
the work. 

Even arbitration, of a most delicate and thankless 



sort, was thrust upon us. My opinion was once asked 
on a point of manners, by a young man who was a 
member of the Humanitarian League. He had never 
been in the habit of doffing his hat to ladies ; he hardly 
knew how to do so ; yet having come to London from 
Arcadia he found himself upbraided for not making 
the customary obeisance to the wife of his employer. 
What was he to do ? I gave him what I thought 
was the tactful advice, that he should so far make 
compromise as to raise his hat slightly, eschewing 
flourishes. A fortnight later he returned in reproachful 
mood, with the news that my too slender regard for 
principle had had a disastrous result. He had met 
the lady on the steps of some underground station, 
and in his attempt to bow to her, had dropped his 
hat in the stream of outgoing passengers, where it 
had been trampled underfoot. 

All this was well enough for an amateur like myself 
who could withdraw when it became unbearable ; 
but it made me understand why the official secretaries 
of propagandist societies often acquire a sort of defensive 
astuteness which is wrongly ascribed to some inborn 
cunning in their character. To do reform work in 
an office open at certain hours, is like being exposed 
as a live-bait where one may be nibbled at by every 
prowling denizen of the deep, or, to speak more accur- 
ately, of the shallows ; and it is no exaggeration to 
say that the secretarial work of a cause is hindered 
much less by its avowed enemies than by its professed 
friends. Among zoophiHsts, especially, there are a 
number of good people, ladies, who go about talking 
of their " mercy-work," yet show a merciless indifference 
to the value of other persons' time. Here, incidentally, 
I may say that one of the most considerate visitors 
whom I ever saw at the office of the Humanitarian 
League was Mr. G. K. Chesterton, who repeatedly 
expressed his fears that, if he occupied much of my 
time, our friends the animals might be the sufferers. 


" Can you assure me," he said, " that, if I stay a few 
minutes longer, no elephant will be the worse for it ? " 

By far the most deadly consumer of humanitarian 
energies is the benevolent Bore. There was a very 
good and worthy old gentleman who used to pay me 
frequent visits, the reason of which I did not discover 
till many years later ; on several occasions he brought 
with him a written list of questions to be put to me, 
twelve or more perhaps in number, the only one of 
which I still remember was the not very thrilling 
inquiry : " Now, Sir, do you read the Echo ?" In 
particular he pressed on my attention, as demanding 
most earnest study, a book called The Alpha, written 
by a friend of his, and differing, as he explained to me, 
from all other printed works in this — that whereas 
they expressed merely the opinions of their respective 
writers. The Alpha conveyed the actual and absolute 
truth. In my liking and respect for a sincere friend 
of our cause, I not only repHed as well as I could to 
his string of questions, but even made an attempt to 
read The Alpha itself : here, however (as with The 
Works of Henry Heavisides mentioned in a previous 
chapter), I failed so utterly that all I could do was 
to agree with the donor of the book that it was certainly 
unique. This was too ambiguous to satisfy him ; he 
was disappointed in me, and from that time his visits 
were fewer, till they altogether ceased : thus The 
Alpha became in a manner the Omega or the end of 
our intercourse. After his death I learnt that he 
had left money to found a Society ; and then only 
did I comprehend why he had " sampled " the Humani- 
tarian League with such assiduous care. Without 
knowing it, we had been weighed in the balance and 
found wanting : we were not capable of so great and 
sacred a trust. 

Sometimes the visitation came from oversea ; in 
one case we unwittingly brought it on ourselves, by 
sending to the Madrid papers an account of a scandalous 


scene that had taken place with the Royal Buckhounds, 
our object being to show that British deer-hunting 
and Spanish bull-baiting came of the same stock. We 
did not know with what zest the Spanish papers had 
taken to the subject, till one day there arrived in 
Chancery Lane an infuriated American, who told us 
that his work in the Canary Islands had been blasted 
and ruined by our action. For years, he said, he had 
preached kindness to animals, making England his 
exemplar, and now at one fell swoop all his labours 
had been demolished, for the story of the British stag- 
bait had gone Uke wild-fire through the Spanish papers, 
and thence to the Canaries. We expressed our sincere 
regret to him for this mishap, but tried to make him 
see that it was no fault of ours if he had based his 
propaganda on a false principle, viz. the superiority 
of Anglo-Saxon ethics, instead of on the universal 
obligation of humaneness. It was useless. He con- 
sumed much time in excited talk, and went away 
unappeased. This incident should be classed, I feel, 
not with our diversions, but with our tribulations ; 
but having no chapter on the latter theme, I must 
let it remain where it stands. 

But here some of my readers may be wondering 
why the office of the Humanitarian League should 
have been so open to attack : they imagine it perhaps 
as a luxurious suite of apartments, one within the 
other, with a hall-porter in the outer premises, 
skilled in the art of the sending the undesirable visitor 
into space. In reality, the circumstances of the League 
were very humble, and its housing was in accord with 
its income ; some of our friends, in fact, used to be 
pleased to chaff us by quoting that well-known verse 
in Lowell's stanzas to Lloyd Garrison : 

In a small chamber, friendless and unseen, 

Toiled o'er liis types one poor unlearn 'd young man ; 

The place was dark, unfumitured and mean ; 
Yet there the freedom of a race began. 


Thus it was that, with an ante-room of very diminu- 
tive size, we were almost at the mercy of any one who 
opened the outer door ; for though the secretary of 
the League, Miss Whitaker, would rush forward most 
devotedly to bear the brunt of the charge, not a 
few of our assailants were through the front lines, 
and well in our midst, before we were aware of it. 
To this I owe my not inconsiderable knowledge of 
the time-devouring Bore. 

Among the ex-prisoners who visited us were occa- 
sionally some very good fellows, with a real wish to 
do something to improve the penal system, which 
they all described as thoroughly bad ; but as a rule 
they lacked the power of expressing what they knew, 
or were hampered by some personal ailment. There 
was one, a quiet civil man, who was anxious to give 
a lecture before the League, and assured us that, 
though he was prone to drink, he would take care 
that none of his lapses should coincide with the date 
of his appearance on our platform. That was a risk 
which we were not disposed to take ; but strange to 
say, the very disaster which we shunned in this case 
actually befell us, a year or two afterwards, at a most 
respectable meeting which we organized jointly with 
another Society. On the very stroke of the clock, 
when the audience was all seated in expectation, and 
the chairman was ready to ascend the platform, 
supported by the members of our Committee, the 
news reached us that the lecturer himself could not 
be present : it was he in fact, who was having to be 
" supported," in another and more literal sense. 

Ex-warders did not often favour us with a visit ; 
but one there was who had been employed in Reading 
Gaol at the time when Oscar Wilde was imprisoned 
there : such was his story, and I had no reason to 
disbelieve it. He told me several edifying anecdotes, 
among them the following : It used to be a great hard- 
ship to Wilde that the glazed window of his cell allowed 


him no skyward view (one recalls his allusion, in The 
Ballad of Reading Gaol, to " that Uttle tent of blue, 
which prisoners call the sky ") ; and once, when the 
prison chaplain was visiting him, he spoke sorrowfully 
of this grievance. But the chaplain only offered him 
spiritual comfort, and urged him to lift up his thoughts 
" to Him who is above the sky " ; whereat Wilde, 
suddenly losing his patience, exclaimed, " Get out, 

you d d fool ! " and pushed him to the door. For 

this he was reported to the Governor. 

The League had not often the honour of finding 
itself in agreement with the Prison Commissioners ; 
but we did think that they were wise to decline the 
too generous offer of a body calHng itself the Poetry 
Recital Society to read poetry to prisoners. The 
words, " I was in prison, and ye came unto me," would 
receive a new and fearful significance, if a number of 
versifiers and reciters were to be let loose on the helpless 
inmates of our gaols. It seemed barbarous on the 
part of these minstrels to try to secure an audience 
which had no choice in the matter, and which had 
not got even an open window to jump through if the 
strain should have become too acute. 

Of beggars and swindlers we had no lack in Chancery 
Lane ; it suited their purpose to regard a Humani- 
tarian League as primarily designed for the relief of 
the impecunious ; its very name, they felt, could 
imply nothing less. They were mostly young men 
who seemed to act in concert ; for they usually came, 
as if on circuit, at certain times of the year. Their 
mentality was of a low order (or they thought that 
ours was), for though the}'' showed a certain ingenuity 
in collecting previous information about the parties 
on whom they tried to impose, they often presented 
their case so badly as to make it palpably absurd. 
Sometimes, however, a really clever and humorous 
rogue would make his appearance. There was one 
such who began a wordy statement that if I would 


but grant him twenty minutes, he could convince me 
that he was deserving of half a crown ; but when I 
hinted that if the interview was going to cost me half 
a crown, I would rather be spared the twenty minutes, 
his solemnity fell from him like a cloud, and with a 
twinkling eye he said that he would be only too pleased 
to cut his story as short as I liked. 

When I was a master at Eton I used to subscribe 
to the Charity Organization Society, and I was presented 
by that austere body with a number of tickets, one 
of which was to be given to every beggar who called ; 
but the trouble was that the tramps declined to regard 
the " scrap of paper " seriously, and informed us, in 
effect, that when they asked for bread we were offering 
them a stone. It certainly did not seem quite a human 
way of treating a fellow-being ; unless one could hold 
the comfortable belief, confidently expressed to me 
by one of my Eton colleagues, a very religious man, 
that every mendicant one meets has had a good chance 
in life, and has deliberateh^ thrown it away. The 
logic of that view was to say " no " to everybody. 

I once had an opportunity of seeing the exactly 
opposite theory put into practice. When I was living 
in Surrey, I had a visit from Prince Kropotkin, who 
was looking for a house in the district, and we spent 
a day in walking about on that quest. We met a 
troop of beggars whose appearance was decidedly 
professional ; and I noticed that Kropotkin at once 
responded to their appeal. Later in the day we fell 
in with the same party, and again, when they told 
their tale of woe, Kropotkin put his hand in his pocket. 
At this I ventured to ask him whether he had observed 
that they were the same lot ; to which he replied : 
" Oh, yes. I know they are probably impostors 
and will drink the money at the public house ; but 
wc are going back to our comfortable tea, and I cannot 
run the risk of refusing help where it mav possibly 
be needed." If in this matter one sympathizes with 


Kropotkin rather than with the Charity Organization 
folk. I suppose it is on Shelley's principle— that he 
would " rather be damned with Plato and Lord 
Bacon than be saved with Paley and Malthus." 

I will conclude this chapter on our diversions with 
a rather diverting passage from Mr. George Moore's 
Confessions : 

" Self, and after self, a friend ; the rest may go to the devil ; 
and be sure that when any man is more stupidly vain and out- 
rageously egotistic than his fellows, he will hide his hideousness 
in humanitarianisra. . . . Humanitarianism is a pigsty where 
liars, hypocrites, and the obscene in spirit congregate ; it has 
been so since the great Jew conceived it. and it will be so till 
the end. Far better the blithe modern pagan in his white tie 
and evening clothes, and his facile philosophy. He says : ' I 
don't care how the poor live ; my only regret is that they live 
at all ' ; and he gives the beggar a shilling." 

Many years ago, at a meeting of the Shelley Society, 
I had the pleasure of a talk with Mr. George Moore ; 
and I remember that when he asked me what work 
I was doing, and I said it was mostly humanitarian, 
there came over his expressive face a look of half- 
incredulous surprise and disgust — the sort of look a 
bishop might give to one who coolly remarked that 
he had just committed the sin against the Holy Ghost. 
I was rather puzzled at the moment ; and it was not 
till long after, when I read Mr, Moore's Confessions, 
that I rcaUzed of what crimes I had convicted myself 
in his eyes by my too careless avowal. But as for 
" the blithe modern pagan," I suspect he would be 
a little less bUthe if his wish were fulfilled, and the 
poor did not Uve at all ; for how then would be obtain 
his evening clothes and his white tie ? He would 
have to live entirely, one fears, upon his " facile philo- 
sophy," as snails were once reputed to subsist on their 
own succulence. 



The barbarian gives to the earth he Uves on an aspect of 
rough brutaUty. — Elisee Reclus. 

Humanitarian ISM is not merely an expression of 
sympathy with pain : it is a protest against all tyranny 
and desecration, whether such wrong be done by the 
infliction of suffering on sentient beings, or by the 
Vandalism which can ruthlessly destroy the natural 
grace of the earth. It is in man's dealings with the 
mountains, where, owing to the untameable wildness 
of the scenery, any injury is certain to be irreparable, 
that the marks of the modern Vandal are most clearly 

It so happens that as I have known the mountains 
of Carnarvonshire and Cumberland rather intimately 
for many years, the process of spoliation which, as 
Elisee Reclus has remarked, is a characteristic of 
barbarism, has been there forced on my attention. 
It is close on half a century since I was introduced 
to some of the wildest mountains of North Wales by 
that muscular bishop, Dr. G. A. Selwyn, of whom I 
have spoken in an earlier chapter, when, as tutor to. 
his nephew, I was one of an episcopal party that went 
on a summer holiday from Lichfield to Penmaenmawr. 
There the bishop relaxed very genially from the austere 
dignities of his Palace : and having procured an 
Ordnance map, was not only taken with a desire to 
find his way across the heights to Llyn-an-Afon, a 
tarn which nestles under the front of the great range 



of Camedd Llewelyn, but insisted on being accompanied 
by his nephew and his nephew's tutor. Mountaineering, 
as I afterwards saw, could not have been one of Dr. 
Sclwyn's many accomplishments ; for we had to make 
more than one expedition before we set eyes on the 
lake, and in the course of our first walk he slipped on 
a steep ridge and put his thumb out of joint, to the 
secret amusement. I had reason to fear, of my pupil, 
who, greatly disHking these forced marches into the 
wilderness, regarded the accident as a nemesis on an 
uncle's despotism. But to me the experience of those 
bleak uplands was invaluable, for it was the beginning 
of a love of mountains, both Cambrian and Cumbrian, 
which led me to return to them again and again, until 
I had paid over a hundred visits to their chief summits. 
Thus I could not fail to note, now in the one district, 
now in the other, how the hand of the desecrator had 
been busy. 

Recent discussions in the press on the subject of 
the proposed Sty Head motor-road have been useful 
in two ways : first, they called forth so strong and 
general an expression of opinion against that ill-advised 
project, as to render its reahzation extremely unlikely 
for a long time to come ; and secondly, they drew 
attention to the wider and deeper under-lying question 
of the preservation of British mountain scenery against 
Vandalism of various kinds. The attempt on the 
Sty Head was in itself a significant object-lesson in 
the dangers by which our mountain " sanctuaries " 
are beset. A hundred and fifty years ago the poet 
Gray could write thus of the hamlet of Seathwaite, 
where the famous Pass has its entrance on the Borrow- 
dale side : 

" All further access is here barred to prying mortals, only 
there is a little path winding over the fells, and for some weeka 
in the year passable to the dalesmen ; but the mountains know 
well that these innocent people will not reveal the mysteries 
of their ancient kingdom." 


If the mountains held that belief, it was they, not 
the dalesmen, who were the innocents, for the little 
path has been found passable at every season of the 
year ; and Mr. G. D. Abraham, himself a distinguished 
climber, and a native of the district, was so wiUing 
to reveal the mountain mysteries as to plead in his 
book on Motor Ways in Lakeland for the construction 
of a highroad from the very point where all farther 
access used to be barred. " The quaint little old-world 
hamlet," he said, " will doubtless recover its glory of 
former days when the highway over Sty Head Pass 
becomes an accomplished fact." 

The love of mountains, itself a growth of modern 
times, has in fact brought with it a peril which did 
not exist before ; it has opened the gateway and 
pointed the path to the shrine ; but where the 
worshipper enters, what if the destroyer enters 
too ? What if the pilgrim is close followed by the 
prospector ? 

Some years ago Mr. C. P. Trevelyan, M.P., introduced 
an " Access to Mountains Bill," which while safeguarding 
the interests of land-owners, would have permitted 
pedestrians to indulge their love of highland scenery 
by making their way to the summits of uncultivated 
mountain or moorland. All nature-lovers must desire 
that such a measure may become law ; and it might 
be hoped that landlords themselves would not persist 
in opposing it, for consideration should show them 
that it is impossible permanently to exclude the people 
from the hilltops of their native land. Even now, 
since it is the difficult and the forbidden which attract, 
there is a certain relish in the attempted ascent of 
those heights which in the landlord's sense (not the 
cUmber's) are still " inaccessible " — just as the cragsmen 
find a pleasure in striving to surmount the obstacles 
of rock-face or gully. Who has not longed to cross 
the lofty frontier into some deer-stalking or grouse- 
shooting Thibet, where, beyond the familiar lying 


sign-post stating that " trespassers will be prosecuted," 
all is vagueness and mystery ? What mountain-lover 
has not at times sought to snatch an " access to 
mountains " where access was denied ? 

I still recall the zest of a raid, albeit unsuccessful, 
on one of the summits of the Grampians, when our 
small party of cUmbers, starting from Aviemore, and 
passing the heathery shores of Loch-an-Eilan, fell in 
near " the Argyle Stone " with a number of deer- 
stalkers, who groaned aloud in their fury when they 
heard by what route we had ascended, and insisted 
on our going down to Kincraig. We had spoiled 
their day's sport, they told us ; and we, while regretting 
to have done so, could not refrain from saying that 
they had equally spoiled ours. We were consoled, 
however, in some measure, during that inglorious 
descent, by the sight of an osprey, or fishing-eagle, 
hovering over the river Spey : doubtless the bird 
was one of a pair that for years haunted Loch-an- 
Eilan, until the cursed cupidity of egg-collectors drove 
them from almost their last breeding-place. 

One of the most inaccessible heights in England at 
the present day is Kinderscout, the " Peak " of Derby- 
shire, a triangular plateau of heathery moorland, with 
rocky " edges " broken into fantastic turrets and 
" castles." Here only do the Derbyshire hills show 
some true mountain characteristics ; and the central 
position of the " Peak," which is about twenty miles 
equidistant from Sheffield, Manchester, and Hudders- 
field, would seem to mark it as a unique playground 
for the dwellers in our great manufacturing towns. 
In reality, it is a terra incognita to all but a very few, 
a place not for workers to fmd health in, but for sports- 
men to shoot grouse ; and there is no spot in England 
which is guarded against intruders with more jealous 
care. I speak advisedly, for I once tried, with some 
friends, to " rush " the summit-ridge from the pubhc 
path which crosses its western shoulders, only to be 


overtaken and turned back by some skilfully posted 
gamekeeper.^ The loss to the public of a right of 
way over these moors, as over many similar places, 
is deplorable ; and here, as elsewhere, the compromise 
that has been arrived at has been greatly to the land- 
lord's advantage, for while the grouse-shooter excludes 
the public from a vast area of moorland, the wayfarer 
finds himself Hmited to the narrowest of roundabout 
routes, and is insulted, as at Ashop Head, by a perfect 
plague of notice-boards threatening all the imaginary 
pains and penalties of the law for any divergence on 
to the hillside. Certainly an Access to Mountains Bill 
is urgently required. 

But there is one thing which is even worse than too 
little access to mountains, and that is the concession 
of too much. It were heartily to be wished that such 
districts as those of the Lakes, Snowdonia, and others 
which might be named, had long ago been made 
inaccessible, in this sense, to the railway-lord, the 
company-promoter, and all the other Vandals who 
for commercial purposes would destroy the sanctitude 
of the hills. We have, in fact, to consider what sort 
of access we propose, for just as there is all the difference 
in the world between the admission of the public to 
see a grand piece of statuary, and the admission of 
the man who has a design to chip the statue's nose, 
so we have to distinguish between those who come 
to the mountains to speculate on the beauties of 
Nature and those who come there to speculate in a 
baser sense. Access to mountains is in itself most 
desirable, but what if we end by having no mountains 
to approach ? In this respect the Bill might be 
strengthened, by making it withhold from the 

' Some years later I was enabled, by the courtesy of the 
owner, to visit the top of Kinderscout on a frosty afternoon 
in December, when it had the appearance of a great snow-clad 
table-land, intersected by deep ruts, and punctuated here and 
there by the black masonry of the tors. 


Vandal the access which it would bestow on the 

Already much that was of inestimable value has 
been lost. The Lake District has in this respect been 
more fortunate than some other locaUties, because, 
owing to the powerful sentiment aroused by the Lake 
poets, there is a considerable pubUc opinion opposed 
to any act of desecration. For this we have to thank, 
in the first place, the great name of Wordsworth, 
and, next, the faithful band of defenders which has 
stood between the enterprising contractor and his 
prey, as in the case of the once threatened railway 
to Ambleside and Grasmere. But even in Lakeland 
no little damage has been done, as by the mining 
which has ruined the scenery of Coniston, and by 
the permission granted to Manchester to turn the 
once sylvan and secluded Thirlmere into a suburban 
tank — Thirlmere first, and now the ruin of Haweswater 
is to follow. 

Mention has been made in an earlier part of this 
book of a visit which I paid to Coniston in the winter 
of 1878-79. It so happened that a spell of severe 
frost and cloudless skies had then turned the Lakeland 
mountains into a strange realm of enchantment, the 
rocks being fantastically coated with fronds and feathers 
of snow, and the streams and waterfalls frozen into 
glittering masses of ice. I was the only visitor in the 
place (it was before Mr. Harrison Riley's arrival), 
and for several days I had been scrambling over the 
range of the Old Man mountain without meeting a 
human being, when one afternoon, on the shore of 
Levers Water, a solitary figure came suddenly round 
a buttress of the hill and stalked silently past me as 
if wrapped in thought. I knew at once that it was 
Ruskin, for what other inhabitant of Coniston would 
be on the fells at such a season ? 

A few days later, when I went to Brantwood with 
Harrison Riley, as I have described, Ruskin talked 


a good deal of his favourite mountain haunts, as he 
showed us his wild strawberry beds, and terraces on 
the hillside made hke Swiss roads ; also a small beck 
running through his grounds to the lake, which he 
said was never dry, and was as precious to him as a 
stream of pure gold. The Lake scenery, he said, almost 
compensated him for the loss of Switzerland, which 
he could not hope to see again ; his feeling for it was 
one less of affection than of " veneration." But the 
sunsets had been a disappointment to him, for the 
sky above the Old Man was often sullen and overclovided, 
and this he attributed to the poisonous influence of 
the copper mines. 

At present the chief danger to the quietude and 
beauty of the Lake district seems to be the motor- 
craze, especially that form of it which has been called 
" the fascinating sport of hill-hunting," a game which 
has turned the Kirkstone Pass into a place of terror, 
where noisy machines pant and snort up one side 
and scorch furiously down the other, and which is 
now craving new heights to conquer. If not on the 
Sty Head, why not make a motor-way of the old track 
from Langdale to Eskdale over the passes of Wrynose 
and Hardknott ? Such was the " compromise " which 
some mountain-lovers unwisely suggested, forgetting, 
first, that even this surrender, though less deadly than 
that of the Sty Head, would involve the destruction 
of a wild and primitive tract, and secondly that, as 
there is no finahty in such dealings, it would only 
whet the motorists' appetite for more. It is generally 
overlooked, too, though the point is a very important 
one, that the invaders have already got much more 
than their due share of the district ; for the making 
of many of the roads now in existence would have 
been strongly opposed years ago, if it had been possible 
to foresee the riotous use to which they would be put. 

But it is when we turn to the mountains of Snowdonia 
that we see what inexcusable injury has been done 


by the rapacity of private enterprise, connived at by 
the indifference of the public. It is a somewhat strange 
fact that, while there is an English branch of the League 
for the Preservation of Swiss Scenery, no organized 
attempt is made to preserve our own mountain scenery, 
not from desecration merely, but from destruction.^ 

Take, for example, the case of the River Glaslyn, 
which flows from the heart of Snowdon through Cwm 
Dyli and Nant Gwynant, till it finds its way by the 
Pass of Aberglaslyn to the sea. Visitors are often 
invited to admire the " power works," erected some 
years ago at the head of Nant Gwynant, and other 
signs of enterprise ; but from the nature-lover's point 
of view there is a different tale to tell. The once 
shapely peak of Snowdon has been blunted into a 
formless cone by the Summit Hotel, which has since 
added to its premises a battlemented wall built of 
red brick ; both Glaslyn and Llyn Llydaw, two tarns 
of flawless natural beauty, have long been befouled 
with copper mines ; and more recently the glorious 
waterfall, through which the stream dashed headlong 
from Cwm Dyli to Nant Gwynant, has been replaced 
by a hne of hMeous metal pipes, by which the whole 
hillside is scarred. As for the far-famed Pass of 
Aberglaslyn, defaced as it is by railway works and 
tunnellings, remorselessly begun and then temporarily 
abandoned, its state can only be described as one of 
stagnant devastation. 

Yet all this mountain scenery, which has been foolishly 
sacrificed for private purposes, might have been a 
public possession of inestimable value had it been 
tended as it deserved ; and much yet remains in 
Snowdonia that might be saved for the enjoyment 
and refreshment of future generations, if the apathy 
of pubhc feeUng, and of the Welsh people, could be 

• I have here incorporated the substance of a letter on " The 
Preservation of Mountain Scenery " published in The Times, 
April 28, 1908. 


dispelled. But it is useless to look for local resistance 
to this vandalism, for one is always met by the assertion, 
true but irrelevant, that such enterprises " give work " ; 
which, indeed, would equally justify the puUing down 
of Westminster Abbey to " give work " to the un- 
employed of London. Nothing but an enlightened 
public opinion, unmistakably expressed, can now avert 
the destruction (for such it is) of the noblest of Welsh, 
perhaps of all British mountains. 

It is strange that the incongruity — the lack of 
humour — in these outrages on the sanctitude of a 
great mountain does not make itself felt. What 
could be more ridiculous, apart from the gross vandahsm 
of the act, than to put a railway-station on Snowdon ? 
A friend who knows the Welsh mountains intimately 
told me that on his first visit to the peak, after the 
building of the Summit Hotel, he remarked to a 
companion : " We shall be expected to have a green 
chartreuse after lunch here." A waiter, overhearing 
him, said : " We ain't got no green chartreuse, sir ; 
but we have cherry brandy and cura9oa, if you like." 

In a Uttle book entitled On Cambrian and Cumbrian 
Hills, pubhshed in 1908, I commented strongly on 
these outrages, and the justice of my criticisms with 
regard to the ruin of Welsh mountain scenery was 
not seriously disputed in the local press, though one 
editor did accuse me of being guilty of "a wicked 
libel upon the people of Wales," and expressed himself 
as having been caused " real pain " by my remarks. 
When, however, I asked him to consider what real 
pain the disfigurement of Snowdon had caused to 
mountain-lovers, and suggested that, instead of taking 
me to task, he should try to arouse his readers to put 
an end to the vandalism which, for the sake of a 
temporary profit, is ruining some of the finest portions 
of Carnarvonshire, he made a reply which was, in 
fact, a most signal corroboration of my complaint ; 
for he stated that I had evidently " no conception of 



the difficulties which residents in North Wales have 
to encounter when they oppose any commercial enter- 
prise, backed up by EngUsh speculators, which threatens 
to spoil our beauty-spots."^ There we have the fatal 
truth in a sentence ! What is spoiling Snowdonia is 
the commercial cupidity of the Welsh themselves, 
utihzcd by English capitalists. The editor naively 
added that, were I myself living in North Wales, I 
should be " more sympathetic." More sympathetic, 
that is, with the Welsh residents, who know that their 
country is being spoiled, but dare not say so ; less 
sympathetic with the mountain-lovers who deplore this 
crime ! 

In the excuses put forward for the invasion of the 
mountains with funicular railways, motor high-roads, 
and the like, there is a comic element which would 
be vastly entertaining if the very existence of mountain 
scenery were not at stake. Thus I have been met 
with the argument that a mountain railway, such 
as that on Snowdon, " takes into a purer atmosphere 
and into an ennobling environment those who have 
no other way of learning the lesson that grand mountains 
can teach," to wit, " the enfeebled toilers of the towns." 
I was reminded, as one convicted of " a little selfish- 
ness," that " the weak and the feeble have to be 
considered, as well as the athletic and the hardy." 
But, in the first place, those who travel by so expensive 
a route as this mountain railway are rarely the toilers 
of the towns, nor, so far as I have observed them, 
are they " the weak and the feeble." They seem 
to be mostly able-bodied well-to-do tourists, who are 
too lazy to use their legs. I once overheard a passenger 
in a train, describing a recent Swiss trip, make the 
remark : " Oh, no, I didn't walk a step. Funicular 
railways up nearly all the mountains— Pilatus, Rigi, 
and the rest. I wouldn't give a fig to walk." 

It is amusing, too, to find " imperial " reasons 
« Norlh Wales Weekly News, May 15, 1908. 


advanced in defence of the Snowdon railroad, in what 
is called the " Official Guide," a pamphlet published 
by the London and North- Western Railway at Llanber i 
England, we are proudly told, " does not usually 
care to be behind other countries in matters of progress, 
but, with regard to the application of mechanical 
means for reaching the peaks of mountains, until 
now it has certainly been so." The inference is obvious. 
Patriotic chmbers should ascend Snowdon by train. 

Then there is the clever appeal to the sense of peril 
and romance. We are informed in the same dis- 
interested treatise that the owner of Snowdon (yes, 
reader, Snowdon is owned!), "having regard to the 
exigencies of the modern tourist, the increasing eager- 
ness of people to ' do ' Snowdon, and the dangers which 
beset the ordinary ways available for that purpose, 
felt that the solitude and sanctity of Snowdon ought, 
to a certain extent, to give way before the progressive 
advance of the age." And again : " Hitherto none 
but the most daring or the most sanguine would venture 
to ascend during a storm. . . . None the less, however, 
Snowdon during a storm presents a scene of impressive 
grandeur, and the new railway will make it possible 
to see it under this aspect without risk." Henceforth 
poets will know how to view the grandeur of the 
gathering storm. " I climbed the dark brow of the 
mighty Helvellyn," sang Scott, The modern singer 
will take a ticket on the Snowdon Mountain Tramroad. 

The true objection to mountain railways is not 
that they bring more people to the mountain, but 
that they spoil the very thing that the people come 
to see, viz. the mountain itself. The environment, 
in fact, is no longer " ennobling " when a mountain- 
top is vulgarized, as Snowdon has been, by a railway 
and hotel ; it is then not a mountain scene at all. 
There are numberless points of view in North \\'ales, 
and in every highland district, to which the weak 
and feeble can be easily conveyed, and from which 


they can sec the mountains at their best ; but to 
construct a railway to the chief summit is " to kill 
the goose that laid the golden eggs," because, when 
that is done, there is no mountain (in the true sense) 
any longer for the enjoyment of either feeble or strong. 

And surely the feeble can seek their enjoyment in 
fitter wiiys than in being hauled up mountains by 
steam. I have heard of a blind man who walked, with 
a friend to guide him, to the top of Goatfell, in the 
Isle of Arran, because he wished to feel the mountain air 
and to hear the thunder of the sea waves far away below. 
Was not that better than spoiling Goatfell with a 
rail ? Not, of course, that such railways are really 
made for the benefit of the feeble-bodied ; they are 
built for commercial purposes, to put money into 
private pockets at the expense of scenery which should 
belong to the community as a whole. 

But it is not only the nature-lover and the rock- 
climber who are interested in the preservation of 
mountains ; the naturalist also, and the botanist, 
are very deeply concerned, for the extermination of 
the rarer fauna and flora is practically assured unless 
the onroad of this vandahsm is checked. The golden 
eagle, the kite, and the osprey are gone. Do we desire 
such birds as the raven, the chough, the buzzard, 
and the peregrine falcon to survive in their few remaining 
strongholds ? If so, we must take measures to stop 
the depredations not only of the egg-collecting tourist, 
but of the death-dealing gamekeeper. 

The flight of the buzzard is one of the greatest glories 
of the hills of Cumberland and Carnarvonshire, and it 
is deeply to be regretted that so beautiful and harmless 
a bird should be wantonly destroyed. The worst — 
or should we say the best ? — that can be said of the 
buzzard is that in very rare instances he has been known 
to " stoop " at persons who approach his eyrie. In 
a letter which appeared in the Lakes Chronicle some 
years ago a tourist absurdly complained that he had 


been attacked on a mountain near Windermere by a 
" huge bird " — evidently a buzzard — and urged that 
" it would be to the advantage of the public if some 
good shot were to free the mountain of this foul-fiend 
usurper." The buzzard defending his nest is a " foul- 
fiend usurper " ! Such is the amount of sympathy 
which the average tourist has with the wild mountain 
bird ! And as for the ornithological knowledge, this 
may be judged from the fact that a similar incident 
on the same mountain was actually described in the 
papers under the head, " Bustard attacks a clergyman." 

Of the wild upland flora there is the same tale to 
tell. The craze for collecting, and what is worse, 
uprooting, the rarer Alpine plants has almost brought 
about the extinction of several species, such as the 
saxifraga nivalis, which used to be fairly frequent 
on Snowdon, Helvellyn, and other British hills ; and 
this in spite of the many appeals that have been made 
to the better feeling of tourists. Public spirit in these 
matters seems to be wellnigh dead. 

What, then, is being done, in the face of these 
destructive agencies, to preserve our wild mountain 
districts, and the wild life that is native to them, from 
the ruin with which they are threatened ? As far as 
I am aware, apart from occasional protests in news- 
papers, this only — that appeals are made to the public 
from time to time by the National Trust and kindred 
societies to save, by private purchase, certain " beauty 
spots " from spoliation. These appeals cannot but 
meet with the entire approval of nature-lovers, and 
the rescuing of such estates as Catbells, Gowbarrow, 
Grange Fell, and others that might be mentioned, 
represents a real measure of success. Still the question 
has to be faced — what is to be done in the future if, 
as is certain to happen, the menace to our mountains 
is maintained ? It is too much to hope that large 
sums can always be raised by private subscription ; 
also, while one favoured place is being safeguarded, 

iqs seventy years among savages 

others, less fortunate, are being destroyed. We cannot 
save our mountains generally by these piecemeal 
purchases ; for even if the money were always pro- 
curable, the rate of destruction exceeds that of purchase, 
and the power of the many syndicates that would 
exploit the mountains must necessarily be greater 
than that of the few Societies that would preserve 
them. In a word, private action is quite inadequate, 
in the long run, to repel so extensive an attack. 

Wliat is needed is public action on a scale com- 
mensurate with the evil, in the direction of the " reser- 
vation " of certain districts as sanctuaries for all wild 
life. We need, in fact, highland parks, in which the 
hills themselves, with the wild animals and plants 
whose life is of the hills, shall be preserved in their 
wildness as the property of the people ; an arrangement 
which would be equally gratifying to the nature-lover, 
the naturahst, and the mountaineer, and of vastly 
more " profit " to the nation as a whole than the 
disfigurement of its beautiful places. 

Without at all suggesting that the National Trust 
should relax its efforts for the rescue by purchase of 
particular tracts, I think that it would be doing a 
still greater service if it could see its way to organizing 
a movement for pressing on the Government the urgent 
need of taking some active steps to counteract the 
injury which is being done by commercial interests 
to the true interests of the people. Otherwise the 
result will be that while a few spots are saved, whole 
districts will be lost, and eventually all that the nation 
will possess will be some oases of beauty in a desert 
of ugliness. 

As I have elsewhere pointed out,i there is only one 
thorough solution of the problem, and that is, to 
nationalize such districts as Snowdonia, Lakeland, 
the Peak of Derbyshire, and other pubHc hoHday- 
haunts, and so to preserve them for the use and enjoy- 
' On Cambrian and Cumbrian Hills. 


ment of the people for all time. "If parks, open spaces, 
railways, tramways, water, and other public needs 
can be nationalized, why not mountams ? It is 
impossible to over-estimate the value of mountains 
as a recreation-ground for soul and body; yet, while 
we are awaking to the need of maintaining public 
rights in other directions, we are allowing our mountains 
— in North Wales and elsewhere — to be sacrificed to 
commercial selfishness. If Snowdon, for instance, had 
been purchased by the public twenty years ago, the 
investment would have been a great deal more profit- 
able than those in which we usually engage ; but while 
we are wiUing to spend vast sums on grabbing other 
people's territory, we have not, of course, a penny 
to spare for the preservation of our own." 



At least we witness of thee, ere we die. 
That these things are not otherwise, but thus. 


Twenty-four years' work with the Humanitarian 
League had left many problems unsolved, many practical 
matters imdecided ; but on one point some of us were 
now in no sort of uncertainty — that a race which still 
clung tenaciously to the practices at which 1 have 
glanced in the foregoing chapters was essentially 
barbaric, not in its diet only, though the butchery 
of animals for food had first arrested our attention, 
but also, and not less glaringly, in its penal system, 
its sports, its fashions, and its general way of regarding 
that great body of our fellow-beings whom we call 
" the animals." It did not need Mr. Howard Moore's 
very suggestive book. Savage Survivals,^ to convince 
us of this ; but we found in the conclusions reached 
by him an ample corroboration of those we had long had 
in mind, and which alone could explain the stubborn 
adherence of educated as well as uneducated classes 
to a number of primitive and quite uncivilized habits. 
" It is not possible," he says, " to understand the 
things higher men do, nor to account for the things 
that you find in their natures, unless you recognize 
the fact that higher men are merely savages made 
over and only partially changed." 

» Charles H. Kerr & Co., Chicago, 1916 ; Watts & Co., 
Ixmdon, 1918. 


Professor F. W. Newman's warning, that the time 
was not ripe for a Humanitarian League, had to this 
extent been verified : if we had thought that we were 
going to effect any great visible changes, we should 
have been justly disappointed. But those who work 
with no expectation of seeing results cannot be dis- 
appointed ; they are beyond the scope of failure, 
and may even meet, as we did, with some small and 
unforeseen success. The League was thus, in the 
true sense of the term, a Forlorn Hope ; that is, a 
troop of venturesome pioneers, who were quite un- 
trammelled by " prospects," and whose whim it was 
to open out a path by which others might eventually 

Perhaps the success of the League lay less in what 
it did than in what it demanded — less, that is, in the 
defeat of a flogging Bill, or in the aboHtion of a cruel 
sport, than in the fearless, logical, and unwavering 
assertion of a clear principle of humaneness, which 
appHes to the case of human and non-human aUke. 
After all, it does not so greatly matter whether this 
or that particular form of cruelty is prohibited ; what 
matters is that all forms of cruelty should be shown 
to be incompatible with progress. Here, I venture 
to think, the intellectual and controversial side of 
the League's work was of some value ; for before a 
new system could be built up, the ground had to be 
cleared, and the main obstacle to humanitarianism 
had long been the very widespread contempt for what 
is known as " sentiment," and the idea that humani- 
tarians were a poor weakly folk who might be ridiculed 
with impunity. The Humanitarian League changed 
all that ; and a good many pompous persons, who had 
come into collision with its principles, emerged with 
modified views and a considerably enlarged experience. 

I have already spoken of some of the protagonists 
of the League : at this point it may be fitting to re- 
count, in epic fashion, the names and services of a 


few of the influential allies who from time to time 
lent lis their aid. 

Mr. Herbert Spencer's philosophical writings were 
fully imbued with the humane spirit. An opponent 
of militarism, of vindictive penal laws, of corporal 
punishment for the young, of cruel sports, and indeed 
of every form of brutahty, he had done as much as 
any man of his generation to humanize public 
opinion. He willingly signed the Humanitarian 
League's memorials against the Royal Buckhounds 
and the Eton Beagles. 

Dr. Alfred R. Wallace was also in full accord with 
us, and he was especially interested in our protest 
against the Game Laws, " those abominable engines 
of oppression and selfishness," as he described them 
in one of several letters which I received from him. 
He was anxious that some Member of ParHament 
should be found who would move an annual resolution 
for the abohtion of these laws, and he considered that 
such a motion " would serve as a very good test of 
Liberalism and Radicalism." In reference to flogging 
under the old Vagrancy Act, he wrote : " There are 
scores or hundreds of these old laws which are a disgrace 
to civilization. Many years ago I advocated enacting 
a law for the automatic termination of all laws after, 
say, fifty years, on the ground that one generation 
cannot properly legislate for a later one under totally 
different conditions." 

" The Truth about the Game Laws," a pamphlet 
of which Dr. Wallace expressed much approval, was 
written by Mr. J. Connell, author of " The Red Flag," 
whose democratic instincts had led him to acquire 
first-hand knowledge of the nocturnal habits of game- 
keepers, and was prefaced with some spirited remarks 
by Mr. Robert Buchanan, who, as having been for 
many years a devotee of sport, here occupied, as he 
himself expressed it, " the position of the converted 
clown who denounces topsy-turvydom." Buchanan's 


humane sympathies were shown in many of his poems, 
as in his " Song of the Fur Seal," inspired by one of 
the League's pamphlets ; he wrote also a powerful 
article on " The Law of Infanticide," in reference to 
one of those cruel cases in which the death-sentence 
is passed on some poor distracted girl, and which 
clearly demonstrate, as Buchanan pointed out, that 
" we are still a savage and uncivilized people, able 
and willing to mow down with artillery such subject 
races as are not of our way of thinking, but utterly 
blind and indifferent to the sorrows of the weak and 
the sufferings of the martyred poor." 

George Meredith, for the last ten or twelve years 
of his life, was a friend and supporter of the League. 
" On a point or two of your advocacy," he wrote to 
me," I am not in accord with you, but fully upon most." 
He declared the steel trap to be " among the most 
villainous offences against humanity " ; and he more 
than once signed the League's memorials against such 
spurious sports as rabbit-coursing and stag-hunting. 
When the Royal Buckhounds were abolished in 1891, 
he wrote to us : " Your efforts have gained their 
reward, and it will encourage you to pursue them in 
all fields where the good cause of sport, or any good 
cause, has to be cleansed of blood and cruelt}'. So 
you make steps in our civihzation." 

Mr. Thomas Hardy more than once lent his name 
to the League's petitions, and recognized that in its 
handhng of the problem of animals' rights it was 
grapphng with the question " of equal justice all round." 
In an extremely interesting letter, read at the annual 
meeting in 1910, he expressed his opinion that " few 
people seem to perceive fully, as yet, that the most 
far-reaching consequence of the establishment of the 
common origin of all species is ethical ; that it logically 
involved a readjustment of altruistic morals, by 
enlarging, as a necessity of rightness, the application 
of what has been called the Golden Rule from the 


area of mere mankind to that of the whole animal 
kingdom." This was, of course, the main contention 
of the Humanitarian League. 

In 1S96 the League addressed an appeal to a number 
of leading artists, asking them to make it plain that 
their sympathies were on the humanitarian side, and 
that they would at least not be abettors of that spirit 
of cruelty which is the ally and companion of ugliness. 
Very few rephcs were received, but among them was 
one from Mr. G. F. Watts, who, in becoming a member, 
wrote us a letter on the cruelty of docking horses' 
tails (" barbarous in those who practise it, infinitely 
degrading in those who encourage it from so mean a 
motive as fashion — only not contemptible because so 
much worse "), which was very widely published in 
the press, and did great service in bringing an odious 
fashion into disrepute. Mr. Walter Crane was another 
artist who gave support on many occasions to humani- 
tarian principles ; so, too, was Mr. Martin Anderson 
{" Cynicus "), who employed on the League's behalf 
his great powers as a satirist in a cartoon which casti- 
gated the tame deer hunt. 

Count Tolstoy, it goes without saying, was in full 
sympathy with us ; and so was that many-sided man 
of genius, M. Elisee Reclus, Famed as geographer, 
philosopher, and revolutionist, one is tempted to sum 
him up in the word " poet " ; for though he did not 
write in verse, he was a great master of language, 
unsurpassed in lucidity of thought and serene beauty 
of style. He was a vegetarian, and the grounds of 
his faith are set forth in a luminous essay on that 
subject which he wrote for the Humanitarian League. 
Very beautiful, too, is his article on " The Great Kin- 
ship," worthily translated by Edward Carpenter, in 
which he portrayed the primeval friendly relations 
of mankind with the lower races, and glanced at the 
still more wonderful possibilities of the future. His 
anarchist views prevented him from formally joining 


an association which aimed at legislative action ; but 
his help was always freely given. " I send you my 
small subscription," he wrote, " without any engage- 
ment for the future, not knowing beforehand if next 
year I will be penniless or not." I only once saw 
Elisee Reclus ; it was on the occasion of an anarchist 
meeting in wliich he took part, and he then impressed 
me as being the Grand Old Man without rival or 
peer ; never elsewhere have I seen such magnificent 
energy and enthusiasm combined with such lofty 
intellectual gifts. 

Ernest Crosby, another philosophic anarchist, was 
perhaps as little known, in proportion to his great 
merits, as any writer of our time. Elected as a Re- 
pubhcan to the Assembly of New York State, he had 
been appointed in 1889 to be a Judge of the International 
Court in Egypt ; but after serving there five years, 
his whole life was suddenly changed, owing largely to 
a book of Tolstoy's which fell into his hands : he 
resigned his post, and thenceforward passed judgment 
on no man but himself. A poet and thinker of high 
order, he stood up with unfaihng courage against the 
brute force of " imperialism " in its every form — the 
exploitation of one race by another race, of one class 
by another class, of the lower animals by mankind. 
It' is strange that his writings, especially the volume 
entitled Swords and Plowshares, should be almost 
unknown to Enghsh democrats, for they include many 
poems which touch a very high standard of artistic 
excellence, and a few that are gems of verse. " The 
Tyrant's Song," for instance, expresses in a few lines 
the strength of the Non-Resistant, and of the con- 
scientious objector to military service (" the man with 
folded arms ") ; yet during all the long controversy 
on that subject I never once saw it quoted or men- 
tioned. A superficial likeness between Crosby's un- 
rhymed poetry and that of Edward Carpenter led in 
one case to an odd error on the part of an American 


friend to whom I had vainly commended Carpenter's 
writings ; for in his joy over Swords and Plowshares 
he rashly jumped to the conclusion that " Ernest 
Crosbv " was a nom de plume for the other E.G. 
" I owe you a confession," he wrote. " Hitherto I 
have not been able to hnd in Carpenter anything that 
substantiated your admiration for him ; but now a 
flood of light is illuminating his Towards Democracy." 
I communicated this discovery to the poets concerned, 
and they were both charmed by it. 

Crosby was a tall handsome man, of almost military 
appearance, and this, too, was a cause of misappre- 
hension ; for an English friend whom he visited, and 
who knew him only through his writings, spent a 
long afternoon with him without even discovering that 
he was the Crosby whose poems he admired. 

Clarence Darrow, brother-in-law of Howard Moore 
and friend of Crosby, was another of our American 
comrades. He arrived one afternoon unexpectedly at 
the League's office, with a letter of introduction from 
Crosby. It is often difficult to know what to do with 
such letters in the presence of their bearer — whether 
to keep him waiting till the message has been deciphered, 
or to greet him without knowing fully who he is — but 
on this occasion a glance at Crosby's first three words 
was enough, for I saw : " This is Darrow," and I knew 
that Darrow was the author of " Crime and Criminals," 
an entirely delightful lecture, brimming over with 
humour and humanity, which had been delivered to 
the prisoners of the Chicago County Gaol ; and I had 
heard of him from Crosby as a brilliant and successful 
advocate, who had devoted his genius not to the quest 
of riches or fame, but to the cause of the poor and the 
accused. It was Darrow ; and as I looked into a face 
in which strength and tenderness were wonderfully 
mingled, the formaUties of first acquaintance seemed 
to be mercifully dispensed with, and I felt as if I had 
known him for years. Since that time Darrow has 


become widely known in America by his pleadings 
in the Haywood and other Labour trials, and more 
recently through the McNamara case. He is the 
author of several very remarkable works. His 
Farmington is a fascinating book of reminiscences, and 
An Eye for an Eye the most impressive story ever 
written on the subject of the death-penalty. 

Let me now pass to a verj' different champion of 
our cause. In connection with the Humanitarian, 
the Humane Review, and the League's publications 
in general, I received a number of letters from " Ouida," 
written mostly on that colossal notepaper which her 
handwriting required, some of them so big that the 
easiest way to read them was to pin them on the wall 
and then stand back as from a picture. Her large 
vehement nature showed itself not only in the passionate 
wording of these protests against cruelties of various 
kinds, but in her queer errors in detail, and in the 
splendid carelessness with which the envelopes were 
often addressed. One much-travelled wrapper, directed 
wrongly, and criss-crossed with postmarks and anno- 
tations, I preserved as a specimen of the tremendous 
tests to which the acumen of the Post Office was 
subjected by her. 

Ouida was often described as " fanatical ; " but 
though her views were certainly announced in rather 
unmeasured terms, I found her reasonable when any 
error or exaggeration was pointed out. Her sincerity 
was beyond question ; again and again she lent us 
the aid of her pen, and as the press was eager to accept 
her letters, she was a valuable ally, though through 
all that she wrote there ran that pessimistic tone which 
marked her whole attitude to modern life. Whatever 
her place in literature, she was a friend of the oppressed 
and a hater of oppression, and her name deserves to 
be gratefully remembered for the burning words which 
she spoke on behalf of those who could not speak for 


It was always a cause of pride to the Humanitarian 
League that its principles were broad enough to win 
the support of thoughtful and feeling men, without 
regard to differences of character or of opinion upon 
other subjects. A striking instance of this cathoHcity 
was seen on an occasion when the Rev. Hugh Price 
Hughes was lecturing before the League on the attitude 
of Nonconformists towards Humanitarianism, and Mr, 
G. W. Foote, editor of the Freethinker, and President 
of the National Secular Society, was present in the 
audience ; for Mr. Price Hughes and Mr. Foote had 
been engaged in a very bitter personal controversy 
concerning the alleged conversion of a certain " atheist 
shoemaker." When Mr. Foote rose to take part in 
the discussion, I noticed a sudden look of concern on 
the face of the lecturer, as he whispered to me : "Is 
that Mr. Foote ? " expecting doubtless a recrudescence 
of hostihties ; but on the neutral, or rather the univer- 
sal ground of humanitarianism, hostilities could not be ; 
and questions bearing on the subject of the lecture 
were courteously asked and answered by antagonists 
who, however sharply at variance on other questions, 
were in their humanity at one. 

Looking back over a large period of the League's 
work, I can think of no one who gave us more constant 
proofs of friendship than Mr. Foote ; and his testimony 
was the more welcome because of the very high and 
rare intellectual powers which he wielded. Few men 
of his time combined in equal degree such gifts of brain 
and heart. I have heard no public speaker who had 
the faculty of going so straight to the core of a subject 
— of recapturing and restoring, as it were, to the 
attention of an audience that jewel called " the point," 
on which all are supposed to be intent, but which 
seems so fatally liable to be mislaid. It was always 
an intellectual treat to hear him speak ; and though, 
owing to religious prejudices, his public reputation as 
thinker and writer was absurdly below his deserts 


he had the regard of George Meredith and others who 
were quaUfied to judge, and the enthusiastic support 
of his followers. All social reformers, whether they 
acknowledge it or not, owe a debt of gratitude to 
iconoclasts like Bradlaugh and Foote, who made free 
speech possible where it was hardly possible before. 

Mr. Passmore Edwards, renowned as a philanthropist, 
was another of our supporters ; indeed, he once proposed 
indirectly, through a friend, that he should be elected 
President of the League ; but this suggestion we did not 
entertain, because, though we valued his appreciation, 
we were anxious to keep clear of all ceremonious titles 
and " figure-heads " that might possibly compromise 
our freedom of action. Perhaps, too, we were a little 
piqued by an artless remark which Mr. Edwards had 
made to the Rev. J. Stratton, who was personally 
intimate with him : " It is for the League to do the 
small things, Mr. Stratton. Leave the great things 
to me." None the less, Mr, Edwards remained on 
most friendly terms with the League ; and when the 
Warden of the Passmore Edwards Settlement curtly 
requested us not to send him any more of our " cir- 
culars," Mr. Edwards expressed his surprise and regret, 
and added these words : " If the Passmore Edwards 
Settlement does as much good [as the Humanitarian 
League] in proportion to the means at its disposal, I 
shall be abundantly satisfied." 

Two other friends I must not leave unmentioned, 
Mr. W'. J. Stillman's delightful story of his pet squirrels, 
Billy and Hans, was the most notable of the many 
charming things written by him in praise of that 
humaneness which, to him, was identical with religion. 
A copy of the book which he gave me, and which I 
count among my treasures, bears marks of having 
been nibbled on the cover. " The signature of my 
Squirrels," Mr. Stillman had written there. I value 
no autograph more than that of Billy or Hans. 

Mr. R. W. Trine used often to visit the League when 



he was in London. He had an extraordinary aptitude 
for re-stating unpopular truths in a form palatable to 
the public ; and his Every Living Creature, which was 
practically a Humanitarian League treatise in a new 
garb, has had a wide circulation. Mr. Trine, many 
years ago, asked me to recommend him to a London 
publisher with a view to an Enghsh edition of his 
In Tune with the Infinite ; and I have it as a joke 
against my friend Mr. Ernest Bell that when I mentioned 
the proposal to him he at first looked grave and doubtful. 
Eventuall}^ he arranged matters with Mr. Trine, and 
I do not think his firm has had reason to regret it, 
for the book has sold by hundreds of thousands. 

Enough has been said to show that the humanitarian 
movement was not in want of able counsellors and 
alhes ; and there were not a few others of whom further 
mention would have to be made if this book were a 
history of the League. The support of such friends 
as Mr. Edward Carpenter, Mr. Bernard Shaw, Mrs. 
Besant, Mr. W. H. Hudson, and Mr. Herbert Burrows, 
was taken for granted. Sir Sydney Olivier, distin- 
guished alike as thinker and administrator, was at 
one time a member of the Committee ; a similar 
position was held for many years by Captain Alfred 
Carpenter, R.N. Even Old Etonians were not unknown 
in our ranks. Mr. Goldwin Smith paid tribute to 
the justice of our protests against both vivisection 
and the Eton hare-hunt, as may be seen in two letters 
which he wrote to me, now included in his published 
Correspondence. In Sir George Greenwood our Com- 
mittee had for years a champion both in ParHament 
and in the press, whose wide scholarship, armed with 
a keen and rapier-like humour, made many a dogmatical 
opponent regret his entry into the fray. Readers of 
that subtly reasoned book. The Faith of an Agnostic, 
will not need to be told that its author's philosophy 
is no mere negative creed, but one that on the ethical 
side finds expression in very real humanitarian feeling. 


Belonging to the younger generation, Mr. and Mrs. 
Douglas Deuchar were among the most valuable of 
the League's " discoveries " : rarely, I suppose, has 
a reform society had the aid of a more talented pair 
of writers. Mr. Deuchar has a genuine gift of verse 
which, if cultivated, should win him a high place among 
present-day poets : if anything finer and more dis- 
criminating has been written about Shelley than his 
sonnet, first printed in the Humane Review, I do not 
know it ; and in his small volume of poems. The Fool 
Next Door, published under a disguised name, there 
are other things not less good. Mrs. Deuchar, as Miss 
M. Little, earned distinction as a novelist of great 
power and insight : she, too, was a frequent contributor 
to the Humane Review and the Humanitarian. 

The Humane Review, which has been mentioned 
more than once in the foregoing pages, was a quarterly 
magazine, published by Mr. Ernest Bell, and edited 
by myself, during the first decade of the century. 
It was independent of the Humanitarian League, but 
was very useful as an organ in which the various subjects 
with which the League dealt could be discussed more 
fully than was possible in the brief space of its journal. 
The hst of contributors to the Review included the 
names of many well-known writers ; and if humani- 
tarians had cared sufficiently for their Hterature, it 
would have had a longer Hfe : that it survived for 
ten years was due to the fact that it was very generously 
supported by two excellent friends of our cause, Mr. 
and Mrs. Atherton Curtis. 

The Humanitarian League itself resembled the 
Humane Review in this, that its ordinary income 
was never sufficient to meet the yearly expenditure, 
and had it not been for the special donations of a few 
of its members, notably Mr. Ernest Bell, and some 
welcome bequests, its career would have closed long 
before 1919. The League ended, as it began, in its 
character of Forlorn Hope. We had the goodwill 


of the free-lances, not of the public or of the professions. 
I have already mentioned how the artists, with one 
or two important exceptions, stood aloof from what 
they doubtless regarded as a meddlesome agitation ; 
literary men, even those who agreed with us, were 
often afraid of incurring the name " humanitarian " ; 
schoolmasters looked askance at a society which con- 
demned the cane ; and reUgious folk were troubled 
because we did not begin our meetings with prayers 
(as was the fashion a quarter-century ago), and because 
none of the usual pietistic phrases were read in our 
journal. From the clergy we got little cheer ; though 
there were a few of them who did not hesitate to say 
personally with Dean Kitchin, that the League " was 
carrying out the best side of our Saviour's hfe and 
teaching." Mr. Price Hughes, in particular, was 
most courageous in his endorsement of an ethic which 
found little favour among his co-religionists. Arch- 
bishop Temple and some leaders of religious opinion 
personally signed our memorials against cruel sport ; 
and the Bishop of Hereford (Dr. Percival) introduced 
our Spurious Sports Bill in the House of Lords ; yet 
from Churchmen as a body our cause received no 
sympathy, and many of them were ranged against it. 

In the many protests against cruelty in its various 
forms, whether of judicial torture, or vivisection, or 
butchery, or blood-sport, the reproachful cry : " Where 
are the clergy ? " has frequently been raised, but 
raised by those who have forgotten, in each case, 
that there was nothing new in the failure of organized 
Religion to aid in the work of emancipation. 

I wish to be just in this matter. I know well from 
a long experience of work in an unpopular cause that 
humaneness is not a perquisite of any one sect or 
creed, whether affirmative or negative, rehgious or 
secular ; it springs up in the heart of all sorts of persons 
in all sorts of places, according to no law of which 
at present we have cognisance. In every age there 


have been men whose religion was identical with their 
humanity ; men like that true saint, John Woolman, 
whose gift, as has been well said, was love. St. Francis 
is the favourite instance of this type ; but sweet and 
gracious as he was, with his appeals to " brother wolf " 
and " sister swallows," his example has perhaps suffered 
somewhat by too frequent quotation, which raises the 
suspicion that the Church makes such constant use 
of him because its choice is but a limited one. Less 
known, and more impressive, is the story, related by 
Gibbon, of the Asiatic monk, Telemachus (a.d. 404), 
who, having dared to interrupt the gladiatorial shows 
by stepping into the arena to separate the combatants, 
was overwhelmed under a shower of stones. " But 
the madness of the people soon subsided ; they respected 
the memory of Telemachus, who had deserved the 
honour of martyrdom, and they submitted without 
a murmur to laws which abolished for ever the human 
sacrifices of the amphitheatre." Gibbon's comment is 
as follows : " Yet no church has been dedicated, no 
altar has been erected, to the only monk who died a 
martyr in the cause of humanity." 

Religion has never befriended the cause of humane- 
ness. Its monstrous doctrine of eternal punishment 
and the torture of the damned underlies much of the 
barbarity with which man has treated man ; and the 
deep division imagined by the Church between the 
human being, with his immortal soul, and the soulless 
" beasts," has been responsible for an incalculable 
sum of cruelty. 

I knew a Cathohc priest, of high repute, who excused- 
the Spanish bull-fight on the plea that it forms a 
safety-valve for men's savage instincts ; their barbarity 
goes out on the bull, and leaves them gentle and kindly 
in their domestic relations. It is, in fact, the story 
of the scape-goat repeated ; only the victim is not a 
goat, and he does not escape. Everywhere among 
the reUgious, except in a few individuals, one meets 


the persistent disbelief in the kinship of all sentient 
life : it is the religious, not the heretics, who are the 
true infidels and unbeUevers. A few years ago the 
Bishop of Oxford refused to sanction a prayer for 
the animals, because " it has never been the custom 
of the Church to pray for any other beings than those 
we think of as rational." 

I was told by the Rev. G. Ouseley, an old man whose 
heart and soul were in the work of alleviating the 
wrongs of animals, that he once approached all the 
ministers of reUgion in a large town on the south coast, 
in the hope of inducing them to discountenance the 
cruel treatment of cats. He met with httle encourage- 
ment ; and one of the parsons on whom he called, 
the most influential in the place, bluntly ridiculed 
the proposal. " One can't chuck a cat across the 
room," he said, "without some old woman making a 
fuss about it." Mr. Ouseley's only comment, when 
he repeated this remark, was : "A Christian clergy- 
man ! " 

The following is an extract from a letter written 
at Jerusalem by my friend Mr. Philip G. Peabody, 
who has travelled very widely, and has been a most 
careful observer of the treatment accorded to animals, 
especially to horses, in the various countries visited 
by him : 

" When I reflect that for centuries, and from all parts of 
the world, the most earnest Christians have been conxing here, 
and are still coming ; that often they remain here until they 
die ; that scores of great churches here are crowded with pious 
thousands ; and that not one human being of them, so far as 
I can see or can learn, has the slightest regard for the cruelties 
occurring hundreds of times daily, so atrocious that the most 
heartless ruffian in Boston would indignantly protest against 
them— what am I to think of the value of Christianity to make 
men good, tender, and kin<l ? " 

This opinion would seem to be corroborated by 
that of Dean Inge, who has described Man as "a 


bloodthirsty savage, not much changed since the 
first Stone Age." Unfortunately, the Gloomy Dean, 
whose oracular utterances are so valued by journalists 
as providing excellent material for " copy," does not 
himself extend any sympathy to those who are en- 
deavouring to mitigate the savageness which he 
deplores, and which his religion has failed to amend. 
Perhaps no better test of a people's civihzation 
could be found than in the manner of their rehgious 
festivals. What of our Christmas — the season when 
peace and goodwill take the form of a general massacre 
followed by a general gormandizing, with results not 
much less fatal to the merry-makers than to their 
victims ? One would think that a decent cannibal 
would be sickened by the shows of live cattle, fattened 
for the knife, and thousands of ghastly carcases hung 
in the butchers' shops ; but, on the contrary, the 
spectacle is everywhere regarded as a genial and festive 
one. The protests which the Humanitarian League 
used to make, in letters to ministers of rehgion and 
other persons of influence, met with hardly any response ; 
sometimes a press-writer would piously vindicate the 
sacred season, as " Dagonet " once did in the Referee : 
" We are, of course, from a certain point of view, 
barbarians in our butchery of beasts for the banquet. 
The spectacle of headless ammals hanging on hooks 
and dripping with blood is not aesthetic. But Nature 
is barbarous in her methods, and it is a law of Nature 
that one set of live things should live upon another set 
of live things. To kill and eat is a natural instinct. To 
denounce it as inhuman is not only absurd, but in a 
sense impious." Piety and pole-axe, it will be seen, go 
together, in the celebration of the Christian Saturnalia. 

Christmas comes but once a year : 

Let this our anguish soften ! 
For who could bide that season drear 
Of bogus mirth and gory cheer. 

If it came more often ? 


From Religion, then, as such, the League expected 
nothing and got nothing ; but it must be owned that 
its failure to obtain any substantial help from the 
Labour movement was something of a disappointment ; 
for though not a few leaders, men such as Keir Hardie, 
J. R. Clynes, J. R. Macdonald, Bruce Glasier, and George 
Lansbury, were good friends to our cause, the party, as 
a whole, showed httle interest in the reforms which we 
advocated, even in matters which specially concerned 
the working classes, such as the Vagrancy Act, the Game 
Laws, and the use of the cane in Board Schools. As 
for the non-humans, it is a curious fact that while the 
National Secular Society includes among its immediate 
practical objects a more humane treatment of animals, 
and their legal protection against cruelty, the Labour 
movement, like the Churches, has not cared to widen 
its outlook even to the extent of demanding better 
conditions for the more highly organized domestic 

I have often thought that Walter Crane's cartoon, 
" The Triumph of Labour," has a deep esoteric meaning, 
though perhaps not intended by its author. Every 
socialist knows the picture — a May-day procession, 
in which a number of working-folk are riding to the 
festival in a large wain, with a brave flutter of flags 
and banners, and supporting above them, with up- 
turned palms, a ponderous-looking globe on which 
is inscribed " The Sohdarity of Labour " — the whole 
party being drawn by two sturdy Oxen, the true heroes 
of the scene, who must be wishing the solidarity of 
labour were a little less solid, for it would appear that 
those heedless merry-makers ought to be prosecuted 
for overloading their faithful friends. The Triumph 
of Labour seems a fit title for the scene, but in a sense 
which democrats would do well to lay to heart. Do 
not horses and other " beasts of burden " deserve 
their share of citizenship ? Centuries hence, perhaps, 
some learned antiquarian will reconstruct, from such 


anatomical data as may be procurable, the gaunt, 
misshapen, pitiable figure of our now vanishing cab- 
horse, and a more civilized posterity will shudder 
at the sight of what we still regard as a legitimate 
agent in locomotion. 

Such, then, was the position of our Forlorn Hope 
in the years that saw the menace of Armageddon 
looming larger. Like every one else, humanitarians 
underrated the vastness of the catastrophe towards 
which the world was drifting ; but some at least saw 
the madness of the scaremongers who were persistently 
fostering in their respective nations the spirit of hatred ; 
and five years before the crash came it was pointed 
out in the Humanitarian that a terrible war was, 
consciously or unconsciously, the aim and end of 
the outcry that was being raised about the wicked 
designs of Germany, to the concealment of the more 
important fact that every nation's worst enemies are 
the quarrelsome or interested persons within its own 
borders, who would involve two naturally friendly 
peoples in a foolish and fratricidal strife. 

We knew too well, from the lessons of the Boer War, 
what sort of folk some of tliese were, who, themselves 
without the least intention of fighting, had stirred 
up such warlike passions in the Yellow Press. I had 
been acquainted with some of them at that time, 
and had not forgotten how, meeting one such firebrand, 
I noticed with surprise that he had become facially, 
as well as journalisticall}', yellow, his cheeks having 
assumed an ochreous hue since I had seen him a day 
or two before. He confided his secret to me. He 
had once enlisted in the army ; and having, as he 
supposed, been discharged, was now stupefied by 
receiving a notice to rejoin his regiment. And there 
he sat, wondering how he could meet his country's 
call, a yellow journalist indeed : I saw him in his 
true colours that day. 

But even thus, though we suspected, with a great 


eruption in prospect, that to pursue our humanitarian 
work was but to cultivate the slopes of a volcano, 
we did not at all guess the magnitude of the coming 
disaster. It might bring a return, we feared, to the 
ethics of, say, the Middle Ages ; our countrymen's 
innate savagery would be rather more openly and 
avowedly practised— that would be all. They would 
be like the troupe of monkeys who, having been trained 
to go through their performance with grave and sedate 
demeanour, were loosed suddenly, by the flinging of 
a handful of nuts, into all their native lawlessness. 
What we did not anticipate — the very thing that 
happened — was that the atavism aroused by such a 
conflict would bring to Hght much more aboriginal 
instincts than those of a few centuries back ; that it 
was not the medieval man who was being summoned 
from the vasty deep, but the prehistoric troglodyte, 
or Cave-Man, who, far from having become extinct, 
as was fondly supposed, still survived in each and all 
of us, awaiting his chance of resurrection. 



I scan him now. 
Beastlier than any phantom of his kind 
That ever butted his rough brother-brute 
For lust or lusty blood or provender. 


It is a subject of speculation among zoologists whether 
the swamps and forests of Central Africa may still 
harbour some surviving Dinosaur, or Brontosaur, a 
gigantic dragon-hke monster, half-elephant, half-reptile, 
a relic of a far bygone age. The thought is thrilling, 
though the hope is probably doomed to disappoint- 
ment. What is more certain is that not less marvellous 
prodigies may be studied, by those naturahsts who 
have the eyes to see them, much nearer home ; for 
though Africa has been truly called a wonderful museum, 
it cannot compare in that respect with the human 
mind, a repository that still teems with griffins and 
gorgons, centaurs and chimaeras, not less real because 
they are not creatures of flesh and blood. Two thousand 
years ago it was shown by the Roman poet Lucretius 
that what mortals had to fear was not such fabled 
pests as the Nemean Hon, the Arcadian boar, or the 
Cretan bull, but the much more terrible in-dweUing 
monsters of the mind. In hke manner, it was from 
some hidden mental recesses that there emerged that 
immemorial savage, the Cave-Man, who, released by 
the great upheaval of the war, was sighted by many 



eye-witnesses, on many occasions, during the five- 
years' carnival of Hatred.^ 

Some day, perhaps, a true history of the war will 
be written, and it will then be made plain how such 
conflict had been rendered all but inevitable by the 
ambitious schemes and machinations not of one Empire, 
but of several ; by the piUng up of huge armaments 
under the pretence of insuring peace ; by the greed 
of commerciaHsts ; and by the spirit of jealousy and 
suspicion dehberately created by reckless speakers 
and writers on both sides ; further, how, when the 
crisis arrived, the working-classes in all the nations 
concerned were bluffed and cajoled into a contest 
which to their interests was certain in any event to 
be ruinous. Then, the flame once lit, there followed 
in this country the clever engineering of enforced 
military service, rendered possible by the preceding 
Registration Act (disguised under the pretence of a 
quite different purpose), and by a number of illusory 
pledges and promises for the protection of conscientious 
objectors to warfare. The whole story, faithfully told, 
will be a long record of violence and trickery masquer- 
ading as " patriotism " ; but what I am concerned 
with here is less the war itself than the brutal spirit 
of hatred and persecution which the war engendered. 

As a single instance of Cave-Man's ferocity, take 
the ill-treatment of " enemy ahens " by non-combatants, 
who, themselves running no personal risks, turned 
their insensate malice against helpless foreigners who 
had every claim to a generous nation's protection. 
" They are an accursed race," said a typical speaker 

' Sec the address on " War and Sublimation," given by Dr. 
E. Jones, in the subsection of Psychology, at the meetings of 
the British Association, September ii, 1915. In war, he pointed 
out. impulses were noticed which apparently did not exist 
in p«ace, except in the criminal classes. Primitive tendencies 
rcvcr disappeared from existence ; they only vanished from 
view by being repressed and buried in the unconscious mind. 


at one of the meetings held in London. " Intern 
them all, or rather leave out the «, and inter them 
all. Let the name ' German ' be handed down to 
posterit}', and be known to the historian as everything 
that was bestial, damnable, and abominable." These 
would be words of criminal lunacy — nothing less — 
in the mouth of civihzed beings, yet they are merely 
examples of things said on innumerable occasions 
in every part of our land. Great masses of Englishmen 
were, for the time, in a mental state lower than that of 
remote tribes whom we regard as Bushmen and cannibals. 
Perhaps the most curious feature of this orgie of 
patriotic Hatred was its artificial nature : it was at 
home, not at the front, that it flourished ; and if those 
who indulged in it had been sane enough to read even 
the war-news with intelligence, they would there have 
found ample disproof of their denunciations. Half a 
dozen hues from one of Mr. Phihp Gibbs's descriptions 
would have put their ravings to shame. " Some of 
them [Enghsh wounded] were helped down by German 
prisoners, and it was queer to see one of our men with 
his arms round the necks of two Germans, German 
wounded, helped down by our men less hurt than 
they, walked in the same way, with their arms round 
the necks of our men ; and sometimes an Enghsh 
soldier and a German soldier came along together 
very slowl3^ arm in arm, like old cronies." Not much 
patriotic Hatred there. 

Nor, of course, was it only the wounded, companions 
in misfortune, who thus forgot their enmit}^ ; for the 
practice of " fraternizing " sprang up to such an e.xtent 
at the first Christmas of the war, that it was afterwards 
prohibited. " They gave us cigars and cigarettes and 
toffee," wrote an English soldier who took part in 
this parley with the accursed race, " and they told 
us that they didn't want to fight, but they had to. 
We were with them about an hour, and the officers 
couldn't make head or tail of it." To this a mihtary 


correspondent adds : " There is more bitterness against 
the Germans among the French soldiers than among 
the British, who as a rule show no bitterness at all, 
but the general spirit of the French army is much 
less bitter than that of many civiUans." It is an 
interesting psychological fact that it was the civihans, 
the do-nothings, who made Hatred into a cult. 

And what a beggarly, despicable sort of virulence 
it was ! For a genuine hatred there is at least some- 
thing to be said ; but this spurious manufactured 
malevolence, invented by yellow journalists, and fostered 
by Government placards, was a mere poison-gas of 
words, a thing without substance, yet with power to 
corrupt and vitiate the minds of all who succumbed 
to it. Men wrangled, as in ^Esop's fable, not over 
the ass, but over the shadow of the ass. Theirs was, 
in Coleridge's words : 

A wild and dreamlike trade of blood and guile, 
Too foolish for a tear, too wicked for a smile. 

Yet it was difficult not to smile at it. The Niagara 
of nonsense that the war let loose — the war that was 
supposed to be " making people think " — was almost 
as laughable as the war itself was tragic ; and satirists * 
there were who, like Juvenal, found it impossible to 
keep a grave countenance under such provocation. 
Hereafter, no doubt, smiles and tears will be freely 
mingled, when posterity realizes, for example, what 
tragi-comic part was played by " the scrap of paper," 
that emblem of national adherence to obligations of 
honour ; by the concern felt among the greater nations 
for the interests of the smaller ; or by the justification 
of the latest war as " the war to end war." a What 

« Cf. Mr. Edward Gamett's Papa's War, and Other Satires, 
George Allen & Unwin. Ld., 1918. 

» " We were told that the war was to end war, but it was 
not : it did not and it could not." So said Field-Marshal Sir 
Henry Wilson. May 18, 1920; at which date it was no longer 
necessary to keep up the illusion. 


a vast amount of material, too, will be available for 
an illustrated book of humour, when some wag of the 
future shall collect and reprint the series of official 
war-posters, including, of course, those printed as 
advertisements of the war-loans (the melancholy 
lady, reminded that " Old Age must Come," and 
the rest of them), and when it shall be recollected 
that these amazing absurdities could really influence 
the public ! As if militarism in itself were not comical 
enough, its eulogists succeeded in making it still 
more ridiculous by their cartoons. As for the blind 
creduhty which the war-fever inspired, the legend of 
the Angels of Mons will stand for age-long remem- 

Parturiunt mures, nascetur ridiculus Mons. 

This credulity begins, like charity, at home. When- 
ever a war breaks out, there is much talk of the dis- 
ingenuousness of " enemy " writers ; but the sophisms 
which are really perilous to each country are those 
of native growth — those which lurk deep in the minds 
of its own people, ready, when the season summons 
them, to spring up to what Sydney Smith called " the 
full bloom of their imbecihty." That egregious maxim, 
si vispacem para helium, " If you wish for peace, prepare 
for war," is now somewhat discredited ; but it did 
its " bit " in causing the war, and after a temporary 
retirement will doubtless be brought forward again 
when circumstances are more favourable. It is perhaps 
as silly a saying as any invented by the folly of man. 
Imagine a ward of lunatics, who, having got their 
keepers under lock and key by a reversal of position 
such as that described in one of Poe's fantastic stories, 
should proceed to safeguard peace by arming themselves 
with pokers and legs of tables. For a time this 
adoption of the para helium principle might postpone 
hostilities ; but even lunatics would be wasting time 
and temper in thus standing idly arrayed, and it is 


certain that sooner or later that madhouse would 
reaUze its Armageddon. For opportunity in the long 
run begets action ; and whether you put a poker 
into a lunatic's hand, or a sword into a soldier's, the 
result will eventually be the same. 

Or perhaps we are told that war is " a great natural 
outburst," mysterious in its origin, beyond human 
control : the creed expressed in Wordsworth's famous 
assertion that carnage is " God's daughter." Could 
any superstition be grosser ? There is nothing mys- 
terious or cataclysmic in the outbreak of modern 
wars. Antipathies and rivalries of nations there are, 
as of individuals, and of course if these are cherished 
they will burst into flame ; but it is equally true that 
if they are wisely discountenanced and repressed they 
will finally subside. We do not excuse an individual 
who pleads his jealousy, his passion, his thirst for 
revenge as a reason for committing an assault, though 
personal crime is just as much an " outbreak " as 
war is. There seems to be an idea that when such 
passions exist it is better for them to " come out." 
On the contrary, the only hope for mankind is that 
such savage survivals should not come out, but that 
" the ape and tiger " should be steadily repressed 
until they die. 

But " this war was justifiable." In every nation 
the belief prevails that, though war in general is to 
be deprecated, any particular contest in which they 
may be engaged is righteous, inevitable, one of pure 
self-defence, in their own words, " forced on us." Even 
if this were true, in some instances, in bygone years 
when international relations were less complex, and 
when it was possible for two countries to quarrel and 
" fight it out," like schoolboys, without inflicting any 
widespread injury upon others, it is wholly different 
now ; for the calamity caused by a modern war is 
so great that it hardly matters, to the world at large, 
who, in schoolboy phrase, " began it." It takes two 


to make a quarrel ; and the two are jointly respon- 
sible for the disaster that their quarrel entails upon 

The more one looks into these fallacies about fighting 
— and their number is legion — one is compelled to 
beheve that the spirit which chiefly underlies the 
tendencies to war, apart from the direct incentive 
of commercial greed, is one of Fear. Hatred is more 
obvious, but it is fear which is at the bottom of the 
hatred. This alone can account for the extraordinary 
shortsightedness with which all freedom, both of speech 
and of action, is trampled on, when a war is once com- 
menced. In such circumstances, society at once reverts, 
in its panic alarm for its own safety, to what may 
be called the Ethics of the Pack. Of all the absurd 
charges levelled against those objectors to miHtary 
service who refused to sacrifice their own principles 
to other persons' ideas of patriotism, the quaintest 
was that of " cowardice " ; for, with all respect to 
the very real physical bravery of those who fought, 
it must be said that the highest courage shown during 
the war was that of the persons who were denounced 
and ridiculed as cravens. It was a moment when it 
required much more boldness to object than to consent ; 
one of those crises to which the famous hues of 
Marvell arc applicable : 

When the sword glitters o'er the judge's head. 
And fear has coward churchmen silenced, 
Then is the poet's time ; 'tis then he draws. 
And single fights forsaken virtue's cause. 

The despised " Conchie " was, in truth, the hero and 
poet of the occasion. 

Again, it must be owing to fear, above all other 
impulses, that when a war is over, the conquerors, 
instead of offering generous terms — a course which 
would be at least as much to their own advantage 
as to that of the vanguished — enforce hard and ruinous 



conditions which rob them of a permanent peace. 
This they do from what Leigh Hunt calls 

The consciousness of strength in enemies, 
Who must be strain 'd upon, or else they rise. 

It was this that caused the Germans, fifty years ago, 
to dictate at Paris those shameful terms which have 
now been their own undoing ; and it was this which 
caused the French, in their hour of victory, to imitate 
the worst blunders of their enemies. 

We are but a world of savages, or we should see 
that in international as in personal affairs generosity 
is much more mighty than vengeance. Some years 
before the war there appeared in the Daily News an 
article by its Paris correspondent, the late Mr. J. F. 
Macdonald, which even at the time was very impressive, 
and which now, as one looks back over the horrors 
of the war, has still greater and more melancholy 
significance. He called it " A Dream." He pointed 
out that the sole obstacle to a friendly relationship 
between France and Germany, and the chief peril to 
European peace, was the lost provinces of Alsace- 

" During my fifteen years' residence in France I have often 
dreamt a dream — so audacious, so quixotic, so starthng, that 
I can hardly put it down on paper. It was that the German 
Emperor restored the provinces of Alsace-Lorraine to France. 
. . . What a thrill throughout the world, what a heroic and 
imperishable place in history for the German Emperor, were 
the centenary of Waterloo to be commemorated by the generous, 
the magnificent release of Alsace-Lorraine." 

A dream, indeed, and of a kind which at present flits 
through the ivory gate ; but a true dream in the sense 
that it conveyed a great psychological fact, and of 
the sort which will yet have to be fulfilled, if ever 
the world is to become a fit place for civihzed beings 
— not to mention " heroes " — to dwell in. 

But let us return to reahties and to the Cave-Man. 


However irrational the Hatred which surged up in 
so many hearts, it nevertheless had power to trample 
every humane principle under foot. That gorilla- 
like visage which looked out at us from numbers of 
human faces meant that our humanitarian cause, if 
not killed or mortally injured by the war-spirit, was 
at least, in miUtary parlance, " interned." What we 
were advocating was a more sympathetic conduct of 
life with regard to both our human and our non-human 
fellow-beings, and what we mainly reUed on, and aimed 
at developing by the aid of reason, was the com- 
passionate instinct which cannot view any suffering 
unmoved. We had advanced to a point where some 
sort of reprobation, however inadequate, was beginning 
to be felt for certain barbarous practices ; and though 
we could not claim to have done more than curb the 
ferocious spirit of cruelty that had come down to us 
from the past, it was at least some satisfaction that 
limits were beginning to be imposed on it. What 
result, then, was inevitable, when, in a considerable 
area of the world, all such ethical restrictions were 
suddenly and completely withdrawn, and mankind 
was exhorted to take a deep draught of aboriginal 
savagery ? 

Terrible as are the wrongs that countless human 
beings have to suffer, when great military despotisms 
are adjusting by the sword their " balance of power," 
and exhibiting their entire lack of balance of mind, 
still more terrible are the cruelties inflicted on the 
innocent non-human races whose fate it is to be involved 
in the internecine battles of men. In a message 
addressed to the German people, the Kaiser was 
reported to have said : " We shall resist to the last 
breath of man and of liorse." As if the horse could 
enjoy the comforts of " patriotism," and were not 
ruthlessly sacrificed, hke a mere machine, for a quarrel 
in which he had neither lot nor part ! More suffering 
is caused to animals in a day of war than in a year 


of peace ; and so long as wars last it is idle to suppose 
that a humane treatment of animals can be secured. 
Do the opponents of blood-sports, of butchery, of vivi- 
section, wonder at the obstinate continuance of those 
evils ? Let them consider what goes on (blessed by 
bishops) in warfare, and they need not wonder any 

" Do men gather figs from thistles ? " It seemed 
as if some of our sages expected men to do so, if one 
might judge from the anticipations of a regenerated 
Europe that was to arise after the close of the war ! 
Alreadj' we see the vanity of such prophesyings — of 
making a sanguinary struggle the foundation of idealistic 
hopes. Not all the wisdom of all the prophets can 
alter the fact that like breeds like, that savage methods 
perpetuate savage methods, that evil cannot be sup- 
pressed by evil, nor one kind of militarism extinguished 
by another kind of militarism. Hell, we say, is paved 
with good intentions ; but those who assumed that 
the converse was true, and that the pathway of their 
good intentions could be paved with hell, have been 
woefully disillusioned by the event. 

There is a too easy and sanguine expectation of 
" good coming out of evil." People talked as if 
Armageddon would naturally be followed by the 
millennium. But history shows that modern wars 
leave periods of exhaustion and repression. " Re- 
construction " is a phrase now much in vogue, but 
reconstruction is not progress. If two neighbouring 
families, or several famihes, quarrel and pull down 
each others' houses, there will certainly have to be 
" reconstruction " ; but it will be a long time before 
they are even as well off as they were before. So it 
is with nations. The question is : Does war quicken 
men's sympathies or deaden them ? To some extent, 
both, according to the difference in their temperaments ; 
but it is to be feared that those who are quickened 
by experience of war to hatred of war are but a small 


minority, compared with those who are rendered more 

One great obstacle to the discontinuance of bloodshed 
is the incorrigible sentimentality with which war has 
always been regarded by mankind. " Who was it," 
exclaimed the poet TibuUus, " that first invented the 
dreadful sword ? How savage, how truly steel-hearted 
was he ! " But surely the reproach is less deserved 
by the early barbarian who had the ingenuity to dis- 
cover an improved method of destruction than by 
the so-called civilized persons who, for the sake of 
lucre, prolong such inventions long after the date 
when they should have been abandoned. " War is 
hell," men say, and continue to accept it as inevitable. 
But if war is hell, who but men themselves are the 
fiends that people it ? 

In like manner the outbreak of war is often called 
" a relapse into barbarism," but rather it is a proof 
that we have never emerged from barbarism at all ; 
and the knowledge of that fact is the only rational 
solace that can be found, when we see the chief nations 
of Europe flying at each other's throats. For if this 
were a civilized age, the prospect would be without 
hope ; but seeing that we are not civilized — that as 
yet we have only distant glimpses of civilization — 
we can still have faith in the future. For the present, 
looking at the hideous lessons of the war, we must 
admit that the growth of a humaner sentiment has 
been indefinitely retarded. We cannot advance at 
the same time on the path of militarism and of humane- 
ness : we shall have to make up our minds, when 
the fit of savagery has spent itself, which of the two 
diverging paths we are to follow. And the moral 
of the war for social reformers will perhaps be this : 
that it is not sufficient to condemn the barbarities of 
warfare alone, as our pacifists have too often done. 
The civiUzed spirit can only be developed by a consistent 
protest against all forms of cruelty and oppression ; 


it is only by cultivating a whole-minded reverence for 
the rights of all our fellow-beings that we shall rid 
ourselves of that inheritance of selfish callousness of 
which the mihtarist and imperialist mania is a part.^ 
Is it not time that we sent the Cave-Man back to 
his den — henceforth to be his sepulchre — and buried 
for ever that infernal spirit of Hatred which he brought 
with him from the pit ? 

« If any doubt existed as to the national insensibility caused 
by the war, it must have been dispelled by the comparative 
indifference with which the news of the Amritsar massacre — 
a more terrible atrocity than any for which German commanders 
were responsible — was received in this country. 



And Death and Love are yet contending for their prey. 


To look back over a long stretch of years, or to re- 
read the annals of a Society with which one has been 
closely associated, is to be reminded of the loss of 
many cherished comrades and friends. During the 
past decade, especially, there are few households 
that have not become more intimately associated 
with Death ; but even in this matter, it would seem, 
the war, far from " making men think," has thrown 
them back more and more on the ancient substitutes 
for thought, and on consolations which only console 
when they are quite uncritically accepted. 

For though the ceaseless conflict between death 
and love has brought to the aid of mankind in this 
age, as in all ages, a host of comforters who, whether 
by rehgion or by philosophy, have made light of the 
terrors of the grave, they have as yet failed to supply 
the solace for which mankind has long looked and is 
still looking. They profess to remove " the sting of 
death," but leave its real bitterness — the sundering of 
lover from lover, friend from friend — unmitigated 
and untouched. 

Death is the eternal foe of love ; and it is just 
because it is the foe of love, not only because it is 
the foe of life, that it is properly and naturally dreaded. 
Its sting hes not in the mortahty, but in the separation. 



A lover, a friend, a relative, grieves, not because the 
loved one is mortal, still less because he himself is 
mortal, but because they two will meet no more 
in the relation in which they have stood to each 

They told me, Heraclitus, they told me you were dead. 
They brought me bitter news to hear, and bitter tears to shed. 
I wept as I remembered how often you and I 
Had tired the sun with talking, and sent him down the sky. 

It is useless to surmise, or to assert, that the spirit 
passes, after death, into other spheres of activity or 
of happiness ; for, even if there were proof of this, 
it would in no way lessen the grief of those who are 
bereaved of the actual. It was long ago pointed out 
by Lucretius that even a renewed physical life would 
in any case be so different from the present life that 
it could not be justly regarded as in any true sense 
a continuance of it : 

Nor yet, if time our scattered dust re-blend. 

And after death upbuild the flesh again — 

Yea, and our light of life arise re-lit — 

Can such new birth concern the Self one whit. 

When once dark death has severed memory's chain ? » 

In like manner a future spiritual life could never com- 
pensate for the severance of love in this life ; for it 
is of the very essence of love to desire, not similar 
things, nor as good things, nor even better things, 
but the same things. As Richard Jefferies wrote : 
" I do not want change ; I want the same old and 
loved things, the same wild flowers, the same trees 
and soft ash-green : the turtle-doves, the blackbirds, 
. . . and I want them in the same place." 

And what is true of the nature-lover is not less true 
of the human-lover, be he parent, or brother, or husband, 
or friend. It is not a solace but a mockery of such 

« De Rerum Naturd, iii, 847-850, as translated in Treasures 
of Lucretius. 


passionate affection to assert that it can be compen- 
sated for its disruption in the present by a new but 
changed condition in the future. A recognition of 
this truth may be seen in Thomas Hardy's poem, 
" He Prefers Her Earthly " : 

. . . Well, shall I say it plain ? 
I would not have you thus and there. 
But still would grieve on, missing you, still feature 
You as the one you were. 

But this, it may be said, is to set love in rebellion 
against not death only, but the very laws of life. There 
is truth in such censure ; and wisest is he who can 
so reconcile his longings with his destiny as to know 
enough of the sweetness of love without too much 
of the bitterness of regret. Perhaps, in some fairer 
society of a future age, when love is more generally 
shared, the sting of death will be less acute ; but 
what centuries have yet to pass before that " Golden 
City " of which John Barlas sang can be realized ? 

There gorgeous Plato's spirit 
Hangs brooding like a dove. 

And all men born inherit 
Love free as gods above ; 

There each one is to other 

A sister or a brother, 

A father or a mother, 
A lover or a love. 

Meantime it would almost seem that to the religious 
folk who assume a perpetuity of individual life, the 
thought of death sometimes becomes less solemn, less 
sacred, than it is to those who have no supernatural 
beliefs. The easy assurance of immortality to which 
friends who are writing letters of condolence to a 
mourner too often have recourse, is usually a sign 
less of sympathy than of the lack of it ; for it is not 
sympathetic to repeat ancient formulas in face of a 
present and very real grief ; indeed, it is in many cases 


an impertinence, when it is done without any regard 
to the views of the person to whom such solace is 
addressed. Among the professional ghouls who watch 
the death-notices in the papers, none, perhaps, are 
more callous — not even the would-be buyers of old 
clothes or artificial teeth — than the pious busybodies 
who intrude on homes of sorrow with their vacant 
tracts and booklets. Nay, worse : nowadays mourners 
are lucky if some spiritist acquaintance does not have 
a beatific vision of the lost one ; for the dead seem 
to be regarded as a lawful prey by any one who sees 
visions and dreams dreams, and who is determined 
to call them as witnesses that there is no reality in 
the most stringent ordinances of nature : 

Stern law of every mortal lot ; 

Which man, proud man, finds hard to bear. 
And builds himself I know not what 

Of second life I know not where. 

With much appropriateness did Matthew Arnold 
introduce his trenchant rebuke of human arrogance 
into a poem on the grave of a dog ; for mankind has 
neither right nor reason to presume for itself an here- 
after which it denies to humbler fellow-beings who 
share at least the ability to suffer and to love. Can 
any one, not a mere barbarian, who has watched the 
death of an animal whom he loved, and by whom he 
was himself loved with that faithful affection which 
is never withheld when it is merited, dare to doubt 
that the conditions of hfe and death are essentially the 
same for human and for non-human ? Is an animal's 
death one whit less poignant in remembrance than 
that of one's dearest human friend ? Must it not 
remain with us as ineffaceably ? 

That individual love should resent the thraldom of 
death may be unreasonable ; but it is useless to ignore 
the fact of such resentment, or to proffer consolations 
which can neither convince nor console. From the 


earliest times the poets, above all others, have borne 
witness to love's protest. Perhaps the most moving 
lyric in Roman literature is that short elegy written 
by Catullus at his brother's grave, full of a deep passion 
which can hardly be conveyed in another tongue. 

Borne far o'er many lands, o'er n\any seas. 

On this sad service, brother, have I sped. 
To proffer thee death's last solemnities. 

And greet, though words be vain, the silent dead : 
For thou art lost, so cruel fate decrees ; 

Ah, brother, from my sight untimely fied ! 
Yet take these gifts, ordained in bygone years 

For mournful dues when funeral rites befell ; 
Take them, all streaming with a brother's tears : 

And thus, for evermore — hail and farewell ! 

A similar cry is heard in that famous passage of Virgil, 
where the bereaved Orpheus refuses to be comforted 
for the loss of his Eurydice. And nearly two thousand 
years later we find Wordsworth, a Christian poet, 
echoing the same lamentation : 

. . . When I stood forlorn. 
Knowing my heart's best treasure was no more ; 
That neither present time, nor years unborn. 
Could to my sight that heavenly face restore. 

Mark the reference to " years unborn." Wordsworth 
was a believer in immortality ; but immortality itself 
cannot restore what is past and gone. All the sages 
and seers and prophets, that have given mankind the 
benefit of their wisdom since the world began, have 
so far failed to provide the least crumb of comfort 
for the ravages of death, or to explain why love should 
be for ever built up to be for ever overthrown, and why 
union should always be followed by disseverance. 

There may, of course, be a solution of this tragedy 
hereafter to be discovered by mankind ; all that we 
know is that, as yet, no human being has found the 
clue to the mystery, or, if he has found it, has vouch- 


safed the knowledge to his fellow-mortals. For we 
must dismiss as idle the assertion that such things 
cannot be communicated in words. Anything that is 
apprehended by the mind can be expressed by the 
mouth — not adequately, perhaps, yet still, in some 
measure, expressed — and the reason why this greatest 
of secrets has never been conveyed is that, as yet, 
it has never been apprehended. 

It is, doubtless, this lack of any real knowledge, of 
any genuine consolation, that drives mankind to seek 
refuge in the more primitive superstitions. Something 
more definite, more tangible, is not unnaturally desired ; 
and therefore men turn to the assurances of what is 
called spiritualism — the refusal to believe that death, 
in the accepted sense, has taken place at all. This 
creed is at least free from the vagueness of the ordinary 
religious view of death. It is small comfort to be 
told that a lost friend is sitting transfigured, harp in 
hand, in some skiey mansion of the blest ; but it 
might mitigate the bereavement of some mourners 
(not all) to converse with their lost one, and to learn 
that he exists in much the same manner, and with 
the same affections as before. Some who " prefer 
him earthly " are less Hkely to be disappointed in 
spirituaHsm than in any other philosophy ; the danger 
is rather that they should find him too earthly — enjoying 
a cigarette, perhaps, as in a case mentioned in recent 
revelations of the spirit-Hfe. This is literalness with a 
vengeance ; but however ludicrous and incredible it 
may be, it is not — from the comforter's point of view 
— meaningless ; whereas it is unmeaning to tell a 
mourner that the loved one is not lost, to him, when 
the whole environment and fabric of their love are 
shattered and destroyed. 

Is there, then — pending such fuller knowledge as 
mankind may hereafter gain — no present comfort for 
death's tyranny ? I have spoken of the poets as 
the champions of love against death ; and it is perhaps 


in poetry, the poetry of love and death, that the 
best solace will be found — in that open-eyed and quite 
rational view of the struggle, which does not deny 
the reality of death, but asserts the reahty of love. 
It is amusing to hear those who do not accept the 
orthodox creed as regards an after-life described as 
cold " materialists " and " sceptics." For who have 
written most loftily, most spiritually, about death and 
the great emotions that are impUed in the word — 
the religionists and " spiritualists," who pretend to 
a mystic knowledge, or the great free-thinking poets, 
from the time of Lucretius to the time of Shelley and 
James Thomson ? Can any " spiritualist " poetry 
match the great subUme passages of the De Rerum 
Naturd, or, to come to our own age, of The City of 
Dreadful Night ? 

It is to the poets, then, not to the dogmatists, that 
we must look ior solace ; for, where knowledge is 
still unattainable, an aspiration is wiser than an asser- 
tion, and the theme of death is one which can be far 
better treated ideaUstically than as a matter of doctrine. 
In poetry, as nowhere else, can be expressed those 
manifold moods, and half-moods, in which the noblest 
human minds have sought relief when confronted by 
this mighty problem ; and far more soothing than any 
unsubstantial promises of futurity is the charm that 
is felt in the magic of beautiful verse. In Milton's 

words ; 

... I was all ear. 
And took in strains that might create a soul 
Under the ribs of death. 

At the present time, when a great war has brought 
bereavement into so many homes, and when super- 
stition is reaping its harvest among the sad and broken 
lives that are everywhere around us, how can rational 
men do better than recall as many minds as possible 
from the false teachers to the true, from the priests, 
who claim a knowledge which they do not possess, to 


the poets, in whom, as Shelley said, there is " the power 
of communicating and receiving intense and im- 
passioned conceptions respecting man and nature " ? 
And the testimony of the poets cannot be mistaken ; 
their first word and their last word is Love. Whether 
it be Cowper, gazing on his mother's portrait ; or 
Burns, lamenting his Highland Mary ; or Wordsworth, 
in his elegies for Lucy ; or Shelley, in the raptures of 
his " Adonais " ; or pessimists, such as Edgar Poe 
and James Thomson, to whom love was the " sole 
star of hght in infinite black despair " — the lesson 
that we learn from them is the same. For death 
there is no solace but in love ; it is to love's name 
that the human heart must cUng. 

Ah ! let none other alien spell soe'er. 

But only the one Hope's one name be there. 

Not less, nor more, but even that word alone ! 



Comprendre c'est Pardonner. — Madame de Stael. 

Are we, then, a civilized people ? Has the Man of 
to-day, still living by bloodshed, still striving to grow 
rich at the expense of his neighbour, still using torture 
in punishment, still seeking sport in destruction, still 
waging fratricidal wars, and, while making a hell 
on earth, claiming for himself an eternal heaven here- 
after — has this selfish, predatory being arrived at a 
state of " civilization " ? 

It may be said, perhaps, that as the ideal is always 
in advance of the actual, and it is easy to show that 
any present stage of society falls far short of what 
it might be and ought to be, the distinction between 
savagery and civilization is a matter of names. This, 
in one sense, is true ; but it is also true that names 
are of great importance as reacting upon conduct, 
and that to use flattering titles as a veil for cruel 
practices gives permanence to evils that otherwise 
would not be permitted. Our present self-satisfaction 
in what we are pleased to call our civilization is 
a very serious obstacle to improvement. 

In this manner euphemism plays a great part in 
language ; for just as the Greeks used gracious terms 
to denote mahgnant powers, and so, as they thought, 
to disarm their hostility, the modern mind seeks, 
consciously or unconsciously, to disguise iniquities by 
misnaming them. Thus a blind tribal hatred can be 
masked as " patriotism " ; living idly on the work 


of others is termed " an independence " ; vivisection 
cloaks itself as "research"; and the massacre of wild 
animals for man's wanton amusement is dignified as 
" sport." There is undoubtedly much virtue in names. 
But here another objection may be raised, to wit, 
that in view of the vast advance that has been made 
by mankind from primeval savagery to the present 
complex social state, it is impossible to apply to 
the higher man the same name as to the lower man ; 
for if we are savages, what are the Bushmen or the 
Esquimaux ? 

Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay. 

It may be doubted whether of late years Europe 
has been pleasanter as a residential district than 
Cathay ; but, letting that pass, must we not admit 
that a real culture implies something more than material 
and mental opulence ? " Civihzation," as a French 
writer has lately said, " is not in this terrible trumpery : 
if it is not in the heart of man, then it exists nowhere."^ 
It is easy to frame " ethnical periods," as is done in 
Morgan's Ancient Society, in which are postulated the 
three phases — Savagery, Barbarism, and Civilization — 
the last-named commencing with the invention of a 
Phonetic Alphabet ; but such a definition, when put 
to practical test, seems a somewhat fanciful one. The 
brute who tortures or butchers a sentient fellow-being 
remains a brute, whether a Phonetic Alphabet has 
been invented or not. He has not learnt the ABC 
of civilization. What is needed, for the measurement 
of human progress, is a standard of ethical, not ethnical 

That mankind has already advanced so far is a 
sign, not that it has now reached its zenith, but that 
it has yet further to advance ; and this advance will 
be delayed, not promoted, by the refusal to recognize 

« Civilization, by George Duhamel. Translated by T. P. 



that the physical and mental sciences have far outrun 
the moral— that, despite our multifarious discoveries 
and accomplishments, we are still barbarians at heart. 
In this sense, then, we are savages ; and the knowledge 
of that fact is the first step toward civihzation. There 
is a hne which pious zoophilists are fond of quoting 
to sportsmen or other thoughtless persons who ill-use 
their humbler fellow-creatures : 

Remember, He who made thee made the brute. 

The reminder is wholesome, for kinship is too apt 
to be forgotten ; but I would venture to interpret 
that significant verse in a much more literal sense ; 
for it must be confessed that many a human being, 
if judged by his actions, is not only related to the brute, 
but is himself the brute. The old Greek maxim, 
" Know thyself," is the starting-point of all reformation. 
Through this knowledge, and only through it, can 
come the patience which forgives because it fully 
understands : " Comprendre c'est pardonner " is 
assuredly one of the world's greatest sayings. 

He pardons all, who all can understand. 

There is no need to search for extenuating circum- 
stances, because, as Ernest Crosby has remarked : 
" Is not the fact of being born a man or a woman an 
all-suificient extenuating circumstance?" All is ex- 
plained, when once we are content to look upon our 
fellow-beings, and upon ourselves, as what we verily 
are — a race of rough but not unkindly barbarians, 
emerging with infinite slowness to a more humanized 
condition, and to recognize that if mankind, even as 
it is, has been evolved from a still more savage ancestry, 
that fact is in itself a proof that progress is not wholly 

Considered from the point of view of personal 
happiness and peace of mind, the question is the same. 



To what sort of comfort can a person of sensibility 
hope to attain, in sight of the immense sum of wretched- 
ness and suffering that is everywhere visible, and 
audible, around us ? I know not a few humanitarians 
whose lives are permanently saddened by the thought 
of the awful destitution that afflicts large masses of 
mankind, and of the not less awful cruelties inflicted 
on the lower animals in the name of sport and science 
and fashion. How can sensitive and sympathetic 
minds forget the loss of other persons' happiness in 
the culture of their own, especially if they have realized 
that not a little of their well-being is derived from 
the toil of their fellows ? 

Here, again, some ipeasure of consolation may be 
found, if we look at the problem in a less sanguine 
and therefore less exacting spirit. People often in- 
dignantly ask, with reference to some cruel action or 
custom, whether we are living " in an age of civilization 
or of savagery," the implication being that in an era 
of the highest and noblest civilization, such as ours 
is assumed to be, some unaccountably barbarous 
persons are stooping to an unworthy practice. Is 
it not wiser, and more conducive to one's personal 
peace of mind, to reverse this assumption, and to 
start with the frank avowal that the present age, in 
spite of its vast mechanical cleverness, is, from an 
ethical point of view, one of positive barbarism, not 
so savage, of course, as some that have preceded it, 
but still undeniably savage as compared with what 
we foresee of a civilized future ? 

Viewed in this more modest light, many usages 
which, if prevalent in a civilized country, might well 
make one despair of humankind, are seen to be, like 
the crimes of children, symptoms of the thoughtless 
infancy of our race. We are not civilized folk who 
have degenerated into monsters, but untamed savages 
who, on the whole, make a rather creditable display, 
and may in future centuries become civilized. 


For example, when one meets a number of " sports- 
men " going forth, with horses and with hounds, to 
do to death with every circumstance of barbarity 
some wretched Uttle animal whom they have actually 
bred, or " preserved," or imported for the purpose, 
such a sight — if one regards them as rational and 
civihzed beings — might well spoil one's happiness for 
a fortnight. But if we take a lower stand, and see 
in them nothing more than fine strapping barbarians, 
engaged in one of the national recreations of those 
" dark ages " in which we hve, the outlook becomes 
immediately a more cheerful one ; and instead of 
being surprised that ladies and gentlemen in the 
twentieth century should desire to " break up " a fox, 
we are able to recognize the moderation and civility 
with which in other respects they conduct themselves. 

One advantage, at least, can be drawn by humani- 
tarians from the present state of affairs — a more 
accurate apprehension of the obstacles by which their 
hopes are beset. Much has been said and written 
about the causes of the war ; and it is inevitable that 
the immediate causes (for they alone are discussed) 
should be thoroughly investigated. But the deeper 
underlying causes of the recent war, and of every 
war, are not those upon which diplomatists and 
politicians and journalists and historians are intent : 
they must be sought in that callous and selfish habit 
of mind — common to all races, and as such accepted 
without thought, and transmitted from one generation 
to another — which exhibits itself not in war only, 
but in numerous other forms of barbarity observed 
in so-called civilized life. 

No League of Nations, or of individuals, can avail, 
without a change of heart. Reformers of all classes 
must recognize that it is useless to preach peace by 
itself, or sociahsm by itself, or anti-vivisection by 
itself, or vegetarianism by itself, or kindness to animals 
by itself. The cause of each and all of the evils that 


afflict the world is the same— the general lack of 
humanity, the lack of the knowledge that all sentient 
life is akin, and that he who injures a fellow-being 
is in fact doing injury to himself. The prospects of 
a happier society are wrapped up in this despised 
and neglected truth, the very statement of which, 
at the present time, must (I well know) appear 
ridiculous to the accepted instructors of the 

The one and only talisman is Love, Active work 
has to be done, but if it is to attain its end, it is in 
the spirit of love that it must be undertaken. Perhaps 
the most significant sj^mptom of the brutishnoss aroused 
by the war-fever was the blank inability which many 
Christians showed not only to practise such injunctions 
as " Love your enemies," but even to understand 
them. I Had it not been that humour, like humaneness, 
was sunk fathoms deep in an ocean of stupidity, one 
would have been tempted to quote Ernest Crosby's 
delightful lines on " Love the Oppressors " : 

Love the oppressors and tyrants : 

It is the only way to get rid of them ! 

In these days, when the voice of hatred and malevo- 
lence is so dominant, it is a joy to turn to the pages 
of writers who proclaim a wiser faith. " This is a 
gray world," says Howard Moore. " There is enough 
sorrow in it, even though we cease to scourge each 
oiher — the sorrow of floods, famines, fires, earthquakes, 
storms, diseases, and death. We should trust each 
other, and love each other, and sympathize with and 
help each other, and be patient and forgiving." Nor 
is it only the human that claims our sympathy ; for 
does not Pierre Loti, in his Book of Pity and Death, 

' I heard a Derbyshire gamekeeper actually quote " Ven- 
geance is mine ; I will repay, saith the Lord," as if it were an 
injunction to the righteous to follow the example of a vengeful 


imagine even his stray Chinese cat, whom he had 
befriended on shipboard, addressing him in similar 
words : " In this autumn day, so sad to the heart 
of cats, since we are here together, both isolated beings 
. . . suppose we give, one to the other, a little of that 
kindness which softens trouble, which resembles the 
immaterial and defies death, which is called affection, 
and which expresses itself from time to time by a 

Has not this distracted world had enough, and more 
than enough, of jealousies and denunciations ? Is it 
not time that we tried, in their stead, the effect, say, 
of a bombardment of blessings ? If there are light- 
waves, heat-waves, sound-waves, may there not also 
be love-waves ? How if we sent out a daily succession 
of these to earth's uttermost parts ? A benediction 
is as easily uttered as a curse ; and it needs no priest 
to pronounce it. At least it is pleasant to think (and 
men put faith in creeds that are much less believable) 
that gentle thoughts, the " wireless " of the heart, 
may penetrate and be picked up in regions that are 
beyond our ken, and so create a more favourable 
atmosphere for gentle deeds. " Why did none of 
them tell me," asks Crosby, " that my soul was a 
loving-machine ? " It is strange, certainly, that we 
take so much more pains to kindle the fires of hate 
than the fires of love. 

" Boundless compassion for all living beings," says 
Schopenhauer, " is the surest and most certain guarantee 
of pure moral conduct, and needs no casuistry. Who- 
ever is filled with it will assuredly injure no one, do 
harm to no one, encroach on no man's rights ; he will 
rather have regard for every one, forgive every one, 
help every one as far as he can, and all his actions 
will bear the stamp of justice and loving-kindness." ^ 
Incidentally it may be observed that, as Schopenhauer 

» The Basis of Morality. Translated by Arthur Brodrick 
Bullock, 1903 (George Allen and Unwin, Ltd.). 


points out, the difficulties of what is called the sex 
question would in large measure be solved, if this 
rule of " injure no one " were more fully believed 
and acted on. 

The lesson of the past six years is this. It is useless 
to hope that warfare, which is but one of many savage 
survivals, can be abolished, until the mind of man 
is humanized in other respects also — until all savage 
survivals are at least seen in their true hght. As long 
as man kills the lower races for food or sport, he will 
be ready to kill his own race for enmity. It is not 
this bloodshed, or that bloodshed, that must cease, 
but all needless bloodshed — all wanton infliction of 
pain or death upon our fellow-beings. Only when the 
great sense of the universal kinship has been realized 
among us, will love cast out hatred, and will it become 
impossible for the world to witness anew the senseless 
horrors that disgrace Europe to-day. 

Humanitarians, then, must expect little, but claim 
much ; must know that they will see no present fruits 
of their labours, but that their labours are nevertheless 
of far-reaching importance. Let those who have been 
horrified by the spectacle of an atrocious war resolve 
to support the peace movement more strongly than 
ever ; but let them also support the still wider and 
deeper humanitarian movement of which pacifism is 
but a part, inasmuch as all humane causes, though 
seemingly separate, are ultimately and essentially one. 


In the preparation of this book I have used the 
substance of several articles that first appeared in the 
Humane Revieiv, Humanitarian, Literary Guide, Rationalist 
Press Association's Annual, Vegetarian Messenger, or else- 
where. Acknowledgment of certain other obligations is 
made in the footnotes. 


Adams, Francis, 83-85 
Adams, George. 87 
Adams, Maurice, 76, 77 
Adventurer, the, 28, 29 
Anderson, Martin ("Cynicus"), 204 
Anderson, Sir Robert, 143, 144 
Animals, kinship with man, 13, 

14, 128, 130, 131 ; deaths of, 

130, 234; "dumb," 129; 

rights of, 125-128, 132 
Anthropocentric superstition, 13, 

127, 128, 131 
Arnold, Matthew, 45, 52, 234 
Aveling, Edward, 80, 81, 95 

Barlas, John, 85-87 ; quoted, 233 
Beagler Boy, the, 175, 176 
Bell, Ernest, 124, 125, 211 
Besant, Sir Walter, 115, 116 
Big Game Hunting, 155, 156 
" Blooding," 13, 155 
Blood-Sport, 12, 13, 151, 162, 171, 

Bourchier, J. D., 57, 58 
Bradshaw, Henry, 37-39 
Browning, Oscar, 58, 59 
Browning, Robert, 94 
BrutalUarian, The, 174 
Buchanan, Robert, 113, 202, 203 
Buckland, James, 167 

" Canonization of the Ogre," 70, 71 
Carpenter, Captain Alfred, R.N., 

165, 210 
Carpenter, Edward, 45, 61, 73, 75, 

76, 87-89,109, 110,205, 206, 210 
Carpenter, Dr. P. H., 62, 68 
Catullus, quoted, 235 

Champion, H. H.,^6i, 79, 86 
Chesterton, G. K., 127, 128, 174, 

178 ; quoted, 135 
Cliing Ping, Chinese Mission to 

Eton, 176 
Christmas cruelties, 215 
Coit, Dr. Stanton, 70, 71 
Colam, John, 149, 161, 162 
Comprendre c'est pardonner, 241 
Conda, Anna, her appeal to the 

Zoological Society, 165 
Cornish, F. Warre, 19, 36 
Cory, WilUam, see Johnson 
Coulson, Colonel W. L. B., 124, 

158, 159 
Crane, Walter, 204, 216 
Crosby, Ernest, 205, 206, 241, 244, 


Darrow, Clarence, 206, 207 
Day, Rev. Russell, 23, 24 
de Quincey, Miss E., 118, 119 
De Quincey, Thomas, 118-120; 

quoted, 136 
Deuchar, N. Douglas, 211; quoted, 

Dixie, Lady Florence, 159, 160 
Dobell, Bertram, 102, no, iii 
Durnford, Rev. F. E., 23 

Edwards, J. Passmore, 142, 209 
Eton College, 16-35, 50-66 
Eton Hare-hunt, 27, 56. 154, 155, 
160, 175 

Fabian Society, 81, 82 
Feather and Fur Trades, 12, 148. 
167, 168, 172 




Fighting, fallacies about, 223-225, 

2iS. 229 

Flagellomania, 145. M^, 166 
Flesh-eating. 9, 67-69, 148 
Flogging, at Eton, 22, 23 ; in 
Royal Navy, 138; judicial, 135- 

137. 144-146 
Foote, G. W., 94, 95. 98. 102, 208 
Foxology, the, pronounced by an 

Archbishop, 171 
Fiirnivall, Dr. F. J., 93. 94. 96, 97 

Game Laws, 156, 157, 202 
Garrotting, not suppressed by the 

lash. 136, 137 
George, Henry, 58, 61 
Goodford, Dr. C. O., 28, 54 
Greenwood, Sir George, 153, 176, 

•■ Hag-traps," 32 

Hardy, Thomas, 203, 204 ; quoted, 


Harrison, Frederic, 128, 129 

Hatred, carnival of, 220-222, 227, 

Hopwood, C. H., 140 

Hornby, Dr. J. J., 19, 20, 50, 56, 
58-60 ; on Shelley, 92 

Hudibras, quoted, 13, 137 

Hudson, W. H., 116-118, 210; 
quoted, 66 

Hughes, Kev. H. Price, 208, 212 

Humane Review, The, 211 

Humanitarian League, estab- 
lished, 121-123 ; closed, 211 

Hyndman, H. M.. 30, 79, 108 

Inge. Very Rev. W. R., 70 (note), 

214. 215 
Ingram, John Kclls, iii, 112 

Japp, A. H., n8 

Jefferics, Richard, 115, 116, 130 

Johnson (Cory), William, 24, 25, 

92 ; quoted, 232 
Joynes, Rev. J, L.. 105, 106 
Joyncs, J. L., j»n., 58 
Jupp, W. J., 70 

Kennedy, Admiral Sir W., 138 
Kennedy, Dr. Benjamin, 43, 44 
Kennedy, W. S., 115 
Kropotkin, Prince, 183, 184 

Latin Verses at Eton, 26, 27 
Lester, H. F., 148 
Linton, W. J., iii 
Loti, Pierre, quoted, 244. 245 
Lowell, J. R., 52 ; quoted, 180 
Lucretius, quoted, 91, 232 
Lyttelton, Dr. Edward, 23 (note), 
63, 66, 176 

Macaulay, G. C, 20 (note), 28, 29, 

Macdonald, J. F., his dream, 

Macdonald, John, 151 
Maitland, Edward, 122-124 
Marx, Eleanor, 81, 90 
Massey, Gerald, 11 1 
Maurice, Rev. F. D., 44, 45, 47 
Melville, Herman, 69, no, 112 
Meredith, George, 102, 107-110, 

203 ; quoted, 65 
Miller, Joaquin, 112 
Missionary zeal, at Eton, 55, 176 ; 

at Cambridge, 48 
Monck, W. H. S. (" Lex "). 140. 

Moore, George, on Humanitarian- 
ism, 184 
Moore, J. Howard, 130, 132-134, 

200 ; quoted, 64 (note), 244 
Morris, William. 52, 61, 79, 80 
Morrison, Dr. W. D., 140 
Moultrie, John, 17, 18 
Mountain scenery, desecration of, 

" Murderous Millinery," 166 

Names, importance of. 129, 166, 

239, 240 
Newman, Francis W., 63, 68, 116, 

123, 201 
Noel, Hon. Roden, 113 

Okes, Dr., Provost of King's Col- 
lege, Cambridge, 36, 37, 41 



Olivier, Sir Sydney, 81, 210 
" Ouida," 207 

Parke, Ernest, 152 
Paul, C. Kegan, 18, 68, g2 
Paul, Herbert W., 28, 30 
Peabody, Philip G., 214 

Pig-killing. 78 

Reclus, Elis^e, 204, 205 
Religion, its attitude towards 

Humaneness. 212-216 
Renton, Chief Justice, his error 

in the Encyclopcedia Briiannica, 

Ricketson, Daniel, 114 
Ricketson, Walton, 118 
Riley, W. Harrison, 61, 62, 190 
Ritchie, D. G., 70, 125, 126 
Rossetti, W. M., 83, 95. 96, 99, 

Ruskin. John, 52, 61, 62, 190, 191 ; 

on Tennyson. 62 

Sanborn, F. B., 114 

Savages, in what sense, 8-10 

Schopenhauer, quoted, 122. 245 

Selous, Edmund, 164 

Selous, F. C, on the Eton Hare- 
hunt, 155 

Selwyn, Dr. E. C, 28-30, 43, 154 

Selwyn, Dr. G. A., Bishop of 
Lichfield, 30, 33-35, 185, 1 86 

Sharp, William, 102, 103 

Shaw, G. Bernard, 61, 75, 80, 82, 
83, 88, 93, 95. 98, 109, 113, 
151, i66, 174, 210 

Shelley, Lady, 92, 93 

Shelley, P. B., 90-93, 99, 100 

Shelley Society, 91, 93-98 

Shilleto, R., 39, 43 

Shuckburgh, E. S.. 57 

Simplification of Life, 73. 75-78 

Slaughter-house barbarities, 9, 

Smith, Professor Goldwin, 210 

Snake-Feeding in Zoological Gar- 
dens, 164, 165 

Socialism, 61, 73, 79, 80 ; Dr. 

Warre on. 65 
Solomon, on the rod, Butler- 

ized, 137 
Spencer, Herbert, 202 
Stag-hunting. 152-154, 170 
Stephen, Sir Leslie. 70, 91 
Stewart, Hon. FitzRoy, 160, 161 
" Stiggins," 25, 26 
Stillman, W. J., 209 
Stratton, Rev. J., 124, 157, 158 
" Swage," 21 

Swinburne, A. C, 102-107 
Symonds, J. A., 112, 113 

Tait, Professor Lawson, 144, 145 
Tallack, William, 142, 143 
Telemachus, the Martyr, 213 
Thompson, Dr., Master of Trinity 

College, Cambridge, 41 
Thomson, James (" B.V."), loi- 

104, 237 
Thoreau. H. D., 73, 76, 78, 114, 

115, 118, 122 ; quoted, 77 
Tolstoy, Count, 79, 204, 205 
Tovey. D. C, 57 
Trine, R. W., 209, 210 

Vaughan, Mgr. J. S., 126 
Vegetarianism, at Eton, 62-64, 

Veresaeff, V., his Confessions of 

a Physician, 147 
Vivisection, 12, 127, 146-148 

Wallace, Alfred R., 202 

Warre, Dr. E., Headmaster of 

Eton, 59, 60, 65, 97, 154 
Watts, G. F.. 204 
Watts-Dunton, Theodore, 102, 

104-106, 108, 129 
Welldon, Rt. Rev. J. E. C, 2S-30 
West, William, his portrait of 

Shelley, 99, 100 
Wilde, Oscar, 86, 181, 182 
Williams, Howard, 63, 122, 124, 


Zoological Gardens, 163, 164; 
piety at the Reptile House, 165 

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